Legend Of Sleepy Hollow

Chapter III.
Wooing and Wedding.

THE domestic life of the Dutch settlers flowed on in a smooth-running and rather dull stream, varying little through either honor-bearing or discreditable incident from day to day. Any turbulence of dissension or divorce between husband and wife was apparently little known and certainly little noted. Occasionally an entry which tells of temporary division or infelicity can be unearthed from the dingy pages of some old court-record, thereby disclosing a scene and actors so remote, so shadowy, so dimmed with the dust of centuries, that the incident often bears no semblance of having happened to real living folk, but seems rather to pertain to a group of inanimate puppets. One of these featureless, colorless, stiff Dutch marionettes is Anneke, the daughter of boisterous old Domine Schaets, the first minister at Fort Orange. A fleeting glimpse of her marital infelicity is disclosed through the record of her presence in Albany under the shadow of some unexplained and now forgotten scandal. To satisfy her father’s virtuous and severe congregation, she refrained from contaminating attendance at Communion. The domine resented this condition of affairs, and refused to appear before the Consistory though summoned four times by the bode. He persisted in irritatingly “ripping up new differences and offences; “and he disregarded with equal scorn the summons of a magistrate to appear before the Court; and he was therefore suspended from his clerical office. All was at last “arranged in love and friendship,” leaving out the dispute about “Universal Grace,” which I suppose could not be settled; but daughter Anneke was ordered off to New York to her husband, “with a letter of recommendation; and as she was so headstrong, and would not depart without the Sheriff’s and Constable’s interference, her disobedience was annexed to the letter.” It is pleasing to know, from the record of an “Extraordinary Court holden in Albany” a month later, — in July, 1681, — of a very satisfactory result in the affairs of the young couple.


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