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amid many that are more unintelligible to the groom, there is the least little movement at the corners of that man's mouth. The sum total of the matter is, that the Baron went to the Great Exhibition, and is bringing home to Belgium, as a remembrancer of it, a pair of diseased horses. lie did not buy them in the Crystal Palace, I suppose; but, as foreigners usually do, he wished to buy what England is considered famous for, so he bought a pair of horses from a London jockey, and hired the jockey's groom to bring them over to Belgium; and, when fairly out to sea, the groom let the case take care of itself, and so it was soon found out that the horses were, as the Captain says, very nearly fit to be thrown overboard.
Of course, this is not creditable to England; and, though the groom's eye says it is one of the cleverest things that England, or the English, ever performed, I am sure Prince Albert will not be pleased when he hears of it. But English people who buy what other countries are famous for, without understanding anything of what they buy, very often find themselves in the Baron's position, only they do not make such a fuss about it.
"Will he not reclaim, and get back his money?" said an old Frenchman.
"In order to do so," said a young man, with an air of superior knowledge, "it would be necessary to bring the Captain and crew, and all the passengers to London, and maintain them there as long as the trial lasted; and, as English trials last a long time, that would not be worth while."
"Then the Baron is without resource,'' was the sage reply.
A little soft hand was put into mine ; a little soft voice said, "I wish we were out of this lonely place." It was the child who thought she had had such a nice quiet passage while sleeping at St. Katharine's wharf. I looked round; the idea of the loneliness of the sea struck me more than it had ever done.
"I wish we were out of this great lonely place," she said; "why do they not put out some ships, or even a few boats, to keep us company, as they did near London V
"Dear little egotist! they were there merely for your sake! We often indulge in such pleasant deceits.''
The child looked into my face. "I do not know what you mean," she said, "but I wish you would ask the Captain to take us quicker out of this lonely place.''
Away from dreary Ostendto grand old Ghent;— modernized youthful-looking Ghent also; it is an ancient and stately dowager attired in juvenile and modish dress. I thought I should like to get there on this bright Sunday morn; so I started by railway from Ostend directly after landing. But what a Sabbath is here! I should have stopped at dull and lifeless Bruges instead, where the grass grows literally under the people's feet. At Ghent they do not suffer that. Here has come that mighty workman of our nineteenth century— that "vapour " which is truly the life of many,— which has changed so rapidly the face of the civilized world, and the condition of society; here steam is doing the work of all those valiant Flemish weavers of olden time, who were as fond of fighting as of weaving, and, like the factory folk of our days, were ready for a turn-out on any occasion. But in modern Ghent one can hardly dream over romance history; Bruges is the place for that.
It was not yet ten o'clock, when I found myself rather suddenly in the midst of a goat-market, on this bright Sunday morn. Every second person had a goat by the head or horns, buying or selling. The streets are lined with stalls, crowded with purchasers. But hark! amid the varied din comes on a distinct, unmingled sound,—a sound unlike all others; bringing different thoughts, telling of different things. It is the solemn chant of priests. I know it well, though it is long since I have heard it thus mingling with the common hum of men, passing through the murmur of everyday public life; like the stream of fresh water unmingling with the ocean it enters.
Solemn and slow, with clouds of incense, tinkling bells, and mellow voices, on comes a grand procession; beneath the canopy the Bishop bears the host; bare-headed priests precede him singing; on they come, through lines of armed men, through ranks of spectators, through throngs of buyers and sellers; the most pious kneel, the comparatively pious uncover their heads, all stand for a moment quiet and silent. The procession passes; and the incense goes up on the summer air, and the bells ring, and the priests chant,—and behind it, as it moves on, the people buy and sell and get gain.
Most persons who wish to cut the Gordian knot by which the miseries of a part of the otherwise nourishing British dominions are inexplicably tied, ascribe to Popery the concatenation of evils that afflict poor Ireland. But how is it, then, that two countries wherein Popery, i.e. the Roman faith, is dominant and uncontrolled,—I mean Belgium and Tyrol, are. in conditions so very different from that of our poor little step-sister?
It would be hard to find two Protestant countries where industry, perseverance and activity are more plainly seen, or better rewarded, than in these; and such qualities are precisely those in which our unfortunate step-sister of the West is so lamentably deficient. Yet their religion is the same; piety characterises the Tyrolese at least as much as activity, independence, and loyalty. And here, the very aspect of the beauti