Current Advocate Praiseworthy
The new board of the Advocate offers a variety of attractions for its readers in the current issue, although the art of writing editorials has yet to be acquired with further experience of the joys of editorship. The first one is righteously indignant with the Boston American's attack on President Lowell, but its grammar is defective, and it fails to accomplish its object, for like the paper mentioned it "does not argue, it states." Again, sententia, if the editors really insist on using a Latin word where an English one does better, is a word of the first deciension (sententia, ae, like mensa), and consequently it is not only hard on the President, but a violence to the English and Latin tongues when we read, "the small sententia of a Cambridge paper are superfluous. But the President is another matter."
This number has, however, a good collection of verse, although Mr. MacVeagh's "Adventurers" is not up to the family standard, nor as good as some other poems in this same issue. The standard surprise story which every Advocate has contained since the misty days of the paper's beginnings is here also,--"A Matter of Taste." Is there, then, deliberate humor when Mr. Leffingwell bids us at the bottom of the page turn our thoughts "To Death. (From the French of Beaudelaire)"?
If the war was neglected in previous issues the Advocate now feels its duty keenly. Mr. P. G. De Rosay does indifferently well what movies, melodramas, and innumerable short-story writers have been attempting lately, in his "Der Tag." But Mr. Blaine gives us a letter from Germany sent him by Dr. Heerdt who "is in charge of a station for the distribution of French and English prisoners near Frankfort." It is perhaps difficult to agree with Mr. Blaine's introduction when he calls the letter's "sustained note of advice" a "radical" characteristic. But we agree with Dr. Heerdt, though for reasons opposed to his, when he says, "The German Army is not an institution which you can imitate even with slight success without changing your entire standard of life," because "the Army here is the Nation and the nation is the Army!"
Dr. Heerdt asks to be allowed to finish with words of Dante, and quotes, "The human race cannot live happily without freedom, but this political liberty must be based upon freedom of judgment." To this we may add, from the same poet, "Upright governments have liberty as their aim, that men may live for themselves; not citizens for the sake of the consuls, not a people for a king, but conversely, consuls for the sake of the citizens, and a king for his people."
There is melody but little novelty in Mr. Nelson's "The Haven," and a good model at least posed for Mr. Parson's "Scott." There is a reality about Mr. Kirby's "Sonnet" which is lacking in Mr. Sanger's "To --?". The "Winter Symphony" of Mr. Norris is another good work, and Mr. Benshimol is deadly serious with his "Cry and Echo." But perhaps the finest piece of verse in the number, and a poem of genuine merit, is Mr. Rogers' "Victory." The new board has very praiseworthy intentions, and it is on the way toward success.