Hesperian student / (Lincoln [Neb.]) 1872-1885, December 02, 1889, Page 4, Image 4

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ing to pay a heavy duty on their wives. The Frenchmen need
ed some bounty offered to induce them to commit matrimony.
The wild state had too many charms for them. This differ
ence in character is the key to the final outcome ol the strug
gle between France and England for the possession of North
At the marriage market the reader meets Adam Dollard
and his servant Jacques GofTinct, the latter in search of a
wife. After the latter has been suited with a superior article
from the shambles of Cupid, he and his commandant return
to their estate above Montreal. Dollard met in Montreal
Clair Laval Montmorency, married her and took her back to
his estate.
About this time there was an invasion threatened by the
restless Five Nations of New York. These Indians, urged
on by the policy of New Ncthcrland governors, were the ter
ror of New France. In the crisis now at hand one thing only
was to be done: the Iroquois must be slopped before they
could reach Montreal. Dollard and sixteen young settlers,
together with one Huron and four Algonquins, volunteer to
throw themselves into the pass of the Long Sault and keep
the enemy in check. The author detracts from the effective
ness of this part of the story by omitting to give some idea
of the ccslucy that must have filled the soul of Dollard when
he realized that the opportunity for an heroic deed was at
hand. For this thing meant death. Dollard left his wife at
Montreal and set out upon his march. Claire not being able
to remain behind follows him through the forest and reaches
him just in time to sec him die and to die with him. No
doubt the twenty-two men in the little log fort on the banks
of the roaring Sault made a glorious defence, for it is certain
that the force of the Iroquois invasion was biokcn. The
author compares the fight to Thermopylae. Geographically
there was a similarity. Numerically the defenders of the
pass were far weaker than their assailants. Hut here the sim
ilarity ends. Thermopylae was a conflict between the civili
zation of Europe and the barbarians of Asia. The fight at
the Long Sault was merely one of many border conflicts, with
no higher stake involved than the lives of the participants.
The author has tried to make much of the fact that the story
is true. But being true it belongs more to the domain of his
tory than to fiction. History has treated the theme gener
ously, and there is no need for romance to take it up. If the
object or one of the objects is to show forth brilliantly the
work of the Jesuits in New France, the author has been
again mistaken in her estimation of her topic. For the his
iory of the Order of Jesuits in America is the history oj
France in America, and so long as men shall admire firm, un.
blanching devotion to duty, in the face of most awful odds,
so long will there be no need for the romancer to plead the
cause of the Society of Jesus in Canada. The world rccog
nized wh U that order did, and the names of cities, rivers and
lakes bear testimony to its energy.
The story reads like some "translated from the French"
talc. Why this is so it seems hard at first to tell. There is
an almost foreign sentence-construction in a great many parts
of the story. The transposition of subject and verb render for
cible sentences weak, giving them a poetical form. The
author seems to have striven after effect by using high sound
ing and fanciful adjectives. Thus the southern hill slopes
are characterized as "sun-soaked." A river in a rainstuim is
described as "blistered," and as having a "stung surface."
"Stone-girdled" islands "standing in "far-looking" stretches
of river arc favorites with the author. When one reads of a
person being in "rages of pain," he almost fancies Mrs. Cath
crwood has been reading "The Quick or the Dead." "Woman-beauty"
may not be so far out ol the way, but to replace
the word "suddenly" by "like an electric lancet unsheathed
by clouds," is certainly a long way around. "Focus or howl
ing" may express the author's idea, but not in so simple a
form as could be desired. Hut while there arc some fantastic
circumlocutions that might, perhaps, have been better left out,
there arc many admirable descriptions of the St. Lawrence
scenery. This is a merit in the story, but if the author ever
saw that stream it is certainly no credit to her. The glory
(if there is any) belongs to the described, not the describcr.
For even the dullest can not descend the mighty river with
out having his blood quickened, his soul elevated at the sight
of the divinely fair landscapes presented to his view. Any
one who has stood on the "Royul Mountain" and looked at
the tangle of river, lake, forest and mountain, magnificent in
their hazy immensity, cannot but feel inspired with noble
thoughts. The description of the descent of the Lachnic
rapid in a canoe by moonlight, is one of the few simple, ef
fective portions of the story. The modern traveler, who de
scends the same boiling, seething, slope of water, sees enough
risk in the operation to feel excited, artd it is not hard for him
to imagine what it seemed like to Claire, as by moonlight, in
a frail, open boat, she was hurled down the waving, tossing,
grinding, seemingly death-dealing torrent.
On last Wednesday afternoon was held a preliminary
meeting, looking to the organization of a league or club
among the students which should concentrate their influence
in favor of the prohibitory amendment to be voted on next
year. This is a move in the right direction, and is but the
beginning of more enthusiastic meetings. The next meeting
will be held in the chapel on the evening of December 7.
One or more talclitcd speakers from the city will be on hand
and the permanent organization will- be effected. Everybody
should turn out to the meeting. If you arc not particularly
interested, come out and hear a statement of the situation.
If you are interested in securing the passage of the amend
ment it is your duty to attend and lend your aid in making
toe University a power in the next campaign.
The business manager has for sale a little gymnasium out
fit that is the neatest thing ol the kind going. The advertise
ment may be found in another column. This is just the
thing for any student, lady or gentleman. It is easily put
up, or taken down, takes scarcely any space in the room and
is most effective. Three of these machines are in use among
the students, and reference is made to E. R. Holmes, J. S.
Peery and J. 11. McDonald as to the merits of the machine.
It pays students to get their shoes at Briscoe & Cooks,
1329 O St.
Skinner keeps gentle and stylish horses. Students pat
ronage solicited.
Students will do well to call at Wcsterfield's for a good
hrir cut and bath. Burr Block. See ad.
L. G. Chevront, 1221 O street, oysters and lunch, can
dies, cigars, tobacco, etc. Give him a call.
"We build pants for gentlemen only" at Browning, King
& Co's agency, 118 north Tenth street. Overcoats dirt