Page:A Tour Through the Batavian Republic.djvu/39

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27
THE BATAVIAN REPUBLIC

Our detention would probably have been protracted a week or longer, had not General Chorié, who commands the French troops in Rotterdam and the isles of Goree and Vorn, learnt our situation at the Briel, and interested himself to be useful to us. We travelled in his voiture from the Briel to Rotterdam, and he has charged himself to obtain for us whatever passports are necessary.

At Maaslandsluys, formerly a fishing town of great opulence, I observed the most distressing symptoms of impoverishment and decay. The harbour was crowded with fishing vessels, no longer employed, and many of them unserviceable through neglect, or the absolute inability of their owners to keep them in repair, which in peace collected the wealth of the ocean, and made half the nations of Europe tributary to the industry of Holland. The quay was covered with long grafs, and a melancholy assemblage of beggars importuned us for relief, wherever we walked. Many of the best houses of the town were uninhabited, and it was with difficulty that we procured post-horses to carry us to Delft: we were delayed