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is the Barrack | of St." Charles, capable of containing nearly 3,000 men. It was erected in 1800.
The AVorkhouse of Amsterdam, situated in the east part of the city, has long been celebrated for its excellent management. It is partly correctional and partly charitable, and while it afTords a comfortable refuge to the poor, is an admirable school for the reformation of offenders. The building is three hundred and sixty feet in length, and one hundred and eighty in breadth, and is capable of accommodating nearly a thousand inmates. In the rooms belonging to the governors and directresses, are some exquisite pictures by Vandyke, Rembrandt, and Jordaens, Some of the offences for which persons are occasionally confined in the workhouse, are not such as are usually cognizable by English law: for instance, husbands may, upon complaint of extravagance or drunkenness, duly proved, send their wives to be confined and receive the discipline of the house; and wives their husbands, for two, three, and four years together. In one part of the building, never shown to strangers, young ladies of good family are confined, by order of their parents or friends, for undutiful deportment.
The Rasp House, or House of Correction, where criminals, whose offence is not of a capital nature, are confined, is another establishment worthy of notice. The interior is an oblong square, on three sides of which are the cells of tlie prisoners, and on the fourth side, the warehouses containing the piles of wood, which are given to the prisoners as their daily task. Some are employed in cutting the wood, and others, in rasping it for the use of the dyers. In a comer of the court-yard is a cell, so contrived, that if the person placed in it do not continue to pump, he will be drowned. It has not, however, been used fur many years.
The law in Holland is by no means sanguinary, and few crimes are punishable with death; but it is clearly defined, and the penalty strictly enforced. Its object is to reform, not to destroy. Those who violate the lights of society are subject to imprisonment from two to twenty years, and are compelled, by hard labour, to contribute to the revenue of the state.
Amsterdam contains ten Reformed Dutch churches, a French Reformed church, an English Presbyterian church, twenty-two Roman Catholic churches, a Walloon church, three Lutheran churches, a Greek or Russian church, and several synagogues, but none of these buildings are distinguished by much architectural beauty.
The New Church, so called, although it has been built t»0 or three centuries, is one of the principal. It is situated on the Dam, near the Palace, and is said to have been erected in imitation of the cathedral at Amiens. It is upwards of three hundred feet in length, more than two hundred in breadth, and is lighted by seventy-five large windows. It contains the splendid monument erected by the government, in honour of Admiral Ruyter, the celebrated admiral who was wounded at Messina in 1676,
and died shortly afterwards at Aosta. Over the entrance to the tomb is inscribed, "Intaminatis fulget honoribus." He shines with untarnished Jwnours. There are also monuments in honour of Admiral Bentinck, who died in 1781, at the battle of the Dogger Bank, of Admiral Kensbergen, and the Dutch poet Vondel. The pulpit is of acacia-wood curiously carved, with representations of the Four Evangelists and the Christian Virtues; and tho organ has been much extolled on account of its size and powers of execution.
The Old Church, in the Warmoes-straat, dedicated to St. Nicholas, also contains several monuments, amongst which are those of Admiral Janz Sweers, Vander Hulst, Vander Zaan, Heemskirk, and Marshal Wirte. Three large painted windows in this church are much admired; they represent the Salutation of tho Virgin, the Virgin visited by her cousin Elizabeth, and the Virgin dying. Two of these windows are said to have been the gift of a wealthy burgomaster, named Claas Van Sloppen. He was accused of heresy, and of favouring the new or reformed religion. The priests and his confessor threatened him with excom munication, unless he recanted, and immediately undertook a pilgrimage to Rome, to obtain absolution from the pope, who had, no doubt, previously been made acquainted with his wealthy circumstances, and also that he was a bon vivant. The penance imposed by his holiness was, that ho should make a present of two painted-glass windows to the church of St. Nicholas, and that, for one whole year, he should drink nothing but water. The expense of tho glass windows was but a trifle to a man of his great wealth; but, never having been a water-drinker, ho felt convinced of his inability to perform that part of tho punishment. He therefore begged for a second audience, at which he acquainted his holiuess, that the water of Amsterdam was so unwholesome, that nobody drank it plain; and all he requested, was to be permitted to add a few grains of corn to correct its impurities, or he feared he should die before the windows were finished. The pope assented to this reasonable request, and Van Hoppen took good care to malt his water well. The Old Church is two hundred and forty-nine feet in length^two hundred and twenty-five feet at its greatest breadth, and six hundred and forty feet in circumference.
