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The March number of the Monthly appeared yesterday. The chief claim of this number to excellence lies in the fact that it is fortunate enough to present articles by Dr. Dr. A. P. Peabody and Mr. Francis C. Lowell.
Dr. Peabody's paper on "Style" is not only highly interesting reading, but is also high instructive as regards English composition. He first lays down the law that "a liberally educated man ought to be able to express himself correctly, perspicuously, and not inelegantly, in his own language." Going on, he considers the Bible the best type of pure English style, and deprecates the fact that many of our words have lost the original meaning. Finally he closes by pointing out mistakes common to writers of the present time.
Mr. Sempers contributes a charming bit of verse, "From a Window." The thought underlying it is very good.
"The President's report for 1886-87," by Mr. Francis Cabot Lowell, an overseer of the University, is an admirable article. One realizes after reading it, but little he really knew of the organization of the University and of the important changes constantly in progress. The University is in a very unsettled state at present, owing to vital reforms now under consideration. The question of conferring an A. B. in three years is touched upon. Every students should make it his business to read this article.
"Miss Sandusky" is certainly a strange story, ending in a totally unexpected and very abrupt manner. It is not always clear, and sometimes it is impossible to follow the writer's meaning. The dialogue is so jerky and piecemeal as to mar the effect.
An article on "College Expenses" covers most the same ground as Professor Palmer's paper read at the last Commencement. We think that Mr. Leighton's estimates are somewhat high, and that his lowest sum, $600, would bear material reduction. There is certainly a large class of men who do not spend more than $500 a year at Harvard.
"A Chapter on Mr. Stevenson's Dreams," is an attempt to explain psychologically the remarkable dream which furnish Mr. Stevenson with material for his work. The writer takes good ground and his theory seems reasonable. Following this article, as if suggested by it is a short poem, "Dreams."
"A Study in Swinburne," the last prose article, is a literary criticism of that gentleman as a dramatist, a writer of lyrical poetry, and as a critic of poetry. The article is carefully written and is doubtless of great interest to students of Swinburne. To other readers it cannot be expected to appeal.
Mr. Sanford's verse, suggested by Horace, is a happy poetical rendering into English of the old Roman's idea.
"In Early Spring," a poem by Bliss Carman, follows and editorial maintaining that by the nature of things at Harvard, athletics must of necessity give first place to social pleasures, closes the number.
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