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broke out with intolerable violence. Hither, therefore, the orators and politicians repaired, and there seemed to be a competition among them who should bawl the loudest, and exceed the others in hyperbolical bursts of patriotism, and in resolutions to uphold and defend the government. In these sage and all powerful meetings it was determined, nem. con, that they were the most enlightened, the most dignified, the most formidable, and the most ancient community upon the face of the earth. Finding that this resolution was so universally and readily carried, another was immediately proposed,—Whether it were not possible and politic to exterminate Great Britain? Upon which sixty-nine members spoke most eloquently in the affirmative, and only one arose to suggest some doubts, who, as a punishment for his treasonable presumption, was immediately seized by the mob, and tarred and feathered; which punishment being equivalent to the Tarpeian Rock, he was afterwards considered as an outcast from society, and his opinion went for nothing. The question, therefore, being unanimously carried in the affirmative, it was recommended to the grand council to pass it into a law, which was accordingly done; by this measure the hearts of the people at large were wonderfully encouraged, and they waxed exceedingly choleric and valorous. Indeed, the first paroxysm of alarm having in some measure subsided, the old women having buried all the money they could lay their hands on, and their husbands daily getting fuddled with what was left-the community began even to stand on the offensive. Songs were manufactured in low Dutch, and sung about the streets, wherein the English were most wofully beaten, and shown no quarter; and popular addresses were made, wherein it was proved to a certainty, that the fate of Old England depended upon the will of the New-Amsterdammers.
Finally, to strike a violent blow at the very vitals of Great Britain, a multitude of the wiser inhabitants assembled, and having purchased all the British manufactures they could find, they made thereof a huge bonfire; and, in the patriotic glow of the moment, every man present, who had a hat or breeches of English workmanship, pulled it off, and threw it most undauntedly into the flames to the irreparable detriment, loss, and ruin of the English manufacturers. In commemoration of this great exploit, they erected a pole on the spot, with a device on the top intended to represent the province of Nieuw Nederlandts, destroying Great Britain, under the similitude of an Eagle picking the little Island of Old England out of the globe; but either through the unskilfulness of the sculptor, or his ill-timed waggery, it bore a striking resemblance to a goose vainly striving to get hold of a dumpling.
In which the Troubles of New-Amsterdam appear to
thicken—Showing the bravery, in Time of Peril, of a People who defend themselves by Resolutions.
LIKE as an assemblage of politic cats, engaged in clamorous gibberings and caterwaulings, eyeing one another with hideous grimaces, spitting in each other's faces, and on the point of breaking forth into a general clapper-clawing, are suddenly put to scampering, rout, and confusion, by the startling appearance of a house-dog-so was the no less vociferous council of New-Amsterdam amazed, astounded, and totally dispersed, by the sudden arrival of the enemy. -Every member made the best of his way home, waddling along as fast as his short legs could fag under their heavy burden, and wheezing as he went with corpulency and terror. When he arrived at his castle, he barricadoed. the street door, and buried himself in the cider cellar, without daring to peep out, lest he should have his head carried off by a cannon ball.
The sovereign people all crowded into the market place, herding together with the instinct of sheep, who seek for safety in each other's company, when the shepherd, and his dog are absent, and the wolf is prowling round the fold. Far from finding relief, however, they only increased each other's terrors. Each man looked ruefully into his neighbour's face, in search of encouragement, but only found, in its wobegone lineaments, a confirmation of his own dismay. Not a word now was to be heard of conquering Great Britain, not a whisper about the sovereign virtues of economy-while the old women heightened the general gloom, by clamorously bewailing their fate, and incessantly calling for protection on St. Nicholas and Peter Stuyvesant.
