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Title: Windmills and Wooden Shoes
Author: Jaekel, Blair
Language: English
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    Transcriber’s Note


    Today a number of the Dutch spellings for place names, people’s
    names and specific words have changed but the colloquial spellings
    of the era have been retained, however where the name has been
    spelt two or more different ways, the spellings have been altered
    to the most prolific usage.

    CHAPTER XV Utrecht and ’S Hertogenbosch. This chapter is the only
    one with the word Chapter before it, and this has been
    retained.

    The spelling of the word æsophagus on p. 30, appears to be
    acceptable in the late 1800’s, early 1900’s, so this spelling has
    been retained.

    Other changes made are noted at the end of the book.



    [Illustration: The veterans of the fishing fleet are among the most
    interesting inhabitants of Volendam, wearing fur hats in summer and
    waistband buttons made of old Dutch coins]



    WINDMILLS AND WOODEN SHOES

    By Blair Jaekel, F.R.G.S. Author of The Lands of the Tamed Turk


    NEW YORK McBRIDE, NAST & COMPANY 1912



    COPYRIGHT, 1912, BY McBRIDE, NAST & COMPANY

    PUBLISHED FEBRUARY, 1912



    TO MY AUNT KATE FISHER BLAIR



FOREWORD


To put before the prospective visitor the many delights and few
disadvantages of a territory with which he may be already more or less
familiar; to help him to form a comprehensive idea of the most of
Holland within a reasonably short space of travel time; to refocus the
lens, to readjust the vernier of his memory, providing he has already
been there, so that he may take a truer reading of the country upon a
second visit; to recant the praises of a people whose very existence
has been and ever will be one perpetual, indefatigable struggle
against the most ubiquitous of all of man’s enemies--an element of
the universe; to give a brief synopsis of what a vast amount there is
to see and learn in a country so rich in accomplishments, so poor in
area--these constitute the chief end of this book of travel through the
Netherlands. If it fails in its mission it is by no means the fault of
the Netherlands nor of whatever of interest is contained therein.

If the text and illustrations inclosed between these covers cause but a
single reader to live again a summer’s trip through Holland or prompt
him to go there, there will be at least the satisfaction that the work
has not been in vain.

The author takes this opportunity to express his appreciation to the
editors of _Travel_, New York City, for permission to reprint as a part
of the text of this book, together with the photographs pertaining to
the different subjects, certain special articles by the author which
have appeared in the pages of the magazine mentioned.

      BLAIR JAEKEL

PHILADELPHIA, PA.



    CONTENTS


    CHAPTER      PAGE

    I. INTRODUCTORY 1

    II. THE ISLAND OF WALCHEREN 14

    III. FROM MIDDELBURG TO DORTRECHT 29

    IV. ROTTERDAM 45

    V. DELFT AND HER TRAGEDY 59

    VI. THE HAGUE AND SCHEVENINGEN 75

    VII. LEYDEN AND HAARLEM 91

    VIII. THE CITY OF NINETY ISLANDS 108

    IX. EXCURSIONS ABOUT AMSTERDAM 123

    X. ALKMAAR AND THE HELDER 137

    XI. FROM HOORN TO STAVOREN 150

    XII. FRIESLAND AND ITS CAPITAL 165

    XIII. THE HINTERLAND OF HOLLAND 176

    XIV. GELDERLAND 189

    XV. UTRECHT AND ’S HERTOGENBOSCH 202

    INDEX 215



    THE ILLUSTRATIONS


    VETERANS OF THE FISHING FLEET OF VOLENDAM      _Frontispiece_

    FACING PAGE

    WOODEN SHOES OF HOLLAND 1

    THE DUTCH BUILD GOOD ROADS 12

    LOOKING DOWN OVER THE ROOFS OF MIDDELBURG 20

    THE OLD CHURCH TOWER AND LIGHTHOUSE OF WESTKAPELLE 24

    BEHIND THE DIKE AT GOES 30

    A PICTURESQUE CORNER OF DORTRECHT 40

    THE ROMANCE OF ROTTERDAM SHIPPING 44

    A CANAL STREET IN ROTTERDAM 50

    THE EAST GATE OF DELFT 60

    THE PRINSENHOF IN DELFT 68

    DUTCH MAIDS AND WASHERWOMEN 76

    THE KURHAUS AT SCHEVENINGEN 88

    A STEAM TRAM ENGINE 92

    INSIDE THE GROOTE KERK IN HAARLEM 104

    THE ROYAL PALACE, AMSTERDAM 112

    DIAMOND WORKERS IN AMSTERDAM 116

    A WATERFRONT STREET IN VOLENDAM 124

    A CANAL BACKYARD 132

    CHEESE DAY IN ALKMAAR 140

    THE DIKE AT THE HELDER 144

    AN OLD STREET IN HOORN 152

    HOORN’S RACETRACK ON THE MAIN STREET 156

    THE METAL SKULL CAP OF FRISIAN WOMEN 164

    LEEUWARDEN’S LEANING TOWER 168

    THE TOWN HALL AND MARKET SQUARE IN GRONINGEN 180

    THE BEST OF KAMPEN’S GATEWAYS 184

    QUEEN WILHELMINA’S SUMMER PALACE AT HET LOO 188

    THE MARKET AT ARNHEM 196

    THE EUSIBIUSBINNENSINGEL OF ARNHEM 200

    UTRECHT’S CATHEDRAL 204

    THE OUDE GRACHT IN UTRECHT 210



[Illustration: Probably the majority of travelers go to Holland,
not for art, nor for scenery, nor for history, but for windmills and
wooden shoes--to epitomize the characteristics of the country and its
peoples]



_Windmills and Wooden Shoes_



INTRODUCTORY


Take, if you will, the state of Delaware, something less than half
of Maryland and the lower end of New Jersey; turn them upside down;
drive Delaware and Jersey and the most of Maryland below the level
of the sea; let the waters of the Atlantic and the Chesapeake Bay
seep in over the low-level territory; dike up the edges at the weak
and exposed parts along the coast; pump the country dry, and keep it
pumped dry, as far as possible--then, with a little less regularity of
contour, you will have almost a geographical counterpart of Holland,
both as to acreage and topography, although of but one fifth its total
population. The Chesapeake Bay would equal the Zuyder Zee; Baltimore,
if shifted to the other side of the Bay, might be substituted for
Amsterdam; Wilmington on the Delaware would displace Rotterdam on the
Maas; Hagerstown would fit the position of Arnhem; and, with the aid of
a little elasticity of the imagination, Cape May might be mistaken for
the Hook of Holland.

Such, in brief, are the physical dimensions of, perhaps, the most
unique, the most remunerative travel territory, acre for acre, in
Europe.

Holland, like ancient Gaul, is divided; but into two parts instead
of three. If we draw an imaginary line north and south bisecting
the Zuyder Zee, the country on the west side of this line may be
designated as the more be-traveled, therefore the more familiar part.
Hundreds of thousands of tourists, singly, in groups, in “personally
conducted” parties, annually make use of it as a playground. Its
unusual below-sea-level scenery, its historical buildings, its
marvelous waterways, its sandy bathing beaches, the life in its cities,
the poetic costuming of its rural inhabitants, its treasures and
masterpieces of art--all combine to fulfill every condition required by
the average sight-seer. In no other section of Europe are the distances
between places of interest so short; in no other section are the modes
and conveniences of reaching these places so varied. If the traveler
relies solely upon the railways to carry him from one point to another,
he may be compelled to wait two hours in order to ride ten minutes. A
happy combination of the steam tram lines, the railways, and the canal
packets, will enable him not only to get about without loss of time,
but to penetrate curious, out-of-the-way parts of the country which one
or the other of the different methods of transportation may overlook.

[Illustration: The shaded portions of this map of Holland and its
immediate surroundings represent land that would be under water if by
some inconceivable catastrophe all the dikes should break. The map
gives, therefore, some idea of the never-ending struggle that the
Hollander has faced and continues to face.]

The surface of the territory to the eastward of the imaginary
longitude is barely scratched by the searcher of the picturesque and
historical. Many of its towns are as interesting as any of those in
the west, but, as a general rule, their peoples have been more easily
influenced by German and Belgian methods, and, therefore, their
characteristics differ greatly from those of the natives of North and
South Holland and Zeeland, for example. What evidences of their history
and art these towns still possess they have in a great measure failed
to appreciate themselves, and it is this lack of self-confidence,
translated into a complete failure so far to advertise their own scenic
and historical virtues, that has bred the comparative aloofness with
respect to them in the manner of the tourist through Holland. Probably
the majority of travelers go to the Netherlands, not for art, nor for
scenery, nor even for history, but for windmills and wooden shoes (to
epitomize the characteristics of the country and its peoples), and for
that reason their wanderings are bound to be confined, for the most
part, to the exiguous territory bordered by the North Sea on the west
and the Zuyder Zee on the east.

The omnipresent story of Holland is the story of its fight against
the waters. Its other conquests pale before it. Its eighty years’
revolution against the Spaniards cannot compare with it. Water is
Holland’s perpetual and merciless enemy; so much so that if all the
dikes that protect her from the waters of the ocean burst to-night,
to-morrow there would be but a third of the country left. How she has
conquered would fill a book in itself. Since the Frisian monks first
commenced to dike in the country, successive inundations have blotted
out the lives of more of her people than all her conquests at arms put
together. But still the Dutch fought on, resolutely, unflinchingly,
persistently, until they dredged what land they needed from the bottom
of the sea and grew grass and flowers and vegetables where kelp and
cockle-shells thrived before. After hundreds of years of dredging and
diking, by 1833 Holland had attained an acreage of 8,768 square miles.
By 1877 she had added another four thousand.

Characteristic of the Dutch perseverance to conquer the menacing waters
is a part of the report of the commission appointed to superintend
the reclamation of the Haarlemermeer, an inland sea that once lapped
the very gates of Amsterdam herself and upon which a fleet of seventy
vessels once gave battle. “We have driven forever from the bosom of our
country a most dangerous enemy,” said the commission, after its task
had been completed; “we have at the same time augmented the means for
defending our capital in time of war. We have conquered a province in
combat without tears and without blood, where science and genius took
the place of generals, and where workmen were the worthy soldiers.”

Previous to 1836 the Dutch had tolerated the Haarlemermeer. In November
of that year a violent west wind lashed its waters into a fury and
poured them into the streets of Amsterdam. On Christmas day there came
an east wind that drove the waters from Amsterdam over into the streets
of Leyden. This was too much. This was the straw that broke the camel’s
back. This was what exhausted even the patience of the Dutch, and they
picked up the gauntlet. They contrived a plan of methodical, systematic
attack. They diked in the Lake with a high earthen cofferdam, installed
a series of powerful pumps that sucked a thousand cubic feet of water
at a single stroke of the piston, and they drew 800,000,000 tons of
lake water up into the surrounding canals to be carried off to the sea
with much the same complacency that you would imbibe a glass of soda
through a straw. It took more than four years to complete the process.
When it was finally finished the Dutch struck a medal in commemoration
which bore in Latin the following matter-of-fact inscription: “Haarlem
Lake, after having for centuries assailed the surrounding fields to
enlarge itself by their destruction, conquered at last by the force of
machinery, has returned to Holland its 44,280 acres of invaded land.”
The significance of the Dutch _bon mot_, “God made the sea; we made
the shore,” will never be more apparent than when you look out from
the car window across the Zuidplaspolder near Rotterdam, with a minus
altitude of more than thirty feet below the level of the ocean at mean
tide.

Holland being, as a whole, the lowest country in the world, is
protected at the danger zones by the great dikes upon which almost
the entire kingdom depends for its safety from disastrous inundation,
and which require the annual cost of maintenance of approximately
$12,000,000 and the undivided attention of a whole department of
engineers. The mileage of the canals which intersect the country
in every direction is greater than the mileage of the railroads.
First and all the time, these canals, except those constructed for
special purposes, serve for conducting the superfluous water from the
cultivated areas. Second, they are highways for traffic. Travel on them
is cheaper than on the steam tram lines, which is cheaper, in turn,
than on the railways, for many of the latter are owned and operated by
private companies, as in England. Even some of the lines built by the
State are leased to a private concern. But unlike those of England,
there can be little doubt that an investment in their stocks is a
paying one, because railway building and railway up-keep in Holland
are comparative sinecures. Grades are unknown, curves are scarce as
the proverbial hen’s teeth, except in the approaches to a city, and I
failed to find a tunnel in the whole country.

But touring in Holland is not so cheap as it is either in Germany or
France. The unit basis of Dutch coinage is the _gulden_, of value equal
to slightly more than two _francs_ and just less than two _marks_.
There is even an oft repeated but exaggerated saying that a _gulden_ in
Holland will only go as far as a _mark_ in Germany. One of the reasons
for the expensiveness of travel through the Netherlands is that to stop
at any but the so-called first-class hostelries is a rather precarious
business. In spite of all the Dutchman’s reputation for cleanliness,
the less expensive hotels, unlike their ilk in Germany or Switzerland,
are often anything but scrupulous in this matter and sometimes
shockingly unsanitary.

The system of Dutch municipal government is almost identical with
that of Germany, the Burgomaster, or Mayor, being appointed by the
crown instead of being elected by the community, so that a man
may follow the profession of burgomastering as he would that of
engineering. It is, withal, a system that might well supplant that
in vogue in American cities, and if the experimental stages of
municipal government by commission--lately tentatively adopted in some
few cases as an expedient to do away with political bartering for
executive positions--if this form of government proves its worth, the
professional mayor may yet become with us a reality.

School attendance for children is compulsory in the Netherlands, but
not free. The equivalent of eight American cents is the charge imposed
by the State for one week’s tuition for one child in the primary
grades, with stipulated increments added to the fee as the pupil
advances. All schools are under the supervision of the State, and if a
family is found too poor to pay the school taxes on its children, the
fees are remitted. The trade school, however, of late inauguration, has
revolutionized the old-time classical education to a great degree.

Until the child attains the age of thirty years he or she is
subservient to parental authority and must even obtain, up until that
age, parental permission to marry--and the matter of marriage in
Holland is by no means the least interesting of the customs of the
country. Courtship is a protracted affair and follows the engagement
indefinitely. Two weeks prior to the date of the wedding the legal
declaration of the betrothal takes place, consisting of the “signing
on” of both parties involved. The bride, with apt acknowledgment that
an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, at once proceeds to
render herself immune from the usual deluge of cut glass and pie knives
by compiling a list of acceptable wedding presents for the consultation
of her relatives and friends, so that they may select such gifts as
are suited both to her needs and their pocketbooks.

Of the civil marriage ceremonies there are three classes, not at all
determined by the social positions of the contracting parties, but by
the time required to tie the knot and the corresponding fee imposed. A
first-class marriage may be performed on any day of the week, but the
second and third-class marriages are conducted upon certain days, the
different members of the City Council officiating by turns. Each of the
second-class ceremonies is performed separately and the ritual repeated
for each couple. A number of third-class marriages, however, may be
conducted at one and the same time, and practically at club rates. The
ceremony in this case is not altogether an impressive one but it serves
its purpose at a cheaper price and is more quickly over with. The
methods of procedure are somewhat as follows:

Brides and bridegrooms to be, friends, relatives, and witnesses are
ushered into a large room in the city hall. The member of Council in
charge takes his position upon the dais, and the clerk calls the names
of the contracting parties. They arise to acknowledge their identities,
which are duly vouched for by the various witnesses in each case. The
officer then proceeds to expatiate upon the duties of man and wife and
upon the holy bonds of matrimony, directing his awesome remarks to the
standing couples. In closing, he puts forth the question as to whether
each, in spite of all he has said, will take the other for better or
for worse, abide by the laws, and love and cherish each other until
death doth part, so help them. A loud and enthusiastic chorus in the
affirmative is followed by a banging of the table right soundly with
the official gavel, and the whole company is forthwith pronounced man
and wife. Of course it is assumed by the conspirators which maiden the
functionary has pronounced the wife of which young man; at all events,
there is nothing on record about the wrong husband decamping with the
wrong wife. Order comes out of apparent chaos and, as the story books
read, they all live happily ever after.

The civil ceremony is all that is required by law, but, possibly to
moisten the already well executed knot in the tie that binds, many
couples later undergo the religious ceremony in the church. The
familiar wedding ring figures in neither the religious nor the civil
ceremony. Each member of an engaged couple presents the other with a
plain gold ring at the time of “plighting their troth,” as we observe
in the novels, which is worn upon the third finger of the left hand
until after the marriage, when it becomes a wedding ring and is
transferred to the right hand.

Until the advent of the little Princess Juliana Holland realized her
danger of being ultimately absorbed by Germany. A German Prince had
married the sovereign of the Dutch nation, and German journals were
not reticent in suggesting that, in the event of Queen Wilhelmina
leaving no direct issue, the succession should revert to the family
of the Prince Consort. Moreover, Germany had ever been jealous of
Holland’s possession of the mouth of the greatest of German rivers--the
Rhine, of which she sought the control from its source to the sea.
Germany also had an eye upon Holland’s possessions for her own
colonization--possessions that give this little country second place
among the colonial powers of the world and which, in the Far East
alone, aggregate in acreage fourteen times her own area. But the birth
of Juliana precluded all immediate possibility of German usurpation,
and the Hollanders didn’t convalesce from the effects of the joyous
news for a whole week.

The Dutch are an intensely patriotic people and have made heroic
sacrifices to maintain the independence now assured them by the powers
of the world--and the birth of Juliana. They are phlegmatic rather than
impetuous; stoical rather than demonstrative; impassive rather than
excitable. By virtue of their country’s unique maritime position it has
bred the naval heroes, navigators, discoverers, and engineers whose
names will remain synonymous for indomitable pluck so long as there
exists a history of unequal fighting. By reason of the wealth derived
from the foreign trade that these men made possible it has fostered
conspicuous groups of artists and scholars and scientists who in their
times were the leaders of their guilds.

[Illustration: The Dutch build good roads and beautiful ones. On the
left is one of the long shady avenues leading from Veere to Domburg; on
the right a typical brick-paved highway]

It is with keen appreciation of the characteristics of the Hollander
which enable him to offer to the traveling world so delightful a
handmade territory, that I turn to the pages of “The Traveler” by
Oliver Goldsmith and quote a short summary of Holland from the pen
of one who traveled and observed, and who, by his enviable powers of
description, analysis, and condensation, could epitomize a volume of
significance in a single word of syncope.

    “To men of other minds my fancy flies,
    Embosom’d in the deep where Holland lies.
    Methinks her patient sons before me stand,
    Where the broad ocean leans against the land,
    And, sedulous to stop the coming tide,
    Lift the tall rampire’s artificial pride.
    Onward, methinks, and diligently slow,
    The firm connected bulwark seems to grow;
    Spreading its long arms amidst the watery roar,
    Scoops out an empire and usurps the shore.
    While the pent ocean, rising o’er the pile,
    Sees an amphibious world beneath her smile;
    The slow canal, the yellow blossom’d vale,
    The willow-tufted bank, the gliding sail,
    The crowded mart, the cultivated plain,
    A new creation rescued from his reign.”



II

THE ISLAND OF WALCHEREN


It must be because the province of Zeeland seems too fearfully close
to be interesting that the average traveler through Holland, if he
enter by Flushing--one of the little country’s two principal sea
gates--hurries from deck to dock like a somnambulist, and fights for
his compartment in the four-something A.M. train, bound for Amsterdam
or The Hague. Perhaps, after being wakened most unsympathetically,
if not rudely, at three-thirty in the morning, he feels disagreeable
enough to take the first train out, no matter whence it cometh nor
whither it goeth. But in so doing the aforementioned average sight-seer
will make his first mistake--and a grave one--with regard to Holland.
Part of the best of the country, scenically and historically, is just
at the other end of the gangplank.

This business of the arrival at Flushing of the night boat from
Folkestone at the unheavenly hour of four in the morning, ought in
itself be sufficient excuse to go first thing to the bedroom steward
the evening of embarkation and whisper unto him casually but firmly
that the odds might run as high as ten chances to one his name would
be Dutch for Dennis if he dared to rap you out of your bunk earlier
than six. The steamship company reserves the privilege of putting you
off the boat at seven, at any rate; so, to arise at six will just give
you time to array yourself in the proper regalia, indulge in a hurried
breakfast of ham and eggs on board (at a shilling an egg), and climb
into the seven-seven train for that capital of quaintness, not to
mention the province of Zeeland--Middelburg. The four-something train
ignores Middelburg with a passing snort.

And a word here to the wise is sufficient: don’t settle yourself for an
all day train ride. Don’t even exert yourself to the extent of hoisting
your grip to the baggage rack. If the compartment be crowded--which it
never is, going to Middelburg--you might hold your suit case on your
lap the entire journey without fatigue or even _ennui_. Middelburg is
four miles from Flushing. If the engineer doesn’t slow down to blow the
whistle it will take just eleven minutes to cover the distance.

I have anticipated the fact that the sum total of your baggage will
consist of a suit case, because personally conducting a trunk through
Holland would be just as incongruous as saddling a Shetland pony with
an elephant howdah.

There are two methods of seeing the Island of Walcheren, equally
fascinating, and the visitor can avail himself of both in one and the
same day. The first is by climbing the two hundred and seventy-odd
steps to the top of “Long John” in Middelburg, and the second by
a drive around the Island, covering, perhaps, thirty miles, and
touching the three principal places of interest: Veere, Domburg, and
Westkapelle. To state here that the Island of Walcheren is not an
island might seem a bit ambiguous, but it is true, nevertheless, and
may be explained away as follows:

Long before our time, perhaps in the distant Paleozoic age, Walcheren
was nothing more than shallow water. Along came the Dutch--who have
a happy faculty of making their own geography as they need it--and,
seeing prospects in its development, built a sort of cofferdam around
it, pumped the place dry, and made it into an island. It made a fairly
good island, and in later years they grafted it on to the parent land
by a long embankment across an arm of the Scheldt, and made it into a
peninsula. A peninsula it still remains, but its future is all a matter
of conjecture.

“Long John,” or _Lang Jan_, if the sobriquet be translated into
Dutch, is practically the Washington Monument of Walcheren. It is the
two-hundred-and-eighty-foot tower of the Nieuwe Kerk in Middelburg,
capped with a climax of forty-one bells that chime a quaint fragment
of some familiar popular melody every seven-and-a-half minutes. On the
hour Long John literally vibrates from foundation to weather vane in
a frenzied endeavor to pour forth _in toto_ the accumulation of more
or less music administered in small doses during the previous sixty
minutes.

It is up the middle of Long John you must climb in a spiral to obtain
a first impression of Walcheren. It is a tedious task, and by the time
you are halfway up you are blessing the memory of the man who twined
the now much worn hand rope along the steep staircase. You may even be
about to give up in disgust, when, of a sudden, you stumble in upon the
lofty hermitage of old Hendrick Landman, the keeper of the bells.

Hendrick sits serenely in his armchair in an extremely well ventilated
room at the top of the spiral and lets people pay a small fee for the
privilege of climbing up to have him point out the view and exhibit
his mechanical masterpiece a few ladder lengths higher up. Hendrick’s
view alone is doubly worth the climb, and, after reimbursing him to the
equivalent extent of about eight cents in American coinage, you will
also have to admit that he can certainly keep bells. I know nothing
of whatever else Hendrick can or cannot do, but he can certainly keep
bells; and after all, a man can hope for nothing more than to achieve
success in his chosen calling. Hendrick also takes just pride in the
condition of the Gargantuan Swiss music box that is responsible for
the two or three bars every seven-and-a-half minutes. He oils it and he
winds it assiduously twice every day in the year.

Taken by and large, Hendrick is an unimpeachable bell keeper.

After having been duly and visibly impressed with the manner in which
Hendrick keeps his bells and his garrulous music box, it might be well
to tarry with him for a few moments at the foot of the ladder and
attempt a squint or two through the old gentleman’s telescope, which,
from the appearance of it, might be a lineal descendant of the first
ones ever put together by Zacharias Jansen, all of three hundred years
ago and not more than a few feet from the base of the tower you stand
upon.

Jansen, the inventor of the telescope and the microscope, and Father
Jacob Cats, the humorist-poet-philosopher, were contemporaries in
Middelburg for a time, and the town claims them as its two most
illustrious sons. The children of Jansen’s genius may still be viewed
in the little Museum of the Zeeuwsch Genootschap der Watenschappen
(don’t ask me to pronounce the name of that society; it is task enough
to spell it correctly) in the Wagenaarstraat of Zeeland’s capital;
Father Cats will live in Holland in book form until the end of all
things.

If the atmosphere be clear, you would think that a strong wind from
the north could topple Long John, including bells, music box, Hendrick
Landman and his telescope, and all, upon the bathing beach of Flushing
itself--the place seems so close below you. Flushing of to-day is
nothing more than a pseudo bathing resort, much patronized by easily
pleased Germans, and a handy terminus for ’cross-channel passenger
boats. But the name of Flushing also means much in the history of
Holland.

Here was born in 1607 that popular idol of the Dutch, Admiral de
Ruyter, the son of a rope maker, although his mother, whose name
he assumed, happened to be of noble birth. De Ruyter flourished
at a particularly favorable time in the middle of the seventeenth
century, when the navigation acts passed by Cromwell placed unbearable
restrictions on trade with Holland. The ensuing war with England called
into play de Ruyter’s talents, and a large majority of the thirteen
great naval battles fought within a period of sixteen months were won
by the Dutch. It was not, however, until a later war with England that
de Ruyter performed his principal and culminating achievement. In 1667,
at the age of sixty, he mustered his fleet and forced a fairway up the
Thames to the very gates of London herself, demolishing fortifications
and shipping as he went, and plunging London into a panic.

Flushing, too, was the scene of embarkation of the unhappy Charles
V in 1556, and of Philip II three years later, neither of whom ever
returned. As you look out upon the Scheldt from your coign of vantage
at the top of Long John you can almost picture the scene on the deck
of the vessel when Philip denounced the Prince of Orange as having
thwarted his plans, declaring the innocent William an ingrate, and
doubtless a host of other names unfit for publication.

It was Flushing that first hoisted the ensign of liberty against the
Spaniard, Alva, and it was Flushing, during the Napoleonic wars of
1809, that the English fleet, with the ultimate capture of Antwerp at
heart, bombarded so vigorously that the magnificent Town Hall, a couple
of churches, and no less than two hundred private houses were razed to
the ground.

[Illustration: Looking down over the roofs of Middelburg from the
bell tower of Long John. From here one can see most of the Island of
Walcheren]

From Long John one can see plainly the towns on the north and west
coasts of Walcheren, and often even the spires of Antwerp are visible,
while directly below--a mass of red roofs punctured here and there
with patches of trees--stretches Middelburg. To the left is the market
place, bounded on the north by the handsome Town Hall begun in the
sixteenth century, the embellishment of whose façade by twenty-five
ancient statues of the counts and countesses of Holland helps it to
hold its place as one of the finest and most interesting late-Gothic
edifices in the Netherlands. The tower of the Town Hall has a chime,
too, and each time after Long John so insistently proclaims the hour
of the day or night--for Long John takes the credit of giving standard
time to Middelburg--it must get a bit on his nerves to have “Foolish
Betsy” (_Gekke Betje_), up in the Town Hall tower, rattle off her
cacophonous contradiction a minute or two earlier, or later, as the
case may be.

To the right is the peaceful square inclosed by the famous old Abbey
of St. Nicholas, founded as early as 1106, and later, in the sixteenth
century, the scene of a memorable meeting of the Knights of the Golden
Fleece.

Then, after a last good-by to Hendrick and his companionable telescope,
you clatter down the tower steps, ignoring with consummate contempt the
twining hand rope which, in the ascent, so forcibly appealed to your
avoirdupois.

The road from Middelburg to Veere, a distance of three or four miles,
is brick-paved and lined with trees, as is the habit of most highways
in Holland; and if it is your first experience thoughts pertaining to
the thoroughness of the Dutch will doubtless be in order. It may have
taken more time and it may have cost more money to lay brick roads,
but then the expense and labor of repair are minimum. The building of
roads is but one of the many tasks that the Hollander does not believe
in doing over again in a year or two; so he lays them in brick--and
the comfort of passengers in vehicles is of no consideration. There
is a road from Monnikendam to Edam which might give a horse spavin to
look upon. The blame for the wearing out of the road, in this case, is
placed upon the poor beast, and down the middle of it they have laid a
brick-paved path, the sides being merely macadamized.

The landscape of Walcheren seems set as if for a theatrical
performance. There is a place for everything, and everything is in its
place. Left, a tree-encircled, thatch roofed farmhouse, built as an
addition to the barn in the back, so as to save a wall; right, a line
of willows, all twins, that fringe a road along the top of a dike; up
stage, a windmill of methodical movements, and, perhaps, a sailboat
passing slowly along a narrow canal--too narrow and too high above the
eye for the audience to obtain a glimpse of any water at all--giving
the effect of a mirage; down stage, a black and white cow. Of course
it will be a black and white cow, because, figuratively, you might
count the red cows in Holland on your fingers. And such a scene is not
typical of the Island of Walcheren alone, but of the Netherlands in
general. Any other type of scenery might become wearisome, but possibly
the brevity of the train ride or the substitution of a boat or steam
tram trip between one point of interest and another has a lot to do
with relieving the monotony.

Of all Zeeland, the particular costume of that province can be observed
to the best advantage on the island of Walcheren. A milkmaid of
Middelburg, for example, is a joy to look upon. Her spotless white
cap bristles at the temples with _kurkenkrullen_ like the antennæ of a
prehistoric beetle. Her skirts are ankle-high and padded generously at
the hips. If she be naturally rotund and the skirts need no padding,
circumstantial evidence of the fact is sufficient to stamp her the
belle of the community. The sleeves of her bodice are very short and
very tight, pinching the arms above the elbows so that they might be
mistaken for a pair of aggravated cases of inflammatory rheumatism.
Of course the sun in all its glory strikes the backs of these arms,
for she always walks with them akimbo, the better to balance the pails
which dangle one from each end of a wooden yoke, enameled a vivid
robin’s egg blue. But the redder the arms from the rays of the sun
and the tighter the pinch of the sleeves, the flatter the chest and
the broader the hips, the sooner will she cease to be a mere milkmaid
through the medium of a simple marriage ceremony in the village _kerk_.

The only discordant note in the otherwise harmonious landscape on
the road to Veere may be said to be a flitting one. It assumes the
distended shape of a buxom village maiden in the full provincial
costume--padded skirts and all--astride a bicycle, spinning townward
or homeward over the bricks. For the bicycle, be it known, is the
natural--and it has therefore become the national--means of locomotion
in Holland. Everybody rides bicycles; and since the only hills are
the approaches to the dikes or across the humpbacked span of a canal
drawbridge, their invention has been no less a boon to the populace
at large than it has been a bane to the sight-seer. In The Hague,
for example, they have become a veritable pest, and to be constantly
dodging them in the streets keeps a person very much on the jump.

By and by you will rattle into Veere. You can tell it is Veere by its
church, for Veere’s church is something to remember. It is by far the
biggest thing on the island of Walcheren. It is the first building of
historical or architectural importance that you will pass on entering
the town from Middelburg, and its immensity, so foreign to the Veere
of to-day, may be able to convey to you some remote idea of what Veere
used to be before the sea leaked in over the cofferdam and blotted out
most of the place between suns.

[Illustration: This picturesque tower at Westkapelle belonged
originally to a fifteenth-century church that was burned in 1831. It is
now used as a lighthouse]

Built in 1348, this church weathered even the terrible encroachment of
the sea; but along came Napoleon in 1812. Napoleon, being accustomed
to move, lock, stock and barrel, into the most sumptuous quarters of
every town he visited, took a particular liking to Veere’s church and
promptly made a barracks of it. There is no more complete method of
demolishing the interior of a building than to turn it into a barracks,
especially a Napoleonic barracks, and since the Little Corsican’s
unwelcome visit to Veere the old church has remained ravaged, mildewed,
and decayed. In a corner of the east end, however, the people of
Veere still gather for spiritual worship. Twelve years ago they started
to restore the church, but if the receipt of funds is not a little more
prompt in the future they may some day have to restore the restorations.

Several quaint old houses of the sixteenth century; an impressive tower
at the mouth of the harbor, whose mate lies buried under the sea; and
the Town Hall, containing an unimportant museum save for a few royal
documents and a richly enameled goblet, presented to the town in 1551
by Maximilian of Burgundy, the first marquis of Veere--these and the
church are the sole relics of Veere’s previous prosperity not claimed
by the ocean.

