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simply from having nothing within their reach | dustry, and political honesty as he himself which could create a taste for reading :- possessed. When he died, the copyright of “ All the knowledge acquired at school was the Chronicle was sold for £30,000, but the just to spell painfully through a chapter of purchaser was not one who knew how to the New Testament, and nothing had been make a newspaper successful. For several afterwards put into their hands that had years it languished in circulation, having sufficient novelty to induce them to keep up fallen at one time to little more than 2,000. the habit of reading, till they had overcome Soon after the passing of the Reform Bill it the mechanical difficulty, and found a plea- was purchased by Mr. John Easthope, a sure in the art.” How very different this stock-broker, for £17,000; and a large sum from the state of things in America, where, was expended for several years, with conas Mr. Greeley remarks, " the child is at- siderable success, in the attempt to raise it to tracted to study from the habit of always its former position. But the old spirit had seeing a newspaper, and hearing it read." vanished from its columns.
The Whigs It is more than thirty years since the were in office, and the Chronicle stuck to its Times first claimed for itself the ambitious old friends with much more fidelity than title of the “leading journal of Europe," they deserved, or than its readers could and, with the exception of a violent, short-tolerate. It is true that Mr. Black still conlived protest, now and then, against its right tinued editor, but of what avail was his to any such distinction, the public has long political consistency so long as a power beago acquiesced in its ambitious claim. Of hind the editorial chair, greater than the late years the overwhelming superiority it editor himself, was able to give the tone to has gained in circulation over all the other the general politics of the paper? Had it daily papers, partly by its advertisements, been at that time under the management of and, not less probably, by its liberal expendi- a wise and liberal proprietary, of men to ture on literary talent and news, has led to whom the control of great political organ the belief that its high position among news would have seemed a much greater thing papers is a thing of much older date than it than a paltry baronetcy, or a third-rate goreally is. As a first-class newspaper, the vernment appointment, the Morning ChroniMorning Chronicle, under Mr. Perry, who cle might now have been a much more inheld the office of editor for forty years of fluential newspaper than the Times, and the most brilliant period of its history, and little if at all inferior even in circulation. under Mr. John Black, who succeeded him, During the first two years after the reducbore a far higher character for genius and tion of the newspaper stamp duty, the talent than the Times has ever done. But Chronicle rapidly gained on its great rival, Mr. Black, although his masterly articles on as will be seen at once by the following repolitics and social life have never been sur-turn of the number of stamps consumed by passed in newspaper literature, was unfor-cach :tunately not the proprietor and manager of the paper, as his predecessor had been. Mr.
Times. Mning Chronicle. Perry was a man whose sound political 1837, 3,065,000
1,940,000 principles, not less than his tact and talents,
2,750,000 combined to give the Morning Chronicle that high character, as the organ of the liberal While the Times was standing still, in spite party, which it preserved for so many years, of the reduction in price, the Chronicle had even after his death. But the proprietors actually increased 810,000. Then was the who succeeded him cared for nothing but time to have adopted a bold and liberal their dividends, or the personal influence course in the politics and management of the which the command of so powerful an organ great Whig organ. But that would not of public opinion might give them with the have suited the personal views of Mr. (now ministry of the day. Hence the success of Sir John) Easthope. The golden opportuMr. Walter, chief proprietor and manager of nity was lost, and the two following years the Times, the great object of whose long placed such a distance between the circulalife had been to place that journal at the tion of the two papers, as to leave all chance head of the metropolitan press, a task which of successful competition out of the question. he would never have accomplished had Mr. The agitation against the new poor-law, minPerry been succeeded in the proprietorship gled with chartism, rose to its full height in and management of the Chronicle by a man 1839, and bore along with it the great deof such rare editorial talent, unflagging in. I nouncer of the “finality" Whig ministry
and the “Three Tyrants of Somerset House.” , quite correct; the most remarkable increase The circulation of the Times rose from 3,- having taken place since his death, in the be065,000 to 4,300,000 in that troublous year, ginning of 1841. With the exception of while that of the Chronicle fell to 2,028,000. 1843, which shows a slight decline, while Instead of the distance between them being the Post appears to have gained a great, but separated by the trifling difference of 315,- short lived increase, the progress of the 000 stamps a year, it had leaped suddenly Times during the last eight years has been up to the formidable height of 2,272,000. at the rate of nearly a million a year. In Since that period the rapid increase in the order to show at one glance the fluctuations circulation and advertisements of the Times in the circulation of the morning papers since is one of the most remarkable events in the the reduction of the stamp duty, we have history of the newspaper press. The author compiled the following table from the returns of “ The Fourth Estate" says it was during given in the appendix to the Report of the the editorship of Mr. Barnes that the Times Select Committee:acquired its great circulation. This is not
