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About The courier. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1894-1903 | View Entire Issue (May 19, 1894)
INVENTING GREAT MEN.
Plato on tho whole, was a greater man than Rider Haggard, but
if ho were alivo now, be would not make bo much money by his books.
Ibsen seems likely to die considerably, poorer than tho late Henry
Pettitt, as far as money is concerned. Great philosophers and poets
arc apt to starve, because their wares are above tho heads of tho
public, there is no demand, and, therefore no price, although tho
commodity offered is very scarce and previous. But when tho
nbility is of a sort every one can appreciate, or, above all, that can
mako money or euro illness, thero is no lack of demand.
Sometimes there is no lack of supply either; for instance, in the
modern city, tho policemen, tho firemen, the sewermen, are supposed
to savo property, life and health wholesale, yet their ability is to be
had without stint for 2is a week or thereabout, because the supply
is large. Not so tho supply of popular painters, novelists, dram
atists, consultant physicians, special pleaders and directors and or
ganizers of industry. I say popular rather than able, for tho public
is often a very bad judge of ability.
For example, thero died a short time ago a barrister who onco
acquired extraordinary celebrity as an Old Baity advocate, especially
in murder cases. When he was at his zenith I read all his most
famous defenses, and I can certify that he always missed the strong
point in his client's case and tho weak one in tho caso for the pro
secution, and was, in short, tho most homicidally incompetent im
poster that ever bullied a witness or made a "moving,"' but useless
appeal to a jury. Fortunately for him.the niurdereers were too stupid
to see this; besides their minds were fully impressed with the
number of clients of his who were hanged, So they always engaged
him and added to his famo by getting hanged themselves in due
In the same way a surgeon will get a reputation as tho only possi
ble man to consult in cancer cases simply because he has cut off more
breasts than anyone else. The fact that in all professions there is
the first favorite means no more than the fact that there is only one
editor of the "Times." It is not the man who is singular, but tho
position. The public imagination demands a best man everywhere,
and if nature does not supply him, the public invents him. The art
of humbug is the art getting invented in this way.
Every generation invents great men at whom posterity laughs
when Borne accident makes it aware of them. Even in business the
greatest reputations are sometimes the result of the glamour of the
city superstitution. I could point to a railway chairman reputed in
dispensable, whom the shareholders and the traveling public might
with great profit send to St. Helena with a pension of 810,000 a year.
"Une des demi mondes d Omaha le plus populaire," said my
friend as we walked down Farnam Street.
She was facing us, coming down the steps of a handsome house,
and walked on past. She had the triple alliance of beauty, youth
There was as yet more of nature than art in the roses in her
cheeks, and the fine triumphant life in vein and nerve shone forth
from the eyes, and gave token in that firm elastic step. So young
She had a sweet, winning face Oh, how soon it would change
But it was very fair to look upon now, and tho eyes were large and
round, and full; they reminded me of other beautiful eyes I knew
once, which years ago dropped their dark fringed lids under a
northern sky. Her eyes haunted me for days, thoy were so like.
I was waiting on the corner in a carriage for a friend. Dust filled
the air, the wind blew a gale. I heard a child's sharp cry, and saw
the wind had blown a ragged little waif of a girl off the curbstone,
scattering her basket and its contents broadcast The little thing
There was a spot of blood on her cheek and the little ono was
'heartbroken over her loss.
Before she was fairly on her feet a gentle hand was helpingher, and
I saw the face and form belonged to her of the marvelous eyes.
Unseen myself, I could see it all. She took her embroidered hand
kerchief to wipe the tears and blood from the dirty little face; she
reached under the wrappings for a long belt pinto fasten the ragged
little shawl securely; she smoothed her hair back as tenderly with
her gloved hand as a mother might. Then she put the empty
basket on the child's arm, apiece of money into the blue cold, little
hand, and bending down she kissed the dirty, hungry, old-young
face, and I heard her say softly, "I love little children,"
Kissed her as kindly as if it had been a clean sweet face, with rosy
lips. How that child's face lighted up! It was a perfect revelation.
Ono read of neglect, poverty and baby tears as the one illuminated
page shone forth.
Then they parted, and the watching angels drew the starry cur
tains and the Recording Scribe made an entry.
That picture was in my dreams for a week. Tho magical eyes
haunted me still, and in my visions I heard two voices wonderfully
blended somehow, and one said clear and sweet,' "Tho thy sins ,'
and tho other was in a wailing, minor key "I love little children.'
It was a child's funeral.
Her name was Daisy; a little flossy haired creaturo, who was
known for blocks around. A sprite, who ran away was here, there
everywhere; who talked incessantly, and made everybody know her,
whether or no.
And this baby was dead.
Such a merry little witch. Wo all loved her. Tho parlors were
darkened, and filling with friends, when I saw one come with a
beautiful crown madeof the smallest white daisies,and laying it on the
white casket, stop for an instant for a look at the beautiful sleeping
child, and then, taking a distant chair, she sobbed liko one bereft.
She was dressed in deepest mourning, and I did not recognize her
till near the close of the services, when I caught a glimpse of those
starry eyes, and, "I lovo little children," came back to me at once.
In a flash I saw it all. Somehow, somewhere, she had found this
sweet little Daisy and learned to love her. Just a sidewalk acquaint
ance, but she loved little children. She had covered her identity in
a crepe veil, that sho might see her again pass unknown through
crowd and lay her daisy wreath beside the baby.
Why? Had she put away a little face under the grasses some day?
Was there a baby adrift somewhere that was her's, and for whom
the mother's heart, through all its guilt, never ceased to mourn?
Auocsta L. Packard.
Your dollar goes farthest in buying shoes at Herpolsheimer & Co."b
CHANGE, FATE GOD.
Chance, on a quiet, shady street, happened dark-visaged fate to
meet, and said, with careless, listless glance, "all things existing
came by chance. There's nothing in predestiny, heartless and cold
fatality, election, or foreordination. Whatever happens in creation,
evil or good, 'tis clearly seen, is summed in this: It might have
been, come, cast aside that sullen frown, and in bright joy your
sorrows drown; let us be merry while we may, whether we live or die
today. Come, let us in good fortune trust, and gather troubles
when we must." Fate glowered on him with angry face, and hate
ful, vengeful, mad grimace. "I hold the reins; whate'er I say, will
meet mankind in all his way, I shake the destinies of men, I care
not whom, or where, or when; all feel the pressure of my hand,
obeying, when I give command, and every saved or ruined soul is
under my severe control, or great, or small, there's no event that
may be called an accident; each day, and every passing'hour I exer
cise my kingly power, and, with an enemy or friend, will do so until
time shall end." This is the truth deny who can; God made the
world, and fashioned man, sun, moon and stars; the sea and land,
came from his strong creative hand; and he it is who rules on high
and fixes nature's destiny; but to his fallen creatures he exhibits
kindly charity, and gives them ample power to choose all that is
good, or to refuse. His laws we all may disobey, and wander from
his holy way; but if we turn away from sin from sin without, and
sin within His tender mercies will abound, and gracious pardon
will be found. Edgar Thorne.
"The flowers that bloom in the spring" are not more vigorous than
are those persons who purify their blood with Ayer's Sarsaparilla.
Tho fabled Elixer Vite could scarcely impart greater vivacity to the
countenance than this wonderful medicine.
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