Washington Irving

Washington Irving

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Washington Irving by Henry Walcott Boynton

Published:

1901

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Washington Irving

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Book Excerpt

ce to fame or profit. Their purpose, they said with whimsical assurance, was simply "to instruct the young, reform the old, correct the town, and castigate the age." The audacity of the thing caught the town; it was a decided success, and very profitable--for the publisher. There is a mildly sophomoric flavor about the "Salmagundi" papers, as there is about Irving's letters of the same period. But they are full of amusing things, and worth reading, too, for the odd side-lights they throw upon the foibles of that old New York.

As he grew older, Irving came to feel the shallowness of fashionable society, but in the Salmagundi days he appears to have asked for nothing better. He had good looks, good humor, and good manners, showed a proper susceptibility, and knew how to turn a compliment or write a graceful letter. No wonder he found himself welcome wherever he went. After a visit to Philadelphia one of the ladies to whom he had made himself agreeable wrote, "Half the people exist but in the idea that

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