A rapid succession of long, shady, hedge-fringed avenues lead from
Veere to Domburg, the curious little bathing resort on the northwest
coast of the island. Approximately halfway, at West Hove, there stands
a famous old castle, once the residence of the Abbots of Middelburg,
which remains in such a perfect state of preservation--although
modernized, of course, to a certain degree--that in the summer it
is used as a sanatorium for the poor children of the Flushing and
Middelburg districts. Just across the road an attractive modern
building, more like a country home in design, does duty as a
full-fledged hospital.

The town of Domburg gives not the least evidence of being situated
on the seaside, as do the most of our Atlantic Coast resorts by their
bleakness, but seems rather an inland village, thickly sprinkled with
and all but completely surrounded by trees. At its back and just a few
steps behind the sand dunes, lies the sea, while a stretch of well
formed, sandy beach, which entices to Domburg each summer a goodly
number of Dutch people and the few foreigners who know of its charms,
slopes away beyond the dunes.

For five miles farther, to Westkapelle, the road lies first behind the
dunes and then behind the giant dike for which this, one of the most
exposed and at the same time one of the lowest sections of Holland, is
famous. Presently you find yourself bowling along on top of the dike,
with the sea lapping restlessly at its thick, beveled-stone hide on
the right, and the village of Westkapelle, nestling some feet below
the water level even at low tide, yet secure behind the backbone of
its protector, on the left. This dike, being of necessity one of the
largest and strongest along the Dutch coast, receives the tenderest of
care in the hands of the Government, for, in case of a break in it, the
Island of Walcheren would be reduced to its former state of shallow
sea water in less time than it would take to set the type of the
“scare-head” in the newspapers to tell of the catastrophe. The laborers
who are constantly employed at work upon it are supposed to be the
direct descendants of the Danish fishermen who dragged these waters
with their nets far back in Norman times.

Aside from its dike the most conspicuous object in the vicinity of
Westkapelle is the lofty, square, Gothic tower, belonging originally to
a fifteenth-century church burned down in 1831. This tower the Dutch
have aptly turned into practical service by making a lighthouse of it.
The powerful reflectors at its top have a radius of twenty-five miles
or more and, even in the daytime, the tower is as much of a landmark
along the west coast of the island as the church at Veere is along the
north.

Driving from Westkapelle back to Middelburg you scarcely pass out from
the throes of one tollgate until you are enmeshed in those of another.
You are assumed to be honest in Zeeland and expected to march right
up to the door of the tollhouse, pass a cordial time of day with the
character who keeps it, and pay your little five or six Dutch cents
without even so much as giving vent to the time-honored conjecture that
the farmers thereabouts must be too well off to work out their taxes on
the roadway.

Nor is it only the tollhouse keeper who has a pleasant word of greeting
for you, but every native you pass, man, woman, or child, will have
a nod and a smile and a cheery “Good evening”--although you may not
recognize the verbiage. The sturdy truck farmer, with gold earrings
and cropped hair, trudging homeward in the wake of his push-cart; the
thickly padded maiden with her dangling milk pails; the tiny boys and
girls, diminutive counterparts of their parents as regards a costume
which wavers not with the change of fashion--all seem to think it their
especial assignment to treat the tourist on Walcheren as a visitor and
not an invader.



III

FROM MIDDELBURG TO DORTRECHT


If the American traveler expects to stop off along the line from
Middelburg at a little place called Goes, he will undergo his first
operation with the Dutch language. Should he fail to catch sight of
the signboard that proclaims in print the name of the station, or to
compare his watch with his timetable in order to ascertain in this
manner the exact bearings of the point of stoppage, he will probably
be carried on through, for it will not occur to him that he had
planned to detrain when the tin-horn-girdled conductor rattles up and
down the platform shouting, “Whose.” But “Whose” is the way Goes is
pronounced--and this is simply introductory.

Some there be who try to insist that we have nothing to brag about
in the way of euphonic orthography, which is more or less of a cold
fact. But then, we are used to it. The same may be said of the Dutch
language, and it is to be hoped that the Dutch are used to _it_. They
seem to get along with it passably well, at all events. But their
ability to master the impossible does not alleviate our troubles in
the least. Any nation that can spell “ice” y-s and i-j-s with equal
complacency, and gather the same meaning from both methods, deserves to
be misunderstood.

The Dutch letter _g_, to come back to Goes, strikes terror to the vocal
organs of the most versatile linguist. It is treated with somewhat the
same disrespect that the Spanish treat their _j_, only more so. The
Dutch pronunciation of a word beginning with _g_ is started somewhere
in the anatomical vicinity of the diaphragm and allowed to percolate
up through the æsophagus, gathering harshness and strength until
it comes in violent contact with the larynx, whence it is finally
ejaculated with about the same sound as a bad attack of hay fever. I
quote a passage from a certain work on Holland, the author of which
infers that if any person not of Dutch descent can repeat the sentence
correctly as to sound and emphasis, to him the mastery of the remainder
of the language will seem like child’s play. The sentence follows:
“_Grietje, gooi geen goeje groente in de gracht._” The interlinear
cribbing of it would be in English, “Gretchen, do not throw any good
vegetables into the canal.”

[Illustration: Behind the dike near Goes--a typical Dutch scene, with
the black and white cattle and the milkmaid]

But since the Dutch have made so many brave attempts to discover a
goodly portion of the east coast of the United States, there may be
found in any geography of America a number of proper names, originally
of Dutch origin, but now Anglicized to meet our requirements. They
thought so much of the beauties of the lower end of New York Bay
that they promptly applied to it the term, “Beautiful Outlet,” or,
in Dutch, _Helle Gat_. “Hell Gate” must obviously be a deal less
difficult, although scarcely more poetic. For the same reason does the
Americanized Cape Henlopen supplant the correct name of the Friesland
town of Hindeloopen from which its discoverer hailed. The name of a
certain street in lower Manhattan must also be of Dutch derivation,
for our word “Bowery” may be found as _bouwerij_, which means a
“peasant’s dwelling” in the vocabulary of the Netherlands. And these
are but a few of the numerous words and syllables heard in America
that may be attributed to Dutch influence.

Hard by the town of Goes the tourist will obtain a comprehensive
idea of what a real _polder_ looks like, although it is scarcely
distinguishable from the fact that all of the scenery along the route
from Flushing east is typical, below-sea-level Dutch, lavishly cut by
canals into triangles, trapezoids, and parallelograms.

A _polder_, by way of explanation, is the reclaimed bed of a sheet
of water; and since the greater part of Holland lies below the level
of the sea, the most of it is _polder_. Land thus reclaimed is of
extraordinary fertility by reason of the fact that the water under
which it was once submerged, having been pumped into surrounding
canals, is readily available for irrigation purposes in event of a dry
season.

The initial move in this really marvelous process of making land while
you wait consists of building a dike around the prospective _polder_ to
fortify it against future inundations. Next, they literally kick the
water out of the inclosed area by means of a peculiarly constructed
water wheel, formerly driven by a windmill, but latterly--the Dutch
having become inoculated with twentieth century impatience--by the
adaptation of steam or gasoline power to the task. Often, however,
the bed of the marsh or lake to be reclaimed lies too deep to admit
of its water being at once kicked into the main canals to be carried
off to the ocean. Such a condition of affairs will necessitate the
lake being surrounded with a veritable series of dikes, each higher
than the one before, like the amphitheater of a clinic (a slightly
exaggerated simile), and each with a canal on its farther side from
the _polder_. The water is then pumped from a lower level to a higher
one until, finally, it is forced to admit the utter uselessness of
trying to compete with the Dutch. The _polder_ near Goes, known as
the Wilhelminapolder, is something like 4,000 acres in extent and was
reclaimed from the sea the same year that Napoleon was undoing the
history of ecclesiastical architecture in Veere.

_Polder_ making is a specialty with the Dutch engineers, and the end of
their ingenuity is not yet in sight. Even now they are making gigantic
preparations to spend upwards of $80,000,000 in the reclamation of
the whole lower half of the Zuyder Zee, two thirds of which is to be
constructed into a _polder_ having an area of 1,400 square miles. The
dike will stretch across the Zee from the village of Ewyksluis in North
Holland to Piaam in Friesland, the cost of which alone is estimated at
about $18,000,000.

[Illustration: Dutch engineers are planning a stupendous project to
reclaim the shaded portions that are now part of the Zuyder Zee.]

On any other day but Tuesday there can be no excuse for the traveler to
take the least heed of the train conductor’s garglings and stop off at
Goes; but the costumes of Zeeland, as seen at a Tuesday’s market, are
well worth a break in the journey.

A few miles beyond Goes the train crosses the Zuid-Beveland Canal,
which intersects the long, straggling island of that name and of which
Goes is the capital. The canal was cut through by the Dutch engineers
in 1863–66 as a sort of apology to nature for their having deliberately
closed up an arm of the Scheldt called the Kreekerak--a body of water
that the Dutch never trusted since its contribution to the inundation
of the east coast of Flemish Zeeland. Previous to 1532 that east coast
was fertile farm land and populated by peace-loving peasants. But in
that year the dike burst. Three thousand inhabitants are alleged to
have perished, and the locality is still under water, it being known
to-day as Verdronken Land, or “Drowned Land.”

A little later your train will cross the Kreekerak on the embankment
they built, and Bergen-op-Zoom is the next stop.

They say Bergen-op-Zoom used to be one of the most flourishing towns in
the Netherlands. Doubtless that is true. The only flourishing parts to
be found about it now are its thousand and one rags flourished by its
thousand and one housemaids scrubbing its thousand and one doorsteps.
The latter are incessantly being cleaned and recleaned by the former
in the hands of the intermediate; so much so, indeed, that it appears
as if each maid were trying for a record. Bending double or down on
their knees--in every conceivable attitude they attack their front
doorsteps as many times a day as they think necessary, which is rather
more than often. I have never read a consular report that speaks of
Holland as a territory open for trade in mops. They may be on sale, but
I have yet to see one in action. For one cause or another the Dutch
seem to cling to the hand method of wringing the cloth over the bucket,
then bending double and sloshing it from side to side across the
pavement with a movement akin to that of a nervous captive elephant;
but perhaps for the reason that this Dutch method is not and never can
be thorough, do they deem it exigent to repeat the operation with such
frequence.

The lesson gleaned from all this is how the Dutch have beaten their
lifelong enemy, water, at its own game, ousted it, and then turned
round and made of it an humble and subjected medium for keeping the
country clean.

Most towns west of the Zuyder Zee are so notoriously clean that even
walking over the pavements is not encouraged. For reasons of his own a
householder will continue his property line out across his two or three
feet of pavement with the help of a chain or iron railing, more or less
decorative, so that the pedestrian, when he comes to the barrier, must
side-step into the street in order to pass it.

There are four or five other features of Bergen-op-Zoom that I
remember no less distinctly. One was the imposing old Gevangenpoort
with its massive brick archway. It dates from the fifteenth century
and constitutes one of the few remaining relics of the ancient
town fortifications. Another was the accomplished female at the
railway station, who served liquid refreshments to warm and weary
travelers and, by way of diversion for the sake of accumulating
a few extra absurd little ten cent pieces, handled the baggage
of arriving and departing visitors to the town with the ease and
strength of a full-blown _dientsmann_. If there happened to be too
many pieces of luggage to carry at once, she invariably remembered
where someone had hidden a wheelbarrow conveniently near the station.
This she would fetch, often without the knowledge or consent of its
owner, load the luggage upon it, and march off with a dignified,
“what-do-you-think-of-me” sort of an air.

Another feature was the glaring heat of the place--the day of my visit
being a rather humid one in July; and still another--the most important
of all--was a quiet, shady nook on the low portico of a little café
just back of the Groote Kerk, from which sheltered position I looked up
more than once over the tops of the trees and admired the lofty steeple
of the old house of worship through the bottom of a tall, slender
glass.

But a short ride from Bergen-op-Zoom brings you to Rosendaal, which,
from the apparent activity about the station, might be by long
odds the most important town in all Holland. It is the seat of the
Dutch customhouse and therefore the junction of many railway lines,
north, south, east, and west; or _vice versa_. All roads lead in the
Netherlands, not to Rome, but to Rosendaal. To explore the town is
scarcely worth the trouble, but the railway station itself deserves
especial notice. If you enter Holland from the Belgian frontier it
will be impossible not to notice it, for the train will stop long
enough at Rosendaal for the customs officials to question each and
every passenger personally about cigars, perfumery, and other dutiable
articles. If you come from the east or the west it is eleven chances
to one you will have to change cars at Rosendaal, in which latter
predicament you will at least enjoy a stroll up and down the long
station platform.

This Rosendaal station struck me as being about the cleanest, shiniest
place, for a railway station, at which I had ever changed cars. Not a
speck of soot or dust was visible to the naked eye, and it is possible
that one of old Zacharias Jansen’s microscopes wouldn’t be able to
find any either, although a certain few, larger and more grotesque
than their fellows, might be brought to notice under the lens of an
instrument of later model. Every doorway was guarded by a pair of
little boxwood or bay tree sentries, and flowers filled the boxes under
the windows. The leather tables and chairs in the waiting-rooms and
restaurant all but suggested a Spanish Renaissance influence, and their
great brass-topped tacks glittered as if they had never known what it
was to be tainted with stain or smirch--and this in a railway station.

But then, a Dutch locomotive is not nearly so offensive, I might
say, as one of the American breed; and if the proper legislation is
forthcoming we shall be sending experts to Holland soon to take notes
on how they do it. All railway locomotives in Holland are under the
supervision of an arm of the government service, and although the most
of them bear the shop-plate of Glasgow or Manchester, they must be
equipped with an apparatus, not only for consuming the smoke but for
the prevention of the emission of sparks and other combustible matter.
Descriptions and drawings showing the details and workings of these
contrivances must be submitted to the Supervising Board of Railways
before each new type of locomotive is purchased. Upon its delivery
every newly purchased locomotive must undergo a thorough test and be
approved by the inspector of the Board before it may be placed in
service.

The same regulations apply to stationary engines burning bituminous
coal, which would otherwise emit great clouds of black smoke, gases,
and soot. Restrictions, in some localities, are even placed upon
the particular kind of fuel locomotives may burn. The province of
Zuid-Holland, for example, has issued the eikon that only coke may be
used upon the locomotives that traverse its railway lines.

A few miles before you come to Dortrecht the railway crosses a long
bridge that spans an arm of the North Sea known as the Hollandsch Diep.
The actual breadth of the Diep is a mile and five-eighths, but its
projecting stone piers cut the length of the bridge down to slightly
less than a mile. This, the longest bridge in Holland, was completed
in November, 1871, after being more than three years in the building,
and its fourteen arches, with a span of 110 yards each, rest upon
stone buttresses, the foundations of some of which are sunk fifty or
sixty feet below low water mark. From the center of the structure you
may look out over the Hollandsch Diep on the left and, on the right,
the eastern end of the Biesbosch, or “reed forest”--a great, watery
district more than forty square miles in area and lately reclaimed. It
was formed in 1421, at the same time and under the same conditions as
the Hollandsch Diep, by a terrific overflow of the sea that blotted out
seventy-two towns and villages and the lives of 100,000 people.

Dortrecht, called Dordt by the Dutch, is practically a survivor of that
calamity. The town was founded away back in 1008 and, four hundred
years later, made an island by the obstreperous Merwede--the name given
to a short part of the river formed by the confluence of the Maas and
the Waal, which, beyond Dortrecht, is called De Noord and, by the time
it approaches Rotterdam, known as the Maas again.

By reason of a special privilege called The Staple--pure and simple
“graft,” plainly speaking--Dortrecht in the Middle Ages was the most
prosperous town in Holland, for the workings of The Staple were
far-reaching and marvelous. The Staple allowed Dortrecht, by royal
warrant, be it remembered, to act in the capacity of a kind of clearing
house for all goods, whether wines, grains, metals, or fabrics, that
entered the domains of Holland by way of the Rhine. Now the territory
punctured by these hundred and one apparently different and distinct
rivers that so muddle the geography of the southern part of Holland for
the tourist, is nothing more nor less than the wide-spreading estuary
of the one river, Rhine. As every cargo that came down the river had
necessarily to be unloaded at Dortrecht, municipal and private money
chests burst their stout iron hoops in their efforts to contain the
duties and taxes imposed. And in this kind of business buccaneering the
place reveled for centuries, until Rotterdam, overcome with jealousy in
1618, stopped the procedure at the point of the bayonet.

[Illustration: A picturesque corner of Dortrecht, called Dordt by the
Dutch. In the Middle Ages it was the most prosperous town in Holland]

If Wilmington, Delaware, although just twice as large in point of
population, could boast of a windmill or two and a few odoriferous
canals, bordered with numerous sixteenth century façades that slanted
out over them as if in imminent danger of toppling into them; and
if she had a narrow street of rather serpentine proclivities, like
the Wynstraat, down which the rolling stock of the local traction
company, in the shape and vintage of an ancient horse car, clanged
its weary way, she might be taken, dot and tittle, for Dortrecht.
Since the forced abolition of The Staple, the most of Dortrecht’s
40,000 inhabitants have gone into the more legitimate business of
shipbuilding. But Wilmington, to achieve this, would also have to
level off her hills to a certain depth below the sea, which might then
necessitate the diking of the Delaware. It would be a mighty task and,
after all is said and done, she would gain little but history.

Here in Dortrecht were born the brothers De Witt, Cornelius and John,
whose equal as councilors and statesmen Holland has not been able to
reproduce. The dome of the ancient Groothoofdpoort, one of the town
gates of the sixteenth century that stands at the harbor end of the
Wynstraat, contains, among other relics, a collection of medals, many
of which were struck in commemoration of the tragedy of the Binnenhof
at The Hague. Nicolas Maes, Albert Cuyp, and Ary Scheffer are the three
most famous Dutch painters that Dortrecht takes pride in claiming as
her own.

Like Leyden, Dortrecht experienced her period of siege in the hands
of the Spaniards, although of not nearly so long duration, and relief
was effected in much the same manner. Her coat of arms, consisting of
a milkmaid _couchant_ under her docile bovine on a field of--garlic,
we’ll say, strikes forever the keynote of the town’s relief.

It seems that a milkmaid in the employ of a certain wealthy farmer
living near the city, having gone into the fields in pursuit of her
daily duties, discovered the Spaniards hidden behind the hedges.
Probably out of pure reticence, bashfulness, timidity, downright
scared-to-death-ness--what you will--she took no notice of the ambushed
members of the opposite sex, but went as gleefully as possible at
her task, and, having completed it, shouldered her yoke and started
homeward. It cannot be held against her if she did hasten a bit, for
a consultation of the records will prove that a thunderstorm was
gathering on the horizon.

Arriving at the farmhouse, she told her employer of what she had seen,
and he told the Burgomaster. The Burgomaster dispatched a spy, who,
in turn, discovered that the milkmaid related no myth but a cold and
brittle fact. Soldiers were mustered forthwith, and the dikes were cut,
allowing the merciless river to rush in and catch the cruel Castilians
unawares at their bloody job. It is alleged that Spaniards galore were
drowned in the raging torrent, and many were “utterly disappointed in
their design.” At all events, the town was saved and the States issued
orders to the effect that the farmer be reimbursed for the loss of his
cattle, real estate, and personal property, and that the milkmaid’s
likeness, together with that of her faithful and nonplussible cow,
be impressed upon the new coinage of the city. “And she had, during
her life, and hers forever,” according to a medieval historian, “an
allowance of fifty pounds per annum--a noble requital for a virtuous
service.”

The first glimpse of Dortrecht that you get as you emerge from its
railway station will put you at once in sympathy with it. Prefaced
by an open, sunny, brick-paved space, a long avenue of great trees
stretches away directly in front, while back in their shade stands
the peripatetic horse car, as if loath to attempt the transfer of
passengers in the heat of the day. On either side of the avenue are
beautiful residences, their lawns encircled, not by the inappropriate
and unsightly fence, but with a narrow canal, like a miniature moat,
which is bridged only at the front and the rear entrances to the
grounds. Everything seems so peaceful, so conducive to comfort and
leisure, that you will wish you had the time to stay in Dortrecht
indefinitely and take up your abode near the station--a wish that even
in your wildest flights of fancy would never apply to Wilmington,
Delaware.

Import a treacherous-looking Italian in a vivid pink shirt and let
him stir up the aroma by poling his mournful gondola up and down a
certain canal in Dortrecht, and you will have a scene in Venice itself.
This canal, spanned at intervals by narrow bridges and bordered with
three-story houses that hang over it menacingly, is obviously the
reason why so much good stout canvas and so many tubes of excellent
paint have been used up by Dutch artists in picturing Dortrecht; for a
little of Venice, they must have thought, is better than none at all.
In view, therefore, of the length, tediousness, and expense of a trip
to Venice in those days, many of the best of the Dutch painters stayed
home and exercised their talents on that canal in Dortrecht. All of
which we may consider a boon to the art of the Netherlands as well as
to the picture-loving public.


[Illustration: “He who claims that the romance of shipping has
succumbed under the pressure of modern methods has never been to
Rotterdam”]



IV

ROTTERDAM


He who says the romance of the West is dead has never mingled much with
the “eight-section man” down in the southwestern corner of Texas. He
who avers that the romance of steel is played out and defunct has never
straddled an I-beam of a New York skyscraper in the building high above
the vortexes of street traffic, above the flirt of a housemaid hanging
out clothes on a lower roof. He who claims that the romance of shipping
has succumbed under the pressure of modern methods has never been to
Rotterdam.

They have a pretty park in that San Francisco of Holland that fringes
the bank of the Maas. On its river side, near the entrance, there is a
café, where, in the evening, the less romantic Rotterdamer basks and
imbibes in the throes of a virulent orchestra. Farther along under the
trees, past the café and overlooking the river, numerous benches invite
the lover of the sea and its ships to sit him down and gaze upon the
great steel hulls--and wooden ones, too--that have just returned from,
or are about to depart for, a lengthy and uncertain argument with
Father Neptune.

The view from here is several times more magnetic than it is from the
neighborhood of the café, and so here, about dusk, come those wizened
warriors upon whom the sea has cast her spell once and for all time,
to sit and smoke their pipes upside down and dream, perhaps, of other
days, of other ships, of other seas. Three or four may occupy a single
bench, but it will be an hour before a word is passed between them. It
is their only method of rejuvenation, and they are loath to be reminded
that their day is almost done. A certain sort of reverence pervades the
place; it would seem a blasphemy even to speak aloud.

On one of these wooden benches I sat one evening at sunset, looking
out across to the docks on the opposite side of the river. Busy little
motor boats were sputtering hither and thither between the shipping,
bent upon the fulfillment of their last missions of the day. A few
hundred yards farther up, a couple of gloomy-looking steam ferries,
built like Rhine river tugs, transferred their deck loads of workmen
from the different docks and machine shops on the Feijenoord to the
Westplein landing in Rotterdam. From out in the stream came the rattle
of chain through hawse pipe, as a Portuguese tramp, having entered the
harbor too late for a stranger to dock, was preparing an anchorage
for the night. Close by lay a Norwegian “wind jammer”--so close that
the two of them might easily have rubbed figure-heads. A big cargo
boat, bound out, preceded by a tiny tug to herald her approach and
followed by its twin to help keep her straight while passing, an exact
fit, through the draw to one of the many “havens,” bayed sonorously
for the less conspicuous craft to get out of her way; while alongside
the Wilhelminakade the upper decks of a great passenger-carrying
leviathan, already electric lighted, showed through the rigging of the
intermediate vessels. Out of respect for the tide, she was to sail at
three the next morning, and her passengers, when they awakened, would
find themselves well down the English Channel on their way back to New
York after a summer in Europe.

Presently, two young women, pushing a baby-coach between them, came
strolling along, and took up positions at the railing just in front of
me. Plainly they were English, and, although I strained every nerve
to overhear their conversation (which was mean of me), but could not,
I divined the reason for their coming. The same thing occurs a dozen
times a day in Liverpool, in ’Frisco, in Sydney, in Valparaiso, in
every port of any consequence in the world. One was the wife, and the
other perhaps the sister, or her sister, or maybe a close friend. And
there was also the kiddy.

Their vigil was not long in being rewarded, for during the three weeks’
absence--three months’, more likely, if the voyage had been a long
one--they had perused the Lloyd reports daily and diligently, and with
the additional aid of a letter or two, had calculated the time of
arrival to a nicety.

Soon a great black hull appeared far down the river. Darkness was
gathering fast, but they knew the lines of that ship as they knew their
little gardens at home. They un-reticuled their handkerchiefs and waved
and giggled and giggled and waved. For full twenty minutes they waved
and giggled, and then they held the kiddy up. The ship turned off to
enter a dock on the opposite side of the stream and, as she turned her
port beam to us, someone--it would not have been difficult to guess
whom--on her bridge held up a navigator’s three-foot telescope, it
having been doubtless already very much in hand, and waved a brief
but significant, “All’s well; see you in two hours”--or waves to that
effect.

Yes, there is still romance in shipping, and Rotterdam, being first,
last, and all the time a shipping town, there is romance in Rotterdam.

The most satisfactory way of approaching Rotterdam is by water, and the
most satisfactory water way is from Dortrecht. By this route you obtain
not only the most characteristic views of Rotterdam and the bustle
and business about her water front, but you get also the glimpse of
Dortrecht that Albert Cuyp availed himself of so often, for the water
front of Dortrecht doesn’t seem to have changed much, according to
Cuyp, except in the item of steam for sail.

It is a pleasant trip of an hour and a half duration down the Maas,
past numerous shipyards that are capable of building anything from a
canal boat to an ocean-going cargo carrier; past great suction dredges
assigned to the perennial duty of keeping the river conquered; past
fishers for salmon, who, by treaty, may lower their nets only upon
certain days in order to give the German fishers, higher up the stream,
an equal opportunity to make a living; past little hamlets whose river
docks and picturesque dock tenders serve in lieu of railway stations
and the more prosaic red-capped and frock-coated station masters.

But Rotterdam, by reason of her trade, does not coincide with the
general idea of Holland. She is more or less cosmopolitan, to be
sure, but this phase strikes the traveler less forcibly than her
ardent activity. What with her electric cranes and machine shops
and sugar refineries and tobacco factories and shipbuilding yards
and distilleries, she gives one the impression of a thriving German
seaport. The home port claimed by the greater number of the seven
hundred or more steam and sailing vessels that make up the merchant
marine of Holland, is Rotterdam, and through this port passes at least
one-half the country’s total imports by sea and almost as much of her
exports, together with four-fifths of Holland’s trade with the Rhine.
But Baltimore, in the matter of population, would make two of this, the
most active, the most important seaport of the Netherlands.

Still, Rotterdam is essentially Dutch, in fact if not in first
appearances. She has her Groote Kerk, the Church of St. Lawrence,
begun in 1412; she has her Town Hall, without which, it seems, no town
in Holland could survive; she has her picture gallery, although a
mediocre one, in the Boymans Museum; she has her old market and her new
church; and she has her fish market, where women of the most uncertain
antiquity sit and gossip and knit and sell sole between stitches. Here
and there, too, she has her old windmill, thatch covered, browbeaten
by the weather, massive and ponderous-looking, that, in the very midst
of twentieth century hurry and scurry, waves its stiff arms as if
depicting in pantomime a scene of other days. And then, in striking
contrast, right at the very edge of the old harbor, stands the tallest
building in the Netherlands. It must be as sky-scraping as eight or
ten stories, and high up under its eaves it displays the advertisement
of an American breakfast food. Its builders probably thought that a
photographer would be the only mortal who could be induced to rent the
top story, so they made the building’s sloping roof into one glorious
skylight, under which rural Holland might sit and have its picture
taken for the family album.

[Illustration: In spite of its up-to-date spirit, Rotterdam is
essentially Dutch, with the canals much in evidence]

It was while waiting for a car at the beginning of The Oosterkade and
just across the old harbor from this Metropolitan Tower of Rotterdam
that the more nearly general of all Dutch customs was brought home to
me.

The car had approached its terminus and I was about to mount, when the
conductor, more forcibly than politely, requested that I discontinue
the attempt and take up my position where I belonged, with the rest
of the crowd, in the vicinity of a certain lamp-post a few steps
beyond--the Dutch being most precise and systematic. I ambled thither
and was standing in the more or less protecting umbrage of the
lamp-post, with sarcastic but not envious mien, watching the traction
company partake of a large slab of black bread and cheese (until the
disappearance of which the car refused to continue) when I was accosted
by a small street urchin of about the tender age of seven, who was
armed with an immense cigar. I happened to be smoking at the time,
and this was what brought the boy in my direction. He wanted a light
and wasted no words in asking for it. Being somewhat shocked that a
youth of such tender years should be so faithful a slave to the vile,
pernicious weed, I submitted to his plea under mental protest. But
he seemed not in the least embarrassed, for he saluted and marched
off, apparently enjoying the thing as if it had been his fifth since
breakfast.

Before I was through with Holland, however, I came to know that every
able-bodied male in the kingdom acquires the cigar habit as early in
life as his physical condition permits, and I have yet to see the adult
Dutchman who doesn’t use tobacco in some form. Holland, by virtue of
her colonial holdings in Sumatra and the Straits Settlements, is the
paradise of smokers, and tobacco stores in every town, be it large
or small, are as thick as saloons in McKeesport, Pennsylvania. If
you pay more than the equal value of two American cents for a cigar
in Holland you are branded as a foreigner or an extravagant roué. Of
course foreigners who unfurl their native colors full in the face of
the tobacconist are expected to and do pay more, but a cigar equal in
flavor and composition to the best of our ten cent brands can be bought
in Holland for five Dutch cents, and often less, if you go about it in
the proper manner. The age at which boys learn to smoke in Holland has
never been correctly computed, but in the country I have seen lads of
five or six serenely eliminating all possible chance of being rewarded
the oft-referred-to gold watch at the age of twenty-one, and handling
their cigars with as much real enjoyment as their paternal grandparent.

Perhaps at this point it might be opportune to tell the story of
old Herr van Klaes of this same town of Rotterdam, who consumed a
five-ounce package of tobacco daily and died in action at the age
of ninety-eight with his pipe actually in his mouth. In his will he
expressed the wish that every smoker in the kingdom be invited to his
funeral “by letter, circular, and advertisement,” and all who took
advantage of the invitation should be presented with ten pounds of
tobacco and two pipes, the name of van Klaes, his crest, and the date
of his demise to be engraved upon the latter. Every poor man in the
neighborhood who accompanied the bier was to receive a large package of
smoking mixture on each anniversary of the death of his champion. The
will stipulated further that all who wished to partake of its benefits
must smoke “without interruption during the entire ceremony.” The body
was to be placed in a coffin lined with the wood of his old cigar
boxes, and at the foot should be placed a package of French tobacco
and one of the Dutch blend. At his side in the coffin was to be laid
his favorite pipe and a box of matches, “For,” he said, “one never
knows what may happen.” And all persons in the funeral procession were
requested to sprinkle the ashes of their pipes upon the bier as they
passed it while taking their departure from the grounds.

It is said the funeral of Herr van Klaes at least enjoyed the
distinction of being the largest seen in Rotterdam in many a day. It
must have been a busy time for the _aanspreker_. Indeed, it must have
taken the concentrated efforts of all the _aansprekers_ in Holland to
help advertise the funeral. But here a few lines as to the solution of
the word “_aanspreker_.”

The Dutch _aanspreker_ is he of the mourning robes whose duty it is to
go about from house to house, wherever even the flimsiest ties, whether
social or business, exist, and announce the saddening news of a death;
or it is he of the more gaudy apparel who gives the gladsome tidings of
a birth in the family--and the degree of his mournfulness or jocundity
in appearance bespeaks the mournfulness or jocundity of his employers.

In earlier times the services of the _aanspreker_ were augmented by
those of the _huilebalk_, a kind of a professional mourner, who, in the
case of a death, accompanied the _aanspreker_ on his rounds and wept
more or less fluently after the completion of each doleful message. His
coat was long-tailed and his hat wide-brimmed and the extent of his
sorrow in each case depended wholly upon the receipts for his services;
the more money, the more tears. Both must have been depressing
professions at best, but this manner of announcing the news constituted
an essential factor of every funeral. The _aanspreker_ is often seen
to-day, but the _huilebalk_ has wept himself out of existence, probably
on account of a simple dearth of apprentices.

The patron saint, almost, of Rotterdam is Gherardt Gherardts, better
known by the more poetic name of Erasmus Desiderius--meaning “beloved
and long desired”--scholar, critic, philosopher, intellectual
fly-by-night, born in Rotterdam in 1466. A bronze statue of him by
Hendrik de Keyser decorates the Groote Markt of his birthplace. Known
best by his immortal satire, “The Praise of Folly,” and for his being,
in 1516, the first to be so bold as to amend the text of the Greek
New Testament, Erasmus was undoubtedly the “intellectual dictator of
his age.” He entered the order of the Brethren of the Common Life,
first at ’S Hertogenbosch and later at Delft, and the year America was
discovered saw him acting as secretary to the Bishop of Cambrai. He
studied in Paris, in Orleans, in Oxford, in Rome, and then returned to
England to accept a professorship at the University of Cambridge. He
died in Basle in 1536.

