In spite of the adverse conditions he succeeded in establishing one of the greatest and most popular newspapers in the country. The Tribune became the champion of the oppressed, the guardian of justice, the defender of truth, a power for good in the land. Through his paper Greeley became a tribune of the people. No thought of making money hampered him in his work. Unselfishly he wrought as editor, writer, and lecturer for the good of his country and the uplifting of mankind. “He who by voice or pen,” he said, “strikes his best blow at the impostures or vices whereby our race is debased and paralyzed, may close his eyes in death, consoled and cheered by the reflection that he has done what he could for the emancipation and elevation of his kind.”
Well, then, might he rejoice in his life work, for his voice and pen had to the last been active in thus serving the race.
He died on November 29, 1872, at the age of sixty-one. So great a man had Horace Greeley, the poor New Hampshire farmer boy, become that the whole nation mourned for his death. The people felt that in him they had lost one of their best friends. A workman who attended his funeral expressed the feeling of his fellow-workmen all over the land when he said, “It is little enough to lose a day for Horace Greeley who spent many a day working for us.” “I’ve come a hundred miles to be at the funeral of Horace Greeley,” said a farmer.
The great tribune had deserved well of the people and of his country.
Perhaps some would feel inclined to ridicule rather than applaud the patience of a poor Chinese woman who tried to make a needle from a rod of iron by rubbing it against a stone.
It is doubtful whether she succeeded or not, but, so the story runs, the sight of the worker plying her seemingly hopeless task, put new courage and determination into the heart of a young Chinese student, who, in deep despondency, stood watching her.
Because of repeated failures in his studies, ambition and hope had left him. Bitterly disappointed with himself, and despairing of ever accomplishing anything, the young man had thrown his books aside in disgust. Put to shame, however, by the lesson taught by the old woman, he gathered his scattered forces together, went to work with renewed ardor, and, wedding Patience and Energy, became, in time, one of the greatest scholars in China.
When you know you are on the right track, do not let any failures dim your vision or discourage you, for you cannot tell how close you may be to victory. Have patience and stick, stick, stick. It is eternally true that he
steers right on
Will gain, at length, however far, the port.”
“Try to come home a somebody!” Long after Leon Gambetta had left the old French town of Cahors, where he was born October 30, 1838, long after the gay and brilliant streets of Paris had become familiar to him, did the parting words of his idolized mother ring in his ears, “Try to come home a somebody!” Pinched for food and clothes, as he often was, while he studied early and late in his bare garret near the Sorbonne, the memory of that dear mother cheered and strengthened him.