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he had imagined :-he was suffered to walk to his lodgings unmolested by a crowd, and even unnoticed by a single individual;- no love-letters came pouring in upon him;-no rivals lay in wait to assassinate him;-his very dress excited no attention, for there were many fools dressed equally ridiculous with himself. This was mortifying indeed to an aspiring youth, who had come out with the idea of astonishing and captivating. He was equally unfortunate in his pretentions to the character of critic, connoisseur and boxer; he condemned our whole dramatic corps, and every thing appertaining to the theatre; but his critical abilities were ridiculed ;-he found fault with old Cockloft's dinner, not even sparing his wine, and was never invited to the house afterwards; he scoured the streets at night and was cudgelled by a sturdy watchman ;-he hoaxed an honest mechanic, and was soundly kicked. Thus disappointed in all his attempts at notoriety, Straddle hit on the expedient which was resorted to by the Giblets ;-he determined to take the town by storm. He accordingly bought horses and equipages, and forthwith made a furious dash at style in a gig and tandem.
As Straddle's finances were but limited, it may easily be supposed that his fashionable career infringed a little upon his consignments, which was indeed the case for to use a true cockney phrase, Brummagen suffered. But this was a circumstance that made little impression upon Straddle, who was now a lad of spirit—and lads of spirit alway despise the sordid cares of keeping another man's money. Suspecting this circumstance, I never could witness any of his exhibitions of style without some whimsical association of ideas. Did he give an entertainment to a host of guzzling friends, I iromediately fancied them gormandizing heartily at the expense of poor Birmingham, and swallowing a consignment of hand-saws and razors. Did I behold him dashing through Broadway in his gig, I saw him, “in iný mind's eye,” driving tandem on a nest of tea-boards; nor -could I ever contemplate his cockney exhibitions of horsemanship, but my mischievous imagination would picture him spurring a cask of hardware, like rosy Bacchus bestriding a beer-barrel, or the little gentleman who be-straddles the world in the front of Hutching's Almanack.
Straddle was equally successful with the Giblets, as may well be supposed; for though pedestrian merit may
strive in vain to become fashionable in Gotham, yet a candidate in an equipage is always recognized, and like Philip's ass, laden with gold will gain admittance every where. Mounted in his curricle or his gig, the candidate is like a statue elevated on a high pedestal ; his merits are discernable from afar, and strike the dullest optics. Oh! Gotham, Gotham! most enlightened of cities ! how does my heart swell with delight when I behold your sapient inhabitants lavishing their attention with such wonderful discernment!
Thus Straddle became quite a man of ton, and was caressed, and courted, and invited to dinners and balls. Whatever was absurd or ridiculous in him before, was now declared to be the style. He criticized our theatre, and was listened to with reverence. He pronounced our musical entertainments barbarous; and the judgment of Apollo himself would not have been more decisive. He abused our dinners; and the god of eating, if there be any such deity, seemed to speak through his organs. He became at once a man of taste--for he put his malediction on every thing; and his arguments were conclusive-for he supported every assertion with a bet. He was likewise pronounced by the learned in the fashionable world a young man of great research and deep observation, - for he had sent home, as natural curiosities, an ear of Indian corn, a pair of moccasons, a belt of wampum, and a four-leafed clover. He had taken great pains to enrich this curious collection with an Indian, and a cataract; but without success. In fine, the people talked of Straddle and his equipage, and Straddle talked of his horses, until it was impossible for the most critical observer to pronounce whether Straddle or his horses were most admired, or whether Straddle admired himself or his horses most.
Straddle was now in the zenith of his glory. He swaggered about parlours and drawing-rooms with the same unceremonious confidence he used to display in the taverns at Birmingham. He accosted a lady as he would a bar-maid; and this was pronounced a certain proof that he had been used to better company in Birmingham. He became the great man of all the taverns between New-York and Harlem; and no one stood a chance of being accommodated until Straddle and his horses were perfectly satisfied. He d-d the landlords and waiters, with the best air in the world, and accosted them with gentlemanly familiarity. He staggered from the dinner table to the play, entered the box like a tempest, stayed long enough to be bored to death, and to bore all those who had the misfortune to be near him. From thence he dashed off to a ball, time enough to flounder through. a cotilion, tear half a dozen gowns, commit a number of other depredations, and make the whole company sensible of his infinite condescension in coming amongst them. The people of Gotham thought him a prodigious fine fellow; the young bucks cultivated his acquaintance with the most persevering assiduity, and his retainers were sometimes complimented with a seat in his curricle, or a ride on one of his fine horses. The belles were delighted with the attentions of such a fashionable gentleman, and struck with astonishment at his learned distinctions between wrought scissors and those of cast steel: together with his profound dissertations on buttons and horse-flesh. The rich_merchants courted his acquaintance because he was an Englishman, and their wives treated him with great deference because he had come from beyond seas.
