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wife, but of course it is not a divorce, but only a separation of body and goods, neither party being allowed to marry again. He had the habit of drinking and sometimes staying out until midnight, and she remained up for him. But what entitled her to the separation was that some one testified that he struck her. The children are divided between the two parties, and both sides have spent a good deal in litigation.
The evening before I leave this village, Mrs. Salmier tells me that there has been a rumor that I am a Prussian. She had before told me how Prussians came and quartered themselves in their premises during the recent war. She tells me that I should have been much better received if the people had known I was an American, because they like Americans. On account of this rumor she did not like to take me to Madame Druvet's. And, oh! she had been so frightened herself when that Prussian pointed his revolvaire at her; and how he threatened to kill her if she let any one in; and before the war the king of Prussia sent people here to find out about the country. "And he did quite right," I say, "when your emperor was trying to get up a fight." "He did right, you think! But it was we who had to suffer! That Prussian did feel for me some, for when I was carrying a mattress for his bed,-a heavy mattress,—he said, ‘But, madame, let your son do that."" "And so," said I, "the people think I am a spy?” She does not, however, like to use that word. But can this be the reason of our late peculiar reception—or no reception at the brewer's?
To Paris I had taken a very good letter of introduction to three prominent gentlemen. In a more southern village, of which I have written, there lived a gentleman who had
been several years in Philadelphia, and with whom I was personally acquainted; moreover, I was not in a village in that region, but upon a farm. If Mrs. Salmier had told me sooner, I could have produced letters in French, and visiting-cards of persons in Paris, of so much importance as possibly to astonish Mr. Cireau, the mayor. But now am about to go.
Before parting with Mr. and Mrs. Salmier, she requested me to write to them on my return home. I have since written, and, among other things, I wished to know who thought I was a Prussian, or why they thought so. In reply, I received a very neat letter, written in part by Mr. Salmier, and replying to a question which I had asked about "acts of birth," or certificates. Mrs. Salmier writes that they were pleased in receiving word from me; they could prove to those who doubted it that I was really an American; but no more was said upon the subject.
It will be remembered that Marie Salmier could not pass. the school examination, as she stated, because she had not her act of birth. It must have been in order to prepare this certificate that the mayor's assistant asked so many questions of Victor Leblanc when I accompanied him to the office with his young infant. These certificates are considered of much importance in France, and one of the occasions when they are produced is at a marriage; but Mr. Salmier's letter, just alluded to, tells me that they need not be presented when both of the parties to be married live in
ON Tuesday, August 6th, I leave France for Belgium, in order to take the steamer of the 15th from Antwerp to Philadelphia. I find nice-looking people in the thirdclass car going to the Belgian frontier. The car is not divided. It is disagreeable that some of the men smoke, but an advantage when they have only cigarettes. Plenty of ecclesiastics are to be seen this morning. They have their dresses looped up behind. One young priest sits down on the same bench with me in a passenger-room; as it is warm, he has taken off his hat, and shows his shaven
At Valenciennes I dine in a restaurant where a woman presides. I have roast beef, the excellent bread of the north, butter, and wine, also a basin and towel, and the charge is fifteen sous. At Valenciennes I see pears three for a sou, and plums eight for a sou, which seem very cheap. A young salesman in a store is sufficiently interested to inquire whether I am going by sea to America.
I saw one coal-mine while in France, but in Belgium I already see several, and great heaps of waste, as at Scranton and Wilkesbarre. After England, Belgium is the greatest country for fuel in Europe.
At Brussels when I inquire of a railroad officer for a cheap restaurant, he tells me of Van Camp's, and asks whether I can read. I find myself in a country of different manners. A young woman getting out of the cars is really asked by a young man whether he shall take her travelling-bag; and at a railroad station this evening a young man who is at the window before me actually makes way for me to buy a ticket first. I see a conspicuous sign in a station,-Waterloo; and I afterwards hear about the English that they go to Waterloo and bring back a nail as a relic, all true relics of the great battle having long since disappeared.
I make an inquiry at a station, and two men are standing who appear to be officers of the railway. One thinks I am English. "No." "Not French ?" "No." "Not English?" "No." "Not Flemish?" doubtingly. "No." "Holland?" "No." The other then suggests Swiss, and one of them Italian; they had already guessed German. At last I say, "I was born in Philadelphia," for Philadelphia is known since our Exposition. The first thing that I note at Antwerp is carpets upon the floor, having left so many tiled floors in rural France, and tiled and waxed ones in Paris.
I am now getting very near the spot where the English language originated. When in the morning a servant-girl asks the milkman what time it is, he answers, "Seven." She talks Flemish. Then I see proper names which I have heard in Pennsylvania,-Conard, Baetes, and Ferree. Were they brought to my own State by religious refugees? I also find the name Pulmann. I have a very nice boarding-place at Antwerp, with a very interesting family, of which the mother is Belgian, and bred Catholic, and the
father was English, and Protestant. I should like to give the real name, but will call them Willems. The three daughters at home speak English, French, Flemish, and German. They were instructed—in part, at least—in convents. The two sons went to foreign countries to school; one writes in six and the other in seven languages, which is of much advantage to them in such a commercial town. as Antwerp. It was partly through my friend in Paris whom I have called Carpentier that I obtained knowledge of this family, who occupy a large and handsome house in a central part of the city. All the children were baptized in the Catholic Church, and made their first communion; but they do not practice, as the saying is. The young men belong to the liberal party in politics, and are opposed to the Catholic, these being the two political parties of which I hear mention.
People in Antwerp smile at the mistakes or peculiarities of strangers more than do the Parisians. There seem to be quantities of English here. I wish a direction, and speak in French to a person upon the street, but he does not understand; he speaks English. French is the fashionable tongue in Belgium, and, strange to say, in this small kingdom of about five million people, two distinct tongues are spoken by the peasantry: one the Flemish, and the other the Walloon, which, as I afterwards learn from Appletons' "Cyclopædia," is essentially the French of the thirteenth century.
It seems to me at Antwerp that there is a degraded look about the common people as compared with those of Paris. Taking the Belgians altogether, as far as I saw them, I should not call them a handsome race, and the laboring