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with the usual mortuary decorations in Holland, long sable lines of escutcheons. I am as little fond of describing, as I am sure my reader must be of reading, minute descriptions of monuments; but I have been particular here, because the Dutch, with their accustomed frugality, do not much indulge in mausoleums and statues. In France, the late revolution, in its savage phrenzy, with hands still reeking with the blood of the dying, tore open the tombs of princes, and their favourites, and disfigured the consecrated depositaries with the shattered fragments of their marble mausoleums: that revolution, which, with the guillotine in front, and the broken cross in the rear, threatened to spread over and waste the whole of civilized Europe, marched to Holland, were thousands flocked to its standard; but it there very rarely inebriated the mind, and never overpowered the national love of economy; it taught them to despise and expel their living princes, but with pious frugality they spared the costly asylums of their illustrious dead.
SPIRITED REMONSTRANCE....ANECDOTE OF A REGICIDE...INTE
RESTING ANECDOTE OF FRANK HALS AND VANDYKE....A DUTCH BLOOMFIELD....DELIGHTFUL PASSAGE TO THE HAGUE....DUTCH DISCUSSION OF DESDEMONA's WISH....RYSWICK ....APPROACH TO
THE HAGUE....DUTCH REVIEW....OLD AND NEW CONSTITUTIONS
COMPARED....BRIEF REVIEW OF THE ANCIENT CONSTITUTION
OF HOLLAND....ALSO OF THE POLITICAL HISTORY....REMARKS
ON THE PRINCES OF THE HOUSE OF ORANGE.
IT is but just to state, however, that, during their political change, many of the people displayed great firmness, and none more than the manufacturers of this town, who in the year 1803 presented to the executive government of the Batavian republic, a very spirited remonstrance against the temporary suspension of an edict passed in 1802, prohibiting the importation of foreign manufactures of which the following is an extract: “ Should we be left destitute," said they, “ of that just and lawful support, which we still hope to obtain, we shall be compelled to demand, that the laws which forbid the exportation of manufacturing tools and implements be repealed, in order that we may be enabled to sell our valuable tools and implements, which will then become altogether useless to us, to foreigners who know how to appreciate their value, or to transplant our manufactories into countries where they daily experience the encouragement which they so highly deserve
Not far from the old church, the tower of which is alarmingly out of its perpendicular, is the identical house in which William 1. was murdered by a bigoted hireling of the King of Spain in 1584. A Dutch inscription, placed over two holes in the wall on the stairs, made by the pistol bullets after they had passed through his body, communicates the savage circumstance. The bigots of Spain celebrated the murderer as a martyr, and his family were ennobled and pensioned. A solitary instance of honours being paid to a regicide. Well has our immortal bard observed:
If I could find example
The old church had not sufficient attractions to induce me to enter it. The tombs of Admirals Tromp and Heine are there. Opposite the new church, in the great square, is the Stadt or Town House, the front of which is extensive, and very curious: in this house are some excellent pictures by Frank Hals, who died in 1666: this artist is justly celebrated for the beauties of his colouring and penciling. A pleasant anecdote is related of Vandyke's having so high an opinion of the genius of this artist, that he went to Haerlem, where Hals lived, for the sole purpose of visiting him, and introduced himself as a gentleman on his travels, who had but two hours to spare, and wished in that time to have his portrait painted : Hals, who was enjoying his bottle at a tavern at the time, sprang from his companions, and on the first canvass he could lay his hands upon, commenced the portrait with all possible celerity; after he had proceeded some way, Vandyke desired to look at his progress, and observed, with great pleasantry in his countenance, that the work seemed to be so very easy, that he thought he could do the same: upon which he took up the palette and pencils, requested Hals to sit down, and painted his portrait in a quarter of an hour: the moment Hals saw it, he exclaimed with rapturous astonishment, “ No one but Vandyke could have achieved such a wonder!” and embraced him with transport. Vandyke was desirous of Hals accompanying him to England, where he promised to make his fortune, but he declared that the enjoyment of his bottle and his friend was too powerful to permit him to accept of so generous and promising a proposal. Of this great painter Vandyke said, that he would have been unequalled had he given more ten
derness to his colouring, and that in his pencil he was without a rival.
In the council chamber there is a fine composition by Bronchorst, who died 1661, representing the judgment of Solomon, and another of Christ driving the money changers out of the temple; the figures are finely finished, and the architecture, in which he excelled, truly admirable. In the great hall of the physicians and surgeons is a celebrated picture by Cornelius de Morn or Maan, who was born in this town, and who died 1706: the subject of it is a representation of the most celebrated doctors and surgeons of his time: it is in the manner of Titian, and in high estimation. Michael Jansen Mirevelt, who died in 1641, was also born in this town: he was an admirable portrait painter, and is said to have been in such high repute, and so indefatigable, that Sandrart, Descampe, and the authors of the Abrégé de la Vie des Peintres assert, that he painted at least ten thousand portraits, for the smallest of which he never received less than one hundred and fifty guilders, or fifteen pounds. In the surgeons' hall there is a fine picture by this artist.
This town has produced also a self-taught poet, who flourished rather more than a century since, of the name of Hubert Noot. This man, who is said to be the father of Dutch pastoral and elegiac poetry, much resembles our Bloomfield in his early difficulties and his talents: he made his verses whilst he laboured, and committed them to memory from not being able to write. After he had taught himself to read, he even sold his wearing apparel to purchase books. He died in 1733: his images are said to be highly poetical, and his versification melodious.
In the Spin-house, or Bridewell, were several female prisoners, many of whom had been confined for several years, for respecting the genial laws of nature more than the sober laws of the nation, and some of them, for the same offence, had been publicly and severely flogged. What a contradiction in this government does its Spin and its Spill-houses present! In one place it sanctions prostitutes, and in the other imprisons and scourges them! Perhaps the legislature may think that it punishes the poor prostitute of the spill-house, by the oppression of her creditor and her gaoler; and thus, by Justice presenting a variety of shapes, she realizes the remark of our divine bard;
We must not make a scarecrow of the law,
Measure for Measure, Act III. Scene 5.
The stranger will find nothing to detain him in this melancholy town long. In Holland every traveller naturally becomes amphibious: the constant contemplation of so much water quickly engenders all the inclinations of a webfooted animal, and he soon feels out of his proper element when out of a canal. Right merrily did I follow my commissionary and his wheel barrow with my baggage through the whole town, until I reached the Hague gate, when my favourite conveyance, the treckschuyt, was ready to start. The boat-bell rung, all the party got on board, and away we glided, passing on each side of us the most lovely close scenery. Instead of seeing, as had been represented to me in England, a dull monotonous scene of green canals, stunted willows, and from a solitary house or two, foggy merchants stupidly gazing in fixed attention upon frog water, the canal was enlivened with boats of pleasure and traffic continually passing and repassing, the noble level road on the right; broad enough to admit four or five carriages abreast, thickly planted with rows of fine elms, the number of curricles and carriages, and horses, driving close to the margin of of the water, the fine woods, beautiful gardens, country houses, not two of which were similiar; the eccentricity of the little summer temples hanging over the edges of the canal; the occasional views of rich pasture land, seen as I saw them, under a rich, warm sky, formed a tout ensemble as delightful as it was novel, and very intelligibly expressed our approach to the residence of sovereignty. The single ride from Delft to the Hague would alone have repaid the trouble and occasional anxiety I experienced in getting into, and afterwards out of the country.