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on the 1st of March, 1848, when the paper used
weighed 7 tons, the weight usually required being
4½ tons; the surface to be printed every night,
including the Supplement, was 30 acres; the
weight of the fount of type in constant use was
7 tons; and 110 compositors and 25 pressmen
were constantly employed."

At the beginning of the reign of Queen
Anne, we question whether so many operatives
as are now required, with the help of its
extraordinary machinery, to produce the
"Times," found employment on the whole
then existing newspaper press.


THE Commission appointed to enquire into
and report upon the state of Rotten Row,
was entirely unpaid. The right honourable
gentleman on whom the appointment of the
Commissioners devolved, took great credit to
himself that the members of a Commission
whose report was likely to prove of such
infinite value to society, and especially to
metropolitan equestrians, had undertaken all
the laborious duties appertaining to their
office without expressing the slightest desire
for remuneration or reward. "He believed,"
he said, "that all the charges connected with
the performance of this great public duty
would begin and terminate with the mere
cost of the indispensable official staff, and
he undertook to pledge his word that the
expenses connected with that department
should all be settled at the lowest practicable

In accordance with this declaration, the
Honourable Augustus Aigulet, first cousin
of the right hon. gentleman aforesaid, was
shortly after appointed Secretary to this
indispensable Commission, at a salary of
£1400 per annum, and Mr. Slaney, of Somerset
House, under a Special Minute of my Lords
Commissioners of the Treasury, was
promoted to perform the active duties of clerk to
the Commission, at an increased salary of
£60 a year, "in accordance with the scale
of savings recently effected in the public

These economic views were further carried
out by the saving of rent. The Rotten Row
Commission was to be accommodated in
certain new buildings, recently erected at a
small charge of £300,000. The apartments
consisted of an office, a Secretary's apartment,
and a Board-room. Mr. Slaney took
possession of his desk in the office, having
instructions to prepare the large room for
the meeting of a Board, which instructions
he duly performed by arranging the inkstands
in the centre of a table, and by spreading
sundry sheets of blotting-paper, with a due
proportion of foolscap and official pens, at
equal distances on either side. The Board
was to meet at two o'clock. At half-past
one the Honourable Augustus Aigulet opened
the door of the office, and proceeded to instal
himself as Secretary. By the time he had
taken possession of the key of a great despatch
box, on which was emblazoned, in gilt letters,
the words


the Chairman and three of the Commissioners
arrived. Her Majesty's Commissioners for
enquiring into the state and condition of
Rotten Row, Hyde Park, did not commence
business immediately; but began an ardent
gossip about things in general. The noble
President was in the midst of a discussion
with his colleagues respecting the exact
circumference of Carlotta Grisi's ancle, when
there came from the chimney an enormous
volume of smoke. With prompt alacrity,
Mr. Aigulet rose from behind the despatch
box, rang the bell, summoned the clerk to his
presence, and desired him to poke the fire.
This was done; but the result was
overwhelming. The smoke was so dense, that
the noble chairman could scarcely find his
way to the chair; but having succeeded, and
a board having been formed, he addressed
the secretary.

"These rooms" he said, "are excessively
ill-ventilated; the air is positively pestilential;
we must at once draw up a minute to the
Treasury for alteration."

"A minute, my Lord?"

"Yes, Sir; a minute."

Mr. Aigulet took a sheet of paper, folded
it lengthways, to make a margin; and
proceeded to write as his superior instructed


[Such a date.]

Minute No. 1.

1, 6, 4—.

Her Majesty's Commissioners represent
to my Lords, that with a view to a
complete and satisfactory discharge of
the important duties devolved upon
them opportunity is necessary for calm
consideration of the varied subjects
into which it is committed to them to
inquire:—That such opportunity is
totally denied them in the apartments
assigned by my Lords, in which no
suitable provision exists for ventilation,
and in which the Smoke appears to
come down the Chimney, instead of
ascending in conformity with custom.
In order to the due performance of
their duties to the public Her
Majesty's Commissioners, therefore,
request that my Lords will make an
order for the attendance and inspection
of the Ventilator-General, with
instructions to consider and report
upon a plan for improving the ingress
of air, and egress of smoke, to and
from the said apartments of Her
Majesty's Commissioners.
By order of the Board.


The document was then handed to Mr.
Slaney, who made a fine copy thereof, on an