EMPEDOCLES DEFENDED.

EDITORS DAILY CRIMSON: - It seems to me that in the criticism on the Harvard Monthly that appeared in yesterdays paper, more especially in the portion relating to Mr. Sanford's story, the reviewer has forgotten some of the first elements of criticism; namely, that a literary work should be regarded as a whole, and that it is unjust to criticise excerpts from a story without the slightest reference to the context, when by so doing he perverts the meaning and general effect of the passage in question. Now the critic takes exception to the hero's "quoting Homer in the death agony ond dying with Horace on his lips." In the abstract, if we merely consider that a man is about to perish in a volcano, this objection is perhaps a good one. Certain it is that in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred, no one would stop to quote Homer and Horace while the lava was rising. But this is the hundredth case, the solitary exception to the general run. And herein lies the merit of the story. All the details are so worked out that when we come to the climax, all the actions seem perfectly natural. Under such circumstances, such a man could not help acting thus. All the circumstances are impossible. That is to be expected in a wierd fantastic tale; but if the critic objects to that, why does'nt he say so, instead of adopting his present indefensible position. In spite of the adverse criticism in the CRIMSON that the story is "incongruous and lacks force," it must have struck many readers that here, with all due deference to the CRIMSON, be it said, we have a story of remarkable beauty and force, one which stands forth pre eminent from the ordinary ruck of college fiction, and for which we should be duly thankful.

W.