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to work at the press, unless the office was so much hurried that his services in that department could not be dispensed with. He had had a little difficulty with his leg, and press work rather hurt him than otherwise. The bargain included the condition that he was to board at Mr. Sterrett's house; and when he went to dinner on the day of his arrival, a lady of the family expressed her opinion of him in the following terms:-" So, Mr. Sterrett, you 've hired that fellow to work for you, have you? Well, you won't keep him three days." In three days she had changed her opinion; and to this hour the good lady cannot bring herself to speak otherwise than kindly of him, though she is a stanch daughter of turbulent Erie, and must say, that certain articles which appeared in the Tribune during the WAR, did really seem too bad from one who had been himself an Eriean.' But then, 'he gave no more trouble in the house than if he had n't been in it.'
Erie, famous in the Last War but one, as the port whence Commodore Perry sailed out to victory-Erie, famous in the last war of all, as the place where the men, except a traitorous thirteen, and the women, except their faithful wives, all rose as ONE MAN against the Railway Trains, saying, in the tone which is generally described as not to be misunderstood': "Thus far shalt thou go without stopping for refreshment, and no farther," and achieved as Break of Gauge men, the distinction accorded in another land to the Break o' Day boys-Erie, which boasts of nine thousand inhabitants, and aspires to become the Buffalo of Pennsylvania-Erie, which already has business enough to sustain many stores wherein not every article known to traffic is sold, and where a man cannot consequently buy coat, hat, boots, physic, plough, crackers, grindstone and penknife, over the same counter-Erie, which has a Mayor and Aldermen, a dog-law, and an ordinance against shooting off guns in the street under a penalty of five dollars for each and every offense--Erie, for the truth cannot be longer dashed from utterance, is the shabbiest and most broken-down looking large town, I, the present writer, an individual not wholly untraveled, ever saw, in a free State of this Confederacy.
The shores of the lake there are 'bluffy,' sixty feet or more above the water, and the land for many miles back is nearly a dead level, exceedingly fertile, and quite uninteresting. No, not quite For
much of the primeval forest remains, and the gigantic trees that were saplings when Columbus played in the streets of Genoa, tower al ft, a hundred feet without a branch, with that exquisite daintiness of taper of which the eye never tires, which architecture has never equaled, which only Grecian architecture approached, and was beautiful because it approached it. The City of Erie is merely a square mile of this level land, close to the edge of the bluff, with a thousand houses built upon it, which are arranged on the plan of a corn-field-only, not more than a third of the houses have 'come up.' The town, however, condenses to a focus around a piece of ground called 'The Park,' four acres in extent, surrounded with a low, broken board fence, that was white-washed a long time ago, and therefore now looks very forlorn and pig-pen-ny. The side-walks around 'The Park' present an animated scene. The huge hotel of the place is there-a cross between the Astor House and a country tavern, having the magnitude of the former, the quality of the latter. There, too, is the old Court-House,-its uneven brick floor covered with the chips of a mortising machine, -its galleries up near the high ceiling, kept there by slender poles, its vast cracked, rusty stove, sprawling all askew, and putting forth a system of stovepipes that wander long through space before they find the chimney. Justice is administered in that Court-house in a truly free and easy style; and to hear the drowsy clerk, with his heels in the air, administer, 'twixt sleep and awake, the tremendous oath of Pennsylvania, to a brown, abashed farmer, with his right hand raised in a manner to set off his awkwardness to the best advantage, is worth a journey to Erie. Two sides of 'The Park' are occupied by the principal stores, before which the country wagons stand, presenting a continuous range of muddy wheels. The marble structure around the corner is not a Greek temple, though built in the style of one, and quite deserted enough to be a ruin-it is the Erie Custom House, a fine example of governmental management, as it is as much too large for the business done in it as the Custom House of New York is too small.
The Erie of the present yer is, of course, not the Erie of 1831, when Horace Greeley walked its streets, with his eyes on the pavement and a bundle of exchanges in his pocket, ruminating on the
prospects of the next election, or thinking out a copy of verses to send to his mother. It was a smaller place, then, with fewer brick blocks, more pigs in the street, and no custom-house in the Greek style. But it had one feature which has not changed. The LAKE was there!
An island, seven miles long, but not two miles wide, once a part of the main land, lies opposite the town, at an apparent distance of half a mile, though in reality two miles and a half from the shore. This island, which approaches the main land at either extremity, forms the harbor of Erie, and gives to that part of the lake the effect of a river. Beyond, the Great Lake stretches away further than the eye can reach.
