Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

the organs which command the largest and haberdashery, and wonderful offers circulation are those Sunday papers of articles of jewelry and personal which are chiefly distinguished by the adornment which are to be forwarded in objectionable violence of their tone, by return for twenty-six stamps and a their frequent selection of disgusting law coupon." The young ladies of a serireports, by their attacks upon the reign- ous turn who want situations behind the ing family, and by otherwise pandering counters of drapers' and milliners' to the worst instincts of the uneducated shops, and the young gentlemen of the classes. Nor is it necessary to speak of same type who are willing to assist in those“ religious' newspapers which rep- the shops of drapers, grocers, and butresent the interests of the various sec- termen all over the kingdom, also place tions of the Church of England and their wants before the public in the other religious bodies. Upon the bor- columns of the Christian World. derland between these journals and the Another paper, much of the same type secular press are, however, a number of as to matter, and with a considerable repenny prints of very large circulation, semblance in the character of its adverhalf magazine and half newspaper, tisements, is the Christian, which, howwhich are worthy of some notice. First ever, is more especially the organ of the on the list comes the Christian World, Plymouth Brethren, and of the somewhich is published twice a week, and what erratic members of other sects who which having a very large circulation is sympathize with them. It will be rein great favor with advertisers. The membered that it was in the columns of news which it gives may be succinctly this paper that Lieutenant Carey gave described as a brief summary of the in- vent to the pious satisfaction excited in formation and opinions of the Daily his own bosom by his conduct on the News, with a strong infusion of secta- occasion of the murder of the Prince rian pietism. Religious intelligence, or Imperial in South Africa. The Chrisrather the doings of the dissenting sects, tian Age, Christian Globe, and Christian occupies a large share of the space, and Union, are papers much of the same dea sermon is occasionally given ; but the scription. The first is the organ of Dr. leading feature is the part of the paper De Witt Talmage, of New York, whose which bears the heading, “The Family visit to this country may

be remembered Circle," and which usually consists of a though perhaps with somewhat mixed large instalment of a floridly sensational emotions-by the managers of many disreligious novel, depicting the influence senting interests” on whose behalf he of evangelical theology upon the man- undertook to lecture for the moderate ners and morals of the upper classes. fee of a hundred guineas and his exThe intention is undoubtedly excellent, penses. His sermons are regularly rebut the effect is slightly ludicrous-- printed in the columns of this paper, as much such as that which might be ex- also in the Christian Globe, neither of pected to follow the exertions of a lady's which calls otherwise for special remark. maid of humble origin, and of profound All of them contain specimens of sensareverence for the aristocracy, who had tional preaching, short religious essays, been brought up in the family of a dis- and pious stories, of greater or less senting minister of the lower class. The length, while the general advertisements advertisements are, however, the strong- are pretty much of the character of est point of the paper. All the quack those of the Christian World. The medicines of the day-especially those Christian Herald stands upon a somewhich are owned or used by dissenting what different footing. It is advertised ministers, and which form a curiously as “ edited by the Rev. M. Baxter, large proportion of the whole*--are ad- clergyman of the Church of England : vertised in these columns at great circulation over 195,000 a week. This length, as are also bargains in drapery journal (with which is incorporated the

Christian Signal) contains every week a * It is curious to note how long this connec- portrait, a sermon by the Rev. Dr. Taltion between Dissent and quack medicines has existed. Wesley, very early in his career,

mage, of Brooklyn, U. S., and, by found it necessary to forbid his local preachers special permission, a sermon or exposito sell “ pills, potions, or balsams."

tion by the Rev. C. H. Spurgeon ; also always a prophetic article and summary

“ The order of coming occurrences during of current events, as well as stories, the decade of 1880 to 1890, which will be the

most eventful and momentous decade in the anecdotes, etc. Also in every issue of

history of our world, will be briefly as follows: its penny monthly supplement there are Unprecedented wars and revolutions will prosermons by the Revs. W. Hay Aitken duce (probably by about 1883) the formation of and W. M. Punshon, LL.D.' The the whole extent of Cæsar's original Roman principal feature of this paper is, as will empire into an allied confederacy of ten king

doms—the ten toes and ten horns--viz, Britain probably be guessed by the judicious separated from Ireland, France extended to the reader, its prophetical articles. The Rhine,

The Rhine, Spain, Italy, Austria, Greece, Egypt, sermons, and the meek little anecdotes Syria, Thrace-with-Bithynia, and Bulgaria, which fill the greater part of its pages, foregoing article). Then there will be parcelled

with some enlargements (as explained in the are comparatively insignificant by the

out of one of the four horn kingdoms of Greece, side of the amazing predictions of the Egypt, Syria, or Thrace, a little horn kingdom gentleman who interprets current history -.e., a small territory-such, for example, as by the light of the prophet Daniel and

