fond of reading letters from Europe
, and was grateful for access to those written by Mr. Rand
and Mr. Ticknor
while they were abroad, and to those received by Mr. Daveis
from his English friends.
He corresponded with George Gibbs
, who in 1835 passed some time in Paris
, where through Sumner
's introduction he was well received by Foelix
In the early part of 1837, a strong friendship was formed between Cornelius C. Felton
, Henry W. Longfellow
, George S. Hillard
, Henry R. Cleveland
, and Sumner
; they called themselves the ‘Five of Clubs.’
They were near to each other in age; Longfellow
being thirty, Felton
twenty-eight, and Sumner
Of the five, Hillard
only was married.
All achieved an honorable place in literature.
was a teacher by profession, and a scholar of a refined and sensitive nature; and, after suffering several years from ill-health, he died at the age of thirty-four.
The others lived to fulfil the rich promise of youth.
became friends when the former was Greek
professor at Harvard College,2
and the latter a student in the Law School.
The friendship of Hillard
began with their law-partnership.
A single interview, in 1835, between Longfellow
, in Felton
's room, was their only meeting before the former, having passed more than a year in Europe
after his election as Mr. Ticknor
's successor, assumed in Dec., 1836, the duties of his professorship at Cambridge
The ‘Five’ came together almost weekly, generally on Saturday afternoons.
They met simply as friends with common tastes and the fullest sympathy with each other, talking of society, the week's experiences, new books, their individual studies, plans, and hopes, and of Europe
had seen, and which the others longed to see. They loved good cheer, but observed moderation in their festivities.
A table simply spread became a symposium when Felton
, with his joyous nature, took his seat among his friends; and the other four were not less genial and hearty.
There was hardly a field of literature which one or the other had not traversed, and they took a constant interest in each other's studies.
Each sought the criticism of the rest upon his own book, essay, or poem