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nothing so thoroughly delightful as a little personality.
For some months past the Pall Mall Gazette has made a dead set at Miss Braddon and the novelists of the Belgravia magazine; and, not to be behindhand in the sport, Blackwood for September last contains a scorching article on "Novels," in which it holds up the modern writers of fiction to something worse than ridicule, and openly accuses Miss Braddon of stealing her plots from contemporary writers, and of writing that which no pure-minded girl can read without a blush. It is particularly severe upon lady-novelists of the new school, and unfavourably contrasts their works with those English novels which, from the days of Sir Walter Scott, have "held a very high reputation in the world, not so much, perhaps, for what critics would call the highest development of art, as from a certain sanity, wholesomeness, and cleanliness unknown to other literature of the same class."
These attacks the proprietor of Belgravia has thought fit to answer; and, as the champions of Miss Braddon and Mr. Babington White, 'has enlisted the services of Mr. George Augustus Sala and Captain Shandon-the latter called from Hades especially for the genial task. Mr. Sala's article, the "Cant of Modern Criticism,' is most charmingly characteristic. He remembers when he, as a little boy-some eight and twenty years ago-started a magazine of his own; how he worshipped Fielding, Sterne, and Scott, and tried his feeble pen at imitations of the immortal Michael Angelo Titmarsh; how he loved Peter Simple and Mr. Chucks the boatswain; and what faith he put in "Old Ebony," and the incomparable Christopher North! and now, when Time takes him by the ear, and whispers, "Behold how stupid Blackwood's Magazine has grown!" he cannot but lament the changes which the said inexorable Time has wrought.
And then he goes seriously to work to anatomise "this once brilliant but now decrepit magazine," and especially to controvert all that its critic has said against Miss Braddon's novels. Of course he finds fault with the reviewer's grammar, and falls foul of his French; and presently-upon the tu quoque principleproves to demonstration that the principal novelist of Belgravia is no worse than her neighbours; and that in the matter of "sanity, wholesomeness, and cleanliness," she is at least equal to her contemporaries.
Thus he talks of "dirty, droll old Smollett," the lewd old doctor who wrote Roderick Random;"" the "wild, ghastly, immoral" novels of Harrison Ainsworth, who made Jack Sheppard fashionable, and won undeserved popularity for Turpin Dick the highwayman. Then he goes on to ask whether Lord Lytton's "Pelham," "Devereux,' Eugene Aram," "Paul Cliford," "Ernest Maltravers," "Alice," "Night and Morning," and "Lucretia," can be consi
dered "cleanly and wholesome" novels. suing his task, he inquires whether the " brutal, but amusing novels of Theodore Hook;" the "flimsy, vicious novels of the Countess of Blessington;" or the tales of "poor old Mrs. Gore" can be praised for "sanity, wholesomeness, and cleanliness." He does not deny the delicacy or refinement of Mr. Disraeli's pen, but he questions the "wholesomeness" of "Venetia," "Coningsby," and "Henrietta Temple," and declares that any student, unacquainted with the fact that Mr. Disraeli has been Chancellor of the Exchequer and Leader of the House of Commons, could arrive at no other conclusion than that the author of " Sybil" and "Tancred', must have been "stark-staring mad;" and pro. nounces the "Widow Barnaby," "Jessie Phillips," and other novels of Mrs. Trollope, to be 66 so revoltingly coarse in tone, in thought, and in language, that no publisher of the present day would dare to print them."
