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Ch. XIII. soon rendered themselves the chief carriers of the world,

and their country the chief depository of its productions. 1648.

Without mines, or vineyards, or forests, there was nowhere such an abundance of metals, wines, and timber as in Holland; and when, in years of scarcity, France and England needed supplies of corn, “they looked not to Poland or Livonia, where it grew, but to the cities of the Dutch, where they were always sure to find a ready and plentiful store.'** This constant abundance among the Dutch grew out of their liberal commercial policy. “The freedom of

traffic,” said De Witt, “has ever been greater with them Free Trade. than among any of their neighbors." " The low duties

of these wise states,” said Raleigh, “draw all traffic to them, and the great liberty allowed to strangers makes a continual mart. And although the duties be but small, yet the vast exports and imports do greatly increase their revenues, which vast commerce enables the common people not only to bear the burden of the excises and impositions laid on them, but also to grow rich."!

The liberal commercial policy of Holland was accompanied by entire freedom in matters of faith, and by a generous statesmanship which offered a secure asylum to strangers of every race and creed. This universal sentiment of toleration among the Dutch was neither a political expedient, nor the result of any state necessity. “It was the instinct, and habit, and traditional law of right in the heart of the nation, the observance of which they could boast, with honest pride, for ages.”” However much the clergy of Holland may have been inclined toward sectarian exclusiveness, the magistrates and the people, who made the laws, were almost universally liberal. The great care of this state has ever been to favor no particular or curious inquisition into the faith or religious principles of any peaceable man who came to live under the protection of their laws, and to suffer no violence or oppression upon any man's conscience whose opinions broke not out in expressions or actions of ill consequence to the Ch. XIII. state."* Attracted by this magnanimous liberality, fugi

Universal
toleration.

* McCullagh, ii., 265, 266.
$ Raleigh's Observations to King James.

+ De Witt, i., cap. ii.
9 McCullagh, ii., 169.

1648. tive Walloons from the Spanish Netherlands, Lutherans from Germany, Puritans from England, Huguenots from attracted. France, Waldenses from Piedmont, and long-persecuted Jews from Portugal, found in Holland a cordial welcome and full employment. And the liberal-minded Hollanders received a prompt and abundant reward. New þranches New Manof manufactures were introduced and established, the un- establishrivaled excellence of which soon commanded the markets of the world. Even English cloths, sent to Amsterdam to be dressed and dyed, were shipped thence to foreign countries, and sold" by the name of Flemish Bayes,” said Raleigh; so we lose the very name of our home-bred commodities." For ages, the linens and the paper of Holland maintained the highest reputation, and found a large consumption abroad. The printing of books early became Publication an important branch of the national industry, and men of taste and learning constantly superintended the press. The names of the Elzeviers of Leyden are still cherished with the sincerest respect by all who have seen their admirable editions, which, for accuracy and beauty of typog. raphy, are unsurpassed by the publications of our own day. As long as an author abstained from uttering positive libels, he might promulgate whatever opinions he saw fit; and the natural consequence of the freedom of the Dutch press was the publication of a vast number of books, the exportation of which for a long time formed a lucrative branch of trade. The High Court of Holland was some-Liberty of times called upon to interfere, in cases of gross offense; but the plans which they more than once suggested to the states, for restricting the liberty of the press, were invariably rejected. Thus it was that the people of the Netherlands became prosperous and great.

Foreigners

ed.

of books,

the Dutch press.

* Har. Misc., il., 600; ante, p. 102.

† Observations to King James. While examining the documents relating to New York in the English archives at London, I observed that many of the official dispatches to and from our colonial governors, from the time of Colonel Nicolls down to the period of the Revolution, were written on paper bearing the Dutch water-mark.

( Wagenaar, Vad. Hist., xc., 218 ; Davies, iii., 402.

CH. XIII.

Illustrious

While the Dutch, as a people, were distinguished by

talents perhaps more solid than brilliant, some of the most 1648.

illustrious men of modern times were natives of Holland. mana.of Hol- In politics, none are greater than Barneveldt and the De

Witts; in arms, none excel Maurice and the other princes of Orange ; in naval affairs, none surpass Heemskerk, and Heyn, and Tromp, and De Ruyter. Holland was equally remarkable for intellectual superiority. Her Universities of Leyden, Utrecht, and Groningen produced scholars equal to most, and superior to many. In the schools of divinity, few have obtained higher distinction than Agricola, Arminius, Cocceius, Episcopius, Gomarus, Junius, or Witsius. In classical accomplishments, few scholars have ever surpassed Gronovius, Heinsius, Scaliger, or Vossius. In philosophy and science, the world has assigned the highest place to Erasmus, Grotius, Plancius, Huygens, Jansen, and Spinosa. In medicine and surgery, none have excelled Boerhaave, and Ruysch, and Tulp. Among her own sons, Holland has found worthy historians in Bor, Brandt, De Laet, Hooft, and Van Meteren. In lighter literature, also, the Dutch were not deficient; and, though the propensity of the people to rhyming perhaps corrupted the national taste, the illustrious names of Cats and Vondel are quite sufficient to rescue from contempt the poetical reputation of their Fatherland.

