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[141] the pouch, and taking their progenitor by the throat, led him a fine dance before he could shake them off. For the present, they possessed him wholly.

As most of his little inheritance had vanished, it was necessary for him to interest some one in the scheme who had either capital or a printing office. The Spirit of the Times was then in its infancy. To the office of that paper, where Horace Greeley was then a journeyman, Mr. Sheppard first directed his steps, and there he first unfolded his plans and exhibited his calculations. Mr. Greeley was not present on his first entrance. He came in soon after, and began telling in high glee a story he had picked up of old Isaac Hill, who used to read his speeches in the House, and one day brought the wrong speech, and got upon his legs, and half way into a swelling exordium before he discovered his mistake. The narrator told his story extremely well, taking off the embarrassment of the old gentleman as he gradually came to the knowledge of his misfortune, to the life. The company were highly amused, and Mr. Sheppard said to himself, ‘That's no common boy.’ Perhaps it was an unfortunate moment to introduce a bold and novel idea; but it is certain that every individual present, from the editor to the devil, regarded the notion of a penny paper as one of extreme absurdity,—foolish, ridiculous, frivolous! They took it as a joke, and the schemer took his leave.

Nor is it at all surprising that they should have regarded it in that light. A daily newspaper in those days was a solemn thing. People in moderate circumstances seldom saw, never bought one. The price was ten dollars a years. Cut the present Journal of Commerce in halves, fold it, fancy on its second page half a column of serious editorial, a column of news, half a column of business and shipping intelligence, and the rest of the ample sheet covered with advertisements, and you have before your mind's eye the New York daily paper of twenty-five years ago. It was not a thing for the people; it appertained to the counting-house; it was taken by the wholesale dealer; it was cumbrous, heavy, solemn. The idea of making it an article to be cried about the streets, to be sold for a cent, to be bought by workingmen and boys, to come into competition with cakes and apples, must have seemed to the respectable New Yorkers of 1831, unspeakably absurd. When the respectable

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Horatio David Sheppard (2)
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