FROM AMSTERDAM TO LEIDEN
A FEW miles away from Amsterdam is the beautiful city of
Leiden, with its many water-streets, fine schools, and
great woolen and linen mills.
For many reasons this city seemed to the Pilgrims a better
place than Amsterdam to make their homes.
So one spring morning found a little fleet of canal boats
tied up in the street where the Pilgrims all lived. It did
not take them long to load their goods upon the boats, for
they had very little. They were much poorer than they had
been in England, but they were not unhappy.
When all was ready, the square, brown sails were raised and
the boats moved slowly down the canal between the rows of
houses and trees. At every cross street the bridge must be
raised to allow them to pass.
From one little canal into another they sailed, until the
city was left behind. Then they passed into the great, broad
canal which lay across the
country from city to city. It looked like a long, bright
ribbon stretched across the green meadows.
It was a trip long to be remembered, this ride through
fairyland. Behind them were the shining waters of the sea
and the spires of the city they were leaving.
 On both sides were rich, green meadows and herds of fine
black and white cattle. There were many beautiful ponds and
lakes, and pretty little summerhouses gaily painted.
Whichever way the Pilgrims looked they could see the great
windmills. Sometimes they stood in groups, looking like a
family of giants against the sky. Here and there one stood
so close to the canal that the Pilgrims could see the
flowers in the windows of the first story, where the
miller's family lived. They could even speak to the miller's
children, who played about the door or helped their father
load the bags of meal into his boat.
But these windmills were not all used to grind grain into
meal. Some were sawmills; others pumped water out of the low
meadows into the canal. The canals flowed between thick
stone walls and were high above the fields about them.
Sometimes the Pilgrims passed gardens of gay flowers. These
were tulip farms where thousands of these bright flowers
There is no flower so dear to the hearts of the Hollanders
as the tulip. There was once a time when they seemed to
think more of these bright blossoms than of anything else.
They sold houses and lands, cattle and horses, to buy a few
tulip bulbs. They were more precious than jewels. A thousand
dollars was not thought too
 great a price for the finest plants. We read that one man
paid five times that sum for a single bulb.
But when the Pilgrims were in Holland the "tulip craze" had
not yet begun. I think the Hollanders enjoyed their beds of
common tulips more than they did the few costly blossoms
they bought later. If a few of them died then there was no
As the Pilgrims came nearer the city of Leiden, they saw a
strange sight. Close beside a large garden of bright flowers
was a field which looked as if it were covered with deep
snow. They could see it was not a field of white flowers.
What could it be?
When the boats reached this place, the Pilgrims saw long
pieces of white linen bleaching in the sun. They had been
woven in one of the mills at Leiden.
Late in the afternoon the great stone wall about the city
came in sight. Above it rose the roofs of buildings, church
spires, and the beautiful bell tower of the statehouse.
As the band of Pilgrims sailed through the water-gates into
the city, the chimes in the tower began to ring. To the
Pilgrims they seemed to say, "Welcome to Leiden! Welcome to