Imágenes de páginas

now as

hear their cheerful notes as they sported blest subjects. Vagrant swineven the

make about in the pure sweet air, chirping forth, as it were, the greatness and prosperity of gate was left open, and lay ains would

a descent, too, now and then, aste bethe Webbers. “ Thus quietly and comfortably did this often decapitato che illustchey lolled their

fore them ; and michleyous san-flowers, excellent family vegetate under the shade the glory of de gardene walls. Still all of a mighty button-wood tree, which, by heads so öndly over little and little, grew so great, as entirely these & then ruhi

veances, which might to overshadow their palace. The city gra

in petty, she surface of his mind, dually spread its suburbs round their do.

šummer breze will ruffle the surface main. Houses sprang up to interrupt their prospects ; the rural lanes in the vicinity but seizos eaterusty gaff that stood behind

å mill-pond, but they could not disturb

che deep-seatad quiet of his soul. He would began to grow into the bustle

and popu- the door, issue sudenly out, and anoint lousness of streets ; in short, with all th habits of rustic life, they began to fill the back of the sggressor, whether pig or themselves the inhabitants of a city.ali, urchin, and the return within doors, marhowever, they maintained their heretary vellously refreshed and tranquillized. character and hereditary possessiors with

“ The chef cause of anxiety to honest all the tenacity of petty Gemon princes in Wolért, however, was the growing prosthe midst of the empire. Wolfen was the periy of the city. The expenses of living last of the line, and succeeded to the patri- dowled and trebled; but he could not douarchal bench at the door, under the family. bloand treble the magnitude of bis cab. tree, and swayed the sceptre of his fathers, baes ; and the number of competitors prea kind of rural potentate in the midst of a vated the increase of price: thus, there. metropolis.

fee, while every one around him grew "To share the cares and sweets of sove. wher, Wolfert grew poorer ; and he could reignty, he had taken unto himself a help. iot, for the life of him, perceive how the mate, one of that excellent kind called stir evil was to be remedied. ring women, that is to say, she was one of “ This growing care, which increased those notable little housewives who are al- from day to day, had its gradual effect upways busy when there is nothing to do. on our worthy burgher; insomuch, that it Her activity, however, took one particula: at length implanted two or three wrinkles direction : her whole life seemed devo ed in his brow; things unknown before in the to intense knitting ; whether at home or family of the Webbers ; and it seemed to abroad, walking or sitting, her needles were pinch up the corners of his cocked hat into continually in motion ; and it is even af. an expression of anxiety totally opposite to firmed, that, by her unwearied industry, the tranquil, broad-brimmed, low-crowned she very nearly supplied her household beavers of his illustrious progenitors. with stockings throughout the year. This Perhaps even this would not have ma. worthy couple were blessed with one daugh- terially disturbed the serenity of his mind ter, who was brought up with great ten had he had only himself and his wife to derness and care ; uncommon pains had care for ; but there was his daughter grabeen taken with her education, so that she dually growing to maturity ; and all the could stitch in every variety of way; make world knows when daughters begin to ripen, all kinds of pickles and preserves, and mark no fruit nor flower requires so much lookher own name on a sampler. The influ- ing after. I have no talent at describing ence of her taste was seen, also, in the fa female charms, else fain would I depict the, where the ornamental began progress of this little Dutch beauty. How to mingle with the useful ; whole rows of her blue eyes grew deeper and deeper, and fiery marigolds and splendid hollyhocks her cherry lips redder and redder; and bordered the cabbage-beds, and gigantic how she ripened and ripened, and rounded sun-flowers lolled their broad jolly faces and rounded, in the opening breath of six. over the fences, seeming to ogle most af. teen summers ; until in her seventeenth fectionately the passers-by.

spring she seemed ready to burst out of her “ Thus reigned and vegetated Wolfert bodice, like a half-blown rose.bud. Webber over his paternal acres, peaceful. “Ah, well-a-day ! could I but show her ly and contentedly. Not but that, like all as she was then, tricked out on a Sunday other sovereigns, he had his occasional morning in the hereditary finery of the old cares and vexations. The growth of his Dutch clothes-press, of which her mother native city sometimes caused him annoy- had confided to her the key. The weddingance. His little territory gradually became dress of her grandmother modernized for hemmed in by streets and houses, which use, with sundry ornaments, handed down intercepted air and sunshine. He was now as lieir-looms in the family ; her pale brown and then subjected to the irruptions of the hair, smoothed with buttermilk in flat waborder population that infest the skirts of ving lines, on each side of her fair forehead ; a metropolis ; who would sometimes make the chain of yellow virgin gold that enmidnight forays into his dominions, and circled her neck; the little cross that just carry off captive whole platoons of his no. rested at the entrance of a soft valley of

