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played me an hour and ran down the Big Chain. Then I killed another, and fished on until neither I nor the fish could see the fly. So you see I am belated and hungry."
We soon had the potatoes boiling, the tea-kettle sputtering, and a salmon steak between the wires of the broiler before the fire. While Peter was getting supper ready, the other boys were bringing up Nick's luggage, and returning with their last load, Ned Veno laid before us three handsome salmon, weighing respectively eleven, fourteen, and eighteen pounds; it was the largest fish that had gone over the Big Chain. On his way up Nick spent a few days with Mr. Spurr, who had exchanged stations with me, going down to Pabineau on the day I came up to Grand Falls. They both had good sport at Pabineau, as the easterly winds and the freshet had brought in a new school of salmon, and with them a great many grilso. The water had fallen sufficiently to put the Flat Rock Pool in splendid condition. It was full of fish, and one morning there, before noon, Nick killed nineteen salmon and grilso.
"Cork or Denville?" asked Nick, when we had finished our pipes after supper. "I am as thirsty as a sirocco. Cork," he continued, "is the king of all whiskies. I know the old caubeen on the River Lee, where it is made, and Cork it shall be. Stir up the fire, Peter, and let us hear the music of the kettle, and then bring us the 'groceries.' "
Nick's men-Ned and Francis Veno -had a tough time of it pushing up in the drizzling rain; so he ordered one of them to get a bottle of whisky from out of the straw-packed box to warm the "inner man" of all of our five retainers. We had a jolly time that evening; I recounted my adventures with the poachers; Bruno and Roma told the same story to the new-comers, not forgetting, of course, to give due importance to the "Captain's cussing." As the evening wore away, and the whisky had its wonted influence, bear stories and other stories were told all around. At length Nick called to his
And if you meet a gintleman, you'll surely make him tremble;
With your whustle to your mouth, your party you'll assemble.
Musha whack fa rowdy dow, &c.
I had heard Ned sing this song frequently. Although a provincial Frenchman, he had picked up a good many Irish songs in the winter in timber camps, and rendered them with true Milesian brogue. He sang another of his favorites, observing before he commenced, "Big Irishman was going to whip me once for singing this song." It is called,
The first thing they give me it was a red coat,
The next thing they give me it was a great gun,
O Captain, indeed, you're a terrible man,
The next thing they gave me it was a gray horse,
I am off to the battle of Bally na Hinch,
Where the smoke was so thick and the fire was so hot,
Sure myself wouldn't shoot for fear I'd get shot. Sing Teddy I-a, &c.
Up steps a Captain, a man of great fame, Says he, "Tell your nation, your family, your name."
Sure I told you before, and I tell again,
That my father and mother were both Irishmen.
There was a big ship, and was bound for the east,
Its whack for my loural, Sing Teddy I-a.
Certain old songs come down to us only by tradition, and are mostly confirmed to a certain class. I think it quite likely that "Whisky in the Jug was never printed. I have never seen the Irish Recruit" in print. I have introduced them here as curiosities to cultivated musicians. I wrote them both down as Ned Veno sung them to me on the river a day or two after the evening just mentioned. Nick and I have sung them since with our legs under his mahogany. Nick sang the "Cruiskeen Lawn," and then we turned in on our buffalo-robes, thrown over the fragrant fir-sprigs.
AT THE ASSOCIATED PRESS OFFICE.
IN the modest apartments at the corner of Broadway and Liberty-street, up seventy-eight stairs, actual count, one will find at almost any hour of the day or night a dozen of men writing away as though for dear life. They do not write with pens and pencils, and on ordinary paper, as ordinary men do, but with styles made of carnelian and agate, and on the finest kind of tissue-paper. Nor are they satisfied to make one copy at a time; such contortion of countenance, rolling of tongue, and jerking of head, guarantee no less than a score, whereof the last evidently must go right down through the top of the desk. This is a veritable curiosityshop, in more senses than one. It is the headquarters of the Associated Press-the birthplace of that subtle, indescribable something we enjoy new every morning and fresh every evening, which is commonly called "the news.' Its works go forth every day to the extremities of the earth, and millions of people are interested in them; yet itself is scarcely known except by name, and to the outside world the little poste-haste and romage before us are a perpetual enigma and stumbling-block. Daily newspapers, printed in the United States, have been sent to this very office with "Please exchange" deliberately written across their wrappers; and enterprising business-men, native and to the manner born, have forwarded advertisements with the request to "Please have inserted in the Associated Press, and send bill."
