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[102] even his books. Miss Frances A. Kemble, the daughter of Charles Kemble, the English actor, and the niece of Mrs. Siddons, came with her father to this country in 1832, three years after her debut at Covent Garden in the character of Juliet. She was then but twenty-one years old; and her youth added to the fascination of her brilliant talents. Wherever she played, her acting was greatly admired; and by no class so much as by students. After fulfilling engagements in New York and other cities, she made her first appearance in Boston in April, 1833. Sumner was an enthusiast in his devotion, walking again and again to the city during her engagement at the Tremont Theatre, witnessing her acting with intense admiration, and delighting to talk of her with his friends.1 He did not know her personally at this time, but greatly enjoyed her society some years afterwards, during a visit to Berkshire County.

Sumner visited, while a student in the Law School, but few families. He was a welcome guest at the firesides of the two professorsStory, and Mrs. Story and Mrs. Greenleaf took an interest in him almost equal to that of their husbands. His friendship with the family of President Quincy, which began at this period, remained unbroken through life; and from them, in all the vicissitudes of his career, he never failed to receive hearty sympathy and support. While he entered sympathetically into the household life of his friends, he was, at this period,—which is marked by an absorbing, almost ascetic, devotion to the pursuit of knowledge,—indifferent to the society of ladies whose charms were chiefly those of person and youth; and his preference for the conversation of scholarly persons gave at times much amusement to others; but, as some lifelong friendships attest, no one was ever more appreciative of women of superior refinement and excellence.

Mrs. Waterston, a daughter of President Quincy, writes:—

Charles Sumner entered his Senior year in 1830. The son of an old friend of my father's, he must have had an early invitation to our house. The first distinct remembrance I have of him personally was on one of my mother's reception evenings, held every Thursday during the winter, and

1 Browne wrote, April 18, ‘You speak rapturously of the girl.’ Judge Story's enthusiasm for Miss Kemble quite equalled Sumner's. He was charmed with her acting, and addressed some verses to her:—

Go! lovely woman, go! Enjoy thy fame!
A second Kemble, with a deathless name.

Life and Letters, Vol. II. pp. 114-117.

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