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on which lay enormous roast turkeys, geese, ducks, and guinea-fowls. The number of dishes was something stupendous. After the first detachment had deposited their burdens on the table, there was a slight confusion, for there was no room for the second instalment which was being carried in by the next column of slaves. However, by dint of squeezing and shoving, they were all located, and three roast animals per guest were provided by our hospitable enterThe

tainers.

Now the battle raged fast and furious. slaves bustled about, placing the good things before us. The various dishes were, I believe, excellent, all cooked in the French style; but one could not get over a certain nervous feeling about them-an Englishman is so absurdly squeamish about his food. (By the way, I presently discovered that the cause of the delay in the appearance of our second course had been a block in the street between the French restaurant where the dinner was cooked, and the banqueting hall; a most probable occurrence, seeing the crowd of slaves who were employed to bring the viands.)

We were pretty merry in spite of all; and as our remarks could not be understood except by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, who was well away from my part of the table, we managed to indulge in a little innocent chaff. Our harmless prattle was flowing smoothly, when suddenly a crash was heard in the courtyard below, which almost lifted us off our seats, and made us look wildly round the table and at each other, to find out what on earth it could mean. The crash was followed by a braying, drumming, and shrieking, as if three regiments of drums and fifes and about fifty buglers were all practising their several calls at the same time, entirely independent of each other. I wondered if they had designs on bringing the roast turkeys, &c., back to life. When we had recovered from the first shock of the thing, we could trace the faintest suspicion of a tune running through it. One of us, who affected an ear for music, pronounced it to be an attempt at God Save the Queen. We loyally stood up. It went on for an unconscionable time; but at length they stopped-I thought for want of wind.

Before starting for this entertainment, the Admiral, who is an awful old wag himself, had told us very solemnly that there was to be no laughing, and that our deportment was to be one of great gravity and decorum. It was a precious severe trial of our discipline in this respect when after a short pause the band set up a more hideous bray than ever, and when, at the end of the performance, we heard him remark very blandly: Ah! that's very pretty, very pretty indeed. What is the name of this piece? To which His Excellency of the Foreign Portfolio replied: 'Him no got proper name; him only Malagash tune.'

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office. Our consul made the first speech, and, as far as my knowledge of French would allow me to judge, it seemed a particularly good one. He had to pause every now and then, to allow the little Princess to translate what he had been saying into the Hova language. The speechifying being over, that pitiless band again pealed forth its terrible thunder; but as soon as politeness would allow, the Admiral, to our infinite delight, made a move to go. We found our four-inhands' in attendance, stopping the way below. The bearers, no doubt, had been enjoying the dulcet strains of their native music while we were at table.

We were on board again by seven. It had been something entirely new, and something to fill a letter home with; so, though I had missed my duck-shooting, I was not altogether sorry I had gone.

THE SERVANT-GIRL QUESTION. How to obtain good domestic servants, who will give their services for reasonable periods of time, and so reduce to a minimum the necessity for those repeated changes which disturb the even tenor of our family life, is the perplexing problem which is vexing heart and brain in thousands of households in our country. That it may ere long occupy a foremost place on the list of social questions pressing for solution, is no doubt the devout wish of many a matron who can think and speak feelingly on this subject.

The domestic-servant difficulty has already been dwelt upon in the pages of this Journal, and hints touching mutual relations have been suggested to mistress and servant, for the consideration of both. But although satisfactory results may be expected, and do in some instances flow from efforts mutually put forth in the direction indicated, it is still a discouraging fact that they are exceptional in the experience of a considerable number of mistresses. Within the remembrance of many persons now living, it used to be no uncommon event in the life of a servantgirl for her to remain five, ten, and even fifteen years in her situation. It is an event of more frequent occurrence nowadays for a kind-hearted lady, actuated it may be in the first place by motives of charity, but none the less anxious to secure the services of a good servant, to admit some waif or stray into her household, teach her a servant's duties, and after having brought her to a fair degree of efficiency, to have the mortification of seeing her protégée at the expiration of six months quit her service for that of another mistress.

The difficulties which beset the domestic-servant question would seem to call for the application of some extraneous means-some established, organised methods, by means of which we could reach out a friendly hand to our servant-girls, appeal to their self-respect, promote their interests, and hold out to them inducements to exercise zeal and diligence in the discharge of household duties, to aim at excellence and fidelity in the performance of them, and, moreover, to seek to attach themselves with greater constancy to the service of their employers. We have already pointed

be trained for household duties. Once established tainments of an instructive and elevating charand fairly set in working order, such an organisa-acter: a limited number of tickets to be issued tion would, under able management, soon make from time to time, as the Committee may deterits influence felt in the Metropolis, and its example mine. be followed in country towns where branch Societies would be established, which might derive certain advantages from affiliative association with the parent organisation. Some modification in the nature of the work done, and in the rules and regulations in force at the latter, might be necessary in the case of branch Societies, the rules and regulations of which should be adapted to meet the special requirements of each district.

7. A Servants' Register shall be kept, in which entries are to be made of the names and ages of (1) members who have not yet been out to service, and are eligible; (2) members who have served one year in a situation; (3) certificated members who have been in service for two years and upwards; (4) members who wish to avail themselves of the instruction and training afforded at the parent Society, with a view to obtaining situations in London; and (5) the names of ladies in the town and neighbourhood requiring servants.

Leaving the task of formulating a plan for establishing a Metropolitan organisation to the residents in London, it may not be out of place here to attempt a brief though imperfect sketch of the organisation of a Society such as we hope to see at some future day established throughout the country. We will begin by appointing a managing Committee, composed of ladies and gentlemen, and by laying down the wholesome fundamental principle that our Society shall be self-supporting. Perhaps it is too much to expect that our intentions will be realised directly; but our aim should be to make the Society self-supporting. Our rules and regulations to be amended and improved, as wisdom and expediency may suggest-might for the present take something like the following shape, namely

1. Members of the Society to be composed of girls who are candidates for domestic service, and girls who are already in service. Before being admitted as members, girls are to satisfy the Committee that they are honest, sober, and of good moral character-qualities essential to membership. A small entrance fee and annual subscription to be charged. Age of members on entrance, and the amount of fee and subscription, to be determined by the Committee.

2. With the object of promoting habits of providence and thrift, each member shall, on joining the Society, be expected, or even required to become a depositor in a savings-bank, and continue so during membership.

3. One year's unbroken service in her first, or failing that, in her second situation, with a good character from her mistress, shall entitle the member to an official certificate of character. The service to date from membership.

4. Two years' continuous service in her situation, dating from membership, with a good character from her mistress, shall entitle the member to a good-conduct certificate. This certificate to constitute a recommendation to situations where higher wages are given, and to be issued by the Committee.

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8. Arrangements for interviewing servants to be made on certain days.

9. Registration fees to be charged as determined by the Committee.

It may be urged, and not without reason, that large sums of money, and possibly much labour, would be necessary in order to establish and carry on an organisation of this character. But nothing of this nature is free from trouble and expense; and if these were found to be fruitful of good results, it need hardly be said that the organisers might be considered as amply rewarded.

WON.

SHE was so young and fair,

I could not choose but love her. At her feet
I laid my heart and life—an offering meet.

And when with sweet assent
She let me kiss her trembling lips divine,

I thought that none could part us-she was mine!

Alas, poor hope! Stern words
From sterner parent came: 'I cannot yield;
Go thou and fight in Life's great battlefield.

'Fresh laurels win. When rings Our land from east to west with thy great fame, Come then and ask me may she bear thy name?'

With weary hearts and sad,
Beneath the summer stars we bid good-bye,
And vowed to love, through weal or woe, for aye!

Year after year passed on,
And yet, alas! still flowed the changing sea
Between my heart's desire-my life's one love-and

me.

At last, with willing feet
And glad, I homeward turned. My task was done.
Once more within my arms I held her-won!

White-robed, like angel pure,
She came my bride-to gladden all my life.
I cried: "They cannot part us now, sweet wife.'

The joy-bells rung o'erhead,
The birds sung on, as hand in hand we passed
Into a strange sweet life-love-crowned at last.
CARRADORNE

CHAMBERS'S JOURNAL

LITERATURE, SCIENCE, AND ART.
Fourth Series

CONDUCTED BY WILLIAM AND ROBERT CHAMBERS.

