In the rush of these modern days few things in the world are more ephemeral than the productions of our periodical press. Nothing is staler than yesterday's newspaper, -- if you have today's; and even in so staid and decorous an organization as the book club of any highly respectable New England town, the dignified Reviews and seemly humourous publications that make their prim march from house to house excite in most members of the club, would they own the truth, but very languid interest when at the earliest they arrive at least six weeks after the time of their first bow to the world. True, the greater part of the cargoes of most of these vessels, like those of the shingle boats that children freight for journeys down a brook, may well be jettisoned; but doubtless with many a hapless cargo some things really worth saving go down. A few light, gay, shiny bits do float, and sail gaily down life's brook, sparkling in the sunlight even brighter than the ripples of the stream. There are people who have been known to chase a "continued story" through the numbers of a bound volume of a magazine, but most of us nothing but a rainy afternoon and an awful dearth of reading matter, or a moment of sentiment, takes back to a volume of that sort.
To Lampy, then, who should be very proud of his children, and to the author and the artist, the aforesaid children, who are very modest, our Harvard world and the bigger world outside, too, owe a great debt of gratitude (which should be accompanied with a cash reward) for giving us in so trim a little book the Alice sketches, which make memorable this year's volume of our jester. Dear Lampy (forgive this touch of sentiment: it is genuine), to how many generations have you brought laughter and fun. Not that you are always funny, you are not; but you are the funniest we know, and we must remember that even the father of Life may occasionally grow weary and prose a bit. Comparisons, however, are out of order: Lampy has the advantage of age, the earlier start and consequently must be nearer the sparkling fountain of youth. This year, whatever may have occurred in the past, Lampy has not nodded, and now he crowns the end with this memorable little volume, that takes its place side by side with the earlier classic, the immortal journey of Rollo to Cambridge.
To imitate or to burlesque an author and an artist is one thing: to catch their real spirit is quite another, a vastly higher achievement. This Mr. Evarts and Mr. Barron have quite succeeded in doing. They know thoroughly and love completely Lewis Carroll and John Teniel. This is no burlesque Alice that they have given us, no painted imitation: the real Alice has wandered about our Harvard world, and another volume goes to that shelf to which additions are so slow, the shelf of the best beloved. True, the appeal of the new Alice is in most respects local, but the spirit is that of the master, and henceforth every Harvard lover of Carroll's immortal book must have standing by its side the result of the happy inspiration that gave Alice a chance to see some of the humours of our college life