A great lake in fine weather is like the ocean only in one particular-you cannot see across it. The ocean asserts itself; it is demonstrative. It heaves, it flashes, it sparkles, it foams, it roars. On the stillest day, it does not quite go to sleep; the tide steals up the white beach, and glides back again over the shells and pebbles musically, or it murmurs along the sides of black rocks, with a subdued though always audible voice. The ocean is a living and life-giving thing, 'fair, and fresh, and ever free.' The lake, on a fine day, lies dead. No tide breaks upon its earthy shore. It is as blue as a blue ribbon, as blue as the sky; and vessels come sailing out of heaven, and go sailing into heaven, and no eye can discern where the lake ends and heaven begins. It is as smooth as a mirror's face, and as dull as a mirror's back. Often a light mist gathers over it, and then the lake is gone from the prospect; but for an occasional sail dimly descried, or a streak of black smoke left by a passing steamer, it would give absolutely no sign of its presence, though the spectator is standing a quarter of a mile from the shore. Oftener the mist gathers thick ly along the horizon, and then, so perfect is the illusion, the stranger will swear he sees the opposite shore, not fifteen miles off. There is no excitement in looking upon a lake, and it has no effect upon the appetite or the complexion. Yet there is a quiet, languid beauty hovering over it, a beauty all its own, a charm that grows upon the mind the longer you linger upon the shore. The Castle of Indolence should have been placed upon the bank of Lake Erie. where its inmates could have lain on the grass and gazed down,
through all the slow hours of the long summer day, upon the lazy hazy, blue expanse.
When the wind blows, the lake wakes up; and still it is not the The waves are discolored by the earthy bank upon which they break with un-oceanlike monotony. They neither advance nor recede, nor roar, nor swell. A great lake, with all its charms, and they are many and great, is only an infinite pond.
The people of Erie care as much for the lake as the people of Niagara care for the cataract, as much as people generally care for anything wonderful or anything beautiful which they can see by turning their heads. In other words, they care for it as the means by which lime, coal, and lumber may be transported to another and a better market. Not one house is built along the shore, though the shore is high and level. Not a path has been worn by human feet above or below the bluff. Pigs, sheep, cows, and sweet-brier bushes occupy the unenclosed ground, which seems so made to be built upon that it is surprising the handsome houses of the town should have been built anywhere else. One could almost say, in a weak moment, Give me a cottage on the bluff, and I will live at Erie !
It was at Erie, probably, that Horace Greeley first saw the uniform of the American navy. The United States and Great Britain are each permitted by treaty to keep one vessel of war in commission on the Great Lakes. The American vessel usually lies in the harbor of Erie, and a few officers may be seen about the town. What the busy journeyman printer thought of those idle gentlemen, apparently the only quite useless, and certainly the best dressed, persons in the place, may be guessed. Perhaps, however, he passed them by, in his absent way, and saw them not.
In a few days, the new comer was in high favor at the office of the Erie Gazette. He is remembered there as a remarkably correct and reliable compositor, though not a rapid one, and his steady devotion to his work enabled him to accomplish more than faster workmen. He was soon placed by his employer on the footing of a regular journeyman, at the usual wages, twelve dollars a month and board. All the intervals of labor he spent in reading. As soon as the hour of cessation arrived, he would hurry off his apron, wash his hands, and lose himself in his book or his newspapers, often forgetting his dinner, and often forgetting whether he had had
his dinner or not. More and more, he became absorbed in politics, It is said, by one who worked beside him at Erie, that he could tell the name, post-office address, and something of the history and political leanings, of every member of Congress; and that he could give the particulars of every important election that had occurred within his recollection, even, in some instances, to the county majorities.
And thus, in earnest work and earnest reading, seven profitable and not unhappy months passed swiftly away. He never lost one day's work. On Sundays, he read, or walked along the shores of the lake, or sailed over to the Island. His better fortune made no change either in his habits or his appearance; and his employer was surprised, that month after month passed, and yet his strange journeyman drew no money. Once, Mr. Sterrett ventured to rally him a little upon his persistence in wearing the hereditary homespun, saying, "Now, Horace, you have a good deal of money coming to you; don't go about the town any longer in that outlandish rig. Let me give you an order on the store. Dress up a little, Horace." To which Horace replied, looking down at the 'outlandish rig,' as though he had never seen it before, "You see, Mr. Sterrett, my father is on a new place, and I want to help him all I can." However, a short time after, Horace did make a faint effort to dress up a little; but the few articles which he bought were so extremely coarse and common, that it was a question in the office whether his appearance was improved by the change, or the contrary.
At the end of the seventh month, the man whose sickness had made a temporary vacancy in the office of the Gazette, returned to his place, and there was, in consequence, no more work for Horace Greeley. Upon the settlement of his account, it appeared that he had drawn for his personal expenses during his residence at Erie, the sum of six dollars! Of the remainder of his wages, he took about fifteen dollars in money, and the rest in the form of a note; and with all this wealth in his pocket, he walked once more to his father's house. This note the generous fellow gave to his father, reserving the money to carry on his own personal warfare with the world.
Horace was tired of dallying with fortune in coun