He was greatly interested in the literary work of his friends, Prescott, Bancroft, Sparks, Story, and Greenleaf,—all active at this time in authorship. Hardly a day passed that some one of them did not call at his office, where their coming was more welcome than that of clients. Of these, only Bancroft survives. He was then writing his ‘History of the United States,’ but was already much addicted to politics. He had left the Whigs, who combined the wealth and culture of Boston, and had become a leader of the Democratic party. This departure barred him from the social position to which his accomplishments entitled him. Whatever may have been pleaded in excuse for this discrimination, none, it is certain, would have taken place but for his rejection of the prevailing political faith of Boston society. He always found, however, agreeable friends in Prescott, Hillard, and Sumner, who did not share in the proscriptive spirit of others. Soon after his return Sumner became the friend of Washington Allston, whom he often visited at Cambridgeport, and with whom he conferred in plans for promoting the success of Greenough and Crawford. He much enjoyed his friendly relations with Rufus Choate, whose office was at No. 4 Court Street. They talked of politics and literature,—particularly of Burke, for whom Mr. Choate had an extravagant admiration. When the latter was in the
That are no more, and shall no more return.
Thou hast but taken thy lamp and gone to bed;
I stay a little longer, as one stays
To cover up the embers that still burn.
The doors are all wide open; at the gate
The blossomed lilacs counterfeit a blaze,
And seem to warm the air; a dreamy haze
Hangs o'er the Brighton meadows like a fate,
And on their margin, with sea-tides elate,
The flooded Charles, as in the happier days,
Writes the last letter of his name, and stays
His restless steps, as if compelled to wait.
I also wait; but they will come no more,
Those friends of mine, whose presence satisfied
The thirst and hunger of my heart. Ah me
They have forgotten the pathway to my door!
Something is gone from Nature since they died,
And summer is not summer, nor can be.
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