recognized voice of the British Empire
; and it is this which renders much of the writing in the Times
as safe, as vague, and as pointless, as a diplomatist's dispatch.
The Times is further trammeled by the business necessity of keeping on terms with those who have it in their power to give and withhold important intelligence.
And, still further, by the fact, that general England
, whom it addresses, is not up to the liberality of the age—in which the leading minds alone fully participates.
Thus, it happens, that the articles in a paper like The Leader, which reaches only the liberal class, are often more pointed, more vigorous, more interesting, than those of the Times
, though the resources of the Leader are extremely limited, and the Times
can have its pick of the wit, talent, and learning of the empire.
When a man writes with perfect freedom, then, and only then, he writes his best
. Without claiming for the Tribune a perfect innocence of axe-grinding, it may with truth be sail, that the power of its leading editorial articles is vastly increased by the fact, that those who write them, do so with as near an approach to perfect freedom, i. e
. sincerity, as the nature of newspaper-writing, at present, admits of. What it gains, too, in spirit and interest by having the preposterous inaptitude of the Southern
press to ridicule, and the horrors of Southern brutality to denounce, is sufficiently known.
But it is time we returned to the office.
It is ten o'clock in the morning.
The clerks in the office are at their posts, receiving advertisements, recording them, entering the names of new subscribers received by the morning's mail, of which on some mornings of the year there are hundreds.
It is a busy scene.
Up the dismal stairs to a dingy door in the third story, upon which we read, ‘Editorial Rooms of the New York Tribune. H. Greeley
We ought not to be allowed to enter, but we are, and we do; no one hinders us, or even notices our entrance.
First, a narrow passage, with two small rooms on the left, whence, later in the day, the rapid hum of proof-reading issues unceasingly, one man reading the “copy” aloud, another having his eyes fixed upon the slip of proof.
One may insert his visage into the square aperture in the doors of these minute apartments, and gaze upon the performance with persistent impertinence; but the proof-reading goes on, like a machine.
At this hour, however, these rooms contain no one.