10 MARCH 1900, Page 25

Bruges: an Historical Sketch. By Wilfrid C. Robinson. (L. de

Planke, Bruges. 4s.)—The town of Bruges seems to be very careful of its records, and very much interested in its history. Thanks to this care and interest, and his own industry, Mr. Robinson has been able to put together a very instructive volume. He modestly calls it a sketch. It would have been easy, doubt- less, to fill it out into an ample and practically unmanageable history. What he has actually done is likely to be more useful. Bruges, it will be remembered, had for a consider- able period a close connection with English affairs. France was a neighbour, and, whenever the opportunity offered, an oppressor. It is no mere chance that in two countries so differ- ently circumstanced as Sicily and Flanders French occupation provoked great historical crimes. The "Sicilian Vespers happened on March 30th, 1282; the "Bruges Matins" on May 18th, 1302. The test word was " Schilt ende vriendt," as at Palermo it had been "Cicerone." In England the Fleming.; themselves, when they roused the commercial jealousy of "know nothings" of the time, were tried with the words "Bread and cheese." The reader will find abundant store of interesting matter in this account of the growth and decay of Bruges.