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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...

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...

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...

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...

CHAPTER I. GENEALOGY OF THE WASHINGTON FAMILY. The Washington family is of an ancient English stock, the genealogy of which has been traced up to the century immediately succeeding the Conquest. At that time it was in possession of landed estates and manorial privileges in the county of Durham, such as were enjoyed only by those, or their descendants, who had come over from Normandy with the Conqueror, or fought under his standard. When William... more...


In the centre of the great city of London lies a small neighborhood, consisting of a cluster of narrow streets and courts, of very venerable and debilitated houses, which goes by the name of LITTLE BRITAIN. Christ Church School and St. Bartholomew's Hospital bound it on the west; Smithfield and Long Lane on the north; Aldersgate Street, like an arm of the sea, divides it from the eastern part of the city; whilst the yawning gulf of Bull-and-Mouth... 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...

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...

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...

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...