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* This is, in fact, what has actually happened to the eastern side of this very island of South Beveland, where, at low water, there is a vast extent of sand which the Dutch have named “Verdrunken land," or land swallowed up by the sea. To obviate a disaster of such fatal import, innumerable inland dykes are constructed in every direction, not only to mark, as they sometimes do, the division of property, but also to afford additional barriers to the waters, so that if the first barrier or sea-dyke should give way, a second and a third may be found to resist the further ravages of the flood. At the commencement of the present century, however, Walcheren was inundated by a branch of the sea, at West Capel, and the water is said to have stood as high as the roofs of the houses of Middelburgh, which fine city was saved from utter destruction only by the strength of its walls. This event is commemorated by an inscription on a stone.
The sea had once before washed away the sandy downs which form a barrier along the western coast, and submerged the ancient town of West Capel, which was afterwards rebuilt further inland. It is here that, in order to prevent future accidents of the same kind, an enormous dyke thirty feet high, has been raise to fill up the breach. The expense must have been enormous, but the salvation of the whole island of Walcheren may be said to depend on its stability.
In all these banks several sluices are constructed, by means of which the inhabitants have not only the power of letting out the water from the sands, but also of letting in that of the river or the sea, in the event of an enemy invading the country; and by this desperate measure to make it impossible for him to remain; but this is an advantage gained only at the expense of an infliction of general misery and distress, amounting very nearly to complete ruin.'-pp. 7, 8.
From Flushing to Antwerp the distance is reckoned by the bending of the river, to be sixty-two miles; which our party made in their yacht in five hours; not bad sailing. Antwerp is an interesting object from the river. In his Postscript the author has the courage to state, that under the rule of King William ' Antwerp was yearly rising in commercial importance, and diverting the trade of the less convenient ports of Amsterdam and Rotterdam into its own channel.' But in his journal, which was not written with a political intent, and the fact proves the boldness with which men will sometimes make assertions when a political argument is to be sustained, he reports that the Scheldt, when we ascended it, was a vacant river ; we neither met nor overtook a single sail, and with the exception of some ten or twelve small vessels, mostly brigs, except two or three American ships, there was little appearance of trade along the quay of Antwerp.' A writer can hardly contradict himself in terms more decided than these. In truth, the very act which placed Belgium and Holland under the King of the Netherlands, sacrificed the commercial importance of Antwerp to that of Amsterdam, and this the author well knew, for in another part of his journal, not his audacious postscript, he very justly says that the demolition of Antwerp, (of its dock-yards he means)
and the transfer of ship-building, and artificers, and commerce to the ports of Holland, was one of the heaviest blows that could, in recent times, have been inflicted on the inhabitants of the former.' He well might have added, that it was a blow that deeply rankled in the bosom of a city which formerly contained not fewer than two hundred thousand inhabitants, and beheld sometimes two thousand ships and vessels lying in her river, harbours and basins; whereas when this author visited Antwerp, the former were reduced to sixty thousand, and the latter to at most two hundred. We should like to know how much of Dutch commercial cupidity entered into the menaces which the King of Holland, in his late warlike vagaries, pronounced against Antwerp; menaces, which the prompt interposition of the Allied Powers alone prevented this * mild and beneficent monarch from carrying into effect. In the way of description, it need only be added that the appearance of this fine old city, though somewhat grotesque on account of the gable ends facing the streets, as in some of our own ancient towns, is highly picturesque. Several of the new streets are not inferior to many in London. We need not observe, that most of the ecclesiastical buildings in Antwerp are well worth the attention of a visitor. We were amused with the author's remarks upon the confessionals, as the subject is one which he cannot possibly comprehend. His religious prejudices are upon a par with his political obliquity. He mentions as a portion of the religion of the people, some superstitious tricks, which are resorted to evidently for the purpose of getting money. He ought to know that, considering the constitution of human nature, it would be hardly possible that any system of worship could have travelled down through a course of eighteen hundred years, without bringing with it excrescences of divers kinds. These ridiculous things the intelligent Belgians laugh at, as well as other persons, and it is only ignorance, capable itself of being, under other circumstances, duped by such knavery, that can for a moment seriously look at it as a real blot upon any system of faith. It is the weakness of nature, not of religion, which lives in a much higher and an infinitely purer region. From Antwerp to Rotterdam you may go by the steam boat in ten hours, partly by the Scheldt, partly by arms of the sea, partly by branches of the Rhine and Meuse, through a number of small islands, which give variety and interest to the navigation. Whatever other inconvenience the traveller may experience in Holland, he will seldom meet with a bad or filthy bed. He will, indeed, generally find them remarkably clean and neat, not only in Holland, but in Belgium, and also in Prussia. It may here be added,' says our author, 'that in no single instance were we disgusted or annoyed, notwithstanding the heat of the nights, with bug, flea, gnat or musquito, in any part of our route, with the single exception of a few small gnats that had entered the open window at Antwerp. This is the more surprising, especially in Holland,
where so much stagnant water prevails.' The description of Rotterdam will serve for Dutch cities in general.
