BOUT five-and-twenty miles from the ancient and renowned city of Manhattan, formerly called New Amsterdam, and
vulgarly called New York, on the eastern bank of that expansion of the Hudson known among Dutch mariners of yore as the
Tappan Zee, being in fact the great Mediterranean Sea of the New
Netherlands, stands a little, old-fashioned stone mansion, all made up
of gable ends, and as full of angles and corners as an old cocked hat.
It is said, in fact, to have been modelled after the cocked hat of Peter the Headstrong:, as the Escurial was modelled after the gridiron of
the blessed St. Lawrence. Though but of small dimensions, yet, like many small people, it is of mighty spirit, and values itself greatly on
its antiquity, being one of the oldest edifices, for its size, in the whole
country. It claims to be an ancient seat of empire,—I may rather
say an empire in itself,—and like all empires, great and small, has had
its grand historical epochs. In speaking of this doughty and valorous
little pile, I shall call it by its usual appellation of " The Roost" ;
though that is a name given to it in modern days, since it became the abode of the white man.
Its origin, in truth, dates far back in that remote region commonly called the fabulous age, in which vulgar fact becomes mystified and tinted up with delectable fiction. The eastern shore of the Tappan Sea was inhabited in those days by an unsophisticated race, existing
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