« PreviousContinue »
and with the other a bundle of seven arrows close bound together, in allusion to the seven confederate provinces, with the following motto ; Concordia res partæ crescunt.
HISTORY.] See the Austrian Netherlands.
William V. prince of Orange and Nassau, hereditary stadtholder, captain-general and admiral of the Seven United Provinces, and knight of the garter, was born March 19, 1748 ; married, in 1767, the princess Frederica-Sophia-Wilhelmina, of Prussia, born in 1751; by whom he has issue:
I. Frederica-Louisa-Wilhelmina, born Nov. 28, 1770; married to the bereditary prince of Brunswick.
2. Williain-Frederic, hereditary prince, born Aug. 2, 1772; married, Oct. 1, 1791, to princess Frederica.Sophia-Wilhelmina, of Prussia.
3. William-George-Frederic, born Feb. 15, 1774.
The stadtholder has one sister, Wilhelmina-Carolina, born 1743, and married to the prince of Nassau Wielbur.
FRENCH AND LATE AUSTRIAN NETHERLANDS.
SITUATION AND EXTENT,
49 and 52 North latitude.
2 and 7 Last longitude. Boundaries.] BOUNDED by the United Provinces on the North;
by Germany, East ; by Lorraine, Champagne, and Picardy, in France, South; and by another part of Picardy, and the English Sea, West.
As this country so lately belonged to three different powers, the Austrians, French, and Dutch, we shall continue to distinguish the provinces and towns belonging to each state*.
The whole of the Austrian Netherlands are now in possession of the French, swho have decreed them an integral part of their republic, and divided them inta aine departments, of which the following are the names and chief towns: DEPARTMENTS.
2. Laté. Austrian Brabant
2. ANTWERP, and, 3. MALINES, are provinces independent of
Brabant, though surrounded by it; they were subject to the house of Austria.
4. Province of LIMBURG, S. E.
312 50-37. Iate sub. to Austria
300 Fauquemont, or Dutch Valkenburg
5. Province of LUXEMBURG. Late Austrian Luxemburg
Ş Luxemburg, E. long. 6-8. N. lat.
2408 French Luxemburg Montmedy
6. Province of NAMUR, in the middle, late subject to Austria.
Namur, on the Sainbre and Maese, Chief Towns
425 E. long. 4-50. N. lat. 50-30. Charleroi on the Sambre,
7. Province of HAINAULT.
Mons, E. long. 3-33
N. lat. 50-30, in the Late Austrian Hainault
Enghien French Hainault-now
Bouchain in the department of Condé
S.W. the North
8. Province of CAMBRESIS. Subject to France-now ( Cambray, E. of Arras, E. long.
in the department of 3-15. N. lat. 50-15. the North
Crevecæur, S. of Cambray.
9. Province of ARTOIS.
long. 2-5, N. lat. 50-20. Subject to France—now St. Omers, E. of Boulogne
in the department of Aire, S. of St. Omers
Bethune, S.E. of Aire
10. Province of FLANDERS..
3-36. N. lat. 51.
on the Lis
Lisle, W. of Tournay
Dunkirk, on the coast E. of Calais in the department of Mardike, W. of Dunkirk
of the North
St. Amand, N. of Valenciennes
AIR, SOIL, AND PRODUCE.] The air of Brabant, and
the coast of Flanders, is bad ; that in the interior parts is inore healthful, and the seasons more settled, both in winter and suminer, than they are in Eng. land. The soil and its produce are rich, especially in corn and fruits. They have abundance of pasture; and Flanders itself has been reckoned the granary of France and Germany, and sometimes of England. The most barren parts for corn rear far more profitable crops of flax, which is here cultivated to great perfection. Upon the whole, the late Austrian Netherlands, by the culture, commerce, and industry of the inhabitants, was formerly the richest and most beautiful spot in Europe, whether we regard the variety of its manufactures, the magnificence and riches of its cities, the pleasantness of its roads and villages, or the fertility of its land. If it has fallen off in latter times, it is owing partly to the neglect of its government, but chiefly to its vicinity to England and Holland; but it is still a most desirable and agreeable country. There are few or no mountains in the Netherlands; Flanders is a Hat country, with scarcely a single hill in it: Brabant, and the rest of the provinces, consist of little hills and valleys, woods, inelosed grounds, and champaign fields.
RIVERS AND CANALS.] The chief rivers are the Maese, Sambre, Demer, Dyle, Nethe, Geet, Sanne, Ruppel, Scheldt, Lis, Scarpe, Deule, and Dender. The principal canals are those of Brussels, Ghent, and Ostend.
METALS AND MINERALS.) Mincs of iron, copper, lead, and brimstone, are found in Luxemburgh and Limburg, as are some marble quarries; and in the province of Namur there are coal-pits, and a specics of bituminous fat earth proper for fuel, with great plenty of fossile nitre, IN HABITANTS, POPULATION, MAN- The Flemings (for so tlie
NERS, CUSTOMS, AND DIVERSIONS. J inhabitants of Flanders and the Low Countries are generally called) are thought to be a heavy, blunt, honest people; but their manners are somewhat indelicate. For they were known to tight desperately in defence of their count present they make no great figure. The late Austrian Netherlar extremely populous; but authors differ as to their numbers. Pich we may fix them, at a medium, at a million and a half. The norant, and fond of religious exhibitions and pageants. Their diversions are the same with those of the peasants of the neight countries.