"In Holland clergymen are familiarly, but as a term of respect, called Domini. They are easily recognised by their court-looking dress and cocked hat. In the pulpit, instead of a gown, they use a long mantel, which consists of black cloth, only six inches broad, edged with silk, and fastened with a hook to the collar of the coat. Originally this mantle, from the numerous plaits of which it is composed, must have been sufficient to envelop the person, but probably, has gradually been reduced, to give more liberty to the speaker. Few of the clergy preach from memory. They generally read their discourses; and sometimes, -though rarely, their prayers. They are held in the greatest respect by the Dutch. In general, they are certainly exemplary and zealous in the discharge of their sacred functions. And, like the people at large, are distinguished for loyalty and strong attachment to their fatner-land*."
The appearance of the congregation in a Dutch church is singular. Considerable time and labour are requisite in preparing for the worshippers, and, in a large church, many attendants are employed. Almost all tne females are accustomed to keep their feet warm, by placing them on a chauffe-pied, or little pot with burning turf, the lid of which is perforated to diffuse the heat. The women sit by themselves in the body of the church, and the men in oakpews along the aisles, and, in cold weather, they also require the chauffe-pied. The women never alter their position after they are once seated, but, during the prayers, put a fan before the face. The men sit covered, except during prayer, when they rise and take off their hats. The dress of the females, generally consisting of a mob-cap, a print-gown, and a satin-apron, is so uniform, that little distinction of rank is visible to an ordinary observer. They usually come to church without cither bonnet or cloak, and even if it rain, walk through the shower with the calmest indifference.
The dress of the children in the Orphan School of Amsterdam is very singular; the coats, or jackets, of the boys are divided lengthways, one-half being of red and the other black. The girls are dressed in woollen gowns and aprons, with a white square linen cap, pinned close to the head in a peculiar form.
The Beguincst possess an institution in Amsterdam. These ladies reside in a largo isolated building, contiguous to which is a church, and uumerous inferior offices appropriated to their order, the whole being surrounded by a wall and ditch. Any female may enter into this society, being unmarried, or without children, upon a certificate of good character, and of her having an adequate income for her support. Each sister is required to attend stated prayers, and to be within the walls at a given hour at night; she has a small flower-garden devoted to her use: she is not distinguished by any dress, is free to pursue her own former habits during the day, and may marry from, or leave the establishment, when she pleases.
BIRTHS, MARRIAGES, AND BURIALS.
All births in Amsterdam, as well as 'in other Dutch towns, are registered by the police; and the parents of a child are subject to a penalty if they do not give notice of its birth, within three days, to the nearest magistrate or burgomaster. They then receive a copy of the register, which authorizes any minister to baptize the child if required, but if he should do so without this document, he is liable to a penalty.
Marriage, in Holland, is a civil contract, entered into before the magistrate, notice having been previously given of the intention of the parties; they then attend with two or three friends as witnesses, and the magistrate^ clerk reads over the marriage-contract, to which they give their assent by signing their names. Sometimes a religious sen ice takes place afterwards in the church, but this is not essential to the validity of the contract. Upon the celebration of marriage amongst the genteeler classes, it is the enstoni for the bride and bridegroom to send each a bottle of wine, generally fine hock, spiced and sugared, and decorated with all sorts of ribands, to the house of every acquaintance, a custom which is frequently very expensive.
