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remained to consider was the mode of carrying his resolution into effect: and here I must do him the justice to say, that he exhibited a humanity rarely to be met with among leaders, and which I have never seen equalled in modern times, excepting among the English, in their glorious affair at Copenhagen. Willing to spare the effusion of blood, and the miseries of open warfare, he benevolently shunned every thing like avowed hostility or regular siege, and resorted to the less glorious but more merciful expedient of treachery.
Under pretence, therefore, of paying a neighbourly visit to General Von Poffenburgh, at his new post of Fort Casimir, he made requisite preparation, sailed in great state up the Delaware, displayed his flag with the most ceremonious punctilio, and honoured the fortress with a royal salute, previous to dropping anchor. The unusual noise awakened a veteran Dutch sentinel, who was napping faithfully at his post, and who having suffered his match. to go out, contrived to return the compliment, by discharging bis rusty musket with the spark of a pipe, which he borrowed from one of his comrades. The salute indeed would have been answered by the guns of the fort, had they not been unfortunately out of order, and the magazine deficient in ammunition-acci. dents to which forts have in all ages
been liable, and which were the more excusable in the present instance, as Fort Casimir had only been erected about two years, and General Von Poffenburgh, its mighty commander, had been fully occupied with matters of much greater importance.
Risingh, highly satisfied with this courteous reply to his salute, treated the fort to a second, for he well knew its commander was marvellously delighted with these little ceremonials, which he considered as so many acts of homage paid unto his greatness. He then landed in great state, attended by a suite of thirty men prodigious and vainglorious retinue, for a petty governor of a petty settlement, in those days of primitive simplicity; and to the full as great an army as generally swells the pomp and marches in the rear of our frontier commanders at the present day.
The number in fact might have awakened suspicion, had not the mind of the great Von Poffenburgh been so completely engrossed with an all-pervading idea of himself, that he had not room to admit a thought besides. In fact, he considered the concourse of Risingh's followers as a compliment to himself—so apt are great men to stand between themselves and the sun, and completely eclipse the truth by their own shadow.
It may readily be imagined how much General Von Poffenburgh was flattered by a visit from so august a personage; his only embarrassment was, how he should receive him in such a manner as to appear to the greatest advantage, and make the most advantageous impression. The main guard was ordered immediately to turn out, and the arms and regimentals (of which the garrison possessed full half a dozen suits) were equally distributed among the soldiers.
One tall lank fellow appeared in a coat intended for a small man, the skirts of which reached a little below his waist, the buttons were between his shoulders, and the sleeves half way to his wrists, so that his hands looked like a couple of huge spades; and the coat not being large enough to meet in front, was linked together by loops, made of a pair of red worsted garters. Another had an old cocked hat, stuck on the back of his head, and decorated with a bunch of cock's tails a third had a pair of rusty gaiters, hanging about his heels-while a fourth, who was a short duck-legged little Trojan, was equipped in a huge pair of the general's cast-off breeches, which he held up with one hand, while he grasped his firelock with the other. The rest were accoutred in similar style, excepting three graceless ragamuffins, who had no shirts, and but a pair and half of breeches between them, wherefore they were sent to the black-hole, to keep them out of view. There is nothing in which the talents of a prudent commander are more completely testified than in thus setting matters off to the greatest advantage; and it is for this reason that our frontier posts at the pre. sent day (that of Niagara for example,) display their best suit of regimentals on the back of the sentinel who stands in sight of travellers.
His men being thus gallantly arrayed—those who lacked muskets shouldering spades and pickaxes, and every man being ordered to tuck in his shirt tail and pull up his brogues, General Von Poffenburgh first took a sturdy draught of foaming ale, which, like the magnanimous More of Morehall, was his invariable practice on all great occasions; which done, he put himself at their head, ordered the pine planks which served as a draw bridge, to be laid down, and issued forth from his castle, like a mighty giant, just refreshed with wine. But when the two heroes met, then began a scene of warlike parade, and chivalric courtesy that beggars all description. Risingh, who, as I before hinted, was a shrewd, cunning politician, and had grown gray much before his time, in consequence of his craftiness, saw at one glance the ruling passion of the great Von Poffenburgh, and humoured him in all his valorous fantasies.
