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This volume contains twelve selections from Irving's Sketch Book. It is hoped that the choice and arrangement of the material will awaken and sustain the interest of young students, not only in reading the subject matter, but in observing the character and methods of the author. The students will thus have had entertainment, and will have become acquainted with the charming personality of Irving, a man of gentle humor and gentle manners, and of unfailing kindliness. "Without ostentation or affectation,” says Richard Garnett, "he was exquisite in all things, a mirror of loyalty, courtesy, and good taste in all his literary connections, and exemplary in all the relations of domestic life.”
These Sketches should not be read to make a critical study of Irving or of his style, but to enjoy the pictures and impressions which they create. The Introduction is intended to prepare the way by giving the reader a glimpse of Irving's time and of Irving himself. The notes at the bottom of the page are Irving's. Some additional notes have been added, at the end of the book, to explain points in the text. Following these notes are suggestions for study, and certain questions set by the College Entrance Examination Board; for permission to reprint these questions the editor is indebted to the Board.
FRANCIS KINGSLEY BALL