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BOOKSELLERS' PROVIDENT INSTITUTION. Subscribers will notice that they are requested to meet at 56, Old Bailey, on the 24th October, to consider the propriety of revising the rules.
ACCIDENT TO MR. BENTLEY.-An accident occurred to Mr. Bentley, the publisher, on the 21st inst., at Chepstow station, on his return from Tenby with his wife. Just as the up-train was in sight of the station, in hurrying after his luggage, he fell over the platform with great violence. It was only by his being dragged off the rail, where he lay motionless, that he escaped instant destruction. He was conveyed back to the Beaufort Arms by Mr. Watkins and Mr. White, under whose skill the fractured thigh is progressing favourably.-Globe.
THE SWINDLERS.-Such of our readers as may be favoured with orders from swindling firms at Manchester, or elsewhere, will do well to forward the orders to the police of the towns whence the orders are dated. Here is a reply from Dublin: "Yours of the 19th inst. has been duly received, and in reply I beg to inform you that John Crauford is merely a lodger at No. 6, Lower Jervis Street, and that he was on one occasion in custody here, and convicted for having obtained goods on false pretences, and is said to be living by a system of getting goods in a similar maner. (Signed) JAMES RYAN, Acting-Superintendent, Dublin Metropolitan Police Office.
Mr. Holmes informs us that he has recently sold Mr. Porteus's business, High Road, Lee, to Mr. Sarjeant, late of Albany Road, Camberwell. Also, Mr. Edward Vallis's business, Swindon, to Mr. Joseph New, of that town. And Mr. Lewis's business (bookbinder), 22, Paternoster Row, to Messrs. Southgate & Long.
Mr. Bucknall, of Wigan, has transferred his business to Mr. Platt.
Mr. Warwick Savage, some years with Messrs. R. &. W. Wright, of Stafford, has succeeded to the business lately carried on by Mr. Bowering, of Burslem.
MIDDLESBOROUGH-ON-TEES.-Messrs. Burnett and Hood have retired from the firm of Wilkinson, Barnett & Hood, printers, &c., and commenced business separately. Mr. Wilkinson will continue the business he established, and is now sole proprietor of the Middlesborough Weekly News, hitherto printed by the late firm.
Mr. William Tyler, formerly of Bolt Court, printer, has been elected Secretary of the City Dispensary.
BIRMINGHAM.-Mr. Benjamin Hall has assumed as partner his old apprentice, Mr. Charles English, and the firm will trade under the name of Hall & English.
A HINT TO ASSISTANTS. "Let the invoices be plainly written, and the figures plainly made; some we get are so difficult to read, and the figures so difficult to decipher, that one would imagine a spider had tumbled in the inkstand and walked over the paper, the scrawl is so wretched. don't like to hurt anyone's feelings, but it is painful to see our assistants poring over the invoices, and wasting a morning in trying to make them out. Never put invoices inside goods, but always in an envelope outside, directed to us, as sometimes the invoice gets sent home with the goods, which is not very pleasant to J. & T. SPENCER, Leicester,' who have printed the above pertinent remarks, and have sent copies to their wholesale correspondents.
THE PERIODICAL PRESS.-We this month give our second instalment of a collection towards a history of the periodical press. This chapter relates chiefly to those papers which incurred a large amount of odium at the time of their ap. pearance, but which most unmistakeably fought the battles by which our present freedom was It will be seen that all the agents in the great work were what one of our contemporaries would call "an inferior class of men," and consequently but little is known of them, and of the work in which they were engaged. From the difficulty under which we labour in obtaining information, our sketch is necessarily imperfect; but many of our readers will, no doubt, be able to fill up some of the missing gaps, so that, in a future number, we may complete and continue the chapter.
