The April number of the Monthly is chiefly devoted to literary subjects. The graduate article, however, continues the discussion of independence in politics, begun by Mr. M. Storey and Mr. H. H. Darling. In "Public Opinion as a Force," Mr. T. Wheelwright has answered convincingly some of the arguments advanced by Mr. Darling in "Partisanship or Independence in Politics-a Choice" although on other points he has not met his opponent squarely. Taking the ground that "strictly speaking we are all foreigners in America," he shows that we have a "huge, ignorant vote" of Europeans and Africans which must be trained to an intelligent support of our institutions. This must be the task of active, educated men, "of vigorously independent minds," for an "enlightened public opinion alone can master the great race and economic problems" before us. The writer then goes on to show the great influence of public opinion in pushing measures of reform. He claims, contrary to Mr. Darling, that the best citizen should not feel "that it is his highest duty to save his party from the reproaches cast upon it by its opponents;'" for "a citizen's highest duty must be to his country," not to his party."
Mr. N. Hapgood discusses "Carlyle's Estimate of the Eighteenth Century." He does not agree with Carlyle that it was a "decrepit, death-sick era," when Addison, Defoe, Richardson founded the essay, the newspaper, the novel, when Burns, Goethe, Schiller were enriching poetry; when science was making enormous strides under the impulse of Franklin, Newton, Herschel. The writer concludes with a comparison of "Carlyle's harsh estimate" with "Mr. Lecky's admirable summary."
"Milton and Homer" by V. I X. shows the superficial resemblance be tween the epics of these two great poets, and their radical difference in spirit and substance. In the first place "Milton's poem is personal and Homer's is not;" then "in opposition to the simplicity, the unconsciousness, the grandeur of the Homeric poems," we have the "singlemindedness" of Milton. But at times both come together in "the really highest poetry."
The verse of this number is of an unusually high standard "Lai" by H. McCulloch, Jr., contains some fine thoughts and considerable expression. "Sea Dreams" by H. Bates recalls summer days of quiet musing by the water.
The first editorial criticises the man ner in which the English courses devoted to Shakespeare and Spencer are conducted. It urges greater attention to matter ann less to philology. The second is of more general interest. It shows that the only channels by which student opinion can find expression are the college papers; but that the graduates, the overseers, and the faculty, who especially should be in fluenced, seldom read the papers. It calls upon the students to recognize and insist upon their position, and thus compel outsiders to "turn to the papers that they may learn at leastone side of every question."