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[227] He was also indebted to Foelix for a personal introduction to Pardessus. Of comparative jurisprudence, which was the specialty of Foelix, Sumner spoke, some years afterwards, as ‘kindred to those other departments of knowledge which exhibit the relations of the human family, and show that amidst diversity there is unity.’1

In a letter to Judge Story, Jan. 21, he wrote of his first call on Foelix:—

In No. 7 Rue de Verneuil, Foelix, with two maiden sisters, occupied an apartment on what we should call the second floor. On being shown into the room of the learned Pundit, I summoned all my French, and asked, ‘Est-ce Monsieur Foelix, que j'ai l'honneur de voir?’ to which he replied in the affirmative. I then said, ‘Je m'appelle Charles Sumner.’ His reply convinced me that I had pronounced my French so badly that he did not understand me, for he inquired if I had seen Mr. Sumner lately. Then ensued a series of contretemps. He did not speak a word of English; and my French was no more fit for use than a rusty gun-barrel, or than the law of a retired barrister. Then came to our assistance his sister,—a lady, say thirty-five or forty. She knew English so as to speak it pretty well, though rather painfully. With her as interpreter, I made known who I was, whence I came, &c. I presented my letters and answered Foelix's inquiries, particularly with regard to you. I very soon found, however, that our mutual ignorance of any language which could serve as a medium for conversation would render our intercourse of but little interest for the present. Foelix is a German by birth, you know, and retains those national features which have continued from the time of Tacitus. He is about the size of Dr. Follen, only somewhat stouter, with hair on his head quite thin but not gray. I should call him fifty-five years old. He is not a man of the world or of dress, but he is absorbed in his Review, upon which he works very hard, and seems full of the dignity and importance of his vocation. In his study, or office, which is a room about as large as your parlor, sat his eldest sister busily engaged in copying papers. I have understood that she is a perfect lawyer, having diligently read all the codes; and that she assists him very much in his Review. I was amused at the interest which he took in having me economically established. When I informed him where my lodgings were,—being in one of the hotels on the boulevards,—he expressed an orthodox German horror, and told me I must abandon them immediately; and he assisted me in getting lodgings on the same side of the river with himself. I have changed again since he established me, and am now in the same house with George Shattuck.2 You may be glad to hear that he is doing more honor to himself and his country than any other young American has done since James Jackson.3

1 Works, Vol. I. p. 270.

2 Dr. George C. Shattuck, a physician of Boston, always a valued friend of Sumner. They were fellow-students in college, and also in the Law School.

3 A young physician of Boston, who, after professional studies in Paris, died in 1834, soon after his return home.

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