The editorial in the present number of the Advocate dwells upon the importance of Harvard students' making some more general recognition of intellectual attainment among their fellows. The point is very well raised. At present, in the onward sweep of athletics, the undergraduate has been deceived into thinking, or rather into acting as if he thought, that the athlete alone is deserving of the popularity which puts a man's name in every body's mouth. It is proper that the athlete should enjoy a certain measure of collegiate fame, but it is far from proper that he should hold so nearly a monopoly of it as he does today. Such prominence as is now the reward of success in athletics is harmful both to him who receives it and to those who accord it to him. It tends to pervert the ideals which should be foremost in the minds of those who are pursuing a collegiate education.
We are not, however, ready to admit that intellectual achievement passes wholly without recognition here, nor is the assertion likely to be made by anyone familiar with the conditions of Harvard life. It is true that the fame of the debater, or of the literary or scientific man, is not as the fame of the football hero; yet while neither may have a place in the undergraduate's enthusiasms, each is awarded a share in his respect which is denied to the mere athlete. Football, baseball, any of the sports, is more exciting and attracts a more intense interest than can fairly be asked for intellectual work. No outsider can follow the processes which lead to literary or scientific success, or can feel with him who wins it all the eager joy of victory. It is difficult to appreciate and generally impossible to grow enthusiastic over the competition in which the brain prevails. We believe, however, that even now the sober praise which Harvard men never deny to scholarly ability is far more significant than the lavish commendation which they so recklessly bestow on the favored athlete. The latter is an affair of the moment, called forth by an enthusiasm which passes away with its immediate cause; the former will last as long as he who has won it shall live to enjoy it.