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C. D. At all events, whatever name we choose to employ, J suppose the art of forgery was not invented here, sir?
M. C. I suppose not.
Ι C. D. Well, then, we got it all from the old country, and the old country's to blame for it, and not the new one. There's an end of that. An' how's the unnat-ral old parent by this time? Progressin' back'ards, I expect, as usual. And how's Queen Victoria?
M. C. In good health, I believe.
C. D. Queen Victoria will not shake in her royal shoes at all, when she hears to-morrow named. No.
M. C. Not that I am aware of. Why should she?
C. D. She won't be taken with a cold chill when she realizes what is being done in these diggings. No.
M. C. No; I think I may be pretty sure of that.
C. D. Well, sir, I tell you this—There aint a ěn-gīne with its biler bust in this glorious, free United States, so fixed and nipped and frizzled to a most e—tarnal smash as that young critter, in her luxurious location in the Tower of London, will be, when she reads the next double extra “Rowdy Journal.”
M. C. Well, I must say that I never heard of Queen Victoria reading the what-d’ye-call-it-journal, and I should scarcely think it probable.
C. D. It is sent to her, sir. It is sent to her-per mail.
M. C. But if it is addressed to the Tower of London, it would hardly come to hand, I fear; for she don't live there.
C. D. I have always remarked that it is a very extraordinary circumstance, which I impute to the natur' of British institootions, and their tendency to suppress that popular inquiry and information which air so widely diffused even in the trackless forests of the vast continent of the Western Ocean; that the knowledge of Britishers on such points is not to be compared to that possessed by our in-telligent and locomotive citizens. This is interesting, and confirms my observation. When you say, sir, that your queen does not reside in the Tower of London, you fall into an error not uncommon to your countrymen, even when their abilities and moral elements air such as to command respect. But sir, you air wrong; she does live there—that is, when she is at the Court of St. James's, of course. For if her location was in Windsor Pavilion, it could not be in London at the same time. Your Tower of London, sir, being located in the immediate neighbourhood of your parks, your drives, your triumphant arches, your opera, and your royal Almacks, nat-rally suggests itself as the place for holding a luxurious and thoughtless court, and consequently the court is held there.
M. C. Have you been in England ?
C. D. In print I have, sir; not otherwise. We air a reading people here, sir. You will meet with much information among us here that will surprise you, sir.
M. C. I have not the least doubt of it.
IV.-THE MOST HORRIBLE BATTLE.
“Now had the Dutchmen snatched a huge repast," and, finding themselves wonderfully encouraged and animated thereby, prepared to take the field. Expectation, says the writer of the Stuyvesant manuscript — Expectation now stood on stilts. The world forgot to turn round, or rather stood still, that it might witness the affray; like a fat roundbellied alderman, watching the combat of two chivalric flies upon his jerkin. The eyes of all mankind, as usual in such cases, were turned upon Fort Christina. The sun, like a little man in a crowd at a puppet-show, scampered about the heavens, popping his head here and there, and endeavouring to get a peep between the unmannerly clouds that obtruded themselves in his way. The historians filled their ink-horns—the poets went without their dinners, either that they might buy paper and goose quills, or because they could not get anything to eat. Antiquity scowled sulkily out of its grave, to see itself outdone-while even Posterity stood mute, gazing in gaping ecstasy of retrospection on the
eventful field. The immortal deities who whilom had seen service at the “affair” of Troy-now mounted their featherbed clouds, and sailed over the plain, or mingled among the combatants in different disguises, all itching to have a finger in the pie. Jupiter sent off his thunderbolt to a noted coppersmith, to have it furbished up for the direful occasion. The noted bully, Mars, stuck two horse-pistols into his belt, shouldered a rusty firelock, and gallantly swaggered along as a drunken corporal; while Apollo trudged in the rear, as a bandy-legged fifer, playing most villanously out of tune.
On the other side, the ox-eyed Juno, who had gained a pair of black eyes over night, in one of her curtain lectures with old Jupiter, displayed her haughty beauties on a baggage-waggon. Minerva, as a brawny gin-suttler, tucked up her skirts, brandished her fists, and swore most heroically, in exceeding bad Dutch (having but lately studied the language), by way of keeping up the spirits of the soldiers; while Vulcan halted as a club-footed blacksmith, lately promoted to be a captain of militia. All was silent horror, or bustling preparation : War reared his horrid front, gnashed loud his iron fangs, and shook his direful crest of bristling bayonets. And now the mighty chieftains marshalled out their hosts. Here stood stout Risingh, firm as a thousand rocks—incrusted with stockades, and intrenched to the chin in mud batteries. His artillery consisted of two swivels and a carronade, loaded to the muzzle, the touch-holes primed, and a whiskered bombardier stationed at each, with lighted match in hand, waiting the word. His valiant infantry lined the breast-work in grim array, each having his mustaches fiercely greased, and his hair pomatumed back, and queued so stiffly, that he grinned above the ramparts like a grisly death's head.
