Typo: A Monthly Newspaper and Literary Review, Volume 2
The time-honored « Reuter » has given place in the colonial papers to an Australian press association. The change is deplorable. The conductor appears to have a weakness for ancient geography and archæology in general, and recently wired from Australia to New Zealand the date of the death of Alexander the Great!
At a recent meeting of the self-constituted « Protection League » it was resolved to apply to the Government to pay the expenses of the delegates to Wellington. The cool impudence of the proposal was somewhat remarkable, even from such a source—but the amazing part of the incident is that the Government acceded to the request! The precedent is a dangerous one, and this unwarrantable abuse of authority will seriously affect the stability of the ministry.
Open confession in is good for the soul. A recently-established country contemporary thus acknowledges the inexperience and inefficiency of its staff: « We feel that we owe an apology to our readers, and especially to our correspondents, for the printer's errors that have crept into our first few numbers. The explanation is to be found in the fact there are in the establishment many of us, from the editor to the apprentices, who are entirely new to the work. We hope, however, to improve as we go on. » The surest way to improve would be to engage a few competent hands. Typo is sorry to say that just now a good many such are looking for work, and seeking in vain.
A contributor to the Auckland Leader is writing a series of articles on « Local Poets. » The subject might fittingly be dealt with in the same brief fashion as that of the celebrated chapter on « Snakes in Iceland. » A good many volumes of rhymes of various degrees of merit have appeared from time to time; but have speedily passed into oblivion. Mr Bracken has written clever squibs in the Irish brogue, but his serious verses are a failure, and he is no more a « poet » than he is a statesman. The scene of Domett's great poem is laid in New Zealand, and his descriptions are accurate and beautiful. He takes a high place among the poets of the century; but his works all made their appearance after he had ceased to be a colonist. The writer in the Leader makes the surprising statement that Ranolf and Amohia was praised by Dr. Arnold, « the worthy master of Rugby school. » Arnold died in 1842—thirty years before the poem saw the light!
The tendering system in the printing trade is fast becoming a farce. If a society requires fifteen-shillings'-worth of work, specifications must be sent round to every printer in the town, or the honorary secretary has to run the gauntlet of abuse from committeee and members. During this present month a local government body called for tenders for their year's printing. The specification shewed fourteen different jobs—perhaps ten of which would be required. The gross total, reckoning every item, would be £15 or £17; the probable amount of the year's work, £10 or £12. And this was one of the conditions: « A deposit of £10 to accompany the tender, which will be retained as security for the due fulfilment of the contract »! The audit department requires contractors' deposit cheques to be cashed and paid in to a special account; so that for about £10-worth of work spread over a year, the printer was required to deposit the whole amount as security in advance! And tenders were sent in on these terms.