The Tale of Sleepy Hollow
Went by Cascadia
A cweeming land of drusy head it was,
Of halfshut eye and late days sweven;
And blissful fastens in the cludes that fare,
Forever flushing umb a summer heaven.
- - FASTEN OF SLOTHHOOD.
In the bosom of one of those roomy coves which brit the Hudsons eastern shore, at that great broadening of the ea named by the fern Duch sailers the Tappan Zee, and where hy always glewly shortened sail and besought the beeld of Holy Nickolas when hy fared, there lies a small cheaptune or upland harbor, which by sum is named Greensburgh, but which is more often and fittingly known by the name of Tarry Tune. This name was yeaven, we are told, in former days, by the good husewives of the neighboring shire, from the unshakenly won of hir weres to tarry abute on cheaping days. Be that as it may, I asoothe this not, but only nemmen it, for the sake of being careful and trewthful. Not far from this thorp, maybe abute two miles, there is a littel deen or rather lap of land among high hills, which is one of the stillest stows in the whole world. A small brook glides thrugh it, with only babbel enugh to lull man to rest; and the unoft whistel of an earshhen or tapping of a woodpecker is almost the only lude that ever breaks in on the even roo.
I mimmer that, when a knave, my first fand at oakwern shooting was in a grove of tall walnut trees that shades one side of the deen. I had wandered into it at midday, when all kind is ferly still, and was startelled by the roar of mine own gun, as it broke the restday stillness umb and was lengthened and thrown by the wroth ashilling. If ever I shud wish for a harbor whither I might steal from the world and all its bisiness, and sweven softly away the lave of a life beset, I know of none more toward than this littel deen.
From the listless restfulness of the stow, and the ferly eard of its heems, who are afterbears from the form Duch settellers, this clused off glen has long been known by the name of SLEEPY HOLLOW, and its churlish yong men are named the Sleepy Hollow Knaves thrughute all the neighboring land. A drusy, swevenish thrake is seen to hang over the land, and to steep the lift itself. Sum say that the stow was bewiched by a High Garman leech, in the early days of the settelling; others, that an old Indish theeden, the dry or soothsayer of his theed, held his puwues there before the land was fund by Her Hendrick Hudson. Wiss it is, the stow still goes on in the hold of sum wiching thrake, that holds a spell over the minds of the good leeds, making hem to walk in an unending swoon. Hy are yeaven to all kinds of wundersum beleefs, are beholden to spells and meetings, and often see ferly sights, and hear soon and stevens in the lift. The whole neighborhood teems with upland tales, wiched steads, and twilight offgalths; stars shoot and gleam oftener thwares the deen than in any other deal of the land, and the nightmare, with her whole ninefold, is seen to make it the fondest setting of her play.
The main goast, huever, that stalks this bewiched shire, and looks to be rixer of all the thrakes of the lift, is the dwimmer of an ansen on horseback, withute a head. It is said by sum to be the goast of a Hessish harman, whose head had been born away by a gunstone, in sum nameless hild midst the Overthrowing Wie, and who is ever and anon seen by the churlfolk hurrying along in the gloom of night, as if on the fithers of the wind. His roamings are not hathered to the deen, but strech at times to the neighboring roads, and hure to the neighwist of a church not far off. Indeed, sum of the most soothfast stearmen of those shires, who have been careful in gathering and samming the floating trewths and tales abute this goast, tell of the harmans body having been beried in the churchyard, the goast rides forth to the foughtenfeeld in nightly hunt for his head, and that the rushing speed with which he sumtimes flies along the Hollow, like a midnight blast, is owing to his being belated, and in a hurry to eftcum to the churchyard before daybreak.
Such is the oft bearing of this taled offgalth, which has brought antimber for many a wild tale in that land of shadows; and the goast is known at all the upland firesides, by the name of the Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow.
It is markworthy that the leaning to swevens I have nemmened is not held only by the inborn leeds of the deen, but is unwittingly drunk in by every man who tarries there for a time. Huever wide awake hy may have been before hy infared that sleepy land, hy are wiss, in a littel time, to breathe in the wiching thrake of the lift, and begin to grow fathomsum, to sweven, and to see dwimmers.
I nemmen this frithful stow with all mightly love, for it is in such swethered littel Duch deens, fund here and there inbosomed in the great Rich of New York, that leeds, sids, and wons are steady, while the great flood of fare and bisiness, which is making unending wends in other deals of this restless land, sweeps hem by unhowed. Hy are like those littel hirns of still water, which hem a swift stream, where we may see the straw and bubbel riding stilly at anker, or slowly wharving in hir littel harbor, unshaken by the rush of the nearby farth. Thaugh many years have gone by sinse I trod the drusy shades of Sleepy Hollow, I wunder yet whether I shud not still find the ilk trees and the ilk maiths idelling in its sheltered bosom.
In this bystow of kind there abode, in a farlen eld of Americkish yore, that is to say, sum thirty years sinse, a worthy wight by the name of Ickabod Crane, who abode, or, as he said it, “tarried,” in Sleepy Hollow, forthat he was teaching the children of the nearby land. He was born in Conneticket, a Rich which yares the Oning with grundbreakers for the mind as well as for the wold, and sends forth yearly its wereds of edgeland woodsmen and upland teachers. The toname of Crane was not unfitting to his ansen. He was tall, but mighty lank, with narrow sholders, long arms and shanks, hands that swung a mile ute of his sleeves, feet that might have worked as shuvels, and his whole frame most woakly hangen together. His head was small, and even at the top, with ettinish ears, great green glassy eyes, and a long snipe nose, so that it looked as if a weathercock sat atop his spindel neck to tell which way the wind blew. To see him striding along the ridge of a hill on a windy day, with his clothes swelling and fluttering abute him, man might have misnimmen him for dearth itself alighting on the earth, or sum shewel atwinded from a cornfeeld.
His lorehuse was a short bilding of one great room, rughly bilt of timbers; the eyedoors half glased, and half thached with leaves of old writingbooks. It was most cleverly sickered at empty times, by a withe twined in the handel of the door, and stakes set ayenst the eyedoor shutters; so that thaugh a theef might infare with greatest eath, he wud find sum shame in yetting ute,—a mark most likely borrowed by the crafter, Yost Van Houten, from the rune of an eelpot. The lorehuse stood in a rather lonely but cweem stead, right at the foot of a woody hill, with a brook running nearby, and a striking birch tree growing at one end of it. From hense the soft mumbel of his conners stevens, going over hir readings, might be heard on a drusy summers day, like the hum of a beehive, broken nu and then by the rixing steven of the master, in the pich of threat or bidding, or, maybe, by the eyful lude of the birch, as he shied sum latred tarrier along the blossomed path of knowledge. Trewth to say, he was an upright man, and ever bore in mind the golden saw, “Spare the rod and mar the child.” Ickabod Cranes conners soothly were not marred.
