IT becomes the sad duty of the editors of the “ATLANTIC” to record the death of its founder, MR. M. D. PHILLIPS. It indicates no ordinary force of character, that a man, dying at the age of forty-six, should have worked himself, solely by his own talents and integrity, to the head of one of the largest publishing-houses of the country. But it was not merely by strength and tenacity of purpose, and by clearness of judgment, that Mr. Phillips was distinguished. He had also a generous ambition, and aims which transcended the sphere of self and the limits of merely commercial success. Showing, as he did, a rare courage (and that of the best kind, for it was a courage based upon experience and qualified by discretion) in beginning the publication of the “Atlantic” during the very storm and stress of the financial revulsion of 1857, it was by no means as a mere business speculation that he undertook what seemed a doubtful enterprise. His wish and hope were, that the “Atlantic” should represent what was best in American thought and letters; and while he had no doubt of ultimate pecuniary profit, his chief motive was the praiseworthy ambition to associate his name with an undertaking which should result in some good to letters and some progress in Ideas and principles which were dear to him.

We speak of him as we saw him. He would not have wished a garrulous eulogy or a cumbrous epitaph. A character whose outline was simple and bold, and which was marked by certain leading and high qualities, demands few words, if only they be sincere. It is less painful to say that good word for the dead, which it is the instinct of human nature to offer, when we can say, as of Mr. Phillips, that his mind was strong and clear, that it was tenacious of experience, and therefore both rapid and safe in decision, that he was courageous and constant, and acted under the inspiration of desires and motives which he can carry with him into the new sphere to which he has passed.