Your correspondent asks why we said nothing about others "whose tactics were precisely the same as those of the gentleman alluded to." If our purpose had been, as your correspondent asserts, to make a "violent personal attack" on any or all of the contestants, perhaps we should have mentioned the names of all those gentlemen who seemed to us to have passed over the bounds of scientific sparring into the province of "slugging." But as our criticism was directed towards the sparring itself, we mentioned only the name of the gentleman whose sparring would illustrate most clearly the objectionable features of that style.
Your correspondent does us a gross injustice by falsely misquoting us; even if this mistake happened simply through carelessness, it is almost inexcusable. We are quoted as saying that a man who hits his opponent hard enough to disable him, would be declared "fit only for the society of roughs and 'muckers.' " Such a statement was never made in the Advocate. What we did say was, that "such slugging may do among roughs and 'muckers,' but that it is wholly out of place before an audience largely composed of ladies." Such is still our opinion.
The fact that the gentleman was asked to enter by an officer of the H. A. A., effects our article neither one way nor the other. We were not considering whether the gentleman did, under the circumstances, make a mistake in entering an event for which he had practically no training, nor whether it would have been better had the officers of the association not pressed him to enter; we were considering solely the objectionable features of the sparring itself.
The communication ended with the insinuation that the gentlemen mentioned in the Advocate's article was "singled out for especial criticism" because he was a freshman. We have only to say to your correspondent that all criticisms in the Advocate, whether favorable or the opposite, are honestly and fearlessly made, and that it is a matter of absolutely no weight with us whether the person criticised be a freshman or a senior.
As to the general principe whether a college paper should use the name of any gentleman in its criticisms, there is, of course, a difference of opinion. The object of the Advocate is to have whatever criticisms it makes, forcible though just. When it thinks that this can be done without the use of anyone's name, it will make the criticism wholly impersonal; but when on deliberation it seems necessary to mention any gentleman's name, either for praise or censure, it will not hesitate to do so boldly and fearlessly.
THOS. T. BALDWIN, President "Harvard Advocate."