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[60] have seen him since the morning of the day on which he delivered his Phi Beta Kappa oration, in 1846. I have always regarded him as a true man, high-minded, who would never stoop to any meanness for any purpose whatever. Till he entered upon public life, I never knew that he had an enemy, being kind and cordial to all, both high and low alike, and free from all fawning to gain the favor of any. His greatness was not, in my opinion, the result of ambition to become known and distinguished above most other men, but to do his duty faithfully in whatever he took in hand, seeking the right and pursuing it without regard to public opinion. He was thoroughly equipped for the station which he reached; and the world knows how well he acquitted himself.

In his vacations, Sumner saw something of country life, walking once to Hanover, with his friend William H. Simmons, and occasionally passing a few days with his father's uncle, William Sumner, who lived on what is now River Street, in Hyde Park, then a part of Dorchester. This relative died in 1836, at the age of eighty-seven. The Neponset River flows just in the rear of his house. Near by were then forests and pastures, where now are streets and dwelling-houses. Sumner rowed on the river, strolled over the fields, took long walks to Scots' Woods, the seashore at Squantum, and once, at least, made the ascent of Blue Hill. He joined the farmers when, with their hay-carts, they went for the salt hay they had cut on the marshes of the Neponset. He seems to have had a boy's passion for a gun, and urged his uncle to let him have one. The tradition that he succeeded in his appeal is confirmed by a sketch which he made of himself at the time, and which is preserved in one of his school-books. It is marked with his initials and the date of January, 1828. He is accompanied by a dog, and the birds are flying from a tree, all safe from the shot of his flint-lock gun, which he has just fired. ‘Charles's first attempt. Ha! ha! ha!’ is written at the foot of it.

In those days it was the fashion for parents to give children formal advice more than now. His father wrote to him, during the vacation following his Junior year, hoping that his behavior would be in every way respectful to Mr. William Sumner, on account of his age and character,—advice which was hardly needed. He says, in his letter: ‘Charles, upon your discretion and good deportment the happiness of my life will in no trifling degree depend. If any persons entertain a favorable opinion of you, I hope you will never disappoint them.’

In his Junior year, in company with four classmates, Frost,

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