him in his home on Beacon Street and to his summer retreat; but the tradition is that he was obliged to select his guests with care when Sumner
was invited, lest the feast should be marred by unseemly behavior on their part.
and his wife, made of far finer mould than their kin or their class, were, notwithstanding their connection with Mr. Appleton
, as devotedly attached to Sumner
as ever, and kept a chamber at his service; but even they sometimes found it necessary to send him a warning from Cambridge
that some one was with them whom it was not best for him to meet.
Even his triumphant career—his election to the Senate and his fame as an orator—did not soften this animosity.
in 1853, driving down Beacon Street towards the country with R. H. Dana, Jr.
, as his companion, he said: ‘There was a time when 1 was welcome at almost every house within two miles of us, but now hardly any are open to me.’
He was taken to the Wednesday Club
, where good breeding prevailed with most; but even there he was snubbed by some of the members.
A few there were who kept a higher level of thought and sentiment,—among them the Quincys, friends of his youth, who were faithful to him to the end.
This social pressure fell more heavily on Sumner
than on others, for, bachelor as he was, his life was not engrossed with home interests.
, such was his lineage, could not be set aside or ignored; but he too had some dark looks to encounter.
One evening at a party he and Rufus Choate
were observed to ‘glare’ on each other without speaking.1 Palfrey
described the slights and affronts received by himself, the changed countenances, the rude language, and the refused recognitions by old acquaintances and parishioners.2 Dana
, finding one day his salutations in the street, when addressed to one of the ruling class, met with only the slightest return, assumed that the cause was a recent bereavement;3
and making an apology, drew the answer, ‘Oh, no; it is your politics.’
Calling, as had been his habit, with his wife on the Ticknors, he got a reception which was enough to prevent any repetition of the experiment.
It is needless to write for any one who knew him that he met both repulsions with a manly spirit.
An older visitor at the same