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“Tom,' said she.” “There's a big fire in the town l’

I ran upstairs, and there I saw the reflection of a great blaze in the skies, and began to wonder whose place it was that was burning in that way—just like a heap of matchwood. At that moment the door-bell was rung violently. I ran downstairs before the servant could open it, and found a lad standing on the door-steps breathless. “It's on fire, sir!” he gasped out. “What is 2' ‘The office, . sir.’ ‘The office ’’ said I. ‘Yes, sir, the “Englishman” office, and it's a-goin' off like a lot of old sticks.’

It was quite true. When I got down to the place, there was nothing but the four walls standing. The type was all melted; the hoe machines were buried beneath the blazing rubbish ; the editor's room no longer existed—the whole place was a wreck | Next morning the “Sentinel’ had a long account of the fire, in which it spoke of the ‘Englishman’ as though it had been in the habit of referring to it every day during the last six months. The concluding words of the account were as follows: “Although our contemporary cannot be said to have been fortunate in the manner in which its editorial columns were conducted, we

believe that it was not unappreciated by a small and somewhat select circle of readers. We learn on good authority, that after the disaster of last night, no attempt will be made to resume its publication, and we may therefore, in the name of the inhabitants of Fogborough, bid it, and its conductors, a last farewell. Vale / vale /’

I don't know what the ‘good authority’ of the ‘Sentinel’ might be ; but I do know that we resolved unanimously at a meeting held almost before the ruins of the office were cold, to wind up the company, and to make no further attempt to establish ‘an organ’ of our own. So it came to pass that the paragraph I have quoted was the epitaph of the ‘Fogborough Englishman.’ And a dear bargain it was

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LET us take a peep into a daily newspaper office, and see the Sub busy at his labours. The room is dingy and small; not overwell lit from without ; and very badly ventilated. It is night—for midnight is the noon of the daily paper office—and half-a-dozen gas-lights flare up under green shades, heating the atmosphere so as to render it almost insupportable. In the centre of the room is a great desk or table, the principal objects distinguishable amid the litter of newspapers and MSS. that cover it, being a dirty old blotting-pad, and an inkstand the size of a tolerable punch-bowl. By the side of the sub-editor's chair is an enormous waste-paper basket, which is full to the brim, the floor all around it being covered with letters, proofs, papers, and other rubbish which have escaped from the “Balaam-box' of the establishment. Hard by the inkstand, but hidden just now by an open copy of the ‘Times,' is a paste-pot which a bill-sticker need not be ashamed of owning ; whilst the gentleman who sits at the desk, and who is just now looking over a provincial newspaper, holds in his hands a huge pair of scissors / How shall I describe the accessories of the scene 2 They differ in every newspaper office in the kingdom, and yet a family-likeness may be detected in every such place. There are the smaller desks at which the sub-editor's assistants sit, and which are never more tidy than that of the ruler of this little kingdom. There is the greasy date-box, on the chimney-piece, the dingy old maps hung against the wall, the clumsy volumes of the ‘file’ piled in hopeless confusion in the rack, the little bookcase, stuffed with works of reference—Dictionaries, Peerages, Encyclopaedias—the labyrinth of speaking tubes gathered on all sides of the sub-editor's seat, and the huge heaps of old newspapers, over which the unwary visitor stumbles. This, far more than the room of the chief-leader writer or of any other member of the staff, is the real heart and centre of the great machine whose influence is felt all over England; and the man who labours here is he who approaches most nearly to the popular ideal of a newspaper editor. It is into his hands that the epistles of ‘Paterfamilias,” ‘An Indignant Traveller,’ ‘A Volunteer,’ ‘A Con

stant Subscriber to your Valuable Journal,' and the other variously-named writers who look to the press for the redress of their grievances, fall; he it is who knows the night before what the paper of the next morning is going to contain ; who decides whether the ‘copy' which poor Flimsy, the penny-a-liner, has dropped into the box with fear and trembling an hour before, shall be accepted and paid for, or flung carelessly into the wastebasket; who writes the short stinging notes at the end of letters of disagreeable or wearisome correspondents, which are invariably signed “Ed.,’ as though they alone, of all the original matter in the paper, had come from the hands of the editor; who compiles the readable summary of the day's news, whereby in five minutes you may make yourself acquainted with all the more important contents of the paper; and under whose direction the whole of that vast array of close reading, the law reports, accounts of meetings, accidents, ceremonies, and races, letters from foreign correspondents, and miscellaneous items of information which make up the bulk of every modern newspaper, are gathered together, condensed, digested, and arranged in the convenient form. in which they are subsequently presented to the public. As he sits before us now, we may learn not a little regarding the manner in which he performs his duties by merely watching him. Here, for

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