We have received information of several additions to our list of comic periodicals. 'Mephistophiles" flourished, we understand, for a week in London about the year 1859; the "Town Crier," a Birmingham monthly, filled with local allusions, is a well-written and clever paper, which has existed for about four years; various magazines and pamphlets written in the dialects of Lancashire and Yorkshire-of which the "Pogmoor Olmenack" may be taken as a fair representative-claim notice as comic periodicals; and a whole host of London broadsheets published from time to time, principally with second-hand engravings, might be mentioned. Sufficient, however, for the day.
The National Atlas, published at 6d., by Mr. John Heywood, of Manchester, in small 4to, containing thirty fairly well engraved maps, neatly done up in half cloth, is without exception the cheapest atlas published in this or any other country. How it can been done for the retail price alone, to say nothing of any margin for profit is a puzzle we cannot solve.
TO ANTHROPOLOGISTS.-The Athenæum has discovered that " an inferior class of men" exist, in England. It consists of wholesale stationers, retired gentlemen of fortune, the son of an earl, a Wood Street warehouseman, and some others, who, having the misfortune to be the House Committee of the Royal Hospital for Incurables, have incurred the displeasure of the superior grade of beings who write in the pages of our contemporary, and under whose direction the polite tastes of the public are attempted to be guided. It would be a matter of some interest if the history of the writer of the article in question should be investigated by some of the "inferior class of men" mentioned by name in the Athenæum of September 21.
In anticipation of the great public interest which will be manifested with respect to Abys sinia, Mr. Stanford has just published a routemap of that country. The same gentleman has also published a map of England, showing the difference that will be made in the boroughs by the operation of the new Reform Bill.
Cheap editions of the "Excelsior" readingbooks have just been published by Mr. Murby, the price being about one-fourth less than before. This excellent series of Readers commends itself to the notice of teachers, as not only containing all that is necessary for the several standards, but also a great deal of useful information in an interesting form.
The Proof Sheet is the title of a new bi-monthly journal for printers, published by Messrs. Collins and M Leester, type founders, Philadelphia.
"CIRCE."-The Pall Mall Gazette a short time ago had an article showing that a novel called "Circe," published in Belgravia, contained plagiaries from a French source. A day or two later the same journal published a letter, purporting to be from Miss Braddon, which offered to repurchase at cost price all numbers of Belgravia which contained any part of the novel in question! Miss Braddon writes to inform us that this letter is a forgery. Are we returning to the vile practises of days gone by-of the extinct Age and Satirist? The other day a journal called the Tomahawk contained a similarly forged letter from Mr. Cole: has the Pall Mall fallen to the level of the Tomahawk? Infamous fabrications of this kind are not to be tolerated. In the present case, if Miss Braddon had been absent from home, there is an obvious possibility of commercial loss. It is our contemporary's duty to discover and punish the forger.-Globe.
Upon the appearance of this, a writer in Public Opinion remarks, that "the letter in the Pall Mall Gazette bearing the signature of Miss Braddon may have been a forgery, but the fact remains uncontradicted, that Circe' is a gross and impudent plagiarism from the French novel 'Dalila.' The latter part of the above paragraph is chiefly remarkable for its flippant vulgarity and one-sidedness, and deserves no serious consideration. We must express regret, however, that Miss Braddon has had the misfortune to meet with such sorry advocacy. Still the question presses itself, who and where is Babington White? The attempt to divert at
tention from the theft that has been committed by getting up a discussion about a forged letter will not be successful. If White does not shortly appear on the scene to vindicate his ingenious but suspicious conduct there will be only one conjecture that he is a myth, as we have throughout the controversy suspected."
The Early English Text Society has issued the first part of "The Vision of Piers Plowman" of William Langland, one of the most precious relics remaining of our fourteenth century literature. The text has been carefully edited by the Rev. Walter W. Skeat; the work will be completed in four volumes. Also another volume, 'Manipulus Vocabulorum," a Rhyming Dictionary of the English language, by Peter Levins, first published in 1570, the first rhyming dictionary in the language. This has been edited for the Society by Mr. H. B. Wheatley. Under the auspices of the Society, Bishop Percy's folio manuscript volume of Ballads is being reprinted. The first part of Vol. 2, and Part 2, completing Vol. 4, have just been issued. A small number only have been printed, and we would recommend all collectors of ballads, and all who are curious in these matters, to secure a copy forthwith. Messrs. Trübner are the publishers for the Society.
