« ElőzőTovább »
"he came to dinner in knickerbockers and | turning in a tired, dusty crowd, still trying rough clothes although ladies were pres- hoarsely to sing, and two in the rear supent," while a pair of my countrymen, bet-porting each other. (I wonder that tipsy ter dressed, were highly approved. An- men are not constantly drowned in the other morning we ladies started off so deep, open ditches by the roadsides here, early that all the housemaids in Haarlem, but "there is a Providence as Jacque wearing their regulation lilac prints, clear line quotes.) This infantry uniform, blue, muslin caps with a thick frill all round with yellow worsted facings and tassels, (some with a Friesland silver skull-cap, hairy knapsacks, and pointed caps, like shining under lace), were busy syringing those of our convicts, is very ugly. Other the windows with the brass household men in Holland never struck me as being pumps for that purpose I have never seen small, but these ill-grown soldiers in badly with us; more's the pity! We went off fitting garments did not raise my enthufor a "good day's shopping," and hiring a siasm. The hussars, however, looked "monkey," a small open carriage, with a smart. Their song, said Hugo, was probcoachman wearing a glazed white hat and ably the following one, which is doggrel black cockade, we drove around to our nonsense, but a favorite : heart's content. N.B.-The shops have a horribly close, damp smell; but the memory of a good lunch at the Café Riche abides with me yet.
One morning I was awakened by the sound of many voices singing_outside. "It was the soldiers passing. The regiment in garrison marching out towards Leyden," explained Hugo later. "They always sing most of the way." We went to Haarlem that day, as on many others, when I saw all its sights and ways. The great Frans Hals pictures, the museums of antiquities, the dogs harnessed under the handcarts piled with washing or vegetables (a law forbids their pulling in front); the weekly market where all manner of things from old clothes to kettles are laid round the cathedral walls; and the zuurkraams (sour booths). These latter are the cleanest of little green booths, where hard-boiled eggs piled in a net, or five onions in vinegar are laid ready on tiny white plates, or gherkins and such pickled "sourness can be bought for a penny apiece by workmen or market folk. There is also a little parlor end of the booth, screened by snowy blinds, where these delicacies may be more largely indulged in. I saw no gin palaces nor publics of our lower, common kind; but cafés, of course, with seats out of doors and inside; furthermore, some knockered, sanctimoniously white-blinded houses as if a corpse lay indoors; these are the best wine or spirit shops. Again, there was the cathedral, much restored and improved lately, and the famous organ. I was curious to try if my memories thereof were exaggerated; but no! such an ocean of sweet sounds, so grand, so deep, such music worthy of heaven, in my poor judgment I had not heard since. Coming home about four o'clock-that day the soldiers had passed Lindenroede we met them re
Fight, brothers, for the last time,
The corporation's members
I interested myself to know the songs of the people, and was told that each year at the first great kermis (or fair) some ditty with a catching air becomes popular, and is immediately the song of the season, sung at every other kermis by peasants, soldiers, and townsfolk. A merry little one is,
John, buy me a fairing!
Maiden, no money have I!
The gold has run out of my pockets,
I was disappointed in finding no better have odes and epics in plenty, I was told, volks-lieder, while in cultured poetry they but few songs that are sung.*
Hugo and his daughter are director and
I give two more little songs that are old favorites of the people. The first begins as if mimicking a drum's tattoo. "Robbé-de-be dop!
And my gold is gone!
I lost it at the Swan [inn].
"Lot is dead! Lot is dead!
That is right! that is right!
