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SEQUEL TO THE “ VISIT TO WATERLOO."
TO THE EDITORS,
custom-house officers, porters, I HAD intended to confine and ragged boys, who addressed myself, in this paper, to some us in a jargon of tongues, some remarks on the state of society speaking the Flemish language, in that part of the Netherlands some broken English, and some through which I passed; but the French ;- the last of which I your juvenile readers will, pro- found to be the most convenient bably, not be displeased to find medium of intercourse, not only these observations blended with at Ostend, but in all the towns in occasional notices of the general the Netherlands. appearance of the country, and Stepping for the first time on of the principal objects which a foreign shore, I was conscious attract a traveller's attention. of feelings which I cannot well
Sailing early in the morning, describe. The novelty of every from the Isle of Thanet, we lost object excited a high degree of sight of the North Foreland about interest, and irresistibly claimed noon, and soon after approached investigation;yet caution restrainthe coast of France, closely ed my eagerness, for the ground enough to look into the roads of did not seem to be as firm under Dunkirk, and to see, without the my feet as that which I had left: aid of a glass, the white flag and the pleasing consciousness of which was flying on the steeple. safety to which I had been acA French lugger boat, with twelve customed in my native land had, men on board, crossed our stern, I found, in a great measure forand the crew used very menacing saken me. Advancing into the gestures, but they did not molest town, and growing more familiar us. At dusk we were within with the scene, my attention was sight of Ostend, and came to arrested at every step by ludianchor for the night in a calm crous attempts at English inscripsea; but, about midnight, a gale tions on the fronts of the houses, sprang up, which, for several by the sight of women arrayed hours, rendered the motion of the in tattered clothes and splendid vessel distressingly violent. The necklaces, or of ostlers and posnext morning, an hour after sun tillions with gold rings dangling rise, we entered with great rapi- at their ears, while I had perdity the harbour of Ostend, which petually to repel some officious is chiefly formed by a vast offer to direct me to an hotel, wooden pier, stretching out more so that I made but little progress than half a mile into a boisterous for an hour after I had landed. and dangerous sea, and flanked A gentleman of Ostend, to by a battery of six heavy pieces whom I had a letter of credit,
In a few minutes our introduced me to the commander vessel took her birth close in with of the garrison, whó very politely the quay; and we were instantly granted me the necessary passsurrounded by a motley group of ports, and added to them some
* Baptist Magazine for September.
advice as to the manner of pur-cence in its general structure, and suing my journey. A number of an elegance in its statuary and Belgic recruits, training for the paintings, which far exceed any field, some English regiments just thing I had before seen, and disembarked from the transports, which I should admire in any and the vicinity of a large market, place, but one that is professedly rendered the port and town of devoted to the worship of Jesus Ostend a very busy scene. Amidst Christ. Such is the divine simthe crowd I perceived a consider- plicity of his religion, that I beable number of persons walking lieve it has never yet stooped to in one direction; and, following put on these meretricious orna, their steps, 1 soon found myself ments. Had the author of “ the in a large church, which was Velvet Cushion" himself been filled with disgusting images, en- with me during all the splendour chanting pictures, and deluded of the evening service, I cannot worshippers. Around the ex- say how much he might have terior of the church, too, there admired “the trappings of the is at every corner a crucifix, or throne, or the curtains of the an image of the Virgin, which sanctuary:" but I think he must receive far more attention from have exclaimed, “ This, though it their votaries, than the British is the religion of cathedrals, is people pay to a religion infinitely not the religion of the Son of more pure and exalted.
God.” I could see no traces of The town of Ostend has many the second commandment in all marks. of modern improvement the church. While, through all in the streets, as well as around the city, I had inquired in vain the harbour. These are chiefly for a Bible in the Flemish lanthe work of Napoleon; but a guage,-while I looked into the merchant assured me, that the Missals, and saw every word of heavy impositions necessary to them in a tongue unknown to the defray the expense of these erec- people, while I beheld the tions, had ruined most of the crowds who entered the church principal inhabitants. The canal crossing themselves with holy to Bruges, an ancient and stu- water, and bowing down to graven pendous work, is filled at high- images, — while I surveyed on water to the level of the sea, and every side superbly painted winin it vessels of five or six hundred dows and rows of tapers contons burden ride yery commodi- trived to throw a ously. Along this canal a large ous light” over the numerous. passage boat, drawn by horses, congregation, I said, “Oh! that passes to and from Bruges every the Sun of Righteousness might evening; the distance is twelve arise upon them, with healing in miles, and the fare but a single his wings !" I fear I did not, on franc for each person.
