The Harvard Monthly.
Under the title of "Mr. Hamerton on Literature in a Republic," Mr. Higginson expresses the opinion that an author is far superior to an English duke or an American millionaire. It is with interest that we read this essay, and it is with deep-felt grief that we turn from it to the poem entitled "From Platen." In the last Monthly Mr. Berenson gave us a specimen of poetry which was hardly creditable to his literary ability. This time he offers us a short piece which does credit neither to his power of versification, nor to his judgment in selecting such an extract for translation. The lines are disjointed and unmelodious, while the idea contained in them is so trivial and insignificant that only the most masterly treatment could have made it justifiable. Mr. Sempers and Mr. Wister contribute very readable articles. Of the two, Mr. Sempers' will appeal to the more purely literary element of the college, while Mr. Wister, by his rather colloquial style and less abstruse subject, will have more readers, though perhaps less appreciative ones. Mr. Bruce strikes a new note and gives us a study of low life, which is not very satisfactory. It lacks smoothness and force, and is a trifle coarse. The story, as told, is not a thing complete in it self; it is rather a glimpse of what goes on around us, as if the clouds had parted for an instant, and shown us some of the painful, realities of life. This sudden flash of light is what one wants; out we want it so to strike upon the retina as to give us a distinct, forceful picture, not a mere jumble like the images of a kaleidoscope. Besides these prose works the number contains two poems which are not very good. Mr. Sanford's sonnet is especially rough. There are one or two beautiful lines in it, but the general effect is crude and contradictory.