Tales Of A Traveller, By Washington Irving

















































































































 - TALES OF A TRAVELLER

BY

WASHINGTON IRVING




CONTENTS.


PART FIRST.

STRANGE STORIES BY A NERVOUS GENTLEMAN.

A Hunting Dinner
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TALES OF A TRAVELLER

BY WASHINGTON IRVING

CONTENTS.

PART FIRST.

STRANGE STORIES BY A NERVOUS GENTLEMAN.

A Hunting Dinner Adventure of my Uncle Adventure of my Aunt Bold Dragoon Adventure of the Mysterious Picture Adventure of the Mysterious Stranger Story of the Young Italian

PART SECOND.

BUCKTHORNE AND HIS FRIENDS.

Literary Life Literary Dinner Club of Queer Fellows Poor Devil Author Buckthorne; or, the Young Man of Great Expectations Grave Reflections of a Disappointed Man Booby Squire Strolling Manager

PART THIRD.

THE ITALIAN BANDITTI.

Inn at Terracina Adventure of the Little Antiquary Adventure of the Popkins Family Painter's Adventure Story of the Bandit Chieftain Story of the Young Robber

PART FOURTH.

THE MONEY-DIGGERS.

Hell Gate Kidd, the Pirate Devil and Tom Walker Wolfert Webber; or, Golden Dreams Adventure of Sam, the Black Fisherman

TALES OF A TRAVELLER

PART FIRST

STRANGE STORIES BY A NERVOUS GENTLEMAN.

I'll tell you more; there was a fish taken, A monstrous fish, with, a sword by's side, a long sword, A pike in's neck, and a gun in's nose, a huge gun, And letters of mart in's mouth, from the Duke of Florence. Cleanthes. This is a monstrous lie. Tony. I do confess it. Do you think I'd tell you truths!

FLETCHER'S WIFE FOR A MONTH.

[The following adventures were related to me by the same nervous gentleman who told me the romantic tale of THE STOUT GENTLEMAN, published in Bracebridge Hall.

It is very singular, that although I expressly stated that story to have been told to me, and described the very person who told it, still it has been received as an adventure that happened to myself. Now, I protest I never met with any adventure of the kind. I should not have grieved at this, had it not been intimated by the author of Waverley, in an introduction to his romance of Peveril of the Peak, that he was himself the Stout Gentleman alluded to. I have ever since been importuned by letters and questions from gentlemen, and particularly from ladies without number, touching what I had seen of the great unknown.

Now, all this is extremely tantalizing. It is like being congratulated on the high prize when one has drawn a blank; for I have just as great a desire as any one of the public to penetrate the mystery of that very singular personage, whose voice fills every corner of the world, without any one being able to tell from whence it comes. He who keeps up such a wonderful and whimsical incognito: whom nobody knows, and yet whom every body thinks he can swear to.

My friend, the nervous gentleman, also, who is a man of very shy, Retired habits, complains that he has been excessively annoyed in consequence of its getting about in his neighborhood that he is the fortunate personage. Insomuch, that he has become a character of considerable notoriety in two or three country towns; and has been repeatedly teased to exhibit himself at blue-stocking parties, for no other reason than that of being "the gentleman who has had a glimpse of the author of Waverley."

Indeed, the poor man has grown ten times as nervous as ever, since he has discovered, on such good authority, who the stout gentleman was; and will never forgive himself for not having made a more resolute effort to get a full sight of him. He has anxiously endeavored to call up a recollection of what he saw of that portly personage; and has ever since kept a curious eye on all gentlemen of more than ordinary dimensions, whom he has seen getting into stage coaches. All in vain! The features he had caught a glimpse of seem common to the whole race of stout gentlemen; and the great unknown remains as great an unknown as ever.]

A HUNTING DINNER.

I was once at a hunting dinner, given by a worthy fox-hunting old Baronet, who kept Bachelor's Hall in jovial style, in an ancient rook-haunted family mansion, in one of the middle counties. He had been a devoted admirer of the fair sex in his young days; but having travelled much, studied the sex in various countries with distinguished success, and returned home profoundly instructed, as he supposed, in the ways of woman, and a perfect master of the art of pleasing, he had the mortification of being jilted by a little boarding school girl, who was scarcely versed in the accidence of love.

The Baronet was completely overcome by such an incredible defeat; retired from the world in disgust, put himself under the government of his housekeeper, and took to fox-hunting like a perfect Jehu. Whatever poets may say to the contrary, a man will grow out of love as he grows old; and a pack of fox hounds may chase out of his heart even the memory of a boarding-school goddess. The Baronet was when I saw him as merry and mellow an old bachelor as ever followed a hound; and the love he had once felt for one woman had spread itself over the whole sex; so that there was not a pretty face in the whole country round, but came in for a share.

The dinner was prolonged till a late hour; for our host having no ladies in his household to summon us to the drawing-room, the bottle maintained its true bachelor sway, unrivalled by its potent enemy the tea-kettle. The old hall in which we dined echoed to bursts of robustious fox-hunting merriment, that made the ancient antlers shake on the walls. By degrees, however, the wine and wassail of mine host began to operate upon bodies already a little jaded by the chase. The choice spirits that flashed up at the beginning of the dinner, sparkled for a time, then gradually went out one after another, or only emitted now and then a faint gleam from the socket.

Some of the briskest talkers, who had given tongue so bravely at the first burst, fell fast asleep; and none kept on their way but certain of those long-winded prosers, who, like short-legged hounds, worry on unnoticed at the bottom of conversation, but are sure to be in at the death.

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