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Title: Rollo in Holland
Author: Abbott, Jacob, 1803-1879
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Rollo in Holland" ***

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ROLLO IN HOLLAND,

BY

JACOB ABBOTT.


BOSTON: BROWN, TAGGARD & CHASE,

SUCCESSORS TO W. J. REYNOLDS & CO., 25 & 29 CORNHILL.

1857.

Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1857, by
JACOB ABBOTT,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of
Massachusetts.

STEREOTYPED AT THE
BOSTON STEREOTYPE FOUNDRY. Damrell & Moore, Printers, Boston.



[Illustration: ROLLO IN HOLLAND.]



CONTENTS.

CHAPTER                                                             PAGE

  I.--PREPARATIONS,                                                   11
  II.--A BAD TRAVELLING COMPANION,                                    26
  III.--THE MAIL STEAMER,                                             44
  IV.--ENTERING HOLLAND,                                              67
  V.--WALKS ABOUT ROTTERDAM,                                          86
  VI.--DOING THE HAGUE,                                              109
  VII.--CORRESPONDENCE,                                              138
  VIII.--THE COMMISSIONER,                                           160
  IX.--THE GREAT CANAL,                                              169
  X.--THE DAIRY VILLAGE,                                             186
  XI.--CONCLUSION,                                                   200

ENGRAVINGS.

  ROLLO IN HOLLAND.--(Frontispiece.)                                PAGE
  VIEW IN HOLLAND,                                                    10
  THE HANSOM CAB,                                                     33
  LANDING FROM THE MAIL BOAT,                                         57
  DORT,                                                               83
  THE FERRY BOAT,                                                    101
  THE DINNER,                                                        124
  THE BOAT FAMILY,                                                   154
  THE TREKSCHUYT,                                                    181
  THE DAIRY VILLAGE,                                                 193
  CABIN OF PETER THE GREAT,                                          204


  ROLLO'S TOUR IN EUROPE.

  ORDER OF THE VOLUMES.

  ROLLO ON THE ATLANTIC.
  ROLLO IN PARIS.
  ROLLO IN SWITZERLAND.
  ROLLO IN LONDON.
  ROLLO ON THE RHINE.
  ROLLO IN SCOTLAND.
  ROLLO IN GENEVA.
  ROLLO IN HOLLAND.
  ROLLO IN NAPLES.
  ROLLO IN ROME.

[Illustration: VIEW IN HOLLAND.]



ROLLO IN HOLLAND.



CHAPTER I.

PREPARATIONS.


Holland is one of the most remarkable countries on the globe. The
peculiarities which make it remarkable arise from the fact that it is
almost perfectly level throughout, and it lies so low. A very large
portion of it, in fact, lies below the level of the sea, the waters
being kept out, as every body knows, by immense dikes that have stood
for ages.

These dikes are so immense, and they are so concealed by the houses, and
trees, and mills, and even villages that cover and disguise them, that
when the traveller first sees them he can hardly believe that they are
dikes. Some of them are several hundred feet wide, and have a good broad
public road upon the top, with a canal perhaps by the side of it, and
avenues of trees, and road-side inns, and immense wind mills on the
other hand. When riding or walking along upon such a dike on one side,
down a long slope, they have a glimpse of water between the trees. On
the other, at an equal distance you see a green expanse of country, with
gardens, orchards, fields of corn and grain, and scattered farm houses
extending far and wide. At first you do not perceive that this beautiful
country that you see spreading in every direction on one side of the
road is below the level of the water that you see on the other side; but
on a careful comparison you find that it is so. When the tide is high
the difference is very great, and were it not for the dikes the people
would be inundated.[1]

[Footnote 1: See Frontispiece.]

Indeed, the dikes alone would not prevent the country from being
inundated; for it is not possible to make them perfectly tight, and even
if it were so, the soil beneath them is more or less pervious to water,
and thus the water of the sea and of the rivers would slowly press its
way through the lower strata, and oozing up into the land beyond, would
soon make it all a swamp.

Then, besides the interpercolation from the soil, there is the rain. In
upland countries, the surplus water that falls in rain flows off in
brooks and rivers to the sea; but in land that is below the level of
the sea, there can be no natural flow of either brooks or rivers. The
rain water, therefore, that falls on this low land would remain there
stagnant, except the comparatively small portion of it that would be
evaporated by the sun and wind.

Thus you see, that if the people of Holland were to rely on the dikes
alone to keep the land dry, the country would become in a very short
time one immense morass.

To prevent this result it is necessary to adopt some plan to raise the
water, as fast as it accumulates in the low grounds, and convey it away.
This is done by pumps and other such hydraulic engines, and these are
worked in general by wind mills.

They might be worked by steam engines; but steam engines are much more
expensive than wind mills. It not only costs much more to make them, but
the expense of working them from day to day is very great, on account of
the fuel which they require. The necessary attendance on a steam engine,
too, is very expensive. There must be engineers, with high pay, to watch
the engine and to keep it always in order, and firemen to feed the
fires, and ashmen to carry away the ashes and cinders. Whereas a wind
mill takes care of itself.

The wind makes the wind mills go, and the wind costs nothing. It is
true, that the head of the mill must be changed from time to time, so as
to present the sails always in proper direction to the wind. But even
this is done by the wind itself. There is a contrivance by which the
mill is made to turn itself so as to face always in the right direction
towards the wind; and not only so, but the mill is sometimes so
constructed that if the wind blows too hard, it takes in a part of the
sails by its own spontaneous action, and thus diminishes the strain
which might otherwise be injurious to the machinery.

Now, since the advantages of wind mills are so great over steam engines,
in respect especially to cheapness, perhaps you will ask why steam is
employed at all to turn machinery, instead of always using the wind. The
reason is, because the wind is so unsteady. Some days a wind mill will
work, and some days it will lie still; and thus in regard to the time
when it will do what is required of it, no reliance can be placed upon
it. This is of very little consequence in the work of pumping up water
from the sunken country in Holland; for, if for several days the mills
should not do their work, no great harm would come of it, since the
amount of water which would accumulate in that time would not do any
harm. The ground might become more wet, and the canals and reservoirs
get full,--just as brooks and rivers do on any upland country after a
long rain. But then, after the calm was over and the wind began to blow
again, the mills would all go industriously to work, and the surplus
water would soon be pumped up, and discharged over the dikes into the
sea again.

Thus the irregularity in the action of the wind mills in doing such work
as this, is of comparatively little consequence.

But in the case of some other kinds of work,--as for example the driving
of a cotton mill, or any other great manufactory in which a large number
of persons are employed,--it would be of the greatest possible
consequence; for when a calm time came, and the wind mill would not
work, all the hands would be thrown out of employ. They might sometimes
remain idle thus a number of days at a time, at a great expense to their
employers, or else at a great loss to themselves. Sometimes, for
example, there might be a fine breeze in the morning, and all the hands
would go to the mill and begin their work. In an hour the breeze might
entirely die away, and the spinners and weavers would all find their
jennies and looms going slower and slower, and finally stopping
altogether. And then, perhaps, two hours afterwards, when they had all
given up the day's work and gone away to their respective homes, the
breeze would spring up again, and the wind mill would go to work more
industriously than ever.

This would not answer at all for a cotton mill, but it does very well
for pumping up water from a great reservoir into which drains and canals
discharge themselves to keep a country dry.

And this reminds me of one great advantage which the people of Holland
enjoy on account of the low and level condition of their country; and
that is, it is extremely easy to make canals there. There are not only
no mountains or rocks in the way to impede the digging of them, but,
what is perhaps a still more important advantage, there is no difficulty
in filling them with water. In other countries, when a canal is to be
made, the very first question is, How is it to be filled? For this
purpose the engineer explores the whole country through which the canal
is to pass, to find rivers and streams that he can turn into it, when
the bed of it shall have been excavated; and sometimes he has to bring
these supplies of water for a great distance in artificial channels,
which often cross valleys by means of great aqueducts built up to hold
them. Sometimes a brook is in this way brought across a river,--the
river itself not being high enough to feed the canal.

The people of Holland have no such difficulties as these to encounter in
their canals. The whole country being so nearly on a level with the sea,
they have nothing to do, when they wish for a canal, but to extend it in
some part to the sea shore, and then open a sluice way and let the water
in.

It is true that sometimes they have to provide means to prevent the
ingress of too much water; but this is very easily done.

It is thus so easy to make canals in Holland, that the people have been
making them for hundreds of years, until now almost the whole country is
intersected every where with canals, as other countries are with roads.
Almost all the traffic, and, until lately, almost all the travel of the
country, has been upon the canals. There are private canals, too, as
well as public. A farmer brings home his hay and grain from his fields
by water, and when he buys a new piece of land he makes a canal to it,
as a Vermont farmer would make a road to a new pasture or wood lot that
he had been buying.

Rollo wished very much to see all these things--but there was one
question which it puzzled him very much to decide, and that was whether
he would rather go to Holland in the summer or in the winter.

"I am not certain," said he to his mother one day, "whether it would not
be better for me to go in the winter."

"It is very cold there in the winter," said his mother; "so I am told."

"That is the very thing," said Rollo. "They have such excellent skating
on the canals. I want to see the boats go on the canals, and I want to
see the skating, and I don't know which I want to see most."

"Yes," said his mother, "I recollect to have often seen pictures of
skating on the Dutch canals."

"And I read, when I was a boy," continued Rollo, "that the women skate
to market in Holland."

Rollo here observed that his mother was endeavoring to suppress a smile.
She seemed to try very hard, but she could not succeed in keeping
perfectly sober.

"What are you laughing at, mother?" asked Rollo.

Here Mrs. Holiday could no longer restrain herself, but laughed
outright.

"Is it about the Dutch women skating to market?" asked Rollo.

"I think they must look quite funny, at any rate," said Mrs. Holiday.

What Mrs. Holiday was really laughing at was to hear Rollo talk about
"when he was a boy." But the fact was, that Rollo had now travelled
about so much, and taken care of himself in so many exigencies, that he
began to feel quite like a man. And indeed I do not think it at all
surprising that he felt so.

"Which would you do, mother," said Rollo, "if you were I? Would you
rather go in the summer or in the winter?"

"I would ask uncle George," said Mrs. Holiday.

So Rollo went to find his uncle George.

Rollo was at this time at Morley's Hotel, in London, and he expected to
find his uncle George in what is called the coffee room. The coffee room
in Morley's Hotel is a very pleasant place. It fronts on one side upon a
very busy and brilliant street, and on another upon a large open square,
adorned with monuments and fountains. On the side towards the square is
a bay window, and near this bay window were two or three small tables,
with gentlemen sitting at them, engaged in writing. There were other
tables along the sides of the room and at the other windows, where
gentlemen were taking breakfast. Mr. George was at one of the tables
near the bay window, and was busy writing.

Rollo went to the place, and standing by Mr. George's side, he said in
an under tone,--

"Uncle George."

Every body speaks in an under tone in an English coffee room. They do
this in order not to interrupt the conversation, or the reading, or the
writing of other gentlemen that may be in the room.

"Wait a moment," said Mr. George, "till I finish this letter."

So Rollo turned to the bay window and looked out, in order to amuse
himself with what he might observe in the street, till his uncle George
should be ready to talk with him.

He saw the fountains in the square, and a great many children playing
about the basins. He saw a poor boy at a crossing brushing the pavement
industriously with an old broom, and then holding out his hand to the
people passing by, in hopes that some of them would give him a
halfpenny. He saw a policeman walking slowly up and down on the
sidewalk, wearing a glazed hat, and a uniform of blue broadcloth, with
his letter and number embroidered on the collar. He saw an elegant
carriage drive by, with a postilion riding upon one of the horses, and
two footmen in very splendid liveries behind. There was a lady in the
carriage, but she appeared old, and though she was splendidly dressed,
her face was very plain.

"I wonder," said Rollo to himself, "how much she would give of her
riches and finery if she could be as young and as pretty as my cousin
Lucy."

"Now, Rollo," said Mr. George, interrupting Rollo's reflections, "what
is the question?"

"Why, I want to know," said Rollo, "whether you think we had better go
to Holland in the winter or in the summer."

"Is it left to you to decide?" asked Mr. George.

"Why, no," said Rollo, "not exactly. But mother asked me to consider
which I thought was best, and so I want to know your opinion."

"Very well," said Mr. George, "go on and argue the case. After I have
heard it argued I will decide."

Rollo then proceeded to explain to his uncle the advantages,
respectively, of going in the summer and in the winter. After hearing
him, Mr. George thought it would be decidedly better to go in the
summer.

"You see," said he, "that the only advantage of going in the winter is
to see the skating. That is very important, I know. I should like to
see the Dutch women skating to market myself, very much. But then, in
the winter you could see very little of the canals, and the wind mills,
and all the other hydraulic operations of the country. Every thing would
be frozen up solid."

"Father says that he can't go now very well," continued Rollo, "but that
I may go with you if you would like to go."

Mr. George was just in the act of sealing his letter as Rollo spoke
these words; but he paused in the operation, holding the stick of
sealing wax in one hand and the letter in the other, as if he was
reflecting on what Rollo had said.

"If we only had some one else to go with us," said Mr. George.

"Should not we two be enough?" asked Rollo.

"Why, you see," said Mr. George, "when we get into Holland we shall not
understand one word of the language."

"What language do they speak?" asked Rollo.

"Dutch," said Mr. George, "and I do not know any Dutch."

"Not a word?" asked Rollo.

"No," said Mr. George, "not a word. Ah, yes! I know one word. I know
that _dampschiff_ means steamboat. _Damp_, I suppose, means steam."

Then Rollo laughed outright. Dampskiff, he said, was the funniest name
for steamboat that he ever heard.

"Now, when we don't know a word of the language," added Mr. George, "we
cannot have any communication with the people of the country, but shall
be confined entirely to each other. Now, do you think that you could get
along with having nobody but me to talk to you for a whole fortnight?"

"Yes, indeed!" said Rollo. "But then, uncle George," he continued, "how
are you going to get along at the hotels without knowing how to speak to
the people at all?"

"By signs and gestures," said Mr. George, laughing. "Could not you make
a sign for something to eat?"

"O, yes," said Rollo; and he immediately began to make believe eat,
moving his hands as if he had a knife and fork in them.

"And what sign would you make for going to bed?" asked Mr. George.

Here Rollo laid his head down to one side, and placed his hand under it,
as if it were a pillow, and then shut his eyes.

"That is the sign for going to bed," said Rollo. "A deaf and dumb boy
taught it to me."

"I wish he had taught you some more signs," said Mr. George. "Or I wish
we had a deaf and dumb boy here to go with us. Deaf and dumb people can
get along excellently well where they do not understand the language,
because they know how to make so many signs."

"O, we can make up the signs as we go along," said Rollo.

"Yes," said Mr. George. "I don't think that we shall have any great
difficulty about that. But then it would be pleasanter to go in a little
larger party. Two people are apt to get tired of each other, when there
is nobody else that they can speak a single word to for a whole
fortnight. I don't think that I should get tired of you. What I am
afraid of is, that you would get tired of me."

There was a lurking smile on Mr. George's face as he said this.

"O, uncle George!" said Rollo, "that is only your politeness. But then
if you really think that we ought to have some more company, perhaps the
Parkmans are going to Holland, and we might go with them."

"I would not make a journey with the Parkmans," said Mr. George, "if
they would pay all my expenses, and give me five sovereigns a day."

"Why, uncle George!" exclaimed Rollo; "I thought you liked Mr. Parkman
very much."

"So I do," said Mr. George. "It is his wife that I would not go with."

"O, uncle George!" exclaimed Rollo again.

Rollo was very much surprised at hearing this declaration; and it was
very natural that he should be surprised, for Mrs. Parkman was a young
and beautiful lady, and she was very kindhearted and very amiable in
her disposition. Mr. Parkman, too, was very young. He had been one of
Mr. George's college classmates. He had been married only a short time
before he left America, and he was now making his bridal tour.

Mr. George thought that Mrs. Parkman was very beautiful and very
intelligent, but he considered her a very uncomfortable travelling
companion. I think he judged her somewhat too harshly. But this was one
of Mr. George's faults. He did not like the ladies very much, and the
faults which he observed in them, from time to time, he was prone to
condemn much too harshly.

[Illustration]



CHAPTER II.

A BAD TRAVELLING COMPANION.


The reason why Mr. George did not like his friend Mr. Parkman's young
wife was not because of any want of natural attractiveness in her
person, or of amiableness in her disposition,--for she was beautiful,
accomplished, and kindhearted. But for all this, from a want of
consideration not uncommon among young ladies who are not much
experienced in the world, she was a very uncomfortable travelling
companion.

It is the duty of a gentleman who has a lady under his charge, in making
a journey, to consult her wishes, and to conform to them so far as it is
possible, in determining where to go, and in making all the general
arrangements of the journey. But when these points are decided upon,
every thing in respect to the practical carrying into effect of the
plans thus formed should be left to the gentleman, as the executive
officer of the party; just as in respect to affairs relating to
housekeeping, or any thing else relating to a lady's department, the
lady should be left free to act according to her own judgment and taste
in arranging details, while in the general plans she conforms to the
wishes of her husband. For a lady, when travelling, to be continually
making suggestions and proposals about the baggage or the conveyances,
and expressing dissatisfaction, or wish for changes in this, that, or
the other, is as much a violation of propriety as it would be for the
gentleman to go into the kitchen, and there propose petty changes in
respect to the mode of cooking the dinner--or to stand by his wife at
her work table, and wish to have her thread changed from this place to
that--or to have some different stitch to be used in making a seam. A
lady very naturally feels disturbed if she finds that her husband does
not have confidence enough in her to trust her with such details.

"I will make or mend for you whatever you may desire," she might say,
"and I will get for your dinner any thing that you ask for; but in the
way of doing it you ought to leave every thing to my direction. It is
better to let me have my own way, even if your way is better than mine.
For in matters of direction there ought always to be only one head, even
if it is not a very good one."

And in the same manner a gentleman might say when travelling with a
lady,--

"I will arrange the journey to suit your wishes as far as is
practicable, and will go at such times and by such conveyances as you
may desire. I will also, at all the places where we stop, take you to
visit such objects of interest and curiosity as you wish to see. But
then when it comes to the details of the arrangements to be made,--the
orders to servants and commissioners, the determination of the times for
setting out, and the bargains to be made with coachmen and
innkeepers,--it is best to leave all those things to me; for it always
makes confusion to have two persons give directions at the same time."

To say this would be right in both cases,--there must always be _one_ to
command. A great many families are kept in continual confusion by there
being two or more ladies who consider themselves more or less at the
head of it--as, for instance, a wife and a sister, or two sisters and a
mother. Napoleon used to say that _one_ bad general was better than
_two_ good ones; so important is it in war to have unity of command. It
is not much less important in social life.

Mrs. Parkman did not understand this principle. Mr. George had seen an
example of her mode of management a day or two before, in taking a walk
with her and her husband in London. They were going to see the tunnel
under the Thames, which was three or four miles down the river from
Morley's Hotel, where they were all lodging.

"Which way would you like to go?" asked Mr. Parkman.

"Is there more than one way?" asked his wife.

"Yes," said Mr. Parkman, "we can take a Hansom cab, and drive down
through the streets, or we can walk down to the river side, and there
take a boat. The boats are a great deal the cheapest, and the most
amusing; but the cab will be the most easy and comfortable, and the most
genteel. We shall have to walk nearly half a mile before we get to the
landing of the boats."

"Is there much difference in the price?" asked Mrs. Parkman.

"Not enough to be of any consequence," replied her husband. "It will
make a difference of about one and a half crown; for by the boats it
would be only two or three pence, while by the cab it will be as many
shillings. But that is of no consequence. We will go whichever way you
think you would enjoy the most."

"You may decide for me," said Mrs. Parkman. "I'll leave it entirely to
you. It makes no difference to me."

"Then, on the whole, I think we will try the boat," said Mr. Parkman;
"it will be so much more amusing, and we shall see so much more of
London life. Besides, we shall often read and hear about the steamers on
the Thames when we return to America, and it will be well for us to have
made one voyage in them. And, Mr. George, will you go with us?"

"Yes," said Mr. George.

So they all left the hotel together, and commenced their walk towards
the bridge where the nearest landing stage for the Thames boats lay.

They had not gone but a very short distance before Mrs. Parkman began to
hang rather heavily upon her husband's arm, and asked him whether it was
much farther that they would have to walk.

"O, yes," said Mr. Parkman. "I told you that we should have to walk
about half a mile."

"Then we shall get all tired out," said his wife, "and we want our
strength for walking through the tunnel. It does not seem to be worth
while to take all this trouble just to save half a crown."

Mr. Parkman, though he had only been married a little more than a month,
felt something like a sense of indignation rising in his breast, that
his wife should attribute to him such a motive for choosing the river,
after what he had said on the subject. But he suppressed the feeling,
and only replied quietly,--

"O, let us take a cab then, by all means. I hope you don't suppose that
I was going to take you by the boat to save any money."

"I thought you said that you would save half a crown," rejoined his
wife.

"Yes," said Mr. Parkman, "I did, it is true."

Mr. Parkman was too proud to defend himself from such an imputation,
supported by such reasoning as this; so he only said, "We will go by a
cab. We will take a cab at the next stand."

Mr. George instantly perceived that by this change in the plan, he was
made one too many for the party, since only two can ride conveniently in
a Hansom cab.[2] So he said at once, that he would adhere to the
original plan, and go by water.

[Footnote 2: A Hansom cab is made like an old-fashioned chaise, only
that it is set very low, so that it is extremely easy to step in and out
of it, and the seat of the driver is high up behind. The driver drives
_over the top of the chaise_! Thus the view for the passengers riding
inside is wholly unobstructed, and this makes the Hansom cab a very
convenient and pleasant vehicle for two persons to ride in, through the
streets of a new and strange town.]

"But, first," said he, "I will go with you to the stand, and see you
safe in a cab."

So they turned into another street, and presently they came to a stand.
There was a long row of cabs there, of various kinds, all waiting to be
employed. Among them were several Hansoms.

Mr. Parkman looked along the line to select one that had a good horse.
The distance was considerable that they had to go, and besides Mr.
Parkman knew that his wife liked always to go fast. So when he had
selected the best looking horse, he made a signal to the driver. The
driver immediately left the stand, and drove over to the sidewalk where
Mr. Parkman and his party were waiting.

Mr. Parkman immediately opened the door of the cab to allow his wife to
go in; but she, instead of entering, began to look scrutinizingly into
it, and hung back.

"Is this a nice cab?" said she. "It seems to me that I have seen nicer
cabs than this.

"Let us look," she added, "and see if there is not a better one
somewhere along the line."

The cabman, looking down from his exalted seat behind the vehicle, said
that there was not a nicer cab than his in London.

"O, of course," said Mrs. Parkman. "They always say that. But _I_ can
find a nicer one, I'm sure, somewhere in the line."

So saying she began to move on. Mr. Parkman gave the cabman a silver
sixpence--which is equal to a New York shilling--to compensate him
for having been called off from his station, and then followed his wife
across the street to the side where the cabs were standing. Mrs. Parkman
led the way all down the line, examining each hack as she passed it; but
she did not find any one that looked as well as the first.

[Illustration: THE HANSOM CAB.]

"After all," said she, "we might as well go back and take the first
one." So she turned and began to retrace her steps--the two gentlemen
accompanying her. But when they got back they found that the one which
Mr. Parkman had first selected was gone. It had been taken by another
customer.

Mr. George was now entirely out of patience; but he controlled himself
sufficiently to suppress all outward manifestation of it, only saying
that he believed he would not wait any longer.

"I will go down to the river," said he, "and take a boat, and when you
get a carriage you can go by land. I will wait for you at the entrance
to the tunnel."

So he went away; and as soon as he turned the corner of the street he
snapped his fingers and nodded his head with the air of a man who has
just made a very lucky escape.

"I thank my stars," said he to himself, "that I have not got such a lady
as that to take care of. Handsome as she is, I would not have her for a
travelling companion on any account whatever."

It was from having witnessed several such exhibitions of character as
this that Mr. George had expressed himself so strongly to Rollo on the
subject of joining Mr. Parkman and his wife in making the tour of
Holland.

But notwithstanding Mr. George's determination that he would not travel
in company with such a lady, it seemed to be decreed that he should do
so, for he left London about a week after this to go to Holland with
Rollo alone; and though he postponed setting out for several days, so as
to allow Mr. and Mrs. Parkman time to get well under way before them, he
happened to fall in with them several times in the course of the
journey. The first time that he met with them was in crossing the
Straits of Dover.

There are several ways by which a person may go to Holland from London.
The cheapest is to take a steamer, by which means you go down the
Thames, and thence pass directly across the German Ocean to the coast of
Holland. But that makes quite a little voyage by sea, during which
almost all persons are subject to a very disagreeable kind of sickness,
on account of the small size of the steamers, and the short tossing
motion of the sea that almost always prevails in the waters that lie
around Great Britain.

So Mr. George and Rollo, who neither of them liked to be seasick,
determined to go another way. They concluded to go down by railway to
Dover, and then to go to Calais across the strait, where the passage is
the shortest. Mr. and Mrs. Parkman had set off several days before them,
and Mr. George supposed that by this time they were far on their way
towards Holland. But they had been delayed by Mrs. Parkman's desire to
go to Brighton, which is a great watering place on the coast, not far
from Dover. There Mr. and Mrs. Parkman had spent several days, and it so
happened that in going from Brighton to Dover they met, at the junction,
the train that was bringing Mr. George and Rollo down from London; and
thus, though both parties were unconscious of the fact, they were
travelling along towards Dover, after leaving the junction, in the same
train, and when they stepped out of the carriages, upon the Dover
platform, there they were all together.

Mr. Parkman and Mr. George were very glad to see each other; and while
they were shaking hands with each other, and making mutual explanations,
Mrs. Parkman went to the door of the station to see what sort of a place
Dover was.

She saw some long piers extending out into the water, and a great many
ships and steamers lying near them. The town lay along the shore,
surrounding an inner harbor enclosed by the walls of the piers. Behind
the town were high cliffs, and an elevated plain above, on which a great
number of tents were pitched. It was the encampment of an army. A little
way along the shore a vast promontory was seen, crowned by an ancient
and venerable looking castle, and terminated by a range of lofty and
perpendicular cliffs of chalk towards the sea.

"What a romantic place!" said Mrs. Parkman to herself. "It is just such
a place as I like. I'll make William stay here to-day."

Just then she heard her husband's voice calling to her.

"Louise!"

She turned and saw her husband beckoning to her. He was standing with
Mr. George and Rollo near the luggage van, as they call it in England,
while the railway porters were taking out the luggage.

Mrs. Parkman walked towards the place.

"They say, Louise," said Mr. Parkman, "that it is time for us to go on
board the boat. She is going to sail immediately."

"Ah! but, William," said Mrs. Parkman, "let us stay here a little while.
Dover is such a romantic looking place."

"Very well," said Mr. Parkman, "we will stay if you like. Are you going
to stay, Mr. George?"

"Yes," said Mr. George; "Rollo and I were going to stay till this
afternoon. There is a boat to cross at four o'clock."

It was about eleven o'clock in the morning when this conversation
occurred. The porter stood by all the time with Mr. Parkman's two trunks
in his charge, waiting to have it decided when they were to go.

"I should think, sir," said the porter, "that as you have a lady with
you, you would find this boat better. This is a tidal steamer, but the
four o'clock is the mail boat, and it will be pretty rough this
afternoon. There is a breeze coming up."

"O, never mind the breeze," said Mrs. Parkman. "We are used to it,
porter. We've crossed the Atlantic."

"Very well," said Mr. Parkman, "we will wait until four o'clock."

"Then I'll put the luggage in the luggage room," said the porter, "and
take it to the boat at half past three. That's the way to the hotel," he
added, pointing the way.

There are several very nice hotels in Dover, but the one which the
porter referred to is one of the finest and most beautifully situated
hotels in Europe. It is a large and handsome edifice, built in modern
style, and it stands close to the railroad station, on a point of land
overlooking the sea. The coffee room, which, unlike other English coffee
rooms, is used by both ladies and gentlemen, is a very spacious and
splendidly decorated apartment, with large windows on three sides of it,
overlooking the sea and the neighboring coasts. Each sash of these
windows is glazed with one single pane of plate glass, so that whether
they are shut or open there is nothing to intercept the view. The room
is furnished with a great number of tables, each large enough to
accommodate parties of four or six, and all, except two or three in
different parts of the room that are reserved for reading and writing,
are covered with neat white table cloths, and other preparations more or
less advanced for breakfasts or dinners that may have been ordered,
while at almost all times of the day, a greater or less number of them
are occupied by parties of tourists, their bags and baskets lying on the
neighboring chairs.

It was into this room, so occupied, that our travellers were ushered as
they walked from the station into the hotel.

Mrs. Parkman walked forward, and took her seat near a window. The
gentlemen attended her.

"What a magnificent view!" said she.

The view was indeed magnificent. Across the water was to be seen the
coast of France, lying like a low cloud close to the horizon. Ships, and
steamers, and fish boats, and every other sort of craft were seen plying
to and fro over the water,--some going out, others coming in. Through
one of the windows in the end of the room, Mrs. Parkman could see the
castle crowning its bold and lofty promontory, and the perpendicular
cliffs of chalk, with the sea beating against the base of them below.
Through the opposite window, which of course was at the other end of the
room, the view extended down the coast for a great distance, showing
point after point, and headland after headland, in dim perspective--with
a long line of surf rolling incessantly upon the beach, which seemed, in
that direction, interminable.

After looking for some time at the view from the windows, Mrs. Parkman
turned to observe the company in the room, and to watch the several
parties of new comers as they successively entered. She wished to see if
there were any young brides among them. While she was thus engaged, her
husband selected a table that was vacant, and ordered breakfast. Mr.
George and Rollo did the same at another table near.

While Mr. George and Rollo were at the table drinking their coffee, Mr.
George asked Rollo what he supposed the porter meant by saying that the
eleven o'clock boat was a tidal boat.

"_I_ know," said Rollo. "I read it in the guide book. The tidal steamers
go at high tide, or nearly high tide, and if you go in them you embark
from the pier on one side, and you land at the pier on the other. But
the mail steamers go at a regular hour every day, and then when it
happens to be low tide, they cannot get to the pier, and the passengers
have to land in small boats. That is what the porter meant when he said
that it would not be pleasant for a lady to go in the mail steamer. It
is very unpleasant for ladies to be landed in small boats when the
weather is rough."

"I don't believe that Mrs. Parkman understood it," said Mr. George.

"Nor I either," said Rollo.

"I presume she thought," added Mr. George, "that when the porter spoke
about the rough sea, he only referred to the motion of the steamer in
going over."

"Yes," said Rollo, "but what he really meant was, that it would be bad
for her to get down from the steamer into the small boat at the landing.
I am afraid that she will not like it, though I think that it will be
real good fun."

"Very likely it will be fun for _you_," said Mr. George.

"I would a great deal rather go across in a mail steamer at low tide
than in any other way," said Rollo.

[Illustration]



CHAPTER III.

THE MAIL STEAMER.


Rollo's explanation in respect to the mail steamer was correct. As has
before been stated in some one or other of the volumes of this series,
the northern coast of France is low, and the shore is shelving for
almost the whole extent of it, and there are scarcely any good harbors.
Immense sandy beaches extend along the coast, sloping so gradually
outward, that when the tide goes down the sands are left bare for miles
and miles towards the sea. The only way by which harbors can be made on
such a shore is to find some place where a creek or small river flows
into the sea, and then walling in the channel at the mouth of the creek,
so as to prevent it being choked up by sand. In this way a passage is
secured, by which, when the tide is high, pretty good sized vessels can
get in; but, after all that they can do in such a case, they cannot make
a harbor which can be entered at low tide. When the tide is out, nothing
is left between the two piers, which form the borders of the channel,
but muddy flats, with a small, sluggish stream, scarcely deep enough to
float a jolly boat, slowly meandering in the midst of them towards the
sea.

The harbor of California is such a harbor as this. Accordingly, in case
a steamer arrives there when the tide is down, there is no other way but
for her to anchor in the offing until it rises again; and the
passengers, if they wish to go ashore, must clamber down the side of the
vessel into a small boat, and be pulled ashore by the oarsmen. In smooth
weather this is very easily done. But in rough weather, when both
steamer and boat are pitching and tossing violently up and down upon the
waves, it is _not_ very easy or agreeable, especially for timid ladies.

After finishing their breakfast, Mr. George and Rollo went out, and they
rambled about the town until the time drew near for the sailing of the
boat. Then they went to the station for the luggage, and having engaged
a porter to take it to the boat, they followed him down to the pier till
they came to the place where the boat was lying. After seeing the trunk
put on board they went on board themselves. A short time afterwards Mr.
and Mrs. Parkman came.

The steamer, like all the others which ply between the coasts of France
and England, was quite small, and the passengers were very few. There
were only four or five ladies, and not far from the same number of
gentlemen. As the passage was only expected to occupy about two hours,
the passengers did not go below, but arranged themselves on seats upon
the deck--some along the sides of the deck by the bulwarks, and some
near the centre, around a sort of house built over the passage way which
led down into the cabin.

Soon after Mr. and Mrs. Parkman came on board, Mr. Parkman said to his
wife,--

"Now, Louise, my dear, you will be less likely to be sick if you get
some good place where you can take a reclining posture, and so remain
pretty still until we get over."

"O, I shall not be sick," said she. "I am not at all afraid."

So she began walking about the deck with an unconcerned and careless
air, as if she had been an old sailor.

Pretty soon Mr. George saw two other ladies coming, with their husbands,
over the plank. The countenances of these ladies were very pleasing, and
there was a quiet gentleness in their air and manner which impressed Mr.
George very strongly in their favor.

As soon as they reached the deck, and while their husbands were
attending to the disposal of the luggage, they began to look for seats.

"We will get into the most comfortable position we can," said one of
them, "and keep still till we get nearly across."

"Yes," said the other, "that will be the safest."

So they chose good seats near the companion way, and sat down there, and
their husbands brought them carpet bags to put their feet upon.

In about fifteen minutes after this the steamer put off from the pier,
and commenced her voyage. She very soon began to rise and fall over the
waves, with a short, uneasy motion, which was very disagreeable. The
passengers, however, all remained still in the places which they had
severally chosen,--some reading, others lying quiet with their eyes
closed, as if they were trying to go to sleep.

Mr. Parkman himself tried to do this, but his wife would not leave him
in peace. She came to him continually to inquire about this or that, or
to ask him to look at some vessel that was coming in sight, or at some
view on the shore. All this time the wind, and the consequent motion of
the steamer, increased. Scudding clouds were seen flitting across the
sky, from which there descended now and then misty showers of rain.
These clouds gradually became more frequent and more dense, until at
length the whole eastern sky was involved in one dense mass of
threatening vapor.

It began to grow dark, too. The specified time for sailing was four
o'clock; but there was a delay for the mails, and it was full half past
four before the steamer had left the pier. And now, before she began to
draw near the French coast, it was nearly half past six. At length the
coast began slowly to appear. Its outline was dimly discerned among the
misty clouds.

Long before this time, however, Mrs. Parkman had become quite sick. She
first began to feel dizzy, and then she turned pale, and finally she
came and sat down by her husband, and leaned her head upon his shoulder.

She had been sitting in this posture for nearly half an hour, when at
length she seemed to feel better, and she raised her head again.

"Are we not nearly there?" said she.

"Yes," said her husband. "The lighthouse is right ahead, and the ends of
the piers. In ten minutes more we shall be going in between them, and
then all the trouble will be over."

Rollo and Mr. George were at this time near the bows. They had gone
there to look forward, in order to get as early a glimpse as possible
of the boats that they knew were to be expected to come out from the
pier as soon as the steamer should draw nigh.

"Here they come!" said Rollo, at length.

"Yes," said Mr. George. "I see them."

It was so nearly dark that the boats could not be seen distinctly.
Indeed there was not much to be discerned but a black moving mass,
slowly coming out from under the walls of the pier.

The steamer had now nearly reached the ground where she was to anchor,
and so the seamen on the forecastle took in the foresail, which had been
spread during the voyage, and the helmsman put down the helm. The head
of the steamer then slowly came round till it pointed in a direction
parallel to the shore. This carried the boats and the pier somewhat out
of view from the place where Mr. George and Rollo had been standing.

"Now we can see them better aft," said Rollo.

"Yes," said Mr. George, "and they will board us aft too; so we had
better be there ready."

Accordingly Mr. George and Rollo went aft again, and approached the
gangway on the side where they supposed the boats would come.

In going there they passed round first on the other side of the entrance
to the cabin, where the two ladies were sitting that have already been
described. As they went by one of the gentlemen came to them and said,--

"Keep up your courage a few minutes longer. We are very near the pier.
In ten minutes we shall be in smooth water, and all will be over."

The ladies seemed much relieved and rejoiced to hear this, and then the
gentleman went with Mr. George and Rollo towards the gangway, in order
that they might make further observations. He was joined there a moment
afterwards by his companion. Now, these gentlemen, as it happened, knew
nothing about the plan of landing in boats. They had made no particular
inquiry at Dover in respect to the steamer that they had come in, but
took it for granted that she would go into the harbor as usual, and land
the passengers at the pier. Their attention had just been attracted to
the singular movement of the steamer, when Rollo and Mr. George came up.

"_What!_" said one of them, speaking with a tone of surprise, and
looking about eagerly over the water. "We are coming to, Mr. Waldo. What
can that mean?"

Just then the little fleet of boats, six or seven in number, began to
come into view from where the gentlemen stood. They were dimly seen at a
distance, and looked like long, black animals, slowly advancing over the
dark surface of the water, and struggling fearfully with the waves.

"What boats can those be?" said Mr. Waldo, beginning to look a little
alarmed.

He was alarmed not for himself, but for his wife, who was very frail and
delicate in health, and ill fitted to bear any unusual exposure.

"I am sure I cannot imagine," replied the other.

"It looks marvellously as if they were coming out for us," said Mr.
Waldo.

"Can it be possible, Mr. Albert, that we are to land in boats such a
night as this?" continued he.

"It looks like it," replied the other. "Yes, they are really coming
here."

The boats were now seen evidently advancing towards the steamer. They
came on in a line, struggling fearfully with the waves.

"They look like spectres of boats," said Mr. George to Rollo.

Mr. Albert now went round to the other side of the companion way, to the
place where the two ladies were sitting.

"Ladies," said he, "I am very sorry to say that we shall be obliged to
land in boats."

"In boats!" said the ladies, surprised.

"Yes," said Mr. Albert, "the tide is out, and I suppose we cannot go
into port. The steamer has come to, and the boats are coming
alongside."

The ladies looked out over the dark and stormy water with an emotion of
fear, but they did not say a word.

"There is no help for it," continued the gentleman; "and you have
nothing to do but to resign yourselves passively to whatever comes. If
we had known that this steamer would not go into port, we would not have
come in her; but now that we are here we must go through."

"Very well," said the ladies. "Let us know when the boat for us is
ready."

Mr. Albert then returned to the gangway, where Rollo and Mr. George were
standing. The foremost boat had come alongside, and the seamen were
throwing the mail bags into it. When the mails were all safely stowed in
the boat, some of the passengers that stood near by were called upon to
follow. Mr. George and Rollo, being near, were among those thus called
upon.

"Wait a moment," said Mr. George to Rollo, in a low tone. "Let a few of
the others go first, that we may see how they manage it."

It proved to be rather difficult to manage it; for both the steamer and
the boat were rocking and tossing violently on the waves, and as their
respective motions did not at all correspond, they thumped against each
other continually, as the boat rose and fell up and down the side of
the steamer in a fearful manner. It was dark too, and the wind was
blowing fresh, which added to the frightfulness of the scene.

A crowd of people stood about the gangway. Some of these people were
passengers waiting to go down, and others, officers of the ship, to help
them. The seamen in the boat below were all on the alert too, some
employed in keeping the boat off from the side of the ship, in order to
prevent her being stove or swamped, while others stood on each side of
the place where the passengers were to descend, with uplifted arms,
ready to seize and hold them when they came down.

There was a little flight of steps hanging down the side of the steamer,
with ropes on each side of it in lieu of a balustrade. The passenger who
was to embark was directed to turn round and begin to go down these
steps backward, and then, when the sea lifted the boat so that the
seamen on board could seize hold of him, they all cried out
vociferously, "LET GO!" and at the same moment a strong sailor grasped
him around the waist, brought him down into the bottom of the boat in a
very safe, though extremely unceremonious manner.

After several gentlemen and one lady had thus been put into the boat,
amid a great deal of calling and shouting, and many exclamations of
surprise and terror, the officer at the gangway turned to Mr. George,
saying,--

"Come, sir!"

There was no time to stop to talk; so Mr. George stepped forward, saying
to Rollo as he went, "Come right on directly after me;" and in a moment
more he was seized by the man, and whirled down into the boat, he
scarcely knew how. Immediately after he was in, there came some
unusually heavy seas, and the steamer and the boat thumped together so
violently that all the efforts of the seamen seemed to be required to
keep them apart.

"Push off!" said the officer.

"Here, stop! I want to go first," exclaimed Rollo.

"No more in this boat," said the officer. "Push off!"

"Never mind," said Rollo, calling out to Mr. George, "I'll come by and
by."

"All right," said Mr. George.

By this time the boat had got clear of the steamer, and she now began to
move slowly onward, rising and falling on the waves, and struggling
violently to make her way.

"I am glad they did not let me go," said Rollo. "I would rather stay
and see the rest go first."

Another boat was now seen approaching, and Rollo stepped back a little
to make way for the people that were to go in it, when he heard Mrs.
Parkman's voice, in tones of great anxiety and terror, saying to her
husband,--

"I cannot go ashore in a boat in that way, William. I cannot possibly,
and I will not!"

"Why, Louise," said her husband, "what else can we do?"

"I'll wait till the steamer goes into port, if I have to wait till
midnight," replied Mrs. Parkman positively. "It is a shame! Such
disgraceful management! Could not they find out how the tide would be
here before they left Dover?"

"Yes," replied Mr. Parkman. "Of course they knew perfectly well how the
tide would be."

"Then why did not they leave at such an hour as to make it right for
landing here?"

"There _are_ boats every day," said Mr. Parkman, "which leave at the
right time for that, and most passengers take them. But the mails must
come across at regular hours, whether the tide serves or not, and boats
must come to bring the mails, and they, of course, allow passengers to
come in these boats too, if they choose. We surely cannot complain of
that."

"Then they ought to have told us how it was," said Mrs. Parkman. "I
think it is a shameful deception, to bring us over in this way, and not
let us know any thing about it."

"But they did tell us," said Mr. Parkman. "Do not you recollect that the
porter at the station told us that this was a mail boat, and that it
would not be pleasant for a lady."

"But I did not know," persisted Mrs. Parkman, "that he meant that we
should have to land in this way. He did not tell us any thing about
that."

"He told us that it was a mail boat, and he meant by that to tell us
that we could not land at the pier. It is true, we did not understand
him fully, but that is because we come from a great distance, and do not
understand the customs of the country. That is our misfortune. It was
not the porter's fault."

"I don't think so at all," said Mrs. Parkman. "And you always take part
against me in such things, and I think it is really unkind."

All this conversation went on in an under tone; but though there was a
great deal of noise and confusion on every side, Rollo could hear it
all. While he was listening to it,--or rather while he was _hearing_ it,
for he took no pains to listen,--the gentleman who had been talking
with Mr. Waldo, and whom the latter had called Mr. Albert, went round to
the two ladies who were waiting to be called, and said,--

"Now, ladies, the boat is ready. Follow me. Say nothing, but do just as
you are told, and all will go well."

[Illustration: LANDING FROM THE MAIL BOAT.]

So the ladies came one after the other in among the crowd that gathered
around the gangway, and there, before they could bring their faculties
at all to comprehend any thing distinctly amid the bewildering
confusion of the scene, they found their bags and shawls taken away from
them, and they themselves turned round and gently forced to back down
the steps of the ladder over the boiling surges, when, in a moment more,
amid loud shouts of "LET GO!" they were seized by the sailors in the
boat, and down they went, they knew not how, for a distance of many feet
into the stern of the boat, where they suddenly found themselves seated,
while the boat itself was rocking violently to and fro, and thumping
against the side of the steamer in a frightful manner.

The officer, who had charge of the debarkation on the deck of the
steamer above, immediately called to Mrs. Parkman.

"Come, madam!" said he.

"No," said she, "I can't possibly go ashore in that way."

"Then you will have to stay on board all night."

"Well, I'd rather stay on board all night," said she.

"And you will have to go back to Dover, madam," continued the officer,
speaking in a very stern and hurried manner, "for the steamer is not
going into the pier at all."

Then immediately turning to Rollo, he said, "Come, young man!"

So Rollo marched up to the gangway, and was in a moment whirled down
into the boat, as the others had been. Immediately afterwards the boat
pushed off, and the sailors began to row, leaving Mr. and Mrs. Parkman
on board the steamer. How they were to get to the shore Rollo did not
know.