A volume of Songs by the Poet Laureate, with accompaniments by Mr. Arthur Sullivan, and illustrations by John Millais, is in preparation.
Messrs. Rivingtons have added to their Catena Classicorum, Thirteen Satires of Juvenal, with notes and an excellent biographical and critical Introduction, by Mr. G. A. Simcox. "Three Satires have been altogether omitted, as not required, in the Oxford examinations, which proceed on the creditable hypothesis, that all candidates for pass or honours either possess, or cultivate the temper to which such reading is as painful as it ought to be.'
The following advertisement has appeared in the Times and other papers :
THE MARTIN TUPPER TESTIMONIAL.
It is proposed to give to Mr. Martin F. Tupper,
A Testimonial in acknowledgment of his services
And as many of his friends
Both in America and in the Colonies,
No less than in the British Isles,
Might like to join in such recognition of honour
A List of Subscribers will appear in due course.
This has been improved upon by the Spectator thus:-
Come ye gleaners of pearls, for which our Tupper dived deep, And wrenched from the oysters of Meditation and in the sullen waters of Oblivion;
Genuine pearls, not paste, from genuine beds of oysters, Then flung forth again on strings of his own spinningStrings which Tupper spun at the spinning-wheel of Wisdom;
Turning the spindle of Thought with the muscular leg of power,
Come, give a tithe of their cost to the great pearl-diver, Tupper.
Many in Australasia, and many more in Erin,
Some in hardy Scotia, and thousands in merrie England, Only a few in Wales, for the Eisteddfodd does not know him,
But some in the Isle of Man, and more in the Isle of Thanet,
All these wear the pearls which the minstrel-diver gave them!
Give him back a tithe of the cost of those pearls of Wisdom:
Give it in postage-stamps, or better, in post-office orders, Or cheque crossed to Herries and Co., to account of the Minstrel-diver.
N.B. The Testimonial's form will probably be as simple, As the Bard's own simple taste, namely, paid in cash to
The following has since been issued:
T IS ANNOUNCED THUS EARLY THAT, in accordance with the expressed wish of several subscribers and others (including the person chiefly inte rested) there will be no published list of the contributions to this fund. After some months, to give time to America and the Colonies, the account will be closed. Meanwhile, subscriptions continue to be received by the Hon. Treasurer.
Mr. George Augustus Henry Sala, the wellknown special correspondent of the Daily Tels graph, and author of "How I Tamed Mrs. Cruiser," "Twice Round the Clock," and other books, appeared in the Bankruptcy Court on the 18th, on his own petition. He ascribes his bankruptcy to his heavy travelling expenses, and insufficiency of income. His debts are stated at £2,659; and among his creditors are the proprietors of the Daily Telegraph, £500; Mr. Daniel Pratt, of Bolt Court, Fleet Street, newspaper proprietor, £800; and the "Friendin-Need" Insurance Office, £854. The bankrupt, in answer to the usual questions, stated that he had no property of any description, no book debts, no books; and that his life was insured, the policy being held by a creditor. After the appointment of an accountant as trade assignee, protection was granted till the next sitting.
George Brown, a well-known reporter, who for more than twenty years has been employed on the London press, was lately stricken with paralysis, and incapacitated from ever again pursuing his profession. Under these circumstances, an appeal is made to his friends and the public for subscriptions to put his wife in some small way of business. Subscriptions may be forwarded to the office of Lloyd's Newspaper, Salisbury Square.
