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borders; winding canals, with fanciful Chinese bridges ; flower-beds resembling huge baskets, with the flower of love lies bleeding” falling over to the ground. But mostly had the fancy of Mynheer Broekker been displayed about a stagnant little lake, on which a corpulent little pinnace lay at anchor. On the border was a cottage, within which were a wooden man and woman seated at table, and a wooden dog beneath, all the size of life: on pressing a spring, the woman commenced spinning, and the dog barked furiously. On the lake were wooden swans, painted to the life; some floating, others on the nest among the rushes; while a wooden sportsman, crouched among the bushes, was preparing his gun to take deadly aim. In another part of the garden was a dominie' in his clerical robes, with wig, pipe, and cocked hat; and mandarins with nodding heads, amid red lions, green tigers, and blue hares. Last of all, the heathen deities, in wood and plaster, male and female, naked and bare-faced as usual, and seeming to stare with wonder at finding themselves in such strange company.
My shabby French guide, while he pointed out all these mechanical marvels of the garden, was anxious to let me see that he had too polite a taste to be pleased with them. At every new nick-nack he would screw down his mouth, shrug up his shoulders, take a pinch of snuff, and exclaim : “Ma foi, Monsieur, ces Hollandais sont forts pour ces bêtises là!”:
To attempt to gain admission to any of these stately abodes was out of the question, having no company of soldiers to enforce a solicitation. I was fortunate enough, however, through the aid of my guide, to make my way into the kitchen of the illustrious Ditmus, and I question whether the parlor would have proved more worthy of observation. The cook, a little wiry, hook-nosed woman, worn thin by incessant action and friction, was bustling about among her kettles and
1 a small sailboat, generally with two masts and schooner-rigged.
2 the Dutch title for clergyman.
3 “Truly, sir, the Dutch are great on such foolish things."
as the general on p. 24 had had.
saucepans, with the scullion' at her heels, both in clattering wooden shoes, which were as clean and white as the milkpails; rows of vessels, of brass and copper, regiments of pewter dishes, and portly porringers,' gave resplendent evidence of the intensity of their cleanliness; the very trammels and hangers in the fireplace were highly scoured, and the burnished face of the good St. Nicholas* shone forth from the iron plate of the chimney-back.
Among the decorations of the kitchen was a printed sheet of woodcuts, representing the various holiday customs of Hol. land, with explanatory rhymes. Here I was delighted to recognize the jollities of New Year's Day; the festivities of Paas and Pinkster, and all the other merry-makings handed down in my native place from the earliest times of New-Amsterdam,' and which had been such bright spots in the year in my childhood. I eagerly made myself master of this precious document, for a trifling consideration, and bore it off as a memento of the place; though I question if, in so doing, I did not carry off with me the whole current literature of Broek.
I must not omit to mention that this village is the paradise of cows as well as men : indeed
would almost suppose cow to be as much an object of worship here as the bull ® among the ancient Egyptians; and well does she merit it, for she is in fact the patroness of the place. The same scrupulous cleanliness, however, which pervades everything else, is mani
the 8 was
a boy who helps in the kitchen.
served with more ceremonies in New York 2 a vessel like a saucer, but deeper, and than elsewhere in the country. having one or two flat ears or handles.
6 Easter and Whitsunday. Even now instruments hung in the great fire- one may see“ Paas eggs” in the window at places of the old times for suspending pots Easter, and the “Pinkster-flower" in the and kettles.
woods at Whitsuntide. 4 St. Nicholas is better known by the 7 the name of New York under Dutch abbreviation into Santa Claus. St. Nicho- rule. las' Day is December 6th, but the sportive 8 The Sacred Bull of Memphis was wor. ceremonies with which it was celebrated shipped in ancient Egypt as the image of are now transferred to Christmas.
the soul of Osiris. He was called Apis. 6 New Year's Day was formerly ob
fested in the treatment of this venerated animal. She is not permitted to perambulate the place, but in winter, when she forsakes the rich pasture, a well-built house is provided for her, well painted, and maintained in the most perfect order. Her stall is of ample dimensions; the floor is scrubbed and polished ; her hide is daily curried and brushed and sponged to her heart's content, and her tail is daintily tucked up to the ceiling and decorated with a riband !
