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[41] in the Latin School to give nicknames to each other, significant of something in their appearance or ways, by which they were uniformly called, without however intending or giving offence. One was applied to him, as expressive of his awkwardness.

His growth was rapid, and his constitution rather delicate than robust; but his only illness in early life occurred when he was six years old. The fare of the family table was quite simple, but Charles was entirely content with it.

Boston, which with its growth in space and numbers is now a city of nearly 350,000 inhabitants,1 contained in Sumner's early boyhood only about 40,000. It retained its town organization until 1822, its citizens electing selectmen and voting upon municipal affairs in Faneuil Hall. Within its limits, then quite narrow, were many open spaces, now covered by warehouses and dwellings. Ample gardens were spread out on streets since lined with blocks. Families most regarded for lineage and wealth lived near the Common and the State House, and also on Fort Hill, which after being deserted by this class was levelled in 1871, and is now a thoroughfare of business. Copp's Hill, the North End, and the West End were inhabited generally by citizens who enjoyed a competency or were raised above poverty by their earnings. The suburbs were occupied by villages and large farms, with estates here and there of merchants who drove daily to their counting-rooms in Boston.

The people were generally primitive in their mode of living. A few were moderately rich, but equality of condition was the general feature of society. The streets were not as yet filled with the metropolitan life which one now meets in them. The town was more like a large village than a city. It combined the advantages of a well-appointed community, but its character was that of repose rather than rapid movement. One was humble, indeed, not to be personally known to most of his fellow-citizens. Harvard College diffused an atmosphere of culture among a people distinguished for a traditional love of learning. Charles's father, being a lawyer and liberally educated, ranked with the intelligent class, but he had not the fortune to place him in the more exclusive society. He had also separated himself from the political party which attracted the wealth and culture of New England. Among such a people,

1 The suburban cities of Cambridge and Chelsea together contain, in addition, nearly 70,000 inhabitants.

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