The manner of performing burials is remarkable. On the decease of any person, immediate notice must be given to the magistrate, who employs an officer, called the aansprccker, or announcer, to ascertain the fact, and to make a public announcement of it. This person acts as a sort of crier, and is singularly dressed, wearing a long mourning cloak, a large three-cornered hat, with crape hanging from one of its corners, a pair of large clerical bands in front, and a long scarf streaming behind from thecollar of his coat. In this costume he calls at every door m the neighbourhood, and reads from a paper the name, age, and other particulars of the deceased. If the person be of wealth or consequence, several of these officers are employed, in order to give a wider circulation to the intelligence.
Preparations are then made for the funeral, which is left almost entirely to the undertaker and the aansprccker, the relatives generally retiring from the scene. There is no
• Sff.vkn's History of the Church at Rotterdam.
t A religious order of females. The word is said by some to be derUed from St. liegge, Duchess of Itrabant, who Jived in the seventh century, and was famous for her pietfi
passing-bell, no religious ceremony, and seldom any funeralprocession, unless the following may be so culled. The body is put into an oak collin, and placed upon a car, .somewhat like a hearse, but open on the sides, so that the coffin may be distinctly seen. The car is drawn by a pair of horses; the aansprceker walks before it, followed by the undertaker and his assistant, and the official mourner, who is dressed in a mourning cloak, bands, and scarf, with a large flat hat, several feet in circumference, and a wig of dishevelled hair hanging down to the waist. Sometimes, but rarely, a mourning coach follows the car, containing an individual, as the representative of the family. In this way the body is conveyed to tho Kerk-hof or burial place. This is a yard usually adjoining the church, surrounded by a wall to tho height of twelve or fourteen feet. The coffins are placed in rows, one above another, till they are nearly level with the top of the wall; a little sand is then spread over them, and the hof is closed till tho bodies are sufficiently decayed to be removed. The process is hastened by exposure to the atmosphere, but the nuisance to tho neighbourhood is intolerable. When Holland was in possession of the French, an attempt was made to do away with some of these disgusting cemeteries, and to provide more suitable places for the reception of the dead; but the burgomasters pleaded the expense, as the soil being so marshy, it would require immense quantities of sand, to make it solid enough for the purposes of interment, and strong embankments to protect it from the floods; and ultimately succeeded in maintaining the old method. When the hof has remained closed several years, while another has been filling, it is again opened; the coffins are broken up, and the fragments tied up and sold as firewood; the furniture is collected and sold to dealers in old iron; the remaining bones are wheeled away ir. barrows, and thrown into a vault beneath the church; and tho rest is sold to farmers for manure. The hof is then swept out, and ready to Teceive new inmates.
Amsterdam possesses a splendid Museum of Pictures, which is deposited in a building called the Trippenhuis, from the name of the original owner which was Trip. It was first formed in 1798, and has been gradually increasing to the present time. It is a singular circumstance, that this is almost the only fine collection in Europe, which was not removed to Paris' by Buonaparte.
"The Museum," says a modern tourist*, "is a good building, containing, on two floors, seven or eight rooms, well filled with nearly five hundred pictures, chiefly of the Dutch and Flemish schools, and many of them among the finest specimens of the several masters. Some of the best were removed from the Stadthuis when it became the palace; and to these were added others that were purchased, at the public expense, from private collections. A very few only can be noticed here. There are five pictures of Gerard Dow, all of them good, but two, in particular, are eminently beautiful. The one is a large picture of a school by candle-light. The other is a cavalier, and a richly-dressed lady, under the shade of a thick wood, highly and bountifully finished. There are three pictures of Van Dyke, but none in his best manner. A magnificent picture of B. Van der Heist, which Sir Joshua Reynolds pronounced to be, and few will dispute the propriety of his taste, superior to another large picture of Rembrandt, in the same collection, and so it is considered by the artists of Holland. It represents a feast given by the officers of a company of the civic guard of Amsterdam, commanded by Captain Witts, to the Spanish ambassador, in commemoration of the peace concluded at Miinster in 1648. Another picture of Vander Heist, representing a party of cross-bowmen, is fine, but every way inferior to the preceding. A very large picture of Paul Potter, representing a mountainous landscape, in the fore-ground of which is a boar defending itself against the attack of some dogs, urged by a huntei on horseback, accompanied by another on foot, while on the right of the picture, a young bear is seen clambering up a tree, with a dog springing after it. Another specimen of Paul Potter, is a rich landscape, well filled with oxou, goats, sheep, asses, &c. There are four pictures or Rembrandt, the most remarkable of which is that well known under the name of the Niyht Watch, which, if we may believe the Dutch, who ought to know, and the descriptive catalogue, is entirely a misnomer. It represents tho • 2'olir through South Holland,
■ieparture of a Captain Kok, with his officers and arqucbusiers, to fire at a mark. Rubens does not shine here; there are but two pictures of his. Jan Steen has a great number of pictures, the most exquisite of which, if not of his whole works, is that of a baker, in his shirt, placing his hot loaves on the window of his shop, while the boy is blowing the horn to announce "hot rolls."
There are also in this collection several pictures by Teniers and Ostode; Sea-pieces, by Van do Velde and Backhuvscn; Battle-pieces, by Wouvermans; Birds, Plants, and Insects, by Hondekoeter; Flowers and Fruits, by Huysum, Mignon, Van Os, and Ds Heem, besides many other pictures of great merit
Iu the same building are deposited numerous antiquities ir,d other curiosities; amongst them are two canes, which belonged to Admirals De Ruyter and Van Tromp, the chair occupied by Barneveldt when in prison, and a wooden hall, into which each of the confederate nobles drove a nail, as a token of fidelity to the league formed against the Duke of Alva. The whole is open to the public.
There are several literary institutions in Amsterdam, which are liberally supported. The Felix Meritis is the principal, and ranks amongst its members the most eminent literary and scientific men in Holland. Its object is, the promotion of the arts and sciences. The house in which its sittings are held, is situated in the Kevser's-graft, and contains a handsome concert-room, a theatre for the delivery of lectures, and a museum. There is also an Academy of Painting, Sculpture, Engraving, and Architecture.
At the Anatomical Theatre in the New Market, are preserved the skeletons of criminals who have beer, executed, and whose bodies have been sent here for dissection. They are dressed in the clothes they wore when living, and bear labels, stating what were the crimes foi vhieh they suffered.
At the southern extremity of the city, near the workhouse, is the plantation, consisting of about a hundred acres, laid out in avenues at right angles with each other, interspersed with small villas and summer-houses, and the whole surrounded by canals. To this spot such of the citizens and their families repair in the summer, to dine or drink tea, whose finances or spirit of economy will not admit of their having a house in the country. To render these rural indulgences as cheap as possible, three or four families sometimes join in renting a small cottage, or summer-house and garden. Adjoining the plantation is a small botanic garden, but it possesses few rare or curious plants.
Amsterdam abounds with institutions for the alleviation of tinman misery' and distress in all their various shapes. There are not less than forty, awl many of these are buildings of considerable size. Amongst them are nine hospitals and schools, for orphans, a lunatic asylum, and a foundling hospital containing nearly three thousand children. In some of these establishments a very beneficial regulation is made. Not more than two or three regular nurses arc kept; but the offices of kindness and attention to the sick, are discharged by those who are recovering. This saves expense, and they who have reaped the benefit of the institution, are enabled to repay the debt of gratitude in the most pleasing and efficient way. The first society for the restoration of drowned persons was formed in this city, in 1767, so that to the Dutch nation the English are indebted for those admirable institutions, by which so many of our countrymen have, at various times, been snatched from death, and restored to their families.
