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by wearing red breeches, and tying his horse to a post. The people of the United States have assured me that they themselves are the most enlightened nation under the sun; but thou knowest that the barbarians of the desert, who assemble at the summer solstice, to shoot their arrows at the glorious luminary, in order to extinguish its burning rays, make precisely the same boast ;-which of them have the superior claim, I shall not attempt to decide.
I have observed with some degree of surprise, that the men in this country do not seem in baste to accommodate themselves even with the single wife which alone the laws permit them to marry; this backwardness is probably owing to the misfortune of their absolutely having no female mutes among them. Thou knowest how invaluable are these silent companions; what a price is given for them in the East, and what entertaining wives they make. What delightful entertainment arises from beholding the silent eloquence of their signs and gestures; but a wife possessed both of a tongue and a soul-monstrous! monstrous! It is astonishing that these unhappy infidels should shrink from a union with a woman so preposterously endowed ?
Thou hast doubtless read in the words of Abel Faraj, the Arabian historian, the tradition which mentions that the muses were once upon the point of falling together by the ears about the admission of a tenth among their number, until she assured them, by signs, that she was dumb; whereupon they received her with great rejoicing. I should, perhaps, inform thee that there are but nine Christian muses, who were formerly pagans, but have since been converted, and that in this country we never hear of a tenth, unless some crazy poet wishes to pay an hyperbolical compliment to his mistress ; on which occasion it goes hard but she figures as a tenth muse, or fourth grace, even though she should be more illiterate than a Hottentot, and more ungraceful than à dancing bear! Since my arrival in this country, I have met not less than a hundred of these supernumerary muses and graces and may Allah preserve me from ever meeting any more.
ICHABOD CRANE AND THE GALLOPING
It was the very witching time of night that Ichabod, heavy-hearted, and crest-fallen, pursued his travel homewards, along the sides of the lofty hills which rise above Tarry Town, and which he had traversed so cheerily in the afternoon. The hour was as dismal as himself. Far below him, the Tappaan Zee spread its dusky and indistinct waste of waters, with here and there the tall mast of a sloop, riding quietly at anchor under the laneIn the dead hush of midnight, he could even hear the barking of the watch-dog from the opposite shore of the Hudson! but it was so vague and faint as only to give an idea of his distance from this faithful companion of
Now and then, too, the long-drawn crowing of a cock, accidentally awakened, would sound far, far off, from some farm-house away among the hills—but it was like the dreaming sound in his ear. No signs of life occurred near him, but occasionally the melancholy chirp of a cricket, or perhaps the guttural twang of a bull-frog, from a neighbouring marsh, as if sleeping uncomfortably, and turning suddenly in his bed.
All the stories of ghosts and goblins that he had heard in the afternoon, now came crowding upon his recollection.
The night grew darker and darker; the stars seemed to sink deeper in the sky, and driving clouds occasionally hid them from his sight. He had never felt. 80 lonely and dismal. He was, moreover, approaching the very place where many of the scenes of the ghost stories had been laid. In the centre of the road stood an enormous tulip tree, which towered like a giant above all the other trees of the neighbourhood, and formed a kind of land-mark. Its limbs were gnarled, and fantastic, large enough to form trunks for ordinary trees, twisting down almost to the earth, and rising again into the air. It was connected with the tragical story of the unfortu
nate André, who had been taken prisoner hard by; and was universally known by the name of Major André's tree. The common people regarded it with a mixture of respect and superstition, partly out of sympathy for the fate of its ill-starred namesake, and partly from the tales of strange sights, and doleful lamentations told concerning it.
As Ichabod approached this fearful tree, he began to whistle: he thought his whistle was: answered; it was but a blast sweeping sharply through the dry branches, As he approached a little nearer, he thought he saw something white, hanging in the midst of the tree; he paused and ceased whistling; but on looking more narrowly, perceived that it was a place wbere the tree had been scathed by lightning, and the white wood laid bare. Suddenly he heard a groan-his teeth chattered, and his knees smote against the saddle: it was but the rubbing of one huge branch upon another, as they were swayed. about by the breeze: He passed the tree in safety, but new perils lay before him.
About two hundred yards from the tree a small brook crossed the road, and ran into a marshy and thickly wooded glen, known by the name of Wiley's swamp. A few rough logs, laid side by side, served for a bridge over this: stream. On that side of the road where the brook en tered the wood, a group of oaks and chesnuts, matted. thick with wild grape vines, threw a cavernous gloom over it.
