Imatges de pàgina


levy Taxes, make Alliances among themselves, and also with foreign States, provided they do not tend to the Prejudice of the Empire, raise Fortifications, and make Peace or War, under fome Restrictions. Besides these Electors, there are many other Princes who exercise a Sovereign Power over those in their own Dominions. The General Diet, or Afsembly of the Empire, consists of the Electors, Ecclefiaftical Princes, Secular Princes, the Representatives, or Deputies, of the Imperial or Free Cities, which are a kind of little Commonwealths : This great Body comprehends above 300 different Sovereignties, which are the Subdivisions of the Nine Circles of the Empire. The Authority of the Emperor over Emperor's the States confifts, * 1. In presiding at the Im- Preroga

lives. perial Diets, and in having a Negative Voice therein. 2. In that all the Princes and States of Germany are oblig'd to do him Homage, and swear Fidelity to him. 3. That he, or his Generals, have a Right to command the Forces of all the Princes of the Empire, when united together. 4. That he receives a kind of Tribute from all the Princes and States of the Empire, called the Roman Months. 5. That he can enfranchise Cities, institute Universities, and the like ; and is the Fountain of Honour in his Dominions. But hiis Imperial Majesty has not the Power of making War or Peace, or of levying Taxes, without the Confent of the Electors, and other Princes of the Empire ; neither can he make Laws, or Tufpend them, without Consent of the Diet, or Affembly of the States. Each of the Thirteen Cantons of the Switzers forms a Republic Government apart; but all are leagued together, and consti- of the

Savitzers. ture what is called the Commonwealth of the Swifles, or the Helvetic Body, from their ancient Name, Helvetii. The Government, in some of the Cantons, is Aristocratical, and, in others, Democratical: The Seven Aristocratical Cantons are those of Zurich, Bern, Lucern, Bafil, Friburg, Soleure, and Schafhausen; the other Six are Democratical.

REVENUES and Forces.] As to the Forces which the feveral Princes and Dominions of the Empire are, by their Revenues, or Taxes, able to maintain, they are computed to amount to upwards of 400,000 Men, whereof near 260,000 are usually kept in Pay in Time of Peace. As neither the Product, or Trade of Switzerland, of Switzer. are considerable, the public Revenues are not land, large : But, as they are very frugal, they lay up something every Year; which, in a long Tract of Time, fur


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nishes them with a considerable Treasure. Standing Forces have ever been thought inconsistent with the Welfare of these Republics, since their first Inftitution; but there is no-where, in Europe, a better regulated Militia: With these they have, from time to time, maintain’d their Liberties against all the At

tempts of the Houses of Austria, and France. Of Prufia. - The Addition of Silesia to the King of Pruffia's

Dominions, is a very considerable Acquisition; and this Prince may now maintain upwards of 50,000 Men; for it has been calculated, that, before this Conquest, he could maintain 40,000 Men and upwards.

Religion.] The Laws of the Empire give free Toleration to the public Exercise of the Popish, Calvinist, and Lu

theran Professions. The Doctrine of Calvin now Religion in bears a great Sway in Prussia, and some other Prilia, Territories belonging to the Elector of Branden

burg. However, the greatest Part of the Empire In Hungary.

still adhere to the Popis Religion. The prevailing

Religion in Hungary is that of the Church of Rome ; next to it is the Doctrine of Luther and Calvin ; and besides these there are moft Sorts and Sects of Christians, as also many Jews and Mahometans,

Customs.) Hunting the wild Boar, or Deer, is the Sport most generally follow'd in Germany by the Quality. There is no Nation more in Love with Travelling than the Germans ; but this Paffion frequently ruins their Eftates, and impoverishes their Country; for a German Nobleman will not be seen in a foreign Court, without an Equipage suitable to his Quality, and often beyond it. In their Houses Fire is feldom seen, ex

cept in the Kitchen ; but their Rooms are heated by a Stove, . or Oven, to any Degree they desire. In the Winter, they lay one Feather-bed over, and another under them,

HE Seven United Provinces

Holland. 2.

