The centre of interest for us, of course, shall be accused of exaggeration. Every lies in the great church and the town one in the least interested in art in Hol. hall. We timed our visit so as to hear land speaks of these pictures ; outside the magnificent organ, and the richness of comparatively few people know them. To its tone is unsurpassed; but the church, us he is far beyond any painter, as a porin itself a grand building, is cruelly de- trait-painter, we have ever seen, and none spoiled and bare. This is partly because of the pictures bearing his name in galat the time of the great siege some of its leries, except in Amsterdam, are equal to statues and ornaments were used to assist these. The first impression was, that we the people to defend themselves, and had never seen real portrait-painting bepartly because the extreme Calvinism of fore. His people live in the inost extraorthe Protestants led them to strip the dinary way; their eyes look through you, churches of all that reminded them of the and seem to read your very thoughts. A Roman Catholic religion. The place is German gentleman complained of their distigured beyond belief: the huge pillars being very much alike; but I cannot say are whitewashed; black and white cover we, any of us, thought so.

There is an everytining that can be painted; the cen individuality, a subtle expression of its tre aisle is choked with hideous pews and own, in each powerful face. You feel that seats, and the people assembled to hear the painter bad that insight into character the organ neither take off their bats nor without which portrait-painting stops show the smallest reverence — at inter- short of being at all interesting. vals talking, laughing, and nodding to Studying those marvellous pictures was their acquaintances. The same absence a sort of revelation. There are but two of reverence prevails externally (but, as portraits I have seen lately that in my far as this goes, we have often felt this mind have something of the same inde. keenly as regards some of our most beau. finable power. Millais's portrait of Glad. tiful cathedrals at home): the grand old stone, and Bisschof's of Motley the bis. walls are used as backgrounds to shabby torian, which latter hangs in the Japanese little shops and sheds (even a small stable room in the palace near the Hague. The clinging to it), all of which surroundings coloring in Hals's pictures is splendid, go far to neutralize the effects of the gran- and they are all painted with a freedom deur of the building,

and ease which gives the idea that he With a feeling of disappointment we knew his power, and revelled in it. He went to the old Stadt Huis (Town Hall), lived before Rembrandt. His pictures and here all exceeded our expectations. are so absolutely real, that they would It is a most wonderful old building, and repay a long and wearisome journey, and in perfect preservation. As we trod the Haarlem is twelve hours from London. boards of the Council Chamber, it was Once we had left the market-place and easy to imagine the commotion there in the surrounding old buildings, it was 1572, when in December the siege began, much more difficult to realize the story of and the burgomeister, getting anxious the siege; there is such an air of repose and cowardly, fled, leaving the people to and tranquillity about the place. Was it prove their heroism for

long really here that the Spaniards, when by months. The most prominent figure of treachery they had got into the town, the defence, Kenau, was a widow, and kept five executioners and their assistants she got those three hundred women to at work for days? All looks so fair and gether who did such good service under calm; flowers bloom as they should do at her leadership.

Haarlem. The quiet waters flow on, all The old house has a great many relics is bright and peaceful, but we think that' of that grand if ineffectual struggle - the past struggle has left its impress on stone balls, some of the pikes and guns the faces of the inhabitants as on their used, and the torn flags, with much be. bearing and character. They have more sides. Certainly never was it our good the reflective expression of a people with fortune to see more really interesting a past history to be proud of, than the things. They are all kept in an old room, eager and expectant look of a new people which goes by the name of the Spanish with a future and no past. Every visit to

A picture of Kenau is there - a Haarlem increased our admiration for it. plain, determined-looking woman, with an Some of the names of the streets sound upright figure and a composed and self- so familiar, that the difference, in fact, reliant air.

