Our University in a Worldly Point of View.
ADVERTISERS AND THEIR VICTIMS.
A poor man is "grinding" in his room, suddenly he hears the step of "Billy" in the hall. The letter-slide clicks and in come two or three letters, one in particular, with a nice envelope, sealed, and addressed in a fine feminine hand. It naturally is opened first. Fine tinted cards drop out, and a note is enclosed, engraved on a superior quality of paper.
"We shall be pleased to have your company" -(the reader's heart begins to beat-What next? He reads on) at our clothing" -and the waste paper basket comes in use. Such deception is fearful. Do you wonder that the victim swears never to enter that "clothing establishment?"
Again, early in the morning, the slide clicks, and the half-awake man leaps from his bed to the door with one bound, only to be told to bring his smoking and toilet articles at the "old stand." He calls it the "old stand" and something more, and crawls back to bed again; but the "old stand" will get no trade from him.
Question if the advertisers do not err in sending around their cards at such an unearthly hour as 8 o'clock in the morning. They thereby, it would seem, defeat their own ends. We are met in corners and in doorways, and cards and bills are thrust into our faces. Complimentary tickets are at our plates at meals. Samples from new newspapers to "choice cigarettes" are put into our hands. Scarcely a day passes that we are not in some way reminded of some branch or other, small and great, of Cambridge or Boston business. Our mails are, perhaps, nearly doubled. The man with few correspondents or perhaps almost none at all is grateful for even this poor substitute. At least, his letter-slide is kept from resting.
Still another form of advertisement, remains to be mentioned,-and this is alive and walks up and down the yard and frequents the walks to Sever and Memorial. Freshmen wonder who he is. Upper classmen see in him the "poco" whose tribe is famous in song. He is at his advertising, and this is his way of doing it,-perhaps because he thinks this the most effective way of showing how second-hand clothes may be made to look.
It is only lack of space that prevents me from writing more. The zeal and promptness of advertising shown yearly by different firms, their cunning contrivances to get attention, their rivalry among each other in seeking the student's trade, are proofs of the dependence they place upon us. A great many Boston firms have offered large reductions to the "co-op," that thereby they may secure Harvard customers. It is well for us to remember, then, that not only does Harvard exert a great influence on the thought and literature of the world, but she also gives life to Cambridge and Boston business, not to say work to a large number from the laboring classes. Of these latter one can mention the waiters, the "goodies," the janitors of the buildings, and last by no means least the "mackers." Our position then is certainly an important one. But how thankless men are to their benefactors!