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[97] figures you object to cannot be rendered poetical as well as effective; but because, as you convincingly observed, I ought, in a first great work, appealing to great national sympathies, to keep clear, quite clear, of debatable ground.

Sumner frequented at Florence the studio of Powers, who was then at work upon his ‘Eve.’ He formed at the same time a pleasant acquaintance with Richard Henry Wilde,—once a member of Congress from Georgia,—then pursuing researches for a Life of Dante, on which he was engaged. At Wilde's request, he traced out at Ferrara some manuscripts of Tasso, and afterwards at Venice others connected with Dante. In Florence, he met a tourist from Boston, already known to him, and younger than himself,—William Minot, Jr.,—in whom he took much interest, inspired in part by an ancient friendship which had existed between their fathers. Young Minot wrote to him from Florence, Sept. 26, 1839:—

I consider, my dear Mentor, my having met you at my entrance into Italy as a great piece of fortune. You have set me at once on the right track, have stimulated all my motives and tastes, and have made the path of improvement and pleasure clear to me. I shall bind up our conferences with my bundle of associations in Italy, mark them “number one,” and lay them in a very handy corner of my brain.

Mr. Minot, now a member of the Boston bar, writes:—

While in Italy, he devoted himself with great zeal to the study of Italian art and literature. I recollect being much impressed by his rapid acquisition and mastery of these subjects. He made himself familiar with, and incorporated into his own mind, the works and thoughts of the master minds of Italy. His intellectual food was of the richest and most nutritious kind, and was rapidly assimilated by his vigorous mind. His tenacious memory, his capacity for continuous work, and taste for acknowledged superiority secured to him a rich harvest. He was very kind and friendly to me personally, and full of anecdotes of the noted people he had met the previous summer in England,—especially Lord Brougham, with whom he had passed some time in Paris.

To his brother George, Sumner wrote from Florence a long letter full of counsel on various points,—the latter's proposed book on Russia, his study of languages, his style of writing, intercourse in society, manners, and dress,—in which he said:—

There is, perhaps, no other person in the world who would venture to make to you the suggestions in this letter. I judge others by myself; and

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