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[423] men of whom anecdotes are told. They are generally either much wiser, or else much more nearly mad than their fellow-citizens. Girard, the tough, sensible, benevolent banker of Philadelphia was an oddity; and so was that other Philadelphian who placed all his hopes of distinction upon his persistence in the practice of not wearing a hat. Franklin was an oddity; and so was he who, says popular tradition, took his nightly repose in a lime-kiln, and never used a clothes-brush. It is best, perhaps, not to be odd; and, certainly, the wisest man need not be. The saying of Goethe on this subject seems good and commendable, that people who are compelled to differ from the world in important things should take all the more pains to conform to it in things unimportant. Yet all large towns contain one or more—always one—of the eccentric sort. It is a way large towns have.

I have seen Horace Greeley in Broadway on Sunday morning with a hole in his elbow and straws clinging to his hat. I have seen him asleep while Alboni was singing her grandest. When he is asked respecting his health, he answers sometimes by the single word “stout,” and there the subject drops. He is a man who could save a Nation, but never learn to tie a cravat; no, not if Brummell gave him a thousand lessons.

The manner and style of the man, however, can best be shown by printing here two short pieces of narrative, which I chance to have in my possession. An enthusiastic youth, fresh from school and the country, came a few years ago to the city to see the lions. The following is a part of one of his letters home. He describes ‘Horatius’ at church, and does it well:

I have seen Horace Greeley, sister mine, and I am going to tell you all about it.

It is Sunday morning. The weather is fine. The bells are ringing. People are going to church. Broadway, from Grace Church to the Battery, is fringed on both sides with a procession of bright-colored fellow-creatures moving with less than their usual languor, in the hope of not being too late at church. The steps of the crowd, I observe, for the first time, are audible; for, no profane vehicle, no omnibus, cart, hack, or wagon, drowns all other noises in their ceaseless thunder. Only a private carriage rolls along occasionally, laden with a family of the uppermost thousand,

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