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[130] and collected all his strength for a tremendous effort, he fell backwards on the floor with great violence, and brought away a large part of the press with him. There was a thundering noise, and all the house came running to see what was the matter. Horace got up, pale and trembling from the concussion.

‘Now, that was too bad,’ said he.

He stood his ground, however, while the man who had played the trick gave the ‘boss’ a fictitious explanation of the mishap, without mentioning the name of the apparent offender. When all was quiet again, Horace went privately to the pressman and offered to pay his share of the damage done to the press!

With Mr. West, Horace had little intercourse, and yet they did on several occasions come into collision. Mr. West, like all other bosses and men, had a weakness; it was commas. He loved commas, he was a stickler for commas, he was irritable on the subject of commas, he thought more of commas than any other point of prosody, and above all, he was of opinion that he knew more about commas than Horace Greeley. Horace had, on his part, no objection to commas, but he loved them in moderation, and was determined to keep them in their place. Debates ensued. The journeyman expounded the subject, and at length, after much argument, convinced his employer that a redundancy of commas was possible, and, in short, that he, the journeyman, knew how to preserve the balance of power between the various points, without the assistance or advice of any boss or man in Chatham, or any other street. There was, likewise, a certain professor whose book was printed in the office, and who often came to read the proofs. It chanced that Horace set up a few pages of this book, and took the liberty of altering a few phrases that seemed to him inelegant or incorrect. The professor was indignant, and though he was not so ignorant as not to perceive that his language had been altered for the better, he thought it due to his dignity to apply approbrious epithets to the impertinent compositor. The compositor argued the matter, but did not appease the great man.

Soon after obtaining work, our friend found a better boardinghouse, at least a more convenient one. On the corner of Duanestreet and Chatham there was, at that time, a large building, occupied below as a grocery and bar-room, the upper stories as a mechanics'

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