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[408] most of the thinking before he begins to write, and produces matter about as fast as a swift copyist can copy. Yet he leaves nothing for the compositor to guess at, and if he makes an alteration in the proof, he is careful to do it in such a way that the printer loses no time in “overrunning;” that is, he inserts as many words as he erases. Not unfrequently he bounds up into the composing-room, and makes a correction or adds a sentence with his own hand. He is not patient under the infliction of an error; and he expects men to understand his wishes by intuition; and when they do not, but interpret his half-expressed orders in a way exactly contrary to his intention, a scene is likely to ensue.

And so they write and read in the editorial rooms of the Tribune for some hours. Occasionally a City Reporter comes in with his budget of intelligence, or his short-hand notes, and sits down at a desk to arrange or write them out. Telegraphic messages arrive from the agent of the Associated Press, or from “our own correspondent.” Mr. Dana glances over them, sends them aloft, and, if they are important, indites a paragraph calling attention to the fact. That omnipresent creature, the down-town apple-woman, whom no labyrinth puzzles, no extent of stairs fatigues, no presence overawes, enters, and thrusts her basket in deliberate succession under each editorial nose. Some of the corps, deep in the affairs of the nation, pause in their writing, gaze at the woman in utter abstraction, slowly come to a sense of her errand, shake their heads, and resume their work. Others hurriedly buy an apple, and taking one prodigious bite, lay it aside and forget it. A band of music is heard in the street; it is a target-excursion returning late from Hoboken; it passes the office and gives it three cheers; the city men go to the windows; the rest write on unconscious of the honor that has been done them; the Tribune returns the salute by a paragraph.

Midnight. The strain is off. Mr. Greeley finished his work about eleven, chatted a while with Mr. Dana, and went home. Mr. Dana has received from the foreman the list of the articles in type, the articles now in hand, and the articles expected; he has designated those which must go in; those which it is highly desirable should go in, and those which will “keep.” He has also marked the order in which the articles are to appear; and, having performed this last duty, he returns the list to the compositor, puts on his coat and departs.

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