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* I, that do bring the news.
Newsmen's Verses, 1747. The newsman is a " lone person.” His All the year round, and every day in the business, and he, are distinct from all other year, the newsman must rise soon after four occupations, and people.
o'clock, and be at the newspaper offices to Vol. I.-3.
procure a few of the first morning pa “ It has not been left an hour,"
early coaches.” Afterwards, he has to wait from serving his readers in rotation, or at
Soon after three in the afternoon, the a later hour is devoted to his remaining newsman and some of his boys must be at customers; and he sends off his boys with the offices of the evening papers; but bedifferent portions according to the supply fore he can obtain his requisite numbers, he successively receives. Notices frequently he must wait till the newsmen of the Royal and necessarily printed in different papers, Exchange have received theirs, for the of the hour of final publication the pre
use of the merchants on 'Change. Some ceding day, guard the interests of the news- of the first he gets are hurried off to coffeepaper proprietors from the sluggishness of house and tavern keepers. When he has the indolent, and quicken the diligent procured his full quantity, he supplies the newsman. Yet, however skilful his arrange- remainder of his town customers. These ments may be, they are subject to unlooked disposed of, then comes the hasty folding for accidents. The late arrival of foreign and directing of his reserves for the counjournals, a parliamentary debate unexpect. try, and the forwarding of them to the edly protracted, or an article of importance post-office in Lombard-street, or in parcels in one paper exclusively, retard the print- for the mails, and to other coach-offices. ing and defer the newsman. His patience, The Gazette nights, every Tuesday and well-worn before he gets his “last papers, Friday, add to his labours,—the publimust be continued during the whole period cation of second and third editions of the he is occupied in delivering them. The evening papers is a super-addition. On sheet is sometimes half snatched before he what he calls a “ regular day,” he is fortucan draw it from his wrapper; he is often nate if he find himself settled within his chid for delay when he should have been own door by seven o'clock, after fifteen praised for speed; his excuse, “ All the hours of running to and fro. It is now papers were late this morning,” is better only that he can review the business of the heard than admitted, for neither giver nor day, enter his fresh orders, ascertain how receiver has time to parley; and before he many of each paper he will require on the gets home to dinner, he hears at one house morrow, arrange his accounts, provide for that “Master has waited for the paper these the money he may have occasion for, eat two hours ;" at another, “ Master's gone the only quiet meal he could reckon upon out, and says if you can't bring the paper since that of the evening before, and “ steal earlier, he won't have it all;" and some a few hours from the night” for needful ill-conditioned “master,” perchance, leaves rest, before he rises the next morning to a positive orders, “ Don't take it in, but tell day of the like incessant occupation: and the man to bring the bill; and I'll pay it ihus from Monday to Saturday he labours and have done with him."
every day. Besides buyers, every newsman has read The newsman desires no work but his ers at so much each paper per hour. One own to prove
“ Sunday no Sabbath ;" for class stipulates for a journal always at on him and his brethren devolves the cirbreakfast; another, that it is to be deli- culation of upwards of fifty thousand Sunvered exactly at such a time; a third, at day papers in the course of the forennon. any time, so that it is left the full hour; and His Sunday dinner is the only meal he can among all of these there are malecontents, ensure with his family, and the short rewho permit nothing of " time or circum- mainder of the day the only time he can stance" to interfere with their personal con- enjoy in their society with certainty, or venience. Though the newsman delivers, extract something from, for more serious and allows the use of his paper, and fetches duties or social converse. it, for a stipend not half equal to the lowest The newsman's is an out-of-door busipaid porter's price for letter-carrying in ness at all seasons, and his life is measured London, yet he finds sume, with whom he out to unceasing toil. In all weathers, covenanted, objecting, when it is called for, hail, rain, wind, and snow, he is daily con
-“ I've not had my breakfast,"-—“The strained to the way and the fare of a waypaper did noi come ai the proper time,"— faringman. He walks, or rather runs, to dis
I've not had leisure to look at it yet." tribute information concerning all sorts of
circumstances and persons, except his own.
With spatter'd boots, strapp'd waist, and frozen locks He is unable to allow himself, or others, time News from all nations lumb'ring at his back. for intimacy, and therefore, unless he had
True to his charge, the close pack'd load behind formed friendships before he took to his ser
Yet careless what he brings, his one concern vitude, he has not the chance of cultivating
Is to conduct it to the destin'd inn; them, save with persons of the same calling. And, having dropp'd th' expected bag, pass on. He may be said to have been divorced, and
He whistles as he goes, light-hearted wretch, to live separate and apart” from society Perhaps to thousands, and of joy to some ;
Cold and yet cheerful : messenger of grief in general; for, though he mixes with every
To him indiff'rent whether grief or joy. body, it is only for a few hurried moments, and as strangers do in a crowd.
Methinks, as I have always thought, that Cowper's familiar description of a news- Cowper here missed the expression of a paper, with its multiform intelligence, and kind feeling, and rather tends to raise an the pleasure of reading it in the country, ungenerous sentiment towards this poor never tires, and in this place is to the pur- fellow. As the bearer of intelligence, of pose.
which he is ignorant, why should it be This folio of four pages, happy work!
“ To him indiffrent whether grief or joy?" Which not ev'n critics criticise; that holds Inquisitive Attention, while I read,
If “cold, and yet cheerful,” he has atFast bound in chains of silence, which the fair, tained to the practical philosophy” of Though eloquent themselves, yet fear to break, bearing ills with patience. He is a frozen What is it, but a map of busy life,
creature that “whistles," and therefore Its fluctuations, and its vast concerns ?
called "light-hearted wretch.” The poet Houses in ashes, and the fall of stocks,
refrains to look with a gentle eye upon Births, deaths, and marriages
this wretch,” but, having obtained the The grand debate,
newspaper, determines to enjoy himself, The popular harangue, the tart reply,
and cries The logic, and the wisdom, and the wit, And the loud laugh
Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast, Catracts of declamation thunder here;
Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round, There forests of no meaning spread the page,
And, while the bubbling and loud-hissing urn In which all comprehension wanders lost;
Throws up a steamy column, and the cups, While fields of pleasantry amuse us there,
That cheer, but not inebriate, wait on each,
So let us welcome peaceful ev'ning in.
This done, and the bard surrounded with And lilies for the brows of faded age,
means of enjoyment, he directs his sole Teeth for the toothless, ringlets for the bald,
attention to the newspaper, nor spares a Heav'n, earth, and ocean, plunderd of their sweets,
thought in behalf of the wayworn messenNectareous essences, Olympian dews,
ger, nor bids him “God speed !" on his Sermons, and city feasts, and fav’rite airs, further forlorn journey through the wintry #thereal journies, submarine exploits,
blast. And Katerfelto, with his hair an end
In London scarcely any one knows the At his own wonders, wand'ring for his bread. newsman but a newsman. His customers
'Tis pleasant, through the loopholes of retrest, know him least of all. Some of them To peep at such a world; to see the stir
seem almost ignorant that he has like Of the great Babel, and not feel the crowd;
senses, affections, passions," with themTo hear the roar she sends through all her gates, selves, or is “subject to the same diseases, At a safe distance, where the dying sound
bealed by the same means, warmed and Falls a soft murmur on th' uninjured ear.
cooled by the same winter and summer." Thus sitting, and surveying thus, at ease,
They are indifferent to him in exact ratio The globe and its concerns, I seem advanced
to their attachment to what he “serves To some secure and more than mortal height,
them with. Their regard is for the news That lib'rates and exempts us from them all.
paper, and not the newsman. Should he This is an agreeable and true picture, succeed in his occupation, they do not and, with like felicity, the poet paints the hear of it: if he fail, they do not care for bearer of the newspaper.
it. If he dies, the servant receives the Hark! 'tis the twanging horn o'er yonder bridge,
paper from his successor, and says, when That with its wearisome but needful length
she carries it up stairs, “ If you please, the Bestrides the wintry flood, in which the moon newsman's dead :" they scarcely ask where Sees her unwrinkled face reflected bright;
he lived, or his fall occasions a pun--"We de comes, the berald of a noisy world,
always said he was, and now we have
proof that he is, the late newsman.” They siderably in the compilation of that work, are almost as unconcerned as if he had been as it appeared in 1782, expressly entitles it the postman.
an opera.” Once a year, a printed “copy of verses Reed states his inability to furnish any reminds every newspaper reader that the particulars of Ecclestone, and his continuahand that bore it is open to a small boon. tor, Mr. Stephen Jones, has not added a “ The Newsman's Address to his Customers, single word. Ecclestone was a comedian, 1826," deploringly adverts to the general though I cannot immediately cite my audistress, patriotically predicts better times, thority. His opera of “Noah's Flood,” and seasonably intimates, that in the height which is excessively scarce, is said, by of annual festivities he, too, has a heart Reed, to be “ of the same nature with Drycapable of joy.
den's State of Innocence,' but falls infi
nitely short of the merit of that poem.” " although the muse complains
This may be readily believed; for we are And sings of woes in melancholy strains,
informed that the unhappy bookseller, to Yet Hope, at læst, strikes up her trembling wires, And bids Despair forsake your glowing fires.
prevent the whole impression rotting on
his shelves, again obtruded it for public While, as in olden time, Heaven's gifts you share, And Englishmen enjoy their Christmas fare ;
patronage, with a new title, “ 'The Cata
clasm, or General Deluge of the World,” While at the social board friend joins with friend, And smiles and jokes and salutations blend;
1684, 4to.; and again as “The Deluge, or Your Newsman wishes to be social too,
Destruction of the World," 1691, 4to., with And would enjoy the opening year with you :
the addition of sculptures. These attempts Grant him your annual gift, he will not fail
probably exhausted the stock on hand, as, To drink your health once more with Christmas ale : some years afterwards, it was reprinted in Long may you live to share your Christmas cheer, 12mo., with the title of “ Noah's Flood, or And he still wish you many a happy year!"
the History of the General Deluge," 1714.
Many plays were reprinted by Meares, The losses and crosses to which news
Feales, and others, at the commencement men are subject, and the minutiæ of their
of the last century, as stock-plays; and laborious life, would form an instructive Reed's assertion, that this was an imposivolume. As a class of able men of busi- tion, is correct, so far as it came forth as a ness, their importance is established by ex
new production, the preface stating that cellent regulations, adapted to their inter
the author was unknown.
thirteen wide. The office seal, red wax,
Chalmers's “ A pology for the Believers of
the Shakspeare Papers.” LICENSE FOR ENACTING A PLAY.
“ To all Mayors Sherriffs Justices of the Sir,-As many of your readers may not Peace Bayliffs Constables Headboroughs, have had an opportunity of knowing the and all other his Maties. Officers, true form and manner in which dramatic repre- Leigmen & loueing Subiects, & to euery sentations were permitted, by the Master of them greeting. Know yee that wheras of the Revels, upon the restoration of the George Bayley of London Musitioner de. Stuarts, I submit a transcript of a licence sires of me a Placard to make Shew of a in my possession. It refers to a drama, call- Play called Noah's flood wth other Seused "Noah's Flood," apparently not re rall Scenes. These are therfore by vertue corded in any dramatic history. It is of his Maties. Lettrs. Pattents made ouer true, Isaac Reed, in the “Biographia Dra vnto me vnder the great Seale of England matica,” 1782, vol.ii. p. 255, cites “ Noah's to licence & allow the said George Bayley Flood, or the Destruction of the World, wth eight Servants wch are of his Coman opera, 1679, 4to.," and ascribes it to
pany to make shew of the said Play called “ Edward Ecclestone,” but it is question- Noah's flood wth other Scenes requireing able whether this was the “play for
