ble in the open air. It was during these years that he gained that intimate knowledge of the Hudson River Valley of which he was to make such good use later on. He still remained delicate, however, and at the age of twenty was sent to Europe. The air of France and Italy proved to be just what he needed, and he soon developed into a fairly robust man.
With health regained, he returned, two years later, to America, and got himself admitted to the bar. Why he should have gone to this trouble is a mystery, for he never really seriously tried to practise law. Instead, he was occupying himself with a serio-comic history of New York, which grew under his pen into as successful an example of true and sustained humor as our literature possesses. The subject was one exactly suited to Irving's genius, and he allowed his fancy to have free play about the picturesque personalities of Wouter Van Twiller, and Wandle Schoonhovon, and General Van Poffenburgh, in whose very names there is a comic suggestion. When it app
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