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Edward L. Pierce, Memoir and letters of Charles Sumner: volume 4, Chapter 44: Secession.—schemes of compromise.—Civil War.—Chairman of foreign relations Committee.—Dr. Lieber.—November, 1860April, 1861. (search)
experience in the same office, and his attainments in the Spanish language, to be of special advantage to our country. He was very desirous that John Jay should receive an important mission, in view of his personal fitness, his unselfish patriotism, and his devotion to the antislavery cause; but unfortunately his name and that of Motley were both presented for the Austrian mission after Motley had failed to secure the mission to the Hague, and Burlingame had been transferred from Vienna to Pekin. Sumner was embarrassed by the rivalry of the two friends (brothers to him, to use his own expression); but while meaning to keep the balance between the two, he nevertheless said enough to give the impression to the President and Secretary of State that he favored Motley. Jay, who should have had the appointment, bore the disappointment in a manly way. Mr. Jay was appointed to Vienna eight years later. It was Sumner's weakness that he put too high a value on literary distinction even