The volume on Cape Cod is deliberately formless in style, being interspersed with quotations from old histories and records of merely local interest; it abounds, however, in its author's dry sententious humour and sparkling paradoxes. It has been said that Cape Cod is in one sense the most human of Thoreau s books, and has more tenderness of tone than Waldeii) as if the sea had exercised a mellowing influence on his mind. Especially good are the Dutch pictures of the Wellfleet oysterman and the " sea-captains" of Provincetown. "It is worth the while," says Thoreau, " to talk with one whom his neighbours address as Captain, though his craft may have long been sunk, and he may be holding by his teeth to the shattered mast of a pipe alone, and only gets half-seas-over in a figurative sense now. He is pretty sure to vindicate his right to the title at last can tell one or two good stories at least." In Cape Cod the experiences of several visits are condensed into one account.
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