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Finds Best Feature of Issue in Verse--Sentimentality of Short Stories Not Overworked


The following review of the April number of the Advocate was written for the Crimson by Professor Oliver Elton, of the University of Liverpool.

An English stranger, who is kindly asked to review the new number of the Harvard Advocate, lies under some plain disabilities. He cannot compare it with previous issues, or with other enterprises of the kind (if such there be) in this country. In the British Universities there are many student, or sometimes dannish journals, and they have nursed many a notable writer. But the scale, frequency, and resources of such ventures are much greater here. If the contributors, like the managers, are, in the case of the Advocate, of undergraduate standing (and even if they are not), then the level of the writing, like that of the editing, is noticeably high. This impression becomes stronger on reading the "Report of the Student Council of Education," which fills more than one-third of the issue. It would be most improper for a visitor to discuss this document; but he may, without vain compliment, be struck with the lucidity, orderliness, and independence of the style (which is also very sober in tone); and may admire, very honestly, the maturity of form attained in the committee of ten gentlemen wearing the suffix "26." Such a document, in any University, could surely only do good, and clear the air.

The rest of the number is given to "belles lettres": to verse, short tales, editorials, and book notices. In the best of these one seems to observe a healthy respect for the great virtue of literary economy. It looks as if the young American writers were inclined to teach it hereafter to your formidable Press; at least so it may be hoped. There are two neat short stories, one of which, called "The First of the Month," precedes, by way of hors d'oeuvres, that solid repast, the 'Report'; the second, also neat, and more difficult in theme, is "Musk and Melons." The conception, in both cases, is generous and sentimental, but is worked out with restraint of form. Concision, too, marks the interesting lines entitled "Abnegation"; and, still more, those on "Bereavement," which strike the present reader's ear as the best thing in the number. They are only eight lines, and it would be hardly fair to quote them. Among the business-like book reviews may be single out, perhaps, that on the "Papers" of Colonel House. It is very well balanced

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