The courier. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1894-1903, March 31, 1900, Image 1

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Official Organ of the Nebraska State
Federation of Women's Clubs.
Office 1132 N Btreet, Up Stairs.
Telephone 384.
Subscription Kates In- Advance.
Per annum 9100
Six months 75
Three months 50
One month 20
Single copies 05
The Courier will not be responsible for vol
untary communications unless accompanied by
return postage.
Communications, to receive attention, must
be sixned by tne loll name of the writer, not
merely as a guarantee of good faith, but for
publication if advisable.
Childress Stories.
Few children are rewarded by an
interesting book when they .com
mission a grown person to select it
for them. Stories which seem to the
well read adult, oppressively didactic
and uncommonly dull are read with
breathless interest by children, and
on the contrary, stories in which
grown people find imagination, a
lively style, and an interesting plot
are considered stupid by the children.
There are many exceptions as "Alice
in Wonderland," "The Jungle Books'
and "The Arabian Nights," which
have the united approval of youth
and old age. But "Robinson Cru
soe," '-Sanford and Merton,'' and
"Swiss Family Robinson," on account
of their oppressively patroniting tone
and the self conscious virtuousness
of the style can only be read by chil
dren. Grown people have been taken
in by such self-exploitiog quacks too
many times ever to suffer it in a
mere storyteller. Older children who
read Dickens are in luck, because the
exaggerations, impossible magnanimi
ties renunciations and and unmiti
gated criminals make Dickens' stories
a great bore to grown up people.
While his vogue still endures famili
arity with some of his books is ex
pected, but it is well to have done
with him at least before the eight
eenth year.
St. Nicholas, a magazine for young
folks, is an interesting monthly full
of charming pictures and many in
teresting stories. All over the Unit
ed States youthful subscribers await
its monthly arrival with impatience.
The April number contained the tiaal
installment of a serial story called
"The Colburn Prize." It is the story
of two little schoolmates who were
friends and the best scholars in the
school they both attended. The prize
is a watch offered for the best essay
by Mrs. Colburn. The two little girls,
Gertrude and Alice, decide to com
pete for the watch, but Gertrude,
whose school papers have always
graded a trifle higher than Alice's is
afraid to hand her essay in when she
has written it. After reading it over
she concludes that its brilliant cor
rectness of diction and originality of
thought will certainly be awarded
the prize and thus deprive Alice of
the recognition she covets. She
therefore delays copying it and tells
the teacher that her story is not
ready when the limit of the time for
offering it arrives. Alice wins the
prize but the self sacrificing act and
actor are discovered and announced
and introduced to the whole school
The author's lack of a sense of hu
mour prevents any appreciation of
the mortification f Alice, who must
realize that the prize was hers by
default and not by merit For rec
ompense the author lias Alice save
Gertrude's life on the way home from
the expose where Gertrude was also
presented with a watch, in place of
the one she renounced. Of course the
effect of the self-sacrifice as a lesson
is entirely lost by the handsome rec
ognition of Gertrude's magnanimity.
But the-chlldren who have read the
story from month to month were
pleased with the finale as with the
whole story. They saw no discrepan
cies, they did not object to the elab
orate machine effects to create and
reward a heroine. They did not ob
ject to the absence of life, it con
forms with their ideas of literary
propriety that the heroine should
have no faults, that she should be a
child of grace, without blemish and
colorless as the author's style. The
children whom I know have read this
story with unfeigned interest and
unquestioning acceptance of the au
thor's taste and talent. It is there
fore a successful child rens' story.
Psychologists say children as a whole
have no real sense of humour. Their
verdict of "The Colburn Prize" is an
Indication that at least they do not
insist upon humour in literature.
The Gty Election.
The Chicago city council last Satur
day night passed the appropriation
bill for the current year, after a ses
sion of ten hours in committee of the
whole. The bill authorizes $3,000,
000.00 in excess of the largest possi
ble receipts. The Chicago council
men are not representative citizens,
but they are representative city poli
ticians, men who make their own
living from the taxes paid by indus
trious, self-supporting and selt-re-Iiant
citizens. The larger amount of
money these councilman order ex
pended, the larger their patronage.