I wud not have it thought, huever, that he was one of those reeth leedhates of the lorehuse who nim win from the trey of hir learners; indeed, he yave rightwiseness with shrewdness rather than strength; nimming the birden from the backs of the woak, and laying it on those of the strong. The tiny littel knave, that cringed at the least brandishing of the rod, was let by; but the needs of rightwiseness were fulfilled by wreaking a twifold deal on sum littel tugh wughheaded, broadbottomed Duch chit, who brooded and swole and grew dogged and glum beneath the birch. All this he named “doing his wicken by hir kennends;” and he never wreaked a witeswing withute following it by the oath, so soothing to the smarting chit, that “he wud mun it and thank him for it the longest day he had to live.”
When learningtide was over, he was even the frend and playmone of the older knaves; and on holiday underns wud bear sum of the smaller ones home, who overly had pretty susters, or good husewives for mothers, marked for the cweems of the cupboard. Indeed, it behooved him to keep in good standing with his conners. The earnings arising from his lorehuse were small, and wud have been hardly enugh to aford him his daily bread, for he was a great feeder, and, thaugh lank, had the widening might of a pithon; but to help ute his upkeep, he was, as was wont in those lands, boarded and hused at the huses of the bures whose children he taught. With these he lived one after the other a week at a time, thus going all umb the neighborhood, with all his worldaught tied up in a woodwool handcloth.
That all this might not be too heavy on the seeds of his upland bearers, who are cwick to think the fee of learning a sweer birden, and teachers as but drones, he had sundry ways of making himself bo helpful and heartsum. He helped the bures from time to time in the lighter swinks of hir work, helped to make hay, beeted the edders, brought the horses to water, drove the kine from leasow, and chopt wood for the winter fire. He laid aside, too, all the high manship and mighty weeld with which he lorded it in his littel kingdom, the lorehuse, and became wunderfully frithful and kind. He fund heeld in the eyes of the mothers by stroking the children, hure the yongest; and like the bold lee, which whilom so lovesumly the lamb did hold, he wud sit with a child on one knee, and rock a cradel with his foot for whole stunds together.
As well as his other arveths, he was the songmaster of the neighborhood, and pickt up many bright shillings by teaching the yong folks the salms. It was a thing of no littel pride to him on Sundays, to nim his stead at the churches fore, with a band of chosen singers; where in his own mind, he fully bore away the sie from the preest. Wiss it is, his steven ashilled far abuve all the lave of the crude; and there are selcooth cwavers still to be heard in that church, and which may be heard half a mile off, full to the wither side of the millpond, on a still Sunday morning, which are said to be rightfully beyat from the nose of Ickabod Crane. Thus, by sundry littel makeshifts, in that clever way which is oft named “by hook and by crook,” the worthy teacher yat on tholenly enugh, and was thought, by all who understood nothing of the swink of headwork, to have a wunderfully eath life of it.
The teacher is often a man of sum weight among the wives of an upland neighborhood; being thought a kind of idel, hend leed, of much better shed and deeds than the rugh upland churls, and indeed, in learning only under the preest. His cumming, therefore, is fit to bring abute sum littel stir at the teabeed of an irthhuse, and the eking of a fulsum dish of kiches and sweetmeats, or, maybe, the duthe of a silver teapot. Ure man of staves, therefore, was ferly winfast in the smirks of all the upland mewels. Hu he wud mingel with hem in the churchyard, between rights on Sundays; gathering berries for hem from the wild winetrees that overran the umbfanging woods; yedding for hir mirth all the beryleeths on the gravestones; or walking, with a whole swarm of hem, along the banks of the neighboring millpond; while the shyer upland clods hanged sheepishly back, holding ond for his better speech and hendness.
From his halfwandering life, also, he was a kind of walking kenbook, bearing the whole weight of the hearsay abute tune from huse to huse, so that his cumming was always greeted with cweem. He was, moreover, held by the wives as a were of great learning, for he had read many books full thrugh, and was a fulframed master of Cotton Mathers “Stear of New England Wichcraft,” in which, by the way, he most strongly and fromly beleeved.
He was, in sooth, a selcooth mong of small shrewdness and samwise afoldness. His maw for the wundersum, and his thrakes of grasping it, were evenly great; and bo had been highthened by his abode in this spellbund shire. No tale was too fat or fivellish for his wide swallow. It was often his win, after his conners were let ute in the undern, to strech himself on the rich bed of clover lining the littel brook that whimpered by his lorehuse, and there con over old Mathers dreadful tales, hent the gathering dusk of evening made the thruched leaf but a mist before his eyes. Then, as he wended his way by slugh and stream and eyful woodland, to the irthhuse where he was boarded at the time, every lude of kind, at that wiching tide, fluttered his highthened fathoming,—the moan of the whipperwill from the hillside, the boding roop of the tree toad, that foreridel of storm, the dreary hooting of the shree ule, or the cwick rustelling in the thicket of birds frightened from hir roost. The fireflies, too, which sparkelled most brightly in the darkest steads, nu and then startelled him, as one of seldseen brightness wud stream thwares his path; and if, at unset steven, a great wanwit of a beetel came swinging his bumbelling flight ayenst him, the arm knave was ready to yeave up the goast, with the thought that he was struck with a wiches token. His only liss in such throes, either to drune thought or drive away evil goasts, was to sing salms and the good folk of Sleepy Hollow, as hy sat by hir doors of an evening, were often filled with ey at hearing his nosely swin, “in lenched sweetness long drawn ute,” floating from the farlen hill, or along the dusky road.
Another of his springs of fearful win was spending long winter evenings with the old Duch wives, as hy sat spinning by the fire, with a row of appels breeding and spitting along the hearth, and listen to hir wundersum tales of goasts and pucks, and goastfeelds, and goastbrooks, and goastbridges, and goasthuses, and markedly of the headless horseman, or Riding Hessman of the Hollow, as hy sumtimes named him. He wud thrill hem evenly with his tales of wichcraft, and of the eyful halsends and doomful sights and ludes in the lift, which rixt in the earlier times of Conneticket, and wud frighten hem woefully with weens on shooting and faxed stars; and with the teenful trewth that the world did indeed wharve umb, and that hy were half the time upside dune!
But if there was a cweem in all this, while softly cuddelling in the flew halk of a room that was all of a ruddy glow from the crackelling woodfire, and where, suttelly, no shade dared to show its anlet, it was dearly nimmen away by the brows of his following walk homewards. What fearful shapes and shadows beset his path, amidst the dim and gastly gleam of a snowy night! With what wistful look did he eye every cwivering lightbeam streaming thwares the weastfeelds from sum farlen eyedoor! Hu often was he breed by sum shrub shruded with snow, which, like a sheeted goast, beset his path! Hu often did he shrink with curdelling ey at the lude of his own steps on the frosty rind beneath his feet; and dread to look over his sholder, lest he shud behold sum uncooth wight walking nigh behind him! And hu often was he thrown into full brow by sum rushing blast, huling among the trees, in the thought that it was the Riding Hessman on one of his nightly seechings!
All these, huever, were but brows of the night, shades of the mind that walk in darkness; and thaugh he had seen many dwimmers in his time, and been more than onse beset by Satan in sundry shapes, in his lonely wandering, yet daylight put an end to all these evils; and he wud have had a winsum life of it, the Devil and all his works notwithstanding, if his path had not been beset by a being that brings more masing to living were than goasts, pucks, and the whole stock of wiches put together, and that was—a maid.
