A BENIGNANT REPLY TO "REDIVOUS" REDIVIOUS.
An attack is made upon the founder of the Club, whose earnest efforts met only with careless indifference from the members. In a weak attempt to imitate the bad English of Artemas Ward, the writer declares that "owing to the indifference of the instructor in elocution, the interest in the club was allowed to die out owing to the rarity of the meetings," - thus kindly offering to the reader a choice between the two alleged causes of death. Mention is made of the "good work and conscientious endeavor" of the club in the past, and "its old position of usefulness and popularity," - by which we are led to believe that the writer either is a freshman who has just been elected into the defunt society by unprincipled upper-classmen, or is otherwise ignorant of the history of the organization. For the society always has been the laughing-stock of the college as regards usefulness, activity and popularity.
Your correspondent speaks of "those of the old members who still feel an interest in the study of dramatic expression and desire a higher course of training than that afforded by the elementary courses in elocution." This attempt to detract from the value and extent of the work now being accomplished by the present instructor in elocution puts one in mind of the eager and superficial athlete who wishes to run in the New York athletic games, but considers the daily routine work of the team unworthy of his remarkable powers. When your talented correspondent is older and wiser, he will begin to realize that the "study of dramatic expression" consists for the most part of the daily drill of this despised elocution course.
The Shakespeare Club was a misguided though originally sincere endeavor - to combine the work done in English II under our master of English literature, Professor Child, with a weak attempt at "acting" - not "dramatic expression" - by youths who knew nothing of the principles of the art which they thought they were studying. In other words, the work of which the Shakespeare Club made a signal failure, will continue to be done conscientiously and thoroughly in English II, and in elocution under the direction of the instructor. Any attempt to revive so useless a society - one which brought such disgrace upon the university as it did by its unworthy performance of Julius Caesar - is uncalled for and wholly undesirable.
W. S. - e, '87.