"I'm not dead yet, I'm not dead yet!
directrice of a small almshouse (Hofic) for servants of the C-family, which they showed me with interested pride. It stands picturesquely in the Haarlem Wood, and was built in 1636 by William van Heythusen, a Haarlem benefactor, passing by marriage to the C's. His portrait by Frans Hals hung till lately in the little "regent-room" of the almshouse, but was sold, after a family council, to the Brussels museum for eight thousand florins, and the proceeds support another old woman here in comfort. The pleasure of the crones in seeing their beloved director and directrice was delightful. Each had the most exquisitely tidy of carpeted rooms, with a curtained box bed, in which hung a pretty rope and handle, to "pull themselves up by." Each also receives every week a florin and some beef, butter, and turf. I could enlarge on the exquisite tidiness and the prettiness of other homes of the poor I saw in Holland, but space fails. On the whole, in this small and prosperous land, everybody seems comfortable. The equal division of property between sons and daughters brings about, doubtless, the many often very early marriages. The eldest son keeps the family home, and if impoverished by giving an equivalent to his brothers and sisters, Why, then he marries a rich wife!" The many here must not suffer for the eldest; and though the result is, that there are few great fortunes as with us, neither is there such excessive poverty. The land is full of smiling villas; there is no "keeping-up of appearances." And Dutch ladies are encouraged to spend more on their dress by fathers and husbands than their English sisters, while pleasant trips seem matters of course. Certainly, servants' wages and house-rent are much cheaper than with us.
but out ran an anxious girl with sponge and duster, apologizing to mynheer. Taking our seats in one of the two comfortable large carriages, away puffed an engine, brushing so closely past hedges that the branches often whipped the windows; through hamlets all green-shuttered, muslin-curtained, white-blinded, passing so near the doors it was a marvel none of the many small children shuffling about in their sabots were not run over. (Decidedly, these universal snowy muslin curtains and the scollop-edged blinds drawn jealously down, with the curved blue wire screens before all windows alike, in town or village, will always remain in my memories of Holland.) We had glimpses of old country houses, white-painted, greenshuttered, standing among trees with only a lawn and some sluggish brown water between them and the road. Through thick coppices, woods, out again into true Dutch pastures stretching away level to the (drained) Lake of Haarlem, dimly indicated by lines of poplars; next come market-gardens that supply Haarlem and Amsterdam with vegetables, and the peasants with the winter flowers the poorest cherish in their houses. Their fancy changes this year it was all for small pink spireas, I believe, and hundreds of these were being grown, to be sold for two or three pence each. Then came peatfields stocked with turf, and under the lee of some wood where lay a brown canal, or at a village bridge, great boats were piled with the fuel. (I love seeing a big brown sail gliding through the meadows at a distance, where no water seems to be!) There were sandy fields full of gladioli, almost past their bloom, and of "red-hot-pokers" (readers will kindly excuse the familiar name, considering that most of us know the plant by no better). I had been promised that my wish to We stopped at larger villages with slatedsee a dairy farm should be gratified. spired churches, and clipped trees all Accordingly we started early next morn-a-row before the houses, while a trekschuit ing to visit one some miles off, taking was often waiting, too, for passengers on its friendly owner, Baron van H, by the canal close by. This kind of barge surprise. Off we sallied, walking to contains a big cabin, and inside this, or Heemstede village, past the Thirsty-Hole on the roof, the peasants journey compublic-house, with its closed door and fortably, if slowly, with their baskets, for muslin-curtained windows looking as re-long distances where roads or conveyances spectable as its neighbors, even more do not suit. decorous, though within are strange bottles labelled with such names dear to the peasantry as Parfait Amour, and others too coarse for ears polite. We sat down at the Heemstede turnpike to await the steam-tram which runs along the country roads from Haarlem to Leyden. Our yellow painted bench was perfectly clean,
The steam-tram stopped after an hour and a half opposite an entrance gate with pillars, on which, as is usual in Holland, was the name of the demesne -'T Huis Terlyden. We walked up the sandy drive curving through thick trees, and just at the house met Baron van H- himself. Eager greetings followed. He led us into
the study and called his wife with vivacious cheerfulness. "Of course he would show me the farm, and his onion (bulb) fields and everything." "" The children were brought in to be admired by their neighbors and relations; and naturally all but the youngest infant could speak French, and would soon learn English. One four-year-old lovely cherub, Schelto, was coaxed on his father's knee to recite some baby poetry learnt as a greeting for his grandmother's birthday. This, beginning in a murmur, listened to with deep interest, ended in a triumphant shout amid loud applause. Children seem to me to be more "brought forward" than in England, and certainly the grown up ones recall their own petting with much glee, and declare the system endears family relationships.
