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of domains, of insurance, of orphans, the council-room, the offices of the bank, &c. open. This magnificent room and the surrounding galleries were seen to great advantage, on account of their having been cleaned previous to the coronation of the king, which was intended to have taken place in it about a month after I visited it. A great number of workmen had been employed in scraping, washing, and polishing their marble sides for several months, and their appearance was equally grand and beautiful: the bronze gates and railing which form the grand entrance of the hall are massy, yet exquisitely executed: over this entrance is a colonade of Corinthian pillars of red and white marble. At one end is a colossal figure of Atlas supporting on his shoulders the globe, attended by Vigilance and Wisdom. The roof is painted with allegorical figures. Upon the floor, the celestial and terrestrial globes are delineated in brass and various coloured marbles, arranged in three large circles twenty-two feet diameter; the two external ones representing the hemispheres of the earth, and the centre the planisphere of the heavens.

The Burgomaster's Cabinet, as it is still called, is a handsome apartment, the entrance of which is adorned with some beautiful carving, emblematical of the use of the apartment. The chimney-piece in this room, representing the triumphs of Fabius Maximus, is worthy of notice. To the left of the Burgomasters' chamber is a gallery, ten feet deep and thirty broad, where, after the ringing of a bell to give notice, all proclamations, law sentences, and municipal regulations, are promulgated.

The chamber of the treasury ordinary contains a picture of Mary de Medicis as large as life; a chart of Amsterdam as it appeared when first walled round in 1482; and on the bookcases are some curious effigies of the ancient Earls and Countesses of Holland.

The Burgomasters' apartment is forty-five feet broad and thirty deep, and is in my opinion the handsomest room in the Stadt-house. The marble chimney-pieces are enriched with many exquisitely sculptured basso-relievos by De Wit; but its chief ornament is two paintings; one by Ferdinand Bol, representing Curius at his

rural repats; and the other, Fabricius in the camp of Phyrrhus, by Flink. From this room there is a passage to the Execution Chamber, or the Chamber of the last Prayers, where criminals condemned to death take leave of their priest, and pass through a window, the lower part of which is of wood, to enable its being opened level with the floor to the scaffold, which is constructed on the outside, opposite to the weigh-house, and which is raised as high as this part of the building. There is nothing in this room worthy of notice, except its melancholy appropriation. From this room we were conducted to the council chamber, which is forty-five feet wide and thirty deep, where there is a very large painting by Jacob de Wilt, representing Moses and the seventy elders of Israel. Above the chimney-piece to the north is a very fine picture by Flink, the subject Solomon imploring heaven for wisdom. Above this is a scriptural subject, a noble production, from the pencil of Bronkhorst. Some of the basso-relievos which adorn various parts of this room, sculptured by De Wit, are exquisitely fine, particularly a hive of bees, a clock, a sieve and a lamp, a pen and ink-horn. It would puzzle a magician to interpret many of the allegorical devices, but they are all beautifully executed.

In the chamber for marriages, and injuries, there is nothing to arrest the attention of a visitor one minute. In Holland, marriage being a civil contract, when agreed upon in Amsterdam, it is always first performed before the magistrates in this room, without whose fiat the ceremony would be invalid; the clergyman, according to the religion of the parties, performs his functions afterwards. This room is also called, amongst the lower orders of people, the Scolding Chamber, on account of the irritability frequently displayed here by parties of that class, when they come to obtain redress for small offences. We were also led through the chamber for sea affairs, the mercers' hall, the painters' chamber, and in this room, but little suited to the treasures which it contains, is a very long picture by Vandyke, in which there is a gray head of an old man, of matchless excellence, which the observer cannot but retire from with regret. The burgomasters of Amsterdam were offered seven thousand florins for this head alone, to be cut


out from the rest of the picture. There is also a large picture by Vanderhelst, representing a feast given by the burgomasters of Amsterdam to the ambassadors of Spain, on account of the peace of Munster, which closed a war that had lain waste the Netherlands for eighty years; and many other large and fine paintings by Rubens, Jordaans, and Otho Venius. It is a matter of surprise, that after Holland submitted to the French arms, these exquisite productions should be permitted to remain upon the walls which they have so long adorned.

In the great, or council of war chamber, there are some good paintings representing the ancient train-bands, and officers in their proper costume; many of which are portraits. In the secretary's office, a handsome room, amongst other decorations, is a bassorelievo of Silence, which the Dutch are very fond of representing under the form of a woman. Upon my observing to a Dutchman, that in England such a compliment had never been paid to my own lovely country women, he replied: "Yes, but do you not notice that the statuary has placed the finger of the lady upon her mouth, as if he thought that no one of the sex, not even a Dutch female, could preserve silence without keeping her lips forcibly together with her finger." The convenience of having nearly all the principal public offices, and courts of justice under one roof, is very great; the size of the kingdom, and simplicity of its public transactions, render such a concentration more easy of accomplishment in Holland than in England.

Before we ascended to the dome, we were introduced into the great magazine of arms, which extends the whole length of the front and part of the sides of this vast pile: it contains a curious and valuable collection of ancient and modern Dutch arms. Some colours which the French took from the Spaniards have been lately added, as a present from the king to this city, a donation which could not fail affording great gratification to a people, who to this hour hold the Spanish nation in abhorrence. The prospect from the tower, or dome, is very fine and extensive, commanding the whole of the city and its environs, crowded with windmills, the river Y filled with ships, the Zuyder Zee, the Amstel, the Haarlem lake,

and the quarter containing the gardens, the admiralty, and ships of war on the stocks. From this elevated spot we were nearer the bronze figures which adorn the front, representing Justice, Wealth, and Strength, and which are of an enormous size: on the other side is a collossal bronze statue of Atlas supporting the world, executed in a masterly manner. The tower contains a vast number of bells, the largest of which weighs between six and seven thousand pounds; the carrillons in this dome are remarkably sweet, they play every quarter of an hour an agreeable air, which is executed to admiration. An excellent carilloneur is engaged to entertain the citizens of Amsterdam three times a week; the perfection to which he has brought his performance can only be appreciated by those who have heard it. The brass barrel by which he plays is seven feet and a half in diameter, and weighs four thousand four hundred and seventy-four pounds. The clocks strike the full hour at the half hour, and upon the expiration of the full hour, repeat it upon a bell of a deeper tone.




BY considerable interest, and with much difficulty, I was admitted to see the prison which occupies one of the courts of the Stadt-house, on two sides of which, below ground, are the dungeons, to which the gaoler conducted us by a lamp: as a place of confinement nothing can be more secure, and as a place of punishment more horrible. After descending a dreary flight of steps, and passing through a long narrow passage, midway vast double doors, thickly plated with iron, were opened, through which we entered, and at the end were stopped by two other massy doors which, upon being unbolted, led to a row of subterranean dungeons. In the first, by the faint light of a rush candle, I discerned the emaciated figure of a man who had been convicted of robbery, attentively reading: he just turned from his book to look at us a moment, and then returned to it: he was condemned to inhabit this cell alone for life! In the next were two young men who, in the forms of Dutchmen, seemed to carry the elastic souls of Frenchmen, that bend to and carol under every human misery; for in this gloomy abode, in which one would suppose resignation would turn to despair, they were whistling and waltzing in the dark; whilst in the third were several women and a young girl, the latter about fifteen, confined for having displayed an early, and rather too violent a fondness for the laws of nature. These miserable beings were

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