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were ten of each, all a-shout every day! It was from the genius, the personality of It may be a mistake, but I do not think Mr. Barnes that the extraordinary power the influence of the ten would be as great of the Times first sprang-or so I make as the influence of the one.
out; and it was confirmed and extended to When the Times was most mighty as a its utmost point by Mr. Delane. This political force, there were fewer journal- gentleman had not his equal in Europe istic pulpits in London, and fewer still (by during the whole of a long career ; nor comparison) in the rest of the couutry. has any one neared him since. But that is not all. At that date the jour- not a very capable writer in the literary nalistic pulpits were filled by men of sin- sense, I believe ; but I have seen letters gular ability. The papers were not written of his, fifteen or twenty lines long, with the as well as they are now; the rugged force whole pith of a policy in each, together with of them was vastly too rugged; but they full suggestions for its complete developwere commanded by men with remarkable ment. I speak without exaggeration, but gifts for the business. There has been po not without a return of the wonder (being great Gorernment without a great man in in the same line of business myself) with it, and there never will be. Making all which I viewed those amazing little papers due allowance, it is the same thing in the of instruction. Now the clearness of newspaper office as in the cabinet. Ten view ; the firm, pouncing grasp ; above men of high and equal ability in either all, the prompt discernment of essentials place are not equal to nine mediocrities which these briefs betrayed, are among and one man of transcendent genius. It the most useful of all editorial qualities. would be so, probably, if the mediocrities But there are others much more rare and remained their original level ; but not so easily accounted for. Just as there it is the privilege of genius—as in the case are men who are able to tell before they of the inspired artisan-to draw from in- lift their heads from their pillows of a ferior tools a capability which their very morning which way the wind is blowing, makers might marvel at. Though he so there are a few, apparently, who withworks in a lower sphere, much the same out moving a mile from home, or talking qualities are needed in a newspaper editor with a dozen men, or any ravening study as in a minister of state ; and the same of private letters and public journals, feel lıw of nature provides that they shall be in themselves every change and portent of as rarely found in the one as in the other. · change in the current of common thought. Ability ? there is no lack of it in any walk “Feel it in themselves :" that is probably of life. Genius? Quite another thing. the account of it which they would ren.
Now it happens that the Times was very der, with the addition that, though for a licky in this particular ; though in saying while they hesitated to rely upon their own that we are attributing to luck, perhaps, barometrical indications, experience soon an advantage that was largely due to pro- gave them a confidence that was rarely prietorial discrimination. But however disturbed by mistake. To the Statesman that may be, the Times in its younger days this is an invaluable quality. Without it had the good fortune to be served in suc- his wisdom is sorely crippled ; indeed, it cession by two or three men with as com- is doubtful whether any minister can beplete a genius for their calling as any Brit- come truly great and successful in a connish statesmen that can be named. Two, try like ours if this one little gift of genius at any rate, came very near together : has been denied him.
It is of piecisely Mr. Barnes and the late Mr. Delane. Ac. the same importance to the newspaper cording to all that can be gathered in this editor; and no newspaper editor ever had humble field of inquiry, the equal of it in greater fulness or more perfect readeither was Mr. Perry of the Morning iness than Mr. Delane, though one or two Chronicle, which in his time was the most of his predecessors seem to have shared it powerful journal of the day. But Mr. Jargely. Perry seems to have had no successor of It appears, then, that the power of the equal parts ; and by and by the influence press depends in some degree on the presof the Morning Chronicle waned to a ence in journalism of one or two really shadow, though it could never have boast- great journalists; and it does so for this ed a more brilliant or more capable staff reason, among others too obvious to need of writers than toward the end of its days. mentioning. None are more strongly im
power of the
pressed by a man of that sort than the itative voices, which have the further adsensitive brethren of his craft. His influ- vantage of a distinct and engaging personence is felt not only by the little group of ality behind them. scribes bis colleagues, but in every news- This brings us in view of another change paper office in the kingdom ; and, by the of habit which tells in the same direction : strength and warmth of it, raises the the contribution of signed articles to Repower of the whole machine. No half- views like that in which these pages apdozen merely able, though very able, pear. Just as men of the highest authoreditors, such as the newspaper press may ity and the highest station speak to the boast of now, can do as much ; and there public from the platform as they rarely has been no genius of an editor in Eng. condescended to do in times past, so they land since the decline of Mr. Delane. In take pen in hand and write straight for the the North there was one at about the same press under their own names. Others, time, Mr. Alexander Russel of the Scots. below the rank of statesmanship, but man : he, too, dead these many years. known men of weight, do the same thing.