OF

POPULAR

No. 977.-VOL. XIX. SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 1882.

NEWSPAPER EDITORS AND THEIR
WORK.

NEWSPAPER editors are personages with whom, in the mind of the public at large, there has always been associated a certain degree of mystery. There is no class of men whose work passes so directly and so constantly before the public eye; yet there are few with regard to whose real position and functions more vague, confused, or erroneous notions are entertained, even on the part of persons otherwise well informed. This is no doubt largely due to the anonymity which is preserved in the newspaper press of this country. Readers come to identify the opinions of a particular organ more with the sheet of printed paper, and with its distinctive name and features, than with the individual or individuals by whom it is directed, and of whom, it may be, they know nothing.

PRICE 1d.

qualifications-tact, judgment, and experiencehave succeeded admirably under the same conditions. It is, therefore, quite erroneous for a young man to suppose that because he has had the advantage of a good education, writes with facility, and has a notion of such work, he can take to journalism' and surmount all difficulties, as it were with a pair of seven-league boots.

(

The power and influence, with their attendant responsibility, exercised by the editors of our great newspapers, are enormous. Thomas Carlyle once described journalists as the true kings and priests of the nation. The office so described is a most attractive one for young men in search of a career, especially if they be fairly educated, and believe they are imbued with the fire of genius. The commonest mistake of such aspirants to the editorial chair is that they greatly under-estimate the attainments requisite for such a position. They speak of 'taking to journalism,' as if it were a very simple matter, to be accomplished without much personal trouble or inconvenience, and never thinking of the long years of patient work and varied experience which will have to be undergone before they can reach the point they have in view. Journalism is now, and is becoming more so every year, a profession for which a special training is required. There have been instances in which men of brilliant parts and profound erudition have proved signal failures in the editorial chair;

Some years ago, a young man wrote to an American paper that he wanted to be an editor; and the reply which he received is well worth reproducing here. 'Canst thou,' asked the editor, 'draw up leviathan with an hook thou lettest down? Canst thou hook up great ideas from the depths of thine intellect, and clean, scale, and fry them at five minutes' notice? Canst thou write editorials to measure? Canst thou write an editorial to fit in a three-quarter column of the paper, which shall be in length just twenty-two inches, having three inches of fine sentiment, four inches for the beginning, and nine inches of humour in the middle, and an outburst of maxim and precept, six inches long, at the close?'

This will of course be regarded as a bit of facetious exaggeration on the part of the editor, and no doubt it was; but it really reflects certain necessary phases in the work of a journalist. Important intelligence frequently arrives at the newspaper office within a short time of the paper going to press, and if the editor wishes to be upsides or ahead of his contemporaries, as most editors do, he must have a leading article on the subject in the same issue as that in which the news appears. There is not a moment to be lost; indeed, there may be scarcely time to perform the mere mechanical operation of writing what has to be said, not to speak of hunting about for an idea, an appropriate quotation, or a choice form of expression. These must all, in the language of the American editor, be hooked up, cleaned, scaled, and fried without delay.

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them, will have to be paid, are consigned to the same receptacle almost every night, simply because it is impossible to find a corner for them. The calculations of the editor, moreover, are liable to be upset in a hundred different ways. Some great crisis, storm, crime, or disaster occurs, or

frequently happens, however, that the Cabinet minister whose speech is to be commented upon does not rise till the night is far advanced, or it may be that the division which is to determine the whole drift and tone of the article does not take place till one or two in the morning. In the former case, the speech has to be reported, transcribed an important debate suddenly arises in parliafrom shorthand into longhand, and despatched ment, or some great man dies, or there is an to the various newspaper offices-by telegraph, extraordinary and unexpected influx of advertiseof course, in the case of provincial papers-the ments-perhaps a combination of these-and all respective editors meanwhile fretting and fuming the arrangements of the office are correspondingly over the delay which is keeping back from them disturbed. the material upon which their principal leader is to be based. In such emergencies, an experienced journalist may construct a considerable portion of his leader by anticipation. To use a slang expression, he knows the ropes.' He is familiar with the subject, can form a pretty shrewd idea of what the minister is likely to say, may even have had some private hint on the question from official quarters; and leaving to the last his more particular references to the speech of the evening, successfully accomplishes his task. This, however, is a kind of sharp practice which cannot always be indulged in with safety or convenience.

