Rip Van Winkle: A parable

Rip Van Wrinkle, writes Washington Irving, was ‘sorely perplexed,’ and nearly everything about him, including his appearance, had changed. His musket had rusted over, his beard had grown down to his waist, and the public places he used to frequent were no longer there or were in a state of disarray. In place of his old friends, who had once issued ‘idle speeches’ and chatted away the hours, were voices emitting a ‘perfect Babylon jargon to the bewildered Van Winkle.’

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