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We piled up most of our baggage upon this, and surmounted the whole with a large wicker basket, containing divers cold chickens, salt tongues, bottles of porter, &c., the remains of the sea-stores from England. On a narrow seat in front, tastefully adorned with a yellow plush cushion, sat Mr. I placed myself forward on a bench with the driver. The machine was drawn by one black horse and one white one, whose heads were tied together by a rope. Each horse was proudly caparisoned with a leathern bridle; round his breast was bound a strip of woollen, apparently torn from some tattered blanket; over this was passed a rope, which tied him to the carriage behind, while another rope was tied to his nose, to enable the coachman to hold him in, if by some strange impulse he should be induced to move. No saddle, buckle, band, or rein, impaired the simplicity of his appearance. ropes and a piece of blanket are sufficient for the harness of a royal coach. The other carriage, een koetz met twee paerden, had a roof and was lined within, but was much harder than our machine. The horses, too, had something like saddles, but were harnessed with ropes like the others. When all was ready, our coachman lighted his pipe, mounted his seat, placed his foot on the back of the horse immediately before him, cracked his whip, and away we drove full speed, at the rate of one mile and three quarters an hour.
Our way, for some time, lay along the sea-shore, on the first dike which guards this strange country. We were struck with the propriety of Goldsmith's expression in de
scribing Holland,-" Where the broad ocean leans against the land." It was apparent to the eye, that the greater part of the country was below the level of the sea. We soon afterwards left the shore, and crossed the country to the second range of dikes. These dikes are barriers or ridges of earth, thown up about twelve or fifteen feet high, and broad enough to have a road on the top. The country is every where a morass, and the houses are built in situations which we should think absolutely uninhabitable. They are surrounded by moats or ditches, where the water remains stagnant only an inch or two below the surface of the ground. Round the door, there is generally a neat brick pavement, and a small bridge across the ditch ;-the pavement is usually continued as far as to the road on the dike. The houses are built of very small red bricks, with either red tiles or thatch on the roofs; and are always very neat. We passed through several villages which were very neat, but very ugly. The streets are well paved with small bricks, for you know there is not a stone in the country. There are no enclosures, for the fields are separated by ditches instead of fences. Frequently, however, these ditches are planted with willows, which add much to the pleasantness of the scene. You cannot have a better idea of the country, than by imagining Hampton marsh extended as far as the eye can reach, covered with a delightful verdure, and studded here and there with a village, instead of the haycocks, which are now scattered over it. The villages. are surrounded with trees, planted as thick as they can grow, which give them the appearance of islands in this ex
tensive level. It was painful to observe the people every where ragged and poor; but the Orange flag was waving on every church, and the Orange cockade mounted on every hat and bonnet,—the pledge of happier times.
At sunset, which was about half past eight, we arrived opposite Rotterdam, and soon bargained for a boat to carry us across the Maese. We directed the boatman to land as near the Bath Hotel as possible. Upon entering the city, we were a little surprised at finding him row up one street and down another, till we stopped at the very door of our house. Upon landing here, to our no small disappointment, we found it full. followed us in the boat with
the baggage, while the rest of us walked to another hotel. As we went, I remarked to the strangeness of the event, that she and I should be wandering about Rotterdam, after nine o'clock at night, in search of a lodging! We are now at a large hotel, where the mistress speaks English and the bar-keeper stutters it, the waiters, attached to our apartments, speak French,-the boot-cleaner and porter speak in German, and the chambermaids know nothing but Dutch. This confusion of languages produces some perplexity, but infinite amusement. and I have applied ourselves assiduously to the Dutch for two days past, and already know some dozen phrases, which we are proud of uttering. Rotterdam exactly corresponds to my notion of Venice. The principal streets are canals, filled with boats and vessels of every description. On each side of the canal is a path, paved with brick, wide enough for carriages. The walls of many of the houses on the
back, are also washed by canals, which intersect the large ones at right angles. I have walked round and through the city, and look where you will, you see masts of vessels towering above the houses, mingled with the trees with which the banks of the canals are every where lined. Mr. a respectable merchant, whom I have visited, says, that the hatred against the French is inconceivably great. To-morrow is a national thanksgiving for Wellington's victory at Waterloo. The communication with France is not yet open, though it is believed, at present, that the Allies are in Paris.
Leyden, July 9, 1815.
THOUGH it is Sunday, I think it more edifying to write a letter to you, than to listen to a Dutch Sermon, of which I could not understand a word—to say nothing of the fact, that the Dutch ministers usually preach three hours— in a tone, that nothing but Dutch patience could tolerate. If has received a letter, which I wrote to her from Rotterdam, you will have learned how we came to Holland, and in what style we entered the magnificent city of Erasmus. After spending three days at Rotterdam, we set out for the Hague on Thursday morning, to hear Madame Catalani, who was to give an Oratorio for the benefit of the
widows and children of those soldiers who had fallen at the battle of Waterloo. The performance was fixed at one o'clock, to accommodate the king, who was going to Amsterdam in the afternoon. We hired two splendid carriages, one lined with crimson velvet, and the other with orange plush garnished with green,-each with a broken bellowstop over the back seat, and a canopy of tattered tow cloth, tied in festoons over the front seat. Two fiery chargers were harnessed to each, with a brace of bed-cord,-their long sweeping tails being first twisted and tied into a knot, like the hair of the American ladies. The coachman, grasping his cod-line rein in one hand, brandished his eelskin whip in the other, and we soon made the pavement quake under us, as if it were trod by one of their own Burgomasters. As we approached Delft, we were met by a great crowd of women and children, running out of town with every mark of terror and consternation. As soon as they saw us, they lifted up their arms and poured forth a torrent of Dutch gutturals, which sounded like the winding up of a smoke-jack. The coachmen immediately stopped. "What is the matter?" "Turn back, turn back," was all
the answer we received.
At length one woman stopped and talked with us. Our coachman, understanding a little English and a little French, acted as interpreter; and after a parley of three or four minutes, we were able to guess that one of the dikes had broken loose, and all the country was under water. "Drive on, then, and let us see it," was our order. The coachman, with evident reluctance, turned his horses and proceeded a few steps,-then stopped