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men, whose victories are only confined to the bloodless field of argument, he was always ready to enforce his hardy words by no less hardy deeds. His speeches were generally marked by a simplicity approaching to bluntness, and by truly categorical decision. Addressing the grand council, he touched briefly upon the perils and hardships he had sustained, in escaping from his crafty foes. He next reproached the council for wasting in idle debate and party feuds that time which should have been devoted to their country. He was particularly indignant at those brawlers, who, conscious of individual security, had disgraced the councils of the province, by impotent hectorings and scurrilous invectives, against a noble and powerful enemy-those cowardly curs who were incessant in their barkings and yelpings at the lion, while distant or asleep, but the moment he approached, were the first to skulk away. He now called on those who had been so valiant in their threats against Great Britain, to stand forth and support their vauntings by their actions—for it was deeds, not words, that bespoke the spirit of a nation. ceeded to recall the golden days of former prosperity, which were only to be gained by manfully withstanding their enemies; for the peace, he observed, which is effected by force of arms, is always more sure and durable than that which is patched up by temporary accommodations. He endeavoured, moreover, to arouse their martial fire, by reminding them of the time, when, before the frowning walls of fort Christina, he had led them on to victory, He strove likewise to awaken their confidence, by assuring them of the protection of St. Nicholas, who had hitherto maintained them in safety, amid all the savages of the wilderness, the witches and squatters of the east, and the giants of Merry-land. Finally, he informed them of the insolent summons he had received, to surrender; but concluded by swearing to defend the province as long as heaven was on his side, and he had a wooden leg to stand upon. Which noble sentence he emphasized by a tremendous thwack with the broad side of his sword upon the table, that totally electrified his auditors.
The privy counsellors, who had long been accustomed
to the governor's way, and in fact had been brought into as perfect discipline as were ever the soldiers of the great Frederick, saw that there was no use in saying a wordso lighted their pipes and smoked away in silence like fat and discreet counsellors. But the burgomasters being less under the governor's control, considering themselves as representatives of the sovereign people, and being moreover inflated with considerable importance and self-sufficiency, which they had acquired at those notable schools of wisdom and morality, the popular meetings were not so easily satisfied. Mustering up fresh spirit, when they found there was some chance of escaping from their present jeopardy, without the disagreeable alternative of fighting, they requested a copy of the summons to surrender, that they might show it to a general meeting of the people.
So insolent and mutinous a request would have been enough to have aroused the gorge of the tranquil Van Twiller himself—what then must have been its effects upon the great Stuyvesant, who was not only a Dutchman, a governor, and a valiant wooden-legged soldier to boot, but withal a man of the most stomachful and gunpowder disposition. He burst forth into a blaze of noble indignation, to which the famous rage of Achilles was a mere pouting fit-wore not a mother's son of them should see a syl: lable of it—that they deserved, every one of them, to be hanged, drawn, and quartered, for traitorously daring to question the infallibility of government; that as to their advice and concurrence, he did not care a whiff of tobacco for either; that he had long been harassed and thwarted by their cowardly councils; but that they might thenceforth go home, and go to bed like old women, for he was determined to defend the colony himself, without the assistance of them or their adherents! So saying he tucked his sword under his arm, cocked his hat upon his head, and girding up his loins, stumped indignantly out of the council-chamber, every body making room for him as he passed.
No sooner had he gone than the busy burgomasters called a public meeting in front of the Stadt-house, where
they appointed as chairman one Dofue Roerback, a mighty gingerbread-baker in the land, and formerly of the cabinet of William the Testy: He was looked up to with great reverence by the populace, who considered him a man of dark knowledge, seeing he was the first that imprinted new-year cakes with the mysterious hieroglyphics of the cock and breeches, and such like magical devices.
This great burgomaster, who still chewed the cud of ill will against the valiant Stuyvesant, in consequence of having been ignominiously kicked out of his cabinet at the time of his taking the reins of government, addressed the greasy multitude in what is called a patriotic speech; in which he informed them of the courteous summons to surrender-of the governor's refusal to comply therewith of his denying the public a sight of the summons, which, he had no doubt, contained conditions highly to the honour and advantage of the province.
