he helped towards the accomplishment of the assassin's design, till his medical adviser almost forced him, in the midst of the last Presidential campaign, to run across to Europe, effectually to shut from his sight papers, books, and business. * * *
We now know, as do all who study American politics, that Senator Sumner was in the right; an admission truth compels us to make, although, at the time, we shared that feeling.
It is because we now more fully comprehend the magnitude of the contest and the difficulties of the position in the struggle of the statesman against the ‘politicians,’ that we are able to appreciate the force of what the Senator then said; and we may add, that we deplore the loss of the great leader in the cause of reform.
The Senator has passed away at the climax, leaving the conduct of the war to other, though, we fear, less efficient hands, but not till the great utility of his life had been impaired through his failing health.
He leaves, however, a record, not only as an example to the young, but to inspire those bent on carrying on the war against the political system which has bred such corruption, to a successful issue; a reputation unblemished in an atmosphere of intrigue; pure, where political purity is rare; ever surrounded by strong temptations, wielding, as he did, a power greater than has perhaps yet been wielded on the continent of North America.
With that I close, rejoicing that, in the country which Mr. Sumner loved and the opinion of which he valued so highly, at least one tribute not unworthy of him has appeared.
I should add that in the leading provincial journals, the articles I have seen are, on the whole, more just than those of London.
But it was not from England
that justice to the departed statesman was expected to come.
By the enlightened and unprejudiced journalists of the continent of Europe
—to which strangeness of language gives the impartiality of time—Charles Sumner
met that judgment at once, which in England
is shown the Americans
only by the next generation.
Perhaps in no quarter has Senator Sumner
's character as a man and a statesman, been more candidly drawn, than it was in the Boston Journal
on the day of his funeral:
The time has not come for doing full justice to the great career and the great character so faintly outlined in the preceding sketch.