Wolfert's Roost and Miscellanies by Washington Irving


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Page 1

NATIONAL NOMENCLATURE

DESULTORY THOUGHTS ON CRITICISM

SPANISH ROMANCE

LEGEND OF DON MUIO SANCHO DE HINOJOSA

COMMUNIPAW

CONSPIRACY OF THE COCKED HATS

LEGEND OF COMMUNIPAW

BERMUDAS, THE

PELAYO AND THE MERCHANT'S DAUGHTER

KNIGHT OF MALTA

LEGEND OF THE ENGULPHED CONVENT




COUNT VAN HORN WOLFERT'S ROOST

AND

MISCELLANIES.


A CHRONICLE OF WOLFERT'S ROOST.

TO THE EDITOR OF THE KNICKERBOCKER.

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, the "bore," of the domestic
circle, and would much rather bestow my wisdom and tediousness upon the
world at large, I have always sought to ease off this surcharge of the
intellect by means of my pen, and hence have inflicted divers gossiping
volumes upon the patience of the public. I am tired, however, of writing
volumes; they do not afford exactly the relief I require; there is too
much preparation, arrangement, and parade, in this set form of coming
before the public. I am growing too indolent and unambitious for any
thing that requires labor or display. I have thought, therefore, of
securing to myself a snug corner in some periodical work where I might,
as it were, loll at my ease in my elbow-chair, and chat sociably with
the public, as with an old friend, on any chance subject that might pop
into my brain.

In looking around, for this purpose, upon the various excellent
periodicals with which our country abounds, my eye was struck by the
title of your work--"THE KNICKERBOCKER." My heart leaped at the sight.
DIEDRICH KNICKERBOCKER, Sir, was one of my earliest and most valued
friends, and the recollection of him is associated with some of the
pleasantest scenes of my youthful days. To explain this, and to show how
I came into possession of sundry of his posthumous works, which I
have from time to time given to the world, permit me to relate a
few particulars of our early intercourse. I give them with the more
confidence, as I know the interest you take in that departed worthy,
whose name and effigy are stamped upon your title-page, and as they will
be found important to the better understanding and relishing divers
communications I may have to make to you.

My first acquaintance with that great and good man, for such I may
venture to call him, now that the lapse of some thirty years has
shrouded his name with venerable antiquity, and the popular voice has
elevated him to the rank of the classic historians of yore, my first
acquaintance with him was formed on the banks of the Hudson, not far
from the wizard region of Sleepy Hollow. He had come there in the course
of his researches among the Dutch neighborhoods for materials for his
immortal history. For this purpose, he was ransacking the archives of
one of the most ancient and historical mansions in the country. It was
a lowly edifice, built in the time of the Dutch dynasty, and stood on a
green bank, overshadowed by trees, from which it peeped forth upon the
Great Tappan Zee, so famous among early Dutch navigators. A bright
pure spring welled up at the foot of the green bank; a wild brook came
babbling down a neighboring ravine, and threw itself into a little woody
cove, in front of the mansion. It was indeed as quiet and sheltered a
nook as the heart of man could require, in which to take refuge from the
cares and troubles of the world; and as such, it had been chosen in old
times, by Wolfert Acker, one of the privy councillors of the renowned
Peter Stuyvesant.

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Books | Photos | Paul Mutton | Mon 11th Dec 2017, 4:04