"There is a Scotch name just the same as that of my boy, Schelto, I have been told?" said the baron inquiringly. But as "Sch" is pronounced in Dutch something between a rasping choke and a cough first, Sh, and then a horrible sound as if a fishbone had stuck in one's throat (Oh, the torture of trying to pronounce Scheveningen rightly!), I was puzzled a little before suggesting Sholto. "That is it all right! It is a Friesland name, and Friese and Scotch have many words all the same." 66 Why, of course. I will tell you a common rhyme we have," put in Hugo
Bread, butter, and cheese, Is good English, and good Friese. "And your Dutch Kom binnen (Come in), always reminds me of the Come ben' of a Scotch peasant wife," I added, in contribution to our philological efforts, further discerning that the house stood by the beek of Leyden, answering to our beck, save that it is a sluggish stream indeed; while the Friesland terms binnen and buiten for inside and outside the house, might be the "but and ben" of Scottish inner and outer rooms.
But there was no time to lose, unless we wished to lose the returning train. The baron hurried us outside to the courtyard and began to act guide and interpreter with most infectious gaiety but explicitness. Here was an ivied building, with dormer windows, and cooing pigeons on the thatched roof, which roof covered the cow-house, dairy, and dwelling-house of the dairyman and his wife. A row of sabots stood significantly outside the good wife's door. We entered a fresh-scoured passage, with a neat carpet-strip down it,
and found the dairywoman herself in a cool paved kitchen where the principal object was a big pump. She wore a lace cap with lappets, as usual, pinned up, and spirally twisted gold pins, while her spouse, coming down a ladder from the garret, was clad in wide blue serge trousers and white shirt, and was in his stockinged feet- as a man should be in such a spick-and-span home. They showed us their nicely carpeted parlor; it was also a bedroom, though all signs thereof were neatly hidden behind the wooden doors, like cupboards sunk in the wall. Up three steps to a beautifully kept Sunday parlor then, with red carpet-strips, muslin curtains, and a fine box bed "for guests (who never come !). Down below the kitchen by a step-ladder we dived into a large twilight dairy, smelling deliciously fresh, and furnished with long tables of fresh cheeses, butter, and pans of milk. "This man and his wife make four cheeses a day; two in the morning, two in the evening," commented our host. Now to the cow-house just across the kitchen passage, "So that the man and wife can hear any disturbance among the animals." A long room met our view, with a red-tiled glistening passage down the middle, where well scoured boards on trestles were set laden with cheeses. "I will count these," exclaimed the Princess eagerly. On either side were piled snowy cheesepresses, with brass cheese-scoops, snuff. ers, candlesticks, and in fact all the brass bravery of the house laid out so to look pretty, as an every-day matter. To right and left in winter, the horned heads of fifty-eight black and white cows would be seen. "Now we must come by the walls and see how the cows stand,” said Hugo. "Yes, yes," cried the baron," you all would naturally walk along the middle here, and see the cows' heads only. But in winter the peasants come in often to admire the cows, and as from the after part of these animals-(eh, what, Hugo, isn't that what they call it in English? Why do you laugh?) the behind is the best way to view I find them standing here with their mouths open, saying, "HE! heel mooë! (how fine), what a beautiful cow that one is!" The cows have slightly. raised platforms of stone, only half cov ered with wood to ease their hind feet. Under the fore feet is sand, most carefully marked now, it being summer season, in ornamental patterns, although there was no one to see it, as we might say, not recognizing easily a love of artistic effect for its own sake in a simple peasant dairy
comfort creep over one's mind, and one could forget the world's whirl gladly – for a while.