Unless we are much mistaken in our surmise, we may venture to predict that the newest of the magazines, St. Pauls, will be one of the most successful of modern literary ventures. It possesses all the elements of success, and if the editor, Mr. Anthony Trollope, and the proprietors, Messrs. Virtue, continue to show the same good judgment and liberality as they exhibit in their first number, there can be no doubt as to the verdict of the public. When the Cornhill was commenced, it was problematical whether the readers were sufficiently numerous to warrant the experiment of giving a halfcrown magazine for a shilling; but sixty thousand purchasers settled that question. London Society, Temple Bar, Miss Braddon's Belgravia, Tinsley's, and others, have made known the fact that readers are to be found for really good publications at a shilling a month. St. Pauls differs
from any of those named; for, while it will at-
mencements of the two tales named. There is no
St. Pauls has already had the fortune, or misfortune, to get into the Court of Chancery. Some few years ago, it seems that a Mr. Ransom issued a penny paper of the same name. met with little success, and after a few months was given up, and even its very existence had been forgotten till Messrs. Virtue's advertisement appeared; then Mr. Ransom woke up and made a claim, but he met with no attention. Messrs. Virtue proceeded with their publication, Mr. Ransom's solicitors thereupon served Messrs. Smith & Son, Simpkin, Whittaker, Kent, and Longmans with notice of legal proceedings, if they sold any copies; but on Messrs. Virtue giving those houses an indemnity, the sale proceeded. It appears strange that there exists no legal precedent or decision settling the law on the subject; but although it must frequently have happened that new periodicals have taken the names and titles of those which are defunct, no one has before this ever questioned the right. The law appears to be, that the title of magazine or newspaper may be continued for any number of years and carry a copyright with it; thus, the names of the Gentleman's or Blackwood's Magazines are copyright, and any issuing new works with those names would be guilty of piracy; but any one who thinks proper may take up the title of Parker's, the Imperial, the Saturday, the Penny, or any other defunct magazine, with impunity. If a magazine should chang
mama, no one could
immediately thereupon take up that which 1 been discarded, as it might mislead the publ but after the lapse of a reasonable time it m be done. Thus, in Paris, in 1834, the Co Royale sanctioned the publication of a jour under the title of the Gazette de Santé, whi another journal had formerly worn, but whi it had for seven months discarded. Our reade will readily call to mind the Literary Gazet and other cases here, in which the old propr tors never dreamed of opposing their successo in the title; and if they had, we presume tha as in the present case, they would have been ab to show no injury or loss, and therefore cou claim no damages; nor could they prevent th issue or sale of the new publication.
The Sunday Magazine commences volume with the October part, and in the pr gramme presents a very tempting list of subject by writers of note:-"The Seaboard Parish," b the Author of "The Annals of a Quiet Neigh bourhood;" "Sunday Songs from Denmark, translated by Gilbert Tait; "Old Testamen Characters. No. 1. Hannah the Matron," by th Editor; "Musings in a Yorkshire Valley," glimpse of Haworth, with illustrations of Char lotte Bronte's home and church; "The Occupa tions of a Retired Life," by Edward Garrett "The Flight of Birds," by the Duke of Argyll "A Peep into a Westphalian Parsonage," by a Summer Tourist; "Pictures from Church His tory," by Dr. Islay Burns; " On Saving Know ledge," addressed to Young Men, by Dr. Guthrie The Christian Life, in Verse," and "The Three Great Feasts of Israel :" with an abundance of woodcut illustrations.
Good Words for September contains an article from the pen of Mr. Strahan, the publisher, upon Mr. Charles Knight, tracing his early life and works, contrasting him with Perthes, and glancing at his various efforts to improve his fellow men. The article is illustrated with a very good portrait of the veteran bookseller, who is now in his 78th year. A second article is promised on the same subject.
A new volume of the Quiver is commenced with the new part. A pretty coloured print of Reynolds' "Strawberry Girl," is given in addition to the usual woodcut illustrations. "To be Found Out," a monologue, by William Duthie, is one of the short articles, which may be commended to the notice of any juvenile assistant suspected of pilfering propensities.
