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About The courier. (Lincoln, Neb.) 1894-1903 | View Entire Issue (March 29, 1902)
BY SARAH B. HARRIS
A Spring Focxn
For a fortnight the morning collect
of the robin has been intoned again in
Nebraska, and no service is more wel
come. Th monotonous two notes, or
Is it three? Is the harbinger of the
yearly renascence and the flowers are
not more welcome or the pale green
ness overhead and underfoot. The tra
la la. tra la la, tra la la of the robin
which begins at dawn and lasts Until
the sun Is above the horizon is mo
notonous. There are sweeter bird calls,
but none more dear. The robin
chooses trees near homes. He likes
human society, and we like him, God
bless him! He comes so early In the
year that the crumbs and grains pro-
vlded by human beings are his only
food. He comes before the tender.
Juicy young worm has wriggled out
of the quilt his mother knit and swad
dled him In last fall. Nobody knows
the day when the worms will crack
their wrappings and crawl out from the
earth and from the trees to be wanned
by the sun. So the robins come early
and by the time the worms do get out
the robins are very hungry and mil
lions of delicious worms and bugs catch
a sight of the sun and experience the
first fresh air and warmth of their
existence and the very next minute
feel themselves doubled up In the mid
dle and sliding down a pink chute into
a crowded stomach. From the worm's
point of view the robin is a gigantic,
cruel, brassy-breasted monster with an
unnatural appetite and a voice like
the trumpet of doom or the doleful
call to the tomb. To us he Is a dainty,
golden-breasted beneficent creature
who preserves the grain and the trees
from vermin. His morning song is the
call to seed-time, an introduction to
dandelions and violets and to all the
poetry and fragrance of summer time.
An undertaker under a photograph
of himself in one of the Chicago papers
advertises that his services are dis
tinguished by an unusual regard for
the feelings of the lately bereaved and
that he realizes how rude Is the Intru
sion of .all strangers at the only time
when the Undertaker's services are re
quired. The advertisement Informs
those In need of an undertaker that
this one by long and assiduous prac-'
tice has acquired a soothing manner
so that his presence is a comfort
rather than an abhorred necessity. Al
so ithat "during his long services as a
funeral dlrecter Mr. B. has had pro
fessional relations with the most prom
inent families of Chicago, having con
ducted funerals at one time or an
other in most of them. Mr. B., in his
new establishment, has directed a num
ber of evening funerals which thus far
have been a great success. It Is a very
delicate task to enter a home where
the distraction of a fresh bereavement
makes the lightest word of a stranger
seem intrusive to the ear of the afflict
ed one, unless it is moderated by gen
uine sympathy or by a deftness of
tone and manner attained only through
long experience. Mr. B. Is related to
one of America's greatest poets, "Mr.
John G. Whlttier, whose name he
The consciousness of tact is not a
sign that it is not possessed by the
nan who is proud of his exercise of
that virtue, but an advertisement of
successful evening funerals and of an
acquaintance with a large number of
Chicago's distinguished dead is suspi
cions of the lack of that tact so sooth
ing, to strained nerves.
A Ntfauka Author
Mr. Charles A. Hanna's book on the
Scotch-Irish is receiving favorable re
views from the largest and best pub
McatloBS ta this country- Those writ
ten by the book reviewers of the Bos
ton Transcript, the New York Mall
and Express, the Pittsburg Times and
the Chicago Post are especially inter
esting. The Transcript in a two col
umn appreciation calls it "a work of
remarkable value and Interest." In the
final paragraph the Boston reviewer
objects to the author's rejec
tion of the claims of New
England to having made this
country: "It is a great pity that Mr.
Hanna should have marred his book
by the display of sectional prejudice
In the introduction of irrelevant mat
ter. Frankly he has no use for New
England, partly because of its English
character and partly because so much
credit has been ascribed to it for its
services in the Revolutionary war. An
entire chapter is devoted to showing
that New England Is not the birth
place of American liberty. "We have
no disposition to argue with the author
on these points. New England can
take care of herself. But supposing
all these points well taken, what have
they to do with the history .of the
Scotch-Irish In America?"
As to the reviewer's question: If
this country was settled by English
people alone and If all the moral In
spiration which has resulted In heroic
action was contributed by the English,
what is the special significance to
Americans of a history of the Scotch
Irish and their tenacious institutions
and traits of character? The Dutch,
German, Irish, North European peo
ples, the Huguenots, English and
Scotch-Irish have all contributed to
the making of that distinctive and dis
tinguished human being which all the
world now recognizes as the American.
Mr. Hanna's claim is that the Scotch
Irish had a large share in the making
of- the character of that American. A
claim which. If the assertions "of the
New England historians are fully ad
mitted, can not be substantiated.
The Mall and Express says that "Mr.
