Knickerbocker's History of New York, Complete eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 422 pages of information about Knickerbocker's History of New York, Complete.

The most probable account declares, that what with the constant troubles on his frontiers—­the incessant schemings and projects going on in his own pericranium—­the memorials, petitions, remonstrances, and sage pieces of advice of respectable meetings of the sovereign people, and the refractory disposition of his councillors, who were sure to differ from him on every point, and uniformly to be in the wrong—­his mind was kept in a furnace heat, until he became as completely burnt out as a Dutch family pipe which has passed through three generations of hard smokers.  In this manner did he undergo a kind of animal combustion consuming away like a farthing rushlight, so that when grim Death finally snuffed him out, there was scarcely left enough of him to bury!


   [37] “The old Welsh bards believed that King Arthur was not dead,
        but carried awaie by the fairies into some pleasant place, where
        he sholde remaine for a time, and then returne againe and reigne
        in as great authority as ever.”—­Holinshed.

“The Britons suppose that he shall come yet and conquere all Britaigne; for, certes, this is the prophicye of Merlyn—­He say’d that his deth shall be doubteous; and said soth, for men thereof yet have doubte and shullen for evermore, for men wyt not whether that he lyveth or is dede.”—­De Leew Chron.

   [38] Diedrich Knickerbocker, in his scrupulous search after
        truth, is sometimes too fastidious in regard to facts which
        border a little on the marvelous.  The story of the golden ore
        rests on something better than mere tradition.  The venerable
        Adrian Van der Donck, Doctor of Laws, in his description of the
        New Netherlands, asserts it from his own observation as an
        eye-witness.  He was present, he says, in 1645, at a treaty
        between Governor Kieft and the Mohawk Indians, in which one of
        the latter, in painting himself for the ceremony, used a pigment,
        the weight and shining appearance of which excited the curiosity
        of the governor and Mynheer Van der Donck.  They obtained a lump
        and gave it to be proved by a skillful doctor of medicine,
        Johannes de la Montagne, one of the councillors of the New
        Netherlands.  It was put into a crucible, and yielded two pieces
        of gold worth about three guilders.  All this, continues Adrian
        Van der Donck, was kept secret.  As soon as peace was made with
        the Mohawks, an officer and a few men were sent to the mountain,
        in the region of the Kaatskill, under the guidance of an Indian,
        to search for the precious mineral.  They brought back a bucketful
        of ore, which, being submitted to the crucible, proved as
        productive as the first.  William Kieft now thought the discovery

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Knickerbocker's History of New York, Complete from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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