previous next
[32] Cambridge boys were still sent to sea as a cure for naughtiness, or later as supercargoes, this being a mark of confidence. Groups of sailors sometimes strayed through Cambridge, and there were aromatic smells among the Boston wharves. Lowell in particular had a naval uncle, and he wrote of what had been told from childhood when he said in “The Growth of the legend” :--

The sailors' night watches are thrilled to the core
With the lineal offspring of Odin and Thor.

In two respects the group of Cambridge authors had gained from their restricted life certain qualities which some might call bourgeois, and many others admirable. They were all honest men pecuniarily; they habitually paid their debts and lived within their means. Neither in Holmes nor Lowell nor in Longfellow was there anything of that quality of thriftlessness so dear to lovers of the picturesque, but so exasperating to market-men and other base creatures. If the Cambridge men were not “great wits,” they were not “to madness near allied” in this respect, nor did they drive creditors

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
James Russell Lowell (2)
Thor (1)
Odin (1)
H. W. Longfellow (1)
John Holmes (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: