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Cooper, James Fenimore, 1789-1851 [1831], The water-witch, volume 1 (Carey & Lea, Philadelphia) [word count] [eaf061v1].
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Front matter Covers, Edges and Spine

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Hic Fructus Virtutis; Clifton Waller Barrett [figure description] Bookplate: heraldry figure with a green tree on top and shield below. There is a small gray shield hanging from the branches of the tree, with three blue figures on that small shield. The tree stands on a base of gray and black intertwined bars, referred to as a wreath in heraldic terms. Below the tree is a larger shield, with a black background, and with three gray, diagonal stripes across it; these diagonal stripes are referred to as bends in heraldic terms. There are three gold leaves in line, end-to-end, down the middle of the center stripe (or bend), with green veins in the leaves. Note that the colors to which this description refers appear in some renderings of this bookplate; however, some renderings may appear instead in black, white and gray tones.[end figure description]

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the SEAS. By the Author of the Pilot, Red Rover, &c. In
2 vols.

“We have read the whole of Cooper's forthcoming novel, The Water Witch,
or Skimmer of the Seas
. It relates, as its name implies, scenes and exploits of
naval life; and in our opinion, these are delineated with a deeper interest, and
a more vigorous spirit than he has exhibited even in that admirable sea-picture,
the Red Rover. * * * * A chase through the difficult channel of the East River,
a pursuit at sea, a naval battle and explosion, and the escape of a few persons
on a raft from the burning vessel, are depicted so as to fix a breathless interest
at every page. We have no hesitation in classing this among the most powerful
of the romances of our countryman.”

U. States Gazette.

“We have read the whole of Mr. Cooper's new novel, The Water Witch. It is
another tale of the sea, proving that the author's march is truly `on the mountain
wave,' and his home `on the deep.' We could not break from the volumes, and
may predict that they will excite the same interest in the minds of almost every
reader. The concluding chapters produce intense emotion.”

National Gazette.

New Editions of the following Works by the same

NOTIONS of the AMERICANS, by a Travelling Bachelor,
2 vols. 12mo.

The WISH-TON-WISH, in 2 vols. 12mo.

“We can conceive few periods better calculated to offer a promising field to
the novelist than that which these pages illustrate;—the mingling of wildest adventure
with the most plodding industry—the severe spirit of the religion of the
first American settlers—the feelings of household and home at variance with all
earlier associations of country—the magnificence of the scenery by which they
were surrounded—their neighbourhood to that most picturesque and extraordinary
of people we call savages;—these, surely, are materials for the novelist, and
in Mr. Cooper's hands they have lost none of their interest. We shall not attempt
to detail the narrative, but only say it is well worthy of the high reputation of
its author.”

London Literary Gazette.

The RED ROVER, in 2 vols. 12mo.

The SPY, 2 vols. 12mo.

The PIONEERS, 2 vols. 12mo.

The PILOT, a Tale of the Sea, 2 vols. 12mo.


The LAST of the MOHICANS, 2 vols. 12mo.

The PRAIRIE, 2 vols. 12mo.

JOURNAL of the HEART, edited by the
Authoress of Flirtation.

“This is a most charming and feminine volume, one delightful for a woman
to read, and for a woman to have written; elegant language, kind and gentle
thoughts, a sweet and serious tone of religious feeling run through every page,
and any extract must do very scanty justice to the merit of the whole, ******
We most cordially recommend this Journal of the Heart, though we are unable
to do it justice by any selection of its beauties, which are too intimately interwoven
to admit of separation.”

Literary Gazette.

The ARMENIANS, a Tale of Constantinople,
by J. Macfarlane, in 2 vols.

“The author will appreciate our respect for his talents, when we say that he
has done more than any other man to complete the picture of the East, dashed
off by the bold pencil of the author of Anastasius.”

Edin. Lit. Journ.

The YOUNG LADIES' BOOK, a Manual of
Instructive Exercises, Recreations and Pursuits. With numerous

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[figure description] Advertisement.[end figure description]

This is a work recently published by Messrs. Vizetelly, Branston & Co. London,
with upwards of seven hundred embellishments, engraved in a superior
style on wood. The volume is a duodecimo of more than five hundred pages,
and sells in England for one guinea. It is intended to make the American edition
a perfect fac-simile, or as nearly so as practicable in this country, and to afford
it at $ 4, neatly bound in silk, and elegantly gilt. This work cannot be
classed as Annual, but may be said to be a Perennial, a suitable memorial for all
times and seasons. It differs essentially from the whole class of Literary Gifts
usually presented to Young Ladies, being a complete manual for all those elegant
pursuits which graee the person and adorn the mind.

FOR 1831.

Embellishments.—1. Frontispiece. The Shipwrecked Family, engraved by
Ellis, from a picture by Burnet.—2. Shipwreck of Fort Rouge, Calais, engraved
by Ellis, from a picture by Stanfield.—3. Infancy, engraved by Kelly, from
a picture by Sir Thomas Lawrence.—4. Lady Jane Grey, engraved by Kelly,
from a picture by Leslie.—5. Three Score and Ten, engraved by Kearny, from
a picture by Burnet.—6. The Hour of Rest, engraved by Kelly, from a picture
by Burnet.—7. The Minstrel, engraved by Ellis, from a picture by Leslie.—8.
Arcadia, engraved by Kearny, from a picture by Cockerell.—9. The Fisherman's
Return, engraved by Neagle, from a picture by Collins.—10. The Marchioness
of Carmarthen, granddaughter of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, engraved by Illman
and Pillbrow, from a picture by Mrs. Mee.—11. Morning among the Hills,
engraved by Hatch, from a picture by Doughty.—12. Los Musicos, engraved by
Ellis, from a picture by Watteau.

A few copies of the ATLANTIC SOUVENIR, for 1830, are
still for sale.

beautifully printed, 1 vol. 8vo. to match Byron, Scott, Moore, &c.
With Portraits of the Authors.

The CHEMISTRY of the ARTS, on the Basis
of Gray's Operative Chemist, being an Exhibition of the
Arts and Manufactures dependent on Chemical Principles,
with numerous Engravings, by Arthur L. Porter, M. D.
late Professor of Chemistry, &c. in the University of Vermont.
In 8vo. With numerous plates.

The popular and valuable English work of Mr. Gray, which forms the groundwork
of the present volume, was published in London in 1829, and designed to
exhibit a Systematic and Practical view of the numerous Arts and Manufactures
which involve the application of Chemical Science. The author himself, a
skilful, manufacturing, as well as an able, scientific chemist, enjoying the multiplied
advantages afforded by the metropolis of the greatest manufacturing nation
on earth, was eminently qualified for so arduous an undertaking, and the
popularity of the work in England, as well as its intrinsic merits attest the
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matter, by numerous corrections of the original text, and the adaptation
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treatises on the Bleaching of Cotton and Linen, on the various branches of Calico
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and numerous Staple Articles used in the Arts of Dying, Calico Printing,
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latest information on the Comparative Value of Different Varieties of Fuel, on the
Construction of Stoves, Fire-places, and Stoving Rooms, on the Ventilation of
Apartments, &c. &c. To make room for the additional practical matter, and
not to enhance the price of the work to the American reader, between two and
three hundred pages of the theoretical or doctrinal part of the original work
have been omitted; indeed, most of the articles on the theory of chemistry, such
as Electricity, Galvanism, Light, &c. which have little or no immediate application
to the arts, and which the chemical student will find more fully
discussed in almost every elementary work on the science, have been either
wholly omitted or abridged. Many obsolete processes in the practical part of
the work, used in some instances, the description of arts not practised, and from

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their nature not likely to be practised in the United States, have also been
omitted; in short, the leading object has been to improve and extend the practical
character of the Operative Chemist, and to supply, as the publishers flatter
themselves, a deficiency which is felt by every artist and manufacturer, whose
processes involve the principles of chemical science, the want of a Systematic
Work which should embody the most recent improvements in the chemical
arts and manufactures, whether derived from the researches of scientific men,
or the experiments and observations of the operative manufacturer and artizans

CORD. By John Abercrombie, M. D. (Nearly ready.)

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By the same Author,

CANAL, the LIVER, and other VISCERA of the

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we have endeavoured to condense into our pages a great mass of important
matter, we feel that our author has not yet received justice.”


SIGNS of DISEASES of the LUNGS and PLEURA, Illustrating
their Pathology and Facilitating their Diagnosis. By
Charles J. Williams, M. D. In 8vo. with plates.

“If we are not greatly mistaken, it will lead to a better understanding, and a
more correct estimate of the value of auscultation, than any thing that has yet

Am. Med. Journ.

Vol. II. Part I. containing Light and Heat.

independently of TECHNICAL MATHEMATICS, and containing
New Disquisitions and Practical Suggestions. By
Neil Arnott, M. D. First American from the third London
edition, with additions, by Isaac Hays, M. D.

*** Of this work four editions have been printed in England in a very short
time. All the Reviews speak of it in the highest terms.

Translated by J. Togno, M. D. 8vo.

A TREATISE on FEVER. By Southwood
M. D. Physician to the London Fever Hospital.

“There is no man in actual practice in this metropolis, who should not possess
himself of Dr. Smith's work.”

Lond. Med. and Surg. Journ. Feb.

“With a mind so framed to accurate observation, and logical deduction, Dr.
Smith's delineations are peculiarly valuable.”

Medico-Chir. Rev. March.

“No work has been more lauded by the Reviews than the Treatise on Fevers,
by Southwood Smith. Dr. Johnson, the editor of the Medico-Chirurgical Review,
says, `It is the best we have ever perused on the subject of fever, and in
our conscience, we believe it the best that ever flowed from the pen of physician
in any age or in any country.”'

Am. Med. Journ.

SKETCHES of CHINA, with Illustrations
from Original Drawings. By W. W. Wood, in 1 vol. 12mo.

“The residence of the author in China, during the years 1826-7-8 and 9, has
enabled him to collect much very curious information relative to this singular
people, which he has embodied in his work; and will serve to gratify the curiosity
of many whose time or dispositions do not allow them to seek, in the voluminous
writings of the Jesuits and early travellers, the information contained
in the present work. The recent discussion relative to the renewal of the East
India Company's Charter, has excited much interest; and among ourselves, the
desire to be further acquainted with the subjects of `the Celestial Empire' has
been considerably augmented.”

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The Cabinet History of the British Islands,


HISTORY of ENGLAND. By Sir James Mackintosh, Vol. I.

“Our anticipations of this volume were certainly very highly raised, and unlike
such anticipations in general, they have not been disappointed. A philosophical
spirit, a nervous style, and a full knowledge of the subject, acquired by
considerable research into the works of preceding chroniclers and historians,
eminently distinguish this popular abridgment, and cannot fail to recommend it
to universal approbation. In continuing his work as he has begun, Sir James
Mackintosh will confer a great benefit on his country.”

Lond. Lit. Gazette.

HISTORY of SCOTLAND. By Sir Walter Scott, 2 vols.

HISTORY of IRELAND. By Thomas Moore, 1 vol.

Bart, in 2 vols. 12mo.

The History of Scotland, by Sir Walter Scott, we do not hesitate to declare,
will be, if possible, more extensively read, than the most popular work of fiction,
by the same prolific author, and for this obvious reason: it combines much of the
brilliant colouring of the Ivanhoe pictures of by-gone manners, and all the
graceful facility of style and picturesqueness of description of his other charming
romances, with a minute fidelity to the facts of history, and a searching scrutiny
into their authenticity and relative value, which might put to the blush Mr.
Hume and other professed historians. Such is the magic charm of Sir Walter
Scott's pen, it has only to touch the simplest incident of every day life, and it
starts up invested with all the interest of a scene of romance; and yet such is his
fidelity to the text of nature, that the knights, and serfs, and collared fools with
whom his inventive genius has peopled so many volumes, are regarded by us as
not mere creations of fancy, but as real flesh and blood existences, with all the
virtues, feelings and errors of common place humanity.”

Lit. Gaz.

CLARENCE; a Tale of our own Times. By
the Author of Redwood, Hope Leslie, &c. In two volumes.

FALKLAND, a Novel, by the Author of
Pelham, &c. 1 vol. 12mo.

Military Hospital of the Val-de-Grace. Translated from the
French of H. M. J. Desruelles, M. D. &c. To which is added,
Observations by G. J. Guthrie, Esq. and various documents,
showing the results of this Mode of Treatment, in Great Britain,
France, Germany, and America, 1 vol. 8vo.

comprising Observations on the Arrangements, Police, and
Practice of Hospitals, and on the History, Treatment, and
Anomalies of Variola and Syphilis; illustrated with cases and
dissections. By John Hennen, M. D. F. R. S. E. Inspector of
Military Hospitals—first American from the third London edition,
with Life of the Author, by his son, Dr. John Hennen.

“The value of Dr. Hennen's work is too well appreciated to need any praise
of ours. We were only required then, to bring the third edition before the notice
of our readers; and having done this, we shall merely add, that the volume
merits a place in every library, and that no military surgeon ought to be without

Medical Gazette.

“It is a work of supererogation for us to eulogize Dr. Hennen's Military Surgery;
there can be no second opinion on its merits. It is indispensable to the military
and naval surgeon.”

London Medical and Surgical Journal.

PHRASES on every Topic necessary to maintain Conversation,

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arranged under different heads, with numerous remarks on
the peculiar pronunciation and use of various words—the
whole so disposed as considerably to facilitate the acquisition
of a correct pronunciation of the French. By A. Bolmar. One
vol. 18mo.

PERRIN'S FABLES, accompanied by a Key, containing the
text, a literal and free translation, arranged in such a manner
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to the best French works extant on the subject; the
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by William E. Horner, M. D. Adjunct Professor of
Anatomy in the University of Pennsylvania.

“We can conscientiously commend it to the members of the profession, as a
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Sciences, No. 9

A New Edition of a TREATISE of SPECIAL
and GENERAL ANATOMY, by the same author, 2 vols. 8vo.

A New Edition of a TREATISE on PRACTICAL
ANATOMY, by the same author.

Eighth Edition, Improved and greatly Enlarged. By John
Redman Coxe,
M. D. Professor of Materia Medica and Pharmacy
in the University of Pennsylvania. In 1 vol. 8vo.

DISEASES, including generically March Fever and
Neuralgia—comprising under the former, various anomalies,
obscurities, and consequences, and under a new systematic
view of the latter, treating of tic douloureux, sciatica, headache,
ophthalmia, tooth-ache, palsy, and many other modes and
consequences of this generic disease; by John Macculloch,
M. D., F. R. S. &c. &c. Physician in Ordinary to his Royal
Highness Prince Leopold, of Saxe Cobourg.

“In rendering Dr. Macculloch's work more accessible to the profession, we
are conscious that we are doing the state some service.”

Med. Chir. Review.

“We most strongly recommend Dr. Macculloch's treatise to the attention of
our medical brethren, as presenting a most valuable mass of information, on a
most important subject.”

N. A. Med. and Surg. Journal.

WISTAR'S ANATOMY, fifth edition, 2
vols. 8vo.

of the TEETH. By Thomas Bell, F. R. S., F. L. S.
&c. In 1 vol. 8vo. with plates.

“Mr. Bell has evidently endeavoured to construct a work of reference for the
practitioner, and a text-book for the student, containing a `plain and practical
digest of the information at present possessed on the subject, and results of the
author's own investigations and experience.”' * * * “We must now take leave
of Mr. Bell, whose work we have no doubt will become a class book on the important
subject of dental surgery.”

Medico-Chirurgical Review.

MORALS of PLEASURE, illustrated by
Stories designed for Young Persons, in 1 vol. 12mo.

“The style of the stories is no less remarkable for its ease and gracefulness,

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than for the delicacy of its humour, and its beautiful and at times affecting simplicity.
A lady must have written it—for it is from the bosom of woman alone,
that such tenderness of feeling and such delicacy of sentiment—such sweet lessons
of morality—such deep and pure streams of virtue and piety, gush forth to
cleanse the juvenile mind from the grosser impurities of our nature, and prepare
the young for lives of usefulness here, and happiness hereafter. We advise parents
of young families to procure this little book—assuring them that it will
have a tendency to render their offspring as sweet as innocent, as innocent as
gay, as gay as happy. It is dedicated by the author `to her young Bedford
friends, Anna and Maria Jay'—but who this fair author is, we cannot even guess.
We would advise some sensible educated bachelor to find out,”

N. Y. Com. Adv.

Dewees, M. D. Adjunct Professor of Midwifery in the University
of Pennsylvania, 2 vols. 8vo.

“We have no hesitation in recommending it as decidedly one of the best
systems of medicine extant. The tenor of the work in general reflects the highest
honour on Dr. Dewees's talents, industry, and capacity, for the execution of
the arduous task which he had undertaken. It is one of the most able and
satisfactory works which modern times have produced, and will be a standard

Lond. Med. and Surg. Journ. Aug. 1830.

Third edition. In 8vo.

The objects of this work are, 1st, to teach those who have the charge of children,
either as parent or guardian, the most approved methods of securing and
improving their physical powers. This is attempted by pointing out the duties
which the parent or the guardian owes for this purpose, to this interesting,
but helpless class of beings, and the manner by which their duties shall be fulfilled.
And 2d, to render available a long experience to these objects of our affections,
when they become diseased. In attempting this, the author has avoided
as much as was possible, “technicality;” and has given, if he does not flatter himself
too much, to each disease of which he treats, its appropriate and designating
characters, with a fidelity that will prevent any two being confounded, together
with the best mode of treating them, that either his own experience or
that of others has suggested.

Second edition with additions. In 8vo.

Fourth edition, with additions.

MATERIA MEDICA. Fifth edition, with additions.

GRENADA, by Washington Irving, Esq. in 2 vols.

“On the whole, this work will sustain the high fame of Washington Irving.
It fills a blank in the historical library which ought not to have remained so
long a blank. The language throughout is at once chaste and animated; and
the narrative may be said, like Spencer's Fairy Queen, to present one long gallery
of splendid pictures. Indeed, we know no pages from which the artist is
more likely to derive inspiration, nor perhaps are there many incidents in literary
history more surprising than that this antique and chivalrous story should
have been for the first time told worthily by the pen of an American and a republican.”

London Literary Gazette.

New Editions of the following works by the same Author.

THE SKETCH BOOK, 2 vols. 12mo.


BRACEBRIDGE HALL, 2 vols. 12mo.

TALES of a TRAVELLER, 2 vols. 12mo.

DICTIONARY, new Edition.

A TOUR in AMERICA, by Basil Hall,
Captain, R. N. in 2 vols. 12mo.

HISTORY of BIRDS inhabiting the UNITED

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STATES, by Charles Lucian Bonaparte; designed as a
continuation of Wilson's Ornithology, vols. I., II. and III.

*** Gentlemen who possess Wilson, and are desirous of rendering
the work complete, are informed that the edition of
this work is very small, and that but a very limited number of
copies remain unsold.

No. XVI. Contents.—Buenos Ayres and the Pampas.—
Internal Improvement.—Brown's Novels.—Watson's Annals
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Juan Van Halen's Narrative.—Mirabeau.—Banks and Currency.—
Terms, five dollars per annum.

SCIENCES, No. XIII. for November, 1830. Among the
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Chapman, Coxe, Davidge, De Butts, Dewees, Dickson, Dudley,
Francis, Gibson, Godman, Hare, Henderson, Horner,
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Spence, Ware, and Wright.—Terms, five dollars per annum.

GUIDE. New edition with additions, by Dr. T. P.

in 12mo.


and PHARMACY. By H. M. Edwards, M. D. and P. Vavasseur,
M. D. comprising a Concise Description of the Articles used
in Medicine; their Physical and Chemical Properties; the Botanical
Characters of the Medicinal Plants; the Formulæ for the
Principal Officinal Preparations of the American, Parisian,
Dublin, Edinburgh, &c. Pharmacopœias; with Observations on
the Proper Mode of Combining and Administering Remedies,
Translated from the French, with numerous Additions and
Corrections, and adapted to the Practice of Medicine and to
the Art of Pharmacy in the United States. By Joseph Togno,
M. D. Member of the Philadelphia Medical Society, and E.
Durand, Member of the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy.

“It contains all the pharmaceutical information that the physician can desire,
and in addition, a larger mass of information, in relation to the properties, &c.
of the different articles and preparations employed in medicine, than any of the
dispensatories, and we think will entirely supersede all these publications in the
library of the physician.”

Am. Journ. of the Medical Sciences.

Thomas Henderson, M. D. Professor of the Theory and Practice
of Medicine in Columbia College, Washington City. 1
vol. 8vo.

“The epitome of Dr. Henderson ought and must find a place in the library
of every physician desirous of useful knowledge for himself, or of being instrumental
in imparting it to others, whose studies he is expected to superintend.”

North American Medical and Surgical Journal, No. 15.


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Medical Formulary, being a collection of prescriptions derived
from the writings and practice of many of the most eminent
physicians in America and Europe. By Benjamin Ellis,
M. D. 2d edition, with additions.

“A small and very useful volume has been recently published in this city, entitled
`The Medical Formulary.' We believe that this volume will meet with a
cordial welcome from the medical public. We would especially recommend it
to our brethren in distant parts of the country, whose insulated situations may
prevent them from having access to the many authorities which have been consulted
in arranging materials for this work.”

Phil. Med. and Phys. Jour.

ROCKY MOUNTAINS, 2 vols. 8vo. with 4to Atlas.

SOURCES of the MISSISSIPPI, 2 vols. 8vo. with Plates.

The HISTORY of LOUISIANA, particularly
of the Cession of that Colony to the United States of
North America; with an introductory Essay on the Constitution
and Government of the United States, by M. de Marbois,
Peer of France, translated from the French by an American
citizen, in 1 vol. 8vo.


First American from the Second London edition.

American from the Second London edition.

ROBERT of PARIS, a Tale of the Lower Empire.
By the Author of Waverley.

TALES of a GRANDFATHER, being a Series
from French History. By the Author of Waverley.

DESTINY, a Novel. By the Author of Marriage
and Inheritance.

by J. Coster. Translated from the French, by
Dr. Knox.

By S. Jackson, M. D. (Nearly ready.)

American edition.

In 8vo.

DOCTRINES. In 2 vols. 8vo.

(Will be ready in January.)

PRINCIPLES of GEOLOGY, being an Attempt
to Explain the Former Changes of the Earth's Surface
by reference to Causes now in Operation. By Charles Lyell,
Esq. F. R. S.

ELEMENTS of MYOLOGY. By E. Geddings,
M. D. In 4to. with numerous plates.

Charles Bonaparte. Vol. IV.

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Just Published, by Carey & Lea,

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Philadelphia, Nov. 1830.

And sold in Philadelphia by E. L. Carey & A. Hart; in New-York
by G. & C. & H. Carvill; in Boston by Carter & Hendee—in Charleston
by W. H. Berrett—in New-Orleans by W. M'Kean; by the principal
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(To be continued at intervals of three months,)










On the basis of the Seventh Edition of the German




To be completed in twelve large volumes, octavo, price to subscribers, bound
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The Conversation Lexicon, of which the seventh edition in
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of an accomplished man. This want, no existing works
were adequate to supply. Books treating of particular branches,
such as gazetteers, &c. were too confined in character;
while voluminous Encyclopædias were too learned, scientific,

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and cumbrous, being usually elaborate treatises, requiring much
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conductors of the Conversation Lexicon endeavored to select
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The reader may judge how well it is adapted to its object,
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COPIES, have been printed in less than fifteen years. It
has been translated into the Swedish, Danish and Dutch languages,
and a French translation is now preparing in Paris.

A great advantage of this work is its liberal and impartial
character; and there can be no doubt that a book like the Encyclopædia
will be found peculiarly useful in this
country, where the wide diffusion of the blessings of education,
and the constant intercourse of all classes, create a great demand
for general information.

In the preparation of the work thus far, the Editors have
been aided by many gentlemen of distinguished ability; and for
the continuation, no efforts shall be spared to secure the aid of
all who can, in any way, contribute to render it worthy of

The American Biography, which is very extensive, will be
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to that branch of our literature, and from materials in the
collection of which he has been engaged for some years. For
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notices of all distinguished living characters, as well as
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The articles on Zoology have been written expressly for the
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In relation to the Fine Arts, the work will be exceedingly
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additions, as perfect as possible.

To gentlemen of the Bar, the work will be peculiarly valuable,
as in cases where legal subjects are treated, an account is

-- --

[figure description] Advertisement.[end figure description]

given of the provisions of American, English, French, Prussian,
Austrian, and Civil Law.

The Publishers believe it will be admitted, that this work is
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Those who can, by any honest modes of economy, reserve the sum of two
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If the encouragement to the publishers should correspond with the testimony
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the hazard of the undertaking, bold as it was, will be well compensated;
and our libraries will be enriched by the most generally useful encyclopedic
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enough for the general scholar, and plain enough for every capacity, it is far
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American Farmer.

The high reputation of the contributors to this work, will not fail to insure
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Silliman's Journ.

The work will be a valuable possession to every family or individual that
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National Intelligencer.

The Encyclopædia Americana is a prodigious improvement upon all that
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it birth, to be proud of; an inexhaustible treasury of useful, pleasant and familiar
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* * * The Encyclopædia Americana is a work without which no library
worthy of the name can hereafter be made up.


The copious information which, if a just idea of the whole may be formed
from the first volume, this work affords on American subjects, fully justifies
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and felicitous disposition of its topics, make it the most convenient and
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If the succeeding volumes shall equal in merit the one before us, we may
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The variety of topics is of course vast, and they are treated in a manner
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We view it as a publication worthy of the age and of the country, and cannot
but believe the discrimination of our countrymen will sustain the publishers,
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Baltimore Patriot.

We cannot doubt that the succeeding volumes will equal the first, and we
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& c. which has yet been compiled. The style of the portion we have read
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other information could have been so satisfactorily communicated in such brief

N. Y. Evening Post.

A compendious library, and invaluable book of reference.

N. Y. American

-- --

[figure description] Advertisement.[end figure description]

This cannot but prove a valuable addition to the literature of the age.

Mer Advertiser.

The appearance of the first volume of this valuable work in this country, is
an event not less creditable to its enterprising publishers, than it is likely to
prove lastingly beneficial to the public. When completed, according to the
model presented by the first volume, it will deserve to be regarded as the spirit
of all the best Encyclopædias, since it comprises whatever is really desirable
and necessary in them, and in addition, a large proportion of articles entirely
original, or expressly written for its pages. This is the condition of all the
articles of American Biography, by Mr. Walsh; those on Zoology, by Dr. Godman;
and those on Mineralogy and Chemistry, by a gentleman of Boston,
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The vast circulation this work has had in Europe, where it has already been
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To every man engaged in public business, who needs a correct and ample book
of reference on various topics of science and letters, the Encyclopædia American
á will be almost invaluable. To individuals obliged to go to situations
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We have seen and carefully examined the first volume of the Encyclopædia
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be congratulated upon the opportunity of making such a valuable accession to
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The department of American Biography, a subject of which it should be
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According to the plan of Dr. Lieber, a desideratum will be supplied; the substance
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The volume now published is not only highly honorable to the taste, ability
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We have looked at the contents, generally, of the second volume of this
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knowledge spread before the reader, in a form which has never been
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for propriety and perspicuity, we cannot but think that the American Encyclop
ædia deserves a place in every collection, in which works of reference form
a portion.”

Southern Patriot.
Title Page [figure description] Title-Page.[end figure description]


“Mais, que diable alloit-il faire dans cette galère?”



-- --

[figure description] Publisher's Imprint.[end figure description]

Eastern District of Pennsylvania, to wit: L. S. BE IT REMEMBERED, That on the thirtieth day of October,
in the fifty-third year of the Independence of the United
States of America, A. D. 1830, Carey & Lea, of the said district,
have deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof
they claim as proprietors in the words following, to wit:
“The Water-Witch, or the Skimmer of the Seas. A Tale; by the author
of the Pilot, Red Rover, &c. &c. &c.

`Mais, que diable alloit-il faire dans cette galère?'”

In conformity to the Act of the Congress of the United States, entitled, “An
Act for the Encouragement of Learning, by securing the copies of Maps,
Charts, and Books, to the Authors and Proprietors of such Copies, during
the times therein mentioned;” And also to an Act, entitled, “An Act supplementary
to an Act, entitled, `An Act for the Encouragement of Learning,
by securing the copies of Maps, Charts, and Books, to the Authors and
Proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned,' and extending
the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etching historical
and other prints.”
D. CALDWELL, Clerk of the
Easters District of Pennsylvania.

-- iii --


[figure description] Page iii.[end figure description]

Christendom is gradually extricating itself from the ignorance,
ferocity, and crimes of the middle ages. It is no longer
subject of boast, that the hand which wields the sword, never
held a pen, and men have long since ceased to be ashamed of
knowledge. The multiplied means of imparting principles
and facts, and a more general diffusion of intelligence, have
conduced to establish sounder ethics and juster practices,
throughout the whole civilized world. Thus, he who admits
the conviction, as hope declines with his years, that man deteriorates,
is probably as far from the truth, as the visionary
who sees the dawn of a golden age, in the commencement of
the nineteenth century. That we have greatly improved on
the opinions and practices of our ancestors, is quite as certain
as that there will be occasion to meliorate the legacy of morals
which we shall transmit to posterity.

When the progress of civilization compelled Europe to correct
the violence and injustice which were so openly practised,
until the art of printing became known, the other hemisphere
made America the scene of those acts, which shame prevented
her from exhibiting nearer home. There was little of a lawless,
mercenary, violent, and selfish nature, that the self-styled
masters of the continent hesitated to commit, when removed
from the immediate responsibilities of the society in which
they had been educated. The Drakes, Rogers', and Dampiers
of that day, though enrolled in the list of naval heroes,

-- iv --

[figure description] Page iv.[end figure description]

were no other than pirates, acting under the sanction of commissions;
and the scenes that occurred among the marauders
of the land, were often of a character to disgrace human nature.

That the colonies which formed the root of this republic
escaped the more serious evils of a corruption so gross and so
widely spread, can only be ascribed to the characters of those
by whom they were peopled.

Perhaps nine-tenths of all the white inhabitants of the
Union are the direct descendants of men who quitted Europe,
in order to worship God according to conviction and conscience.
If the Puritans of New-England, the Friends of
Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware, the Catholics of Maryland,
the Presbyterians of the upper counties of Virginia and
of the Carolinas, and the Huguenots, brought with them the
exaggeration of their peculiar sects, it was an exaggeration
that tended to correct most of their ordinary practices. Still
the English Provinces were not permitted, altogether, to escape
from the moral dependency that seems nearly inseparable
from colonial government, or to be entirely exempt from the
wide contamination of the times.

The State of New-York, as is well known, was originally a
colony of the United Provinces. The settlement was made
in the year 1613; and the Dutch East India Company, under
whose authority the establishment was made, claimed the
whole country between the Connecticut and the mouth of
Delaware-bay, a territory which, as it had a corresponding
depth, equalled the whole surface of the present kingdom of
France. Of this vast region, however, they never occupied
but a narrow belt on each side of the Hudson, with, here and
there, a settlement on a few of the river flats, more inland.

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[figure description] Page v.[end figure description]

There is a providence in the destiny of nations, that sets at
nought the most profound of human calculations. Had the
dominion of the Dutch continued a century longer, there
would have existed in the very heart of the Union a people
opposed to its establishment, by their language, origin, and
habits. The conquest of the English in 1663, though unjust
and iniquitous in itself, removed the danger, by opening the
way for the introduction of that great community of character
which now so happily prevails.

Though the English, the French, the Swedes, the Dutch,
the Danes, the Spaniards, and the Norwegians, all had colonies
within the country which now composes the United States,
the people of the latter are more homogeneous in character,
language, and opinions, than those of any other great nation
that is familiarly known. This identity of character is owing to
the early predominance of the English, and to the circumstance
that New-England and Virginia, the two great sources of internal
emigration, were entirely of English origin. Still, New-York
retains, to the present hour, a variety of usages that were
obtained from Holland. Her edifices of painted bricks, her
streets lined with trees, her inconvenient and awkward stoops,
and a large proportion of her names, are equally derived from
the Dutch. Until the commencement of this century, even
the language of Holland prevailed in the streets of the capital,
and though a nation of singular boldness and originality in all
that relates to navigation, the greatest sea-port of the country
betrays many evidences of a taste which must be referred to
the same origin.

The reader will find in these facts a sufficient explanation
of most of the peculiar customs, and of some of the peculiar
practices, that are exhibited in the course of the

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following tale. Slavery, a divided language, and a distinct
people, are no longer to be found, within the fair regions of
New-York; and, without pretending to any peculiar exemption
from the weaknesses of humanity, it may be permitted us
to hope, that these are not the only features of the narrative,
which a better policy, and a more equitable administration of
power, have made purely historical.

Early released from the fetters of the middle ages, fetters
that bound the mind equally with the person, America has
preceded rather than followed Europe, in that march of improvement
which is rendering the present era so remarkable.
Under a system, broad, liberal, and just as hers, though she
may have to contend with rivalries that are sustained by a
more concentrated competition, and which are as absurd by
their pretension of liberality as they are offensive by their
monopolies, there is nothing to fear, in the end. Her political
motto should be Justice, and her first and greatest care to see
it administered to her own citizens.

The reader is left to make the application.

Main text

-- 007 --


“What, shall this speech he spoke for our excuse?
Or shall we on without apology.”
Romeo and Juliet.

[figure description] Page 007.[end figure description]

The fine estuary which penetrates the American
coast, between the fortieth and forty-first degrees of
latitude, is formed by the confluence of the Hudson,
the Hackensack, the Passaic, the Raritan, and a multitude
of smaller streams; all of which pour their
tribute into the ocean, within the space named. The
islands of Nassau and Staten are happily placed to
exclude the tempests of the open sea, while the deep
and broad arms of the latter offer every desirable
facility for foreign trade and internal intercourse.
To this fortunate disposition of land and water, with
a temperate climate, a central position, and an immense
interior, that is now penetrated, in every direction,
either by artificial or by natural streams, the
city of New-York is indebted for its extraordinary
prosperity. Though not wanting in beauty, there
are many bays that surpass this in the charms of
scenery; but it may be questioned if the world possesses
another site that unites so many natural advantages
for the growth and support of a widely-extended
commerce. As if never wearied with her
kindness, Nature has placed the island of Manhattan
at the precise point that is most desirable for the
position of a town. Millions might inhabit the spot,
and yet a ship should load near every door; and
while the surface of the land just possesses the inequalities
that are required for health and cleanliness,
its bosom is filled with the material most needed in

-- 008 --

[figure description] Page 008.[end figure description]

The consequences of so unusual a concurrence of
favorable circumstances, are well known. A vigorous,
healthful, and continued growth, that has no
parallel even in the history of this extraordinary
and fortunate country, has already raised the insignificant
provincial town of the last century to the
level of the second-rate cities of the other hemisphere.
The New-Amsterdam of this continent already rivals
its parent of the other; and, so far as human powers.
may pretend to predict, a few fleeting years will
place her on a level with the proudest capitals of

It would seem that, as Nature has given its periods
to the stages of animal life, it has also set limits to
all moral and political ascendency. While the city
of the Medici is receding from its crumbling walls,
like the human form shrinking into “the lean and
slipper'd pantaloon,” the Queen of the Adriatic
sleeping on her muddy isles, and Rome itself is only
to be traced by fallen temples and buried columns,
the youthful vigor of America is fast covering the
wilds of the West with the happiest fruits of human

By the Manhattanese, who is familiar with the
forest of masts, the miles of wharves, the countless
villas, the hundred churches, the castles, the smoking
and busy vessels that crowd his bay, the daily increase
and the general movement of his native town,
the picture we are about to sketch will scarcely be
recognized. He who shall come a generation later
will probably smile, that subject of admiration
should have been found in the existing condition of
the city: and yet we shall attempt to carry the
recollections of the reader but a century back, in
the brief history of his country.

As the sun rose on the morning of the 3d of June,
171-, the report of a cannon was heard rolling along
the waters of the Hudson. Smoke issued from an

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embrasure of a small fortress, that stood on the point
of land where the river and the bay mingle their
waters. The explosion was followed by the appearance
of a flag, which, as it rose to the summit of its
staff and unfolded itself heavily in the light current
of air, showed the blue field and red cross of the
English ensign. At the distance of several miles, the
dark masts of a ship were to be seen, faintly relieved
by the verdant back-ground of the heights of Staten
Island. A little cloud floated over this object, and
then an answering signal came dull and rumbling to
the town. The flag that the cruiser set was not
visible in the distance.

At the precise moment that the noise of the first
gun was heard, the door of one of the principal
dwellings of the town opened, and a man, who might
have been its master, appeared on its stoop, as the
ill-arranged entrances of the buildings of the place
are still termed. He was seemingly prepared for
some expedition that was likely to consume the day.
A black of middle age followed the burgher to the
threshold; and another negro, who had not yet reached
the stature of manhood, bore under his arm a
small bundle, that probably contained articles of the
first necessity to the comfort of his master.

“Thrift, Mr. Euclid, thrift is your true philosopher's
stone;” commenced, or rather continued in a
rich full-mouthed Dutch, the proprietor of the dwelling,
who had evidently been giving a leave-taking
charge to his principal slave, before quitting the
house—“Thrift hath made many a man rich, but it
never yet brought any one to want. It is thrift
which has built up the credit of my house, and,
though it is said by myself, a broader back and firmer
base belongs to no merchant in the colonies. You
are but the reflection of your master's prosperity,
you rogue, and so much the greater need that you
look to his interests. If the substance is wasted, what

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[figure description] Page 010.[end figure description]

will become of the shadow? When I get delicate,
you will sicken: when I am a-hungered, you will be
famished; when I die, you may be—ahem—Euclid.
I leave thee in charge with goods and chattels, house
and stable, with my character in the neighborhood.
I am going to the Lust in Rust, for a mouthful of
better air. Plague and fevers! I believe the people
will continue to come into this crowded town, until
it gets to be as pestilent as Rotterdam in the dog-days.
You have now come to years when a man obtains
his reflection, boy, and I expect suitable care and
discretion about the premises, while my back is turned.
Now, harkee, sirrah: I am not entirely pleased
with the character of thy company. It is not altogether
as respectable as becomes the confidential
servant of a man of a certain station in the world.
There are thy two cousins, Brom and Kobus,
who are no better than a couple of blackguards;
and as for the English negro, Diomede—he is a
devil's imp! Thou hast the other locks at disposal,
and,” drawing with visible reluctance the instrument
from his pocket, “here is the key of the stable. Not
a hoof is to quit it, but to go to the pump—and see
that each animal has its food to a minute. The
devil's roysterers! a Manhattan negro takes a Flemish
gelding for a gaunt hound that is never out of
breath, and away he goes, at night, scampering along
the highways like a Yankee witch switching through
the air on a broomstick—but mark me, master
Euclid, I have eyes in my head, as thou knowest by
bitter experience! D'ye remember, ragamuffin, the
time when I saw thee, from the Hague, riding the
beasts, as if the devil spurred them, along the dykes
of Leyden, without remorse as without leave?”

“I alway b'rieve some make-mischief tell Masser,
dat time;” returned the negro sulkily, though not
without doubt.

“His own eyes were the tell-tales. If masters had

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[figure description] Page 011.[end figure description]

no eyes, a pretty world would the negroes make of
it! I have got the measure of every black heel, on
the island, registered in the big book you see me so
often looking into, especially on Sundays; and, if
either of the tire-legs I have named dares to enter
my grounds, let him expect to pay a visit to the city
Provost. What do the wild-cats mean? Do they
think that the geldings were bought in Holland;
with charges for breaking in, shipment, insurance,
freight, and risk of diseases, to have their flesh melted
from their ribs like a cook's candle?”

“Ere no'tin' done in all 'e island, but a color' man
do him! He do a mischief, and he do all a work,
too! I won'er what color Masser t'ink war' Captain

“Black or white, he was a rank rogue; and you
see the end he came to. I warrant you, now, that
water-thief began his iniquities by riding the neighbors'
horses, at night. His fate should be a warning
to every negro in the colony. The imps of darkness!
The English have no such scarcity of rogues at home,
that they could not spare us the pirate to hang up
on one of the islands, as a scarecrow to the blacks
of Manhattan.”

“Well, I t'ink 'e sight do a white man some good,
too;” returned Euclid, who had all the pertinacity
of a spoiled Dutch negro, singularly blended with
affection for him in whose service he had been born.
“I hear ebbery body say, 'er'e war' but two color'
man in he ship, and 'em bot' war' Guinea-born.”

“A modest tongue, thou midnight scamperer! look
to my geldings—Here—here are two Dutch florins,
three stivers, and a Spanish pistareen for thee; one
of the florins is for thy old mother, and with the
others thou canst lighten thy heart in the Paus merrymakings—
if I hear that either of thy rascally cousins,
or the English Diomede, has put a leg across
beast of mine, it will be the worse for all Africa!

-- 012 --

[figure description] Page 012.[end figure description]

Famine and skeletons! here have I been seven years
trying to fatten the nags, and they still look more like
weasels than a pair of solid geldings.”

The close of this speech was rather muttered in
the distance, and by way of soliloquy, than actually
administered to the namesake of the great mathematician.
The air of the negro had been a little equivocal,
during the parting admonition. There was an
evident struggle, in his mind, between an innate love
of disobedience, and a secret dread of his master's
means of information. So long as the latter continued
in sight, the black watched his form in doubt;
and when it had turned a corner, he stood at gaze,
for a moment, with a negro on a neighboring stoop;
then both shook their heads significantly, laughed
aloud, and retired. That night, the confidential servant
attended to the interests of his absent master,
with a fidelity and care which proved he felt his own
existence identified with that of a man who claimed
so close a right in his person; and just as the clock
struck ten, he and the negro last mentioned mounted
the sluggish and over-fattened horses, and galloped,
as hard as foot could be laid to the earth, several
miles deeper into the island, to attend a frolic at one
of the usual haunts of the people of their color and

Had Alderman Myndert Van Beverout suspected
the calamity which was so soon to succeed his absence,
it is probable that his mien would have been
less composed, as he pursued his way from his own
door, on the occasion named. That he had confidence
in the virtue of his menaces, however, may be inferred
from the tranquillity which immediately took
possession of features that were never disturbed,
without wearing an appearance of unnatural effort.
The substantial burgher was a little turned of fifty;
and an English wag, who had imported from the
mother country a love for the humor of his nation,

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[figure description] Page 013.[end figure description]

had once, in a conflict of wits before the city council,
described him to be a man of alliterations. When
called upon to explain away this breach of parliamentary
decorum, the punster had gotten rid of the
matter, by describing his opponent to be “short, solid
and sturdy, in stature; full, flushed and funny, in
face; and proud, ponderous and pragmatical, in propensities.”
But, as is usual, in all sayings of effort,
there was more smartness than truth in this description;
though, after making a trifling allowance for
the coloring of political rivalry, the reader may receive
its physical portion as sufficiently descriptive
to answer all the necessary purposes of this tale. If
we add, that he was a trader of great wealth and
shrewdness, and a bachelor, we need say no more in
this stage of the narrative.

Notwithstanding the early hour at which this industrious
and flourishing merchant quitted his abode,
his movement along the narrow streets of his native
town was measured and dignified. More than once,
he stopped to speak to some favorite family-servant,
invariably terminating his inquiries after the health
of the master, by some facetious observation adapted
to the habits and capacity of the slave. From this,
it would seem, that, while he had so exaggerated
notions of domestic discipline, the worthy burgher
was far from being one who indulged, by inclination,
in the menaces he has been heard to utter. He had
just dismissed one of these loitering negroes, when,
on turning a corner, a man of his own color, for the
first time that morning, suddenly stood before him.
The startled citizen made an involuntary movement
to avoid the unexpected interview, and then, perceiving
the difficulty of such a step, he submitted,
with as good a grace as if it had been one of his own

“The orb of day—the morning gun—and Mr.
Alderman Van Beverout!” exclaimed the individual

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[figure description] Page 014.[end figure description]

encountered. “Such is the order of events, at this
early hour, on each successive revolution of our

The countenance of the Alderman had barely
time to recover its composure, ere he was required
to answer to this free and somewhat facetious salutation.
Uncovering his head, he bowed so ceremoniously
as to leave the other no reason to exult in his
pleasantry, as he answered—

“The colony has reason to regret the services of
a governor who can quit his bed so soon. That we
of business habits stir betimes, is quite in reason; but
there are those in this town, who would scarce believe
their eyes did they enjoy my present happiness.”

“Sir, there are many in this colony who have
great reason to distrust their senses, though none can
be mistaken in believing they see Alderman Van
Beverout in a well-employed man. He that dealeth
in the produce of the beaver must have the animal's
perseverance and forethought! Now, were I a king-at-arms,
there should be a concession made in thy
favor, Myndert, of a shield bearing the animal mordant,
a mantle of fur, with two Mohawk hunters for
supporters, and the motto, `Industry.”'

“Or what think you, my Lord,” returned the
other, who did not more than half relish the pleasantry
of his companion, “of a spotless shield for a
clear conscience, with an open hand for a crest, and
the motto, `Frugality and Justice?”'

“I like the open hand, though the conceit is pretending.
I see you would intimate that the Van
Beverouts have not need, at this late day, to search
a herald's office for honors. I remember, now I bethink
me, on some occasion to have seen their bearings;
a windmill, courant; dyke, coulant; field, vert,
sprinkled with black cattle—No! then, memory is

-- 015 --

[figure description] Page 015.[end figure description]

treacherous; the morning air is pregnant with food
for the imagination!”

“Which is not a coin to satisfy a creditor, my
Lord,” said the caustic Myndert.

“Therein has truth been, pithily, spoken. This
is an ill-judged step, Alderman Van Beverout, that
lets a gentleman out by night, like the ghost in Hamlet,
to flee into the narrow house with the crowing
of the cock. The ear of my royal cousin hath been
poisoned, worse than was the ear of `murdered Denmark,
' or the partisans of this Mister Hunter would
have little cause to triumph.”

“Is it not possible to give such pledges to those
who have turned the key, as will enable your lordship
to apply the antidote.”

The question stuck a chord that changed the
whole manner of the other. His air, which had
borne the character of a genteel trifler, became
more grave and dignified; and notwithstanding there
was the evidence of a reckless disposition in his features,
dress and carriage, his tall and not ungraceful
form, as he walked slowly onward, by the side of the
compact Alderman, was not without much of that
insinuating ease and blandishment, which long familiarity
with good company can give even to the lowest
moral worth.

“Your question, worthy Sir, manifests great goodness
of heart, and corroborates that reputation for generosity,
the world so freely gives. It is true that the
Queen has been persuaded to sign the mandate of
my recall, and it is certain that Mr. Hunter has the
government of the colony; but these are facts that
might be reversed, were I once in a position to approach
my kinswoman. I do not disclaim certain
indiscretions, Sir; it would ill become me to deny
them, in presence of one whose virtue is as severe as
that of Alderman Van Beverout. I have my failings;
perhaps, as you have just been pleased to intimate,

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[figure description] Page 016.[end figure description]

it would have been better had my motto been frugality;
but the open hand, dear Sir, is a part of the
design you will not deny me, either. If I have weaknesses,
my enemies cannot refuse to say that I never
yet deserted a friend.”

“Not having had occasion to tax your friendship,
I shall not be the first to make the charge.”

“Your impartiality has come to be a proverb! `As
honest as Alderman Van Beverout;' `as generous as
Alderman Van Beverout,' are terms in each man's
mouth; some say `as rich;' (the small blue eye of
the burgher twinkled.) But honesty, and riches,
and generosity, are of little value, without influence.
Men should have their natural consideration in society.
Now is this colony rather Dutch than English,
and yet, you see, how few names are found in
the list of the Council, that have been known in the
province half a century! Here are your Alexanders
and Heathcotes, your Morris's and Kennedies, de
Lanceys and Livingstons, filling the Council and the
legislative halls; but we find few of the Van Rensselaers,
Van Courtlandts, Van Schuylers, Stuyvesants,
Van Beekmans, and Van Beverouts, in their natural
stations. All nations and religions have precedency,
in the royal favor, over the children of the Patriarchs.
The Bohemian Felipses; the Huguenot de
Lanceys, and Bayards, and Jays; the King-hating
Morrises and Ludlows—in short, all have greater
estimation in the eyes of government, than the most
ancient Patroon!”

“This has long and truly been the case. I cannot
remember when it was otherwise!”

“It may not be denied. But it would little become
political discretion to affect precipitancy in the judgment
of character. If my own administration can
be stigmatized with the same apparent prejudice, it
proves the clearer how strong is misrepresentation at
home. Time was wanting to enlighten my mind,

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[figure description] Page 017.[end figure description]

and that time has been refused me. In another year,
my worthy Sir, the Council should have been filled
with Van's!”

“In such a case, my Lord, the unhappy condition
in which you are now placed might indeed have
been avoided.”

“Is it too late to arrest the evil? It is time Anne
had been undeceived, and her mind regained. There
wanteth nothing to such a consummation of justice,
Sir, but opportunity. It touches me to the heart, to
think that this disgrace should befall one so near the
royal blood! 'Tis a spot on the escutcheon of the
crown, that all loyal subjects must feel desirous to
efface, and so small an effort would effect the object,
too, with certain—Mr. Alderman Myndert Van Beverout—?”

“My Lord, late Governor,” returned the other,
observing that his companion hesitated.

“What think you of this Hanoverian settlement?—
Shall a German wear the crown of a Plantagenet?”

“It hath been worn by a Hollander.”

“Aptly answered! Worn, and worn worthily!
There is affinity between the people, and there is
reason in that reply. How have I failed in wisdom,
in not seeking earlier the aid of thy advice, excellent
Sir! Ah, Myndert, there is a blessing on the enterprises
of all who come of the Low Countries!”

“They are industrious to earn, and slow to squander.”

“That expenditure is the ruin of many a worthy
subject! And yet accident—chance—fortune—or
whatever you may choose to call it, interferes nefariously,
at times, with a gentleman's prosperity. I
am an adorer of constancy in friendship, Sir, and
hold the principle that men should aid each other
through this dark vale of life—Mr. Alderman Van

“My Lord Cornbury?”

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[figure description] Page 018.[end figure description]

“I was about to say, that should I quit the Province,
without expressing part of the regret I feel, at
not having sooner ascertained the merits of its original
owners, and your own in particular, I should do
injustice to sensibilities, that are only too acute for
the peace of him who endures them.”

“Is there then hope that your lordship's creditors
will relent, or has the Earl furnished means to open
the prison-door?”

“You use the pleasantest terms, Sir!—but I love
directness of language, above all other qualities. No
doubt the prison-door, as you have so clearly expressed
it, might be opened, and lucky would be the man
who should turn the key. I am pained when I think
of the displeasure of the Queen, which, sooner or
later, will surely visit my luckless persecutors. On
the other hand, I find relief in thinking of the favor
she will extend to those who have proved my friends,
in such a strait. They that wear crowns love not to
see disgrace befall the meanest of their blood, for
something of the taint may sully even the ermine of
Majesty.—Mr. Alderman—!”

“My Lord?”

“—How fare the Flemish geldings?”

“Bravely, and many thanks, my Lord; the rogues
are fat as butter! There is hope of a little rest for
the innocents, since business calls me to the Lust in
Rust. There should be a law, Lord Governor, to gibbet
the black that rides a beast at night.”

“I bethought of some condign punishment for so
heartless a crime, but there is little hope for it under
the administration of this Mr. Hunter. Yes, Sir;
were I once more in the presence of my royal cousin,
there would quickly be an end to this delusion, and
the colony should be once more restored to a healthful
state. The men of a generation should cease to
lord it over the men of a century. But we must be
wary of letting our design, my dear Sir, get wind; it

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[figure description] Page 019.[end figure description]

is a truly Dutch idea, and the profits, both pecuniary
and political, should belong to the gentlemen of that
descent—My dear Van Beverout—?”

“My good Lord?”

“Is the blooming Alida obedient? Trust me, there
has no family event occurred, during my residence
in the colony, in which I have taken a nearer interest,
than in that desirable connexion. The wooing
of the young Patroon of Kinderhook is an affair
of concern to the province. It is a meritorious

“With an excellent estate, my Lord!”

“And a gravity beyond his years.”

“I would give a guarantee, at a risk, that two-thirds
of his income goes to increase the capital, at
the beginning of each season!”

“He seems a man to live on air!”

“My old friend, the last Patroon, left noble assets,”
continued the Alderman, rubbing his hands; “besides
the manor.”

“Which is no paddock!”

“It reaches from the Hudson to the line of Massachusetts.
A hundred thousand acres of hill and bottom,
and well peopled by frugal Hollanders.”

“Respectable in possession, and a mine of gold in
reversion! Such men, Sir, should be cherished. We
owe it to his station to admit him to a share of this,
our project to undeceive the Queen. How superior
are the claims of such a gentleman to the empty
pretensions of your Captain Ludlow!”

“He has truly a very good and an improving estate!”

“These Ludlows, Sir, people that fled the realm
for plotting against the crown, are offensive to a loyal
subject. Indeed, too much of this objection may be
imputed to many in the province, that come of English
blood. I am sorry to say, that they are fomenters
of discord, disturbers of the public mind, and

-- 020 --

[figure description] Page 020.[end figure description]

captious disputants about prerogatives and vested
rights. But there is a repose in the Dutch character
which lends it dignity! The descendants of the Hollanders
are men to be counted on; where we leave
them to-day, we see them to-morrow. As we say in
politics, Sir, we know where to find them. Does it
not seem to you particularly offensive that this Captain
Ludlow should command the only royal cruiser
on the station?”

“I should like it better, my Lord, were he to serve
in Europe,” returned the Alderman, glancing a look
behind him, and lowering his voice. “There was
lately a rumor that his ship was in truth to be sent
among the islands.”

“Matters are getting very wrong, most worthy
Sir; and the greater the necessity there should be
one at court to undeceive the Queen. Innovators
should be made to give way to men whose names
are historical, in the colony.”

“'Twould be no worse for Her Majesty's credit.”

“'Twould be another jewel in her crown! Should
this Captain Ludlow actually marry your niece, the
family would altogether change its character—I
have the worst memory—thy mother, Myndert, was

“The pious woman was a Van Busser.”

“The union of thy sister with the Huguenot then
reduces the fair Alida to the quality of a half-blood.
The Ludlow connexion would destroy the leaven of
the race! I think the man is penniless!”

“I cannot say that, my Lord, for I would not willingly
injure the credit of my worst enemy; but,
though wealthy, he is far from having the estate of
the young Patroon of Kinderhook.”

“He should indeed be sent into the Indies—Myndert—?”

“My Lord?”

“It would be unjust to my sentiments in favor of

-- 021 --

[figure description] Page 021.[end figure description]

Mr. Oloff Van Staats, were we to exclude him from
the advantages of our project. This much shall I
exact from your friendship, in his favor; the necessary
sum may be divided, in moieties, between you;
a common bond shall render the affair compact; and
then, as we shall be masters of our own secret, there
can be little doubt of the prudence of our measures.
The amount is written in this bit of paper.”

“Two thousand pounds, my Lord!”

“Pardon me, dear Sir; not a penny more than
one for each of you. Justice to Van Staats requires
that you let him into the affair. Were it not for the
suit with your niece, I should take the young gentleman
with me, to push his fortunes at court.”

“Truly, my Lord, this greatly exceeds my means.
The high prices of furs the past season, and delays
in returns have placed a seal upon our silver—”

“The premium would be high.”

“Coin is getting so scarce, daily, that the face of
a Carolus is almost as great a stranger, as the face
of a debtor—”

“The returns certain.”

“While one's creditors meet him, at every corner—”

“The concern would be altogether Dutch.”

“And last advices from Holland tell us to reserve
our gold, for some extraordinary movements in the
commercial world.”

“Mr. Alderman Myndert Van Beverout!”

“My Lord Viscount Cornbury—”

“Plutus preserve thee, Sir—but have a care!
though I scent the morning air, and must return, it
is not forbid to tell the secrets of my prison-house.
There is one, in yonder cage, who whispers that the
`Skimmer of the Seas' is on the coast! Be wary,
worthy burgher, or the second part of the tragedy
of Kidd may yet be enacted in these seas.”

-- 022 --

[figure description] Page 022.[end figure description]

I leave such transactions to my superiors,” retorted
the Alderman, with another stiff and ceremonious
bow. “Enterprises that are said to have occupied
the Earl of Bellamont, Governor Fletcher, and my
Lord Cornbury, are above the ambition of an humble

“Adieu, tenacious Sir; quiet thine impatience for
the extraordinary Dutch movements!” said Cornbury,
affecting to laugh, though he secretly felt the
sting the other had applied, since common report
implicated not only him, but his two official predecessors,
in several of the lawless proceedings of the
American Buccaneers: “Be vigilant, or la demoiselle
Barbérie will give another cross to the purity of the
stagnant pool!”

The bows that were exchanged were strictly in
character. The Alderman was unmoved, rigid, and
formal, while his companion could not forget his ease
of manner, even at a moment of so much vexation.
Foiled in an effort, that nothing but his desperate
condition, and nearly desperate character, could have
induced him to attempt, the degenerate descendant
of the virtuous Clarendon walked towards his place
of confinement, with the step of one who assumed a
superiority over his fellows, and yet with a mind so
indurated by habitual depravity, as to have left it
scarcely the trace of a dignified or virtuous quality.

-- 023 --


“His words are bonds, his oaths are oracles;
His love sincere, his thoughts immaculate;—”
Two Gentlemen of Veroma.

[figure description] Page 023.[end figure description]

The philosophy of Alderman Van Beverout was
not easily disturbed. Still there was a play of the
nether muscles of the face, which might be construed
into self-complacency at his victory, while a certain
contraction of those which controlled the expression
of the forehead seemed to betray a full consciousness
of the imminent risk he had run. The left hand was
thrust into a pocket, where it diligently fingered the
provision of Spanish coin without which the merchant
never left his abode; while the other struck
the cane it held on the pavement, with the force of
a resolute and decided man. In this manner he proceeded
in his walk, for several minutes longer, shortly
quitting the lower streets, to enter one that ran along
the ridge, which crowned the land, in that quarter
of the island. Here he soon stopped before the door
of a house which, in that provincial town, had altogether
the air of a patrician dwelling.

Two false gables, each of which was surmounted
by an iron weathercock, intersected the roof of this
building, and the high and narrow stoop was built of
the red free-stone of the country. The material of
the edifice itself was, as usual, the small, hard brick
of Holland, painted a delicate cream-color.

A single blow of the massive glittering knocker
brought a servant to the door. The promptitude with
which this summons was answered showed that, notwithstanding
the early hour, the Alderman was an
expected guest. The countenance of him who acted
as porter betrayed no surprise when he saw the person
who applied for admission, and every movement
of the black denoted preparation and readiness for

-- 024 --

[figure description] Page 024.[end figure description]

his reception. Declining his invitation to enter, however,
the Alderman placed his back against the iron
railing of the stoop, and opened a discourse with the
negro. The latter was aged, with a head that was
grizzled, a nose that was levelled nearly to the plane
of his face, features that were wrinkled and confused,
and with a form which, though still solid, was bending
with its load of years.

“Brave cheer to thee, old Cupid!” commenced
the burgher, in the hearty and cordial manner with
which the masters of that period were wont to address
their indulged slaves. “A clear conscience is
a good night-cap, and you look bright as the morning
sun! I hope my friend the young Patroon has slept
sound as yourself, and that he has shown his face
already, to prove it.”

The negro answered with the slow clipping manner
that characterized his condition and years.

“He'm werry wakeful, Masser Al'erman. I t'ink
he no sleep half he time, lately. All he a'tiverty
and wiwacerty gone, an' he do no single t'ing but
smoke. A gentle'um who smoke alway, Masser
Al'erman, get to be a melercholy man, at last. I do
t'ink'ere be one young lady in York who be he deat',
some time!”

“We'll find the means to get the pipe out of his
mouth,” said the other, looking askance at the black,
as if to express more than he uttered. “Romance
and pretty girls play the deuce with our philosophy,
in youth, as thou knowest by experience, old Cupid.”

“I no good for any t'ing, dat-a-way, now, not'ing,”
calmly returned the black. “I see a one time, when
few color' man in York hab more respect among a
fair sec', but dat a great while gone by. Now, de
modder of your Euclid, Masser Al'erman, war' a
pretty woman, do' she hab but poor conduc'. Den
a war' young heself, and I use to visit at de Al'erman's
fadder's; afore a English come, and when ole

-- 025 --

[figure description] Page 025.[end figure description]

Patroon war' a young man. Golly! I great affection
for Euclid, do' a young dog nebber come a near me!”

“He's a blackguard! My back is no sooner turned,
than the rascal's atop of one of his master's geldings.”

“He'm werry young, master My'nert: no one get
a wis'om fore a gray hair.”

He's forty every minute, and the rogue gets impudence
with his years. Age is a reverend and respectable
condition, when it brings gravity and thought;
but, if a young fool be tiresome, an old fool is contemptible.
I'll warrant me, you never were so
thoughtless, or so heartless, Cupid, as to ride an over-worked
beast, at night!”

“Well, I get pretty ole, Masser Myn'ert, an' I
forget all he do when a young a young man. But here be'e
Patroon, who know how to tell'e Al'erman such t'ing
better than a poor color' slave.”

“A fair rising and a lucky day to you, Patroon!”
cried the Alderman, saluting a large, slow-moving,
gentlemanly-looking young man of five-and-twenty,
who advanced, with the gravity of one of twice that
number of years, from the interior of the house, towards
its outer door. “The winds are bespoken,
and here is as fine a day as ever shone out of a clear
sky, whether it came from the pure atmosphere of
Holland, or of old England itself. Colonies and patronage!
If the people on the other side of the ocean
had more faith in mother Nature, and less opinion of
themselves, they would find it very tolerable breathing
in the plantations. But the conceited rogues are
like the man who blew the bellows, and fancied he
made the music; and there is never a hobbling imp
of them all, but he believes he is straighter and
sounder, than the best in the colonies. Here is our
bay, now, as smooth as if it were shut in with twenty
dykes, and the voyage will be as safe as if it were
made on a canal.”

“Dat werry well, if a do it,” grumbled Cupid, who

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[figure description] Page 026.[end figure description]

busied himself affectionately about the person of his
master. “I t'ink it alway better to travel on'e land,
when a gentle'um own so much as Masser Oloff. Der'
war”e time a ferry-boat go down, wid crowd of people;
and nobody ebber come up again to say how he

“Here is some mistake!” interrupted the Alderman,
throwing an uneasy glance at his young friend.
“I count four-and-fifty years, and remember no such

“He'm werry sing'lar how a young folk do forget!
'Ere war' drown six people in dat werry-boat. A two
Yankee, a Canada Frenchman, and a poor woman
from a Jarseys. Ebbery body war' werry sorry for
a poor woman from a Jarseys!”

“Thy tally is false, Master Cupid,” promptly rejoined
the Alderman, who was rather expert at
figures. “Two Yankees, a Frenchman, and your
Jersey woman, make but four.”

“Well, den I s'pose 'ere war' one Yankee; but I
know all war' drown, for'e Gubbenor lose he fine
coach-horses in dat werry-boat.”

“The old fellow is right, sure enough; for I remember
the calamity of the horses, as if it were but
yesterday. But Death is monarch of the earth, and
none of us may hope to escape his scythe, when the
appointed hour shall come! Here are no nags to lose,
to-day; and we may commence our voyage, Patroon,
with cheerful faces and light hearts. Shall we proceed?”

Oloff Van Staats, or the Patroon of Kinderhook,
as, by the courtesy of the colony, he was commonly
termed, did not want for personal firmness. On the
contrary, like most of those who were descended
from the Hollanders, he was rather distinguished for
steadiness in danger, and obstinacy in resistance. The
little skirmish which had just taken place, between
his friend and his slave, had proceeded from their

-- 027 --

[figure description] Page 027.[end figure description]

several apprehensions; the one feeling a sort of parental
interest in his safety, and the other having
particular reasons for wishing him to persevere in
his intention to embark, instead of any justifiable
cause in the character of the young proprietor himself.
A sign to the boy who bore a portmanteau,
settled the controversy; and then Mr. Van Staats
intimated his readiness to move.

Cupid lingered on the stoop, until his master had
turned a corner; then, shaking his head with all the
misgivings of an ignorant and superstitious mind, he
drove the young fry of blacks, who thronged the door,
into the house, closing all after him with singular and
scrupulous care. How far the presentiment of the
black was warranted by the event, will be seen in
the course of the narrative.

The wide avenue, in which Oloff Van Staats
dwelt, was but a few hundred yards in length. It
terminated, at one end, with the fortress; and at the
other, it was crossed by a high stockade, which bore
the name of the city walls; a defence that was provided
against any sudden irruption of the Indians,
who then hunted, and even dwelt in some numbers,
in the lower counties of the colony.

It requires great familiarity with the growth of
the town, to recognize, in this description, the noble
street that now runs for a league through the centre
of the island. From this avenue, which was then, as
it is still, called the Broadway, our adventurers descended
into a lower quarter of the town, holding
free converse by the way.

“That Cupid is a negro to keep the roof on a
house, in its master's absence, Patroon,” observed the
Alderman, soon after they had left the stoop. “He
looks like a padlock, and one might sleep, without a
dream, with such a guardian near his dwelling. I
wish I had brought the honest fellow the key of my

-- 028 --

[figure description] Page 028.[end figure description]

“I have heard my father say, that the keys of his
own were always better near his own pillow,” coolly
returned the proprietor of a hundred thousand acres.

“Ah, the curse of Cain! It is needless to look for
the fur of a marten on the back of a cat. But, Mr.
Van Staats, while walking to your door this morning,
it was my fortune to meet the late governor, who is
permitted by his creditors to take the air, at an hour
when he thinks the eyes of the impertinent will be
shut. I believe, Patroon, you were so lucky as to get
back your moneys, before the royal displeasure visited
the man?”

“I was so lucky as never to trust him.”

“That was better still, for it would have been a
barren investment—great jeopardy to principal, and
no return. But we had discourse of various interests,
and, among others, something was hazarded concerning
your amatory pretensions to my niece.”

“Neither the wishes of Oloff Van Staats, nor the
inclinations of la belle Barbérie, are a subject for the
Governor in Council,” said the Patroon of Kinder-hook,

“Nor was it thus treated. The Viscount spoke me
fair, and, had he not pushed the matter beyond discretion,
we might have come to happier conclusions.”

“I am glad that there was some restraint in the

“The man certainly exceeded reason, for he led
the conference into personalities that no prudent man
could relish. Still he said it was possible that the
Coquette might yet be ordered for service among the

It has been said, that Oloff Van Staats was a fair
personable young man of vast stature, and with much
of the air of a gentleman of his country; for, though
a British subject, he was rather a Hollander in feelings,
habits, and opinions. He colored at the allusion
to the presence of his known rival, though his

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[figure description] Page 029.[end figure description]

companion was at a loss to discover whether pride or
vexation was at the bottom of his emotion.

“If Captain Ludlow prefer a cruise in the Indies,
to duty on this coast, I hope he may obtain his wish,”
was the cautious answer.

“Your liberal man enjoys a sounding name, and
an empty coffer,” observed the Alderman, drily. “To
me it seems that a petition to the admiral to send so
meritorious an officer on service where he may distinguish
himself, should deserve his thanks. The free-booters
are playing the devil's game with the sugar
trade, and even the French are getting troublesome,
further south.”

“He has certainly the reputation of an active

“Blixum and philosophy! If you wish to succeed
with Alida, Patroon, you must put more briskness
into the adventure. The girl has a cross of the
Frenchman in her temper, and none of your deliberations
and taciturnities will gain the day. This
visit to the Lust in Rust is Cupid's own handywork,
and I hope to see you both return to town as amicable
as the Stadholder and the States General,
after a sharp struggle for the year's subsidy has been
settled by a compromise.”

“The success of this suit is the affair nearest my—”
The young man paused as if surprised at his
own communicativeness; and, taking advantage of
the haste in which his toilette had been made, he
thrust a hand into his vest, covering with its broad
palm a portion of the human frame which poets do
not describe as the seat of the passions.

“If you mean stomach, Sir, you will not have
reason to be disappointed,” retorted the Alderman, a
little more severely than was usual with one so cautious.
“The heiress of Myndert Van Beverout will
not be a penniless bride, and Monsieur Barbérie did
not close the books of life without taking good care

-- 030 --

[figure description] Page 030.[end figure description]

of the balance-sheet—but yonder are those devils of
ferrymen quitting the wharf without us! Scamper
ahead, Brutus, and tell them to wait the legal minute.
The rogues are never exact; sometimes starting before
I am ready, and sometimes keeping me waiting
in the sun, as if I were no better than a dried dunfish.
Punctuality is the soul of business, and one of
my habits does not like to be ahead, nor behind his

In this manner the worthy burgher, who would
have been glad to regulate the movements of others,
on all occasions, a good deal by his own, vented his
complaints, while he and his companion hurried on
to overtake the slow-moving boat in which they were
to embark. A brief description of the scene will not
be without interest, to a generation that may be
termed modern in reference to the time of which
we write.

A deep narrow creek penetrated the island, at this
point, for the distance of a quarter of a mile. Each
of its banks had a row of buildings, as the houses
line a canal in the cities of Holland. As the natural
course of the inlet was necessarily respected, the
street had taken a curvature not unlike that of a
new moon. The houses were ultra-Dutch, being low,
angular, fastidiously neat, and all erected with their
gables to the street. Each had its ugly and inconvenient
entrance, termed a stoop, its vane or weather-cock,
its dormer-windows, and its graduated battlement-walls.
Near the apex of one of the latter, a
little iron crane projected into the street. A small
boat, of the same metal, swung from its end,—a sign
that the building to which it was appended was the

An inherent love of artificial and confined navigation
had probably induced the burghers to select
this spot, as the place whence so many craft departed
from the town; since, it is certain, that the two

-- 031 --

[figure description] Page 031.[end figure description]

rivers could have furnished divers points more favorable
for such an object, inasmuch as they possess the
advantage of wide and unobstructed channels.

Fifty blacks were already in the street, dipping
their brooms into the creek, and flourishing water
over the side-walks, and on the fronts of the low
edifices. This light but daily duty was relieved by
clamorous collisions of wit, and by shouts of merriment,
in which the whole street would join, as with
one joyous and reckless movement of the spirit.

The language of this light-hearted and noisy race
was Dutch, already corrupted by English idioms, and
occasionally by English words;—a system of change
that has probably given rise to an opinion, among
some of the descendants of the earlier colonists, that
the latter tongue is merely a patois of the former.
This opinion, which so much resembles that certain
well-read English scholars entertain of the plagiarisms
of the continental writers, when they first begin to
dip into their works, is not strictly true; since the
language of England has probably bestowed as much
on the dialect of which we speak, as it has ever received
from the purer sources of the school of Holland.
Here and there, a grave burgher, still in his
night-cap, might be seen with a head thrust out of
an upper window, listening to these barbarisms of
speech, and taking note of all the merry jibes, that
flew from mouth to mouth with an indomitable
gravity, that no levity of those beneath could undermine.

As the movement of the ferry-boat was necessarily
slow, the Alderman and his companion were enabled
to step into it, before the fasts were thrown aboard.
The periagua, as the craft was called, partook of a
European and an American character. It possessed
the length, narrowness, and clean bow, of the canoe,
from which its name was derived, with the flat bottom
and lee-boards of a boat constructed for the

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[figure description] Page 032.[end figure description]

shallow waters of the Low Countries. Twenty years
ago, vessels of this description abounded in our rivers;
and even now, their two long and unsupported masts,
and high narrow-headed sails, are daily seen bending
like reeds to the breeze, and dancing lightly over the
billows of the bay. There is a variety of the class,
of a size and pretension altogether superior to that
just mentioned, which deserves a place among the
most picturesque and striking boats that float. He
who has had occasion to navigate the southern shore
of the Sound must have often seen the vessel to which
we allude. It is distinguished by its great length, and
masts which, naked of cordage, rise from the hull
like two tall and faultless trees. When the eye runs
over the daring height of canvas, the noble confidence
of the rig, and sees the comparatively vast machine
handled with ease and grace by the dexterity of two
fearless and expert mariners, it excites some such
admiration as that which springs from the view of a
severe temple of antiquity. The nakedness and simplicity
of the construction, coupled with the boldness
and rapidity of its movements, impart to the craft
an air of grandeur, that its ordinary uses would not
give reason to expect.

Though, in some respects, of singularly aquatic
habits, the original colonists of New-York were far
less adventurous, as mariners, than their present descendants.
A passage across the bay did not often
occur in the tranquil lives of the burghers; and it is
still within the memory of man, that a voyage between
the two principal towns of the State was an
event to excite the solicitude of friends, and the anxiety
of the traveller. The perils of the Tappaan Zee,
as one of the wider reaches of the Hudson is still
termed, was often dealt with by the good wives of
the colony, in their relations of marvels; and she
who had oftenest encountered them unharmed, was
deemed a sort of marine amazon.

-- 033 --


“—I have great comfort from this fellow: methinks he hath no drowning
mark upon him; his complexion is perfect gallows.”


[figure description] Page 033.[end figure description]

It has been said that the periagua was in motion,
before our two adventures succeeded in stepping on
board. The arrival of the Patroon of Kinderhook
and of Alderman Van Beverout was expected, and
the schipper had taken his departure at the precise
moment of the turn in the current, in order to show,
with a sort of pretending independence which has a
peculiar charm for men in his situation, that `time
and tide wait for no man.' Still there were limits to
his decision; for, while he put the boat in motion,
especial care was taken that the circumstance should
not subject a customer so important and constant as
the Alderman, to any serious inconvenience. When
he and his friend had embarked, the painters were
thrown aboard, and the crew of the ferry-boat began
to set their vessel, in earnest, towards the mouth of
the creek. During these movements, a young negro
was seated in the bow of the periagua, with his legs
dangling, one on each side of the cut-water, forming
no bad apology for a figure-head. He held a conch
to his mouth, and with his two glossy cheeks inflated
like those of Eolus, and his dark glittering eyes expressing
the delight he found in drawing sounds from
the shell, he continued to give forth the signal for

“Put up the conch, thou bawler!” cried the Alderman,
giving the younker a rap on his naked poll,
in passing, with the end of his cane, that might have
disturbed the harmony of one less bent on clamor.
“A thousand windy trumpeters would be silence itself,
compared to such a pair of lungs! How now,

-- 034 --

[figure description] Page 034.[end figure description]

Master Schipper, is this your punctuality, to start
before your passengers are ready?”

The undisturbed boatman, without removing the
pipe from his mouth, pointed to the bubbles on the
water which were already floating outward, a certain
evidence that the tide was on the ebb.

“I care nothing for your ins and outs, your ebbs
and floods,” returned the Alderman, in heat. “There
is no better time-piece than the leg and eye of a
punctual man. It is no more pleasant to go before
one is ready, than to tarry when all business is done.
Harkee, Master Schipper, you are not the only navigator
in this bay, nor is your craft the swiftest that
was ever launched. Have a care; though an acquiescing
man by nature, I know how to encourage
an opposition, when the public good seriously calls
for my support.”

To the attack on himself, the schipper was stoically
indifferent, but to impeach the qualities of the
periagua was to attack one who depended solely on
his eloquence for vindication. Removing his pipe,
therefore, he rejoined on the Alderman, with that
sort of freedom, that the sturdy Hollanders never
failed to use to all offenders, regardless alike of rank
or personal qualities.

“Der wind-gall and Aldermen!” he growled, in
the dialect of the country; “I should be glad to see
the boat in York-bay that can show the Milk-Maid
her stern! The Mayor and council-men had better
order the tide to turn when they please; and then,
as each man will think of his own pleasure, a pretty
set of whirlpools they will give us in the harbor!”

The schipper, having delivered himself of his sentiments,
to this effect, resumed his pipe, like a man
who felt he deserved the meed of victory, whether
he were to receive it, or not.

“It is useless to dispute with an obstinate man,”
muttered the Alderman, making his way through

-- 035 --

[figure description] Page 035.[end figure description]

vegetable baskets, butter-tubs, and all the garniture
of a market-boat, to the place occupied by his niece,
in the stern-sheets. “Good morrow to thee, Alida
dear; early rising will make a flower-garden of thy
cheeks, and the fresh air of the Lust in Rust will
give even thy roses a deeper bloom.”

The mollified burgher then saluted the cheek,
whose bloom had been deepended by his remark, with
a warmth that showed he was not without natural
affection; touched his hat, in return for a low bow
that he received from an aged white man-servant,
in a clean but ancient livery; and nodded to a
young negress, whose second-hand finery sufficiently
showed she was a personal attendant of the heiress.

A second glance at Alida de Barbérie was scarcely
necessary to betray her mixed descent. From her
Norman father, a Huguenot of the petite noblesse,
she had inherited her raven hair, the large, brilliant,
coal-black eyes, in which wildness was singularly relieved
by sweetness, a classical and faultless profile,
and a form which was both taller and more flexible
than commonly fell to the lot of the damsels of Holland.
From her mother, la belle Barbérie, as the
maiden was often playfully termed, had received a
skin, fair and spotless as the flower of France, and
a bloom which rivalled the rich tints of an evening
sky in her native land. Some of the em bon point,
for which the sister of the Alderman had been a
little remarkable, had descended also to her fairer
daughter. In Alida, however, this peculiarity did
not exceed the fullness which became her years,
rounding her person and softening the outlines of her
form, rather than diminishing its ease and grace.
These personal advantages were embellished by a
neat but modest travelling habit, a little beaver that
was shaded by a cluster of drooping feathers, and a
mien that, under the embarrassment of her situation,

-- 036 --

[figure description] Page 036.[end figure description]

preserved the happiest medium between modesty and
perfect self-possession.

When Alderman Van Beverout joined this fair
creature, in whose future happiness he was fully justified
in taking the deep interest which he has betrayed
in some of the opening scenes of this volume,
he found her engaged in a courteous discourse with
the young man, who was generally considered as the
one, among the numerous pretenders to her favor,
who was most likely to succeed. Had other cause
been wanting, this sight alone would have been
sufficient to restore his good-humor; and, making a
place for himself, by quietly dispossessing François,
the domestic of his niece, the persevering burgher
endeavored to encourage an intercourse, that he had
reason to think must terminate in the result he both
meditated and desired.

In the present effort, however, the Alderman
failed. There is a feeling which universally pervades
landsmen and landswomen, when they first
embark on an element to which they are strangers,
that ordinarily shuts their mouths and renders them
meditative. In the older and more observant travellers,
it is observation and comparison; while with
the younger and more susceptible, it is very apt to
take the character of sentiment. Without stopping
to analyze the cause, or the consequences, in the instance
of the Patroon and la belle Barbérie, it will
be sufficient to state, that in spite of all the efforts
of the worthy burgher, who had navigated the sluggish
creek too often to be the subject of any new
emotions, his youthful companions gradually grew
silent and thoughtful. Though a celibite in his own
person, Myndert had not now to learn that the infant
god as often does his mischief through this quiet
agency, as in any other manner. He became, therefore,
mute in his turn, watching the slow movement

-- 037 --

[figure description] Page 037.[end figure description]

of the periagua with as much assiduity as if he saw
his own image on the water.

A quarter of an hour of this characteristic, and
it is to be inferred agreeable navigation, brought the
boat to the mouth of the inlet. Here a powerful
effort forced her into the tide's-way, and she might
be said to put forth on her voyage. But while the
black crew were trimming the sails, and making the
other necessary preparations for departure, a voice
was heard hailing them from the shore, with an order,
rather than a request, that they would stay their

“Hilloa, the periagua!” it cried. “Haul over
your head-sheet, and jam the tiller down into the
lap of that comfortable-looking old gentleman. Come;
bear a hand, my hummers! or your race-horse of a
craft will get the bit into its mouth, and run away
with you.”

This summons produced a pause in the movements
of the crew. After regarding each other, in surprise
and admiration, the watermen drew the head-sheet
over, put the helm a-lee, without however invading
the lap of the Alderman, and the boat became stationary,
at the distance of a few rods from the shore.
While the new passenger was preparing to come off
in a yawl, those who awaited his movements had
leisure to examine his appearance, and to form their
different surmises concerning his character.

It is scarcely necessary to say, that the stranger
was a son of the ocean. He was of a firmly knit
and active frame, standing exactly six feet in his
stockings. The shoulders though square were compact,
the chest full and high, the limbs round, neat,
and muscular,—the whole indicating a form in which
strength and activity were apportioned with the
greatest accuracy. A small bullet head was set
firmly on its broad foundation, and it was thickly
covered with a mass of brown hair that was already

-- 038 --

[figure description] Page 038.[end figure description]

a little grizzled. The face was that of a man of
thirty, and it was worthy of the frame, being manly,
bold, decided, and rather handsome; though it expressed
little more than high daring, perfect coolness,
some obstinacy, and a certain degree of contempt
for others, that its owner did not always take the
trouble to conceal. The color was a rich, deep, and
uniform red, such as much exposure is apt to give to
men whose complexions are, by nature, light and

The dress of the stranger was quite as remarkable
as his person. He wore a short pea-jacket, cut tight
and tastefully; a little, low, and rakish cap, and full
bell-mouthed trowsers, all in a spotlessly white duck;
a material well adapted to the season and the climate.
The first was made without buttons, affording
an apology for the use of a rich Indian shawl, that
belted his body and kept the garment tight to his
frame. Faultlessly clean linen appeared through the
opening above, and a collar, of the same material,
fell over the gay bandanna, which was thrown, with
a single careless turn, around his throat. The latter
was a manufacture then little known in Europe, and
its use was almost entirely confined to seamen of the
long voyage. One of its ends was suffered to blow
about in the wind, but the other was brought down
with care over the chest, where it was confined, by
springing the blade of a small knife with an ivory
handle, in a manner to confine the silk to the linen;
a sort of breast-pin that is even now much used by
mariners. If we add, that light, canvas slippers,
with foul-anchors worked in worsted upon their insteps,
covered his feet, we shall say all that is necessary
of his attire.

The appearance of one, of the air and dress we
have just described, excited a strong sensation among
the blacks who scrubbed the stoops and pavements.
He was closely attended to the place where he hailed

-- 039 --

[figure description] Page 039.[end figure description]

the periagua, by four or five loungers, who studied
his manner and movements with the admiration that
men of their class seldom fail to bestow on those
who bear about them the evidence of having passed
lives of adventure, and perhaps of hardship and
daring. Beckoning to one of these idlers to follow
him, the hero of the India-shawl stepped into an
empty boat, and casting loose its fast, he sculled the
light yawl towards the craft which was awaiting his
arrival. There was, in truth, something in the reckless
air, the decision, and the manly attitudes of so
fine a specimen of a seaman, that might have attracted
notice from those who were more practised
in the world than the little crowd of admirers he
left behind him. With an easy play of wrist and
elbow, he caused the yawl to glide ahead like some
indolent marine animal swimming through its element,
and as he stood, firm as a planted statue, with
a foot on each gunwale, there was much of that confidence
created by his steadiness, that one acquires
by viewing the repeated and successful efforts of a
skilful rope-dancer. When the yawl reached the
side of the periagua, he dropped a small Spanish
coin into the open palm of the negro, and sprang on
the side of the latter, with an exertion of muscle
that sent the little boat he quitted half-way back towards
the shore, leaving the frightened black to
steady himself, in his rocking tenement, in the best
manner he could.

The tread and posture of the stranger, when he
gained the half-deck of the periagua, was finely
nautical, and confident to audacity. He seemed to
analyze the half-maritime character of the crew
and passengers, at a glance, and to feel that sort of
superiority over his companions, which men of his
profession were then a little too wont to entertain
towards those whose ambition could be bounded by
terra-firma. His eye turned upward, at the simple

-- 040 --

[figure description] Page 040.[end figure description]

rig and modest sails of the periagua, while his upper
lip curled with the knowing expression of a critic.
Then kicking the fore-sheet clear of its cleet, and
suffering the sail to fill, he stepped from one butter-tub
to another, making a stepping-stone of the lap
of a countryman by the way, and alighted in the
stern-sheets in the midst of the party of Alderman
Van Beverout, with the agility and fearlessness of a
feathered Mercury. With a coolness that did infinite
credit to his powers for commanding, his next act
was to dispossess the amazed schipper of the helm,
taking the tiller into his own hands, with as much
composure as if he were the every-day occupant of
the post. When he saw that the boat was beginning
to move through the water, he found leisure to
bestow some observation on his fellow-voyagers. The
first that met his bold and reckless eye was Francois,
the domestic of Alida.

“If it come to blow in squalls, Commodore,” observed
the intruder, with a gravity that half deceived
the attentive Frenchman, while he pointed to the
bag in which the latter wore his hair, “you'll be
troubled to carry your broad pennant. But so experienced
an officer has not put to sea without having
a storm-cue in readiness for foul weather.”

The valet did not, or affected not to understand
the allusion, maintaining an air of dignified but silent

“The gentleman is in a foreign service, and does
not understand an English mariner! The worst that
can come, after all, of too much top-hamper, is to
cut away, and let it drift with the scud. May I
make bold to ask, judge, if the courts have done
any thing, of late, concerning the freebooters among
the islands?”

“I have not the honor to bear Her Majesty's commission,”
coldly returned Van Staats of Kinderhook,
to whom this question had been hardily put.

-- 041 --

[figure description] Page 041.[end figure description]

“The best navigator is sometimes puzzled by a
hazy observation, and many an old seaman has taken
a fog-bank for solid ground. Since you are not in
the courts, Sir, I wish you joy; for it is running
among shoals to be cruising there, whether as
judge or suitor. One is never fairly snug and land-locked,
while in company of a lawyer, and yet the
devil himself cannot always give the sharks a good
offing. A pretty sheet of water, friends, and one as
snug as rotten cables and foul winds can render desirable,
is this bay of York!”

“You are a mariner of the long voyage,” returned
the Patroon, unwilling that Alida should not believe
him equal to bandying wits with the stranger.

“Long, or short; Calcutta, or Cape Cod; dead
reckoning, eye-sight, or star-gazing, all's one to your
real dolphin. The shape of the coast between Fundy
and Horn, is as familiar to my eye, as an admirer to
this pretty young lady; and as to the other shore, I
have run it down oftener than the Commodore, here,
has ever set his pennant, blow high or blow low. A
cruise like this is a Sunday in my navigation; though
I dare say, you took leave of the wife, blessed the
children, overhauled the will, and sent to ask a good
word from the priest, before you came aboard?”

“Had these ceremonies been observed, the danger
would not have been increased,” said the young Patroon,
anxious to steal a glance at la belle Barbérie,
though his timidity caused him, in truth, to look the
other way. “One is never nearer danger, for being
prepared to meet it.”

“True; we must all die, when the reckoning is
out. Hang or drown—gibbet or bullet clears the
world of a great deal of rubbish, or the decks would
get to be so littered that the vessel could not be
worked. The last cruise is the longest of all; and
honest papers, with a clean bill of health, may help
a man into port, when he is past keeping the open

-- 042 --

[figure description] Page 042.[end figure description]

sea. How now, schipper! what lies are floating about
the docks this morning? when did the last Albanyman
get his tub down the river, or whose gelding has
been ridden to death in chase of a witch.”

“The devil's babes!” muttered the Alderman;
“there is no want of roisterers to torment such innocents!”

“Have the buccaneers taken to praying, or does
their trade thrive in this heel of the war?” continued
the mariner of the India-shawl, disregarding the complaint
of the burgher. “The times are getting heavy
for men of metal, as may be seen by the manner in
which you cruiser wears out her ground-tackle, instead
of trying the open sea. May I spring every
spar I carry, but I would have the boat out and give
her an airing, before to-morrow, if the Queen would
condescend to put your humble servant in charge of
the craft! The man lies there, at his anchors, as if
he had a good freight of real Hollands in his hold,
and was waiting for a few bales of beaver-skins to
barter for his strong waters.”

As the stranger coolly expressed this opinion of Her
Majesty's ship Coquette, he rolled his glance over the
persons of his companions, suffering it to rest, a moment,
with a secret significance, on the steady eye of
the burgher.

“Well—” he continued, “the sloop answers for a
floating vane to tell which way the tide is running,
if she does nothing better; and that must be a great
assistance, Schipper, in the navigation of one who
keeps as bright a look-out on the manner in which
the world whirls round, as a gentleman of your sagacity!”

“If the news in the creek be true,” rejoined the
unoffended owner of the periagua, “there will be
other business for Captain Ludlow and the Coquette,
before many days!”

“Ah! having eaten all his meat and bread, the

-- 043 --

[figure description] Page 043.[end figure description]

man will be obliged to victual his ship anew! 'Twere
a pity so active a gentleman should keep a fast, in a
brisk tide's-way. And when his coppers are once
more filled, and the dinner is fairly eaten, what dost
think will be his next duty?”

“There is a report, among the boatmen of the
South Bay, that something was seen, yester'night, off
the outer side of Long Island!”

“I'll answer for the truth of that rumor, for having
come up with the evening flood, I saw it myself.”

“Der duyvel's luck! and what dost take it to be?”

“The Atlantic Ocean; if you doubt my word, I
appeal to this well-ballasted old gentleman, who,
being a schoolmaster, is able to give you latitude and
longitude for its truth.”

“I am Alderman Van Beverout,” muttered the
object of this new attack, between his teeth, though
apparently but half-disposed to notice one who set
so little bounds to his discourse.

“I beg a thousand pardons!” returned the strange
seaman, with a grave inclination of his body. “The
stolidity of your worship's countenance deceived me.
It may be, indeed, unreasonable to expect any Alderman
to know the position of the Atlantic Ocean!
And yet, gentlemen, on the honor of a man who has
seen much salt water in his time, I do assure you the
sea, I speak of, is actually there. If there be any
thing on it, or in it, that should not in reason be so,
this worthy commander of the periagua will let us
know the rest.”

“A wood-boat from the inlet says, the `Skimmer
of the Seas' was lately seen standing along the coast,”
returned the ferry-man, in the tone of one who is
certain of delivering matter of general interest.

“Your true sea-dog, who runs in and out of inlets,
is a man for marvels!” coolly observed the stranger.
“They know the color of the sea at night, and are

-- 044 --

[figure description] Page 044.[end figure description]

for ever steering in the wind's eye in search of adventures.
I wonder, more of them are not kept at making
almanacs! There was a mistake, concerning a thunder-storm,
in the last I bought, and all for the want
of proper science. And pray, friend, who is this
`Skimmer of the Seas,' that is said to be running after
his needle, like a tailor who has found a hole in his
neighbor's coat?”

“The witches may tell! I only know that such a
rover there is, and that he is here to-day, and there
to-morrow. Some say, it is only a craft of mist, that
skims the top of the seas, like a sailing water-fowl;
and others think it is the sprite of a vessel that was
rifled and burnt by Kidd, in the Indian Ocean, looking
for its gold and the killed. I saw him once, myself,
but the distance was so great, and his manœuvres
so unnatural, that I could hardly give a good
account of his hull, or rig.”

“This is matter that don't get into the log every
watch! Whereaway, or in what seas, didst meet
the thing?”

“'Twas off the Branch. We were fishing in thick
weather, and when the mist lifted, a little, there was
a craft seen standing in-shore, running like a race-horse;
but while we got our anchor, she had made
a league of offing, on the other tack!”

“A certain proof of either her, or your, activity!
But what might have been the form and shape of
your fly-away?”

“Nothing determined. To one she seemed a full-rigged
and booming ship; another took her for a Bermudian
scudder, while to me she had the look of
twenty periaguas built into a single craft. It is well
known, however, that a West-Indiaman went to sea
that night, and, though it is now three years, no
tidings of her, or her crew, have ever come to any
in York. I have never gone upon the banks to fish,
since that day, in thick weather.”

-- 045 --

[figure description] Page 045.[end figure description]

“You have done well,” observed the stranger. “I
have seen many wonderful sights, myself, on the rolling
ocean; and he, whose business it is to lay between
wind and water, like you, my friend, should
never trust himself within reach of one of those devil's
flyers. I could tell you a tale of an affair in the
calm latitudes, under the burning sun, that would be
a lesson to all of over-bold curiosity! Commission
and character are not affairs for your in-shore coaster.”

“We have time to hear it,” observed the Patroon,
whose attention had been excited by the discourse,
and who read in the dark eye of Alida that she felt
an interest in the expected narrative.

But the countenance of the stranger suddenly
grew serious. He shook his head, like one who had
sufficient reasons for his silence; and, relinquishing
the tiller, he quite coolly obliged a gaping countryman,
in the centre of the boat, to yield his place,
where he laid his own athletic form, at full length,
folded his arms on his breast, and shut his eyes. In
less than five minutes, all within hearing had audible
evidence that this extraordinary son of the ocean
was in a sound sleep.

-- 046 --


“—Be patient, for the prize I'll bring thee to,
Shall hoodwink this mischance—.”

[figure description] Page 046.[end figure description]

The air, audacity, and language of the unknown
mariner, had produced a marked sensation among
the passengers of the periagua. It was plain, by the
playfulness that lurked about the coal-black eye of
la belle Barbérie, that she had been amused by his
sarcasms, though the boldness of his manner had
caused her to maintain the reserve which she believed
necessary to her sex and condition. The Patroon
studied the countenance of his mistress, and, though
half offended by the freedom of the intruder, he had
believed it wisest to tolerate his liberties, as the natural
excesses of a spirit that had been lately released
from the monotony of a sea-life. The repose which
usually reigned in the countenance of the Alderman
had been a little troubled; but he succeeded in concealing
his discontent from any impertinent observation.
When the chief actor in the foregoing scene,
therefore, saw fit to withdraw, the usual tranquillity
was restored, and his presence appeared to be forgotten.

An ebbing tide and a freshening breeze quickly
carried the periagua past the smaller islands of the
bay, and brought the cruiser called the Coquette
more distinctly into view. This vessel, a ship of twenty
guns, lay abreast of the hamlet on the shores of Staten
Island, which was the destination of the ferry-boat.
Here was the usual anchorage of outward-bound
ships, which awaited a change of wind; and
it was here, that vessels then, as in our times, were
subject to those examinations and delays which are
imposed for the safety of the inhabitants of the city.

-- 047 --

[figure description] Page 047.[end figure description]

The Coquette was alone, however; for the arrival
of a trader, from a distant port, was an event of
unfrequent occurrence, at the commencement of the
eighteenth century.

The course of the periagua brought her within
fifty feet of the sloop-of-war. As the former approached,
a movement of curiosity and interest occurred
among those she contained.

“Take more room for your milk-maid,” grumbled
the Alderman, observing that the schipper was willing
to gratify his passengers, by running as near as
possible to the dark sides of the cruiser. “Seas and
oceans! is not York-bay wide enough, that you must
brush the dust out of the muzzles of the guns of yon
lazy ship? If the Queen knew how her money was
eaten and drunk, by the idle knaves aboard her, she
would send them all to hunt for freebooters among
the islands. Look at the land, Alida, child, and you'll
think no more of the fright the gaping dunce is giving
thee; he only wishes to show his skill in steering.”

But the niece manifested none of the terror that
the uncle was willing to ascribe to her fears. Instead
of turning pale, the color deepened on her cheeks, as
the periagua came dancing along, under the lee of
the cruiser; and if her respiration became quicker
than usual, it was scarcely produced by the agitation
of alarm. The near sight of the tall masts, and of
the maze of cordage that hung nearly above their
heads, however, prevented the change from being
noted. A hundred curious eyes were already peeping
at them, through the ports, or over the bulwarks
of the ship, when suddenly, an officer, who wore the
undress of a naval captain of that day, sprang into
the main rigging of the cruiser, and saluted the party
in the periagua, by waving his hat, hurriedly, like
one who was agreeably taken by surprise.

“A fair sky and gentle breezes to each and all!”
he cried with the hearty manner of a seaman. “I

-- 048 --

[figure description] Page 048.[end figure description]

kiss my hand to the fair Alida; and the Alderman
will take a sailor's good wishes; Mr. Van Staats, I
salute you.”

“Ay,” muttered the burgher, “your idlers have
nothing better to do, than to make words answer for
deeds. A lazy war and a distant enemy make you
seamen the lords of the land, Captain Ludlow.”

Alida blushed still deeper, hesitated, and then, by
a movement that was half involuntary, she waved
her handkerchief. The young Patroon arose, and
answered the salutation by a courteous bow. By
this time the ferry-boat was nearly past the ship, and
the scowl was quitting the face of the Alderman,
when the mariner of the India-shawl sprang to his
feet, and, in a moment, he stood again in the centre
of their party.

“A pretty sea-boat, and a neat show aloft!” he
said, as his understanding eye scanned the rigging of
the royal cruiser, taking the tiller at the same time,
with all his former indifference, from the hands of the
schipper. “Her Majesty should have good service
from such a racer, and no doubt the youth in her
rigging is a man to get most out of his craft. We'll
take another observation. Draw away your head-sheet,

The stranger had put the helm a-lee, while speaking,
and by the time the order he had given was
uttered, the quick-working boat was about, and
nearly filled on the other tack. In another minute,
she was again brushing along the side of the sloop-of-war.
A common complaint against this hardy interference
with the regular duty of the boat, was
about to break out of the lips of the Alderman and
the schipper, when he of the India-shawl lifted his
cap, and addressed the officer in the rigging, with all
the self-possession he had manifested in the intercourse
with those nearer his person.

“Has Her Majesty need of a man in her service,

-- 049 --

[figure description] Page 049.[end figure description]

who has seen, in his time, more blue water than hard
ground; or is there no empty berth in so gallant a
cruiser, for one who must do a seaman's duty, or

The descendant of the king-hating Ludlows, as
the Lord Cornbury had styled the race of the commander
of the Coquette, was quite as much surprised
by the appearance of him who put this question, as
he was by the coolness with which a mariner of
ordinary condition presumed to address an officer who
bore so high a commission as his own. He had, however,
sufficient time to recollect in whose presence
he stood, ere he replied, for the stranger had again
placed the helm a-lee, and caused the foresail to be
thrown aback;—a change that made the periagua

“The Queen will always receive a bold mariner
in her pay, if he come prepared to serve with skill
and fidelity,” he said; “as a proof of which, let a
rope be thrown the periagua; we shall treat more
at our ease under Her Majesty's pennant. I shall
be proud to entertain Alderman Van Beverout, in
the mean time: and a cutter will always be at his
command, when he shall have occasion to quit us.”

“Your land-loving Aldermen find their way from
a Queen's cruiser to the shore, more easily than a
seaman of twenty years' experience;” returned the
other, without giving the burgher time to express his
thanks for the polite offer of the other. “You have
gone through the Gibraltar passage, without doubt,
noble captain, being a gentleman that has got so fine
a boat under his orders?”

“Duty has taken me into the Italian seas, more
than once,” answered Ludlow, half disposed to resent
this familiarity, though too anxious to keep the
periagua near, to quarrel with him who so evidently
had produced the unexpected pleasure.

-- 050 --

[figure description] Page 050.[end figure description]

“Then you know that, though a lady might fan a
ship through the straits eastward, it needs a Levant
breeze to bring her out again. Her Majesty's pennants
are long, and when they get foul around the
limbs of a thoroughly-bred sea-dog, it passes all his
art to clear the jam. It is most worthy of remark,
that the better the seaman, the less his power to cast
loose the knot!”

“If the pennant be so long, it may reach farther
than you wish!—But a bold volunteer has no occasion
to dread a press.”

“I fear the berth I wish is filled,” returned the
other, curling his lip: “let draw the fore-sheet, lad;
we will take our departure, leaving the fly of the
pennant well under our lee. Adieu, brave Captain;
when you have need of a thorough rover, and dream
of stern-chases and wet sails, think of him who visited
your ship at her lazy moorings.”

Ludlow bit his lip, and though his fine face reddened
to the temples, he met the arch glance of Alida,
and laughed. But he who had so hardily braved the
resentment of a man, powerful as the commander
of a royal cruiser in a British colony, appeared to
understand the hazard of his situation. The periagua
whirled round on her heel, and the next minute it
was bending to the breeze, and dashing through the
little waves towards the shore. Three boats left the
cruiser at the same moment. One, which evidently
contained her captain, advanced with the usual dignified
movement of a barge landing an officer of rank,
but the others were urged ahead with all the earnestness
of a hot chase.

“Unless disposed to serve the Queen, you have
not done well, my friend, to brave one of her commanders
at the muzzles of his guns,” observed the
Patroon, so soon as the state of the case became too
evident to doubt of the intentions of the man-of-war's

-- 051 --

[figure description] Page 051.[end figure description]

“That Captain Ludlow would gladly take some of
us out of this boat, by fair means or by foul, is a fact
clear as a bright star in a cloudless night; and, well
knowing a seaman's duty to his superiors, I shall
leave him to his choice.”

“In which case you will shortly eat Her Majesty's
bread,” pithily returned the Alderman.

“The food is unpalatable, and I reject it—and
yet here is a boat, whose crew seem determined to
make one swallow worse fare.”

The unknown mariner ceased speaking, for the
situation of the periagua, was truly getting to be a
little critical. At least so it seemed to the less-instructed
landsmen, who were witnesses of this unexpected
rencontre. As the ferry-boat had drawn in
with the island, the wind hauled more through the
pass which communicates with the outer bay, and
it became necessary to heave about, twice, in order
to fetch to windward of the usual landing-place.
The first of these manœuvers had been executed,
and as it necessarily changed their course, the passengers
saw that the cutter to which the stranger alluded
was enabled to get within-shore of them; or
nearer to the wharf, where they ought to land, than
they were themselves. Instead of suffering himself
to be led off by a pursuit, that he knew might easily
be rendered useless, the officer who commanded this
boat cheered his men, and pulled swiftly to the point
of debarkation. On the other hand, a second cutter,
which had already reached the line of the periagua's
course, lay on its oars, and awaited its approach.
The unknown mariner manifested no intention to
avoid the interview. He still held the tiller, and as
effectually commanded the little vessel as if his authority
were of a more regular character. The audacity
and decision of his air and conduct, aided by
the consummate manner in which he worked the
boat, might alone have achieved this momentary

-- 052 --

[figure description] Page 052.[end figure description]

usurpation, had not the general feeling against impressment
been so much in his favor.

