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To John Bigelow, October 9:—

Never did I expect this long divorce from my duties, which spins out its interminable thread. Constantly from week to week I have looked for restoration, and have made plans for speaking. But at last I must give them all up. I am still an invalid, with weeks, if not months, of seclusion still before me. All this has been made particularly apparent to me to-day by my physician, while Dr. Howe of Boston, who has kindly visited me, has enforced this judgment by his authoritative opinion. my brain and whole nervous system are still jangled and subject to relapse. My only chance of cure is repose. And yet in many respects I am comfortable; indeed, so well that I am unhappy not to be better. But however comfortable or well, I am still disabled. I long to do something. The wounded Philoctetes did not sigh for companionship with the Grecian chiefs against Troy more than I do for our present battle. I am grateful for your kind thought of me, and for your promised welcome under your roof. I do not expect to stop in New York, nor do I know when I can venture into Massachusetts. With kind regards to your confreses, oldest and youngest.

Sumner remained in Philadelphia until late in October.1 Declining, under medical and friendly advice, participation in public meetings, he insisted on going to Boston to vote for Fremont for President, and for Burlingame, a candidate for re-election to Congress. As soon as his purpose was known, a committee of citizens waited on him, and urged his acceptance of a banquet. This invitation he declined, but he was unable to repress the popular sympathy which sought expression in a public reception. This became an imposing demonstration, unorganized, spontaneous, and heartfelt. A committee, of whom Professor Huntington of Harvard College, since Bishop of Central New York, took the lead, arranged that it should be ‘without military display, but civil, dignified, and elevated in character.’2 Sumner arrived from New York at Longfellow's, in Cambridge, Sunday morning, November 2.3 On Monday he was driven to the house of Amos A. Lawrence in Brookline.4 Here he was met in the early afternoon by a number of prominent citizens, who had driven in eighteen carriages from the State House. The company, taking Sumner in an open barouche with Dr. Perry and Professor Huntington,

1 After he left, Mrs. Furness wrote: ‘The little library was like an empty chapel, and the old friendly sofa had a monumental air.’

2 Professor Huntington's letter, October 10, to Sumner.

3 He arrived by the Fall River line at Harrison Square in Dorchester, and drove through Roxbury and Brookline to Cambridge.

4 The morning papers expressed the tenderness of public feeling towards him. BostonAtlas,’ November 3.

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