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woman pressed through the throng to get a peep at the greybearded 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 116 of recollections in his mind. „What is your name, my good woman?“ asked he.
„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 died but a short time since; she broke a bloodvessel in a fit of passion at 117 a New-England 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 he — „Young Rip Van Winkle once - old Rip Van Winkle now! - Does nobody know poor Rip Van Winkle ?"
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 minute, 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 ?".
Rip's story was soon told, for the whole twenty years had been to him but as one night. . The neighbours stared 118 when they heard it; some were seen to wink at each other, and put their tongues in their cheeks 119; and the self-important man in the cocked hat, who, when the alarm was over, had returned to the field, screwed down the corners of his mouth and shook his head — upon which there was a general shaking of the head throughout the assemblage.
117) fit of passion at = Anfall von Zorn über: at zur Bezeichnung der Ursache nach Affectsausdrücken.
118) to stare (dtsch. starren v, dem starren festen Blick, vergl. unser nhd. Staar für d. Augenkrankheit) = grosse Augen machen.
119) Zeichen des Unglaubens und Spottes.
It was determined, however, to take the opinion of old Peter Vanderdonk, who was seen slowly advancing up the road. He was a descendant of the historian of that name, who wrote one of the earliest accounts of the province. Peter was the most ancient inhabitant of the village, and well versed in all the wonderful events and traditions of the neighbourhood. He recollected Rip at once, and corroborated his story in the most satisfactory manner. He assured the company that it was a fact, handed down from his ancestor the historian, that the Kaatskill mountains had always been haunted by strange beings. That it was affirmed that the great Hendrick Hudson, the first discoverer of the river and country, kept a kind of vigil there every twenty years, with his crew of the Ilalf-moon; being permitted in this way to revisit the scenes of his enterprise, and keep a guardian eye upon the river, and the great city called by his name 120. That his father had once seen them in their old Dutch dresses playing at nine-pins in a hollow of the mountain; and that he himself had heard, one summer afternoon, the sound of their balls, like distant peals of thunder.
To make a long story short, the company broke up, and returned to the more important concerns of the election. Rip's daughter took him home to live with her; she had a snug, well-furnished house, and a stout cheery farmer for a husband, whom Rip recollected for one of the urchins that used to climb upon his back. As to Rip's son and heir, who was the ditto 121 of himself, seen leaning against the tree, he was employed to work on the farm ; but evinced an hereditary disposition to attend to any thing else but his business.
120) Hendrik Hudson, englischer Seefahrer, unternahm im J. 1609 auf Kosten der Ostindischen Compagnie in Holland eine Entdeckungsfahrt, um westlich von der Davisstrasse eine Durchfahrt zu suchen, traf unter dem 440 nördl. Breite auf das amerikanische Festland und entdeckte, sich nach Süden wendend, die Mündung des nach ihm benannten Hudsonflusses. Auf einer vierten Reise (1610), auf der er die nach ihm benannte Hudsonsstrasse und Hudsonsbai entdeckte, wurde er von seiner meuterischen Mannschaft sammt seinem Sohn und 7 Matrosen in eine Schaluppe geworfen, die alsdann den Wellen preisgegeben wurde. Alle Nachforschungen, die man nach ihm anstellte, blieben erfolglos. - Die nach ihm benannte Stadt Hudson liegt am gleichnamigen Fluss, an der oberen Grenze der Schiffahrt desselben für Seeschille. Sie war früher bedeutend an dem Handel mit Westindien betheiligt, in neuerer Zeit hat sie sich mehr dem Walfischfang zugewendet; jetzt ca. 7000 Einwohner.
121) ditto (ital. detto v. lat. dictum) = that which has been said; the aforesaid thing; the same thing Ebenbild; Smart führt das Wort nur als Adverb auf.
Rip now resúmed his old walks and habits; he soon found many of his former cronies, though all rather the worse for the wear and tear of time 12?; and preferred making friends among the rising generation, with 123 whom he soon grew into great favour.
Having nothing to do at home, and being arrived at that happy age when a man can do nothing with impunity, he took his place once more on the bench at the inn door, and was reverenced as one of the patriarchs of the village, and a chronicle of the old times „before the war“. It was some time before he could get into the regular track of gossip, or could be made to 124 comprehend the strange events that had taken place during his torpor. How that 125 there had been a revolutionary war — that the country had thrown off the yoke of Old England - and that, instead of being a subject of his Majesty George the Third, he was now a free citizen of the United States. Rip, in fact, was no politician; the changes of states and empires made but little impression on him; but there was one species of despotism under which he had long groaned, and that was
- petticoat government 126. Happily that was at an end; he had got his neck out of the yoke of matrimony, and could go in and out whenever he pleased, without dreading the tyranny of Dame Van Winkle. Whenever her name was mentioned, however, he shook his head, shrugged his shoulders, and cast up his eyes 127, which might pass either for an expression of resignation to his fate, or joy at his deliverance.
