THE GIRL WITH THE PEARL EARRING EBOOK
GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING her gray mantle back from her shoulders, and I saw then that under her dark blue dress a baby was growing. It would arrive by. Girl with a Pearl Earring tells the story of Griet, a year-old Dutch girl, who becomes a maid in the house of the painter Johannes Vermeer. Her calm and. Girl With a Pearl Earring tells the story of Griet, a year-old Dutch girl who becomes a maid in the house of the painter Johannes Vermeer. Her calm and.
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Read "Girl with a Pearl Earring A Novel" by Tracy Chevalier available from Rakuten Kobo. Sign up today and get $5 off your first purchase. The New York Times. Editorial Reviews. cittadelmonte.info Review. With precisely 35 canvases to his credit, the Dutch Buy a Kindle Kindle eBooks Kindle Unlimited Prime Reading Best Sellers & More Kindle Book Deals Free Reading Apps Kindle Singles Newsstand . Buy the Ebook: Kobo · Barnes & Noble · Apple · Books A . Everyday life in 17th century Delft is so vivid in Girl with a Pearl Earring. How did you conduct your.
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We cannot guarantee that your order will arrive at its destination if you have not provided correct address details and as much information as possible to assist the couriers when delivering e. Her light brown eyes were wide and innocent.
I found myself warming to her sweetness, yet knowing I could not trust her. She could be the most interesting of the girls, but also the most changeable—the best and the worst at the same time.
They were sorting through a collection of shells they had brought outside, dividing them into piles of different colors, when he came out of the house.
I squeezed the baby round his middle, feeling his ribs under my hands. He squealed and I buried my nose in his ear to hide my face. I could not see the expression on his face—the tilt of his head and the brim of his hat hid it. Lisbeth and Aleydis abandoned their shells. He shook his head and then I could see his bemused expression.
I bounced the baby, feeling awkward. He looked as if he would say something, but instead he shook off the girls and strode down the Oude Langendijck. I woke very early on Sunday, for I was excited to go home. I had to wait for Catharina to unlock the front door, but when I heard it swing open I came out to find Maria Thins with the key. Can you manage without her? You know whose pot to spoon from. Never mind, we can do with a bit of cleverness around here.
When I turned into my street I thought how different it felt already after less than a week away. The light seemed brighter and flatter, the canal wider.
The plane trees lining the canal stood perfectly still, like sentries waiting for me.
Agnes was sitting on the bench in front of the house. Do you work hard? Are there any girls there? Is the house very grand? Where do you sleep? Do you eat off fine plates? Although it was not very much, I felt proud to hand over to my mother the few coins in my hand. This was, after all, why I was working. My father came to sit outside with us and hear about my new life.
I gave my hands to him to guide him over the front stoop. As he sat down on the bench he rubbed my palms with his thumb. Already you have the scars of hard work. It will get easier soon. Agnes and I will go into the country to pick some. Otherwise I told them everything. I passed on the message from our butcher to my mother. When I mentioned the new butchers, Pieter the father and son, she raised her eyebrows but said nothing. Afterwards we went to services at our church, where I was surrounded by familiar faces and familiar words.
Sitting between Agnes and my mother, I felt my back relaxing into the pew, and my face softening from the mask I had worn all week.
I thought I might cry. Mother and Agnes would not let me help them with dinner when we came back home. I sat with my father on the bench in the sun.
He held his face up to the warmth and kept his head cocked that way all the time we talked. You hardly said a word about him. But you have been in his studio— you told us about the cleaning and the measurements, but nothing about the painting he is working on. Describe it to me. I have little to think of now except for memories. It will give me pleasure to imagine a painting by a master, even if my mind creates only a poor imitation.
Although my mother was a better cook than Tanneke, the brown bread was dry, the vegetable stew tasteless with no fat to flavor it. The room, too, was different—no marble tiles, no thick silk curtains, no tooled leather chairs. Everything was simple and clean, without ornamentation.
