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werp we reached Brussels on the evening of the 20th of July, and remained there about three days. Brussels is pleasantly situated on the river Senne, although some of the streets running back from the river are rather too steep. It stands mostly on the acclivity and top of a hill. It has a magnificent park, two grand boulevards, and many fine squares.
On the 21st there was a royal parade, and religious services were held at the Cathedral of St. Gudule, it being the anniversary of the late King's death. There was a great crowd and considerable military display. With some difficulty we obtained admission to the church, where we hired chairs to stand upon, in order to see over the heads of the populace. There were present the King and Queen, judges of the court, officers of the army, all the foreign ministers, and other officials, all in their uniform or regalia, save the American consul, who represented the United States on that occasion, our minister, Mr. Jones, having recently resigned and left for home. The judges wore long robes. faced with scarlet silk. Most of the officials had taken their seats be ore the arrival of the King and Queen, on whose appearance they all rose, and the King and Queen bowed pleasantly right and left to them as they passed to their seats at the right of the altar. We had a good view of all these dignitaries. The King is a tall, fine looking man, between forty and fifty, we should judge, and the Queen, a very pretty lady, is somewhat younger. At the close of the ceremonies they passed out first,
bowing as when they came in. There was a grand flourish of trumpets both inside of the church and in the streets. We have a photograph of the pulpit of this church, and, like the one in St. James' at Antwerp, of which also we obtained a good photograph, it is remarkable for the beautiful carving, which must have cost no small sum. “The pulpit of St. Gudule is formed of wonderfully carved groups of figures, representing the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise. The figures are the size of life.
Above the pulpit, which is supported by the tree of knowledge, stands the Virgin, holding the infant Jesus in her arms, who is endeavoring to thrust the cross into the serpent's head.” In fact, the churches, some of them, in both these cities abound in wonderful carvings, mostly of wood, but some in ivory-all remarkably perfect. In the old square in the lower part of the city, where the Hôtel de Ville is situated, the architecture of four several centuries is represented. Brussels is regarded as perhaps the best place for laces; therefore we made it an object to visit several lace stores and manufactories of lace in different parts of the city. All the people here whom we met spoke French, thus enabling us to transact business with them much easier than we could do in Holland, where Hollandaise and Flemish are the languages generally spoken among the common people. Besides several of the churches, all interesting as containing magnificent altars and many fine paintings, we visited the National Gallery of Fine Arts, and a gallery of very beautiful modern paintings and statuary near the King's Palace. The former is divided into three departments; "the first contains the paintings of the great Flemish masters, from Van Eyck to Rubens, and their numerous pupils; the second contains a splendid Library of two hundred thousand volumes and twenty thousand manuscripts; many of the latter were collected at a very early period by the Dukes of Burgundy, and are of great value; the third, the Museum of Natural History, which is in the lower story, and surpasses in extent and value every other in the kingdom.” In the gallery of modern paintings are many of Verboeckhoven's works, remarkable for their true resemblance to nature, his sheep and cattle being perfect. We have been also to the famous Wertz Gallery, where there are some very curious pictures, better designated, perhaps, as monstrosities. There is one horrible picture here, representing a person come to life in his entombed coffin. Among the natural pictures we were particularly struck with one of an old concierge sitting asleep by a window, his newspaper open before him. Beneath was a picture of two beautiful maidensone leaning over the window-sill, showing both bare arms and bust, and the other showing head, shoulder, and one side of bust. Near the floor a fine picture of a dog, with white nose and paws, lying asleep in his kennel by his lunch bowl. Another, the picture of a maiden leaning out of a window on her right arm, and showing most of her bosom, in her right hand a flower and in the left a bouquet, and pressing back the green window curtain. Looking over her shoulder is the beautiful face of another maiden. All these figures stand out from the canvas in a wonderful manner.
On the 22d there was a grand military review by the King; and from the number of regiments present we infer that the whole military force of Belgium was called out on that occasion. Preferring to visit the Gallery and other places of interest, we did not seek positions on the field, but we saw great bodies of troops marching through the streets, affording a good opportunity to judge of their appearance. What struck us as most remarkable was the small size of the men. Compared with some of our own regiments we used to see in Washington during the late war, they were little more than pigmies; nevertheless, they doubtless understand well how to handle the musket and saber. Beyond the military the crowd was immense. On the evening of the 21st we witnessed splendid fireworks at the foot of the Park. Our pleasant Scotch friends took leave of us in Brussels, where we at the same time made the acquaintance of Mr. Usher, United States Marshal, from Massachusetts, with whom we made a trial to find our Minister, not then knowing that he had gone home.
We left Brussels at two o'clock P. M., and arrived at Cologne at ten P. M. on the 23d. We have never anywhere seen more productive fields than we saw on this route, particularly between Brussels and Liege. They are loaded with grain, now being cut and stacked, rank potatoes, beets, clover, etc. this part of the route the face of the country is quite level, and the order in which trees are growing in the fields and on both sides of the highways, together with the abundant crops, gives the observer a landscape view on which it would seem the eye could never tire.
At Cologne the greatest interest centers in the Cathedral, which, although commenced in 1248, is not yet completed. It is most remarkable for its great dimensions and magnificent Gothic architect
As a Gallery of Art it is far behind two or three of the churches we visited in Antwerp; but it contains some fine paintings by Rubens, who was a native of this city, and other artists. Numerous wonderful relics are shown here, for pay — among them the bones of the three wise men of the East, who came to Bethlehem to present their offerings to the infant Saviour; one of St. Matthew's bones; and the skulls of the Magi, crowned with diamonds. In the Church of St. Ursula, likewise, there are other relics equally wonderful, including “the chains with which St. Peter was bound, and one of the clay vessels used by the Saviour at the marriage in Cana. The skeleton of St. Ursula herself, surrounded by the skulls of some of her followers, is also exhibited in a coffin; and in the Cathedral there is a large painting of her with her eleven thousand virgins, who, tradition says, made a pilgrimage with her on foot from Basle to Rome, where they were received with great honors by the Holy Father. She was the daughter of the King of Brittany; and on their return, we have it from the same authority, that, because they refused to break their vows of chastity, they were all put to death by the Huns.
There are at least three bridges across the Rhine at Cologne-one being built on boats; one of iron, three arched spans; and the third a square-built, massive structure of iron and stone, with two separate carriage-ways. We walked over the latter, from which we had a good view of the river as well as of the city, through the business part of which we also chose to make our way on foot and look, at pleasure, at whatever attracted our attention, not forgetting to buy a couple of bottles of Cologne at the very headquarters of that celebrated article.
At the moment of starting from Cologne up the