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pet, as I have seen so many wonderful things, I cannot say that I disbelieve it. The unusual size of the creature is in favour of the truth of the story, and of the antediluvian origin of the insect, for there were giants in those days, aad men reached a prodigious age; but since the Deluge, both ourselves and our fleas are a stunted, shortlived, aguish race. The upper part of this city is as clean as the lower part is dirty. England is, perhaps, the only country in Europe where a man will splash you if he can ; in all other places he will not splash you if he can avoid it. In other regions he will slacken his pace, stop, or cross the street, that he may not incommode you ; especially to spare a lady, there is nothing he will not do; but an Englishman will risk his neck, and will go a mile out of his way to hespatter a lady from head to foot. I have heard that in some parts of Germany, gratuitous brutality may be found as well as in England; at present I am unable to judge; wherever I shall be, I will not fail to remark it. In Flanders, persons engaged in aurigation are particularly attentive so to use their vehicles, as not to injure foot passengers. The walls of this city have been pulled down, and many houses built, as well as Boulevards planted all round, at least in the plan ; they are indeed finished in some parts, and are a considerable improvement. Although the walls are pulled down, an immense ditch has been dug, and in the middle of the ditch is a high wall, like Carrot's detached escarpment; that the paternal monarch may keep his free subjects within the city, and when they go out, may ask for their passports. All the vermin dependant on the government, pretend that they hardly kno! the coin when they see a franc; the bankers, who are independent people, try to tempt your purse to join the Dutch interest, by displaying the new bright coinage. The same coins will not suit a dear and a cheap country-Holland and Flanders.
Thursday, Aug. 11th.-I found the cathedral open, and the interior handsome, with good painted glass, pictures, and statues, and a grotesque and gorgeous magnificence. A representation of the Virgin in wax-work, coloured to the life, attired in brocade and lace, and in a regular court-dress, is surely in a bad taste. Not only the Virgin, but other more awful persons are represented in wax-work. I remember, that some years ago, in 1816, on a Sunday, when the cathedral was very full, I was surprised and pleased to see, as I then si pposed, a great special-pleader of those days. I certainly did not expect to find him in Brussels; but at that time the scripture—“I became a stranger amongst my mother's children," was fulfilled in the English nation. The English crowded abroad in such swarms, that although I was in a strange country, armed with a passport, and consequently a stranger, yet I ought not to have been astonished, if I had seen, on turning the corner of a street, my sister, or my brother, or a!! my mother's children. I accordingly believed my eyes, and ran up to shake hands with him; but, to my uiter amazement, i found that it was not a man, nor even the image of a man. Protestants must naturally be shocked to see the Supreme Being represented in the most perfect human shape. The special-pleader, whom all loved and respected, had no form or comeliness to borrow. His appearance, therefore, for such a purpose, was less pardonable.
I was never so much struck by the absurdity of the duty of a sentinel, as during my stay in Brussels ; my hotel was opposite the Mint, where, morning, noon, and night, an unhappy creature was walking up and down. A very ample porter was, no doubt, within the gates, and was quite sufficient for all the purposes of the place; and this brave fellow might have been employed more creditably, and more agreeably, in driving a plough or thrashing in a barn.
We dined at two. A German cut his finger and bled like a pig. A beautiful Flemish lady was at table, tall, with a fine figure, and clear complexion, black eyes and hair ; but she looked stiff and stupid. Women in these countries do not seem as if they could make love. I suppose they increase and multiply, and look sulky all the time. I walked round part of the Boulevards, which was handsome, and of the old walls, from which the view of Brussels is good. The place has been wonderfully altered and improved. I had observed in all the cities which I had visited, that the brewers dwell in good houses ; brewing is a good trade at all times and in all places. And I remarked here that a great many masons live in handsome messuages; I presume in consequence of the prevailing rage for building. I saw stuck up on the door of a church, amongst other ecclesiastical puffs and advertisements, the notice of a Dogmatical and Moral Catechism, by an ex-Jesuit. It must be a valuable work, especially the moral part of it. The old women in the churches, who hold communion with the world of spirits in grunts and groans, looked at me with the calm anger of justice, whilst I walked quietly about to view the paintings, as at a crooked billet saved only for burning, or at a leg of mutton that, sooner or later, will be roasted. The streets of Brussels were full of schismatics-not of the kind which splits religion into sects; these split wood into faggots. From their mode of dealing with the subject matter, they seemed to promise to cleave the heads of passengers ; but I cannot say that I ever saw these promises realized. I was joined by an agreeable friend, whom I had left at Ghent; we passed the evening not unpleasantly in discoursing of beer and Universities. That a Professor at Ghent should put his Doctor's gown over a short grey shooting-jacket, as he did, seemed odd, and as if a gamekeeper were made a Doctor; but it is not so irrational on mature reflection; it is only to do in practice, what was done at Oxford in theory; and, figuratively, they made General Blucher an LL.D. and thus virtually put the Doctor's robes over his regimental small-clothes. They drink here prodigious quantities of beer. I tasted that of Louvaine, which is most esteemed; (they have thirty or forty sorts of beer;) it was very bitter, but not unpleasant to those who are used to it. This bitterness may give it a relish. It should seem that Universities are always the seats of celebrated beer. Louvaine, it is well known, is renowned as an University. Our Oxford and Cambridge are severally famed for their several ales, as well as Edinburgh. Let us hope that the London University will succeed, and greatly prosper, if it be only to improve the breed of malt liquor in the metropolis.
Friday, Aug. 12th.-An important date; a fine day for grouseshooting. I rose at five, and left Brussels at six in the morning; we drove through the forest to Waterloo, where we took a hasty, rude, and cheap breakfast, at eight o'clock. As we drove past the field, nó one mentioned or alluded to the battle. Possibly all thought it had
been bought somewhat dearly, and were unwilling to talk about a bad bargain. Waterloo is still a poor place; one may see, however, a little improvement in the houses, caused by the money which the hosts of visitors have left behind them; but the common people are barelegged and poor ; and they have not improved their breed of pigs, which still look like greyhounds. I observed on the right, an immense mound, with a spiral ascent, like the tower of Babel; many workmen were employed upon it. On the top will be placed a colossal lion, in commemoration of the victory. The mound is formed like the rest of the country, of sand. Will it not settle, and gradually sink ? and will not the rain wash it away? The conducteur or guard of the diligence had his wife with him; he amused himself and the rest of the party, by pretending to offer her for sale, at a chimerically extravagant price-4,000 francs, about 1601. For some time all were amused, the lady as well as the rest, and she disputed about it loudly and violently; at last she got into a real rage, and became silent and sulky, and remained quiet for two hours. At the end of which time she said to me, with tears in her eyes(I had sat in attentive silence during all the dispute)—“ The world is so malicious," I answered: “ Yes; but nobody believes what the world says.” She was not quite satisfied with this reply, but said: “There are many women so wicked, that all that people can say against them is not enough; but there are others who are correct and prudont.” She evidently did not wish that the supply of good women should equal the demand, lest 1601. a-piece should become a still more extravagant price than it then appeared. In time, however, she recovered her spirits, and entered into another loud and violent dispute, about the superiority of the Walloons (of whom she was one) over the Flemish women in cleanliness and chastity, and continually repeated the proverb : “ It takes twelve Flemings and one pig to make thirteen swine.” She had the voice of a boatswain, and was a broad, brown, little barbarian, but not ill-looking.
I arrived at half-past one at Namur, at the Hótel d'Harscamp, which is a good house. After dinner I walked about the city; a small place in a pretty valley, fortified, and full of soldiers and their women. As these good people have nothing to do, and have had nothing to do for these ten years—I speak of the soldiers only—they seem to think that they are obliged to make a prodigious noise, that they may at least have the appearance of being busy; they accordingly kept up an immense din, day and night, with drums and trumpets. The cathedral is a handsome Roman church, with a dome, and plenty of statues and pictures. They were singing and making the most frightful noise, I think, I ever heard in any church or chapel, which is saying a great deal. I observed a bull or two of the late, and one of the present Pope; they were handsomely framed and glazed, and duly accepted by the Bishop of Namur, whose portrait figures in the printshops. They were written in a canting style ; I forget what they were about. There was a box with an inscription, enjoining all persons who cat milk, butter, or cheese, laitage, during Lent, to put their contributions into it. I thought that the description of person applied very well to myself, but I did not contribute. In another church I saw a painted figure of St. Fiacre, the tutelary deity of hackney-coaches, er Jarvies; he was clad in the robes of a Bishop, and held a book in his
hand: I suppose the editio princeps of the Book of Fares, as published by the Commissioners of Hackney-coaches. I thought that there was a strong family likeness; I have seen many of the children who resembled the father. I was glad to have an opportunity to return thanks to this divine personage for all favours, and to pray for a continuance of them. The cathedral is seated on a rock, lofty, steep, and defended on one side by the Meuse, on the other by the Sambre, and behind by rocks. It seems as if it would be very difficult to get into such a place; but brave men can go any where, and can defend any place; and unless men be brave, all fortifications are useless. There must be a fine view from the top ; it would have been a pleasant thing to have climbed up. I supposed that the governor of the place, either would or would not have given permission to see it, and I heard in the morning that he would, and that some travellers had seen it; but the being passed about with much absurd form, from one guard to another, and all the military boastings about the strength of the place, would have made the ascent a tiresome bore. The battlements, or parapet of the bridge, are upon a good plan, which I do not remember to have seen in any other place; they are, in fact, two steps; upon the lowest, you can sit conveniently, and lay your arm upon the highest, and look over it; and is is not so high as to obstruct the view of walkers. Many persons were sitting in this manner; a bridge is for various reasons a nice lounging place. I went to bed early, and rose at four.
