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Times or the Morning Advertiser, the Daily Telegraph, and the special edition of the Evening Standard. Coffee-shops generally patronise the Standard, the Daily Telegraph, the Daily Chronicle, the Daily News, and the special Evening Standard. All these broadsheets are glanced at during meal times at the coffee-tavern, or at the public-house bar of an evening, but they exercise little effect politically. There are only two daily papers in London which exclusively appeal to and are almost exclusively bought by the man who earns his livelihood by manual toil. These are the Echo and the Evening News. For years the former held undisputed possession of the ground, and, as was assumed, of the popular taste also. The Echo, Radical and revolutionary in its tendency, was believed faithfully to represent the views of the working classes. As a matter of fact, it did nothing of the kind, and except in the case of an infinitesimal minority, had no influence, and was purchased merely for its record of events. The Evening News has come rapidly into favour, and has proved itself a forinidable rival to the Echo. For my own part, I do not know a single working man who buys the Echo, but I do know several who buy and read the Evening News. A careful examination of the aims of the two papers would now induce one to believe that there must be a very strong Conservative feeling latent in the breasts of the working classes, and that it was only necessary for an enterprising Conservative to start an evening halfpenny' to dissipate the illusion that the people were Radical to the backbone. This conclusion is as unsound as that concerning the Echo. The Evening News is read in preference to the Echo because it is the more amusing. That, and that alone, is the secret.

It is, as has been hinted, significant of the particular time devoted to reading by the working classes that the papers which they most largely purchase are issued on the Sabbath. How voracious their reading must be then, all dwellers in the metropolis who, soon after breakfast every Sunday morning, are disturbed by the newsboy's cry, will have formed a shrewd conception. Few working-class homes in England fail to take in some kind of paper on the day of rest. In point of sale, Lloyd's Weekly London Newspaper occupies the first place. The total number of copies disposed of weekly is said to be little short of three-quarters of a million. It professes Liberalism, and it is now the most reliable of its class. Among its Liberal contemporaries it is decidedly the most patriotic and loyal. If the papers read by the working classes have any political influence deserving of the name, there need be little fear that the democracy will consent to sever the legislative union between Great Britain and Ireland. Lloyd's has made a stand against Home Rule as determined as that of any of the Conservative journals, and its lead is followed, however halfheartedly, by most of the other Radical and Liberal weeklies. One thing is remarkable about Lloyd's in comparison with several of the more prominent of its companions. First in the field as a Sunday newspaper, it lacks any sort of relief in the way of light and amusing general sketches. What Lloyd's has not in this respect the Weekly Dispatch is famous for. Mr. G. R. Sims's papers on the lives of the poor which have appeared from time to time in the Dispatch are among

the best things secured by the weekly press. The Dispatch, from the time when, published at sixpence, it was read in turns by half the population of nearly every village in England, each reader subscribing towards the cost of the whole, has always shown great enterprise. Like Lloyd's, it has a supreme horror of anything savouring ofaristocratic red-tapeism or privilege, and indulges periodically in tirades against the oppression of the many by the few. Its judgments are, on the whole, characterised by a spirit of fairness, and are not of the intolerant and Republican type of Reynolds's Newspaper. Mr. Gladstone and Mr. Chamberlain, equally with Lord Salisbury and Lord Randolph Churchill, come under the not very keen lash of this latter journal if they do not act consistently in accordance with its doctrines about capitalists and landlords. Its antipathy to the monarchy is ludicrous in its extravagance. One instance may be given of this which occurred not long ago. A company of foremen tailors held a dinner in St. James's. When the Queen's health was proposed, two of the company hissed and in various ways evinced their Republican sentiments. This the loyal foremen of the sartorial profession resented, and in a very little time the offenders were bundled, in a free fight, headlong out of the room. The comment of Reynolds's on this incident was that the two anti-monarchists were evidently the only two sober people in the room! Another paper, similar politically to Reynolds's, is the erewhile Weekly Times. This journal has recently been incorporated with the Weekly Echo, which, though issued by the proprietors of the Echo did not prove a success.

The Conservative cause is very poorly supported in the Sabbatically distributed press. The Sunday Times, admirably conducted and full of amusing matter as it is, is not purchased to any large extent by working men and women. England is so meagre in its news, so intolerant and intolerable in its denunciations of everything Radical, and so bent on publishing little more than those facts which tend to the discredit of the Liberal party, that its failure to reach the masses is not surprising. The People must carry off the palm as a Conservative weekly intended for the people. It acts thoroughly up to its title, and is one of the most valuable Conservative organs appealing to the true democracy. The Referee cannot properly be called a working-man's paper, though many artisans and shop assistants look forward to its perusal on Sunday morning as regularly as they look forward to their breakfast. Mr. Sims's Mustard and Cress' is to this class of readers quite as entertaining a feature in the paper as are its sporting opinions. The Penny Illustrated Paper, under the guidance of the son of the editor of the Illustrated London News, has secured a well-merited popularity with every class. It has practically no rival. It sells in its hundreds of thousands weekly, and is impartial in its pictorial delineations of all kinds of matters interesting to the proletariat. Now it is a battle, now a shipwreck; one week there is a batch of Conservative portraits given, another a batch of Liberal. Whatever of interest that takes place during the week and lends itself to treatment in a pen-and-ink sketch is brought before the admiring gaze of the multitude by the Penny Illustrated, whilst the world in general is rallied good-humouredly on its faults and foibles by the editor in the person of the Showman. In addition to these papers there are published weekly a legion of religious or semi-religious newspapers—for instance, the Christian Million, the Christian World, and the Family Circle—a bare mention of the names of which would fill a page. The majority of the readers of these are not to be found among the working classes. Further, there exists a host of local journals, published at a halfpenny or a penny, and an equally overwhelming array of organs devoted to particular trades.

An important constituent in the mental food—or rather poisonof the people is the penny novelette. There can be no doubt that this class of fiction has much deteriorated in point of literary merit. The London Journal is not what it was years ago. Its stories are frequently the veriest trash, and its illustrations are on a par with its stories. A couple of decades since, when All the Year Round and Chambers's Journal were the leading spirits of nearly every well-to-do and of many poor homes, the London Journal occupied a far more dignified position than it has since taken up. It has lost much of its ancient prestige, and is in many ways inferior to the Family Herald. While such stories as “The House on the Marsh' enliven the pages of the latter, it will soar far ahead of the London Journal. We come next to the penny novelettes. Some of these are positively vicious; others are foolish. All may be characterised as cheap and nasty. They are utterly contemptible in literary execution; they thrive on the wicked baronet or nobleman and the faithless but handsome peeress, and find their chief supporters among shop-girls, seamstresses, and domestic servants. It hardly surprising that there should exist in the impressionable minds of the masses an aversion more or less deep to the upper classes. If one of their own order, man or woman, appears in the pages of these unwholesome prints, it is only as a paragon of virtue, who is probably ruined, or at any rate wronged, by that incarnation of evil, the sensuous aristocrat, standing six feet, with his dark eyes, heavy moustache, pearl-like teeth, and black hair. Throughout the story the keynote struck is highborn scoundrelism. Every social misdemeanour is called in to assist the progress of the slipshod narrative. Crime and love are the essential ingredients, and the influence exercised over the feminine reader, often unenlightened by any close contact with the classes whom the novelist pretends to portray, crystallises into an irremovable dislike of the upper strata of society. The same dish is served up again and again; and the surprising thing is that the readers do not tire of the ceaseless record of wrong-doing on the part of the wealthy which forms the staple of these nonsensical, if not nauseating, stories.