Some editors who possess great facility in composition, employ a shorthand amanuensis, to whom they dictate their leading articles and reviews. In an emergency such as that we have described, or on any occasion when time presses, the editor would dictate to his amanuensis a portion of his leader, writing the remainder himself while the first half was being transcribed from shorthand into printer's 'copy.' The editor's work is not, of course, always done at this high pressure, which would soon wear out the mental and bodily powers of any man. Nor is the ability to turn out good work thus rapidly all that is required of the successful journalist. Upon the editor of a large daily paper devolves the direction and oversight of a complex system, which, properly conducted, produces what may justly be described as one of the marvels of the nineteenth century, but which, if badly or injudiciously managed, would soon involve its promoters in financial ruin.

Of some of the difficulties against which the editor has to contend, none but practical newspaper-men have any conception. Take, for example, the question of space. It is a common fallacy among the general public that it must be a very difficult matter to find news to fill each day's paper. So far from this being the case, the ingenuity of editors and sub-editors is continually on the stretch to find space for even a selection of the most important news at their disposal. In the office of a leading daily newspaper, there is often more matter thrown into the waste-basket, or struck out of manuscripts, than would suffice to fill the paper; while interesting telegrams, for which not only the Postoffice, but the correspondents who have sent

An entirely different set of difficulties and dangers beset the editor from without, and to meet these, no little tact and discernment, as well as an extensive knowledge of men and things, are necessary. The acquaintance, or at all events, vested, is naturally courted by public and official the favour of a man in whom so much power is personages in almost every order of social and political life; and not by these alone, but by a still larger constituency of busy-bodies and adventurers-place-hunters, men with hobbies, men with inventions, philanthropists, reformers, literary and poetic aspirants; men indeed-and women sometimes as well-of every class, whose purposes and interests can be promoted in any way by 'favourable mention' in the paper. Only a small proportion of these appeals elicit any favourable response on the part of the judicious editor, who knows that he must exercise the utmost vigilance to escape the snares which are laid for him by those self-seekers.

Though these competitors for favour are a great bore to the editor, their anxiety to stand well with him is occasionally the means of his procuring valuable information which he could not otherwise obtain. It is to them he is often indebted for communications as to the proceedings of private meetings and 'close' corporations. It is owing to their propitiatory offerings that he is now and then enabled to burst a bomb-shell in the camp of his political opponents, by disclosing their secret machinations, and explaining all the that he is sometimes enabled to expose, to the details of their little schemes. It is through them derision of an amused and edified public, the intrigues of official and municipal life.

But what kind of people are editors personally, when the mysterious curtain which hides them from the public gaze has been drawn aside? The question is one to which no specific answer can be given, for a more heterogeneous class of men does not exist anywhere. The diversity observable in the newspapers which issue from the to that which exists among those who direct press daily, weekly, or otherwise, is nothing them. If all the editors of newspapers published, say, in the English language were brought together in one vast assemblage, they would form a curious gathering, not the least remarkable feature of which would be its heterogeneous composition.

to pick out the comparatively few who may be In such an assemblage, it would be interesting regarded as having reached the very top of their profession, who conduct the most powerful organs of public opinion, who enjoy the confidence and friendship of the greatest statesmen

Chambers's Journal,
Sept. 16, 1882.]

VALENTINE STRANGE.

of the day, and who move in the highest literary and artistic circles. After them, we might perhaps be able to recognise a few of the more notable among a much larger number, who, though stars of lesser magnitude as compared with those in the first rank, enjoy a very considerable share of honourable distinction, and who, both personally and professionally, exercise an influence which is neither dubious nor circumscribed. We should then have to contemplate the most numerous class of all, who may be described as the rank and file of our great editorial army, composed of men who, though perhaps but little known or recognised beyond their own particular sphere, are doing good and admirable work, and who, only within a more limited radius and in more localised affairs, exercise an influence little less than that of their more distinguished brethren.