I loved it because I knew it, but I was aware now of its dullness. At the end of the day it was hard saying good-bye to my parents—harder than when I had first left, because this time I knew what I was going back to.
Agnes walked with me as far as Market Square. When we were alone, I asked her how she was. She had been lively all day but had now grown subdued. We did manage to meet in the Meat Hall several times. I was always glad to see her—as long as I was alone. I began to find my place at the house on the Oude Langendijck.
Catharina, Tanneke and Cornelia were all difficult at times, but usually I was left alone to my work. She had decided, for her own reasons, that I was a useful addition, and the others, even the children, followed her example.
Perhaps she felt the clothes were cleaner and better bleached now that I had taken on the laundry. Or that the meat was more tender now that I chose it. Or that he was happier with a clean studio. These first two things were true. The last, I did not know. When he and I finally spoke it was not about my cleaning.
Girl with a Pearl Earring - Tracy Chevalier - Google книги
I was careful to deflect any praise for better housekeeping from myself. I did not want to make enemies. If Maertge said her apron was whiter than before, I said it was because the summer sun was particularly strong now. I avoided Catharina when I could. Her mood was not improved by the baby she carried, which made her ungainly and nothing like the graceful lady of the house she felt herself to be.
It was a hot summer too, and the baby was especially active. It began to kick whenever she walked, or so she said. As she grew bigger she went about the house with a tired, pained look.
She took to staying in bed later and later, so that Maria Thins took over her keys and unlocked the studio door for me in the morning. Tanneke and I began to do more and more of her work—looking after the girls, buying things for the house, changing the baby. One day when Tanneke was in a good mood, I asked her why they did not take on more servants to make things easier. Or a cook? It would take me years of work to be able to buy something as fine as the yellow mantle that Catharina kept so carelessly folded in her cupboard.
It did not seem possible that they could be short of money. She sounded disapproving. It stops you having them, you know, if you feed your own. Three paintings a year he does, usually. Sometimes only two. He would always paint at his own pace. Young mistress wants him to paint more, but my mistress says speed would ruin him.
Tanneke was fiercely loyal to her mistress. She had little patience with Catharina, however, and when she was in the right mood she advised me on how to handle her. She never checks, she never notices. She just orders us about because she feels she has to. But we know who our real mistress is, and so does she.
She was fickle in her moods, perhaps from being caught between Catharina and Maria Thins for so many years. Despite her confident words about ignoring what Catharina said, Tanneke did not follow her own advice. And Maria Thins, for all her fairness, did not defend Tanneke from Catharina.
I never once heard Maria Thins berate her daughter for anything, though Catharina needed it at times. Perhaps her loyalty made up for her sloppiness about the house—corners unmopped, meat burned on the outside and raw on the inside, pots not scrubbed thoroughly. I could not imagine what she had done to his studio when she tried to clean it. Though Maria Thins rarely scolded Tanneke, they both knew she ought to, and this kept Tanneke uncertain and quick to defend herself.
It became clear to me that in spite of her shrewd ways, Maria Thins was soft on the people closest to her. Her judgment was not as sound as it appeared. Of the four girls, Cornelia was, as she had shown the first morning, the most unpredictable.
Both Lisbeth and Aleydis were good, quiet girls, and Maertge was old enough to begin learning the ways of the house, which steadied her— though occasionally she would have a fit of temper and shout at me much like her mother. Cornelia did not shout, but she was at times ungovernable.
She could be funny and playful one moment, then turn the next, like a purring cat who bites the hand stroking it.
While loyal to her sisters, she did not hesitate to make them cry by pinching them hard. I was wary of Cornelia, and could not be fond of her in the way I came to be of the others. I escaped from them all when I cleaned the studio.
Maria Thins unlocked the door for me and sometimes stayed a few minutes to check on the painting, as if it were a sick child she was nursing. Once she left, though, I had the room to myself. I looked around to see if anything had changed. Nothing, however, changed in the corner he was painting. I was careful not to displace any of it, quickly adjusting to my way of measuring so that I was able to clean that area almost as quickly and confidently as the rest of the room.
