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discovered their value at a time when it umph that it was immortalized by Velaswas lowest among their own countrymen, quez, in the great picture of the Madrid and perfect gems of art were bought for Gallery, so bristling with uplifted lances, mere trifles, which would now be recove that it is technically called “ Las Lanered, if possible, at almost any price. zas." To us a far more interesting inciThe city of Antwerp has just given dent is the surprise of the town in 1590, £4,000 for a picture by Hobbima, not while in the possession of the Spaniards, two feet square. Why has all this power by a devoted band of soldiers, headed passed away? why cannot the city cause by a captain of Prince Maurice's army. a new picture to be painted equal to the Seventy men hid themselves in the hold old ?
of a barge, under a load of turf, which In literature they stood nearly as high. was going into the town for the supply Erasmus was certainly the leading phi- of the troops. The voyage was only of a losophical thinker of the Reformation. few leagues, but the winter wind blew a Grotius, the “miracle of Holland,” the gale down the river, bringing with it “ rising light of the world," as he was huge blocks of ice, and scooping the termed; Descartes, though not born water out of the dangerous shallows, so among them, yet who certainly must be that the vessel could not get on. From ranked among their great men ; Spinoza, Monday till Saturday these brave men
great among the greatest as a thinker,” lay packed like herrings in their little the “God-intoxicated man,” as he was vessel, suffering from hunger, thirst, and called by the Catholic Novalis,-who deadly cold. Only once did they venwas anathematized by orthodox Jew and ture on shore to refresh themselves. At Christian alike, but whose reputation length, on Saturday evening, they reached has survived the reprobation; and Boer Breda, the last sluice was passed, the last haave, “the physician of Europe,” were boom shut behind them. a few typical names among them ; while An officer of the guard came on board, printing, whose delicate clearness and talked to the two boatmen, and lounged beauty has never been excelled, amount into the little cabin, where he was only ing indeed to an art, was carried on by separated by a sliding door from the the family of the Elzevirs, at Leyden and men; a single cough or sneeze would elsewhere. In etching, Rembrandt him- have betrayed them, when every one self has no rival, in power and delicacy of these obscure heroes would have alike, and in the effects of color pro- been butchered immediately. As they duced, though in mere black and white, went up the canal the boat struck on some by the magic of his light and shade. hidden obstacle and sprung a leak; they The etchings, however, which bear his sig- were soon sitting up to their knees in nature are of very various merit, and the water, while pumping hardly kept the backgrounds, foregrounds, and draperies barge afloat. A party of Italian soldiers are now believed to have been often came to their help, and dragged the vesworked in by his many pupils. Ferdi- sel close up to the guard-house of the nand Bol, himself an excellent painter, is castle. The winter had been long and also supposed to have filled in sketches cold, and there was a great dearth of made by Rembrandt himself. As far as fuel. An eager crowd came on board, mere mechanical power goes, Hollar's and began carrying off the cargo much touch seems to be hardly inferior to that faster than was safe for the hidden men. of the great master; but the genius of The hardships they had endured and the invention behind it is lacking in his case, thorough wetting bad set the whole party and the satins and furs, the rufts and coughing and sneezing; in particular the lace, so marvellously rendered, continue lieutenant, Held, unable to control his mere “furniture,” without the wondrous cough, drew his dagger, and implored application by which Rembrandt imparts his neighbor to stab him to the heart, to them such surpassing interest.
lest the noise should betray them. The Presently we passed the low earth- skipper and his brother, however, went works of Breda, which look so weak and on working the pumps with as much clatinsignificant that they would seem im- ter as possible, shouting directions to possible to defend ; but their surren
each other so as to cover the sounds der" was deemed such an iniportant tri- within. At last, declaring that it was now
dark, they with difficulty got rid of the dealer, thus utterly ruining the composicustomers. The servant of the captain tion and balance of color, particularly in of the guard lingered still, complaining the sky. The two halves remained apart of the turf, and saying his master never for years and were called “Morning" would be satisfied with it. “Oh,” said and “ Evening,” in the strange ignorance the cool skipper, “ the best part of the of both buyers and sellers of what consticargo is underneath, kept expressly for tuted early light. At length the true relathe captain ; he will be sure to get enough tion of the parts was discovered, they to-morrow."
