A Williams Anthology

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The present work owes its existence to a conviction on the part of itseditors that much material published by past Williams undergraduatesin past and present literary periodicals of the college, deserves aresurrection from the threatening oblivion of musty library shelves.That this conviction has been justified by the quality of the verseand prose herein published, the editors believe; and they thereforesubmit this volume to the public without undue fear as to itsreception, adding only the caution that its readers remember alwaysthe tender age of the writers of these pages.The purpose of the editors was to collect material which might beadjudged to possess real literary merit; but in some cases in whichthe historical interest attaching to the production, either by reasonof its subject or by reason of the fame attained in later years by itsauthor, is obvious, this rule has been waived. Among such exceptionsmay be cited that of the Resolutions addressed to President Adams bythe students, and copied herein from the pages of the _Vidette_. Thematter has been arranged in the order of class seniority, with twoexceptions. It has seemed fitting to the editors to begin the workwith that immortal song, "The Mountains"; the second exception is thatof the series of biographical sketches entitled "Nine WilliamsAlumni," which for obvious reasons were published as a whole.The editors burrowed through all files of the college publicationswhich the college library contains, files which are reasonablycomplete. In such a mass of material, some ninety volumes, it will beastounding indeed if some creditable work has not been passedinadvertently over. If such a mistake has occurred it is at leastpardonable. The editors fear only the presence of some unworthy matterin this volume, a sin of commission and hence vastly more heinous.In going over the works of their academic ancestors the editors havebeen struck by several very interesting facts. The literary quality ofthe poetry, as all will recognize, has made a steady advance, untilthe last six years of the _Lit_. have seen the magazine second tonone, for verse at least, in the intercollegiate press. Dutton,Westermann, Gibson, Holley, all of the same collegiate generation--theyare names which are widely known and which have brought the collegerenown of a nature which, ordinarily, she is apt to obtain rather byathletic than by intellectual means. It is striking, too, to noticehow the college poetry has changed during the seventy years of itsexistence, as the present compilers have known it. There are specimensof the "poetry" of the early days included herein, which find a place,as is intimated elsewhere, not so much for their intrinsic merit asfor the interest attaching to them in other directions; and as for theprose of the _Quarterly_ and the _Vidette_, it was, indeed, like theessays of the college press to-day, carefully written and with adegree of that indescribable something called "style"; but sophilosophical, heavy, and devoid of any human interest that we cannotimagine the average student going through the magazine at a sitting as(despite all reports to the contrary) is done with the college papersto-day.An interesting light on the alteration in undergraduate problems thathas gradually come about is furnished by a reading of Mr. Mabie'sessay included herein. At the time of its production Mr. Mabie saw theneed of a greater degree of organization among the students, in orderthat the college might thereby become more of a community. Howdirectly opposed the present-day cry is! Student organization hasto-day so spread and so wound itself about the very life of thecollege, that it threatens to hide the intellectual aims for which thecollege exists. The editors venture to express the opinion that, hadMr. Mabie written when they are writing, his essay would perhaps havehad a di --This text refers to the Kindle Edition edition.
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