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CHAPTER VII.

Is received on trial for the situation named in the previous

chapter— Feelings consequent on a first attempt at parliamentary reporting-Succeeds in getting a permanent engagement.

Mr. Lovegood's application to the editor of the morning journal to which he had alluded, was successful. There fortunately happened to be a vacancy in the reporting department of the establishment at the very time he spoke to the editor on the subject; and the result was that, in ten days afterwards, Mr. Jenkins was to obtain a regular engagement, at five guineas per week, as parliamentary reporter, assuming that, after that period, he should be found competent for the office. The result of the trial was, to satisfy the editor that he was fully competent to discharge the duties of the situation in an efficient manner.

Intimation was made to him to that effect, accompanied with the gratifying observation that he might consider his engagement of a permanent cha

racter.

Those only who have been put on their trial in the gallery assigned in the House of Commons to the reporters for the daily press, can form the slightest notion of the arduous nature of such a trial. Only imagine a young man--and reporters when commencing their career, are, almost without an exception, young in years— entering a place in which he never was before, if, indeed, he ever were in the House of Commons at all; entering it, too, for the special purpose of noting down, in order that it may be forthwith transferred into a morning paper, every word which shall fall from the lips of those who shall address the House. Let it be farther remembered, that he enters this strange place—a place well calculated to overawe and flurry the mind of any person unaccustomed to the scene

with the painful consciousness resting on his mind, that on the way in which he acquits himself depends the alternative of his being either ingloriously rejected, or permanently engaged. Let all this be distinctly and deeply borne in mind, and then say whether there be room for any surprise, that the reporters' gallery of the House of Commons should be entered for the first, or second, or third time, with fear and trembling. Many a young man, of great talents and distinguished scholastic attainments, has entered that perilous place and completely failed, from the overpowering sense he entertained of the difficulties of his undertaking, coupled with the knowledge that his destinies for life might very possibly be hanging on the issue of his adventure. The most intellectual persons, especially where, with a highly cultivated mind, there is associated—which is frequently the case -an extreme sensitiveness, are the very persons who run the greatest risk of breaking down. The annals of the gallery are replete with

exemplifications of this. Some, indeed, of the most illustrious names in modern literature might be mentioned, as affording illustrations of it in their own persons.

Mr. Jenkins, however (as has been already remarked), came triumphantly through the fiery ordeal, and received the reward of a regular en

gagement.

CHAPTER VIII.

Duties of a parliamentary reporter-Joseph attends the meet

ings of a political association-Character of the leading speakers-Amusing incident-Close of the public career of the principal demagogues.

In this way

A PARLIAMENTARY reporter, when not employed in the gallery of either House of Parliament, is liable to be sent to public meetings, to public exhibitions, to the theatres, and to various other places where the proceedings of public bodies are to be reported, or criticisms to be given on works of art.

the

gentlemen of the press "—as reporters are usually called-are afforded peculiar facilities for forming an acquaintance with eminent men, and for obtaining an early and intimate knowledge of what is going on in the mighty Babel.

Mr. Jenkins, in the discharge of his professional duties, had occasion to attend most of the leading political meetings held in London. At

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