Then came on the intrepid Peter-his brows knit, his teeth set--his fists clenched-almost breathing forth volumes of smoke, so fierce was the fire that raged within his bosom. His faithful squire, Van Corlear, trudged valiantly at his heels, with his trumpet gorgeously bedecked with red and yellow ribands, the remembrances of his fair mistresses at the Manhattoes. Then came waddling on the sturdy chivalry
of the Hudson with a host of worthies, whose names are too crabbed to be written, or if they could be written, it would be impossible for man to utter them-all fortified with a mighty dinner, and, to use the words of a great Dutch poet,
"Brimful of wrath and cabbage,!"
For an instant the mighty Peter paused in the midst of his career, and mounting on a stump, addressed his troops in eloquent Low Dutch, exhorting them to fight like duyvels, and assuring them, that, if they conquered, they should get plenty of booty-if they fell they should be allowed the unparalleled satisfaction, while dying, of reflecting that it was in the service of their country—and after they were dead, of seeing their names inscribed in the temple of renown, and handed down, in company with all the other great men of the year, for the admiration of posterity. Finally, he swore to them, on the word of a governor (and they knew him too well to doubt it for a moment), that if he caught any mother's son of them looking pale, or playing craven, he would curry his hide till he made him run out of it, like a snake in spring-time. Then lugging out his trusty sabre, he brandished it three times over his head, ordered Van Corlear to sound a tremendous charge, and shouting the word, “St. Nicholas and the Manhattoes !” courageously dashed forward. His warlike followers, who had employed the interval in lighting their pipes, instantly stuck them in their mouths, gave a furious puff, and charged gallantly, under cover of the smoke. And now commenced the horrid din, the desperate struggle, the maddening ferocity, the frantic desperation, the confusion and self-abandonment of war. Dutchman and Swede commingled, tugged, panted, and blowed. The heavens were darkened with a tempest of missives. Bang! went the guns-whack! struck the broadswords—thump! fell the cudgels-crash! went the musket-stocks-blows-kicks-cuffs-scratches—black eyes and bloody noses swelling the horrors of the scene! Thickthwack, cut and hack, helter-skelter, higgledy-piggledy, hurlyburly, head over heels, rough and tumble !-Dunder and blexam! swore the Dutchmen-Splitter and splutter! cried the Swedes—Storm the works! shouted Hardkopig Peter
Fire the mine! roared stout Risingh-Tantararara! twanged ihe trumpet of Anthony Van Corlear-until all voice and sound became unintelligible-grunts of pain, yells of fury and shouts of triumph, commingled in one hideous clamour. The earth shook, as if struck with a paralytic stroke-trees shrunk aghast, and withered at the sight-rocks burrowed in the ground like rabbits,--and even Christina Creek turned from its course, and ran up a mountain in breathless terror!
V.--THERE'S NOTHING IN IT.
Sir CHARLES COLDSTREAM and Sir ADONIS LEECH.
Sir Charles. My dear Leech, you began life late-you are a young fellow-forty-five-and have the world yet before you. I started at thirteen, lived quick, and exhausted the whole round of pleasure before I was thirty. I've tried everything, heard everything, done everything, know everything, and here I am, a man at thirty-three, literally used up.
Leech. Nonsense, man !-used up, indeed !-- with your wealth, with your little heaven in Spring Gardens, and your paradise here at Kingston - upon - Thames, — with twenty estates in the sunniest spots in England—not to mention that Utopia, within four walls, in the Rue de Provence, in Paris. Oh, the nights I've spent there!
Sir C. I'm dead with ennui.
Sir C. Croesus !-- no, I'm no Croesus. My father—you've seen his portrait, good old fellow--he certainly did leave me a little matter of £12,000 a year; but after all
Leech. Oh, come!
Sir C. Oh no; there are some people who can manage to do on less-on credit.
Leech. I know several.—My dear Coldstream, you should try change of scene.
Sir C. I have tried it-what's the use ?