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[52] Howe in 1844, just after his severe illness, from which he had not cared to recover; and later in 1846-1847, when shut out from homes where he had been welcome, and a sense of loneliness oppressed him, He gave passionate expression to his discontent. To Longfellow he wrote April 15, 1840, after Felton's engagement for his second marriage: ‘I do feel the desolation of my solitude. And Corny has left me; I am more desolate than ever.’

Sumner was nearly forty when he began to enjoy music; and he seemed, as he said, to have then acquired a new sense. His sister Julia (Mrs. Hastings) wrote in 1875:—

He was very indifferent to music until the season that the fine opera troupe from Havana visited us, in May, 1850,—the troupe that comprised Steffanone, Bosio, Salvi, Badiali, and Marini. One evening we persuaded Charles to go. He went and was charmed. It was a sudden awakening to the delights of music, and he went many evenings thereafter while that company continued to sing. Marini, the grand basso, gave him especial delight. When Jenny Lind gave concerts in Boston, in October, 1850, he enjoyed her very much, and kindly took me three evenings to hear her.

Sumner attended on Sundays the morning service at King's Chapel, sitting at the head of the family pew; but it was not congenial to him. The pastor, Rev. Ephraim Peabody,1 did not conceal even in his pulpit his distaste for the causes which were dear to Sumner, or his sympathy on public questions with Samuel A. Eliot and other highly conservative members of the parish.2

Notwithstanding his recklessness in keeping late hours, Sumner's health was excellent. Horace Mann wrote of him to Howe in 1852, what was true of him always: ‘He yields obedience to all God's laws of morality, but thinks he is exempt from any obligation to obey His laws of physiology.’ After 1844 he had only slight and temporary illnesses.

At the end of March, 1846, Prescott Was obliged by an affection of the eye to suspend his studies, and he desired Sumner to join him in a vacation. They passed nearly a week in Washington, a week in New York, where their time was divided between society and visits to an oculist (Sumner writing from New

1 To be distinguished from Rev. Andrew P. Peabody, who held an open antislavery position.

2 After he went to Washington as senator Sumner seldom attended church services. He was sometimes in the audience when a personal friend was to preach. Life of W. H. Channing, by 0. B. Frothingham, p. 264.

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