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muddy consciousness. Frank followed joyfully in chorus. The pedagogue, after turning black in the face, was compelled to succumb, although thereby he jeoparded his expectations; and Tim Wilkins's cheeks backed and filled, until the pent-up laughter rolled forth in torrents. In short, strange as it may appear to the soberminded reader, the male portion of the domestic circle being fairly
in for it,' burst madly from their spheres,' grasped their beavers as best they might, and entered upon a running fight with the chairs and tables, bumping their craniums against the half-open doors, and tripping their toes in the carpets, by which a part suddenly found themselves illustrating the convenience of a horizontal position ; and were in divers other ways impeded in their egress, and maimed in their progress. But like the linked sweetness long drawn out of a ministerial budget, these difficulties at length reached their finale, when the party, after performing, in a manner highly creditable, the laughing chorus of devils in Der Freischutz, separated to their respective lodgings, impressed with a dim perception of the truth that either they, or some other bipeds, had unwittingly made judys of themselves.
In process of time, the Widow Wimple was gathered to ber fathers, and our mercurial friend Frank was compelled for a season to submit to the sway of melancholy. But alas for the mutability of all things earthly! The sentimental Arabella eloped with a strapping subaltern in the dragoons, whose altitude of person was rivalled by the loftiness of his swagger, and the frequency of his oaths ; Dorothea chasseed with a dancing-master to the tune of over the hills and far away;' Saloma was wooed and won by a tragic hero of the sock and buskin,' whose feigned miseries proved irresistible; leaving Penelope, ' like Niobe all tears,' to do the grievous for the deserted family hearth-stone.
A few years' gone, the western star
On his lone evening watch surveyed,
Nouglit but interminable shade;
His trembling beams upon them played,
Many objects of attention are found in the environs of Amsterdam, among the villages and small towns wbich abound in this populous region. Excursions to the Texel by the new ship-canal; to Hoorn and to Naerden on the Zuyder Zee; and to many other points, which the various means of intercommunication render cheap and easy, will furvish the traveller with much information concerning the peculiarities of the Dutch. It is usual to make an excursion to the town of Zandam, or Sardam, as it is often called, situated on the opposite side of the Y from Amsterdam, for the purpose of seeing the but in which Peter the Great lived, when he worked there in 1696,as a common shipwright. This humble dwelling still remains, a monument of the decision of character and perseverance of that extraordinary monarch. It has been restored by direction of bis descendant the Emperor Alexander, who visited the spot in 1514, and enclosed to preserve it from further decay. At Zaandam every thing is in the purest style of Dutch neatness and ornament, indicating at the same time the prosperous industry and easy condition of the juhabitants.
But the most curious and characteristic place in this respect, is the celebrated village of Broek, in the district called Waterland, situated a little to the northeast of Amsterdam. The extreme humidity of the atmosphere in all parts of Holland, renders every precaution necessary to maintain cleanliness, and health, and comfort, and this is
particularly the case in the tract of country which lies between the Y, the Zuyder Zee, and the ocean, and which is completely saturated as it were with water. In Broek, however, the principle of neatness is pushed to the degree of burlesque extravagance. The whole village has the air of the little gaudy painted playthings of a toy-shop. The houses are of wood, painted green and white, each standing in the midst of its little garden, with its walks and borders laid out in the most curious and whimsical manner. The pavement of the streets is in a sort of mosaic of stones of different colors, and is constantly kept as neat and clean as possible. A custom prevails here, as in Zaandam, and in other parts of North Holland, of opening the principal door of the house only at the three great epochs of life, baptism, marriage, and burial. No dogs or horses are permitted to pass in the streets. As the gardens consist of a rich black mould that would adhere to the shoes; slippers are placed at the gate, which persons who enter put on for the time. To such an excess is every thing carried, that white curtains are found on the stable-window of many of the barns, which are as peatly painted as the dwelling-houses. Slippers are deposited within the door of the house, for persons, whether visiters or others, to put on when they come in, so as not to soil the carpets or floor. It is even said that the clergyman leaves his shoes at the foot of the pulpit stairs, and puts on a pair of slippers on ascending to the desk. Indeed, had I not received assurance of the truth of the facts from Hollanders who had resided in the village, and who could have no inducement to expose their friends to ridicule by misrepresentations, I should have hesitated to believe in these and other extravagances of the good people of Broek.
I did not visit either of these places, however, in person, but on leaving Amsterdam proceeded to Utrecht by the canal. The trekschuyt on this route is drawn by two horses, and travels with uncommon speed, although at a rate of fare somewhat higher than the ordinary boats. The route is considered one of the most agreeable in North Holland, as it begins on the river Amstel and terminates on the Vecht, passing successively through the villages of Ouderkerk, Abcoude, Baambrugge, Vreeland, Loenersloot, Loenen, Nieuwersluis with its fortitications and locks, Breukelen, Maarsen, and Zuilen. Several of these are on the Vecht, whose banks are sprinkled with pretty country seats near the water, as I have described them in other parts of Holland. It is stated in one of the books, that near to Utrecht the houses encroach so much on the canal that the horses are unharnessed, and the boat is dragged forward by an old woman. This did not happen when I passed the spot, but the boat was poled along just as is done by the boatman on the Ohio and the Mississippi. Nor if it had happened, would it have seemed particularly remarkable, I had so frequently seen women dragging along the schuyts on the canals in various parts of Holland. ludeed the task of attending at the bridges, of raising them when requisite, of taking care of the locks, and the like, appears to be generally devolved upon females.