122) dtsch, etwa: obgleich die Zeit alle ziemlich hart mitgenommen hatte, nicht spurlos an ihnen vorüber gegangen war; the wear (wörtl. das Abtragen, Abnutzen) and tear (wörtl. das Reissen, der Riss) = Abnutzung.
123) vergl. S. 45, Ann. 71.
125) Ueber how that sagt Webster: With a following that, it (viz. how) is superfluous, and no longer in good use. --- That, ursprüngl. das demonstrative neutrale Fürwort bät, gieng dann in relative Bedeutung über und kann gleich dem griech. őri, lat. quod, franz. span. port. que, it. che als Satz-Relativ bezeichnet werden. So kommt es in Verbindung mit Partikeln vor, sowie mit interrogativen und relativen Wortformen, wie how, why, whether, where, when, who, what, which u. mit as, doch hat sich diese Verbindung fortschreitend im Neuenglischen vermindert. Zu how that vergl. das altfranz. com que. Vergl. Mätzner, Engl. Gr. III, p. 411--418.
126) petticoat (wörtl. Unterrock) –g'overnment = Pantoffelherrschaft.
127) he shook his head, shrugged his shoulders, and cast up his eyes : der Verfasser gebraucht hier absichtlich dieselben Worte wie S. 41, Zl. 10.
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 128 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 hen-pecked 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.
NOTE. The foregoing Tale, one would suspect, had been suggested to Mr. Knickerbocker by a little German legend about the Emperor Frederick der Rothbart, and the Kyffhäuser mountain: the subjoined note, however, which he had appended to the tale, shows that it is an absolute fact, narrated with his usual fidelity:
„The story of Rip Van Winkle may seem incredible to many, but nevertheless I give it my full belief; for I know the vicinity of our old Dutch settlements to have been 129 very subject to marvellous events and appearances. Indeed I have heard many stranger stories than this in the villages along the Hudson; all of which are too well authenticated to admit of a doubt. I have even talked with Rip Van Winkle myself, who, when last I saw him, was a very venerable old man, and so perfectly rational and consistent on every other point, that I think no conscientious person could refuse to take this into the bargain; nay, I have seen a certificate on the subject taken before a country justice, and signed with a cross, in the justice's own hand-writing. The story, therefore, is beyond the possibility of doubt.
128) Zu not a man but vergl. S. 4, Anm. 24.
129) I know the vicinity ... to have been : Accusativ mit dem Jofinitiv: Ich weiss, dass die Nachbarschaft ... gewesen ist.
„Methioks I see in my mind a noble and puissant nation, rousing herself like a strong man after sleep, and shaking her invincible locks; methinks I see her as an eagle, mewing her mighty youth', and kindling her endazzled eyes at the full midday beam“.
Milton on the Liberty of the Press 2. It is with feelings of deep regret that I observe the literary animosity: daily growing up between England and America. Great curiosity has been awakened of late with respect to the United States, and the London press has teemed with volumes of travels through the Republic; but they seem intended to diffuse error rather than knowledge; and so successful have they been, that, notwithstanding the constant intercourse between the nations, there is no people concerning whom the great mass of the British public have less pure information, or entertain more numerous prejudices.
English travellers are the best and the worst in the world. Where no motives of pride or interest intervene, none can equal them for profound and philosophical views of society, or faithful and graphical descriptions of external objects; but when either the interest or reputation of their own country comes in collision with that of another, they go to the opposite extreme, and forget their usual probity and candour, in the indulgence of spleen, and an illiberal spirit of ridicule 4.
Hence, their travels are more honest and accurate, the more remote the country described. I would place implicit confidence in an Englishman's description of the regions beyond
1) to mew mausern; abwerfen (d. Federn, d. Geweih) (fr. muer sich mausern, altfr. verändern, lat. mutare verändern, mhd. mûzen, nhd. mauszen, mausero); an eagle, mewing her mighty youth: ein Adler, der sein mächtiges Jugendgefieder wechselt.
2) Aus John Milton's (1608-1674) bedeutendstem seiner prosaischen Werke, Areopagitica, a Speech for the Liberty of Unlicensed Printing (1664). — Erst im Jahre 1694 wurde in England die Censur auf
3) Die abstracten Substantiva auf sis, sy u. osity haben scharfes s.
4) of spleen and an ill. spirit of rid. sind objective Genetive zu indulgence.