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Edward L. Pierce, Memoir and letters of Charles Sumner: volume 1, Chapter 6: Law School.—September, 1831, to December, 1833.—Age, 20-22. (search)
eized and steadily retained every thing he acquired. English poetry was also a constant subject of our talks; and he used to quote and read favorite passages which we earnestly discussed together. Among all the poets, at this time certainly, Gray was his favorite; W. W. Story gave Sumner, Jan. 1, 1834, a copy of Milton, inscribed with, From is grateful friend. and I have still a copy of his poems, presented to me by him, and full of annotations, many of which are due to these conversati interest and instruction. Then, as afterwards, his judgment in respect to poetry was not a keen one. The higher flights of the imagination, or the rapid ranges of fancy, were above him; and I think his noblest idea of poetry was embodied in Gray's Elegy, which he would repeat with sonorous tones. But poetry was with him more all acquired taste than a natural one. He had himself little imagination or fancy, and better loved strong manly sentiments and thoughts within the range of the und
Edward L. Pierce, Memoir and letters of Charles Sumner: volume 1, Chapter 8: early professional life.—September, 1834, to December, 1837.—Age, 23-26. (search)
t I hear spoken. To-morrow (Tuesday, Sept. 13, anniversary of Wolfe's great victory and death), I shall leave Montreal for the South, commencing or rather continuing my journey homeward. Steamer Wolooski, Lake Champlain. Six o'clock, P. M., Tuesday, Sept. 18. . . .In a paper which I have just found on board the boat I have read with infinite delight the debate in the British Parliament on Texas. A blow has been struck which will resound. Yours, Chas. S. P. S. I have studied Gray's poetry during my wanderings. His fame is a tripod, resting on those three wonders,—the Elegy, Bard, and Progress of Poesy. The ode on Eton and Hymn to Adversity are fine, but comparatively inferior. How my blood boils at the indignity to S. E. Sewall! Mr. Sewall had been assaulted in Boston by a Southern slaveholder, on account of his appearing as counsel for fugitive slaves, ante, p. 25. To Charles S. Daveis. 4 Court St., Oct. 13, 1836. my dear Mr. Daveis,—Behold me again in
Edward L. Pierce, Memoir and letters of Charles Sumner: volume 1, Chapter 9: going to Europe.—December, 1837.—Age, 26. (search)
your room with How fare ye? on my tongue; but alas, the executor and the appraisers were there; your writing table was dissected, and the disjecta membra scattered on the floor, ready to be taken into the sanctum of Mr. Hillard, which they now adorn. One morn I miss'd him at the customed court (scil. Law Library), Along the (side) walk, and near his fav'rite tree; Another came,—nor at his known resort, Nor at the Albion, nor the Dane was he. I am almost tempted to murder the rest of Gray's Elegy, and apply the epitaph, mutatis mutandis. Thus left his home to wander o'er the earth A youth, to fortune and to fame well known: Fair Science frowned not on his generous birth, And Jurisprudence mark'd him for her own. Large was his bounty and his soul sincere, Heaven did . . . coetera desunt. . . . Here am I at the end of my paper, without saying any thing. But this is not composed for publication among the correspondence to be interlarded in your biography; nor is it writte
Edward L. Pierce, Memoir and letters of Charles Sumner: volume 1, Chapter 11: Paris.—its schools.—January and February, 1838.—Age, 27. (search)
oy Europe. They need it, and their minds are ripe for it. How often have I thought of the thrill with which they would survey the objects I daily see. Tell Felton to come out immediately and pass a good half-year at Paris; there is enough to consume all that time in one round of pleasant study. There is no news stirring at Paris. You know that the Warrens and Cabots are in Italy, to return to Paris or London in May; and the Farrars are there also. Mrs. Sears is here. The Ticknors and Mr. Gray leave for London in a week or fortnight. Walsh and his family of daughters are here. Walsh himself has been quite sick, having been confined to his chamber for some time. Thiers says he is engaged upon a history of Florence at present; but he is notoriously so immersed in politics that I should doubt if he had time or inclination for writing a quiet book. Mrs. Fry has been at Paris, exciting some attention on the subject of prisons. The French, by the way, are just waking up on that su