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work sheep in Mynheer's pleasure garden, has indulged itself, with more dignity, in commissioning for the churches instruments grand in scale, and curious in the variety of their component parts. If Holland cannot be said to have possessed a school of organ builders analogous, for instance, to the famous AIsatian family of the Silbermanns, yet the land possessed, during the last century, several men of renown, such as Batti of Utrecht, Christian Müller of Amsterdam (the builder of the Haarlem organ), and Hess of Gouda. The organs at Haarlem, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Gouda, Delft, and Utrecht (and I have been told also at Leeuwarden, Beverwyk, and Nymegen), are all worthy of attention. There are many treatises on organ-building in Dutch. The players seem generally in no respect worthy of their instruments, yet the powerful and unisonal psalmody sustained by the full organ, and filling the lofty churches with a volume of rich and robust sound, treats those attending 'public worship to a musical effect such as I, at least, have heard in no other place." — H. F. C.
Owing to the peculiar situation and the nature of the soils of Holland the agriculturist has to contend with many difficulties, and consequently to resort to many methods and resources not much attended to in other countries. Travellers, therefore, who take an interest in agriculture may observe much deserving of their attention. Dutch dairy-farms, too, have long been famous. A few of the more remarkable peculiarities and features of the agriculture of the Netherlands are here pointed out. Those who wish for further information on these subjects may consult the following works, from which these observations are extracted:On the Agriculture of the Netherlands, Agric. Journal, vol. ii. pp. 48-64. ; vol. iii. 240-263. Outlines of Flemish Husbandry; Library of Useful Knowledge. British Husbandry, vol. iii.
The climate of the Netherlands from the borders of France to the northern part of Holland along the coast, and for 50 or 60 miles inland, differs little from that of Kent or Essex. It is warmer in summer and colder in winter than the central part of England. The quantity of rain which falls there is not so great, especially in winter, as in those parts of England which lie on the opposite coast; but the snow covers the ground for a much longer time. Hence a material difference exists in the time of ploughing and sowing.
The quality of the soil is various. Towards the northern part of Flanders and Antwerp, and the southern part of Holland, it is almost as barren as the sand of the sea-shore. If it were not for a small portion of mud occasionally mixed with this soil, the water would freely percolate through it, and no vegetation could be supported. In proportion to the quantity of the mud, which is a very fine clay, with a portion of decayed shells and organic matter, the soil is more or less fertile; and when the mud enters largely into it, a rich compact loam is formed. In many places there are alternate narrow strata of sand and loam, which being mixed together form a very productive soil.
When the sand is deep, with little or no loam near the surface, it is a tedious process to bring the land into cultivation. Much of the sandy heaths which lie between Antwerp and the Maes remain in a state of nature, producing nothing but scanty tufts of heath interspersed with a few very coarse grasses. spots have been brought under cultivation by the most indefatigable industry. By trenching and levelling, mixing the heavier soils with the sand, by a careful addition of manure, both solid and liquid; and by first sowing such plants as will grow on this barren soil, a stratum of productive soil is gradually collected. If manure cannot be had, broom is first sown. This grows on the most barren soils; in three years it is cut for fagots for the bakers and brickmakers. It has somewhat improved the soil, which is next sown with buckwheat, or even with rye. After this, clover and potatoes follow; and these crops furnishing manure,
improvement goes on rapidly. If about 20 small cart-loads of dung can be brought on each acre of the newly-trenched ground, the progress is much more rapid. Potatoes are then the first crop. Then follows rye, after the land has been manured to the same extent as before. In this clover is sown in the succeeding spring. After rye comes buckwheat, without any manure; then potatoes again, manured as at first; and the same rotation of crops follows.
It is evident how important a good supply of manure is to success in cultivating such land. The most rapid improver of loose sands is liquid manure. Accordingly, the greatest attention is paid to the collection and preparation of manure, more especially of liquid manure. Every farm has one or more capacious tank, whose construction will be found worthy of the attention of the agriculturist. The instruments of tillage are few and simple, especially the ploughs, which, however, are well adapted to the light soil of the country. instrument, called a traineau in Belgium, is used to level the surface of the light soils, without too much compressing them. A rodded hurdle is also used for the same purpose. The harrows are mostly triangular, with wooden teeth set at an acute angle forwards. The mollebart, which is used in the levelling of newly-trenched land, is an instrument peculiarly Flemish or Dutch: it is a very large wooden shovel, in form like a housemaid's dust-pan, with a stout long handle. To fully understand its use, it must be seen worked by a skilful hand. The spade and shovel are also largely used in the tillage of the Netherlands. Considerable attention is paid in the Netherlands, but especially in Flanders, to a proper rotation of crops. The rotations observed are founded on long experience. Manure, both solid and liquid, is applied constantly to the soil in great abundance. It is by this means that the character of the poor soils becomes in a few years entirely changed. Great attention is paid to the choice of seed. The quantity of seed on a given extent of land in the Netherlands is much smaller than it usually is in England. This is owing to the greater attention paid to prepare the land for receiving the seed. The surface is brought to a finer tilth, by repeated harrowing with light wooden harrows. Mixed seed is sometimes sown, as a mixture of wheat and rye, which, indeed, is known in Yorkshire, where it is called meslin. In Flanders it is called meteil. The sowing of carrots amongst a growing crop is peculiar to the Netherlands. The Friesland oats are well known in England as of a very good quality for brewing, and great crops of them are raised in the rich alluvial soils of Holland. Chiccory is much cultivated, the dried roots of which are roasted and used instead of coffee. The root contains a strong bitter, and is used instead of hops in beer. It is sown about the beginning of April, and the roots are taken up in September, and are then of the size of a small carrot. The leaves, if eaten by cows, give a bad taste to their milk. Flax, hemp, and the oily seeds, especially colza or rape, are also extensively cultivated in the Netherlands. In many parts of the Netherlands, owing to the constant presence of water, the soil is better calculated for meadows than arable land. In these meadows, especially in N. Holland and Friesland, a very fine breed of milch cows and oxen is fed. The quantity of butter exported, and its value in foreign markets, prove that the operations of the dairy are well conducted. The rich soil, no doubt, gives a good quality to the butter; but this is not the only cause of its superiority. The extraordinary cleanliness of every part of a dairy, and its furniture, show the unremitted attention of the dairywoman. Besides this, the stables, the
cows, and even the litter, are kept so clean, that it is a pleasure to walk through them; and the family often make one end of the cow-house their usual sittingroom, having a fire-place at one end, and always at least one comfortable bed for a labourer or servant, who always sleeps in the cow-house.
The arrangement of a Dutch dairy is as follows:- The building is generally like a large barn, with a roof coming to within 7 or 8 feet of the ground, some
times tiled or slated, but more often thatched with reeds, which make it warm in winter. Through the middle, from end to end, is a space 10 or 12 feet broad, paved with hard bricks. The heads of the cows are placed towards this middle space, from which all their food is given to them in a shallow trough made of bricks, with a gentle fall from end to end to allow of sweeping and washing. As straw is scarce, the cows lie on smooth bricks laid sloping, and slightly hollow in the middle; and their beds are made of such a length, that when the cows stand, their tails hang over a gutter to receive the dung and urine. The cleanliness is carried to such a degree, that in many cow-houses there are pulleys, and lines over them, with a weight at one end; the other being fastened to the end of the tail of a cow to keep it up, and prevent its dipping into the gutter behind. Everything which falls from the cow is swept away immediately, and the water arising from the constant washing of every part of the cow-house runs into a tank, and serves to dilute the dung, which, after a time, is pumped up, and either carried in water-carts to the meadows, or mixed up with earth and the litter of the horses into compost.
The cows usually come into their winter quarters in November, and are put out to graze in May, if the weather is mild. When first the cows are let out into the meadows, a piece of coarse cloth is put over their loins, and tied round their bodies, to prevent the injurious effects of cold dews and fogs; when the air is warmer, this is discontinued.
The milk room is almost always vaulted, and sunk somewhat under the level of the ground. The floor is laid with porous tiles, and, being kept wet, the evaporation keeps the cellar cool. The milk is brought from the cow-house in large brass vessels in the shape of the Etruscan water-cans, which, when full, carry the milk without much shaking. Salt is added to the butter as soon as made: no Dutchman would touch butter which had no salt in it, however fresh it might be. The butter made in summer, when the cows feed in the pastures, is of a very fine golden colour and agreeable taste. When the pastures are not so rich, this colour is sometimes given artificially, but the natural colour cannot be imitated so as to deceive any but the inexperienced.
The best Dutch cheese is a new milk cheese made near Gouda, and called Gouda cheese. The little round cheeses are made near Edam. Some of the cream has been subtracted and made into butter, and the cheese is what would be called half-meal cheese in England. It is very strongly salted by soaking it in brine. The common skim-milk cheeses have seeds of cummin mixed with the curd, and are made of the size of our Cheshire cheeses. It is a poor cheese, and seldom exported.
Very large oxen are fatted in the rich meadows of N. Holland. They have large bones, and are deficient in some points considered essential by the feeder for a cattle show; but the chief object of the breed is milk. The meat is excellent.
The sheep of the Netherlands are almost universally large, long-legged animals, with dropping ears, which have nothing but their size to recommend them.
The horses in the Netherlands may be divided into two distinct breeds, - the heavy Flanders horses, which are either light chesnut coloured, with white tails and manes; or roan. They are bulky and inactive, and inferior to the Suffolk punch, which breed, no doubt, came originally from Flanders, but has been improved by care in breeding. The Friesland horses are mostly black, and some of them are very strong and active, and will do much work and draw very heavy loads. A breed of very fast trotters is encouraged by trotting matches. The Dutch waggons are light, with a very narrow track, to accommodate them to the narrow roads on the tops of the dykes. A pole would be a great incumbrance in turning within a very narrow space; hence a curious substitute has
A very short crooked pole rises in front, and the driver directs it with his foot. A person unaccustomed to its use could never drive a Dutch waggon, which requires great skill and judgment to steer it. A drunken driver is discovered a long way off by the oscillations of his waggon, which frequently runs off the dyke, and is overturned into the ditch on either side, the horses having no power to keep it straight when the crooked pole has not a steady foot to guide the front wheels. The Dutchmen usually make their horses trot in the waggon when not heavily loaded.
ROUTES THROUGH HOLLAND.
LONDON TO ROTTERDAM.
Steamers 3 times a week in summer. The General Steam Navigation Company's vessels run from Brunswick Wharf, Blackwall, at 10 precisely, every Wednesday and Saturday, returning also on those days. There is also another steamer on the same days from off the Tower. The Batavier goes every Sunday, and returns from Rotterdam on Tuesday. The average passage is from 24 to 30 hours, and the vessel usually reaches the bar at the mouth of the Maas in 24.
The Maas (French Meuse) is the estuary through which a large portion of the combined waters of the Rhine and Meuse find an outlet to the sea. The bar at its mouth is at times difficult to pass; at low tide there is but 7 feet water upon it. The first ap. pearance of Holland exhibits nothing but a strip of land, on each side literally "a willow-tufted bank," barely raised above the water.
The low sandy mud bank projecting into the sea on your left as you enter the Maas is called the Hoek van Holland.
7. The small fortified town of Brielle, on the left bank of the river (right hand in ascending), soon appears in sight. Here custom-house officers come on board to fasten down the hold of the vessel, and to examine the ship's papers. There is a ferry over the Maas at this place, and the pilots, who carry vessels up the river, reside here. It was the birthplace of Admirals Tromp N. Germ.
and de Witt, and is historically remarkable as the first place which fell into the hands of the Dutch; having been taken from the Spaniards, 1572, by a bold attack of the Water Gueusen, under the command of William de la Marck, who had been expelled from the ports of England by Queen Elizabeth. It may thus be considered as the nucleus of the Republic of Holland. This exploit was the first instance of open resistance to the power of Philip II. of Spain, and led the way for the liberation of the country from the Spanish yoke. In 1585, Brielle was delivered up to Queen Elizabeth as one of the cautionary towns, and remained in the hands of the English till 1616.
