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obliged to content themselves with this. On the first arrival of these barges, the deck is on a level with the surface of the canal; but a pump is inserted in the middle of it, and, as the cargo is disposed of to customers, the vessel gradually rises, until, when empty, it floats on the top, and is carried back for a fresh supply. All the water in the neighbourhood being either brackish or putrid, good water becomes an article of considerable commerce, and this precious commodity is sold at a large price, especially in winter, when it sometimes becomes necessary in severe weather, to cut a passage for the water barges through the ice which covers the canals, at a heavy expense. A water company, however, has recently been established, who will conduct this necessary of life into the town in pipes along the line of the Utrecht railway.
|steering; when you may, at the same time, observe the husband with a rope over his shoulder dragging the boat along a canal or river when the wind is adverse. In process of time they buy a larger vessel, probably of 6 or 7 tons, and, if the smaller one be not unfit for use, sell it to a young beginning couple. In the second vessel their family grows, until they are probably strong enough to manage together, with perhaps an additional hand or two, one of those large vessels carrying from 200 to 400 tous, called Rhine boats: on board of all which the population live in the manner before described.". Commerc. Statisc.
One of the most interesting spots in Amsterdam, from the bustle displayed on it, is the Harbour and the Quay, along the bank of the Y. The two enormous dykes or dams recently constructed at vast expense, nearly parallel with the shore, serve the double purpose of protecting a part of the town from inundations to which it was previously exposed, and of gaining from the river a considerable space forming capacious basins or docks (Oostelijk and Westelijk Dok), capable of holding nearly 1000 vessels, and closed by large sluice-gates. Between the two dams two rows of strong piles (bearing the singular name of Duc d'Alben) extend. Openings are left at intervals between them to allow ships to enter and depart; these are close at night by booms, so as to separate the harbour from the Y. At the extremity of the western dam, near the fish-market, formerly stood the Herring Packery Tower. It received its name from a row of small houses occupied by rope-sellers, dealers in marine stores, &c. ; in front of which, during the season of the herring fishery, all the business connected with the examining, sorting the fish, and repack
A portion of the poorer inhabitants live entirely in the cellars of the houses. There is also a class who live constantly upon the canals, making their vessels their home. "In this and in many other respects the Dutch bear a strong resemblance to the Chinese: like that industrious and economical race, they keep their hogs, their ducks, and other domestic animals constantly on board. Their cabins display the same neatness as the parlours of their countrymen on shore; the women employ themselves in all the domestic offices, and are assiduous in embellishing their little sitting-rooms with the labours of the needle; and many of them have little gardens of tulips, hyacinths, anemones, and various other flowers. Some of these vessels are of great length, but generally narrow, suitable to the canals and sluices of the towns."-Family Tour. "This mode of living is a good example of Dutch industry and thrift. A man marries he and his wife possess or purchase a small boat that will carrying 1 to 3 tons. They live and cook on board, move about, carry articles to and from markets; and their first, if not second child is born, or at least nursed in this puny vessel. The wife nurses the children, mends, and often makes all the family clothes, cooks, and assists in navigating the craft, especially in
them for foreign markets is transacted in the presence of officers appointed by the authorities. Every proceeding with respect to the herring fishery is regulated by a committee of managers, or shareholders, called commissioners of the Great Fishery (by which is meant the herring fishery), approved of by the government, and under
the inspection of officers appointed by them. These regulations are exceedingly minute and precise. "The period when the fishery might begin is fixed at 5 minutes past 12 o'clock, on the night of the 24th June; and the master and pilot of every vessel leaving Holland for the fishery are obliged to make oath that they will respect them. The species of salt to be used in curing the different sorts of herrings is also fixed by law; and there are endless rules with respect to the size of the barrels, the number and thickness of the staves of which they were to be made, the guttings and packing of the herring, the branding of the barrel. These regulations are intended to secure to the Hollanders that superiority which they had early attained in the fishery, to obtain for the Dutch herrings the best price in foreign markets, and to prevent the herrings being injured by the bad faith of individuals." McCulloch's Dictionary of Commerce.
The fishery, however, is sadly fallen off at present; scarcely 200 herring vessels are sent out from the whole of Holland, instead of 2000, the number employed in former days. Still the arrival of the herrings is looked for with eager anticipation at Amsterdam: a premium is given to the first buss which lands a cargo; small kegs are then sold at a high price; and a single herring often fetches as much as 5s. The art of curing herrings was invented by one William Beukels, of Biervliet, a Fleming; but it is not the fact that the Dutch and English derive from his name the word PICKLE; which is nothing more than the Dutch pekel (brine). In veneration for one who had conferred so great a benefit on his country, the Emperor Charles V. made a pilgrimage to his tomb.
Close to the Haringpakkerij is a bridge stretching across the harbour to the tavern called Nieuwe-Stads- Herberg, which is the starting-place of the steamers to Saardam, and of the ferry-boat to Buiksloot. (Rte. 3.) Further on, by the side of the harbour, stands the Schreijershoeketoren (Weeper's-Corner Tower), so called because, being siuated near the quay from which vessels
used to set sail, it was a constant scene of lamentation and tears, which were shed by friends, wives, and children, at the departure of their husbands, fathers, or other relatives and connections.
The humble dwelling of the heroic De Ruiter still exists on the Quai of the Y. Near the Eastern Dock (Oostelijk Dok) stands the house of the Zeemanshoop (Seaman's Club), an association of 300 members, chiefly ship captains, with which a charitable foundation for the benefit of their widows and orphans is connected. Many of the first people of Amsterdam are inrolled as members.
In the same quarter is the Naval Academy (Kweek-school voor de Zeevaart), in which the sons of sailors are provided by the government with an education fitting them for the naval profession. In the yard attached to the building is a frigate fully rigged, to make the pupils acquainted with the details of a ship's equipment. Their dormitory also is fitted up like the between-decks of a man of war; every boy sleeps in his hammock, suspended from the roof, above his locker or chest in which his clothes, &c., are kept.
Further E., beyond the quay of the Y-gracht, a long bridge leads to the island of Kattenburg, on which are situated the National Dockyard (Lands, or Rijkswerf-observe, they are not called Royal Docks). It is now separated from the Y by the eastern dam. It is the largest naval dépôt and arsenal in Holland; there are usually several vessels of war on the stocks. Admission may be obtained by showing a written order from the British or American consuls to view it—its slips, ropewalks, model room, in which are preserved specimens of the worm-eaten piles alluded to in p. 42.; but an Englishman will find that it is not to be compared with the dockyards of his own country.
In the latter part of the 13th century Amsterdam was still a cluster of fishermen's huts, in a salt marsh. Its great advance in wealth and importance took place in the 16th century, after the siege of Antwerp, when the persecutions of the Spaniards in the Flemish provinces drove so many va
luable subjects, active merchants, and clever manufacturers, to seek for safety and the free exercise of the Protestant faith in Holland and England.
In the reign of Queen Elizabeth, the Earl of Leicester attempted to gain possession of it by treachery, but failed. It is supposed that Fénélon had Amsterdam in view while describing Tyre in his Télémaque. Its prosperity for a long time depended on its shipping, which engrossed the carrying trade of the whole world, and likewise had the effect of rearing a bold race of sailors, ready to fight the battles of their country, and to brave storms and tempests in every sea under heaven. At one period, the trade in butter and cheese brought 1,000,000 ducats annually to Amsterdam. The Bank of Amsterdam, described by Adam Smith, no longer exists: another was set up by King William I., and the capitalists here still continue the bankers of a large part of Europe.
The Manufactures of Amsterdam comprehend, besides those of cotton and woollen stuffs, which are to be found elsewhere, one or two which are almost peculiar to the spot; for example, the refineries of borax, a salt which is produced from the mud of large lakes in Thibet, Persia, Tuscany, and South America; of camphor, the coagulated sap of a tree, found principally in China: it is used extensively in medicine; while borax is an ingredient for making the solder used by jewellers. Smalt manufactories. Smalt is a blue glassy substance produced from cobalt: the artificers of Amsterdam alone know how to refine it in the best manner, by grinding it minutely, and by other methods, which are kept secret. They produce a great variety of shades in the colour, which is chiefly employed in painting china. Many other articles are manufactured here, by methods believed to be known only in Amsterdam; such as cinnabar or vermilion, rouge, white lead, and aquafortis; gold lace, and a great variety of scents and perfumed oils, are also objects of commerce. The art of cutting diamonds was for a long time confined to the
Jews of Amsterdam and Antwerp. It is supposed not to have been known in Europe earlier than the 15th century. The diamond mills at Amsterdam are numerous, and are exclusively the property of Jews. described by Mr. Elliot:- Four horses turn a wheel, setting in motion a number of smaller wheels in the room above, whose cogs acting on regular metal plates, keep them constantly in motion. Pulverised diamond is placed on these; and the stone to be polished fastened at the end of a piece of wood, by means of an amalgam of zinc and quicksilver, is submitted to the friction of the adamantine particles. This is the only mode of acting upon diamond, which can be ground and even cut by particles of the same substance. In the latter operation, diamond dust is fixed on metal wire that is moved rapidly backwards and forwards over the stone to be cut..
One of them is thus
Theatres. -There are 3, which are opened alternately, every day in the week but Sunday; performances begin at 6 or half-past 6.1. The Dutch Theatre, (Stads Schouwburg near the Leiden-gate,) devoted to Dutch tragedy and comedy. 2. The German and Italian Theatre, in the Amstel Straat, for operas only. 3. The French Theatre, for French vaudevilles, &c. There are also 3 smaller theatres, where vaudevilles are represented, Dutch, both called Salon des Variétés, and 1 French; the latter is on the Singel, near the Munt; they are much frequented, as smoking is allowed. Entrance 15 stivers. Concerts are given at Frascati's, in the Nes.
Cafés. The most frequented is De Grand Café Restaurant, on the first floor, at the corner of the Kalver Straat and the Dam, where the chief newspapers, including The Times, are taken in. Café Français, in the Kalver Straat.
The finest shops are in the Kalver Straat, which is also the most frequented thoroughfare, in the Nieuwedijk- both leading out of the square in which the palace is situated, in the Warmoes Straat.
Excellent curaçoa is made at Am
sterdam, at two thirds of the English price: it may be purchased very good at Wynand Focking's, in de Pyl Steeg, near the Exchange. Anisette is another good liqueur manufactured here: the best may be got of Bols, in het Loosje.
Physician, Dr. Davids, 7. Heeren Gracht, understands the English language and Pharmacopeia.
The Flower-market, held on the Voor Burgwal, a little to the south of the back of the palace, on Monday, is worth a visit.
The annual Kirmes or Fair (§ 15.) takes place at the beginning of September, and, while it lasts, attracts hither multitudes from the northern provinces. It may be styled the Dutch Carnival.
Railroads. -Hollandsche Spoorweg, to Haarlem, Leiden, and Hague-terminus outside the Willems or Haarlem gate: - Rijn Spoorweg, to Utrecht and Arnhem terminus outside the
Weesper gate. (Rte. 5.)
Steamers to Hamburg, the 5th, 10th, 15th, 20th, 25th, and 30th of every month, from April to November, setting off very early in the morning; so that it is necessary to go on board before 12 at night. A place in the first cabin costs 44 guilders, rather dear in the after cabin, 35; 4-wheeled carriages, 70 grs. When two or more passengers take places together, they pay 10 florins less.
Steam-boats to Saardam and Alkmaar. (Rte. 3.) To Harlingen and Enkhuizen, 3 times a week. To Kampen, daily, in summer at 6 A. M. gences leave Kampen on the arrival of the Steamer for Groningen, by Zwolle, Meppel, and Assen. Arrival at Groningen 11 P.M.; also to Enschede, Oldenzaal, Lingen, and Bremen; to Koevorden and Deventer, and all the intervening places in Overyssel and Drenthe. Places may be secured in Amsterdam. To Arnhem and Cologne by the Zuider Zee and Yssel (Rte. 12 c.) 3 times a week too tedious a conveyance for a pleasure tour.
A steam ferry-boat is constantly plying to Buiksloot and the mouth of the Texel canal. Route 3.
The Post Office is on the Voor Burgwal, behind the Palace.
The Passport Office is on the Dam, opposite to the Exchange.
AMSTERDAM TO BROEK, AND THE GREAT NORTH HOLLAND SHIP CAVAL. AMSTERDAM TO SAARDAM.
BROEK. A steam ferry-boat plies every hour from the Tavern, called Nieuwe Stads- Herberg, rising on piles in the midst of the Y, to the S. point of the opposite shore of Waterland, 14 m. from Buiksloot. Trekschuits ply from the same house to Broek 4 times a-day.
The harbour of Amsterdam is fenced in with two long lines of piles driven into the mud, having open spaces at intervals, to allow vessels to enter and depart. These openings are closed at night with booms, or large trees covered with iron spikes, which are drawn across and fastened with chains. Not many years ago, it was discovered that some molluscous animal had committed such extensive ravages in the woodwork, that though the piles were of the finest heart of oak, they were in a short time reduced to a state resembling honeycomb, so as to require constant renewal. (See p. 42.).
In traversing the harbour, long rows of little pavilions, raised, upon wooden piers, are remarked, stretching far out from shore, several feet above the water. These are summer-houses belonging to the citizens, the owners of pleasure-boats, who delight to come hither and smoke their pipes and sip their wine, beer, or coffee. From the landing place Amsterdam is seen to great advantage, stretching along the opposite shore of the Y. It is by far the best view of the city, and is a picture of wealth and industry, bearing witness to the extent of the trade, which is still carried on with almost all parts of the globe.
The Y is frozen over in severe winters. In the winter of 1794-5 the Dutch fleet lying in the Y, opposite Amster
dam, was captured by a French corps of cavalry and flying artillery! The vessels were frozen up in the ice at the time, and the detachment from the invading army crossed the ice to attack them.
Buiksloot is a large village at the Waterland dyke, abounding in spacious inns, with numerous apartments for the reception of guests from Amsterdam. Inns: De Boer's and Von Geritzen's. Carriages may be hired here to go to Broek (4 miles) and return, for 4 grs.; to Saardam for 4 grs.; Monnikendam, 4 grs.; Edam, 5 grs. The longer tour by Broek, Monnikendam, Edam, Purmerende (where is the only tolerable inn on the route at which travellers may dine), to Saardam, costs 15 guilders, and will occupy a whole day.
No one should omit to view the Grand Ship Canal of North Holland, which commences here directly opposite Amsterdam, and extends to Helder and the Texel, a distance of 51 m. It is one of the greatest undertakings of the kind ever executed. At the surface it is 124 ft. wide, at the bottom 31 ft., a breadth sufficient to admit two frigates to pass, and probably greater than that of any other canal in the world; and it is 21 ft. deep. It has locks only at each end. The lock-gates exceed in dimensions the largest in the docks of Liverpool; they are founded upon piles driven through the mud into sand. The level of the canal at Buiksloot is 10 ft. below the mean height of the sea, and of course many feet below high tides. As a work of utility, this canal deserves the highest praise, since it enables vessels to enter and quit the port of Amsterdam with safety, and without any delay, in defiance of contrary winds, and unimpeded either by the storms or the thousand sandbanks of the dangerous Zuider Zee: at the same time avoiding the trouble and risk of passing the bar at the mouth of the Y, called the Pampus, over which lay the only outlet to the sea before this canal was made. Large vessels were formerly obliged to discharge their cargoes on the outside
of the harbour of Amsterdam, and were then lifted out of the water, and floated over the bar, by means of a machine called a camel, a species of double chest of wood, the two halves of which are shaped to fit the hull of a ship. Being filled with water, and sunk, they are attached to the side of the vessel to be lifted. The water is then pumped out of them, and of course, as they become buoyant, they raise the ship with them. The time employed in tracking the fly-boats from Amsterdam to the Helder, by the canal, is 10 hours; moderate sized vessels in about 18 hours; and large East Indiamen are tracked in 2, 3, or 4 days, according to the wind. Such vessels were not unfrequently detained as many weeks by tempestuous weather and other obstacles, before they could make this short voyage by sea.
The difficulties which opposed the formation of this canal, through ground consisting of low swamp and loose sand, increase our admiration of the skill and perseverance by which it was planned and executed. The original sea shore, which is the only firm ground in New Holland, was found, by boring, to be 43 ft. under the present surface, and the foundations of the locks were laid at that depth. One principal difficulty which occurs, is the preventing the loose and silty soil, which forms the banks of the canal, from sliding down into the bottom and filling up the channel. Blanken was the engineer; it was begun 1819 and finished in 1825, at a cost of nearly 1 million sterling. The only disadvantage to which it is liable is that of being choked up by ice in winter. Some years ago, 35,000 guilders, about 3000l., were expended in cutting a passage through the ice for several outward-bound vessels.
The road to Broek is dull; it runs through a flat country of meadows by the side of the N. H. Canal, as far as halfway, and at the 2nd bridge quits this and follows the Broek Canal, along which men and women, harnessed like horses to the towing rope, may be seen submitting to the drudgery of tracking barges laden with fruit and vegetables