THE PRINTER AND PUBLISHER
at the exchange desk, or some of the very few lines of special
work where agility of mind and limb are not primne requisites.
Sometimes a man is fortunate enough to acquire knowledge
on certain lines valuable enough to keep him from the uni-
versal fate when he can no loiger hustle. He may be able to
" do politics," or may have acquired so wide and valuable an
acquaintance among "old timers " that the paper sees its way
to give him a meagre living in return for the knowledge wliich
it has taken him years of the most active and unremitting labor
The chlances, however, are considerably against this, and
sprightliiess of legs is as universal and essential a requirement
in the local room as is sprightlitiess of mind or pen. 'he ghost
of coming old age is in tlie closet of every local room, and, for
that matter, every editorial room.
One of the most pathetic figures to be seen in a big city is
the " old reporter," who is still trying to keep up with the young
men aind ward off the fatal day when he will be forced out of
the ranks of active workers. Unlike even the betrayer of the
Saviour, he then finds that there has been no place prepared for
In contrast to this situation, which has been mildly drawn,
let us look at the country newspaper, the rewards and the
opportunities which it offers.
Independence, individuality, honor and an indefinite teiiure
of service are among the most alluring of these. Here the nian
of the mo st modest means--and in some cases of no means at
all--may become his own master, or at worst his own slave,
which is iifinitely better than being someone else's slave, under
the lash of a hired taskmaster-which is the best thing that can
te said of service upon the big city daily.
If he has a spark of originality or talelt he has an open field
for its exercise, and no blue-pencilled "copy-reader ' to hew his
work downt to the requirements of a cast-iron " policy," and nip
the promise of originality in the bud as promptly as a council of
Puritan elders would pluck a heresy.
'rhe positionts in the esteem of the community held by the
editor of ain average counitry paper, and the average worker on
thie staff of the metropolitan daily are not comparable. The
former is universally recognized as an importailt factor ini the
social and political life of the community, a??d it isis s own fault
if he is not a leading factor.
The social standing of the city tnewspaper man, in nine cases
out of ten, may be accurately described as a cipher. Perhaps
the very iature, and especially the hours of his work, account
very largely for this. 'They peremptorily deny him any partici-
pation in social life. The same is also true, in a large degree,
egarding political preferment.
A chance slip may possibly put it in his power to unmake
ani alderman, a judge or a governor, but the chantces are against
it. And if he does, cui bono? What does it profit him?
Nothing, or so near to nothing that he will never be able to
distinguish the difference.
If there is any profit in the transaction it seldom gets higher
than the counting-room. He has simply done his work as a
cog in the big machine. The only honor which he enjoys is to
be envied by those in positions under him and hated by those
above him, who fear that he may ultimately displace them.
The only honor? No! Wheni he goes back to the old
country home to spend Christmas, if he is lucky enough to get
so long a holiday, he is received witit no small blast of trum-
pets by the country editor and his sympathetic constituency.
Age has no fears for the country editor, other than those
common to all humanity. The longer he has been identified
with the community, the broader and closer is his hold upon thle
people which compose it. Years strengthen rather than weaken
his grasp upoti the vital sources of income and influence.
In the meanltime he lives--not as a floating nonentity, but
as a permanent and established factor in community life--and
in most cases he enjoys comlforts to which the city newspaper
mani, tliough the latter may receive twice his income, is a
He may have a hone in which he is somethinig more thanl
an occasional caller, a late nocturnal visitor.
If the country editor has literary talents, as many of them
have, his situation is ideal, as compared with that of the city
newspaper man, for the realization of his hopes. Freedom is
the great essential in literary work, and this he may have to a
broad degree, for his work is such as may be delegated to others
at a profit on their labor.
Moreover, he comes in close conttact with those about him.
He " rubs elbows " with them, as the expressive saying goes;
and may enjoy a peace and leisure for character study, and the
working out of that which is in him, which is an impossibility to
the metropolitan newspaper slave, who owns neither his hours
nor his soul, and who is possessed b the chronic fever of unrest,
which renders him a hopeless exile to habits of thoughtfulness
This spirit of intemperate craving for artificial excitement is
the one thing which prevents many a jaded city newspaper
worker from going back to oft-envied " green pastures " of
country newspaper life.
A VIEW OF ONTARIO'S WEEKLIES.
T HE Toronto Telegiram says: "One sign of national pro-
gress is the improvement in the qtality of the country
papers. Perhaps American commonwealths, equal in popula-
tion to Ontario, have more papers, but no American state is
served by a weekly press equalling in merit the weekly papers
"The improvement is in the spirit and purpose of the
journals rather than in the typographical appearance, which was
always good. The increasing attention which these journals are
giving to the life that is being lived around them is to be
praised. The work of the every-day historians who record the
movements of great personages at the Coriers is not to be
sneeredat Canadians of common sense and true sympathies
see something deeper in the paragraphs than any oddities which
" Superior persons may discourage this tendency of country
journalism to dignify the commnonplace and emphasize the uil-
important. The work of correspondents is increasing the value
of local life. It is an amiable vanity, that of people who like to
see the movements of themselves and their friends in print.
The news that Bismarck had dined with the Emperor William
interests the readers of the Oakville Star less thaln does the
authoritative statement that ' Tom Brown is back from the city.
" The difference is that Tom, the hero of this reference, was,
in the days prior to his success in the city, part of the lives of