In like manner, he adduces "Jane Eyre," "Adam Bede," and other popular novels, as evidence of the "sensational" style which modern readers love; and asks what there is objec tionable in "Aurora Floyd," "Lady Audley's Secret,' ," "Birds of Prey," and other fictions by Miss Braddon, if the tales of the writers he has named are to be accepted as true pictures of life. "Marryatt," he says, was habitually coarse, and sometimes ribald," but "had I a daughter, I would rather she read 'Midshipman Easy' than the Disowned.'" This may be considered to be a sort of begging the question; but "the whole question," says Mr. Sala, "may be summed up in one dictum-that novels are written for grown people, and not for babes and sucklings." There is no need for me to take
up the cudgels in defence of Miss Braddon; she is quite strong enough and quite cunning enough of fence to hold her own, and to chastise this It is canting man of Edinburgh town. not a case of murder, I suppose, or arson, or forgery, to assert that the monthly instalments of Blackwood are tedious, prosy, and jejune. Toryism is objectionable enough under any circumstances; but stale Toryism! and stale Scotch Toryism! Did you ever try to munch an ancient 'scon'-a stale Scotch bun? Dead-Sea apples are succulent and juicy compared with that diet
I resolutely decline to listen to Edinburgh Conservatism, either in the 'aibstract' or in the concrete. I know that it is twelve o'clock-high noon; and it is in vain that the wise men of the Modern 'Awthens' endeavour to persuade me tha it wants just three-and-twenty minutes to eleven I don't think the Scotch gentleman ha ever read 'Aurora Floyd;' but this would onl be quite consonant with the cant of moder 'Incapable duffers' are onl criticism. permitted to review books, because somebod must review them, and people who write book are generally too busy or too honest to criticis those of others;" and so on, for a dozen page To outsiders, this is certainly very amusing.
Captain Shandon is hardly so successful in defending Mr. Babington White against his accuser in the Pall Mall Gazette. His "Remonstrance" does not quite touch the question raised by the newspaper "written by gentlemen for gentle men," as to the originality of "Circe;" but rather relies upon the right that any novelist has to take the materials for his plot from any available source, without acknowledgment, on the plea that the practice has been often enough adopted by others. This style of argument is quite consistent with the character of Captain Shandon, as drawn by Thackeray: :- "He could never refuse himself or any man any enjoyment which money could purchase. . . . He would sign his name at the back of any man's bill, and never pay any debt of his own. He would write on any side, and attack himself or any other man with equal indifference. Nobody could
help liking Charley Shandon who saw him once, and those whom he ruined could scarcely be angry with him." The Captain's "remonstrance" goes more completely into the question of the forged letter bearing a signature which purported to be Miss Braddon's, and which appeared in the Pall Mall Gazette, and for the appearance of which the editor expressed himself as 'very sorry," but asserted that he had no machinery applicable to the tracing of the forger. On this point Captain Shandon is very plain and very decisive. "You forget, sir (he says), that your employer is a publisher and the owner of a rival magazine to the Belgravia. If his signature was forged, is there no machinery by which he could essay to discover the forger? Would he be content to do nothing? It appears, sir, that your machinery is at the ready service of the scoundrel who forged Miss Braddon's signature, and that you can print and reprint the felonious document just as your caprice dictates. When
ever, sir, your own signature-that of Frederick Greenwood, editor of the Cornhill Magazineshall be forged, as Miss Braddon's has been, with the same malicious intent to injure the magazine you conduct, then, no doubt, you will find some machinery to trace out the wrong-doer, and make him amenable to the criminal law."
The Captain winds up by bidding his successor in the editorship of the Pall Mall Gazette "go to school, and learn what it is to be a gentleman.
The English mind, sir, is quick to resent anything that savours of persecution; and if you have the interests of your paper at heart, you will do well, in future, to refrain from these noisy onslaughts upon popular female novelists; which are more characteristic of the disappointed author of two or three unappreciated novels, than of the gentleman editor who writes for gentlemen readers."
Very nicely put, indeed, Captain Shandon. Go on, dear sir; and, in the course of a little while, you will find plenty of followers in your revival style of "smashing articles," and we shall see the days of Bungay and Bacon come over again.
PRINTING TRADE GOSSIP. THE improvement in the printing trade during the past month has been very slight, though at the present moment there is considerable activity in some few offices, consequent on the double numbers of magazines and other specialties belonging to the Christmas season. Compositors and pressmen have alike shared in the general depression of trade; but as yet there has been no such dearth of employment as to cause actual destitution in either class. The article which appeared in the Star, describing the distressed condition of the London printers, and to which we referred in our last, has found its way into the New York papers, and aroused the sympathies of the Americans. A meeting was held in New York, at which it was proposed to send over a thousand barrels of flour to the London compositors. Our American friends should understand that while there is great distress among the employés in the printing trade, the amount of that distress is quite within the means of the several trade societies to alleviate. During the past quarter the Compositors' Society has paid between £800 and £900 to its unemployed members. Never since the establishment of the Society, in 1848, has there been so heavy a call upon its funds; for during several days of the month no fewer than two hundred and seventy compositors signed the call-book kept at the office in Raquet Court, Fleet Street.
