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which it was bordered, the stream being
narrow between that side and the shore.
The boy strained his eyes in trying to catch
a glimpse of the cottage, through every opening
of the trees, and listened; but he could
not see it for the leaves beyond, and the place
was quite still. The old man, standing at the
bows, struck the pole into the banks, to urge
the vessel through the narrow channel; and
while the boy sat thinking of Annie, lying in
her little room asleep, he saw the island
slowly pass and fade behind them.


NOTHING which has occurred for years has
been more calculated to gratify the pride of
an Englishman than the Great Exhibition.
Everywhere abroad the wonder which it has
excited can only be conceived by those who
have witnessed it. The novelty of the Glass
Palace itself, the rapidity and energy with
which it has been erected and furnished, and
its final pre-eminent success, have stamped an
indelible feeling of the greatness of England
in all nations. Wherever you have gonethe
one great topic of conversation has been the
Great Exhibition; the one great topic of the
newspapers was the Great Exhibition; the
Great Exhibition met your eye on all walls,
and in the windows of shops, post-offices, and
railway stations, on placards in great letters.
Steamers and railways were all put into
concert with this one great object, and were
compelled to accelerate their motions to meet
the impatience and expectation of the
universal public. To any one coming from
England the only and the eternally recurring
question was, " Have you, then, really seen
the Great Exhibition?"—to which an affirmative
answer was the mother of a million
particular queries.

It was our lot the other day to find ourselves
on the way to England, in a considerable
throng of foreigners, proceeding to this
all-absorbing spectacle. We were crossing
Belgium, and the greater number of our
fellow-travellers were Germans. On arriving at that
most wretched of wretched places, Ostend,
late in the evening, one of those scenes of
confusion took place which are taking place
every day, and which the Government never
takes the slightest trouble to put an end to.
In all other countries some rational kind of
language is spoken; but as nobody is at the
trouble to learn the hodge-podge of a
language called Belgian, and as there is rarely an
official employed at the station who can speak
a word of English, German, or French, the
confusion that prevails is perfectly astounding
and, in fact, so long as Ostend stands, it
appears clear that Babel will never be at an
end. All the passengers' luggage, even to
their carpet-bags and hat-boxes, being taken
from them at Vervier, examined, and
carriage for every pound charged, it is then
put into a separate wagon, and the unlucky
traveller passes the rest of the journey in
hoping that he may get his effects again, but
believing that he never shall.

Arrived at Ostend, out rush all the hoping
and despairing hundreds of travellers; one
asks for his luggage in French, another in
English, a third in German, a fourth in
Italian, a fifth in Swiss, and a sixth in
Hungarian. To all these demands the porters
reply by shakes of the head, and the utterance
of a jargon, that only adds to the confounding
and unintelligible hubbub. At length the
frantic travellers, fearful of not being in time
to secure their ship, see a lot of luggage
dragged forth, and deposited on a bench
under a shed, for every one to claim his own.
Never was there a finer opportunity for clever
fellows to carry off what is not their own;
for, though you have a receipt containing the
number of your packages, your name, and
what you have paid for it, yet as nobody
understands one another, and five hundred people
at once are dragging at the trunks, bags, and
hat-cases, in the dark, nothing would be
easier than for half of it to be carried off by
wrong people; and, if it be not so, it redounds
as much to the credit of the nation for
honesty, as it does to its discredit for business

At length, after half an hour of the most
terrific shouting, scrambling, hauling, and
sorting, one half of the exasperated passengers
find that their luggage is not there at all!
Then are vociferated furious demands in a
dozen languages, with a violent holding up of
green bits of paperthe receipts for the
unlucky articles that are not received, nor
even visible. These vociferations are answered
by the Belgian porters pointing to the benches
where luggage should be, but is not, and by
still more frantic protestations, on the part of
the travellers, that their articles are not there.
Then rush a few scores to another unopened
wagon on the line, which is desperately
defended by the porters with the outcries of
"Transit! transit!"—the only intelligible
word they utter, and a word which only adds
to the agitation of the travellers, who protest
that their articles are not put in transit; a
word which fills them with the horrible idea
of their property being shipped off to London,
while they themselves are going to Dover or
to Calais.

At length, in our case, after nearly an
hour's delay, the station-master was found,
the only one who seemed capable of an English
or French word; and by his authority, the
transit-goods wagon being opened, the missing
articles came to light. All now hurried away,
some to the English steamer bound for Dover,
and some to the one bound direct for London;
we to the latter, congratulating ourselves that
we were about to set foot on board the vessel of
a nation of men of business, and that all our
troubles would be at an end. Unfortunate
flattery of an internal national pride! To

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