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How The Old Printer Passed Away

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And so, year after year, he wrouglit ainong tlie bo.ys on a morulng paper. He weut to bed abrmt the urne the rest or ttie worid got up, and he aróse about the time the rest of the world sat down to dinner. He worked by every kind of light except sunlight. There werecandles in the office when lie carne in; tlien they had lard-oil lanips tlmt smoked and simttered and smelk-d; tlien lie saw two or three printers blliided by explosiona of camphenp and spirit ga?, tlien kerosene eame in aud heated up tlie newa-room on summer nights like a furnace ; then the ofHce put in gas, and now tlie electric light 8vung from tlie ceiling and dazlcd nis old eye?, and glared into thern from his copy. If he sang on his way home a policeman bade hiin " oheese that," and reminded him that lie was distOrbfag the ieace and people wanted to sleep. Bnt when he wantod to sloep Ihe rest of the world, for whom he had sat up all night to make amorning paper, roared and craslied by down the noU.y streets under his window, with cart and truck and omnibus; blared with brass bauds, howled with hand organs, talked and shouted; and even the shiieking newsboys, with a gliastly sarcasm, murdered the sleep of tlie tired old printer by yellhig the name of his own paper. Year after yenr Ihe foreinan roared at hini to remember that this wasn't an afternoon paper, editora shrieked down the tube to have a blind man put on that dead man's case; smart young proof-readers scribbled sarcastic commentson his work; on the margin of his proof slips, they didn't know how to read, long-winded correspondents learning to write, and longhaired poets, who could never learn to spell, wrathfully cast all their imperfections upon Iiia head. But tbrough it all he wrought patlently, and found more sunshine than shudow in the world he had more friends than enemies. Printers, and foremen, and pressmen, and reporters and editors came and went, but he stayed, and he saw uewsroom and sanctum filled and emptied, and filled and ernptied again, and fllled ajjaln with new, strange faces. He believed in his eraf t, and to the end he had a silent pity, that came as near being contempt as his good, forgivinsr old heart could feel, for an editor who had not worked his way from a regular devilship up r-ist t'ie case and the imposing-stone. He worked all that night, and when the hours that are so short in the ball-room and so long in the room drew wearily on, he was tired. He hsdn't thrown in a very full case, he said, and he had toclimb olear into the boxes and chase a type up into a corner before he could get hold of it. One of the boys, tired as himself- but a printer is never too tired to be good-natured- offered tochange places with him, but the old man said there was enough in the caseto last him through the take, aud he wouldnt work any more tonight. The type clicked in the silent room, and by-and bye the old man said: "I'in out of sorts.'' And sat down on the low window-sill by his case, with his stick in his hand, bis hands felded wearily in his lap. The types clicked on. A galloy of telegraph waited. "Wliat gentleman is Mager Ing with D 13?" called the foreman, who was always dangereusly polislied and pol lts who ii. was ou Uie polnt ot qxptoding with wrath and iiupatience. öhifr Niuc, passing by the alley, stopped to speak to the old man sitting there so quietly. The telegraph boy came running in with the last manifold sheet, shouting: "Thirty!" They carried the old man to the foreman's long table, and laid him down revereutly and covered his face. They took the stick out of his nerveloss hand and read his last take: "Boston, Nov. 23 - The American bark Pilgrim went to pieces of Marblehead in a light {jale about inidnight. Sbe was old and uuseaworthy, and this was to have been her last trip."


Ann Arbor Courier
Old News