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anti-Masonic candidates in every election in the Northern States for at least two years after Morgan vanished. Hundreds of Lodges bowed to the storm, sent in their charters to the central anthority, and voluntarily ceased to exist. There are families now, about the country, in which Masonry is a forbidden topic, because its introduction would revive the old quarrel, and turn the peaceful tea-table into a scene of hot and interminable contention. There are still old ladies, male and female, about the country, who will tell you with grim gravity that, if you trace up Masonry, through all its Orders, till you come to the grand, tip-top, Head Mason of the world, you will discover that that dread individual and the Chief of the Society of Jesuits are one and the same Person !
I have been tempted to use the word ridiculous in connection with this affair; and looking back upon it, at the distance of a quarter of a century, ridiculous seems a proper word to apply to it. But it did not seem ridiculous then. It had, at least, a serious side. It was believed among the anti-Masons that the Masons were bound to protect one another in doing injustice; even the commission of treason and murder did not, it was said, exclude a man from the shelter of his Lodge. It was alleged that a Masonic jury dared not, or would not, condemn a prisoner who, after the fullest proof of his guilt had been obtained, made the Masonic sign of distress. It was asserted that a judge regarded the oath which made him a Free Mason as more sacred and more binding than that which admitted him to the bench. It is in vain, said the anti-Masons, for one of us to seek justice against a Mason, for a jury cannot be obtained without its share of Masonic members, and a court cannot be found without its Masonic judge.
Our apprentice embraced the anti-Masonic side of this controversy, and embraced it warmly. It was natural that he should. It was inevitable that he should. And for the next two or three years he expended more breath in denouncing the Order of the Free-Masons, than upon any other subject—perhaps than all other subjects put together. To this day secret societies are his special aversion.
But we must hasten on. Horace had soon learned his trade. He became the best hand in the office, and rendered important assistance in editing the paper. Some numbers were almost entirely his
work. But there was ill-luck about the little establishment. Several times, as we have seen, it changed proprietors, but none of them could make it prosper; and, at length, in the month of June, 1830 the second month of the apprentice's fifth year, the Northern Spectator was discontinued; the printing-office was broken up, and the apprentice, released from his engagement, became his own master, free to wander whithersoever he could pay his passage, and to work for whomsoever would employ him.
His possessions at this crisis were-a knowledge of the art of printing, an extensive and very miscellaneous library in his memory, a wardrobe that could be stuffed into a pocket, twenty dollars in cash, and—a sore leg. The article last named played too serious a part in the history of its proprietor, not to be mentioned in the inventory of his property. He had injured his leg a year before in stepping from a box, and it troubled him, more or less, for three years, swelling occasionally to four times its natural size, and obliging him to stand at his work, with the leg propped up in a most horizontal and uncomfortable position. It was a tantalizing feature of the case that he could walk without much difficulty, but standing was torture. As a printer, he had no particular occasion to walk; and by standing he was to gain his subsistence.
Horace Greeley was no longer a Boy. His figure and the expression of his countenance were still singularly youthful; but he was at the beginning of his twentieth year, and he was henceforth to confront the world as a man. So far, his life had been, upon the whole, peaceful, happy and fortunate, and he had advanced towards his object without interruption, and with sufficient rapidity. His constitution, originally weak, Labor and Temperance had rendered capable of great endurance. His mind, originally apt and active, incessant reading had stored with much that is most valuable among the discoveries, the thoughts, and the fancies of past generations. In the conflicts of the Debating Society, the printing-office, and the tavern, he had exercised his powers, and tried the correctness of his opinions. If his knowledge was incomplete, if there were wide domains of knowledge, of which he had little more than heard, yet what he did know he knew well; he had learned it, not as a task, but because he wanted to know it; it partook of the vitality of his own mind; it was his own, and he could use it.
If there had been a PEOPLE'S COLLEGE, to which the new emancipated apprentice could have gone, and where, earning his subsistence by the exercise of his trade, he could have spent half of each day for the next two years of his life in the systematic study of Language, History and Science, under the guidance of men able to guide him aright, under the influence of women capable of attracting his regard, and worthy of it-it had been well. But there was not then, and there is not now, an institution that meets the want and the need of such as he.