• It is not very difficult to give a general idea of Rotterdam ; but the effect which is altogether produced on a stranger, who, for the first time, has visited a Dutch city, is not so easily to be conveyed. The ground plan of the city is that of a triangle, the base being the quay we have mentioned, stretching along the river, in its whole length about a mile and a quarter, according to the plan, the central portion of which is the
Boomtjes,” occupying, as before said, about three quarters of a mile; and a perpendicular, drawn from it to the opposite extremity, may be somewhat less than a mile. Through the middle of most of the streets runs a straight canal, bordered by large, lofty, and healthy trees --oaks, elms, and lime-trees, chiefly the latter; and all these canals are, or at least were, crowded with shipping of every conceivable size and form. They are crossed by numerous draw-bridges, which, mixed with the shipping, the trees, and the houses, have a very picturesque effect. Between the trees and each of the canals is the quay, which is of a width sufficient for shipping, landing, and receiving all articles of merchandize; and within the row of trees is the paved street for carts, carriages, and horses : and between this again, and extending close to the fronts of the houses, is a paved foot-path of bricks, or clinkers, as they are called, set edgeways, which, like our trottoirs, are for the sole use of foot passengers, but, unlike ours, are not raised above the level of the street. It will readily be imagined, that in these canal-streets, with all the shipping, there will be an incessant bustle.
. The houses are generally on a large scale, and lofty ; in many of the streets they are really elegant. But belonging, as they do, chiefly to merchants and tradesmen, their workhouses or magazines are sometimes on the ground-floor, and frequently extend far behind, while the family is contented to occupy the upper stories. With all this, however, nothing can exceed in cleanliness every part of the exterior of those houses. Here we observed, as in Antwerp, that the women were constantly employed in washing the walls, the doors, the window-shutters, and windows, by means of small pump-engines, or with pails, mops, and scrubbingbrushes; and, when engaged in this operation, they are seldom deterred from pursuing their task of brushing, scrubbing, or dashing water, by the heaviest showers of rain that may happen to fall. In fact, a Dutchman's house externally is as neat as paint and water can make it; nor are they less neat and clean in the interior. The floors, in general, are so scrubbed and polished as scarcely to allow one to walk upon them with safety.'
pp. 49, 50.
The author very truly remarks, that in the churches of Rotterdam, as well as in those of Holland generally, where, what is called the reformed religion is established, there is nothing worth the notice of a stranger; the religious Vandals of the reformation having recklessly destroyed every thing in the way of ornament, which they could lay their desolating hands upon. His description of the route from Rotterdam to Amsterdam, is lively and characteristic. A small portion of it will however sufficiently justify our praise, and perhaps induce the reader to make himself further acquainted with the volume itself.
• There are two methods of making the journey from Rotterdam to Amsterdam, as there are, indeed, between almost every two towns throughout Holland,by land and by water. The latter is the most common, and the most easy and convenient, as well as by much the cheapest, but is somewhat slower than posting; the treckscuyt going barely at the rate of four miles an hour, while post-horses, or others hired for the journey, will make good a little more than five miles an hour. The distance in either way, in the present case, is nearly the same, as the straight line of road generally accompanies, in a parallel direction, the straight canal, and in most parts of it has a straight row of trees on each side; every thing in Holland, where it can conveniently be done, being laid out with a line. The trifling difference, however, in point of speed, is not the only objection which a stranger, desirous of seeing the country, will make to the water conveyance. The banks of the canal are sometimes so high that the views are intercepted by them, and confined to the line of the canal. We, therefore, hired a four-wheeled carriage, known in Holland by the name of char-a-banc, which, with its three cross seats, we found to be sufficiently roomy to hold, without inconvenience, six persons and their luggage, besides a servant on the dickey. In this vehicle the owner agreed to carry us to Amsterdam in two days; and for the hire of this, with two horses, the owner feeding them, and paying the driver, we were charged forty-eight guilders, or florins, (four pounds sterling,) the distance being about fifty miles, or a little more.
On the 11th of August, about noon, we left Rotterdam. The road, as we afterwards found to be common throughout Holland, was paved with a particular kind of brick, called a clinker, set closely on edge, very neatly fitted together, and as level as a bowling green.
* After running for some distance along the side of the canal, the road branched off, and here commenced a continued succession of neat, and sometimes very handsome villas on both sides, and at no great distance from it. Here and there an elegant château occurred, surrounded by an extensive domain well planted with patches of trees, but generally in straight lines; and, for the most part, the mansion was approached through a grand avenue. The boundaries also of these large estates are frequently terminated by avenues of trees, each row belonging to separate proprietors; but the division of property is most marked by a dyke and a ditch. Most of these country-houses, whether large or small, have a ditch of stagnant water dividing the little front garden from the road; and close to this ditch, generally, indeed, rising out of it, and not unfrequently bestriding it, is sure to be found a small building, square or octagonal, called a lust-huis, or pleasure-house, with a window in each side, commanding a complete view of the road. These little buildings or pleasurehouses are so very numerous as to form a characteristic feature of this part of the country. They occur, indeed, as we afterwards found, by the sides of the roads throughout South Holland. In the summer and autumn evenings they are the common resort of families, where the men enjoy their pipes with beer or wine, and the females sip their tea; and both derive amusement in observing and conversing with the passengers on the road. In any other country these would be considered as just the seasons of the year, and the time of the day, when these ditch-bestriding pleasurehouses would be shunned, the effluvia from the stagnant water being then
strongest, and the frogs, which are everywhere seen skipping about, most lively and noisy. But the same vitiated taste, which has selected the diteh for the site of the pleasure-house, may deem the croaking of the frog when in full song, just as melodious to their ears as the note of the nightingale is to their more southern neighbours.
• As there is no want of water in any part of Holland, the flower-gardens attached to these villas have generally a fish-pond in some part of them, and, when they happen to face the road, the pleasure-house is frequently placed on a hillock in the middle of the garden, and is accessible only by a bridge or a flight of steps. Each villa has its name, or some motto inscribed over the gateway, the choice of which is generally meant to bespeak content and comfort on the part of the owner, and they afford a source of amusement to the stranger as he passes along. Thus, among others, we read, “ Lust en rust," Pleasure and ease; “ Wel to vrede,” Well contented; “ Myn genegentheid is voldoen,” My desire is satisfied; " Myn lust en leven,” My pleasure and life; “ Niet zoo guaalyk,” Not so bad; “ Gerustelyk en wel to vrede," Tranquil and content; “Vreindschap en gezelschap," Friendship and sociability; “ Het vermaak is in't hovenieren,” There is pleasure in gardening. And over the entrance to one of the teagardens, near Rotterdam, was inscribed, “ Het vleesch potten van Egypte." Some of the larger gardens abound with fruits and vegetables, and beds and borders of flowering shrubs and plants, are laid out in all the grotesque shapes that can be imagined. It must be confessed, however, that an air of comfort presides over these villas. Most of the dwelling houses are gaily painted in lively colours, all the offices and out-houses are kept in neat order, while the verdant meadows are covered with the finest cattle, mostly speckled brown and white.
• At the distance of about eight miles from Rotterdam, is the ancient town of Delft, once famous for its woollen manufactures, and more especially its pottery ware, which einployed many thousands of its inhabitants, and which was known by the name of Delft-ware, all over Europe'; but the superior and cheaper article, manufactured by Wedgwood, gave a death-blow to the potteries of Delft, which can scarcely now be said to exist. The traveller will observe, in passing through this town, a fine old Gothic church, and also one of a more recent date, with a lofty spire ; but as they were said to contain only monuments of the family of the House of Orange, of Grotius and Van Tromp, and that there was little worth seeing in the town, we did not stop; but in passing through a spacious marketplace, we could observe a copious supply of fine vegetables, and the common fruits of the country. The streets and houses appeared to be kept in neat and clean order, but the town wore a dull aspect, the more so, perhaps, after just leaving the bustle of Rotterdam. The whole country around Delft, with the exception of some contiguous gardens, and potatoe beds, consisted of rich pasturage, and a great number of very fine cattle were grazing in the meadows. No appearance of tillage, except small patches of stubble here and there, and a few enclosures of clover.'-pp. 67_71.
The Hague, as every body knows, was the principal, and now will be the only residence of the King of the Netherlands; it is a well built, handsome, clean and gentlemanly town, where he may do very well, if only he can contrive to keep himself quiet. Leyden