They traveled on July 14 to Rotterdam and registered at the Victoria Hotel. Sam was impressed. by the countryside, “so green & lovely, & quiet & pastoral & homelike,’ and, as usual, by the “very pretty & fresh & amiable & intelligent” Dutch damsels. ‘The next day they railed fifty miles to Amsterdam, where they spent two nights at the Hotel Doelen. Sam delighted in Rembrande’s paintings in the Rijksmuseum, especially The Night Watch, and Livy bought “a beautiful etching” of it for twenty dollars to hang in the Hartford house. On July 17 the family railed through Haarlem to the Hague, where they toured the gallery of the Mauritshuis and viewed Rembrandt's School of Anatomy, then traveled two days later to the port city of Vlissingen, or Flushing, where they caught the night boat to England. [Page 283-4 The Life of Mark Twain - The Middle Years 1871-1891]
Rotterdam. They stayed at the Victoria Hotel. Sam liked the middle-class Dutch girls, thought them “very pretty & fresh & amiable & intelligent” and wished “they would come over to us instead of Irish”.
July 15 Tuesday – The Clemens family left Rotterdam in the afternoon and went to Amsterdam, where they took rooms at the Hotel Doelen. From Sam’s notebook:
“Went to Museum & saw Rembrandt’s Night Watch & his portraits of some burghers, or burglars, have forgotten which. A Gaye’s tribe of 72 Americans arrived”. Note: Gay & Son were tour directors headquartered in London. They employed Joseph N. Verey, the Clemenses’ new courier.
July 16 Wednesday – The Clemens family saw the sights in Amsterdam.
July 17 and 18 Friday – The Clemens family left Amsterdam in the afternoon and went to The Hague, “stopping off 2 or 3 hours at Harlaam & visiting farm house, dairy, & beautiful country seat.”
Livy wrote about the farm to her mother on July 20, mentioning young Fraulein Korthals:
“She was a wholesome hearty girl of fifteen. She rolled the children in the hay, talked German with them, English with us, Dutch with the dairy woman and also spoke French and a little Italian”.
Sam also was enthralled by the country and did more art gazing:
Drove through Blumen-something [Bloemendaal] & saw lovely country seats.
No wonder Wm III pined for Holland, the country is so green & lovely, & quiet & pastoral & homelike. Boats sailing through the prairies, & fat cows & quaint windmills everywhere
At the Hague visited Museum & saw Rembrandt’s School of Anatomy & [Paul] Potter’s The Young bull (flies visible under the hairs.) This is absolute nature—in some other pictures too close a copy of nature is called a fault.
Drove out to a country palace were Motley used to visit long at a time with the royal family.
Good portrait of him there. Also some frescos which can’t be told from stone, high–reliefs, across the room. Drove there through the noblest woods I ever saw..
July 19 Saturday – The Clemens family left The Hague at 6 PM For Flushing. In the late evening they crossed the channel by night boat.