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On April 30, 1789, when this little boy was six years old, his father took him to Federal Hall in Wall Street, to witness Washington's inauguration as the first president of the United States. It is told that President Washington laid his hand kindly on the head of his little namesake and gave him his blessing.

Young Washington Irving led a happy life, rambling in his boyhood about every nook and corner of the city and the adjacent woods, which at that time were not very far to seek, idling about the busy wharves, making occasional trips up the lordly Hudson, roaming, gun in hand, along its banks and over the neighboring Kaatskills, listening to the tales of old Dutch landlords and gossipy old Dutch housewives. When he became a young man he wove these old tales, scenes, experiences, and much more that his imagination and his merry humor added, into some of the most rollicking, mirthful stories that had been read in many a day. The first of these was a burlesque History of New York, purporting to have been found among the papers of a certain old Dutch burgher by the name of Diedrich Knickerbocker (1809). This may be said to have been his first important work. It made him instantly famous. But better than that, it silenced the sneers of the English critics who, up to that time, had been asking contemptuously, "Who reads an American book?" and set them all to reading and laughing over it with the rest of the world. It also showed to Americans as well as to foreigners what wealth of literary material this new country already possessed in its local legends and history.

Ten years later, during his residence in England (1819-20), Irving published The Sketch Book, containing the inimitable "Rip van Winkle" and the delightful "Legend of Sleepy Hollow." This may be said to mark the real beginning of American literature.

A visit to Spain resulted in The Alhambra and The Life of Columbus, descriptive and historical works in which Irving won as great success as he had attained with his humorous tales. Then followed some years of quiet life at his beautiful home, Sunnyside, near Tarrytown on the Hudson, in the midst of the favorite haunts of his boyhood days and the scenes which his pen had immortalized. He was not idle, however, for a half-dozen works appeared during these stay-at-home years, some of them growing out of his travels through our then rapidly expanding West. Only once more did he leave his native shores, when he served as Minister to Spain (1842-46). But through all his life he seems to have cherished a patriotic reverence for the great American whose name he bore, and now, as the crowning work of his ripe old age, he devoted his last years to completing his Life of Washington, the fifth and final volume of which appeared but a few months before his death on November 28, 1859. His genial, cheerful nature shines through all his works and makes him still, as his friend Thackeray said of him in his lifetime, "beloved of all the world."

Discussion. 1. What effect does Irving say civilized life has upon

traits of native character? 2. Explain the comparison, "Society is like a lawn." 3. Who was Philip of Pokanoket? 4. What “league of peace” did Massasoit make with the Plymouth settlers? 5. Give an account of Alexander's career as Sachem. 6. What was the attitude of the white settlers toward Philip? 7. What evidence of friendliness toward the settlers did he give? 8. What omens disturbed the Indians? 9. What natural explanation can you give for these "awful warnings"? 10. Give a brief account of the Indian war that followed. 11. Describe the death of King Philip. 12. Point out evidences of military ability on the part of King Philip. 13. What traces of lofty character does Philip show in the face of persecution? 14. Read passages that show his courage. 15. Does Irving give you the impression that the white settlers may have been partly responsible for the conflict with King Philip and his followers? 16. Other interesting books dealing with Indian life are Cooper's Leather Stocking Tales and his The Last of the Mohicans; have you read these? 17. Pronounce the following: attributes; aborigines; Sachem; amity; tenacious; haunts; implacable; simultaneous; patron; mischievous; revolt; indicative; harassed.

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rites of primitive hospitality, 411, lugubrious hemlocks, 417, 18

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fertility of expedients, 416, 26

impending ravages, 416, 37

possessed of ubiquity, 418,

perfidious instigations, 418, 20

legitimate avenger, 418, 24 comparative facility, 418, 34 incursions of the conquerors, 420, 6 subdue the resolution, 422, 3 suborned by the whites, 422, 5 sullen grandeur, 423, 15

savage sublimity, 423, 18

graced a civilized warrior, 424, 22




In the Old Colony days, in Plymouth the land of the Pilgrims, To and fro in a room of his simple and primitive dwelling, Clad in doublet and hose, and boots of Cordovan leather,

Strode, with a martial air, Miles Standish the Puritan Captain. 8 Buried in thought he seemed, with his hands behind him, and pausing

Ever and anon to behold his glittering weapons of warfare, Hanging in shining array along the walls of the chamberCutlass and corselet of steel, and his trusty sword of Damascus, Curved at the point and inscribed with its mystical Arabic sen


10 While underneath, in a corner, were fowling-piece, musket, and matchlock.

Short of stature he was, but strongly built and athletic,

Broad in the shoulders, deep-chested, with muscles and sinews

of iron;

Brown as a nut was his face, but his russet beard was already Flaked with patches of snow, as hedges sometimes in November.