was almost startling. Park Laan is, howThe pictures by Franz Hals must be ever, a pretty mixture of water, greenseen, because, unless they are seen, wesward, and flower-beds, stretching before




a single row of houses: one dog.carriage, a dairy! The farm is famous for the two women, and ourselves represented skim-milk cheeses — not those round red the traffic one day when we rested a few cheeses we call Dutch cheese, or the moments there - rather a contrast to the Gouda cheeses, which are considered in Park Lane we know so well,

Holland as inferior to others, but large, It is perhaps hardly fair, when dwelling rather fat cheeses. The milk-pans are with so much pleasure on the many de extremely deep, and narrow at the base, lights of Holiand, to pass over in silence and the milk stands one day and night. those things which were by no means a It is then skimmed, the cream makes but. delight. The pavements are detestable ter, and the whole of the milking of the in all the towns, consisting of hard bricks day before makes one cheese. They set up on end. They punish the feet make about two hundred and fifty cheeses most terribly, and make walking a pen- in the year, all of which go direct to En

One other thing truth forces us gland. The pans are all set on the ground, to confess. As in all Continental places, which, like all the rest of the building, is and even worse than in many, at the least tiled and painted red. expected moments odors anything but The cow-byres were also all painted savory

assail you, -- only at Scheveningen red, walls and floors, except the stone We were entirely free froin this trial, where coping which divided the mangers from there are no fields to cultivate, and noth- the cows, and this was painted in red, ing as yet to the energies of “drain- blue, and white stripes. There was no. age commissioners.” No! there nothing division between the cows, who are fascomes to spoil the perfect air. The sands tened by a clumsy-looking but simple are thickly planted with bent.grass, which contrivance when they inhabit this beaurepresents at present all its vegetation, tiful home. Just now they are out all day. and no manuring is required.

and night, and are milked in the fields. Within a very pretty walk of the Hague One thing all through Holland gives a is the palace, where the late Queen well-finished and pleasant look to all counSophia passed much of her time, and try life, and was particularly noticeable in where, in old days, Mary of Orange lived. the out buildings of this farm -- the woodIt is a pretty and cheerful place. The work, it is so beautifully finished. The ball-room is painted throughout by Ru. railings of the outdoor staircase to the bens and his pupils. All the paintings bay-loft might adorn many a gentleman's are scenes commemorating the triumphs house in England; the bars are round of Frederick William; and at the very top and polished; the commonest ladders are of the dome by which this salon is sur not rough; the gates are ornamental and mounted, and set into the ceiling, is a almost always painted; and the palings portrait of his wife, who is supposed to are beautifully neat. The good trouw Le looking down approvingly upon the was pleased by our keen appreciation, pictures.

and led the way to a very small sitting. Not very far from the palace we were room (which is never used), to show us a shown over what we particularly wished glass bookcase. Each shelf was full of to see — a model Dutch farm. Anything silver ornaments which had been preso pretty and so exquisitely neat we never sented to her and her husband the year saw: red and blue, here and there white before on their silver All and yellow, were the prevailing colors. round the place the greatest tidiness preOn entering we were directly in the kitch- vailed. The cows are alınost all black

One large corner was raised and and white: you so seldom see any other made a platform: on this platform the color; when you do, it is generally dun family had their meals and spent their i color. They are sometimes a great size, leisure hours, which, judging from the but the most prevailing kind are not very activity we saw, must be few and far be- large. Here the cows were very fine: we tween for it was a farm where all the counted twenty in one field near the farm, sons and daughters worked, and few hired and there may have been more. I wanted hands were employed. The stove was a to know how many they kept, and was perfect picture - bright as steel; and the told the number varied; when they had a china plaques facing it (blue and white) good cow they kept her, when they saw a looked so tempting and pretty. All the good cow they bought her, and when they pails, etc., were painted blue, and the iron had a bad cow they sold her. hoops were polished till they looked like There is, of course, a certain air of silver. The dairy was beautifully kept, resemblance in the Dutch towns - the but so totally different from our ideas of canals and trees prevailing everywhere.



