The most trustworthy time-tables are contained in the 'Ouide
officiel des voyageurs sur tous les chemins de fer de Belgique', publish-
ed monthly, and sold at ail the principal railway-stations (édition
in yellow cover. with map, 20 c).
The fares on the Belgian lines are probably the lowest in the
railway-worid. The charges per Engl. M. are now about 17 c. for
the flrst, 11 e. for the second, and 8^2 c. for the third class; ex¬
press fares are somewhat higher. Return-tickets are issued at a
réduction of 20 per cent., and are available from 1 to 3 days ac-
cording to the distance. In 1887 there were 2763 M. of railway
open for trafflc in Belgium.
Luggage must be booked and paid for separately. On most of
the international through-routes 56 lbs. are free, but on the inland
routes the cost of its transport not unfrequently amounts to as
much as a second or third class fare. The traveller is therefore
recommended to restrict his requirements if possible to the limits
of a travelling-bag or moderate valise, which when necessary he
can wield unaided, and take with him into the railway-carriage,
so as to avoid the delay and expense incurred in booking it for the
luggage-van. Anything over 56 lbs. in weight, however, must be
booked, and should be at the office at least ^hr. before the train
starts. The luggage-ofrices are closed 3 min. before the hour of de-
parture. An advantage peculiar to the Belgian railways is that, in
the case of the inland trafflc, luggage may always be forwarded by
passenger-train whether the sender takes a personal ticket for the
journey or not. Luggage may be insured at a charge of 10 c. per
100 fr. of the value.
There are Refreshment Rooms (Buffets-Restaurants) at a few of
the Belgian stations only. Their charges are mentioned in the above-
noted officiai guide.
VII. History and Statistics.
The country called Belgium at the présent day, which was origi-
nally peopled with a race of Celtic origin , and was subsequently
overrun by Teutonic invaders, was conquered by Caesar, and re-
mained under Roman supremacy until the beginning of the 5th
century, when the Salie Franks established themselves in the dis¬
trict between the Schelde, the Meuse, and the Lower Rhine.
In the 9th century the country formed part of the Empire
of Charlemagne. By the treaty of Verdun (843) the western pro¬
vinces , Flanders and Artois, became part of France, while the
eastern, including Brabant, fell to the share of Gennany. With
the development of the feudal system various hereditary princi-
palities were established hère as elsewhere. Thus arose the states
of Flanders, Artois, Hainault, Namur, the duchies of Brabant
and Limburg, the principality of Liège, the county of Antwerp