There seemed to be no changes to the painting, as hard as I looked for them. Another day the shadow of the yellow curtain had grown bigger. I thought too that some of the fingers on her right hand had been moved. The satin mantle began to look so real I wanted to reach out and touch it. I had just been reaching over to stroke the fur collar when I had looked up to see Cornelia in the doorway, watching me. One of the other girls would have asked me what I was doing, but Cornelia had just watched.
That was worse than any questions. Maertge insisted on coming with me to the fish stalls one morning several weeks after I had begun working at the house. She loved to run through Market Square, looking at things, petting the horses, joining other children in their games, sampling smoked fish from various stalls. As I smiled I saw Agnes hovering near us, her eyes fixed on Maertge. I still had not told Agnes there was a girl her age in the house—I thought it might upset her, that she would feel she was being replaced.
Sometimes when I visited my family at home I felt awkward telling them anything. My new life was taking over the old. When Agnes looked at me I shook my head slightly so that Maertge would not see, and turned away to put the fish in my pail. I took my time—I could not bear to see the hurt look on her face.
I did not know what Maertge would do if Agnes spoke to me. When I turned around Agnes had gone. I shall have to explain to her when I see her Sunday, I thought. I have two families now, and they must not mix. I was hanging out washing in the courtyard, shaking out each piece before hanging it taut from the line, when Catharina appeared, breathing heavily.
She sat down on a chair by the door, closed her eyes and sighed. I continued what I was doing as if it were natural for her to sit with me, but my jaw tightened.
Two sets of feet were climbing the stairs. I heard the door close. Now help me up. I did not think she could grow much bigger and still manage to walk. Later I asked Tanneke why Catharina had been hiding.
She was looking in it and knocked it over. You know how clumsy she is. She clearly did not want to talk about the box.
When I arrived to clean the studio, the easel and chair had been moved to one side. The desk was in their place, cleared of papers and prints. On it sat a wooden box about the size of a chest for storing clothes in. A smaller box was attached to one side, with a round object protruding from it. I did not understand what it was, but I did not dare touch it. I went about my cleaning, glancing over at it now and then as if its use would suddenly become clear to me.
I cleaned the corner, then the rest of the room, dusting the box so that I hardly touched it with my cloth. I cleaned the storeroom and mopped the floor. When I was done I stood in front of the box, arms crossed, moving around to study it. My back was to the door but I knew suddenly that he was standing there. He must have made the door creak, for then I was able to turn and face him. He was leaning against the threshold, wearing a long black robe over his daily clothes.
He was watching me curiously, but he did not seem anxious that I might damage his box. It was the first time he had spoken directly to me since he asked about the vegetables many weeks before. He propped up the lid at an angle so that the box was partly open.
There was a bit of glass underneath. He leaned over and peered into the space between the lid and box, then touched the round piece at the end of the smaller box. Then he took off his robe. I shifted uneasily from one foot to the other. He removed his hat, placing it on the chair by the easel, and pulled the robe over his head as he leaned over the box again. I took a step back and glanced at the doorway behind me. Catharina had little will to climb the stairs these days, but I wondered what Maria Thins, or Cornelia, or anyone would think if they saw us.
When I turned back I kept my eyes fixed on his shoes, which were gleaming from the polish I had given them the day before. He stood up at last and pulled the robe from his head, his hair ruffled. Now you look. I stood rooted to my place. Then the image will be stronger. And look at it from this angle so it will not be upside down.
The thought of me covered with his robe, unable to see, and him looking at me all the while, made me feel faint. I was meant to do as he said. I pressed my lips together, then stepped up to the box, to the end where the lid had been lifted. I bent over and looked in at the square of milky glass fixed inside. There was a faint drawing of something on it. He draped his robe gently over my head so that it blocked out all light. It was still warm from him, and smelled of the way brick feels when it has been baked by the sun.