Nor is it in London alone that this scarcity of employment has been felt. In Manchester there is really less printing being done at this time than there was during the year of the cotton famine. In other towns there is also a great paucity of employment.
Concurrently with this great stagnation in the trade, there are in various quarters signs of renewed agitation for an advance in prices. Nor is this surprising, seeing that both in London and the provinces the cost of living has greatly increased during the past few years. Rent, fuel, and provisions have all risen in price without a corresponding augmentation in wages, at least among printers. There yet remain several questions of dispute between the masters and the men, which, sooner or later, must be settled if another strike would be avoided. For instance, there
is the Turnover and Apprentice question, concerning which a committee of inquiry was some time since appointed by the London Society of Compositors. The committee has presented its report. From what we can learn, however, the evil complained of has not assumed the gigantic proportions which many supposed it to possess, Nay, more; it is a question whether the turnover system has kept pace with the festering elements which have surrounded it, in the increased numbers of cheap publications which have of late years sprung into existence. It is true, that in some small printing-offices men who have pretensions to be considered turnover apprentices have been working at two-thirds and three-fourths of journeymen's wages; but this fact does not apply to the principal offices, where a large quantity of skilled adult labour is necessarily required. In 1847, a hundred and twentyfour London houses employed 1,901 journeymen and 635 apprentices; while in 1867 ninety houses
employ 443 more journeymen and only 15 additional apprentices,-a result which cannot but be regarded with satisfaction by the London compositors. Under these circumstances, the committee do not recommend the closing of any printing-office on account of a discrepancy between the number of apprentices employed, as compared with the staff of journeymen; and no immediate action is expected to result from the inquiry, the consideration of the report standing over till the next delegate meeting.
Following the lead of London compositors, the members of the Manchester and Salford Typographical Society have been investigating the Turnover and Apprentice question. They have passed a resolution to the effect, that in future a youth shall, before he is bound apprentice, elect to which branch of the business he will serve his seven years. He must not, as is now common in country offices, work alternately at case and press, according to the exigencies of his employer, but must be retained at one or the other continually. In other words, the men seek to prevent a lad becoming a thorough printer, by obliging him to be a compositor or a pressman, but not both. Now, seeing that most of our most successful master-printers have learned their business under the old system, this resolution of the Manchester men seems to the last degree unwise and unfair; and we are not surprised to find that their employers have deter. mined to resist to the utmost this interference with an old and generally-recognised rule of trade.
The Manchester printers at first proposed to
add this resolution to their circular asking for an advance of wages; but it was thought wiser to keep the two demands separate. Very much to the surprise of the men, the masters have firmly refused to comply with their demand for an advance of two shillings a week in advance of the wage now paid. They reply that the state of trade in Manchester and Salford is depressed and unstable; that the cost of production is, in many important respects, higher than heretofore, and that the demand comes too quickly upon the recent concession made to the men of four hours less time per week, without any corresponding reduction in wages. They complain, also, of the great injustice inflicted upon them by the Union, in compelling them to pay a like rate of wages to superior and inferior work. men-a cause of complaint by no means confined to the employers, in the cotton metropolis. The position of the masters and the men in Manchester resembles, therefore, that of the combatants in Sheridan's Critic-both parties standing in attitude to fight, with daggers drawn, but both afraid to strike!
The printers of Sheffield are agitating for an advance of two shillings a week in their wages. They say that they work fifty-eight hours per week for 28s., while the Manchester men get 30s. for fifty-five hours' labour, with the anticipation of an advance of two shillings; and that they do not see that the circumstances of the two towns warrant this discrepancy.
On Saturday, Oct. 19, the news compositors of London held a special general meeting, to consider the advisability of the closing of the Globe newspaper to Society hands. It appears that stereotype columns from types composed at the Sun office have been lately introduced into the Globe. This the men object to, because the Sun is an unfair office. On the other hand, it is remarked that the men were themselves inconsistent; seeing in 1860 they allowed the Daily News, a fair office, to obtain stereotype matter
from the Morning Post, an unfair house; and that, on appeal, the general meeting of the News Society, at that period, declined to interfere. For the last five years the Shipping Gazette has been allowed to pursue a precisely similar course; but the meeting decided to close the Globe office to Society hands unless the practice complained of was abandoned. This proposition the proprietor of the Globe declines to submit to, and is now vigorously endeavouring to obtain hands from Plymouth and other parts of the West of England. Meanwhile, the men at the Globe office are all under notice; and, for the sake of consistency, it is anticipated that a similar demand will be made of the proprietors of the Shipping Gazette.
