Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: A Bibliographical, Antiquarian and Picturesque Tour in France and Germany, Volume One
Author: Dibdin, Thomas Frognall, 1776-1847
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A Bibliographical, Antiquarian and Picturesque Tour in France and Germany, Volume One" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



images generously made available by gallica (Bibliothèque
nationale de France) at http://gallica.bnf.fr.



BIBLIOGRAPHICAL Antiquarian AND PICTURESQUE TOUR.

PRINTED BY WILLIAM NICOL, AT THE

Shakespeare Press.

[Illustration: T. F. DIBDIN, D.D.

Engraved by James Thomson from the
Original Painting by T. Phillips Esq. R.A.

London. Published June 1829 by R. Jennings, Poultry.]



A
BIBLIOGRAPHICAL
Antiquarian
AND
PICTURESQUE TOUR
IN
FRANCE AND GERMANY.


BY THE REVEREND THOMAS FROGNALL DIBDIN, D.D.

MEMBER OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY AT ROUEN, AND OF THE ACADEMY OF UTRECHT.


SECOND EDITION.


VOLUME I.


LONDON:
PUBLISHED BY ROBERT JENNINGS, AND JOHN MAJOR.
1829.



TO THE REVEREND JOHN LODGE, M.A.
FELLOW OF MAGDALEN COLLEGE, AND
LIBRARIAN TO THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE.


MY DEAR FRIEND,


Most grateful it is to me, at all times, to bear in remembrance those
pleasant discussions in which we were wont so frequently to indulge,
relating to the LIBRARIES upon the Continent:--but more than ordinarily
gratifying to me was _that_ moment, when you told me, that, on crossing the
Rhine, you took the third volume of my Tour under your arm, and on reaching
the Monasteries of Mölk and Göttwic, gave an off-hand translation to the
venerable Benedictine Inmates of what I had recorded concerning their MSS.
and Printed Books, and their hospitable reception of the Author. I
studiously concealed from You, at the time, the whole of the gratification
which that intelligence imparted; resolving however that, should this work
be deemed worthy of a second edition, to dedicate that republication to
YOURSELF. Accordingly, it now comes forth in its present form, much
enhanced, in the estimation of its Author, by the respectability of the
name prefixed to this Dedication; and wishing you many years enjoyment of
the honourable public situation with which you have been recently, and so
deservedly, invested, allow me to subscribe myself,


Your affectionate
and obliged Friend,

T.F. DIBDIN.

Wyndham Place,
June 30, 1829.



CONTENTS OF VOLUME I.


CONTENTS.


VOLUME I.


LETTER I.

_Passage to Dieppe_

LETTER II.

DIEPPE. _Fisheries. Streets. Churches of St. Jacques and St. Remy. Divine
Worship. Military Mass_

LETTER III.

_Village and Castle of Arques. Sabbath Amusements. Manners and Customs.
Boulevards_

LETTER IV.

ROUEN. _Approach. Boulevards. Population. Street-Scenery_

LETTER V.

_Ecclesiastical Architecture. Cathedral. Monuments. Religious Ceremonies.
The Abbey of St. Ouen. The Churches of St. Maclou, St. Vincent, St. Vivien,
St. Gervais, and St. Paul_

LETTER VI.

_Halles de Commerce. Place de la Pucelle d'Orleans. (Jeanne d'Arc).
Basso-Rilievo of the Champ de Drap d'Or. Palace and Courts of Justice_

LETTER VII.

ROUEN. _The Quays. Bridge of Boats. Rue du Bac. Rue de Robec. Eaux de Robec
et d'Aubette. Mont Ste. Catherine. Hospices--Générale et d'Humanité_,

LETTER VIII.

_Early Typography at Rouen. Modern Printers. Chap Books. Booksellers. Book
Collectors_

LETTER IX.

_Departure from Rouen. St. George de Boscherville. Duclair. Marivaux. The
Abbey of Jumieges. Arrival at Caudebec_,

LETTER X.

_Caudebec. Lillebonne. Bolbec. Tankarville. Montmorenci Castle. Havre de
Grace_

LETTER XI.

_Havre de Grace. Honfleur. Journey to Caen_

LETTER XII.

CAEN. _Soil. Society. Education. A Duel. Old houses. The Abbey of St.
Stephen. Church of St. Pierre de Darnetal. Abbé de la Sainte Trinité. Other
Public Edifices_

LETTER XIII.

CAEN. _Literary Society. Abbé de la Rue. Messrs. Pierre-Aimé. Lair and
Lamouroux. Medal of Malherbe. Booksellers. Memoir of the late M. Moysant,
Public Librarian. Courts of Justice_

LETTER XIV.

BAYEUX. _Cathedral. Ordination of Priests and Deacons. Crypt of the
Cathedral_

LETTER XV.

BAYEUX. _Visit near St. Loup. M. Pluquet, Apothecary and Book-Vendor. Visit
to the Bishop. The Chapter Library. Description of the Bayeux Tapestry.
Trade and Manufacture_

LETTER XVI.

_Bayeux to Coutances. St. Lo. The Cathedral of Coutances. Environs.
Aqueduct. Market-Day. Public Library. Establishment for the Clergy_

LETTER XVII.

_Journey to Granville. Granville. Ville Dieu. St. Sever. Town and Castle
of_ VIRE

LETTER XVIII.

VIRE. _Bibliography. Monsieur Adam. Monsieur de la Renaudiere. Olivier
Basselin. M. Séguin. The Public Library_

LETTER XIX.

_Departure from Vire. Condé. Pont Ouilly. Arrival at_ FALAISE. _Hotel of
the Grand Turc. Castle of Falaise. Bibliomaniacal Interview_

LETTER XX.

_Mons. Mouton. Church of Ste. Trinité, Comte de la Fresnaye. Guibray
Church. Supposed head of William the Conqueror. M. Langevin, Historian of
Falaise. Printing Offices_

LETTER XXI.

_Journey to Paris. Dreux. Houdan. Versailles. Entrance into Paris_



LIST OF PLATES.


VOL. I.

Portrait of the Author
Fille de Chambre, Caen
Portrait of the Abbé de la Rue

VOL. II.

Anne of Brittany
Medal of Louis XII
Pisani
Denon
Comte de Brienne
Stone Pulpit, Strasbourg Cathedral

VOL. III.

Fille de Chambre, Manheim
Monastery of Saints Ulric and Afra
Prater, Vienna



LIST OF AUTOGRAPHS.
                                                       Vol.     Page.

Artaria, Dom. Manheim                                  iii.      470
Barbier, Antoine Alexandre; Paris                       ii.      204
Bartsch, Adam de; Vienna                               iii.      394
Beyschlag, Recteur; Augsbourg                          iii.      104
Brial, Dom; Paris                                       ii.      254
Brunet, Libraire; Paris                                 ii.      235
Bure, De, Freres; Paris                                 ii.      220
Chateaugiron, Marquis de; Paris                          i.  xxxviii
Dannecker; Stuttgart                                   iii.       54
Denon; Paris                                            ii.      293
Gaertner, Corbinian; Salzburg                          iii.      201
Gail; Paris                                             ii.      259
Hartenschneider, Udalricus; Chremsminster
  Monastery                                            iii.      229
Henri II.                                               ii.      151
Hess, C.E.; Munich                                     iii.      165
Lamouroux; Caen                                          i.      137
Lançon, Durand de; Paris                                 i.  xxxviii
Langevin; Falaise                                        i.      341
Langlès, L.; Paris                                      ii.      268
Larenaudiere, De; Vire                                   i.      309
Lebret, F.C.; Stuttgart                                iii.       56
May, Jean Gottlob; Augsbourg                           iii.      104
Millin, A.L.; Paris                                     ii.      264
Pallas, Joachim; Mölk Monastery                        iii.      254
Peignot, Gabriel; Dijon                                  i.    xxvii
Poitiers, Diane de                                      ii.      151
Renouard, Ant. Aug.; Paris                              ii.      227
Schlichtegroll, Frederic; Munich                       iii.      161
Schweighæuser, Fils; Strasbourg                         ii.      426
Van Praet; Paris                                        ii.      278
Veesenmeyer, G.; Ulm                                   iii.       71
Willemin; Paris                                         ii.      320
Young,.T.; Vienna                                      iii.      390



PREFACE.



PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION.


If I had chosen to introduce myself to the greatest possible advantage to
the reader, in this Preface to a Second Edition of the "_Bibliographical,
Antiquarian, and Picturesque Tour_," I could not have done better than have
borrowed the language of those Foreigners, who, by a translation of the
Work (however occasionally vituperative their criticisms) have, in fact,
conferred an honour upon its Author. In the midst of censure, sometimes
dictated by spite, and sometimes sharpened by acrimony of feeling, it were
in my power to select passages of commendation, which would not less
surprise the Reader than they have done myself: while the history of this
performance may be said to exhibit the singular phenomenon, of a traveller,
usually lauding the countries through which he passes, receiving in return
the reluctant approbation of those whose institutions, manners, and
customs, have been praised by him. It is admitted, by the most sedulous and
systematic of my opponents--M. CRAPELET--that "considering the quantity and
quality of the ornaments and engravings of this Tour, one is surprised that
its cost is so moderate."[1]

"Few books (says the Bibliographer of Dijon) have been executed with
greater luxury. It is said that the expenses of printing and engraving
amounted to 6000 l.--to nearly 140,000 franks of our money. It must be
admitted that England is the only country in which such an undertaking
could be carried into effect. Who in France would dare to risk such a
sum--especially for three, volumes in octavo? He would be ruined, if he
did."[2] I quote these passages simply to shew under what extraordinary
obliquity of feeling those gentlemen must have set down to the task of
translation and abuse--of THAT VERY WORK, which is here admitted to contain
such splendid representations of the "bibliographical, antiquarian, and
picturesque" beauties of their country.

A brief account of this foreign _travail_ may be acceptable to the curious
in literary history. MONS. LICQUET, the successor of M. Gourdin, as Chief
Librarian to the Public Library at Rouen, led the way in the work of
warfare. He translated the ninth Letter relating to that Public Library; of
which translation especial mention is made at p. 99, post. This version was
printed in 1821, for private, distribution; and only 100 copies were struck
off. M. Crapelet, in whose office it was printed, felt the embers of
discontent rekindled in his bosom as it passed through his press; and in
the following year HE also stepped forward to discharge an arrow at the
Traveller. Like his predecessor, he printed but a limited number; and as I
have more particularly remarked upon the spirit of that version by way of
"Introduction" to the original letter, in vol. ii. 209, &c. I shall not
waste the time of the Reader by any notice of it in the present place.
These two partial translators united their forces, about two years
afterwards, and published the whole of the Tour, as it related to FRANCE,
in four octavo volumes, in 1825. The ordinary copies were sold for 48
francs, the large paper for 112 francs per copy. The wood-cuts only were
republished by them. Of this conjoint, and more enlarged production,
presently.

Encouraged by the examples of Messrs. Licquet and Crapelet, a Bookbinder of
the name of LESNÉ (whose poem upon his "Craft," published in 1820, had been
copiously quoted and _commended_ by me in the previous edition) chose to
plant his foot within this arena of controversy; and to address a letter to
me; to which his model, M. Crapelet, was too happy to give circulation
through the medium of his press.[3] To that letter the following metrical
lines are prefixed; which the Reader would scarcely forgive me if I failed
to amuse him by their introduction in this place. "_Lesné, Relieur
Français, à Mons. T.F. Dibdin, Ministre de la Religion, &c._"

  Avec un ris moqueur, je crois vous voir d'ici,
  Dédaigneusement dire: Eh, que veut celui-ci?
  Qu'ai-je donc de commun avec un vil artiste?
  Un ouvrier français, un _Bibliopégiste_?
  Ose-t-on ravaler un Ministre à ce point?
  Que me veut ce _Lesné_? Je ne le connais point.
    Je crois me souvenir qu'à mon voyage en France,
  Avec ses pauvres vers je nouai connaissance.
  Mais c'est si peu de chose un poète à Paris!
    Savez-vous bien, Monsieur, pourquoi je vous écris?
  C'est que je crois avoir le droit de vous écrire.
  Fussiez-vous cent fois plus qu'on ne saurait le dire,
  Je vois dans un Ministre un homme tel que moi;
  Devant Dieu je crois même être l'égal d'un roi.

The Letter however is in prose, with some very few exceptions; and it is
just possible that the indulgent Reader may endure a specimen or two of the
prose of M. Lesné, as readily as he has that of his poetry. These specimens
are equally delectable, of their kind. Immediately after the preceding
poetical burst, the French Bibliopegist continues thus:

    D'après cet exorde, vous pensez sans doute que, bien convaincu de ma
    dignité d'homme, je me crois en droit de vous dire franchement ma
    façon de penser; je vous la dirai, Monsieur. Si vous dirigiez un
    journal bibliographique; que vous fissiez, en un mot, le métier de
    journaliste, je serai peu surpris de voir dans votre Trentième Lettre,
    une foule de choses hasardées, de mauvais calembourgs, de
    grossièretés, que nous ne rencontrons même pas chez nos journalistes
    du dernier ordre, en ce qu'ils savent mieux leur monde, et que s'ils
    lancent une epigramme, fût-elle fausse, elle est au moins finement
    tournée. Mais vous êtes ANGLAIS, et par cela seul dispensé sans doute
    de cette politesse qui distingue si heureusement notre nation de la
    vôtre, et que vos compatriotes n'acquièrent pour la plupart qu'après
    un long séjour en France." p. 6.

Towards the latter part of this most formidable "Tentamen Criticum," the
irritable author breaks out thus--"C'est une maladie Française de vouloir
toujours imiter les Anglais; ceux-ci, à leur tour, commencent à en être
atteints." p. 19. A little farther it is thus: "Enfin c'est _en imitant_
qu'on reussit presque toujours mal; vous en êtes encore, une preuve
évidente. J'ai vu en beaucoup d'endroits de votre Lettre, que vous avez
voulu imiter _Sterne_;[4] qu'est-il arrivé? Vous êtes resté au-dessous de
lui, comme tous les Imitateurs de nôtre bon La Fontaine sont restés en deçà
de l'immortel Fabuliste." p. 20. But most especially does the sensitive M.
Lesné betray his surprise and apprehension, on a gratuitous
supposition--thrown out by me, by way of pleasantry--that "Mr. Charles
Lewis was going over to Paris, to establish there a modern School of
Bookbinding." M. Lesné thus wrathfully dilates upon this supposition:

    "Je me garderai bien de passer sous silence la dernière partie de
    votre Lettre; _un bruit assez étrange est venu jusqu'à vous_; et
    Charles Lewis doit vous quitter pour quelque temps pour établir en
    France une école de reliure d'apres les principes du gôut anglais;
    mais vous croyez, dites-vous, que ce projet est sûrement chimérique,
    ou que, si on le tentait, il serait de courte durée.

    Pour cette fois, Monsieur, votre pronostic serait très juste; cette
    demarche serait une folie: il faudrait s'abuser sur l'engouement des
    amateurs français, et ceux qui sont atteints de cette maladie ne sont
    pas en assez grand nombre pour soutenir un pareil établissement. Oui,
    l'on aime votre genre de reliure; mais on aime les reliures, façon
    anglaise, faites par les Français. Pensez-vous done, ou Charles Lewis
    pense-t-il, qu'il n'y ait plus d'esprit national en France?

      Allez, le sang Française coule encore dans nos veines;
      Nous pourrons éprouver des malheurs et des peines,
      Que nous devrons peut être à vous autres Anglais;
      Mais nous voulons rester, nous resterons, Français!

    Ainsi, que Charles Lewis ne se dérange pas; qu'il cesse, s'il les a
    commencés, les préparatifs de sa descente; qu'il ne prive pas ses
    compatriotes d'un artiste soi-disant inimitable. Nous en avons ici qui
    le valent, et qui se feront un plaisir de perpéteur parmi nous le bon
    gôut, l'élégance, et la noble simplicité. p. 25.[5]

So much for M. Lesne. I have briefly noticed M. Peignot, the Bibliographer
of Dijon. That worthy wight has made the versions of my Ninth and Thirtieth
Letters (First Edition) by M.M. Licquet and Crapelet, the substratum of his
first brochure entitled _Variétés, Notices et Raretés Bibliographiques_,
_Paris_, 1822: it being a supplement to his previous Work of _Curiosités
Bibliographiques_."[6] It is not always agreeable for an Author to have his
Works reflected through the medium of a translation; especially where the
Translator suffers a portion, however small, of his _own_ atrabiliousness,
to be mixed up with the work translated: nor is it always safe for a third
person to judge of the merits of the original through such a medium. Much
allowance must therefore be made for M. Peignot; who, to say the truth, at
the conclusion of his labours, seems to think that he has waded through a
great deal of _dirt_ of some kind or other, which might have been better
avoided; and that, in consequence, some general declaration, by way of
_wiping, off_ a portion of the adhering mud, is due to the original Author.
Accordingly, at the end of his analysis of M. Licquet's version, (which
forms the second Letter in the brochure) he does me the honour to devote
seven pages to the notice of my humble lucubrations:--and he prefaces this
"_Notice des Ouvrages de M. Dibdin"_, by the following very handsome
tribute to their worth:

    Si, dans les deux Lettres où nous avons rendu compte des traductions
    partielles du voyage de M.D., nous avons partagé l'opinion des deux
    estimable traducteurs, sur quelques erreurs et quelques inconvenances
    échappées a l'auteur anglais, nous sommes bien éloigné d'envelopper
    dans le même blame, tout ce qui est sorté de sa plume; car il y auroit
    injustice a lui refuser des connaissances très étendues en histoire
    littéraire, et en bibliographie: nous le disons franchement, il
    faudroit fermer les yeux à la lumière, ou être d'une partialité
    revoltante, pour ne pas convenir que, juste appréciateur de tous les
    trésors bibliographiques qu'il a le bonheur d'avoir sous la main, M.
    Dibdin en a fait connoitre en détail toute la richesse dans de
    nombreux d'ouvrages, ou très souvent le luxe d'érudition se trouve en
    harmonie avec le luxe typographique qu'il y a étalé.

At the risk of incurring the imputation of vanity, I annex the preceding
extract; because I am persuaded that the candid Reader will appreciate it
in its proper light. I might, had I chosen to do so, have lengthened the
extract by a yet more complimentary passage: but enough of M. Peignot--who,
so far from suffering ill will or acerbity to predominate over a kind
disposition, hath been pleased, since his publication, to write to me a
very courteous Letter,[7] and to solicit a "continuance of my favours."

Agreeably to the intimation expressed in a preceding page, I am now, in due
order, to notice the labours of my translators M.M. LICQUET and CRAPELET.
Their united version appeared in 1825, in four octavo volumes, of which the
small paper was but indifferently well printed.[8] The preface to the first
two volumes is by M. Licquet: and it is not divested of point and merit. It
begins by attacking the _Quarterly Review_, (June 1821, p. 147.) for its
severity of animadversion on the supposed listlessness and want of
curiosity of the French in exploring the architectural antiquities of their
country; and that, in consequence of such supineness, the English,
considering them as their own property, have described them accordingly.
"The decision (says the French translator) is severe; happily it is without
foundation." After having devoted several pages to observations by way of
reply to that critical Journal, M. Licquet continues thus:--unless I have
unintentionally misrepresented him.

    The Englishman who travels in Normandy, meets, at every step, with
    reminiscences of his kings, his ancestors, his institutions, and his
    customs. Churches yet standing, after the lapse of seven centuries;
    majestic ruins; tombs--even to the very sound of the clock--all unite
    in affecting, here, the heart of a British subject: every thing seems
    to tell him that, in former times, HERE was his country; here the
    residence of his sovereigns; and here the cradle of his manners. This
    was more than sufficient to enflame the lively imagination of Mr. D.
    and to decide him to visit, in person, a country already explored by a
    great number of his countrymen; but he conceived that his narrative
    should embody other topics than those which ordinarily appeared in the
    text of his predecessors.

    "His work then is not only a description of castles, towns, churches,
    public monuments of every kind:--it is not only a representation of
    the general aspect of the country, as to its picturesque
    appearances--but it is an extended, minute, though occasionally
    inexact, account of public and private libraries; with reflections
    upon certain customs of the country, and upon the character of those
    who inhabit it. It is in short the personal history of the author,
    throughout the whole length of his journey. Not the smallest incident,
    however indifferent, but what has a place in the letters of the
    Bibliographer. Thus, he mentions every Inn where he stops: recommends
    or scolds the landlord--according to his civility or exaction. Has the
    author passed a bad night? the reader is sure to know it on the
    following morning. On the other hand, has he had a good night's rest
    in a comfortable bed? [dans un lit _comfortable_?] We are as sure to
    know this also, as soon as he awakes:--and thus far we are relieved
    from anxiety about the health of the traveller. Cold and heat--fine
    weather and bad weather--every variation of atmosphere is scrupulously
    recorded.

What immediately follows, is unworthy of M. Licquet; because it not only
implies a charge of a heinous description--accusing me of an insidious
intrusion into domestic circles, a violation of confidence, and a
systematic derision of persons and things--but because the French
translator, exercising that sense and shrewdness which usually distinguish
him, MUST have known that such a charge _could_ not have been founded in
FACT. He must have known that any gentleman, leaving England with those
letters which brought me in contact with some of the first circles on the
Continent, MUST have left it without leaving his character _behind_ him;
and that such a character could not, in the natural order of things--seen
even through the sensitive medium of a French critic--have been guilty of
the grossness and improprieties imputed to me by M. Licquet. I treat
therefore this "damnation in wholesale" with scorn and contempt: and hasten
to impress the reader with a more favourable opinion of my Norman
translator. He _will_ have it that

    "the English Traveller's imagination is lively and ardent--and his
    spirit, that of raillery and lightness. He examines as he runs along;
    that is to say, he does not give himself time to examine; he examines
    ill; he deceives himself; and he subjects his readers to be deceived
    with him. He traverses, at a hard trot, one of the most ancient towns
    in France; puts his head out of his carriage window--and boldly
    decides that the town is of the time of Francis I."![9] p. xviij.

There is pleasantry, and perhaps some little truth, in this vein of
observation; and it had been better, perhaps, for the credit of the good
taste and gentleman-like feeling of Mons. Licquet, if he had uniformly
maintained his character in these respects. I have however, in the
subsequent pages,[10] occasionally grappled with my annotator in proving
the fallacy, or the want of charity, of many of his animadversions: and the
reader probably may not be displeased, if, by way of "avant propos," I
indulge him here with a specimen of them--taken from his preface. M.
Licquet says, that I "create scenes; arrange a drama; trace characters;
imagine a dialogue, frequently in French--and in what French--gracious
God!--in assigning to postilions a ridiculous language, and to men of the
world the language of postilions." These be sharp words:[11] but what does
the Reader imagine may be the probable "result" of the English Traveller's
inadvertencies?... A result, ("gracious Heaven!") very little anticipated
by the author. Let him ponder well upon the awful language which ensues.
"What (says M. Licquet) will quickly be the result, with us, of such
indiscretions as those of which M. Dibdin is guilty? The necessity of
SHUTTING OUR PORTS, or at least of placing a GUARD UPON OUR LIPS!" There is
some consolation however left for me, in balancing this tremendous
denunciation by M. Licquet's eulogy of my good qualities--which a natural
diffidence impels me to quote in the original words of their author.

    "A Dieu ne plaise, toutefois, que j'accuse ici LE COEUR de M. Dibdin.
    Je n'ai jamais eu l'honneur de le voir: je ne le connais que par ses
    ecrits; principalement par son _Splendid Tour_, et je ne balance pas à
    déclarer que l'auteur doit être doué d'une ame honnête, et de ces
    qualités fondamentales qui constituent l'homme de bien. Il préfère sa
    croyance; mais il respecte la croyance des autres; son érudition
    parait....[12] variée. Son amour pour les antiquités est immense; et
    par antiquités j'entends ici tout ce qui est _antique_ ou seulement
    _ancien_, quellesque soient d'ailleurs la nature et la forme des
    objets." Pref. p. xv. xvij.

Once more; and to conclude with M. Licquet. After these general
observations upon the _Text_ of the Tour, M. Licquet favours us with the
following--upon the _Plates_. "These plates (says he) are intended to
represent some of the principal monuments; the most beautiful landscapes,
and the most remarkable persons, comprehending even the servants of an inn.
If _talent_ be sought in these Engravings, it will doubtless be found in
them; but strangers must not seek for _fidelity_ of representation from
what is before their eyes. The greater number of the Designs are, in some
sort, ideal compositions, which, by resembling every thing, resemble
nothing in particular: and it is worthy of remark that the Artist, in
imitation of the Author, seems to have thought that he had only to shew
himself _clever_, without troubling himself to be _faithful_." To this, I
reply in the very words of M. Licquet himself: "the decision is severe;
luckily it is unjust." The only portions of the designs of their skilful
author, which may be taxed with a tendency to extravagance, are the
_groups_: which, when accompanied by views of landscapes, or of monuments,
are probably too profusely indulged in; but the _individuals_, constituting
those groups, belong precisely to the _country_ in which they are
represented. In the first and second volumes they are _French_; in the
third they are _Germans_--all over. Will M. Licquet pretend to say that the
churches, monasteries, streets, and buildings, with which the previous
Edition of this Tour is so elaborately embellished, have the slightest
tendency to IMAGINED SCENERY? If he do, his optics must be peculiarly his
own. I have, in a subsequent page, (p. 34, note) slightly alluded to the
cost and risk attendant on the Plates; but I may confidently affirm, from
experience, that two thirds of the expense incurred would have secured the
same sale at the same price. However, the die is cast; and the voice of
lamentation is fruitless.

I now come to the consideration of M. Licquet's coadjutor, M. CRAPELET.
Although the line of conduct pursued by that very singular gentleman be of
an infinitely more crooked description than that of his Predecessor, yet,
in this place, I shall observe less respecting it; inasmuch as, in the
subsequent pages, (pp. 209, 245, 253, 400, &c.) the version and annotations
of M. Crapelet have been somewhat minutely discussed. Upon the SPIRIT which
could give rise to such a version, and such annotations, I will here only
observe, that it very much resembles that of searchers of our
street-pavements; who, with long nails, scrape out the dirt from the
interstices of the stones, with the hope of making a discovery of some lost
treasure which may compensate the toil of perseverance. The love of lucre
may, or may not, have influenced my Parisian translator; but the love of
discovery of latent error, and of exposure of venial transgression, has
undoubtedly, from beginning to end, excited his zeal and perseverance. That
carping spirit, which shuts its eyes upon what is liberal and kind, and
withholds its assent to what is honourable and just, it is the
distinguished lot--and, perhaps, as the translator may imagine, the
distinguished felicity--of M. Crapelet to possess. Never was greater
reluctance displayed in admitting even the palpable truths of a text, than
what is displayed in the notes of M. Crapelet: and whenever a concurring
sentiment comes from him, it seems to exude like his heart's life-blood.
Having already answered, in detail, his separate publication confined to my
30th Letter[13]--(the 8th of the second volume, in _this_ edition) and
having replied to those animadversions which appear in his translation of
the whole of the second volume, in this edition--it remains here only to
consign the Translator to the careful and impartial consideration of the
Reader, who, it is requested, may be umpire between both parties. Not to
admit that the text of this Edition is in many places improved, from the
suggestions of my Translators, by corrections of "Names of Persons, Places,
and Things," would be to betray a stubbornness or obtuseness of feeling
which certainly does not enter into the composition of its author.

I now turn, not without some little anxiety, yet not wholly divested of the
hope of a favourable issue, to the character and object of the Edition HERE
presented to the Public. It will be evident, at first glance, that it is
greatly "shorn of its beams" in regard to graphic decorations and
typographical splendour. Yet its garb, if less costly, is not made of
coarse materials: for it has been the wish and aim of the Publishers, that
this impression should rank among books worthy of the DISTINGUISHED PRESS
from which it issues. Nor is it unadorned by the sister art of _Engraving_;
for, although on a reduced scale, some of the repeated plates may even
dispute the palm of superiority with their predecessors. Several of the
GROUPS, executed on _copper_ in the preceding edition, have been executed
on _wood_ in the present; and it is for the learned in these matters to
decide upon their relative merits. To have attempted portraits upon wood,
would have inevitably led to failure. There are however, a few NEW PLATES,
which cannot fail to elicit the Purchaser's particular attention. Of these,
the portraits of the _Abbé de la Rue_ (procured through the kind offices of
my excellent friend Mr. Douce), and the _Comte de Brienne_, the _Gold Medal
of Louis XII_. the _Stone Pulpit of Strasbourg Cathedral,_ and the _Prater
near Vienna_--are particularly to be noticed.[14] This Edition has also
another attraction, rather popular in the present day, which may add to its
recommendation even with those possessed of its precursor. It contains
fac-similes of the AUTOGRAPHS of several distinguished Literati and Artists
upon the Continent;[15] who, looking at the text of the work through a less
jaundiced medium than the Parisian translator, have continued a
correspondence with the Author, upon the most friendly terms, since its
publication. The accuracy of these fac-similes must be admitted, even by
the parties themselves, to be indisputable. Among them, are several,
executed by hands.. which now CEASE to guide the pen! I had long and fondly
hoped to have been gratified by increasing testimonies of the warmth of
heart which had directed several of the pens in question--hoped ... even
against the admonition of a pagan poet ...

  "Vitae summa brevis SPEM nos vetat inchoare LONGAM."

But such hopes are now irretrievably cut off; and the remembrance of the
past must solace the anticipations of the future.

So much respecting the _decorative_ department of this new edition of the
Tour. I have now to request the Reader's attention to a few points more
immediately connected with what may be considered its _intrinsic_ worth. In
the first place, it may be pronounced to be an Edition both _abridged_ and
_enlarged_: abridged, as regards the lengthiness of description of many of
the MSS. and Printed Books--and enlarged, as respects the addition, of many
notes; partly of a controversial, and partly of an obituary, description.
The "Antiquarian and Picturesque" portions remain nearly as heretofore; and
upon the whole I doubt whether the amputation of matter has extended beyond
_an eighth_ of what appeared in the previous edition. It had long ago been
suggested to me--from a quarter too high and respectable to doubt the
wisdom of its decision--that the Contents of this Tour should be made known
to the Public through a less costly medium:--that the objects described in
it were, in a measure, new and interesting--but that the high price of the
purchase rendered it, to the majority of Readers, an inaccessible
publication. I hope that these objections are fully met, and successfully
set aside, by the Work in its PRESENT FORM. To have produced it, _wholly
divested_ of ornament, would have been as foreign to my habits as repugnant
to my feelings. I have therefore, as I would willingly conclude, hit upon
the happy medium--between sterility and excess of decoration.

After all, the greater part of the ground here trodden, yet continues to be
untrodden ground to the public. I am not acquainted with any publication
which embraces all the objects here described; nor can I bring myself to
think that a perusal of the first and third volumes may not be unattended
with gratification of a peculiar description, to the lovers of antiquities
and picturesque beauties. The second volume is rather the exclusive
province of the Bibliographer. In retracing the steps here marked out, I
will not be hypocrite enough to dissemble a sort of triumphant feeling
which accompanies a retrospection of the time, labour, and money devoted..
in doing justice, according to my means, to the attractions and worth of
the Countries which these pages describe. Every such effort is, in its way,
a NATIONAL effort. Every such attempt unites, in stronger bonds, the
reciprocities of a generous feeling between rival Nations; and if my reward
has not been in _wealth_, it has been in the hearty commendation of the
enlightened and the good: "Mea me virtute involvo."[16]

I cannot boast of the commendatory strains of public Journals in my own
country. No intellectual steam-engine has been put in motion to manufacture
a review of unqualified approbation of the Work now submitted to the public
eye--at an expense, commensurate with the ordinary means of purchase. With
the exception of an indirect and laudatory notice of it, in the immortal
pages of the Author of Waverley, of the Sketch book, and of Reginald
Dalton, this Tour has had to fight its way under the splendour of its own
banners, and in the strength of its own cause. The previous Edition is now
a scarce and a costly book. Its Successor has enough to recommend it, even
to the most fastidious collector, from the elegance of its type and
decorations, and from the reasonableness of its price; but the highest
ambition of its author is, that it may be a part of the furniture of every
Circulating Library in the Kingdom. If he were not conscious that GOOD
would result from its perusal, he would not venture upon such an avowal.
"FELIX FAUSTUMQUE SIT!"


[1] M. Crapelet is of course speaking of the PREVIOUS edition of the Tour.
    He continues thus: "M. Dibdin, dans son voyage en France, a visité nos
    départemens de l'ouest et de l'est, toutes leurs principales villes,
    presque tous les lieux remarquables par les antiquités, par les
    monumens, par les beautés du site, ou par les souvenirs historiques.
    Il a visité les châteaux, les églises, les chapelles; il a observé nos
    moeurs, nos coutumes; nos habitudes; il a examiné nos Musées et nos
    premiers Cabinets de curiosité; il s'est concentré dans nos
    Bibliothéques. Il parle de notre littérature et des hommes de lettres,
    des arts et de nos artistes; il critique les personnes comme les
    choses; il loue quelquefois, il plaisante souvent; la vivacité de son
    esprit l'égare presque toujours." A careful perusal of the notes in
    THIS edition will shew that my veracity has not "almost always led me
    astray."

[2] GABRIEL PEIGNOT; _Variétés, Notices et Raretés Bibliographiques, 1822,
    8vo. p. 4_.

[3] _Lettre d'un Relieur Francais à un Bibliographe Anglais; à Paris, de
    l'Imprimerie de Crapelet_, 1822, 8vo. p.p. 28.

[4] It is a little curious that M. Lesné has not been singular in this
    supposition. My amiable and excellent friend M. Schweighæuser of
    Strasbourg had the same notion: at least, he told me that the style of
    the Tour very frequently reminded him of that of Sterne. I can only
    say--and say very honestly--that I as much thought of Sterne as I did
    of ... William Caxton!

[5] Copious as are the above quotations, from the thoroughly original M.
    Lesné, I cannot resist the risking of the readers patience and good
    opinion, by the subjoining of the following passage--with which the
    brochure concludes. "D'après la multitude de choses hasardées que
    contient votre Lettre, vous en aurez probablement recu quelques unes
    de personnes que vous aurez choquées plus que moi, qui vous devrais
    plutôt des remercimens pour avoir pris la peine de traduire quelques
    pages de mon ouvrage; mais il n'en est pas de même de bien des gens,
    et cela ne doit pas les engager à être autant communicatif avec vous,
    si vous reveniez en France. Je souhaite, dans ce dernier cas, que tous
    les typographes, les bibliothècaires, les bibliognostes, les
    bibliographes, les bibliolathes, les bibliomanes, les biblophiles, les
    bibliopoles, ceux qui exercent la bibliuguiancie et les bibliopégistes
    même, soient pour vous autant de bibliotaphes; vous ne seriez plus à
    même de critiquer ce que vous sauriez et ce que vous ne sauriez pas,
    comme vous l'aviez si souvent fait inconsidérément:

      Mais tous vos procédés ne nous étonnent pas,
      C'est le sort des Français de faire DES INGRATS;
      On les voit servir ceux qui leur furent nuisibles;
      Je crois que sur ce point ils sont incorrigibles.

    Je vous avouerai cependant que je suis loin d'être fâché de vous voir
    en agir ainsi envers mes compatriotes: je désirerais que beaucoup
    d'Anglais fissent de même; cela pourrait désangliciser ou
    désanglomaniser les Français. Vous, Monsieur, qui aimez les mots
    nouveaux, aidez-moi, je vous prie, à franciser, à purifier celui-ci.
    Quant à moi

      Je ne fus pas nourri de Grec et de Latin,
      J'appris à veiller tard, à me lever matin,
      La nature est le livre où je fis mes études,
      Et tous ces mots nouveaux me semblent long-temps rudes;
      Je trouve qu'on ne peut très bien les prononcer
      Sans affectation, au moins sans grimacer;
      Que tous ces mots tirés des langues étrangères,
      Devraient être l'objet de critiques sévères.
      Faites donc de l'esprit en depit du bon sens,
      On vous critiquera; quant à moi j'y consens.

    Je terminerai cette longue Lettre de deux manières: à l'anglaise, en
    vous souhaitant le bon jour ou le bon soir, suivant l'heure à laquelle
    vous la recevrez; à la française, en vous priant de me croire,

    Monsieur,

    Votre très humble serviteur,

    LESNÉ.

[6] The above brochure consists of two Letters; each to an anonymous
    bibliographical "Confrere:" one is upon the subject of M. Crapelet's
    version--the other, upon that of M. Licquet's version--of a portion of
    the Tour. The notice of the Works of the Author of the Tour; a list of
    the prices for which the Books mentioned in it have been sold; a
    Notice of the "Hours of Charlemagne" (see vol. ii. 199) and some
    account of the late Mr. Porson "Librarian of the London
    Institution"--form the remaining portion of this little volume of
    about 160 pages. For the "Curiosités Bibliographiques," consult the
    _Bibliomania_, pp. 90, 91, &c. &c.

[7] This letter accompanied another Work of M. Peignot, relating to
    editions and translations of the Roman Classics:--and as the reader
    will find, in the ensuing pages, that I have been sometime past
    labouring under the frightful, but popular, mania of AUTOGRAPHS, I
    subjoin with no small satisfaction a fac-simile of the Autograph of
    this enthusiastic and most diligent Bibliographer.

    [Autograph: Votre tres humble et obéissant serviteur, G. Peignot]

[8] See page xviii.--ante.

[9] M. Licquet goes on to afford an exemplification of this precipitancy of
    conjecture, in my having construed the word _Allemagne_--a village
    near to Caen--by that of _Germany_. I refer the reader to p. 168 post,
    to shew with what perfect frankness I have admitted and corrected this
    "_hippopotamos_" error.

[10] More especially at pages 82, 100, 367.

[11] "Sharp" as they may be, they are softened, in some measure, by the
    admission of my bitterest annotator, M. Crapelet, that "I speak and
    understand the French language well." vol. ii. p. 253. It is painful
    and unusual with me to have recourse to such apparently
    self-complimentary language; but when an adversary drives one into a
    corner, and will not allow of fair space and fair play, one must fight
    with feet as well as with hands ... "manibus pedibusque" ...

[12] This _hiatus_ must not be filled by the Author: ... "haud equidem
    tali me dignor honore."

[13] See vol. ii. p. 210-11.

[14] See vol. i. p. 186, vol. ii. pp. 49, 296, 392. The other fresh plates
    are, _Portrait of the Author_, frontispiece; Bird's-eye views of the
    _Monasteries of St. Peter's, Salzburg, and of Molk:_ vol. iii. pp.
    195, 248, 381, _Black Eagle Inn_, Munich, p. 156. But the Reader will
    be pleased to examine the _List of Plates prefixed_--in a preceding
    page.

[15] Among these distinguished Literati, I here enrol with peculiar
    satisfaction the names of the MARQUIS DE CHATEAUGIRON and Mons. DURAND
    DE LANCON. No opportunity having occurred in the subsequent pages to
    incorporate fac-similes of the Autographs of these distinguished
    _Bibliophiles_, they are annexed in the present place.

    [Autographs: M. de Chateaugiron, D. de Lancon]

[16] It is more than a negative consolation to me, to have lived to see the
    day, that, although comparatively impoverished, _others_ have
    been enriched by my labours. When I noticed a complete set of my
    lucubrations on LARGE PAPER, valued at 250_l_. in a bookseller's
    catalogue, (Mr. Pickering's) and afterwards learnt that this set had
    found a PURCHASER, I had reason to think that I had "deserved well" of
    the Literature of my country: and I resolved to live "mihi carior" in
    consequence.



BIBLIOGRAPHICAL

Antiquarian

AND

PICTURESQUE TOUR.



The Notes peculiar to THIS EDITION are distinguished by being inserted
between brackets: as thus:--[]

*** The Index is placed at the end of the First Volume, for the purpose of
equalising the size of the Volumes.


[Illustration]



LETTER I.


PASSAGE TO DIEPPE.

_Dieppe, April 20, 1818_.


At length then, my dear Friend, the long projected "_Bibliographical,
Antiquarian_,[17] and _Picturesque Tour"_ is carried into execution; and
the Tourist is safely landed on the shores of Normandy. "Vous voilà donc,
Monsieur à Dieppe!"--exclaimed the landlord of the Grand Hôtel
d'Angleterre--as I made my way through a vociferating crowd of old and
young, of both sexes, with cards of addresses in their hands; entreating me
to take up my abode at their respective hotels.... But I know your love of
method, and that you will be angry with me if I do not "begin at the
beginning."

It was surely on one of the finest of all fine days that I left my home, on
the 14th of this present month, for the land of castles, churches, and
ancient chivalry. The wind from the south-east was blowing pretty smartly
at the time; but the sky was without a cloud, and I could not but look upon
the brilliancy of every external object as a favourable omen of the
progress and termination of my tour. Adverse winds, or the indolence or
unwillingness of the Captain, detained us at Brighton two whole
days--instead of sailing, as we were led to expect, on the day following
our arrival. We were to form the first ship's company which had visited
France this season. On approaching our gallant little bark, the
_Nancy_,[18] commanded by Captain BLABER, the anchor was weighed, and
hoisting sail, we stood out to sea. The day began to improve upon us. The
gloomy appearances of the morning gradually brightened up. A host of black
clouds rolled heavily away. The sun at length shone in his full meridian
splendour, and the ocean sparkled as we cut through its emerald waves. As I
supposed us to near the French coast, I strained my eyes to obtain an early
glimpse of something in the shape of cliff or jettie. But the wind
continued determinedly in the south east: the waves rose in larger masses;
and our little vessel threw up a heavy shower of foam as we entered on the
various tacks.

It is a grand sight--that vast, and apparently interminable ocean--

  .... maria undique et undique coelum!

We darted from Beechy Head upon a long tack for the French coast: and as
the sun declined, we found it most prudent to put the Captain's advice, of
going below, into execution. Then commenced all the miseries of the voyage.
The moon had begun to assert her ascendancy, when, racked with torture and
pain in our respective berths, a tremendous surge washed completely over
the deck, sky-light, and binnacle: and down came, in consequence, drenched
with the briny wave, the hardiest of our crew, who, till then, had ventured
to linger upon deck. That crew was various; and not without a few of the
natives of those shores which we were about to visit.

To cut short my ship-narrative, suffice it only farther to say, that,
towards midnight, we heard our Captain exclaim that he saw "the lights of
Dieppe"--a joyful sound to us miserable wretches below. I well remember, at
this moment, looking up towards the deck with a cheerless eye, and
perceiving the light of the moon still lingering upon the main-sail,--but I
shall never forget how much more powerfully my sensations were excited,
when, as the dawn of day made objects visible, I looked up, and saw an old
wrinkle-visaged sailor, with a red night cap on begirt with large blue,
puckered, short petticoats--in possession of the helm--about to steer the
vessel into harbour![19]

About seven we were all upon deck. The sea was yet swoln and agitated, and
of a dingy colour: while

    .... heavily with clouds came on the day,

as we slowly approached the outward harbour of DIEPPE. A grey morning with
drizzling rain, is not the best accompaniment of a first visit to a foreign
shore. Nevertheless every thing was new, and strange, and striking; and the
huge crucifix, to the right, did not fail to make a very forcible
impression. As we approached the, inner harbour, the shipping and the
buildings more distinctly presented themselves. The harbour is large, and
the vessels are entirely mercantile, with a plentiful sprinkling of fishing
smacks: but the manner in which the latter harmonized with the tint and
structure of the houses--the bustle upon shore--the casks, deal planks,
ropes, and goods of every description upon the quays,--all formed a most
animated and interesting scene. The population seemed countless, and
chiefly females; whose high caps and enormous ear-rings, with the rest of
their paraphernalia, half persuaded me that instead of being some few
twenty-five leagues only from our own white cliffs, I had in fact dropt
upon the Antipodes! What a scene (said I to my companion) for our CALCOTT
to depict![20] It was a full hour before we landed--saluted, and even
assailed on all sides, with entreaties to come to certain hotels. We were
not long however in fixing our residence at the _Hotel d'Angleterre_, of
which the worthy Mons. De La Rue[21] is the landlord.


[17] [Mons. Licquet, my translator, thinks, that in using the word
    "_Antiquaire_"--as appears in the previous edition of this work,
    incorporated in the gallicised sentence of "_Voyage Bibliographique
    Antiquaire_, &c."--I have committed an error; as the word
    "_Archéologique_" ought, in his opinion, to have been adopted--and he
    supposes that he best expresses my meaning by its adoption. Such a
    correction may be better French; but "Archaeological" is not exactly
    what is usually meant--in our language--by "Antiquarian."]

[18] This smart little vessel, of about 70 tons burden, considered to be
    the fastest sailing packet from Dieppe, survived our voyage only about
    eighteen months. Her end had nearly proved fatal to every soul on
    board of her. In a dark night, in the month of September, when bound
    for Dieppe, she was struck by a heavy London brig. The crew was with
    difficulty saved--and the vessel went down within about twenty-five
    minutes after the shock.

[19] The English are not permitted to bring their own vessels into
    harbour--for obvious reasons.

[20] [This "scene" has been, in fact, subsequently depicted by. the
    masterly pencil of J.M.W.TURNER, Esq. R. A: and the picture, in which
    almost all the powers of that surprising Artist are concentrated, was
    lately offered for sale by public auction. How it was suffered to be
    _bought in_ for three hundred and eighty guineas, is at once a riddle
    and a reproach to public taste.]

[21] [I learn that he is since DECEASED. Thus the very first chapter of
    this second edition has to record an instance of the casualties and
    mutabilities which the short space of ten years has effected. Mons. De
    la Rue was a man of worth and of virtue.]



LETTER II.

DIEPPE. FISHERIES. STREETS. CHURCHES OF ST. JAQUES AND ST. REMY. DIVINE
WORSHIP. MILITARY MASS.


The town of Dieppe contains a population of about twenty-thousand
souls.[22] Of these, by much the greater _stationary_ part are females;
arising from one third at least of the males being constantly engaged in
the FISHERIES. As these fisheries are the main support of the inhabitants,
it is right that you should know something about them. The _herring_
fishery takes place twice a year: in August and October. The August fishery
is carried on along the shores of England and the North. From sixty to
eighty vessels, of from twenty-five to thirty tons burthen each, with about
fifteen men in each vessel, are usually employed. They are freighted with
salt and empty barrels, for seasoning and stowing the fish, and they return
about the end of October. The herrings caught in August are considerably
preferable to those caught in October. The October fishery is carried on
with smaller vessels, along the coast of France from Boulogne to Havre.
From one hundred and twenty, to one hundred and thirty vessels, are engaged
in this latter navigation; and the fish, which is smaller, and of inferior
flavour to that caught upon the English coasts, is sent almost entirely to
the provinces and to Paris, where it is eaten fresh. So much for the
herring.[23]

The _Mackarel_ fishery usually commences towards the month of July, along
the coast of Picardy; because, being a sort of fish of passage, it gets
into the channel in the month of April. It then moves towards the straits
of Dover, as summer approaches. For this fishery they make use of large
decked-vessels, from twenty to fifty tons burthen, manned with from twelve
to twenty men. There are however Dieppe boats employed in this fishery
which go as far as the Scilly Islands and Ushant, towards the middle of
April. They carry with them the salt requisite to season the fish, which
are afterwards sent to Paris, and to the provinces in the interior of
France. The _cod fishery_ is divided into the fresh and dried fish. The
former continues from the beginning of February to the end of April--and
the vessels employed, which go as far as Newfoundland, are two deckers, and
from one hundred to one hundred and fifty tons burthen--although, in fact,
they rarely carry more than fifteen tons for fear of spoiling the fish. The
dried-cod fishery is carried on in vessels of all sizes; but it is
essential that they be of a certain depth, because the fish is more
cumbersome than weighty. The vessels however usually set sail about the
month of March or April, in order that they may have the advantage of the
summer season, to dry the fish. There are vessels which go to Newfoundland
laden with brandy, flour, beans, treacle, linen and woollen cloths, which
they dispose of to the inhabitants of the French colonies in exchange for
dried cod. This latter species of commerce may be carried on in the summer
months--as late as July.

In the common markets for retail trade, they are not very nice in the
quality or condition of their fish; and enormous conger eels, which would
be instantly rejected by the middling, or even lower classes in England,
are, at Dieppe, bought with avidity and relished with glee. A few francs
will procure a dish of fish large enough for a dozen people. The quays are
constantly crowded, but there seems to be more of bustle than of business.
The town is certainly picturesque, notwithstanding the houses are very
little more than a century old, and the streets are formal and
comparatively wide. Indeed it should seem that the houses were built
expressly for Noblemen and Gentlemen, although they are inhabited by
tradesmen, mechanics, and artizans, in apparently very indifferent
circumstances. I scarcely saw six private houses which could be called
elegant, and not a gentleman's carriage has been yet noticed in the
streets. But if the _Dieppois_ are not rich, they seem happy, and are in a
constant state of occupation. A woman sells her wares in an open shop, or
in an insulated booth, and sits without her bonnet (as indeed do all the
tradesmen's wives), and works or sings as humour sways her. A man sells
gingerbread in an open shed, and in the intervals of his customer's coming,
reads some popular history or romance. Most of the upper windows are wholly
destitute of glass; but are smothered with clothes, rags, and wall flowers.
The fragrance emitted from these flowers affords no unpleasing antidote to
odors of a very different description; and here we begin to have a too
convincing proof of the general character of the country in regard to the
want of cleanliness. A little good sense, or rather a better-regulated
police, would speedily get rid of such nuisances. The want of public sewers
is another great and grievous cause of smells of every description. At
Dieppe there are fountains in abundance; and if some of the limpid streams,
which issue from them, were directed to cleansing the streets, (which are
excellently well paved) the effect would be both more salubrious and
pleasant--especially to the sensitive organs of Englishmen.

We had hardly concluded our breakfasts, when a loud and clattering sound
was heard; and down came, in a heavy trot, with sundry ear-piercing
crackings of the whip, the thundering _Diligence_: large, lofty, and of
most unwieldy dimensions: of a structure, too, strong enough to carry a
half score of elephants. The postilion is an animal perfectly _sui
generis_: gay, alert, and living upon the best possible terms with himself.
He wears the royal livery, red and blue; with a plate of the fleur de lis
upon his left arm. His hair is tied behind, in a thick, short, tightly
fastened queue: with powder and pomatum enough to weather a whole winter's
storm and tempest.[24] As he never rises in his stirrups,[25] I leave you
to judge of the merciless effects of this ever-beating club upon the
texture of his jacket. He is however fond of his horses: is well known by
them; and there is all flourish and noise, and no sort of cruelty, in his
treatment of them. His spurs are of tremendous dimensions; such as we see
sticking to the heels of knights in illuminated Mss. of the XVth century.
He has nothing to do with the ponderous machine behind him. He sits upon
the near of the two wheel horses, with three horses before him. His
turnings are all adroitly and correctly made; and, upon the whole, he is a
clever fellow in the exercise of his office.

You ought to know, that, formerly, this town was greatly celebrated for its
manufactures in _Ivory_; but the present aspect of the ivory-market affords
only a faint notion of what it might have been in the sixteenth and
seventeenth centuries. I purchased a few subordinate articles (chiefly of a
religious character) and which I shall preserve rather as a matter of
evidence than of admiration. There is yet however a considerable
manufacture of _thread lace_; and between three and four thousand females
are supposed to earn a comfortable livelihood by it.[26]

My love of ecclesiastical architecture quickly induced me to visit the
CHURCHES; and I set out with two English gentlemen to pay our respects to
the principal church, St. JAQUES. As we entered it, a general gloom
prevailed, and a sort of premature evening came on; while the clatter of
the sabots was sufficiently audible along the aisles. In making the circuit
of the side chapels, an unusual light proceeded from a sort of grated door
way. We approached, and witnessed a sight which could not fail to rivet our
attention. In what seemed to be an excavated interior, were several
figures, cut in stone, and coloured after life, (of which they were the
size) representing the _Three Maries, St. John, and Joseph of Arimathea_..
in the act of entombing Christ: the figure of our Saviour being half sunk
into the tomb. The whole was partially illuminated by some two dozen of
shabby and nearly consumed tallow candles; affording a striking contrast to
the increasing darkness of the nave and the side aisles. We retired, more
and more struck with the novelty of every object around us, to our supper
and beds, which were excellent; and a good night's rest made me forget the
miseries of the preceding evening.

The next morning, being Sunday, we betook ourselves in good time to the
service of ST. JAQUES:[27] but on our way thither, we saw a waxen figure of
Christ (usually called an "Ecce Homo") enclosed within a box, of which the
doors were opened. The figure and box are the property of the man who plays
on a violin, close to the box; and who is selling little mass books,
supposed to be rendered more sacred by having been passed across the feet
and hands of the waxen Christ. Such a mongrel occupation, and such a motley
group, must strike you with astonishment--as a Sunday morning's recreation.

[Illustration]

By half past ten the congregation had assembled within the Church; and
every side-chapel (I think about twelve in number) began to be filled by
the penitent flocks: each bringing, or hiring, a rush-bottomed chair--with
which the churches are pretty liberally furnished, and of which the _Tarif_
(or terms of hire) is pasted upon the walls. There were, I am quite sure,
full eighteen women to one man: which may in part be accounted for, by the
almost uniform absence of a third of the male population occupied in the
fisheries. I think there could not have been fewer than two thousand souls
present. But what struck me as the most ludicrously solemn thing I had ever
beheld, was a huge tall figure, dressed like a drum-major, with a large
cocked hat and three white plumes, (the only covered male figure in the
congregation,) a broad white sash upon a complete suit of red, including
red stockings;--representing what in our country is called a _Beadle_. He
was a sturdy, grim-looking fellow; bearing an halberd in his right hand,
which he wielded with a sort of pompous swing, infusing terror into the
young, and commanding the admiration of the old. I must not, however, omit
to inform you, that half the service was scarcely performed when the
preacher mounted a pulpit, with a black cap on, and read a short sermon
from a printed book. I shall long have a distinct recollection of the
figure and attitude of the _Verger_ who attended the preacher. He followed
him to the pulpit, fastened the door, became stationary, and rested his
left arm over the railings of the stairs. Anon, he took out his snuff-box
with his right hand, and regaled himself with a pinch of snuff in the most
joyous and comfortably-abstracted manner imaginable. There he remained till
the conclusion of the discourse; not one word of which seemed to afford him
half the satisfaction as did the contents of his snuff-box.

_Military Mass_ was performed about an hour after, at the church of ST.
REMY, whither I strolled quietly, to witness the devotion of the
congregation previous to the entry of the soldiers; and I will not
dissemble being much struck and gratified by what I saw. There was more
simplicity: a smaller congregation: softer music: a lower-toned organ; less
rush of people; and in very many of the flock the most intense and
unfeigned expression of piety. At the elevation of the host, from the end
of the choir, (near which was suspended a white flag with the portrait of
the present King[28] upon it) a bell was rung from the tower of the church;
the sound, below, was soft and silver-toned--accompanied by rather a quick
movement on the organ, upon the diapason stop; which, united with the
silence and prostration of the congregation, might have commanded the
reverence of the most profane.

There is nothing, my dear friend, more gratifying, in a foreign land, than
the general appearance of earnestness of devotion on a sabbath day;
especially within the HOUSE OF GOD. However, I quickly heard the clangor of
the trumpet, the beat of drums, the measured tramp of human feet, and up
marched two or three troops of the national guard to perform military mass.
I retired precipitately to the Inn, being well pleased to have escaped this
strange and distracting sight: so little in harmony with the rites and
ceremonies of our own church, and in truth so little accordant with the
service which I had just beheld.


[22] [Mons. Licquet says that there were about 17,000 souls in 1824; so
    that the above number may be that of the amount of its _present_
    population. "Several changes (says my French translator) have taken
    place at Dieppe since I saw it: among the rest, there is a magnificent
    establishment of BATHS, where a crowd of people, of the first
    distinction, every year resort. Her Royal Highness, the Duchesse de
    Berri, may be numbered among these Visitors.]

[23] [The common people to this day call a _herring_, a _child of
    Dieppe._ LICQUET.]

[24] ["Sterne reproaches the French for their hyperbolical language: the
    air of the country had probably some influence on M. Dibdin when he
    adopted this phrase." LICQUET.]

[25] ["Signifying, that the French postilions do not ride like the
    English." LICQUET.]

[26] ["Dieppe for a long time was the rival of Argentan and Caen in the
    lace-manufactory: at the present day, this branch of commerce is
    almost annihilated there."--LICQUET.]

[27] [In a note attached to the previous edition--I have said, "Here also,
    as well as at Rouen; they will have it that the ENGLISH built the
    Churches." Upon which M. Licquet remarks thus: "M. Dibdin's expression
    conveys too general an idea. It is true that _popular_ opinion
    attributes the erection of our gothic edifices to the ENGLISH: but
    there exists _another_ opinion, which is not deceptive upon this
    subject." What is meant to be here conveyed? Either the popular
    opinion is true or false; and it is a matter of perfect indifference
    to the author whether it be one or the other. For Mons. Licquet's
    comfort, I will freely avow that I believe it to be _false_.]

[28] [Louis XVIII.]



LETTER III.

VILLAGE AND CASTLE OF ARQUES. SABBATH AMUSEMENTS. MANNERS AND CUSTOMS.
BOULEVARDS.


As I had received especial injunctions from our friend P--- not to leave
Dieppe without paying a visit to the famous _Chateau d'Arques_[29], in its
neighbourhood, I resolved to seize the opportunity of a tolerably fair, or
rather gray-looking day, to go and pay due homage to those venerable
remains of antiquity. The road thither is completely rural: apple-trees,
just beginning to burst their blossoms; hamlets, small farm-houses: a
profusion of rich herbage of various kinds--delighted and regaled me as I
pursued my tranquil walk. The country is of a gently-undulating character;
but the flats or meadows, between the parallel ranges of hills, are subject
to constant inundation from the sea; and in an agricultural point of view
are consequently of little use, except for summer grazing of the cattle.

