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changes in other parts of this restless country, sweeps by them unobserved. They are like those little nooks of still water which border a rapid stream, where we may see the straw and bubble riding quietly at anchor, or slowly revolving in their 90 mimic harbor, undisturbed by the rush of the passing current. Though many years have elapsed since I trod the drowsy shades of Sleepy Hollow, yet I question whether I should not still find the same trees and the same families vegetating in its sheltered bosom.
In this by-place of nature there abode, in a remote period of American history, that is to say, some thirty years since, a worthy wight of the name of Ichabod Crane; who sojourned, or, as he expressed it, "tarried," in Sleepy Hollow, for the purpose of instructing the children of the vicinity. He was a 100 native of Connecticut, a State which supplies the Union with pioneers for the mind as well as for the forest, and sends forth yearly its legions of frontier woodmen and country schoolmasters. The cognomen of Crane was not inapplicable to his person. He was tall, but exceedingly lank, with narrow shoulders, long arms 105 and legs, hands that dangled a mile out of his sleeves, feet that, might have served for shovels, and his whole frame most loosely hung together. His head was small, and flat at top, with huge ears, large green glassy eyes, and a long snipe nose, so that it looked like a weathercock perched upon his spindle neck to tell u which way the wind blew. To see him striding along the profile of a hill on a windy day, with his clothes bagging and fluttering about him, one might have mistaken him for the
94. Vegetating, living like vegetables or plants. The word is peculiarly appropriate to human life in Sleepy Hollow.
96. Remote period. . . . some thirty years since. Notice the seeming contradiction. To Irving's quiet humor thirty years is a long period in our fast American life.
98. Wight (akin to whit, a small part), a creature, person, being. The word is nearly obsolete, except in slight contempt or irony.
104. Cogno'men (Lat. con, with; nomen, name), the last of the three names which belonged to all Romans of good family; surname.
109. Snipe nose. The snipe is a small bird with a very long bill.
genius of famine descending upon the earth, or some scarecrow eloped from a cornfield.
His school-house was a low building of one large room, rudely constructed of logs; the windows partly glazed, and partly patched with leaves of old copy-books. It was most ingeniously secured at vacant hours by a withe twisted in the handle of the door, and stakes set against the window-shutters; so that, though 120 a thief might get in with perfect ease, he would find some embarrassment in getting out, an idea most probably borrowed by the architect, Yost Van Houten, from the mystery of an eel-pot. The school-house stood in a rather lonely but pleasant situation, just at the foot of a woody hill, with a brook running 125 close by, and a formidable birch-tree growing at one end of it. From hence the low murmur of his pupils' voices, conning over their lessons, might be heard in a drowsy summer's day, like the hum of a beehive; interrupted now and then by the authoritative voice of the master, in the tone of menace or command; 130 or, peradventure, by the appalling sound of the birch as he urged some tardy loiterer along the flowery path of knowledge. Truth to say, he was a conscientious man, and ever bore in mind the golden maxim, "Spare the rod and spoil the child." Ichabod Crane's scholars certainly were not spoiled.
119. Withe, a band consisting of a twig or twigs twisted, used for tying or binding.
124. Eel-pot, a basket-like trap for catching eels.
126. Formidable (Lat. formido, dread), exciting great fear, calculated to inspire dread. Lines 130 to 135 show the appropriateness of this epithet : "Spare the rod," etc. Hudibras, by Samuel Butler, 1612-1680. "He that spareth his rod hateth his son." Proverbs xiii. 24.
141. Winced (akin to wink), made a sudden shrinking movement.
I would not have it imagined, however, that he was one of those cruel potentates of the school who joy in the smart of their subjects; on the contrary, he administered justice with discrimination rather than severity, taking the burthen off the backs of the weak, and laying it on those of the strong. Your mere 140 puny stripling, that winced at the least flourish of the rod, was passed by with indulgence; but the claims of justice were satis
fied by inflicting a double portion on some little tough, wrongheaded, broad-skirted Dutch urchin, who sulked and swelled and grew dogged and sullen beneath the birch. All this he 145 called "doing his duty by their parents"; and he never inflicted a chastisement without following it by the assurance, so consolatory to the smarting urchin, that "he would remember it and thank him for it the longest day he had to live."
When school-hours were over, he was even the companion 150 and playmate of the larger boys; and on holiday afternoons would convoy some of the smaller ones home, who happened to have pretty sisters, or good housewives for mothers, noted for the comforts of the cupboard. Indeed, it behooved him to keep on good terms with his pupils. The revenue arising from his 155 school was small, and would have been scarcely sufficient to furnish him with daily bread, for he was a huge feeder, and, though lank, had the dilating powers of an anaconda; but to help out his maintenance, he was, according to country custom in those parts, boarded and lodged at the houses of the farmers 160 whose children he instructed. With these he lived successively a week at a time; thus going the rounds of the neighborhood, with all his worldly effects tied up in a cotton handkerchief.
