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The Vault at PfaffsAn Archive of Art and Literature by the Bohemians of Antebellum New York
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Text for Page 206

              [newspaper clipping]
  An exalted reputation, above a person�s de-
serts, is a dangerous possession.  When a
man is reputed wiser, richer, or smarter than
he really is, his situation is an unenviable one;
for a fall, sooner or later, into his true position,
inevitably awaits him; and falls are not pleasant.
When a person bruises his shins he is quite lia-
ble to lose his temper also.  Let us mention a
case in point:
  A few years ago the prosperity and success
of the New York Tribune were generally attri-
buted, in the main, to the sagacious manage-
ment of Mr. McElrath, in the business depart-
ment of the paper.  Even the Rev. Mr. Parton,
in his Life of Greeley, which had a great sale,
took this view, and made it very prominent in
his book.  But all this is the ultimate result proved
to be fallacious.  It was discovered that Mr.
McElrath, so far from being a Rothschild, had
given a direction to his business not only disas-
trous in its consequences, but which struck
many persons as ludicrously unwise.  He failed.
He was promptly superseded, by a more compe-
tent man, in the Presidency of the Nassau Bank,
which he had previously held, and was very
properly deposed from his situation as publisher
of the Tribune.
  After a while Mr. McElrath tried his hand at
another paper, as appropriate to the times as
the weekly issue [unclear word] old-fashioned spelling
book would have been.  Having got knocked off
the locomotive, he�perhaps prudently enough
for him�essayed to drive an ox-team.  We were
solicited to advertise in this sheet.  Advertise
in it�post bills in an unfrequented back yard,
instead of the thoroughfares of the great me-
tropolis!  Of course we declined.  Hence the
wrath of Mr. McElrath.
  How does he manifest it?  An author, a no-
tice of whose book we refused to insert in the
LEDGER, and who felt provoked at our refusal,
flares off a little pop-gun, in some magazine, at
the LEDGER; but even this writer has too much
respect for public opinion not to cloak his ma-
lice.  He interlards his strictures with many
complimentary remarks.  What does Mr. McEl-
rath do?  Copies the article, omitting every-
thing that is favorable.  Thunder sours milk;
refusing to advertise sours the milk of human
kindness in the breast of Mr. McElrath.  Oh,
the wrath of Mr. McElrath!  Poor Mr. McEl-
rath!  Shins bruised and anger-raised.  Prop-
erty and temper both gone!  When backed up
by the talent of Horace Greeley and Charles A.
Dana, he couldn�t get along; what shall he do
alone?  Pity the sorrows and forgive the wrath
of poor Mr. McElrath.  We cannot advertise
with him�shall we pass round the hat for Mr.
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