later days of struggle.
Is it wonderful that he failed in each business venture?
When he was elected President
, such a combination of firmness and integrity was an outlook which naturally filled the politicians with dismay.
They could not foresee that it would prove a door wide open to every dollar which they plotted to steal.
When not far from his end, he was asked if such and such a thing had not distressed him, and replied, “No, nothing but being deceived in people.”
And this sorrowful thought haunts the preface to his memoirs.
Yes, that old horse story is an omen.
It raises laughter, to be sure; but change the figure of farmer Ralston
, getting his undue price through the boy's guilelessness, into Belknap
of the Fort Sill
and national cemetery scandals, into Babcock
of the whiskey ring, into Jay Gould
of Black Friday, into Ferdinand Ward
, the final thief who crossed Grant
's credulous path, and the old horse story grows less mirthful.