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The article on ‘The Number Seven’ is a curious enumeration of the instances in which this charmed number reappears in Scripture, history, mythology, astronomy, philosophy, law, and the periods of human life,—‘an important and mysterious figure playing distinguished parts in the world's history.’ Its composition was a diversion, not a serious task. After an array of citations from literature, he said:—

Does not history, from the first creation of the world, bear witness to the important signification of the number seven? It is the recorded measure adopted by God for the time of his labors. It is the measure of rest from toil. It is of perpetual recurrence in human history. It is the pivot of interesting superstitions. It is the delight of legends and traditions. It is the favorite of poets, who are the priests of the human heart. It marks important stages in the physical growth of man, each of these being, as it were, a natural cycle or lustrum. It is an expression of strength, fulness, and completeness.

His articles on ‘American Law Journals’ and ‘Diversions in Philology’ are specimens of his genial discussions of style and the use of words. One cannot fail to observe, in his contributions to the ‘Law Reporter,’ how his kindly nature delighted to pay personal tributes to those who had done well in literature, even in its humblest toils. If approving words were always grateful to him, this also is true,—that he was ever generous, munificent even, in the praise which he bestowed on others.

But he (lid not give his approval from facility of nature or force of habit. He was merciless to a poor book, and ran a critic's knife through it with a relish. His notices of the ‘Maine Reports’ and of ‘Wedgewood's Revised Statutes,’ as also of Tayler's ‘Law Glossary,’ some years before, illustrate his temper in this regard. He was severe in the standard which he set up for himself, and applied the same test to others. There are some amusing stories told of the way in which irate authors hunted for the critic who had flayed them.

Sumner gave instruction at the Law School from the early part of this year till the close of the summer term, taking the place of Judge Story, who was compelled by ill-health to suspend his labors as professor.1 This was Sumner's last year of service in that capacity.

Early in 1843, Mr. Peters lost the office of Reporter of the Supreme Court. Judge Story, when he foresaw that a change was

1 The corporation, Feb. 25, 1843, appointed him to the place, and fixed his salary at the rate of twelve hundred dollars a year.

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