he helped me on one occasion when I needed a friend, with the tenderness of a girl.
When I left, in 1834, to no one of the friends whom I had gained there was I more attached.
A lady, then a fiancee
of one of his most intimate classmates, writes:—
As a young law-student, I remember very well the first impression he made upon me of a certain dignity and strength, which supplied the want of grace, and which was as perceptible in his conversation as in his person.
You would have said then that he was a man of ideas, and that the ideas of other people would never be trammels, only steps, for him.
William W. Story
writes from Rome
I was a mere boy when I first knew him, but the affectionate kindness which he then showed me remained unclouded by the slightest shadow until the day of his death.
His father was in a class two years before my father at Harvard; and when Charles Sumner entered the Law School, my father took an interest in him at first, because of his father, and this interest soon ripened into a warm affection.
My first recollections of him are at this period.
He used to come to our house some two or three evenings in the week, and to his long conversations I used to listen night after night with eager pleasure.
His simplicity and directness of character, his enthusiasm and craving for information, his lively spirit and genial feeling, immediately made a strong impression on me. My father was very fond of him, always received him with a beaming face, and treated him almost as if he were a son; and we were all delighted to welcome him to our family circle.
He was free, natural, and naive in his simplicity, and plied my father with an ever-flowing stream of questions; and I need not say that the responses were as full and genial as heart and mind could desire.
When I heard that he was in the room, I quitted all occupations to see and hear him, though for the most part I only played the role of listener.
When other persons came in, he would turn to me and make inquiries as to my studies, and endeavor to help me in them; and at last, out of pure good nature, he proposed to me to come to his room in the Dane Law College, and read Latin with him and talk over the ancient authors.
I gladly accepted the offer, and many an evening I used to spend with him in half study, half talk.
He had the art to render these evenings most agreeable.
He talked of Cicero and Caesar; of Horace, Virgil, Tacitus, Sallust, and indeed of all the old Latin writers; of the influence they had on their age, and their age had on them; of the characteristics of their poetry and prose; of the peculiarities of their style; of the differences between them and our modern authors: and he so talked of them as to interest and amuse me, and bring them before me as real and living persons out of the dim, vague mist in which they had hitherto stood in my mind.
We used then, also, to cap Latin verses; and he so roused my ambition not to be outdone by him that I collected from various authors a book full of verses, all of which I committed to memory.
Of course he beat me always, for he had