he faced about like an officer on parade, and said with formal gravity: Good evening, child, so that Mrs. Howe could not avoid laughing at him. Yet Sumner was fond of children in his youth.
L. Maria Child heard of this incident and made good use of it in one of her story-books.
The grand fact in Sumner's character, however, rests beyond dispute that he never aspired to the Presidency.
That lingering Washington malady which victimized Clay, Webster, Calhoun, Seward, Chase, Sherman, and Blaine, and made them appear almost like sinners in torment, never attacked Sumner.
He had accepted office as a patriotic duty, and, like Washington, he was ready to resign it whenever his work would be done.
Sumner's speech on the barbarism of slavery, timed as it was to meet the Baltimore convention, was evidently intended to drive a wedge into the split between the Northern and Southern Democrats, but it also must have encouraged the secession movement.
Sumner, however, can hardly be blamed
e accustomed to command and yet much subdued.
His manner towards children was particularly charming and attractive.
He exemplified the lines in Emerson's Wood-notes :
Grave, chaste, contented though retired, And of all other men desired, applied to Doctor Howe more completely than to the person for whom they were originally intended; for Thoreau's bachelor habits and isolated mode of life prevented him from being an attractive person to the generality of mankind.
It was said of James G. Blaine that he left every man he met with the impression that he was his best friend.
This may have been well intended, but it has the effect of insincerity, for the thing is practically impossible.
The true gentleman has always a kind manner, but he does not treat the man whom he has just been introduced to as a friend; he waits for that until he shall know him better.
It is said of Americans generally that they are generous and philanthropic, but that they do not make good friends,--that