Half-way between the penny novelette and the Leisure Hour or the Sunday at Home stands Household Words. This journal, published at a penny, no more resembles its parent and namesake than Zola resembles Scott. It is not indeed intended to do so, though many of its readers among the poorer classes, misled by the nomenclature alike of the paper and its editor, frequently believe they are purchasing the magazine founded by the great novelist. Its stories, generally printed anonymously, are of a much higher order than the love-and-murder concoctions of many of its contemporaries, and useful papers on the household and household management are published every week. Neither All the Year Round nor Chambers's Journal is much read by the masses. Three-halfpence is just one third too high a price to induce the people to purchase a weekly publication.

Of the more religious magazines which find favour in the eyes of the working classes, the two chief are the Leisure Hour and the Sunday at Home. Both occupy a higher place in the popular estimation than either Good Words, the Sunday Magazine, or the Quiver, and certainly than Cassell's Family Magazine. Neither has Home Chimes, fighting courageously against adverse fortune, won the hearts of the people. A sign of the times is the popularity of such papers as Great Thoughts, Tit-Bits, Rare Bits, and Cassell's Saturday Journal. Any one of these journals might appropriately be called an old curiosity sheet. Brief and good is its motto. Great Thoughts culls from master works some of the choicest ideas ever given to the world, and both Rare Bits and Tit-Bits collect all they can find of interest in any volume they can lay their hands on. Like Cassell's Saturday Journal, they offer prizes for literary competitions, and as these competitions are largely entered into by their readers, they may fairly claim to discharge a very important function in educating the people. It

may be objected that the reading of the scraps printed in these papers tends to develop a habit of loose reading. The answer is that, whatever habit it engenders, if the working classes did not read these papers they would read hardly anything save the novelette or the weekly newspaper; and, even though gained in a disjointed fashion, it is surely better for them to acquire pieces of historical information thuswise than never to acquire them at all. The two VOL. XX.-No. 113.


comic papers most popular with the working classes are founded on the Tit-Bit principle. Scraps and Ally Sloper's Half-Holiday have nothing to recommend them artistically, but they contain sketches, literary and pictorial, characterised by rollicking fun and broad caricature.

Only the more prominent periodical publications which reach the masses have now been indicated. Sufficient, however, has been said to convey a definite idea of what the working classes read either in the way of newspapers or novelettes. In both departments England will compare favourably with America or France. With one or two exceptions, the popular literature--the literature, that is, which finds its way into the homes of the labourer and the artisan-has not

nk to the low and vicious level of much of that born in New York and Paris. The papers which the working man of either of these cities is invited to peruse are vulgar, sensuous, and unwholesome. It is to be regretted that several public-houses in London subscribe to these exotic journals for the especial edification of their customers. The English papers as a rule are more silly than vicious. If they are not calculated to raise the moral tone of their readers above that which poverty and overcrowding may have engendered, they at least are not calculated to do any very grave mischief. The worst that can be urged against them is that they do help to keep the moral tone of their readers low. Occasionally the editors of penny novelettes are so fortunate as to secure a story from such writers as Miss Florence Marryat and Miss Jean Middlemass. These ladies are probably not aware of the exact nature of the pages which their name will do much to make popular.

The penny novelette has probably much more effect on the women members of the working classes than the newspaper has on the men.

As in the former case, so in the latter. In the majority of instances the objects held up to the derision of the people are the aristocracy, the plutocracy, and sometimes even the monarchy itself. Anyone who, being ignorant of the English working man, should take up the chief Sunday papers published for him would probably jump to the conclusion that he was Radical to the backbone. With the exception of the Conservative weeklies, every working-man's paper resorts to the coarsest attacks on the wealthy and high-placed. Capital and birth are the two themes on which the democratic journalist never tires of expatiating. By deriding the governing classes he hopes to arouse the enthusiasm of his public. He is, however, victim to the delusion that the democracy is primarily moved by enmity towards the aristocracy. If the influence of the working-man's paper was as great as many imagine, the whole fabric of British wealth and society would be immediately undermined, destroyed, and reorganised on a socialist, or semi-socialist, basis. In truth that influence is small. Instead of acting up to the teachings

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