Among the conners of singing who gathered, one evening in each week, to fang his teachings in salms, was Katrina Van Tassel, the daughter and only child of a rich Duch bure. She was a blossoming maid of fresh eighteen; full as a feeldhen; ripe and melting and roosicheeked as one of her fathers persocks, and namecooth, not only for her lite, but her great hopes. She was withall a littel of a flirt, as might be ayetten even in her clothing, which was a mong of fern and anward trends, as most fit to set off her spell. She wore wreats of lutter yellow gold, which her great great eldmother had brought over from Saardam; the costening foredeal of the olden time, and withall a headily short undergore, to show the prettiest foot and anclee in the shire umb.
Ickabod Crane had a soft and witless heart towards wifekind; and it is not to be wundered at that so costening a snead soon fund heeld in his eyes, hure after he had neesed her fathers bold. Old Baltus Van Tassel was the fulframed bisen of a theeing, eathheeld, yeavelhearted bure. He seldom, it is trew, sent either his eyes or his thoughts beyond the edges of his own land; but within those everything was cweem, winsum and hale. He was cweemed with his wealth, but not prude of it; and prided himself rather on the hearty fulth he lived in, than the way in which he lived. His stronghold was settelled on the banks of the Hudson, in one of those green, sheltered, battel nooks in which the Duch bures are so fond of nestelling. A great elmtree spread its broad bughs over it, at the foot of which bubbelled up a spring of the softest and sweetest water, in a littel well bilt from a bidden; and then stole sparkelling away thrugh the grass, to a neighboring brook, that babbelled along among alders and dwarfwillows. Hard by the irthhuse was a widegale barn, that might have worked as a church; every eyedoor and crack of which looked to be bursting forth with the fratows of the irth; the thresher was bisily shilling within it from morning to night; swallows glode twittering abute the eaves; and rows of culvers, sum with one eye went upward, as if waching the weather, sum with hir heads under hir fithers or beried in hir bosoms, and others swelling, and cooing, and buing abute hir ladies, were noting the sunshine on the roof. Sleek unweeldy hogs were grunting in the stillness and fulth of hir pens, from whense came forth, nu and then, hooses of sucking swine, as if to sniff the lift. A frithe few snowy geese were riding in a neighboring pond, leading whole fleets of ducks; wereds of Turkicocks were stepping thrugh the irthyard, and Ginnyfule fretting abute it, like shrewish husewives, with hir whining, upset roop. Before the barn door walked the knightly cock, that shape of a were, a drighten and a good her, clapping his sliked fithers and crowing in the pride and win of his heart,—sumtimes tearing up the earth with his feet, and then yeavelly chying his eferhungry maith of wives and children to neet the rich snead which he had fund.
The teachers muthe watered as he looked on this thromly hope of wunderful winter fare. In his abiting minds eye, he fathomed every breeding hog running abute with filling in its belly, and an appel in its muthe; the culvers were put well to bed in a cweem bake, and tuckt in with a whittel of rind; the geese were swimming in hir own sews; and the ducks twinning warmly in dishes, like wedded twosums, with a fair deal of inleek dip. In the swine he saw carved ute the sleek side of spich to cum, and dripping sweetened ham; not a Turkicock but he beheld nimbelly set up, with its maw under its fither, and, maybe, a ring of toothsum wursts; and even bright rooster himself lay sprawling on his back, in a side dish, with uplifted claws, as if craving that milth which his hend goast spurned to ask while living.
As the bewiched Ickabod fathomed all this, and as he went his great green eyes over the fat meadowlands, the rich feelds of wheat, of rie, of buckwheat, and Indish corn, and the groves birdened with ruddy ovets, which beclipt the warm steading of Van Tassel, his heart yearned after the maiden who was to erve these lands, and his fathoming widened with the thought, hu hy might be readily went into shat, and the yeeld put into widegale deals of wildland, and shindel kinhoves in the wilderness. No, his bisy thought already knew his hopes, and shew to him the blossoming Katrina, with a whole maith of children, sat on the top of a wain laden with homewares, with pots and chettels swinging beneath; and he beheld himself bestriding a stepping mare, with a colt at her heels, setting ute for Kentucky, Tennessee,—or the Lord knows where!
When he infared the huse, his heart was fully won over. It was one of those roomy irthhuses, with highridged but softly sloping rooves, bilt in the way handed dune from the first Duch settellers; the nether beetelling eaves making a portick along the fore, which cud be clused in bad weather. Under this were hangen threshers, belts, sundry tools of irth, and nets for fishing in the neighboring ea. Benches were bilt along the sides for the summer; and a great spinningwheel at one end, and a churn at the other, shew the sundry ends to which this weighty portick might be put. From this the wundering Ickabod infared the hall, which made up the middel of the bold, and the wonly livingstead. Here rows of shining hardtin, spread ute on a long sideboard, bliked his eyes. In one whem stood a great cheed of wool, ready to be spun; in another an andeven of linsiwool fresh from the weaveloom; ears of Indish corn, and strings of dried appels and persocks, hanged in bright wreathes along the walls, mingelled with the sparks of red peppers; and a door left achar yave him a peep into the best sittingroom, where the clawfooted selds and dark mahoggany beeds shone like silver; firedogs, with hir lasting shuvels and tongs, glistened from hir shelter of earthnavel tops; foken chinappels and conkshells fratowed the hearthshelf, strings of bleefaw birds eyren were seemed abuve it; a great strite ey was hangen from the middel of the room, and a hirn cupboard, knowingly left open, shew widegale mathoms of old silver and wellbeeted chinaware.
From the brightom Ickabod laid his eyes on these lands of win, his minds frith was at an end, and his only conning was hu to win the heeld of the unevened daughter of Van Tassel. In this upnimming, huever, he had more sooth hardships than often fell to the lot of a wandering knight of yore, who seldom had anything but ettins, wiches, firy drakes, and such like eath beaten foes, to fight with and had to make his way only thrugh gates of iron or brass, and walls of stone to the fasten keep, where the lady of his heart was held; all which he fulfilled as eath as man wud carve his way to the middel of a Cristmas bake; and then the lady yave him her hand as was wont. Ickabod, on the other hand, had to win his way to the heart of an upland maid, beset with a mase of whims and bees, which were forever rearing new hardships and remmings; and he had to meet a hoose of fearful foemen of sooth flesh and blood, the sundry upland wooers, who beset every gateway to her heart, keeping a wachful and wroth eye on each other, but ready to fly ute in the shared end ayenst any new foe.
