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Edward L. Pierce, Memoir and letters of Charles Sumner: volume 1, Chapter 4: College Life.—September, 1826, to September, 1830.—age, 15-19. (search)
s are most curious examples of pedantry, which none of the dullest dogs of our dull days could hope to equal even in this particular. Who has ever produced a work more pedantic and yet more pregnant with sound thought and beautiful allusion than Burton? His Anatomy of Melancholy is a perfect mass of pedantry, yet the genius of the author shines like a bright star through the night which would have obscured a luminary of less magnitude. On Jan. 15, 1830, he copied several extracts from Cassertations in the chapel before the students and officers. Sumner read his in the usual indifferent way, very rapidly, and omitting the greater part. He invested his prize-money in books, among which were Byron's Poems, the Pilgrim's Progress, Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, Hazlitt's Select British Poets, and Harvey's Shakspeare. The last two were kept during life on his desk or table, ready for use; and the Shakspeare was found open on the day of his death, as he had left it, with his mark
Edward L. Pierce, Memoir and letters of Charles Sumner: volume 1, Chapter 5: year after College.—September, 1830, to September, 1831.—Age, 19-20. (search)
ot go into society. His readings were, in the classics, Tacitus, Juvenal, Persius; in poetry and general literature, Shakspeare and Milton, Finished, Oct. 12. Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, The Correspondence of Gilbert Wakefield with Charles James Fox, Chiefly on Subjects of Classical Literature, Moore's Life of Byron, Butlf modern history, Hallam's Middle Ages and Constitutional History, Roscoe's Leo and Lorenzo, and Robertson's Charles V.; with indefinite quantities of Shakspeare, Burton, British poets, &c., and writing an infinite number of long letters. I have doomed myself to hard labor, and I shall try to look upon labor as some great lawyer d in New York, to invest my prize-money; and, depend upon it, I often sighed from the bottom of my spirit when I felt the hollowness of my pockets. I bought me a Burton's Anatomy of Melancholy, a Hazlitt's British Poets, a Byron, and a fine one volume 8vo Shakspeare, called the London Stage Edition, with which I am much pleased.