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present use for; whereas he that spends yearly what he receives, if he pays but the fiftieth part to the publick, it goes from him like that which was necessary to buy bread, or clothes, for himself, or his family. »
This makes the beauty and strength of their towns, the commodiousness of travelling in their country by their canals, bridges, and causways, the pleasantness of their walks, and their grafts in and near all their cities; and, in short, the beauty, convenience, and sometimes magnificence of their publick works, to which every man pays as willingly, and takes as much pleasure and vanity in them, as those of other countries do in the same circumstances among the possessions of their families, or private inheritance.
To conclude this section, Holland is a country, where the earth is better than the air, and profit more in request than honour; where there is more sense than wit; more good nature than good humour; and more wealth than pleasure; and where a man would chuse rather to travel, than to live; shall find more things to observe than desire; and more persons to esteem than to love. But the same qualities and dispositions do not value a private man and a state, nor make a conversation agreeable, and a government great: Nor is it unlikely, that some very great king might make but a very ordinary private gentleman, and some very extraordinary gentleman might be capable of making but a very mean prince.
0/ their Religion, the number of Sects among the People, portion larly in Amsterdam.
The great care of this state has ever been to favour 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 into expressions, or actions, of ill con. sequence to the state. A free form of government either making way for more freedom in religion; or else, having contended so far them. Selves for liberty in this point, they thought it the more unreasonable for them to oppress others.
The Roman Catholick religion was alone excepted from the common protection of their laws, making men (as I lie law-makers believed) worse subjects than the rest, by the acknowledgment of a foreign and superior jurisdiction: Yet such has been the care of this state, to give all men ease in this point, who ask no more than to serve God, and save their own souls, in their own way and forms; that what was not provided for, by the constitutions of their government, was so, in a very great degree, by the connivance of their officers, who, upon certain constant payments from every family, suffer the exercise of the Roman Catholick religion in their several jurisdictions, as free and easy, tho' not so cheap, and so avowed, as the rest. This, I suppose, has been the reason, that though those of this profession are very nu. merous in the country among the peasants, and considerable in the cities; and not admitted to any publick charges; yet they seem to be a sound piece of the state, and fast jointed in with the rest, and have neither given any disturbance to the government, nor expressed any inclinations to a change, or to any foreign power.
Of all other religions, every man enjoys the free exercise in his own chamber, or his own house, unquestioned, and unspied. And if the followers of any sect grow so numerous in any place, that they affect a publick congregation, and are content to purchase a place of assembly, to bear the charge of a pastor, or teacher, and to pay for this liberty to the publick; they go and propose their desire to the magistrate of the place where they reside, who inform themselves of their opinions, and manners of worship; and, if they find nothing in either, destructive to civil society, or prejudicial to the constitutions of their state, and content themselves with the price that is offered for the purchase of this liberty, they easily allow it; but with the condition, that one or more commissioners shall be appointed, who shall have free admission at all their meetings, shall be both the observers, and witnesses of all that is acted or preached among them, and whose testimony shall be received concerning any thing that passes there, to the prejudice of the state; in which case, the laws and executions are as severe, as against any civil crimes.
Thus the Jews have their allowed synagogues in Amsterdam and Rotterdam; and, in the first, I think, all sects, that are known among Christians, have their publick meeting-places; and some, whose names are almost worn out in other parts, as the Brownists, Familists, and others. The Arminians, though they make a great name among them, by being rather the distinction of a party in the state, than a sect in the church; yet are, in comparison of others, but few in number, though considerable by the persons, who are of the better quality, the more learned and intelligent men; and many of them in the government. The Anabaptists are just the contrary, very numerous, but in the lower ranks of people, mechanicks and seamen, and abound chiefly in North Holland.
The Calvinists make the body of the people, and are possessed of all the publick churches in the dominions of the state, as well as of the only ministers or pastors, who are maintained by the publick. It is hardly to be imagined, how all the violence and sharpness, which accompanies the differences of religion in other countries, seems to be appeased or softened here, by the general freedom, which all men enjoy, either by allowance or connivance. I believe the force of commerce, alliances, and acquaintance, spreading so far as they do in small circuits, such as the province of Holland, may contribute much to make conversation, and all the offices of common life, so easy, among so different opinions, of which so many several persons are often in every man's eye; and no man checks or takes offence at faces, or customs, or ceremonies, he sees every day, as at those he hears of in places far distant, and perhaps by partial relations, and comes to see late in his life; and after he has long been possessed by passion or prejudice against them. However it is, religion may possibly do more good in other places, but it does less hurt here; and Vol. ix. N n
'wherever the invisible effects of it are greatest and most advantageous, I am sure, the visible are so in this country, by the continual and undisturbed civil peace of their government, for so long a course of years, and by so mighty an increase of their people, wherein will appear to consist chiefly the vast growth of their trade and riches, and consequently the strength nnd greatness of their state.
Sect. VIII. Of their Way of Trade, and Manner of Increase in Wealth.
