Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

our countrymen for any length of time, native country. Whatever additions, it is believed that the generality of therefore, might now be made to my those who are at present emigrating travelling memoranda, would be of a from Britain, adventure for the first nature painful to myself, and not in time to a foreign land, and conse- anywise gratifying to your readers. quently, that their minds are in a I mention this circumstance, to acstate of higher excitement—their im- count, in some degree, for the unconpressions stronger and their recole nected and desultory nature of the lections more vivid-than will be following pages. found to be the case in the same persons in after years. That much valu.

SKETCHES, &C. able information has been collected

No I. no one can doubt, from what is already “ Pass we the long, unvarying course, the known and published ; and that much track more is sleeping in journals, soon to Oft trod, that never leaves a trace behind;be thrown aside and forgotten, may Pass we the calm, the gale, the change, the easily be credited. Want of leisure,

tack, and the opportunity of cultivating And each well known caprice of wave and those studies, which enable an author Pass we the joys and sorrows sailors find, to appear before the world with cre- Cooped in their winged sea-girt citadel ; dit to himself and pleasure to his The foul, the fair, the contrary, the kind, readers, must frequently deter those As breezes rise and fall, and billows swell, who are otherwise both able and wil. Till on some jocund morn,-lo, land ! and ling to add something to the stock of all is well.”

BYRON. general infomation, from attempting We are at last safe at Rotterdam, to benefit those who may afterwards after a long and boisterous passage. I pursue a similar course.

must confess I left Hamburgh with Whoever contributes to the exten- regret, although my heart is not bound sion of knowledge, or the diffusion of to it by many dear ties, and I have, the means by which it is either com moreover, the prospect of visiting counmunicated or acquired, confers an ob- tries entirely new to me, some of which ligation on society, and deserves well I have long been anxious to see, and, of mankind. I would therefore re- till, lately, without a hope of my wish commend, as a measure well worthy of being ever accomplished. When one your attention, to collect the notes, or leaves a place where they have been journals, of such of your friends and happy, a feeling of sorrow is experiacquaintances, as have recently vi- enced similar to that at bidding faresited, or may be now visiting, the well to an old friend. There is a meContinent; as it is probable, that in lancholy pleasure in retracing the hapmost of them, though written without py moments we have spent with each, an idea of their ever being exposed to and a kind of foreboding that perhaps the public eye, there may be found we may never meet again ; but should occasional sources of amusement and I live a hundred years, I shall never information.

forget the kindness of Mr M. and his Having recently travelled, though interesting family. somewhat too rapidly, through some Rotterdam is a pleasant and cheerparts of the Continent, I feel inclined ful town; at least, every one who is to follow

up the example of the “View- fortunate enough to enjoy fine weaHunter," by furnishing you with a ther, and who lodges in the Boomjies, few brief sketches of some of the must think so. The name last men countries through which I passed. tioned, which is not sufficiently beauThey remain entirely in the form in tiful to require repetition, is that of which they were drawn up at the time, the main street, and a very fine one and I have, at present, neither lei- it is. It consists of a single row of sure nor inclination to revise them. handsome houses, many of them very My leisure is interrupted by the ful- large and elegant, built by the side of filment of higher duties, and my a broad navigable branch of the river inclination soinewhat damped, by re- Meuse, which is here affected by the flecting on the death of a most ami- tide, and enlivened by the constant able young man, with whom I tra, going up and coming down of numvelled in the capacity of tutor, and berless vessels from all countries, and whose bad health was the mournful of every shape and size. Between the cause of my quitting, for a time, my houses and the river side, there is a

[graphic]
[ocr errors]

row of old trees bordering the outere places very smooth. There are nume-
"edge of the causeway; and beneath rous bridges over the canals; in some
these, during the fine evenings of sum- quarters, however, there are none, and
*mer, there is an immense concourse there the communication is kept up
of people constantly assembled to en- by what are called doit-boats, which
joy the fresh breeze from the river, constantly ply from sunrise to sunset,
and admire the dexterity and skill of and convey the passengers across for
the helmsmen in directing their ves- the reasonable sum of one doit, or the
sels through the currents. This street eighth part of a penny. Every thing
may be about a mile in length, stretch- here is lively and in motion, except the
ing throughout its whole extent along canals, which are sluggish, and in very
the side of the river; it is also suffie hot weather must emit a disagreeable
ciently broad, and is always kept odour. It is on this account chiefly
clean. There is, however, no regular that I should prefer the street before
pavement or foot-way to walk upon in mentioned, -as the constantly return-
wet weather. The side of the street, ing tide, and natural current of the
next to the houses, is paved with bricks, river, prevent any approach to stagna-
which are smooth on their surface, tion in the waters of that neighbour
and neatly disposed, but on these hood.
it is in vain to walk, because the In this city, I believe, there are few
steps leading to the principal door of works of art, at least I was not so fortu-
each house project towards the cause- nate as to discover any. It is the birth-
way, and intersect this side-path every place of Erasmus, in honour of whose
ten or twelve yards. The houses are memory the magistrates erected
remarkably clean, as well on the out- statue of brass, in an open part of the
side as in the interior. The public town. He is represented with a book
rooms are for the most part furnished in his hand, rather larger than life,
with mirrors, which project from the and clothed in a doctorial gown. No
base of the window, on the outside notice of this sort has been taken of
towards the street,--

