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the British Association for the Advancement of Science. To this body also the world is greatly indebted for what it has contributed to the enlightment of mankind. Now, will it be believed that the investigators and correspondents of the Herald in every clime, wherever important information is to be obtained, have done more to enlighten the world during the last decade than those two great institutions combined, encouraged, as each is, by the substantial aid of a government distinguished for its public spirit and liberality? There are, indeed, many who will not believe it, because this is one of those instances in which the facts seem stranger than the wildest romance. Is not this true, for example, of the Herald's expedition in search of Dr. Livingstone, and of the results already accomplished by that expedition ?
Let us revert once more to the ancient philosophers, who are justly venerated as instructors of mankind. Their chief biographer * boasts that Alexander stopped while passing through Athens, to speak to Diogenes in his tub, and that the philosopher did not consider himself at all honored by the condescension of the conqueror, but was rather uncivil to him. Upon the other hand, he informs us that the frown of Pericles, though only an imaginary frown, was sufficient to induce Anaxagoras to cover his head with his mantle, and lie down on the road-side to die. Need we inform our readers that the greatest kings and emperors of his time were very willing to be influenced by Mr. Bennett? The haughtiest of them would gladly have secured his good-will by obliging him in any way in their power. President Lincoln had the sagacity to understand this, and offered to appoint Mr. Bennett minister to France. The president's messenger was his secretary of state. Mr. Seward thought he could order Mr. Bennett to call on him at the Astor House, as he could one of his political satellites. The editor made no rude reply, but sent word that he was busy at his office, and that he should have to trouble Mr. Seward to see him there if he
wanted him. When, finally, the wish of Mr. Lincoln was made known to him, he thanked the president for the honor he conferred on him by the offer, but begged leave to decline it, because its acceptance would necessarily withdraw him from his editorial duties. This was a very different course from that of either Diogenes or Anaxagoras. Mr. Bennett was neither arrogant and defiant like the one, nor subservient and self-humiliating like the other.
Feeling that he really wielded more power himself than the greatest sovereigns, he treated the most powerful in no other way than as a well-bred gentlemen would treat his equals. As for the politicians, no one despised them more than he. This most of them knew. Accordingly, they left no species of toadyism untried, in their hope of gaining his goodwill; but they thought themselves fortunate if, by their anxious efforts in this direction, they could dissuade him from exposing their charlatanism, ignorance, and imbecility to public derision.
Since Mr. Bennett wished for no power but that of an an editor, it is not strange, as it has seemed to many, that there are none that he treated with more courtesy or consideration than the writers in his employment. Nor was he merely polite to those whom he found possessed of ability and worth ; he was as kind and indulgent to them as a father, and never ceased, to the day of his death, to be their friend.
We have dared to compare Mr. Bennett to kings and emperors, as well as to philosophers, in this article; but what more noble or more princely act could king or emperor do than to continue, to those grown old in his service so as to be no longer able to work, the liberal salary he paid them in the full vigor of their intellect, when their services were most valuable? He had several such pensioners to the day he died; nor is it they alone, and their families, who, as the grave closes over him, may well weep for a benefactor, who, far from displaying his generosity, carefully concealed it as something too sacred for the cold, selfish eye of the world.
We have omitted to give any details of Mr. Bennett's life, because, as already remarked, the daily papers have left nothing to be desired in that respect.
We will, however, extract a passage or two from a very excellent sketch in the Daily Times of June 2:
“Fired by a great idea, he returned to New York, and urged upon Gen. Webb, the proprietor of the Inquirer, the policy of uniting it with the Courier, which he advanced with so much force that the measure was actually carried. These were the palmy days of that paper.