Among these, the most frightful was a heaviset, roaring, brandishing blade, by the name of Abraham, or, fitting to the Duch shortening, Brom Van Brunt, the heleth of the shire umb, which rang with his deeds of strength and hardihood. He was broadsholdered and mighty lithe, with short lockered black hair, and a rugh but not unwinsum anlet, having a mingelled whith of glee and lonk. From his ettinish frame and great might of limb he had been yeaven the ekename of BROM BONES, by which he was known by all. He was mear for his great knowledge and craft in horsemanship, being as limber on horseback as a Tartar. He was foremost at all reases and cockfights; and, with the weeld which bodily strength always yets in upland life, was the daysman in all flites, setting his hat on one side, and yeaving his churs a whith and pich that brooked no yensay or bead. He was always ready for either fight or play; but had more impishness than loath in his body; and with all his overbearing rughness, there was a strong layer of sly good at the bottom. He had three or fore good sithers, who held him as hir bisen, and at the head of whom he sought the land, showing up at every setting of flite or merrimake for miles umb. In cold weather his hallmark was a hide cap, topt with a leeming foxtail; and when the folks at an upland gathering made ute this wellknown mark far off, whipping abute among a hoose of hard riders, hy always stood by for a storm. Sumtimes his crude wud be heard rushing along by the irthhuses at midnight, with whoop and halloo, like a hoose of Don Cossacks; and the old ladies, startelled ute of hir sleep, wud listen for a brightom hent the weres had clattered by, and then roop, “O, there goes Brom Bones and his gang!” The neighbors looked on him with a mong of ey, fondness, and goodwill; and, when any madcap prat or upland sake befell in the neighwist, always shook hir heads, and thought Brom Bones to be at the bottom of it.
This rakish heleth had for sum time chosen the blossoming Katrina for the markel of his uncooth knightliness, and thaugh his luvesum teasings were sumthing like the frithful strokes of a bear, it was yet whispered that she did not altogether withhold his hopes. Wiss it is, his flirtings were beacons for other wooers to swether, who had no wish to irse a lee in his luve; insomuch, that when his horse was seen tied to Van Tassels stake, on a Sunday night, a wiss token that his master was wooing, or, as it is named, “sparking,” within, all other wooers went by in wanhope, and bore the wie into other lands.
Such was the frightening foe with whom Ickabod Crane had to sake, and, all things in hand, a stronger man wud have shrunk from the fight, and a wiser man wud have yeaven up hope. He had, huever, a winful mong of bendsumness and singaleness in his eard; he was in body and goast as woodbine—yeelding, but tugh; thaugh he bent, he never broke; and thaugh he bued beneath the smallest thresting, yet, the eyeblink it was away—spring!—he was as upright, and held his head as high as ever.
To have nimmen the feeld openly ayenst his foe wud have been madness; for he was not a were to be hindered in his wooings, any more than that stormy luver, Ackilles, Ickabod, therefore, made his inroads in a lithe and softly inkelling way. Under sheeld of his wicken of songmaster, he often neesed the irthhuse; not that he had anything to worry from the nosy hindering of kennends, which is so often a hurdel in the path of luvers. Balt Van Tassel was an eath yeavel sowl; he luved his daughter better even than his pipe, and, like a fair were and a great father, let her have her way in everything. His markworthy littel wife too, had enugh to do with her husekeeping and her fule; for, as she wisely saw, ducks and geese are witless things, and must be looked after, but maids can care for hemselves. Thus, while the bisy lady bustelled abute the huse, or worked her spinningwheel at one end of the portick, good old Balt wud sit smoking his evening pipe at the other, waching the deeds of a littel wooden dring, who, yared with a sword in each hand, was most dughtily fighting the wind on the steepel of the barn. In the meantime, Ickabod wud flirt on with the daughter by the side of the spring under the great elm, or walking along in the twilight, that tide so fair to the luvers words.
I bode not to know hu hearts of wives are wooed and won. To me hy have always been things of riddel and fondness. Sum look to have but one woakness, or door of infare; while others have a thusand roads, and may be fanged in a thusand sundry ways. It is a great sie of craft to win the former, but a still greater seething of plot to keep hold of the latter, for man must fight for his keep at every door and eyedoor. He who wins a thusand everyday hearts is therefore berighted to sum lise; but he who keeps unkneated hold over the heart of a flirt is indeed a heleth. Wiss it is, this was not hu it was with the fearful Brom Bones; and from the brightom Ickabod Crane made his inroads, the cares of the former suttelly fell; his horse was no longer seen tied to the stakes on Sunday nights, and a deadly feith arose stepwise between him and the teacher of Sleepy Hollow.
Brom, who had a bit of rugh hendness in him, wud fain have born things to open guthecraft and have settelled hir rights to the lady, by way of those most pithy and afold reckoners, the wandering knights of yore,—by fight of stand; but Ickabod was too wary of the greater might of his foe to infare into a fight ayenst him; he had overheard a beet of Boneses, that he wud “bend the teacher in two, and lay him on a shelf of his own lorehuse;” and he was too wary to yeave him a bire. There was sumthing mighty irsing in the doggedly frithful setup; it left Brom no sidechur but to draw on the stock of upland slyness in his being, and to play off uncooth prats on his foe. Ickabod became the markel of playful ight to Bones and his gang of rughriders. Hy harried his hitherto frithful abodes; smoked ute his singing teachings by stopping up the flew; broke into the lorehuse at night, dreadful fastenings of withe and eyedoor stakes notwithstanding, and threw everything upside dune, so that the arm teacher began to think all the wiches in the land held hir meetings there. But what was still thornier, Brom nam all bires to make him a laughingstock in the neighwist of his maid, and had a lorel dog whom he taught to whine in the most moonstruck way, and brought in as a witherwin of Ickabods, to teach her the salms.
In this way things went on for sum time, withute bringing abute any trew wend on the bearings of the kneating weres. On a good harvest undern, Ickabod, in a thoughtful mood, sat high atop the tall stool from whense he wached over all the things in his littel kingdom of books. In his hand he swang a twig, that kinyard of might; the birch of rightwiseness rested on three nails behind the seld, an unyeelding brow to evildoers, while on the board before him might be seen sundry runnings and forbidden weapons, fund on the bodies of idel knaves, such as halfeaten appels, popguns, spillcocks, flypens, and whole wereds of wild littel bookfell gamecocks. It looked as if there had been sum eyful deed of rightwiseness lately done, for his conners were all bisily earnest in hir books, or slily whispering behind hem with one eye kept on the master; and a kind of droning stillness rixt thrughute the room. It was broken at onse by the lending of a black in hurden hackel and briches, a sinwelt groat of a hat, like the cap of Hermes, and stelled on the back of a worn dune, wild, halfbroken colt, which he stightelled with a rope by way of stopper. He came clattering up to the lorehuse door with a lathing to Ickabod to cum to a merrimake or “sowing simbel,” to be held that evening at her Van Tassels; and having betaught his errand with that whith of weight, and fand at good speech, which a black is pat to show on small errands of the kind, he rushed over the brook, and was seen bolting away up the hollow, full of the weight and hurry of his upnimming.
All was nu bustel and upstir in the late still loreroom. The conners were hurried thrugh hir readings withute stopping at the small things; those who were nimbel hopt over half with freedom, and those who were latred had a smart hit nu and then in the arse, to cwicken hir speed or help hem over a tall word. Books were thrown aside withute being put away on the shelves, bleckerns were overwalted, benches thrown dune, and the whole lorehuse was let ute a stund before the wonly time, bursting forth like a wered of yong imps, yelping and running abute the green winfast at hir early leesing.
