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to comprehend the question; when a knowing, self-important old gentleman, in a sharp cocked hat, made his way through the crowd, putting them to the right and left with his elbows as he passed, and planting himself before Van Winkle, with one arm akimbo, the other resting on his cane, his keen eyes and sharp hat penetrating, as it were, into his very soul, demanded, in an austere tone, “ what brought him to the election with a gun on his shoulder, and a mob at his beels, and whether he meant to breed a riot in the village ? " “ Alas! gentlemen," cried Rip, somewhat dismayed, “ I am a poor quiet man, a native of the place, and a loyal subject of the King, God bless him!”
Here a general shout burst from the bystanders— A tory! a tory! a spy! a refugee! hustle him! away with him!" it was with great difficulty that the self-important man in the cocked hat restored order; and having assumed a tenfold austerity of brow, demanded again of the unknown culprit what he came there for, and whom he was seeking. The poor man humbly assured him that he meant no harm, but merely came there in search of some of his neighbours, who used to keep about the tavern. — “ Well—who are they? name them." - Rip bethought himself a moment, and inquired, “ Where's Nicholas Vedder?" — 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 rotted 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 Stoney-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. ” - 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-Stoney-Point;-he had no courage to ask after any more friends.
. At this critical moment a fresh likely-looking 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. “ What is your name, my good woman ? ” asked he. " Judith Gardenier.” -“And your father's name ? " " Ah, poor man, his name was Rip Van Winkle ; 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.” - Rip had but one question more to ask ; but he put it with a faltering voice:-“ Where's your mother ? ” Oh, she too had died but a short time since; she broke a blood-vessel in a fit of passion at a NewEngland pedlar. 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."I am your father !” cried hem" Young Rip Van Winkle once-old Rip Van Winkle now !” pp. 80–87.
Upon his identitity being duly ascertained, he is taken home to his daughter's house, and resumes most of his antient habits.
"He used to tell his story to every stranger that arrived at Mr Doolittle's hotel. He was observed, at first, to vary on some points every time he told it, which was, doubtless, owing to his having so recently awaked. It at last settled down precisely to the tale I have related, and not a man, woman, or child in the neighbourhood, but knew it by heart. Some always pretended to doubt the reality of it, and insisted that Rip had been out of his head, and that this was one point on which he always remained flighty. The old Dutch inhabitants, however, almost universally gave it full credit. Even to this day they never hear a thunder storm of a summer afternoon, about the Kaatskill, but they say Hendrick Hudson and his crew are at their game of nine pins ; and it is a common wish of all henpecked husbands in the neighbourhood, when life hangs heavy on their hands, that they might have a quieting draught out of Rip Van Winkle's flagon.' pp. 91-92. • We have made rather large extracts from this facetious legend—and yet have mangled it a little in our abridgement. But it seemed fair and courteous not to stint a stranger on his first introduction to our pages; and what we have quoted, we are persuaded, will justify all that we have said in his favour.
We shall now make another long extract from a paper of a very different character; an essay on the temper in which recent English writers have spoken of America. The tone of the author upon this delicate subject is admirable-and the substance of his observations so unanswerably just and reasonable, that we cannot help thinking that they will produce beneficial effects, in both the countries to which they relate. He begins by observing, that notwithstanding the great intercourse which subsists between the two countries, there is no people con• cerning whom the great mass of the British public has less ď pure information, or entertains more numerous prejudices.' And this he explains, in part, by suggesting that
• It has been the peculiar lot of our country to bé visited by the worst kind of English travellers. While men of philosophical spirit and cultivated minds have been envoys from England to ransack the poles, to penetrate the deserts, and to study the manners and customs of barbarous nations, with which she can have no permanent intercourse of profit or pleasure; it has been left to the broken down tradesman, the scheming adventurer, the wandering mechanic, the Manchester and Birmingham agent, to be her oracles .respecting America. From such sources she is content to receive her information respecting a country in a singular state of moral and physical development: a country in which one of the greatest political experiments in the history of the world is now performing, and which presents the most profound and momentous studies to the statesman and the philosopher.' pp. 99–100.
What follows, however, is of infinitely greater importance and we have the less scruple in borrowing largely from this part of the work before us, that we should otherwise have felt it our duty to endeavour, in our own words, to inculcate the same doctrines --most probably with less authority, at least on our side of the water, and certainly with less elegance and force of writing.
I shall not, however, dwell on this irksome and hackneyed topic; nor should I have adverted to it, but for the undue interest apparently taken in it by my countrymen, and certain injurious effects which I apprehended it might produce upon the national feeling. We attach too much consequence to these attacks. They cannot do us any essential injury. The tissue of misrepresentations attempted to be woven round us, are like cobwebs woven round the limbs of an infant giant. Our country continually outgrows them. One falsehood after another falls off of itself. We have but to live on, and every day we live a whole volume of refutation. All the writers of England united, if we could for a moment suppose their great minds stooping to so unworthy a combination, could not conceal our rapidly-growing importance and matchless prosperity. They could not conceal that these are owing, not merely to physical and local, but also to moral causes. To the political liberty, the general diffusion of knowledge, the prevalence of sound moral and religious principles, which give force and sustained energy to the character of a people; and in fact, have been the acknowledged and wonderful supporters of their own national power and glory.
