there is a platform, on which you can stand and see the country. The fares are low, and you can go a long way for a few pence. The carriages are open from end to end, and if you travel in one of them you will generally see a crowd of peasants in blue blouses, old women in long black cloaks and white caps, priests, and soldiers (who only pay half-price), the men all smoking, and the women talking about what they have bought, or what they are going to buy. They are always talking about that, and, indeed, seem never to speak about anything else. A few hours' journey in one of these district railways, which are called the Chemins-de-fer-Vicinaux, is a far better way of getting a peep at the Belgian people than rushing along in an express train from one big town to another.
The first railway on the Continent of Europe was in Belgium. It was opened seventy-four years ago--in May, 1835--and ran from Brussels, the capital of Belgium, to Malines, a town which you will see on the map. There are now, of