The courier. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1894-1903, June 02, 1900, Image 1

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    A
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VOL. XV., NO. XXI r
ESTABLISHED IN 1SSG
PRICE F1VECBNTS
LINCOLN. NEBR.. SATURDAY. JUNE 2. 1000.
wAm-
Entered nc the POSTOFFICE AT LINCOLN AS
8ECOXD CLASS MATTER.
THE COURIER,
Official Organ of the Nebraska State
Federation of Women's Clubs.
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W00A
s
9 OBSERVATIONS.
k.'ocy
1
A Convict's Testimony.
A convict just discharged from the
Nebraska penitentiary has testified
that the deputy warden of the prison
was in the daily habit of swearing at
thehelpless.dumb prisoners whom the
state has entrusted to him during
their time of punishment. Wardens
and deputy wardens are apt to be
more brutal than the men in their
care. Count Tolstoi believes that
our penal system brutalizes the war
dens and develops the tendency to
crime in the prisoners. The only
theory that justifies society in in
carcerating certain of its members,
is self protection. The warden of the
prison is stationed there to keep the
doors fast, to see that the prisoners
do not escape, to provide for their
comfort and to protect each convict
from bodily harm either from an out
side mob or from skulking brutality
and cruelty in the prison. The war
den is not supposed to punish the
prisoners nor oppress them. He
should have no personal animosities
to wreak upon the men whom the
state has disarmed, clothed in rough,
ugly clothes, upon whom it imposes
dumbness, a rigidly, coarse and mo
notonous fare which - measures out a
very few cubic feet of air to each one
and sets men with guns to enforce
the prison regulations. The warden,
and in his absence, his deputy repre
sents to the culprits, who have broken
the rules of the game that society is
playing, the state that is punishing
them. The warden is the state, to
the men in the penitentiary. He
holds the key to the broad fields of
corn. They must pass him to get to
Omaha, Lincoln or Grand Island
He is the judge, the hangman, the
state university, the governor, the
legislature. He is the law, lie is Ne
braska.' But the convicts say he
curses and uses obscene language,
when the frightened, dumb beasts
who have been driven into a cage,
falter and break one of the many
rules he has imposed upon them.
When such a man represents the
state it is not surprising that the
convicts decide that as soon as they
are free they will have it out again
with law and order.
The warden or the penitentiary in
nearly every state is not a criminolo
gist, or philanthropist. He is selected
for his services to the party in power.
He is generally a petty politician,
ready just as soon as he is given abso
lute power over several hundred hu
man beings, to become a profane ty
rant, loving cruelty for its demon
stration of his power.
If the warden or the deputy warden
of the state penitentiary is the sort of
man who will curse a prisoner and
his shabby old mother visiting him,
he should be removed at once. Gov
ernor Poynter should satisfy himself
about the truth or falsity of this
charge. This man whom the releas
ed convict accuses of a brutality in
consistent witli the dignity and neu
trality of the state whom he repre
sents, should be required to prove his
fitness for the place he holds. The
Governor, as the head of the state,
owes it to the malefactors whom the
state has estranged of their liberty,
that no man who has earned the
name of brute should have any au
thority at the penitentiary.
A Moving Instrument.
Doctor Ignace Paderewski says that
the piano is the most excellent, the
most flexible, the most expressive of
musical instruments. The master of
any instrument always believes that
the one he has selected as his medium
of expression is that perfect instru
ment compared to which all others
are inadequate. Each member of an
orchestra believes that his instru
ment is singing the song or convey
ing the real meaning of the composer
to the audience. The piano has a
wide range; from lowest bass to high
est treble is a continent of tone. But
the human velvet-steel fingers do not
strike the strings. Between them
and the maestro's fingers there is a
layer of ivory, a long wooden stick
with a little felt hammer on the end
of it and this it is which strikes the
twisted wire of the horizontal harp.
Genius must flow a long distance and
it loses some of the holy energy he
fore the sound readies the ear of the
most silent and devout audience.
With his violin strings breath-near,
the violinist's instrument is humaniz
ed.There is no length of wood, felt and
ivory between the tone and him. The
cuddled violin is a part of him and
the tone a virtuoso makes no body
else can make on the sirne violin.
To a degree this is true of the piano,
also, which is a more intellectual me
dium than the violin.
