The courier. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1894-1903, December 15, 1900, Image 1

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

Office 1132 N street, Up Stairs.
Telephone 384.
Subscription Kates In Advance.
Per annum $ 1 00
Six montha ' 75
Three months 50
One month 20
Single copies 05
The Courier will not be responsible for to I
nntary communications unless accompanied by
return postage.
Communications, to receive attention, must
be signed by the full name of the writer, not
merely as a guarantee of good faith, but for
publication if advisable.
-f Vagaries.
A little book bound in white, let
tered in black, with a yellow moon
floating in a green gray night of
shadowy bats is a co'lection of light
short stories by Mrs. Florence Brooks
Emerson, formerly or Omaha. Mr.
Datus Brooks, her father, was former
ly editor of the Omaha Republican.
Mrs. Emerson was a student at the
state university in the early eighties.
She has lived in New York for per
haps the last ten years. A vagary,
and every resident of a state which
has the lowest per cent of illiteracy
of the whole forty-five, knows that
vagary is accented on the second syl
lable, is a wandering or strolling, and
hence a wandering of the thoughts, a
wild freak, a whim. And about a
whim there is an individuality, a
color that the reasonable, expected
actions of life do not have. If it were
not for Dr. Samuel Johnson's whims
v we should not feel that we know him
so well and the great lexicographer
might then be indistinguishably con
fused with Bozzy, Goldsmith, Pope
and others of his time. A fragrance
of original personality lingers about
this book of stories, that is very
pleasant both to the stranger and to
Mrs. EmersoD's friends.
The pains and disappointments of
life as they come to women and are
felt by women Mrs. Emerson expresses
finally with satisfaction. Like an un
known sonata, the first time heard by
one not technically educated, the first
reading of her paragraphs is a jumble
and the melody is overlooked. A
little patience, a little pertinacious
insistence upon a sympathetic read
ing of the lines and her meaning is
clenr. One story is about a woman
whose husband is lighting in Cuba.
She stands on a balcony and looks out
to sea: "The shadows as of an eternal
absence darkened her heart; for
absence is never bridged; it makes a
chasm between old and new; all is old
on the brink wc have left; all is past.
The one we meet is not the one who
said farewell." This change which
takes place in the friendships and
loves of the separated is one of the
curious, unwelcome and disputed
phenomena of life and love. The
chasm of incommunicable spiritual ex
periences which separates friends who
are miles apart, from the intimacy of
the hour of separation has puzzled
the most devoted and loyal.
Another story is about a Spanish
general in Cuba who is returning to
Spain on account of the American
occupation and he is leaving his
Cuban lady in Havana. The general's
parrot is shrieking in the court while
the general is eating his breakfast,
just before his ship embarks for
Spain. "A whole plantation house
hold of Creole women, brats, negroes,
flashed in brief exposures, through
the sultry morning, struck out of
nothingness by the caricatures of the
coterie's chatter. Hints of women's
days, ranging from sob to song; lulla
by and cajolery; silly ranting and
ribald singing, hypocritical and ten
der, flashed wantonly out of the soul
less void of the Creature's being."
The reader who is lacking in time
and who is first of all an explorer and
keeps a log of soundings of latitude
and longitude, who makes a chart of
journeys into literature, will not care
for Mrs. Emerson's sketches, they arc
parables, impressions, color-improvisations.
They end abruptly and the
author does not conform to predilec
tions for smooth finish, definiteness,
and completed experiences and ro
mances. Her stories end as the bird
lifts his wings and whether he flies
or dabs his beak under his wing to
smooth a ruffled feather, we do not
Know, for the story ends.
The Consent of the Governed
During the recent campaign any
discussion of the Declaration of Inde
pendence was so intimately connected
with politics that a candid consider
ation was ditlicult. In the November
number of "Case and Comment,' a
periodical devoted to legal news, notes
and essays a writer says that the doc
trine of government onlj by the con
sent of the government, "as applied
to single individuals is so obviously
absurd that it needs no comment.
Justice, in the very nature of things
has to be enforced against those who
do not consent. Every man who is
born into a nation has to submit to
its government whether he wishes to
do so or not. As applied to particu
lar claeses of people: Children are
governed in families without asking
their consent and are subject to the
laws of the state, though they have no
part in making them. This is on the
theory that they are incapable of self
government. The government of wo
men is in nearly all countries exer
cised without their consent. The mi
nority of men, even in a republic, are
subject to the government by the ma
jority, whether they consent or not,
even against their bitterest opposi
tion. These illustrations are sufficient to
show that the consent of the gov
erned can not possibly be adopted as
a condition of just government any
where over any individuals or classes
so long as they constitute a minority
of the people within the jurisdiction
of any established government.