Macedonia or Palestine, etc.—and a Napoleon

(probably Prince Jerome Napoleon) will be apthe Book of the Revelation. The num

pointed its ruler, and will thus become Daniel's ber of the Christian Herald before us as

little horn, or sovereign arising out of one of we write, contains an article on “ The the four horns, and predicted gradually to ' wax New Radical Liberal Parliament,' exceeding great,' and to subdue three of the which is described as

ten kings, and also to make a seven years' covea step towards

nant with the Jews about seven years before fulfilling five prophetic events and order the end of this dispensation (Dan. 9:27). If of coming occurrences. The writer the end is to be about 1890 he must make the has quite made up his mind on this sub- covenant about 1883, but if he makes it later, ject, and reads in the constitution of the end will of course be proportionately later." the present parliament a certain sign of Last on the list of the religious papers the approaching end of the world. At comes the Fountain, which is described the risk of appearing tedious it may be as “ Literary, Religious, and Social," worth while to append a specimen or two and which appears to be the organ of of the matter which finds a weekly sale Dr. Joseph Parker, of the Holborn Viaof 195,000, and according to the usual duct. The paper contains but little proportion between sales and readers, that is likely to interest any one not atnearly a million of readers. Speaking tached to the Rev. Doctor's particular of Mr. Gladstone's administration, the form of faith, but it is said to have a prophetic writer says :

large circulation, and judging from the “The existence of an unprecedentedly strong advertisements the facts probably bear

fact that it contains about nine pages of Liberal Government, which may promote extreme radical measures or a democratic policy out this statement. The principal atdistasteful to our Sovereign Lady the Queen, traction is to be found in the publication tends in the direction of occurrences which of Dr. Parker's weekly sermons/extemmay lead to her abdication in favor of the Prince of Wales, as has already been rumored in re

pore discourses, which, with the equally cent times, on the ground of advanced years extempore prayers before them, are reand impaired health. Consequently, the pres- ported from a shorthand writer's notes. ent conjuncture of affairs points more than Besides these sermons there is a certain ever before toward the fulfilment of Daniel's

amount of fiction together with a few prophecy that A MAN SHALL BE REIGN. ING OVER BRITAIN (whether he be a

reprints from American religious newsking or a Republican president) at the time of papers and magazines. It is not necesthe final crisis, when the latter-day ten-king- sary to criticize the sermons in this domed confederacy shall come into existence, place, but there are probably few who and when Ireland shall be separated from Eng- read them who will be surprised at the land."

quality of the fiction which Dr. Parker A little lower down in the same article purveys for the use of his congregation. we find the remarkable statement that as The most remarkable feature about all Prince Jerome Napoleon (who is identi- these prints is, however, not so much fied with “ that eleventh king and future their contents as their circulation. It is great Antichrist of the last days”) will not very easy to get at accurate statistics be sixty-seven years old in 1890, the end on this point, but there is good reason of the world cannot be deferred much for believing that the eight papers in beyond that year. The writer goes on— question enjoy an average circulation

every week.

among them of from a million and a ish Workman, will probably do more to quarter to a million and a half copies prejudice them against teetotalism and

One of the principal evi- “Sabbath keeping" than all the mild dences of their great circulation is the exhortations of that paper can counterimmense number of costly advertise- balance. No one can doubt the excelments which they contain. The persons lent intentions of its founders and of who advertise thus largely are usually those who distribute it among the mem, keen business men, and it may be taken bers of the class which it is intended to for granted that they would not continue influence, but at the same time it is imto expend from five to ten pounds per possible to live among working men and week on advertisements in religious to observe their habits without becoming weekly papers unless they found the in- convinced that nothing is less likely to vestment a profitable one. The pro- influence them than tracts and magazines prietor of one quack medicine has been of the tract type. They infinitely prefer shrewd enough to perceive what this im- Lloyd's or Reynolds's newspapers as the plies, and he has accordingly started one companion of their after-dinner pipes of the most unctuous of these papers, in and pints of modest “four 'arf ;'' while the advertising columns of which his if they want fiction they patronize a class nostrum is regularly and most vehe- of literature of which we shall have ocmently announced.

casion to speak later on. The same reSomewhat akin to these prints, but of mark applies to Old Jonathan, who apa more distinctly philanthropic charac- pears to be a sort of successor of that ter, is a small group of papers, the cir- friend of our youth, Old Humphrey. culation of which,'under the most favor. The illustrations are good, but the letterable circumstances, could hardly pay press is of the type sometimes called the cost of production, while as they * goody goody," and some of the reflechave no advertisements- quack medi- tions and observations strike the avercine or other to fall back upon, it is age reader as being remarkably trite and probable that they are issued at some obvious, while matters of fact are given pecuniary loss to the proprietors. First with less attention to accuracy that is on the list is the British Workman, an quite desireable. Thus, for example, in imperial folio sheet, published in the an account of his summer holiday by an interests of teetotalism and of evangeli- obviously youthful curate, which apcal Christianity. The illustrations are pears in the number for July last, may excellent and the printing is admirable ; be found the following sentence :-“ As nothing of the kind could, in fact, be soon as we had steamed a little farther better, but it is to be feared that the south of the Admiralty Pier, but before paper does not reach the class at which arriving off the Shakespeare Cliff, we it is aimed. Copies may be seen occa- passed close to the scene of the wreck sionally in cabmen's shelters and simi- of the German ironclad, the Grosser lar places-usually the gift of philan- Kurfürst, which foundered off Dover thropic ladies, and in a suspicious state the month before with four hundred of cleanliness—but there is good reason souls on board”-a sentence which to doubt if the working classes as a body contains almost as many blunders as trouble themselves much about tracts in lines. After such a specimen of accudisguise. If they are put in their way racy as this the reader will be quite prethey will read them - perhaps ; at all pared to light upon a remarkably apoç. events they will accept them for the sake ryphal anecdote of George III. as one of the pictures, which they think will of the principal points of the number. please their children. But of all people The British Workwoman does not issue, in the world the working classes are the as might be expected, from the office of most suspicious and the most haughty. the British Workman, but is published There is nothing that they resent so under the auspices of the National Temmuch as being lectured and treated like perance League. Its circulation is statchildren, and the idea that they are be- ed to be considerable, but it may be ing angled for with baits of pretty pic- doubted whether it is bought by many tures and stories an almost infantile of the class to which is addressed. mildness, such as are found in the Brit- In the first place, as compared with the

secular papers, it is rather dear, and in wont to tell with great enjoyment, of a the second working women, like their novelist whose first MS. was sent back husbands, are not greatly given to ex- by the publisher's reader with a hint pending their pence in buying tracts that it would be well if he would give to which class these well-meaning and every character a step or two in rank. rather dull papers must, after all, be The ,country squire was to be turned relegated. Another paper, which some- into a wealthy baronet ; the city knight what ostentatiously announces itself as into a mushroom peer, ennobled for his a journal of pure literature," is the wealth ; the earl was to become a duke ; Daisy, which is now in its ninth volume. and the mysterious artist an illegitimate The editor is Mr. John Lobb, who also scion of royalty. The scheme was conducts the Christian Age, already adopted ; the novel succeeded, and its mentioned. Its contents are stories, author, who has since largely contributessays, and social papers, and as the ed to the revenues of the trunkmaker greater part is reprinted from other and the butterman, never afterwards inpapers, chiefly of American origin, it troduced a character into his stories of does not call for much attention. less rank than a captain in the Guards.

Turning now to the purely secular Small blame then to the novelists of the papers, we find ourselves in a very Family Herald if their tales are usually different atmosphere. These last are of the aristocracy. It can do no harm, not very wise perhaps, but they are free and the smart housemaids and milliners' from the forced and pietistic air which apprentices, who are the chief patrons hangs about the class of prints to which of these prints, are naturally made hapreference has just been made ; and as py by the discovery that the higher they are very largely bought by the classes are—in novels—as vulgar and lower middle, and working classes, they as frivolous as themselves. The leading afford a fair criterion of their intelli- articles of the Family Herald are not gence and intellectual tastes. First on distinguished by profundity, but they the list by right of seniority, and it are readable and intelligent. At one ought perhaps to be added, of character time they were usually the work of the also, is the Family Herald. This paper author of The Gentle Life, whose place is now approaching its 2000th number, as a purveyor of mild "moralizings and having been founded in 1844 ; and if it pleasant platitudes it has not been altodoes not deserve all the rapturous gether easy to supply. The great feateulogy once poured out upon it in the ure of the paper is, however, its answers Saturday Review, and since lavishly used to correspondents. For many years this in advertisements, it is an eminently department was under the care of a man creditable specimen of the penny maga- of letters of considerable ability, who zine of the day. It usually contains in was accustomed to answer many of his each number a complete story, with in- correspondents with brief essays of much stalments of two serials ; a leading arti- pith and point. His successors follow his cle on some current topic of the day, example, evidently with the object of about three pages of selected reprint, making this page amusing to the general some small quantity of original poetry, reader as well as to those for whose and a page of answers to correspond- benefit it is more especially intended. ents. of the fiction it need only be The following is a fair average specimen said that it is very good stuff of the of the kind of answer to which we resecond order.

