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467. Hague. Hague, on the south of Leyden, is a handsome town, containing about 40,000 inhabitants; so called from hagg, a wood, it being built near a grove. This is the seat of government, where the States General assemble, and is supposed to contain a greater proportion of magnificent houses than any town in the north of Europe. It stands on a dry soil, surrounded by a moat, over which are many draw-bridges. It is the residence of the high officers of government, and the courts of justice, and has many handsome streets and elegant squares. The grove north of the town is cut into beautiful alleys; and two miles distant is the village of Ryswick, famous for the the treaty of 1697, where is an elegant palace belonging to the prince of Orange.
468. JVavigation and Navy. The inland navigation of Holland is not equalled by that of any other nation; Canals being as numerous as highways in other countries, and too numerous to be described. Not only are goods transported by these canals, but the usual mode of travelling is in covered boats, which are drawn by horses who trot moderately along the sides of the canals. Formerly the Dutch were the second naval power in Europe, and in the days of Cromwell, their fleets, under De Ruyter and Van Tromp, almost maintained a balance of empire on the ocean. Since that time the Dutch navy has declined, and is no longer formidable.
469. Soil and Agriculture. The land in Holland being low, is unfit for grain, large quantities of which are imported from the Baltic. Tobacco and madder are among the plants most cultivated; the latter being an article of export. Yet by the greatindustry of the Dutch, the ground is made to produce a great variety of plants, and it abounds with excellent pasturage. The north of Holland supplies vast numbers of cattle, and an abundance of excellent butter for consumption and export. In the provinces adjoining to the sea, the land being lower than the sea, the water is shut out by dykes, of great bredth, which form a singular feature of the country. In former ages the dykes were not made sufficient, and in storms the sea often broke through them, inundating whole provinces, and destroying at once fifty or a hundred thousand lives. But the dykes being better made, have prevented such calamities in modern times. 470. Manufactures, Commerce, and Fisheries. The chief manufactures of Holland are linens, painted tiles, lether, wax, snuff, starch, loaf sugar, paper, with some cotton, silks and toys. The trade once extended to every commodity and to every country. Formerly the Dutch had rich possessions in the East Indies, and engrossed the trade in spices; but they have recently lost some of their most valuable territories. The fisheries of the Dutch were formerly a great source of wealth, but they have declined, especially the whale fishery. The herring fishery formerly occupied 2000 ships, but the number now does not exceed 200. 471. Character and Customs. The Dutch are low in stature, and the females taller than the males. They are of a cold, phlegmatic temper; slow, but firm and persevering; brave, frank, honest, and industrious. The climate being moist, disposes metals to rust, and wood to mold ; to which causes is attributed the habitual neatness of the Dutch, which extends to every article of furniture, as well as to the floors of their houses. The peasantry, and even the higher classes, are remarkable for retaining their old fashions and habits. They use a great portion of salt provisions and strong liquors, which seem to be required by the climate, and the same circumstance may have introduced the universal use of tobacco. In addition to the usual diversions, skating on the canals in winter is practiced from the senator to the milk-maid. --BELGICA. 472. Divisions. The ten provinces of the Nether. lands which were reduced to the authority of Spain in the 16th century, are Dutch and Austrian Brabant, Limburg, Luxemburg, Namur, Hainault, Cambresis, Artois, Flanders and Antwerp. Some of these provinces were afterwards conquered by the Dutch, and others by the French, before the late revolution. But all those which belonged to Austria have been recently conquer. ed and annexed to France, together with all the posses
sions of the German princes on the west of the Rhine, which now form the northern departments of that powerful empire. 473. Situation and Ertent. The Austrian and French Netherlands lie between the 49th and 53d degrees of north latitude, and between the 2d and 7th of east longitude. Including the German states, this territory is nearly 300 miles in length from east to west, and 200 in bredth, and is bounded east by the Rhine, north by the states of Holland, and west by the ocean. The inhabitants may be estimated at nearly three millions. 474. General Description. These departments of France are in general a level fertile country, highly cultivated, and rich in corn, cattle, flax and fruits. Some of the eastern departments are hilly, and have mines of iron, lead, copper, sulphur and coal. . The rivers are the Meuse, the Samber and Scheldt, with numerous smaller streams. The principal canals are those of Brussels, Ghent and Ostend. The Flemings, the name given to the inhabitants, are Catholics; a blunt, honest people, ignorant and superstitious. Their chief manufactures for export, are laces and fine linens, especially cambrics, so called from Cambray, the chief place of its manufacture. 