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[124]

Vienna, Oct. 26.

At length in Vienna. Left Munich in the eilwagen1 for Passau; rode a day and night. At Passau, with an English friend, chartered a little gondola, or skiff, down the Danube, seventy miles, to Linz; dropped with the current, through magnificent scenery, till towards midnight, and stopped at a little village on the banks. To our inquiries, if they ever saw any English there, we were told they should as soon expect to see the Almighty; and I was asked if America was not in the neighborhood of Odessa. At Linz took a carriage for Vienna,—two days and a half,—where I arrived yesterday. You have doubtless heard of Webster's reception in England. I have just read a letter from my friend Morpeth2 (to whom I sent a letter for Webster), who says he ‘was much struck by him; there seemed to be a colossal placidity about him.’ All appear to think him reserved and not a conversationist.3 Sydney Smith calls him the ‘Great Western.’ My friend Parkes, whom I encountered with his family at Munich, says that his friends, such as Charles Austin and Grote, were disappointed in his attainments. Parkes insists that on my return to London I shall stay with him in his house in Great George Street. He was highly gratified to know the author of that article on Milton, which he says is the ablest and truest appreciation of Milton's character ever published,4 entirely beating Macaulay's or Dr. Channing's. Parkes wishes me to take to Emerson the copy of Milton edited by himself in 1826 (Pickering's edition). He has a collection of upwards of one hundred works about Milton,5 and contemplates a thorough edition of him, [125] and also of Andrew Marvel. But politics and eight thousand pounds a year in his profession bind him for the present.

As ever,

C. S

1 Stage-coach.

2 Lord Morpeth said, also, in the letter: ‘He (Mr. Webster) talked with great respect of you.’

3 Creswell told Sumner, when they met at Venice, that Webster was thought ‘very reserved and solemn.’

4 Ante,Vol. II. p. 47.

5 Among the souvenirs which Sumner purchased during his visit to Europe in 1858-59, the one which he prized most and showed frequently to visitors was the Album of Camillus Cardoyn, a Neapolitan nobleman, who collected during his residence at Geneva, 1608-1640, the autographs of distinguished persons passing through that city. One of these was the Earl of Strafford's as follows:—

Qui nimis notus omnibus ignotus moritur sibi,

Tho. Wentworth, Anglus, 1612.

Another was that of John Milton as follows:—

—if Vertue feeble were
     Heaven it selfe would stoope to her.

Coelum non animu muto du trans mare curro.

Joannes Miltonius, Anglus. Junii 10, 1639.

The date is supposed to have been written by another hand.

This autograph of Milton is described in the ‘Ramblings in the Elucidation of the Autographs of Milton,’ by Samuel Leigh Sotheby, p. 107, where it is stated that the Album was sold at auction, in 1835, for twenty-five pounds four shillings, and that it ‘is now the property of the Rev. (!) Charles Sumner, of America.’ and that ‘the Reverendgentleman had recently obtained it in Europe.’ Sumner having been shown this Album, in 1839, by Mr. Parkes, to whom it then belonged, mentioned to Dr. Channing that the poet had written these lines of his own in an Album, and had made the change in the line from Horace; upon which Dr. C., who took much interest in the account, remarked that it showed ‘that to Milton the words from Comus were something more than poetry—that they were a principle of life.’ It has been supposed that Milton, by the alteration in the line from Horace,—using the first person instead of the third,—intended to express the permanency of his own convictions, as unaffected by circumstances. Twenty years after Sumner had first seen the Album, the value of which to him had been increased by Dr. Channing's remark, he bought it of Mr. Parkes; who, among the several friends expressing a desire to become its owner when he should be willing to part with it, gave the preference to Sumner. At different times Sumner gave an account of the way in which he became interested in the Album to Mr. Hillard, Rev. R. C. Waterston, and Rev. James F. Clarke. In the Boston Transcript of Jan. 9, 1860, is a notice of it, the materials of which were obtained from Sumner himself. The Album is a part of his bequest to Harvard College.

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