Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

all in twelve hours of the same day. He is editor, author, lecturer, political agitator, social reformer, and has been member of Congress. No work, however varied and heavy, seems too great for his strength and patience; and yet his etiolated blonde complexion, bending shoulders, and shambling gait, indicate no great physical vigour, though the high forehead, which his habit of wearing his long hair brushed behind his ears, and his hat cocked back on his head, displays to the utmost, shows space enough for a large brain.

The “New York Times” was established in 1851, only sixteen years ago, by its present proprietor, Mr. Henry J. Raymond, who, like Mr. Greeley, is the son of a farmer. He was born in Lima, in the State of New York, in 1820, but was educated at a college in Vermont, where he secured the means for his own education by teaching others. In 1840 he went to New York, and found ready employment as a reporter and sub-editor of various city papers, until he finally established his present journal, the “New York Times.” Unlike his cotemporaries, Bennett and Greeley, Raymond had the control, through some wealthy friends, of a large capital at the commencement of his enterprise. He was thus enabled, almost at the start, to present himself as a formidable competitor of his successful cotemporaries, whom he moreover rivals in tact, capacity, and energy. The “ New York Times” has a daily circulation of about forty thousand, and gives its proprietary an annual net income of a hundred thousand dollars. Mr. Raymond is an aspiring politician and a fervid popular orator, who,as member and speaker of the State Assembly, Lieutenant-Governor of New York, and representative in the Federal Congress, has given proof of his practical ambition in winning a high place, and of administrative and parliamentary capacity, by his able performance of its duties. A small compact man, with the concentrated temper and eagerness of the bilious temperament, he has the physical organization favourable to vigorous and persistent work. He is one of those rare men who have the full control of all the powers they may possess, and can bring them to bear, at any given moment, upon the object they desire to accomplish.

The political tone of the “Herald” varies with the fluctuations of public opinion. The “Tribune" and "Times" are partisan journals; the former giving its support to the “Radical,” and the latter to the “ Conservative” branch of the Republican party. They all, however, compete for public favour, with more or less success, by a diligent effort to supply the general demand for a daily and complete record

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

of events, and each may claim a large number of readers who remain indifferent to the peculiar political or social views of its editor.

The “New York World” is another morning newspaper, of similar form and scope with the “ Herald,” “Times,” and “ Tribune." As the organ of the Democratic party, it exercises a proportionate influence; but, notwithstanding its acknowledged ability and industrious application of all the modern means of information, its circulation is small compared with that of the other morning papers. These four papers,

the “ Herald,” “ Times, “ Tribune,” and “ World,” are all sold at four cents a copy. Each has its semi-weekly and weekly, compiled from the morning papers, the subscription prices of which are three and two dollars a year.

Of the “large papers," as they were once called, there is now but one morning survivor. This is the “Journal of Commerce," a great single folio sheet, as expansive as two folios of the “Herald” rolled into one.

It is deemed a commercial and financial authority by many merchants and tradesmen, who sustain it by a liberal largesse of advertisements. It is interesting as a relic of the traditionary form of the newspaper once generally in vogue with the New Yorkers a quarter of a century since. Two of the “large" evening papers still survive. There is the “Evening Post,” edited by the American poet, Bryant, aided by his son-in-law, Parke Godwin, an impressive publicist and historian, and Mr. Nordhoff, the most accomplished of editors. Its liberal views on politics, trade, and finance, and refined appreciation of social, literary, and artistic subjects, have obtained for the “Evening Post" a wide circulation among the most intelligent classes of the United States. Its proprietary is said to have divided in a single year the large sum of two hundred thousand dollars. The “ Commercial Advertiser" had lost much of its former influence until resuscitated by its present editor and proprietor, Mr. Thurlow Weed, a venerable and experienced journalist, and of wide renown in America as a skilful political manager or party whipper-in. The “large " papers are sold at five and six cents each copy.

The Americans are great readers of newspapers and periodicals of all sorts, and the supply is proportionate to the demand. There are in New York alone two hundred, of which fifteen are German, two French, two Italian, and one Spanish. There are twenty daily papers, and the rest are semi-weekly and weekly. In addition, there are a hundred magazines. Among this multitudinous shower, pouring daily, weekly, and monthly upon a people athirst for all kinds of intelligence, there is that to suit any taste, however varied. All interests are repre

[ocr errors]

the

sented in these three hundred publications-national, political, religious, literary, scientific, artistic, banking, commercial, trading, manufactaring, and even those which administer to the appetites, tastes, caprices, and pleasures. There are seven journals of fashion; there is, or was, a “Wine Press," and there flourishes a paper known as the “Billiard Cue.” The dentists, coachmakers, tailors, shoemakers, and photographers have each their organ.

