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Chapter 11: Paris.—its schools.—January and February, 1838.—Age, 27.

During his first week in Paris, Sumner found no time to continue his journal. ‘In this hasty diary,’ he wrote, a few weeks later, ‘there is no memorial of my first week. Suffice it to say that I was kept in such an intoxicating whirl by the novelty which every thing had for my eyes, and every moment of my time was so intensely occupied, that I found not a fraction for this record. Of the letters which I brought to Paris I presented but few, feeling my utter incompetence for any French intercourse from my ignorance of the language.’

His first call was upon Foelix,1 the editor of the Revue Étrangere, with whom he had, before leaving home, exchanged letters. With him Sumner maintained, while in Paris, the most cordial relations. Foelix, by the place of his birth and early life which had passed from one sovereignty to another, combined in himself, as it were, two nationalities,—the German and the French. He was cosmopolitan in his learning and sympathies, and studied jurisprudence as a science. He had a large acquaintance with contemporary savans, and in conversation spoke unreservedly of their merits or pretensions. He was not above the everyday services which are invaluable to a foreign student not yet familiar with the country, its language, teachers, and authors. Sumner visited him freely, and seems to have regarded him, while in Paris, very much as he had regarded Lieber at home.

1 Jean Jacques Gaspard Foelix, 1791-1853. He was born in the Electorate of Treves, and began, in 1814, the practice of the law at Coblentz. Upon the transfer of the Rhenish provinces from France to Germany, which soon followed, he had occasion to deal with questions involving a conflict between German law and the French code. He was thus led to the study of comparative jurisprudence,—a department in which he excelled all his contemporaries. Removing to Paris in 1826, and naturalized as a French citizen in 1829, he founded, in 1833, the Revue Étrangere de Legislation et daEconomie Politique; the name of which was, in 1840, changed to the Revue Étrangere et Francaise de Legislation, de Jurisprudence, et daEconomie Politiqiue: aided by associates, he conducted this Review till 1850. He was the author of a treatise on the ‘Conflict of Laws’ (Traite du Droit International Prive;).

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