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the taxes are daily augmenting. The horse-tax is more than double that of England ; and the King of the Netherlands can boast that he is the only sovereign in Europe who has a tax on female labour. William Pitt attempted a similar measure, but was mobbed by the housemaids, and abandoned it.
There is an admirable establishment, called “ La Société Littéraire,” or Club. It consists of the principal and most respectable nobles and gentlemen of the city, who admit foreigners (on being properly introduced) as honorary members: the subscription to the club is extremely moderate. There is a house dinner at four o'clock, extremely well served, with access to billiard-tables, card-rooms, newspapers, &c. 'The urbanity and civility of the members merit the gratitude of foreigners. It is to be regretted that there is no such institution in London. A stranger has but little chance of getting into society in our metropolis, except by particular introduction.
Although I was acquainted with many Belgians, in the interchange of common civilities, it is not easy to get into their houses, and therefore I did not make the attempt.
It is said they are jealous of us, but on what account I never could learn. The citizens are ready to pocket our money, and to make us pay handsomely for their commodities, without any feeling of good-will towards us; yet I have heard some of the shop and tavern-keepers confess that we are their chief supporters.
The master of the Hotel de Belle Vue has often fifty English families in his immense house, and ought to have accumulated great wealth ; for there is not, perhaps, in any city on the Continent an hotel so well frequented. Brussels has become a prodigious thoroughfare from England to the South, now that the Meuse and the Rhine are become such objects of interest to the tourist.
The bad arrangement of the apartments, and the stupidity of the waiters at every Belgian hotel, attract the observation of our countrymen. If he has not a personal domestic, there is no attendance, and it is in vain that you ring the bells; no one comes. This annoys, and puts John Bull in a bad humour, for which, however, he has no remedy but patience. The expense of living at one of the best hotels may be calculated at twelve francs a day, which will include a bottle of Bordeaux
Vin Ordinaire), for which 400 per cent. is charged, in addition to the original cost. This, however, supposes that the guest conterits himself with a sleeping-room, and dines at the table-d'hote, which every sensible traveller ought to do. The dinners are bandsomely and plentifully served, with a good dessert.
It has been calculated, that a franc in the Netherlands is fully equal to a florin in Holland, in travelling. The cause of this extraordinary difference in the value of money I have never heard accounted for.
On the whole, Brussels may be reckoned as good a station as any on the Continent, either for the education of youth, or for procuring luxuries at a moderate rate.
THE NIGHTINGALE'S DEATH SONG.-BY MRS. HEMANS.
“ Willst du Nach den Nachtigallen fragen,
Die mit seelenvollen melodie
-Nur so lang sie liebten, wasen sie.”-SCHILLER.
And die away, my heart!
And I too will depart.
The waters changed their tone,
Should music linger on?
And where the flower-cup's glow?
And the fountain's laughing flow?
Of the wave, the bough, the air,
And moaning—“Where, oh! where?"
Thou Bee, thou Lamb at play!
-Are ye, too, pass'd away?
The royal Rose is gone:
In one deep farewell tone!
The full, rich, fervent strain!
In the Summer's joyous train.
With every precious thing,
My soul its flight shall wing.
When the days of hope are past,
To wait the rushing blast.
Sing to the woods, I go!
The glorious rose may blow.
And the greensward's violet breath,
May these know nought of Death.
Swell high, then break, my heart !
With Summer I depart!
SKETCHES FROM THE PORTFOLIO OF A SEXAGENARIAN.
