Function of word "yet"

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Tristan shun

When I read a book, I came across a sentence "As a political power, as the rightful lord who is to tumble all rulers from their chairs, its presence is hardly yet suspected."
This sentence is from Ralph Waldo Emerson's "Politics," and I want to know how yet functions here. One of my friends told me that it doesn't affect the sentence, thus I can simply disregard it and read it as " hardly suspected."
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  • boozer

    Senior Member
    No, that is wrong. If it is there it does add to the meaning. It says that the presence is still not suspected, but we may soon become aware of it.

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    Reading it as "hardly suspected" means you are only looking at the present time. The word "yet" is used to look towards the past and the future, as well the present. Here, the emphasis is on the future: Its presence was hardly suspected in the past and is hardly suspected in the present, but the writer suggests that in the future, not only will its presence be suspected, but strongly felt.
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