Brooks, but rather with pity and sorrow, and seemed scarcely to hold him personally responsible for his outrageous assault. He had not bated one jot of heart or hope for the great cause to which he had pledged his life, but only sorrowed over his own inability to be still in the van of the fight. “I ought not to be here,” he used to say. “I must get well; I will get well! My post is in the Senate, and there I long to be.” He described to us his terrible sufferings under the hot iron with which his spine was burned; but said, “I am willing to go through it again if I may go back to my duty and my work. It is terrible to be thus stricken down when there is so much to do.” Still, he took great interest in art, and visited, when he was well enough to do so, the galleries and churches, and the studios of the artists. He was specially interested in the doors which Mr. Rogers was then making for the Capitol at Washington, and repeatedly visited his studio and talked with him about them; and he was also deeply interested that the sketches left by Crawford for the doors should be executed so as to uphold his fame. It was a great pleasure to me to be with him again in daily intercourse, and to feel that our old affection had suffered no diminution by time and separation; but it was sad to see him so broken down in body. Still, he felt that his life had not been in vain; and he looked forward to the future of our country with confidence, though he felt assured that it was only through some great cataclysm—some terrible struggle to come—that slavery could be crushed and liberty secured. But no matter what comes, he said we must be free; no price is too great to pay for freedom.Sumner went to Civita Vecchia, thence by steamer to Leghorn and Genoa, and by railway to Turin, where he arrived on the 15th. The French army was in Italy, soon to meet the Austrians at Magenta. Indeed, a preliminary action took place at Montebello on the 20th, the day before Sumner crossed the frontier. With all his devotion to peace, he was an enthusiast for the Italian cause, and was as much interested in the approaching conflict as if he had been bred a soldier. At Alessandria the station was sheltering from the rain several thousand soldiers, and ‘the train as it entered seemed to penetrate the living mass, and yet all was order and tranquillity.’ At Turin he had an interview with Cavour, then the first statesman of Europe; and in that city he made the acquaintance, by Miss Weston's introduction, of two Italian ladies distinguished alike for intellectual gifts and patriotism,—Madame Arconati and Madame de Collegno,1 daughters of the Marchese Trotti
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1 M. de Collegno was Piedmontese minister at Paris under Victor Emmanuel. His wife, surviving him a few years, died in 1868. W. S. Thayer, Consul General to Egypt, wrote from Alexandria, April 27, 1862, that the Marchesa Arconati, then in Egypt, desired him to ‘say many things to Mr. Sumner.’ Mr. Thayer said of her: ‘Among women I have not seen her equal for the combination of masculine understanding and feminine sweetness of disposition.’ She was Margaret Fuller's, Madame Mohl's, and Nassau W. Senior's friend and correspondent. She died about 1872.
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