The department of elocution, so important and valuable, will soon suffer another loss in the near departure of Mr. Sargent, whose capabilities have been so clearly appreciated by the Madison Square Theatre. It is unfortunate that this second break in elocutionary instruction should follow so closely upon the confusion caused by the departure of Mr. Riddle earlier in the year. Appointments were interfered with, and the remaining instructors overburdened with work, to the great detriment of all concerned. In numerous instances last fall, men whose appointments were to be made with Mr. Riddle did not finally begin to receive instruction, after the rearrangement and appointment of Mr. Jones, until near the Christmas vacation. Now, after two-thirds of the year are passed (nearly half of which was lost in many cases), and men had begun to reap their advantages, the whole course is again thrown into confusion. The consequences will be particularly hard on those prospective candidates for the Bowdoin prize speaking, whose work will be interrupted and system of instruction interfered with. The inconvenience and loss of time thus resulting from these two resignations seems to call for a practical reform in the methods of appointing the instructors in elocution. At present the appointments are merely annual, and the subjects of them feel that they are accepting their positions only till better opportunities for advancement present themselves. Harvard should, perhaps, feel complimented by the success attained by Mr. Riddle and Mr. Sargent, but the students of elocution under them little appreciate our institution being made a training-school for the drama. The level of the department of elocution should be raised to its due importance, and the service extended, so that the instructors may feel that they occupy positions which are permanent and lucrative enough to be retained.
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