DORE'S BIBLE.-Messrs. Cassell have sent out a notice to the trade that an opportunity is now afforded them of having the whole work bound together in two volumes, upon terms which will put monthly subscribers in possession of the entire work, handsomely bound, at a cost correspoding in amount to that which the complete work will reach as issued in monthly wrappers. Subscribers will thus be gainers to the extent of the binding.
THE SPEAKER'S COMMENTARY. This great work on the canon of Scripture is, it appears, in abeyance. Five writers undertook the Pentateuch; one has relinquished his work altogether, on account of "ill health;" another is "too ill " to revise his portion; a third has been a bishop for three years; of the fourth and fifth we have no account. Readers will probably be reminded of a passage in a certain book, which says, "then began they with one accord to make
DORE'S VIVIEN AND GUINEVERE. The pictorial monument M. Doré has expressed his intention of raising to Mr. Tennyson, and to his own powers, is nearing its completion. The instalment we had last Christmas in "Elaine," whetted the appetite, and created a desire for more. We have now to congratulate the Messrs. Moxon on the completion of another portion of M. Doré's work. The volume to be issued next Christmas, comprises Vivien" and "Guinevere," and we have no doubt will meet with even greater success than its predecessor. The text is now before us, together with the artists' proofs, and photographs from the original drawings; and our examination has convinced us that, however highly the former volume is prized, the present transcends it in several respects. We are disposed to agree with the publishers that the drawings are superior to those which were given in Elaine,' as well in poetic imagination as in dramatic effect. Not that the artist has altered in any respect his peculiar manner. None of his old resources are exhausted; none seem to be failing. Doré is still Doré. He still exhibits vigour where vigour is necessary; he is still refined where refinement is in place; and, it must be confessed, he is still careless where carelessness is a vice. The illustrations are eighteen in number, and differ much from each other as regards subject matter, treatment, and the degree of their value, both as interpreters of the text and as to their intrinsic excellence as drawings Some are figure-subjects, and depend for their success upon the ability which has been displayed by the artist in exhibiting human emotion; some are effective simply as delineations of natural scenery; whilst some furnish noteworthy examples of that wonderful Salvator-like power possessed by M. Doré of complementing the purely personal interest by natural scenery. In all, however, there is something to admire. The effect of light and shade; the revelation made of vast and desolate space; the dexterity and facility of handling displayed in each-are as noticeable as they ever were in M. Doré. But, as we have hinted, what most strikes us in him is that faculty he possesses in an eminent degree, of harmonizing, or it may be of contrasting, inanimate nature, and even vegetable forms, with the temporary situation of the personages that figure in the story. The opening scene of "Vivien" will serve as an illustration of our meaning. Here we see the utmost congruity between the human agents and the forms of nature. Vivien, stolen from Arthur's court, is at Merlin's feet. They are in the woods of Broceliande. A storm is coming on, but the winds have not yet begun to rise. This is
accurately and admirably represented by the artist. The oak, too, at whose feet they are reposing-huge and old-assumes dignity and importance. To the observer (and not by mere force of prospective knowledge derived from the poet's words, but by its natural forms) the tree appears to be a partaker in what is transacting to have become a personage-and seems, indeed, to anticipate the time when it will be a dominant actor in the scene. The branches and ground-roots extend themselves in undefined, but monstrous semi-human shapes, and add greatly to the effect intended to be created. All is in keeping with the story as we have it. Atogether, the artist has, in this scene, placed a most fitting portal to the fair mansion he has erected for Christmas guests. And what is most observable in this, the earliest drawing, is to be seen with equal clearness in several others. "The disem
barkation of Vivien and Merlin" on the sands of Brittany is almost equal to it in effective beauty. The forms of the sheer perpendicular cliff of mountain-limestone that faces them; the atmosphere by which they are surrounded; the very manner in which the waves are breaking-are rendered not only with local fidelity, but are felt to harmonize in an extraordinary way with the situation represented in the text. The last scene, again, in which Merlin, over-talked and overworn, has yielded, told her all the charm, and slept, is most dramatically represented, and forms an appropriate termination to the weird story. As we have said, the artist sometimes exhibits censurable carelessness. In the illustrations to "Guinevere" there is occasional departure from local truth. For instance, the incident entitled "The Parting," and that other, The Dawn of Love," in which the lovers are represented by the poet as riding under groves that looked a paradise of blossom, are not true to nature, and remind us more of what we think Eastern scenes to be, than of our own England. Even here, however, especially in the latter picture, that harmony we have observed between the human passions of the various personages and the natural scenery by which they are surrounded is tery distinctly preserved. To the lovers, trees, fruits, flowers, birds and sky undoubtedly partook of their own feelings, and are consequently represented not as they were in reality; but as they appeared to the imagination of the two at the time. In "The Cloister Scene," even, when the architecture and the mural decorations are utterly at fault, the genius of the artist saves him from failure. He is desirous of being effective,--and is This is his essential characteristic. In none of the drawings, indeed, is theeffect ever weak or scattered. M. Doré, perhaps, as much as any living artist, has the power of concentration, and of carrying the eye to where, had the scene presented itself in reality, it would have been fixed by the beholder himself.