“The devil's fangs!” grumbled the schipper. “If
you should keep the Milk-Maid away, we shall lose
a little in distance, though I think the man-of-war's
men will be puzzled to catch her, with a flowing

“The Queen has sent a message by the gentleman,”
the mariner rejoined: “it would be unmannerly
to refuse to hear it.”

“Heave-to, the periagua!” shouted the young
officer, in the cutter. “In Her Majesty's name, I
command you, obey.”

“God bless the royal lady!” returned he of the
foul anchors and gay shawl, while the swift ferry-boat
continued to dash ahead. “We owe her duty,
and are glad to see so proper a gentleman employed
in her behalf.”

By this time the boats were fifty feet asunder.
No sooner was there room, than the periagua once
more flew round, and commenced anew its course,
dashing in again towards the shore. It was necessary,
however, to venture within an oar's-length of the
cutter, or to keep away,—a loss of ground to which
he who controlled her movements showed no disposition
to submit. The officer arose, and, as the periagua
drew near, it was evident his hand held a pistol,
though he seemed reluctant to exhibit the weapon.
The mariner stepped aside, in a manner to offer a
full view of all in his group, as he sarcastically observed—

“Choose your object, Sir; in such a party, a man
of sentiment may have a preference.”

The young man colored, as much with shame at
the degrading duty he had been commissioned to
perform, as with vexation at his failure. Recovering
his self-composure, however, he lifted his hat to la
belle Barbérie, and the periagua dashed on, in

-- 053 --

[figure description] Page 053.[end figure description]

triumph. Still the leading cutter was near the shore,
where it soon arrived, the crew lying on their oars
at the end of the wharf, in evident expectation of
the arrival of the ferry-boat. At this sight, the schipper
shook his head, and looked up in the bold face
of his passenger, in a manner to betray how much
his mind misgave the result. But the tall mariner
maintained his coolness, and began to make merry
allusions to the service which he had braved with so
much temerity, and from which no one believed he
was yet likely to escape. By the former manœuvres,
the periagua had gained a position well to windward
of the wharf; and she was now steered close upon
the wind, directly for the shore. Against the consequences
of a perseverance in this course, however,
the schipper saw fit to remonstrate.

“Shipwrecks and rocky bottoms!” exclaimed the
alarmed waterman. “A Holland galliot would go to
pieces, if you should run her in among those stepping-stones,
with this breeze! No honest boatman loves to
see a man stowed in a cruiser's hold, like a thief
caged in his prison; but when it comes to breaking
the nose of the Milk-Maid, it is asking too much of
her owner, to stand by and look on.”

“There shall not be a dimple of her lovely countenance
deranged,” answered his cool passenger.
“Now, lower away your sails, and we'll run along
the shore, down to yon wharf. 'Twould be an ungallant
act to treat the dairy-girl with so little ceremony,
gentlemen, after the lively foot and quick evolutions
she has shown in our hehalf. The best dancer
in the island could not have better played her part,
though jigging under the music of a three-stringed

By this time the sails were lowered, and the periagua
was gliding down towards the place of landing,
running always at the distance of some fifty feet
from the shore.

-- 054 --

[figure description] Page 054.[end figure description]

“Every craft has its allotted time, like a mortal,”
continued the inexplicable mariner of the India-shawl.
“If she is to die a sudden death, there is
your beam-end and stern-way, which takes her into
the grave without funeral service, or parish prayers;
your dropsy is being water-logged; gout and rheumatism
kill like a broken back and loose joints; indigestion
is a shifting cargo, with guns adrift; the gallows
is a bottomry-bond, with lawyers' fees; while
fire, drowning, death by religious melancholy, and
suicide, are a careless gunner, sunken rocks, false
lights, and a lubberly captain.”

Ere any were apprized of his intention, this
singular being then sprang from the boat on the cap
of a little rock, over which the waves were washing,
whence he bounded, from stone to stone, by vigorous
efforts, till he fairly leaped to land. In another
minute, he was lost to view, among the dwellings of
the hamlet.

The arrival of the periagua, which immediately
after reached the wharf, the disappointment of the
cutter's crew, and the return of both the boats to
their ship, succeeded as matters of course.

-- 055 --


“Did he write this?”


“Ay, Madam.”

What you will.

[figure description] Page 055.[end figure description]

If we say that Alida de Barbérie did not cast a
glance behind her, as the party quitted the wharf,
in order to see whether the boat that contained the
commander of the cruiser followed the example of
the others, we shall probably portray the maiden
as one that was less subject to the influence of coquetry
than the truth would justify. To the great
discontent of the Alderman, whatever might have
been the feelings of his niece, on the occasion, the
barge continued to approach the shore, in a manner
which showed that the young seaman betrayed no
visible interest in the result of the chase.

The heights of Stanten Island, a century ago, were
covered, much as they are at present, with a growth
of dwarf-trees. Foot-paths led among this meagre
vegetation, in divers directions; and as the hamlet at
the Quarantine-Ground was the point whence they
all diverged, it required a practised guide to thread
their mazes, without a loss of both time and distance.
It would seem, however, that the worthy burgher
was fully equal to the office; for, moving with more
than his usual agility, he soon led his companions into
the wood, and, by frequently altering his course, so
completely confounded their sense of the relative
bearings of places, that it is not probable one of them
all could very readily have extricated himself from
the labyrinth.

“Clouds and shady bowers!” exclaimed Myndert,
when he had achieved, to his own satisfaction, this
evasion of the pursuit he wished to avoid; “little
oaks and green pines are pleasant on a June

-- 056 --

[figure description] Page 056.[end figure description]

morning. You shall have mountain air and a sea-breeze,
Patroon, to quicken the appetite at the Lust in Rust.
If Alida will speak, the girl can say that a mouthful
of the elixir is better for a rosy cheek, than all the
concoctions and washes that were ever invented to
give a man a heart-ache.”

“If the place be as much changed as the road
that leads to it,” returned la belle Barbérie, glancing
her dark eye, in vain, in the direction of the bay
they had quitted, “I should scarcely venture an
opinion on a subject of which I am obliged to confess
utter ignorance.”

“Ah, woman is nought but vanities! To see and
to be seen, is the delight of the sex. Though we are
a thousand times more comfortable in this wood than
we should be in walking along the water-side, why,
the sea-gulls and snipes lose the benefit of our company!
The salt water, and all who live on it, are to
be avoided by a wise man, Mr. Van Staats, except
as they both serve to cheapen freight and to render
trade brisk. You'll thank me for this care, niece of
mine, when you reach the bluff, cool as a package
of furs free from moth, and fresh and beautiful as a
Holland tulip, with the dew on it.”

“To resemble the latter, one might consent to walk
blindfold, dearest uncle; and so we dismiss the subject.
Francois, fais moi le plaisir de porter ce petit
livere; malgré la fraîcheur de la fôret, j'ai besoin de
m' évanter.”

The valet took the book, with an empressement
that defeated the more tardy politeness of the Patroon;
and when he saw, by the vexed eye and flushed
cheek of his young mistress, that she was incommoded
rather by an internal than by the external
heat, he whispered considerately,—

“Que ma chère Mademoiselle Alide ne se fàche
pas! Elle ne manquerait jamais d'admirateurs, dans

-- 057 --

[figure description] Page 057.[end figure description]

un désrt. Ah! si Mam'selle allait voir la patrie de
ses ancêtres!—”

“'Merci bien, mon cher; gardez les feuilles, fortement
fermées. Il y a des papiers dedans.”

“Monsieur Francois,” said the Alderman, separating
his niece, with little ceremony, from her nearly
parental attendant, by the interposition of his own
bulky person, and motioning for the others to proceed,
“a word with thee in confidence. I have noted, in
the course of a busy and I hope a profitable life, that
a faithful servant is an honest counsellor. Next to
Holland and England, both of which are great commercial
nations, and the Indies, which are necessary
to these colonies, together with a natural preference
for the land in which I was born, I have always been
of opinion, that France is a very good sort of a country.
I think, Mr. Francis, that dislike to the seas
has kept you from returning thither, since the decease
of my late brother-in-law?”

“Wid like for Mam'selle Alide, Monsieur, avec
votre permission.”

“Your affection for my niece, honest Francois, is
not to be doubted. It is as certain as the payment
of a good draft, by Crommeline, Van Stopper, and
Van Gelt, of Amsterdam. Ah! old valet! she is fresh
and blooming as a rose, and a girl of excellent qualities!
'Tis a pity that she is a little opinionated; a
defect that she doubtless inherits from her Norman
ancestors; since all of my family have ever been remarkable
for listening to reason. The Normans were
an obstinate race, as witness the siege of Rochelle,
by which oversight real estate in that city must
have lost much in value!”

“Mille excuses, Monsieur Bevre'—; more beautiful
as de rose, and no opinâtre du tout. Mon Dieu!
pour sa qualité, c' est une famille tres ancienne.”

“That was weak point with my brother Barbérie,
and, after all, it did not add a cipher to the sum-total

-- 058 --

[figure description] Page 058.[end figure description]

of the assets. The best blood, Mr. Francois, is that
which has been best fed. The line of Hugh Capet
himself would fail, without the butcher; and the
butcher would certainly fail, without customers that
can pay. François, thou art a man who understands
the value of a sure footing in the world; would it
not be a thousand pities, that such a girl as Alida
should throw herself away on one whose best foundation
is no better than a rolling ship?”

“Certainement, Monsieur; Mam'selle be too good
to roll in de ship.”

“Obliged to follow a husband, up and down;
among freebooters and dishonest traders; in fair
weather and foul; hot and cold; wet and dry; bilge-water
and salt-water; cramps and nausea; salt-junk
and no junk; gales and calms,—and all for a hasty
judgment formed in sanguine youth.”

The face of the valet had responded to the Alderman's
enumeration of the evils that would attend
so ill-judged a step in his niece, as faithfully as
if each muscle had been a mirror, to reflect the contortions
of one suffering under the malady of the sea.

“Parbleu, c' est horrible cette mer!” he ejaculated,
when the other had done. “It is grand malheur,
dere should be watair but for drink, and for la propret
é, avec fosse to keep de carp round le château.
Mais, Mam'selle be no haste jugement, and she shall
have mari on la terre solide.”

“'Twould be better, that the estate of my brother-in-law
should be kept in sight, judicious Francois,
than to be sent adrift on the high seas.”

“Dere vas marin dans la famille de Barbérie,

“Bonds and balances! if the savings of one I could
name, frugal François, were added in current coin,
the sum-total would sink a common ship. You know
it is my intention to remember Alida, in settling accounts
with the world.”

-- 059 --

[figure description] Page 059.[end figure description]

“If Monsieur de Barbérie vas 'live, Monsieur
Alderman, he should say des choses convenables;
mais, malheureusement, mon chèr, maitre est mort;
and, sair, I shall be bold to remercier pour lui, et
pour toute sa famille.”

“Women are perverse, and sometimes they have
pleasure in doing the very thing they are desired
not to do.”

“Ma foi, oui!”

“Prudent men should manage them with soft
words and rich gifts; with these, they become orderly
as a pair of well-broke geldings.”

“Monsieur know,” said the old valet, rubbing his
hands, and laughing with the subdued voice of a
well-bred domestic, though he could not conceal a
jocular wink; “pourtant il est garçon! Le cadeau
be good for de demoiselles, and bettair as for de

“Wedlock and blinkers! it is we gâssons, as you
call us, who ought to know. Your hen-pecked husband
has no time to generalize among the sex, in
order to understand the real quality of the article.
Now, here is Van Staats of Kinderhook, faithful
François; what think you of such a youth for a
husband for Alida?”

“Pourtant, Mam'selle like de vivacité; Monsieur
le Patroon be nevair trop vif.”

“The more likely to be sure—Hist, I hear a footstep.
We are followed—chased, perhaps, I should
say, to speak in the language of these sea-gentry.
Now is the time to show this Captain Ludlow, how
a Frenchman can wind him round his finger, on
terra-firma. Loiter in the rear, and draw our navigator
on a wrong course. When he has run into a
fog, come yourself, with all speed, to the oak on the
bluff. There we shall await you.”

Flattered by this confidence, and really persuaded
that he was furthering the happiness of her he

-- 060 --

[figure description] Page 060.[end figure description]

served, the old valet nodded, in reply to the Alderman's
wink and chuckle, and immediately relaxed
his speed. The former pushed ahead; and, in a
minute, he and those who followed had turned short
to the left, and were out of sight.

Though faithfully and even affectionately attached
to Alida, her servant had many of the qualifications
of an European domestic. Trained in all the ruses
of his profession, he was of that school which believes
civilization is to be measured by artifice; and
success lost some of its value, when it had been effected
by the vulgar machinery of truth and common
sense. No wonder then the retainer entered into
the views of the Alderman, with more than a usual
relish for the duty. He heard the cracking of the
dried twigs beneath the footstep of him who followed;
and in order that there might be no chance of missing
the desired interview, the valet began to hum a
French air, in so loud a key, as to be certain the
sounds would reach any ear that was nigh. The
twigs snapped more rapidly, the footsteps seemed
nearer, and then the hero of the India-shawl sprang
to the side of the expecting François.

The disappointment seemed mutual, and on the
part of the domestic it entirely disconcerted all his
pre-arranged schemes for misleading the commander
of the Coquette. Not so with the bold mariner. So
far from his self-possession being disturbed, it would
have been no easy matter to restrain his audacity,
even in situations far more trying than any in which
he has yet been presented to the reader.

“What cheer, in thy woodland cruise, Monsieur
Broad-Pennant?” he said, with infinite coolness, the
instant his steady glance had ascertained they were
alone. “This is safer navigation for an officer of thy
draught of water, than running about the bay, in a
periagua. What may be the longitude, and where-a-way
did you part company from the consorts?”

-- 061 --

[figure description] Page 061.[end figure description]

“Sair, I valk in de vood for de plaisir, and I go
on de bay for de—parbleu, non! 'tis to follow ma
jeune maitresse I go on de bay; and, sair, I wish dey
who do love de bay and de sea, would not come into
de vood, du tout.”

“Well spoken, and with ample spirit;—what, a
student too! one in a wood should glean something
from his labors. Is it the art of furling a main cue,
that is taught in this pretty volume?”

As the mariner put his question, he very deliberately
took the book from François, who, instead of
resenting the liberty, rather offered the volume, in

“No, sair, it is not how to furl la queue, but how
to touch de soul; not de art to haul over de calm,
but—oui, c'est plein de connoissance et d'esprit!
Ah! ha! you know de Cid! le grand homme! l'homme
de génie! If you read, Monsieur Marin, you shall
see la vraie poésie! Not de big book and no single
rhyme—Sair, I do not vish to say vat is pénible, mais
it is not one book widout rhyme; it was not écrit on
de sea. Le diable! que le vrai génie, et les nobles
sentiments, se trouvent dans ce livre, la!”

“Ay, I see it is a log-book, for every man to note
his mind in. I return you Master Cid, with his fine
sentiments, in the bargain. Great as was his genius,
it would seem he was not the man to write all that
I find between the leaves.”

“He not write him all! Yes, sair, he shall write
him six time more dan all, if la France a besoin.
Que l'envie de ces Anglais se découvre quand on parle
des beaux génies de la France!”

“I will only say, if the gentleman wrote the whole
that is in the book, and it is as fine as you would
make a plain seafaring man believe, he did wrong
not to print it.”

“Print!” echoed François, opening his eyes, and

-- 062 --

[figure description] Page 062.[end figure description]

the volume, by a common impulse. “Imprimé! ha!
here is papier of Mam'selle Alide, assurément.”

“Take better heed of it then,” interrupted the
seaman of the shawl. “As for your Cid, to me it is
an useless volume, since it teaches neither the latitude
of a shoal, nor the shape of a coast.”

“Sair, it teach de morale; de rock of de passion,
et les grands mouvements de l'ame! Oui, Sair; it
teach all, un Monsieur vish to know. Tout le monde
read him in la France; en province, comme en ville.
If sa Majesté, le Grand Louis, be not so mal avisé,
as to chasser Messieurs les Huguenots from his royaume,
I shall go to Paris, to hear le Cid, moi-même!”

“A good journey to you, Monsieur Cue. We may
meet on the road, until which time I take my departure.
The day may come, when we shall converse
with a rolling sea beneath us. Till then, brave

“Adieu, Monsieur,” returned François, bowing
with a politeness that had become too familiar to be
forgotten. “If we do not meet but in de sea, we
shall not meet, nevair. Ah, ha, ha! Monsieur le
Marin n'aime pas à entendre parler de la gloire de
la France! Je voudrais bien savoir lire ce f—e Shak-a-spear,
pour voir, combien l'immortel Corneille lui
est supérieur. Ma foi, oui; Monsieur Pierre Corneille
est vraiment un homme illustre!”

The faithful, self-complacent, and aged valet then
pursued his way towards the large oak on the bluff;
for as he ceased speaking, the mariner of the gay
sash had turned deeper into the woods, and left him
alone. Proud of the manner, in which he had met
the audacity of the stranger, prouder still of the
reputation of the author, whose fame had been
known in France long before his own departure from
Europe, and not a little consoled with the reflection
that he had contributed his mite to support the honor
of his distant and well-beloved country, the honest

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François pressed the volume affectionately beneath
his arm, and hastened on after his mistress.

Though the position of Staten Island and its surrounding
bays is so familiar to the Manhattanese, an
explanation of the localities may be agreeable to
readers who dwell at a distance from the scene of
the tale.

It has already been said, that the principal communication
between the bays of Raritan and York,
is called the Narrows. At the mouth of this passage,
the land on Staten Island rises in a high bluff, which
overhangs the water, not unlike the tale-fraught
cape of Misenum. From this elevated point, the
eye not only commands a view of both estuaries and
the city, but it looks far beyond the point of Sandy-Hook,
into the open sea. It is here that, in our own
days, ships are first noted in the offing, and whence
the news of the approach of his vessel is communicated
to the expecting merchant by means of the
telegraph. In the early part of the last century,
arrivals were too rare to support such an establishment.
The bluff was therefore little resorted to, except
by some occasional admirer of scenery, or by
those countrymen whom business, at long intervals,
drew to the spot. It had been early cleared of its
wood, and the oak already mentioned was the only
tree standing in a space of some ten or a dozen

It has been seen that Alderman Van Beverout had
appointed this solitary oak, as the place of rendezvous
with François. Thither then he took his way
on parting from the valet, and to this spot we must
now transfer the scene. A rude seat had been placed
around the root of the tree, and here the whole
party, with the exception of the absent domestic,
were soon seated. In a minute, however, they were
joined by the exulting François, who immediately

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related the particulars of his recent interview with
the stranger.

“A clear conscience, with cordial friends, and a
fair balance-sheet, may keep a man warm in January,
even in this climate,” said the Alderman, willing
to turn the discourse; “but what with rebellious
blacks, hot streets, and spoiling furs, it passeth mortal
powers to keep cool in yonder overgrown and
crowded town. Thou seest, Patroon, the spot of
white on the opposite side of the bay.—Breezes and
fanning! that is the Lust in Rust, where cordial enters
the mouth at every breath, and where a man
has room to cast up the sum-total of his thoughts,
any hour in the twenty-four.”

“We seem quite as effectually alone on this hill,
with the advantage of having a city in the view,”
remarked Alida, with an emphasis that showed she
meant even more than she expressed.

“We are by ourselves, niece of mine,” returned
the Alderman, rubbing his hands as if he secretly
felicitated himself that the fact were so. “That
truth cannot be denied, and good company we are,
though the opinion comes from one who is not a
cipher in the party. Modesty is a poor man's wealth.
but as we grow substantial in the world, Patroon,
one can afford to begin to speak truth of himself, as
well as of his neighbor.”

“In which case, little, but good, will be uttered
from the mouth of Alderman Van Beverout,” said
Ludlow, appearing so suddenly from behind the root
of the tree, as effectually to shut the mouth of the
burgher. “My desire to offer the services of the
ship to your party, has led to this abrupt intrusion,
and I hope will obtain its pardon.”

“The power to forgive is a prerogative of the
Governor, who represents the Queen,” drily returned
the Alderman. “If Her Majesty has so little employment
for her cruisers, that their captains can

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dispose of them, in behalf of old men and young
maidens—why, happy is the age, and commerce
should flourish!”

“If the two duties are compatible, the greater the
reason why a commander should felicitate himself,
that he may be of service to so many. You are
bound to the Jersey Highlands, Mr. Van Beverout?”

“I am bound to a comfortable and very private
abode, called the Lust in Rust, Captain Cornelius
Van Cuyler Ludlow.”

The young man bit his lip, and his healthful but
brown cheek flushed a deeper red than common,
though he preserved his composure.

“And I am bound to sea,” he soon said. “The
wind is getting fresh, and your boat, which I see, at
this moment, standing in for the islands, will find it
difficult to make way against its force. The Coquette's
anchor will be aweigh, in twenty minutes;
and I shall find two hours of an ebbing tide, and a
top-gallant breeze, but too short a time for the pleasure
of entertaining such guests. I am certain that
the fears of la Belle will favor my wishes, whichsoever
side of the question her inclinations may happen
to be.”

“And they are with her uncle;” quickly returned
Alida. “I am so little of a sailor, that prudence, if
not pusillanimity, teaches me to depend on the experience
of older heads.”

“Older I may not pretend to be,” said Ludlow,
coloring;” but Mr. Van Beverout will see no pretension
in believing myself as good a judge of wind and
tide, as even he himself can be.”

“You are said to command Her Majesty's sloop
with skill, Captain Ludlow, and it is creditable to
the colony, that it has produced so good an officer;
though I believe your grandfather came into the
province, so lately as on the restoration of King
Charles the Second?”

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“We cannot claim descent from the United Provinces,
Alderman Van Beverout, on the paternal side;
but whatever may have been the political opinions
of my grandfather, those of his descendant have
never been questioned. Let me entreat the fair
Alida to take counsel of the apprehension I am sure
she feels, and to persuade her uncle that the Coquette
is safer than his periagua.”

“It is said to be easier to enter than to quit your
ship,” returned the laughing Alida. “By certain
symptoms that attended our passage to the island,
your Coquette, like others, is fond of conquest. One
is not safe beneath so malign an influence.”

“This is a reputation given by our enemies. I
had hoped for a different answer from la belle Barb

The close of the sentence was uttered with an
emphasis that caused the blood to quicken its movement
in the veins of the maiden. It was fortunate
that neither of their companions was very observant,
or else suspicions might have been excited, that a
better intelligence existed between the young sailor
and the heiress, than would have comported with
their wishes and intentions.

“I had hoped for a different answer from la belle
Barbérie,” repeated Ludlow, in a lower voice, but
with even a still more emphatic tone than before.

There was evidently a struggle in the mind of
Alida.—She overcame it, before her confusion could
be noted; and, turning to the valet, she said, with
the composure and grace that became a gentlewoman—

“Rends moi le livre, François.”

“Le voici—ah! ma chère Mam'selle Alide, que
ce Monsieur le marin se fâchait à cause de la gloire,
et des beaux vers de notre illustre M. Pierre Corneille!

“Here is an English sailor, that I am sure will not

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deny the merit of an admired writer, even though
he come of a nation that is commonly thought hostile,
François,” returned his mistress, smiling. “Captain
Ludlow, it is now a month since I am your
debtor, by promise, for a volume of Corneille, and I
here acquit myself of the obligation. When you
have perused the contents of this book, with the attention
they deserve, I may hope—”

“For a speedy opinion of their merits.”

“I was about to say, to receive the volume again,
as it is a legacy from my father,” steadily rejoined

“Legacies and foreign tongues!” muttered the
Alderman. “One is well enough; but for the other,
English and Dutch are all that the wisest man need
learn. I never could understand an account of profit
and loss in any other tongue, Patroon; and even a
favorable balance never appears so great as it is,
unless the account be rendered in one or the other
of these rational dialects. Captain Ludlow, we thank
you for your politeness, but here is one of my fellows
to tell us that my own periagua is arrived; and,
wishing you a happy and a long cruise, as we say of
lives, I bid you, adieu.”

The young seaman returned the salutations of the
party, with a better grace than his previous solicitude
to persuade them to enter his ship, might have
given reason to expect. He even saw them descend
the hill, towards the water of the outer bay, with
entire composure; and it was only after they had
entered a thicket which hid them from view, that
he permitted his feelings to have sway.

Then indeed he drew the volume from his pocket,
and opened its leaves with an eagerness he could no
longer control. It seemed as if he expected to read
more, in the pages, than the author had caused to
be placed there; but when his eye caught sight of
a sealed billet, the legacy of M. de Barbérie fell at

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his feet; and the paper was torn asunder, with all
the anxiety of one who expected to find in its contents
a decree of life or death.

Amazement was clearly the first emotion of the
young seaman. He read and re-read; struck his
brow with his hand; gazed about him at the land
and at the water; re-perused the note; examined
the superscription, which was simply to `Capt.
Ludlow, of Her Majesty's ship Coquette:' smiled;
muttered between his teeth; seemed vexed, and yet
delighted; read the note again, word by word, and
finally thrust it into his pocket, with the air of a
man who had found reason for both regret and satisfaction
in its contents.


“—What, has this thing appeared again, to-night?”


The face of man is the log-book of his thoughts,
and Captain Ludlow's seems agreeable,” observed a
voice, that came from one, who was not far from
the commander of the Coquette, while the latter
was still enacting the pantomime described in the
close of the preceding chapter.

“Who speaks of thoughts and log-books, or who
dares to pry into my movements?” demanded the
young sailor, fiercely.

“One who has trifled with the first and scribbled
in the last too often, not to know how to meet a
squall, whether it be seen in the clouds or only on
the face of man. As for looking into your movements,
Captain Ludlow, I have watched too many
big ships in my time, to turn aside at each light

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cruiser that happens to cross my course. I hope, Sir,
you have an answer; every hail has its right to a
civil reply.”

Ludlow could scarce believe his senses, when, on
turning to face the intruder, he saw himself confronted
by the audacious eye and calm mien of the
mariner who had, once before that morning, braved
his resentment. Curbing his indignation, however,
the young man endeavored to emulate the coolness
which, notwithstanding his inferior condition, imparted
to the air of the other something that was imposing,
if it were not absolutely authoritative. Perhaps the
singularity of the adventure aided in effecting an
object, that was a little difficult of attainment in one
accustomed to receive so much habitual deference
from most of those who made the sea their home.
Swallowing his resentment, the young commander

“He that knows how to face his enemies with
spirit, may be accounted sufficiently bold; but he
who braves the anger of his friends, is foolhardy.”

“And he who does neither, is wiser than both,”
rejoined the reckless hero of the sash. “Captain
Ludlow, we meet on equal terms, at present, and
the parley may be managed with some freedom.”

“Equality is a word that ill applies to men of stations
so different.”

“Of our stations and duties it is not necessary to
speak. I hope that, when the proper time shall come,
both may be found ready to be at the first, and equal
to discharge the last. But Captain Ludlow, backed
by the broadside of the Coquette and the cross-fire
of his marines, is not Captain Ludlow alone, on a sea-bluff,
with a crutch no better than his own arm, and
a stout heart. As the first, he is like a spar supported
by backstays and forestays, braces and standing
rigging; while, as the latter, he is the stick, which
keeps its head aloft by the soundness and quality of

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its timber. You have the appearance of one who
can go alone, even though it blew heavier than at
present, if one may judge of the force of the breeze,
by the manner it presses on the sails of yonder boat
in the bay.”

“Yonder boat begins to feel the wind, truly!”
said Ludlow, suddenly losing all other interest in the
appearance of the periagua which held Alida and
her friends, and which, at that instant, shot out from
beneath the cover of the hill into the broad opening
of Raritan bay. “What think you of the time, my
friend? a man of your years should speak with knowledge
of the weather.”

“Women and winds are only understood, when
fairly in motion,” returned he of the sash; “now,
any mortal who consulted comfort and the skies,
would have preferred a passage in Her Majesty's
ship Coquette, to one in yonder dancing periagua;
and yet the fluttering silk we see, in the boat, tells
us there is one who has thought otherwise.”

“You are a man of singular intelligence,” cried
Ludlow, again facing the intruder; “as well as one
of singular—”

“Effrontery,” rejoined the other, observing that
the commander hesitated. Let the commissioned
officer of the Queen speak boldly; I am no better
than a top-man, or at most a quarter-master.”

“I wish to say nothing disagreeable, but I find
your knowledge of my offer to convey the lady and
her friends to the residence of Alderman Van Beverout,
a little surprising.”

“And I see nothing to wonder at, in your offer to
convey the lady anywhere, though the liberality to
her friends is not an act of so clear explanation.
When young men speak from the heart, their words
are not uttered in whispers.”

“Which would imply that you overheard our conversation.
I believe it, for here is cover at hand to

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conceal you. It may be, Sir, that you have eyes, as
well as ears.”

“I confess to have seen your countenance, changing
sides, like a member of parliament turning to a
new leaf in his conscience, at the Minister's signal,
while you overhauled a bit of paper—”

“Whose contents you could not know!”

“Whose contents I took to be some private orders,
given by a lady who is too much of a coquette herself,
to accept your offer to sail in a vessel of the
same name.”

“By Heavens, the fellow has reason in his inexplicable
impudence!” muttered Ludlow, pacing backward
and forward beneath the shadow of the tree.
“The language and the acts of the girl are in contradiction;
and I am a fool to be trifled with, like a
midshipman fresh broken loose from his mother's
apron-string. Harkee, Master-a-a—You've a name I
suppose, like any other straggler on the ocean.”

“Yes. When the hail is loud enough to be heard,
I answer to the call of Thomas Tiller.”

“Well then, Master Tiller, so clever a seaman
should be glad to serve the Queen.”

“Were it not for duty to another, whose claim
comes first, nothing could be more agreeable than to
lend a lady in distress a helping hand.”

“And who is he, who may prefer a claim to your
services, in competition with the majesty of these
realms?” demanded Ludlow, with a little of the
pretension that, when speaking of its privileges, is
apt to distinguish the manner of one who has been
accustomed to regard royalty with reverence.

“Myself. When our affairs call us the same way,
no one can be readier than I, to keep Her Majesty's
company; but—”

“This is presuming too far, on the trifling of a
moment,” interrupted Ludlow; “you know, sirrah,
that I have the right to command your services,

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without entering into a parley for them; and which,
notwithstanding your gay appearance, may, after all,
be little worth the trouble.”

“There is no need to push matters to extremity,
between us, Captain Ludlow,” resumed the stranger,
who had appeared to muse for a moment, “If I have
baffled your pursuit once to-day, it was perhaps to
make my merit in entering the ship freely, less undeniable.
We are here alone, and your Honor will
account it no boasting, if I say that a man, well
limbed and active, who stands six feet between plank
and carline, is not likely to be led against his will,
like a yawl towing at the stern of a four-and-forty.
I am a seaman, Sir; and though the ocean is my
home, I never venture on it without sufficient footing.
Look abroad from this hill, and say whether there
is any craft in view, except the cruiser of the Queen,
which would be likely to suit the taste of a mariner
of the long voyage?”

“By which you would have me understand, you
are here in quest of service?”

“Nothing less; and though the opinion of a foremast
Jack may be of little value, you will not be displeased
to hear, that I might look further without
finding a prettier sea-boat, or a swifter, than the one
which sails under your own orders. A seaman of
your station, Captain Ludlow, is not now to learn,
that a man speaks differently, while his name is his
own, and after he has given it away to the crown;
and therefore I hope my present freedom will not be
long remembered.”

“I have met men of your humor before, my friend,
and I have not now to learn, that a thorough man-of-war's
man is as impudent on shore, as he is obedient
afloat.—Is that a sail, in the offing, or is it the
wing of a sea-fowl, glittering in the sun?”

“It may be either,” observed the audacious mariner,
turning his eye leisurely towards the open ocean,

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“for we have a wide look-out from this windy bluff.
Here are gulls sporting above the waves, that turn
their feathers towards the light.”

“Look more seaward. That spot of shining white
should be the canvas of some craft, hovering in the

“Nothing more probable, in so light a breeze.
Your coasters are in and out, like water-rats on a
wharf, at any hour of the twenty-four—and yet to
me it seems the comb of a breaking sea.”

“'Tis snow-white duck; such as your swift rover
wears on his loftier spars!”

“A duck that is flown,” returned the stranger
drily, “for it is no longer to be seen. These fly-aways,
Captain Ludlow, give us seamen many sleepless nights
and idle chases. I was once running down the coast
of Italy, between the island of Corsica and the main,
when one of these delusions beset the crew, in a
manner that hath taught me to put little faith in
eyes, unless backed by a clear horizon and a cool

“I'll hear the circumstance,” said Ludlow, withdrawing
his gaze from the distant ocean, like one
who was satisfied his senses had been deceived.
“What of this marvel of the Italian seas?”

“A marvel truly, as your Honor will confess, when
I read you the affair, much in the words I had it
logged, for the knowledge of all concerned. It was
the last hour of the second dog-watch, on Easter-Sunday,
with the wind here at south-east, easterly.
A light air filled the upper canvas, and just gave us
command of the ship. The mountains of Corsica,
with Monte Christo and Elba, had all been sunk
some hours, and we were on the yards, keeping a
look-out for a land-fall on the Roman coast. A low,
thick bank of drifting fog lay along the sea, in-shore
of us, which all believed to be the sweat of the land,
and thought no more of; though none wished to

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enter it, for that is a coast where foul airs rise, and
through which the gulls and land-birds refuse to fly.
Well, here we lay, the mainsail in the brails, the
topsails beating the mast-heads, like a maiden fanning
herself when she sees her lover, and nothing full,
but the upper duck, with the sun fairly below the
water in the western board. I was then young, and
quick of eye, as of foot, and therefore among the
first to see the sight!”

“Which was—?” said Ludlow, interested in
spite of his assumed air of indifference.

“Why, here just above the bank of foul air, that
ever rests on that coast, there was seen an object,
that looked like ribs of bright light, as if a thousand
stars had quitted their usual berths in the heaven, to
warn us off the land, by a supernatural beacon. The
sight was in itself altogether out of nature and surprising.
As the night thickened, it grew brighter
and more glowing, as if 'twere meant in earnest to
warn us from the coast. But when the word was
passed to send the glasses aloft, there was seen a glittering
cross on high, and far above the spars on which
earthly ships carry their private signals.”

“This was indeed extraordinary! and what did
you, to come at the character of the heavenly

“We wore off shore, and left it a clear berth for
bolder mariners. Glad enough was I to see, with the
morning sun, the snowy hills of Corsica, again!”

“And the appearance of that object was never

“Nor ever will be. I have since spoke with the
mariners of that sea concerning the sight, but never
found any who could pretend to have seen it. There
was indeed one bold enough to say, there is a church,
far inland, of height and magnitude sufficient to be
seen some leagues at sea, and that, favored by our
position and the mists that hung above the low

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grounds, we had seen its upper works, looming above
the fogs, and lighted for some brilliant ceremony;
but we were all too old in seaman's experience to
credit so wild a tale. I know not but a church may
loom, as well as a hill or a ship; but he, who pretends
to say, that the hands of man can thus pile stones
among the clouds, should be certain of believers, ere
he pushes the tale too far.”

“Your narrative is extraordinary, and the marvel
should have been looked into closer. It may truly
have been a church, for there stands an edifice at
Rome, which towers to treble the height of a cruiser's

“Having rarely troubled churches, I know not
why a church should trouble me,” said the mariner
of the sash, while he turned his back on the ocean,
as if indisposed to regard the waste of water longer.
“It is now twelve years since that sight was seen,
and though a seaman of many voyages, my eyes
have not looked upon the Roman coast, from that
hour to this. Will your Honor lead the way from
the bluff, as becomes your rank?”

“Your tale of the burning cross and looming
church, Master Tiller, had almost caused me to forget
to watch the movements of yon periagua,” returned
Ludlow, who still continued to face the bay. “That
obstinate old Dutchman—I say, Sir, that Mr.
Alderman Van Beverout has greater confidence in
this description of craft than I feel myself. I like
not the looks of yonder cloud, which is rising from
out the mouth of Raritan; and here, seaward, we
have a gloomy horizon.—By Heaven! there is a sail
playing in the offing, or my eye hath lost its use and

“Your Honor sees the wing of the sporting gull,
again; it had been nigh to deceive my sight, which
would be to cheat the look-out of a man that has the
advantage of some ten or fifteen years' more

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practice in marine appearances. I remember once, when
beating in among the islands of the China seas, with
the trades here at south-east—”

“Enough of your marvels, friend; the church is
as much as I can swallow, in one morning—It may
have been a gull! for I confess the object small; yet
it had the steadiness and size of a distant sail! There
is some reason to expect one on our coast, for whom
a bright and seaman's watch must be had.”

“This may then leave me a choice of ships,”
rejoined Tiller. “I thank your Honor for having
spoken, before I had given myself away to the Queen;
who is a lady that is much more apt to receive gifts
of this nature, than to return them.”

“If your respect aboard shall bear any proportion
to your hardihood on shore, you may be accounted
a model of civility! But a mariner of your pretension
should have some regard to the character of
the vessel in which he takes service.”

“That of which your Honor spoke, is then a buccaneer?”

“If not a buccaneer, one but little better. A
lawless trader, under the most favorable view; and
there are those who think that he, who has gone so
far, has not stopt short of the end. But the reputation
of the `Skimmer of the Seas' must be known to
one who has navigated the ocean, long as you.”

“You will overlook the curiosity of a seafaring
man, in a matter of his profession,” returned the
mariner of the sash, with strong and evident interest
in his manner. “I am lately from a distant ocean,
and though many tales of the buccaneers of the islands
have been narrated, I do not remember to have
heard of that rover, before his name came into the
discourse between me and the schipper of the boat,
that plies between this landing and the city. I am
not, altogether, what I seem, Captain Ludlow; and
when further acquaintance and hard service shall

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have brought me more before the eyes of my commander,
he may not repent having induced a thorough
seaman to enter his ship, by a little condescension
and good-nature shown while the man was still
his own master. Your Honor will take no offence at
my boldness, when I tell you, I should be glad to
know more of this unlawful trader.”

Ludlow riveted his eyes on the unmoved and
manly countenance of his companion. There was
a vague and undefined suspicion in the look; but it
vanished, as the practised organs drank in the assurance,
which so much physical promise afforded,
of the aid of a bold and active mariner. Rather
amused than offended by the freedom of the request,
he turned upon his heel, and as they descended the
bluff, on their way towards the place of landing, he
continued the dialogue.

“You are truly from a distant ocean,” said the
young captain of the Coquette, smiling like a man
who apologizes to himself for an act of what he
thought undue condescension, “if the exploits of a
brigantine known by the name of the `Water-Witch,”
and of him who commands her, under the fit appellation
of the `Skimmer of the Seas,' have not yet
reached your ears. It is now five summers, since
orders have been in the colonies for the cruisers to
be on the alert to hunt the picaroon; and it is even
said, the daring smuggler has often braved the pennants
of the narrow seas. 'Twould be a bigger ship,
if not knighthood, to the lucky officer who should
catch the knave!”

“He must drive a money-gaining trade, to run
these risks, and to brave the efforts of so many skilful
gentlemen! May I add to a presumption that your
Honor already finds too bold, if one may judge by a
displeased eye, by asking if report speaks to the face
and other particulars of the person of this—

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free-trader, one must call him, though freebooter should
be a better word.”

“What matters the personal condition of a rogue?”
said Captain Ludlow, who perhaps remembered,
that the freedom of their intercourse had been carried
as far as comported with prudence.

“What matter, truly! I asked because the description
answers a little to that of a man I once
knew, in the seas of farther India, and who has long
since disappeared, though no one can say whither he
has gone. But this `Skimmer of the Seas' is some
Spaniard of the Main, or perhaps a Dutchman come
from the country that is awash, in order to taste of

“Spaniard of the southern coast never carried so
bold a sail in these seas, nor was there ever known
a Dutchman with so light a heel. The fellow is
said to laugh at the swiftest cruiser out of England!
As to his figure, I have heard little good of it. 'Tis
said, he is some soured officer of better days, who
has quitted the intercourse of honest men, because
roguery is so plainly written on his face, that he
vainly tries to hide it.”

“Mine was a proper man, and one that need not
have been ashamed to show his countenance among
his fellows,” said he of the sash. “This cannot be
the same, if indeed there be any on the coast.—Is't
known, your Honor, that the man is truly here?”

“So goes a rumor; though so many idle tales have
led me before to seek the smuggler where he was
not, that I give but little faith to the report.—The
periagua has the wind more at west, and the cloud
in the mouth of the Raritan is breaking into scud.
The Alderman will have a lucky run of it!”

“And the gulls have gone more seaward—a certain
sign of pleasant weather;” returned the other,
glancing a quick but keen look over the horizon,

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in the offing. “I believe our rover, with his light
duck, has taken flight among them!”

“We will then go in pursuit. My ship is bound
to sea; and it is time, Master Tiller, that I know in
what berth you are willing to serve the Queen.”

“God bless her Majesty! Anne is a royal lady,
and she had a Lord High Admiral for her husband.
As for a berth, Sir, one always wishes to be captain,
even though he may be compelled to eat his rations
in the lee-scuppers. I suppose the first-lieutenancy
is filled, to your Honor's liking?”

“Sirrah, this is trifling; one of your years and
experience need not be told, that commissions are
obtained by service.”

“Under favor;—I confess the error. Captain
Ludlow, you are a man of honor, and will not deceive
a sailor who puts trust in your word.”

“Sailor, or landsman, he is safe who has the

“Then, Sir, I ask it. Suffer me to enter your
ship; to look into my future messmates, and to judge
of their characters; to see if the vessel suits my
humor; and then to quit her, if I find it convenient.”

“Fellow,” said Ludlow, “this impudence almost
surpasseth patience!”

“The request is reasonable, as can be shown;”
gravely returned the unknown mariner. “Now,
Captain Ludlow of the Coquette would gladly tie
himself, for better for worse, to a fair lady who is
lately gone on the water, and yet there are thousands
who might be had with less difficulty.”

“Still deeper and deeper in thy effrontery—and
what if this be true?”

“Sir, a ship is a seaman's mistress—nay, when
fairly under a pennant, with a war declared, he
may be said to be wedded to her, lawfully or not.
He becomes `bone of her bone, and flesh of her
flesh, until death doth them part.' To such a long

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compact, there should be liberty of choice. Has not
your mariner a taste, as well as your lover? The
harpings and counter of his ship are the waist and
shoulders; the rigging, the ringlets; the cut and fit
of the sails, the fashion of the millinery; the guns
are always called the teeth, and her paint is the
blush and bloom! Here is matter of choice, Sir;
and, without leave to make it, I must wish your
Honor a happy cruise, and the Queen a better servitor.”

“Why, Master Tiller,” cried Ludlow, laughing,
“you trust too much to these stunted oaks, if you
believe it exceeds my power to hunt you out of
their cover, at pleasure. But I take you at your
word. The Coquette shall receive you on these conditions,
and with the confidence that a first-rate city
belle would enter a country ball-room.”

“I follow in your Honor's wake, without more
words,” returned he of the sash, for the first time
respectfully raising his canvas cap to the young commander.
“Though not actually married, consider
me a man betrothed.”

It is not necessary to pursue the discourse between
the two seamen any further. It was maintained,
and with sufficient freedom on the part of the inferior,
until they reached the shore, and came in full
view of the pennant of the Queen; when, with the
tact of an old man-of-war's man, he threw into his
manner all the respect that was usually required by
the difference of rank.

Half an hour later, the Coquette was rolling at a
single anchor, as the puffs of wind came off the hills
on her three topsails; and shortly after, she was seen
standing through the Narrows, with a fresh south-westerly
breeze. In all these movements, there
was nothing to attract attention. Notwithstanding
the sarcastic allusions of Alderman Van Beverout,
the cruiser was far from being idle; and her passage

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outward was a circumstance of so common occurrence,
that it excited no comment among the boatmen
of the bay, and the coasters, who alone witnessed
her departure.


“—I am no pilot; yet, wert thou as far
As that vast shore wash'd with the furthest sea,
I would adventure for such merchandise.”
Romeo and Juliet.

A HAPPY mixture of land and water, seen by a
bright moon, and beneath the sky of the fortieth degree
of latitude, cannot fail to make a pleasing picture.
Such was the landscape which the reader
must now endeavor to present to his mind.

The wide estuary of Raritan is shut in from the
winds and billows of the open sea, by a long, low,
and narrow cape, or point, which, by a medley of
the Dutch and English languages, that is by no
means rare in the names of places that lie within
the former territories of the United Provinces of
Holland, is known by the name of Sandy-Hook.
This tongue of land appears to have been made by
the unremitting and opposing actions of the waves,
on one side, and of the currents of the different
rivers, that empty their waters into the bay, on the
other. It is commonly connected with the low coast
of New-Jersey, to the south; but there are periods,
of many years in succession, during which there
exists an inlet from the sea, between what may be
termed the inner end of the cape, and the main-land.
During these periods, Sandy-Hook, of course, becomes
an island. Such was the fact at the time of
which it is our business to write.

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The outer, or ocean side of this low and narrow
bank of sand, is a smooth and regular beach, like
that seen on most of the Jersey coast, while the inner
is indented, in a manner to form several convenient
anchoring-grounds, for ships that seek a shelter from
easterly gales. One of the latter is a circular and
pretty cove, in which vessels of a light draught are
completely embayed, and where they may, in safety,
ride secure from any winds that blow. The harbor,
or, as it is always called, the Cove, lies at the point
where the cape joins the main, and the inlet just
named communicates directly with its waters, whenever
the passage is open. The Shrewsbury, a river
of the fourth or fifth class, or in other words a stream
of a few hundred feet in width, and of no great
length, comes from the south, running nearly parallel
with the coast, and becomes a tributary of the Bay,
also, at a point near the Cove. Between the Shrewsbury
and the sea, the land resembles that on the
cape, being low and sandy, though not entirely without
fertility. It is covered with a modest growth of
pines and oaks, where it is not either subject to the
labors of the husbandman, or in natural meadow.
But the western bank of the river is an abrupt and
high acclivity, which rises to the elevation of a mountain.
It was near the base of the latter that Alderman
Van Beverout, for reasons that may be more
fully developed as we proceed in our tale, had seen
fit to erect his villa, which, agreeably to a usage of
Holland, he had called the Lust in Rust; an appellation
that the merchant, who had read a few of the
classics in his boyhood, was wont to say meant nothing
more nor less than `Otium cum dignitate.'

If a love of retirement and a pure air had its influence
in determining the selection of the burgher
of Manhattan, he could not have made a better
choice. The adjoining lands had been occupied,
early in the previous century, by a respectable

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family of the name of Hartshorne, which continues
seated at the place, to the present hour. The extent
of their possessions served, at that day, to keep others
at a distance. If to this fact be added the formation
and quality of the ground, which was, at so early a
period, of trifling value for agricultural purposes, it
will be seen there was as little motive, as there was
opportunity, for strangers to intrude. As to the air,
it was refreshed by the breezes of the ocean, which
was scarcely a mile distant; while it had nothing to
render it unhealthy, or impure. With this sketch
of the general features of the scene where so many
of our incidents occurred, we shall proceed to describe
the habitation of the Alderman, a little more
in detail.

The villa of the Lust in Rust was a low, irregular
edifice, in bricks, whitewashed to the color of the
driven snow, and in a taste that was altogether Dutch.
There were many gables and weather-cocks, a dozen
small and twisted chimneys, with numberless facilities
that were intended for the nests of storks. These
airy sites were, however, untenanted, to the great
admiration of the honest architect, who, like many
others that bring with them into this hemisphere
habits and opinions that are better suited to the
other, never ceased expressing his surprise on the
subject, though all the negroes of the neighborhood
united in affirming there was no such bird in America.
In front of the house, there was a narrow but an
exceedingly neat lawn, encirled by shrubbery;
while two old elms, that seemed coeval with the
mountain, grew in the rich soil of which the base of
the latter was composed. Nor was there a want of
shade on any part of the natural terrace, that was
occupied by the buildings. It was thickly sprinkled
with fruit-trees, and here and there was a pine, or
an oak, of the native growth. A declivity that was
rather rapid fell away in front, to the level of the

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mouth of the river. In short, it was an ample but
an unpretending country-house, in which no domestic
convenience had been forgotten; while it had little
to boast of in the way of architecture, except its
rusty vanes and twisted chimneys. A few out-houses,
for the accommodation of the negroes, were nigh;
and nearer to the river, there were barns and stables,
of dimensions and materials altogether superior to
those that the appearance of the arable land, or the
condition of the small farm, would seem to render
necessary. The periagua, in which the proprietor
had made his passage across the outer bay, lay at a
small wooden wharf immediately below.

For the earlier hours of the evening, the flashing
of candles, and a general and noisy movement among
the blacks, had denoted the presence of the master
of the villa. But the activity had gradually subsided;
and before the clock struck nine, the manner in
which the lights were distributed, and the general
silence, showed that the party, most probably fatigued
with their journey, had already separated for the
night. The clamor of the negroes had ceased, and
the quiet of deep sleep was already prevailing among
their humble dwellings.

At the northern extremity of the villa, which, it
will be remembered, leaned against the mountain,
and facing the east, or fronting the river and the
sea, there stood a little wing, even more deeply embowered
in shrubbery and low trees, than the other
parts of the edifice, and which was constructed altogether
in a different style. This was a pavilion,
erected for the particular accommodation, and at the
cost, of la belle Barbérie. Here the heiress of the
two fortunes was accustomed to keep her own little
ménage, during the weeks passed in the country;
and here she amused herself, in those pretty and
feminine employments that suited her years and
tastes. In compliment to the beauty and origin of

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[figure description] Page 085.[end figure description]

its inhabitant, the gallant François had christened
this particular portion of the villa, la Cour des Fées,
a name that had gotten into general use, though
somewhat corrupted in sound.

On the present occasion, the blinds of the principal
apartment of the pavilion were open, and its mistress
was still to be seen at one of the windows. Alida
was at an age when the sex is most sensible of lively
impressions, and she looked abroad on the loveliness
of the landscape, and on the soft stillness of the
night, with the pleasure that such a mind is wont to
receive from objects of natural beauty.

There was a young moon, and a firmament glowing
with a myriad of stars. The light was shed
softly on the water, though, here and there, the
ocean glittered with its rays. A nearly imperceptible,
but what seamen call a heavy air came off the
sea, bringing with it the refreshing coolness of the
hour. The surface of the immense waste was perfectly
unruffled, both within and without the barrier
of sand that forms the cape; but the body of the
element was heaving and setting heavily, in a manner
to resemble the sleeping respiration of some being
of huge physical frame. The roar of the surf, which
rolled up in long and white curls upon the sands,
was the only audible sound; but that was heavy and
incessant, sometimes swelling on the air, hollow and
threatening, and at others dying, in dull and distant
murmurs, on the ear. There was a charm in these
varieties of sound, and in the solemn stillness of such
a night, that drew Alida into her little balcony; and
she leaned forward, beyond its shadow of sweet-brier,
to gaze at a part of the bay that was not visible, in
the front view, from her windows.

