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“ [559] this is my fate. Hard! very hard! I long to speak!” And again, March 17, 1858: “I would give one year of life for one week now in which to expose this enormous villany,” --the Lecompton constitution. Leaving Washington December 20, 1857, he was absent the greater part of the time for five months, coming to the capital several times at the summons of his colleague to vote on questions concerning Kansas, and leaving as soon as a vote was reached. When absent from Washington he was in Philadelphia with Mr. Furness, at the Brevoort House in New York, at his home in Boston, or at Longfellow's in Cambridge.

At this time he “turned to engravings for employment and pastime.” His interest in them hitherto had been general, but it now became almost a passion. He availed himself of such as were accessible in Washington; private collections in Philadelphia, New York, Boston, and Cambridge were opened to him; he passed days in the Astor Library ;1 but the richest treasures of the kind he found in the library of Harvard College, where under the guidance of Dr. Louis Thies he went through the remarkable Gray collection. He was so intense in this pursuit that he wearied out any one who joined him in it. Longfellow wrote in his diary, Jan. 21, 1858:--

We again passed the morning with the engravings, and again brought Sumner and Thies home to dinner, which they left midway to go back to the portfolios. Sumner is insatiable. He will be the death of Thies, who is ill. For my part, I cannot take in so much at once; it fatigues my brain and body.

Again, January 26:--

Sumner comes to dinner. He was last night at our neighbor C.'s, looking over his engravings; and this morning at Thies's house, engaged on his private collection. Verily, he goes thoroughly through the work.

Sumner began at this time to collect engravings for himself,--those now preserved in the Boston Art Museum. To Dr. Howe he wrote, March 17: “I wish you would be good enough to send to Louis Thies, of Cambridge, a check for one ZZZZ2

1 Sumner wrote to Longfellow, March 3: “Each day I go to the Astor Library, which is as fascinating as Boccaccio's garden, and wandering in the beautiful, well-arranged alcoves, every book tells its tale, and every hour is more than a Decameron. It is a most charming retreat.” He missed here an old friend of whom he wrote to Dr. Howe, March 4: “Poor Cogswell I he has been obliged to leave for the present. The hand of death seems to be upon him. It is he who is really the fundator perficiens of this beautiful library.” Dr. Cogswell, though resigning his place as superintendent of the Astor Library, lived till 1871. Ante, vol. II. pp. 130, 131, 141, 143, 145, 147, 172, 185.

2 The best portraits in engraving. Works, vol. XIV. pp. 327, 328.

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