by means of which, Bayle, the sceptic of Rotterdam, who those who are seated near the windows unfortunately had involved himself in have a view of every thing which may some contentions with the church ; be going on in that part of the street and from the acts of the consistory of to which their back is turned. This, the Walloon congregation of RotterI believe, is customary throughout Hol- dam, prefixed to the Historical and land and the Netherlands.

Critical Dictionary, it would seem Most of the other streets in Rotter- that Le Page, and some other of the dam are double, that is, have a canal in Dutch Ecclesiastics, were apt to dese the centre, with a row of houses and a pise the profane virtues of sincerity causeway on each side,--and the cause- and moderation. I was informed that way is for the most part, on the side the public library contained the orinext to the canal, bordered with fine ginal drawings, or rather sketches, by trees, which add much to the appear- Rubens, of the Luxembourg gallery. ance of the whole, and, particularly There are many churches in Rotterduring moonlight, produce a beautiful dam, some of them handsome, and for effect. The streets are usually crowdall sects in religion—Catholics, Presa ed with porters, sailors, and men of byterians, Episcopalians, and Jews, business, all in a state of activity. The Jews are very numerous. A Jew

I was amused by the appearance of ish girl and a young boy passed unthe horses, whose shoes are terminated der my windows every day, and sereby three long points, on which they naded for half an hour. The girls rest, and which give the appearance of voice was the most rellow and fulltheir being mounted upon pattens. toned I ever heard, and the boy's was They are used in conveying the small- clear and sonorous. Among other est barrel or parcel from one house to songs she sung the Tyrolese song of another, and the clattering of their liberty, in a manner which I never hoofs produces a singular noise. The heard before equalled. They avoided, particular shape of the shoe is probably in some degree, the frequent repetition intended to prevent their slipping on of the same notes and words, which the streets, which, from the constant renders the English version rather conveyance of goods upon sledges or monotonous, and infused into it a wild carts without wheels, are in many spirit, and a pathos which would haye VOL. I.

2 K

honoured even the echoes of the Tyrol. dress, I fear I shall be guilty of many I understand that the music of the mistakes and inaccuracies, if I comsynagogue is very fine, though I un mence with so difficult and unaccusfortunately had not an opportunity of tomed an object. Nevertheless, with hearing it.

the full conviction that what I am now With regard to the dress and gene- writing will never fall into the hands ral appearance of the inhabitants, such of any Dutch lady, who, severe in of the higher classes as I have

seen are youthful and rotund beauty, might very similar to the Scotch and English. expose my ignorance to the world, I The head-dress of the ladies, however, shall briefly state my ideas on the subis usually more highly ornamented, ject. In the first place, then, I am of and seems to partake in some measure opinion, that immediately upon the of the French fashion.

head there is a small hood or cap, probDuring my short stay here, I took a ably made of linen and bordered with walk into the country, and was am broad lace, which lies close upon the ply repaid for my trouble by the a- forehead, and depends upon the back musement which it afforded me. The of the neck, where it is fastened by appearance of the middle and lower means of a small curl, or twist of the ranks, particularly at some distance hair, and gold bodkins.

