Horace was in Chatham street and on the steps of the designated house by half-past 5 on Monday morning. West's printing office was in the second story, the ground floor being occupied by Mc-Elrath and Bangs
as a bookstore.
They were publishers, and West was their printer.
Neither store nor office was yet opened, and Horace sat down on the steps to wait.
Had Thomas McElrath, Esquire
, happened to pass on an early walk to the Battery
that morning, and seen our hero sitting on those steps, with his red bundle on his knees, his pale face supported on his hands, his attitude expressive of dejection and anxiety, his attire extremely unornamental, it would not have occurred to Thomas Mc-Elrath, Esquire
, as a probable
event, that one day he would be the partner of that sorry figure, and proud of the connection!
Nor did Miss Reed
, of Philadelphia
, when she saw Benjamin Franklin pass her father's house, eating a large roll and carrying two others under his arms, see in that poor wanderer any likeness of her future husband, the husband that made her a proud and an immortal wife.
The princes of the mind always remain incog.
till they come to the throne, and, doubtless, the Coming Man
, when he comes
, will appear in a strange disguise, and no man will know him.
It seemed very long before any one came to work that morning at No. 85.
The steps on which our friend was seated were in the narrow part of Chatham-street, the gorge through which at morning and evening the swarthy tide of mechanics pours.
By six o'clock the stream has set strongly down-town-ward, and it gradually swells to a torrent, bright with tin kettles.
Thousands passed by, but no one stopped till nearly seven o'clock, when one of Mr. West
's journeymen arrived, and finding the door still locked, he sat down on the steps by the side of Horace Greeley
They fell into conversation, and Horace stated his circumstances, something of his history, and his need of employment.
Luckily this journeyman was a Vermonter, and a kind-hearted intelligent man. He looked upon Horace as a countryman, and was struck with the singular candor and artlessness with which he told his tale.
‘I saw,’ says he, ‘that he was an honest, good young man, and being a Vermonter myself, I determined to help him if I could.’
He did help him. The doors were opened, the men began to arrive; Horace and his newly-found friend ascended to the office,