The courier. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1894-1903, February 16, 1901, Image 1

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    VOL. XVI., NO. vn
. .
Office 1132 N street, Up Stairs.
Telephone 384.
Subscription Rates.
Per annum il 50
Six months 1 (JO
Rebate of fifty cents on cash payments.
Single copies 05
The Courier will not be responsible for to I
antary communications unless accompanied by
return postage.
Communications, to receive attention, must
be aimed by tbe fall name of tbe writer, not
merely as a guarantee of good faitb, but for
pablieation it advisable.
A recent letter to the editor of The
Courier read?: "From tlie plague of
Bryanlsm; from the burden of Herron
ism, and Rossism and Howardism and
college professorism and from the
disgrace of Lincoln and Omaha boss
ism in the l S. Senate may the good
Lord and The Courier deliver us!"'
By college professorism, I think my
correspondent means that peculiar at
titude which some professors are
assured that they stand in relation to
the Truth. Like some professors of
religion who exhort as naturally as
they draw breath and who assume
that they are confidents of Jehovah
in a peculiar, in a specially selected
way, some college p-ofessors take it
for granted that they are much more
apt to discover truth than any other
man. It is not easy to understand
just why the president of a large
manufacturing plant or of a railroad
or business men who have entered
the sharp competition of business life
and succeeded, who have worked with
their hands and their heads, and who
are not supported by this or that patron
or institution, are not able to distin
guish truth from falsehood and fair
"ness from unfairness. Paper truth,
oratorical truth, smooth, faultless
sylogisms worked out in a lecture
room or in an oration is not always
valuable to the world. The man who
has worked with all kinds of men,
who meets in the stock exchange
hundreds of opponents trying to out
wit him is in training all the time.
He knows there is no quarter if he
fail, that- success or failure depends
upon the keenness of his faculties and
intuition, and the struggle makes a
strong self-reliant man of him. le
tween theory and practice there is a
space so large that the former, fre
quently does not tit. The theorist
frequently leaves out essential terms,
because not using them Tor his bread
and butter he does not see their neces
sity. What irritates the American
business uan is the professorial as
sumption that his own motives are
purer, his advantages superior, and
his love of humanity and liberty far
greater; that moreover he, the pro
fessor, is looking for truth and in his
search should be beyond criticism,
advice or even remonstrance.
Lucretius said of truth, that "It is
a pleasure to stand upon the shore
and see the ships tossed upon the sea;
A pleasure to stand in the window of
a castle and see a battle and the ad
ventures thereof, below. But no
pleasure is comparable to the stand
ing upon the vantage ground of truth,
and to see the errors and wanderings
and mists and tempests in the vale
below. ' And Lord Bacon adds, "So
alwaies that this prospect be with
pitty, and not with swelling or pride '
as though he alone of all earth's crea
tures had climbed that eminence and
beheld that view. Purse-proud or
book-proud, arrogance is arrogance
and an impartial Providence has not
made an exclusive path to truth for
the feet of. professors. It is in the
earth for the digger, in the daily sum
maries of men, methods and markets
that the broker makes. It is even
nearer the humble than the haughty
and men of all professions and trades
have a right to join the hunt for it
and one man is quite as likely to dis
cover it, as another.
The Lincoln Public Schools.
Pioneers are men who care more for
novelty than for the comforts and
luxuries of an old civilization. The
men and women whose children and
grandchildren are now in the Lincoln
public schools possess the spirit which
sent he Puritans across the ocean to
an unknown, savage shore. They
elected to bring up their children far
away from those educational advan
tages which thev themselves had en
joyed. It is said in poetry and history
that the Pilgrims and Puritans came
to America on purpose and for no
other purpose than to seek religious
liberty, but some of their descendants
suspect that these pioneers, like later
ones, left home, because they enjoyed
traveling and the novelty of being in
a remote unknown land. They wanted
to found families in America whose
descendants would refer to the May
flower passengers as the English count
time and men from William the Con
queror. They are our most revered
nneestors. but nobodv supposes that
all earthly dross was purged away by
the long ocean trip in the Mayflower.
The passengers were the most adven
turous, and the most obstinate of
King James subjects. Exactly the
same sort of people, albeit with less
or religious fervor and ostensible re
ligious purpose settled Nebraska.