1837, 1838, 1839, 1840, 1841, 1842, 1843, 1844, 1845, 1846,
3,065,000 1,940,000 1,928,000 1,380,000 735,000
1848, 1849, 1850,
The most startling fact which this inter- yond its present limits, by the mechanical esting table presents, is the overwhelming difficulty attending the production of so large superiority which the Times has gained over an impression within a few hours. If the all the other morning papers. In 1837 the proprietors of the Times could obtain a printaggregate number of stamps taken by the ing machine which would throw off 20,000 five morning papers then existing was 9,060- copies an hour, they would probably double 000, of which rather more than one-third their present circulation within a few years. was taken by the Times. In 1850 the ag. Many people fancy that the main check to gregate circulation of the morning press had the circulation of "The Leading Journal ” is nearly doubled, having risen to 17,840,000; owing to another cause, and as that impresbut the whole of that increase and more has sion was much strengthened by what took been monopolized by the Times. It has in place before the select committee, we shall creased nearly 9,000,000 during these fifteen take the trouble of pointing out where the years, while the other papers have fallen off mistake lies. about 400,000. How much higher the cir- The extension of the railway system, the culation of the Times would continue to rise improved means of transmitting foreign inif the proprietors could print them fast telligence, and various other subsidiary causes, enough to supply the demand, is more than have had a damaging effect upon the circu
can pretend to say. With their lation of the evening papers, most of them present machinery they are able to produce having declined considerably since the reduconly 10,000 an hour, so that when the de- tion of the newspaper stamp duty. In 1837, mand goes much beyond 40,000 they cannot the first year after the reduction, the evesupply the additional number required. at so ning press consisted of the following journ. early an hour as would suit the news-agents als : the Courier, quasi-Tory, and unprinciIt will thus be seen that, practically, the cir-pled, with an average circulation of 1400; culation is kept from extending greatly be. I the Globe, Palmerstonian, and rather unpopular, on account of its dry political economy provincial newspaper must undertake, there of the Colonel Torrens school, nearly 3000 is nothing to compare with the distracting daily ; the Standard, ultra-Tory, but never- toil and trouble which arises from the modern theless much higher on the list, having innovation of attempting to give what is very reached an average of 4300; the Sun, Whig- erroneously styled “a judicious summary of Radical, pluming itself on its late editions, all the interesting intelligence in each diswith full but inaccurate reports of parliamen- trict.” The Colonial Secretary, snugly seated tary and other intelligence, little more than at bis desk in Downing-street, where he must 2000; and last of all, the Radical True Sun, manage in the best possible manner the affairs which in spite of the host of clever writers of some forty or fifty various British settleengaged on it, had a circulation of only 1250 ments, in opposite quarters of the globe, has in 1837, the last year of its existence. The a hard enough task, no doubt, but it is not Courier, after many a desperate struggle to half so harassing as that of an editor who keep alive, expired in 1842, a warning to all tries to satisfy the insatiable thirst for news un principled journals of what their fate must of half a hundred constituencies, within the ultimately be. Under Daniel Stuart, who limited space of a single newspaper. In contrived to make it the ministerial organ Edinburgh Glasgow, the task is comparaduring the war, it ranked among the first tively easy, because the surrounding country newspapers in point of circulation; higher, is not so thickly studded with towns and indeed, at one time, than even the Times of villages, all swarming with an active, intellithat day. In 1814, it was said to be worth gent population, and all alike requiring a full 12,000i. per annum, but it declined very and accurate register of whatever events may much soon after the war. Hazlitt described be deemed interesting in each locality. It is it in 1823 as “a paper of shifts and expe- in Lancashire and the West Riding of Yorkdients, of bare assertions and thoughtless shire that the evil of which we speak is felt impudence, which denies facts on the word most severely. Take the Leeds Mercury, of a minister, and dogmatizes by authority.” the Manchester Guardian, or the Manchester No one could regret the death of such a Examiner, for example: all first class papers, disreputable organ. At present there are of the largest size allowed by law, and all only four evening newspapers published in giving four-page supplements once a week. London, whose daily circulation is as fol- În spite of their immense size, there is not lows-Sun, 2666; Express, 2493; Globe, one of those journals which can give a faith1869; and Standard, 1571. The aggregate ful weekly record of all that is worthy of circulation of the evening press, instead of note in the forty or fifty towns and villages advancing with the population and intelli- by which they are surrounded, and through gence since 1837, has actually fallen from which those papers circulate. An attempt, 12,000 to 8599, or little more than one-half indeed, is made to give as many “Town of what it was forty years ago. The whole Council Meetings," Board of Guardian of the evening newspapers put together do Proceedings," "Temperance Demonstrations, not circulate