this occasion, pity the priests in At Bruges, a city which ap- their gorgeous apparel as much pears much larger than Bristol, as I ought to have done; but
paid as much attention to the certainly the people appeared to elegant squares and public build- me like those who wandered on ings, as a stay of ten or twelve the mountains of Israel sheep hours would admit, and my without a shepherd;" or, as those trouble was well repaid. The among whom“ grievous wolves great church exhịbits a magnifi- had entered, devouring the flock."
“ dim religi
On this occasion I was accom- of its high estimation, if placed panied by a Graduate of a British by the side of Mr. West's picture University. Returning from the of “Christ rejected." church, he said, “ If I had not From Ghent to Brussels the been brought up a Protestant, I country is highly cultivated, and think I should be of this religion; the scenery is agreeably diversiit is the finest,—it is the most fied by rising woodlands and solemn I ever saw.” “ Have you elegant villas. The distance is considered,” said I, “ that God thirty miles, and the usual conis a spirit, and that none but that veyance is the public diligence, worship which is in spirit, the which greatly resembles in its apworship of the understanding and pearance an English tilted waggon. of the heart, can possibly please it is drawn by five horses, and Him, or profit the worshipper?” carries nine inside passengers, and “I confess,” said he, “ I have three outside, seated in a cabriole, thought very little on the subject.” | a kind of covered coach-box
From Bruges to Ghent by the attached to the front. The fare canal is twenty-four miles, through is five francs and a half; and
flat and uninteresting country. this sum entitled each of us to be A magnificent barge accommo- miserably shaken on a paved road dates more than one hundred
for nine hours, ere we arrived at sons with a passage and an elegant the capital of Brabant. dinner, served up on board, for Brussels is equal to Ghent in the small sum of five francs each. ancient grandeur, and in modern On entering Ghent, which is con- elegance it is far superior. Of siderably more extensive than the former, the great marketBruges, my attention was arrested place and the town-house, with by an air of majesty diffused over its lofty steeple, are instances the principal parts of the city. which will attract the attention The great height and extent of of every traveller: and the latter the dwelling houses well assort is displayed to great advantage with the immensity of the public in the superb square called “La buildings; while large canals, Place Royale," the park and introduced into the principal its surrounding buildings. The openings, add greatly to the palace of Laken, the royal resigrandeur of the scene. The dence, about two miles from the largest church, which my guide city, well deserves a visit, for the called “L'Eglise Boven," has an beauty of its surrounding views exterior as imposing as that of as well as the extreme elegance Canterbury cathedral, and its of its furniture; but still more interior is still more grand than for the instruction which the that of the great church at Bruges. mind receives by observing that It is enriched by a profusion of there is not a cornice, or a table, sculpture, and paintings on scrip- or a chair, on which Napoleon has ture subjects by Flemish mas- not fixed the imperial eagle. ters; a view of which has render-Will the present royal owner, I ed me indifferent to almost all am ready to ask, suffer these the exhibitions which I had been memorials of folly and ambition most accustomed to admire. to remain ? Should he do this, There is a modern painting, “The it would, perhaps, display some Annunciation,” by Lance, which greatness of mind, and tend to would, I apprehend, lose nothing excite a belief that he may hold
the palace by a tenure less frail restraint on native vanity; and in than that of its late possessor.
