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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...

INTRODUCTION. KNICKERBOCKER'S HISTORY OF NEW YORK is the book, published in December, 1809, with which Washington living, at the age of twenty-six, first won wide credit and influence. Walter Scott wrote to an American friend, who sent him the second edition—— "I beg you to accept my best thanks for the uncommon degree of entertainment which I have received from the most excellently jocose History of New York. I am sensible... more...

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...

AUTHOR'S INTRODUCTION IN THE COURSE of occasional visits to Canada many years since, I became intimately acquainted with some of the principal partners of the great Northwest Fur Company, who at that time lived in genial style at Montreal, and kept almost open house for the stranger. At their hospitable boards I occasionally met with partners, and clerks, and hardy fur traders from the interior posts; men who had passed years remote from... more...

I sit down to perform my promise of giving you an account of a visit made many years since to Abbotsford. I hope, however, that you do not expect much from me, for the travelling notes taken at the time are so scanty and vague, and my memory so extremely fallacious, that I fear I shall disappoint you with the meagreness and crudeness of my details. Late in the evening of August 29, 1817, I arrived at the ancient little border town of Selkirk,... more...