The variances found to exist in the London trade, as to the method of charging Books of Reference, have been made the subject of inquiry. For upwards of twenty years three important houses have adopted the bookwork price, while at other houses, for various periods, the simple parliamentary scale has been paid. Only two houses have been paying what the committee now state to be the proper chargenamely, the same price as the body of a Private Bill. The committee recommended that all amicable means should be tried to induce those firms in which the work is underpaid to pay the proper price, and not risk an immediate collision. This course was wisely adopted by the compositors at their last delegate meeting.
Without venturing to give a decided opinion upon these points of dispute, we think the time has arrived for a thorough revision of the compositors' scale. We do not say that the men, as a body, are paid too highly-on the contrary, compositors of real and tried skill do not receive, according to the present modes of payment, an adequate share of the profits derived from their labour; while inferior workmen are, in fact, paid at a better rate than they deserve. This equality of payment is a hardship endured by the compositor of taste and energy, while it obliges the inferior hand to remain idle when he might be employed at a rate proportionate to his dexterity and experience. With regard to standing matter in magazines and advertisement sheets, the present mode of charge is in many respects inconsistent and unfair, both to publishers, masters, and men; and the sooner some equitable arrangement is come to, in that and other causes of dispute, the better for all concerned. A case which strikes us as absurd in the highest degree was lately brought under our notice. A publisher, desirous of issuing the title and contents sheet of a book, by way of advertisement, was told that if he added anything to the letterpress, the entire eight pages then ready for printing would be charged by the compositor as new matter; but that if he first had the title-sheet worked, he might afterwards add what he liked, and the compositors' charge would be merely for the additions! In another case, the mere trans posing of two standing advertisements in two large pages of type, with a few lines added to each, caused the both to be charged as if they had been originally set up in type. With these and similar inconsistencies belonging to the pre sent scale, all publishers are familiar; and we doubt not but that they might be speedily got rid of, could masters and men be induced t discuss the matter in a mutually amicable and conciliatory spirit. On the other hand, man master printers so arrange their magazine an advertisement sheets as to secure all the profi arising from blank pages, standing type, &c.
"fat" as it is technically called-for themselves. This they do by employing only "establishment hands" and apprentices to do this description of work, to the exclusion of the ordinary com. positor.
The discreet and modest way in which the Readers made their request for an advance of salary has been favourably received by the master printers, who held a special meeting to consider the subject at the Salisbury Hotel, on Monday, October 7th. It was then arranged that the Committee of Readers should be received on the 11th proximo. Meanwhile, one large firm has granted the advance sought, and several others have expressed themselves willing to meet the Readers' request in a fair and equitable manner-it being, indeed, the general opinion that the correctors of the press were not sufficiently well remunerated for their very valuable and efficient services.
The co-operative principle seems likely to be introduced into the printing trade; a number of working compositors and pressmen have lately formed themselves into an association called the "Mutual Printing Society (Limited)." They held their first quarterly meeting at the Farringdon Hall on the 14th, when it was stated that nearly two hundred £1 shares had beer subscribed for during the past three months. The office (pro tem) of the new society is at 7, Thomas Street, Islington.
Miss Emily Faithfull is no longer the proprie tor of the printing office founded by her for the employment of female compositors-a dissolution of her partnership between her and Mr. W. W. Head having taken place-as announced in the BOOKSELLER-in August last. As soon as the change in the firm was completed, the employés at the Victoria Press presented Mr. Head, the present proprietor, with an address, expressive of their "deep sense of obligation for the liberal and honourable manner in which he had redeemed his promise of giving printing by female hands a fair trial." Lately, it appears that something like a scandal has arisen in consequence of Miss Faithfull having written to the Times, stating that she had no further connection with the Farringdon Street office, and that it was necessary for her to make that declaration, from the fact of having received "various letters" of remonstrance. These "letters" referred, it seems, to a publication since removed from the office, and which it was presumed was unfitted for female compositors; but, from a letter addressed by one of these ladies to the Standard, we learn that no portion of the offensive copy was given out to them to compose, and that the title "Victoria Press," which is now the property of the surviving partner, Mr. W. W. Head, did not appear in the imprint of the newspaper in question.
