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war for the Union the American flag was substituted for this portrait, and after the close of the war the contents of the number occupied the same place. In 1898, when the war with Spain broke out, the flag was again raised on the cover, and lowered only when the protocol was signed. From time to time, especially since the magazine came under the care of Mr. H. O. Houghton, improvements have been made in typography, paper, and binding; the display of the contents also has been made more clear, but the size and color of the cover and general air of the magazine have been preserved.
The articles at first were not signed, the publishers did not publicly announce them, and the table of contents accompanying each volume did not contain the names of authors annexed to their several contributions. This last practice was begun in the ninth volume, and at the beginning of the twenty-sixth the present custom was adopted of signing each article with the author's name; the practice continued, however, of withholding signatures from reviews and articles in departments. When the first general index was published in 1877, and especially when the second comprehensive index in 1889 was prepared, pains was taken to record the authors' names of all unsigned articles of every description save one.
In the first number Mr. Lowell introduced a department of a somewhat personal order, called The Round Table, but he probably took alarm at the prospect of having to keep it up with his own writing, and he did not repeat the experiment. In 1872, shortly after coming into office as sole editor, Mr. Howells organized a group of departments, covering literature, science, art, politics, music, and subsequently education; he had the special coöperation of Mr. Thomas Sergeant Perry in French and German Literature, Mr. John Fiske in Science, Mr. William Foster Apthorp in Music, and Mr. Arthur George Sedgwick in Politics. These departments were discontinued in 1877. For a few numbers, also, in 1876 and 1877, the experiment was tried of giving original music accompanying original songs. In 1877 Mr. Howells introduced The Contributors' Club. He had from time to time received sprightly letters from contributors and others, sometimes containing good-humored criticism of the contents of the magazine, and as a frugal editor he disliked to see so much good "copy" wasted; accordingly, he began making use of excerpts from the letters, but the club quickly passed beyond this simple function, and became the vehicle for light table talk on a variety of themes by a number of persons. One article in the club would lead to another, and the shelter afforded by the anonymous nature of the contributions led to much free speech. Perhaps no one writer contributed so many articles which provoked other articles as the late E. R. Sill. The authorship of articles in the club is not disclosed in the otherwise full Atlantic Index. In 1896 another department was added and resorted to irregularly, under the name Men and Letters, designed to give opportunity for brief signed articles on authors and literary topics, but not formal reviews of books.
Reviews of books have formed a special feature from the outset, and a reference to the Index will disclose the fact that besides the editors, a number of the foremost critics in the country have been engaged in this work. In 1880 the reviews of current literature, which
formerly had been in a department by themselves, were made regular, though still unsigned articles at the close of each number, the practice being adopted of grouping kindred works, when practicable, in a single article. Of late there have been frequent departures from this practice, and many reviews have been signed, especially when they have been large studies of special subjects or authors. In 1879 Mr. Howells added to the regular reviews a summary of current publications, with rapid comments, under the title of Books of the Month. This department in 1891 was renamed Comment on New Books, and was continued until the spring of 1897, when the great increase in special book journals and the enormous multiplication of literature induced the conductors to abandon the Comment as a small-type department.
The line which stands on the cover of the magazine below the title indicates briefly the scope of The Atlantic and the purpose it has always held. It is above all devoted to literature. Not only is the subject of literature itself constantly considered, but what is more to the point, the magazine contains works of literary art, and it aims at the best literary form in all its articles. The lasting contributions to American literature which had their first appearance in The Atlantic cannot readily be reckoned. In poetry it has had the honor to print for the first time a large number of poems by Emerson, Longfellow, Bryant, Whittier, Lowell, Holmes, Bayard Taylor, Stedman, Aldrich, Howells, T. W. Parsons, Fawcett, Alice Cary, Helen Hunt, to say nothing of younger writers, and it has always given hospitality to new names, making the hospitality of special worth by the care with which it has guarded against the admission of the commonplace. In fiction it has had a series of novels which are among the books that have not been pushed aside by temporary fashion. It includes stories by Hawthorne, Mrs. Stowe, Holmes, Howells, Henry James, Aldrich, Bret Harte, E. E. Hale, A. S. Hardy, Thomas Hardy, Crawford, Charles Egbert Craddock, Mrs. Elizabeth Stuart Phelps Ward, Stockton, Miss Jewett, Gilbert Parker, Mrs. Wiggin, Mrs. Catherwood, Mrs. Deland, Paul Leicester Ford, and F. Hopkinson Smith. One field of literature it has occupied with many delightful articles, that of personal reminiscences. Mrs. Kemble published here her Old Woman's Gossip, Dr. Edward Everett Hale his A New England Boyhood, Dr. George Birkbeck Hill A Talk over Autographs, Mrs. Lathrop Some Memories of Hawthorne, Mr. Fields Our Whispering Gallery, later named Yesterdays with Authors, Simon Newcomb his Reminiscences of an Astronomer, Colonel Higginson his Cheerful Yesterdays, Prince Kropotkin his Autobiography, and Mrs. Julia Ward Howe her Reminiscences.
As a special exponent of American politics and history, The Atlantic has never lost sight either of the foundations of national life or of the great questions of current interest. Before and during the war for the union it had trenchant political papers by Lowell and others, and it published the second series of Lowell's masterly Biglow Papers. Mr. Parton in his biography of Jefferson, Dr. Parkman in his studies in colonial history, and Dr. John Fiske in a great variety of historical papers, afterward gathered into his several books, are a few of the contributors in this field. A quarter of a century after the war, there
appeared three illuminating papers summing up the consciousness of
The series by Mr. Godkin of studies in recent democracy is but
In brief, The Atlantic aims at representing the interests of culti-
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Auscultation and Percussion. Clapp...
Authorship of Shakespeare. Holmes... 63