the other, the hope of immortality But Brussels, at this time, ex- had communicated none of its hibited objects far more interest- elevation. To contemplate such ing to a thoughtful mind than society may be useful, to dwell royal palaces. On almost every in it would be miserable. “ To door, through many of the largest wear out time, and waste the day," streets, was inscribed the word all ranks have recourse to amuse"Blessés," (wounded,)“ dix ment: music, dancing and cards blessés, quinze blessés,” &c. are their perpetual employ. These inscriptions were designed At every hotel parties of muto guide the army surgeons in sicians perform during the dinner, their morning walks. Eleven and perambulate the streets the thousand of the brave men who rest of the day. I was attracted had been wounded at Waterloo by the superior performance of were then said to be in the city; one of these parties, and on a and I learned from one of the nearer approach I could see that surgeons that the cases were in it consisted of an elderly woman general very severe, and the daily and two young persons, who burials very numerous. I could were evidently her son and daughnot, however, find that my ter: the latter displayed some esteemed countrymen had any of sense of propriety, but the mother those advantages of a religious discovered none. The behaviour nature, which their situation ren- of several officers, to whom they dered so truly desirable; and it were performing, soon forced me was distressing to me to observe, to retire; but such scenes and that multitudes who witnessed such parents were to be met with these afflictive
every street. themselves abandoned to despic
Much that I saw at Brussels able frivolity and dissipation. will not bear description : but
Descriptions of the state of a few additional remarks may immanners in Paris almost every one part useful knowledge to youth has read, and from these a pretty who travel, and to those under accurate idea may be formed whose direction they are placed. of the levity which is diffused I had occasion to observe that, through the mass of society in on the continent, the path to vice Brussels, and which extends its is, at its entrance, much less disinfluence to the neighbouring gusting than it is in England, and cities. In some instances the men on this account proportionably discover a degree of natural more ensnaring. A visitor from thoughtfulness; but I searched in this country might be placed in vain for that delicacy of manners the worst of company, while he which in Britain is the ornament had scarcely any suspicion of his of female society. In Brussels danger; since there appears to be the women formed the great ma- no visible boundary between the jority of every crowd: and while virtuous and the vicious parts of the countenances of the young society, but both are perpetually appeared destitute of all care, blended under one general mask those of the old proclaimed an of easy politeness. It were better, absence of all dignity; in the surely, that wickedness should al. one instance, “ the wisdom that ways wear her own garb, in order is from above” had impressed no that the good might have warning
of her approach. Among a nu-| Belgian bishops have, since that merous company walking on the period, presented to the King of banks of a canal, I saw nothing the Netherlands, against all atoffensive in the dress of the tempts to introduce liberty of women, and, for a while, nothing conscience into their provinces. censurable in their manners: but, These fetters must be broken; when a company of officers ap- but it is improper to take the peared, I found, both to my sur- work out of those hands in which prise and regret, that a very large Divine Providence has placed it. proportion of the company had May the name of William be disguised, under the most pleasing come as dear to the Netherlands, appearances, all that desolates and for the same reason, as it virtuous society: and I saw, with has long been, to Britain ! ! still greater pain, that parents could not refrain, however, from could continue for hours, with conversing with some of the their sons and daughters by their children, and youth, whom I side, unalarmed and unconcern- found greatly ignorant of the first ed amidst scenes which must principles of religious knowledge, awfully pollute the early mind. I saw gratitude sparkling in the Let British parents be careful eye of some interesting lads, to how they unnecessarily expose whom I expressed my wishes that their rising charge to these dan- I, had leave to instruçt them. gers, and let the young man, One of them followed me, in a who would make this tour, be most engaging manner, to the aware of the necessity of taking vessel, and took leave of me with with him a wise counsellor and peculiar,affection. The streets of an obedient ear.
Bruges were full of these interest. The facilities which are now ing objects : beholding them Į afforded for visiting the Nether- exclaimed, “ Happy England!" lands:at a comparatively trifling I had almost forgotten to men. expense, are strong inducements tion, that, through all the Neto the journey, and, under proper therlands, the people manifest regulations, much useful know- the utmost contempt of the Sabledge may be gained by it, with bath. At Ghent, on that day, out incurring any considerable every place of amusement was danger. The period, I hope, crowded, the billiard-tables exwill arrive, though at present it posed to open view, and the is delayed by papal tyranny, streets full of stalls, as at a public when pious travellers will be per- fair. When I compared this conmitted to use all those means for tempt of divine ordinances with the moral improvement of the their strict observance of their inhabitants, which have been so own superstitious appointments, successful in other countries. 1 I said, “ Full well ye reject the heartily wished for some religious commandment of God that ye tracts in the. Flemish language; may keep your own tradition.” but I am not sure that it would It is, indeed, abundantly evihave been wise or safe, in the dent, that "the god of this world present circumstances of the hath blinded their eyes ;" and, by Netherlands, to attempt to dis- polluting the only influence tha tribute them. My doubts on could purify their hearts, las se. this head are strengthened by the cured their allegiance to himself, bold remonstrance which the What else can be the effect of a