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We meet the traveller in England, impart to him the information necessary for the purpose of preparation, directing him in reference to the management of his passport and luggage at home and on the Continent; we lead him by the most approved routes through his tour, and place before him every item of instruction useful to him in his journey. We do not, however, say that our work is faultless. Were it so, we should have achieved an impossibility, for we believe that Hand-Books are “like watches, the worst better than none—the best cannot be expected to go quite true.” We know the severe ordeal a Hand-Book for travellers abroad has to pass through ; we can thoroughly appreciate the merciless criticism which will test its truth when weighing its accuracy on the very spot described, but, however, we fearlessly and confidingly launch it forth, trustful in the forbearance of all, whilst hopeful that those who make use of it will kindly favour us by forwarding to us corrections of any errors or inaccuracies they may discover in it.
In conclusion, we can only remark that in the editing of the present volume we have aimed at the medium between an useless repetition of detail, and the annoyance of a tasteless brevity of description ; and trust the traveller may not find it less useful than interesting.
PASSPORTS—MONEY-POSTING—DILIGENCES, HIRED CARRIAGES, BARRIERS, ROADS
_VIGILANTES-BELGIAN HOTELS-PRICES OF REFRESHMENT AT THE BELGIAN RAILWAY STATIONS-GENERAL VIEW OF BELGIUM-RAILWAYS IN BELGIUM.
* See BRADSHAW's Continental Guide, published monthly, for the latest particulars
under these several heads.
PASSPORTS are not requireă on entering Belgium, and they are also abolished in Holland, as far as British subjects are concerned ; but whether required or not, it is always useful for the traveller to have one to shew when called upon. It may be obtained through our Agent, Mr. W. J. Adams, 59, Fleet Street. Consulate, 57, 59, Ludgate Hill; Embassy, 43, Brook Street.
Custom House.—Travellers proceeding through Belgium to the Rhine must enter their luggage for Cologne, where it is · xamined.
MONEY.-Circular notes are given by most of the principal London Bankers, and form a very safe and convenient kind of Letters of credit. The arrangements for cashing them in the various ountries through which the traveller may have to pass are very simple and efficient, precluding almost the possibility of fraud. As a letter of indication is given with them, we would caution tourists to keep the one in their pocket-book and the other in their baggage. Although in some places accounts are still kept in guilders and cents, French money is so generally current that a traveller who confines himself to Belgium need not provide himself with any other. At all the large towns English sovereigns will be readily exchanged, and should command the full equivalent of 25 fr. 20 cts., or as near as possible, according to the rate of exchange. A new gold coin, 25 francs value, has recently heen issued. The Belgian bank issues notes of the value of 1,000, 500, 100, 50, 20 and 5 francs.
BELGIAN AND FRENCH MONEY.
Louis d'or = 24 francs
19 Leopold d'or, Napoleon, or Twenty Franc Piece...... 15 10 Posting is now nearly obsolete, but a post is equivalent to five English, or about one German, mile, or to two Belgian or French leagues. The charge per post, for each horse, is 1 fr. 30 cts., and for each postilion that distance, 15 sous. A berlin or landau will take three or four horses; a chariot, three ; britzka, though carrying the same number of persons, two.
DILIGENCES.-HIRED CARRIAGES.-BARRIERS.—ROADS. On all the high roads which have no railroads to compete with, diligences are found to run. They travel at the rate of about six miles an hour, and generally belong to private individuals licensed by government.
HIRED CARRIAGES.—A voiture, with two horses, can be engaged for about 30 fr. per day, including 5 fr. to the driver. 25 fr. a day, back fare, must be paid (making in all 50 fr. for carriage and horses).
BARRIERS.—There is a toll-gate each league, at which four-wheeled carriages are charged 10 cents., and each horse 20 cents., the return included.
Roads.-In general the Belgian roads are paved, thus rendering travelling over them very fatiguing, especially to ladies.
VIGILANTES.- A kind of cab called by the above name can be hired for 1 fr., or before 7 a.m. for 14 fr., which will convey the traveller and his luggage to his resting place. He should take one at once on his arrival and thus save himself the annoyance he is, otherwise, sure to suffer from porters and commissionnaires of the hotels.
The general tariff is 1 fr. per course, and, if engaged by the hour, 1} fr. the first hour, and i fr. each hour afterwards.
BELGIAN HOTELS—BUFFETS-CARRIAGES, &c. HOTELS.-The following are the average charges :-From 15 to 2z fr. for bed; table d'hôte, 2 to 3 r.; dinner in a separate apartment, by one's self, 5 fr., susper at
table d'hôte, 1 fr. 50 cents. to 2 fr.; a bottle of Bordeaux vin ordinaire, 3 fr.; breakfast with eggs and meat, 1 fr. 50 cents.; coffee, tea, and bread and butter, 1 to 14 fr.; servants, 50 cents. to 1 fr. each.
PRICES OF REFRESHMENTS AT THE BELGIAN RAILWAY STATIONS OR BUFFETS.Buffets-Restaurants établis dans les Stations de Malines, Tirlemont, Landen, Liége, Pepinster, Verviers, Gand, Courtrai, Mouscron, Brain-le-Comte, et Quiévrain.Tarif des Comestibles et Boissons. fr.cts.
fr. cts. Bouillon 0 40 Vin de Cabarus, long bouchon, seconde
3 0 Beefsteak aux pommes de terre, avec pain. 1 10 qualité
.....la bouteilles Roastbeef aux pommes de terre, avec pain. 1 10
Id. de Château-Margaux
id. 5 0 Filet de beuf rôti.......