Its circulation was considered enormous. Men of the Tammany Society, which it represented, boasted, over their Santa Cruz, that it printed thirty-five hundred copies daily; and its advertising amounted to $55 a day on the average all the year round. From 1829 to 1832, Bennett remained with the paper, hobnobbing with senators, and on the friendliest terms with Van Buren. The idea has crept into some heads that Bennett was no writer, but only a brilliant manager of journalism. This is a great mistake. During these three years, article after after article, brilliant and witty, poured from his
pen; and he was accepted as one of the bright particular stars of what was called journalism in those days; nay, more, he caused the great prosperity of the Courier and Inquirer. The literary analyst who shall dissect those old mildewed files will find, without a doubt, that Bennett was at the bottom of their huge circulation. When Gen. Webb resolved to desert Gen. Jackson, and to espouse the cause of Nicholas Biddle, this man with a full heart again threw up his bread and butter, because he would not write against his convictions. Bennett, perhaps, had some hopes that his senatorial friends would assist him ; so, in 1832, at the age of thirtyfive, he started the Globe, a paper devoted to the interests of Gen. Jackson and Martin Van Buren, though his experience of politicians might have taught him differently. Still, that he did not intend his paper to be altogether the slave of party is proved by his introductory editorial, in which he wrote: 'If I make up my mind to establish a paper, I wish you to understand that I shall ask no man the liberty of doing so. Offering to aid the party and establishing a paper are not one and the same thing. If I see fit, I am at liberty to start a paper on my own responsibility, and leave the party to judge for themselves what confidence to give it.” These were brave words; but they met a cool reception. The party put no confidence in the Globe, and it died after thirty issues. The paper of the future only gradually shaped itself in Bennett's mind. John Mumford, he knew, had been helped by the leaders to the amount of $40,000, and they refused him, a man who had done ten times as much for them, a paltry $2,500. It was gall and wormwood. He wrote to a friend in the following year: “I am sorry to speak harshly of any one; but, really, I think there is something like ingratitude in the way that I have been treated.” But this was enough. His education as a journalist had now been completed. He had cut loose from party dicipline, and he resolved to cut loose from party altogether. And now, at last, in his teeming brain the paper of the future began to assume shape and coherence. He resolved to make a paper that should have no master but the public, and should stand by public favor alone. So he returned to New York in the winter of 1834, after battling with his Pennsylvanian for nearly two years, and expending every cent he had in the world.
“On the 6th of May, 1835, Bennett, with the aid of two young printers, published the first number of the morning Herald, price one cent. It was written, published, and sold in a cellar in Wall street, whose sole furniture was “a counter which served as a desk, consisting of a plank stretched across two flour-barrels. There was a chair in the centre, in which sat Mr. Bennett, now thirty-eight years of age, writing busily and selling newspapers, taking advertisements, and even writing them for advertisers who had not the faculty of composition. But, in that dingy cellar, and behind the chair of that sturdy battler with the world, stood Success, invisible to the common herd, who had neither eyes to see her radiant form, nor ears to hear the musical rustling of her wings. The paper was not much larger than a sheet of letter-paper; but it gave much light, minute, and cheerful news. It was full of short paragraphs, printed in small type, and was an eminently salable article. It sold well from the first day; but still Bennett had at first a terrible time. The extreme cheapness of the paper rendered him absolutely dependent upon his advertisers; and yet he dared not charge them more than fifty cents for a square of sixteen lines. So he had to cut down the expenses to a minimum. He did everything himself;he swept out his cellar; he carried the paper to the few subscribers it possessed, in the morning; he wrote the editorials, the news, the criticisms; he did the reporting and the book-keeping-all, in fact, that was done. He sat behind his barrels and his plank, placidly writing; and when any one came for a paper, he never looked up, but just said, ' Put the money on the counter, and take one.' His working day was sixteen hours. In the morning, from five to eight, he wrote editorials in his bed-room. During the business hours he was in the cellar, engaged in ordinary routine of editorial work. About one
o'clock, having provided abundant copy for the compositors, he sallied forth into Wall street to compile stock-tables, and to get matter for spicy paragraphs. From four to six he was at his office again, winding up the business of the day. In the evening he was abroad—at the theatres or concert, ball or public meeting, which were faithfully written up, and handed to the printers before he went to bed. He thus, like Atlas, bore the whole weight of his world upon his own brave shoulders.”
We have but a remark or two to make on this interesting narrative. The Times is undoubtedly right in contradicting the representation “that Mr. Bennett was no writer, but only a brilliant manager of journalism.” We have never known an editor in Europe or America that could write a humorous, pungent, suggestive leader, sure to be read let it appear where it might, so fast as Mr. Bennett. Nor have we known any editor that possessed, in a higher degree, the faculty of turning rapidly from the discussion of one subject to that of another. But the reason why the erroneous opinion above alluded to was entertained by any one is this : Mr. Bennett had a wonderful talent for imbuing the minds of his assistants with his own thoughts. For many years before he retired from the active management of the Herald it was his daily habit to call, in turn, into his private office, such writers as he thought most competent to treat the subjects which current events happened to suggest. In five minutes, at farthest, the writer was impressed with everything Mr. Bennett wished said, and at once retired to make room for another, who underwent a similar process, etc. Finally, he sat down himself, where no one saw him, penned an article or two, put his manuscript into the “copy-box,” took his cane, and retired as quietly as he entered. Thus it was that the idea of his being no writer “crept into some heads," as the Times says; but they must have been stupid, thoughtless heads. We have now before us several of Mr. Bennett's articles, written at different periods. Each is as characteristic of its author as anything Jonathan Swift or Sydney Smith has written; but nothing will more appropriately fill the limited space we have