The bricks in common use, and the style hay or grass, and whisk a tail the worse of the picturesque buildings, give a like for wear in remonstrance when a peculness; but it is not given to every town to arly aggressive ily annoys them. The have ancient buildings in such excellent barges went slowly on.

We found it was preservation as at Haarlem or Delft; and time to go back to the fabrik, and saunof the many towns we saw, Delft will tered down the street, pausing at the always live in our memory as second to bridges to take note of the different long Haarlem in its old-world look, and as first vistas made by the lopped trees. At the in point of beauty. It is a small town; i fabrik we were received by the son of but at every turn we took it presented a the proprietor, a very pleasant and wellnew picture. The pointed towers of the bred man, speaking the most excellent old gateway and some of the other build- English, and he showed us over every ings are like some of the towers at corner of it. Lübeck.

The first intelligence he gave us was We went to Dellt on one of those lovely rather a shock to our feelings. The clay days of. capricious sunshine which I al. all comes from England, and is the saine ways think inore enchanting than a cloud as that used by Minton. This is why less sky. It takes a very short twenty Delft is very dear - dearer than the Dresminutes from the Hague, and we arrived den china at Meissen. It is also very feeling a little strange, knowing not one much less durable, but I do not think the soul in the place. Walking up the side of two can be compared. The modern Meisa canal which led straight away from the sen china is excellent for wear and tear, station, we saw the name of a Swiss and is as nearly unbreakable as china can watchmaker, and the happy thought oc- be; but though modern Delft is not prized, curred to us to ask him concerning the there is a particular attraction in it 10 all porcelain manufactory, about which, even of us, – the creamy tone and the extreme so near as the Hague, we could learn softness of the color make it quite unlike nothing. No more successful idea could any other china. The building in which have come to us; he was the most sympa. the whole manufacture is carried on is the thetic, the most friendly of inen. His same as that used in old days. For many French was very Swiss and very rusty, years nothing was done, and the whole but his overflowing good-will, gave him place was shut up. Five years ago, the eloquence. After explaining the turns enterprise of the present manufacturer we were to take, and those we were to started it fresh on the old premises. The avoid, he came to the conclusion that we intelligent gentleman who showed us ev. were quite incapable of finding the place erything is ambitious, and hopes at no - so he called bis servant, a pleasant, distant day to add to what is done at clean-looking girl, and sent her with us to present the revival of the old coarse show us the way.

grey pottery, of such value in the eyes of It certainly would have been very diffi- connoisseurs, as works of art and for cult to recognize the place — because it is ornament. Every one acquainted with level with the street, and nothing about Delft knows that it is the most fragile the entrance marks it from any other china in the world, whether as regards its house. A very small and modest plaque finer kind or the earthenware. Indeed, alone gives the proprietor's name, and the on this account so little of the real old words porzelan fabrik have to be looked Delft is left to tell its story, that it is, for. The mission of his servant did not when genuine, priceless from its extreme end here: she interviewed the foreman, rarity. explained what we wanted, and only left All china manufactories alike. us when quite certain all was thoroughly Here the extraordinary tumble-down arranged.

buildings were more interesting to us, As we could see nothing during the from the associations they carried, than men's dinner hour, we bade her good-bye the bravest new buildings could have and walked about quite charmed by the been. The oldest man who was working still beauty of everything. Every one there had begun his work in the old facwas having his midday meal; the horses tory sixty years ago, and had been of stood with the one loosened trace to pre- great use to the new enterprise. One vent their running off precaution difference lies in the blue china-painting which looks so unnecessary when you see here and at Meissen. There the zwiebel the absolute contentment with which they (onion pattern) is printed, and then touched stand stock-still, apparently too sleepy to by hand: here all is band-painted, and do more than idly reach a mouthful of there is no printing. Another thing here


