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It may, at first sight, appear singular that the polders, the source of agricultural wealth and fertility, should be equally important to the couutry in a military point of view; this is, however, the case. By opening the sluices, cutting the dykes, and inundating the low meadows they enclose,-a measure fraught with ruin, and therefore only resorted to at the last extremity, - the Dutch may bid defiance to the strongest force brought against them; as, though the depth of water and mud upon a submerged polder is sufficiently great to check the advance of an army, it is too shallow to admit the passage of any but small boats. It is true, that a hard frost sometimes converts the water which serves as a defence in summer, into a bridge for the invading foes in winter. By availing themselves of the desperate resource of drowning the land to save it, the Dutch purchased their freedom from the yoke of Spain ; and Europe beheld with astonishment the most powerful monarch in the world, upon whose dominions the sun never set, baffled by the hardy efforts of the inhabitants of a country which in extent is not much greater than Yorkshire. In a following age, 1672, at a time when most of the provinces had opened their gates in consternation to Louis XIV., Holland opened to him her sluices, and was thus preserved from French tyranny. They have made the same sacrifice with equal success at various other periods of their history; and even in 1830-32, every thing was prepared to inundate the country, in the event of an inroad of the French army into Holland, which was at that time threatened.

12. DUNES. The Dunes, or sand-hills, which extend along the coast of Holland from Dunkirk, nearly without interruption, to the Helder, varying in breadth between 1 and 3 miles, and rising sometimes to 40 or 50 ft. in height, are formed entirely by the action of the wind blowing up the sand of the sea-shore : they are a source of good and evil to the country; they serve as a natural barrier to keep out the ocean ; a benefit which, but for the ingenuity and contrivance of man, would be more than counterbalanced by the injury done by their progress inland. On the sea-shore they are mere loose heaps, driven about by every blast, like snow-wreaths on the Alps; and, were they not restrained, would move onward year after year, and inundate the country. In passing over a desert of this kind at Schevening, on a windy day, the atmosphere appears dim with the particles of sand blown like smoke through the air. The height of the dunes depends upon the fineness of the sand, as the wind has, of course, the most power in transporting the minuter particles. Camperdown, memorable in the naval annals of Britain, is one of the loftiest on the whole coast, owing to this cause.

To cheek the dispersion of the sand, and the evil attending it, the dunes are sowed regularly every year with plants congenial to it, for even sand has a vegetation peculiar to itself, which may be called luxuriant : but a species of reed grass which grows near the sea (Arundo arenaria) is principally employed, and to greatest advantage. In a short time, the roots spread and combine so as to hold fast the sand, and cover the surface with a succession of verdant vegetation, which, growing and decaying on it, accumulates upon it a layer of earth capable at length of producing a crop of excellent potatoes, and even of supporting plantations of firs. Most of the plants, thus cultivated on the Dunes, may be seen in the Botanic Garden at Leyden.

Before the attempt was made to arrest the progress of the sand, it had advanced, in the course of centuries, far into the interior; and it has recently been found worth while, in some instances, to dig away and remove the superincumbent hillocks, and lay bare the good soil buried by them : on being again exposed to the air and light, it is found to be still fertile and productive.

13. GARDENS AND SUMMER-HOUSES. Though the charm of variety of aspect and inequality of surface has been denied by nature to Holland, it is made up for, in a certain degree, by the high cultivation of its fields and gardens. In whatever direction the traveller passes through the country, and whether by road or canal, he will find the way enlivened by country seats (buiten plaatsen) and pleasure-gardens; in the laying out and maintaining of which great wealth is expended, though they do not always show much taste. They present the most perfect pictures of prettiness, with their meandering walks and fantastically cut parterres, filled with flowers of gaudiest hue. If possible, each garden is provided with a fishpond; and, if it be wanting, the first step which a Dutch proprietor invariably lakes, upon entering a newly-acquired demesne, is to dig a large hole that he may convert into a pond; so great an attachment does he appear to have for that element which surrounds him on all sides, wbich is never out of his sight, and which invariably stagnates before his door in the shape of a canal. At the extremity of the garden a pair of iron gates is erected, often more for ornament than use. Through these, or through a gap made purposely in the hedge, the passer-by is admitted to expend his admiration on the beauties within, on the pyramids of flower-pots, trim box borders, and velvet lawns and grass plots. At the very end of the garden, overlooking the high road or canal, a summer-house is always placed, called zomerhuis (summer-house), tuin huis (garden-house), or koepel (cupola) : this is the resort of the family in spring and summer afternoons. Here the men smoke their pipes and sip their beer, coffee, or tea; the old ladies ply the knitting needle, and the young ones amuse themselves with eyeing and criticising the passers-by. In the neighbourhood of all the large towns, the citizens and tradespeople, who have their shops and counting-houses in the crowded and narrow streets, generally have such a pavilion in a small garden on the outskirts, even though they have no house attached to it, to which they can retire when the business of the day is over. Very frequently, on entering a town, the traveller passes through a whole street of such gazabos. By a peculiarity of taste, they are invariably placed in a stagnant ditch, which is usually covered with a luxuriant crop of green duckweed, and often offends the nose by the noisome odours which it exhales. The consequence is, that ere the sun goes down, however warm the evening, these ditch-bestriding pleasure-houses must be abandoned to the neighbourly frogs ; and they who should venture to prolong their evening recreations beyond a certain hour, might pay for their temerity by a fever produced by the unwholesome exhalations which then begin to rise.

“ These little buildings are so very numerous as to form a characteristic feature of the country. 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 te vreden,' Well contented; • Myn genegentheid is voldaan,' My desire is to satisfy; · Myn lust en leven,' My pleasure and life; · Niet zoo kwaalyk,' Not so bad; • Gerustelyk en wel te vredn,' Tranquil and content ; · Vriendschap en gezelschap,' Friendship and sociability ; · Het vermaak is in't hovenieren,' There is pleasure in gardening. And over the entrance to one of the tea-gardens, near Rotterdam, was inscribed, · De vleesch It may, at first sight, appear singular that the polders, the source of agricultural wealth and fertility, should be equally important to the couutry in a military point of view; this is, however, the case. By opening the sluices, cutting the dykes, and inundating the low meadows they enclose,-a measure fraught with ruin, and therefore only resorted to at the last extremity, - the Dutch may bid defiance to the strongest force brought against them; as, though the depth of water and mud upon a submerged polder is sufficiently great to check the advance of an army, it is too shallow to admit the passage of any but small boats. It is true, that a hard frost sometimes converts the water which serves as a defence in summer, into a bridge for the invading foes in winter. By availing themselves of the desperate resource of drowning the land to save it, the Dutch purchased their freedom from the yoke of Spain; and Europe beheld with astonishment the most powerful monarch in the world, upon whose dominions the sun never set, baffled by the hardy efforts of the inhabitants of a country which in extent is not much greater than Yorkshire. In a following age, 1672, at a time when most of the provinces had opened their gates in consternation to Louis XIV., Holland opened to him her sluices, and was thus preserved from French tyranny. They have made the same sacrifice with equal success at various other periods of their history; and even in 1830-32, every thing was prepared to inundate the country, in the event of an inroad of the French army into Holland, which was at that time threatened.

12. DUNES. The Dunes, or sand-hills, which extend along the coast of Holland from Dunkirk, nearly without interruption, to the Helder, varying in breadth between 1 and 3 miles, and rising sometimes to 40 or 50 ft. in height, are formed entirely by the action of the wind blowing up the sand of the sea-shore : they are a source of good and evil to the country; they serve as a natural barrier to keep out the ocean ; a benefit which, but for the ingenuity and contrivance of man, would be more than counterbalanced by the injury done by their progress inland. On the sea-shore they are mere loose heaps, driven about by every blast, like snow-wreaths on the Alps; and, were they not restrained, would move onward year after year, and inundate the country. In passing over a desert of this kind at Schevening, on a windy day, the atmosphere appears dim with the particles of sand blown like smoke through the air. The height of the dunes depends upon the fineness of the sand, as the wind has, of course, the most power in transporting the minuter particles. Camperdown, memorable in the naval annals of Britain, is one of the loftiest on the whole coast, owing to this cause.

To cheek the dispersion of the sand, and the evil attending it, the dunes are sowed regularly every year with plants congenial to it, for even sand has a vegetation peculiar to itself, which may be called luxuriant : but a species of reed grass which grows near the sea (Arundo arenaria) is principally employed, and to greatest advantage. In a short time, the roots spread and combine so as to hold fast the sand, and cover the surface with a succession of verdant vegetation, which, growing and decaying on it, accumulates upon it a layer of earth capable at length of producing a crop of excellent potatoes, and even of supporting plantations of firs. Most of the plants, thus cultivated on the Dunes, may be seen in the Botanic Garden at Leyden.

Before the attempt was made to arrest the progress of the sand, it had advanced, in the course of centuries, far into the interior; and it has recently been found worth while, in some instances, to dig away and remove the superincumbent hillocks, and lay bare the good soil buried by them : on being again exposed to the air and light, it is found to be still fertile and productive.

