In Washington Irving's lightly satiric story, when Rip van Winkle returns from his long sleep, he learns that the American Revolution has taken place, and his wife has died: Freedom has been achieved on two fronts. But, Irving writes,
There was as usual a crowd of folk about the door; but none that Rip recollected. The very character of people seemed changed. There was a busy bustling disputatious tone about it, instead of the accustomed phlegm and drowsy tranquility. He looked in vain for the sage Nicholaus Vedder...uttering clouds of toascco smoke instead of idle speeches. or VanBummel the schoolmaster doling forth the contents of an ancient newspaper. In place of these a lean bilious-looking fellow with his pockets full of handbills, was haranging vehemently about rights of citizens--elections--member of Congress--liberty--Bunker's hill--heroes of seventy-six,--and other words which were a perfect Babylonish jargon to the bewildered van Winkle.
As a Romantic writer, Irving...
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