BELGIUM. Language. xiii
Custom Housk. The formalities. of the douane are generally
very lenient. The traveller should always, if possible, superintend
the examination of his luggage in person. In crossing a frontier
even the smaller articles of luggage usually kept in the railway
carriage hâve to be submitted to inspection. The tTavelleT is al-
lowed 1 lb. of tobacco or cigars duty free, but he should déclare it
to the custom-house offlcers. "When a frontier is to be crossed,
ordinary passengers' luggage should never be sent by goods-train.
The risk of détention , pilfering, and other vexations, far ont-
weighs any saving of trouble or expense which this plan affords.
The linguist, the ethnologist, and indeed every observant tra¬
veller will be interested in the marked différences between the
various races of which the Belgian nation is composed. The Walloons
(of Namur, Liège, Verviers, etc.), who are believed to be partly of
Celtic extraction, are remarkable for their enterprising and in-
dustrious, and at the same time passionate and excitable character.
The Flemings, who constitute about five-eighths of the population,
are a somewhat phlegmatic race of Teutonic origin ; they are pre-
eminently successful in agriculture and those pursuits in which
energetic action is less requisite than patient persévérance, and
their language is of the Teutonic stock, being closely akin to the
Dutch. Antwerp and other seaports, however, also possess a thriv-
ing commercial and seafaring Flemish population. A third élément
is the French. Political refugees and obnoxious journalists fre¬
quently transfer the sphère of their labours from Paris to Brussels,
while a considérable proportion of the Belgian population in the
principal towns affect French manners and customs, are frequently
educated in France, and are often entirely ignorant of the Flemish
language. A valuable and interesting wôrk, to which référence is
frequently made in the Handbook, is the 'Descriptio totius Belgii'
by the learned Florentine Ouiceiardini (d. 1589), who in his ca-
pacity of Tuscan ambassador resided for several years in the Nether-
lands. 'Leodicurri1 (Liège), he says, lutitur lingua Oallica, Aquis-
granum (Aix - la - Chapelle) Oermanica : viri Leodicenses diacres,
festivi, tractabiles ; Aquisgranenses melancholici, severi, difficiles. In
summa, tantum alteri et natura et moribus, totaque adeo vitae ra-
tione ab alteris différant, quantum Qalli discrepant a Oermanis'.
The boundary between the Walloon and Flemish languages is a
tolerably-straight Une drawn from Liège southwards past Brussels
to Calais, Walloon being spoken in a few isolated districts to the
N., and Flemish hère and there to the S. of the line.
French is the language of the government, the législature, the
army, of most of the newspapers, of public trafflc, of literature,
and indeed of ail the upper classes, as it has been since the time
of the crusades.