The blue pencil was never out of use. No writer was too great, no subject too important to escape its rapid and unerring stroke.
During this entire decade, James S. Pike, of Maine, afterwards minister to the Netherlands, was one of the principal correspondents and contributors to the Tribune. He wrote much and well, but, like the rest, he came under the correcting influence of Dana's criticism.
This is well illustrated by a letter from Dana having reference to Pike's Campaign life of General Scott, and to the assignment of Bayard Taylor as secretary to Commodore Perry in the Japanese expedition.
Having taken liberties with Pike's proofs, he wrote:
Pike's proofs, he wrote:
If you don't like this swear all you wish, but you can't help it. The thing is put through, and what you may say is a matter of perfect indifference.
And then, as though to soothe the wounded feelings of his friend, he added in the next paragraph:
I have discovered that I am necessary to you. Without me who would take