To pass this bridge, was the severest trial. Iti was at this identical spot that the unfortunate André: was captured, and under the covert of those chesnuts and vines were the sturdy yeomen concealed who surprised him. This has ever sinee been considered a haunted stream, and fearful are the feelings of the schoolboy who has to pass it alone after dark.
As he approached the stream, his heart began to thump; he summoned up, however, all his resolution, gave his horse half a score of kicks in the ribs, and attempted to dash briskly across the bridge; but instead of starting forward, the perverse old animal made a lateral move ment, and ran broadside against the fence. Ichabod,
whose fears inereased with the delay, jerked the reins on the other side, and kicked lustily with the contrary foot; it was all in vain; his steed started, it is true, but it was only to plunge to the opposite side of the road into a thicket of brambles and alder bushes. The schoolmaster now bestowed both whip and heel upon the starveling ribs of old Gunpowder, who dashed forward, snuffling and snorting, but came to a stand just by the bridge with a suddenness that had nearly sent his rider sprawling over his head. Just at this moment a plashy tramp by the side of the bridge caught the sensitive ear of Ichabod. In the dark shadow of the grove, on the margin of the brook, the beheld something huge and misshapen, black and towering. It stirred not, but seemed gathered up in gloom, like some gigantic monster ready to spring upon the traveller.
The hair of the affrighted pedagogue rose upon his head with terror. What was to be done? To turn and fly was now too late; and besides, what chance was there of escaping ghost or goblin, if such it was, which could ride upon the wings of the wind? Summoning up, therefore, a show of courage, he demanded in stammering accents" Who are you?” He received no reply. He repeated his demand in a still more agitated voice. Still there was no answer. Once more he cudgelled the inflexible sides of old Gunpowder, and shutting his eyes, broke forth with involuntary fervour into a psalm tune. Jast then the shadowy object of alarm put himself in motion, and with a scramble and a bound, stood at once in the middle of the road. Though the night was dark and dismal, yet the form of the unknown might now in some degree be ascertained. He appeared to be a horseman of large dimensions, and mounted on a black horse of powerful frame. He made no offer of molestation or sociability, but kept aloof on one side of the road, jogging along on the blind side of old Gunpowder, who had now got over his flight and waywardness.
Ichabod, who had no relish for this strange midnight companion, and bethought himself of the adventure of Brom Bonds with the Galloping Hessian, now quicken
ed his steed, in hopes of leaving him behind. The stran. ger, however, quickened his horse to an equal pace. Ichabod pulled up, and fell into a walk, thinking to lag behind-the other did the same. His heart began to sink within him; he endeavoured to resume his psalm tune, but his parched tongue clove to the roof of his mouth, and he could not utter a stave. There was something in the moody and dogged silence of this pertinacious companion, that was mysterious and appalling. It was soon fearfully accounted for. On mounting a rising ground, which brought the figure of his fellow traveller in relief against the sky, gigantic in height, and muffled in a cloak, Ichabod was horror-struck, on perceiving that he was headless !_but his horror was still more increas. ed, on observing that the head, which should have rested on his shoulders, was carried before him on the pommel of the saddle; his terror rose to desperation; he rained a shower of kicks and blows upon Gunpowder, hoping by a sudden movement, to give his companion the slip but the spectre started full jump with him. Away then they dashed, through thick and thin; stones flying, and sparks flashing, at every bound., Ichabod's flimsy garments fluttered in the air, as he stretched his long lank body away over his horse's head, in the eagerness of his flight.
They had now reached the road which turns off to Sleepy Hollow; but Gunpowder, who seemed possessed with a demon, instead of keeping up it, made an opposite turn, and plunged headlong down hill to the left. This road leads through a sandy hollow, shaded by trees for about a quarter of a mile, where it crosses the bridge famous in goblin story, and just beyond swells the green knoll on which stands the whitewashed church.
As yet the panic of the steed had given his unskilful rider an apparent advantage in the chase; but just as he had got half way through the hollow, the girths of the saddle gave way, and he felt it slipping from under him. He seized it by the pommel, and endeavoured to hold it firm, but in vain; and had just time to save himself by clasping old Ganpowder round the neck, when the sad