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1 have selected four French writers whose moral,social,and religious characters differ widely, and in whom we see illustrated that reciprocal in fluence of French literature upon the nation, re flected back and forth as mentioned by our au thor. Froissart, (Frwa-sar) the historian of feudal times is pre-eminently called the literary painter of the character and manners of his age. From childhood his life was almost entirely spent amongst the nobility. In his writings we see the social influence of the nation upon the man, but very little of that influence is reflected by his chronicles back upon the nation, and as a matter of fact he cannot be considered a reliable histo rian, but as an artless and lively chronicler of the spirit of chivalry, he stands among the foremost. Following Froissart comes Rabelais (Ra-bla) the humorist. In his writings we see the man who is almost utterly devoid of all sense of morality; one who invents a monstrous lie made up of coars est buffoonery. The reader must search deeply his literary productions to find anything that is elevating, yet he was a great writer in that he gave force and terseness to the trench language. In the man we see one who gave himself wholly to the enjoyment of animal gayeties. In his literary productions we see illustrated the low state of the morality of the nation. Turning from Rabelais to Montaigne (Mon-tan) the essayest. who should more properly have been styled the prince of egotists, we meet a writer of unquestioned ability, one who like Rabelais gave force and terseness to the language, and in whom Is found a moral philospher, but of temporal mo rality only. His practical wisdom is undisputed ao far as worldly matters are concerned. Placed in contradistinction with Rabelais, his writings are as the sweet honeysuckle to the decaying offal pile. Unlike Rabelais. Montaigne exercised an in fluence on the morality of the nation, but only to a limited degree. To illustrate the combined moral, social and religious influence of literature upon the nation, let us turn to Pascal (Pas-kal). In his writings we see the Christian’s view of the great questions of human experiences. Rabelais, who was ever ready to sacrifice his religious principles in order to give vent to his coarse wit, is a striking con trast to Pascal who inflicted bodily torture upon himself in order to be constantly reminded of his danger of falling into sin. Both were extremists, but who does not turn in admiration to Pascal in stead of Rabelais? Montaigne, to my mind, is best constrasted with Pascal by the thought ex emplified in a recent sermon by our chaplain. Both of these writers advocated a higher sense of morality, temporal and spiritual, but Montaigne, by lack of moral courage to practice what he preached, failed to reach the high standard of Pas cal who certainly was endowed with that rare gift. The natural result was, that Pascal’s “Provincial Letters” and his "Thoughts," exerted an influence upon the moral, social, and religious character of the nation, that Montaigne’s never could bring, and his epistles teeming with that quiet, smooth, but effective irony, and his soft, persuasive style of prose has been handed down to every nation, and their moral influence has never ceased to ex ist. J. J. B. I \ - \ The text book entitled “Our English” is full of instruction on the art of composition, and the qualities that have made men famous as writers of good English are ably illustrated by its author. 'The value we derive from making these reports of our readings is manifested in a forcible manner. “Before sitting down to write,” says the author,“a boy should have thought out what he has to say, and should have arranged it in an orderly man ner, so that there shall be a beginning, a middle, and an end.” I think when we are able to do that it is only a question of time when we will over come the mechanical difficulties of writing. I know from experience that it is a hard matter for some of us to write out a report—not because we cannot find something to say, but rather from a lack of training in the art of expression. This fact is illustrated quite frequently in this insti tution. Some of our fellows, who have possessed a little more than the common rudiments of an education—and their penmanship is ligible in •very respect—make it a practice to get this or the other fellow to write their letters. Their con duct maybe attributed to other causes, but I vent ure to say the root of the matter can be traced to their deficiency in this particular art of expres sion. We should not get discouraged, however, and give up these studies on account of our ina bility to write out a report, but should bear on, remembering the fact that our mental faculties have to be trained before they will serve our FRENCH LITERATURE (Report for Class B.) EXPRESSION. (Report for Class E.) PL. A. THON, Merchant § Tailor, 237 N. SECOND STREET, STILLWATER. - - - - MINN. needs pliantly and faithfully. And train our minds not only to think, but to work broadly and steadily, and we may yet, in the course of time, become experts, in the art of expression, and con sequently