Imágenes de páginas
PDF

ing upon the complexion of the la- at prices so very reasonable, that they dies of this country, they may be said would be considered as next to nos to be generally without colour, and thing in England. Real china jars, rather sallow, effects which strangers for example, might have been purscruple not to attribute to much con- chased for half a guinea which meafinement, and to the constant use of sured about two feet in height, and these hot pans. My own opinion, other articles in proportion. however, is, that the sharp counte. The process of making gin from rye nance of the French, and the round and barley is nearly similar to that of visage of the Dutch, is more intimate- making whisky from the latter. The ly connected with the circumstances stills appear to be from 50 or 80 galof climate and a certain nationality of lons, and the whole process is concharacter, than with any adventitious ducted in the most systematic and treatment of the body.

cleanly manner. The worts, in parIn the afternoon the party attended ticular, are conveyed from the stillthe Scotch church, where the Reve- house by wooden troughs into pits, rend Mr Anderson and the Reverend from which they are again pumped Mr M‘Phail are the pastors. It hap- into boats, and carried in hulk to the pened to be Mr M‘Phail who preach- fields on the banks of the canals, where ed, a gentleman who had the hardi- they are run off into tanks for the use hood to raise up his voice against the of cattle. Although our visit to Schiarbitrary decisions of Bonaparte, and dam was undertaken before breakfast, in those troublesome times was like it was still thought necessary to taste to have been taken through bands; the spirit in its several stages. It was he nevertheless persisted in that line particularly nauseous and disagreeable of conduct which he considered to be before undergoing the second process his duty.

of distillation with the juniper berry. This morning the This indispensable ingredient in the

weather being extreme- process of making gin, together with 4th August. ly fine, some of the par- the coal for fuel, is brought chiefly ty made an excursion before breakfast from Germany by the Rhine. In the to Schidam, which is only about three upper apartments of these establishor four miles from Rotterdam. The ments we saw many sacks of juniper road between these towns is wholly berries, which are here shown as the upon the top of the dike for the de- hop packets are shown at Meux's in fence of this part of the country aLondon. In the course of this visit gainst the floods and speat waters of to Schidam we saw at one of the disthe Meuse. Schidam is the principal tilleries an old and much rusted ship's town in Holland for the distillation of anchor, 4 feet 6 inches in length, with Geneva ; it is said to contain 12,000 a square shank, and otherwise pecuinhabitants, and had about 270 distil- liar in its construction. The account leries before the war, which are now given of this anchor, together with reduced to about 80, and even this li- the necessity of dikes for the defence mited number is understood to be ra- of Holland, afford some interesting ther in a languishing way, owing to views of the natural history of this a general stagnation of trade. But territory, to which I shall endeavour, when we speak of so great a number in a future letter, briefly to allude. of distilleries, you are not to think of In digging under ground for the founcomparing them with the great works dation of one of the houses connected of this kind in Scotland, some of with the distillery, this anchor was which are said to pay upwards of found at the depth of 10 or 12 feet L. 9000 per week of duty to govern- under ground, a proof that, at one ment, doing, perhaps, more business time, this spot, in the central part of than the whole distilleries of Schithe town, had been the entrance to dam put together. This town is only the Meuse, or had at least formed interesting on account of its distille one of its mouths: at any rate, it ries, and the convenient manner in had been a place for the anchorage of which the canals ramify through it in ships, though now about 3 miles from every direction. There seems here the banks of the Meuse, and at least to be a great proportion of shops for 10 miles from the nearest part of the the sale of old china and articles of sea-coast. The dikes of Holland af that description, which are exposed ford most wonderful examples of the art and industry of the Dutch nation; for the ordinary services of a porter. they are literally great mounds of No wonder than the old man should earth and clay, regularly formed after prefer working at doden mens kestein. the best practice of the engineer; But he informed the party, that if he sometimes they are faced or defended had known thž 6 we were English, he to seaward, with rice work, wattled would have been much more pointed with small branches of osiers ; in other in his attendance. On arriving at the and more exposed situations they are top of the steeple, we found that our armed or fenced with stone, brick, labours were amply repaid for all our straw, and even in some places the trouble, and as the guide was very importance of these banks is so essen- civil, and withal well informed as to tial to the safety and preservation of the localities, we had great pleasure in the country, that we find them cover- the view of an extensive district of ed at certain places with canvass or South Holland, including the range of sail-cloth. The dike which we tra- islands to the westward of Helvoete velled upon this morning is for de sluys, the track of the Meuse, Wilfending Rotterdam and the adjoining liamstadt, Dort, Gouda, Utrecht, Leycountry from the inundations of the den, Hague, Schidam, Flaarden, &c. Meuse, which is frequently over- &c. with many curious and remarkcharged with land floods on the one able intersections of land and water, hand, and by the high tides and storms beyond all parallel in England. The of the ocean on the other. Before, city of Rotterdam is seen ramifying however, enlarging upon this subject, below the spectator in streets, canals, I shall return to Rotterdam, and make trees, and shipping, with numerous a few additional remarks connected drawbridges, and a crowded populawith that great commercial city. tion passing to and fro in every direc

Rotterdam takes its name from the tion. After enjoying this interesting stream called the Rotter, on which it scene for a tinie, we descended to one is built. It is the rival city of Am- of our friends, who, having seen the sterdam, and, in the opinion of some, view before, w.is left studying his pocsurpasses it in every thing excepting ket dictionary for a scold in Dutch, in population, and perhaps the extent for the sexton's irregular attendance of its merchandise. Rotterdam is said as a cicerone ; this rebuke, so preto contain about 55,000 inhabitants. pared, was at the same time delivered It commands a great part of the trade in such a strain of good humour, that of France and Germany by the Meuse; the poor sexton was evidently at a loss and, forming a nuch more immediate what to make of our friend, and joinand ready communication with the sea ed the party in heartily laughing at than Ainsterdam, seems in every re- the joke. Our attention, however, spect better calculated to become the was very suddenly turned to a differ emporium of commercial intercourse ent subject; a beadle, clothed in a for Holland than its capital.

black gown, having at the moment Upon returning from Schidam, the walked across the church, whully un. party paid another visit to the church attended, carrying the coffin of an inof St Lawrence, and ascended to the fant under his arm, which appeared top of the steeple, an excursion to be so small, that it had probably which had hitherto been prevent. been the remains of a still-born child. ed by our being repeatedly disap- The coffin was of oak, of the natural pointed in meeting with the sex. colour of the timber. The man laid ton, whose other a vocations being it upon the ground, and lifting part more profitable, he was, for our pur- of the pavement of the church, he pose, very difficult of access. The turned up a little of the sand below, sign-board over his door contained the and deposited his charge with the following intimation: Heren maket least possible ceremony. doden mens Kestein," or, in English, In returning to the hotel, we passed « Coffins made here." A long stair, the house where the eminent Erasmus said to be nearly 200 feet in height, was born. Over the door is a short was now to be mounted, in a country inscription in Latin, stating that Eraswhere a doyt, or the 8th part of a mus, who adorned the world with penny, is in current circulation, and science and virtue, was born there in where a doubleque, or twopence, is the year 1467. The Dutch are proud considered a sufficient remuneration of his name, and in honour of his me

mory, the burgomasters of Rotter. Hence, their travels are more ho. dam have erected a statue, said to be nest and accurate, the more remote of bronze work, on one of the bridges the country described. I would place in the middle of the city, representing implicit confidence in an Englishman's this distinguished scholar in a gown description of the regions beyond the and cap, with a book in his hand. cataracts of the Nile; of unknown The figure seems to be rather larger islands in the Yellow Sea; of the inthan life, but its expression exhibits terior of Africa ; or of any other tract little of animation or intelligence, and which other travellers might be apt while we doubt the correctness of the to picture out with the illusions of taste which placed the statue of Eras- their fancies; but I would cautiously mus in a market place, it is shocking receive his account of his immediate to observe, that the unballowed brush neighbours, and of those nations with of the painter has been suffered to lay which he is in habits of most frequent this piece of sculpture under succes- intercourse. However I might be sive coats of white paint, like an orna, disposed to trust his probity, I dare mental head on the prow of a ship. not trust his prejudices. (To be continued.) S. But it has been the peculiar lot of

our country, to be visited by the worst

kind of English travellers. While ENGLISH WRITERS ON AMERICA.

men of philosophical spirit and culti

vated minds have been envoys from “ Methinks I see in my mind a noble England to rana

England to ransack the poles, to peand puissant nation, rousing herself, like a,

netrate the deserts, and to study the strong man after sleep, and shaking her in. vincible locks: methinks I see her as an

manners and customs of barbarous naeagle, mewing her mighty youth, and

tions, with which she can have no kindling her endazzled eyes at the full permanent intercourse of profit or mid-day beam.”

pleasure ; it is left to the broken down Milton on the Liberty of the Press. tradesman, the scheming adventurer,

the wandering mechanic, the ManIt is with feelings of deep regret

chester and Birmingham agent, to be that I have noticed the literary ani

her oracles respecting America-to mosity daily growing up between

treat of a country in a singular state England and America. Great curio

of moral and physical development; sity has been awakened of late with

where one of the greatest political exrespect to the United States, and the

periments in the history of the world London press has teemed with volumes

is now performing, and which preof travels through the republic; but

sents the most profound and momenthey seem intended to diffuse error

tous studies for the statesman and the rather than knowledge; and so suc

philosopher. cessful have they been, that, notwith- " That such men should give prejustanding the constant intercourse be- diced accounts of America is not a tween the nations, there is none con

matter of surprise. The themes it cerning which the great mass of the

offers for contemplation are too vast British people have less pure infor

and elevated for their capacities. The mation, or more prejudices.

national character is yet in a state of English travellers are the best and

fermentation ; it may have its frothithe worst in the world. Where no

ness and sediment, but its ingredients motives of pride or interest intervene,

are sound and wholesome: it has al. none can equal them for profound and

rcady given proofs of powerful and philosophical views of society, or faith

generous qualities, and the whole proful and graphical descriptions of ex

mises to settle down into something ternal objects ; but when the interests

substantially excellent. But the causes or reputation of their own nation come

that are operating to strengthen and in collision with those of another, they

ennoble it, and its daily indications of go to the opposite extreme, and forget

adınirable properties, are all lost upon their usual probity and candour, in

these purblind observers, who are only the indulgence of spleen, and an illi

affected by the little asperities inciberal spirit of ridicule.

dent to its present situation. They

are capable of judging only of the • From the Sketch Book of Geoffrey surface of things; of those matters Crayon, Gent. New York, 1819.

which come in contact with their private interests and gratifications. They for judging correctly, would be rie miss some of the snug conveniences gorously scrutinized, before their evi. and petty comforts which belong to dence was admitted, in such sweeping an old, highly finished, and over-po- extent, against a kindred nation. The pulous state of society, where the very reverse, however, is the case, ranks of useful labour are crowded, and it furnishes a striking instance of and many make a painful and servile human inconsistency. Nothing can subsistence, by studying the very ca- surpass the vigilance with which Eng. prices of appetite and self indulgence. lish critics will test the credibility of These minor comforts, however, are the traveller who publishes an account all important in the estimation of nar- of some distant, and comparatively row minds; and they either do not unimportant, country. How warily perceive, or will not acknowledge, will they compare the measurements that they are more than counterba- of a pyramid, or the descriptions of a lanced among us, by great and gene- ruin, and how sternly will they cenrally diffused blessings.

sure any discrepancy in these contriOr, perhaps, they have been disap- butions of merely curious knowledge; pointed in some unreasonable expec- while they will receive, with eagertation of sudden gain. They may ness and unhesitating faith, the gross have pictured America to themselves misrepresentations of coarse and oban El Dorado, where gold and silver scure writers, concerning a country abounded, and the natives were lack- with which their own is placed in the ing in sagacity. Where they were most important and delicate relations. to become strangely and suddenly Nay, what is worse, they will make rich, in some unforeseen, but easy these apocryphal volumes text books, manner. The same weakness of mind on which to enlarge, with a zeal and that indulges absurd expectations, an ability worthy of a more generous produces petulance in disappointment. cause. They become embittered against the I shall not, however, dwell on this country on finding that there, as every irksome and hackneyed topic; nor where else, a man must sow before he should I have adverted to it, but for can reap ; that he must win wealth the undue interest apparently taken in by industry and talent; and must it by my countrymen, and certain incompete with the common difficulties jurious effects which I apprehend it of nature, and the shrewdness of an might produce upon the national feel. intelligent and enterprising people. ing. We attach too much conse

