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The next day I took to the city two of the last four chapters of his "Life of Washington." On my return to the cottage, at five P. M., accompanied by the doctor, I found that he had been engaged for two or three hours in the morning on his last chapters. Wished to retain them, to redress the concluding portion. Had a very comfortable day.


March 9th.-Seemed to have been losing ground for the last few days. Still held on to the last chapter of Washington," though the printers were nearly up to it. On the 15th, he put the finishing touch to it. The next day was sadly out of spirits. Had had difficult respiration much more frequently of late; within the last day or two, almost constantly.

March 17th.-Asked me if the last chapter of the "Life of Washington" was printed last night. "Yes." “Well, I never got out a work in this style before, without looking at the proof-sheets. In better health, I could have given more effect to parts; but I was afraid to look at the proofs, lest I should get muddling." That afternoon drove up to Mr. Bartlett's, to leave with Mrs. B., in compliance with her previous request, the pen with which he wrote the last words of his "Life of Washington."

March 18th. I returned from the city at five, accompanied by the doctor. Learned that Mr. Irving had had more than usual of coughing and labored breathing. Told the doctor, on his leaving, at seven o'clock, that he was quite discouraged; that he did not see that he was

getting any better, and did not know where this was to end. It was the first time he had spoken with such discouragement to the doctor. His presence had generally a cheering influence, and we always remarked that he appeared better when he was with him than at any other time, and often made too light of his symptoms. The doctor seemed a little taken aback by his desponding tone. Had three hours of sleep on the sofa before going to bed, and about three hours afterward, with transient intermissions of wakefulness.

March 20th.-Slept from half past three to four P.M., on the sofa, when a neighbor called. Great difficulty of breathing when he left, which continued, with spells of coughing, until bed-time.

March 23d.-Received a newspaper from Lewisburg, Pa., containing notice of the death of a Mrs. Chamberlain, aged ninety, formerly of New York, and a friend and correspondent of his sister Anne, who had died in 1808. The sister was alluded to in flattering terms. Mr. Irving broke forth in warm eulogy of her wit, sensibility, and humor--" delightful in every mood." "I was very meagre, when a child, and she used to call me a little. rack of bones. How fond I was of having her sing to me, when an infant, that pathetic ballad of Lowe

'The moon had climbed the highest hill

That rises o'er the source of Dee.'

How it used to make me weep, and yet I was constantly

begging her to sing it." with him through life.


March 25th.-Wrote the following note-a copy of which has been sent me since his death-to a lady who had requested permission to dedicate to him a work, entitled "Domestic Annals of the Revolution," but the title of which was afterward changed to "Recollections of the Revolution" :


His love of music was a passion

[To Miss Lydia Minturn Post.]

SUNNYSIDE, March 25, 1859.

Your note of March 9th, being directed to Tarrytown instead of Irvington, has been slow in reaching me. You have my full consent to the dedication of your forthcoming "Domestic Annals of the Revolution" to me, if you think it would be of advantage to the work, or a gratification to yourself. I only request that the dedication be extremely simple, and void of compliment.

With great respect, yours, very truly,


April 2d.-Received, in the morning, a letter from a young senior at Chapel Hill, N. C., telling him he had been so delighted with his four volumes of the "Life of Washington," that he had read them over repeatedly, and now wrote to beg him, not only for his own sake, but for the sake of the country, to write an account of the Presidential career and closing days of Washington at Mount Vernon. "Here is a request," said he, "that I think I will gratify at once." The whole of the fifth vol

ume was already printed, and waiting only the Preface, which was completed that very morning, before the receipt of the letter. He spoke sadly of his condition, as if he were failing. Great restlessness at night, with brief snatches of sleep.

April 3d.—His birthday-seventy-six this day. A dull, cheerless morning; overcast at dawn, and raining before seven. After breakfast, he showed me his Spanish Chronicles in manuscript "Don Pelayo," "Fernando el Santo," etc. In the midst of our conversation, a bunch of flowers was brought in from Robert, the most faithful of gardeners, a present for his birthday. Later, a beautiful bouquet from Mrs. followed. "Beautiful flowers," he exclaimed, "to a withered old man!" The dinner table was decked with the bouquet, and the dessert enriched with various delicacies, presents from loving neighbors. All tried to be cheerful at dinner; but at the close, after a spasm of coughing had driven him from the room, and we felt the uncertainty of another birthday with him on this bank and shoal of time," all rose from the table in tears.




R. IRVING'S health continued to fluctuate. Throughout the month of April there seemed to be a decided improvement, though he still had, at intervals, a return of his distressing nights. One symptom appeared, which gave us a good deal of anxiety, being quite new. It was a bewilderment on waking, which sometimes continued for half an hour or more; an uncertainty as to exactly where he was, and an idea that strange persons had been in the room-his dreams probably mingling with his waking. On the whole, however, he seemed much better; and, on the 20th, told me, on retiring to his room for the night, that he thought he could now get along by himself; but, on my assenting, immediately recalled the opinion, and said perhaps I had better remain a night or two longer. Fell asleep for about fifteen minutes, then awoke, and had a deplorably nervous night. He continued to improve, however, and,

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