of outer-clothing, at the same time, till he was of age. Father and son walked, side by side, to Poultney
, the boy carrying his possessions upon a stick over his shoulder.
, an unexpected difficulty arose, which for a time made Horace tremble in his high-low shoes.
The terms proposed by Mr. Bliss
were, that the boy should be bound for five years, and receive his board and twenty dollars a year.
Now, Mr. Greeley
had ideas of his own on the subject of apprenticeship, and he objected to this proposal, and to every particular of it. In the first place, he had determined that no child of his should ever be bound at all. In the second place, he thought five years an unreasonable time; thirdly, he considered that twenty dollars a year and board was a compensation ridiculously disproportionate to the services which Horace would be required to render; and finally, on each and all of these points, he clung to his opinion with the tenacity of a Greeley.
appealed to the established custom of the country; five years was the usual period; the compensation offered was the regular thing; the binding was a point essential to the employer's interest.
And at every pause in the conversation, the appealing voice of Horace was heard: ‘Father, I guess
you'd better make a bargain with Mr. Bliss
;’ or, ‘Father, I guess it won't make much difference;’ or, ‘Don't you think you'd better do it, father?’
At one moment the boy was reduced to despair.
had given it as his ultimatum
that the proposed binding was absolutely indispensable; he ‘could do business in no other way.’
‘Well, then, Horace,’ said the father, ‘let us go home.’
The father turned to go; but Horace lingered; he could not give it up; and so the father turned again; the negotiation was re-opened, and after a prolonged discussion, a compromise was effected.
What the terms were, that were finally agreed to, I cannot positively state, for the three memoirs which I have consulted upon the subject give three different replies.
Probably, however, they were—no binding, and no money for six months; then the boy could, if he chose, bind himself for the remainder of the five years, at forty dollars a year, the apprentice to be boarded from the beginning.
And so the father went home, and the son went straight to the printing office and took his first lesson in the art of setting type.
A few months after, it may be as well to mention here, Mr