Here, then, are some good reasons to The advantages and disadvantages of account for a diminished".
we may discuss later Press” in public affairs, and at least one Here we may simply note that atother may be added. In the fresh heyday tention is more immediately and closely of newspaper influence, it used to be said drawn to these papers (by personal interwith half-humorous exaggeration that the est and curiosity) than to writing of equal press had superseded Parliament. It or superior merit published anonymously. might be averred with equal truth now- That kind of writing, indeed, they help to adays that the platform is superseding both. put into the shade ; except where its auThese changes naturally accompany the thorship is pretty well known, and known shiftings of political power from plane to to be worthy of regard. plane. What we see, at any rate, is daily There are other things to account for a resort to “ the stump" by men who knew decline which I for one do not doubt, little more of it a few years ago than its though it will probably be denied by men contemptuous designation. Public meet- quite as capable of judging of the matter. ings and public speeches are now believed But if we look to the press itself, I think to have more influence over the common we shall detect in it a consciousness of mass of opinion and sentiment than any lost influence in political affairs, or, at any similar machinery ; and much may be said rate, of a less eager attention to its politiin favor of the belief. For one thing, the cal discussions and debatings. With here multiplication of news-sheets means a mul- and there an exception-almost always in tiplication of speech-reporters; and the the case of journals in the hands of ardent, reporters no longer scribble for a few thou- independent politicians who address them. sand readers, but for 'hundreds of thou- selves to a limited though influential set sands. The political great man who, at of readers—there is an obviously diminish. small expenditure of time, speeds to some ing dependence on political commentary provincial capital and there lifts an audi- for a hearing : or perhaps I should say, ence five thousand strong into a state of for customers. On the other hand, there high sympathetic enthusiasm, does a good is a fast-widening, a contented, and even night's work.
But the full extent of it a glorified dependence on the common appears next morning, when his words are taste for gossip, and especially for gossip printed in scores of newspapers and scan- of the personal" kind. It is conceded ned by millions of readers in every part of by many practitioners in the press
that the the country. With so many fine orations discussion of public business has become to read, ali hot from the lips of the most very much of a bore, and must give way knowing and distinguished politicians, to a lively demand for matters of « human what more natural than that editorial re- interest ;' an interest which culminates in mark should fall flatter than it used to fall curiosity about the private affairs of other on the public mind? This much is certain, people. But of course that is not all. at any rate : the babel is increased ; it is The change is accounted for in other ways. increased enormously ; and those who A greater variety of interests, a greater listen to its noise must naturally incline to extension and division of curiosity—80 exhaust their attention on its more author. natural to the growth of a community like
our own-explains it in considerable meas- have what is called “ a new public”-an
But while the able editor perceives entirely new and uncultivated field for that he is expected to deal nowadays with newspaper teaching and newspaper influ. a multiplicity of unimposing but not al- Eager, deeply interested, easily im. ways unimportant interests and excite- pressed and quite uncritical, these thouments, it is obvious that he sees something sands of half-awakened minds are readily else. He understands that there is a more worked upon by the Friend of Humanity languid demand for political dissertation. who, in all the august authority of print, He is aware of a dwindling attention when exhorts them to right their wrongs and he enters upon these matters, and acknowl- teaches them how to revenge their disedges it by the perfunctory discharge of tresses. The right or the wrong of that an habitual business. It does not "tell?? endeavor is not our present business. as it used to do, and therefore the heart Enough to mark that here we find a far is taken out of it very considerably, even greater power of the press” at this mowhere there is as much desire as ever there ment than anywhere else in England. For was to convince or persuade. This ap- it need not be said that the influence of pears, I think, in the whole body of mod- which we speak depends more upon the ern journalism ; though of course I speak receptivity of the minds it is applied to generally, and with little expectation of than upon the activity of those who exert assent from a newer generation uncon- it. But here there is more of activity, far scious of a difference which is likely to be more eagerness, daring, and ingenuity, blurred in the fading memory of an older than can be found in any other field of
But we have all heard of the journalistic effort ; and it works on a mul"thunders” which not very long ago re- titude of fresh minds eagerly receptive of verberated from the less crowded spaces of their doctrine. So here in London we the journalistic sky, and how tremendous may have a great old-established newswere their effects. It is all true ; and paper, with hundreds of thousands of readtrue that—very much because of the ers ; hard by, a second ; not far off, a crowded spaces—no such effects are now third ; and the actual moving influence of produced by any such artillery. This may all three shall not exceed that of a fourth be said, I hope, without suggesting a wish with a much smaller circulation than either. to disparage the many vigorous, alcrt, and I beliere that to be the case at the present capable men employed in journalism, and moment, and that in due time the consedoing their work with both hands. There
