LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Passages of a Working Life during Half a Century
Chapter VIII

Contents Vol. I
Prelude 1
Prelude 2
Chapter I
Chapter II
Chapter III
Chapter IV
Chapter V
Chapter VI
Chapter VII
Chapter VIII
Chapter IX
Chapter X
Contents Vol. II
Chapter I
Chapter II
Chapter III
Chapter IV
Chapter V
Chapter VI
Chapter VII
Chapter VIII
Chapter IX
Chapter X
Chapter XI
Chapter XII
Chapter XIII
Chapter XIV
Chapter XV
Note to Chapter XV
Contents Vol. III
Chapter I
Chapter II
Chapter III
Chapter IV
Chapter V
Chapter VI
Chapter VII
‣ Chapter VIII
Note to Chapter VIII
Chapter IX
Note to Chapter IX
Chapter X
Chapter XI
Chapter XII
Chapter XIII
Note to Chapter XIII
Chapter XIV
Index of Persons
Creative Commons License

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH

IN the Session of 1854, a Committee of the House of Commons was sitting to examine witnesses upon that question of the abolition of the Newspaper Stamp, which had occupied the attention of the Legislature twenty years before. After the Meeting of Parliament in 1855, a very general opinion prevailed that the then Penny-stamp would be entirely abolished, except for the purpose of transmitting a newspaper by post. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Sir George Cornewall Lewis, through his private Secretary, Sir Alexander Duff Gordon, requested me to inform him what was the greatest circulation of each number of the Penny Magazine at any time. In giving this information I referred him to a little book which Mr. Murray had just published for me—“The Old Printer and the Modern Press,”—in which I had taken a rapid view of the circulation and character of penny periodicals at the beginning of 1854. I had stated that of four of these a million sheets were then sold weekly. In my letter, I thought it right to convey fully my opinion upon the question of the abolition of the Stamp, and in support of that opinion I mentioned that Dr. Arnold was strongly impressed with the notion that a Newspaper was the best vehicle for communicating knowledge to the people; the events of the day, he maintained, were a definite
subject to which instruction could be attached in the best possible manner. An extract from the letter thus written by me may fitly introduce the general subject of the extension of the Newspaper Press during the last eight or nine years, upon which I propose to treat in this chapter. “The change in the character of the Penny Periodicals during the last five or six years, from the lowest ribaldry and positive indecency to a certain propriety—and of which frivolity is the chief blemish—is an assurance to me that the cheapening of Newspapers by the removal of the Stamp will not let in that flood of sedition and blasphemy which some appear to dread. The character of the mass of readers is improved. In my little book I have opposed the removal of the Stamp, chiefly on the ground that a quantity of local papers would start up, that would be devoted to mere parish politics, and sectarian squabbles, instead of being national in their objects; and that would huddle together the worst of criminal trials and police cases, without attempting to suggest any sound principles of politics, or furnish any useful information. To provide a corrective to this, I have devised the plan detailed in the circular, which I left with you. I sent out an intelligent traveller into the Midland districts last week, confidentially to explain this plan to active printers in towns that had no local paper; and his report shows that the principle will be eagerly adopted.”

The plan which I had devised was founded upon my old newspaper experience, during which, for several years, three-fourths of the local Paper of Berkshire and Buckinghamshire were printed at the
Express” Office at Windsor, and one-fourth at a branch office at Aylesbury. In connection with a highly respectable printing firm, I commenced the publication of the “Town and Country Newspaper” immediately upon the repeal of the Stamp-duty in 1855. There were many elements of success in this plan, but it was defeated by the complex and expensive organization necessary to supply small adventurers into the new world of journalism with the very few impressions each required at first to meet his local demand. Nor was my belief that this sort of publication might be made the vehicle for combining, not only a well digested body of news, but sound practical information upon many subjects of public interest, destined to be realized. The readers in very small towns, in which the one printer was generally the first to make the experiment which I proposed, did not very anxiously desire to see the newspaper made an instrument of education, or for the advancement of objects of public improvement. The undertaking was not remunerative, and I had no desire to press upon my partners the continuance of a scheme that did not pay as quickly as was expected. The plan became very extensively adopted after the establishment of penny local Journals had created a demand, and they were found to supply a public want. Four hundred such provincial Papers are said to be now partly printed in London; but I am informed by a friend, who is perfectly well-acquainted with the curious facts connected with the present state of local and other Newspapers, that the plan of printing one side of a weekly sheet in London is now going out of use. There is another mode adopted, of making the same information, and the same labour of
setting up the types, available for many papers, which is a striking example of the effect of new combinations of industrial art and science, for the diminution of expense of production. There is an enterprising proprietor of a local newspaper in one of our large manufacturing towns, who has a stereotyping office in London, and supplies small journals throughout the country with stereotyped matter at a low rate per column, of which he will send any number of columns up to twenty-four. The plan is so simple and so convenient that his customers are very numerous, and he is considered to be making a much better profit out of his stereotype plates, than by his wellcirculated Journal. This system is one of the many instances, with which we are becoming more and more familiar, of co-operation for Production. Perhaps a more striking example is furnished in the economical management of some daily papers in England and Scotland, published out of London, of which number there are now nearly forty. Several of the proprietors of these large local journals have associated for the establishment of an office in London, with a literary staff, compositors, and stereotype-founders. There are five or more papers which participate in this arrangement. Each paper belonging to this league uses the stereotypes according to its especial wants and convenience, sometimes all that is dispatched; more frequently a selection is made. I have before me a Provincial Daily Paper, of October 20th, 1864,—a large well printed sheet, price 1d. My friend has marked for my information the matter which has been thus transmitted to this journal, as to others, by express trains, generally leaving London at 5 p.m., and reaching places two hundred miles
distant by 11 p.m. The matter which I thus find in this paper comprises eight folio columns, and necessarily contains the very latest news and comment. What a power do the Managers of this journalistic Confederacy possess for the direction of public opinion, and how real a matter of congratulation it is that the time is past when the influence of the Newspaper Press was too frequently inimical to quiet and good government!
Dr. Arnold wrote to the Archbishop of Dublin in 1833, “I think that a newspaper alone can help to cure the evil which newspapers have done and are doing.”

In considering the feasibility of carrying forward upon a large scale, the plan of printing the general portion of a newspaper in London, to be completed by the publisher in a country town, I was careful to inform myself of the exact number of Local Journals in every county. The materials were to be collected from a very useful publication, “The Newspaper Press Directory,” by C. Mitchell, which had then been established nine or ten years. It is continued annually at the present time; and a comparison merely of the quantity of printed matter in the volume for 1855, and that for 1864, will at once point to the vast increase in Journalism. I find amongst my papers a voluminous abstract of the state of the Local Newspaper Press, which I drew out six months before the abolition of the Stamp. In the forty English counties there were 120 cities and towns, omitting London, in which Newspapers were then published. But in these there were 261 papers, the more important places having, in many instances, more than one such organ of intelligence. To my abstract I appended the number of inhabi-
tants of each town. The result of my examination was, that there were 350 populous towns without any Local Paper, viz.—
99 Towns with population above   2000— under 3000.
106   3000— 5000.
63   5000— 7000.
82   7000 and upwards.
These were statistical facts of deep significance.