Rotterdam cannot be said to be noted for its cleanliness; in fact,
it crowds Amsterdam for first place as the dirtiest city in Holland.
But still Rotterdam as well as Amsterdam has its beauty spots. Some
of the residence streets in the newer part of the city are veritable
gardens in themselves. The Parklaan, with the Park at one end and
the Grooteveerhaven, the latter crowded with private motor boats and
yachts that gleam in their innocence of dirt, at the other, is lined
with beautiful homes. It and the Mauritsweg and the Eendragtsweg are
tree studded and kept swept and sprinkled quite as thoroughly and
as frequently as any of the streets in The Hague. The canal that
borders these two latter streets is banked with lawns and crossed here
and there by artistic rustic bridges, for in Rotterdam, as in the
German municipalities, they pay more attention to the details of city
beautification than do we in America. The community at large seems to
take a personal interest in such affairs. Can you imagine the linemen
for a telegraph company or an electric light corporation coming along
the streets of a German city, exercising the right of eminent domain by
ripping up the pavements of the property holders and digging holes big
enough to bury a horse, in which to plant the unsightly wooden poles
that seem to them, on account of their comparative cheapness, the only
known method of carrying wires? The Germans wouldn’t stand it for a
minute. They use steel wire carriers over there--a more businesslike
looking trestle work in the shape of an elongated truncated pyramid,
set slightly _above_ the ground on a concrete foundation. And I noticed
that these “trestle” telegraph poles in Rotterdam, when the conditions
permitted, were planted in the center of a little bed of geraniums,
while some even had vines climbing upon them.

The Dutch, too, are sticklers for coziness and they try to make their
living quarters as habitable as possible. In the congested harbors of
Rotterdam, where, sometimes, you can step from one side of the stream
to the other upon the flat decks of the swarms of canal boats, it
is doubtful if you will see an uncurtained cabin window, and pots of
flowers will be displayed in most of them. The train shed of the Beurs
railway station in the heart of the city has an outside cornice of
flower boxes filled with pink geraniums. But then, you will remember
about the Dutch locomotives--which accounts for much.

As you enter Rotterdam or Amsterdam on the railway you pass row
after row of what we please to call tenement houses. Even these are
not devoid of a cozy, homelike aspect that our tenements and even
reasonably inexpensive apartment houses know not. Each apartment
can boast of a balcony in the rear that is partitioned off from its
neighbors. In many cases these balconies are shaded with awnings from
the glare of the sun and decorated with flowerpots in profusion. This
serves the city dweller in lieu of a garden, and here he eats his meals
and spends his evenings after work. In the daytime the family use the
balcony as an improvised sewing room. Many of the back yards of the
smaller houses consist of a tree lined canal over which the family
looks from the seclusion of a flower girdled, awning covered veranda.

The Dutch not only keep themselves cozy but they take a tender sort of
interest in the well-being of their birds and dumb animals. True, they
train their dogs to help their masters pull the milk carts or vegetable
wagons, but the dogs look husky and well fed and seem to take pride in
their accomplishment. A spare-ribbed stray canine prowling around the
neighborhood is an unknown quantity in Holland.

In the center of some of Rotterdam’s canals which are barred to traffic
and made, instead, to assist in the beautification of the city, you
will see little wicker duck nests, like empty market baskets turned
on their sides. They rest on piles driven into the bottom of the
canal, and the entrance to each is approached from the water by means
of a wooden incline about the size of a shingle. This is not only a
convenience for the ducks but features as an artistic break in the
monotony, I might say, of the canal.

And these are but a few of the reasons why a visit to Rotterdam,
although barren of the types and characteristics that Holland is noted
for, is well worth the trouble; if only to study the city and its
inhabitants from a psychological point of view it is well worth while.



V

DELFT AND HER TRAGEDY


Nineteen minutes in the train from Rotterdam, and you are in
Delft--such are the distances between towns in South Holland.

The population of Delft amounts, numerically, to some 32,000, but
this is an item that is farthest from your thoughts. It is one of the
quietest, quaintest cities in the Netherlands. Up and down its narrow,
lime shaded canals the boatmen of Delft pole their barges laboriously,
yet noiselessly, walking along the decks from stem to stern against
their padded means of propulsion and literally pushing their craft
out from under them. In the spring these watery highways are covered
with a fragrant layer of fallen blossoms; in the fall, with leaves of
variegated colors. The houses that stand behind the trees have been
well built and are well preserved, adding to the place an impression of
comfortable solidity.

My first visit to Holland brought me to Delft from “The Hook” at a very
early hour in the morning, when the housemaids were about to commence
the first concentrated assault of the day upon their pavements,
doorsteps, front doors, and the brass-work pertaining thereto in the
shape of knobs and knockers. “Scrub” seemed to be the housemaids’
slogan, and they were certainly living up to it. Pail after pail of
water was hoisted from the canals and splashed over everything in
reach, until it flowed across the streets and pavements, and fell back
whence it came originally. If I had appeared upon the scene a little
later I might have concluded that a cloud-burst had struck the town.
And all this brackish water, that, in the canals, comes within an ace
of being absolutely stagnant, being poured so recklessly over the town,
gave to it a kind of antique odor, anything but pleasant to inhale. It
gave every evidence that that same water had been hoisted, put to its
task, and allowed to drip back into the canals again since medieval
times.

This was on a week day. A subsequent visit to Delft took me there on
Sunday.

Now, for some reason, psychological or otherwise, the housemaids of
Delft don’t seem to take the same interest in the scrupulousness of
their doorsteps on a Sunday that they do on a week day. Sunday is the
day that everybody in Delft dons his or her best bib and tucker and
goes to church, or leans over the railings of the canal bridges and
chats with a friend, or walks about the town under the shade of its
trees, contemplating, perhaps, upon the exigencies of life. And a
housemaid is but human.

[Illustration: The East Gate of Delft, one of the quaintest and
quietest cities of the Netherlands]

To come upon Delft, therefore, during this weekly interruption
in the perennial polishing of the town, whatever the reason for it,
offers the traveler a different and vastly more agreeable impression.
He will see Delft and her people at their best, the latter more
congenially courteous, the former more serenely stolid. Instead of the
boatmen being continually in the act of disturbing the bottoms of the
canals with their poles, so that the housemaids can skim off the most
graveolent of it with which to scour and rinse their pavements, they
assume for the day the rôle of flower sellers. Boats bearing fragrant
burdens of potted plants of every variety, and cut flowers as well, as
if to try to make amends for the mal-odor of the previous week, will be
drawn as close to the sidewalks as the banks of the canals permit, in
order to tempt the frailty of the Delft housewife--if an inherent love
of flowers may be termed as such--on her way home from church.

Delft is old and she show’s symptoms of the fact in spots. Down at the
southern end of the city, near the Rotterdam gate, stands a venerable
building, once one of the numerous warehouses scattered over the
country belonging to the Dutch East India Company--that most famous and
wealthiest of all Dutch trading concerns, founded in 1602, when the
power and wealth of the Republic had attained their high-water marks
under the stadtholdership of Maurice, one of the sons of the ill-fated
Prince William of Orange. The place has long since been put to use
as a military storehouse. Directly opposite is the ominous-looking
city arsenal, bearing above its arched entrance a massive copy of the
arms of the old Dutch Republic, carved in stone. Another of the old
buildings is the Gemeelandshuis van Delftland, showing in sandstone a
rich Gothic façade of the beginning of the sixteenth century.

With us, Delft’s principal claim to notoriety lies in the manufacture
of its faience, commonly called “Delft ware,” in the seventeenth and
eighteenth centuries. Its composition and design at first copied from
the Chinese and Japanese porcelain, this faience became celebrated
throughout the world. Dutch designs were soon substituted for the
Oriental, and the industry prospered proportionately. Later it lapsed
into decay and the true process has been revived in Delft only within
comparatively recent years. A large plant for its manufacture now
operates on the Oosteinde, not far from the New Church.

But in the heart of the Hollander, Delft will ever be revered as
the scene of the tragedy that cut short the life and terminated the
praiseworthy deeds of that eminent founder of Dutch liberty, “William
the Silent,” Prince of Orange, the George Washington of the Netherlands.

Born of noble German parentage at Dillenburg in the Duchy of Nassau
in 1533, William, curiously enough, became the favorite of Philip II
of Spain, who appointed him, in 1559, when but twenty-six years of
age, _stadtholder_ or governor of the provinces of Zeeland, Holland,
Friesland, and Utrecht. Two years later William found himself in bad
odor with Granvella, the Bishop of Arras, whom Philip had appointed as
counselor to his half-sister, Margaret of Parma, the then regent of the
Netherlands. William finally effected the enforced relinquishment of
this post by the Bishop in 1564.

The subsequent unrest in the Netherlands, provoked mainly by the
atrocities of Spanish soldiery, led to the sanguinary assignment of
Ferdinando Alvarez de Toledo, Duke of Alva, to command an army of
10,000 picked men, mustered from Lombardy, Sardinia, Sicily, and
Naples, to quell the possible insurrection. This move was bitterly
resented, not only by her subjects, but was opposed, although without
success, by Margaret of Parma herself; for the name of Alva was as
odious to her as it was to them.

A man of brilliant military attainments and the most experienced
general in Europe at the time, but bubbling over with avarice and
revengefulness, cruel and overbearing, Alva accepted the assignment
with alacrity. “I have tamed people of iron in my day,” he was reported
to have said contemptuously; “shall I not easily crush these men of
butter?”

When Alva, with his army, entered the Netherlands and took it
upon himself, after much intrigue and conniving, to supersede the
half-sister of his sovereign as governor of the province, the Prince
of Orange retired to Dillenburg. Continued oppressions by the Spaniards
later called him to arms with the French Huguenots as allies, and he
set out betimes upon an unsuccessful campaign to liberate the southern
provinces from their yoke of Spanish tyranny. Since that time he
was ever an active revolutionist. In 1571 he championed the “Water
Beggars,” by which name those insurgents who assisted their compatriots
by sea were known, and one year later, having been invited by the
provinces of Zeeland and Holland to command their troops against the
Spaniards, he captured Middelburg, and later came to the successful
rescue of the besieged town of Leyden. Soon after the formation of
the famous defensive league known as the “Utrecht Union,” William was
condemned to exile by Philip. The fact that the States-General defied
the sovereign’s authority in this matter was the percussion cap that
exploded the general uprising and the throwing off of Dutch allegiance
to Spain in 1581.

“Uneasy lies the head that wears”--the helmet of revolt, and from the
time of his first attempt to achieve the success of his ambitious
project, the life of no medieval ruler was ever more in jeopardy than
was that of William of Orange. Within a period of two years five
separate and distinct attempts to take his life had been perpetrated,
and a sixth, albeit an abhorrently successful one, was about to
follow--all of which were undoubtedly at the initial instigation of the
Duke of Alva.

Just across the canal from the Old Church at Delft still stands the
house of William the Silent, now known as the Prinsenhof, where the
tragedy took place. It is a low, two-story building with a red-tiled
roof, formerly a cloister, but fitted up in 1575 as the residence of
the Princes of Orange. Here came William, in the summer of 1584, to
join his fourth wife, Louisa de Coligny, at the christening of their
son, born in Delft the previous winter, who later became the celebrated
governor, Frederic William. The door marked _Gymnasium Publicum_,
opposite the tower of the church, leads through a courtyard to the
staircase where the murder was committed; and in a dark corner of the
wall at the foot of the steps the custodian will show you a hole made
by one of the bullets that killed the Prince. The dining-room beyond,
from which William had come to his death, is now a museum containing
reminiscences of him.

The Czolgosz of the occasion, the perpetrator of the dastardly act,
was Bathazar Gérard, alias Francis Guion, the self-alleged son of a
martyred Calvinist, a religious fanatic who had long cherished an
insane desire to murder Orange.

“The organization of Bathazar Gérard,” says Motley, “would furnish
a subject for profound study, both for the physiologist and the
metaphysician. Neither wholly a fanatic nor entirely a ruffian, he
combined the most dangerous elements of both characters. In his puny
body and mean exterior were inclosed considerable mental powers and
accomplishments, a daring ambition, and a courage almost superhuman.
Yet those qualities led him only to form upon the threshold of life a
deliberate determination to achieve greatness by the assassin’s trade.”

After long and exasperating delays, Gérard had finally succeeded, on
account of his ambitions, in nursing himself into the good graces of
Alexander of Parma, the Spanish governor of the Netherlands at that
time. On the other hand, “Parma had long been looking for a good man to
murder Orange, feeling--as Philip, Granvelle, and all former governors
of the Netherlands had felt--that this was the only means of saving
the royal authority in any part of the provinces. Many unsatisfactory
assassins had presented themselves from time to time, and Alexander
had paid money in hand to various individuals--Italians, Spaniards,
Lorrainers, Scotchmen, Englishmen, who had generally spent the sums
received without attempting the job. Others were supposed to be
still engaged in the enterprise, and at that moment there were four
persons--each unknown to the others, and of different nations--in the
city of Delft, seeking to compass the death of William the Silent.”

Upon the death, at this time, of the French Duke of Anjou, Gérard was
recommended to Parma by various parties as a capable messenger “to
carry this important intelligence to the Prince of Orange.” Concerning
the outcome of this mission, I can do no better than to quote John
Lothrop Motley from his “The Rise of the Dutch Republic,” as I have
done elsewhere in this chapter:

“The dispatches having been intrusted to him” (Gérard), “he traveled
post-haste to Delft, and to his astonishment the letters had hardly
been delivered before he was summoned in person to the chamber of the
Prince. Here was an opportunity such as he had never dared to hope
for. The arch-enemy to the Church and to the human race” (that is, the
Prince, so called), “whose death would confer upon his destroyer wealth
and nobility in this world, besides a crown of glory in the next, lay
unarmed, alone, in bed, before the man who had thirsted seven long
years for his blood.

“Bathazar could scarcely control his emotions sufficiently to answer
the questions which the Prince addressed to him concerning the death
of Anjou; but Orange, deeply engaged with the dispatches, and with the
reflections which their deeply important contents suggested, did not
observe the countenance of the humble Calvinist exile, who had been
recently recommended to his patronage by Villers. Gérard had, moreover,
made no preparation for an interview so entirely unexpected, had come
unarmed, and had formed no plan for escape. He was obliged to forego
his prey when most within his reach, and after communicating all the
information which the Prince required, he was dismissed from the
chamber.

“It was Sunday morning, and the bells were tolling for church. Upon
leaving the house he loitered about the courtyard, furtively examining
the premises, so that a sergeant of halberdiers asked him why he
was waiting there. Bathazar meekly replied that he was desirous of
attending divine worship in the church opposite, but added, pointing
to his shabby and travel-stained attire, that, without at least a pair
of new shoes and stockings, he was unfit to join the congregation.
Insignificant as ever, the small, pious, dusty stranger excited no
suspicion in the mind of the good-natured sergeant. He forthwith spoke
of the wants of Gérard to an officer, by whom they were communicated to
Orange himself, and the Prince instantly ordered a sum of money to be
given him. Thus Bathazar obtained from William’s charity what Parma’s
thrift had denied--a fund for carrying out his purpose!

[Illustration: The Prinsenhof in Delft, revered by every Hollander as
the scene where “William the Silent,” the George Washington of the
Netherlands, was murdered]

“Next morning, with the money thus procured, he purchased a pair of
pistols or small carabines from a soldier, chaffering long about the
price because the vender could not supply a particular kind of chopped
bullets or slugs which he desired. Before the sunset of the following
day that soldier had stabbed himself to the heart, and died despairing,
on hearing for what purpose the pistols had been bought.

“On Tuesday, the 10th of July, 1584, at about half-past twelve, the
Prince, with his wife on his arm, and followed by the ladies and
gentlemen of his family, was going to the dining-room. William the
Silent was dressed upon that day, according to his usual custom, in
very plain fashion. He wore a wide-leaved, loosely-shaped hat of dark
felt, with a silken cord round the crown--such as had been worn by the
Beggars in the early days of the revolt. A high ruff encircled his
neck, from which also depended one of the Beggars’ medals, with the
motto, ‘_Fideles au roy jusqu’ a la besace_,’ while a loose surcoat
of gray frieze cloth, over a tawny leather doublet, with wide, slashed
underclothes, completed his costume. Gérard presented himself at the
doorway, and demanded a passport. The Princess, struck with the pale
and agitated countenance of the man, anxiously questioned her husband
concerning the stranger. The Prince carelessly observed that ‘it was
merely a person who came for a passport,’ ordering, at the same time, a
secretary forthwith to prepare one. The Princess, still not relieved,
observed in an undertone that ‘she had never seen so villainous a
countenance.’ Orange, however, not at all impressed with the appearance
of Gérard, conducted himself at table with his usual cheerfulness,
conversing much with the burgomaster of Leeuwarden, the only guest
present at the family dinner, concerning the political and religious
aspects of Friesland. At two o’clock the company rose from table.
The Prince led the way, intending to pass to his private apartments
above. The dining-room, which was on the ground floor, opened into
a little square vestibule, which communicated, through an arched
passageway, with the main entrance into the courtyard. This vestibule
was also directly at the foot of the wooden staircase leading to the
next floor, and was scarcely six feet in width. Upon its left side,
as one approached the stairway, was an obscure arch, sunk deep in the
wall, and completely in the shadow of the door. Behind this arch a
portal opened to the narrow lane at the side of the house. The stairs
themselves were completely lighted by a large window halfway up the
flight. The Prince came from the dining-room, and began leisurely to
ascend. He had only reached the second stair, when a man emerged from
the sunken arch, and, standing within a foot or two of him, discharged
a pistol full at his heart. Three balls entered his body, one of which,
passing quite through him, struck with violence against the wall
beyond. The Prince is said to have exclaimed in French, as he felt the
wound, ‘O my God, have mercy upon my soul! O my God, have mercy upon
this poor people!’

“These were the last words he ever spoke, save that when his sister,
Catherine of Schwartzburg, immediately afterwards asked him if he
commended his soul to Jesus Christ, he faintly answered, ‘Yes.’ His
master of the horse, Jacob van Maldere, had caught him in his arms as
the fatal shot was fired. The Prince was then placed on the stairs for
an instant, when he immediately began to swoon. He was afterwards laid
upon a couch in the dining-room, where in a few minutes he breathed his
last in the arms of his wife and sister.

“The murderer succeeded in making his escape through the side door,
and sped swiftly up the narrow lane. He had almost reached the
ramparts, from which he intended to spring into the moat, when he
stumbled over a heap of rubbish. As he rose he was seized by several
pages and halberdiers, who had pursued him from the house. He had
dropped his pistols upon the spot where he had committed the crime,
and upon his person were found a couple of bladders, provided with a
piece of pipe, with which he had intended to assist himself across
the moat, beyond which a horse was waiting for him. He made no effort
to deny his identity, but boldly avowed himself and his deed. He was
brought back to the house, where he immediately underwent a preliminary
examination before the city magistrates. He was afterwards subjected
to excruciating tortures; for the fury against the wretch who had
destroyed the father of the country was uncontrollable, and William
the Silent was no longer alive to intercede--as he had often done
before--in behalf of those who assailed his life.”

The tortures that the man endured prior to his speedy execution are
unmentionable.

“William of Orange,” continues Motley, “at the period of his death,
was aged fifty-one years and sixteen days. He left twelve children.
By his first wife, Anne of Egmont, he had one son, Philip, and one
daughter, Mary, afterwards married to Count Hohenlo. By his second
wife, Anna of Saxony, he had one son, the celebrated Maurice of Nassau,
and two daughters, Anna, married afterwards to her cousin, Count
William Louis, and Emilie, who espoused the pretender of Portugal,
Prince Emanuel. By Charlotte of Bourbon, his third wife, he had six
daughters; and by his fourth, Louisa de Coligny, one son, Frederic
William, afterwards _stadtholder_ of the Republic in her most palmy
days. The Prince was entombed on the 3rd of August at Delft, amid the
tears of a whole nation. Never was a more extensive, unaffected, and
legitimate sorrow felt at the death of any human being.”

So passed the greatest man that little Holland ever did or ever will
produce. His ashes lie in a vault in the Nieuwe Kerk of Delft, together
with those of thirty-five other princes and princesses of the House of
Orange, the last being King William III, father of the present Queen,
who died on November 23rd, 1890. Above the vault stands the handsome
and imposing marble monument to William the Silent, worked by the
de Keysers, begun by the father in 1616 and finished by the son. A
translation of the Latin epitaph of the Prince reads as follows:

In honor of God Almighty and for an eternal memorial of William of
Nassau, Prince of Orange, father of his fatherland, who valued the
welfare of the Netherlands more than his own interests or those of
his family; who twice, and principally at his own expense, collected
powerful armies and led them into the field under the command of the
States; who averted the tyranny of Spain; called back and restored
the true religion and the ancient laws; who at last left the nearly
regained liberty to be confirmed by his son, Prince Maurice, heir to
the virtues of his father; the truly pious, prudent and invincible
hero, whom Philip II, King of Spain, that terror of Europe, feared,
but could neither subdue nor intimidate, but killed with gross
perfidiousness by the hand of a hired murderer, the United Provinces
have ordered this to be erected as an eternal memorial of his merits.

Motley’s phraseology with regard to the Prince’s attributes and
ambitions cannot be improved upon.

“His firmness was allied to his piety. His constancy in bearing the
whole weight of a struggle, as unequal as men have ever undertaken, was
the theme of admiration, even to his enemies. The rock in the ocean,
‘tranquil amid raging billows,’ was the favorite emblem by which his
friends expressed their sense of his firmness. From the time when, as a
hostage in France, he first discovered the plan of Philip to plant the
Inquisition in the Netherlands, up to the last moment of his life, he
never faltered in his determination to resist the iniquitous scheme.
This resistance was the labor of his life. To exclude the Inquisition,
to maintain the ancient liberties of his country, was the task which he
appointed to himself when a youth of three-and-twenty. Never speaking
a word concerning a heavenly mission, never deluding himself or others
with the usual phraseology of enthusiasts, he accomplished the task
through danger, amid toils, and with sacrifices such as few men have
ever been able to make on their country’s altar.”

Truly, Wilhelmina has an illustrious ancestor.



VI

THE HAGUE AND SCHEVENINGEN


A Dutch saw has it that you “make your fortune in Rotterdam,
consolidate it in Amsterdam, and spend it at The Hague.” I am not so
sure about the veracity of the first two clauses, but you can certainly
spend it at The Hague.

The Hague is at once the most beautiful and the most expensive city
in Holland. It is the Paris, the Washington, the Berlin of the
Netherlands all in one. Like Paris, it is so overflowing with history
and art that it would take a small book to tell of it all in detail;
like Washington, it is beautiful, and the official residence of the
chief executive of the nation and the diplomatic corps, but not half
so expensive; like Berlin, again it is just as beautiful and twice as
expensive. It is the magnetic pole of the American tourist in Holland,
and it takes pains to cater in many ways to his whims and fancies,
not to mention his pocketbook, and thus hold his patronage. Half the
town speaks English and most of the remaining half understands it. Its
people are obliging and courteous and seem to take a personal interest
in making your stay one of pleasure and instruction as they do in
no other city in Europe. In The Hague I have tried to explain to an
obtuse conductor, in smatterings of German, Dutch, and English, where I
wished to get off the car, and half a dozen fellow-passengers, finding
a stranger in difficulty, have chimed in without the least solicitation
and untangled my knots of pantomime with real Dutch verbiage.

[Illustration: Snapshots here and there. The Dutch maiden is a
miniature of her mother, and she is taught cleanliness and thrift from
the time she begins to learn the meaning of words]

But, being the tourist center that it is, it has naturally developed
the old familiar nuisance to be found in all cities of its ilk in
Europe: the piratical parasite who stands in ambush behind the hotel
porter as you start out in the morning and tags along halfway to your
destination, shouting an incessant “Do you vont a guite, sir? Do you
vont a guite?” You will find him in almost every part of the town, but
his particular lair is in the lee of the picture galleries. Either by
instinct or by abnormal powers of observation he knows that the average
tourist whose time is limited will make a bee line for the nearest
picture gallery before he has even had an opportunity to unpack his
grip. So here near the galleries the guide awaits the coming of his
prey. If you succumb to his prattle, all is lost, save the hope that he
may soon run out of things to show you. But an excellent entertainment
for a party of, say, four or five is to club together and hire a
guide, let him take you whither he will, and, during the process, keep
him under a rapid fire of questions so foolish and insipid that
it will tax his ingenuity even to answer them incorrectly--as, you
may remember, Mark Twain and his friend overwhelmed their guide in
Genoa. This is the only way to obtain value received with--more often,
without--respect to the guide, for his sense of humor is proverbially
null and void and affords a vulnerable target.

And a wonder it is to me that some of these “old master” centers do not
consider us Americans the most appreciative of art of any people in the
world. They must think that we are picture and cathedral crazy--and I
have no doubt they do, and snicker up their sleeves in lieu of a less
ill-mannered outburst. Granted that in itself it is an education to see
the famous pictures--I admit that there are other things in the world
just as wonderful as old paintings, many of which are of notoriously
poor draughtsmanship but have become famous merely from the fact that
the paint still retains its luster after three hundred and some years.
We pay too little attention to the life of the cities and the traits of
their peoples as they are found to-day.

But I digress. This is not a lecture on the marvels or fallacies of art.

The site of The Hague was originally a hunting-park owned and operated
by the Counts of Holland who used to come over frequently from Haarlem
to hunt their deer. From this fact it derived its Dutch nomenclature,
’S Graven Hage, meaning “the Count’s inclosure.” The allurements of
the place must have been to the detriment of official business in
Haarlem, for they felled most of the trees with which it was overgrown
and transferred thither the seat of government about the middle of the
thirteenth century. Beginning with Maurice of Nassau in 1593, it became
the official residence of the _stadtholder_ of the Republic.

Having been thus honored as the capital of Dutch statesmanship in
the early days, the main historical curiosity in The Hague is the
Binnenhof, a group of ancient buildings where the _stadtholders_ lived
and worked and had their being and tried to dissolve frequent plots
for their own extermination. Here William II, Count of Holland and
afterward elected Emperor of Germany, built a castle in 1250, which,
forty years later, was enlarged and fitted up for a permanent residence
by his son, Floris V. At the east of the Binnenhof stands the old
gabled and turreted Hall of the Knights, erected at the time of Floris
and recently restored and put into use for legislative purposes.

But those days, however glorious from the point of view of national
advancement, were also the days of plot and intrigue, and there is
scarce an historical building in Holland but might tell its tale of
a tragedy. On the 13th of May, 1619, the seventy-two year old prime
minister of the nation at the time, Jan van Oldenbarnevelt, was put
to death on a scaffold erected in the Binnenhof “for having conspired
to dismember the States of the Netherlands, and greatly troubled
God’s church,” according to Maurice of Orange, whose displeasure he
had incurred. The learned Grotius, scholar and statesman and the
then senator from Rotterdam, who was arrested at the same time as
Oldenbarnevelt for alleged conspiracy with him, was sentenced to
prison for life in the castle of Loevenstein, near Gorinchem. Happily,
however, with the help of his wife, he effected means of escape ere he
had been confined a full year.

Hard by the Binnenhof stands the old Gevangenpoort, now containing a
morbidly interesting collection of guillotine blocks that have seen
their grewsome service, neck twisters, back breakers, and other such
unhappy instruments of torture, which recall, all too vividly, perhaps,
the days when they were wont to be put into actual and frequent use
in that same tower. In the tower, too, they will show you some of
the dark, musty old dungeons, used for the former incarceration of
political prisoners. Their names, written in blood by many of the
victims, can still be traced upon the walls. Here also is where, in
1672, Cornelius De Witt, falsely accused of plotting against the life
of William III, and his brother John, who had unwisely hastened to the
tower to intercede in his behalf, were put to their horrible deaths by
the gullible mob of citizens, who, believing in the guilt of Cornelius,
had assembled in the neighborhood to make a demonstration against him.
The remains of the brothers De Witt rest in the Nieuwe Kerk.

The Willem’splein, a large square a hundred yards or less to the east
of the Binnenhof, is the center of gravity of The Hague’s traffic and
street railway service. From here you may take an electric car to
almost any part of the city, and to the suburbs as well. In the center
of the plein stands the bronze statue of William the Silent, done by
Royer and erected in 1848, with the Prince’s motto, “Tranquil Amid
Raging Billows,” inscribed in Latin on the pedestal.

Facing the square on the west side stand the Colonial Offices and
the Ministry of Justice, while just off the northwest corner is the
Mauritshuis--the Louvre, the Corcoran Gallery, the Kaiser Friedrich’s
Museum of The Hague. Built in the early half of the seventeenth century
as a residence for the Dutch West India Company’s Governor of Brazil,
it now shelters what is probably the most notable collection of
paintings gathered under one roof in Holland, the gifts to the nation
of the different _stadtholders_.

The reputed gems of this collection are Rembrandt’s rather morbid of
subject, but admirably executed, “School of Anatomy,” and a large
animal painting by Paul Potter, known as “The Bull,” in which Potter
presents a collection of farm animals. Their owner, standing nearby,
appears to be nearly as large as the bull, which is the central figure,
and the bull, in turn, is just a shade smaller than the tree under
which the owner stands. Taken individually, the animals are painted in
a most marvelous manner, but with regard to composition I should think
the accomplished Potter would rather have been known by his smaller
animal pictures and his landscapes; eight of the best of the latter
now hang in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg. “The Bull” was carried
off to the Louvre by the French at the time of the flight of the Dutch
_stadtholder_ in 1795, where it was awarded fourth place in point of
value. Originally purchased in 1749 for something like $300, Napoleon
restored it to the Dutch nation at a handsome profit for about $25,000.

The Mauritshuis also contains masterpieces by Holbein, Jan Steen,
Rubens, Van Dyke, Terburg, Vermeer, and other famous Dutch artists,
together with a Madonna by Murillo and some interesting royal portraits
by Velasquez.

Backing upon the Mauritshuis is the picturesque Vyver, a broad sheet
of water punctured here and there by the divings of ducks and swans.
Near the center of its south side it reflects the walls and towers of
the ancient Binnenhof, while on its north it is lined with many rows of
trees.

Not far from where the lofty spire of iron openwork of the Groote
Kerk--the scene of the wedding ceremony of Wilhelmina and Duke Henry
of Mecklenburg-Schwerin on February 7, 1901--serves as a conspicuous
landmark for strangers in the city, and facing a continuation of the
busy Hoogstraat, rises the unimposing royal palace, from the front
windows of which the Queen may look out upon an equestrian statue of
the father of her country, William the Silent. It is a palace that
gives the impression of having been built for comfort rather than
ostentation, and when the Queen is not in residence you may obtain
tickets of permission to be taken through by a servant, from a little
tobacco store near by.

None of the rooms of the palace is particularly striking as to
decorations and furniture, save one, and that is about the most
remarkable apartment of any palace on the continent. Floor, walls, and
ceiling, it is one solid mass of the most exquisitely carved teakwood,
given by the colony of Java as a wedding present to the Queen. You
will wonder little that it took upwards of thirty-five men seven years
to complete the job. There are gold and inlaid pieces of wonderful
workmanship in the cabinets that border the walls--presents from the
Javanese to the little Juliana--which add to the whole impression of
unalloyed richness welded together in perfect taste, without so much as
giving the hint of a “gingerbread” effect. In beautiful gardens at the
rear of the palace the Queen walks every morning with Juliana after
_déjeuner_ at eleven.

Farther along to the northwest is the fashionable residence section
of The Hague, with the Willem’s Park as its principal focus. In the
center of this park, in an open space called the “Plein 1813,” rises
a handsome national monument, unveiled in 1869 to commemorate the
restoration of Dutch independence by the expulsion of the French in
1813 and the return of the pristine exile, Prince William Frederic of
Orange, who landed at Scheveningen and ascended the throne of Holland
as king. Not far from here and still to the northwest, is the finest
modern picture gallery in Holland, the Mesdag Museum, presented to the
State by the modern Dutch artist, H. W. Mesdag, and his wife, in 1903.

