Battle of the Books

And as every good Frenchman knows, it was when the women and children of Paris rushed into the streets that the Bastille fell....

So be it. The women and children of Harvard University have at last stormed the final symbol, have brought about, as if accidentally, the first blushing dawn of the new regime. Lamont has been penetrated.

It is not without a shiver of amazement that we view the coup; it has been coming slowly for a long while, we now see, but its indubitable arrival is nevertheless startling. No more the after-dinner retreat of the men into the salon to smoke; no more the demure gathering of ladies in the upstairs parlor. Egalite has forever blurred the old elegance.

And yet--and yet. Let us not be the last to see the good in what is inevitable. Men and women, it is decreed, shall study together, shall share reserve books, shall make eyes in the alcoves. No power on earth can reverse this process, so silently, so subtly begun.

And, after all, who will be sacrificed? Merely those musty grey beings who have thus far never left the building, who will run out shrieking horribly when the first window is open. Some can run to House libraries, some to their rooms, some to the infinitely more secure bowers of Amherst or Yale.

But the great majority of Harvard men and women must see the indisputable advantages of comradeship in intellect. No more will they shy away from the dank, depressing, surrealistically bleak landscape of Lamont (and Radcliffe Library in its sexless hours). No more will they set up shop to study, only to fall asleep with stunning promptitude.

For who could doze in an atmosphere charged with that joie de vivre that must come with the new heterosexual order? Who could sink into a wall-eyed academic stupor when there is girl, rather than feet, in the breeze?

Down with separate-but-equal! Up with together but-different!

Let no feeble voice foretell the downfall of intellect in this great institution. As long as truth is beauty, Harvard will be intellectual, and where the scholars have thus far lacked of a humanist education has been rather on the humanity side.

Nor let any puny voice speak of overcrowding. Only twice a year does this consideration arise--and very soon a great new glass and marble study palace will be breaking through on Garden Street to house the book-less of either sex.

And as objections recede into the past, counter-revolutionary sniping from a country Harvard has already broken away from, let us join our hands, unfurl our reading lists, and march forward together into the sunlit corridors of Lamont Library! Harvard and Radcliffe fraternite forever!