sometbing more than “a common car rier for the thoughts of other men.” ARION. A Taste for Reading. We cannot linger in the beautiful creation of in ventive genius, or pursue the splendid dscoveries of modern science, without a new sense of the capacities and dignity of human nature, which naturally leads to a sterner self-respeot, to manlier resolves and higher aspirations. We cannot read the ways of God to man as revealed in the history of nations, of sublime virtues as exemplified in the lives of great and good men. without falling into that mood of thoughtful admiration, which, though it be but a transient glow, is a purifying and elevating Influence while it lasts. The study of history is especially valuable as an antidote to self-exaggeration. It teaches lessons of humility, patience, and submission. When we read of realms smitten with the scourge of famine or pesti lence, or strewn with the bloody ashes of war; of grass growing in tbe streets of great cities; of ships rotting at the wharves; of fathers burying their sons; of strong men begging their bread; of fields untilled, and silent workshops, and despair ing countenances—we hear a voice of rebuke to our own clamorous sorrows and peevish com plaints. We learn that pain and suffering and disapointment are a part of God’s providence, and that no contract was ever yet made with man by which virtue should secure to him temporal hap piness. In books, be it remembered, we have the best products of the best minds. We should any of us esteem it a great privilege to pass an evening with Shakspeare or Bacon, were such a thing possible. But, were we admitted to the presence of one of these illustrious men, we might find him touched with infirmity, or oppressed with weari ness, or darkened with the shadow of a recent trouble, or absorbed by intrusive and tyrannous thoughts. To us the oracle might be dumb, and the light eclipsed. But, when we take down one of their volumes, we run no such risk. Here we have their best thoughts embalmed in their best words; immortal flowers of poetry, wet with Casta lian dews, and the golden fruit of wisdom that had long ripened on tbe bough before it was gathered. Here we find the'growth of the choicest seasons of the mind, when mortal cares were forgot ten,and mortal weaknesses weresubdued; and the soul, stripped of its vanities and its passions, lay bare to the finest effluences of truth and beauty. We may be sure that Shakspeare never out-talked his Hamlet, nor Bacon his essays. Great writers are indeed best known through their books. How little, for instance, do we know of the life ef Shaks peare; but how much do we know of him! . . . . For the knowledge that comes from books,‘l would claim no more than it is fairly entitled to. lam well aware that there is no inevitable con nection between intellectual cultivation, on the one hand, and individual virtue or social well being, on the other. "The tree of knowledge is not the tree of life.” I admit that genius and learning are sometimes found in combination with gross vices, and not unfrequently with con temptible weaknesses; and that a community at once cultivated and corrupt is no impossible monster. But it is no overstatement to say, that, other things being equal, the man who has the greatest amount of intellectual resources is in the least danger from interior temptations—if for no other reason, because he has fewer idle moments. Tbe ruin of most men dates from some vacant hour. Occupation is the armor of the soul; and the train of Idleness is borne up by all the vices. I remember a satirical poem, in which the Devil is represented as fishing for men, and adapting his baits to the tqpte and temperament of his prey; but the idler, he said, pleased him most, because he bit the naked hook. To a young man away from home, friendless and forlorn in a great city, the hours of peril are those between sunset and bedtime; for the moon and stars see more evil in a single hour than the sun in his whole day’s cir cuit. The poet’s visions of evening are all com pact of tender and soothing images. It brings the wanderer to his home, the child to his mother’s arms, the ox to his stall, and the weary laborer to his rest. But to the gentle-hearted youth who is thrown upon the rocks of a pitiless city, and stands “homeless amid a thousand homes,” the the approach of evening brings with it an aching sense of loneliness and desolation, which comes down upon the spirit like darkness upon the earth. In this mood, his best impulses become a snare to him; and he is led astray because he is social, affectionate, sympathetic, and warm hearted. If there be a young man thus circum stanced within the sound of my voice, let me say to him, that books are the friends of the friendless, and that a library is the home of the homeless. A taste for reading will always carry you into the best possible company, and enable you to con verse with men who will Instruct you by their wis dom, and charm you by their wit; who will soothe you when fretted, refesh you when weary, coun sel you when perplexed, and sympathize with you at all times.—George S. Hillard. J. C. 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