13. GARDENS AND SUMMER-HOUSES. Though the charm of variety of aspect and inequality of surface has been denied by nature to Holland, it is made up for, in a certain degree, by the high cultivation of its fields and gardens. In whatever direction the traveller passes through the country, and whether by road or canal, he will find the way enlivened by country seats (buiten plaatsen) and pleasure-gardens; in the laying out and maintaining of which great wealth is expended, though they do not always show much taste. They present the most perfect pictures of prettiness, with their meandering walks and fantastically cut parterres, filled with flowers of gaudiest hue. If possible, each garden is provided with a fishpond; and, if it be wanting, the first step which a Dutch proprietor invariably takes, upon entering a newly-acquired demesne, is to dig a large hole that he may convert into a pond; so great an attachment does he appear to have for that element which surrounds him on all sides, which is never out of his sight, and which invariably stagnates before his door in the shape of a canal. At the extremity of the garden a pair of iron gates is erected, often more for ornament than use. Through these, or through a gap made purposely in the hedge, the passer-by is admitted to expend his admiration on the beauties within, - on the pyramids of flower-pots, trim box borders, and velvet lawns and grass plots. At the very end of the garden, overlooking the high road or canal, a summer-house is always placed, called zomerhuis (summer-house), tuin huis (garden-house), or koepel (cupola): this is the resort of the family in spring and summer afternoons. Here the men smoke their pipes and sip their beer, coffee, or tea; the old ladies ply the knitting needle, and the young ones amuse themselves with eyeing and criticising the passers-by. In the neighbourhood of all the large towns, the citizens and tradespeople, who have their shops and counting-houses in the crowded and narrow streets, generally have such a pavilion in a small garden on the outskirts, even though they have no house attached to it, to which they can retire when the business of the day is over. Very frequently, on entering a town, the traveller passes through a whole street of such gazabos. By a peculiarity of taste, they are invariably placed in a stagnant ditch, which is usually covered with a luxu. riant crop of green duckweed, and often offends the nose by the noisome odours which it exhales. The consequence is, that ere the sun goes down, however warm the evening, these ditch-bestriding pleasure-houses must be abandoned to the neighbourly frogs ; and they who should venture to prolong their evening recreations beyond a certain hour, might pay for their temerity by a fever produced by the unwholesome exhalations which then begin to rise.

- These little buildings are so very numerous as to form a characteristic feature of the country. 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 te vreden,' Well contented; • Myn genegentheid is voldaan,' My desire is to satisfy ; • Myn lust en leven,' My pleasure and life; · Niet zoo kwaalyk,' Not so bad; Gerustelyk en wel te vredn,' Tranquil and content ; Vriendschap en gezelschap,' Friendship and sociability ; Het vermaak is in't hovenieren,' There is pleasure in gardening. And over the entrance to one of the tea-gardens, near Rotterdam, was inscribed, De vleesch

potten van Egypte,' The flesh pots of Egypt. 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 black and white.” — Family Tour in South Holland.

The following description proceeds from the sarcastic and dashing pen of the author of “ Vathek," and may be regarded as an amusing caricature of Dutch taste :

“ Every flower that wealth can purchase diffuses its perfume on one side; whilst every stench a canal can exhale poisons the air on the other. These sluggish puddles defy all the power of the United Provinces, and retain the freedom of stinking in spite of any endeavour to conquer their filthiness. But, perhaps, I am too bold in my assertion ; for I have no authority to mention any attempts to purify these noxious pools. Who knows but their odour is congenial to a Dutch constitution ? One should be inclined to this supposition by the numerous banqueting-rooms and pleasure-houses which hang directly above their surface, and seem calculated on purpose to enjoy them. If frogs were not excluded from the magistrature of their country (and I cannot but think it a little hard that they are), one should not wonder at this choice. Such burgomasters might erect their pavilions in such situations. But, after all, I am not greatly surprised at the fishiness of their site, since very slight authority would persuade me there was a period when Holland was all water, and the ancestors of the present inhabitants fish. A certain oysterishness of eye and flabbiness of complexion are almost proof sufficient of this aquatic descent: and pray tell me for what purpose are such galligaskins as the Dutch burthen themselves with contrived, but to tuck up a flouncing tail, and thus cloak the deformity of a dolphin-like termination ?"_Beckford.

14. DUTCH SCHOOL OF PAINTING — PICTURE GALLERIES IN HOLLAND. One point to which the traveller in Holland ought certainly to direct his attention, is the collections of pictures of the Dutch school. Though specimens of its masters are dispersed through all the galleries of Europe, they are nowhere seen in greater perfection than in the Museums of the Hague and Amsterdam, and in the numerous private cabinets in these and other Dutch towns.

The great excellence of the criticisms on art and descriptions of paintings given by Sir Joshua Reynolds in his “ Tour in Holland and Flanders,” and their utility and value to all who would form a correct taste and accurate estimation of paintings, have induced the editor to incorporate in this work the greater portion of them.

By way of introduction, his remarks on the Dutch school are inserted here; while those on the Flemish school, and especially on Rubens, are reserved for the description of Belgium. On quitting Holland, he observes,

« The account of the Dutch pictures is, I confess, more barren of entertainment than I expected. One could wish to be able to convey to the reader some idea of that excellence, the sight of which has afforded so much pleasure; but as their merit often consists in the truth of representation alone, whatever praise they deserve, whatever pleasure they give when under the eye, they make but a poor figure in description. It is to the eye only that

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