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Typo: A Monthly Newspaper and Literary Review, Volume 3

[trade dispatches]

page 83

Mr C. A. Lober, of Messrs C. Troedel & Co., Melbourne, was presented on the 21st June by his fellow-employés with a handsome clock on the occasion of his marriage.

Mr J. D. Robertson, overseer of the Silver Age, Broken Hill, was presented by the companionship on the 16th May with a handsome marble-cased clock, in token of their regard, on the occasion of his marriage.

The action for wrongful dismissal taken in the Court of Queen's Bench on the 21st May by Mr James Greenwood against Mr H. Hucks Gibbs, proprietor of the St James's Gazette, has been settled by the payment of the plaintiff's claim (£975) and costs.

It is dangerous to write disrespectfully of that classic dance, the can-can. The Era, having described a performance of this kind by a certain Mr and Mrs Barnes as « indecent, » Mr Ledger, the proprietor of the Journal, has had to enter in his Cash-book a payment of £300 damages, in addition to costs.

The employés of Messrs A. H. Massina & Co., Melbourne, enjoyed a day's outing at Lilydale on the 16th March. Mr George Hall, a clerk in the establishment, met with a painful accident towards the close of the day. He was knocked down by a horse, breaking his collar-bone and three ribs.

The Duke of Cambridge recently assaulted a newspaper reporter, and a magistrate refused to issue a summons against his Grace. Chief Justice Coleridge has ordered the magistrate to issue the summons, on the ground that in the eye of the law all subjects are on an equality. We hope that the services of the magistrate, who apparently holds the view that the sacred person of a duke is above the law, will be dispensed with.

The recent failure of Messrs Spalding & Hodge—a firm established for a century—was the largest and most disastrous the paper trade has known. It is satisfactory to know that the business will not be broken up. The first offer was one of 14/6 in the £, in instalments; but at a later meeting the creditors unanimously accepted 10/- in the £ cash; all new debts since the bankruptcy to be paid in full. At this latter meeting, Mr Judd (chairman of Messrs Spicer & Co., limited), speaking as the mouthpiece of numerous creditors, said that the fact they had unanimously agreed to confirm the proposal, was a sign of great sympathy with a firm whose career had been so long and so honorable.

The libel action, in which the Pall Mall Gazette lately had to pay heavy damages, was brought by a certain Mr Granville Lay-ard (a legal gentleman) and a Mrs Irwin. The libel upon this precious pair was that they had conspired to immure the lady's husband in an asylum—a charge which the Gazette was unable to substantiate. Speaking of the female plaintiff, Mr Justice Field said that « though she was an immoral woman and had been guilty of adultery, that did not disentitle her to redress » —and the jury gave her £1000 damages! Mr Layard got £500. Mrs Nora Sophia Irwin must surely be good-looking, for the verdict of the gallant jury in her favor was « received with symptoms of applause. » In a case against another paper they got £300 each. £2100 is a pretty handsome total for « damages » to characters like these.

The partnership carried on for the past ten years between Messrs J. B. Innes and J. C. York, Hawera, as printers and publishers, and proprietors of the Hawera Star, under the name of « Innes & Co., » has been dissolved, and the business is now carried on by Mr Innes. The Star has the reputation of being one of the best-conducted country papers in the colony.

The Wanganui Herald says that the present tariff from a protectionist point of view is accepted « on the the principle that half-a-loaf is better than no breade… It was a beginning and a good beginning. » Said we not truly that the protectionists are daughters of the horse-leech? The working man who pays the taxes, will scarcely agree that his « half-loaf » is better than the whole one free-trade would give him.

Messrs Mason, Firth, & McCutcheon, Melbourne, celebrated their removal to their new premises on the 3rd June by a social meeting in the new composing-room, to which their staff and friends were invited. Over two hundred guests were present. Mr G. Blackmore, overseer of the printing department, who was one of the speakers, testified to the good feeling which existed generally throughout the office.

The South Australian Advertiser office is lighted by electricity. It says it has led the way to the adoption of this light in printing offices in the colonies, and that no other printing office in Australasia is installed with electric light.—Wrong. The Advertiser forgets what a go-ahead place New Zealand is. The new Government printing office is lighted throughout by electricity; and the Hawke's Bay Herald was the newspaper to « lead the way, » but finding the experiment too costly, reverted to gas.

