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Is thick inlaid with patines of bright gold;
Doth grossly close it in, we cannot hear it.
ADVENTURES OF RIP VAN WINKLE.
[WASHINGTON Irving. See Page 1.] WHOEVER has made a voyage up the Hudson must | In a word, Rip was ready to attend to anybody's remember the Kaatskill Mountains. At the foot business but his own; but as to doing family of these fairy mountains the voyager may have duty, and keeping his farm in order, he found it descried the light smoke curling up from a village, impossible. His children were as ragged and wild whose shingle roofs gleam among the trees, just as if they belonged to nobody. His son Rip, an where the blue tints of the upland melt away into urchin begotten in his own likeness, promised to a fresh green of the nearer landscape. In that inherit the habits with the old clothes of his small village, and in one of these very houses father. He was generally seen trooping like a (which, to tell the precise truth, was sadly time- colt at his mother's heels, equipped in a pair of worn and weather-beaten), thero lived, many years his father's cast-off galligaskins, which he had since, while the country was yet a province of much ado to hold up with one hand, as a fine Great Britain, a simple, good-natured fellow, of the lady does her train in bad weather.
Rip Van name of Rip Van Winkle. He was a descendant Winkle, however, was one of those happy mortals, of the Van Winkles who figured so gallantly in of foolish, well-oiled dispositions, who take the the chivalrous days of Peter Stuyvesant, and ac. world easy, eat white bread or brown, whichever companied him to the siege of Fort Christina. He can be got with least thought or trouble, and inherited, however, but little of the martial cha would rather starve on a penny than work for a racter of his ancestors. I have observed that he pound. If left to himself, he would have whistled was a simple, good-natured man: he was, moreover, life away in perfect contentment; but his wife a kind neighbour, and an obedient hen-pecked kept continually dinning in his ears about his idle. husband. Indeed, to the latter circumstance might ness, his carelessness, and the ruin he was bringing be owing that meekness of spirit which gained on his family. Morning, noon, and night her him such universal popularity; for those men are tongue was incessantly going, and everything he most apt to be obsequious and conciliating abroad said or did was sure to produce a torrent of house. who are under the discipline of shrews at home. hold eloquence. Certain it is that he was a great favourite among Rip's sole domestic adherent was his dog Wolf, all the good-wives of the neighbourhood. The who was as much hen-pecked as his master, children of the village, too, would shout with joy for Dame Van Winkle regarded them as comwhenever he approached. Whenever he went panions in idleness, and even looked upon Wolf dodging about the village, he was surrounded with an evil eye, as the cause of his master's going by a troop of them, hanging on his skirts, clam- so often astray. True it is, in all points of spirit bering on his back, and playing a thousand tricks befitting an honourable dog, he was as courageous on him with impunity; and not a dog would bark an animal as ever scoured the woods; but what at him throughout the neighbourhood. The great courage can withstand the ever-during and all-beerror in Rip's composition was an insuperable aver-setting terrors of a woman's tongue? The moment sion to all kinds of profitable labour. It could not Wolf entered the house, his crest fell; his tail be from the want of assiduity or perseverance, for dropped to the ground or curled between his legs; he would sit on a wet rock, with a rod as long and he sneaked about with a gallows air, casting many heavy as a Tartar's lance, and fish all day without a sidelong glance at Dame Van Winkle, and at the a murmur, even though he should not be encou- least flourish of a broomstick or ladle he would l'aged by a single nibble. He would carry a fowling- fly to the door with yelping precipitation. Times piece on his shoulder, trudging through woods grew worse and worse with Rip Van Winkle, as and swamps, and up hill and down dale, to shoot a years of matrimony rolled on. A tart temper never few squirrels or wild pigeons. He would never mellows with age, and a sharp tongue is the only refuse to assist a neighbour, even in the roughest edge-tool that grows keener with constant use. toil, and was a foremost man at all country frolics For a long while he used to console himself, when for husking Indian corn or building stone fences. driven from home, by frequenting a kind of per
petual club of the sages, philosophers, and other gulley, apparently the dry bed of a mountain tor. idle personages of the village, which held its ses. rent. As they ascended, Rip every now and then sion on a bench before a small inn, designated by heard long rolling peals, like distant thunder, that a rubicund portrait of His Majesty George III. seemed to issue out of a deep ravine, or rather cleft Here they used to sit in the shade during a long, between lofty rocks, towards which their rugged lazy summer's day, talking listlessly over village path conducted. He paused for an instant, but, gossip, or telling endless sleepy stories about no- supposing it to be the muttering of one of those thing. From even this stronghold the unlucky Rip transient thunder showers which often take placo was at length routed by his termagant wife, who in mountain heights, he proceeded. Passing would suddenly break in upon the tranquillity of through the ravirte, they came to a hollow the assemblage and call the members all to like a small amphitheatre, surrounded by pernaught.