But before looking in on the central office, it may be well to glance a moment at the nature, object, and extent of the Associated Press. As its name implies, it is a union of certain journals brought about to cheapen news by making one despatch serve them all. The scope of this union is the collec
tion of telegrams from all points, and of marine intelligence in New York harbor. All other fields of journalism are left to individual enterprise, and for any other than these two objects there is no Associated Press. These papers are the Tribune, the Times, the Herald, the World, the Sun, the Journal of Commerce, and the Express, of the city of New York. But their news is not confined to them. By bearing an equitable share of the expense of gathering the despatches, two hundred papers of the United States and Canada have become members of the union, to all intents and purposes, whereby the news is published every day, almost word for word, from Newfoundland to California simultaneously.
The Associated Press has an army of correspondents, called local agents, scattered all over the civilized world. In thinly-settled districts, where news is likely to be too scarce to warrant the appointment of regular agents by special contract, the telegraph company, which is alike interested in the forwarding of despatches, takes upon itself the service by making its operators ex officio agents of the Associated Press. By such economical means the whole field of operations, coextensive with the telegraphic system, has been covered effectively with no less than fifteen thousand intelligent news reporters. All despatches from the local agents are sent directly to the headquarters at New York, where they are corrected and reproduced by a process of manifold writing, and the copies distributed to the several newspapers. The services of the telegraph are then required again -this time to scatter the news already collected, to all points of the compass and the farthest ends of the land. The receiving telegraphers at other cities deliver their copies to the Associated
Press agents, by whom they are again manifolded and sent to their individual papers, as in New York.
Such, in brief, is the Associated Press. These six rooms, called, with a little pardonable impropriety, the General Agency, are the centre of all this complex machinery, radiating thousands of miles in every direction, and become, therefore, the heart, the distributing reservoir, of the American news system. Here are the offices of the executive and his assistants, who control the details of the vast concern. Here, also, is the committee-room, where the representatives of the seven papers meet every month, and allow the cigar of peace to usurp the poisoned quill, while they make and annul contracts with the telegraph and outside newspapers. The next room but one is set apart for the messengers, who deliver the news to the newspaper offices, presided over by an old schoolmaster, who comes as near keeping two dozen fourteen-year-old New York boys from driving crazy every body in the same block as any man ever did or will. In that room, away over in the corner, smaller than a cigar-store or a box-office, sits the cashier, who must be master of all the modern languages. He takes care of the fiscal affairs, to the extent of millions of dollars a-year-receives and pays bills in dollars, pounds, reals, francs, and marc bancos. This large, light, and airy room in the centre is the manifolding room, where the news is put in a shape fit for publication. We shall find enough here to engage our attention.
Ranged about at a dozen desks sit a dozen men, who are expected to know something of every thing under the sun-the ports and products of every country, as well as every vessel by name. Parliamentary practice must be at their fingers' ends. They would be worthless without poetry and the dead languages, wherewith to correct politicians' bad Latin, and equally so without the living languages. Chronology is indispensable in the news business; hence Rollin, Gibbon, Hume, Hallam,
and Motley must be learned by heart. That great English lawyer, Lord Campbell, said: "There is nothing so dangerous as for one not of the craft to tamper with our freemasonry." Consequently these men must have studied law enough to master the statutes and rules of practice of all the States and all the nations. They must be able to "write up," understandingly, horseraces, regattas, and base-ball matches, as well as synods, conventions, and congresses. Like policemen and soldiers, they must have no politics, affections, or opinions; they must be stoically unconcerned in conflagrations, murders, shipwrecks, and battles. Practical printers they must be, certainly, as well as practical electricians. Finally, they must have good sense and judgment, in order to know the value of news, and a good common-school education, that they may write it out intelligently. These extraordinary men are the manifolders. They edit the despatches as fast as they arrive, whatever the subjectmatter may be, and at the same time write them out in good English, twenty copies at once. As may be supposed, men having all these qualifications do not present themselves every day. How many has this office been obliged to turn away, who were weighed in the balance and found wanting-how many college graduates, philosophers, lawyers, yea, even editors, who, like Fielding's hero, promised much in the prospectus, and performed nothing at all; who, upon trial, persisted in inventing new and non-existent geographical localities, like the Isle of Wright, the Straits of Andover, and the city of Cincinnatti !