La belle Barbérie smiled, when she saw the dim
masts and dark hull of a ship, which was anchored
near the end of the cape, and within its protection.
There was the look of womanly pride in her dark

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eye, and haply some consciousness of womanly power
in the swell of her rich lip, while a taper finger beat
the bar of the balcony, rapidly, and without consciousness
of its employment.

“The loyal Captain Ludlow has quickly ended his
cruise!” said the maiden aloud, for she spoke under
the influence of a triumph that was too natural to
be suppressed. “I shall become a convert to my
uncle's opinions, and think the Queen badly served.”

“He who serves one mistress, faithfully, has no
light task,” returned a voice from among the shrubbery
that grew beneath and nearly veiled the window;
“but he, who is devoted to two, may well despair
of success with both!”

Alida recoiled, and, at the next instant, she saw
her place occupied by the commander of the Coquette.
Before venturing to cross the low barrier
that still separated him from the little parlor, the
young man endeavored to read the eye of its occupant;
and then, either mistaking its expression, or
bold in his years and hopes, he entered the room.

Though certainly unused to have her apartment
scaled with so little ceremony, there was neither apprehension,
nor wonder, in the countenance of the
fair descendant of the Huguenot. The blood mantled
more richly on her cheek; and the brightness
of an eye, that was never dull, increased, while her
fine form became firm and commanding.

“I have heard that Captain Ludlow gained much
of his renown by gallantry in boarding,” she said, in
a voice whose meaning admitted of no misconception;
“but I had hoped his ambition was satisfied
with laurels so fairly won from the enemies of his

“A thousand pardons, fairest Alida,” interrupted
the youth; “you know the obstacles that the jealous
watchfulness of your uncle opposes to my desire to
speak with you.”

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[figure description] Page 087.[end figure description]

“They are then opposed in vain, for Alderman
Van Beverout has weakly believed the sex and condition
of his ward would protect her from these

“Nay, Alida; this is being more capricious than
the winds! You know, too well, how far my suit is
unpleasant to your gardian, to torture a slight departure
from cold observances into cause of serious
complaint. I had hoped—perhaps, I should say, I
have presumed on the contents of your letter, for
which I return a thousand thanks; but do not thus
cruelly destroy expectations that have so lately been
raised beyond the point, perhaps, which reason may

The glow, which had begun to subside on the face
of la belle Barbérie, again deepened, and for a moment
it appeared as if her high self-dependence was
a little weakened. After an instant of reflection,
however, she answered steadily, though not entirely
without emotion.

“Reason, Captain Ludlow, has limited female
propriety within narrow limits,” she said. “In answering
your letter, I have consulted good-nature
more than prudence; and I find that you are not
slow in causing me to repent the error.”

“If I ever cause you to repent confidence in me,
sweet Alida, may disgrace in my profession, and the
distrust of the whole sex, be my punishment! But,
have I not reason to complain of this inconstancy, on
your part? Ought I to expect so severe a reprimand—
severe, because cold and ironical—for an
offence, venial as the wish to proclaim my gratitude?”

“Gratitude!” repeated Alida, and this time her
wonder was not feigned. “The word is strong, Sir;
and it expresses more than an act of courtesy, so
simple as that which may attend the lending a volume
of popular poetry, can have any right to claim.”

“I have strangely misconceived the meaning of

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[figure description] Page 088.[end figure description]

the letter, or this has been a day of folly!” said
Ludlow, endeavoring to swallow his discontent. “But,
no; I have your own words to refute that averted
eye and cold look; and, by the faith of a sailor!
Alida, I will believe your deliberate and well-reflected
thoughts, before these capricious fancies, which
are unworthy of your nature. Here are the very
words; I shall not easily part with the flattering
hopes they convey!”

La belle Barbérie now regarded the young man
in open amazement. Her color changed; for of the
indiscretion of writing, she knew she was not guiltless,—
but of having written in terms to justify the confidence
of the other, she felt no consciousness. The
customs of the age, the profession of her suitor, and
the hour, induced her to look steadily into his face,
to see whether the man stood before her in all the
decency of his reason. But Ludlow had the reputation
of being exempt from a vice that was then but
too common among seamen, and there was nothing
in his ingenuous and really handsome features, to
cause her to distrust his present discretion. She
touched a bell, and signed to her companion to be

“Francois,” said his mistress, when the old valet,
but half awake, entered the apartment, “fais moi le
plaisir de m'apporter de cette eau de la fontaine du
bosquet, et du vin—le Capitaine Ludlow a soif; et
rapelle-toi, bon Francois, il ne faut pas déranger mon
oncle á cette heure; il doit être bien fatigué de son

When her respectful and respectable servitor had
received his commission and departed, Alida took a
seat herself, in the confidence of having deprived the
visit of Ludlow of its clandestine character, and at
the same time having employed the valet on an
errand that would leave her sufficient leisure, to investigate
the inexplicable meaning of her companion.

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[figure description] Page 089.[end figure description]

“You have my word, Captain Ludlow, that this
unseasonable appearance in the pavilion, is indiscreet,
not to call it cruel,” she said, so soon as they were
again alone; “but that you have it, in any manner,
to justify your imprudence, I must continue to doubt,
until confronted by proof.”

“I had thought to have made a very different use
of this,” returned Ludlow, drawing a letter,—we
admit it with some reluctance in one so simple and
so manly,—from his bosom: “and even now, I take
shame in producing it, though at your own orders.”

“Some magic has wrought a marvel, or the scrawl
has no such importance,” observed Alida, taking a
billet that she now began to repent having ever
written. “The language of politeness and female reserve
must admit of strange perversions, or all who
read are not the best interpreters.”

La belle Barbérie ceased speaking, for the instant
her eye fell on the paper, an absorbing and intense
curiosity got the better of her resentment. We shall
give the contents of the letter, precisely in the words
which caused so much amazement, and possibly some
little uneasiness, to the fair creature who was perusing

“The life of a seaman,” said the paper, in a delicate
and beautiful female hand,” is one of danger
and exposure. It inspires confidence in woman, by
the frankness to which it gives birth, and it merits
indulgence by its privations. She who writes this, is
not insensible to the merit of men of this bold calling.
Admiration for the sea, and for those who live on it,
has been her weakness through life; and her visions
of the future, like her recollections of the past, are
not entirely exempt from a contemplation of its
pleasures. The usages of different nations—glory in
arms—change of scene—with constancy in the affections,
all sweetened by affluence, are temptations too
strong for a female imagination, and they should not

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[figure description] Page 090.[end figure description]

be without their influence on the judgment of man.

This note was read, re-perused, and for the third
time conned, ere Alida ventured to raise her eyes to
the face of the expectant young man.

“And this indelicate and unfeminine rhapsody,
Captain Ludlow has seen proper to ascribe to me!”
she said, while her voice trembled between pride and

“To whom else can I impute it?” No other, lovely
Alida, could utter language so charming, in words so
properly chosen.”

The long lashes of the maiden played quickly
above their dark organs, and then, conquering feelings
that were strangely in contradiction to each
other, she said with dignity, turning to a little ebony
éscritoire which lay beside her dressing-box—

“My correspondence is neither very important,
nor very extensive; but such as it is, happily for the
reputation of the writer's taste, if not for her sanity,
I believe it is in my power to show the trifle I
thought it decorous to write, in reply to your own
letter. “Here is a copy,” she added, opening what
in fact was a draught, and reading aloud.

“I thank Capt. Ludlow for his attention in affording
me an opportunity of reading a narrative of the
cruel deeds of the buccaneers. In addition to the
ordinary feelings of humanity, one cannot but regret,
that men so heartless are to be found in a profession
that is commonly thought to be generous and tender
of the weak. We will, however, hope, that the very
wicked and cowardly, among seamen, exist only as
foils to render the qualities of the very bold and
manly more conspicuous. No one can be more sensible
of this truth than the friends of Captain Ludlow,”
the voice of Alida fell a little, as she came to
this sentence, “who has not now to earn a reputation
for mercy. In return, I send the copy of the Cid,

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[figure description] Page 091.[end figure description]

which honest François affirms to be superior to all
other poems, not even excepting Homer—a book,
which I believe he is innocent of calumniating, from
ignorance of its contents. Again thanking Capt.
Ludlow for this instance of his repeated attentions,
I beg he will keep the volume, until he shall return
from his intended cruise.”

“This note is but a copy of the one you have, or
ought to have,” said the niece of the Alderman, as
she raised her glowing face from leaning over the
paper, “though it is not signed, like that, with the
name of Alida de Barbérie.”

When this explanation was over, both parties sat
looking at each other, in silent amazement. Still
Alida saw, or thought she saw, that, notwithstanding
the previous professions of her admirer, the young
man rejoiced he had been deceived. Respect for
delicacy and reserve in the other sex is so general
and so natural among men, that they who succeed
the most in destroying its barriers, rarely fail to
regret their triumph; and he who truly loves can
never long exult in any violation of propriety, in the
object of his affections, even though the concession
be made in his own favor. Under the influence of
this commendable and healthful feeling, Ludlow,
while he was in some respects mortified at the turn
affairs had taken, felt sensibly relieved from a load
of doubt, to which the extraordinary language of the
letter, he believed his mistress to have written, had
given birth. His companion read the state of his
mind, in a countenance that was frank as face of
sailor could be; and though secretly pleased to gain
her former place in his respect, she was also vexed
and wounded that he had ever presumed to distrust
her reserve. She still held the inexplicable billet,
and her eyes naturally sought the lines. A sudden
thought seemed to strike her mind, and returning the
paper, she said coldly—

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[figure description] Page 092.[end figure description]

“Captain Ludlow should know his correspondent
better; I much mistake if this be the first of her

The young man colored to the temples, and hid
his face, for a moment, in the hollow of his hands.

“You admit the truth of my suspicions,” continued
la belle Barbérie, “and cannot be insensible of my
justice, when I add, that henceforth—”

“Listen to me, Alida,” cried the youth, half breathless
in his haste to interrupt a decision that he dreaded;
“hear me, and as Heaven is my judge, you shall
hear only truth. I confess this is not the first of the
letters, written in the same hand—perhaps I should
say in the same spirit—but, on the honor of a loyal
officer, I affirm, that until circumstances led me to
think myself so happy—so—very happy,—”

“I understand you, Sir: the work was anonymous,
until you saw fit to inscribe my name as its author.
Ludlow! Ludlow! how meanly have you thought of
the woman you profess to love!”

“That were impossible! I mingle little with those
who study the finesse of life; and loving, as I do, my
noble profession, Alida, was it so unnatural to believe
that another might view it with the same eyes? But
since you disavow the letter—nay, your disavowal is
unnecessary—I see my vanity has even deceived me
in the writing—but since the delusion is over, I confess
that I rejoice it is not so.”

La belle Barbérie smiled, and her countenance
grew brighter. She enjoyed the triumph of knowing
that she merited the respect of her suitor, and it was
a triumph heightened by recent mortification. Then
succeeded a pause of more than a minute. The embarrassment
of the silence was happily interrupted
by the return of François.

“Mam'selle Alide, voici de l'eau de la fontaine,”
said the valet; “mais Monsieur votre oncle s'est
couché, et il a mis la cléf de la cave au vin dessous

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[figure description] Page 093.[end figure description]

son oreiller. Ma foi, ce n'est pas facile d'avoir du bon
vin du tout, en Amerique, mais après que Monsieur
le maire s'est couché, c'est toujours impossible;

“N'importe, mon cher; le capitaine va partir, et
il n'a plus soif.”

“Dere is assez de jin,” continued the valet, who
felt for the captain's disappointment, “mais, Monsieur
Loodle, have du gout, an' he n'aime pas so strong

“He has swallowed already more than was necessary
for one occasion,” said Alida, smiling on her
admirer, in a manner that left him doubtful whether
he ought most to repine, or to rejoice. “Thank you,
good François; your duty for the night shall end
with lighting the captain to the door.”

Then saluting the young commander, in a manner
that would not admit of denial, la belle Barbérie
dismissed her lover and the valet, together.

“You have a pleasant office, Monsieur François,”
said the former, as he was lighted to the outer door
of the pavilion; “it is one that many a gallant gentleman
would envy.”

“Oui, Sair. It be grand plaisir to serve Mam'selle
Alide. Je porte de fan, de book, mais quant au vin,
Monsieur le Capitaine, parole d'honneur, c'est toujours
impossible après que l'Aldermain s'est couché.”

“Ay—the book—I think you had the agreeable
duty, to-day, of carrying the book of la Belle?”

“Vraiment, oui! 'Twas ouvrage de Monsieur
Pierre Corneille. On prétend, que Monsieur Shak-a-spear
en a emprunté d'assez beaux sentiments!”

“And the paper between the leaves?—you were
charged also with that note, good François?”

The valet paused, shrugged his shoulders, and
laid one of his long yellow fingers on the plane of
an enormous aquiline nose, while he seemed to muse.
Then shaking his head perpendicularly, he preceded

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the captain, as before, muttering, as usual, half in
French and half in English,—

“For le papier, I know, rien du tout; c'est bien
possible, parceque, voyez vous, Monsieur le Capitaine,
Mam'selle Alide did say, prenez-y garde; but I no
see him, depuis. Je suppose 'twas beaux compliments
écrits on de vers of M. Pierre Corneille. Quel génie
que celui de cet homme là!—n'est ce pas, Monsieur?”

“It is of no consequence, good François,” said
Ludlow, slipping a guinea into the hands of the valet.
“If you should ever discover what became of that
paper, however, you will oblige me by letting me
know. Good night; mes devoirs à la Belle!”

“Bon soir, Monsieur le Capitaine; c'est un brave
Monsieur que celui-la, et de très bonne famille! Il
n'a pas de si grandes terres, que Monsieur le Patteroon,
pourtant, on dip, qu'il doit avoir de jolies maisons
et assez de rentes publiques! J'aime à servir un si
généreux et loyal maitre, mais, malheureusement, il
est marin! M. de Barbérie n'avait pas trop d'amitié
pour les gens de cette profession là.”

-- 095 --


“—Well, Jessica, go in;
Perhaps, I will return immediately;
Do as I bid you,
Shut doors after you: Fast bind, fast find;
A proverb never stale, in thrifty mind.”
Merchant of Venice.

[figure description] Page 095.[end figure description]

The decision, with which la demoiselle Barbérie
had dismissed her suitor, was owing to some consciousness
that she had need of opportunity to reflect
on the singular nature of the events which had just
happened, no less than to a sense of the impropriety
of his visiting her at that hour, and in a manner so
equivocal. But, like others who act from feverish
impulses, when alone the maiden repented of her
precipitation; and she remembered fifty questions
which might aid in clearing the affair of its mystery,
that she would now gladly put. It was too late,
however, for she had heard Ludlow take his leave,
and had listened, in breathless silence, to his footstep,
as he passed the shrubbery of her little lawn. François
reappeared at the door, to repeat his wishes for
her rest and happiness, and then she believed she
was finally alone for the night, since the ladies of
that age and country, were little apt to require the
assistance of their attendants, in assuming, or in divesting
themselves of, their ordinary attire.

It was still early, and the recent interview had
deprived Alida of all inclination for sleep. She
placed the lights in a distant corner of the apartment,
and approached a window. The moon had
so far changed its position, as to cast a different light
upon the water. The hollow washing of the surf,
the dull but heavy breathing of the air from the
sea, and the soft shadows of the trees and mountain,

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were much the same. The Coquette lay, as before,
at her anchor near the cape, and the Shrewsbury
glittered towards the south, until its surface was concealed
by the projection of a high and nearly perpendicular

The stillness was profound, for, with the exception
of the dwelling of the family who occupied the
estate nearest the villa, there was no other habitation
within some miles of the place. Still the solitude
of the situation was undisturbed by any apprehension
of danger, or any tradition of violence from
rude and lawless men. The peaceable character of
the colonists, who dwelt in the interior country, was
proverbial, and their habits simple; while the ocean
was never entered by those barbarians, who then
rendered some of the seas of the other hemisphere
as fearful as they were pleasant.

Notwithstanding this known and customary character
of tranquillity, and the lateness of the hour,
Alida had not been many moments in her balcony,
before she heard the sound of oars. The stroke was
measured, and the noise low and distant, but it was
too familiar to be mistaken. She wondered at the
expedition of Ludlow, who was not accustomed to
show such haste in quitting her presence, and leaned
over the railing to catch a glimpse of his departing
boat. Each moment she expected to see the little
bark issue from out of the shadows of the land, into
the sheet of brightness which stretched nearly to the
cruiser. She gazed long, and in vain, for no barge
appeared, and yet the sound had become inaudible.
A light still hung at the peak of the Coquette, a sign
that the commander was out of his vessel.

The view of a fine ship, seen by the aid of the
moon, with its symmetry of spars, and its delicate
tracery of cordage, and the heavy and grand movements
of the hull as it rolls on the sluggish billows
of a calm sea, is ever a pleasing and indeed an

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imposing spectacle. Alida knew that more than a
hundred human beings slept within the black and
silent mass, and her thoughts insensibly wandered to
the business of their daring lives, their limited abode,
and yet wandering existence, their frank and manly
qualities, their devotion to the cause of those who
occupied the land, their broken and interrupted connexion
with the rest of the human family, and finally
to those weakened domestic ties, and to that reputation
for inconstancy, which are apparently a natural
consequence of all. She sighed, and her eye wandered
from the ship to that ocean on which it was
constructed to dwell. From the distant, low, and
nearly imperceptible shore of the island of Nassau,
to the coast of New-Jersey, there was one broad and
untenanted waste. Even the sea-fowl rested his
tired wing, and slept tranquilly on the water. The
broad space appeared like some great and unfrequented
desert, or rather like a denser and more
material copy of the firmament by which it was

It has been mentioned that a stunted growth of
oaks and pines covered much of the sandy ridge that
formed the cape. The same covering furnished a
dark setting to the waters of the Cove. Above this
outline of wood, which fringed the margin of the sea.
Alida now fancied she saw an object in motion. At
first, she believed some ragged and naked tree, of
which the coast had many, was so placed as to deceive
her vision, and had thrown its naked lines upon
the back-ground of water, in a manner to assume
the shape and tracery of a light-rigged vessel. But
when the dark and symmetrical spars were distinctly
seen, gliding past objects that were known to be stationary,
it was impossible to doubt their character.
The maiden wondered, and her surprise was not unmixed
with apprehension. It seemed as if the stranger,
for such the vessel must needs be, was recklessly

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approaching a surf, that, in its most tranquil moments,
was dangerous to such a fabric, and that he
steered, unconscious of hazard, directly upon the
land. Even the movement was mysterious and unusual.
Sails there were none; and yet the light and
lofty spars were soon hid behind a thicket that covered
a knoll near the margin of the sea. Alida
expected, each moment, to hear the cry of mariners
in distress, and then, as the minutes passed and no
such fearful sound interrupted the stillness of the
night, she began to bethink her of those lawless rovers,
who were known to abound among the Carribean
isles, and who were said sometimes even to
enter and to refit, in the smaller and more secret
inlets of the American continent. The tales, coupled
with the deeds, character, and fate of the notorious
Kidd, were then still recent, and although magnified
and colored by vulgar exaggerations, as all such
tales are known to be, enough was believed, by the
better instructed, to make his life and death the
subject of many curious and mysterious rumors. At
this moment, she would have gladly recalled the
young commander of the Coquette, to apprize him
of the enemy that was nigh; and then, ashamed of
terrors that she was fain to hope savored more of
woman's weakness than of truth, she endeavored to
believe the whole some ordinary movement of a
coaster, who, familiar with his situation, could not
possibly be either in want of aid, or an object of
alarm. Just as this natural and consoling conclusion
crossed her mind, she very audibly heard a step in
her pavilion. It seemed near the door of the room
she occupied. Breathless, more with the excitement
of her imagination, than with any actual fear created
by this new cause of alarm, the maiden quitted
the balcony, and stood motionless to listen. The door,
in truth, was opened, with singular caution, and, for
an instant, Alida saw nothing but a confused area,

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in the centre of which appeared the figure of a
menacing and rapacious freebooter.

“Northern lights and moonshine!” growled Alderman
Van Beverout, for it was no other than the
uncle of the heiress, whose untimely and unexpected
visit had caused her so much alarm. “This sky-watching,
and turning of night into day, will be the
destruction of thy beauty, niece; and then we shall
see how plenty Patroons are for husbands! A bright
eye and a blooming cheek are thy stock in trade,
girl; and she is a spendthrift of both, who is out of
her bed when the clock hath struck ten.”

“Your discipline would deprive many a beauty
of the means of using her power,” returned la demoiselle,
smiling, as much at the folly of her recent
fears, as with affection for her reprover. “They
tell me, that ten is the witching time of night, for the
necromancy of the dames of Europe.”

“Witch me no witches! The name reminds one
of the cunning Yankees, a race that would outwit
Lucifer himself, if left to set the conditions to their
bargain. Here is the Patroon, wishing to let in a
family of the knaves among the honest Dutchmen of
his manor; and we have just settled a dispute between
us, on this subject, by making the lawful

“Which, it may be proper to hope, dearest uncle,
was not the trial by battle?”

“Peace and olive-branches, no! The Patroon of
Kinderhook is the last man in the Americas, that is
likely to suffer by the blows of Myndert Van Bever-out.
I challenged the boy to hold a fine eel, that
the blacks have brought out of the river to help in
breaking our morning fasts, that it might be seen if
he were fit to deal with the slippery rogues. By the
merit of the peaceable St. Nicholas! but the son of
old Hendrick Van Staats had a busy time of it!
The lad griped the fish, as the ancient tradition has

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it that thy uncle clenched the Holland florin, when
my father put it between my fingers, within the
month, in order to see if the true saving grace was
likely to abide in the family for another generation.
My heart misgave me for a moment; for young Oloff
has the fist of a vice, and I thought the goodly
names of the Harmans, and Rips, Corneliuses, and
Dircks of the manor rent-roll were likely to be contaminated
by the company of an Increase or a
Peleg; but just as the Patroon thought he had the
watery viper by the throat, the fish gave an unexpected
twist, and slid through his fingers by the tail.
Flaws and loop-holes! but that experiment has as
much wisdom as wit in it!”

“And to me, it seemeth better, now that Providence
has brought all the colonies under one government,
that these prejudices should be forgotten. We
are a people, sprung from many nations, and our
effort should be to preserve the liberality and intelligence,
while we forget the weaknesses, of all.”

“Bravely said, for the child of a Huguenot! But
I defy the man, who brings prejudice to my door. I
like a merry trade, and a quick calculation. Let
me see the man in all New-England, that can tell
the color of a balance-sheet quicker than one that
can be named, and I'll gladly hunt up the satchel
and go to school again. I love a man the better for
looking to his own interests, I; and, yet common
honesty teaches us, that there should be a convention
between men, beyond which none of reputation
and character ought to go.”

“Which convention shall be understood, by every
man, to be the limits of his own faculties; by which
means the dull may rival the quick of thought. I
fear me, uncle, there should be an eel kept on every
coast, to which a trader comes!”

“Prejudice and conceit, child, acting on a drowsy
head; 'tis time thou seekest thy pillow, and in the

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morning we shall see if young Oloff of the Manor
shall have better success with thy favor, than with
the prototype of the Jonathans. Here, put out these
flaring candles, and take a modest lamp to light thee
to thy bed. Glaring windows, so near midnight,
give a house an extravagant name, in the neighborhood.”

“Our reputation for sobriety may suffer in the
opinion of the eels,” returned Alida, laughing, “but
here are few others, I believe, to call us dissipated.”

“One never knows—one never knows—” muttered
the Alderman, extinguishing the two large candles
of his niece, and substituting his own little hand-lamp
in their place. “This broad light only invites
to wakefulness, while the dim taper I leave is good
as a sleeping draught. Kiss me, wilful one, and draw
thy curtains close, for the negroes will soon rise to
load the periagua, that they may go up with the
tide to the city. The noise of the chattering black-guards
may disturb thy slumbers!”

“Truly, it would seem there was little here to
invite such active navigation,” returned Alida, saluting
the cheek of her uncle at his order. “The love
of trade must be strong, when it finds the materials
of commerce, in a solitude like this.”

“Thou hast divined the reason, child. Thy father
Monsieur de Barbérie had his peculiar opinions on
the subject, and doubtless he did not fail to transmit
some of them to his offspring. And yet, when the
Huguenot was driven from his château and his clayey
Norman lands, the man had no distaste, himself, for
an account-current, provided the balance was in his
own favor. Nations and characters! I find but little
difference, after all, in trade; whether it be driven
with a Mohawk for his pack of furs, or with a Seigneur,
who has been driven from his lands. Each
strives to get the profit on his own side of the account,
and the loss on that of his neighbor. So rest

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thee well, girl; and remember that matrimony is no
more than a capital bargain, on whose success depends
the sum-total of a woman's comfort—and so
once more, good night.”

La belle Barbérie attended her uncle, dutifully,
to the door of her pavilion, which she bolted after
him; and then, finding her little apartment gloomy
by the light of the small and feeble lamp he had left,
she was pleased to bring its flame in contact with the
wicks of the two candles he had just extinguished.
Placing the three, near each other, on a table, the
maiden again drew nigh a window. The unexpected
interview with the Alderman had consumed several
minutes, and she was curious to know more of the
unaccountable movements of the mysterious vessel.

The same deep silence reigned about the villa,
and the slumbering ocean was heaving and setting
as heavily as before. Alida again looked for the boat
of Ludlow; but her eye ran over the whole distance
of the bright and broad streak, between her and the
cruiser, in vain. There was the slight ripple of the
water in the glittering of the moon's rays, but no
speck, like that the barge would make, was visible.
The lantern still shone at the cruiser's peak. Once,
indeed, she thought the sound of oars was again to
be heard, and much nearer than before; and yet
no effort of her quick and roving sight could detect
the position of the boat. But to all these doubts succeeded
an alarm which sprang from a new and very
different source.

The existence of the inlet, which united the
ocean with the waters of the Cove, was but little
known, except to the few whose avocations kept
them near the spot. The pass being much more than
half the time closed, its varying character, and the
little use that could be made of it under any circumstances,
prevented the place from being a subject of
general interest, with the coasters. Even when open,

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the depth of its water was uncertain, since a week
or two of calms, or of westerly winds, would permit
the tides to clean its channel, while a single easterly
gale was sufficient to choke the entire inlet with
sand. No wonder, then, that Alida felt an amazement
which was not quite free from superstitious alarm,
when, at that hour and in such a scene, she saw a
vessel gliding, as it were unaided by sails or sweeps,
out of the thicket that fringed the ocean side of the
Cove, into its very centre.

The strange and mysterious craft was a brigantine
of that mixed construction, which is much used, even
in the most ancient and classical seas of the other
hemisphere, and which is supposed to unite the advantages
of both a square and of a fore-and-aft rigged
vessel, but which is nowhere seen to display the
same beauty of form, and symmetry of equipment,
as on the coasts of this Union. The first and smallest
of its masts had all the complicated machinery of a
ship, with its superior and inferior spars, its wider
reaching, though light and manageable yards, and
its various sails, shaped and arranged to meet every
vicissitude and caprice of the winds; while the latter,
or larger of the two, rose like the straight trunk of
a pine from the hull, simple in its cordage, and
spreading a single sheet of canvas, that, in itself, was
sufficient to drive the fabric with vast velocity
through the water. The hull was low, graceful in
its outlines, dark as the raven's wing, and so modelled
as to float on its element like a sea-gull riding the
billows. There were many delicate and attenuated
lines among its spars, which were intended to spread
broader folds of canvas to the light airs, when necessary;
but these additions to the tracery of the machine,
which added so much to its beauty by day,
were now, seen as it was by the dimmer and more
treacherous rays of the moon, scarcely visible. In
short, as the vessel had entered the Cove floating

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with the tide, and it was so singularly graceful and
fairy-like in form, that Alida, at first, was fain to discredit
her senses, and to believe it no more than some
illusion of the fancy. Like most others, she was ignorant
of the temporary inlet, and, under the circumstances,
it was not difficult to lend a momentary
credence to so pleasing an idea.

But the delusion was only momentary. The brigantine
turned in its course, and, gliding into the part
of the Cove where the curvature of the shores
offered most protection from the winds and waves,
and perhaps from curious eyes, its motion ceased. A
heavy plunge in the water was audible even at the
villa, and Alida then knew that an anchor had fallen
into the bay.

Although the coast of North America offered little
to invite lawless depredation, and it was in general
believed to be so safe, yet the possibility that cupidity
might be invited by the retired situation of her uncle's
villa, did not fail to suggest itself to the mind of the
young heiress. Both she and her guardian were
reputed to be wealthy; and disappointment, on the
open sea, might drive desperate men to the commission
of crimes that in more prosperous moments
would not suggest themselves. The freebooters were
said to have formerly visited the coast of the neighboring
island, and men were just then commencing
those excavations for hidden treasures and secreted
booty, which have been, at distant intervals, continued
to our own time.

There are situations in which the mind insensibly
gives credit to impressions, that the reason in common
disapproves. The present was one in which Alida
de Barbérie, though of a resolute and even a masculine
understanding, felt disposed to believe there
might be truth in those tales, that she had hitherto
heard, only to deride. Still keeping her eye on the
motionless vessel, she drew back into her window,

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and wrapped the curtain round her form, undecided
whether to alarm the family or not, and acting under
a vague impression that, though so distant, her person
might be seen. She was hardly thus secreted, before
the shrubbery was violently agitated, a footstep was
heard in the lawn beneath her window, and then
one leaped so lightly into the balcony, and from the
balcony into the centre of the room, that the passage
of the figure seemed like the flitting of some creature
of supernatural attributes.


“Why look you, how you stare!
I would be friends with you, and have your love.”

The first impulse of Alida, at this second invasion
of her pavilion, was certainly to flee. But timidity
was not her weakness, and as natural firmness
gave her time to examine the person of the individual
who had so unceremoniously entered, curiosity
aided in inducing her to remain. Perhaps a vague,
but a very natural, expectation that she was again
to dismiss the commander of the Coquette, had its
influence on her first decision. In order that the
reader may judge how far this boldness was excusable,
we shall describe the person of the intruder.

The stranger was one in the very bud of young
and active manhood. His years could not have exceeded
two-and-twenty, nor would he probably have
been thought so old, had not his features been shaded
by a rich, brown hue, that in some degree served as
a foil to a natural complexion, which, though never
fair, was still clear and blooming. A pair of dark,

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bushy, and jet-black, silken whiskers, that were in
singular contrast to eye-lashes and brows of almost
feminine beauty and softness, aided also in giving a
decided expression to a face that might otherwise
have been wanting in some of that character which
is thought essential to comeliness in man. The forehead
was smooth and low; the nose, though prominent
and bold in outline, of exceeding delicacy in
detail; the mouth and lips full, a little inclined to be
arch, though the former appeared as if it might at
times be pensive; the teeth were even and unsullied;
and the chin was small, round, dimpled, and so carefully
divested of the distinguishing mark of the sex,
that one could fancy nature had contributed all its
growth to adorn the neighboring cheeks and temples.
If to these features be added a pair of full and
brilliant coal-black eyes, that appeared to vary their
expression at their master's will, the reader will at
once see, that the privacy of Alida had been invaded
by one whose personal attractions might, under other
circumstances, have been dangerous to the imagination
of a female, whose taste was in some degree
influenced by a standard created by her own loveliness.

The dress of the stranger was as unique as his
personal attractions were extraordinary. The fashion
of the garments resembled that of those already described
as worn by the man who has announced
himself as Master Tiller; but the materials were
altogether richer, and, judging only from the exterior,
more worthy of the wearer.

The light frock was of a thick purple silk, of an
Indian manufacture, cut with exceeding care to fit
the fine outlines of a form that was rather round,
than square; active, than athletic. The loose trowsers
were of a fine white jean, the cap of scarlet
velvet, ornamented with gold, and the body was
belted with a large cord of scarlet silk, twisted in

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the form of a ship's cable. At the ends of the latter,
little anchors, wrought in bullion, were attached as
gay and fitting appendages.

In contrast to an attire so whimsical and uncommon,
however, a pair of small and richly-mounted
pistols were at the stranger's girdle; and the haft
of a curiously-carved Asiatic dagger was seen projecting,
rather ostentatiously, from between the folds
of the upper garment.

“What cheer! what cheer!” cried a voice, that
was more in harmony with the appearance of the
speaker, than with the rough, professional salutation
he uttered, so soon as he had fairly landed in the
centre of Alida's little saloon. “Come forth, my
dealer in the covering of the beaver, for here is one
who brings gold to thy coffers. Ha! now that this
trio of lights hath done its office, it may be extinguished,
lest it pilot others to the forbidden haven!”

“Your pardon, Sir,” said the mistress of the pavilion,
advancing from behind the curtain, with an
air of coolness that her beating heart had nigh betrayed
to be counterfeit; “having so unexpected a
guest to entertain, the additional candles are necessary.”

The start, recoil, and evident alarm of the intruder,
lent Alida a little more assurance; for courage
is a quality that appears to gain force, in a degree
proportioned to the amount in which it is abstracted
from the dreaded object. Still, when she saw a hand
on a pistol, the maiden was again about to flee; nor
was her resolution to remain confirmed, until she
met the mild and alluring eye of the intruder, as,
quitting his hold of the weapon, he advanced with
an air so mild and graceful, as to cause curiosity to
take the place of fear.

“Though Alderman Van Beverout be not punctual
to his appointment,” said the gay young stranger,
“he has more than atoned for his absence by the

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substitute he sends. I hope she comes authorized to
arrange the whole of our treaty?”

“I claim no right to hear, or to dictate, in matters
not my own. My utmost powers extend to expressing
a desire, that this pavilion may be exempt from
the discussion of affairs, as much beyond my knowledge
as they are separated from my interests.”

“Then why this signal?” demanded the stranger,
pointing, with a serious air, to the lights that still
burned near each other in face of an open window.
“It is awkward to mislead, in transactions that are
so delicate!”

“Your allusion, Sir, is not understood. These
lights are no more than what are usually seen in my
apartment at this hour—with, indeed, the addition
of a lamp, left by my uncle, Alderman Van Bever-out.”

“Your uncle!” exclaimed the other, advancing so
near Alida, as to cause her to retire a step, his countenance
expressing a deep and newly-awakened interest—
“your uncle!—This, then, is one far-famed
and justly extolled; la belle Barbérie!” he added,
gallantly lifting his cap, as if he had just discovered
the condition and the unusual personal attractions of
his companion.

It was not in nature for Alida to be displeased.
All her fancied causes of terror were forgotten; for,
in addition to their improbable and uncertain nature,
the stranger had sufficiently given her to understand,
that he was expected by her uncle. If we add,
that the singular attraction and softness of his face
and voice aided in quieting her fears, we shall probably
do no violence either to the truth or to a very
natural feeling. Profoundly ignorant of the details
of commerce, and accustomed to hear its mysteries
extolled as exercising the keenest and best faculties
of man, she saw nothing extraordinary in those who
were actively engaged in the pursuit having reasons

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for concealing their movements from the jealousy
and rivalry of competitors. Like most of her sex,
she had great dependence on the characters of those
she loved; and, though nature, education, and habit,
had created a striking difference between the guardian
and his ward, their harmony had never been
interrupted by any breach of affection.

“This then is la belle Barbérie!” repeated the
young sailor, for such his dress denoted him to be,
studying her features with an expression of face, in
which pleasure vied with evident and touching melancholy.
“Fame hath done no injustice, for here is
all that might justify the folly or madness of man!”

“This is familiar dialogue for an utter stranger,”
returned Alida, blushing, though the quick dark eye
that seemed to fathom all her thoughts, saw it was
not in anger. “I do not deny that the partiality of
friends, coupled with my origin, have obtained the
appellation, which is given, however, more in playfulness
than in any serious opinion of its being merited—
and now, as the hour is getting late, and this
visit is at least unusual, you will permit me to seek
my uncle.”

“Stay!” interrupted the stranger—“it is long—
very long, since so soothing, so gentle a pleasure has
been mine! This is a life of mysteries, beautiful
Alida, though its incidents seem so vulgar, and of
every-day occurrence. There is mystery in its beginning
and its end; in its impulses; its sympathies,
and all its discordant passions. No, do not quit me.
I am from off the sea, where none but coarse and
vulgar-minded men have long been my associates;
and thy presence is a balm to a bruised and wounded

Interested, if possible, more by the touching and
melancholy tones of the speaker, than by his extraordinary
language, Alida hesitated. Her reason told
her that propriety, and even prudence, required she

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should apprize her uncle of the stranger's presence;
but propriety and prudence lose much of their influence,
when female curiosity is sustained by a secret
and powerful sympathy. Her own eloquent eye met
the open and imploring look of organs, that seemed
endowed with the fabled power to charm; and while
her judgment told her there was so much to alarm,
her senses pleaded powerfully in behalf of the gentle

“An expected guest of my uncle will have leisure
to repose, after the privations and hardships of so
weary a voyage,” she said. “This is a house whose
door is never closed against the rites of hospitality.”

“If there is aught about my person or attire, to
alarm you,” returned the stranger, earnestly, “speak,
that it may be cast away—These arms—these foolish
arms, had better not have been here,” he added,
casting the pistols and dagger indignantly, through a
window, into the shrubbery; “Ah! if you knew how
unwillingly I would harm any—and, least of all, a
woman—you would not fear me!”

“I fear you not,” returned la Belle, firmly. “I
dread the misconceptions of the world.”

“What world is here to disturb us? Thou livest
in thy pavilion, beautiful Alida, remote from towns
and envy, like some favored damsel, over whose
happy and charmed life presides a benignant genius.
See, here are all the pretty materials, with which
thy sex seeks innocent and happy amusement. Thou
touchest this lute, when melancholy renders thought
pleasing; here are colors to mock, or to eclipse, the
beauties of the fields and the mountain, the flower,
and the tree; and from these pages are culled
thoughts, pure and rich in imagery, as thy spirit is
spotless, and thy person lovely!”

Alida listened in amazement; for, while he spoke,
the young mariner touched the different articles he
named, with a melancholy interest, which seemed to

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say how deeply he regretted that fortune had placed
him in a profession, in which their use was nearly

“It is not common for those who live on the sea,
to feel this interest in the trifles which constitute a
woman's pleasure,” she said, lingering, spite of her
better resolution to depart.

“The spirit of our rude and boisterous trade is
then known to you?”

“It were not possible for the relation of a merchant,
so extensively known as my uncle, to be ignorant
altogether of mariners.”

“Ay, here is proof of it,” returned the stranger,
speaking so quick as again to betray how sensitively
his mind was constructed. “The History of the
American Buccaneers is a rare book to be found in
a lady's library! What pleasure can a mind like
that of la belle Barbérie find in these recitals of
bloody violence?”

“What pleasure, truly!” returned Alida, half
tempted, by the wild and excited eye of her companion,
notwithstanding all the contradictory evidence
which surrounded him, to believe she was addressing
one of the very rovers in question. “The book was
lent me by a brave seaman, who holds himself in
readiness to repress their depredations; and while
reading of so much wickedness, I endeavor to recall
the devotion of those who risk their lives, in order
to protect the weak and innocent—My uncle will be
angered, should I longer delay to apprize him of
your presence.”

“A single moment! It is long—very long, since I
have entered a sanctuary like this! Here is music!
and there the frame for the gaudy tambour—these
windows look on a landscape, soft as thine own nature;
and yonder ocean can be admired without
dreading its terrific power, or feeling disgust at its
coarser scenes. Thou shouldst be happy, here!”

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The stranger turned, and perceived that he was
alone. Disappointment was strongly painted on his
handsome face; but, ere there was time for second
thought, another voice was heard grumbling at the
door of the saloon.

“Compacts and treaties! What, in the name of
good faith, hath brought thee hither? Is this the way
to keep a cloak on our movements? or dost suppose
that the Queen will knight me, for being known as
thy correspondent?”

“Lanterns and false-beacons!” returned the other,
mimicking the voice of the disconcerted burgher, and
pointing to the lights that still stood where last described.
“Can the port be entered without respecting
the land-marks and signals?”

“This comes of moonlight and sentiment! When
the girl should have been asleep, she is up, gazing at
the stars, and disconcerting a burgher's speculations.—
But fear thee not, Master Seadrift; my niece has
discretion, and if we have no better pledge for her
silence, there is that of necessity; since there is no
one here for a confidant, but her old Norman valet,
and the Patroon of Kinderhook, both of whom are
dreaming of other matter than a little gainful traffic.”

“Fear thee not, Alderman;” returned the other,
still maintaining his air of mockery. “We have the
pledge of character, if no other; since the uncle
cannot part with reputation, without the niece sharing
in the loss.”

“What sin is there in pushing commerce a step
beyond the limits of the law? These English are a
nation of monopolists; and they make no scruple of
tying us of the colonies, hand and foot, heart and
soul, with their acts of Parliament, saying `with us
shalt thou trade, or not at all.' By the character of
the best burgomaster of Amsterdam, and they came
by the province, too, in no such honesty, that we
should lie down and obey!”

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“Wherein there is much comfort to a dealer in
the contraband. Justly reasoned, my worthy Alderman.
Thy logic will, at any time, make a smooth
pillow, especially if the adventure be not without its
profit. And now, having so commendably disposed
of the moral of our bargain, let us approach its legitimate,
if not its lawful, conclusion. There,” he
added, drawing a small bag from an inner pocket of
his frock, and tossing it carelessly on a table; “there
is thy gold. Eighty broad Johannes is no bad return
for a few packages of furs; and even avarice itself
will own, that six months is no long investment for
the usury.”

“That boat of thine, most lively Seadrift, is a
marine humming-bird!” returned Myndert, with a
joyful tremor of the voice, that betrayed his deep
and entire satisfaction. “Didst say just eighty? But
spare thyself the trouble of looking for the memorandum;
I will tell the gold myself, to save thee
the trouble. Truly, the adventure hath not been
bad! A few kegs of Jamaica, with a little powder
and lead, and a blanket or two, with now and then
a penny bauble for a chief, are knowingly, ay! and
speedily transmuted into the yellow metal, by thy
good aid.—This affair was managed on the French

“More northward, where the frost helped the bargain.
Thy beavers and martens, honest burgher,
will be flaunting in the presence of the Emperor, at
the next holidays. What is there in the face of the
Braganza, that thou studiest it so hard?”

“The piece seems none of the heaviest—but, luckily,
I have scales at hand,—”

“Hold!” said the stranger, laying his hand, which,
according to a fashion of that day, was clad in a
delicate and scented glove, lightly on the arm of the
other: “No scales between us, Sir! That was taken
in return for thy adventure; heavy or light, it must

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go down. We deal in confidence, and this hesitation
offends me. Another such doubt of my integrity,
and our connexion is at an end.”

“A calamity I should deplore, quite or nearly as
much as thyself,” returned Myndert, affecting to
laugh; though he slipped the suspected doubloon
into the bag again, in a manner that at once removed
the object of contention from view. “A little
particularity in the balance part of commerce serves
to maintain friendships. But a trifle shall not cause
us to waste the precious time.—Hast brought goods
suited to the colonies?”

In plenty.”

“And ingeniously assorted? Colonies and monopoly!
—But there is a two-fold satisfaction in this clandestine
traffic! I never get the notice of thy arrival,
Master Seadrift, but the heart within me leapeth of
gladness! There is a double pleasure in circumventing
the legislation of your London wiseacres!”

“The chiefest of which is—?”

“A goodly return for the investment, truly—I desire
not to deny the agency of natural causes; but,
trust me, there is a sort of professional glory in thus
defeating the selfishness of our rulers. What! are
we born of woman, to be used as the instruments of
their prosperity! Give us equal legislation, a right to
decide on the policy of enactments, and then, like a
loyal and obedient subject,—”

“Thou wouldst still deal in the contraband!”

“Well, well, multiplying idle words is not multiplying
gold. The list of the articles introduced can
be forthcoming?”

“It is here, and ready to be examined. But there
is a fancy come over me, Alderman Van Beverout,
which, like others of my caprices, thou knowest must
have its way. There should be a witness to our

“Judges and juries! Thou forgettest, man, that a

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clumsy galliot could sail through the tightest clause
of these extra-legal compacts. The courts receive
the evidence of this sort of traffic, as the grave receives
the dead; to swallow all, and be forgotten.”

“I care not for the courts, and little desire do I
feel to enter them. But the presence of la belle
Barbérie may serve to prevent any misconceptions,
that might bring our connexion to a premature close.
Let her be summoned.”

“The girl is altogether ignorant of traffic, and it
might unsettle her opinions of her uncle's stability.
If a man does not maintain credit within his own
doors, how can he expect it in the streets?”

“Many have credit on the highway, who receive
none at home. But thou knowest my humor; no
niece—no traffic.”

“Alida is a dutiful and affectionate child, and I
would not willingly disturb her slumbers. Here is
the Patroon of Kinderhook, a man who loves English
legislation as little as myself;—he will be less
reluctant to see an honest shilling turned into gold.
I will awake him: no man was ever yet offended at
an offer to share in a profitable adventure.”

“Let him sleep on. I deal not with your lords of
manors and mortgages. Bring forth the lady, for
there will be matter fit for her delicacy.”

“Duty and the ten commandments! You never
had the charge of a child, Master Seadrift, and cannot
know the weight of responsibility—”

“No niece—no traffic!” interrupted the wilful
dealer in contraband, returning his invoice to his
pocket, and preparing to rise from the table, where
he had already seated himself.—“The lady knows
of my presence; and it were safer for us both, that
she entered more deeply into our confidence.”

“Thou art as despotic as the English navigation-law!
I hear the foot of the child still pacing her
chamber, and she shall come. But there need be no

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explanations, to recall old intercourse.—The affair
can pass as a bit of accidental speculation—a by-play,
in the traffic of life.”

“As thou pleasest. I shall deal less in words than
in business. Keep thine own secrets, burgher, and
they are safe. Still, I would have the lady, for there
is a presentiment that our connexion is in danger.”

“I like not that word presentiment,” grumbled
the Alderman, taking a light, and snuffing it with
deliberate care; “drop but a single letter, and one
dreams of the pains and penalties of the Exchequer.—
Remember thou art a trafficker, who conceals his
appearance on account of the cleverness of his speculations.”

“That is my calling, to the letter. Were all
others as clever, the trade would certainly cease.—
Go, bring the lady.”

The Alderman, who probably saw the necessity of
making some explanation to his niece, and who, it
would seem, fully understood the positive character
of his companion, no longer hesitated; but, first casting
a suspicious glance out of the still open window,
he left the room.

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“—Alack, what heinous sin is it in me,
To be ashamed, to be my father's child!
But though I am a daughter to his blood,
I am not to his manners.—”
Merchant of Venice.

[figure description] Page 117.[end figure description]

The moment the stranger was again alone, the
entire expression of his countenance underwent a
change. The reckless and bold expression deserted
his eye, which once more became soft, if not pensive,
as it wandered over the different elegant objects that
served to amuse the leisure of la belle Barbérie.
He arose, and touched the strings of a lute, and then,
like Fear, started back, as if recoiling at the sound
he had made. All recollection of the object of his
visit was evidently forgotten, in a new and livelier
interest; and had there been one to watch his movements,
the last motive imputed to his presence would
probably have been the one that was true. There
was so little of that vulgar and common character,
which is usually seen in men of his pursuit, in the gentle
aspect and subdued air of his fine features, that
it might be fancied he was thus singularly endowed
by nature, in order that deception might triumph.
If there were moments when a disregard of opinion
was seen in his demeanor, it rather appeared assumed
than easy; and even when most disposed to
display lawless indifference to the ordinary regulations
of society, in his interview with the Alderman,
it had been blended with a reserve of manner that
was strangely in contrast with his humor.

On the other hand, it were idle to say that Alida
de Barbérie had no unpleasant suspicions concerning
the character of her uncle's guest. That baneful
influence, which necessarily exerts itself near an

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irresponsible power, coupled with the natural indifference
with which the principal regards the dependant,
had caused the English Ministry to fill too
many of their posts of honor and profit, in the colonies,
with needy and dissolute men of rank, or of
high political connexions at home. The Province of
New-York had, in this respect, been particularly unfortunate.
The gift of it by Charles to his brother and
successor, had left it without the protection of those
charters and other privileges that had been granted
to most of the governments of America. The connexion
with the crown was direct, and, for a long
period, the majority of the inhabitants were considered
as of a different race, and of course as of one
less to be considered, than that of their conquerors.
Such was the laxity of the times on the subject of
injustice to the people of this hemisphere, that the
predatory expeditions of Drake and others against
the wealthy occupants of the more southern countries,
seem to have left no spots on their escutcheons;
and the honors and favors of Queen Elizabeth had
been liberally extended to men who would now be
deemed freebooters. In short, that system of violence
and specious morality, which commenced with
the gifts of Ferdinand and Isabella, and the bulls of
the Popes, was continued, with more or less of modification,
until the descendants of those single-minded
and virtuous men who peopled the Union, took the
powers of government into their own hands, and
proclaimed political ethics that were previously as
little practised as understood.

Alida knew that both the Earl of Bellamont and
the unprincipled nobleman who has been introduced
in the earlier pages of this tale, had not escaped the
imputation of conniving at acts on the sea, far more
flagrant than any of an unlawful trade; and it will
therefore create little surprise, that she saw reason
to distrust the legality of some of her uncle's

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speculations, with less pain than might be felt by one of
her sex and opinions at the present hour. Her suspicions,
however, fell far short of the truth; for it were
scarce possible to have presented a mariner, who
bore about him fewer of those signs of his rude calling,
than he whom she had so unexpectedly met.

Perhaps, too, the powerful charm, that existed in
the voice and countenance of one so singularly gifted
by nature, had its influence in persuading Alida to
reappear. At all events, she was soon seen to enter
the room, with an air, that manifested more of curiosity
and wonder, than of displeasure.

“My niece has heard that thou comest from the
old countries, Master Seadrift,” said the wary Alderman,
who preceded Alida, “and the woman is uppermost
in her heart. Thou wilt never be forgiven,
should the eye of any maiden in Manhattan get sight
of thy finery before she has passed judgment on its

“I cannot wish a more impartial or a fairer judge;”
returned the other, doffing his cap in the gallant and
careless manner of his trade. “Here are silks from
the looms of Tuscany, and Lyonnois brocades, that
any Lombard, or dame of France, might envy. Ribbons
of every hue and dye, and laces that seem to
copy the fret-work of the richest cathedral of your

“Thou hast journeyed much, in thy time, Master
Seadrift, and speakest of countries and usages with
understanding,” said the Alderman. “But how stand
the prices of these precious goods? Thou knowest
the long war, and the moral certainty of its continuance;
this German succession to the throne, and the
late earthquakes in the country, too, have much unsettled
prices, and cause us thoughtful burghers to
be wary in our traffic.—Didst inquire the cost of
geldings, when last in Holland?”

“The animals go a-begging!—As to the value of

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my goods, that you know is fixed; for I admit of no
parley between friends.”

“Thy obstinacy is unreasonable, Master Seadrift.
A wise merchant will always look to the state of the
market, and one so practised should know that a
nimble sixpence multiplies faster than a slow-moving
shilling. 'Tis the constant rolling of the ball that
causes the snow to cleave! Goods that come light
should not go heavy, and quick settlements follow
sudden bargains. Thou knowest our York saying,
that `first offers are the best.”