I placed my hands on the table to steady myself and closed my eyes for a moment. I felt as if I had drunk my evening beer too quickly. I opened my eyes and saw the painting, without the woman in it. I stepped back from the box, treading on the cloth. I moved my foot. I will wash the robe this morning. What did you see? I was terribly confused, and a little frightened. What was in the box was a trick of the devil, or something Catholic I did not understand.
The Girl With the Pearl Earring
And things were—switched around. There are mirrors that can fix that. How did it get there? He was smiling. When he smiled his face was like an open window. It is made of a piece of glass cut in a certain way. I was staring at him so hard, trying to understand, that my eyes began to water.
It is not a word I know. More than anything I wanted him to think I could follow what he said. I thought for a moment. He handed me his robe. I grasped his robe, my hands shaking.
For a moment I thought of simply pretending to look, and saying that I had. But he would know I was lying. And I was curious. It became easier to consider it without him watching me.
I took a deep breath and gazed down into the box. I could see on the glass a faint trace of the scene in the corner.
As I brought the robe over my head the image, as he called it, became clearer and clearer—the table, the chairs, the yellow curtain in the corner, the back wall with the map hanging on it, the ceramic pot gleaming on the table, the pewter basin, the powder-brush, the letter.
They were all there, assembled before my eyes on a flat surface, a painting that was not a painting. I cautiously touched the glass—it was smooth and cold, with no traces of paint on it. I put the robe over me once more, closing out the light, and watched the jeweled colors appear again. They seemed to be even brighter and more colorful on the glass than they were in the corner. When I heard the tap on the door I just had time to straighten up and let the robe drop to my shoulders before he walked in.
Have you looked properly? I was as amazed as you the first time my friend showed it to me. I use it to help me see, so that I am able to make the painting. I felt as if I were being tricked. Whatever I answered would be wrong. He turned and snapped the box shut.
I slipped off his robe and held it out to him. I thought about what he had said, about how the box helped him to see more. Although I did not understand why, I knew he was right because I could see it in his painting of the woman, and also what I remembered of the painting of Delft.
He saw things in a way that others did not, so that a city I had lived in all my life seemed a different place, so that a woman became beautiful with the light on her face. The day after I looked in the box I went to the studio and it was gone. The easel was back in its place. I glanced at the painting. Previously I had found only tiny changes in it. Now there was one easily seen—the map hanging on the wall behind the woman had been removed from both the painting and the scene itself.
The wall was now bare. The painting looked the better for it— simpler, the lines of the woman clearer now against the brownish-white background of the wall. But the change upset me—it was so sudden. I would not have expected it of him. Though I waved hello to the old butcher I did not stop, even when he called out to me. Pieter the son was minding the stall alone. I had seen him a few times since that first day, but always in the presence of his father, standing in the background while Pieter the father took charge.
I decided not to remark on his words. And do you have more of those sausages your father sold me the other day? The girls liked them. Pieter the son glanced at her. I did not like doing so when I was feeling so unsettled, but I had little choice. Why do you ask? They expect to today. Go straight back to the Meat Hall. I must go to them. Maria Thins was smoking her pipe.
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They stopped talking when I entered. I would like to go and see them.
Are you mad? Have you forgotten that? Now go, we have things to discuss without you hanging about. After a while I could no longer smell her pipe. The next morning he came in while I was sweeping the studio. I looked up from my broom. There was kindness in his eyes, and I felt I could ask him. About the painting. His smile made me grip my broom tightly. I was not able to work well then. I was worried about my family, not about how clean I could get the floors or how white the sheets.
No one may have remarked on my good housekeeping before, but everyone noticed how careless I was now. Lisbeth complained of a spotted apron. Tanneke grumbled that my sweeping caused dust to settle on the dishes. Only in the studio was I able to clean as I had before, maintaining the precision he needed. I did not know what to do that first Sunday I was not allowed to go home.
I could not go to our church either, as it was in the quarantined area as well. I did not want to remain at the house, though—whatever Catholics did on Sundays, I did not want to be among them. They left together to go to the Jesuit church around the corner in the Molenpoort, the girls wearing good dresses, even Tanneke changed into a yellowish brown wool dress, and carrying Johannes.