pendicular precipices; over the brink of which Poor Rip was at last reduced almost to despair; impending trees shot their branches, merely allowand his only alternative, to escape from the labour ing glimpses of the azure sky and the bright of the farm and clamour of his wife, was to take evening cloud. During the whole time, Rip and gun in hand and stroll away in the woods. In a his companion had laboured on in silence; for long ramble of the kind on a fine autumnal day, he though the former marvelled greatly what could had unconsciously scrambled to one of the highest be the object of carrying the keg of liquor up this parts of the Kaatskill mountains. For some time wild mountain, yet there was something strange Rip lay musing on this scene. Evening was and incomprehensible about the unknown that ingradually advancing; the mountains began to spired awe and checked familiarity. On entering throw their long blue shadows over the valleys. the amphitheatre, new objects of wonder presented He saw that it would be dark long before he themselves. On a level spot in the centre was a could reach the village, and he heaved a heavy company of odd-looking personages playing at sigh when he thought of encountering the terrors nine-pins. They were dressed in a quaint, outof Dame Van Winkle. As he was about to descend, landish fashion: some wore short doublets, others he heard a voice from a distance hallooing, “Rip jerkins, with long knives in their belts, and most Van Winkle! Rip Van Winkle!” He looked of them had enormous breeches, in similar style around, but could see nothing but a crow wing with that of the guide’s. Their visages, too, were ing its solitary flight across the mountains. He peculiar: one had a large head, broad face, and thought his fancy must have deceived him, and small, piggish eyes; the face of another seemed turned again to descend, when he heard the same entirely to consist of nose, and was surmounted by cry ring through the still evening air, “Rip Van a white sugar-loaf hat, set off with a little red Winkle! Rip Van Winkle!” At the same time cock's tail. They all had beards of various shapes Wolf bristled up his back, and, giving a low and colours. There was one who seemed to be growl, skulked to his master's side, looking fear- the commander. He was a stout old gentleman fully down into the glen. Rip now felt a vague ap. with a weather-beaten countenance; he wore a prehension stealing over him. He looked anxiously laced doublet, broad belt and hanger, high-crowned in the same direction, and perceived a strange hat and feather, red stockings, and high-heeled figure slowly toiling up the rocks, and bending shoes with roses in them.
The whole group under the weight of something he carried on his reminded Rip of the figures in an old Flemish back. He was surprised to see any human being painting in the parlour of Dominie Van Schaick, in this lonely and unfrequented place, but sup- the village parson, and which had been brought posing it to be some one of the neighbourhood in over from Holland at the time of the settlement. need of his assistance, he hastened down to yield What seemed particularly odd to Rip was, that it. On nearer approach, he was still more sur though these folk were evidently amusing themprised at the singularity of the stranger's appear. selves, yet they maintained the gravest faces, the ance. He was a short, square-built old fellow, most mysterious silence, and were, withal, the with thick, bushy hair, and a grizzled beard. His most melancholy party of pleasure he had ever dress was of the antique Dutch fashion : a cloth witnessed. Nothing interrupted the stillness of jerkin strapped round the waist, several pairs of the scene but the noise of the balls, which, when. breeches, the outer one of ample volume, decorated ever they were rolled, echoed along the mountains with rows of buttons down the sides, and bunches like rumbling peals of thunder. As Rip and his at the knees. He bore on his shoulder a stout keg, companion approached them, they suddenly dethat seemed full of liquor, and made signs for Rip sisted from their play, and stared at him with to approach and assist him with the load. Though such fixed, statue-like gaze, and such strange, rather shy and distrustful of this new acquaintance, uncouth, lack-lustre countenances, that his heart Rip complied with his usual alacrity, and, mutually turned within him, and his knees smote together. relieving each other, they clambered up a narrow His companion now emptied the contents of the keg into large flagons, and made signs to him to squirrel or partridge. He whistled after him and wait upon
the company. He obeyed with fear and shouted his name, but all in vain; the echoes retrembling; they quaffed the liquor in profound peated his whistle and shout, but no dog was to be silence, and then returned to their game. By seen. He determined to revisit the scene of the degrees Rip's awe and apprehension subsided. He last evening's gambol, and if he met with any of even ventured, when no eye was fixed upon him, the party, to demand his dog and gun. As he rose to taste the beverage, which he found had much to walk, he found himself stiff in the joints, and of the flavour of excellent Hollands. He was wanting in his usual activity. “These mountain naturally a thirsty soul, and was soon tempted to beds do not agree with me,” thought Rip; " and if repeat the draught. One taste provoked another, this frolic should lay me up with a fit of rheuma
tism, I shall have a blessed time with Dame Van Winkle.” With some difficulty he got down into the glen. He found the gully up which he and his companion had ascended the preceding evening, but, to his astonishment, a mountain stream was now foaming down it, leaping from rock to rock, and filling the glen with babbling murmurs.
