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In the current issue of the Advocate appear two thoughtful bits of essay, some stories and verse, little better than mediocre, and a flourish of well-turned play reviewing. The array is by no means despicable. One hopes, however, with the editors, that the three months' Tri-collegiate Competition proposed for next year, will aid in raising the standard of contributions.
The purpose of the "Tri-collegiate Literary Competition" is explained in Mr. Thayer's leader. He believes that "the idea of beating another college should evoke more zeal than that of winning from a personal friend." Excellence in intellectual pursuits craves the approval of the masses, however seldom it gets such approval; and since effort in an intercollegiate competition is sure to win some degree of recognition from the undergraduate masses, the new plan may prove effective. The second essay is a plea by Mr. Peters to have enrolled upon the Memorial Hall tablets the names of Harvard men who died for the Southern Confederacy. The plea is against sectional prejudice.
Neither of the stories is calculated to disturb the regularity of one's breathing; and yet each has deft touches of characterization. Mr. Davis's sketch of the professional female smuggler glimpses the tedium of a life of pretense in Parisian society. Mr. Rogers's description of editorial ethics on a juvenile newspaper, in spite of its hampering style, gives some amusing aspects of boy nature.
About the verse in general little need be said except that it is distinctly undergraduate work. The sonnet "To a Sea Gull," by Mr. Thayer, voices a graceful enough conceit; whether he is at sea or on land one is not quite sure, but one gets a true though faint breath of poetry and forgets defects.
The play-reviews give real information. This department of the paper seems decidedly successful. It, together with the essay writing already spoken of, makes one wonder at the finality of the unexplained statement as to the Tri-Collegiate Literary Competition that "essays are necessarily excluded."
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