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tures of dame Nature, in water-colors and needle-work, were always hung round with abundance of home-spun garments, the manufacture and the property of the females—a piece of laudable ostentation that still prevails among the heiresses of our Dutch villages.
The gentlemen, in fact, who figured in the circles of the gay world in these ancient times, corresponded, in most particulars, with the beauteous damsels whose smiles they were ambitious to deserve. True it is, their merits would make but a very inconsiderable impression upon the heart of a modern fair; they neither drove their curricles nor sported their tandems, for as yet those gaudy vehicles were not even dreamt of-neither did they distinguish themselves by their brilliancy at the table and their consequent rencontres' with watchmen,' for our forefathers were of too pacific a disposition to need those guardians of the night, every soul throughout the town being sound asleep before nine o'clock. Neither did they establish their claims to gentility at the expense of their tailors—for as yet those offenders against the pockets of society and the tranquillity of all aspiring young gentlemen were unknown in New-Amsterdam ; every good housewife made the clothes of her husband and family, and even the goede vrouw of Van Twiller himself thought it no disparagement to cut out her husband's linsey-woolsey galligaskins.
Not but what there were some two or three youngsters who manifested the first dawning of what is called fire and spirit -who held all labor in contempt; skulked about docks and market-places; loitered in the sunshine; squandered what little money they could procure at hustle-cap and chuck-farthing; swore, boxed, fought cocks, and raced their neighbors' horses—in short, who promised to be the wonder, the talk, and abomination of the town, had not their stylish career been unfortunately cut short by an affair of honor with a whippingpost.
1 a French word, now not much used in s a kind of loose, short trousers worn in English, meaning a sudden meeting. the sixteenth century. Such trousers are
? Before the establishment of a regular meant here; elsewhere (p. 89) Irving merely police force, watchmen patrolled the streets uses the word in a general way. at night.
Far other, however, was the truly fashionable gentleman of those days—his dress, which served for both morning and evening, street and drawing-room, was a linsey-woolsey coat, made, perhaps, by the fair hands of the mistress of his affections, and gallantly bedecked with abundance of large brass buttons-half a score of breeches heightened the proportions of his figure—his shoes were decorated by enormous copper buckles-a low-crowned, broad-brimmed hat overshadowed his burly visage, and his hair dangled down his back in a prodigious queue of eel-skin.
Thus equipped, he would manfully sally forth with pipe in mouth, to besiege some fair damsel's obdurate heart--not such a pipe,' good reader, as that which Acis did sweetly tune in praise of his Galatea, but one of true Delft' manufacture, and furnished with a charge of fragrant tobacco. With this would he resolutely set himself down before the fortress, and rarely failed, in the process of time, to smoke the fair enemy into a surrender, upon honorable terms.
Such was the happy reign of Wouter Van Twiller, celebrated in many a long-forgotten song as the real golden age, the rest being nothing but counterfeit copper-washed coin. In that delightful period a sweet and holy calm reigned over the whole province. The burgomaster smoked his pipe in peace—the substantial solace of his domestic cares, after her daily toils were done, sat soberly at the door, with her arms crossed over her apron of snowy white, without being insulted by ribald street-walkers, or vagabond boys—those unlucky urchins, who do so infest our streets, displaying under the roses of youth the thorns and briars of iniquity
i formerly a musical instrument.
3 originally the name of a place in Hol3 Galatea, a Sicilian maiden, loved by land, famous for its potteries. The pipes Acis. He was, however, slain by Poly- Irving had in mind were the porcelain pipes phemus, a jealous rival.
common in Holland and Germany.
.. [ Ah ! blissful, and never-to-be-forgotten age! when every thing was better than it has ever been since, or ever will be again 7 when Buttermilk Channel was quite dry at low water —when the shad in the Hudson were all salmon, and when the moon shone with a pure and resplendent whiteness, instead of that melancholy yellow light which is the consequence of her sickening at the abominations she every night witnesses in this degenerate city!
Happy would it have been for New-Amsterdam, could it always have existed in this state of blissful ignorance and lowly simplicity-but, alas! the days of childhood are too sweet to last! Cities, like men, grow out of them in time, and are doomed alike to grow into the bustle, the cares, and miseries of the world. Let no man congratulate himself when he beholds the child of his bosom or the city of his birth increasing in magnitude and importance-let the history of his own life teach him the dangers of the one, and this excellent little history of Manna-hata convince him of the calamities of the other.'
