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fully seen, to the present day, in the deep brilliancy and liveliness discernible in all his works, which, by the freshness and perfect preservation of their colours, excite the wonder and admiration of every traveller. And it is also certain that this school must have achieved a high character for proficiency in this department, since we find Antonello of Menina, an Italian artist, travelling into Flanders in order to acquire a knowledge of it, though, two hundred years previously, oil painting had been practised in Italy.
With the works of Van Eyck and his brother must be associated those of Hans Memling, erroneously styled Hemling, another artist of the same school, whose chefs d'ouvre are found in Bruges, in the Hospital of St. John.
In studying the productions of the early Flemish school we must not forget that their path was a new and entirely original one. Without the classic works of antiquity to guide them, or the great models of later times to mitate, they were forced by the necessity of circumstances to fall back upon the volume of nature; from it they took their models, and hence that formality and stiffness and meagreness of outline, so unpleasantly combined with a want of refinement in their works, which defects are more than covered by the conscientiousness, solemnity, and truthful force of expression marking them. An examination of the works of Quentin Matsys, Frans Floris, Van der Weyden, Van der Goes, Mabuse, Coxcie, Breughel, Jordaens, De Vos, the Bringhaes, &c., down to Otto Veen or Venius, Breughel, Teniers, and Rubens will clearly show the development and progress of the Flemish school.
SCHOOL OF RUBENS.—Rubens and his illustrious pupil Vandyke may be looked upon as the presiding geniuses of the second epoch in the history of the Belgian or Flemish school. We cannot, in any language of our own, better exhibit the character of the school, than that in which the head of it is described by Sir Joshua Reynolds, in the following extract:-“ The elevated situation in which Rubens stands in the esteem of the world, is a sufficient reason for some examination of his pretensions. His fame is extended over a great part of the Continent without a rival; and it may justly be said that he enriched his country, not in a figurative sense alone, by the great examples of art which he left, but by what some would think a more solid advantage—the wealth arising from the concourse of strangers whom his works continually invited to Antwerp. To extend his glory still further, he gives to Paris one of its most striking features, the Luxembourg Gallery ; and if to these we add the many towns, churches, and private cabinets, where a single picture of Rubens confers eminence, we cannot hesitate to place him in the first rank of illustrious painters.”
In the present age, Belgium possesses a School of Artists, whose productions, especially those historical ones of Wappers de Keyzer, Bufre, Maes, Gallait (died 1887), and Van Lerins (died 1876), will bear competition with the best productions of the other schooļs of the present day,
ARCHITECTURE has been carried to its highest degree of perfection in the construction of the cathedrals and town halls of Belgium, which display the finest specimens of the ornamental Gothic style of the middle ages. In England, Gothic architecture is confined chiefly to churches, but in Belgium it is shewn to be equally suitable to civic edifices and private dwellings. Fronts richly decorated with quaint and fantastic sculptures, lofty sloping roofs, full of windows, pointed gables, castellated towers, battlements, and projecting windows, combine to produce a general effect, which, from its grandeur and intricacy, delights the spectator.
The traveller should note that in Belgium, churches are usually closed from noon till three or four o'clock.
PREHISTORIC REMAINS.—These have been found at Engis, near Huy, and at Biche aux Riches, near Spy. Bone implements with carvings and several skulls of various types.
PRODUCTS.—Of 74 million acres, one-half is arable, one-fifth meadow, and another fifth is woodland. It yields wheat, rye, barley, flax, hemp, tobacco, potatoes; copper, zinc, lead, iron, and coal.
MANUFACTURES.—The industry of the Flemings has, within 200 years, converted a tract of land, once a sandy and barren heath, into a beautiful garden ; and the product of its wheat is often not less than sixteen to one, and oats ten to one, whilst scarcely in any part of Britain does wheat give more than eight or ten to one. East and West Flanders alone produce, annually, flax to the amount of £1,600,000, employing above 400,000 persons. Hops, beetroot, chicory, and tobacco are also grown. The coal mines of Hainault, &c., produce annually 12,000,000 tons, valued at £5,000,000 sterling ; about 3 million tons are exported. About 1,000,000 tons of iron ore are annually raised. The cloth manufactures of Verviers employ 4,000 men; and the cotton manufacture, notwithstanding the loss of the Dutch colonial markets, has improved steadily since 1830, and now represents a capital of £3,000,000 sterling. The woollen manufacture may be said to constitute the staple manufacturing trade of Belgium ; at all events, it is the object of immense industry, and a quantity of foreign wool, to the value of 14,000,000 francs, or about £600,000 sterling, is consumed annually. Hardware, cutlery, and fire-arms are produced at Namur, Mons, and Liége ; lace at Brussels, Malines, Louvain, and Bruges. Carpets, flax, and linen also constitute important items in the manufactures of Belgium. Its cotton manufacture represents a capital of 60,000,000 francs in buildings and machinery, and the number of hands employed is at least 122,000. A brisk trade is likewise carried on in silk, ribbons, hosiery, hats, leather, oil-cloth, paper, and lithography, iron and steel rails, locomotives, &c,
COMMERCE has greatly increased in Belgium lately. The principal Exports are the productions of its flourishing agriculture and numerous manufactures, such as corn, coal, oil, lace, woollen and cotton cloths, linen, canvas, arms, cutlery, iron rails, and ironmongery. The average amount of value of the Imports and Exports is £216,000,000 sterling, of which £26,500,000 are with England. The external commerce of Belgium suffered greatly by the revolution in 1830, as Holland has since retained and monopolised the trade with all the colonies which belong to the kingdom of the United Netherlands. Its mercantile marine, in 1880, numbered 64 sailing and steam vessels, and 280 fishing boats.