“He that likes may purchase, and he that prefers
his gold to fine laces, rich silks, and stiff brocades,
has only to sleep with his money-bags under his pillow.
There are others who wait, with impatience,
to see the articles; and I have not crossed the Atlantic,
with a freight that scarcely ballasts the brigatine,
to throw away the valuables on the lowest

“Nay, uncle,” said Alida, in a little trepidation,
“we cannot judge of the quality of Master Seadrift's
articles, by report. I dare to say, he has not
landed without a sample of his wares?”

“Custom and friendships!” muttered Myndert;
“of what use is an established correspondence, if it
is to be broken on account of a little cheapening?
But produce thy stores, Mr. Dogmatism; I warrant
me the fashions are of some rejected use, or that
the color of the goods be impaired by the usual negligence
of thy careless mariners. We will, at least,
pay thee the compliment to look at the effects.”

“'Tis as you please,” returned the other. “The
bales are in the usual place, at the wharf, under the
inspection of honest Master Tiller—but if so inferior
in quality, they will scarce repay the trouble of the

“I'll go, I'll go,” said the Alderman, adjusting his
wig and removing his spectacles; “'twould not be

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treating an old correspondent well, to refuse to look
at his samples,—thou wilt follow, Master Seadrift,
and so I will pay thee the compliment to examine
the effects—though the long war, the glut of furs,
the over-abundance of the last year's harvests, and
the perfect quiet in the mining districts, have thrown
all commerce flat on its back. I'll go, however;
lest thou shouldst say, thy interests were neglected.
Thy Master Tiller is an indiscreet agent; he gave
me a fright to-day, that exceeds any alarm I have
felt since the failure of Van Halt, Balance, and

The voice of Myndert became inaudible, for, in
his haste not to neglect the interests of his guest,
the tenacious trader had already quitted the room,
and half of his parting speech was uttered in the
antechamber of the pavilion.

“'Twould scarce comport with the propriety of
my sex, to mingle with the seamen, and the others
who doubtless surround the bales,” said Alida, in
whose face there was a marked expression of hesitation
and curiosity.

“It will not be necessary,” returned her companion.
“I have, at hand, specimens of all that you
would see.—But, why this haste? We are yet in
the early hours of the night, and the Alderman will
be occupied long, ere he comes to the determination
to pay the prices my people are sure to ask. I am
lately from off the sea, beautiful Alida, and thou
canst not know the pleasure I find in breathing even
the atmosphere of a woman's presence.”

La belle Barbérie retired a step or two, she knew
not why; and her hand was placed upon the cord of
the bell, before she was aware of the manner in
which she betrayed her alarm.

“To me it does not seem that I am a creature so
terrific, that thou need'st dread my presence,” continued
the gay mariner, with a smile that expressed

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as much of secret irony, as of that pensive character
which had again taken possession of his countenance;
“but ring, and bring your attendants to relieve
fears that are natural to thy sex, and therefore
seducing to mine. Shall I pull the cord?—for this
pretty hand trembles too much, to do its office.”

“I know not that any would answer, for it is past
the hour of attendance;—it is better that I go to the
examination of the bales.”

The strange and singularly-attired being, who occasioned
so much uneasiness to Alida, regarded her a
moment with a kind and melancholy solicitude.

“Thus they are all, till altered by too much intercourse
with a cold and corrupt world!” he rather
whispered, than uttered aloud. “Would that thus
they might all continue! Thou art a singular compound
of thy sex's weakness, and of manly resolution,
belle Barbérie; but trust me,” and he laid his hand
on his heart with an earnestness that spoke well for
his sincerity; “ere word, or act, to harm or to offend
thee, should proceed from any who obey will of
mine, nature itself must undergo a change. Start
not, for I call one to show the specimens you would

He then applied a little silver whistle to his lips,
and drew a low signal from the instrument, motioning
to Alida to await the result, without alarm. In half
a minute, there was a rustling among the leaves of
the shrubbery, a moment of attentive pause, and
then a dark object entered the window, and rolled
heavily to the centre of the floor.

“Here are our commodities, and trust me the
price shall not be dwelt on, between us,” resumed
Master Seadrift, undoing the fastenings of the little
bale, that had entered the saloon, seemingly without
the aid of hands. “These goods are so many gages
of neutrality, between us; so approach, and

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examine, without fear. You will find some among
them to reward the hazard.”

The bale was now open, and as its master appeared
to be singularly expert in suiting a female fancy, it
became impossible for Alida to resist any longer. She
gradually lost her reserve, as the examination proceeded;
and before the owner of the treasures had
got into the third of his packages, the hands of the
heiress were as actively employed as his own, in
gaining access to their view.

“This is a stuff of the Lombard territories,” said
the vender of the goods, pleased with the confidence
he had succeeded in establishing between his beautiful
customer and himself. “Thou seest, it is rich,
flowery, and variegated as the land it came from.
One might fancy the vines and vegetation of that
deep soil were shooting from this labor of the loom—
nay, the piece is sufficient for any toilette, however
ample; see, it is endless as the plains that reared the
little animal who supplies the texture. I have parted
of that fabric to many dames of England, who have
not disdained to traffic with one that risks much in
their behalf.”

“I fear there are many who find a pleasure in
these stuffs, chiefly because their use is forbidden.”

“'Twould not be out of nature! Look; this box
contains ornaments of the elephant's tooth, cut by a
cunning artificer in the far Eastern lands; they do
not disfigure a lady's dressing-table, and have a
moral, for they remind her of countries where the
sex is less happy than at home. Ah! here is a
treasure of Mechlin, wrought in a fashion of my own

“'Tis beautifully fancied, and might do credit to
one who professed the painter's art.”

“My youth was much employed in these conceits,”
returned the trader, unfolding the rich and delicate
lace, in a manner to show that he had still pleasure

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in contemplating its texture and quality. “There
was a compact between me and the maker, that
enough should be furnished to reach from the high
church-tower of his town, to the pavement beneath;
and yet, you see how little remains! The London
dames found it to their taste, and it was not easy to
bring even this trifle into the colonies.”

“You chose a remarkable measure for an article
that was to visit so many different countries, without
the formalities of law!”

“We thought to start in the favor of the church,
which rarely frowns on those who respect its privileges.
Under the sanction of such authority, I will
lay aside all that remains, certain it will be needed
for thy use.”

“So rare a manufacture should be costly?”

La belle Barbérie spoke hesitatingly, and as she
raised her eyes, they met the dark organs of her
companion, fixed on her face, in a manner that
seemed to express a consciousness of the ascendency
he was gaining. Startled, at she knew not what,
the maiden again added hastily—

“This may be fitter for a court lady, than a girl
of the colonies.”

“None who have yet worn of it, so well become
it;—I lay it here, as a make-weight in my bargain
with the Alderman.—This is satin of Tuscany; a
country where nature exhibits its extremes, and one
whose merchants were princes. Your Florentine
was subtle in his fabrics, and happy in his conceits
of forms and colors, for which he stood indebted to
the riches of his own climate. Observe—the hue of
this glossy surface is scarcely so delicate as I have
seen the rosy light, at even, playing on the sides of
his Apennines!”

“You have then visited the regions, in whose
fabrics you deal?” said Alida, suffering the articles

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to fall from her hand, in the stronger interest she
began to feel in their owner.

“'Tis my habit. Here have we a chain from the
city of the Isles. The hand of a Venetian could alone
form these delicate and nearly insensible links. I refused
a string of spotless pearls for that same golden

“It was indiscreet, in one who trades at so much

“I kept the bauble for my pleasure!—Whim is
sometimes stronger than the thirst of gain; and this
chain does not quit me, till I bestow it on the lady
of my love.”

“One so actively employed can scarcely spare
time to seek a fitting object for the gift.”

“Is merit and loveliness in the sex, so rare? La
belle Barbérie speaks in the security of many conquests,
or she would not deal thus lightly, in a matter
that is so serious with most females.”

“Among other countries your vessel hath visited
a land of witchcraft, or you would not pretend to a
knowledge of things, that, in their very nature, must
be hidden from a stranger.—Of what value may be
those beautiful feathers of the ostrich?”

“They came of swarthy Africa, though so spotless
themselves. The bunch was had, by secret traffic,
from a Moorish man, in exchange for a few skins of
Lachrymæ Christi, that he swallowed with his eyes
shut. I dealt with the fellow, only in pity for his
thirst, and do not pride myself on the value of the
commodity. It shall go, too, to quicken love between
me and thy uncle.”

Alida could not object to this liberality, though she
was not without a secret opinion that the gifts were
no more than delicate and well-concealed offerings
to herself. The effect of this suspicion was two-fold;
it caused the maiden to become more reserved in the
expression of her tastes, though it in no degree

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lessened her confidence in, and admiration of, the wayward
and remarkable trader.

“My uncle will have cause to commend thy generous
spirit,” said the heiress, bending her head a
little coldly, at this repeated declaration of her companion's
intentions, “though it would seem that, in
trade, justice is as much to be desired as generosity;—
this seemeth a curious design, wrought with the

“It is the labor of many a day, fashioned by the
hand of a recluse. I bought it of a nun, in France,
who passed years in toil, upon the conceit, which is
of more value than the material. The meek daughter
of solitude wept when she parted with the fabric,
for, in her eyes, it had the tie of association and
habit. A companion might be lost to one who lives
in the confusion of the world, and it should not
cause more real sorrow, than parting from the product
of her needle, gave that mild resident of the

“And is it permitted for your sex to visit those
places of religious retirement?” asked Alida. “I
come of a race that pays little deference to monastic
life, for we are refugees from the severity of Louis;
but yet I never heard my father charge these females
with being so regardless of their vows.”

“The fact was so repeated to me; for, surely, my
sex are not admitted to traffic, directly, with the
modest sisters;” (a smile, that Alida was half-disposed
to think bold, played about the handsome mouth of
the speaker) “but it was so reported. What is your
opinion of the merit of woman, in thus seeking refuge
from the cares, and haply from the sins, of the
world, in institutions of this order.”

“Truly the question exceedeth my knowledge.
This is not a country to immure females, and the
custom causes us of America little thought.”

“The usage hath its abuses,” continued the dealer

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in contraband, speaking thoughtfully; “but it is not
without its good. There are many of the weak and
vain, that would be happier in the cloisters, than if
left to the seductions and follies of life.—Ah! here is
work of English hands. I scarcely know how the
articles found their way into the company of the
products of the foreign looms. My bales contain, in
general, little that is vulgarly sanctioned by the law.
Speak me, frankly, belle Alida, and say if you share
in the prejudices against the character of us freetraders?”

“I pretend not to judge of regulations that exceed
the knowledge and practices of my sex,” returned
the maiden, with commendable reserve. “There
are some who think the abuse of power a justification
of its resistance, while others deem a breach of
law to be a breach of morals.”

“The latter is the doctrine of your man of invested
moneys and established fortune! He has entrenched
his gains behind acknowledged barriers,
and he preaches their sanctity, because they favor
his selfishness. We skimmers of the sea—”

Alida started so suddenly, as to cause her companion
to cease speaking.

“Are my words frightful, that you pale at their

“I hope they were used rather in accident, than
with their dreaded meaning. I would not have it
said—no! 'tis but a chance that springs from some
resemblance in your callings. One, like you, can
never be the man whose name has grown into a

“One like me, beautiful Alida, is much as fortune
wills. Of what man, or of what name, wouldst

“'Tis nothing,” returned la belle Barbérie, gazing
unconsciously at the polished and graceful features
of the stranger, longer than was wont in maiden.

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“Proceed with your explanation;—these are rich

“They come of Venice, too; but commerce is
like the favor which attends the rich, and the Queen
of the Adriatic is already far on the decline. That
which causes the increase of the husbandman, occasions
the downfall of a city. The lagunes are filling
with fat soil, and the keel of the trader is less frequent
there than of old. Ages hence, the plow may
trace furrows where the Bucentaur has floated!
The outer India passage has changed the current of
prosperity, which ever rushes in the widest and
newest track. Nations might learn a moral, by
studying the sleepy canals and instructive magnificence
of that fallen town; but pride fattens on its
own lazy recollections, to the last!—As I was saying,
we rovers deal little in musty maxims, that are made
by the great and prosperous at home, and are trumpeted
abroad, in order that the weak and unhappy
should be the more closely riveted in their fetters.”

“Methinks you push the principle further than is
necessary, for one whose greatest offence against
established usage is a little hazardous commerce.
These are opinions, that might unsettle the world.”

“Rather settle it, by referring all to the rule of
right. When governments shall lay their foundations
in natural justice, when their object shall be to remove
the temptations to err, instead of creating
them, and when bodies of men shall feel and acknowledge
the responsibilities of individuals—why,
then the Water-Witch, herself, might become a
revenue-cutter, and her owner an officer of the

The velvet fell from the hands of la bella Barb
érie, and she arose from her seat with precipitation.

“Speak plainly,” said Alida, with all her natural
firmness. “With whom am I about to traffic?”

“An outcast of society—a man condemned in the

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opinions of the world—the outlaw—the flagrant
wanderer of the ocean—the lawless `Skimmer of
the Seas!' ” cried a voice, at the open window.

In another minute, Ludlow was in the room.
Alida uttered a shriek, veiled her face in her robe,
and rushed from the apartment.


“—Truth will come to light;
Murder cannot be hid long, a man's son may;
But in the end, truth will out.—”

The officer of the Queen had leaped into the pavilion,
with the flushed features and all the hurry of
an excited man. The exclamations and retreat of
la belle Barbérie, for a single moment, diverted his
attention; and then he turned, suddenly, not to say
fiercely, towards her companion. It is not necessary
to repeat the description of the stranger's person, in
order to render the change, which instantly occurred
in the countenance of Ludlow, intelligible to the
reader. His eye, at first, refused to believe there
was no other present; and when it had, again and
again, searched the whole apartment, it returned to
the face and form of the dealer in contraband, with
an expression of incredulity and wonder.

“Here is some mistake!” exclaimed the commander
of the Coquette, after time had been given for a
thorough examination of the room.

“Your gentle manner of entrance,” returned the
stranger, across whose face there had passed a glow,
that might have come equally of anger or of surprise,
“has driven the lady from the room. But as
you wear the livery of the Queen, I presume you

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have authority for invading the dwelling of the subject?”

“I had believed—nay, there was reason to be
certain, that one whom all of proper loyalty execrate,
was to be found here;” stammered the still-confused
Ludlow. “There can scarce be a deception, for I
plainly heard the discourse of my captors,—and yet
here is none!”

“I thank you for the high consideration you bestow
on my presence.”

The manner, rather than the words, of the
speaker, induced Ludlow to rivet another look on
his countenance. There was a mixed expression of
doubt, admiration, and possibly of uneasiness, if not
of actual jealousy, in the eye, which slowly read all
his lineaments, though the former seemed the stronger
sensation of the three.

“We have never met before!” cried Ludlow,
when the organ began to grow dim, with the length
and steadiness of its gaze.

“The ocean has many paths, and men may journey
on them, long, without crossing each other.”

“Thou hast served the Queen, though I see thee
in this doubtful situation?”

“Never, I am not one to bind myself to the servitude
of any woman that lives,” returned the free-trader,
while a mild smile played about his lip,
“though she wore a thousand diadems! Anne never
had an hour of my time, nor a single wish of my

“This is bold language, Sir, for the ear of her
officer. The arrival of an unknown brigantine, certain
incidents which have occurred to myself this
night, your presence here, that bale of articles forbidden
by the law, create suspicions that must be
satisfied. Who are you?”

“The flagrant wanderer of the ocean—the outcast

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of society—the condemned in the opinions of the
world—the lawless `Skimmer of the Seas!' ”

“This cannot be! The tongues of men speak of
the personal deformity of that wanderer, no less than
of his bold disregard of the law. You would deceive

“If then men err so much in that which is visible
and unimportant,” returned the other, proudly, “is
there not reason to doubt their accuracy in matters
of more weight. I am surely what I seem, if I am
not what I say.”

“I will not credit so improbable a tale;—give me
some proof that what I hear is true.”

“Look at that brigantine, whose delicate spars
are almost confounded with the back-ground of
trees,” said the other, approaching the window, and
directing the attention of his companion to the Cove:
“'Tis the bark that has so often foiled the efforts of
all thy cruisers, and which transports me and my
wealth whither I will, without the fetters of arbitrary
laws, and the meddling inquiries of venal hirelings.
The scud, which floats above the sea, is not
freer than that vessel, and scarcely more swift. Well
is she named the Water-Witch! for her performances
on the wide ocean have been such as seem to
exceed all natural means. The froth of the sea does
not dance more lightly above the waves, than yonder
graceful fabric, when driven by the breeze. She is
a thing to be loved, Ludlow; trust me, I never yet
set affections on woman, with the warmth I feel for
the faithful and beautiful machine!”

“This is little more than any mariner could say,
in praise of a vessel that he admired.”

“Will you say it, Sir, in favor of yon lumbering
sloop of Queen Anne? Your Coquette is none of the
fairest, and there was more of pretension than of
truth, at her christening.”

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“By the title of my royal mistress, young beardless,
but there is an insolence in this language, that
might become him you wish to represent! My ship,
heavy or light of foot, as she may be, is fated to bring
yonder false trader to the judgment.”

“By the craft and qualities of the Water-Witch!
but this is language that might become one who was
at liberty to act his pleasure,” returned the stranger,
tauntingly imitating the tone, in which his angry
companion had spoken. “You would have proof of
my identity: listen. There is one who vaunts his
power, that forgets he is a dupe of my agent, and
that even while his words are so full of boldness, he
is a captive!”

The brown cheek of Ludlow reddened, and he
turned toward the lighter and far less vigorous frame
of his companion, as if about to strike him to the
earth, when a door opened, and Alida appeared in
the saloon.

The meeting, between the commander of the Coquette
and his mistress, was not without embarrassment.
The anger of the former and the confusion
of the latter, for a moment, kept both silent; but as
la belle Barbérie had not returned without an object,
she was quick to speak.

“I know not whether to approve, or to condemn,
the boldness that has prompted Captain Ludlow to
enter my pavilion, at this unseasonable hour, and in
so unceremonious a manner,” she said, “for I am
still ignorant of his motive. When he shall please to
let me hear it, I may judge better of the merit of
the excuse.”

“True, we will hear his explanation before condemnation,”
added the stranger, offering a seat to
Alida, which she coldly declined. “Beyond a doubt,
the gentleman has a motive.”

If looks could have destroyed, the speaker would
have been annihilated. But as the lady seemed

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indifferent to the last remark, Ludlow prepared to
enter on his vindication.

“I shall not attempt to conceal that an artifice
has been practised,” he said, “which is accompanied
by consequences that I find awkward. The air and
manner of the seaman, whose bold conduct you witnessed
in the boat, induced me to confide in him
more than was prudent, and I have been rewarded
by deception.”

“In other words, Captain Ludlow is not as sagacious
as he had reason to believe,” said an ironical
voice, at his elbow.

“In what manner am I to blame, or why is my
privacy to be interrupted, because a wandering seaman
has deceived the commander of the Coquette?”
rejoined Alida. “Not only that audacious mariner,
but this—this person,” she added, adopting a word
that use has appropriated to the multitude, “is a
stranger to me. There is no other connexion between
us, than that you see.”

“It is not necessary to say why I landed,” continued
Ludlow; “but I was weak enough to allow
that unknown mariner to quit my ship, in my company;
and when I would return, he found means to
disarm my men, and make me a prisoner.”

“And yet, art thou, for a captive, tolerably free!”
added the ironical voice.

“Of what service is this freedom, without the
means of using it? The sea separates me from my
ship, and my faithful boat's-crew are in fetters. I
have been little watched, myself; but though forbidden
to approach certain points, enough has been seen
to leave no doubts of the character of those whom
Alderman Van Beverout entertains.”

“Thou wouldst also say, and his niece, Ludlow?”

“I would say nothing harsh to, or disrespectful of,
Alida de Barbérie. I will not deny that a harrowing

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idea possessed me,—but I see my error, and repent
having been so hasty.”

“We may then resume our commerce,” said the
trader, coolly seating himself before the open bale,
while Ludlow and the maiden stood regarding each
other in mute surprise. “It is pleasant to exhibit
these forbidden treasures to an officer of the Queen!
It may prove the means of gaining the royal patronage.
We were last among the velvets, and on
the lagunes, of Venice. Here is one of a color and
quality to form a bridal dress for the Doge himself,
in his nuptials with the sea! We men of the ocean
look upon that ceremony as a pledge Hymen will
not forget us, though we may wander from his altars.
Do I justice to the faith of the craft, Captain Ludlow?—
or are you a sworn devotee of Neptune, and
content to breathe your sighs to Venus, when afloat?
Well, if the damps and salt air of the ocean rust the
golden chain, it is the fault of cruel nature!—Ah!
here is—”

A shrill whistle sounded among the shrubbery, and
the speaker became mute. Throwing his cloths
carelessly on the bale, he arose again, and seemed to
hesitate. Throughout the interview with Ludlow,
the air of the free-trader had been mild, though, at
times, it was playful; and not for an instant had he
seemed to return the resentment which the other
had so plainly manifested. It now became perplexed,
and, by the workings of his features, it would
seem that he vacillated in his opinions. The sounds
of the whistle were heard, again.

“Ay, ay, Master Tom!” muttered the dealer in
contraband. “Thy note is audible, but why this
haste? Beautiful Alida, this shrill summons is to say,
that the moment of parting is arrived!”

“We met with less of preparation,” returned la
belle Barbérie, who preserved all the distant reserve
of her sex, under the jealous eyes of her admirer.

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“We met without a warning, but shall our separation
be without a memorial? Am I to return with
all these valuables to the brigantine, or, in their
place, must I take the customary golden tribute?”

“I know not that I dare make a traffic which
is not sanctioned by the law, in presence of a servitor
of the Queen,” returned Alida, smiling. “I
will not deny that you have much to excite a woman's
envy; but our royal mistress might forget her
sex, and show little pity, were she to hear of my

“No fear of that, lady.—'Tis they who are most
stern in creating these harsh regulations, that show
most frailty in their breach. By the virtues of honest
Leadenhall itself, but I should like to tempt the
royal Anne, in her closet, with such a display of
goodly laces and heavy brocades!”

“That might be more hazardous than wise!”

“I know not. Though seated on a throne, she is
but woman. Disguise nature as thou wilt, she is a
universal tyrant, and governs all alike. The head
that wears a crown dreams of the conquests of the
sex, rather than of the conquests of states; the
hand that wields the sceptre is fitted to display its
prettiness, with the pencil, or the needle; and though
words and ideas may be taught and sounded forth
with the pomp of royalty, the tone is still that of

“Without bringing into question the merits of our
present royal mistress,” said Alida, who was a little
apt to assert her sex's rights, “there is the example
of the glorious Elizabeth, to refute his charge.”

“Ay, we have had our Cleopatras in the sea-fight,
and fear was found stronger than love! The sea has
monsters, and so may have the land. He, that made
the earth gave it laws that 'tis not good to break.
We men are jealous of our qualities, and little like
to see them usurped; and trust me, lady, she that

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forgets the means that nature bestows, may mourn
in sorrow over the fatal error.—But, shall we deal in
velvet, or is your taste more leaning to brocade?”

Alida and Ludlow listened in admiration to the
capricious and fanciful language of the unaccountable
trader, and both were equally at a loss to estimate
his character. The equivocal air was in general
well maintained, though the commander of the
Coquette had detected an earnestness and feeling in
his manner, when he more particularly addressed la
belle Barbérie, that excited an uneasiness he was
ashamed to admit, even to himself. That the maiden
herself observed this change, might also be inferred,
from a richer glow which diffused itself over
her features, though it is scarce probable that she
was conscious of its effects. When questioned as to
her determination concerning his goods, she again
regarded Ludlow, doubtingly, ere she answered.

“That you have not studied woman in vain,” she
laughingly replied, “I must fain acknowledge. And
yet, ere I make a decision, suffer me to consult those
who, being more accustomed to deal with the laws,
are better judges of the propriety of the purchases.”

“If this request were not reasonable in itself, it
were due to your beauty and station, lady, to grant
it. I leave the bale in your care; and, before to-morrow's
sun has set, one will await the answer.
Captain Ludlow, are we to part in friendship, or
does your duty to the Queen proscribe the word.”

“If what you seem,” said Ludlow, “you are a
being inexplicable! If this be some masquerade, as
I half suspect, 'tis well maintained, at least, though
not worthily assumed.”

“You are not the first who has refused credit to
his senses, in a manner wherein the Water-Witch
and her commander have been concerned.—Peace,
honest Tom—thy whistle will not hasten Father

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Time! Friend, or not, Captain Ludlow need not be
told he is my prisoner.”

“That I have fallen into the power of a miscreant—”

“Hist!—if thou hast love of bodily ease and
whole bones. Master Thomas Tiller is a man of
rude humor, and he as little likes contumely as another.
Besides, the honest mariner did but obey my
orders, and his character is protected by a superior

“Thy orders!” repeated Ludlow, with an expression
of eye and lip that might have offended one
more disposed to take offence than him he addressed,
“The fellow who so well succeeded in his artifice, is
one much more likely to command than to obey. If
any here be the `Skimmer of the Seas,' it is he.”

“We are no more than the driving spray, which
goes whither the winds list. But in what hath the
man offended, that he finds so little favor with the
Queen's captain? He has not had the boldness to
propose a secret traffic with so loyal a gentleman!”

“'Tis well, Sir; you choose a happy occasion for
this pleasantry. I landed to manifest the respect
that I feel for this lady, and I care not if the world
knows the object of the visit. 'Twas no silly artifice
that led me hither.”

“Spoken with the frankness of a seaman!” said
the inexplicable dealer in contraband, though his
color lessened and his voice appeared to hesitate.
“I admire this loyalty in man to woman; for, as
custom has so strongly fettered them in the expression
of their inclinations, it is due from us to leave as
little doubt as possible of our intentions. It is difficult
to think that la belle Barbérie can do wiser than
to reward so much manly admiration!”

The stranger cast a glance, which Alida fancied
betrayed solicitude, as he spoke, at the maiden, and
he appeared to expect she would reply.

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“When the time shall come for a decision,” returned
the half-pleased and yet half-offended subject
of his allusion, “it may be necessary to call upon
very different counsellors for advice. I hear the
step of my uncle.—Captain Ludlow, I leave it to
your discretion to meet him, or not.”

The heavy footstep was approaching through the
outer rooms of the pavilion. Ludlow hesitated; cast
a reproachful look at his mistress; and then he instantly
quitted the apartment, by the place through
which he had entered. A noise in the shrubbery
sufficiently proved that his return was expected, and
that he was closely watched.

“Noah's Ark, and our grandmothers!” exclaimed
Myndert, appearing at the door with a face red with
his exertions. “You have brought us the cast-off
finery of our ancestors, Master Seadrift. Here are
stuffs of an age that is past, and they should be bartered
for gold that hath been spent.”

“What now! what now!” responded the free-trader,
whose tone and manner seemed to change, at
will, in order to suit the humor of whomsoever he was
brought to speak with. “What now, pertinacious
burgher, that thou shouldst cry down wares that are
but too good for these distant regions! Many is the
English duchess who pines to possess but the tithe of
these beautiful stuffs I offer thy niece, and, faith—
rare is the English duchess that would become them
half so well!”

“The girl is seemly, and thy velvets and brocades
are passable, but the heavy articles are not fit to
offer to a Mohawk Sachem. There must be a reduction
of prices, or the invoice cannot pass.”

“The greater the pity. But if sail we must, sail
we will! The brigantine knows the channel over the
Nantucket sands; and, my life on it! the Yankees
will find others than the Mohawks for chapmen.”

“Thou art as quick in thy motions, Master

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Sea-drift, as the boat itself. Who said that a compromise
might not be made, when discussion was prudently
and fairly exhausted? Strike off the odd
florins, leave the balance in round thousands, and thy
trade is done for the season!”

“Not a stiver. Here, count me back the faces
of the Braganza; throw enough of thin ducats into
the scales to make up the sum, and let thy slaves push
inland with the articles, before the morning light
comes to tell the story. Here has been one among
us, who may do mischief, if he will; though I know
not how far he is master of the main secret.”

Alderman Van Beverout stared a little wildly
about him, adjusted his wig, like one fully conscious
of the value of appearances in this world, and then
cautiously drew the curtains before the windows.

“I know of none more than common, my niece
excepted;” he said, when all these precautions had
been observed. “'Tis true the Patroon of Kinderhook
is in the house, but as the man sleeps, he is a
witness in our favor. We have the testimony of his
presence, while his tongue is silent.”

“Well, be it so;” rejoined the free-trader, reading,
in the imploring eyes of Alida, a petition that
he would say no more. “I knew by instinct there
was one unusual, and it was not for me to discover
that he sleeps. There are dealers on the coast, who,
for the sake of insurance, would charge his presence
in their bills.”

“Say no more, worthy Master Seadrift, and take
the gold. To confess the truth, the goods are in the
periagua and fairly out of the river. I knew we
should come to conclusions in the matter, and time
is precious, as there is a cruiser of the Queen so
nigh. The rogues will pass the pennant, like innocent
market-people, and I'll risk a Flemish gelding
against a Virginia nag, that they inquire if the captain
has no need of vegetables for his soup! Ah!

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ha-ha-ha! That Ludlow is a simpleton, niece of
mine, and he is not yet fit to deal with men of mature
years. You'll think better of his qualities, one
day, and bid him be gone like an unwelcome dun.”

“I hope these proceedings may be legally sanctioned,

“Sanctioned! Luck sanctions all. It is in trade
as in war: success gives character and booty, in
both. Your rich dealer is sure to be your honest
dealer. Plantations and Orders in Council! What
are our rulers doing at home, that they need be so
vociferous about a little contraband? The rogues
will declaim, by the hour, concerning bribery and
corruption, while more than half of them get their
seats as clandestinely—ay, and as illegally, as you
get these rare Mechlin laces. Should the Queen
take offence at our dealings, Master Seadrift, bring
me another season, or two, as profitable as the last,
and I'll be your passenger to London, go on 'change,
buy a seat in Parliament, and answer to the royal
displeasure from my place, as they call it. By the
responsibility of the States General! but I should
expect, in such a case, to return Sir Myndert, and
then the Manhattanese might hear of a Lady Van
Beverout, in which case, pretty Alida, thy assets
would be sadly diminished!—so go to thy bed, child,
and dream of fine laces, and rich velvets, and duty
to old uncles, and discretion, and all manner of agreeable
things—kiss me, jade, and to thy pillow.”

Alida obeyed, and was preparing to quit the room,
when the free-trader presented himself before her
with an air at once so gallant and respectful, that
she could scarce take offence at the freedom.

“I should fail in gratitude,” he said, “were I to
part from so generous a customer, without thanks
for her liberality. The hope of meeting again, will
hasten my return.”

“I know not that you are my debtor for these

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thanks,” returned Alida, though she saw that the
Alderman was carefully collecting the contents of
the bale, and that he had already placed three or
four of the most tempting of its articles on her dressing-table.
“We cannot be said to have bargained.”

“I have parted with more than is visible to vulgar
eyes,” returned the stranger, dropping his voice, and
speaking with an earnestness that caused his auditor
to start. “Whether there will be a return for the
gift, or perhaps I had better call it loss,—time and
my stars must show!”

He then took her hand, and raised it to his lips,
by an action so graceful and so gentle, as not to
alarm the maiden, until the freedom was done. La
belle Barbérie reddened to her forehead, seemed
disposed to condemn the liberty, frowned, smiled, and
curtsying in confusion, withdrew.

Several minutes passed in profound silence, after
Alida had disappeared. The stranger was thoughtful,
though his bright eye kindled, as if merry thoughts
were uppermost; and he paced the room, entirely
heedless of the existence of the Alderman. The
latter, however, soon took occasion to remind his
companion of his presence.

“No fear of the girl's prating,” exclaimed the
Alderman, when his task was ended. “She is an
excellent and dutiful niece; and here, you see, is a
balance on her side of the account, that would shut
the mouth of the wife of the First Lord of the Treasury.
I disliked the manner in which you would
have the child introduced; for, look you, I do not
think that either Monsieur Barbérie, or my late
sister, would altogether approve of her entering into
traffic, so very young;—but what is done, is done;
and the Norman himself could not deny that I have
made a fair set-off, of very excellent commodities,
for his daughter's benefit.—When dost mean to sail,
Master Seadrift?”

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“With the morning tide. I little like the neighborhood
of these meddling guarda-costas.”

“Bravely answered! Prudence is a cardinal quality
in a private trader; and it is a quality that I
esteem in Master Skimmer, next to his punctuality.
Dates and obligations! I wish half of the firms, of
three and four names, without counting the Co.'s,
were as much to be depended on. Dost not think
it safer to repass the inlet, under favor of the darkness?”

“'Tis impossible. The flood is entering it like
water rushing through a race-way, and we have the
wind at east. But, fear not; the brigantine carries
no vulgar freight, and your commerce has given us
a swept hold. The Queen and the Braganza, with
Holland ducats, might show their faces even in the
Royal Exchequer itself! We have no want of passes,
and the Miller's-Maid is just as good a name to hail
by, as the `Water-witch.' We begin to tire of this
constant running, and have half a mind to taste the
pleasures of your Jersey sports, for a week. There
should be shooting on the upper plains?”

“Heaven forbid! Heaven forbid! Master Seadrift.—
I had all the deer taken for the skins, ten years
ago;—and as to birds, they deserted us, to a pigeon,
when the last tribe of the savages went west of the
Delaware. Thou hast discharged thy brigantine
to better effect, than thou couldst ever discharge thy
fowling-pieces. I hope the hospitality of the Lust
in Rust is no problem—but, blushes and curiosity! I
could wish to keep a fair countenance, among my
neighbors. Art sure the impertinent masts of the
brigantine will not be seen above the trees, when
the day comes? This Captain Ludlow is no laggard,
when he thinks his duty actually concerned.”

“We shall endeavor to keep him quiet. The
cover of the trees, and the berth of the boat, make
all snug, as respects his people. I leave worthy

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Tiller to settle balances between us; and so, I take
my leave. Master Alderman—a word at parting.
Does the Viscount Cornbury still tarry in the Provinces?”

“Like a fixture! There is not a mercantile house
in the colony more firmly established.”

“There are unsettled affairs between us.—A
small premium would buy the obligations—”

“Heaven keep thee, Master Seadrift, and pleasant
voyages, back and forth! As for the Viscount's responsibility—
the Queen may trust him with another
Province, but Myndert Van Beverout would not give
him credit for the tail of a marten; and so, again,
Heaven preserve thee!”

The dealer in contraband appeared to tear himself
from the sight of all the little elegancies that
adorned the apartment of la belle Barbérie, with
reluctance. His adieus to the Alderman were rather
cavalier, for he still maintained a cold and abstracted
air; but as the other scarcely observed the forms of
decorum, in his evident desire to get rid of his guest,
the latter was finally obliged to depart. He disappeared
by the low balcony, where he had entered.

When Myndert Van Beverout was alone, he shut
the windows of the pavilion of his niece, and retired
to his own part of the dwelling. Here the thrifty
burgher first busied himself in making sundry calculations,
with a zeal that proved how much his mind
was engrossed by the occupation. After this preliminary
step, he gave a short but secret conference
to the mariner of the India-shawl, during which there
was much clinking of gold pieces. But when the
latter retired, the master of the villa first looked to
the trifling securities which were then, as now, observed
in the fastenings of an American country-house;
when he walked forth upon the lawn, like
one who felt the necessity of breathing the open air.
He cast more than one inquiring glance at the

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windows of the room which was occupied by Oloff Van
Staats, where all was happily silent; at the equally
immovable brigantine in the Cove; and at the more
distant and still motionless hull of the cruiser of the
crown. All around him was in the quiet of midnight.
Even the boats, which he knew to be plying between
the land and the little vessel at anchor, were invisible;
and he re-entered his habitation, with the security
one would be apt to feel, under similar circumstances,
in a region so little tenanted, and so
little watched, as that in which he lived.


“Come on, Nerissa; I have work in hand,
That you, yet, know not of.—”

Merchant of Venice.

Notwithstanding the active movements which
had taken place in and around the buildings of the
Lust in Rust, during the night which ended with
our last chapter, none but the initiated were in the
smallest degree aware of their existence. Oloff Van
Staats was early afoot; and when he appeared on
the lawn, to scent the morning air, there was nothing
visible, to give rise to a suspicion that aught extraordinary
had occurred during his slumbers. La Cour
des Fées was still closed, but the person of the faithful
Francois was seen, near the abode of his young
mistress, busied in some of those pretty little offices,
that can easily be imagined would be agreeable to a
maiden of her years and station. Van Staats of Kinderhook
had as little of romance in his composition,
as could well be in a youth of five-and-twenty, who
was commonly thought to be enamoured, and who

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was not altogether ignorant of the conventional sympathies
of the passion. The man was mortal, and as
the personal attractions of la belle Barbérie were
sufficiently obvious, he had not entirely escaped the
fate, which seems nearly inseparable from young
fancy, when excited by beauty. He drew nigh to
the pavilion, and, by a guarded but decisive man
œuvre, he managed to come so close to the valet, as
to render a verbal communication not only natural,
but nearly unavoidable.

“A fair morning and a healthful air, Monsieur
François;” commenced the young Patroon, acknowledging
the low salute of the domestic, by gravely
lifting his own beaver. “This is a comfortable abode
for the warm months, and one it might be well to
visit oftener.”

“When Monsieur le Patteron shall be de lor' of
ce manoir, aussi, he shall come when he shall have
la volonté,” returned François, who knew that a
pleasantry of his ought not to be construed into an
engagement on the part of her he served, while it
could not fail to be agreeable to him who heard it.
“Monsieur de Van Staats, est grand propriétaire sur
la rivière, and one day, peut-être, he shall be propri
étaire sur la mèr!”

“I have thought of imitating the example of the
Alderman, honest Francis, and of building a villa on
the coast; but there will be time for that, when I
shall find myself more established in life! Your
young mistress is not yet moving, Francis?”

“Ma foi, non—Mam'selle Alide sleep!—'tis good
symptôme, Monsieur Patteron, pour les jeunes personnes,
to tres bien sleep. Monsieur, et toute la
famille de Barbérie sleep à merveille! Oui, c'est
toujours une famille remarquable, pour le sommeil!”

“Yet one would wish to breathe this fresh and
invigorating air, which comes from off the sea, like
a balm, in the early hours of the day.”

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“Sans doute, Monsieur. C'est un miracle, how
Mam'selle love de air! Personne do not love air
more, as Mam'selle Alide. Bah!—It was grand
plaisir to see how Monsieur de Barbérie love de air!”

“Perhaps, Mr. Francis, your young lady is ignorant
of the hour. It might be well to knock at the
door, or perhaps at the window. I confess, I should
much admire to see her bright face, smiling from that
window, on this soft morning scene.”

It is not probable that the imagination of the
Patroon of Kinderhook ever before took so high a
flight; and there was reason to suspect, by the wavering
and alarmed glance that he cast around him
after so unequivocal an expression of weakness, that
he already repented his temerity. François, who
would not willingly disoblige a man that was known
to possess a hundred thousand acres of land, with
manorial rights, besides personals of no mean amount,
felt embarrassed by the request; but was enabled
to recollect in time, that the heiress was known to
possess a decision of character that might choose to
control her own pleasures.

“Well, I shall be too happy to knock; mais, Monsieur
sais, dat sleep est si agréable, pour les jeunes
personnes! On n'a jamais knock, dans la famille de
Monsieur de Barbérie, and je suis sûr, que Mam'selle
Alide, do not love to hear de knock—pourtant, si
Monsieur le Patteron le veut, I shall consult ses—
Voila! Monsieur Bevre, qui vient sans knock à la
fenêtre. J'ai l'honneur de vous laisser avec Monsieur

And so the complaisant but still considerate valet
bowed himself out of a dilemma, that he found, as he
muttered to himself, while retiring, `tant soit peu

The air and manner of the Alderman, as he approached
his guest, were, like the character of the
man, hale, hearty, and a little occupied with his own

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enjoyments and feelings. He hemmed thrice, ere he
was near enough to speak; and each of the strong
expirations seemed to invite the admiration of the
Patroon, for the strength of his lungs, and for the
purity of the atmosphere around a villa which acknowledged
him for its owner.

“Zephyrs and Spas! but this is the abode of health,
Patroon!” cried the burgher, as soon as these demonstrations
of his own bodily condition had been
sufficiently repeated. “One sometimes feels in this
air equal to holding a discourse, across the Atlantic,
with his friends at Scheveling, or the Helder. A
broad and deep chest, air like this from the sea, with
a clear conscience, and a lucky hit in the way of
trade, cause the lungs of a man to play as easily
and as imperceptibly as the wings of a humming-bird.—
Let me see; there are few four-score men in
thy stock. The last Patroon closed the books at
sixty-six; and his father went but a little beyond
seventy. I wonder, there has never been an inter-marriage,
among you, with the Van Courtlandts;
that blood is as good as an insurance to four-score
and ten, of itself.”

“I find the air of your villa, Mr. Van Beverout,
a cordial that one could wish to take often,” returned
the other, who had far less of the brusque manner
of the trader, than his companion. “It is a pity
that all who have the choice, do not profit by their
opportunities to breathe it.”

“You allude to the lazy mariners in you vessel!
Her Majesty's servants are seldom in a hurry; and
as for this brigantine in the Cove, the fellow seems to
have gotten in by magic! I warrant me, now, the
rogue is there for no good, and that the Queen's Exchequer
will be none the richer for his visit. Harkee,
you Brom,” calling to an aged black, who was working
at no great distance from the dwelling, and who
was deep in his master's confidence, “hast seen any

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boats plying between yonder roguish-looking brigantine
and the land?”

The negro shook his head, like the earthen image
of a mandarin, and laughed loud and heartily.

“I b'rieve he do all he mischief among a Yankee,
an' he only come here to take he breat',” said the
wily slave. “Well, I wish, wid all a heart, dere
would come free-trader, some time, along our shore.
Dat gib a chance to poor black man, to make an
Lonest penny!”

“You see, Patroon, human nature itself rises
against monopoly! That was the voice of instinct,
speaking with the tongue of Brom; and it is no easy
task, for a merchant, to keep his dependants obedient
to laws, which, in themselves, create so constant a
temptation to break them. Well, well; we will
always hope for the best, and endeavor to act like
dutiful subjects. The boat is not amiss, as to form
and rig, let her come from where she will.—Dost
think the wind will be off the land this morning?”

“There are signs of a change in the clouds. One
could wish that all should be out in the air, to taste
this pleasant sea-breeze while it lasts.”

“Come, come,” cried the Alderman, who had for
a moment studied the state of the heavens with a
solicitude, that he feared might attract his companion's
attention. “We will taste our breakfast. This
is the spot to show the use of teeth! The negroes
have not been idle during the night, Mr. Van Staats—
he-e-em—I say, Sir, they have not been idle:—
and we shall have a choice among the dainties of the
river and bay.—That cloud above the mouth of the
Raritan appears to rise, and we may yet have a
breeze at west!”

“Yonder comes a boat in the direction of the
city,” observed the other, reluctantly obeying a
motion of the Alderman to retire to the apartment
where they were accustomed to break their fasts.

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“To me, it seems to approach with more than ordinary

“There are stout arms at its oars! Can it be a
messenger for the cruiser? no—it rather steers more
for our own landing. These Jersey-men are often
overtaken by the night, between York and their own
doors. And now, Patroon, we will to our knives and
forks, like men who have taken the best stomachics.”

“And are we to refresh ourselves alone?” demanded
the young man, who ever and anon cast a sidelong
and wistful glance at the closed and immovable shutters
of la Cour des Fées.

“Thy mother hath spoilt thee, young Oloff; unless
the coffee comes from a pretty female hand, it loses
its savor. I take thy meaning, and think none the
worse of thee; for the weakness is natural at thy
years. Celibacy and independence! A man must
get beyond forty, before he is ever sure of being his
own master. Come hither, Master Francis. It is
time my niece had shaken off this laziness, and
shown her bright face to the sun. We wait for her
fair services at the table.—I see nothing of that lazy
hussy, Dinah, any more than of her mistress.”

“Assurément non, Monsieur,” returned the valet.
“Mam'selle Dinah do not love trop d'activité. Mais,
Monsieur Al'erman, elles sont jeunes, toutes les deux!
Le sommeil est bien salutaire, pour la jeunesse.”

“The girl is no longer in her cradle, Francis, and
it is time to rattle at the windows. As for the black
minx, who should have been up and at her duty this
hour, there will be a balance to settle between us.
Come, Patroon:—the appetite will not await the
laziness of a wilful girl; we will to the table.—Dost
think the wind will stand at west this morning?”

Thus saying, the Alderman led the way into the
little parlor, where a neat and comfortable service
invited them to break their morning fast. He was
followed by Oloff Van Staats, with a lingering step,

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for the young man really longed to see the windows
of the pavilion open, and the fair face of Alida smiling
amid the other beautiful objects of the scene.
Francois proceeded to take such measures to arouse
his mistress, as he believed to comport with his duty
to her uncle, and his own ideas of bienséance. After
some little delay, the Alderman and his guest took
their seats at the table; the former loudly protesting
against the necessity of waiting for the idle, and
throwing in an occasional moral concerning the particular
merit of punctuality in domestic economy, as
well as in the affairs of commerce.

“The ancients divided time,” said the somewhat
pertinacious commentator, “into years, months,
weeks, days, hours, minutes, and moments, as they
divided numbers into units, tens, hundreds, thousands,
and tens of thousands; and both with an object. If
we commence at the bottom, and employ well the
moments, Mr. Van Staats, we turn the minutes into
tens, the hours into hundreds, and the weeks and
months into thousands—ay! and when there is a
happy state of trade, into tens of thousands! Missing
an hour, therefore, is somewhat like dropping an
important figure in a complex calculation, and the
whole labor may be useless, for want of punctuality
in one, as for want of accuracy in the other. Your
father, the late Patroon, was what may be called a
minute-man.—He was as certain to be seen in his
pew, at church, at the stroke of the clock, as to pay
a bill, when its items had been properly examined.
Ah! it was a blessing to hold one of his notes, though
they were far scarcer than broad pieces, or bullion.
I have heard it said, Patroon, that the manor is
backed by plenty of Johannes and Dutch ducats!”

“The descendant has no reason to reproach his
ancestors with want of foresight.”

“Prudently answered;—not a word too much, nor
too little—a principle on which all honest men settle

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their accounts. By proper management, such a foundation
might be made to uphold an estate that should
count thousands with the best of Holland or England.
Growth and majority! Patroon; but we of the
colonies must come to man's estate in time, like our
cousins on the dykes of the Low Countries, or our
rulers among the smithies of England.—Erasmus,
look at that cloud over the Raritan, and tell me if it

The negro reported that the vapor was stationary;
and, at the same time, by way of episode, he told his
master that the boat which had been seen approaching
the land had reached the wharf, and that some
of its crew were ascending the hill towards the Lust
in Rust.

“Let them come of all hospitality,” returned the
Alderman, heartily; “I warrant me, they are honest
farmers from the interior, a-hungered with the toil
of the night. Go tell the cook to feed them with the
best, and bid them welcome. And harkee, boy;—
if there be among them any comfortable yeoman,
bid the man enter and sit at our table. This is not
a country, Patroon, to be nice about the quality of
the cloth a man has on his back, or whether he wears
a wig or only his own hair.—What is the fellow
gaping at?”

Erasmus rubbed his eyes, and then showing his
teeth to the full extent of a double row, that glittered
like pearls, he gave his master to understand, that
the negro, introduced to the reader under the name
of Euclid, and who was certainly his own brother
of the half-blood, or by the mother's side, was entering
the villa. The intelligence caused a sudden
cessation of the masticating process in the Alderman,
who had not, however, time to express his wonder,
ere two doors simultaneously opened, and François
presented himself at the one, while the shining and
doubting face of the slave from town darkened the

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other. The eyes of Myndert rolled first to this side,
and then to that, a certain misgiving of the heart
preventing him from speaking to either; for he saw,
in the disturbed features of each, omens that bade
him prepare himself for unwelcome tidings. The
reader will perceive, by the description we shall give,
that there was abundant reason for the sagacious
burgher's alarm.

The visage of the valet, at all times meagre and
long, seemed extended to far more than its usual di-
mensions, the under jaw appearing fallen and trebly
attenuated. The light-blue protruding eyes were
open to the utmost, and then expressed a certain
confused wildness, that was none the less striking, for
the painful expression of mental suffering, with which
it was mingled. Both hands were raised, with the
palms outward; while the shoulders of the poor fel-
low were elevated so high, as entirely to destroy the
little symmetry that Nature had bestowed on that
particular part of his frame.

On the other hand, the look of the negro was
guilty, dogged, and cunning. His eye leered askance,
seeming to wish to play around the person of his
master, as, it will be seen, his language endeavored
to play around his understanding. The hands crushed
the crown of a woolen hat between their fingers,
and one of his feet described semicircles with its toe,
by performing nervous evolutions on its heel.

“Well!” ejaculated Myndert, regarding each in
turn. “What news from the Canadas?—Is the
Queen dead, or has she restored the colony to the
United Provinces?”

“Mam'selle Alide!” exclaimed, or rather groaned,

“The poor dumb beast!—” muttered Euclid.

The knives and the forks fell from the hands of
Myndert and his guest, as it were by a simultaneous
paralysis. The latter involuntarily arose; while the

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former planted his solid person still more firmly in its
seat, like one who was preparing to meet some severe
and expected shock, with all the physical resolution
he could muster.

“—What of my niece?—What of my geldings?—
You have called upon Dinah?”

“Sans doute, Monsieur!”

“—And you kept the keys of the stable?”

“I nebber let him go, at all!”

“—And you bade her call her mistress?”

“She no make answair, de tout.”

“—The animals were fed and watered, as I ordered?”

“'Em nebber take he food, better!”

“—You entered the chamber of my niece, yourself,
to awake her?”

“Monsieur a raison.”

“What the devil has befallen the innocent?”

“He lose he stomach quite, and I t'ink it great
time 'fore it ebber come back.”

“—Mister Francis, I desire to know the answer of
Monsieur Barbérie's daughter.”

“Mam'selle no répond, Monsieur; pas un syllabe!”

“—Drenchers and fleams! The beauty should
have been drenched and blooded—”

“He'm too late for dat, Masser, on honor.”

“—The obstinate hussy! This comes of her Huguenot
breed, a race that would quit house and
lands rather than change its place of worship!”

“La famille de Barbérie est honorable, Monsieur,
mais le Grand Monarque fut un peu trop exigeant.
Vraiment, la dragonade était mal avisée, pour faire
des chrétiens!”

“Apoplexies and hurry! you should have sent for
the farrier to administer to the sufferer, thou black

“'Em go for a butcher, Masser, to save he skin;
for he war' too son dead.”

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The word dead produced a sudden pause. The
preceding dialogue had been so rapid, and question
and answer, no less than the ideas of the principal
speaker, had got so confused, that, for a moment, he
was actually at a loss to understand, whether the
last great debt of nature had been paid by la belle
Barbérie, or one of the Flemish geldings. Until now,
consternation, as well as the confusion of the interview,
had constrained the Patroon to be silent, but he
profited by the breathing-time to interpose.

