from the log of the velsa

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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: E CHAPTER II DUTCH LEISURE VERY tourist knows that Holland is one of the historic cradles of political freedom, and also a chain of cities which are in effect museums of invaluable art. The voyager in a little ship may learn that in addition to all this Holland is the home of a vast number of plain persons who are under the necessity of keeping themselves alive seven days a week, and whose experiments hi the adventure of living have an interest quite equal to the interest of ancient art. To judge that adventure in its final aspect, one should see Holland on a Sunday, and not the Holland of the cities, but of the little towns. We came one Sunday morning to a place called Zieriksee, on an island to the north of the East Schelde. Who has heard of Zieriksee? Nevertheless, Zieriksee exists, and seven thousand people prosecute the adventure therein without the aid of A VISITOR museums and tourists. At first, from the mouth of its private canal, it seems to be a huge, gray tower surrounded by tiniest dolFs-houses with vermilion roofs; and as you approach, the tower waxes, until the stones of it appear sufficient to build the whole borough; then it wanes, and is lost in the town, as all towers ultimately are. The cobbled quay and streets were empty as we moored. And in an instant a great crowd sprang up out of the earth,— men and boys and girls, but few women,—staring, glaring, giggling, gabbling, pushing. Their in- quisitiveness had no shame, no urbanity. Their cackle deafened. They worried the Velsa like starving wolves worrying a deer. The Velsa was a godsend, unhoped for, in the enormous and cruel tedium which they had created for themselves. To escape them we forced our way ashore, and trod the clean, deathlike, feet-torturing streets. One shop was open; we enter...
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