wisdom, but his native verse-making talent is as completely revealed in Old Ironsides
, published when he was twenty-one, and in The last Leaf
, composed a year or two later, as in anything he was to write during the next half-century.
In many respects he was a curious survival of the cumulative humanities of the eighteenth century.
He might have been, like good Dr. Arbuthnot
, an ornament of the Augustan age. He shared with the English Augustans
a liking for the rhymed couplet, an instinctive social sense, a feeling for the presence of an imaginary audience of congenial listeners.
One still catches the “Hear!
between his clever lines.
In many of the traits of his mind this “Yankee Frenchman” resembled such a typical eighteenth century figure as Voltaire
, he was tolerant-except toward Calvinism and Homeopathy.
In some of the tricks of his prose style he is like a kindlier Sterne
His knack for vers de societe was caught from Horace, but he would not have been a child of his own age without the additional gift of rhetoric and eloquence which is to be seen in his patriotic poems and his hymns.
possessed, in spite of all his limitations in poetic range, true devotion, patriotism, humor, and pathos.