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Typo: A Monthly Newspaper and Literary Review, Volume 6

Press and Personal Record

page 10

Press and Personal Record

The New Zealand Postmaster-General has decided to bring the typewriter into use in the various telegraph offices in the colony for transcription purposes.

The Marsden Times is the title of a northern paper, of which two or three copies have come to hand. An examination shows it to be our old acquaintance the Kamo Echo. The number before us contains a story of a Yankee who occasionally changes his skin. The Echo has outdone him— it has discarded its old head for a new one.

Mr H. R. Woon, who accepted a position on the staff of the Marton Mercury some time ago, has now gone into another line, having accepted an appointment as accountant in a local mercantile house, His successor is Mr R. R. Leys, the well-known coastal skipper, now in charge of the Terranora.

Mr Payton, editor of the Wairarapa Daily, finding his health giving way after twelve years of arduous labor on the paper, is taking a half-year's vacation, during which time he intends visiting England. For more than a year he has worked under great difficulties, owing to the strain upon his system, and on the eve of departure, not feeling equal to bidding his friends goodbye in person, he bids them farewell in an editorial note. In so doing he warmly acknowledges the efficient aid he has always received from his staff. During his absence, Mr Charles Haines, the business manager, and Mr Arthur Vile, the sub-editor, will conduct the paper.

We regret (says the Evening Press of 11th February) to record the death, at the early age of 36, of Mrs MacKenzie, wife of Mr W. MacKenzie, proprietor of the Wairarapa Observer. The deceased was a daughter of the late Mr S. Maxton, one of the early settlers in this city and latterly of Greytown, where his widow still resides. Mrs MacKenzie has been ailing for the past twelve months, gradually sinking in spite of all efforts, and dying peacefully at noon yesterday at her home in Carterton. She leaves six young children to mourn the loss of a devoted mother, and they and the bereaved husband will have the sympathy of a very large circle of friends throughout the Wairarapa district.

The hon. John Ballance, Premier, and Mr J. J. Boyle, have been bracketed together as defendants—the former as proprietor and the latter as publisher of the Wanganui Herald and Yeoman—in a libel action brought by Mr G. Hutchison, m.h.r., against those papers. The alleged libel is contained in the report of a speech by Mr Ballance at a public meeting at Patea in December, and is in the following words: « Mr Hutchison had told them that the Payment of Members Bill was a dishonest measure; but he forgot to tell them that he had signed a paper in the lobby of the House to the effect that he was in favor of the Bill. » Defendants have severally filed their defence. Mr Ballance pleads that he is not the proprietor of the papers in question. Mr Boyle pleads that the publication formed part of a true and accurate report of a public meeting, and related to matters of public interest and concern, and that the report was published bona fide and without malice. The case is appointed to be tried early in April.

The scheme for the establishment of a « liberal » paper at the capital has at last taken shape. The promoters wisely abandoned the idea of starting another paper, and they turned a deaf ear to the proprietors of various country organs of the Right Color, who offered their concerns at a liberal price. The prospectus of « The New Zealand Times Company » is now before the public. The capital is to be £10,000, in £1 shares. The list of provisional directors includes two members of the ministry—the Premier and the Minister of Education; the junior member for Wellington, three trades union presidents, a sprinkling of lawyers, and the most prominent disciple of Henry George in the city. The company have taken over from Capt. Baldwin the copyright of the Times and Mail, the jobbing business in connexion therewith, and the plant. The purchase-money is £4,500 — a price that should be satisfactory to the vendor. The concern is placed before the public more as a political than as a business speculation. Sir Walter Buller is reported to have found £2000 of the capital. The old business has seen many changes. Started in 1845 as the Independent, under which name it gained a good reputation, it gradually fell on evil days. It was sold, and became for a brief period the New-Zealander. Then it passed into the hands of Mr Chantrey Harris, who called it the New Zealand Times. About two years ago, he sold it to Captain Baldwin, but ill-health and worry have been too much for the last owner, who no doubt was not sorry at last to find a purchaser.

The Wairarapa Observer has been enlarged.

