University of Massachusetts Amherst - Index Yearbook (Amherst, MA)

 - Class of 1891

Page 71 of 168

 

University of Massachusetts Amherst - Index Yearbook (Amherst, MA) online yearbook collection, 1891 Edition, Page 71 of 168
Page 71 of 168



University of Massachusetts Amherst - Index Yearbook (Amherst, MA) online yearbook collection, 1891 Edition, Page 70
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University of Massachusetts Amherst - Index Yearbook (Amherst, MA) online yearbook collection, 1891 Edition, Page 72
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Page 71 text:

THE INDEX. 43 express the condition of far too many among our farmers ? A Chicago gentle- man, after an animated discussion with an acquaintance, also American, who ventured against the indiscriminate praise of things American by the former, to offer a few criticisms and to suggest some points in which perhaps Ameri- cans might learn of other Nations, remarked beyond the hearing of his oppo- nent to another acquaintance : — " I don ' t think much of that man, I like to see an American stand up for his own country. " Is not the spirit displayed by this remark typical of many New England farmers ? May we not find among us, almost in the shadows of our college, farmer prototypes of the countryman who balanced the grain in one end of the bag with a rock in the other ? A good illustration of the spirit against which I write is afforded by the his- tory of the attempts to reclaim the Green Harbor Salt Marsh in South Marsh- field. The exclusion of the salt water by a dike and flood-gates, and the drain- age of the marsh could not be looked upon in the light of experinaents. Pre- cisely similar things had been done in Europe, and even in our own country; and the surveyor ' s level had demonstrated their possibility at Green Harbor- Nay more, nature had made the work easy. It was known beyond a peradven- ture that if the salt could be got rid of this soil must be uncommonly produc- tive ; the salt had been got rid of in numerous similar cases and these reclaimed soils had proved their almost boundless capacity for production. It would seem that here was a clear case, an evident chance for improvement and largely en- hanced profits ; but what happened ? Did the farmers, confronted by indis- putable evidence, take hold of the business in the right spirit after the improve- ment was fairly voted and push it each according to his ability and opportu- nity ? No ! a large minority, whose fathers had always cut a few loads of poor salt hay from broad acres of marsh, were ambitious only to follow in the an- cestral foot-prints. The dike once constructed, was twice blown up, and ' ts de- struction a third time attempted by similar means. Every possible technicality was seized upon and one legal obstacle after another was interposed, only to be one by one adversely decided upon ; but still with superb stupidity the oppo- nents of the dike fight on, and the case is even yet in the courts. Thanks, how- ever, to the splendid championship of a few able men, the victory for progress seems now near. Space will not allow the numerous other illustrations of blind conservatism on the part of farmers which might be given. A word to farmers ' sons, to agricultural students, and this essay shall close. Do we as students read enough, especially of foreign agriculture ? True, many of the details of such agriculture must be inapplicable here, but we should find such reading rich in suggestions. If we would be leaders, promoters of progress, we must have ideas. These are more likely to present themselves when we are confronted with something new. There are many who delve in native fields; let us extend our observations also broader and deeper. B.

Page 70 text:

An Obstacle to Progress, " If the earth is small, America is large, and the Americans are immense! " fUCH is one of the opening sentences in a recent work on America by one , ,. of the most acute of French observers, who throughout his work makes evident everywhere how stronglj ' the over-weening self-pride of our country- men impressed him. This should afford wholesome food for reiiection to every American. Do we as Americans have too great an opinion of our country and of ourselves ? It is a fact, well known to all perhaps, that the natives of every country hold a sufficiently good opinion of themselves. Even the Chinaman, whom we look upon as unfit to mix with our people and whom we pass Acts of Congress to exclude, when at home, dwells in the " Flowery Kingdom, " the " Celestial Empire, " and looks upon those unfortunate enough to be born else- where as " outside baibarians. " Fortunate is it, no doubt, for the spirit of patriotism, nay even for individual human happiness, this characteristic of thinking well of ourselves and that which pertains to us. It is only when we allow our self-satisfaction to blind our eyes to the possibility of anything bet- ter, to make us slow to look aromid us for it, or even to receive it when we see it, that this characteristic becomes undesirable. Are we as American citizens, farmers and agricultural students, open to the charge of being too conceited, too apt to remain satisfied with things American, and to think there can be no need of studying the ways and methods of other countries ? Fortunately we have among us a considerable number of cosmopolitan minds; we have, too, natives of all countries; we are not therefore, likely to stagnate or to remain in ignorance of the world about us : but the average American f ai ' mer or farmer ' s son is slow to conceive or to admit new ideas. Yet how should we expect anything different when only a very few years since one of our national representatives was heard to exclaim in the halls of Congress, " what do we care for abroad ? " Is not the spirit displayed according to the storj by the Boston lady in heaven, between whom and a friend still on earth telephonic communication had been established and who in response to a query as to how she liked it up there, replied in effect that it was all very well but ended, " it isn ' t Boston you know, " a spirit far too common not only in that city but also in the states of which it is the commercial center ? Not long since the secretary of one of our leading Agricultural Societies was heard to remark after thanking an exhibitor for a contribution of some rare and certainly most excellent foreign beans and grains to the display : — " They are no doubt very fine, but the American farmer is loyal to his own beans. " Yes — " loyal to his own beans, " — " stuck in his own ruts, " — do not these phrases (43)



Page 72 text:

Local Glossary. " Adjutant. " — A bundle of conceit tied with red tape. " Athlete. " — A conglomerate mass of bruises, sprains, contusions, cuts, bro- ken bones, black eyes, bloody noses, split cheeks, bandages, slings, arnica, sticking plaster, liniment, and Kendall ' s Spavin Cure. " Bath-tub. " — A grimy place teeming with animal life. " Bum. " — See " Fast Set. " " Bum.- ' — A person who borrows various wants in small quantities without the slightest intention of making adequate return. In fact, a parasite. See — well we forbear to mention any names on account of their relatives. " Bicycle. " — An antediluvian tip-cart wheel, which H. West rides half the time, and which rides H. West the other half. " Cane. " — The Junior ' s joy and pride. " Chemistry. " — Smells closely connected with Tabby. " Crank. " — Every one who doesn ' t think just as you do. " Crib. " — A moral boomerang, which rebounds on the user ' s own head. The foregoing is the result of personal experience. " Faculty. " — Creatures of impulse. " Fakir. " — See John West. " Fast Set. " — Those fellows in college who don ' t tell you all about their private affairs. " Flunk. " — The inevitable result of the foolish sj ' stem of compulsory recita- tions. " Fountain. " — A physic warranted to remove freshness. " Fresh. " — See Wells; if you can ' t see him you can hear him. " Goat. " — A mysterious creature, whose chief delight is to banquet on the ver- dant Freshman. " Grind. ' — A misguided youth who spends all his time in study. " Grub. " — Something we are always growling about, but are always anxious to get. " Hose. " — See advertisement in back of Index. " Janitor. " — A jjcrson who is never to be found when wanted. " Junior. " — A rare combination, never found in other classes, of the toughj the gentleman, the dude, the masher and the student. " Man. " — r, lis word signifies an individual designated for the exemplification of humanity in the abstract. (44)

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