Chapter 10: the voyage and Arrival.—December, 1837, to January, 1838— age, 26-27.
This memoir, for the period of Sumner
's absence from the country, must be confined chiefly to selections from his letters, and a journal which he began on the voyage and continued nearly four months.
The journal begins thus:—
Dec. 25, 1837.—Christmas.
It is now seventeen days since I left New York for Havre in the ship Albany, Captain Johnston.1 My passage had been taken, and my bill on the Rothschilds in Paris obtained, on the 7th December.
On that day dined with a pleasant party at Mrs. Ledyard's,2— the last dinner of my native land.
Left early, called on one or two friends, and spent the residue of the hours before retiring—running far into the watches of the night—in writing letters; saying some parting words to the friends whom I value.
And a sad time it was, full of anxious thoughts and doubts, with mingled gleams of glorious anticipations.
I thought much of the position which I abandoned for the present; the competent income which I forsook; the favoring tide, whose buoyant waters were bearing me so well, which I refused to take even at its ebb,—these I thought of, and then the advice and warnings of many whose opinions I respect.
The dear friends I was to leave behind all came rushing before me, and affection for them was a new element in the cup of my anxieties.
But, on the other hand, the dreams of my boyhood came before me: the long-pondered visions, first suggested by my early studies, and receiving new additions with every step of my progress; my desire, which has long been above all other desires, to visit Europe; and my long-cherished anticipations of the most intellectual pleasure and the most permanent profit.
Europe and its reverend history, its ancient races, its governments handed down from old time, its sights memorable in story; above all, its present existing institutions, laws, and society, and its men of note and mind, followed in the train,—and the thought of