I fancy that obligatory culture irked him then, as always, and that he chose his own green lanes toward the advancement of learning. His later writings vouchsafe only two slight glimpses of the college days. In his Life of Franklin Pierce, he recalls Pierce's chairmanship of the Athenaean Society, on the committee of which he himself held a place.
The truth of the above couplet has rarely had more forcible illustration than in the case of the late Caleb Cushing of Massachusetts. In politics he was successively Whig, Democrat, and Republican. During his first political affiliation, he was a Representative in Congress; in the second a member of Pierce's Cabinet; and in the third a Minister abroad.
"My dear, you must think well about it," she said "Lord Blythe would care for you as his own child, I am sure and his home would be a safe and splendid one for you but there! do not ask ME!" and the old lady wiped away one or two trickling tears from her eyes "I am selfish! and now I know you are Pierce's daughter I want to keep you for myself! to have you near me! to look at you and love you!
You will have to rubber a little to get a good view of them." Mr. Kinsella accordingly "rubbered," as his slangy nephew put it, and satisfied himself of the identity of Mrs. Huntington. Molly was greatly interested in the occurrence. Mr. Kinsella was different from anyone she had ever seen before and Pierce's hint of a disappointed life had fired her imagination, ever ready for a romance.
In the edge of the shadows Laure halted and her hand slipped down over Pierce's. "Remember!" she said, meaningly. "Don't or you'll hear from me." Laure had no cause to repeat her admonition, for, in the days that followed, Pierce Phillips maintained toward the women members of the party an admirable attitude of aloofness.
How firm and conscientious was General Pierce's support of The Compromise may be estimated from his conduct in reference to the Reverend John Atwood.
When accosted concerning his musings, he said he had done battle right manfully for the democracy; and now Mr. Pierce's only reply was, that his demands were of so hard a nature as to render it impossible for him to knock under. I told him that I would take the small points of Mr. Pierce's ideas, and the strong points of Mr. Marcy's, and from them try to work out the P's and Q's of his case.
On that occasion the kind old dame told him he was the best boy in the country, and stood on her toes and kissed him. Though pressed to stay indefinitely beneath Mrs. Pierce's hospitable roof, the girl, after lingering awhile, and going often to that nook in the hill by Riverside, took her departure. She was restless, yet clung to the neighborhood.
Here we sat talking till past one in the morning, and then home, where my people sat up for me, my wife and all, and so to bed. 15th. He being gone, I took coach and to Mrs. Pierce's, where I find her as fine as possible, and himself going to the ball at night at Court, it being the Queen's birth-day, and so I carried them in my coach, and having set them into the house, and gotten Mr.
It is useless here to enter into the question of degrees of right and wrong on either side, in the struggle which had already become formidable before Pierce's election; but one can see how sincerely, and with what generous motives, a man like Hawthorne would feel that the Union must be maintained peacefully.