Studies of Irving


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Página 36 - ... to clothe home scenes and places and familiar names with those imaginative and whimsical associations so seldom met with in our new country, but which live like charms and spells about the cities of the old world, binding the heart of the native inhabitant to his home.
Página 18 - To the actors — less etiquette, less fustian, less buckram. To the orchestra — new music, and more of it. To the pit — patience, clean benches, and umbrellas. To the boxes — less affectation, less noise, less coxcombs. To the gallery — less grog, and better constables ; — and, To the whole house, inside and out, a total reformation. And so much for the Theatre.
Página 82 - It was in the midst of such a population, friendly and hospitable, wearing their faults on the outside, and living in homely comfort on their fertile and ample acres, that the boyhood and early youth of Irving were passed. He began, while yet a stripling, to wander about the surrounding country, for the love of rambling was the most remarkable peculiarity of that period of his life. He became, as he himself writes, familiar with all the neighboring places famous in history or fable ; knew every spot...
Página 92 - this " History of New York " over again, and I found myself no less delighted than when I first turned its pages in my early youth. When I compare it with other works of wit and humor of a similar length, I find that, unlike most of them, it carries forward the reader to the conclusion without weariness or satiety, so unsought, spontaneous, self-suggested are the wit and the humor. The author makes us laugh, because he can no more help it than we can help laughing.
Página 38 - I seemed to drift about without aim or object, at the mercy of every breeze; my heart wanted anchorage. I was naturally susceptible, and tried to form other attachments, but my heart would not hold on; it would continually recur to what it had lost; and whenever there was a pause in the hurry of novelty and excitement, I would sink into dismal dejection. For years I could not talk on the subject of this hopeless regret ; I could not even mention her name; but her image was continually before me,...
Página 159 - We grow giddy with this perpetual whirl of strange events, these rapid and ceaseless mutations ; the earth seems to be reeling under our feet, and we turn to those who write like Irving, for some assurance that we are still in the same world into which we were born ; we read, and are quieted and consoled. In his pages we see that the language of the heart never becomes obsolete ; that Truth, and Good, and Beauty, the offspring of God, are not subject to the changes which beset the inventions of men.
Página 108 - Granada," one of the most delightful of his works, an exact history — for such it is admitted to be by those who have searched most carefully the ancient records of Spain — yet so full of personal incident, so diversified with surprising turns of fortune, and these wrought up with such picturesque effect, that, to use an expression of Pope, a young lady might read it by mistake for a romance. In 1831 he gave the world another work on Spanish history, the " Voyages of the Companions of Columbus,"...
Página 98 - Tales of a Traveller," abound with agreeable pictures of English life, seen under favorable lights and sketched with a friendly pencil. Let me say here, that it was not to pay court to the English that he thus described them and their country; it was because he could not describe them otherwise. It was the instinct of his mind to attach itself to the contemplation of the good and the beautiful, wherever he found them, and to turn away from the sight of what was evil, misshapen, and hateful. His was...
Página 73 - We know well enough that the great author of " The Newcomes" and the great author of " The Heart of Midlothian " recognized the abiding value in literature of- integrity, sincerity, purity, charity, faith. These are beneficences ; and Irving's literature, walk round it and measure it by whatever critical instruments you will, is a beneficent literature. The author loved good women and little children and a pure life ; he had faith in his fellow-men, a kindly sympathy with the lowest, without any...
Página 29 - His smile was exceedingly genial, lightening up his whole face, and rendering it very attractive ; while if he were about to say anything humorous, it would beam forth from his eyes even before the words were spoken. As a young man his face was exceedingly handsome, and his head was well covered with dark hair; but from my earliest recollection of him, he wore neither whiskers nor mustache, but a dark brown wig, which, although it made him look younger, concealed a beautifully shaped head.

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