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primitive merit. Since of recently, however, I have acquired to write with a down and harmonious current, not speaking egotastically.” An extract will serve to show the nature of this “ down and harmonious current:"
You may question about the throne or seat
Of Spring, if you doubt it isn't seed,
From the rose down to bush-weed
You may dwell upon the rose and lily too,
But if you do not your course pursue
Or the sand-hill flower homage do,
You'll never know it's a festal Sunday
Merriment decks the globe, -
To the ubiquitous palace hope. Having run the gamut of the merely tedious, the mildly ridiculous, the wildly absurd, the positively illiterate comes, in its turn, in the shape of a lyric accompanied by a request-nay, a demand for immediate publication :
And you will soon posess his name,
I will go and rome the wild, wild plane;
A mong the beast that are not tame,
Billie, love, come back again.
Good by, lizzie, I must love you,
Tho the parting gives me pain,
Then I will return again.
And here is a story, the scene of which is laid on the shores of the Dead Sea. It is from one of the most spirited and resolute of would-be contributors, -a young woman still in her teens, to judge by the crudity of her productions. She has poured forth poems, essays, romances, -even a dissertation upon Job, which that long-suffering man would undoubtedly have regarded as the last straw, had it been written during his period of trial. One of her novelettes related the sad bistory of a young man who, after making a solemn vow to “ taste not, touch not, handle not,” went to a “ fashionable ball” and met there a siren who “lured him with the wine-cup” and then induced him to gamble away his fortune.
“Oh !" said the author, in a burst of impassioned eloquence, “if women only knew their evil influence over weak Man, they would retire under a nun's veil!"
These effusions were always accompanied by long letters in which the writer became very confidential, even going to the length of asking for the editor's photograph. She added, in order that he might understand what a compliment was implied in the request, " There are very few people's photographs I would have. Only some one like my dear Grandpa, like you, like the exalted types of manhood God has given me as friends."
At last, moved to pity by such misdirected energy, the editor, in a moment of weakness, sent her a letter of good advice, in place of the customary printed formula. But, though well meant, his epistle had the effect of turning her honey into gall, as was testified by the answer that speedily arrived: “Notwithstanding such a prodigious amount of sarcasm accompanied your advice, it had no effect upon me. I am well aware that when you wrote that letter you were laboring under the delusion that it would crush me to earth,—that all hope of my ever accomplishing anything in the great Palæstria of literature would be entirely overwhelmed by its sarcasm. But here let me correct your mistaken impression. Though now you may dictate to me with impunity, yet some day, mark you, if our lives are spared, the tables will be turned, the dictating will be on my side, and you will deem it an honor to publish my writings. I think it will be decidedly conducive to your peace of mind if you will, for a moment, crawl from under your shell of selfishness and self-conceit, and realize that the mantle of the third Hebrew king and Greece's seven sages has not fallen upon the stronger sex alone. I request that you will not again write to me until you have acquired in some degree the gentle spirit of the author of the Pentateuch."
That gentle spirit never did descend upon the editor; but the spirited author has relented sufficiently to send him the literary Dead Sea fruit previously alluded to.
Another writer has clearly had some journalistic aspirations nipped in the bud; for he writes an article denouncing newspaper methods and writers,—the corruptness of the former, and the incompetence and illiteracy of the latter. “Why,” he remarks, " if the compositors were to follow the copy of these men ver batum, it would not take three issues of the paper to disgrace them.” In conclusion, he adds, “One whose digestion has always been good, and whose earthly lot has never been darkened by a single cloud, may detect in these observations a trace of the cinic; but to me they are but the half-expressed inspirations of sad experience :
Full many a lower is born to blush unseen,
This may be said to express the wail of the rejected and give voice to their sense of deep injury. No man or woman finds disappointment anything but bitter; yet, even if they must fail, need they fail ridiculously, or resent defeat with angry cries, like a spoiled child? Whether or not the comfortable doctrine of the successful—that genius never goes unrecognized—be true, mere lack of recognition does not necessarily imply genius. And if full many a flower is born to blush unseen, so, it must be remembered, is full many a weed.
