GENTLEMEN: - Seven years in newspaper land taught me the probable futility of a man's replying in print to anything that anybody may say about him, but so many persons have "committed false report" concerning the exclusion of the public from my lectures that a word of explanation may do more good than harm.
I said nothing to the women who invaded Sever Hall last Tuesday evening, and after their departure I said nothing that a gentleman might not say if he were sufficiently provoked. The provocation in that case, as in all similar cases, was that the intruders had been informed by the very civil door-keeper that these lectures are open only to members of the University. They were thus wilful intruders.
If I have earned any part of the consideration which men have shown me here, both in public and in private, during the past three years, it is because I have tried very hard to do my duty by them; and should it be made evident that they prefer lectures open to the public I would gladly act upon their preference. But a miscellaneous audience would, I think, take from the freedom and friendliness which are the very life of the spoken (as distinguished from the written) word.
Permit me to add that a gentleman, whether he be "A Graduate" or not, ought not to shoot from behind a hedge. In other words, he should sign his name to a personal attack.
Yours very truly,
C. T. COPELAND.