if those who are robbed may not? Here is a man who writes for a living, and writes nobly; and we of this country greedily devour his writings, are entertained and instructed by them, yet refuse so to protect his rights as an author that he can realize a single dollar from all their vast American sale and popularity. Is this right? Do we look well offering him toasts, compliments, and other syllabub, while we refuse him naked justice? while we say that every man may take from him the fruits of his labors without recompense or redress? It does very well in a dinner speech to say that fame and popularity, and all that, are more than sordid gold; but he has a wife and four children, whom his death may very possibly leave destitute, perhaps dependent for their bread, while publishers, who have grown rich on his writings, roll by in their carriages, and millions who have been instructed by them contribute not one farthing to their comfort. But suppose him rich, if you please, the justice of the case is unaltered. He is the just owner of his own productions as much as though he had made axes or horse-shoes; and the people who refuse to protect his right, ought not to insult him with the mockery of thriftless praise. Let us be just, and then generous. Good reader! if you think our guest ought to be enabled to live by and enjoy the fruits of his talents and toil, just put your names to a petition for an International Copyright Law, and then you can take his hand heartily if it comes in your way, and say, if need be, “I have done what is in my power to protect you from robbery!” The passage of this act of long-deferred justice will be a greater tribute to his worth and achievements than acres of inflated compliments soaked in hogsheads of champagne.
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Chapter 1 : the Scotch -Irish of New Hampshire .
Chapter 3 : early childhood.
Chapter 5 : at Westhaven , Vermont .
Chapter 6 : apprenticeship.
Chapter 7 : he wanders.
Chapter 8 : arrival in New York.
Chapter 10 : the first penny paper—and who thought of it.
Chapter 12 : editor of the New Yorker .
Chapter 15 : starts the Tribune .
Chapter 16 : the Tribune and Fourierism.
Chapter 18 : the Tribune and J. Fenimore Cooper .
Chapter 19 : the Tribune continues.
Chapter 20 : Margaret Fuller .
Chapter 21 : editorial repartees.
Chapter 23 : three months in Congress.
Chapter 24 : Association in the Tribune office .
Chapter 26 : three months in Europe .
Chapter 27 : recently.
Chapter 28 : day and night in the Tribune office .
Chapter 29 : position and influence of Horace Greeley .
Chapter 30 : Appearance—manners—habits.
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