previous next
[36] trains of thought. I am not sure that protection is not expedient now; though I feel confident that the he cannot be for distant when it will cease to be. But that question I regard as strictly within the range of expediency; no sacred principle or right seems to control it.

To George Sumner, Paris, March 10:—

They all think you will never return,—that like Ulysses, having seen cities and men, you will continue alone the lotus-eaters at Paris; and they say that you would be unwise to return, that you must be happier there than you can be here. All this sounds well, if a person has put behind his back all the duties of life, and has become merely a seeker of pleasure; this I know is not your case. Self-renunciation is sometimes difficult; but it is, I believe, a true rule of lift, so after as one can follow it. I do not say that I can; but I do strive in what I do to think as little as possible of what others may think of it, and of its influence on my personal affairs. In such a mood criticisms unfavorable or hostile, neglect and disfavor, lose something of their sting. What is it to an earnest laborer, whether one or ten societies recognize him by their parchment fraternization, or whether reviews frown or smile? And yet it cannot be disguised that praise from the worthy is most pleasant, and that all tokens of kindly recognition are valuable. But it is not for these that we live and labor. You inquire about our Historical Society. Mr. Savage holds the keys of that, nobody else; and he is your friend. Come home, if you wish to enter it. It seems to me a small thing to desire. J. Q. Adams's death has caused a deep and wide sensation; the magnitude of the demonstration in his honor is without precedent. Longfellow's “Evangeline” has a success such as has fallen to no poem of our country before.

Sumner welcomed the French Revolution of 1848. He did not overlook the perils which beset it, but he had faith that its results would be beneficent. His hopes were shared by few about him.1 In letters to his brother George, then in Europe, he quoted the adverse opinions which prevailed in Boston along merchants and in society. His friend William Kent was even in favor of the Austrian rule in Italy. Sumner in this as other things was above the spirit about him, and through life was steadfast in his sympathy for the cause of liberty and republicanism in Europe.2

To George Sumner, April 4:—

We have all been filled with mingled anxiety, astonishment, and hope by the great news from France,—the greatest event perhaps ever accomplished in a similar space of tine. The American sympathy is strongly in favor of this

1 Mr. Adams, however, treated the revolution hopefully in the Boston ‘Whig,’ April 3, 1848.

2 W. S. Robinson noted Sumner's solicitude for the spread and permanency of republicanism in Europe. Warrington's “Pen portraits,” p. 522. Sumner testified his sympathy for the same cause in a speech before a club in Boston during the last autumn of his life.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Department de Ville de Paris (France) (2)
Warrington, Fla. (Florida, United States) (1)
France (France) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
George Sumner (6)
Savage (1)
William S. Robinson (1)
Longfellow (1)
William Kent (1)
John Quincy Adams (1)
J. Q. Adams (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
April 3rd, 1848 AD (1)
1848 AD (1)
April 4th (1)
March 10th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: