Rip Van Winkel
Went by Cascadia
Þe following tale was fund among þe writs of þe late Diedrich Knickerbocker, and old her of New York, hoo was full of wunder for þe Duce stear of þe rice, and þe wons of þe afterbares from its form settelers. His delfings into yore, huwefer, did not lie sow muce amung books as amung men; for þe former ar iyfully scort on his dearest antimbers; whareas he fund þe old borowers, and still more hir wifes, rice in þat talesum lore sow dear to trew stear. Whenefer, þarefore, he came upon a trew Duce maiþ, titely scut up in its neþerroofed irþhuse, under a spredding knapwood, he looked upon it as a littel clasped book of blackstaff, and conned it wiþ þe ellen of a bookworm.
Þe utecum of all þese delfings was a stear of þe rice bin þe weeld of þe Duce, whice he þruced sum years sinse. Þare haf ben sundry weenings as to þe strengþ of writing in his werk, and, to tell þe trewþ, it is not a whit better þan it scood be. Its main werþ is its careful sooþfastness, whice indeed was a littel frained on its first þrucing, but has sinse ben fully setteled; and it is nuw unned in to all stearhoards as a book of unfrainenly alderdom.
Þe old her swelted scortly after þe þrucing of his werk; and nuw þat he is ded and gon, it cannot do muce harm to his min to say þat his time mite haf ben muce better spent in waitier swinks. He, huwefer, was pat to ride his lake in his own way; and þaw it did nuw and þen kick up þe dust a littel in þe iyes of his naybers, and teen þe goast of sum frends, for hoom he felt þe trewest yeelding and fondness, yet his laiters are munned “more in sawrow þan er,” and it begins to be reasowed þat he nefer etteled to woond or greem. But huwefer his min may be held by deemers, it is still held dear by meny folks hoos good standing is well werþ hafing; hure by sundry bakers, hoo haf gon sow far as to inþruce his likeness on hir new year kices; and haf þuss yeafen him a bire for undeþscildiness, almost efen to þe being stampt on a Waterloo glendge, or a Cween Anns farþing.
Hooefer has made a fare up þe Hudson must mimmer þe Kaatskill barows. Hie ar a toliþed buw of þe grate maiþ of Appalace, and ar seen away to þe west of þe ea, swelling up to an aþel hiþe, and lording it ofer þe scire umb. Efery wend of tide, efery wend of weþer, indeed, efery stund of þe day, brings abute sum wend in þe bewicing hews and scapes of þese barows, and hie ar held by all þe good wifes, far and near, as fulframed weþerglasses. When þe weþer is fair and setteled, hie are cloþed in hewn and base, and þruce hir bold utelines on þe lutter efening heafens; but sumtimes, when þe lafe of þe landscip is cludeless, hie will gaþer a hood of gray mists abute hir peaks, whice, in þe last beams of þe setting sun, will glow and lite up like a wolderbee.
At þe foot of þese elfen barows, þe farer may haf made ute þe lite smoke rising up from a þorp, of grate eld, hafing ben onstelled by sum of þe Duce settelers in þe erly times of þe rice, rite abute þe beginning of þe weeld of þe good Peter Stuyvesant (may he rest in friþ!), and þere wer sum of þe huses of þe form settelers standing wiþin a few years, bilt of small yellow tiles brawt from Holland, hafing hirdeled windows and forked fores, topt wiþ weþercocks.
In þat ilk þorp and in won of þese ilk huses (whice, to tell þe hole trewþ, was sadly timeworn and weþerbeaten), þare lifed, meny years sinse, while þe land was yet under þe weeld of Grate Britten, an afold, kindly fellow, of þe name of Rip Van Winkel. He was an afterbare of þe Van Winkels hoo sow knitily tokened þe days of Peter Stuyvesant, and lasted him to þe umbsetting of Fort Kristina. He erfed, huwefer, but littel of þe fiting erd of his forebares. Ice haf ayetted þat he was an afold, kindly man; he was, moreofer, a kind nayber, and a hearsum, henpecked ware. Indeed, to þe latter umbstandness mite be owing þat sceepisceness of goast whice yat him suce far reacing lise; for þose waremen ar pat to be þewisce and þwearsum abrod, hoo ar under þe þewing of screws at home. Hir moods, tweeless, ar made bendsum and yeelding in þe firy kiln of husehold swence; and a bedside whipping is werþ all þe lorespells in þe werld for teacing þe þews of þild and longmoodness. A wroþ wife may, þarefore, in sum ways, be þawt a þolenly blessing; and if so, Rip Van Winkel was þrise blest.
Wiss it is þat he was full dear amung all þe good wifes of þe þorp, hoo, as is wont wiþ þe fairer hoad, wreþied him in all husehold flites; and nefer trucked, whenefer hie talked þose þings ofer in hir efening gossippings, to lay all þe wite on Lady Van Winkel. Þe cildren of þe þorp, too, wood roop wiþ win whenefer he drew near. He helped at hir games, made hir playþings, tawt hem to fly kites and scoot stones, and told hem long tales of goasts, wices, and Indiscemen. Whenefer he went walking abute þe þorp, he was beclipt by a hoose of hem, hanging on his scirts, clambering on his back, and playing a þusand prats on him wiþ freedom; and not a dog wood bark at him þroute þe nayberhood.
Þe grate layter in Rips being was an unclimbenly loaþing of all kinds of behofeful werk. It cood not be for lack of care or singaleness; for he wood sit on a wet rock, wiþ a rod as long and hefy as a Tartars spear, and fisce all day wiþute a whoaster, efen þaw he scood not be beelded by a lone bite. He wood bare a fuling gun on his scolder for stunds togeþer, stamping þro woods and sluws, and up hill and dune dale, to scoot a few oakwerns or wild dufes. He wood nefer wiþhold filst from a nayber efen in þe ruffest swink, and was a foremost man in all upland merrimakes for scucking Indisce corn, or bilding stone edders; þe wifemen of þe þorp, too, often brawt him in to run hir errands, and to do suce littel small werks as hir less willing wares wood not do for hem. In a werd, Rip was reddy to besee enyboddies bisiness but his own; but as to doing maiþ werk, and keeping his irþ in good hoad, he fund it unmitely.
In trewþ, he maþeled it was of now boot to werk on his irþ; it was þe most coaþed littel deal of grund in þe hole land, eferyþing abute it went wuw, his swink notwiþstanding. His edders wer always falling to bits; his cuw wood iþer forfare, or yet amung þe coles; weeds wer wiss to grow cwicker in his feelds þan enywhare else; þe rain always seemed to settel in rite as he had sum utedore werk to do; sow þat þaw his faþers eþel had dwindeled away under his care, aker by aker, hent þare was littel more left þan a small plot of Indisce corn and erþappels, it was yet þe werst kept irþ in þe nayberhood.
His cildren, too, wer as reeþ and wild as if hie belonged to noboddy. His son Rip, a cit beyetten in his own likeness, seemed set to erfe þe wons, wiþ þe old cloþes, of his faþer. He was often seen clopping like a colt at his moþers heels, yared in won of his faþers þrown off brices, whice he had muce ado to hold up wiþ won hand, as a hend lady doþ her weed in bad weþer.
Rip Van Winkel, huwefer, was won of þose winfast sowls, of hieless, sweet costs, hoo nim þe werld eaþ, eat white bred or brune, whicefer can be yat wiþ least þawt or ado, and wood raþer starfe on a penny þan werk for a pund. If left to himself, he wood haf whisteled life away in fulframed cweem; but his wife kept unyeeldingly dinning in his ears abute his idelness, his carelessness, and þe wrake he was bringing on his maiþ. Morning, noon, and nite, her tung was unendingly gowing, and eferyþing he sed or did was wiss to bring abute a flud of husehold wit. Rip had but won way of ansering to all cidings in kind, and þat, by often note, had grown into a sid. He reared his scolders, scook his hed, þrew up his iyes, but sed noþing. Þiss, huwefer, always brawt dune a fresce hail from his wife; sow þat he was fain to draw off his hooses, and nim to þe uteside of þe huse—þe only side whice, in trewþ, belongs to a henpecked ware.
Rips lone þoft at home was his dog Wolf, hoo was as muce henpecked as his master; for Lady Van Winkel held hem as fellows in idelness, and efen looked upon Wolf wiþ an efel iye, as þe inting of his masters sow often forfaring. Trew it is, in all ords of goast befitting an uprite dog, he was as duty a dere as efer hunted þe woods—but what beeld can wiþstand þe efeldoing and albesetting brows of a wifemans tung? Þe britom Wolf infared þe huse his brest fell, his tail dropt to þe grund or kerled between his scanks, he snuck abute wiþ a gallows whiþ, þrowing meny a sidelong look at Lady Van Winkel, and at þe least scake of a broomstick or ladel he wood fly to þe dore wiþ a yelping speed.
Times grew werse and werse wiþ Rip Van Winkel as years of wedlock wharfed on; a sure mood nefer mellows wiþ eld, and a scarp tung is þe only edged tool þat grows keener wiþ note. For a long while he frefered himself, when drifen from home, by neesing a kind of eferlasting fellowscip of þe wises, uþewits and oþer idel folk of þe þorp, whice held its meetings on a bence before a small inn, tokened by a ruddy meeting of His Hieness Yergen þe þird. Here hie often sat in þe scade þro a long, idel summers day, talking listlessly ofer þorp gossip, or telling endless, sleepy tales abute noþing. But it wood haf ben werþ eny weelders yeeld to haf herd þe deep mootings þat sumtimes befell, when at unset stefen an old tidewrit fell into hir hands from sum wayfarer. Huw sternly hie wood listen to its werds, as drawled ute by Derrick Van Bummel, þe teacer, a neat, lerned littel ware, hoo was not to be fased by þe most ettinisce deal of þe werdbook; and huw wisely hie wood þred upon befallings ute in þe werld sum monþs after hie had befallen.
