One day, as Horace was stretching his long arm over to the other side of the table in quest of a distant dish, the servant, wishing to hint to him in a jocular manner, that that was not exactly the most proper way of proceeding, said, ‘Don't trouble yourself, Horace, I
want to help you to that dish, for, you know, I have a particular
regard for you.’
He blushed, as only a boy with a very white face can blush, and, thenceforth, was less adventurous in exploring the remoter portions of the table-cloth.
When any topic of interest was started at the table, he joined in it with the utmost confidence, and maintained his opinion against anybody, talking with great vivacity, and never angrily.
He came, at length, to be regarded as a sort of Town Encyclopedia, and if any one wanted to know anything, he went, as a matter of course, to Horace Greeley
; and, if a dispute arose between two individuals, respecting a point of history, or politics, or science, they referred it to Horace Greeley
, and whomsoever he
declared to be right, was confessed to be the victor in the controversy.
Horace never went to a tea-drinking or a party of any kind, never went on an excursion, never slept away from home or was absent from one meal during the period of his residence at the tavern, except when he went to visit his parents.
He seldom went to church, but spent the Sunday, usually, in reading.
He was a stanch Universalist, a stanch whig, and a pre-eminently stanch anti-Mason.
Thus, the landlord and landlady.
Much of this is curiously confirmed by a story often told in convivial moments by a distinguished physician of New York, who on one occasion chanced to witness at the Poultney tavern
the exploits, gastronomic and encyclopedic, to which allusion has just been made.
‘Did I ever tell you,’ he is wont to begin,
how and where I first saw my friend Horace Greeley?
Well, thus it happened.
It was one of the proudest and happiest days of my life.
I was a country boy then, a farmer's son, and we lived a few miles from East Poultney.
On the day in question I was sent by my father to sell a load of potatoes at the store in East Poultney, and bring back various commodities in exchange.
Now this was the first time, you must know, that I had ever been entrusted with so important an errand.
I had been to the village with my father often enough, but now I was to go alone, and I felt as proud and