as many copies daily as are and “Meetings of Rate-payers,”—with a due contained in a single impression of the Man- mixture of change-ringings, friendly anniverchester Guardian or the Leeds Mercury. This saries, elections of church wardens, elections would not be the case were the same pains of town councillors, elections of guardians, bestowed on the editing and sub-editing on offences, accidents, and crimes,-as can be the London evening papers as there is on the crammed, by rapid abridgment, into a cerprovincial journals we have pamed. Were tain number of columns. But after all has the stamp duty abolished, we should proba- been done in this way that the most skillful bly witness a very great improvement in the and industrial editor, aided by the most indeevening press, as it would then be worth fatigable sub-editor, can accomplish, or that while to publish a paper not much less than any reasonable newspaper reader in any of the Globe or Standard, containing a clever the smaller towns could possibly require, abridgment of all the news of the day, at there still remains a great number of equally twopence each, which, with a halfpenny for important events, which are necessarily left postage, would still leave it 50 per cent. below unnoticed altogether by the mammoth jourthe present exorbitant price of the evening nal, for sheer want of space, or given in a papers; a sufficient cause of itself for their form so much abridged as to render them of very limited circulation.
little or no value. The people of Oldham Among all the disagreeable and thankless are perhaps waiting with intense anxiety for duties which the editor of a widely-circulated I a long and amusing account of the “Extraordinary Scene" at the last meeting of the there is only one Tory journal circulating board of poor-law guardians; or those of more than 4000 copies weekly, and only two Ashton are looking forward with equal interest besides it which can boast of a circulation to Saturday's paper, for a report of the ani- above 3000. On the other hand, there are mated debate in the town council on the pro- no less than eighteen Liberal newspapers posed increase of two policemen for that bo- circulating upwards of 3000 copies each, and rough. With the exception of the Illustrated of these there are nine with a circulation London News,which owes its enormous weekly above 5000 each, six with a circulation above sale of 66,673 copies chiefly to the profusion of 6000, three above 8000, two above 9000, wood engravings with which it is embellished, and one circulating upwards of 11,000 copies the most widely circulated weekly papers weekly. If this comparison of the respective are all low priced. The News of the World, circulation of first-class Liberal and Conser56,274; Lloyd's Weekly News, 49,211; and vative newspapers may be taken as a fair the Weekly Times, 39,186 are all threepenny criterion of the comparative political intellipapers, while the older and far more cele- gence and activity of the two great parties, brated, but high-priced Weekly Dispatch, the facts we have stated are well worth the though well adapted to the popular taste, serious attention of statesmen. From that has fallen from 62,000 to 37,500; and Bell's comparison, it will be seen that the proporLife in London, another sixpenny paper, in tion of Liberal to Conservative papers of the spite of its universal popularity in bar-par- class mentioned is as six to one, while the lors and tap-rooms as the highest sporting difference becomes still more striking if we authority in the world,” has fallen from take into account the small aggregate con30,000 to 24,721 since 1845. Among papers sumption of stamps among the Protectionists, of a higher class, we find that even the Spec- compared with the large number required by lator and Examiner, after having long stood the friends of progress. It appears, for at the head of the weekly press, have been example, that the number of stamps taken in gradually losing ground during the last few 1850' by two free-trade journals in Lancayears, under the combined influence of dear- shire—the Manchester Guardian and the ness and increased competition. At present Manchester Examiner—was equal to the the weekly circulation of the Spectator is whole of the stamps consumed by the entire only 2932, not one third of what several pro- Conservative press of the following fifteen vincial journals can boast. The number of counties--Bedford, Berks, Bucks, Cambridge, stamps issued to the Examiner last year Cornwall, Cheshire, Devon, Dorset, Essex, gives a weekly average of 4389, a very great Herts, Kent, Leicester, Lincoln, Wilts, and decline from what it was six or eight years Warwick. Not less significant is the fact, ago; while the Leader—which in point of that, while nearly all the thirty-three Proboldness, talent, and heterodoxy, appears to tectionist papers in those fifteen counties occupy pretty much the same advanced have either remained stationary or decreased position among its contemporaries as the Er- in circulation, during the last ten years of aminer did some forty years ago, under agitation for and against free-trade, the numLeigh Hunt-stands midway between the ber of stamps taken by the free-trade newstwo respectable journals we have named, papers of Manchester and other large towns having already attained a circulation of 3152. has nearly doubled within that period. This
One very striking fact, ascertained from broad fact, while it shows how strongly the an examination of the stamp returns for the current of public opinion is flowing in one dilast fifteen years, is the very limited circula- rection, and how worthless the boast of a reaction of Conservative newspapers compared tion against free trade,may well encourage minwith that of papers which advocate commer- isters to proceed boldly with their proposed cial and political reform. Out of London measure of parliamentary reform.