Maria Thins locked the door behind her. I stood on the tiles in front of the house as they disappeared and considered what to do. The bells in the New Church tower in front of me began to sound the hour. I was baptized there, I thought. Surely they will allow me inside for the service. It was cool and dim inside, the smooth round pillars reaching up, the ceiling so high above me it could almost be the sky.
I saw no one I knew, only people dressed in sober clothes much finer in their cloth and cut than any I would ever wear. I hid behind a pillar for the service, which I could hardly listen to, I was so nervous that someone would come along and ask me what I was doing there. At the end of the service I slipped out quickly before anyone approached me.
I walked round the church and looked across the canal at the house. The door was still shut and locked. Catholic services must last longer than ours, I thought. The streets looked very quiet beyond it. He looked hot in his cloak and hat, for though the sun was not out the air was warm and close. Of those who have died?
Word of mouth was often more accurate. I tried to speak to another soldier on a barrier at a different street. Though friendlier, he too could tell me nothing about my family. I had forgotten that soldiers think of just one thing when they see a young woman. When I got back to the Oude Langendijck I was relieved to find the house open. I slipped inside and spent the afternoon hiding in the courtyard with my prayer book. In the evening I crept into bed without eating, telling Tanneke my stomach hurt.
His concern made me feel as if I had just stepped off a boat and the ground was wobbling under my feet. From his tone it was clear that I was not to argue with him. I wondered what I would do if he did find out something. He was not demanding anything the way the soldier had, but I would be obliged to him. I did not want to be obliged to anyone. He wiped his hands on his apron. I nodded, my eyes on his hands. The creases between his nails and his fingers were filled with blood. I expect I will have to get used to that sight, I thought.
I began to look forward to my daily errand even more than to cleaning the studio. I dreaded it too, though, especially the moment Pieter the son looked up from his work and saw me, and I searched his eyes for clues.
Several days passed when I bought meat from him, or passed by his stall after I had bought fish, and he simply shook his head. Then one day he looked up and looked away, and I knew what he would say.
I just did not know who. I had to wait until he finished with several customers. I felt so sick I wanted to sit down, but the floor was speckled with blood. At last Pieter the son took off his apron and came over. It was the first time I had spoken his name. I looked into his eyes and saw kindness there. I also saw what I had feared— expectation. On Sunday I decided to visit my brother.
I did not know how much he knew of the quarantine or of Agnes. I left the house early and walked to his factory, which was outside the city walls not far from the Rotterdam Gate.
Frans was still asleep when I arrived. I sounded a bit like Catharina. The woman raised her eyebrows. I sat on a low wall to wait. A family passed me on their way to church. The children, two girls and two boys, ran ahead of their parents, just as we had ours.
I watched them until they passed from sight. Frans appeared at last, rubbing sleep from his face. His eyes were red. How long has there been one? Stuck in this factory day after day, nothing but white tiles as far as I can see. I think I may go mad. His voice had deepened as well. I could not bring myself to question him further. We found one not far away, and although the service did not comfort me, I prayed hard for our family. Afterwards Frans and I walked along the Schie River.
We said little, but we each knew what the other was thinking—neither of us had heard of anyone recovering from the plague. Clear that corner today. I did not understand what she meant. When she saw my face Maria Thins laughed. And open all the shutters. Without the bowl and brush the tabletop was transformed into a picture I did not recognize. The letter, the cloth, the ceramic pot lay without meaning, as if someone had simply dropped them onto the table.
Still, I could not imagine moving them. I put off doing so by going about my other duties. The Thief's Tale. Love and Other Consolation Prizes. Jamie Ford. The Vatican Princess. America's First Daughter. Stephanie Dray. Anne Boleyn, A King's Obsession. The Dressmaker. Rosalie Ham. The Lost Letters.
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(ebook) Girl With a Pearl Earring
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