In view of the fact that the foundation of a University Club in Cambridge has been discussed by prominent graduates, and in view of the fact that no plan for a university club could be carred out unless more than a passive acquiesence in the scheme was manifested by the undergraduates, it is interesting to note the sentiment of the undergraduate body as it has been expressed by the presidents of the respective classes in the present issue of the Monthly. As far as can be judged by their messages, the undergraduate attitude toward the proposed university club is something like this: "If the club could be established in might do something towards making men feel that they had something more in common with each other; but whether the University Club can be established or not is doubtful, and even if it can be established, yet it is a question whether it would secure the objects for which it was founded."
Is this the way to answer the efforts of graduates who are talking seriously of expending $100,000 for the benefit largely of Harvard undergraduates? Is it an adequate encouragement to their loyalty fervently to exclaim as does the Monthly's editorial,- "We feel, therefore, the greatest gratification at the interest which the graduates of Harvard show in the plans, and we must hope that their generous efforts will bring succers"? Is gratification and hope of success all we are going to hold out to those who are working so strenuously for us?
In justice to the message of R. H. Stevenson, let it be said that, though not taken strongly, yet the position is well taken that "we want the personal acquaintance and intimacy of man with man; the intimacy of men with different and opposing ideas, aims, and ambitions; the intimacy of the scholar with the club man, the athlete with the musician." Immediately afterwards he placidly assures us that after all, "A university club will not give to any great extent this personal intimacy." What a chance there was here for a man to stand forth and declare that since we need a more democratic spirit, a greater mixing of personalities, and that, since a university club affords the best opportunity we know of for bringing about this result, we, therefore want a university club and a university club we must have.
"The Literary Study of the Classics," by Charles P. Parker, is an exposition of the ideals of the Jowett Club, an association of students interested in classical literature, "organized on the idea that personal conference is of the essence of literary work." If we are to abide by the principle that every man should be a master of one subject and at least an appreciator of all others, then it may be said of Mr. Parker's essay that every classical student must read it with profit and others will read it with more than passive appreciation.
"Tangent," by Edward H. James, is by all odds the cleverest story in the Monthly. Of it may be said as has been of Henry James's novels that "the characters lounge, and the plot proceeds out of their mouths." The interest in the story is all in the dialogue and in the subtle shades of feeling which are connoted with great nicety. The story has a peculiar charm in that the interest in it lingers after the last word has been read. Understanding as we do that "Tangent" was written some years ago, we can not help bewailing that the author has not been more often heard from.
Robert P. Utter's story entitled "A Fate Forestalled" does not excite one's interest at first. In the climax, however, the success of the whole piece is at once crystalized, and the reader is left with the impression that the story is distinctly worth while.
J. P. Cotton has some lines on a "Ghostly Figure of Late Accursed Memory," and R. W. Jennings a sketch called "My Little Friend."