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(We invite all men in the University to submit communications on subjects of timely interest, but assume no responsibility for sentiments expressed under this head.)
To the Editors of the CRIMSON:
Apropos of the communication in your Saturday edition, our friend Quintus Flaccus would be tempted to remark:--"Parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus". Indeed the whole affair, from the mingled applause and that combination of 'hiss' and 'sneer' which so worries our friend, to the newspaper article, the letter and the now current argument pro and con, smacks of hyperbole.
Granted that Colonel Roosevelt deserves better at the hands of his Alma Mater than hisses and sneers, granted that care must be exercised by Harvard students lest their opinions be attributed in an exaggerated form, and unjustly, to their College as a whole, and still it appears that there has been undue excitement.
In the first place I think that those who were present at the seminar will bear me up in the statement that the so called hisses were in fact a prolonged "Sh" intended by the more studious-minded to serve as an admonition to the boisterous to be quiet and let study those who wished. Very often in a lecture when such an interruption occurs the same "Sh" will appear. It refers, not to the subject of the applause, but to the noise itself.
Secondly the readers of the newspapers have learned to read whatever they find there in respect to the colleges--and particularly the undergraduate--with a liberal dose of salt. To assume that the American people are so fatuous in their criticism of Harvard that they will not discount such clearly 'yellow' news at its true value is to commit an error as bad as that ascribed to the public.
The whole trouble seems to come from disregarding the circumstances. A hot room, a dry review on a day near the end of the trying mid-year examination period, two hundred Freshmen,--and the outburst is easily explained. True, the public cannot know these facts, but the writer of your communication could if he would. And the question of Harvard and the Press has been discussed at length; it is not germane to the present question, viz that of placing a false construction on the somewhat thoughtless and wholly non-signifying, as far as their opinions are concerned, outbreaks of noise by the restless undergraduate by men who should have more regard for fact. As well construe the present vogue for felt hats as a sign that "Harvard adopts the Roosevelt Hat."
Yours in the interest of sanity, PITMAN B. POTTER '14.
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