TO THE STUDENTS OF HARVARD UNIVERSITY:-
There is a need of some means of publishing in permanent form "the best literary work of the college," and of having here at Harvard some paper which shall "represent within its pages the strongest and soberest under-graduate thought." This can be done in one of two ways; either by a new Literary Monthly, or by the "Advocate," which proposes to add to its size next year, and to do exactly, in quality and in quantity, the work which would be done by a Literary Monthly. Not more than one paper whose aim is to represent the best literary thought of the college, can expect sufficient financial support. The question then arises, which can fulfil this purpose best; a new Monthly, or the "Advocate" in enlarged form. We think the "Advocate" can do this for the following reasons:-
1. Amount of matter. (A column of the "Advocate" contains the same number of words as a page of the proposed Monthly; in measuring the amount of space, we shall use the word "page" in speaking of both the "Advocate," and the proposed Monthly, meaning by "page," the amount of matter on the page of a Monthly.) The size of the proposed Monthly would be, probably, 28 pages, ten numbers a year. If the "Advocate" can get 100 new subscribers next year, (in addition to those it already has), it will add sufficiently to the size of the paper, to be able to give just the same amount of space to literary articles and editorials, and to book reviews, as the proposed Monthly would, and at the same time, it will not encroach upon any of its present lighter matter, (except the item column). 44 pages per month of Monthly would be devoted to articles and editorials; the "Advocate" will add that amount of space each month. (This increases the proposed addition mentioned in the last number of the "Advocate.") The four columns of book reviews in the Monthly, will have a place in the "Advocate" also. The literary department of the paper will be the most important part of the "Advocate;" it will not be in charge of the whole board of editors, but in charge of a smaller, especially chosen board, as in the case of a Monthly.
2. The "Advocate will give the same kind of, and equally good, matter. The support which a Monthly, if established, would have from the English Dept., would be given, we have reason to believe, to the "Advocate," if, instead of starting a new Monthly, the "Advocate should do the same work. The literary editorials, (entirely distinct from the other editorials), and bookreviews will receive as careful attention as they would in a Monthly. We shall try, probably, to have in each of our twenty numbers, an article from some one of the college instructors.
4. The "Advocate" would offer as "permanent" a form as a Monthly.
MONTHLY.10 nos., 28 pps., at $1.75 per year, $490 Incidentals; mailing and delivering, extra printing, etc., (at least) $110
ADVOCATE.44 pps., book-review, (4 pps. per month; already a part of the paper); therefore no extra expense 240 pps. per y'r, added, and $1.75, $420
Incidentals; no incurred expense,
That is, the "Advocate" can publish exactly the same amount of literary matter at 70 per ct. of the expense it can be published at in a separate magazine.
6. Circulation. The "Advocate" would put the literary matter published before a much larger number of readers. A monthly might possibly be started with only 150 subscribers. The largest number it would expect the first year would be, say, 200. (This is a liberal estimate, considering that the Lampoon has very few, if any, more, after a strong appeal to the college). If a new Monthly could get 300 subscribers, the "Advocate," doing the same work and as much of it, could add, say 100 to its present list of 425. That is, the Monthly would have not more than 300; the "Advocate," if it did the work instead of a new Monthly, would have 525 subscribers.
7. A large number of readers is the strongest inducement for a writer to do his best work; the "Advocate," therefore, having a much larger number of subscribers, would offer a stronger inducement for good work than a new paper.
8. A new magazine would, in its endeavor to get subscribers, draw away, more or less seriously, from the present almost insufficient support given the "Advocate" or Lampoon. Even if the Monthly itself survived, one or both of the others might be forced to stop. If, now, the work proposed to be done by the Monthly could not be done by one of the papers already established, then we would say "Start the new paper, and let either the Lampoon or "Advocate" die, if need be." But since the "Advocate" can, and will do exactly the kind of work, and as much of it, as the Monthly would, we believe that there is no need of starting a separate paper to accomplish what can be as well done by the "Advocate." That it can be as well done, and more cheaply done, we think we have shown above.
For these reasons we ask the support of the college next year, both by increased subscriptions and by literary contributions. The price of the "Advocate" will be, as at present, $2.50.
EDITORS HARVARD ADVOCATE.