The shopping district of The Hague comprises the Hoogstraat and
its immediate vicinity, the Spuistraat and the Wegenstraat. The
narrow Spuistraat is always the most congested. Like the Hoogstraat
in Rotterdam and the Kalverstraat in Amsterdam, it is so thickly
patronized from four-thirty, say, until dark that vehicular traffic
through it is self-suspended for the sake of saving time; even the
pitiless Hague bicyclist is compelled to dismount and push his wheel
through it. At this late hour of the day the cafés are given over to
the cordially inclined and the coffee drinkers, who fill their favorite
rendezvous to the bursting point. As in Berlin, the Zoological Garden
at The Hague, with its café-concerts, is also a much frequented spot
for recreation, but, unlike the Berlin garden, the less said about its
zoology the better.

The beautiful old forest called the Bosch, lying just to the east of
The Hague, intersected with disused and, therefore, rather stagnant
canals, is the Versailles of Holland, and the “House in the Wood” is
its Trianon. But the Bosch is much more accessible to The Hague than
Versailles is to Paris, for an electric car will take you there from
the plein in fifteen or twenty minutes.

Erected in 1645 by Prince Frederic Henry of Orange for his consort,
the Princess Amalia of Solms, “The House in the Wood” latterly became
famous as the seat of the international peace conference which the
representatives of twenty-six different world powers held here in 1899.
The conference convened in the so styled “Orange Room,” an octagonal
hall lighted with a cupola, its walls and ceiling embellished with
allegorical scenes from the life of Prince Frederic, done in oils by
Dutch and Flemish artists. It is by far the most important apartment
in the palace. The other rooms contain some wonderful Japanese
embroideries, cabinets of elaborately and minutely carved ivories, rice
paper tapestries, porcelains, and other exquisite objects of Oriental
handcraft. It was here that the American historian, John Lothrop
Motley, wrote a greater part of his “The Rise of the Dutch Republic”
and a portrait of him hangs upon the wall of one of the rooms.

A short distance to the north of the forest will be erected the much
talked of Peace Palace for the International Court of Arbitration,
toward the cost of which Mr. Carnegie has promised to contribute a
million and a half.

But two miles from The Hague lies Scheveningen--Holland’s most
fashionable, most expensive, most diverting seaside resort--the
Atlantic City of the Netherlands. It may be approached by divers means:
by railway train, by electric car, by omnibus, or on foot. The two
principal and most popular routes served by the electric cars from The
Hague are the Old Way and the New. Both are tree shaded and attractive,
but the more tree shaded and attractive is the Old Way. The clinkers
with which the most of it is paved were put down as early as 1666.
Lined on the left with handsome summer residences and on the right with
a pretty park, the Old Way to Scheveningen, with its geometric rows of
stately trees, is undoubtedly the finest avenue in Holland.

Scheveningen, besides being a watering place of many merits and
numerous shortcomings, is a town of no mean importance as a fishing
port. Its fleet numbers two hundred or more _pinken_, or small fishing
boats, and their catch is sold at auction at the fishing harbor upon
arrival, as at Ostend.

The name of the place is a hard one for the English-speaking tourist to
pronounce, but he will not be far wrong if, in his apparent eagerness
to get there, he inquires of the genial head porter at the hotel in The
Hague the number of the car line that will take him to “Shave agin.”
He may slur over a syllable or two in the abbreviation, but the head
porter will make due allowance for at least a brave attempt to master
the word--which is something--and will direct him accordingly.

Instead of the old familiar seaside board walk, Scheveningen has its
stone paved Boulevard, a mile and a quarter long and eighty feet wide.
This is the promenade of the international hodgepodge of holiday
makers, augmented on a Sunday and in the evenings by giggling girls
and sober countenanced fishermen from the village. Invariably dressed
in their best Sunday-go-to-meetings, the most conspicuous feature of
the feminine attire is a wide shawl, often suggesting the Persian in
design, worn tight about the shoulders and reaching down to the waist
in the back. Of course the skirts are padded voluminously about the
hips, and the girls display at the temples many varieties of gilded
antennæ to hold their white caps securely.

About midway of the Boulevard and back of it, stands the ever present
Kurhaus, although what they profess to cure in that house may simply
be a reluctance on the part of the holder to diminish his letter of
credit. It is three hundred feet or more in length, this Kurhaus, and
its commodious hall, in which are held some very excellent symphony
orchestra concerts, can seat as many as 3,000 people. On the side
of the Kurhaus overlooking the sea there is a large stone terrace
where the band plays in the afternoons, and, underneath this, a very
expensive café.

Just opposite the Kurhaus is the pier--a real old-fashioned ocean
going steel pier, terminating in a concert pavilion and built right
out into the water for almost a quarter of a mile, having a plate
glass partition down the middle, so that there is a lee and a weather
side to it. At intervals along its sides are fish nets, which may be
raised from or lowered into the water by means of a crank and spindle
attached to the pier railing. These are rented to the public on the
time basis, and there is ever a group of persistent people vibrating
between one net and another in the hope that its operator may bring
to the rail a real denizen of the watery depths. I contracted the
fever one day myself and fell in with this flitting crowd for an hour,
more or less, only to be unrewarded in the end, but I am told that if
anything piscatorially larger than an adult white-bait inadvertently
becomes enmeshed in any of the nets and is brought to the surface the
successful fisher receives round after round of enthusiastic applause.

And Scheveningen is in no sense of the word a philanthropic
institution. Everything in the place has its price mark tagged securely
on. You have to pay to walk on the pier, concert or no concert; you
have to pay to listen to the band from the Kurhaus terrace; you have
to pay to sit in one of the yellow mushroom chairs that make the beach
resemble a fungus growth; you have to pay even to take a bath in the
ocean, and are then restricted to the hours of from seven in the
morning until sunset. On Sundays they close up the ocean for bathing
purposes at 2 P.M.

[Illustration: The Kurhaus at Scheveningen, Holland’s most expensive,
most fashionable and most diverting seaside resort]

But sea bathing is a different proposition in Europe from what it is
in America. At Scheveningen it is a matter of the most serious import,
and the necessities for its success--I almost said “enjoyment”--are
many. To go about it in the proper manner, you first approach the
ticket window on the Boulevard in front of the Kurhaus and apply to
the cashier for a permit, varying in price according to the class
of bath selected. Providing you have brought your own bathing suit,
this will be the only payment necessary, for the permit graciously
entitles you to the use of two towels, obviously for drying purposes.
In case you have come unprepared with regard to bathing apparel,
you will have to pay for a suit, although, judging from those I
have seen personally, the wearer should be the one to be rewarded.
To avail yourself of the use of a “bath-sheet”--whatever that may
be--necessitates additional expenditure, and there are various other
alleged indispensable articles that the cashier may try to inflict upon
the unwary at face value.

The next step is to repair to the beach and await the calling out
of the number shown on your ticket, whereupon you are assigned to a
striped kind of house on wheels, of the same kith and kin as an English
“caravan” wagon. In this you must wait until the attendant sees fit
to hitch his horse to it and haul you, wagon and all, into the surf.
During the voyage you will have finished changing your costume and the
minute your wagon is backed into the water you are ready to commence
your amphibious performance. A high sign to the attendant will be the
signal that you have survived the operation of bathing, and, presto!
his horse will haul you out upon dry land again.

Doubtless on account of the expenses incurred in taking the proper
precautions for bathing there are more waders at Scheveningen,
especially among the thrifty Dutch, than there are bathers. Human
snipe, ducks, and storks, according to their respective builds, with
trousers rolled to their knees or petticoats pinned up to a similar
altitude, daily patrol the edge of the ocean for a mile or more.

Surf riding is another favorite method of spending a half hour’s time
at Scheveningen, the game being to suffer oneself to be bobbed up and
down at the mercy of the breakers in a tethered fishing boat, only to
be ultimately carried ashore again on the backs of the crew.

An obelisk at the southern end of the Boulevard commemorates the
landing of Prince William Frederic of Orange, but the victorious naval
achievement of Admiral de Ruyter in defeating the combined French
and English fleets off the coast of Scheveningen in 1673, remains
unhonored.



VII

LEYDEN AND HAARLEM


If you happen to have penetrated Holland as far as The Hague without
having availed yourself of the steam tram method of conveyance between
one town and another the trip by this means from The Hague to Leyden
might be suggested as an excellent one with which to commence to
develop the habit.

The tram that operates on regular schedule between the Schenkweg in
The Hague and the Groote Ryndyk in Leyden pierces a delightful country
checkered by a labyrinth of canals, long and short, wide and narrow.
Even every patch of humble cabbages appears to be surrounded with
one, along which the truck gardeners pole their boats that bear the
vegetables direct from soil to market. Tree crested dikes, straight
as the shortest distance between two points, stretch away into the
perspective in every direction. Villas and cozy country cottages come
quickly into view and fade away again behind their groves of trees,
giving the traveler just a flitting suggestion of the comfort their
owners must find in them. In passing through the neat little brick-paved
villages of Voorburg and Voorschoten the tram engine careens
around through the streets as if it had developed a first-class state
of intoxication. It aims directly for a kitchen door here and the walls
of a church there, only to miss them by a few feet while making a
dexterous turn to the other side of the road, twisting its diminutive
train of two or three cars in its wake. Then out beside the dikes again
it puffs and sputters on its seemingly remonstrative way to Leyden.

Leyden is a quiet, curious old town, rich in history and effervescent
with learning. With due respect to art, it was the birthplace of a
dozen or more of the most illustrious Dutch painters of the sixteenth
and seventeenth centuries, including Jan Steen, Gerard Dou, and last,
but by no means least, the celebrated Rembrandt; but, strange to
tell, it cannot boast of a single masterpiece of any of them. At its
university, then renowned throughout the world, the future savants
of the age came to pore over their books. Hugo Grotius was one of
its earlier sons, and later, in 1755, at the age of twenty-seven,
Oliver Goldsmith aspired in vain to the degree of Doctor of Medicine,
afterwards conferred at Louwain, giving Leyden the first opportunity of
being its donor. The town’s many museums--of ethnography, of natural
history, of comparative anatomy, of physiology, of archeology--bespeak
its hobby: the insatiable thirst for knowledge. Even many of the signs
one reads in the town are in Latin.

[Illustration: An excellent way to go from The Hague to Leyden is by
steam tram, the curious engine of which is shown here]

Four hundred years ago Leyden could brag about its 100,000 population
without treading on the toes of any city in Holland. To-day it
contains little more than half as many souls as it did then. Since
its “revision downward” from its pinnacle at the top of the Dutch
textile industry, it has seemed a sacrilege to conduct business in the
place. Its university sustained for a time the reputation that its
weaving enterprises relinquished, but now we go to Vienna, instead of
to Leyden, to glean the fine points in the science of medicine. Using
Discovery for a fulcrum, Time undermines methods with the infallibility
of the sun’s attraction, and brands them as obsolete forever.

The historical bench mark of Leyden is the siege it survived at the
point of the Spanish bayonet in the sixteenth century. Lasting, in the
aggregate, from October 31, 1573, until October 3, 1574, this siege may
be considered as one of the longest and most persistent in the annals
of history, and its ultimate relief was as characteristic, picturesque,
and ingenious as if it had been the plot of a tale by Dumas.

At the expense of the lives of 4,000 patriots, himself included, Count
Louis of Nassau effected a partial relief of Leyden five months after
the siege commenced; but, encouraged by the butchery of this Dutch
commander and his comparative handful of soldiers, the Spaniards
continued to hold on so tenaciously that William the Silent concocted
the daring scheme to flood the intervening country with water from the
sea so that his fleet might sail in to the rescue.

Having already reduced Leyden to the point of starvation, Valdez, the
Spanish general, in glowing phrases offered pardon to the citizens if
they would but open the gates of the beleaguered city and surrender.
But the people would have none of it, placing renewed confidences in
their leader, William of Orange, and consoling themselves as best they
could with the firm belief that he was listening to their prayers and
would ultimately devise some means of raising the blockade.

As time dragged wearily on, the sorties of the Dutch became less
frequent and, finally, it was announced by the din of clanging church
bells that the gates should henceforth be kept closed and no man should
venture outside the city.

Even at this time, William, unbeknown to the people of Leyden, was
appealing to the States to allow him to open the flood gates of
Rotterdam and Schiedam and to pierce the dikes along the Meuse and the
Yssel in order to inundate the country and give his fleet a fairway
to the very watchtowers of Leyden. After much debate, his proposition
for effecting the relief, although a most destructive one to the
surrounding country, was accepted; bonds were issued by the States to
help defray the expenses of the task, and patriotic Dutch housewives
disposed of silver plate and jewelry as their contributions to the
financial furtherance of the scheme.

It was not until some days after the Prince had supervised in person
the unlocking of the gates at Schiedam and Rotterdam on August 3rd and
the rupture of the dikes at sixteen different places along the Yssel,
that the starving prisoners of Leyden commenced to grow impatient and
appealed by letter to Orange, telling him that their bread was gone
and that the supply of its only substitute, malt cakes, would last but
four days longer. To their letters the Prince, having unfortunately and
most untimely contracted the fever, answered reassuringly from his sick
bed in Rotterdam to the effect that the dikes had been cut, that water
was already pouring in over the land, and that as soon as its depth
was sufficient to float the fleet an attempt at rescue would be made.
The message was read by the Burgomaster, Van der Werf, to the people
assembled in the market place, and the welcome news was received with
great rejoicings.

Although the water about Leyden had by this time reached a depth of ten
inches, the Spaniards, at first confused, later became confident that
the thing could not be accomplished. When, from the lack of a breeze,
the water failed to rise higher; and because of the inability of the
prostrate Prince, which neither the besiegers nor besieged had heard of
nor even imagined, curtailed additional attempts to flood the country;
the Spaniards began to taunt the valiant citizens. “Go up to the tower,
ye Beggars,” they cried, “go up to the tower and tell us if ye can see
the ocean coming over the dry land to your relief.”

But the citizens did go up to the tower, and, after bravely having
withstood the siege until early in September, by which time a gale
of wind had risen and the Prince had recovered in a measure from his
illness, they did see the ocean coming over the dry land to their
relief, and with a vengeance. Not only that, but they also saw a
welcome fleet of two hundred vessels coming in on the crest of the
ocean; they saw this fleet come up from the south, steadily and
undisputed, to within five miles of Leyden; they saw it demolish the
Spanish forts--a navy of surgeons cauterizing the festering sores on
the face of fair Holland. Then, to their consternation, they saw the
gale die out and the waters recede, leaving the entire fleet stranded
at North Aa, just beyond cannon’s shot of its goal.

Despair took the place of hope in the hearts of the besieged. They
implored, and then threatened the life of Burgomaster Van der Werf if
he refused to surrender to the Spaniards. He came out into the little
square just opposite the old church of St. Pancras, waved his felt hat
as a signal for silence, and delivered himself of a short but pithy
address that turned despair into faith, animosity into pride, and fired
the hearts of his countrymen with renewed patriotism. What he said
on that occasion has gone down in history as one of the most superb
proclamations ever uttered by a brave man for a national cause.

“What would ye, my friends?” he said. “Why do ye murmur that we do
not break our vows and surrender the city to the Spaniards?--a fate
more horrible than the agony which she now endures. I tell you that I
have made an oath to hold the city, and may God give me strength to
keep my oath! I can die but once; whether by your hands, the enemy’s,
or by the hand of God. My own fate is indifferent to me. Not so that
of the city intrusted to my care. I know that we shall starve if not
soon relieved; but starvation is preferable to the dishonored fate
which is the only alternative. Your menaces move me not. My life is
at your disposal. Here is my sword; plunge it into my breast and
divide my flesh among you. Take my body to appease your hunger, but
expect no surrender so long as I remain alive.”

How the populace of Leyden, after listening to this, rushed to the
ramparts with renewed courage engendered within them and hurled
defiance in the teeth of the bloodthirsty Spaniards; how as many as
8,000 died in the streets from the plague alone, germinated by the
foulness of the beleaguered city; how the frantic people stripped even
the leaves from the trees to relieve their hunger and fought over the
garbage pits for every possible morsel of food; how at last a violent
equinoctial gale on the first two days of October filled the lowland
with water and floated the stranded fleet; how this fleet sailed in
between the trees and the chimney pots of submerged farmhouses, putting
the Spaniards to flight as it advanced; and how, on the morning of the
3rd of October, the Dutch ships, under Admiral Boisot, paddled up the
canals of Leyden while the stricken citizens gathered on the banks and
tried to shout with wild delight, but could not on account of their
emaciated condition--are all matters of historical fact that may be
perused in detail in the pages of any authoritative work on the rise of
the Dutch Republic.

It is also an historical fact that on the very next day after the
relief of Leyden the gale shifted and blew with all its fury from the
northeast, driving out the waters before it, so that within a few days
the country was as it had been before and the labor of repairing the
dikes commenced forthwith.

As a reward for the sufferings of the people of Leyden the city was
granted an annual fair of ten days with exemption from taxes and the
States caused the university to be established.

The University of Leyden doesn’t look much like our idea of a
university, for the professors, except those in the department of
medicine, teach their classes at home, the nine hundred students live
in the town, and, as a result, dormitories and classrooms are things
that may be dispensed with. The old “university building,” however,
originally a nunnery, maintains in its connection one of the finest
libraries in Holland.

Not far from where the lofty perpendicular Gothic windows of the
church of St. Pancras overlook the square in which the Burgomaster
extemporized with such eloquence at the time of the siege, a shipload
of gunpowder exploded in 1807. After removing the débris of the
buildings which it razed, the Leydeners planted the site as a public
park and erected a statue of the valiant Van der Werf in the center
of it. Backed by two or three handsome new buildings belonging to the
university and facing a wide, clear canal, this Van der Werf Park
vies with the Botanical Gardens behind the old university building,
as peaceful a spot in which to spend a moonlit evening pondering over
the history of the old place as may be found in Leyden; while from
the Morsch Gate, a well preserved remnant of earlier fortifications,
many temptingly shaded walks twist and twine through the immediate
neighborhood.

In Leyden, and not in Amsterdam or Rotterdam, as one might suppose,
I came across a beggar for the first time in Holland, although
technically, he came across me. The atmosphere of book learning was
probably what launched him on his career, for he certainly seemed
able-bodied enough to make a more honest living by the sweat of
his brow; but the people of Leyden are not given much to fluent
perspiration. And it might be here mentioned that one of the reliefs
of travel in Holland, compared with Italy, for example, is its dearth
of mendicants and beggars. Cripples and the poverty stricken are to
be found in Holland as in any other country, but, as a rule, they do
not submit their complaints to the sympathies of the tourist. Wherever
possible, one of Holland’s world famed charitable institutions gets
hold of them and sends them from the congested city to the pauper
colony in the country. Three such colonies, founded in 1817, are
situated near the railway line from Meppel to Leeuwarden, while in
the one city of Amsterdam there are more than a hundred benevolent
institutions. The Society for the Public Welfare, or, in Dutch,
_Maatschappij tot Nut van’t Algemeen_, with headquarters in Amsterdam,
was founded in 1784 and has made its influence felt throughout the
entire kingdom.

Katwyk and Noordwyk, three miles apart, the particular seashore
resorts that cater especially to the people of Leyden and Haarlem,
are both connected by steam tram with Leyden. Both are insignificant
and expensive, and neither is so attractive as Domburg nor so gay as
Scheveningen. Their wide beaches of fine sand would seem to us their
only assets.

But if you would have further evidence of the Dutch mastery of the
element of water, take the tram to Katwyk aan Zee and walk up the
beach a half mile or more to where they have harnessed the mouth of the
old Rhine and curbed its outlet to suit their convenience.

A hurricane having thrown up the sand before the mouth of the river
in the year 839, thus causing its flow into the ocean to be blocked,
its backed-up waters created a swamp which all but covered the entire
territory known as Rynland, and which, in the subsequent diversion of
the river’s course, was largely responsible for the formation of the
vast delta in the south. In 1807 the Dutch conceived the project of
draining this swamp and making _polders_ of it by pumping its water
into especially constructed canals. Later they relieved the congestion
of sand at the old Rhine’s mouth and built a series of flood gates
across it. By closing these gates at high tide they were enabled to
exclude the inrush of water from the ocean, and by opening them again
at low tide, they permitted the accumulated waters of the river to flow
out into the ocean at the rate of 50,000 cubic feet per minute. Thus
was the Haarlemerpolder, seventy-two square miles in extent, reclaimed
from what used to be the Haarlemermeer.

The tram line from Leyden to Katwyk passes first through the village of
Endegeest, the home and workshop of Descartes for a number of years,
and then through Rynsburg, the former residence of that grandfather
of modern philosophy, Spinoza, born of Jewish parents in Amsterdam
in 1632. The little places are so shady, so peaceful, so still, that
anyone having been brought up within their solitudes might very
naturally develop the pastime of philosophizing without half trying.

The latter part of April or the first part of May is the proper time
of year to visit Haarlem and its vicinity. Then the tulips, crocuses,
lilies, and hyacinths are in the halcyon days of their bloom, swaying
languidly to and fro in the gentle breeze and diffusing a delicious
perfume that is wafted over the country for miles. Fields and fields of
them there are--a sweetly scented “crazy quilt” of superlative sheen
and luster; for Haarlem, the greatest flower garden in the world,
exports bulbs of all varieties to every civilized country.

Whether the Dutch or the Portuguese became the first European tulip
fanciers is a moot question. The flower originally came from the East,
its name being derived from the Persian _toliban_, or turban. Suffice
it to say that by 1636 bulb culture in general and tulip culture in
particular had developed into a veritable mania in and about Haarlem.
Bulbs became then as much an item of speculation as shares of mining
stock are at the present day--and just as uncertain. Fortunes were made
and lost in the open market. Generally speaking, everybody in Haarlem,
whether or not he professed to be anything of a floriculturist,
dickered through the brokers in bulbs. One speculator in Amsterdam
netted almost $35,000 in four months. Prices went up steadily until,
at the height of the boom, the bulb of a “Viceroy” brought $2,000, an
“Admiral Liefkens” slightly more, and a “Semper Augustus” was sold for
$6,000.

Then came the panic. The bottom dropped out of the bucket of bulbs.
The government forbade the gambling, and between suns the price of
an offshoot of the “Semper Augustus” dropped to fifty florins, or
approximately twenty-two dollars.

After a century of quiet, somebody started a short-lived palpitation in
hyacinths, but the highest price paid for a single hyacinth bulb was
not more than $800.

To-day the Dutch make more of a serious business of bulb raising, and
the rather inconspicuous offshoot has become a recognized article of
trade and commerce. Almost all of the 2,000 Dutch varieties of tulips
have been developed by patient and thoughtful culture from the _Tulipa
Gesneriana_, which Conrad Gesner purchased in Constantinople and
brought to Augsburg in Germany in 1559.

In Holland the tulip is propagated both from the seed and from the
offshoots of the bulb. The offshoots may be expected to reproduce their
true variety as to colorings and markings, growing to a flowering size
in three or four years. Seedlings, on the other hand, are less vain and
more reticent. No matter what the complexions of their parents might
have been, the first flowers of a seedling, appearing after it has had
four or five years’ growth, are of a single color. A tulip in such a
state is called a “breeder,” and remains so until, after several years,
its flower suddenly “breaks” into the gorgeous colors of the “flamed”
or the “feathered” tulip. It is then classified according to color and
variety and placed upon the market. To hasten this period of “breaking”
in the career of the tulip--for no man can compute with any degree of
certainty the year in which it will take place--the growers resort to
various means, even sending the bulbs away sometimes for a change of
climate. “Breeders” that have taken on the desired markings and colors
are said to have become “rectified.” But the problem of chance that
the seedling tulips will “break” into a new variety is one that the
Dutch have been pondering over for centuries, and, as has already been
said, they have been rewarded to the extent of 2,000 varieties. Much
care is devoted to the preparation of the soil and, after fertilizing
thoroughly, the grower will first plant it with potatoes for a couple
of years in order to diminish its strength and adapt it better to
the cultivation of tulips. The bulbs are taken up each summer, their
offshoots detached, and then replaced in fresh soil.

[Illustration: Inside the Groote Kerk in Haarlem, showing its organ,
which was long considered one of the greatest in the world]

The year before the siege of Leyden, Haarlem suffered a siege under
Frederic of Toledo, the son of the Spaniard, Alva; but Haarlem was not
so fortunate as her sister city. After bravely maintaining the place
against the enemy for a period of seven weary months, with odds of
seven to one against them, the Prince of Orange, with heavy heart, sent
a message asking the commandant to make the best terms he would with
the Spaniards and surrender, the many attempts of the Prince to rescue
the city having proved futile.

The massacre that followed the surrender was too shocking to bear the
telling of in detail. The garrison and its commandant, the Protestant
clergy, and 2,000 or more burghers were cruelly butchered by the
Spaniards. Alva himself, however, was forced to admit to Philip that
“never was a place defended with such skill and bravery as Haarlem”;
not only the men of the town, little accustomed to arms, but the
women also had taken an active part in Haarlem’s defense, and Kenau
Hasselaer, “a widow of distinguished family and unblemished reputation,
about forty-seven years of age, who, at the head of her amazons” (some
three hundred or more) “participated in many of the most fiercely
contested actions of the siege, both within and without the walls.”

As the birthplace of a number of Holland’s celebrated painters,
including Franz Hals and Jacob van Ruysdael, Haarlem holds as her
most cherished possession a handsome percentage of the works of the
former, numbering among which are his ten famous corporation and regent
canvases, arranged in chronological order in the museum of the old
Town Hall. To know these will mean that you know the jovial Franz.

Across the market place from the Town Hall rises the Groote Kerk,
and, just beside it, the old meat market, erected in 1602, and said,
by those who know, to be the quaintest brick and stone Renaissance
building in the Netherlands. The Groote Kerk is of a graceful cruciform
shape and around the edges of its buttresses, like chicks peeping
from under the protecting wings of the mother hen, are built a number
of curious little one-story houses whose interiors suggest the last
word in coziness and cleanliness, and where the much maligned Dutch
decorative taste may be seen at its best. The church contains what
was long considered the largest and loudest pipe organ in the world,
possessing three keyboards, sixty stops, and 5,000 pipes of varying
lengths and diameters up to thirty-two feet in the case of the former
and fifteen inches with respect to the latter. A cannon ball, imbedded
in the wall of the south aisle of the church, was allowed to remain
undisturbed during the restoration as a reminiscence of the siege of
1572.

At the side of the church, in the market place, stands a bronze statue
of a Dutchman of the name of Coster, erected in 1856 upon rather
fictitious evidence of his having been the inventor of printing.
Nothing in the way of printed matter having been proven to have been
done by Coster prior to or even shortly after 1447, when Gutenburg of
Mayence developed the art, the palm for this distinction was finally,
but reluctantly, relegated to the latter.

Instead of Spanish encampments, Haarlem is now surrounded with a
beautiful forest, a prominent collection of attractive residences,
municipal playgrounds for the children, and lives in an atmosphere of
peace and comfort. The old Amsterdam Gate at the east end of the city
serves as the only reminder that the place at one time possessed strong
fortifications.



VIII

THE CITY OF NINETY ISLANDS


From all practical points of view, if, indeed, it is stretching
the metaphor a bit with regard to smells and scenes (to preserve
the alliteration), Amsterdam may be considered the Venice of the
Netherlands. Like Venice it seems to have as many canals as there are
blood vessels in the human body; like Venice it is the home of the damp
cellar, for the city is built upon piles.

In the erection of a new building in Amsterdam the first thing they
do is to pump out the site, and, after they have it fairly dry, keep
on pumping to prevent it from filling up again; when the structure is
completed they celebrate the event by the installation of a permanent
pump in the basement which they must needs start running at stated
intervals to diminish the volume of water that has seeped in through
the cracks. The driver of piles takes the place of our stone mason, for
of piles is the city’s foundation. A foot at a whack, these piles are
sunk into the sand. They are then morticed with mud, girders are strung
between them, and behold! the house on stilts commences to assume its
architectural design. By and by the mud loses its adhesive properties
to a certain degree, and the building commences to lean dangerously
forward or backward, although without the dire results that one might
imagine.

Amsterdam is the largest and most commercially important city in
Holland. Founded in 1204 by Gysbrecht II, who built a castle here,
and choked the flow of the river Amstel by throwing a dam across
it--from which more or less momentous event the town derived its
appellation,--Florins V, of Binnenhof fame, favored the place to the
extent of granting its exemption from the taxes imposed by Zeeland and
Holland. In 1311 it was formally absorbed by the latter province. From
that time on Amsterdam gathered greater importance as a commercial
center, until, in the early years of the seventeenth century, after
the Dutch had finally succeeded in beating off the Spaniards, the
establishment of the Dutch East India Company added its might to raise
Amsterdam to the rank of the foremost mercantile community in the
world. Later she commenced to gravitate slowly down the incline of
trade and her cogs refused to take hold again until the latter half
of the nineteenth century, although at the time of the dividing of
the Dutch Republic, when King Louis Bonaparte took up his residence
in Amsterdam in 1808, she was considered the third greatest city in
the French Empire. To-day she has advanced well past the half million
population mark. Although as regards her foreign trade she does not
profess to compete with Rotterdam, as a money market and clearing house
for colonial products she is preëminent in the Netherlands.

The Dam--a large square that owes its name to the fact of its being the
eastern boundary of Lord Amstel’s embankment across the river--is the
axis around which Amsterdam revolves. It is literally the hub of the
Dutch universe. Every electric car in the place starts from the Dam,
and in due course of time will wind its way back again. The principal
edifices adjacent to it are the Royal Palace, the Nieuwe Kerk, or New
Church, and the imposing post and telegraph offices.

Completed in the year 1655 at a total cost of more than $3,000,000,
this Royal Palace was originally the Town Hall, but when Louis
Bonaparte came upon the scene the Dutch made him a present of it for
his use as a royal residence. At a later date King William I of Holland
handed it back to the city, whose property it still remains, instead of
that of the Crown; so that when Wilhelmina makes her annual ten days’
visit to Amsterdam she comes more as a private citizen and is the guest
of the city for the period of her stay. With its 264 feet of length
and its 207 of width it seems rather a strain upon the imagination
to picture the Royal Palace as standing upon stilts; but such is
actually the case, for its foundations consist of 13,659 piles (to be
absolutely accurate) driven from forty to sixty feet into the sand.

The difference in ages between the Nieuwe Kerk, just around the corner
from the palace, and the Oude Kerk, or Old Church of Amsterdam, is that
the Oude Kerk was erected in 1300, whereas they didn’t commence work
upon the Nieuwe Kerk until a hundred and eight years later. Both were
doing their religious duties before America was discovered. Successive
conflagrations destroyed different parts of the Nieuwe Kerk and the
first service in the building as it stands to-day was not celebrated
until 1648. The church contains the tombs of three of Holland’s famous
fighting admirals, that of Admiral de Ruyter included, in addition to
the hermes bust of another, and the mausoleum of a Dutch lieutenant
of marines, van Speyk by name, who, during the revolution of Holland,
“maintained on the 5th of February, 1831, before Antwerp, the honor of
his native flag at the cost of his life” by blowing up his gunboat in
the harbor of Antwerp to prevent it from falling into the possession
of the enemy. Since 1814 four kings of Holland have taken the oath of
the constitution in the Nieuwe Kerk and here, on September 6, 1898,
Wilhelmina was formally inaugurated Queen of the Netherlands--an event
recently commemorated by the installation of a handsome stained glass
window in the church. Well might the Nieuwe Kerk be said to be the
Westminster Abbey of Amsterdam.

Connecting the Dam with the central railway station is the wide Damrak,
part of which was at one time a canal. In the opposite direction
wiggles the narrow Kalverstraat, Amsterdam’s principal shopping street,
thronged in the late afternoon and evening with that part of the
population of the city that isn’t sipping coffee in the windows of its
cafés.

[Illustration: The Royal Palace, Amsterdam, facing upon the Dam which
is the axis about which the whole city revolves]

Once I had the misfortune to be stopping in Amsterdam upon the
occasion of the Queen’s birthday, the 31st of August. This not being
sufficient unpremeditated self-punishment, I was provincial enough to
have chosen as headquarters what appeared from across the street to
be a clean, quiet little hotel in the Kalverstraat. The two blended
most harmoniously. Between the unmelodious patriots who paraded the
Kalverstraat from sunset to sunrise, and the battles royal participated
in with the ambidextrous entomological specimens among the bedclothes,
I did anything but enjoy a refreshing night’s rest. To which tale
there are two morals: avoid Amsterdam on the Queen’s birthday, and
little Juliana’s as well, and eschew the hotels in the Kalverstraat
(one especially, which shall be nameless) as you would the nest of the
subtle hornet.

At the southeastern terminus of the Kalverstraat stands the old Mint
Tower of 1620, and still farther to the east is the Rembrandtplein,
a small, park-centered intersection of streets named in honor of
Holland’s painter _par excellence_, who lived for sixteen years at
No. 4 Joden-Breestraat in Amsterdam’s Jewish quarter, the house having
been since marked with a small memorial tablet.

Here bordering the Rembrandtplein are the larger sidewalk cafés, jammed
of a summer’s evening with pleasure-seeking Amsterdamers, each with a
cup or a glass of something in front of him. Like those found in the
ordinary German cafés these crowds seldom change. Here you may find
the same people at eleven that you have seen at seven, and in exactly
the same positions. A cup of coffee followed by a cordial is the usual
evening’s refreshment programme, the consuming time of which the
Amsterdamer will expand into a couple of hours by the assiduous perusal
of every newspaper and periodical he can inveigle the waiter to bring
him, interrupted only by an occasional sip of his beverage. Even the
persistent street singers, who come one at a time to prolong the agony
and stand but a few feet away from his table, yelling triumphantly
into his ear, fail to disturb him in the least. If, unthinkingly, he
finishes his refreshment before he considers the time has arrived to go
home to bed, he will calmly smoke out the remainder of the engagement.
The expenditure of half a _gulden_ or less will buy his contentment
until the following evening.

Many of the indoor cafés charge a small admission fee for the privilege
of listening to a “lady orchestra.” In each of these that part which
is adjacent to the street will be partitioned off by a dark curtain,
so that the patrons of the place may choose, if there be any choice,
between the crowds on the street and the vaudeville turns that may be
scheduled to follow the sufferings of the musicians.

On the Rembrandtplein stands also the Rembrandt theater, Amsterdam’s
principal playhouse, which, by way of information, is closed in summer.
But, by way of further information, there are in the city a number of
vaudeville theaters that cater to the less exacting in the matter of
histrionic art and are open throughout the year, offering more or less
respectable performances.

To one of these near the Rembrandtplein I wended my way upon a certain
evening, desirous of being amused, no matter what the consequences.
I obtained my money’s worth, and more. It cost me one and a half
_gulden_ to get in, and it might have cost me an ear, or other
projecting appendage, to get out if I had not slipped through a side
exit as inconspicuously as I could during the height of the mêlée and
commenced forthwith to accelerate my gait toward the hotel. I think the
disturbance was inaugurated by an American protégé of His Pugilistic
Highness, John Johnson, but I did not consider it exactly safe at the
time to tarry longer in order to ascertain definitely.

It so happened that this particular vaudeville house was in the
habit of concluding its performance each evening with a series of
international wrestling matches, offering a considerable monetary
reward to the winner of the finals. The first bout of the evening of
my visit was between an Englishman and a Dutchman, which terminated
satisfactorily for the latter and with no casualties. The crowd went
rampant; whereupon I became imbued with the spirit of the thing,
ordered another cup of coffee--which, by the way, was served gratis by
the management--and settled myself more comfortably to enjoy the next
tilt between a Frenchman and a Swede. The gougings and hair-pullings
resorted to by the Latin were not received with complacency on the part
of the audience, and when he lost the match, he made his exit with
ruffled temper, together with his full share of hisses and catcalls.
Then the promoters of the scheme made a managerial mistake. They pitted
a bloated Belgian wrestler against the champion of Amsterdam. A brief
reference to the pages of any volume reciting the incidents of 1830–31
will convey the correct impression that the Belgians and the Dutch are
not the intimate playmates they used to be--a fact which in itself
precluded the possibility of any amicable settlement of the forthcoming
athletic imbroglio.

The Belgian proved to be a past master in the science of hair-pulling
and eye-gouging. When the even tempered Dutchman finally turned him
on his back he felt called upon to challenge the referee, the score
keeper, the orchestra, the audience, or any other single individual or
group of them that happened to be within reach. The crowd hooted the
villain and applauded the hero.

Just at this inopportune moment a dark, ominous cloud, of African
parentage, wrapped in a true Alabama grin and peg-top trousers, blew in
from the wings and commenced to congratulate the victor hilariously.
In order that the peace respecting reputation of the house might be
preserved, a brigade of stage hands and ushers rushed in double phalanx
upon the scene, and, with rather generous turn of mind, attempted to
distract the negro’s attention and keep him from maiming the Belgian.
Ultimately they tried to put the negro out--an inconsiderate procedure,
to say the least. I once saw the same thing attempted during fair week
in Albuquerque, to the demolition of several plate glass windows and
the necessary services of half a dozen local surgeons.

The last I remember they were enticing the negro toward the front door
in a none too gentle manner, while the more enthusiastic half of the
audience was making for the stage, and the other half, among whom was
the writer, for the exits. On my way to the hotel there passed two
police vans loaded to the gunwales with a blur of arms and legs.

[Illustration: Diamond workers in Amsterdam. In a single year over
$13,000,000 worth of the gems were exported from this district to the
United States]

The Rijks or Royal Museum stands in a prominent location to the south
of the Old Town, surrounded by the more fashionable residence section
and the Vondel Park. From street floor to gables it is filled with
objects of historical and technical interest. It would take just as
long to “do” it thoroughly as it would the British Museum in London or
the Metropolitan in New York. But the tourist in Holland, usually of
limited time allowance, contents himself with a hurried inspection of
the different collections in the Rijks Museum and a view of the _pièce
de resistance_ of its picture gallery, namely, the world renowned
painting by Rembrandt erroneously styled “The Night Watch.” Many having
been led to believe, on account of the very marvelous chiaroscuro of
the picture, that Rembrandt intended it to represent a street scene at
night, its present title has been given universal usage; but in reality
the scene depicted takes place in daylight. It is the largest and most
justly celebrated work by Rembrandt, being fourteen and a quarter feet
long, and eleven and three quarters feet wide. It was painted in 1642,
and represents a small company of arquebusiers under Captain Franz Cocq
emerging from their shooting gallery, or _doele_--a name so commonly
given to Dutch hotels that you will find a “Hotel de Doelen” in almost
every town in Holland. The supposed night shadows in the picture are
in truth cast by the lofty vaulting of the gallery. The portraits of
the sixteen members of the guild were done from life, and each member
represented in the picture paid the artist one hundred _gulden_, which
remunerated him to the extent of something less than $800 for his
labors. To-day the painting could not be purchased at any price.

Not the least interesting--nor most fragrant--section of Amsterdam
is its Jewish Quarter, situated in the eastern part of the Old Town.
The quarter is a typical city in itself, for of Amsterdam’s total
population more than 60,000 are Jews. It possesses ten synagogues,
the largest of which, erected as early as 1670 by the Portuguese
Jews and said to resemble as far as possible the ancient Temple
of Solomon, stands in the Muiderstraat. Freedom of religion was
accorded these persecuted peoples early in the history of Amsterdam,
and to Amsterdam as an asylum they flocked, first from Spain in the
fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, a little later from Portugal, then
from the Spanish Netherlands, from Germany, and from Poland. In the
administration and the commercial enterprises of the city their wealth
wielded much influence.

Amsterdam is indebted to those Portuguese Jews who emigrated from
Antwerp in 1576 for the introduction of its most widely known industry,
that of diamond polishing--an art utterly unknown in Europe prior to
the fifteenth century. To-day there are more than seventy diamond
polishing establishments in and about the city, employing some 10,000
men, and they are building a new diamond exchange to cost in the
neighborhood of $240,000. The cut diamonds exported to the United
States from the Amsterdam district alone in 1909--the latest figures
at my elbow--were valued at $13,319,417, in addition to more than a
million dollars’ worth in the rough.

The rules of the London syndicate from which every Amsterdam diamond
polisher must purchase his uncut stones are equally strict with the
regulation of the diamond workers’ organization.

In the former case, a diamond polisher must procure an introduction to
the London merchant through the de Beers syndicate in order to obtain a
“sight.” If a polisher is buying diamonds of one class, say Kimberly,
he may not under any circumstances obtain a “sight” of diamonds of any
other class, say Jagerfontein. He may examine the parcel of diamonds
offered to him for a “sight” for fifteen minutes, no longer. If they do
not suit him his trip to London has been of no avail. He must take what
is offered or nothing, and at the price quoted. Until five years ago a
polisher was punished by not being able to obtain a “sight” for a year
if he refused to accept a parcel offered for purchase, and he would
often pay a premium of $4,000 for another man’s packet without seeing a
stone.

With regard to the worker, no one in Amsterdam may learn the trade of
diamond polishing without the consent of the organization and unless he
be the son of a diamond worker or jeweler. He must be under eighteen
years of age, he must pass a rigid examination, and if he desires to
become a cleaver--the highest salaried artisan in the diamond industry,
whose wages often amount to $120 a week--he must pay sometimes as much
as $2,000. There are special schools in Amsterdam for turners and
polishers which charge an instruction fee ranging from $120 to $150.

The rough diamond is first cleaved by hand, or, if thought more
profitable, it is set in a bar of hot lead which, after having cooled,
is placed in front of a phosphor-bronze saw and sawed in half.
Whether or not this saw may be used a second time depends upon the
crystallization of the stone sawed. Some stones that, after being
sawed, are considered too hard to polish, are pulverized and mixed
with emery dust to be used in making the saws. The two halves of the
original stone are then handed over to the cutters who cut them round,
or nearly so, and remove the flaws. The polishers then polish the
stones and make their facets, which, in the case of a gem of the first
class, number from fifty-eight to sixty-four.

Amsterdam is also the home of a peculiar institution into the workings
of which some of our own municipalities might delve to their advantage.
It puts the predatory money-loan shark out of business as effectually
as a hydrochloric acid bath would a potato bug. This institution is
the municipal pawnshop, known as the Bank of Leening, of which there
are fifteen branches in the city. It has been in successful operation
for centuries, the first pawn ticket showing the early date of April
29, 1614. Loans are made for six months, and all articles not redeemed
at the expiration of that period are sold at public auction. It is
interesting to note that among the articles disposed of in this manner
in 1909 were 3,427 sewing machines, 1,325 bicycles, and 106 pianos and
organs. The maximum loan allowed on a single article is approximately
$201, while the low rates charged have been the cause of much anxiety
on the part of the independent pawnbrokers, and with the desired
results. You may pawn with the Bank of Leening anything from a hair
comb to a hair mattress, but it is an acknowledged fact that forty
per cent. of its business is derived from that well-meaning Dutchman
addicted to the habit of wearing his best suit only on Sunday. This he
pawns on Monday and redeems on Saturday, until the suit wears out from
being passed over the counter.

One item more to the credit of Amsterdam: all the slaughtering of
animals for food must be done in the municipal abattoir, and meat
which is brought in from the country must be inspected there before
it is offered for sale. The dealers do their own slaughtering and
must pay for the use of the abattoir sixty-four, thirty-four, or ten
cents, according to the size of each animal slaughtered. Especially
constructed vans then transfer the meat to the shops of the different
dealers. Inasmuch as horseflesh is found on the daily menu of many
families in Amsterdam, 5,444 horses were numbered among the 150,000 or
more animals slaughtered in the municipal abattoir in 1909. Mutton,
not being in particular favor with the Dutch for some unknown reason,
cannot be bought in many of the meat shops, and there is a large
central market in Amsterdam that carries only mutton as its stock in
trade.

The Bank of Amsterdam antedates the Bank of England by almost a
century, being founded in 1609. Under the administration of the
Amsterdam Corporation, whose executives examined its specie annually
in order to verify the statements of its managers, the business world
became so confident of its solvency that its guaranteed certificates
were usually offered at a premium, and as much as $180,000,000 in
coin has been held against these certificates at one time. Ever since
its establishment it has retained its place as one of the strongest
financial institutions in the world.



IX

EXCURSIONS ABOUT AMSTERDAM


It is doubtful indeed if any other city in Holland than Amsterdam can
tempt the tourist with a greater number of pleasant day’s excursions.
Lying at the very feet of North Holland--a travel territory no larger
in area than the state of Rhode Island, but replete with picturesque
nooks and corners, congested with types and abounding in peculiar
customs--every part of the province is readily accessible to Amsterdam
by rail or by water. Back of its central railway station there is
a long line of docks which berth the boats that only await your
patronage. Here you may board the large river steamer that takes you
to Zaandam in half an hour for the price of one-half of one Dutch
cent a minute; here you may take the little excursion boats for ports
along the Zuyder Zee; here you may engage passage to Alkmaar or to The
Helder or even to Leeuwarden or Groningen or Zwolle, situated in that
unpenetrated part of the kingdom which may be termed the hinterland of
Holland; and here you may hire a private yacht or motor boat, master
and all, to carry you whither you will and for as long as you wish
for as little as five dollars a day inclusive. If you cross the arm
of the Zuyder Zee they call the Ij--much easier spelled Y--by ferry
to the Tolhuis you have only to board the steam tram to be rattled
across country to Alkmaar, Edam, or Volendam. To Haarlem is but fifteen
minutes’ ride by rail, while The Hague itself is only an hour’s trip in
the _schnell zug_. Zandvoort, on the North Sea, is served by electric
train direct from Amsterdam, stopping at Haarlem to break the short
journey.

A favorite excursion for a summer’s evening is from Amsterdam by
steamer to Zaandam, the most typically Dutch of all Dutch towns. The
course of the steamer leads up the North Sea Canal to a point a little
beyond the Petroleum Harbor and then turns off into the river Zaan.

[Illustration: A waterfront street in Volendam, which with Marken is
the most advertised showplace on the tourist’s beaten track]

It is in the North Sea Canal that Amsterdam places her only hope of
ever being able to compete with Rotterdam as a shipping port. With its
fifteen miles of length, its sixty-five to one hundred and ten yards of
width, and its thirty feet of depth, this canal pierces the one-time
peninsula of North Holland from the Zuyder Zee to its western boundary,
making an island out of part of the province and placing Amsterdam
in direct and easy communication with the North Sea. An “A.P.” gauge
along its bank would prove its water level to be about twenty inches
minus, that is, twenty inches below the mean level of the water at
Amsterdam--the bench mark of all water levels throughout Holland. To
cut such a canal across country from one sea to another and to protect
it at either end with immense breakwaters and lock gates has cost the
government in the neighborhood of $18,000,000 and consumed eleven years
of patient labor. Since 1895 its western terminus has been divided into
two outlets, the older being protected by a lock of three openings,
while the more recently completed branch, diverging a little to the
northward from the main canal, has but one opening, 245 yards long, 27
yards wide, and 33 feet deep.

Zaandam being the home and breeding ground of the windmill, a
bird’s-eye view of it would give the effect of four inverted centipedes
kicking in their death throes. It is the center of the Dutch lumber
trade, and since the windmill is the cheapest method of generating the
power that any lumber trade requires in order to operate its sawmills,
Zaandam draws from the breeze what we conjure from steam. There are
upwards of four hundred windmills in its immediate vicinity. Its
houses, brightly painted with green, red, or white, and surrounded with
pleasant little gardens, gayly reiterate the Dutchman’s delight in
contrasts, harmonious or otherwise.

Another of Zaandam’s claims to the consideration of the tourist is a
little old house near the harbor, that belongs, not to any resident of
the town, nor to any man in Holland, but to the Czar of all the Russias
personally. It is the house which Peter the Great made his domestic
headquarters for a brief week in the year 1697 while, as tradition has
it, he studied shipbuilding incognito in Zaandam. If the villagers had
not made themselves so pestiferously inquisitive and penetrated his
disguise a few days after his arrival he might have learned a lot from
Mynheer Kalf, under whose competent tutelage he apprenticed himself as
a ship carpenter; but the idlers about town became too importunate for
Peter. He gave up his position at the end of a week and returned to
Amsterdam.

Volendam, on the west coast of the Zuyder Zee, and the little Island
of Marken, just opposite, are the two most advertised and, therefore,
the show places in the tourist territory of Holland and enjoy the
highest patronage. Both are being rapidly and ruthlessly spoiled in
consequence. However, as these are the towns easiest of access from
Amsterdam that have retained the costumes and customs which prevailed
hundreds of years ago, embellishing both to a certain degree as the
signs of the times dictate, one feels it his solemn duty, almost, to go
there. If the gentle reader has been to Amsterdam and has weathered the
many appeals to make a day’s trip to Volendam and Marken we should like
to have him raise his hand, please, so that we may inquire as to the
cause and effect of his superb indifference. It would be worth noting
in the minutes of any travel club.

The head porter of your hotel in Amsterdam--a sort of unproclaimed
passenger agent himself--will try to sell you a round trip ticket to
Volendam and Marken in one of the many parties, each attended by a
conductor, which leave every morning and return every evening during
the season. But, if you will bear a personal opinion, that which is
interesting under the guidance of the prosaic conductor is twice as
interesting to explore by yourself. Start as early as you choose, if
you can, and get back when you can, if you choose, is the best advice
I am able to utter with regard to travel through any country in the
world--and, on account of its many facilities for getting about and
the comparative meagerness of the territory involved, it is especially
applicable to Holland.

Except to obtain a comprehensive view of the great dam at the mouth of
the Y, a mile and a quarter in length, which protects the more delicate
construction of the North Sea Canal from the ravages of the Zuyder Zee,
the trip to Marken made by this route offers little compensation. The
same view can be had if you will take the electric car from in front
of the station in Amsterdam to the St. Anthonis Dyk and walk a short
distance across to the locks at the Oranjesluizen near the north end of
the embankment. The five openings at this point of the great breakwater
permit the entrance and exit of vessels and regulate the depth of water
in the canals. Out of a total of fifty-six lock gates twenty-two are
constructed of iron.

Then, too, there seems to be no stability about the weather in Holland,
and a voyage up the Zuyder Zee in a cold, drizzling rain does not
encourage a pleasant afterthought of the excursion. Upon one trip I
made up the Zee in the middle of summer the climate was of about the
same temperature as that of a Christmas in Spitzbergen.

A much more satisfactory route by which to tap these towns is the steam
tramway line through Monnikendam and Edam, the method of procedure in
this case being to take the ferry from the end of the Damrak near the
station in Amsterdam to the Tolhuis, or old customhouse, across the Y.

Here near the Tolhuis is the southern entrance to the North Holland
Canal, with its great lock gates--a channel which simplifies the boat
voyage between Amsterdam and The Helder, penetrating almost the entire
length of the province of North Holland, a distance of forty-five miles
or more, and dividing into two the island already made by the North Sea
Canal. A hundred and thirty feet in width and sixteen feet in depth, it
was constructed a half century before its North Sea predecessor at a
cost of about $4,000,000, and its water level at Buiksloot, the first
little station on the tram line, about a mile from the Tolhuis, is as
much as ten feet below that of the sea at half tide.

Broek, a little farther along near the tram line, is reputed to be the
cleanest town in the world, and I have not the least doubt that its
reputation is well deserved. But its motive is ill chosen: it is clean
for a purpose. By its cleanliness it attracts visitors, and so it can
scarcely be reckoned as a criterion by which to judge the other towns
of Holland. No doubt it was clean long before it ever had any visitors,
but since the tourists commenced to hear about its hypertrophied
spotlessness, they began to visit it; now the more visitors it has the
cleaner it becomes. Like a duck, it is preening itself continuously
from dawn till dark.

From Monnikendam you may take steamer direct for the Island of Marken,
but it will be more to your comfort to join the steamer in Marken and
return through the canals to Amsterdam by way of Monnikendam. Such a
procedure, however, is dependent upon the steamer captain’s consent to
the proposition; for the boats that ply this route carry excursionists
exclusively, so that even if the captain can be induced to accept you
as a passenger you may have to pay the full fare for the trip from
Amsterdam to Marken and return.

Once--about three and a half centuries ago--Monnikendam was included
in the list of the most important towns in Holland. In its halcyon
days its money chests contained enough bullion to provide for the
outfitting of a fleet which it sent under spreading canvas up the
coast to Hoorn, to demonstrate to the skeptics that a Spanish admiral
_could_ be captured in battle, if only the scheme were handled in
the proper manner. Long since has Monnikendam been relegated to the
so-called “dead city” class. It is almost too sleepy to keep awake in
the daytime, arousing but once a year from its perennial slumber: when
Amsterdam comes on skates to hold an ice carnival.

Back somewhere in the fourteenth century, when the only maritime
means of access to Amsterdam was down the Zuyder Zee, Edam held the
strategical position of being its picket port. Since those good old
days its 25,000 population has depreciated four-fifths in numbers. Were
it not for its brand of cheese, flourishing before the gastronomic
world a perpetual advertisement of the place, Edam would soon find
itself mentioned in the same breath with Broek and Monnikendam. It has
a fourteenth century Gothic Groote Kerk, tremendous in comparison with
its population, and a Town Hall in which are preserved the portraits
of four or five erstwhile citizens of Edam, the respective virtues of
whom its present inhabitants still like to mention as if they bore some
weight upon the town’s past prosperity.

One of these local celebrities was a man of the name of Osterlen, who,
in the 1680’s, could boast about a merchant fleet of his own numbering
ninety-two sail. Three of the others were Trijntje, Peter, and Jan.
Trijntje (the diminutive in this case must have been merely a matter of
irony) was said to have been nine feet in height and of proportionate
width; Peter grew an ambiguous beard the dimensions of which required
it to be tied into a knot in order to save it from being stepped on by
its master; and Jan, an immigrant from Friesland who later procured
papers of naturalization in Edam--a “ringer” we should have called him
in small town baseball parlance--Jan’s net tonnage was four hundred
and fifty-four pounds on the date when he launched himself into the
forty-second year of his life.

At Edam you will scramble into a little sailboat to be propelled by
the breeze down the canal for a mile or more to Volendam. Each side of
the ditch--it isn’t much more, if judged by its width; neither is its
odor any sweeter--is bordered by low-lying fields populated with the
black and white bovines directly responsible for the principal industry
of that section. They look docile enough at a distance, these cows of
North Holland, and they probably are at close range, when it comes to
showing the proper deference due an unmolesting human being, but they
are notorious for their biased aversion to dogs. The dog seems to be
their time-honored and ancient enemy, and the mere presence of one in
the field can cause a deal of agitation. If its owner accompanies the
dog he may be expected to commence a Dutch Marathon almost any minute,
because, at sight of him, the cow will foreclose with the canine and
open speedy negotiations with the owner. I have been told that it is
unsafe even to walk along the canal bank with a dog, for only during
last summer one staid old burgher of Volendam, in so doing, was hooked
to death, and two ladies of Edam, while taking an evening walk, had to
be hustled into a passing sailboat and pushed out from shore to escape
a similar fate.

Every ten feet or so, it seems, someone will be fishing, for fishing,
more than any other, appears to be the national sport of Holland. No
self-respecting fish would live in some of the canals they fish in,
but certain species must be able to survive their density else the
proverbial Dutch patience would be soon exhausted.

The most odoriferous point along the canal from Edam to Volendam is
in the immediate vicinity of a duck farm just near the journey’s end.
These ducks are the amphibious flies in the amber of what is otherwise
transparently picturesque. They are farmed throughout Holland, but
only for their eggs, which, being too strong even for the Dutchman to
relish, are sent to the more cosmopolitan cities or exported into the
foreign pastry kitchens.

[Illustration: Land is so scarce in Holland that the pig-sty back of
the house on the right had to be built out over the canal on piles]

Volendam, by reason of the curious costuming of its inhabitants, its
quaint, narrow main street, high above the doorsteps of the bordering
brick houses, and its picturesque fishing fleet, is the haven of
artists of all nationalities. One of the most interesting picture
galleries in the Netherlands comprises the public rooms of the Hotel
Spaander, hung with sketches, more or less frivolous, and finished
works, more or less serious, done spontaneously by the hands of such
illustrators and painters as Phil May, Will Owen, Edward Penfield,
William Chase, and Burne-Jones. The back yard of the hotel, which,
without the least excuse, it advertises as an “attractive garden,” is
fringed with old buildings, each roof exchanged within the comparative
recent development of the town as an art center for the skylight of the
unmistakable studio.

Sunday, by all odds, is the most advantageous day of the week to visit
Volendam. Then are the dresses of its women folk and the breeches of
its men, copious as meal sacks, garnished with the jewelry and the
silver buckles respectively which have been handed down as heirlooms
from mother to daughter, from father to son, even unto the third and
fourth generations. Then is the fishing fleet jammed together in the
little harbor to spend its accustomed week end of lethargy, each
masthead flying its long, narrow pennant--a sight which from a distance
might be mistaken for a hibernating flock of wild fowl. You would have
to use a rifle with an elbow in its barrel to be able to shoot through
this patch of pine forest with its top cut off without puncturing one
mast at least. On other days of the week Volendam’s citizens are
preoccupied with whatever they have to attend to, but on Sunday they
stand around and pose gracefully and easily for the commendation of the
visiting public.

The garb of the male Volendamer is about as characteristic as any
regalia in Holland. His round, flat-crowned cap permits the exposure
of its owner’s bronzed and finely cut features. He wears a loosely
tied scarf about his neck, and his shirt or jersey usually displays a
large patch cut from another shirt or jersey regardless of any probable
ambition to match the patterns. Whenever and wherever the garment wears
out, then and there it is patched, and by their patches ye shall know
them; that is, you can come within measurable proximity of telling the
daily duties of every man by the position of his patches. One will
have a livid green patch down the collar bone of a dark maroon jersey;
another will display a different colored sleeve from the elbow down.
The Volendamer’s trousers extend in a southerly direction to the tops
of the ankles only, and are built with a voluminously exaggerated
peg-top effect, so much so that each cavernous side pocket must hold
at least a peck, and to be able to find with any degree of proficiency
such an insignificant article as a penknife in its depths, the wearer
would have to go into early training as a contortionist. Week days
he wears _klompen_, or the ordinary poplarwood shoes, which may be
used for as many different and distinct purposes as the owner’s
ingenuity may contrive--such as amusing the little tots by sailing a
_klomp_ across the canal as a boat, or tying one on the end of a rod
and offering it to the canal boat master as a receptacle in which to
drop the toll as he poles his barge through the locks. The _vrouw_
sees that her “man” removes his _klompen_ before he dares enter the
house, and upon each doorstep you will invariably behold one or more
pairs, including, perhaps, those of a visitor in the kitchen paying his
respects in his stocking feet. On Sundays, however, the more fastidious
Volendamer will break the monotony by changing the _klompen_ for the
more genteel-looking low, leather, pump-like slippers.

The most distinguishable feature of the Volendam feminine attire from
that found on the Island of Walcheren or at Scheveningen, for example,
is the immaculate white cap, somewhat of the shape of a miniature
miter, terminating at the sides in two stiffly starched points that
curl out from the ears like the horns of a water buffalo. The hair is
cropped close and, according to the prevailing rules of decorum, only
a fringe of it is allowed to be visible. Never under any conditions
should a man see an unmarried member of Volendam’s gentler sex with her
head uncovered.

Over in Marken the proper thing to do to complete the delusion is to
allow one of the many children who pester the passengers upon landing
from the boat to lead you to his home, reimbursing him financially to
the extent demanded--not a very vast sum, in any event. It will be a
scrupulously clean little place of one, and not often more than two
rooms. It will contain the usual amount of brass-work and a nondescript
collection of Delft ware. The floor will be brick, the fireplace will
have its ingle nooks, and its pot of whatever-it-is suspended over the
fire from a crane, will be simmering gently. In the side walls will be
built the sleeping accommodations, like bunks on a ship, draped with
curtains at night and closed to view--and air--in the daytime by means
of paneled wooden doors. This will be about all to see in Marken, and
you will be happy enough to be led back to the boat to escape further
mercenary moves on the part of the populace.

The shirt of the male Markener can show as many patches as that of the
male Volendamer, but instead of the little round cap he sees fit to
favor a sort of derby hat having a two-inch crown. His breeches are
of the knickerbocker type, but still very much peg-topped, and his
_klompen_ are sometimes varnished yellow and carved in more or less
delicate tracery. Unlike those of Volendam, the women of Marken let the
hair grow, plaiting it into two braids which hang down, one from each
ear, in defiance to any custom that may obtain across on the mainland.



X

ALKMAAR AND THE HELDER


It is as imperative that the traveler through Holland should journey
from Amsterdam to Alkmaar by canal as it is that he should not overlook
the steam tram trip between The Hague and Leyden.

The twenty-four and a half miles between the commercial metropolis
and the cheese capital of North Holland is made in a little less than
three hours. Taking all things into consideration, it is one of the
most enjoyable steamboat excursions in the kingdom. Bearing up through
the North Sea Canal and the River Zaan, the packet makes its first
stop at Zaandam; then on up the river it winds between the bristling
windmills, turns from one canal into another, crosses a small lake, and
finally negotiates the waterway that leads eventually to Alkmaar. The
_polders_ on either hand are far below the level of the water you are
steaming over, so that you see no more than the tops of the farmhouses.
Although the wake of the passing boat rattles the reeds along the
banks, the fishermen concealed here and there among them seem not the
least perturbed, but continue to fish with all their might and main,
allowing the steamer to play what havoc it will with the movements and
inclinations of their prey.

Alkmaar, and not Edam, is the geographical and industrial center
of the cheese trade of North Holland, and the cheese market is the
geographical and industrial center of Alkmaar. To give some idea of the
length of time they have been marketing cheeses in Alkmaar you will be
told upon inquiry that the town weigh-house was constructed in 1582,
and for no other purpose than to weigh the cheeses bought and sold at
the weekly market. To give some idea of the town’s importance as a
cheese center, the astonishing number of forty-odd million pounds of
round, golden cheeses are bargained for at the side of the weigh-house
in every twelve months.

In addition to the weigh-house the town boasts of but few historically
remunerative objects of interest. There is the old Church of St.
Lawrence, built in 1470, the surrounding walls and buttresses of which
protect a part of the eminent remains of Floris V, Count of Holland and
builder of the Hall of the Knights at The Hague, although why they were
interred at such a distance to the north of the scenes of his activity
is a matter of some conjecture; there are a few relics and mediocre
paintings on show in the Municipal Museum; and there is the old water
gate that seems to forbid any farther penetration into the town on the
part of the packet from Amsterdam. In history Alkmaar played its solemn
rôle by making a stubborn and ultimately successful resistance against
the besieging Spaniards in 1573. Five to one were the odds against
which the burghers fought and, as at Leyden, the water of the ocean
was the all-powerful lever that rewarded the besieged and routed the
besiegers.

As early as daybreak the Friday visitor--for Friday is cheese day in
Alkmaar--will find plenty of activity in the vicinity of the town
weigh-house. It is therefore advisable to reach the place the previous
Thursday evening, because the unloading of the cheeses and the stacking
of them upon the stone pavement of the market square during the early
hours of the following morning are among the most interesting phases of
the whole proceeding. And so, by daylight on Friday, gayly painted farm
wagons from the surrounding country already fringe three sides of the
market, and every one of them is disgorging, two at a time, its load of
golden cheeses. On the canal that bounds the fourth side of the square
lie berthed a double row of long, narrow boats, also loaded from keel
plate to hatch cover with the product of the district. From every point
of the compass cheeses are being tossed through the air from the wagons
and boats, only to have their flight checked with a smack by the men
who catch them and pile them upon the pavement in long, double-decked
rows, ten cheeses in width. Later, canvas is thrown over the piles to
protect the cheeses from the rays of the sun until it is time for the
cheese makers and the wholesale commission merchants from the cities,
soon to descend upon the scene, to commence their dickerings. All
through the early morning this unloading continues, its accompanying
smacks to be heard half a block away, until perhaps 250,000 cheeses
have been piled up in neat rows with alleyways between them, across the
market square from one edge to the other.

At half-past nine, half an hour before the market opens, the weighmen,
all garbed in immaculate white, meet in executive session in the
weigh-house and absorb a ceremonious talking-to by the superintendent
of the market--probably upon the subject of honest weights and the
penalties to be imposed upon the unfortunate man caught trifling with
the rules and regulations of the game.

[Illustration: Friday is cheese day in Alkmaar, and by daylight gaily
painted farm wagons are disgorging their loads of golden cheeses on the
pavement in front of the Town Weigh-house]

These weighmen constitute a distinct feature of every cheese market
in Holland. Their dress may seem ludicrous and their duties a bit
undignified, but they go about their calling with all the seriousness
of statesmen. Until recently they were divided, one might say, into
four colors: red, blue, green, and yellow, as distinguished by their
hat bands. Latterly, a fifth color, orange, has been added. In the
weigh-house there are five pairs of scales, each pair painted a
different color corresponding to the colors of the weighmen. The “red”
weighmen must weigh their barrowfuls of cheeses upon the “red” scales;
the “blue” weighmen, upon the “blue” scales, and so on. An Alkmaar
cheese weighman holds a life position, is elected by the community, and
receives in commissions a certain percentage, determined by the value
of the cheeses, of each hundred kilos weighed, or fraction thereof.

