wrote to him, Aug. 1:—
I was never more astonished than I now am, to see an actual note from you in your proper handwriting.
I also feel a little compunction that I have not seen you for several days; but I was informed that you had hosts of callers, and that it was fatiguing to you to be obliged to converse so much.
Moreover, Hillard has kept us all constantly informed of your condition.
I knew you would not think my absence any evidence of lukewarmness towards you. Moreover (second), I have called several times without seeing you. You say I gave you up. So did all the faithful for a few days; and Theophilus first sounded the note of alarm.
He was very much discouraged about you when he left.
But every thing is changed now, and I need not say there is but one feeling in all hearts now that you are out of danger. . . . The truth is, you are a most faithful critic; and, now that I miss your assistance, I begin to feel the truth of your assertion that I have often abused you.1
One of Longfellow
's friends wrote to the poet, July 26: ‘Your melancholy account of the condition of our dear friend Sumner
gave me infinite sorrow and surprise.
I surely fear that your worst apprehensions will be realized.
It will, indeed, be a sad blow to us all. God grant him strength to recover and defy the disease.
There are so few like him upon earth that I cannot believe God really means to deprive humanity of so noble an example of all that is good and high-minded and pure.’
Lord Morpeth wrote from Castle Howard
, Aug. 18:—
I write a hurried line, in consequence of a note I have received from Madame Calderon, telling me that you are very far from well.
I wish intently to receive from your own hands, if it be possible, some definite account of yourself, and also to assure you by mine of the very strong and very tender interest I feel about you. I really do not believe that, beyond my own immediate family circle, there is a person in either hemisphere with whom I feel more manifold sympathies, or the snapping of which would occasion a greater void.
Till I hear about yourself, I feel that I cannot touch on any other topics.
I hear of Prescott busy upon “Philip the second.”
Give him my kindest love, if he is within your reach.
If the exertion of letting me have a word from yourself would not be judicious, I am sure that either he or Hillard, or else your kind mother, would perform that good office for me. How I wish I could be within reach to take my share in tending you!
Let me, at least, commend you to Him who orders all for the best.
May his pardon be with you for the offences which a nature even pure, generous, and gentle as your own must have contracted, and his love and blessing for ever!
From the time when, late in July, the favorable turn came, he recovered rapidly.
He seemed to have a new sympathy with Nature,