Rollo began to look about over the water. It had become almost entirely
dark, and though the moon, which was full, had, as it happened, broken
out through the clouds a short time before, when they were getting into
the boats, she had now become obscured again, and every thing seemed
enveloped in deep gloom. Still Rollo could see at a short distance
before him the other boats slowly making their way over the wild and
stormy water. He could also see the ends of the piers dimly defined in
the misty air, and the tall lighthouse beyond, with a bright light
burning in the lantern at the top of it.

"We shall only be a few minutes, now," said one of the gentlemen. "It is
not far to the piers."

The boat went on, pitching and tossing over the waves, with her head
towards the piers. The pilot who steered the boat called out continually
to the oarsmen, and the oarsmen shouted back to him; but nobody could
understand such sailor language as they used. At length, on looking
forward again, Rollo saw that the boats before him, instead of going on
in a line towards the land, were slowly scattering in all directions,
and that their own boat, instead of heading towards the pier as at
first, gradually turned round, and seemed to be going along in a
direction parallel to the coast, as the steamer had done.

"What!" exclaimed Mr. Albert, on observing this, "we are not going
towards the piers. Where can we be going?"

The other gentleman shook his head, and said he did not know.

The ladies remained quietly in their places. There was evidently nothing
for them to do, and so they concluded, very sensibly, to do nothing.

The boat slowly turned her head round, all the time pitching and tossing
violently on the billows, until finally she was directed almost towards
the steamer again.

"What can be the matter?" asked one of the gentlemen, addressing the
other. "We are not heading towards the shore." Then turning towards the
pilot, he said to him,--

"What is the matter? Why cannot we go in?"

The pilot, who spoke English very imperfectly, answered, "It is a bar.
The water is not enough."

"There is a bar," said the gentleman, "outside the entrance to the
harbor, and the water is not deep enough even for these boats to go
over. We can see it."

Rollo and the others looked in the direction where the gentleman
pointed, and he could see a long, white line formed by the breakers on
the bar, extending each way as far as the eye could reach along the
shore. Beyond were to be dimly seen the heads of the piers, and a low
line of the coast on either hand, with the lighthouse beyond, towering
high into the air, and a bright and steady light beaming from the summit
of it.

"I hope the tide is not going _down_," said the gentleman, "for in that
case we may have to wait here half the night."

"Is the tide going down, or coming up?" he said, turning again to the
pilot.

"It will come up. The tide will come up," answered the pilot.

"What does he say?" asked one of the ladies in a whisper.

"He says that the tide will come up," replied the gentleman. "Whether he
means it is coming up now, or that it will come up some time or other, I
do not know. We have nothing to do but to remain quiet, and await the
result."

The clouds had been for some time growing darker and darker, and now it
began to rain. So the gentlemen took out their umbrellas and spread
them, and the party huddled together in the bottom of the boat, and
sheltered themselves there as well as they could from the wind and rain.
They invited Rollo to come under the umbrellas too, but he said that the
rain would not hurt his cap, and he preferred to sit where he could look
out and see what they would do.

"Very well," said one of the gentlemen. "Tell us, from time to time, how
we get along."

So Rollo watched the manoeuvring of the boat, and reported, from time
to time, the progress that she was making. It was not very easy for him
to make himself heard, on account of the noise of the winds and waves,
and the continual vociferations of the pilot and the seamen.

"We are headed now," said he, "right away from the shore. We are pointed
towards the steamer. I can just see her, working up and down in the
offing.

"Now the men are backing water," he continued. "We are going stern
foremost towards the bar. I believe they are going to try to back her
over."

The boat now rapidly approached the line of breakers, moving stern
foremost. The roar of the surf sounded nearer and nearer. At length the
ladies and gentlemen under the umbrellas looked out, and they saw
themselves in the midst of rolling billows of foam, on which the boat
rose and fell like a bubble. Presently they could feel her thump upon
the bottom. The next wave lifted her up and carried her towards the
shore, and then subsiding, brought her down again with another thump
upon the sand. The pilot shouted out new orders to the seamen. They
immediately began to pull forward with their oars. He had found that the
water was yet too shallow on the bar, and that it would be impossible to
pass over. So the sailors were pulling the boat out to sea again.

The ladies were, of course, somewhat alarmed while the boat was thumping
on the bar, and the boiling surges were roaring so frightfully around
them; but they said nothing. They knew that they had nothing to do, and
so they remained quiet.

"We are clear of the bar, now," said Rollo, continuing his report. "I
can see the breakers in a long line before us, but we are clear of them.
Now the sailors are getting out the anchor. I can see a number of the
other boats that are at anchor already."

The anchor, or rather the grapnel which served as an anchor, was now
thrown overboard, and the boat came to, head to the wind. There she
lay, pitching and tossing very uneasily on the sea. The other boats were
seen lying in similar situations at different distances. One was very
near; so near, that instead of anchoring herself, the seamen threw a
rope from her on board the boat where Rollo was, and so held on by her,
instead of anchoring herself. In this situation the whole fleet of boats
remained for nearly an hour. Rollo kept a good lookout all the time,
watching for the first indications of any attempt to move.

At length he heard a fresh command given by the pilot, in language that
he could not understand; but the sailors at the bows immediately began
to take in the anchor.

"They are raising the anchor," said he. "Now we are going to try it
again. There is one boat gone already. She is just coming to the bar.
She is now just in the breakers. I can see the white foam all around
her. She is going in. Now she is over. I can see the whole line of foam
this side of her. Our boat will be there very soon."

In a very few minutes more the boat entered the surf, and soon began to
thump as before at every rise and fall of the seas. But as each
successive wave came up, she was lifted and carried farther over the
bar, and at last came to deep water on the other side.

"It is all over now," said one of the gentlemen, "and, besides, it has
stopped raining." So he rose from his place and shut the umbrella. The
ladies looked around, and to their great joy saw that they were just
entering between the ends of the piers. The passage way was not very
wide, and the piers rose like high walls on each side of it; but the
water was calm and smooth within, and the boats glided along one after
another in a row, in a very calm and peaceful manner. At length they
reached the landing stairs, which were built curiously within the pier,
among the piles and timbers, and there they all safely disembarked.

On reaching the top of the stairs, Rollo found Mr. George waiting for
him.

"Uncle George," said Rollo, "here I am."

"Have you had a good time?" asked Mr. George.

"Yes," said Rollo, "excellent."

"And what became of Mr. and Mrs. Parkman?"

"I don't know," said Rollo; "I left them on board the steamer. She
declared that she would not come in a small boat."

"You and I," said Mr. George, "will go off to-morrow morning by the
first train, and go straight to Holland as fast as we can, so as to get
out of their way."

"Well," said Rollo. "Though I don't care much about it either way."

Mr. George, however, carried his plan into effect. The next day they
went to Antwerp; and on the day following they crossed the Belgian
frontier, and entered Holland.

[Illustration]



CHAPTER IV.

ENTERING HOLLAND.


Rollo and Mr. George went into Holland by the railway. It was a long
time before Rollo learned that in travelling from one European country
to another, he was not to expect any visible line of demarcation to show
the frontier. Boys at school, in studying the shape and conformation of
different countries on the map, and seeing them marked by distinct
colored boundaries, are very apt to imagine that they will see
something, when travelling from one country to another, to show them by
visible signs when they pass the frontier.

But there is nothing of the kind. The green fields, the groves, the
farmhouse, the succession of villages continues unchanged as you travel,
so that, as you whirl along in the railway carriage, there is nothing to
warn you of the change, except the custom house stations, where the
passports of travellers are called for, and the baggage is examined.

"Uncle George," said Rollo, after looking out of the window at a place
where the train stopped, twenty or thirty miles from Antwerp, "I think
we are coming to the frontier."

"Why so?" asked Mr. George.

"Because the Belgian custom house is at this station, and the next will
be the Dutch custom house."

Rollo knew that this was the Belgian custom house by seeing the word
DOUANE over one of the doors of the station, and under it the words
VISITE DES BAGAGES, which means _examination of baggage_. There were
besides a great many soldiers standing about, which was another
indication.

"How do you know that it is the Belgian custom house?" asked Mr. George.

"Because all these soldiers are in the Belgian uniform," said he. "I
know the Belgian uniform. I don't know the Dutch uniform, but I suppose
I shall see it at the next station."

Rollo was perfectly right in his calculations. The last station on the
line of the railway in Belgium was the frontier station for Belgium, and
here travellers, coming from Holland, were called upon to show their
passports, and to have their baggage examined. In the same manner the
first station beyond, which was the first one in Holland, was the
frontier station for that country, and there passengers going from
Belgium into Holland were stopped and examined in the same way.

After going on a few miles from the Belgium station, the whistle blew
and the train began to stop.

"Here we are!" said Rollo.

"Yes," said Mr. George; "and now comes the time of trial for the musical
box."

Rollo had bought a musical box at Antwerp, and he had some fears lest he
might be obliged to pay a duty upon it, in going into Holland. Mr.
George had told him that he thought there was some danger, but Rollo
concluded that he would take the risk.

"They have no business to make me pay duty upon it," said he to Mr.
George.

"Why not?" asked Mr. George.

"Because it is not for merchandise," said Rollo. "It is not for sale. I
have bought it for my own use alone."

"That has nothing to do with it," said Mr. George.

"Yes it has, a great deal to do with it," replied Rollo.

There might have been quite a spirited discussion between Mr. George and
Rollo, on this old and knotty question, over which tourists in Europe
are continually stumbling, had not the train stopped. The moment that
the motion ceased, the doors of all the carriages were opened, and a man
passed along the line calling out in French,--

"Gentlemen and ladies will all descend here, for the examination of
passports and baggage."

Mr. George and Rollo had no baggage, except a valise which they carried
with them in the carriage. Mr. George took this valise up and stepped
down upon the platform.

"Now, Rollo," said Mr. George, "if they find your musical box and charge
duty upon it, pay it like a man."

"Yes," said Rollo, "I will."

"And don't get up a quarrel with the custom house officer on the
subject," continued Mr. George, "for he has the whole military force of
the kingdom of Holland at his command, and what he says is to be done,
in this territory, must be done."

So saying, Mr. George, valise in hand, followed the crowd of passengers
through a door, over which was inscribed the Dutch word for baggage. In
the centre of this room there was a sort of low counter, enclosing a
sort of oblong square. Within the square were a number of custom house
officers, ready to examine the baggage which the porters and the
passengers were bringing in, and laying upon the counter, all around the
four sides of the square.

Mr. George brought up his valise, and placed it on the counter. A custom
house officer, who had just examined and marked some other parcels,
turned to Mr. George's just as he had unlocked and opened it.

"Have you any thing to declare?" said the officer.

"Nothing, sir," said Mr. George.

The officer immediately shut the valise, and marked it on the back with
a piece of chalk, and Mr. George locked it and took it away.

"Are you through?" asked Rollo.

"Yes," said Mr. George.

Mr. George then took the valise and followed a crowd of passengers, who
were going through a door at the end of the room opposite to where they
came in. There was an officer in uniform on each side of this door.
These officers examined every bag, valise, or parcel that the passengers
had in their hands, to see if they had been marked by the examiners, and
as fast as they found that they were marked, they let them pass.

Following this company, Mr. George and Rollo came soon to another small
room, where a man was sitting behind a desk, examining the passports of
the passengers and stamping them. Mr. George waited a moment until it
came his turn, and then handed his passport too. The officer looked at
it, and then stamped an impression from a sort of seal on one corner of
it. He also wrote Mr. George's and Rollo's name in a big book, copying
them for this purpose from the passport.

He then handed the passport back again, and Mr. George and Rollo went
out, passing by a soldier who guarded the door. They found themselves
now on the railway platform.

"Now," said Rollo, "I suppose that we may go and take our seats again."

"Yes," said Mr. George. "We are fairly entered within the dominions of
his majesty the king of Holland."

"And no duty to pay on my music box," said Rollo.

Rollo took a seat by a window where he could look out as the train went
on, and see, as he said, how Holland looked. The country was one immense
and boundless plain, and there were no fences or other close enclosures
of any kind. And yet the face of it was so endlessly varied with rows of
trees, groves, farm houses, gardens, wind mills, roads, and other
elements of rural scenery, that Rollo found it extremely beautiful. The
fields were very green where grass was growing, and the foliage of the
trees, and of the little ornamental hedges that were seen here and there
adorning the grounds of the farm houses, was very rich and full. As
Rollo looked out at the window, a continued succession of the most
bright and beautiful pictures passed rapidly before his eyes, like those
of a gayly painted panorama, and they all called forth from him
continually repeated exclamations of delight. Mr. George sat at his
window enjoying the scene perhaps quite as much as Rollo did, though he
was much less ardent in expressing his admiration.

"See these roads, uncle George," said Rollo; "they run along on the tops
of the embankment like railroads. Are those dikes?"

"No," said Mr. George. "The dikes are built along the margin of the sea,
and along the banks of rivers and canals, to take the water out. These
are embankments for the roads, to raise them up and keep them dry."

There were rows of trees on the sides of these raised roads, which
formed beautiful avenues to shelter the carriage way from the sun. These
avenues could sometimes be seen stretching for miles across the country.

"Now, pretty soon," said Rollo, "we shall come to the water, and then we
shall take a steamboat."

"Then we do not go all the way by the train," said Mr. George.

"No," said Rollo. "The railroad stops at a place called Moerdyk, and
there we take a steamer and go along some of the rivers.

"But I can't find out by the map exactly how we are to go," he
continued, "because there are so many rivers."

Rollo had found, by the map, that the country all about Rotterdam was
intersected by a complete network of creeks and rivers. This system was
connected on the land side with the waters of the Rhine, by the immense
multitude of branches into which that river divides itself towards its
mouth, and on the other side by innumerable creeks and inlets coming in
from the sea. This network of channels is so extensive, and the water in
the various branches of it is so deep, that ships and steamers can go at
will all about the country. It would be as difficult to make a railroad
over such a tract of mingled land and water as this, as it is easy to
navigate a steamer through it; and, accordingly, the owners of the line
had made arrangements for stopping the trains at Moerdyk, and then
transferring the passengers to a steamer.

"I have great curiosity," said Rollo, "to see whether, when we come to
the water, we shall go _up_ to it, instead of _down_ to it."

"Do you think that we shall go up to it?" asked Mr. George.

"I don't know," replied Rollo. "We do in some parts of Holland. In some
places, according to what the guide book says, the land is twenty or
thirty feet below the level of the water, and so when you come to the
shore you go _up an embankment_, and there you find the water on the
other side, nearly at the top of it."

When at length the train stopped at Moerdyk, the conductor called out
from the platform that all the passengers would descend from the
carriages to embark on board the steamer. Rollo was too much interested
in making the change, and in hurrying Mr. George along so as to get a
good seat in the steamer, to make any observation on the comparative
level of the land and water. There was quite a little crowd of
passengers to go on board; and as they walked along the pier towards the
place where the steamer was lying, all loaded with as many bags, cloaks,
umbrellas, or parcels of some sort, as they could carry, Rollo and Mr.
George pressed on before them, Rollo leading the way. The steamer was a
long and narrow boat, painted black, in the English fashion. There was
no awning over the deck, and most of the passengers went below.

"I don't see what they are all going below for," said Rollo. "I should
think that they would wish to stay on deck and see the scenery."

So Rollo chose a seat by the side of a small porch which was built upon
the deck over the entrance to the cabin, and sat down immediately upon
it, making room for Mr. George by his side. There was a little table
before him, and he laid down his guide book and his great coat upon it.

"Now," said he, "this is good. We have got an excellent seat, and we
will have a first rate time looking at Holland as we go along."

Just then a young man, dressed in a suit of gray, and with a spy glass
hanging at his side, suspended by a strap from his shoulder, and with a
young and pretty, but rather disdainful looking lady on his arm, came
by.

"Now, Emily," said he, "which would you prefer, to sit here upon the
deck or go below?"

"O George," said she, "let us go below. There's nothing to be seen on
the deck. The country is every where flat and uninteresting."

"We might see the shores as we go along," suggested her husband.

"O, there's nothing to be seen along the shores," said she; "nothing but
bulrushes and willows. We had better go below."

So Emily led George below.

"Rollo," said Mr. George, "if you would like to take a bet, I will bet
you the prettiest Dutch toy that you can find in Amsterdam, that that is
another Mrs. Parkman."

"I think it very likely she is," said Rollo. "But, uncle George, what do
you think they have got down below? I've a great mind to go down and
see."

"Very well," said Mr. George.

"And will you keep my place while I am gone?" asked Rollo.

"Yes," said Mr. George, "or you can put your cap in it to keep it."

So Rollo put his cap in his seat, and went down below. In a few minutes
he returned, saying that there was a pretty little cabin down there,
with small tables set out along the sides of it, and different parties
of people getting ready for breakfast.

"It is rather late for breakfast," said Mr. George. "It is after twelve
o'clock."

"Then perhaps they call it luncheon," said Rollo. "But I'd rather stay
on deck. We might have something to eat here. Don't you think we could
have it on this table?"

"Yes," replied Mr. George, "that is what the table is put here for."

"Well!" said Rollo, his eye brightening up at the idea.

"We can have it here, or we can wait and have it at the hotel in
Rotterdam," said Mr. George. "You may decide. I'll do just as you say."

Rollo finally concluded to wait till they arrived at Rotterdam, and then
to have a good dinner all by themselves at some table by a window in the
hotel, and in the mean time to devote himself, while on board the
steamer, to observing the shores of the river, or arm of the sea,
whichever it might be, on which they were sailing.

The steamer had before this time set sail from the pier, and after
backing out of a little sort of creek or branch where it had been
moored, it entered a broad channel of deep water, and began rapidly to
move along. The day was pleasant, and though the air was cool, Rollo and
Mr. George were so well sheltered by the little porch by the side of
which they were sitting, that they were very comfortable in all
respects.

Before long the channel of water in which the steamer was sailing became
more narrow, and the steamer passed nearer a bank, which Rollo soon
perceived was formed by a dike.

"See, see! uncle George," said he. "There are the roofs of the houses
over on the other side of the dike. We can just see the tops of them.
The ground that the houses stand upon must be a great deal below the
water."

"Yes," said Mr. George, "and see, there are the tops of the tall trees."

The dike was very regular in its form, and it was ornamented with two
rows of trees along the top of it. There were seats here and there under
the trees, and some of these seats had people sitting upon them, looking
at the passing boats and steamers. The water was full of vessels of all
kinds, coming and going, or lying at anchor. These vessels were all of
very peculiar forms, being built in the Dutch style, and not painted,
but only varnished, so as to show beautifully the natural color of the
wood of which they were made. They had what Rollo called _fins_ on each
side, which were made to be taken up or let down into the water, first
on one side and then on the other, as the vessel was on different tacks
in beating against the wind.

Opposite to every place where there was a house over beyond the dike,
there was a line of steps coming down the face of the dike on the hither
side, towards the water, with a little pier, and a boat fastened to it,
below. These little flights of steps, with the piers and the boats, and
the seats under the trees on the top of the dike, and the roofs of the
houses, and the tops of the trees beyond, all looked extremely pretty,
and presented a succession of very peculiar and very charming scenes to
Mr. George and Rollo as the steamer glided rapidly along the shore.

In some places the dike seemed to widen, so as to make room for houses
upon the top of it. There were snug little taverns, where the captains
and crews of the vessels that were sailing by could stop and refresh
themselves, when wind or tide bound in their vessels, and now and then a
shop or store of some kind, or a row of pretty, though very
queer-looking, cottages. At one place there was a ferry landing. The
ferry house, together with the various buildings appertaining to it, was
on the top of the dike, and a large pier, with a snug and pretty basin
by the side of it, below. There was a flight of stairs leading up from
the pier to the ferry house, and also a winding road for carriages. At
the time that the steamer went by this place, the ferry boat was just
coming in with a carriage on board of it.

There were a great many wind mills here and there along the dike. Some
were for pumping up water, some for sawing logs, and some for grinding
grain. These wind mills were very large and exceedingly picturesque in
their forms, and in the manner in which they were grouped with the other
buildings connected with them. Rollo wished very much that he could stop
and go on shore and visit some of these wind mills, so as to see how
they looked inside.

At length the vessels and ships seemed to increase in numbers, and Mr.
George said that he thought that they must be approaching a town. Rollo
looked upon the map and found that there was a large town named Dort,
laid down on the shores of the river or branch on which they were
sailing.

"It is on the other side," said he. "Let us go and see."

So they both rose from their seats and went round to the other side of
the boat, and there, there suddenly burst upon their view such a maze of
masts, spires, roofs, and wind mills, all mingled together in
promiscuous confusion, as was wonderful to behold. In the centre of the
whole rose one enormous square tower, which seemed to belong to a
cathedral.

This was Dort, or Dordrecht, as it is often called.

As the steamer glided rapidly along the shores, and Mr. George and Rollo
attempted to look into the town, they saw not streets, but canals.
Indeed, the whole place seemed just level with the surface of the water,
and far in the interior of it the masts of ships and the roofs of the
houses were mingled together in nearly equal proportion.

The steamer threaded its way among the fleets of boats and shipping
that lay off the town, and at length came to a stop at a pier. The
passengers destined for this place began to disembark. Mr. George and
Rollo stood together on the deck, looking at the buildings which lined
the quay, and wondering at the quaint and queer forms which every thing
that they saw assumed.

"I should really like to go ashore here," said Mr. George, "and see what
sort of a place it is."

"Let us do it, uncle George!" said Rollo, eagerly. "Let us do it!"

"Only we have paid to Rotterdam," said Mr. George.

"Never mind," said Rollo. "It will not make much difference."

But before Mr. George could make up his mind to go on shore, the
exchange of passengers was effected, and the plank was pulled in, the
ropes were cast off, and the steamer once more began to move swiftly
along over the water.

"It is too late," said Rollo.

"Yes," said Mr. George, "and on the whole it is better for us to go on."

In about an hour more the steamer began to draw near to Rotterdam. The
approach to the town was indicated by the multitude of boats and vessels
that were passing to and fro, and by the numbers of steamers and wind
mills that lined respectively the margins of the water and of the land.
The wind mills were prodigious in size. They towered high into the air
like so many lighthouses; the tops of the sails, as Mr. George
estimated, reached, as the vanes revolved, up to not less than one
hundred and fifty or two hundred feet into the air. It was necessary to
build them high, in order that the sails might not be becalmed by the
houses.

[Illustration: DORT.]

At length the steamer stopped at a pier. Two policemen stood at the
plank, as the passengers landed, and demanded their passports. Mr.
George gave up his passport, as he was directed, and then he and Rollo
got into a carriage and were driven to the hotel.

[Illustration]



CHAPTER V.

WALKS ABOUT ROTTERDAM.


The hotel where Mr. George and Rollo were set down was a very
magnificent edifice standing on the quay opposite to a line of steamers.
On entering it, both our travellers were struck with the spaciousness of
the hall and of the staircase, and with the sumptuous appearance in
general of the whole interior. They called for a chamber. The
attendants, as they soon found, all understood English, so that there
was no occasion at present to resort to the language of signs, as Mr.
George had supposed might be necessary. In answer to Mr. George's
request to be shown to a room, the servant showed him and Rollo a very
large and lofty apartment, with immense windows in front looking down
upon the pier. On the back side of the room were two single beds.

"This will do very well for us," said Mr. George.

"Will you dine at the table d'hote?"[3] asked the waiter.

[Footnote 3: Pronounced _tahble dote_.]

The table d'hote is the public table.

"At what time is the table d'hote?" asked Mr. George.

"At half past four," said the waiter.

"No," said Mr. George, "we shall want to be out at that time. We will
take something now as soon as we can have it. Can you give us a
beefsteak?"

"Yes, sir," said the waiter.

"Very well. Give us a beefsteak and some coffee, and some bread and
butter."

"Yes, sir," said the waiter. "Will you have two beefsteaks, or one
beefsteak?"

"Two," said Rollo, in an under tone to Mr. George.

"Yes," said Mr. George, "and coffee for two, also."

So the waiter left the travellers in their room, and went down stairs.
In about ten minutes Mr. George and Rollo went down too. At the foot of
the grand staircase they turned into the dining room, where they saw
several tables set, and at one of them, near a window, were the
preparations for their meal.

The window looked out upon the quay, and Rollo could see the men at work
getting out hogsheads and bales of goods from a steamer that was moored
there. Besides looking across to the quay, Rollo could also look up and
down the street without putting his head out of the window. The way in
which he was enabled to do this, was by means of looking glasses placed
outside. These looking glasses were attached to an iron frame, and they
were placed in an inclined position, so as to reflect the whole length
of the street in through the window. Thus a person sitting at his ease
within the room, could look up and down the street, as well as across
it, at his pleasure.

Rollo afterwards observed such looking glasses attached to the windows
of almost all the houses in town.

The dinner was soon brought in, and Mr. George and Rollo ate it with
excellent appetites. Just as they had finished their meal, a
neatly-dressed young man came to the table and asked them if they wished
for some one to show them about the town.

"Because," said he, "I am a _valet de place_, and I can take you at once
to all the places of interest, and save you a great deal of time."

"How much do you ask to do it?" asked Mr. George.

"Five francs a day," said the man.

"That's right," said Mr. George. "That's the usual price. But we shall
not want you, at least for this afternoon. We may want you to-morrow. We
shall stay in town a day or two."

The young man said that he should be very happy to serve them if they
should require his services, and then bowed and went away.

After having finished their meal, Mr. George and Rollo set out to take a
ramble about the town by themselves.

"We will go in search of adventures," said Rollo.

"Yes," said Mr. George, "and if we lose our way, we shall be likely to
_have_ some adventures, for we cannot speak Dutch to inquire for it."

"Never mind," said Rollo, "I'm not afraid. We will be careful which way
we go."

So they went out and took quite a long ramble through the town. The
first aspect of the streets struck them with astonishment. The space was
now more than half filled with docks and basins, and with canals in
which ships and boats of every kind were moving to and fro. In fact
almost every street consisted one half of canal, and one half of road
way, so that in going through it you could have your choice of going in
a boat or in a carriage. The water part of the streets was crowded
densely with vessels, some of them of the largest size, for the water
was so deep in the canals that the largest ships could go all about the
town.

It was curious to observe the process of loading and unloading these
vessels, opposite to the houses where the merchants who owned them
lived. These houses were very large and handsome. The upper stories were
used for the rooms of the merchant and his family, and the lower ones
were for the storage of the goods. Thus a merchant could sit at his
parlor window with his family about him, could look down upon his ship
in the middle of the street before his house, and see the workmen
unlading it and stowing the goods safely on his own premises, in the
rooms below.

In some of the streets the canal was in the centre, and there was a road
way along by the houses on each side. In others there was a road way
only on one side, and the walls of the houses and stores rose up
directly from the water's edge on the other. It was curious, in this
case, to see the men in the upper stories of these stores, hoisting
goods up from the vessels below by means of cranes and tackles
projecting from the windows.

There was one arrangement in the streets which Rollo at first
condemned, as decidedly objectionable in his mind, and that was, that
the sidewalks were smooth and level with the pavement of the street,
differing only from the street by being paved with bricks, while the
road way was paved with stone.

"I think that that is a very foolish plan," said Rollo.

"I should not have expected so crude a remark as that from so old and
experienced a traveller as you," said Mr. George.

"Why, uncle George," said Rollo. "It is plainly a great deal better to
have the sidewalk raised a little, for that keeps the wheels of the
carts and carriages from coming upon them. Besides, there ought to be a
gutter."

"People that have never been away from home before," said Mr. George,
"are very apt, when they first land in any strange country, and observe
any strange or unusual way of doing things, or of making things, to
condemn it at once, and say how much better the thing is in their
country. But I thought that you had travelled enough to know better than
that."

"How so?" asked Rollo.

"Why, you see that after people have travelled more, they get their
ideas somewhat enlarged, and they learn that one way of doing things may
be best in one country, and another in another, on account of some
difference in the circumstances or the wants of the two countries. So,
when they see any thing done in a new or unusual manner, they don't
condemn it, or laugh at it, until they have had time to find out whether
there may not be some good reason for it."

"But I don't see," said Rollo, "what possible good reason there can be
for having the sidewalks made so that every cart that comes along can
run over you."

"And because you don't in a moment see every reason, does that make it
certain that there cannot be any?" said Mr. George.

"Why, no," replied Rollo.

"Then if you had travelled to much purpose," said Mr. George, "you would
suspend your judgment until you had inquired."

It was not long before Rollo saw what the reason was for making the
sidewalks in this way. Indeed, with a little reflection, he would
probably have thought of it himself.

The object was to make it easy to wheel and convey the goods from the
ships across to the warehouses. For, as the ships and boats go into
almost all the streets in the town, goods have to be wheeled across
every where, from the margin of the quay to the warehouses of the
merchants, and a range of curbstones and gutter would make an obstacle
that would be very much in the way.

Besides, contrary to Rollo's hastily formed opinion, there ought _not_
to be any gutters in such a town as this, as far as the streets are
perfectly level, from end to end; if gutters were made the water would
not run in them. The only way to have the rain water carried off, is to
form a gentle slope from the houses straight across the quay to the
margin of the canal, and this requires that the connection between the
sidewalk and the road way should be continuous and even. So that on
every account the plan adopted in Rotterdam is the best for that town.

I advise all the readers of this book, whether old or young, if they
have not yet had an opportunity to learn wisdom by actual experience in
travelling, to remember the lesson that Rollo learned on this occasion;
and whenever, in their future travels, they find any thing that appears
unusual or strange, not to condemn it too soon, simply because it is
different from what they have been accustomed to at home, but to wait
till they have learned whether there may not be some good cause for the
difference.

Rollo wished to stop continually, as he and his uncle walked along, to
watch the operations of loading and unloading that were going on
between the ships and the warehouses. At one place was a boat loaded
with sails, which had apparently come from a sail maker's. The sails
were rolled up in long rolls, and some people in a loft of a warehouse
near were hoisting them up with tackles, and pulling them in at the
windows.

At another place two porters were engaged wheeling something in
wheelbarrows across from a slip to the warehouse, stopping by the way at
a little platform to have every wheelbarrow load weighed. One of the
porters wheeled the loads from the ship to the platform, and the other,
after they were weighed, wheeled them to the warehouse. At the platform
sat a man with a little desk before him and a big book upon it, in which
he entered the weight of each load as it came. As soon as the load was
weighed the warehouse porter would take it from the platform, wheel it
across the street to the warehouse, empty it there, and then bring back
the empty wheelbarrow and set it down by the side of the platform. In
the mean time the ship porter would have wheeled another load up to the
platform from the ship, and by the time that the warehouse porter had
come back, it would be weighed and all ready for him. The ship porter,
when he brought the loaded wheelbarrow, would take back to the ship the
empty one. The whole operation went on with so much regularity and
system, and it worked so well in keeping all the men employed all the
time, without either having to wait at all for the other, that it was a
pleasure to witness it.

At another place Mr. George himself, as well as Rollo, was much
interested in seeing the process of tobacco inspection. There were a
number of hogsheads of tobacco, with a party of porters, coopers,
inspectors, and clerks examining them. It was curious to see how rapidly
they would go through the process. The coopers would set a hogshead up
upon its end, knock out the head, loosen all the staves at one end,
whisk it over upon the platform of the scales, and then lift the
hogshead itself entirely off, and set it down on one side, leaving the
tobacco alone, in a great round pile, on the platform. Then when it was
weighed they would tumble it over upon its side, and separate it into
its layers, and the inspectors would take out specimens from all the
different portions of it. Then they would pile up the layers again, and
put the hogshead on over them, as you would put an extinguisher on a
candle; and, finally, after turning it over once more, they would put it
on the head, and bind it all up again tight and secure, with hoop poles
which they nailed in and around it. The porters would then roll the
hogshead off, in order to put it on a cart and take it away. The whole
operation was performed with a degree of system, regularity, and
promptness, that was quite surprising. The whole work of opening the
hogshead, examining it thoroughly, weighing it, selecting specimens, and
putting it up again, was accomplished in less time than it has taken me
here to describe it.

There were a great many other operations of this sort that arrested the
attention of Mr. George and Rollo, as they walked along the streets.
Much of the merchandise which they saw thus landing from the ships, or
going on board of them, was of great value, and the ships in which it
came were of immense size, such as are engaged in the East India trade.
Mr. George said that they were the kind that he had often read about in
history, under the name of Dutch East Indiamen.

Rollo was very much amused at the signs over the doors of the shops, in
those streets where there were shops, and in the efforts that he made to
interpret them. There was one which read SCHEEP'S VICTUALIJ, which Mr.
George said must mean victualling for ships. He was helped, however,
somewhat in making this translation by observing what was exhibited in
the windows of the shop, and at the door. There was another in which
Rollo did not require any help to enable him to translate it. It was
TABAK, KOFFY, UND THEE. Another at first perplexed him. It was this:
HUIS UND SCHEEP'S SMEDERY. But by seeing that the place was a sort of
blacksmith's shop, Rollo concluded that it must mean house and ship
smithery, that is, that it was a place for blacksmith's work for houses
and ships.

Over one of the doors was OOSTERHOUTS UND BREDA'S BIER HUIS. Mr. George
said that Breda was a place not far from Rotterdam, and that the last
part of the sign must mean house for selling Breda beer. Rollo then
concluded that the first word must mean something connected with
oysters. There was another, KOFFER EN ZADEL MAKERIJ. At first Rollo
could not make any thing of this; but on looking at the window he saw a
painting of a horse's head, with a handsome bridle upon it, and a saddle
on one side. So he concluded it must mean a trunk and saddle makery. He
was the more convinced of the correctness of this from the fact that the
word for trunk or box, in French, is _coffre_.

Rollo amused himself a long time in interpreting in this way the signs
that he saw in the streets, and he succeeded so well in it that he told
Mr. George that he believed he could learn the Dutch language very
easily, if he were going to stay for any considerable time in Holland.

Another thing that amused Rollo very much, was to see the wooden shoes
that were worn by the common people in the streets. These shoes appeared
to Rollo to be very large and clumsy; but even the little children wore
them, and the noise that they made, clattering about the pavements with
them, was very amusing.

In a great many places where the streets intersected each other, there
were bridges leading across the canals. These bridges were of a very
curious construction. They were all draw bridges, and as boats and
vessels were continually passing and repassing along the canals, it
became frequently necessary to raise them, in order to let the vessels
go through. The machinery for raising these bridges and letting them
down again, was very curious; and Rollo and Mr. George were both glad,
when, in coming to the bridge, they found it was up, as it gave them an
opportunity to watch the manoeuvre of passing the vessel through.

Every boat and vessel that went through had a toll to pay, and the
manner of collecting this toll was not the least singular part of the
whole procedure. While the bridge was up, and when the boat had passed
nearly through, the helmsman, or helmswoman, as the case might be,--for
one half the boats and vessels seemed to be steered by women,--would
get the money ready; and then the tollman, who stood on the abutment of
the bridge, would swing out to the boat one of the wooden shoes above
described, which was suspended by a long line from the end of a pole,
like a fishing pole. The tollman would swing out this shoe over the boat
that was passing through, as a boy would swing his hook and sinker out
over the water if he were going to catch fish. The helmsman in the boat
would take hold of it when it came within his reach, and put the money
into the toe of it. The tollman would then draw it in, and, taking out
the money, would carry it to his toll house, which was a small building,
not much bigger than a sentry box that stood on the pier close by.

In one case Rollo came to a bridge, which, instead of being made to be
raised entirely, had only a very narrow part in the centre, just wide
enough for the masts and rigging of the ship to go through, that could
be moved. When this part was lifted up to let a vessel pass, it made
only a very narrow opening, such as a boy might jump across very easily.

In some places where the passing and repassing of ships was very great,
there was a ferry instead of a bridge. In these cases there was a
flat-bottomed boat to pass to and from one side to the other, with a
pretty little landing of stone steps at each end. Rollo was much
entertained by these ferries. He said it was crossing a street by water.
And it was exactly that, and no more. The place where he first crossed
one of these ferries was precisely like a broad street of water, with
ships and boats going to and fro upon it, instead of carriages, and a
very wide brick sidewalk on each side. The ferry was at the crossing, at
the place where another street intersected it.

As the houses on each side of these streets were very large and
handsome, and as there were rows of beautiful trees on the margin of the
water, and as every thing about the water, and the ships, and the quays,
and the sidewalks, was kept very neat and clean, the whole view, as it
presented itself to Rollo and Mr. George while they were crossing in the
boat, was exceedingly attractive and exciting.

Mr. George and Rollo remained in Rotterdam several days before they were
satisfied with the curious and wonderful spectacles which it presented
to view. In one of their walks they made the entire circuit of the town,
and Mr. George agreed with Rollo in the opinion that this was one of the
most interesting walks they had ever taken.

[Illustration: THE FERRY BOAT.]

The way led along a smooth and beautiful road, which was neatly paved,
and kept very nice and clean. On the right hand side there extended
along the whole length of it a wide canal, with boats all the time going
to and fro. This canal looked brimming full. The water, in fact, came up
within a few inches of the level of the road. The line of the road was
formed by a smooth and straight margin of stone,--like the margin of a
fountain,--with little platforms extending out here and there, where
neatly-dressed girls and women were washing.

On the other side of the road, down ten feet or more below the level of
it, was a range of houses, with yards, gardens, and fields about them.
The way to these houses was by paths leading down from the dike on which
the road was built, and across little bridges built over a small canal
which extended between them and the dike. This small canal was for the
draining of the land on which the houses stood. The water in this canal
had a gentle flow towards the end of the street, where there was a wind
mill to pump it up into the great canal on the other side of the street.

As Rollo and Mr. George walked along this road, it was very curious to
them to see the water on one side so much higher than the land on the
other. At the intervals between the houses they obtained glimpses of the
interior of the country, which consisted of level fields lying far below
where they were standing, and intersected in every direction by small
canals, which served the purpose at the same time of fences, roads, and
drains. There seemed to be no other divisions than these between the
lands of the different proprietors, and no other roads for bringing home
the hay or grain, or other produce which might be raised in the fields.

In pursuing their walk around the town, our travellers were continually
coming to objects so curious in their construction and use, as to arrest
their attention and cause them to stop and examine them. At one place
they saw a little ferry boat, which looked precisely like a little
floating room. It was square, and had a roof over it like a house, with
seats for the passengers below. This boat plied to and fro across the
canal, by means of a rope fastened to each shore, and running over
pulleys in the boat.

"We might take this ferry boat," said Mr. George, "and go across the
canal into the town again. See, it lands opposite to one of the
streets."

"Yes," said Rollo, "but I would rather keep on, and go all around the
town outside."

"We might go over in the ferry boat just for the fun of it," said Mr.
George, "and then come back again."

"Well," said Rollo. "How much do you suppose the toll is?"

"I don't know," said Mr. George. "It can't be much, it is such a small
boat, and goes such a little way; and then, besides, I know it must be
cheap, or else there could not so many of these girls and women go back
and forth."

For while they had been looking at the boat, as they gradually
approached the spot, they had seen it pass to and fro with many
passengers, who, though they were very neatly dressed, were evidently by
no means wealthy or fashionable people.

So Mr. George and Rollo went to the margin of the road where the ferry
boat had its little landing place, and when it came up they stepped on
board. The ferryman could only talk Dutch, and so Mr. George could not
ask him what was to pay. The only thing to be done was to give him a
piece of silver, and let him give back such change as he pleased. Mr.
George gave him a piece of money about as big as half a franc, and he
got back so much change in return that he said he felt richer than he
did before.

At another place they came to a bridge that led across the canal. This
bridge turned on a pivot placed out near the middle of the canal, so
that it could be moved out of the way when there was a boat to go by. A
man was turning it when Mr. George and Rollo came along. They stopped to
witness the operation. They were quite amused, not merely with the
manoeuvring of the bridge, but with the form and appearance of the
boat that was going through. It seemed to be half boat and half house.
There was a room built in it, which rose somewhat above the deck, and
showed several little windows with pretty curtains to them. There was a
girl sitting at one of these windows, knitting, and two or three
children were playing about the deck at the time that the boat was going
through the bridge.

Farther on the party came to an immense wind mill, which was employed in
pumping up water. This wind mill, like most of the others, was built of
brick. It rose to a vast height into the air, and there its immense
sails were slowly revolving. The wind mill was forty or fifty feet in
diameter at the base, and midway between the base and the summit was a
platform built out, that extended all around it. The sails of the mill,
as they revolved, only extended down to this platform, and the platform
itself was above the roofs of the four-story houses that stood near.

At the foot of this wind mill Mr. George and Rollo could see the water
running in under it, through a sluice way which led from a low canal,
and on the other side they could see it pouring out in a great torrent,
into a higher one.

       *       *       *       *       *

Besides making this circuit around the town, Mr. George and Rollo one
evening took a walk in the environs, on a road which led along on the
top of a dike. The dike was very broad, and the descent from it to the
low land on each side was very gradual. On the slopes on each side, and
along the margin on the top, were rows of immense trees, that looked as
if they had been growing for centuries. The branches of these trees met
overhead, so as to exclude the sun entirely. They made the road a
deeply-shaded avenue, and gave to the whole scene a very sombre and
solemn expression. On each side of the road, down upon the low land
which formed the general level of the country, were a succession of
country houses, the summer residences of the rich merchants of
Rotterdam. These houses were beautifully built; and they were surrounded
with grounds ornamented in the highest degree. There were winding
walks, and serpentine canals, and beds of flowers, and pretty bridges,
and summer houses, and groves of trees, and every thing else that can
add to the beauty of a summer retreat.

All these scenes Mr. George and Rollo looked down upon as they sauntered
slowly along the smooth sidewalk of the dike, under the majestic trees
which shaded it. The place where they were walking on the dike was on a
level with the second story windows of the houses.

[Illustration]



CHAPTER VI.

DOING THE HAGUE.


"And now what is the next place that we shall come to?" said Rollo to
Mr. George one morning after they had been some days in Rotterdam.

"The Hague," replied Mr. George.

"Ah, yes," said Rollo, "that is the capital. We shall stop there a good
while I suppose, because it is the capital."

"No," said Mr. George, "I shall go through it just as quick as I can for
that very reason. I have a great mind not to stop there at all."

"Why, uncle George!" exclaimed Rollo, surprised, "what do you mean by
that?"

"Why, the Hague," rejoined Mr. George, "is the place where the king
lives, and the princes, and the foreign ambassadors, and all the
fashionable people; and there will be nothing to see there, I expect,
but palaces, and picture galleries, and handsome streets, and such
things, all of which we can see more of and better in Paris or London."

"Still we want to see what sort of a place the Hague is," said Rollo.

"Yes," said Mr. George, "and I expect to do that in a very short time,
and then I shall go on to Haarlem, where they have had such a time with
their pumping."

Mr. George and Rollo packed up their valise, paid their bill at the
hotel, and set off for the station.

"Let's go to the station by water," said Rollo.

"Well," said Mr. George, "if you will engage a boat."

"I know a place not far from here where there is a boat station," said
Rollo.

So Rollo led the way until they came to a bridge, and there, by the side
of the bridge, were some stairs leading down to the water. There were
several boats lying at the foot of the stairs, and boatmen near, who all
called out in Dutch, "Do you want a boat?" At least that was what Rollo
supposed they said, though, of course, he could not understand their
language. Rollo walked down the steps, and got into one of the boats,
and Mr. George followed him.

"I can't speak Dutch," said Rollo to the boatman, "but that is the way
we want to go." So saying, Rollo pointed in the direction which led
towards the station. The man did not understand a word that Rollo had
said; but still, by hearing it, he learned the fact that Rollo did not
speak the language of the country, and by his signs he knew that he must
go the way that he pointed. So he began to row the boat along.

"We cannot go quite to the station by the boat," said Rollo, "but we can
go pretty near it, and we can walk the rest of the way."

"How will you find out the way," asked Mr. George, "through all these
canals?"

"I can tell by the map," said Rollo.

So Rollo sat down on a seat at the stern of the boat, and taking out his
map, which was printed on a pocket handkerchief, he spread it on his
knee, and began to study out the canals.

"There," said he, "we are going along this canal, now; and there, a
little way ahead from here, is a bridge that we shall go under. Then we
shall make a turn," continued Rollo, still studying his map. "We shall
have to go a very round-about way; but that is no matter."

So they went on, Rollo at each turn pointing to the boatman which way he
was to go. Sometimes the boat was stopped for a time by a jam in the
boats and vessels before it, as a hack might be stopped in Broadway in
New York. Sometimes it went under bridges, and sometimes through dark
archways, where Rollo could hear carriages rumbling over his head in
the streets above.

At length the boat reached the point which Rollo thought was nearest to
the station; and the man, at a signal which Rollo gave him, stopped at
some steps. Rollo paid the fare by holding out a handful of money in his
hand, and letting the man take what was right, watching him, however, to
see that he did not take too much.

Then Mr. George and Rollo both went ashore, and walked the rest of the
way to the station.

In the European railroad stations there are different waiting rooms for
the different classes of travellers. Mr. George sometimes took second
class carriages, and sometimes first. For short distances he generally
went first class, and as it was only a few miles to the Hague from
Rotterdam, he now went into the first class waiting room. There was a
counter for refreshment in one corner of the room, and some sofas along
the sides. Mr. George sat down upon one of the sofas, putting his valise
on the floor at the end of it. Rollo said that he would go out and take
a little walk around the station, for it was yet half an hour before the
train was to go.

In a few minutes after Rollo had gone, there came to the door, among
other carriages, one from which Mr. George, to his great surprise, saw
Mr. and Mrs. Parkman get out. Mr. George's first thought was to go out
by another door, and make his escape. But he checked this impulse,
saying to himself,

"It would be very ungenerous in me to abandon my old friend in his
misfortune; so I will stay."

Mr. Parkman seemed very much delighted, as well as surprised, to see Mr.
George again; and Mrs. Parkman gave him quite a cordial greeting,
although she half suspected that Mr. George did not like her very well.

Mr. George asked her how she liked Holland, so far as she had seen it.

"Not much," said she. "The towns are not pretty. The streets are all
full of canals, and there is nothing to be seen but boats and ships. And
what ugly wooden shoes they wear. Did you ever see any thing so ugly in
all your life?"

"They look pretty big and clumsy," said Mr. George, "I must admit; but
it amuses me to see them."

"At the Hague I expect to find something worth seeing," continued Mrs.
Parkman. "That's where the king and all the great people live, and all
the foreign ambassadors. If William had only got letters of introduction
to some of them! He might have got them just as well as not. Our
minister at London would have given him some if he had asked for them.
But he said he did not like to ask for them."

"Strange!" said Mr. George.

"Yes," rejoined Mrs. Parkman, "I think it is not only strange, but
foolish. I want to go to some of the parties at the Hague, but we can't
stop. William says we can only give one day to the Hague."

"O, you can do it up quite well in one day," said Mr. George.

"If you would only go with us and show us how to do it," said Mrs.
Parkman.

"Yes," said Mr. Parkman. "Do, George. Go with us. Join us for one day.
I'll put the whole party entirely under your command, and you shall have
every thing your own way."

Mr. George did not know what to reply to this proposition. At last he
said that he would go and find Rollo, and consult him on the subject,
and if Rollo approved of it they would consent to the arrangement.

Mrs. Parkman laughed at hearing this. "Why," said she, "is it possible
that you are under that boy's direction?"

"Not exactly that," said Mr. George. "But then he is my travelling
companion, and it is not right for one person, in such a case, to make
any great change in the plan without at least first hearing what the
other has to say about it."

"That's very true," replied Mrs. Parkman. "Do you hear that, William?
You must remember that when you are going to change the plans without
asking my consent."

Mrs. Parkman said this in a good-natured way, as if she meant it in
joke. It was one of those cases where people say what they wish to have
considered as meant in a joke, but to be taken in earnest.

Mr. George went out to look for Rollo. He found him lying on the grass
by the side of a small canal which flowed through the grounds, and
reaching down to the water to gather some curious little plants that
were growing upon it. Mr. George informed him that Mr. and Mrs. Parkman
were at the station, and that they had proposed that he himself and
Rollo should join their party in seeing the Hague.

"And I suppose you don't want to do it," said Rollo.

"Why, yes," said Mr. George, "I've taken a notion to accept the proposal
if you like it. We'll then do the Hague in style, and I shall get back
into Mrs. Parkman's good graces. Then we will bid them good by, and
after that you and I will travel on in our own way."

"Well," said Rollo, "_I_ agree to it."

Mr. George accordingly went back into the station, and told Mr. and Mrs.
Parkman that he and Rollo would accept their invitation, and join with
them in seeing what there was in the Hague.

"And then, after that," said Mr. George, "we shall come back to Delft,
while you go on to Amsterdam."

"I wish you would go on with us," said Mr. Parkman.

"We can't do that very well," said Mr. George. "We want to try a Dutch
canal once, and a good place to try it is in going from the Hague to
Delft. It is only about four or five miles. We are going there by the
canal boat, and then coming back on foot."

Mr. George had taken care in planning the course which he and Rollo were
to pursue after leaving the Hague, to contrive an expedition which he
was very sure Mrs. Parkman would not wish to join in.

"O, Mr. George!" she exclaimed, "what pleasure can there be in going on
a canal?"

"Why, the canal boats are so funny!" said Rollo. "And then we see such
curious little places all along the banks of them, and we meet so many
boats, carrying all sorts of things."

"I don't think it would be very agreeable for a lady," said Mr. George;
"but Rollo and I thought we should like to try it."

Just at this moment the door leading to the platform opened, and a man
dressed in a sort of uniform, denoting that he was an officer of the
railroad, called out in Dutch that the train was coming. The ladies and
gentlemen that were assembled in the waiting room immediately took up
their bags and bundles, and went out upon the platform. As they went
out, Mr. George, in passing the man in uniform, slipped a piece of money
into his hand, and said to him in an under tone, first in French and
then in English,--

"A good seat by a window for this lady."

The officer received the money, made a bow of assent, and immediately
seemed to take the whole party under his charge. When the train arrived,
and had stopped before the place, there was a great crowd among the new
passengers to get in and procure seats. The officer beckoned to Mr.
George to follow him, but Mrs. Parkman seemed disposed to go another
way. She was looking eagerly about here and there among the carriages,
as if the responsibility of finding seats for the party devolved upon
her.

"What shall we do?" said she. "The cars are all full."

"Leave it to me," said Mr. George to her in an under tone. "Leave it
entirely to me. You'll see presently."

The officer, finding the carriages generally full, said to Mr. George,
in French, "Wait a moment, sir." So Mr. George said to the rest of the
party--

"We will all stand quietly here. He'll come to us presently."

"Yes," said Mrs. Parkman, "when all the seats are taken. We shan't get
seats at all, William."

"You'll see," said Mr. George.

In a moment more the officer came to the party, and bowing respectfully
to Mrs. Parkman, he said,

"Now, madam."

He took out a key from his pocket, and unlocked the door of a carriage
which had not before been opened, and standing aside, he bowed to let
Mrs. Parkman pass.

Mrs. Parkman was delighted. There was nobody in the carriage, and so she
had her choice of the seats. She chose one next the window on the
farther side. Her husband took the seat opposite to her.

"Ah!" said she, with a tone of great satisfaction, "how nice this is!
And what a gentlemanly conductor! I never had the conductor treat me so
politely in my life."

Mrs. Parkman was put in excellent humor by this incident, and she said,
towards the end of the journey, that she should have had a delightful
ride if the country had not been so flat and uninteresting. To Mr.
George and Rollo, who sat at the other window, it appeared extremely
interesting, there was so much that was curious and novel to be seen.
The immense green fields, with herds of cattle and flocks of sheep
feeding every where, and separated from each other by straight and
narrow canals instead of fences; the boats passing to and fro, loaded
with produce; the little bridges built over these canals here and there,
for the foot paths, with the gates across them to keep the cattle from
going over; the long road ways raised upon dikes, and bordered by
quadruple rows of ancient and venerable trees, stretching to a boundless
distance across the plains; and now and then a wide canal, with large
boats or vessels passing to and fro,--these and a multitude of other
such sights, to be seen in no other country in the world, occupied their
attention all the time, and kept them constantly amused.

At length the train arrived at the station for the Hague, and the whole
party descended from the carriage.

"Now, William," said Mr. George, "give me the ticket for your trunk,
and you yourself take Mrs. Parkman into the waiting room and wait till I
come."

"No," said Mr. Parkman, "I cannot let you take that trouble."

"Certainly," said Mr. George. "You said that I should have the entire
command. Give me the ticket."

So Mr. Parkman gave him the ticket, and Mr. George went out. Rollo
remained with Mr. and Mrs. Parkman. In a few minutes Mr. George
returned, and said that the carriage was ready. They all went to the
door, and there they found a carriage waiting, with Mr. and Mrs.
Parkman's trunk upon the top of it. A man was holding the door open for
the party to get in. As soon as they had all entered, Mr. George put a
few coppers into the hand of the man at the door, and said to him,

"Hotel Belview."[4]

[Footnote 4: In French, _Hotel Belle Vue_; but Mr. George gave it the
English pronunciation, because the pronunciation of words in Holland is
much more like the English than like the French.]

"HOTEL BELVIEW!" shouted the man to the coachman. On hearing this
command the coachman drove on.

The road that led into the town lay along the banks of a canal, and
after going about half a mile in this direction, the horses turned and
went over a bridge. They were now in the heart of the town, but the
party could not see much, for the night was coming on and the sky was
cloudy. It was cold, too, and Mrs. Parkman wished to have the windows
closed. The carriage went along a narrow street, crossing bridges
occasionally, until at length it came to a region of palaces, and parks,
and grounds beautifully ornamented. Finally it stopped before a large
and very handsome hotel. The hotel stood in a street which had large and
beautiful houses and gardens on one side, and an open park, with deer
feeding on the borders of a canal, on the other.

Two or three very nicely dressed servants came out when the carriage
stopped, and opened the door of it in a very assiduous and deferential
manner.

"Wait here in the carriage," said Mr. George, "till I come."

So saying, he himself descended from the carriage, and went into the
house, followed by two of the waiters that had come to the door.

In about two minutes he came out again.

"Yes," said he to Mrs. Parkman, "I think you will like the rooms."

So saying, he helped Mrs. Parkman out of the carriage, and gave her his
arm to conduct her into the house. At the same time he said to one of
the waiters,--

"See that every thing is taken out of the carriage, and pay the
coachman."

"Very well, sir," said the waiter.

Mr. George led Mrs. Parkman up a broad and handsome staircase. He was
preceded by one waiter and followed by two others. These waiters had
taken every thing from the hands of the party, especially from Mrs.
Parkman, so that they were loaded with bags, cloaks, and umbrellas,
while the travellers themselves had nothing to carry.

At the head of the staircase the waiter, who was in advance, opened a
door which led to a large drawing room or parlor, which was very
handsomely decorated and furnished. The windows were large, and they
looked out upon a handsome garden, though it was now too dark to see it
very distinctly.

As Mrs. Parkman turned round again, after trying to look out at the
window, she saw a second waiter coming into the room, bringing with him
two tall wax candles in silver candlesticks. The candles had just been
lighted. The waiter placed them on the table, and then retired.

"And now," said Mr. George to the other waiter, "we want a good fire
made here, and then let us have dinner as soon as you can."

[Illustration: THE DINNER.]

"Very well, sir," replied the waiter; and so saying he bowed
respectfully and retired.

A neatly-dressed young woman, in a very picturesque and pretty cap, had
come into the room with the party, and while Mr. George had been
ordering the fire and the dinner, she had shown Mrs. Parkman to her
bedroom, which was a beautiful and richly furnished room with two single
beds in it, opening out of the parlor. On the other side of the parlor
was another bedroom, also with two beds in it, for Mr. George and
Rollo.[5]

[Footnote 5: Almost all the bedrooms in the hotels on the continent of
Europe are furnished thus with two single beds, instead of one double
one. It is the custom for every body to sleep alone.]

Mr. and Mrs. Parkman remained in their room for a time, and when they
came out they found the table set for dinner, and a very pleasant fire
burning in the grate.

"Mr. George," said she, "I wish we had you to make arrangements for us
all the time."

"It would be a very pleasant duty," said Mr. George. "You are so easily
satisfied."

Mrs. Parkman seemed much pleased with this compliment. She did not for a
moment doubt that she fully deserved it.

About eight o'clock that evening, Mr. George asked Mrs. Parkman at what
time she would like to have breakfast the next morning.

"At any time you please," said she; "that is, if it is not too early."

"How would half past nine do?" asked Mr. George.

"I think that will do very well," said Mrs. Parkman.

"We will say ten, if you prefer," said Mr. George.

"O, no," said she, "half past nine will do very well."

So Mr. George rang the bell, and when the waiter came, he ordered a
sumptuous breakfast, consisting of beefsteaks, hot rolls, coffee,
omelet, and every thing else that he could think of that was good, and
directed the waiter to have it ready at half past nine.

"I shall also want a carriage and a pair of horses to-morrow," continued
Mr. George, "and a commissioner."

"Very well, sir," said the waiter; "and what time shall you wish for the
carriage?"

"What time, Mrs. Parkman?" repeated Mr. George, turning to the lady.
"Shall you be ready by half past ten to go out and see the town?"

"Yes," said Mrs. Parkman, "that will be a very good time."

"Very well, sir," said the waiter; and he bowed and retired.

The next morning, when the different members of the party came out into
the breakfast room, they found the table set for breakfast. At half past
nine all were ready except Mrs. Parkman. She sent word by her husband
that she would come out in a few minutes.

"There is no hurry," said Mr. George. "It will be time enough to have
breakfast when she comes."

In about fifteen minutes she came. Mr. George asked her very politely
how she had spent the night; and after she had sat a few minutes talking
by the fire, he said that they would have breakfast whenever she wished.

"Yes," said she, "I am ready any time. Indeed, I was afraid that I
should be late, and keep you waiting. I am very glad that I am in
season."

So Mr. George rang the bell; when the waiter came, he ordered breakfast
to be brought up.

While the party were at breakfast, a very nicely-dressed waiter, with a
white napkin over his arm, stood behind Mrs. Parkman's chair, and
evinced a great deal of alertness and alacrity in offering her every
thing that she required. When the breakfast was nearly finished, Mr.
George turned to him and said,--

"Is the commissioner ready, John, who is to go with us to-day?"

"Yes, sir," said the waiter.

"I wish you to go down and send him up," said Mr. George.

So the waiter went down stairs to find the commissioner, and while he
was gone Mr. George took out a pencil and paper from his pocket.

"I am going to ask him," said Mr. George to Mrs. Parkman, "what there is
to be seen here, and to make a list of the places; and then we will go
and see them all, or you can make a selection, just as you please."

"Very well," said Mrs. Parkman. "I should like that."

Accordingly, when the commissioner came in, Mr. George asked him to
name, in succession, the various objects of interest usually visited by
travellers coming to the Hague; and as he named them, Mr. George
questioned him respecting them, so as to enable Mrs. Parkman to obtain a
somewhat definite idea of what they were. The commissioner enumerated a
variety of places to be seen, such as the public museum of painting,
several private museums, the old palace, the new palace, two or three
churches, the town hall, and various other sights which tourists,
arriving at the Hague, usually like to view. Mr. George made a list of
all these, and opposite to each he marked the time which the
commissioner said would be required to see it well. After completing
this list, he said,--

"And there is a great watering place on the sea shore, not far from
this, I believe."

"Yes, sir," said the commissioner, "about three miles."

"Is it a pleasant ride there?" asked Mr. George.

"Yes, sir," replied the commissioner. "It is a _very_ pleasant ride. You
can go one way and return another. It is a very fashionable place. The
queen and the princesses go there every summer."

"Very well; it takes about two hours and a half, I suppose, to go there
and return," said Mr. George.

"Yes, sir," said the commissioner.

"Very well," said Mr. George. "Have the carriage ready in---- Shall we
say half an hour, Mrs. Parkman? Shall you be ready in half an hour?"

Mrs. Parkman said that she should be ready in half an hour, and so Mr.
George appointed that time, and then the commissioner went away.

Mr. George added up all the periods of time that the commissioner had
said would be required for the several sights, and found that there
would be time for them to see the whole, and yet be ready for the
afternoon train for Amsterdam, where Mr. and Mrs. Parkman were going
next. So Mrs. Parkman concluded not to omit any from the list, but to go
and see the whole.

In half an hour the carriage was at the door, and in ten or fifteen
minutes afterwards Mrs. Parkman was ready. Just before they went, Mr.
George rang the bell again, and called for the bill, requesting the
waiter to see that every thing was charged--carriage, servants,
commissioner, and all. When it came, Mr. Parkman took out his purse,
expecting to pay it himself, but Mr. George took out his purse too.

"The amount," said Mr. George, looking at the footing of the bill, "is
forty-five guilders and some cents. Your share is, say twenty-two
guilders and a half."

"No, indeed," said Mr. Parkman. "My share is the exact footing of the
bill. You have nothing to do with this payment."

"Yes," said Mr. George. "I have just one half to pay for Rollo and me.
We are four in all, and Rollo and I are two."

Mr. Parkman seemed extremely unwilling to allow Mr. George to pay any
thing at all; but Mr. George insisted upon it, and so the bill was paid
by a joint contribution.

All this time the carriage was ready at the door, and the gentlemen,
attended by two or three waiters, conducted Mrs. Parkman down to the
door. The party then drove, in succession, to the various places which
the commissioner had enumerated. There were museums consisting of a
great many rooms filled with paintings, and palaces, where they were
shown up grand staircases, and through long corridors, and into suites
of elegant apartments, and churches, and beautiful parks and gardens,
and a bazaar filled with curiosities from China and Japan, and a great
many other similar places. Mr. George paid very particular attention to
Mrs. Parkman during the whole time, and made every effort to anticipate
and comply with her wishes in all respects. In one case, indeed, I think
he went too far in this compliance, and the result was to mortify her
not a little. It was in one of the museums of paintings. Mrs. Parkman,
like other ladies of a similar character to hers, always wanted to go
where she could not go, and to see what she could not see. If, when she
came into a town, she heard of any place to which, for any reason, it
was difficult to obtain admission, that was the very place of all others
that she wished most to see; and if, in any museum, or palace, or
library that she went into, there were two doors open and one shut, she
would neglect the open ones, and make directly to the one that was shut,
and ask to know what there was there. I do not know as there was any
thing particularly blameworthy in this. On the contrary, such a feeling
may be considered, in some respects, a very natural one in a lady. But,
nevertheless, when it manifests itself in a decided form, it makes the
lady a very uncomfortable and vexatious companion to the gentleman who
has her under his care.

In one of the rooms where our party went in the museum of paintings,
there was a door near one corner that was shut. All the other
doors--those which communicated with the several apartments where the
pictures were hung--were open. As soon as Mrs. Parkman came in sight of
the closed door, she pointed to it and said,--

"I wonder what there is in that room. I suppose it is something very
choice. I wish we could get in."

Mr. Parkman paid, at first, no attention to this request, but continued
to look at the pictures around him.

"I wish you would ask some of the attendants," she continued, "whether
we cannot go into that room."

"O, no," replied her husband. "If it was any thing that it was intended
we should see, the door would be open. The fact that the door is shut is
notice enough that, we are not to go in there."

"I'm convinced there are some choice pictures in there," said Mrs.
Parkman; "something that they do not show to every body. Mr. George, I
wish you would see if you can't find out some way to get in."

"Certainly," said Mr. George, "I will try."

So Mr. George walked along towards one of the attendants, whom he saw in
another part of the room,--putting his hand in his pocket as he went, to
feel for a piece of money. He put the piece of money into the
attendant's hand, and then began to talk with him, asking various
indifferent questions about the building; and finally he asked him where
that closed door led to.

"O, that is only a closet," said the attendant, "where we keep our
brooms and dusters."

"I wish you would just let us look into it," said Mr. George. "Here's
half a guilder for you."

The man looked a little surprised, but he took the half guilder,
saying,--

"Certainly, if it will afford you any satisfaction."

Mr. George then went back to where he had left the rest of his party,
and said to Mrs. Parkman,--

"This man is going to admit us to that room. Follow Him. I will come in
a moment."

So Mr. George stopped to look at a large painting on the wall, while
Mrs. Parkman, with high anticipations of the pleasure she was to enjoy
in seeing what people in general were excluded from, walked in a proud
and stately manner to the door, and when the man opened it, saw only a
small, dark room, with nothing in it but brooms, dust pans, and lamp
fillers. She was exceedingly abashed by this adventure, and for the rest
of that day she did not once ask to see any thing that was not
voluntarily shown to her.

After visiting all the places of note in the town, the coachman was
ordered to drive to the watering place on the sea shore. It was a very
pleasant drive of about three miles. Just before reaching the shore of
the sea, the road came to a region of sand hills, called _dunes_, formed
by the drifting sands blown in from the beach by the winds. Among these
dunes, and close to the sea shore, was an immense hotel, with long wings
stretching a hundred feet on each side, and a row of bath vans on the
margin of the beach before it. The beach was low and shelving, and it
could be traced for miles in either direction along the coast, whitened
by the surf that was rolling in from the German Ocean.

After looking at this prospect for a time, and watching to see one or
two of the bathing vans drive down into the surf, in order to allow
ladies who had got into them to bathe, the party returned to the
carriage, and the coachman drove them through the village, which was
very quaint and queer, and inhabited by fishermen. The fishing boats
were drawn up on the shore in great numbers, very near the houses. Rollo
desired very much to go and see these boats and the fishermen, and
learn, if he could, what kind of fish they caught in them, and how they
caught them. But Mrs. Parkman thought that they had better not stop.
They were nothing but common fishing boats, she said.

The carriage returned to the Hague by a different road from the one in
which it came. It was a road that led through a beautiful wood, where
there were many pleasant walks, with curious looking Dutch women going
and coming. As the party approached the town, they passed through a
region of parks, and palaces, and splendid mansions of all kinds. Mrs.
Parkman was curious to know who lived in each house, and Mr. George
contrived to communicate her inquiries to the coachman, by making signs,
and by asking questions partly in English and partly in German. But
though the coachman understood the questions, Mrs. Parkman could not
understand the answers that he gave, for they were Dutch
names,--sometimes long and sometimes short; but whether they were long
or short, the sounds were so uncouth and strange that Mrs. Parkman
looked terribly distressed in trying to make them out.

At length the carriage arrived at the hotel again; and there the porters
put on the baggage belonging both to Mr. and Mrs. Parkman, and to Mr.
George and Rollo. It then proceeded to the station. Mr. George and Rollo
waited there until the train for Amsterdam arrived, and then took leave
of Mr. and Mrs. Parkman as they went to their seats in the carriage.
Mrs. Parkman shook hands with Mr. George very cordially, and said,--

"We are very much obliged to you, Mr. George, for your company to-day.
We have had a very pleasant time. I wish that we could have you to
travel with us all the time."

       *       *       *       *       *

"I think she ought to be obliged to you," said Rollo, as soon as the
train had gone.

"Not at all," said Mr. George.

"Not at all?" repeated Rollo. "Why not? You have done a great deal for
her to-day."

"No," said Mr. George. "All that I have done has not been for her sake,
but for William's. William is an excellent good friend of mine, and I am
very sorry that he has not got a more agreeable travelling companion."

[Illustration]



CHAPTER VII.

CORRESPONDENCE.


One day, when Mr. George and Rollo were at the town of Leyden, it began
to rain while they were eating their breakfast.

"Never mind," said Rollo. "We can walk about the town if it does rain."

"Yes," said Mr. George, "we can; but we shall get tired of walking about
much sooner if it rains, than if it were pleasant weather. However, I am
not very sorry, for I should like to write some letters."

"I've a great mind to write a letter, too," said Rollo. "I'll write to
my mother. Don't you think that would be a good plan?"

"Why,--I don't know,"--said Mr. George, speaking in rather a doubtful
tone. "It seems to me that it would be hardly worth while."

"Why not?" asked Rollo.

"Why, the postage is considerable," said Mr. George, "and I don't
believe the letter would be worth what your father would have to pay for
it; that is, if it is such a letter as I suppose you would write."

"Why, what sort of a letter do you suppose I should write?" asked Rollo.

"O, you would do as boys generally do in such cases," replied his uncle.
"In the first place you would want to take the biggest sheet that you
could find to write the letter upon. Then you would take up as much of
the space as possible writing the date, and _My dear mother_. Then you
would go on for a few lines, saying things of no interest to any body,
such as telling what day you came to this place, and what day to that.
Perhaps you'd say that to-day is a rainy day, and that yesterday was
pleasant--just as if your mother, when she gets your letter, would care
any thing about knowing what particular days were rainy and what
pleasant, in Holland, a week back. Then, after you had got about two
thirds down the page, you would stop because you could not think of any
thing more to say, and subscribe your name with ever so many scrawl
flourishes, and as many affectionate and dutiful phrases as you could
get to fill up the space.

"And that would be a letter that your father, like as not, would have to
pay one and sixpence Or two shillings sterling for, to the London
postman."

Rollo laughed at this description of the probable result of his proposed
attempt to write a letter; but he laughed rather faintly, for he well
recollected how many times he had written letters in just such a way. He
secretly resolved, however, that when they came in from their walk, and
Mr. George sat down to his writing, he would write too, and would see
whether he could not, for once, produce a letter that should be at least
worth the postage.

After they came in from their walk, they asked the landlady to have a
fire made in their room; but she said they could not have any fire, for
the stoves were not put up. She said it was the custom in Holland not to
put the stoves up until October; and so nobody could have a fire in any
thing but foot stoves until that time. The foot stoves, she said, would
make it very comfortable for them.

So she brought in two foot stoves. They consisted of small, square
boxes, with holes bored in the top, and a little fire of peat in an
earthen vessel within. Rollo asked Mr. George to give him two sheets of
thin note paper, and he established himself at a window that looked out
upon a canal. He intended to amuse himself in the intervals of his
writing in watching the boats that were passing along the canal.

He took two sheets of note paper instead of one sheet of letter paper,
in order that, if he should get tired after filling one of them, he
could stop, and so send what he had written, without causing his father
to pay postage on any useless paper.

"Then," thought he, "if I do _not_ get tired, I will go on and fill the
second sheet, and my mother will have a double small letter. A double
small letter will be just as good as a single large one."

This was an excellent plan.

Rollo also took great pains to guard against another fault which boys
often fall into in writing their letters; that is, the fault of growing
careless about the writing as they go on with the work, by which means a
letter is produced which looks very neat and pretty at the beginning,
but becomes an ill-looking and almost illegible scrawl at the end.

"I'll begin," said he, "as I think I shall be able to hold out; and I'll
hold out to the end just as I begin."

Rollo remained over his letter more than three hours. He would have
become exceedingly tired with the work if he had written continuously
all this time; but he stopped to rest very often, and to amuse himself
with observing what was passing before him in the street and on the
canal.

Mr. George was occupied all this time in writing _his_ letter, and each
read what he had written to the other that same evening, after dinner.
The two letters were as follows:--

                            MR. GEORGE'S LETTER.

                                         "LEYDEN, HOLLAND, September 27.

  "MY DEAR EDWARD:[6]

[Footnote 6: Edward was Mr. George's brother. He was a boy about twelve
years old.]

"We have been travelling now for several days in Holland, and it is one
of the most curious and amusing countries to travel in that I have ever
seen.

"We all know from the books of geography which we study at school, that
Holland is a very low country--lower in many places than the ocean; and
that the water of the ocean is kept from overflowing it by dikes, which
the people built ages ago, along the shores. I always used to suppose
that it was only from the sea that people had any danger to fear of
inundations; but I find now that it is not so.

"The people have to defend themselves from inundations, not only on the
side towards the sea, but also quite as much, if not more, on the side
towards the land, from the waters of the River Rhine. The River Rhine
rises in Switzerland, and flows through various countries of Europe
until it comes to the borders of Holland, and there it spreads out into
innumerable branches, and runs every where, all over the country. It
would often overflow the country entirely, were it not that the banks
are guarded by dikes, like the dikes of the sea. The various branches of
the rivers are connected together by canals, which are also higher than
the land on each side of them. Thus the whole country is covered with a
great network of canals, rivers, and inlets from the sea, with water in
them higher than the land. When the tide is low in the sea, the surplus
water from these rivers and canals flows off through immense sluices at
the mouth of them. When the tide comes up, it is kept from flowing in by
immense gates, with which the sluices are closed. They call the tracts
of land that lie lower than the channels of water around them,
_polders_. That is rather a queer name. I suppose it is a Dutch name.

"The polders all have drains and canals cut in them. As we ride along in
the railway carriages we overlook these polders. They look like immense
green fields, extending as far as you can see, with straight canals
running through them in every direction, and crossing each other at
right angles. These canals, in the bottom of the polders, are about six
feet wide. They are wide enough to prevent the cattle from jumping
across them, and so they serve for fences to divide the fields from each
other. They also serve for roads, for the Dutchmen use boats on their
farms to get in their hay and produce, instead of carts.

"The water that collects in these low canals and drains, which run
across the polders, cannot flow out into the large canals, which are
higher than they are, and so they have to pump it out. They pump it out
generally by means of wind mills. So wherever you go, throughout all
Holland, you find an immense number of wind mills. These wind mills are
very curious indeed. Some of them are immensely large. They look like
lighthouses. The large ones are generally built of brick, and some of
them are several hundred years old. The sails of the big ones are often
fifty feet long, and sometimes eighty feet. This makes a wheel one
hundred and sixty feet in diameter. When you stand under one of these
mills, and look up, and see these immense sails revolving so high in the
air that the lowest point, when the sail comes round, is higher than the
tops of the four story houses, the effect is quite sublime.

"With these wind mills they pump the water up from one drain or canal to
another, till they get it high enough to run off into the sea. In some
places, however, it is very difficult to get the water into the sea even
in this way, even at low tides. The River Amstel, for instance, which
comes out at Amsterdam, and into which a great many canals and channels
are pumped, is so low at its mouth that the sea is never, at the lowest
tides, more than a foot and a half below it. At high tides the sea is a
great deal above it. The average is about a foot above. Of course it
requires a great deal of management to get the waters of the river out,
and avoid letting the water of the sea in. They do it by immense
sluices, which are generally kept shut, and only opened when the tide is
low.

"In the mean time, if it should ever so happen that they could not
succeed in letting the water out fast enough, it would, of course,
accumulate, and rise in the rivers, and press against the dikes that run
along the banks of it, till at last it would break through in some weak
place; and then, unless the people could stop the breach, the whole
polder on that side would be gradually overflowed. The inundation would
extend until it came to some other dike to stop it. The polder that
would first be filled would become a lake. The lake would be many miles
in extent, perhaps, but the water in it would not usually be very
deep--not more than eight or ten feet, perhaps; though in some cases
the polders are so low, that an inundation from the rivers and canals
around it would make the lake twenty or thirty feet deep.

"Of course, in ancient times, when a portion of the country became thus
submerged, it was for the people to consider whether they would abandon
it or try to pump all that water out again, by means of the wind mills.
They would think that if they pumped it out it would be some years
before the land would be good again; for the salt in the water would
tend to make it barren. So they would sometimes abandon it, and put all
their energy into requisition to strengthen the dikes around it, in
order to prevent the inundation from spreading any farther. For water,
in Holland, tends to spread and to destroy life and property, just as
fire does in other countries. The lakes and rivers, where they are
higher than the land, are liable to burst their barriers after heavy
rains falling in the country, or great floods coming down the rivers, or
high tides rise from the sea, and so run into each other; and the people
have continually to contend against this danger, just as in other
countries they do against spreading conflagrations.

"In the case of spreading fire, water is the great friend and helper of
man; and in the case of these spreading inundations of water, it is
wind that he relies upon. The only mode that the Dutch had to pump out
the water in former times was the wind mills. When the rains or the
tides inundated the land, they called upon the wind to help them lift
the water out to where it could flow away again.

"There was a time, two or three hundred years ago, when all the wind
mills that the people could make, seem not to have been enough to do the
work; and there was one place, in the centre of the country, where the
water continued to spread more and more--breaking through as it spread
from one polder to another--until, at last, it swallowed up such an
extent of country as to form a lake thirty miles in circumference. This
lake at last extended very near to the gates of Haarlem, and it was
called the Holland Lake. You will find it laid down on all the maps of
Holland, except those which have been printed within a few years. The
reason why it is not laid down now is, because a few years ago, finding
that the wind mills were not strong enough to pump it out, the
government concluded to try what virtue there might be in steam. So they
first repaired and strengthened the range of dikes that extended round
the lake. In fact, they made them double all around, leaving a space
between for a canal. They made both the inner and outer of these dikes
water-tight; so that the water should neither soak back into the lake
again, after it was pumped out, nor ooze out into the polders beyond.
The way they made them water-tight was by lining them on both sides with
a good thick coating of clay.

"When the dikes enclosing the lake were completed, the engineers set up
three very powerful steam engines, and gave to each one ten or twelve
enormous pumps to work. These pumping engines were made on such a grand
scale that they lifted over sixty tuns of water at every stroke. But yet
so large was the lake, and so vast the quantity of water to be drained,
that though there were three of the engines working at this rate, and
though they were kept at work night and day, it took them a year and a
half to lay the ground dry. The work was, however, at last accomplished,
and now, what was the bottom of the lake is all converted into pastures
and green fields. But they still have to keep the pumps going all the
time to lift out the surplus water that falls over the whole space in
rain. You may judge that the amount is very large that falls on a
district thirty miles round. They calculate that the quantity which they
have to pump up now, every year, in order to keep the land from being
overflowed again, is over fifty millions of tuns. And that is a quantity
larger than you can ever conceive of.

"And yet the piece of ground is so large, that the cost of this pumping
makes only about fifty cents for each acre of land, which is very
little.

"Besides these great spreading inundations, which Holland has always
been subject to from the lakes and rivers in the middle of the country,
there has always been a greater danger still to be feared from the ice
freshets of the Rhine, and other great rivers coming from the interior
of the country. The Rhine, you know, flows from south to north, and
often the ice, in the spring, breaks up in the middle of the course of
the river, before it gets thawed in Holland. The broken ice, in coming
down the stream towards the north, is kept within the banks of the
stream where the banks are high; but when it reaches Holland it is not
only no longer so confined, but it finds its flow obstructed by the ice
which there still remains solid, and so it gets jammed and forms dams,
and that makes the water rise very fast. At one time when such a dam was
formed, the water rose seven feet in an hour. At such times the pressure
becomes so prodigious that the dikes along the bank of the river are
burst, and water, sand, gravel, and ice, all pour over together upon
the surrounding country, and overwhelm and destroy every thing that
comes in its way.

"Some of the inundations caused in Holland by these floods and freshets
have been terrible. In ancient times they were worse than they are now;
because now the dikes are stronger, and are better guarded. At one
inundation that occurred about sixty years ago, eighty thousand persons
were drowned. At another, three hundred years earlier, one hundred
thousand perished. Think what awful floods there must have been.

"But I cannot write any more in this letter. I have taken up so much
space and time in telling you about the inundations and freshets, that I
have not time to describe a great many other things which I have seen,
that are quite as curious and remarkable as they. But when I get home I
can tell you all about them, in the winter evenings, and read to you
about them from my journal.

                       "Your affectionate brother,
                                           "GEORGE."


                            ROLLO'S LETTER.

                                         "LEYDEN, Tuesday, September 27.

  "MY DEAR MOTHER:

"Uncle George and I are having a very fine time indeed in travelling
about Holland; it is such a funny country, on account of their being so
many canals. The water is all smooth and still in all the canals,
(except when the wind blows,) and so there must be excellent skating
every where in the winter.

"I wish it was winter here now, for one day, so that uncle George and I
could have some Dutch skating.

"There must be good skating every where here in the winter, for there is
water every where, and it is all good water for skating. In the fields,
instead of brooks running in crooked ways and tumbling over rocks, there
are only long and narrow channels of smooth water, just about wide
enough to skate upon, and reaching as far as you can see.

"The people here speak Dutch, and they cannot understand me, and I
cannot understand them. And that is not the worst of it; they can't
understand that _I can't understand_ them. Sometimes the woman that
comes to make my bed tells me something in Dutch, and I tell her that I
can't understand. I know the Dutch for 'I can't understand.' Then she
says, 'O!' and goes on to tell me over again, only now she tries to
speak plainer--as if it could make any difference to me whether she
speaks plain or not. I shake my head, and tell her I can't understand
any thing. I tell her in French, and in English, and in Dutch. But it
does not do any good, for she immediately begins again, and tells me the
whole story all over again, trying to speak plainer than ever. I suppose
she thinks that any body can understand Dutch, if she only speaks it
plain enough to them.

"When I want any thing of them, I always tell them by signs. The other
evening, uncle George and I wanted some candles. So I rang the bell, and
a woman came. I went to the door of the room, and made believe that I
had two candlesticks in my hand, and that I was bringing them in. I
made believe put them on the table, and then sat down and opened a book,
and pretended that I was reading by the light of them. She understood me
immediately. She laughed, and said, 'Ya, ya!' and went off out of the
room to get the candles.

"Ya, ya, means yes, yes.

"Another time we wanted a fire. So when the woman came in, I shivered,
and made believe that I was very cold, and then I went to the fireplace,
and made believe warm myself. Then I pointed to the fireplace, and made
a sign for her to go away and bring the fire to put there. But instead
of going, she told me something in Dutch, and shook her head; and when I
said I could not understand it, she told me over again; and finally she
went away, and sent the landlady. The landlady could speak a little
English. So she told me that we could not have any fire except in foot
stoves, for the fireplace stoves were not put up.

[Illustration: THE BOAT FAMILY.]

"It is very curious to walk about the streets, and see the boats on the
canals, and what the people are carrying back and forth in them. I watch
them sometimes from the windows of the hotel, especially when it rains,
and we cannot go out. They have every thing in these boats. They use
some of them instead of houses; and the man who owns them lives in them
with his wife and children, and sometimes with his ducks and chickens.

"I often see the little children playing on the decks of the boat. Once
I saw one that had a dog, and he was trying to teach him to cipher on a
slate. His mother and the other children were on the boat too.

"The people use their dogs here to draw carts. They have three or four
sometimes harnessed in together. The dogs look pretty poor and lean, but
they draw like good fellows. You would be surprised to see what great
loads they draw. They draw loads of vegetables to market, and then, when
the vegetables are sold, they draw the market women home in the empty
carts.

"Only they don't mind very well, when they are told which way to go. I
saw a boy yesterday riding along in a cart, with a good big dog to draw
him, and when he came to a street where he wanted him to turn down, the
dog would not turn. The boy hallooed out to him in Dutch a good many
times, and finally the boy had to jump down out of the cart, and run and
seize him by the collar, and _pull_ him round.

"It is not a great deal that they use dog carts to bring things to
market, for generally they bring them in boats. They take almost every
thing to and fro along the canals in boats; and it is very curious to
stand on a bridge and look down on the boats that pass under, and see
how many different kinds of boats there are, and how many different
kinds of things they have in them. This morning, I saw one that had the
bottom of it divided into three pens for animals. In the first pen were
two great cows, lying down on the straw; in the second pen were several
sheep; and in the third there were as many as a dozen small pigs, just
big enough to be roasted. I suppose it was a farmer bringing in his
stock to market.

"Sometimes they row the boats along the canal, and sometimes they push
them with setting poles. They have the longest setting poles in some of
the boats that I ever saw. There is an iron pike at one end of the pole,
and a wooden knob at the other. When they are pushing the boat by means
of one of these poles, they run the ironed end of it down to the bottom,
and then the man puts his shoulder to the little knob at the other end
and pushes. As the boat goes on, he walks along the boat from the bow to
the stern, pushing all the way as hard as he can push.

"When they are out of town the men pull the boats along the canals by
means of a long cord, which is fastened to a strap over their shoulders.
With this strap they walk along on the tow-path of the canal, pulling in
this way--so that if the cord should break, I should think they would
fall headlong on the ground.

"I saw a man and a woman the other day pulling a double boat, loaded
with hay, along a canal. The hay was loaded across from one boat to the
other. It made as much as five or six of the largest cart loads of hay
that I ever saw. I was surprised to see that a man and a woman could
draw so much. They drew it by long lines, and by straps over their
shoulders. The woman's line was fastened to one of the boats, and the
man's to the other.

"The people travel a great deal in boats in these parts of the country,
where there are no railroads. Uncle George and I took a little journey
in one, the other day. I wanted to go very much, but uncle George was
afraid, he said, that they might take us somewhere where there would be
nobody that could talk English, and so we might get into some serious
difficulty. But he said that he would go with me a few miles, if I could
find a canal boat going to some place that we knew. So I found one going
to a town called Delft. We knew that place, because we had come through
it, or close by it, by the railway.

"Uncle George said that it was an excellent plan to go there, for then,
if we got tired of the canal boat in going, we could come home by a
railroad train.

"So we went; and we had a very pleasant time, indeed. I found the canal
boat by going to the place where the boats all were, and saying, _Delft,
Delft_, to the people; and then they pointed me to the right boat. So we
got in. When the captain came for the fare, I took out a handful of
money, and said _Delft_, and also pointed to uncle George. So he took
out enough to pay for uncle George and me to go to Delft. At least I
suppose he thought it was enough, though I thought it was very little.

"We had a very pleasant sail to Delft. The banks of the canal are
beautiful. They are green and pretty every where, and in some places
there were beautiful gardens, and summer houses, and pavilions close
upon the shore.

"But now I begin to be tired of writing. I should have been tired a
great while ago, only I have stopped to rest pretty often, and to look
out the window, and see what is going by on the canal.

"There is a boat coming now with a mast, and I don't see what they are
going to do, for there is a bridge here, and it is not a draw bridge.
Almost all the bridges are draw bridges, but this one is not. So I don't
see how he is going to get by.

"Ah, I see how it is! The mast is on a hinge, so that it can turn down
backward, and lie along flat on the deck of the boat. It is going down
now.

"Now it is down, and the boat is going under the bridge.

"But good by, mother, for it is time for me to stop.

                  "Your affectionate and dutiful son,
                                                 "ROLLO.

"P. S. This is the longest letter that I ever wrote."



CHAPTER VIII.

THE COMMISSIONER.


AS may well be imagined, the best use to which the green fields of
Holland can be put, is the raising of grass to feed cattle; for the
wetness of the land, which makes it somewhat unsuitable to be ploughed,
causes grass to grow upon it very luxuriantly. Accordingly, as you ride
through the country along the great railway lines, you see, every where,
herds of cattle and flocks of sheep feeding in the meadows that extend
far and wide in every direction.

The cattle are kept partly for the purpose of being fatted and sent to
market for beef, and partly for their milk, which the Dutch farmers make
cheese of. Dutch cheeses are celebrated in every part of the world.

In the neighborhood of Amsterdam there are a number of dairy villages
where cheeses are made, and some of them are almost always visited by
travellers. They are great curiosities, in fact, on account of their
singular and most extraordinary neatness. Cleanliness is, in all parts
of the world, deemed a very essential requisite of a dairy, and the
Dutch housewives in the dairy villages of Holland have carried the idea
to the extreme. The village which is most commonly visited by strangers
who go to Amsterdam, is one called Broek. It lies to the north of
Amsterdam, and at a distance of about five or six miles from it.

One day when Mr. George and Rollo arrived in Amsterdam, Mr. George, just
at sundown, looked out at the window of the hotel, and said,--

"Rollo, I think it is going to be a superb day to-morrow."

"So do I," said Rollo.

"At least," said Mr. George, "I should think so if I were in America.
The wind has all gone down, and the western sky is full of golden clouds
shining in roseate splendor."

Mr. George enunciated these high-sounding words in a pompous and
theatrical manner, which made Rollo laugh very heartily.

"And, to descend from poetry to plain prose," said Mr. George, "I think
we had better take advantage of the fine weather to go to Broek
to-morrow."

"Very well," said Rollo, "that plan suits me exactly."

Rollo was always ready for any plan which involved the going away from
the place where he, was, to some new place which he had not seen before.

"But how are we going to find the way there?" said Rollo.

"I shall take a commissioner," said Mr. George. "I am going to Saandam,
too, where Peter the Great learned ship carpentry."

"I have heard something about that," said Rollo, "but I don't know much
about it."

"Why, Peter the Great was emperor of Russia," said Mr. George, "and he
wished to introduce ship building into his dominions. So he came to
Holland to learn about the construction of ships, in order that he might
be better qualified to take the direction of the building of a fleet in
Russia. Saandam was the place that he came to. While he was there he
lived in a small, wooden house, near the place where the ship building
was going on. That house is there now, and almost every body that comes
to this part of the country goes to see it."

"How long ago was it that he was there?" asked Rollo.

"It was more than one hundred and fifty years ago," said Mr. George.

"I should not think a wooden house would have lasted so long," said
Rollo.

"It would not have lasted so long," replied Mr. George, "if they had not
taken special pains to preserve it. They have built a brick house around
it and over it, to protect it from the weather, and so it has been
preserved. Now I think we had better go to-morrow and see Broek, and
also Saandam, and I am going to take a commissioner."

Mr. George had employed a commissioner once before, as the reader will
perhaps recollect, namely, at the Hague; and perhaps I ought to stop
here a moment to explain more fully what a commissioner is. He is a
servant hired by the day to conduct strangers about the town where they
reside, and about the environs, if necessary, to show them what there is
that is curious and wonderful there. These men are called, sometimes
commissioners and sometimes _valets de place_, and in their way they are
very useful.

If a traveller arrives at a hotel in the morning, at any important town
in Europe, before he has been in his room fifteen minutes he generally
hears a knock at his door, and on bidding the person come in, a
well-dressed looking servant man appears and asks,--

"Shall you wish for a commissioner, sir, to-day?"

Or if the gentleman, after remaining in his room a few minutes, takes
his wife or his daughter, or whomever he may have travelling with him,
and goes out from the door of the hotel, he is pretty sure to be met
near the door by one or more of these men, who accost him earnestly,
saying,--

"Do you want a commissioner, sir?" Or, "Shall I show you the way, sir?"
Or, "Would you like to see the museum, sir?"

When a traveller intends to remain some days in a place, he has
generally no occasion for a commissioner; since, in his rambles about
the town, he usually finds all the places of interest himself, and in
such a case the importunities of the commissioners seeking employment
are sometimes annoying to him. But if his time is very short, or if he
wishes to make excursions into the neighborhood of a town where he does
not understand the language of the people, then such a servant is of
very great advantage.

Mr. George thought that his proposed excursion to Broek and Saandam was
an occasion on which a commissioner could be very advantageously
employed. Accordingly, after he and Rollo had finished their dinner,
which they took at a round table near a window in the coffee room, he
asked Rollo to ring the bell.

Rollo did so, and a waiter came in.

"Send me in a commissioner, if you please," said Mr. George.

"Very well, sir," said the waiter, with a bow.

The waiter went out, and in a few minutes a well-dressed and very
respectable looking young man came in, and advancing towards Mr. George,
said,--

"Did you wish to see a commissioner, sir?"

"Yes," said Mr. George. "I want to make some inquiries about going to
Broek and to Saandam, to-morrow. I want to know what the best way is to
go, and what the expenses will be."

So saying, Mr. George took out a pencil and a piece of paper from his
pocket, in order to make a memorandum of what the commissioner should
say.

"In the first place," asked Mr. George, "what is your name? I shall want
to know what to call you."

"My name is James," said the commissioner.

"Well, now, James," said Mr. George, "I want you to tell me what the
best way is to go, and what all the expenses will be. I want to know
every thing beforehand."

"Well, sir," said James, "we shall go first by the ferry boat across to
the Y,[7] and there we shall take the _trekschuyt_ for a short distance
on the canal."

[Footnote 7: The Y is the name of the sheet of water which lies before
Amsterdam. It is a sort of harbor.]

"And how much will that cost?" asked Mr. George.

"For the three, forty-five cents," said James.

He meant, of course, Dutch cents. It takes two and a half Dutch cents to
make one American cent.

"There," continued James, "we take a carriage."

"And how much will the carriage be?" asked Mr. George.

"To go to Broek and back, and then to Saandam, will be ten guilders."

Mr. George made memoranda of these sums on his paper, as James named
them.

"And the tolls," continued James, "will be one guilder and twenty-five
cents more."

"And the driver?" asked Mr. George.

In most of the countries of Europe, when you make a bargain for the
carriage, the driver's services are not included in it. He expects a fee
besides.

"The driver, fifty cents. Half a guilder," said James.

"Is that enough for him?" asked Mr. George.

"Yes, sir," said James, "that's enough."

"We will call it seventy-five cents," said Mr. George. So saying, he
wrote seventy-five.

"Then there will be some fees to pay, I suppose," said Mr. George, "both
at Broek and at Saandam."

"Yes, sir," said James. "We pay twenty-five cents at the dairy,
twenty-five cents at the garden, and twenty-five to the hostler. That
makes seventy-five. And the same at Saandam, to see the hut of Peter the
Great, and the house. That makes one guilder fifty centimes."

"Is that all?" asked Mr. George.

"There will be forty-five cents for the ferry, coming back," said James.

Mr. George added this sum to the column, and then footed it up. The
amount was nearly fifteen guilders.

"We will call it fifteen guilders," said he. "To-morrow I will give you
fifteen guilders, and you will pay all expenses. And then what shall I
have to pay you for your services?"

"My charge is four guilders for the day," said James.

"Very well," said Mr. George. "And at what time in the morning will it
be best to set out?"

"There is a boat at nine o'clock," said James.

"Then we will leave here at half past eight. We will have breakfast,
Rollo, at eight. Or perhaps we can have breakfast at Broek. Is there a
hotel there, James?"

"Yes, sir," said James. "There is a hotel there."

"Very well. Then we will wait till we get there before we take
breakfast, and we will expect you at half past eight. Our room is number
eleven."

The arrangement being thus fully made, the commissioner, promising to be
punctual, bowed and retired.

"Now, Rollo," said Mr. George, "to-morrow we will have a good time.
After I give the commissioner the fifteen guilders, I shall have no
further care or responsibility, but shall be taken along over the whole
ground as if I were a child under the care of his father."

[Illustration]



CHAPTER IX.

THE GREAT CANAL.

The commissioner knocked at Mr. George's door at the time appointed. Mr.
George and Rollo were both ready. Mr. George counted out the fifteen
guilders on the table, and James put them in his pocket. The party then
set out.

Mr. George wished to stop by the way to put a letter in the post office,
and to pay the postage of it. He desired to do this personally, for he
wished to inquire whether the letter would go direct. So James led them
by the way of the post office, and conducted Mr. George into the office
where foreign letters were received, and the payment of postage taken
for them. Here James served as interpreter. Indeed, it is one of the
most important duties of a commissioner to serve as an interpreter to
his employer, whenever his services are required in this capacity.

When the letter was put in, the party resumed their walk. The
commissioner went on before, carrying Mr. George's travelling shawl and
the umbrella, and Mr. George and Rollo followed. The way lay along a
narrow street, by the side of a canal. There were a thousand curious
sights to be seen, both among the boats on the canal and along the road;
but Rollo could not stop to examine them, for the commissioner walked
pretty fast.

"I wish he would not walk so fast," said Rollo.

"Ah, yes," said Mr. George, "he is right this morning, for we want to
get to the pier in time for the boat. But in walking about the town to
see it, it would be a great trouble to us."

"To-morrow we will go about by ourselves," said Rollo, "and stop when
and where we please."

"We will," said Mr. George.

At last the party came out to what may be called the front of the city,
where they could look off upon the harbor. This harbor is a sheet of
water called the Y, which has been before referred to. The morning was
bright and beautiful, and the water was covered with ships, steamers,
barges, boats, and vessels of every form and size, going to and fro. The
steamers passed swiftly, but the sailing vessels scarcely moved, so calm
and still was the morning air. The sun was shining, and the whole scene
presented to Mr. George's and Rollo's view, as they looked out over the
water, was extremely brilliant and beautiful.

The commissioner led the way out over a long pier supported by piles, to
a sort of landing platform at a distance from the shore. This place was
quite large. It had a tavern upon it, and a great many different offices
belonging to the different lines of steamers, and piers projecting in
different directions for the different boats and steamers to land at. It
stood at some distance from the shore, and the whole had the appearance
of a little village on an island. It would have been an island indeed,
if there had been any land about it; but there was not. It was built
wholly on piles.

Here were crowds of people going and coming on this stage, some having
just landed from the different steamers that had just arrived, and some
about to embark in others that were going away. Small boats were coming,
too, over the water, with passengers in them, among whom were many
peasant girls, whose foreheads and temples were adorned with a profusion
of golden ornaments, such as are worn by the ladies of North Holland.
Rollo looked this way and that as he passed along the stage, and he
wished for time to stop and examine what he saw; but the commissioner
walked rapidly on, and led the way to the ferry boat.

"You will walk on board," said James, "while I get the tickets."

So Mr. George and Rollo went over the plank on board the boat, while
James turned to a little office that stood near to get the tickets.

There was a man standing at the end of the plank to collect the tickets
as the passengers came on board. Mr. George, as he passed, pointed back
to the office where James had gone. The man bowed, and he and Rollo
passed on.

"How independent we are!" said Mr. George. "I shall have nothing to do
with making any payments all day to-day, and it will seem as if we were
travelling free."

The ferry boat was of a very singular construction, and most singular
looking people they were who were on board of it. It had a great flat
deck, which was of an oval form, and was spreading out very wide at the
sides. There were seats here and there in different places, but no
awning or shelter of any kind overhead. Rollo was glad of this, for the
morning was so fine, and the view on every side was so magnificent, that
he was very much pleased to have it so wholly unobstructed.

As soon as the chimes of the city clocks began to strike for nine, the
various steamboats began to shoot out in different directions from the
piers of the landing, and soon the ferry boat began to move, too. She
moved, however, very slowly.

"What a slow and clumsy boat!" said Rollo.

"I'm glad she is slow," replied Mr. George, "for I want to look about. I
should be willing to be an hour in going across this ferry."

The prospect on every side was, indeed, very fine. On looking back they
could see the buildings of the town extending far and wide for miles,
with domes, and towers, and spires, and tops of trees, and masts of
ships rising together every where above the tops of the houses. The
water of the harbor was covered with ships and steamers passing to and
fro--those near glittering in the sun, while the distant ones were half
lost in a smoky haze that every where softened and concealed the
horizon. Mr. George and Rollo gazed earnestly on this scene, looking now
in this direction, and now in that, but not speaking a word.

When they were about half across the Y, James came to Mr. George, and
said,--

"This ferry boat connects with a steamer on the canal, which goes to the
Helder, and also with various trekschuyts. We shall take a trekschuyt to
go for a short distance?--as far as to the place where we shall get a
carriage."

"Very well," said Mr. George. "Arrange it as you think best. Then we
shall go a short distance on the great canal."

"Yes, sir," said James. "You will like to see a little of the canal."

"I shall, indeed," said Mr. George.

The great canal of which James here spoke is the grandest work of the
kind in Holland, and perhaps in the world. If you look at the map you
will see that Amsterdam stands somewhat in the interior of the country,
and that the only approach to it, by sea, is through a great gulf called
the Zuyder Zee. Now, the water in the Zuyder Zee is shallow. There are
channels, it is true, that are tolerably deep; but they are very winding
and intricate, and they are so surrounded with shoals and sand banks as
to make the navigation very difficult, especially for ships of large
size.

The people, accordingly, conceived the plan of digging a canal across
the country; from Amsterdam to the nearest place where there was deep
water on the sea. This was at a point of land called the Helder.

The reason why there was deep water there, was, that that was the outlet
for the Zuyder Zee, and the water rushing in there when the tide is
rising, and out again when it goes down, keeps the channel deep and
clear.

So it was determined to make a canal from the Helder to Amsterdam. But
the land was lower, almost all the way, than the sea. This rendered it
impossible to construct the canal so as to make it of the same level
with the sea, without building up the banks of it to an inconvenient
height. Besides, it was just as well to make the canal lower than the
sea, and then to build gates at each end of it, to prevent the sea water
from coming in.

"Then how were the ships to get in?" asked Rollo, when Mr. George
explained this to him.

"Why, there were two ways," replied Mr. George, "by which ships might
get in. You see, although the canal is lower than the sea is generally,
there is an hour or two every day when the tide goes down, in which the
two are about on a level. Accordingly, by opening the gates when the
tide is low, a communication would be made by which the vessels could
sail in and out."

"But that would be inconvenient, I should think," said Rollo, "not to
have the gates open but twice a day."

"Yes," said Mr. George; "and so, to enable them to admit ships at any
time, they have built _locks_ at each end."

"Like the locks in a common canal in America?" said Rollo.

"Yes," said Mr. George; "and by means of these locks, ships can be
taken in and out at any time."

"I don't exactly understand how they do it," said Rollo.

"Let me explain it to you, then," replied Mr. George. "Listen
attentively, and picture to your mind precisely what I describe, and see
if you understand.

"First," continued Mr. George, "imagine that you are down by the sea
shore, where the canal ends. The water in the sea is higher than it is
in the canal, and there are two sets of gates, at a little distance from
each other, near the mouth of the canal, which keep the water of the sea
from flowing in."

"Yes," said Rollo, "I can picture that to my mind. But how far apart are
the two sets of gates?"

"A little farther apart," said Mr. George, "than the length of the
longest ship. Of course one pair of these locks is towards the sea, and
the other towards the canal. I will call the first the sea gates, and
the other the canal gates. The space between the two gates is called the
lock."

"Yes," said Rollo, "I understand all that."

"Now," continued Mr. George, "a ship comes in, we will suppose, and is
to be taken into the canal. First, the men open the sea gates. The sea
can now flow into the lock, but it cannot get into the canal, because
the canal gates are still shut."

"Yes," said Rollo.

"And, now you see," continued Mr. George, "that as the water in the lock
is high, and on a level with the sea, the ship can sail into the lock."

"But it can't get down into the canal," said Rollo.

"No," replied Mr. George, "not yet. But now the men shut the sea gates,
and thus shut the ship in. They then open the passages through the canal
gates, and this lets the water out of the lock until it subsides to the
level of that in the canal, and the ship settles down with it. But the
sea cannot come in, for the sea gates, that are now behind the ship, are
shut. When the water in the lock has gone down to the canal level, then
they can open the gates, and the ship can sail along out of the lock
into the canal.

"Thus they lock the ship down into the canal at one end, and when she
has passed through the canal, they lock her up into the Y again at the
other."

"Yes," said Rollo. "I understand it now. And shall we go into the canal
through the locks in this way?"

"I don't know," said Mr. George. "I'll ask James."

So Mr. George beckoned to James to come to him, and asked him whether
they should enter the canal through the lock.

"No," said James. "The ferry boat does not go into the canal at all. We
go into a little dock or harbor by the side of it, and the passengers
walk over the dike, and down to the canal, where they find the boats
ready for them that they are to take."

"Why don't they pass from those boats through the locks, and let them
come across to Amsterdam?" asked Rollo, "and then we might get on board
them there, and so not have to change from one boat to the other."

"Because it takes some time, and some trouble," said James, "to pass any
thing through the locks, and it is not worth while to do it, except in
case of large and valuable ships. So the boats and steamers that ply
along the canal are left inside the lock, and the passengers are taken
to and from them by the ferry boat."

The ferry boat, by this time, began to approach the shore. It entered
into a little opening in the land, which formed a sort of harbor. Here
the passengers were landed at a wharf, which was surrounded by small
buildings. Thence they ascended what was evidently a large dike. When
they reached the top of the dike they saw below them, on the other side
of it, the beginning of the canal. It lay several feet lower than the
water of the harbor in which they had left the ferry boat; but it was
quite wide, and it was bordered by broad dikes with avenues of trees
upon them, on either side. On one side, under the trees, was a tow path,
and on the other a broad and smoothly gravelled road.

Two boats were lying moored to the wharves at the side of the canal. One
was a long, sharp, and narrow steamer, which was going through the whole
length of the canal to the Helder. The other was a trekschuyt, or canal
boat, which was going only a short way, to the nearest village.

The passengers that came in the ferry boat divided into two parties, as
they came down the dike. One party went to the steamer, the other to the
trekschuyt. Mr. George and Rollo, of course, went with the last.

The trekschuyt was a curious sort of boat. It was built like the Noah's
ark made for children to play with; that is, it was a broad boat, with a
house in it. The roof of the house, which formed the deck of the boat,
was flat, and there were seats along the sides of it, and a railing
behind them on the margin, to keep people from falling off. At each end
of the house were two flights of steps, leading up to the roof or deck,
and below them another flight, which led down to the little cabins
below.

As soon as Rollo got on board, he first ran up on the deck. He sat down
on the seat upon one side, and then, after looking about a moment, he
ran over to the other side, and sat down there. Then he got up, and said
that he was going below to look at the cabins.

Mr. George, all the time, stood quietly on the deck, looking at the
canal, and at the country around. He could see the canal extending, in a
winding direction, across the country; but the view of it was soon lost,
as the winding of its course brought the dikes on the sides of it in the
way so that they concealed the water. He could, however, trace its
course for some distance, by the masts and sails of vessels which he saw
at different distances rising among the green trees. Along the dike, on
one side, was a high road, and on the other, a tow path. Different boats
were coming and going in the part of the canal that was near. They were
drawn by long and slender lines, that were fastened to a tall mast set
up near the bows of the boat. Some were drawn by men, and some by
horses.

[Illustration: THE TREKSCHUYT.]

Before the trekschuyt had gone far, after it commenced its voyage, a
great ship was seen coming on the canal. She was coming from the Helder.
It was a ship that had come from the West Indies, and was going to
Amsterdam. The wind was contrary for her, and they could not use their
sails, and so they were drawing her along by horses. There were two
teams of horses, eight in each team. The view of these teams, walking
along the tow path, with the immense ship following them in the canal,
presented a very imposing spectacle.

The trekschuyt started before the Helder steamer; but it had not gone
far before Rollo, who had now ascended to the deck again, saw her coming
up behind very rapidly.

"I tell you what it is, uncle George," said he, "I wish you and I were
on board that steamer, and were going along the whole length of the
canal."

"So do I," said Mr. George.

"Could not we get on board?" asked Rollo.

"No," said Mr. George. "We cannot change our plan to-day very well. But
now that we have found the way, we can come over here any morning we
please, and take the Helder steamer."

"Let's come," said Rollo, eagerly. "Let's come to-morrow."

"We'll see about that," said Mr. George. "See, here comes a market
boat."

"Yes," said Rollo. "The man is towing it, and his wife is steering."

"Now we will see how they pass," said Rollo.

There was no difficulty about passing, for as soon as the man who was
towing the market boat found that the trekschuyt had come up to his
line, he stopped suddenly, and the advance of his boat caused his line
to drop into the water. The trekschuyt then sailed right over it. By
this simple manoeuvre, boats and vessels could pass each other very
easily, and generally the manoeuvre was executed in a prompt and very
skilful manner. But once, when they were passing a boat, the woman who
was steering it put the helm the wrong way, and though the captain of
the trekschuyt, and also the husband of the woman, who was on the shore,
shouted to her repeatedly in a loud and angry manner, she could not get
it right again in time to avoid a collision. The trekschuyt gave the
boat a dreadful bump as it went by. Fortunately, however, it did no
harm, except to frighten the poor woman, and break their tow line.

After going on in this way for fifteen or twenty minutes along the
canal, the trekschuyt arrived at its place of destination, and Mr.
George and Rollo disembarked at a little village of very neat and pretty
houses, built along the dike on one side of the canal.

[Illustration]



CHAPTER X.

THE DAIRY VILLAGE.


Mr. George and Rollo walked ashore in a very independent manner, having
the commissioner to attend to the tickets. They went up to the top of
the dike, and waited for the commissioner to come to them.

"While I am getting the carriage ready," said the commissioner, when he
came, "perhaps you will like to take a walk on the bridge, where there
is a very fine view. But first, perhaps, you will look at the carriage,
and choose the one that you will like."

So saying, James led the way into a sort of stable, where there were a
great many very nice and pretty carriages, arranged very snugly
together. Mr. George was surprised to see so many. He asked James how it
happened.

"O, there is a great deal of travelling on the roads about here," said
James. "The country is very rich and populous, and the people of
Amsterdam come out a great deal."

Some of the carriages were very elegant. One of these an hostler took
out, and told Mr. George that he could have it if he chose. There was
another which was much less elegant, but it was more open.

"Let us take the open one," said Rollo. "We can see so much better."

So they decided upon the open one; and then, while the hostlers were
harnessing the horses, Mr. George and Rollo went forward to the bridge.

The bridge led over a branch canal, which here comes into the main
canal. The road to it lay along the dike, and formed the street of a
little village. It was paved with bricks placed edgewise, and was as
neat as a parlor floor. The houses were all on one side. They were very
small; but they were so neat and pretty, and the forms of them were so
strange and queer, that they looked like play houses, or like a scene in
fairy land, rather than like the real habitations of men.

There were pretty gardens by them, which extended down the slope of the
dike. The slopes of the dikes are always very gradual, and very nice
gardens can be made on them.

Mr. George and Rollo stood on the bridge, and looked up and down the
canals on either side. They saw boats, with people in them, getting
ready to set out on their voyages.

"I wonder where that canal leads to?" said Rollo.

"O, it goes off into the interior of the country, some where," said Mr.
George. "The country is as full of canals as Massachusetts is of roads."

"I should like, very much," said Rollo, "to get on board that boat with
that man, and go with him wherever he is going."

"So should I, if I knew Dutch," said Mr. George, "so that I could talk
with him as we sailed along."

"How pretty it is all about here," said Rollo. "What a queer
village,--built on a bank! And what a funny road! It looks like a play
road."

The road, where it led through the village, did, indeed, present a very
singular appearance. It was very narrow indeed, being barely wide enough
for one carriage to pass, and leaving scarcely room on the side for a
child to crowd up against the house, and let it go by. On the other side
was a row of trees, with green grass beneath, covering the banks of the
canal.

After Mr. George and Rollo had been standing a few minutes on the bridge
they saw that the carriage was nearly ready. So they went back to the
place and got in. The top of the carriage was turned entirely down, so
that they could see about them in every direction as they rode along.
James mounted on the box outside, with the driver.

"Now," said Rollo, in a tone of great satisfaction, "we will have a very
first rate ride."

The carriage drove along through the little street, which has already
been described. Rollo could reach his hand out and almost touch the
houses as they rode by. There were little shops kept in some of the
houses, and the things that were for sale were put up at the windows.
They looked exactly as if children had arranged them for play.

After leaving the village the road turned and followed the dike of a
branch canal. The views on every side were extremely beautiful. The
canal was carried along between its two banks, high above the rest of
the country, and here and there, at moderate distances from each other,
wind mills were to be seen busy at work pumping up water from the drains
in the fields, and pouring it into the canal. The fields were covered
with herds of cattle and flocks of sheep, and here and there were
parties of men mowing the grass or loading the new-made hay into boats,
that lay floating in the small canals which bordered the fields.

In looking about over the country, there were wind mills to be seen in
all directions, their long arms slowly revolving in the air, and
interspersed among them were the masts and sails of sloops and
schooners, that were sailing to and fro along the canals. As the water
of these canals was often hidden from view by the dikes which bordered
them, it seemed as if the ships and steamers were sailing on the land in
the midst of green fields and trees, and smiling villages.

After going on in this way for an hour or more, the carriage approached
the village which Mr. George and Rollo were going to see. The village
lay on the borders of a canal, which was here quite broad, and as the
road approached it on the other side of the canal, it was in full view
for Mr. George and Rollo as the party approached it. The houses were
close to the margin of the water. They were very neat and pretty, and
were, most of them, painted green. Many of them had little canals by the
side of them, like lanes of water leading into the rear of the houses,
and the prettiest little porticoes, and trellises, and piazzas, and
pavilions, and summer houses were seen in every part. The road went
winding round a wide basin, and then, after crossing a bridge, the
carriage stopped at an inn.

The inn was entirely outside of the village. The commissioner said that
they must walk through the village, for there was no carriage road
through it at all.

So Mr. George and Rollo dismounted, and the hostlers came out from the
stable to unharness the horses.

"Now, Rollo," said Mr. George, "we will go in and order a breakfast, and
then we will take our walk through the village while it is getting
ready."

"Yes," said Rollo. "I should like some breakfast very much."

"What shall we have?" asked Mr. George.

"What you like," replied Rollo. "You always get good breakfasts."

"Well," said Mr. George, "we will tell them the old story."

Just at this moment James came up to the door of the hotel where Mr.
George and Rollo had been standing during this conversation.

"You may order breakfast for us, James," said Mr. George, "and let them
have it ready for us when we get back from our walk."

"Yes, sir," said James. "And what will you have?"

"_Biftek aux pommes_,"[8] said Mr. George, "and coffee. And let them
give us some of their best cheese."

[Footnote 8: Pronounced _biftek-o-pom_. This is a very favorite
breakfast in France, and every where, in fact, throughout Europe. Mr.
George liked it better than any thing else, not only for his breakfast,
but also for his dinner. It consists of very tender beefsteaks,
deliciously seasoned, and accompanied with sliced potatoes, fried in a
peculiar manner, and arranged all around the margin of the dish.]

