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Dean Briggs Reviews Advocate

By L.b.r. Briggs

The first editorial article in the Advocate of October 24 pleads for two weeks recess at Christmas; the second expounds the value of keeping certain hours sacred to study. Both are good-humored. Both are persuasive also; though the first suggests belief in the vulgar error that work is evil, and the second treats as a discovery what every sensible schoolboy knows. "The better plan is to have times appointed for study as for other pursuits," is more nearly worth saying in Harvard College than it ought to be. "Time passed with a book is not always passed in grasping ideas, any more than time spent with a hook and line is fully occupied with catching fish," is worth saying anywhere.

Of the poems, the "Sonnet," if not strong, is better than acceptable; "The Feast of Death" is inefficient in both thought and form; the version of Horace's "To his Cupbearer" is sprightly and effectively modern.

"A Justification of Athletic Leadership" maintains that "the prominent men in College are athletes because they are leaders and not leaders because they are athletes." The writer's earnestness and vigor make their way; but his sentences are uncomfortable: "The ideal position of athletics in collegiate life is not necessarily that of subordinate interests, in the sense that studies should occupy an undue proportion of the student's time, but that of being correlative to filling in the spaces which study leaves open, and supplying a stimulus fully as necessary to the body as scholastic exercises to the mind."

"Two Friends" tells of a young clerk with an "almost Apollic hand," "a thin nose," a "wide nare," and "unplumbed eyes," who reluctantly wins the friendship of a fellow clerk--and proves to be a girl (as the clever reader has discovered some months in advance of the hero). The story lacks novelty, probability and power. "The Process" appears to be just such a tale as no young man should try to tell, a tale outside the author's experience and beyond the present reach of his imagination. The style is a little too deliberately jaunty.

"The Other Kind" is the best story of the number. In parts crude, in parts conventional or perfunctory, it shows nevertheless sincerity and underlying strength.

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