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each of whom he patted on the head, bade him be a good boy, and gave him a penny to buy molasses candy.
The Stuyvesant manuscript makes but little further mention of the governor's adventures upon this expedition, excepting that he was received with extravagant courtesy and respect by the great council of the Amphyctions, who almost talked him to death with complimentary and congratulatory harangues. I will not detain my readers by dwelling on his negotiations with the grand council. Suffice it to mention, it was like all other negotiations—a great deal was said, and very little done : one conversation led to another-one conference begat misunderstandings which it took a dozen conferences to explain; at the end of which the parties found themselves just where they were at first; excepting that they had entangled themselves in a host of questions of etiquette, and conceived a cordial distrust of each other, that rendered their future negotiations ten times more difficult than ever.*
In the midst of all these perplexities, which bewildered the brain and incensed the ire of the sturdy Peter, who was, perhaps, of all men in the world, least fitted for diplomatic wiles, he privately received the first intimation of the dark conspiracy which had been matured in the Cabinet of England.' To this was added the astounding intelligence that a hostile squadron had already sailed from England, destined to reduce the province of NewNetherlands, and that the grand council of Amphyctions had engaged to co-operate, by sending a great army tu invade New-Amsterdam by land!
Unfortunate Peter! did I not enter with sad forebodings upon this ill-starred expedition? Did I not tremble when I saw thee with no other counsellor but thine own head—with no other armour but an honest tongue, a spotless conscience, and a rusty sword-with no other protector but St. Nicholas—and no other attendant but a trumpeter? Did I not tremble when I beheld thee thus sally forth to contend with all the knowing powers of New-England?
Oh how did the sturdy old warrior rage and roar, when he found himself thus intrapped, like a lion in the hunter's toil! Now did he determine to draw his trusty sword, and manfully to fight his way through all the countries of the east. Now did he resolve to break in upon the council of the Amphyctions, and put every mother's son of them to death. At length, as his direful wrath subsided, he resorted to safer though less glorious expedients.
* For certain of the particulars of this ancient negotiation, sce Haz. Col. State Pap. li is singular that Smith is entirely silent with respect to this memorable expedition of Peter Stuyvesant.
Concealing from the council his knowledge of their machinations, he privately despatched a trusty messenger with missives to his counsellors at New-Amsterdam, apprising them of the impending danger, commanding them immediately to put the city in a posture of defence, while in the mean time he would endeavour to elude his enemies and come to their assistance. This done, he felt himself mar vellously relieved, ruse slowly, shook himself like a rhinoceros, and issued forth from his den, in much the same manner as Giant Despair is described to have issued from Doubting Castle, in the chivalric history of the Pilgrim's Progress.
And how much does it grieve me that I must leave the gallant Peter in this imminent jeopardy: but it behoves us to hurry back and see what is going on at New-Amsterdam, for greatly do I fear that city is already in a turmoil. Such was ever the fate of Peter Stuyvesant; while doing one thing with heart and soul, he was too apt to leave every thing else at sixes and sevens. While, like a potentate of yore, he was absent attending to those things in person, which in modern days are trusted to generals and ambassadors, his little territory at home was sure to get in an uproar-all which was owing to that uncommon strength of intellect, which induced hiin to trust to nobody but himself, and which had acquired him the renowned appellation of Peter the Headstrong.
How the People of New-Amsterdam were thrown into a
great Panic by the News of a threatened Invasion : and the Manner in which they fortified themselves.
There is no sight more truly interesting to a philosopher than to contemplate a community where every individual has a voice in public affairs, where every individual thinks himself the Atlas of the nation, and where every individual thinks it is duty to bestir himself for the good
of his country.— I say, there is nothing more interesting to a philosopher than to see such a community in a sudden bustle of war. Such a clamour of tongues, such a bawling of patriotism, such running hither and thither, every body in a hurry, every body up to the ears in trouble, every body in the way, and every body interrupting his industrious neighbour, who is busily employed in doing nothing! It is like witnessing a great fire, where every man is at work like a hero; some dragging about empty engines ! others scampering with full buckets, and spilling the contents into the boots of their neighbour'; and others ringing the church bells at night, by way of putting out the fire. Little firemen, like sturdy little knights storming a breach, clambering up and duwn scaling-ladders, and bawling through tin trumpets, by way of directing the attack. Here one busy fellow, in his great zeal to save the property of the unfortunate, catches up an anonymous chamber utensil, and gallants it off with an air of as much self-importance, as if he had rescued a pot of money; another throws looking glasses and china out of the window, to save them from the flames; while those, who can do nothing else to assist the great calamity, run up and down the streets with open throats, keeping up an incessant cry of-Fire! Fire! Fire!
“When the news arrived at Sinope," says the grave and profound Lucian, though I own the story is rather trite, “that Philip was about to attack them, the inhabitants were thrown into violent alarm. Some ran to furbish up their arms; others rolled stones to build up the walls; every body, in short, was employed, and every body was in the way of his neighbour. Diogenes alone was the only man who could find nothing to do; whereupon, determining not to be idle when the welfare of his country was at stake, he tucked up his robe, and fell to rolling his tub with might and main, up and down the Gymnasium.” In like manner did every mother's son, in the patriotic community of New-Amsterdam, on receiving the missives of Peter Stuyvesant, busy himself most mightily in putting things into confusion, and assisting the general uproar. “Every man,” saith the Stuyvesant manuscript,“flew to arms!" By which is meant, that not one of our honest Dutch citizens would venture to church or to market, without an old fashioned spit of a sword dangling at his side, and a long Dutch fowlingpiece on his shoulder; nor would he go out of a night without a lantern! nor turn a corner without first peeping cautiously round, lest he should come unawares upon a British army; and we are informed, that Stoffel Brin. kerhoff, who was considered by the old women almost as brave a man as the governor himself, actually had two one-pound swivels mounted in his entry, one pointing out at the front door and the other at the back.
But the most strenuous measure resorted to on this awful occasion, and one which has since been found of wonderful efficacy, was to assemble popular meetings. These brawling convocations, I have already shown, were extremely offensive to Peter Stuyvesant; but as this was a moment of unusual agitation, and as the old governor was not present to repress them, they 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 ad
dresses 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 unskillfulness 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 thick
en-Showing the bravery, in Time of Peril, of a Pro
ple who defend themselves by Resolutions. LIKE as an assemblage of politic cats, engaged in clamo rous gibberings and catterwaulings, eyeing one another with hideous grimaces, spitting in each other's faces, and on the point of breaking forth into a general clapperclawing, are suddenly put to scampering, rout, and confusion, by the startling appearance of a house-dog-50 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 burthen, 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 marketplace, herding together with the instinct of sheep, who seek for safety in each other's company, when the shepherd