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with few scruples. In Sicily, all the scamps
and vagabonds are recruited, and even pressed
into the coral fishery; and I have not a much
higher opinion of the individuals of other
nations who embark in that profession. They
consist of the dregs of the populace of Genoa,
Corsica, and the Italian States, and especially
of the Torre del Greco, near Vesuvius.

On our return to La Calle, we questioned a
considerable number of coral-fishers. All of
them declared that it was a long while since
they had touched at La Galite. The authorities
of B├┤ne showed very little anxiety to
investigate the matter. We were able, however,
to give evidence as to one point; namely,
that the boats which had conducted M.
Dupont to La Galite, had left him there alive.
The letters, and some of his thoughts on
solitude, were a sufficient proof of this.


IN a country like England, where publishers
abound, and where any gentleman who is
desirous of spending his spare cash on a
literary speculation can be immediately
accommodated, nothing is easier than to start a
newspaper. You may enter into your contract,
advertise in the daily and weekly journals,
employ your staffincluding the men to
carry about the placards in the streetsand
go to work at once. But it is a very different
matter in the upper provinces of India; for
instance, at such a place as Meerut, which is
upwards of eight hundred miles from a
seaport town, Calcutta or Bombay. A friend of
mine, who started a paper at Meerut, once
favoured me with what he had to go through,
and the detail may not be unamusing to the
general reader:

I received a letter one morning, said he,
from a chaplain who was a cotemporary and
friend of mine at Cambridge; it ran thus:
"Dear JohnnieThe old Colonel thinks that
a really good paper is required in the upper
provinces, and that it would pay handsomely.
I am authorised to offer you twelve hundred
rupees a month (one thousand four hundred
and forty pounds per annum), and a house
rent free, if you are disposed to be the editor.
Say the word and the capital required will be
subscribed at once." My health was declining
in Bengal, and as Meerut, the locality determined
on, was a very healthy station, and
not far from the Himalayas, whither invalids
resort to restore their shattered frames to
former vigour, I accepted the offer on the
condition that my pay as editor should be
annually increased if the finances of the
journal would admit thereof. In reply to
my letter, I received a laconic note, in these
words—" All right. Let me know without
delay how much money you require to buy
type, presses, and paper." I calculated that
two thousand five hundred pounds would
cover every expense, and not only enable me
to make advances to the workmen (for without
this they would not stir from Calcutta),
but leave a balance of a few hundred pounds
to work upon for the first few months. Two
thousand five hundred pounds were forthwith
remitted to me by a cheque on the Oriental
Bank. Some twenty-five or thirty officers of
rank and standing in the civil and military
services of the East India Company had
subscribed for the whole amount in the course
of two days. My first difficulty was in
procuring presses; one I purchasedan imperial,
a Cope and Sherwinfrom the Baptist Mission
Press, at a fair price; but for the other
a royalI had to give double its value,
and then it was only parted with (I say this
in all sincerity) to oblige me, for the owner
really wanted it to carry on his own business.

Then the type. I could not think of allowing
my manuscript to be " set up " in anything
but Figgins. A particular friend of mine,
called Iniquity Smith, had once remarked to
me that a little production of mine looked
"uncommon tidy" in Figgins, and the
conversation to which the remark led informed
me of the fact that Figgins was the prince of
type-founders. Now there happened to be
plenty of every other sort of Figgins's type in
Calcutta, except Figgins's long primer, not a
letter of which was to be had for love or money;
and long primer was absolutely necessary
for the leading article. There were founts
of type cast by other founders in the market,
but they would not " make up " with Figgins,
and therefore they were of no use to me.
At last, I heard of a second-hand fount, or
set of types, and bought it for fifty pounds.
The heading of the paper, the column rules,
the leads, and the chases or iron frames within
which the type is jammed were soon got ready
by native artisans, and nothing now remained
but to engage the establishment.

The Indian compositor is usually a person
of Portuguese extraction on the male side:
and his name is Gomez, Gonsalves, or Pereira.
He is of course very dark; but it is one of his
peculiarities to speak of the natives as black
brutes: when half drunk (and unless he be
half drunk he cannot use his fingersthey
are so cold even in the very hot weather),
the Indian compositor works well. His fingers
are small, and he picks up his type from the
case with a rapidity truly astonishing. I have
never seen it equalled in an English printing-
office. But his day's work over (and he will
get it done, sometimes, in two or three hours),
he is the most indolent and dissipated creature
in existence. He is never out of debt, and
never without a dun at his heels; but he
invariably disputes all claims upon him, and never
pays till he does so by order of some Court.

I required ten of these compositors, and
engaged them at exactly double the rate of
pay they received in Calcutta. "Look at the
distance," they would say; "to be so far off
from your families to whom you must send
money, sir!" The compositors said they
should require five distributors. In India a