Some of the damsels mounted on pillions behind their favorite swains, and their light-hearted laughter, mingling with the clatter of hoofs, echoed along the silent woodlands, sounding fainter and fainter, until they gradually died away, --and the late scene of noise and frolic was all silent and deserted.
As the enraptured Ichabod fancied all this, and as he rolled his great green eyes over the fat meadow lands, the rich fields of wheat, of rye, of buckwheat, and Indian corn, and the orchards burdened with ruddy fruit, which surrounded the warm tenement of Van Tassel, his heart yearned after the damsel who was to inherit these domains, and his imagination expanded with the idea, how they might be readily turned into cash, and the money invested in immense tracts of wild land, and shingle palaces in the wilderness.
He, seeing this grotesque figure clad in armour that did not match any more than his saddle, bridle, lance, buckler, or corselet, was not at all indisposed to join the damsels
in their manifestations of amusement; but, in truth, standing in awe of such a complicated armament, he thought it best to speak him fairly, so he said, "Senor Caballero, if your worship wants lodging, bating the bed (for there is not one in the inn) there is plenty of everything else here.
So a vessel was got ready, and rigged with black sails; and Theseus, with six other young men, and seven tender and beautiful damsels
, came down to the harbor to embark.
The young men were similarly employed; and the fair damsels
, including Fayaway, were anointing themselves with 'aka', arranging their long tresses, and performing other matters connected with the duties of the toilet.
The ladies of the court ignored his existence, while, as for those wandering damsels
who came periodically to Camelot to complain of the behaviour of dragons, giants, and the like, and to ask permission of the king to take a knight back with them to fight their cause (just as, nowadays, one goes out and calls a policeman), he simply had no chance.
Without doubt," he replied; then he added, with a certain emphasis,--"I am the author of it, damsels
Of a lion worthy, Or perhaps of a virtuous howl-monkey-- --But it's naught to you, Ye friendly damsels
dearly loved, At whose own feet to me, The first occasion, To a European under palm-trees, A seat is now granted.
In the middle of the wood he came upon a meadow, where a fire was burning, and in the midst of the fire, surrounded by flames, was a lovely damsel
, more beautiful than anything that Martin had ever seen, and when she saw him she called to him:
The white-robed damsel
said not a word, but danced about, just as merrily as before.
Like as it was with AEsop's damsel
, turned from a cat to a woman, who sat very demutely at the board's end, till a mouse ran before her.
But," continued the Stadtholder, "here is a young damsel
who also pretends to have found it.
Venus consented to her request and transformed her into a beautiful damsel
, so that the youth saw her and loved her, and took her home as his bride.
Such were these, doubtless--this golden-bearded man and the fair damsel
with the cold, proud face.
Then he departed from her and went to his fellows in the ship, and made him knight, and came again on the morrow for to kiss the damsel