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

struck us which we do not remember to works required, to understand how the have seen at Meissen - - an arrangement laws have to be made to meet the emerof magnets to attract the iron in the clay gencies always possible, and to be able to as it passes them in its liquid state. do proper honor to the indomitable energy There is a small but very choice collec- of the Dutch people, there are many avail. tion of china kept in the showroom able books; and a concise and very clear china from real old Delft to Worcester, account by Lord Thurlow should be studDresden, etc.; and a good many of the ied. The water-staat is a most important antique shapes are most admirably repro- branch of the government. Only one duced both in form and color; and put-part of the laws affects travellers, and that ting them side by side, it was difficult to is one which summons, if need be, every tell which was which. It was altogether man, woman, or child residing in the a very interesting and enjoyable visit, country, “to assist in repelling an invawhich we were delighted to have accom. sion of the sea," and in repairing the plished. No china is sold at the factory weak spot of any dike in the neighboritself; but there is a depot of it in the hood. We can safely say that had such town, where anything can be ordered or an emergency arisen, we all would have purchased.

done our very best! We wanted to see the “new church, Katwyk am See is at present a small which was built in 1331, with the monu- sea-bathing place in its extreme infancy, ment to the memory of our William the and not worth a visit. The fishing vil. First, Prince of Orange; and, in search. lage, unlike fair Scheveningen, is dingy ing for an open door, had another of the and dirty. There are a few small and many proofs we received of the extreme very second-rate hotels, and a limited kindness of the Dutch to strangers. A beach unpleasantly near the village, the lady who had noticed us going round and odors of which are most unsavory. Peofinding every door shut, ran all round by ple sometimes.talked of a future for Katone of the bridges, and arrived breathless wyk, but it wants space, as the whole to tell us where the sacristan lived. “I extent is too much hemmed in. saw you were strangers,” she said, with a No: the place for which probably a pretty smile, "and came to assist you.” great future looms is Zandvoort, or ZandBefore we could thank her in adequate poort as it is often spelt. It is the natuterms, she had gone. The monument is ral outlet for the residents of Haarlem splendid; it is in black and white marble; and Amsterdam (which is only twenty and the little dog that saved his life is minutes from Haarlem). Here is much lying at the feet of the prince. The that reminds one of Scheveningen — the figures at the corners are very spirited immense stretch of sandy dunes, the and well modelled. It is here that all the shelving beach, and the grand sweep of royal family are interred; “thirty-six the rippling sea. But at present it lacks kings and queens,” the sacristan said much that its fairer neighbor has; and proudly, "lie underneath."

though the neighborhood of Haarlem is Except this monument, there is nothing well wooded and beautiful, the woods and to admire in the church. The propor- shade do not extend above half-way to tions of these old churches are always Zandvoort, and the delight of shady walks, fine, but the universal black and white and the song of birds, accessible in a few color gives a cold and formal look. The moments from the Scheveningen beach, old church has a very leaning tower, but is beyond a walk for most people at Zandis said to have been in the same state for voort. There are some huge hotels; and many generations: it is caused by a sink- life is as dear, if not dearer than with its ing in the foundations. It is always more fashionable neighbor. We should difficult to remember how much of this think it will be a long time before it can extraordinary country has been reclaimed in any way be considered its rival. What from the sea, and what a hand-to-hand makes Scheveningen so delightful a resifight it has been. Besides the craving dence is, that you have within a few moappetite of the sea (and it must be remem- ments everything the heart of man can bered that great part of Holland is be- wish for. Society, antiquities, art-treaslow the sea-level), it has the Rhine, the ures, and a thousand subjects of interest, Scheldt, the Meuse, the Ysel, the Waal, besides natural beauty. “Society” reand the Leck to take precautions against. quires one or two introductions. The It is much too large a subject to touch Dutch, like the Belgians and ourselves, upon in a sketch like the present; but to do not rush into acquaintance; but if appreciate the nature of the engineering I society is wished for, one or two intro

