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‘ [342] one of the first to divert the conversation to some other subject.’1 Though not a humorist himself, he enjoyed humor as it flowed from others, and often greeted it with a ringing laugh.2

His ordinary hours for meals were 8.30 A. M. for breakfast and 5.30 P. M. for dinner, and he took food only at these meals.3 He seldom dined alone, and was in the habit of bringing from the Capitol one or two friends to take ‘pot-luck’ with him,—as Ben Perley Poore, the journalist, or Henry L. Pierce, an old friend who entered the House in 1873, or any constituent who happened to be in Washington.

Sumner had most cordial relations with his secretaries; they were clerks of the foreign relations committee while he was chairman, being, according to the practice, designated by him. As early as 1855, A. B. Johnson assisted him in clerical and kindred services, and though engaged afterwards in professional or official work, came to his aid at intervals and was a devoted friend to the end. Other secretaries in succession, from 1863 to 1872, were Francis V. Balch, Charles C. Beaman, Moorfield Storey, and Edward J. Holmes, all graduates of Harvard College. The last, son of Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, died in 1881; the other three hold an honorable place in the legal profession. Sumner's interest in them was personal and affectionate. He gave always a welcome to Johnson, and from time to time remembered his children with gifts. When Balch resigned to enter on his profession, the senator made him the custodian and manager of his funds, and afterwards the sole executor of his will. He was earnest in assisting Storey to an appointment, which was the latter's first start in his profession. This secretary writes: ‘He showed me a side of his character that few except his intimate friends saw,—a paternal, personal kindliness, of which I have a very grateful rememberance.’ He entered heartily into the connections for life which his young friends made, giving a dinner to Storey and his fiancee, a Washington lady, and writing to Beaman, Sept. 10, 1873, when the latter became engaged to Mr. Evarts's daughter, as follows: ‘It is as it should be, and I wish ’

1 Thurman of Ohio, in the Senate, April 27, 1874. Congressional Globe, p. 3400.

2 W. S. Robinson's (Warrington's) ‘Pen Portraits,’ p. 519. A. B. Muzzey's ‘Reminiscences and Memorials,’ p. 225. E. P. Whipple's ‘Recollections,’ Harper's Magazine, July, 1879, pp. 279-280.

3 At first he had a housekeeper: but this arrangement not working satisfactorily, he carried on the house afterwards only with servants, aided in daily needs as well as emergencies by Mr. Wormley.

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