Greetings from Holland, where I’ve been for almost a month already, thanks to Mr van Meteren. He’s introduced me to Josse de Hondt, or Jodocus Hondius. Van Meteren writes history and makes it happen; Jodocus makes maps and translates for me, except when we speak Latin. After copious sips of Dutch beer, I’ve even started slipping from Latin into Dutch. When no VOC officers linger, he asks I call him Yope, and he addresses me as Henk.
The most useful Dutch word I’ve learned so far is goeie dag, which means hello and good-bye and in the pronouncing sounds like a rude throating-clearing. Actually, it’s pronounced like goo ya DOG, but with both g‘s scraped.
Otherwise, I truly love Amsterdam, where people from beyond the seven seas walk the docks and sit down together to break bread and spill beer.
I’ve stayed in Yope’s house in Den Hague in between trips to Amsterdam to meet with officers of the VOC. He entertains a wide range of people, many of whom are exiled from Antwerp, a less tolerant place; I’ve met some French, including Isaac le Maire, which seemed to trouble my hosts as soon as Monsieur leMaire suggested I sail for le bon roi Henri.
Today they offered me a contract. Yope is translating the terms as I write this note. Good money for me, but it seems they want to keep my wife and children in Amsterdam as guarantee that I return here.
More later when Yope finishes his translations.