The amount of the change which has been produced in eight years by the abolition of the Newspaper Stamp and the Advertisement Duty—in some degree also by the repeal of the tax upon paper—is sufficiently indicated by the following figures:—There were published in England, at the commencement of the present year, 919 journals. Of these 240 belonged to London; and these included 13 daily morning papers, 7 evening, and 220 published during the week and at intervals. But these London Journals, not daily, comprise the purely literary and scientific papers—the legal and medical, and more numerous than all, the religious journals. Further, since I made my abstract of Local Papers, there have started into flourishing existence no less than 32 district journals of the Metropolis and its suburbs. Taking these 240 metropolitan and suburban papers from the total 919 published in England, I find that there are now 679 Country Newspapers, instead of the 261 which I found existing in 1855. I may infer, therefore, without going into a minute examination of the matter, that the 350 populous places which, at that time, had no newspaper of their own, are now not left without a vehicle for the publication of their local affairs, whether important or frivolous, whether affecting a nation or a parish. To finish this
summary, I may add that Wales has 37 journals; Scotland 140; Ireland 140; the British Isles 14; making up for the United Kingdom a total of 1250. Of the aggregate circulation of these Journals, it is impossible to arrive at any accurate estimate. At the beginning of the century, the annual circulation of newspapers in England and Wales was 15 millions. In 1853, as was shown by the Stamp-Office returns, the annual circulation of England and Wales was 72 millions, and of Scotland and Ireland, each 8 millions. Even the circulation in 1853 was an astounding fact, and I then wrote, “Visit, if you can, the interior of that marvellous human machine the General Post Office, on a Friday evening from half-past five to six o’clock. Look with awe upon the tons of newspapers that are crowding in to be distributed through the habitable globe. Think silently how potent a power is this for good or for evil. You turn to one of the boxes of the letter-sorters, and your guide will tell you, ‘this work occupies not half the time it formerly did, for everybody writes better.’” Some of the elder country newspapers and some that have started into life since the repeal of the Stamp, have a circulation that is to be numbered by thousands. But if we only assign a sale of 1000 each to the 679 country papers in England, we have a total annual circulation of 235 millions. The Scotch and Irish Journals will probably swell the aggregate annual circulation of the United Kingdom to 250 millions. Taking the entire population at 30 millions, this estimate would give eight newspapers in the course of the year to every person: and assuming that every newspaper has six readers, there is no present want in these Kingdoms of the literary
means of keeping the entire mass of the people informed upon every current event and topic. But there may be other wants to be met besides those which are supplied by the vast increase of journalism before the newspaper can be within the reach of the whole of the adult population. There are thousands growing into men and women who, during the last decade, when newspapers have been rising up for an almost universal use, have acquired the ability to read. The numbers of those wholly uninstructed must be very few in populous districts compared with the days when the newspaper was the most highly taxed article of necessity or luxury. Now that it has become one of the cheapest of inventions for the supply of a general want, it may be well to inquire into the causes which interfere with an universal supply.

An ingenious and instructive “Newspaper Map of the United Kingdom,” accompanies Mitchell’s Newspaper Press Directory. It is suggestive of several important facts in our social condition, which we are apt to pass over in looking at its multifarious details. The several districts of the kingdom are indicated by different colours, not only as manufacturing, mining, and agricultural, but by other colours, where two or more of these large classes of occupation are combined. When we glance at the Agricultural Counties, twenty-three in number, extending from Somersetshire to Lincolnshire, and bounded by the inland Manufacturing and Agricultural Counties, five in number, we feel something like wonder that amongst these agricultural communities there should appear so great a number of towns having one or more newspapers. It is no matter of surprise that
the Manufacturing and Mining Counties, with their enormous populations, should be dotted with a circular mark, indicating the publication of one paper, or with a square mark, indicating more than one. Nor are we surprised that where there is a mixed population, in which farms, and factories, and underground operations, supply the funds for the maintenance of labour, the newspapers should be as numerous as in the seats of the Woollen and Cotton Manufacture, and in the great ports associated with them. A minuter investigation into this map will show how the purely Agricultural Districts so abound with Local Newspapers. The places in which they are published are, with scarcely an exception, situated on the lines of railway. The Railway and the Local Newspaper seem to have sprung up together into an extension which, even ten years ago, it would have required some effort of the imagination to consider possible. How is it, then, that the agricultural labouring population must be held as very imperfectly supplied with the same means of information as the residents in towns? Look at this Newspaper Map, and observe what large blank spaces lie between every thread of the great network of railways. In the North Riding of Yorkshire, which is almost purely agricultural, these blanks are as remarkable as those of Wales when we get away from the Mining Districts, or Scotland, when we have passed from the seats of manufactures and commerce into the mountainous districts. In the blank spaces thus indicated, where dwell the great food-producing population, in small villages and hamlets, the newspaper never comes except by the post. The extension, of late years, of the operations of the Post-office, has rendered the
number of those partially excluded from communication with the outer world, much less than it was long after the introduction of Penny Postage. But, with the extension of the Post, the delivery of newspapers by special messengers from the towns has almost ceased. Bearing in mind the cost of communication, whether by direct delivery or by a postage stamp, we need not be surprised that the newspaper, London or provincial, is not often to be found in the labourer’s cottage.

