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.
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.