“It is evident, Mr. Van Beverout,” he said, speaking
with a tremor in the voice, which betrayed his
own uneasiness, “that some untoward event has occurred.
Perhaps the negro and I had better retire,
that you may question Francis concerning that which
hath befallen Mademoiselle Barbérie, more at your

The Alderman was recalled from a profound stupor,
by this gentlemanlike and considerate proposal.
He bowed his acknowledgments, and permitted Mr.
Van Staats to quit the room; but when Euclid would
have followed, he signed to the negro to remain.

“I may have occasion to question thee farther,”
he said, in a voice that had lost most of that compass
and depth for which it was so remarkable. “Stand
there, sirrah, and be in readiness to answer. And
now, Mr. Francis, I desire to know why my niece declines
taking the breakfast with myself and my

“Mon Dieu, Monsieur, it is not possible y répondre.
Les sentiments des demoiselles are nevair décides!”

“Go then, and say to her, that my sentiments are
decided to curtail certain bequests and devises, which
have consulted her interests more than strict justice
to others of my blood—ay, and even of my name,
might dictate.”

“Monsieur y réfléchira. Mam'selle Alide be so
young personne!”

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“Old or young, my mind is made up; and so to
your Cour des Fées, and tell the lazy minx as much.—
Thou hast ridden that innocent, thou scowling imp
of darkness!”

“Mais, pensez-y, je vous en prie, Monsieur.
Mam'selle shall nevair se sauver encore; jamais, je
vous en répond.”

“What is the fellow jabbering about?” exclaimed
the Alderman, whose mouth fell nearly to the degree
that rendered the countenance of the valet so singularly
expressive of distress. “Where is my niece,
Sir?—and what means this allusion to her absence?”

“La fille de Monsieur de Barbérie n'y est pas!”
cried François, whose heart was too full to utter
more. The aged and affectionate domestic laid his
hand on his breast, with an air of acute suffering;
and then, remembering the presence of his superior,
he turned, bowed with a manner of profound condolence,
struggled manfully with his own emotion, and
succeeded in getting out of the room with dignity
and steadiness.

It is due to the character of Alderman Van Beverout,
to say, that the blow occasioned by the sudden
death of the Flemish gelding, lost some of its force,
in consequence of so unlooked-for a report concerning
the inexplicable absence of his niece. Euclid
was questioned, menaced, and even anathematized,
more than once, during the next ten minutes; but
the cunning slave succeeded in confounding himself
so effectually with the rest of his connexions of the
half-blood, during the search which instantly followed
the report of François, that his crime was
partially forgotten.

On entering la Cour des Fées, it was, in truth,
found to want her whose beauty and grace had lent
its chief attraction. The outer rooms, which were
small, and ordinarily occupied during the day by
François and the negress called Dinah, and in the

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night by the latter only, were in the state in which
they might be expected to be seen. The apartment
of the attendant furnished evidence that its occupant
had quitted it in haste, though there was every appearance
of her having retired to rest at the usual
hour. Clothes were scattered carelessly about; and
though most of her personal effects had disappeared,
enough remained to prove that her departure had
been hurried and unforeseen.

On the other hand, the little saloon, with the
dressing-room and bed-room of la belle Barbérie,
were in a state of the most studied arrangement.
Not an article of furniture was displaced, a door
ajar, or a window open. The pavilion had evidently
been quitted by its ordinary passage, and the door
had been closed in the customary manner, without
using the fastenings. The bed had evidently not
been entered, for the linen was smooth and untouched.
In short, so complete was the order of the place,
that, yielding to a powerful natural feeling, the Alderman
called aloud on his truant niece, by name,
as if he expected to see her appear from some place,
in which she had secreted her person, in idle sport.
But this touching expedient was vain. The voice
sounded hollow through the deserted rooms; and
though all waited long to listen, there came no playful
or laughing answer back.

“Alida!” cried the burgher, for the fourth and
last time, “come forth, child; I forgive thee thy idle
sport, and all I have said of disinheritance was but a
jest. Come forth, my sister's daughter, and kiss thy
old uncle!”

The Patroon turned aside, as he heard a man so
known for his worldliness yielding to the power of
nature; and the lord of a hundred thousand acres
forgot his own disappointment, in the force of sympathy.

“Let us retire,” he said, gently urging the burgher

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to quit the place. “A little reflection will enable us
to decide what should be done.”

The Alderman complied. Before quitting the
place, however, its closets and drawers were examined;
and the search left no further doubts of the
step which the young heiress had taken. Her clothes,
books, utensils for drawing, and even the lighter instruments
of music, had disappeared.


“—Ay, that way goes the game,
Now I perceive that she hath made compare
Between our statures—”
Midsummer-Night's Dream.

The tide of existence floats downward, and with
it go, in their greatest strength, all those affections
that unite families and kindred. We learn to know
our parents in the fullness of their reason, and commonly
in the perfection of their bodily strength.
Reverence and respect both mingle with our love;
but the affection, with which we watch the helplessness
of infancy, the interest with which we see
the ingenuous and young profiting by our care, the
pride of improvement, and the magic of hope, create
an intensity of sympathy in their favor, that almost
equals the identity of self-love. There is a mysterious
and double existence, in the tie that binds the
parent to the child. With a volition and passions of
its own, the latter has power to plant a sting in the
bosom of the former, that shall wound as acutely as
the errors which arise from mistakes, almost from
crimes, of its own. But, when the misconduct of the
descendant can be traced to neglect, or to a vicious

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instruction, then, indeed, even the pang of a wounded
conscience may be added to the sufferings of those
who have gone before. Such, in some measure, was
the nature of the pain that Alderman Van Beverout
was condemned to feel, when at leisure to reflect on
the ill-judged measure that had been taken by la
belle Barbérie.

“She was a pleasant and coaxing minx, Patroon,”
said the burgher, pacing the room they occupied,
with a quick and heavy step, and speaking unconsciously
of his niece, as of one already beyond the
interests of life; “and as wilful and headstrong as an
unbroken colt.—Thou hard-riding imp! I shall never
find a match for the poor disconsolate survivor.—
But the girl had a thousand agreeable and delightful
ways with her, that made her the delight of my
old days. She has not done wisely, to desert the
friend and guardian of her youth, ay, even of her
childhood, in order to seek protection from strangers.
This is an unhappy world, Mr. Van Staats!
All our calculations come to nought; and it is in the
power of fortune to reverse the most reasonable and
wisest of our expectations. A gale of wind drives
the richly-freighted ship to the bottom; a sudden
fall in the market robs us of our gold, as the November
wind strips the oak of its leaves; and bankruptcies
and decayed credit often afflict the days of the
oldest houses, as disease saps the strength of the
body:—Alida! Alida! thou hast wounded one that
never harmed thee, and rendered my age miserable!”

“It is vain to contend with the inclinations,” returned
the proprietor of the manor, sighing in a manner
that did no discredit to the sincerity of his remark.
“I could have been happy to have placed
your niece in the situation that my respected mother
filled with so much dignity and credit, but it is now
too late—”

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“We don't know that;—we don't know that;”
interrupted the Alderman, who still clung to the
hope of effecting the first great wish of his heart,
with the pertinacity with which he would have
clung to the terms of any other fortunate bargain.
“We should never despair, Mr. Van Staats, as long
as the transaction is left open.”

“The manner in which Mademoiselle Barbérie
has expressed her preference, is so very decided, that
I see no hope of completing the arrangement.”

“Mere coquetry, Sir, mere coquetry! The girl
has disappeared in order to enhance the value of her
future submission. One should never regard a treaty
at an end, so long as reasonable hopes remain that
it may be productive to the parties.”

“I fear, Sir, there is more of the coquette in this
step of the young lady, than a gentleman can overlook,”
returned the Patroon a little dryly, and with
far more point than he was accustomed to use. “If
the commander of Her Majesty's cruiser be not a
happy man, he will not have occasion to reproach
his mistress with disdain!”

“I am not certain, Mr. Van Staats, that in the
actual situation of our stipulations, I ought to overlook
an innuendo that seems to reflect on the discretion
of my ward. Captain Ludlow—well, sirrah!
what is the meaning of this impertinence?”

“He'm waiting to see Masser,” returned the gaping
Erasmus, who stood with the door in his hand,
admiring the secret intelligence of his master, who
had so readily anticipated his errand.

“Who is waiting?—What does the simpleton

“I mean 'a gentle'um Masser say.”

“The fortunate man is here to remind us of his
success,” haughtily observed Van Staats of Kinderhook.
“There can be no necessity of my presence,

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at an interview between Alderman Van Beverout
and his nephew.”

The justly-mortified Patroon bowed ceremoniously
to the equally disappointed burgher, and left the
room the moment he had done speaking. The negro
took his retreat as a favorable symptom for one who
was generally known to be his rival; and he hastened
to inform the young captain, that the coast was

The meeting, that instantly succeeded, was sufficiently
constrained and awkward. Alderman Van
Beverout assumed a manner of offended authority
and wounded affection; while the officer of the
Queen wore an air of compelled submission to a duty
that he found to be disagreeable. The introduction
of the discourse was consequently ceremonious, and
punctiliously observant of courtesy.

“It has become my office,” continued Ludlow,
after the preliminaries had been observed, to express
the surprise I feel, that a vessel of the exceedingly
equivocal appearance of the brigantine, that is
anchored in the Cove, should be found in a situation
to create unpleasant suspicions concerning the commercial
propriety of a merchant so well known as
Mr. Alderman Van Beverout.”

“The credit of Myndert Van Beverout is too well
established, Captain Cornelius Ludlow, to be affected
by the accidental position of ships and bays. I see
two vessels anchored near the Lust in Rust, and if
called upon to give my testimony before the Queen
in Council, I should declare that the one which wears
her royal pennant had done more wrong to her subjects
than the stranger. But what harm is known
of the latter?”

“I shall not conceal any of the facts; for I feel
that this is a case, in which a gentleman of your
station has the fullest right to the benefit of explanations—”

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“Hem—” interrupted the burgher, who disliked
the manner in which his companion had opened the
interview, and who thought he saw the commencement
of a forced compromise in the turn it was
taking;—“Hem—I commend your moderation, Captain
Ludlow. Sir, we are flattered in having a native
of the Province in so honorable a command on the
coast. Be seated, I pray you, young gentleman, that
we may converse more at leisure. The Ludlows are
an ancient and well-established family in the colonies;
and though they were no friends of King Charles,
why—we have others here in the same predicament.
There are few crowns in Europe that might not trace
some of their discontented subjects to these colonies;
and the greater the reason, say I, why we should not
be too hasty in giving faith to the wisdom of this
European legislation. I do not pretend, Sir, to admire
all the commercial regulations which flow from the
wisdom of Her Majesty's counsellors. Candor forbids
that I should deny this truth: but—what of the brigantine
in the Cove?”

“It is not necessary to tell one so familiar with
the affairs of commerce, of the character of a vessel
called the Water-Witch, nor of that of its lawless
commander, the notorious `Skimmer of the Seas.”'

“Captain Ludlow is not about to accuse Alderman
Van Beverout of a connexion with such a man!” exclaimed
the burgher, rising as it were involuntarily,
and actually recoiling a foot or two, apparently under
the force of indignation and surprise.

“Sir, I am not commissioned to accuse any of the
Queen's subjects. My duty is to guard her interests
on the water, to oppose her open enemies, and to uphold
her royal prerogatives.”

“An honorable employment, and one I doubt not
that is honorably discharged. Resume your seat, Sir;
for I foresee that the conference is likely to end as it
should, between a son of the late very respectable

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King's counsellor and his father's friend. You have
reason then for thinking that this brigantine, which
has so suddenly appeared in the Cove, has some remote
connexion with the Skimmer of the Seas?”

“I believe the vessel to be the famous Water-Witch
itself, and her commander to be, of course,
that well-known adventurer.”

“Well, Sir—well, Sir—this may be so. It is impossible
for me to deny it—but what should such a
reprobate be doing here, under the guns of a Queen's

“Mr. Alderman, my admiration of your niece is
not unknown to you.”

“I have suspected it, Sir;” returned the burgher,
who believed the tenor of the compromise was getting
clearer, but who still waited to know the exact
value of the concessions the other party would make,
before he closed a bargain, in a hurry, of which he
might repent at his leisure—“Indeed, it has even
been the subject of some discourse between us.”

“This admiration induced me to visit your villa,
the past night,—”

“This is a fact too well established, young gentleman.”

“Whence I took away—” Ludlow hesitated, as
if anxious to select his words—

“Alida Barbérie.”

“Alida Barbérie!”

“Ay, Sir; my niece, or perhaps I should say my
heiress, as well as the heiress of old Etienne de Barb
érie. The cruise was short, Captain Cornelius
Ludlow; but the prize-money will be ample—unless,
indeed, a claim to neutral privileges should be established
in favor of part of the cargo!”

“Sir, your pleasantry is amusing, but I have little
leisure for its enjoyment. That I visited the Cour
des Fées, shall not be denied. I think la belle

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Barbérie will not be offended, under the circumstances,
with this acknowledgment.”

“If she is, the jade has a rare squeamishness, after
what has passed!”

“I pretend not to judge of more than my duty.
The desire to serve my royal mistress had induced
me, Mr. Van Beverout, to cause a seaman of odd
attire and audacious deportment to enter the Coquette.
You will know the man, when I tell you
that he was your companion in the island ferry-boat.”

“Yes, yes, I confess there was a mariner of the
long voyage there, who caused much surprise, and
some uneasiness, to myself and niece, as well as to
Van Staats of Kinderhook.”

Ludlow smiled, like one not to be deceived, as he

“Well, Sir, this man so far succeeded, as to tempt
me to suffer him to land, under the obligation of some
half-extorted promise—we came into the river together,
and entered your grounds in company.”

Alderman Van Beverout now began to listen like
a man who dreaded, while he desired to catch, each
syllable. Observing that Ludlow paused, and
watched his countenance with a cool and steady eye,
he recovered his self-command, and affected a mere
ordinary curiosity, while he signed to him to proceed.

“I am not sure I tell Alderman Van Beverout
any thing that is new,” resumed the young officer,
“when I add, that the fellow suffered me to visit the
pavilion, and then contrived to lead me into an ambush
of lawless men, having previously succeeded in
making captives of my boat's-crew.”

“Seizures and warrants!” exclaimed the burgher,
in his natural strong and hasty manner of speaking.
“This is the first I have heard of the affair. It was
ill-judged, to call it by no other term.”

Ludlow seemed relieved, when he saw, by the undisguised
amazement of his companion, that the

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latter was, in truth, ignorant of the matter in which
he had been detained.

“It might not have been, Sir, had our watch been
as vigilant as their artifice was deep,” he continued.
“But I was little guarded, and having no means to
reach my ship, I—”

“Ay, ay, Captain Ludlow; it is not necessary to
be so circumstantial; you proceeded to the wharf,

“Perhaps, Sir, I obeyed my feelings, rather than
my duty,” observed Ludlow, coloring high, when he
perceived that the burgher paused to clear his throat.
“I returned to the pavilion, where—”

“You persuaded a niece to forget her duty to her
uncle and protector.”

“This is a harsh and most unjustifiable charge,
both as respects the young lady and myself. I can
distinguish between a very natural desire to possess
articles of commerce that are denied by the laws,
and a more deliberate and mercenary plot against
the revenue of the country. I believe there are few
of her years and sex, who would refuse to purchase
the articles I saw presented to the eyes of la belle
Barbérie, especially when the utmost hazard could
be no more than their loss, as they were already introduced
into the country.”

“A just discrimination, and one likely to render
the arrangement of our little affairs less difficult! I
was sure that my old friend the counsellor would not
have left a son of his ignorant of principles, more
especially as he was about to embark in a profession
of so much responsibility.—And so, my niece had the
imprudence to entertain a dealer in contraband?”

“Alderman Van Beverout, there were boats in
motion on the water, between this landing and the
brigantine in the Cove. A periagua even left the
river for the city, at the extraordinary hour of midnight!”

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“Sir, boats will move on the water, when the
hands of man set them in motion; but what have I
to answer for in the matter? If goods have entered
the Province, without license, why, they must be
found and condemned; and if free-traders are on the
coast, they should be caught. Would it not be well
to proceed to town, and lay the fact of this strange
brigantine's presence before the Governor, without

“I have other intentions. If, as you say, goods
have gone up the bay, it is too late for me to stop
them; but it is not too late to attempt to seize yon
brigantine. Now, I would perform this duty in a
manner as little likely to offend any of reputable
name, as my allegiance will admit.”

“Sir, I extol this discretion—not that there is any
testimony to implicate more than the crew, but credit
is a delicate flower, and it should be handled tenderly.
I see an opening for an arrangement—but,
we will, as in duty bound, hear your propositions
first, since you may be said to speak with the authority
of the Queen. I will merely surmise that
terms should be moderate, between friends;—perhaps
I should say, between connexions, Captain Ludlow.”

“I am flattered by the word, Sir,” returned the
young sailor, smiling with an expression of delight.
“First suffer me to be admitted to the charming
Cour des Fées, but for a moment.”

“That is a favor which can hardly be refused you,
who may be said to have a right, now, to enter the
pavilion at pleasure,” returned the Alderman, unhesitatingly
leading the way through the long passage
to the deserted apartments of his niece, and continuing
the blind allusions to the affairs of the preceding
night, in the same indirect manner as had distinguished
the dialogue during the whole interview. “I
shall not be unreasonable, young gentleman, and

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here is the pavilion of my niece; I wish I could add,
and here also is its mistress!”

“And is la belle Barbérie no longer a tenant of la
Cour des Fées!” demanded Ludlow, in a surprise too
natural to be feigned.

Alderman Van Beverout regarded the young man
in wonder; pondered a moment, to consider how far
denying a knowledge of the absence of his niece
might benefit the officer, in the pending negotiation;
and then he dryly observed, “Boats passed on the
water, during the night. If the men of Captain Ludlow
were at first imprisoned, I presume they were
set at liberty at the proper time.”

“They are carried I know not whither—the boat
itself is gone, and I am here alone.”

“Am I to understand, Captain Ludlow, that Alida
Barbérie has not fled my house, during the past night,
to seek a refuge in your ship?”

“Fled!” echoed the young man, in a voice of
horror. “Has Alida de Barbérie fled from the house
of her uncle, at all?”

“Captain Ludlow, this is not acting. On the honor
of a gentleman, are you ignorant of my niece's absence?”

The young commander did not answer; but, striking
his head fiercely, he smothered words that were
unintelligible to his companion. When this momentary
burst of feeling was past, he sunk into a chair,
and gazed about him in stupid amazement. All this
pantomime was inexplicable to the Alderman, who,
however, began to see that more of the conditions
of the arrangement in hand were beyond the control
of his companion, than he had at first believed. Still
the plot thickened, rather than grew clear; and he
was afraid to speak, lest he might utter more than
was prudent. The silence, therefore, continued for
quite a minute; during which time, the parties sat
gazing at each other in dull wonder.

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“I shall not deny, Captain Ludlow, that I believed
you had prevailed on my niece to fly aboard the
Coquette; for, though a man who has always kept
his feelings in his own command, as the safest manner
of managing particular interests, yet I am not
to learn that rash youth is often guilty of folly. I am
now equally at a loss with yourself, to know what
has become of her, since here she is not.”

“Hold!” eagerly interrupted Ludlow. “A boat
left your wharf, for the city, in the earlier hours of
the morning. Is it not possible that she may have
taken a passage in it?”

“It is not possible. I have reasons to know—in
short, Sir, she is not there.”

“Then is the unfortunate—the lovely—the indiscreet
girl for ever lost to herself and us!” exclaimed
the young sailor, actually groaning under his mental
agony. “Rash, mercenary man! to what an act of
madness has this thirst of gold driven one so fair—
would I could say, so pure and so innocent!”

But while the distress of the lover was thus violent,
and caused him to be so little measured in his
terms of reproach, the uncle of the fair offender appeared
to be lost in surprise. Though la belle Barb
érie had so well preserved the decorum and reserve
of her sex, as to leave even her suitors in doubt of
the way her inclinations tended, the watchful Alderman
had long suspected that the more ardent, open,
and manly commander of the Coquette was likely to
triumph over one so cold in exterior, and so cautious
in his advances, as the Patroon of Kinderhook. When,
therefore, it became apparent Alida had disappeared,
he quite naturally inferred that she had taken
the simplest manner of defeating all his plans for
favoring the suit of the latter, by throwing herself,
at once, into the arms of the young sailor. The laws
of the colonies offered few obstacles to the legality
of their union; and when Ludlow appeared that

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morning, he firmly believed that he beheld one, who,
if he were not so already, was inevitably soon to become
his nephew. But the suffering of the disappointed
youth could not be counterfeited; and, prevented
from adhering to his first opinion, the perplexed
Alderman seemed utterly at a loss to conjecture
what could have become of his niece. Wonder,
rather than pain, possessed him; and when he suffered
his ample chin to repose on the finger and
thumb of one hand, it was with the air of a man
that revolved, in his mind, all the plausible points of
some knotty question.

“Holes and corners!” he muttered, after a long
silence; “the wilful minx cannot be playing at hide-and-seek
with her friends! The hussy had ever too
much of la famille de Barbérie, and her high Norman
blood about her, as that silly old valet has it, to stoop
to such childish trifling. Gone she certainly is,” he
continued, looking, again, into the empty drawers
and closets, “and with her the valuables have disappeared.
The guitar is missing—the lute I sent across
the ocean to purchase, an excellently-toned Dutch
lute, that cost every stiver of one hundred guilders,
is also wanting, and all the—hem—the recent accessions
have disappeared. And there, too, are my
sister's jewels, that I persuaded her to bring along,
to guard against accidents while our backs are turned,
they are not to be seen. Francois! Francois!
Thou long-tried servitor of Etienne Barbérie, what
the devil has become of thy mistress?”

“Mais, Monsieur,” returned the disconsolate valet,
whose decent features exhibited all the signs of unequivocal
suffering, “she no tell le pauvre François!
En supposant, que Monsieur ask le capitaine, he
shall probablement know.”

The burgher cast a quick suspicious glance at
Ludlow, and shook his head, to express his belief
that the young man was true.

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“Go; desire Mr. Van Staats of Kinderhook to
favor us with his company.”

“Hold,” cried Ludlow, motioning to the valet to
withdraw. “Mr. Beverout, an uncle should be tender
of the errors of one so dear as this cruel, unreflecting
girl. You cannot think of abandoning her to so
frightful a fortune!”

“I am not addicted to abandoning any thing, Sir,
to which my title is just and legal. But you speak
in enigmas. If you are acquainted with the place
where my niece is secreted, avow it frankly, and
permit me to take those measures which the case

Ludlow reddened to his forehead, and he struggled
powerfully with his pride and his regrets.

“It is useless to attempt concealing the step which
Alida Barbérie has been pleased to take,” he said, a
smile so bitter passing over his features, as to lend
them the expression of severe mockery; “she has
chosen more worthily than either of us could have
believed; she has found a companion more suited to
her station, her character, and her sex, than Van
Staats of Kinderhook, or a poor commander of a
Queen's ship!”

“Cruisers and manors! What in the name of mysteries
is thy meaning? The girl is not here; you declare
she is not on board of the Coquette, and there
remains only—”

“The brigantine!” groaned the young sailor
uttering the word by a violent effort of the will.

“The brigantine!” repeated the Alderman, slowly.
“My niece can have nothing to do aboard a dealer
in contraband. That is to say, Alida Barbérie is not
a trader.”

“Alderman Van Beverout, if we wish to escape
the contamination of vice, its society must be avoided.
There was one in the pavilion, of a mien and assurance,
the past night, that might delude an angel.

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Ah! woman! woman! thy mind is composed of vanities,
and thy imagination is thy bitterest foe!”

“Women and vanities!” echoed the amazed burgher.
“My niece, the heiress of old Etienne Marie
de Barbérie, and the sought of so many of honorable
names and respectable professions, to be a refugee
with a rover!—always supposing your opinions of
the character of the brigantine to be just. This is a
conjecture too improbable to be true.”

“The eye of a lover, Sir, may be keener than
that of a guardian—call it jealousy, if you will,—
would to Heaven my suspicions were untrue!—but
if she be not there, where is she?”

The opinion of the Alderman seemed staggered.
If la belle Barbérie had not yielded to the fascinations
of that wayward, but seductive, eye and smile,
to that singular beauty of face, and to the secret and
often irresistible charm that encircles eminent personal
attractions, when aided by mystery, to what
had she yielded, and whither had she fled?

These were reflections that now began to pass
through the thoughts of the Alderman, as they had
already planted stings in the bosom of Ludlow. With
reflection, conviction began slowly to assert its power.
But the truth did not gleam upon the mind of the
calculating and wary merchant, with the same instinctive
readiness that it had flashed upon the jealous
faculties of the lover. He pondered on each circumstance
of the interview between the dealer in contraband
and his niece; recalled the manner and discourse
of the former; drew certain general and
vague conjectures concerning the power which novelty,
when coupled with circumstances of romance,
might exercise over a female fancy; and dwelt long
and secretly on some important facts that were alone
known to himself,—before his judgment finally settled
down into the same opinion, as that which his

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companion had formed, with all the sensitiveness of
jealous alarm.

“Women and vagaries!” muttered the burgher,
after his study was ended. “Their conceits are as
uncertain as the profits of a whaling voyage, or the
luck of a sportsman. Captain Ludlow, your assistance
will be needed in this affair; and, as it may
not be too late, since there are few priests in the
brigantine—always supposing her character to be
what you affirm—my niece may yet see her error,
and be disposed to reward so much assiduity and

“My services shall always be ready, so long as
they can be useful to Alida Barbérie,” returned the
young officer with haste, and yet a little coldly. “It
will be time enough to speak of the reward, when
we shall have succeeded.”

“The less noise that is made about a little domestic
inconvenience like this, the better; and I would
therefore suggest the propriety of keeping our suspicions
of the character of the vessel a secret, until
we shall be better informed.”

The captain bowed his assent to the proposal.

“And now that we are of the same mind in the
preliminaries, we will seek the Patroon of Kinderhook,
who has a claim to participate in our confidence.”

Myndert then led the way from the empty and
melancholy Cour des Fées, with a step that had regained
its busy and firm tread, and a countenance
that expressed far more of vexation and weariness,
than of real sorrow.

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“—I'll give thee a wind.
“—Thou art kind.
“—And I another.
“—I myself have all the other.”

[figure description] Page 172.[end figure description]

The cloud above the mouth of the Raritan had
not risen. On the contrary, the breeze still came
from off the sea; and the brigantine in the Cove,
with the cruiser of the Queen, still lay at their
anchors, like two floating habitations that were not
intended to be removed. The hour was that at
which the character of the day becomes fixed; and
there was no longer any expectation that a land-wind
would enable the vessel of the free-trader to
repass the inlet, before the turn of the tide, which
was again running swiftly on the flood.

The windows of the Lust in Rust were open, as
when its owner was present; and the menials were
employed, in and about the villa, in their customary
occupations; though it was evident, by the manner
in which they stopped to converse, and by the frequent
conferences which had place in secret corners,
that they wondered none the less at the unaccountable
disappearance of their young mistress. In all
other respects, the villa and its grounds were, as
usual, quiet and seemingly deserted.

But there was a group collected beneath the shade
of an oak on the margin of the Cove, and at a point
where it was rare for man to be seen. This little
party appeared to be in waiting for some expected
communication from the brigantine; since they had
taken post on the side of the inlet, next the cape,
and in a situation so retired, as to be entirely hid
from any passing observation of those who might

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enter or leave the mouth of the Shrewsbury. In
short, they were on the long, low, and narrow barrier
of sand, that now forms the projection of the Hook,
and which, by the temporary breach that the Cove
had made between its own waters and that of the
ocean, was then an island.

“Snug should be the motto of a merchant,” observed
one of these individuals, whose opinions will
sufficiently announce his name to the reader. “He
should be snug in his dealings, and snug in his manner
of conducting them; snug in his credits, and, above
all, snug in his speculations. There is as little need,
gentlemen, in calling in the aid of a posse-comitatus
for a sensible man to keep his household in order, as
that a discreet trader should go whistling through
the public markets, with the history of his operations.
I gladly court two so worthy assistants, as
Captain Cornelius Ludlow and Mr. Oloff Van Staats;
for I know there will be no useless gossip concerning
the trifling derangement that hath occurred. Ah!
the black hath had communications with the free-trader—
always supposing the opinion of Mr. Ludlow
concerning the character of the vessel to be just—
and he is quitting the brigantine.”

Neither of the companions of the Alderman made
any reply. Each watched the movement of the skiff
that contained their messenger, and each seemed to
feel an equal interest in the result of his errand. Instead,
however, of approaching the spot where his
master and his two friends expected him, the negro,
though he knew that his boat was necessary to enable
the party to recross the inlet, pulled directly for
the mouth of the river,—a course that was exactly
contrary to the one he was expected to take.

“Rank disobedience!” grumbled the incensed
master. “The irreverent dog is deserting us, on this
neck of barren sand, where we are cut off from all
communication with the interior, and are as

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[figure description] Page 174.[end figure description]

completely without intelligence of the state of the market,
and other necessaries, as men in a desert!”

“Here comes one that seems disposed to bring us
to a parley,” observed Ludlow, whose practised eye
had first detected a boat quitting the side of the brigantine,
as well as the direction it was about to steer.

The young commander was not deceived; for a
light cutter, that played like a bubble on its element,
was soon approaching the shore, where the three expectants
were seated. When it was near enough to
render sight perfectly distinct, and speech audible
without an effort, the crew ceased rowing, and permitted
the boat to lie in a state of rest. The mariner
of the India-shawl then arose in the stern-sheets,
and examined the thicket behind the party, with a
curious and suspicious eye. After a sufficient search,
he signed to his crew to force the cutter still nigher
to the land, and spoke:

“Who has affairs with any of the brigantine?”
he coolly demanded, wearing the air of one who had
no reason to anticipate the object of their visit. “She
has little left that can turn to profit, unless she parts
with her beauty.”

“Truly, good stranger,” returned the Alderman,
laying a sufficient emphasis on the latter word, “here
are none disposed to a traffic, which might not be
pleasing to the authorities of the country, were its
nature known. We come with a desire to be admitted
to a conference with the commander of the vessel,
on a matter of especial but private concern.”

“Why send a public officer on the duty? I see
one, there, in the livery of Queen Anne. We are
no lovers of Her Majesty's servants, and would not
willingly form disagreeable acquaintances.”

Ludlow nearly bit through his lip, in endeavoring
to repress his anger, at the cool confidence of one
who had already treated him with so little ceremony,
and then momentarily forgetting his object, in

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[figure description] Page 175.[end figure description]

professional pride, and perhaps we might add in the
habits of his rank, he interrupted the dialogue—

“If you see the livery of the royal authority,”
he said, haughtily, “you must be sensible it is worn
by one who is commissioned to cause its rights to be
respected. I demand the name and character of yon

“As for character, she is, like any other beauty,
something vituperated; nay, some carry their envy
so far as to call it cracked! But we are jolly mariners
that sail her, and little heed crazy reports at
the expense of our mistress. As for a name, we answer
any hail that is fairly spoken, and well meant.
Call us `Honesty,' if you will, for want of the register.”

“There is much reason to suspect your vessel of
illegal practices; and, in the name of the Queen, I
demand access to her papers, and the liberty of a free
search into her cargo and crew. Else will there be
necessity to bring her under the guns of the cruiser,
which lies at no great distance, waiting only for orders.”

“It takes no scholar to read our documents, Captain
Ludlow; for they are written by a light keel
on the rolling waters, and he who follows in our wake
may guess at their authority. If you wish to overhaul
our cargo, you must look sharply into the cuffs
and aprons, the negligées and stomachers of the Governor's
lady, at the next ball at the fort; or pry into
the sail that is set above the farthingales of the wife
and daughters of your Admiralty Judge! We are no
cheesemongers, to break the shins of a boarding officer
among boxes and butter-tubs.”

“Your brigantine has a name, sirrah; and, in Her
Majesty's authority, I demand to know it.”

“Heaven forbid that any here should dispute the
Queen's right! You are a seaman, Captain Ludlow,
and have an eye for comeliness in a craft, as well as

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in a woman. Look at those harpings! There is no
fall of a shoulder can equal that curve, in grace or
richness; this shear surpasses the justness and delicacy
of any waist; and there you see the transoms,
swelling and rounded like the outlines of a Venus.
Ah! she is a bewitching creature; and no wonder
that, floating as she does, on the seas, they should
have called her—”

“Water-Witch!” said Ludlow, finding that the
other paused.

“You deserve to be one of the sisterhood yourself,
Captain Ludlow, for this readiness in divination!”

“Amazement and surprise, Patroon!” exclaimed
Myndert, with a tremendous hem. “Here is a discovery
to give a respectable merchant more uneasiness
than the undutiful conduct of fifty nieces! This
vessel is then the famous brigantine of the notorious
`Skimmer of the Seas!' a man whose misdeeds in
commerce are as universally noted, as the stoppage
of a general dealer! Pray, Master Mariner, do not
distrust our purposes. We do not come, sent by any
authority of the country, to pry into your past transactions,
of which it is quite unnecessary for you to
speak; and far less to indulge in any unlawful thirst
of gain, by urging a traffic that is forbidden by the
law. We wish solely to confer with the celebrated
free-trader and rover, who must, if your account be
true, command the vessel, for a few minutes, on an
affair of common interest to the three. This officer
of the Queen is obliged, by his duty, to make certain
demands of you, with which you will comply, or not,
at your own good discretion; and since Her Majesty's
cruiser is so far beyond reach of bullet, it cannot be
expected you will do otherwise; but further than
that, he has no present intention to proceed. Parleys
and civilities! Captain Ludlow, we must speak the
man fair, or he will leave us to get over the inlet,
and back to the Lust in Rust, as we may; and that,

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too, as empty-handed as we came. Remember our
stipulations, without observing which I shall withdraw
from the adventure, altogether.”

Ludlow bit his lip, and continued silent. The seaman
of the shawl, or Master Tiller, as he has been
more than once called, again narrowly examined
the back-ground, and caused his boat to approach so
near the land, that it was possible to step into it, by
the stern.

“Enter,” he said to the Captain of the Coquette,
who needed no second invitation; “enter, for a valuable
hostage is a safe-pledge, in a truce. The
Skimmer is no enemy to good company; and I have
done justice to the Queen's servitor, by introducing
him already, by name and character.”

“Fellow, the success of your deception may cause
you to triumph for a time; but remember that the

“Is a wholesome boat, whose abilities I have
taken, to the admeasurement of her moment-glass;”
observed Tiller, very coolly taking the words out of
the other's mouth. “But as there is business to be
done with the Skimmer, we will speak more of this

The mariner of the shawl, who had maintained
his former audacious demeanor, now became grave;
and he spoke to his crew with authority, bidding
them pull the boat to the side of the brigantine.

The exploits, the mysterious character, and the
daring of the Water-Witch, and of him who sailed
her, were, in that day, the frequent subjects of anger,
admiration, and surprise. Those who found
pleasure in the marvellous, listened to the wonders
that were recounted of her speed and boldness, with
pleasure; they who had been so often foiled in their
attempts to arrest the hardy dealers in contraband,
reddened at her name; and all wondered at the success
and intelligence with which her movements

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were controlled. It will, therefore, create no astonishment
when we say, that Ludlow and the Patroon
drew near to the light and graceful fabric,
with an interest that deepened at each stroke of the
oars. So much of a profession which, in that age,
was particularly marked and apart from the rest of
mankind in habits and opinions, had been interwoven
into the character of the former, that he could not
see the just proportions, the graceful outlines of the
hull, or the exquisite symmetry and neatness of the
spars and rigging, without experiencing a feeling
somewhat allied to that which undeniable superiority
excites in the heart of even a rival. There was also
a taste in the style of the merely ornamental parts
of the delicate machine, which caused as much surprise
as her model and rig.

Seamen, in all ages, and in every state of their
art, have been ambitious of bestowing on their floating
habitations, a style of decoration which, while
appropriate to their element, should be thought
somewhat analogous to the architectural ornaments
of the land. Piety, superstition, and national usages,
affect these characteristic ornaments, which are still
seen, in different quarters of the world, to occasion
broad distinctions between the appearances of vessels.
In one, the rudder-head is carved with the
resemblance of some hideous monster; another shows
goggling eyes and lolling tongues from its cat-heads;
this has the patron saint, or the ever-kind Marie,
embossed upon its mouldings or bows; while that is
covered with the allegorical emblems of country and
duty. Few of these efforts of nautical art are successful,
though a better taste appears to be gradually
redeeming even this branch of human industry
from the rubbish of barbarism, and to be elevating
it to a state which shall do no violence to the more
fastidious opinions of the age. But the vessel of
which we write, though constructed at so remote a

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period, would have done credit to the improvements
of our own time.

It has been said that the hull of this celebrated
smuggler was low, dark, moulded with exquisite art,
and so justly balanced as to ride upon its element
like a sea-fowl. For a little distance above the water,
it showed a blue that vied with the color of the
deep ocean, the use of copper being then unknown;
while the more superior parts were of a jet black,
delicately relieved by two lines, of a straw-color,
that were drawn, with mathematical accuracy, parallel
to the plane of her upper works, and consequently
converging slightly towards the sea, beneath
her counter. Glossy hammock-cloths concealed the
persons of those who were on the deck, while the
close bulwarks gave the brigantine the air of a vessel
equipped for war. Still the eye of Ludlow ran
curiously along the whole extent of the two strawcolored
lines, seeking in vain some evidence of the
weight and force of her armament. If she had
ports at all, they were so ingeniously concealed as to
escape the keenest of his glances. The nature of
the rig has been already described. Partaking of
the double character of brig and schooner, the sails
and spars of the forward-mast being of the former,
while those of the after-mast were of the latter construction,
seamen have given to this class of shipping
the familiar name of Hermaphrodites. But, though
there might be fancied, by this term, some want of
the proportions that constitute seemliness, it will be
remembered that the departure was only from some
former rule of art, and that no violence had been
done to those universal and permanent laws which
constitute the charm of nature. The models of
glass, which are seen representing the machinery of
a ship, are not more exact or just in their lines than
were the cordage and spars of this brigantine. Not
a rope varied from its true direction; not a sail, but

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it resembled the neat folds of some prudent house-wife;
not a mast or a yard was there, but it rose into
the air, or stretched its arms, with the most fastidious
attention to symmetry. All was airy, fanciful, and
full of grace, seeming to lend to the fabric a character
of unreal lightness and speed. As the boat drew
near her side, a change of the air caused the buoyant
bark to turn, like a vane, in its current; and as
the long and pointed proportions of her head-gear
came into view, Ludlow saw beneath the bowsprit
an image that might be supposed to make, by means
of allegory, some obvious allusions to the character
of the vessel. A female form, fashioned with the
carver's best skill, stood on the projection of the cut-water.
The figure rested lightly on the ball of one
foot, while the other was suspended in an easy attitude,
resembling the airy posture of the famous Mercury
of the Bolognese. The drapery was fluttering,
scanty, and of a light sea-green tint, as if it had imbibed
a hue from the element beneath. The face
was of that dark bronzed color which human ingenuity
has, from time immemorial, adopted as the
best medium to portray a superhuman expression.
The locks were dishevelled, wild, and rich; the eye,
full of such a meaning as might be fancied to glitter
in the organs of a sorceress; while a smile so strangely
meaning and malign played about the mouth, that
the young sailor started, when it first met his view,
as if a living thing had returned his look.

“Witchcraft and necromancy!” grumbled the Alderman,
as this extraordinary image came suddenly
on his vision also. “Here is a brazen-looking hussy!
and one who might rob the Queen's treasury, itself,
without remorse! Your eyes are young, Patroon;
what is that the minx holds so impudently above her

“It seems an open book, with letters of red,

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written on its pages. One need not be a conjuror, to divine
it is no extract from the Bible.”

“Nor from the statute-books of Queen Anne. I
warrant me, 'tis a leger of profit gained in her many
wanderings. Goggling and leers! the bold air of the
confident creature is enough to put an honest man
out of countenance!”

“Wilt read the motto of the witch?” demanded
he of the India-shawl, whose eye had been studying
the detail of the brigantine's equipment, rather than
attending to the object which so much attracted the
looks of his companions. “The night air has taut'ned
the cordage of that flying-jib-boom, fellows, until it
begins to lift its nose like a squeamish cockney,
when he holds it over salt-water! See to it, and
bring the spar in line; else shall we have a reproof
from the sorceress, who little likes to have any of her
limbs deranged. Here, gentlemen, the opinions of
the lady may be read, as clearly as woman's mind
can ever be fathomed.”

While speaking to his crew, Tiller had changed
the direction of the boat; and it was soon lying, in
obedience to a motion of his hand, directly beneath
the wild and significant-looking image, just described.
The letters in red were now distinctly visible; and
when Alderman Van Beverout had adjusted his spectacles,
each of the party read the following sentence:—

“Albeit, I neither lend nor borrow,
By taking, nor by giving of excess,
Yet to supply the ripe wants of my friend,
I'll break a custom.”
Merchant of Venice.

“The brazen!” exclaimed Myndert, when he had
got through this quotation from the immortal bard.
“Ripe or green, one could not wish to be the friend
of so impudent a thing; and then to impute such
sentiments to any respectable commercial man,

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whether of Venice or of Amsterdam! Let us board
the brigantine, friend mariner, and end the connexion,
ere foul mouths begin to traduce our motives for the

“The over-driven ship plows the seas too deep,
for speed; we shall get into port, in better season,
without this haste. Wilt take another look into the
dark lady's pages? A woman's mind is never known,
at the first answer!”

The speaker raised the rattan he still carried, and
caused a page of painted metal to turn on hinges
that were so artfully concealed as not to be visible.
A new surface, with another extract, was seen.

“What is it, what is it, Patroon?” demanded the
burgher, who appeared greatly to distrust the discretion
of the sorceress. “Follies and rhymes! but this
is the way of the whole sex; when nature has
denied them tongues, they invent other means of

“Porters of the sea and land,
Thus do go about, about;
Thrice to thine, and thrice to thine,
And thrice again to make up nine.”

“Rank nonsense!” continued the burgher! “It is
well for those who can, to add thrice and thrice to
their stores; but look you, Patroon—it is a thriving
trade that can double the value of the adventure,
and that with reasonable risks, and months of patient

“We have other pages,” resumed Tiller, “but our
affairs drag for want of attending to them. One may
read much good matter in the book of the sorceress,
when there is leisure and opportunity. I often take
occasion, in the calms, to look into her volume; and
it is rare to find the same moral twice told, as these
brave seamen can swear.”

The mariners at the oars confirmed this assertion,

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by their grave and believing faces; while their superior
caused the boat to quit the place, and the
image of the Water-Witch was left floating in solitude
above her proper element.

The arrival of the cutter produced no sensation
among those who were found on the deck of the brigantine.
The mariner of the shawl welcomed his
companions, frankly and heartily; and then he left
them for a minute to make their observations, while
he discharged some duty in the interior of the vessel.
The moments were not lost, as powerful curiosity
induced all the visiters to gaze about them, in the
manner in which men study the appearance of any
celebrated object, that has long been known only by
reputation. It was quite apparent that even Alderman
Van Beverout had penetrated farther into the
mysteries of the beautiful brigantine, than he had
ever before been. But it was Ludlow who gathered
most from this brief opportunity, and whose understanding
glances so rapidly and eagerly ran over all
that a seaman could wish to examine.

An admirable neatness reigned in every part. The
planks of the deck resembled the work of the cabinet-maker,
rather than the coarser labor which is generally
seen in such a place; and the same excellence
of material, and exactness in the finish, were visible
in the ceilings of the light bulwarks, the railings,
and all the other objects which necessarily came
conspicuously into view, in the construction of such
a fabric. Brass was tastefully rather than lavishly
used, on many of those parts where metal was necessary;
and the paint of the interior was everywhere
a light and delicate straw-color. Armament there
was none, or at least none visible; nor did the fifteen
or twenty grave-looking seamen, who were silently
lounging, with folded arms, about the vessel, appear
to be those who would find pleasure in scenes of violence.
They were, without an exception, men who

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had reached the middle age, of weather-worn and
thoughtful countenances, many of them even showing
heads that had begun to be grizzled more by time
than even by exposure. Thus much Ludlow had
been enabled to ascertain, ere they were rejoined by
Tiller. When the latter again came on deck, he
showed, however, no desire to conceal any of the
perfections of his habitation.

“The wilful sorceress is no niggard in accommodating
her followers,” said the mariner, observing
the manner in which the Queen's officer was employed.
“Here, you see, the Skimmer keeps room
enough for an admiral, in his cabins; and the fellows
are berthed aft, far beyond the foremast;—wilt step
to the hatch, and look below?”

The captain and his companions did as desired,
and to the amazement of the former, he perceived
that, with the exception of a sort of room fitted with
large and water-tight lockers, which were placed in
full view, all the rest of the brigantine was occupied
by the accommodations of her officers and crew.

“The world gives us the reputation of free-traders,”
continued Tiller, smiling maliciously; “but if the
Admiralty-Court were here, big wigs and high staffs,
judge and jury, it would be at a loss to bring us to
conviction. There is iron to keep the lady on her
feet, and water, with some garnish of Jamaica, and
the wines of old Spain and the islands, to cheer the
hearts and cool the mouths of my fellows, beneath
that deck; and more than that, there is not. We
have stores for the table and the breeze, beyond you
bulk-head; and here are lockers beneath you, that
are—empty! See, one is open; it is neat as any
drawer in a lady's bureau. This is no place for your
Dutchman's strong waters, or the coarse skins of your
tobacconist. Odd's my life! He who would go on
the scent of the Water-Witch's lading, must follow
your beauty in her satins, or your parson in his band

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and gown. There would be much lamentation in
the church, and many a heavy-hearted bishop, were
it known that the good craft had come to harm!”

“There must be an end to this audacious trifling
with the law,” said Ludlow; “and the time may be
nearer than you suppose.”

“I look at the pages of the lady's book, in the
pride of each morning; for we have it aboard here,
that when she intends to serve us foul, she will at
least be honest enough to give a warning. The
mottoes often change, but her words are ever true.
'Tis hard to overtake the driving mist, Captain Ludlow,
and he must hold good way with the wind itself,
who wishes to stay long in our company.”

“Many a boastful sailor has been caught. The
breeze that is good for the light of draught, and the
breeze that is good for the deep keel, are different.
You may live to learn what a stout spar, a wide
arm, and a steady hull, can do.”

“The lady of the wild eye and wicked smile protect
me! I have seen the witch buried fathoms deep
in brine, and the glittering water falling from her
tresses like golden stars; but never have I read an
untruth in her pages. There is good intelligence
between her and some on board; and, trust me, she
knows the paths of the ocean too well, ever to steer
a wrong course. But we prate like gossiping rivermen.—
Wilt see the Skimmer of the Seas?”

“Such is the object of our visit,” returned Ludlow,
whose heart beat violently at the name of the
redoubtable rover. “If you are not he, bring us
where he is.”

“Speak lower; if the lady under the bowsprit
hear such treason against her favorite, I'll not answer
for her good-will. If I am not he!” added the
hero of the India-shawl, laughing freely. “Well,
an ocean is bigger than a sea, and a bay is not a
gulf. You shall have an opportunity of judging

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between us, noble captain, and then I leave opinions to
each man's wisdom. Follow.”

He quitted the hatchway, and led his companions
toward the accommodations in the stern of the


“God save you, Sir!”
“And you, Sir; you are welcome.
“Travel you, Sir, or are you at the furthest?”
Taming of the Shrew.

If the exterior of the brigantine was so graceful
in form and so singular in arrangement, the interior
was still more worthy of observation. There were
two small cabins beneath the main-deck, one on each
side of, and immediately adjoining, the limited space
that was destined to receive her light but valuable
cargoes. It was into one of these that Tiller had
descended, like a man who freely entered into his
own apartment; but partly above, and nearer to the
stern, were a suite of little rooms that were fitted
and furnished in a style altogether different. The
equipments were those of a yacht, rather than those
which might be supposed suited to the pleasures of
even the most successful dealer in contraband.

The principal deck had been sunken several feet,
commencing at the aftermost bulk-head of the cabins
of the subordinate officers, in a manner to give the
necessary height, without interfering with the line
of the brigantine's shear. The arrangement was
consequently not to be seen, by an observer who
was not admitted into the vessel itself. A descent
of a step or two, however, brought the visiters to the

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level of the cabin-floor and into an ante-room that
was evidently fitted for the convenience of the domestics.
A small silver hand-bell lay on a table, and
Tiller rung it lightly, like one whose ordinary manner
was restrained by respect. It was answered by
the appearance of a boy, whose years could not exceed
ten, and whose attire was so whimsical as to
merit description.

The material of the dress of this young servitor of
Neptune, was a light rose-colored silk, cut in a fashion
to resemble the habits formerly worn by pages
of the great. His body was belted by a band of
gold, a collar of fine thread lace floated on his neck
and shoulders, and even his feet were clad in a sort
of buskins, that were ornamented with fringes of
real lace and tassels of bullion. The form and features
of the child were delicate, and his air as unlike
as possible to the coarse and brusque manner of
a vulgar ship-boy.

“Waste and prodigality!” muttered the Alderman,
when this extraordinary little usher presented
himself, in answer to the summons of Tiller. “This
is the very wantonness of cheap goods and an unfettered
commerce! There is enough of Mechlin, Patroon,
on the shoulders of that urchin, to deck the
stomacher of the Queen. 'Fore George, goods were
cheap in the market, when the young scoundrel had
his livery!”

The surprise was not confined, however, to the observant
and frugal burgher. Ludlow and Van Staats
of Kinderhook manifested equal amazement, though
their wonder was exhibited in a less characteristic
manner. The former turned short to demand the
meaning of this masquerade, when he perceived that
the hero of the India-shawl had disappeared. They
were then alone with the fantastic page, and it became
necessary to trust to his intelligence for directions
how to proceed.

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“Who art thou, child?—and who has sent thee
hither?” demanded Ludlow. The boy raised a cap
of the same rose-colored silk, and pointed to an image
of a female, with a swarthy face and a malign
smile, painted, with exceeding art, on its front.

“I serve the sea-green lady, with the others of the

“And who is this lady of the color of shallow water,
and whence come you, in particular?”

“This is her likeness—if you would speak with
her, she stands on the cut-water, and rarely refuses
an answer.”

“'Tis odd that a form of wood should have the
gift of speech!”

“Dost think her then of wood?” returned the
child, looking timidly, and yet curiously, up into the
face of Ludlow. “Others have said the same; but
those who know best, deny it. She does not answer
with a tongue, but the book has always something to

“Here is a grievous deception practised on the superstition
of this boy! I have read the book, and can
make but little of its meaning.”

“Then read again. 'Tis by many reaches that
the leeward vessel gains upon the wind. My master
has bid me bring you in—”

“Hold—Thou hast both master and mistress?—
You have told us of the latter, but we would know
something of the former. Who is thy master?”