He then proceeded to speak of his excellency in high sounding terms, suitable to the dignity and grandeur of his station, comparing him to Nero, Caligula, and those other great men of yore, who are generally quoted by popular orators on similar occasions. Assuring the people that the history of the world did not contain a despotic outrage to equal the present for atrocity, cruelty, tyranny, and blood-thirstiness; that it would be recorded in letters of fire on the blood-stained tablet of history! that ages would roll back with sudden horror, when they came to view it! That the womb of time-(by the way your orators and writers take strange liberties with the womb of time, though some would fain have us believe that time is an old gentleman)--that the womb of time, pregnant as it was with direful horrors, would never produce a parallel enormity!_with a variety of other heart-rending, soul-stirring tropes and figures, which I cannot enumerate. Neither, indeed need 1, for they were exactly the same that are used in all popular harangues and patriotic orations at the present day, and may be classed in rhetoric under the general title of RIGMAROLE.
The speech of this inspired burgomaster being finished, the meeting fell into a kind of popular fermentation, which
produced not only a string of right wise resolutions, but likewise a most resolute memorial, addressed to the governor, remonstrating at his conduct; which was no sooner handed to him, than he handed it into the fire; and thus deprived posterity of an invaluable document, that might have served as a precedent to the enlightened cobblers and tailors of the present day; in their sage intermeddlings with politics.
THE WIDOW AND HER SON.
DURING my residence in the country, I used frequently to attend at the old village church. Its shadowy aisles, its mouldering monuments, its dark oaken pannelling, all reverend with the gloom of departed years, seemed to fit it for the haunt of solemn meditation. A Sunday, too, in the country, is so holy in its repose; such a pensive quiet reigns over the face of nature, that every restless passion is charmed down, and we feel all the natural religion of the soul gently springing up within us.
“ Sweet day, so pure, so calm, so bright,
The bridal of the earth and sky." I do not pretend to be what is called a devout man; but there are feelings that visit me in a country church, amid the beautiful serenity of nature, which I experience no where else; and if not a more religious, I think I am a better man on Sunday, than on any other day of the
But in this church I felt myself continually thrown back upon the world by the frigidity and pomp of the poor worms around me. The only being that seemed thoroughly to feel the humb and prostrate piety of a true Christian, was a poor decrepid old woman, bending under the weight of years and infirmities. She bore, the traces of something better then abject poverty.
The lingerings of decent pride were visible in her appearance. Her dress, though humble in the extreme, was scrupuLously clean. Some trivial respect, too, had been award,
ed her, for she did not take her seat among the village poor, but sat alone on the steps of the altar. She seemed to have survived all love, all friendship, all society; and to have nothing left her but the hopes of heaven. When I saw her feebly rising and bending her aged form in prayer-habitually conning her prayer book, which her palsied hand and failing eyes would not permit her to read, but which she evidently knew by heart-I felt persuaded that the faultering voice of that poor to heaven far before the responses of the clerk, the swell of the organ, or the chanting of the choir.
I am fond of loitering about country churches, and this was so delightfully, situated, that it frequently attracted me. It stood on a knoll, round which a small stream made a beautiful bend, and then wound its way through a long reach of soft meadow scenery. The church was surrounded by yew trees which seemed almost coeval with itself. Its tall gothic'spire shot up lightly from among them, with rooks and crows generally wheeling about it. I was seated there one still sunny morning, watching two labourers who were digging a grave. They had chosen one of the most remote and neglected corners of the church-yard; where, from the number of pameless graves around, it would appear that the indigent and friendless were huddled into the earth. I was told that the new made grave was for the only son of a poor widow. While I was nieditating on the distinctions of worldly Tank, which extend thus down into the very dust, the toH of the bell announced the approach of the funeral. They were the obsequies of poverty, with which pride had nothing to do. A coffin of the plainest materfals, without pall or other covering, was borne by some of the villagers. The sexton walked before with an air of cold indifference. There were no mock mourners in the trappings of affected woe; but there was one real mourner who feebly tottered after the corpse. It was the aged mother of the deceased the poor old woman whom I had seen seated on the steps of the altar. She was supported by a humble friend, who was endeavouring to comfort her. A few of the neighbouring poor