Heywood Broun's comment on Terry of the Dean's office, reprinted Saturday, focuses attention on that curious and fascinating group of human beings known as "characters", and doubtless calls forth sighs from the older alumni, who deplore the passing of the men that once gave a spice of variety to Harvard life. Long years have passed since John the Orangeman and his donkey-cart trundled through Cambridge, and the original Poco visited dormitories with a load of old clothes over his arm. But the extinction of the individual does not mean the extinction of the species; and there are still a good many persons that are known to every Freshman by the end of October.
The nameless organ-grinder with his pony-cart; Dan the newsman; Nappy, most venerable of taxi-drivers; these are proof enough that the genus still lives and flourishes. Smith Halls knows the melodious shout "Co - -al!"; the whole college has at least heard of Adolphe and Bob Lampoon; the whole college greets and is greeted by Max.
The present certainly need not envy the past for its abundance of characters; the question is whether the future will also be supplied; and the answer is that the probabilities are good. Specifically, the paperboys of the Waldorf and the hand-cart are promising for the time when the present stock is gone, and natural processes will doubtless attract enough new material to keep the quota filled. The dull picture of Harvard without characters will hardly need to be painted for the next generation.