Þe weenings of þiss ring wer fully stered by Nickolas Vedder, a hiefaþer of þe þorp, and landlord of þe inn, at þe dore of whice he sat from morning hent nite, scriþing only enuff to miþe þe sun and keep in þe scade of a grate tree; sow þat þe naybers cood tell þe stund by his scriþings as if by a daymeal. It is trew he was seldom herd to speak, but smoked his pipe unendingly. His followers, huwefer (for efery grate man has his followers), understood him fulframedly, and knew huw to gaþer his weenings. When enyþing þat was red or told miscweemed him, he was seen to smoke his pipe aferly, and to send forþ scort, oft, and wroþ puffs; but when cweemed, he wood breaþe in þe smoke slowly and hoderly, and let it ute in lite and friþful cludes; and sumtimes, nimming þe pipe from his muþe, and letting þe smellsum smoke kerl abute his nose, wood swerely nod his hed in token of fulframed lofe.
From efen þiss stronghold þe yoomer Rip was at lengþ beaten by his wroþ wife, hoo wood brake in at wonse upon þe hoderness of þe meeting and cie þe fellows all to nawt; nor was þat hend leed, Nickolas Vedder himself, hallowed from þe daring tung of þiss iyful sceeldmaid, hoo begreeded him uterite of beelding her ware in his sids of idelness.
Arm Rip was at last whitteled almost to wanhope; and his only paþ, to atwind from þe swink of þe irþ and din of his wife, was to nim gun in hand and stride away into þe woods. Here he wood sumtimes seat himself at þe foot of a tree, and scare þe inholdings of his seed wiþ Wolf, wiþ hoom he midþoled as a fellow þrower in ite. “Arm Wolf,” he wood say, “þy lady leads þee a dogs life of it; but nefer mind, my knafe, whilst ice lif þuw scalt nefer lack a frend to stand by þee!” Wolf wood waw his tail, look wistfully in his masters anlet; and, if dogs can feel rewþ, ice trewly belefe he foryeelded þe feeling wiþ all his hart.
In a long wander of þe kind on a good harfest day, Rip had unknowingly clumb to won of þe hiest deals of þe Kaatskill Barows. He was after his dearest lake of oakwern scooting, and þe still alonenesses had luded ayen and ayen wiþ þe rake of his gun. Orþing and weary, he þrew himself, late in þe afternoon, on a green knoll, scruded wiþ barow worts, þat topt þe bruw of a cliff. From an opening between þe trees he cood oferlook all þe neþer scire for meny a mile of rice woodland. He saw at a farl þe lordly Hudson, far, far beneaþ him, flowing on its still but þromfast paþ, wiþ þe glasses of a base clude, or þe sail of a scip forslowed, here and þare sleeping on its glassy bosom, and at last losing itself in þe hewn hielands.
On þe oþer side he looked dune into a deep barow glen, wild, lonely, and ruff, þe bottom filled wiþ stices from þe rising cliffs, and hardly lited by þe glassed beams of þe setting sun. For sum time Rip lay poring on þiss site; efening was stepwise nearing; þe barows began to þrow hir long hewn scaddows ofer þe deens; he saw þat it wood be dark long before he cood reace þe þorp, and he heafed a hefy sie when he þawt of yaining þe brows of Lady Van Winkel.
As he was abute to climb dune, he herd a stefen from a farl, rooping: “Rip Van Winkel! Rip Van Winkel!” He looked umb, but cood see noþing but a crow in its lonely flite þwares þe barow. He þawt his mind must haf belirted him, and went ayen to climb dune, when he herd þe ilk roop ring þro þe still efening lift: “Rip Van Winkel! Rip Van Winkel!” At þe ilk time Wolf bristeled up his back, and yeafing a deep grule, stalked to his masters side, looking fearfully dune into þe glen. Rip nuw felt unsuttel misyeafings stealing ofer him; he looked angly in þe ilk way, and ayetted a ferly ansen swinking up þe rocks, and bending under þe wait of sumþing he bore on his back. He was þunderstricken to see eny leed in þiss lonly and unneesed sted; but weening it to be sum man of þe nayberhood in need of his filst, he sped dune to yeeld it. On drawing nearer he was still more stricken at þe sundriness of þe cummers ansen. He was a scort, stocky old fellow, wiþ þick buscy hair, and a hoary beard. His cloþing was of þe fern Duce kind: a cloþ hackel strapt umb þe waist—meny sets of brices, þe uter won of grate roomþ, agraiþed wiþ rows of knaps dune þe sides, and cruded in þe knees. He bore on his scolder a hefy tun, þat seemed full of drink, and made tokens for Rip to nie and filst him wiþ þe load. Þaw raþer scy and mistrowing of his new cooþer, Rip yeelded wiþ his wonly ellen; and helping eace oþer, hie clambered up a narow cluff, seemingly þe dry bed of a barow stream. As hie clumb, Rip efery nuw and þen herd long, ringing ludes, like farlen þunder, þat seemed to cum ute of a deep crack, or raþer cleft, between hie up rocks, toward whice hir ruff paþ led. He stalled for a britom, but weening it to be þe muttering of won of þose fleeting þunderscures whice often befall in barow hiþes, he went on. Faring þro þe cluff, hie came to a hollow, like a small wafingstow, beclipt by uprite cliffs, ofer þe brinks of whice leaning trees scot hir buws, sow þat man only fanged peeps of þe hewn hefen and þe brite efening clude. Bin þe hole time Rip and his siþer had swunk on wiþute werds; for þaw þe former wundered grately what cood be þe grunds for baring a tun of drink up þiss wild barow, þere was yet sumþing ferly and unonyettenly abute þe unknown, þat tended iye and held cooþness.
On infaring þe room, new þings of wunder scowed hemselfes. On a flat stow in þe middel was a fellowscip of ferly looking leeds playing at ninepins. Hie wer cloþed in a selcooþ, utelandisce way; sum wore scort scirts, oþers hackels, wiþ long knifes in hir belts, and most of hem had widegale brices, of like make to þat of þe lattews. Hir ansens, too, were ferly; won had a grate beard, brod anlet, and small piggisce iyes; þe anlet of anoþer seemed to be made up holely of nose, and was topt by a white toplike hat, set off wiþ a littel red cockstail. Hie all had beards, of sundry scapes and hews. Þare was won hoo seemed to be þe leader. He was a stocky old her, wiþ a weþerbeaten ansen; he wore a þredded scirt, brod belt and hinger, hiecocked hat and feþer, red stockings, and hieheeled scews, wiþ roses in hem. Þe hole set brawt to Rips mind þe leeds in an old Flemisce meeting, in þe sittingroom of Dominie Van Shaick, þe þorp preest, and whice had ben brawt ofer from Holland at þe time of setteling.
What seemed hure ferly to Rip was, þat þese were suttely playing, yet hie kept þe sternest anlets, þe most runy roo, and wer, wiþall, þe most unbliþe hoose of game he had efer witnessed. Noþing broke þe stillness of þe setting but þe lude of þe balls, whice, whenefer hie were þrown, eftluded along þe barows like ringing þunder.
As Rip and his siþer nied hem, hie stopt hir play at wonse, and stared at him wiþ suce a fastened, graftlike iye, and suce ferly, dull, uncooþ anlets, þat his hart went wiþin him, and his knees smote togeþer. His siþer nuw emtied þe drink from þe tun into grate steaps, and made tokens to him to þew on þe hoose. He did sow wiþ fear and cwafering; hie cwaffed þe drink in deep stillness, and þen went back to hir game.
By steps Rips iye and misyeafings alaid. He efen went sow far, when now iye was fastened upon him, to smack þe drink, whice he fund had muce of þe smack of from Hollands. He was meanly a þirsty sowl, and was soon costened to nim þe draft ayen. Won smack brawt abute anoþer; and he edledged his neesings to þe steap sow often þat at lengþ his anyets wer oferþrown, his iyes swam in his hed, his hed slowly fell, and he fell into a deep sleep.
On waking, he fund himself on þe green knoll whense he had first seen þe old man of þe glen. He gnided his iyes—it was a brite sunny morning. Þe birds wer hopping and twittering amung þe busces, and þe ern was wheeling alift,, and bresting þe lutter barow whiþ. “Wisly,” þawt Rip, “ice haf not slept here all nite.” He munned þe befallings before he fell asleep. Þe ferly man wiþ a tun of drink—þe barow cluff—þe wild hollow amung þe rocks—þe wowbegon hoose at ninepins—þe steap—”O! þat steap! þat wicked steap!” þawt Rip,— “what loading scall ice yeafe to Lady Van Winkel?”