There are numerous schools in Amsterdam for the instruction of the children of the poor, who are admitted, under the direction of a certain number of managers, without distinction of religious sects. About four thousand children are thus educated.
DRESS OF THE INHABITANTS.
The dress of the upper classes in Amsterdam, differs but little from that worn by persons of the same rank in other cities of Europe. The ladies imitate the Parisian fashions, but the tradesmen's wives and servants seldom wear any covering on their head, but a cap, during the summer. In winter they have long cloaks with hoods, which they draw on their heads, concealing the greater
part of the face. Some of the aiderlv gentlemen may still be seen dressed as in the days of Queen Elizabeth, with a large three-cornered hat, a bushy wig slightlv powdered, a long-waisted coat with large-buttoned cuff's, a satin waistcoat with long flaps, knee and shoe buckles of massive silver, and a stout walking-oane mounted with gold; but the young men differ but little in dress from the English. Tne little round hat, the puckered jacket, and the capacious breeches, having entirely disappeared ai. Amsterdam, and being only visible in some of the remote parts of Holland.
The government of Amsterdam is vested in a senate or council of thirty-six members, and twelve burgomasters. The members of the council sit during life, and fill up the vacancies that occur in their own numbers by their own suffrages. The burgomasters, who are chosen by the citizens, out of a double number first nominated by the council, sustain the active magistracy of the city in rotation; the government of each lasting only three months, and the four who are to preside during the year being annually appointed burgomasters regent, an office very similar to that of the Lord Mayor of London. These magistrates have the keys of the bank deposited with them. There is also a court of burgomasters which decides all criminal causes; but in civil causes there is an appeal to the provincial council. The senate of Amsterdam formerly appointed the deputies to the States General, in which this city only held the fifth rank, although it sent four representatives, or double the number of any other of the'cities of Holland.
The police is under excellent regulations, and streetrobberies and house-breaking are seldom heard of. The men employed as watchmen are stout and active, but can scarcely be justly denominated guardians of the peace and quiet of tHfe inhabitants, as they spring their rattles every time they call out the hour of the night. Very few beggars are seen in the streets, and these are generally the aged and infirm.
Fires very seldom occur in Amsterdam. To guard against their spreading when they do, persons are appointed to stay all day and night in the towers of the highest churches, and as soon as they observe the flame, to hang out, if it be in the day, a flag; if in the night, a lantern; towards that quarter of the city in which it rises; and to accompany this by the blowing of a trumpet.
The country surrounding Amsterdam is low and marshy, but it consists of good pasturage, and abounds with peat, which is here used for fuel. When the peat is dug out, it is piled up about a foot or more in height, and when sufficiently dry, is cut into small pieces, and laid up in barns for sale. A great number of horned cattle are fed here, and the cows yield a large quantity of excellent milk.
In many places, the land is divided into polders. These are plots of ground enclosed by a bank of earth, and surrounded by a water-course, furnished with a flood-gate. The water is then pumped out of the enclosure by means of wind-mills, and the ground is thus drained. In consequence of the marshy nature of the soil, the atmosphere is heavy, and by no means healthy to those who have been accustomed to a dry air. The natives, however, experience no inconvenience from it.