The Ross Guardian (Westland) has been discontinued, and its place taken by the Ross Advocate, published by Mr John Thomson Petrie.

؟Who shall say that the country paper is not a watchful guardian of the interests of its supporters? Witness the following, from a North Island village organ: « Complaint has been made to us that a table and chair required by the Stratford State School has been procured from New Plymouth instead of being obtained locally. »

The Rev. James Macgregor, d.d., Columba Church, Oamaru, N.Z., sometime Professor of Systematic Theology in New College, Edinburgh, has published a work entitled « The Apology of the Christian Religion historically regarded with reference to Supernatural Religion and Redemption. »

The Marton Mercury early this month was threatened with a libel action. A son of the hon. John Bryce having bought the goodwill of a perpetual lease section, the paper published an article insinuating that the real purchaser was Mr Bryce himself, and passing certain strictures thereon. (It may be necessary to explain that under recent land laws the alleged action is a crime.) Mr Bryce wrote requesting a withdrawal or apology, which was refused. With the prospect of a libel action before him, however, and no possibility of substantiating his charges, the editor a few days later did apologize, and admitted that he was in error in assuming that the hon. John Bryce was the purchaser.

There is not much in common between Mozart and the Napier News, but there is one point of resemblance—both composed and sung their own requiem. On the 2nd inst., the News, referring to its appeal for donations to the extent of £1590, began its article thus: « Having waited so as to give opportunity to the friends of the paper to subscribe the necessary amount to the Guarantee Fund, and having been disappointed in that matter, it is our painful duty to announce that on Saturday, 13th inst., the Evening News will close its doors. » The amount has not been subscribed, and probably never will be, but somehow the News still contrives to carry on.—The rival evening paper, the Telegraph, has just published some correspondence from the manager of the News, written in 1890, strongly urging a combination of master printers to raise the price of job printing. The object was, in our opinion, a proper one, for Napier rates are too low; but the awkward thing was that the News, about the same time, was advertising that it had brought down the prices, and claiming local tradesmen's support on the plea that if the office were closed prices would again rise.

A newspaper dispute has resulted in a civil action at Whangarei, where F. Mackenzie, proprietor of the Echo, sued J. P. Ward for £41 17s, balance of account, with £12 value of the subscribers' book, alleged to be detained by defendant, who had been engaged as editor at £1 a week, and also managed the paper in the proprietor's absence. Defendant, who was at the time of the action engaged on the rival paper at £2 10s, put in a set-off for £22 10s, chiefly commission on advertisements. Plaintiff alleged that defendant had got the office accounts into a muddle, and that by retaining or losing the subscription account book he had made it impossible to ascertain how subscribers' accounts stood. Defendant stated that he had offered 250 shares in the Young Colonial mine in part settlement, but in cross-examination admitted that the shares in question were in the nature of liabilities, and their value a minus quantity. Interminable accounts were gone into and correspondence read, and after a hearing extending over eight hours, the Court gave judgment for plaintiff for £7 11s and £3 12s costs. The claim of £12 for the book was disallowed.

New Zealand journalists (says the Wairarapa Daily) seem to get on in Melbourne. Mr J. A. Butler, who was assistant reader on the Christchurch Telegraph three or four years ago, is now shorthand writer and typewriter in the office of the Metropolitan Board of Works, Melbourne, at a salary of £200 a year. He was on the Age staff when he received the appointment. This is pretty good progress considering that Mr Butler is scarcely twenty-one years of age.

Noel De Leon, of Melbourne, who was well known in Dunedin in the early sixties, has been committed for trial on charges of embezzlement. Evidence was called to the effect that the aocused who had been in the employ of the Age for twenty-five years as canvasser and collector, had earned about £1000 a year during the last five years. Until July last his accounts were always found to be accurately kept, but subsequent to that date he retained certain moneys of the firm which he had collected. On the 7th January he confessed his criminality, blaming the bookmakers for his trouble, and setting down the total amount at £639 13s 2d. This proved to be understated, the full total being £712. One of the witnesses said that Mrs De Leon told him that she and her children had been in a state of destitution for months past.

page 11

An anarchist editor in Paris has been sentenced to ten months' imprisonment for inciting to pillage and murder.

Mr Low, formerly Berlin correspondent of The Times, sued Mr Walter, the manager, for £1000 damages for breach of contract. A verdict was given for the defendant.

Mr Arthur Locker, who has held the position of editor of the Graphic since the foundation of the paper twenty-one years ago, has retired, and is succeeded by Mr J. H. Joyce, editor of the Daily Graphic, who will in future conduct both papers.

Few feminine poets can boast of six-and-twenty editions of a first volume of of verses; yet this was the number achieved by Miss Jean Ingelow's book, even before it appeared in its present two-volume form.

Mr W. D. Howells, whose popularity with British readers is so galling to the Saturday Review, has terminated his connexion with Harper's Magazine, and has become literary editor of the Cosmopolitan Magazine.

The death of a very old journalist, Mr William Bernard M'Cabe, is reported from Dublin. He was born in 1801, began to work as a reporter in 1814, and reported many of O'Connell's most famous speeches. From 1835 to 1850 he was attached to the London press. He was at one time a regular contributor to the Dublin Review.

The Barmaid is the latest English trade organ. It is a penny weekly. The proprietors have figured out the large number of barmaids in the United Kingdom, and find that if they all subscribe, the venture will return a good profit. There is just one weak point in the calculation. An overwhelming majority will not subscribe, and the outside public cannot be expected to take much interest in the venture.

Summonses have been issued against Mr Horatio Bottomley, secretary, and Sir H. A. Isaacs, director of the Hansard Publishing Union, for defrauding the company of £30,000. Another director will also be included in the charge.

Another English trades-union paper, the Labor Leader, has joined the submerged majority. One of the staff, writing from dearly-bought experience, says: « It's all very well to chuck your capitalists, but the misfortune is, that under present arrangements, they take their capital with them; and all the principles and enthusiasm in the world won't keep a paper going without capital. »

The celebration of the « majority » of the Graphic in 1891 will be followed this year, on the 9th May, by a still more interesting commemoration—the « jubilee » of the Illustrated London News. The history of the periodical—the first illustrated newspaper in the world —will be made the subject of a special jubilee number, which should take an important and unique place in the historical literature of the Craft.

Under the patronage of the Mayor of New Westminster, British Columbia, and Mrs Townsend, the Westminster Typographical Union gave a banquet and ball at the Grand Opera House in that city on New Year's Eve. The feature of the evening was the printing of a four-page paper, the Period, every hour, and to accomplish this the work of getting the ponderous printing press, borrowed from the Ledger office, up to the Opera House, was most arduous. Four cases were fitted up on a small annex to the main stage, and close to them was the editor's table, containing a stack of copy-paper, a file, waste-paper basket, and a big pot of paste. Next to the editorial department was the telegraph department, a receiver and sender, and a typewriter. On the wall next the telegraph section hung a telephone with complete attachments. The ball was a great success, and the copies of the paper were in constant demand.

The first number of the new Parnellite organ, the Daily Independent, contains some of that brilliant rhetoric characteristic of the Irish national press. The following eloquent sentence from its opening address, we may safely say, is not matched by anything ever written by Macaulay, Kingsley, Ruskin, or any other master of English prose: « Deprived of a journal now discredited beyond recovery by the most ungrateful and the meanest act of political and turncoat treachery in newspaper annals, and chafing under the grossest misrepresentations from the pen of the organ of scurrility and deadly treason to the unity of the Irish race and the martyred leader, our countrymen have awaited with eagerness the hour when a national mouthpiece would be at their service, one which they could in literal truthfulness call their own, and when they would, in capital and country, be no longer compelled to sit worse than dumb while their principles were travestied, their motives malignantly aspersed, and the programme and policy carried to the gate of victory by Charles Stewart Parnell, distorted and abandoned. » A sentence of one hundred and twenty-five words—big swelling words, too—and about one mixed metaphor to every three lines.

