illustrated with such singular felicity in that work, as well as in the speech at Faneuil Hall, seem to me destined to regenerate society in this country and ultimately throughout Europe and the world.
I rejoice that they have found an advocate so learned and so eloquent in New England.
Be assured, my dear sir, that, although a stranger, I have carefully observed your actions for several years, and have constantly cherished the hope that you were destined to a life of great honor and usefulness.
A letter from Mr. Seward
in May, 1848, shows his estimate of Sumner
at that time.
had made some suggestions as to the revision of Seward
's oration on John Quincy Adams
You will perhaps wonder at the deference I pay you; but I pray you to believe that it comes from a profound respect for your judgment as a scholar and as a moralist.
If you knew me better, you would know that I am but occasionally and incidentally engaged as either the one or the other.
my life is one of action, not of speculation.
I pray you accept assurances, which nevertheless I hope are unnecessary, of decided respect and cordial friendship.
Dr. Gamaliel Bailey
, editor of the ‘National Era,’ Washington, D. C.
, in writing to Sumner
, May 31, 1848, upon various political matters, added: ‘Do let me say that there is no one in New England
whose productions I have read with so much unalloyed pleasure.’
William W. Story
had now established his home in Italy
; but in 1851 he was in Boston
carrying his Life of his father through the press,—a work in which Sumner
naturally took a great interest.
During his last days in the country he took a crayon likeness of Sumner
, intended for the Earl
, who had requested him to sit for a portrait.
Story wrote to Sumner
, October 12, the day before sailing on his return to Italy
I leave no one in this country with more regret than you; and now that I am saying “Farewell” for years, let me express to you the feelings of gratitude and affection which well up in my heart towards you. You have always been to me more a brother than a friend, ever solicitous for my well being and well doing, ever ready to do me kindnesses, ever true and warm and noble.
I cannot go without thanking you specially for your interest in my work during the last six months while I have been engaged on this Life of my father.
I feel that it would not have had half its merit had it not been for your watchfulness and your real assistance.
The next day when sailing, he wrote on board the barque,—
dear Sumner,—I would that you were to go with us. But you have tasks noble indeed, but heavy to perform.
How many look to you to carry out great principles into legislation, to speak stirring words into the dull ear of