English Travellers Of The Renaissance By Clare Howard


It is no wonder, therefore, that Spain was considered a rather tedious
country for strangers, and that Howell met more - Page 100
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It Is No Wonder, Therefore, That Spain Was Considered A Rather Tedious Country For Strangers, And That Howell "Met More

Passengers 'twixt Paris and Orleans, than I found well neer in all the Journey through Spain."[287] Curiosity and a

Desire to learn the language might carry a man to Madrid for a time, but Englishmen could find little to commend there. Holland, on the other hand, provoked their admiration more and more. Travellers were never done exclaiming at its municipal governments, its reformatories and workhouses, its industry, frugality, and social economy. The neat buildings, elegant streets, and quiet inns, were the subject of many encomiums.[288]

Descartes, who chose Amsterdam as the place in which to think out his philosophy, praised it as the ideal retreat for students, contending that it was far better for them than Italy, with its plagues, heat, unwholesome evenings, murder and robbery.[289] Locke, when he went into voluntary exile in 1684, enjoyed himself with the doctors and men of letters in Amsterdam, attending by special invitation of the principal physician of the city the dissection of a lioness, or discussing knotty problems of theology with the wealthy Quaker merchants.[290] Courtiers were charmed with the sea-shore at Scheveningen, where on the hard sand, admirably contrived by nature for the divertisement of persons of quality, the foreign ambassadors and their ladies, and the society of the Hague, drove in their coaches and six horses.[291] However, Sir William Temple, after some years spent as Ambassador to the Netherlands, decided that Holland was a place where a man would choose rather to travel than to live, because it was a country where there was more sense than wit, more wealth than pleasure, and where one would find more persons to esteem than to love.[292]

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