It was drawing on to vespers as I approached the _Village of Arques_. The
old castle had frequently peeped out upon me, in my way thither, from its
elevated situation; but being resolved to see "all that could be seen," a
French village, for the first time, was not to be overlooked. For a country
church, I know of few finer ones than that of Arques.[30]

The site of the castle is admirable. My approach was to the western
extremity; which, as you look down, brings the village and church of Arques
in the back ground. If the eye were to be considered as a correct judge,
this venerable pile, composed of hard flint-stone, intermixed with brick,
would perhaps claim precedence, on the score of antiquity, over most of the
castles of the middle ages. A deep moat, now dry pasture land, with a bold
acclivity before you, should seem to bid defiance, even in times of old, to
the foot and the spear of the invader. There are circular towers at the
extremities, and a square citadel or donjon within. To the north, a good
deal of earth has been recently thrown against the bases of the wall. The
day harmonised admirably with the venerable object before me. The sunshine
lasted but for a minute: when afterwards a gloom prevailed, and not a
single catch of radiant light gilded any portion of the building. All was
quiet, and of a sombre aspect,--and what _you_, in your admiration of art,
would call in perfectly "fine keeping."

I descended the hill, bidding a long adieu to this venerable relic of the
hardihood of other times, and quickened my pace towards Dieppe. In gaining
upon the town, I began to discern groups of rustics, as well as of
bourgeoises, assembling and mingling in the dance. The women never think of
wearing bonnets, and you have little idea how picturesquely the red and
blue[31] (the colours of Raffaelle's Madonnas) glanced backwards and
forwards amidst the fruit trees, to the sound of the spirit-stirring
violin. The high, stiff, starched cauchoise, with its broad flappers, gave
the finishing stroke to the novelty and singularity of the scene; and to
their credit be it spoken, the women were much more tidily dressed than the
men. The couples are frequently female, for want of a sufficient number of
swains; but, whether correctly or incorrectly paired, they dance with
earnestness, if not with grace. It was a picture à la Teniers, without its
occasional grossness. This then, said I to myself, is what I have so often
heard of the sabbath-gambols of the French--and long may they enjoy them!
They are surely better than the brutal orgies of the pot-house, or the
fanatical ravings of the tabernacle.[32]

A late plain dinner, with my favourite vin ordinaire, recruited my
strength, and kept me in perfectly good humour with Dieppe.

The deportment of the _Dieppois_[33] towards the English, is, upon the
whole, rather gracious than otherwise; because the town profits by the
liberality and love of expense of the latter. Yet the young ones, as soon
as they can lisp, are put in training for pronouncing the _G---- d----_;
and a few horribly-deformed and importunate beggars are for ever assailing
the doors of the hotels. But beggary is nothing like so frightful an evil
as I had anticipated. The general aspect of the town seems to indicate the
poverty of the inhabitants; their houses being too large to be entirely
occupied. Bonaparte appears to have been anxious about the strengthening of
the harbour; the navigation into which is somewhat difficult and intricate.
The sides of the walls, as you enter, are lofty, steep, and strong; and
raised batteries would render any hostile approach extremely hazardous to
the assailants.

There is no ship-building at this moment going on: the ribs of about half a
dozen, half rotted, small merchant-craft, being all that is discernible.
But much is projected, and much is hoped from such projects. Dieppe has
questionless many local advantages both by land and by sea; yet it will
require a long course of years to infuse confidence and beget a love of
enterprise. In spite of all the _naval zeal_, it is here exhibited chiefly
as affording means of subsistence from the fisheries. I must not however
conclude my Dieppe journal without telling you that I hunted far and near
for a good bookseller and for some old books--but found nothing worth the
search, except a well-printed early _Rouen Missal_, and _Terence_ by
_Badius Ascensius_. The booksellers are supplied with books chiefly from
Rouen; the local press being too insignificant to mention.


[29] The French Antiquaries have pushed the antiquity of this castle to the
    11th century, supposing it to have been built by _William d'Arques_,
    Count of Tallon, son of the second marriage of Richard Duke of
    Normandy. I make no doubt, that, whenever built, the sea almost washed
    its base: for it is known to have occupied the whole of what is called
    the _Valley of Arques_, running as far as _Bouteilles_. Its position,
    in reference to the art of war, must have been almost impregnable.
    Other hypotheses assign its origin to the ninth or tenth century.
    Whenever built, its history has been fertile in sieges. In 1144, it
    was commanded by a Flemish Monk, who preferred the spear to the
    crosier, but who perished by an arrow in the contest. Of its history,
    up to the sixteenth century, I am not able to give any details; but in
    the wars of Henry IV. with the League, in 1589, it was taken by
    surprise by soldiers in the disguise of sailors: who, killing the
    centinels, quickly made themselves masters of the place. Henry caused
    it afterwards to be dismantled. In the first half of the eighteenth
    century it received very severe treatment from pillage, for the
    purpose of erecting public and private buildings at Dieppe. At present
    (in the language of the author of the _Rouen Itinerary_) "it is the
    abode of silence--save when that silence is interrupted by owls and
    other nocturnal birds." The view of it in Mr. Cotman's work is very
    faithful.

[30] The _Itinéraire de Rouen_, 1816, p. 202, says, absurdly, that
    this church is of the XIth century. It is perhaps with more truth of
    the beginning of the XIVth century. A pleasing view of it is in Mr.
    Dawson Turner's elegant Tour in Normandy, 1818, 8vo. 2 vol. It
    possessed formerly a bust of Henry IV., which is supposed to have been
    placed there after the famous battle of Arques gained by Henry over
    the Duke of Mayenne in 1589.

[31] The blue gown and red petticoat; or vice versa.

[32] [I am anxious that the above sentence should stand precisely as it
    appeared in the first edition of this work; because a circumstance has
    arisen from it, which could have been as little in the anticipation,
    as it is in the comprehension, of the author. A lady, of high
    connections, and of respectable character, conceived the passage in
    question to be somewhat indecorous; or revolting to the serious sense
    entertained by all Christians, and especially by CHRISTIAN MINISTERS,
    of the mode of devoting the Sabbath day. In consequence, being in
    possession of a copy of this work, she DIVIDED it into two; not being
    willing to sully the splendour of the plates by the supposed impurity
    of such a passage:--and the prints were accordingly bound APART. The
    passage--as applied to the FRENCH PEOPLE--requires neither comment nor
    qualification; and in the same unsophisticated view of religious
    duties, the _latter_ part may be as strictly applied to the
    ENGLISH.]

[33] The dress of the _sailors_ is the same as it was in the XIVth
    century; and so probably is that of the women. The illuminations in
    Froissard and Monstrelet clearly give us the Norman cauchoise.



LETTER IV.

ROUEN. APPROACH. BOULEVARDS. POPULATION. STREET SCENERY.


Here I am, my excellent good friend, in the most extraordinary city in the
world. One rubs one's eyes, and fancies one is dreaming, upon being carried
through the streets of this old-fashioned place: or that, by some secret
talismanic touch, we are absolutely mingling with human beings, and objects
of art, at the commencement of the sixteenth century: so very curious, and
out of the common appearance of things, is almost every object connected
with ROUEN. But before I commence my observations upon the _town_, I must
give you a brief sketch of my _journey_ hither. We had bespoke our places
in the cabriolet of the Diligence, which just holds three tolerably
comfortable; provided there be a disposition to accommodate each other.
This cabriolet, as you have been often told, is a sort of a buggy, or
phaeton seat, with a covering of leather in the front of the coach. It is
fortified with a stiff leathern apron, upon the top of which is a piece of
iron, covered with the leather, to fasten firmly by means of a hook on the
perpendicular supporter of the head. There are stiffish leathern curtains
on each side, to be drawn, if necessary, as a protection against the rain,
&c. You lean upon the bar, or top of this leathern apron, which is no very
uncomfortable resting-place. And thus we took leave of Dieppe, on the 4th
day after our arrival there. As we were seated in the cabriolet, we could
hardly refrain from loud laughter at the novelty of our situation, and the
grotesqueness of the conveyance. Our Postilion was a rare specimen of his
species, and a perfectly _unique copy_. He fancied himself, I suppose,
rather getting "into the vale of years," and had contrived to tinge his
cheeks with a plentiful portion of rouge.[34] His platted and powdered hair
was surmounted with a battered black hat, tricked off with faded ribband:
his jacket was dark blue velvet, with the insignia of his order (the royal
arms) upon his left arm. What struck me as not a little singular, was, that
his countenance was no very faint resemblance of that of _Voltaire_, when
he might have been verging towards his sixtieth year. Most assuredly he
resembled him in his elongated chin, and the sarcastic expression of his
mouth. We rolled merrily along--the horses sometimes spreading, and
sometimes closing, according to the size of the streets through which we
were compelled to pass. The reins and harness are of _cord_; which, however
keep together pretty well. The postilion endeavours to break the rapidity
of the descent by conducting the wheels over small piles of gravel or
rubbish, which are laid at the sides of the road, near the ditch; so that,
to those sitting in the cabriolet, and overlooking the whole process, the
effect, with weak nerves, is absolutely terrific. They stop little in
changing horses, and the Diligence is certainly well managed, and in
general no accidents occur.

The road from Dieppe to Rouen is wide, hard, and in excellent condition.
There are few or no hedges, but rows of apple-trees afford a sufficient
line of demarkation. The country is open, and gently undulating; with
scarcely any glimpses of what is called forest-scenery, till you get
towards the conclusion of the first stage. Nothing particularly strikes you
till you approach _Malaunai_, within about half a dozen miles of Rouen, and
of course after the last change of horses. The environs of this beautiful
village repay you for every species of disappointment, if any should have
been experienced. The rising banks of a brisk serpentine trout stream are
studded with white houses, in which are cotton manufactories that appear to
be carried on with spirit and success. Above these houses are hanging
woods; and though the early spring would scarcely have coated the branches
with green in our own country, yet _here_ there was a general freshness of
verdure, intermingled with the ruddy blossom of the apple; altogether
rejoicing the eye and delighting the heart. Occasionally there were
delicious spots, which the taste and wealth of an Englishman would have
embellished to every possible degree of advantage. But wealth, for the
gratification of picturesque taste, is a superfluity that will not quickly
fall to the lot of the French. The Revolution seems to have drained their
purses, as well as daunted their love of enterprise. Along the road-side
there were some few houses of entertainment; and we observed the emptied
cabriolet and stationary voiture, by the side of the gardens, where
Monsieur and Madame, with their families, tripped lightly along the vistas,
and tittered as John Bull saluted them. Moving vehicles, and numerous
riding and walking groups, increased upon us; and every thing announced
that we were approaching a _great and populous city_.

The approach to ROUEN is indeed magnificent. I speak of the immediate
approach; after you reach the top of a considerable rise, and are stopped
by the barriers. You then look down a strait, broad, and strongly paved
road, lined with a double row of trees on each side. As the foliage was not
thickly set, we could discern, through the delicately-clothed branches, the
tapering spire of the CATHEDRAL, and the more picturesque tower of the
ABBAYE ST. OUEN--with hanging gardens, and white houses, to the
left--covering a richly cultivated ridge of hills, which sink as it were
into the _Boulevards_, and which is called the _Faubourg Cauchoise_. To the
right, through the trees, you see the river SEINE (here of no despicable
depth or breadth) covered with boats and vessels in motion: the voice of
commerce, and the stir of industry, cheering and animating you as you
approach the town. I was told that almost every vessel which I saw (some of
them of two hundred, and even of three hundred tons burthen) was filled
with brandy and wine. The lamps are suspended from the centre of long
ropes, across the road; and the whole scene is of a truly novel and
imposing character. But how shall I convey to you an idea of what I
experienced, as, turning to the left, and leaving the broader streets which
flank the quay, I began to enter the _penetralia_ of this truly antiquated
town? What narrow streets, what overhanging houses, what bizarre,
capricious ornaments! What a mixture of modern with ancient art! What
fragments, or rather ruins, of old delicately-built Gothic churches! What
signs of former and of modern devastation! What fountains, gutters, groups
of never-ceasing men, women, and children, all gay, all occupied, and all
apparently happy! The _Rue de la Grosse Horloge_ (so called from a huge,
clumsy, antiquated clock which goes across it) struck me as being not among
the least singular streets of Rouen. In five minutes I was within the
court-yard of the _Hôtel Vatel_, the favourite residence of the English.

It was evening when I arrived, in company with three Englishmen. We were
soon saluted by the _laquais de place_--the leech-like hangers-on of every
hotel--who begged to know if we would walk upon the Boulevards. We
consented; turned to the right; and, gradually rising, gained a
considerable eminence. Again we turned to the right, walking upon a raised
promenade; while the blossoms of the pear and apple trees, within a hundred
walled gardens, perfumed the air with a delicious fragrance. As we
continued our route along the _Boulevard Beauvoisine_, we gained one of the
most interesting and commanding views imaginable of the city of Rouen--just
at that moment lighted up by the golden rays of a glorious sun-set--which
gave a breadth and a mellower tone to the shadows upon the Cathedral and
the Abbey of St. Ouen. The situation of Rouen renders it necessarily
picturesque, view it from what spot you will.

The population of Rouen is supposed to be full one hundred thousand souls.
In truth, there is no end to the succession of human beings. They swarm
like bees, and like bees are busy in bringing home the produce of their
industry. You have all the bustle and agitation of Cheapside and Cornhill;
only that the ever-moving scene is carried on within limits one-half as
broad. Conceive Bucklersbury, Cannon-street, and Thames-street,--and yet
you cannot conceive the narrow streets of Rouen: filled with the flaunting
cauchoise, and echoing to the eternal tramp of the sabot. There they are;
men, women, and children--all abroad in the very centre of the streets:
alternately encountering the splashing of the gutter, and the jostling of
their townsmen--while the swift cabriolet, or the slow-paced cart, or the
thundering _Diligence_, severs them, and scatters them abroad, only that
they may seem to be yet more condensely united. For myself, it is with
difficulty I believe that I am not living in the times of our Henry VIII.
and of their Francis I.; and am half disposed to inquire after the
residence of _Guillaume Tailleur_ the printer--the associate, or foreign
agent of your favourite _Pynson_.[35]


[34] [Mons. Licquet here observes, "This is the first time I have heard it
    said that our Postilions put on rouge." What he adds, shall be given
    in his own pithy expression.--"Où la coquetterie va-t-elle se nicher?"
    What, however is above stated, was stated from a _conviction_ of
    its being TRUE]

[35] [The third English Printer.] See the _Bibliographical Decameron_,
    vol. ii. p. 137, 8.



LETTER V.

ECCLESIASTICAL ARCHITECTURE. CATHEDRAL. MONUMENTS. RELIGIOUS CEREMONIES.
THE ABBEY OF ST. OUEN. THE CHURCHES OF ST. MACLOU, ST. VINCENT, ST. VIVIEN,
ST. GERVAIS, AND ST. PAUL.


I have now made myself pretty well acquainted with the geography of Rouen.
How shall I convey to you a summary, and yet a satisfactory, description of
it? It cannot be done. You love old churches, old books, and relics of
ancient art. These be my themes, therefore: so fancy yourself either
strolling leisurely with me, arm in arm, in the streets--or sitting at my
elbow. First for THE CATHEDRAL:--for what traveller of taste does not doff
his bonnet to the _Mother Church_ of the town through which he happens to
be travelling--or in which he takes up a temporary abode? The
west-front,[36] always the _forte_ of the architect's skill, strikes you as
you go down, or come up, the principal street--_La Rue des Carmes_,--which
seems to bisect the town into equal parts. A small open space, (which
however has been miserably encroached upon by petty shops) called the
_Flower-garden_, is before this western front; so that it has some little
breathing room in which to expand its beauties to the wondering eyes of the
beholder. In my poor judgment, this western front has very few elevations
comparable with it[37]--including even those of _Lincoln_ and _York_. The
ornaments, especially upon the three porches, between the two towers, are
numerous, rich, and for the greater part entire:--in spite of the
Calvinists,[38] the French revolution, and time. Among the lower and
smaller basso-relievos upon these porches, is the subject of the daughter
of Herodias dancing before Herod. She is manoeuvering on her hands, her
feet being upwards. To the right, the decapitation of St. John is taking
place.

The southern transept makes amends for the defects of the northern. The
space before it is devoted to a sort of vegetable market: curious old
houses encircle this space: and the ascent to the door, but more especially
the curiously sculptured porch itself, with the open spaces in the upper
part--light, fanciful and striking to a degree--produce an effect as
pleasing as it is extraordinary. Add to this, the ever-restless feet of
devotees, going in and coming out--the worn pavement, and the frittered
ornaments, in consequence--seem to convince you that the ardour and
activity of devotion is almost equal to that of business.[39]

As you enter the cathedral, at the centre door, by descending two steps,
you are struck with the length and loftiness of the nave, and with the
lightness of the gallery which runs along the upper part of it. Perhaps the
nave is too narrow for its length. The lantern of the central large tower
is beautifully light and striking. It is supported by four massive
clustered pillars, about forty feet in circumference;[40] but on casting
your eye downwards, you are shocked at the tasteless division of the choir
from the nave by what is called a _Grecian screen_: and the interior of the
transepts has undergone a like preposterous restoration. The rose windows
of the transepts, and that at the west end of the nave, merit your
attention and commendation. I could not avoid noticing, to the right, upon
entrance, perhaps the oldest side chapel in the cathedral: of a date,
little less ancient than that of the northern tower; and perhaps of the end
of the twelfth century. It contains by much the finest specimens of stained
glass--of the early part of the XVIth century. There is also some beautiful
stained glass on each side of the Chapel of the Virgin,[41] behind the
choir; but although very ancient, it is the less interesting, as not being
composed of groups, or of historical subjects. Yet, in this, as in almost
all the churches which I have seen, frightful devastations have been made
among the stained-glass windows by the fury of the Revolutionists.[42]

Respecting the MONUMENTS, you ought to know that the famous ROLLO lies in
one of the side-chapels, farther down to the right, upon entering; although
his monument cannot be older than the thirteenth century. My attachment to
the bibliomanical celebrity of JOHN, DUKE OF BEDFORD, will naturally lead
me to the notice of his interment and monumental inscription. The latter is
thus;

    _Ad dextrum Altaris Latus_

    _Jacet_

    IOANNES DUX BETFORDI

    _Normanniæ pro Rex_

    _Obiit Anno_

    MCCCCXXXV.

The Duke's tomb will be seen engraved in Sandford's Genealogical
History,[43] p. 314; which plate, in fact, is the identical one used by
Ducarel; who had the singularly good fortune to decorate his Anglo-Norman
Antiquities without any expense to himself![44]

There is a curious chapter in Pommeraye's _Histoire de l'Eglise Cathedrale
de Rouen_, p. 203, respecting the Duke's taking the habit of a canon of the
cathedral. He attended, with his first wife, ANNE OF BURGUNDY, and threw
himself upon the liberality and kindness of the monks, to be received by
them as one of their order: "il les prioit d'être receu parmy eux comme un
de leurs frères, et d'avoir tous les jours distribution de pain et de vin,
et pour marque de fraternité d'être vétu du surplis et de l'aumusse: comme
aussi d'être associé, luy et sa très généreuse et très illustre épouse, aux
suffrages de leur compagnie, et à la participation de tous les biens qu'il
plaira à Dieu leur donner la grace d'opérer," p. 204. A grand procession
marked the day of the Duke's admission into the monkish fraternity. The
whole of this, with an account of the Duke's superb presents to the
sacristy, his dining with his Duchess, and receiving their portion of
"eight loaves and four gallons of wine," are distinctly narrated by the
minute Pommeraye.

As you approach the _Chapel of the Virgin_, you pass by an ancient
monument, to the left, of a recumbent Bishop, reposing behind a thin
pillar, within a pretty ornamented Gothic arch.[45] To the eye of a
tasteful antiquary this cannot fail to have its due attraction. While
however we are treading upon hallowed ground, rendered if possible more
sacred by the ashes of the illustrious dead, let us move gently onwards
towards the _Chapel of the Virgin_, behind the choir. See, what bold and
brilliant monumental figures are yonder, to the right of the altar! How
gracefully they kneel and how devoutly they pray! They are the figures of
the CARDINALS D'AMBOISE--uncle and nephew:--the former, minister of Louis
XII.[46] and (what does not necessarily follow, but what gives him as high
a claim upon the gratitude of posterity) the restorer and beautifier of the
glorious building in which you are contemplating his figure. This splendid
monument is entirely of black and white marble, of the early part of the
sixteenth century. The figures just mentioned are of white marble, kneeling
upon cushions, beneath a rich canopy of Gothic fretwork. They are in their
professional robes; their heads are bare, exhibiting the tonsure, with the
hair in one large curl behind. A small whole-length figure of _St. George_,
their tutelary saint, is below them, in gilded marble: and the whole base,
or lower frieze, of the monument, is surrounded by six delicately
sculptured females, about three feet high, emblematic of the virtues for
which these cardinals were so eminently distinguished. These figures,
representing Faith, Charity, Prudence, Force, Justice, and Temperance, are
flanked by eight smaller ones, placed in carved niches; while, above them,
are the twelve Apostles, not less beautifully executed.[47]

On gazing at this splendid monument of ancient piety and liberality--and
with one's mind deeply intent upon the characters of the deceased--let us
fancy we hear the sound of the GREAT BELL from the south-west tower ...
called the _Amboise Tower_ ... erected, both the bell and the tower, by the
uncle and minister AMBOISE. Know, my dear friend, that there was _once_ a
bell, (and the largest in Europe, save one) which used to send forth its
sound, for three successive centuries, from the said tower. This bell was
broken about thirty years ago, and destroyed in the ravages of the
immediately succeeding years.[48] The south-west tower remains, and the
upper part of the central tower, with the whole of the lofty wooden
spire:--the fruits of the liberality of the excellent men of whom such
honourable mention has been made. Considering that this spire is very
lofty, and composed of wood, _it is surprising that it has not been
destroyed by tempest, or by lightning_.[49] The taste of it is rather
capricious than beautiful.

I have not yet done with the monuments, or rather have only commenced the
account of them.[50] Examine yonder recumbent figure, to the left of the
altar, opposite the splendid monument upon which I have just been dilating.
It is lying upon its back, with a ghastly expression of countenance,
representing the moment when the last breath has escaped from the body. It
is the figure of the Grand SENESCHAL DE BREZE,[51]--Governor of Rouen, and
husband of the celebrated DIANE DE POICTIERS--that thus claims our
attention. This figure is quite naked, lying upon its back, with the right
hand placed on the stomach, but in an action which indicates _life_--and
therefore it is in bad taste, as far as truth is concerned; for the head
being fallen back, much shrunken, and with a ghastly expression of
countenance--indicating that some time has elapsed since it breathed its
last--the hand could not rest in this position. The cenotaph is of black
marble, disfigured by the names of idle visitors who choose to leave such
impertinent memorials behind. The famous GOUJON is supposed to be the
sculptor of the figure, which is painfully clever, but it strikes me as
being too small. At any rate, the arms and body seem to be too strong and
fleshy for the shrunken and death-stricken expression of the countenance.
Above the Seneschal, thus prostrate and lifeless, there is another and a
very clever representation of him, on a smaller scale, on horseback.

On each side of this figure (which has not escaped serious injury) are two
females in white marble; one representing the VIRGIN, and the other DIANE
DE POICTIERS:[52] they are little more than half the size of life. The
whole is in the very best style of the sculpture of the time of Francis I.
These precious specimens of art, as well as several other similar remains,
were carried away during the revolution, to a place of safety. The choir is
spacious, and well adapted to its purposes; but who does not grieve to see
the Archbishop's stall, once the most curious and costly, of the Gothic
order, and executed at the end of the XVth century, transformed into a
stately common-place canopy, supported by columns of chestnut-wood carved
in the Grecian style? The LIBRARY, which used to terminate the north
transept, is--not gone--but transferred. A fanciful stair-case, with an
appropriate inscription,[53] yet attest that it was formerly an appendage
to that part of the edifice.

Before I quit the subject of the cathedral, I must not fail to tell you
something relating to the rites performed therein. Let us quit therefore
the dead for the living. Of course we saw, here, a repetition of the
ceremonies observed at Dieppe; but previously to the feast of the
_Ascension_ we were also present at the confirmation of three hundred boys
and three hundred girls, each very neatly and appropriately dressed, in a
sort of sabbath attire, and each holding a lighted wax taper in the hand.
The girls were dressed in white, with white veils; and the rich lent veils
to those who had not the means of purchasing them. The cathedral,
especially about the choir, was crowded to excess. I hired a chair, stood
up, and gazed as earnestly as the rest. The interest excited among the
parents, and especially the mothers, was very striking. "Voila la
petite--qu'elle a l'air charmant!--le petit ange!"....A stir is made ...
they rise... and approach, in the most measured order, the rails of the
choir ... There they deposit their tapers. The priests, very numerous,
extinguish them as dexterously as they can; and the whole cathedral is
perfumed with the mixed scent of the wax and frankincense. The boys, on
approaching the altar, and giving up their tapers, kneel down; then shut
their eyes, open their mouths; and the priests deposit the consecrated
wafer upon their tongues. The procession now took a different direction.
They all went into the nave, where a sermon was preached to the young
people, expressly upon the occasion, by a Monsieur Quillebeuf, a canon of
the cathedral, and a preacher of considerable popularity. He had one of the
most meagre and forbidding physiognomies I ever beheld, and his beard was
black and unshaven. But he preached well; fluently, and even eloquently:
making a very singular, but not ungraceful, use of his left arm--and
displaying at times rather a happy familiarity of manner, wholly exempt
from vulgarity, and well suited to the capacities and feelings of his
youthful audience. His subject was "belief in Christ Jesus;" on which he
gave very excellent proofs and evidences. His voice was thin, but clear,
and distinctly heard.

And now, my dear Friend, if you are not tired with this détour of the
CATHEDRAL, suppose we take a promenade to the next most important
ecclesiastical edifice in the city of Rouen. What say you therefore to a
stroll to the ABBEY of ST. OUEN? "Willingly," methinks I hear you reply. To
the abbey therefore let us go.

Leaving the Cathedral, you pass a beautifully sculptured fountain (of the
early time of Francis I.) which stands at the corner of a street, to the
right; and which, from its central situation, is visited the live-long day
for the sake of its limpid waters. Push on a little further; then, turning
to the right, you get into a sort of square, and observe the ABBEY--or
rather the _west-front_ of it, full in face of you. You gaze, and are first
struck with its matchless window: call it rose, or marygold, as you please.
I think, for delicacy and richness of ornament, this window is perfectly
unrivalled. There is a play of line in the mullions, which, considering
their size and strength, may be pronounced quite a master-piece of art. You
approach, regretting the neglected state of the lateral towers, and enter,
through the large and completely-opened centre doors, the nave of the
Abbey. It was towards sun-set when we made our first entrance. The evening
was beautiful; and the variegated tints of sun-beam, admitted through the
stained glass of the window, just noticed, were perfectly enchanting. The
window itself, as you look upwards, or rather as you fix your eye upon the
centre of it, from the remote end of the Abbey, or the _Lady's Chapel_, was
a perfect blaze of dazzling light: and nave, choir, and side aisles, seemed
magically illumined ...

  Seemed all on fire--within, around;
  Deep sacristy and altar's pale;
  Shone every pillar foliage-bound....

  _Lay of the Last Minstrel_.

We declared instinctively that the ABBEY OF ST. OUEN could hardly have a
rival;--certainly not a superior.

[Illustration]

As the evening came on, the gloom of almost every side chapel and recess
was rendered doubly impressive by the devotion of numerous straggling
supplicants; and invocations to the presiding spirit of the place, reached
the ears and touched the hearts of the bystanders. The grand western
entrance presents you with the most perfect view of the choir--a magical
circle, or rather oval--flanked by lofty and clustered pillars, and free
from the surrounding obstruction of screens, &c. Nothing more airy and more
captivating of the kind can be imagined. The finish and delicacy of these
pillars are quite surprising. Above, below, around--every thing is in the
purest style of the XIVth and XVth centuries. The central tower is a tower
of beauty as well as of strength. Yet in regard to further details,
connected with the interior, it must be admitted that there is very little
more which is deserving of particular description; except it be _the
gallery_, which runs within the walls of the nave and choir, and which is
considerably more light and elegant than that of the cathedral. A great
deal has been said about the circular windows at the end of the south
transept, and they are undoubtedly elegant: but compared with the one at
the extremity of the nave, they are rather to be noticed from the tale
attached to them, than from their positive beauty. The tale, my friend, is
briefly this. These windows were finished (as well as the larger one at the
west front) about the year 1439. One of them was executed by the
master-mason, the other by his apprentice; and on being criticised by
competent judges, the performance of the _latter_ was said to eclipse that
of the former. In consequence, the master became jealous and revengeful,
and actually poniarded his apprentice. He was of course tried, condemned,
and executed; but an existing monument to his memory attests the humanity
of the monks in giving him Christian interment.[54] On the whole, it is the
absence of all obtrusive and unappropriate ornament which gives to the
interior of this building that light, unencumbered, and faery-like effect
which so peculiarly belongs to it, and which creates a sensation that I
never remember to have felt within any other similar edifice.

Let me however put in a word for the _Organ_. It is immense, and perhaps
larger than that belonging to the Cathedral. The tin pipes (like those of
the organ in the Cathedral) are of their natural colour. I paced the
pavement beneath, and think that this organ cannot be short of forty
English feet in length. Indeed, in all the churches which I have yet seen,
the organs strike me as being of magnificent dimensions.

You should be informed however that the extreme length of the interior,
from the further end of the Chapel of the Virgin, to its opposite western
extremity, is about four hundred and fifty English feet; while the height,
from the pavement to the roof of the nave, or the choir, is one hundred and
eight English feet. The transepts are about one hundred and forty feet in
length. The central tower, upon the whole, is not only the grandest tower
in Rouen, but there is nothing for its size in our own country that can
compare with it. It rises upwards of one hundred feet above the roof of the
church; and is supported below, or rather within, by four magnificent
cluster-pillared bases, each about thirty-two feet in circumference. Its
area, at bottom, can hardly be less than thirty-six feet square. The choir
is flanked by flying buttresses, which have a double tier of small arches,
altogether "marvellous and curious to behold."

I could not resist stealing quietly round to the porch of the _south
transept_, and witnessing, in that porch, one of the most chaste, light,
and lovely specimens of Gothic architecture, which can be contemplated.
Indeed, I hardly know any thing like it.[55] The leaves of the poplar and
ash were beginning to mantle the exterior; and, seen through their green
and gay lattice work, the traceries of the porch seemed to assume a more
interesting aspect. They are now mending the upper part of the façade with
new stone of peculiar excellence--but it does not harmonise with the old
work. They merit our thanks, however, for the preservation of what remains
of this precious pile. I should remark to you that the eastern and
north-eastern sides of the abbey of St. Ouen are surrounded with promenades
and trees: so that, occasionally, either when walking, or sitting upon the
benches, within these gardens, you catch one of the finest views imaginable
of the abbey.

At this early season of the year, much company is assembled every evening
in these walks: while, in front of the abbey, or in the square facing the
western end, the national guard is exercised in the day time--and troops of
fair nymphs and willing youths mingle in the dance on a sabbath evening,
while a platform is erected for the instrumental performers, and for the
exhibition of feats of legerdemain. You must not take leave of St. Ouen
without being told that, formerly, the French Kings used occasionally to
"make revel" within the Abbot's house. Henry II, Charles IX, and Henry III,
each took a fancy to this spot--but especially the famous HENRI QUATRE. It
is reported that that monarch sojourned here for four months--- and his
reply to the address of the aldermen and sheriff of Rouen is yet preserved
both in MS. and by engravings. "The King having arrived at St. Ouen (says
an old MS.)[56] the keys of the tower were presented to him, in the
presence of M. de Montpensier, the governor of the province, upon a
velvet-cushion. The keys were gilt. The King took them, and replacing them
in the hands of the governor, said--"Mon cousin, je vous les baille pour
les rendre, qu'ils les gardent;"--then, addressing the aldermen, he added,
"Soyez moi bons sujets et je vous serai bon Roi, et le meilleur Roi que
vous ayez jamais eu."

Next to the Abbey of St. Ouen, "go by all means and see the church _St.
Maclou_"--say your friends and your guides. The Abbé Turquier accompanied
me thither. The great beauties of St. Maclou are its tower and its porch.
Of the tower, little more than the lantern remains. This is about 160
English feet in height. Above it was a belfry or steeple, another 110 feet
in height, constructed of wood and lead--but which has been nearly
destroyed for the sake of the lead,--for the purpose of slaughter or
resistance during the late revolution.[57] The exteriors of the porches are
remarkable for their elaborate ornaments; especially those in the _Rue
Martainville._ They are highly praised by the inhabitants, and are supposed
to be after the models of the famous Goujon. Perhaps they are rather
encumbered with ornament, and want that quiet effect, and pure good taste,
which we see in the porches of the Cathedral and of the Abbey St. Ouen.
However, let critics determine as they will upon this point--they must at
least unite in reprobating the barbarous edict which doomed these delicate
pieces of sculptured art to be deluged with an over-whelming tint of
staring yellow ochre!

Of the remaining churches, I shall mention only four: two of them chiefly
remarkable for their interior, and two for their extreme antiquity. Of the
two former, that of _St. Vincent_ presents you with a noble organ, with a
light choir profusely gilded, and (rarer accompaniment!) in very excellent
taste. But the stained glass is the chief magnet of attraction. It is rich,
varied, and vivid to a degree; and, upon the whole, is the finest specimen
of this species of art in the present ecclesiastical remains of the city.
_St. Vivien_ is the second of these two former. It is a fine open church,
with a large organ, having a very curious wooden screen in front,
elaborately carved, and, as I conceive, of the very earliest part of the
sixteenth century. I ascended the organ-loft; and the door happening to be
open, I examined this screen (which has luckily escaped the yellow-ochre
edict) very minutely, and was much gratified by the examination. Such
pieces of art, so situated, are of rare occurrence. For the first time,
within a parish church, I stepped upon the pavement of the choir: walked
gently forwards, to the echo of my own footsteps, (for not a creature was
in the church) and, "with no unhallowed hand" I would hope, ventured to
open the choral or service book, resting upon its stand. It was wide,
thick, and ponderous: upon vellum: beautifully written and well executed in
every respect, with the exception of the illuminations which were extremely
indifferent. I ought to tell you that the doors of the churches, abroad,
are open at all times of the day: the ancient or more massive door, or
portal, is secured from shutting; but a temporary, small, shabby wooden
door, covered with dirty green baize, opening and shutting upon circular
hinges, just covers the vacuum left by the absence of the larger one.

Of the two ancient churches, above alluded to, that of _St. Gervais_, is
situated considerably to the north of where the _Boulevards Cauchoise_ and
_Bouvreuil_ meet. It was hard by this favourite spot, say the Norman
historians, that the ancient Dukes of Normandy built their country-houses:
considering it as a _lieu de plaisance._ Here too it was that the Conqueror
came to breathe his last--desiring to be conveyed thither, from his palace
in the city, for the benefit of the pure air.[58] I walked with M. Le
Prevost to this curious church: having before twice seen it. But the
_Crypt_ is the only thing worth talking about, on the score of antiquity.
The same accomplished guide bade me remark the extraordinary formation of
the capitals of the pillars: which, admitting some perversity of taste in a
rude, Norman, imitative artist, are decidedly of Roman character.
"Perhaps," said M. Le Prevost, "the last efforts of Roman art previous to
the relinquishment of the Romans." Among these capitals there is one of the
perfect Doric order; while in another you discover the remains of two Roman
eagles. The columns are all of the same height; and totally unlike every
thing of the kind which I have seen or heard of.

We descended the hill upon which _St. Gervais_ is built, and walked onward
towards _St. Paul_, situated at the further and opposite end of the town,
upon a gentle eminence, just above the Banks of the Seine.[59] M. Le
Prevost was still our conductor. This small edifice is certainly of remote
antiquity, but I suspect it to be completely Norman. The eastern end is
full of antiquarian curiosities. We observed something like a Roman mask as
the centre ornament upon the capital of one of the circular figures; and
Mr. Lewis made a few slight drawings of one of the grotesque heads in the
exterior, of which the hair is of an uncommon fashion. The _Saxon whiskers_
are discoverable upon several of these faces. Upon the whole, it is
possible that parts of this church may have been built at the latter end of
the tenth century, after the Normans had made themselves completely masters
of this part of the kingdom; yet it is more probable that there is no
vestige left which claims a more ancient date than that of the end of the
eleventh century. I ought just to notice the church of _St. Sever_,[60]
supposed by some to be yet more ancient: but I had no opportunity of taking
a particular survey of it.

Thus much, or rather thus little, respecting the ECCLESIASTICAL ANTIQUITIES
of Rouen. They merit indeed a volume of themselves. This city could once
boast of upwards of _thirty parish churches_; of which very nearly a
_dozen_ have been recently (I mean during the Revolution) converted into
_warehouses_. It forms a curious, and yet melancholy mélange--this strange
misappropriation of what was formerly held most sacred, to the common and
lowest purposes of civil life! You enter these warehouses, or offices of
business, and see the broken shaft, the battered capital, and
half-demolished altar-piece--the gilded or the painted frieze--in the midst
of bales of goods--casks, ropes, and bags of cotton: while, without, the
same spirit of demolition prevails in the fractured column, and tottering
arch way. Thus time brings its changes and decays--premature as well as
natural: and the noise of the car-men and injunctions of the clerk are now
heard, where formerly there reigned a general silence, interrupted only by
the matin or evening chaunt! I deplored this sort of sacrilegious
adaptation, to a respectable-looking old gentleman, sitting out of doors
upon a chair, and smoking his pipe--"c'est dommage, Monsieur, qu'on a
converti l'église à"--He stopped me: raised his left hand: then took away
his pipe with his right; gave a gentle whiff, and shrugging up his
shoulders, half archly and half drily exclaimed--"Mais que voulez vous,
Monsieur?--ce sont des événemens qu'on ne peut ni prévoir ni prévenir.
Voilà ce que c'est!" Leaving you to moralize upon this comfortable morceau
of philosophy, consider me ever, &c.


[36] A most ample and correct view of this west front will be found in Mr.
    _Cotman's Norman Antiquities_.

[37] It is about 180 English feet in width, by about 150 in the highest
    part of its elevation. The plates which I saw at Mr. Frere's,
    bookseller, upon the Quai de Paris, from the drawings of Langlois,
    were very inadequate representations of the building.

[38] The ravages committed by the Calvinists throughout nearly the whole of
    the towns in Normandy, and especially in the cathedrals, towards the
    year 1560, afford a melancholy proof of the effects of RELIGIOUS
    ANIMOSITY. But the Calvinists were bitter and ferocious persecutors.
    Pommeraye, in his quarto volume, _Histoire de l'Eglise Cathedrale de
    Rouen_, 1686, has devoted nearly one hundred pages to an account of
    Calvinistic depredations.

[39] [Mr. Cotman has a plate of the elevation of the front of this south
    transept; and a very minute and brilliant one will be found in the
    previous edition of this Tour--by Mr. Henry le Keux: for which that
    distinguished Artist received the sum of 100 guineas. The remuneration
    was well merited.]

[40] [Mons. Licquet says each clustered pillar contains thirty-one
    columns.]

[41] This chapel is about ninety-five English feet in length, by thirty in
    width, and sixty in heighth. The sprawling painting by Philippe de
    Champagne, at the end of it, has no other merit than that of covering
    so many square feet of wall. The architecture of this chapel is of the
    XIVth century: the stained glass windows are of the latter end of the
    XVth. On completing the circuit of the cathedral, one is surprised to
    count not fewer than _twenty-five_ chapels.

[42] [Mons. Licquet is paraphrastically warm in his version, here. He
    renders it thus: "les atteintes effroyables du vandalisme
    révolutionaire," vol. i. p. 64.]

[43] Sandford, after telling us that he thinks there "never was any
    portraiture" of the Duke, thus sums up his character. "He was justly
    accounted one of the best generals that ever blossomed out of the
    royal stem of PLANTAGENET. His valour was not more terrible to his
    enemies than his memory honourable; for (doubtful whether with more
    glory to him, or to the speaker) King Lewis the Eleventh being
    counselled by certain envious persons to deface his tomb (wherein with
    him, saith one, was buried all English men's good fortune in France)
    used these indeed princely words: 'What honour shall it be to us, or
    you, to break this monument, and to pull out of the ground the bones
    of HIM, whom, in his life time, neither my father nor your
    progenitors, with all their puissance, were once able to make flie a
    foot backwarde? who, by his strength, policy and wit kept them all out
    of the principal dominions of France, and out of this noble duchy of
    Normandy? Wherefore, I say first, GOD SAVE HIS SOUL; and let his body
    now lie in rest, which when he was alive, would have disquieted the
    proudest of us all. And for THIS TOMB, I assure you it is not so
    worthy or convenient as his honour and acts have deserved.'" p. 314-5,
    Ed. 1707[A] The famous MISSAL, once in the possession of this
    celebrated nobleman, and containing the only authenticated portrait of
    him (which is engraved in the _Bibliog. Decameron_, vol. i. p.
    cxxxvii.) is now the property of John Milner, Esq. of York Place,
    Portman Square, who purchased it of the Duke of Marlborough. The Duke
    had purchased it at the sale of the library of the late James Edwards,
    Esq. for 687l. 15s.

        [A] [Upon this, Mons. Licquet, with supposed shrewdness and
        success, remarks,--"All very well: but we must not forget that the
        innocent Joan of Arc was burnt alive--thanks to this said Duke of
        Bedford, as every one knows!"]

[44] [A different tale may be told of ONE of his Successors in the same
    Anglo-Norman pursuit. The expenses attending the graphic
    embellishments alone of the previous edition of this work, somewhat
    exceeded the sum of _four thousand seven hundred pounds._ The risk was
    entirely my own. The result was the loss of about 200l.: exclusively
    of the expences incurred in travelling about 2000 miles. The
    _copper-plates_ (notwithstanding every temptation, and many
    entreaties, to _multiply_ impressions of several of the subjects
    engraved) were DESTROYED. There may be something more than a mere
    negative consolation, in finding that the work is RISING in price,
    although its author has long ceased to partake of any benefit
    resulting from it.]

[45] A plate of this Monument is published in the Tour of Normandy by
    Dawson Turner, Esq.

[46] The Cardinal died in his fiftieth year only; and his funeral was
    graced and honoured by the presence of his royal master. Guicciardini
    calls him "the oracle and right arm of Louis." Of eight brothers, whom
    he left behind, four attained to the episcopal rank. His nephew
    succeeded him as Archbishop. See also _Historia Genealogica Magnatum
    Franciae_; vol. vii. p. 129; quoted in the _Gallia Christiana_, vol.
    xi. col. 96.

    It was during the archiepiscopacy of the successor of the nephew of
    Amboise--namely, that of CHARLES of BOURBON--that the _Calvanistic
    persecution_ commenced. "Tunc vero coepit civitas, dioecesis,
    universaque provincia lamentabilem in modum conflictari, saevientibus
    ob religionis dissidia plusquam civilibus bellis," &c. But then the
    good Archbishop, however bountiful he might have been towards the poor
    at _Roncesvalles_, (when he escorted Philip II.'s first wife
    Elizabeth, daughter of Henry II. to the confines of Spain, after he
    had married her to that wretched monarch) should not have inflamed the
    irritated minds of the Calvinists, by BURNING ALIVE, in 1559, _John
    Cottin_, one of their most eminent preachers, by way of striking
    terror into the rest! Well might the Chronicler observe, as the
    result, "novas secta illa in dies acquirebat vires." About 1560-2, the
    Calvinists got the upper hand; and repaid the Catholics with a
    vengeance. Charles of Bourbon died in 1590: so that he had an arduous
    and agitated time of it.

[47] How long will this monument--(matchless of its kind)--continue
    unrepresented by the BURIN? If Mr. Henry Le Keux were to execute it in
    his best style, the world might witness in it a piece of Art entirely
    perfect of its kind. But let the pencils of Messrs. Corbould and Blore
    be first exercised on the subject. In the mean while, why is GALLIC
    ART inert?

[48] The choir was formerly separated from the surrounding chapels, or
    rather from the space between it and the chapels, by a superb brass
    grating, full of the most beautiful arabesque ornaments--another
    testimony of the magnificent spirit of the Cardinal and Prime Minister
    of Louis XII.: whose arms, as well as the figure of his patron, St.
    George, were seen in the centre of every compartment ... The
    Revolution has not left a vestige behind!

[49] [In this edition, I put the above passage in _Italics_,--to
    mark, that, within three years of writing it, the spire was consumed
    by LIGHTNING. The newspapers of both France and England were full of
    this melancholy event; and in the year 1823, Monsieur Hyacinthe
    Langlois, of Rouen, published an account of it, together with some
    views (indifferently lithographised) of the progress of the burning.
    "It should seem (says Mons. Licquet) that the author had a
    presentiment of what was speedily to take place:--for the rest, the
    same species of destruction threatens all similar edifices, for the
    want of conductors." I possess a fragment of the lead of the roof, as
    it was collected after a state of _fusion_--and sent over to me
    by some friend at Rouen. The fusion has caused portions of the lead to
    assume a variety of fantastic shapes--not _altogether_ unlike a
    gothic building.]

[50] Let me add that the whole length of the cathedral is about four
    hundred and forty feet; and the transept about one hundred and
    seventy-five; English measure. The height of the nave is about ninety,
    and of the lantern one hundred and sixty-eight feet, English. The
    length of the nave is two hundred and twenty-eight feet.

[51] He died in 1531. Both the ancient and yet existing inscriptions are
    inserted by Gilbert, from Pommeraye and Farin; and formerly there was
    seen, in the middle of the monument, the figure of the Seneschal
    habited as a Count, with all the insignia of his dignity. But this did
    not outlive the Revolution.

[52] It must be admitted that Diana, when she caused the verses

      _Indivulsa tibi quondam et fidissima conjux
      Vt fuit in thalamo, sic erit in tumulo_.

    to be engraved upon the tomb of the Seneschal, might well have "moved
    the bile" of the pious Benedictine Pommeraye, and have excited the
    taunting of Ducarel, when they thought upon her subsequent connexion,
    in the character of mistress, with Henry the Second of France. Henry
    however endeavoured to compensate for his indiscretions by the pomp
    and splendor of his processions. Rouen, so celebrated of old for the
    entries of Kings and Nobles, seems to have been in a perfect blaze of
    splendor upon that of the Lover of Diana--"qui fut plus magnifique que
    toutes celles qu'on avoit vu jusqu'alors:" see _Farin's Hist. de la
    Ville de Rouen_, vol. i. p. 121, where there is a singularly minute
    and gay account of all the orders and degrees of citizens--(with their
    gorgeous accoutrements of white plumes, velvet hats, rich brocades,
    and curiously wrought taffetas) of whom the processions were composed.
    It must have been a perfectly dramatic sight, upon the largest
    possible scale. It was from respect to the character or the memory of
    DIANA, that so many plaster-representations of her were erected on the
    exteriors of buildings: especially of those within small squares or
    quadrangles. In wandering about Rouen, I stumbled upon several old
    mansions of this kind.

[53] The inscription is this:

      _Si quem sancta tenet meditandi in lege voluntas,
      Hic poterit residens, sacris intendere libris_.

    Pommeraye has rather an interesting gossiping chapter [Chap. xxii.]
    "De la Bibliothêque de la Cathédrale;" p. 163: to which FRANÇOIS DE
    HARLAY, about the year 1630, was one of the most munificent
    benefactors.

[54] _Christian interment_.]--"Les Religieux de Saint Ouen touchez de
    compassion envers ce malheureux artisan, obtinrent son corps de la
    justice, et pour reconnoissance des bons services qu'il leur avoit
    rendus dans la construction de leur église, nonobstant sa fin
    tragique, ne laissèrent pas de luy fair l'honneur de l'inhumer dans la
    chapelle de sainte Agnes, ou sa tombe se voit encore auec cet
    Epitaphe:

        _Cy gist_ M. ALEXANDRE DE BERNEUAL,
        _Maistre des oeuvres de Massonnerie._

[55] Even Dr. Ducarel became warm--on contemplating this porch! "The porch
    at the south entrance into the church (says he) is much more worthy of
    the spectator's attention, being highly enriched with architectonic
    ornaments; particularly two beautiful cul de lamps, which from the
    combination of a variety of spiral dressings, as they hang down from
    the vaulted roof, produce a very pleasing effect." p. 28.

[56] Consult the account given by M. Le Prevost in the "_Précis
    Analytique des Travaux de l'Academie, &c. de Rouen_," for the year
    1816, p. 151, &c.

[57] Farin tells us that you could go from the top of the lantern to the
    cross, or to the summit of the belfry, "outside, without a ladder; so
    admirable was the workmanship." "Strangers (adds he) took models of it
    for the purpose of getting them engraved, and they were sold publicly
    at Rome." _Hist. de la Ville de Rouen_, 1738, 4to. vol. ii. p. 154.
    There are thirteen chapels within this church; of which however the
    building cannot be traced lower than quite the beginning of the XVIth
    century. The extreme length and width of the interior is about 155 by
    82 feet English. Even in Du Four's time the population of this parish
    was very great, and its cemetery (adds he) was the first and most
    regular in Rouen. He gives a brief, but glowing description of it--"on
    va tout autour par des galeries couvertes et pavées; et, deux de ces
    galeries sont decorées de deux autels," &c. p. 150.

    Alas! time--or the revolution--has annihilated all this. Let me
    however add that M. COTMAN has published a view of the _staircase_ in
    the church of which I am speaking.

[58] Ordericus Vitalis says, that the dying monarch requested to be
    conveyed thither, to avoid the noise and bustle of a populous town.
    Rouen is described to be, in _his_ time, "populosa civitas."
    Consult Duchesne's _Historiæ Normannor. Scrip. Antiq._ p.656.

[59] A view of it is published by M. Cotman.

[60] _St. Sever_. This church is situated in the southern fauxbourgs,
    by the side of the Seine, and was once surrounded by gardens, &c. As
    you cross the bridge of boats, and go to the race-ground, you leave it
    to the right; but it is not so old as _St. Paul_--where, Farin says,
    the worship of ADONIS was once performed!



LETTER VI.

HALLES DE COMMERCE. PLACE DE LA PUCELLE D'ORLEANS (JEANNE D'ARC.)
BASSO-RILIEVO OF THE CHAMP DE DRAP D'OR. PALACE AND COURTS OF JUSTICE.


You must make up your mind to see a few more sights in the city of Rouen,
before I conduct you to the environs, or to the summit of _Mont St.
Catherine_. We must visit some relics of antiquity, and take a yet more
familiar survey of the town, ere we strive

  ... superas evadere ad auras.

Indeed the information to be gained well merits the toil endured in its
acquisition. The only town in England that can give you any notion of
Rouen, is CHESTER; although the similitude holds only in some few
particulars. I must, in the first place then, make especial mention of the
HALLES DE COMMERCE. The _markets_ here are numerous and abundant, and are
of all kinds. Cloth, cotton, lace, linen, fish, fruit, vegetables, meat,
corn, and wine; these for the exterior and interior of the body. Cattle,
wood, iron, earthenware, seeds, and implements of agriculture; these for
the supply of other necessities considered equally important. Each market
has its appropriate site. For picturesque effect, you must visit the _Vieux
Marché_, for vegetables and fish; which is kept in an open space, once
filled by the servants and troops of the old Dukes of Normandy, having the
ancient ducal palace in front. This is the fountain head whence the minor
markets are supplied. Every stall has a large old tattered sort of umbrella
spread above it, to ward off the rain or rays of heat; and, seen from some
points of view, the effect of all this, with the ever-restless motion of
the tongues and feet of the vendors, united to their strange attire, is
exceedingly singular and interesting.

Leaving the old market place, you pass on to the _Marché Neuf_, where
fruits, eggs, and butter are chiefly sold. At this season of the year there
is necessarily little or no fruit, but I could have filled one coat pocket
with eggs for less than half a franc. While on the subject of buying and
selling, let us go to the _Halles_ of _Rouen_; being large public buildings
now exclusively appropriated to the sale of cloths, linen, and the varied
_et-ceteras_ of mercery. These are at once spacious and interesting in a
high degree. They form the divisions of the open spaces, or squares, where
the markets just mentioned are held; and were formerly the appurtenances of
the palaces and chateaux of the old Dukes of Normandy: the _latter_ of
which are now wholly demolished. You must rise betimes on a Friday morning,
to witness a sight of which you can have no conception in England: unless
it be at a similar scene in _Leeds_. By six o'clock the busy world is in
motion within these halls. Then commences the incessant and inconceivable
vociferation of buying and selling. The whole scene is alive, and carried
on in several large stone-arched rooms, supported by a row of pillars in
the centre. Of these halls, the largest is about three hundred and twenty
English feet in length, by fifty-five in width. The centre, in each
division, contains tables and counters for the display of cloth, cotton,
stuff, and linen of all descriptions. The display of divers colours--the
commendations bestowed by the seller, and the reluctant assent of the
purchaser--the animated eye of the former, and the calculating brow of the
latter--the removal of one set of wares, and the bringing on of another--in
short, the never-ceasing succession of sounds and sights astonishes the
gravity of an Englishman; whose astonishment is yet heightened by the
extraordinary good humour which every where prevails. The laugh, the joke,
the équivoque, and reply, were worth being recorded in pointed metre;--and
what metre but that of Crabbe could possibly render it justice? By nine of
the clock all is hushed. The sale is over: the goods are cleared; and both
buyers and sellers have quitted the scene.

From _still_, let me conduct you to _active_ life. In other words, let us
hasten to take a peep at the _Horse and Cattle Market_; which is fixed in
the very opposite part of the town; that is, towards the northern
Boulevards. The horses are generally entire: and indeed you have scarcely
any thing in England which exceeds the _Norman horse_, properly so
understood. This animal unites the hardiness of the mule with the strength
of his own particular species. He is also docile, and well trained; and a
Norman, from pure affection, thinks he can never put enough harness upon
his back. I have seen the face and shoulders of a cart-horse almost buried
beneath a profusion of ornament by way of collar; and have beheld a
farmer's horse, led out to the plough, with trappings as gorgeous and
striking as those of a General's charger brought forward for a review. The
carts and vehicles are usually balanced in the centre upon two wheels,
which diminishes much of the pressure upon the horse. Yet the caps of the
wheels are frightfully long, and inconveniently projecting: while the
eternally loud cracking of the whip is most repulsive to nervous ears. On
market days, the horses stand pretty close to each other for sale; and are
led off, for shew, amidst boys, girls, and women, who contrive very
dexterously to get out of the way of their active hoofs. The French seem to
have an instinctive method of doing that, which, with ourselves, seems to
demand forethought and deliberation.

Of the STREETS, in this extraordinary city, that of the _Great Clock--(Rue
de la Grosse Horloge)_ which runs in a straight line from the western front
of the Cathedral, at right angles with the _Rue des Carmes_, is probably
the most important, ancient, and interesting. When we were conveyed, on our
entrance, (in the cabriolet of the Diligence) beneath the arch to the upper
part of which this old fashioned clock is attached, we were lost in
admiration at the singularity of the scene. The inhabitants saw, and
enjoyed, our astonishment. There is a fountain beneath, or rather on one
side of this arch; over which is sculptured a motley group of insipid
figures, of the latter time of Louis XIV. The old tower near this clock
merits a leisurely survey: as do also some old houses, to the right, on
looking at it. It was within this old tower that a bell was formerly
tolled, at nine o'clock each evening, to warn the inhabitants abroad to
return within the walls of the city.[61]

Turning to the left, in this street, and going down a sharp descent, we
observed a stand of hackney coaches in a small square, called _La Place de
la Pucelle_: that is, the place where the famous JEANNE D'ARC[62] was
imprisoned, and afterwards burnt. What sensations possess us as we gaze on
each surrounding object!--although, now, each surrounding object has
undergone a palpable change! Ah, my friend--what emotions were _once_
excited within this small space! What curiosity, and even agony of mind,
mingled with the tumults of indignation, the shouts of revenge, and the
exclamations of pity! But life now goes on just the same as if nothing of
the kind had happened here. The past is forgotten. This hapless Joan of Arc
is one of the many, who, having been tortured as heretics, have been
afterwards reverenced as martyrs. Her statue was, not very long after her
execution, almost _adored_ upon that very spot where her body had been
consigned with execrations to the flames. The square, in which this statue
stands, contains probably one of the very oldest houses in Rouen--and as
interesting as it is ancient. It is invisible from without: but you open a
wooden gate, and quickly find yourself within a small quadrangle, having
three of its sides covered with basso-rilievo figures in plaster. That side
which faces you is evidently older than the left: indeed I have no
hesitation in assigning it to the end of the XVth century. The clustered
ornaments of human figures and cattle, with which the whole of the exterior
is covered, reminds us precisely of those numerous little wood-cut figures,
chiefly pastoral, which we see in the borders of printed missals of the
same period. The taste which prevails in them is half French and half
Flemish. Not so is the character of the plaster figures which cover the
_left_ side on entering. These, my friend, are no less than the
representation of the procession of Henry VIII. and Francis I. to the
famous CHAMP DE DRAP D'OR: of which Montfaucon[63] has published
engravings. Having carefully examined this very curious relic, of the
beginning of the sixteenth century, I have no hesitation in pronouncing the
copy of Montfaucon (or rather of the artist employed by him) to be most
egregiously faithless. I visited it again and again, considering it to be
worth all the "huge clocks" in Rouen put together. I hardly know how to
take you from this interesting spot--from this exhibition of beautiful old
art--especially too when I consider that Francis himself once occupied the
mansion, and held a Council here, with both English and French; that his
bugles once sounded from beneath the gate way, and that his goblets once
sparkled upon the chestnut tables of the great hall. I do hope and trust
that the Royal Academy of Rouen, will not suffer this architectural relic
to perish, without leaving behind a substantial and faithful representation
of it.[64]

While upon the subject of ancient edifices, let me return; and, crossing
the _Rue de la Grosse Horloge_, contrive to place you in the centre of the
square which is formed by the PALAIS DE JUSTICE. The inhabitants consider
this building as the principal _lion_ in their city. It has indeed claims
to notice and admiration, but will not bear the severe scrutiny of a critic
in Gothic architecture. It was partly erected by Louis XII. at the entreaty
of the provincial States, through the interest of the famous Cardinal
d'Amboise, and partly by Francis I. This building precisely marks the
restoration of Gothic taste in France, and the peculiar style of
architecture which prevailed in the reign of Francis I. To say the truth,
this style, however sparkling and imposing, is objectionable in many
respects: for it is, in the first place, neither pure Gothic nor pure
Grecian--but an injudicious mixture of both. Greek arabesque borders are
running up the sides of a portal terminating in a Gothic arch; and the
Gothic ornaments themselves are not in the purest, or the most pleasing,
taste. Too much is given to parts, and too little to the whole. The
external ornaments are frequently heavy, from their size and elaborate
execution; and they seem to be _stuck on_ to the main building without
rhyme or reason.

The criminal offences are tried in the hall to the right, and the prisoners
are confined in the lower part of the building to the left: above which you
mount by a flight of stone steps, which conducts you to a singularly
curious hall,[65] about one hundred and seventy-five English feet in
length--roofed by wooden ribs, in the form of an arch, and displaying a
most curious and exact specimen of carpenter's work. This is justly shewn
and commented upon to the enquiring traveller. Parts of the building are
devoted to the courts of assize, and to tribunals of audience of almost
every description. The first Presidents of the Parliament lived formerly in
the building which faces you upon entrance, but matters have now taken a
very different turn. Upon the whole, this _Town Hall_, or call it what you
will, is rather a magnificent structure; and certainly superior to most
provincial buildings of the kind which we possess in England. I should tell
you that the courts for commercial causes are situated near the quays, at
the south part of the town: and Monsieur Riaux, who conducted me thither,
(and who possesses the choicest library[66] of antiquarian books, of all
descriptions, relating to Rouen, which I had the good fortune to see)
carried me to the _Hall of Commerce_, which, among other apartments,
contains a large chamber (contiguous to the Court of Justice) covered with
_fleurs de lys_ upon a light blue ground. It is now however much in need of
reparation. Fresh lilies and a new ground are absolutely necessary to
harmonise with a large oil-painting at one end of it, in which is
represented the reception of Louis XVI. at Rouen by the Mayor and Deputies
of the town, in 1786. All the figures are of the size of life, well painted
after the originals, and appear to be strong resemblances. On enquiring how
many of them were now living, I was told that--ALL WERE DEAD! The fate of
the _principal_ figure is but too well known. They should have this
interesting subject--interesting undoubtedly to the inhabitants--executed
by one of their best engravers. It represents the unfortunate Louis quite
in the prime of life; and is the best whole length portrait of him which I
have yet seen in painting or in engraving.

It is right however that you should know, that, in the Tribunal for the
determination of commercial causes, there sits a very respectable Bench of
Judges: among whom I recognised one that had perfectly the figure, air, and
countenance, of an Englishman. On enquiry of my guide, I found my
supposition verified. He _was_ an Englishman; but had been thirty years a
resident in _Rouen_. The judicial costume is appropriate in every respect;
but I could not help smiling, the other morning, upon meeting my friend the
judge, standing before the door of his house, in the open street--with a
hairy cap on--leisurely smoking his pipe--And wherein consisted the harm of
such a _delassement_?


[61] [I apprehend this custom to be prevalent in fortified towns:--as
    Rouen _formerly_ was--and as I found such custom to obtain at the
    present day, at Strasbourg. Mons. Licquet says that the allusion to
    the curfew--or _couvre-feu_--as appears in the previous
    edition--and which the reader well knows was established by the
    Conqueror with us--was no particular badge of the slavery of the
    English. It had been _previously_ established by William in NORMANDY.
    Millot is referred to as the authority.]

[62] _the famous_ JEANNE D'ARC.] Goube, in the second volume of his
    _Histoire du Duché de Normandie_, has devoted several spiritedly
    written pages to an account of the trial and execution of this
    heroine. Her history is pretty well known to the English--from
    earliest youth. Goube says that her mode of death had been completely
    prejudged; for that, previously to the sentence being passed, they
    began to erect "a scaffold of plaster, so raised, that the flames
    could not at first reach her--and she was in consequence consumed by a
    slow fire: her tortures being long and horrible." Hume has been rather
    too brief: but he judiciously observes that the conduct of the Duke of
    Bedford "was equally barbarous and dishonourable." Indeed it were
    difficult to pronounce which is entitled to the greatest
    abhorrence--the imbecility of Charles VII. the baseness of John of
    Luxembourg, or the treachery of the Regent Bedford?

    The _identical_ spot on which she suffered is not now visible,
    according to Millin; that place having been occupied by the late
    _Marché des Veaux_. It was however not half a stone's throw from the
    site of the present statue. In the _Antiquités Nationales_ of the last
    mentioned author (vol. iii. art. xxxvi.) there are three plates
    connected with the History of JOAN of ARC. The _first_ plate
    represents the _Porte Bouvreuil_ to the left, and the circular old
    tower to the right--in which latter Joan was confined, with some
    houses before it; the middle ground is a complete representation of
    the rubbishing state by which many of the public buildings at Rouen
    are yet surrounded; and French taste has enlivened the foreground with
    a picture of a lover and his mistress, in a bocage, regaling
    themselves with a flagon of wine. The old circular tower ("qui vit
    gémir cette infortunée," says Millin) exists no longer. The second
    plate represents the fountain which was built in the market-place upon
    the very spot where the Maid suffered, and which spot was at first
    designated by the erection of a cross. From the style of the
    embellishments it appears to have been of the time of Francis I.

    Goube has re-engraved this fountain. It was taken down or demolished
    in 1755; upon the site of which was built the present tasteless
    production--resembling, as the author of the _Itinéraire de Rouen_ (p.
    69) well observes, "rather a Pallas than the heroine of Orleans." The
    name of the author was STODTS. Millin's _third_ plate--of this present
    existing fountain, is desirable; in as much as it shews the front of
    the house, in the interior of which are the basso-rilievos of the
    _Champ de drap d'Or_: for an account of which see afterwards.

    Millin allows that all PORTRAITS of her--whether in sculpture, or
    painting, or engraving--are purely IDEAL. Perhaps the nearest, in
    point of fidelity, was that which was seen in a painted glass window
    of the church of the _Minimes_ at Chaillot: although the building was
    not erected till the time of Charles VIII. Yet it might have been a
    copy of some coeval production. In regard to oil paintings, I take it
    that the portrait of JUDITH, with a sword in one hand, and the head of
    Holofernes in the other, has been usually copied (with the omission of
    the latter accompaniment) as that of JEANNE D'ARC. I hardly know a
    more interesting collection of books than that which may be acquired
    respecting the fate of this equally brave and unfortunate heroine.

[63] Far be it from me to depreciate the labours of Montfaucon. But those
    who have not the means of getting at that learned antiquarian's
    _Monarchie Françoise_ may possibly have an opportunity of examining
    precisely the same representations, of the procession above alluded
    to, in _Ducarel's Anglo-Norman Antiquities_, Plate XII. Till the year
    1726 this extraordinary series of ornament was supposed to represent
    the _Council of Trent_; but the Abbé Noel, happening to find a
    salamander marked upon the back of one of the figures, supposed, with
    greater truth, that it was a representation of the abovementioned
    procession; and accordingly sent Montfaucon an account of the whole.
    The Abbé might have found more than one, two, or three salamanders, if
    he had looked closely into this extraordinary exterior; and possibly,
    in his time, the surfaces of the more delicate parts, especially of
    the human features, might not have sustained the injuries which time
    and accident now seem to have inflicted on them. [A beautiful effort
    in the graphic way representing the entire interior front of this
    interesting mansion, is said to be published at Rouen.]

[64] In the previous edition of this work, there appeared a facsimile of a
    small portion of this bas-relief, representing--as I imagine--the
    setting out of Francis to meet Henry. Nothing, as far as correctness
    of detail goes, can give a more faithful resemblance of the PRECISE
    STATE in which the original appears: the defaced and the entire parts
    being represented with equal fidelity. Mons. Langlois has given a
    plate of the entire façade or front--in outline--with great ability;
    but so small as to give little or no notion of the character of the
    original.

[65] In Ducarel's time, "the ground story consisted of a great quadrangle
    surrounded with booksellers shops. On one side of it a stone staircase
    led to a large and lofty room, which, in its internal as well as
    external appearance, resembled, though in miniature, Westminster Hall.
    Here (continues Ducarel) I saw several gentlemen of the long robe, in
    their gowns and bands, walking up and down with briefs in their hands,
    and making a great show of business." _Anglo-Norman Antiquities_,
    p. 32. [According to Mons. Licquet, this "singularly curious hall" was
    begun to be built in 1493. It was afterwards, and is still called,
    _la Salle des Procureurs_.]

[66] _the choicest library_] Monsieur Riaux, Archiviste de la Chambre
    de Commerce. This amiable man unites a love of literature with that of
    architectural antiquities. The library of M. Le Prevost is however as
    copious as that of Mons. R.



LETTER VII.

THE QUAYS. BRIDGE OF BOATS. RUE DU BAC. RUE DE ROBEC. EAUX DE ROBEC ET
D'AUBETTE. MONT STE. CATHARINE. HOSPICES--GÉNÉRAL ET D'HUMANITÉ.


Still tarrying within this old fashioned place? I have indeed yet much to
impart before I quit it, and which I have no scruple in avowing will be
well deserving of your attention.

Just letting you know, in few words, that I have visited the famous
chemical laboratory of M. Vitalis, (_Rue Beauvoisine_) and the yet more
wonderful spectacle exhibited in M. Lemere's machine for sawing wood of all
descriptions, into small or large planks, by means of water works--I must
take you along THE QUAYS for a few minutes. These quays are flanked by an
architectural front, which, were it finished agreeably to the original
plan, would present us with one of the noblest structures in Europe. This
stone front was begun in the reign of Louis XV. but many and prosperous
must be the years of art, of commerce, and of peace, before money
sufficient can be raised for the successful completion of the pile. The
quays are long, broad, and full of bustle of every description; while in
some of the contiguous squares, ponderous bales of goods, shawls, cloth,
and linen, are spread open to catch the observing eye. In the midst of this
varied and animated scene, walks a well-known character, in his large
cocked hat, and with his tin machine upon his back, filled with lemonade or
coffee, surmounted by a bell--which "ever and anon" is sounded for the sake
of attracting customers. He is here copied to the life.

[Illustration]

As you pass along this animated scene, by the side of the rapid Seine, and
its _Bridge of Boats_, you cannot help glancing now and then down the
narrow old-fashioned streets, which run at right angles with the
quays--with the innumerable small tile-fashioned pieces of wood, like
scales, upon the roofs--which seem as if they would be demolished by every
blast. The narrowness and gloom of these streets, together with the bold
and overwhelming projections of the upper stories and roofs, afford a
striking contrast to the animated scene upon the quays:--where the sun
shines with full freedom, as it were; and where the glittering streamers,
at innumerable mast-heads, denote the wealth and prosperity of the town. If
the day happen to be fine, you may devote half a morning in contemplating,
and mingling with, so interesting a scene.

We have had frequent thunder-storms of late; and the other Sunday evening,
happening to be sauntering at a considerable height above the north-west
Boulevards, towards the _Faubourg Cauchoise_, I gained a summit, upon the
edge of a gravel pit, whence I looked down unexpectedly and precipitously
upon the town below. A magnificent and immense cloud was rolling over the
whole city. The Seine was however visible on the other side of it, shining
like a broad silver chord: while the barren, ascending plains, through
which the road to Caen passes, were gradually becoming dusk with the
overshadowing cloud, and drenched with rain which seemed to be rushing down
in one immense torrent. The tops of the Cathedral and of the abbey of St.
Ouen were almost veiled in darkness, by the passing storm; but the lower
part of the tower, and the whole of the nave of each building, were in one
stream of golden light--from the last powerful rays of the setting sun. In
ten minutes this magically-varied scene settled into the sober, uniform
tint of evening; but I can never forget the rich bed of purple and pink,
fringed with burnished gold, in which the sun of that evening set! I
descended--absorbed in the recollection of the lovely objects which I had
just contemplated--and regaled by the sounds of a thousand little gurgling
streamlets, created by the passing tempest, and hastening to precipitate
themselves into the Seine.

Of the different trades, especially retail, which are carried on in Rouen
with the greatest success, those connected with the _cotton manufactories_
cannot fail to claim your attention; and I fancied I saw, in some of the
shop-windows, shawls and gowns which might presume to vie with our
Manchester and Norwich productions. Nevertheless, I learnt that the French
were extremely partial to British manufactures: and cotton stockings,
coloured muslins, and what are called ginghams, are coveted by them with
the same fondness as we prize their cambric and their lace. Their best
articles in watches, clocks, silver ornaments, and trinkets, are obtained
from Paris. But in respect to upholstery, I must do the Rouennois the
justice to say, that I never saw any thing to compare with their
_escrutoires_ and other articles of furniture made of the walnut tree.
These upright escrutoires, or writing desks, are in almost every bed-room
of the more respectable hotels: but of course their polish is gone when
they become stationary furniture in an inn--for the art of rubbing, or what
is called _elbow-grease_ with us--is almost unknown on either side of the
Seine. You would be charmed to have a fine specimen of a side board, or an
escrutoire, (the latter five or six feet high) made by one of their best
cabinet-makers from choice walnut wood. The polish and tone of colour are
equally gratifying; and resemble somewhat that of rose wood, but of a gayer
aspect. The _or-molu_ ornaments are tastefully put on; but the general
shape, or contour, of the several pieces of furniture, struck me as being
in bad taste.

He who wishes to be astonished by the singularity of a scene, connected
with _trade_, should walk leisurely down the RUE DE ROBEC. It is surely the
oddest, and as some may think, the most repulsive scene imaginable: But who
that has a rational curiosity could resist such a walk? Here live the
_dyers of clothes_--and in the middle of the street rushes the precipitous
stream, called _L'Eau de Robec_[67]--receiving colours of all hues. To-day
it is nearly jet black: to-morrow it is bright scarlet: a third day it is
blue, and a fourth day it is yellow! Meanwhile it is partially concealed by
little bridges, communicating with the manufactories, or with that side of
the street where the work-people live: and the whole has a dismal and
disagreeable aspect--especially in dirty weather: but if you go to one end
of it (I think to the east--as it runs east and west) and look down upon
the descending street, with the overhanging upper stories and roofs--the
foreshortened, numerous bridges--the differently-coloured dyed clothes,
suspended from the windows, or from poles--the constant motion of men,
women, and children, running across the bridges--with the rapid, _camelion_
stream beneath--you cannot fail to acknowledge that this is one of the most
singular, grotesque, and uncommon sights in the wonder-working city of
Rouen. I ought to tell you that the first famous Cardinal d'Amboise (of
whom the preceding pages have made such frequent honourable mention) caused
the _Eau de Robec_ to be directed through the streets of Rouen, from its
original channel or source in a little valley near _St. Martin du Vivien_.
Formerly there was a much more numerous clan of these "teinturiers" in the
Rue de Robec--but they have of late sought more capacious premises in the
fauxbourgs _de St. Hilaire_ and _de Martainville_. The neighbouring
sister-stream, _l'Eau d'Aubette_, is destined to the same purposes as that
of which I have been just discoursing; but I do not at this moment
recollect whether it be also dignified, in its course, by turning a few
corn mills, ere it empties itself into the Seine. Indeed the thundering
noise of one of these mills, turned by the Robec river, near the church of
St. Maclou, will not be easily forgotten. Thus you see of what various,
strange, and striking objects the city of Rouen is composed. Bustle, noise,
life and activity, in the midst of an atmosphere unsullied by the fumes of
sea coal:--hilarity and apparent contentment:--the spruce bourgeoise and
the slattern fille de chambre:--attired in vestments of deep crimson and
dark blue--every thing flits before you as if touched by magic, and as if
sorrow and misfortune were unknown to the inhabitants.

"Paullò majora canamus." In other words, let us leave the Town for the
Country. Let us hurry through a few more narrow and crowded alleys, courts,
and streets--and as the morning is yet beautiful, let us hasten onwards to
enjoy the famous Panorama of Rouen and its environs from the MONT STE.
CATHARINE.... Indeed, my friend, I sincerely wish that you could have
accompanied me to the summit of this enchanting eminence: but as you are
far away, you must be content with a brief description of our little
expedition thither.[68] The Mont Ste. Catharine, which is entirely chalk,
is considered the highest of the hills in the immediate vicinity of Rouen;
or rather, perhaps, is considered the point of elevation from which the
city is to be viewed to the greatest possible advantage. It lies to the
left of the Seine, in your way from the town; and the ascent begins
considerably beyond the barriers. Indeed it is on the route to Paris. We
took an excellent _fiacre_ to carry us to the beginning of the ascent, that
our legs might be in proper order for scrambling up the acclivities
immediately above; and leaving the main road to the right, we soon
commenced our ambulatory operations in good earnest. But there was not much
labour or much difficulty: so, halting, or standing, or sitting, on each
little eminence, our admiration seemed to encrease--till, gaining the
highest point, looking towards the west, we found ourselves immediately
above the town and the whole of its environs....

    "Heavens, what a goodly prospect spread around!"

The prospect was indeed "goodly--" being varied, extensive, fertile, and
luxuriant ... in spite of a comparatively backward spring. The city was the
main object, not only of attraction, but of astonishment. Although the
point from which we viewed it is considered to be exactly on a level with
the summit of the spire of the Cathedral, yet we seemed to be hanging, as
it were, in the air, immediately over the streets themselves. We saw each
church, each public edifice, and almost each street; nay, we began to think
we could discover almost every individual stirring in them. The soldiers,
exercising on the parade in the Champ de Mars, seemed to be scarcely two
stones' throw from us; while the sounds of their music reached us in the
most distinct and gratifying manner. No "Diable boiteux" could ever have
transported a "Don Cleophas Léandro Perez Zambullo" to a more favourable
situation for a knowledge of what was passing in a city; and if the houses
had been unroofed, we could have almost discerned whether the _escrutoires_
were made of mahogany or walnut-wood! This wonder-working effect proceeds
from the extraordinary clearness of the atmosphere, and the absence of
sea-coal fume. The sky was perfectly blue--the generality of the roofs were
also composed of blue slate: this, added to the incipient verdure of the
boulevards, and the darker hues of the trunks of the trees, upon the
surrounding hills--the lengthening forests to the left, and the numerous
white "maisons de plaisance"[69] to the right--while the Seine, with its
hundred vessels, immediately below, to the left, and in face of you--with
its cultivated little islands--and the sweeping meadows or race-ground[70]
on the other side--all, or indeed any, of these objects could not fail to
excite our warmest admiration, and to make us instinctively exclaim "that
such a panorama was perfectly unrivalled!"

We descended Mont Ste. Catharine on the side facing the _Hospice Général_:
a building of a very handsome form, and considerable dimensions. It is a
noble establishment for foundlings, and the aged and infirm of both sexes.
I was told that not fewer than twenty-five hundred human beings were
sheltered in this asylum; a number, which equally astonished and delighted
me. The descent, on this side the hill, is exceedingly pleasing; being
composed of serpentine little walks, through occasional alleys of trees and
shrubs, to the very base of the hill, not many hundred yards from the
hospital. The architecture of this extensive building is more mixed than
that of its neighbour the _Hospice d'Humanité_, on account of the different
times in which portions of it were added: but, upon the whole, you are
rather struck with its approach to what may be called magnificence of
style. I was indeed pleased with the good order and even good breeding of
its motley inhabitants. Some were strolling quietly, with their arms behind
them, between rows of trees:--others were tranquilly sitting upon benches:
a third group would be in motion within the squares of the building: a
fourth appeared in deep consultation whether the _potage_ of to day were
not inferior to that of the preceding day?--"Que cherchez vous, Monsieur?"
said a fine looking old man, touching, and half taking off, his cocked hat;
"I wish to see the Abbé Turquier,"--rejoined I. "Ah, il vient de
sortir--par ici, Monsieur." "Thank you." "Monsieur je vous souhaite le bon
jour--au plaisir de vous revoir!" And thus I paced through the squares of
this vast building. The "Portier" had a countenance which our Wilkie would
have seized with avidity, and copied with inimitable spirit and fidelity.


[67] Bourgueville describes this river, in the sixteenth century, as being
    "aucune fois iaulne, autrefois rouge, verte, bleüe, violée & autres
    couleurs, selon qu'vn grand nombre de teinturiers qui sont dessus, la
    diuersifient par interualles en faisant leurs maneures." _Antiquitez
    de Caen_, p. 36.

[68] _expedition thither_.]--When John Evelyn visited this
    neighbourhood, in 1644, "the country so abounded with _wolves_, that a
    shepherd, whom he met, told him that one of his companions was
    strangled by one of them the day before--and that, in the midst of the
    flock! The fields (continues he) are mostly planted with pears and
    apples and other cider fruits. It is plentifully furnished with
    quarries of stone and slate, and hath iron in abundance." _Memoirs of
    the Life and Writings of John Evelyn_, vol. i. p. 50. Edit. 1818. My
    friend Mr. J. H. Markland visited Mont St. Catharine the year after
    the visit above described. He was of course enchanted with the view;
    and told me, that a friend whom he met there, and who had travelled
    pretty much in Italy, assured him there was nothing like it on the
    banks of either the _Arno_ or the _Po_. In short, it is quite peculiar
    to itself--and cannot be surpassed.

[69] It is thus prettily observed in the little _Itineraire de Rouen_
    --"Ces agréables maisons de plaisance appartiennent à des habitants de
    Rouen qui y viennent en famille, dans la belle saison, se délasser des
    embarras de la ville et des fatigues du commerce." p. 153.

[70] _race-ground_]--When the English cavalry were quartered here in
    1814-5, the officers were in the frequent habit of racing with each
    other. These races were gaily attended by the inhabitants; and I
    heard, from more than one mouth, the warmest commendations bestowed
    upon the fleetness of the coursers and the skill of the riders.



LETTER VIII.

EARLY TYPOGRAPHY AT ROUEN. MODERN PRINTERS. CHAP BOOKS. BOOKSELLERS. BOOK
COLLECTORS.


Now for a little gossip and chit-chat about _Paper, Ink, Books,
Printing-Offices_, and curiosities of a GRAPHIC description. Perhaps the
most regular method would be to speak of a few of the principal _Presses_,
before we take the _productions_ of these presses into consideration. And
first, as to the antiquity of printing in Rouen.[71] The art of printing is
supposed to have been introduced here, by a citizen of the name of MAUFER,
between the years 1470 and 1480. Some of the specimens of Rouen _Missals_
and _Breviaries_, especially of those by MORIN, who was the second printer
in this city, are very splendid. His device, which is not common, and
rather striking, is here enclosed for your gratification.

[Illustration]

Few provincial towns have been more fertile in typographical productions;
and the reputation of TALLEUR, GUALTIER, and VALENTIN, gave great
respectability to the press of Rouen at the commencement of the sixteenth
century.

Yet I am not able to ascertain whether these presses were very fruitful in
Romances, Chronicles, and Old Poetry. I rather think, however, that they
were not deficient in this popular class of literature, if I am to judge
from the specimens which are yet lingering, as it were, in the hands of the
curious. The gravity even of an archiepiscopal see could never repress the
natural love of the French, from time immemorial, for light and fanciful
reading.

You know with what pertinacity I grope about old alleys, old courts,
by-lanes, and unfrequented corners--in search of what is curious, or
precious, or rare in the book way. But ere we touch that enchanting chord,
let us proceed according to the plan laid down. First therefore for
printing-offices. Of these, the names of PÉRIAUX, (_Imprimeur de
l'Academie_,) BAUDRY, (_Imprimeur du Roi_) MÉGARD, (_Rue Martainville_) and
LECRENE-LABBEY, (_Imprimeur-Libraire et Marchand de Papiers_) are masters
of the principal presses; but such is the influence of Paris, or of
metropolitan fashions, that a publisher will sometimes prefer getting his
work printed at the capital.[72] Of the foregoing printers, it behoves me
to make some mention; and yet I can speak personally but of two: Messieurs
Périaux and Mégard. M. Periaux is printer to the _Académie des Sciences,
Belles-Lettres et Arts de Rouen_, of which academy, indeed, he is himself
an accomplished member. He is quick, intelligent, well-bred, and obliging
to the last degree; and may be considered the _Henry Stephen_ of the Rouen
Printers. He urged me to call often: but I could visit him only twice. Each
time I found him in his counting house, with his cap on--shading his eyes:
a pen in his right hand, and a proof sheet in his left. Though he rejoiced
at seeing me, I could discover (much to his praise) that, like Aldus, he
wished me to "say my saying quickly,"[73] and to leave him to his _deles_
and _stets_! He has a great run of business, and lives in one of those
strange, old-fashioned houses, in the form of a square, with an outside
spiral staircase, so common in this extraordinary city. He introduced me to
his son, an intelligent young man--well qualified to take the labouring
oar, either upon the temporary or permanent retirement of his parent.[74]

Of Monsieur MÉGARD, who may be called the ancient _Jenson_, or the modern
_Bulmer_, of Rouen, I can speak only in terms of praise--both as a civil
gentleman and as a successful printer. He is doubtless the most elegant
printer in this city; and being also a publisher, his business is very
considerable. He makes his regular half yearly journeys among the
neighbouring towns and villages, and as regularly brings home the fruits of
his enterprise and industry. On my first visit, M. Mégard was from home;
but Madame, "son épouse, l'attendoit à chaque moment!" There is a
particular class of women among the French, which may be said to be
singularly distinguished for their intelligence, civility, and good
breeding. I mean the wives of the more respectable tradesmen. Thus I found
it, in addition to a hundred similar previous instances, with Madame
Mégard. "Mais Monsieur, je vous prie de vous asseoir. Que voulez vous?" "I
wish to have a little conversation with your husband. I am an enthusiastic
lover of the art of printing. I search every where for skilful printers,
and thus it is that I come to pay my respects to Monsieur Mégard." We both
sat down and conversed together; and I found in Madame Mégard a
communicative, and well-instructed, representative of the said ancient
Jenson, or modern Bulmer. "Enfin, voilà mon mari qui arrive"--said Madame,
turning round, upon the opening of the door:--when I looked forward, and
observed a stout man, rather above the middle size, with a countenance
perfectly English--but accoutred in the dress of the _national guard_, with
a grenadier cap on his head. Madame saw my embarrassment: laughed: and in
two minutes her husband knew the purport of my visit. He began by
expressing his dislike of the military garb: but admitted the absolute
necessity of adopting such a measure as that of embodying a national guard.
"Soyez le bien venu; Ma foi, je ne suis que trop sensible, Monsieur, de
l'honneur que vous me faites--vû que vous êtes antiquaire typographique, et
que vous avez publié des ouvrages relatifs à notre art. Mais ce n'est pas
ici qu'il faut en chercher de belles épreuves. C'est à Paris."

I parried this delicate thrust by observing that I was well acquainted with
the fine productions of _Didot_, and had also seen the less aspiring ones
of himself; of which indeed I had reason to think his townsmen might be
proud. This I spoke with the utmost sincerity. My first visit concluded
with two elegant little book-presents, on the part of M. Megard--one being
_Heures de Rouen, à l'usage du Diocese_, 1814, 12mo. and the other
_Etrennes nouvelles commodes et utiles_; 1815, 12mo.--the former bound in
green morocco; and the latter in calf, with gilt leaves, but printed on a
sort of apricot-tinted paper--producing no unpleasing effect. Both are
exceedingly well executed. My visits to M. Mégard were rather frequent. He
has a son at the Collége Royale, or Lycée, whither I accompanied him, one
Sunday morning, and took the church of that establishment in the way. It is
built entirely in the Italian style of architecture: is exceedingly
spacious: has a fine organ, and is numerously attended. The pictures I saw
in it, although by no means of first-rate merit, quite convince me that it
is in churches of _Roman_, and not of _Gothic_ architecture, that paintings
produce the most harmonious effect. This college and church form a noble
establishment, situated in one of the most commanding eminences of the
town. From some parts of it, the flying buttresses of the nave of the Abbey
of St. Ouen, with the Seine at a short distance, surmounted by the hills
and woods of Canteleu as a back ground, are seen in the most gloriously
picturesque manner.

But the printer who does the most business--or rather whose business lies
in the lower department of the art, in bringing forth what are called _chap
books_--is LECRENE-LABBEY--_imprimeur-libraire et marchand de papiers_. The
very title imports a sort of _Dan Newberry's_ repository. I believe however
that Lecrêne-Labbey's business is much diminished. He once lived in the
_Rue de la Grosse-Horloge_, No. 12: but at present carries on trade in one
of the out-skirting streets of the town. I was told that the premises he
now occupies were once an old church or monastery, and that a thousand
fluttering sheets are now suspended, where formerly was seen the solemn
procession of silken banners, with religious emblems, emblazoned in colours
of all hues. I called at the old shop, and supplied myself with a dingy
copy of the _Catalogue de la Bibliothéque Bleue_--from which catalogue
however I could purchase but little; as the greater part of the old books,
several of the _Caxtonian stamp_, had taken their departures. It was from
this Catalogue that I learnt the precise character of the works destined
for common reading; and from hence inferred, what I stated to you a little
time ago, that _Romances, Rondelays_, and chivalrous stories, are yet read
with pleasure by the good people of France. It is, in short, from this
lower, or _lowest_ species of literature--if it must be so designated--that
we gather the real genius, or mental character of the ordinary classes of
society. I do assure you that some of these _chap_ publications are
singularly droll and curious. Even the very rudiments of learning, or the
mere alphabet-book, meets the eye in a very imposing manner--as in the
following facsimile.

[Illustration]

_Love, Marriage_, and _Confession_, are fertile themes in these little
farthing chap books. Yonder sits a fille de chambre, after her work is
done. She is intent upon some little manual, taken from the _Bibliothèque
Bleue_. Approach her, and ask her for a sight of it. She smiles, and
readily shews you _Catéchisme à l'usage des Grandes Filles pour être
Mariées; ensemble la manière d'attirer les Amans_. At the first glance of
it, you suppose that this is entirely, from beginning to end, a wild and
probably somewhat indecorous manual of instruction. By no means; for read
the _Litanies_ and _Prayer_ with which it concludes, and which I here send;
admitting that they exhibit a strange mixture of the simple and the
serious.

    LITANIES.

    _Pour toutes les Filles qui désirent entrer en menage_.

    _Kyrie,_ je voudrois,
    _Christe_, être mariée.
    _Kyrie_, je prie tous les Saints,
    _Christe_, que ce soin demain.
    _Sainte Marie_, tout le Monde se marie.
    _Saint Joseph_, que vous ai-je fait?
    _Saint Nicolas_, ne m'oubliez pas.
    _Saint Médérie_, que j'aie un bon mari.
    _Saint Matthieu_, qu'il craigne Dieu.
    _Saint Jean_, qu'il m'aime tendrement.
    _Saint Bruno_, qu'il soit juli & beau.
    _Saint Francois_, qu'il me soit fidele.
    _Saint André_, qu'il soit à mon gré.
    _Saint Didier_, qu'il aime à travailler.
    _Saint Honoré_, qu'il n'aime pas à jouer.
    _Saint Severin_, qu'il n'aime pas le vin.
    _Saint Clément_, qu'il soit diligent.
    _Saint Sauveur_, qu'il ait bon coeur.
    _Saint Nicaise_, que je sois à mon aise.
    _Saint Josse_, qu'il me donne un carrosse.
    _Saint Boniface_, que mon mariage se fasse,
    _Saint Augustin_, dès demain matin.

    ORAISON.

    Seigneur, qui avez formé Adam de la terre, et qui lui avez
    donné Eve pour sa compagne; envoyez-moi, s'il vous plait, un
    bon mari pour compagnon, non pour la volupté, mais pour vous
    honorer & avoir des enfants qui vous bénissent. Ainsi soit il.

Among the books of this class, before alluded to, I purchased a singularly
amusing little manual called "_La Confession de la Bonne Femme_." It is
really not divested of merit. Whether however it may not have been written
during the Revolution, with a view to ridicule the practice of auricular
confession which yet obtains throughout France, I cannot take upon me to
pronounce; but there are undoubtedly some portions of it which seem so
obviously to satirise this practice, that one can hardly help drawing a
conclusion in the affirmative. On the other hand it may perhaps be
inferred, with greater probability, that it is intended to shew with what
extreme facility a system of _self-deception_ may be maintained.[75]
Referring however to the little manual in question, among the various
choice morceaus which it contains, take the following extracts:
exemplificatory of a woman's _evading the main points of confession_.

    _Confesseur_. Ne voulez vous pas me répondre; en un mot, combien
    y a-t-il de temps que vous ne vous êtes confessée?

    _La Pénitente._ Il y a un mois tout juste, car c'étoit le
    quatrième jour du mois passé, & nous sommes au cinquième du mois
    courant; or comptez, mon pere, & vous trouverez justement que ...

    C. C'est assez, ne parlez point tant, & dites moi en peu de mots vos
    péchés.

    _Elle raconte les péchés d'autrui._

    _La Pénitente_. J'ai un enfant qui est le plus méchant garçon que
    vous ayez jamais vu: il jure, bat sa soeur, il fuit l'école, dérobe
    tout ce qu'il peut pour jouer; il suit de méchans fripons: l'autre
    jour en courant il perdit son chapeau. Enfin, c'est un méchant garçon,
    je veux vous l'amener afin que vous me l'endoctriniez un peu s'il vous
    plaît.

    C. Dites-moi vos péchés.

    P. Mais, mon père, j'ai une fille qui est encore pire. Je ne la peux
    faire lever le matin: Je l'appelle cent fois: _Marguerite: plait-il ma
    Mere? lève-toi promptement et descends: j'y vais_. Elle ne bouge pas.
    _Si tu ne viens maintenant, tu seras battue._ Elle s'en moque. Quand
    je l'envoie à la Ville, je lui dis _reviens promptement, ne t'amuse
    pas_. Cependant, elle s'arrête à toutes les portes comme l'âne d'un
    meûnier, elle babille avec tous ceux qu'elle rencontre; & quand elle
    me fait cela, je la bats: ne fais-je pas bien, mon père?

    C. Dites-moi _vos_ péchés et non pas ceux de _vos enfans_.

    P. Il se trouve, mon père, que nous avons dans notre rue une voisine
    qui est la plus méchante de toutes les femmes: elle jure, elle
    querelle tous ceux qui passent, personne ne la peut souffrir, ni son
    mari, ni ses enfans, & bien souvent elle s'enivre, & vous me dites,
    mon père, quelle est celle-la? c'est ...

    C. Ah gardez-vous bien de la nommer; car à la confession il ne faut
    jamais fair connoitre les personnes dont vous déclarez les péchés.

    P. C'est elle qui vient se confesser après moi: grondez-la bien, car
    vous ne lui en sauriez trop dire.

    C. Taisez-vous donc, & ne parlez que de _vos_ péchés, non pas de ceux
    _des autres_.

    _Elle s'accuse de ce qui n'est point péché._

    _Pénitente_.--Ah! mon père, j'ai fait un grand péché, ah! le
    grand péché! Hélas je serai damnée, quoique mon confesseur m'ait
    defendu de le dire j'amais, néanmoins mon père je vais vous le
    declarer.

    C. Ne le dites point, puisque votre confesseur vous l'a defendu, je ne
    veux point l'entendre.

    P. Ah! n'importe; je veux vous le dire, c'est un trop grand péché:
    J'ai battu ma mère.

    C. Vous avez battu votre mère! Ah! misérable, c'est un cas réservé &
    un crime qui mérite la potence. Et quand l'avez-vous battue?

    P. Quand j'étois petite de l'âge de quatre ans.

    C. Ah! simple, ne savez-vous pas que tout ce que les enfans font avant
    l'âge de raison, qui est environ l'âge de sept ans, ne sauroit être un
    péché.

There is however one thing, which I must frankly declare to you as entitled
to distinct notice and especial commendation. It is, the method of teaching
"catechisms" of a different and higher order: I mean the CHURCH CATECHISMS.
Both the Cathedral and the Abbey of St. Ouen have numerous side chapels.
Within these side chapels are collected, on stated days of the week, the
young of both sexes. They are arranged in a circle. A priest, in his white
robes, is seated, or stands, in the centre of them. He examines, questions,
corrects, or commends, as the opportunity calls for it. His manner is
winning and persuasive. His action is admirable. The lads shew him great
respect, and are rarely rude, or seen to laugh. Those who answer well, and
pay the greater attention, receive, with words of commendation, gentle pats
upon the head--and I could not but consider the blush, with which this mark
of favour was usually received, as so many presages of future excellence in
the youth. I once witnessed a most determined catechetical lecture of
girls; who might be called, in the language of their matrimonial catechism,
"de grandes filles." It was on an evening, in the Chapel of Our Lady in St.
Ouen's Abbey, that this examination took place. Two elderly priests
attended. The responses of the females were as quick as they were correct;
the eye being always invariably fixed on the pavement, accompanied with a
gravity and even piety of expression. A large group of mothers, with
numerous spectators, were in attendance. A question was put, to which a
supposed incorrect response was given. It was repeated, and the same answer
followed. The priest hesitated: something like vexation was kindling in his
cheek, while the utmost calmness and confidence seemed to mark the
countenance of the examinant. The attendant mothers were struck with
surprise. A silence for one minute ensued. The question related to the
"Holy Spirit." The priest gently approached the girl, and softly
articulated--"Mais, ma chère considerez un peu,"--and repeated the
question. "Mon pere, (yet more softly, rejoined the pupil) j'ai bien
considerée, et je crois que c'est comme je vous l'ai déjà dit." The Priest
crossed his hands upon his breast ... brought down his eyebrows in a
thoughtful mood ... and turning quickly round to the girl, addressed her in
the most affectionate tone of voice--"Ma petite,--tu as bien dit; et
j'avois tort." The conduct of the girl was admirable: She curtsied,
blushed... and with eyes, from which tears seemed ready to start, surveyed
the circle of spectators ... caught the approving glance of her mother, and
sunk triumphantly upon her chair--with the united admiration of teachers,
companions, parents and spectators! The whole was conducted with the most
perfect propriety; and the pastors did not withdraw till they were fairly
exhausted. A love of truth obliges me to confess that this reciprocity of
zeal, on the part of master and pupil, is equally creditable to both
parties; and especially serviceable to the cause of religion and morality.

Let me here make honourable mention of the kind offices of _Monsieur
Longchamp_, who volunteered his friendly services in walking over half the
town with me, to shew me what he justly considered as the most worthy of
observation. It is impossible for a generous mind to refuse its testimony
to the ever prompt kindness of a well-bred Frenchman, in rendering you all
the services in his power. Enquire the way,--and you have not only a finger
quickly pointing to it, but the owner of the finger must also put himself
in motion to accompany you a short distance upon the route, and that too
uncovered! "Mais, Monsieur, mettez votre chapeau ... je vous en prie ...
mille pardons." "Monsieur ne dites pas un seul mot ... pour mon chapeau,
qu'il reste à son aise."

Among book-collectors, Antiquaries, and Men of Taste, let me speak with
becoming praise of the amiable and accomplished M. AUGUSTE LE PREVOST--who
is considered, by competent judges, to be the best antiquary in Rouen.[76]
Mr. Dawson Turner, (a name, in our own country, synonymous with all that is
liberal and enlightened in matters of virtù) was so obliging as to give me
a letter of introduction to him; and he shewed me several rare and splendid
works, which were deserving of the commendations that they received from
their owner.

M. Le Prevost very justly discredits any remains of Roman masonry at Rouen;
but he will not be displeased to see that the only existing relics of the
castle or town walls, have been copied by the pencil of a late travelling
friend. What you here behold is probably of the fourteenth century.

[Illustration]

The next book-collector in commendation of whom I am bound to speak, is
MONSIEUR DUPUTEL; a member, as well as M. Le Prevost, of the _Academy of
Belles-Lettres_ at Rouen. The Abbé Turquier conducted me thither; and I
found, in the owner of a choice collection of books, a well-bred gentleman,
and a most hearty bibliomaniac. He has comparatively a small library; but,
withal, some very curious, scarce, and interesting volumes. M. Duputel is
smitten with that amiable passion,--the love of printing for _private
distribution_--thus meriting to become a sort of Roxburghe Associate. He
was so good as to beg my acceptance of the "nouvelle édition" of his
"_Bagatelles Poétiques,"_ printed in an octavo volume of about 112 pages,
at Rouen, in 1816. On taking it home, I discovered the following not
infelicitous version of our Prior's beautiful little Poem of _the Garland_.

  _La Guirlande_.

  _Traduction de l'Anglais de Prior_.

  Pour orner de Chloé les cheveux ondoyans,
    Parmi les fleurs nouvellement écloses
    J'avais choisi les lis les plus brillans,
  Les oeillets les plus beaux, et les plus fraîches roses.

  Ma Chloé sur son front les plaça la matin:
      Alors on vit céder sans peine,
    Leur vif éclat à celui de son teint,
    Leur doux parfum à ceux de son haleine.

  De ses attraits ces fleurs paraissaient s'embellir,
  Et sur ses blonds cheveux les bergers, les bergères
  Les voyaient se faner avec plus de plaisir
  Qu'ils ne les voyaient naître au milieu des parterres.

    Mais, le soir, quand leur sein flétri
  Eut cessé d'exhaler son odeur séduisante,
    Elle fixa, d'un regard attendri,
  Cette guirlande, hélas! n'aguères si brillante.

  Des larmes aussi-tôt coulent de ses beaux yeux.
    Que d'éloquence dans ces larmes!
  Jamais pour l'exprimer, le langage des dieux,
  Tout sublime qu'il est, n'aurait assez de charmes.

  En feignant d'ignorer ce tendre sentiment;
    "Pourquoi," lui dis-je, "ô ma sensible amie,
  Pourquoi verser des pleurs? et par quel changement
  Abandonner ton ame à la melancholie?"

  "Vois-tu comme ces fleurs languissent tristement?"
  Me dit, en soupirant, ce moraliste aimable,
    "De leur fraîcheur, en un moment,
  S'est éclipsé le charme peu durable.

    Tel est, hélas! notre destin;
  Fleur de beauté ressemble à celles des prairies;
  On les voit toutes deux naître avec le matin,
    Et dès le soir être flétries.

  Estelle hier encor brillait dans nos hameaux,
  Et l'amour attirait les bergers sur ses traces;
  De la mort, aujourd'hui, I'impitoyable faulx
    A moissonné sa jeunesse et ses graces.

  Soumise aux mêmes lois, peut-être que demain,
  Comme elle aussi, Damon, j'aurai cessé de vivre....
  Consacre dans tes vers la cause du chagrin
    Auquel ton amante se livre."

  p. 92.

The last and not the least of book-collectors, which I have had an
opportunity of visiting, is MONSIEUR RIAUX. With respect to what may be
called a ROUENNOISE LIBRARY, that of M. Riaux is greatly preferable to any
which I have seen; although I am not sure whether M. Le Prevost's
collection contain not nearly as many books. M. Riaux is himself a man of
first-rate book enthusiasm; and unites the avocations of his business with
the gratification of his literary appetites, in a manner which does him
infinite honour. A city like Rouen should have a host of such inhabitants;
and the government, when it begins to breathe a little from recent
embarrassments, will, I hope, cherish and support that finest of all
patriotic feelings,--a desire to preserve the RELICS, MANNERS, AND CUSTOMS
of PAST AGES. Normandy is fertile beyond conception in objects which may
gratify the most unbounded passion in this pursuit. It is the country where
formerly the harp of the minstrel poured forth some of its sweetest
strains; and the lay and the fabliaux of the twelfth and thirteenth
centuries, which delight us in the text of Sainte Palaye, and in the
versions of Way, owed their existence to the combined spirit of chivalry
and literature, which never slumbered upon the shores of Normandy.

Farewell now to ROUEN.[77] I have told you all the tellings which I thought
worthy of communication. I have endeavoured to make you saunter with me in
the streets, in the cathedral, the abbey, and the churches. We have, in
imagination at least, strolled together along the quays, visited the halls
and public buildings, and gazed with rapture from Mont Ste. Catharine upon
the enchanting view of the city, the river, and the neighbouring hills. We
have from thence breathed almost the pure air of heaven, and surveyed a
country equally beautified by art, and blessed by nature. Our hearts, from
that same height, have wished all manner of health, wealth, and prosperity,
to a land thus abounding in corn and wine, and oil and gladness. We have
silently, but sincerely prayed, that swords may for ever be "turned into
plough-shares, and spears into pruning-hooks:"--that all heart-burnings,
antipathies, and animosities, may be eternally extinguished; and that, from
henceforth, there may be no national rivalries but such as tend to
establish, upon a firmer footing, and upon a more comprehensive scale, the
peace and happiness of fellow-creatures, of whatever persuasion they may
be:--of such, who sedulously cultivate the arts of individual and of
national improvement, and blend the duties of social order with the higher
calls of morality and religion. Ah! my friend, these are neither foolish
thoughts nor romantic wishes. They arise naturally in an honest heart,
which, seeing that all creation is animated and upheld by ONE and the SAME
POWER, cannot but ardently hope that ALL may be equally benefited by a
reliance upon its goodness and bounty. From this eminence we have descended
somewhat into humbler walks. We have visited hospitals, strolled in
flower-gardens, and associated with publishers and collectors of
works--both of the dead and of the living. So now, fare you well. Commend
me to your family and to our common friends,--especially to the Gorburghers
should they perchance enquire after their wandering Vice President. Many
will be the days passed over, and many the leagues traversed, ere I meet
them again. Within twenty-four hours my back will be more decidedly turned
upon "dear old England"--for that country, in which her ancient kings once
held dominion, and where every square mile (I had almost said _acre_) is
equally interesting to the antiquary and the agriculturist. I salute you
wholly, and am yours ever.


[71] The reader may possibly not object to consult two or three pages of
    the _Bibliographical Decameron_, beginning at page 137, vol. ii.
    respecting a few of the early Rouen printers. The name of MAUFER,
    however, appears in a fine large folio volume, entitled _Gaietanus
    de Tienis Vincentini in Quatt. Aristot. Metheor. Libros_, of the
    date of 1476--in the possession of Earl Spencer. See _Æd.
    Althorp_. vol. ii. p. 134. From the colophon of which we can only
    infer that Maufer was a _citizen of Rouen_. [According to M.
    Licquet, the first book printed at Rouen--a book of the greatest
    rarity--was entitled _Les Croniques de Normandie, par Guillaume Le
    Talleur_, 1487, folio.]

[72] [Since the publication of the first edition of this Tour, I have had
    _particular_ reason to become further acquainted with the
    partiality of the Rouennois for Parisian printing. When M. Licquet did
    me the honour to translate my IXth Letter, subjoining notes, (which
    cut their own throats instead of that of the author annotated upon) he
    employed the press of Mons. Crapelet, at Paris: a press, as eminently
    distinguished for its beauty and accuracy, as its Director has proved
    himself to be for his narrow-mindedness and acrimony of feeling. M.L.
    (as I learnt from a friend who conversed with him, and as indeed I
    naturally expected) seemed to be sorry for what he had done.]

[73] _like Aldus, "say my saying" quickly_.] Consult Mr. Roscoe's
    _Life of Leo X._ vol. i. p. 169-70, 8vo. edit. Unger, in his Life
    of Aldus, _edit. Geret._ p. xxxxii. has a pleasant notice of an
    inscription, to the same effect, put over the door of his
    printing-office by Aldus. [It has been quoted to satiety, and I
    therefore omit it here.]

[74] [Mons. Périaux has lately published a Dictionary of the Streets of
    Rouen, in alphabetical order; in two small, unostentatious, and useful
    octavo volumes.]

[75] [Mons. Licquet translates the latter part of the above passage
    thus:--"avec quelle facilité nous parvenons à nous abuser
    nous-mêmes,"--adding, in a note, as follows: "J'avais d'abord vu un
    tout autre sens dans la phrase anglaise. Si celui que j'adopte n'était
    pas encore le veritable, j'en demande sincèrement pardon à l'auteur."
    In turn, I may not be precisely informed of the meaning and force of
    the verb "_abuser_"--used by my translator: but I had been better
    satisfied with the verb _tromper_--as more closely conveying the sense
    of the original.]

[76] M. Le Prevost is a belles-lettres Antiquary of the highest order. His
    "Mémoire faisant suite à l'Essai sur les Romans historiques du moyen
    âge" may teach modern Normans not to despair when death shall have
    laid low their present oracle the ABBE DE LA RUE. [I am proud, in
    this second edition of my Tour, to record the uninterrupted
    correspondence and friendship of this distinguished Individual; and I
    can only regret, in common with several friends, that M. Le Prevost
    will not summon courage sufficient to visit a country, once in such
    close connexion with his own, where a HEARTY RECEPTION has long
    awaited him.]

[77] [The omission, in this place, of the entire IXth Letter, relating to
    the PUBLIC LIBRARY at Rouen, must be accounted for, and it is hoped,
    approved, on the principle laid down at the outset of this
    undertaking; namely, to omit much that was purely bibliographical, and
    of a secondary interest to the general Reader. The bibliography, in
    the original IXth Letter, being of a partial and comparatively dry
    description--as relating almost entirely to ancient volumes of Church
    Rituals--was thought to be better omitted than abridged. Another
    reason might be successfully urged for its omission.

    This IXth Letter, which comprehends 22 pages in the previous
    impression, and about 38 pages in the version, having been translated
    and _separately_ published in 1821, by Mons. Licquet (who
    succeeded M. Gourdin as Principal Librarian of the Library in
    question) I had bestowed upon it particular attention, and entered
    into several points by way of answer to his remarks, and in
    justification or explanation of the original matter. In consequence,
    any _abridgement_ of that original matter must have led to
    constant notice of the minute remarks, and pigmy attacks, of my
    critical translator: and the stream of intelligence in the text might
    have been diverted, or rendered unpalatable, by the observations, in
    the way of controversy, in the notes. If M. Licquet considers this
    avowal as the proclaiming of his triumph, he is welcome to the laurels
    of a Conqueror; but if he can persuade any COMMON FRIENDS that, in the
    translation here referred to, he has defeated the original author in
    one essential position--or corrected him in one flagrant inaccuracy--I
    shall be as prompt to thank him for his labours, as I am now to
    express my astonishment and pity at his undertaking. When M. Licquet
    put forth the brochure in question--(so splendidly executed in the
    press of M. Crapelet--to harmonise, in all respects, with the large
    paper copies of the original English text) he had but recently
    occupied the seat of his Predecessor. I can commend the zeal of the
    newly-appointed Librarian in Chief; but must be permitted to question
    alike his judgment and his motives.

    One more brief remark in this place. My translator should seem to
    commend what is only laudatory, in the original author, respecting his
    countrymen. Sensitively alive to the notice of their smallest defects,
    he has the most unbounded powers of digestion for that of their
    excellences. Thus, at the foot of the ABOVE PASSAGE, in the text,
    Mons. Licquet is pleased to add as follows--in a note: "Si M. Dibdin
    ne s'était livré qu'à des digressions de cette nature, il aurait
    trouvé en France un chorus universel, un concert de voeux unanimes:"
    vol. i. p. 239. And yet few travellers have experienced a more cordial
    reception, and maintained a more _harmonious_ intercourse, than
    HE, who, from the foregoing quotation, is more than indirectly
    supposed to have provoked opposition and _discord!_]



LETTER IX.

DEPARTURE FROM ROUEN. ST. GEORGE DE BOSCHERVILLE. DUCLAIR. MARIVAUX. THE
ABBEY OF JUMIEGES. ARRIVAL AT CAUDEBEC.

_May_, 1818.


MY DEAR FRIEND.


In spite of all its grotesque beauties and antiquarian attractions, the
CITY OF ROUEN must be quitted--and I am about to pursue my route more in
the character of an independent traveller. No more _Diligence_, or
_Conducteur_. I have hired a decent cabriolet, a decent pair of horses, and
a yet more promising postilion: and have already made a delightfully rural
migration. Adieu therefore to dark avenues, gloomy courts, overhanging
roofs, narrow streets, cracking whips, the never-ceasing noise of carts and
carriages, and never-ending movements of countless masses of
population:--Adieu!--and in their stead, welcome be the winding road, the
fertile meadow, the thickly-planted orchard, and the broad and sweeping
Seine!

Accordingly, on the 4th of this month, between the hours of ten and eleven,
A.M. the rattling of horses' hoofs, and the echoes of a postilion's whip,
were heard within the court-yard of the _Hôtel Vatel_. Monsieur, Madame,
Jacques--and the whole fraternity of domestics, were on the alert--"pour
faire les adieux à Messieurs les Anglois." This Jacques deserves somewhat
of a particular notice. He is the prime minister of the Hôtel Vatel.[78] A
somewhat _uncomfortable_ detention in England for five years, in the
character of "prisoner of war," has made him master of a pretty quick and
ready utterance of common-place phrases in our language; and he is not a
little proud of his attainments therein. Seriously speaking, I consider him
quite a phenomenon in his way; and it is right you should know that he
affords a very fair specimen of a sharp, clever, French servant. His bodily
movements are nearly as quick as those of his tongue. He rises, as well as
his brethren, by five in the morning; and the testimonies of this early
activity are quickly discovered in the unceasing noise of beating coats,
singing French airs, and scolding the boot-boy. He rarely retires to rest
before mid-night; and the whole day long he is in one eternal round of
occupation. When he is bordering upon impertinence, he seems to be
conscious of it--declaring that "the English make him saucy, but that
naturally he is very civil." He always speaks of human beings in the
_neuter_ gender; and to a question whether such a one has been at the
Hotel, he replies, "I have not seen _it_ to-day." I am persuaded he is a
thoroughly honest creature; and considering the pains which are taken to
spoil him, it is surprising with what good sense and propriety he conducts
himself.

About eleven o'clock, we sprung forward, at a smart trot, towards the
barriers by which we had entered Rouen. Our postilion was a thorough master
of his calling, and his spurs and whip seemed to know no cessation from
action. The steeds, perfectly Norman, were somewhat fiery; and we rattled
along the streets, (for the _chaussé_ never causes the least abatement of
pace with the French driver) in high expectation of seeing a thousand rare
sights ere we reached Havre--equally the limits of our journey, and of our
contract with the owner of the cabriolet. That accomplished antiquary M. Le
Prevost, whose name you have often heard, had furnished me with so dainty a
bill of fare, or carte de voyage; that I began to consider each hour lost
which did not bring us in contact with some architectural relic of
antiquity, or some elevated position--whence the wandering Seine and wooded
heights of the adjacent country might be surveyed with equal advantage.

You have often, I make no doubt, my dear friend, started upon something
like a similar expedition:--when the morning has been fair, the sun bright,
the breeze gentle, and the atmosphere clear. In such moments how the ardour
of hope takes possession of one!--How the heart warms, and the conversation
flows! The barriers are approached; we turn to the left, and commence our
journey in good earnest. Previously to gaining the first considerable
height, you pass the village of _Bapeaume_. This village is exceedingly
picturesque. It is studded with water-mills, and is enlivened by a rapid
rivulet, which empties itself, in a serpentine direction, into the Seine.
You now begin to ascend a very commanding eminence; at the top of which are
scattered some of those country houses which are seen from Mont Ste.
Catharine. The road is of a noble breadth. The day warmed; and dismounting,
we let our steeds breathe freely, as we continued to ascend leisurely. Our
first halting-place, according to the instructions of M. Le Prevost, was
_St. George de Boscherville_; an ancient abbey established in the twelfth
century, This abbey is situated about three French leagues from Rouen. Our
route thither, from the summit of the hill which we had just ascended, lay
along a road skirted by interminable orchards now in full bloom. The air
was perfumed to excess by the fragrance of these blossoms. The apple and
pear were beautifully conspicuous; and as the sky became still more serene,
and the temperature yet more mild by the unobstructed sun beam, it is
impossible to conceive any thing more balmy and genial than was this lovely
day. The minutes seemed to fly away too quickly--when we reached the
village of _Boscherville_; where stands the CHURCH; the chief remaining
relic of this once beautiful abbey. We surveyed the west front very
leisurely, and thought it an extremely beautiful specimen of the
architecture of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries; for certainly there
are some portions more ancient than others. A survey of the chapter-house
filled me with mingled sorrow and delight: sorrow, that the Revolution and
a modern cotton manufactory had metamorphosed it from its original
character; and delight, that the portions which remained were of such
beautiful forms, and in such fine preservation. The stone, being of a very
close-grained quality, is absolutely as white and sound as if it had been
just cut from the quarry. The room, where a parcel of bare-legged girls and
boys were working the respective machineries, had a roof of the most
delicate construction.[79]

The very sound of a _Monastery_ made me curious to examine the disposition
of the building. Accordingly, I followed my guide through suites of
apartments, up divers stone stair-cases, and along sundry corridors. I
noticed the dormitories with due attention, and of course inquired eagerly
for the LIBRARY:--but the shelves only remained--either the fear or the
fury of the Revolution having long ago dispossessed it of every thing in
the shape of a _book_. The whole was painted white. I counted eleven
perpendicular divisions; and, from the small distances between the upper
shelves, there must have been a very considerable number of _duodecimos_.
The titles of the respective classes of the library were painted in white
letters upon a dark-blue ground, at top. _Bibles_ occupied the first
division, and the _Fathers_ the second: but it should seem that equal
importance was attached to the works of _Heretics_ as to those called
_Litterae Humaniores_--for each had a division of equal magnitude.

On looking out of window, especially from the back part of the building,
the eye rests entirely upon what had once been fruitful orchards, abundant
kitchen gardens, and shady avenues. Yet in England, this spot, rich by
nature, and desirable from its proximity to a great city, would, ere forty
moons had waned, have grown up into beauty and fertility, and expanded into
luxuriance of condition.

The day was now, if possible, more lovely than before. On looking at my
instructions I found that we had to stop to examine the remains of an old
castle at _Delafontaine_--about two English miles from _St. George de
Boscherville_. These remains, however, are but the fragments of a ruin, if
I may so speak; yet they are interesting, but somewhat perilous: for a few
broken portions of a wall support an upper chamber, where appears a stone
chimney-piece of very curious construction and ornament. On observing a
large cavity or loop-hole, about half way up the outer wall, I gained it by
means of a plentiful growth of ivy, and from thence surveyed the landscape
before me. Here, having for some time past lost sight of the Seine, I
caught a fine bold view of the sweep of that majestic river, now becoming
broader and broader--while, to the left, softly tinted by distance,
appeared the beautiful old church we had just quitted: the verdure of the
hedges, shrubs, and forest trees, affording a rich variety to the ruddy
blossoms of the apple, and the white bloom of the pear. I admit, however,
that this delicious morceau of landscape was greatly indebted, for its
enchanting effect, to the blue splendour of the sky, and the soft
temperature of the air; while the fragrance of every distended blossom
added much to the gratification of the beholder. But it is time to descend
from this elevation; and to think of reaching Duclair.

DUCLAIR is situated close to the very borders of the Seine, which has now
an absolute lake-like appearance. We stopped at the auberge to rest our
horses; and I commenced a discourse with the master of the inn and his
daughter; the latter, a very respectable-looking and well-behaved young
woman of about twenty-two years of age. She was preparing a large crackling
wood-fire to dress a fish called the _Alose_, for the passengers of the
_diligence_--who were expected within half an hour. The French think they
can never _butter_ their victuals sufficiently; and it would have produced
a spasmodic affection in a thoroughly bilious spectator, could he have seen
the enormous piece of butter which this active young _cuisinière_ thought
necessary to put into the pot in which the '_Alose_' was to be boiled. She
laughed at the surprise I expressed; and added "qu'on ne peut rien faire
dans la cuisine sans le beurre." You ought to know, by the by, that the
_Alose_, something like our _mackerel_ in flavour, is a large and delicious
fish; and that we were always anxious to bespeak it at the table-d'hôte at
Rouen. Extricated from the lake of butter in which it floats, when brought
upon table, it forms not only a rich, but a very substantial dish.

I took a chair and sat in the open air, by the side of the door--enjoying
the breeze, and much disposed to gossip with the master of the place.
Perceiving this, the landlord approached, and addressed me with a pleasant
degree of familiarity. "You are from London, then, Sir?" "I am." "Ah Sir, I
never think of London but with the most painful sensations." "How so?"
"Sir, I am the sole heir of a rich banker who died in that city before the
Revolution. He was in partnership with an English gentleman. Can you
possibly advise and assist me upon the subject?" I told him that my advice
and assistance were literally not worth a sous; but that, such as they
were, he was perfectly welcome to both. "Your daughter Sir, is not
married?"--"Non, Monsieur, elle n'est pas encore épousée: mais je lui dis
qu'elle ne sera jamais _heureuse_ avant qu'elle le soit." The daughter, who
had overheard the conversation, came forward, and looking archly over her
shoulder, replied--"ou _malheureuse_, mon père!" A sort of truism,
expressed by her with singular epigrammatic force, to which there was no
making any reply.

Do you remember, my dear friend; that exceedingly cold winter's night,
when, for lack of other book-entertainment, we took it into our heads to
have a rummage among the _Scriptores Historiae Normannorum_ of
DUCHESNE?--and finding therein many pages occupied by _Gulielmus
Gemeticensis_, we bethought ourselves that we would have recourse to the
valuable folio volume yeleped _Neustria Pia_:--where we presently seemed to
hold converse with the ancient founders and royal benefactors of certain
venerable establishments! I then little imagined that it would ever fall to
my lot to be either walking or musing within the precincts of the Abbey of
Jumieges;--or rather, of the ruins of what was once not less distinguished,
as a school of learning, than admired for its wealth and celebrity as a
monastic establishment. Yes, my friend, I have seen and visited the ruins
of this Abbey; and I seem to live "mihi carior" in consequence.

But I know your love of method--and that you will be in wrath if I skip
from _Duclair_ to JUMIEGES ere the horses have carried us a quarter of a
league upon the route. To the left of _Duclair_, and also washed by the
waters of the Seine, stands _Marivaux_; a most picturesque and highly
cultivated spot. And across the Seine, a little lower down, is the
beautiful domain of _La Mailleraye_;--where are hanging gardens, and jets
d'eaux, and flower-woven arbours, and daisy-sprinkled meadows--for there
lives and occasionally revels _La Marquise_.... I might have been not only
a spectator of her splendor, but a participator of her hospitality; for my
often-mentioned valuable friend, M. Le Prevost, volunteered me a letter of
introduction to her. What was to be done? One cannot be everywhere in one
day, or in one journey:--so, gravely balancing the ruins of still life
against the attractions of animated society, I was unchivalrous enough to
prefer the former--and working myself up into a sort of fantasy, of
witnessing the spectered forms of DAGOBERT and CLOVIS, (the fabled founders
of the Abbey) I resolutely turned my back upon _La Mailleraye_, and as
steadily looked forwards to JUMIEGES. We ascended very sensibly--then
striking into a sort of bye-road, were told that we should quickly reach
the place of our destination. A fractured capital, and broken shaft, of the
late Norman time, left at random beneath a hedge, seemed to bespeak the
vicinity of the abbey. We then gained a height; whence, looking straight
forward, we caught the first glance of the spires, or rather of the west
end towers, of the Abbey of Jumieges.[80] "La voilà, Monsieur,"--exclaimed
the postilion--increasing his speed and multiplying the nourishes of his
whip--"voilà la belle Abbaye!"

We approached and entered the village of Jumieges. Leaving some neat houses
to the right and left, we drove to a snug auberge, evidently a portion of
some of the outer buildings, or of the chapter-house, attached to the
Abbey. A large gothic roof, and central pillar, upon entering, attest the
ancient character of the place.[81] The whole struck us as having been
formerly of very great dimensions. It was a glorious sun-shiny afternoon,
and the villagers quickly crowded round the cabriolet. "Voilà Messieurs les
Anglois, qui viennent voir l'Abbaye--mais effectivement il n'y a rien à
voir." I told the landlady the object of our visit. She procured us a guide
and a key: and within five minutes we entered the nave of the abbey. I can
never forget that entrance. The interior, it is true, has not the magical
effect, or that sort of artificial burst, which attends the first view of
_Tintern_ abbey: but, as the ruin is larger, there is necessarily more to
attract attention. Like Tintern also, it is unroofed--yet this unroofing
has proceeded from a different cause: of which presently. The side aisles
present you with a short flattened arch: the nave has none: but you observe
a long pilaster-like, or alto-rilievo column, of slender dimensions,
running from bottom to top, with a sort of Roman capital. The arched
cieling and roof are entirely gone. We proceeded towards the eastern
extremity, and saw more frightful ravages both of time and of accident. The
latter however had triumphed over the former: but for _accident_ you must
read _revolution_.

The day had been rather oppressive for a May morning; and we were getting
far into the afternoon, when clouds began to gather, and the sun became
occasionally obscured. We seated ourselves upon a grassy hillock, and began
to prepare for dinner. To the left of us lay a huge pile of fragments of
pillars and groinings of arches--the effects of recent havoc: to the right,
within three yards, was the very spot in which the celebrated AGNES SOREL,
Mistress of Charles VII, lay entombed:[82]--not a relic of mausoleum now
marking the place where, formerly, the sculptor had exhibited the choicest
efforts of his art, and the devotee had repaired to

Breathe a prayer for her soul--and pass on!

What a contrast to the present aspect of things!--to the mixed rubbish and
wild flowers with which every spot is now well nigh covered! The mistress
of the inn having furnished us with napkins and tumblers, we partook of our
dinner, surrounded by the objects just described, with no ordinary
sensations. The air now became oppressive; when, looking through the few
remaining unglazed mullions of the windows, I observed that the clouds grew
blacker and blacker, while a faint rumbling of thunder reached our ears.
The sun however yet shone gaily, although partially; and as the storm
neared us, it floated as it were round the abbey, affording--by means of
its purple, dark colour, contrasted with the pale tint of the walls,--one
of the most beautiful painter-like effects imaginable. In an instant
almost--and as if touched by the wand of a mighty necromancer--the whole
scene became metamorphosed. The thunder growled, but only growled; and the
threatening phalanx of sulphur-charged clouds rolled away, and melted into
the quiet uniform tint which usually precedes sun-set. Dinner being
dispatched, I rose to make a thorough examination of the ruins which had
survived ... not only the Revolution, but the cupidity of the present owner
of the soil--who is a _rich_ man, living at Rouen--and who loves to dispose
of any portion of the stone, whether standing or prostrate, for the sake of
the lucre, however trifling, which arises from the sale. Surely the whole
corporation of the city of Rouen, with the mayor at their head, ought to
stand between this ruthless, rich man, and the abbey--the victim of his
brutal avarice and want of taste.[83]

The situation of the abbey is delightful. It lies at the bottom of some
gently undulating hills, within two or three hundred yards of the Seine.
The river here runs gently, in a serpentine direction, at the foot of
wood-covered hills--and all seemed, from our elevated station, indicative
of fruitfulness, of gaiety, and of prosperity,--all--save the mournful and
magnificent remains of the venerable abbey whereon we gazed! In fact, this
abbey exists only as a shell. I descended, strolled about the village, and
mingled in the conversation of the villagers. It was a lovely approach of
evening--and men, women, and children were seated, or sauntering, in the
open air. Perceiving that I was anxious to gain information, they flocked
around me--and from one man, in particular, I obtained exact intelligence
about the havoc which had been committed during the Revolution upon the
abbey, The roof had been battered down for the sake of the _lead_--to make
bullets; the pews, altars, and iron-work, had been converted into other
destructive purposes of warfare; and the great bell had been sold to some
speculators in a cannon-foundery at Rouen.[84] The revolutionary mania had
even brutalized the Abbot. This man, who must be considered as

    ....damned to everlasting fame,

had been a monk of the monastery; and as soon as he had attained the
headship of it, he disposed of every movable piece of furniture, to gratify
the revolutionary pack which were daily howling at the gates of the abbey
for entrance! Nor could he plead _compulsion_ as an excuse. He seemed
to enjoy the work of destruction, of which he had the uncontrouled
direction. But enough of this wretch.

The next resting-place was CAUDEBEC: a very considerable village, or rather
a small town. You go down a steep descent, on entering it by the route we
came. As you look about, there are singular appearances on all sides--of
houses, and hanging gardens, and elaborately cut avenues--upon summits,
declivities, and on the plain. But the charm of the view, at least to my
old-fashioned feelings, was a fine old gothic church, and a very fine spire
of what _appeared_ to belong to another. As the evening had completely
set in, I resolved to reserve my admiration of the place till the morrow.


[78] [I am ignorant of his present destination; but learn that he has
    quitted the above situation a long time.]

[79] [Mr. COTMAN has published views of the West Front, the South East, the
    West Entrance, and the South Transept, with sculptured capitals and
    basso-relievos, &c. In the whole, seven plates.]

[80] [Mr. Cotman has published etchings of the West Front: the Towers,
    somewhat fore-shortened; the Elevation of the Nave--and doorway of the
    Abbey: the latter an extremely interesting specimen of art. A somewhat
    particular and animated description of it will be found in _Lieut.
    Hall's Travels in France_, 8vo. p. 57, 1819. [In the first edition,
    I had called the west end towers of the Abbey--"small." Mons. Licquet
    has suggested that I must have meant "_comparatively_" small;--in
    contradistinction to the centre-tower, which would have been larger.
    We learn also from M. Licquet that the spire of this central tower was
    demolished in 1573, by the Abbé le Veneur, Bishop of Evreux. What
    earthly motive could have led to such a brutal act of demolition?]

[81] ["I know perfectly well, says M. Licquet, the little Inn of which the
    author here speaks. I can assure him that it never formed any portion
    of the "chapter house." It was nevertheless une _dependance
    exterieure_ (I will not attempt a version of this phrase) of the
    abbey. Dare I venture to say it was the _cowhouse_? (étable aux
    vaches). Thank you, good Mons. Licquet; but what is a cow-house but
    "an _outer building_ attached to the Abbey?" Vide supra.]

[82] [The heart and entrails only of this once celebrated woman were,
    according to M. Licquet, buried in the above spot. The body was
    carried to Loches: and BELLEFOREST _(Cosmog._ vol. i. Part ii.
    col. 31-32. edit. 1575, folio) gives a description of the mausoleum
    where it was there entombed: a description, adds M. Licquet, which may
    well serve for the mausoleum that was at Jumieges.]

[83] [Not the smallest portion or particle of a sigh escapes us, on being
    told, as my translator has told us, that the "soil" in question has
    become the property of another Owner. "Laius EST MORT"--are the
    emphatic words of M. Licquet.]

[84] [One of the bells of the Abbey of Jumieges is now in the Tower of that
   of St. Ouen, at Rouen. LICQUET.]



LETTER X.

CAUDEBEC. LILLEBONNE. BOLBEC. TANKARVILLE. MONTMORENCI CASTLE. HAVRE DE
GRACE.


My last concluded with our entrance into Caudebec. The present opens with a
morning scene at the same place. For a miracle I was stirring before nine.
The church was the first object of attraction. For the size of the place,
it is really a noble structure: perhaps of the early part of the sixteenth,
or latter part of the fifteenth century.[85] I speak of the exterior
generally, and of a great portion of the interior. A little shabby
green-baise covered door (as usual) was half open, and I entered with no
ordinary expectations of gratification. The painted glass seemed absolutely
to warm the place--so rich and varied were its colours. There is a great
abundance of it, and especially of figures of family-groups
kneeling--rather small, but with great appearance of portrait-like
fidelity. They are chiefly of the first half of the sixteenth century: and
I own that, upon gazing at these charming specimens of ancient painting
upon glass, I longed to fix an artist before every window, to bear away
triumphantly, in a portfolio of elephantine dimensions, a faithful copy of
almost every thing I saw. In some of the countenances, I fancied I traced
the pencil of LUCAS CRANACH--and even of HANS HOLBEIN.

This church has numerous side chapels, and figures of patron-saints. The
entombment of Christ in white marble, (at the end of the chapel of the
Virgin,) is rather singular; inasmuch as the figure of Christ itself is
ancient, and exceedingly fine in anatomical expression; but the usual
surrounding figures are modern, and proportionably clumsy and inexpressive.
I noted one mural monument, to the memory of _Guillaume Tellier_, which was
dated 1484.[86] Few churches have more highly interested me than this at
Caudebec.[87] From the church I strolled to the _Place_, where stood the
caffé, by the banks of the Seine. The morning view of this scene perfectly
delighted me. Nothing can be more picturesque. The river cannot be much
less than a mile in width, and it makes a perfect bend in the form of a
crescent. On one side, that on which the village stands, are walks and
gardens through which peep numerous white villas--and on the other are
meadows, terminating in lofty rising grounds--feathered with coppice-wood
down to the very water's edge. This may be considered, in fact, only a
portion of the vast _Forest de Brotonne_, which rises in wooded majesty on
the opposite heights. The spirit and the wealth of our countrymen would
make Caudebec one of the most enchanting summer-residences in the world.
The population of the town is estimated at about five thousand.

Judge of my astonishment, when, on going out of doors, I saw the river in a
state of extreme agitation: the whole mass of water rising perpendicularly,
as it were, and broad rippling waves rolling over each other. It was the
_coming in of the tide_.... and within a quarter of an hour it appeared to
have risen upwards of three feet. You may remember that, in our own
country, the Severn-tides exhibit the same phenomenon; and I have seen the
river at Glocester rise _at once_ to the height of eight or ten feet,
throwing up a shower of foam from the gradually narrowing bed of the river,
and causing all the craft, great and small, to rise up as if by magic, and
to appear upon a level with the meadows. The tide at Caudebec, although
similar in kind, was not so in degree; for it rose gradually yet most
visibly--and within half an hour, the elevation could not have been less
than _seven_ or _eight_ feet.

Having walked for some time on the heights of the town, with which I was
much gratified, I returned to my humble auberge, ordered the cabriolet to
be got ready, and demanded the reckoning:--which, considering that I was
not quite at an hôtel-royale, struck me as being far from moderate. Two old
women, of similar features and age, presented themselves as I was getting
into the carriage: one was the mistress, and the other the fille de
chambre. "Mais, Monsieur (observed one of them) n'oubliez pas, je vous
prie, la fille-de-chambre--rappellez-vous que vos souliers ont été
supérieurement décrottés." I took out a franc to remunerate the supposed
fille-de-chambre--but was told it was the _mistress_. "N'importe, Monsieur,
c'est à ce moment que je suis fille-de-chambre--quand vous serez parti, je
serai la maitresse." The postilion seemed to enjoy this repartee as much as
ourselves.

I was scarcely out of the town half a mile, when I began to ascend. I found
myself quickly in the middle of those rising grounds which are seen from
the promenade or _Place du Caffé_, and could not look without extraordinary
gratification upon the beautiful character of spring in its advanced state.
The larch was even yet picturesque: the hazel and nut trees were perfectly
clothed with foliage, of a tender yet joyous tint: the chestnut was
gorgeously in bloom; the lime and beech were beginning to give abundant
promise of their future luxuriance--while the lowlier tribes of laburnum
and box, with their richly clad branches, covered the ground beneath
entirely from view. The apple and pear blossoms still continued to
variegate the wide sweep of foliage, and to fill the air with their
delicious perfume. It might be Switzerland in miniature--or it might not.
Only this I know--that it seemed as though one could live embosomed and
enchanted in such a wilderness of sweets--reading the _fabliaux_ of the old
Norman bards till the close of human existence!

I found myself on a hard, strait, chalky old road--evidently Roman: and in
due time perceived and entered the town of LILLEBONNE. But the sky had
become overcast: soft and small rain was descending, and an unusual gloom
prevailed ... when I halted, agreeably to my instructions, immediately
before the gate of the ancient _Castle_. Venerable indeed is this Norman
castle, and extensive are the ruins which have survived. I have a perfect
recollection how it peeped out upon me--through the light leaf of the
poplar, and the pink blossom of the apple. It lies close to the road, on
the left. An old round tower, apparently of the time of William the
Conqueror, very soon attracts your attention. The stones are large, and the
interstices are also very considerable. It was here, says a yet current
report, that William assembled the Barons of Normandy, and the invasion of
England was determined upon. Such a spot therefore strikes an English
beholder with no ordinary emotions. I alighted; sent the cabriolet to the
inn, and wished both postilion and horses to get their dinners without
delay. For myself, I had resolved to reserve my appetite till I reached
_Bolbec_; and there was food enough before me of a different description,
to exercise my intellectual digestion for at least the next hour. Knocking
at the massive portals, I readily obtained admittance.

The area, entirely a grass-plat, was occupied by several cows. In front,
were evidently the ruins of a large chapel or church--perhaps of the XIVth
century. The outer face of the walls went deeply and perpendicularly down
to the bottom of a dry fosse; and the right angle portion of the building
was covered with garden ground, where the owner showed us some peas which
he boasted he should have at his table within five days. I own I thought he
was very likely to carry his boast into execution; for finer vegetables, or
a finer bed of earth, I had scarcely ever beheld. How things, my dear
friend, are changed from their original character and destination! "But the
old round tower," say you!--To "the old round tower" then let us go. The
stair-case is narrow, dark, and decayed. I reached the first floor, or
circular room, and noticed the construction of the window seats--all of
rough, solid, and massive stone. I ascended to the second floor; which, if
I remember rightly, was strewn with a portion of the third floor--that had
fallen in from sheer decay. Great must have been the crash--as the
fragments were huge, and widely scattered. On gaining a firm footing upon
the outer wall; through a loop-hole window, I gazed around with equal
wonder and delight. The wall of this castle could not be less than ten feet
in thickness. A young woman, the shepherdess of the spot, attended as
guide.

"What is that irregular rude mound, or wall of earth, in the centre of
which children are playing?" "It is the _old Roman Theatre_, Sir." I
immediately called to mind M. Le Prevost's instructions--and if I could
have borrowed the wings of a spirit, I should have instantly alighted upon
the spot--but it was situated without the precincts of the old castle and
its appurtenances, and a mortal leap would have been attended with a mortal
result. "Have you many English who visit this spot?" said I to my
guide.--"Scarcely _any_, Sir--it is a frightful place--full of desolation
and sadness.." replied she. Again I gazed around, and in the distance,
through an aperture in the orchard trees, saw the little fishing village of
_Quillebeuf_,[88] quite buried, as it were, in the waters of the Seine. An
arm of the river meanders towards Lillebonne. Having gratified my
picturesque and antiquarian propensities, from this elevated situation, I
retrod, with more difficulty than toil, my steps down the stair-case. A
second stroll about the area, and along the skirts of the wall, was
sufficient to convince me only--how slight and imperfect had been my
survey!

On quitting the portal through which I entered, and bidding adieu to my
Shepherdess and guide, I immediately hastened towards the Roman
Theatre.[89] The town of Lillebonne has a very picturesque appearance from
the old mound, or raised terrace, along the outer walls of the castle. In
five minutes I mingled with the school boys who were amusing themselves
within the ruins of all that is left of this probably once vast and
magnificent old theatre. It is only by clearing away a great quantity of
earth, with which these ruins are covered, that you can correctly ascertain
their character and state of preservation. M. Le Prevost bade me remark
that the walls had much swerved from their original perpendicularity,--and
that there was much irregularity in the laying of the bricks among the
stones. But time, design, and accident, have each in turn (in all
probability) so contributed to decompose, deface, and alter the original
aspect of the building, that there is no forming a correct conjecture as to
its ancient form. Earth, grass, trees, flowers, and weeds, have taken
almost entire possession of some low and massive outer walls; so that the
imagination has full play to supply all deficiencies which appear to the
eye.

From the whole of this interesting spot I retreated--with mixed sensations
of melancholy and surprise--to the little auberge of the _Three Moors_, in
the centre of the town. It had begun to rain smartly as we took shelter in
the kitchen; where, for the first time since leaving England, I saw a
display of utensils which might have vied with our own, or even with a
Dutch interior, for neatness and order of disposition. Some of the dishes
might have been as ancient as--not the old round Tower--but as the last
English Duke of Normandy who might have banquetted there. The whole was in
high polish and full display. On my complimenting the good _Aubergiste_
upon so creditable a sight, she laughed, and replied briskly--"Ce n'est
rien, ceci: Pentecôte est tout près, et donc vous verrez, Monsieur!"--It
should seem that Whitsuntide was the season for a general household
purification. Some of her furniture had once belonged to the Castle: but
she had bought it, in the scramble which took place at the dispersion and
destruction of the movables there, during the Revolution. I recommend all
travellers to take a lunch, and enjoy a bottle of vin ordinaire, at _Les
Trois-Nègres._ I was obliged to summon up all my stock of knowledge in
polite phraseology, in order to decline a plate of soup. "It was delicious
above every thing"--"but I had postponed taking dinner till we got to
Bolbec." "Bon--vous y trouverez un hôtel superbe." The French are easily
pleased; and civility is so cheap and current a coin abroad, that I wish
our countrymen would make use of it a little more frequently than they
appear to do. I started about two for Bolbec.

The rain continued during the whole of my route thither; but it did not
prevent me from witnessing a land of plenty and of picturesque beauty on
all sides. Indeed it is scarcely possible to conceive a more rich and
luxuriant state of culture. To the left, about half a league from
Lillebonne, I passed the domain of a once wealthy, and extremely extensive
abbey. They call it the _Abbey of Valasse._ A long rambling bare stone
wall, and portions of a deserted ruin, kept in sight for full half an
English mile. The immediate approach to BOLBEC is that of the entrance to a
modern and flourishing trading town, which seems to be beginning to recover
from the effects of the Revolution. After Rouen, and even Caudebec, it has
a stiff modernized air. I drove to the principal inn, opposite the church,
and bespoke dinner and a bed. The church is perfectly, modern, and equally
heavy and large. Crowds of people were issuing from _Vespers_, when,
ascending a flight of steps, (for it is built on ground considerably above
the ground-floor of the inn) I resolved to wait for the final departure of
the congregation, and to take a leisurely survey of the interior, while
dinner was getting ready.

The sexton was a perfect character in his way; old, shrewd, communicative,
and civil. There were several confessionals. "What--you confess here pretty
much?" "Yes, Sir; but chiefly females, and among them many widows." I had
said nothing to provoke this ungallant reply. "In respect to the
_sacrament_, what is the proportion between the communicants, as to sex?"
"Sir, there are one hundred women to twelve men." I wish I could say that
this disproportion were confined to _France_.

Quitting this heavy and ugly, but large and commodious fabric, I sought the
inn and dinner. The cook was in every respect a learned professor in his
art, and the produce of his skill was equally excellent and acceptable. I
had scarcely finished my repast, and the _Gruyere_ cheese and nuts yet
lingered upon the table, when the soft sounds of an organ, accompanied by a
youthful voice, saluted my ears in a very pleasing manner. "C'est LE
PAUVRE PETIT SAVOYARD, Monsieur"--exclaimed the waiter--"Vous allez
entendre un air touchant! Ah, le pauvre petit!"--"Comment ça?" "Monsieur,
il n'a ni père ni mère; mais pour le chant--oh Dieu, il n'y a personne qui
chante comme le pauvre petit Savoyard!" I was well disposed to hear the
song, and to admit the truth of the waiter's observation. The little
itinerant stopped opposite the door, and sung the following air:--

  _Bon jour, Bon soir_.

    Je peindrai sans détour
  Tout l'emploi de ma vie:
  C'est de dire _bon jour_
  Et _bon soir_ tour-à-tour.
  _Bon Jour_ à mon amie,
  Lorsque je vais la voir.
  Mais au fat qui m'ennuie,
              _Bon soir_.

    _Bon jour_ franc troubadour,
  Qui chantez la bombance;
  La paix et les beaux jours;
  Bacchus et les amours.
  Qu'un rimeur en démence
  Vienne avec vous s'asseoir,
  Pour chanter la Romance,
              _Bon soir_.

    _Bon jour_, mon cher voisin,
  Chez vous la soif m'entraîne:
  _Bonjour_--si votre vin
  Est de Beaune ou du Rhin;
  Mon gosier va sans peine
  Lui servir d'entonnoir;
  Mais s'il est de Surêne,
              _Bon soir_.

I know not how it was, but had the "petit Savoyard" possessed the
cultivated voice of a chorister, I could not have listened to his notes
with half the satisfaction with which I dwelt upon his history, as stated
by the waiter. He had no sooner concluded and made his bow, than I bought
the slender volume from which his songs had been chanted, and had a long
gossip with him. He slung his organ upon his back, and "ever and anon"
touching his hat, expressed his thankfulness, as much for the interest I
had taken in his welfare, as for the trifling piece of silver which I slipt
into his hand at parting. Meanwhile all the benches, placed on the outsides
of the houses, were occupied--chiefly by females--to witness, it should
seem, so novel and interesting a sight as an Englishman holding familiar
discourse with a poor wandering Savoyard! My friend the sexton was among
the spectators, and from his voice and action, appeared especially
interested. "Que le bon Dieu vous bénisse!" exclaimed the Savoyard, as I
bade him farewell. On pursuing my route for a stroll upon the heights near
the town, I had occasion to pass these benches of spectators. The women,
almost without any exception, inclined their heads by way of a gracious
salute; and Monsieur _le Sacristain_ pulled off his enormous cock'd hat
with the consequence of a drum-major. He appeared not to have forgotten the
donation which he had received in the church. Continuing my pursuit, I
gained an elevated situation: whence, looking down upon the spot where I
had left the Savoyard, I observed him surrounded by the females--each and
every one of them apparently convulsed with laughter! Even the little
musician appeared to have forgotten his "orphan state."

The environs of _Bolbec_, especially in the upper part, are sufficiently
picturesque. At least they are sufficiently fruitful: orchards, corn and
pasture land--intermixed with meadows, upon which cotton was spread for
bleaching--produced altogether a very interesting effect. The little
hanging gardens, attached to labourer's huts, contributed to the beauty of
the scene. A warm crimson sun-set seemed to envelope the coppice wood in a
flame of gold. The road was yet reeking with moisture--and I retraced my
steps, through devious and slippery paths, to the hôtel. Evening had set
in: the sound of the Savoyard's voice was no longer heard: I ordered tea
and candles, and added considerably to my journal before I went to bed. I
rose at five; and before six the horses were harnessed to the cabriolet.
Having obtained the necessary instructions for reaching _Tancarville_, (the
ancient and proud seat of the MONTMORENCIS) I paid my reckoning, and left
Bolbec. As I ascended a long and rather steep hill, and, looking to the
right and left, saw every thing in a state of verdure and promise, I did
all I could to persuade myself that the journey would be agreeable, and
that the castle of Montmorenci could not fail to command admiration. I was
now in the high and broad "_roúte royale_" to Havre le Grace; but had
scarcely been a league upon it, when, looking at my instructions, we struck
out of the high road, to the left, and followed a private one through flat
and uninteresting arable land. I cannot tell how many turns were taken, or
how many pretty little villages were passed--till, after a long and gradual
ascent, we came upon a height, flanked the greater part by coppice wood,
through one portion of which--purposely kept open for the view--was seen at
a distance a marvellously fine group of perpendicular rocks (whose grey and
battered sides were lighted up with a pink colour from the morning sun) in
the middle, as it were, of the _Seine_--which now really assumed an
ocean-like appearance. In fact, these rocks were at a considerable
distance, and appeared to be in the broadest part of the embouchure of that
river. I halted the cabriolet; and gazed with unfeigned delight on this
truly magnificent and fascinating scene!... for the larks were now mounting
all around, and their notes, added to those of the "songsters of the
grove," produced an effect which I even preferred to that from the organ
and voice of the "pauvre petit Savoyard." The postboy partook of my
rapture. "Voilà, Monsieur, des rochers terriblement perpendiculiers--eh,
quelle belle vue de la rivière, et du paysage!"

Leaving this brilliant picture, we turned rather to the left, and then
found our descent proportionably gradual with the ascent. The Seine was now
right before us, as hasty glimpses of it, through partial vistos, had
enabled us to ascertain. Still _Tancarville_ was deemed a terrible way off.
First we were to go up, and then we were to go down--now to turn to the
right, and afterwards to the left--a sort of [Greek: polla d'ananta
katanta] route--when a prepossessing young paysanne told the postilion,
that, after passing through such a wood, we should reach an avenue, from
the further end of which the castle of _Montmorenci_ would be visible..
"une petite lieue de distance." Every thing is "une petite lieue!" It is
the answer to every question relating to distance. Though the league be
double a German one, still it is "une petite!" Here however the paysanne
happened to be right. We passed through the wood, gained the avenue, and
from the further end saw--even yet towering in imposing magnitude--the
far-famed _Chateau de Montmorenci_. It might be a small league off. I
gained spirits and even strength at the sight: told the postilion to mend
his pace--of which he gave immediate and satisfactory demonstration, while
the echoes of his whip resounded along the avenue. A closer road now
received us. Knolls of grass interwoven with moss, on the summits of which
the beech and lime threw up their sturdy stems, now enclosed the road,
which began to widen and to improve in condition. At length, turning a
corner, a group of country people appeared--"Est-ce ici la route de
Tancarville?"--"Tancarville est tout près: c'est là, où on voit la fumée
des cheminées." Joyful intelligence! The post-boy increased his speed: The
wheels seemed to move with a readier play: and in one minute and a half I
was upon the beach of the river Seine, and alighted at the door of the only
auberge in the village.

I know you to be both a lover of and connoisseur in Rembrandt's pictures:
and especially of those of his _old_ characters. I wish you could have seen
the old woman, of the name of _Bucan_, who came out of this same auberge to
receive us. She had a sharp, quick, constantly moving black eye; keen
features, projecting from a surface of flesh of a subdued mahogany tint;
about her temples, and the lower part of her cheeks, were all those
harmonizing wrinkles which become old age--_upon canvas_--while, below her
chin, communicating with a small and shrunken neck, was that sort of
concavity, or dewlap, which painters delight to express with a minuteness
of touch, and mellowness of tint, that contribute largely to picturesque
effect! This good old woman received us with perfect elasticity of spirits
and of action. It should seem that we were the first Englishmen who had
visited her solitude this year. Her husband approached, but she soon
ordered him "to the right about"--to prepare fuel, coffee, and eggs. I was
promised the best breakfast that could be got in Normandy, in twenty
minutes. The inn being sufficiently miserable, I was anxious for a ramble.
The tide was now coming up, as at Caudebec; but the sweep and breadth of
the river being, upon a considerably larger scale, its increase was not yet
so obvious--although I am quite sure that all the flats, which I saw on my
arrival as a bed of mud, were, within a quarter of an hour, wholly covered
with the tide: and, looking up to the right, I perceived the perpendicular
walls of _Montmorenci Castle_ to be washed by the refluent wave. It was a
sort of ocean in miniature before me. A few miserable fishing boats were
moored upon the beach; while a small number of ill-clad and straggling
villagers lingered about the same spot, and seemed to look upon the postboy
and myself as beings dropt from the sky!

On ascending a considerable elevation, I had the gratification of viewing
_Quillebeuf_ a little more nearly. It was almost immediately opposite:
while, to the right, contemplating the wide sweep of the river towards its
embouchure, I fancied that I could see _Havre_. The group of rocks, which
had so charmed us on our journey, now assumed a different character. On
descending, I could discover, although at a considerable distance, the old
woman standing at the door of the auberge--apparently straining her eyes to
catch a glimpse of us; and she was almost disposed to scold for having put
her reputation of giving good breakfasts to so hazardous a trial. The wood
was blazing, and the room was almost filled by smoke--but a prolonged fast,
and a stage of sixteen or eighteen miles, in a keen morning air, made Mr.
Lewis and myself only think of allaying our hunger. In every public house,
however mean, you see the white metal fork, and the napkin covering the
plate. A dozen boiled eggs, and a coffee pot and cups of perfectly
Brobdignagdian dimensions, with tolerable bread and indifferent butter,
formed the _materiél_ of our breakfast. The postboy, having stabled and
refreshed his horses, was regaling himself in the kitchen--but-how do you
think he was regaling himself?--Truly, in stretching himself upon a bench,
and reading, as old Ascham expresses it, "a merry tale in Boccace." In
other words, he was reading a French version of the Decameron of that
celebrated author. Indeed, I had already received sufficient proof of the
general propensity of the common people to _read_--whether good or bad
books ... but let us hope and believe the former. I left the bibliomaniacal
postboy to his Boccaccio, and prepared to visit the CASTLE... the once
proud and yet commanding residence of the family of MONTMORENCI.

I ascended--with fresh energies imparted from my breakfast. The day grew
soft, and bright, and exhilarating ... but alas! for the changes and
chances of every thing in this transitory world. Where was the warder? He
had ceased to blow his horn for many a long year. Where was the harp of the
minstrel? It had perished two centuries ago, with the hand that had struck
its chords. Where was the attendant guard?--or pursuivants--or men at arms?
They had been swept from human existence, like the leaves of the old limes
and beech trees by which the lower part of the building was surrounded. The
moat was dry; the rampart was a ruin:--the rank grass grew within the
area... nor can I tell you how many relics of halls, banqueting rooms, and
bed-rooms, with all the magnificent appurtenances of old castellated
architecture, struck the eager eye with mixed melancholy and surprise! The
singular half-circular, and half square, corner towers, hanging over the
ever-restless wave, interested me exceedingly. The guide shewed me where
the prisoners used to be kept--in a dungeon, apparently impervious to every
glimmer of day-light, and every breath of air. I cannot pretend to say at
what period even the oldest part of the Castle of Montmorenci was built:
but I saw nothing that seemed to be more ancient than the latter end of the
fifteenth century.[90] Perhaps the greater portion may be of the beginning
of the sixteenth; but, amidst the unroofed rooms, I could not help admiring
the painted borders, chiefly of a red colour, which run along the upper
part of the walls, or wainscoats--giving indication not only of a good, but
of a splendid, taste. Did I tell you that this sort of ornament was to be
seen in some parts of the eastern end of the Abbey of Jumieges? _Here_,
indeed, they afforded evidence--an evidence, mingled with melancholy
sensations on reflection--of the probable state of magnificence which once
reigned throughout the castle. Between the corner towers, upon that part
which runs immediately parallel with the Seine, there is a noble terrace,
now converted into garden ground--which commands an immediate and extensive
view of the embouchure of the river. It is the property of a speculator,
residing at Havre.

The cabriolet meeting me at the bottom of the mound upon which the castle
is built, (having paid the reckoning before I left the inn), I had nothing
to do but to step in, and push forward for _Havre_. Retracing the road
through which we came, we darted into the _Route Royale_, and got upon one
of the noblest high roads in France. Between _Tancarville_ and _Havre_ lie
_Hocher_ and _Harfleur_; each almost at the water's edge. I regretted I
could not see the former; but on our approach to Harfleur I observed, to
the right, some delightfully situated, and not inelegantly built, country
villas or modern chateaux. The immediate run down to Harfleur is
exceedingly pleasing; and though we trotted sharply through the town, the
exquisite little porch of the church was not lost upon me. Few places, I
believe, for its dimensions, have been more celebrated in the middle ages
than Harfleur. The Seine to the left becomes broader and bolder; and,
before you, beneath some wooded heights, lies HAVRE. Every thing gives
indication of commerce and prosperity as you gain upon the town. The houses
increase in number and respectability of appearance--"Voyez-vous là,
Monsieur, à droite, ces belles maisons de plaisance?--(exclaimed the
charioteer)--"C'est la où demeurent Messieurs vos compatriotes: ma foi, ils
ont un joli gout." The first glance upon these stone houses confirmed the
sagacity of the postilion. They are gloriously situated--facing the ocean;
while the surrounding country teems with fish and game of every species.
Isaac Walton might have contrived to interweave a pretty ballad in his
description of such trout-streams as were those before us.

But we approach the town. The hulls of hundreds of vessels are seen in the
commodious docks; and the flags of merchantmen, from all quarters of the
globe, appear to stream from the mast-heads. It is a scene of bustle, of
business, and variety; and perfectly English. What a contrast to the gloomy
solitude of Montmorenci! The outer and inner gates are passed. _Diligences_
issue from every quarter. The centinels relieve guard. The sound of horns,
from various packet-boats immediately about to sail, echoes on all
sides.... Driving up the high street, we approached the hôtel of the _Aigle
d'Or,_[91] kept by Justin, and considered to be the best. We were just in
time for the table d'hôte, and to bespeak excellent beds. Travellers were
continually arriving and departing. What life and animation!... We sat down
upwards of forty to dinner: and a good dinner it was. Afterwards, I settled
for the cabriolet, and bade the postboy adieu!--nor can I suppress my
feelings in saying that, in wishing him farewell, I felt ten times more
than I had ever felt upon taking leave of a postilion.


[85] The nave was begun in 1416. LICQUET.

[86] Corrected by Mons. Licquet: with thanks from the Author. It was,
    before, 1184.

[87] Lieutenant Hall has well described it. I did not see his description
    till more than a twelvemonth after my own had been written. A part may
    be worth extracting.... "The principal object of attraction is the
    CHURCH, the gothic spire of which is encircled by fillets of roses,
    beautifully carved in stone, and continued to the very summit of the
    steeple. The principal portal too is sculptured with no less richness
    and delicacy than that of St. Maclou at Rouen. Its interior length is
    about 250 feet by 72 of width. The central aisle [nave] is flanked on
    either side by ten massive circular columns, the capitals of which
    represent vine leaves and other decorations, more fanciful, and not
    less rich, than the Corinthian acanthus.... In one of the chapels
    there is a rude monumental effigy of the original architect of this
    church. It consists of a small skeleton, drawn in black lines, against
    a tablet in the wall: a mason's level and trowel, with the plan of a
    building, are beside it, and an inscription in gothic characters,
    relating that the architect endowed the church he had built with
    certain lands, and died Anno 1484." _Travels in France_, p. 47,
    1819, 8vo. I take this to be GUILLAUME TELLIER--mentioned above: but
    in regard to the lands with which Tellier endowed the church, the
    inscription says nothing. LICQUET.

[88] Small as may be this village, and insignificant as may be its aspect,
    it is one of the most important places, with respect to navigation, in
    the whole course of the river Seine. Seven years ago there were not
    fewer than _four-score_ pilots settled here, by order of government,
    for the purpose of guarding against accidents which arise from a want
    of knowledge of the navigation of the river. In time of peace this
    number would necessarily be increased. In the year 1789 there were
    upwards of 250 English vessels which passed it--averaging, in the
    whole, 19,000 tons. It is from _Quillebeuf_ to _Havre_ that the
    accidents arise. The author of a pompous, but very instructive memoir,
    "_sur la Topographie et la Statistique de la Ville de Quillebeuf et de
    l'embouchure de la Seine, ayant pour objet-principal la navigation et
    la pêché_," (published in the Transactions of the Rouen Society for
    the year 1812, and from which the foregoing information has been
    obtained) mentions three or four _wrecks_ which have taken place in
    the immediate vicinity of Quillebeuf: and it should seem that a _calm_
    is, of all things, the most fatal. The currents are strong, and the
    vessel is left to the mercy of the tides in consequence. There are
    also rocks and sand banks in abundance. Among the wrecks, was one, in
    which a young girl of eighteen years of age fell a victim to the
    ignorance of the pilot. The vessel made a false tack between _Hode_
    and _Tancarville_, and running upon a bank, was upset in an instant.
    An English vessel once shared the same calamity. A thick fog suddenly
    came on, when the sloop ran upon a bank near the _Nez de Tancarville_,
    and the crew had just time to throw themselves into the boat and
    escape destruction. The next morning, so sudden and so decisive was
    the change wrought by the sand and current, that, of the sloop, there
    remained, at ebb-tide, only ten feet of her mast visible! It appears
    that the _Quillebois_, owing to their detached situation, and their
    peculiar occupations, speak a very barbarous French. They have a sort
    of sing-song method of pronunciation; and the _g_ and _j_ are
    strangely perverted by them. Consult the memoir here referred to;
    which occupies forty octavo pages: and which forms a sequel to a
    previous communication (in 1810) "upon the Topography and Medical
    properties of Quillebeuf and its adjacent parts." The author is M.
    Boismare. His exordium is a specimen of the very worst possible taste
    in composition. One would suppose it to be a prelude to an account of
    the discovery of another America!

[89] ["The Roman Circus (says M. Licquet) is now departmental property.
    Many excavations have already taken place under the directions of
    Mons. Le Baron de Vanssay, the present Prefect of the Department. The
    most happy results may be anticipated. It was in a neighbouring
    property that an ANTIQUE BRONZE GILT STATUE, of the size of life, was
    lately found," vol. i. 194. Of this statue, Mr. Samuel Woodburn, (with
    that spirit of liberality and love of art which have uniformly
    characterised his purchases) became the Owner. The sum advanced for it
    was very considerable; but, in one sense, Mr. W. may be said to have
    stood as the Representative of his country; for the French Government
    declining to give the Proprietor the sum which he asked, Mr. Woodburn
    purchased it--solely with the view of depositing it, on the same terms
    of purchase, in a NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART, of which the bequest of Mr.
    Payne Knight's ancient bronzes and coins, and the purchase of Mr.
    Angerstein's pictures, might be supposed to lay the foundation.

    This statue was accordingly brought over to England, and freely
    exhibited to the curious admirers of ancient art. It is the figure of
    an APOLLO--the left arm, extended to hold the lyre, being mutilated. A
    portion of the limbs is also mutilated; but the torso, head and legs,
    are entire: and are, of their kind, of the highest class of art.
    Overtures were made for its purchase by government. The Trustees of
    the British Museum were unanimous both in their admiration and
    recommendation of it: it was indeed "strongly recommended" by them to
    the Treasury. Several months however elapsed before an answer could be
    obtained; and that answer, when it _did_ come, was returned in
    THE NEGATIVE. The disappointment of reasonably indulged hopes of
    success, was the least thing felt by its owner. It was the necessity
    of transporting it, in consequence, to enrich a _rival
    capital_--which, were its means equal to its wishes and good taste, it
    must be confessed, makes us frequently blush for the comparative want
    of energy and liberality, at home, in matters relating to ANCIENT
    ART.]

[90] Mr. Cotman has a view of the gateway of Tancarville, or Montmorenci
    Castle.

[91] I am not sure whether this inn be called the _Armes de France_,
    or as above.



LETTER XI

HAVRE DE GRACE. HONFLEUR. JOURNEY TO CAEN.

_Caen, May_, 1818.


Well, my friend!... I have at length visited the interior of the Abbey of
St. Stephen, and have walked over the grave of WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR and of
MATHILDA his wife. But as you dearly love the gossip of a travelling
journal, I shall take up the thread of my narrative from the place in which
I last addressed you:--particularly as our route hither was marked by some
circumstances worthy of recital. First, however, for _Havre_.

I staid there only long enough to express my regret that the time of my
residence could not be extended. It happened to be a fine afternoon, and I
took a leisurely stroll upon the docks and ramparts.[92] The town was full
of animation--whether relating to business or to pleasure. For the former,
you must visit the quays; for the latter, you must promenade the high
street, and more especially the _Boulevards_, towards the heights. The sun
shone merrily, as it were, upon the thousands of busy, bustling, and
bawling human creatures.. who were in constant locomotion in this latter
place.

What a difference between the respective appearances of the quays of Dieppe
and Havre? Although even _here_ things would assume a rubbishing and
littered aspect compared with the quays at _Liverpool_ or at _Hull_, yet it
must be admitted, for the credit of Gallico-Norman commerce, that the quays
of Havre make a very respectable appearance. You see men fiddling, dancing,
sleeping, sitting, and of course talking _à pleine gorge_, in groups
without end--but no drunkenness!.. not even an English oath saluted my ear.
The Southampton packets land their crews at Havre. I saw the arrival of one
of these packets; and was cruel enough to contrast the animated and elastic
spirits of a host of French _laqnais de place_, tradespeople,
&c.--attacking the passengers with cards of their address--with the feeble
movements and dejected countenances of the objects of their attack.

From the quays, I sauntered along the ramparts, which are flanked by broad
ditches--of course plentifully supplied with water; and passing over the
drawbridge, by which all carriages enter the town--and which absolutely
trembles as if about to sink beneath you, as the _diligence_ rolls over
it.--I made for the boulevards and tea-gardens; to which, business being
well nigh over, the inhabitants of Havre flock by hundreds and by
thousands. A fine afternoon throws every thing into "good keeping"--as the
artists say. The trees, and meadows, and upper lands, were not only bright
with the sun-beam, but the human countenance was lighted up with gladness.
The occupations partook of this joyful character. Accordingly there was
dancing and singing on all sides; a little beyond, appeared to sit a group
of philosophers, or politicians, upon a fantastically cut seat, beneath
laburnums streaming with gold; while, still further, gradually becoming
invisible from the foliage and winding path, strolled pairs in more gentle
discourse! Meanwhile the whoop and halloo of school-boys, in rapid and
ceaseless evolutions, resounded through the air, and heightened the
gratification of the scene....

  And young and old came out to play
  Upon a sun-shine holiday.

Gaining a considerable ascent, I observed knolls of rich verdure, with fine
spreading trees, and elegant mansions, to be in the foreground--in the
middle-ground, stood the town of Havre:--in the distance, rolled and roared
the expansive ocean! The sun was visibly going to rest; but his departing
beams yet sparkled upon the more prominent points of the picture. There was
no time for finishing the subject. After a stroll of nearly a couple of
hours, on this interesting spot, I retraced my steps over the draw-bridge,
and prepared for objects of _still_ life; in other words, for the
examination of what might be curious and profitable in the shape of a
_boke_.

The lamps were lighted when I commenced my _Bibliomaniacal Voyage_ of
discovery among the BOOKSELLERS. But what poverty of materials, for a man
educated in the schools of Fust and Caxton! To every question, about rare
or old books, I was told that I should have been on the Continent when the
allies first got possession of Paris. In fact, I had not a single
_trouvaille_.

The packet was to sail by nine the next morning, precisely. For a wonder,
(or rather no wonder at all, considering what had occurred during the last
twenty-four hours) I had an excellent night's rest, and was prepared for
breakfast by eight. Having breakfasted, I accompanied my luggage to the
inner harbour, and observed the _Honfleur_ packet swarming with passengers,
and crammed with every species of merchandize: especially tubs, casks,
trunks, cordage, and earthenware. We went on board, and took our stations
near the helm; and after experiencing a good deal of _uncomfortable_
heaving of the ocean, got clear from the mouth of the harbour, and stood
out to sea. The tide was running briskly and strongly into the harbour. We
were in truth closely stowed; and as these packets are built with flattish
bottoms, and low sides, a rough sea would not fail to give to a crew, thus
exposed, the appearance of half-drowned rats. Luckily the wind began to
subside, and by degrees old ocean wore a face of undisturbed serenity. Our
crew was a motley one; but among them, an Abbess, with a visage of
parchment-like rigidity, and with her broad streaming bands, seemed to
experience particular distress. She was surrounded by some hale, hearty
market women, whose robust forms, and copper-tinted countenances, formed a
striking contrast to her own. A little beyond was an old officer or two,
with cocked hats of the usually capacious dimensions. But the poor Abbess
was cruelly afflicted; and in a gesture and tone of voice, of the most
piteous woe, implored the steward of the vessel for accommodation below.

Fortunately, as I was not in the least annoyed by sickness, I had leisure
to survey the heights of Honfleur before we landed; and looking towards the
course of the River Seine, as it narrowed in its windings, I discovered
_Harfleur_ and _Hocher_ nearly opposite; and, a good deal lower down, the
little fishing town of _Quillebeuf_, apparently embedded in the water.
Honfleur itself is surely among the most miserable of fishing towns[93]--or
whatever be the staple commodity that supports it. But the environs make
amends for the squalidness of the town. A few years of peace and plenty
would work wonders even in the improvements of these environs. Perhaps no
situation is more favourable for the luxury of a summer retirement.[94] I
paid only eight sous for my passage; and having no passport to be _viséd_
(which indeed was the case at Havre,) we selected a stout lad or two, from
the crowds of lookers on, as we landed, to carry our luggage to the inn
from which the diligence sets off for CAEN. It surprised us to see with
what alacrity these lads carried the baggage up a steep hill in their
trucks, or barrows; but we were disgusted with the miserable forms, and
miserable clothing, of both sexes, which we encountered as we proceeded. I
was fortunate to be in time to secure my place in the Diligence. The horses
were in the very act of being put to, as I paid my reckoning beforehand.

Judge of our surprise and gratification on seeing two well-dressed, and
apparently well-bred Englishmen, securing their places at the same time. It
is not always that, at first sight, Englishmen associate so quickly, and
apparently so cordially, as did these gentlemen with ourselves. They were
the Messrs. D*** of _L_**** _Hall_ in Yorkshire: the elder brother an
Oxford man of the same standing with myself. The younger, a Cantab. We were
all bound for Caen; and right gladly did we coalesce upon this expedition.

We proceeded at a good sharp pace; and as we ascended the very high hill on
the direct road to Caen, with fine leafy trees on each side, and upon a
noble breadth of road, I looked out of the diligence to enjoy the truly
magnificent view of the Seine--with glimpses of _Harfleur_ and _Havre_ on
the opposite coast. The cessation of the rain, and the quick movement of
the vehicle, enabled me to do this in a tolerably commodious manner. The
ground however seemed saturated, and the leaves glistened with the
incumbent moisture. There was a sort of pungent freshness of scent
abroad--and a rich pasture land on each side gave the most luxuriant
appearance to the landscape. Nature indeed seemed to have fructified every
thing in a manner at once spontaneous and perfect. The face of the country
is pasture-land throughout; that is to say, there are comparatively few
orchards and little arable. I was told to pay attention to the cattle, for
that the farmers prided themselves on their property of this kind. They may
pride themselves--if they please: but their pride is not of a lofty cast of
character. I have been in Lincolnshire, Herefordshire, and
Gloucestershire--and have seen and enjoyed, in these counties, groups of
cattle which appeared calculated for the land and the table of giants,
compared with the Lilliputian objects, of the bucoline species, which were
straying, in thin flocks, through the luxuriant pastures of Normandy. That
triumphant and immutable maxim of "small bone and large carcase" seems,
alas! to be unknown in these regions.

However, on we rode--and gazed on all sides. At length we reached _Pont
L'Eveque_, a pretty long stage; where we dined (says my journal) upon roast
fowl, asparagus, trout, and an excellent omelette, with two good bottles of
vin ordinaire--which latter, for four Englishmen, was commendably moderate.
During dinner the rain came down again in yet heavier torrents--the gutters
foamed, and the ground smoked with the unceasing fall of the water. In the
midst of this aquatic storm, we toasted Old England right merrily and
cordially; and the conducteur, seeing us in good humour, told us that "we
need not hurry, for that he preferred a dry journey to a wet one." We
readily assented to this position; but within half an hour, the weather
clearing, we remounted: and by four o'clock, we all got inside--and
politics, religion, literature, and the fine arts, kept us in constant
discourse and good humour as we rolled on for many a league. All the way to
_Troarn_ (the last stage on this side of Caen) the country presents a truly
lovely picture of pasture land. There are occasionally some wooded heights,
in which English wealth and English taste would have raised villas of the
prettiest forms, and with most commanding views. Yet there is nothing to be
mentioned in the same breath with the country about Rodwell in
Glocestershire. Nor are the trees of the same bulk and luxuriant foliage as
are those in our own country. A fine oak is as rare as an uncut _Wynkyn de
Worde_:[95] but creeping rivulets, rich coppice wood, avenues of elms and
limes, and meadows begemmed with butter-cups--these are the characteristics
of the country through which we were passing. It is in vain however you
look for neat villas or consequential farm houses: and as rarely do you see
groups of villagers reposing, or in action. A dearth of population gives to
French landscape a melancholy and solitary cast of character. It is in
cities that you must look for human beings--and _for_ cities the French
seem to have been created.

It was at _Troarn_, I think, or at some halting place beyond, that our
passports were demanded, and the examination of our trunks solicited. We
surrendered our keys most willingly. The gentlemen, with their cocked hats
and blue jackets--having a belt from which a sword was suspended--consulted
together for a minute only--returned our keys--and telling us that matters
would be thoroughly looked into at Caen, said they would give us no
trouble. We were of course not sorry at this determination--and the Messrs.
D---and myself getting once more into the cabriolet, (a postboy being
secured for the leaders) we began to screw up our spirits and curiosity for
a view of the steeples of CAEN. Unluckily the sun had set, and the horizon
had become gloomy, when we first discovered the spires of _St. Stephen's
Abbey_--the principal ecclesiastical edifice at Caen. It was hard upon nine
o'clock; and the evening being extremely dusky, we had necessarily a very
indistinct view of the other churches--but, to my eye, as seen in a
lengthened view, and through a deceitful atmosphere, Caen had the
appearance of OXFORD on a diminutive scale. The town itself, like our
famous University, is built in a slanting direction; though the surrounding
country is yet flatter than about Oxford. As we entered it, all the
population seemed collected to witness our arrival. From solitude we
plunged at once into tumult, bustle, and noise. We stopped at the _Hotel
d'Espagne--_a large, but black and begrimed mansion. Here our luggage was
taken down; and here we were assailed by garçons de place, with cards in
their hands, intreating us to put up at their respective hotels. We had
somehow got a recommendation to the _Hotel Royale, Place Royale_, and such
a union of _royal_ adjuncts was irresistible. Accordingly, we resolved upon
moving thither. In a trice our trunks were placed upon barrows: and we
marched behind, "in double quick time," in order to secure our property.
The town appeared to improve as we made our different turnings, and gained
upon our hotel. "Le voilà, Messieurs"--exclaimed our guides and
baggage-conductors--as we got into a goodly square, and saw a fair and
comely mansion in front. The rush of landlord, waiting maids, and garçons
de place, encountered us as we entered. "Messieurs, je vous salue,"--said a
huge, ungracious looking figure:--which said figure was nothing less than
the master of the hotel--Mons. Lagouelle. We were shown into a small room
on the ground floor, to the right--and ordered tea; but had scarcely begun
to enjoy the crackling blaze of a plentiful wood fire, when the same
ungracious figure took his seat by the side of us ... to tell us "all about
THE DUEL."

I had heard (from an English gentleman in the packet boat from Havre to
Honfleur) something respecting this most extraordinary duel between a young
Englishman and a young Frenchman: but as I mean to reserve my _Caen budget_
for a distinct dispatch, and as I have yet hardly tarried twenty hours in
this place, I must bid you adieu; only adding that I dreamt, last night,
about some English antiquaries trying to bend the bow of William the
Conqueror!--Can this be surprising? Again farewell.


[92] Evelyn, who visited Havre in 1644, when the Duke de Richlieu was
    governor, describes the citadel as "strong and regular, well stored
    with artillery, &c. The works furnished with faire brass canon, having
    a motto, "_Ratio ultima Regum_." The haven is very spacious." _Life
    and Writings of John Evelyn_, edit. 1818, vol. i. p. 51. Havre seems
    always to have been a place of note and distinction in more senses
    than one. In Zeiller's _Topographia Galliae,_ (vol. iii.) there is a
    view of it, about the period in which Evelyn saw it, by Jacques
    Gomboust, Ingénieur du Roy, from which it appears to have been a very
    considerable place. Forty-two principal buildings and places are
    referred to in the directions; and among them we observe the
    BOULEVARDS DE RICHELIEU.

[93] It was so in Evelyn's time: in 1644, "It is a poore fisher
    towne (says he) remarkable for nothing so much as the odd yet usefull
    habites which the good women weare, of beares and other skinns, as of
    raggs at Dieppe, and all along these coasts." _Life and Writings of
    J. Evelyn_; 1818, 4to. vol. i. p. 51.

[94] [It is near a chapel, on one of the heights of this town, that Mr.
    Washington Irving fixes one of his most exquisitely drawn characters,
    ANNETTE DELABRE, as absorbed in meditation and prayer respecting the
    fate of her lover; and I have a distinct recollection of a beautiful
    piece of composition, by one of our most celebrated artists, in which
    the _Heights of Honfleur_, with women kneeling before a crucifix
    in the foreground, formed a most beautiful composition. The name of
    the artist (was it the younger Mr. Chalon?) I have forgotten.]

[95] [My translator says, "un Wynkyn de Worde non coupé:" Qu. Would not the
    _Debure_ Vocabulary have said "non rogné?"]



LETTER XII.

CAEN. SOIL. SOCIETY. EDUCATION. A DUEL. OLD HOUSES. THE ABBEY OF ST.
STEPHEN. CHURCH OF ST. PIERRE DE DARNETAL. ABBÉ DE LA SAINTE TRINITÉ. OTHER
PUBLIC EDIFICES.


I have now resided upwards of a week at Lagouelle's, the _Hotel Royale_,
and can tell you something of the place and of the inhabitants of CAEN.
Caen however is still-life after Rouen: but it has been, and yet is, a town
exceedingly well-deserving the attention of the lounging traveller and of
the curious antiquary. Its ecclesiastical edifices are more ancient, but
less vast and splendid, than those of Rouen; while the streets and the
houses are much more wide and comfortable. This place is the capital of the
department of CALVADOS, or of LOWER NORMANDY: and its population is
estimated at forty thousand souls. It has a public library, a school of
art, a college, mayoralty, and all the adjuncts of a corporate society.[96]
But I must first give you something in the shape of political economy
intelligence. Caen with its arrondissemens of _Bayeux, Vire, Falaise,
Lisieux, Pont L'Eveque_, is the country of pasturage and of cattle. It is
also fertile in the apple and pear; and although at _Argences_ there have
been vineyards from time immemorial, yet the produce of the grape, in the
character of _wine_,[97] is of a very secondary description. There are
beautiful and most abundant market gardens about Caen; and for the last
seventy years they have possessed a garden for the growth and cultivation
of foreign plants and trees. It is said that more than nine hundred species
of plants and trees are to be found in the department of CALVADOS, of which
some (but I know not how many or how few) are considered as indigenous. Of
forests and woods, the number is comparatively small; and upon that limited
number great injuries were inflicted by the Revolution. In the
arrondissement of Caen itself, there are only 344 _hectares_.[98] The truth
is, that in the immediate neighbourhood of populous towns, the French have
no idea of PLANTING. They suffer plain after plain, and hill after hill, to
be denuded of trees, and make no provision for the supply of those who are
to come after them. Thus, not only a great portion of the country about
Rouen--(especially in the direction of the road leading to Caen--) is
gradually left desolate and barren, but even here, as you approach the
town, there is a dreary flatness of country, unrefreshed by the verdure of
foliage: whereas the soil, kind and productive by nature, requires only the
slightest attention of man to repay him a hundred fold. What they will do
some fifty years hence for _fuel_, is quite inconceivable. It is true that
the river Orne, by means of the tide, and of its proximity to the sea,
brings up vessels of even 200 tons burthen, in which they may stow plenty
of wood; but still, the expenses of carriage, and duties of a variety of
description--together with the _dependence_ of the town upon such
accidental supply--would render the article of fuel a most expensive
concern. It is also true that they pretend that the soil, in the department
of Calvados, contains _coal_; but the experiments which were made some
years ago at _Littry_, in the arondissement of _Bayeux_, should forbid the
Caennois to indulge any very sanguine expectations on that score.

In respect to the trade of the town, the two principal branches are _lace_
and _cap_ making. The former trade is divided with Bayeux; and both places
together give occupation to about thirty thousand pairs[99] of hands.
People of all ages may be so employed; and the annual gross receipts have
been estimated at four millions of francs. In _cap_ making only, at Caen,
four thousand people have been constantly engaged, and a gross produce of
two millions of francs has been the result of that branch of trade. A great
part of this manufacture was consumed at home; but more than one half used
to be exported to Spain, Portugal, and the colonies belonging to France.
They pretend to say, however, that this article of commerce is much
diminished both in profit and reputation: while that of _table linen_ is
gaining proportionably in both.[100] There were formerly great _tanneries_
in Caen and its immediate vicinity, but lately that branch of trade has
suffered extremely. The revolution first gave it a violent check, and the
ignorance and inattention of the masters to recent improvements, introduced
by means of chemistry, have helped to hasten its decay. To balance this
misfortune, there has of late sprung up a very general and judiciously
directed commercial spirit in the article of _porcelaine_; and if Caen be
inferior to its neighbouring towns, and especially to Rouen and Lisieux, in
the articles of cloth, stuffs, and lace, it takes a decided lead in that
which relates to _pottery_ and _china_: no mean articles in the supply of
domestic wants and luxuries. But it is in matters of higher "pith and
moment" that Caen may claim a superiority over the towns just noticed.
There is a better spirit of _education_ abroad; and, for its size, more
science and more literature will be found in it.

This place has been long famous for the education of Lawyers. There are two
distinct academies--one for "Science and the Belles-Lettres"--the other for
agriculture and commerce. The _Lycée_ is a noble building, close to the
Abbey of St. Stephen: but I wish its façade had been Gothic, to harmonise
with the Abbey. Indeed, Caen has quite the air of Oxford, from the
prevalent appearance of _stone_ in its public buildings. The environs of
the town afford quarries, whence the stone is taken in great blocks, in a
comparatively soft state--and is thus cut into the several forms required
with the greatest facility. It is then exposed, and every succeeding day
appears to add to its white tint and durable quality. I saw some important
improvements making in the outskirts of the town,[101] in which they were
finishing shafts and capitals of columns in a manner the most correct and
gratifying. Still farther from the immediate vicinity of Caen, they find
stone of a closer grain; and with this they make stair-cases, and pavements
for the interior of buildings. Indeed the stone stair-cases in this place,
which are usually circular, and projecting from the building, struck me as
being equally curious and uncommon. It is asserted that they have different
kinds of _marble_ in the department of Calvados, which equal that of the
south of France. At _Basly_ and _Vieux_ white marble is found which has
been judged worthy of a comparison with Parian; but this is surely a little
presumptuous. However, it is known that Cardinal Richelieu brought from
Vieux all the marble with which he built the chapel in the college of the
Sorbonne.

Upon the whole, as to general appearance, and as to particular society,
Caen may be preferable to Rouen. The costume and manners of the common
people are pretty much, if not entirely, the same; except that, as to
dress, the _cauchoise_ is here rather more simple than at Dieppe and Rouen.
The upper fille-de-chambre at our hotel displays not only a good correct
model of national dress, but she is well-looking in her person, and
well-bred in her manners. Mr. Lewis prevailed upon this good-natured young
woman to sit for her likeness, and for the sake of her costume. The girl's
eyes sparkled with more than ordinary joy at the proposal, and even an
expression of gratitude mingled itself in her manner of compliance. I send
you the figure and dress of the fille-de-chambre at the _Hotel Royale_ of
Caen.[102]

[Illustration: FILLE DE CHAMBRE, CAEN.]

Caen is called the dépôt of the English.[103] In truth there is an amazing
number of our countrymen here, and from very different causes. One family
comes to reside from motives of economy; another from those of education; a
third from those of retirement; and a fourth from pure love of sitting
down, in a strange place, with the chance of making some pleasant
connection, or of being engaged in seeking some strange adventure: Good and
cheap living, and novel society, are doubtless the main attractions. But
there is desperate ill blood just now between the _Caennois_ (I will not
make use of the enlarged term _Francois_) and the English; and I will tell
you the cause. Do you remember the emphatic phrase in my last, "all about
the duel?" Listen. About three weeks only before our arrival,[104] a duel
was fought between a young French law-student, and a young Englishman; the
latter the son of a naval captain. I will mention no names; and so far not
wound the feelings of the friends of the parties concerned. But this duel,
my friend, has been "THE DUEL OF DUELS"--on the score of desperation, and
of a fixed purpose to murder. It is literally without precedent, and I
trust will never be considered as one. You must know then, that Caen, in
spite of all the "bouleversemens" of the Revolution, has maintained its
ancient reputation of possessing a very large seminary, or college for
students at law. These students amount to nearly 600 in number. Most young
gentlemen under twenty years of age are at times riotous, or frolicsome, or
foolish. Generally speaking, however, the students conduct themselves with
propriety: but there had been a law-suit between a French and English
suitor, and the Judge pronounced sentence in favour of our countryman. The
hall was crowded with spectators, and among them was a plentiful number of
law-students. As they were retiring, one young Frenchman either made
frightful faces, or contemptible gestures, in a very fixed and insulting
manner, at a young Englishman--the son of this naval captain. Our
countryman had no means or power of noticing or resenting the insult, as
the aggressor was surrounded by his companions. It so happened that it was
fair time at Caen; and in the evening of the same day, our countryman
recognised, in the crowd at the fair, the physiognomy of the young man who
had insulted him in the hall of justice. He approached him, and gave him to
understand that his rude behaviour should be noticed at a proper time and
in a proper place: whereupon the Frenchman came up to him, shook him
violently by the arm, and told him to "fix his distance on the ensuing
morning." Now the habit of duelling is very common among these
law-students; but they measure twenty-five paces, fire, and of course ...
MISS--and then fancy themselves great heroes ... and there is an end of the
affair. Not so upon the present occasion. "Fifteen paces," if you
please--said the student, sarcastically, with a conviction of the
backwardness of his opponent to meet him. "FIVE, rather"--exclaimed the
provoked Englishman--"I will fight you at FIVE paces:"--and it was agreed
that they should meet and fight on the morrow, at five paces only asunder.

Each party was under twenty; but I believe the English youth had scarcely
attained his nineteenth year. What I am about to relate will cause your
flesh to creep. It was determined by the seconds, as _one_ must necessarily
_fall_, from firing at so short a distance, that only _one_ pistol should
be loaded with _ball_: the other having nothing but _powder_:--and that, as
the Frenchman had challenged, he was to have the choice of the pistols.
They parted. The seconds prepared the pistols according to agreement, and
the fatal morning came. The combatants appeared, without one jot of
abatement of spirit or of cool courage. The pistols lay upon the grass
before them: one loaded only with powder, and the other with powder and
ball. The Frenchman advanced: took up a pistol, weighed and balanced it
most carefully in his hand, and then ... laid it down. He seized the other
pistol, and cocking it, fixed himself upon the spot from whence he was to
fire. The English youth was necessarily compelled to take the abandoned
pistol. Five paces were then measured ... and on the signal being given,
they both fired ... and the Frenchman fell ... DEAD UPON THE SPOT! The
Frenchman had in fact _taken up_, but afterwards _laid down_, the very
pistol which was loaded with the fatal _ball_--on the supposition that it
was of too light a weight; and even seemed to compliment himself upon his
supposed sagacity on the occasion. But to proceed. The ball went through
his heart, as I understood. The second of the deceased on seeing his friend
a reeking corpse at his feet, became mad and outrageous ... and was for
fighting the survivor immediately! Upon which, the lad of mettle and
courage replied, that he would not fight a man without a _second_--"But
go," said he, (drawing his watch coolly from his fob). I will give you
twenty minutes to come back again with your second." He waited, with his
watch in his hand, and by the dead body of his antagonist, for the return
of the Frenchman; but on the expiration of the time, his own second
conjured him to consult his safety and depart; for that, from henceforth,
his life was in jeopardy. He left the ground; obtained his passport, and
quitted the town instantly ... The dead body of his antagonist was then
placed on a bier: and his funeral was attended by several hundreds of his
companions--who, armed with muskets and swords, threatened destruction to
the civil and military authorities if they presumed to interfere. All this
has necessarily increased the ill-blood which is admitted to exist between
the English and French ... but the affair is now beginning to blow
over.[105]

A truce to such topics. It is now time to furnish you with some details
relating to your favourite subjects of ARCHITECTURAL ANTIQUITIES and
BIBLIOGRAPHY. The former shall take precedence. First of the _streets_;
secondly of the _houses_; and thirdly of the _public buildings_;
ecclesiastical and civil.

To begin with the STREETS. Those of _St. Pierre, Notre Dame_, and _St.
Jean_ are the principal for bustle and business. The first two form one
continuous line, leading to the abbey of St. Stephen, and afford in fact a
very interesting stroll to the observer of men and manners. The shops are
inferior to those of Rouen, but a great shew of business is discernible in
them. The street beyond the abbey, and those called _Guilbert_, and _des
Chanoines_, leading towards the river, are considered among the genteelest.
Ducarel pronounced the _houses_ of Caen "mean in general, though usually
built of stone;" but I do not agree with him in this conclusion. The open
parts about the _Lycée_ and the _Abbey of St. Stephen_, together with the
_Place Royale_, where the library is situated, form very agreeable spaces
for the promenade of the ladies and the exercise of the National Guard. The
_Courts_ are full of architectural curiosities, but mostly of the time of
Francis I. Of _domestic_ architecture, those houses, with elaborate
carvings in wood, beneath a pointed roof, are doubtless of the greatest
antiquity. There are a great number of these; and some very much older than
others.

A curious old house is to the right hand corner of the street _St. Jean_:
as you go to the Post Office. But I must inform you that the residence of
the famous MALHERBE yet exists in the street leading to the Abbey of St.
Stephen. This house is of the middle of the sixteenth century: and what
Corneille is to _Rouen_, Malherbe is to _Caen_. "ICI NAQUIT MALHERBE," &c.
as you will perceive from the annexed view of this house, inscribed upon
the front of the building. Malherbe has been doomed to receive greater
honours. His head was first struck, in a series of medals, to perpetuate
the resemblances of the most eminent literary characters (male and female)
in France: and it is due to the amiable Pierre-Aimé Lair to designate him
as the FATHER of this medallic project.

[Illustration]

In perambulating this town, one cannot but be surprised at the absence of
_Fountains_--those charming pieces of architecture and of street
embellishment. In this respect, Rouen has infinitely the advantage of Caen:
where, instead of the trickling current of translucent water, we observe
nothing but the partial and perturbed stream issuing from ugly _wells_[106]
as tasteless in their structure as they are inconvenient in the procuring
of water. Upon one or two of these wells, I observed the dates of 1560 and
1588.

The PUBLIC EDIFICES, however, demand a particular and appropriate
description: and first of those of the ecclesiastical order. Let us begin
therefore with the ABBEY OF ST. STEPHEN; for it is the noblest and most
interesting on many accounts. It is called by the name of that Saint,
inasmuch as there stood formerly a chapel, on the same site, dedicated to
him. The present building was completed and solemnly dedicated by William
the Conqueror, in the presence of his wife, his two sons Robert and
William, his favourite Archbishop Lanfranc, John Archbishop of Rouen, and
Thomas Archbishop of York--towards the year 1080: but I strongly suspect,
from the present prevailing character of the architecture, that nothing
more than the west front and the towers upon which the spires rest, remain
of its ancient structure. The spires (as the Abbé De La Rue conjectures,
and as I should also have thought) are about two centuries later than the
towers.

The outsides of the side aisles appear to be of the thirteenth, rather than
of the end of the eleventh, century. The first exterior view of the west
front, and of the towers, is extremely interesting; from the grey and clear
tint, as well as excellent quality, of the stone, which, according to Huet,
was brought partly from Vaucelle and partly from Allemagne.[107] One of the
corner abutments of one of the towers has fallen down; and a great portion
of what remains seems to indicate rapid decay. The whole stands indeed
greatly in need of reparation. Ducarel, if I remember rightly,[108] has
made, of this whole front, a sort of elevation, as if it were intended for
a wooden model to work by: having all the stiffness and precision of an
erection of forty-eight hours standing only. The central tower is of very
stunted dimensions, and overwhelmed by a roof in the form of an
extinguisher. This, in fact, was the consequence of the devastations of the
Calvinists; who absolutely sapped the foundation of the tower, with the
hope of overwhelming the whole choir in ruin--but a part only of their
malignant object was accomplished. The component parts of the eastern
extremity are strangely and barbarously miscellaneous. However, no good
commanding exterior view can be obtained from the _place_, or confined
square, opposite the towers.

But let us return to the west-front; and opening the unfastened green-baize
covered door, enter softly and silently into the venerable interior--sacred
even to the feelings of Englishmen! Of this interior, very much is changed
from its original character. The side aisles retain their flattened arched
roofs and pillars; and in the nave you observe those rounded pilasters--or
alto-rilievo-like pillars--running from bottom to top, which are to be seen
in the abbey of Jumieges. The capitals of these long pillars are
comparatively of modern date. To the left on entrance, within a side
chapel, is the burial place of MATILDA, the wife of the Conqueror. The
tombstone attesting her interment is undoubtedly of the time. Generally
speaking, the interior is cold, and dull of effect. The side chapels, of
which not fewer than sixteen encircle the choir, have the discordant
accompaniments of Grecian balustrades to separate them from the choir and
nave. There is a good number of _Confessionals_ within them; and at one of
these I saw, for the first time, _two_ women, kneeling, in the act of
confession to the _same priest_. "C'est un peu fort," observed our guide in
an under-voice, and with a humourous expression of countenance! Meanwhile
Mr. Lewis, who was in an opposite direction in the cathedral, was
exercising his pencil in the following delineation of a similar subject.

[Illustration]

To the right of the choir (in the sacristy, I think,) is hung the huge
portrait, in oil, within a black and gilt frame, of which Ducarel has
published an engraving, on the supposition of its being the portrait of
WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR. But nothing can be more ridiculous than such a
conclusion. In the first place, the picture itself, which is a palpable
copy, cannot be older than a century; and, in the second place, were it an
original performance, it could not be older than the time of Francis
I:--when, in fact, it purports to have been executed--as a faithful copy of
the figure of King William, seen by the Cardinals in 1522, who were seized
with a sacred phrenzy to take a peep at the body as it might exist at that
time! The costume of the oil-painting is evidently that of the period of
our Henry VIII.; and to suppose that the body of William--even had it
remained in so surprisingly perfect a state as Ducarel intimates, after an
interment of upwards of four hundred years--could have presented such a
costume, when, from Ducarel's own statement, another whole-length
representation of the same person is _totally different_--and more
decidedly of the character of William's time--is really quite a reproach to
any antiquary who plumes himself upon the possession even of common sense.

In the middle of the choir, and just before the high altar, the body of the
Conqueror was entombed with great pomp; and a monument erected to his
memory of the most elaborate and costly description. Nothing now remains
but a flat black marble slab, with a short inscription, of quite a recent
date.

In the present state of the abbey,[109] and even in that of Ducarel's time,
there is, and was, a great dearth of sepulchral monuments. Indeed I know
not whether you need be detained another minute within the interior; except
it be, to add your share of admiration to that which has been long and
justly bestowed on the huge organ[110] at the west end of the nave, which
is considered to be the finest in all France. But Normandy abounds in
church decorations of this kind. Leaving therefore this venerable pile,
endeared to the British antiquary by a thousand pleasing associations of
ideas, we strike off into an adjoining court yard, and observe the ruins of
a pretty extensive pile of building, which is called by Ducarel the _Palace
of the Conqueror_. But in this supposed palace, in its _present_ state,
most assuredly William I. _never_ resided: for it is clearly not older than
the thirteenth century: if so ancient. Ducarel saw a great deal more than
is now to be seen; for, in fact, as I attempted to gain entrance into what
appeared to be the principal room, I was stopped by an old woman, who
assured me "qu'il n'y avoit rien que du chauffage." It was true enough: the
whole of the untenanted interior contained nothing but wood fuel. Returning
to the principal street, and making a slight digression to the right, you
descend somewhat abruptly by the side of a church in ruins, called _St.
Etienne le Vieil_. In Ducarel's time this church is described as entire. On
the exterior of one of the remaining buttresses is a whole length figure,
about four English feet in height (as far as I could guess by the eye) of a
man on horseback--mutilated--trampling upon another man at its feet.

It is no doubt a curious and uncommon ornament. But, would you believe it?
this figure also, in the opinion of Bourgueville,[111] was intended for
William the the Conqueror--representing his triumphant entry into Caen! As
an object of art, even in its present mutilated state, it is highly
interesting; and I rejoice that Mr. Cotman is likely to preserve the little
that remains from the hazard of destruction by the fidelity of his own copy
of it.[112] It is quite clear that, close to the figure, you discover
traces of style which are unequivocally of the time of Francis I. The
interior of what remains of this consecrated edifice is converted "horresco
referens" into a receptacle for ... carriages for hire. Not far from this
spot stood formerly a magnificent CROSS--demolished during the memorable
visit of the Calvinists.[113] In the way to the abbey of the Trinity, quite
at the opposite or eastern extremity of the town, you necessarily pass
along the _Rue St. Pierre_, and enter into the market-place, affording an
opening before the most beautiful church in all Normandy. It is the church
of _St. Pierre de Darnetal_ of which I now speak, and from which the name
of the street is derived. The tower and spire are of the most admirable
form and workmanship.[114] The extreme delicacy and picturesque effect of
the stone tiles, with which the spire is covered, as well as the lightness
and imposing consequence given to the tower upon which the spire rests, are
of a character peculiar to itself. The whole has a charming effect. But
severe criticism compels one to admit that the body of the church is
defective in fine taste and unity of parts. The style is not only florid
Gothic, but it is luxuriant, even to rankness, if I may so speak. The parts
are capriciously put together: filled, and even crammed, with ornaments of
apparently all ages: concluding with the Grecian mixture introduced in the
reign of Francis I. The buttresses are, however, generally, lofty and airy.
In the midst of this complicated and corrupt style of architecture, the
tower and spire rise like a structure built by preternatural hands; and I
am not sure that, at this moment, I can recollect any thing of equal beauty
and effect in the whole range of ecclesiastical edifices in our own
country. Look at this building, from any part of the town, and you must
acknowledge that it has the strongest claims to unqualified
admiration.[115] The body of the church is of very considerable dimensions.
I entered it on a Sunday morning, about eleven o'clock, and found it quite
filled with a large congregation, in which the _cauchoise_, as usual,
appeared like a broad white mass--from one end to the other. The priests
were in procession. One of the most magnificent organs imaginable was in
full intonation, with every stop opened; the voices of the congregation
were lustily exercised; and the offices of religion were carried on in a
manner which would seem to indicate a warm sense of devotion among the
worshippers. There is a tolerably good set of modern paintings (the best
which I have yet seen in the interior of a church) of the _Life of Christ_,
in the side chapels. The eastern extremity, or the further end of _Our
Lady's Chapel_, is horribly bedaubed and over-loaded with the most
tasteless specimens of what is called Gothic art, perhaps ever witnessed!
The great bell of this church, which has an uncommonly deep and fine tone,
is for ever

  Swinging slow with solemn roar!

that is to say:--it is tolling from five in the morning till ten at night;
so incessantly, in one side-chapel or another, are these offices carried on
within this maternal parish church.[116]

I saw, with momentary astonishment, the leaning tower of a church in the
_Rue St. Jean_,[117] which is one of the principal streets in the town: and
which is terminated by the _Place des Cazernes_, flanked by the river Orne.
In this street I was asked, by a bookseller, two pounds two shillings, for
a thumbed and cropt copy of the _Elzevir-Heinsius Horace_ of 1629; but with
which demand I did not of course comply. In fact, they have the most
extravagant notions of the prices of Elzevirs, both here and at Rouen.

You must now attend me to the most interesting public building, perhaps all
things considered, which is to be seen at Caen. I mean, the _Abbey of the
Holy Trinity_, or L'ABBAYE AUX DAMES.[118] This abbey was founded by the
wife of the Conqueror, about the same time that William erected that of St.
Stephen. Ducarel's description of it, which I have just seen in a copy of
the _Anglo-Norman Antiquities_, in a bookseller's shop, is sufficiently
meagre. His plates are also sufficiently miserable: but things are
strangely altered since his time. The nave of the church is occupied by a
manufactory for making cordage, or twine; and upwards of a hundred lads are
now busied in their _flaxen_ occupations, where formerly the nun knelt
before the cross, or was occupied in auricular confession. The entrance at
the western extremity is entirely stopped up: but the exterior gives
manifest proof of an antiquity equal to that of the Abbey of St. Stephen.
The upper part of the towers are palpably of the fifteenth, or rather of
the early part of the sixteenth century. I had no opportunity of judging of
the neat pavement of the floor of the nave, in white and black marble, as
noticed by Ducarel, on account of the occupation of this part of the
building by the manufacturing children; but I saw some very ancient
tomb-stones (one I think of the twelfth century) which had been removed
from the nave or side aisles, and were placed against the sides of the
north transept. The nave is entirely _walled up_ from the transepts, but
the choir is fortunately preserved; and a more perfect and interesting
specimen of its kind, of the same antiquity, is perhaps no where to be seen
in Normandy. All the monuments as well as the altars, described by Ducarel,
are now taken away. Having ascended a stone staircase, we got into the
upper part of the choir, above the first row of pillars--and walked along
the wall. This was rather adventurous, you will say: but a more adventurous
spirit of curiosity had nearly proved fatal to me: for, on quitting
daylight, we pursued a winding stone staircase, in our way to the central
tower--to enjoy from hence a view of the town. I almost tremble as I relate
it. There had been put up a sort of temporary wooden staircase, leading
absolutely to ... nothing: or, rather, to a dark void space. I happened to
be foremost in ascending, yet groping in the dark--with the guide luckily
close behind me. Having reached the topmost step, I was raising my foot to
a supposed higher or succeeding step ... but there was _none_. A depth of
eighteen feet at least was below me. The guide caught my coat, as I was
about to lose my balance--and roared out "Arrêtez--tenez!" The least
balance or inclination, one way or the other, is sufficient, upon these
critical occasions: when luckily, from his catching my coat, and pulling me
in consequence slightly backwards, my fall ... and my LIFE ... were equally
saved! I have reason from henceforth to remember the ABBAYE AUX DAMES at
Caen.

I gained the top of the central tower, which is not of equal altitude with
those of the western extremity, and from thence surveyed the town, as well
as the drizzling rain would permit. I saw enough however to convince me
that the site of this abbey is fine and commanding. Indeed it stands nearly
upon the highest ground in the town. Ducarel had not the glorious ambition
to mount to the top of the tower; nor did he even possess that most
commendable of all species of architectural curiosity, a wish to visit the
CRYPT. Thus, in either extremity--I evinced a more laudable spirit of
enterprise than did my old-fashioned predecessor. Accordingly, from the
summit, you must accompany me to the lowest depth of the building. I
descended by the same (somewhat intricate) route, and I took especial care
to avoid all "temporary wooden stair-cases." The crypt, beneath the choir,
is perhaps of yet greater interest and beauty than the choir itself. Within
an old, very old, stone coffin--at the further circular end--are the
pulverized remains of one of the earliest Abbesses.[119] I gazed around
with mixed sensations of veneration and awe, and threw myself back into
centuries past, fancying that the shrouded figure of MATILDA herself glided
by, with a look as if to approve of my antiquarian enthusiasm! Having
gratified my curiosity by a careful survey of this subterraneous abode, I
revisited the regions of day-light, and made towards the large building,
now a manufactory, which in Ducarel's time had been a nunnery. The
revolution has swept away every human being in the character of a nun; but
the director of the manufactory shewed me, with great civility, some relics
of old crosses, rings, veils, lachrymatories, &c. which had been taken from
the crypt I had recently visited. These relics savoured of considerable
antiquity. Tom Hearne would have set about proving that they _must_ have
belonged to Matilda herself; but I will have neither the presumption nor
the merit of attempting this proof. They seemed indeed to have undergone
half a dozen decompositions. Upon the whole, if our Antiquarian Society,
after having exhausted the cathedrals of their own country, should ever
think of perpetuating the principal ecclesiastical edifices of Normandy, by
means of the _Art of Engraving_, let them begin their labours with the
ABBAYE AUX DAMES at Caen.

The foregoing, my dear friend, are the principal ecclesiastical buildings
in this place. There are other public edifices, but comparatively of a
modern date. And yet I should be guilty of a gross omission were I to
neglect giving you an account, however superficial, of the remains of an
apparently CASTELLATED BUILDING, a little beyond the Abbaye aux Dames--or
rather to the right, upon elevated ground, as you enter the town by the way
we came. As far as I can discover, this appears to have escaped
Ducarel.[120] It is doubtless a very curious relic. Running along the upper
part of the walls, there is a series of basso-relievo heads,
medallion-wise, cut in stone, evidently intended for portraits. They are
assuredly not older than the reign of Francis I. and may be even as late as
that of Henry II. Among these rude medallions, is a female head, with a
ferocious-looking man on each side of it, either saluting the woman, or
whispering in her ear. But the most striking objects are the stone figures
of two men, upon a circular tower, of which one is in the act of shooting
an arrow, and the other as if holding a drawn sword. I got admittance
within the building; and ascending the tower, found that these were only
the _trunks_ of figures,--and removable at pleasure. I could only stroke
their beards and shake their bodies a little, which was of course done with
impunity. Whether the present be the _original_ place of their destination
may be very doubtful. The Abbé de la Rue, with whom I discoursed upon the
subject yesterday morning, is of opinion that these figures are of the time
of Louis XI.: which makes them a little more ancient than the other
ornaments of the building. As to the interior, I could gather nothing with
certainty of the original character of the place from the present remains.
The earth is piled up, here and there, in artificial mounds covered with
grass: and an orchard, and rich pasture land (where I saw several women
milking cows) form the whole of the interior scenery. However the
_Caennois_ are rather proud of this building.

Leaving you to your own conclusions respecting the date of its erection,
and "putting the colophon" to this disquisition respecting the principal
public buildings at Caen, it is high time to assure you how faithfully I am
always yours.


[96] ["Besides her numerous public schools, Caen possesses two Schools of
    Art--one for design, the other for Architecture and Ornament--where
    the Students are _gratuitously_ instructed." LICQUET.]

[97] It is called _Vin Huet_--and is the last wine which a traveller
    will be disposed to ask for. When Henry IV. passed through the town,
    he could not conceive why such excellent grapes should produce such
    execrable wine. I owe this intelligence to Mons. LICQUET.

[98] Somewhere about 150 English acres.

[99] [I had before said _twenty_--but Mons. Licquet observes, I might
    have said--thirty thousand pairs of hands.]

[100] Caen was celebrated for its table linen three centuries ago. Consult
    BOURGUEVILLE: _Antiquitez de Caen_; 1588, 8vo. p. 26.

[101] The fauxbourgs of Caen, in the present day, wear a melancholy
    contrast to what they appear to have done in the middle of the XVIth
    century. Consult the pleasantly penned description of these fauxbourgs
    by the first topographer of the place, BOURGUEVILLE: in his
    _Antiquitez de Caen_, pp. 5, 6, 26.

    It may be worth subjoining, from the same interesting authority, that
    long after the time even of the publication just referred to, the town
    of Caen was surrounded by lofty and thick stone walls--upon the tops
    of which three men could walk a-breast: and from thence the
    inhabitants could discern, across those large and beautiful gardens,
    "the vessels sailing in the river Orne, and unloading their cargoes by
    the sides of walls." It appears indeed to have been a sort of lounge,
    or fashionable promenade--by means of various ladders for the purposes
    of ascent and descent.

    Among the old prints and bird's-eye views of Caen, which I saw in the
    collection of DE BOZE at the Royal Library at Paris, there is one
    accompanied by three pages of printed description, which begins with
    the lines of Guillaume Breton "Villa potens, opulenta, situ spatiosa
    decora." See First Edition, vol. i. p. 274. Evelyn, in 1644, thus
    describes the town of Caen. "The whole town is handsomely built of
    that excellent stone so well knowne by that name in England. I was
    lead to a pretty garden, planted with hedges of Alaternus, having at
    the entrance, at an exceeding height, accurately cut in topiary worke,
    with well understood architecture, consisting of pillars, niches,
    freezes, and other ornaments, with greate curiosity, &c. _Life and
    Writings of J. Evelyn_, 1818, 4to. vol. i. p. 52.

[102] See the OPPOSITE PLATE.

[103] It was a similar dépôt in Ducarel's time.

[104] The story was in fact told us the very first night of our arrival, by
    M. Lagouelle, the master of the hotel royale. He went through it with
    a method, emphasis, and energy, rendered the more striking from the
    obesity of his figure and the vulgarity of his countenance. But he
    frankly allowed that "Monsieur l'Anglois se conduisait bien."

[105] [The affair is now scarcely remembered; and the successful champion
    died a natural death within about three years afterwards. Mons.
    Licquet slenderly doubts portions of this tragical tale: but I have
    good reason to believe that it is not an exaggerated one. As to what
    occurred _after_ the death of one of the combatants, I am
    unwilling to revive unpleasant sensations by its recapitulation.]

[106] Bourgueville seems bitterly to lament the substitution of wells for
    fountains. He proposes a plan, quite feasible in his own estimation,
    whereby this desirable object might be effected: and then retorts upon
    his townsmen by reminding them of the commodious fountains at
    _Lisieux, Falaise and Vire_--of which the inhabitants "n'ont rien
    espargné pour auoir ceste decoration et commodité en leurs
    villes."--spiritedly adding--"si j'estois encore en auctorité, j'y
    ferois mon pouuoir, et ie y offre de mes biens." p. 17.

[107] [I am most prompt to plead guilty to a species of _Hippopotamos_
    error, in having here translated the word _Allemagne_ into
    GERMANY! Now, although this translation, per se, be correct, yet, as
    applicable to the text, it is most incorrect--as the _Allemagne_
    in question happens to be a _Parish in the neighbourhood of
    Caen_! My translator, in turn, treats me somewhat tenderly when he
    designates this as "une méprise fort singulière." vol. ii. p. 25.]

[108] The plate of Ducarel, here alluded to, forms the fourth plate in his
    work; affording, from the starch manner in which it is engraved, an
    idea of one of the most disproportioned, ugly buildings imaginable.
    Mr. Cotman has favoured us with a good bold etching of the West Front,
    and of the elevation of compartments of the Nave; The former is at
    once faithful and magnificent; but the lower part wants characteristic
    markings.

[109] It should be noticed that, "besides the immense benefactions which
    William in his life time conferred upon this abbey, he, on his death,
    presented thereto the _crown_ which he used to wear at all high
    festivals, together with his _sceptre and rod_: a cup set with
    precious stones; his candlesticks of gold, and all his regalia: as
    also the ivory bugle-horn which usually hung at his back."
    _Anglo-Norman Antiquities_, p. 51. note. The story of the breaking
    open of the coffin by the Calvinists, and finding the Conqueror's
    remains, is told by Bourgueville--who was an _eye witness_ of these
    depredations, and who tried to "soften the obdurate hearts" of the
    pillagers, but in vain. This contemporaneous historian observes that,
    in his time "the abbey was filled with beautiful and curious
    stained-glass windows and harmonious organs, which were all broken and
    destroyed--and that the seats, chairs, &c. and all other wooden
    materials were consumed by fire," p.171. Huet observes that a "Dom
    Jean de Baillehache and Dom Matthieu de la Dangie," religious of St.
    Stephen's, took care of the monument of the Conqueror in the year
    1642, and replaced it in the state in which it appeared in Huet's
    time." _Origines de Caen_; p.248. The revolution was still more
    terrible than the Calvinistic fury;--for no traces of the monument are
    now to be seen.

[110] The west window is almost totally obscured by a most gigantic organ
    built close to it, and allowed to be the finest in all France. This
    organ is so big, as to require eleven large bellows, &c. _Ducarel_,
    p.57. He then goes on to observe, that "amongst the plate preserved in
    the treasury of this church, is a curious SILVER SALVER, about ten
    inches in diameter, gilt, and inlaid with antique medals. Tradition
    assures us, that it was on this salver, that king William the
    conqueror placed the foundation charter of the abbey when he presented
    it, at the high altar, on the dedication of the church. The edges of
    this salver, which stands on a foot stalk of the same metal, are a
    little turned up, and carved. In the centre is inlaid a Greek medal;
    on the obverse whereof is this legend, [Greek: Ausander Aukonos] but
    it being fixed in its socket, the reverse is not visible. The other
    medals, forty in number, are set round the rim, in holes punched quite
    through; so that the edges of the holes serve as frames for the
    medals. These medals are Roman, and in the highest preservation."

[111] Yet Bourgueville's description of the group, as it appeared in his
    time, trips up the heels of his own conjecture. He says that there
    were, besides the two figures above mentioned, "vn autre homme et
    femme à genoux, comme s'ils demandoient raison de la mort de leur
    enfant, qui est vne antiquité de grand remarque dont je ne puis donner
    autre certitude de l'histoire." _Antiquitez de Caen_; p.39. Now,
    it is this additional portion of the group (at present no longer in
    existence) which should seem to confirm the conjecture of my friend
    Mr. Douce--that it is a representation of the received story, in the
    middle ages, of the Emperor Trajan being met by a widow who demanded
    justice against the murderer of her son. The Emperor, who had just
    mounted his horse to set out upon some hostile expedition, replied,
    that "he would listen to her on his return." The woman said, "What, if
    you never return?" "My successor will satisfy you"--he replied--"But
    how will that benefit you,"--resumed the widow. The Emperor then
    descended from his horse, and enquiring into the woman's case, caused
    justice to be done to her. Some of the stories say that the murderer
    was the Emperor's own son.

[112] [Since the publication of the first edition of this work, the figure
    in question has appeared from the pencil and burin of Mr. Cotman; of
    which the only fault, as it strikes me, is, that the surface is too
    rough--or the effect too sketchy.]

[113] Bourgueville has minutely described it in his _Antiquities_; and
    his description is copied in the preceding edition of this work.

[114] Bourgueville is extremely particular and even eloquent in his account
    of the tower, &c. He says that he had "seen towers at Paris, Rouen,
    Toulouse, Avignon, Narbonne, Montpelier, Lyons, Amiens, Chartres,
    Angiers, Bayeux, Constances, (qu. Coutances?) and those of St. Stephen
    at Caen, and others, in divers parts of France, which are built in a
    pyramidal form--but THIS TOWER OT ST. PETER exceeded all the others,
    as well in its height, as in its curious form of construction."
    _Antiq. de Caen_; p.36. He regrets, however, that the _name of
    the architect_ has not descended to us. [It is right to correct an
    error, in the preceding edition, which has been committed on the
    authority of Ducarel. That Antiquary supposed the tower and spire to
    have been built by the generosity of one NICHOLAS, an ENGLISHMAN."
    Mons. Licquet has, I think, reclaimed the true author of such
    munificence, as his _own_ countryman.--NICOLAS LANGLOIS:--whose
    name thus occurs in his epitaph, preserved by Bourgueville.

      _Le Vendredi, devant tout droict_
      _La Saint Cler que le temps n'est froit,_
      _Trespassa_ NICOLLE L'ANGLOIS,
      _L'an Mil Trois Cens et Dix Sept._]
        &c. &c.

    Reverting, to old BOURGUEVILLE, I cannot take leave of him without
    expressing my hearty thanks for the amusement and information which
    his unostentatious octavo volume--entitled _Les Recherches et
    Antiquitez de la Ville et Université de Caen, &c_. (à Caen, 1588,
    8vo.) has afforded me.

    The author, who tells us he was born in 1504, lived through the most
    critical and not unperilous period of the times in which he wrote. His
    plan is perfectly artless, and his style as completely simple. Nor
    does his fidelity appear impeachable. Such ancient volumes of
    topography are invaluable--as preserving the memory of things and of
    objects, which, but for such record, had perished without the hope or
    chance of recovery.

[115] [Ten years have elapsed since this sentence was written, and the
    experience gained in those years only confirms the truth (according to
    the conception of the author) of the above assertion. Such a tower and
    spire, if found in England, must be looked for in Salisbury Cathedral;
    but though this latter be much loftier, it is stiff, cold, and formal,
    comparatively with that of which the text makes mention.]

[116] [For six months in the year--that is to say, from Lady Day till
    Michaelmas Day--this great Bell tolls, at a quarter before ten, as a
    curfew.]

[117] A plate of it may be found in the publication of Mr. Dawson Turner,
    and of Mr. Cotman.

[118] Of this building Mr. Cotman has published the West front, east end,
    exterior and interior; great arches under the tower; crypt; east side
    of south transept; elevation of the North side of the choir: elevation
    of the window; South side exterior; view down the nave, N.W.
    direction.

[119] Bourgueville describes the havoc which took place within this abbey
    at the memorable visit of the Calvinists in 1562. From plundering the
    church of St. Stephen (as before described p. 172,) they proceeded to
    commit similar ravages here:--"sans auoir respect ni reuerence à la
    Dame Abbesse, ni à la religion et douceur feminine des Dames
    Religieuses."--"plusieurs des officiers de la maison s'y trouucrent,
    vsans de gracieuses persuasions, pour penser flechir le coeur de ces
    plus que brutaux;" p. 174.

[120] Unless it be what he calls "the FORT OF THE HOLY TRINITY of Caen; in
    which was constantly kept a garrison, commanded by a captain, whose
    annual pay was 100 single crowns. This was demolished by Charles, king
    of Navarre, in the year 1360, during the war which he carried on
    against Charles the Dauphin, afterwards Charles V., &c."
    _Anglo-Norman Antiquities_, p. 67. This castle, or the building once
    flanked by the walls above described, was twice taken by the English;
    once in 1346, when they made an immense booty, and loaded their ships
    with the gold and silver vessels found therein; and the second time in
    1417, when they established themselves as masters of the place for 33
    years. _Annuaire du Calvados_; 1803-4; p. 63.



LETTER XIII.

LITERARY SOCIETY. ABBÉ DE LA RUE. MESSRS. PIERRE-AIMÉ LAIR AND LAMOUROUX.
MEDAL OF MALHERBE. BOOKSELLERS. MEMOIR OF THE LATE M. MOYSANT, PUBLIC
LIBRARIAN. COURTS OF JUSTICE.


From the dead let me conduct you to the living. In other words, prepare to
receive some account of _Society_,--and of things appertaining to the
formation of the intellectual character. Caen can boast of a public
Literary Society, and of the publication of its memoirs.[121] But these
"memoirs" consist at present of only six volumes, and are in our own
country extremely rare.

[Illustration: ABBÉ DE LA RUE AEtat. LXXIV.]

Among the men whose moral character and literary reputation throw a sort of
lustre upon Caen, there is no one perhaps that stands upon _quite_ so lofty
an eminence as the ABBÉ DE LA RUE; at this time occupied in publishing a
_History of Caen_.[122] As an archaeologist, he has no superior among his
countrymen; while his essays upon the _Bayeux Tapestry_ and the
_Anglo-Norman Poets_, published in our _Archæologia_, prove that there are
few, even among ourselves, who could have treated those interesting
subjects with more dexterity or better success. The Abbé is, in short, the
great archaeological oracle of Normandy. He was pleased to pay me a Visit
at Lagouelle's. He is fast advancing towards his seventieth year. His
figure is rather stout, and above the mean height: his complexion is
healthful, his eye brilliant, and a plentiful quantity of waving white hair
adds much to the expression of his countenance.[123] He enquired kindly
after our mutual friend Mr. Douce; of whose talents and character he spoke
in a manner which did equal honour to both. But he was inexorable, as
to--_not_ dining with me; observing that his Order was forbidden to dine in
taverns. He gave me a list of places which I ought to visit in my further
progress through Normandy, and took leave of me more abruptly than I could
have wished. He rarely visits Caen, although a great portion of his library
is kept there: his abode being chiefly in the country, at the residence of
a nobleman to whose son he was tutor. It is delightful to see a man, of his
venerable aspect and widely extended reputation, enjoying, in the evening
of life, (after braving such a tempest, in the noon-day of it, as that of
the Revolution) the calm, unimpaired possession of his faculties, and the
respect of the virtuous and the wise.

The study of _Natural History_ obtains pretty generally at Caen; indeed
they have an Academy in which this branch of learning is expressly
taught--and of which MONSIEUR LAMOUROUX[124] is at once the chief ornament
and instructor. This gentleman (to whom our friend Mr. Dawson Turner
furnished me with a letter of introduction) has the most unaffected
manners, and a countenance particularly open and winning. He is "a very
dragon" in his pursuit. On my second call, I found him busied in unpacking
some baskets of seaweed, yet reeking with the briny moisture; and which he
handled and separated and classed with equal eagerness and facility. The
library of M. Lamouroux is quite a workman-like library: filled with
sensible, solid, and instructive books--and if he had only accepted a
repeated and strongly-pressed invitation to dine with me at Lagouelle's, to
meet his learned brother PIERRE-AIMÉ LAIR, nothing would have been wanting
to the completion of his character!

You have just heard the name of Pierre-Aimé Lair. Prepare to receive a
sketch of the character to which that name appertains. This gentleman is
not only the life and soul of the society--but of the very town--in which
he moves. I walked with him, arm in arm, more than once, through very many
streets, passages, and courts, which were distinguished for any relic of
architectural antiquity. He was recognised and saluted by nearly one person
out of three, in our progress. "Je vous salue"--"vous voilà avec Monsieur
l'Anglois"--"bon jour,"--"comment ca va-t-il:"--The activity of Pierre-Aimé
Lair is only equalled by his goodness of heart and friendliness of
disposition. He is all kindness. Call when you will, and ask for what you
please, the object solicited is sure to be granted. He never seems to rise
(and he is a very early riser) with spleen, ill-humour, or untoward
propensities. With him, the sun seems always to shine, and the lark to tune
her carol. And this cheerfulness of feeling is carried by him into every
abode however gloomy, and every society however dull.

But more substantial praise belongs to this amiable man. Not only is
Pierre-Aimé Lair a lover and collector of tangible antiquities--such as
glazed tiles, broken busts, old pictures, and fractured capitals--all seen
in "long array", up the windings of his staircase--but he is a critic, and
a patron of the _literary_ antiquities of his country. Caen (as I told you
in my last despatch) is the birth-place of MALHERBE; and, in the character
now under discussion, it has found a perpetuator of the name and merits of
the father of French verse. In the year 1806 our worthy antiquary put forth
a project for a general subscription "for a medal in honour of
_Malherbe_,"[125] which project was in due time rewarded by the names of
_fifteen hundred_ efficient subscribers, at five francs a piece. The
proposal was doubtless flattering to the literary pride of the French; and
luckily the execution of it surpassed the expectations of the subscribers.
The head is undoubtedly of the most perfect execution. Not only, however,
did this head of Malherbe succeed--but a feeling was expressed that it
might be followed up by a _Series of Heads_ of the most illustrious, of
both sexes, in literature and the fine arts. The very hint was enough for
Lair: though I am not sure whether he be not the father of the _latter_
design also. Accordingly, there has appeared, periodically, a set of heads
of this description, in bronze or other metal, as the purchaser
pleases--which has reflected infinite credit not only on the name of the
projector of this scheme, but on the present state of the fine arts in
France.

Yet another word about Pierre-Aimé Lair. He is not so inexorable as M.
Lamouroux: for he _has_ dined with me, and quaffed the burgundy and
champagne of Lagouelle, commander in chief of this house. Better wines
cannot be quaffed; and Malherbe and the Duke of Wellington formed the
alternate subjects of discourse and praise. In return, I have dined with
our guest. He had prepared an abundant dinner, and a very select society:
but although there was no wand, as in the case of Sancho Panza, to charm
away the dishes, &c. or to interdict the tasting of them, yet it was
scarcely possible to partake of one in four... so unmercifully were they
steeped and buried in _butter!_ The principal topic of discourse, were the
merits of the poets of the respective countries of France and England, from
which I have reason to think that Pope, Thomson, and Young, are among the
greatest favourites with the French. The white brandy of Pierre-Aimé Lair,
introduced after dinner, is hardly to be described for its strength and
pungency. "Vous n'avez rien comme ca chez vous?" "Je le crois bien, (I
replied) c'est la liquéfaction même du feu." We broke up before eight; each
retiring to his respective avocations--but did not dine till five. I
borrowed, however, "an hour or twain" of the evening, after the departure
of the company, to enjoy the more particular conversation of our host; and
the more I saw and conversed with him; the greater was my gratification. At
parting, he loaded me with a pile of pamphlets, of all sizes, of his own
publication; and I ventured to predict to him that he would terminate his
multifarious labours by settling into consolidated BIBLIOMANIACISM. "On
peut faire pire!"--was his reply--on shaking hands with me, and telling me
he should certainly meet me again at _Bayeux_, in my progress through
Normandy.[126] My acquaintance with this amiable man seemed to be my
security from insults in the streets.

Education here commences early, and with incitements as alluring as at
Rouen. POISSON in the _Rue Froide_ is the principal, and indeed a very
excellent, printer; but BONNESERRE, in the same street, has put forth a
vastly pretty manual of infantine devotion, in a brochure of eight pages,
of which I send you the first, and which you may compare with the specimen
transmitted in a former letter.[127]

[Illustration]

Chapolin, in the _Rue-Froide-Rue,_ has recently published a most curious
little manual, in the cursive secretary gothic, entitled "_La Civilité
honnête pour les enfans qui commence par la maniere d'apprendre et bien
lire, prononcer et écrire_." I call it "curious," because the very first
initial letter of the text, representing C, introduces us to the
_bizarrerie_ of the early part of the XVIth century in treatises of a
similar character. Take this first letter, with a specimen also of those to
which it appertains.

[Illustration]

This work is full of the old fashioned (and not a bit the worse on that
account) precepts of the same period; such as we see in the various
versions of the "De Moribus Juvenum," of which the "_Contenance de la
Table,"_ in the French language, is probably the most popular. It is
executed throughout in the same small and smudged gothic character; and, as
I conceive; can have few purchasers. The printers of Caen must not be
dismissed without respectful mention of the typographical talents of LE
ROY; who ranks after Poisson. Let both these be considered as the Bulmer
and Bensley of the place.

But among these venders of infantine literature, or of cheap popular
pieces, there is no man who "drives such a trade" as PICARD-GUERIN,
_Imprimeur en taille-douce et Fabricant d'Images_," who lives in the _Rue
des Teinturiers,_ no.175. I paid him more than one visit; as, from, his
"fabrication," issue the thousands and tens of thousands of broadsides,
chap-books, &c. &c. which inundate Lower Normandy. You give from _one_ to
_three_ sous, according as the subject be simple or compound, upon wood or
upon copper:--Saints, martyrs, and scriptural subjects; or heroes,
chieftains, and monarchs, including the Duke of Wellington and Louis XVIII.
le Désiré--are among the taille-douces specified in the imprints. Madame
did me the honour of shewing me some of her choicest treasures, as her
husband was from home. Up stairs was a parcel of mirthful boys and girls,
with painting brushes in their hands, and saucers of various colours before
them. Upon enquiry, I found that they received four sous per dozen, for
colouring; but I will not take upon me to say that they were over or under
paid--of so _equivocal_ a character were their performances. Only I hoped
to be excused if I preferred the plain to the coloured. In a foreign
country, our notice is attracted towards things perhaps the most mean and
minute. With this feeling, I examined carefully what was put before me, and
made a selection sufficient to shew that it was the produce of French soil.
Among the serious subjects were _two_ to which I paid particular attention.
The one was a metrical cantique of the _Prodigal Son,_ with six wood cuts
above the text, exhibiting the leading points of the Gospel-narrative. I
will cut out and send you the _second_ of these six: in which you will
clearly perceive the military turn which seems to prevail throughout France
in things the most minute. The Prodigal is about to mount his horse and
leave his father's house, in the cloke and cock'd hat of a French officer.

[Illustration]

The _fourth_ of these cuts is droll enough. It is entitled, "_L'Enfant
Prodigue est chassé par ses maîtresses."_ The expulsion consists in the
women driving him out of doors with besoms and hair-brooms. It is very
probable, however, that all this character of absurdity attaches to some of
our own representations of the same subject; if, instead of examining (as
in Pope's time)

  ... the walls of Bedlam and Soho,

we take a survey of the graphic broadsides which dangle from strings upon
the wall at Hyde Park Corner.

Another subject of a serious character, which I am about to describe to
you, can rarely, in all probability, be the production of a London artist.
It is called "_Notre-Dame de la bonne Délivrande_," and is necessarily
confined to the religion of the country. You have here, first of all, a
reduced form of the original: probably about one-third--and it is the more
appropriate, as it will serve to give you a very correct notion of the
dressing out of the figures of the VIRGIN and CHILD which are meant to
grace the altars of the chapels of the Virgin in most of the churches in
Normandy. Is it possible that one spark of devotion can be kindled by the
contemplation of an object so grotesque and so absurd in the House of God?

[Illustration: SAINTE MARIE, MÈRE DE DIEU, priez pour nous]

To describe all the trumpery which is immediately around it, in the
original, would be a waste of time; but below are two good figures to the
right, and two wretched ones to the left. Beneath the whole, is the
following _accredited_ consoling piece of intelligence:

    L'AN 830, _des Barbares descendent dans les Gaules, massacrent les
    Fidèles, profanent et brûlent les Eglises. Raoul, Duc de Normandie, se
    joint à eux; l'image de la Ste. Vierge demeure ensevelie sous les
    ruines de l'ancienne chapelle jusqu'au règne de Henri I. l'an 1331.
    Beaudouin, Baron de Douvres, averti par son berger qu'un mouton de son
    troupeau fouillait toujours dans le même endroit, fit ouvrir la terre,
    et trouva ce trésor caché depuis tant d'années. Il fit porter
    processionnellement cette sainte image dans l'Eglise de Douvres: mais
    Dieu permit qu'elle fut transportée par un Ange dans l'endroit de la
    chapelle où elle est maintenant révérée. C'est dans cette chapelle
    que, par l'intercession de Marie, les pécheurs reçoivent leur
    conversion, les affligés leur consolation, les infirmes la santé, les
    captifs leur delivrance, que ceux qui sont en mer échappent aux
    tempêtes et au naufrage, et que des miracles s'opèrent journellement
    sur les pieux Fidèles_.

A word now for BIBLIOPOLISTS--including _Bouquinistes_, or venders of "old
and second-hand books." The very morning following my arrival in Caen, I
walked to the abbey of St. Stephen, before breakfast, and in the way
thither stopped at a book stall, to the right,--and purchased some black
letter folios: among which the French version of _Caesar's Commentaries,_
printed by Verard, in 1488, was the most desirable acquisition. It is
reserved for Lord Spencer's library;[128] at a price which, freight and
duty included, cannot reach the sum of twelve shillings of our money. Of
venders of second hand and old books, the elder and younger MANOURY take a
decisive lead. The former lives in the _Rue Froide_; the latter in the _Rue
Notre Dame._ The father boasts of having upwards of thirty thousand
volumes, but I much doubt whether his stock amount to one half of that
number. He unhesitatingly asked me two _louis d'or_ for a copy of the
_Vaudevires_ of OLIVIER BASSELIN, which is a modern, but privately printed,
volume; and of which I hope to give you some amusing particulars by and by.
He also told me that he had formerly sold a paper copy of _Fust's Bible of
1462,_ with many of the illuminated initials cut out, to the library of the
Arsenal, at Paris, for 100 louis d'or. I only know that, if I had been
librarian, he should not have had one half the money.

Now for Manoury the younger. Old and young are comparative terms: for be it
known that the son is "agé de soixante ans." Over his door you read an
ancient inscription, thus:

    "_Battu, percé, lié, Je veux changer de main_."

This implies either (like Aladdin's old lamps for new) that he wishes to
give new books in exchange for old ones, or that he can smarten up old ones
by binding, or otherwise, and give them a renovated appearance. But the
solution is immaterial: the inscription being as above. The interior of the
younger Manoury's book repository almost appalled me. His front shop, and a
corridor communicating with the back part of the house, are rank with
moisture; and his books are consequently rotting apace. Upon my making as
pitiable a statement as I was able of this melancholy state of things--and
pleading with all my energies against the inevitable destruction which
threatened the dear books--the obdurate bibliopolist displayed not one
scintillation of sympathy. He was absolutely indifferent to the whole
concern. In the back parlour, almost impervious to day-light, his daughter,
and a stout and handsome bourgeoise, with rather an unusually elevated
cauchoise, were regaling themselves with soup and herbs at dinner. I
hurried through, in my way to the upper regions, with apologies for the
intrusion; but was told that none were necessary--that I might go where,
and stay as long, as I pleased--and that any explanation would be given to
my interrogatories in the way of business. I expressed my obligations for
such civility; and gaining an upper room, by the help of a chair, made a
survey of its contents. What piles of interminable rubbish! I selected, as
the only rational or desirable volume--half rotted with moisture--_Belon's
Marine Fishes_, 1551, 4to; and placing six francs (the price demanded) upon
the table, hurried back, through this sable and dismal territory, with a
sort of precipitancy amounting to horrour. What struck me, as productive of
a very extraordinary effect--was the cheerfulness and _gaieté de coeur_ of
these females, in the midst of this region of darkness and desolation.
Manoury told me that the Revolution had deprived him of the opportunity of
having the finest bookselling stock in France! His own carelessness and
utter apathy are likely to prove yet more destructive enemies.

But let us touch a more "spirit-stirring" chord in the book theme. Let us
leave the _Bouquiniste_ for the PUBLIC LIBRARY: and I invite you most
earnestly to accompany me thither, and to hear matters of especial import.
This library occupies the upper part of a fine large stone building,
devoted to the public offices of government. The plan of the library is
exceedingly striking; in the shape of a cross. It measures one hundred and
thirty-four, by eighty, French feet; and is supposed, apparently with
justice, to contain 20,000 volumes. It is proportionably wide and lofty. M.
HÉBERT is the present chief librarian, having succeeded the late M.
Moysant, his uncle. Among the more eminent benefactors and Bibliomaniacs,
attached to this library, the name of FRANCOIS MARTIN is singularly
conspicuous. He was, from all accounts, and especially from the information
of M. Hébert, one of the most raving of book-madmen: but he displayed,
withal, a spirit of kindness and liberality towards his favourite
establishment at Caen, which could not be easily shaken or subdued. He was
also a man of letters, and evinced that most commendable of all literary
propensities--a love of the LITERATURE OF HIS COUNTRY. He amassed a very
large collection of books, which was cruelly pillaged during the
Revolution; but the public library became possessed of a great number of
them. In those volumes, formerly belonging to him, which are now seen, is
the following printed inscription: "_Franciscus Martin, Doctor Theologus
Parisiensis, comparavit. Oretur pro co_." He was head of the convent of
Cordeliers, and Prefect of the Province: but his mode of collecting was not
always that which a public magistrate would call _legitimate_. He sought
books every where; and when he could not _buy_ them, or obtain them by fair
means, he would _steal_ them, and carry them home in the sleeves of his
gown! He flourished about a century ago; and, with very few exceptions, all
the best conditioned books in the library belonged to this magisterial
book-robber. Among them I noted down with singular satisfaction the Aldine
edition of _Stephanus de Urbibus_, 1502, folio--in its old vellum binding:
seemly to the eye, and comfortable to the touch. Nor did his copy of the
_Repertorium Statutorum Ordinis Cartusiensis_, printed by _Amerbach, at
Basil_, in a glorious gothic character, 1510, folio, escape my especial
notice--also the same Bibliomaniac's beautiful copy of the _Mentz Herbal_,
of 1484, in 4to.

But the obliquities of Martin assume a less questionable aspect, when we
contemplate a noble work, which he not only projected, but left behind
ready for publication. It is thus entitled: _Athenæ Normannorum veteres ac
recentes, seu syllabus Auctorum qui oriundi è Normannia, &c._ It consists
of one volume, in MS., having the authority of government, to publish it,
prefixed. There is a short Latin preface, by Martin, followed by two pages
of Latin verses beginning thus:

    _In Auctorum Normannicorum Syllabum.
      Prolusio metrica.
    En Syllabus prodit palàm
    Contextus arte sedula
    Ex litteratæ Neustriæ
    Auctoribus celebribus._
      &c. &c.

Among the men, the memories of whom throw a lustre upon Caen,[129] was the
famous SAMUEL BOCHART; at once a botanist, a scholar, and a critic of
distinguished celebrity. He was a native of Rouen, and his books (many of
them replete with valuable ms. notes) are among the chief treasures of the
public library, here. Indeed there is a distinct catalogue of them, and the
funds left by their illustrious owner form the principal support of the
library establishment. Bochart's portrait, with those of many other
benefactors to the library, adorns the walls; suspended above the books:
affording a very agreeable coup-d'oeil. Indeed the principal division of
the library, the further end of which commands a pleasant prospect, is
worthy of an establishment belonging to the capital of an empire. The
kindness of M. Hébert, and of his assistant, rendered my frequent
sojournings therein yet more delectable. The portrait of his uncle, M.
MOYSANT, is among the ornaments of the chief room. Though Moysant was large
of stature, his lungs were feeble, and his constitution was delicate. At
the age of nineteen, he was appointed professor of grammar and rhetoric in
the college of Lisieux. He then went to Paris, and studied under Beau and
Batteux; when, applying himself more particularly to the profession of
physic, he returned to Caen, in his thirtieth year, and put on the cap of
Doctor of medicine; but he wanted either nerves or stamina for the
successful exercise of his profession. He had cured a patient, after
painful and laborious attention, of a very serious illness; but his patient
chose to take liberties too soon with his convalescent state. He was
imprudent: had a relapse; and was hurried to his grave. Moysant took it
seriously to heart, and gave up his business in precipitancy and disgust.
In fact, he was of too sanguine and irritable a temperament for the display
of that cool, cautious, and patient conduct, which it behoveth all young
physicians to adopt, ere they can possibly hope to attain the honours or
the wealth of the _Halfords_ and _Matons_ of the day! Our Moysant returned
to the study of his beloved belles-lettres. At that moment, luckily, the
Society of the Jesuits was suppressed; and he was called by the King, in
1763, to fill the chair of Rhetoric in one of the finest establishments of
that body at Caen. He afterwards successively became perpetual Secretary of
the Academy of Sciences, and Vice-President of the Society of Agriculture.
He was next dubbed by the University, Dean of the faculty of arts, and was
selected to pronounce the public oration upon the marriage of the
unfortunate Louis XVI. with Marie Antoinette. He was now a marked and
distinguished public character. The situation of PUBLIC LIBRARIAN was only
wanting to render his reputation complete, and _that_ he instantly obtained
upon the death of his predecessor. With these occupations, he united that
of instructing the English (who were always in the habit of visiting Caen,)
in the French language; and he obtained, in return, from some of his adult
pupils, a pretty good notion of the laws and liberties of Old England.

The Revolution now came on: when, like many of his respectable brethren, he
hailed it at first as the harbinger of national reformation and prosperity.
But he had soon reason to find that he had been deceived. However, in the
fervour of the moment, and upon the suppression of the monastic and other
public libraries, he received a very wide and unqualified commission to
search all the libraries in the department of _Calvados_, and to bring home
to Caen all the treasures he might discover. He set forth upon this mission
with truly public spirited ideas: resolving (says his nephew) to do for
Normandy what Dugdale and Dodsworth had done for England--and a _Monasticum
Neustriacum_ was the commendable object of his ambition. He promised much,
and perhaps did more than he promised. His curious collection (exclusively
of the cart-loads of books which were sent to Caen) was shewn to his
countrymen; but the guillotine was now the order of the day--when Moysant
"resolved to visit England, and submit to the English nobility the plan of
his work, as that nation always attached importance to the preservation of
the monuments, or literary materials, of the middle ages."--He knew
(continues the nephew) how proud the English were of their descent from the
Norman nobles, and it was only to put them in possession of the means of
preserving the unquestionable proofs of their origin. Moysant accordingly
came over with his wife, and they were both quickly declared emigrants;
their return was interdicted; and our bibliomaniac learnt, with
heart-rending regret, that they had resolved upon the sale of the national
property in France. He was therefore to live by his wits; having spiritedly
declined all offer of assistance from the English government. In this
dilemma he published a work entitled "_Bibliothèque des Ecrivains Français,
ou choix des meilleurs morceaux en prose et en vers, extraits de leurs
ouvrages_,"--a collection, which was formed with judgment, and which was
attended with complete success. The first edition was in four octavo
volumes, in 1800; the second, in six volumes 1803; a third edition, I
think, followed, with a pocket dictionary of the English and French
languages. It was during his stay amongst us that he was deservedly
admitted a member of the Society of Antiquaries; but he returned to France
in 1802, before the appearance of the second edition of his _Bibliothèque_;
when, hawk-like, soaring or sailing in suspense between the
book-atmospheres of Paris and Caen, he settled within the latter place--and
again perched himself (at the united call of his townsmen) upon the chair
destined for the PUBLIC LIBRARIAN! It was to give order, method, and
freedom of access, to the enormous mass of books, which the dissolution of
the monastic libraries had caused to be accumulated at Caen, that Moysant
and his colleagues now devoted themselves with an assiduity as heroic as it
was unintermitting. But the health of our generalissimo, which had been
impaired during his residence in England, began to give way beneath such a
pressure of fatigue and anxiety. Yet it pleased Providence to prolong his
life till towards the close of the year 1813: when he had the satisfaction
of viewing his folios, quartos, octavos, and duodecimos, arranged in
regular succession, and fair array; when his work was honestly done; and
when future visitors had only to stretch forth their hands and gather the
fruit which he had placed within their reach. His death (we are told)[130]
was gentle, and like unto sleep. Religion had consoled him in his latter
moments; and after having reposed upon its efficacy, he waited with perfect
composure for the breathing of his last sigh! Let the name of MOYSANT be
mentioned with the bibliomaniacal honours which, are doubtless its due!...

From Librarians, revert we to books: to the books in the PUBLIC LIBRARY of
Caen. The oldest printed volume contained in it, and which had been bound
with a MS, on the supposition of its being a manuscript also, is
Numeister's impression of _Aretinus de Bella adversus Gothós_, 1470, folio;
the first book from the press of the printer. I undeceived M. Hébert, who
had supposed it to be a MS. The lettering is covered with horn, and the
book is bound in boards; "all proper." The oldest _Latin Bible_ they
possess, is of the date of 1485; but there is preserved one volume of
Sweynheym and Pannartz's impression of _De Lyra's Commentary upon the
Bible_, of the date of 1471-2, which luckily contains the list of books
printed by those printers in their memorable supplicatory letter to Pope
Sixtus IV. The earliest Latin Classic appears to be the _Juvenal_ of 1474,
with the _Commentary of Calderinus_, printed at Rome; unless a dateless
impression of _Lucan_, in the earliest type of Gering, with the verses
placed at a considerable distance from each other, claim chronological
precedence. There is also a _Valerius Maximus_ of 1475, by Cæsaris and
Stol, but without their names. It is a large copy, soiled at the beginning.
Of the same date is Gering's impression of the _Legenda Sanctorum_; and
among the Fifteeners I almost coveted a very elegant specimen of _Jehan du
Pré's_ printing (with a device used by him never before seen by me,) of an
edition of _La Vie des Peres_, 1494, folio, in its original binding. I
collected, from the written catalogue, that they had only FORTY-FIVE works
printed in the FIFTEENTH CENTURY; and of these, none were of first-rate
quality.

Among the MSS., I was much struck with the beautiful penmanship of a work,
in three folio volumes, of the middle of the sixteenth century, entitled;
_Divertissemens touchant le faict de la guerre, extraits des livres de
Polybe, Frontin, Vegece, Cornazzan, Machiavel, et autres bons autheurs."_
It has no illuminations, but the scription is beautiful. A _Breviary of the
Church Service of Lisieux_, of the fifteenth century, has some pretty but
common illuminations. It is not however free from injury. Of more intrinsic
worth is a MS. entitled _Du Costentin_, (a district not far from Caen,)
with the following prefix in the hand-writing of Moysant. "Ces mémoires
sont de M. Toustaint de Billy, curé du Mesnil au-parc, qui avoit travaillé
toute sa vie à l'histoire du Cotentin. Ils sont rares et m'ont été accordes
par M. Jourdan, Notaire, auquel ils appartenoient. Le p. (Père) le Long et
Mons. Teriet de fontette ne les out pas connu. Moysantz." It is a small
folio, in a neat hand-writing. Another MS., or rather a compound of ms. and
printed leaves, of yet considerably more importance, in 3 folio volumes, is
entitled _Le Moreri des Normans, par Joseph Andrié Guiat de Rouen:_ on the
reverse of the title, we read, "_Supplément au Dictionnaire de Moreri pour
ce qui concerne la province de Normandie, et ses illustres_."  A short
preface follows; then an ode "aux Grands Hommes de Normandie." It is
executed in the manner of a dictionary, running in alphabetical order. The
first volume extends to the letter I, and is illustrated with scraps from
newspapers, and a few portraits. It is written pretty fully in double
columns. The portrait and biography of _Bouzard_ form an admirable specimen
of biographical literary memoirs. The second volume goes to Z. The third
volume is entitled "_Les trois Siècles palinodiques, ou Histoire Générale
des Palinods de Rouen, Dieppe, &c._--by the same hand, with an equal
quantity of matter. It is right that such labours should be noticed, for
the sake of all future BLISS-like editors of provincial literature. There
is another similar work, in 2 folio ms. volumes, relating to _Coutance_.

Before we again touch upon printed books, but of a later period, it may be
right to inform you that the treasures of this Library suffered materially
from the commotions of the Calvinists. Those hot-headed interpreters of
scripture destroyed every thing in the shape of ornament or elegance
attached to book-covers; and piles of volumes, however sacred, or
unexceptionable on the score of good morals, were consigned to the fury of
the flames. Of the remaining volumes which I saw, take the following very
rapid sketch. Of _Hours_, or _Church Services_, there is a prodigiously
fine copy of an edition printed by _Vostre_, in 4to., upon paper, without
date. It is in the original ornamented cover, or binding, with a forest of
rough edges to the leaves--and doubtless the finest copy of the kind I ever
saw. Compared with this, how inferior, in every respect is a cropt copy of
_Kerver's_ impression of a similar work, printed upon vellum! This latter
is indeed a very indifferent book; but the rough usage it has met with is
the sole cause of such inferiority. I was well pleased with a fair, sound
copy of the _Speculum Stultorum_, in 4to., bl. letter, in hexameter and
pentameter verses, without date. Nor did I examine without interest a rare
little volume entitled "_Les Origines de quelques Coutumes anciennes, et de
plusieurs façons de parler triviales. Avec un vieux Manuscrit en vers,
touchant l'Origine des Chevaliers Bannerets_; printed at Caen in 1672,
12mo.: a curious little work. They have a fine (royal) copy of _Walton's
Polyglot_, with an excellent impression of the head; and a large paper copy
of _Stephen's Greek Glossary_; in old vellum binding, with a great number
of ms. notes by Bochart. Also a fine large paper _Photius_ of 1654, folio.
But among their LARGE PAPERS, few volumes tower with greater magnificence
than do the three folios of _La Sainte Bible_, printed by the Elzevirs at
Amsterdam, in 1669. They are absolutely fine creatures; of the stateliest
dimensions and most attractive forms. They also pretend that their large
paper copy of the first edition of _Huet's Praeparatio Evangelica_, in
folio, is unique. Probably it is, as the author presented it to the Library
himself. The _Basil Eustathius_ of 1559, in 3 volumes folio, is as glorious
a copy as is Mr. Grenville's of the Roman edition of 1542.[131] It is in
its pristine membranaceous attire--the vellum lapping over the fore-edges,
in the manner of Mr. Heber's copy of the first Aldine Aristotle,--most
comfortable to behold! There is a fine large paper copy of _Montaigne's
Essays_, 1635, folio, containing two titles and a portrait of the author.
It is bound in red morocco, and considered by M. Hébert a most rare and
desirable book. Indeed I was told that one Collector in particular was
exceedingly anxious to obtain it. I saw a fine copy of the folio edition of
_Ronsard_, printed in 1584, which is considered rare. There is also a copy
of the well known _Liber Nanceidos_, from Bochart's library, with a few ms.
notes by Bochart himself. Here I saw, for the first time, a French metrical
version of the works of _Virgil, by Robert and Anthony Chevaliers d'Agneaux
freres, de Vire, en Normandie_; published at Paris in 1582, in elegant
italic type; considered rare. The same translators published a version of
Horace; but it is not here. You may remember that I made mention of a
certain work (in one of my late letters) called _Les Vaudevires d'Olivier
Basselin_. They preserve here a very choice copy of it, in 4to., large
paper; and of which size only ten copies are said to be in existence. The
entire title is "_Les Vaudevires Poesies du XVme. siècle, par Olivier
Basselin, avec un Discours sur sa Vie et des Notes pour l'explication de
quelques anciens Mots: Vire, 1811_." 8vo. There are copies upon pink paper,
of which this is one--and which was in fact presented to the Library by the
Editors. Prefixed to it, is an indifferent drawing, in india ink,
representing the old castle of Vire, now nearly demolished, with Basselin
seated at a table along with three of his boosing companions, chaunting his
verses "à pleine gorge." This Basselin appears in short to have been the
French DRUNKEN BARNABY of his day.

"What! (say you:) "not _one_ single specimen from the library of your
favourite DIANE DE POICTIERS? Can this be possible?"--No more of
interrogatory, I beseech you: but listen attentively and gratefully to the
intelligence which you are about to receive--and fancy not, if you have any
respect for my taste, that I have forgotten my favourite Diane de
Poictiers. On looking sharply about you, within this library, there will be
found a magnificent copy of the _Commentaries of Chrysostom upon the
Epistles of St. Paul_, printed by _Stephanus et Fratres a Sabio, at
Verona_, in 1529, in three folio volumes. It is by much and by far the
finest Greek work which I ever saw from the _Sabii_ Press.[132] No wonder
Colbert jumped with avidity to obtain such a copy of it: for, bating that
it is "un peu rogné," the condition and colour are quite enchanting. And
then for the binding!--which either Colbert, or his librarian Baluze, had
the good sense and good taste to leave _untouched_. The first and second
volumes are in reddish calf, with the royal arms in the centre, and the
half moon (in tarnished silver) beneath: the arabesque ornaments, or
surrounding border is in gilt. The edges are gilt, stamped; flush with the
fore edges of the binding. In the centre of the sides of the binding, is a
large H, with a fleur de lis at top: the top and bottom borders presenting
the usual D and H, united, of which you may take a peep in the
_Bibliographical Decameron._ The third volume is in dark blue leather, with
the same side ornaments; and the title of the work, as with the preceding
volumes, is lettered in Greek capitals. The H and crown, and monogram, as
before; but the edges of the leaves are, in this volume, stamped at bottom
and top with an H, surmounted by a crown. The sides of the binding are also
fuller and richer than in the preceding volumes. This magnificent copy was
given to the Library by P. Le Jeune. It is quite a treasure in its way.

Another specimen, if you please, from the library of our favourite Diana.
It is rather of a singular character: consisting of a French version of
that once extremely popular work (originally published in the Latin
language) called the _Cosmography of Sebastian Munster._ The edition is of
the date of 1556, in folio. This copy must have been as splendid as it is
yet curious. It contains two portraits of Henry the Second ("HENRICVS II.
GALLIARVM REX INVICTISS. PP.") and four of Holofernes ("OLOFARNE.") on each
side of the binding. In the centre of the sides we recognise the lunar
ornaments of Diane de Poictiers; but on the back, are five portraits of
her, in gilt, each within the bands--and, like all the other ornaments,
much rubbed. Two of these five heads are facing a different head of Henry.
There are also on the sides two pretty medallions of a winged figure
blowing a trumpet, and standing upon a chariot drawn by four horses: there
are also small fleur de lis scattered between the ornaments of the sides of
the binding. The date of the medallion seems to be 1553. The copy is
cruelly cropt, and the volume is sufficiently badly printed; which makes it
the more surprising that such pains should have been taken with its
bibliopegistic embellishments. Upon the whole, this copy, for the sake of
its ornaments, is vehemently desirable.

And now, my dear friend, you must make your bow with me to M. Hébert, and
bid farewell to the PUBLIC LIBRARY at Caen. Indeed I am fully disposed to
bid farewell to every thing else in the same town: not however without
being conscious that very much, both of what I have, and of what I have
not, seen, merits a detail well calculated to please the intellectual
appetites of travellers. What I have seen, has been indeed but summarily,
and even superficially, described; but I have done my best; and was fearful
of exciting ennui by a more parish-register-like description. For the
service performed in places of public worship, I can add nothing to my
Rouen details--except that there is here an agreeable PROTESTANT CHURCH, of
which M. MARTIN ROLLIN, is the Pastor. He has just published a "_Mémoire
Historique sur l'Etat Eclésiastique des Protestans François depuis François
Ler jusqu'à Louis XVIII_:" in a pamphlet of some fourscore pages. The task
was equally delicate and difficult of execution; but having read it, I am
free to confess that M. Rollin has done his work very neatly and very
cleverly. I went in company with Mrs. and Miss I---- to hear the author
preach; for he is a young man (about thirty) who draws his congregation as
much from his talents as a preacher, as from his moral worth as an
individual. It was on the occasion of several young ladies and gentlemen
taking the sacrament for the first time. The church is strictly, I believe,
according to the Geneva persuasion; but there was something so comfortable,
and to me so cheering, in the avowed doctrine of Protestantism, that I
accompanied my friends with alacrity to the spot. Many English were
present; for M. Rollin is deservedly a favourite with our countrymen. The
church, however, was scarcely half filled. The interior is the most
awkwardly adapted imaginable to the purposes either of reading or of
preaching: for it consists of two aisles at right angles with each other.
The desk and pulpit are fixed in the receding angle of their junction; so
that the voice flies forth to the right and left immediately as it escapes
the preacher. After a very long, and a very tediously sung psalm, M. Rollin
commenced his discourse. He is an extemporaneous preacher. His voice is
sweet and clear, rather than sonorous and impressive; and he is perhaps,
occasionally, too metaphorical in his composition. For the first time I
heard the words "_Oh Dieu!_" pronounced with great effect: but the sermon
was made up of better things than mere exclamations. M. Rollin was
frequently ingenious; logical, and convincing; and his address to the young
communicants, towards the close of his discourse, was impressive and
efficient. The young people were deeply touched by his powerful appeal, and
I believe each countenance was suffused with tears. He guarded them against
the dangers and temptations of that world upon which they were about to
enter, by setting before them the consolations of the religion which they
had professed, in a manner which indicated that he had really their
interests and happiness at heart.

A word only about COURTS OF JUSTICE. "A smack of the whip" will tingle in
my ears through life;[133] and I shall always attend "_Nisi Prius_"
exhibitions with more than ordinary curiosity. I strolled one morning to
the _Place de Justice_--which is well situated, in an airy and respectable
neighbourhood. I saw two or three barristers, en pleine costume, pretty
nearly in the English fashion; walking quickly to and fro with their
clients, in the open air before the hall; and could not help contrasting
the quick eye and unconcerned expression of countenance of the former, with
the simple look and yet earnest action of the latter. I entered the Hall,
and, to my astonishment, heard only a low muttering sound. Scarcely fifteen
people were present, I approached the bench; and what, think you, were the
intellectual objects upon which my eye alighted? Three Judges ... all fast
asleep! Five barristers, two of whom were nodding: one was literally
addressing _the bench_ ... and the remaining two were talking to their
clients in the most unconcerned manner imaginable. The entire effect, on my
mind, was ridiculous in the extreme. Far be it from me, however, to
designate the foregoing as a generally true picture of the administration
of Justice at Caen. I am induced to hope and believe that a place, so long
celebrated for the study of the law, yet continues occasionally to exhibit
proofs of that logic and eloquence for which it has been renowned of old. I
am willing to conclude that all the judges are not alike somniferous; and
that if the acuteness of our GIFFORDS, and the rhetoric of our DENMANS,
sometimes instruct and enliven the audience, there will be found Judges to
argue like GIBBS and to decide like SCOTT.[134] Farewell.


[121] _Mémoires de l'Academie des Belles Lettres de Caen. Chez Jacques
    Manoury, 1757, 4 vols. crown 8vo. Rapport générale sur les travaux de
    l'Academie des Sciences, Arts, et Belles Lettres de la ville de Caen,
    jusqu'au premier Janvier, 1811. Par P.F.T. Delariviere, Secrétaire. A
    Caen, chez Chalopin_. An. 1811-15. 2 vols. on different paper, with
    different types, and provokingly of a larger form than its precursor.

[122] [On consulting the Addenda of the preceding edition, it will be seen
    that this work appeared in the year 1820, under the title of _Essais
    Historiques sur la Ville de Caen et son Arondissement_, in 2 small
    octavo volumes. With the exception of two or three indifferent plates
    of relics of sculpture, and of titles with armorial bearings, this
    work is entirely divested of ornament. There are some useful
    historical details in it, taken from the examination of records and
    the public archives; but a HISTORY of CAEN is yet a desideratum.]

[123] [By the favour of our common friend Mr. Douce, I have obtained
    permission to enrich these pages with the PORTRAIT of this
    distinguished Archaeologist, from an original Drawing in the
    possession of the same friend. See the OPPOSITE PLATE.]

[124] He has recently (1816) published an octavo volume entitled
     "_Histoire des Polypiers, Coralligènes Flexibles, vulgairement
    nommés Zoophytes. Par J.V.F. Lamouroux_. From one of his Epistles,
    I subjoin a fac-simile of his autograph.

    [Illustration: Lamouroux]

[125] The medallic project here alluded to is one which does both the
    projector, and the arts of France, infinite honour; and I sincerely
    wish that some second SIMON may rise up among ourselves to emulate,
    and if possible to surpass, the performances of GATTEAUX and AUDRIEU.
    The former is the artist to whom we are indebted for the medal of
    Malherbe, and the latter for the series of the Bonaparte medals. [Has
    my friend Mr. Hawkins, of the Museum, abandoned all thoughts of his
    magnificent project connected with such a NATIONAL WORK?]

[126] See post--under the running title Bayeux.

[127] See page 172 ante.

[128] It is described in the 2d vol. of the ÆDES ALTHORPIANÆ; forming the
    Supplement to the BIBLIOTHECA SPENCERIANA: see page 94.

[129] Goube, in his _Histoire du Duché de Normandie_, 1815, 8vo. has
    devoted upwards of thirty pages to an enumeration of these worthies;
    vol. iii. p. 295. But in _Huet's Origines de la Ville de Caen;_
    p. 491-652, there will be found much more copious and satisfactory
    details.

[130] I am furnished with the above particulars from a _Notice
    Historique_ of Moysant.

[131] [A copy of this Roman Edition of 1542, of equal purity and amplitude,
    is in the library of the Rev. Mr Hawtrey of Eton College: obtained of
    Messrs. Payne and Foss.]

[132] When I was at Paris in the year 1819, I strove hard to obtain from
    Messrs. Debure the copy of this work, UPON VELLUM, which they had
    purchased at the sale of the Macarthy Library. But it was destined for
    the Royal Library, and is described in the _Cat. des Livres Imp. sur
    Vélin_, vol. i. p. 263.

[133] [Twenty-eight years have passed away since I kept my terms at
    Lincoln's Inn with a view of being called to THE BAR; and at this
    moment I have a perfect recollection of the countenances and manner of
    Messrs. Bearcroft, Erskine, and Mingay,--the pitted champions of the
    King's Bench--whom I was in the repeated habit of attending within
    that bustling and ever agitated arena. Their wit, their repartee--the
    broad humour of Mingay, and the lightning-like quickness of Erskine,
    with the more caustic and authoritative dicta of Bearcroft--delighted
    and instructed me by turns. In the year 1797 I published, in one large
    chart, an _Analysis of the first volume of Blackstone's
    Commentaries_--called THE RIGHTS OF PERSONS. It was dedicated to
    Mr. (afterwards Lord) Erskine; and published, as will be easily
    conceived, with more zeal than discretion. I got out of the scrape by
    selling the copper plate for 50 shillings, after having given 40
    guineas for the engraving of the Analysis. Some fifty copies of the
    work were sold, and 250 were struck off. Where the surplus have lain,
    and rotted, I cannot pretend to conjecture: but I know it to be a VERY
    RARE production!]

[134] [So in the preceding Edition. He who writes notes on his own
    performances after a lapse of ten years, will generally have something
    to add, and something to correct. Of the above names, the FIRST was
    afterwards attached to the _Master of the Rolls_, and to a
    _Peerage_: with the intervening honour of having been _Chief
    Justice of the Common Pleas_. My admiration of this rapid elevation
    in an honourable profession will not be called singular; for, after an
    acquaintance of twenty years with Lord Gifford, I can honestly say,
    that, while his reputation as a Lawyer, and his advancement in his
    profession, were only what his friends predicted, his character as a
    MAN continued the same:--kind hearted, unaffected, gentle, and
    generous. He died, 'ere he had attained his 48th year, in 1826.]



LETTER XIV.

BAYEUX. CATHEDRAL. ORDINATION OF PRIESTS AND DEACONS. CRYPT OF THE
CATHEDRAL.

_Bayeux, May 16_, 1818.


Two of the most gratifying days of my Tour have been spent at this place.
The Cathedral (one of the most ancient religious places of worship in
Normandy)[135] has been paced with a reverential step, and surveyed with a
careful eye. That which scarcely warmed the blood of Ducarel has made my
heart beat with an increased action; and although this town be even dreary,
as well as thinly peopled, there is that about it which, from associations
of ideas, can never fail to afford a lively interest to a British
antiquary.

The Diligence brought me here from Caen in about two hours and a half. The
country, during the whole route, is open, well cultivated, occasionally
gently undulating, but generally denuded of trees. Many pretty little
churches, with delicate spires, peeped out to the right and left during the
journey; but the first view of the CATHEDRAL of BAYEUX put all the others
out of my recollection. I was conveyed to the _Hôtel de Luxembourg_, the
best inn in the town, and for a wonder rather pleasantly situated. Mine
hostess is a smart, lively, and shrewd woman; perfectly mistress of the art
and craft of innkeeping, and seems to have never known sorrow or
disappointment. Knowing that Mr. Stothard, Jun. had, the preceding year,
been occupied in making a fac-simile of the "famous tapestry" for our
Society of Antiquaries, I enquired if mine hostess had been acquainted with
that gentleman: "Monsieur," "je le connois bien; c'est un brave homme: il
demeura tout près: aussi travailla-t-il comme quatre diables!" I will not
disguise that this eulogy of our amiable countryman[136] pleased me "right
well"--though I was pretty sure that such language was the current (and to
me somewhat _coarse_) coin of compliment upon all occasions: and instead of
"vin ordinaire" I ordered, rather in a gay and triumphant manner, "une
bouteille du vin de Beaune"--"Ah! ça," (replied the lively landlady,) "vous
le trouverez excellent, Monsieur, il n'y a pas du vin comme le vin de
Beaune." Bespeaking my dinner, I strolled towards the cathedral.

There is, in fact, no proper approach to this interesting edifice. The
western end is suffocated with houses. Here stands the post-office; and
with the most unsuspecting frankness, on the part of the owner, I had
permission to examine, with my own hands, within doors, every letter--under
the expectation that there were some for myself. Nor was I disappointed.
But you must come with me to the cathedral: and of course we must enter
together at the western front. There are five porticos: the central one
being rather large, and the two, on either side, comparatively small.
Formerly, these were covered with sculptured figures and ornaments; but the
Calvinists in the sixteenth, and the Revolutionists in the eighteenth
century, have contrived to render their present aspect mutilated and
repulsive in the extreme. On entering, I was struck with the two large
transverse Norman arches which bestride the area, or square, for the bases
of the two towers. It is the boldest and finest piece of masonry in the
whole building. The interior disappointed me. It is plain, solid, and
divested of ornament. A very large wooden crucifix is placed over the
screen of the choir, which has an effect--of its kind: but the monuments,
and mural ornaments, scarcely deserve mention. The richly ornamented
arches, on each side of the nave, springing from massive single pillars,
have rather an imposing effect: above them are Gothic ornaments of a later
period, but too thickly and injudiciously applied. Let me now suppose that
the dinner is over, and the "vin de Beaune" approved of--and that on a
second visit, immediately afterwards, there is both time and inclination
for a leisurely survey. On looking up, upon entering, within the side aisle
to the left, you observe, with infinite regret, a dark and filthy green
tint indicative of premature decay--arising from the lead (of that part of
the roof,) having been stript for the purpose of making bullets during the
Revolution. The extreme length of the interior is about 320 English feet,
by 76 high, and the same number of feet in width. The transepts are about
125 feet long, by 36 wide. The western towers, to the very top of the
spires, are about 250 English feet in height.

One of the most curious objects in the Cathedral, is the CRYPT; of which,
singularly enough, all knowledge had been long lost till the year 1412. The
circumstance of its discovery is told in the following inscription, cut in
the Gothic letter, upon a brass plate, and placed just above the southern
entrance:

  _En lan mil quatre cens et douze
  Tiers iour d'Auril que pluye arrouse
  Les biens de la terre, la journee
  Que la Pasques fut celebree
  Noble homme et Reverend Pere
  Jehan de Boissey, de'la Mere
  Eglise de Bayeux Pasteur
  Rendi l'ame a son Createur
  Et lors enfoissant la place
  Devant la grand Autel de grace
  Trova l'on la basse Chapelle
  Dont il n'avoit ete nouvelle
  Ou il est mis en sepulture
  Dieu ueuille avoir son ame en cure. Amen_.

It was my good fortune to visit this crypt at a very particular juncture.
The day after my arrival at Bayeux, there was a grand _Ordination_. Before
I had quitted my bed, I heard the mellow and measured notes of human
voices; and starting up, I saw an almost interminable procession of
priests, deacons, &c., walking singly behind each other, in two lines,
leaving a considerable space between them. They walked bareheaded,
chanting, with a book in their hands; and bent their course towards the
cathedral. I dressed quickly; and, dispatching my breakfast with equal
promptitude, pursued the same route. On entering the western doors, thrown
wide open, I shall never forget the effect produced by the crimson and blue
draperies of the Norman women:--a great number of whom were clustered, in
groups, upon the top of the screen, about the huge wooden
crucifix;--witnessing the office of ordination going on below, in the
choir. They seemed to be suspended in the air; and considering the piece of
sculpture around which they appeared to gather themselves--with the
elevation of the screen itself--it was a combination of objects upon which
the pencil might have been exercised with the happiest possible result. An
ordination in a foreign country, and especially one upon such an apparently
extensive scale, was, to a professional man, not to be slighted; and
accordingly I determined upon making the most of the spectacle before me.
Looking accidentally down my favourite crypt, I observed that some
religious ceremony was going on there. The northern grate, or entrance,
being open, I descended a flight of steps, and quickly became an inmate of
this subterraneous abode. The first object that struck me was, the warm
glow of day light which darted upon the broad pink cross of the surplice of
an officiating priest: a candle was burning upon the altar, on each side of
him: another priest, in a black vesture, officiated as an assistant; and
each, in turn, knelt, and bowed, and prayed ... to the admiration of some
few half dozen casual yet attentive visitors--while the full sonorous
chant, from the voices of upwards of one hundred and fifty priests and
deacons, from the choir above, gave a peculiar sort of solemnity to the
mysterious gloom below.

I now ascended; and by the help of a chair, took a peep at the ceremony
through the intercolumniations of the choir: my diffidence, or rather
apprehension of refusal, having withheld me from striving to gain
admittance within the body. But my situation was a singularly good one:
opposite the altar. I looked, and beheld this vast clerical congregation at
times kneeling, or standing, or sitting: partially, or wholly: while the
swell of their voices, accompanied by the full intonations of the organ,
and the yet more penetrating notes of the _serpent_, seemed to breathe more
than earthly solemnity around. The ceremony had now continued full two
hours; when, in the midst of the most impressive part of it, and while the
young candidates for ordination were prostrate before the high altar (the
diapason stop of the organ, as at Dieppe,[137] sending forth the softest
notes) the venerable Bishop placed the glittering mitre (apparently covered
with gold gauze) upon his head, and with a large gilt crosier in his right
hand, descended, with a measured and majestic step, from the floor of the
altar, and proceeded to the execution of the more mysterious part of his
office. The candidates, with closed eyes, and outstretched hands, were
touched with the holy oil--and thus became consecrated. On rising, each
received a small piece of bread between the thumb and forefinger, and the
middle and third fingers; their hands being pressed together--and, still
with closed eyes, they retired behind the high altar, where an officiating
priest made use of the bread to rub off the holy oil. The Bishop is an
elderly man, about three score and ten; he has the usual sallow tint of his
countrymen, but his eye, somewhat sunk or retired, beneath black and
overhanging eyebrows, is sharp and expressive. His whole mien has the
indication of a well-bred and well-educated gentleman. When he descended
with his full robes, crosier, and mitre, from the high altar, me-thought I
saw some of the venerable forms of our WYKEHAMS and WAYNEFLETES of
old--commanding the respect, and receiving the homage, of a grateful
congregation! At the very moment my mind was deeply occupied by the effects
produced from this magnificent spectacle, I strolled into _Our Lady's
Chapel_, behind the choir, and beheld a sight which converted seriousness
into surprise--bordering upon mirth. Above the altar of this remotely
situated chapel, stands the IMAGE OF THE VIRGIN with the infant Jesus in
her arms. This is the usual chief ornament of Our Lady's Chapel. But what
drapery for the mother of the sacred child!--stiff, starch,
rectangularly-folded, white muslin, stuck about with diverse artificial
flowers--like unto a shew figure in Brook Green Fair! This ridiculous and
most disgusting costume began more particularly at Caudebec. Why is it
persevered in? Why is it endured? The French have a quick sensibility, and
a lively apprehension of what is beautiful and brilliant in the arts of
sculpture and painting ... but the terms "joli," "gentil," and "propre,"
are made use of, like charity, to "cover a multitude of sins" ... or
aberrations from true taste. I scarcely stopped a minute in this chapel,
but proceeded to a side one, to the right, which yet affords proof of its
pristine splendour. It is covered with gold and colours. Two or three
supplicants were kneeling before the crucifix, and appeared to be so
absorbed in their devotions as to be insensible of every surrounding
object. To them, the particular saint (I have forgotten the name) to whom
the little chapel was dedicated, seemed to be dearer and more interesting
than the general voice of "praise and thanksgiving" with which the choir of
the cathedral resounded. Before we quit the place you must know that
fourscore candidates were ordained: that there are sixty clergy attached to
the cathedral;[138] and that upwards of four hundred thousand souls are
under the spiritual cognizance of the BISHOP OF BAYEUX. The treasures of
the Cathedral were once excessive,[139] and the episcopal stipend
proportionably large: but, of late years, things are sadly changed. The
Calvinists, in the sixteenth century, began the work of havoc and
destruction; and the Revolutionists in the eighteenth, as usual, put the
finish to these devastations. At present, from a very respectable source of
information, I learn that the revenues of the Bishop scarcely exceed
700_l_. per annum of our own money. I cannot take leave of the cathedral
without commending, in strong terms of admiration, the lofty flying
buttresses of the exterior of the nave. The perpendicular portions are
crowned with a sculptured whole length figure, from which the semi-arch
takes its spring; and are in much more elegant taste than any other part of
the building.

Hard by the cathedral stood formerly a magnificent EPISCOPAL PALACE. Upon
this palace the old writers dearly loved to expatiate. There is now however
nothing but a good large comfortable family mansion; sufficient for the
purposes of such hospitality and entertainment as the episcopal revenues
will afford. I have not only seen, but visited, this episcopal residence.
In other words, my friend Pierre-Aimé Lair having promised to take his last
adieu of me at Bayeux, as he had business with the Bishop, I met him
agreeably to appointment at the palace; but his host, with a strong corps
of visitors, having just sate down to dinner--it was only one o'clock--I
bade him adieu, with the hope of seeing the Bishop on the morrow--to whom
he had indeed mentioned my name. Our farewell was undoubtedly warm and
sincere. He had volunteered a thousand acts of kindness towards me without
any possible motive of self interest; and as he lifted up his right hand,
exclaiming "adieu, pour toujours!" I will not dissemble that I was sensibly
affected by the touching manner in which it was uttered ... and PIERRE AIMÉ
LAIR shall always claim from me the warmest wishes for his prosperity and
happiness.[140] I hurried back through the court-yard--at the risk of
losing a limb from the ferocious spring of a tremendous (chained)
mastiff--and without returning the salute of the porter, shut the gate
violently, and departed. For five minutes, pacing the south side of the
cathedral, I was lost in a variety of painful sensations. How was I to see
the LIBRARY?--where could I obtain a glimpse of the TAPESTRY?--and now,
that Pierre Aimé Lair was to be no more seen, (for he told me he should
quit the place on that same evening) who was to stand my friend, and smooth
my access to the more curious and coveted objects of antiquity?

Thus absorbed in a variety of contending reflections, a tall figure, clad
in a loose long great coat, in a very gracious manner approached and
addressed me. "Your name, Sir, is D----?" "At your service, Sir, that is my
name." "You were yesterday evening at Monsieur Pluquet's, purchasing
books?" "I was, Sir." "It seems you are very fond of old books, and
especially of those in the French and Latin languages?" "I am fond of old
books generally; but I now seek more particularly those in your
language--and have been delighted with an illuminated, and apparently
coeval, MS. of the poetry of your famous OLIVIER BASSELIN, which..." "You
saw it, Sir, at Monsieur Pluquet's. It belonged to a common friend of us
both. He thinks it worth..." "He asks _ten louis d'or_ for it, and he shall
have them with all my heart." "Sir, I know he will never part with it even
for that large sum." I smiled, as he pronounced the word "large." "Do me
the honour, Sir, of visiting my obscure dwelling, in the country--a short
league from hence. My abode is humble: in the midst of an orchard, which my
father planted: but I possess a few books, some of them curious, and should
like to _read_ double the number I _possess_." I thanked the stranger for
his polite attention and gracious offer, which I accepted readily.... "This
evening, Sir, if you please." "With all my heart, this very evening. But
tell me, Sir, how can I obtain a sight of the CHAPTER LIBRARY, and of the
famous TAPESTRY?" "Speak softly, (resumed the unknown) for I am watched in
this place. You shall see both--but must not say that Monsieur ---- was
your adviser or friend. For the present, farewell. I shall expect you in
the evening." We took leave; and I returned hastily to the inn, to tell my
adventures to my companion.

There is something so charmingly mysterious in this little anecdote, that I
would not for the world add a syllable of explanation. Leaving you,
therefore, in full possession of it, to turn and twist it as you please,
consider me as usual, Yours.


[135] [Mons. Licquet supposes the crypt and the arcades of the nave to be
    of the latter end of the eleventh century,--built by Odo, Bishop of
    Bayeux, and Brother of William the Conqueror; and that the other
    portions were of the twelfth, thirteenth, and fourteenth centuries. I
    have very great doubts indeed of any portion being of a date even so
    early as 1170.]

[136] [Another demonstration of the fickleness and changeableness of all
    mundane affairs. Mr. Stothard, after a successful execution of his
    great task, has ceased to be among us. His widow published his life,
    with an account of his labours, in a quarto volume in 1823. Mr.
    Stothard's _Monumental Effigies_, now on the eve of completion,
    is a work which will carry his name down to the latest posterity, as
    one of the most interesting, tasteful, and accurate of antiquarian
    productions. See a subsequent note.]

[137] See page 12, ante.

[138] ["That was true, when M. Dibdin wrote his account; now, the number
    must be reduced one half." LICQUET, vol. ii. p. 121.]

[139] Cette église ... étoit sans contredit une des plus riches de France
en
    vases d'or, d'argent, et de pierreries; en reliques et en ornemens. Le
    procès-verbal qui avoit été dressé de toutes ses richesses, en 1476,
    contient un détail qui va presque à l'infini." Bezières, _Hist.
    Sommaire_, p. 51.

[140] [But ONE letter has passed between us since this separation. That
    letter, however, only served to cement the friendliness of our
    feelings towards each other. M. Pierre Aimé Lair had heard of the
    manner in which his name had been introduced into these pages, and
    wished a copy of the work to be deposited in the public library at
    Caen. Whether it be so deposited, I have never learnt. In 1827, this
    amiable man visited England; and I saw him only during the time of an
    ordinary morning visit. His stay was necessarily short, and his
    residence was remote. I returned his visit--but he was away. There are
    few things in life more gratifying than the conviction of living in
    the grateful remembrance of the wise and the good; and THAT
    gratification it is doubtless my happiness to enjoy--as far as relates
    to Mons. PIERRE AIMÉ LAIR!]



LETTER XV.

VISIT NEAR ST. LOUP. M. PLUQUET, APOTHECARY AND BOOK-VENDER. VISIT TO THE
BISHOP. THE CHAPTER LIBRARY. DESCRIPTION OF THE BAYEUX TAPESTRY. TRADE AND
MANUFACTURE.


Well, my good friend! the stranger has been visited: his library inspected:
his services accepted: and his character partly unfolded. To this I must
add, in the joy of my heart, (as indeed I mentioned slightly in my last)
that both the Chapter LIBRARY and the famous TAPESTRY have been explored
and examined in a manner, I trust, worthy of British curiosity. I hardly
know what sort of order to adopt in this my second and last epistle from
Bayeux; which will be semi-bibliomaniacal and semi-archaeological: and sit
down, almost at random, to impart such intelligence as my journal and my
memory supply.

The last was almost a purely _ecclesiastical_ dispatch: as I generally
first take off my cap to the towers and turrets of a cathedral. Now then
for THE STRANGER! ... for it would be cruel to prolong the agony of
expectation. Mr. Lewis having occupied himself, almost exclusively, with
his pencil during the whole morning, I persuaded him to accompany me to
_St. Loup_. After dinner we set out upon our expedition. It had rained in
the interim, and every tree was charged with moisture as we passed them ...
their blossoms exhaling sweets of the most pungent fragrance. The road ran
in a straight line from the west front of the cathedral, which, on turning
round, as we saw it irradiated by partial glimpses of sunshine, between
masses of dark clouds, assumed a very imposing and venerable aspect. I
should tell you, however, that the obliging Monsieur ---- came himself to
the Hôtel de Luxembourg, to conduct us to his humble abode: for "humble" it
is in every sense of the word. About two-thirds of the way thither, we
passed the little church of _St. Loup_: a perfect Gothic toy of the XIIth
century--with the prettiest, best-proportioned tower that can be
imagined.[141] It has a few slight clustered columns at the four angles,
but its height and breadth are truly pigmy. The stone is of a whitish grey.
We did not enter; and with difficulty could trace our way to examine the
exterior through the high grass of the church yard, yet _laid_ with the
heavy rain. What a gem would the pencil of BLORE make of this tiny,
ancient, interesting edifice! At length we struck off, down a lane slippery
with moisture--when, opening a large swinging gate--"here (exclaimed our
guide)--lived and died my father, and here his son hopes to live and die
also. Gentlemen, yonder is my hermitage." It was a retirement of the most
secluded kind: absolutely surrounded by trees, shrubs, hay-stacks, and
corn-stacks--for Monsieur ---- hath a fancy for farming as well as for
reading. The stair-case, though constructed of good hard Norman stone, was
much worn in the middle from the frequent tread of half a century. It was
also fatiguingly steep, but luckily it was short. We followed our guide to
the left, where, passing through one boudoir-like apartment, strewn with
books and papers, and hung with a parcel of mean ornaments called
_pictures_, we entered a second--of which portions of the wainscoat were
taken away, to shew the books which were deposited behind. Row after row,
and pile upon pile, struck my wondering eye. Anon, a closet was opened--and
there again they were stowed, "thick and threefold." A few small busts, and
fractured vases, were meant to grace a table in the centre of the room. Of
the books, it is but justice to say that _rarity_ had been sacrificed to
_utility_. There were some excellent, choice, critical works; a good deal
of Latin; some Greek, and a sprinkle of Hebrew--for Monsieur ---- is both a
general and a sound scholar. On pointing to _Houbigant's Hebrew Bible_, in
four folio volumes, 1753, "do you think this copy dear at fourteen francs?"
said he!--"How, Sir," (replied I, in an exstacy of astonishment)--you mean
to say fourteen _louis_?" "Not at all, Sir. I purchased it at the price
just mentioned, nor do I think it too dear at that sum"--resumed he, in the
most unsuspecting manner. I then told him, as a sort of balsamic
consolation, that a late friend (I alluded to poor Mr. Ormerod) rejoiced on
giving £12. for a copy by no means superior. "Ah, le bon Dieu!...." was his
only observation thereupon.

When about to return to the boudoir, through which we had entered, I
observed with mingled surprise and pleasure, the four prettily executed
English prints, after the drawings of the present Lady Spencer, called
"_New Shoes"--"Nice Supper_" &c. Monsieur ---- was pleased at my stopping
to survey them. "Ce sont là, Monsieur (observed he), les dames qui me font
toujours compagnie:"--nor can you conceive the very soft and gentlemanly
manner, accompanied by a voice subdued even to sadness of tone, with which
he made this, and almost every observation. I found, indeed, from the whole
tenor of his discourse, that he had a mind in no ordinary a state of
cultivation: and on observing that a great portion of his library was
THEOLOGICAL, I asked him respecting the general subjects upon which he
thought and wrote. He caught hold of my left arm, and stooping (for he is
much taller than myself, ... which he easily may be, methinks I hear you
add...) "Sir, said he, I am by profession a clergyman ... although now I am
designated as an _ex-Curé_. I have lived through the Revolution... and may
have partaken of some of its irregularities, rather, I should hope than of
its atrocities. In the general hue-and-cry for reform, I thought that our
church was capable of very great improvement, and I think so still. The
part I took was influenced by conscientious motives, rather than by a blind
and vehement love of reform;... but it has never been forgiven or
forgotten. The established clergy of the place do not associate with me;
but I care not a farthing for that--since I have here (pointing to his
books) the very best society in the world. It was from the persuasion of
the clergy having a constantly-fixed eye upon me, that I told you I was
watched ... when walking near the precincts of the cathedral. I had been
seeking you during the whole of the office of ordination." In reply to my
question about his _archaeological_ researches, he said he was then
occupied in writing a disquisition upon the _Bayeux Tapestry_, in which he
should prove that the Abbé de la Rue was wrong in considering it as a
performance of the XIIth century. "He is your great antiquarian
oracle"--observed I. "He has an over-rated reputation"--replied he--"and
besides, he is too hypothetical." Monsieur ---- promised to send me a copy
of his dissertation, when printed; and then let our friend N---- be judge
"in the matter of the Bayeux Tapestry." From the open windows of this
hermitage, into which the branches absolutely thrust themselves, I essayed,
but in vain, to survey the surrounding country; and concluded a visit of
nearly two hours, in a manner the most gratifying imaginable to honest
feelings. A melancholy, mysterious air, seemed yet, however, to mark this
amiable stranger, which had not been quite cleared up by the account he had
given of himself. "Be assured (said he, at parting) that I will see you
again, and that every facility shall be afforded you in the examination of
the Bayeux Tapestry. I have an uncle who is an efficient member of the
corporation."

On my way homeward from this ramble, I called again upon M. Pluquet, an
apothecary by profession, but a book lover and a book vender[142] in his
heart. The scene was rather singular. Below, was his _Pharmacopeia_; above
were his bed-room and books; with a broken antique or two, in the
court-yard, and in the passage leading to it. My first visit had been
hasty, and only as a whetter to the second. Yet I contrived to see from a
visitor, who was present, the desirable MS. of the vulgar poetry of OLIVIER
BASSELIN, of which I made mention to M.----. The same stranger was again
present. We all quietly left the drugs below for drugs of a different
description above--books being called by the ancients, you know, the
"MEDICINE OF THE SOUL." We mounted into the bed-room. M. Pluquet now opened
his bibliomaniacal battery upon us. "Gentlemen you see, in this room, all
the treasures in the world I possess: my wife--my child--my books--my
antiquities. "Yes, gentlemen, these are my treasures. I am enthusiastic,
even to madness, in the respective pursuits into which the latter branch
out; but my means are slender--and my aversion to my _business_ is just
about in proportion to my fondness for _books_. Examine, gentlemen, and try
your fortunes."

I scarcely needed such a rhetorical incitement: but alas! the treasures of
M. Pluquet were not of a nature quite to make one's fortune. I contrived,
with great difficulty, to pick out something of a _recherché_ kind; and
expended a napoleon upon some scarce little grammatical tracts, chiefly
Greek, printed by Stephen at Paris, and by Hervagius at Basil: among the
latter was the _Bellum grammaticale_ of E. Hessus. M. Pluquet wondered at
my rejecting the folios, and sticking so closely to the duodecimos; but had
he shewn me a good _Verard Romance_ or a _Eustace Froissart_, he would have
found me as alert in running away with the one as the other. I think he is
really the most enthusiastic book-lover I have ever seen: certainly as a
Bibliopolist. We concluded a very animated conversation on all sides: and
upon the whole, this was one of the most variously and satisfactorily spent
days of my "voyage bibliographique."

On the morrow, the mysterious and amiable M. ---- was with me betimes. He
said he had brought a _basket of books_, from his hermitage, which he had
left at a friend's house, and he entreated me to come and examine them. In
the mean while, I had had not only a peep at the Tapestry, but an
introduction to the mayor, who is chief magistrate for life: a very Cæsar
in miniature. He received me stiffly, and appeared at first rather a
priggish sort of a gentleman; observing that "my countryman, Mr.
STOTHARD,[143] had been already there for six months, upon the same errand,
and what could I want further?" A short reply served to convince him "that
it would be no abuse of an extended indulgence if he would allow another
English artist to make a fac-simile of a different description, from a very
small portion only."[144]

I now called upon the Abbé Fétit, with a view to gain admission to the
_Chapter Library_, but he was from home--dining with the Bishop. In
consequence, I went to the palace, and wrote a note in pencil to the Bishop
at the porter's lodge, mentioning the name of M. Lair, and the object of my
visit. The porter observed that they had just sat down to dinner--but would
I call at three? It seemed an age to that hour; but at length three o'clock
came, and I was punctual to the minute. I was immediately admitted into the
premises, and even the large mastiff seemed to know that I was not an
unexpected visitor--for he neither growled, nor betrayed any symptoms of
uneasiness. In my way to the audience chamber I saw the crosier and robes
which the Bishop had worn the preceding day, at the ceremony of ordination,
lying picturesquely upon the table. The audience chamber was rather
elegant, adorned with Gobeleins tapestry, quite fresh, and tolerably
expressive: and while my eyes were fastened upon two figures enacting the
parts of an Arcadian shepherd and shepherdess, a servant came in and
announced the approach of MONSEIGNEUR l'EVEQUE. I rose in a trice to meet
him, between doubt and apprehension as to the result. The Bishop entered
with a sort of body-guard; being surrounded by six or seven canons who had
been dining with him, and who peeped at me over his shoulder in a very
significant manner. The flush of good cheer was visible in their
countenances--but for their Diocesan, I must say that he is even more
interesting on a familiar view. He wore a close purple dress, buttoned down
the middle from top to bottom. A cross hung upon his breast. His
countenance had lost nothing of its expression by the absence of the mitre,
and he was gracious even to loquacity. I am willing to hope that I was
equally prudent and brief in the specification of the object I had in view.
My request was as promptly as it was courteously granted. "You will excuse
my attending you in person; (said the Bishop) but I will instantly send for
the Abbé Fétit, who is our librarian; and who will have nothing to do but
to wait upon you, and facilitate your researches." He then dispatched a
messenger for the Abbé Fétit, who quickly arrived with two more trotting
after him--and enlivened by the jingling music of the library keys, which
were dangling from the Abbé's fingers, I quickened my steps towards the
Chapter Library.

We were no sooner fairly within the library, than I requested my chief
conductor to give me a brief outline of its history. "Willingly" he
replied. "This library, the remains of a magnificent collection, of from
30, to 40,000 volumes, was originally placed in the Chapter-house, hard by.
Look through the window to your left, and you will observe the ruins of
that building. We have here about 5000 volumes: but the original collection
consisted of the united libraries of defunct, and even of living,
clergymen--for, during the revolution, the clergy, residing both in town
and country, conveyed their libraries to the Chapter-house, as a protection
against private pillage. Well! in that same Chapter-house, the books, thus
collected, were piled one upon another, in layers, flat upon the
floor--reaching absolutely, to the cieling ... and for ten long years not a
creature ventured to introduce a key into the library door. The windows
also were rigidly kept shut. At length the Revolutionists wanted lead for
musket balls, and they unroofed the chapter-house with their usual
dexterity. Down came the rain upon the poor books, in consequence; and when
M. Moysant received the orders of government to examine this library, and
to take away as many books as he wanted for the public library at Caen...
he was absolutely horror-struck by the obstacles which presented
themselves. From the close confinement of every door and window, for ten
years, the rank and fetid odour which issued, was intolerable. For a full
fortnight every door and window was left open for ventilation, ere M.
Moysant could begin his work of selection. He selected about 5000 volumes
only; but the infuriated Revolutionists, on his departure, wantonly
plundered and destroyed a prodigious number of the remainder ... "et enfin
(concluded he) vous voyez, Monsieur, ce qu'ils nous out laissé." You will
give me credit for having listened to every word of such a tale.

The present library, which is on the first floor, is apparently about
twenty-five feet square. The Abbé made me observe the XIIIth. volume of the
_Gallia Christiana_,[145] in boards, remarking that "it was of excessive
rarity;" but I doubt this. On shewing me the famous volume of _Sanctius_ or
_Sanches de Matrimonio Sacramentario_, 1607, folio, the Abbé
observed--"that the author wrote it, standing with his bare feet upon
marble." I was well pleased with a pretty _illuminated ms. Missal_, in a
large thick quarto volume, with borders and pictures in good condition; but
did not fail to commend right heartily the proper bibliomaniacal spirit of
M. Fétit in having kept concealed the second volume of _Gering's Latin
Bible_--being the first impression of the sacred text in France--when M.
Moysant came armed with full powers to carry off what treasures he pleased.
No one knows what has become of the first volume, but this second is
cruelly imperfect--it is otherwise a fair copy. Upon the whole, although it
is almost a matter of _conscience_, as well as of character, with me, to
examine every thing in the shape of a library, and especially of a public
one, yet it must be admitted that the collection under consideration is
hardly worthy of a second visit: and accordingly I took both a first and a
final view of it.

From the Chapter I went to the COLLEGE LIBRARY. In other words, there is a
fine public school, or Lycée, or college, where a great number of lads and
young men are educated "according to art." The building is extensive and
well-situated: the play-ground is large and commodious; and there is a
well-cultivated garden "tempting with forbidden fruit." Into this garden I
strolled in search of the President of the College, who was not within
doors. I found him in company with some of the masters, and with several
young men either playing, or about to play, at skittles. On communicating
the object of my visit, he granted me an immediate passport to the
library--"mais, Monsieur, (added he) ce n'est rien: il y avoit autrefois
_quelque chose_: maintenant, ce n'est qu'un amas de livres très
communs." I thanked him, and accompanied the librarian to the Library;
who absolutely apologized all the way for the little entertainment I
should receive. There was indeed little enough. The room may be about
eighteen feet square. Of the books, a great portion was in vellum
bindings, in wretched condition. Here was _Jay's Polyglot_, and the
matrimonial _Sanctius_ again! There was a very respectable sprinkling of
_Spanish and French Dictionaries_; some few not wholly undesirable
_Alduses_; and the rare Louvain edition of _Sir Thomas More's Works_,
printed in 1566, folio.[146] I saw too, with horror-mingled regret, a
frightfully imperfect copy of the _Service of Bayeux Cathedral_, printed
in the Gothic letter, UPON VELLUM. But the great curiosity is a small
brass or bronze crucifix, about nine inches high, standing upon the
mantlepiece; very ancient, from the character of the crown, which
savours of the latter period of Roman art--and which is the only crown,
bereft of thorns, that I ever saw upon the head of our Saviour so
represented. The eyes appear to be formed of a bright brown glass. Upon
the whole, as this is not a book, nor a fragment of an old illumination,
I will say nothing more about its age. I was scarcely three quarters of
an hour in the library; but was fully sensible of the politeness of my
attendant, and of the truth of his prediction, that I should receive
little entertainment from an examination of the books.

It is high time that you should be introduced in proper form to the famous
BAYEUX TAPESTRY. Know then, in as few words as possible, that this
celebrated piece of Tapestry represents chiefly the INVASION OF ENGLAND by
WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR, and the subsequent death of Harold at the battle of
Hastings. It measures about 214 English feet in length, by about nineteen
inches in width; and is supposed to have been worked under the particular
superintendance and direction of Matilda, the wife of the Conqueror. It was
formerly exclusively kept and exhibited in the Cathedral; but it is now
justly retained in the Town Hall, and treasured as the most precious relic
among the archives of the city. There is indeed every reason to consider it
as one of the most valuable historical monuments which France possesses. It
has also given rise to a great deal of archaeological discussion.
Montfaucon, Ducarel, and De La Rue, have come forward successively--but
more especially the first and last: and Montfaucon in particular has
favoured the world with copper-plate representations of the whole.
Montfaucon's plates are generally much too small: and the more enlarged
ones are too ornamental. It is right, first of all, that you should have an
idea how this piece of tapestry is preserved, or rolled up. You see it
here, therefore, precisely as it appears after the person who shews it,
takes off the cloth with which it is usually covered.

[Illustration]

The first portion of the needle-work, representing the embassy of Harold,
from Edward the Confessor to William Duke of Normandy, is comparatively
much defaced--that is to say, the stitches are worn away, and little more
than the ground, or fine close linen cloth, remains. It is not far from the
beginning--and where the colour is fresh, and the stitches are,
comparatively, preserved--that you observe the PORTRAIT OF HAROLD.[147]

You are to understand that the stitches, if they may be so called, are
threads laid side by side--and bound down at intervals by cross stitches,
or fastenings--upon rather a fine linen cloth; and that the parts intended
to represent _flesh_ are left untouched by the needle. I obtained a few
straggling shreds of the _worsted_ with which it is Worked. The colours are
generally a faded or bluish green, crimson, and pink. About the last five
feet of this extraordinary roll are in a yet more decayed and imperfect
state than the first portion. But the designer of the subject, whoever he
was, had an eye throughout to Roman art--as it appeared in its later
stages. The folds of the draperies, and the proportions of the figures, are
executed with this feeling.