Or, perhaps, through mistake, orquence to these attacks. They cannot ill-directed hospitality, or the prompt do us any essential injury. The tissue disposition to cheer and countenance of misrepresentations attempted to be the stranger, prevalent among my woven round us, are like cobwebs countrymen, they may have been wove round the limbs of an infant treated with unwonted respect in giant. Our country continually outAmerica; and, accustomed all their grows them. One falsehood after anlives to consider themselves many other falls off of itself. We have but strata below the surface of society, to live on, and every day we live a and brought up in a servile feeling of whole volume of refutation. All the inferiority, they become arrogant on writers of England, united, cannat the common boon of civility; they conceal our rapidly-growing importa attribute to the lowliness of others ance and matchless prosperity. They their own elevation; and underrate cannot conceal that these are owing, a society where there are no artificial not merely to physical and local, but distinctions, and where, by any chance, to moral causes. To the political lisuch individuals as themselves can berty, the general diffusion of knowrise to consequence.

ledge, the prevalence of sound, moral, One would suppose, however, that and religious principles, that give information coming from such sources, force and sustained energy to the chaon a subject where the truth is so deo racter of a people ; and which, in fact, sirable, would be received with cau- have been the acknowledged and tion by the censors of the press. That wonderful supporters of their own the motives of these men, their vera- national power and glory. city, their opportunities of inquiry But why are we so exquisitely alive and observation, and their capacities to the aspersions of England ? Why

do we suffer ourselves to be so affect. There is not a calumny dropt from ed by the contumely she has endea- an English pen, nor an unworthy voured to cast upon us? It is not in sarcasm uttered by an English statesthe opinion of England alone that ho- man, that does not go to blight good nour lives, and reputation has its be will, and add to the mass of latent ing. The world at large is the arbiter resentment. Possessing, then, as of a nation's fame: with its thousand England does, the fountain head from eyes it witnesses a nation's deeds, and whence the literature of the language from their collective testimony is na- flows, how completely is it in her tional glory or disgrace established. power, and how truly is it her duty,

For ourselves, therefore, it is com- to make it the medium of amiable paratively of but little importance and magnanimous feeling a stream whether England do us justice or not; where the two nations might meet toit is, perhaps, of far more importance gether, and drink in peace and kind to herself. She is instilling anger ness. Should she, however, persist and resentment into the bosom of a in turning it to waters of bitterness, youthful nation, to grow with its the time may come when she may regrowth, and strengthen with its pent her folly. The present friend. strength. If in America, as some of ship of America may be of but little her writers are labouring to convince' moment to her ; but the future desher, she is hereafter to find an invi- tinies of that country do not admit of dious rival, and a gigantic foe, she a doubt : over those of England there may thank those very writers for lower some shadows of uncertainty. having provoked that rivalship, and Should, then, a day of gloom arrive; irritated that hostility. Everyone should those reverses overtake her, knows the all-pervading influence of from which the proudest empires have literature at the present day, and how not been exempt, she may look back completely the opinions and passions with regret at her infatuation, in reof mankind are under its control. The pulsing from her side a nation she mere contests of the sword are tem- might have grappled to her bosom, porary; their wounds are but in the and thus destroying her only chance flesh, and it is the pride of the gene- for real friendship beyond the bounrous to forgive and forget them; but daries of her own dominions. the slanders of the pen pierce to the There is a general impression in heart; they rankle most sorely and England, that the people of the United permanently in the noblest spirits; States are inimical to the parent counthey dwell ever present in the mind, try. It is one of the errors that has and make it morbidly sensitive to the been diligently propagated by designmost trifling collision. It is not so ing writers. There is, doubtless, much any one overt act that produces considerable political hostility, and a hostilities between two nations; there general soreness at the illiberality of exists, most commonly, a previous the English press; but collectively jealousy and ill-will, a predisposition speaking, the prepossessions of the to take offence. Trace these to their people are strongly in favour of Engcause, and how often will they beland. Indeed, at one time they afound to originate in the mischievous mounted, in many parts of the union, effusions of writers, who, secure in to a degree of bigotry that was absurd. their closets, and for ignominious The bare name of Englishman was a bread, concoct and circulate the ve- passport to the confidence and hospinom that is to inflame the generous tality of every family, and too often and the brave.

gave a transient currency to the worthI am not laying too much stress less and the ungrateful. Throughupon this point; for it applies most out the country there was something emphatically to our particular case. of enthusiasm connected with the idea Over no nation does the press hold a of England. We looked to it with a more absolute control than over the hallowed feeling of tenderness and people of America ; for the universal veneration, as the land of our fore. education of the poorest classes makes fathers--the august repository of the every individual a reader. There is monuments and antiquities of our nothing published in England on the race—the birth-place and mausoleum subject of our country, that does not of the sages and heroes of our patercirculate through every part of it. nal history. After our own country,

« AnteriorContinuar »