The Netherlands, too, can boast of having produced some of the most eminent artists. There were born Backhuysen, Cuyp, Gerard Dow, Hobbima, Mieris, Paul Poto ter, Rembrandt, Jan Steen, Van der Huyden, Vandervelde, Wouvermans, and many others of nearly equal celebrity. The visitor at Gouda can not fail to render a tribute of admiration to the talents of the brother's Crabeth, who painted the magnificent glass windows in the cathedral, perhaps among the finest specimens of the art now existing. The engravers of Holland have been among the first in the world ; and the elaborate pulpit in the New Church* at Amsterdam to this day attests the eminence

Eminent artists.

* This building, though known as the “New Church," is more than four centuries old, It was founded in 1408. The “Oude Kerk," or Cathedral of Saint Nicholas, was built before the year 1300.

istics of the

spirit.

of her carvers in wood. The invention of the highest of Cu. XIII. all the arts--that of printing—is confidently claimed for

1648. Lawrence John Coster, a native of Haerlem.*

The Dutch were eminently a plain-spoken, industri. Characterous, frugal, charitable, well-educated, and moral people. Dutch. Straight-forward simplicity and boldness of speech were al. ways their peculiar characteristics. Their blunt frankness Frankness . constantly drew upon them the satire of the rest of Europe. In the meanness of his sycophaney to an ungrateful king, the bitterest couplet that Dryden could write about them was

“Well may they boast themselves an ancient nation ;

For they were bred ere manners were in fashion." Party spirit ran high in Holland, as it ever will run high Pariy in countries where the expression of opinion is unrestrained by arbitrary laws and sectarian despotism. From the time of the famous factions of the "Hoeks” and the “ Kab. beljaus,”+ the country was never free from political contentions. But these disagreements, though sometimes pushed into popular excesses, so far from retarding, steadily accelerated the cause of civil liberty, by interesting the minds of the masses of the people. The intelligent Temple, travelling, incognito, to the Hague, in 1667, remarked, that the chief pleasure he had, was s to observe the strange freedom that all men took, in boats, and inns, and all other common places, of talking openly whatever they thought upon all public affairs." I To proverbial industry, the Dutch united habits of thrift Ecar.om.

and Ifugal and economy. These habits, in connection with their ity. large commercial resources, enabled them to sustain with

* Davies, ii., 665–669 ; McCullagh, ii., 287–292. + These whimsical names are said to have originated, about the year 1346, in a dispute at a feast, whether the codfish (Kabbeljau) took the hook, or the hook took the codfish. Graver history, however, alleges that these household words among the Dutch early marked their independent spirit. The nobles who attempted oppression were compared to the codfish, which devours the smaller fry; while the people were likened to the hook, because, though apparently insignificant, it can master the all-devouring cod. Whatever may have been their actual origin, these names continued, for nearly two centuries, to distinguish those rival parties, the feuds of which, while they temporarily distraoted Holland, gave the Dutch that habit of free thought and action which has always characterized the nation.

# Temple's Works, i., 286.

C#. XIII. ease the enormous public expenses, which in some years

amounted to three times the value of the whole produce 1648.

of the land. * The direct taxes and excises, which constituted the chief revenues of Holland, were willingly paid, because there was no suspicion that they were misapplied. “ No great riches," says Temple, " are seen to enter by public payments into private purses, either to raise families, or to feed the prodigal expenses of vain, extravagant, and luxurious men; but all public moneys are applied to the safety, greatness, or honor of the state."* Among Hollanders, it was always a cardinal principle to live within one's income. "Every man spent less than he had coming in, be that what it would ; and he would be thought to have lived a year to no purpose who had not realized a sum to lay by at the end of it.” I

Yet, with all their economy and thrift, the Dutch were neither mean nor sordid. Their houses were richly furnished with pictures, and fine linen, and carved work, and

plate ; and an overflowing hospitality always distinguishHospitality ed their kind-hearted and liberal inhabitants. Their be

nevolence was expansive; among civilized nations the Dutch early obtained celebrity for their kindness to the poor. The wealth which their industry gained was liberally expended in acts of humanity and charity. The thrifty habits of the working classes generally enabled them to support themselves in independence. But the sick, and aged, and poor, were always sure of finding comfortable asylums provided for them by the large benevolence of their more opulent countrymen. The orphan was protected and reared, and the soldiers and the sailors, who won the laurels of Holland, were never forgotten.

Neither the perils of war, nor the busy pursuit of gain, nor the excitement of political strife, ever caused the Dutch

to neglect the duty of educating their offspring to enjoy 1585.

that freedom for which their fathers had fought. Schools were every where provided, at the public expense, with good schoolmasters, to instruct the children of all classes

and benevolence.

Early establishment of free schools.

* Hol. Mer., 1685, p. 107.

+ Observations, 136.

# Ibid., p. 158.

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