Concerning the comparative saleability of writers (says a home paper), it is the fact that Mr J. M. Barrie has just leapt into the very top place—an unprecedentedly rapid rise for a young author.

Björnsen, the Norwegian author, is a bad caligraphist. No one but his wife can read his manuscript, and she transcribes it for the press.

A popular Athenian poet, Demetrius Kokkos, has met with a tragic fate. A soldier, to whom he had refused his sister in marriage, shot him in the breast, and after three days of suffering, he died.

Frank Miles, the English artist, whose death is reported, was a few years ago one of the most popular men in London, and his pictures were in considerable request. One, called « Pity is akin to Love, » was purchased by the Prince of Wales. When in Jersey, many years ago, the artist painted Mrs Langtry, and entitled his picture « The Jersey Lily. » This prepared the way for her success when she went to London, and since then she has been called « Lily » Langtry—her real name being Emily Charlotte.

Mr Thomas Gray, C.B., of the Board of Trade, is dead, and the Newcastle Chronicle remarks that very few people know he was the author of these valuable rhymes which impress the rule of the road at sea on the minds of sailors. Here is the concluding couplet, referring to the starboard green and the port red light that ships must carry by night:

Green to green, or red to red—
Perfect safety. Go ahead.

He is described as « an obscure benefactor. »

Sir Thomas Esmonde has outdone the gentleman who, according to Sydney Smith, « spoke disrespectfully of the Equator. » He has published a book of travel, wherein, the Dunedin Tablet tells us, « he has nothing to repeat concerning the stereotyped wonders of the antipodes. An excusable word of contempt for the constellation of the Southern Cross alone escapes him. » Possibly. His errand was purely sordid, and the results were disappointing. He could scarcely be expected to have eyes for the beauty of the world around, or even of the heavens above.

Madame Antoinette Sterling recently sang and prayed and preached at the Baptist Chapel, Leytonstone. The famous contralto, with her tragic presence, drew unwonted crowds, and made a great impression. This (says a contemporary) is not the first time that Madame Sterling has displayed her talents in this particular direction. As many people are aware, she is a Quakeress, and a charming story is told of how she once, at a meeting in Devonshire square, when no one was « moved » for an inordinate interval, rose and sang, as only she can, « 0, rest in the Lord. » The clerk afterwards approached her and said, « Thee knowest, sister, it is against the rules; but if the Lord tellest thee to do it thou must. » This incident earned for her the the title of « the singing sister, » and Mrs Margaret Lacy, John Blight's sister, during her last illness, called several times, and not in vain, for « the singing sister. » It is not generally known that Madame Sterling is a direct descendant of that John Bradford who went out in the Mayflower. Her cousin, the Rev. John Bradford, is the minister of the Baptist Chapel at Leytonstone.

The death of Herman Melville in New York recently, at the age of seventy-two, says a contemporary, will remind many of one of the most popular authors in America forty years ago. And yet he had completely passed out of sight. Very few of the later generation have read his books, or inquire for them. But old copies can still be found in libraries and at second-hand book stores, dog-eared and worn, showing that they had been read by one generation with absorbing interest. Melville had the story-teller's art in a high degree, and had struck an original vein. Stevenson, who now writes from the Southern Seas, is following close upon the line that Melville marked out nearly half a century ago. Mobry Dick had a great run. Then Typee, Omoo, and Mordi followed. They were the literary sensation of the day. Melville was nearly contemporary with Hawthorne. The latter is still read, his work having enduring qualities. But the captivating story-writer usually entertains for a day, and then passes into oblivion. Melville, so soon forgotten, was once recognized as an original genius. Except Cooper, no American novelist had written stories which had so wide a reading in Great Britain. Much of his success was no doubt due to the fact that he had chosen a new field. He was the romancer of the South Seas. No one had preceded him. The modern novelist, however popular, is not sure of immortality. If one generation read his stories he cannot count on an audience with the next. But no other American, of so much genius, who had written so much and so well, ever while living dropped so completely out of sight as Melville. Cooper died at the height of his fame, and his books are still read to a limited extent. It is difficult to suggest the reasons which crowded Melville out of sight and memory.