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[438] and actions, during the last twenty years, I infer that this is something like his habitual view of life and its duties. Shall he be praised for this? Let us envy him rather. Only such a man knows anything of the luxury of being alive. ‘Horace Greeley,’ said an old friend of his, ‘is the only happy man I have ever known.’

The great object of Horace Greeley's personal ambition has been to make the Tribune the best newspaper that ever existed, and the leading newspaper of the United States. To a man inflamed with an ambition like this, the temptation to prefer the Popular to the Right, the Expedient to the Just, comes with peculiar, with unequaled force. No pursuit is so fascinating, none so absorbing, none so difficult. The competition is keen, the struggle intense, the labor continuous, the reward doubtful and distant. And yet, it is a fact, that on nearly every one of its special subjects, the Tribune has stood opposed to the general feeling of the country. Its course on Slavery has excluded it from the Slave States; and if that had not, its elevated tone of thought would; for the southern mind is inferior to the northern. When the whole nation was in a blaze of enthusiasm about the triumphs of the Mexican war, it was not easy even for a private person to refrain from joining in the general huzza. But not for one day was the Tribune forgetful of the unworthiness of those triumphs, and the essential meanness of the conflict. There were clergymen who illuminated their houses on the occasion of those disgraceful victories—one, I am told, who had preached a sermon on the unchristian character of the Tribune.

Mr. Greeley wrote, the other day:

We are every day greeted by some sage friend with a caution against the certain wreck of our influence and prosperity which we defy by opposing the secret political cabal commonly known as “the Know-Nothings.” One writes us that he procured one hundred of our present subscribers, and will prevent the renewal of their subscriptions in case we persist in our present course; another wonders why we will destroy our influence by resisting the popular current, when we might do so much good by falling in with it and guiding it and so on.

To the first of these gentlemen we say— “Sir, we give our time and labor to the production of The Tribune, because we believe that to be our sphere of usefulness; but we shall be most happy to abandon journalism for a less anxious, exacting, exhausting vocation, whenever we are fairly and honorably released from this. You do not frighten us, therefore, by any such base appeals to our presumed selfishness and avarice; for if you could induce not ”

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