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[74] of the common schools, and forging the weapons for other fights which laid the foundations of the school system of Massachusetts. Later, he was to take up the cause of the feeble-minded, the deaf mute, the prisoner, the slave; throughout his life, no one in “trouble, sorrow, need, sickness, or any other adversity” was ever to call on him in vain.

His friends called him the “Chevalier” ; partly because the King of Greece had made him a Knight of St. George, but more because they saw in him a good knight without fear and without reproach. Charles Sumner was his alter ego, the brother of his heart; others of his intimates at that time were Longfellow, George Hillard, Cornelius Felton, Henry Cleveland. This little knot of friends called themselves “The five of Clubs,” and met often to make merry and to discuss the things of life.

The summer of 1842 was spent by Julia Ward and her sisters at a cottage in the neighborhood of Boston, in company with their friend Mary Ward.1 Here Longfellow and Sumner often visited them, and here Julia first heard of the Chevalier and his wonderful achievement in educating Laura Bridgman. Deeply interested, she gladly accepted the offer of the two friends to drive her and her sisters over to the Perkins Institution. She has described how “Mr. Sumner, looking out of a window, said, ‘Oh! here comes Howe on his black horse.’ I looked out also, and beheld a noble rider on a noble steed.”

1 Afterward Mrs. Charles H. Dorr. This lady was of no kin to them. She had been betrothed to their brother Henry, and was the lifelong friend of all three sisters.

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