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THE HOTEL DE VILLE.

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was

bronze basin and fountain in the centre, surmounted by an antique bronze statue of Charlemagne, fully accoutred. Two large black eagles flap their metal wings on pedestals by side of the fountain.' The Monarch and the eagles turn their heads towards the Hotel de Ville -- the ancient Palace in which Charles was born. The statue honoured by the French with a visit to Paris, among the other works of art. The modern Prussian eagle now figures over the door of the Hotel, announcing the Police and Municipal Offices of the Prussian Regency, and perking his upstart head in the face of the venerable birds who have reigned for centuries. We entered the hotel by a spacious hall, with vaulted roofs, and grotesquely carved and painted walls. A wide stair-case conducted us to the Grand Saloon, where the memorable Congress was held which concluded the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, in 1748. An immense well-executed picture represents the whole corps diplomatique, with their secretaries in full costume, at the deliberative table, to the number of about thirty. Le Chevalier Robinson, meaning Sir

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CONGRESS SALOON.

Thomas Robinson, and Lord Sandwich, were pointed out to us as our plenipotentiaries; and Maria Theresa's famous minister, the Prince of Kaunitz, as that of Austria. The separate portraits of the different ambassadors also adorn the room: but that of the French ambassador is singularly enough absent, Louis XV. having, as it is said, absolutely declined to furnish it, in consequence of his dissatisfaction at the peace. The arms of the different kingdoms are represented on a small shield attached to the costume of each ambassador: but the fleur de lis, the emblem of the Bourbons, and which is common to the arms of England, France, Spain, and other Sovereigns, has been invariably erased, with great care, by the revolutionary French, and a black daub left in its place a curious instance of the trifles to which political animosity often attaches import

Handsome portraits of Maria Theresa, and her husband Francis, and Joseph II., also hang on the walls, once their own, but now dirty and neglected while a glittering full length representation of His Prussian Majesty, protected by a green

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silk curtain, occupies one end of the saloon in all the blooming dignity of a Sovereign in possession.

As is naturally often the case in towns on frontiers, or which have been subject to changes of masters, the people of Aix-laChapelle speak many languages, and none well. At Cologne they speak simply a coarse vulgar German, which degenerates in approaching the flats of Holland: but at Achen, bad German, bad French, some Dutch and Flemish, (bad or good I know not,) and a mixture of the Walloon dialect, of which you hear more at Liege, conspire to form a Babel of harmonious diversity. If

you ask a question in French, the person you address probably only speaks German. If you address the next in German, he perhaps answers in French. German is, upon the whole, however, the language which you are most sure of finding useful; and if its re-Germanised condition is permanent, a few years bably make Aix-la-Chapelle completely Achen; and the next generation may know as little of French as some of the juniors of the present do of German. In

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such a case it is to be hoped that habit and wise administration may have gained for the Prussian government a popularity which it as yet wants.

These hasty epistolary communications are now probably to your great relief brought to a close. The scenes of the Netherlands are familiar to you — and from necessity I ran through them too rapidly, even for a description equally superficial with the preceding sketches. Waterloo has been exhausted, and though it is hardly necessary to

say I visited it, I am unwilling to add one to the number of the prose-men and verse-men who have done their best to render the noblest of subjects common-place- And as for the cathedrals, the antique cities, the galleries, the fertile flats, and the gay jovial inhabitants of Belgium; circumstances rather than free choice have compelled me to postpone them to the sands, the ceremonies, and the heavy good-humour of Germany, beyond the Rhine.

THE END.

Printed by A. Strahan,
Printers-Street, London.

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