will become plain enough ; not in is no lack of such men, thanks to a vari- surface matters of art, taste, Shakespeare ety of circumstances about which we may and the musical glasses, but in much that have a word to say later on : but nobody underlies the whole superstructure of govcan be more conscious than themselves ernment and society. that the spirit of the most learned and The decline of the influence of the eager professor flags in a very much press in political affairs (and we are deal"mixed” and inattentive class-room. ing with nothing else just now, be it re
And yet there is an influential news- membered) may be seen, I think, in the paper-press, though not much of it at growing disregard of Governments to its present. Lately come into existence, it many voices. Abroad it is a very differfourishes because a great number of men ent thing. There they are at another have been suddenly dragged out of com- stage of“ modern progress” in these matplete ignorance by compulsory schooling, ters. But here in England comparative and so have been brought to a keener sense indifference to the confused thunders of of the poverty and squalor they were born the press naturally follows upon observato, while at the same time they have been admitted to a large and all but command- comforts and adornments of life. On another ing share of political power.*
occasion, however, I had something to say about the pregnant fact that at one and the
same time the Legislature has conferred on the * To avoid the risk of misconception,
it very poor a keener sense of their privations, may be as well to remark that there is no ex. and organized for them a powerful constitupression of regret here for the education of tional means of insisting on the trial of any the poor, nor at their increasing fretfulness scheme of relief that they may be persuaded under privations that are more bitterly felt as to believe in. See Nineteenth Century for May education sharpens a desire for the humbler 1889, p. 747.
tion of its waning power over the public thought and sentiment, and to be less capamind as a whole. It would be absurd, of ble than inferior men of feeling in themcourse, to say that newspaper comment selves its changes and portents of change. has not a considerable influence upon Nor in the case of statesmen in office is Governments still ; but if we were to in- this insensibility corrected by their immequire we should probably learn that it does diate associations, or by those to whom not move them as much as it did, or in they conimonly resort for advice. No set quite the same way. How to explain it of men engaged in public affairs is worse except by pointing to the greater mass of qualified to render it than the order of society i hardly know; but it certainly persons exemplified in Permanent Officials. seems that though, for the most part, min- Facts they know, or as many as should
go about” more than their prede- properly be found in pigeon-holes ; as to cessors of the last generation, they are far bearts and minds and "that sort of thing” less sensible of wbat we have called the they are equally ignorant and contemptucurrents of common thought and feeling. In this state of affairs, newspapers They are too much men of the closet, per- are very useful to cabinets, and bring an haps. But whatever the explanation, it appreciable influence to bear on them. If may be said with truth tbat there is a re- ministers are less often disturbed by an markable deficiency in ministerial circles press-created public opinion they are freof what we have noted as specially charac- qnently moved by a press-revealed public teristic of Mr. Delane. Lord Palmerston opinion. They gather from the newspapers seems to have shared the gift largely. It what the intelligent foreigner goes gleancame out rather strikingly at one point ing for in the same field, and what as Engof Sir Robert Peel's career ; and it was lishmen, with the common blood of the not wanting in the Duke of Wellington, country running in their veins, they ought who, though he may be described as hide- to have found as a natural deposit in their bound, bad no ink in his blood. As for
own minds. The relations of Press and the later generation of statesmen, they may Government, how far they go, how far be quite as wise, far more rich in general they should go, and so forth, is, however, information, far
laborious and a subject which must be reserved for anthoughtful ; but they seem in most cases other article. —Nineteenth Century. to be quite out of the common current of
THE LAMENTABLE COMEDY OF WILLOW WOOD.
BY RUDYARD KIPLING.
“ O ye, all ye that walk in Willow Wood, crop.) It feels as though it were going
That walk with hollow faces burning to rain. Suppose we white ;
ShE. (Bay horse, third-best habit, cloth What fathom-depth of soul-struck widow. hood,
cap, double bridle, martingale, and worn What long, what longer hours, one life- gauntlets.) I've nothing on that can spoil, long night,
and there's nothing to go back for before Ere ye again, who so in vain have wooed
dinner. I must say the Deeleys are the Your last hope lost, who so in vain invite
dearest hosts in the world. Your lips to that their unforgotten food,
Fancy them Ere ye, ere ye again shall see the light!" letting me take out Mickey.
thought he was specially reserved for Mrs. PERSONS CHIEFLY CONCERNED. Deeley. HE (a man).
