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The April number of the Monthly is of unusual general interest. The graduate contribution and two communications are devoted to the athletic question, and come at an exceedlngly opportune moment. "The Athletic Question," is contributed by Mr. W. H. Goodwin, Jr. He considers that the present tendency toward specializing can be counteracted by rousing a general interest in all branches of athleticts through class games, offering second and third prizes in events, and forming dormitory crews. A stricter public opinion in regard to training and to the efficiency of the officers of the different associations would also be "a vast stride toward success." But "to ensure lasting results men must go into athletics for the pure enjoyment of the thing itself." There should also "be concentration and co-operation." Mr. Goodwin concludes that Harvard's "success is dependent solely on the amount of work, of energy and enthusasm the men at college are willing to throw into their athletic sports."
Mr. B. W. Crownmshield writes a communication to stimulate Harvard rowing. He urges that there should be a general interest in boating so that the captain of the university crew may be able to pick his men not merely from the big heavy men, but from men who know how to row. Each man should be taught to row in the manner best suited to his individual peculiarities. Finally the crew should take advantage of every opportunity for a race.
Another phase of the athletic question is discussed by Mr. L. McK. Garrison. He argues that to the system of intercollegiate leagues are due "the blocking of useful rules by smaller colleges, the retention of the 'assisted athlete' system, the vile wrangles in the public press, and jockey tricks of every description;"-and all for "the artificial and empty name" of championships. What Harvard wishes now is to play her "nearest neighbor and first rival," whether the arrangement "be called a 'league' or not."
"A History of Oberon" is contributed by Mr. C. H. C. Wright, who traces the fairy king back to the French poem of about 1200. He attributes the myth to the same source as that of Alberich of the Nibelungenlied; and considers that the Oberons of Shakespeare and later writers "are far inferior cretions" to the original.
Mr. R. W. Herrick describes a shifless, hopeless family, in his article entitled "Squalor." The picture is vividly drawn, and Mrs. Calkins and the parson stand out as if they were real persons.
"A Chorus of Wagner," by W. M. Moody, has something of the grandeur in thought of one of Wagner's conceptions, but is extremely unmusical. Some of its epithets are poorly chosen, and it seems rather strange for the "wild eye" to continue "glaring" after its owner has become "shriveled, dead." Mr. 'H. McCulloch's "Ballad" is a pretty fancy well expressed. The best of the poetical contributions is Mr. H. Bates' "Somewhere." It is imaglnative and melodious, and makes a pleasing and original poem out of what might have seemed a commonplace subject.
The "editorials" repeat the just complaint which has been made this year of too great a press of thesis work. The charge is laid upon the English deparment. A thorough discussion of the trouble and its effects leads to the suggestion of the following reforms: "Every considerable piece of writing should be judged as English." A limis should be set to thesis work "eyond which no student should go except by his own deliberace caoion English O and D would count for more than at present," and would "include all the theses allowed."
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