The belief that newspapers would be necessarily instruments of evil has passed away. That any local journal of the present day, however unmarked by literary ability, could fail to be an instrument for rousing the labourer’s mind out of its sluggishness I cannot readily understand. Books, however strenuous and in some degree successful may have been the exertions of book-hawking associations, have scarcely yet sufficiently interested the cottager to induce him to become a purchaser. Village Lending-Libraries are, I fear, not very numerous. The various modes of awakening the reasoning or imaginative powers have hardly satisfied the hopes of the benevolent, that a time was coming when the instruction of the village school would have some durable influence in after life. As a mere matter of national profit, to say nothing of higher motives, the practical education of the agricultural labourer ought not to terminate with the school form. The country has less demand than ever for the mere digger and delver. The whole system of agricultural operations is being changed by that great power of steam, which a hundred years ago revolutionised our manufacturing processes. The cry on every side will be for skilled
labourers. It is not so much that we shall want chemists and mechanicians amongst the wearers of the smock-frock, but that we want young men with minds apt to learn, and fit to superintend. The taste for reading books has yet to be formed amongst this class. The desire for knowing what is going on in the world through the newspaper is natural and almost instinctive. The ordinary details of intelligence are now associated with something more than the “common things” which a nobleman, whose loss we have so recently deplored, was desirous to have taught. We can imagine no more useful task for the Clergyman, the Squire, or the intelligent Farmer than that of giving a weekly lecture upon the Newspaper. I mentioned, ten years ago, in my book on the
Modern Press, that a witness of well-known intelligence told the Committee on Newspaper Stamps that in his village he tried the experiment of reading “The Times” to an evening class of adult labourers, and that he could not read twenty lines without feeling that there were twenty words in it which none of his auditors understood. He wanted, therefore, cheap newspapers, that would be so written as not to puzzle the hearers or readers by such words as “operations,” “Channel,” or “fleet.” Surely this dense ignorance must now have passed away, and it is not necessary to make an attempt to reach the minds of the least instructed class by having newspapers “like school primers, containing words of one or two syllables.” The difficulty is not to understand words but to comprehend unfamiliar things. The Newspaper awakens curiosity, but some intelligent friend will always be needed by the uneducated gradually to lead them forward to the knowledge which
alone can make the hard things of every-day intelligence comparatively plain; and who would, now and then, talk good-humouredly, and even jocosely, about the prejudices, whether of classes or individuals, that the newspaper frequently presents in its reports of the sayings and doings of public men. The Weekly Lecture would perhaps be an easier matter to accomplish than to set up a “Gazette of the Village;” which, like the “Gazette” of
Paul Louis Courier, should be neither scientific nor literary, and would call things and people by their right names. In the “Town and Country Newspaper,” I wrote a short series of articles, which I thus introduced as “Grandfather Smith’s Lectures:”—


“In the centre of a little village about fourteen miles from London, but which village is as secluded as a Highland glen, there is a pretty old-fashioned house known to all the neighbours as ‘Grandfather Smith’s Cottage.’ Grandfather Smith is what is called ‘a character’—that is, he has opinions of his own; and having a small competency and few superfluous wants, he is not very careful to fashion his opinions so as to please the squire or any other rural authority. After a good deal of opposition from these authorities, and much indifference on the part of farmers and labourers, he has succeeded in establishing a system which is an educational experiment. He once kept a day-school; but all his scholars deserted him, some twenty years ago, for the National School, and so the school-room became a lumber-room. This spring, however, the old gentleman has been stirred into unwonted activity by the war; and so he cleared out the ink-bespattered desks, arranged the worm-eaten forms, and invited all the village to come to him once a week to hear the newspaper read. He did this in the belief that his humbler neighbours had no inclination to read the newspaper themselves; but in this he was soon undeceived. He found that the daily newspaper, although a little stale sometimes, penetrated to his solitudes; and that the cheap weekly newspaper was growing into request. Grandfather Smith therefore bethought himself to give a Weekly Lecture on the Newspaper. The notion might savour a little of presumption; but he was indifferent to that sort of opinion which refuses to believe that any work of a
public nature can be undertaken from a sense of duty. So, duly at seven o’clock, is Grandfather Smith’s ancient school-room rilled by old and young; and, what has excited considerable surprise, the curate and his wife, as well as the minister of the small Wesleyan chapel across the common, have occasionally been amongst his hearers.”


In advocating the general circulation of Newspapers, and in recommending a very obvious method of adding something to their usefulness in districts where the hard workers have little aptitude for digesting what they read, I can scarcely be suspected of setting Journalism above other instruments of knowledge. In 1851, I took part in the proceedings of the Northampton Mechanics’ Institute, at which Earl Fitzwilliam was the Chairman. Lord Wodehouse was one of the most effective speakers, as were my old fellow-labourer Dr. Conolly, Mr. Layard, and Mr. George Cruikshank. At that time Mr. Cobden had recently propounded the eccentric advice to the young men of Manchester, not to trouble themselves much with the perusal of books, but to read the newspaper. I said to the Northampton young men that, much as I respected the newspaper, as the great instrument of civilisation, I believed that if their reading were confined to newspapers, excellent as was that reading in general, various as was the information they gave, and infinite as were their resources to convey knowledge, men’s minds would be narrowed and debased by being so limited. I believed, moreover, if that had been the general tone of the mind of this country, and the reading of newspapers had superseded the reading of all other literature, the public would never have attained a right knowledge of what a newspaper should be, and that newspapers themselves would
never have become what they are. The newspaper and the book ought to go hand in hand.

The staple of a Newspaper is news. I have shown what labour and what cost were necessary in 1812 for a Local Journal to obtain even such scanty intelligence as slow and imperfect communication enabled me to present to the readers of the Windsor newspaper. I have also indicated far more serious difficulties of fighting with space and time, which the London Daily Papers had then to encounter.* The Peace came. The character of intelligence was far less interesting. The London Journals then bestowed more care upon the reports of domestic affairs, especially those which indicated the current of public opinion, when almost every community was agitating for Reform. But the Morning Papers were often late, especially when there was a field day in Parliament; and when there was any great meeting at Birmingham, or Liverpool, or Manchester, to demand a special report, it was rarely published till the second day after the meeting had been held. Marvels, however, were occasionally accomplished by “The Times,” and other Morning Papers, which set people asking where all this neck-and-neck race for intelligence would conduct us. The age of railroads came, and then, indeed, a vast step was gained in the publication in London of provincial news. There were occasions in which a tolerably full report of a debate at Manchester in the Free Trade Hall, was published in London before the dial hand had again made its circuit of twelve hours. But these were rare examples of a most costly and complex organization.

* “Passages.” Vol. I. p. 130.

A great change was impending. In “
A Guide to the Electric Telegraph” by C. M. Archer, published in 1852, it is stated that the application of the Electric Telegraph to the purposes of the Press is due to the author of that handbook. He says, it was in May 1845, when there existed only one Telegraph in this country,—that between Nine Elms and Portsmouth,—that in the “Morning Chronicle,” with which he was connected, appeared the first practical application in England of the Telegraph to the purpose of reporting public meetings. Mr. Archer states that on the occasion of the great anti-corn-law banquet to Mr. Cobden, the “extraordinary quantity” of two columns and a half of the proceedings, which did not terminate until midnight at Manchester, was completely printed in “The Times” as reported by telegraph, and was at Manchester the next day by one in the afternoon. The “extraordinary quantity” of matter reported by the London Journals at distant places has now become one of the most ordinary incidents in the conduct of the Metropolitan Press. During the summer of 1864 Lord Palmerston’s Speeches at Tiverton, Hereford, and Bradford, and Mr. Gladstone’s Speeches in Lancashire were reported through the Telegraphic wires at as great a length as if the reporters had transmitted the words in the old ordinary way. On several occasions the length of these reports, as they appeared in the Morning Papers, exceeded seven columns. So instantaneous is the collateral dispatch to provincial towns that it is possible for a statesman to speak at Glasgow in the evening, and to find on his breakfast table next morning, in the Local Paper, the comments of the London Editors on his Speech. It is not the practice
now for every leading newspaper to have its own telegraphic reporter, for if that were the case, the ordinary business traffic would be seriously impeded. If each of the Morning Papers required a report of the same proceedings, and some of the leading Provincial Papers also wanted special reports, the wires would be blocked. Thus it is that the Telegraph Companies have organized an “Intelligence Department.” Few, perhaps, have any notion of the nature and extent of this wonderful organization. Its national importance can scarcely be over-rated.

