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John S. Popkin (search for this): chapter 2
sion were somewhat less exacting than at present. In the year 1826 he commenced his studies in the classic halls of Cambridge. Among his classmates were, Thomas C. Amory, Jonathan W. Bemis, James Dana, Samuel M. Emery, John B. Kerr, Elisha R. Potter, Jonathan F. Stearns, George W. Warren, and Samuel T. Worcester. The accomplished John T. Kirkland was president of the university; and among the instructors were Edward T. Channing in rhetoric, Levi Hedge in logic, George Otis in Latin, John S. Popkin in Greek, George Ticknor in modern languages, and John Farrar in natural science. His room during his first year was No. 17, Stoughton Hall. In person he was at that time unusually tall for a youth of fifteen summers; and, though one of the six youngest of his class of forty-eight, he stood among his fellows in respect to height conspicuous. When he entered college, one of his classmates writes to me, he was tall, thin, and somewhat awkward. He had but little inclination for engaging
Walter Scott (search for this): chapter 2
his classmates writes to me, he was tall, thin, and somewhat awkward. He had but little inclination for engaging in sports or games, such as kicking football on the Delta, which the other students were in almost the daily habit of enjoying. He rarely went out to take a walk; and almost the only exercise in which he engaged was going on foot to Boston on Saturday afternoon, and then returning in the evening. He had a remarkable fondness for reading the dramas of Shakspeare, the works of Walter Scott, together with reviews and magazines of the higher class. He remembered what he read, and quoted passages afterwards with the greatest fluency. He did not study for college rank, as many do, but took a good position in the classics, and was excellent in composition. In declamations he held rank among the best; but in mathematics there were several superior. He was always amiable and gentlemanly in deportment, and avoided saying any thing to wound the feelings of his classmates. Ano
Edmund Burke (search for this): chapter 2
y the college laws to wear a uniform, consisting of an Oxford cap, coat, pantaloons, and vest of the color known as Oxford mixed; but in the summer a white vest was permitted, no fancy colors being allowed. Sumner, probably having in his mind Edmund Burke, who on state occasions wore a buff-colored waiscoat, as Daniel Webster did when he was to speak in the Senate, procured a vest so near to buff color as not likely to be mistaken for white by the observer of the legal color. Now the tutor, pr with zest and keen avidity the works of the great masters. He was fascinated by the splendid diction of Hume and Gibbon, the charming style of Addison and Goldsmith, the glowing eloquence of William Pitt, of Richard Brinsley Sheridan, and of Edmund Burke. His imagination was enkindled by the golden thoughts of Dante, Milton (always with him a favorite), Dryden, Pope, and Shakspeare. With these immortal geniuses he lived, and from them drew his inspiration. He strolled, moreover, into distan
Samuel F. Smith (search for this): chapter 2
bs's Greek Reader, Mattaire's Homer, and other books preparatory to admission to Harvard College. The late Joseph Palmer, M. D., was an assistant instructor in the school, but was not then conscious that he was moulding the spirit of one whom he was afterwards to greet as the leading speaker on behalf of freedom in America. Among his school companions at this period were George T. Bigelow, Robert C. Winthrop, George S. Hillard, James Freeman Clarke, Thomas B. Fox, William H. Channing, Samuel F. Smith the poet, and others who have since attained celebrity. Although Charles Sumner did not hold the highest rank in scholarship on the appointed lessons of his class, he was distinguished for the accuracy of his translations from the Latin classics, and for the brilliancy of his own original compositions. He received in 1824 the third prize for a translation from Sallust; when one of the examiners remarked, If he does this when a boy, what may we not expect of him when a man? Two years
Goldsmith (search for this): chapter 2
to the armor. This was the condition of Charles Sumner. His tastes and inclinations also led him to the belles-lettres and humanities. He practically took, as every one who means to make the most of his abilities will do, a kind of elective course. He gave himself to the study of history, of rhetoric, eloquence, and poetry. He read with zest and keen avidity the works of the great masters. He was fascinated by the splendid diction of Hume and Gibbon, the charming style of Addison and Goldsmith, the glowing eloquence of William Pitt, of Richard Brinsley Sheridan, and of Edmund Burke. His imagination was enkindled by the golden thoughts of Dante, Milton (always with him a favorite), Dryden, Pope, and Shakspeare. With these immortal geniuses he lived, and from them drew his inspiration. He strolled, moreover, into distant and untrodden fields of literature, and, as the bee, selected honey from unnoticed flowers. Here he gathered sweets from some French poet of the medieval ages
