6 The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
of the farmers whose children he instructed. With these he lived successively a week at a time; thus going the rounds of the neighbor-
hood, with all his worldly effects tied up in a cotton handkerchief. That all this might not be too onerous on the purses of his rustic
patrons, who are apt to consider the costs of schooling a grievous burden, and schoolmasters as mere drones, he had various ways of
rendering himself both useful and agreeable. He assisted the farmers occasionally in the lighter labors of their farms : helped to make hay; mended the fences; took the horses to water; drove the cows from pasture ; and cut wood for the winter fire. He laid aside, too, all the dominant dignity and absolute sway with which he lorded it in his little empire, the school, and became wonderfully gentle and ingratiating. He found favor in the eyes of the mothers, by petting the
children, particularly the youngest; and, like the lion bold, which whilom so magnanimously the lamb did hold, he would sit with a
child on one knee, and rock a cradle with his foot for whole hours together.
In addition to his other vocations, he was the singing-master of the neighborhood, and picked up many bright shillings by instructing
the young folks in psalmody. It was a matter of no little vanity to him, on Sundays, to take his station in front of the church gallery,
with a band of chosen singers ; where, in his own mind, he completely
carried away the palm from the parson. Certain it is, his voice resounded far above all the rest of the congregation; and there are
peculiar quavers still to be heard in that church, and which may even be heard half a mile off, quite to the opposite side of the mill-pond,
on a still Sunday morning, which are said to be legitimately descended from the nose of Ichabod Crane. Thus, by divers little
makeshifts in that ingenious way which is commonly denominated
"by hook and by crook," the worthy pedagogue got on tolerably enough, and was thought, by all who understood nothing of the labor
of headwork, to have a wonderfully easy life of it.
The schoolmaster is generally a man of some importance in the
Click tabs to swap between content that is broken into logical sections.