The commissioner went in to give the order.

"Uncle George," said Rollo, "I think you'll be known all through this
country as the beefsteak and fried potato man."

Mr. George laughed.

"Well," said he. "There could not be a more agreeable idea than that to
be associated with my memory."

The truth is, that both Mr. George and Rollo liked the _biftek aux
pommes_ better than almost any thing else that they could have, whether
for breakfast or dinner.

After having given the order for the breakfast to a very nice and
tidy-looking Dutch girl, whose forehead and temples were adorned with a
profusion of golden ornaments, after the fashion of the young women of
North Holland, the commissioner came back, and the whole party set out
to walk through the village. There were no streets, properly so called,
but only walks, about as wide as the gravel walks of a garden, which
meandered about among the houses and yards, in a most extraordinary
manner. There were beautiful views, from time to time, presented over
the water of the canal on which the village was situated; and there were
a great number of small canals which seemed to penetrate every where,
with the prettiest little bridges over them, and landing steps, and
bowers, and pavilions along the borders of them, and gayly-painted boats
fastened at kitchen doors, and a thousand other such-like objects,
characteristic of the intimate intermingling of land and water which
prevails in this extraordinary country.

[Illustration: THE DAIRY VILLAGE.]

Every thing was, however, on so small a scale, and so scrupulously neat
and pretty, that it looked more like a toy village than one built for
the every-day residence of real men.

After walking on for about a quarter of a mile, the commissioner said
that he would show them the interior of one of the dairy houses, where
the cheeses were made,--for the business of this town was the making of
cheeses from the milk of the cows that feed on the green polders that
lie all around them.

"The stalls for the cows," said James, "are in the same house in which
the family lives; but the cows are not kept there in summer, and so we
shall find the stalls empty."

So saying, James turned aside up a little paved walk which led to the
door of a very pretty looking house. He opened the door without any
ceremony, and Mr. George and Rollo went in.

The door was near one end of the house, and it opened into a passage way
which extended back through the whole depth of it. On one side was a
row of stalls, or cribs, for the cows. On the other, were doors opening
into the rooms used for the family. A very nice looking Dutch woman, who
had apparently seen the party from her window, came out through this
side door into the passage way, to welcome them when they came.

The stalls for the cows were all beautifully made, and they were painted
and decorated in such an extraordinary manner, that no one could have
imagined for what use they were intended. The floors for them were made
of the glazed tiles so often used in Holland, and the partitions between
them were nicely rubbed as bright as a lady's sideboard. The cribs, too,
were now, in the absence of the cows, occupied with various little
_étagères_, and sets of shelves, which were covered with fancy cups and
saucers, china images, and curiosities of all sorts,--the Dutch
housewives taking a special pride in the collection of such things.

The row of cribs was separated from the floor of the passage way by a
sort of trench, about a foot and a half wide and ten inches deep, and
outside this trench, and also within it, at the entrances to the cribs,
were arrayed a great number of utensils employed in the work of the
dairy, such as tubs, cans, cheese presses, moulds, and other such
things. These were all beautifully made, and being mounted with brass,
which had received the highest polish by constant rubbing, they gave to
the whole aspect of the place an exceedingly gay and brilliant
appearance.

Some of this apparatus was in use. There were tubs standing, with the
curd or whey in them, and cheeses in press or in pickle, and various
other indications that the establishment was a genuine one, and was then
in active operation. The cheeses were of the round kind, so often seen
for sale at the grocers' stores in Boston and New York. They looked like
so many big cannon balls.

After walking down the passage way that led by the side of cribs, and
examining all these things in detail, the party returned to the door
where they had come in, and then, turning to the left, went into the
rooms of the house. The first room was the bedroom. The second was the
parlor. These rooms were both completely crowded with antique looking
furniture, among which were cabinets of Chinese ware, and ornaments of
every kind; and all was in such a brilliant condition of nicety and
polish, as made the spectacle wonderful to behold.

The bed was in a recess, shut up by doors. When the doors were opened
the bed place looked precisely like a berth on board ship.

After looking at all these things as long as they wished, Mr. George and
Rollo bade the woman good by, and James gave her half a guilder. The
party then withdrew.

"Well, uncle George," said Rollo, "and what do you think of that?"

"I think it is a very extraordinary spectacle," said Mr. George. "And it
is very curious to think how such a state of things has come about."

"And how has it come about?" asked Rollo.

"Why, here," replied Mr. George, "for a thousand years, for aught I
know, the people have been living from generation to generation with no
other employment than taking care of the cows that feed on the polders
around, and making the milk into cheese. That is a business which
requires neatness. Every kind of dairy business does. So that here is a
place where a current was set towards neatness a thousand years ago, and
it has been running ever since, and this is what it has come to."

Talking in this manner of what they had seen, Mr. George and Rollo
returned to the inn, and there they found an excellent breakfast. They
were waited upon at the table by the young woman who had so many golden
ornaments in her hair; and besides the _biftek aux pommes_, and the
coffee, and the hot milk, and the nice butter, there was the half of one
of the round cheeses, such as they had seen in process of making at the
dairy.

[Illustration]



CHAPTER XI.

CONCLUSION.


After finishing their breakfast, Mr. George and Rollo entered the
carriage again, and returned by the same way that they came, for some
miles towards Amsterdam, until they came to the place where the road
turned off to go to Saandam. After proceeding for some distance upon one
of the inland dikes, they came at length to the margin of the sea, and
then for several miles the road lay along the great sea dike, which here
defends the land from the ingress of the ocean.

"Ah," said Mr. George, as soon as they entered upon this portion of the
road, "here we come to one of the great sea dikes. How glad I am."

"So am I," said Rollo. "I wanted to see one of the sea dikes."

"It is very much like the others," said Mr. George, "only it is much
larger."

"Yes," said Rollo, "and see how it winds about along the shore."

In looking forward in the direction in which Rollo pointed, the dike
could be traced for a long distance in its course, like an immense
railroad embankment, winding in and out in a most remarkable manner, in
conformity to the indentations of the shore. In one respect it differed
from a railroad embankment, namely, in being bordered and overshadowed
by avenues of immense trees, which showed how many ages ago the dike had
been built. There is not a railroad embankment in the world that has
been built long enough for such immense trees to have had time to grow.

The carriage road lay along the top of the dike, which was very broad,
and the slopes of it, towards the water on one side, and towards the low
meadow lands on the other, were very gradual. Men were at work every
where along these slopes, cutting the second crop of grass, and making
it into hay. Where the hay was ready to be got in, the men were at work
loading it into boats that lay in the little canals that extend along
the sides of the dike at the foot of the slopes.

Wind mills were to be seen every where, all about the horizon. As the
road approached Saandam, these mills became more and more numerous.

"I mean to see if I can count them," said Rollo.

"You cannot count them, I am sure," said Mr. George.

Rollo began; but when he got up to a hundred, he gave up the undertaking
in despair. Mr. George told him that he read in the guide book that
there were four thousand wind mills in that region.

Some of these wind mills were very small indeed; and there were two or
three which looked so "cunning," as Rollo said, that he wished very much
that he had one of them to take with him to America.

The use of these very small wind mills was to pump up the water from
some very limited tract of land, which, for some reason or other,
happened to lie a few inches lower than the rest.

At last, after an infinite number of turnings and windings, by means of
which every part of the surrounding country was brought in succession
into view before Mr. George and Rollo as they sat in their carriage,
they arrived at the town of Saandam.

The town consists of two streets, one on each embankment of a great
canal. The streets are closely built up for many miles along the canal,
but the town does not extend laterally at all, on account of the ground
falling off immediately to very low polders.

[Illustration: CABIN OF PETER THE GREAT.]

After entering the street the commissioner left the carriage, in order
that the horses might rest, and led Mr. George and Rollo on a walk
through the prettiest part of the town. They walked about half a mile
along the canal on one side, and then, crossing by a ferry, they came
back on the other side.

In the course of this walk they went to see the hut where Peter the
Great lived while he was in Holland engaged in studying ship building in
the ship yards of Saandam. The hut itself was old and dilapidated; but
it was covered and protected by a good, substantial building of brick,
with open arches all around, which allowed the hut to be seen, while the
roof and walls of the building protected it from the rain. The hut was
situated in a very pretty little garden.

There were two rooms in the hut, and one of them--the one shown in the
engraving--had a very curious-looking Dutch fireplace in one corner of
it, and a ladder to go up to the loft above. The chairs were very
curious indeed; the seats being three-cornered, and the back and arms
being constructed in a very singular manner.

The walls of the rooms were perfectly covered, in every part, with the
names of visitors, who had come from all countries to see the rooms.
Besides these, there were a great many volumes of books filled with
names. These books lay on a great table, which stood at one side of the
room. There was one of the books which was not yet full, and this one
lay open on the table, with a pen and ink near it, in order that fresh
visitors, as fast as they came, might enter their names.

After looking at this cabin as long as they wished, and entering their
names in the book, Mr. George and Rollo left the hut and returned
through one of the main streets of the town to the place where they had
left their carriage. The carriage was soon ready for them, and they set
out to go back to Amsterdam.

They had a delightful drive back, going as they came, on the top of the
great sea dike. On one side they could look off over a wide expanse of
water, with boats, and steamers, and ships moving to and fro in every
direction over it. On the other side they overlooked a still wider
expanse of low and level green fields, intersected every where with
canals of water and avenues of trees, and with a perfect forest of wind
mills in the horizon.

       *       *       *       *       *

As they were riding quietly along upon this dike on the return to
Amsterdam, Rollo had the opportunity of imparting to Mr. George some
valuable information in respect to Peter the Great.

"I am glad that I have had an opportunity to see the workshop of Peter
the Great," said Mr. George. "It is very curious indeed. But I don't
know much about Peter the Great. The first opportunity I get I mean to
read an account of his life, and I advise you to do the same."

"I have read about him," said Rollo. "I found a book about him in a
steamboat that we came in, and I read all about his coming to Holland."

"Then tell me about it," said Mr. George.

"Why, you see," said Rollo, "he was at war with the Turks, and he fought
them and drove them off to the southward, until at last he came to the
Sea of Asoph. Then he could not fight them any more, unless he could get
some ships. So he made a law for all the great boyars of his kingdom,
that every one of them must build or buy him a ship. What are boyars,
uncle George?"

"Nobles," said Mr. George.

"I thought it must be something like that," replied Rollo.

"The old nobility of those Russian countries are called boyars," said
Mr. George; "but I don't know why. Most of the common people are slaves
to them."

"Well, at any rate," said Rollo, "he made a law that every one of them,
or at least all that were rich enough, should build or buy him a ship;
but they did not know how to build ships themselves, and so they were
obliged to send to Holland for ship builders. They built more and better
ships in Holland in those days than in any country in the world."

"Yes, I suppose so," said Mr. George.

"The boyars did not like it very well to be obliged to build these
ships," continued Rollo. "And there was another thing that they disliked
still more."

"What was that?" asked Mr. George.

"Why, the emperor made them send off their sons to be educated in
different foreign countries," replied Rollo. "You see, in those days
Russia was very little civilized, and Peter concluded that it would help
to introduce civilization into the country, if the sons of the principal
men went to other great cities for some years, to study sciences and
arts. So he sent some of them to Paris, and some to Berlin, and some to
Amsterdam, and some to Rome. But most of them did not like to go."

"That's strange," said Mr. George. "I should have thought they would
have liked to go very much."

"At least their fathers did not like to send them," said Rollo; "perhaps
on account of the expense; and some of the young men did not like to
go. There was one that was sent to Venice, in order that he might see
and learn every thing that he could there, that would be of advantage to
his own country; but he was so cross about it that when he got to Venice
he shut himself up in his house, and declared that he would not see or
learn any thing at all."

"He was a very foolish fellow, I think," said Mr. George.

"Yes," said Rollo, "I think he was. But I've seen boys in school act
just so. They get put out with the teacher for something or other, and
then they won't try to understand the lesson."

"That is punishing themselves, and not the teacher," said Mr. George.
"But go on about Peter."

"After a while," continued Rollo, "Peter concluded to make a journey
himself. His plan was to go to all the most civilized countries, and
into all the finest cities in Europe, and see what he could learn that
would be of use in his own dominions. So he fitted out a grand
expedition. He took a number of ambassadors, and generals, and great
potentates of all kinds with him. These men were dressed in splendid
uniforms, and travelled in great state, and had grand receptions in all
the great towns that they came to. But Peter himself did nothing of the
kind. He dressed plainly, like a common man, so that wherever he went
he could ramble about at liberty, and see what he wanted to see in peace
and quietness, while all the people were running after the procession of
ambassadors and grandees."

"That was a good plan," said Mr. George.

"An excellent plan," rejoined Rollo. "In some of the seaports that he
visited, he used to put on a sort of a pea jacket, such as the Dutch
skippers wore, and go about in that, along the wharves and docks, and
look at all the shipping.

"But he was most interested in going to Holland," continued Rollo, "for
that was the country where they built the best ships. Besides, the first
vessel that he ever saw happened to be a Dutch vessel. I forgot to tell
you about that."

"Yes," replied Mr. George, "tell me now."

"Why, it was some years before this time," said Rollo,--"two or three I
believe,--that he first saw a vessel. There was a country place with a
handsome house and pleasure grounds, belonging to the royal family. I
forget what the name of it was. But that is no matter. One time, after
Peter came to the throne, he went out to this country place to spend a
few days. He found on the grounds a sort of artificial winding canal or
pond, with pretty trees on the banks of it. On this canal was a yacht,
which had been built in Holland and brought there, for the people to
sail in when they came to that palace. The yacht had not been used much,
and was lying neglected at the wharf. But Peter immediately had it put
in order, and took a sail in it, and he liked it very much indeed."

"Was it the first vessel that he ever saw?" asked Mr. George.

"Yes," said Rollo, "I believe it was; or at least it was the first that
he ever particularly noticed. He liked sailing in it, and then, besides,
there was one of his officers there, who had travelled in other
countries in Europe where people had ships and navies, and he told Peter
what great advantages they gained from them, not only in carrying goods
from place to place, but in transporting armies, and fighting their
enemies at sea.

"Peter thought a great deal about this, and when he went back to Moscow,
which was then the capital, he inquired and found that there were some
people from Holland there. He asked them if they knew how to build
ships. Some of them said they did. Then he asked them if they could not
build him some small vessels, just like the Dutch ships of war. They
said they could. So he made a bargain with them, and they built him
several.

"Do you know how many?" asked Mr. George.

"Not exactly," replied Rollo. "There were several small vessels, and I
remember that there were four frigates, and each frigate had four guns.
I don't suppose the guns were very large."

"Four guns is a very small armament for a frigate," said Mr. George.

"Yes," replied Rollo, "very small indeed. But you see, Peter did not
want them for real service, but only for models, as it were."

"And what did he do with them, when they were done?" asked Mr. George.

"They were launched into a lake there was in that part of the country,"
said Rollo, "and there the emperor used to sail about in them, and have
sham fights.

"But all this, you must understand," continued Rollo, "took place two or
three years before Peter drove the Turks off from the southern part of
his empire, so as to get to the sea. And it was not till then that he
began to have real ships built of large size. And now, when he was going
to Holland, he of course remembered the old Dutch yacht which he had on
his pleasure grounds, and the small frigates which they had built him,
and the large ones too, which they had built for the boyars, and he felt
a great interest in going to see the ship yards. He determined that
while he was in Holland he would spend as much time as he could in
learning all about ship building.

"It is very curious about the emperor and his company's entering
Amsterdam," continued Rollo. "When the government there heard that he
was coming, they made grand preparations to receive him. They got the
cannon all ready on the ramparts to fire salutes, and drew out the
soldiers, and all the doors and windows were crowded with spectators.
They prepared a great number of illuminations, too, and fireworks, for
the night. But just before the party arrived at Amsterdam, the emperor
slipped away in a plain dress, and left the ambassadors, and generals,
and grandees to go in by themselves. The people of Amsterdam did not
know this. They supposed that some one or other of the people dressed so
splendidly, in the procession, was Peter; and so they shouted, and waved
their flags and their handkerchiefs, and fired the cannon, and made a
great parade generally."

"And Peter himself was not there at all?" said Mr. George.

"No," said Rollo. "He slipped away, and came in privately with a few
merchants to accompany him. And instead of going to the great palace
which the government of Amsterdam had provided and fitted up for him, he
left that to his ambassadors, and went himself to a small house, by a
ship yard, where he could be at liberty, and go and come when he
pleased."

"And afterwards, I suppose he went to Saandam," said Mr. George.

"Yes, sir," replied Rollo. "Saandam was a great place for building ships
in those days. They say that while he was there, he went to work
regularly, like a ship carpenter, as if he wished to learn the trade
himself. But I don't believe he worked a great deal."

"No," said Mr. George. "I presume he did not. He probably took the
character and dress of a workman chiefly for the purpose of making
himself more at home in the ship yards and about the wharves. Indeed, I
can't see what useful end could be gained by his learning to do work
himself. He could not expect to build ships himself when he should
return to Russia."

"No," said Rollo. "I expect he wanted to see exactly how the ships were
built, and how the yards were managed, and he thought he could do this
better if he went among the workmen as one of their number."

"I presume so," said Mr. George. "I am very glad you found the book, and
I am much obliged to you for all this information."

Soon after this Mr. George and Rollo arrived safely at Amsterdam.

       *       *       *       *       *

Rollo and Mr. George remained, after this, some days in Amsterdam; and
they were very much entertained with what they saw there in the streets,
and with the curious manners and customs of the people.


       *       *       *       *       *


PUBLICATIONS OF

BROWN, TAGGARD & CHASE,

SUCCESSORS TO

W. J. REYNOLDS & CO., No. 24 Cornhill, Boston.

ROLLO'S TOUR IN EUROPE:

BEING A NEW SERIES OF

ROLLO BOOKS,

BY REV. JACOB ABBOTT.

IN SIX VOLUMES, BEAUTIFULLY ILLUSTRATED.

_Extract from the Preface._

In this series of narratives we offer to the readers of the Rollo Books
a continuation of the history of our little hero, by giving them an
account of the adventures which such a boy may be expected to meet with
in making a tour of Europe. The books are intended to be books of
instruction rather than of mere amusement; and, in perusing them, the
reader may feel assured that all the information which they contain, not
only in respect to the countries visited, but to the customs, usages,
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with, is in most strict accordance with fact. The main design of the
narratives is, thus, the communication of useful knowledge; and
everything which they contain, except what is strictly personal, in
relation to the actors in the story, may be depended upon as exactly and
scrupulously true.

_Notices of the Press._

We know of no books that are so eagerly sought for by good boys and
girls as Mr. Abbott's new series of "Rollo Books."--_Hartford Christian
Secretary._

Mr. Abbott has a singularly successful faculty of conveying instruction
with entertainment, and of interesting all classes of readers, but more
particularly the young. All will say that the more we have of such
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They give excellent lessons in Geography and History, in the most
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There is no wonder that the "Rollo Books" are so extremely popular, for
we doubt if many of us "children of a larger growth" can escape their
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A careful perusal of the volume under notice (Switzerland) will give the
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No living man is his equal in story-telling for the young, and the book
will find its way into thousands of homes.--_Hartford Republican._

They contain a great deal of useful information, conveyed in a most
pleasing and interesting manner.--_Boston Post._

Written by one who has made the tour through which he carries his young
hero, and who, from long experience, knows how to please and instruct
his young readers, these volumes possess just the qualities to attract
those for whom they are intended.--_Norfolk Co. Journal._

The author has admirably combined the pleasing with the instructive, so
that while the youthful reader is charmed by the narrative, he also
gains valuable information with regard to those far-off places famed in
story and song.--_Boston Olive Branch._

A correspondent of the New York _National Magazine_ says;--"The volumes
are beautifully illustrated, and written in the charming and instructive
style of the author. We saw one of our New England governors, lately
returned from a European tour, quite absorbed in the volume upon Paris,
while travelling in a railway car, a short time since."

       *       *       *       *       *

CUSHING'S MANUAL.

Price 38 cents.

NOTICES OF A NEW WORK ON PARLIAMENTARY RULES,

By LUTHER S. CUSHING,

TWELVE YEARS CLERK OF THE MASSACHUSETTS HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.

_From S. H. Walley, late Speaker of the Massachusetts House of
Representatives._

I have taken great pleasure in examining the pages of this work, and do
not hesitate to express most fully my approbation of its plan and
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On two or three questions of minor importance, I might come to different
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This Manual is much needed. There is no work, in this country, which is
adapted near as well, in my judgment, to assist those who are called
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I sincerely hope and believe that this publication will receive the
countenance and approbation to which it seems to me so justly entitled.

       *       *       *       *       *

_From the Law Reporter, Edited by Peleg W. Chandler, Esq._

Hon. Luther S. Cushing has prepared for the press a new Manual of
Parliamentary Practice. Having examined the manuscript of this work with
considerable care, we take occasion to say, that it will be a valuable
accession to the libraries of those who are called upon to preside in
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this has been very generally felt in our country where almost every
citizen is occasionally called upon to exercise the duties of a
presiding officer. The work is founded upon the well-established rules
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maintaining in the outset, that no assembly can ever be subject to any
other rules than those which are of general application, or which it
specially adopts for its own government; and denying explicitly that the
rules adopted and practised upon by a legislative assembly thereby
acquire the character of general laws.


PUBLISHED BY

BROWN, TAGGARD & CHASE,

(SUCCESSORS TO W. J. REYNOLDS & CO.,)

NO. 24 CORNHILL

FOR SALE BY ALL BOOKSELLERS.

       *       *       *       *       *

THE COLUMBIAN GLEE BOOK.

OR, MUSIC FOR THE MILLION.

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_Part III.--Containing most of the old popular Continental Psalm Tunes._

Thus making the most complete collection, in all its features, ever
before published.

By I. B. WOODBURY, author of the "Dulcimer," "The Cythara," &c. &c.

_Extract from the Preface._

Here may be found Glees, Quartets, Trios and Songs, suited to every
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  "Softly fades the twilight ray
  Of the holy Sabbath day,"

and when music is particularly acceptable, the old tunes our fathers
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       *       *       *       *       *

THE AMERICAN VOCALIST.

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       *       *       *       *       *

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Author of the "Dulcimer," of which more than 140,000 copies have been
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Mr. Woodbury's long residence in Europe, and his intimate acquaintance
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       *       *       *       *       *

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       *       *       *       *       *

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WORCESTER, LL.D. A new edition, brought down to the Present Time, and
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       *       *       *       *       *

NORTHEND'S BOOK KEEPING. The Common School Book Keeping; being a simple
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In preparing this system the author has endeavored to make a plain,
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       *       *       *       *       *

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       *       *       *       *       *

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       *       *       *       *       *

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