His son Rip, an urchin begotten in his own likeness, promised to inherit the habits, with the old clothes of his father. Here was a man asking for help. Panting and fatigued, he threw himself, late in the afternoon, on a green knoll, covered with mountain herbage, that crowned the brow of a precipice. Moore, the poet, suggested the idea to Irving. Narrate the story till he reaches the village. He would carry a fowling-piece on his shoulder for hours together, trudging through woods and swamps, and up hill and down dale to shoot a few squirrels or wild pigeons.
Wolf, too, had disappeared, but he might have strayed away after a squirrel or patridge. The introduction of these ghostly figures transforms the story from a supposedly dry historical account to one containing fantastical and mystical elements. Knickerbocker by a little German superstition about the Emperor Frederick and the Kypphauser Mountain; the subjoined note, however, which he had appended to the tale, shows that it is an absolute fact, narrated with his usual fidelity. His mind now misgave him ; he be- gan to doubt whether both he and the world 435 around him were not bewitched. The chief towns on its banks are Troy, Albany, Poughkeepsie, West Point, Jersey City, Brooklyn and New York. I have observed that he was a simple good-natured man; he was, moreover, a kind neighbor, and an obedient hen-pecked husband. The tension continues to climb as Rip slowly begins to register the dramatic changes that have taken place since his time on the mountain.
On a level spot in the centre was a company of odd-looking personages playing at nine-pins. But it would have been worth any statesman's money to have heard the profound discussions that sometimes took place, when by chance an old newspaper fell into their hands from some passing traveller. He fears that he has spent the entire night asleep on the mountain and dreads the inevitable fury of his wife. He shook his head, shouldered the rusty firelock, and, with a heart full of trouble and anxiety, turned his steps homeward. He even ventured, when no eye was fixed upon him, to taste the beverage, which he found had much of the flavor of excellent Hollands. The women of the village, too, used to employ him to run their errands, and to do such little odd jobs as their less obliging husbands would not do for them ; — in a word, Rip was ready to attend to anybody's business but his own ; but as to doing family duty, and keeping his farm in order, he found it impossible. We have seldom the rollicking fun of Dickens, but often a touch of his tenderness.
The poor man humbly assured him that he meant no harm; but merely came there in search of some of his neighbors, who used to keep about the tavern. She had a chubby child in her arms, which, frightened at his looks, began to cry. On the other side he looked down into a deep mountain glen, wild, lonely, and shagged, the bottom filled with fragments from the impending cliffs, and scarcely lighted by the reflected rays of the setting sun. That it was affirmed that the great Hendrick 645 Hudson, the first discoverer of the river and coun- try, kept a kind of vigil there every twenty years with his crew of the Half- Moon, being permitted in this way to revisit the scenes of his enterprise, and keep a guardian eye upon the river and the great 650 city called by his name. Oh, Rip Van Winkle! When they see Rip they stop playing, andsilently direct Rip to pour the drink from the keg into flagons to serve the men. Rips daughter took him home to live with her; she had a snug, well-furnished house, and a stout cheery farmer for a husband, whom Rip recollected for one of the urchins that used to climb upon his back.
It was perhaps confused with the It. The honest man could contain himself no longer. But however his memory may be appreciated by critics, it is still held dear by many folks, whose good opinion is well worth having; particularly by certain biscuit-bakers, who have gone so far as to imprint his likeness on their new-year cakes; and have thus given him a chance for immortality, almost equal to the being stamped on a Waterloo Medal, or a Queen Anne's Farthing. But though sometimes gossipy, he is never flimsy. The favorite abode of this Manitou is still shown. The birds were hopping and twittering among the bushes, and the eagle was wheeling aloft and breasting the pure mountain breeze. He picked up his gun.
. He obeyed with fear and trembling; they quaffed the liquor in profound silence, and then returned to their game. One day in autumn, he absently wanders high up in to the mountains while hunting squirrels. The neigh- 625 bors stared when they heard it ; some were seen to wink at each other, and put their tongues in their cheeks ; and the self-important man in the cocked hat, who, when the alarm was over, had returned to the field, screwed down the corners of his mouth, 630 and shook his head — upon which there was a general shaking of the head throughout the assemblage. He assured the company that it was a fact, handed down from his ancestor the historian, that the Catskill Mountains had always been haunted by strange beings.
He, however, was apt to ride his hobby in his own way; and though it did now and then kick up the dust a little in the eyes of his neighbors and grieve the spirit of some friends, for whom he felt the truest deference and affection, yet his errors and follies are remembered more in sorrow than in anger; and it begins to be suspected that he never intended to injure or offend. He was a stout old gentleman, with a weather-beaten countenance; he wore a laced doublet, broad belt and hanger, high-crowned hat and feather, red stockings, and high-heeled shoes, with roses in them. Certain it- is that he was a great favorite among all the good wives of the village, who, as usual with the amiable sex, took his part in all family squab- bles, and never failed, whenever they talked those 60 matters over in their evening gossipings, to lay all the blame on Dame Van Winkle. It is almost an anti-climax. cried heYoung Rip Van Winkle onceold Rip Van Winkle now! As they ascended, Rip every now and then heard long rolling peals, like distant thunder, that seemed to issue out of a deep ravine, or rather cleft, between lofty rocks, toward which their rugged path conducted.
The result of all these researches was a history of the province during the reign of the Dutch governors, which he published some years since. Rip was at first for making off, but the sinister glare in the circle of eyes took the run out of his legs, and he was not displeased when they signed to him to tap the keg and join in a draught of the ripest schnapps that ever he had tasted,—and he knew the flavor of every brand in Catskill. I have observed that he was a simple good-natured man; he was, moreover, a kind neighbor, and an obedient hen-pecked husband. He recalled the occurrences before he fell asleep. The very village was altered; it was larger and more populous.
There stood the Catskill Mountainsthere ran the silver Hudson at a distancethere was every hill and dale precisely as it had always beenRip was sorely perplexedThat flagon last night, thought he, has addled my poor head sadly! He takes to roaming the woods with his gun and his dog, Wolf. It is played with ten pins in this country 301. As he approached the village, he met a number of people, but none whom he knew, which somewhat surprised him, for he had thought himself acquainted with every one in the country round. For a long while he used to console himself, when driven from home, by frequenting a kind of perpetual club of the sages, philosophers, and other idle personages of the village; which held its sessions on a bench before a small inn, designated by a rubicund portrait of His Majesty George the Third. He was surprised to see any human being in this lonely and unfrequented place, but supposing it to be some one of the neighborhood in need of his assistance, he hastened down to yield it.
Rip looked, and beheld a precise counterpart of himself, as he went up the mountain: apparently as lazy, and certainly as ragged. This was an unkind cut indeedMy very dog, sighed poor Rip, has forgotten me! Wheres Van Bummel, the schoolmaster? The whole group reminded Rip of the figures in an old Flemish painting, in the parlor of Dominie Van Shaick, the village parson, and which had been brought over from Holland at the time of the settlement. There was a busy, bustling, disputatious tone about it, instead of the accustomed phlegm and drowsy tranquillity. Skinner 1852-1907 authored the complete nine volume set of Myths and Legends of Our Own Land in 1896. Having settled in New York as a merchant, he became the father of eleven children of whom, Washington, the subject of this sketch, was the youngest. The poor man humbly assured him that he meant no harm, but merely came there in search of some of his neighbors, who used to keep about the tavern. I was then but a little girl.