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acquiescence; the proclamation was immediately despatched with due ceremony, having the great seal of the province, which was about the size of a buckwheat pancake, attached to it by a broad red riband. Governor Keift, having thus vented his indignation, felt greatly relieved --adjourned the council sine die-put on his cocked hat and corduroy small-clothes, and, mounting on a tall rawboned charger, trotted out to his country seat, which was situated in a sweet, sequestered swamp, now called Dutch Street, but more commonly known by the name of Dog's
Here, like the good Numa, he reposed from the toils of legislation, taking lessons in Governmment, not from the Nymph Ageria, but from the honoured wife of his bo. som ;'who was one of that peculiar kind of females, sent upon earth a little before the flood, as a punishment for the sins of mankind, and commonly known by the appellation of knowing women. In fact, my duty as an historian obliges me to make known a circumstance which was a great secret at the time, and consequently was not a subject of scandal at more than half the tea-tables of NewAmsterdam, but which, like many other great secrets, has leaked out in the lapse of years; and this was, that the great Wilhelmus the Testy, though one of the most potent little men that ever breathed, yet submitted at home to a species of government, neither laid down in Aristotle nor Plato; in short, it partook of the nature of a pure, unmixed tyranny, and is familiarly denominated petticoat government. An absolute sway, which, though exceedingly common in these modern days, was very rare among the ancients, if we may judge from the rout made about the domestic economy of honest Socrates, which is the only ancient case on record.
The great Kieft, however, warded off all the sneers and sarcasms of his particular friends, who are ever ready to joke with a man on sore points of the kind, by alleging it was a government of his own election, to which he submitted through choice; adding, at the same time, a profound maxim which he had found in an ancient author, that "he who would aspire to govern, should first learn to obey."
This was one Dirk Schuiler (or Skulker,) a kind of hanger-on to the garrison, who seemed to belong to no body, and in a manner to be self-outlawed. He was one of those vagabond cosmopolites, who shark about the world as if they had no right or business in it; and who infest the skirts of society, like poachers and interlopers. Every garrison and country village has one or more scapegoats of this kind, whose life is a kind of enigma, whose existence is without motive, who comes from the Lord knows where, who lives the Lord knows how, and seems to be made for no other earthly purpose but to keep up the ancient and honourable order of idleness. This vagabond philosopher was supposed to have some Indian blood in his veins, which was manifested by a certain Indian complexion and cast of countenance ; but more especially by his propensities and habits. He was a tall, lank fellow, swift of foot, and long-winded. He was generally equipped in a half Indian dress, with belt, leggings, and moccasons. His hair hung in strait gallows-locks about his ears, and added not a little to his sharking demeanour. It is an old remark, that persons of Indian mixture are half civilized, half savage, and half devil; a third half being expressly provided for their particular convenience. It is for similar reasons, and probably with equal truth, that the back-wood men of Kentucky are styled half man, half horse, and half alligator by the settlers on the Mississippi, and held accordingly in great respect and abhorrence.
The above character may have presented itself to the garrison as applicable to Dirk Schuiler whom they familarly dubbed Gallows Dirk. Certain it is, he acknowledged allegiance to no one—was an utter enemy to work,
holding it in no manner of estimation-but lounged about the fort, depending upon chance for a subsistence, getting drunk whenever he could get liquor, and stealing whatever he could lay his hands on. Every day or two he was sure to get a sound rib-roasting for some of his misdemeanours, which, however, as it broke no bones, he made very light of, and scrupled not to repeat the offence whenever another opportunity presented. Sometimes, in consequence of some flagrant villainy, he would abscond from the garrison, and be absent for a month at a time; skulking about the woods and swamps, with a long fowls ing-piece on his shoulder, laying in ambush for game, or squatting himself down on the edge of a pond catching fish for hours together, and bearing no little resemblance to that notable bird ycleped the Mud-pole. When he thought his crimes had been forgotten or forgiven, he would sneak back to the fort with a bundle of skins, or a bunch of poultry, which perchance he had stolen, and would exhange them for liquor, with which, having well soaked his carcass, he would lay in the sun and enjoy all the luxurious indolence of that swinish philosopher Diogenes. He was the terror of all the farm-yards in the country, into which he made fearful inroads; and sometimes he would make his sudden appearance at the garrison at daybreak, with the whole neighbourhood at his heels, like a scoundrel thief of a fox, detected in his maraudings, and hunted to his hole. Such was this Dirk Schuiler; and from the total indifference he showed to this world or its concerns, and from his truly Indian stoicism and taciturnity, no one would ever have dreamed that he would have been the publisher of the treachery of Risingh.