in his Maties Name which the license below was obtained, as to pmitt & Suffer the said Persons to shew Reed, or perhaps George Steevens, the the said Play called Noah's flood, and to commentator, who assisted the former con be aiding & assisting them & euery of them
if any wrong or iniury be offered vnto him a festival, enlivened by a round of innocent or any of them Provided that he and they amusements, which the present enlightened doe not act any thing offensiue against ye age has pronounced superstitious or trifling. lawes of God or of the Land, and that he Formerly we had a theatre, at this season, & they doe make shew of the said Noah's and perhaps a few particulars relating to it flood at lawfull times wth Exception of the may not be uninteresting. Lords Day or any other Day in the time Gentle reader! should you eve: visit of Devine Service, or on any other day Skipton-in-Craven, go on the market-day, prohibited by Proclamation or other law- and stand opposite to the vicarage-house in full Authority. And this Licence to con the High-street; there you will see a cart tinue for a year and noe longre from the with this inscription, “ Thomas Airay, day of the date hearof and to Serue through- Grassington and Skipton carrier.” Keep out the Kingdome of England Scotland & your eye on that cart, and about the hour Ireland & all other his Maties. Territories of three in the afternoon you will behold & Dominions the said Geo. Bayly haueing approach the owner, a little, fat, old man, giuen me security for his good behauiour with reddish whiskers and a jolly face, that that hee doe not intrench vpon the lawes Liston or John Reeve would not be ashamed of the land. Giuen at his Maties. Office of to possess.
In that countenance a mere the Revills vnder my hand & Seale of the tyro in physiognomy may discover a roguish said Office the fowerteenth day of Aprill slyness, a latent archness, a hidden mine of one thousand six hundred sixty and two & fun and good humour. Then when Airay in the fowerteenth year of the raigne of o'r walks, mark his stately gait, and tell me if Soueraigne Lord Charles ye Second by the it does not proclaim that he has worn the grace of God of England Scotland ffrance sock and buskin, and trod the Thespian and Ireland King Defender of the faith &c. floor: he was the manager of the Grassing
J. PornTz. ton theatre—the “ Delawang” of Craven. A marginal memorandum, below the seal, cold glance on poor Tom, and saying to
I fancy some rigid moralist bestowing a contains a direction to the persons named
himself, “ Ah, old man, this comes of in this license, thus :
acting; had you, in your youth, followed “ You are to allow him either Town hall
some industrious pursuit, nor joined ar Guild hall Schoole house or some other convenient place for his use & to continue in being a country carrier, you might have
idle strolling company, instead of now any one place for ye space of fforty been blessed with a comfortable indepenDaies."
dence!" Think not so harshly of Airay; The above transcript is literal in every though not the manager of a patent theatre, respect : and trusting that it may be deem
nor of one“ by royal authority," he never ed worthy insertion,
was a stroller, nor an associate with vagaI am, Sir, &c.
bonds, nor did he ever, during his theatrical WILL O' THE WHISP.
career, quake under the terrors of magis
terial harshness, or fear the vagrant act. The identical seal of the office of the No idle, worthless, wandering man was he, Revels, mentioned in the preceding letter,
But in the dales, of honest parents bred, was engraven on wood, and is now in the Train'd to a life of honest industry,
He with the lark in summer left his bed, possession of Francis Douce, Esq. F. S. A.
Thro' the sweet calm, by morning twilight shed,
And, making a pure pleasure of a tread,
When winter came with nights so dark and long,
'Twas his, with mimic art, to amuse a village throng! THEATRICAL COMPANY, CRAVEN, YORK Tom Airay's sole theatre was at Grass
ington; and that was only “
season”-for a few weeks in the depth of For the Table Book.
winter, when the inclemency of the weather,
which in these mountainous parts is very « Nothing like this in London."
severe, rendered the agricultural occupaJohn Reeve in Peregrine Proteus.
tions of himself and companions impossiAt this season, every thing appears dull ble to be pursued. They chose rather to and lifeless in the neighbourhood of my earn a scanty pittance by acting, than to favourite mountain village. In my younger trouble their neighbours for eleemosynary days it was otherwise. Christmas was then support.
open for the