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Texas Topics
by [?]

I note with unfeigned pleasure that, according to claims of Baylor University, it opens the present season with a larger contingent of students, male and female, than ever before. This proves that Texas Baptists are determined to support it at any sacrifice–that they believe it better that their daughters should be exposed to its historic dangers and their sons condemned to grow up in ignorance than that this manufactory of ministers and Magdalenes should be permitted to perish. It is to be devoutly hoped that the recent expose of Baylor’s criminal carelessness will have a beneficial effort–that hence forth orphan girls will not be ravished on the premises of its president, and that fewer young lady students will be sent home enciente. The ICONOCLAST would like to see Baylor University, so called, become an honor to Texas instead of an educational eye-sore, would like to hear it spoken of with reverence instead of sneeringly referred to by men about town as worse than a harem. Probably Baylor has never been so bad as many imagined, that the joint-keepers in the Reservation have been mistaken in regarding it as a rival, that the number of female students sent away to conceal their shame has been exaggerated; still I imagine that both its morale and educational advantages are susceptible of considerable improvement. The ICONOCLAST desires to see Baylor a veritable pantechnicon of learning–at least a place where the careful student may acquire something really worth remembering–instead of a Dotheboys (and girls) hall, a Squeeritic graft to relieve simple Baptist folk of their hard-earned boodle by beludaling the brains of their bairns with mis-called education. Unfortunately there is more brazen quackery in our sectarian colleges than was every dreamed of by Cagliostro. The faculty of such institutions is usually composed of superficially educated people who know even less than is contained in the text-books. As a rule they are employed because they will serve at a beggarly price, but sometimes because their employers are themselves too ignorant to properly pass upon the qualifications of others. You cannot estimate a man’s intellect by the length of his purse, by the amount of money he has made and saved; but it is quite safe to judge a man’s skill in his vocation by the salary he can command. I am informed that there has never been a time when the salary of the president of Baylor University exceeded $2,000 per annum–about half that of a good whisky salesman or advertising solicitor for a second-class newspaper. If such be the salary of the president, what must be those of the “professors”? I imagine their salaries run from $40 a month up to that of a second assistant book-keeper in a fashionable livery-stable. Judging by the salaries which they are compelled to accept, I doubt if there be a member of the Baylor faculty, including the president, who could obtain the position of principal of any public high school in the state. People cannot impart information which they do not possess; hence it is that the graduates of Baylor have not been really educated, but rather what the erstwhile Mr. Shakespeare would call “clapper-clawed.” There is no reason, however, why the institution should be in the future so intellectually and morally unprofitable as in the past. Change is the order of the universe, and as Baylor cannot very well become worse it must of necessity become better. It will have the unswerving support of the ICONOCLAST in every effort to place itself upon a higher educational plane, to honestly earn the money it pockets as tuition fees. I am even willing to conduct a night school free of charge during three months in the year for the instruction of its faculty if each member thereof will give bond not to seek a better paying situation elsewhere as soon as he learns something. In any event, when Baylor can send me a valedictorian fresh from its walls who is better informed than the average graduate of our public schools, I’ll give it a thousand dollars as evidence of my regard, and half as much annually thereafter to encourage it in the pursuit of common sense.