at original composition.
The injurious practice of writing “ compositions' was not among the exercises of any of the schools which he had attended.
, very early in his apprenticeship, he began, not indeed to write, but to compose paragraphs for the paper as he stood at the desk, and to set them in type as he composed them.
They were generally items of news condensed from large articles in the exchange papers; but occasionally he composed an original paragraph of some length; and he continued to render editorial assistance of this kind all the while he remained in the office.
The ” Northern Spectator “ was an Adams paper,” and Horace was an Adams man.
The Debating Society, to which Mr. Bliss
alludes, was an important feature in the life of East Poultney
There happened to be among the residents of the place, during the apprenticeship of Horace Greeley
, a considerable number of intelligent men, men of some knowledge and talent—the editor of the paper, the village doctor, a county judge, a clergyman or two, two or three persons of some political eminence, a few well-informed mechanics, farmers, and others.
These gentlemen had formed themselves into a “Lyceum,” before the arrival of Horace, and the Lyceum had become so famous in the neighborhood, that people frequently came a distance of ten miles to attend its meetings.
It assembled weekly, in the winter, at the little brick school-house.
An original essay was read by the member whose “turn” it was to do so, and then the question of the evening was debated; first, by four members who had been designated at the previous meeting, and after they had each spoken once, the question was open to the whole society.
The questions were mostly of a very innocent and rudimental character, as, “Is novel-reading injurious to society?”
“Has a person a right to take life in self-defence” “Is marriage conducive to happiness?”
“Do we, as a nation, exert a good moral influence in the world?”
“Do either of the great parties of the day carry out the principles of the Declaration of Independence
“ Is the Union
likely to be perpetuated ” “Was Napoleon Bonaparte
a great man?”
“Is it a person's duty to take the temperance pledge?
” et cetera
Horace joined the society, the first winter of his residence in Poultney
, and, young as he was, soon became one of its leading members.
‘He was a real giant at the Debating Society