Rip Van Winkle

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  • Narrator

    Whoeverย  made a voyage up the Hudson must remember the Catskill Mountains.

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  • They are a branch of the great Appalachian family, and are seen away to the west of the river, swelling up to a noble height, and lording it over the surrounding country.

  • Every change of season, every change of weather, indeed, every hour of the day, produces some change in the magical hues and shapes of these mountains, and they are regarded by all the goodwives, far and near, as perfect barometers.

  • At the foot of these fairy mountains the traveler may have seen the light smoke curling up from a village, whose shingle roofs gleam among the trees, just where the blue tints of the upland melt away into the fresh green of the nearer landscape.

  • Narrator

    It is a little village of great age, having been founded by some of the Dutch colonists in the early times of the province, just about the beginning of the government of the good Peter Stuyvesant (may he rest in peace!),

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  • and there were some of the houses of the original settlers standing within a few years, built of small yellow bricks brought from Holland, having latticed windows and gable fronts, surmounted with weathercocks.

  • In that same village, and in one of these very houses, there lived, many years since, while the country was yet a province of Great Britain, a simple, good-natured fellow, of the name of Rip Van Winkle.

  • He was a descendant of the Van Winkles who figured so gallantly in the vchivalrous days of Peter Stuyvesant, and accompanied him to the siege of Fort Christina.

  • Narrator

    He inherited, however, but little of the martial character of his ancestors.

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  • I have observed that he was a simple, good-natured man;

  • he was, moreover, a kind neighbor and an obedient, henpecked husband.

  • Certain it is that he was a great favorite among all the goodwives of the village, who took his part in all family squabbles;

  • and never failed, whenever they talked those matters over in their evening gossipings, to lay all the blame on Dame Van Winkle.

  • The children of the village, too, would shout with joy whenever he approached.

  • Narrator

    He assisted at their sports, made their playthings, taught them to fly kites and shoot marbles, and told them long stories of ghosts, witches, and Indians.

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  • Whenever he went dodging about the village, he was surrounded by a troop of them, hanging on his skirts, clambering on his back, and playing a thousand tricks on him;

  • and not a dog would bark at him throughout the neighborhood.

  • The great error in Ripโ€™s composition was a strong dislike of all kinds of profitable labor.

  • It could not be from the want of perseverance;