HE (aside). Exactly! 'Gets the pick
of the stable-hauls a man out of the SHE (a woman).
smoking-room, and he gets_hold up, you
brute !-a yorking hog of a hack with the SCENE—Grey Downs, late in the after- mouth of a turnstile and the manners of a noon ; a sea-fog coming over the cliffs. steam-engine, and so must wait her pleas
(aloud.) Yes, it's one of the nicest He. (Roan horse, second-best saddlery, country houses I know, but look at this double-mouthed snaffle, nose-band, no spurs, beast. The head-groom doesn't love me.
She (aside). 'Hands of a butcher, if tertain a
who-how was it ?you only knew it. (aloud.) I'ın afraid
goes to sleep over her soup and looks as you have been unlucky. But misfortudes though she fed on bolsters." Eb? never come singly. It was your fault for HE (aside). Oh, damn! loafing so aggressively in the smoking- ShE. You should never become confiden
tial in the smoking-room with Mr. Dollin. HE. As how ?
He tells his wife everything, and she, not ShE. I saw you from the garden, and it being too wise, tells me. seemed that you might just as well take HE (aside). I wonder if this is her ine out as loll on a sofa. So I suggested method of being engaging. It is monototo Mrs. Deeley-and there really was no (aloud.) I deny every word of it. one else available. (aside.) ’Mustn't sulk Dollin misunderstood. —Did Mrs. Dollin for half an hour and not expect to be paid tell you everything that was said in the out.
smoking-room? HE. Thank you.
I had supposed there SHE (aside). ?Curiously alike men are wasn't. They all went out after lunch. when you make them uncomfortable. Er-er! have you noticed the deep inter- (aloud.) Thank you. I know what you est that the young take in Norman ruins
Yes, she did ; and I must say when two can look at them at the same that you men might find some better time? It's natural, I suppose. (aside.) amusement than making fun of poor Mr. I know she saw young Oulthorp go out Oulthorp. with Miss Massing.
HE (aside). I thought so. (aloud, SAE (aside). To my address, but stiffty.) Pardon me, but was it for this clumsy.' (aloud.) Yes. I suggested their that I was brought out ? going
SAE. No. But since you are here I may HE (aside). What an atrocious fib. I as well speak. Is it fair ? believe she sleeps regularly after lunch, HE. There's a certain amount of frivoland I know she never lets Oulthorp look ity in a smoking-room, and I suppose Oulat Miss Massing. (aloud.) Well, shall thorp gets his share like every one else. we canter on and pick up our archäolo- SHE. But he doesn't like it. gists?
HE. I'm afraid that makes no differShe (sweetly). Can't you hold him in (aside.) This is a revelation. I then ? He is dancing a little bit ; but object to being called to account like a perhaps you are irritating his poor dear schoolboy. (aloud.) And you know Oulmouth ?
thorp is not very wise. HE. Poor dear mouth! He never had Sve. In that he is specially devoted to such a thing in his life.
ShE. But he must have some feelings, HE. I never said that. and it is hardly worth while harrowing SHE. But what do
think? them because your own are upset.
Why should I ? Am I He. You are saddling me with all sorts his keeper-or yours ? Indeed I was no of sins that never came into my head. worse than the others. Of course I'm delighted to be your escort. ShE. No worse than the others ! There
SHE. Of course. What else could you speaks the man. Will you listen to me say ?
for a minute ? HE. This only. If it has seemed good He. It seems that I was invited to that
to drag out an almost entire stranger end. (aside.) If I sent my heel into the for a ride in this particularly sloppy coun
beast I know he'd bolt. 'Question is, try, I don't see that it is worth while could I pull him up this side the sunset. squabbling with him.
(aside.) It's a (aloud.) Frankly, you know, I never unstrong face and I like it, but I hate having derstood what you saw in young Oulthorp my riding scoffed at.
-I mean what your object was in taking Sue. You are a remarkably plain-spo- him up. As I said just now, he is not
over wise, nor, for matter of that, very He. I'm afraid I was led into it. Also amusing. I'll confess I did sulk.
She (after a pause). Have you ever ShE. I know you did, and I don't won- been put on a pedestal and worshipped ? der. After all, it must be a bore to en- HE. No.