Zealand. 3. Utrecht. 4. Overyllel. 5. Friesland. 6. Greeningen. 7. Guelderland.

CLIMATE.] The Air of this Country would be all Fog and Mift, if it was not purify'd by the Sharpness of their Frosts, which never fail to visit them, with every East Wird, for about Four Months in the Year, and are much feverer than with us, tho' there is scarce any Difference in the Latitude: For the Wind comes to them over a long Tract of frozen Continent ; but is inoisten’d by the Vapours, or softend by the warmth of the Sea's Motion, before it freaches us. This Country lies very low; and tho' the Sol

is naturally wet, yet the industrious Inhabitants do so drain it by vast Multitudes of artificial Canals, that the Ground is made very fit for excellent Pasturage and Tillage. They employ the greatest Part of their Land in grazing of vast Herds of Kine. The natural Products of Holland are, chiefly, Butter and Cheese.

GOVERNMENT.] The United Provinces are a Confederacy of many independent States; for not only every Province is sovereign, and independent of any other Power, but there are, in every Province, several Republics, independent of each other, and which are not bound by the Decrees, or Acts, of the States of the Province, till such Decrees are ratify'd by each particular City, or Republic, which sends Deputies, or Representatives, to the Provincial Assembly. But all these, join'd together, make up one Republic, the most confiderable in the World; which Republic is govern’d by the Assembly of the States General, consisting of Seven Voices, each Province having One. As these States General can neither make War or Peace, enter into new Alliances, or raise Money, without the Consent of every Province; lo neither can the States Provincial determine these Things without the Consent of every Republic, or City, which, by the Constitution of the Province, hath a Voice in the Assembly: Which shews, that these Provinces and Cities are not united by so strong a Tye, as those who are govern'd by one Sovereign, except fo far as Necessity obliges them to keep together. This Commonwealth grew to that Grandeur in the Space of Fifty Years, as to rival the most formidable Powers in Europe; and to dispute the Dominion of the Sea even with Britain, which rais'd them from Obscurity.

Trabe. There is not a Nation under the Sun, where the People apply themselves with more Diligence to all manner of mechanic Arts, than the Inhabitants of this Country. The Manufactures formerly peculiar to other Countries are here almost brought to Perfection; not so much by the Ingenuity of the Dutch, but, in Imitation of ancient Rome, this oncé distress's People invited all others, in the like shatter'd Condition, to join them, and set up the same Employments as they carried on in their respective Countries. 'In Harlem they make the finest Linen, and give it so pure a White, that they bring it from all the rest of the Provinces, and even from Germany, and other foreign countries, to bleach it here: At this place are also manufactured Fine Silks, Gauzes, Coarse Flower'd Velvets, Gold and Silver Brocades, and other rich Stuffs. Their Woollen Manufactures flourish most at Leyden, where they make Broad and Narrow Cloths, Serges

and Camblets ; but still inferior to those of Britain, or they would not purchase our Woollen Minufaclures to export to other Nations. Their Wool they have froin Spain, Germany, and Turkey: Nor are the Silk Manufactures of Holland la good as those of France or Italy; but being cheaper, they go off better. As to the Navigation of this mighty State, it is frequently faid, that the Number of large Ships, and Veffels of Burden, is nearly equal to that of England; for, to the Baltic, it is computed, the Dutch employ a Thousand more Ships than the English; but this is balanc'd by the Number of Ships we send to our Plantations in America, where the Hollanders have little or no Trade; but, however, in every other Country almost, whither the English and Dutch trade, more of our Ships are found than of the United Provinces And, upon a late Computation, the Quantity of Shipping belonging to the English, amounts to 930,000 Tons; and to the Dutch, 900,000 Tons. The Trade of the United Province's with the Britis Illes is very great: From England, particucularly, they import Broad-cloth, Druggets, Long-ells, Stuffs of many Sorts, Leather, Corn, Coals, and something of almost every thing that this Kingdom produces; besides all Sorts of India and Turkey re-exported Goods, Sugars, Tobacco, Rice, Ginger, Pitch and 'Tar, and sundry other Commodities of the Produce of our American Plantations. England takes from Holland great Quantitics' of Fine Hollands, Linen, Threads, Tapes, Incles, Whale-fins, Brass Battery, Madder, Argol, Lint-seed, &c. The Trade is said to be considerably to the Advantage of the Subjects of England. The Dutch manage a prodigious Trade in most of the known Parts of the World; and to industrious are they, and so numerous, that Holland may very properly be compar'd to a large Bee-hive; the Multitude of Ships, daily going out and in, livelily represent the Swarm of Bees, and the Hive is juftly reckon’d the Warehouse of the richest and best Commodities of all Nations.

REVENUES.] The Subjects of the United Provinces are liable to a great. Variety of Charges and Impositions. The Council of State draw up, every Winter, an Estimate of the Expences of the ensuing Year, which usually amount to near 3,000,000 Sterling in Time of Peace. This Sum is rais'd by an almoft general Excise, and Customis, the chief of which are, 1. A Duty upon Salt; 2. upon Beer; 3. upon Victuallers; 4. upon Candles; 5. upon Turf for Firing, and Coals from Englarid; 6. upon Englis Cloth, the Third Part of the Value; 7. upon Wheat, Rye and Barley; 8. upon an Cattle, Sheep and Hogs


upon it.

that are kill'd, a Seventh Part of the Price; 9. for every horned Beast, above three Years old, Three-pence per Month; 10. upon all Farms and Lands, One Pound in Sixteen; 11. upon Soap, Eleven Shillings the Barrel ; 12. upon Houses, the Eighth-part of the Rent. In short, there is not that Thing scarce in the whole Country but some Duty or other is laid

Their extraordinary Taxes, in Time of War, are, 1. Poll-money, which is usually I'wenty-pence per Head: 2. Chimney-money, Twenty-pence every Hearth: Or, 3. Land-tax, being Ten Shillings for every Hundred Pounds per Ann. The constant Charges, or Taxes laid upon them, to defend their Country against the Seas and Floods, amount to Sixty Pounds Sterling for every Rod of Sea-dyke; and, against the Rivers also, the Charge of maintaining the Banks is very great: But the greatest Charge of all is the Draining the Country, when it is overflowed, and their Dykes broken through, as they frequently are.

Forces.] The Land Forces consist of 25,000 Men, 'compos’d of Switzers, Scots, and other Foreigners, as well as national Troops. To the Standing Forces we may add the Troops they are obliged to keep in the Barrier Towns of the Auftrian Netherlands. I shall not pretend to guess what Forces the United Provinces are able to maintain ; but, from their extensive Commerce, Riches, and Number of People, we may, I presume, conclude, that there are not many Kingdoms in Europe able to equip out larger Fleets, or more numerous Armies, than the States General.

Religion.] The Calvinists are the establish'd Church; but no Country in Europe can boast of more Religions than this State ; for here all Sects and Parties, in the open Profession of their respective Tenets, are tolerated for Trading fake; and yet ’tis said that no Part of Christendom is less religious.

Čustoms.] Their usual Way of Travelling is in Trechtfchutes, or cover'd Boats, drawn by a Horse, at the Rate of Three Miles an Hour, for which the Fare does not exceed a Penny a Mile, and you have the Conveniency of carrying a Portmanteau or Provifions, so that you need not be at any Expence at a Public House by the way. A Person is not in the least expos'd to the Weather in these Voffels, and can scarce feel any Motion ; and a Passenger may read, or divert himself, upon his Journey as he thinks proper; and there is scarce a Town to which one may not go this Way every Day, and, if it be a considerable Place, almost every Hour, at the Ringing of a Bell; but they will not stay a Minute afterwards for a


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