in his private studies, and particularly with his grappling with the branch which had annoyed him so much in college.
wrote, Sept. 25, ‘Before closing, I cannot omit expressing my strong approbation of the rigid discipline to which you have subjected yourself.
Such voluntary sacrifices in a man of your age and circumstances augur well of his coming years.
wrote, Sept. 28, ‘You have begun well.
Quarter-past five in the morning is auspicious.
's geometry, with its points, lines, angles, &c., is a good employment for an adept in mathematics, like yourself. ... Read your course of history by all means.
If you mean to grapple with the law, dissect the feudal system.
Your reading is a fortune.’
wrote, Oct. 8, ‘Hopkinson
tells me you are all absorbed in mathematics, and are making rapid progress in the study of that long neglected science.
I am glad to hear this news.’
wrote, Nov. 1, recommending Dibdin
's ‘Introduction to the Greek and Latin Classics,’ and said, ‘I should certainly think it indispensable to every one who loves the old Latin
writers and venerable tomes as you do, as soon as he begins to form his library.’
Soon after leaving college, Sumner
sought an ushership in the Boston Latin School, but did not succeed in obtaining it. He was pressed by Stearns
, then teaching an academy at Northfield
, to become his assistant, and afterwards to take the sole charge of the institution; the latter urging that, with his attainments in the classics, he would have ample leisure to pursue his reading; but he was unwilling to separate himself from Boston
, and declined the offer.
In January, he taught for three weeks at Brookline
, filling a temporary vacancy in the school of Mr. L. V. Hubbard
(where his classmate McBurney
was an usher), which was kept in a stone building modelled after the Greek style, and is still standing on Boylston Street. This brief experience as a school-teacher, while not attended with any unpleasant occurrence, did not give him a taste for the occupation.
In the latter part of December he composed an essay on commerce, the subject of a prize, limited to minors, which had been offered by the ‘Boston Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge,’—a society formed after the example of the famous English association.
Its president at that time was Daniel Webster, and its vice-president, John Pickering