Utrecht is situated at the confluence of the small river Vecht with the Old Rhine. It is built on a slight elevation, and surrounded by walls, and has existed from the time of the Romans, when it was known by the name of Ultrajectum or Trajectum Ulpii. In the
middle ages, it was the see of a rich and powerful independent bishopric, whose prelates bore an active part in the wars and dissensions of the times, Formerly it flourished greatly by means of its silk manufactures, which, although they have greatly declined, still subsist, together with fabrics of cloth, muskets, and
It also possesses, in cousequence of its position, considerable commerce with the interior, by means of the Vecht and the Rhine. Its climate is healthy, owing to the elevation of the ground, and its immediate environs are pleasant, which are among the advantages of its ancient and celebrated University.
The Cathedral of Utrecht consists of a noble fragment, or rather of two fragments, of an edifice, which seems originally to have been one of the finest specimens of church-architecture in the Netherlands, or at least in Holland. It was built in 630, by Dagobert I., king of the Franks, and is called the Domkerk. In 1674, a violent tempest broke down the nave or body of the church, leaving the tower at one end, and the choir and transept at the other, standing uninjured. The fragments having been removed, and the entrance of the remaining part of the edifice walled, a broad street runs between that and the lower, showing the great size of the intermediate part which has disappeared. The tower possesses very great elevation, affording an extensive view over a vast tract of country in every direction. Its bells and its carillon are celebrated for their magnitude, and for the excellence of their tones. The choir, which still exists, forms in itself a spacious church, continuing to be used for religious services, and affording an imposing idea of the vastness and splendor of the edifice when it was entire. The cloisters at the side of the church are occupied as the collegiate buildings of the University.
The Stadhuis has a handsome front, but is an irregular building, blocked in with others, and constructed without regard to the rules of symmetry Nor is there, among the other buildings of Utrecht, any one which merits very particular attention. In the vicinity of this city, however, is the charming village of Zeist, where the Moravian Brethren, so commendable for their benevolent principles of religion, and for their morality, decency, and industry, possess an extensive establishment.
Leaving Utrecht, I took the diligence to Antwerp, by the way of Breda. The road is excellent for the whole distance, except that it is necessary to cross the large rivers in ferry-boats. Until
you enter North Brabant, and approach Breda, the road passes through some of the lowest parts of Holland, in the region where the Lek and the Maes converge together, and along the sunken shores of the Biesbosch. It is, therefore, raised far above the surrounding country, sometimes apparently ten feet, and always to a considerable height, because otherwise it would be flooded during the winter, and in the occasional inundations, to which the whole territory is subject. The country is, of course, excessively wet, and the air is constantly filled with the damp exhalations, arising from so large a surface of fresh water, dispersed in rivers, canals, and lakes.
The first town of any note is Vianen, to arrive at which you cross the Lek. The ferry-boat was worked along by means of a
rope by his chain.
rope, and the mode of doing it was somewhat singular. Several men were employed to move the boat. Each of them made use of a small chain, with an iron plate fastened to the end of it. This chain be slung around the rope, so as to form a kind of knot by means of the plate, and then walked the boat along, holding on the
Vianen depends for subsistence upon the culture of flax, but is beautified by orchards and other rural ornaments in its environs. The ruins of the old castle of Batenstein still remain here, in which Henry de Brederode, the feudal superior of Vianen, held a meeting of nobles in 1566, to concert the means of resisting Philip of Spain.
Soon afterward you arrive at Gorcum, a large town situated at the junction of the Linge with the Maes or Waal, and carrying on a considerable commerce in grain, hemp, butter, and cheese. At this place, you cross the Waal, and arrive at the village of Worcum on the opposite side. Here, about two miles above you on the left, you see the remains of the famous castle of Loevestein, on the point of the island of Bommel, formed by the separation of the Waal into two branches. This now dilapidated casile has often served as a prison of state, and in it Grotius bad been confined for the space of three years, when he was set free by the bold and happy stratagem of his wife, Maria de Reigersbergen, who caused her husband to be conveyed away in a box, supposed to contain books, in which she herself had previously entered bis prison.
From hence the road passes through the country called the Land of Altena, lying on the eastern shore of the Biesbosch, until you pass another ferry, which brings you to the village of Raamsdork, near the fortified town of Gertruydenburg, which stands full in view on your right as you proceed. Here you enter North Brabant, by a new road leading to Breda, constructed under the direction of Napoleon, and of course a good one, which soon brings you to the large agricultural town of Oosterhout, where the face of the country is entirely changed. It is no longer a low sunken morass, filling the air with perpetual dampness; but, on the contrary, a dry and sandy soil, interspersed with woods of pine, and patches of cultivated land, shows that you ve reached a more healthful, if not a more productive, region. You thus arrive at the pretty town of Breda, through its delightful environs, which are in the highest state of cultivation, and justly admired for their beauty.
Breda is watered by the Merk and the Aa, and is well built and strongly fortified, and has obtained the various chances of war common for so many centuries to all the strong places in the Low Countries. It is well known in English history as the place of residence of Charles II., and his little court, in the time of Cromwell. Being a feudal possession of the house of Orange, it has been considerably beautified and improved by that family, who constructed there, in the sixteenth century, the noble castle which is seen on the banks of the Merk. Vestiges of an older castle, founded in 1350, also exist; and the general beauties of the place are enhanced by the esplanade and garden with its grove of trees. The cathedral, a fine edifice with a Lofty tower, contains a superb mausoleum of Engelbert de Nassau.