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Transcriber's Notes:

The following spelling/typographical errors have been changed.

p19--changed "defense" to "defence" for consistency with rest of book.

p74--changed "treschkuit" to "trekschuit".

p180--changed "cites" to "cities".

p194--changed "tactiturn" to "taciturn".

p210--changed "were" to "where" in 'the cell were (changed to where)
Philip II. died;'.

Other spelling, grammatical, punctuation and typographic errors have
been left as in the original book.


[Illustration: A Dutch Windmill.]


HOLLAND.


BY
EDMONDO DE AMICIS,

AUTHOR OF "SPAIN," "MOROCCO," ETC.


TRANSLATED FROM THE THIRTEENTH EDITION OF THE ITALIAN BY
HELEN ZIMMERN.


ILLUSTRATED.


IN TWO VOLUMES.


VOL. I.


PHILADELPHIA
HENRY T. COATES & CO.


COPYRIGHT, 1894, BY
PORTER & COATES.


TO
PIETRO GROLIER.




CONTENTS.


PAGE
HOLLAND 9

ZEALAND 29

ROTTERDAM 57

DELFT 131

THE HAGUE 171




LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.

VOLUME I.

Photographs taken expressly for this edition of "Holland" by
Dr. CHARLES L. MITCHELL, Philadelphia.

Photogravures by A.W. ELSON & CO., Boston.


PAGE

A DUTCH WINDMILL _Frontispiece._

DUTCH FISHING-BOATS 26

DORDRECHT--CANAL WITH CATHEDRAL IN THE DISTANCE 48

IN ROTTERDAM 64

INTERIOR OF THE CHURCH OF ST. LAWRENCE 80

ON THE MEUSE, NEAR ROTTERDAM 94

THE STEIGER, ROTTERDAM 110

THE STATUE OF TOLLENS 126

NEAR THE ARSENAL, DELFT 134

MONUMENT OF ADMIRAL VAN TROMP 140

STAIRWAY WHERE WILLIAM THE SILENT WAS ASSASSINATED
IN THE PRINSENHOF, DELFT 150

REFECTORY OF THE CONVENT OF ST. AGATHA, DELFT 156

OLD DELFT 166

ON THE CANAL NEAR DELFT 174

THE BINNENHOF, THE HAGUE 184

PAUL POTTER'S BULL 198

ON THE ROAD TO SCHEVENINGEN 214

FISHERMAN'S CHILDREN, SCHEVENINGEN 228

THE MAIN DRIVE IN THE BOSCH, THE HAGUE 246

THE VYVER, THE HAGUE 262




HOLLAND.


One who looks for the first time at a large map of Holland must be
amazed to think that a country so made can exist. At first sight, it
is impossible to say whether land or water predominates, and whether
Holland belongs to the continent or to the sea. Its jagged and narrow
coast-line, its deep bays and wide rivers, which seem to have lost the
outer semblance of rivers and to be carrying fresh seas to the sea;
and that sea itself, as if transformed to a river, penetrating far
into the land, and breaking it up into archipelagoes; the lakes and
vast marshes, the canals crossing each other everywhere,--all leave an
impression that a country so broken up must disintegrate and
disappear. It would be pronounced a fit home for only beavers and
seals, and surely its inhabitants, although of a race so bold as to
dwell there, ought never to lie down in peace.

When I first looked at a large map of Holland these thoughts crowded
into my mind, and I felt a great desire to know something about the
formation of this singular country; and as what I learned impelled me
to make a book, I write it now in the hope that I may lead others to
read it.

Those who do not know a country usually ask travellers, "What sort of
place is it?"

Many have told briefly what kind of country Holland is.

Napoleon said: "It is an alluvium of French rivers, the Rhine, the
Scheldt, and the Meuse," and under this pretext he annexed it to the
Empire. One writer defined it as a sort of transition between the
earth and the sea. Another calls it "an immense surface of earth
floating on the water." Others speak of it as an annex of the old
continent, the China of Europe, the end of the earth and the beginning
of the ocean--a huge raft of mud and sand; and Philip II. called it
"the country nearest hell."

But on one point they were all agreed, and expressed themselves in the
same words: Holland is a conquest of man over the sea; it is an
artificial country; the Dutch made it; it exists because the Dutch
preserve it, and would disappear if they were to abandon it.

To understand these words we must picture to ourselves Holland as it
was when the first German tribes, wandering in search of a country,
came to inhabit it.

