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The Newspaper And The Reader

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The following pertinent suggestions we extract frora the address of Samuel Williams, Esq , before the Convention of the New York State Associated Press, at Buffalo last week: Don't make your paper a literary Golgotba. Dou't crowd your columna with accounts of assassir.sition, and rapes, and areon, and embezzlen.ents as if maukind were doing nothing except comraitting assassinations, and rapes, and embezzlements. Don't always be telling the world how wicked it is. Try and say something good ot somebody. Try and find something to praise. Let your sobbing cloud have the veriest bit of a silver lining. Gire us now and then a glimpse of the relief side of jour sombre picture. Teil us now and then of the thousand good deeds done in secret: cf the philanthrophy that is unberalded of fame; of the charities unrecoi'ded except in Heaven; of the virtue that bloorns unseen; of the heroism that enobles life; of the faith that lifts humanity up to God. Teil us of the sublime endeavors unachieved; of the lofty aspirations unfulfilledjofthe unseltish purposes that nestle in human hearts. The newspaper needs, too, to become more independent. It wants to be lifted up without the sphero of popular passions, and beyond tho reach of partisan dictation. To round out fully its niission it must be íree. To be free it must be directly rosponsible only to the mind that coutrols it. And first, it must be íreed from that worst ol tyrannVïTErthe tyranny of subscribers. You have allseen this tyranny, gentlemen - seen it in your own experienco - seea it in that of your noighbors. Heaven help the poor editor that has delivered himselt up to the bydraheaded diabolus ol regular subscriben. I can imagine no fate more dreadlul. I should think that being roasted over a slow fire, or being broken on the wheel, or being manipulated by a thumb-screw, or having one's bowels probed with a red hot poker, would be quite a cheerful and hilarious an entertainment compared wich being daily spitted by one's patronb. My friend Jones is a good specimen ol the moio malignant type of the "regular subsoviber." Jones ia ineffably stupid and íiioxpressibly egotistic. He ha, moreover, the misfortune to be aíflicted with a cUronic grievance. Somebody is always treading on his corns; somebody is always getting up a conspiracy to destroy him; somebody is always cornrnitting sorna horrid outrage on this most long suffering and ill used of men. Joues being asubscriber to the paper with which I have the honor to be eon nected, accouuts me as his exclusive property. He looks upon me as being, body and soul his personal chattel. He regards me as a sort oí embodiud "$5 a year" - payable when you please. Was it not virtually etipulated, when he concluded to take my paper, that I should be thrown in as a muke weightV A ti I not consequently expected to re eign myself to his custody - to figlit his battles - to shoulder his grievances - to father his folly - to become his "chore boy" - and lor "$5 a year?' If Jones happens to be eiezed with that frightíul malady, the cacmlhes scribendi, he overwhelrns me with interminable Communications; f he gets his portrait taken, I am expected to notice it at length; if he buys a house or plants a grapevine in front of his bouse, or makes a trip to the seashore, or has a birth in the farnily, or makes a good speculation in stocks, or raises bigger cabbage heads th:yi his neighbors - I am of course expected only to chroniclo the&e portentious events each and severally. And yet I am never able to satiaíy him. Jones is always vowing the paper ain't worth taking, always telling people what a tupid fellowl am; always sending me insolent notes; always advieing me that if I publish any more anieles on the guano or nigger question, there will be a general stampede of indignant subscribers; always hinting darkly about the prospect of starting an oppositiou sheet; always holding his individual subsoription as a rod of terror over tny devoted head. Novv, tliere is just ono way of emancipating ourselves from the tryanny of subscribers. It is to make your paper a public necessity. To mako every man who subscribes to it feel that not only ís he gotting the worth of his monoy, but tbut he cannot live without it. To be able to say to every grumbling patrón, ''Stop "the paper if you dure!" To be able to go on in the straight path of your daily duty, just as if you owned the public, instead of the public ovvning you. In conclusión, let us strive to endow this great agent of human development with a broader cnlture and healthier tone. Let us strive to increaso its intellectual power - to give it a wider and a nobler field of action - to make it a more effective minister of rational progress. Let us strive to make it emphatically the mirror ui the times - -to make it reftect clearly and faithfully the curreut of daily affairs. The newspaper is the schoolmaster of the age; let us see to it that thelessons it teaches shall make men purer as well as wiser - shall lead thern upward as woll as onward.