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Scenes from the Life of a Journalist.

Mr D. C. Murray lectured last evening in the Ashburton Oddfellows' Hall on the subject " Scenes from the Life of an English Journalist." Only a few hours notice of the intended address had been given, but notwithstanding this fact about 100 persons of both sexes were present, and it is needless to say that these were well repaid for their attendance. Mr Murray in a chatty, conversational manner rivetted the attention of his hearers for an hour and a half in giving a brief description of the circumstances which induced him to adopt the journalistic profession, and recounted his experiences as a reporter and pressman. These experiences cover a wide and divergent fi e ld_f r om the out-at-elbows I'terary "hack" to the popular and successful writer of articles upon fact or fiction. | The speaker told in a simple and unostentatious manner the story of his career as a journalist, painting in vivid colours the scenes he had witnessed in the pursuit of his calling, the difficulties encountered, and the privations undergone. Commencing on the lowest rung of the literary ladder, Mr Murray recited in successive order the familiar Bcenes of the Police Court —the callousness of the accused and the matter-of-fact abruptness of the Bench—the sympathy of the poor for the poor, and their solicitude for each other in times of trouble or distress; the picture of a burning coal-mine and the heroic courage of miners in suppressing the flames, while 30,000 persons looked on in breathless wonderment. After these and similar experiences Mr Murray told his audience &l the sufferings of a condemned criminal •who paid the last penalty of the law for Jlis crime, and took occasion to animadvert strongly against capital punishment, saying no words could express the .emotions of the human soul as pourtrayed on the face of a condemned man mounting ' the scaffold. The speaker, in a chatty manner, described the expedients he had resorted to in order to ascertain how the poor lived and how they bore their privations ; how he had written in their cause and on their behalf, while England sympathised —but done nothing else, and . never would do anything else so long as the country was controlled by Party Government. After dwelling upon some most amusing experiences of his earlier life in the lower strata of journalism, Mr "Murray spoke at length, and with the knowledge of a close observer, upon the characteristics of members of the House of Commons. He reviewed and imitated the, eloquence of John Bright, the cutting sarcasm of Disreali, and painted in a humorous manner the first introduction of Parliamentary stone-walling in the JJouse of Commons ; and a most interesting chat was brought to a close by a eulogy on the purity of Ei. x sh literature, and a condemnation of tho school of writers who painted the earth and their fellow-beings in the darkest colors. During his all too brief address Mr Murray displayed his versatile genius 'as a humorist and imitator, anjj frequently convulsed his audience by the recital of peculiarities in the mannerisms of different classes of persons with whom he had been brought in contact; while he also showed that he could enter with sympathy into the 4.omain of suffering, or appreciate the greatness of his fellows whether in the cottage .or in the Forum.

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Bibliographic details

Scenes from the Life of a Journalist., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2461, 8 July 1890

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Scenes from the Life of a Journalist. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2461, 8 July 1890