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THE STORY OF THE FOG BOROUGH
AoAVGZASA/MAAV.

‘THERE's nothing like a good name,' said Mr. Cuttle, the wholesale cheesemonger; “and I goes in for the best of all names. I'm an Englishman myself, and I say an Englishman let it be.’ And then the worthy man thumped the table with emphasis, and looked round for the applause which was due to his patriotic speech. “Don't you think that's rayther general 2' said Mr. Meek, the haberdasher of Pulpit Place in a diffident tone. ‘General, sir! What do you mean * You're not general, are you ? And you're an Englishman?' The eminent Cuttle objected to Mr. Meek on principle. ‘He's only 'alf-an'-'alf,’ he was wont to say by way of explaining his sentiments towards the haberdasher. “My opinion is he wouldn't mind goin' over to the Blues if he could make it pay.” Now, I am not prepared to vouch for the complete relevancy of Cuttle's retort upon Meek; but it is at least certain that like Malvolio's wound, it was ‘enough, and we all agreed without more ado that the name of the new ‘organ’ of the Radical party of Fogborough should be “the Englishman.’ And ‘the Englishman’ it was. “I proposes,’ said Mr. Cuttle, after a while, ‘that young Green there look after the editorial part of the organ. He's plenty of time on his hands, and he ought to be doin' somethin' for the party.’ This was the way in which it came to pass that I found myself described in the prospectus of the ‘Fogborough Englishman Company (Limited), as managing director. My proper business was with the law; but at the call of one's country, or at least of one's party, a man must be ready to make some sacrifice. Everybody knew that in the firm of Green and Son, I made but an insignificant figure. My father did the real work; and I was looked upon as an appendage, ornamental perhaps, but certainly not useful, to the business. Enough of myself, however. This is the story of the ‘Fogborough Englishman,’ and not of Thomas Green the Younger. Of all the harassing months I ever spent in my life, that which preceded the first appearance of what old Cuttle insisted upon calling ‘the organ,' was the worst. A man who is about to be married, or about to emigrate, or about to be hanged, has. no doubt a great many things to do in a very little space of time; but he is at leisure, absolutely and entirely, as compared with the wretch who is concerned in starting a daily paper. Fogborough, as you doubtless know, possesses two daily papers in addition to that the story of which I am about to tell. There was the “Sentinel,' which was the paper of the district, old Whig in principles, very stiff and very stately, owned by a firm of wealthy merchants, who never grudged expense in improving their journal. We objected to it, because it was not Liberal enough for us. And we objected still more strongly to the ‘Fogborough Sun,' because it was an out-and-out Tory paper. We Radicals were entirely misrepresented, and that was why we made up our minds to come out with the ‘Englishman.’ Happily I had nothing to do with the mechanical part of the arrangements. Brown and Cuttle, two of my fellow-directors, undertook to secure an office —which they did, at the bottom of a particularly dirty court—and fit up the necessary machinery. All that fell to my duty was to secure the literary staff, as we very grandly designated the editor, sub-editor, and three reporters, whom we felt it necessary to engage to conduct our organ. I began my work by advertising in all the London

papers. Two days afterwards, when I went down to my office, I found the small boy in the outer room grinning from ear to ear. ‘The postman says he's coming again in half an hour, sir, with the rest of them,' said he. ‘The rest of what ?' I asked. For reply he pointed to my desk, and there I saw a heap of letters which would have filled a clothesbasket, sprawling over it in every direction. You may imagine that my heart sank within me when I began to read them How I toiled on and on, day after day, and how disgusted I was at the end of the third day, with the result of my labours, must I think be left to your imagination. What wonderful letters they were ! Those applying for the post of editor were the most curious. The men who merely aspired to be reporters on the paper were for the most part sensible fellows, who knew what they were about, and who had some notion that a man does not become a full-blown newspaper reporter in a single night. But the would-be editors I had applications from twelve clergymen of the Church of England, sixteen Dissenting ministers, two sons of lords, three brothers of baronets, four doctors, thirty-two barristers, a Catholic priest, a German refugee, and seventy broken-down clerks, shopkeepers, auctioneers, and schoolmasters. Of the whole of these not one had ever had any experience in editing, and I do not believe that any one of them had ever written a leading article for a newspaper in the course of their lives. The remainder of the applications for the editorship came from certain literary men (some of them men with whose names I was well acquainted), and from four persons who really had been editors, and who, at least, knew what they were applying for. I was terribly puzzled and perplexed, for my four practical men upon further enquiry all turned out to have little weaknesses of their own. One of them had been convicted of bigamy; two were given to drink; and the fourth, when he discovered that the paper was a joint-stock one, said ‘He'd be d —d if he'd have anything to do with a parcel of bullying directors.' Up to that moment I had imagined that a good editor was to be found as easily as gooseberries in spring. I began to tremble as I thought that I might have to study the whole of the batch of miscellaneous applications in search of some one suited for the post, or still worse that I might have to advertise again. One afternoon whilst I was sitting in a state of great gloom, wondering whether I shouldn't be

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