after the tremendous excitement of a national election—all these things are partly due to the national habit of looking not so much at the bright side as at the amusing side of all occurrences.
The day after election the most heated partisan, beaten or victorious, not only laughs at the other party, but he laughs at his own; he laughs at himself; and this attitude of mind, which carried Abraham Lincoln
through the vast strain of civil war and emancipation, is an almost essential trait of life in a republic.
Public men who have this quality are able to thrive on the very wear and tear of political life; public men who are without it, as the late Charles Sumner
, find the path of duty hard, and are kept up by sheer conscience and will.
And so in private life, the husband and wife who have no mutual enjoyment of this kind, the parents who derive no delight from the droll side of nursery life and the perpetual unconscious humor of childhood, must find daily existence monotonous and wearing.
It was from this point of view that one of the cleverest and most useful women I have ever known, the late Mrs. Delano Goddard