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‘ [132] of the Baltic, are nowise superior. The story of Peter Rugg, the man who could not find Boston, is as good as that told by Gervase of Tilbury, of a man who gave himself to the devils by an unfortunate imprecation, and was used by them as a wheelbarrow; and the Great Carbuncle of the White Mountains shines with no less splendor, than that which illuminated the subterranean palace in Rome, as related by William of Malmesbury. Truly, from such a Fortunatus's pocket and wishing-cap, a talebearer may furnish forth a sufficiency of “perylous adventures right espouventables, briefly compyled and pyteous for to here.” ’

We must always remember that Longfellow came forward at a time when cultivated Americans were wasting a great deal of superfluous sympathy on themselves. It was the general impression that the soil was barren, that the past offered no material and they must be European or die. Yet Longfellow's few predecessors had already made themselves heard by disregarding this tradition and taking what they found on the spot. Charles Brockden Brown, although his style was exotic and Godwinish, yet found his themes among American Indians and in the scenes of the yellow fever in Philadelphia. It was not Irving who invested the Hudson with romance, but the Hudson that inspired Irving.

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