Page:Auerbach-Spinozanovel.djvu/147

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125
THE TREATY OF PEACE.

things into a form worthy of his dignity on the way. It required all his importance to force his way to the entrance of the Town Hall through the crowd which had assembled there. Artisans with their aprons still tied on and their bare, sinewy arms folded; clerks with their pens behind their ears, and ink on their fingers; porters who had set down their loads and seated themselves thereon; soldiers, idlers, women and children, all stood huddled together, and exchanged conjectures on the arrivals. One loitering dandy praised the light trot of the horses and the fine work on the robes of the heralds; they fitted as if grown to them, and must have been made either in Madrid or Paris, civilization was as yet too backward in this country; no Amsterdam tailor knew how to give a waistcoat such an undeniable cut. An apple-woman admired to her neighbor the rich gold embroidery, and the breadth and brilliancy of the herald's ribbons, and an apprentice remarked to his companion that those must be Utrecht ribbons, as they had some in the warehouse which they sold at four and a half stivers the yard to gain five and twenty per cent. On the right hand corner of the Town Hall a tall lean figure had planted himself, his legs carelessly crossed as he whistled a tune.

"A good thing you are here, Flyns," shouted several porters. "You can tell us for certain what the golden birds that have flown up there have in