FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 28
My day began at 6AM after about 30 minutes of sleep. Altar Guild was a monster today. We were there for nearly 3 hours, removing the Thanksgiving decorations and clearing everything for the beginning of Advent this Sunday. They let me “do” the Advent display for the 1st time. It looked good to me. I had to drop by Josie’s to pick up my cork board she framed in white to match my new “office”. Maggie came 1PM. Nearly 6 year old Kiara came with her. That kid is sooo smart!
We worked on the tree, which is now lit with at least 5000 multi-colored lights. It isn’t fluffed, and not decorated, but it is lit, and that’s 90% of the whole mess. My feet are so darn tired.
I did only online shopping today.
Do we really want to know about the secret sex life of the red squirrel? Sounds a little squirrelly to me.
Recycled Reindeer poop – you deal with it.
Is the fast food Alzheimer’s link valid. My poor father….and his quarterpounders with cheese. Nasty…absolutely nasty.
The great Bloody Mary bloodbath.
Born: Captain George William Manby, inventor of life saving apparatus for shipwrecks, 1765, Hilgay, Norfolk; Victor Cousin, moral philosopher, 1792.
Died: Pope Gregory III, 741; Dunois, the Bastard of Orleans, 1468; Edward Plantagenet, Earl of Warwick, beheaded, 1499; Cartouche, celebrated robber, executed at Paris, 1721; Charles Buller, statesman and writer, 1848, London; Washington Irving, eminent popular writer, 1859, Irvington, New Yen; Baron C. C. J. Bunsen, Prussian statesman, philosophical writer, 1860, Bonn.
Feast Day: St. Stephen, the Younger, martyr, 764. St. James of La Marca of Ancona, confessor, 1476.
Were the fact not familiar to every one, most English readers of the Sketch Book, Bracebridge Hall, and the lives of Goldsmith and Columbus, would be surprised to learn that they were written by an American; though, indeed, an American to whom England gave success and fame.
Washington Irving’s father was a Scotchman, and his mother an Englishwoman. William Irving went to New York about 1763, and was a merchant of that city during the revolution. His son, Washington, was born April 3, 1783, just as the War of Independence had been brought to a successful termination; and he received the name of its hero, of whom he was destined to be the, so far, most voluminous biographer. His best means of education was his father’s excellent library, and his elder brothers were men of literary tastes and pursuits. At sixteen, he began to study law, but he never followed out the profession. He was too modest ever to address a jury, and in the height of his fame, he could never summon the resolution to make a speech, even when toasted at a public dinner.
Irving was early a traveller. At the age of twenty one, he visited the south of Europe on a tour of health and pleasure. On his return to New York, he wrote for his brother’s newspaper; joined with Paulding, Halleck, and Bryant in the Salmagundi papers in the fashion of the Spectator; and wrote a comic history of the early settlement of New York, purporting to be the production of a venerable Dutchman, Diedrich Knickerbocker. This work had a great success, and so delighted Sir Walter Scott, that when the author visited him in 1820, he wrote to thank Campbell, who had given him a letter of introduction, for one of the best and pleasantest acquaintances he had met in many a day. Sir Walter did not stop with compliments. Irving could not find a publisher for his Sketch Book, being perhaps too modest to push his fortunes with the craft. He got it printed on his own account by a person named Miller, who failed shortly after. Sir Walter introduced the author to John Murray, who gave him £200 for the copyright, but afterwards increased the sum to £400. Irving then went to Paris, where he wrote Bracebridge Hall, and made the acquaintance of Thomas Moore and other literary celebrities. From thence he proceeded to Dresden, and wrote the Tales of a Traveller; but he found his richest mine in Spain, where, for three months, he resided in the palace of the Alhambra, and employed himself in ransacking its ancient records. Here he wrote his Life and Voyages of Columbus (for which Murray paid him 3000 guineas), the Conquest of Granada, Voyages of the Companions of Columbus, &c.
By this time America, finding that Irving had become famous abroad as American authors and artists mostly do, if at all, according to an old proverb begged him to accept the post of secretary of legation at London; a highly honourable office indeed, but, in point of emolument, worth only £500 a year. The Oxford University having conferred on him the honorary degree of D.C.L., and one of George IV’s gold medals, the Americans, a modest people, always proud of European recognition, made him minister at the court of Spain. On his return to America, he retired to a beautiful country seat, ‘Sunnyside,’ built in his own ‘Sleepy Hollow,’ on the banks of the Hudson, where he lived with his brother and nieces, and wrote Astoria, Captain Bonneville, Goldsmith, Mahomet, and his last work, the life of his great namesake, Washing-ton. He was never married. In his youth he loved one who died of consumption, and he was faithful to her memory. He died, November 28, 1859, sincerely mourned by the whole world of literature, and by his own countrymen, who have placed his name at the head of the list of authors whom they delight to honour.