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were still living, but have since died. The appointments by President Grant are Mr. Strong, of Pennsylvania; Mr. Bradley, of New Jersey; and Mr. Hunt, of New York. Chief-justice Chase was at that time one of the handsomest men in America, and the flowing robes of his office well became his noble form and massive head. I recollect how much he was exercised by Andrew Johnson's intoxication after President Lincoln had finished his short inaugural in 1865, and how earnestly he appealed to me, as Secretary of the Senate, to get the disguised Vice-President back into the Senate Chamber. Swayne and Davis, large men, and of fine bearing and dignity; Miller and Field, of lighter build. Taney had died the previous October 12, 1864, and Chase was nominated and confirmed December 6, 1864. As in 1861, so in 1865, the assassin lurked in the vast crowd in the noble space below. Mr. Lincoln had timely warning in the first case, and escaped; the murderer, unconsciously baffled in the second by the necessity that kept the President in the Capitol signing bills, fulfilled his purpose a little more than a month later (April 14, 1865). Chief-justice Chase administered the oath to Andrew Johnson at Kirkwood's Hotel the next day, April 15, 1865, and March 4, 1869, swore in General Grant. He died May 7, 1873, aged sixty-five-all too early for one who seemed built for a longer life, and whose aspirations for high station were as unconcealed as they were honorable. The new court stands at present as follows: Mr. Hunt, Mr. Clifford, Mr. Swayne, Mr. Miller, Mr. Davis, Mr. Field, Mr. Strong, Mr. Bradley.

The discussion over General Cushing's politics revives some of the many recollections of the politics of the other justices. And I have wondered how his numerous critics could have afforded an investigation into their records. President Grant seems to have enjoyed a fuller insight into men than those who rushed forward to tear General Cushing to pieces. In nominating Cushing for Chief-justice he forgot, with a splendid oblivion,

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the fact that he had been a friend of Frank Pierce or Jeff Davis; but, as he forgot this, he remembered that he (Grant) was a Democrat before the war, and that at least two of the members of his Cabinet were made Republicans because of the Rebellion. It would be a curious thing to find out exactly where all the violent enemies of Cushing stood at the period he wrote the letter which compelled the withdrawal of his nomination by the President. Justices or chief-justices of the Supreme Court were not gods in the olden time. The very nature of their employment, before entering that lofty sphere, made them politicians; and their supposed elevation above the passions of the hour suggested several of them as available candidates for President. John McLean, of Ohio, was often named for that high post, and was anxious for it. Levi Woodbury, of New Hampshire, was hardly less prominent as a candidate for President. In 1868 Chief-justice Chase was a willing aspirant for the Democratic nomination, and in 1872 Justice David Davis was near being the Liberal candidate against General Grant. A fortunate thing it was for both that they were saved a defeat before the people by the adverse vote of the conventions to which they confided their fortunes. Roger B. Taney, one of the purest and most renowned Chiefs of the Supreme Court, was chosen almost entirely because he had carried out President Jackson's policy against the Bank of the United States.

If we turn over the pages of the "Lives of the Chief-justices," by my esteemed friend Henry Flanders, of Philadelphia, we shall find that all of them were politicians before they were judges. John Jay had a stormy life, backed even as he was by Washington and Hamilton; and John Marshall, the model jurist, appointed by John Adams, and lasting almost to the close of Andrew Jackson's Administration, over thirty-five years, had his share of troubles because he had his share of convictions. He was the idol of Webster, Everett, Clay, Binney, Rawle, Choate, Wirt, Reverdy Johnson, and their contem

poraries. Like Jay, he was a Federalist, a man capable of asserting his own ideas and resisting others. But he was so clear in his great office that when he died he left footprints that others were afraid to tread in. He hated and scorned Secession; and when Jackson struck Nullification in the forehead, he fairly worshipped him. Disunion was a disease born of the modern growth of slavery, and died with slavery.

