There are few people in the world who have more opportunity for getting close to the hot, interesting things of one's time than the special correspondent of a great paper. He is enabled to see "the wheels go round; " has the chance of getting his knowledge at first hand. In stirring times the drama of life is to him like the first night of a play. There are no preconceived opinions for him to go by; he ought not to, at least, be influenced by any prejudices; and the account of the performance is to some extent like that of the dramatic critic, inasmuch as that the verdict of the public or of history has either to confirm or reverse his own judgment. There is a peculiar and unique fascination about this reading of contemporary history, as it grows and develops while one peers with straining eyes through one's glasses.