It would be invidious to select any of the engravings for special commendation. All the gentlemen who have been engaged, have done their work in a way highly creditable to their profession. In more than one instance, they seem to have improved upon the original drawings. The photographs, too, are splendid examples of the art, and will serve to show readers how our best English engravers are able to reproduce the most famous artist of the day.
OLD BALLADS.-Mr. Lilly requests us to state that he has prepared a sixteen-page detailed prospectus and catalogue of the old ballads mentioned in the last BOOKSELLER, and that copies may be had gratis by the country trade through their London agents.
ALMANACKS.-The first that has come to hand for 1868 is "Thorley's Illustrated Farmers'," a showy work got up for the especial purpose of puffing Thorley's Cattle Food, and glorifying the successful maker of it, whose portrait is given just preceding that of an ox-both appear to be in a thriving condition. Next we have a pretty little gem-Rimmel's Perfumed "-containing the Seven Ages of Man, printed in chromo-lithograph. Lastly, Cassell's "Illustrated," the cheapest and most elegant of all the pictorial calendars; the illuminated cover is one of the most successful pieces of colour printing that we have seen. Among the illustrations are a set of original woodcuts representing the "Birds of the Year," and a large double-page engraving, containing portraits of the Royal Family of Prussia.
NOTES ON THE UNSTAMPED PRESS.
"I AM Conscientiously persuaded," says Mr. T. C. Hansard, the well-known printer of Paternoster Row, "that perfectly free press is as essential to our existence and welfare as a free and independent state, as the freedom of the air we breathe is to the life and vigour of our frames." This was written about the year 1832, a time when the freedom of the press, however much it was lauded and desired, was but very imperfectly understood. When the history of the English newspaper comes to be thoroughly written, it will be seen that the English Government-whether Whig or Tory, Conservative or Liberal has always endeavoured to restrict and control the expression of opinion in the public journals. Whatever its politics, the party in office was consistent in its opposition to the press. From the birth of the first Newspaper to the date of the last Libel Act, journalists have been invariably discouraged and looked upon with suspicion; and the greater the talent and influence of newspapers, the more thorough and excessive have been the efforts for their repression. Wise men have endeavoured, time out of mind, to dissuade governments and parliaments from interfering with the liberty of the press and attempting by force to restrain opinion; but always without immediate success. Nevertheless, the press has grown with the growth of liberty; and free inquiry has made its way, despite all "arbitrary, oppressive, and tyrannous" laws. The "liberty of unlicensed printing," for which Milton contended, has been wrung little by little, and bit by bit, from unwilling and suspicious governments, till, in our day, newspapers may be said to be practically free; and nothing remains to make them absolutely free but the removal of a few useless and nearly obsolete acts respecting registration and the finding of securities.
