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Irving Wein, publicity director for Altamont Pictures, when interviewed by a reporter in his rooms at the Cadillac Hotel late today, said that Nita Leigh had been used for "bits" and as a dancing "double" for stars in a number of recent pictures, including "Night Life" and "Boy, Howdy!", both of which have dancing sequences.
This was in 1809, when Irving was twenty-six years old. But before this humorous creation was completed, the author endured the terrible bereavement which was to color all his life.
It is impossible, as we have seen, to fix an absolute ratio between these writers. Irving has a more human quality than Poe, but Poe is beyond dispute the more original of the two. Each, again, has something which Hawthorne does not possess.
She stopped for want of words to express her feelings not too riotously, and Katherine came to her relief by swinging the subject along a different track. "Do you really believe that boy is Glen Irving?" she inquired. "No, I suppose not," Hazel answered dejectedly. "You heard that girl say he was her brother, didn't you? Well, Glen has no sister.
Irving must have something superior in him, to look over the shining close-packed heads of his congregation to have a hit at the Great Jurisconsult in his study. He next, ere the report of the former blow had subsided, made a lunge at Mr. Brougham, and glanced an eye at Mr. Canning; mystified Mr. Coleridge, and stultified Lord Liverpool in his place in the Gallery.
Irving was quickly taken into his confidence, the position explained, the proposition to rob the bank broached, all possible co-operation in the way of leaving safes unlocked and doors open, or what, of course, amounts to the same thing, of furnishing keys and information to open everything, promised, and then Irving was asked if he could find men to carry the job into execution.
These facts are of slight importance in themselves. Cooper was immediately furnished with an English nativity as soon as he had won reputation. The same process that gave to Irving a birthplace in Devonshire, furnished one also to him in the Isle of Man. When this fiction was exploded, the fact of emigration was pushed merely a little further back.
There were, it is true, many legends about the Hudson before Irving was born, but they had found no expression in literature. Mrs. Josiah Quincy, who made a voyage up the Hudson in 1786, wrote: "Our captain had a legend for every scene, either supernatural or traditional or of actual occurrence during the war, and not a mountain reared its head unconnected with some marvellous story."
That Irving should find it in the prosaic and materialistic conditions of the New World as well as in the tradition-laden atmosphere of the Old, is evidence that he possessed genius of a refined and subtle quality if not of the most robust order.
Irving instinctively divined and admirably illustrated in his "Knickerbocker" the humorous element which lies in this nearness of view, this clear, prosaic daylight of modernness, and this poverty of stage properties, which makes the actors and the deeds they were concerned in seem ludicrously small when contrasted with the semi-mythic grandeur in which we have clothed them, as we look backward from the crowned result, and fancy a cause as majestic as our conception of the effect.