was American, and his most characteristic style has the raciness of our soil.
Nature lovers like to point out the freshness and delicacy of his reaction to the New England
himself, whom Lowell
did not like, was not more veracious an observer than the author of Sunthina in the Pastoral line, Cambridge thirty years ago
, and My garden acquaintance
Yet he watched men as keenly as he did “laylocks” and bobolinks, and no shrewder American essay has been written than his On a certain Condescension in Foreigners
Wit and humor and wisdom made him one of the best talkers of his generation.
These qualities pervade his essays and his letters, and the latter in particular reveal those ardors and fidelities of friendship which men like Emerson
longed after without ever quite experiencing.
's cosmopolitan reputation, which was greatly enhanced in the last decade of his life, seemed to his old associates of the Saturday Club
only a fit recognition of the learning, wit, and fine imagination which had been familiar to them from the first.
To hold the old friends throughout his lifetime, and to win fresh ones of a new generation through his books, is perhaps the greatest of Lowell
's personal felicities.