The young

happiness, as if it would sanctify the place; was slowly roused to a new source of an. the-but, pooh-it is not for an old man xiety. It had never entered into his head, like me to be prosing about female beautythat this mere child, who, as it seemed, Suffice it to say, Amy had attained her se. but the other day, had been climbing about venteenth year. Long since had her sam his knees, and playing with dolls and pler exhibited hearts in couples, desperate. baby-houses, could, all at once, be thinkly transfixed with arrows, and true lovers' ing of lovers and matrimony. He rubbed knots, worked in deep blue silk; and it his eyes; examined into the fact; and was evident she began to languish for some really found, that while he had been more interesting occupation than the rear dreaming of other matters, she had actually ing of sun-flowers, or pickling of cucum grown to be a woman, and what was worse, bers.

had fallen in love. Here arose new cares “ At this critical period of female existe for poor Wolfert. He was a kind father ; ence, when the heart within a damsel's bo but he was a prudent man. som, like its emblem, the miniature which man was a lively, stirring lad; but then hangs without, is apt to be engrossed by a he had neither money nor land. Wolfert's single image, a new visitor began to make ideas all ran in one channel ; and he saw his appearance under the roof of Wolfert no alternative, in case of a marriage, but Webber. This was Dirk Waldron, the to portion off the young couple with a coronly son of a poor widow ; but who could ner of his cabbage-garden, the whole of boast of more fathers than any lad in the which was barely sufficient for the support province ; for his mother had had four hus

of his family. bands, and this only child ; so that, though “ Like a prudent father, therefore, he born in her last wedlock, he might fairly determined to nip this passion in the bud, claim to be the tardy fruit of a long course and forbade the youngster the house, of cultivation. This son of four fathers though sorely did it go against his fatherly united the merits and the vigour of his heart, and many a silent tear did it cause sires. If he had not had a great family in the bright eye of his daughter. She before him, he seemed likely to have a great shewed herself, however, a pattern of filial one after him ; for you had only to look at piety and obedience. She never pouted the fresh buxom youth to see that he was and sulked ; she never flew in the face of formed to be the founder of a mighty race. parental authority ; she never fell into a

This youngster gradually became an passion, or fell into hysterics, as many rointimate visitor of the family. He talked mantic novel-read young ladies would do. little, but he sat long. He filled the fa. Not she, indeed! She was none such he. ther's pipe when it was empty ; gathered roical rebellious trumpery, I'll warrant up the mother's knitting needle or ball of you. On the contrary, she acquiesced like worsted, when it fell to the ground; stro an obedient daughter; shut the street-door ked the sleek coat of the tortoise-shell cat, in her lover's face ; and if ever she did and replenished the teapot for the daugh grant him an interview, it was either out ter, from the bright copper kettle that sang

of the kitchen window, or over the garden before the fire. All these quiet little offi. fence. ces may seem of trifling import; but when 6. Wolfert was deeply cogitating these true love is translated into Low Dutch, it matters in his mind, and his brow

wrink. is in this way that it eloquently expresses led with unusual care, as he wended his itself. They were not lost upon the Web way one Saturday afternoon to a rural inn, ber family. The winning youngster found about two miles from the city. It was a marvellous favour in the eyes of the mo favourite resort of the Dutch part of the ther; the tortoise-shell cat, albeit the most community, from being always held by a staid and demure of her kind, gave indu Dutch line of landlords, and retaining an bitable signs of approbation of his visits ; air and relish of the good old times. It the tea-kettle seemed to sing out a cheery was a Dutch-built house, that had probanote of welcome at his approach; and if bly been a country-seat of some opulent the shy glances of the daughter might be burgher in the early time of the settlement. rightly read, as she sat bridling, and dimp. It stood near a point of land called Cor. ling, and sewing by her mother's side, she lear's Hook, which stretches out into the was not a whit behind Dame Webber, or Sound, and against which the tide, at its grimalkin, or the tea-kettle, in good will, flux and reflux, sets with extraordinary ra

“ Wolfert alone saw nothing of what pidity. The venerable and somewhat crazy was going on ; profoundly wrapped up in mansion was distinguished from afar by a meditation on the growth of the city, and grove of elms and sycamores, that seemed his cabbages, he sat looking in the fire and to wave a hospitable invitation, while a puffing his pipe in silence. One night,' few weeping willows, with their dank, however, as the gentle Amy, according to drooping foliage, resembling falling waters, custom, lighted her lover to the outer door, gave an idea of coolness that rendered it an and he, according to custom, took his part. attractive spot during the heats of summer. ing salute, the smack resounded so vigo. Here, therefore, as I said, resorted many rously through the long, silent entry, as to of the old inhabitants of the Manhattan, startle even the dull ear of Wolfert. He wlicre, while some played at shuffleboard,

and quoits, and nine-pins, others smoked “ . Fudge !' said the one-eyed man-ofa deliberate pipe, and talked over public war, as he added a small portion of water affairs.

to a bottom of brandy. “ It was on a blustering autumnal af. “• Well, you may believe or not, as ternoon that Wolfert made his visit to the you please,' said mine host, somewhat netinn. The groves of elms and willows was led; but everybody knows that the old stripped of its leaves, which whirled in governor buried a great deal of his money rustling eddies about the fields. The nine at the time of the Dutch troubles, when pin alley was deserted, for the premature the English red-coats seized on the prochillness of the day had driven the com- vince. They say, too, the old gentleman pany within doors. As it was Saturday walks ; ay, and in the very same dress that afternoon, the habitual club was in session, he wears in the picture which hangs up in composed, principally, of regular Datch the family house.' burghers, though mingled occasionally with “ . Fudge !' said the half-pay officer. persons of various character and country, “Fudge, if you please! But didn't as is natural in a place of such motley po. Corny Van Zandt see him at midnight, pulation.

stalking about in the meadow with his “ Beside the fire-place, in a huge lea wooden leg, and a drawn sword in his ther-bottomed arm-chair, sat the dictator hand, that Hashed like fire ? And what can of this little world, the venerable Ramm, he be walking for, but because people have or, as it was pronounced, Ramm Rapelye. been troubling the place where he buried He was a man of Wallon race, and illus. his money in old times ?' trious for the antiquity of his line, his great

“ Here the landlord was interrupted by grandmother having been the first white several guttural sounds from Ramm Rachild born in the province. But he was pelye, betokening that he was labouring still more illustrious for his wealth and with the unusual production of an idea. dignity: he had long filled the noble office As he was too great a man to be slighted ot alderman, and was a man to whom the by a prudent publican, mine host respectGovernor himself took off his hat. He had fully paused until he should deliver himmaintained possession of the leather-bot- self. The corpulent frame of this mighty tomed chair from time immemorial ; and burgher now gave all the symptoms of a had gradually waxed in bulk as he sat in volcanic mountain on the point of an erupthis seat of government, until, in the course tion. First there was a certain heaving of of years, he filled its whole magnitude. the abdomen, not unlike an earthquake; His word was decisive with his subjects; then was emitted a cloud of tobacco-smoke for he was so rich a man that he was never from that crater, his mouth; then there expected to support any opinion by argu was a kind of rattle in the throat, as if the

The landlord waited on him with idea were working its way up through a peculiar officiousness, not that he paid region of phlegm ; then there were several better than his neighbours; but then the disjointed members of a sentence thrown coin of a rich man seems always to be so out; ending in a cough : at length his much more acceptable. The landlord had voice forced its way in the slow but abso. ever a pleasant word and a joke to insinu. lute tone of a man who feels the weight of ate in the ear of the august Ramm. It is his purse, if not of his ideas : every portion true, Ramm never laughed, and, indeed, of his speech being marked by a testy puff maintained a mastiff-like gravity and even

of tobacco-smoke. surliness of aspect, yet he now and then « • Who talks of old Peter Stuyvesant's rewarded mine host with a token of appro- walking ??-Puff-Have people no rebation ; which, though nothing more nor spect for persons ?'_Puff-puff— Peter less than a kind of grunt, yet delighted the Stuyvesant knew better what to do with landlord more than a broad laugh from a his money than to bury it.'-Puff-' I poorer man.

know the Stuyvesant family.' - Puff". This will be a rough night for the “Every one of them.'--Puff-Not a more money-diggers,' said mine host, as a gust respectable family in the province.'-Puff of wind howled round the house and rattled - Old standers.' -- Puff Warm house. at the windows.

holders.'-Puff_ None of your upstarts,'. "• What! are they at their works -Puff-puff-puff— Don't talk to me of again ?' said an English half-pay captain, Peter Stuyvesant's walking.'–Puff-puff with one eye, who was a frequent attendant -puff-puff. at the inn.

is Here the redoubtable Ramm contract"Ay are they,' said the landlord, ed his brow, clasped up his mouth till it and well may they be. They've had luck wrinkled at each corner, and redoubled his of late. They say a great pot of money smoking with such veheinence, that the has been dug up in the field just behind cloudy volumes soon wreathed round his Stuyvesant's Orchard. Folks think it head as the smoke envelopes the awful must have been buried there in old times, summit of Mount Etna. by Peter Stuyvesant, the Dutch governor.' “ A general silence followed the sudden


rebuke of this very rich man. The sube head feebly; and when I am gone-my ject, however, was too interesting to be poor daughter readily abandoned. The conversation soon “ Leave her to me, father !' said Dirk, broke forth again from the lips of Peechy manfully : “I'll take care of her!' Prauw Van Hook, the chronicler of the “ Wolfert looked up in the face of the club, one of those prosy, narrative old men cheery, strapping youngster, and saw there who seem to be troubled with an inconti was none better able to take care of a wo. nence of words as they grow old.'”

man. Fain would I quote the whole of the

“ • Enough,' said he, she is yours ! excellent story which thus excellently and now fetch me a lawyer-let me make opens, but it is too long for your pages. my, will and


** The lawyer was brought, a dapper, Take another rich little bit, as the Di

bustling, round-headed little man-Roor. rector would call it. Webber has be

back (or Rollebuck, as it was pronounced) come a money-digger-almost ruined by name. At the sight of him the women himself of course-is sick, faint at broke into loud lamentations, for they look. heart, dying

ed upon the signing of a will as the sign.. “ His wife and daughter did all they ing of a death-warrant. Wolfert made a could to bind up his wounds, both corporal feeble motion for them to be silent. Poor and spiritual. The good old dame neyer Amy buried her face and her grief in the stirred from his bed-side, where she sat bed-curtain ; Dame Webber resumed her knitting from morning till night ; while his knitting to hide her distress, which betray. daughter busied herself about him with the ed itself, however, in a pellucid tear which fondest care. Nor did they lack assistance trickled silently down, and hung at the from abroad. Whatever may be said of the end of her peaked nose ; while the cat, the desertion of friends in distress, they had no only unconcerned member of the family, complaint of the kind to make ; not an old played with the good dame's ball of worstwife of the neighbourhood but abandoned ed, as it rolled about the floor. her work to crowd to the mansion of Wol. “ Wolfert lay on his back, his night-cap fert Webber, inquire after his health, and drawn over his forehead, his eyes closed, the particulars of his story. Not one came, his whole visage the picture of death. He moreover, without her little pipkin of pen- begged the lawyer to be brief, for he felt ny-royal, sage, balm, or other herb tea, his end approaching, and that he had no delighted at an opportunity of signalizing time to lose. The lawyer nibbed his pen, her kindness and her doctorship.

spread out his paper, and prepared to write. “ What drenchings did not the poor “« I give and bequeath,' said Wolfert, Wolfert undergo, and all in vain ! it was a faintly,

• my small farm' moving sight to behold him wasting away “What !-all ?' exclaimed the law. day by day; growing thinner and thinner, yer. and ghastlier and ghastlier, and staring 66.Wolfert half-opened his eyes, and with rueful visage from under an old patch- looked upon the lawyer. work counterpane, upon the jury of ma “ “ Yes-all,' said he. trons kindly assembled to sigh, and groan, 66 • What ! all that great patch of land and look unhappy around him.

with cabbages and sunflowers, which the “ Dirk Waldron was the only being that corporation is just going to run a main scemed to shed a ray of sunshine into this street through ? house of mourning. He came in with The same,' said Wolfert, with a hea. cheery look and manly spirit, and tried to vy sigh, and sinking back upon his pillow. re-animate the expiring heart of the poor 66. I wish him joy that inherits it !' said money-digger ; but it was all in vain. the little lawyer, chuckling and rubbing Wolfert was completely done over. If any. his hands involuntarily. thing was wanting to complete his despair, 666 What do you mean ?" said Wolfert, it was a notice served upon him, in the again opening his eyes. midst of his distress, that the corporations 66 • That he'll be one of the richest men were about to run a new street through the in the place !' cried little Rollebuck. very centre of his cabbage-garden. He now “ The expiring Wolfert seemed to step saw nothing before him but poverty and back from the threshold of existence ; his ruin_his last reliance, the garden of his eyes again lighted up; he raised himself forefathers, was to be laid waste—and what in his bed, shoved back his worsted red then was to become of his poor wife and night.cap, and stared broadly at the lawyer. child ? His eyes filled with tears as they * • You don't say so !' exclaimed he. followed the dutiful Amy out of the room " • Faith, but I do!' rejoined the other. one morning. Dirk Waldron was seated "Why, when that great field, and that beside him; Wolfert grasped his hand, huge meadow, come to be laid out in pointed after his daughter, and for the first streets, and cut up into snug building.lots time since his illness, broke the silence he - why, whoever owns it need not pull off had maintained.

his hat to the patroon !' “ I am going !' said he, shaking his • Say you so ?' cried Wolfert, half

thrusting one leg out of bed ; 'why, then, with a little round-bellied bag of inoney, I think I'll not make my will yet !! the golden produce of the soil.

“ To the surprise of everybody, the dy “ The ancient mansion of his forefathers ing man actually recovered. The vital was still kept up; but instead of being a spark, which had glimmered faintly in the little yellow-fronted Dutch house in a garsocket, received fresh fuel from the oil of den, it now stood boldly in the midst of a gladness which the little lawyer poured in street, the grand house of the neighbour. to his soul. It once more burnt up into a hood, for Wolfert enlarged it with a wing Hame. Give physic to the heart, ye who on each side, and a cupola or tea-room on would revive the body of a spirit-broken top, where he might climb up and smoke man! In a few days' Wolfert left his his pipe in hot weather; and in the course room; in a few days more his table was of time the whole mansion was overrun by covered with deeds, plans of streets, and the chubby-faced progeny of Amy Webbuilding-lots. Little Rollebuck was con ber and Dirk Waldron. stantly with him, his right-hand man and “ As Wolfert waxed old, and rich, and adviser, and instead of making his will, as corpulent, he also set up a great ginger. sisted in the more agreeable task of making bread-coloured carriage, drawn by a pair kis fortune.

of black Flanders mares, with tails that " In fact, Wolfert Webber was one of swept the ground; and to commemorate those many Dutch burghers of the Mane the origin of his greatness, he had for his hattoes, whose fortunes have been made in crest a full-blown cabbage painted on the a manner in spite of themselves; who have pannels, with the pithy motto, alles kopf, tenaciously held on their hereditary acres, that is to say, ALL HEAD, meaning thereraising turnips and cabbages about the by that he had risen by their head-work. skirts of the city, hardly able to make both “ To fill the measure of his greatness, in ends meet, until the corporation has cruelly the fulness of time the renowned Ramm driven streets through their abodes, and Rapelye slept with his fathers, and Wolfthey have suddenly awakened out of a le. ert Webber succeeded to the leather-botthargy, and to their astonishment found tomed arm-chair, in the inn-parlour at themselves rich men !

Corlear's Hook, where he long reigned, “ Before many months had elapsed, a greatly honoured and respected ; insomuch, great bustling street passed through the that he was never known to tell a story very centre of the Webber garden, just without its being believed, nor to utter a where Wolfert had dreamed of finding a joke without its being laughed at.” treasure. His golden dream was accom And now, I believe I must lay down plished. He did indeed find an unlooked

my greygoose-quill, for I perceive that for source of wealth ; for when his pater.

I have quoted the very conclusion nal lands were distributed into building

of Mr Irving's book, and moreover, lots, and rented out to safe tenants, instead

there is that within me that whispers of producing a paltry crop of cabbages, they returned hiin an abundant crop of

six o'clock. rents ; insomuch that on quarter-day it

So adieu for the present. was a goodly sight to see his tenants knock

Yours, &c. ing at his door from morning to night, each

T. T. Southside.


One is continually hearing, more books; a little good poetry, (with some or less, about American literature, of very bad poems ;) four or five respeclate, as if there were any such thing table, and as many more trumpery noin the world as American literature; vels—with a book or two about theoor any such thing in the United States logy—one is pretty sure to hear the of North America, as a body of native most ridiculous and exaggerated misliterature--the production of native representations, one way or the other, writers—bearing any sort of national for or against American authorship, as character, either of wisdom or beauty if American authorship (so far as it -heavy or light-or having any esta- goes) were anything different from blished authority, even among the English, or Scotch, or Irish authorpeople of the United States. And go ship; as if there were any decided nawhere one will, since the apparition of tionality in the style or manner of a one American writer among us, (of book-maker in America——who writes whom a word or two more by and by,) English, or endeavours to write Engsome half-a-dozen stories and story- lish-to set him apart, or distinguish

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