Holland, v. 1 (of 2) is a historic book. One who looks for the first time at a large map of Holland must be amazed to think that a country so made can exist. At first sight, it is impossible to say whether land or water predominates, and whether Holland belongs to the continent or to the sea. Its jagged and narrow coast line, its deep bays and wide rivers, which seem to have lost the outer semblance of rivers and to be carrying fresh seas to the sea; and that sea itself, as if transformed to a river, penetrating far into the land, and breaking it up into archipelagoes; the lakes and vast marshes, the canals crossing each other everywhere, all leave an impression that a country so broken up must disintegrate and disappear. It would be pronounced a fit home for only beavers and seals, and surely its inhabitants, although of a race so bold as to dwell there, ought never to lie down in peace. When I first looked at a large map of Holland these thoughts crowded into my mind, and I felt a great desire to know something about the formation of this singular country; and as what I learned impelled me to make a book, I write it now in the hope that I may lead others to read it.