The Monthly for July opens with a short but entertaining article by Edward Everett Hale on "Class Day in 1838 and 1839." Mr. Hale gives an interesting account of Class Day as it was fifty years ago, when the exercises were few and simple, and the punch, served in "the grove" near Appleton Chapel, was free to all in Cambridge. After the exercises around the tree, the visitors danced in front of Stoughton to the music of the Brigade band. The grandeurs of Class Day have certainly increased since those days, and the punch is no longer free to all.
"Ghostly" is a long and rather interesting story, though one is inclined to skip the preface which has almost nothing to do with the plot, and to begin the fiction at "Spoff's First Prayer." The story is well told, the scene laid in British Columbia, and the plot deals with a solitary hunter, who, compelled to spend the night in a deserted Indian village, meets there his hospitable ghost.
"The Poet Lenau's Voyage to America" is an exceedingly interesting account of this Austrian poet, almost unknown in this country. Born in Hungary, he entered the University of Vienna, where he stood well in his studies, but was not inclined towards any one of them. In later years a restless desire for new scenery drove him to America, where he hoped to find his Elysium. How he found it, and his impression of this country, is well shown in his letters home, where he describes, in terms that would be rather humorous were there not a grain of truth in them, the haste and worry of Americans and what he considers their inordinate desire for money.
"Spent" is the chief fiction number of the magazine. Although rather well written, it deals with a plot not especially agreeable and rather drawn out. A few touches of description in it are well done.
In the "Popular Author of Today," the writer brings up again the well known fact that the standard of literature today is not high, that the publications of such books as "Mr. Barnes of New York" and "She" are more eagerly awaited than novels of a higher order. Yet with all this mess of literary work, true literary merit, he thinks, is not hidden.
The only poetry number, "A Sickroom Fancy" is long and rather meaningless, though parts of it read smoothly.
The editorial dealing with athletic leagues and the usefulness of the Athletic Committee, and a review of the interesting book of "Original Charades" written by Professor Briggs completes the number.