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invariably stroked their chins. The constant recurrence of this gesture induced Rip, involuntarily, to do the same—when, to hia astonishment, he found his beard had grown a foot long!
3. He had now entered the skirts of the village. A troop of strange children ran at his heels, hooting after him, and pointing at his grey beard. The dogs, too, not one of which he recognized
for an old acquaintance, barked at him as he passed. The very village was altered; it was larger and more populous. There were rows of houses which he had never seen before, and those which had been his familiar haunts had disappeared. Strange names were over the doors—strange faces at the windows—everything was strange. His mind now misgave him; he began to doubt whether both he and the world around him were not bewitched. Surely this was his native village, which he had left but the day before. There stood the Kaatskill mountains—there ran the silver Hudson at a distance—there was every hill and dale precisely as it had always been. Rip was sorely perplexed. "That flagon last night," thought he, "has addled my poor head sadly."
4. It was with some difficulty that he found the way to his own house, which he approached with silent awe, expecting every moment to hear the shrill voice of Dame Van Winkle. He found the house gone to decay—the roof fallen in, the windows shattered, and the doors off the hinges. A half-starved dog that looked like Wolf, was skulking about it. Rip called him by name, but the cur snarled, showed his teeth, and passed on. This was an unkind cut indeed—" My very dog," sighed poor Rip, " has forgotten me!"
5. He entered the house, which, to tell the truth, Dame Van Winkle had always kept in neat order. It was empty, forlorn, and apparently abandoned. The desolateness overcame all his connubial fears—he called loudly for his wife and children—the lonely chambers rang for a moment with his voice, and then all again was silence.
6. He now hurried forth, and hastened to his old resort, the village inn—but it too was gone. A large rickety wooden building stood in its place, and with great gaping windows, some of them broken and mended with old hats and petticoats, and over the door was painted, "The Union Hotel, by Jonathan Doolittle." Instead of the great tree that used to shelter the quiet little Dutch inn of yore, there was now reared a tall naked pole, with something on the top that looked like a red nightcap, and from it was fluttering a flag, on which was a singular assemblage of stars and stripes—all this was strange and incomprehensible. He recognized on the sign, however, the ruby face of King George, under which he had smoked so many a peaceful pipe; but even this was singularly metamorphosed. The red coat was changed for one of blue and buff, a sword was held in the hand instead of a scepU'e, the head was decorated with a cocked hat, and underneath was painted in large characters, General Washington. There was, as usual, a crowd of folks about the door, but none that Rip recollected. The very character of the people seemed changed. There was a busy, bustling, disputatious tone about it, instead of of the accustomed phlegm and drowsy tranquillity.
7. The appearance of Rip with his long grizzled beard, his rusty fowling-piece, his uncouth dress, and an army of women and children at his heels, soon attracted the attention of the tavern politicians. They crowded round him, eyeing him from head to foot with great curiosity.
8. Rip bethought himself a moment, and inquired, " Where's Nicholas Vedder?"
9. There was a silence for a little while, when an old man replied in a thin piping voice, "Nicholas Vedder! why, he is dead and gone these eighteen years! There was a wooden tombstone in the churchyard that used to tell all about him, but that's rotten and gone too."
"Where's Brom Dutcher?"
"Oh, he went off to the army in the beginning of the war; some say he was killed at the storming of Stony Point—others say he was drowned in a squall at the foot of Antony's Nose. I don't know—he never came back again."
"Where's Van Bummel, the schoolmaster?"
"He went off to the wars too, was a great militia general, and is now in Congress."
10. Rip's heart died away at hearing of these sad changes in his home and friends, and finding himself thus alone in the world. Every answer puzzled him too, by treating of such enormous lapses of time, and of matters which he could not understand: war—congress—Stony Point;—he had no courage to ask aftetany more friends, but cried out in despair, " Docs nobody here know Rip Van Winkle?"
"Oh, Rip Van Winkle!" exclaimed two or three, "oh, to be sure! that's Rip Van Winkle yonder, leaning against the tree."
11. Rip looked, and beheld a precise counterpart of himself, as he went up the mountain: apparently as lazy, and certainly as ragged. The poor fellow was now completely confounded. He doubted his own identity, and whether he was himself or another man. In the midst of his bewilderment, the man in the cocked hat demanded who ho was, and what was his name?
