Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 44.djvu/565

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551
SKETCH OF DAVID STARR JORDAN.

longer remained for their enforcement. It came to be seen that a university community where every man is absorbed in his work may be made practically self-governing. Such a body of students has channels for the excretion of the idle and the vicious.

As may be surmised, the effect upon the instructor of such a series of reforms as those here glanced at was profound. The college scout was converted into the university professor. In case he proved recalcitrant to this high calling, he was permitted to "seek some other field of usefulness." In case he turned out worthy, his life acquired the value and dignity of high purpose, even when the practical work of organizing an educational experiment gave him little time for scientific or literary production. Upon the indebtedness of such men at several seats of learning to President Jordan, this is not the time to dilate. Suffice it to say that at Stanford University, where of course his influence is at its height, he has drawn a large number of diverse and energetic personalities into abiding harmony touching matters that pertain to educational salvation. Jordan's favorite quotation is the saying of Ulrich von Hutten, "Die Lufi der Freiheit weht" ("Freedom is in the air"). This free air is to us the breath of life.

 


 
The common opinion, says Mr. Horatio Hale, in one of his anthropological papers, that women among savage tribes in general are treated with harshness, and are regarded as slaves, or at least as inferiors and drudges, is based on error, originating in too large and indiscriminate induction from narrow premises. A wider experience shows that this depressed condition of women really exists, but only in certain regions and under special circumstances. It is entirely a question of physical comfort, and mainly of abundance or lack of food. Where, owing to an inclement climate, as in arctic or subarctic America, or to a barren soil, as in Australia, food is scanty, and the people are frequently on the verge of famine, harsh conditions of social life prevail. When men in their full strength suffer from lack of the necessaries of existence, and are themselves slaves to the rigors of the elements, their better feelings are numbed or perverted, like those of shipwrecked people famishing on a raft. Under such circumstances the weaker members of the community—women, children, the old, the sick—are naturally the chief sufferers. The stories of the subjection of women, and of inhumanity to the feeble and aged, all come from these inhospitable regions. When plenty prevails, as in tropical or subtropical America, and in most of the Polynesian islands, the natural sentiments resume their sway, and women enjoy a social position not inferior, and sometimes actually superior, to that which they possess in some civilized countries. The wife of a Samoan landowner or a Navajo shepherd has no occasion, so far as her position in her family or among her people is concerned, to envy the wife of a German peasant. The change which took place in the social condition of the Tinneh women, when their emigration had carried them from the bleak skies and frozen swamps of Athabaska to the sunny uplands and fruitful valleys of Arizona, is thus explained.