A comparison of the effects of the
two instruments was afforded by the
recent concert of Maestros Hambourg
and Petschnikoff in this city. The
strength and sureness of Mr. Ham
bourg's wonderful fingers, wrist and
arm delighted and dazzled the audi
ence and received vociferous applause.
When Mr. Petschnikoff and the poet
who plays the piano accompaniment
ceased playing, there were ten sec
onds of silence before the audience
remembered the convention of clap
ping and noise. The round, mellow
tone of the old violin made by Italian
hands that were dust a century ago
had absorbed all the sounds the men
who owned it from generation to gen
eration drew from it. The violin is
an ever ripening, sweetening vintage
miraculously renewed by every bow
stroke a genius draws across its body.
Petschnikoff's violin has a voice that
makes the flesh creep and stimulates
the imagination. I believe the lan
guage of the violin is understood by
many more people than that of any
other instrument. It is so nearly a
voice and kind speaks to kind when
the master draws his bow across the
strings.
A Gty Ambulance.
When a man falls on the streets of
Lincoln the patrol wagon carries him
home; the patrol wagon driven like
the fire engine rumbling like doom
and followed by the curious who chase
it, hoping to be in time to see the
policemen club a drunk or arrest a
shrieking, maddened woman. The
crowd is always disappointed when it
is only an aged, withered postman
finally stricken by death, or some
fainting woman overcome by the heat
or fatigue. The patrol wagon gives
misfortune the look of misdemeanor.
Woman's Mind and Sphere.
Dr. Oscar Chrisman of Emporia,
Kansas, has the courage of his anti
quated and undemonstrable opinions.
Before the Mothers congress at Des
Moines Tuesday, May twenty-fourth,
Dr. Chrisman asserted that the col
lege was almost altogether for the
young man, that man is reason and
that college courses are for the train -ing
of this reason, that the vasVma
jority of women do not enter colleges,
that mothers and fathers furnish their
parlors handsomely and dress their
daughters neatly and becomingly only
for the purpose of attracting young
men, that, therefore, girls should be
taught and trained exclusively in the
duties of wifehood and motherhood,
that the father should he entirely re
lieved from the rearing and Instruc
tion of Lis young, that in point of face
man does not really love his wife or
his children, but that reason teaches
him that the mother must be well
nourished and comfortably housed
while she is bearing and rearing child
ren, and that man supports her for
this reason and endures her society
for animal reasons alone. Dr. Chris
man was violently hissed, but the
poor emotional beings for whom he
had written the address could not ap
preciate the limitations of their sex
and he intimated that he had not
come prepared for popularity.
Dr. Chrisman contends that children
are only entitled to the attention of
one parent, and that one the mother.
If man does not. love his wife and
children, Shakspere had no insight
and all dramas, novels and poetry are
the maunderings of minds distraught
and of no value as studies of human
nature.
If the society of Phi Beta Kappa
does nothing more than provide sta
tistics for the refutation of such scandal-mongers
as Chrisman, it has ac
complished a purpose worthy enough
to make the charge of pedantry of
little consequence. From co educa
tional schools the accepted candidates
for membership in this society are al
most entirely women. The Phi Beta
Kappa board lias admitted twenty
one students of the Nebraska State
University this year. Nineteen of
those students are women and two are
men.
Dr. Chrisman may be acceptable to
a Kansas Normal school. He could
not hold a Nebraska job. He uses un
scientific, loose phrasing, such as ''the
vast majority of women do not enter
colleges." The majority of men do
not enter colleges, either. The pro
portion of female under-graduates in
state coeducational institutions may
be ascertained by a consultation of
catalogues or college statistical com
pilations. But the man who le in the
habit of verifying a general statement
before he publishes it, never uses such
terms as "vast majority." There are
also the colleges for women to be taken
into account when comparing the
number of young men and women
seeking a college education. The fact
that a college education for women is
a new ambition and that there is still
prejudice against it is to be consid
ered in the summary.
Supposing that Chrisman's asser
tions are true, for the sake of looking
at the subject from his standpoint,
such an address before a congress of
women who had asked him to address
them, shows Chrisman's lack of tact,
lack of courtesy, lack of all tle qual
ities which a teacher or a lecturer
needs in his vocation. Unfit to en
gage in active life in competition with
sturdy men, this man, whose address
was a flippant insult to both men and