Vanished towers and chimes of Flanders
The Malines Beguinage was suppressed by the authorities in 1798, and it was not until 1804 that the order was permitted to resume operations under their former rights, nor were they allowed to resume their quaint costume until the year 1814.
In the small church on my last visit I saw the portrait of the Beguine Catherine Van Halter, the work of the painter I. Cossiers, and another picture by him representing the dead Christ on the knees of the Virgin surrounded by disciples. Cossiers seemed to revel in the ghastliness of the scene, but the workmanship was certainly of a very high order. The Beguine showed me with much pride their great treasure, a tiny, six-inch figure of the Crucifixion, carved from one piece of ivory by Jerome due Quesnoy. It was of very admirable workmanship, the face being remarkable in expression. Despatches (March, 1916) report this Beguinage entirely destroyed by the siege guns. One wonders