At length he reached to where the ravine had opened through the cliffs to the amphitheatre, but no traces of such opening remained. The rocks presented a high impenetrable wall, over which the torrent came tumbling in a sheet of feathery foam, and fell into a broad, deep basin, black from the shadows of a surrounding forest. Here, then, poor Rip was brought to a stand. What was to be done? The morning was passing away, and Rip felt famished. He grieved to give up his dog and gun; he dreaded to meet his wife; but it would not do to starve among the moun. tains. He shook his head, shouldered the rusty firelock, and, with a heart full of trouble and anxiety, turned his steps homeward. As be approached the village he met a number of
people, but none whom he knew, which someand he reiterated his visits to the flagon so often, what surprised him, for he had thought himself that at length his senses were overpowered ; his acquainted with every one in the country round. cyes swam in his head, his head gradually declined, Their dress, too, was of a different fashion from and he fell into a deep sleep. On waking, he found that to which he was accustomed. They all stared himself on the green knoll from whence he had at him with equal marks of surprise, and whenever first seen the old man of the glen. He rubbed his they cast eyes upon him, invariably stroked their eyes. It was a bright sunny morning. The birds chins. The constant recurrence of this gesture were hopping and twittering among the bushes, induced Rip, involuntarily, to do the same, when, and the eagle was wheeling aloft, and breasting the to his astonishment, he found his beard had grown pure mountain breeze. “Surely," thought Rip, a foot long! He had now entered the skirts of the "I have not slept here all night.” He recalled village. A troop of strange children ran at his the occurrences before he fell asleep—the strange heels, hooting after him, and pointing at his grey man with a keg of liquor, the mountain ravine, the beard. The dogs, too, not one of which he recog. wild retreat among the rocks, the woe-begone party nised for an old acquaintance, barked at him as he at nine-pins, the flagon. “Oh! that flagon! that passed. The very village was altered; it was wicked flagon!” thought Rip; "what excuse shall larger and more populous. There were rows of I make to Dame Van Winkle?" He looked round houses which he had never seen before, and for his gun, but in place of the clean, well-oiled those which had been his familiar haunts had disfowling-piece, he found an old firelock lying by appeared. Surely this was his native village, him, the barrel encrusted with rust, the lock falling which he had left but the day before. There off, and the stock worm-eaten. He now suspected stood the Kaatskill Mountains; there ran the that the grave roysterers of the mountain had put a silver Hudson at a distance; there was every trick upon him, and, having dosed him with liquor, hill and dale precisely as it had always been. had robbed him of his gun. Wolf, too, had dis- Rip was sorely perplexed. “That flagon last appeared, but he might have strayed away after a night,” thought he, “has addled my poor head
sadly!” It was with some difficulty he found the King George, under which he had smoked so way to his own house, which he approached with many a peaceable pipe; but even this was singusilent awe, expecting every moment to hear the larly metamorphosed. The red coat was changed shrill voice of Dame Van Winkle. He found the for one of blue and buff, and a sword was held house gone to decay—the roof fallen in, the win in the hand instead of a sceptre; the head was dows shattered, and the doors off the hinges. A decorated with a cocked hat, and underneath half-starved dog, that looked like Wolf, was skulk. was painted in large characters, “ General Washing about it. Rip called him by name, but the cur ington.” There was, as usual, a crowd of folk snarled, showed his teeth, and passed on. This about the door, but none that Rip recollected. was an unkind cut indeed. "My very dog," sighed The very character of the people seemed changed. poor Rip, " has forgotten me!” He entered the There was a busy, bustling, disputatious tone house. It was empty, forlorn, and apparently aban- about it, instead of the accustomed phlegm and doned. He now hurried forth and hastened to his drowsy tranquillity. The appearance of Rip, with old resort, the village inn; but it, too, was gone. his long grizzled beard, his rusty fowling-piece, A large, rickety wooden building stood in its his uncouth dress, and the army of women and place, with great gaping windows, some of them children that had gathered at his heels, soon broken, with old hats and petticoats stuffed in attracted the attention of the tavern politicians. the chasms, and over the door was painted “ The They crowded round him, eyeing him from head Union Hotel, by Jonathan Doolittle.” He recog. to foot with great curiosity. nised on the sign, however, the ruby face of One orator bustled up to him, and drawing him
partly aside, inquired“ on which side he voted ? " securing the gun, and keeping the old fellow from Rip stared in vacant stupidity. Another short doing mischief. At this critical moment, a fresh, but busy little fellow pulled him by the arm, and, comely woman pressed through the throng to rising on tiptoe, inquired in his ear • whether he get a peep at the grey-bearded man. She had was a Federal or Democrat?”
