hundred dollars on my account.
He is my most amiable and faithful teacher in engravings, who has undertaken to order from Europe
a few choice old productions for me.”
He gratified this taste a few months later in Paris
, both in looking over collections and also in purchases.
He appreciated the general effect of an engraving, but he had not the eye of a connoisseur who can discover its place in the order of impressions.
He had always, as a paper written by him later in life shows,1
a lively interest in the history of the art and in the biographies of eminent engravers.
Hitherto during the session Sumner
was hoping that he was near the end of his disability, and at times assured inquirers that he was almost well; but a difficulty in walking and in rising from his seat reminded him that he was still an invalid.
In April, while at Washington
, he suffered a relapse.
With no immediate cause that was apparent except a slight over-exertion, he was attacked with severe pains in the back and pressure on the brain, attended with lameness and exhaustion.
He could not rise from his chair or walk without pain; and this condition lasted for a month.
It was apparent that he must resign the hope of activity in the Senate for the present; and he yielded to the advice of his physicians, Dr. Wister
and Dr. Perry
, reinforced by Mr. Seward
and other senators who had observed his continued liability to prostration, that he must abstain from the excitement of public life for a year to come.
He was much in doubt where to go, what baths, if any, to take, and to what course of treatment to resort.
In a letter to Longfellow
, May 10, from Mr. Furness
's, he stated his perplexity and his “most depressing sense of invalidism,” and closed by saying, “Meanwhile time and opportunity, irrevocable, pass on. I grow old, inactive, and the future is dreary.”
Regretfully he decided on another journey to Europe
, having in mind a visit to Switzerland
, the Pyrenees
,--some country not already familiar to him and remote from social attentions, but without any distinct purpose of seeking medical treatment.
His first thought of attempting on foot or horseback all the exercise he could possibly bear was found to be hazardous, and given up.2