The knightly Ickabod nu spent at least another half a stund at his bathroom, sweeping and ednewing his best, and indeed only good utefit of rusty black, and dighting his locks by a bit of broken lookingglass that hanged in the lorehuse. That he might make his atewing before his maiden in the trew way of a knight, he borrowed a horse from the bure with whom he was hused, a wroth old Duchman by the name of Hans Van Ripper, and, thus boldly riding, sent forth like a wandering knight seeching rose. But it is meet I shud, in the trew eard of a luvetale, yeave sum rake of the looks and yare of my heleth and his steed. The deer he bestrode was a broken dune plughhorse, that had utelived almost everything but its reethness. He was thin and rugh, with a ewe neck, and a head like a hammer; his rusty mane and tail were knotted and twined with hedgehogs; one eye had lost its see, and was wan and goastly, but the other had the gleam of a soothfast devil in it. Still he must have had fire and mettel in his day, if we may deem from the name he bore of Gundust. He had, in sooth, been a darling steed of his masters, the wroth Van Ripper, who was a reeth rider, and had steeped, most likely, sum of his own goast into the deer; for, old and broken dune as he looked, there was more of the huving devil in him than in any yong foal in the land.
Ickabod was a fitting rider for such a steed. He rode with short stirrups, which brought his knees nearly up to the knap of his saddel; his sharp elbows stuck ute like a grasshoppers; he bore his whip upright in his hand, like a kinyard, and as his horse ran on, the shrithing of his arms was not unlike the flapping of a set of fithers. A small wool hat rested on the top of his nose, for so his geason belt of forehead might be named, and the tail of his black hackel fluttered ute almost to that of the horse. Such was the ansen of Ickabod and his steed as hy shambelled ute of Hans Van Rippers gate, and it was altogether such a dwimmer as is seldom to be met with in broad daylight.
It was, as I have said, a good harvest day; the heavens were open and hoder, and kind wore that rich and golden cloth which we always theed with the thought of fulth. The wolds had put on hir stern brune and gold, while sum trees of the nesher kind had been bitten by the frosts into bright reds of blood, welk, and yellow. Streaming rows of wild ducks began to atew high in the lift; the bark of the oakwern might be heard from the groves of beech and hickery nuts, and the thoughtful whistel of the earshhen at betwixtfacks from the neighboring fallow feeld.
The small birds were having hir farewell simbels. In the fullness of hir merrimake, hy fluttered, chirping and playing from shrub to shrub, and tree to tree, whimsy only from the fulth and sundry abute hem. There was the good cock ruddock, the darling game of the yong hunter, with its lude cwavering pich; and the twittering blackbirds flying in cludes of bleck; and the golden fithered woodpecker with his bloodred cop, his broad black halse, and thromly feathers; and the chedderbird, with its redtipt fithers and yellowtipt tail and its littel hunting cap of feathers; and the hewnbird, that lude coxcomb, in his winful light hewn hackel and white underclothes, shreeing and chattering, nodding and bobbing and buing, and lichetting to be in good standing with every songster of the grove.
As Ickabod went slowly on his way, his eye, ever open to every token of foodfulth, flew with win over the sink of merry harvest. On all sides he beheld a great stock of appels; sum hanging in sweer wealth on the trees; sum gathered into leeps and biddens for cheapstow; others drawn up in rich heaps for the wring. Farther on he beheld great feelds of Indish corn, with its golden ears peeping from hir leafy shelter, and holding ute a sweven of kiches and oatmeal; and the yellow curvets lying beneath hem, rearing hir fair sinwelt bellies to the sun, and yeaving heavy hopes of the richest of bakes; and anon he fared by the sweet buckwheat feelds breathing the smell of the beehive, and as he beheld hem, soft forethoughts stole over his mind of littel pankiches, well buttered, and topt with hunny and treehunny, by the nesh littel hand of Katrina Van Tassel.
Thus feeding his mind with many sweet thoughts and “sweetened weenings,” he fared along the sides of a row of hills which look ute on sum of the goodliest sights of the mighty Hudson. The sun stepwise wheeled his broad shive dune in the west. The wide bosom of the Tappan Zee lay still and glassy, but that here and there a soft shrithing waved and lengthened the farlen barrows hewn shadow. A few elksand cludes floated in the heavens, withute a breath of lift to blow hem. The liftline was a good golden hew, wending stepwise into a lutter appel green, and from that into the deep hewn of the midheaven. A sloping beam tarried on the woody ridges of the cliffs that overhanged sum deals of the ea, yeaving greater depth to the dark grey and welkred of hir stony sides. A sloop was tarrying far off, dropping slowly dune with the tide, her sail hanging bootlessly ayenst the mast; and as the glass of the heavens gleamed along the still water, it looked as if the ship was seemed in the lift.
It was toward evening that Ickabod lended at the keep of Her Van Tassel, which he fund thronged with the pride and blossom of the neighboring land. Old bures, a lean stock of leathern anlet, in homespun hackels and briches, hewn stockings, wide shoes, and thromly hardtin dalks. Hir cwick, withered littel ladies, in nigh crimpt caps, longlapt short kirtels, homespun undergores, with shears and pinballs, and sundry bleefaw sacks hanging on the uteside. Buxom maids, almost as fernly clothed as hir mothers, but for where a straw hat, a good snood, or maybe a white weed, yave tokens of the borough. The suns, in short hardhemmed hackels, with rows of great brass knaps, and hir hair meanly lined up in the way of the times, hure if hy cud yet an eelhide for it, it being held high thrughute the land as a mighty carer and strengthener of the hair.
Brom Bones, huever, was the heleth of the setting, having cum to the gathering on his darling steed Daredevil, a wight, like himself, full of dught and play, and which no man but himself cud stightel. He was, in sooth, marked for choosing reeth deer, yeaven to all kinds of prats which kept the rider in unending plee of his neck, for he held a yeelding, wellbroken horse as unworthy of a man of fire.
Fain wud I stall to tarry on the world of spells that burst on the bewiched stare of my heleth, as he infared the hend foreroom of Van Tassels bold. Not those of the set of buxom maids, with hir wunderful showing of red and white; but the mighty spells of a trew Duch upland teabeed, in the smacksum time of harvest. Such heaped up dishes of kiches of sundry and almost untellenly kinds, known only to fulfledged Duch husewives! There was the dughty doughnut, the nesh oly koek, and the brittel and crumbelling cruller; sweet kiches and short kiches, inver kiches and hunny kiches, the whole maith of kiches. And then there were appel bakes, and persock bakes, and curvet bakes; beside sneads of ham and smoked rother; and moreover smackful dishes of akept plums, and persocks, and pears, and codappels; not to nemmen cooked shad and breeded chickens; together with bowls of milk and ream, and mingelled abute, pretty much as I have told hem, with the motherly teapot sending up its cludes of steam from the midst—Heaven bless the mark! I wish for breath and time to moot this simbel as it meeds, and am too keen to yet on with my tale. Winfully, Ickabod Crane was not in so great a hurry as his teller, but did good by every smack.
He was a kind and thankful wight, whose heart widened in deal as his body was filled with good mirth, and whose goast rose with eating, as sum weres rise with drink. He cud not help too, wharving his great eyes umb him as he ate, and chuckelling with the mightlihood that he one day be lord of all this setting of almost unfathomenly torghtness and throm. Then, he thought, hu soon he wud wend his back on the old lorehuse; snap his fingers in the anlet of Hans Van Ripper, and every other gneed huser, and kick any wandering teacher ute of doors that shud dare to name him frend!