When the carousal was going on, which proved so fatal to the brave Von Poffenburgh and his watchful garrison, Dirk skulked about from room to room, being a kind of privileged vagrant or useless hound, whom nobody noticed. "But though a fellow of few words, yet, like your taciturn people, his eyes and ears were always open, and in the course of his prowlings he overheard, the whole plot of the Swedes. Dirk immediately settled in his own mind how he should turn the matter to his own advantage. He played the perfect jack-of-both-sides ; that is to say, he made a prize of every thing that came in his reach, robbed both parties, stuck the copper-bound cocked hat of the puissant Von Poffenburgh on his head, whipped a
huge pair of Risingh's jackboots under his arm, and took to his heels just before the catastrophe and confusion at the garrison.
Finding himself completely dislodged from his haunt in this quarter, he directed his flight towards his native place, New-Amsterdam, from whence he had formerly been obliged to abscond precipitately, in consequence of misfortune in business, that is to say, having been detected in the act of sheep-stealing. After wandering many days in the woods, toiling through swamps, fording brooks, swimming various rivers, and encountering a world of hardships that would have killed any other being bu: an Indian, a back-wood man, or the devil ; he at length arrived, half-famished, and lank as a starved weasel at Communipaw, where he stole a canoe, and paddled over to New-Amsterdam. Immediately on landing, he repaired to Governor Stuyvesant, and in more words than he had ever spoken before in the whole course of his life, gave an account of the disastrous affair.
On receiving these direful tidings, the valiant Peter started from his seat, as did the stout King Arthur when at "merry Carleile," the news was brought him of the uncourteous misdeeds of the “grim barone”—without uttering a word, he dashed the pipe he was smoking against the back of the chimney, thrust a prodigious quid of negro-headed tobacco into his left cheek, pulled up his galligaskins, and strode up and down the room, humming, as was customary with him when in a passion, a hideous north-west ditty. But, as I have before shown, he was not a man to vent his spleen in idle vapouring. His first measure after the paroxysm of wrath had subsided, was to stump up stairs to a huge wouden chest, which served as his armoury, from whence he drew forth that identical suit of regimentals described in the preceding chapter. In these portentous habiliments he arrayed himself, like Achilles in the armour of Vulcan, and maintaining all the while a most appalling silence, knitting his brows, and drawing his breath through his clenched teeth. Being hastily equipped, he strode down into the parlour, jerked down his trusty sword from over the fire-place, where it was usually suspended; but before he girded it on his thigh he drew it from its scabbard, and as his eye coursed along the rusty blade, a grim smile stole over his iron visage. It was the first smile that had visited his countenance for five long weeks; but every one who beheld
it prophesied that there would soon be warm work in the province !
Thus armed at all points, with grisly war depicted in each feature, his very cocked hat assuming an air of uncommon defiance, he instantly put himself on the alert, and despatched Anthony Van Corlear hither and thither. this way and that way, through all the muddy streets and crooked lanes of the city, summoning by sound of trumpet his trusty peers to assemble in instant council. This done, by way of expediting matters, according to the custom of people in a hurry, he kept in continual bustle, shifting from chair to chair, popping bis head out of every window, and stumping up and down stairs with his wooden leg in such brisk and incessant motion, that, as we are informed by an authentic historian of the times, the continual clatter bore no small resemblance to the music of a cooper hooping a flour barrel.
Description of the powerful Army that assembled at the
City of New-Amsterdam-together with the interview between Peter the Headstrong and General Von Poffenburgh ; and Peter's Sentiments respecting unfortu
nate great Men. While thus the enterprising Peter was coasting, with flowing sail, up the shores of the lordly Hudson, and arousing all the phlegmatic little Dutch settlements upon its borders, a great and puissant concourse of warriors was assembling at the city of New-Amsterdam. And here that invaluable fragment of antiquity, the Stuyvesant manuscript, is more than commonly particular; by which means I am enabled to record the illustrious host that encamped itself on the public square, in front of the fort, at present denominated the Bowling Green.
In the centre then was pitched the tents of the men of battle of the Manhattoes; who, being the inmates of the metropolis, composed the life-guards of the governor.
These were commanded by the valiant Stoffel Brinkerhoof, who whilome had acquired such immortal fame at Oyster Bay—they displayed as a standard, a beaver rampant on a field of orange; being the arms of the province,