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.
which punishment being equivalent to the Tarpeian Rock, he was afterwards considered as an outcast from society, and his opinion went for nothing.  The question, therefore, being unanimously carried in the affirmative, it was recommended to the grand council to pass it into a law; which was accordingly done.  By this measure the hearts of the people at large were wonderfully encouraged, and they waxed exceeding choleric and valorous.  Indeed, the first paroxysm of alarm having in some measure subsided, the old women having buried all the money they could lay their hands on, and their husbands daily getting fuddled with what was left, the community began even to stand on the offensive.  Songs were manufactured in Low Dutch, and sung about the streets, wherein the English were most woefully beaten, and shown no quarter; and popular addresses were made, wherein it was proved to a certainty that the fate of Old England depended upon the will of the New Amsterdammers.

Finally, to strike a violent blow at the very vitals of Great Britain, a multitude of the wiser inhabitants assembled, and having purchased all the British manufactures they could find, they made thereof a huge bonfire, and in the patriotic glow of the moment, every man present who had a hat or breeches of English workmanship pulled it off, and threw it into the flames, to the irreparable detriment, loss and ruin of the English manufacturers!  In commemoration of this great exploit they erected a pole on the spot, with a device on the top intended to represent the province of Nieuw Nederlandts destroying Great Britain, under the similitude of an eagle picking the little island of Old England out of the globe; but either through the unskillfulness of the sculptor, or his ill-timed waggery, it bore a striking resemblance to a goose vainly striving to get hold of a dumpling.

CHAPTER VIII.

It will need but little penetration in any one conversant with the ways of that wise but windy potentate, the sovereign people, to discover that not withstanding all the warlike bluster and bustle of the last chapter, the city of New Amsterdam was not a whit more prepared for war than before.  The privy councillors of Peter Stuyvesant were aware of this; and, having received his private orders to put the city in an immediate posture of defense, they called a meeting of the oldest and richest burghers to assist them with their wisdom.  These were of that order of citizens commonly termed “men of the greatest weight in the community;” their weight being estimated by the heaviness of their heads and of their purses.  Their wisdom in fact is apt to be of a ponderous kind, and to hang like a millstone round the neck of the community.

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