He looked abute for his gun, but insted of þe clean, wellkept fuling gun, he fund an old firelock lying by him, þe spute scruded by rust, þe lock falling off, and þe stock wirmeaten. He nuw weened þat þe stern gamers of þe barows had played a prat on him, and, hafing filled him wiþ drink, had stolen his gun. Wolf, too, had swinded, but he mite haf run off after an oakwern or feeldhen. He whisteled after him, and rooped his name, but all for nawt; þe barows edledged his whistel and roop, but now dog was to be seen. He made up his mind to edneese þe setting of last efenings play, and if he met wiþ eny of þe hoose, to nim back his dog and gun. As he rose to walk, he fund himself stiff in þe liþs, and lacking his wonly lifeliness. “Þese barow beds do not þwear wiþ me,” þawt Rip, “and if þiss scood lay me up wiþ a fit of stiffness, ice scall haf a blessed time wiþ Lady Van Winkel.” Wiþ sum hardscip he yat dune into þe glen: he fund þe cluff up whice he and his siþer had clumb þe forn efening; but to his masing a barow stream was nuw foaming dune it, leaping from rock to rock, and filling þe glen wiþ babbeling whoasters. He, huwefer, made scift to clamber up its sides, werking his swinkful way þro þickets of birce, weedtree, and wicehasel, and sumtimes felled or fanged by þe wild winetrees þat twisted hir þreds and lines from tree to tree, and spred a kind of netwerk in his paþ.
At lengþ he rawt to whare þe cluff had opened þro þe cliffs to þe wafingstow; but now spores of suce opening wer þare. Þe rocks scowed a hie, unborenly wall, ofer whice þe flud came tumbeling in a sceet of feþery foam, and fell into a brod deep meal, black from þe scaddows of þe beclipping wold. Here, þen, arm Rip was brawt to a stand. He ayen cied and whisteled after his dog; he was ansered only by þe cawing of a flock of idel crows, laking hie in þe lift abute a dry tree þat oferhung a sunny cliff; and hoo, sicker in hir hiþe, seemed to look dune and heen þe arm mans masings. What was to be don? þe morning was whitteling away, and Rip felt emty for lack of his breckfast. He morned to yeafe up his dog and gun; he dredded to meet his wife; but it wood not do to starfe amung þe barows. He scook his hed, scoldered þe rusty firelock, and, wiþ a hart full of swence and angness, went his steps homeward.
As he nied þe þorp he met meny folk, but non hoom he knew, whice sumwhat starteled him, for he had þawt himself cooþ wiþ efery man in þe scire umb. Hir cloþing, too, was of a sundry kind from þat to whice he was wont. Hie all stared at him wiþ efen marks of wunder, and whenefer hie put hir iyes upon him, unmissly stroked hir cins. Þe edledging of þiss made Rip, unþinkingly, to do þe ilk, when, to his masing, he fund his beard had grown a foot long!
He had nuw infared þe edges of þe þorp. A hoose of selcooþ cildren ran at his heels, rooping after him, and looking at his gray beard. Þe dogs, too, not won of hoom he acknowed as his old frend, barked at him as he went. Þe þorp itself was went; it was grater and more befolked. Þare wer rows of huses whice he had nefer seen before, and þose whice had ben his cooþ abodes had swinded. Uncooþ names wer ofer þe dores—uncooþ anlets wer at þe iydores—eferyþing was uncooþ. His mind nuw misyafe him; he began to twee wheþer boþe he and þe werld abute him wer not bewiced. Wisly þiss was his inborn þorp, whice he had left but þe day before. Þare stood þe Kaatskill Barows—þare ran þe silfer Hudson at a farl—þere was efery hill and dale rite as it had always ben. Rip was sorely mased. “Þat steap last nite,” þawt he, “has addeled mine arm hed sadly!” It was wiþ sum hardscip þat he fund þe way to his own huse, whice he nied wiþ still iye, weening efery britom to hear þe scrill stefen of Lady Van Winkel. He fund þe huse gon to rot—þe roof had fallen in, þe iydores broken, and þe dores off þe hindges. A halfstarfed dog þat looked like Wolf was stalking abute it. Rip cied him by name, but þe hund snarled, scowed his teeþ, and went on. Þiss was an unkind woond indeed. “Mine own dog,” sied arm Rip, “has foryetten me!”
He infared þe huse, whice, to tell þe trewþ, Lady Van Winkel had always kept in neat endbird. It was emty, forlorn, and seemingly forsaken. Þiss wrake ofercame all his wedded fears—he cied ludely for his wife and cildren—þe lonely rooms rang for a britom wiþ his stefen, and þen all ayen was still.
He nuw hirried forþ, and sped to his old abode, þe þorp inn—but it too was gon. A grate unsund wooden bilding stood in its sted, wiþ grate galping iydores, sum of hem broken and beeted wiþ old hats and underscirts, and ofer þe dore was meeted, “Þe Woning Yesthuse, by Yonaþan Doolittel.” Insted of þe grate tree þat sceltered þe hoder littel Duce inn of yore, þare nuw was reared a tall, naked þixel, wiþ sumþing on þe top þat looked like a red nitecap, and from it was fluttering a fane, on whice was a sundry samming of stars and strakes;—all þiss was ferly and unonyettenly. He acknowed on þe board, huwefer, þe ruddy anlet of King Yergen, under whice he had smoked sow meny a friþful pipe; but efen þiss was sundrily went. Þe red hackel was went for won of hewn and fallow, a sord was held in þe hand insted of a kinyard, þe hed was topt wiþ a cocked hat, and underneaþ was meeted in grate stafes, “HARTEAMER WASCINGTON.”
Þare was, as was wont, a crude of folk abute þe dore, but non þat Rip acknowed. Þe erd itself of þe folk seemed went. Þare was a bisy, stirred, fliting pice abute it, insted of þe wonly dull and drusy hoderness. He looked for nawt for þe wise Nickolas Vedder, wiþ his brod anlet, twin cin, and fair long pipe, uttering cludes of smoke insted of idel speeces; or Van Bummel, þe teacer, doling forþ þe werds of a fern tidewrit. Insted of þese, a lean, wood looking fellow, wiþ his sacks full of handbills, was rooping aferly abute rites of borowers—wales—fellows of þe wittenmoot—freedom—Bunker Hill—heleþs of six and sefenty—and oþer werds, whice wer fulframed Babilonnisce to þe bewildered Van Winkel.
Þe ansen of Rip, wiþ his long, hoary beard, his rusty fuling gun, his uncooþ cloþing, and a ferd of wifemen and cildren at his heels, soon drew þe heed of þe taphuse weelders. Hie cruded umb him, iying him from hed to foot wiþ grate firwit. Þe þill bisied up to him, and, drawing him aside, asked “On whice side he waled?” Rip stared in emty witlessness. Anoþer scort but bisy littel fellow pulled him by þe arm, and, rising on tiptow, frained in his ear, “Wheþer he was Woner or Folker?” Rip was efenly at a loss to understand þe frain; when a knowing, self waity old her, in a scarp cocked hat, made his way þro þe crude, putting hem to þe rite and left wiþ his elbows as he went, and planting himself before Van Winkel, wiþ won arm akimbow, þe oþer resting on his stick, his keen iyes and scarp hat boring, as it wer, into his sowl itself, asked in a stern pice, “What brawt him to þe wale wiþ a gun on his scolder, and a rabbel at his heels; and wheþer he ment to breed an upstir in þe þorp?” “Alack! her,” rooped Rip, sumwhat afrited, “ice am an arm afold man, an inlander of þe stow, and a trowfast leed of þe king, God bless him!”
Here a mean roop berst from þe bystanders—A tory! a tory! a spirrier! a redscirt! away wiþ him!” It was wiþ grate hardscip þat þe self waity man in þe cocked hat sooþed hem; and, hafing fanged a tenfold sternness of bruw, frained ayen of þe beclept, what he came þare for, and hoom he was seecing? Þe arm man nowly sickered him þat he ment now harm, but only came þare in seece of sum of his naybers, hoo often kept abute þe taphuse.
“Well—hoo ar hie?—name hem.”
Rip beþawt himself a britom, and asked: “Whare’s Nickolas Vedder?”
Þare was stillness for a littel while, when an old man ansered, in a þin, piping stefen, “Nickolas Vedder! why, he is ded and gon þese ateteen years! Þare was a wooden grafestone in þe circeyard þat onse told all abute him, but þats rotten and gon too.
“Whare’s Brom Ducer?”
“O, he went off to þe here in þe beginning of þe wie, sum say he was killed at þe storming of Stony Ord—oþers say he was druned in an ist at þe foot of Antonies Nose. Ice know not—he nefer came back ayen.”
“Whare’s Van Bummel, þe teacer?”
“He went off to þe wies too, was a grate ferd harteamer, and is nuw in þe wittenmoot.”
Rips hart swelted away at hearing of þese sad wends in his home and frends, and finding himself þuss alone in þe werld. Efery answer mased him too, by speaking of suce widegale spans of time, and of þings whice he cood not understand: wie—wittenmoot—Stony Ord;—he had now dute to ask after eny more frends, but rooped ute in wanhope: “Doþ noboddy here know Rip Van Winkel?”
“O, Rip Van Winkel!” rooped two or þree, “o, to be wiss! þat’s Rip Van Winkel yonder, leaning ayenst þe tree.”
Rip looked, and beheld a fulframed twiganger of himself, as he went up þe barow; seemingly as idel, and wisly as ruff. Þe arm fellow was nuw fully mased. He tweed his own self, and wheþer he was himself or anoþer ware. In þe midst of his bewildering, þe man in þe cocked hat frained hoo he was, and what was his name.
“God knows!” rooped he, at his wits end; “c’am not myself—c’am sumboddy else—þat’s me yonder—no—þat’s sumboddy else yat into my scews—ice was myself last nite, but ice fell asleep on þe barow, and hie’f went my gun, and eferyþing’s went, and ice can’t tell what’s my name, or hoo ice am!”
