much they were drubbed -- a kick left no scar -- a broken head cured itself -- but an empty purse was of all maladies the slowest to heal, and one in which nature did nothing for the patient.

Thus did this venerable assembly of sages lavish away that time which the urgency of affairs rendered invaluable, in empty brawls and long-winded speeches, without ever agreeing, except on the point with which they started, namely, that there was no time to be lost, and delay was ruinous. At length St. Nicholas, taking compassion on their distracted situation, and anxious to preserve them from anarchy, so ordered, that in the midst of one of their most noisy debates on the subject of fortification and defence, when they had nearly fallen to loggerheads in consequence of not being able to convince each other, the question was happily settled by a messenger, who bounced into the chamber and informed them that the hostile fleet had arrived, and was actually advancing up the bay!

Thus was all farther necessity of either fortifying or disputing completely obviated, and thus was the grand council saved a world of words, and the province a world of expense -- a most absolute and glorious triumph of economy!


CHAPTER VI. IN WHICH THE TROUBLES OF NEW-AMSTERDAM APPEAR TO THICKEN -- SHOWING THE BRAVERY, IN TIME OF PERIL, OF A PEOPLE WHO DEFEND THEMSELVES BY RESOLUTIONS.

LIKE as an assemblage of politic cats, engaged in clamorous gibberings, and caterwaulings, eyeing one another with hideous grimaces, spitting in each other's faces, and on the point of breaking forth into a general clapper-clawing, are suddenly put to scampering rout and confusion by the startling appearance of a house-dog -- so was the no less vociferous council of New-Amsterdam amazed, astounded, and totally dispersed by the sudden arrival of the enemy. Every member made the best of his way home, waddling along as fast as his short legs could fag under their heavy burden, and wheezing as he went with corpulency and terror. When he arrived at his castle,

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