PREFACE. THE slight sketches in this volume are only the result of ordinary tours in the countries they attempt to describe. Yet the days they recall were so delightful, and their memory especially of the tour in Norway is so indescribably sunny, that I cannot help hoping their publication may lead others to enjoy what is at once so pleasant and so easy of attain- ment. HOLMHURST November 1884. AUGUSTUS J. C. HARE. IN HOLLAND . CONTENTS. IN DENMARK 59 IN SWEDEN 83 IN NORWAY ...105 IN HOLLAND IN HOLLAND. A T Roosendal, about an hours railway journey from Antwerp, the boundary between Belgium and Holland is crossed, and a branch line diverges to Breda. Somehow, like most travellers, we could not help expecting to see some marked change on reaching a new country, and in Holland one could not repress the expectation of beginning at once to see the pictures of Teniers and Gerard Dou in real life. We were certainly disappointed at first. Open heaths were succeeded by woods of stunted firs, and then by fields with thick hedges of beech or alder, till the towers of Breda came in sight.
Here a commonplace omnibus took us to the comfortable inn of Zum Kroon, and we were shown into bedrooms reached by an open wooden staircasefrom the courtyard, and quicklyjoined the table dhote, at which the magnates of the town were seated with napkins well tucked up under their chins, talking, with full mouths, in Dutch, of which toour unaccustomed ears the words seemed all in one string. Most excellent was the dinner roast meat and pears, quantities of delicious vegetables cooked in different ways, piles of ripe mulberries and cake, and across the little garden, with its statues and bright flower-beds, we could see the red sails of the barges going up and down the canals. As soon as dinner was over,we sallied forth to see the town, which impressed us more than any Dutch city did afterwards, perhaps because it was the first we saw. The winding streets one of them ending in a high windmill are lined with houses wonderfully varied in outline, and of every shade of delicate colour, yellow, grey, or brown, though the windows always have white frames and bars.
Passing through a low archway under one of the houses, we found ourselves, when we least expected it, in the public garden, a kind of wood where the trees have killed all the grass, surrounded by canals, beyond one of which is a great square chateau built by William III. of England, encircled by the Merk, and enclosing an arcaded court There was an older chateau of 1350 at Breda, but we failed to find it. In stately splendour, from the old houses of the market-place, rises the noble Hervormde Kerk Protestant Church, with a lofty octagon tower, and a most characteristic bulbous Dutch spire. Here, as we wanted to see the interior, we first were puzzled by our ignorance of Dutch, finding, as everywhere in the smaller towns, that the natives knew no language but their own. But two old women in high caps and gold earrings observed our puzzledom from a window and pointed to a man and a key we nodded the man pointed to himself, a door, and a key we nodded and we were soon inside the building. It was our first introduction to Dutch Calvinism and iconoclasm, and piteous indeed was it to see so magnificent a church thickly covered with whitewash,