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shrubbery. These little summer houses are fanciful in form, frequently an octagon, with a Chinese roof, and generally having the name of the estate painted upon them in conspicuous letters, such as • Mei Vleit,' • Buyten Rust, Veld en Vaart,' • Zomer Lust,' and other names in the same taste of prettiness, near akin to affectation.
The weather being mild and delightful, with a bright sun and clement sky, on many of the estates were seen persons amusing themselves in their tranquil way. Little parties sat in the open summer houses, or under the trees, eating, drinking coffee, or smoking, or strolled in the smooth and shady avenues. Ladies were sometimes angling in the canal with their long fishing rods, sometimes reading or sewing at the windows of a fantastic little pagoda. Meanwhile the canal itself was busy with life and industry. Here the neat trekschuyt, with its animated freight, glided quickly along, greeted continually with salutations from the shore, and occasionally stopping for an instant to take in or land a passenger. Little boats now and then shot across the canal from a farm-house to bring home the master, not seldom rowed by the thrifty vrouw herself. Nay, repeatedly did I meet a humble packschuyt, slowly dragged along, not by a weary horse, but by the schipper, by his vrouw, and more than once by a small girl and boy, one before the other, tugging at the boat rope by means of a leathern strap passed over the shoulder and around the waist : while the canal was quite as lively with boats as it had been from Rotterdam to Delft, the shores were much more tasteful and picturesque, owing to the number and variety of the villas, and the shrubs and trees which adorned them, in this the heart of Holland.
In fact, I had now arrived in that district of the country which is called Rhynland, being so highly famed for its fertility as to be considered the garden of Holland. It forms an extensive district, of which Leyden is the centre, being intersected by the old or genuine Rhine, which passes through the midst of the city itself, but is here a small secondary stream. It presents on all sides the most agreeable views, the richest cultivation, the finest farms, in short, the perfection of agricultural industry. It is here that you find the best bread, and above all, the sweetest milk and butter, the largest and most productive cows. Having been the original seat of the ancient Catti and Batavi, and afterward one of the great stations of the Romans, who founded the Lugdunum Batavorum on or near the spot where Leyden now stands, it abounds in antiquities, at the same time that it exhibits all the fruits of early and long-continued cultivation, in the state of the soil and the quality of its productions. A large portion of this territory was reduced to the state of a sunken morass in the ninth century, in consequence of a tremendous tempest, which heaped up the sand on the coast, and completely dammed up the bed of the Rhine. Thus it remained for many centuries, until the persevering Hollanders, who had warred against the sea so successfully on other occasions, and redeemed from its ravages the richest of their provinces, at length undertook to drain this unfortunate region. To construct a canal from the Rhine to the sea, which should effectually drain the inundated territory, would be easy; but as the canal would be considerably below the level of the sea at high tide, and subject to violent shocks in bad weather, it required great ingenuity, and more
boldness, to effect the junction of this canal with the ocean. It was finally accomplished by means of a triple set of flood-gates constructed at the village of Katwyk-op-Zee, and of such solid materials and workmanship, as to bid effectual defiance to the waves. At ebb tide the gates are opened, and suffer the water to pass off; and at flood, they are closed, and protect the canal from the inroads of the sea, ranking among the most important works of the kind in Holland.
Amid the dead level of the surrounding country, the verdant ramparts of Leyden, the groves of trees around and within it, and especially the dark mass of buildings overtopped by the tower of St. Peters, and the ruins of the castle of Altenburg, all conspire to give to the city a distinguished and striking aspect, as you gradually approach it, and at length reach the head of the canal just without its gates. It contrasts the more strongly with the level meadows you are passing through, from being itself slightly elevated in some parts, so as to give its buildings a greater relief; for except the dykes raised by human industry, and the small sand-bills on the sea shore, the whole district seems as flat as the surface of a lake. And here the canals have for so many ages flowed tranquilly in their level bed, that the banks are grown up with shrubs, thick grass and sedge, as if Nature herself, unaided by man, had created the verdant channel. Frequently, also, the water is nearly covered with a small floating pond weed, making a deep green surface in those small canals where there is no boating, and by the sides of the larger ones, which are constantly traversed. Indeed, there is more or less of this floating weed on all the canals, although it is closer in proportion as the water is more completely deprived of movement. "Intermixed with this, are the larger water plants, including the pond-lily, with its full white flower, in appearance resembling ours, but destitute of its exquisite fragrance. Such are the general features of the famous district of Rhynland, and particularly of the immediate vicinity of Leyden.
Dum Vivamus Vivamus!
TRUE Fame's a plant that seems to need
To find and count his merits o'er,
BELLS, AND THEIR ASSOCIATIONS.
I have always loved the sound of bells. Sometimes, it is true, their music is associated with distress and gloom; but even then, they have a voice of instruction. And how often do they re-create scenes which swell the heart with gladness, and make us feel that there is much that is good and beautiful in human nature ! Who does not love to listen to their music on the sacred Sabbath, in the midst of a great city?
