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[4] wrote, in 1852, to his brother George, then in Europe: ‘There are beautiful and generous spirits in Boston, but the prevailing tone of its society is provincial toryism. Persons freshly returned from Europe, who have hearts, are at first disturbed by it, then straightway adopt it. Witness the C——'s.’1

These people were naturally ill-affected toward the progress of republicanism in Europe, and were quite unanimous in their want of sympathy with the uprisings of 1848. They were as much perplexed with fear of change as kings or any privileged orders.2 Sumner wrote to his brother in 1852: ‘You must not confound the opinion of Boston with that of Massachusetts. The Commonwealth is for Kossuth; the city is against him. The line is broadly drawn. The same line is run between my political supporters and opponents. The city is bigoted, narrow, provincial, and selfish; the country has more the spirit of the American Revolution.’

One cannot but note a certain type in the portraits of the Boston men of this period as they hang in private houses, libraries, and museums, where they appear like strong-featured, and, as Mr. Webster called them, ‘solid men.’ Their heads, as cut by artists in marble, if exhumed among the ruins of the buried city ages to come, would not be unworthy of a place with the busts which line the long hall of the Vatican.

The professions and journals, which direct the thought of a people, were at the time in a high degree conservative. Dr. James Walker, then professor at Cambridge, was easily the first preacher. King's Chapel, with Rev. Ephraim Peabody in the pulpit and worshippers of the best society in the pews, represented the churches. Channing, that finest product of New England, was no longer living, to temper with his moral enthusiasm social and commercial opinion, and to set forth in weekly ministrations his lofty ideal of humanity.3 Edward Everett and Rufus Choate were the first orators. Choate, C. G. Loring, and B. R. Curtis were the leaders of the bar. Lemuel Shaw, just, wise, and

1 Longfellow, referring to the proneness of some persons to find little good in their own country after returning from Europe, wrote in his diary, Oct. 17, 1847: ‘Sumner to dine. All Americans who return from Europe malcontent with their own country we call Frondeurs, from the faction in the days of the Reqence.’

2 ‘Life’ of Ticknor, vol. II. pp. 230, 234, 236.

3 In two Unitarian pulpits, those of James Freeman Clarke and F. D. Huntington, the spirit of Channing survived; but in those of most of the Unitarian churches, as also in the Congregational (Trinitarian) and Episcopalian, there was little sympathy for moral reforms.

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