On my way back through the village, I passed the house of the prediger,' or preacher; a very comfortable mansion, which led me to augur well of the state of religion in the village. On inquiry, I was told that for a long time the inhabitants lived in a great state of indifference as to religious matters : it was in vain that their preachers endeavored to arouse their thoughts as to a future state ; the joys of heaven, as commonly depicted, were but little to their taste. At length a dominie appeared among them who struck out in a different vein. He depicted the New Jerusalem as a place all smooth and level, with beautiful dykes," and ditches and canals; and houses all shining with paint and varnish, and glazed tiles; and where there should never come horse, or ass, or cat, or dog, or anything that could make noise or dirt; but there should be nothing but rubbing and scrubbing, and washing and painting, and gilding and varnishing, for ever and ever, amen! Since that time, the good housewives of Broek bave all turned their faces Zionward."
1 The word is German. The Dutch form is predikar.
? great sea walls, by which the sea is kept from overflowing the low-lying parts of Holland,
3 Holland is covered with canals as other countries are with roads.
4 Zion is the hill on which Jerusalem is built. The name is often used symbolically for Heaven.
II a.-NEW AMSTERDAM UNDER VAN
DESCRIBED IN KNICKERBOCKER'S HISTORY
YORK, BOOK III., CHAPTERS II., III., IV.
THE modern spectator, who wanders through the streets of this populous' city, can scarcely form an idea of the different appearance they presented in the primitive days of the Doubter.' The busy hum of multitudes, the shouts of rev. elry, the rumbling equipages of fashion, the rattling of accursed carts, and all the spirit-grieving sounds of brawling commerce, were unknown in the settlement of New-Amsterdam.' The grass grew quietly in the highways—the bleating sheep and frolicsome calves sported about the verdant ridge where now the Broadway loungers take their morning stroll the cunning fox or ravenous wolf skulked in the woods, where now are to be seen the dens of Gomez and his righteous fraternity of money-brokers—and flocks of vociferous geese cackled about the fields, where now the great Tammany wigwam and the patriotic tavern of Martling echo with the wranglings of the mob.
In those good times did a true and enviable equality of rank and property prevail, equally removed from the arrogance of wealth, and the servility and heart-burnings of repining poverty—and what in my mind is still more conducive to tranquillity and harmony among friends, a happy equality of intellect was likewise to be seen. The minds of the good burghers of New-Amsterdam seemed all to have been cast in
1 In 1890 the population was 1,513,301, according to the United States census.
2 Wouter Van Twiller, the second Director (p. 13), was so called by Irving. See p. 77.
3 the name of the town until the English, on taking possession, changed it to New
York in honor of the Duke of York, the brother of King Charles II.
4 The Tammany Society had been incor. porated in 1805, not long before “Knickerbocker" was published. The first “ Tammany Hall ” was not built till 1811.
one mould, and to be those honest, blunt minds, which, like certain manufactures, are made by the gross, and considered as exceedingly good for common use.
Thus it happens that your true dull minds are generally preferred for public employ, and especially promoted to city honors; your keen intellects, like razors, being considered too sharp for common service. I know that it is common to rail at the unequal distribution of riches, as the great source of jealousies, broils, and heart-breakings; whereas, for my part, I verily believe it is the sad inequality of intellect that prevails, that embroils communities more than anything else ; and I have remarked that your knowing people, who are so much wiser than anybody else, are eternally keeping society in a ferment. Happily for New-Amsterdam, nothing of the kind was shown within its walls—the very words of learning, education, taste, and talents were unheard of-a bright genius was an animal unknown, and a blue-stocking lady would have been regarded with as much wonder as a horned frog or a fiery dragon. No man, in fact, seemed to know more than his neighbor, nor any man to know more than an honest man ought to know, who has nobody's business to mind but his own ;
parson and the council clerk were the only men that could read in the community, and the sage Van Twiller always signed his name with a cross.
Thrice happy and ever to be envied little burgh ! existing in all the security of harmless insignificance—unnoticed and unenvied by the world, without ambition, without vain-glory, without riches, without learning, and all their train of carking cares ;-and as of yore,” in the better days of man, the deities were wont to visit him on earth and bless his rural habitations, so we are told, in the sylvan' days of New-Amsterdam, the good St. Nicholas * would often make his appearance in his
2 time past.
I a nickname for a woman of some learning. Irving lived before the time of the higher education of women,
3 forest (adj.), and hence simple, natural. 4 See p. 27, note 4.