[ocr errors]

ductions will bring many more. We shall | like a pig for truffles. For my part, I always remember the daily gatherings at liked a story to begin with an old wayside one lovely spot, where we were made inn where, " towards the close of the year welcome, and where, in the gardens, near 17—," several gentlemen in three-cocked courts devoted to lawn-tennis, begonias hats were playing bowls. A friend of on a gigantic scale filled the beds, set off mine preferred the Malabar coast in a by the thick woods behind them.

storm, with a ship beating to windward, No doubt the Dutch may have many and a scowling fellow of Herculean profaults; but looking at them, no one can portions striding along the beach : he, to deny that some of the finest types of hu- be sure, was a pirate. This was further manity are to be seen among them. afield than my home-keeping fancy loved Watching their faces you can see and bet-i to travel, and designed altogether for a ter understand the natures which braved larger canvas than the tales that I af. so much. From this small spot on the fected. Give me a highwayman and I earth's surface, how many naval heroes was sull to the brim; a Jacobite would do, have sprung! and what a history of en- but the bighwayman was my favorite durance, of patient struggling against dish. I can still hear that merry clatter adverse circumstances ! Inch by inch of the hoofs along the moonlit lane; niglit they fought and still fight with the sea and the coming of day are still related in for the land they live in. The Spanish ny mind with the doings of John Rann or invasion – the endiess points in their Jerry Abershaw; and the words " ' posthistory – have surely something to do chaise,” the “great North road," " ostler," with the steadfast, resolute look in their and “nag "' still sound in my ears like eyes. The poorer classes have one mis- poetry. One and all, at least, and each sortune — they have painfully shrill, barsh with his particular fancy, we read story. voices. Luckily they are not often raised books in childhood, not for eloquence or in anger. They look to us, as they move character or thought, but for some quality to and fro, busied about their own con- of the brute incident. That quality was cerns, in their peculiarly quiet manner, not mere bloodshed or wonder. Although types of the strength which lies in pa- each of these was welcome in its place, tience. Fortitude and patience have the charm for the sake of which we read gained them a glorious name in the past; depended on something different from and it doubtless will continue to do so; either. My elders used to read novels and if a time should ever come when the aloud; and I can still remember four dif. future calls forth the same great qualities, ferent passages which I heard, before I once more the world will look on, marvel, was ten, with the same keen and lasting and admire.

pleasure. One I discovered long afterwards to be the admirable opening of " What will he Do with lt:" it was no wonder I was pleased with that. The

other three still remain unidentified. One From Longman's Magazine.

is a little vague: it was about a dark, tall A GOSSIP ON ROMANCE.

house at night, and people groping on the In anything fit to be called by the name stairs by the light that escaped from the of reading, the process itself should be open door of a sick-room. In another, a absorbing and voluptuous; we should lover left a ball, and went walking in a gloat over a book, be rapt clean out of cool, dewy park, whence he could watch ourselves, and rise from the perusal, our the lighted windows and the figures of the mind filled with the busiest, kaleidoscopic dancers as they moved. This was the dance of images, incapable of sleep or of most sentimentalimpression I think I had continuous thought. The words, if the yet received, for a child is somewhat deaf book be eloquent, should run thencefor to the sentimental. In the last, a poet, ward in our ears like the noise of break- who had been tragically wrangling with ers, or the story, if it be a story, repeat his wife, walked forth on the sea-beach on itself in a thousand colored pictures to a tempestuous night and witnessed the

It was for this last pleasure horrors of a wreck. Different as they that we read so closely, and loved our are, all these early favorites have a combooks so dearly, in the bright, troubled mon note they have all a touch of the period of boyhood. Eloquence and romantic. thought, character and conversation, were Drama is the poetry of conduct, robut obstacles to brush aside as we dug mance the poetry of circumstance. The blithely after a certain sort of incident, pleasure that we take in life is of two

the eye.

« VorigeDoorgaan »