Give Me a Zed! From Hazlitt’s ‘Chapter on Editors’

They are dreadfully afraid there should be anything behind the Editor’s Chair greater than the Editor’s Chair. That is a scandal to be prevented at all risks. The publication they are entrusted with for the edification and amusement of the town, they convert in theory and practice, into a stalking horse of their own vanity, whims and prejudices[…]

In every periodical miscellany, there are two essential parties ñ the writers and the public; the Editor and the printer’s devil are merely the mechanical instruments for bringing them together. There is a secret consciousness of this on [his] part […], that his place is one for show and form rather than use; and as he cannot maintain his pretended superiority by what he does himself he thinks to arrive at the same end by hindering others from doing their best[…]

He would have it understood that all the articles are equally good, and may be equally his own. If he inserts a paper of more than the allowed average merit, his next care is to spoil it by revising it[…]

Anything to preserve the form and appearance of power, to make the work their own by mental strategem, to stamp it by some fiction of criticism with their personal identity, to enable them to run away with the credit, and look upon themselves as the master-spirits of the work and of the age! If there is any point they do not understand, they are sure to meddle with it, and mar the sense; for it piques their self-love, and they think are bound to ex-officio to know better than the writer[…]