Þe bystanders began nuw to look at eace oþer, nod, wink waitily, and tap hir fingers ayenst hir foreheds. Þare was a whisper, alsow, abute nimming þe gun, and keeping þe old fellow from doing harm, at þe nemmening of whice þe self waity man in þe cocked hat sweþered wiþ sum speed. At þiss waity britom a fresce, cumly wifeman þruced þro þe þrong to yet a peep at þe gray bearded man. Sce had a flescy cild in her arms, whice, fritened at his looks, began to weep. “Husce, Rip,” rooped sce, “husce þuw littel wanwit; þe old man won’t harm þee.” þe name of þe cild, þe erd of þe moþer, þe pice of her stefen, all awakened a string of mins in his mind. “What is þy name, my good wifeman?” asked he.
“And þy faþers name?”
“O, arm man, Rip Van Winkel was his name, but it’s twenty years sinse he went away from home wiþ his gun, and nefer has ben herd of sinse,—his dog came home wiþute him; but wheþer he scot himself, or was born away by þe Indiscemen, noboddy can tell. Ice was þen but a littel girl.”
Rip had but won frain more to ask; but he put it in a cwafering stefen:
“Whare’s þy moþer?”
“O, sce too had swelted but a scort time sinse; sce broke an edder in a fit of wraþ at a New England monger.”
Þere was a drop of cweem, at least, in þiss knowledge. Þe good man cood hold himself back now longer. He fanged his dawter and her cild in his arms. “Ice am þy faþer!” rooped he “Yung Rip Van Winkel wonse—old Rip Van Winkel nuw!—Doþ noboddy know arm Rip Van Winkel?”
All stood amased, hent an old wife, taltering ute from amung þe crude, put her hand to her bruw, and staring under it in his anlet for a britom, yelled: “Wiss enuff! it is Rip Van Winkel—it is himself! Welcum home ayen, old nayber. Why, whare hast þuw ben þese twenty long years?”
Rips tale was soon told, for þe hole twenty years had seemed to him as but won nite. Þe naybers stared when hie herd it; sum wer seen to wink at eace oþer, and put hir tungs in hir cekes; and þe self waity man in þe cocked hat, hoo, when þe ream was ofer, had eftcame to þe feeld, bolted dune þe whems of his muþe, and scook his hed—upon whice þere was a mean scaking of þe hed þroute þe folk.
It was cosen, huwefer, to nim þe weening of old Peter Vanderdonk, hoo was seen slowly walking up þe road. He was an afterbare of þe stearman of þat name, hoo wrote won of þe erliest rakes of þe rice. Peter was þe fernest heem of þe þorp, and well wise in all þe wunderful sids and befallings of þe nayberhood. He munned Rip at wonse, and upheld his tale in þe most fulfilling way. He sickered þe hoose þat it was sooþ, handed dune from his forebare þe stearman, þat þe Kaatskill barows had always ben inerded by ferly beings. Þat it was trew þat þe grate Hendrick Hudson, þe first onfinder of þe ea and land, kept a kind of wace þare efery twenty years, wiþ his crude of þe Halfmoon; being beteemed in þiss way to edneese þe settings of his fare, and keep a waceful iye upon þe ea and þe grate borow cied by his name. Þat his faþer had wonse seen hem in hir old Duce cloþing playing at ninepins in a hollow of þe barow; and þat he himself had herd, won summer afternoon, þe lude of hir balls, like farlen þunder.
To make a long tale scort, þe hoose broke up and went back to þe more waity þing of þe wale. Rips dawter brawt him home to lif wiþ her; sce had a cweem, wellkept huse, and a from, winsum bure for a ware, hoom Rip mimmered as won of þe cits þat onse clumb upon his back. As to Rips son and erfer, hoo was ilk as he, seen leaning ayenst þe tree, he had ben made to werk on þe irþ; but scowed an inborn cost to besee enyþing else but his own bisiness.
Rip nuw picked up his old walks and sids; he soon fund meny of his former frends, þaw all raþer þe werse for þe ware and tare of time; and cose raþer to make frends amung þe rising strind, wiþ hoom he soon grew into grate standing.
Hafing noþing to do at home, and being lended at þat winsum eld when a man can freely be idel, he num his sted onse more on þe bence at þe inn dore, and was held as won of þe hiefaþers of þe þorp, and a tidewrit of þe old times “before þe wie.” It was sum time before he cood yet into þe mean paþ of gossip, or cood be made to understand þe ferly befallings þat had befallen bin his slumber. Huw þat þare had ben an oferþrowing wie,—þat þe rice had þrown off þe yoke of old England,—and þat, insted of being a leed of His Hieness Yergen þe þird, he was nuw a free borower of þe Woned Rices. Rip, forsooþ, was now weelder; þe wends of rices and coaserdoms made but littel inþruce on him; but þare was won kind of yoke under whice he had long groaned, and þat was—husehold leedward. Winsumly þat was at an end; he had yat his neck ute of þe yoke of wedlock, and cood gow in and ute whenefer he wisced, wiþute dredding þe whip of Lady Van Winkel. Whenefer her name was nemmened, huwefer, he scook his hed, reared his scolders, and þrew up his iyes; whice mite seem iþer a token of onfanging of his orlay, or win at his freedom.
