They will wait, well disposed, for others to remedy the evil, that they may no longer have it to regret. At most, they give only a cheap vote, and a feeble countenance and Godspeed, to the right, as it goes by them.

  1. What does "go by" mean here?
  2. What is "that" refer to? They are well disposed that ...?
  3. How to paraphrase this two sentences?

1 Answer 1


In your example from Henry David Thoreau's On the Duty of Civil Disobedience

He is being critical of the lack of action by the opposition to slavery, and that many will have nonaction until the problem

goes by them

meaning "passes by and goes on possibly resolved by someone else".


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