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[295] as far as is possible for a lawyer to do, from public affairs. His anti-slavery convictions were earnest; and he consorted with Abolitionists of the Garrison school. The two classmates met from time to time,1 but the old intimacy was not renewed. At one of their meetings, the ‘Brook Farm Association,’ then established at West Roxbury, of which George Ripley2 was the leading spirit, was a topic of contention. Browne was in warm sympathy with these social reformers; but Sumner, although his brother Horace was then with them, was not. He treated their scheme with some sarcasm, which Browne laid to heart,—quoting against them passages in chapters XXXVIII. and XXXIX. of ‘Ecclesiasticus,’ particularly verse 25 of chapter XXXVIII. Browne went home, and wrote an elaborate paper of twelve pages,—a sermon in length,—signed only with his initials, beginning abruptly, without date, or any of the usual salutations of a letter, as follows: ‘I desire to say a few words for a great truth's sake. You will consider them. There is discordance of spirit now with us; you delighting in the scholar and the lawyer, and I seeking only the man,—passing by the scholar and the lawyer. Let us each tread his path.’ Then follows an argument, regretful and even melancholy in tone, in which he set forth what, as he thought, were Sumner's misconceptions of the ‘Transcendental’ philosophy, as taught and practised at Brook Farm. Both were positive in their views; and neither yielded to the other. With all Sumner's disposition to welcome new ideas promising well for the human race, a bucolic paradise, removed from the friction and heat of great activities, whatever leisure it might offer for self-culture and communion with Nature, did not tempt him. It

1 Browne removed to Boston in 1844.

2 Some years later, Sumner's relations with Mr. Ripley, who had joined the staff of the ‘New York Tribune,’ became intimate. The latter replied in that journal to an unfriendly newspaper criticism of Sumner's Phi Beta Kappa address, delivered at Schenectady, N. Y., in 1849. Mr. Ripley writes:—

‘This led to a correspondence, and afterwards an acquaintance of some intimacy, Sumner visiting at my house in New York, and seldom passing through the city without calling. This continued till a short time before his death. I was always struck with some traits, and frequently mentioned them to my friends, for which, I imagine, he did not usually get credit. He was singularly frank and transparent in the expression of his feelings; free from any approach to personal vanity, or egotism; never claiming authority for his opinions: but bearing himself with the graceful modesty of an inconspicuous individual, rather than with the majestic air of the illustrious Senator. In all his ways he was artless and affectionate as a child. I never heard him indulge in censorious criticisms of his political rivals, although I gave him ample opportunity for that recreation; indeed, he never breathed a word in my presence to the disparagement of any human being. I have often noticed that he seemed to find relief in literary inquiries and discussions from the excitement of political debate.’

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