The "Post Office London Directory" will this year be slightly reduced in bulk, consequent on the use of smaller type, with four columns instead of three, in the pages belonging to the street portion of the work. This alteration will, it is calculated, save about a hundred pages. A new and clearly cut type, cast by Messrs Caslon, is used in this Directory, a volume which year by year increases in importance and value.
Mr. Vincent Brooks, the eminent lithographer, has taken the business and premises of Messrs. Day and Son (Limited), in Gate Street, Lincoln's Inn, at which premises he will carry on the general lithographic and letterpress printing hitherto conducted in Chandos Street, Covent Garden, and High Street, Lambeth.
FORTHCOMING SALES BY AUCTION.
BY MESSRS, PUTTICK AND SIMPSON.
November 4 to 9.-The Library of a Clergyman, consisting of the Works of the Fathers of the Church and theological and miscellaneous books.
November 12 and following days.-The Library of Dr. Ferriar (" Illustrations of Sterne "), containing many works on Magic, Astrology, and other literary curiosities. November 18, 19.-Prints, Drawings, Paintings, and miscellaneous property. November 20 and following days.-The Library of a Gentleman, comprising many works in Natural History; also the extensive Collection of Minerals.
November 26 and following days.-The Library of the late W. R. Chorley, Esq., comprising very numerous and interesting Works in Foreign Literature, especially Spanish Poetry and the Drama. The late Mr. Chorley was brother of the well-known musical critic, and was reported to be one of the most accomplished Spanish scholars of the day.
BY MESSRS. HODGSON.
November 4 and 5.-A Collection of books, including the Library of a Clergyman.
November 7 and 8.-The Libraries of three Barristers, consisting of a large and valuable Cǝllection of Law Books.
November 12 to 14.-The Stock and Copyrights of the Publications of the late Mr. H. Ballière. The Copyrights and Stereo Plates of the Champion Handbooks, Martin's Holiday Tales, Tales of Filial Love, and other Juvenile books. By order of the trustee of Mr. F. Hodge.
The stereotype plates, and remaining stock of several of the publications of the late Sir Richard Phillips, and a large number of other standard and popular books, in quires and boards.
November 19 to 22.-The Stock and Fine Art Publications of Day and Son (Limited), including the remainders of many important illus trated and illuminated works.
BY MESSRS. SOTHEBY, WILKINSON, AND
November 12 to 14.-The valuable Libraries of the late Rev. G. C. Renouard, and the late Rev. Dr. Hincks-containing a large number of Oriental and other works.
November 18.-The Library of the late B. J. Bell, Esq., consisting of many works on scientific subjects.
November 19.-The Medical and miscellaneous Library of the late Dr. Hodgkin.
November 25.-The interesting library of a Col. I lector, containing First Edition of Cocker's Arithmetic, with Portrait, and other scarce books.
BY MESSRS. SOUTHGATE AND CO.
In November.-The entire stock of Messrs. Day and Son (Limited), by order of the Liquidators; comprising Thomas's Picture of the Marriage of the Prince of Wales, and the Lithographic Stones; Carl Haag's Picture of the late Prince Consort's Returning from Deer-stalking; Bedford's Photographic Pictures in the East; and other miscellaneous Print and Chromo-Lithographic Publications.
The first volume of the new library edition of Thackeray's works, is this day issued by Messrs. Smith, Elder & Co. This consists of the first volume of "" "Vanity Fair," and is illustrated with twenty engravings and eighty-nine woodcuts. The publishers have amply redeemed their promises. The book is printed in the best style on fine toned paper, with all the original and some new illustrations; the woodcuts being printed from the original wood block, instead of, as hitherto, from stereotype casts. The series, which will comprise about thirty volumes, will doubtless be welcome to the constantly increasing number of admirers of our great humourist, as it will not only contain all Thackeray's writings "which it is believed he would desire to be included," but new and interesting matter in possession of the publishers.
To the Editor of the BOOKSELler.
SIR,-In reply to the advertisement for "Collins's Family Atlas, 21s.," in the last number of the BOOKSELLER'S "Books Wanted," I received the enclosed.
