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follows, famous for its university, its botanical garden, its Broadstreet, said to be fully equal in beauty to the High-street of Oxford, and its charming environs, studded with villas, gardens and pleasure houses. Haarlem then succeeds, 'very well built, very clean and very dull, but remarkable for its gardens, whence we are annually supplied with roots of tulips, hyacinths and jonquils. The reader need hardly be reminded of the rage which at one time prevailed in Holland, in favour of the tulip, and of the enormous prices which were occasionally given for the bulbs of particular kinds. But he would be grossly deceived, if he were led to think that in this rage, there were anything of real sentiment. Dutch sentiment! That would indeed have been a curiosity greater than the Semper Augustus* itself. The real truth of the story is,' as the author candidly states, that these tulip roots were never bought or sold, but they became the medium of a systematised species of gambling. The bulbs, and their divisions into perits, became like the different stocks in our public funds, the objects of the balls and bears, and were bought and sold at different prices from day to day, the parties settling their account at fixed periods; the innocent tulips, all the while, never once appearing in the transactions, nor even thought of.' “Before the tulip season was over, says Beckman,"more roots were sold and purchased, bespoke and promised to be delivered, than in all probability were to be found in the gardens of Holland ; and when Semper Augustus was not to be had anywhere, which happened twice, no species perhaps, was oftener purchased and sold.” The Dutch, in fact, under the hypocritical pretext of dealing in flowers, for there are not greater pharisees in the world, pursued a system of deep gambling, to which the government at length found it necessary to put an end.
We next arrive with our party at Amsterdam, one of the most extraordinary cities in Europe, which, in the thirteenth century, was nothing better than a swamp, with a few fishermen's huts perched upon its higher and drier parts, those huts being constantly liable to inundation, and having been, in point of fact, often covered by the sea. Nevertheless, industry collected riches upon this spot; by degrees it became the great emporium of commerce for Holland, and is now a collection of magnificent streets, three of which,' says the author, are not easily to be matched in any other town or city in Europe for their length, width, and the grandeur and elegance of their buildings.' He adds-
• The numerous canals of Amsterdam, it is said, divide the city into ninety different islands, communicating by two hundred and eighty bridges, either of stone or of wood, the latter being draw-bridges, and many of the former having sluices to open in the centre for the passage of boats, and others for the purpose of regulating the level of the water in the canals.
* A rare species of Tulip.
These sluices are so placed, and so well attended to, that little danger or damage is now apprehended from high tides and storms on the Zuyder Zee, which, in former times, was but too frequently experienced !-
One of the disagreeables of Amsterdam is the mixture of muddy and sea water in its countless canals, which are, for the most part, stagnant, although the means exist for rendering them in this respect perfectly inoffensive. Horses can seldom live long at Amsterdam, on account of the deleterious character of the water,--a circumstance, by the way, which proves that the Amsterdamites are no water-drinkers, for they are said to be as robust and healthy a set
persons as can be found in all Holland. Our author's description of this extraordinary city is not destitute of interest.
Whoever is desirous of seeing human ingenuity and human industry most successfully and most extensively exerted, for the purpose
of counteracting the injurious effect of one of the most powerful and destructive elements, and by means the most simple, must visit Holland, and more particularly Amsterdam. He will there see and admire the simple and effectual means that have been adopted for the security of the town, by bringing the waters under complete control.
• The whole extent of the sea-front, with the quays, and the shipping, is protected from injury by a double stockade of strong, square, wooden posts, kuown by the name of boomen or barriers, extending at a distance from the quay along the whole line of the city, from the north-west to the south-east corner, a distance of two miles and a half. These large beams of wood are firmly fixed in pairs, with openings between each tier, at certain distances, to allow ships to pass them to and from the quays. Of these openings or passages, there are twenty-one, all of which are closed by night; so that nothing can arrive at, or depart from, the quay, till they are set open. By means of these barriers, the injurious effects of the waves on the wharf wall, by being divided and dispersed, as well as of masses of ice driven down from the northward, are completely obviated.
• All the quays, and, indeed, every house in Amsterdam, are built upon piles; and as each of these is a large tree or baulk of timber, of forty or fifty feet in length, some idea may be formed of the expense of building in Amsterdam, as well as of the immense quantity of timber that must have been brought thither for this purpose alone. It is recorded that the number of piles on which the old Town House, now the Royal Palace, is built, amounts to upwards of thirteen thousand.
• Indeed the industry of the Dutch is not to be surpassed ; and it is exercised not only with great skill and ingenuity, but also with indefatigable perseverance; otherwise they never could have succeeded in accomplishing such great undertakings with such small means.
• On no occasion, perhaps, is this ingenuity and perseverance more dis . played than in the means employed in conquering the waters of the ocean, and in bringing under subjection the rivers, lakes, and canals with which they are surrounded on either side, by means of sluices, drains, ditches, and windmills, of the last of which, for this and other purposes, such as sawing wood, grinding corn, and crushing seeds for oil, the number in the vicinity of all their towns and cities is perfectly astonishing.
These windmills are remarkable objects on the Boulevards of Amsterdam. There are no less than thirty bastions in the line of fortification on the land side, and on each bastion is a windmill, of a description larger than common, for grinding corn, and other purposes. It is whimsical enough that, surrounded as they are with water on every side, there is not a watermill in the whole country. It suited their purpose better to raise a contention between the elements, by employing the wind to drive out the water
Necessity, indeed, taught the Hollander this; for if it were not for the complete subjection in which the waters are held by this and other means, the city of Amsterdam might at any one moment be altogether submerged. The idea of such a calamity, happening to a city which is stated to contain near two hundred thousand inhabitants, calls for every precaution that can be put in practice to avert it.
of this number of inhabitants, consisting chiefly of Calvinists, Catho. lics, Lutherans, and Jews, by far the greater part are engaged in some kind of commerce or other; few of them in manufactures, except such as are
every-day use, and for home consumption. Many of the artizans and the poorer classes, inhabit the cellars under the houses of the more opulent, and a great many reside constantly on the water, in comfortable apartments built on their trading vessels, more particularly those employed in the inland navigations.
In this and many other respects, the Dutch bear a strong resemblance to the Chinese ; like this industrious and economical race, they keep their hogs, their ducks, and other domestic animals, constantly on board. Their apartments are kept in a state of great neatness; the women employ themselves in all the domestic offices, and are assiduous in embellishing their little sitting-rooms with the labours of the needle, and many of them have little gardens of tulips, hyacinths, anemonies, and various other flowers. Some of these vessels are of great length, but generally narrow, suitable to the canals and sluices of the towns. Each vessel is generally navigated by the members of one family, of which the female part is by no means the least useful, nothing being more common than to see the women steering, poling, hauling the ropes, or employed on some other duties of the craft.'-pp. 97-100.
This is not the sixth part of the information which the author gives about Amsterdam, although he and his party remained in that city but two days, after which they set off for Nimeguen in a char-à-banc, or, as we should call it, a tax-cart, (because no tax it pays,) drawn by two horses, passing by Utrecht, whose once famous university has fallen into decay. At Nimeguen they embarked in a steam-boat on the Rhine, and took leave of the ditches, dykes, sloots, and sluices of Holland, which, with all its drawbacks, the author considers to be unquestionably one of the most curious and most interesting countries in the world ! "And as to the people,' he adds, who inhabit, and whose ancestors may fairly be said to have created it, though they have been represented as cold and uncourteous towards strangers, rude in their speech, and repulsive in their manners, we can, with honest truth, 'declare, that so far from experiencing any conduct of this kind, or having the slightest
vol. 111. (1831.) NO. I.
ground of complaint in any one instance, or in any part of the country from Rotterdam to Nimeguen, we never found them to be wanting in the common courtesies and civilities of life.'
The town of Emmerick marks the frontier of Prussia, which our party reached in three hours from Nimeguen : here, and indeed a's far as Dusseldorf, the country on both sides of the river is a dead flat, consisting for the greater part of low natural banks, overgrown with reeds, rushes, and willows. The appearance of the inhabitants is in keeping with this dull scenery, exhibiting every where the disagreeable signs of extreme poverty, houses in ruins surrounded by filth, the men, women, and children, ill clad, ill-looking, dirty, and as brown as mulattoes. At Neus, the Novesium of the Romans, a range of fine blue hills show themselves at a distance, holding out the promise of better things; the country on each side becomes better cultivated, and soon Cologne, with its numerous spires and towers, rises on the horizon. At the distance of three or four miles, no finer object can be imagined than the view which the navigator obtains of that ancient city, at the head of a noble expanse of water, magnificently bordered on both banks, the town of Deutz, with its old Benedictine abbey, being immediately opposite to Cologne, and farther inland, on the slope of the hills, the ruins of the once splendid chateau of Bensberg.
