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The burdens of college work were not so heavy as to prevent Lowell's assuming the editorship of “The Atlantic Monthly,' a new literary magazine with an anti-slavery bias. He held this post from 1857 to 1861, and proved to be one of the best of editors, though routine was irksome to him, and the vagaries of contributors called for more patience than he could at all times command. Two years after leaving the 'Atlantic' he undertook to edit the North American Review' in company with Charles Eliot Norton, on whom fell the chief responsibilities. Lowell, for his part, contributed to the ‘Review' many notable papers on politics and literature.
The Civil War called out much of Lowell's most spirited prose and not a little of his best poetry. A second series of Biglow Papers appeared in the 'Atlantic, and for the commemoration of sons of Harvard who had fought for the Union, Lowell wrote his magnificent Commemoration Ode. This noble performance was literally an improvisation, written in a single night.
At this point we may take note of Lowell's publications, subsequent to the Poems, 'second 'series. They are: A Fable for Critics, 1848; The Biglow Papers, 1848 ; Fireside Travels, 1864; The Biglow Papers, 'second series,' 1866; Under the Willows and Other Poems, 1869; The Catbedral, 1870; Among My Books, 1870; My Study Windows, 1871; Among My Books, ‘second series,' 1876; Three Memorial Poems, 1877; Democracy and Other Addresses, 1887; Political Addresses, 1888; Heartsease and Rue, 1888.
There appeared posthumously Latest Literary Essays, 1891; The Old English Dramatists, 1892; Letters of James Russell Lowell, edited by C. E. Norton, 1893 ; Last Poems, 1895; The AntiSlavery Papers of James Russell Lowell, 1902.
Lowell resigned his professorship in 1872 and went abroad for two years. Oxford conferred on him the degree of D. C. L. and Cambridge that of LL. D. ; it pleased him to regard the Cambridge degree 'as in a measure a friendly recognition of the University's daughter in the American
Cambridge. In 1874 he returned home, and on the opening of college was persuaded to resume his lectures.
During the presidential campaign of 1876 Lowell became politically active in ways new to him. He was a delegate to the Republican National convention and a presidential elector. His fellowtownsmen had wished him to accept a nomination for representative in Congress; but Lowell refused, believing himself unqualified for the post.
Not long after his inauguration President Hayes, at the instance of W. D. Howells, offered Lowell the Austrian mission, an honor the poet felt impelled to decline; when, however, it was learned that he would be very willing to go to Spain, the appointment was made. He arrived in Madrid on August 14, 1878. Two years later he was transferred to England. Reappointed by President Garfield, he held this important charge until the close of President Arthur's administration.
Few ministers have been as popular as he. And not the least factor of his popularity in England was his sturdy patriotism. Lowell was the author of the essay "On a Certain Condescension in 'Foreigners,' an essay which an ingratiating Anglican clergyman' says was meant to be overheard' in England. It were more exact to say that the essay was meant to be heard, and heard distinctly. They honor stoutness in each other,' said Emerson, noting the traits of the English people. And it is not unreasonable to believe that they also admire the same virtue in others.
The summer of 1885 Lowell passed at Southborough, forty miles from Boston, the home of his daughter, Mrs. Burnett. He made a number of public addresses, gave a Lowell Institute course of lectures on the Old English Dramatists,'argued the question of International Copyright before a committee of the Senate, and is believed to have had real influence in persuading representatives of this great country that stealing is a sin. He found himself inveigled into an author's reading, and humorously bewailed his weakness in ever having written a line of poetry. The demands upon him were enormous. It was now an effort 1 H. R. Haweis : American Humorists.
for him to do things, and if the grasshopper had not yet become a burden, public occasions had, and more than once he was obliged to beg off from keeping a promise inconsiderately made.
He enjoyed being in England for the summer, and usually divided his time between London and Whitby. The last of these visits took place in 1889. The ensuing winter he gave to a careful revision of his writings. In the spring of 1890 he was ill for six weeks, and though he recovered enough to be able to move about a little and to welcome his friends, serious work was out of the question. He wrote two or three short papers, and had strong inducements held out to him to write more, but the time for writing was past, and he knew it.
His sufferings during his last illness were great, but he bore them like the man he was. Lowell died at Elmwood, Cambridge, on August 12, 1891.
'I am a kind of twins myself, divided between grave and gay,' said Lowell, in one of those rare moments when he condescended to self-analysis. The duality of temperament here pointed at is one secret of the fascination he exerted on all who were privileged to know him intimately. The fascination was certainly great and the tributes to it numerous. Lowell's personality was so winning, and the man was so genuine, human, and lovable, that it is difficult to speak of him in terms having even the semblance of impartiality. Although strong-willed and positive, not indisposed now and then to indulge himself in the luxury of stubbornness, he was open-minded, wholly unselfish, kind-hearted, affectionate, and gentle; and while he had his reserves he was democratic in all the best senses of the word, for his democracy sprang from the depths of his nature. Changeable in his moods, he could be teasing, whimsical, irritating; but when he was most mocking and perverse he was most delightful.
There is something very attractive in Lowell's attitude toward literature and literary fame. Books were an essential part of his life. He had mastered that difficult art of reading as few men have mastered it. He was rarely endowed as a poet and prose-writer. And yet Lowell, the most complete illustration we have of the literary man, showed no inclination to magnify the importance of letters.
As to his individual achievements, he not only never thought of himself more highly than he ought to think, but was the rather inclined to place too low an estimate on the value of his work. Selfdistrust increased with years. Nevertheless, Lowell indulged himself in no philosophy of despair. He