No. II. Napoleon.— A Courtier.-Mrs. Jordan. SKETCHES of men who have distinguished themselves by their talents and industry are worthy of record, as a stimulus to others to follow their example. Mr. William Cockerill furnishes a remarkable instance of these qualities leading to fortune. He is a native of Lancashire, and was bred to mechanics. He first gained his living by making “Roving Billies," or flying shuttles ; but he had talents of a superior order ; and such was his genius that he could, with his own hands, make models of any machine of modern invention for spinning. Twentyeight or thirty years ago, the late Empress Catherine of Russia being desirous of procuring a few artisans from England, the subject of our memoir was recommended as a man of superior abilities, and our Government granted him permission to proceed to Petersburgh. The Empress offered every encouragement, and he was handsomely rewarded for his various models of spinning machines, &c. but her Majesty's death, two years after his arrival, put an end to his prospects. Paul ordered him to make a model in a certain time; it could not be completed, and he was sent to prison ; he contrived, however, to make his escape out of the Russian dominions, and with a few hundred pounds in his pocket, went to Sweden.
His talents, by means of the British Envoy, were made known to the Government, and the Sieur Cockerill obtained the direction of the construction of the locks of a public canal, which the Swedes could not undertake. Engineering, however, was not his forte, although he succeeded in his contract, and added a little more to his means. He had heard of the flourishing state of the manufactures at Liege and Verviers, without the assistance of the proper machinery, and there he imagined he should have better success. He proceeded to Hamburgh, and obtained an interview with Mr. Crauford, our envoy, informing him of his plans, and at the same time stating "that if he could obtain a small pension from the British Government, he would return to England, not wishing to do any injury to his country by introducing machinery into a foreign one.” Mr. Crauford highly approved of this, and forwarded Cockerill's memorial to our ministers; but no notice was taken of it, and after waiting six months, he determined to seek his own fortune.
He obtained a passport to Ainsterdam, and learned farther particulars relative to the state of the manufactures in the Pays de Liege, to which place he proceeded. It is unnecessary to detail his progress, but within a period of sixteen years, such was his success in fabricating machinery and steam-engines, he was able to retire a millionaire, after settling his sons in the business. At Seraing, on the Meuse, he established the greatest iron-foundery on the Continent, or perhaps in the world. The King of the Netherlands is a partner in this great national concern, having invested in it a sum nearly to the amount of a hundred thousand pounds sterling ; and it is said that not less than four thousand hands are employed in the establishment.
In the year 1807, the Emperor Napoleon had heard of the Sieur Cockerill's foundery at Liege, and being desirous of patronising a work of such public importance, he desired that a letter should be written to
the prefect of that city, to summon the chief of the establishment to Paris forth with.
One evening, while he was smoking his pipe, “as was his custom in the afternoon,” this dignitary entered, and producing his credentials, after a short preface, desired that he would not lose a moment in fulfilling the Emperor's orders. “Here,” said he,“ is your passport, together with a letter to one of the ministers of the department, to whom you will announce your arrival in Paris, and I recommend you to set out this night.” So saying, Monsieur le Préfet withdrew. It may be easily imagined that so unexpected and mysterious a message threw the steam-engineer into alarm, and that his consternation was great. I know him well, and had all the details from his own mouth, and in the purest Lancashire dialect ; a narration that in the hands of Mathews would make an excellent subject on the stage. “At first," said he, “ I took into my head that I had been denounced, and that the Baron whom I had made a bankroop was at the bottom on't; but then, thinks I, if they want to take off my heed, they could do that here, without sending me to Paris; and my son thought there was no fear any such mishap, so I clapt four horses to my chay, and in a couple of hours I was under weigh with my son.”
Our travellers pushed on ventre à terre, and reached the metropolis in safety. At an early hour the following day, bedecked in his best apparel, with a handsome remise, and a valet bien galonné, he drove to the Tuileries, being accompanied by his son as interpreter. After den livering his credentials he was conducted to a waiting-room, and received by the minister with great courtesy. “Monsieur Cockerill,” said he, “ you will hold yourself in readiness to obey the Emperor's orders, and I recommend you to wait at home until you hear from me;" he left his address and took his leave ; in the evening he received an official notice, “that the next morning, at eleven o'clock, a carriage would be sent to convey him to the Tuileries."