Old Baltus Van Tassel shrothe abute among his yests with an anlet widened with cweem and goodliness, sinwelt and winfast as the harvest moon. His frendly tokens were short, but telling, being held to a shake of the hand, a slap on the sholder, a lude laugh, and a thruching lathing to “fall to, and help hemselves.”
And nu the lude of the soon from the meanroom, or hall, chied to the frike. The gleeman was an old greyheaded black, who had been the wandering lude of the neighborhood for more than fifty years. His tool was as old and worn as himself. The greater deal of the time he yat by on two or three strings, lasting every shrithing of the bow with a shrithing of the head, buing almost to the grund, and stamping his foot whenever a fresh twosum were to start.
Ickabod prided himself on his frike as much as on his song. Not a limb, not a thew abute him was idel; and to have seen his freely hanged frame in full speed, and clattering abute the room, thu wudst have thought Holy Vitus himself, that blessed lord of the frike, was spelled before thee in the flesh. He was the ey of all the blacks, who, having gathered, of all elds and greats, from the irth and the neighborhood, stood bilding a heap of shining black anlets at every door and iydoor, staring with win at the sight, wharving hir white eyeballs, and showing grinning rows of elpsbone from ear to ear. Hu cud the beater of chits be otherwise than lively and winfast? The lady of his heart was his mone in the frike, and smirking eestily in answer to all his luveful eyeings; while Brom Bones, sorely smitten with luve and ond, sat brooding by himself in one hirn.
When the frike was at an end, Ickabod was drawn to a knot of the wiser folks, who, with Old Van Tassel, sat smoking at one end of the portick, talking over former times, and drawing ute long tales abute the wie.
This neighborhood, at the time of which I am speaking, was one of those highly held stows which are rife with tales and great men. The Brittish and Americkish line had run near it in the wie; it had, therefore, been the setting of reaving, and swarming with those unsettelled, those on horseback, and all kinds of edgeland manship. Right enugh time had gone by to mighten each teller to umbhang his tale with a littel becumming leasespell, and, in the unsuttelness of his min, to make himself the heleth of every deed.
There was the tale of Doffue Martling, a great hewnbearded Duchman, who had nearly sunk a Brittish guthship with an old iron ninepunder from a mud breastwork, only that his gun burst at the sixth firing. And there was an old her who shall be nameless, being too rich a were to be lightly nemmened, who, in the hild of White Wongs, being an orped master of ward, withset a flone with a small sword, insomuch that he trewly felt it fly umb the blade, and strike off at the hilt; in seething of which he was ready at any time to show the sword, with the hilt a littel bent. There were many more that had been evenly great in the feeld, not one of whom was won over but that he had had a great hand in bringing the wie to a good end.
But all these were nothing to the tales of goasts and dwimmers that followed after. The neighborhood is rich in taled sink of the kind. Goasttales and offgalths thee best in these sheltered, long settelled coves, but are trodden under foot by the shifting throng that makes up the leeds of most of ure upland steads. Besides, there is no filst for goasts in most of ure thorps, for hy have hardly had time to end hir first nap and wend hemselves in hir graves, before hir frends still living have fared away from the neighborhood; so that when hy cum ute at night to walk hir ways, hy have no frend left to chy on. This is maybe the inting why we so seldom hear of goasts but for in ure long settelled Duch tunes.
The right inting, huever, for the rifeness of eldrich tales in these lands, was tweeless owing to the neighwist of Sleepy Hollow. There was a sickness in the lift itself that blew from that goastly shire; it breathed forth a whith of swevens and fathomings smitting all the land. Many of the Sleepy Hollow folk were there at Van Tassels, and, as was wont, were doling ute hir wild and wunderful tales. Many sorrowful were told abute beryels, and morning roops and reats heard and seen abute the great tree where the wreched Underheadman André was nimmen, and which stood in the neighborhood. Sum nemmening was made also of the wife in white, that abode in the dark glen at Raven Rock, and was often heard to shree on winter nights before a storm, having swelted there in the snow. The main deal of the tales, huever, went to the darling goast of Sleepy Hollow, the Headless Horseman, who had been heard many times of late, wandering the shire; and, it was said, hiched his horse nightly among the graves in the churchyard.
The withdrawn stow of this church felt always to have made it a darling abode of moodsick goasts. It stands on a knoll, beclipt by codtrees and tall elms, from among which its good, whitewashed walls shine meethfully forth, like Cristen lutterness beaming thrugh the shades of swethering. A small slope alights from it to a silver sheet of water, hemmed by high trees, between which, peeps may be fanged at the hewn hills of the Hudson. To look on its grassgrown yard, where the sunbeams look to sleep so stilly, man wud think that there at least the dead might rest in frith. On one side of the church streches a wide woody dell, along which winds a great brook among broken stones and stocks of fallen trees. Over a deep black deal of the stream, not far from the church, was formerly thrown a wooden bridge; the road that led to it, and the bridge itself, were thickly shaded by overhanging trees, which threw a gloom abute it, even in the daytime; but brought abute a fearful darkness at night. Such was one of the darling abodes of the Headless Horseman, and the stead where he was most often seen. The tale was told of old Brouwer, a most dwildy unbeleever in goasts, hu he met the Horseman eftcumming from his inroad into Sleepy Hollow, and was riding to yet up behind him; hu hy rode over shrub and brake, over hill and slugh, hent hy raught the bridge; when the Horseman went at onse into naught but bones, threw old Brouwer into the brook, and sprang away over the treetops with a clap of thunder.
This tale was at onse met by a thrise wunderful rose of Brom Bones, who made light of the Riding Hessman as a wandering reaser. He seethed that on eftcumming one night from the neighboring thorp of Sing Sing, he had been overrun by this midnight harman; that he had offered to rease with him for a bowl of monged drink, and shud have won it too, for Daredevil beat the puckish horse all hollow, but right as hy came to the church bridge; the Hessman bolted, and swinded in a leem of fire.
All these tales, told in that drusy way with which weres talk in the dark, the ansens of the listeners only nu and then fanging a littel gleam from the leem of a pipe, sank deep in Ickabods mind. He foryeelded hem in kind with great cwids from his dear bookwright, Cotton Mather, and eked many wunderful things that had befallen in his home Rich of Conneticket, and fearful sights which he had seen in his nightly walks abute Sleepy Hollow.
The merrimake nu slowly broke up. The old bures gathered together hir maiths in hir wains, and were heard for sum time rattelling along the hollow roads, and over the farlen hills. Sum of the maidens rode on settels behind hir chosen wooers, and hir lighthearted laughter, mingelling with the clatter of hooves, ashilled along the still woodlands, sweying softer and softer, hent hy stepwise swinded,—and the late setting of din and merrimake was all still and forsaken. Only Ickabod tarried behind, by the won of upland luvers, to have a head to head with the maiden of the huse; fully won over that he was nu on the high road to speed. What went on in this meeting I will not lichet to say, for in sooth I know not. Sumthing, huever, I fear me, must have gone wugh, for he wisly came forth, after no great betwixtfack, with an ansen rather lorn and unmoody. O, these wives! these wives! Cud that maid have been playing off any of her flirtful prats? Was her boldening of the arm teacher all a sham to sicker her winning his foe? Heaven only knows, not I! Let it be enugh to say, Ickabod stole forth with the whith of man who had been winning over a henroost, rather than a fair ladies heart. Withute looking to the right or left to mark the setting of upland wealth, on which he had so often crowed, he went streight to the horsern, and with many hearty blows and kicks woke his steed unhendly from the cweem stead in which he was sundly sleeping, swevening of barrows of corn and oats, and whole deens of clover and catstailgrass.