farmer and his wife. (The dairy farm is no show one, and Baron van H. does not concern himself therewith, having let it to these good souls.) A cord was stretched A bridge was laid over the stream near along the cow-house above the "after the farmyard. Here was a little round part "of the cows, to which all the fifty- arbor, where the old baron, our host's eight tails are tied up in winter, lest they grandfather, used to sit at tea on summer should dirty their owners. "And are the evenings and watch with pride his lowing cows washed?" I ask, with vague mem-kine being driven in from the far meadories of Murray. "If they are very dirty, certainly; and when they come in for winter and go out in spring." My attention was specially drawn to the deep runnels, whence the cows' manure is removed several times a day, "for we consider that most valuable, especially for the bulbs!" I was impressively told. The great kitchen pump is brought into play, too, and lukewarm water from the boiler constantly sluiced down the cow-house. "One hundred and thirty-six cheeses," announced Princess Cornelie, returning at this juncture. But as she had forgotten to count all those in the dairy her statistics were unkindly declared wanting.
to the "
ows and milked just across the stream, where he had them in full view. It would make a quaint little sketch, the old-fashioned gentleman taking his ease with a dignified Dutch lady of that time presiding over the peat-bucket and kettle, and carefully handling the blue china teacups. Around them shadowing trees with the brown Leyden's flow beneath; across the water a herd of cattle in the foreground of the plain, bathed in the golden radiance of such sunsets as Cuyp knew.
After seeing the pleasure-ground and admiring a pair of noble goats lying in the grass that are driven by the eldest boy and girl, (the goat-carriages full of small Across the brick-paved courtyard next children being a pretty sight here), we summer dairy where they sit," paid a rapid visit to the bulb-house. said the baron; but whether cheeses or Monsieur van H- takes the greatest farmer's folk I doubted, however con- interest in bulb-growing, which he does cluded both, seeing tables and chairs, and in his sandy fields to the same extent as a low wooden platform usual here over many other gentlemen at home try farmcold tiled floors. Here were the presses ing on a small scale. The bulb-house was and vats for cheese-making. But know- full of tiers of wooden trays, rising in a ing more about butter, I went into the framework to the ceiling, and spread with next room to study the churn and dipper, bulbs. More, of all kinds, filled hampers finding they use the whole milk here, not standing ready to be carried to the fields, the cream in Devonshire fashion. A cheap where, by good luck, work was now going butter is made from the particles left on on. But first, even with the warning calls the surface of the whey-vats after the of Hugo in our ears, who was leader and cheese is made. The remainder is given brains-carrier of the party-the baron to the pigs. These were in a house near, hurried me in to see his pleasant diningbut having no open yard smelt too horri-room. "Here! here is something quite bly for some of us to dare to inspect them, in spite of being taken by our laughing host for cockneys.
At the end of the farmyard lay, conveniently, the brown slow water of the Leyden picturesquely shadowed by trees. Flat big boats were moored under their branches; on the level bank a woman was washing at a landing-step. Across the stream, and away in dim distances of green shading to hazy blues lay the low quiet meadows that seem ideal pasturegrounds as such alone! Fat and green diversified by wood, and still waters that know no babbling hurry, but brood where the cattle feed; with no hills to mount and see what lies beyond suggesting change; hardly a sight to cause the mind to stray, save distant spires pointing heavenwards. A still, sleepy landscape, where rest and LIVING AGE. VOL. LX. 3094
characteristic you must see!" It was a handsome massive walnut armoire, which when unlocked displayed piles of fine damask, laid on shelves edged with lace stamped paper. "That is the correct old fashion," he explained, then we both hastened outside to appease our best of time-keepers. "It must be a lovely sight when all your flowers are in blow," I said, as we went through sandy walks under the trees and out into a meadow. "Yes, but unhappily, it is often such cold weather. The rain comes, and so!- they look wretched; it is a pity."