At ten o’clock promptly the heavy sheets of canvas are dragged from
the piles. The market is thus officially opened, and for the ensuing
two hours the visitor will be treated to some of the shrewdest of
shrewd Dutch bargaining. The stolid, unemotional makers of cheeses
stand doggedly by their respective piles, while the crafty wholesale
merchants flit hither and yon testing. Not a word passes between them
other than a surly “how d’ y’ do” in Dutch. The merchant selects
a cheese at random, jams into it an instrument that any competent
housewife might mistake for an apple corer, gives it a twist, pulls it
out slowly, and tastes the end of the sample thus taken. What remains
of the sample is drawn from the instrument, slipped back into the
parent cheese, and the tester moves along to attack another pile.

At the end of an hour every merchant on the ground will have tested
and tasted every pile of cheeses--in itself no small saporific
achievement. Not only will he have used the taste test on the different
piles, but he will have called upon his other four senses to confirm
or countervail its decision. He will have examined cheeses by sight;
he will have held them to his ear and shaken them, as we might an
egg; he will have felt of the weight and solidity of them; and he
will have taken long, knowing whiffs of their fragrance. At the end
of an hour, then, he is qualified to approach this or that particular
dealer and offer him so much per hundred kilos for his cheeses. Then
it is that Greek meets Greek. In a moment’s time the dull-looking,
uncommunicative, apparently unconcerned provincial maker of cheese
seems to be transformed into a cunning, canny, clear-headed man of
business. The two of them, merchant and maker, stand for a full minute
with their right hands outstretched, like a picture of Captain John
Smith sealing a treaty with the Indians. Suppose the maker finally
agrees to the price offered: without uttering a syllable he grips the
hand of the merchant, and the bargain is closed. If he does not agree,
he slaps the merchant’s hand a whack that resounds across the square.
By eleven-fifteen the walls of the surrounding houses reverberate
with what a stranger around the corner might easily suppose to be the
premature explosion of a number of toy balloons--for cheese makers are
but human and would rather wait in the hope of being offered more for
their stock. Competition is the essence of trade, even in Holland.

When a bargain is negotiated, they call a pair of weighmen who load the
cheeses upon a barrow--a queer kind of barrow that resembles more a
stretcher on sled runners--and carry them to the scales to be weighed.
After being weighed and their sale recorded upon the books of the
superintendent, the cheeses are loaded back into the wagons and boats
to be transferred to the warehouse for shipment.

The cheese goes through no further preliminaries if intended for native
consumption. If destined for export, however, it must needs undergo
a peculiar, yet withal a simple process: it must be well scraped and
painted over with a thin aniline dye which rapidly turns as it dries
to a glorious vermilion. The scraping is done by machinery, but the
dyeing is done by hand and with almost incredible swiftness by the men
employed in some of the establishments in Alkmaar.

The question was asked if the dyeing assisted in the preservation of
the cheese or helped to keep it immune from mould or corrodings. Not
at all. The ultimate consumer across the seas would turn up his nose
at an un-dyed cheese and snub it as a cheap imitation. The foreign
public demands that the genuine North Holland cheese bear a distinctive
hall-mark. That hall-mark is its coat of red dye. Since this province
probably supplies a good three-fifths of the 55,000 tons of cheese
exported in a single year the reader can imagine what a deal of red dye
it takes to satisfy a foreign fancy.

A distance of thirty miles or more north of Alkmaar lies The Helder,
figuratively the top of the kingdom. Geographically, it is only in
the same latitude as the most northerly point of Newfoundland at
the Straits of Belle Isle, and so there are plenty of towns over in
Friesland and Groningen that lie still farther to the north, but these
do not have the conditions to contend with that does The Helder.
Surrounded on three sides by the waters of the Zuyder Zee and the
North Sea, The Helder assumes much of the responsibility of protecting
the whole province of North Holland from a general and disastrous
inundation. More than any other part of the province, indeed of all
Holland, it is exposed to the ravages of the most violent winds, which
kick the sea into a maelstrom and pound it with relentless fury upon
the coast line.

[Illustration: At The Helder may be seen the “big story” of
Holland--the dikes that represent the persistent, patient strife of the
Dutch to hold the land made out of the sea bottom]

Here at The Helder may be found the finest fruits of that “big story”
of Holland: the constant battle of mere man against an all but
omnipotent element--water; the romantic, persistent, patient strife of
the Hollander to insure as much as possible his own safety and that of
the land which he has weaned from the sea from utter and inexorable
annihilation. If for nothing else, it is for this “big story” that one
should go to The Helder. If the traveler through Holland has not been
already duly impressed with the silent, continuous fight of the Dutch
for mere existence, he will return from this northernmost promontory
of North Holland with augmented faith in the ingenuity and dogged
perseverance of the men who have made a country out of what once was
sea bottom.

The foregoing preamble is meant to prepare the traveler to appreciate
The Helder. If it fails in its mission, it may be all for the best,
because the unanticipated often strikes with the greatest degree of
accuracy and forcefulness and brands the experience upon the mind,
never to be obliterated.

Disembarking from the train, you will turn instinctively to the north
through a wide avenue--a veritable tunnel through the trees. After
crossing the drawbridge that spans the canal at the end of the avenue,
you must turn abruptly to the left. The first cross street--little
more than an alleyway between the houses--is barricaded at its farther
extremity by a steep, grass-grown embankment that towers almost to the
same altitude as the chimney pots of the house tops below. A flight of
thirty-one steps ascends to the top of this peculiar embankment and
you scramble up, expecting to behold on the other side a view of--you
scarcely know what. You are surprised to discover that the view is
a sea-scape, for, if you have failed to observe The Helder’s lofty
lighthouse, it has not been suggested to you that the sea is anywhere
in the neighborhood.

You will be standing on the top of one of the greatest and strongest
dikes in Holland, its business side stretching away before you at
an angle of forty degrees for two hundred feet into the Strait of
Marsdiep. Extending a total distance of five miles in the arc of
a circle, this, then, is the sloping buttress that North Holland
relies upon for its very life. A severe storm will lash the water
of the strait into spray, and fling it across into the windows of
the bordering houses, but the highest of tides cannot come over the
backbone of the dike, while at all times the water laps restlessly at
its foundations. The top of the dike is mounted with a roadway twelve
feet in width. Some feet above the water line at low tide the tops of
great stone breakwaters, like the ribs of a dinosaur, stretch seaward
at regular intervals. The whole of this remarkable artificial coast is
constructed of Norwegian granite.

Upon the summits of a few sand dunes that raise themselves here and
there behind the dike the Dutch have completed the construction of
some rather crude military fortifications which Napoleon commenced in
1811. But improvements upon them are going on apace, for Holland is not
exactly anxious to suffer an experience with regard to her string of
islands in the north, in furthering German aggrandizement as did the
Danes of Helgoland before the gun muzzles of the British in 1807.

The single point of North Holland, however, most exposed to sea
encroachments is a few miles south of The Helder on the North Sea. Here
there is a chain of three great dikes, one beyond the other, named
significantly, beginning with the one farthest from the shore, “The
Waker,” “The Dreamer,” and “The Sleeper.” Still farther to the south,
on the same side of the province, are the great sand dunes, three miles
in width in some places, under the protection of which the freight
boats from Amsterdam creep to their destinations along the North Sea
Canal.

Off the northern dunes the combined English and French fleets of war
suffered defeat at the hands of the Dutch admirals, de Ruyter and
Tromp, two hundred thirty-eight years ago to the day, as I write (the
21st of August), and in September, 1799, two armies of 10,000 and
13,000, English and Russian troops respectively, commanded by the
Duke of York, landed here to try their luck at tempting the Dutch to
revolt against the French. The Russian forces lost their way and were
defeated by the French before they had advanced as far as Alkmaar, and
the British, bearing in mind the comforting old adage about discretion
being the best part of valor, retreated after having penetrated as far
south as Castricum, near Zaandam.

In the town of The Helder itself--why they refer to it as “The” Helder
I do not know, unless it be for the reason that the article makes of
it a pseudonym for a Dutch John o’ Groats--in the town itself there is
little of interest. One street I have in mind, however, which is of
rather peculiar construction. The north side of it, from the middle of
what ought to be the common roadway, is possibly three and a half feet
higher than its south side, the upper part built upon an embankment
faced with a brick wall.

The place is full of Dutch sailors and navy people, for about three
quarters of a mile down the dike lies Nieuwediep, the Dutch combination
of Hampton Roads, Annapolis, and the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Situated at
the mouth of the North Holland Canal, Nieuwediep is the most important
naval station in Holland, maintaining large wharves, docks, machine
shops, and a naval academy, the students of which, two, four, and six
abreast--Holland’s future Tromps and de Ruyters--can be seen strolling
up and down the great dike. A fraction of the country’s one hundred
vessels of war and of her 8,000 men that man them receive their orders
at the station at Nieuwediep.

Across the Strait of Marsdiep is the Island of Texel, the most
southerly unit of the long series of vertebræ that curve far to the
northeast, as if made to fit exactly the coast lines of the provinces
of Friesland and Groningen. A steamer plies to Texel from Nieuwediep
and returns four times daily; but you may profitably omit the island
from your itinerary unless you are particularly interested in natural
history and you happen to come upon Texel during the bird nesting
season. The northern extremity of the island, called Eyerland, or
“The Land of Eggs,” is infested with sea fowl, the eggs of which are
collected by the myriads and shipped to the large cities. Texel is
seventy-three square miles in area and supports one or two very plain
bathing places, but most of its six thousand inhabitants are chiefly
engaged in the business of sheep raising on the long, crater-like
pasture land hemmed in by the sand dunes.



XI

FROM HOORN TO STAVOREN


In the matter of ancient buildings, Hoorn is one of the gems of all
the towns of Holland. Its fine old harbor tower, its Town Hall, its
weigh-house, its Oosterpoort--the most prominent remaining factor of
the walls that once surrounded the town--its assortment of quaint old
gateways and entrances, its steep-roofed dwellings and warehouses that
lean forward or backward at more acute angles than even the oldest
buildings in Amsterdam--all combine in contributing to Hoorn a medieval
charm that is puissant and irresistible.

But whatever Hoorn may be noted for as she stands to-day, her name has
gone down in history as that of the mother of Dutch navigators. Three
of them were famous in their day: Schouten, Tasman, and Coen; and,
in the eye of the Dutch nation, the greatest of these was Coen--Jan
Pieters Coen, the founder of the Dutch dominions in the East Indies
and the creator of Batavia as their capital. A statue of him in bronze
stands in the Kaasmarkt of the town of his birth.

Tasman was numbered among the foremost discoverers of the seventeenth
century. In the year 1639 he was assigned to a voyage of exploration by
Van Dieman, the governor general of the Dutch East Indies at the time,
his cruise leading him to the Western Pacific. After exploring part of
the coast of Luzon in the Philippine Islands, he sailed farther to the
northward and around Japan, but, discovering no land not already nailed
to the flag of some nation, he set sail again for home on October 15th
of the same year.

The Hollanders having already discovered and explored a part of the
west coast of Australia, the Dutch East India Company was desirous of
obtaining fuller and more accurate information about the territory with
a view of exploiting its natural resources and whatever others the
company itself might develop. Accordingly, on August 14, 1642, Tasman
was dispatched from Batavia in command of two ships and intrusted with
the task of bringing back a full and authentic account of whatever he
saw and conquered. Owing to the inaccuracy of his sailing charts, head
winds that blew him from his prescribed course, and what not, he went
south of his mark, and came upon a hitherto undiscovered country which
he promptly named Van Dieman’s Land, in honor of his sponsor. But being
unaware that what is now known as Tasmania was an island by its own
right, he hoisted his flag and set to work exploring what he thought
at the time to be the most of Australia. He set sail again from the
newly discovered territory, bearing to the eastward with a vague idea
of reaching the Solomon Islands. On the 13th of December he discovered
a “high, mountainous country,” which he noted in his log book as
“Staatenland.” For some unaccountable reason the English have allowed
its name to remain as New Zealand, neglecting to change it when they
took it over, as they did that of the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam.

William Schouten, having had an earlier relapse under the spell of the
spray, was the first to sail round the southern extremity of South
America, his goal being one and the same with that of Henry Hudson, who
attempted a supposed route to China from Amsterdam, first by way of
the Chesapeake Bay, and later, the Hudson River. Schouten, in passing,
christened the point “Cape Hoorn,” latterly contracted to “Horn,” in
honor of his birthplace.

In addition to these, Hoorn refers proudly to the exploits of another
of her sons, John Haring by name, a Dutch Horatius whose signal
courageous achievement consisted in holding in check, single-handed, a
round thousand of Spaniards, while his compatriots gathered themselves
together in order to retreat in a systematic manner at least.

[Illustration: An old street in Hoorn. In the matter of ancient
buildings the town is one of the gems of Holland]

It took place before Amsterdam in 1573, when the city was held in the
grip of the Dons. The Prince of Orange had taken up a position to the
south of the city, and Sonoy, his general, was encamped to the
north. The operations of both were hampered by the lack of sufficient
forces. Sonoy having gone to Edam for the purpose of gathering
reinforcements, the Spaniards in his absence made a concentrated attack
upon his division entrenched behind the Diemer Dike. Seeing the fight
was going against his fellows, Haring of Hoorn, as Motley relates,
“planted himself entirely alone upon the dike, where it was so narrow
between the Y on the one side and the Diemer Lake on the other that
two men could hardly stand abreast. Here, armed with a sword and a
shield, he had actually opposed and held in check one thousand of the
enemy, during a period long enough to enable his own men, if they had
been willing, to rally and effectually to repel the attack. It was too
late--the battle was too far lost to be restored; but still the brave
soldier held his post, till, by his devotion, he enabled all those of
his compatriots who still remained in the entrenchments to make good
their retreat. He then plunged into the sea, and, untouched by spear or
bullet, effected his escape.”

But John Haring survived only to suffer death in the attempt of an
equally valiant feat a few months later before the sea-gates of his own
native town.

The siege of Alkmaar having terminated unhappily for the Spaniards,
they dispatched a fleet from Amsterdam under Count Bossu, to effect
the surrender of Hoorn and Enkhuizen. No sooner had the project been
contemplated than the Dutch got wind of it; Admiral Dirkzoon sailed in
command of a fleet of twenty-five vessels, and, having had favorable
winds and weather, bore down upon the Spanish armada near Hoorn.

“After a short and general engagement,” according to Motley, “nearly
all the Spanish fleet retired with precipitation, closely pursued
by most of the patriot Dutch vessels. Five of the King’s ships were
eventually taken--the rest effected their escape. Only the Admiral
remained, who scorned to yield, although his forces had thus basely
deserted him. His ship, the _Inquisition_, for such was her insolent
appellation, was far the largest and best manned of both fleets. Most
of the enemy had gone in pursuit of the fugitives, but four vessels
of inferior size had attacked the _Inquisition_ at the commencement
of the action. Of these, one had soon been silenced, while the other
three had grappled themselves inextricably to her sides and prow.
The four drifted together, before wind and tide, a severe and savage
action going on incessantly, during which the navigation of the
ships was entirely abandoned. No scientific gunnery, no military or
naval tactics, were displayed or required in such a conflict. It
was a life-and-death combat, such as always occurred when Spaniard
and Netherlander met, whether on land or water. Bossu and his men,
armed with bullet-proof coats of mail, stood with shield and sword
on the deck of the _Inquisition_, ready to repel all attempts to
board. The Hollanders, as usual, attacked with pitch hoops, boiling
oil, and molten lead. Repeatedly they effected their entrance to the
Admiral’s ship, and as often they were repulsed and slain in heaps,
or hurled into the sea. The battle began at three in the afternoon,
and continued without intermission throughout the whole night. The
vessels, drifting together, struck on the shoal called the Nek, near
Wydeness. In the heat of the action the occurrence was hardly heeded.
In the morning twilight, John Haring of Hoorn, the hero who had kept
one thousand soldiers at bay upon the Diemer dike, clambered on
board the _Inquisition_, and hauled her colors down. The gallant but
premature achievement cost him his life. He was shot through the body,
and died on the deck of the ship, which was not quite ready to strike
her flag.... At eleven o’clock Admiral Bossu surrendered, and with
three hundred prisoners was carried into Holland. Bossu was himself
imprisoned at Hoorn, in which city he was received, on his arrival,
with great demonstrations of popular hatred.”

It was on a feast-day that I came upon Hoorn, and the place was garbed
in gala attire. Throughout the morning the hotel stableboys were kept
busy tending the horses of rural arrivals, and every stable-yard was
congested with wagonettes and carts. Never have I seen such a variety
of vehicles. There was the painted produce wagon with its white
canvas cover; there was the gayly decorated antique “two-wheeler,”
its body swung upon heavy straps held fore and aft at the ends of
great protruding springs; there was the commodious, shapely cart of
plum-colored upholstery, belonging to the “gentleman farmer”; and there
was a host of others too numerous to describe in detail.

Hoorn’s main street had been roped off, and the bricks covered with a
thick layer of sand, in preparation for the series of horse races that
was soon to take place up and down its length. Along about noon the
Dutch David Harums led their horses down to the improvised race track
behind the village band in all its glory, and the festivities were on.

[Illustration: Hoorn on a feast-day. The main street has been roped off
and its brick paving covered with sand in preparation for a series of
horse races]

Running races were of necessity tabooed on account of the danger to
life and property--the actions of the horse being restricted to such
an extent by the limited fairway of the course that, in event of the
horse’s losing its head, even the side ropes along the street could
not restrain it from dashing through the crowd and into the window of
the nearest cheese shop. But there were sulky races between the Hal
Pointers and the Palo Altos of the district, driven with rope reins by
erstwhile jockeys, some of the costumes of whom were no less curious
than the harness of the horses. Breeches, in some cases, and blouses,
in others, looked as if they might have been recently redeemed from
many years of confinement in Amsterdam’s municipal pawnshop, their
public sale having been repeatedly overlooked.

Riding, instead of driving, would seem with us a less effective
method of developing the speed of a trotting horse, and it certainly
appears to be a less comfortable one, but ride them they do in many
parts of Holland. I can imagine only one reason for the prevalence of
the custom, and that is that the trotting horses are so rotund and
ponderous that the shafts of no sulky would fit them, and if it did, no
driver could spread his lower limbs so far apart as to drive the horse
from the sulky’s seat. Large and ample as Percherons are some of these
North Holland and Friesland horses, with long, well-groomed tails and
manes; but they have a faster gait than they might be given credit for
when seen hitched to a cart or a farm wagon. Pads with knee braces,
which serve the riders in place of saddles, are strapped to the horses’
backs, and they trot the course with but little less action than blue
grass Kentuckians. A singular thing is that they seldom “break,” their
weight apparently holding them to the trot.

The express trains from Amsterdam to Leeuwarden make the run in just
over three hours and a half, including the ferry passage of an hour
and ten minutes across the neck of the Zuyder Zee from Enkhuizen
to Stavoren. The line runs through Zaandam to Hoorn and thence to
Enkhuizen through the richest farming district in North Holland.
The farmhouses, somewhat more substantially built than those in the
south, resemble what we rather ambiguously call “country residences.”
They have their lawns and their gardens full of flowers, and each
is surrounded with its little moat, bridged by a tiny archway which
connects the house with the road at but a single point.

Enkhuizen is the unfortunate victim of what its inhabitants must
consider to be a depraved taste for salmon rather than herring. The
Rhine salmon has taken the place of the humble herring on the Dutch
menu cards, and the town of Enkhuizen has dwindled accordingly. Of its
fleet of four hundred herring vessels and its population of 40,000
souls in the seventeenth century, not a single fishing smack and only
6,300 descendants of its earlier inhabitants remain.

Aside from the magnitude of its one-time fishing industry, Enkhuizen
courts the fickleness of fame by being the birthplace of Paul Potter.
Born in 1625, he painted his most renowned canvas, “The Bull”--now
in the Mauritshuis at The Hague--at the age of two-and-twenty, and
died but seven years later--only another of the many instances where
Death has chosen to lay his hand upon the shoulder of one so young and
signally gifted in preference to an octogenarian dullard.

Waiting alongside the dock station at Enkhuizen will be the side-wheel
steamer that ferries the passengers the fourteen miles across the
Zuyder Zee to Stavoren in Friesland. The old Dromedary Tower, as they
call it, at the harbor, diminishes rapidly into the general skyline
of Enkhuizen, and you will be sailing out over what was once a broad
isthmus of dry land--for the Zuyder Zee was not always the Zuyder Zee.
Until the thirteenth century it consisted of but a comparatively small
inland lake called Flevo. Near the close of that cycle--in 1282, to
give the exact year--the German ocean burst over the land from the
north, wiping the lives of 80,000 people out of existence and combining
itself and Lake Flevo into one, which was henceforth called the Zuyder
Zee. Above the ferry crossing, beginning at the eastern end of the
little island of Wieringen, they will build the contemplated dam across
it, the first process in the reclamation of more than a million acres
of what was once a fertile, productive district.

In pleasant weather it is a beautiful trip across the neck of the Zee,
but if the breeze blows from the north, bringing with it the customary
cold drizzle of rain, the best method of putting in the time is to go
below to the cabin and follow the invariable custom of the country of
eating bread and great, thin slices of Dutch cheese.

Stavoren is the deadest of all the “dead cities of the Zuyder
Zee.” At the beginning of the thirteenth century the merchants of
Stavoren were prepotent among the rulers of the world of trade and
commerce. Treasures from all the then known corners of the earth
lay in their storehouses. The homes of these merchant princes were
palaces comparable only with those of kings and furnished with the
sumptuousness and incomputable grandeur of the famous abodes of the
Sultan Harun-al-Rashid in the “Arabian Nights.” Previously, Stavoren
had been the residence of all the Frisian princes. But riches
contributed to the pride that came before its fall. To-day the census
taker counts its population in three figures and its commerce is not
worthy of mention in a trade report. The smoke of the lingering express
train that will subsequently carry you to Friesland’s capital is the
only evidence that the town may not be abandoned completely.

As you sail into the harbor, a wide, grass-grown embankment in front
of the town can be seen plainly from the steamer’s deck. This is
the Vrouwensand, and it recalls the legend that attributes the fall
of Stavoren to the whims of a woman. The reader himself must be the
judge whether or not the tale is worth the telling. One writer on
Holland asserts that no author dealing previously with the country
in a literary way has been gifted either with the independence or
the imprudence to avoid it. His predecessors have been numerous and
illustrious, and if the story be so important that each of them has
seen fit to relate it, I can do naught but imitate.

Of all the inhabitants of the old city of Stavoren, none was so blessed
with riches as the wife of a certain wealthy merchant. Continually
bathed in the high lights of smiling fortune, she plucked one by one
the treasures that were thrown daily at her feet. She owned everything
of intrinsic value that the fabulous wealth of her husband could
bestow upon her. But one thing she did not possess, and that was
love. Her character was devoid of a woman’s tenderness. She was cold,
indifferent, supercilious, insouciant. Exaggerated pride in her own
wealth and an undying envy of those whose fortunes dared to compete
with hers--these were the only passions of her life.

One day, while acting as hostess at a great banquet, a stranger from
the Far East was ushered into the room. He had come, he said, to behold
the marvelous wealth of Stavoren with his own eyes, and now that he
had penetrated into this merchant’s house, he felt he had been amply
rewarded.

The merchant’s wife, not impervious to flattery, requested the traveler
to be seated and to partake of the banquet as her unbidden but welcome
guest. He accepted the invitation in part, but asked, according to the
custom of the Orient whence he came, for nothing but some bread and
salt. Servants were dispatched to bring both, but returned, saying that
no such simple articles of food could be found in the house. Thereupon
the stranger, without further word, ate of the costly and unfamiliar
dishes prepared for the banquet.

After the feast he told of his travels, he expatiated upon the
successes and the failures of his life, he discoursed with much
eloquent verbiage upon the instability of earthly fortunes, and he
prognosticated the ultimate fall of wealth and splendor. His hostess
became offended, not only because of his contumelious belittling the
value of riches in her presence and before her guests, but because he
had failed thus far to compliment her upon her personal beauty and the
luxuries to be found in her home. Before he took his leave he mollified
his views to this extent: “O gracious lady,” he said, “marvelous indeed
is your home and fit for a queen; if you traveled far and near you
could not find its equal. But, my lady, among your treasures I miss
one thing, and that is the noblest that all the earth produces.” He
departed forthwith, leaving the gathering in a state of perplexity.

To please the whim of his wife, the merchant dispatched a fleet of
ships to cruise the world until it should find “The noblest thing
that all the earth produces,” whereupon the fleet’s commander should
fill the hulls and cover the decks with it and bring it to Stavoren.
For months the ships sailed about, touching at one port and then at
another, blindly searching for this most costly of all treasures.

One day a heavy sea came over one of the ships, flooding the ’tween
decks and spoiling the provisions. The crew became in need of bread,
but there was no flour with which to bake it. The men grew mutinous.
The captain saw that neither gold nor silks nor precious jewels could
outweigh the value of bread, and the occurrence led him to believe
that bread was the most expensive thing in the world. He reported the
matter to the commander, who agreed with his specious argument, and the
whole fleet hurried to the nearest port, which happened to be Danzig.
They loaded the vessels with the finest wheat, and set sail direct for
Stavoren.

When the merchant’s wife heard of the nature of the cargo the fleet had
brought home, she ordered the wheat thrown into the sea. The poor of
the town begged and implored, stormed and reproached, but of no avail;
the order of the woman was executed to the letter.

By and by myriads of blades of grainless wheat commenced to appear
above the surface of the water. Their stocks and roots collected the
sand as it was washed up by the tides of the German ocean, forming a
great sand dune that blocked the port so that vessels could neither
enter nor leave. The inhabitants of the place were suddenly brought
face to face with the fact that commerce, the source of their wealth,
had to be abandoned. Poverty and want reigned where riches ruled
before. The wife of the once wealthy merchant wandered about from
village to village, begging the bread which no one who had heard
of her improvidence would give her. She suffered death from utter
starvation. Then one night the sea began to boom and, bursting over the
dunes, buried the town forever.

To this day the more superstitious of the fisher-folk who ply their
vocation along that coast of the Zuyder Zee talk of the wonderful
sunken city of Stavoren and how its pinnacles and palaces at the bottom
glitter up through the pellucid waters under the rays of a summer’s
sun.


[Illustration: The most characteristic feature of the Frisian costume
is the metal skull cap worn as the headdress of Friesland’s women]



XII

FRIESLAND AND ITS CAPITAL


Leeuwarden is the most important town in Friesland; therefore its
capital. Also it is the only place in the province that is really
worth a protracted visit. On the way from Stavoren you may wander up
the coast a short distance to Hindeloopen, once famed for its highly
decorated furniture and the many-colored costumes of its natives; you
may stop off at Sneek and see its _stadthuis_ and its _waterpoort_,
better examples of which you will have already seen in North Holland;
you may journey over to the coast town of Harlingen--a much less
interesting fishing port than Volendam--breaking the trip at Franeker
to see the wonderfully ingenious astronomical model of the workings of
the solar system which took one of the more inventive citizens of the
place, Eise Eisenga by name, seven years to construct; but all of these
especial features, and more, can be seen and studied in Leeuwarden.

When you enter the interior of Friesland you will be penetrating
one of the three or four provinces of Holland that are not overrun
with tourists. Even in its capital an American is more or less of a
curiosity and he may expect to be stared at until the people stumble
over each other, almost, in their well-meaning efforts to divine his
nationality; but he may console himself in the thought that they will
be just as curious, if not as humorous, to him as he is to them.

Before the time of the terrific geographical convulsion responsible
for the formation of the Zuyder Zee, there had been but one Friesland,
stretching over much of the entire territory later known as that of
the Dutch Republic, including Holland. Its inhabitants, the Frisians,
were renowned throughout Europe for their physical prowess. Imbued
with an unquenchable love for political independence, they had shaken
off the yokes of the imperial counts and had formed the league of the
seven “Sea Lands” in the eleventh century. After being subjugated for a
time by Charlemagne, they suddenly rebelled, and in 1256 defeated and
put to death the German king, William II of Holland. When the German
ocean rolled in over the land, engulfing considerably more than a
thousand Frisian villages, it separated kindred peoples, creating not
only a geographical but a political chasm between them. West Friesland
became absorbed in Holland, but East Friesland continued its career as
a confederation of independently governed maritime provinces, until
Saxony, hard pressed for funds, sold its sovereignty to the house of
Austria for a paltry 350,000 crowns.

Then Charles V, Count of Holland, Emperor of Germany, King of
Jerusalem, Sicily, and Spain, Duke of Milan, dominator of much in
Asia and Africa and “autocrat of half the world,” established his
predatorial authority, and “this little country, whose statutes
proclaimed her to be ‘free as the wind as long as it blew,’ whose
institutions Charlemagne had honored and left unmolested, who had freed
herself with ready poniard from Norman tyranny, who had never bowed her
neck to feudal chieftain, nor to the papal yoke,” finally forfeited her
independent existence. Her peoples are the only Germanic tribe that
have preserved an unaltered nomenclature since the time of the Romans;
they will be Frisians to-morrow, as they were the day before yesterday.

The most prominent and characteristic feature of the Frisian costume is
the headdress of its women--in fact, it is the only one extant worthy
of any notice whatever, for the remainder of the make-up, not only of
the men but of the women also, is commonplace and unattractive. This
headdress consists of a kind of metal skullcap, as often made of gold
as of silver, fitting closely at the temples and embellished at these
points with a pair of spiral ornaments. Over this is worn a cap of
white or light blue lace, having a so-called “tail piece” dangling down
the back of the neck like the scoop of a fireman’s helmet. On top of
all this, many of the women--as if their violent efforts to adapt the
modern were wrestling with a series of sturdy determinations to retain
the antique--will crown the sublime with the ridiculous by wearing an
old-fashioned black “poke bonnet,” with the strings tied in a bow under
the chin. These gold and silver head-pieces are handed down from one
generation to another, and the gold ones, especially, are expensive;
but that item does not curb the desire and ambition of every mother’s
daughter in Friesland to own one, where the usual heirloom has not been
forthcoming.

An admirable collection showing the evolution of the Frisian metal
skull plate is on view in the Frisian Museum in Leeuwarden. Adapted
first as a kind of hair ornament of two coin-sized flat pieces
connected simply by a thin wire, its size developed gradually until
the two small termini became consolidated into a single large one that
covered the entire head of the wearer. The latest specimen in the
Museum is decorated in front with a diamond-studded brooch, the whole
costing in the neighborhood of $1,200.

[Illustration: Leeuwarden’s structural curiosity is the Olde-Hove,
an unfinished church tower of brick, leaning with all the abandon of
Pisa’s Tower]

The Frisian Museum in Leeuwarden contains also about the most valuable
and comprehensive collection of old Delft, Chinese, and Japanese ware
in Holland, tastefully cabineted in one of the large rooms on the
ground floor. To the connoisseur in such matters this room is a treat
that cannot be overlooked with impunity, for the character of its
contents is unparalleled and its value indeterminable. Shelf after
shelf there are of the most delicately tinted tea sets and table
services, vases and urns of every description, and the wooden columns
that support the floor above are hung with graduated festoons of plates
and saucers, so that it would take the greater part of a week to
inspect them all.

On the second floor are a number of tiled rooms furnished in authentic
sixteenth and seventeenth century style, even to the sleeping bunks in
the walls and the miniature ladders that once assisted in climbing into
them. The models of these and most of their furnishings were found in
Hindeloopen. To increase the realistic effect of these apartments the
authorities have introduced groups of three or four stuffed figures
attired in the costumes of the period, posed in front of the fireplace
or about a center table, but they are so stiff and ludicrous-looking
that they might well be dispensed with, and their costumes shown to
better effect behind the glass of a cabinet. In the basement can be
seen a few rooms finished and outfitted with the domestic and culinary
implements of the same centuries.

In addition to all these there are two adjoining rooms on the second
floor of the Museum containing old furniture and decorations bequeathed
to the State by the artist Bisschop. The most conspicuous object in
one of these rooms is an immense cabinet of beautifully carved oak,
black and glossy with age, that would excite the envy of any lover of
the antique. Built in 1610, it was purchased thirty-five years ago by
Bisschop for something like twelve or fifteen dollars; to-day it has a
valuation of $2,000. On its top stand two pieces of old Delft for which
the artist originally gave as little as ten gulden.

The remaining rooms of the Museum contain collections of Roman and
Frisian coins and medals, Roman curiosities found in the neighborhood,
fine old silver plate and flagons, remarkably carved ivory hunting
horns, and, since the early Frisians were alleged by some to be the
first pipe smokers in Europe, an instructive conglomeration of pipes
and tobacco pouches and all the accessory appurtenances necessary to
the full enjoyment of the weed.