475. Towns. Brussels, the capital of Brabant, and formerly the residence of the Austrian Governors, is situated on the Senne, a small river, and is a handsome town. It is seven miles in circuit, and surrounded with a brick wall, but not capable of being defended from an enemy. It contains many fine squares and superb edifices; but is on the decline. There are 20 public fountains, adorned with statues, at the corners of the streets, and in the middle of the town-house is the figure of Neptune, with tritons and horses, spouting water from their nostrils. Here is also a little town for a nunnery, surrounded by a ditch, with little streets and distinct apartments for the nuns. 476. Antwers. Antwerp is situated on the east side of the Scheldt, which admits ships of burden to this place. In the 15th century, this was the greatest commercial city in the north of Europe; but after the states M
of Holland had become free, they obstructed the channel of the river, and in the treaty of Munster, they stipulated with the emperor, to prevent any large ships from going to Antwerp, till her cargo was unloaded in some port in Holland. In this manner the trade of Antwerp was nearly ruined, and some of the streets are overgrown with grass, Still it is a place of consequence, and many of the citizens are opulent bankers. The manufactures are tapestry, lace and jewelry. The exchange here, was the model for those of London and Amsterdam. No city in the Notherlands contains so many elegant edifices; but the Hanse-house, which contained, on the middle floor, 300 lodging rooms for merchants, is now a horse barrack. 477. Ghent. At the confluence of the Scheldt and the Lys, is Ghent, a large town, containing 70,000 inhabitants. The rivers which run through it form 26 islands, and not less than 300 bridges are laid over the canals. On one of these is a statue of brass representing a young man, who, for some crime, had been condemned to cut off his father's head. But as he was listing his hand to strike, the blade of the instrument separated from the hilt, which accident produced a pardon for both. This city has wide streets, well paved, houses of brick, and spacious market places. It has manufactures of wool, silks and linen, and carries on a considerable commerce in corn. 478. Ostend and Dunkirk. Östend is a well fortified sea port, with a good harbor, and a magnificent townhouse. It is not a large town, but so strong that it sustained a siege by the Spaniards from 1601 to 1604, when it was nearly reduced to ashes. It is asserted that the besiegers lost 80,000 men in the siege, and the garrison 50,000. Dunkirk, 22 miles south-west of Ostend, is a strong town, with a good harbor, and containing 80,000 inhabitants. In consequence of the annoyance which the privateers gave to the English commerce during war, Great Britain procured a stipulation, at the peace of Utrecht in 1713, that its fortifications should be demolished and its harbor filled up. This has been done repeatedly, but the works have been since rebuilt.
GERMANY., west of THE RHINE.
479. Cologne. The electorate of Cologne lies upon the west side of the Rhine, extending along that river about 70 miles. The city of Cologne, within the electorate, is free and independent, in civil concerns, but the elector has jurisdiction over criminal causes. The elector resides at Bonn. The city of Cologne is situated on the Rhine, is strongly fortified, flanked with 83 towers, and surrounded with three ditches. It lies in the shape of a half moon, and though its inhabitants are estimated at only 50,000, it contains 57 monasteries and nunneries, and 80 churches and chapels, with a university. The streets are badly paved, and the windows composed of small round bits of glass. The inhabitants are mostly Catholics, and the city abounds with clergy, precious relics, and religious ceremonies. Among the relics are the bones and heads of 1 1,000 pretended virgin martyrs, kept in cases of silver—several thousand skulls decked with garlands and coronets—three thorns from our Saviour's crown, and the bodies of the wise men who came from the east to visit Christ, kept in a shrine spangled with gold.
480. Juliers. The duchy of Juliers lies between the Rhine and Meuse, and is about 60 miles by 30 in extent. It is a country very fruitful in corn and grass, and is remarkable for a fine breed of horses. Among its productions is woad, an article used in dyeing. Its chief city, Juliers, situated upon the Roer, is small but well fortified, with broad, regular streets, and good houses. It has a manufactory of woollens and another of linens.
481. Treves. The electorate of Treves or Triers, south of Cologne, is full of mountains and forests, but watered by the Rhine and Moselle, near which the land is fruitful. The capital of this electorate, Treves, stands on the Moselle, over which is a stone bridge. It was a free city until 1560, when it was surprized and subjected by its archbishop. It contains 8 churches, three colleges of Jesuits, 13 monasteries and nunneries, and a university, with some remains of a Roman theater. The houses are not elegant, nor the city populous. In the