A Wanderer in Holland eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 339 pages of information about A Wanderer in Holland.

I dropped five cents into her plate and passed on to Mlle. Jeanne.  The Princess had been large enough; Mlle. Jeanne was larger.  She wore her panoply of flesh less like a flower than did her rival.  Her expression was less placid; she panted distressfully as she fanned her bulk.  But in conversation she relaxed.  She too was happy, except in such heat.  She neither rode a bicycle nor walked—­save two or three steps.  As her name indicated, she too was unmarried, although, her manager interjected, few wives could make a better omelette.  But men are cowards, and such fortresses very formidable.

As we talked, the manager, who had entered the booth as blase an entrepreneur as the Continent holds, showed signs of animation.  In time he grew almost enthusiastic and patted Mlle.’s arms with pride.  He assisted her to exhibit her leg quite as though its glories were also his.  The Princess’s leg had been like the mast of a ship; this was like the trunk of a Burnham beech.

And here, at Flushing, we leave the country.  I should have liked to have steamed down the Scheldt to Antwerp on one of the ships that continually pass, if only to be once more among the friendly francs with their noticeable purchasing power, and to saunter again through the Plantin Museum among the ghosts of old printers, and to stand for a while in the Museum before Van Eyck’s delicious drawing of Saint Barbara.  But it must not be.  This is not a Belgian book, but a Dutch book; and here it ends.


[1] The whole dress worn by the Prince on this tragical occasion is still to be seen at The Hague in the National Museum.—­Motley.

[2] The house now called the Prinsen Hof (but used as a barrack) still presents nearly the same appearance as it did in 1584.—­Motley.

[3] Mendoza’s estimate of the entire population as numbering only fourteen thousand before the siege is evidently erroneous.  It was probably nearer fifty thousand.—­Motley.

[4] Since writing the above passage I am reminded by a correspondent that Louis XIV. described the Dutch as a nation of shopkeepers and Napoleon merely borrowed and adapted the phrase.

[5] “With the Rederijkern,” Longfellow adds, “Hood’s amusing ’Nocturnal Sketch’ would have been a Driedobbelsteert, or a poem with three tails;—­

    Even is come; and from the dark park, hark,
    The signal of the setting sun, one gun! 
    And six is sounding from the chime, prime time
    To go and see the Drury-Lane Dane slain. 
    Anon Night comes, and with her wings brings things
    Such as with his poetic tongue Young sung.”

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A Wanderer in Holland from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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