Their detachments were accordingly drawn up in front of each other; they carried arms, and they presented arms; they gave the standing salute and the passing salute:--they rolled their drums, they flourished their fifes, and they waved their colours—they faced to the left, and they faced to the right, and they faced to the right about: -they wheeled forward, and they wheeled backward, and they wheeled into enchelon :--they marched and they counter-marched by grand divisions, by single divisions, and by subdivisions-by platoons, by sections, and by files -to quick time, in slow time, and in no time at all: for, having gone through all the evolutions of two great armies, including the eighteen manquvres of Dundas; having exhausted all that they could recollect or imagine of military tactics, including sundry strange and irregular evolutions, the like of which were never seen before or since, excepting among certain of our newly raised militia--the two great commanders and their respective troops came at length to a dead halt, completely exhausted by the toils
Never did two valiant train band captains, or two buskined theatric heroes, in the renowned tragedies of Pizarro, Tom Thumb, or any other heroical and fighting tragedy, marshal their gallows-looking, duck-legged,
heavy-heeled myrmidons, with more glory and self-admiration.
These military compliments being finished, General Von Poffenburgh escorted his illustrious visitor, with great ceremony, into the fort; attended him throughout the fortifications; showed him the horn-works, crownworks, half-moons, and various other out-works; or rather the places where they ought to be erected; and where they might be erected if he pleased; plainly demonstrating that it was a place of “ great capability, and though at present but a little redoubt, yet that it evidently was a formidable fortress in embryo. This survey over, he next had the whole garrison put under arms, exercised and reviewed, and concluded by ordering the three bridewell birds to be hanled out of the black hole, brought up to the halberts, and soundly flogged for the amusement of his visitor, and to convince him that he was a great disciplinarian.
There is no error more dangerous than for a commander to make known the strength, or, as in the present case, the weakness of his garrison; this will be exemplified before I have arrived to the end of my present story, which thus carries its moral, like a roasted goose his pudding, in the very middle. The cunning Risingh, while he pretended to be struck dumb outright, with the puissance of the great Von Poffenburgh, took silent note of the incompetency of his garrison, of which he gave a hint to his trusty followers, who tipped each other the wink, and laughed most obstreperouslyin their sleeves.
The inspection, review, and flogging being concluded, the party adjourned to the table; for among his other great qualities, the general was remarkably addicted to huge entertainments, or rather carousals; and in one afternoon's campaign would leave more dead men on the field than ever he did in the whole course of his military
Many bulletins of these bloodless victories do still remain on record; and the whole province was once thrown in amaze by the return of one of his campaigns; wherein it was stated, that though, like Captain Bobadil, he had only twenty men to back him, yet, in the short
space of six months, he had conquered and utterly annihilated sixty oxen, ninety hogs, one hundred sheep, ten thousand cabbages, one thousand bushels of potatoes, one hundred and fifty kilderkins of small beer, two thousand seven hundred and thirty-five pipes, seventy-eight pounds of sugar plums, and forty bars of iron, besides sundry small meats, game, poultry, and garden stuffs. An achievement unparalleled since the days of Pantagruel and his all-devouring army; and which showed that it was only necessary to let bellipotent Von Poffenburgh and his garrison loose in an enemy's country, and in a little while they would breed a famine, and starve all the inhabitants.
No sooner, therefore, had the general received the first intimation of the visit of Governor Risingh, than he ordered a great dinner to be prepared; and privately sent out a detachment of his most experienced veterans to rob all the hen roosts in the neighbourhood, and lay the pigsties under contribution-a service to which they had been long inured, and which they discharged with such incredible zeal and promptitude, that the garrison table groaned under the weight of their spoils.
I wish, with all my heart, my readers could see the valiant Von Poffenburgh, as he presided at the head of the banquet. It was a sight worth beholding:--there he sat, in his greatest glory, surrounded by his soldiers, like that famous wine-bibber, Alexander, whose thirsty virtues he did most ably imitate; telling astonishing stories of his hair-breadth adventures and heroic exploits, at which, though all his auditors knew them to be most incontinent and outrageous gasconades, yet did they cast up their eyes in admiration, and utter many interjections of astonishment. Nor could the general pronounce any thing that bore the remotest resemblance to a joke but the stout Risingh would strike his brawny fist upon the table, till erery glass rattled again, throwing himself back in his chair, and uttering gigantic peals of laughter, swearing most horribly it was the best joke he ever heard in his life. Thus all was rout and revelı'y and hideous carousal within Fort Casimir; and so lustily did