The aggregate of property assessed
against these city legislators is pro
.bably not a larger sum than $10,000,
and so great is the city treasurer's
respect in every city for councilmen,
that in all probability few of them
have even paid the city their per
sonal taxes. The evils of the system
of unlimited suffrage most of us pro
fess to be proud cf, are most apparent
in the legislation and in the persons
and principles of the legislators of
the larger cities. In cities the size
of Lincoln the system works better.
Really representative citizens, men
of family, of initiative energy and of
unblemished reputation are found
among the councilmen of Lincoln.
Contrast the management of this
city's finances with that of Chicago.
With a falling assessed valuation since
1897, the council has not increased
the levy, bat, rairabile dictu, the levy
has been decreased. In other words
the income of the city has decreased
since 1897 at the rate of $30,000 a year.
Nevertheless, largely through the
keen intelligence of Mayor Winnett,
the soundness of President Webster's
municipal economics and his knowl
edge of city finances, through the
conduct of the water department by
Commissioner Tyler ably assisted by
Chairman of the water department
Spears, the city has paid its bills, has
issued no bonds, and has actually ef
fected a reduction of $50,000 in the
outstanding warrants and a decrease
of $24,000 in the floating indebtedness.
This council is not a howling mob of
only partially Americanized foreign
ers like the Chicago council, voracious
for an individual increase of patron
age and salaries, but a group of four
teen cltizens,even as you and I.person
ally interested in the welfare and not
in the lootingof the city.
At such a time as this, when the
city is about to elect new officers it
is only fair to its faithful servants to
investigate their administration of
their duties.
The retirement of President Web
ster from the council is a matter of
sincere regret to members of all par
ties who are at the same time faith
ful citizens. At all times and under
greater or less temptation to be sel
fish, he has placed his duty to the
city above all other considerations.
The refunding of the city debt was
largely due to Mr. Webster's good
financiering and his steady opposi
tion to any measures which would
cost the city more than the munici
pal income, is one of the reasons why
our income and expenditure balance.
Councilman Spears of the third
ward ancLchairman of the water de
partment has earned a second rec
ognition. In connection with Mr.
Tyler he has lowered the expenses of
the water department. The substan
tial results of his chairmanship are
incontestably recorded in an article
contributed to The Courier but pub
lished under the head of Observations,
because of its pertinency and value
as a summary of the accomplishments
of the present council. Citizens of
the third ward who approve honesty,
economy and ability are invited to
read and consider this report of Mr.
Spears' efficiency when considering
the best man to vote for.
In the history of Lincoln the sa
loons were never kept in such good
order as they are under the present
excise board, consisting of the Mayor,
Mr. II. W. Brown and Mr. F. W.
Brown. The laws which were framed
to control saloons and reduce theirevil
influence is enforced, without fanat
icism but in steady and undeviating
compliance with the law. Mr. II. W.
Brown is a man in whom all men trust.
It is idle to reiterate his good quali
ties. He has lived in Lincoln more
than thirty years. All his customers
are his friends, and eery acquaint
ance trusts him. His reputation is
the work of time and an unassailable
personality. Under the present re
gime liquor is not sold to minors, the
saloons close on time and dives are
closed up. Every man or woman
with sons should not lightly decide
to work for a change in the personelle
of the excise board.
The Humblest,
Of all the occupations by which
men endeavor to make a living and if
possible to make the world better the
hardest and least glorious is that of
a newspaper editor. Publishers of
books or magazines are further re
moved from the activities and in
terests of every day life, and be
sides a book or magazine publisher
is conceded a certain discriminating
and specialized knowledge of his
business denied an editor, whom
there Is none so poor to do him rev
erence. The butcher, the baker, the
candle-stick maker are supposed to
have learned their trade, to know
something about beef, pork, fish and
fowls, about breads and cakes, about
tallow, wax and moulds, that law
yers, bankers and general dealers
have not learned. And these other
tradespeople and professional men do
not attempt to instruct the butcher,
the baker, and the candlestick mak
er in the technicalities or their busi
ness when an unkind destiny throws
these merchants in meat, bread and
tallow in their way. But editors and
'doctors must take criticism, advice
and exhortation from every street
corner rencontre. Possibly it Is be
cause every man is his own doctor and
every man worth living is an oracle
to a small club or home circle. It is
none the less trying to the editor, the
least regarded of all men, after he
has pondered a subject in his heart
and searched the dictionary, encyclo
pedia and local oracles for many
months, after he has carefully writ