The boy smiled and looked aside, as if he hesitated
to answer.

“Nay, refuse not to reply. I come with the authority
of the Queen.”

“He tells us that the sea-green lady is our Queen,
and that we have no other.”

“Rashness and rebellion!” muttered Myndert;
“but this foolhardiness will one day bring as pretty
a brigantine as ever sailed in the narrow seas, to

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condemnation; and then will there be rumors abroad,
and characters cracked, till every lover of gossip in
the Americas shall be tired of defamation.”

“It is a bold subject, that dares say this!” rejoined
Ludlow, who heeded not the by-play of the
Alderman; “Your master has a name?”

“We never hear it. When Neptune boards us,
under the tropics, he always hails the `Skimmer of
the Seas,' and then they answer. The old God
knows us well, for we pass his latitude oftener than
other ships, they say.”

“You are then a cruiser of some service, in the
brigantine—no doubt you have trod many distant
shores, belonging to so swift a craft.”

“I!—I never was on the land!” returned the boy,
thoughtfully. “It must be droll to be there; they
say, one can hardly walk, it is so steady! I put a
question to the sea-green lady before we came to
this narrow inlet, to know when I was to go ashore.”

“And she answered?”

“It was some time, first. Two watches were
past before a word was to be seen; but at last I got
the lines. I believe she mocked me, though I have
never dared show it to my master, that he might

“Hast the words, here?—perhaps we might assist
thee, as there are some among us who know most of
the sea-paths.”

The boy looked timidly and suspiciously around,
and thrusting a hand hurriedly into a pocket, he
drew forth two bits of paper, each of which contained
a scrawl, and both of which had evidently
been much thumbed and studied.

“Here,” he said, in a voice that was suppressed
nearly to a whisper. “This was on the first page. I
was so frightened, lest the lady should be angry, that
I did not look again till the next watch; and then,”
turning the leaf, “I found this.”

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Ludlow took the bit of paper first offered, and
read, written in a child's hand, the following extract:

“I pray thee
Remember, I have done thee worthy service;
Told thee no lies, made no mistakings, serv'd
Without or grudge or grumblings.”

“I thought that 'twas in mockery,” continued the
boy, when he saw by the eye of the young captain
that he had read the quotation; “for 'twas very
like, though more prettily worded, than that which
I had said, myself!”

“And that was the second answer?”

“This was found in the first morning-watch,” the
child returned, reading the second extract himself:

“Thou think'st
It much to tread the ooze of the salt deep,
And run upon the sharp wind of the north!”

“I never dared to ask again. But what matters
that? They say, the ground is rough and difficult
to walk on; that earthquakes shake it, and make
holes to swallow cities; that men slay each other on
the highways for money, and that the houses I see
on the hills must always remain in the same spot. It
must be very melancholy to live always in the same
spot; but then it must be odd, never to feel a motion!”

“Except the occasional rocking of an earthquake!
Thou art better afloat, child;—but thy master, this
Skimmer of the Seas—”

“—Hist!” whispered the boy, raising a finger for
silence. “He has come up into the great cabin. In
a moment, we shall have his signal to enter.”

“A few light touches on the strings of a guitar
followed, and then a symphony was rapidly and
beautifully executed, by one in the adjoining apartment.

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[figure description] Page 191.[end figure description]

“Alida, herself, is not more nimble-fingered,”
whispered the Alderman; “and I never heard the
girl touch the Dutch lute, that cost a hundred Holland
guilders, with a livelier movement!”

Ludlow signed for silence. A fine, manly voice,
of great richness and depth, was soon heard, singing
to an accompaniment on the same instrument. The
air was grave, and altogether unusual for the social
character of one who dwelt upon the ocean, being
chiefly in recitative. The words, as near as might
be distinguished, ran as follows:

My brigantine!
Just in thy mould, and beauteous in thy form,
Gentle in roll, and buoyant on the surge,
Light as the sea-fowl, rocking in the storm,
In breeze and gale, thy onward course we urge;
My Water-Queen!
Lady of mine!
More light and swift than thou, none thread the sea,
With surer keel, or steadier on its path;
We brave each waste of ocean-mystery,
And laugh to hear the howling tempest's wrath!
For we are thine!
My brigantine!
Trust to the mystic power that points thy way,
Trust to the eye that pierces from afar,
Trust the red meteors that around thee play,
And fearless trust the sea-green lady's star;
Thou bark divine!

“He often sings thus,” whispered the boy, when
the song was ended; “for they say, the sea-green
lady loves music that tells of the ocean, and of her
power.—Hark! he has bid me enter.”

“He did but touch the strings of the guitar, again,

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“'Tis his signal, when the weather is fair. When
we have the whistling of the wind, and the roar of
the water, then he has a louder call.”

Ludlow would have gladly listened longer; but
the boy opened a door, and, pointing the way to
those he conducted, he silently vanished himself, behind
a curtain.

The visiters, more particularly the young commander
of the Coquette, found new subjects of admiration
and wonder, on entering the main cabin of
the brigantine. The apartment, considering the size
of the vessel, was spacious and high. It received
light from a couple of windows in the stern, and it
was evident that two smaller rooms, one on each of
the quarters, shared with it in this advantage. The
space between these state-rooms, as they are called
in nautical language, necessarily formed a deep alcove,
which might be separated from the outer portion
of the cabin, by a curtain of crimson damask,
that now hung in festoons from a beam fashioned
into a gilded cornice. A luxuriously-looking pile of
cushions, covered with red morocco, lay along the
transom, in the manner of an eastern divan; and
against the bulk-head of each state-room, stood an
agrippina of mahogany, that was lined with the
same material. Neat and tasteful cases for books
were suspended, here and there; and the guitar
which had so lately been used, lay on a small table
of some precious wood, that occupied the centre of
the alcove. There were also other implements, like
those which occupy the leisure of a cultivated but
perhaps an effeminate rather than a vigorous mind,
scattered around, some evidently long neglected, and
others appearing to have been more recently in

The outer portion of the cabin was furnished in a
similar style, though it contained many more of the
articles that ordinarily belong to domestic economy.

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It had its agrippina, its piles of cushions, its chairs of
beautiful wood, its cases for books, and its neglected
instruments, intermixed with fixtures of a more solid
and permanent appearance, which were arranged to
meet the violent motion that was often unavoidable
in so small a bark. There was a slight hanging of
crimson damask around the whole apartment; and,
here and there, a small mirror was let into the bulk-heads
and ceilings. All the other parts were of a
rich mahogany, relieved by panels of rose-wood, that
gave an appearance of exquisite finish to the cabin.
The floor was covered with a mat of the finest texture,
and of a fragrance that announced both its freshness,
and the fact that the grass had been the growth
of a warm and luxuriant climate. The place, as was
indeed the whole vessel, so far as the keen eye of
Ludlow could detect, was entirely destitute of arms,
not even a pistol, or a sword, being suspended in
those places where weapons of that description are
usually seen, in all vessels employed either in war
or in a trade that might oblige those who sail them
to deal in violence.

In the centre of the alcove stood the youthful-looking
and extraordinary person who, in so unceremonious
a manner, had visited la Cour de Fées the
preceding night. His dress was much the same, in
fashion and material, as when last seen; still, it had
been changed; for on the breast of the silken frock
was painted an image of the sea-green lady, done
with exquisite skill, and in a manner to preserve the
whole of the wild and unearthly character of the
expression. The wearer of this singular ornament
leaned lightly against the little table, and as he bowed
with entire self-possession to his guests, his face
was lighted with a smile, that seemed to betray melancholy,
no less than courtesy. At the same time he
raised his cap, and stood in the rich jet-black locks

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with which Nature had so exuberantly shaded his

The manner of the visiters was less easy. The
deep anxiety with which both Ludlow and the Patroon
had undertaken to board the notorious smuggler,
had given place to an amazement and a curiosity
that caused them nearly to forget their errand; while
Alderman Van Beverout appeared shy and suspicious,
manifestly thinking less of his niece, than of the consequences
of so remarkable an interview. They all
returned the salutation of their host, though each
waited for him to speak.

“They tell me I have the pleasure to receive a
commander of Queen Anne's service, the wealthy
and honorable Patroon of Kinderhook, and a most
worthy and respectable member of the city corporation,
known as Alderman Van Beverout,” commenced
the individual who did the honors of the vessel on
this occasion. “It is not often that my poor brigantine
is thus favored, and, in the name of my mistress,
I would express our thanks.”

As he ceased speaking, he bowed again with ceremonious
gravity, as if all were equally strangers to
him; though the young men saw plainly that a
smothered smile played about a mouth that even
they could not refuse the praise of being of rare and
extraordinary attraction.

“As we have but one mistress,” said Ludlow, “it
is our common duty to wish to do her pleasure.”

“I understand you, Sir. It is scarce necessary to
say, however, that the wife of George of Denmark
has little authority here. Forbear, I pray you,” he
added quickly, observing that Ludlow was about to
answer. “These interviews with the servants of that
lady are not unfrequent; and as I know other matters
have sent you hither, we will imagine all said
that a vigilant officer and a most loyal subject could
utter, to an outlaw and a trifler with the regulations

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of the customs. That controversy must be settled
between us under our canvas, and by virtue of our
speed, or other professional qualities, at proper time
and in a proper place. We will now touch on different

“I think the gentleman is right, Patroon. When
matters are ripe for the Exchequer, there is no use
in worrying the lungs with summing up the testimony,
like a fee'd advocate. Twelve discreet men, who
have bowels of compassion for the vicissitudes of
trade, and who know how hard it is to earn, and how
easy it is to spend, will deal with the subject better
than all the idle talkers in the Provinces.”

“When confronted to the twelve disinterested Daniels,
I shall be fain to submit to their judgment,” rejoined
the other, still suffering the wilful smile to
linger round his lips. “You, Sir, I think, are called
Mr. Myndert Van Beverout.—To what fall in peltry,
or what rise in markets, do I owe the honor of this

“It is said that some from this vessel were so bold
as to land on my grounds, during the past night,
without the knowledge and consent of their owner—.
you will observe the purport of our discourse, Mr.
Van Staats, for it may yet come before the authorities—
as I said, Sir, without their owner's knowledge,
and that there were dealings in articles that are
contraband of law, unless they enter the provinces
purified and embellished by the air of the Queen's
European dominions—God bless Her Majesty!”

“Amen.—That which quitteth the Water-Witch
commonly comes purified by the air of many different
regions. We are no laggards in movement, here;
and the winds of Europe scarcely cease to blow upon
our sails, before we scent the gales of America. But
this is rather Exchequer matter, to be discussed
before the twelve merciful burghers, than entertainment
for such a visit.”

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“I open with the facts, that there may be no
errors. But in addition to so foul an imputation on
the credit of a merchant, there has a great calamity
befallen me and my household, during the past night.
The daughter and heiress of old Etienne de Barbérie
has left her abode, and we have reason to think that
she has been deluded so far as to come hither. Faith
and correspondence! Master Seadrift; but I think
this is exceeding the compass of even a trader in
contraband! I can make allowances for some errors
in an account; but women can be exported and
imported without duty, and when and where one
pleases, and therefore the less necessity for running
them out of their old uncle's habitation, in so secret
a manner.”

“An undeniable position, and a feeling conclusion!
I admit the demand to be made in all form, and I
suppose these two gentlemen are to be considered as
witnesses of its legality.”

“We have come to aid a wronged and distressed
relative and guardian, in searching for his misguided
ward,” Ludlow answered.

The free-trader turned his eyes on the Patroon,
who signified his assent by a silent bow.

“'Tis well, gentlemen; I also admit the testimony.
But though in common believed so worthy a subject
for justice, I have hitherto had but little direct
communication with the blind deity. Do the authorities
usually give credit to these charges, without
some evidence of their truth?”

“Is it denied?”

“You are still in possession of your senses, Captain
Ludlow, and may freely use them. But this is an
artifice to divert pursuit. There are other vessels
beside the brigantine, and a capricious fair may have
sought a protector, even under a pennant of Queen

“This is a truth that has been but too obvious to

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my mind, Mr. Van Beverout,” observed the sententious
Patroon. “It would have been well to have
ascertained whether she we seek has not taken some
less exceptionable course than this, before we hastily
believe that your niece would so easily become the
wife of a stranger.”

“Has Mr. Van Staats any hidden meaning in his
words, that he speaks ambiguously?” demanded

“A man, conscious of his good intentions, has little
occasion to speak equivocally. I believe, with this
reputed smuggler, that la belle Barbérie would be
more likely to fly with one she has long known, and
whom I fear she has but too well esteemed, than
with an utter stranger, over whose life there is cast
a shade of so dark mystery.”

“If the impression that the lady could yield her
esteem with too little discretion, be any excuse for
suspicions, then may I advise a search in the manor
of Kinderhook!”

“Consent and joy! The girl need not have stolen
to church to become the bride of Oloff Van Staats!”
interrupted the Alderman. “She should have had
my benediction on the match, and a fat gift to give
it unction.”

“These suspicions are but natural, between men
bent on the same object,” resumed the free-trader.
“The officer of the Queen thinks a glance of the
eye, from a wilful fair, means admiration of broad
lands and rich meadows; and the lord of the manor
distrusts the romance of warlike service, and the
power of an imagination which roams the sea. Still
may I ask, what is there here, to tempt a proud and
courted beauty to forget station, sex, and friends?”

“Caprice and vanity! There is no answering for
a woman's mind! Here we bring articles, at great
risk and heavy charges, from the farther Indies, to
please their fancies, and they change their modes

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easier than the beaver casts his coat. Their conceits
sadly unsettle trade, and I know not why they
may not cause a wilful girl to do any other act of

“This reasoning seems conclusive with the uncle.
Do the suitors assent to its justice?”

The Patroon of Kinderhook had stood gazing, long
and earnestly, at the countenance of the extraordinary
being who asked this question. A movement,
which bespoke, equally, his conviction and his
regret, escaped him, but he continued silent. Not so
Ludlow. Of a more ardent temperament, though
equally sensible of the temptation which had caused
Alida to err, and as keenly alive to all the consequences
to herself, as well as to others, there was
something of professional rivalry, and of an official
right to investigate, which still mingled with his
feelings. He had found time to examine more closely
the articles that the cabin contained, and when their
singular host put his question, he pointed, with an
ironical but mournful smile, to a footstool richly
wrought in flowers of tints and shades so just as to
seem natural.

“This is no work of a sail-maker's needle!” said
the captain of the Coquette. “Other beauties have
been induced to pass an idle hour in your gay residence,
hardy mariner; but, sooner or later, judgment
will overtake the light-heeled craft.”

“On the wind, or off, she must some day lag, as
we seamen have it! Captain Ludlow, I excuse some
harshness of construction, that your language might
imply; for it becomes a commissioned servant of the
crown, to use freedom with one who, like the lawless
companion of the princely Hal, is but too apt to
propose to `rob me the King's Exchequer.' But, Sir,
this brigantine and her character are little known to
you. We have no need of truant damsels, to let us
into the mystery of the sex's taste; for a female

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spirit guides all our humors, and imparts something
of her delicacy to all our acts, even though it be
the fashion among burghers to call them lawless.
See,” throwing a curtain carelessly aside, and exhibiting,
behind, it, various articles of womanly employment,
“here are the offspring of both pencil and
needle. The sorceress,” touching the image on his
breast, “will not be entertained, without some deference
to her sex.”

“This affair must be arranged, I see, by a compromise,”
observed the Alderman. “By your leave,
gentlemen, I will make proposals in private to this
bold trader, who perhaps will listen to the offers I
have to propose.”

“Ah! This savors more of the spirit of trade
than of that of the sea-goddess I serve,” cried the
other, causing his fingers to run lightly over the
strings of the guitar. “Compromise and offers are
sounds that become a burgher's lips. My tricksy
spirit, commit these gentlemen to the care of bold
Thomas Tiller, while I confer with the merchant.
The character of Mr. Van Beverout, Captain Ludlow,
will protect us both from the suspicion of any
designs on the revenue!”

Laughing at his own allusion, the free-trader
signed to the boy, who had appeared from behind a
curtain, to show the disappointed suitors of la belle
Barbérie into another part of the vessel.

“Foul tongues and calumnies! Master Seadrift,
this unlawful manner of playing round business, after
accounts are settled and receipts passed, may lead
to other loss besides that of character. The commander
of the Coquette is not more than half satisfied
of my ignorance of your misdoings in behalf of
the customs, already; and these jokes are like so
many punches into a smouldering fire, on a dark
night. They only give light, and cause people to see
the clearer:—though, Heaven knows, no man has

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less reason to dread an inquiry into his affairs than
myself! I challenge the best accountant in the colonies
to detect a false footing, or a doubtful entry, in
any book I have, from the Memorandum to the

“The Proverbs are not more sententious, nor the
Psalms half as poetical, as your library. But why
this secret parley?—The brigantine has a swept

“Swept! Brooms and Van Tromp! Thou hast
swept the pavilion of my niece of its mistress, no less
than my purse of its johannes. This is carrying a
little innocent barter into a most forbidden commerce,
and I hope the joke is to end, before the affair gets
to be sweetening to the tea of the Province gossips.
Such a tale would affect the autumn importation of

“This is more vivid than clear. You have my
laces and velvets; my brocades and satins are already
in the hands of the Manhattan dames; and your furs
and johannes are safe where no boarding officer from
the Coquette—”

“Well, there is no need of speaking-trumpets, to
tell a man what he knows already, to his cost! I
should expect no less than bankruptcy from two or
three such bargains, and you wish to add loss of
character to loss of gold. Bulk-heads have ears in
a ship, as well as walls in houses. I wish no more
said of the trifling traffic that has been between us.
If I lose a thousand florins by the operation, I shall
know how to be resigned. Patience and afflictions!
Have I not buried as full-fed and promising a gelding
this morning, as ever paced a pavement, and has any
man heard a complaint from my lips? I know how
to meet losses, I hope; and so no more of an unlucky

“Truly, if it be not for trade, there is little in

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common between the mariners of the brigantine and
Alderman Van Beverout.”

“The greater the necessity thou shouldst end this
silly joke, and restore his niece. I am not sure the
affair can be at all settled with either of these hot-headed
young men, though I should even offer to
throw in a few thousands more, by way of make-weight.
When female reputation gets a bad name
in the market, 'tis harder to dispose of than falling
stock; and your young lords of manors and commanders
of cruisers have stomachs like usurers; no
per centage will satisfy them; it must be all, or nothing!
There was no such foolery in the days of thy
worthy father! The honest trafficker brought his
cutter into port, with as innocent a look as a mill-boat.
We had our discourses on the qualities of his
wares, when here was his price, and there was my
gold. Odd or even! It was all a chance which had
the best of the bargain. I was a thriving man in
those days, Master Seadrift; but thy spirit seems the
spirit of extortion itself!”

There was momentarily contempt on the lip of
the handsome smuggler, but it disappeared in an expression
of evident and painful sadness.

“Thou hast softened my heart, ere now, most
liberal burgher,” he answered, “by these allusions
to my parent; and many is the doubloon that I have
paid for his eulogies.”

“I speak as disinterestedly as a parson preaches!
What is a trifle of gold between friends? Yes, there
was happiness in trade during the time of thy predecessor.
He had a comely and a deceptive craft,
that might be likened to an untrimmed racer. There
was motion in it, at need, and yet it had the air of
a leisurely Amsterdammer. I have known an Exchequer
cruiser hail him, and ask the news of the
famous free-trader, with as little suspicion as he
would have in speaking the Lord High Admiral!

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There were no fooleries in his time; no unseemly
hussies stuck under his bowsprit, to put an honest
man out of countenance; no high-fliers in sail and
paint; no singing and luting—but all was rational and
gainful barter. Then, he was a man to ballast his
boat with something valuable. I have known him
throw in fifty ankers of gin, without a farthing for
freight, when a bargain has been struck for the finer
articles—ay, and finish by landing them in England,
for a small premium, when the gift was made!”

“He deserves thy praise, grateful Alderman; but
to what conclusion does this opening tend?”

“Well, if more gold must pass between us,” continued
the reluctant Myndert, “we shall not waste
time in counting it; though, Heaven knows, Master
Seadrift, thou hast already drained me dry. Losses
have fallen heavy on me, of late. There is a gelding,
dead, that fifty Holland ducats will not replace on
the boom-key of Rotterdam, to say nothing of freight
and charges, which come particularly heavy—”

“Speak to thy offer!” interrupted the other, who
evidently wished to shorten the interview.

“Restore the girl, and take five-and-twenty thin

“Half-price for a Flemish gelding! La Belle would
blush, with honest pride, did she know her value in
the market!”

“Extortion and bowels of compassion! Let it be
a hundred, and no further words between us.”

“Harkee, Mr. Van Beverout; that I sometimes
trespass on the Queen's earnings, is not to be denied,
and least of all to you; for I like neither this manner
of ruling a nation by deputy, nor the principle which
says that one bit of earth is to make laws for another.
'Tis not my humor, Sir, to wear an English cotton
when my taste is for the Florentine; nor to swallow
beer, when I more relish the delicate wines of Gascony.
Beyond this, thou knowest I do not trifle,

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even with fancied rights; and had I fifty of thy
nieces, sacks of ducats should not purchase one!”

The Alderman stared, in a manner that might
have induced a spectator to believe he was listening
to an incomprehensible proposition. Still his
companion spoke with a warmth that gave him no
small reason to believe he uttered no more than he
felt, and, inexplicable as it might prove, that he
valued treasure less than feeling.

“Obstinacy and extravagance!” muttered Myndert;
“what use can a troublesome girl be to one of
thy habits? If thou hast deluded—”

“I have deluded none. The brigantine is not an
Algerine, to ask and take ransom.”

“Then let it submit to what I believe it is yet a
stranger. If thou hast not enticed my niece away, by,
Heaven knows, a most vain delusion! let the vessel be
searched. This will make the minds of the young
men tranquil, and keep the treaty open between us,
and the value of the article fixed in the market.”

“Freely:—but mark! If certain bales containing
worthless furs of martens and beavers, with other
articles of thy colony trade, should discover the character
of my correspondents, I stand exonerated of all
breach of faith.”

“There is prudence in that.—Yes, there must be
no impertinent eyes peeping into bales and packages.
Well, I see, Master Seadrift, the impossibility of immediately
coming to an understanding; and therefore
I will quit thy vessel, for truly a merchant of reputation
should have no unnecessary connexion with
one so suspected.”

The free-trader smiled, partly in scorn and yet
much in sadness, and passed his fingers over the
strings of the guitar.

“Show this worthy burgher to his friends, Zephyr,”
he said; and, bowing to the Alderman, he dismissed
him in a manner that betrayed a singular compound

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of feeling. One quick to discover the traces of human
passion, might have fancied, that regret, and
even sorrow, were powerfully blended with the natural
or assumed recklessness of the smuggler's air and


“This will prove a brave kingdom to me;
Where I shall have my music, for nothing!”

During the time past in the secret conference of
the cabin, Ludlow and the Patroon were held in discourse
on the quarter-deck, by the hero of the India-shawl.
The dialogue was professional, as Van Staats
maintained his ancient reputation for taciturnity.
The appearance of Myndert, thoughtful, disappointed,
and most evidently perplexed, caused the ideas of all
to take a new direction. It is probable that the
burgher believed he had not yet bid enough to
tempt the free-trader to restore his niece; for, by
his air, it was apparent his mind was far from being
satisfied that she was not in the vessel. Still, when
questioned by his companions concerning the result
of his interview with the free-trader, for reasons best
understood by himself, he was fain to answer evasively.

“Of one thing rest satisfied,” he said; “the misconception
in this affair will yet be explained, and
Alida Barbérie return unfettered, and with a character
as free from blemish as the credit of the Van
Stoppers of Holland. The fanciful-looking person in
the cabin denies that my niece is here, and I am inclined
to think the balance of truth is on his side.

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I confess, if one could just look into the cabins, without
the trouble of rummaging lockers and cargo, the
statement would give more satisfaction; but—hem—
gentlemen, we must take the assertion on credit, for
want of more sufficient security.

Ludlow looked at the cloud above the mouth of
the Raritan, and his lip curled in a haughty smile.

“Let the wind hold here, at east,” he said, “and
we shall act our pleasure, with both lockers and

“Hist! the worthy Master Tiller may overhear
this threat—and, after all, I do not know whether
prudence does not tell us, to let the brigantine

“Mr. Alderman Van Beverout,” rejoined the Captain,
whose cheek had reddened to a glow, “my duty
must not be gauged by your affection for your niece.
Though content that Alida Barbérie should quit the
country, like an article of vulgar commerce, the
commander of this vessel must get a passport of Her
Majesty's cruiser, ere she again enter the high sea.”

“Wilt say as much to the sea-green lady?” asked
the mariner of the shawl, suddenly appearing at his

The question was so unexpected and so strange,
that it caused an involuntary start; but, recovering
his recollection on the instant, the young sailor
haughtily replied—

“Or to any other monster thou canst conjure!”

“We will take you at the word. There is no
more certain method of knowing the past or the
future, the quarter of the heavens from which the
winds are to come, or the season of the hurricanes,
than by putting a question to our mistress. She who
knows so much of hidden matters, may tell us what
you wish to know. We will have her called, by the
usual summons.”

Thus saying, the mariner of the shawl gravely

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quitted his guests, and descended into the inferior
cabins of the vessel. It was but a moment, before
there arose sounds from some secret though not distant
quarter of the brigantine, that caused, in some
measure, both surprise and pleasure to Ludlow and
the Patroon. Their companion had his motives for
being insensible to either of these emotions.

After a short and rapid symphony, a wind-instrument
took up a wild strain, while a human voice was
again heard chanting to the music, words which
were so much involved by the composition of the air,
as to render it impossible to trace more than that
their burthen was a sort of mysterious incantation of
some ocean deity.

“Squeaking and flutes!” grumbled Myndert, ere
the last sounds were fairly ended. “This is down-right
heathenish; and a plain-dealing man, who does
business above-board, has good reason to wish himself
honestly at church. What have we to do with
land-witches, or water-witches, or any other witch-craft,
that we stay in the brigantine, now it is known
that my niece is not to be found aboard her; and,
moreover, even admitting that we were disposed to
traffic, the craft has nothing in her that a man of
Manhattan should want. The deepest bog of thy
manor, Patroon, is safer ground to tread on, than the
deck of a vessel that has got a reputation like that
of this craft.”

The scenes of which he was a witness, had produced
a powerful effect on Van Staats of Kinderhook.
Of a slow imagination, but of a powerful and vast
frame, he was not easily excited, either to indulge in
fanciful images, or to suffer personal apprehension.
Only a few years had passed since men, who in other
respects were enlightened, firmly believed in the existence
of supernatural agencies in the control of the
affairs of this life; and though the New-Netherlanders
had escaped the infatuation which prevailed so

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generally in the religious provinces of New-England,
a credulous superstition, of a less active quality, possessed
the minds of the most intelligent of the Dutch
colonists, and even of their descendants so lately as
in our own times. The art of divination was particularly
in favor; and it rarely happened, that any
inexplicable event affected the fortunes or comforts
of the good provincialists, without their having recourse
to some one of the more renowned fortune-tellers
of the country, for an explanation. Men of
slow faculties love strong excitement, because they
are insensible to less powerful impulses, as men of
hard heads find most enjoyment in strong liquors.
The Patroon was altogether of the sluggish cast; and
to him there was consequently a secret, but deep
pleasure, in his present situation.

“What important results may flow from this adventure,
we know not, Mr. Alderman Van Beverout,”
returned Oloff Van Staats; “and I confess a desire
to see and hear more, before we land. This `Skimmer
of the Sea's is altogether a different man from
what our rumors in the city have reported; and, by
remaining, we may set public opinion nearer to the
truth. I have heard my late venerable aunt—”

“Chimney-corners and traditions! The good lady
was no bad customer of these gentry, Patroon; and
it is lucky that they got no more of thy inheritance,
in the way of fees. You see the Lust in Rust against
the mountain there; well, all that is meant for the
public is on the outside, and all that is intended for
my own private gratification is kept within-doors.
But here is Captain Ludlow, who has matters of the
Queen on his hands, and the gentleman will find it
disloyal to waste the moments in this juggling.”

“I confess the same desire to witness the end,”
dryly returned the commander of the Coquette.
“The state of the wind prevents any immediate
change in the positions of the two vessels; and why

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not get a farther insight into the extraordinary character
of those who belong to the brigantine?”

“Ay, there it is!” muttered the Alderman between
his teeth. “Your insights and outsights lead
to all the troubles of life. One is never snug with
these fantastics, which trifle with a secret, like a fly
fluttering round a candle, until his wings get burnt.”

As his companions seemed resolved to stay, however,
there remained no alternative for the burgher,
but patience. Although apprehension of some indiscreet
exposure was certainly the feeling uppermost
in his mind, he was not entirely without some of the
weakness which caused Oloff Van Staats to listen
and to gaze with so much obvious interest and secret
awe. Even Ludlow, himself, felt more affected than
he would have willing owned, by the extraordinary
situation in which he was placed. No man is entirely
insensible to the influence of sympathy, let it
exert its power in what manner it will. Of this the
young sailor was the more conscious, through the
effect that was produced on himself, by the grave
exterior and attentive manner of all the mariners
of the brigantine. He was a seaman of no mean
accomplishments; and, among other attainments that
properly distinguish men of his profession, he had
learned to know the country of a sailor, by those
general and distinctive marks which form the principal
difference between men whose common pursuit
has in so great a degree created a common character.
Intelligence, at that day, was confined to narrow
limits among those who dwelt on the ocean.
Even the officer was but too apt to be one of rude
and boisterous manners, of limited acquirements,
and of deep and obstinate prejudices. No wonder,
then, that the common man was, in general, ignorant
of most of those opinions which gradually enlighten
society. Ludlow had seen, on entering the
vessel, that her crew was composed of men of

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different countries. Age and personal character seemed
to have been more consulted, in their selection, than
national distinctions. There was a Finlander, with
a credulous and oval physiognomy, sturdy but short
frame, and a light vacant eye; and a dark-skinned
seaman of the Mediterranean, whose classical outline
of feature was often disturbed by uneasy and
sensitive glances at the horizon. These two men had
come and placed themselves near the group on the
quarter-deck, when the last music was heard; and
Ludlow had ascribed the circumstance to a sensibility
to melody, when the child Zephyr stole to their side,
in a manner to show that more was meant by the
movement than was apparent in the action itself.
The appearance of Tiller, who invited the party to
re-enter the cabin, explained its meaning, by showing
that these men, like themselves, had business
with the being, who, it was pretended, had so great
an agency in controlling the fortunes of the brigantine.

The party, who now passed into the little anteroom,
was governed by very different sensations.
The curiosity of Ludlow was lively, fearless, and a
little mingled with an interest that might be termed
professional; while that of his two companions was
not without some inward reverence for the mysterious
power of the sorceress. The two seamen manifested
dull dependence, while the boy exhibited, in
his ingenuous and half-terrified countenance, most
unequivocally the influence of childish awe. The
mariner of the shawl was grave, silent, and, what
was unusual in his deportment, respectful. After
a moment's delay, the door of the inner apartment
was opened by Seadrift himself, and he signed for the
whole to enter.

A material change had been made in the arrangement
of the principal cabin. The light was entirely
excluded from the stern, and the crimson curtain had

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been lowered before the alcove. A small window,
whose effect was to throw a dim obscurity within,
had been opened in the side. The objects on which
its light fell strongest, received a soft coloring from
the hues of the hangings.

The free-trader received his guests with a chastened
air, bowing silently, and with less of levity in
his mien than in the former interview. Still Ludlow
thought there lingered a forced but sad smile
about his handsome mouth; and the Patroon gazed
at his fine features, with the admiration that one
might feel for the most favored of those who were
believed to administer at some supernatural shrine.
The feelings of the Alderman were exhibited only by
some half-suppressed murmurs of discontent, that
from time to time escaped him, notwithstanding a
certain degree of reverence, that was gradually prevailing
over his ill-concealed dissatisfaction.

“They tell me, you would speak with our mistress,”
said the principal personage of the vessel, in
a subdued voice. “There are others, too, it would
seem, who wish to seek counsel from her wisdom.
It is now many months since we have had direct
converse with her, though the book is ever open to
all applicants for knowledge. You have nerves for
the meeting?”

“Her Majesty's enemies have never reproached
me with their want,” returned Ludlow, smiling incredulously.
“Proceed with your incantations, that
we may know.”

“We are not necromancers, Sir, but faithful mariners,
who do their mistress's pleasure. I know that
you are sceptical; but bolder men have confessed
their mistakes, with less testimony. Hist! we are
not alone. I hear the opening and shutting of the
brigantine's transoms.”

The speaker then fell back nearly to the line in
which the others had arranged themselves, and

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awaited the result in silence. The curtain rose to a low
air on the same wind-instrument; and even Ludlow
felt an emotion more powerful than interest, as he
gazed on the object that was revealed to view.

A female form, attired, as near as might be, like
the figure-head of the vessel, and standing in a similar
attitude, occupied the centre of the alcove. As
in the image, one hand held a book with its page
turned towards the spectators, while a finger of the
other pointed ahead, as if giving to the brigantine its
course. The sea-green drapery was floating behind,
as if it felt the influence of the air; and the face had
the same dark and unearthly hue, with its malign
and remarkable smile.

When the start and the first gaze of astonishment
were over, the Alderman and his companions glanced
their eyes at each other, in wonder. The smile on
the look of the free-trader became less hidden, and
it partook of triumph.

“If any here has aught to say to the lady of our
bark, let him now declare it. She has come far, at
our call, and will not tarry long.”

“I would then know,” said Ludlow, drawing a
heavy breath, like one recovering from some sudden
and powerful sensation, “if she I seek be within the

He who acted the part of mediator in this extraordinary
ceremony, bowed and advanced to the book,
which, with an air of deep reverence, he consulted,
reading, or appearing to read, from its pages.

“You are asked here, in return for that you inquire,
if she you seek is sought in sincerity?”

Ludlow reddened; the manliness of the profession
to which he belonged, however, overcame the reluctance
natural to self-esteem; and he answered,

“She is.”

“But you are a mariner; men of the sea place

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their affections, often, on the fabric in which they
dwell. Is the attachment for her you seek, stronger
than love of wandering, of your ship, your youthful
expectations, and the glory that forms a young soldier's

The commander of the Coquette hesitated. After
a moment of pause, like that of self-examination, he

“As much so, as may become a man.”

A cloud crossed the brow of his interrogator, who
advanced and again consulted the pages of the book.

“You are required to say, if a recent event has
not disturbed your confidence in her you seek?”

“Disturbed—but not destroyed.”

The sea-green lady moved, and the pages of the
mysterious volume trembled, as if eager to deliver
their oracles.

“And could you repress curiosity, pride, and all
the other sentiments of your sex, and seek her favor,
without asking explanation, as before the occurrence
of late events?”

“I would do much to gain a kind look from Alida
de Barbérie; but the degraded spirit, of which you
speak, would render me unworthy of her esteem.
If I found her as I lost her, my life should be devoted
to her happiness; and if not, to mourning that one
so fair should have fallen!”

“Have you ever felt jealousy?”

“First let me know if I have cause?” cried the
young man, advancing a step towards the motionless
form, with an evident intent to look closer into its

The hand of the mariner of the shawl arrested
him, with the strength of a giant.

“None trespass on the respect due our mistress,”
coolly observed the vigorous seaman, while he motioned
to the other to retreat.

A fierce glance shot from his eye; and then the

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recollection of his present helplessness came, in season,
to restrain the resentment of the offended officer.

“Have you ever felt jealousy?” continued his undisturbed

“Would any love, that have not?”

A gentle respiration was heard in the cabin, during
the short pause that succeeded, though none could
tell whence it came. The Alderman turned to regard
the Patroon, as if he believed the sigh was his;
while the startled Ludlow looked curiously around
him, at a loss to know who acknowledged, with so
much sensibility, the truth of his reply.

“Your answers are well,” resumed the free-trader,
after a pause longer than usual. Then, turning to
Oloff Van Staats, he said, “Whom, or what, do you

“We come on a common errand.”

“And do you seek in all sincerity?”

“I could wish to find.”

“You are rich in lands and houses; is she you
seek, dear to you as this wealth?”

“I esteem them both, since one could not wish to
tie a woman he admired to beggary.”

The Alderman hemmed so loud as to fill the cabin,
and then, startled at his own interruption, he involuntarily
bowed an apology to the motionless form in
the alcove, and regained his composure.

“There is more of prudence than of ardor in
your answer. Have you ever felt jealousy?”

“That has he!” eagerly exclaimed Myndert.
“I've known the gentleman raving as a bear that
has lost its cub, when my niece has smiled, in church,
for instance, though it were only in answer to a nod
from an old lady. Philosophy and composure, Patroon!
Who the devil knows, but Alida may hear of
this questioning?—and then her French blood will
boil, to find that your love has always gone as regularly
as a town-clock.”

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“Could you receive her, without inquiring into
past events?”

“That would he—that would he!” returned the
Alderman. “I answer for it, that Mr. Van Staats
complies with all engagements, as punctually as the
best house in Amsterdam, itself.”

The book again trembled, but it was with a
waving and dissatisfied motion.

“What is thy will with our mistress?” demanded
the free-trader, of the fair-haired sailor.

“I have bargained with some of the dealers of my
country, for a wind to carry the brigantine through
the inlet.”

“Go.—The Water-Witch will sail when there is
need;—and you?”

“I wish to know whether a few skins I bought
last night, for a private venture, will turn to good

“Trust the sea-green lady for your profits. When
did she ever let any fail, in a bargain. Child, what
has brought thee hither?”

The boy trembled, and a little time elapsed before
he found resolution to answer.

“They tell me it is so queer to be upon the land!”

“Sirrah! thou hast been answered. When others
go, thou shalt go with them.”

“They say 'tis pleasant to taste the fruits from off
the very trees—”

“Thou art answered. Gentlemen, our mistress
departs. She knows that one among you has threatened
her favorite brigantine with the anger of an
earthly Queen; but it is beneath her office to reply
to threats so idle. Hark! her attendants are in

The wind-instrument was once more heard, and
the curtain slowly fell to its strains. A sudden and
violent noise, resembling the opening and shutting of
some massive door, succeeded—and then all was still.

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When the sorceress had disappeared, the free-trader
resumed his former ease of manner, seeming to speak
and act more naturally. Alderman Van Beverout
drew a long breath, like one relieved; and even the
mariner of the gay shawl stood in an easier and more
reckless attitude than while in her presence. The
two seamen and the child withdrew.

“Few who wear that livery have ever before
seen the lady of our brigantine,” continued the free-trader,
addressing himself to Ludlow; “and it is
proof that she has less aversion to your cruiser, than
she in common feels to most of the long pennants
that are abroad on the water.”

“Thy mistress, thy vessel, and thyself, are alike
amusing!” returned the young seaman, again smiling
incredulously, and with some little official pride. “It
will be well, if you maintain this pleasantry much
longer, at the expense of Her Majesty's customs.”

“We trust to the power of the Water-Witch.
She has adopted our brigantine as her abode, given
it her name, and guides it with her hand. 'Twould
be weak to doubt, when thus protected.”

“There may be occasion to try her virtues. Were
she a spirit of the deep waters, her robe would be
blue. Nothing of a light draught can escape the

“Dost not know that the color of the sea differs
in different climes? We fear not, but you would
have answers to your questions. Honest Tiller will
carry you all to the land, and, in passing, the book
may again be consulted. I doubt not she will leave
us some further memorial of her visit.”

The free-trader then bowed, and retired behind
the curtain, with the air of a sovereign dismissing
his visiters from an audience; though his eye glanced
curiously behind him, as he disappeared, as if to
trace the effect which had been produced by the interview.
Alderman Van Beverout and his friends

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were in the boat again, before a syllable was exchanged
between them. They had followed the
mariner of the shawl, in obedience to his signal; and
they quitted the side of the beautiful brigantine,
like men who pondered on what they had just witnessed.

Enough has been betrayed, in the course of the
narrative, perhaps, to show that Ludlow distrusted,
though he could not avoid wondering at, what he
had seen. He was not entirely free from the superstition
that was then so common among seamen;
but his education and native good sense enabled
him, in a great measure, to extricate his imagination
from that love of the marvellous, which is more or
less common to all. He had fifty conjectures concerning
the meaning of what had passed, and not
one of them was true; though each, at the instant,
seemed to appease his curiosity, while it quickened
his resolution to pry further into the affair. As for
the Patroon of Kinderhook, the present day was one
of rare and unequalled pleasure. He had all the
gratification which strong excitement can produce
in slow natures; and he neither wished a solution of
his doubts, nor contemplated any investigation that
might destroy so agreeable an illusion. His fancy
was full of the dark countenance of the sorceress;
and when it did not dwell on a subject so unnatural,
it saw the handsome features, ambiguous smile, and
attractive air, of her scarcely less admirable minister.

As the boat got to a little distance from the vessel,
Tiller stood erect, and ran his eye complacently
over the perfection of her hull and rigging.

“Our mistress has equipped and sent upon the
wide and unbeaten sea, many a bark,” he said;
“but never a lovelier than our own!—Captain Ludlow,
there has been some double-dealing between us;
but that which is to follow, shall depend on our skill,

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seamanship, and the merits of the two crafts. You
serve Queen Anne, and I the sea-green lady. Let
each be true to his mistress, and Heaven preserve
the deserving!—Wilt see the book, before we make
the trial?”

Ludlow intimated his assent, and the boat approached
the figure-head. It was impossible to prevent
the feeling, which each of our three adventurers,
not excepting the Alderman, felt when they
came in full view of the motionless image. The mysterious
countenance appeared endowed with thought,
and the malign smile seemed still more ironical than

“The first question was yours, and yours must be
the first answer,” said Tiller, motioning for Ludlow to
consult the page which was open. “Our mistress deals
chiefly in verses from the old writer, whose thoughts
are almost as common to us all, as to human nature.”

“What means this?” said Ludlow, hastily—

“She, Claudio, that you wrong'd, look, you restore.
—love her Angelo;
I have confess'd her, and I know her virtue.”

“These are plain words; but I would rather that
another priest should shrive her whom I love!”

“Hist!—Young blood is swift and quickly heated.
Our lady of the bark will not relish hot speech, over
her oracles.—Come, Master Patroon, turn the page
with the rattan, and see what fortune will give.”

Oloff Van Staats raised his powerful arm, with
the hesitation, and yet with the curiosity, of a girl.
It was easy to read in his eye, the pleasure his heavy
nature felt in the excitement; and yet it was easy
to detect the misgivings of an erroneous education,
by the seriousness of all the other members of his
countenance. He read aloud—

“I have a motion much imports your good;
Whereto, if you'll a willing ear incline,

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What's mine is yours, and what is yours is mine:—
So bring us to our palace, where we'll show,
What's yet behind, that's meet you all should know.”

Measure For Measure.

“Fair-dealing, and fairer speech! `What's yours
is mine, and what is mine is yours,' is Measure for
Measure, truly, Patroon!” cried the Alderman. “A
more equitable bargain cannot be made, when the
assets are of equal value. Here is encouragement,
in good sooth; and now, Master Mariner, we will
land and proceed to the Lust in Rust, which must be
the place meant in the verses. `What's yet behind,'
must be Alida, the tormenting baggage! who has
been playing hide-and-seek with us, for no other
reason than to satisfy her womanish vanity, by showing
how uncomfortable she could make three grave
and responsible men. Let the boat go, Master Tiller,
since that is thy name; and many thanks for thy

“Twould give grave offence to leave the lady,
without knowing all she has to say. The answer
now concerns you, worthy Alderman; and the rattan
will do its turn, in your hand, as well as in that of

“I despise a pitiful curiosity, and content myself
with knowing what chance and good luck teach,”
returned Myndert. “There are men in Manhattan
ever prying into their neighbors' credit, like frogs
lying with their noses out of water; but it is enough
for me to know the state of my books, with some
insight into that of the market.”

“It will not do.—This may appease a quiet conscience,
like your own, Sir; but we of the brigantine
may not trifle with our mistress. One touch of the
rattan will tell you, whether these visits to the Water-Witch
are likely to prove to your advantage.”

Myndert wavered. It has been said, that, like
most others of his origin in the colony, he had a

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secret leaning to the art of divination: and the words
of the hero of the shawl contained a flattering allusion
to the profits of his secret commerce. He took
the offered stick, and, by the time the page was
turned, his eyes were ready enough to consult its contents.
There was but a line, which was also quoted
as coming from the well-known comedy of `Measure
for Measure.'

“Proclaim it, Provost, round about the city.”

In his eagerness Myndert read the oracle aloud,
and then he sunk into his seat, affecting to laugh at
the whole as a childish and vain conceit.

“Proclamation, me, no proclamations! Is it a time
of hostilities, or of public danger, that one should go
shouting with his tidings through the streets? Measure
for Measure, truly! Harkee, Master Tiller, this
sea-green trull of thine is no better than she should
be; and unless she mends her manner of dealing, no
honest man will be found willing to be seen in her
company. I am no believer in necromancy—though
the inlet has certainly opened this year, altogether
in an unusual manner—and therefore I put little
faith in her words; but as for saying aught of me
or mine, in town or country, Holland or America,
that can shake my credit, why I defy her! Still, I
would not willingly have any idle stories to contradict;
and I shall conclude by saying, you will do well
to stop her mouth.”

“Stop a hurricane, or a tornado! Truth will come
in her book, and he that reads must expect to see it—
Captain Ludlow, you are master of your movements,
again; for the inlet is no longer between you
and your cruiser. Behind you hillock is the boat and
crew you missed. The latter expect you. And now,
gentlemen, we leave the rest to the green lady's
guidance, our own good skill, and the winds! I salute

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The moment his companions were on the shore,
the hero of the shawl caused his boat to quit it; and
in less than five minutes it was seen swinging, by its
tackles, at the stern of the brigantine.


“—like Arion on the dolphin's back,
I saw him hold acquaintance with the waves,
So long as I could see.”

There was one curious though half-confounded
observer of all that passed in and around the Cove,
on the morning in question. This personage was no
other than the slave called Bonnie, who was the
factotum of his master, over the demesnes of the
Lust in Rust, during the time when the presence of
the Alderman was required in the city; which was,
in truth, at least four-fifths of the year. Responsibility
and confidence had produced their effect on
this negro, as on more cultivated minds. He had
been used to act in situations of care; and practice
had produced a habit of vigilance and observation,
that was not common in men of his unfortunate condition.
There is no moral truth more certain, than
that men, when once accustomed to this species of
domination, as readily submit their minds, as their
bodies, to the control of others. Thus it is, that we
see entire nations maintaining so many erroneous
maxims, merely because it has suited the interests of
those who do the thinking, to give forth these fallacies
to their followers. Fortunately, however, for the
improvement of the race and the advancement of
truth, it is only necessary to give a man an

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opportunity to exercise his natural faculties, in order to
make him a reflecting, and, in some degree, an independent
being. Such, though to a very limited extent,
certainly, had been the consequence, in the
instance of the slave just mentioned.

How far Bonnie had been concerned in the proceedings
between his master and the mariners of the
brigantine, it is unnecessary to say. Little passed at
the villa, of which he was ignorant; and as curiosity,
once awakened, increases its own desire for indulgence,
could he have had his wish, little would have
passed anywhere, near him, without his knowing
something of its nature and import. He had seen,
while seemingly employed with his hoe in the garden
of the Alderman, the trio conveyed by Erasmus
across the inlet; had watched the manner in which
they followed its margin to the shade of the oak, and
had seen them enter the brigantine, as related. That
this extraordinary visit on board a vessel which was
in common shrouded by so much mystery, had given
rise to much and unusual reflection in the mind of
the black, was apparent by the manner in which he
so often paused in his labor, and stood leaning on the
handle of his hoe, like one who mused. He had
never known his master so far overstep his usual
caution, as to quit the dwelling, during the occasional
visits of the free-trader; and yet he had now gone
as it were into the very jaws of the lion, accompanied
by the commander of a royal cruiser himself. No
wonder, then, that the vigilance of the negro became
still more active, and that not even the slightest
circumstance was suffered to escape his admiring
eye. During the whole time consumed by the visit
related in the preceding chapter, not a minute had
been suffered to pass, without an inquiring look in
the direction, either of the brigantine, or of the
adjacent shore.

It is scarcely necessary to say how keen the

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attention of the slave became, when his master and his
companions were seen to return to the land. They
immediately ascended to the foot of the oak, and
then there was a long and apparently a serious conference
between them. During this consultation, the
negro dropped the end of his hoe, and never suffered
his gaze, for an instant, to alter its direction. Indeed,
he scarcely drew breath, until the whole party quitted
the spot together, and buried themselves in the thicket
that covered the cape, taking the direction of its
outer or northern extremity, instead of retiring by
the shore of the Cove, towards the inlet. Then
Bonnie respire heavily, and began to look about
him at the other objects that properly belonged to
the interest of the scene.

The brigantine had run up her boat, and she now
lay, as when first seen, a motionless, beautiful, and
exquisitely graceful fabric, without the smallest sign
about her of an intention to move, or indeed without
exhibiting any other proof, except in her admirable
order and symmetry, that any of human powers
dwelt within her hull. The royal cruiser, though
larger and of far less aerial mould and fashion, presented
the same picture of repose. The distance between
the two was about a league; and Bonnie was
sufficiently familiar with the formation, of the land
and of the position of the vessels, to be quite aware
that this inactivity on the part of those whose duty
it was to protect the rights of the Queen, proceeded
from their utter ignorance of the proximity of their
neighbor. The thicket which bounded the Cove,
and the growth of oaks and pines that stretched
along the narrow sandy spit of land quite to its extremity,
sufficiently accounted for the fact. The
negro, therefore, after gazing for several minutes at
the two immovable vessels, turned his eye askance
on the earth, shook his head, and then burst into a
laugh, which was so noisy that it caused his sable

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partner to thrust her vacant and circular countenance
through an open window of the scullery of
the villa, to demand the reason of a merriment that
to her faithful feelings appeared to be a little unsocial.

“Hey! you alway' keep 'e queer t'ing to heself,
Bonnie, but!” cried the vixen. “I'm werry glad to
see old bones like a hoe; an' I wonner dere ar' time
to laugh, wid 'e garden full of weed!”

“Grach!” exclaimed the negro, stretching out an
arm in a forensic attitude; “what a black woman
know of politic! If a hab time to talk, better cook
a dinner. Tell one t'ing, Phyllis, and that be dis;
vy 'e ship of Captain Ludlow no lif' 'e anchor, an'
come take dis rogue in 'e Cove? can a tell dat much,
or no?—If no, let a man, who understan' heself,
laugh much as he like. A little fun no harm Queen
Anne, nor kill 'e Gubbenor!”

“All work and no sleep make old bone ache, Bonnie,
but!” returned the consort. “Ten o'clock—
twelve o'clock—t'ree o'clock, and no bed; vell I see
'e sun afore a black fool put 'e head on a pillow!—
An' now a hoe go all 'e same as if he sleep a ten
hour. Masser Myn'ert got a heart, and he no wish
to kill he people wid work, or old Phyllis war' dead,
fifty year, next winter.”

“I t'ink a wench's tongue nebber satisfy! What
for tell a whole world, when Bonnie go to bed? He
sleep for herself, and he no sleep for 'e neighborhood!
Dere! A man can't t'ink of ebery t'ing, in a
minute. Here a ribbon long enough to hang heself—
take him, and den remem'er, Phyllis, dat you
be 'e wife of a man who hab care on he shoul'er.”

Bonnie then set up another laugh, in which his
partner, having quitted her scullery to seize the gift,
which in its colors resembled the skin of a garter-snake,
did not fail to join, through mere excess of
animal delight. The effect of the gift, however, was

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to leave the negro to make his observations, without
any further interruption from one who was a little
too apt to disturb his solitude.

A boat was now seen to pull out from among the
bushes that lined the shore; and Bonnie was enabled
to distinguish, in its stern-sheets, the persons of his
master, Ludlow, and the Patroon. He had been acquainted
with the seizure of the Coquette's barge,
the preceding night, and of the confinement of the
crew. Its appearance in that place, therefore, occasioned
no new surprise. But the time which past
while the men were rowing up to the sloop-of-war,
was filled with minutes of increasing interest. The
black abandoned his hoe, and took a position on the
side of the mountain, that gave him a view of the
whole bay. So long as the mysteries of the Lust in
Rust had been confined to the ordinary combinations
of a secret trade, he had been fully able to comprehend
them; but now that there apparently existed
an alliance so unnatural as one between his master
and the cruiser of the crown, he felt the necessity
of double observation and of greater thought.

A far more enlightened mind than that of the slave,
might have been excited by the expectation, and the
objects which now presented themselves, especially
if sufficiently prepared for events, by a knowledge of
the two vessels in sight. Though the wind still hung
at east, the cloud above the mouth of the Raritan
had at length begun to rise. The broad fleeces of
white vapor, that had lain the whole morning over
the continent, were rapidly uniting; and they formed
already a dark and dense mass, that floated in the
bottom of the estuary, threatening shortly to roll
over the whole of its wide waters. The air was
getting lighter, and variable; and while the wash of
the surf sounded still more audible, its roll upon the
beach was less regular than in the earlier hours of
the day. Such was the state of the two elements,

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when the boat touched the side of the ship. In a
minute it was hanging by its tackles, high in the air;
and then it disappeared, in the bosom of the dark

It far exceeded the intelligence of Bonnie to detect,
now, any further signs of preparation, in either
of the two vessels, which absorbed the whole of his
attention. They appeared to him to be alike without
motion, and equally without people. There were,
it is true, a few specks in the rigging of the Coquette,
which might be men; but the distance prevented
him from being sure of the fact; and, admitting them
to be seamen busied aloft, there were no visible consequences
of their presence, that his uninstructed
eye could trace. In a minute or two, even these
scattered specks were seen no longer; though the
attentive black thought that the mast-heads and the
rigging beneath the tops thickened, as if surrounded
by more than their usual mazes of ropes. At that
moment of suspense, the cloud over the Raritan
emitted a flash, and the sound of distant thunder
rolled along the water. This seemed to be a signal
for the cruiser; for when the eye of Bonnie, which
had been directed to the heavens, returned towards
the ship, he saw that she had opened and hoisted her
three topsails, seemingly with as little exertion as an
eagle would have spread his wings. The ship now
became uneasy; for the wind came in puffs, and the
vessel rolled lightly, as if struggling to extricate itself
from the hold of its anchor; and then, precisely
at the moment when the shift of wind was felt, and
the breeze came from the cloud in the west, the
cruiser whirled away from its constrained position,
and appearing, for a short space, restless as a steed
that had broken from its fastenings, it came up heavily
to the wind, and lay balanced by the action of
its sails. There was another minute, or two, of seeming
inactivity, after which the broad surfaces of the

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topsails were brought in parallel lines. One white
sheet was spread after another, upon the fabric; and
Bonnie saw that the Coquette, the swiftest cruiser
of the crown in those seas, was dashing out from the
land, under a cloud of canvas.

All this time, the brigantine, in the Cove, lay quietly
at her anchor. When the wind shifted, the light
hull swang with its currents, and the image of the
sea-green lady was seen offering her dark cheek to
be fanned by the breeze. But she alone seemed to
watch over the fortunes of her followers; for no
other eye could be seen, looking out on the danger
that began so seriously to threaten them, both from
the heavens, and from a more certain and intelligible

As the wind was fresh, though unsteady, the Coquette
moved through the water with a velocity that
did no discredit to her reputation for speed. At first,
it seemed to be the intention of the royal cruiser to
round the cape, and gain an offing in the open sea;
for her head was directed northwardly; but no sooner
had she cleared the curve of the little bight which
from its shape is known by the name of the Horse-Shoe,
than she was seen shooting directly into the
eye of the wind, and falling off with the graceful and
easy motion of a ship in stays, her head looking towards
the Lust in Rust. Her design on the notorious
dealer in contraband was now too evident to admit
of doubt.

Still, the Water-Witch betrayed no symptoms of
alarm. The meaning eye of the image seemed to
study the motions of her adversary, with all the understanding
of an intelligent being; and occasionally
the brigantine turned slightly in the varying currents
of the air, as if volition directed the movements of
the little fabric. These changes resembled the quick
and slight movements of the hound, as he lifts his

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head in his lair, to listen to some distant sound, or to
scent some passing taint in the gale.

In the mean time, the approach of the ship was
so swift as to cause the negro to shake his head, with
a meaning that exceeded even his usually important
look. Every thing was propitious to her progress;
and, as the water of the Cove, during the periods
that the inlet remained open, was known to be of a
sufficient depth to admit of her entrance, the faithful
Bonnie began to anticipate a severe blow to the
future fortunes of his master. The only hope, that
he could perceive, for the escape of the smuggler,
was in the changes of the heavens.

Although the threatening cloud had now quitted
the mouth of the Raritan, and was rolling eastward
with fearful velocity, it had not yet broken. The air
had the unnatural and heated appearance which precedes
a gust; but, with the exception of a few large
drops, that fell seemingly from a clear sky, it was as
yet what is called a dry squall. The water of the
bay was occasionally dark, angry, and green; and
there were moments when it would appear as if
heavy currents of air descended to its surface, wantonly
to try their power on the sister element. Notwithstanding
these sinister omens, the Coquette stood
on her course, without lessening the wide surfaces of
her canvas, by a single inch. They who governed
her movements were no men of the lazy Levant,
nor of the mild waters of the Mediterranean, to tear
their hair, and call on saints to stand between their
helplessness and harm; but mariners trained in a
boisterous sea, and accustomed to place their first dependence
on their own good manhood, aided by the
vigilance and skill of a long and severely-exercised
experience. A hundred eyes on board that cruiser
watched the advance of the rolling cloud, or looked
upon the play of light and shade, that caused the
color of the water to vary; but it was steadily, and

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with an entire dependence on the discretion of the
young officer who controlled the movements of the

Ludlow himself paced the deck, with all his usual
composure, so far as might be seen by external signs;
though, in reality, his mind was agitated by feelings
that were foreign to the duties of his station. He
too had thrown occasional glances at the approaching
squall, but his eye was far oftener riveted on the
motionless brigantine, which was now distinctly to be
seen from the deck of the Coquette, still riding at her
anchor. The cry of `a stranger in the cove!' which,
a few moments before, came out of one of the tops,
caused no surprise in the commander; while the
crew, wondering but obedient, began, for the first
time, to perceive the object of their strange manœuvres.
Even the officer, next in authority to the captain,
had not presumed to make any inquiry, though,
now that the object of their search was so evidently
in view, he felt emboldened to presume on his rank,
and to venture a remark.

“It is a sweet craft!” said the staid lieutenant,
yielding to an admiration natural to his habits, “and
one that might serve as a yacht for the Queen!
This is some trifler with the revenue, or perhaps a
buccaneer from the islands. The fellow shows no

“Give him notice, Sir, that he has to do with one
who hears the royal commission,” returned Ludlow,
speaking from habit, and half-unconscious of what
he said. “We must teach these rovers to respect a

The report of the cannon startled the absent man,
and caused him to remember the order.

“Was that gun shotted?” he asked, in a tone that
sounded like rebuke.

“Shotted, but pointed wide, Sir; merely a broad

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hint. We are no dealers in dumb show, in the Coquette,
Captain Ludlow.”

“I would not injure the vessel, even should it prove
a buccaneer. Be careful, that nothing strikes her,
without an order.”

“Ay, 'twill be well to take the beauty alive, Sir;
so pretty a boat should not be broken up, like an old
hulk. Ha! there goes his bunting, at last! He shows
a white field—can the fellow be a Frenchman, after

The lieutenant took a glass, and for a moment applied
it to his eye, with the usual steadiness. Then
he suffered the instrument to fall, and it would seem
that he endeavored to recall the different flags that
he had seen during the experience of many years.

“This joker should come from some terra incognita;”
he said. “Here is a woman in his field, with
an ugly countenance, too, unless the glass play me
false—as I live, the rogue has her counterpart for a
figure-head!—Will you look at the ladies, Sir?”

Ludlow took the glass, and it was not without
curiosity that he turned it toward the colors the
hardy smuggler dared to exhibit, in presence of a
cruiser. The vessels were, by this time, sufficiently
near each other, to enable him to distinguish the
swarthy features and malign smile of the sea-green
lady, whose form was wrought in the field of the
ensign, with the same art as that which he had seen
so often displayed in other parts of the brigantine.
Amazed at the daring of the free-trader, he returned
the glass, and continued to pace the deck in silence.
There stood near the two speakers an officer whose
head and form began to show the influence of time,
and who, from his position, had unavoidably been an
auditor of what passed. Though the eye of this
person, who was the sailing-master of the sloop, was
rarely off the threatening cloud, except to glance

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along the wide show of canvas that was spread, he
found a moment to take a look at the stranger.

“A half-rigged brig, with her fore-top-gallant-mast
fidded abaft, a double martingale, and a standing
gaft;” observed the methodical and technical
mariner, as another would have recounted the peculiarities
of complexion, or of feature, in some individual
who was the subject of a personal description.
“The rogue has no need of showing his brazen-faced
trull to be known! I chased him, for six-and-thirty
hours, in the chops of St. George's, no later
than the last season; and the fellow ran about us,
like a dolphin playing under a ship's fore-foot. We
had him, now on our weather bow, and now crossing
our course, and, once in a while, in our wake, as
if he had been a Mother Carey's chicken looking for
our crumbs. He seems snug enough in that cove, to
be sure, and yet I'll wager the pay of any month in
the twelve, that he gives us the slip. Captain Ludlow,
the brigantine under our lee, here, in Spermaceti,
is the well-known Skimmer of the Seas!”

“The Skimmer of the Seas!” echoed twenty
voices, in a manner to show the interest created by
the unexpected information.

“I'll swear to his character before any Admiralty
Judge in England, or even in France, should there
be occasion to go into an outlandish court—but no
need of an oath, when here is a written account I
took, with my own hands, having the chase in plain
view, at noon-day.” While speaking, the sailing-master
drew a tobacco-box from his pocket, and removing
a coil of pig-tail, he came to a deposit of
memorandums, that vied with the weed itself in
colors. “Now, gentlemen,” he continued, “you shall
have her build, as justly as if the master-carpenter
had laid it down with his rule. `Remember to bring
a muff of marten's fur from America, for Mrs. Trysail—
buy it in London, and swear'—this is not the

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paper—I let your boy, Mr. Luff, stow away the last
entry of tobacco for me, and the young dog has disturbed
every document I own. This is the way the
government accounts get jammed, when Parliament
wants to overhaul them. But I suppose young blood
will have its run! I let a monkey into a church of a
Saturday night myself, when a youngster, and he
made such stowage of the prayer-books, that the
whole parish was by the ears for six months; and
there is one quarrel between two old ladies, that has
not been made up to this hour.—Ah! here we have
it:—`Skimmer of the Seas.—Full-rigged forward,
with fore-and-aft mainsail, abaft; a gaff-top-sail;
taut in his spars, with light top-hamper; neat in his
gear, as any beauty—Carries a ring-tail in light
weather; main-boom like a frigate's top-sail-yard,
with a main-top-mast-stay-sail as big as a jib. Low
in the water, with a woman figure-head; carries
sail more like a devil than a human being, and lies
within five points, when jammed up hard on a wind.'
Here are marks by which one of Queen Anne's
maids of honor might know the rogue; and there
you see them all, as plainly as human nature can
show them in a ship!”

“The Skimmer of the Seas!” repeated the young
officers, who had crowded round the veteran tar, to
hear this characteristic description of the notorious

“Skimmer or flyer, we have him now, dead under
our lee, with a sandy beach on three of his sides, and
the wind in his eye!” cried the first-lieutenant.
“You shall have an opportunity, Master Trysail, of
correcting your account, by actual measurement.”

The sailing-master shook his head, like one who
doubted, and again turned his eye on the approaching

The Coquette, by this time, had run so far as to
have the entrance of the Cove open; and she was

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separated from her object, only by a distance of a
few cables'-length. In obedience to an order given
by Ludlow, all the light canvas of the ship was
taken in, and the vessel was left under her three
topsails and gib. There remained, however, a question
as to the channel; for it was not usual for ships
of the Coquette's draught, to be seen in that quarter
of the bay, and the threatening state of the weather
rendered caution doubly necessary. The pilot shrunk
from a responsibility which did not properly belong
to his office, since the ordinary navigation had no
concern with that secluded place; and even Ludlow,
stimulated as he was by so many powerful motives,
hesitated to incur a risk which greatly exceeded his
duty. There was something so remarkable in the
apparent security of the smuggler, that it naturally
led to the belief he was certain of being protected
by some known obstacle, and it was decided to sound
before the ship was hazarded. An offer to carry the
free-trader with the boats, though plausible in itself,
and perhaps the wisest course of all, was rejected
by the commander, on an evasive plea of its being
of uncertain issue, though, in truth, because he felt
an interest in one whom he believed the brigantine
to contain, which entirely forbade the idea of making
the vessel the scene of so violent a struggle. A yawl
was therefore lowered into the water, the main-topsail
of the ship was thrown to the mast; and Ludlow
himself, accompanied by the pilot and the master,
proceeded to ascertain the best approach to the
smuggler. A flash of lightning, with one of those
thunder-claps that are wont to be more terrific on
this continent than in the other hemisphere, warned
the young mariner of the necessity of haste, if he
would regain his ship, before the cloud, which still
threatened them, should reach the spot where she
lay. The boat pulled briskly into the Cove, both the
master and the pilot sounding on each side, as fast as

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the leads could be cast from their hands and recovered.

“This will do;” said Ludlow, when they had ascertained
that they could enter. “I would lay the
ship as close as possible to the brigantine, for I distrust
her quiet. We will go nearer.”

“A brazen witch, and one whose saucy eye and
pert figure might lead any honest mariner into contraband,
or even into a sea-robbery!” half-whispered
Trysail, perhaps afraid to trust his voice, within
hearing of a creature that seemed almost endowed
with the faculties of life. “Ay, this is the hussy! I
know her by the book, and her green jacket! But
where are her people? The vessel is as quiet as the
royal vault on a coronation-day, when the last king,
and those who went before him, commonly have the
place to themselves. Here would be a pretty occasion
to throw a boat's-crew on her decks, and haul
down yon impudent ensign, which bears the likeness
of this wicked lady, so bravely in the air, if—”

“If what?” asked Ludlow, struck with the plausible
character of the proposal.

“Why, if one were sure of the nature of such a
minx, Sir; for to own the truth, I would rather
deal with a regularly-built Frenchman, who showed
his guns honestly, and kept such a jabbering aboard
that one might tell his bearings in the dark.—The
creature spoke!”

Ludlow did not reply, for a heavy crash of thunder
succeeded the vivid glow of a flash of lightning, and
glared so suddenly across the swarthy lineaments as
to draw the involuntary exclamation from Trysail.
The intimation that came from the cloud, was not
to be disregarded. The wind, which had so long
varied, began to be heard in the rigging of the silent
brigantine; and the two elements exhibited unequivocal
evidence, in their menacing and fitful colors,
of the near approach of the gust. The young sailor,

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with an absorbing interest, turned his eyes on his
ship. The yards were on the caps, the bellying canvas
was fluttering far to leeward, and twenty or
thirty human forms on each spar, showed that the
nimble-fingered topmen were gathering in and knotting
the sails down to a close reef.

“Give way, men, for your lives!” cried the excited

A single dash of the oars was heard, and the yawl
was already twenty feet from the mysterious image.
Then followed a desperate struggle to regain the
cruiser, ere the gust should strike her. The sullen
murmur of the wind, rushing through the rigging of
the ship, was audible some time before they reached
her side; and the struggles between the fabric and
the elements, were at moments so evident, as to
cause the young commander to fear he would be too

The foot of Ludlow touched the deck of the Coquette,
at the instant the weight of the squall fell
upon her sails. He no longer thought of any interest
but that of the moment; for, with all the feelings of
a seaman, his mind was now full of his ship.

“Let run every thing!” shouted the ready officer,
in a voice that made itself heard above the roar of
the wind. “Clue down, and hand! Away aloft, you
topmen!—lay out!—furl away!”

These orders were given in rapid succession, and
without a trumpet, for the young man could, at need,
speak loud as the tempest. They were succeeded
by one of those exciting and fearful minutes that are
so familiar to mariners. Each man was intent on his
duty, while the elements worked their will around
him, as madly as if the hand by which they are
ordinarily restrained was for ever removed. The bay
was a sheet of foam, while the rushing of the gust
resembled the dull rumbling of a thousand chariots.
The ship yielded to the pressure, until the water

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was seen gushing through her lee-scuppers, and her
tall line of masts inclined towards the plane of the
bay, as if the ends of the yards were about to dip
into the water. But this was no more than the first
submission to the shock. The well-moulded fabric
recovered its balance, and struggled through its element,
as if conscious that there was security only in
motion. Ludlow glanced his eye to leeward. The
opening of the Cove was favorably situated, and he
caught a glimpse of the spars of the brigantine, rocking
violently in the squall. He spoke to demand if
the anchors were clear, and then he was heard,
shouting again from his station in the weather gangway—

“Hard a-weather!—”

The first efforts of the cruiser to obey her helm,
stripped as she was of canvas, were labored and slow.
But when her head began to fall off, the driving
scud was scarce swifter than her motion. At that
moment, the sluices of the cloud opened, and a torrent
of rain mingled in the uproar, and added to the confusion.
Nothing was now visible but the lines of the
falling water, and the sheet of white foam through
which the ship was glancing.

“Here is the land, Sir!” bellowed Trysail, from
a cat-head, where he stood resembling some venerable
sea-god, dripping with his native element. “We
are passing it, like a race-horse!”

“See your bowers clear!” shouted back the

“Ready, Sir, ready—”

Ludlow motioned to the men at the wheel, to
bring the ship to the wind; and when her way was
sufficiently deadened, two ponderous anchors dropped,
at another signal, into the water. The vast fabric
was not checked without a further and tremendous
struggle. When the bows felt the restraint, the ship
swung head to wind, and fathom after fathom of the

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enormous ropes were extracted, by surges so violent
as to cause the hull to quiver to its centre. But the
first-lieutenant and Trysail were no novices in their
duty, and, in less than a minute, they had secured
the vessel steadily at her anchors. When this important
service was performed, officers and crew
stood looking at each other, like men who had just
made a hazardous and fearful experiment. The
view again opened, and objects on the land became
visible through the still falling rain. The change
was like that from night to day. Men who had passed
their lives on the sea drew long and relieving breaths,
conscious that the danger was happily passed. As the
more pressing interest of their own situation abated,
they remembered the object of their search. All
eyes were turned in quest of the smuggler; but, by
some inexplicable means, he had disappeared.

`The Skimmer of the Seas!' and `What has
become of the brigantine?' were exclamations that
the discipline of a royal cruiser could not repress.
They were repeated by a hundred mouths, while
twice as many eyes sought to find the beautiful
fabric. All looked in vain. The spot where the
Water-Witch had so lately lain, was vacant, and no
vestige of her wreck lined the shores of the Cove.
During the time the ship was handing her sails, and
preparing to enter the Cove, no one had leisure to
look for the stranger; and after the vessel had
anchored, until that moment, it was not possible to
see her length, on any side of them. There was
still a dense mass of falling water moving seaward;
but the curious and anxious eyes of Ludlow made
fruitless efforts to penetrate its secrets. Once indeed,
more than an hour after the gust had reached his
own ship, and when the ocean in the offing was clear
and calm, he thought he could distinguish, far to
seaward, the delicate tracery of a vessel's spars,
drawn against the horizon, without any canvas set.

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But a second look did not assure him of the truth of
the conjecture.

There were many extraordinary tales related that
night, on board Her Britannic Majesty's ship Coquette.
The boatswain affirmed that, while piping
below in order to overhaul the cables, he had heard
a screaming in the air, that sounded as if a hundred
devils were mocking him, and which he told the
gunner, in confidence, he believed was no more than
the winding of a call on board the brigantine, who
had taken occasion, when other vessels were glad to
anchor, to get under way, in her own fashion. There
was also a fore-top-man named Robert Yarn, a fellow
whose faculty for story-telling equalled that of
Scheherazade, and who not only asserted, but who
confirmed the declaration by many strange oaths,
that while he lay on the lee-fore-top-sail-yard-arm,
stretching forth an arm to grasp the leech of the
sail, a dark-looking female fluttered over his head,
and caused her long hair to whisk into his face, in a
manner that compelled him to shut his eyes, which
gave occasion to a smart reprimand from the reefer
of the top. There was a feeble attempt to explain
this assault, by the man who lay next to Yarn, who
affected to think the hair was no more than the end
of a gasket whipping in the wind; but his shipmate,
who had pulled one of the oars of the yawl, soon
silenced this explanation, by the virtue of his long-established
reputation for veracity. Even Trysail
ventured several mysterious conjectures concerning
the fate of the brigantine, in the gun-room; but, on
returning from the duty of sounding the inlet, whither
he had been sent by his captain, he was less communicative
and more thoughtful than usual. It appeared,
indeed, from the surprise that was manifested
by every officer that heard the report of the quarter-master,
who had given the casts of the lead on this
service, that no one in the ship, with the exception

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of Alderman Van Beverout, was at all aware that
there was rather more than two fathoms of water
in that secret passage.


“Sirs, take your places, and be vigilant.”

Henry IV.

The succeeding day was one in which the weather
had a fixed character. The wind was east, and,
though light, not fluctuating. The air had that thick
and hazy appearance, which properly belongs to the
Autumn in this climate, but which is sometimes seen
at midsummer, when a dry wind blows from the
ocean. The roll of the surf, on the shore, was
regular and monotonous, and the currents of the air
were so steady as to remove every apprehension of
a change. The moment to which the action of the
tale is transferred, was in the earlier hours of the

At that time the Coquette lay again at her
anchors, just within the shelter of the cape. There
were a few small sails to be seen passing up the bay;
but the scene, as was common at that distant day,
presented little of the activity of our own times, to
the eye. The windows of the Lust in Rust were
again open, and the movement of the slaves, in and
about the villa, announced the presence of its master.

The Alderman was in truth, at the hour named,
passing the little lawn in front of la Cour des Fées,
accompanied by Oloff Van Staats and the commander
of the cruiser. It was evident, by the frequent
glances which the latter threw in the direction of
the pavilion, that he still thought of her who was
absent; while the faculties of the two others were
either in better subjection, or less stimulated by

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anxiety. One who understood the character of the individual,
and who was acquainted with the past,
might have suspected, by this indifference on the
part of the Patroon, placed as it was in such a singular
contrast to a sort of mysterious animation which
enlivened a countenance whose ordinary expression
was placid content, that the young suitor thought
less than formerly of the assets of old Etienne, and
more of the secret pleasure he found in the singular
incidents of which he had been a witness.

“Propriety and discretion!” observed the burgher,
in reply to a remark of one of the young men—“I
say again, for the twentieth time, that we shall have
Alida Barbérie back among us, as handsome, as innocent,
ay, and as rich, as ever!—perhaps I should
also say, as wilful. A baggage, to worry her old
uncle, and two honorable suitors, in so thoughtless a
manner! Circumstances, gentlemen,” continued the
wary merchant, who saw that the value of the hand
of which he had to dispose, was somewhat reduced
in the market, “have placed you on a footing, in my
esteem. Should my niece, after all, prefer Captain
Ludlow for a partner in her worldly affairs, why it
should not weaken friendship between the son of
old Stephanus Van Staats and Myndert Van Beverout.
Our grandmothers were cousins, and there
should be charities in the same blood.”

“I could not wish to press my suit,” returned the
Patroon, “when the lady has given so direct a hint
that it is disagreeable—”

“Hint me no hints! Do you call this caprice of a
moment, this trifling, as the captain here would call
it, with the winds and tides, a hint! The girl has
Norman blood in her veins, and she wishes to put
animation into the courtship. If bargains were to
be interrupted by a little cheapening of the buyer,
and some affectation of waiting for a better market
in the seller, Her Majesty might as well order her

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custom-houses to be closed at once, and look to other
sources for revenue. Let the girl's fancy have its
swing, and the profits of a year's peltry against thy
rent-roll, we shall see her penitent for her folly, and
willing to hear reason. My sister's daughter is no
witch, to go journeying for ever about the world, on
a broomstick!”

“There is a tradition in our family,” said Oloff
Van Staats, his eye lighting with a mysterious excitement,
while he affected to laugh at the folly he
uttered, “that the great Poughkeepsie fortune-teller
foretold, in the presence of my grandmother, that a
Patroon of Kinderhook should intermarry with a
witch. So, should I see la Belle in the position you
name, it would not greatly alarm me.”

“The prophecy was fulfilled at the wedding of
thy father!” muttered Myndert, who, notwithstanding
the outward levity with which he treated the
subject, was not entirely free from secret reverence
for the provincial soothsayers, some of whom continued
in high repute, even to the close of the last
century. “His son would not else have been so
clever a youth! But here is Captain Ludlow looking
at the ocean, as if he expected to see my niece
rise out of the water, in the shape of a mermaid.”

The commander of the Coquette pointed to the
object which attracted his gaze, and which, appearing
as it did at that moment, was certainly not of a
nature to lessen the faith of either of his companions
in supernatural agencies.

It has been said that the wind was dry and the
air misty, or rather so pregnant with a thin haze, as
to give it the appearance of a dull, smoky light. In
such a state of the weather, the eye, more especially
of one placed on an elevation, is unable to distinguish
what is termed the visible horizon at sea. The two
elements become so blended, that our organs cannot
tell where the water ends, or where the void of the

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heavens commences. It is a consequence of this indistinctness,
that any object seen beyond the apparent
boundary of water, has the appearance of floating
in the air. It is rare for the organs of a landsman
to penetrate beyond the apparent limits of the
sea, when the atmosphere exhibits this peculiarity,
though the practised eye of a mariner often detects
vessels, which are hid from others, merely because
they are not sought in the proper place. The deception
may also be aided by a slight degree of refraction.

“Here;” said Ludlow, pointing in a line that
would have struck the water some two or three
leagues in the offing. “First bring the chimney of
yonder low building on the plain, in a range with
the dead oak on the shore, and then raise your eyes
slowly, till they strike a sail.”

“That ship is navigating the heavens!” exclaimed
Myndert! “Thy grandmother was a sensible woman,
Patroon; she was a cousin of my pious progenitor,
and there is no knowing what two clever old
ladies, in their time, may have heard and seen,
when such sights as this are beheld in our own!”

“I am as little disposed as another, to put faith in
incredible things,” gravely returned Oloff Van Staats;
“and yet, if required to give my testimony, I should
be reluctant to say, that yonder vessel is not floating
in the heavens!”

“You might not give it to that effect, in safety;
said Ludlow. “It is no other than a half-rigged
brigantine, on a taut bowline, though she bears no
great show of canvas. Mr. Van Beverout, Her Majesty's
cruiser is about to put to sea.”

Myndert heard this declaration in visible dissatisfaction.
He spoke of the virtue of patience, and
of the comforts of the solid ground; but when he
found the intention of the Queen's servant was not
to be shaken, he reluctantly professed an intention of

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repeating the personal experiment of the preceding
day. Accordingly, within half an hour, the whole
party were on the banks of the Shrewsbury, and
about to embark in the barge of the Coquette.

“Adieu, Monsieur François;” said the Alderman,
nodding his head to the ancient valet, who stood with
a disconsolate eye on the shore. “Have a care of
the movables in la Cour des Fées; we may have further
use for them.”

“Mais, Monsieur Beevre, mon devoir, et, ma foi,
suppose la mèr was plus agréable, mon désir shall be
to suivre Mam'selle Alide. Jamais personne de la
famille Barbérie love de sea; mais, Monsieur, comment
faire? I shall die sur la mèr de douleur; and I
shall die d'ennui, to rester ici, bien sûr!”

“Come then, faithful François,” said Ludlow.
“You shall follow your young mistress; and perhaps,
on further trial, you may be disposed to think the
lives of us seamen more tolerable than you had believed.”

After an eloquent expression of countenance, in
which the secretly-amused though grave-looking
boat's-crew thought the old man was about to give
a specimen of his powers of anticipation, the affectionate
domestic entered the barge. Ludlow felt for
his distress, and encouraged him by a look of approbation.
The language of kindness does not always
need a tongue; and the conscience of the valet smote
him with the idea that he might have expressed
himself too strongly, concerning a profession to which
the other had devoted life and hopes.

“La mer, Monsieur le Capitaine,” he said, with an
acknowledging reverence, “est un vaste théâtre de
la gloire. Voilà Messieurs de Tourville et Dougay
Trouin; ce sont des hommes, vraiment remarquables!
mais Monsieur, quant à toute la famille de
Barbérie, we have toujours un sentiment plus favorable
pour la terre.”

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“I wish your whimsical jade of a mistress, Master
François, had found the same sentiment,” dryly observed
Myndert: “for let me tell you, this cruising
about in a suspicious vessel is as little creditable to
her judgment as—cheer up, Patroon; the girl is only
putting thy mettle to the trial, and the sea air will
do no damage to her complexion or her pocket. A
little predilection for salt water must raise the girl
in your estimation, Captain Ludlow!”

“If the predilection goes no further than to the
element, Sir;” was the caustic answer. “But, deluded
or not, erring or deceived, Alida Barbérie is
not to be deserted, the victim of a villain's arts. I
did love your niece, Mr. Van Beverout, and—pull
with a will, men; fellows, are you sleeping on the

The sudden manner in which the young man interrupted
himself, and the depth of tone in which he
spoke to the boat's-crew, put an end to the discourse.
It was apparent that he wished to say no more, and
that he even regretted the weakness which had induced
him to say so much. The remainder of the
distance, between the shore and the ship, was passed
in silence.

When Queen Anne's cruiser was seen doubling
Sandy-Hook, past meridian on the 6th June (sea-time)
in the year 17—, the wind, as stated in an ancient
journal, which was kept by one of the midshipmen,
and is still in existence, was light, steady at
south, and by-west-half-west. It appears, by the
same document, that the vessel took her departure
at seven o'clock, P. M., the point of Sandy-Hook
bearing west-half-south, distant three leagues. On
the same page which contains these particulars, it is
observed, under the head of remarks—“Ship under
starboard steering-sails, forward and aft, making six
knots. A suspicious half-rigged brigantine lying-to
in the eastern board, under her mainsail, with

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foretopsail to the mast; light and lofty sails and jib
loose; foresail in the brails. Her starboard steering-sail-booms
appear to be rigged out, and the gear rove,
ready for a run. This vessel is supposed to be the
celebrated hermaphrodite, the Water-Witch, commanded
by the notorious `Skimmer of the Seas,' and
the same fellow who gave us so queer a slip, yesterday.
The Lord send us a cap-full of wind, and we'll
try his heels, before morning!—Passengers, Alderman
Van Beverout, of the second ward of the City
of New-York, in Her Majesty's province of the same
name; Oloff Van Staats, Esq. commonly called the
Patroon of Kinderhook, of the same colony; and a
qualmish-looking old chap, in a sort of marine's jacket,
who answers when hailed as Francis. A rum
set taken altogether, though they seem to suit the
Captain's fancy. Mem.—Each lipper of a wave
works like tartar emetic on the lad in marine gear.”

As no description of ours can give a more graphic
account of the position of the two vessels in question,
at the time named, than that which is contained in
the foregoing extract, we shall take up the narrative
at that moment, which the reader will see must, in
the 43d degree of latitude, and in the month of June,
have been shortly after the close of the day.

The young votary of Neptune, whose opinions
have just been quoted, had indeed presumed on his
knowledge of the localities, in affirming the distance
and position of the cape, since the low sandy point
was no longer visible from the deck. The sun had
set, as seen from the vessel, precisely in the mouth
of the Raritan; and the shadows from Navesink, or
Neversink as the hills are vulgarly called, were
thrown far upon the sea. In short, the night was
gathering round the mariners, with every appearance
of settled and mild weather, but of a darkness
deeper than is common on the ocean. Under such
circumstances, the great object was to keep on the

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track of the chase, during the time when she must
necessarily be hid from their sight.

Ludlow walked into the lee-gangway of his ship,
and, leaning with his elbow on the empty hammock-cloths,
he gazed long and in silence at the object of
his pursuit. The Water-Witch was lying in the
quarter of the horizon most favorable to being seen.
The twilight, which still fell out of the heavens, was
without glare in that direction; and for the first time
that day, he saw her in her true proportions. The
admiration of a seaman was blended with the other
sensations of the young man. The brigantine lay in
the position that exhibited her exquisitely-moulded
hull and rakish rig to the most advantage. The head,
having come to the wind, was turned towards her
pursuer; and as the bows rose on some swell that
was heavier than common, Ludlow saw, or fancied
he saw, the mysterious image still perched on her
cut-water, holding the book to the curious, and ever
pointing with its finger across the waste of water. A
movement of the hammock-cloths caused the young
sailor to bend his head aside, and he then saw that
the master had drawn as near to his person as discipline
would warrant. Ludlow had a great respect
for the professional attainments that his inferior unquestionably
possessed; and he was not without some
consideration for the chances of a fortune, which had
not done much to reward the privations and the services
of a seaman old enough to be his father. The
recollection of these facts always disposed him to be
indulgent to a man who had little, beyond his seaman-like
character and long experience, to recommend

“We are likely to have a thick night, Master Trysail,”
said the young captain, without deeming it necessary
to change his look, “and we may yet be
brought on a bowline, before yonder insolent is overhauled.”

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The master smiled, like one who knew more than
he expressed, and gravely shook his head.

“We may have many pulls on our bowlines, and
some squaring of yards, too, before the Coquette (the
figure-head of the sloop-of-war was also a female)
gets near enough to the dark-faced woman, under
the bowsprit of the brigantine, to whisper her mind.
You and I have been nigh enough to see the white
of her eyes, and to count the teeth she shows, in that
cunning grin of hers,—and what good has come of
our visit? I am but a subordinate, Captain Ludlow,
and I know my duty too well not to be silent in a
squall, and I hope too well not to know how to speak
when my commander wishes the opinions of his officers
at a council; and therefore mine, just now, is
perhaps different from that of some others in this
ship, that I will not name, who are good men, too,
though none of the oldest.”

“And what is thy opinion, Trysail?—the ship is
doing well, and she carries her canvas bravely.”

“The ship behaves like a well-bred young woman
in the presence of the Queen; modest, but stately—
but, of what use is canvas, in a chase where witch-craft
breeds squalls, and shortens sail in one vessel,
while it gives flying kites to another! If Her Majesty,
God bless her! should be ever persuaded to do
so silly a thing as to give old Tom Trysail a ship, and
the said ship lay, just here-a-way, where the Coquette
is now getting along so cleverly, why then, as in duty
bound, I know very well what her commander would

“Which would be—?”

“To, in all studding-sails, and bring the vessel on
the wind.”

“That would be to carry you to the southward,
while the chase lies here in the eastern board!”

“Who can say, how long she will lie there? They
told us, in York, that there was a Frenchman, of

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our burthen and metal, rummaging about among the
fishermen, lower down on the coast. Now, Sir, no
man knows that the war is half over better than myself,
for not a ha'penny of prize-money has warmed
my pocket, these three years;—but, as I was saying,
if a Frenchman will come off his ground, and will run
his ship into troubled water, why—whose fault is it
but his own? A pretty affair might be made out of
such a mistake, Captain Ludlow; whereas running
after yonder brigantine, is flapping out the Queen's
canvas for nothing. The vessel's bottom will want
new sheathing, in my poor opinion, before you catch

“I know not, Trysail,” returned his captain,
glancing an eye aloft; “every thing draws, and the
ship never went along with less trouble to herself.
We shall not know which has the longest legs, till
the trial is made.”

“You may judge of the rogue's speed by his impudence.
There he lies, waiting for us, like a line-of-battle
ship lying-to for an enemy to come down.
Though a man of some experience in my way, I
have never seen a lord's son more sure of promotion,
than that same brigantine seems to be of his heels!
If this old Frenchman goes on with his faces much
longer, he will turn himself inside-out, and then we
shall get an honest look at him, for these fellows
never carry their true characters above-board, like
a fair-dealing Englishman. Well, Sir, as I was remarking,
yon rover, if rover he be, has more faith in
his canvas than in the church. I make no doubt,
Captain Ludlow, that the brigantine went through
the inlet, while we were handing our topsails yesterday;
for I am none of those who are in a hurry
to give credit to any will-o'-the-wisp tale; besides
which, I sounded the passage with my own hands,
and know the thing to be possible, with the wind
blowing heavy over the taffrail; still, Sir, human

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nature is human nature, and what is the oldest seaman,
after all, but a man?—And so to conclude, I would
rather any day chase a Frenchman, whose disposition
is known to me, than have the credit of making
traverses, for eight-and-forty hours, in the wake of
one of these flyers, with little hope of getting him
within hail.”

“You forget, Master Trysail, that I have been
aboard the chase, and know something of his build
and character.”

“They say as much aboard, here,” returned the
old tar, drawing nearer to the person of his captain,
under an impulse of strong curiosity; “though none
presume to be acquainted with the particulars. I
am not one of those who ask impertinent questions,
more especially under Her Majesty's pennant; for the
worst enemy I have will not say I am very womanish.
One would think, however, that there was neat work
on board a craft that is so prettily moulded about her

“She is perfect as to construction, and admirable
in gear.”

“I thought as much, by instinct! Her commander
need not, however, be any the more sure of keeping
her off the rocks, on that account. The prettiest
young woman in our parish was wrecked, as one
might say, on the shoals of her own good looks, having
cruised once too often in the company of the
squire's son. A comely wench she was, though she
luffed athwart all her old companions, when the
young lord of the manor fell into her wake. Well,
she did bravely enough, Sir, as long as she could
carry her flying kites, and make a fair wind of it;
but when the squall of which I spoke, overtook her,
what could she do but keep away before it?—and
as others, who are snugger in their morals hove-to as
it were, under the storm-sails of religion and such
matters as they had picked up in the catechism, she

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drifted to leeward of all honest society! A neatly-built
and clean-heeled hussy was that girl; and I am
not certain, by any means, that Mrs. Trysail would
this day call herself the lady of a Queen's officer,
had the other known how to carry sail in the company
of her betters.”

The worthy master drew a long breath, which
possibly was a nautical sigh, but which certainly had
more of the north wind than of the zephyr in its
breathing; and he had recourse to the little box of
iron, whence he usually drew consolation.

“I have heard of this accident before;” returned
Ludlow, who had sailed as a midshipman in the same
vessel with, and indeed as a subordinate to, his present
inferior. “But, from all accounts, you have little
reason to regret the change, as I hear the best character
of your present worthy partner.”

“No doubt, Sir, no doubt.—I defy any man in the
ship to say that I am a backbiter, even against my
wife, with whom I have a sort of lawful right to deal
candidly. I make no complaints, and am a happy man
at sea, and I piously hope Mrs. Trysail knows how to
submit to her duty at home.—I suppose you see, Sir,
that the chase has hauled his yards, and is getting his
fore-tack aboard?” Ludlow, whose eye did not often
turn from the brigantine, nodded assent; and the
master, having satisfied himself, by actual inspection,
that every sail in the Coquette did its duty, continued—
“The night is coming on thick, and we shall have
occasion for all our eyes to keep the rogue in view,
when he begins to change his bearings—but, as I was
saying, if the commander of yonder half-rig is too
vain of her good looks, he may yet wreck her, in his
pride! The rogue has a desperate character as a
smuggler, though, for my own part, I cannot say that
I look on such men with as unfavorable an eye as
some others. This business of trade seems to be a
sort of chase between one man's wits and another

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man's wits, and the dullest goer must be content to
fall to leeward. When it comes to be a question of
revenue, why, he who goes free is lucky, and he who
is caught, a prize. I have known a flag-officer look
the other way, Captain Ludlow, when his own effects
were passing duty-free; and as to your admiral's lady,
she is a great patroness of the contraband. I do not
deny, Sir, that a smuggler must be caught, and when
caught, condemned, after which there must be a fair
distribution among the captors; but all that I mean
to say is, that there are worse men in the world
than your British smuggler—such, for instance, as
your Frenchman, your Dutchman, or your Don.”

“These are heretodox opinions for a Queen's servant;”
said Ludlow, as much inclined to smile as
to frown.

“I hope I know my duty too well to preach them
to the ship's company, but a man may say that, in a
philosophical way, before his captain, that he would
not let run into a midshipman's ear. Though no
lawyer, I know what is meant by swearing a witness
to the truth and nothing but the truth. I wish
the Queen got the last, God bless her! several wornout
ships would then be broken up, and better vessels
sent to sea in their places. But, Sir, speaking
in a religious point of view, what is the difference
between passing in a trunk of finery, with a duchess's
name on the brass plate, or in passing in gin
enough to fill a cutter's hold?”

“One would think a man of your years, Mr. Trysail,
would see the difference between robbing the
revenue of a guinea, and robbing it of a thousand

“Which is just the difference between retail and
wholesale,—and that is no trifle, I admit, Captain
Ludlow, in a commercial country, especially in genteel
life. Still, Sir, revenue is the country's right,
and therefore I allow a smuggler to be a bad man,

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only not so bad as those I have just named, particularly
your Dutchman! The Queen is right to make
those rogues lower their flags to her in the narrow
seas, which are her lawful property; because England,
being a wealthy island, and Holland no more
than a bit of bog turned up to dry, it is reasonable
that we should have the command afloat. No, Sir,
though none of your outcriers against a man, because
he has had bad luck in a chase with a revenue-cutter,
I hope I know what the natural rights
of an Englishman are. We must be masters, here,
Captain Ludlow, will-ye-nill-ye, and look to the main
chances of trade and manufactures!”

“I had not thought you so accomplished a statesman,
Master Trysail!”

“Though a poor man's son, Captain Ludlow, I am
a free-born Briton, and my education has not been
entirely overlooked. I hope I know something of
the constitution, as well as my betters. Justice and
honor being an Englishman's mottoes, we must look
manfully to the main chance. We are none of your
flighty talkers, but a reasoning people, and there is
no want of deep thinkers on the little island; and
therefore, Sir, taking all together, why England
must stick up for her rights! Here is your Dutchman,
for instance, a ravenous cormorant; a fellow with a
throat wide enough to swallow all the gold of the
Great Mogul, if he could get at it; and yet a vaga-bond
who has not even a fair footing on the earth, if
the truth must be spoken! Well, Sir, shall England
give up her rights to a nation of such blackguards?
No, Sir; our venerable constitution and mother
church itself forbid, and therefore I say, dam'me, lay
them aboard, if they refuse us any of our natural
rights, or show a wish to bring us down to their own
dirty level!”

“Reasoned like a countryman of Newton, and
with an eloquence that would do credit to Cicero! I

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shall endeavor to digest your ideas at my leisure,
since they are much too solid food to be disposed of
in a minute. At present we will look to the chase,
for I see, by the aid of my glass, that he has set his
studding-sails, and is beginning to draw ahead.”

This remark closed the dialogue, between the
captain and his subordinate. The latter quitted the
gangway with that secret and pleasurable sensation,
which communicates itself to all who have reason
to think they have delivered themselves creditably
of a train of profound thought.

It was, in truth, time to lend every faculty to the
movements of the brigantine; for there was great
reason to apprehend, that by changing her direction
in the darkness, she might elude them. The night
was fast closing on the Coquette, and at each moment
the horizon narrowed around her, so that it
was only at uncertain intervals the men aloft could
distinguish the position of the chase. While the two
vessels were thus situated, Ludlow joined his guests
on the quarter-deck.

“A wise man will trust to his wits, what cannot
be done by force;” said the Alderman. “I do not
pretend to be much of a mariner, Captain Ludlow,
though I once spent a week in London, and I have
crossed the ocean seven times to Rotterdam. We
did little in our passages, by striving to force nature.
When the nights came in dark, as at present, the
honest schippers were content to wait for better
times; by which means we were sure not to miss
our road, and of finally arriving at the destined port
in safety.”

“You saw that the brigantine was opening his
canvas, when last seen; and he that would move
fast, must have recourse to his sails.”

“One never knows what may be brewing, up there
in the heavens, when the eye cannot see the color
of a cloud. I have little knowledge of the character

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of the `Skimmer of the Seas,' beyond that which
common fame gives him; but, in the poor judgment of
a landsman, we should do better by showing lanterns
in different parts of the ship, lest some homeward-bound
vessel do us an injury, and waiting until the
morning, for further movements.”

“We are spared the trouble, for look, the insolent
has set a light himself, as if to invite us to follow!
This temerity exceeds belief! To dare to trifle thus
with one of the swiftest cruisers in the English fleet!
See that every thing draws, gentlemen, and take a
pull at all the sheets. Hail the tops, Sir, and make
sure that every thing is home.”

The order was succeeded by the voice of the
officer of the watch, who inquired, as directed, if
each sail was distended to the utmost. Force was
applied to some of the ropes, and then a general
quiet succeeded to the momentary activity.

The brigantine had indeed showed a light, as if
in mockery of the attempt of the royal cruiser.
Though secretly stung by this open contempt of their
speed, the officers of the Coquette found themselves
relieved from a painful and anxious duty. Before
this beacon was seen, they were obliged to exert
their senses to the utmost, in order to get occasional
glimpses of the position of the chase; while they
now steered in confidence for the brilliant little spot,
that was gently rising and falling with the waves.

“I think we near him,” half-whispered the eager
captain; “for, see, there is some design visible on
the sides of the lantern. Hold!—Ah! 'tis the face of
a woman, as I live!”

“The men of the yawl report that the rover shows
this symbol in many parts of his vessel, and we know
he had the impudence to set it yesterday in our
presence, even on his ensign.”

“True—true; take you the glass, Mr. Luff, and
tell me if there be not a woman's face sketched in

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front of that light—we certainly near him fast—let
there be silence, fore and aft the ship. The rogues
mistake our bearings!”

“A saucy-looking jade, as one might wish to see!”
returned the lieutenant. “Her impudent laugh is
visible to the naked eye.”

“See all clear for laying him aboard! Get a party
to throw on his decks, Sir! I will lead them myself.”

These orders were given in an under tone, and
rapidly. They were promptly obeyed. In the mean
time, the Coquette continued to glide gently ahead,
her sails thickening with the dew, and every breath
of the heavy air acting with increased power on
their surfaces. The boarders were stationed, orders
were given for the most profound silence, and as the
ship drew nearer to the light, even the officers were
commanded not to stir. Ludlow stationed himself in
the mizen channels, to cun the ship; and his directions
were repeated to the quarter-master, in a loud

“The night is so dark, we are certainly unseen!”
observed the young man to his second in command,
who stood at his elbow. “They have unaccountably
mistaken our position. Observe how the face of the
painting becomes more distinct—one can see even the
curls of the hair.—Luff, Sir! luff—we will run him
aboard! on his weather-quarter.”

“The fool must be lying-to!” returned the lieutenant.
“Even your witches fail of common sense,
at times! Do you see which way he has his head,

“I see nothing but the light. It is so dark that
our own sails are scarcely visible—and yet I think
here are his yards, a little forward of our lee beam.”

“'Tis our own lower boom. I got it out, in readiness
for the other tack, in case the knave should
ware. Are we not running too full?”

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“Luff you may, a little,—luff, or we shall crush

As this order was given, Ludlow passed swiftly
forward. He found the boarders ready for a spring,
and he rapidly gave his orders. The men were told
to carry the brigantine at every hazard, but not to
offer violence, unless serious resistance was made.
They were thrice enjoined not to enter the cabins,
and the young man expressed a generous wish that,
in every case, the `Skimmer of the Seas' might be
taken alive. By the time these directions were given,
the light was so near that the malign countenance
of the sea-green lady was seen in every lineament.
Ludlow looked, in vain, for the spars, in order to
ascertain in which direction the head of the brigantine
lay; but, trusting to luck, he saw that the
decisive moment was come.

“Starboard, and run him aboard!—Away there,
you boarders, away! Heave with your grapnels;
heave, men, with a long swing, heave! Meet her,
with the helm—hard down—meet her—steady!”—
was shouted in a clear, full, and steady voice, that
seemed to deepen at each mandate which issued
from the lips of the young captain.

The boarders cheered heartily, and leaped into
the rigging. The Coquette readily and rapidly
yielded to the power of her rudder. First inclining
to the light, and then sweeping up towards the wind
again, in another instant she was close upon the
chase. The irons were thrown, the men once more
shouted, and all on board held their breaths in expectation
of the crash of the meeting hulls. At that
moment of high excitement, the woman's face rose a
short distance in the air, seemed to smile in derision of
their attempt, and suddenly disappeared. The ship
passed steadily ahead, while no noise but the sullen
wash of the waters was audible. The boarding-irons
were heard falling heavily into the sea; and the

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Coquette rapidly overrun the spot where the light had
been seen, without sustaining any shock. Though the
clouds lifted a little, and the eye might embrace a
circuit of a few hundred feet, there certainly was
nothing to be seen, within its range, but the unquiet
element, and the stately cruiser of Queen Anne floating
on its bosom.

Though its effects were different on the differently-constituted
minds of those who witnessed the
singular incident, the disappointment was general.
The common impression was certainly unfavorable
to the earthly character of the brigantine; and when
opinions of this nature once get possession of the ignorant,
they are not easily removed. Even Trysail,
though experienced in the arts of those who trifle
with the revenue-laws, was much inclined to believe
that this was no vulgar case of floating lights or false
beacons, but a manifestation that others, besides
those who had been regularly trained to the sea,
were occasionally to be found on the waters. If
Captain Ludlow thought differently, he saw no sufficient
reason to enter into an explanation with those
who were bound silently to obey. He paced the
quarter-deck, for many minutes; and then issued his
orders to the equally-disappointed lieutenants. The
light canvas of the Coquette was taken in, the studding-sail-gear
unrove, and the booms secured. The
ship was then brought to the wind, and her courses
having been hauled up, the fore-topsail was thrown
to the mast. In this position the cruiser lay, waiting
for the morning light, in order to give greater certainty
to her movements.

END OF VOL.I. Back matter

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Cooper, James Fenimore, 1789-1851 [1831], The water-witch, volume 1 (Carey & Lea, Philadelphia) [word count] [eaf061v1].
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