of life with few clouds, probably, to overcast it; and she has gone where sorrow and sickness cannot reach her. Has she not made a good exchange for the numerous ills and infirmities which all flesh is heir to?
The loss is for those who remain behind.
Alas! for love, if thou wert all,
And nought beyond, oh earth!
His sister, Mrs. Hastings
, wrote of this period:—
My sister Mary was in delicate health for two years before her death in 1844; and the last summer of her life my brother Charles was very ill also.
It was the first illness he had suffered since he was a child of six.
He had worked very hard on Vesey's Reports; and his illness seemed a low, nervous fever.
The doctors were puzzled and alarmed, and at one time thought it was a case of galloping consumption.
It was a very sad summer in our house,—my mother and I taking turns in nursing my sister and brother.
She was out of town most of the summer; and while Charles was very ill, my mother was nursing him at home, while I was with my sister in the country.
As he grew better and she grew more feeble, my mother went to her, while I came home to take care of Charles.
How I enjoyed seeing him grow stronger, and feeling myself useful!
I remember Mr. Hillard coming to drive him out; and I remember the delightful appetite of one recovering from fever.
I always carried all his meals to him myself, read to him, and wrote letters at his dictation.
That autumn came the bitter grief of my sister's death, before he had fully recovered his strength; though he had been able to leave home, and had recuperated by a visit to Berkshire County.
His first professional work after his recovery was the trial, in the United States Circuit Court, of the friction-match case, with which he became connected soon after his return from Europe
, and in which he had been very zealous.1
The controversy was carried on both by an action of tort and a bill in equity.
The pleadings and evidence in the equity suit fill two hundred and sixty-five pages.
Sixty-three depositions were taken,—chiefly in the autumn of 1841.
The volume containing them bears, on almost every page, several of Sumner
's marks and comments.
His client contested the validity of the patent on the usual grounds of previous knowledge and use. The trial of the action of tort began before Judge Story
, Nov. 13, and consumed eleven days,—resulting in a verdict for Sumner
's client on Nov. 26.2 Sumner
spoke ten hours,—beginning on Thursday, and ending the next day. Franklin Dexter
, one of