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THE BOYLSTON PRIZES.

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

TWO years' competition for the Boylston Prizes was restricted to members of the Junior and Senior classes. This was a much-needed change, for in lessening the number of competitors it gave a better chance to those who came late upon the list of obtaining a patient and attentive hearing. Two further reforms are needed.

The first is with regard to the style of speaking. The judges are selected annually, and the award of prizes depends entirely upon the taste of the gentlemen who are called upon to serve. Now if it happens that the committee is made up of a majority who favor a forensic or parliamentary style of speaking, and do not approve of an exhibition of dramatic art, then the Websters and Burkes get all the prizes, while the disciples of Shakespeare or the other poets come away empty-handed. If, on the other hand, the majority are gentlemen who dislike " spouting " and like acting, then our incipient Booths and Salvini's are in the ascendant, and the Burkes and Websters go to the wall. Men, therefore, in selecting their pieces, often do not choose those for which they are best fitted by nature, but take those which they think the committee will prefer. If a particular style of speaking is favored by the College authorities, it should be made known, both to the competitors and judges. If excellence alone is desired, no matter what the nature of the piece spoken, both judges and students should know. As things are now, there is doubt about the whole matter. The Professor of Rhetoric himself says everything depends upon the taste of the committee.

The second necessary reform is to allow a man to be a candidate for the same prize but once. It is reasonable for a man who has taken a second prize one year to try for a first prize the next year. But for a man to take the first prize for two successive years, seems to us unfair.

'75.

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