[Boston—Sunday, 31 July 1864]

Sunday July 31. Dry and warm with South wind. May God send the land rain. Petersburgh is mined; and a portion has exploded and is in flames. Jamie passed the morning with Charles Sumner. In the evening Mr S., Henry Cary of Pa. & Mr & Mrs James were here.

Sumner described Banks finely—said he had not the least administrative ability and possessed but one power which was his to a high degree what the French would called [sic, for call] the power of representation. He filled a Chair nobly. “When he first took possession of the Speaker’s chair at Washington he vaulted into it with as much freedom and grace as did Alexander in springing to the saddle of Bucephalus.”

These men despond with regard to the civil government—they have more faith that our military affairs are doing well. Chiefly they look to Sherman as the great man. Mr James was silent, he believes in Lincoln.

Mr Sumner talked finely during the day about Tennyson’s volume which he and Mr Longfellow have been enjoying during the past week—at Nahant.

We must not forget Mr James’s youth who was “anointed with the isle of Patmos.”

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