play a great part in the history of every civilized nation, and in that of every nation yet to be civilized.
Not that Editors are, in all cases, or in most, the wisest of men; not that editorial writing has a greater value than hasty composition in general.
Editors are a useful, a laborious, a generous, an honorable class of men and women, and their writings have their due effect.
But, that part of the newspaper which interests, awakens, moves, warns, inspires, instructs and educates all classes and conditions of people, the wise and the unwise, the illiterate and the learned, is the news!
And the News, the same news, at nearly the same instant of time, is communicated to all the people of this fair and vast domain which we inherit, by the instrumentality of the Cheap Press
, aided by its allies the Rail and the Wire.
A catastrophe happens to-day in New York.
New Orleans shudders to-morrow at the recital; and the Nation shudders before the week ends.
A “Great word,” uttered on any stump in the land, soon illuminates a million minds.
A bad deed is perpetrated, and the shock of disgust flies with electric rapidity from city to city, from State to State—from the heart that records it to every heart that beats.
A gallant deed or a generous one is done, or a fruitful idea is suggested, and it falls, like good seed which the wind scatters, over all the land at once.
Leave the city on a day when some stirring news is rife, travel as far and as fast as you may, rest not by day nor night; you cannot easily get where that News is not, where it is not the theme of general thought and talk, where it is not doing its part in informing, or, at least, exciting the public mind.
Abandon the great lines of travel, go rocking in a stage over corduroy roads, through the wilderness, to the newest of new villages, a cluster of log-houses, in a field of blackened stumps, and even there you must be prompt with your news, or it will have flown out from a bundle of newspapers under the driver's seat, and fallen in flakes all over the settlement.
The Cheap Press—its importance cannot be estimated!
It puts every mind in direct communication with the greatest minds, which all, in one way or another, speak through its columns.
It brings the Course of Events
to bear on the progress of every individual.
It is the great leveller, elevator and democraticizer.
It makes this huge Commonwealth, else so heterogeneous and disunited, think with one