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“ [186] August.--I knew as little yesterday of the interior of Maine as the least penetrating person knows of the inside of that great social millstone which, driven by the river Time, set imperatively a-going the several wheels of our individual activities.” He goes on with his rich and delightful gossip, but there is never a moment when some bit of reminiscence, some good pun, some remembered phrase from Sir Thomas Browne, may not interrupt the flow of the sentence. From this Holmes is far more free; he takes almost as many and as varied flights, but his art is better. Sometimes, even in “Elsie Venner,” he tires you with the details of scientific speculation; but the literary part is always well done. The defect in this direction began to show itself very early in Lowell, and I remember that when he began to write in the London Daily News in 1846, there was a general complaint, both at home and abroad, over the longwindedness of his prose style. This he overcame, but the tumultuous inequality lasted and was, indeed, a part of his charm. The London Spectator said well of him, “Mr. Lowell's forte is profusion and his foible prodigality.”

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