CHAPTER VI. HOW THE PEOPLE OF THE EAST COUNTRY WERE SUDDENLY AFFLICTED WITH A DIABOLICAL EVIL -- AND THEIR JUDICIOUS MEASURES FOR THE EXTIRPATION THEREOF.

HAVING thus provided for the temporary security of New Amsterdam, and guarded it against any sudden surprise, the gallant Peter took a hearty pinch of snuff, and, snapping his fingers, set the great council of Amphyctions, and their champion, the doughty Alicxsander Partridg, at defiance. It is impossible to say, notwithstanding, what might have been the issue of this affair, had not the council been all at once involved in sad perplexity, and as much dissension sown among its members, as of yore was stirred up in the camp of the brawling warriors of Greece.

The council of the league, as I have shown in my last chapter, had already announced its hostile determinations, and already was the mighty colony of New-Haven, and the puissant town of Piquag, otherwise called Weathersfield -- famous for its onions and its witches -- and the great trading house of Hartford, and all the other redoubtable border towns, in a prodigious turmoil, furbishing up their rusty fowling-pieces, and shouting aloud for war; by which they anticipated easy conquests, and gorgeous spoils, from the little fat Dutch villages. But this joyous brawling was soon silenced by the conduct of the colony of Massachusetts. Struck with the gallant spirit of the brave old Peter, and convinced by the chivalric frankness and heroic warmth of his vindication, they refused to believe him guilty of the infamous plot most wrongfully laid at his door. With a generosity for which I would yield them immortal honour, they declared that no determination of the grand council of the league should bind the general court of Massachusetts to join in an offensive war which should appear to such general court to be unjust.*

This refusal immediately involved the colony of Massachusetts and the other combined colonies in very serious difficulties and disputes, and would no doubt have produced a dissolution of the confederacy, but that the council of Amphyctions,

____________________
Haz. Col. State Papers.

-196-

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