"Aix la Chapelle" [essay]
Aix la Chapelle
Hast ever heard of the peace of Aix la Chapelle,
reader. 1 If thou ever travellest from Spa to Aix, 2
or
and
from
Aix to Cologne, thou shalt find various treaties of
peace have been ratified, which thou wilt not approve of. Thou shalt find atreaty, a whereof the first condition is. b
that the postillions whip be not closely acquainted with the
back of his quadrupeds, more than three times in a stage,
orso, c Item, that the above mentioned quadrupeds, be not
compelled to draw any carriage, chariot, gig, or other vehicle,
whatsoever, at a greater rate than two miles an hour.
Item, that the above mentioned quadrupeds be not compelled
to trot upon the paved centre of the road, but that they
be permitted to draw the carriage, chariot, gig, or other vehicle
afore said, into the beds of sand and dust, denominated
by the postillion, la terre, even although the carriage, char‐
iot gig, or other vehicle, be in imminent danger of being overset
into the ditch which bordereth upon the road. Item, that
postillion be permitted, when upon the backs of his horses,
to indulge himself with a comfortable pipe, and half
hours nap, or so, during which time, his above mentioned
quadrupeds be surrendered to their own will, and gui‐
dance, 3 Alas every article of this treaty was strictly
fulfilled with regard to us, and the consequence was,
that during a half
six
hours ride of 12 miles, I was first
fevered by the burning sun, then smothered by the
dust, and finally—but let that pass for the present.
A cathedral is a noble, a beautiful, a sublime thing, 4 by
twilight, with its white, fretted, marble columns, looking
out from the dark retiring immensity of the long aisles,
and the faint streams of coloured and variegated light
falling faintly through the Gothic windows, streaming
at intervals along the chequered floors, or ruddily lighting
up the countenances of the marble figures, giving a
ghastly resemblance to reality, a mockery of life, that
makes you start when you look upon the hollow eyes,
and rigid muscles starting out of the stone, d You
almost think that the dead forms of departed monarchs
have sprung forth from their narrow dwellings beneath that
ancient pavement, and the peers of Charlemagne are rallying
again around their monarch. Wake— 5
66

Saw s easy chair. 6 Arms stone, back stone
hard unaccommodating independent granite Thin velvet
cushion however on the seat as a mediator Very ancient
affair, product of the dark ages I suppose. Sarcophagus
sculptured, Grecian, basso relievo. 7 The revolutionists am‐
used themselves by depriving the poor stone gentlemen
of their olfactory nerves, alias noses, consequence they
look all terrible flats. Twili e Night coming on. Left
the cathedral just in time to be tantalized by grinning
at a magnificent picture when it was pitch dark. Last judg‐
ment. f   I think. g in the hotel de ville. 8 Returnʼd to
the inn in very bad humour. Off early next morning for
Cologne. Goodnight.