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[134] the beginning of a paragraph in the New Yorker of March 2d, 1839:

Seven years ago, on the first of January last—that being a holiday, and the writer being then a stranger with few social greetings to exchange in New York—he inquired his way into the ill-furnished, chilly, forlorn-looking attic printing-office in which William T. Porter, in company with another very young man, who soon after abandoned the enterprise, had just issued the “Spirit of the Times,” the first weekly journal devoted entirely to sporting intelligence ever attempted in this country. It was a moderate-sized sheet of indifferent paper, with an atrocious wood-cut for the head—about as uncomely a specimen of the ‘fine arts’ as our “native talent” has produced. The paper was about in proportion; for neither of its conductors had fairly attained his majority, and each was destitute of the experience so necessary in such an enterprise, and of the funds and extensive acquaintance which were still more necessary to its success. But one of them possessed a persevering spirit and an ardent enthusiasm for the pursuit to which he had devoted himself.

And, consequently, the Spirit of the Times still exists and flourishes, under the proprietorship of its originator and founder, Colonel Porter. For this paper, our hero, during his short stay in the office, composed a multitude of articles and paragraphs, most of them short and unimportant. As a specimen of his style at this period, I copy from the “Spirit” of May 5th, 1832, the following epistle, which was considered extremely funny in those innocent days:

Hear me you shall, pity me you must, while I proceed to give a short account of the dread calamities which this vile habit of turning the whole city upside down, 'tother side out, and wrong side before, on the First of May, has brought down on my devoted head.

You must know, that having resided but a few months in your city, I was totally ignorant of the existence of said custom. So, on the morning of the eventful, and to me disastrous day, I rose, according to immemorial usage, at the dying away of the last echo of the breakfast bell, and soon found myself seated over my coffee, and my good landlady exercising her powers of volubility (no weak ones) apparently in my behalf; but so deep was the reverie in which my half-awakened brain was then engaged, that I did not catch a single idea from the whole of her discourse. I smiled and said, ‘Yes, ma'am,’ ‘certainly ma'am,’ at each pause; and having speedily dispatched


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