Exact to the moment, a splendid equipage, with the Imperial arms, drew up at the Sieur's hotel, (for he had at this time a house in Paris,) Rue de Grenelle, Fauxbourg St. Germain ; a valet of the Court opened the door, and when he was seated, called to the coachman, “A la Cour!” After ascending a superb flight of stairs, our engineer was conducted into a small anti-room, in which was the Emperor's favourite Mameluke, who honoured him with a salaam!
He had not waited more than ten minutes when the tinkling of a silver-toned bell summoned the Turk to another room, and instantly returning, a signal to follow was given, and the planet-struck John Bull found himself in the Imperial presence! What a moment for any man, but especially for one of Cockerill's breed! He knew not whether his head or his heels were uppermost, and fearing to look up, dared not utter a syllable, contenting himself with making profound bows. “ Avancez, Sieur," said his Majesty. “ This,” says the narrator, when he relates the interview, “ gave me courage ; I look'd oop, and saw the Emperor standing with his hands behind, and his back to the fire, (here he generally gives his attitude,) and with a smile said, "Sieur Cockerille, dans toutes les departements du Nord, vous êtes nommé, (here his French goes no farther,) and wherever I go I hear of you, and I have sent for you to tell you that I am pleased with your establishment, and your exertions to promote the manufactures of the empire, in proof of which I shall give you a mark of my consideration by decorating you with the insigny of the Legion of Honour. He took oop a little box, and pulled oot the grand cross, wi' a red ribbon, and put it round my neck with his own hands.” So distinguished an honour, conferred in so flattering a manner by the greatest sovereign in Europe, was enough to agitate the nerves of any man, and the new-created chevalier knew not what to do or what to say; but as he had reason to believe that the Emperor meant to pay him some compliment, his son had previously got up a speech, of which he ventured to deliver as much as he could remember, (and it is unnecessary to say in a most unintelligible jargon,) thanking his Majesty for the honour conferred on him, and apologizing for his bad French; adding, “ Votre Majesté, mon fils bien parler François, mais moi, pas savoir !"_" Monsieur Cockerille," rejoined the Emperor, again smiling, “ I do not want you to speak French, but to teach the French to spin (filer). Should I have occasion to see you at any future time, your son shall interpret for you; in the mean time, return to your province, and go on as you have done. I shall order you a passport, pour voyager partout.' Bonjour, Chevalier Cockerille, au revoir.” The silver bell was again rung, the Mameluke made bis appearance, and conducted the “ Grand Croix” to another apartment, where he found his valet in attendance, who handed him to his carriage, and put him down at his own door, Rue de Grenelle, Fauxbourg St. Germain!
The Chevalier generally concludes his story by saying, “ Though I was proud of the honour I had received, I never boasted of it but once. When I entered Paris, on my way from Liege, the keeper of the gate questioned my passport, and was very saucy, so I thought I would play a bit of a joke upon him. When I was returning home, he demanded my passport in the same insolent manner; I kept fumbling in my pockets, and pretended that I had left it behind me. • That won't do,' says the chap, you must get out; I shall deliver you to the police,' calling to a gendarme (always in attendance). At last I produced the passport I had got by the Emperor's orders, which was in a tin case; and my son said, 'Perhaps, Citoyen, this may save you the trouble.' When the fellow opened it, and saw the Imperial arms on a great seal, as big as a five-franc piece, and glanced at the title of the bearer of it, he drew in his horns, and bowing and apologizing, cried out to the gate-keeper, 'Ouvrez les portes ! Bon voyage, Monsieur Chevalier.'”.
Mr. Cockerill has retired from business several years, and is residing at Brussels, living as quietly as when he made Roving Billies : he is about seventy-five years of age.
A Courtier. I had the honour to be recognized by the Noble General, my namesake of Fyvie, when I occasionally met him in the metropolis, where his duties, as one of the grooms of his Majesty's bedchamber, obliged him to pass eight months of the year. My acquaintance with the General was of an early date, when he commanded the 81st regiment at Cork, in 1778, having more than once been invited to dine with him. These entertainments were rare, and more distinguished for the silver plate on