The bulb-grounds were surrounded and intersected into square plots by hedges of saplings. The soil was almost pure sand, which, when plentifully manured, produces such fine hyacinths and tulips as can be grown nowhere else. "The men are pre
and lace lappets; or adorned by the thin forehead band and the tufts of horsehair or wool on each side of the cheeks that mimic the real hair, either tucked away invisibly or cropped. Yet this is a most usual sight.
cisely planting hyacinths. Hé: now you usual wearing the curious square silver shall see just how they do it," said our frontlets on their foreheads they affect host. A long bed was hollowed in the here. It will be a great pity should the sand about two inches deep, and on either costumes die out. Nevertheless, it is very side knelt a man drawing lines carefully comical to see the effect of a straw bonwith a forefinger and thickly laying in net with brown ribbons and tawdry flowsmall bulbs. This is by no means at hap-ers, perched on the top of a gold skull-cap hazard, for so many go to a row, and bags of differently sorted sizes lay at hand. Seven bulbs in a row signify these are salable. When eight little plants raise their green noses above ground it means that line must be undisturbed for the year. None are sold till after three years' growth. When my last Sunday came, the boding As this bed was being planted the next news that a preacher was expected who was hollowed out, so that its layer of sand only drew breath and drank his usual re-covered this one; so on with the most glass of water after an hour and a half of methodical preciseness. "It is beautiful sermon, led me to prefer my English for me to see these flowers," said Mon- prayer-book and pleasant room for the sieur van H-; “first crocuses, then morning. What glorious weather! Quite hyacinths, tulips, anemones, lilies-al-warm again; and a true St. Martin's sumways a succession! And I hope to make mer. It was now nearly October, and the money by them, too." "But do you not trees were as green and leafy still as in send the cut flowers to the London mar-July. Hearing a murmur of laughing ket, or elsewhere? Surely they would voices outside my window, I looked out, sell well," I suggested. "Too well," he said, laughing. "We used to send them, and they arrived quite fresh in Covent Garden. Then we found when the English could buy flowers, they would not buy bulbs which last pay us much better. It was the same thing with our peasants. So now we say, 'No; buy our bulbs if you want flowers.' (I had heard the same account before.) He took up a bulb to show me the system of dividing them. "See here! I cut this in three parts almost-only leave them hanging together then you get twenty-five young ones. But there is another way." He scooped out the flower-core of another bulb neatly with his pocket-knife, leaving a cup-shaped hollow. "There! That (the cup) will make fifty little ones, and this flower-heart still another, but that will be weak."
Having now seen all, and time flying, we regained the highroad that skirted the fields. Here, while the steam-tram came in sight and farewells with friendly gossip were interchanged between my companions and their neighbor, he bade me a hearty good-bye, saying, "Now, I have tried to show you all I could, only do not write down my atrocious English and laugh at it." Which I hope I have not done; the said "atrocious" English being, however, infinitely better than most, alas, of our insular French of "Stratfordatte-Bowe," his courteous politeness that which belongs to no nation, but all his
Going home I noticed more women than
and saw the coachman in his white linen stable-jacket gathering beech-nuts busily with his children under the fine old trees. They were opening them and preparing the kernels carefully for their dessert. Rich and poor eat beech mast with relish here; at home I have only seen country children take the trouble to pick this. The other day the coachman's young stepdaughter, of about thirteen, made an unconscious illustration of the ways of her country and sex. She was sitting on a chair near the coachhouse door mending a heavy serge petticoat, with a most de mure air, her sleek, fair hair divided in two plaits shining in the autumn cool sunlight, a string of coral beads round her neck (as is very usual), and her feet raised on an empty little wooden "stove," to keep them off the damp, sandy soil.
In the afternoon we had quite a gather. ing of visitors on the terrace. And as all were bound for "the wood " like ourselves, we walked there together, a large party. The Haarlem Wood is one of the chief charms of the bright, quaint, old-world town, which at moments reminds me of a quiet cathedral city with us. There are pretty open peeps here and there down its sandy, often solitary paths. Some of the trees are very fine, notably the dark avenue called the Spaniards' Lane, where the latter camped during the memorable siege, and hanged their prisoners on these trees, whose creaking branches in the winter winds are still said to bear the groaning ghosts of the dead burghers.