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white threads, and with these she manoeuvres
among the plus with a rapidity so surprising,
that one is fain to bless her wee heart in
astonishment. Thread by thread the delicate
fabric prospers on to its completion, and lace-
making is obviously so elegant an employment,
that the British miss may some day
take a fancy to it instead of crochet. We
went to several houses afterwards, and saw
at least two hundred girls, all occupied in
the same way at their own homes, for there
is no manufactory. Their wages average
fifteen sous a day for eight or nine hours'
labour. The best workwomen, however, make
as much as two francs and a half daily. They
are said to be generally very well conducted.
Prices have fallen within these few years
about one half; the finest lace, which is
about a foot broad and of an intricate pattern,
is sold at forty-five francs a yard. The value
depends on the width and design; but I am
ashamed to go on, lest I should be taken for
a man-milliner.

I shall conclude this paper with an
observation of great novelty and truth, for I am
anxious to communicate my discovery as
widely as possible. It is, that a long walk
in autumn weather will infallibly make one
thirsty. To the reader, therefore, who has
accompanied my shadowy self hither and
thither us I beckoned him, I may conscientiously
advise a glass of vinous fizzy beer,
and dust,—both productions of the
neighbourhood,—and a short rest in the open air.
Let us sit down in company with a pacific-
looking warrior, and a coquettish
washerwoman. If we find, as we probably shall,
that our presence does not afford them that
lively gratification which we could desire, we
can talk to a gendarme, because he is, we
perceive, uncomfortable in his cocked hat;
and we entertain an opinion that a brief
discourse will do him good. If, stricken with
the felicity of this idea, we proceed to cultivate
his acquaintance, we shall learn that he
is the son of an individual who was in some
way connected with diligences. In political
sentiments, therefore, we shall be delighted to
know that he is a conservative Tory, and
opposed to existing things in general. "Ah,
sirs," he will say to us, " Malines is not the
same place it was in my boyhood; then it lay
on the greatest high road in Belgium. It was
one of the busiest posting-towns known;
horses were wanted every hour of the twenty-
four; the whips and trumpets of the
postilions, their spurs, and their bravery
bewitched all womankind; then we could not
even sleep of nights for noise and clatter;
now we do not see ten travelling-carriages in
a year, and the postilions have fattened into
railway-guards, and died out as a class
entirely. We were proud in those days of our
felt hats, cashmere shawls, and gilt leather
chairs, but all our trade is gone now except
the lace, and that is going."

Our gendarme, however, had so well
developed a breast to his coat, he must have found
it so excellent an exercise to button it; his
face looked so remarkably like a full moon;
his back was so broad; his boots were so
bulbous, that it was clearly nevertheless no
unenviable position in life to be still a townsman
of Malines.

We have ended our ramble, comrade; so
your hand, and good-bye. But did it ever
occur to you, as it does to me at this moment,
how rare a thing after all is even the most
trifling work of genius? It is as rare as
beauty. Among all the thousands of books
we read, how few make any durable impression
on us! Only two or three writers in a
century can play on that true key beneath
which throbs the great heart of Nature.
Thus a whole army of literary travellers have
visited Malines; a dozen volumes fairly have
been written about it; yet Sir Bulwer Lytton
only has associated his name with the place.
His noble and tender story of the heroic girl
and her blind lover, in the Pilgrims of the
Rhine, comes alone to the recollection of all
who visit it; so abiding is the remembrance
of the lightest creation of a master.



THE Royal Forest of Windsor has lately
been honoured by a visit from a royal bird.
The eagle of the north visited the domains of
the queen of the south. The particulars are
as follows:—

On the afternoon of the twelfth of
December last, as one of the officers of the
garrison of Windsor was riding in the great
park not far from the statue of King George
the Third at the end of the Long Walk, he
was surprised to see a large bird on the
ground gorging himself with a rabbit. He
advanced towards it, but the bird flew up
into a tree. When on the tree it appeared to
have a chain round its leg; but this was
afterwards ascertained to be a portion of the
rabbit he had just been eating. The
pursuer then made out clearly that this large
bird was an eagle; a most unusual visitor to
the Royal Forest. He rode off, therefore,
immediately to the keeper's lodge with the
news. The keeper, while mounting his pony,
stated that this bird had been seen about the
forest four or five days, but had always kept
out of shot. When they both got back to
the place where the bird was sitting, the
keeper concealed himself with his gun, while
the officer rode round the bird, endeavouring
to drive him over the ambush. Off he went
at last, but flew wide of the keeper. Then
came the riding part of the business, partaking
more of the character of a steeplechase
than of hunting. By dint of hard and difficult
galloping among rabbit-holes, thick ferns,
and open drains, the eagle was again marked
down in a clump of trees. Then followed a