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came suddenly out of steamers, and have such a busy the clear blue sea into a muddy movement of going and coming, torrent, the line of demarcation and loading and discharging cargo, being as perfectly sharp as a divi- that they remind one of the teemsion between two solids rather ing activity of the occupants of than between two liquids. This the galleries of an 'ants' nest, when was the ebb-water from the Maas, laid bare by an intruding spade. and soon the shipping entering At half-past five on the ThursMaas sluice was plainly to be seen. day morning a fussy little tug, A fine breeze sprang up from the only large enough to hold her westward with the flood - tide powerful engines, took us in tow; about nine o'clock; and with wind and when the “Missus" turned and tide in our favour, and all out at breakfast-time, she found sail set, we smoked away up the us moving gently along the broad long miles of uninteresting river smooth river, with a motion so at a rare pace, and at twelve motionless that it was impercepo'clock we dropped anchor just off tible in the cabin, although we the park at Rotterdam, a hundred were travelling at the rate of five yards below thể quay of the Har- miles an hour. We formed one of a wich steamers. A hasty run procession of five vessels in two ashore to despatch a telegram to files, each with her warp fast to the wife to cross by the night the steamer-two lighters, two boat, which brought her to us by tjalks, and ourselves. nine o'clock the next morning, The tjalk abreast of us, as and then a general clean and tidy- type of all other tjalks, in the ing up, and a comfortable meal country, which by scores and and rest.

hundreds we met daily, may be Of a place so well known as described. She was massively Rotterdam we have nothing to built of varnished oak, with bows say here; and I. desire to assume so bluff as to be almost square, a that every reader knows something straight-sided box, made, like all of the history of the Netherlands, Dutch craft, to slide over the for to thoroughly enjoy Holland water rather than through it, and journeyings a more than superfi- with immense wing-like lee-boards cial acquaintance with her past is on each side to let down and supnecessary.

ply the place of a keel when going We “did” the town, and visited to windward. A tall mast bore the Hague with its pictures, and a lofty narrow - headed mainsail Scheveningen, with its quaint with a short curved gaff, and a Noah's arks of brightly painted fore-staysail from the bow. The fishing-boats tossing in the surf, great rudder bore along its upper its fish-auctions on the beach, and edge a grotesquely carved and its teams of horses hauling up the gaily painted lion couchant, the vessels on the strand.

most common of all the rudder Our anchorage, could not be decorations, and of as much imcalled a quiet one, owing to the portance as the familiar figureswell caused by passing steamers; head in sea-going ships. but it was fresher and pleasanter Hull and spars were brightly than to moor in one of the many varnished, with casings of polished havens or basins which lie with brass, and rings and scrolls of red in Rotterdam streets, and are so and blue paint wherever there was crowded with barges and small room : the staves of the water



barrels were green and white, and with many other craft.

It was a marvellous landscapes were painted slow progress, as there were a score ca the ends.

There was a neat of bridges which had to be opened. raised cabin at the stern, gaily Only two vessels were allowed to ornamented in green and yellow, pass through each time, and then with little white-curtained, flower the bridge would be shut to allow decked windows, through which the passengers to cross. one caught glimpses of a spotless At length wo reached the main dolls'-house interior, with shining canal, and moored uncler a grove of pots and pans and quaint shapes trees in front of some little shops, of blue and brown earthen vessels. with talks before. behind, and Of course all the items of house- outside of us. The canal looked hold life-cooking, washing, the doubly dirty, as they always do in baby's toilet, and so on--were per- the towns ; but there was no performed in the most open and un- ceptible smell, and we saw a boy concerned manner on deck.

lie down on his stomach, part the The river Yssel from Rotter- floating filth with his hands, and dam to Gouda is somewhat tame drink heartily. Women would and uninteresting. The chief im come up with two buckets, one of pression was that everything was which, filled with slops, they would slowly gliding-ourselves, the craft empty into the canal, and the we met or passed, the high banks, other they would fill with water and the farmers' chariots (the word for household use. cart conveys no idea of the quaint Nearly every street in Gouda shapes of these vehicles), and the had a canal down it, and in this hazy clouds which made the day respect and the general quaintness 80 soft and silvery. A stork's of its tree-shaded houses, I should nest in a tall tree, with the old call Gouda one of the most thorbirds and young perched upon it, oughly typical towns in Holland. was the first excitement, and then In its vast plain churcb we saw a we noticed many storks and herons tailor plying his trade, the halfin the bays which, between break- made clothes spread out over the waters, are numerous. Many of pews. He was probably the sacthese bays are utilised for setting ristan of the church also. In the fishermen's nets. In others,

Enkhuisen church we saw a baby's men were digging up the deposited perambulator, and clothes hung out mud which supplies the material to dry. Of course the Dutchman to the many brickyards along the does not take off his hat when he river. In these yards are made walks about an empty church, nor the clinkers or narrow bricks with does he cease smoking. which so many of the streets and At Gouda, as everywhere in roads of Holland are paved, a Holland, we noticed the perfect neat and cleanly method, only whiteness of the linen of the pooravailable in a land where the est people. The little children heavy traffic goes by water. playing in the street had on the

It was afternoon when we ar whitest of stockings and pinafores rived at Gouda, and casting loose even at the close of the day. The from the steamer, we had to pole extreme softness of the water in the yacht through the lock and the canals makes it easy to wash into the narrow town canals. ID with a moderate amount of elbowthese we made nearly the entire grease.

The formal blue wirecircuit of the town in company gauze blinds in every front sitting

room window, of exactly the camo one man only replied we underpattern; the heavily handsome, stood, and could spot the place on shining front - doors, ornamented the map; but generally three or with scroll-work; the formal rows four would shout out the name of flat-branched and close-trimmed together, and then the result was trees, between the houses and the confusing, being double Dutch canal; the deep shade, and the ex with a vengeance.

We glided treme dislike to admitting sun- dreamily along the broad canal light into the houses ; the heavy passing Boskoop; a collection of lace-edged blinds, never more than brightly coloured dolls'-houses on half drawn up; the glimpses both sides of the canal, with wellthrough the windows of trim tea. kept gardens, smart summer-houses tables, with tiny paraffin - lamps with complacent mottoes, as “Ons glowing under tea-urns; the out. Genoegen,” “Our Delight." The . door mirrors set at an angle out women's washing-tubs amused us. side the windows, to show the They are sunk in the canal at the curious frouw within who comes foot of each garden, and have a along the street, and also reflecting ledge around. In these the househer own face to the passer-by-all wife may stand dry foot, though and every one of these character- up to her matronly waist in water, istics of Dutch towns were noted and wash her clothes in the canal during our evening walk in Gouda. without stooping.

But on this evening, as on every There was ever the same stream cvening during our cruise, we felt of passing craft, sailing, and sleepy at ten o'clock; and the towed by steamers, horses, and by deep delicious sleep of the yachts- dogs. Of course it is a common man on quiet waters was too rude sight to see small carts drawn ly broken at four the next morn along the streets and roads by ing, when a steam-tug took us in dogs; but it looked outlandish to tow in company with four other see dogs marching gravely along craft bound to Amsterdam by the canal-banks towing the small Overtoom, the direct trading-route, boats laden with green milk pails, but one which, for reasons to be or red cheeses, or flowers and presently seen, yachtsmen should vegetables. This mode of towing avoid.

was, however, generally confined Early as it was, busir ess on the to the smaller side-canals. The canal had all begun. We moved dogs look well fed and happy, very slowly round the sharp doing their work willingly and curves of the canal out of Gouda, cheerfully, and distinctly proud of and at no time went faster than a their equipage, and jealous of other man's quick walk. Thus it was dog-carts. easy for the numerous pedlar We took a sharp turn through boats to hitch alongside the craft the sluice at Gouwsluis, and shortand sell their bread, cheese, butter, ly reached the very quaintest of milk, and vegetables, 'being towed canal-side villages-Alphen-with a mile or two in the process. We a stork's nest on a chimney-top, were fairly successful with the bird on one leg calmly surveylimited Dutch in asking them the ing the busy scene below as the names of places. “Who ate dat?” vessels glided through the bridge, sounds niggerish, but is the proper with groups of waiting passengers way of pronouncing (not of spell- on each side. ing) “What place is that?" If From Alphen our long proces



sion went peacefully along until where it could be seen for the of a sudden we entered the large crowd of vessels upon it, and lake known as Brassemmer Meer, smelling vilely. which was calm and placid. with Our steainer had cast us off and low reedy shores fading on either gone ahead, and for more than an hand. It was about two miles hour we had to pole through & across it, and took us a very agree- crowd of barges, all struggling to able half-hour. At the other side enter a lock, into which at last we we entered a little village, the got. canal being the street thereof. as Through the lock our steamer usual, and the houses close to the took us in tow again, along the water's-edge. Our route now lay most awful sewer, with chemical along the border of the great works, scavengers' heaps, manure Polder, which took the place of the factories, and unnameable abomirenowned Haarlem Meer, a polder nations on its banks—the lighter being the low meadows inter- in front of us, being deeply laden, sected with dykes, which were churning up the pesti.ential mad once the bed of a lake, but have from the bottom. We shut the been drained, and now form the wife down below with a bottle of very greenest and most fertile of eau-de-Cologne in front of her, marshes. As far as the eye could and we held our breath and wonreach stretched the perfectly filat dered where we were going to. meadows straightly cut, with num. We ought of course to have taken berless gleaming dykes, instead of the route by the Amstel or by the sea where oncz naval battles Haarlem. were fought between Dutch and Matters improved by-and-by, Spaniard The level was some and we reached a basin hard by twelve feet below the surrounding the railway bridge, where the canal on which we were sailing, steamer cast us off for good, and and into which by a series of easy we presently poled to a dock comsteps, from dyke to little canal, municating with the Y. As the and little canal to big canal, the wind lay we should have to beat water was pumped by wind and out of the dock through a narrow steam mills. Holland is largely opening into the river, and a host made out of such polders. of longshore loafers gathered round

