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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...

INTRODUCTION. Although the following Chronicle bears the name of the venerable Fray Antonio Agapida, it is rather a superstructure reared upon the fragments which remain of his work. It may be asked, Who is this same Agapida, who is cited with such deference, yet whose name is not to be found in any of the catalogues of Spanish authors? The question is hard to answer. He appears to have been one of the many indefatigable authors of Spain who... 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...

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...