15 Near him was seated John Alden, his friend, and household companion,

Writing with diligent speed at a table of pine by the window;
Fair-haired, azure-eyed, with delicate Saxon complexion,
Having the dew of his youth, and the beauty thereof, as the cap-


Whom Saint Gregory saw, and exclaimed, "Not Angles but


20 Youngest of all was he of the men who came in the May


Suddenly breaking the silence, the diligent scribe interrupting,

Spake, in the pride of his heart, Miles Standish the Captain of Plymouth.

"Look at these arms," he said, "the warlike weapons that hang


Burnished and bright and clean, as if for parade or inspection! This is the sword of Damascus I fought with in Flanders; this breastplate,

Well I remember the day! once saved my life in a skirmish;

Here in front you can see the very dint of the bullet

Fired point-blank at my heart by a Spanish arcabucero.

Had it not been of sheer steel, the forgotten bones of Miles Standish

Would at this moment be mold, in their grave in the Flemish


10 Thereupon answered John Alden, but looked not up from his


"Truly the breath of the Lord hath slackened the speed of the


He in his mercy preserved you, to be our shield and our weapon!" Still the Captain continued, unheeding the words of the stripling: "See, how bright they are burnished, as if in an arsenal hanging; 15 That is because I have done it myself, and not left it to others. Serve yourself, would you be well served, is an excellent adage; So I take care of my arms, as you of your pens and your ink


Then, too, there are my soldiers, my great, invincible army, Twelve men, all equipped, having each his rest and his matchlock, 20 Eighteen shillings a month, together with diet and pillage,

And, like Cæsar, I know the name of each of my soldiers!" This he said with a smile, that danced in his eyes, as the sunbeams Dance on the waves of the sea, and vanish again in a moment. Alden laughed as he wrote, and still the Captain continued: 25 "Look! you can see from this window my brazen howitzer planted High on the roof of the church, a preacher who speaks to the


Steady, straightforward, and strong, with irresistible logic,

Orthodox, flashing conviction right into the hearts of the heathen.

Now we are ready, I think, for any assault of the Indians;
Let them come, if they like, and the sooner they try it the better-
Let them come if they like, be it sagamore, sachem, or pow-wow,
Aspinet, Samoset, Corbitant, Squanto, or Tokamahamon!"

5 Long at the window he stood, and wistfully gazed on the landscape,

Washed with a cold gray mist, the vapory breath of the east wind, Forest and meadow and hill, and the steel-blue rim of the ocean, Lying silent and sad, in the afternoon shadows and sunshine. Over his countenance flitted a shadow like those on the landscape, 10 Gloom intermingled with light; and his voice was subdued with emotion,

Tenderness, pity, regret, as after a pause he proceeded:

"Yonder there, on the hill by the sea, lies buried Rose Standish; Beautiful rose of love, that bloomed for me by the wayside! She was the first to die of all who came in the May Flower! 15 Green above her is growing the field of wheat we have sown there, Better to hide from the Indian scouts the graves of our people, Lest they should count them and see how many already have


Sadly his face he averted, and strode up and down, and was thoughtful.

Fixed to the opposite wall was a shelf of books, and among them 20 Prominent three, distinguished alike for bulk and for binding; Bariffe's Artillery Guide, and the Commentaries of Cæsar, Out of the Latin translated by Arthur Goldinge of London, And, as if guarded by these, between them was standing the Bible. Musing a moment before them, Miles Standish paused, as if


25 Which of the three he should choose for his consolation and com


Whether the wars of the Hebrews, the famous campaigns of the


Or the Artillery practice, designed for belligerent Christians. Finally down from its shelf he dragged the ponderous Roman,

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