The former had been one year out of college, and was advanced in his legal course,—a decided advantage at a period of study when intellectual powers develop rapidly.
The fortunate competitors were required to read their dissertations in the chapel before the students and officers.
read his in the usual indifferent way, very rapidly, and omitting the greater part.
He invested his prize-money in books, among which were Byron
's Poems, the ‘Pilgrim's Progress,’ Burton
's ‘Anatomy of Melancholy,’ Hazlitt
's ‘Select British Poets,’ and Harvey
The last two were kept during life on his desk or table, ready for use; and the Shakspeare was found open on the day of his death, as he had left it, with his mark between the leaves, at the Third Part of Henry VI., pp. 446, 447. His pencil had noted the passage,—
Would I were dead!
if God's good will were so:
For what is in this world, but grief and woe?
Some of Sumner
's classmates have, since his death, sketched his character as a student.
At an immature period of life one's individuality is only partially developed, and any portrait retained in the mind becomes dim after an interval of nearly half a century.
The subsequent career, too, will to some extent tinge the coloring.
There is, however, a substantial identity in the outlines as drawn by his classmates.
Hon. Samuel T. Worcester
, of Nashua, N. H.
Though reasonably attentive to his college studies, and rarely absent from the recitations, I do not think that, as an undergraduate, he was distinguished for close application to his college studies.
Having been much better fitted for college, especially in Latin and Greek, than the majority of his class, he continued to maintain a very high rank in both the ancient and modern languages through his whole collegiate course.
He stood, also, very well in elocution, English composition, and the rest of his rhetorical pursuits.
In the last year of his college course, he failed in all the more abstruse and difficult mathematics.
His memory was uncommonly retentive; and it was sometimes said of him that he committed to memory, so as to be able to repeat by rote, some of the more difficult problems in mathematics with but little apprehension of their import.
Morally, so far as I have ever heard, his character while a member of college was without reproach.
At the time of entering college, he was quite tall of his age, and rather thin and slender for a youth of his height.
In manner he was somewhat awkward, and at times seemed diffident.
He grew taller as he grew older; and upon graduating, though not then arrived at his full height, he was among the tallest of his class.
Socially, as I remember him, he was amiable and gentlemanly in