The first number of the long expected Harvard Monthly appeared yesterday. With it we feel justified in saying opens a new era in the student literary life of Harvard. Established with the express purpose of affording a medium for "the strongest and soberest undergraduate thought" of the college, it offers to solid literary work an incentive which has ever been wanting in this university. And it is especially fitting that the initial step in this direction should be made by the present senior class, a class which possesses so many men of marked literary ability.
The unique form and general typographical make-up of the new monthly is extremely pleasing; it is quite a departure from the form of any magazine we have seen. The table of contents consists of stories, sketches, criticisms, poems, editorials and book reviews, choice morsels for the most delicate palate. It was announced that a feature of each number would be an article from the pen of some prominent alumnus, and common report assigned to Mr. Wendell the honor of contributing the first of this series. Such proves to be the case. The Monthly opens with a sketch by the author of the Duchess Emilia, entitled "Draper." We must confess to a little disappointment in reading it, and dared we say it, we would remark that this article is not the feature of the magazine. C. O. Hurd, '86, has a critical article on Poe's "Murders in the Rue Morgue," in which Poe is called to task for want of logic in his story. A strange thing, full of pathos and power is the personal reminiscence of J. S. Phillips, '85, entitled "Joe and I." It is well conceived and contains a psychological study of deep interest. "A Power of the Past," by J. E. Sinnott, '86, is a piece of unusual merit. G. R. Carpenter, '86, contributes "Bonne Esperance," an exquisite bit of description.
Poetry forms an important part of this number. "Destiny," by T. P. Sanborn, '86, and a Sonnet by G. Santayana, '86, are charming bits of verse. The "Song of the Mountain," by W. A. Leahy, '88, is a poem of unusual power and vigor, and shows the marks of genius in its author. The poet of the class of eighty-six, A. B. Houghton, contributes "A Ballad to Don Quixote," which breaths forth the true poetic spirit. These, with book reviews and editorials make up the number. Judged by this first issue the Harvard Monthly is a decided success, as we had every thought that it would be. And so long as it is conducted by its present able board of editors, these will be no deterioration in its merit.
It is announced that the next number will contain an article by Mr. F. B. Sanborn, the well known critic and author; and that to the December number "J. S. of Dale," the author of Guerndale, will contribute. The following constitute the board of editors of the Monthly: - Editor-in-chief, A. B. Houghton; editors, G. R. Carpenter, W. M. Fullerton, T. P. Sanborn and G. Santayana; business manager, W. W. Baldwin.