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The March number of the Monthly is of varied interest and great excellence. It opens with an article on "Caucus Reform" by Mr. Richard H. Dana. Mr. Dana shows the strong necessity for improvement in the American caucus system, and then discusses the proposed reforms. The first step he advocates is "to regulate the system by statute law." He looks to the Australian ballot as the solution of several knotty problems, and instances its success in a recent election in Ward 11 of Boston. It gave publicity to the proceedings, equal power to all voters, more time for voting, and secrecy. The chief difficulty in reforming the caucus is to determine who is entitled to vote; but this trouble already exists under the present system. Mr. Dana considers that "the main provisions requiring an official caucus ballot, secrecy in voting, publishing the contents of the ballot a considerable time before the caucus, and furnishing a convenient means of getting names printed on the ballot with as little trouble as possible, certainly seem to promise very well." He points out that another step must still be taken-organization among different caucuses before the nominating convention. He closes with a warning that we should not be "in too much of a hurry to adopt any of the proposed legal schemes by legal enactment," for they are all untried and may be condemned on account of faulty detail, though the general plan is good.
"Madame Bovary," by J. B. Fletcher, is a discussion of Flaubert's method. The writer finds it to be that of a surgeon, rather than of an artist-for both treatment of life and description lack literary perspective. The minor characters, however, he considers excellent. The article is interesting and vigorous. It would be improved by omitting Flaubert's description of the beggar.
C. H. C. Wright contributes "Romance and Reality," an amusing tale. Will Temple's proposal to Miss Dyer is excellently deseribed.
An unusually large portion of the issue is occupied by verse of a high order Mr. G. Santayana contributes "Souvenir" from the French of Alfred de Musset, and H. McCulloch, Jr., "The Young Nun." "In Memory of F. B," a sonnet, is simple and full of feeling. "Love is Best" is one of the most ambitious articles which has recently appeared in the Monthly. It shows remarkable dramatic power, and considerable ability in character sketching.
The first of the "Communications" treats of one phase of "Harvard's Growth in the West." The writer suggests as "one conspicuous cause" why "Harvard's influence in the west is not what it should be" that Harvard does not hold examinations in Denver. The second letter criticises English C and D. The writer shows some faults which have appeared, especially that much of the work is crowded into a few days. He suggests as a remedy that the courses should be divided into sections.
The "Editorial" urges the substitution of unannounced for announced hour examinations, on the ground that the latter "hamper seriously many students," while the former are "more nearly in accord with the 'quickening principle of opportunity with responsibility." "The Month" reviews the President's report and the endowments of the university.
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