Holland was then almost uninhabitable. It was composed of lakes, vast
and stormy as seas, flowing into each other; marshes and morasses,
thickets and brushwood; of huge forests, overrun by herds of wild
horses; vast stretches of pines, oaks, and alder trees, in which,
tradition tells us, you could traverse leagues passing from trunk to
trunk without ever putting your foot to the ground. The deep bays
carried the northern storms into the very heart of the country. Once a
year certain provinces disappeared under the sea, becoming muddy
plains which were neither earth nor water, on which one could neither
walk nor sail. The large rivers, for lack of sufficient incline to
drain them into the sea, strayed here and there, as if uncertain which
road to take, and then fell asleep in vast pools amongst the
coast-sands. It was a dreary country, swept by strong winds, scourged
by continual rain, and enveloped in a perpetual fog, through which
nothing was heard save the moaning of the waves, the roaring of wild
beasts and the screeching of sea-fowl. The first people who had the
courage to pitch their tents in it were obliged to erect with their
own hands, hillocks of earth as a protection from the inundations of
the rivers and the invasions of the ocean, and they were obliged to
live on these heights like shipwrecked-men on lonely islands,
descending, when the waters withdrew, to seek nourishment by fishing,
hunting, and collecting the eggs which the sea-fowl had laid on the
sands. Csar, when he passed by, gave the first name to this people.
The other Latin historians spoke with mingled pity and respect of
these intrepid barbarians who lived on "a floating country," exposed
to the inclemency of an unfeeling sky and to the fury of the
mysterious North Sea. Imagination can picture the Roman soldiers from
the heights of the utmost wave-washed citadels of the empire,
contemplating with sadness and wonder the wandering tribes of that
desolate country, and regarding them as a race accursed of Heaven.

Now, when we reflect that such a region has become one of the richest,
most fertile, and best-governed countries in the world, we understand
how justly Holland is called the conquest of man.

But it should be added that it is a continuous conquest.

To explain this fact,--to show how the existence of Holland,
notwithstanding the great works of defence built by its inhabitants,
still requires an incessant struggle fraught with perils,--it is
sufficient to glance rapidly at the greatest changes of its physical
history, beginning at the time when its people had reduced it to a
habitable country.

Tradition tells of a great inundation of Friesland in the sixth
century. From that period catastrophes are recorded in every gulf, in
every island, one may say, in almost every town, of Holland. It is
reckoned that through thirteen centuries one great inundation, besides
smaller ones, has taken place every seven years, and, since the
country is an extended plain, these inundations were very deluges.
Toward the end of the thirteenth century the sea destroyed part of a
very fertile peninsula near the mouth of the Ems and laid waste more
than thirty villages. In the same century a series of marine
inundations opened an immense gap in Northern Holland and formed the
Gulf of the Zuyder Zee, killing about eighty thousand people. In 1421
a storm caused the Meuse to overflow, and in one night buried in its
waters seventy-two villages and one hundred thousand inhabitants. In
1532 the sea broke the embankments of Zealand, destroyed a hundred
villages, and buried for ever a vast tract of the country. In 1570 a
tempest produced another inundation in Zealand and in the province of
Utrecht; Amsterdam was inundated, and in Friesland twenty thousand
people were drowned. Other great floods occurred in the seventeenth
century; two terrible ones at the beginning and at the end of the
eighteenth; one in 1825, which laid waste Northern Holland, Friesland,
Over-Yssel, and Gelderland; another in 1855, when the Rhine,
overflowing, flooded Gelderland and the province of Utrecht and
submerged a large part of North Brabant. Besides these great
catastrophes, there occurred in the different centuries innumerable
others which would have been famous in other countries, but were
scarcely noticed in Holland--such as the inundation of the large Lake
of Haarlem caused by an invasion of the sea. Flourishing towns of the
Zuyder Zee Gulf disappeared under water; the islands of Zealand were
repeatedly covered by the sea and then again left dry; the villages on
the coast from Helder to the mouths of the Meuse were frequently
submerged and ruined; and in each of these inundations there was an
immense loss of life of both man and beast. It is clear that miracles
of courage, constancy, and industry must have been wrought by the
Dutch people, first in creating, and then in preserving, such a
country.

The enemy against which the Dutch had to defend their country was
threefold--the sea, the rivers, and the lakes. The Dutch drained the
lakes, drove back the sea, and imprisoned the rivers.

To drain the lakes they called the air to their aid. The lakes and
marshes were surrounded with dykes, the dykes with canals and an army
of windmills; these, putting the suction-pumps in motion, poured the
waters into the canals, which conducted them into the rivers and to
the sea.



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