From Sharpe's Magazine.
FETE DAYS AT ST. PETERSBURG.
TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH OF ALEXANDER DUMAS. BY JANE STRICKLAND.
New Year’s-day and the Benediction of are always, under these unfortunate constithe Waters provide the inhabitants of St. tutions, of the military profession. Now the Petersburg with two great national festivals, want of the counterpoise of the middle classes in which all classes share in the pleasures creates this secret but perpetual warfare beand devotion of the sovereign. The first is tween the absolute monarch and nobilityan imperial fête, the second an imposing re- the nobility who in free countries are the ligious ceremony.
natural bulwark of the throne. In Russia On New Year's-day, in virtue of an old and the Autocrat is never afraid of the multitude, touching custom by which the Emperor and with whom he holds a two-fold claim to their Empress of Russia are designated by their veneration, as supreme pontiff, or head of poorest subjects Father and Mother, these the Church, and Czar. potentates at the commencement of the year The cards of invitation, being transferable, receive their children as their own invited are, as a matter of course, purchasable; and guests. Their family being too vast to invite among his masked guests who were privby name, they adopt the simple but effacious ileged to shake hands with Alexander, some plan of scattering about the streets of their cowardly assassin might take that opportucapital twenty-five thousand cards of invita- nity to murder the sovereign; yet he, with a tion indicative that they will be at home to firm but touching reliance on God, ordered such a number of their children. These at seven o'clock on the New Year's evening, cards bear no address, but they give admis- the gates of the Winter Palace to be thrown sion to the bearers to the splendid saloons of open as usual, to his motley company. the Winter Palace without the slightest dis- No extra precautions were taken by the tinction of rank or wealth.
police; the sentinels were on duty, according It was thus that the Emperor Alexander, to custom, at the palace gates, but the Emaccording to custom, kept the first day of peror was without any guards in the interior the year 1825, the last he was ever destined of the imperial residence, vast as the Tuileries. to see. The rumor of the conspiracy that In the absence of all precaution or even embittered the closing months of his life and regulations for the behavior of an undisreign, though it had reached his ears and ciplined crowd, it was surprising what natutroubled his repose, did not appear to him ral politeness effected. Veneration for the any reason for depriving his subjects of their presence of the sovereign was alone sufficient annual visit to their sovereign. From these to produce good breeding; there was no unknown guests the Russian Autocrat felt pushing, nor striving, nor clamor, and the assured he had nothing to fear. With them entrance was made with as little noise as if he was not only popular but adored. He gratitude for the favor accorded to the guests therefore directed the Master of the Police had induced each to give a precautionary adto order no alteration in the usual costume monition to his neighbor. of the male part of the company, whom he While the thronging thousands were gainwas to admit in masks according to custom ing admission to his palace, the Emperor on these occasions. In the darkest annals of Alexander was seated by the Empress in the barbarism, despotic sovereigns dreaded and Hall of St. George in the midst of the imoften found the dagger of the assassin in the perial family, when the door was opened to hands of some member of their own family. the sound of music, for the saloons were filled Civilization, however limited, changes the with his visitors, and a grand coup d'æil of objects of suspicion to the aristocracy, who grandees, peasants, princesses, and grisettes