Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885, June 01, 1889, Page 2, Image 2

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    THE HESPERIAN.
tiM? of the armory can he given to an ouisiue organ
ization for nothing, while the students are compelled
to go down lown and pay ten or fifteen dollars for a
hall? Let someone explain.
GEORGE ELIOT.
KNIGHT TRIZE ESSAY. JESSIE W. GOODEI.L.
The present generation lives in the midst of a great out
burst of thought and feeling and expression. Since the
Renaissance of the Middle Ages, there has been such a grad
ual increase in the woiks of literature that the world almost
seems to ? nfTer from its fullness. The Humanists appear as
giants of literary fame. It is only as the writer fades into
the distance of the historical past, that his literary stature
becomes gigantic. It is only by time and repute that man
appears more than human. In the all-ahsoihing love for the
great minds of history, there is little appreciation for the
great minds of today. With better advantages, broader
ideas, new impulses, new beliefs and more freedom of thought
the product of the genius of the present age is greater than
that of the past, but its promise and recognition must be in
the future.
To a century there arc three generations. It is only by
the character of its generations that the century can leave its
impress upon the world. The present century will live in
the pages of history as an age remarkable for the recognition
of woman. The chivalric loyalty paid the lady of gentle
birth has grown into an cqnal respect for women. The
women of today can add to the virtues of womanhood, cour
age and learning, and stand as the peer of man.
To each and every mind there must appear some one
name of repute that exerts upon one a stronger influence
than any oilier. I have only to turn to the names of the
second generation of this century to point out the one that
for me has an untold fascination, the name of George Eliot.
She belongs to the present age and time. Let the pres
ent generation honor Marion Evans, the woman. George
Eliot and her books pass into h story, and future genera
tions will worship them through the fallacious haze
of time.
Marion Evans was born in the year 1820 Ti I elements
of her character were manifested while very young. Com
bined with an affectionate dispo,'tion was an ambition that
often collided with her devotion. From early childhood
the eagerness for woik and the hope that she might do some
thing, were constantly pressing her onward. The woman
that wrote "We would never have loved the earth so well if
we fiad had no childhood in it" seems never to have known
the innocent childhood of which she speaks. The insatiable
desire for learning, and the yearning for love were the inher
ent qualities of her nature. Until womanhood, the fear that
no one loved her, kept her constantly in moods of sadness.
The longing for human love and for masterful ambition, sel
dom reaches so high a stage as hers. Read the "Mill on the
Floss," and read it with the knowledge that in the character
of Maggie Tulliver she is telling to each individual rea'er
the secrets of her heart and one will realize the terrible pas
sion produced by this combination.
Hut by the age of thirty, the ambition to" excel, began to
bend to the strontjer emotion of the affection and her most
ardent hope was to be given some woman's work. Before
this, her book reviews and translations had gained for her
a reputation among the literary circles, but did not satisfy
her. It was not until Marjan Evans began to write her. novels
that her intensely serious nature found an opportunity to
accomplish some noble woik. Whatever she did, received
her whole attention, and so devoted was she to her labor,
that her novels seem almost a part of herself. Her wonder
ful power was not so much in the delineation of a character
already formed, as of its development. Her works arc studies
of life. She has been censured on account of the weakness
of her character. Marian Evans did not write trival stories
that present irreproachable characters. She did not write
j for the sake of showing a comparison between the fictitious
and the living character. But she wrote to teach to the
world tenderness, goodness, and most of all charity; and she
produced human beings that call for tender tolerance, pity
and sympathy. She knew the weakness of human nature.
In one sad part of her life we can only accord to her the
charity that was never refused by her. Her great love for
mankind and her clear conception of character recognized
the fact that tolcrancy was essential.
Conscientious in all her writings, striving for the best
good of mankind, despondent lest she should fail, her books
embody all that she lclt. But in the words of Dr. Duryea,
"Intellect as the end the will as the means ol accomplishing
the end," and the result will not be a failure. Marian Evans
had the intellect and the will and the result was a success.
The product of intelligence and sincerity is logic, and her
earnest concentration to her task and her sincere desire to
accomplish some good produced the mind of a logician.
For many, her refusal to accept religion clouds her otherwise
noble life. Her mind was too strnng, too independent, lo
conform to what she could not believe; her character too
honest to act a part she did not feel. No one, that has been
born with the inherent qualities of faith, can know the feel
ing of one that earnestly desires to be a Christian and yet
cannot. She prayed for light, but it was not given her, and
the great love for humanity became her religion.
A noted lawyer of this state in his plea for the life of a
woman charged with murder, said: "The mind is the passage
of the soul on its way to eternity." Marian Evans took the
talents given her as trusts from God, aud returned them ten
fold. Her field of thought has left many guides for the
furtherance of intellectual and moral development. By
faithful concentration to her work she has taught the world
love, sympathy and charity. Surely her mind would light
her soul through the gates of eternity. Well might she have
said, "An honest man or woman, a sweet and loving child
has nothing to fear cither in this world or the world to come,
and upon that rock I stand." Marian Evans was honest.
LITERARY.
There is no doubt at all, that if the new dictionary that
the Century company is publishing, is as goad as they say it
is, that the work will meet with great success, for there is
great need of such a dictionary in every educational institu
tion. A book, or set of books, that will give the etymology,
meaning and derivation of a word, together with a complete
description of the the thing to which it applies, is certainly a
great improvement, and a great convenience. It will be a
dictionary and encyclopedia combined.
V
The worst thing about a book that gains a great notoriety
is the flood of imitations that immediately follow. Some
one told me not long ago that there had been a book written
as a kind of antidote to "Robert Elsmcrc." Such writing as
this honk must he has onlv onp ns. Tf "T?ft1ipr Tlemw.
'was a bad book the "antidote" is worse than bad, for unless