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[579] writing his name in it, and saying, ‘Dick, I want to give you something, but have only this book.’ Thus passed three months at Montpellier, which he left on the morning of March 6.1

Sumner kept up at Montpellier, under the immediate care of Dr. Crouzet, the treatment prescribed by Dr. Brown-Sequard,— ‘poisons for medicines’ and cupping along the spine (ventouses seches),—painful, but, as he wrote, preferable to fire. The tranquillity and separation from political excitement were salutary, and he really made progress; but the end was still uncertain. Never were books more a refuge and a solace,—perfugium ac solatium; and they ministered to recovery.

He wrote to E. L. Pierce, March 4:—

During my winter solitude here, not a word from you. I hope, notwithstanding, that you have not ceased to think of me with your early kindness. my life here has been of the greatest tranquillity; never did patient surrender himself more completely to the most assured means for the recovery of his health. I have spared nothing of effort, and have shrunk from no trial or pain. Some fifteen hours out of the daily twenty-four I have passed on my back, and have always begun the day with a treatment which was tolerable only as an exchange for fire. But I have found society and solace in books, which I have devoured with my ancient ardor.2 No prisoner in the Bastile ever read more. God be praised for this taste, or appetite, and for the returning strength which has enabled me to indulge it!

Good friends I have found here, chiefly in the professors. The climate has been exquisite,—a perpetual spring. To-day I have been chatting with the professor of botany in the open air, and in the shade of his garden. Such things seem impossible in Boston, and yet Montpellier is on our line of latitude. I have also had pleasure in the lectures of the professors,—one of them an eminent writer in the Revue des Deux Mondes, and speaking with exquisite grace and beauty. I have seen very little of American newspapers, and till this week not one from Boston. But the conduct of our government fills me with sorrow; you cannot conceive the depths to which it degrades us, and

1 Twenty years later, March 30, 1879, the writer passed a day in Montpellier, lodging at Hotel Nevet, whose proprietor was still living. The elder Gordon had died; but his son Richard, now custodian of the medical Library, was the writer's lively and agreeable companion. Professor Martins was still bright and amiable, fond of humor, enjoying good health, and active in duty. Dr. Crouzet, now advanced in years, was full of enthusiasm for his distinguished patient. The writer visited with Mr. Gordon all of Sumner's favorite haunts,—the Promenade, the Jardin, the home of the elder Gordon, the Municipal Library, and Taillandier's lecture-room. It was interesting to observe how, after a long interval, the interest of Sumner's friends in him was unabated. Again in March, 1887, the writer passed a few hours in Montpellier, seeing the hotel proprietor, now ninety in age, and renewing agreeable intercourse with Richard Gordon. Dr. Crouzet was still living. Professor Martins had become an invalid, and was living in Paris, where he died two years later.

2 He wrote to George Sumner, February 15: ‘How often I think with gratitude of my love of books, which furnishes me in my retreat such hosts of truest friends.’

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