Religion.—Leopold I., when chosen, was a Protestant; the present King is a Roman Catholic, and that faith is the religion of the State. Every other form of faith has free exercise.
RAILWAYS.—Belgium is the first State in Europe in which a system of railways has been planned and executed partly at the public cost; and certainly it is an honourable distinction to have given the first example of such a national and systematic provision of the means of rapid communication. The undertaking was first projected in 1833, and the object proposed was to unite the principal commercial towns on one side with the sea, and on the other with the frontier of France and Prussia. In this respect Belgium is most favourably situated for the experiment of a general system of railroads. It is compact in form, moderate in size, and is surrounded on three of its sides by active commercial nations, and on the fourth by the sea, by which it is separated only a few hours' voyage from England. On the west are the two large and commodious ports of Antwerp and Ostend, and its east frontier is distant only a few leagues from the Rhine, which affords a connection with the nations of central and southern Europe. It is therefore in possession of convenient markets for its productions, and of great facilities for an extensive transit trade. The surface of the country is also most favourable, being for the most part very flat, and requiring but few of those costly works of railway tunnelling, and embanking, which serve to increase so enormously the expense of similar undertakings in England.
In 1886, there were about 2,740 miles of Railway in Belgium, forming a complete network between all the towns, large and small; of which four-sevenths belonged to the State, producing £5,122,000. Half of the whole system is steel. The average cost is £14,000 a mile. There were 3,893 miles of TELEGRAPH line open in 1886, with 925 Stations; and there were 816 Post-OFFICES in 1886. Telegraph messages to England (not the Continent) are 5d. for 10 words (exclusive of the address), and 1d. for every five words oyer. From England, 2d. per word.
TRAINS leave by the London, Chatham, and Dover improved and lengthened, is defended by several Line, from Victoria, about 8 0 and 11 | mrn. and small forts, and consists of a large quay, terminated 8 0 aft. (1 & 2 class), and St. Paul's at 7 56 and by two long wooden piers, stretching into the sea. 10 56 mrn. and 7 56 aft. (1 & 2 class); and by the Its inhabitants are chiefly engaged in the herring South Eastern Line, from Charing Cross, at 8 0 and cod-fishery trade, and carry on a considerable and 11 0 mrn. and 8 5 aft. (1 & 2 class), and traffic in Dutch spirits. Calais has several large from Cannon Street at 8 5 and 11 5 mrn, and and flourishing manufacturing establishments8 10 aft. (1 & 2 class); arriving at Dover at 9 45 the bobbinet (tulle) lace, flax spinning, and shipmrn. and 12 45 and 10 0 aft. Steamers start from building trades are carried on there with great Dover at 9 55 mrn. and 12 55 and 10 5 aft.; vigour. Several mills have been established, arriving at Calais about 11 40 mrn. and 2 35 and steam-engines have also been introduced in 11 45 aft. A Special Express Mail leaves London increased numbers, and factories have been erected at 11 a.m. for Brussels, in 9 hours. There is also within the inner rampart. It is stated that a Special Fixed Night Service (3rd class). See 55,000,000 of eggs are annually exported from this Bradshaw's Continental Guide.
place to England. Calais (Station).-Hotels :
The pier of Calais is three-quarters of a mile in Hotel Dessin, formerly Hotel Quillac; open for length, and is used as an agreeable promenade. night trains and boats.
On a spot of it is seen the pillar erected to comDe Flandre,
memorate the return of Louis XVIII. to France. Hotel Meurice, Rue de Guise, near the Station It originally bore the following inscription :-"Le and Quay.
