previous next
‘ [308] Ethics,’ and sought to interest in the work the managers of the leading reviews. He also rendered a similar service for some of Judge Story's law treatises. He was assiduous in commending Prescott's first great work, the ‘Ferdinand and Isabella,’ then recently issued, and in obtaining for it fair criticism in the reviews,—a service which the author gratefully acknowledged.1 He sought the publication of Longfellow's poems,2 who was as yet known in England chiefly by his ‘Outre-Mer;’ and made similar efforts for Richard Hildreth's ‘Archy Moore,’ and Sparks's ‘Washington.’ He purchased books for the Harvard Law School, and for Judge Story, Professor Greenleaf, and Luther S. Cushing; and caused copies of original manuscripts of Lord Hale and Hargrave to be made for the judge. His interest in the peculiar toils and pursuits of his friends was constant, and he spared no pains to serve them.

While in England, he was much occupied with correspondence, writing often and at great length to Judge Story of lawyers, judges, law-writers, law-books, and courts; to Hillard of scholars, society, and personal experiences; and with less frequency and detail to Professor Greenleaf, Felton, Cleveland, Longfellow, Dr. Lieber, Mr. Daveis, and a few others. These letters were written with no view to publication or even preservation, but simply for the gratification of friends; and, having only this purpose in view, he sometimes mentioned in an artless way the kind things which were said to him, and the unusual courtesies he received. He reclaimed none of them on his return, and his only solicitude concerning them was lest by accident

1 Mr. Prescott, not then personally known to Sumner, wrote to him, April 18, 1839: ‘Our friend Hillard read to me yesterday some extracts from a recent letter of yours, in which you speak of your interviews with Mr. Ford, who is to wield the scalping-knife over my bantling in the “Quarterly.” I cannot refrain from thanking you for your very efficient kindness towards me in this instance, as well as for the very friendly manner in which you have enabled me to become acquainted with the state of opinion on the literary merits of my History in London. It is, indeed, a rare piece of good fortune to be thus put in possession of the critical judgments of the most cultivated society who speak our native language. Such information cannot be gathered from reviews and magazines, which put on a sort of show-dress for the public, and which are very often, too, executed by inferior hands. Through my friend Ticknor first, and subsequently through you, I have had all the light I could desire; and I can have no doubt that to the good-natured offices of both of you I am indebted for these prestiges in my favor, which go a good way towards ultimate success. . . . Thanks to your friendly interposition [referring to a forthcoming review of the “Ferdinand and Isabella” in the “Quarterly ” ], I have no doubt this will be better than they deserve; and, should it be otherwise, I shall feel equally indebted to you.’—Prescott's ‘Life,’ pp. 339, 340.

2 The ‘Voices of the Night’ was not published till 1839.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
April 18th, 1839 AD (1)
1839 AD (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: