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French Flanders

"I didn't become acquainted thoroughly with the customs of French Flanders where I lived for years. However I retained precious memories of this country. The population was frankly christian. The families had many children, the customs were healthy, the practice of faith almost being universal. The parish was vital, the church was decorated, the Works [les Oeuvres] were numerous. Work was honoured, the agriculture was admirably developed and prosperous. The workers in the cities weave. Despite the large number of children there was hardly any misery ... The population spoke exclusively Flemish, and so was prevented of (morally) bad literature. The clergy was abundant, active, devoted and enjoyed much respect." (NHV I/27r ss)

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