cannot help here observing that your saltwater is a marvellous great sharpener of men's wits, and I intend to recommend it to some of my acquaintance in a parti
Straddle continued his brilliant career for only a short time. His prosperous journey over the turnpike of fashion was checked by some of those stumbling-blocks in the way of aspiring youth called creditorsor duns :-a race of people who as a celebrated writer observes, "are hated by the gods and men.” Consignments slackened, whispers of distant suspicion floated in the dark, and those pests of society the tailors and shoemakers, rose in rebellion against Straddle. In vain were all his remonstrances; in vain did he prove to them, that though 'he had given them no money, yet he had given them more custom, and as many promises as any young man in the city. They were inflexible; and the signal of danger being given, a host of other prosecutors pounced upon his back. Straddle saw there was but one way for it: he determined to do the thing genteely, to go to smash like a hero, and dashed into the limits in high style; being the fifteenth gentleman I have known to drive tandem to the-ne plus ultra—the d-.
Unfortunate Straddle! may thy fate be a warning to all young gentlemen who come from Birmingham to
astonish the natives! I should never have taken the trouble to delineate his character, had he not been a genuine Cockney, and worthy to be the representative of his numerous tribe. Perhaps my simple countrymen may hereafter be able to distinguish between the real English gentlemen and individuals of the cast I have heretofore spoken of, as mere mongrels, springing at one bound from contemptible obscurity at home to daylight and splendour in this good-natured land. The true-born and true-bred English gentleman is a character I hold in great respect; and I love to look back to the period when our forefathers flourished in the same generous soil, and hailed each other as brothers. But the Cockney! when I contemplate him as springing too from the same source, I feel ashamed of the relationship, and am tempted to deny my origin. In the character of Straddle is traced the complete outline of a true Cockney of English growth, and a descendant of that individual facetious character mentioned by Shakespeare, “who in pure kindness to his horse, buttered his hay."
In thị bosom of one of those spacious coves which indent the eastern shore of the Hudson, at that broad expansion of the river denomińated by the ancient Dutch navigators the Tappan Zee, and where they always prudently shortened sail, and implored the protection of St. Nicholas when they crossed, there lies a small market-town or rural port, which by some is called Greensburgh, but which is more generally and properly known by the name of Tarry Town. This name was given, we are told, in former days, by the good house-wives of the adjacent country, from the inveterate propensity of their husbands to linger about the village tavern on market days. Be that as it may, I do not vouch for the fact, but merely advert to it, for the sake of being precise and authentic. Not far from this village, perhaps about three miles, there is a little valley, or rather lap of land, among high hills, which is one of the quietest places in the whole world. A small brook glides through it
, with just murmur enough to lull one to repose; and the occasional whistle of a quail
or tapping of a woodpecker, is almost the only sound that ever breaks in upon the uniform tranquillity.
I recollect that, when a stripling, my first exploit in squirrel shooting was in a grove of tall walnut trees that shades one side of the valley. I had wandered into it at noon time, when all nature is peculiarly quiet, and was startled by the roar of my own gun, as it broke the sabbath stillness around, and was prolonged and reverberated by the angry echoes. If ever I should wish for a retreat, whither I might steal from the world and its distractions, and dream quietly away the remnant of a troubled life, I know of none more promising than this little valley,
From the listless repose of the place, and the peculiar character of its inhabitants, who are descendants from the original Dutch settlers, this sequestered glen has long been known by the name of SLEEPY Hollow, and its rustio lads are called the Sleepy Hollow Boys throughout all the neighbouring country. A drowsy, dreamy influence seems to hang over the land, and to pervade the very atmosphere. Some say that the place was bewitched by a high German doctor during the early days of the settlements others, that an old Indian chief, the prophet or wizard of his tribe, held his powwows there before the country was discovered by Master Hendrick Hudson, Certain it is, the place still continues under the
of some witching power, that holds a spell over the minds of the good people, causing them to walk in a continual reverie, They are given to all kinds of marvellous beliefs; are subject to trances and visions; and frequently see strange sights, and hear music and voices in the air. The whole neighbourhood abounds with local tales, haunted spots, and twilight superstitions ; stars shoot and meteors glare oftener across the valley than in any other part of the country, and the night-mare, with her whole nine fold, seems to make it the favourite scene of her gam. bols,
The dominant spirit, however, that haunts this enchanted region, and seems to be commander-in-chief of all the powers of the air, is the apparition of a figure on horseback without a head. It is said by some to be the ghost of a Hessian trooper, whose head had been carried away by a cannon ball, in some nameless battle during the revolutionary war; and who is ever and anon