He told his tale to efery cummer þat lended at Her Doolittels yesthuse. He was seen, at first, to sunder of sum ords efery time he told it, whice was, tweeless, owing to his hafing sow lately awoken. It at last setteled dune ritely to þe tale ice haf written, and not a ware, wife, or cild in þe nayberhood but knew it by hart. Sum always licetted to twee þe trewþ of it, and held þat Rip had ben ute of his hed, and þat þiss was won ord on whice he always seemed flity. Þe old Duce folk, huwefer, almost all held it as full sooþ. Efen to þiss day hie nefer hear a þunderstorm of a summer afternoon abute þe Kaatskill, but hie say Hendrick Hudson and his crude are at hir game of ninepins; and it is a mean wisce of all henpecked wares in þe nayberhood, when life hangs hefy on hir hands, þat hie mite haf a sleeping draft ute of Rip Van Winkels steap.
Þe foregowing tale, man wood inkel, had ben brawt to Her Knickerbocker by a littel Garmanisce offgalþ abute þe Coaser Friþrice der Rothbart, and þe Kypphäuser barow; þe eked writ, huwefer, whice he had þeeded to þe tale, scows þat it is sooþ, told wiþ his wonly troþ.
“Þe tale of Rip Van Winkel may seem iysum to meny, but neferþeless ice yeafe it my full beleef, for ice know þe naywist of ure old Duce tunes to haf ben full to þe brim of wundersum befallings and dwimmers. Indeed, ice haf herd meny more selcooþ tales þan þiss, in þe þorps along þe Hudson, all of whice were too well upheld for eny twee. Ice haf efen talked wiþ Rip Van Winkel myself, hoo, when last ice saw him, was a full oreful old man, and sow fulframedly rode and fast on efery oþer ord, þat ice þink now careful leed cood wiþhold beleef; no, ice haf seen a writ brawt before an upland deemer and marked wiþ a rood, in þe deemers own handwriting. Þe tale, þarefore, is beyond þe mite of twee.
Þe following are faring writs from a daybook of Her Knickerbocker:
Þe Kaatsberg or Catskill Barows haf always ben a land bewiced. Þe Indiscemen held hem þe abode of goasts, hoo swayed þe weþer, spredding sunscine or cludes ofer þe landscip, and sending good or bad hunting tides. Hie were rixt by an old skwaw goast, sed to be hir moþer. Sce dwelt on þe hiest peak of þe Catskills, and had weeld of þe dores of day and nite to open and scut hem at þe fitting stund. Sce hung up þe new moons in þe heafens, and broke up þe old into stars. In times of druþe, if ritely sce wisced, sce wood spin lite summer cludes ute of cobwebs and morning dew, and send hem off from þe ridge of þe barow, flawt after flawt, like flawts of combed wool, to float in þe lift, hent, melted by þe heat of þe sun, hie wood fall in friþful scures, making þe grass to spring, þe ofets to ripen, and þe corn to grow an ince a stund. If miscweemed, huwefer, sce wood brew up cludes black as coal, sitting in þe midst of hem like a tunbellied spider in þe midst of its web; and when þese cludes broke, wow betide þe deens!
In olden times, say þe Indisce sids, þare was a kind of Manitoo or Goast, hoo kept abute þe wildest halks of þe Catskills, and num cweem in wreaking all kinds of efels and teens upon þe red men. Sumtimes he wood nim þe scape of a bare, a panþer, or a hart, lead þe bewildered hunter a weary hunt þro snarled wolds and amung ruff rocks, and þen spring off wiþ a lude ho! ho! leafing him agast on þe brink of a beeteling cliff or weeding flud.
Þe dearest abode of þiss Manitoo is still scown. It is a grate rock or cliff on þe loneliest deal of þe barows, and, from þe blossoming winetrees whice clamber abute it, and þe wild blossoms whice wride in its nayberhood, is known by þe name of þe Layton Rock. Near þe foot of it is a small mere, þe abode of þe lonesum rower, wiþ wawtersnakes baþing in þe sun on þe leafes of þe pondlillies whice lie on þe bred. Þiss stow was held in grate iye by þe Indiscemen, insomuce þat þe boldest hunter wood not follow his game wiþin its bunds. Wonse upon a time, huwefer, a hunter, hoo had lost his way made it to þe Layton Rock, whare he beheld meny kirfets held in þe forks of trees. Won of þese he fanged and made off wiþ it, but in þe hirry of his wiþdraft he let it fall amung þe rocks, when a grate stream fludded forþ, whice wasced him away and swept him dune cliffs, whare he was stunned to bits, and þe stream made its way to þe Hudson, and flows on efen nuw, being þe ilk stream known by þe name of þe Kaaterskill.