The Monthly.

The December Monthly's table of contents is unusually varied, containing a story, two essays, a sketch, three poems, a communication, and a general article.

The latter is by Dr. Edward Everett Hale and occupies the place of honor. In his usual perspicuous and forcible manner, Dr. Hale dwells upon the work which the Union is accomplishing, and lays stress upon the great help that a college man gets when he breaks the seclusion of the cloister - if his every-day college life may be so dignified - and enters into a free and natural relation with all sorts and conditions of men. "The business of university men," says Dr. Hale, "is to carry the training which the university has given them in the infinite realities and in intellectual methods, to any persons who ask for their help or are willing to receive it. And at the same time it is the business of a university man to get from quick-minded and intelligent persons around him all the suggestions which they can give as to method and life."

All Harvard men who read "Behind the Curtain" in the Advocate last spring will note with interest its author's latest work in the December Monthly, entitled "The Coming Man in Fiction." It is a psychical study of the dominant hero of fiction as he will appear in the near future. The originality and the masculine strength of the English are as strongly marked as is the general incoherence of the whole sketch. What its author says of the future hero of fiction understands by life, "a sum of sensations, strained and attenuated to the last point of consciousness" - might well be applied to the whole article.

"Rational," by John Cummings, in its general tendency reminds us of the article just under discussion, although lacking the unquestionable virility of diction of the latter. The author lets his thoughts carry him into the clouds, metaphorically and specifically speaking, and indulges in more or less dithyrambic philosophizing, which, while wanting the syllogistic method of deductive reasoning, is at least interesting. The title does not connote the substance of the article.

In "The Ballade," Mr. McCulloch gives a masterly dissertation on the history of this form of verse and of its masters, dwelling particularly upon Guillaume de Machault, Charles d' Orleans, and Francois Villon, the greatest of them all, who certainly has not been equalled in modern times.

"Sawdust" is a sketch of much power. In it Mr. Hapgood has delineated two characters, - a woman whose passion and love for a certain man are not returned, and the man. The scene which he portrays is incontestably vivid.

But by far the best thing in the Monthly is Mr. Moody's poem "Angelle." The work of its author has been of a constantly progressive nature, and when it is considered that the first verse which its author published two years ago was very good, the extreme excellence of the poem of which we now speak is inferentially acknowledged. "Angelle" is a fairly long poem, and yet so well is the interest of the narrative sustained, so exquisite is the diction in places, that one cannot help but read it through after he has once begun it and read it through with the keenest pleasure. The first and third parts appear to us the most artistic of the four divisions of the poem; for in the second, the simplicity which the best art would give to Angelle's monody, is wanting. That numerous lines linger in one's memory is one of the best proofs of the poem's excellence.

An anonymous "Sonnet" deserves much praise for its quiet elegance of diction, and "An Oxford Poem" is interesting as a clever parody on Mocaulay's Lays.