Oh, how did they bewail the absence of the lionhearted Peter!-and how did they long for the comforting presence of Anthony Van Corlear! Indeed, a gloomy uncertainty hung over the fate of these adventurous heroes. Day after day had elapsed since the alarning message from the governor, without bringing any farther tidings of his safety. Many a fearful conjecture was hazarded as to what had befallen him and his loyal squire. Had they not been devoured alive by the cannibals of Marblehead and Cape Cod? Were they not put to the question by the great council of Amphyctions? Were they not smothered in onions by the terrible men of Pyquag? In the midst of this consternation and perplexity, when horror, like a mighty night-mare, sat brooding upon the little, fat, plethoric city of New-Amsterdam, the ears of the multitude were suddenly startled by a strange and distant sound-it approached-it grew louder and louder--and now resounded at the city gate. The public could not be mistaken in the well known sound. A shout of joy burst from their lips, as the gallant Peter, covered with dust, and followed by his faithful trumpeter, came galloping into the market-place.
Toate. The public shout of joy, burdust, and foll
The first transports of the populace having subsided, they gathered round the honest Anthony, as he dismounted from his horse, overwhelming him with greetings and congratulations. In breathless accents he related to them the marvellous adventures through which the old governor and himself had gone, in making their escape from the clutches of the terrible Amphyctions. But though the Stuyvesant manuscript, with its customary minuteness where any thing touching the great Peter is concerned, is very particular as to the incidents of this masterly retreat, yet the particular state of the public affairs will not allow me to indulge in a full recital thereof. Let it suffice to say, that, while Peter Stuyvesant was anxiously revolving in his mind how he could make good his escape with honour and dignity, certain of the ships sent out for the conquest of the Manhattoes touched at the eastern ports, to obtain needful supplies, and to call on the grand council of the league for its promised co-operation. Upon hearing of this, the vigilant Peter perceiving that a moment's delay were fatal, made a secret and precipitate decampment; though much did it grieve his lofty soul, to be obliged to turn his back even upon a nation of foes. Many hair-breadth 'scapes and divers perilous mishaps did they sustain, as they scoured, without sound of trumpet, through the fair regions of the east. Already was the country in an uproar with hostile preparation, and they were obliged to take a large circuit in their flights lurking along, through the woody mountains of the Devil's Backbone; from whence the valiant Peter sallied forth one day, like a lion, and put to rout a whole legion of squatters, consisting of three generations of a prolific family, who were already on their way to take possession of some corner of the New Netherlands. Nay, the faithful Anthony had great difficulty at sundry times to prevent him, in the excess of his wrath, from descending down from the mountains, and falling sword in hand upon certain of the border-towns, who were marshalling forth their draggle-tailed militia.
The first movements of the governor, on reaching his dwelling, was to mount the roof, from whence he contemplated with rueful aspect the hostile squadron. This had already come to an anchor in the bay, and consisted of two stout frigates, having on board, as John Josselyn, Gent. informs us, “ three hundred valiant red coats.” Having taken this survey, he sat himself down and wrote an epistle to the commander, demanding his reason of anchoring in the harbour without obtaining previous permission so to do. This letter was couched in the most dignified and courteous terms, though I have it from undoubted authority, that his teeth were clenched, and he had a bitter sardonic grin upon his visage all the while he wrote. Having despatched his letter, the grim Peter stumped to and fro about the town, with a most war-betokening countenance, his hand thrust into his breeches pockets, whistling a' low Dutch Psalm tune, which bore no small resemblance to the music of a north-east wind, when a storm is brewing. The very dogs, as they eyed him, skulked away in dismay--while all the old and ugly women of New-Amsterdam ran howling at his heels, imploring him to save them from murder, robbery, and pitiless ravishment.
The reply of Col. Nicholas, who commanded the invaders, was couched in terms of equal courtesy with the letter of the governor-declaring the right and title of his British majesty to the province; where he affirmed the Dutch to be mere interlopers; and demanding that the town, forts, &'c. should be forthwith rendered into his majesty's obedience and protection
-promising at the same time, life, liberty, estate, and free trade, to every Dutch denizen, who should readily submit to his majesty's government.
Peter Stuyvesant read over this friendly epistle with some such harmony of aspect as we may suppose a crusty farmer, who has long been fattening