It is evident to those, who have read the most, and travelled farthest, that no country can be found either in this present age, or upon record of any story, where so vast a trade has been managed, as in the narrow compass of the four maritime provinces of this commonwealth: Nay, it is generally esteemed, that they have more shipping belongs to them, than there does to the far greater part of Europe besides. Yet they have no native commodities towards the building, or rigging of the smallest vessel; their flax, hemp, pitch, wood, and iron, coming all from abroad, as wool does for cloathing their men, and corn for feeding them. Nor do I know any thing properly of their own growth, that is considerable, either for their own necessary use, or for traffick with their neighbours, besides butter, cheese, and earthen wares. For havens, they have not any good upon their whole coast: The best are Helvoetsluys, which has no trade at all; and Flushingue, which has little, in comparison of other towns in Holland: But Amsterdam, that triumphs in the spoils of Lisbon and Antwerp (which before engrossed the greatest trade of Europe and the Indies) seems to be the most incommodious haven they have, being seated upon so shallow waters, that ordinary ships cannot come up to it, without the advantage of tides; nor great ones, without unlading. The utterance of the Tessel, and passages over the Zudder Sea, is now more dangerous, than a voyage from thence to Spain, lying all in blind and narrow channels; so that it easily appears, that it is not a haven that draws trade, but trade that fills au haven, and brings it in vogue. Nor has Holland grown rich by any native commodities, but by force of industry; by improvement and manufacture of all foreign growths; by being the general magazine of Europe, and furnishing all parts with whatever the market wants or incites; and by their seamen, being, as they have properly been called, the common carriers of the world.
It appears to every man's eye, who hath travelled Holland, and observed the number and vicinity of their great and populous towns and villages, with the prodigious improvement of almost every spot of ground in the country, and the great multitudes constantly employed in their shipping abroad, and their boats at home, that no other known country in the world, of the same extent, holds any proportion with this in the numbers of people; and, if that be the great foundation of trade, the best account, that can be given of theirs, will be, by considering the causes and accidents that have served to force and invite so yaat a conflunce of pecople into their country; the civil w ars, calamiT ties, persecutions, oppressions, or discontents, that have been fatil to most of their neighbours for some time before, as well as since their state began.
Of their Military Forces by Sea and Land, with their State
The force of these provinces is to be measured, not by the number or dispositions of their subjects, but by the strength of their shipping, and standing troops, which they constantly maintain, even in time of peace; and by the numbers of both, which they have been able to draw into the field, and to sea, for support of a war: by their constant revenue to maintain the first; and by the temporary charge, they have been able to furnish for supply of the other.
The ordinary revenue of this state consists, either in what is levied in the conquered towns, and country of Brabant, Flanders, or the Rhine; which is wholly administered by the council of state: or else the ordinary funds, which the Seven Provinces provide every year, according to their several proportions, upon the petition of the council of State, and the computation of the charge of the ensuing year, given in by them to the States-General. And this revenue in times of peace, commonly amounts to about one and twenty millions of gilders a year.
Their standing land forces, in time of peace, consist of thirty-thousand horse and foot.
Their admiralties, in time of peace, maintain between thirty and forty men of war, employed in the several convoys of their merchants fleets, in a squadron of eight or ten ships, to attend the Algerines, and other Corsairs in the Mediterranean; and some always lying ready in their havens for any sudden accidents or occasions of the state.
PARABLE OF THE BEAR-BAITING.
London, printed for J. Johnson, 1691. Quarto, containing eight
JL IIK proceedings by, and against some body of late, are not altogether unlike a certain parable; which, though I cannot, at present, call tomind where I read it, yet, 1 remember very well, the substance of it was this: viz.
Once upon a time, there was a bear-baiting appointed; a great over-grown French bear, the greatest in the world, to be baited by English and Dutch mastiffs, the best mastiffs in the universe. The
match was made between the most christian lion of England and Hoiland, on one hand, and the most antichristian bear-ward of France, on the other hand; and the wager was no less, than the whole interest of the French crown, on one side, and the whole remaining interest of Europe, and the liberty of all Christendom, on the other, in case of a total destruction, either of the bear, or of the mastiff's.
Whereupon, the great French bear-ward, that apocalyptick beast, Ludovicus, whose name is the number of the beast in the Revelations, for the numerical letters of his name are six-hundred threescore and six: I say, this notorious beast of a man, this cruel tyrant, who retains nothing in him of a king, but the purple; this bear-ward le grand spared no costs, nor pains, to hearten, cherish, and strengthen his bear, against the time of baiting; nay, he sent as far as the Levant for strengthening cordials, and restoratives for his bear.
Hereupon, the wary lion (who is, in his own nature, as wise as a serpent, and yet as innocent as a dove) sent out force enough, to intercept all those restoratives at the Streights mouth.
But you must know, the lion having more than a good many jackcalls about him, as all our lions ever had, they over-persuaded him to make a jack-au-apes commander of that force; who, when the bear's cordials and restoratives came in sight, sat still upon his butt-end all the while, cracking of nuts, and making of monkey's faces, and so let the strengthening cordials pass by safe, just under his nose, without doing any thing, besides gazing and smelling at them.
After this, you must further know, these foolish head-strong jackC'lls (being all great favourites forsooth, and pretending to ten times more knowledge and discretion, than ever they were, or ever will be masters of) prevailed likewise with the lion, to make an old grisled spaniel commander in chief over all his mastiffs, both English and Dutch.
Wherefore, the lion, at the earnest request and recommendation of the jackcalls, called out old Grisle (a plaguy dog at a bitch; and therefore, in all probability, well acquainted with the best kennels) and spitted in his mouth, and clapped him on the back, and gave him all the encouragement a dog could have, and then bid him go, range about, seek out, and bring home, sixteen or eighteen couple of stout, well-bred true English beagles with him, to hunt out the bear, and conduct the mastiffs to their sport.
But old Grisle, not observing his master's instructions, instead of procuring strong-built, hearty, experienced beagles, brought back a damned raw pack of mere whelps and lap-dogs; and, by his and their fawning, crouching, cringing, and wheedling, as spaniels, whelps, and lap-dogs use to do, and by the intercession of the jackcalls, who will recommend the devil for a good artist, if he has but the art of feeding them secretly with forbidden prey, they prevailed with the lion to be commissioned under old Grisle, in order to lead and guide the mastiffs; which made the mastiffs growl most confoundedly, through mere indignation.