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the part of energies that are marvellous. Men have overlooked these as being indeed the elements to which genius owes the best and the proudest of her achievements. They cannot think that aught so utterly prosaic as patience, and painstaking, and resolute industry, have any share in the upholding of a distinction so illustrious. These are held to be ignoble attributes, never to be found among the demigods, but only among the drudges of literature : and it is certainly true, that in scholarship there are higher and lower walks. But still the very highest of all is a walk of labor. It is not by any fantastic jugglery, incomprehensible to ordinary minds, and beyond their reach—it is not by this that the heights of philosophy are scaled. So said he who towers so far above all his fellows; and whether viewed as an exhibition of his own modesty, or as an encouragement to others, this testimony of Sir Isaac may be regarded as one of the most precious legacies that he has bequeathed to the world.”
While a student of law, Mr. Sumner wrote several excellent articles for the “ American Jurist," and soon became editor of that important journal. After reading law for some time in the office of Benjamin Rand, Esq., a counsellor of Boston, he was admitted to the bar at Worcester, and commenced the practice of his profession in Boston, in 1834. He was shortly after appointed reporter. to the Circuit Court, and published three volumes which are known as “Sumner's Reports.” For three successive winters after his admission to the bar, during the absence of Professors Greenleaf and Story, he lectured to the law students at Cambridge, and for some time had the sole charge of the Dane School. These labors he performed with distinguished ability, and entire satisfaction to the students and faculty, and while in this capacity, gained for himself a valuable reputation. From this period he speedily advanced to the front rank in his profession, soon became eminent as a jurist, and attracted the admiration of such men as Chancellor Kent, Justice Story, and other renowned civilians.
In 1833, he ably and judiciously edited A Treatise on the Practice of the Courts of Admiralty in Civil Causes of Maritime Jurisdiction, by Andrew Dunlap. The valuable comments, which he added in the form of an appendix, contained as much matter as the original work. The editing of this treatise was undertaken in consequence of the illness of Mr. Dunlap, who stated on his deathbed that Mr. Sumner had worked over it " with the zeal of a sincere friend, and the accuracy of
an excellent lawyer.” Indeed, Mr. Sumner's position in the legal world, at this time, was an enviable one: he was universally regarded as a young lawyer of exalted talent, brilliant genius, and commanding eloquence.
Visit to Europe-letters of introduction-received in England with
marked attention-attends the debates in Parliament-favorably received by members of the English Bar, &c.-visits Paris-writes a defence of the American claim to the Northeastern boundaryvisits Italy-studies art and literature there-visits Germanyreturns to Boston-again lectures in Cambridge-publishes an edition of Vesey's Reports-delivers his oration, entitled the True Grandeur of Nations-Judge Story's opinion of it-eloquent passage on the Reign of Peace.
In the autumn of 1837, Mr. Sumner visited Europe,
where he remained till the spring of 1840, enjoying superior advantages of a literary nature, and adding largely to the number of his intellectual accomplishments.
The renowned Judge Story, who always cherished the highest regard for him, wrote a letter of introduction to a distinguished gentleman in London, in which he says:
“Mr. Sumner is a practising lawyer at the Boston bar, of very high reputation for his years, and
, already giving the promise of the most eminent distinction in his profession; his literary and judicial attainments are truly extraordinary. He is one of the editors—indeed, the principal editor of the "American Jurist,' a quarterly journal of extensive circulation and celebrity among us, and without a rival in America. He is also the reporter of the court in which I preside, and has already published two volumes of reports. His private character, also, is of the best kind for purity and propriety; but, to accomplish himself more thoroughly in the great objects of his profession,—not merely to practice, but to extend the boundaries in the science of law, I am very anxious that he should possess the means of visiting the courts of Westminster Hall under favorable auspices; and I shall esteem it a personal favor if you can give him any facilities in this particular."
When he reached England, Mr. Sumner was received with marked distinction by eminent statesmen, lawyers, and scholars. During his stay in England, which was nearly a year, he closely attended the debates in Parliament, and heard all the great speakers of the day, many of whom he became intimately acquainted with. His deportment was so gentlemanly, his mind so vigorous and accomplished, and his address so winning, that he became a favorite with many in the best circles of English society. With regard to the pleasing qualities of Mr. Sumner in conversation, it has been well said, “We know not the man,