Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Typo: A Monthly Newspaper and Literary Review, Volume 4

[miscellaneous paragraphs]

A neat specimen of the unconscious humor of the ingenious comp. is to be found in the printed minutes of the late N.Z. conference of the Wesleyan Church. After grave deliberation, that religious body made the following deliverance on the rights of labor: « This Conference, watching with earnest attention the social movements of the time, expresses its deep sympathy with all lawful and righteous efforts on the part of labor to obtain, wherever it is denied, its due reward. » The printer made it « whenever it is deserved »!—One of the Christchurch daily papers originated still another reading, turning the unfortunate verb into « desired »!— « He puts his foot on the brake and reins in his fiery steeds, » wrote the descriptive reporter of a Napier paper. It came out « runs in. » —According to the Illustrated London Almanac, « Michael Angelo, (painter) died 17th February, 1864. » Michael was born in 1475, so that he came very near living to celebrate his quarcentenary. According to the same authority « R. Boyle died » on the 30th December, 1691 and again on the 24th January, 1827.—The following peculiar resolution was moved at a public meeting at the Hutt: « That this meeting treat the Council with the same contempt with which they have treated us on two occasions. » —An Australian wholesale book list advertises works by « Præd » and « Defœ's » Robinson Crusoe. (Why not « Crusœ? » ) In the same list we have « Miss Mullock » among the authors, and among the books, « Adventures of Her Baby, » and « Quick of the Dead »!— The Wanganui Herald thus quotes (or misquotes) the Wellington Times:— « The Wanganui folks are hankering after the luxury of a Girls' Highway School. » —The same paper refers to an address by a professor to « the logical students. » —A sonnet by Mr David Christie Murray is described by a contemporary as « marked by photos and clever rhyme. » « Pathos » is probably intended.—Sometimes the comp perpetrates an unintended libel. The Financial Reformer has had to apologise for the following: « I would ask Lord Salisbury, Mr W. H. Smith, and Balfour, the Irish Secretary,' who are always telling lies, that our agitators, » &c. « Lies » should have been « us. »

We direct attention to advertisement on page 36, offering a newspaper and job plant for sale.

« Cyclops, » of the Mataura Ensign, is « a fellow of infinite jest. » He lately noted that in one issue of his paper two individuals laid themselves open to a suspicion of incipient lunacy by advertising for lost umbrellas. « But such, » he added, « is the power of the press—the Ensign press—that the erring and straying umbrellas have all been restored to the bosoms of their respective families. One advertiser was artless enough to say that he had lost a silk umbrella and found a cotton one, and it seemed wild almost to the the verge of insanity to expect a return. But it so happened. Probably this is the biggest feat ever accomplished yet by any living newspaper. » In a more recent issue he tells the story of an advertising account. He says: « This is it:

Southland Champion Ploughing Match Association (J. A. Mitchell, secretary.)

Dr. to Dolomore & Godby.

Jan. 30.—To Advertising Match, 3½in. 3 ins. £1 4 6

That appears to to be the form in which the account left the office, for the remainder of the writing is in a strange hand. This is how it reads:

Jan. 30.—To Advertising Match, 3½in. 3 ins. £1 4 6
Deducted to make account look well 0 4 6
Cheque herewith £1 0 0

Well, I don't see that there need be any difficulty in disposing of the matter. Stick to the cheque, receipt the account and add a footnote assuring the secretary that the delicacy of his humor is at any time worth 4s 6d. Then go to the ledger and make a pencil note to this effect: Secretary of the Association likes account to look well and seems to think the result is achieved by knocking off odd shillings. In future clap it on to the measurement. »

Last month we mentioned the sensational story by Mr Davitt in the Pall Mall Gazette charging The Times with bribery; and Mr T. Harrington has since, in the House of Commons, read some alleged cipher telegrams containing negociations between The Times and Sheridan. The New York Herald has published on the authority of Thomas Brennan, « the first secretary of the land league in Ireland, who knows all the inside workings of the league in England and America, » Sheridan's version of the story. It contains nothing more beyond a few details, than was stated by Mr Soames eighteen months ago, except that Mr Davitt's very discreditable part in the conspiracy is brought to light. Sheridan, it was reported at the time, having valuable information, was willing to sell it, but backed out when his life was threatened by the Clan-na-gael. His own story is, that an agent of The Times called on him in October, 1888, ostensibly to buy his « ranche » at Montevista, Colorado, and gave him to understand that the purchase-money was to cover such information as he could give connecting the league with criminal organizations. « I concluded, » says Mr Sheridan, to get as much information from him as I could, and at the same time fool himself and his employers, » and accordingly he asked $100,000 for the ranche, plus the required information. The rogue then coolly narrates how he endeavored, but unsuccessfully, to obtain the money in advance. In conclusion he says « I deliberately entered into negociations with Kerby as the The Times representative for the purpose of getting such information as I could from him as to the methods which The Times employs in getting up its case, for the purpose of fooling Kerby and his employers, and for the purpose of selling my ranche at good figures when I found he was willing to buy. » « This statement, » Mr Brennan adds, « was forwarded to Mr Davitt. Since the date of that statement Sheridan has reported to me every movement of his victim, which I in turn have forwarded to Davitt. » It is worthy of note that the offer of £20,000 (which was to include « a very large and valuable ranche, » with stock), has been developed by Mr Harrington into £50,000. Sheridan is evidentally another Pigott—ready to sell himself to the highest bidder, and unlike Pigott, rather proud of his faculty for artistic falsehood. Mr Davitt's share in the conspiracy « to fool The Times, » bears out our idea that in like manner the Pigott forgeries were arranged by the league. Mr Sheridan, as might be supposed, does not tell the whole story. If the cipher telegrams in Mr Harrington's possession are genuine (which, however, has yet to be proved), he is responsible for the statement that he was in a position to prove that the first fac-simile letter was genuine. But it does not appear that any of his uncorroborated statements are true. It turns out that The Times never offered him £50,000 or £10,000, or any other sum, for his evidence. According to Sir Richard Webster, an unimpeachable authority, it was the would-be informer who made the first advances, offering his information at a high figure, which he ultimately brought down to £1000; but that Mr Soames, The Times solicitor, found him to be such a liar that he would not accept his testimony at any price!