H́nh ảnh trang
PDF
ePub

brated cities in Europe, speaks of the splendour of this city, in terms of the highest admiration. But after these dominions became an apanage of the king of Spain, the bigotted Philip . by endeavouring to subject these free states to the jurisdiction of the Court of Inquisition, excited such a spirit of disaffection, as produced a revolt, which, after a war of thirty years, terminated in the dismemberment of that fine kingdom, seven of the seventeen provinces having established their independence, under the name of the United Provinces, by the treaty of Utrecht in 1581.

During the course of that long and ruinous war, no city suffered such a reverse of fortune as Antwerp. It was besieged, and at last taken and sacked by the duke of Alva. Its principal merchants retired then to Amsterdam, situated in the northern part of Holland, which is strongly secured against the attacks of enemies, by means of the marshes and fhallow seas which surround it; and by the exertions of these industrious men, it has been raised to an exaltation that is in some small degree emulous of the state of what Antwerp had been. When Philip was at length constrained to grant independence to the United Provinces, Antwerp was the most northern town of note he retained; and the very men who had been driven from it, conscious of its natural advantages for trade, and afraid that it might become again their rival, and of the uses that might be made of it to their annoyance, took care to stipulate by treaty, that the Dutch alone should have the free navigation of the Scheldt, as the mouth of that celebrated river lies entirely within their territories; and ring every change that has since taken place respecting those countries, they have maintained possession of it until the present time. VOL, XIV.

March 6 Antwerp is situated upon the N. E. side of the Scheldt, where the river takes a bend about sixty miles from the sea. It is a spacious place, but now much declined from its original splendour. The walls are reckoned no lefs than eight or nine miles in circumference; but within these are included many gardens. Its citadel has never been put into a thorough repair, since it was taken by the duke of Alva; so that it cannot be accounted at present a place of great strength; but on account of the river, which is here upwards of twenty feet deep, and 400 yards broad, flowing through a fertile country, no place could be better calculated for a store room than this, if the communication with the sea were open. It is twenty five miles north of Brufsels, to which it has ready accefs by a navigable canal.

BREDA is situated about thirty miles north and a little east of Antwerp. It is the first fortified town of any note on that side, in the territories of the United States. Busching thus describes it: "It lies upon the river Merk, which at this place receives the Aa. The latter of these streams, being a little before increased by the Byloofs, is here rendered navigable, and thus gives it a communication with the German ocean. Its fortifications, without very great improvements, are unable to stand a seige; though the town itself is partly covered by a morafs, and by means of the Merk and Aa, is able to lay a part of the country under water." It is about ten miles south of the arm of the sea through which the Maese falls into the ocean.

WILLIAMSTADT is a small fort about 16 miles W. of Breda, upon the point of the isle of Rugenhil; having a good harbour on the narrow sea called Holland diep, about fourteen miles from Rotterdam, on the opposite side of the same narrow sea.

BERGENOPZOOM is the strongest fortified town in this quarter. It is situated near the mouth of the Scheldt, about twenty miles S. W. from Breda, and about the same distance N. W. from Antwerp. Busching thus describes it.

"The south side of the town stands on a small eminence. It has long been celebrated as a strong fortrefs. Its wall, which is about an hour in circuit, is defended by five bastions, and ten horn works. Exclusive of the other fortifications on the north side, a strong line was drawn there in the year 1727, communicating with Moermont, Pensen, and Rover forts; and the south, or water fort, of five bastions, command the entrances of the old and new harbour. The adjacent country can also be laid under water; and as long as Zeeland continues clear of enemies, any supply, or reinforcements, can be thrown into it by means of the Scheldt. The States keep a good garrison here, and it is always commanded by a person of distinguished reputation. It was first walled in 1287. In 1588 and 1622, it held out against two powerful armies of Spaniards; but in 1747, after a seige of ten weeks, the French made themselves masters of it by surprise. In 2749, however, it was restored, though in a very ruinous condition."

All these places are situated to the south of the Maese, which may be said to be the natural bounding of the fortified Netherlands; as, to the north of that river, the country being very low, it is almost every where liable to be laid under water at pleasure. If the Dutch be serious in the defence of their country, they will, therefore, dispute the pafsage of that river, with all their power; and if they fhall have provided themselves with a sufficient number of gun boats, it will probably be found a matter of great difficulty to force a passage on that quarter. To open

March 6 a way towards the eastern pafsage by Venloo, general Miranda will, therefore, no doubt push the seige of Maestricht as vigorously as pofsible. Of this part of the country, some slight notices shall be given in our next.

CONTINUATION OF THE CORRESPONDENCE OF DR ANDERSON OF MADRAS, RESPECTING THE BREAD FRUIT TREE, &c.

Continued from vol. xi. p. 297.

Letter from captain C. Dighton, to Dr James Anderson. DEAR SIR, Shevellapatore, March 13. 1792. I HAVE been favoured with your letter of the 6th instant, desiring information concerning the bread fruit tree.

It is not common about this place; but there are a few trees in a large garden called the Jumbo Tope.

The fruit is not much valued by the natives; however, they do make curries of it.

The tree large and extremely beautiful.

The leaf resembles, in some degree, the fig leaf.
The fruit has exactly the appearance of a small Jack.
By the people here it is called Etapala-kay.

It is propagated with much ease from the seed, and some trees are now thriving at the paymaster's garden at Palamcotta, from seeds I sent Mr Torin between two and three years ago.

Mr Torin transplanted some trees to the garden he now lives at, near Tinnevely; and as they are doing vastly well, I should imagine it may be cultivated in almost any soil.

The fruit will be ripe the end of this month, or the beginning of next, and with your permifsion, I will then forward some to you. I remain, c.

Letter from Mr T. Bowser, to Dr James Anderson.
Dindigul, March 13. 1792.

DEAR SIR, I HAVE seen a specimen of the bread fruit tree, the same as that at Tritchinopoly; and having a promise of some young trees, in order to transplant, as also seed, I make no doubt by the information received from the country people, of bringing it to perfection at this place.

What was brought here, came from the valley of Din. digul, forty-eight miles off; and although I have been silent, I have not been inattentive; for I have now in my garden many thousand mulberry cuttings, in a most thri ving condition, which have been taken from my own mulberry trees.

What I have done hitherto, has been for my own amusement, and managed by my gardener; however, should think that I could give the smallest aid to your lauyou dable plans, command me without ceremony. And believe me always yours, &c.

Letter from Dr James Andersen, to captain C. Dighton.

DEAR SIR,

Fort St George, March 21. 1792. I AM very much obliged by the distinct and full account of the bread fruit tree at Shevellapatore, and will be glad of some of the seed, as my trees are yet so young that there is fruit only on one of them.

7

You will see by the publication I have made, of which I have the pleasure to inclose you a copy, that government have promised to write to Sumatra, for two different kinds of this tree which are known there.

I have, in consequence of Mr Andrew's letter, taken the liberty to send you nopal plants, in the same manner as to our mulberry plantations, for which you will be so good

« TrướcTiếp tục »