Page:A Tour Through the Batavian Republic.djvu/35

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23
THE BATAVIAN REPUBLIC

complete information respecting the present state of the country, and the influence which the conquest of the French has had on the character of the people. I have heard complaints that the former government was arbitrary, and perhaps they were well founded; but the present I suspect is both oppressive and arbitrary, and without energy or dignity. I am desirous to see what are the effects of French principles on a nation so sober and phlegmatic as the Dutch have always been represented; whether those theories of liberty which pleased me when a youth, and which I still most fervently admire, are, when reduced to practice, as delightful and invaluable as an ardent and unsuspicious mind conceived them to be.

There is something in confinement, call it detention, or by a milder term, which I revolt at; and I think that confinement on ship-board is worse than in a prison or a lazaretto, though I do not speak from personal experience. I never knew a person of sentiment and delicacy who could endure a ship, unless indeed they have been early