Not quite liking the look of the note, I referred to the Directory, and found that the address given was a post-office. I thereupon sent a messenger instead of the stamps, and was, of course, told that the people at the post-office knew nothing of Mr. Griffin-they only received letters for him.
I then wrote Mr. Griffin, stating that if the book was sent me, stamps should be forwarded for the amount; or if sent by a messenger, pay. ment should be made on delivery.
I need scarcely say that no reply has been received, and as the same circumstance may occur to other members of the trade, you may perhaps think it worth while to caution them. I am, sir, yours &c.. EDWARD STANFORD.
Charing Cross, Oct. 16.
[We have received from other quarters letters signed W. B. Duncan, 179, Sloane Street, Chelsea" (a post-office), and "E. M. Massey, 18, York Road, King's Cross" (also a post-office), both of which appear to be written by Mr. Stanford's correspondent. The best way for those persons who live in the country to check this practice, will be, not to send money to any person who is not known, before receiving the books, to to get some correspondent in London to pay for the books on delivery.]
THE TAUCHNITZ EDITIONS OF COPY. RIGHT WORKS.
To the Editor of the BOOKSeller. SIR, We have hitherto supposed that the interests of British authors were jealously guarded by our copyright laws, but returning last week from a continental trip, I had opportunities of observing with what impunity and to what an extent these laws are evaded. The railway. trains and steamers by which I travelled were, as usual at this season, crowded with British tourists returning homewards, and the prevalence of literary tastes among the majority was amply proved by the display of the Tauchnitz cheap reprints of the works of Tennyson, Dickens, George Eliot, and other popular authors. My travelling companion had a great admiration of
the works of these benefactors of our race, and had invested largely in the contraband editions, and was accordingly careful, before crossing the channel, to remove them from his travelling case and stow them in his pockets, hoping to escape a personal search at the English custom-house. He might have saved himself this trouble and some nervous anxiety. The luggage was not examined on landing, nor were any questions put to us by the officers of customs at Dover, and we transferred our baggage to the railway unchallenged.
From what I saw on this and previous occasions, I am convinced that the introduction of the cheap foreign reprints of the works of English authors is carried on to an enormous extent, and it appears to me doubtful whether such sums, as I believe are given by the foreign publishers for the right of re-publication, are at all equivalent to the loss the proprietors of copyrights must suffer by this wholesale introduction of editions which directly and indirectly must seriously affect the sale of the English editions.
I am Sir, yours &c., A TOURIST.
[So long as English publishers keep up the English standard books at the present unreasonable high pitch, and at the same time, for a paltry sum, allow copyright works to be reprinted by Baron Tauchnitz, they must not be surprised if English tourists avail themselves of the opportunity they have of purchasing such books cheaply.]
MR. FREDERICK LAWRENCE.-This well-known gentleman died on Friday morning, October 25th, after a short illness. Mr. Lawrence, who was called to the bar in 1849, was for some time in the house of Messrs. Simpkin, Marshall and Co., and afterwards in the Printed Bool Department of the British Museum. He wa the author of "A Life of Henry Fielding,' and was at one time a frequent contributor t periodical literature. He was, perhaps, mor generally known as a politician; an elegant an effective speaker, he some years ago took a active part in several liberal movements in th metropolis. A most genial, kindly-hearted mar he was esteemed and liked by everybody wh knew him, and in the literary and profession circles in which he lived.
Oct. 11. M. Frederic Dübner, aged 65, a cel brated German classical scholar, long reside in Paris. His obsequies were celebrated on t 15th, at the Church of Montreuil, when A Ambroise Firmin Didot pronounced a mo eloquent elegy over his departed friend. said the deceased was born at Hoerslegan, a from a child pursued with ardour those classic studies which Gottingen and Gotha offered h under various learned professors, especial Jacobs, of whose Anthology it was his privile half a century later to revise a new edition the press. On returning from a tour in Italy, t deceased became aware that M. Didot v about to issue a new edition of Stephen's Gre Thesaurus, and he offered to share in the lab of its production. Of his conscientious labo on this M. Didot speaks in terms of high prai "Others," he says, "will tell all he has d for my library of Greek authors, to which Düb was pleased to say his life was attached." made France his adopted country, and delighted to see young professors following in footsteps.