previous next
[174] 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 scene. Thoreau 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 and Thoreau longed after without ever quite experiencing. Lowell'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.

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.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Lowell (Massachusetts, United States) (2)
New England (United States) (1)

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.
Henry D. Thoreau (2)
James Russell Lowell (1)
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: