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Mark Rutherford's Deliverance by Mark Rutherford
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When I had established myself in my new lodgings in Camden Town, I
found I had ten pounds in my pocket, and again there was no outlook.
I examined carefully every possibility. At last I remembered that a
relative of mine, who held some office in the House of Commons, added
to his income by writing descriptive accounts of the debates,
throwing in by way of supplement any stray scraps of gossip which he
was enabled to collect. The rules of the House as to the admission
of strangers were not so strict then as they are now, and he assured
me that if I could but secure a commission from a newspaper, he could
pass me into one of the galleries, and, when there was nothing to be
heard worth describing, I could remain in the lobby, where I should
by degrees find many opportunities of picking up intelligence which
would pay. So far, so good; but how to obtain the commission? I
managed to get hold of a list of all the country papers, and I wrote
to nearly every one, offering my services. I am afraid that I
somewhat exaggerated them, for I had two answers, and, after a little
correspondence, two engagements. This was an unexpected stroke of
luck; but alas! both journals circulated in the same district. I
never could get together more stuff than would fill about a column
and a half, and consequently I was obliged, with infinite pains, to
vary, so that it could not be recognised, the form of what, at
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