The Sketch-Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent.

The Sketch-Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent.

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The Sketch-Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent.

The Sketch-Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent.

Read FREE!

Excerpt

So completely are the writings and the life of Washington Irving identified that to appreciate the one without the other is impossible. No better impression of the spirit of his youth is to be had than that given as introductory to The Sketch Book in The Author's Account of Himself, and his essays and tales are constantly to be illustrated by reference to his letters and travels. In the boy who was to be pre-eminently the man of letters a passion for reading developed early; at ten he was reading a translation of Orlando Furioso and imitating fantastic adventures of chivalry in his father's back yard. These deeds of prowess were mingled with various hare-brained escapades along the roofs and gutters of the neighboring houses. A little later Robinson Crusoe and Sinbad the Sailor came to his hands, and the influence of these books in breeding a desire to travel was reenforced by a collection of voyages and travels under the title, The World Displayed. The sea began to exert upon the boy a lure such as it had held for his father before him. The father's sailor experience was not to be repeated, but the lad's dreams of travel were to be realized in full measure.

His first modest voyaging was occasioned by a convalescence from fever in 1798, when he first woke the echoes of Sleepy Hollow with his gun. Two years later he extended his travels by a trip up the Hudson, and his account of this journey shows that the beautiful river had already cast upon him the charm it held ever after. A second visit to the neighborhood of Albany, when he was falling into the ill health that brought about his first trip to Europe, followed in 1802, and the next year found him on an expedition with a party of friends to the site of . . .

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