About 5 miles above Brielle is the entrance to the New Canal, crossing the island of Voorn, by which large vessels pass from the Maas to the spacious harbour of Helvoetsluys, and avoid the dangerous navigation arising from the bar at the mouth of the Maas. The largest Indiamen reach the sea in one day from Rotterdam. At Helvoetsluys is a royal dock and arsenal. It is the principal naval station of the Dutch on the south, being to Rotterdam and the mouths of the Rhine and Maas what the Helder is to Amsterdam and the Zuyder-Zee. William III. embarked there for England in 1688.
rt. Higher up is Vlaardingen, the head-quarters of the Dutch Herring Fishery, for which it fits out annually from 80 to 100 vessels; the total number from the whole of Holland in the present reduced state of the fisheries On the 10th or falls short of 200.
11th of June, the officers employed in the herring fleet repair to the Stadhuis, and take an oath to obey the laws of the fishery on the 14th they hoist their flags, and go to church to pray for a prosperous season; on the 15th they set sail, and the day is kept as a holiday by the townspeople. The fishery lasts from June 2. till October The fish first caught are sent off in swift sailing yachts to Holland, where their arrival is awaited with the most anxious expectation. Watchmen are set on Vlaardingen steeple to look out for the vessel; the cargo usually sells for 800 florins, and the first kegs of herrings are sent to the king of Holland and his ministers. Still nearer to Rotterdam, though not at the river side, is Schiedam (12,000 inhab.), famous for its distilleries of the finest Geneva, of which there are not less than 100 in this small town; 30,000 pigs are said to be fed on the refuse grain after the spirit has been extracted. The town, surrounded by windmills, is never free from the smoke issuing from its numerous tall chimneys.
At a turn of the river, Rotterdam comes suddenly into sight. The Maas in front of the town is from 30 to 40 ft. deep, so that the largest India vessels approach close to the houses, and the steamers land their passengers on the fine quay called the Boompjes, extending along the river a mile and a quarter. It is shaded with a line of vigor ous elms, planted 1615, from which it gets its name (little trees is the meaning of the word; though, since the name was conferred, they have grown to a large size). It may, perhaps, recall to mind Cheyney Walk, at Chelsea, though on a larger scale, with the advantage of having deep water close in shore. It forms a much frequented promenade for the inhabitants of Rotterdam. Some of the best houses and principal inns are situated on this handsome quay. Here also is the Custom House to which the baggage of travellers is conveyed (§ 3.), but the examination is not usually very troublesome. ROTTERDAM,
Inns: Hôtel des Pays
Rotterdam, the second city of Holland in population and commerce, lies on the right bank of the Maas; it has 78,000 inhab., and is distant about 24 miles from the sea. It is built in the form of a triangle, one side of which rests on the Maas; it consists of as many canals as streets; the three principal ones called Leuve, Oude, and Nieuwe havens (harbours), open into the Maas, and communicate with the various canals which intersect the town; thus not only affording a constant supply of water to the canals, but, by the ebbing and flowing of the tide, keeping up a circulation, and preserving the water from becoming stagnant and putrid; the tide rises commonly 10 or 12 ft.
The communication between different parts of the town is maintained by a great number of drawbridges suspended by heavy beams of wood overhead; but across several of the havens, which are too wide for a drawbridge, a ferry boat plies (and 1 cent is charged for the passage). The canals serve as docks, being deep enough to admit vessels of large burden close to the doors of the houses and magazines of their owners, so that they can discharge their cargoes with little trouble and cost. Its ready access to the sea gives Rotterdam a great advantage as a port; and since the separation from Belgium, it has been rapidly rising in wealth and population, at the expense of its rival, Antwerp. Indeed, since steam has aided inland navigation, the position of Rotterdam has become superior to that of Amsterdam, and it and Hamburg now form the great inlets and outlets of Germany. The foreign commerce of Rotterdam now chiefly depends on the connection with