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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 Alsatian 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.
17. AGRICULTURE. 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. 43–64.; 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.
Some 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, 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 suc. ceeding 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 culti. vating 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 capa. cious 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. An 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, sometimes 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 pas tures 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
been adopted. 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.
LONDON TO ROTTERDAM.
ROUTES THROUGH HOLLAND.
and de Witt, and is historically reROUTE 1.
markable as the first place which fell into the hands of the Dutch; having
been taken from the Spaniards, 1572, Steamers 3 times a week in summer. by a bold attack of the Water Gueusen, The General Steam Navigation Com- under the command of William de la pany's vessels run from Brunswick Marck, who had been expelled from Wharf, Blackwall, at 10 precisely, the ports of England by Queen Elizaevery Wednesday and Saturday, re. beth, It may thus be considered as turning also on those days. There is the nucleus of the Republic of Holalso another steamer on the same days land. This exploit was the first infrom off the Tower. The Batavier stance of open resistance to the power goes every Sunday, and returns from of Philip II. of Spain, and led the way Rotterdam on Tuesday. The average for the liberation of the country from passage is from 24 to 30 hours, and the the Spanish yoke. In 1585, Brielle vessel usually reaches the bar at the was delivered up to Queen Elizabeth mouth of the Maas in 24.
as one of the cautionary towns, and reThe Maas (French Meuse) is the mained in the hands of the English till estuary through which a large portion 1616. of the combined waters of the Rhine About 5 miles above Brielle is the and Meuse find an outlet to the sea. entrance to the New Canal, crossing The bar at its mouth is at times diffi. the island of Voorn, by which large cult to pass; at low tide there is but vessels pass from the Maas to the spa7 feet water upon it. The first ap. cious harbour of Helvoetsluys, and pearance of Holland exhibits nothing avoid the dangerous navigation arising but a strip of land, on each side lite from the bar at the mouth of the Maas. rally “a willow-tufted bank,” barely The largest Indiamen reach the sea in raised above the water.
one day from Rotterdam. At HelThe low sandy mud bank projecting voetsluys is a royal dock and arsenal. into the sea on your left as you enter It is the principal naval station of the the Maas is called the Hoek van Hol- Dutch on the south, being to Rotterland.
dam and the mouths of the Rhine and 1. The small fortified town of Brielle, Maas what the Helder is to Amsteron the left bank of the river (right dam and the Zuyder-Zee. William III. hand in ascending), soon appears in embarked there for England in 1688. sight. Here custom-house officers rt. Higher up is Vlaardingen, the come on board to fasten down the hold head-quarters of the Dutch Herring of the vessel, and to examine the ship’s Fishery, for which it fits out annually papers. There is a ferry over the Maas from 80 to 100 vessels; the total numat this place, and the pilots, who carry ber from the whole of Holland in the vessels up the river, reside here. It present reduced state of the fisheries
On the 10th or was the birthplace of Admirals Tromp | falls short of 200.
11th of June, the officers employed in Bas :- beds, 1 gr. to 1 gr. 10 st. ; the herring fleet repair to the Stadhuis, breakfast or tea, with bread and butter, and take an oath to obey the laws of 14 st. ; table d'hôte, 1 gr. 10 st.; dinner the fishery: on the 14th they hoist in private, 2} gr. to 3 gr. New Bath their flags, and go to church to pray Hotel charges nearly the same as Pays for a prosperous season; on the 15th | Bas.-H. de l'Europe. --These three are they set sail, and the day is kept as a on the Quai, called the Boompjes, near holiday by the townspeople. The the steamers. Scheppershuis, Spaanfishery lasts from June 2. till October sche Kade ; Zwynshoofd, on the 30. The fish first caught are sent off great market; St. Lucas. in swift sailing yachts to Holland, Rotterdam, the second city of Holwhere their arrival is awaited with the land in population and commerce, lies most anxious expectation. Watchmen on the right bank of the Maas; it has are set on Vlaardingen steeple to look | 78,000 inhab., and is distant about 24 out for the vessel ; the cargo usually miles from the sea. It is built in the sells for 800 florins, and the first kegs form of a triangle, one side of which of herrings are sent to the king of rests on the Maas; it consists of as Holland and his ministers. Still nearer many canals as streets; the three printo Rotterdam, though not at the river cipal ones called Leuve, Oude, and side, is Schiedam (12,000 inhab.), Nieuwe havens (harbours), open into famous for its distilleries of the finest the Maas, and communicate with the Geneva, of which there are not less various canals which intersect the than 100 in this small town; 30,000 town; thus not only affording a conpigs are said to be fed on the refuse stant supply of water to the canals, grain after the spirit has been extracted. but, by the ebbing and Aowing of the The town, surrounded by windmills, tide, keeping up a circulation, and is never free from the smoke issuing preserving the water from becoming from its numerous tall chimneys. stagnant and putrid; the tide rises
At a turn of the river, Rotterdam commonly 10 or 12 ft. comes suddenly into sight. The Maas The communication between differin front of the town is from 30 to 40 ft. ent parts of the town is maintained by deep, so that the largest India vessels a great number of drawbridges susapproach close to the houses, and the pended by heavy beams of wood oversteamers land their passengers on the head; but across several of the havens, fine quay called the Boompjes, extend- which are too wide for a drawbridge, ing the river a mile and a quar- a ferry boat plies (and 1 cent is cha ed ter. It is shaded with a line of vigor- for the passage). The canals serve as ous elms, planted 1615, from which docks, being deep enough to admit it gets its name (little trees is the vessels of large burden close to the meaning of the word; though, since doors of the houses and magazines of the name was conferred, they have their owners, so that they can discharge grown to
a large size). It may, their cargoes with little trouble and perhaps, recall to mind Cheyney Walk, cost. Ils ready access to the sea gives at Chelsea, though on a larger scale, Rotterdam a great advantage as with the advantage of having deep port; and since the separation from water close in shore. It forms a much Belgium, it has been rapidly rising in frequented promenade for the inhabit- wealth and population, at the expense ants of Rotterdam. Some of the best of its rival, Antwerp. Indeed, since houses and principal inns are situated steam has aided inland navigation, the on this handsome quay. Here also is position of Rotterdam has become the Custom House to which the bag- superior to that of Amsterdam, and it gage of travellers is conveyed ($ 3.), and Hamburg now form the great but the examination is not usually very inlets and outlets of Germany. The troublesome.
foreign commerce of Rotterdam now ROTTERDAM.--Inns : Hôtel des Pays- | chiefly depends on the connection with