As the time draws near when men who intend to compete for the Boylston prizes must begin earnest work, the lack of sufficient instruction in elocution becomes painfully noticeable.
Mr. Jones is, no doubt, an able and conscientious instructor, and does for the men under him all that his limited time allows. But when one man is called upon to teach elocution - a subject in which there is especial need of individual attention and criticism - to the whole college, satisfactory results can hardly be looked for. Class instruction may be all very well for beginners, in serving to give them an idea of fundamental rules and starting them in the right direction. But when men have made any progress at all, what they need is individual instruction and a chance to rehearse as often as possible before one who is capable of pointing out to them their failings and suggesting proper methods. This is especially true of men who are rehearsing for competitive speaking and need drill upon one piece.
The college recommends all to whom commencement parts have been assigned to study elocution from now until commencement, but when and how they are to study is not mentioned. Surely, the elementary training which Mr. Jones, by reason of lack of time and press of work, is able to give cannot be deemed sufficient. Many men who would be glad to take up elocution if individual appointments were given, are unwilling to spend two hours a week in going to recitation in this subject and listening during much of the time to the speaking and criticisms of men who know no more of the subject than they do themselves. Those who can afford to take private lessons will probably do so; but, pray, what are those who cannot afford the expense to do in preparation either for the competitive speaking or for commencement?