a chubby child in her arms, which, frightened at “Alas! gentlemen," cried Rip, somewhat dis- his looks, began to cry. “Hush, Rip,” cried she; mayed, “I am a poor, quiet man; a native of the “hush, you little fool; the old man won't hurt place, and a loyal subject of the king, God bless you.” The name of the child, the air of the mother, him!”
the tone of her voice, all awakened a train of recolHere a general shout burst from the bystanders : lections in his mind. “What is your name, my "A Tory! a Tory! a spyl a refugee! Hustle good woman P” asked he. “Judith Gardenier." him! away with him!”
* And your father's name?” “Ah, poor man, his It was with great difficulty that a self-important name was Rip Van Winkle. It's twenty years since man in a cocked hat restored order; and, having he went away with his gun, and never has been assumed a tenfold austerity of brow, demanded of heard of since.. His dog came home without him; the unknown culprit what he came there for, and but whether he shot himself or was carried away whom he was seeking.
by the Indians, nobody, nobody can tell. I was The poor man humbly assured him that he then but a little girl.” Rip had but one more meant no harm, but merely came there in search question to ask; but he put it with a faltering of some of his neighbours, who used to keep voice. Where's your mother?” “Oh, she died about the tavern.
but a short time since; she broke a blood vessel “Well, who are they? Name them.”
in a fit of passion at a New English pedlar.” There Rip bethought himself a moment, and inquired, was a drop of comfort, at least, at this intelligence. “Where's Nicholas Vedder?”
The honest man could contain himself no longer. There was silence for a little while, when an He caught his daughter and her child in his arms. old man replied, in a thin, piping voice, “Nicholas “I'm your father!” cried he. Young Rip Van Vedder! Why, he's dead and gone these eighteen Winkle once-old Rip Van Winkle now! Does years. There was a wooden tombstone in the nobody know poor Rip Van Winkle ?" Rip's churchyard, and that used to tell all about him; story was soon told, for the whole twenty years but that's rotten, and gone too."
had been to him but as one night. The neighbours " Where's Van Bummel, the schoolmaster ?” stared when they heard it; some were seen to
“He went off to the wars, too; was a great wink at each other, and put their tongues in militia general, and is now in Congress."
their cheeks. It was determined, however, to take Rip's heart died away at hearing of these sad the opinion of old Peter Vanderdonk, who was changes in his home and friends, and finding him- seen slowly advancing up the road. Peter was self thus alone. He had no courage to ask after the most ancient inhabitant of the village, and any more friends, but cried out, in despair, “Does well versed in all the wonderful events and tranobody here know Rip Van Winkle?"
ditions of the neighbourhood. He recollected “Oh, Rip Van Winkle!” exclaimed two or Rip at once, and corroborated his story in three. "Oh, to be sure! That's Rip Van the most satisfactory manner. He assured the Winkle yonder, leaning against the tree.”
company that it was a fact, handed down from his Rip looked, and beheld a precise counterpart ancestor, the historian, that the Kaatskill Mounof himself, as he went up to the mountain, appa- tains had always been haunted by strange beings; rently as lazy, and certainly as ragged. The poor that it was affirmed that the great Hendrick Hudfellow was
now completely confounded. He son, the first discoverer of the river and country, doubted his own identity, and whether he was kept a kind of vigil there every twenty years, with himself or another man. In the midst of his his crew of the Half Moon, being accustomed in bewilderment, the man in the cocked hat demanded this way to revisit the scenes of his enterprise, who he was, and what was his name? “ God and keep a guardian eye upon the river and the knows,” exclaimed he, at his wits' end. “I'm not great city called by his name; that his father had myself; I'm somebody else; that's me yonder, once seen them in their old Dutch dresses, playing no; that's somebody else got into my shoes. I at nine-pins in the hollow of the mountain;
and that was myself last night, but I fell asleep on the he himself had heard, one summer's afternoon, tho mountain, and they've changed my gun, and every- sound of their balls, like distant peals of thunder. thing's changed, and I'm changed, and I can't tell Rip now resumed his old walks and habits; what's my name, or who I am!”
soon found many of his former cronies, though all The bystanders began now to look at each other, rather worse for the wear and tear of time, and nod, wink significantly, and tap their fingers against preferred making friends among the rising generatheir foreheads; there was a whisper, also, about tion, with whom he soon grew into great favour.