George T. Bigelow (search for this): chapter 2
Pantheon, Irving's Catechism, and reading Cornelius Nepos, Sallust, Caesar, Cicero, and Virgil; together with Jacobs's Greek Reader, Mattaire's Homer, and other books preparatory to admission to Harvard College. The late Joseph Palmer, M. D., was an assistant instructor in the school, but was not then conscious that he was moulding the spirit of one whom he was afterwards to greet as the leading speaker on behalf of freedom in America. Among his school companions at this period were George T. Bigelow, Robert C. Winthrop, George S. Hillard, James Freeman Clarke, Thomas B. Fox, William H. Channing, Samuel F. Smith the poet, and others who have since attained celebrity. Although Charles Sumner did not hold the highest rank in scholarship on the appointed lessons of his class, he was distinguished for the accuracy of his translations from the Latin classics, and for the brilliancy of his own original compositions. He received in 1824 the third prize for a translation from Sallust; wh
James Freeman Clarke (search for this): chapter 2
Sallust, Caesar, Cicero, and Virgil; together with Jacobs's Greek Reader, Mattaire's Homer, and other books preparatory to admission to Harvard College. The late Joseph Palmer, M. D., was an assistant instructor in the school, but was not then conscious that he was moulding the spirit of one whom he was afterwards to greet as the leading speaker on behalf of freedom in America. Among his school companions at this period were George T. Bigelow, Robert C. Winthrop, George S. Hillard, James Freeman Clarke, Thomas B. Fox, William H. Channing, Samuel F. Smith the poet, and others who have since attained celebrity. Although Charles Sumner did not hold the highest rank in scholarship on the appointed lessons of his class, he was distinguished for the accuracy of his translations from the Latin classics, and for the brilliancy of his own original compositions. He received in 1824 the third prize for a translation from Sallust; when one of the examiners remarked, If he does this when a boy
hland bard, or some Provencal troubadour. This material afterwards came in to beautify his grand pleas for peace, humanity, and freedom. It was my fortune, says the Hon. G. W. Warren, to be one of nine classmates who formed a private society in our senior year, meeting once a week for literary exercises. Of that little circle were Browne, Hopkinson, and Sumner, now departed; and among the surviving are Worcester (formerly representative in Congress from Ohio, having succeeded Senator Sherman) now of Nashua, N. H., and the Rev. Dr. Stearns of Newark, N. J. Those hours spent together (for no one missed a meeting) were indeed literary recreations. Sumner was also a member of the Hasty-Pudding Club. The records show at least one made by him when temporary secretary, which is characteristic of the style of his later days. The moot court was then the literary exercise of the club; and in his turn he filled the judge's chair, and displayed his legal learning in advance. On h
thirty years afterwards, I read in some of his congressional speeches; and they were always accurate. I recollect accompanying him to an ecclesiastical council (ex parte) held in the old court-house in Cambridge, to dismiss the Rev. Dr. Holmes. Mr. Hoar of Concord was counsel for the party opposed to Dr. Holmes. We went to hear his argument, in the course of which he quoted the familiar line, Tempora mutantur et nos mutamur in illis. But instead of saying in illis, he said cum illis. Sumner was greatly shocked at the mistake, and turning to me said, A man ought to be ashamed of himself who attempts to quote an author, and does not quote correctly. This slight misquotation condemned the scholarship of Mr. Hoar in his estimation; and he had no confidence in his learning afterwards. He was a person of great self-possession, a trait which he inherited from his father, who when high-sheriff of Suffolk County was called upon to read the Riot Act on the stage of the Federal-Street Theat
that unknown tongue,--Excelsior! H. W. Longfellow. At the age of ten years, Charles Sumner was found qualified to enter the Boston Latin School, then under the charge of the accomplished classical scholar Benjamin A. Gould, and noted, as at present, for its thorough and persistent drill in the inceptive classical studies. Here the tall and slender lad applied himself closely to his lessons; studying Adam's Latin Grammar (which Mr. Gould edited with ability), the Gloucester Greek Grammar, Euler's Algebra, Horne Tooke's Pantheon, Irving's Catechism, and reading Cornelius Nepos, Sallust, Caesar, Cicero, and Virgil; together with Jacobs's Greek Reader, Mattaire's Homer, and other books preparatory to admission to Harvard College. The late Joseph Palmer, M. D., was an assistant instructor in the school, but was not then conscious that he was moulding the spirit of one whom he was afterwards to greet as the leading speaker on behalf of freedom in America. Among his school companions a
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