As one approaches my little city from the sea on a summer's day, one sees only the tall, round clump of trees on the ramparts and, overtopping it, the old bell-tower with its fantastically shaped and ornamented stories and dome-top of deep cobalt blue. The land to either side is barely visible, and the green foliage flooded with pale sunshine seems to drift in the sun-mist on the grayish yellow waters. It is a dreamy little town, that once in Holland's prime had a short-lived illusion of worldly grandeur. Then gaily-rigged vessels embellished with gilded carvings and flaunting flags entered the little harbor, fishing boats, merchant vessels and battle-ships. The inhabitants built fine houses with crow-stepped gables and sculptured faades and collected in them exotic treasures, furniture, plate and china. Cannon stood on the ramparts and the citizens were filled with a sense of their importance and power as people of some authority in the world. They bore an escutcheon and were proud of it, they had their portraits painted in gorgeous attire, they gave the things their terse and pretty names, and they spoke picturesquely and gallantly as befits people leading a flourishing elemental life.