That all this might not be too onerous on the purses of his 165 loostic patrons, who are apt to consider the costs of schooling a whievous burden, and schoolmasters as mere drones, he had fileious ways of rendering himself both useful and agreeable. He assisted the farmers occasionally in the lighter labors of their farms, helped to make hay, mended the fences, took the horses 170 to water, drove the cows from pasture, and cut wood for the winter fire. He laid aside, too, all the dominant dignity and
144. Urchin (Lat. ericius, hedgehog; the urchin figures extensively in witchcraft and demonology, and the word sometimes stands for a mischievous spirit), roguish boy.
154. Comforts of the cupboard. The description of the tea-table at Van Tassel's on a subsequent page fully explains this expression.
158. Dilating powers, etc. The anaconda is noted for swallowing large animals.
absolute sway with which he lorded it in his little empire, the school, and became wonderfully gentle and ingratiating. He found favor in the eyes of the mothers by petting the children, 175 particularly the youngest; and like the lion bold, which whilom so magnanimously the lamb did hold, he would sit with a child on one knee, and rock a cradle with his foot for whole hours together.
In addition to his other vocations, he was the singing-master 180 of the neighborhood, and picked up many bright shillings by instructing the young folks in psalmody. It was a matter of no little vanity to him, on Sundays, to take his station in front of the church gallery, with a band of chosen singers; where, in his own mind, he completely carried away the palm from the 185 parson. Certain it is, his voice resounded far above all the rest of the congregation; and there are peculiar quavers still to be heard in that church, and which may even be heard half a mile off, quite to the opposite side of the mill-pond, on a still Sunday morning, which are said to be legitimately descended from the 198 nose of Ichabod Crane. Thus, by divers little makeshifts, in
174. Ingratiating (Lat. in, in, and gratia, favor), commending one's self to the favor of another; insinuating.
176. Whilom (A.-S. hwilum, sometime, at times), formerly, of old. The lion bold, etc. In the New England Primer there is a queer illuminated alphabet; each letter is the initial of the principal word in a rude couplet. A lion whose paw rests protectingly on a lamb, by the aid of the following lines points out the letter L:
"The Lion bold
The Lamb doth hold."
177. Magnanimously (Lat. magnus, great; animus, soul; -ly, like), like a great soul.
180. Vocations (Lat. vocare, to call), calling, trade, business, occupation. 182. Psalmody, psalm-singing.
185. Carried away the palm. Wreaths or branches of palm were worn in token of victory; hence the word signifies victory, triumph. The expression here means that Ichabod surpassed the parson in importance and excellence.
187. Quavers, shakings or tremblings of the voice in singing. Their nasal character is forcibly described by the phrase "descended from the nose of Ichabod Crane"!
that ingenious way which is commonly denominated "by hook and by crook," the worthy pedagogue got on tolerably enough, and was thought, by all who understood nothing of the labor of headwork, to have a wonderfully easy life of it.
The schoolmaster is generally a man of some importance in the female circle of a rural neighborhood, being considered a kind of idle, gentlemanlike personage, of vastly superior taste and accomplishments to the rough country swains, and, indeed, inferior in learning only to the parson. His appearance, therefore, 200 is apt to occasion some little stir at the tea-table of a farmhouse, and the addition of a supernumerary dish of cakes or sweetmeats, or, peradventure, the parade of a silver teapot. Our man of letters, therefore, was peculiarly happy in the smiles of all the country damsels. How he would figure among them in the 205 churchyard, between services on Sundays! gathering grapes for them from the wild vines that overran the surrounding trees; reciting for their amusement all the epitaphs on the tombstones; or sauntering, with a whole bevy of them, along the banks of the adjacent mill-pond; while the more bashful country bump- 210 kins hung sheepishly back, envying his superior elegance and address.
From his half-itinerant life, also, he was a kind of travelling gazette, carrying the whole budget of local gossip from house to
192. By hook and by crook, by any means direct or indirect. It is sometimes said that this proverb owes its origin to a place called the Crook in Waterford Harbor, Ireland, over against the tower of the Hook. It is safe to land on one side when the wind drives from the other.
200. See Goldsmith's Deserted Village, where the parson and the schoolmaster are the principal characters.
202. Supernumerary (Lat. super, over; numěrus, number), extra, in addition to the usual or needful number.
209. Sauntering, wandering about idly. Dr. Johnson derives the word from Sainte Terre (Fr.), the Holy Land, because in crusading times idle fellows, who loitered about asking charity, and who had no definite plans or work in view, or were unwilling to disclose them, would say they were going à la Sainte Terre. "The radical meaning [of saunter] would seem to be to trail or drag along." Wedgwood. Akin to Ger. schlentern and schlendern, to wander idly about, to loiter,