Ben Meeker - Detractor, Demotivator, Uninspiring, Paid Hand (hireling), resents Nat's education and success - Leads to the path of Mediocrity
Sam Smith - Mentor, Motivator, Inspiring, Unpaid - teaches for the love of it (shepherd). Leads to the path to greatness. Introduces the term and major theme "sailing by ash breeze"
Sailing by ash breeze - a shipping term that referred to using the oars for power when there was no wind to move the ship. "So--when you get ahead by your own get-up-and-get--that's when you sail by ash breeze'."
Nat Bowditch keeps commonplace books, writes down everything he leans, then returns and studies his notes. He studies the classics.