The Chancellerie, a large building just around the corner from the
Museum, erected in the reign of Philip II and used originally as a law
court, still serves the government by housing the national archives
and the provincial library. With its handsome Gothic façade, this
building is Friesland’s architectural masterpiece and one of the best
preserved of ancient buildings in all Holland. In forceful contrast to
it is Leeuwarden’s structural curiosity, an unfinished church tower of
brick, called the Olde-Hove, one hundred and thirty feet in height and
marking the western boundary of the city proper. Just when it will take
it into its head to topple over is a problem of uncertain solution,
but, judging from this Dutch Leaning Tower of Pisa’s utter disregard
for the perpendicular, it looks as though it might bury a part of
Leeuwarden’s pretty park under its débris almost any minute.

The city of Leeuwarden is entirely surrounded by the cobra-like coil
of a wide canal, the quays of which afford loading and unloading
facilities for the many boats that ply to and from Leeuwarden from and
to almost every point in Holland. Along the north and west edges of
this canal on the town side they have planted lawns and flower beds on
the site of the old city bastions. And, speaking about flower beds, the
largest geraniums I think I ever saw were growing in a little plot near
the station in Leeuwarden; each cluster of blossoms seemed as great in
diameter as the head of a small cabbage. Friesland is also the land of
begonias, but in Groningen the plants seem to bear a larger flower than
they do in Leeuwarden.

Distant as it is from the great centers of Dutch life and activity,
Leeuwarden seems of more recent vintage than any city of its size you
will have seen so far in the Netherlands; its types are fewer than
in almost any town on the other side of the Zuyder Zee and its old
buildings and churches are less numerous. Most of the former they have
adapted to modern usage, and even the old weigh-house that stands
severely alone beside the canal in the Waagsplein has been turned into
a fire station. The canal that sweeps through the town from west to
east is lined where the space permits with little colonies of shops on
wheels, built of corrugated iron and capable of being closed at night
against the mischievous pranks of young Holland--peripatetic shopping
and marketing districts, offering anything and everything for sale that
may be found in the permanent stores.

Hotel accommodations, however, are more provincial. In the dining-room
everyone is seated at one long table, as in the smaller hotels in The
Hague, so that an ordinary mealtime looks more like a banquet. The
business and social phases of the hotel are conducted in one large room
wherein the men gather after dinner to sit and smoke, read, or play
chess. Here in a corner at a little desk holds forth the head waiter.
Although he is the functionary who assigns you to your room and to
whom you pay your bill, he is not so preëminent as the head waiters of
most of the hotels in the south, for the proprietor usually shows a
preference to manage the place according to his own ideas. As a general
rule he will do his own marketing and, if conditions require it, he is
not above helping to wait upon the table and making himself useful in
many other ways.

Not far from Leeuwarden, in the village of Dronrijp, was born, in 1836,
one of Holland’s most eminent modern artists, although a naturalized
subject of Great Britain since 1873--Sir Laurens Alma Tadema, some
noted examples of whose work are to be seen in the Mesdag Museum in The
Hague.

Another town, Marssum, a few miles distant, is famous as the center
of the cattle district, and dealers and breeders come to some of the
large farms in the vicinity from all over the world, including America,
to purchase blooded Frisian stock. Indeed, all along the thirty-three
miles of railway between Leeuwarden and Groningen the pastures are
dotted with fine, healthy-looking black and white cows. Each field
being surrounded by a small canal eight or ten feet in width, the
cattle may be segregated, one herd from another, by simply closing
the gates on top of the narrow hills that lead across the intervening
canal from one pasture to its neighbor; thus the labor and expense of
building fences is saved. As much as North Holland is noted for its
cheese, just so much is Friesland famed for its butter, and between
130,000,000 and 140,000,000 pounds of it are churned annually. The
conditions of the trade are exceptionally sanitary and at all times
under government inspection.

Here and there through Friesland--in fact, through almost any part of
the Netherlands--you will see a high wooden tripod topped with the
usual cartload of débris that constitutes a stork’s nest; for the
stork, be it remembered, is the national bird of Holland, and if the
farmhouse offers no suitable place, such as a chimney pot, for example,
for the stork to build its summer home, the farmer is wont to court the
luck that a nesting stork about the place is thought to be sure to
bring, and builds a nesting place for it.

They wend their migratory way northward, these storks, from the
interior of Africa near the sources of the Nile, and make their
appearance in Holland contemporaneous with the first signs of
approaching spring. Their coming is regarded as a veritable Godsend by
the Netherlander and the various Dutch journals feature the “stories”
of first reported arrivals, and devote to them an amount of space
commensurate with the importance of the event, while any decrease in
the numbers of the birds is quickly observed and promptly linotyped.

When the storks, so high in the air that they appear as mere specks,
approach the familiar scenes and nesting places of previous summers,
they descend to the earth in pairs to hunt about for their old abodes.
Having finally discovered these, a deal of repairing will have to be
done to render them once more habitable. Both the male and the female
labor with a great deal of energy and no little resourcefulness in
the reconstruction of the old nest, collecting sticks and twigs, and
weaving them together with much mathematical precision. Endowed with
no vocal power of calling each other or criticising their work, their
silence while at the task is punctuated only with a comical snapping of
bill and a suggestive flapping of wings. If a certain pair has been a
little premature, perhaps, and chosen, not always by mistake, another
pair’s nest, the ensuing imbroglio often results in such a complete
destruction of the point at issue that both pairs instead of one must
build anew.

The story of the “Stork’s Judgment” is one of the best known among the
Dutch with regard to these birds. It is that in the fall, prior to the
departure of the storks for southern climes, all the old and decrepit
ones, too weakly to stand the long trip, are killed off so that the
general migration may not be delayed or impeded. Another belief held
by the Hollander, more or less a child of the imagination but not
without at least a tinge of fact, is that among the stork communities a
certain number of picked birds are detailed each season to act in the
capacity of a regular police force to preserve the peace and protect
the interests of the colony at large.

A stork’s nest on the roof serves, according to the superstitions of
many Dutch farmers, as a prevention to the ravages of lightning and the
contraction of contagious diseases by their families. Misfortune in
some form or other is sure to follow if the stork does not see fit to
nest somewhere near the house, and simply because of this, land holders
have been known to pack up, bag, baggage, and agricultural implements,
and move into another district.



XIII

THE HINTERLAND OF HOLLAND


If Friesland be considered the frontier of Holland’s tourist territory,
the provinces of Groningen, Drenthe, and Over-Yssel certainly
constitute its hinterland.

With the exception of one or two towns they lack the symmetry of
scenery, the quaintness of costumes, the masterpieces of art that adapt
the provinces west of the Zuyder Zee to intensive sight-seeing, so to
speak, while their peoples differ in manner so much from those in the
west that you seem to be traveling through another country altogether.
Old buildings they have in plenty, and rural and urban beauty spots may
be discovered here and there, but taken by and large, they offer fewer
attractions for and cater less to the invasion of the tourist than any
portion of Holland.

For the above reason, in planning a trip through this land of the brave
and the home of the sea, it might be well, if practicable, to tap these
three provinces at the beginning, embellishing first impressions by
reversing the time-honored route and returning, instead of advancing,
through North and South Holland, Utrecht, North Brabant, and Zeeland,
and spending a profitable day at least on the Island of Walcheren as a
kind of tasteful cordial after the seven course tour.

Groningen, the capital of the province of the same name, shares
the distinction with Leyden and Utrecht in being one of the three
university towns in Holland. Although twice as large as Leeuwarden,
it is barely half as interesting. It seems, too, a vastly more
modern place, with its trolley service, its large assortment of wide
streets, its apparent dearth of silent canals, while its narrow, busy
Heerestraat emulates the examples set by the Kalverstraat in Amsterdam
and the Spuistraat in The Hague.

Its university, established in 1614, is attended by half a thousand
students, and has within recent years moved into more commodious and
modern quarters in the form of an appropriate and handsome building
erected in 1850. Among the treasures of its library, housed in a
separate building, is to be found a copy of the revised New Testament
by Erasmus, bearing marginal annotations in the handwriting of Martin
Luther. This much for learning. With respect to art, Groningen is the
birthplace of two of Holland’s best known modern painters, H. W. Mesdag
and Josef Israels, the latter being especially distinguished for his
ability to record upon canvas the sadder aspects of humble life. At the
advanced age of eighty-seven this master of his craft died during the
past summer in The Hague, where he had resided for a number of years.

At the foot of the tower of the church of St. Martin on the edge of
the market square stands the old _regthuis_, a small brick building
of early sixteenth century erection, lately restored and put into use
as a guardhouse. With its green and white shutters of diamond design
it looks strangely out of place as the opponent of a building of such
conglomerate architecture as the columned _stadthuis_, on the western
side of the square. Grain being one of the staple commodities of the
place, one end of the _visch-markt_ is bounded by the corn exchange.
Behind this stands the Aa-Kerk, of Gothic construction and thirteenth
century origin. And, as is the habit with many of the towns in this
section of Holland, Groningen has made the most of the site of her old
ramparts and city fortifications by transforming it into a public park.

Without the least savor of favoritism, Groningen might easily capture
the palm for supporting about the most uninteresting market in Holland.
Held in the great square that serves the town as a center for outdoor
business transactions and trolley service, it is a market of everything
and a market of nothing. It looks as if all the shopkeepers had put up
tents and transferred their stock from their shops to the street. Here
they sell anything from cucumbers to cocoanuts, from stepladders to
safety matches--a nondescript assortment of edibles, cooking utensils,
secondhand clothing, cheap crockery, old books, and umbrellas. There
are no types to speak of, and the place reeks with the essence of
small and insignificant bargaining. The hotel at which I registered in
Groningen was centrally located--too centrally, in fact--on the market
square. Just in front along the curb a purveyor of dried fish held
forth in his tent. The breeze was blowing gently, and the hotel stood
to the leeward of the dried fish purveyor. As Sam Bernard would say,
“Sufficiency!”

The railway line from Groningen down through Assen and Meppel to
Zwolle penetrates a flat, barren, unattractive-looking country which,
in places, might be mistaken for the “meadows” near Atlantic City.
The roadbed of the railway itself is the worst in the world--at least
I _think_ it is the worst in the world, although the allegation may
arouse the envy of one or two Mexican roadbeds that I am no longer
on speaking terms with, each of which claims the same distinction.
The engineers who were responsible for this piece of track, through
a perfectly flat country with no curves or grades to cope with,
could hardly have done much worse. It is even beyond the powers
of the imagination how they contrived to make it as bad as it is.
Its construction reminds one vaguely of the story of the “jealous
pie,” whose top and lower crusts grew jealous of each other for fear
something might come between them. So with this railway. If one rail
bulges outward a little the other rail bulges inward sympathetically.
And it is fortunate that they are so attached to each other, because if
one rail bulged outward and the other rail likewise bulged outward at
the same point we might not be here to tell of it.

Neither is the tediousness of the two-hour ride relieved at all by the
congeniality of one’s traveling companions. For the information of the
prospective tourist through Holland it might be well to state in this
connection that smoking is only forbidden in those few and far-between
compartments of the railway carriage marked “_Niet Rooken_.” In all
others, whether labeled “_Rooken_” or not, whether occupied by men,
women, or children, smoking is not only permitted but encouraged; and
however vigorous and healthy a Hollander may be, his one weak point is
his aversion to ventilation. In this matter he may be likened to the
elephant afraid of a mouse. Consequently, the first move he makes when
he enters the compartment is to close both windows. If he lacks the
boorishness to reach over deliberately and try to curtail _your_ supply
of fresh air, which is not often, he will huddle himself in a corner as
far from the offending draft as possible, and eye you up and down for
your failure to appreciate his position.

[Illustration: The Town Hall and market square in Groningen, where one
may buy anything, from cucumbers to stepladders]

For the full distance from Groningen to Zwolle I traveled in the same
compartment with three of the most rabid stale air agitators I have
ever run afoul of. To make matters worse, one was highly perfumed
with a mixture of musk and mint, and wore the nails of his little
fingers long--half an inch would not be an exaggeration--as some
sort of a mark of caste, possibly borrowed from the Chinese. During
the trip they tried to make things as blithe and agreeable for me as
possible--although with the opposite intent, judging from several
remarks which I finally succeeded in translating--by giving a variety
of imitations of various barnyard animals because I guarded one open
window with my life.

All through the province of Drenthe the sources of another industry
in which little Holland is preëminent may be seen from the car
windows--the great peat bogs. Upon peat the Dutch housewife must rely
for her fuel, for the coal mines in the Netherlands are next thing to
null and void; so the preparation of peat has become at once an art
and an industry. Towns and hamlets are named for it--“_veen_” with an
appropriate prefix. It is as indigent to Holland as the wild turkey to
the mountains of Virginia. But, instead of striving to eliminate as
quickly as possible a very essential natural resource, the Dutch have
developed the scientific cultivation of peat and made the vast bogs
into almost inexhaustible producers of fuel.

The lighter, more fibrous peat, _laagveen_, in Dutch--found several
feet in thickness in the eastern part of Groningen, all through
Drenthe, and even stretching well across the German border--is
contrasted with the dry peat, or _hoogeveen_, underlying a thick layer
of clay. In the case of the latter, the layer of clay is removed
carefully, the peat is dredged from under it, and what water remains is
drained off. The peat is then spread upon the ground and worked by foot
pressure until the process, assisted by exposure to the sun, brings
it to a certain consistency. It is then cut into convenient lengths,
stacked, and allowed to dry. In the meantime the layer of clay has
been mixed with sand, replaced, and planted with crops. With respect
to the bog peat, the fen is first surrounded with a canal for drainage
purposes; also the plant putrefaction is assisted by successive
reformations of soil from city refuse, laden with which the peat boats
return to the fens.

The bait with which Assen, the capital of the province of Drenthe,
should lure the tourist to stop off, if only between trains, is the
church of an ancient nunnery suppressed during the Reformation. This
relic, with a fragment of the old cloisters still attached to it,
has been transformed into Assen’s Town Hall, and forms a part of the
adjoining provincial offices erected on the site of the nunnery. The
great tumuli, or so-called “giants’ caves,” within half an hour’s
drive from Assen, and marked with huge boulders borne down by the
glaciers from Scandinavia, are of interest more to the profound
archeologist than to the ordinary sight-seer.

Meppel, farther down, is a peat town of no artistic or historical
importance, although it is the junction of the peat and the butter
routes through the hinterland. From it the traveler may journey up
through the butter district direct to Leeuwarden, or he may break
through the peat country on another line to Groningen.

Zwolle, the first stop below Meppel, is an attractive town, but with
fewer types even than Groningen. Here the familiar windmills and
wooden shoes begin to diminish perceptibly in numbers. With its 32,000
inhabitants, Zwolle is but a shade smaller than Leeuwarden. It is the
capital of the province of Over-Yssel and was the birthplace of Gerard
Terburg, one of Holland’s celebrated seventeenth century wielders of
the brush and crayon. But like too many other towns in the Netherlands,
Zwolle has been so short-sighted and so remiss in her duty that she has
failed to preserve for public appreciation a single example of the work
of her most famous son.

The most striking architectural feature of the town is her old
Sassen-Poort, or Saxon gateway, the five Gothic spires of which tend to
relieve any monotony of city skyline. It stands but a short distance
from the station, framed behind a green mat of trees that lends a
pleasant contrast to its diamond window shutters of delicate blue and
spotless white. The modern stone bridge across the canal just in front,
although forming rather an inappropriate approach to the old tower, is
one of the most artistic in all Holland.

Upon a certain warm, sunlit morning I crossed this bridge and turned
down along the canal, following one of the many labyrinthian pathways
under the spreading trees. Soon I came upon what anyone on not too
familiar terms with the customs of the country might have supposed to
be a public café. It was neither fenced nor hedged in, and the path I
was following led straight as a die to its low, broad veranda, carpeted
and freely sprinkled with comfortable wicker chairs. Little round
tables were scattered here and there, and I concluded that the place
lacked nothing for the enjoyment of a glass of liquid refreshment.

Accordingly, I followed the course of least resistance, and presently
found myself reclining deeply and luxuriously in one of the wicker
armchairs on the veranda.

After a short struggle, my thirst overcame my lethargy, and I summoned
enough energy to push a convenient electric button.

No response.

A second, and then a third push at the button.

Still no response.

As a drastic last resort, I arose with no little effort, and wended my
angry way into the building to ascertain the cause for such delinquent
service.

I was approached by a gentleman who, having observed my impatience,
had come to my rescue from his little secluded corner in the reading
room.

[Illustration: The best of Kampen’s gateways, of which architectural
features the town originally possessed seven]

In my very best Dutch--my vocabulary consists of some three or four
words--I asked the gentleman where on earth the waiter might be in
hiding. In his very best English the gentleman replied politely that
the place was a private club and not a public grogshop. Whereupon, I
could have accomplished an exit through any convenient keyhole without
the least pinching.

Near Zwolle, in a monastery on the Agnetenberg, reached after a
drive of three or four miles from the town, lived and died Thomas à
Kempis, the author of “The Imitation of Christ”--a work that has been
translated into almost every tongue.

A short ride in the train from Zwolle brings you to Kampen, on the
broad Yssel at its point of discharge into the Zuyder Zee. It is
Holland’s home town of ancient gateways, no less than three of which,
leading out into the park that has superseded the old fortifications,
are in excellent state of preservation and worthy of study from an
architectural point of view. Originally the town possessed seven of
these gates, and there might have been fourteen, had the City Council
listened to a learned one of its members who arose at a certain meeting
and proposed that they double the original number; for, he argued,
had not each of the seven gates contributed its 10,000,000 florins a
year to the town treasury in the shape of taxes upon merchandise and
produce passing through it? Therefore, it would be a simple matter to
double the town’s revenue, for all they had to do was to double the
number of gates.

But the rank and file of tourists that include Kampen in their
itineraries come to view its Town Hall, a venerable building erected in
the fourteenth century, restored after a devastating fire in 1543, and
which may be numbered to-day among the most characteristic curiosities
in the Netherlands. Among the features of its Gothic façade are six
statues in stone, dating from the original building. From left to right
these may be recognized as the effigies of Charlemagne and Alexander
the Great and the characterizations of Moderation, Fidelity, Justice,
and Neighborly Love. One of the windows of the weather-stained edifice
still remains trellised with iron as in the days of Kampen’s olden
time importance. The interior contains a medieval council room with
magistrates’ seats of oak, handsomely carved, and a gigantic chimney
piece, unfortunately overladen with ornaments.

Kampen stripped of its gateways and its Town Hall would scarcely be
worth the time spent to reach it. The town itself seems to be given up
to small manufacturing establishments, and its people made up of the
class that keeps them in operation. But the fine architectural relics
of its earlier days raise its instructive power to as high a degree as
that of any town now within Holland’s tourist area.

From Kampen you may take a steamer out across the Zuyder Zee to the
Island of Urk, inhabited by a colony of daring fishermen who are less
spoiled, yet whose costumes and customs are less interesting, than
those of the people of Marken. But you will have to hurry if you wish
to pay it a visit, for Urk will soon go the way of Schokland, an island
nearer to Kampen, the habitation of which has recently been forbidden
by the government on account of the imminent prospects of total
encroachment by the sea. To-day Urk is tussling for life with every
tide; it may be merely a question of months, perhaps of weeks or days,
before its people will be compelled to give up their homes and move to
the less dangerous mainland.

Eighteen and a half miles south of Zwolle, still on the river Yssel,
and just across the frontier of Gelderland, lies Deventer, noted
commercially for a rather incongruous assortment of enterprises: iron,
carpets, and honey cakes. A weigh-house, abnormally large for a town
of Deventer’s size, having a great flight of steps ascending to its
entrance from the Brink, the principal square of the town, has been
converted into a gymnasium. Also facing the Brink are several handsome
private houses of seventeenth century erection. Deventer, strange to
say, seems to be most athletically inclined; it maintains no less than
fifty different association football clubs, which strive with each
other for the title of champion on the many athletic fields along the
banks of the Yssel.

After years of study in Spain and other foreign lands, after a lengthy
residence in Haarlem, and his experiences in the studio as co-worker
with Franz Hals, to Deventer came Gerard Terburg, where he finally
settled down and where he died in 1681 at the age of sixty-four. Unlike
Rembrandt, Hals Holbein, and Jan Steen, Terburg took a lively interest
in public and municipal affairs, and in his later years he served his
adopted city as Burgomaster.


[Illustration: Queen Wilhelmina’s summer residence at Het Loo is the
center of a large settlement of country homes and villas on the
outskirts of Apeldoorn. The landscape gardening throughout the colony
is the best to be seen in Holland]



XIV

GELDERLAND


From Deventer to Apeldoorn is simply a matter of a quarter of an hour
in a railway carriage which now darts past so many fields of grain, now
past so many fine old woods and terraced summer homes that the effect
upon the tourist is kaleidoscopic--like being shot through a Christmas
wreath.

Apeldoorn is a beautiful little city, very much unlike what might be
expected of Holland, since its canals are few and its windmills at a
premium. Its streets remind one more of those of an English village.
Its outskirts and environs are freely sprinkled with attractive country
homes and villas belonging to that class of Hollanders that passes
its time, for one purpose or another, hovering in the neighborhood of
royalty, for near by at Het Loo the Queen is wont to summer. The town’s
two parks, named appropriately Oranje and Wilhelmina, present effects
in landscape gardening incomparable with those of almost any other
parks in Holland, and the broad avenues that lead out to Her Majesty’s
palace are barely surpassed in beauty even by the Old Way from The
Hague to Scheveningen. Like the spokes of a wheel their shaded
roadways stretch straight as a die, with the palace of Het Loo as their
common hub.

_Pensions_ and private villas are as thick in and about Apeldoorn as
seventeen-year locusts. Each has its velvety lawn; each its variegated
flower garden. Apparently the town boasts of everything to make the
lives of its summer residents one blissful dream of being some day
bidden to dinner or tea at the dazzling white palace at the end of the
avenue. I imagine the sanitary arrangements of some of the summer homes
of these pseudo patrons of royalty must be primitive in the extreme.
This may or may not be a criterion by which to judge the others, but,
as I drove by the estate of one of Apeldoorn’s nabobs, a maidservant
appeared upon the second-story balcony and emptied the contents of a
pocket folding rubber bath tub full upon the lawn in front--anything
but a discreet exhibition, to say the least about it.

Het Loo, or The Grove, was the favorite palace of Wilhelmina’s father,
William III, and of his grandfather, William I, the first King of the
Netherlands. A steam tram operates upon rather uncertain schedule
between the railway station at Apeldoorn and Het Loo, but a much more
pleasant method of consuming the time, if only between trains, is to
drive by carriage out the long avenue, returning through the parks of
Apeldoorn.

The peasants of the surrounding country are of purely agricultural
proclivities, and their land seems more like real farm land than the
lower level portions of the Netherlands. Apeldoorn itself lies in the
district known as the Veluwe, a territory between the Yssel and the
Zuyder Zee, in places as much as three hundred feet above the level
of the ocean and, with few exceptions, the highest in Holland. Parts
of it, however, are so sandy and sterile that the ground is available
after complete fertilization mainly for the cultivation of tobacco.

Zutphen, a few miles below Apeldoorn, was the first city in the east
to offer any speakable resistance against the Spaniards during the
war of independence, and there still stands the gateway, called the
Nieuwstadtspoort, through which Don Frederic of Toledo, the son of
the notorious Duke of Alva, forced an entrance into the town on the
16th day of November, 1572. Mons and Mechlin having been captured and
promptly sacked, Alva had repaired to Nymwegen, leaving Don Frederic
to conquer the provinces in the north and east--preferably by force,
for they were a bloodthirsty lot, those Spaniards. A seeming lack of
patriotism on the parts of the cities which had already submitted, too
enthusiastically perhaps, to the Spaniards, gave these international
marauders little excuse to resort to their usual heinous methods of
effecting subjugation.

When Zutphen, therefore, offered a feeble and half-hearted resistance
against the troops of Frederic of Toledo, and the fact was reported
to his father, the commander in chief and arch brigand of the whole
depredating crew, he promptly sent orders to his son to enter the city
and kill every man and burn every house to the ground. According to
Motley, “the Duke’s command was almost literally obeyed. Don Frederic
entered Zutphen, and without a moment’s warning put the whole garrison
to the sword. The citizens next fell a defenseless prey; some being
stabbed in the streets, some hanged on the trees which decorated the
city, some stripped stark naked and turned out into the fields to
freeze to death in the wintry night. As the work of death became too
fatiguing for the butchers, five hundred innocent burghers were tied
two and two, back to back, and drowned like dogs in the river Yssel.
A few stragglers who had contrived to elude pursuit at first, were
afterwards taken from their hiding-places and hung upon the gallows
by their feet, some of which victims suffered four days and nights of
agony before death came to their relief.”

To-day Zutphen is a quiet old city, very un-Dutch, if the expression
may be permitted, with many narrow, crooked streets and a few canals
of varying degrees of picturesqueness on its outskirts. Lumber is the
principal industry of the place, and a great deal of poplar wood which
goes to supply the wooden shoes for many parts of Holland is shipped
from Zutphen.

Arnhem on the Rhine is the most thriving town as well as the capital of
Gelderland. It is essentially an ancient place, dating back to a remote
period in the history of the Netherlands; even some there be who give
Arnhem the credit of being the original Arenacum of the Romans. It lies
upon the southern slopes of the Veluwe district, and from its railway
station the visitor will actually have to go down hill into the town--a
topographical condition so foreign to any of the other Dutch cities
already visited that Arnhem’s allegiance to Holland is questioned at
first sight.

Although Arnhem is old, it lacks many of those gifts of age that one
sees in other old cities throughout the country. Its appearance is
German, but its people, realizing the monetary benefits that rival
Dutch municipalities are deriving annually from the hordes of tourists
that descend upon them, try to advertise it as typically Dutch, and
issue frantic appeals to the traveler to be sure to pay it a visit on
these grounds. With its 60,000 inhabitants it is the sixth city in
point of population in Holland. Although it enjoys every advantage of
transportation its commerce is pitiable; as a residence city, however,
it is particularly favored. Because of the attractions of its environs,
Arnhem is a favorite spot for the retired Dutch merchant, who, having
amassed a fortune in the colonial trade after a long residence in the
remote Straits Settlements, seeks some quiet place at home endowed
with the beauties of nature, in which to spend the remainder of his
days in comfort.

The oldest part of Arnhem is the southern end of the city, bordering on
the Rhine and clustering about the Groote Markt as a center. The Groote
Kerk, an ecclesiastical building of large parts and deep excavations,
containing numerous monuments in memory of various historical
celebrities, bounds the market square on the west, and on the south one
may pierce the surrounding buildings to the Eusibius Square and the
Rhine bank through the ancient Sabil-Poort, a Gothic gateway recalling
the days when Arnhem was fortified with the customary town wall.

At the side of the Groote Kerk Arnhem holds a weekly market which is
scarcely more distinctive than that of Groningen but so popular with
the peasants that it overflows into the neighboring streets, and places
trolley service through the vicinity in a state of disruption. Having
driven into town the evening before, the country people unhitch their
horses and leave their wagons standing in the square so as to lose no
time in getting ready for business in the morning. Much faith they must
have in the honesty and orderliness of the citizens of Arnhem, for
their loads of vegetables and whatever they have for sale remain in the
open, when the weather is propitious, without even a covering.

A few blocks to the east of the market square lies the
Eusibiusbinnensingel, a beautiful park-like place, but a mouthful to
pronounce, with a lake in the center surrounded by great shade trees
and geometrical flower plots. If you follow this to the northward,
you will come, after a short walk, to the Velperplein, the pulse of
Arnhem’s trolley traffic, the principal feature of which is a large
building that goes under the poetical name of the Musis Sacrum,
containing a restaurant and various halls for exhibitions. Here at
the tables of the open air café the German tourists are wont to
forgather for refreshment purposes, guarding the while their little
ten-by-two-inch satchels, scarcely large enough to hold half a dozen
cigars, as if they contained the entire wardrobe and family jewels of
their owners.

In the Velperplein one may board an electric car for any part of the
city and many of its suburbs. And it is best to patronize the trolley
service of Arnhem whenever possible, because taxicabs, horse drawn or
motor propelled, are not to be found in operation. The buccaneering
cabbies of Arnhem, next of kin to the piratical baggage porters of
Fiume, charge a goodly price to take you out upon a drive in the
environs, and double the amount to bring you back, on the ground that
your ignorance of their language, not considering their ignorance of
yours, was the cause of a misinterpretation of directions. And the
worst of this tourist bleeding system is that the hotel head porters
connive with the cabbies.

On top of a real hill half a mile to the north of the railway station
is Sonsbeek, a favorite rendezvous of the pleasure-seeking Arnhemers,
thickly wooded, containing a small lake or two, and, of course, the
inevitable café, while the ascent of a tower called the Belvedere
is offered as a temptation only to those who expect to obtain a
magnificent and inspiring view where only a mediocre one exists.

The Velperweg, the Amsterdamschestraatweg--but if this kind of thing
goes on it might tangle my type into a knotted, inextricable mass; for
purely mechanical reasons, therefore, I shall revert to an English
version. The Velper Road, the Amsterdam Road, the Zyp Road, the Utrecht
Road, and the Apeldoorn Road are the five principal arteries that tap
the environs that have made Arnhem famous with the Dutchman. Each
one penetrates imposing woods, the like of which the Hollander never
saw before, but ruthlessly tramped almost threadbare by his frequent
pilgrimages through them in search of a “panorama,” no matter how
insignificant. At the different points where the foliage permits of a
view of sometimes several miles across the wheat fields, fruit venders
have set up their stands, the ground is littered with papers and the
empty boxes discarded by many picnickers, and the importunate picture
postcard man is seen in his element.

[Illustration: The market at Arnhem, at the side of the Groote Kerk, a
weekly event that overflows into the neighboring streets and interferes
with the trolley service]

The Velp Road, which leads at length to Zutphen, is, perhaps, the gem
of all the five. Wide and well kept, it is lined on either side as far
as the village of Velp, a distance of three miles from Arnhem, with
handsome residences and tastefully laid out lawns and gardens which are
girt with small canals in lieu of fences, so that each may be admired
from the roadway.

Halfway along is Bronbeek, the royal asylum for invalid soldiers who
have served in the colonial wars. It was bought by King William III in
1854 from its private owners, and presented by him to the State five
years later on condition that it be devoted to its present purpose.
Little cascades trickle here and there through its grounds, while
the pair of cannon mounted on its front lawn bespeaks its use as no
blaring signboard could possibly do. Not far from the corner entrance
to its park stands a statue of William II as Crown Prince, portrayed
as carrying his arm in a sling after having received a wound in the
battle of Waterloo. The interior of the building contains collections
of portraits of East Indian heroes, and of weapons, flags, and other
trophies of war taken in the colonies.

Rosendaal, one of the largest estates in Gelderland, can be reached
after a pleasant walk of a mile in a northerly direction from Velp.
Mentioned for the first time as early as 1314, its grounds are still
kept in a state of baronial magnificence, but of its old castle only a
comparatively small part of a great round tower remains.

Another walk, but toward the east on the road to the village and wood
of Beekhuizen, brings you to the castle of Biljoen, erected by Charles,
Duke of Guelders, in 1530, upon the foundations of an eleventh century
stronghold.

Nymwegen may be considered the twin city of Arnhem; when one is
mentioned the other is instinctively thought of. They lie close to
each other, are of about the same population, offer the same general
aspects, and have played parts of equal importance in the general
history of the country; but of the two, Nymwegen is possibly the more
diverting. It is two cities in one--the older part being purely Dutch,
with its old Dutch buildings and a few Dutch types which are mocked
by the declivity of some of its streets; the more modern and larger
part being distinctively German, with its _platzes_, the general
distribution and embellishment of its thoroughfares, and the density
of its greenery. The center of this German portion of Nymwegen is the
Keiser-Karelplein, a beautiful square from which the different streets
radiate; but what should be the pleasing quiet of the neighborhood is
constantly and mercilessly broken by the shrieks of the engine of a
noisy tram train that rattles around among the trees as if hunting in
vain for a convenient exit.

Yet another example of the very esthetic habit that the Dutch have
of demolishing old fortifications and planting the sites as public
pleasure grounds may be seen in the Kronenburg Park, the contour of
whose slopes adds admirably to the general landscape effect. Down
at the bottom is a duck-dotted lake bordered with the benches that
constitute the trysting places of many a young Nymwegen couple, so
unconscious of any but their own affairs that they suffer old ladies to
sit upon the same bench and knit and spy with generous eyes upon the
lovers’ advances. At the farther edge of the lake they have mercifully
preserved one of the sixteen towers that once strengthened the town
walls.