The most from any considerable town, is enter- characteristic feature of this head-dress, taining beyond all description. The however, consists of a broad-semicira sight of any little girl of six or seven cular piece of gold, which embraces years old, attired in her Sunday's cose the hinder part of the head, and tertume, is quite sufficient to excite one's minates in golden knobs or plates, of laughter for a month. She moves about the size of a halfpenny, at both within the massy folds of some ap- temples. Near the ear, this singular parently antiquated gown, and beneath appendage is deflected for an inch or the far-spreading brims of a prodigious two, and at the extremity of this destraw bonnet, with the grave deport- flexion there are usually suspended ment of a woman of seventy years of large and richly worked ear-rings, of age; and with this appearance every gold, silver, mother-of-pearl, &c. varylook and every gesture corresponds. ing in splendour and magnificence acDuring a short excursion in one of the cording to the wealth and importance Dutch stage-coaches, many of which of the bearer. Such parts of the head are furnished with three rows of seats as are not secured by this metallic covin the interior, I found myself seated ering, are adorned with patches of behind a venerable old lady, who seem- black or coloured silks ; and over the ed so far declined into the vale of years, whole there is imposed a cap of lace that she was obliged to hold the arm and cambric, beautifully intermingled, of an elderly domestic who sat beside through the interstices and open stitch her. On arriving at our destination, ing of which, the golden ornament and I of course offered my arm to assist coloured substances which border it her feeble and emaciated frame in de are distinctly visible. Sometimes, inscending from the vehicle. My at- stead of the golden plates over each tention was first excited by the infan temple, there are black patches of a tine beauty of the little hand which substance resembling leather, but of was presented to me; and you may the nature of these I do not mean at judge of my surprise, when, on raising present to hazard a decided opinion. my head, instead of the wrinkled vis Besides what I have stated, there are, age of a superannuated woman, I be- no doubt, many accessories of lesser held the smiling countenance of a rosy import, but what I have detailed are child, with bright blue eyes and beau the more prominent and striking cha. tiful flaxen hair.

racters. The head-dress certainly forms the In regard to the golden ornament most singular part of a Dutch country- before mentioned, the vulgar proverb woman's attire. This is, for the most must be kept in mind, that it is not part, not inelegant, and is frequently all gold which glitters. That piece of very rich and costly. It consists of dress, among the poorer people, is different substances, and variously either gilt, or made of silver. The shaped and modified, according to the wealthier classes, however, have it of taste of the individual. Having never fine gold, sometimes richly carved attempted the description of a female and ornamented with precious stones.

When very handsome, it is handed so perceptible. Notwithstanding the down from father to son during a long abundance of milk, they rarely gather period of years, and is looked upon as any cream, at least not for daily use. an heirloom in the family.

It seems to be collected chiefly with a I have been only once in church dur- view to the formation of super-exceling the time of service since my arri- ient cheese. val in this country, and was much I was much delighted by the picedified by an excellent Dutch sermon. turesque groups of the peasant girls, The church was handsome, and con who assemble to milk the cattle in partained a magnificent organ, the tone of ticular quarters of the meadows, called which, I do not doubt, was very fine; milking-places, or melk-plaats. Such but as each member of the congrega scenes forcibly reminded me of the tion sung a most vociferous and open inimitable productions of Paul Potter, mouthed accompaniment, my sense of and were well worthy the efforts of hearing was completely deadened dur- that great master. ing the performance, in so far as con In the suburbs of Rotterdam there cerned the perception of more delicate are a number of small gardens, in sounds. Among other ornaments which most of which are erected wooden surrounded the organ, there were a houses, of fanciful shapes and many number of little angels playing the colours, not unlike the gay habitations fiddle, apparently in a very masterly of Chinese mandarins. In these houses style. In the few churches which I the richer class of merchants, with have seen, there are scarcely any pews, their wives and families, drink tea in but each flag-stone of the floor is num the summer evenings, particularly on bered, and as there are abundance of the Sundays. The windows reach from chairs, each person places one on his the roof to the floor, and are for the own particular number. As soon as most part open, so that the passing the first psalm ceases, and the sermon traveller has a clear view of the intehas commenced, each man and boy rior of the building, and of its inhabita places his hat on his head, and sits at ants. Such parties as I have seen in his ease, at least so it was in the church the evenings, appeared to be solely emwhich I visited.

ployed in drinking tea, a meal from I did not observe any one smoking which they must derive much pleasin church, but in the streets and high- ure, if one may judge from the time ways, all the men, and a few of the which they take to it. Even in the women, have their pipes constantly in streets, there is generally a tea party their mouths. I have seen a little boy, visible in at least one window of every about ten or twelve years of age, with house, and before many doors, in a fine a long black coat, silk breeches, his afternoon, there is a party seated on hands in the pockets of the same, sil- the steps. This is more particularly ver shoe-buckles, a tobacco-pipe in his the case in country towns; the men, mouth, and the whole crowned by a however, in all places, still retaining huge three-cornered cocked hat, un- their long tobacco pipes in their der which the youth moved with a mouths. gravity of demeanour becoming his With regard to the mode of travel great-grandfather.

ling in Holland, I may next say a few I believe the general appearance of words: Post carriages, I understand, Holland is pretty similar throughout. may be everywhere obtained, but as What I have seen has a cheerful and in wet weather, particularly during pleasing aspect, though, from the want spring and autumn, many of the roads of hills and vallies, it would probably are impassable, such a mode of prosoon become uninteresting. The whole ceeding, independent of the great incountry seems composed of meadows, crease of expense and trouble which it intersected by canals, and subdivided occasions, is by no means adviseable. by ditches and rows of trees. The In no country of the world, however, rivers are slow and heavy in their mo- is there such easy and regular conveytions, and partake much of the nature ance by water as in this, on which acof the canals and ditches. The water count I would advise all tourists to is bad; but as good claret can be got travel exclusively by the canals. for two shillings, and there is abund Upon inquiry, I find, that in every ance of excellent milk, this loss is not town there are a number of large boats

TO THE PRESES OF THE GAELIC SO.

THE
& DICTIONARY

or vessels, called treck-schuits (trecka LETTER FROM THE LATE DR-MʻLAGAN schuiten), some of which start every hour, and in all directions, and convey CIETY, EDINBURGH, RESPECTING goods, parcels, and passengers, from

COMPILATION OF A GAELIC place to place. These vessels, of which I have now seen many in this town,

[The following letter has been handed to may be described as large open boats, us by Mr Campbell, editor of “ Albyn's containing wooden cottages of about Anthology," in whose possession the oria thirty feet long and six feet wide, with ginal has been for many years, and who has flat roofs, on which the passengers also furnished us with the additional infor. may walk in fine weather. They are

mation contained in the notes to the letter. placed in, and form a part of the boat Authentic intelligence

respecting the history itself , and are divided by a partition of Gaelic literature

will always be acceptable into two parts. The interior division, ly fail to be interesting to many of our which is by much the largest, is called readers, who are looking forward with eager the ruim. It contains the goods and anxiety to the publication of the Gaelic Dice baggage, and in it, as it is cheaper, the tionary yow compiling under the auspices of greater number of passengers take their the Highland Society of Scotland. The aca seats. The smaller apartment, which complishment of this desirable and often. is next the stern of the vessel, is called defeated object, will be one of the many im. the roef: It is neatly fitted up, with portant public services performed by that a table in the centre, and cushions &

highly respectable and patriotic body. We round the sides, and in it the quality give one short extract from the papers they

regret that our limits will only permit us to are usually conveyed. It contains have printed, respecting the plan of the work eight people, is furnished with one or and the progress that has been made in iti two windows on each side, and in some This we subjoin, along with a memorandum a draft-board is painted on the table. on Dr M.Lagan's letter, (Notes A, B,) with In the event of one or two persons en

which we have been obligingly furnished by gaging the whole seats in the roef, it

a gentleman who has the very best access to is only necessary to pay one-half of the authentic information in whatever relates to price. The ryim, I should suppose,

the history of Gaelic literature, may contain upwards of thirty people. be inclined to regard this subject as one of

In case any of our southern readers should These boats travel at the rate of one trifling importance, and our attention to it league per hour, or rather more ; and

as a strong trait of nationality, we shall take the expense, including baggage, can the liberty to quote the opinion expressed not much exceed a penny a mile. They by Dr Samuel Johnson, when the scheme are drawn by a horse, in the manner of translating the Scriptures into Gaelic was of our own canal boats, but the rope strongly opposed by some individuals, from is fastened to the top of a small move political considerations of the disadvantages able mast, placed near the bow of the of keeping up the distinctions between

the vessel. The cottage-shaped building the island.

Highlanders and the other inhabitants of

“ I am not very willing that before mentioned, does not extend the any language should be totally extinguished. entire length of the treck-schuit, but the similitude and derivation of languages both before and behind it there is an afford the most indubitable proof of the traopen space, in the former of which is duction of nations and the genealogy of placed a person who lowers the mast mankind. They add often physical cerand unties the rope on passing other tainty to historical evidence; and often supvessels, or under bridges; and the lata ply the only evidence of ancient migrations, ter is appropriated to the helmsman, written monuments behind them.”*]

and of the revolutions of ages which left no and such of the passengers as may prefer it to the roef or cabin.

Belfast, Feb. 27th 1771. Although the feelings of a merchant

DEAR SIR, may no doubt be both acute and de lightful in this most mercantile city,

Your letter of 25th ultimo I was yet, upon the whole, there is not much lately honoured with. I am sorry that to excite the attention, or to gratify the my knowledge of the Gaelic language curiosity of a lounger.

does not by any means come up to the If the weather is fine, I shall there,

notions you seem to entertain of it, fore start for Leyden to-morrow.

X. Y. z. * See Letter to Mr W. Drummond, dated (To be continued.)

1766 ; Boswell's Life, vol. ä. p. 142.

« ForrigeFortsæt »