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.

These captive heroes were lodged, according to the promise of the governor, at the public expense, in a fair and spacious castle, being the prison of state of which Stoffel Brinkerhoff, the immortal conqueror of Oyster Bay, was appointed governor, and which has ever since remained in the possession of his descendants.[56]

It was a pleasant and goodly sight to witness the joy of the people of New Amsterdam at beholding their warriors once more return from this war in the wilderness.  The old women thronged round Antony Van Corlear, who gave the whole history of the campaign with matchless accuracy, saving that he took the credit of fighting the whole battle himself, and especially of vanquishing the stout Risingh, which he considered himself as clearly entitled to, seeing that it was effected by his own stone pottle.

The schoolmasters throughout the town gave holiday to their little urchins who followed in droves after the drums, with paper caps on their heads and sticks in their breeches, thus taking the first lesson in the art of war.  As to the sturdy rabble, they thronged at the heels of Peter Stuyvesant wherever he went, waving their greasy hats in the air, and shouting, “Hardkoppig Piet forever!”

It was indeed a day of roaring rout and jubilee.  A huge dinner was prepared at the stadthouse in honor of the conquerors, where were assembled, in one glorious constellation, the great and little luminaries of New Amsterdam.  There were the lordly Schout and his obsequious deputy, the burgomasters with their officious schepens at their elbows, the subaltern officers at the elbows of the schepens, and so on, down to the lowest hanger-on of police; every tag having his rag at his side, to finish his pipe, drink off his heel-taps, and laugh at his flights of immortal dulness.  In short—­for a city feast is a city feast all over the world, and has been a city feast ever since the creation—­the dinner went off much the same as do our great corporation junketings and Fourth of July banquets.  Loads of fish, flesh, and fowl were devoured, oceans of liquor drunk, thousands of pipes smoked, and many a dull joke honored with much obstreperous fat-sided laughter.

I must not omit to mention that to this far-famed victory Peter Stuyvesant was indebted for another of his many titles, for so hugely delighted were the honest burghers with his achievements, that they unanimously honored him with the name of Pieter de Groodt; that is to say, Peter the Great; or, as it was translated into English by the people of New Amsterdam, for the benefit of their New England visitors, Piet de pig—­an appellation which he maintained even unto the day of his death.

FOOTNOTES: 

   [56] This castle, though very much altered, and modernized, is
        still in being and stands at the corner of Pearl Street, facing
        Coentie’s Slip.

BOOK VII.

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