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is liberal, and I do not care to go to church to hear such sermons."
I ask one of the young ladies to repeat the Commandments, and she gives me the same, or a part of those rhymed ones which I saw in the Lyons prayer-book, and which I heard quoted in Paris and repeated in the north. And, as once before, the question is asked whether I want the commandments of God, for there are also commandments of the Church, already quoted herein.
I have before mentioned how, in the north of France, Mr. Salmier said that the men talked in church. Mrs. Willems says that there was, in a Belgian village, now more than twenty years ago, a curé who had a flock of which the men were accustomed to leave the church when he went up into his chair of truth, or pulpit. Observing this, the curé took off his white surplice, and went around to the taverns and said, "When you have finished drinking I will finish my sermon." Then they were all afraid, and went back to church. Their habit had been not to leave church entirely, but only while the sermon lasted, and then return. In the same village, every one went to confession at least once a year, and Madame Willems adds that there was in the village a certain man who was very profane, and to whom the curé gave as a penance to repeat a certain number of prayers. But as he could not read and write, he made use of a chaplet, or rosary. Once he had sworn so much that the curé assigned to him a penance of sixty chaplets. There was in the same village a certain old woman named Marianne, who could not work. She was nearly blind and quite poor, and all the sinners, says Madame W., went to her to get her to pray their chaplets; and the chapel, too, was quite near her, where she went to pray.
Our swearing farmer said to the curé, "I cannot pray those sixty chaplets; I'll go to old Marianne." "I prohibit your doing it," said the curé. "But, sir, you are doing wrong to Marianne, who has no other way of getting her living." "I'll pay Marianne myself, and you'll pray the chaplets." So the curé went to see the old woman, and gave her what money he had,-three francs,and told her that she was not to pray the chaplets of the farmer. Then, when the latter came to her with his request, she told him what the curé had said. Then the man began to swear anew, but, recollecting himself, he asked how much the curé had given her. Three francs was all at that time. "Very well; keep them, and I will pay you a franc apiece for the rest, and I will pray the three myself." They laughed a good deal about it in the village, and thought he had paid high for his chaplets.
This curé was rich and generous, and was much loved. One Sunday there was a man trying to make a bargain with a cattle-dealer for a calf that he wished to sell. When such a bargain was on hand they always adjourned to a public-house to drink. On this occasion it was the time of vespers and the Salut, or Hail Mary, and the curé was going through the village, looking in at the tavern-windows to see if any one was there, and he saw Philip and his cattlemerchant. "Why don't you come to the church for the Salut? Did you not hear the bell?" he said. But Philip told him that he was just concluding the bargain. "There is a difference of five francs, and I hope, if I give him something more to drink, he will pay me that." "Come and pray the good God," said the curé, "and perhaps that will inspire you with some thoughts; and let him come
too." When vespers were over the curé gave Philip five francs, and said, "If the merchant pays you the five francs, you can bring this back to me; but if he does not, you can keep it."
The next day Philip went to find the curé, and told him that the man had not paid him the money, but he had paid one franc for the drinks, and one to his son to lead the calf away for him. "And, Mr. Curé, ought I to make restitution to you of the two francs ?" "You may keep them,” said the curé. He was a man who was loved, and knew how to make himself respected. Now he is dead, and old Marianne, my village acquaintances, and he who had his chaplets prayed.
In the Flemish villages, dancing is not permitted by the curés in many places. (Perhaps Mrs. W. means dancing on Sunday.) In Hammes, a village of ten thousand souls, the curé does not allow dancing, but in the Walloon villages it is permitted. (The Walloon villages are those in which the Old French is spoken.) This good curé, if his parishioners came to him and asked permission to dance at the Kermesse, or village fête, would say, "Yes, you can dance; but do not fight, nor stay out late, nor make any scandal." But if they had not obtained his permission, he would punish them. The dance began after the Salut; the musicians began to play coming out of the church, and the cavaliers would join their ladies, and all would walk after the music to the great tree in the public place, where the dancing would begin. Then they would dance the dance of honor, and then go to the end of the village, with some ten musicians at the head, all in procession to meet the young people of the neighboring villages, and to give them the wine of honor, which is only white beer; and the young people of the neighboring villages put a white piece
of money on the plate, for the expenses of the fête. When the dancing under the linden was finished, they went into the public-houses, or to supper, and, returning, the dancing in the restaurants was kept up sometimes until four in the morning. The fête lasts three days, but on Tuesday it is the married ladies who have the dance of honor, under the linden on the public place, with the young men. When the violin went ting! ting! the young men would kiss the married women on each cheek, and then everybody would laugh; perhaps the husbands would be looking on. I was young I danced every year, and afterwards when I was married, and went back to the village, I would dance with my children.
Mrs. Willems herself is from the Walloon country.
Not long after my arrival, Mrs. Willems accompanied me to visit an old printing-house at Antwerp, now become a museum. I am told that it belonged for about three hundred years to the family Plantin-Moretus, Plantin having bought it in 1579. Moretus was the son-in-law of Plantin, and the printing-house continued in the same family until 1865. In 1876 the city of Antwerp bought this ancient collection from a member of the family for one million five hundred thousand francs, and it was opened as a museum soon after. In the office of the head of the establishment, upon the walls, instead of paper, are pieces of leather about one and a half feet long and nearly as wide, sewed together. These are figured in gold and colors. They were found under seven coverings of wallpaper, and have all been repaired. In another room are two printing-presses of 1540. Among many other things I see a magnificent Polyglot Bible of 1572, printed with
the permission of Philip II. In another place we are shown Syriac and Samaritan characters, or types; and the guide says to Mrs. W., "We read that the good God spoke to a Samaritan woman,-see, here are Samaritan types." I see over a door an inartistic picture of a man sitting at a table upon which there seems to be a fowl, while he holds a loaf in his hands. The guide tells us that it is the good God, who blesses the bread before eating, which Mrs. Willems explains to mean Jesus Christ blessing the bread. And here in this connection I wish to introduce a little anecdote of something that occurred elsewhere. I asked a young lady at Antwerp what her brother-in-law is. And quietly, much as one might say at home, “He is a Unitarian,” she replied, "Atheist."
I have come to Antwerp at the time of a great festival. Thursday, the 15th of August, is the four hundredth anniversary of the guild erected in 1478 in honor of Our Lady, patroness of Antwerp, on the festival of the Assumption and the ten following days. I copy from the notice the following, which was in Flemish, and not, like the former, in French also: "Alles tot meerdere Eer en Glorie van God en van de Allerheilijste Magd en moeder Gods Maria," or, translated, "All for the honor and glory of God and of the most holy maid and mother of God, Mary." There is in the cathedral an image of Mary and the infant Jesus, said to be several hundred years old. This image I see in the cathedral, like a big doll, dressed in some stiff material which I infer to be cloth of gold.
At Antwerp I see a hearse go by. It is black, and on the body is painted in orange a sort of grave-yard scene, with two skeletons and other objects. Above at the corners