The Early Years of the Saturday Club, 1855-1870

By Edward Waldo Emerson | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XV
1868

Res nolunt diu male administrari

This want of adapted society is mutual. The man of thought, the man of letters, the man of science, the administrator skilful in affairs, the man of manners and culture, whom you so much wish to find -- each of these is wishing to be found. Each wishes to open his thought, his knowledge, his social skill to the daylight in your company and affection, and to exchange his gifts for yours; and the first hint of a select and intelligent company is welcome.

EMERSON

IN Emerson's journal, the following words, written early in the year, show that the Reconstruction strife with the President reached even Concord: "What a divine beneficence attaches to Andrew Johnson! In six troubles, and in seven, he has been an angel to the Republican Party, delivering them out of their distresses." This recalls Mr. Pearson's sentence in his Life of Andrew: "Congress has set its trap for the President right in the path where his obstinacy and rashness were sure to lead him." The patriots of the Club, all anxious to have the Union restored on lines that should ensure justice, permanence, and good feeling, were still of varying shades of opinion before this most difficult problem. The long thunderstorm of war had not yet cleared the sky.

Mr. Forbes wrote in January to Goldwin Smith in England: "Last week our Republican Governor here, the successor of Andrew, has dared to nominate to the Chief Justiceship, a pro-slavery Democrat who voted against emancipation, and this over Judge Hoar, the best judge and the best man in Massachusetts, now that we have lost our dear Governor Andrew. We are fighting this wretched backsliding. It is done on the miserable trimming pretence of giving the sham Democracy one judge; it is really a sop to the reactionists. . . . I fully expect to see Grant elected and thus gain four years of honest, firm administration in which to tide over the difficulties of reconstructing labour and society at the

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