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[188] “door.” Between the land-dweller with footsteps and the sea-rover with canvas there is absolute irreconcilableness, and yet the two are interwoven through the whole verse. Such incongruities as the “drippingly hurried adieu,” in “An Ember picture,” are of the same quality, and in “The Cathedral,” regarded by many as his most important poem, there occurred a pun which called forth general protest. It will always remain a curious fact that Lowell, while far more regularly trained to literature than Holmes, and not surpassing him in exuberant fertility of mind, had yet far less of artistic selfcontrol, and has left behind him much more that is ragged and imperfectly wrought out. Yet Lowell had undoubtedly the finer nature of the two, and would have recognized keenly in others the very defect he himself manifested. Possibly the solution may be in this, that indirect preparation has its merits as well as direct; and that Holmes may have learned something for literary uses in his own microscopic work and in his constant anatomical demonstrations, just as Agassiz found that his scientific skill had already made him a

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Charles Russell Lowell (2)
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