J. K. Wetherill.
WHAT IT COSTS TO ISSUE BIG NEWSPAPERS.
It certainly does not seem to cost a great deal. Doubtless the average reader of an eight-page daily journal of the first class has not the remotest idea of the amount of money required to publish it. It looks so cheap, and—when one has gleaned the news from it-80 worthless.
The heaviest single item of expense, for a metropolitan newspaper of large circulation, is for the paper on which it is printed. Of course this varies greatly. The New York World and the New York Times are each, let us say, eight pages, but the World spends more in a day for its white paper than does the Times in a week. It is within bounds to place the paper-bill of an eight-page journal, with an average daily circulation of seventy-five thousand, at close upon one thousand dollars per day. During 1888 the New York World is said to have paid out six hundred thousand dollars for its paper. The bulky Sunday editions, of from sixteen to thirty-two pages, of the larger newspapers swell the weekly totals.
The “composition” bills vary from about seven hundred and fifty dollars a week for four-page papers like the Boston Post, Philadelphia Record, Baltimore News, and Chicago Evening Journal, to six thousand dollars a week for the largest ten- and twelve-page papers, which issue special suburban editions involving the waste of many columns of " local” news put in type for particular places and not used in the principal city editions. It is by means of these special editions that the amazing circulation of certain metropolitan journals is secured.
It is impossible to cover in a single statement the editorial expenditures of the leading newspapers. They differ in this respect more widely than in any other. There is one successful class, represented by the Cincinnati Enquirer, whose staff of editorial writers does not cost it one hundred dollars a week; there is another class, including papers like the New York Sun and Chicago Tribune, the weekly salaries of whose editorial writers foot up not less than one thousand dollars. Perhaps the best-paid editorial writer on any daily journal in the country is Mayo W. Haseltine, of the New York Sun, who is said to receive one hundred and seventy-five dollars a week.
In the same way great newspapers differ extremely in the money they expend for special telegraphic news. Certain excellent “ local” newspapers with established advertising patronage, notably the Philadelphia Ledger and the Baltimore Sun, satisfied with the outside news-service of the Associated Press, pay for telegraph-tolls not more than one hundred dollars a week; while other enterprising newspapers, like the New York World, Sun, Times, and Herald, the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, the Cinciunati Enquirer, and the Philadelphia Press, pay from five hundred dollars to twelve hundred dollars a week. This, it should be borne in mind, is for telegraph-service alone; for here another important distinction between these two classes must be noted. The first (the great local newspapers or advertising mediums) probably expend only from seventy-five dollars to one hundred and twenty-five dollars per week on the special correspondents who send news by telegraph or mail, and are paid by "space," or at so much per column, contributed or printed; while for the same services the papers of the second class pay out from eight hundred dollars to two thousand dollars per week.
The staff of reporters is not such a variable quantity, since all metropolitan journals must give, with more or less completeness, the news of the cities in which they are published. There are, indeed, in New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Baltimore, and Chicago, penny newspapers whose entire weekly outlay for the gathering of " local” news, including the salary of the city editor, does not exceed one hundred and thirty-five dollars. But the larger newspapers employ from twenty to twenty-five reporters at an average weekly salary of twenty dollars, and pay their city editors from fifty dollars to seventy-five dollars.
Then there are the telegraph editors, say five of them at an average weekly wage of twenty-five dollars (the New York Sun pays best for this important and laborious service); the literary, dramatic, and financial editors, on salaries ranging from thirty dollars to seventy-five dollars per week; the “news," some times the same as the " night,” editor, who“ makes up" the paper and “puts it to press," and rightly gets well paid therefor; and-saving his highness the editor-in-chief, whose income is too magnificent for mention—there is, finally, the managing editor, who may be paid from fifty to sixty dollars a week all the way up to the princely salary of Colonel John Cockerill, of the New York World, who receives from Mr. Pulitzer the snug fortune of twenty thousand dollars a year.
A word should be said about the cable-tolls. These are not so heavy as the public may think. The cable despatches and Sunday letters not only come in skeleton form, very much condensed in substance and abbreviated in letter, to be expanded (though not unduly) on this side of the sea, but they are paid for by the various syndicates of newspapers which receive them. Thus, the New York journal which arranges for a cable letter sells it to a leading paper in five other cities. The cable letter as printed makes one thousand words, we shall say, As received it was five hundred words in length, and the toll for it (at twelve cents a word) was sixty dollars. But divided among six the cost is only ten dollars a thousand words,—not such a lavish outlay, after all. Three New York papers published short reports from the American base-ball team that lately played its way around the world. Now, the telegraph rate to and from Australia is two dollars and fifty cents a word, as the message must be repeated twenty times and go and come by way of Europe. Even at the rate for newspapers of one dollar and twenty-five cents a word these base-ball reports seem & remarkable piece of extravagance, until one knows of the ingenious cipher system by which they were received. There are just so many probable plays in a game of base-ball; only about twenty words were necessary for each report. Divide this trivial cost among the syndicate, and see how insignificant one phase of newspaper "enterprise" becomes.
In my list of expenditures I have taken no account of the force in the business office, the mailing-room, the foundry, and the press-room. I have not the space to dwell upon them. But add the various items for a mammoth newspaper and you'll find the grand total far over a million. This is stunning; but I learn from a trustworthy source that the World cleared a million dollars last year.
THERE can be no greater literary treat than the autobiography of a genuine man. Now, Edward Fitzgerald was above all things a genuine man, and the first volume of his “Letters and Literary Remains” (Macmillan), which is edited by that able craftsman William Aldis Wright on much the same principle that gave its charm to Cross's “Life of George Eliot,” has all the essentials of an autobiography. Mr. Wright allows the Letters to tell their own tale; he adds only a very slender connecting thread of narrative,-enough to be explanatory, not enough to be obtrusive. It is a fine honest mind and heart that are here revealed. Fitzgerald was one of those rare characters who are thoroughly frank with themselves. No wonder Thackeray's daughter thought she discerned in him many of the traits of the novelist's "Warrington.” There is no room here for cant and humbug, any more than there was in Pendennis's friend. Fitzgerald speaks his mind out plainly about men and things, but a royal good nature dominates all he says. Even the passage which excites Mr. Browning to his unfortunate ebullition of bile and saliva had no ill feeling in it. Mr. Browning fancied that Fitzgerald thanked God his wife was dead, and so suggested that there would be an admirable appropriateness in spitting upon the dead critic with lips once consecrate by hers. Fitzgerald did not thank God for Mrs. Browning's death. He obviously had no personal grudge against her. He did not even know her. But critically he was prejudiced against her writings; he was glad that no more Aurora Leighs were to be added to English literature. The Deo gratias occurred in a letter to a personal friend; it was never meant for publication (Mr. Wright has acknowledged, indeed, that he erred in giving it to the light), and it is dictated by no unkindly feeling. It is such a remark as any one of us might casually drop, in a letter or in conversation, on the death of some public person with whom we did not agree.
Now, this is not saying that Fitzgerald was right in his estimate of Mrs. Browning's literary worth. Fitzgerald, it has already been adjudged by competent authority, was often wrong in his judgments of writers both of his time and of the past, as every genuine man is likely to be. One distrusts a taste that is too catholic, that is always in touch with what we call the cultivated opinion. Cultivated opinion is only too apt to like the books that it never reads. It was with no great shock of surprise that some years ago we heard one eminent critic charge, and prove, that another eminent critic had never read some of the "recognized" masterpieces which he freely praised. If the latter had read them, however, he would have praised them quite as freely. Educated opinion is a bugaboo which deprives the critic of his manliness. Not many people perhaps would agree with the verdicts which Mr. Fawcett, for example, has passed upon Browning and Carlyle in his volume "Agnosticism, and Other Essays" (Houghton, Mifflin & Co.). Yet we should do homage to a critic who has the courage of his convictions, who consciously and without affectation of singularity runs counter to educated opinion. We should be glad to see a man who depends not upon hearsay but upon the report of his own faculties for his convictions.