Impatient of the deep grooves of con
vention, bored with tradition and the
tixed customs of New England, Amer
can immigrants to Nebraska, have
transmitted their love of adventure
and their impatience of control to
their otTspring whose children are
now the public school children of this
city and state. Nebraska Is no longer
a pioneer state, but in the third gen
eration from the pioneers the- tem
perament is still undiluted. Without
considering the kind of people who
voluntarily leave settled circum
stances to try new ones in a new coun
try, it is easy to do an injustice to
the manners and morals of their chil
dren. The pioneers themselves had
tried a jejune civilization, tired of it
and hoped to create something bet
ter by starting the thing anew. But
the pioneers were, in spite or them
selves, influenced by the traditions
they had grown tired of and by the
education they had received. Their
children are influenced by hearsay
conditions, and their grand-children,
except as they have traveled, exhibit
the naturally barbaric traits of chil
dren with the added barbarism of new
countries. Psychologists announce
thatachild progresses from barbarism
to civilization, exactly as the race has.
That when boys dance around some
comrade or animal they are torturing
it is because they are still savage.
Then they progress through the bar
baric, and semi civilized periods to
civilization; the altruistic virtues be
ing the last todevelope. To civilize
a tribe is a very slow process. To
civilize individuals whose strongest
tendencies are imitative is not such
a problem. Theelfect of environment,
of tradition, of convention, of prede
cessors is incalculable. Lacking a
long succession of predecessors and of
tradition is one strong reason why
Nebraska school children occasionally
demonstrate the small effect their
training has had upon them. I doubt
not that the boys in the Boston Latin
School have worn a rut fifty years or
more deep and that very few leap out
of the rut or do what is unexpected.
Nebraska school history is like the
unbroken prairie of twenty-five years
ago. The scholars have not the land
marks of tradition. It is almost as
easy to go in one direction as another.
What would be incredible conduct in
a Massachusetts high school boy is
not out of the usual here. It is there
fore unreasonable to compare a west
ern with an eastern school.
Last week's Courier contained some
Strictures on the unsportsmanlike
conduct of the high-school boys when,
watching a match game. Th.fe in
dignation which the criticlsin aroused
in some members of the junior class
indicates.that quite a different code
has been accepted by them and that a
new spirit has begun to influence them.
Something which in time will change
the cry of "anything to beat Omaha,"
to "For the Lincoln High School."
Esprit tin corps has made many a
soldier tight, when if it were only his
own honor he had runaway. The.
regimental spirit makes men honest
and truthful, rccnforccs their own
self-respect by the reflection that
each individual can add to the lustre
of or stain the "Regiment." This prldu
in the good name of the high-school
excited indignation against The Cour
ier's criticism and it is the regimental
feeling which will finally demand the
expulsion of a boy who hisses a teach
er, or in any way disgraces the high,
sciiool. No pergonal pride is compar
able to the pride which. soldiers -feci
vvho belong to a regiment which for a
hundred years lias made a record of.
intrepidity in battle and good con
duct in camp. Men come and go
commandants change, but the cr
sonality of the regiment remains as
its first heroic members defined it.
All the match-games that the Lin
coln high-s'hool honorably wins will
form an important element of its his
tory and character, which succeeding
classes will inherit and hand down to
their successors. Rowdyism and un
sportsmanlike actions destroys the.
inheritance and the legacy.
An Invocation.
Chaplain Presson of the Nebraska
house of representatives makes uncon
ventional prayers, if the use of irony
from a creature to the creator may be
called unconventional. Since the
committee on "Ugly Humors" has
failed to find a member who paid his"
fare in his weekly trips to and from'
his home, the pass question has been
freely discussed. On a recent morn
ing the chaplain, in a prayer ad
dressed as .isual, but evidently in
tended more for the legislators than
the Lord, thanked the Almighty Pow
er because the people's representatives
were able to spend their short vaca
tions at home, going and returning
with so little expense to themselves.
He also hoped that the Lord would
help all "to render unto Caesar the
things which rightfully belong
to Caesar," meaning the railroads.
This isasolitary instance of the kind of
prayers ministers and substitute dea
cons used to make.But theological form
has long since adopted a code which
forbids jokes, irony, or any sort of de
vice not intended for the Lord but in
serted for effect upon the people who
are supposed to be listening to the
appeal. The impropriety of the use
in a prayerof various forms of rhetor
ical devices is apparent.
Law and Order.
Where five open gambling houses
were run night and day soopenly that
only to policemen's ears was the click
of the balls inaudible, there is now
in Lincoln not one such place. With
a town tilled with young men subject
ing themselves to the processes of ed
ucation the comparatively complete
suppression of a desirable
condition. The laws against gamb
ling are just the same as thev were