20 The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
on the woody crests of the precipices that overhung some parts of the
river, giving greater depth to the dark-gray and purple of their rocky sides. A sloop was loitering in the distance, dropping slowly down
with the tide, her sail hanging uselessly against the mast; and as the
reflection of the sky gleamed along the still water, it seemed as if the
vessel was suspended in the air.
It was toward evening- that Ichabod arrived at the castle of the Heer Van Tassel, which he found thronged with the pride and flower
of the adjacent country: old farmers, a spare leathern-faced race, in homespun coats and breaches, blue stockings, huge shoes, and
magnificent pewter buckles ; their brisk withered little dames, in close-crimped caps, long-waisted shortgowns, homespun petticoats, with
scissors and pin-cushions, and gay calico pockets hanging on the outside ; buxom lasses, almost as antiquated as their mothers, excepting where a straw hat, a fine ribbon, or perhaps a white frock, gave
symptoms of city innovation ; the sons, in short square-skirted coats, with rows of stupendous brass buttons, and their hair generally queued
in the fashion of the times, especially if they could procur ean eel-skin
for the purpose, it being esteemed, throughout the country, as a potent
nourisher and strengthener of the hair.
Brom Bones, however, was the hero of the scene, having come to the gathering on his famous steed, Daredevil, a creature, like himself, full of mettle and mischief, and. which no one but himself could manage. He was, in fact, noted for preferring vicious animals, given to all kinds of tricks, which kept the rider in constant risk of his neck,
for he held a tractable well-broken horse as unworthy of a lad of spirit.
Fain would I pause to dwell upon the world of charms that burst
upon the enraptured gaze of my hero, as he entered the state parlor
of Van Tassel's mansion. Not those of the bevy of buxom lasses,
with their luxurious display of red and white; but the ample charms
of a genuine Dutch country tea-table, in the sumptuous time of autumn. Such heaped-up platters of cakes of various and indescribable
kinds, known only to experienced Dutch housewives! There was the
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