I must observe that, both at top and at bottom of the principal subject,
there is a running allegorical ornament;[148] of which I will not incur the
presumption to suppose myself a successful interpreter. The constellations,
and the symbols of agriculture and of rural occupation, form the chief
subjects of this running ornament. All the inscriptions are executed in
capital letters of about an inch in length; and upon the whole, whether
this extraordinary and invaluable relic be of the latter end of the XIth,
or of the beginning or middle of the XIIth century[149] seems to me a
matter of rather a secondary consideration. That it is at once _unique_ and
important, must be considered as a position to be neither doubted nor
denied, I have learnt, even here, of what importance this tapestry-roll was
considered in the time of Bonaparte's threatened invasion of our country:
and that, after displaying it at Paris for two or three months, to awaken
the curiosity and excite the love of conquest among the citizens, it was
conveyed to one or two _sea-port_ towns, and exhibited upon the stage as a
most important _materiel_ in dramatic effect.[150]

I think you have now had a pretty good share of Bayeux intelligence; only
that I ought not to close my despatches without a word or two relating to
habits, manners, trade, and population. This will scarcely occupy a page.
The men and women here are thoroughly Norman. Stout bodies, plump
countenances, wooden shoes, and the cauchoise--even to exceedingly _tall
copies_ of the latter! The population may run hard upon ten thousand. The
chief articles of commerce are _butter_ and _lace_. Of the former, there
are two sorts: one, delicate and well flavoured, is made during winter and
spring; put up into small pots, and carried from hence in huge paniers, not
only to all the immediately adjacent parts of the country, but even to
Paris--and is shipped in large quantities for the colonies. They have made
as much as 120,000 lb. weight each season; but _Isigny_, a neighbouring
village, is rather the chief place for its production. The other sort of
butter, which is eaten by the common people, and which in fact is made
throughout the whole of Lower Normandy, (the very butter, in short, in
which the huge _alose_ was floating in the pot of the lively cuisiniere at
Duclair[151]) is also chiefly made at Isigny; but instead of a delicate
tint, and a fine flavour, it is very much the contrary: and the mode of
making and transporting it accords with its qualities. It is salted, and
packed in large pots, and even barrels, for the sake of exportation; and
not less than 50,000 lb. weight is made each week. The whole profit arising
from butter has been estimated at not less than two millions of francs: add
to which, the circulation of specie kept up by the payment of the workmen,
and the purchase of salt. As to _lace_, there are scarcely fewer than three
thousand females constantly employed in the manufacture of that article.

The mechanics here, at least some of them, are equally civil and ingenious.
In a shop, in the high or principal street, I saw an active carpenter, who
had lost the fore finger of his right hand, hard at work--alternately
whistling and singing--over a pretty piece of ornamental furniture in wood.
It was the full face of a female, with closely curled hair over the
forehead, surmounted by a wreath of flowers, having side curls, necklace,
and platted hair. The whole was carved in beech, and the form and
expression of the countenance were equally correct and pleasing. This merry
fellow had a man or two under him, but he worked double tides, compared
with his dependants. I interrupted him singing a French air, perfectly
characteristic of the taste of his country. The title and song were thus:

  TOU JOURS.

  TOUJOURS, toujours, je te serai fidèle;
  Disait Adolphe à chaque instant du jour;
  Toujours, toujours je t'aimerai, ma belle,
  Je veux le dire aux échos d'alentour;
  Je graverai sur l'écorce d'un hètre,
  Ce doux serment que le dieu des amours,
  Vient me dieter, en me faisant connaître;
  Que mon bonheur est de t'aimer toujours. _Bis_.

  Toujours, toujours, lui répondit Adèle,
  Tu régneras dans le fond de mon coeur;
  Toujours, toujours, comme une tourterelle,
  Je promets bien t'aimer avec ardeur;
  Je pense à toi quand le soleil se lève,
  J'y pense encore à la tin de son cours;
  Dans le sommeil si quelquefois je reve,
  C'est au bonheur de te chérir toujours.

He was a carver on wainscoat wood: and if I would give myself "la peine
d'entrer," he would shew me all sorts of curiosities. I secured a
favourable reception, by purchasing the little ornament upon which he was
at work--for a napoleon. I followed the nimble mechanic (ci-devant a
soldier in Bonaparte's campaigns, from whence he dated the loss of his
finger) through a variety of intricate passages below and up stairs; and
saw, above, several excellently well finished pieces of furniture, for
drawers or clothes-presses, in wainscoat wood:--the outsides of which were
carved sometimes with clustered roses, surrounding a pair of fond doves; or
with representations of Cupids, sheep, bows and arrows, and the various
_emblemata_ of the tender passion. They would have reminded you of the old
pieces of furniture which you found in your grandfather's mansion, upon
taking possession of your estate: and indeed are of themselves no
despicable ornaments in their way. I was asked from eight to twelve
napoleons for one of these pieces of massive and elaborately carved
furniture, some six or seven feet in height.

In all other respects, this is a town deserving of greater antiquarian
research than appears to have been bestowed upon it; and I cannot help
thinking that its ancient ecclesiastical history is more interesting than
is generally imagined. In former days the discipline and influence of its
See seem to have been felt and acknowledged throughout nearly the whole of
Normandy. Adieu. In imagination, the spires of COUTANCES CATHEDRAL begin to
peep in the horizon.


[141] [Mr. Cotman has an excellent engraving of it.]

[142] He has since established himself at Paris, near the Luxembourg
    palace, as a _bookseller_; and it is scarcely three months since
    I received a letter from him, in which he told me that he could no
    longer resist the more powerful impulses of his heart--and that the
    phials of physic were at length abandoned for the volumes of Verard
    and of Gourmont. My friend, Mr. Dawson Turner, who knew him at Bayeux,
    has purchased books of him at Paris. [The preceding in 1820.]

[143] Mr. Stothard, Jun. See page 221 ante. Mr. S's own account of the
    tapestry may be seen in the XIXth volume of the Archæologia. It is
    brief, perspicuous, and satisfactory. His fac-simile is one half the
    size of the original; executed with great neatness and fidelity; but
    probably the touches are a _little_ too artist-like or masterly.

[144] [The facsimile of that portion of the tapestry which is supposed to
    be a portrait of Harold, and which Mr. Lewis, who travelled with me,
    executed, is perhaps of its kind, one of the most perfect things
    extant. In saying this, I only deliver the opinions of very many
    competent judges. It must however be noticed, that the Society of
    Antiquaries published the whole series of this exceedingly curious and
    ancient Representation of the Conquest of our Country by William I. Of
    this publication, the figures measure about four inches in height: but
    there is also a complete, and exceedingly successful fac-simile of the
    first two figures of this series--of the size of the originals
    (William I. and the Messenger coming to announce to him the landing of
    Harold in England) also published from the same quarter. The whole of
    these Drawings were from the pencil of the late ingenious and justly
    lamented THOS. STOTHARD, Esq. Draftsman to the Society of
    Antiquaries.]

[145] A complete copy is of rarity in our own country, but not so abroad.
    It is yet, however, an imperfect work.

[146] There have been bibliographers, and there are yet knowing
    book-collectors, who covet this edition in preference to the Leipsic
    impression of Sir T. More's Works of 1698; in folio. But this must
    proceed from sheer obstinacy; or rather, perhaps, from ignorance that
    the latter edition contains the _Utopia_--whereas in the former it is
    unaccountably omitted to be reprinted--which it might have been, from
    various previous editions.

[147] This figure is introduced with pursuivants and dogs: but great
    liberties, as a nice eye will readily discern, have been taken by
    Montfaucon, when compared with the original--of which the fac-simile,
    in the previous edition of this work, may be pronounced to be PERFECT.

[148] Something similar may be seen round the border of the baptismal vase
    of St. Louis, in Millin's _Antiquités Nationales_. A part of the
    border in the Tapestry is a representation of subjects from Aesop's
    Fables.

[149] Of a monument, which has been pronounced by one of our ablest
    antiquaries to be "THE NOBLEST IN THE WORLD RELATING TO OUR OLD
    ENGLISH HISTORY," (See _Stukely's Palæog. Britan._ Number XI.
    1746, 4to. p. 2-3) it may be expected that some archæological
    discussion should be here subjoined. Yet I am free to confess that,
    after the essays of Messrs. Gurney, Stothard, and Amyot, (and more
    especially that of the latter gentleman) the matter--as to the period
    of its execution--may be considered as well nigh, if not wholly, at
    rest. These essays appear in the XVIIIth and XIXth volumes of the
    Archæologia. The Abbé de la Rue contended that this Tapestry was
    worked in the time of the second Matilda, or the Empress Maud, which
    would bring it to the earlier part of the XIIth century. The
    antiquaries above mentioned contend, with greater probability, that it
    is a performance of the period which it professes to commemorate;
    namely, of the defeat of Harold at the battle of Hastings, and
    consequently of the acquiring of the Crown of England, by conquest, on
    the part of William. This latter therefore brings it to the period of
    about 1066, to 1088--so that, after all, the difference of opinion is
    only whether this Tapestry be fifty years older or younger, than the
    respective advocates contend.

    But the most copious, particular, and in my humble judgment the most
    satisfactory, disquisition upon the date of this singular historical
    monument, is entitled, "_A Defence of the early Antiquity of the
    Bayeux Tapestry_," by Thomas Amyot, Esq. immediately following Mr.
    Stothard's communication, in the work just referred to. It is at
    direct issue with all the hypotheses of the Abbé de la Rue, and in my
    opinion the results are triumphantly established. Whether the
    _Normans_ or the _English_ worked it, is perfectly a secondary
    consideration. The chief objections, taken by the Abbé, against its
    being a production of the XIth century, consist in, first, its not
    being mentioned among the treasures possessed by the Conqueror at his
    decease:--secondly, that, if the Tapestry were deposited in the
    church, it must have suffered, if not have been annihilated, at the
    storming of Bayeux and the destruction of the Cathedral by fire in the
    reign of Henry I., A.D. 1106:--thirdly, the silence of _Wace_ upon the
    subject,--who wrote his metrical histories nearly a century after the
    Tapestry is supposed to have been executed." The latter is chiefly
    insisted upon by the learned Abbé; who, which ever champion come off
    victorious in this archæological warfare, must at any rate receive the
    best thanks of the antiquary for the methodical and erudite manner in
    which he has conducted his attacks.

    At the first blush it cannot fail to strike us that the Abbé de la
    Rue's positions are all of a _negative_ character; and that,
    according to the strict rules of logic, it must not be admitted, that
    because such and such writers have _not_ noticed a circumstance,
    therefore that circumstance or event cannot have taken place. The
    first two grounds of objection have, I think, been fairly set aside by
    Mr. Amyot. As to the third objection, Mr. A. remarks--"But it seems
    that Wace has not only _not_ quoted the tapestry, but has varied
    from it in a manner which proves that he had never seen it. The
    instances given of this variation are, however, a little unfortunate.
    The first of them is very unimportant, for the difference merely
    consists in placing a figure at the _stern_ instead of the
    _prow_ of a ship, and in giving him a bow instead of a trumpet.
    From an authority quoted by the Abbé himself, it appears that, with
    regard to this latter fact, the Tapestry was right, and Wace was
    wrong; and thus an argument is unintentionally furnished in favour of
    the superior antiquity of the Tapestry. The second instance of
    variation, namely, that relating to Taillefer's sword, may be easily
    dismissed; since, after all, it now appears, from Mr. Stothard's
    examination, that neither Taillefer nor his sword is to be found in
    the Tapestry," &c. But it is chiefly from the names of ÆLFGYVA and
    WADARD, inscribed over some of the figures, that I apprehend the
    conclusion in favour of the Tapestry's being nearly a contemporaneous
    production, may be safely drawn.

    It is quite clear that these names belong to persons living when the
    work was in progress, or within the recollection of the workers, and
    that they were attached to persons of some particular note or
    celebrity, or rather perhaps of _local_ importance. An
    eyewitness, or a contemporary only would have introduced them. They
    would not have lived in the memory of a person, whether mechanic or
    historian, who lived a _century_ after the event. No antiquary
    has yet fairly appropriated these names, and more especially the
    second. It follows therefore that they would not have been introduced
    had they not been in existence at the time; and in confirmation of
    that of WADARD, it seems that Mr. Henry Ellis (Secretary of the
    Society of Antiquaries) "confirmed Mr. Amyot's conjecture on that
    subject, by the references with which he furnished him to _Domesday
    Book_, where his name occurs in no less than six counties, as
    holding lands of large extent under _Odo_, Bishop of Bayeux, the
    tenant in capite of those properties from the crown. That he was not a
    _guard_ or _centinel,_ as the Abbé de la Rue supposes, but
    that he held an _office of rank_ in the household of either
    William or Odo, seems now decided beyond a doubt." Mr. Amyot thus
    spiritedly concludes:--alluding to the successful completion of Mr.
    Stothard's copy of the entire original roll.--"Yet if the BAYEUX
    TAPESTRY be not history of the first class, it is perhaps something
    better. It exhibits general traits, elsewhere sought in vain, of the
    costume and manners of that age, which, of all others, if we except
    the period of the Reformation, ought to be the most interesting to
    us;--that age, which gave us a new race of monarchs, bringing with
    them new landholders, new laws, and almost a new language."

    Mr. Amyot has subjoined a specimen of his own poetical powers in
    describing "the Minstrel TAILLEFER'S achievements," in the battle of
    Hastings, from the old Norman lays of GAIMAR and WACE. I can only find
    room for the first few verses. The poem is entitled,

      THE ONSET OF TAILLEFER.

      Foremost in the bands of France,
      Arm'd with hauberk and with lance,
      And helmet glittering in the air,
      As if a warrior knight he were,
      Rush'd forth the MINSTREL TAILLEFER
      Borne on his courser swift and strong,
        He gaily bounded o'er the plain,
      And raised the heart-inspiring song
      (Loud echoed by the warlike throng)
        Of _Roland_ and of _Charlemagne_,
      Of _Oliver_, brave peer of old,
        Untaught to fly, unknown to yield,
      And many a Knight and Vassal bold,
      Whose hallowed blood, in crimson flood,
        Dyed _Roncevalle's_ field.

[150] M. Denon told me, in one of my visits to him at Paris, that by the
    commands of Bonaparte, he was charged with the custody of this
    Tapestry for three months; that it was displayed in due form and
    ceremony in the Museum; and that after having taken a hasty sketch of
    it, (which he admitted could not be considered as very faithful) he
    returned it to Bayeux--as it was considered to be the peculiar
    property of that place.

[151] See p. 109 ante.



LETTER XVI.

BAYEUX TO COUTANCES. ST. LO. THE CATHEDRAL OF COUTANCES. ENVIRONS.
AQUEDUCT. MARKET-DAY. PUBLIC LIBRARY. ESTABLISHMENT FOR THE CLERGY.


I send you this despatch close to the very Cathedral, whose spires, while
yet at Bayeux, were already glimmering in the horizon of my imagination.
The journey hither has been in every respect the most beautiful and
interesting that I have experienced on _this_ side the Seine. I have seen
something like undulating pasture-lands, wooded hills, meandering streams,
and well-peopled villages; and an air of gaiety and cheerfulness, as well
as the charm of picturesque beauty, has accompanied me from one cathedral
to the other.

I left the _Hôtel de Luxembourg_, at Bayeux, in a hired cabriolet with a
pair of horses, about five in the afternoon, pushing on, at a smart trot,
for ST. LO: which latter place I entered by moon-light. The road, as usual,
was broad and bold, and at times undulating; flanked by beech, elm, and
fir. As I just observed to you, I entered St. Lo by moon-light: the double
towers of the great cathedral-like looking church having a grand and even
romantic effect on approaching the town. An old castle, or rather a mere
round-tower relic of one, appeared to the left, upon entering it. Passing
the porch, or west end of the church, sometimes descending, at others
ascending--midst close streets and overhanging roofs of houses, which cast
a deep and solemn shadow, so as to shut out the moon beams for several
hundred yards--and pursuing a winding route, I at length stopped at the
door of the principal hôtel--_au Grand Coq!_ I laughed heartily when I
heard its name; for with the strictest adherence to truth the adjective
ought to have been _petit!_

However, the beds seemed to be in good order, and the coffee, with which I
was quickly served, proved to be excellent. I strolled out, on a
_reconnoissance_, about half-past nine; but owing to the deep shadows from
the moon, arising from the narrowness of the streets, I could make out
nothing satisfactory of the locale. The church, however, promised a rich
treat on the morrow. As soon as the morrow came, I betook myself to the
church. It was Sunday morning. The square, before the west front of the
church, was the rendezvous both of townsmen and countryfolks: but what was
my astonishment on observing in one corner of it, a quack doctor vending
powder for the effectual _polishing of metals_. He had just beaten his
drum, in order to collect his audience; and having got a good assemblage,
was full of the virtues of his wares--which were pronounced to be also
"equally efficacious for _complaints in the stomach!_"

This man had been preceded, in the situation which he occupied, by a rival
charlatan, on horseback, with _powders to kill rats_. The latter stood upon
the same eminence, wearing a hat, jacket, and trowsers, all white--upon
which were painted _black rats_ of every size and description; and in his
harangue to the populace he took care to tell them that the rats, painted
upon his dress, were _exact portraits_ of those which had been destroyed by
means of his powders! This, too, on a Sunday morning. But remember
Dieppe.[152]

Having despatched my breakfast, I proceeded to survey the church, from
which the town takes its name. First, for the exterior. The _attached_
towers demand attention and admiration. They are so slightly attached as to
be almost separated from the body or nave; forming something of that
particular character which obtains more decidedly at the cathedral of
Coutances. I am not sure whether this portion of the church at St. Lo be
not preferable, on the score of regularity and delicacy, to the similar
portion at this latter place. The west front is indeed its chief beauty of
exterior attraction; and it was once rendered doubly interesting by a
profusion of alto-rilievo statues, which _disappeared_ during the
commotions of the revolution. You ascend rather a lofty flight of steps to
this entrance; and into which the whole town seemed to be pouring the full
tide of its population. I suffered myself to be carried away along, with
the rest, and almost startled as I entered the nave.[153] To the left, is a
horribly-painted statue of the Virgin, with the child in her arms. The
countenance is even as ugly, old, and repulsive, as the colouring is most
despicable. I never saw such a daub: and what emotions, connected with
tenderness of feeling, or ardour of devotion, can the contemplation of such
an object excite? Surely the parish must have lost its wits, as well as its
taste, to endure such a monstrous exhibition of art.

As I advanced towards the choir, I took especial notice of the very
singular, and in my opinion very ugly, formation both of the pillars and
arches which sustain the roof. These pillars have _no capitals_, and the
arch springs from them in the most abrupt manner. The arch itself is also
very short and sharp pointed; like the tops of lancet windows. This mode
obtains pretty generally here; but it should be noted that, in the right
side aisle, the pillars have capitals. There is something unusual also in
the row of pillars which spring up, flanking the choir, half way between
the walls of the choir and the outward wall of the church. Nor am I sure
that, destitute of a graceful, superadded arch, such massive perpendicular
lines have either meaning or effect. Whether St. Lo were the _first_ church
upon which the architect, who built both _that_ and the cathedral at
_Coutances_, tried his talents--or whether, indeed, both churches be the
effort of the same hand--I cannot pretend to determine; but, both outwardly
and inwardly, these two churches have a strong resemblance to each other.
Like many other similar buildings in France, the church of St. Lo is
closely blocked up by surrounding houses.

I prepared to leave St. Lo about mid-day, after agreeing for a large heavy
machine, with a stout pair of horses, to conduct me to this place. There
are some curious old houses near the inn, with exterior ornaments like
those of the XVIth century, in our own country. But on quitting the town,
in the road to Coutances,--after you come to what are called the old castle
walls, on passing the outer gate--your eye is struck by rather an
extraordinary combination of objects. The town itself seems to be built
upon a rock. Above, below, every thing appears like huge scales of iron;
while, at the bottom, in a serpentine direction, runs the peaceful and
fruitful river _Aure_.[154] The country immediately around abounds in
verdant pasture, and luxuriantly wooded heights. Upon the whole, our sortie
from St. Lo, beneath a bright blue sky and a meridian sun, was extremely
cheerful and gratifying.

A hard road (but bold and broad, as usual) soon convinced me of the
uncomfortableness of the conveyance; which, though roomy, and of rather
respectable appearance, wanted springs: but the increasing beauty of the
country, kept my attention perfectly occupied, till the beautiful
cathedral, of COUTANCES caught my notice, on an elevated ground, to the
left. The situation is truly striking, gaze from what quarter you will.
From that of St. Lo, the immediate approach to the town is rendered very
interesting from the broad _route royale_, lined with birch, hazel, and
beech. The delicacy, or perhaps the peculiarity of the western towers of
the cathedral, struck me as singularly picturesque; while the whole
landscape was warmed by the full effulgence of an unclouded sun, and
animated by the increasing numbers and activity of the _paysannes_ and
_bourgeoises_ mingling in their sabbath-walks. Their bright dark _blues_
and _crimsons_ were put on upon the occasion; and nought but peace,
tranquillity, and fruitfulness seemed to prevail on all sides. It was a
scene wherein you might have placed Arcadian shepherds--worthy of being
copied-by the pencil of Claude.

We entered the town at a sharp trot. The postilion, flourishing his whip,
and causing its sound to re-echo through the principal street, upon an
ascent, drove to the chief inn, the _Hôtel d'Angleterre_, within about one
hundred yards of the cathedral. Vespers were just over; and I shall not
readily forget the rush and swarm of the clergy who were pouring out, from
the north door, and covering the street with one extensive black mass.
There could not have been fewer than two hundred young Ecclesiastics--thus
returning from vespers to their respective homes; or rather to the College,
or great clerical establishment, in the neighbourhood. This College, which
has suffered from violence and neglect, through the revolution and
Bonaparte's dynasty, is now beginning to raise its head in a very
distinguished and commanding manner. It was a singular sight--to see such a
crowd of young men, wearing cocked hats, black robes, and black bands with
white edging! The women were all out in the streets; sitting before their
doors, or quietly lounging or walking. The afternoon was indeed unusually
serene.

I ordered a late dinner, and set out for the cathedral. It was impossible
to visit it at a more favorable moment. The congregation had departed; and
a fine warm sun darted its rays in every surrounding direction. As I looked
around, I could not fail to be struck with the singular arrangement of the
columns round the choir: or rather of the double aisle between the choir
and the walls, as at St. Lo; but here yet more distinctly marked. For a
wonder, an _unpainted_ Virgin and child in Our Lady's chapel, behind the
choir! There is nothing, I think, in the interior of this church that
merits particular notice and commendation, except it be some
beautifully-stained glass windows; with the arms, however, of certain noble
families, and the regal arms (as at Bayeux) obliterated. There is a deep
well in the north transept, to supply the town with water in case of fire.
The pulpit is large and handsome; but not so magnificent as that at Bayeux.
The organ is comparatively small. Perhaps the thirteenth century is a
period sufficiently remote to assign for the completion of the interior of
this church, for I cannot subscribe to the hypothesis of the Abbé de la
Rue, that this edifice was probably erected by Tancred King of Sicily at
the end of the eleventh, or at the beginning of the twelfth century.

The exterior of this Church is indeed its chief attraction.[155]
Unquestionably the style of architecture is very peculiar, and does not, as
far as I know, extend beyond St. Lo, in Normandy. My great object was to
mount upon the roof of the central tower, which is octagonal, containing
fine lofty lancet windows, and commanding from its summit a magnificent
panorama. Another story, one half the height of the present erection from
the roof of the nave, would put a glorious finish to the central tower of
NOTRE DAME at COUTANCES. As I ascended this central tower, I digressed
occasionally into the lateral galleries along the aisles. To look down, was
somewhat terrific; but who could help bewailing the wretched, rotten,
green-tinted appearance of the roof of the north aisle?--which arose here,
as at Bayeux, from its being stripped of the lead (during the Revolution)
to make _bullets_--and from the rain's penetrating the interior in
consequence. As I continued to ascend, I looked through the apertures to
notice the fine formation and almost magical erection of the lancet windows
of the western towers: and the higher I mounted, the more beautiful and
magical seemed to be that portion of the building. At length I reached the
summit; and concentrating myself a little, gazed around.

The view was lovely beyond measure. Coutances lies within four miles of the
sea, so that to the west and south there appeared an immense expanse of
ocean. On the opposite points was an extensive landscape, well-wooded,
undulating, rich, and thickly studded with farm-houses. _Jersey_ appeared
to the north-west, quite encircled by the sea; and nearly to the south,
stood out the bold insulated little rock of _Granville_, defying the
eternal washing of the wave. Such a view is perhaps no where else to be
seen in Normandy; certainly not from any ecclesiastical edifice with which
I am acquainted. The sun was now declining apace, which gave a wanner glow
to the ocean, and a richer hue to the landscape. It is impossible to
particularize. All was exquisitely refreshing and joyous. The heart beats
with a fuller pulsation as the eye darts over such an expansive and
exhilarating scene! Spring was now clad in her deepest-coloured vesture:
and a prospect of a fine summer and an abundant harvest infused additional
delight into the beholder. Immediately below, stood the insulated and
respectable mansion or Palace of _the Bishop_; in the midst of a formal
garden--begirt with yet more formally clipt hedges. As the Prelate bore a
good character, I took a pleasure in gazing upon the roof which contained
an inhabitant capable of administering so much good to the community. In
short, I shall always remember the view from the top of the central tower
of the cathedral of Coutances!

I quitted such a spot with reluctance; but time was flying away, and the
patience of the cuisinier at the Hôtel d'Angleterre had already been put
somewhat to the test. In twenty minutes I sat down to my dinner, in a
bed-room, of which the furniture was chiefly of green silk. The females,
even in the humblest walks, have generally fine names; and _Victorina_ was
that of the fille de chambre at the Hôtel d'Angleterre. After dinner I
walked upon what may be called the heights of Coutances; and a more
delightful evening's walk I never enjoyed. The women of every
description--ladies, housekeepers, and servant maids--were all abroad;
either sitting upon benches, or standing in gossiping groups, or straying
in friendly pairs. The comeliness of the women was remarkable; a certain
freshness of tint, and prevalence of the embonpoint, reminded me of those
of our own country; and among the latter, I startled--as I gazed upon a
countenance which afforded but too vivid a resemblance to that of a
deceased relation! Certainly the Norman women are no where more comely and
interesting than they are at Coutances.

The immediate environs of this place are beautiful and interesting: visit
them in what direction you please. But there is nothing which so
immediately strikes you as the remains of an _ancient Aqueduct_; gothicised
at the hither end, but with three or four circular arches at the further
extremity, where it springs from the opposite banks. Fine as was yesterday,
this day has not been inferior to it. I was of course glad of an
opportunity of visiting the market, and of mingling with the country
people. The boulevards afforded an opportunity of accomplishing both these
objects. Corn is a great article of trade; and they have noble granaries
for depositing it. Apparently there is a great conflux of people, and much
business stirring. I quickly perceived, in the midst of this ever-moving
throng, my old friend the vender of rat-destroying powders--busied in the
exercise of his calling, and covered with his usual vestment of white,
spotted or painted with black rats. He found plenty of hearers and plenty
of purchasers. All was animation and bustle. In the midst of it, a man came
forward to the edge of a bank--below which a great concourse was assembled.
He beat a drum, to announce that a packet boat, would sail to Jersey in the
course of the afternoon; but the people seemed too intent upon their
occupations and gambols to attend to him. I sat upon a bench and read one
of the little chap books--_Richard sans peur_--which I had purchased the
same morning.

While absorbed in reflections upon the heterogeneous scene before me--and
wishing, for some of my dearest friends in England to be also spectators of
it--the notes of an hand-organ more and more distinctly stole upon my ear.
They were soft; and even pleasing notes. On looking round, I observed that
the musician preceded a person, who carried aloft a Virgin, with the infant
Jesus, in wax; and who, under such a sign, exhorted the multitude to
approach and buy his book-wares. I trust I was too thorough-bred a
_Roxburgher_ to remain quiet on the bench: and accordingly starting up, and
extending two sous, I became the fortunate purchaser of a little _chap_
article--of which my friend BERNARDO will for ever, I fear, envy me the
possession! The vender of the tome sang through his nose, as the organ
warbled the following

  _Cantique Spirituelle_.

  EN L'HONNEUR DU TRÈS-SAINT SACREMENT,

  _Qui est exposé dans la grande Eglise cathédrale de St. Pierre et
  St. Paul de Rome, pour implorer la miséricorde de Dieu_.

  Air: du Théodore Français.

  APPROCHEZ-VOUS, Chrétiens fidèles,
  Afin d'entendre réciter:
  Ecoutez tous avec un grand zèle,
  Avec ferveur et piété,
  Le voeu que nous avons fait,
  D'aller au grand Saint Jacques;
  Grace à Dieu nous l'avons accompli,
  Pour l'amour de Jésus Christ.

    Dieu créa le ciel et la terre,
  Les astres et le firmament;
  Il fit la brillante lumière,
  Ainsi que tous les autres élémens,
  Il a tiré tout du néant,
  Ce qui respire sur la terre:
  Rendons hommage à la grandeur
  De notre divin Créateur.

  [156]Tous les jours la malice augmente, Il y a très-peu de religion; La
  jeunesse est trop petulante, Les enfans jurent le saint Nom. Et comment
  s'étonneroit-on Si tant de fléaux nous tourmentent? Et si l'on voit tant
  de malheurs, C'est Dieu qui punit les pécheurs.

  Souvent on assiste à l'Office, C'est comme une manière d'acquit, Sans
  penser au saint Sacrifice; Ou s'est immolé Jesus Christ. On parle avec
  ses amis, De ses affaires temporelles, Sans faire aucune attention Aux
  mystères de la religion.

  Réfléchissez bien, pères et mères, Sur ces morales et vérités: C'est la
  loi de Dieu notre Père; C'est lui qui nous les a dictées: Il faut les
  suivre et les pratiquer, Tant que nous serons sur la terre. N'oublions
  point qu'après la mort, Nos ames existeront encore.

The day was beginning to wear away fast, and I had not yet accomplished the
favourite and indispensable object of visiting the PUBLIC LIBRARY. I made
two unsuccessful attempts; but the third was fortunate. I had no letter of
introduction, and every body was busied in receiving the visits of their
country friends. I was much indebted to the polite attention of a stranger:
who accompanied me to the house of the public librarian, his friend, who,
not being at home, undertook the office of shewing me the books. The room
in which they are contained--wholly detached--and indeed at a considerable
distance from the cathedral--is about sixty English feet long, low, and
rather narrow. It is absolutely crammed with books, in the most shameful
state of confusion. I saw, for the first time in Normandy, and with
absolute gladness of heart, a copy of the _Complutensian Polyglot Bible_;
of which the four latter volumes, in vellum binding, were tall and good:
the earlier ones, in calf, not so desirable. For the first time too, since
treading Norman soil, I saw a tolerably good sprinkle of _Italian_ books.
But the collection stands in dreadful need of weeding. Indeed, this
observation may apply to the greater number of public collections
throughout Normandy. I thanked my attendant for his patient and truly
friendly attention, and took my leave.

In my way homewards, I stopped at M. Joubert's, the principal bookseller,
and "beat about the bush" for bibliographical game. But my pursuit was not
crowned with success. M.J. told me, in reply to black-letter enquiries,
that a Monsieur A----, a stout burly man, whom he called "un gros
papa"--was in the habit of paying yearly visits from Jersey, for the
acquisition of the same black-letter treasures; and that he swept away
every thing in the shape of an ancient and _equivocal_ volume, in his
annual rounds. I learnt pretty nearly the same thing from Manoury at Caen.
M. Joubert is a very sensible and respectable man; and is not only "_Seul
Imprimeur de Monseigneur l'Evêque"_ (PIERRE DUPONT-POURSAT), but is in fact
almost the only bookseller worth consulting in the place. I bought of him a
copy of the _Livre d'Eglise ou Nouveau Paroissien à l'usage du Diocèse de
Coutances_, or the common prayer book of the diocese. It is a very thick
duodecimo, of 700 double columned pages, printed in a clear, new, and
extremely legible character, upon paper of sufficiently good texture. It
was bound in sheepskin, and I gave only _thirty sous_ for it new. How it
can be published at such a price, is beyond my conception. M. Joubert told
me that the compositor or workman received 20 francs for setting up 36
pages, and that the paper was 12 francs per ream. In our own country, such
prices would be at least doubled.

It is impossible not to be struck here with the great number of YOUNG
ECCLESIASTICS. In short, the establishment now erecting for them, will
contain, when completed, (according to report) not fewer than four hundred.
It is also impossible not to be struck with the extreme simplicity of their
manners and deportment. They converse with apparent familiarity with the
very humblest of their flock: and seem, from the highest to the lowest, to
be cordially received. They are indifferent as to personal appearance. One
young man carries a bundle of linen to his laundress, along the streets:
another carries a round hat in his hand, having a cocked one upon his head:
a kitchen utensil is seen in the hand of a third, and a chair, or small
table, in that of a fourth. As these Clergymen pass, they are repeatedly
saluted. Till the principal building be finished, many of them are
scattered about the town, living quite in the upper stories. In short, it
is the _profession_, rather than the particular candidate, which seems to
claim the respectful attention of the townsmen.


[152] See page 13 ante.

[153] Mr. Cotman has a view of this church, in his work on Normandy.

[154] I suspect that the "peaceful" waters of this stream were frequently
    died with the blood of Hugonots and Roman Catholics during the fierce
    contests between MONTGOMERY and MATIGNON, towards the latter half of
    the sixteenth century. At that period St. Lo was one of the strongest
    towns in the Bocage; and the very pass above described, was the avenue
    by which the soldiers of the captains, just mentioned, alternately
    advanced and retreated in their respective attacks upon St. Lo: which
    at length surrendered to the victorious army of the _latter_; the
    leader of the Catholics. SEGUIN: _Histoire Militaire des Bocains_; _p.
    340-384_; 1816, _12 mo_.

[155] The reader will be doubtless gratified by the artist-like view of
    this cathedral, by Mr. Cotman, in his _Architectural Antiquities of
    Normandy_.

[156] It cannot fail to be noticed that the following sentences are in fact
    _rhyming verse_, though printed prose-wise.



LETTER XVII.

JOURNEY TO GRANVILLE. GRANVILLE. VILLE DIEU. ST. SEVER. TOWN AND CASTLE OF
VIRE.

_Vire_.


Since my last, I have been as much gratified by the charms of nature and of
art, as during any one period of my tour. Prepare, therefore, for
miscellaneous intelligence; but such as, I will make bold to predict,
cannot fail to afford you considerable gratification. Normandy is doubtless
a glorious country. It is fruitful in its soil, picturesque in the
disposition of its land and water, and rich in the architectural relics of
"the olden time." It is also more than ordinarily interesting to an
Englishman. Here, in the very town whence I transmit this despatch--within
two hundred and fifty yards of the hotel of the _Cheval Blanc_, which just
now encloses me within its granite walls--here, I say, lived and revelled
the illustrious family of the DE VERES.[157] Hence William the Conqueror
took the famous AUBREY DE VERE to be a spectator of his prowess, and a
sharer of his spoils, in his decisive subjugation of our own country. It is
from this place that the De Veres derive their name. Their once-proud
castle yet towers above the rushing rivulet below, which turns a hundred
mills in its course: but the warder's horn has long ceased to be heard, and
the ramparts are levelled with the solid rock with which they were once, as
it were, identified.

I left Coutances with something approaching to reluctance; so completely
_anglicised_ seemed to be the scenery and inhabitants. The evening was
beautiful in the extreme: and upon gaining the height of one of the
opposite hills, within about half a league of the town, on the high
Granville route, I alighted--walked, stopped, and gazed, alternately, upon
the lovely landscape around--the cathedral, in the mean time, becoming of
one entire golden tint from the radiance of the setting sun. It was hardly
possible to view a more perfect picture of its kind; and it served as a
just counterpart to the more expansive scene which I had contemplated, but
the preceding evening, from the heights of that same cathedral. The
conducteur of the Diligence rousing me from my rapturous abstraction, I
remounted, and descended into a valley; and ere the succeeding height was
gained, a fainter light floated over the distant landscape ... and every
object reminded me of the accuracy of those exquisite lines of
Collins--descriptive of the approach of evening's

  ... gradual, dusky veil.

For the first time, I had to do with a drunken conducteur. Luckily the road
was broad, and in the finest possible condition, and perfectly well known
to the horses. Every turning was successfully made; and the fear of
upsetting began to give way to the annoyance experienced from the roaring
and shouting of the conducteur. It was almost dark when I reached
GRANVILLE--about twelve miles from Coutances; when I learnt that the horses
had run six miles before they started with us. On entering the town, the
road was absolutely solid rock: and considering what a _house_ we carried
behind us (for so the body of the _diligence_ seemed) and the uncertain
footing of the horses, in consequence of the rocky surface of the road, I
apprehended the most sinister result. Luckily it was moon-light; when,
approaching one of the sorriest looking inns imaginable, whither our
conducteur (in spite of the better instructions of the landlord of the
Hôtel d'Angleterre at Coutances) had persuaded us to go, the passengers
alighted with thankful hearts, and bespoke supper and beds.

Granville is fortified on the land side by a deep ravine, which renders an
approach from thence almost impracticable. On every other side it is
defended by the ocean, into which the town seems to have dropt
perpendicularly from the clouds. At high water, Granville cannot be
approached, even by transports, nearer than within two-thirds of a league;
and of course at low water it is surrounded by an extent of sharply pointed
rock and chalk: impenetrable--terrific--and presenting both certain failure
and destruction to the assailants. It is a GIBRALTAR IN MINIATURE. The
English sharply cannonaded it a few years since, but it was only a
political diversion. No landing was attempted. In the time of the civil
wars, and more particularly in those of the League, Granville, however, had
its share of misery. It is now a quiet, dull, dreary, place; to be visited
only for the sake of the view from thence, looking towards _St. Malo_, and
_Mont St. Michel_; the latter of which I give up--as an hopeless object of
attainment. Granville is in fact built upon rock;[158] and the houses and
the only two churches are entirely constructed of granite. The principal
church (I think it was the principal) is rather pretty within, as to its
construction; but the decidedly gloomy effect given to it by the tint of
the _granite_--the pillars being composed of that substance--renders it
disagreeable to the eye. I saw several confessionals; and in one of them,
the office of confession was being performed by a priest, who attended to
two penitents at the same time; but whose physiognomy was so repulsively
frightful, that I could not help concluding he was listening to a tale
which he was by no means prepared to receive.

An hour's examination of the town thoroughly satisfied me. There was no
public conveyance to _Vire_, whither I intended immediately departing, and
so I hired a voiture to be drawn by one sturdy Norman horse. To a question
about springs, the conducteur replied that I should find every thing "très
propre." Having paid the reckoning, I set my face towards VIRE. The day,
for the season of the year, turned out to be gloomy and cold beyond
measure: and the wind (to the east) was directly in my face. Nevertheless
the road was one of the finest that I had seen in France, for breadth and
general soundness of condition. It had all the characteristics, in breadth
and straitness, of a Roman route; and as it was greatly undulating, I had
frequently some gratifying glimpses of its bold direction. The surrounding
country was of a quietly picturesque but fruitful aspect; and had my seat
been comfortable, or after the fashion of those in my own country, my
sensations had been more agreeable. But in truth, instead of _springs_, or
any thing approximating to "très propre," I had to encounter a _hard
plank_, suspended at the extremities, by a piece of leather, to the sides;
and as the road was but too well bottomed, and the conveyance was open in
front to the bitter blast of the east, I can hardly describe (as I shall
never forget) the misery of this conveyance.

Fortunately the first stage was _Ville Dieu_. Here I ordered a voiture and
post horses: but the master of the Poste Royale, or rather of the inn,
shook his head--"Pour les chevaux, vous en aurez des meilleurs: mais, pour
la voiture il n'y en a pas. Tenez, Monsieur; venez voir." I followed, with
miserable forebodings--and entering a shed, where stood an old
tumble-down-looking phaeton--"la voilà, c'est la seule que je possède en ce
moment"--exclaimed the landlord. It had never stirred from its position
since the fall of last years' leaf. It had been--within and without--the
roosting place for fowls and other of the feathered tribe in the farm yard;
and although literally covered with the _evidences_ of such long and
undisturbed possession, yet, as there was no appearance of rain, and as I
discovered the wished for "_ressorts_" (or _springs_) I compromised for the
repulsiveness of the exterior, and declared my intention of taking it
onward. Water, brooms, brushes, and cloths, were quickly put in
requisition; and two stately and well fed horses, which threatened to fly
away with this slender machine, being fastened on, I absolutely darted
forward at a round rattling gallop for _St. Sever_. Blessings ever wait
upon the memory of that artisan who invented ... _springs_!

The postilion had the perfect command of his horses, and he galloped, or
trotted, or ambled, as his fancy--or rather our wishes--directed. The
approach to our halting place was rather imposing. What seemed to be a
monastery, or church, at St. Sever, had quite the appearance of Moorish
architecture; and indeed as I had occasional glimpses of it through the
trees, the effect was exceedingly picturesque. This posting town is in
truth very delightfully situated. While the horses were being changed, I
made our way for the monastery; which I found to be in a state rather of
dilapidation than of ruin. It had, indeed, a wretched aspect. I entered the
chapel, and saw lying, transversely upon a desk, to the left--a very clean,
large paper, and uncut copy of the folio _Rouen Missal_ of 1759. Every
thing about this deserted and decaying spot had a melancholy appearance:
but the surrounding country was rich, wooded, and picturesque. In former
days of prosperity--such as St. Sever had seen before the Revolution--there
had been gaiety, abundance, and happiness. It was now a perfect contrast to
such a state.

On returning to the "_Poste Royale_" I found two fresh lusty horses to our
voiture--but the postilion had sent a boy into the field to catch a
_third_. Wherefore was this? The tarif exacted it. A third horse
"réciproquement pour l'année"--parce qu'il faut traverser une grande
montagne avant d'arriver à Vire"--was the explanatory reply. It seemed
perfectly ridiculous, as the vehicle was of such slender dimensions and
weight. However, I was forced to yield. To scold the postboy was equally
absurd and unavailing: "parce que la tarif l'exigea." But the "montagne"
was doubtless a reason for this additional horse: and I began to imagine
that something magnificently picturesque might be in store. The three
horses were put a-breast, and off we started with a phaeton-like velocity!
Certainly nothing could have a more ridiculous appearance than my pigmy
voiture thus conveyed by three animals--strong enough to have drawn the
diligence. I was not long in reaching this "huge mountain," which provoked
my unqualified laughter--from its insignificant size--and upon the top of
which stands the town of VIRE. It had been a _fair_-day; and groups of men
and women, returning from the town, in their blue and crimson dresses,
cheered somewhat the general gloom of the day, and lighted up the features
of the landscape. The nearer I approached, the more numerous and incessant
were these groups.

Vire is a sort of _Rouen_ in miniature--if bustle and population be only
considered. In architectural comparison, it is miserably feeble and
inferior. The houses are generally built of granite, and look extremely
sombre in consequence. The old castle is yet interesting and commanding.
But of this presently. I drove to the "_Cheval Blanc_," and bespoke, as
usual, a late dinner and beds. The first visit was to the _castle,_ but it
is right that you should know, before hand, that the town of Vire, which
contains a population of about ten thousand souls, stands upon a commanding
eminence, in the midst of a very beautiful and picturesque country called
the BOCAGE. This country was, in former times, as fruitful in civil wars,
horrors, and devastations, as the more celebrated Bocage of the more
western part of France during the late Revolution. In short, the Bocage of
Normandy was the scene of bloodshed during the Calvinistic or Hugonot
persecution. It was in the vicinity of this town, in the parts through
which I have travelled--from Caen hitherwards--that the hills and the dales
rang with the feats of arms displayed in the alternate discomfiture and
success of COLIGNY, CONDÉ, MONTMOGERY, and MATIGNON.[159]

But for the Castle. It is situated at the extremity of an open space,
terminated by a portion of the boulevards; having, in the foreground, the
public library to the left, and a sort of municipal hall to the right:
neither of them objects of much architectural consequence. Still nearer in
the foreground, is a fountain; whither men, women, and children--but
chiefly the second class, in the character of _blanchisseuses_--regularly
resort for water; as its bason is usually overflowing. It was in a lucky
moment that Mr. Lewis paid a visit to this spot; which his ready pencil
transmitted to his sketch-book in a manner too beautiful and faithful not
to be followed up by a finished design. I send you a portion of this
prettily grouped picture; premising, that the woman to the right, in the
foreground, begged leave purposely to sit--or rather stand--for her
portrait. The artist, in a short time, was completely surrounded by
spectators of his graphic skill.

[Illustration]

The "_Cheval Blanc_"--the name of the hotel at which I reside--should be
rather called the "_Cheval Noir_;" for a more dark, dingy, and even dirty
residence, for a traveller of any _nasal_ or _ocular_ sensibility, can be
rarely visited. My bed room is hung with tapestry; which, for aught I know
to the contrary, may represent the daring exploits of MONTGOMERY and
MATIGNON: but which is so begrimed with filth that there is no decyphering
the subjects worked upon it.

On leaving the inn--and making your way to the top of the street--you turn
to the left; but on looking down, again to the left, you observe, below
you, the great high road leading to _Caen_, which has a noble appearance.
Indeed, the manner in which this part of Normandy is intersected with the
"_routes royales_" cannot fail to strike a stranger; especially as these
roads run over hill and dale, amidst meadows, and orchards, equally
abundant in their respective harvests. The immediate vicinity of the town
is as remarkable for its picturesque objects of scenery as for its high
state of cultivation; and a stroll upon the heights, in whatever part
visited, will not fail to repay you for the certain disappointment to be
experienced within the streets of the town. Portions of the scenery, from
these heights, are not unlike those in Derbyshire, about Matlock. There is
plenty of rock, of shrubs, and of fern; while another _Derwent_, less
turbid and muddy, meanders below. Thus much for a general, but hasty sketch
of the town of Vire. My next shall give you some detail of the _interior_
of a few of the houses, of which I may be said to have hitherto only
contemplated the _roofs_.

And yet I must not close my despatch without performing my promise about
the CASTLE; of which indeed (as you will see by the subjoined miniature
view) only a sort of ruinous shell remains. Its age may be a little towards
the end of the thirteenth century. The stone is of a deep reddish tint: and
although what remains is only a portion of the _keep_, yet I can never
suppose it, even in its state of original integrity, to have been of very
capacious dimensions. Its site is most commanding.

[Illustration]


[157] The reader will find the fullest particulars relating to this
    once-distinguished family, in _Halstead's Genealogical Memoirs of
    Noble Families, &c_.: a book it is true, of extreme scarcity. In lieu
    of it let him consult _Collin's Noble Families_.

[158] [Mons. Licquet tells us, that in 1439, a Seigneur of Gratot, ceded
    the rock of Granville to an English Nobleman, on the day of St. John
    the Baptist, on receiving the homage of a hat of red roses. The
    Nobleman intended to build a town there; but Henry VI. dispossessed
    him of it, and built fortifications in 1440. Charles VII. in turn,
    dispossessed Henry; but the additional fortifications which he built
    were demolished by order of Louis XIV. &c.]

[159] An epitomised account of these civil commotions will be found in the
    _Histoire Militaire des Bocains, par_ M. RICHARD SEGUIN; _a
    Vire_, 1816; 12mo. of which work, and of its author, some notice
    will be taken in the following pages.



LETTER XVIII.

BIBLIOGRAPHY. MONSIEUR ADAM. MONSIEUR DE LARENAUDIERE. OLIVIER BASSELIN. M.
SÉGUIN. THE PUBLIC LIBRARY.


It is a sad rainy day; and having no temptation to stir abroad, I have shut
myself up by the side of a huge wood fire--(surrounded by the dingy
tapestry, of which my last letter did not make very honourable mention) in
a thoroughly communicative mood--to make you acquainted with all that has
passed since my previous despatch. Books and the Bibliomania be the chief
"burden of my present song!" You may remember, in my account of the public
library at Caen, that some mention was made of a certain OLIVIER
BASSELIN--whom I designated as the DRUNKEN BARNABY _of Normandy_. Well, my
friend--I have been at length made happy, and comforted in the extreme, by
the possession of a copy of the _Vaudevires_ of that said Olivier
Basselin--and from the hands, too, of one of his principal editors ...
Monsieur Lanon de Larenaudiere, Avocat, et Maire, de Tallevende-le-Petit.
This copy I intend (as indeed I told the donor) for the beloved library at
Althorp. But let me tell my tale my own way.

Hard by the hotel of the _Cheval Blanc_, (the best, bad as it is--and
indeed the only one in the town) lives a printer of the name of ADAM. He is
the principal, and the most respectable of his brethren in the same craft.
After discoursing upon sundry desultory topics--and particularly examining
the _books of Education_, among which I was both surprised and pleased to
find the _Distichs of Muretus_[160]--I expressed my regret at having
travelled through so many towns of Normandy without meeting with one single
copy of the _Vaudevires of Olivier Basselin_ for sale. "It is not very
surprising, Sir, since it is a privately printed book, and was never
intended for sale. The impression too is very limited. You know, Sir, that
the book was published here--and--" "Then I begin to be confident about
obtaining it"--replied I. "Gently, Sir;--" resumed Monsieur Adam--"it is
not to be bought, even here. But do you know no one...?" "Not a creature."
"Well, Sir, take courage. You are an Englishman. One of its principal
editors--a very gallant _Bibliomaniac_--who is a great collector and lover
of the literature of your country--(here I picked up courage and gaiety of
heart) lives in this town. He is President of the Tribunal. Go to him."
Seeing me hesitate, in consequence of not having a letter of
introduction--"Ce n'est rien (said he) allez tout-droit. Il aime vos
compatriotes; et soyez persuadé de l'accueil le plus favorable." Methought
Monsieur Adam spake more eloquently than I had yet heard a Norman
speak.[161]

In two seconds I quitted his shop, (promising to return with an account of
my reception) and five minutes brought me into the presence of Monsieur
Lanon de Larenaudiere, Président du Tribunal, &c. It is not possible for me
to convey to you a notion of the warmth, cordiality, and joyousness of
heart, that marked the reception which this gentleman instantly gave me:
and I will frankly own that I was as much "abashed" as ever our ancient
friend Caxton had been--in the presence of his patroness the Duchess of
Burgundy. I followed my new bibliomaniacal acquaintance rapidly up stairs;
and witnessed, with extreme pleasure, a few bundles of books (some of them
English) lying upon the window seats of the first landing-place; much after
the fashion followed in a certain long, rambling, and antique residence,
not quite three quarters of a mile from the towers of Westminster Abbey.

On gaining the first floor, mine host turned the keys of the doors of two
contiguous rooms, and exclaimed, "VOILA MA BIBLIOTHEQUE!" The air of
conscious triumph with which these words were uttered, delighted me
infinitely; but my delight was much increased on a leisurely survey of one
of the prettiest, most useful, and commendable collections of books,
chiefly in the department of the Belles-Lettres, which I had ever
witnessed. Monsieur de Larenaudiere has a library of about 9000 volumes, of
which _eight hundred are English_. But the owner is especially fond of
poetical archaeology; in other words, of collecting every work which
displays the progress of French and English poetry in the middle and
immediately following ages; and talks of _Trouveurs_ and _Troubadours_ with
an enthusiasm approaching to extacy. Meanwhile he points his finger to our
Warton, Ellis, Ritson, and Southey; tells you how dearly he loves them; but
yet leads you to conclude that he _rather_ prefers _Le Grand, Ginguené,
Sismondi_, and _Raynouard_. Of the venerable living oracle in these
matters, the Abbé de la Rue, he said he considered him as "un peu trop
systématique." In short, M. de Larenaudiere has almost a complete critical
collection, in our tongue, upon the subject of old poetry; and was most
anxious and inquisitive about the present state of cultivation of that
branch of literature in England: adding, that he himself meditated a work
upon the French poetry of the XIIth and XIIIth centuries. He said he
thought his library might be worth about 25,000 francs: nor did I consider
such a valuation overcharged. He talks rapidly, earnestly, and incessantly;
but he talks well: and spoke of the renown of a certain library in _St.
James's Place_, in a manner which could not fail to quicken the pulse and
warm the blood of its Librarian. I concluded an interview of nearly two
hours, by his compliance with my wish to dine with me on the following day:
although he was quite urgent in bargaining for the previous measure of my
tasting his _pôtage_ and _vol au vent_. But the shortness and constant
occupation of my time would not allow me to accede to it. M. de
Larenaudiere then went to a cabinet-like cupboard, drew forth an uncut
copy, stitched in blue spotted paper, of his beloved _Vaudevires_ of
OLIVIER BASSELIN:[162] and presenting it to me, added "Conservez le, pour
l'amour de moi." You may be assured that I received such a present in the
most gracious manner I was capable of--but instantly and honestly
added--"permettez qu'il soit déposé dans la bibliothèque de Milord S...?
"C'est la même chose"--rejoined he; and giving me the address of the public
librarian, we separated in the most cordial manner till the morrow.

I posted back to Monsieur Adam, the printer and bookseller, and held aloft
my blue-covered copy of the _Vaudevires_ as an unquestionable proof of the
successful result of my visit to Monsieur La Renaudiere. Leaving the
precious cargo with him, and telling him that I purposed immediately
visiting the public library, he seemed astonished at my eagerness about
books--and asked me if I had ever _published_ any thing _bibliographical_?
"Car enfin, Monsieur, la pluspart des _Virois_ ne savent rien de la
litérature angloise"--concluded he ... But I had just witnessed a splendid
exception to this sweeping clause of censure. I then sought the residence
of the Abbé Du MORTUEUX, the public librarian. That gentleman was from
home, at a dinner party. I obtained information of the place where he might
be found; and considering _two_ o'clock to be rather too early an hour
(even in France) to disturb a gentleman during the exercise of so important
a function, I strolled in the neighbourhood of the street, where he was
regaling, for a full hour and half: when, at the expiration of that time, I
ventured to knock at the door of a very respectable mansion, and to enquire
for the bibliographical Abbé. "He is here, Sir, and has just done dinner.
May I give him your name?" "I am a stranger: an Englishman; who, on the
recommendation of Monsieur Larenaudiere, wishes to see the public library.
But I will call again in about an hour." "By no means: by no means: the
Abbé will see you immediately." And forthwith appeared a very comely, tall,
and respectable-looking gentleman, with his hair en plein costume, both as
to form and powder. Indeed I had rarely before witnessed so prepossessing a
figure. His salutation and address were most gracious and winning; and he
told me that I had nothing to do but to accompany him to the place which I
wished to visit. Without even returning to his friends, he took his
hat--and in one minute, to my surprise, I found myself in the street with
the Abbé de Mortueux, in the high way to the PUBLIC LIBRARY. In our way
thither our discourse was constant and unrestrained. "You appear here;
Monsieur l'Abbé, to be partial to literature;... but allow me first to
congratulate you on the beautiful environs of your town." "For literature
in general, we are pretty well disposed. In regard to the beauties of the
immediate neighbourhood of Vire, we should be unworthy inhabitants indeed,
if we were not sensible of them." In five minutes we reached the Library.

The shutters of the room were fastened, but the worthy Abbé opened them in
a trice; when I saw, for the first time in Normandy, what appeared to be a
genuine, old, unmutilated, unpillaged library. The room could be scarcely
more than twenty-two feet square. I went instantly to work, with eyes and
hands, in the ardent hope, and almost full persuasion, of finding something
in the shape of a good old Greek or Roman Classic, or French Chronicle, or
Romance. But, alas, I looked, and handled the tomes in vain! The history of
the library is this:--The founder was a Monsieur PICHON; who, on being
taken prisoner by the English, at the capture of Louisburg in 1758, resided
a long time in England under the name of TYRREL, and lived in circumstances
of respectability and even of opulence. There--whether on the dispersion of
the libraries of our Meads, Foulkes', and Rawlinsons, I know not--he made
his collection; took his books over with him to Jersey, where he died in
1780: and bequeathed them, about 3000 in number, to his native town of
Vire. M. du Mortueux, who gave me these particulars, has drawn up a little
memorial about Pichon. His portrait, executed by an English artist, (whilst
he lived among us) adorns the library; with which I hope it will go down to
a distant and grateful posterity. The colouring of this portrait is faded:
but it is evident that Monsieur Pichon had an expressive and sensible
physiognomy.

Wonderful to relate, this collection of books was untouched during the
Revolution; while the neighbouring library of the _Cordeliers_ was
ransacked without mercy. But I regret to say that the books in the
cupboards are getting sadly damp. Do not expect any thing very marvellous
in the details of this collection; The old-fashioned library doors, of
wood, are quite in character with what they protect. Among the earlier
printed books, I saw a very bad copy of _Sweynheym and Pannartz's_ edition
of the _De Civitate Dei_ of St. Austin, of the date of 1470; and a large
folio of _Gering's_ impression of the _Sermons of Leonard de Utino_ printed
about the year 1478. This latter was rather a fine book. A little
black-letter Latin Bible by Froben, of the date of 1495, somewhat tempted
me; but I could not resist asking, in a manner half serious and half
jocose, whether a napoleon would not secure me the possession of a piquant
little volume of black-letter tracts, printed by my old friend Guido
Mercator?[163] The Abbé smiled: observing--"mon ami, on fait voir les
livres ici; on les lit même: mais on ne les vend pas." I felt the force of
this pointed reply: and was resolved never again to ask an Ecclesiastic to
part with a black-letter volume, even though it should be printed by "my
old friend Guido Mercator."

Seeing there was very little more deserving of investigation, I enquired of
my amiable guide about the "LIBRARY OF THE CORDELIERS," of which he had
just made mention. He told me that it consisted chiefly of canon and civil
law, and had been literally almost destroyed: that he had contrived however
to secure a great number of "rubbishing theological books," (so he called
them!) which he sold for _three sous_ a piece--and with the produce of
which he bought many excellent works for the library. I should like to have
had the sifting of this "theological rubbish!" It remained only to thank
the Abbé most heartily for his patient endurance of my questions and
searches, and particularly to apologise for bringing him from his
surrounding friends. He told me, beginning with a "soyez tranquille," that
the matter was not worth either a thought or a syllable; and ere we quitted
the library, he bade me observe the written entries of the numbers of
students who came daily thither to read. There were generally (he told me)
from fifteen to twenty "hard at it"--and I saw the names of not fewer than
_ninety-two_ who aspired to the honour and privilege of having access to
the BIBLIOTHECA PICHONIANA.

