bagful of the mineral to New Haven, to take passage in an English
ship for England, thence to proceed to Holland. The vessel sailed
at Christmas, but never reached her port. All on board
the year 1647, Wilhelmus Kieft himself embarked on
Princess, taking with him specimens of the supposed mineral.
The ship was never heard of more!
Some have supposed that the mineral in question was not gold, but pyrites; but we have the assertion of Adrian Van der Donck, an eye-witness, and the experiment of Johannes de la Montagne, a learned doctor of medicine, on the golden side of the question. Cornelius Van Tienhooven, also, at that time secretary of the New Netherlands, declared, in Holland, that he had tested several specimens of the mineral, which proved satisfactory. It would appear, however, that these golden treasures of the Kaatskill always brought ill luck; as is evidenced in the fate of Arent Corsen and Wilhelmus Kieft, and the wreck of the ships in which they attempted to convey the treasure across the ocean. The golden mines have never since been explored, but remain among the mysteries of the Kaatskill mountains, and under the protection of the goblins which haunt them.
[A] See Van der Donck’s
description of the New Netherlands,
Collect. New York Hist. Society, vol. i., p. 161.
CONTAINING THE FIRST PART OF THE REIGN OF PETER STUYVESANT, AND HIS TROUBLES WITH THE AMPHICTYONIC COUNCIL.
To a profound philosopher like myself, who am apt to see clear through a subject, where the penetration of ordinary people extends but half way, there is no fact more simple and manifest than that the death of a great man is a matter of very little importance. Much as we may think of ourselves, and much as we may excite the empty plaudits of the million, it is certain that the greatest among us do actually fill but an exceedingly small space in the world; and it is equally certain, that even that small space is quickly supplied when we leave it vacant. “Of what consequence is it,” said Pliny, “that individuals appear, or make their exit? the world is a theater whose scenes and actors are continually changing.” Never did philosopher speak more correctly, and I only wonder that so wise a remark could have existed so many ages, and mankind not have laid it more to heart. Sage follows on in the footsteps of sage; one hero just steps out of his triumphal car, to make way for the hero who comes after him; and of the proudest monarch it is merely said that, “he slept with his fathers, and his successor reigned in his stead.”