The "manifold writer" is no new thing. Almost every body knows that it is a simple contrivance for bringing forth a number of copies at one writing, by using a hard pencil on a book of oiled tissue-paper, with carbonized paper laid between the leaves. But does every body think if there were no such contrivance the Associated Press could not live? The manifold writer has been introduced and rejected in every
counting-house. Its practical uselessness in the ordinary affairs of business has been demonstrated time and again, yet in this office its value is incalculable.
One man does the work of a hundred. Manifolding has been brought to an astonishing degree of perfection by the invention of a gentleman now seventy years old. For a quarter of a century he has supplied the Association with the very peculiar paper required for this service, and that he alone knows how to make. With his paper thirty copies may be made easily, and it is often necessary to have so many, while eight or ten copies is the maximum claimed by other manufacturers for their paper. For forty-two years the secret of this old man has baffled imitators, who have not scrupled to lurk about his manufactory under cover of the night, and to invoke the aid of the ablest chemists of the land. But he has a family of vigorous sons, and the Associated Press has not borrowed any trouble as to what the effect might be if the secret died with him.
The Agency " is the heaviest customer of the telegraph, hence it has been placed so near at hand, that despatches are trundled across the street, from the one to the other, by three miniature elevated railroads, to the upparent bewilderment of humanity below. These rattle to and fro, night and day, bearing news from all quarters of the globe. But the manifolder is always ready. He knows full well that, in this land of telegraphs and fourth editions, news is perishable property;
"It dies in an hour;"
so in much less than that time the most startling intelligence is among the types everywhere, and almost a forgotten thing of the past. In the daytime the manifolder takes twenty copies of the despatches, which are distributed to the Herald, the Times, the Tribune, the World, the Sun, the Journal, the Post, the Express, the Commercial Advertiser, the Staats Zeitung, the Brooklyn Union, the Newark Advertiser, and the Newark Courier, and to the reporters of the VOL. VI.-2
State press, the Boston press, the New England press, the Western press, the Southern press, and the Far Southern press, leaving one copy for the office record. After the last evening edition is printed, fourteen copies are sufficient. When the despatches are manifolded, all the copies are stamped with the officeseal, or die—a precautionary measure to guard the editors against the use of fraudulent "despatches," furnished by malicious persons. Then the messenger department is called on; the sheets are quickly separated-put into envelopes already directed; a noise like the voice of many waters prevails for a moment (for Mercury is no longer winged, and there are seventy-eight stairs to go down)—and the despatches are on their way to the types.
The average day's work is one hundred and fifty sheets, containing thirtyfive thousand words-thirty or forty routes for the messengers. On the occasion of a President's message, or an interesting discussion in Congress or the British Parliament, so much news is sent out that the papers are obliged to issue supplements, to make room for it. Indeed, if all the news furnished at this office were printed in full every day, there would not be room for much else. Congressmen forward their speeches by express, in advance of delivery, and people all over the country mail an avalanche of details that are not important enough to be telegraphed, with the hope to see them appear as telegraphic despatches. The most of such news is smothered in the inexorable editorial waste-basket.
The old lady who was lost in the contemplation of the multitude of Jobs in the printing business, would often find her counterpart in the unsophisticated visitor to the General Agency. Mr. More is apparently the name of the local agent at Philadelphia, at Baltimore, at Washington, and at one or two hundred other places-for so he signs himself in the despatches. When the law was enacted requiring an internal revenue stamp on telegrams, the Associated Press mounted with occa