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KOOSJE: A STUDY OF DUTCH LIFE
BY JOHN STRANGE WINTER
LER name was Koosje van Kampen, and she II lived in Utrecht, that most quaint of quaint cities, the Venice of the North.
All her life had been passed under the shadow of the grand old Dom Kerk; she had played bopeep behind the columns and arcades of the ruined, moss-grown cloisters; had slipped up and fallen down the steps leading to the grachts; had once or twice, in this very early life, been fished out of those same slimy, stagnant waters; had wandered under the great lindens in the Baan, and gazed curiously up at the stork's nest in the tree by the Veterinary School; had pattered about the hollowsounding streets in her noisy wooden klompen; vad danced and laughed, had quarrelled and wept, ind fought and made friends again, to the tune of the silver chimes high up in the Dom-chimes that were sometimes old Nederlandsche hymns, sometimes Mendelssohn's melodies and tender “ Lieder ohne Worte."
But that was ever so long ago, and now she had left her romping childhood behind her, and had become a maid-servant-a very dignified and aristocratic maid-servant indeed - with no less a sum than eight pounds ten a year in wages.
She lived in the house of a professor, who dwelt on the Munster Kerkhoff, one of the most aristocratic parts of that wonderfully aristocratic city; and once or twice every week you might have seen her, if you had been there to see, busily engaged in washing the red tile and blue slate pathway in front of the professor's house. You would have seen that she was very pleasant to look at, this Koosje, very comely and clean, whether she happened to be very busy, or whether it had been Sunday, and, with her very best gown on, she was out for a promenade in the Baan, after duly going to service; for Koosje was strictly orthodox, and attended service as regularly as the Sabbath dawned in the grand old Gothic choir of the cathedral.
During the week she wore always the same costume as does every other servant in the country: a skirt of black stuff, short enough to show a pair of very neat-set and well-turned ankles, clad in cloth shoes and knitted stockings that showed no wrinkles; over the skirt a bodice and a kirtle of lilac, made with a neatly gathered frilling abou: her round brown throat; above the frilling five or six rows of unpolished garnet beads fastened by a massive clasp of gold filigree, and on her head a spotless white cap tied with a neat bow under her chin-as neat, let me tell you, as an Englishman's tie at a party.