The Electric Telegraph has become the news-bearer of the world. It has swept away many antiquated ideas; it has substituted facts in the place of conjectures; it has destroyed the ancient sovereignty of one of the most potent rulers of public opinion. The great dramatic poet, who lived before the days when this potentate swayed the world through newspapers, thus makes her speak, full of tongues:

“Open your ears: For which, of you will stop
The vent of hearing when loud Rumour speaks?
I, from the orient to the drooping west,
Making the wind my post-horse, still unfold
The acts commenced on this ball of earth:
Upon my tongues continual slanders ride;
The which in every language I pronounce,
Stuffing the ears of men with false reports.
I speak of peace, while covert enmity,
Under the smile of safety, wounds the world:
And who but Rumour, who but only I,
Make fearful musters, and prepar’d defence,
Whilst the big year, swoln with some other griefs.
Is thought with child by the stern tyrant war.
And no such matter? Rumour is a pipe
Blown by surmises, jealousies, conjectures;
And of so easy and so plain a stop
That the blunt monster with uncounted heads,
The still discordant wavering multitude,
Can play upon it.”
[King Henry IV. Part II. Induction.]

“From the orient to the drooping west” a “post-horse” infinitely more fleet than the wind, brings us facts, sometimes indeed mixed up with “false reports,” which may deceive for a few hours “the blunt monster with uncounted heads,” but which are very quickly scattered by the same agency which brought them. These facts may be meagre, may require to be verified and corrected by the more comprehensive narratives of that ubiquitous eyewitness “Our own Correspondent,” and may be explained and illustrated by the lucid commentaries of such papers as the “Times,” never at any period equalled in breadth of view and felicity of exposition. But these rapid communications very rarely indeed are founded upon “surmises, jealousies, conjectures,” except where misjudging politicians choose to prostitute the power which ought to be essentially the vehicle of truth. Happily such do not exist, and cannot exist, in our own country.

I have a friend,—once amongst the most useful and trustworthy of my fellow-labourers,—who is the presiding mind of the Intelligence Department of one of the two Telegraph Companies. It is not that he has any concern with the actual working of the great machinery which daily and hourly transmits throughout our three kingdoms foreign and colonial news; summaries of debates in Parliament; returns of markets of every kind; shipping news; racing news;”*

* Sporting News, as I am informed, constitutes a great item with the Telegraph Companies. There are about 180 subscribers, chiefly publicans; and the subscription from each is 20l. a year.