There is no profession in which a man stands more supremely on his merits than in that of journalism. In many others, promotion is more a question of influence, of good fortune, or of time, than of actual working capacity. In journalism, influence goes for little or nothing, unless there be on the part of the aspirant real efficiency to perform the work that has to be done. There never was greater competition in the press than there is at the present day, and that competition is more likely to become keener than to diminish. It is becoming more and more a question of the survival of the fittest, and special eminence is ever more difficult to attain. The incompetent and inexperienced, therefore, must inevitably go to the wall.

587

portant sphere in which that arduous calling is exercised-that of parliamentary reporting; and who, throughout an extended experience in the Gallery of the House of Commons, acquired a knowledge of political affairs, of the relations of parties and of statesmen, and of the intricacies of parliamentary procedure, which must have proved invaluable to him in the subsequent periods of his career. The remaining stages of sub-editorial and editorial work were duly passed through, and his present position attained. The majority of our most successful journalists are self-made men.

Last of all, we should be curiously interested in a considerable number who, hanging on, as it were, to the outskirts of the concourse, may be said to belong to a somewhat nondescript class, each section of which is made up of men of the most opposite views, acquirements, and methods, carrying on their operations under the most diverse conditions. Yet there is this most interesting feature to be noticed, that though in each of these various sections we find men who have reached the limit of their possibilities, and some who have at one time held higher rank in their profession than it is now their lot to fill, there are at the same time to be found in each, even the lowest grade, men who may yet aspire to

VALENTINE STRANGE.

A STORY OF THE PRIMROSE WAY.

the highest, and in the highest, men who have CHAPTER XXXVI.—AND NOW HE BEGAN TO KNOW

HOW FUTILE HIS DISHONESTY WOULD HAVE
BEEN EVEN HAD HE SUCCEEDED.

risen from the lowest. This is no doubt true of
almost every profession; but the fact has this
peculiar significance in regard to journalistic
work, that steady and sustained promotion can
never be the outcome of anything apart from
genuine worth and efficiency.

We have said that there are men now occupying the highest ranks of the journalistic profession who have risen from the lowest. As illustrating the various stages of such promotion, it may not be out of place to mention a case in point. We could name the editor of one of the most powerful daily newspapers published in the United Kingdom who began life as a lad on the bottom-most round of the ladder-in the printing office; who, by his own unaided industry and perseverance, entered, through various stages of preferment, upon the work of reporting, and passed from one grade to another in that department, till, after a wide experience of provincial and general work, he reached what is in many respects the most im

e

The press is every year becoming a greater power in the land; it is already one of the greatest resources of civilisation,' and we might as soon try to get along without steam, or railways, or the post-office, as without our newspapers. If we are to have newspapers, we must have editors to direct them, and the editors must march with or in advance of the times. There is therefore good reason to hope that better things are in store for the coming generations of journalists than there have been for those that are gone, and that on the newspaper press the best talent, the maturest judgment, and the most cultivated taste will yet find congenial and appropriate work.

OVER London a dull gray sky, obscuring the last sun that shines this month of May. Over Lumby Hall a leaden sky that weeps and weeps; and round about it, a maudlin wind that moans. In London City, beneath that dull gray sky, the great House of Lumby and Lumby once more flourishes, and lifts a head the prouder for defeated shame. In Lumby Hall there are hearts that beat in answer to the City triumph, and throb with sweeter and more human joys; for in Lumby Hall there is this great joy, that the master of the house, long stunned by terrible calamity, is beginning to know the forms and faces round him and to remember names.

You who are old, and have lived your lives, and bred your children to usefulness and honour, do you remember any happier times than those when your children began to know you, and to reach out chubby arms for you, and to make lingual stumbles over father' or 'mother'? None sweeter, I dare answer for you. Yet in this house was a still deeper and more sacred joy; for the head of it was coming out of a dreadful dream of childhood, that had been renewed too early; the brain that once had concocted great schemes, was again active; the weak heart that had led large enterprises, was once more beginning to pulsate aright. He was coming back slowly to conscious life, and would by-and-by hear glad tidings-as though some mariner who had suffered utter shipwreck should wake to find his good craft whole again, and the drowned comrade's hand holding his with the grasp of friendship.

Wailing wind and clouded sky around and over Lumby Hall; and such gay and tender

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