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THE HALL. The ancient house, and the best for housekeeping in this county or the next; and though the master of it write but squire, I know no lord like him. —Merry Beggars. The reader, if he has perused the volumes of the Sketch-Book, will probably recollect something of the Bracebridge family, with which I once passed a Christmas. I am now on another visit to the Hall, having been invited to a wedding which is shortly to take place.... more...

THE HALL. The ancientest house, and the best for housekeeping in this county or the next, and though the master of it write but squire, I know no lord like him. MERRY BEGGARS. The reader, if he has perused the volumes of the Sketch Book, will probably recollect something of the Bracebridge family, with which I once passed a Christmas. I am now on another visit at the Hall, having been invited to a wedding which is shortly to take place.... more...

Sir: I have observed that as a man advances in life, he is subject to a kind of plethora of the mind, doubtless occasioned by the vast accumulation of wisdom and experience upon the brain. Hence he is apt to become narrative and admonitory, that is to say, fond of telling long stories, and of doling out advice, to the small profit and great annoyance of his friends. As I have a great horror of becoming the oracle, or, more technically speaking,... more...

CHAPTER I. BIRTH OF WASHINGTON.—HIS BOYHOOD. The Washington family is of an ancient English stock, the genealogy of which has been traced up to the century immediately succeeding the Conquest. Among the knights and barons who served under the Count Palatine, Bishop of Durham, to whom William the Conqueror had granted that important See, was WILLIAM DE HERTBURN. At that period surnames were commonly derived from castles or estates; and... more...

Chapter I. Administration of the Adelantado.—Expedition to the Province of Xaragua. [1498.] Columbus had anticipated repose from his toils on arriving at Hispaniola, but a new scene of trouble and anxiety opened upon him, destined to impede the prosecution of his enterprises, and to affect all his future fortunes. To explain this, it is necessary to relate the occurrences of the island during his long detention in Spain. When he sailed... more...


In the bosom of one of those spacious coves which indent the eastern shore of the Hudson, at that broad expansion of the river denominated by the ancient Dutch navigators the Tappan Zee, and where they always prudently shortened sail and implored the protection of St. Nicholas when they crossed, there lies a small market town or rural port, which by some is called Greensburgh, but which is more generally and properly known by the name of Tarry... more...

MOUNTJOY OR SOME PASSAGES OUT OF THE LIFE OF A CASTLE-BUILDER I was born among romantic scenery, in one of the wildest parts of the Hudson, which at that time was not so thickly settled as at present. My father was descended from one of the old Huguenot families that came over to this country on the revocation of the edict of Nantz. He lived in a style of easy, rural independence, on a patrimonial estate that had been for two or three... more...

TALES OF A TRAVELLER PART FIRST STRANGE STORIES BY A NERVOUS GENTLEMAN.   I'll tell you more; there was a fish taken,  A monstrous fish, with, a sword by's side, a long sword,  A pike in's neck, and a gun in's nose, a huge gun,  And letters of mart in's mouth, from the Duke of Florence.    Cleanthes. This is a monstrous lie.    Tony. I do confess it.  Do... more...

PREFACE I. Birth and Parentage—Characteristics of the Goldsmith Race—PoeticalBirthplace—Goblin House—Scenes of Boyhood—Lissoy—Picture of a CountryParson—Goldsmith's Schoolmistress—Byrne, the Village Schoolmaster—Goldsmith's Hornpipe and Epigram—Uncle Contarine—School Studies andSchool Sports—Mistakes of a Night II. Improvident Marriages in the Goldsmith... more...

Christmas There is nothing in England that exercises a more delightful spell over my imagination than the lingerings of the holiday customs and rural games of former times. They recall the pictures my fancy used to draw in the May morning of life, when as yet I only knew the world through books, and believed it to be all that poets had painted it; and they bring with them the flavour of those honest days of yore, in which, perhaps with equal... more...