12. "I'm not myself," exclaimed Le,at his wit's end; "I'm somebody else—that's me yonder—no—that's somebody else got into my shoes—I was myself last night, but I fell asleep on the mountain, and they've changed my gun, and everything's changed, and I'm changed, and I can't tell what's my name, or who I am!"
V,i. The bystanders began now to look at each other, nod, wink significantly, and tap their lingers against their foreheads. There was a whisper also about securing the gun, and keeping the old fellow from doing mischief, at the very suggestion of which the self-important man in the cocked hat retired with some precipitation. At this critical moment a fresh comely woman pressed through the throng to get a peep at the grey-bearded man. She had a chubby child in her arms, which, frightened at his looks, began to cry. "Hush, Rip," cried she, "hush, you little fool; the old man won't hurt you." The name of the .child, the air of the mother, the tone of her voice, all awakened a train of recollections in his mind.
14 "What is your name, my good woman?" asked he,
"And your father's name?"
"Ah, poor man, Rip Van Winkle was his name, but it's twenty years since he went away from home with his gun, and never has been heard of since—his dog came home without him; but whether he shot himself, or was carried away by the Indians, nobody can tell. I was then but a little girl."
15. Rip had but one question more to ask; but he put it with a faltering voice:
"Where is your mother?"
"Oh, she too had died but a short time since; she broke a blood-vessel in a fit of passion at a New-England Pedlar."
16. There was a drop of comfort at least in this intelligence. The honest man could contain himself no longer. He caught his daughter and her child in his arms. "1 am your father!" cried he—" Young Rip Van Winkle once—old Rip Van Winkle now! Does nobody know poor Rip Van Winkle?"
17. All stood amazed, until an old woman, tottering out from among the crowd, put her hand to her brow, and peering under it in his face for a moment, exclaimed, " Sure enough! it is Rip Van Winkle—it is himself! Welcome home again, old neighbour —why, where have you been these twenty long years?"
impenetrable, impossible to get through.
invol'untarily, without one's will.
rec'ognize, to know again.
SPELL AND PHONOUNCE—
politician, one who
iden'tity, sameness, bewil'derment, confused wonder, significantly, with
meaning, sugges'tion, hint, intelligence, here, news.
SIMPLE LESSONS IN SCIENCE.
I.—General Notions Op Force.
1. Any one who looks at the countless objects in nature; the living creatures in their endless varieties; the hills and vales, the trees and flowers; the rivers, lakes, and seas; the skies and clouds, would naturally think that the materials from which such different forms and substances are made, must be almost as varied as the forms and substances themselves. Yet, wonderful to say, they are all made from about sixty simple substances to which the name of Elements,* or first principles, is given. Indeed, they may be said to be different forms of a very small proportion of that number of substances, many elements being so rare that they are rather curious than important.
2. If, still further, one look up by night to the heavens, and try to think how vast the universe must be, in which countless worlds float like shining points, world beyond world, the mind is filled with even greater wonder to leam that all these stars, in numbers beyond number, seem to be formed just as simply, for the most part from the very same few elements.
3. For want of any better term, the name of Matter is given to all that we thus see, or can see, around or over us. And a very good word it is for this use, for it comes from the Latin word for mother,\ and thus, as it were, is constantly repeating the fine poetical thought, that Nature is the great mother who brings forth and nourishes all beings and things.
4. If any one wore asked the natural state of what we thus call matter j whether it would move of itself, if left alone, or rest motionless; the answer would at once be, that it would rest motionless, as we see a stone does, and that it moves at all only when acted upon from without.
5. For that impulse, by which motion is thus caused, the name of Force has been chosen. Not that we can think of telling what force is, for that is a mystery; but the power which produces motion and change is known by that term.
6. The extent to which what is thus called force is at work is far greater than appears at first sight. We know that the stars are moving, that the earth moves, that the air, the trees, the water, and the seas are never still; but even those bodies which seem most at rest are believed, on the best grounds, to be as constantly in motion, in one
* elements. Lit. dementum, a first principle. The exact number of elements discovered till now is sixty- three or sixty-four, t mother. Lat. mater; Qr. meter; Sanscrit, matri, mother, producor.