The idea that such minority of the
people have in fact given their con
sent t) be governed by becoming
members of the nation is a sheer fic
tion, involving the assumption that
people choose the place of their birth.
Even if consent to a particular gov
ernment may have been given by
one's ancestors, their right to bind
him by such consent remains to be
There is a fallacious appearance of
justice in this theory of the consent
of the governed which induces many
people to accept it at once as a gen
eral principle, without thinkingdeep
ly enough to see its superficiality. Its
fatal weakness may be shown by a
single illustration. In a locality
where there is no constituted govern
ment or established law, and where
each man is on a level with every
other with respect to authority, if a
majority, by means of all necessary
force, should compel any pestilential
fello:v among them to observe the
decencies of civilized life; and refrain
from disturbing the peace or outrag
ing the moral sentiment of the re
spectable portion of the community,
they would in so doing be justified in
the minds of sensible people every
where. Yet they would be acting
without any consent of the governed
express or implied.
It is only as between different na
tions, races or tribes that most peo
ple would deem ilie theory applicable.
But the same ethical principles seem
to have operation between tribes or
races as between different individuals.
We have Indian tribes still inhabit
ing this country, who have never
given any free consent to be governed
by the whites. Conceding that our
government may have some times
been mistaken in its policy toward
them, conceding that in many in
stances it may have wronged them,
yet few reasoning persons will deny
that it is right for the United States
government to exercise some author
ity over the Indian tribes, even with
out their consent, whenever those
tribes are too savage or uncivilized
to govern themselves without danger
to the communities about them. If
it is right to govern even the most
savage tribe of Indians without their
consent, the dogma that a justgovern
ment depends upon the consent of the
governed is certainly not true.
To formulate a clear and simple
rule for determining when men may
Justly govern others without their
consent may be ditlicult, but it is
probably not more so than to state
the extent and limits of the rightful
power of the majority to govern the
minority. It may truthfully be said
that a government of a dependent
people will be tyranny unless il is an
embodiment and manifestation of
justice exercised for the benefit of
those who are governed. Though it
may be just without their consent,
it will be unjust unless it recognizes
their right to the largest measure of
freedom and self-government which
they can safely exercise.
Oscar Wilde.
The papers were in error in report
ing that Oscar Wilde lived in Paris.
After his release from Pentonvillc
Lord Alfred Douglas lodged him in a
small apartment overlooking the Bay
of Posilippo near Naples. Last Easter
Oreste (the name he chose) Wilde
went to Rome where some members
of the rich and gay world, he used to
know recognized him a toothless old
broken-down man, dressed shabbily
and looking like a melancholy cretin.
The verses he wrote, From the
Depths, show that when he was still a
youth he knew bis splended power
and dreaded a fate that he knew
awaited him.
To drift with every passion till my soul
Is a stringed lute whereon all winds may
Is it for this that I have given away
Mine ancient wisdom and austere control ?
Methinks my life is a twice-written scroll,
Scrawled over in some boyish holiday,
With idle songs for pipe and virelay,
That do but mar the beauty of the whole.
Surely there was a time I might have trod
The sunlit heights,and from life's dissonance
Struck one clear chord to reach the ears of
Is that time lost I Lo, with a little rod
I did but touch the honey of romance,
And must I lose a soul's inheritance ?
A Sentimental Humbug.
The Trench Republic has not sym
pathized or fraternized with Kruger.
The French rabble is the most irre
sponsible and prejudiced of all rab
bles, and if the event had occurred
since France was France the French
would have received Satan with open
arms when he fell from Heaven. Mr.
Kruger has sent his south African
loot on ahead, he has deserted his
country and his fellow-countrymen,
after urging them to resist to the bit
ter end, when he reached a place of
safety. Paul Kruger, all his life, has
used the aspect of patriotism to
arouse bis countrymen that he might
enrich himself trom their enthusias
tic offerings. He declared war in
South Africa against the best judg
ment of Boers sincerely devoted to
the Transvaal and its wellfare. If it
had not been for h:s stubborn stupid-