The Metropolitan Newspaper
By William H. Rideing, 1877
They were passing through the Strand as they talked, and by a newspaper office, which was all lighted up and bright. Reporters were coming out of the place, or rushing up to it in cabs; there were lamps burning in the editors' rooms, and above, where the compositors were at work; the windows of the building were in a blaze of gas. 'Look at that, Pen,' Warrington said. 'There she is — the great engine — she never sleeps. She has her ambassadors in every quarter of the world, her couriers upon every road. Her officers march along with armies, and her envoys walk into statesmen's cabinets. They are ubiquitous. Yonder journal has an agent at this minute giving bribes at Madrid, and another inspecting the price of potatoes in Covent Garden. Look! here comes the Foreign Express galloping in. They will be able to give the news to Downing Street to-morrow; funds will rise or fall, fortunes be made or lost. Lord B——— will get up, and holding the paper in his hand, and seeing the noble marquis in his place, will make a great speech; and — and Mr. Doolan will be called away from his supper at the Back Kitchen, for he is foreign sub-editor, and sees the mail on the newspaper sheet before he goes to his own.' And so talking, the friends turned into their chambers, as the dawn was beginning to peep." — Pendennis.
After a midnight walk down Broadway, a few months ago, two gentlemen crossed the breezy interspace of City Hall Park as the yellow disk of the illuminated clock in the tower marked one. A few outcasts were asleep on the benches; the foliage swayed, and broke the rays of the lamps into an irregular flicker; the high dark buildings on the Broadway side rose massively, like the embattlements of a fortress, but on the other side several of the larger buildings were luminous in the upper stories, which seemed like rows of lamps hanging in the air.
These were the offices of the great morning newspapers, which are concentrated within an eighth of a mile, and the animation glowing in them brought Warrington's apostrophe to the mind of one of the gentlemen, who repeated it to his companion.