A great many three- fer : volume novels are issued every year by “ G. R. S.-We have it on the highest poetic fashionable publishers which fall far be- authority that there is much virtue in 'if.' low the standard of most of these sto

But there are ‘ifs' and `ifs '- possibilities ries. If the heroes and heroines are

that are solemn and that demand careful pon

dering, conditions the statement of which is rather“ intense, and if the scene is apt to provoke a smile. The author of 'The somewhat too frequently laid in the World Unmasked' gives a beautiful illustrahighest places, the fault is one which the tion of the former. In calling attention to the writers share with authors of much

Christian doctrine of perseverance as affording

a stable prop to upright minds, yet lending no greater pretension. The late Mr.

wanton cloak to corrupt hearts-as bringing a Thackeray had a story, which he was cordial to revive the faint, and keeping a guard

to check the froward-he says that the guard held by his brother, Mr. Frederick Gilattending this doctrine is Sergeant If, low in bert. The drawings are now supplied stature, but lofty in significance, a very valiant by two or three artists, and though guard, though only a monosyllable. Kind notice, he adds, has been taken of the sergeant somewhat rough in execution and conby the Master and His apostles, and much re- ventional in design, they are not much spect is due to him from all the Lord's recruit- worse than the illustrations to many ing-officers and every soldier in His army. Instances of the sergeant's speech are given in

more pretentious magazines. The deJohn 8:31 ; 2 Pet. 1: 10; 1 John 2:24. and signers of these compositions appear in elsewhere. Here is 'if' in all its telling grav- almost all cases to labor under the deluity and immeasurable importance, with eternal sion that the proper height for a man is results depending on its consideration. But, at the least eight feet, and for a woman to take the other class of improbable 'possibles'--if the sun go out of the zodiac, as Sterne six feet and a half. The stories were asks—what then ? It is a terrible thought, yet for many years supplied by a Mr. J. F. how many will waste a moment over it? If it Smith, who is entitled to whatever credit rained macaroni, what a fine time it would be may be due to the founder of the “ Lonfor gluttons, says an Italian proverb; but the don Journal School” of romance. contemplation of such a contingency would hardly satisfy needy and hungry lovers of this within certain limits his work was suffinutritious comestible. Writes G. R. S. ' If all ciently clever. It was exceedingly the sons of the Queen of England were to die, florid, sensational after a mild fashion, and their sons and daughters were to die also, and it had the merit of being almost would the Crown Princess of Germany come to the throne, or who else, at the death of the ostentatiously moral. His successors, queen?' Here is a question for editorial leis- among whom were Mr. Charles Reade ure and editorial wisdom. It has taken away (with " White Lies”), Mrs. E. D. E. N. our breath! Dear G. R. Ş., if a beard were Southworth, Mrs. Henry Wood, and the all, the goat would be a winner ; more, if we let correspondents put the calf on our shoul

late Pierce Egan the younger, followed ders, we fear they would soon clap on the cow ! prettly closely in the footprints of their We are willing, as far as we are able to reply great exemplar. Their stories certainly to readers' inquiries ; but those that are put we contained plenty of crime and not a litexpect to be reasonable.

tle vice, but the criminal always came Within the brain's most secret cells to grief in the end, and virtue was duly A certain Lord Chief Justice dwells, rewarded with wealth and titles and Of sov'reign power, whom one and all

honor. The villains were generally of With common voice we reason call.

high birth and repulsive presence ; the Is there reason in the matter upon which you lowly personages were always of ravishwish to be enlightened ?"

ing beauty and unsullied virtue. InnoBesides answers of this kind, repliescence and loveliness in a gingham gown are given to questions on a host of other were perpetually pursued by vice and subjects. In the number from which debauchery in varnished boots and spotthe above paragraph has been cited less gloves. Life was surrounded by there are no fewer than ninety-three mystery ; detectives were ever on the answers on matters ranging from the watch, and the most astonishing pitfalls price of Norwegian timber houses and and mantraps were concealed in the the difficulties of a literary career, down path of the unwary and of the innocent. to a recipe for cleaning terra cotta, and Nor were reflection and observation a little sensible advice to a person afflict- wanting. Maxims of the most tremended with a too florid complexion.

ous morality, overwhelming aphorisms The London Journal was founded and descriptive passages of surprising about a year and a half after the Family fineness were scattered lavishly over the Herald, and consequently is now in the pages. The result was perhaps a little thirty-sixth year of its age. It is distin- bewildering to the sober-minded, but it guished from its elder rival by its illus- suited the tastes of a certain class, and trations and by the more gushing and the London Journal became the most sensational character of its fiction. In popular of the penny weeklies. Such the earlier years of its existence the popularity naturally excited no little rivartistic work was chiefly supplied by the alry, under which the circulation of the present President of the Society of London Journal has, I believe, somePainters in Water Colors-Sir John Gil- what fallen off. It still stands, howbert, R. A.-whose place was afterwards ever, very high in favor with domestic

[ocr errors]
« VorigeDoorgaan »