small band who visited the States in 1824-25; consisting besides himself of the late Prime-Minister, Lord Derby (then Mr. Stanley), Mr. Labouchere, who was afterwards a member of Lord Melbourne's cabinet and died as Lord Taunton, as well as Mr. Evelyn Denison, who eventually became Speaker of the House of Commons, and died only two or three years ago in retirement as Lord Ossington. They were, in fact, the pioneers of the class to which they belonged; and, being all known as members of the British House of Commons of more or less distinction, were received by your countrymen with even more than their wonted courtesy and hospitality: and their example led to the more frequent and happy intercourse of our public men with those of the United States. ‘I wish I was able to give you more ample reminiscences of the interesting subject of your inquiries; but, in the mean time, I beg you to be assured that it is a most interesting pleasure to our family if we are able to contribute any thing of value to the record of a life so distinguished as that of Senator Sumner.’Mr. Henry Reeve writes:—--
It will give me sincere pleasure to assist you in preserving any recollections of my old friend Charles Sumner, for whom I entertained the greatest regard. I cannot remember how our acquaintance began, but I presume that it was in 1838; very likely it was at the house of Baron Parke (afterwards Lord Wensleydale), with whom he was a great favorite. His legal attainments, his scholarship, his extensive knowledge of English literature, his genial and unaffected manners, but above all the enthusiasm and simplicity of his character, opened to him at once not only the doors but the hearts of a large circle of persons eminent in this country. I think I still hear him repeating a passage of Burke, or engaging in debate on some nice question of international law. English society was flattered and gratified by the strong regard he showed for the leading members of what was then one of the most intellectual and cultivated bodies of men in Europe; and he was not insensible to the attentions which were paid to him. . . . At the bottom of his heart, I believe Charles Sumner loved the old country next best after his own.But to be wroth with those we love,and I am sure that nobody would have hailed with greater satisfaction the restoration of feelings of cordial amity in the great Centenary of Independence. He ranks among us with those Americans whom we would most willingly recognize as our countrymen,—Everett, Ticknor, Adams, Longfellow, Motley, and Winthrop,—all, I think, citizens of Massachusetts, and all equally welcome to England. In some respects, Sumner was the most genial of them all. He came here young; he had no stiffness or reserve in his character; and he will always be remembered and regretted by us as one of the most agreeable companions we have known.
Doth work like madness in the brain;