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THE PRINTING OF THE
which being emptied out into ' galleys,' are firmly fixed therein by little wedges of wood, in order that 'proofs' may be taken of them. The proofs pass into the hands of the various sets of readers, who compare them with the copy' from which they are set up, and mark any errors on the margin of the slips; which then find their way back to the compositors, who correct the types according to the marks. The galleys' are next seized by the
' persons charged with the 'making-up' of the paper, who divide them into columns of equal length. An ordinary Times newspaper, with a single inside sheet of advertisements, contains seventy-two columns, or 17,500 lines, made up of upwards of a million pieces of type; of which matter about two-fifths are often written, composed, and corrected after seven o'clock in the evening. If the advertisement sheet be double, as it frequently is, the paper will contain ninety-six columns. The types set up by the compositors are not sent to the machine. A mould is taken of them in a composition of brown paper, by means of which a stereotype'is cast in metal, and from this the paper is printed. The advertisement sheet, single or double, as the case may be, is generally ready for the press between seven and eight o'clock at night. The rest of the paper is divided into two 'forms,'—that is, columns arranged in pages and bound together by an iron frame, one for each side of the sheet. Into the first of these the. person who 'makes up' endeavours to put all the early news, and it is ready for press usually about four o'clock. The other form! is reserved for the leading articles, telegrams, and all the latest intelligence, and is not completed till near five o'clock.
“ The Times is now printed by a machine which as far exceeds Hoe's in ingenuity of construction and in rapidity of production, as Hoe's exceeded the vertical machine of Applegath and Cowper. It is known as the 'Walter Press,' and is so called in compliment to the enterprise and perseverance of Mr. Walter, M.P., by whom it was introduced. It is a perfecting machine'-that is, it prints both sides of the sheet at one operation—and for this reason the
register' is necessarily perfect; in other words, the pages on one side are printed exactly on the back of the pages on the other
THE PRINTING OF THE
side. The manual skill which is required in other machines for laying on sheet after sheet with dexterous accuracy is now dispensed with, and a great reduction is effected in the number of inking rollers, blankets, and other appendages; less ink is used; and the whole details of the machine, says a writer in the Scotsman, are so simple and solid, that, with ordinary care, nothing is likely to become disordered. A diminution in the waste of paper is another advantage; while the exclusive employment of stereotype plates releases the type from all wear and tear—a very important economical consideration. As the Times is now printed, a web of tightly-rolled paper, in the form in which it leaves the paper-mill, fully four miles in length, and weighing nearly 670 pounds, is placed at one end of the machine; in the process of unreeling it is damped, is printed first on one side and then on the other with a truly marvellous accuracy, is cut into sheets, and delivered at the rate of fully 12,000 perfected copies per hour at the other end of the machine. This may truly be designated a triumph of mechanical ingenuity,
" The delivery takes place on a couple of boards, each of which receives a sheet alternately. The boards are superintended by lads, who, notwithstanding the rapidity with which the machine works, have sufficient time to see that the operation is properly performed. No other attendants are necessary than these two lads, and a third, the striker, who sets the machine in motion, and looks after the rolls of paper as they uncoil themselves. While printing, the paper speeds through the machine at the rate of nearly one thousand feet per minute, and in twenty-four minutes the intelligence of the day is transferred to a web four miles in length. The
process is as follows:- The paper is led from the reel into a series of cylinders, where it is damped. Afterwards, it is carried between the first and second of four cylinders raised perpendicularly above each other. The upmost cylinder is surrounded by stereotype casts from four pages of type, and the lowest of the four by stereotype plates of the remaining four pages of the newspaper. In passing between the first and second cylinders,
THE PRESS SUPERSEDED BY THE MACHINE.
paper receives the impression on one side. Then it travels backwards between the second and third cylinders, to resume its forward direction in passing between the third and fourth cylinders, from the latter of which it receives an impression of the stereotype plates on the side of the paper exactly opposite the part printed by the uppermost cylinder. Continuing its course through two cylinders in the very centre of the machine, it is cut into sheets, each sheet forming an eight-paged newspaper. An index adjoining the cutting cylinders counts each sheet as it is cut.
“The cutting completed, the sheet is carried forward by a set of tapes until it reaches the apex of the left hand section of the machine. From this point it descends perpendicularly, and the sheets are thrown alternately forwards and backwards on the boards held by the two lads. There is also a contrivance for the supply and distribution of the ink.”