At any moment there are ten thousand young men and women in this country, strong, intelligent, and poor, who are about to go forth into the world ignorant, who would gladly go forth instructed, if they could get knowledge, and earn it as they get it, by the labor of their hands. They are the sons and daughters of our farmers and mechanics. They are the very elite among the young people of the nation. There is talent, of all kinds and all degrees, among them-talent, that is the nation's richest possession-talent, that could bless and glorify the nation. Should there not be-can there not be, somewhere in this broad land, a UNIVERSITY-Townwhere all trades could be carried on, all arts practiced, all knowledge accessible, to which those who have a desire to become excellent in their calling, and those who have an aptitude for art, and those who have fallen in love with knowledge, could accomplish the wish of their hearts without losing their independence, without becoming paupers, or prisoners, or debtors? Surely such a University for the People is not an impossibility. To found such an institution, or assemblage of institutions-to find out the conditions upon which it could exist and prosper—were not an easy task. A Committee could not do it, nor a ‘Board,' nor a Legislature. It is an enterprise for ONE MAN-a man of boundless disinterestedness, of immense administrative and constructive talent, fertile in expedients, courageous, persevering, physically strong, and morally great-a man born for his work, and devoted to it 'with a quiet, deep enthusiasm'. Give such a man the indispensable land, and twenty-five years, and the People's College would be a dream no more, but a triumphant and imitable reality; and the founder thereof would have done a deed compared with which, either
for its difficulty or for its results, such triumphs as those of Trafalgar and Waterloo would not be worthy of mention.
There have been self-sustaining monasteries! Will there never be self-sustaining colleges? Is there anything like an inherent impossibility in a thousand men and women, in the fresh strength of youth, capable of a just subordination, working together, each for all and all for each, with the assistance of steam, machinery, and a thousand fertile acres--earning a subsistence by a few hours' labor per day, and securing, at least, half their time for the acqui. sition of the art, or the language, or the science which they prefer? I think not. We are at present a nation of ignoramuses, our ignorance rendered only the more conspicuous and misleading, by the faint intimations of knowledge which we acquire at our schools. Are we to remain such for ever?
But if Horace Greeley derived no help from schools and teachers, he received no harm from them. He finished his apprenticeship, an uncontaminated young man, with the means of independence at his finger-ends, ashamed of no honest employment, of no decent habitation, of no cleanly garb. "There are unhappy times," says Mr. Carlyle, "in the world's history, when he that is least educated will chiefly have to say that he is least perverted; and, with the multitude of false eye-glasses, convex, concave, green, or even yellow, has not lost the natural use of his eyes." "How were it," he asks, "if we surmised, that for a man gifted with natural vigor, with a man's character to be developed in him, more especially if in the way of literature, as thinker and writer, it is actually, in these strange days, no special misfortune to be trained up among the uneducated classes, and not among the educated; but rather, of the two misfortunes, the smaller?" And again, he observes, "The grand result of schooling is a mind with just vision to discern, with free force to do; the grand schoolmaster is PRACTICE."
haco L. 1, 1 Poultney-His first Overcoat-Home to his Father's Log House-Ranger the count, for work-The Sore Leg Cured-Gets Employment, but little Money— Autonisme ne Draught-Players-Goes to Erie, Pa-Interview with an EditorBoco.des a Journey man in the Office-Description of Erie-The Lake-His Generosity to his Father His New Clothes-No more work at Erie--Starts for New York.
"WELL, Horace, and where are you going now?" asked the kind andlady of the tavern, as Horace, a few days after the closing of the printing-office, appeared on the piazza, equipped for the road— i. c., with his jacket on, and with his bundle and his stick in his hand.
"I am going," was the prompt and sprightly answer, 66 to Pennsylvania, to see iny father, and there I shall stay till my leg gets well." $
With these words, Horace laid down the bundle and the stick, and took a seat for the last time on that piazza, the scene of many a peaceful triumph, where, as Political Gazetteer, he had often given the information that he alone, of all the town, could give; where, as political partisan, he had often brought an antagonist to extremities; where, as oddity, he had often fixed the gaze and twisted the neck of the passing peddler.
And was there no demonstration of feeling at the departure of so distinguished a personage? There was. But it did not take the form of a silver dinner-service, nor of a gold tea ditto, nor of a piece of plate, nor even of a gold pen, nor yet of a series of resolutions. While Horace sat on the piazza, talking with his old friends, who gathered around him, a meeting of two individuals. was held in the corner of the bar-room. They were the landlord and one of his boarders; and the subject of their deliberations were, an old brown overcoat belonging to the latter. The landlord had the floor, and his speech was to the following purport: