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The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 09, No. 55, May, 1862   By:

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In the pages of this literary periodical, readers will find a diverse selection of thought-provoking essays, fiction, and poetry. The contributors cover a wide range of topics, from politics and society to art and culture. One standout piece is a poignant meditation on the state of the nation during the Civil War, which offers a moving commentary on the moral and ethical implications of the conflict. Additionally, the fiction in this issue showcases a range of voices and styles, providing readers with ample opportunities to immerse themselves in captivating storytelling. Overall, this edition of The Atlantic Monthly is a compelling and engaging read that offers a valuable glimpse into the intellectual and creative landscape of its time.

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VOL. IX. MAY, 1862. NO. LV.


A vessel of war leaves its port, but no one on board knows for what object, nor whither it is bound. It is a secret Government expedition. As it sets out, a number of documents, carefully sealed, are put in charge of the commander, in which all his instructions are contained. When far away from his sovereign, these are to be the authority which he must obey; as he sails on in the dark, these are to be the lights on the deep by which he must steer. They provide for every stage of the way. They direct what ports to approach and what ports to avoid, what to do in different seas, what variation to make in certain contingencies, and what acts to perform at certain opportunities. Each paper of the series forbids the opening of the next until its own directions have been fulfilled; so that no one can see beyond the immediate point for which he is making.

The wide ocean is before that ship, and a wider mystery. But in the passage of time, as the strange cruise proceeds, its course begins to tell upon the chart. The zigzag line, like obscure chirography, has an intelligible look, and seems to spell out intimations... Continue reading book >>

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