The country itself is a standing miracle perpetually before my eyes, which loses none of its power to excite my wonder by losing its novelty. It is impossible to give any good reason for it, but I cannot entirely divest myself of a sensation of insecurity, whenever I recollect that I am living many feet below the surface of the sea, and protected from its inundation only by works of human invention and strength, which in other cases avail so little against the power of the element. When, on entering Amsterdam, I passed over the narrow neck that unites it to the mainland, and saw the sea chafing against the shores on each side of me, much higher than the road on which I was travelling, I could not help feeling something as a French gentleman did, who, after receiving an invitation to dine in Amsterdam, had occasion to pass over the isthmus on a stormy day, when the ocean was rather more violent than it commonly is, and, instead of returning to observe his engagement, hastened to the Hague, and sent back, for an excuse, that he had seen the water breaking over the dike, and was sure that Amsterdam could not exist two days longer; and yet nothing can be more absurd, though I am sure nothing can be more natural, than these feelings and fears. . . . .From Amsterdam he proceeded directly to Gottingen, where he arrived on the 4th of August.
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