About four or five miles from Amsterdam, is Brock or Broek, one of the most curious, and one of the prettiest villages in Holland. The streets are divided by little rivulets; tho houses and summer-houses, formed of wood, painted green and white, though whimsical in their appearance, are all remarkably neat. They are like so many mausolea, for the silence of death reigns throughout the place. The inhabitants, who have formed a peculiar association among themselves, scarcely ever. admit a stranger within their doors, and hold but little intercourse with each other. They are generally rich, and so attached to their homes, that during an inundation which took place a few years ago, and flooded the whole village, none of them could be induced to leave: they retreated to the upper floors, and received provisions in boats. The shutters of the windows in front, are generally kept closed, and the principal door is never opened, except at a baptism, a marriage, or a death. Almost every house, also, has a famil) table, which is never used but on one of these oc casions. The streets are paved in mosaic work, with various-coloured bricks, pebbles and cockleshells, and are kept with the greatest care. No carriages are allowed to pass along them, and it is said, that there was formerly a law, whicW obliged passengers to take off their shoes in summer, before they entered them. A man is said to have been reprimanded for sneezing in the streets, and a clergyman, who succeeded a very old predecessor, was treated with great shyness by his flock, because he omitted to take off' his shoos when ascending the pulpit. The little yards in front of these singular houses, are covered with sand, laid out in fcstoons and various devices; and the gardens attached to them present some of the most grotesque ornaments: deer, dogs, peacocks, chairs, tables anil ladders, being cut out of box, in endless profusion, whilst wooden swans and ducks, edge the small pieces of water with which the grounds are interspersed.
Another remarkable place in the vicinity of Amsterdam is Saardam, or Zaandam, celebrated as the village where Peter the Great worked as a shipwright. At a distance it appears a city of wind-mills, there being no less than four hundred saw, paper, tobacco, and corn mills, which add greatly to the wealth and prosperity of the place. There were formerly large magazines of timber, but no large ships are now built here, as the harbour has been long choked up with mud. The houses are principally built of wood. The principal street, or road, is about two miles long, and is bordered by a narrow canal, over which there arc upwards of one hundred small bridges, forming the approaches to the houses, which are situated in small gardens on the opposite bank.
It was in 1696 that Peter the Great, under rile name of Peter Michaeloff, presented himself at Saardam in the dress of a sailor, and entered the employ of one of the shipwrights. He worked for many weeks without any idea of his rank being entertained by his fellow-labourers; but when they discovered that ho was the Czar of all the Russias, they wished to pay him suitable respect; this, however, he refused, and insisted that they should all work together on the same terms of familiarity as before. The use which he made of the knowledge he obtained, here and at Deptford, is well known.
The hut in which Peter resided has been carefully preserved in the same state, and, in 1823, was purchased by the Princess of Orange, the sister of the Emperor Alexander. By her direction a brick building has been erected over it, so as to preserve it from injury. The hut consists of two rooms on the ground-floor, above which is a loft
where Peter kept various specimens of boat-building. The sitting-room contains his oak table and three chairs, as well as the recess in which he slept. The walls are covered with the names of persons who have visited the spot, and there are several albums also, in which strangers have inserted their signatures. The Emperor Alexander visited the hut in 1814, and ordered two tablets 'to be put up in the lower room; one bears the words Petro Magna, Alexander; the other may be thus translated,—" Nothing is too little for a great man."
The road from Amsterdam to Saardam is made along one of those surprising efforts of human industry, termed a dyke, by means of which, the Dutch have been enabled to bar out the encroachments of the ocean. As the traveller passes along it, he sees, on one side, the land many yards below him, whilst on the other, the sea rises almost to a level with his feet. These dykes are of various heights and thickness according to their situation. They are formed with a slope on each side, and many of them are sufficiently wide at the top for two carriages to go along them. The side of the mound towards the sea, is ornamented and strengthened by a species of reed, which is carefully planted by the Hollanders in spring and autumn. This catching the sand which the tide drives against the dyke, it rapidly accumulates, and soon affords a thick covering for the original mound. There is sometimes a second dyke formed behind the first, so that should the water burst the outer one, the second may save the country from inundation, whilst the hollow between the two, serves as a canal to carry off the occasional floods. These dykes are kept in repair by the government, at an immense expense; but their maintenance is absolutely necessary to the preservation of the country, a considerable portion of Holland being below the level of the sea. The poet Goldsmith alludes to these extraordinarv works of the Hollanders, in the following beautiful lines.
Metiiinks her patient sons before me stand,
Onward, methinks, and diligently slow,
LONDON: Published by JOHN WILLIAM PARKER, West Strand ; and sold by all Booksollcrs.