• For ourselves, therefore, it is comparatively of but little importance whether England does us justice or not : it is, perhaps, of far more importance to herself. She is instilling anger and resentment into the bosom of a youthful nation, to grow with its growth, and strengthen with its strength. If in America, as some of her writers are labouring to convince hier, she is hereafter to find an invidious rival, and a gigantic foe, she may thank those very writers for having provoked rivalship, and irritated hostility. Every one knows the allpervading influence of literature at the present day, and how much! the opinions and passions of mankind are under its control. The
mere contests of the sword are temporary; their wounds are but in the flesh, and it is the pride of the generous to forgive and forget them; but the slanders of the pen pierce to the heart; they rankle longest in the noblest spirits ; they dwell ever present in the mind, and render it morbidly sensitive to the most trifling collision. It is but seldom that any one overt act produces hostilities between two nations; there exists, most commonly, a previous jealousy and ill will; a predisposition to take offence. Trace these to their cause, and how often will they be found to originate in the mischievous effusions of mercenary writers, who, secure in their closets, and for ignominious bread, concoct and circulate the venom that is to inflame the generous and the brave.
· I am not laying too much stress upon this point; for it applies most emphatically to our particular case. Over no nation does the press hold a more absolute control than over the people of America; for the universal education of the poorest classes makes every individual a reader. There is nothing published in England on the subject of our country, that does not circulate through every part of it. There is not a calumpy dropt from an English pen, nor an unworthy sarcasm uttered by an English statesman, that does not go to blight good will, and add to the mass of latent resentment. Possessing, then, as England does, the fountainhead from whence the literature of the language flows, how completely is it in her power, and how truly is it her duty, to make it the medium of amiable and magnanimous feeling a stream where the two nations might meet together, and drink in peace and kindness. Should she, however, persist in turning it to waters of bitterness, the time may come when she may repent her folly. The present friendship of America may be of but little moment to her ; but the future destinies of that country do not admit of a doubt; over those of England there lower some shadows of uncertainty. Should, then, a day of gloom arrive ; should those reverses overtake her, from which the proudest empires have not been exempt; she may look back with regret at her infatuation, in repulsing from her side a nation she might have grappled to her bosom, and thus destroying her only chance for real friendship beyond the boundaries of her own dominions.
• There is a general impression in England, that the people of the United States are inimical to the parent country. It is one of the errors which have been diligently propagated by designing writers. There is, doubtless, considerable political hostility, and a general soreness at the illiberality of the English press; but, collectively speaking, the prepossessions of the people are strongly in favour of England. Indeed, at one time they amounted, in many parts of the Union, to an absurd degree of bigotry. The bare name of Englishman was a passport to the confidence and hospitality of every family, and too often gave a transient currency to the worthless and the ungrateful. Throughout the country there was something of enthusiasm connected with the idea of England. We looked to it with a
hallowed feeling of tenderness and veneration, as the land of our forefathers the angust repository of the monuments and antiouities of our race—the birtir-piace and mausoleum of the seas and berres of our paterna. nistor. After pur own country, there was none in whose glory we mort defotenone whose good opinion we were more anxious TD possess home toward which our hearts yearned with such throbbing of warm consanguinitt. Even during the late war, whenever there was the least opportunity for kind feelings to spring forth, it was the delight of the generous spirits of our country to show that, in the midst of hostilities, they stil kept alive the sparks of future friendship.
- Is all this to be at an enc? Is this golden band of kindred smpathies, so rare between nations, to be broken for ever Perhaps it is for the best-it mar dispel an illusion which might have kent us in mental vassalage, interfered occasionalr with our true interests, and prevented the growth of proper national pride. But it is hard to give up the kindred tie! and there are feelings dearer than inte rest-closer to the heart than pride—that will still make us cast hack a look of regret, as we wander farther and farther from the paternal roof, and lament the waywardness of the parent, that would repel the affections of the child.
* Shortsighted and injudicions, however, as the condact of Eng. land may be in this system of aspersion, recrimination on our part would be equally ill-judged. I speak Dot of a prompt and spirited vindication of our country, or the keenest castigation of her slander ers—but I allode to a disposition to retaliate in kind, to retort ser casm and inspire prejudice, which seems to be spreading widely 2mong our writers. Let us guard particularly against such a temper, for it would double the evil, instead of redressing the wrong. Non thing is so easy and inviting as the retort of abuse and sarcasm ; but it is a paltry and unprofitable contest. It is the alternative of a morbid mind, fretted into petulance, rather than warmed into indig nation. If England is willing to permit the mean jealousies of trade, or the rancorous animosities of politics, to deprave the integrity of her press, and poison the fountain of public opinion, let us beware of her example. She may deem it her interest to diffuse error, and engender antipathy, for the purpose of checking emigration ; we have no purpose of the kind to serve. Neither have we any spirit of national jealousy to gratify; for as yet, in all our rivalships with EngJand, we are the rising and the gaining party. There can be no end to answer, therefore, but the gratification of resentment- mere Epirit of retaliation, and even that is impotent. Our retorts are never republished in England; they fall short, therefore, of their aim ; but they foster a querulous and peevish temper among our writers; they sour the sweet flow of our early literature, and sow thorns and brambles among its blossoms. What is still worse, they circulate through our own country, and, as far as they have effect, excite yirulent national prejudices. This last is the evil most especially to