24 Avril, 1814, S. M. Louis XVIII. debarqua vis-àParis Hotel.
vis de cette Colonne et fut enfin rendu a l'amour Buffet at the railway station.
des Francais; pour en perpétuer le souvenir la ville Calais is a second-class fortress, and contains de Calais a élevé ce monument," i.e., His Majesty about 12,600 inhabitants. It is surrounded by Louis XVIII. disembarked opposite this column on sand-hills on one side and by morasses on the the 24th April, 1814, and was at last restored to the other, which, though detracting from its beauty, love of the French people, &c. The town of Calais yet add much to its military strength. The town
erected this monument to commemorate the event. is situated in a very barren and non-picturesque A brazen plate was fixed on the exact spot where district. It has latterly been re-fortified, and its the monarch's foot stepped, in order to further works strengthened considerably, particularly to commemorate the act; but at the revolution of the sea coast. Its harbour, which has been much 1830 both plate and inscription were effaced,
leaving the pillar to stand as a monument of the be duly marked for transit, and they will avoid the capriciousness of French enthusiasm. Calais has annoyance of a custom-house search in France. very little to interest; and though one or two Steamers ply thrice each day between Calais incidents in its history are fraught with deep and Dover, making the voyage in about one hour interest, particularly the embarkation of French and a half. Steamers direct to London twice a troops on board of English ships for the Baltic, week, in from 10 to 12 hours. during the Crimean war, yet its objects of
Calais to Lille, 65 English miles. attraction are few, and may be visited in about
Leaving the station at the end of the pier, near two hours. Its principal Gate, built in 1635 by
to the gate, Cardinal Richelieu, and figured by Hogarth in his celebrated picture, is worth a short inspection.
St. Pierre (Station), in the suburbs, is passed,
and The Hôtel de Guise will also interest the English traveller, as having been the place where
Ardres (Station) arrived at. It is a small Henry VIII. lodged, 1520, and as the original fortress, situated on a canal. A little to the west building where was established the Guildhall of of the road, between the town and Guisnes, is the the mayor and aldermen of the “staple of wool,"
spot called by historians the “Field of the Cloth of founded in 1363 by Edward III. The Hôtel de Gold," where Henry VIII. of England and Francis Ville, or Town Hall, situate in the market place, 1. of France met in 1520. It is so called from the will repay a visit. Within are all the public cloth of gold covering the tents and pavilions offices, and the front of it is ornamented with occupied by the two monarchs and their suites, busts of St. Pierre, of the Duke of Guise, and of comprising 5,696 persons, with 4,325 horses. Cardinal de Richelieu. It is surmounted by a
Audruicq (Station). Watten (Station), belfry containing a chime of bells. The tower and
St. Omer (Station). steeple of the principal Church, built when Calais
Population, 21,850. appertained to England, deserve attention.
Hotels :-Hotel de la Porte d'Or, Rue St. Bertin. mediately to the rear of the choir is & modern
Du Commerce. circular chapel, and the church itself is a fine
A third-rate fortress, situated in a marshy disstructure, built in the early Gothic style.
trict on the Aa, well built and strongly fortified; English Service at Trinity Church and in St.
streets wide and well made. A plentiful supply Pierre.
of refreshing water is afforded from 12 fountains in The ramparts around the town and Pier form
different quarters. The Hôtel de Ville is situated admirable promenades. The Basse-Ville, or lower
in the Place d'Armes. Beyond the walls are two town, is a pleasant walk on a fête day. The new
considerable suburbs, between which and Clairlighthouse should be visited. It is one of the most
marais are situated, amid extensive marshes, beautiful examples of mechanism in the world.
several floating islands, covered with trees and The view from the summit of the tower presents a excellent pasture. The proprietors row them like panoramic scene of great beauty, comprising, on a a boat to land their cattle or take them up. The clear day, the distant cliffs of England and the
town is on the line of railway from Calais to Lille. outlines of Dover Castle. The public cemetery Living is said to be cheap. It possesses two outside the town contains the ashes of Lady ecclesiastical buildings well worthy of noticeHamilton (Nelson's Emma), who expired here, the Cathedral, and Abbey Church of St. Bertin. destitute and impoverished.
The magnificent Cathedral, situated in the Railway from hence to Lille, then direct to Rue St. Bertin, exhibits a transition from the Brussels and all parts of Be!gium; also to Douai round to the pointed style of architecture. and Paris.
Its east end is of a polygonal termination, Custom House.—Travellers proceeding to Bel- with projecting chapels. The interior of the gium or Germany should inform the authorities church is in good preservation, and the small of their place of destination, and by what train Chapel of the Virgin has been lately redecorated. they intond to proceed; their luggage should then At the extreme end of the street in which this