DRESS AND LANGUAGE.] The inhabitants of French Flanders mere French men and women in both of these particulars. The bler on the frontiers of Holland dress like the Dutch boors, and their guage is the same ; but the better sort of the people speak French dress in the same taste.
Religion.] Before the conquest of this country by the French, established religion was the Roman catholic; but protestants, and out sects, were not molested.
ARCHBISHOPRICS AND BISHOPRICs.] The archbishopries we Cambray, Malines or Mechlin: the bishoprics, Ghent, Bruges, an werp, Arras, Ypres, Tournay, St. Omers, Namur, and Ruremonde. LEARNING, LEARNED MEN,? The society of Jesuits formerly pa AND ARTISTS.
S duced the most learned men in Austrain Low Countries, in which they had many eligible settlement Works of theology, and the civil and canon law, Latinpoems and the were their chief productions. Strada is an elegant historian and The Flemish painters and sculptors have great merit, and form a scho by themselves. The works of Reubens and Vandyke cammot be sur ciently admired. The models for heads of Fiamingo, or the Fleming particularly those of children, have never yet been cqualled; and the Flemings formerly engrossed tapestry-weaving to themselves.
UNIVERSITIES.] Louvain, Doway, Tournay, and St. Omets. The first was founded in 1426, by John IV. duke of Brabant, and cajog great privileges. By a grant of pope Sixtus IV. this university had the privilege of presenting to all the livings in the Netherlands, except Holland. ANTIQUITIES AND CURIOSITIES, Some Roman moniments
NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL. S temples and other buildings to be found in these provinces. Many curious bells, churches, the like, ancient and modern, are also found here; and the magnice old editices of every kind, in all their cities, give evidence of the former grandeur. In 1607, some labourers found 1600 gold coins, and ancient medals, of Antoninus Pius Aurelius, and Lucius Veras.
CITIES.) This article has emp3ved several large volumes, published by different authors, it in timed hen the Austrian Netherlauds were far more fourishing than at present. The walls of Ghent, fornuerly eke capital of Flanders, and celebrated for its linen and woollen mamlar tures, contain the circuit of ten miles; but now unoccupied, and part of it in a manner a void. Bruges, formerly so noted for ia trate and manufactures, but above all for its fine canals, is now dwindled an inconsiderable place. Ostend is a tolerably convenient kartant for traders ; and soon after the rupture between Great Britain and Holland during the American war, became more opulent and popalous. 2 1781, it was visited by the emperor, who granted to it many priviles and franchises, and the free exercise of the protestant religion. A Ipres, it is only a strong garrison towa. The sute may be said of -Charleroi and Namur
Louvain, the capital of the Austrian Brabant, instead of its fourishing manufactures and places of trade, now contains pretty gardens, walks, and arbours. Brussels retains somewhat of its ancient manutattures; and having been the residence of the governor or viceroy of the Austrian Netherlands, is a populous, lively place. Antwerp, once the emporium of the European continent, is now reduced to be a tapestry and threadlace shop, with the houses of some bankers, jewellers and painters adjoining. One of the first exploits of the Dutch, soon after they threw off the Spanish yoke, was to ruin at once the commerce of Antwerp, by sinking vessels, loaded with stone, in the mouth of the Scheldt; thus shutting up the entrance of that river to ships of large burthen. This was the more cruel, as the people of Antwerp had been their friends and fellow-sufferers in the cause of liberty; but they foresaw that the prosperity of their own commerce was at stake.
It may be observed here, that every gentleman's house is a castle or chateau ; and that there are more strong towns in the Netherlands than in all the rest of Europe ; but since the decline of their trade by the rise of the English and Dutch, these towns are considerably diminished in size; and whole streets, particularly in Antwerp, are in appearance ouinhabited. In the Netherlands, provisions are extremely good and cheap. Travelling is safe, reasonable, and delightful, in this luxurious country. The roads are generally broad causeways, and run for some miles in a straight line, till they terminate with the view of some roble buildings. At Cassel, in the French Netherlands, may be seen thirty-two towns, itself being on a hill.
COMMERCE AND MANUFACTURES.] The chief manufactures of the Netherlands are their beautiful linens and laces; in which, notwithstanding the boasted improveinents of their neighbours, they are yet unrivalled, particularly in that species called cambrics, from Cambray, the chief place of its manufacture. These manufactures form the principal article of their commerce.
CONSTITUTION AND GOVERNMENT.] The Austrian Netherlands were considered as a circle of the einpire, of which the archducal house, as being sovereign of the whole, was the sole director and summoning prince. This circle contributed its share to the imposts of the empire, and sent an envoy to the diet, but was not subject to the judicatories of the empire. At present they must be considered as annexed to France, and under the same constitution and government.
REVENUES.] These arose from the demesne lands and customs: but so much was the trade of Austrian Flanders reduced, that they are said not to have defrayed the expense of their government. The French Netherlands brought in it considerable revenue to the nation.
ARUS.] The arms of Flanders are, Oi, a lion sable; langued gules,
HISTORY.) The seventeen provinces, and that part of Germany which lies west of the Rhine, was called Gallia Belgica by the Romans. About a century before the Christian era the Battæ removed from llesse to the marshy country bounded by the Rhine and the Maese. They gave the naine of Batavia to their new country. Generous and brave, the Batavians were treated by the Romans with great respect, leing exempted from tribute, governed by their own laws, and obliged only to perform military services. Upon the decline of that empire, the Goths, and other northern people, possessed themselves of these provinces first, as they passed through them in their way to France, and other parts of the Roman empire; and alierwards being erected inio sinall goveruments, the heads of which were despotic within their