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LAUGHED at by the pomatumed and conceited fops on Broadway; hissed at by the devotees of cotton in Wall-street; hated intensely by all demagogues and workers of iniquity, and disliked by mouldy conservatives, whether in church or state, Horace Greeley is nevertheless one of the greatest men in America. He possesses an intellect acute and powerful; a conscience which is not seared ; a great heart, and a
l generous hand.
hand. We know of no living American who can at all compare with him as a writer of vigorous English, in that particular department of literature which he long ago made his own. He has all of Cobbett’s graphic power without his brutality-he has all of the earnest sympathy for the unfortunate of every race, clime, and color which characterizes some of the most popular of transatlantic authors, without their sentimentalism. Some of his editorials, dashed off with his heart on fire, will compare favorably with some of the best of the modern thunderer, the London Times. The leaders of the Times are more polished perhaps, are certainly more classi
*We are indebted to Parton's admirable Life of Horace Greeley for many of the facts in this sketch.
cal, but in tremendous power of expression, they cannot surpass some of the best of the editorials of Horace Greeley. With a shrewd, clear intellect, an astonishingly vigorous style, and a heart easily wrought up to that degree of passion necessary to the production of the best kind of writing, he fears not the quill of any man living. Bennett may iterate and reiterate his senseless gibberish in reference to Greeley's “isms,” his “shocking bad hat," and the “ old
gray surtout” — he may affect to laugh at “the philosopher," but he fears and hates him as Milton's devils feared and hated their heavenly combatants. So it is everywhere. The enemies of Horace Greeleyand he has many and bitter ones—know and feel his power, though they often affect the contrary. Let him be careless, or even slovenly in his costume, say that he does ride a vast number of “hobbies,” not one of his enemies dare meet him in fair combat in reference to those “hobbies.” We by no means swallow everything which is pronounced good by Horace Greeley, but we are at the same time perfectly aware that among that large class of demagognes and unprincipled editors who make it a point to libel and ridicule him upon every possible occasion, there is not a man who could hold an hour's argument with him upon the most untenable of all his isms,” without securing to himself a severe defeat. Although Mr. Greeley has long had the reputation
of being a shrewd politician, we think that his forte does not lie in that direction. He writes best as a philanthropist and reformer, and it is as such that he will be known hereafter. When pleading the cause of the poor, degraded inebriate, or the chained and scourged bondman, he rises into his true manhood, and becomes most graphic and eloquent in his language. His terse and fiery sentences fall like lightning upon the head of the rumseller or stealer of men, and when picturing the squalor and wretchedness of the drunkard's home, the misery of his wife and little ones, or the agony of the slave-mother from whose arms her child has been torn, he pours
forth a genuine pathos which gives to him instantly the hearts of thousands.
We have said that Mr. Greeley has bitter enemies; it is true, but no man has warmer or more devoted friends. There are men who have the blood of ancient and renowned families in their veins, men of immense wealth, men of high station, of great intellect, who count it an honor to be intimate with that carelessly-attired, bald-headed editor.
There are men who pride themselves upon their gentility who would walk down Broadway arm in arm with Greeley, feeling honored and being honored by the temporary intimacy, though his boots were cowhide, and his hat a half-dozen winters old. But the best, the
a heartiest friends of the great editor are the workers