The Waal, one of the many branches of the Rhine, is a busier river at
Nymwegen than the real Rhine is at Arnhem. Tows of long, narrow boats,
typical of the Rhine above Cologne, ply up and down under the great
iron railway bridge and lend to the city more of a German air than ever.

Overlooking the river some distance above the railway bridge are the
shady pleasure grounds of the Valkhof, one of the seven hills upon
which the city of Nymwegen was originally built and where Charlemagne
erected an imperial palace, later destroyed by the French in 1796.
An interesting and picturesque ruin is a small fragment of the old
palace church, built by Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, while near by
may be seen the oldest remnant of ecclesiastical architecture in the
Netherlands--the sixteen-sided Gothic castle chapel, rebuilt a number
of times after being consecrated originally by Pope Leo III in 799.

Across what must have been the castle moat and connected with the
Valkhof grounds by an iron bridge, a tower of the seventeenth century
affords the people of Nymwegen an attractive view of which they are
justly proud, embracing as it does the fertile farming districts as far
as Cleve, to the southeast, as far as Arnhem, to the north, and, upon a
clear day, as many as four rivers: the Rhine, the Maas, the Waal, and
the Yssel.

The old Church of St. Stephen and the brick gateway that leads to
it from the market square, the weigh-house with its red and black
shutters, the Town Hall, and a number of other old buildings in the
vicinity of the Groote Markt are all essentially Dutch, but for which
the visitor might easily imagine himself in a German city.

[Illustration: A feature of Arnhem is the Eusibiusbinnensingel, a
park-like place with a lake in the center, surrounded by great shade
trees]

With those of Arnhem, however, Nymwegen’s environs can scarcely hope
to compete. The steam tram that rattles around the Keiser-Karelplein
eventually escapes the city limits and climbs the long hill to the
Hotel Berg en Dal, from the vicinity of which one may look out upon
a much vaunted “panorama” that might at least be worth while under
certain conditions. But what with the blatant strummings of an
automatic piano that considers itself of valuable assistance to the
complete enjoyment of the view, and the petty vibrations of a more or
less popular photographer intent upon making likenesses of visitors in
the unusual and startling act of looking from the top of a hill in
Holland, the view is rendered more of a bore than a diversion.

The Dutch province of Limburg, a narrow tongue of land successfully
battled for by the Dutch against the Belgians in the war of 1830–31,
lying away to the south of Gelderland and wedged in between Belgium on
the west and Germany on the east, is so un-Netherlandish, both as to
peoples and topography, that it can scarcely be considered as a part
of the Holland that the tourist expects. Its inhabitants even speak
a low German dialect instead of Dutch. Furthermore, it is not on any
route that a tour through Holland might include, for Maastricht, its
historical old capital, is on the direct railway line between Brussels
and Cologne and may be more easily visited from either of those points
than from any city in Holland proper.



CHAPTER XV

UTRECHT AND ’S HERTOGENBOSCH


There can be only one reason for my clearing my conscience of Utrecht
and ’S Hertogenbosch in one and the same chapter. This may or may not
be apparent to him who has already toured Holland, for the two towns
cannot be said to be on the same line of traffic; they are not even
in the same province; neither are they alike in appearance. Utrecht,
the capital of the province of that name, with its canals and old
houses, its lime avenues and its shady parks, has more of the typical
Dutch element in its make-up, and can be as easily reached, and as
profitably, from either Rotterdam or Amsterdam.

’S Hertogenbosch, on the other hand, the frontier town of the southern
provinces, lies along the route that leads into Germany, and its
“windmills and wooden shoes” are conspicuous in their absence. It
seems, out of respect for its geographical position, more of a Belgian
city. Indeed, the Belgians, unable to conquer its Dutch nomenclature,
long ago rechristened the place, and now it is as often spoken of by
the more euphonious name of Bois le Duc--a merciful convenience for
all of my personal purposes, because it is as difficult to write ’S
Hertogenbosch as it is to pronounce it. Since to Bois le Duc it has
been simplified, Bois le Duc it shall be henceforth called within these
pages.

Now to divulge my secret for treating Utrecht and Bois le Duc in the
same chapter: with their famous churches they are the most important
ecclesiastical cities in Holland. Utrecht, in addition, is a university
town, a cattle center, and one of the oldest places, as well as one of
the largest, in the Netherlands. In Roman times it was known by the
Latin translation of “The Ford of the Rhine”--_Trajectum ad Rhenum_. In
the seventh century, under the Frisians, King Dagobert I founded here
the first Frisian church. Subsequently the archbishops of Utrecht grew
to be the most powerful of medieval prelates, and their see at an early
date became renowned for the magnificence of its houses of worship.
Utrecht was included in the French province of Lorraine, was later
annexed to the German empire by force of circumstances, and enjoyed the
distinction of being a favorite residence of the emperors. The union
of the seven Dutch provinces was formed in Utrecht in 1579, under the
sponsorship and direction of John of Nassau, brother of William, Prince
of Orange, to establish the independence of the Netherlands. From that
time on until 1593 the States-General assembled here; in that year the
seat of the Dutch Government was transferred to The Hague. The most
celebrated event in the old city’s history, however, took place on the
11th of April, 1713, when the peace was here concluded that terminated
the Spanish wars of Succession.

That much for history.

Twentieth century Utrecht is different. Its old-time importance as one
of the foremost commercial cities of the Middle Ages was owing to its
enviable position on the Rhine where the river wrenches itself into two
branches--the Old Rhine and the Vecht. The former percolates, according
to the will and calculations of the Dutch engineers, into the North Sea
at Katwyk, and the Vecht empties into the Zuyder Zee, near Muiden. The
city’s commercial importance and activity have dwindled piteously into
a weekly cattle market held in the Vreeburg, Utrecht’s great central
square, occupying the site of a castle built in 1517 by Emperor Charles
V.

[Illustration: Utrecht’s Cathedral, erected in the eleventh century
upon the site of a church founded in 720]

With the break of day on Saturday the farmers from the surrounding
country, “_klomped_” in more varied styles of wooden shoes than you
will find in any other single town in Holland, begin to arrive with
their stock at the Vreeburg. In the night a conglomerate collection of
little side-show tents and canvas-covered stalls for the sale of almost
everything, has sprung up like a bed of mushrooms on the outskirts of
the market place, so that the cattle dealer, after he has negotiated a
substitution of stock for its equivalent in the coin of the realm,
may want for neither amusement nor a convenient place to purchase the
hundred and one articles that his better seven-eighths has cautioned
him not to come home without.

Singularly enough, the same methods obtain in bargaining for cows in
Utrecht that are prevalent while dickering for cheeses in Alkmaar.
There is the same placid composure on the part of the seller, the same
minute examination on the part of the buyer; there is the same Captain
John Smith pose; there is the same whacking of hands; there is the same
general exodus from the market place, after the ceremonies, to the
more blithesome lunchrooms and halls of frivolity. I wish I might have
followed up the case of a cattle dealer whom I saw in a certain café
after the market, making a lunch of the uncertain mixture of a glass of
beer and a dish of currants. The notation of the after effects of the
combination might have been of value to materia medica.

Utrecht’s famous old churches have been pillaged and desecrated to a
great extent by the elements and the changes wrought by time and tide.
Once, long ago, when the followers of the various creeds were all at
sixes and sevens, the Munsterkerk, the Pieterskerk, the Janskerk, and
the cathedral itself, no doubt, with their cloistersful of clergy,
were walled in and moated, and patronized as much as asylums of refuge
as for worship. To-day they are simply tolerated. A coffeehouse does
a land office business in the archbishop’s palace, and the tramcar
company has tunneled through the vaulted archway of the great detached
cathedral tower rather than go to the trouble of laying the tracks
around it.

And what a cathedral this Gothic curiosity of Utrecht is! Erected in
the eleventh century upon the site of a former ecclesiastical edifice
founded in 720, in its day it must have easily outclassed anything of
its ilk in all the Netherlands. Now its back is broken, so to speak,
beyond repair, for in 1674 a violent hurricane that bowled a spare with
the church towers in the district, tore out the nave of the cathedral
and left the tower and the choir completely disconnected. The site of
the demolished nave now forms the center of the Cathedral Square, and
is as much a thoroughfare as any street in the city.

The interior of the church, like the interior of almost every church
of any size in Holland, offers little of originality or interest. The
walls are covered with many layers of unbecoming whitewash, and any
pleasing effect that the columned interior might have originally had
is lost, for a portion in the center is boarded up, like a bull ring
with its barrier, segregating the inclosed space for the purpose of
uninterrupted worship. The one redeeming feature of the whole place,
aside from a few meritorious monuments, is a handsome oaken pulpit,
elaborately carved by hand, so as to give the effect of a miniature
cathedral in itself.

After being a city of disabled and decrepit churches, Utrecht is a
university town, and the seven or eight hundred students in attendance
do their best to emulate the early ecclesiastics by trying to keep the
place in a state of perennial siege, for it is to be remembered that
the drudgery and frugality of university life in Holland is not what
it is cracked up to be. In a way, a Dutch college education is a good
bit of a farce. The student is under very few obligations except to
himself. He does not have to appear in chapel; he does not even have
to attend classes, and there are a large number of students in each of
Holland’s three universities--young men of private fortune who take
up a course in law or what not, with no intention of ever practicing,
in order to avail themselves of the gaiety and freedom of university
life--who never enter a lecture room from one term’s end to the other.
Consequently, there is much hilarity and much extravagance, all of
which is more or less resented by the thrifty, peaceful townspeople,
and which sometimes places the two factions under strained relations.
When a student does complete a course, having seen fit to relegate
himself to the hard, honest work necessary to the attainment of a
doctor’s degree, he deems it of such momentous occurrence that he
forthwith has his thesis published in book form _de luxe_, and, hiring
a carriage, which is manned by student initiates into his Corps,
he drives in state to the residences of his several professors and
intimate friends, leaving with each a copy of his work.

In the above mentioning of the Students’ Corps, I have named a
salient feature of student life in Holland, and one which none of her
universities is without. Although of broader membership, it takes the
place of our own fraternities. It includes, however, all the students
who can afford to pay its dues and subscriptions. A senate, comprising
a rector, a secretary, and three other functionaries, elected annually
by the Corps from among its members of four or more years’ standing,
dictates the policy of the Corps and administers its affairs. Any
member of the Corps is eligible for membership in the Corps Club, the
culminating distinction of Dutch university life, or for any of its
various subdivisions of athletic or social societies. The initiates
undergo most of the harmless little byplays, not to mention some new
ones, that provide for such a halcyon period in the careers of our own
fraternal neophytes.

Among its numerous idiosyncrasies Utrecht has a canal, called the
Oude Gracht, that is unique in comparison with other canals in other
cities in Holland. The water in this canal lies far below the level
of the bordering streets. Between the street and the water there is a
great stone step that forms the real canal bank. In the old days the
“riser” above this step was made up of foundation arches of stone upon
which were built the specious mansions that fronted the thoroughfares
alongside the canal. To make use of spaces which would otherwise be
wasted, these vaulted foundations served as cellars, with the street
for a roof, and were in as constant use as any other part of the
dwelling. Most of them are now occupied as shops, to the entrances of
which you must descend a flight of steps from the roadway above; but
here and there their windows display the lace curtain and the boxful of
flowers that give evidence of domestic habitation.

Utrecht, too, has many verdant beauty spots, the most verdant being
the Hoogeland Park, with its circumference bordered with attractive
villas and reached through a wide lime avenue they call the Maliebaan.
In the Antiquarian Museum, situated in the park, one may behold the
two most interesting relics in the possession of Utrecht, if we
exclude, perhaps, the seventy different kinds of lace on view in
the Archiepiscopal Museum on the Nieuwe Gracht. These are: a table,
handsomely and delicately carved, at which the signatories of the
famous Peace of Utrecht were said to have sat in 1713; and the “Doll’s
House,” an accurate reproduction in miniature of a patrician dwelling
of the period, executed in 1680, and worked out in the minutest detail
from cellar to chimney pot, from kitchen utensils to genuine oil
paintings by celebrated masters on the walls of the drawing room.

Surrounding Utrecht and penetrating far to the east and the south are
the great fortifications, of whose presence the casual observer is
entirely unaware, belonging to the first line of national defense that
might be used to protect the Dutch capital from invasion--a defense
in which she seeks the assistance of her mortal enemy, and discovers
him weighed in the balance and not found wanting. Upon a process of
general inundation, by fresh water wherever possible so as not to
impair the future productiveness of the fields, does Holland depend for
her safety from invasion both by land and by sea. In the probability
of the latter, her power of self-exclusion is augmented by a treaty
with Belgium, signed in 1892, confirmed in 1905, and only recently
made public, reserving for her the right to block the great estuary of
the Scheldt in case of war or rumors of war. In times of peace Belgium
shares with the Netherlands all rights of navigation of the Scheldt,
and Holland may not displace or remove buoys, lights, or other aids to
navigation, without Belgian consent.

[Illustration: The lower end of the Oude Gracht, Utrecht, a canal which
in its upper part is at a level far below the street, giving space
between the foundation walls for shops and even homes]

But with regard to Holland’s ability to isolate herself by general
inundation, it is a scheme that gives little outward evidence of
being in operation. A stranger might roam within her boundaries for
a year and a day without even surmising that such a thing could be
accomplished, so successfully are her greatest works hidden from the
eye. The scheme provides, in brief, for the blowing up of railway
bridges and for the opening of the sluice gates of great reservoirs,
regulating the amount of water to be poured in over the country so that
it should all be of the same depth, prohibiting both the possibility of
wading through it and the passage of vessels over it.

A half a day, if time presses, will suffice to see Bois le Duc. After
you have wandered about in its great Gothic cathedral of St. John, one
of the largest and, by all odds, the fanciest church--if a church can
be said to be fancy--in Holland, you will have done with the town. It
holds nothing else of interest. Although of 32,000 population, and the
capital of the Province of North Brabant, it is dull and unappealing
to the tourist. There are few types and few distinctive mannerisms.
Of its costumes, the only feature is a headdress, affected by some
of the countrywomen of the surrounding district, composed of white
lace and topped with garlands of artificial flowers as ridiculous and
disappointing as the “poke bonnets” worn by the middle-aged matrons of
Leeuwarden, and just as out of place.

Even the market square is devoid of the usual fringe of ancient
buildings. Here they hold a cattle market on Wednesdays, but to strike
every city in Holland upon the day of its distinctive market would
necessitate a vast amount of vibratory traveling, which in itself, and
not considering the markets, would soon grow monotonous. I happened
upon Bois le Duc on a Saturday, when one of those nondescript, unsavory
bazaars of cooking utensils and crockery was in full swing. It was a
hot day, for Holland, and the sun beat down upon the unprotected square
with a most uncomfortable effect. So I spent most of my spare time
under the awning of a nearby café watching the business transactions of
a couple of “hokey-pokey” wagons, decorated and garnished so that they
resembled the floats in a Queen of the May pageant.

But an inspection of Bois le Duc’s cathedral will reimburse any
traveler who has planned to pay the town a visit. It stands on the edge
of a wide parade ground, not far from the market, from the opposite
side of which the church’s Gothic gargoyles and entablatures can be
seen to good advantage above the trees.

Founded in the eleventh century, this cathedral was originally erected
as a Romanesque edifice. After suffering the inevitable results of a
devastating conflagration, it was rebuilt in the early half of the
fifteenth century, its Romanesque design having been discarded and a
late Gothic one adopted. Since 1860 it has been subjected to a plan of
restoration. And not only from without is it a pleasing contrast to the
usual run of Dutch churches, but it is the only one in Holland whose
interior, having marvelously escaped the iconoclasm of early days,
and having been allowed to remain undesecrated by the customary coat
of whitewash and the central bull ring, is what it ought to be. The
visitor of to-day may obtain an uninterrupted view from one end of the
cathedral to the other, for the authorities, always in need of funds to
carry on the restorations to the church, sold its handsome choir screen
some years ago and realized $4,500 on it. But the absence of the screen
will scarcely be noticed in the cathedral--indeed, the general effect
is more satisfying without it. Stowed away, however, among a collection
of other ecclesiastical curios in the new Victoria and Albert Museum in
South Kensington, London, without the lights and shadows of its church
to enhance its richness, it has lost much of its beauty.

From Bois le Duc I was ticketed to quit the country. I had seen the
cathedral, and time hung heavily, so I wandered back to the station all
of an hour before the scheduled departure of my train, to jot down a
few notes and indulge in a few final musings upon a great nation--the
only little thing about which I found to be its area--a nation of great
deeds in peace and in war, a nation of great men, a nation that has, by
the sheer character of its people, surmounted great obstacles, and a
nation with a future as great as its past.

Each time I have visited Holland I have been loath to leave, but in
more ways than one this feeling was mitigated in Bois le Duc, for Bois
le Duc is a more satisfactory place to leave from than The Hague, for
example, and when the always solicitous station master, in black frock
coat and bright red cap, finally came to tell me that my train was due,
I gathered together my impedimenta and followed him resignedly toward
the train shed.

As I passed through the waiting-room my eye caught some lettering
over the mantel of an artistic fireplace. Its words pronounced the
traveler’s benediction: “_Goede Reis_.” Whether he appreciated the
fact or not, that old fireplace had stood there for years, wishing the
voyageur a pleasant journey, and the gentleness, the simple kindliness
of the message struck me as being characteristic of the men who put it
there--the Hollanders.


THE END



INDEX


    Aanspreker, the, 53, 54

    Acreage, 1

    Admiral de Ruyter, 111, 147

    Admiral Dirkzoon, 154

    Albert Cuyp, 41, 48, 49

    Alexander of Parma, 66, 67

    Alkmaar, 123, 124, 137, 138, 147, 153

    Alma Tadema, Laurens, 172

    Alva, Duke of, 20, 63, 65, 191

    Amalia, Princess, 84

    Amstel, 109

    Amsterdam, 1, 5, 6, 14, 55, 57, 75, 83, 107, 108, 112, 118, 123,
      124, 127–130, 137, 147, 150, 152, 153, 157

    Amsterdam, Bank of, 122

    Amusements, 88, 114, 115, 116, 156, 157

    Animals, 57, 58

    Anjou, Duke of, 66, 67

    Antwerp, 20, 111

    Apeldoorn, 189–191

    Arnhem, 1, 193, 195, 198, 199

    Arras, Bishop of, 63

    Ary Scheffer, 41

    Assen, 179, 182

    Atlantic, 1

    Australia, 152


    Batavia, 151

    Bathazar Gérard, 65–69

    Beekhuizen, 198

    Bergen-op-Zoom, 34, 36, 37

    Beurs, 57

    Bicycles, 23, 24

    Biesbosch, 39

    Biljoen, 198

    Binnenhof, 41, 78–80

    Bishop of Arras, 63

    Bishop of Cambrai, 55

    Bois le Duc, 202, 211–214

    Bonaparte, Louis, 109, 110

    Bosch, The, 84

    Bossu, 153

    Botanical Gardens, Leyden, 99

    Boymans Museum, 50

    Broek, 129

    Bronbeek, 197

    Buiksloot, 128

    Building, 108

    Bulbs, 103, 104


    Canals, 7, 31, 34, 56, 57, 58, 61, 91, 101, 124, 125, 127, 131, 132,
    137, 171, 173

    Canal packets, 2

    Castricum, 147

    Catherine of Schwartzburg, 70

    Cats, Father Jacob, 18

    Cattle raising, 173

    Charitable institutions, 100

    Charles V, 19, 167

    Church of St. Lawrence, 50

    Cleanliness, 8, 34, 35, 59, 60, 129

    Cleve, 199

    Coen, 150

    Coinage, 8

    Coligny, Louisa de, 65

    Colonial Offices, 80

    Comparative size, 1, 2

    Conference, International Peace, 84

    Conquests of the sea, 4, 5

    Corcoran Galleries, 80

    Cornelius De Witt, 41, 79

    Costumes, 22, 23, 135, 167, 168

    Cromwell, Oliver, 19

    Cultivation, 91, 158

    Cuyp, Albert, 41, 48, 49


    Dairy products, 173

    Dam, The, 110

    Damrak, 112, 128

    Delft, 55, 59, 60–62, 65–67, 72

    De Noord, 40

    De Ruyter, Admiral, 111, 147

    Descartes, 101

    Deventer, 187

    De Witt, Cornelius and John, 41, 79

    Diamond trade, 118–120

    Diemer Dike, 153

    Dikes, 5–7, 26, 32, 42, 91, 92, 94, 95, 145, 146, 153

    Dirkzoon, Admiral, 154

    Domburg, 16, 25, 26, 100

    Domestic animals, 57, 58

    Dortrecht, 29, 39, 40–44, 48

    Dou, Gerard, 92

    Dredging, 5

    Drenthe, 176, 181

    Dronrijp, 172

    Duke of Alva, 20, 63, 65, 191

    Duke of Anjou, 66, 67

    Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerin, 82

    Duke of Orange, 63

    Duke of York, 147

    Dutch East Indies, 151

    Dutch East India Company, 61, 109, 151

    Dutch West India Company, 80


    Edam, 21, 124, 130, 131, 138, 153

    Eendragtsweg, 55

    Eise Eisenga, 165

    Endegeest, 101

    England, 19

    Enkhuizen, 154, 157, 158

    Erasmus, Desiderius, 55

    Eusibiusbinnensingel, 194

    Ewyksluis, 33

    Eyerland, 148


    Family life, 57

    Feijenoord, 46

    Fishing, 158

    Flevo, Lake, 159

    Floris V, 78, 109, 138

    Flowers, 102–104, 158

    Flushing, 14, 15, 19, 20, 25

    Foolish Betsy, 21

    France, 8

    Franeker, 165

    Franz Hals, 105

    Frederic of Toledo, 104, 191, 192

    Frederick Henry of Orange, Prince, 84

    Friesland, 33, 63, 144, 148, 160, 165, 168, 173

    Frisian Monks, 5

    Frisian Museum, 170

    Fuel, 181, 182


    Gemeelandshuis, 62

    Gérard, Bathazar, 65–69

    Gerard Dou, 92

    Gerard Terburg, 183

    Germany, 8, 11

    Gevangenpoort, 36, 79

    Gherardts, Gherardt, 54, 55

    Goes, 29, 31, 32, 34

    Goldsmith, Oliver, 13, 92

    Government, 8

    Groningen, 123, 144, 146, 148, 176–178

    Groote Ryndyk, 91

    Grooteveerhaven, 55

    Grotius, 79, 92

    Guides, 76

    Gysbrecht, 109


    Haarlem, 77, 78, 102, 124

    Haarlem Lake, 6

    Haarlem Polder, 101

    Haarlemermeer, 5, 6, 101

    Hague, The, 14, 24, 41, 56, 75–78, 80, 83, 84–86, 91, 124, 138, 204

    Haring, 152

    Haring, John, 153, 155

    Harlingen, 165

    Hasselaer, Kenau, 105

    Helder, The, 123, 128, 143–147

    Hendrik de Keyser, 55

    Hendrik Landman, 17, 18, 21

    ’S Hertogenbosch, 55, 202

    Herr van Klaes, 52, 53

    Het Loo, 190

    Hindeloopen, 165

    Holbein, 81

    Holland, North, 4

    Holland, South, 4

    Hollandsch Diep, 39

    Homes, 57

    Hoogstraat, 83

    Hook, The, 2, 59

    Hoorn, 130, 150, 154, 155, 157

    Hotels, 172


    Ij, The, 124

    Imports, 49, 50

    Inundations, 5

    Inquisition, 73, 74

    Island of Texel, 148, 149

    Island of Urk, 187

    Israels, Josef, 177


    Jansen, Zacharias, 18, 37

    Jan Steen, 81, 92

    Jan van Oldenbarnevelt, 79

    Joden-Breestraat, 113

    John, Long, 16, 17, 20

    John Lothrop Motley, 65, 67, 72, 73, 84, 153, 154, 192

    Josef Israels, 177

    Juliana, Princess, 11, 82


    Kaiser Friedrich’s Museum, 80

    Kalf, Mynheer, 126

    Kalverstraat, 83, 112

    Kampen, 185, 186

    Katwyk, 100, 101

    Kenau Hasselaer, 105

    King William I, 110

    Kreekerak, 34


    Lake Flevo, 159

    Landman, Hendrik, 17, 18, 21

    Language, 29, 30, 31

    Leeuwarden, 123, 157, 165, 168, 169, 171

    Leyden, 6, 42, 64, 91, 92, 93, 95, 98, 101, 104, 139

    Lieutenant van Speyk, 111

    Limburg, 201

    Loevenstein, 79

    Long John, 16, 17, 20

    Louis Bonaparte, 110

    Louis of Nassau, Count, 93

    Louvre, 80


    Maas, 1, 40, 45, 46, 49, 199

    Maastricht, 201

    Maes, Nicolas, 41

    Maps, 3, 33

    Margaret of Parma, 63

    Marken, 126, 127, 129, 135

    Markets, 34, 178, 194, 204, 205

    Marriage, 9–11

    Marsdiep, Strait of, 145, 146, 148

    Marssum, 173

    Maurice of Nassau, 78

    Maurice of Orange, 79

    Mauritshuis, 80, 81

    Mauritsweg, 55

    Mechlin, 191

    Mecklenburg-Schwerin, Duke of, 82

    Meppel, 179, 183

    Merwede, 40

    Mesdag, H. W., 177

    Mesdag Museum, 83, 172

    Meuse, 94

    Middelburg, 15, 16, 20, 21, 22, 24, 25, 27, 29, 64

    Ministry of Justice, 80

    Mint Tower, 112

    Monnikendam, 21, 128, 129, 130, 135

    Mons, 191

    Morsch Gate, 99

    Motley, John Lothrop, 65, 67, 72, 84, 153, 154, 192

    Municipal Abbatoir, 121, 122

    Municipal Pawnshop, 120, 121

    Murillo, 81


    Napoleon Bonaparte, 24, 81

    New Zealand, 152

    Nicolas Maes, 41

    Nieuwediep, 148

    Noordwyk, 100

    North Holland, 4

    North Sea, 4, 39, 124, 144

    Nymwegen, 191, 198, 199


    Oliver Goldsmith, 13, 92

    Oosterkade, 51

    Oosterpoort, 150

    Orange, Prince of, 94, 105

    Over-Yssel, 176


    Parklaan, 55

    Patriotism, 12

    Paupers, 100

    Pavements, 21, 22

    Peace Palace, 85

    Peter the Great, 126

    Petroleum Harbor, 124

    Philip II, 19, 62, 63

    Piaam, 33

    Pile Driving, 108, 110

    Plein 1813, 83

    Polder, 7, 31, 32, 33, 101, 137

    Population, 1

    Potter, Paul, 81

    Prince of Orange, 20, 61, 64

    Princess Juliana, 11, 82

    Prinsenhof, 65


    Queen Wilhelmina, 12, 74, 82, 110, 111, 190


    Railways, 2, 7, 38, 39, 43, 57, 80, 91, 92, 137, 157, 179, 180, 181

    Reclamation, 159

    Rembrandt, 80, 92, 117

    Rembrandtplein, 112, 114

    Rhine, The, 12, 40, 46, 50, 101, 199

    Rijks Museum, 116, 117

    Rosendaal, 37, 197

    Rotterdam, 1, 40, 45, 46, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 54–58, 75, 79, 83, 94,
    95, 110, 124

    Royal Palace, 82, 110

    Rubens, 81

    Rynland, 101

    Rynsburg, 101


    Scheldt, 16, 19, 34

    Schenkweg, 91

    Scheveningen, 83, 85, 87, 89, 90, 100, 135

    Schiedam, 94, 95

    Schokland, 187

    Schools, 9

    Schouten, 150, 152

    Sea, conquests of the, 4, 5

    Sea, North, 4, 39, 124

    Shoes, wooden, 4

    Size, 1, 2

    Smoking, 51, 52, 53

    Sneek, 165

    Society for the Public Welfare, 100

    Solomon Islands, 152

    Sonoy, 153

    Sonsbeek, 196

    South Holland, 4

    Spaniards, 42, 64, 95–97, 139, 152, 153, 191

    Spinoza, 101

    Spuistraat, 83

    St. Nicholas Abbey, 21

    St. Pancras, 99

    Staple, 40, 41

    Stavoren, 157, 159, 160–164

    Steen, Jan, 81, 92

    Storks, 173–175

    Strait of Marsdiep, 145, 146, 148

    Straits Settlements, 52

    Street railways, 51

    Sumatra, 52

    Switzerland, 8


    Tasman, 150, 151

    Tasmania, 151

    Telegraph line, 56

    Terburg, 81, 183

    Texel, 149

    The Hague, 14, 24, 41, 56, 75–78, 80, 83–86, 91, 124, 138, 204

    The Hook, 2

    The Rhine, 12, 40, 46, 50, 101, 199

    Tolls, 27

    Topography, 1

    Tromp, 147

    Tulips, 102–104


    Utrecht, 63, 202–204, 208

    Utrecht, University of, 207, 208


    Valdez, 94

    Van der Werf, 95

    Van der Werf Park, 99

    Van Dieman, 151

    Van Dyke, 81

    Van Ruysdael, Jacob, 105

    Veere, 16, 21, 23–27

    Velasquez, 81

    Velperplein, 195

    Venice, 44

    Verdronken Land, 34

    Vermeer, 81

    Volendam, 124, 126, 127, 131–135

    Voorburg, 92

    Voorschoten, 92

    Vroek, 130

    Vrouwensand, 160


    Waal, 40, 199, 200

    Wagenaarstraat, 18

    Walcheren, 14–17, 20, 22, 24, 26

    Wegenstraat, 83

    West Hove, 25

    Westkapelle, 26, 27

    Westplein, 46

    Wilhelminakade, 47

    Wilhelmina, Queen, 12, 74, 82, 110, 111, 190

    Willem’splein, 80

    Willem’s Park, 83

    William I, 190

    William II, 78, 79, 166, 190, 197

    William III, 197

    William of Orange, Prince, 20, 61, 64, 94

    William the Silent, 62, 63, 65, 66, 69, 71–73, 80, 82, 93

    Windmills, 4, 125

    Wooden shoes, 4

    Wynstraat, 41


    Y, The, 124, 128

    Yssel, 94, 95, 185, 191, 200


    Zaan, 137

    Zaandam, 123, 125, 126, 137, 147, 157

    Zacharias Jansen, 37

    Zandvoort, 124

    Zeeland, 4, 14, 15, 22, 27, 34, 64

    Zuid-Beveland Canal, 34

    Zuid-Holland, 39

    Zuidplas Polder, 7

    Zuyder Zee, 1, 2, 4, 32, 35, 123, 124, 126–128, 130, 144, 157, 159,
      166, 176, 185, 191

    Zutphen, 191, 192

    Zwolle, 123, 179, 183


    Transcriber’s Note

    The changes are as follows:

    Page 16—seven and a half minutes changed to seven-and-a-half
      minutes.
    Page 22, Page 43 and Page 91—brick paved changed to brick-paved.
    Page 23—robbin’s changed to robin’s.
    Page 27—fifteenth century changed to fifteenth-century.
    Page 30—diaphram changed to diaphragm.
    Page 30—black-and-white cattle changed to black and white cattle.
    Page 49—machine-shops changed to machine shops.
    Page 57—awnnings changed to awnings.
    Page 63—anl changed to and.
    Page 70—half-way changed to halfway.
    Page 80—Friederich’s changed to Friedrich’s.
    Page 85—beside being changed to besides being.
    Page 95—marketplace changed to market place.
    Page 104—comma added after the siege of Lyden.
    Page 113—pleasure seeking changed to pleasure-seeking.
    Page 116—rused changed to rushed.
    Page 123 and Page 209—situate changed to situated.
    Page 130—four fifths changed to four-fifths.
    Page 136—brass work changed to brass-work.
    Page 172—Donrijp changed to Dronrijp.
    Page 191—blood-thirsty changed to bloodthirsty.
    Page 195—Velper Plein changed to Velperplein.
    Page 196—picnicers changed to picnickers.
    Page 197—Rozendaal changed to Rosendaal.
    Page 198—Keiser-Karelsplein changed to Keiser-Karelplein.
    Page 201—topograhy changed to topography.
    Page 201—Furhermore changed to Furthermore.
    Page 203—States General changed to States-General.


    In the Index:
    Page 215—Pages 41–48 for Albert Cuyp changed to
      41, 48, 49.
    Page 216—Donrijp changed to Dronrijp, and the
        alphabetical order corrected.
    Page 217—Osterpoort changed to Oosterpoort.
    Page 218—Schenckweg changed to Schenkweg.
    Page 218—Velper Plein changed to Velperplein.
    Page 218—Verdronkenland changed to Verdronken Land.
    Page 219—Zaandvoort changed to Zandvoort, and the
        alphabetical order corrected.





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