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[247] scene. Of this day, of the cleverness and grace of the ladies he met during his North River visit, and of his horseback rides with fair companions, he wrote with the fervor of youth to friends at home. His hosts at Hyde Park parted regretfully with him, and even now recall freshly the pleasure he gave them.

Macready arrived in this country in Sept., 1843. His first engagement was in New York, where Sumner saw him in ‘Hamlet;’ and, dining with him, ‘thought him agreeable and gentlemanly.’ This was the beginning of their friendship. During the autumn, Macready was for two months in Boston; and at this time they were very much in each other's society.1Macready,’ Sumner wrote at this time, ‘has won our hearts. He is a most agreeable and interesting person.’ Again, in Oct. 1844, Macready visited Boston, and sailed the same month for England. In all his controversy with Forrest he had Sumner's counsels and cordial support; and their correspondence showed a constant interest in each other.

Few men have ever lived so much in their friendships as Sumner; and this year brought changes in the loved circle where his life had been garnered up. Cleveland died in June. Dr. Howe was married to Miss Julia Ward in April, and Longfellow to Miss Appleton in July. Sumner rejoiced in the happiness of his two friends; he was present at both weddings, and groomsman at the first. Of the group of young men who had been linked most closely together he alone remained single. Dr. Howe, with his bride, sailed for Europe immediately after their marriage, and was absent sixteen months. From Halifax he wrote back a farewell message: ‘Nor can time or distance or new relations ever loosen the bond of affection by which I am linked with thee; loving thee better than any of the numerous friends who spring up around thee wherever thou plantest thy foot.’ Well-filled letters often passed between the two while the ocean divided them; but Sumner, who craved sympathy and had found communion with Howe a help and solace, sorely felt the separation.

During the years 1843-44, Sumner suffered from depression of spirits. He took a gloomy view of what he had done or was likely to do, and became weary of life. It is rare that such a state

1 Reminiscences and Diaries of Macready, Nov. 13, 14, 21, 26, 27, 1843. See Sumner's letter to Macready on his retirement from the stage in 1850, p. 675; also reference to a letter of Macready to Sumner, on Judge Story's death, p. 571.

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