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After all, however, the lateral pressure is hardly so bad as the longitudinal. My passport describes me truly as six pieds Anglais de taille : now most of the beds I have been in on the Continent are, I believe, an inch or two short of it. It is supposed that, by the relaxation of the nerves and sinews, we measure more asleep than when awake; judge, therefore, how little I could be at ease in a bed of such dimensions. The only chance of lying at my full length was by putting myself in a diagonal direction. It is true that, by the elevation of the bolster and a large square pillow, the body may be placed in a kind of recumbent posture, as that of Theseus in the Elgin marbles; but it is not to be expected that every Englishman will take lessons of a French posture-master, or that, if he did, his body would be so supple as that of his neighbours. As thus I lay, I could only compare myself to an Egyptian figure cut in granite, equally stiff and immovable. The bed at Ostend, indeed, was more like an Egyptian sarcophagus than it was like what we call a bed in England; and the superstructure
had no small resemblance to a pyramid, though by no means of so durable a nature. My wife says that, when she first visited France, she happened to seat herself upon one of the curtains, and drew down upon her head the pole, canopy, and all together. In a posture less easy than that of an armed templar, my toes were at right angles with my heels; and as this is the attitude in which I am sometimes forced to place myself, in order to get rid of the cramp, it reminded me but too frequently (did I but occasionally forget it) of my cramped position; and, to add to my discomfort, the sole of my foot came more than once in contact (from the impossibility of tucking in the clothes) with the footboard of the bed, rendered still colder by French polish. I had often heard that the Germans always slept between two feather beds: it was at Metz* that I first was let into this secret, if, indeed, it be a mystery rather than a truth. At the foot of the bed, of which it covered about half, found a red silk cushion, apparently filled with
* Metz will be spoken of hereafter.
eider down, as high as, if not higher than, the pillow this gives great warmth to the feet, as I was glad to experience even at this season of the year, and, at the same time, it is as light as a feather.
TO A. J. KEMPE, ESQ., F. S. A.
Awaking in a Foreign Land.- Morning of the Fête
tabs en route.
a missing travelling Friend. Bruges, Ghent, and Mechlin. Flying View of the Writer's former Works. - Arrival at Brussels. Allusion to one of The Sexagenarian's Account of the Manner of doing Things on the Belgium Chemin de Fer. The Military. A veritable Belgic Soldier. The Peasantry; their Costume and Appearance. The Belle Vue Hotel. - The Sexagenarian's Account of a Tableau Parlant between a Couple of Grisettes. Adieu to Brussels. the Diligence.-Carriages, Horses, and Drivers; A Start in their Characteristics.-Decorated Tails.- Orange Lilies significant. gence: her Remarks.-Waterloo.- The Belgium A French Lady in the DiliMound and Lion criticised. — Passing the Field,
My dear Brother,
Ox opening my eyes on the morning of the 30th of June, I did not at first recollect where
I was, and almost expected to see the tower of Chelsea old church from my window when I awoke, as I did on the previous day at your house. I soon roused myself, got up, and dressed; but was not a little annoyed at finding that, by the mistake about the carpet bags, and the custom-house having possession of the rest of our baggage, I was compelled to put on the same clothes I had worn through all the smoke and spray of the passage. As I hold it to be a duty that we owe, not only to our self respect, but to the credit of our country, to make our◄ selves look as well as we can in a foreign land, I took no small pains to make the best appearance I could under such untoward circumstances; but I was mortified by seeing, after all my efforts, I still looked dirty and shabby. So I had nothing to hope, but that, by the courtesy of my manners, I might succeed in making that favourable impression on foreigners which is sometimes done by dress alone.
My mortification, however, did not spoil my relish for a good breakfast, nor did the illness of the previous day appear to have materially af