states of the weather at the different ports; and last, but not least important, those despatches from almost every quarter of the world, which constantly meet the eye of the newspaper reader as “Reuters Telegrams.” My friend is not responsible for carrying through the marvellous operation of transmitting by the electric wire a Queen’s Speech of 965 words, in thirty-one minutes,—an advance of speed which we can scarcely deem less than marvellous compared with the record in the “
Daily News” of 1847, that the Queen’s Speech of that November was telegraphed at the rate of fifty-five letters in a minute, the whole 730 words being disposed of in two hours. The rate of speed has thus been quintupled in seventeen years. Nor is my friend responsible for the summaries of Parliamentary Debates which now constitute such an important feature in the seventy-one Daily Papers in the United Kingdom. The two Telegraph Companies—the Magnetic and the Electric—have each an Instrument-room at the Houses of Parliament, but only one report of the debates is prepared, which is transmitted by both Companies. The regular occupation of my friend, as intelligence-reporter, is sufficiently onerous to demand the most unremitting assiduity, the most watchful observation, the clearest judgment. He has ceased to be connected with what we call the literary world, but his duties, in many respects, require the exercise of higher qualities than those which ordinarily direct the pen of a merely ready writer. Let me present an imperfect outline of the routine of his daily life. The intelligence-reporter has an office and a bedroom in a house which adjoins and communicates with the Central Office of the Electric Telegraph.
Winter and summer he is at his desk at 6 a.m., at which hour, to a minute, he receives a copy of the “Daily News;” at 6-20 a copy of the “
Times;” and about 6-45 the rest of the Morning Papers. A messenger waits to take slips from him into the Instrument-room, and about 6-10 the transmission begins. It is sometimes finished at 7-15; but an effort is always made to have everything completed before 8. This is the “morning express,” which varies from fourteen hundred words to fewer than four hundred. I have before me the second Edition of the “Liverpool Daily Post,” dated October 13th, 9 a.m. The Telegraphic portion occupies about 150 lines of very close printing, and consists of five separate articles; namely, two from Reuters Telegram, one headed “Mr. W. E. Gladstone in Lancashire,” stating that the London Papers contain reports by telegraph of his speeches at Bolton and Liverpool the day before, and that most of them devote a leading article to the Lancashire visit. Of the leading articles of the “Times,” the “Daily Telegraph,” the “Daily News,” and the “Star” we have then an abstract, which occupies more than a fourth of the whole despatch. Upon the Danish question there is an abstract of the “Times’” Paris Correspondent’s letter I am informed that the commercial part of this morning express is supplied direct by a City reporter, for the Telegraph Offices. The slightest consideration of the tact and promptitude required to deal in an hour, and sometimes less, with the complicated mass of the novel intelligence presented in the Morning Papers, and to interpret their lengthy opinions in brief sentences, so as to give a trustworthy notion of the leading points, must show that the intelligence-
reporter works under a very grave responsibility. This morning express is sent direct to all the largest towns; from these central places the news is repeated to smaller towns in their respective districts.

The morning work is scarcely over before another stream of business messages is set flowing. In addition to the news from the early Daily Papers, a variety of intelligence is transmitted at irregular hours—two reports from the Stock Exchange, with copious quotations; two reports of the Colonial and Foreign Produce Markets; reports of Corn-markets, Tallow-markets, Cattle-markets, Wool-sales. All intelligence of value to men of business is posted immediately at the Exchanges of Liverpool and the other great towns. Reuters Telegrams arrive at all hours, both of the day and night, and are instantly transmitted, if of great interest. Thus passes his ever-watchful forenoon for the Intelligence-reporter. But then the London Evening Papers come pouring in, and an “evening express” has to be prepared. The Gazettes of Tuesday and Friday furnish a variety of minute details, the accurate transmission of which as to figures and names is of the first importance. The electric dispatch of many of these matters of business does not of course require the presiding judgment of the Intelligence-reporter, but he can never stir from his post, for throughout the day there may be queries from different stations to answer.

To wait upon the mental operations which set the telegraph in motion, there are in the Instrument-gallery of the Electric Company no fewer than eighty or ninety young women employed during the day. But there are many youths who here, like the compositors of a daily paper, are compelled to per-
petual night-work. The untiring Reuter appears at all hours, as he does at the Newspaper Offices, with manifolded copies of his telegram, which has come through every sea beneath which there is the electric wire. The time may not be far distant when another cable, three thousand miles long, may not be irrecoverably sunk in the rocky bed of the Atlantic. But the present want of this direct communication is in some degree remedied by extraordinary vigilance and exertion. At midnight the New York Mail Steamer may have been intercepted by the small steamer belonging to the Telegraph Company, and the news being transmitted to every station in the United Kingdom, it is circulated almost universally before nine o’clock in the morning. The telegraph wires being carried to Cape Clear, the farthest western point of the Irish coast, this feat is accomplished. But the enthusiastic believers in what is to be effected by the telegraph, say that the United Kingdom is too small a country for the display of its feats. Hopes founded not upon vague generalities, but upon the most scientific calculations, point to the speedy realisation of plans that seem almost too vast to be admitted into the mind without a very strong alloy of incredulity. Man is achieving a victory over time and space of which the imperfect beginning called forth our wonder, but we scarcely know how to contemplate the possible end without something like awe.