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 from the field of his defeat by civilization, does he make his full appeal. Cooper may have felt that there were still possibilities in the character, but for the present he did not try to realize them. Instead, he undertook to surpass Scott's Pirate in seamanship and produced The pilot, issued in January, 1824.1 With this third success he practically ended his experimental stage. Like The spy, his new tale made use of a Revolutionary setting; like The pioneers, it was full of realistic detail based on Cooper's own experience. The result was that he not only outdid Scott in sheer narrative, but he created a new literary type, the tale of adventure on the sea, in which, though he was to have many followers in almost every modern language, he remains unsurpassed for vigour and variety. Smollett had already discovered the racy humours of seamen, but it remained for Cooper to capture for fiction the mystery and beauty, the shock and thrill of the sea. Experts say that his technical knowledge was sound; what is more important, he wrote, in The pilot, a story about sailing vessels which convinces landsmen even in days of steam. The conventional element in the novel is its hero, John Paul Jones, secret, Byronic, always brooding upon a dark past and a darker fate. Thoroughly original is that worthy successor of Birch and Natty Bumppo, Long Tom Coffin, who lives and dies by the sea which has made him, as love of country made the spy and the forest made the old hunter. Cooper had now become a national figure, although critical judgment in New England condescended to him. He founded the Bread and Cheese Club in New York, a literary society of which he was the moving spirit; he took a prominent part in the reception of Lafayette in 1824; in the same year Columbia College gave him the honorary degree of Master of Arts. He planned a series of Legends of the thirteen Republics, aimed to celebrate each of the original states, which he gave up after the first, Lionel Lincoln (1825), for all his careful research failed to please as his earlier novels had done. During the next two years Cooper reached probably the highest point of his career in The last of the Mohicans (February, 1826) and The prairie (May, 1827). His own interest and the persuasion of his friends led him to continue the adventures of Natty Bumppo, and
1 But dated 182.%.
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