have been once again married, and shine The governor, deceived by false ru in the full glow of their warm beauty on mors, had suddenly gone to Gertruyden- Mr. Holford's walls: one can hardly berg, leaving his nephew in charge-a help feeling that they rejoice in their reraw, incompetent lad. Just before mid- union. The luminous effect of the evennight the men stole out; one half ing light on sky and river, hot and still, marched to the arsenal, the other to the with the town and its windmills, and guard-house. The captain of the watch the summer morning effect of the “ Landsprang out and was struck dead at one ing,” are equally admirable. The atmosblow, while the guard were shot through pheric effects in Holland are certainly the doors and windows. The other very peculiar. When the landscape is band were equally successful; the young not blotted out by the mists, the fog, and governor made a rally, but was driven the rain, its extreme flatness (as at sea) back into a corner of the castle, while allows long perspectives of light to be the rest of the garrison, belonging to seen under the clouds down to the very Spinola's famous Sicilian legion, fled hel- low level of the horizon. This often ter-skelter into the town, not even de produces wonderful beauty of light and stroying the bridge behind them. A shade, when the sun is shining on any body of picked troops and Maurice him- point in the great sweeps of country genself soon arrived, the palisade was beaten erally there in sight. The chances of down, and they entered by the same way variety are also much greater with such as the fatal turf boat. Before sunrise an immense arch of sky, than when the the city and the fort had surrendered lower circle is cut off all round by trees “ to the States-General and his Excel- and undulations, more or less high, as is lency.” The capture was not only im- usually the case elsewhere. There is portant in itself, but was the beginning also a singular clearness in the air over of a series of Dutch victories, the turn in great expanses of water or watery land, the tide after the Spanish triumphs of and of vivid color when the cloud-screens previous years.
lift, which is infinitely attractive; while Next came Dort, with its bright little the reflected light from the plains of gardens, houses, churches, ships, canals, bright water gives a remarkable lumiwindmills, and river,--all seeming inex- nousness-which has certainly passed on tricably mixed, -and a savor of the Synod to the canvas of the Dutch artists. collected here to settle the Calvinistic, Further down the Maas comes RotterLutheran, and Arminian disputes of Pro- dam, which is now the entrepôt for the testant countries, not very satisfactory in trade between Java and Germany. It its results, as it settled nothing. The looks busy and full of life, with its forplace was a favorite subject with Cuyp, ests of masts on the broad, muddy, rapid and the numerous “Views,” two of river, washing away a bit of land on one which were to be seen in the last Loan side, piling it up further on, on the everCollection, the “Landing of Prince changing morasses formed where the Maurice at Dort” in the Bridgewater Maas reaches the sea. Here first one Gallery, with Mr. Holford's “View of sees that strange combination of dark Dort," are at least a much more beauti- red brick houses, trees, and canals, most ful consequence due to the existence of picturesque, and strikingly unlike anythe town.
thing else in the world. Even Venice, There is a curious romance about this to which it is so often compared, resempicture; it was very long and narrow, bles it in the words of a description far and was cut in two by an unscrupulous more than in reality. The Dutch towns,
with their deep sombre tones of color, essary foreground here) is backed by do not in the least remind one of their the park. The trees, particularly the brilliant Italian cousin.
oaks, grow very straight, showing that The Hague is certainly the pleasantest there is no stony, gravelly obstacle to and most peaceful-looking capital exist- their tap roots in the easy soil; peat ing—“ umbrageous” is the only word ex. (of an inferior quality) is reached wherpressive of it, such is the amount of ever a foundation is dug or a garden trees in every direction. “Trim retired cultivated, even in the best quarters of leisure" is the general impression of the the town. Endless barrows, with all place, where women have time to squirt sorts of produce, are passing by-grapes ; water at the fronts of their houses, and blue, green, and orange faïence; a red where the railway station is so clean that box with Koffee, Thee," on it-the one might almost eat off the bricks. last as national a beverage here as in Still there is a busier and dirtier side to England; a boy in a blouse and sabots, the town, connected with the trade to the with two great baskets slung to a yoke, sea. We looked down canal after canal, and an enormous cauliflower in each ; with long perspectives of bridges, men women marketing, with queer punting heavy barges with long poles skull caps of very thin beaten gold, hidthrust into the muddy black water or ing the hair completely, a costume from against the brick sides, leaning over so. Zeeland; others with lace lappets, and far that, at sharp turnings of the small curly gold horns projecting four canals, it seemed as if they must or five inches on the side of the head, overtopple themselves and fall. The heirlooms in a North Holland family, a boats were full of green cabbages and white jacket, pink apron, and sabots, yellow carrots, baskets, mats hung up in cold coloring; the peasants looking subrows, peat in neat little square cakes, the stantial in every sense; odd, old-fashbest from Gueldreland. In many of ioned country carts, with a curious horn them women and children were living in jutting out in front; two wicked little the small cabins, half under and half boys, certainly not