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A Williams Anthology

Produced by Afra Ullah, Gregory Margo and PG Distributed Proofreaders


A Collection of the Verse and Prose of Williams College






The present work owes its existence to a conviction on the part of its editors that much material published by past Williams undergraduates in past and present literary periodicals of the college, deserves a resurrection from the threatening oblivion of musty library shelves. That this conviction has been justified by the quality of the verse and prose herein published, the editors believe; and they therefore submit this volume to the public without undue fear as to its reception, adding only the caution that its readers remember always the tender age of the writers of these pages.

The purpose of the editors was to collect material which might be adjudged to possess real literary merit; but in some cases in which the historical interest attaching to the production, either by reason of its subject or by reason of the fame attained in later years by its author, is obvious, this rule has been waived. Among such exceptions may be cited that of the Resolutions addressed to President Adams by the students, and copied herein from the pages of the _Vidette_. The matter has been arranged in the order of class seniority, with two exceptions. It has seemed fitting to the editors to begin the work with that immortal song, "The Mountains"; the second exception is that of the series of biographical sketches entitled "Nine Williams Alumni," which for obvious reasons were published as a whole.

The editors burrowed through all files of the college publications which the college library contains, files which are reasonably complete. In such a mass of material, some ninety volumes, it will be astounding indeed if some creditable work has not been passed inadvertently over. If such a mistake has occurred it is at least pardonable. The editors fear only the presence of some unworthy matter in this volume, a sin of commission and hence vastly more heinous.

In going over the works of their academic ancestors the editors have been struck by several very interesting facts. The literary quality of the poetry, as all will recognize, has made a steady advance, until the last six years of the _Lit_. have seen the magazine second to none, for verse at least, in the intercollegiate press. Dutton, Westermann, Gibson, Holley, all of the same collegiate generation--they are names which are widely known and which have brought the college renown of a nature which, ordinarily, she is apt to obtain rather by athletic than by intellectual means. It is striking, too, to notice how the college poetry has changed during the seventy years of its existence, as the present compilers have known it. There are specimens of the "poetry" of the early days included herein, which find a place, as is intimated elsewhere, not so much for their intrinsic merit as for the interest attaching to them in other directions; and as for the prose of the _Quarterly_ and the _Vidette_, it was, indeed, like the essays of the college press to-day, carefully written and with a degree of that indescribable something called "style"; but so philosophical, heavy, and devoid of any human interest that we cannot imagine the average student going through the magazine at a sitting as (despite all reports to the contrary) is done with the college papers to-day.

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