It should, perhaps, be pointed out that the town which huddled round the fort on in this description of New York, Irving is the south point of Manhattan Island was transferring to the time of Van Twiller little more than a collection of poor hovels." things which were true only of a later day. The streets, the houses with brick gables, Van Twiller was Director from 1633 to 1637. the comfortable farmers, the burgomas. During all his time New Amsterdam was ters, belong to a later period-perhaps to but a small trading-post. Population had the latter part of the rule of Stuyvesant, increased but slowly," says Roosevelt, "and about twenty-five years afterward.
II 1.-HOW WILLIAM THE TESTY DE
FENDED THE CITY.
DESCRIBED IN KNICKERBOCKER'S HISTORY
YORK, BOOK IV., CHAPTER Iy.'
LANGUAGE cannot express the prodigious fury into which the testy Wilhelmus Kieft was thrown by this provoking intelligence. For three good hours the rage of the little man was too great for words, or rather the words were too great for him ; and he was nearly choked by some dozen huge, misshapen, nine-cornered Dutch oaths, that crowded all at once into his gullet. Having blazed off the first broadside, he kept up a constant firing for three whole days—anathematizing the Yankees, man, woman, and child, body and soul, for a set of dieven, schobbejaken, deugenieten, twist-zoekeren, loozenschalken, blaes-kaken, kakken-bedden,' and a thousand other names, of which, unfortunately for posterity, history does not make mention. Finally, he swore that he would have nothing more to do with such a squatting, bundling, guessing, questioning, swapping, pumpkin-eating, molasses-daubing, shinglesplitting, cider-watering, horse-jockeying, notion-peddling crew—that they might stay at Fort Goed Hoop and rot, before he would dirty his hands by attempting to drive them away; in proof of which, he ordered the new-raised troops to be marched forth with into winter-quarters, although it was not as yet quite mid-summer. Governor Kieft faithfully kept his word, and his adversaries as faithfully kept their post; and thus the glorious river Connecticut, and all the gay valleys through which it rolls, together with the salmon, shad, and other fish within its waters, fell into the hands of the victorious Yankees, by whom they are held at this very day.
1 The later editions of “Knickerbocker" 3 “thieves, rogues, good - for - nothings, present this matter in more extended form. quarrel-breeders, crafty fellows, boasters."
9 namely, the news that the New England. 4 Kieft had been raising a force to go ers had dispossessed the Dutch of Fort Good against the Yankees. Hope on the Connecticut River. See p. 14.
Great despondency seized upon the city of New-Amsterdam, in consequence of these melancholy events. The name of Yankee became as terrible among our good ancestors as was that of Gaul' among the ancient Romans; and all the sage old women of the province used it as a bugbear, wherewith to frighten their unruly children into obedience.
The eyes of all the province were now turned upon their gov. ernor, to know what he would do for the protection of the common weal,' in these days of darkness and peril. Great apprehensions prevailed among the reflecting part of the community, especially the old women, that these terrible warriors of Connecticut, not content with the conquest of Fort Goed Hoop, would incontinently march on to New-Amsterdam and take it by storm—and as these old ladies, through means of the governor's spouse, who, as has been already hinted, was “the better horse,” had obtained considerable influence in public affairs, keeping the province under a kind of petticoat government, it was determined that measures should be taken for the effective fortification of the city.
Now it happened, that at this time there sojourned in NewAmsterdam one Antony Van Corlear, a jolly fat Dutch trumpeter, of a pleasant burly visage, famous for his long wind and his huge whiskers, and who, as the story goes, could twang so potently upon bis instrument, as to produce an effect upon all within hearing, as though ten thousand bag-pipes were singing right lustily i' the nose. Him did the illustrious Kieft pick out as the man of all the world most fitted to be the champion of New-Amsterdam, and to garrison its fort ; making little doubt but that his instrument would be as effec
i the ancient name for what is now 3 In a previous chapter Irving told how France.
Kieft was much under the domination of 2 or commonwealth : the two terms are his wife. Irving, as a bachelor, has here a often found in older English, meaning " the conventionally humorous view of marriage, state.'
as in “ Rip Van Winkle.”'