1 10 Id. de Volney
id. 5 0 Côtelette de mouton
0 75 Id. de Pomard
id. 3 0 Portion de veau chaud ou côtelettes avec
Id. de Nuits
3 0 1 0 pommes de terre
Id. de Châblis
0 Portion de poulet chaud
1 50 Id. de Moselle
id. 3 50 Veau froid avec un petit pain
0 75 Id. de Grave, prém. qualité...... id. 3 50 Jambon id. id. 0 75 Id. id. seconde id.
id. 3 0 Beuf sale id. id.
0 75 Id. de Tours
id. 2 50 Langue fumée id. id.
075 Id. de Rhin, prém. qualité
id. 4 0 Poulet froid, la portion
id. 3 50 Fromage, pain et beurre............................ 040 | Champagne mousseux, la bouteille de 6fr. à 10fr. Id. Anglais, pain et beurre ............ 0 50
VINS DE LIQUEUR. Un petit pain, berirre et fromage....
0 40 Madère
.................le verre 0 60 Déjeuner (café ou thé, pain et beurre) 0 50 Malaga
id. 0 60 Café la demi-tasse 0 50 Muscat
id. 0 60 BITRES. Frontignan ou Lunel...
id. 0 60 Une bouteille de Faro ou de Diest ............ 050 Porto
0 75 Le verre .... 0 15 Sherry (Xérès)
0 60 Une bouteille de lambic
LIQUEURS. Une cruchon de Louvain
0 32 Schiedam
.............le verre 0 35 Le verre ............. 0 16 Amer de Hollande
id. 0 35 Une bouteille de Bière de Bavière 0 75 Eau-de-Vie
id. 0 85 Bière brune, le verre
0 12 Cognac, Rhum, Kirsch .................. id. 0 35 Pale ale, la bouteille le verre
1 10 | Liqueurs fines de toute espèce id. 050 VINS. Marasquin
id. 0 75 Vin de Bordeaux ordinaire ......la bouteille 2 0 Punch à l'eau chaunde....
id. 050 Id. id. ......la id. 1 0
RAFRAÎCHISSEMENT. Id. de St. Julien
..la bouteille 3 0 Sirop de groiseille, de mûres, de fram? Id. de St. Emilion ......la bouteille 3
0 50 0 boises, de limon, ou de punch, le verre) Id. de St. Estèphe 3 0 Limonade ou orgeat
id. 0 50 Id. de Cabarus, long bouchon, prémiére,
Grog ou orgeat ........
0 50 3 50 qualité ................la bouteilles Eau sucrée avec eau de fleur d'orangery
050 NOTE.- The prices quoted in the above table must not always be depended upon, the charges sometimes varying at the different stations.
CARRIAGES.—Carriages of 2 wheels are charged 8 fr. from Quiévrain to Mons, and 32 fr. to Brussels; those of 4 wheels, 12 fr. from Quiévrain to Mons, and 48 fr. to Brussels; and of 2 wheels, 44 fr. from Mouscron to Brussels.
Dogs.—Dogs are charged at the rate of third class fare.
PRIVATE CARRIAGEŚ.—Persons travelling in private carriages pay third class fare in addition to the charge for the carriage.
GENERAL VIEW OF BELGIUM. Belgium (or La Belgique) is a modern name taken from the ancient Belgae in Gallia Belgica, a tribe conquered by Cæsar, B.c. 51, some of whom emigrated to Britain. As part of the Netherlands, it came, in A.D. 877, under the Dukes of Burgundy, the last of whom was Charles the Bold, who reigned 1467–77. In 1477 the Netherlands were transferred to Maximilian, Emperor of Germany. His son, the Emperor Charles V., was born at Ghent. From 1598 they came under Spain, till 1714, when they reverted to Austria; and continued to be governed by the Archdukes of the Empire down to 1795, when they were conquered by the French. Between 1794 and 1815, Belgium made nine departments of France. With Holland, it formed the kingdom of the Netherlands from 1815 down to 1830; since which it has ranked as a separate and independent kingdom. In the August of 1830 the Belgian provinces revolted, and threw off the yoke of Holland. On the 4th of October following, the independence of the kingdom was proclaimed by the provisional government, and recognised in the month of December by the allied powers of Europe.
The National Congress assembled at Brussels in 1831, and offered the throne of the new kingdom to the Duke of Nemours, which, on the son's behalf, was refused by his father, the late Louis Philippe, then King of the French. The next choice of the National Representatives fell upon Prince Leopold of Saxe Coburg, widower of the Princess Charlotte of England, and uncle to Queen Victoria ; who, as Leopold I., ascended the throne, and took the oaths prescribed by the constitution, on the 22nd July, 1831, in the presence of the assembled representatives of the nation. His son, the reigning king, Leopold II., born 9th April, 1835, ascended 10th December, 1865. He married the Archduchess Maria, 22nd August, 1853, and has two daughters. A son died 1869; and the king's brother, the Count of Flanders, is present heir-apparent. He married, 1867, the Princess Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen.
The Belgic territory is small when compared with other European kingdoms, it being no more than one-eighth of the size of Great Britain, with a population of 5,250,000; yet the important position which it has occupied in the political, military, commercial, and agricultural history of Europe, its former celebrity in manufactures and the fine arts, and its present rapid progress in every industrial pursuit and social improvement, invest it with a peculiar interest for the historian, the traveller and the student.