Knickerbocker's History of New York, Complete eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 356 pages of information about Knickerbocker's History of New York, Complete.

Whether the formidable front of war thus suddenly presented smote the garrison with sore dismay—­or whether the concluding terms of the summons, which mentioned that he should surrender “at discretion,” were mistaken by Suen Skytte, who, though a Swede, was a very considerate, easy-tempered man, as a compliment to his discretion, I will not take upon me to say; certain it is he found it impossible to resist so courteous a demand.  Accordingly, in the very nick of time, just as the cabin-boy had gone after a coal of fire to discharge the swivel, a chamade was beat on the rampart by the only drum in the garrison, to the no small satisfaction of both parties; who, not withstanding their great stomach for fighting, had full as good an inclination to eat a quiet dinner as to exchange black eyes and bloody noses.

Thus did this impregnable fortress once more return to the domination of their High Mightinesses; Skytte and his garrison of twenty men were allowed to march out with the honors of war; and the victorious Peter, who was as generous as brave, permitted them to keep possession of all their arms and ammunition—­the same on inspection being found totally unfit for service, having long rusted in the magazine of the fortress, even before it was wrested by the Swedes from the windy Van Poffenburgh.  But I must not omit to mention that the governor was so well pleased with the service of his faithful squire Van Corlear, in the reduction of this great fortress, that he made him on the spot lord of a goodly domain in the vicinity of New Amsterdam, which goes by the name of Corlear’s Hook unto this very day.

The unexampled liberality of Peter Stuyvesant towards the Swedes occasioned great surprise in the city of New Amsterdam; nay, certain factious individuals, who had been enlightened by political meetings in the days of William the Testy, but who had not dared to indulge their meddlesome habits under the eye of their present ruler, now emboldened by his absence, gave vent to their censures in the street.  Murmurs were heard in the very council-chamber of New Amsterdam; and there is no knowing whether they might not have broken out into downright speeches and invectives, had not Peter Stuyvesant privately sent home his walking-stick to be laid as a mace on the table of the council-chamber, in the midst of his counsellors, who, like wise men, took the hint, and for ever after held their peace.

CHAPTER VII.

Like as a mighty alderman, when at a corporation feast the first spoonful of turtle-soup salutes his palate, feels his appetite but tenfold quickened, and redoubles his vigorous attacks upon the tureen, while his projecting eyes rolled greedily round, devouring everything at table; so did the mettlesome Peter Stuyvesant feel that hunger for martial glory, which raged within his bowels, inflamed by the capture of Fort Casimir, and nothing could allay it but the conquest of all New Sweden.  No sooner, therefore, had he secured his conquest than he stumped resolutely on, flushed with success, to gather fresh laurels at Fort Christina.[55]

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