It is the morning of a day in June. With what a solemn tone do they call the worshippers to the house of God! The streets, which a few hours ago seemed well nigh deserted, are now thronged with people. The old man, trudging along upon his staff; the brighteyed maiden, with her sylph-like form; parents and children ; the happy and the sorrowful, all are hastening to their devotions. The bells are again silent; the swelling notes of the organ the ear. Let us enter this ancient pile, whose spire points upward to a 'house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. A great multitude fills its aisles. The first psalm has been sung.
Listen now to the humble, devout prayer of the gray-haired pastor. Anon, the sermon commences. Å breathless silence prevails; while from the speaker's tongue, flow forth
'Instruction, admonition, comfort, peace.' Is there any thing on earth, more beautiful than a scene like this? Does it not speak to us of that continual city' whose maker and builder is God? whose streets are paved with gold · whose inhabitants are the children of the All-benevolent ?
How different the scene which the fire-bell brings before the mind! Its sudden strokes seem to articulate the fearsul word, 'Fire!—fire !fire !' We know that the work of destruction is going on. We bear the rattling engines over the stony streets, the confused cry
men, and the wailings of distress. The rich man's dwelling is wrapt in flames, with the humble abode of his poor neighbor. The flame-banners flout the air; the smoke rises upward, and mingles with the midnight clouds.
The confusion is passed. On the spot where stood the fairest portion of a noble city, a heap of smouldering ashes alone arrests the eye.
The rich man has been reduced to poverty; the poor man is still more poor! God help him, and his helpless little ones !
Ennobling thoughts spring up within us, when we hear the manyvoiced bells, on a day of public rejoicing. They may speak to us of blood, but yet they tell of glorious victories. They may commemorate the triumphs of mind, or the noble achievements of the pbilanthropic and the good. Peal on peal echoes through the air, mingled with martial music, and the roaring of cannon,
while a thousand national standards float gaily in the breeze. Touching and grand is the music of bells, on such a day as this !
In the silent watches of the night, how often have I been startled by the sound of a neighboring clock! My mind has then gone forth, to wander over the wide region of thought. Then the bells have seemed to me to be the minstrels of Time; an old man, with bent form, his scythe and hour-glass in his withered hands. All over the world, are his stationary minstrels; striking their instruments, and heaving a sigh for the thoughtlessness of men. At such an hour, when the world was wrapt in silence, at the sound of a bell, the past has vanished like a scroll, and I have been borne, as on eagle's wings, back to the days of my boyhood. I have sported and gambolled with my playmates upon the village green; hunted the wild duck; explored lonely valleys, or sailed upon the lake, which almost washed the threshhold of my happy home; and gazed into its clear blue depths, and fancied that the trout revelling joyfully there, were bright and beautiful spirits ! I have sat once more beside that dear girl, who was my first and only love, and sang to her the ballads of the olden time; while
She sat, and gazed upon me,
With those deep and tender eyes,
Looking downward from the skies." I have again heard her breathe my name, in accents sweeter than the song of the nightingale. Another stroke of the bell, and the waking vision vanished; the voice in my dreaming ear melted away! Then have I shed bitter, bitter tears upon my lonely pillow!
How striking is the ship-bell at sea, which measures the time of the sailor, when, wrapt in slumber, and in the midst of pleasant dreams, he is summoned to enter upon his watch. How often, too, has the fearful alarum-bell sounded at midnight, and proved to be but the knell of happy hearts; or summoned many brave mariners to their ocean-grave.
And there is the light-house bell, which sends forth its shrill voice of warning, when the wind and waves are high. Look out through the thick darkness, and behold that ship! How she trembles in the trough of the sea ! She has heard the signal of danger, and now changes her course. The wind fills her sails, and nobly she meets and conquers the angry billows. A little while, and the dangerous reef is far behind her. Free as a mountain-bird, she pursues her
way over the waste of waters.'
Take a more peaceful scene. Enter yonder village, reposing in beauty on the distant plain. It has but one church, yet in that church there is a bell. The inhabitants are familiar with its tones, for it has for many years called them to the house of prayer. At an early hour, every day, its musical voice is heard ; and methinks, if it could be interpreted, its language would be : Arise! arise ! ye morning slumberers, and improve your time; for your hours are passing speedily away.'
But hark! the bell sounds out once more. Slowly and solemnly! It is a funeral. They are bearing to her tomb one who was young, beautiful, and good. Beside that murmuring rivulet they have made VOL. XV.
her grave. It is a peaceful resting place, upon which no one can look, and say that the grave is fearful :
* All the discords, all the strife,
Sleep in the quiet grave:
The wild volcano smokes no more :
It is now evening. Glorious was the robe in which the sun was decked, when he went down behind the distant hills ! For the last time, lo-day, does the bell send out its warning tone. The anvil is at rest. The post-office, where were assembled the village politicians, is now closed. All places of business are deserted. The members of many a household have gathered around the family altar, to offer up their evening sacrifice of prayer. In a few short hours, that little village is silent as the grave. Even the baying of the watch-dog bas ceased, and the whip-poor-will has sung herself to sleep. Nothing is heard but the sighing of the wind among the trees, and nothing is seen above, but the clear blue sky, and the moon, and stars.
Such, gentle reader, are some of the associations connected with the sound of bells. May they awaken in kindred hearts pleasant remembrances of the past !
Not as the day to night its glory yields,
'Tis when the year is dead, and from its tomb
Another year its sudden round hath run,
W. 6. C.