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Edward L. Pierce, Memoir and letters of Charles Sumner: volume 1, Chapter 4: College Life.—September, 1826, to September, 1830.—age, 15-19. (search)
iking; there is a simplicity, a grandeur, and, withal, a pertinency, about them which we look for in vain amongst the exquisites of our degenerate days. Their works are not scattered over with flowers, which only serve to deck and adorn them without adding to their strength or clearness. Their figures rather resemble pillars, which are at once ornaments and supports of the fabric to which they are attached. Witness the beauty and strength of Shakspeare's allusions, and also those of Jeremy Taylor and Bacon. The latter of these comes among the last of those who can be numbered in that iron phalanx which we denominate the old English writers. How can we account for this great superiority that they possessed over us in point of real strength and beauty? It was because they depended more upon their own resources; because they thought. Yet many of their works are most curious examples of pedantry, which none of the dullest dogs of our dull days could hope to equal even in this
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)
other step. At the same time, he commends J. Q. A. in a way that does my heart good. Washington, in this letter, alludes to his own conduct on these subjects. Perhaps you have seen the letter. I do not know that it is preserved by Sparks. It probably is; at any rate, it is to be found in the renowned Cunningham correspondence, the publication of which is the most barefaced violation of confidence that I know of. See the last number of the London and Westminster Review for articles on Taylor's Statesman April, 1837, Vol. XXVIII. pp. 1-32. and Fonblanque's England under Seven Administrations, Idem, pp 65-98. both of which touch upon some of your topics. Don't publish by subscription; Political Ethics. don't make yourself a general beggar: it is enough to petition booksellers; do not offer prayers to the many-headed public for the sake of a paltry subscription. It is undignified, and betrays a want of confidence in your work. Study, ponder, and polish your work; th
Edward L. Pierce, Memoir and letters of Charles Sumner: volume 1, Chapter 15: the Circuits.—Visits in England and Scotland.—August to October, 1838.—age, 27. (search)
have come to Edinburgh at the time of its greatest desertion, and when all our courts are in vacation and all our lawyers shooting grouse. I am afraid, therefore, that I can offer you only a family party and a hearty welcome on Tuesday. I was at Craigcrook Castle last evening, and passed a good portion of to-day with his Lordship in his study. Never have I heard any one express himself with such grace, beauty, precision, and variety of word as did Jeffrey, when I introduced the name of Jeremy Taylor; to catch and send you his language would be like wreathing into this scrawl the brilliant colors of the rainbow. I am tired—as doubtless you are—of my descriptions of the persons and conversations of those I meet. I will not give you another sketch, and yet I cannot help saying that Jeffrey is superlatively eminent as a converser,— light, airy, poetical, argumentative, fantastical, and yet full of the illustrations of literature and history. He indulged me with reminiscences of his <