Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

had been made a justice of the Ten-pound Court. Brom Bones, too, who shortly after his rival's disappearance conducted the blooming Katrina in triumph to the altar, was observed to look exceedingly knowing whenever the story of Ichabod was related, and always burst into a hearty laugh at the mention of 110 the pumpkin; which led some to suspect that he knew more about the matter than he chose to tell.

The old country wives, however, who are the best judges of these matters, maintain to this day that Ichabod was spirited away by supernatural means; and it is a favorite story, often 1115 told about the neighborhood round the winter evening fire. The bridge became more than ever an object of superstitious. awe, and that may be the reason why the road has been altered of late years, so as to approach the church by the border of the mill-pond. The school-house, being deserted, soon fell to decay, 1120 and was reported to be haunted by the ghost of the unfortunate pedagogue; and the ploughboy, loitering homeward of a still summer evening, has often fancied his voice at a distance, chanting a melancholy psalm-tune among the tranquil solitudes of Sleepy Hollow.

POSTSCRIPT,

FOUND IN THE HANDWRITING OF MR. KNICKERBOCKER.

THE preceding tale is given, almost in the precise words in which I heard it related at a Corporation meeting of the ancient city of Manhattoes, at which were present many of its sagest

1106. Ten-pound Court, an inferior court having jurisdiction in cases involving not over ten pounds.

1014. Spirited away, carried away swiftly and secretly, as if by a spirit. Postscript (Lat. post, after, and scriptum, written), a sentence or passage added to a letter, and signed by the writer; any addition made to a book or composition after it had been supposed to be finished.

3. City of Manhattoes, New York. See History of New York, Book II. Chap. 6.

1125

and most illustrious burghers. The narrator was a pleasant, shabby, gentlemanly old fellow, in pepper-and-salt clothes, with a sadly humorous face, and one whom I strongly suspected of being poor, - he made such efforts to be entertaining. When his story was concluded, there was much laughter and approbation, particularly from two or three deputy aldermen, who had been asleep the greater part of the time. There was, 10 however, one tall, dry-looking old gentleman, with beetling eyebrows, who maintained a grave and rather a severe face throughout; now and then folding his arms, inclining his head, and looking down upon the floor, as if turning a doubt over in his mind. He was one of your wary men, who never laugh but 15 upon good grounds, when they have reason and the law on their side. When the mirth of the rest of the company had subsided, and silence was restored, he leaned one arm on the elbow of his chair, and, sticking the other a-kimbo, demanded, with a slight but exceedingly sage motion of the head, and 20 contraction of the brow, what was the moral of the story, and what it went to prove?

[ocr errors]

The story-teller, who was just putting a glass of wine to his lips, as a refreshment after his toils, paused for a moment, looked at his inquirer with an air of infinite deference, and, 25 lowering the glass slowly to the table, observed that the story was intended most logically to prove :

"That there is no situation in life but has its advantages and pleasures, provided we will but take a joke as we find it: That, therefore, he that runs races with goblin troopers is 30 likely to have rough riding of it.

66

66

Ergo, for a country schoolmaster to be refused the hand of a Dutch heiress is a certain step to high preferment in the state."

66

4. Burghers, burgesses or freemen of a burgh or borough, citizens. Borough is a word spread over all the Teutonic and Romance languages. The origin seems to be the Gothic bairgan, A.-S. beorgan, to protect, keep, preserve.. The primitive idea seems to bring under cover.' Wedgwood. 19. A-kimbo, with hands resting on the hips and the elbows turned outwards.

""

The cautious old gentleman knit his brows tenfold closer after this explanation, being sorely puzzled by the ratiocination 35 of the syllogism: while, methought, the one in pepper-and-salt eyed him with something of a triumphant leer. At length he observed that all this was very well, but still he thought the story a little on the extravagant,—there were one or two points on which he had his doubts.

"Faith, sir," replied the story-teller, "as to that matter, I don't believe one half of it myself."

SUGGESTIONS OF TOPICS OF INQUIRY.

What is the general character of this sketch, -- pathetic? didactic? humorous?

Where is Sleepy Hollow? Describe it.

Who is the hero of this sketch? the heroine ?

Name all the characters, and connect with each appropriate qualifying words or phrases.

Of what are there descriptions in this sketch? Persons, scenes, animals, buildings? Of what else?

Select one description of each kind. Reproduce one of the selections in fresh words.

What are some of the most prominent traits in Ichabod's character?

Name, and describe briefly, the horses in this sketch.

Make four short quotations, each omplete in itself.
Select several of the most humorous passages.

Write a composition on "School in Sleepy Hollow."
When is Ichabod Crane most ludicrous?

What does Ichabod do when he is very much frightened?
How were the guests entertained at the "quilting frolic"?
Commit to memory the most beautiful description in the piece.

35. Ratiocination (Lat. ratiocinatio, reasoning), the act or process of reasoning, or of deducing consequences from premises.

36. Syllogism (Gr. and Lat.), a form of reasoning or argument consisting of three propositions, of which the first two are called the premises, and the last the conclusion; if the two first propositions are true, the conclusion necessarily follows.

37. Leer (Icelandic hlöra, hlera, to listen; whence comes the notion of looking in a sly or covert way; Dutch loeren), a sidewise look with archness, smirking, affectation, or implied solicitation. The word usually bears an unfavorable sense.

40

Describe the Headless Horseman as Ichabod saw him. Explain the mystery of his appearance to Ichabod.

Who settled Ichabod's estate? What property had he?

What accounts of Ichabod were brought from New York?
What did the "old country wives" maintain?

Analyze the last sentence in the piece.

Select any sentence that pleases you, and give the meaning of it in different words, making an equivalent sentence. Make six such equivalent sentences, each of which shall mean exactly the same as the following: "There is no situation in life but has its advantages and pleasures, - provided we will but take a joke as we find it."

This practice of constructing equivalent sentences is always entertaining, and one of the most profitable of language lessons.

THE WIDOW AND HER SON.

"Pittie old age, within whose silver haires
Honour and reverence evermore have rained."

MARLOWE'S Tamburlaine.

THOSE who are in the habit of remarking such matters must have noticed the passive quiet of an English landscape on Sunday. The clacking of the mill, the regularly recurring stroke of the flail, the din of the blacksmith's hammer, the whistling of the ploughman, the rattling of the cart, and all other sounds of rural labor, are suspended. The very farm-dogs bark less frequently, being less disturbed by passing travellers. At such times I have almost fancied the winds sunk into quiet, and that the sunny landscape, with its fresh green tints melting into blue haze, enjoyed the hallowed calm.

"Sweet day, so pure, so calm, so bright,
The bridal of the earth and sky."

Marlowe's Tamburlaine. Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593) had perhaps the most dramatic genius of all of Shakespeare's contemporaries. Tambur laine the Great is one of his tragedies.

5

Well was it ordained that the day of devotion should be a day of rest. The holy repose which reigns over the face of nature has its moral influence; every restless passion is charmed 18 down, and we feel the natural religion of the soul gently springing up within us. For my part, there are feelings that visit me

3. Clacking. Chaucer says, "Aye clappeth as a mill."

11. "Sweet day, so cool, so calm, so bright,

The bridal of the earth and sky,

The dews shall weep thy fall to-night,
For thou must die."

From a poem called "Virtue," by George Herbert (1593 – 1633).

10

« ZurückWeiter »