The Relics of General Chasse HTML version
evidence of freshness, but also of the talent which the artisan had displayed in turning out
a well-dressed clergyman of the Church of England. His hair was ever brushed with
scrupulous attention, and showed in its regular waves the guardian care of each separate
bristle. And all this was done with that ease and grace which should be the characteristics
of a dignitary of the established English Church.
I had accompanied Mr. Horne to the Rhine; and we had reached Brussels on our return,
just at the close of that revolution which ended in affording a throne to the son-in-law of
George the Fourth. At that moment General Chasse's name and fame were in every man's
mouth, and, like other curious admirers of the brave, Mr. Horne determined to devote two
days to the scene of the late events at Antwerp. Antwerp, moreover, possesses perhaps
the finest spire, and certainly one of the three or four finest pictures, in the world. Of
General Chasse, of the cathedral, and of the Rubens, I had heard much, and was therefore
well pleased that such should be his resolution. This accomplished we were to return to
Brussels; and thence, via Ghent, Ostend, and Dover, I to complete my legal studies in
London, and Mr. Horne to enjoy once more the peaceful retirement of Ollerton rectory.
As we were to be absent from Brussels but one night we were enabled to indulge in the
gratification of travelling without our luggage. A small sac-de-nuit was prepared;
brushes, combs, razors, strops, a change of linen, &c. &c., were carefully put up; but our
heavy baggage, our coats, waistcoats, and other wearing apparel were unnecessary. It was
delightful to feel oneself so light-handed. The reverend gentleman, with my humble self
by his side, left the portal of the Hotel de Belle Vue at 7 a.m., in good humour with all the
world. There were no railroads in those days; but a cabriolet, big enough to hold six
persons, with rope traces and corresponding appendages, deposited us at the Golden
Fleece in something less than six hours. The inward man was duly fortified, and we
started for the castle.
It boots not here to describe the effects which gunpowder and grape- shot had had on the
walls of Antwerp. Let the curious in these matters read the horrors of the siege of Troy,
or the history of Jerusalem taken by Titus. The one may be found in Homer, and the other
in Josephus. Or if they prefer doings of a later date there is the taking of Sebastopol, as
narrated in the columns of the "Times" newspaper. The accounts are equally true,
instructive, and intelligible. In the mean time allow the Rev. Augustus Horne and myself
to enter the private chambers of the renowned though defeated general.
We rambled for a while through the covered way, over the glacis and along the
counterscarp, and listened to the guide as he detailed to us, in already accustomed words,
how the siege had gone. Then we got into the private apartments of the general, and,
having dexterously shaken off our attendant, wandered at large among the deserted
"It is clear that no one ever comes here," said I.
"No," said the Rev. Augustus; "it seems not; and to tell the truth, I don't know why any
one should come. The chambers in themselves are not attractive."