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Part 4

At the same village and one of the aforementioned houses, in fact, was pitifully battered by years and weather, long lived ago, when the country was still a province of Britain, a good and simple man named Rip Van Winkle. He was a descendant of the Van Winkle who figured so heroically at the chivalrous days of Peter Stuyvesant, and accompanied him during the siege of Fort Christina. He had inherited very little, however, the martial character of his predecessors. I noted that it was a simple and kind-hearted man; neighbor was also attentive and docile husband, and governed by his wife. The latter circumstance was probably due gentleness of spirit that earned him universal popularity because men who are under the discipline of shrews at home are the best prepared to show obsequious and conciliators abroad.

Undoubtedly his character bends and becomes malleable in the fiery furnace of domestic tribulation; and, indeed, a rebuke alcove is more effective than all the sermons in the world to teach the virtues of patience and long-suffering. A quarrelsome wife can thus, in a way, be considered a blessing; and in this regard Rip Van Winkle was thrice blessed.

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