The dead level of commonplace advertising does not satisfy the aspiring editor of the Akaroa Mail. He keeps a poet, whose dulcet strains compel attention to the local business announcements. The « renowned cash drapers of the locality, instead of proclaiming in the time-honored style that he sells several hundred per cent. below cost, and has marked seventeen-and-sixpenny goods at 9s 11¾d, comes out with six stanzas parodying Longfellow's Village Blacksmith. Another draper follows with an imitation of The Birks of Aberfeldy:

Bonnie lassies, will ye go,
Will ye go, will ye go;
Bonnie lassies, will ye go
To the shop o' Geordie Dearsley?

The concluding stanza is decidedly practical:

Ere « fortune's gifts at random flee, »
Guid-wives get a' your cleeds fra me;
But ye maun leave the wee bawbee
At the shop o' Geordie Dearsley.

The local tailor rhapsodizes thus:

When a pant-hunter pantless is panting for pants,
And pants for the best pants the pant-market grants,
He panteth unpanted until he implants
Himself in a pair of my superfine pants.

And the general storekeeper gushes in a spirit-stirring lyric of six stanzas, in this strain:

Where shall I find the sweetest onions,
The best-grown seeds and the nicest rake;
The surest cure for my corns and bunions;
The richest cocoa, both nut and flake;
The sharpest saw and the best axe-handles;
The whistle that makes the loudest noise;
The brightest oil and most lasting candles,
Made for my dear ones, my boys! my boys?

Thus do the arts become tributary to commerce!

Four fully paid-up £25 shares in the Press Company, Christchurch, and twelve on which £20 10s each had been paid, were sold by auction a few days ago, for £18 the lot.

« The Rev. Archibald Sharper leaves on Monday for a ten months' trip to the old country. » So says a cruel telegram in yesterday's Wellington Press. We dimly recognize the venerable Archdeacon Harper in this uncouth disguise.

Good Form is the name of the latest manual of etiquette. As one of the fundamental rules in good society is the avoidance of slang, the choice of a cant title like this for a book on such a subject displays not only vulgarity, but a lamentable want of judgment.

A well-known journalist, who writes under the name of « The Vagabond, » on arriving at Auckland lately, was found to have more than the regulation quantity (half-a-pound) of cigars in his luggage, and they were accordingly confiscated by the Customs. Some of the papers think he suffered hardship. We fail to see it.

A bull recently invaded the printing establishment of Mr C. Butter, Retford, which is conducted in upstairs rooms. The animal ascended a narrow and winding staircase, peeped into several apartments, and finally paid a visit to the composing-rooms. His tour of inspection was interrupted by a number of men, who had considerable difficulty in getting him down stairs and into the street. Not much damage was done.

In the discussion on the new libel bill, Mr Downie Stewart especially opposed the sections which made the speakers of libellous words responsible for their utterances when reported in the press. There is nothing remarkable in this; but it is somewhat surprising to find Mr Ballance, an old newspaper man, agreeing with Mr Stewart, on the ground that it « would place public speakers in an awkward position » ! Very awkward, no doubt, if they choose to publicly slander their neighbors—but why, in the name of common sense, should they, as heretofore, go scot free, and the press be vicariously responsible?

The silly system of cutting up items into a kind of literary sausage-meat to suit the taste of the indolent reader may lead to awkward results, as in the case of the following, which appeared in a Queensland paper lately:

Mr Charles Johnson and Miss Fanny West were married by the Rev. S. Hills, on Wednesday last.

So far no trouble has resulted, and those best informed as to the situation say there will be none.

The prospects, however, are by no means promising.

The editor didn't think they were, as he ran his eye down the column that morning. Trouble did result. The infuriated Mr Johnson made an early call—a cowhide in his hand, and something very like murder in his eye. He was in no mood to listen to reason, or to receive instruction in the art and mystery of making-up. In fact, while he was gently restrained by the pressman, it required the combined efforts of the overseer and the entire literary staff to convince him that the comments related to « an incipient strike » referred to in another column.