Saturday Aug. 14th.-We took coffee, went on board the barge at six, and started about half-past. I found the barge tolerably convenient. The banks of the Mease are beautiful; there are fine rocks on both sides; trees, villages, pleasant seats and chateaus. The river swarms with fish; their sudden and quiet dartings were visible through the clear water; some were of a good size. The stream was with us, but the river was very low; the bottom of the barge scraped in many places against the gravel. We were towed by one horse; when the wind sprung up we took him on board, and put up a small sail. About half way to Huy we saw and welcomed the first vineyards; they are on the left banks, and continue all the way to Liege. We reached Huy at eleven ; its citadel stands on a lofty roek; the surrounding country is beautiful. We had a dinner of cold meat, fish, and excellent fruit. Namur and Liege are said to be fine fruit countries. There was a large lump of butter on the table, stamped with the cross and the letters IHS. This is carrying superstitious trifling to the utmost, and could only be surpassed by making butter-prints of the Pope's bulls. The town is small, ancient, and neat. The loss of any tooth, but especially of the sweet tooth, is a real loss. My companions still retained that valuable little bone: they were delighted to see a good pastry-cook's shop; they stood and admired it, and pointed out some cakes peculiar to this country, called galettc; they were square and pierced with square holes: I was in great haste, and had none of the small money of the country, or I would have purchased oue. It is a happiness to like any thing, even a cake; they are the happiest who have the most likes and the fewest dislikes. At noon we went on board another boat; it was much larger than the first, but less neat and less commodious. It was crammed with gouds of all sorts, and, besides the passengers from Namur, there were a great many countrywomen and children ; it seemed, in short, to be the great medium of carriage and communication: boats were continually coming alongside to take aray, or to supply passengers and goods. There were four borses on board, but we did not use them; they were, I presume, to draw the barge back again against the stream: we had only a little sail, and as the wind died away, our course was slow and tedious. The banks are not so high, and the river is wider, but the whole distance is nearly as beautiful as that which we made before dinner. There are iron mines: they were washing the ore in many places on the left bank: there are also lime-kilns and coal-pits, but they do not make the country so detestable as in our coal countries: here they are not blessed with steam-engines; and an audacious contempt for public convenience is only to be found in England, where the government sets the example, and individuals follow it with great spirit. It began to rain, and we arrived at Liege in the wet. The children were busy with branches of trees, and were preparing for a religious procession that was to take place the next week. I had heard from many persons that the people of this city are uncivil and stupid: a fellow carried my bags through the rain in a most barbarous manner, and let them fall two or three times; he grumbled exceedingly at what was given him, and was extremely dissatisfied, although it was the usual and fit sum. Soon after I had reached the inn I was crossing the yard by the frequented path, when a mastiff, that was chained up in a corner where no one could see him, (and being a Walloon he did not give notice by barking,) flew upon me, and seized me by the right knee; with my left foot I gave him such a hearty, sincere, undisguised kick in the belly, that the dog had the sense to take it as it was meant. He tore my pantaloons a good deal, but only bruised my knee a little, without breaking the skin, so that I was none the worse, and I felt more pleasure at having got off so well, than displeasure at the cynic, who possibly thought that pain, at least in another, is no evil. Our supper was in the rough; the wine execrable. My bed-room stunk, and the windows could not be opened. They neglected to call me in the morning, although particularly desired, a gross breach of social faith; and no attendance could be procured, either by bell or voice. They had besides two great criteria of the savage which I had observed in Ireland, and have heard may be found in the highlands of Scotlandfirst, the better sort of people take infinite pains to persuade you that it is not a barbarous place, but very civilized ; second, you can get nothing done for you, except through the mediation and intercession of a person of the country, and then, with a great show of alacrity, it is exceedingly ill done. On the other hand, people who have lived at Liege, say that the inhabitants are kind, friendly, and neighbourly: the defects which I observed might be peculiar to the inn where I lodged, although I had been told, perhaps by an interested party, that it was the best in the town. There is a certain frankness in the people which pleases; the master and mistress dined at table with the guests in a familiar manner; and the landlord shook hands heartily at parting, and wished me a safe and pleasant journey. There were twin sisters, daughters of the house, as the phrase is, fourteen years of age, remarkably alike: a pleasant sight to persons who are fond of children—that