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burg, or Wanderburg, a few miles from Salzburg; within which, according to popular tale, the Emperor Charles sits in state, with golden crown on his head and scepter in his hand. In the interior of the same mountain are palaces, and churches, and convents, and gardens, and untold treasures, guarded by dwarfs, who sometimes wander, at midnight, into Salzburg, to say their prayers in the cathedral. No doubt Kate has come across all this in the course of her German studies, and was able to put you on the track of these wonders. Before the breaking out of any war, the Emperor Charles issues out of the mountain with all his array, and marches round it with great blast and bray of trumpet, and then returns into his subterranean palace. I wish you could have seen a procession of the kind. It would have surpassed all the state of the mongrel emperors and empresses in whom you delight.
Give my love to the princesses, who, I understand, are growing in grace as in years. You are devoting yourself to their education. Do not attempt to make remarkable women of them. Let them acquire those accomplishments which enliven and sweeten home, but do not seek to fit them to shine in fashionable society. Keep them as natural, simple, and unpretending as possible; cultivate in them noble and elevated sentiments, and, above all, the feeling of veneration, so apt to be deadened, if not lost, in the gay, sensuous world by which they are surrounded. They live in the midst of spectacle; everything around them is addressed to the senses. The society with which they mingle is all of a transient kind—travelling Americans, restless seekers after novelty and excitement. All this you must bear in mind, and counteract as much as possible, by nurturing home feelings and affections, habits of thought and quiet devotion, and a reverence for grand, and noble, and solemn, and sacred things.
Give my kindest remembrances to your husband, and believe me, my dear Sarah, ever your affectionate uncle,
A NEW-YEAR SALUTATION.—PUBLICATION OF WOLFERT'S ROOST.-EXTRACT
FROM SOME OF THE NOTICES.-ANECDOTE
HE new year finds Mr. Irving again at Cassilis, in the valley of the Shenandoah, where he had gone to attend a wedding of a niece of Mr. Kennedy. A letter to one of the inmates of his little home, dated January 1st, opens with this characteristic salutation from the country seat where the nuptuals were to be celebrated: "My dear Kate, a happy New Year to you, and all the family. So there, I've caught you all.” There was generally a strife, at Sunnyside, who should be first to bid "Happy New Year."
Soon after his return, the volume entitled "Wolfert's This work derives
Roost" was issued from the press. its title from what was the first name given by the author to his residence at Sunnyside-the Roost (or Rest) of
Wolfert Acker, "one of the privy councillors of the renowned Peter Stuyvesant," who retreated to this "quiet and sheltered nook" after the subjugation of New Amsterdam by the English. The opening piece of the volume, consisting of three chronicles, gives a humorous description of "the little old-fashioned stone mansion, all made up of gable ends, and as full of angles and corners as an old cocked hat;" and recounts the remarkable inhabitants it has had at various periods of history; and how it came to be the keep or stronghold of Jacob Van Tassel, a valiant Dutchman, during the dark and troublous times of the Revolutionary war; and how, finally, the eventful little pile was selected for the haunt or sojourning of Diedrich Knickerbocker.
The reader, familiar with the letter to the editor of the "Knickerbocker," with which the series of articles contributed by Mr. Irving to that magazine began, will detect in these opening chronicles a striking similarity to parts of that communication, upon which these quaint and amusing legends have evidently been remodeled. The rest of the volume is but a collection of tales and sketches long before published in that periodical, with the exception of "The Creole Village," "The Widow's Ordeal," and "A Contented Man," which were given originally in annuals. The work appeared early in February, and proved, no doubt, to the majority of its readers, a new publication; to the young particularly, who could hardly have been familiar with the contents of any of the
papers of which it is composed. The volume was greeted in the highest terms by the press and the public on both sides of the Atlantic. "It would not be easy to overpraise this American miscellany," is the commencement of some favorable comments of the London "Athenæum." "There is as much elegance of diction, as graceful a description of natural scenery, as grotesque an earnestness in diablerie, and as quiet but as telling a satiric humor, as when Geoffrey Crayon first came before the English world, nearly forty years ago," says the London "Spectator." "This volume," writes a critic in the columns of the "New York Courier and Enquirer," "will be almost equally welcome to those who have and those who have not read the papers of which it is composed. It was well to collect these scattered waifs of his genius while he himself was by to superintend the labor. He has given to the world few productions more charming than 'Wolfert's Roost' and the 'Sketches in Paris in 1825.'"
The "Evening Post" cites the second paper on the "Birds of Spring" as "a special favorite." "It is the one which relates the history of the bobolink or bobo'lincoln, from his first appearance as a gay warbler in the fields of the Northern States, through his various changes; becoming a reed bird in the marshes bordering the rivers of the Middle States, and finally a rice bird at the South, where he degenerates into a fat epicure, and is shot for the table. The rest of the sketches and narratives," it
adds, "have all the characteristics of Irving's graceful
A notice in the Boston "Telegraph" says: "We think
LIFE AND LETTERS
Of the varied effusions of this compilation, a great favorite with many was the unfinished narrative of "Mountjoy; or, Some Passages out of the Life of a Castle Builder." This first appeared in the “Knickerbocker" in 1839, but is was written in England prior to the publication of the first number of the "Sketch Book," in 1819. He read it to Leslie when the artist was in a tired mood, and, receiving from him little encouragement to proceed, threw it aside, and never touched it again. It was in vain that Leslie tried afterward to put him in heart about it. He was effectually discouraged.. I have