These judges or justices of the Supreme Court are rather jovial, with all their gravity. They have exceptional social advantages. They are asked everywhere, and they go everywhere that is proper. A sort of divinity hedges them round about. They are first at every State occasion, or nearly first. They are welcome figure-heads at great weddings. They dominate great dinners. They decorate receptions and balls. A justice or a chief-justice at a party in Washington is like a prince at a drawing-room in London, or a cardinal in Rome. They flutter in and out of the Senate with a sage and solemn air of possession. I think it is in evidence that they often condescend to sherry and champagne, and I fear that Grier and Nelson exceptionally descended to old rye whiskey. The whole nine affect the drama. John Marshall undoubtedly shed tears over Fanny Kemble, just as the eminent Pennsylvania Chief-justice, John Bannister Gibson, idolized old Joseph Jefferson. Davis, of Illinois, and Swayne, of Ohio; Miller, of Iowa, and Clifford, of Maine, do not deny their weakness for a good opera or ballet; and Joseph Story, like Caleb Cushing, enjoyed a good novel, and wrote some very fair poetry when he was a young

man.

So that there are many reasons why a statesman who has got through with other offices should aspire to round his career by a seat on the velvet cushions of the Supreme Bench. It is for life. It is a social power. It is a cosy lookout on politics. It is a solid dignity. It is not an exhaustive labor. The salary is good, and never touched except to be raised. As the

law is the royal profession in this country, so a place in the Supreme Court is the only diadem that can be placed on an American lawyer's brow.

XXIX.

NEWSPAPER ATTACKS ON PRIVATE CHARACTER.

66

A POLITICIAN without a record of which he is not ashamed is a bird without a wing. A candidate must always expect investigation, and he who is entirely spotless is a sort of white crow. The unco guid" are not always the best to lead or follow. A celebrated Frenchwoman is quoted as saying that "she preferred the men who had all the strong passions of their sex, and distrusted those who denied them. Judge Douglas had a favorite story that the only time he ever attempted to deny a great scandal on his character, that same scandal was proved upon him by sworn witnesses; and a greater man than Douglas outlived a world of enmities, because he never replied to small enemies. Who now recalls the story of Alexander Hamilton's affair with Mrs. Reynolds, or Benjamin Franklin's disputes with his rivals, or the angry expressions of John Adams, or the allusions to Thomas Jefferson's private relations, or the bargain and sale by which Clay cast the vote of Kentucky in 1825, or the row in Andrew Jackson's Cabinet about Mrs. Eaton-who recalls these forgotten stories, except as curious novelties for the new generation that never heard of them?

They do not hurt the great names connected with them, because each of these great names had "a record" to stand by. They were not neophytes, born of faction, but characters of deep mould and high mark; and posterity only recollects their glorious deeds. Anybody who cared to go into the business

of raking up the cinders of dead accusations could find many bitter things against those whom we have justly elevated among the saints of our American calendar. But who would care to handle these crumbling calumnies? It would be like trying Cæsar by the witness of the dust that "stops a hole to keep the wind away."

Only little people perish under criticism. Bad men, if they get any immortality, get it by their supreme villany. But the great ones of the earth are only remembered for their genius and their valor, and the more so because they prove themselves human by their very infirmities.

I have often thought of these things in reading the personalities in the newspapers-personalities which are first laughed at and then forgotten. There is a vast difference between the editorial that boldly questions a measure-as I did every day. of my life in The Press-and that which assails private character, which I never do. The one belongs to permanent, the other to transient, journalism. You do not help your case by abuse of your adversary. History takes little note of what Freneau said of Washington, or Binns of John Adams, or Duff Green of Jackson; but it preserves among its choicest treasures the tributes of these famous men to their contemporaries and rivals.

A great name is only lost by its association with a great crime. Arnold could have outlived every other imputation but that of absolute treason to his chief and his country, and Aaron Burr would always have been remembered for his genius if he had not been a sort of imitator of the military traitor.

An incident I have often related to my friends in private life will serve to illustrate the golden value of a good record, and the weakness of public men who allow themselves to be affected by newspaper calumny. One of the best characters I ever knew was president judge of a certain judicial district in the interior of Pennsylvania. He was gentle, susceptible, and

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