These remarks are all which the author would have offered to the profession respecting himself and his work, were it not that he is under obligations to another, which both inclination and justice require him publicly to acknowledge. About the time when the body of the work was completed, and the author was preparing to give it a last revision as it went through the press, he was attacked by a most severe illness, from which he has not recovered, except in a very slight degree. He was, therefore, under the necessity of committing all the care of the publication of this book to Charles Sumner, Esq., the reporter of the decisions of the Circuit Court of the United States for the First Circuit, who has discharged the kind service with the zeal of a sincere friend and the accuracy of an excellent lawyer.In 1836, Sumner was much interested in the proposed codification of the common law,—a project then much agitated in Massachusetts. He was consulted with reference to taking a place upon the preliminary commission,—consisting of Judge Story, Theron Metcalf, Simon Greenleaf, Charles E. Forbes, and Luther S. Cushing,—which was appointed under a legislative resolve to consider its expediency, but was dissuaded from accepting it by some of his friends; they thinking his great intimacy with Story, who would be the soul of the commission, an objection to his serving upon it. This movement for law-reform did not advance beyond the report of the commission. In 1837, Sumner contributed to the North American Review an article on Francis J. Grund's ‘Americans,’1 and some brief notices of books. In the winter of 1834-35, he was announced for a lecture in
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1 Jan., 1838, Vol. XLVI. pp. 106-126. In sending the article to the editor, Dr. Palfrey, he wrote, Nov. 25, 1837, ‘The whole has been written in the loopholes which I could find while my mind was anxious with business and thrilling with anticipations of Europe.’ He wrote a notice of Blunt's ‘Shipmaster's Assistant,’ Oct., 1837, Vol. XLV. pp. 502-504; David Hoffman's ‘Anthony Grumbler,’ pp. 482-504, and Lieber's ‘Hermeneutics,’ Jan. 1838, Vol. XLVI pp. 300-301. In the ‘Daily Advertiser,’ Aug. 24, 1835, he published a brief notice of a recent publication by Dr. Lieber.
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