National Geographic : 1915 Jan
THE CITY OF JACQUELINE done. He drives away to stable his prized horse and to attend to his own affairs. The butter market is ready for busi ness about I o'clock. If you saunter in then through the iron gateway, now standing hospitably wide to invite buyers, you will find the front row of benches occupied around all three sides of the arcade with close-set rows of heavy bas kets and the back row by the wall with a hundred or more rosy farmers' wives and daughters, dainty as the proverbial new pin, in glistening white caps, gold spirals, coral necklaces, many finger rings, and best black aprons over the second-best gown. The very best belongs to festivals and kermis. The work-a -day apron is of plaid ging ham; you will see it upon the serving maids who come from various houses to purchase the week's supply of fresh but ter. When the farmer's wife comes to town she replaces it by one of black sateen or "farmer's satin," almost as long and full as her skirts and close shirred at the waist in many fine, even rows. Her bodice is black likewise; but a shield shaped tucker is frequently of gay colors, and the sleeve is but an apology, ending far above the elbow in a broad and very tight black velvet band. A PRETTY PICTURE The gay frontispiece and the bare arms give an air of gaiety to the somber cos tume, and the upturned gold spirals at each temple are fine hangers for many broad pearl-tipped pendants, which quite belie the demure primness of the close white cap. They are not so demure after all, these dainty little dames who trip so swiftly and lightly from house to house, from shop to shop, from booth to booth, in the market-place. They are mischievous and roguish, despite the somewhat puritanical air lent by their garb, and quick at rep artee and banter as our friend from Cork, whom in vivacity they somewhat resemble. M. Havard in his inimitable book on Zeeland records the answers of the saucy girl whose mother "knew her name be fore she did," and 70 years ago Hilde brand, whose pictures of Dutch life are so truthfully charming, must have known her ancestress, for he tells the same story. Her daughters today might echo, "Ask mother, she knew it first," if you insist upon inquiring her name. She has no objection to your knowing it, but much pleasure in teasing you. You will find her perhaps in the mar ket-place with her own small daughter or son beside her. There is always room for a chubby boy or girl among the bas kets when mother comes to town in Wal cheren. You miss them in Zuid-Beve land, where she frequently rides into market upon a bicycle. They are so funny-so cunning, we would say--these little replicas in miniature of their par ents. A tiny maid of four, a wee laddie unable to speak plainly, wear precisely the same costume as mother or father full, long, black skirts, white cap, tiny gold spiral, coral beads, and aprons for one; black cloth or velvet trousers and jacket, much adorned with silver buttons, silver-buckled shoes, and queer black hat for the other. You may have seen them buying sweeties or fruit in the market-place, eyeing the coveted baubles which kermis brings, or waiting patiently while mother bargains for a new tea-pot; and if you look closely you will meet them again here in the butter market, wedged in be tween the chubby mothers and half-hid den by the voluminous skirts. Dear little round baby faces looking out from a frame of quaint old-worldly dress! THE BUTTER MARKET When market begins the wrappings are folded back from the well-filled baskets; first a print cover to keep the white one fresh and clean, then snowy white dam ask, and beneath it rolls of golden butter wrapped in fresh green leaves, or dozens of big pinky-white eggs translucent in their freshness. The buyers come in numbers, crowd ing along the rows; the bargaining is brisk and keen; the big-headed bag, with its rich silver clasps, which so many of the country women wear swinging from the waistband, grows heavy with coin, and a roll of bills is perhaps tucked away in the huge pocket hidden beneath the flowing skirt.