art in the netherlands

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: II. This race, thus endowed, has received various imprints, according to the various conditions of its abiding-place. Sow a number of seeds of the same vegetable species in different soils, under various temperatures, and let them germinate, grow, bear fruit and reproduce themselves indefinitely, each on its own soil, and each will adapt itself to its soil, producing several varieties of the same species so much the more distinct as the contrast is greater between the diverse climates. Such is the experience of the Germanic race in the Netherlands. Ten centuries of habitation have done their work; the end of the middle ages shows us that, in addition to its innate character, there is an acquired character. It becomes necessary, therefore, to study the soil and the sky; in default of travel take the next best thing, a map. Excepting the mountainous district to the south-east, the Netherlands consist of a watery plain, formed out of the deposits of three large rivers —the Rhine, the Meuse and the Scheldt, besides several smaller streams. Add to this numerous inlets, ponds and marshes. The country is an outflow of mighty waters, which, as they reach it, become sluggish and remain stagnant for want of a fall. Dig a hole anywhere and water comes. Examine the landscapes of Van der Neer and you will obtain some idea of the vast sluggish streams which, on approaching the sea, become a league wide, and lie asleep, wallowing in their beds like some huge, flat, slimy fish, turbid and feebly glimmering with scaly reflections. The plain is oftentimes below their level, and is only protected by levies of earth. You feel as if some of them were going to give way; a mist is constantly rising from their surfaces, and at night a dense fog envelopes all things in a bluish humidity. Follow them...
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