Knickerbocker's History of New York, Complete eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 422 pages of information about Knickerbocker's History of New York, Complete.
when they came to view it; that the womb of time (by the way, your orators and writers take strange liberties with the womb of time, though some would fain have us believe that time is an old gentleman)—­that the womb of time, pregnant as it was with direful horrors, would never produce a parallel enormity:  with a variety of other heart-rending, soul-stirring tropes and figures, which I cannot enumerate; neither, indeed, need I, for they were of the kind which even to the present day form the style of popular harangues and patriotic orations, and may be classed in rhetoric under the general title of Rigmarole.

The result of this speech of the inspired burgomaster was a memorial addressed to the governor, remonstrating in good round terms on his conduct.  It was proposed that Dofue Roerback himself should be the bearer of this memorial; but this he warily declined, having no inclination of coming again within kicking distance of his excellency.  Who did deliver it has never been named in history; in which neglect he has suffered grievous wrong, seeing that he was equally worthy of blazon with him perpetuated in Scottish song and story by the surname of Bell-the-cat.  All we know of the fate of this memorial is, that it was used by the grim Peter to light his pipe, which, from the vehemence with which he smoked it, was evidently anything but a pipe of peace.


Now did the high-minded Peter de Groodt shower down a pannier load of maledictions upon his burgomaster for a set of self-willed, obstinate, factious varlets, who would neither be convinced nor persuaded.  Nor did he omit to bestow some left-handed compliments upon the sovereign people, as a heard of poltroons, who had no relish for the glorious hardships and illustrious misadventures of battle, but would rather stay at home, and eat and sleep in ignoble ease, than fight in a ditch for immortality and a broken head.

Resolutely bent, however, upon defending his beloved city, in despite even of itself, he called unto him his trusty Van Corlear, who was his right-hand man in all times of emergency.  Him did he adjure to take his war-denouncing trumpet, and mounting his horse, to beat up the country night and day—­sounding the alarm along the pastoral border of the Bronx—­startling the wild solitudes of Croton—­arousing the rugged yeomanry of Weehawk and Hoboken—­the mighty men of battle of Tappan Bay—­and the brave boys of Tarry-Town, Petticoat-Lane, and Sleepy-Hollow—­charging them one and all to sling their powder-horns, shoulder their fowling-pieces, and march merrily down to the Manhattoes.

Now there was nothing in all the world, the divine sex excepted, that Antony Van Corlear loved better than errands of this kind.  So just stopping to take a lusty dinner, and bracing to his side his junk bottle, well charged with heart-inspiring Hollands, he issued jollily from the city gate, which looked out upon what is at present called Broadway; sounding a farewell strain, that rung in sprightly echoes through the winding streets of New Amsterdam.  Alas! never more were they to be gladdened by the melody of their favorite trumpeter.

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