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180

STATE OF THE HAGUE.

Cromwell, in the character of embassador of the States to England, where he was received with that politeness and attention which our country never fails to observe towards strangers of merit and distinction : having accomplished the object of his mission, he retired from the bustle of life to his native country, in the bosom of which he expired, beloved, honored, and lamented.

I was not much suprised to find that the splendor of the Hague was principally confined to its buildings, although it has been so often, in other times, celebrated for its magnificence and the expence of its inhabitants : the revolution expelled its hereditary princes, dispersed its nobles, and visited every description of society with more or less distress. However, I was informed by those who were enabled to compare, that it is again rearing its head. Before the revolution, sumptuous equipages and various other characteristics of polished luxury were displayed in: almost every street; and the foreign ministers vied with each other in costly splendor: during the operation of that political hur ricane scarce any other carriage was to be seen save a few crazy fiacres, and every servant was stripped of his livery. At present, society seems to be returning to many of its original habits, and some handsome equipages appeared in different parts of the town ; yet, upon the whole, the first impression of its gloom was never effaced.

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Upon enquiry after the present state of literature at this place, I found it was considered at a very low ebb : the press of the Hague was once justly celebrated, but has of late emitted little more than a few pamphlets of inconsiderable merit. Before the revolution there were several capital booksellers' shops, of which I could only discover two; the books in their shops, apparently, the remains of declining literary traffic, were neither. very numerous nor very valuable. The booksellers formerly found very ample encouragement in the affluence of the court, and many petty German princes who selected the Hague for their residence. It has been asserted that as the Hague contained the seat of the executive government and of the representative bodies during the revolution, it suffered much less than any other town in the republic; but this I was well assured was not the case, because the commercial towns still derived resources from their commerce and enterprize, through the medium of neutral bottoms and other circuitous modes of traffic, notwithstanding the severity of British blockades and the vigilance of British cruizers..

The Hague has produced several very distinguished painters ; amongst others I must beg to mention Daniel Mytens, who was born in 1636, and went to study at Rome, and afterwards employed himself in designing after

182

ANECDOTE OF MYTEXS.

the antique, in copying the most celebrated paintings of the best artists, and adding considerably. to his improvement by an intimacy which he formed there with Carlo Maratti and Carlo Loti. The dreadful habits of dissipation to which Mytens was addicted, deplorably interfered with his advancement in his profession. His imagination was lively, his colouring ágreeable, his composition good, and he designed with great facility. After a long residence in Italy, he returned to the Hague, where he was much admired and cherished by the lovers of the arts : bis eminent qualities were displayed in those works which he painted at Rome, and upon his return to the Hague, where, not many years after, his productions became greatly depreciated, from his constant indulgence in the most intemperate excesses, to which he at length fell a victim in the year 1688. He acquired mich and deserved reputation for the sketch of a very noble design for a ceiling of the painters' hall at the Hague: this work he commenced, and left unfinished for some years ; at Jength he roused himself from his indolence, but it was only to shew what ravages it had made on his fine abilities, for he only injured the work which he attempted to improve. Another distinguished artist, who has shed lustre upon the Hagué, is John Hanneman, who was born here in 1611 ; by some he was said to have been a pupil of Vandyke. By others, and with greater probability, that of

ANECDOTE OF HANNEMAN.

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Hubert Ravestein ; and in the soft and delicate tints of his carnations, he is considered to be very little inferior to Vandyke: many of Hanneman's copies of that illustrious artist are mistaken for the originals.

Hanneman continued in England sixteen years, and upon his return to the Hague became the favourite painter of the Princess , of Orange : he was also employed by the Prince of Nassau, for whom he painted, amongst others, several historical pictures, which are now highly esteemed. The third and last artist I shall mension is John le Duc, who was born at the Hague in 1636, and was a disciple of Paul Potter, so justly celebrated as a painter of cattle, whose works, however, are often scarcely distinguishable from those of his pupil. His principal subjects were the same as those of his master, viz. horses, sheep, goats, cows, &c. He finished his pictures very highly, and possessed great facility of pencil and purity of style. He was appointed director of the academy of painting at the Hague in the year 1671. The desire of distinguishing himself in arms induced him to exert all his interest to obtain a company, and such was his gallantry in the field, that he obtained the epithet of “ Brave,” after which, unfortunately for the arts, he neither painted nor designed.

CHAPTER XI.

VEGETABLE PROBLEMS-APPROACH TO LEYDEN- GENERAL DESCRIP

TION OF THAT TOWN-THE TOWN HALL-CELEBRATED PICTURE OF LUCAS YAN LEYDEN-ANECDOTE OF THAT PAINTER--ALSO OF KAREL DE MOOR-PICTURE OF THE SIEGE OF LEYDEN-DESCRIPTION OF THAT HORRIBLE SLEGE-GENEROUS AND HEROIC CONDUCT OF THE DUTCH WOMEN--ALSO OF PETER ADRIAN-THE MOUNT-UNIVERSITY OF LEYDEN-THE STUDENTS-ANECDOTES OF BOERHAAVE-PETER THE GREAT-GENIUS AND DIFFIDENCE-CONFIDENCE IN PROVIDENCE-MONUMENT OF BOERHAAVE..

AFTER spending some days very pleasantly at the Hague, I proceeded to the Leyden treckschuyt, which lay at a great distance from the hotel, where I found, from the blunder of the waiter before detailed, that I was considered as a personage of considerable consequence, on account of my having engaged the whole of the ruif to myself. The day was brilliantly fine, and nothing could be more delightful than my passage to Leyden : for two miles and a half the left bank of the canal presented an unbroken succession of handsome country houses and highly cultivated grounds, which although laid out like so many vegetable problems, abounded with a variety of forms, which, as they were clad in luxuriant green, were very agree

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