is not the least conservative of men, yet, from his practice of giving every new thought and every new man a healing in the columns of his paper, unthinking persons received the impression that he was an advocate
of every new idea, and a champion
of every new man. They thought the Tribune was an unsafe, disorganizing paper.
‘An excellent paper,’ said they, ‘and honest, but then it's so full of isms
The Times stepped in with a complaisant bow, and won over twenty thousand of the ism-hating class in a single year, and yet without reducing the circulation of either of its elder rivals.
Where those twenty thousand subscribers came from is one of the mysteries of journalism.
In the spring of 1853 the Tribune signalized its entrance into its teens' by making a very costly mistake.
It enlarged its borders to such an extent that the price of subscription did not quite cover the cost of the white paper upon which it was printed, thus throwing the burden of its support upon the advertiser.
And this, too, in the face of the fact that the Tribune, though the best vehicle of advertising then in existence, was in least favor among the class whose advertising is the most profitable.
Yet it was natural for Horace Greeley
to commit an error of this kind.
Years ago he had written, ‘Better a dinner of herbs with a large circulation than a stalled ox with a small one.’
And, in announcing the enlargement, lie said, ‘We are confessedly ambitious to make the Tribune the leading journal of America
, and have dared and done somewhat to that end.’
How much he “ dared” in the case of this enlargement may be inferred from the fact that it involved an addition of $1,044 to the weekly, $54,329 to the annual, expenses of the concern.
Yet he “dared” not add a cent to the price of the paper, which it is thought he might have done with perfect safety, because those who like the Tribune like it very much, and will have it at any price.
Men have been heard to talk of their Bible, their Shakspeare
, and their Tribune, as the three necessities of their spiritual life; while those who dislike it, dislike it excessively, and are wont to protest that they should deem their houses defiled by its presence.
The Tribune, however, stepped bravely out under its self-imposed load of white paper.
In one year the circulation of the Daily increased from 17,640 to 26,880, the Semi-Weekly from 3,120 to 11,400, the Weekly