A Compliment in Season

Praise deserved and praise unstinted goes up to the Founders of the ATLANTIC. The present editor joins the chorus: but without disparagement to his famous predecessors and their more famous contributors who have gone before, he would like at this lime of jubilation to offer up his special meed of thanks to those without whose aid and comfort editors and contributors alike are powerless and dumb. To the subscriber belongs and always has belonged the final credit for the ATLANTIC.

As I select the contents of this anniversary number from the hundred and fifty volumes which make up the ATLANTIC’S record, looking through and beyond them I seem to see a great army of readers, rank behind rank, and uppermost in my mind is the thought that the success of the first editor was based on the simple fact that he addressed himself to a body of men and women like-minded with himself. They were the kind of people he knew and respected and liked to talk to. With their aid he was free to make the ATLANTIC expressive of his own sympathies. His tongue was never in his cheek as is a way with editors, nor did he affect a companionship with his readers which he did not feel. And as it was in the days of Lowell, so it is seventy-five years later. In 1932, subscribers to the ATLANTIC are in spiritual descent, lineal and direct, from the subscribers of 1857, just as the magazine is in authentic line from the Founders. Bonnets have altered their plumes, and pantaloons their cut, just as printers’ types have changed and certain elegancies of expression, but the ATLANTIC still makes the same appeal, and the answer still sounds from the same quarter.

So, I say, let readers, too, have their day of celebration. Let them, too, praise their famous men and the fathers that begat them, and when the hundred and fiftieth birthday of the ATLANTIC rolls round, may their great-grandchildren feel the pride of their descent and help to make of the ATLANTIC what it has been, is, and shall be.