It was the wiching time of night itself that Ickabod, heavihearted and lorn, followed his path homewards, along the sides of the high hills which rise abuve Tarry Tune, and which he had fared so merrily in the undern. The tide was as grim as his mood. Far beneath him the Tappan Zee spread its dusky and unsuttel weasten of waters, with here and there the tall mast of a sloop, riding softly at anker under the land. In the dead hush of midnight, he cud even hear the barking of the wachdog from the Hudsons wither shore; but it was so unsuttel and soft as only to yeave a ween of his farl from this trothful sither of man. Nu and then, too, the longdrawn crowing of a cock, unwittingly awoken, wud shill far, far off, from sum irthhuse away among the hills—but it was like a sweven to his ear. No tokens of life befell near him, but from time to time the yoomer chirp of a hillhoamer, or maybe the deep twang of a farfrosh from a neighboring marsh, as if sleeping uncweemly and starting swiftly in the bed.
All the tales of goasts and pucks that he had heard in the undern nu came cruding in on his mind. The night grew darker and darker; the stars looked to sink deeper in the heavens, and driving cludes from time to time hid hem from his sight. He had never felt so lonely and lorn. He was, moreover, nearing the stead itself that had been the setting of many of those goasttales. In the middel of the road stood a great saddeltree, which rose like an ettin abuve all the other trees of the neighborhood, and made a kind of landmark. Its bughs were gnarled and ferly, great enugh to be as stocks for everyday trees, twining dune almost to the earth, and rising ayen into the lift. It was lenched with the sorrowful tale of the wreched André, who had been hafted hard by; and was known by all by the name of Underheadman Andrés tree. The churlfolk held it with a mong of worth and offgalth, in deal ute of rewth for its unseely namesake, and in deal from the tales of ferly sights, and dreary woops, told abute it.
As Ickabod nighed this fearful tree, he began to whistel; he thought his whistel was answered; it was but a blast sweeping sharply thrugh the dry bughs. As he drew a littel nearer, he thought he saw sumthing white, hanging in the midst of the tree; he stalled and stopt whistelling but, on looking more narrowly, saw that it was a stead where the tree had been rined by lightning, and the white wood laid bare. All at onse he heard a groan—his teeth chattered, and his knees smote ayenst the saddel: it was but the gniding of one great bugh on another, as hy were shrithen abute by the wind. He went by the tree in sickerhood, but new plights lay before him.
Abute two hundred yards from the tree, a small brook flowed thwares the road, and ran into a marshy and thickly wooded glen, known by the name of Wileys Slugh. A few rugh timbers, laid side by side, made up the bridge over this stream. On that side of the road where the brook infared the wood, a cluster of oaks and chistels, matted thick with wild winetrees, threw a widegale gloom over it. To fare this bridge was the sternest work. It was at this stead itself that the wreched André was fanged, and under the shelter of those chistels and winetrees were the yomen hidden who seated hem. This has ever sinse been thought a gastly stream, and fearful are the moods of the knave who has to fare it alone after dark.
As he nighed the stream, his heart began to thump; he chied up, huever, all his will, yave his horse ten kicks in the ribs, and fanded to rush cwickly thwares the bridge; but instead of starting forward, the thwire old deer made a sideways swing, and ran broadside ayenst the edder. Ickabod, whose fears waxt with the fristing, firked the lines on the other side, and kickt lustily with the wither foot: it was all for nought; his steed started, it is trew, but it was only to dive to the wither side of the road into a thicket of brambels and aldershrubs. The teacher nu bestowed bo whip and heel on the starveling ribs of old Gundust, who rushed forward, sniffelling and snorting, but came to a stand right by the bridge, with a cwickness that had nearly sent his rider sprawling over his head. Right at this brightom a plashy stamp by the side of the bridge fanged the keen ear of Ickabod. In the dark shadow of the grove, on the edge of the brook, he beheld sumthing ettinish, misshapen and rising. It stirred not, but looked gathered up in the gloom, like sum great fivel ready to spring itself on the wayfarer.
The hair of the afrighted teacher rose on his head with brow. What was to be done? To wend and fly was nu too late; and besides, what likelihood was there of atwinding goast or puck, if such it was, which cud ride on the fithers of the wind? Chying up, therefore, a show of dught, he askt it in a stammering tungfall, “who art thu?” He yat no answer. He eftledged his frain in a still more upset steven. Still there was no answer. Onse more he beat the sides of the unbendenly Gundust, and, shutting his eyes, broke forth with unwillsum ellen into a salm. Right then the shadowy thing of fright put itself shrithing, and with a clatter and a leap stood at onse in the middel of the road. Thaugh the night was dark and lorn, the shape of the unknown might nu in sum way yet be kenned. He looked to be a horseman of great standing, and sat on a black horse of a mighty frame. He made no offer of grill or frendship, but kept cool on one side of the road, clopping along on the blind side of old Gundust, who had nu overcum his fright and waywardness.
Ickabod, who had no list for this ferly midnight sither, and bethought himself of the rose of Brom Bones with the Riding Hessman, nu cwickened his steed in hopes of leaving him behind. The fremmedling, huever, cwickened his horse to an even step. Ickabod pulled up, and fell into a walk, thinking to slip behind,—the other slowed as well. His heart began to sink within him; he fanded to pick up his salm, but his thirsty tung clove to the roof of his muthe, and he cud not utter a word. There was sumthing in the moody and dogged stillness of this stithe sither that was runy and frightening. It was soon fearfully reched. On climbing a rising grund, which brought the ansen of his sither stark ayenst the heavens, ettinish in highth, and hushed in a loth, Ickabod was fearstricken on ayetting that he was headless!—but his brow was still highthened on ayetting that the head, which shud have rested on his sholders, was born before him on the knap of his saddel! His brow rose to wanhope; he rained a shure of kicks and blows on Gundust, hoping by a swift run to yeave his sither the slip; but the goast started full leap with him. Away, then, hy rushed thrugh thick and thin; stones flying and sparks leeming at every step. Ickabods thin clothing fluttered in the lift, as he straught his long lank body away over his horses head, in the keenness of his flight.
Hy had nu raught the road which bends off to Sleepy Hollow; but Gundust, who looked to be indeviled, instead of keeping up it, made a wither wend, and dove headlong dunehill to the left. This road leads thrugh a sandy hollow shaded by trees for abute a forth of a mile, where it reaches the bridge mear in the goasttale; and right beyond swells the green knoll on which stands the whitewashed church.