We have taken the Times as the best example of these wonderful improvements in the art of printing, both because the working of that paper is upon a colossal scale, and it therefore well deserves to be noticed first, and because almost every improvement came into earliest play in the machine-room at PrintingHouse Square. The influence of the great change-the substitution of the steam printing-machine for the hand-worked printingpress—has been felt in every corner of the land, where a cheap book or a penny newspaper has found its way; and it must be indeed a sequestered nook into which these have not pushed themselves in Britain. So that famous and tremendous word, "The Press," at whose sound blusterers have suddenly grown meek as lambs, and Cruelty has pocketed his whip, trying to look innocent and kind, is now a sort of misnomer; for the Press is actually rusting in lumber-rooms, or, at best, printing off the cloudy hand-bills of a country-town, while the place of power is held by the Machine, which roars and struggles and puffs by day and night in the accomplishment of its enormous task. Such a change has half a century produced in Caxton's art and mystery! How the old mercer would stare and rub his eyes, if these eyes could open now upon a modern printing-room in any of our great publishing concerns!
COLERIDGE, a magnificent dreamer, has left us only a few fragments to show what his life-work might have been, had industry been wedded to his lofty genius. We think of him as of some rarely gifted architect, before whose mind's eye visions of sublime temples were continually floating, but whose realized work consists of a few pillars and friezes, exquisitely beautiful, indeed, but lying on the chosen site unfinished and unset.
Born at Ottery St. Mary in Devonshire, on the 21st of October 1772, this youngest child of a poor country vicar entered the hard school of an orphan's life at Christ's Hospital. There, with in
grey old walls, began his cherished friendship with the gentle Charles Lamb. Already, under the long blue coat of "the inspired charity-boy,” the nature of the man was burning. He dreamed away his days; he read books of every kind with insatiable relish, until history, novels, even poetry, began to pall upon his taste, and nothing but metaphysics could afford any delight to the boy of fifteen. The sonnets of Bowles, however, struck a chord, whose vibration filled his young soul with untold pleasure. During the two years of his residence at Cambridge, whither he went in 1791 as an exhibitioner of Jesus College, his habits deepened. Ideals, ever floating before his mind, sadly impeded the real work of the student. His first success- a gold medal for Greek verse—was followed by some defeats, which, coupled with a little debt and his admiration for revolutionary
DREAMS AT BRISTOL AND POEMS AT STOWEY.
France, caused him to abandon a college life without taking his degree.
Starving in London, he enlisted in the 15th Light Dragoons under the name of Comberbach, and spent four wretched months in trying to fathom the mysteries of drill and stable-work. The discovery of his classical attainments by the captain of his troop, who observed some Latin words written under his saddle as it hung upon the wall, led to his release from this position,
We then find him at Bristol, with his new friend Southey and four other young enthusiasts, building a splendid castle in the air, They were to sail over the Atlantic to the banks of the Susquehanna, and there to found a Pantisocracy, or domestic republic, where all goods should be property in common, and the leisure of the workmen should be devoted to literature. Only one thing was wanted to carry out the scheme-money. Failing this, the pretty bubble burst. Probable starvation by the Avon, instead of republican ease and plenty by the Susquehanna, was the stern reality which
now pushed its dark face into the dreamer's life. His 1795 pen, employed by a Bristol bookseller, kept off this ugly 4.D,
shape; and soon the struggler added to his difficulties by
an early marriage with a girl, whose sister became Southey's wife. Poor Lovell, who died very soon, had already vedded the third of these Bristol Graces.
A cottage at Nether Stowey in Somersetshire, nestling at the foot of the Quantock hills, received the youthful pair, who resided there for about three years. Out of this, the brightest period in a desultory life, blossomed some of the finest poetry that Coleridge has written, An Ode to the Departing Year, and that piece entitled France, which Shelley loved so well, are among the productions of this peaceful time. But finer than these are two works of the same period, which deserve more than passing mention. The Rime of the Auncient Marinere was written at Stowey, and there Christabel was begun.
“The Ancient Mariner" is a poem in the simple, picturesque style of the old ballad. The tale—told to a spell-bound weddingguest by an old sailor, who, in a few vivid touches, is made to