twelve years old, upon the deck, and were sitting about in smoking; several more in wooden shoes picturesque heaps. Some of the canals and red stockings, flinging stones to are now filled up and turned into streets, bring down the horse-chestnuts, with an but the waterways, with bright lights and amount of diligence, patience, and skill, chequered shadows from the avenues of which would make them model boys if trees thrown on the brick houses and the they do those lessons as earnestly for black-green water, are far more pleasant which they will certainly be too late this to look at. The stirring of the boats morning. No "guardians of order" inprevents the stagnant look which, in terfering; apparently order takes care of out-of-the-way, little-used corners, ap- itself in this well-conducted population. pears in a coating of green slime, and The schools are said to be remarkably seems as if it ought to bring fever, but good and well attended; the religious does not. Here is a very Dutch pic- education is kept separate from the secuture: two women harnessed to a boatlar, the hot Protestant and Catholic by a long rope, pushing against the col- feuds making any other arrangement imlar like beasts of burden; a bit of red possible, if the children are to be taught color on a wherry under the distant together; and there seems to be no diffibridge; then a green hull and a mass of culty there at least in carrying out the black barge, and the blue of the men's details. shirts, punting among the trees with We drove to the Maison du Bois," their long poles, carrying the color from through a thick grove of tall trees, rema bright sky. Nature gets the blue re- nants of the ancient forest which once quired for her gamut often from above, girt the whole territory of the Netherand the reflections of the trunks and lands, another portion of which is still to houses in the water, wherever it was still, be found near Haarlem, and which long doubled and inverted the lines with ad- enabled the savage inhabitants of the mirable effect.
quicksands and thickets of Batavia to Next a more open view out of our withstand even the Romans; while the windows, where the canal (always a nec- tangled bushes into which the sand was
blown on the shore of the North Sea are hairs of his head and the droppings from believed to be the origin of the dunes. his nose, wonderful as they are, are too The trees grow so close as to spoil each realistic and prosaic to excite any great other sadly, but if once the sharp sea warmth of enthusiasm. The sleepy winds are admitted the destruction is sheep, too, are so poorly painted that great. Tall beech trunks, here and they seem as if not by Paul Potter's own There, thrust their heads high into the hand. Rosa Bonheur's " Horse Fair" is air, pine and elm, hornbeams and horse- a far higher kind of art. chestnuts, crossed and mingled their Here, too, is a fine portrait of Prince branches, with a great variety of foliage. Maurice, by Mireveldt, in armor, with In the midst of the wood we came upon a high narrow forehead and peaked bead. a dark green clear pool, looking very There is more
even than his father's weird and strange, and one sees where statesmanlike power in the face, but far Ruysdael got the black greens, the som- less of the benignity. The features of bre, sunless shadows, of his pictures. The the family of the Nassaus are well worth deep seclusion of the place is very strik- study. William the Silent and his three ing,* though within a mile or two of the brothers had already laid down their town; the road wound and twisted lives for the sake of their country, and through the thick forest, closing in his son and nine more of the race were every side and over our heads, when, devoting their blood, their property, and without any preparation, we came sud- every energy and talent they possessed denly on the old red brick palace with a to the service of the cause at the time high" perron" and steps in front, liter- this picture was painted. Few lands, inally planted in the very heart of the mys- deed, owe more to one great family than tery. Certainly this is the very place Holland to the race of William. where the “ Belle au bois dormante" The bevy of doctors surrounding a must have lived, and probably these are subject about to be dissected, foreshortthe princes her descendants, only the ened in a marvellous manner, is not so Queen, one of the cleverest women in unpleasant as it sounds, and is a splenEurope, does not look as if much of the did effort of portrait-grouping, natural sleep had come down upon her. The and life-like, and of light and shade, but house is a show place, full of Javanese it is not a picture on which one can like and Japanese curiosities, and Mr. Mot- to dwell.
to dwell. The portraits of Rubens' first ley's portrait figures there, hanging in a and second wives are full of color, life, room full of the most precious of the and brilliant light; “But I don't know monsters. He has certainly merited the which I should like least for my own wife rarest place in the kingdom, for his can- of those two coquettish ladies," said our onization of its heroes and his vivid pic- companion. There is no good picture tures of the great struggles of its people. of William the Silent; probably he was
A poetic little garden behind, full of far too busy with greater interests to reroses, was framed with wreaths of Wes- member to be painted ; but though the teria as we looked out of a central ball, omission seems to be in character with the cupola and walls of which are paint- the man, it is not the less to be regretted. ed by scholars of Rubens in memory of The statue on the Plein is not bad, but the great deeds of some Prince of Or- it is only a late production; by his side ange, by order of his wife, who sits at the little dog is immortalized which the top and admires her own work in saved his life, when lying asleep in his her husband's honor.
tent, by barking so violently that it awakThe gallery at the Hague is very ened the Prince, on one of the many ocsmall, but full of pictures of great inter- casions when his assassination was atest : not by any means, however, those tempted by order of Philip II. which are most talked about. The big Two or three lovely little landscapes, Bull is a disappointment; we have been full of air and sunshine and distance, satiated with beast-painting, and the with much sky, make one feel as if a
hole in the wall were opened admitting * There is a short prosaic way to the straight
the real view. One of these gives that bare high road on the other side the palace, mixture of ships and trees common in but this may be quite ignored.
Holland, and another the distant sight
of a town amidst formal trees and wide from the sea dyke, and the flotilla of 200 meadows, whose realization we vessels, with guns and 2,500 veterans on came upon in Leyden itself, near a small board, was only able to get as far as a branch of the Rhine, where a great second dyke, still five miles from Leychurch rising among the trees and red den. Within this lay a chain of sixtyhouses has a sort of simulated look of two forts, occupying the land held by the the hull of a ship reversed, very charac- Spaniards, who were four times the numteristic of its position.
ber of those coming to the rescue ; a Leyden is now the quietest and most sanguinary and desperate action took stagnant of learned universities, but with place, but after breaking through these a story to it of the siege by the Spaniards obstacles a third dyke still kept out the in 1573, than which nothing more mov- water. At length after a series of rioing has happened in the story of our race. lent "amphibious skirmishes" this deThe heroic manner in which the inhabit- fence was carried and the dyke broken ants held out long after any wholesome down; but again 'they were doomed to provisions had been consumed, how they disappointment, the wind was east, and ate horses and dogs, and cats and rats the water spreading over so large a surwere luxuries; how they dug up the face was reduced to a mere film of nine very weeds in the market-place; and inches, too shallow for the ships--which even when pestilence broke out from the required from eighteen to twenty-to privations endured by the inhabitants, sail over, and the fleet remained motionand carried off thousands of them, still less. the remainder held out; is not this writ- William had by this time somewhat ten in Mr. Motley's great chronicle of recovered, and as soon as he was able to their race ?
stand he came on board, when the mere At length, as the last chance of reliev- sight of him revived the spirits of the ing the city, William the Silent resolved forces. The besieged were now at their upon opening the great dykes to the sea, last gasp; they knew that the feet had and flooding the country so as to drown sailed, and guessed at its progress by the out the Spaniards and send food to the burning villages, but they knew also that besieged. The damage to the fields, the wind was contrary and that it could standing crops, and villages, in July, was not advance to their help. Bread, maltenormous; it was a measure only to be cake, and horseflesh had disappeared, taken as a last resort, but the danger was even the leaves were stripped from the imminent, and if Leyden fell the rest of trees and eaten ; mothers dropped down the country must follow. The Estates dead with dead children in their arms; consented to the risk : " Better a drowned a dreadful disorder like the plague carland than a lost land,” cried the patriots, ried off from 6,000 to 8,0co persons; yet and a large capital was subscribed to still the people resolutely held out. At carry out the work of destruction, as if it last a party of the most fainthearted surhad been a commercial enterprise, while rounded the Burgomaster, Adrian van the ladies gave their plate and jewellery der Wirt, and demanded a surrender. towards it. The besieged had written 'My life is at your disposal," said the to the Prince that everything was gone
heroic chief; “I can die but once, but I but the malt-cake, and that after four tell you I have made an oath to hold the more days nothing but starvation would city. It is a fate more horrible than be left to them. William was lying at famine to fall into the hands of the SpanRotterdam so ill with a violent sever, iards. Take my body if it can be of any brought on by fatigue and anxiety, that use to you, but expect no surrender his life was despaired of, but he caused while I am alive.” The discontent was letters to be sent off, which, without men- stayed, but still there seemed no hope of tioning his illness, told them that the relief.' “ It were as easy to pluck the dykes were already pierced and that the stars out of heaven as Leyden out of our water was beginning to rise. Great re- hands,” cried the Spaniards, jubilantly. joicings took place within the wretched But the Lord sent a great wind, and it town, cannon were fired, and the Span- blew the waves furiously on the shore iards were surprised at the sounds of and across the ruined dykes, and the music; but Leyden was fifteen miles floods rose on the panic-stricken Span