As yet the fright of the steed had yeaven his uncrafty rider what looked to be a note in the rease, but right as he had yetten halfway thrugh the hollow, the belts of the saddel yave way, and he felt it slipping from under him. He fanged it by the knap, and fanded to hold it fast, but for nought; and had only time to near himself by clasping old Gundust umb the neck, when the saddel fell to the earth, and he heard it stamped under foot by his hunter. For a brightom the fear of Hans Van Rippers wrath went thrugh his mind,—for it was his Sunday saddel; but this was no time for small fears; the puck was hard on his back; and (uncrafty rider that he was!) he had much ado to keep hold of his settel; sumtimes slipping on one side, sumtimes on another, and sumtimes shook on the high ridge of his horses backbone, with a heast that he trewly feared wud cleave him asunder.
An opening in the trees nu chirked him with the hopes that the church bridge was at hand. The wavering glass of a silver star in the bosom of the brook told him that he was not misnimmen. He saw the walls of the church dimly gleaming under the trees beyond. He mimmered the stead where Brom Boneses goastly foe had swinded. “If I can but reach that bridge,” thought Ickabod, “I am sund.” Right then he heard the black steed orthing and blowing nigh behind him; he even fathomed that he felt his hot breath. Another fitful kick in the ribs, and old Gundust sprang onto the bridge; he thundered over the clattering thills; he raught the wither side; and nu Ickabod threw a look behind to see if his hunter shud swind, as was wont, in a leem of fire and brimstone. Right then he saw the puck rising in his stirrups, and in the deed itself of reeling his head at him. Ickabod fanded to ward off the eyful flone, but too late. It met his head with a great thud,—he was tumbelled headlong into the dust, and Gundust, the black steed, and the puck rider, went by like a thode.
The next morning the old horse was fund withute his saddel, and with the bridel under his feet, coolly cropping the grass at his masters gate. Ickabod did not atew at breakfast; eveningtide came, but no Ickabod. The knaves gathered at the lorehuse, and walked idelly abute the banks of the brook; but no teacher. Hans Van Ripper nu began to feel sum uneath abute the orlay of arm Ickabod, and his saddel. A seeching was set abute on foot, and after an earnest stund hy came to his spores. In one deal of the road leading to the church was fund the saddel trodden into the earth; the loasts of horses hooves deeply thruched in the road, and suttelly at reeth speed, were followed to the bridge, beyond which, on the bank of a broad deal of the brook, where the water ran deep and black, was fund the hat of the wreched Ickabod, and nigh beside it a broken curvet.
The brook was seeched, but the body of the teacher was not to be fund. Hans Van Ripper as fulfiller of his things, smeyed the bundel which held all his worldaught. It was made up of two shirts and a half; two stocks for the neck; a set or two of worsted stockings; and old set of rugh smallclothes; a rusty shearsax; a book of salms full of dogears; and a broken pichpipe. As to the books and idish of the lorehuse, hy belonged to the tune, but for Cotton Mathers “Stear of Wichcraft,” a “New England Yearbook,” and a book of swevens and halsing; in which last was a leaf much written and smeared in many fands for naught to make a clove of ferses for the daughter of Van Tassel. These books of drycraft and the leeths were forthwith sent to the fire by Hans Van Ripper; who, from that time forward, chose to send his children no more to learn, saying that he never knew any good to cum of this ilk reading and writing. Whatever yeeld the teacher had, and he had fanged his forths yeeld but a day or two before, he must have had abute his body at the time of his swinding.
The runy befalling brought much weening at the church on the following Sunday. Knots of wachers and bisybodies were gathered in the churchyard, at the bridge, and at the stead where the hat and curvet had been fund. The tales of Brouwer, of Bones, and a whole stock of others were chied to mind; and when hy had keenly looked over hem all, and likened hem with the marks of the befalling at hand, hy shook hir heads, and came to the end that Ickabod had been born off by the Riding Hessman. As he was unwed, and in nobodies shild, nobody worried hir head any more abute him; the lorehuse was shrithen to a sundry deal of the hollow, and another teacher rixt in his stead.
It is trew, an old bure, who had been dune to New York many years after, and from whom this rake of the goastly rose was fanged, brought home the knowledge that Ickabod Crane was still alive; that he had left the neighborhood in deal thrugh fear of the puck and Hans Van Ripper, and in deal in shame at having been swiftly spurned by the maiden; that he had shifted his steadings to a farlen deal of the rich; had bo taught and conned ea at onse; had becum a ewwit; then a weelder; ran for wicken; written for the tidings; and at last had been made a deemer of the Ten Pund Doomern. Brom Bones, too, who, shortly after his foes swinding led the blossoming Katrina siefast to the alter, was seen to look mighty knowing whenever Ickabods tale was told, and always burst into a hearty laugh at the nemmening of the curvet; which led sum to inkel that he knew more abute the thing than he chose to tell.
The old upland wives, huever, who are the best deemers of these things, hold to this day that Ickabod was born off in an eldrich way; and it is a darling tale often told thrughute the neighborhood abute the winter evening fire. The bridge became more than ever a thing of fearful ey; and that may be the grunds on which the road has been shifted of latter years, so as to cum at the church by the edge of the millpond. The lorehuse being forsaken soon fell to rot, and was said to be inearded by the goast of the wreched teacher; and the plughknave, tarrying homeward on a still summer evening, has often fathomed his steven far off, singing a sorrowful salm among the hoder stillness of Sleepy Hollow.
FUND IN THE HANDWRITING OF HER KNICKERBOCKER.
The foregoing tale is yeaven almost in the words hemselves in which I heard it told at a Bisiness meeting in the fern borough of Manhattoes, at which were there many of its wisest and mearest boroughers. The teller was a winsum, shabby, herly old fellow, in salt and pepper clothes, with a sadly playful anlet, and whom I strongly inkelled of being arm—he made such fands to be gripping. When his tale was ended, there was much laughter and love, hure from two or three yomen aldermen, who had been asleep the greater deal of the time. There was, huever, one tall, dry looking old her, with beetelling eyebrues, who kept a sweer and rather stern anlet thrughute, nu and then folding his arms, nodding his head, and looking dune on the floor, as if wharving a twee over in his mind. He was one of the wary weres, who never laugh but on good grunds—when hy have rode and ea on hir side. When the mirth of the lave of the folk had gone by, and stillness was edstaddelled, he leant one arm on the elbow of his seld, and sticking the other akimbow, askt, with a short, but overly wise nod of the head, and shortening of the brue, what was the reading of the tale, and what it went to asoothe?
The taleteller, who was right then putting a glass of wine to his lips, as a liss after his swink, stalled for a brightom, looked at his frainer with a whith of unbund yeelding, and, setting the glass slowly dune to the beed, said that the tale was meant most rodefully to asoothe—
“That there is no thing in life but has its boots and cweems—yeaven we will but nim a prat as we find it:"
“That therefore, he that runs reases with puckish harmen is likely to have rugh riding of it.”
“Thus, for an upland teacher to be spurned the hand of a Duch maiden is a wiss step to rising high in the rich.”
The wary old her knit his brues tenfold faster after this reching, being sorely mased by the wording of the rode, while, methought, the man in salt and pepper eyed him with sumthing of a siefast leer. At length he ayetted that all this was full well, but still he thought the tale a littel on the wild side—there were one or two ords on which he had his twees.
“Troth, her,” acwothe the taleteller, “as to that, I beleeven’t one half of it myself.”