ONCE upon a time there was a college which was so indifferent that it possessed only five college papers. But by chance there dwelt in this college a man who was not indifferent; and as there was great need of another paper and he had nothing else to do, he bethought him of starting one for the benefit of his fellow-students and the Faculty. Now this man determined to please the multitude, so he advertised for advice.
The first man who called upon him wore glasses and a long cloak, and carried the Fortnightly Review in his hand. He was a literary man, and said, "Respected Sir, this college demands a literary magazine. I leave you my essay on the 'Superstitions of Composition, in its Relation to Modern Thought,' for your first number."
The next man was a brawny fellow in a white flannel shirt and knickerbockers. He kept going through gymnastic exercises while in the room, and was evidently an Athlete. He said, "Look here, what we want is a sporting paper. Here is a full report of the last hare and hounds run, with a long list of the men who fell out."
Soon after a pale, thin man, who rolled his eyes and wore a Byron collar and long wavy hair, came in. He was a Poet, and brought an ode on "The Humanity of Nature." He hoped that the new paper would give much attention to poetry.
Then came a fat man, smelling of tobacco. He had several volumes of Bohn's works under his arm. This one was a Bummer, and spoke as follows: "Old man, I admire your pluck. If you'll only pitch into the Faculty heavy, we'll all buy your paper. You see, the Advocate and Crimson haven't got backbone enough. You just publish these complaints about janitors and short vacations, and these suggestions about a lower grade of degrees and abolishing prayers, and I tell you what, the fellows will back you."
Next came in a gentleman who was worn nigh unto death by over-work. He was a Professor, and said: "Young man, your project is laudable. If you maintain a gentlemanly tone towards the authorities, and admit no carping criticism of our conduct, the whole Faculty will be glad to write for your paper. I present you with an article on 'The Need of Additional Endowment for our Professorships.' "
Next came a dashing fellow whose chin was elevated, and whose mouth was moulded in an habitual sneering smile. This was a Wit and a Critic. "Bold knight of the quill," said he, "take my advice: make your paper caustic and spicy; make fun of the literary men, the athletes, the bummers, the professors, and the college papers. Make fun of college life. Sneer at it, my boy, and your paper will go. Here is a light article on 'Lies in Literary Life, or a Factitious Faculty,' and a few good things for the Brevity Column."
Then the Editor danced round his sanctum, and laughed right merrily. "Aha! aha!" cried he. "I'll please them all." So he wrote an editorial on Harvard Indifference, cut down the articles and the poem, and threw the correspondence on janitors into the waste-basket; and yet the paper was full, while the other college editors had to write their papers themselves that week. The next morning there was a poster on the front of University Hall, and great was the sensation in the college.
But alas for the poor Editor! The Literary man was enraged because his article had been tampered with; the Athlete swore that his report was the only interesting thing in the paper; the Poet took arsenic because his choicest stanza had been left out; the Bummer looked in vain for his complaint about the janitors, and declared that the Editor was fawning on the Faculty; the Professor was disgusted with the complaints, and publicly reviled the paper at all his recitations; the Wit found that all the point of his article had been left out, and that his brevity jokes had been spoiled by the printer. However, there was point enough left in them to get the Editor cowhided by a janitor and suspended for speaking disrespectfully of the President. Truly, a weary wight was he.
MORAL: No man can serve six masters.