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Authors: James Fenimore Cooper

Afloat and Ashore (78 page)

BOOK: Afloat and Ashore
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[6]
Even the American may learn the following facts with some
surprise. It is now about five-and-twenty years since the writer, as
tenant by the courtesy, came into possession of two farms, lying
within twenty-three miles of New York, in each of which there had been
three generations of tenants, and as many of landlords,
without a
scrap of a pen having passed between the parties
, so far as the
writer could ever discover, receipts for rent excepted! He also stands
in nearly the same relation to another farm, in the same county, on
which a lease for ninety years is at this moment running, one of the
covenants of which prescribes that the tenant shall "frequent divine
service
according to the Church of England
, when opportunity
offers." What an evidence of the nature of the tyranny from which our
ancestors escaped, more especially when it is seen that the tenant was
obliged to submit to this severe exaction, in consideration of a rent
that is merely nominal!

[7]
A story is told of a Scotchman of the name of
Farquharson,—who settled among the High Dutch on the Mohawk, sometime
previously to the Revolution; where, unable to pronounce his name, the
worthy formers called him Feuerstein (pronounced Firestyne). The son
lived and died under this appellation; but the grandson, removing to a
part of the country where English alone was spoken, chose to anglisise
his name; and, by giving it a free translation, became Mr. Flint!

BOOK: Afloat and Ashore
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