If we glance at the newspaper legislation of the last century, we shall find that continued efforts were made to restrict the press. Every reader of the life of Daniel Defoe knows how long and painful was his contest with the Parliament; how he wrote pamphlet after pamphlet, and expiated his "high crimes and misdemeanours" in prison and on the pillory. Even Sir Richard Steele was expelled from Parliament in 1713, for having written in the columns of the Englishman something distasteful to the Government; and scarcely a session passed without some journalist being cited to the bar and sent to Newgate. Weary at last of persecuting individual writers, the House of Commons hit upon the notable expedient of restricting newspapers by means of taxation. The first stamp duty came into operation on the 12th of August, 1712. It was enacted, that "for every pamphlet or paper contained in half a sheet or lesser piece of paper so printed, the sum of one halfpenny sterling; and for every such pamphlet or paper being larger than half a sheet, and not exceeding one whole sheet, so printed, a duty after the rate of one penny sterling for every sheet printed thereof," should be paid.
This enactment was received by the journalists of the day with expressions of irony and contempt. Addison predicted that newspapers would be incapable of standing against it; and Swift, writing to Stella, says, that "all Grub Street was dead and gone." Numerous journals were at once discontinued; but, for some reason or other, Bolingbroke, just previous to the death of Queen Anne, in 1714 and iust before
loss of power, removed this stamp duty, and penny newspapers became more plentiful than before. In 1725, however, when Bolingbroke reappeared in the political arena as the formidable opponent of Walpole, these duties were again enforced, and several cheap journals were in consequence discontinued. Shortly afterwards, a duty of threehalfpence a pound was placed on all printing paper, and a tax of one shilling levied on each advertisement appearing in any newspaper, pamphlet, or other publication In 1761, the stamp duty upon newspapers was raised to one penny, with a discount of two per cent. on every thousand stamps paid for in one transaction. On the 28th of May, 1776, the stamp duty was raised by Lord North, the prime minister, from a penny to threehalfpence a copy, with a discount as before. The average price of the newspaper to the public was then threepence. On August 12, 1789, the duty was again raised; this time from three-halfpence to twopence per copy, with a discount of four per cent. per thousand; the public paying the advance in an increase of from a penny to three halfpence on each copy of their journals. About this time, also, the advertisement duty was increased to three shillings and sixpence for each announcement.
In 1815, the stamp duty on newspapers was finally advanced to its highest rate, namely, fourpence per copy, with a discount of twenty per cent. The retail price of the English newspaper gradually rose, in consequence of these accumulated imposts, to sevenpence, eightpence, and more, according to the market price of paper, the size of the sheet, and the increase or otherwise in its circulation. At the same time, the duty payable on pamphlets, for one whole sheet, in Svo or any lesser size, was made 38. for each sheet issued; and an Act of Parliament was passed for the better collection and management of the stamp duties on pamphlets, almanacks, and newspapers, in England and Ireland." This "better collection and management" meant more thorough restriction and more complete repression, so far as concerned the expression of political opinion. Meanwhile, the duty on almanacks had risen, by successive steps, from twopence per copy, in 1781, to one shilling and threepence, in 1834, in which year the duty was estimated at £25,000, and the number of advertisements, at one shilling and sixpence each, in public journals, had risen to 1,110,000. The duty on advertisements had been reduced in the previous year (1833) from three shillings and sixpence to eighteenpence in England, and one shilling in Ireland. In the year after the reduction of the duty-namely, from January 4, 1833, to January 4, 1834-the sum paid to the Exchequer for advertisements was £83,250, an increase of £2,285 over the receipts of the previous twelve months, when the duty was more than double!
Concurrently with all this, there was a constant and irritating persecution carried on against the press, by means of actions for libel, &c.; and scarcely a public writer, editor, publisher, or speaker, but felt the severity of the laws, and suffered in purse or person for his boldness in speaking his mind, and proclaiming the right of the people to the privilege of unlicensed printing.
About this time-1832-3-there were about thirty or forty penny or twopenny publications issued in London, without the stamp and in defiance of the law. Many of them were low and scurrilous, blasphemous and frivolous-almost the necessary consequence of the enactments