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[592] an excursion to Lagrange, the home of Lafayette,1 in company with a friend, probably Joseph Lyman. Here he was most graciously received by Madame de Lasteyrie. Just before leaving the city he wrote to theodore Parker, then at Neuchatel:

I had intended, dear Parker, to quit this world of Paris to-day; but the incidents of packing and purchases are against it. I go to-Morrow, stopping at Amiens to enjoy its mighty cathedral, and then to London. For several days I have been torn and devoured by desires that have grown by what they fed on,—at shops on the quais, and collections of engravings. I have yielded, till I stand aghast at my extravagance! I wish you were here to see some of my treasures. I have two or three manuscripts of exquisite beauty, with illuminations and miniatures, such as cannot be found in all Boston. I have Elzevirs and Aldines, some in choicest old bindings, also incunabula; and I have bronzes of several ancient works of art. With what pleasure I shall look at them all, and show them to my friends at home! But I believe that my first delight is in my engravings. Pretty well,—all this indulgence for one who cannot call himself even petit rentier! But, thank God, I can pay my debts! my only capital is health, which, though long in doubt, will be mine again. Lyman and I dine together almost daily, and make experiments on French wines. I have become so much of a Frenchman, or a Swiss, that I should like to see every day at my dinner-plate one of those black bottles,—contents ruby. One of my pleasantest excursions was to Lagrange. The day was charming, and we were received with exquisite grace.

Did I tell you of a sight which I enjoyed at the exhibition (commencement) of the College of Havre? On the stage sat the prefect and the mayor, the military commander of the place and the curate, with the dignitaries of Havre and the professors. Prizes were awarded; and before the whole audience, and standing on the platform, the successful boys were crowned with green leaves,—laureati. On the benches, mingled with the other collegians, were some twenty colored boys,—some mulattoes, and others black as Ham. To my delight, several of these, and among them one of the darkest hue, gained several prizes, and came forward to receive their books and to be crowned. Rounds of applause from the audience welcomed them as they made their way from their seats to the platform and back. This made me happier even than my engravings. In itself it was an exquisite engraving.

Poor Italy! I know not how its fate is to be spun. God give to it independence! My heart is there. I envy you much all the joys of Rome; and yet, pardon me, I feel keenly the risks you run,—(1) a fitful climate, with imperfect provision against cold: but of this I have no winter experience personally; (2) the excitement of seeing and enjoying, which I fear will be inconsistent with that repose which is so necessary to an invalid. Think of these things.

Mason will not be regretted at the Tuileries, so I learn, for his habits

1 In his lecture on Lafayette, Nov. 30, 1860, he described this visit. (Works, vol. v. p. 375.) The writer made a visit to Lagrange in 1882, when he found the chateau and grounds as Sumner described them, except that the ivy planted by Charles James Fox had been killed by the severe frost of the previous winter.

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