' Hanna has made a distinguished his
toric offering to the substantial liter
ature and documentary riches of our
day. There has never been lacking a
resounding echo In the trump of fame
of the virtues and achievements of the
Scottish race. It has been an accepted
tradition and experience of this hemi
sphere as well as of others that wher
ever this hardy stock was grafted it
would Inevitably get on, thrive and
bloom and be fruitful of good result.
And In these volumes Is contained the
great preliminary account of this vig
orous and vital element of Scotch
Irish In our own national life.
It Is curious how pride In Scotch-Irish
ancestry merges In an almost personal
pride that those same ancestors got
away from both Scotland and Ireland.
This pride may be detected In this
work, blended with the serenities of
the student of a great historic move
ment. America's debt to Scotland is
greater than most New England his
torians have admitted. The reaction
against the Boston view of the
making of our country as chiefly
a Boston deed has possibly been
Increased in recent years by the old
persistent certainties of New England
that she was the founder of the Ameri
can commonwealth. They of New Eng
land have the habit of writing them
selves up more than the people In other
parts of the land, of less leisure, less
Inclination for the pen and less of the
dominating Anglo-Saxon spirit which ,
brooks no rivalry and sees no good in
anything foreign to Itself."
The Pittsburg Times says: "In the
person of Charles A. Hanna the Scotch
Irish have found a historian who
promises to treat the subject ex
haustively, and, judging by the tone
of his first two volumes, lie intends to
maintain every claim which has been
made by that element of our popula
tion that they are the salt of the
earth and that they have always been
the leaders and prime movers in every
great epoch that has marked the pro
gress of the country. The vol
umes are valuable as a contribution to
general history. Interesting in showing
the growth and characteristics of this
people, the causes which contributed to
the formation of those characteristics,
and their transplanting and survival in
a new country and amid new environ
ments; and they will be especially In
teresting to the millions of descend
ants of that stout virile race who
still contribute so much to the strength
and greatness of the nation.".
The Chicago Evening Post reviewer
says: "Students of these volumes will
recall the lament of Alexander the
Great that he, unlike Achilles, had no
Homer to sing of his exploits. The
Scotch-Irish in America have found as
yet no Homer. How could they among
the New England writers of American
history? And yet Mr. Hanna will not
diminish this mischief by insisting so
strenuously that the puritans of Eng
land and the Scotch-Irish Presbyter
ians were of wholly different blood.
His grudge against New England car
ries him to indefensible extremes. The
geographical boundary between Scot
land and England, is scarcely visible.
Kershope Burn is a very little creek.
Sound patriotism and sober history
alike condemn this pitting of Dutch
man against puritan, puritan against
covenanter and covenanter against
cavalier. There is glory enough for all
and 4f we hunt for it also some shame.
America has been lifted to Its high
place not by this or the other race,
but by the noble men and women
(English. Scotch, Dutch, Irish, German,
Swede) of all the races that colonized
her prairies, conquered her mountains
and subdued the wilderness. The duty
of the historian Is to represent impar
tially the constructive services of every
element In our earlier population. Mr.
Hanna's volumes are a valuable con
tribution toward that thrilling narra-"
tive, the history of the Scotch-Irish In
America. They are a world of industry
and patient enthusiasm; no serious
student of our annals can afford to
"neglect them; and though marred by
an obtrusive narrowness, they bring
into open day a constitutive element
of American life as remarkable as any
In our national development."
An excess produces an intemperate
reaction. The claims of the Boston set
that the New England puritans con
tributed the Ideals that conquered first
In the Revolution and then in'the Re
bellion have begun to be resented by
the whole country. And there is dan
ger of our not giving to the New Eng
land patriots and reforming orators
the credit that is their due. They were
a great, a very obstinate as well as a
conceited and bigoted people. The
Scotch have the same characteristics,
and it is not at all likely that their
services to this country, to themselves
and to posterity will be forgotten so
long as they can speak and write and
still possess descendants like Mr.
Hanna, the author of the Scotch-Irish
in America. The length and earnest
ness of these reviews, as well as their
invariable position at the head of' the
column, are a great compliment to the
first book of an hitherto unknown
Prince Henry's Vkk
Prince Henry was much more demo
cratic than many of his hosts, city
functionaries, who were as titillated,
and as anxious to show that they were
used to the ways and conventions of
courts as the courtiers at the corona
tion of the king in "The Prisoner of
Zenda." They one and all did well;
but their artificial courtliness set awk
wardly. We are accused as a people
of loving royalty, its signs and per
sonages, more than any other people
This is not so. We do not love a lord
and grovel before a king as a people
but as individuals. Those of us who
had not the entree to Prince Henry's
presence do not at all approve of the
obeisances and sai&suns practiced by
t Studio, Room N
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At office, 2 to 4, and Sundays, 12 to 1 p. m.
DR. MAY L. FLANAGAN,
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Practico limited to EYE, EAR, NOSE.
THROAT, CATARRH, AND FITTING
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Rooms 313-314 Third Floor Richards
Block, Lincoln, Neb.
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