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[108]

In an address to the students—colored—of Howard University, Washington, D. C., Feb. 3, 1871, Sumner said:—

These exercises ‘carry me back to early life, when I was a student of the Law School of Harvard University as you have been students in the Law School of Howard University. I cannot think of those days without fondness. They were the happiest of my life. . . . There is happiness in the acquisition of knowledge, which surpasses all common joys. The student who feels that he is making daily progress, constantly learning something new,—who sees the shadows by which he was originally surrounded gradually exchanged for an atmosphere of light,—cannot fail to be happy. His toil becomes a delight, and all that he learns is a treasure,—with this difference from gold and silver, that it cannot be lost. It is a perpetual capital at compound interest.’


Letters to classmates.

To Jonathan F. Stearns, Bedford, Mass.

Sunday, Sept. 25, 1831. Div. 10.
To Cambridge,1—your missile hit the mark; though, from its early date and late coming, one would think that the post-office powder was not of the best proof. To Cambridge,--yes; it has come to me here–Law School. Yester afternoon presented me with it, as I looked in at the office on my return from sweet Auburn, where Judge Story had been, in Nature's temple, set around with her own green and hung over with her own blue, dedicating to the dead a place well worthy of their repose. The general subject was the claims of the dead for a resting-place amongst kindred; the fondness of their living friends for seemly sepulchres in which to bury them, and where a tear can be shed unseen but by the waving grass or sighing trees; and the customs of nations in honors to the dead,—all naturally arising from the occasion.2

Your objections to the Anti-masonic party, and not to Anti-masonry, are perhaps good, though rather too strong. What party ever showed uniform placidness; and especially what young party? The blood is too warm to beat slowly or healthfully; sores and ulcers show themselves. And so it is with Anti-masonry. Some there are with more zeal than knowledge, and whose rabid philosophy will not suffer them to judge in candor and truth. They strain the principles of their party to such a tension that they almost crack (as in the case you instanced); but pray set this down to the infirmity


1 Stearns, not knowing where Sumner was, wrote, Sept. 18, ‘Where art thou? At Cambridge, I presume.’

2 An account of the services at the consecration of the Mt. Auburn Cemetery, with extracts from Judge Story's address, is given in his ‘Life and Letters,’ Vol. II. pp. 61-67.

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