The churches, paintings, antiquities, and other “ lions” of Cologne, may well detain even the most hurried traveller a day or two ; he may then proceed by a caleche to Bonn, admire its beautiful market, in which the truly wonderful phenomenon may be witnessed, of two hundred women, neatly dressed, all in a row, carrying on their business of selling greens, fruit, bread, butter, and eggs, with a tranquillity that may be said to be silence! Enjoying as he goes along views of the Rhine, varied in grandeur and beauty, he may, if he likes it, diverge to many villages, and towns, and mountains, amongst which he can amuse himself with thousands of legends, which are associated with every spot of this storied country, visiting Coblentz and Frankfort, and such other places as his leisure may permit
. He must excuse us, however, from accompanying him, as we do not feel disposed at present to go beyond what our author justly describes as the romantic portion of the Rhine,' which the traveller passes through on his way from Coblentz to Mayence.
* The romantic portion of the Rhine is that between Boppart and Bingen, in which the several reaches of the river form a constant succession of lakes, accompanied by the most enchanting and diversified scenery, encircled with a chain of the most picturesque mountains, some clothed with wood, others naked, black, and frowning with rocks, rearing their pinnacled heads under every fantastic shape, and scarcely distinguishable from the ruined remains of forts and castles, which are seen crowning their rugged summits, themselves" shaped as they had turrets been, in mockery
of man's art;" while the narrow spaces between their feet and the margin of the lakes are smiling with cultivation, and enlivened with towns and villages in the midst of vineyards. Here, in short, is
• "A blending of all beauties; streams and dells,
Fruit, foliage, crag, wood, corn-fields, mountain, vine,
From grey but leafy walls, where Ruin greatly dwells."
On clearing the ravine, however, the scene was entirely changed, and the eye had full scope to range round the whole of the southern, eastern, and western horizons. The sun was just setting as we left the dark and gloomy gulph, and its western rays, falling on the little town of Bingen, and the vine-clad side of the opposite mountain, afforded a contrast equally striking and agreeable. The broad expansive Rhine glistened in the sunbeams, as its ample volume flowed majestically towards us, interrupted only by the Maus-thurm, or as travellers interpret it, the tower of rats, which is built on a rock in the middle of the river, and by dividing the current, adds to the velocity and the noise of the Bingen-lock, which is considered to be dangerous to navigation.
• The endless succession of ancient dilapidated castles is generally spoken of by travellers with a degree of rapture in which some of us did not exactly partake. The eternal round tower, or stone cylinder, which always accompanies, and is always left standing amidst, the castellated ruins, and that alone sometimes remaining, is the very reverse of picturesque. There is besides a moral feeling attached to them, that is apt to carry the recollection back to those days of feudal tenure, when murder and robbery were hardly considered as crimes; and when many an unhappy victim lingered out a miserable existence in the cells and dungeons of these ancient ruins, which still remain as memorials of the villanous scenes that hare been transacted within their walls. A French writer thinks otherwise ; he tells us how delightful he feels in transporting himself in imagination to those remote ages of ancient chivalry—those ages, as he calls them, of valour and virtue,-in imagining himself to be surrounded by those preur chevaliers, the protectors of weakness, the defenders of a sex which in those days knew no other ornament but delicacy and gentility. Perhaps he would have been nearer the truth if, instead of preux chevaliers, he had painted these castles to his mind as the retreats of bands of brigands. Lord Byron, we suspect, bas taken a juster view of them.
6" Beneath these battlements, within those walls
Power dwelt amidst her passions; in proud state
Than mightier . heroes of a longer date. ' As we were here to quit th Rhine, a word or two may be added on the general character of this interesting river. We frequently find the epithet "magnificent” coupled with the Rhine. To speak correctly, it is not sufficiently capacious to justify the application of that term; but to the eye of the traveller it possesses charms, abundantly superior to those rivers that are só truly magnificent, that one shore is frequently invisible from the other.