is on the last page of his critique of this evening's Grisi, which he executes with steam-engine rapidity, and sends up without reading.
He lingers awhile, and then strolls off up town.
is still busy, as reporters continually arrive with items of news, which he hastily examines, and consigns either to the basket under his desk, or to the copy-box.
The first phalanx of compositors is dismissed, and they come thundering down the dark stairs, putting on their coats as they descend.
The foreman is absorbed in making up the inside forms, as he has just sent those of the outside below, and the distant clanking of the press announces that they have begun to be printed.
We descend, and find the sheets coming off the press at the rate of a hundred and sixty a minute.
The engine-man is commodiously seated on an inverted basket, under a gas-jet, reading the outside of the morning's paper, and the chief of the press-room is scanning a sheet to see if the impression is perfect.
The gigantic press has six mouths, and six men are feeding him with white paper, slipping in the sheets with the easy knack acquired by long practice.
It looks a simple matter, this feeding; but if a new hand were to attempt it, the iron maw of the monster would be instantly choked, and his whole system disarranged.
For he is as delicate as he is strong; the little finger of a child can start and stop him, moderate his pace, or quicken it to the snapping of his sinews.
Three o'clock in the morning.
is in trouble.
The outside of the paper is printed, the inside forms are ready to be lowered away to the basement, and the press-men are impatiently waiting the signal to receive it. The pulpit of the night clerk is ready for his reception, the spacious folding-table is cleared, and two carriers have already arrived.
All the compositors except the last phalanx have gone home; and they have corrected the last proof, and desire nothing so much as to be allowed to depart.
But an English steamer is overdue, and a telegraphic dispatch from the agent of the Associated Press
at Sandy Hook
, who has been all night in his yacht cruising for the news, is anxiously expected.
It does not come.
The steamer (as we afterwards ascertain) has arrived, but the captain churlishly refused to throw on board the yacht the customary newspaper.
fancies he hears a gun. A moment after he is positive he hears another.
He has five men of