previous next

5. The “cash principle,” the only safe one, had not been yet applied to the newspaper business. The New Yorker lost, on an average, 1,200 dollars a year by the removal of subscribers to parts unknown, who left without paying for their paper, or notifying the office of their departure.

Of the unnumbered pangs that mortals know, pecuniary anxiety is to a sensitive and honest young heart the bitterest. To live upon the edge of a gulf that yawns hideously and always at our feet, to feel the ground giving way under the house that holds our happiness, to walk in the pathway of avalanches, to dwell under a volcano rumbling prophetically of a coming eruption, is not pleasant. But welcome yawning abyss, welcome earthquake, avalanche, volcano! They can crush, and burn, and swallow a man, but not degrade him. The terrors they inspire are not to be compared with the deadly and withering fear, that crouches sullenly in the soul of that honest man who owes much money to many people, and cannot think how or when he can pay it. That alone has power to take from life all its charm, and from duty all its interest. For other sorrows there is a balm. That is an evil unmingled, while it lasts; and the light which it throws upon the history of mankind and the secret of man's struggle with fate, is purchased at a price fully commensurate with the value of that light.

The editor of the New Yorker suffered all that a man could suffer from this dread cause. In private letters he alludes, but only alludes, to his anguish at this period. ‘Through most of the time,’ lie wrote years afterwards, ‘I was very poor, and for four years really bankrupt; though always paying my notes and keeping my word, but living as poorly as possible.’ And again: ‘My embarrassments were sometimes dreadful; not that I feared destitution, but the fear of involving my friends in my misfortunes was very bitter.’ He came one afternoon into the house of a friend, and handing her a copy of his paper, said: ‘There, Mrs. S., that is the last number of the New Yorker you will ever see. I can secure my friends against loss if I stop now, and I'll not risk their money by holding on any longer.’ He went over that evening to Mr. Gregory, to make known to him his determination; but that constant and invincible friend would not listen to it. He insisted on his continuing the struggle, and offered his assistance with such

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Dudley S. Gregory (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: