Typo: A Monthly Newspaper and Literary Review, Volume 3
An Auckland correspondent in a recent letter referred to a report which had gone the rounds that Mr C. O. Montrose, an old journalist, was dead. Mr Montrose, who is now editing a paper in Victoria, entitled the Farmer's Gazette, gives the rumour an emphatic denial.
The unwritten history of some of the London newspapers would be edifying. Mr James Greenwood states that he severed his connexion with the St James's Gazette because it was secretly arranging to become the English organ of Bismarck, negociations having been carried on with the prince's secretary, who bears the mellifluous and significant name of Rottenburg. What is more to the point, he was able to prove his assertion.—The facts of the anti-Times conspiracy on the part of some of the (un)-English press may yet be brought to light.
The cruel nettle is now turned to valuable commercial account, and is being assiduously cutivated in Europe. Its fibre is found to possess special qualities for the manufacture of textile fabrics, and in Dresden a thread has been spun from it so fine that 60 miles in length weighs only 2½lb. So this much-abused weed may now point a new moral: Gently stroke the wayside nettle,
And it stings you for your pains;
Take it like a man of mettle
Dress it—soak it in your kettle—
And a fibre, strong (not brittle)
Fine and soft as silk remains!
A letter was recently received in Dunedin, which had been posted in Warsaw, and bore no address except, « Via England. George-street, Dunedin. » On being opened, the letter was found to be written in a strange and unknown character. A junior clerk, who had seen Hebrew MSS., suggested that the Jewish rabbi might throw some light on the subject. To him the letter was taken, and he, after looking over a few lines, satisfied himself that is was intended for a certain gentleman in George-street, a well-known Hebrew scholar. « In this way, » says the Dunedin Times, « a letter, after having travelled twenty thousand miles without any name, reached its destination, had the address supplied at the end of the journey, and was delivered to the proper owner after no more than the delay of perhaps half-an-hour. » —The Napier papers, however, cap this story by narrating that a letter from Germany, addressed, « Mrs., Coote-road, Napier, » was delivered unopened to the person for whom it was intended.
Mr O'Brien says he « never made any pretence at loyalty until the year 1885. » And his present pretence does not prevent him from declaring himself in open rebellion.
The Melbourne Daily Telegraph, which has so long held possession of the field, has now a rival, the Evening Standard. The sum of £18,000 was spent on the new paper before the first issue appeared, Following the example of the London Star, the proprietors gave a big « reception » on the appearance of the first number. Mr G. M. Reed, late of this colony, is the editor.
The New York World says there was a commotion in the Judge office lately. In the absence of the editor, a cartoon « The Mugwump Elaine » was put through with the title « The Mugwump Blaine, » and 20,000 copies were printed before the mistake was discovered. Our readers are at liberty to attach a private note of interrogation to this story if so inclined.
A lad named Edward Horneman, employed by the Hawera Star, met with a serious accident. While delivering papers on the road to Manaia, his horse started, and as he was at that moment leaning over to put a paper in a letter-box, he lost his balance and fell, and was dragged some distance. Fortunately no bones were broken, but he was badly bruised.
The mysterious disappearance of a Melbourne compositor named F. Slade is causing some inquiry. According to the A. T. Journal, the missing man, who was on the staff of Messrs Walker, May & Co., and was over sixty years of age, determined, on account of indisposition, to visit Adelaide, and bought a return ticket. This was about the 18th December, and nothing further has been seen or heard of him, either in Melbourne or Adelaide, notwithstanding every inquiry.
A letter addressed by Mr Soames to the shareholders in the London Times in reference to the last dividend has been published and copied into a good many of our contemporaries. As it is a purely private communication, on a matter of private business, its publication is a grave breach of decency. The plague of « society » journalism has begun to affect the daily press, and is manifestly lowering its standard. A few years ago no journal with any pretence to respectability would have published such a document, which (even if it be genuine) could only have been obtained by surreptitious and dishonorable means.
Mr T. P. O'Connor's Star—a leading characteristic of which is that it publicly discusses matters that journalists and gentlemen generally have respected as private—has been examining the advertising columns of The Times, and showing « how entirely it has lost the position it once held as the leading commercial organ. » Encouraged by the contemptuous silence of The Times, it next turned its attention to the Scotsman, and found another example of « the breaking-down of a great commercial position. » But the Scotsman has something to say on the matter in addition to recommending the Star to mind its own business. It shows that the alleged fact is a falsehood, and that its revenue from advertisements is greater than it has ever been.
Mrs Weldon has been awarded £300 damages for a libel which appeared in Men and Women, an English periodical now defunct.
An English telegram reports that Sir Morell Mackenzie has taken action against The Times for an alleged libel contained in its correspondence columns.—The Times has apologized.
The Rev. D. Bruce, who during the past few years has dabbled a good deal in journalism of the « society » order, has gone to Australia, where he is said to have an appointment in the same line.
An English telegram contains the news that the Pall Mall Gazette has had to pay £1500 damages for libel; but after the manner of English telegrams, it gives no intimation of the nature of the libel, nor of the identity of the plaintiff.
Bad examples soon spread. We learn from a contemporary that a new East Coast weekly comes out under three titles. Of one thing this is a sure sign—a want of stamina. No paper of robust vitality would consent to appear under an alias.
A second-hand dealer at Christchurch named Wheatley has been fined £5 for purchasing a book stolen from the public library. The book bore the library stamp and a copy of the rules on the back, and was bought by Wheatley with two others for a shilling.
Care is necessary in giving the authority « says—, » to see that proper punctuation is observed. Continual mistakes arise from neglecting this precaution. As for example, in a contemporary, this month; « The Christchurch Press says a southern paper is owned by Messrs—. » The paragraph is not from the Press, but relates to it; and the omission of the commas (or parentheses) before « says » and after « paper, » makes all the difference.
The Waipawa Mail last year offered a premium for the best original story for a Christmas supplement. It received so many, that it has since published a weekly literary supplement, composed chiefly of original matter, and the contents compare favorably with those of the Australian-printed supplements, which consist largely of pirated and mutilated American literature. The Mail deserves credit for its enterprise, which we are glad to say, it is also finding profitable.
It is a little awkward when school children are better instructed than their teachers; but where home education is well attended to, this is sometimes the case. Some time ago, in Hawke's Bay, a boy was sent down in his class for naming « India » as a tea-producing country. Another, the son of a blacksmith, was held up to ridicule for stating that horses were sometimes shod with « slippers. » A parallel case is reported from Auckland. A class had to write on New Zealand birds, and a little girl handed in an essay on the moa, which she described as having formerly inhabited this country, but being now extinct, as having been « as tall as a man, » &c. The teacher indignantly said that « there never was such a bird, » and the scholar was publicly scolded for drawing on her imagination, and as a further punishment, was « kept in » !