On our right was a very large and offered to pilot us to Amsterlake, on which the title of Haar- dam (which was just around the lem Meer has descended. It has corner so to speak), coolly demand. openings into the canal, and had ing from ten to thirty shillings for many small crafts sailing on it. the service, and prophesying our

This particular route was new destruction if we ventured without to all of us. Haarlem was on our them. Quickly hoisting our sails left, and the river Amstel on our and making a few inquiries as to right, and Overtoom in front of the depth of water from a customs us. After passing many fruitful officer who had boarded us, we set market - gardens intersected with sail, and at the third tack were broad dykes, we came in sight of standing for the entrance, while a Amsterdam; but leaving its towers large East India steamer conuing on the right, we came late in the up the river was also making for afternoon to the foulest place it. Seeing that we should meet imaginable, a narrow canal filled in the entrance, and as sails have with foul tuid, inky in colour, pride of place over steam irrespec

tive of size, she shut off steam, and the inland canals. The snail craft we held on our course. A boat sail through rapidly opening bridges load of pilots had followed us, and amung the queer gables along the seeing what they thought was our town canal, and other craft are predicament cried, “What do you disgorged as it were out of the think of it now? Won't you take a houses, and scatter upon the Y. pilot now?” receiving a reply in Yachting is a pastime growing forcible if not polite English. We more into favour with the Dutch, judged our distance accurately, and especially within the last two slid out 'between the bow of the years. Their pleasure - craft are steamer and the jetty, with at least of two kinds: the flat-bottomed six feet to spare on either side. boiejer, with its bluff bows and

It was a treat to be on the fresh great lee-boards, simply a dandified and sparkling Y after the horrors model of the usual tjalk, most of Overtoom, and bowling gaily solidly built of varnished oak, along we soon reached the littl clumsy to look at, but really fast piers jutting out from the quay in sailing, particularly in running near the station, and were moored before the wind; and the beamy and stowed, and with dinner under centre-board yacht, of American way, and a group of the curiously model, of which there are inany. dressed Marken people, who had at Amsterdam. All the yachts come from a schuyt close by, sur are kept up with the utmost care, veying us. On this old world the ironwork not galvanised but island on the Zuyder Zee, close as kept bright polished, a.id the brassit is to Amsterdam, the people work and varnish dazzling to bewear a costume which is comically hold. The internal arrangements picturesque.

are also remarkably neat and The streets of Amsterdam are good. delightful, with their curious and Then, as a relief from the ad. variegated gables, and the angles miration of the craft, we at which the houses lean, supported go to the Rijks Museum, one of as they are more by each other the finest in Europe, and never than by their rotting pile - foun- tire of the pictures. Let whosodations driven into peaty mud. ever goes there be sure not to miss From the enthralling (to woman the part known as the Netherlands kind) shops in the Niewendijk and Museum, where there are natural Kaalverstraat to the odds and size models of peasant homes, with ends of the Jews' quarter, there is family groups, life-size, of the ina picture at every step; but most habitants. Zeeland, Friesland, of all do I like the Y itself, that Walcheren, Hindeloopen are all broad river which was once an arm eproduced with startling fidelity. of the Zuyder Zee, but is now cut One fine morning we ran across off from it by immense sluices. the Y, under foresail only, to the Fresh and breezy and wide, it is locks at the entrance of the North a kaleidoscope of craft, from the Holland Canal, and through these great East India steamers and we hoisted all sail and ran quickly ocean - going ships which have along the canal before a light fair come by the deep ship-canal from wind. the new haven at Ymuiden, to the The North Holland Canal was schuyts from the Zuyder Zee, long the great highway for ships from lighters from the Rhine, and tjalks the sea at Nieuwediep until the and barges of many kinds fron shorter canal from Ymuiden to


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