The “New York Ledger” is far ahead of all the other weekly publications in circulation which has occasionally risen to the enormous number of 350,000 and seldom sinks below 250,000. It is sold at six cents a copy. The proprietor, Mr. Bonner, who began life in Connecticat as a journeyman printer, now derives from his flourishing enterprise an annual income of one hundreds and sixty thousand dollars. He has frequently paid six thousand dollars for one day's advertising, by the liberal use of which he has chiefly obtained for his paper universal notoriety and the immense circulation it possesses. To this means he adds the ingenious plan of associating with his journal the names of prominent people. He induced the late Mr. Everett, formerly the American minister to England, by liberal pecuniary offers, to give the use of his fastidious pen and distinguished name to the “ Ledger.” Mr. Dickens was paid one thousand pounds sterling for a short story of two or three columns. The Reverend Henry Ward Beecher, the brother of Mrs. Stowe, the author of “Uncle Tom's Cabin,” received from Mr. Bonner twenty-five thousand dollars for the novel of “ Norwood,” now in the course of publication. The presidents of all, or most of the colleges of the United States have been also persuaded by the profuse and seductive Bonner to come out from their scholastic retreats, and discourse to the unlearned public through the popular medium of the “ Ledger.” There was a promise too, which may perhaps have been kept, that the President and Vice-President, and all the living ex-Presidents and ex-Vice-Presidents, and we know not how many cabinet ministers and statesmen, were to be enrolled among the well-paid contributors of Mr. Bonner's list. In the programme for the future, the indefatigable Greeley is announced to appear in an intimate revelation of himself, styled, the “Autobiography of a Successful Man.”

These great people, however, do not supply that part of the literature of the "Ledger” which is the most palatable to its readers. A certain Sylvanus Cobb for a long time was, and is yet, it is believed, the chief furnisher of the sensational romances wbich served to keep awake the public, which might otherwise sleep too profoundly over the lucubrations of Presidents of the United States and of colleges.

a

و۱

66

Mr. Everett's articles were the veriest commonplace, and quite unworthy of his great literary skill. Dickens never wrote a worse story than the one he sold to Mr. Bonner for a thousand pounds sterling. Mr. · Beecher does not promise to rival his renowned sister as a romance writer, and the college presidents, true to their traditional dulness, are expatiating in the dreariest platitudes.

The general literature of the “Ledger,” may be deemed so far wholesome that it never contains the remotest allusion to anything that can conflict with cherished opinion, or offend the most fastidious delicacy. The sensational element of its stories, unlike that of the French romances, is not produced by exciting scenes of voluptuousness, but by exaggerated incidents of physical effort and daring, or sentimental benevolence.

" Harper's Weekly,” an illustrated journal, which has a circulation of 100,000, probably ranks next in worldly prosperity to the “Ledger.” Its proprietors are said to derive from it, which is sold at ten cents the copy, a net profit of eighty thousand dollars a year. The Harpers have just entered upon a new enterprise, the “Bazar," founded upon the celebrated fashion paper of that name published in Berlin. The American “ Bazar," which has an additional claim upon popular support from its miscellaneous character, sustained by a corps of able writers, bids fair to outdo even its German prototype, exclusively devoted to the fashions, which boasts a circulation of 250,000.

“Harper's Monthly" far outstrips every other periodical of its kind. Each number sells at thirty-five cents; its circulation averages 125,000. The publications of Leslie, which embrace every variety of journal but the daily paper, are also understood to enjoy a large share of popular favour.

These multitudinous papers and periodicals are scattered over the metropolis and the whole country, by means of news agencies and news boys. The latter, who are numberless, penetrate everywhere, and their shrill cries of 6 Herald,” “ Times," “ Tribune,” Evening Post," "Ledger," and "Harper's Weekly," may be heard from Maine

" to Florida. They are met at every street corner, they pass in and out of each omnibus or car, they confront in crowds every coming and parting passenger of ferry boat, coast or foreign steamer, and they circulate in all the railway trains, of which they enjoy the fullest freedom. Their universal presence is always welcomed in the United States, and their absence would be felt as a deprivation of one of the necessities of life.

The Land of Might Have Been.

I.

Fax beyond the Ocean's bonnd,

Far beyond the purple West,
Where, in ancient song renowned,

Bloomed the Islands of the Blest;
'Neath the span of sapphire skies,

Robed in woods for ever green-
A wondrous land there lies-

The “ Land of Might have been.”

II.
In the Summer's golden hours,

When the Sunset hues enfold
All this gloomy earth of ours

In their crimson and their gold-
Or when Winter's fire burns low,

Oft by Fancy's eye is seen,
'Mid the ember's dying glow,

The “Land of Might have been."

III.
All unknown in that fair land

Are the ills that hearts endure,
Sinless every tongue and hand-

Man is true, and woman pure.
And Misfortune's bitter blast,

Shame, Despair, and Sorrow keen,
Are but memories of the past,

In the “ Land of Might have been.”

IV.
All the dreams our Childhood nursed,

Ere we woke to sin and care,
Which the touch of Life dispersed-

Have their bright fulfilment there.
All the hopes that Earth has crossed,

Wear the freshness of their sheen;
Not one ray of glory lost-

In the “ Land of Might have been."

« ZurückWeiter »