After a person has exposed himself in any way to the public gaze, he naturally looks into the next newspaper published to see what a reception his action has received at the hands of the press. It was probably with such feelings that the sixty freshmen who attended the lecture by Oscar Wilde last Tuesday evening took up the Boston papers Wednesday. As this was the first opportunity that the freshmen have taken for making themselves conspicuous in the eyes of the public, a few comments clipped from the columns of the Boston papers may be of interest to our readers. Nearly all are of the opinion that it was a good joke, and nothing more. The Herald of Wednesday morning said: "None of the Harvard boys made any disturbance upon entering. All sat quietly throughout the lecture, and, save by their absurd dress, they were a credit to the audience. . . . The intention of the immature young persons from the Harvard freshman class to disturb the lecture by appearing in the midst of it with their masquerade, were baulked by Mr. Wilde, who had been given an inkling that something was in the wind; therefore he waited until they made their appearance. He was not at all disconcerted by their presence, but was really amused, and in his introduction he turned his quick Irish wit against them, his playful, good-humored treatment of the affair gaining him the good-will of the audience at once. To the credit of the lads, they sat quietly and attentively through the evening." The Advertiser coincided with the Herald and said: "The tedium of the long wait was pleasantly relieved by a procession of Harvard students, sixty in number, if the report as to the number of tickets sold was correct. They appeared arrayed and embellished for the occasion. In garb there was great variety, but no violations of decorum."
The Post discussed Oscar and his critics at some length in its editorial columns, and speaking of the freshmen, moralized as follows: "At Music Hall, for instance, he dealt with a situation so embarrassing that it should not have been permitted except by his own express consent, which very likely was given, in a practical and highly sensible manner, which robbed the conceited bumptiousness of a number of young cubs - of more importance now in their own eyes than they will ever be hereafter - of many of the strong effects which they expected it to have." "The conceited bumptiousness of a number of young cubs" is good for the editor of the Post, and in our opinion the freshmen should present him with a chromo. The Globe speaks of the freshmen's performance as "one of the most remarkable scenes that ever passed in Music Hall." It gives the following account of their proceedings:
"About 8 o'clock there was a commotion in the lobbies, and, shortly, a long line of Harvard boys attired in the high aesthetic garb and with enormous sun-flowers held before them advanced up the main aisles with an unimpeachable piccadilly gait. There were many artistic impersonations of Bunthornes and Grosvenors poets freshly and idyllic who might have walked directly from the stage of "Patience." At every step they posed in the most approved mediaeval and antediluvian fashion. The audience rose in a body and, standing upon the seats, roared and applauded. The students acknowledged the compliment, and marched to the three front rows of seats, with the greatest delibration
The new penny evening paper, the World, seems to have started out with a good opinion of Harvard men, and yesterday expressed itself as follows: "It is rumored that the Yale students propose to receive Oscar Wilde after the manner of the welcome extended to Count Johannes some years ago; putty blowers, decayed oranges and overgrown sunflowers, being substituted for bouquets and applause. The New Haven Register trusts, for the honor of Yale and the credit of the university city, that this programme, if intended, shall be dropped. 'Yale,' it says, 'should let Princeton and Harvard bear off the undisputed palm for rowdyism and boorishness.' As for Princeton, we will say nothing; but, as between Harvard and Yale, on a question of rowdyism, Yale will take the cake. The Harvard boys have a great spirit of fun, but nowadays it is oftenest vented in bits of revelry that harm no one, but which, on the other hand, make everybody laugh. The demonstration of the students at Music Hall last evening, furnishes a case in point." Taken as a whole, the Boston papers expressed themselves with much greater fairness than has characterized their utterances in past years, and the freshmen ought to look upon the success of their undertaking with a great deal of satisfaction, especially as it is the first class that has attended any place of amusement in a body for years, without subjecting itself to the ridicule and denunciations of the Boston press.