For the third time, in the same day, I visited Monsieur Adam; to carry
away, like a bibliomaniacal Jason, the fleece I had secured. I saw there a
grave, stout gentleman--who saluted me on my entrance, and who was
introduced to me by Monsieur A. by the name of SÉGUIN. He had been waiting
(he said) full three quarters of an hour to see me, and concluded by
observing, that, although a man in business, he had aspired to the honour
of authorship. He had written, in fact, two rather interesting--but
wretchedly, and incorrectly printed--duodecimo volumes, relating to the
BOCAGE,[164] in the immediate vicinity of Vire; and was himself the sole
vender and distributer of his publications. On my expressing a wish to
possess these books, he quitted the premises, and begged I would wait his
return with a copy or two of them. While he was gone, M. Adam took the
opportunity of telling me that he was a rich, respectable tradesman; but
that, having said some severe things of the manufactures of Vire in his
_first_ publication,[165] relating to the _civil_ history of the Bocains,
his townsmen sharply resented what they considered as reflections thrown
out against them; and M. Séguin was told that perhaps his personal safety
was endangered ... He wanted not a second hint--but fled from home with
precipitancy: and in his absence the populace suspended his effigy, and
burnt it before the door of his house. This, however, did not _cool_ the
ardour of authorship in M. Séguin. He set about publishing his _military_
history of the Bocains; and in the introductory part took occasion to
retort upon the violence of his persecutors. To return to M. Séguin. In
about ten minutes he appeared, with two copies in his hand--which I
purchased, I thought dearly, at five francs each volume; or a napoleon for
the four books. After the adventures of this day, I need hardly tell you
that I relished a substantial dinner at a late hour, and that I was well
satisfied with Vire.

Yesterday M. de Larenaudiere made good his engagement, and dined with me at
five, in the salle à manger. This is a large inn; and if good fare depended
upon the number and even elegance of female cooks, the traveller ought to
expect the very best at the _Cheval Blanc_. The afternoon was so
inviting--and my guest having volunteered his services to conduct me to the
most beautiful points of view in the immediate neighbourhood--that we each
seemed to vie with the other in quickly dispatching what was placed before
us; and within thirty-five minutes, from the moment of sitting down, we
were in the outskirts of Vire. Never shall I forget that afternoon's
ramble. The sun seemed to become more of a golden hue, and the atmosphere
to increase in clearness and serenity. A thousand little songsters were
warbling in the full-leaved branches of the trees; while the mingled notes
of the _blanchisseuses_ and the milk-maids, near the banks of the rippling
stream below, reached us in a sort of wild and joyous harmony--as we gazed
down from the overhanging heights. The meadows were spotted with sheep, and
the orchards teemed with the coming fruit. You may form some notion of the
value of this rich and picturesque scenery, when I tell you that M. de
Larenaudiere possesses land, in the immediate vicinity of Vire, which lets
per acre at the rate of _6l._ _6s._ English. My guide was all gaiety of
heart, and activity of step. I followed him through winding paths and
devious tracks, amidst coppice-wood and fern--not however till I had
viewed, from one particular spot upon the heights, a most commanding and
interesting panorama of the town of Vire.

In our perambulation, we discoursed of English poetry; and I found that
THOMSON was as great a favourite with my guide as with the rest of his
countrymen. Indeed he frankly told me that he had translated him into
French verse, and intended to publish his translation. I urged him to quote
specimens; which he did with a readiness and force, and felicity of
version, that quite delighted me. He thoroughly understands the original;
and in the description of a cataract, or mountain torrent, from the Summer,
he appeared to me almost to surpass it. My guide then proceeded to quote
Young and Pope, and delivered his opinion of our two great Whig and Tory
Reviews. He said he preferred the politics and vivacity of the _Edinburgh_,
but thought the _Quarterly_ more instructive and more carefully written.
"Enfin (he concluded) j'aime infiniment votre gouvernement, et vos
écrivains; mais j'aime moins le peuple Anglois." I replied that he had at
least very recently shewn an exception to this opinion, in his treatment of
_one_ among this _very_ people. "C'est une autre chose"--replied he
briskly, and laughingly--"vous allez voir deux de vos compatriotes, qui
sont mes intimes, et vous en serez bien content!" So saying, we continued
our route through a delightful avenue of beech-trees, upon the most
elevated part within the vicinity of the town; and my companion bade me
view from thence the surrounding country. It was rich and beautiful in the
extreme; and with perfect truth, I must say, resembled much more strongly
the generality of our own scenery than what I had hitherto witnessed in
Normandy. But the sun was beginning to cast his shadows broader and
broader, and where was the residence of Monsieur and Madame S----?

It was almost close at hand. We reached it in a quarter of an hour--but the
inmates were unluckily from home. The house is low and long, but
respectable in appearance both within and without. The approach to it is
through a pretty copse, terminated by a garden; and the surrounding grounds
are rather tastefully laid out. A portion of it indeed had been trained
into something in the shape of a labyrinth; in the centre of which was a
rocky seat, embedded as it were in moss--and from which some fine glimpses
were caught of the surrounding country. The fragrance from the orchard
trees, which had not yet quite shed their blossoms, was perfectly
delicious; while the stillness of evening added to the peculiar harmony of
the whole. We had scarcely sauntered ten minutes before Madame arrived. She
had been twelve years in France, and spoke her own language so imperfectly,
or rather so unintelligibly, that I begged of her to resume the French. Her
reception of us was most hospitable: but we declined cakes and wine, on
account of the lateness of the hour. She told us that her husband was in
possession of from fourscore to a hundred acres of the most productive
land; and regretted that he was from home, on a visit to a neighbouring
gentleman; assuring us, if we could stay, that he would be heartily glad to
see us--"especially any of his _countrymen_, when introduced by Monsieur de
Larenaudiere." It was difficult to say who smiled and bowed with the
greater complacency, at this double-shotted compliment. I now pressed our
retreat homewards. We bade this agreeable lady farewell, and returned down
the heights, and through the devious paths by which we had ascended,

  While talk of various kind deceived the road.

A more active and profitable day has not yet been devoted to Norman
objects, whether of art or of nature. Tomorrow I breakfast with my friend
and guide, and immediately afterwards push on for FALAISE. A cabriolet is
hired, but doubts are entertained respecting the practicability of the
route. My next epistle will be therefore from Falaise--where the renowned
William the Conqueror was born, whose body we left entombed at Caen. The
day is clearing up; and I yet hope for a stroll upon the site of the
castle.



[160] "_Les Distiques de Muret, traduits en vers Français, par Aug.
    A_. Se vend à Vire, chez Adam imprimeur-lib. An. 1809. The reader may
    not be displeased to have a specimen of the manner of rendering these
    distichs into French verse:

      1.
      Dum tener es, MURETE, avidis hæc auribus hauri:
      Nec memori modò conde animo, sed et exprime factis.

      2.
      Imprimis venerare Deum; venerare parentes:
      Et quos ipsa loco tibi dat natura parentum.
      &c.

      1.
      _Jeune encore, ô mon fils! pour être homme de bien,
      Ecoute, et dans ton coeur grave cet entretien_.

      2.
      _Sers, honors le Dieu qui créa tous les êtres;
      Sois fils respectueux, sois docile à tes maîtres.
      &c_.

[161] [Smartly and felicitously rendered by my translator Mons. Licquet;
    "Jamais bouche Normande ne m'avait paru plus éloquente que celle de M.
    Adam." vol. ii. p. 220.]

[162] The present seems to be the proper place to give the reader some
    account of this once famous Bacchanalian poet. It is not often that
    France rests her pretensions to poetical celebrity upon such claims.
    Love, romantic adventures, gaiety of heart and of disposition, form
    the chief materials of her minor poems; but we have here before us, in
    the person and productions of OLIVIER BASSELIN, a rival to ANACREON of
    old; to our own RICHARD BRAITHWAIT, VINCENT BOURNE, and THOMAS MOORE.
    As this volume may not be of general notoriety, the reader may be
    prepared to receive an account of its contents with the greater
    readiness and satisfaction. First, then, of the life and occupations
    of Olivier Basselin; which, as Goujet has entirely passed over all
    notice of him, we can gather only from the editors of the present
    edition of his works. Basselin appears to have been a _Virois_;
    in other words, an inhabitant of the town of Vire. But he had a
    strange propensity to rusticating, and preferred the immediate
    vicinity of Vire--its quiet little valleys, running streams, and rocky
    recesses--to a more open and more distant residence. In such places,
    therefore, he carried with him his flasks of cider and his flagons of
    wine. Thither he resorted with his "boon and merry companions," and
    there he poured forth his ardent and unpremeditated strains. These
    "strains" all savoured of the jovial propensities of their author; it
    being very rarely that tenderness of sentiment, whether connected with
    friendship or love, is admitted into his compositions. He was the
    thorough-bred Anacreon of France at the close of the fifteenth
    century.

    The town of Vire, as the reader may have already had intimation, is
    the chief town of that department of Normandy called the BOCAGE; and
    in this department few places have been, of old, more celebrated than
    the _Vaux de Vire_; on account of the number of manufactories which
    have existed there from time immemorial. It derives its name from two
    principal valleys, in the form of a T, of which the base (if it may be
    so called--"jambage") rests upon the _Place du Chateau de Vire_. It is
    sufficiently contiguous to the town to be considered among the
    fauxbourgs. The rivers _Vire_ and _Viréne_, which unite at the bridge
    of Vaux, run somewhat rapidly through the valleys. These rivers are
    flanked by manufactories of paper and cloth, which, from the XVth
    century, have been distinguished for their prosperous condition.
    Indeed, BASSELIN himself was a sort of cloth manufacturer. In this
    valley he passed his life in fulling his cloths, and "in composing
    those gay and delightful songs which are contained in the volume under
    consideration." _Discours Préliminaire_, p. 17, &c. Olivier Basselin
    is the parent of the title _Vaudevire--_which has since been corrupted
    into _Vaudeville_. From the observation of his critics, Basselin
    appears to have been the FATHER of BACCHANALIAN POETRY in France. He
    frequented public festivals, and was a welcome guest at the tables of
    the rich; where the Vaudevire was in such request, that it is supposed
    to have superseded the "Conte, or Fabliau, or the Chanson d'Amour."[B]
    p. xviij:

      Sur ce point-là, soyez tranquille:
      Nos neveux, j'én suis bien certain,
      Se souviendront de BASSELIN,
      _Pere joyeux du Vaudeville:_ p. xxiij.

    I proceed to submit a few specimens of the muse of this ancient
    ANACREON of France; and must necessarily begin with a few of those
    that are chiefly of a bacchanalian quality.

      _VAUDEVIRE II_.

      AYANT le doz au feu et le ventre à la table,
      Estant parmi les pots pleins de vin délectable,
         Ainsi comme ung poulet
      Je ne me laisseray morir de la pepie,
      Quant en debvroye avoir la face cramoisie
         Et le nez violet;

      QUANT mon nez devendra de couleur rouge ou perse,
      Porteray les couleurs que chérit ma maitresse.
         Le vin rent le teint beau.
      Vault-il pas mieulx avoir la couleur rouge et vive,
      Riche de beaulx rubis, que si pasle et chétive
         Ainsi qu'ung beuveur d'eau.

      _VAUDEVIRE XI_.

      CERTES _hoc vinum est bonus_:
      Du maulvais latin ne nous chaille,
      Se bien congru n'estoit ce jus,
      Le tout ne vauldroit rien que vaille.
      Escolier j'appris que bon vin
      Aide bien au maulvais latin.

      CESTE sentence praticquant,
      De latin je n'en appris guère;
      Y pensant estre assez sçavant,
      Puisque bon vin aimoye à boire.
      Lorsque maulvais vin on a beu,
      Latin n'est bon, fust-il congru.
      Fy du latin, parlons françois,
      Je m'y recongnois davantaige.
      Je vueil boire une bonne fois,
      Car voicy ung maistre breuvaige;
      Certes se j'en beuvoye soubvent,
      Je deviendroye fort éloquent.

      _VAUDEVIRE XXII_.

        HE! qu'avons-nous affaire
        Du Turc ny du Sophy,
           Don don.
        Pourveu que j'aye à boire,
        Des grandeurs je dis fy.
           Don don.
      Trincque, Seigneur, le vin est bon:
      _Hoc acuit ingenium._

        QUI songe en vin ou vigne,
        Est ung présaige heureux,
           Don don.
        Le vin à qui réchigne
        Rent le coeur tout joyeux,
           Don don.
      Trincque, Seigneur, le vin est bon:
      _Hoc acuit ingenium_.
         &c.

    The poetry of Basselin is almost wholly devoted to the celebration of
    the physical effects of wine upon the body and animal spirits; and the
    gentler emotions of the TENDER PASSION are rarely described in his
    numbers. In consequence, he has not invoked the Goddess of Beauty to
    associate with the God of Wine: to

      "Drop from her myrtle one leaf in his bowl;"

    or, when he does venture to introduce the society of a female, it is
    done after the following fashion--which discovers however an extreme
    facility and melody of rhythm. The burden of the song seems
    wonderfully accordant with a Bacchanalian note.

      _VAUDEVIRE XIX_.

      En ung jardin d'ombraige tout couvert,
      Au chaud du jour, ay treuvé Madalaine,
      Qui près le pié d'ung sicomorre vert
      Dormoit au bort d'une claire fontaine;
      Son lit estoit de thin et marjolaine.
      Son tetin frais n'estoit pas bien caché:
         D'amour touché,
      Pour contempler sa beauté souveraine
      Incontinent je m'en suys approché.
         Sus, sus, qu'on se resveille,
         Voicy vin excellent
         Qui faict lever l'oreille;
         Il faict mol qui n'en prent.

      Je n'eus pouvoir, si belle la voyant,
      De m'abstenir de baizotter sa bouche;
      Si bien qu'enfin la belle s'esveillant,
      Me regardant avec ung oeil farouche,
      Me dit ces mots: Biberon, ne me touche.
      Belle fillette à son aize ne couche
      Avecq celuy qui ne faict qu'yvrongner,
         &c.  &c.

    The preceding extracts will suffice. This is a volume in every respect
    interesting--both to the literary antiquary and to the Book-Collector.
    A NEW EDITION of this work has appeared under the editorial care of M.
    Louis Dubois, published at Caen in 1821, 8vo. obtainable at a very
    moderate price.

      [B] The host, at these public and private festivals, usually called
      upon some one to recite or sing a song, chiefly of an amatory or
      chivalrous character; and this custom prevailed more particularly in
      Normandy than in other parts of France:

        Usaige est en Normandie,
        Que qui hebergiez est qu'il die
        Fable ou Chanson à son oste.

      See the authorities cited at page XV, of this Discours préliminaire.

[163] Some account of this printer, together with a fac-simile of his
    device, may be seen in the _Bibliographical Decameron_, vol. ii.
    p. 33-6.

[164] The first publication is entitled "_Essai sur l'Histoire de
    l'Industrie du Bocage en Général et de la Ville de Vire sa capitale en
    particulier, &c._" Par M. RICHARD SEGUIN. _A Vire, chez Adam,
    Imprimeur, an_ 1810, 12mo. It is not improbable that I may have
    been the only importer of this useful and crowdedly-paged duodecimo
    volume; which presents us with so varied and animated a picture of the
    manners, customs, trades, and occupations of the Bocains and the
    Virois.

[165] I subjoin an extract which relates to the

        DRESS AND CHARACTER OF THE WOMEN.

        "Quant au COSTUME DES FEMMES d'aujourd'hui, comme il faudrait un
        volume entier pour le décrire, je n'ai pas le courage de m'engager
        dans ce labyrinte de ridicules et de frivolités. Ce que j'en dirai
        seulement en général, c'est qu'autant les femmes du temps passé,
        etaient décentes et chastes, et se faisaient gloire d'être graves
        et modestes, autant celles de notre siècle mettent tout en oeuvre
        pour paraître cyniques et voluptueuses. Nous ne sommes plus au
        temps où les plus grandes dames se faisaient honneur de porter la
        cordélière.[C] Leurs habillemens étaient aussi larges et fermés,
        que celui des femmes de nos jours sont ouverts et légers, et d'une
        finesse que les formes du corps, au moindre mouvement, se
        dessinent, de manière à ne laisser rien ignorer. A peine se
        couvrent-elles le sein d'un voile transparent très-léger ou de je
        ne sais quelle palatine qu'elles nomment point-à-jour, qui, en
        couvrant tout, ne cache rien; en sorte que si elles n'étalent pas
        tous leurs charmes à découvert, c'est que les hommes les moins
        scrupuleux, qui se contentent de les persifler, en seraient
        révoltés tout-à-fait. D'ailleurs, c'est que ce n'est pas encore la
        mode; plusieurs poussent même l'impudence jusqu'à venir dans nos
        temples sans coiffure, les cheveux hérissés comme des furies;
        d'autres, par une bizarrerie qu'on ne peut expliquer se
        dépouillent, autant qu'il est en leur pouvoir, des marques de leur
        propre sexe, sembleut rougir d'être femmes, et deviennent
        ridicules en voulant paraitre demi-hommes.

        "Après avoir deshonoré l'habit des femmes, elles ont encore voulu
        prostituer CELUI DES HOMMES. On les a vues adopter successivement
        les chapeaux, les redingotes, les vestes, les gilets, les bottes
        et jusqu'aux boutons. Enfin si, au lieu de jupons, elles avaient
        pu s'accommoder de l'usage de la culotte, la métamorphose était
        complette; mais elles ont préféré les robes traînantes; c'est
        dommage que la nature ne leur ait donné une troisième main, qui
        leur serait nécessaire pour tenir cette longue queue, qui souvent
        patrouille la boue ou balaye la poussière. Plût à Dieu que les
        anciennes lois fussent encore en vigueur, ou ceux et celles qui
        portaient des habits indécent étaient obligés d'aller à Rome pour
        en obtenir l'absolution, qui ne pouvait leur être accordée que par
        le souverain pontife, &c.

        "Les femmes du Bocage, et sur-tout les Viroises, joignent à un
        esprit vif et enjoué les qualités du corps les plus estimables.
        Blondes et brunes pour le plus grand nombre, elles sont de la
        moyenne taille, mais bien formées: elles ont le teint frais et
        fleuri, l'oeil vif, le visage vermeil, la démarche leste, un air
        étoffé et très élégantes dans tout leur maintien. Si on dit avec
        raison que les Bayeusines sont belles, les filles du Bocage, qui
        sont leurs voisines, ne leur cèdent en aucune manière, car en
        général le sang est très-beau en ce pays. Quant aux talens
        spirituels, elles les possèdent à un dégré éminent. Elles parlent
        avec aisance, ont le repartie prompte, et outre les soins du
        ménage, ou elles excellent de telle sorte qu'il n'y a point de
        contrées ou il y ait plus de linge, elles entendent à merveille,
        et font avec succès tout le détail du commerce." p. 238.

    These passages, notwithstanding the amende honorable of the concluding
    paragraph, raised a storm of indignation against the unsuspecting
    author! Nor can we be surprised at it.

    This publication is really filled with a great variety of curious
    historical detail--throughout which is interspersed much that relates
    to "romaunt lore" and romantic adventures. The civil wars between
    MONTGOMERY and MATIGNON form alone a very important and interesting
    portion of the volume; and it is evident that the author has exerted
    himself with equal energy and anxiety to do justice to both
    parties--except that occasionally he betrays his antipathies against
    the Hugonots.[D] I will quote the concluding passage of this work.
    There may be at least half a score readers who may think it something
    more than merely historically curious:

        "Je finirai donc ici mon Histoire. Je n'ai point parlé d'un grand
        nombre des faits d'armes et d'actions glorieuses, qui se sont
        passés dans la guerre de l'indépendance des Etats-Unis d'Amérique
        où beaucoup de Bocains ont eu part; mais mon principal dessein a
        été de traiter des guerres qui ont eu lieu dans le Bocage; ainsi
        je crois avoir atteint mon but, qui était d'écrire l'Histoire
        Militaire des Bocains par des faits et non par des phrases, je ne
        peux cependant omettre une circonstance glorieuse pour le Bocage;
        c'est la visite que le bon et infortuné Louis XVI. fit aux Bocains
        en 1786. Ce grand Monarque dont les vues étaient aussi sages que
        profondes, avait résolu de faire construire le beau Port de
        Cherbourg, ouvrage vraiment Royal, qui est une des plus nobles
        entreprises qui aient été faites depuis l'origine de la Monarchie.
        Les Bocains sentirent l'avantage d'un si grand bienfait. Le Roi
        venant visiter les travaux, fut accueilli avec un enthousiasme
        presqu'impossible à décrire, ainsi que les Princes qui
        l'accompagnaient. Sa marche rassemblait à un triomphe. Les peuples
        accouraient en foule du fond des campagnes, et bordaient la route,
        faisant retentir les airs de chants d'alégresse et des cris
        millions de fois répétés de Vive le Roi! Musique, Processions,
        Arcs de triomphe, Chemins jonchés de fleurs; tout fut prodigué.
        Les villes de Caen, de Bayeux, de Saint-Lo, de Carentan, de
        Valognes, se surpassérent dans cette occasion, pour prouver à S.M.
        leur amour et leur reconnaissance; mais rien ne fut plus brillant
        que l'entrée de ce grand Roi à Cherbourg. Un peuple immense, le
        clergé, toute la noblesse du pays, le son des cloches, le bruit du
        canon, les acclamations universelles prouvérent au Monarque mieux
        encore que la pompe toute Royale et les fêtes magnifiques que la
        ville ne cessa de lui donner tous les jours, que les coeurs de
        tous les Bocains étaient à lui." p. 428.

      [C] "Ceinture alors regardée comme le symbole de la continence. La
      reine de France en décorait les femmes titrées dont la conduite
      était irréprochable." _Hist. de la réun. de Bretagne a la France
      par l'abbé Irail_.

      [D] "Les soldats Huguenots commirent dans cette occasion, toutes
      sortes de cruautés, d'infamies et de sacrilèges, jusqu'à mêler les
      Saintes Hosties avec l'avoine qu'ils donnaient à leurs chevaux: mais
      Dieu permit qu'ils n'en voulurent pas manger." p. 369.



LETTER XIX.

DEPARTURE FROM VIRE. CONDÉ. PONT OUILLY. ARRIVAL AT FALAISE. HOTEL OF THE
GRAND TURC. THE CASTLE OF FALAISE. BIBLIOMANIACAL INTERVIEW.

_Falaise_.


Here I am--or rather, here I have been--my most excellent friend, for the
last four days--and from hence you will receive probably the last despatch
from NORMANDY--- from the "land (as I told you in my first epistle) of
"castles, churches, and ancient chivalry." An old, well-situated,
respectably-inhabited, and even flourishing, town--the birth-place too of
our renowned FIRST WILLIAM:--weather, the most serene and inviting--and
hospitality, thoroughly hearty, and after the English fashion:--these have
all conspired to put me in tolerably good spirits. My health, too, thank
God, has been of late a little improved. You wish me to continue the thread
of my narrative unbroken; and I take it up therefore from the preparation
for my departure from Vire.

I breakfasted, as I told you I was about to do, with my friend and guide
Mons. de Larenaudiere; who had prepared quite a sumptuous repast for our
participation. Coffee, eggs, sweetmeats, cakes, and all the comfortable
paraphernalia of an inviting breakfast-table, convinced us that we were in
well-furnished and respectable quarters. Madame did the honours of the meal
in perfectly good taste; and one of the loveliest children I ever saw--a
lad, of about five or six years of age--with a profusion of hair of the
most delicate quality and colour, gave a sort of joyous character to our
last meal at Vire. The worthy host told me  to forget him, when I reached
my own country;[166] and that, if ever business or pleasure brought me
again into Normandy, to remember that the Maire de Tallevende-le-Petit
would-be always happy to renew his assurances of hospitality. At the same
time, he entreated me to pay attention to a list of English books which he
put into my hands; and of which he stood considerably in need. We bade
farewell in the true English fashion, by a hearty shake of the hands; and,
mounting our voiture, gave the signal for departure. "Au plaisir de vous
revoir!"--'till a turning of the carriage deprived us of the sight of each
other. It is not easy--and I trust it is not natural--for me to forget the
last forty-eight hours spent in the interesting town of VIRE!

Our route to this place was equally grand and experimental; grand, as to
the width of the road, and beauty of the surrounding country--but
experimental, inasmuch as a part of the _route royale_ had been broken up,
and rendered wholly impassable for carriages of any weight. Our own, of its
kind, was sufficiently light; with a covering of close wicker-work, painted
after the fashion of some of our bettermost tilted carts. One Norman horse,
in full condition of flesh, with an equal portion of bone and muscle, was
to convey us to this place, which cannot be less than twenty-two good long
English miles from Vire. The carriage had no springs; and our seat was
merely suspended by pieces of leather fastened at each end. At _Condé_,
about one-third of the distance, we baited, to let both man and horse
breathe over their dinners; while, strolling about that prettily situated
little town, we mingled with the inhabitants, and contemplated the various
faces (it being market-day) with no ordinary degree of gratification.
Amidst the bustle and variety of the scene, our ears were greeted by the
air of an itinerant ballad-singer: nor will you be displeased if I send you
a copy of it:--since it is gratifying to find any thing like a return to
the good old times of the sixteenth century.

  VIVE LE ROI, VIVE L'AMOUR.

  François Premier, nous dit l'histoire,
  Etoit la fleur des Chevaliers,
  Près d'Etampes aux champs de gloire
  Il recueillit myrtes et lauriers;
  Sa maîtresse toujours fidèle,
  Le payant d'un tendre retour,
  Lui chantant cette ritournelle;
  _Vive le Roi, vive l'Amour_.

  Henri, des princes le modèle,
  Ton souvenir est dans nos coeurs,
  Par la charmante Gabrielle
  Ton front fut couronné de fleurs;
  De la Ligue domptant la rage,
  Tu sus triompher tour-à-tour,
  Par la clémence et ton courage:
  _Vive le Roi, vive l'Amour_.

  Amant chéri de la Vallière,
  Des ennemis noble vainqueur,
  LOUIS savoit combattre et plaire,
  Guidé par l'Amour et l'honneur;
  A son retour de la Victoire,
  Entouré d'une aimable cour,
  Il entendoit ce cri de gloire:
  _Vive le Roi, vive l'Amour_.

  &c.

There was a freshness of tint, and a comeliness of appearance, among the
bourgeoises and common people, which were not to be eclipsed even by the
belles of Coutances. Our garçon de poste and his able-bodied quadruped
having each properly recruited themselves, we set forward--by
preference--to walk up the very long and somewhat steep hill which rises on
the other side of Conde towards _Pont Ouilly_--in the route hither. Perhaps
this was the most considerable ascent we had mounted on foot, since we had
left Rouen. The view from the summit richly repaid the toil of using our
legs. It was extensive, fruitful, and variegated; but neither rock nor
mountain scenery; nor castles, nor country seats; nor cattle, nor the
passing traveller--served to mark or to animate it. It was still, pure
nature, upon a vast and rich scale: and as the day was fine, and my spirits
good, I was resolved to view and to admire.

_Pont Ouilly_ lies in a hollow; with a pretty winding river, which seems to
run through its centre. The surrounding hills are gently undulating; and as
we descended to the Inn, we observed, over the opposite side of the town,
upon the summit of one of the hills, a long procession of men and
women--headed by an ecclesiastic, elevating a cross--who were about to
celebrate, at some little distance, one of their annual festivals. The
effect--as the procession came in contact with a bright blue sky, softened
by distance--was uncommonly picturesque ... but the day was getting on
fast, and there was yet a considerable distance to perform,--while, in
addition, we had to encounter the most impassable part of the road.
Besides, I had not yet eaten a morsel since I had left Vire. Upon holding a
consultation, therefore, it was resolved to make for the inn, and to dine
there. A more sheltered, rural, spot cannot be conceived. It resembled very
many of the snug scenes in South Wales. Indeed the whole country was of a
character similar to many parts of Monmouthshire; although with a miserable
draw-back in respect to the important feature of _wood_. Through the whole
of Normandy, you miss those grand and overshadowing masses of oak, which
give to Monmouthshire, and its neighbouring county of Glocester, that rich
and majestic appearance which so decidedly marks the character of those
counties. However, we are now at the inn at Pont Ouilly. A dish of river
fish, gudgeons, dace, and perch, was speedily put in requisition. Good
wine, "than which France could boast no better!" and a roast fowl, which
the daughter of the hostess "knew how to dress to admiration" ... was all
that this humble abode could afford us." "But we were welcome:"--that is,
upon condition that we paid our reckoning....

The dinner would be ready in a "short half hour." Mr. Lewis, went to the
bridge, to look around, for the purpose of exercising his pencil: while I
sauntered more immediately about the house. Within five minutes a
well-looking, and even handsome, young woman--of an extremely fair
complexion--her hair cut close behind--her face almost smothered in a white
cap which seemed of crape--and habited in a deep black--passed quickly by
me, and ascended a flight of steps, leading to the door of a very humble
mansion. She smiled graciously at the _aubergiste_ as she passed her, and
quickly disappeared. On enquiry, I was told that she was a nun, who, since
the suppression of the convent to which she had belonged, earned her
livelihood by teaching some of the more respectable children in the
village. She had just completed her twentieth year. I was now addressed by
a tall, bluff, shabby-looking man--who soon led me to understand that he
was master of the inn where my "suite" was putting up;--that I had been
egregiously deceived about the nature of the road--for that it was totally
impossible for _one_ horse:--even the very best in Normandy--(and where
will you find better? added he, parenthetically--as I here give it to you)
to perform the journey with such a voiture and such a weight of luggage
behind." I was struck equally with amazement and woe at this intelligence.
The unpitying landlord saw my consternation. "Hark you, sir... (rejoined
he) if you _must_ reach Falaise this evening, there is only one method of
doing it. You must have _another horse_." "Willingly," I replied. "Yes,
sir--but you can have it only upon _one_ condition." "What is that?" "I
have some little business at Falaise myself. Allow me to strap about one
hundred weight of loaf-sugar at the back of your conveyance, and I myself
will be your garçon de poste thither." I own I thought him about the most
impudent fellow I had yet seen in Normandy: but there was no time for
resistance. Necessity compelled acquiescence. Accordingly, the dinner being
dispatched--which, though good, was charged at six francs a-head--we
prepared for our departure.

But judge of my surprise and increased consternation, when the fellow
ordered forth a little runt of a quadruped--in the shape of a horse--which
was hardly higher than the lower part of the chest of the animal which
brought us from Vire! I remonstrated. The landlord expostulated. I
resisted--but the fellow said it was a bargain; and proceeded quietly to
deposit at least _two_ hundred weight of his refined sugar at the back of
the carriage. This Lilliputian horse was made the leader. The landlord
mounted on the front seat, with our Vire post-boy by the side of him; and
sounding his whip, with a most ear-piercing whoop and hollow, we sprung
forward for Falaise--which we were told we should reach before sunset. You
can hardly conceive the miseries of this cross-road journey. The route
royale was, in fact, completely impassable; because they were repairing it.
Alarmed at the ruggedness of the cross-road, where one wheel was in a rut
of upwards of a foot deep, and the other elevated in proportion--we got
out, and resolved to push on a-foot. We walked for nearly two leagues,
before our conveyance overtook us--so harassing and so apparently
insurmountable seemed to be the road. But the cunning aubergiste had now
got rid of his leader. He said that it was only necessary to use it for the
first two or three leagues--which was the most difficult part of the
route--and that, for the remainder, about five English miles, our "fine
Norman horse" was perfectly sufficient. This fine Norman horse was
treated most unmercifully by him. He flogged, he hallooed, he swore ...
the animal tript, stumbled, and fell upon his knees--more than
once--from sheer fatigue. The charioteer hallooed and flogged again: and
I thought we must have taken up our night quarters in the
high-way;--when suddenly, to the left, I saw the fine warm glow of the
sun, which had set about twenty minutes, lighting up one of the most
perfect round towers, of an old castle, that I had yet seen in Normandy.
Voilà FALAISE!--exclaimed the ruthless charioteer; ... and in a quarter
of an hour we trotted hard down a hill (after the horse had been twice
again upon his knees) which terminated in this most interesting place.

It will be difficult for me to forget--after such a long, wearisome, and in
part desperate journey--our approach to Falaise:--and more especially the
appearance of the castle just mentioned. The stone seemed as fresh, and as
perfectly cemented, as if it had been the work of the preceding year.
Moreover, the contiguous parts were so fine and so thoroughly
picturesque--and the superadded tradition of its being, according to some,
the birth place--and according to others, the usual residence--of WILLIAM
THE CONQUEROR ... altogether threw a charm about the first glimpse of this
venerable pile, which cannot be easily described. I had received
instructions to put up at the "_Grand Turc_"--as the only hotel worthy an
Englishman's notice. At the door of the Grand Turk, therefore, we were
safely deposited: after having got rid of our incumbrances of two
postilions, and two hundred weight of refined sugar. Our reception was
gracious in the extreme. The inn appeared "tout-à-fait à la mode
Anglaise"--and no marvel ... for Madame the hostess was an Englishwoman.
Her husband's name was _David_.

Bespeaking a late cup of tea, I strolled through the principal
streets,--delighted with the remarkably clear current of the water, which
ran on each side from the numerous overcharged fountains. Day-light had
wholly declined; when, sitting down to my souchong, I saw, with
astonishment--a _pair of sugar-tongs_ and a _salt-spoon_--the first of the
kind I had beheld since I left England! Madame David enjoyed my surprise;
adding, in a very droll phraseology, that she had "not forgotten good
English customs." Our beds and bed rooms were perfectly comfortable, and
even elegant.

The moat which encircles, not only the castle, but the town--and which must
have been once formidable from its depth and breadth, when filled with
water--is now most pleasingly metamorphosed. Pasture lands, kitchen
gardens, and orchards, occupy it entirely. Here the cattle quietly stray,
and luxuriously feed. But the metamorphosis of the _castle_ has been, in an
equal degree, unfortunate. The cannon balls, during the wars of the
League--and the fury of the populace, with the cupidity or caprice of
some individuals, during the late revolution--helped to produce this
change. After breakfast, I felt a strong desire to survey carefully the
scite and structure of the castle. It was a lovely day; and in five
minutes I obtained admission at a temporary outer gate. The first near
view within the ramparts perfectly enchanted me. The situation is at
once bold, commanding, and picturesque. But as the opposite, and
immediately contiguous ground, is perhaps yet a little higher, it should
follow that a force, placed upon such eminence--as indeed was that of
Henry the Fourth, during the wars of the League--would in the end subdue
the garrison, or demolish the castle. I walked here and there amidst
briars and brushwood, diversified with lilacs and laburnums; and by the
aid of the guide soon got within an old room--of which the outer walls
only remained--and which is distinguished by being called the
_birth-place_ of WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR.

Between ourselves, the castle appears to be at least a century later than
the time of William the Conqueror; and certainly the fine round tower, of
which such frequent mention has been made, is rather of the fourteenth, if
not of the beginning of the fifteenth century;[167] but it is a noble piece
of masonry. The stone is of a close grain and beautiful colour, and the
component parts are put together with a hard cement, and with the smallest
possible interstices. At the top of it, on the left side, facing the high
road from Vire,--and constructed within the very walls themselves, is a
_well_--which goes from the top apparently to the very bottom of the
foundation, quite to the bed of the moat. It is about three feet in
diameter, measuring with the eye; perhaps four: but it is doubtless a very
curious piece of workmanship. We viewed with an inquisitive eye what
remained of the _Donjon_: sighed, as we surveyed the ruins of the
_chapel_--a very interesting little piece of ecclesiastical antiquity:
and shuddered as we contemplated the enormous and ponderous
portcullis--which had a _drop of_ full twenty feet ... to keep out the
invading foe. I was in truth delighted with this first reconnoissance of
FALAISE--beneath one of the brightest and bluest skies of Normandy!
and--within walls, which were justly considered to be among the most
perfect as well as the most ancient of those in Normandy.

Leaving my companion to take a view of the upper part of this venerable
building, I retreated towards the town--resolved to leave no church and no
street unexplored. On descending, and quitting the gate by which I had
entered, a fine, robust, and respectable figure, habited as an
Ecclesiastic, met and accosted me. I was most prompt to return the
salutation. "We are proud, Sir, of our castle, and I observe you have been
visiting it. The English ought to take an interest in it, since it was the
birth-place of William the Conqueror." I readily admitted it was well worth
a minute examination: but as readily turned the conversation to the subject
of LIBRARIES. The amiable stranger (for he was gaining upon me fast, by his
unaffected manners and sensible remarks) answered, that "their _own_ public
library existed no longer--having been made subservient to the
inquisitorial visit of M. Moysant of Caen[168]: that he had himself
procured for the Bishop of Bayeux the _Mentz Bible_ of 1462--and that the
Chapter-Library of Bayeux, before the Revolution, could not have contained
fewer than 40,000 volumes. "But you are doubtless acquainted, Sir, with the
COMTE DE LA FRESNAYE, who resides in yonder large mansion?"--pointing to a
house upon an elevated spot on the other side of the town. I replied that I
had not that honour; and was indeed an utter stranger to every inhabitant
of Falaise. I then stated, in as few and precise words as possible, the
particular object of my visit to the Continent. "Cela suffit"--resumed the
unknown--"nous irons faire visite à Monsieur le Comte après le diné; à ce
moment il s'occupe avec le pôtage--car c'est un jour maigre. Il sera charmé
de vous recevoir. Il aime infiniment les Anglois, et il a resté long-temps
chez vous. C'est un brave homme--et même un grand antiquaire."

My pulse and colour increased sensibly as the stranger uttered these latter
words: and he concluded by telling me that he was himself the Curé of _Ste.
Trinité_ one of the two principal churches of the town--and that his name
was MOUTON. Be assured that I shall not lose sight of the Comte de la
Fresnaye, and Monsieur Mouton.


[166] [Only ONE letter has passed between us since my departure; and that
    enables me to subjoin a fac-simile of its author's autograph.

    [Autograph: de Larenaudiere]

[167] [It was in fact built by the famous Lord Talbot, about the year 1420.
    A similar castle, but less strong and lofty, may be seen at Castor,
    near Yarmouth in Norfolk--once the seat of the famous Sir JOHN
    FASTOLF, (a contemporary with Talbot) of whom Anstis treats so fully
    in his _Order of the Garter_, vol.i. p.142.]

[168] See p. 205 ante.



LETTER XX.

MONS. MOUTON. CHURCH OF STE. TRINITÉ. COMTE DE LA FRESNAYE. GUIBRAY CHURCH.
SUPPOSED HEAD OF WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR. M. LANGEVIN, HISTORIAN OF FALAISE.
PRINTING OFFICES.


I lose no time in the fulfilment of my promise. The church of SAINTE
TRINITÉ, of which Monsieur Mouton is the Curé, is the second place of
worship in rank in the town. During the Revolution, Mons. Mouton was
compelled, with too many of his professional brethren, to fly from the
general persecution of his order. One solitary and most amiable creature
only remained; of the name of LANGEVIN--of whom, by and by, Monsieur Mouton
did me the honour of shewing me the interior of his church. His stipend (as
he told me) did not exceed 1500 francs per annum; and it is really
surprising to observe to what apparent acts of generosity towards his
flock, this income is made subservient. You shall hear. The altar consists
of two angels of the size of life, kneeling very gracefully, in white
glazed plaister: in the centre, somewhat raised above, is a figure of the
Virgin, of the same materials; above which again, is a representation of
the TRINITY--in a blaze of gilt. The massive circular columns surrounding
the choir--probably of the fourteenth century--were just fresh painted, at
the expense of the worthy Curé, in alternate colours of blue and
yellow--imitative of marble;--that is to say, each column, alternately, was
blue and yellow. It was impossible to behold any thing more glaring and
more tasteless. I paid my little tribute of admiration at the simplicity
and grace of the kneeling figure of the Virgin--but was stubbornly silent
about every thing else. Monsieur Mouton replied that "he intended to grace
the brows of the angels by putting a _garland_ round each." I felt a sort
of twinge upon receiving this intelligence; but there is no persuading the
French to reject, or to qualify, their excessive fondness for flower
ornaments.

Projecting from the wall, behind the circular part of the choir, I observed
a figure of _St. Sebastian_--precisely of that character which we remark in
the printed missals of the fifteenth century,--and from which the engravers
of that period copied them: namely, with the head large, the body meagre,
and the limbs loose and muscular. It was plentifully covered, as was the
whole surface of the wall, with recent white wash. On observing this, my
guide added: "oui, et je veux le faire couvrir d'une teinte encore plus
blanche!" Here I felt a second twinge yet more powerful than the first. I
noticed, towards the south-side door, a very fine crucifix, cut in wood,
about three feet high; and apparently of the time of Goujon. It was by much
the finest piece of sculpture, of its kind, which I had seen in Normandy;
but it was rather in a decaying state. I wished to know whether such an
object of art--apparently of no earthly importance, where it was
situated--might be obtained for some honourable and adequate compensation.
Monsieur Mouton replied that he desired to part with it--but that it must
be replaced by another "full six feet high!" There was no meeting this
proposition, and I ceased to say another word upon the subject.

Upon the whole, the church of the Holy Trinity is rather a fine and
capacious, than a venerable edifice; and although I cannot conscientiously
approve of the beautifying and repairing which are going on therein, yet I
will do the _planner_ the justice to say, that a more gentlemanly,
liberally-minded, and truly amiable clergyman is perhaps no where to be
found,--within or without the diocese to which he belongs. Attached to the
north transept or side door, parallel with the street, is a long pole.
"What might this mean?" "Sir, this pole was crowned at the top by a
garland, and by the white flag of _St. Louis_,[169]--which were hoisted to
receive me on my return from my long expatriation"--and the eyes of the
narrator were suffused with tears, as he made the answer! It is of no
consequence how small the income of an unmarried minister, may be, when he
thus lives so entirely in the HEARTS OF HIS FLOCK. This church bears
abundant evidence, within and without, of what is called the restoration of
the Gothic order during the reign of Francis I.: although the most
essential and the greater portion is evidently of the latter part of the
fourteenth century.[170] Having expressed my admiration of the manufacture
of wax candles (for religious purposes) which I had frequently observed in
the town, Monsieur Mouton, upon taking me into the sacristy (similar to our
vestry-room) begged I would do him the honour to accept of any which might
be lying upon the table. These candles are made of the purest white wax: of
a spiral, or twisted, or square, or circular form; of considerable length
and width. They are also decorated with fillagree work, and tinsel of
various colours. Upon that which I chose, there were little rosettes made
of wax. The moderate sum for which they are obtained, startles an
Englishman who thinks of the high price of this article of trade in his own
country. You see frequently, against the walls and pillars of the choir,
fragments of these larger wax candles, guttering down and begrimed from the
uses made of them in time of worship. In this sacristy there were two
little boys swinging _wooden_ censers, by way of practice for the more
perfect use of them, when charged with frankincense, at the altar. To
manage these adroitly--as the traveller is in the constant habit of
observing during divine worship--is a matter of no very quick or easy
attainment.

From the Curé we proceed to the Comte DE LA FRESNAYE; whose pleasantly
situated mansion had been pointed out to me, as you may remember, by the
former. Passing over one of the bridges, leading towards _Guibray_, and
ascending a gentle eminence to the left, I approached the outer lodge of
this large and respectable-looking mansion. The Count and family were at
dinner: but at _three_ they would rise from table. "Meanwhile," said the
porter, it might give me pleasure to walk in the garden." It was one of the
loveliest days imaginable. Such a sky--blue, bright, and cloudless--I had
scarcely before seen. The garden was almost suffocated with lilacs and
laburnums, glittering in their respective liveries of white, purple, and
yellow. I stepped into a berceau--and sitting upon a bench, bethought me of
the strange visit I was about to make--as well as of all the pleasing
pastoral poetry and painting which I had read in the pages of De Lille, or
viewed upon the canvas of Watteau. The clock of the church of _St. Gervais_
struck three; when, starting from my reverie, I knocked at the hall-door,
and was announced to the family, (who had just risen from dinner) above
stairs. A circle of five gentlemen would have alarmed a very nervous
visitor; but the Count, addressing me in a semi-British and semi-Gallic
phraseology, immediately dissipated my fears. In five minutes he was made
acquainted with the cause of this apparent intrusion.

Nothing could exceed his amiable frankness. The very choicest wine was
circulated at his table; of which I partook in a more decided manner on the
following day--when he was so good as to invite me to dine. When I touched
upon his favourite theme of Norman Antiquities, he almost shouted aloud the
name of INGULPH,--that "cher ami de Guillaume le Conquérant!" I was
unwilling to trespass long; but I soon found the advantage of making use of
the name of "Monsieur Mouton--l'estimable Curé de la Sainte Trinité."

[Illustration]

In a stroll to Guibray, towards sunset the next day, I passed through a
considerable portion of the Count's property, about 300 acres, chiefly of
pasture land. The evening was really enchanting; and through the branches
of the coppice wood the sun seemed to be setting in a bed of molten gold.
Our conversation was animated and incessant. In the old and curious church
of Guibray, the Count shewed us his family pew with the care and
particularity of an old country squire. Meanwhile Mr. Lewis was making a
hasty copy of one of the very singular ornaments--representing _Christ
bearing his cross_--which was suspended against the walls of the altar of a
side chapel. You have it here. It is frightfully barbarous, and
characteristic of the capricious style of art which frequently prevailed
about the year 1520: but the wonder is, how such a wretched performance
could obtain admission into the sanctuary where it was deposited. It was
however the pious gift of the vestry woman--who shewed us the interior--and
who had religiously rescued it, during the Revolution, from the demolition
of a neighbouring abbey. The eastern end of this church is perhaps as old
as any ecclesiastical edifice in Normandy;[171] and its exterior (to which
we could only approach by wading through rank grass as high as our knees)
is one of the most interesting of its kind. During our admiration of all
that was curious in this venerable edifice, we were struck by our old
friends, the _penitents_,--busy in making confession. In more than one
confessional there were two penitents; and towards one of these, thus
doubly attended, I saw a very large, athletic, hard-visaged priest
hastening, just having slipt on his surplice in the vestry. Indeed I had
been cursorily introduced to him by the Count. It was Saturday evening, and
the ensuing Sunday was to be marked by some grand procession.

The village-like town of Guibray presents a most singular sight to the eye
of a stranger. There are numerous little narrow streets, with every window
closed by wooden shutters, and every door fastened. It appears as if the
plague had recently raged there, and that the inhabitants had quitted it
for ever. Not a creature is visible: not a sound is heard: not a mouse
seems to be stirring. And yet Guibray boasts of the LARGEST FAIR in France,
save one![172] This, my friend, precisely accounts for the aspect of
desolation just described. During the intervals of these _triennial_ fairs,
the greater part of the village is uninhabited: venders and purchasers
flocking and crowding by hundreds when they take place. In a short, narrow
street--where nothing animated was to be seen--the Count assured me that
sometimes, in the course of one morning, several millions of francs were
spent in the purchase of different wares. We left this very strange place
with our minds occupied by a variety of reflections: but at any rate highly
pleased and gratified by the agreeable family which had performed the part
of guides on the occasion. In the evening, a professor of music treated us
with some pleasing tunes upon the guitar--which utterly astonished the
Count--and it was quite night-fall when we returned homewards, towards our
quarters at the hotel of the _Grand Turc_.

A memorable incident occurred in our way homewards; which, when made known,
will probably agitate the minds and shake the faith of two-thirds of the
members of our Society of Antiquaries. You may remember that I told you,
when at Caen, that the Abbe De la Rue had notified to me what were the
objects more particularly deserving of attention in my further progress
through Normandy. Among these, he particularly mentioned a figure or head
of William the Conqueror at Falaise. In the _Place St. Gervais_, this
wonderful head was said to exist--and to exist there only. It was at the
house of an Innkeeper--certainly not moving in the highest circle of his
calling. I lost little time in visiting it; and found it situated at the
top of a dark narrow staircase, projecting from the wall, to the right,
just before you reach the first floor. Some sensation had been excited by
the enquiries, which I had previously set on foot; and on a second visit,
several people were collected to receive us. Lights, warm water, towels,
soap and brushes, were quickly put in requisition. I commenced operations
with a kitchen knife, by carefully scraping away all the layers of hardened
white and ochre washes, with which each generation had embedded and almost
obliterated every feature. By degrees, the hair became manifest: then
followed the operation of soap and water--which brought out the features of
the face; and when the eyes fully and distinctly appeared, the exclamation
of "_Mon Dieu_!" by the spectators, was loud and unremitting. The nose had
received a serious injury by having its end broken off. Anon, stood forth
the mouth; and when the "whiskered majesty" of the beard became evident, it
was quite impossible to repress the simultaneous ejaculation of joy and
astonishment ... "_Voilà le vrai portrait de Guillaume le Conquérant_!

The whiskers apparently denote it to be rather _Saxon_ than _Norman_. The
head is nearly eleven inches in length, by seven and a half in width: is
cut upon a very coarse, yet hard-grained stone--and rests upon a square,
unconnected stone:--embedded within the wall. If it ever had shoulders and
body, those shoulders and body were no part of the present appendages of
the head. What then, is the Abbé de la Rue in error? The more liberal
inference will be, that the Abbé de la Rue had never seen it. As to its
antiquity, I am prepared to admit it to be very considerable; and, if you
please, even before the period of the loves of the father and mother of the
character whom it is supposed to represent. In the morning, Madame Rolle
seemed disposed to take ten louis (which I freely offered her) for her
precious fragment: but the distinct, collected view of whiskers, mouth,
nose, eyes, and hair, instantaneously raised the quicksilver of her
expectations to "_quinze_ louis pour le moins!" That was infinitely "trop
fort"--and we parted without coming to any terms. Perhaps you will laugh at
me for the previous offer.

The church of St. Gervais is called the mother church of the town: and it
is right that you should have some notion of it. It stands upon a finely
elevated situation. Its interior is rather capacious: but it has no very
grand effect-arising from simplicity or breadth of architecture. The
pillars to the right of the nave, on entering from the western extremity,
are doubtless old; perhaps of the beginning of the thirteenth century. The
arches are a flattened semicircle; while those on the opposite side are
comparatively sharp, and of a considerably later period. The ornaments of
the capitals of these older pillars are, some of them, sufficiently
capricious and elaborate; while others are of a more exceptionable
character on the score of indelicacy. But this does not surprise a man who
has been accustomed to examine ART, of the middle centuries, whether in
sculpture or in painting. The side aisles are comparatively modern. The
pillars of the choir have scarcely any capitals beyond a simple rim or
fillet; and are surmounted by sharp low arches, like what are to be seen at
St. Lo and Coutances. The roof of the left side aisle is perfectly green
from damp: the result, as at Coutances, of thereof having been stripped for
the sake of the lead to make bullets, &c. during the Revolution. I saw this
large church completely filled on Sunday, at morning service--about eleven:
and, in the congregation, I observed several faces and figures, of both
sexes, which indicated great intelligence and respectability. Indeed there
was much of the air of a London congregation about the whole.

From the Church, we may fairly make any thing but a digression--in
discoursing of one of its brightest ornaments, in the person of Monsieur
LANGEVIN:--a simple priest--as he styles himself in an octavo volume, which
entitles him to the character of the best living HISTORIAN OF FALAISE. He
is a mere officiating minister in the church of Mons. Mouton; and his
salary, as he led me to infer, could be scarcely twenty louis per annum.
Surely this man is among the most amiable and excellent of God's creatures!
But it is right that you should know the origin and progress of our
acquaintance. It was after dinner, on one of the most industriously spent
of my days here--and the very second of my arrival,--that the waiter
announced the arrival of the Abbé Langevin, in the passage, with a copy of
his History beneath his arm. The door opened, and in walked the
stranger--habited in his clerical garb--with a physiognomy so benign and
expressive, and with manners so gentle and well-bred,--that I rose
instinctively from my seat to give him the most cordial reception. He
returned my civility in a way which shewed at once that he was a man of the
most interesting simplicity of character. "He was aware (he said) that he
had intruded; but as he understood "Monsieur was in pursuit of the
antiquities of the place, he had presumed to offer for his acceptance a
copy of a work upon that subject--of which he was the humble author." This
work was a good sized thick crown octavo, filling five hundred closely and
well-printed pages; and of which the price was _fifty sous_! The worthy
priest, seeing my surprise on his mentioning the price, supposed that I had
considered it as rather extravagant. But this error was rectified in an
instant. I ordered _three copies_ of his historical labours, and told him
my conscience would not allow me to pay him less than _three francs_ per
copy. He seemed to be electrified: rose from his seat:--and lifting up one
of the most expressive of countenances, with eyes apparently suffused with
tears--raised both his hands, and exclaimed.... "Que le bon Dieu vous
bénisse--les Anglois sont vraiement généreux!"

For several seconds I sat riveted to my seat. Such an unfeigned and warm
acknowledgment of what I had considered as a mere matter-of-course
proposition, perfectly astounded me: the more so, as it was accompanied by
a gesture and articulation which could not fail to move any bosom--not
absolutely composed of marble. We each rallied, and resumed the
conversation. In few but simple words he told me his history. He had
contrived to weather out the Revolution, at Falaise. His former preferment
had been wholly taken from him; and he was now a simple assistant in the
church of Mons. Mouton. He had yielded without resistance; as even
_remonstrance_ would have been probably followed up by the guillotine. To
solace himself in his afflictions, he had recourse to his old favourite
studies of _medicine_ and _music_;--and had in fact practised the former.
"But come, Sir, (says he) come and do me the honour of a call--when it
shall suit you." I settled it for the ensuing day. On breaking up and
taking leave, the amiable stranger modestly spoke of his History. It had
cost him three years' toil; and he seemed to mention, with an air of
triumph, the frequent references in it to the _Gallia Christiana_, and to
_Chartularies_ and _Family Records_ never before examined. On the next day
I carried my projected visit into execution--towards seven in the evening.
The lodgings of M. Langevin are on the second floor of a house belonging to
a carpenter. The worthy priest received me on the landing-place, in the
most cheerful and chatty manner. He has three small rooms on the same
floor. In the first, his library is deposited. On my asking him to let me
see what _old books_ he possessed, he turned gaily round, and
replied--"Comment donc, Monsieur, vous aimez les vieux livres? A ça,
voyons!" Whereupon he pulled away certain strips or pieces of wainscot, and
shewed me his book-treasures within the recesses. On my recognising a
_Colinæus_ and _Henry Stephen_, ere he had read the title of the volumes,
he seemed to marvel exceedingly, and to gaze at me as a conjuror. He
betrayed more than ordinary satisfaction on shewing his _Latin Galen_ and
_Hippocrates_; and the former, to the best of my recollection, contained
Latin notes in the margin, written by himself. These tomes were followed up
by a few upon _alchymy_ and _astrology_; from which, and the consequent
conversation, I was led to infer that the amiable possessor entertained due
respect for those studies which had ravished our DEES and ASHMOLES of old.

In the second room stood an upright piano forte--the _manufacture_, as well
as the property, of Monsieur Langevin. It bore the date of 1806; and was
considered as the first of the kind introduced into Normandy. It was
impossible not to be struck with the various rational sources of amusement,
by means of which this estimable character had contrived to beguile the
hours of his misfortunes. There was a calm, collected, serenity of manner
about him--a most unfeigned and unqualified resignation to the divine
will--which marked him as an object at once of admiration and esteem.
There was no boast--no cant--no formal sermonising. You _saw_ what
religion had done for him. Her effects _spake_ in his discourse and in
his life.... Over his piano hung a portrait of himself; very
indifferently executed--and not strongly resembling the original. "We
can do something more faithful than this, sir, if you will allow
it"--said I, pointing to Mr. Lewis: and it was agreed that he should
give the latter a sitting on the morrow. The next day M. Langevin came
punctually to his appointment, for the purpose of having his portrait
taken.

On telling this original that the pencil drawing of Mr. Lewis (which by the
bye was executed in about an hour and a half) should be
_engraved_--inasmuch as he was the modern _Historian of Falaise_--he seemed
absolutely astonished. He moved a few paces gently forwards, and turning
round, with hands and eyes elevated, exclaimed, in a tremulous and
heart-stricken tone of voice, "Ah, mon Dieu!" I will not dissemble that I
took leave of him with tears, which were with difficulty concealed. "Adieu,
pour toujours!"--were words which he uttered with all the sincerity, and
with yet more pathos, than was even shewn by Pierre Aimé Lair at Caen. The
landlord and landlady of this hotel are warm in their commendations of him:
assuring me that his name is hardly ever pronounced without the mention of
his virtues. He has just entered his sixty-second year.[173]

It remains only to give an account of the progress of Printing and of
Literature in this place: although the latter ought to precede the former.
As a literary man, our worthy acquaintance the Comte de la Fresnaye takes
the lead: yet he is rather an amateur than a professed critic. He has
written upon the antiquities of the town; but his work is justly considered
inferior to that of Monsieur Langevin. He quotes _Wace_ frequently, and
with apparent satisfaction; and he promises a French version of his beloved
_Ingulph_. Falaise is a quiet, dull place of resort, for those who form
their notions of retirement as connected with the occasional bustle and
animation of Caen and Rouen. But the situation is pleasing. The skies are
serene: the temperature is mild, and the fruits of the earth are abundant
and nutritious. Many of the more respectable inhabitants expressed their
surprise to me that there were so few English resident in its
neighbourhood--so much preferable, on many accounts to that of Caen. But
our countrymen, you know, are sometimes a little capricious in the objects
of their choice. Just now, it is the _fashion_ for the English to reside at
Caen; yet when you consider that the major part of our countrymen reside
there for the purpose of educating their children--and that Caen, from its
numerous seminaries of education, contains masters of every description,
whose lessons are sometimes as low as a frank for each--it is not
surprising that Falaise is deserted for the former place. For myself--and
for all those who love a select society, a sweet country, and rather a
plentiful sprinkle of antiquarian art,--for such, in short, who would read
the fabliaux of the old Norman bards in peace, comfort, and silence--there
can be no question about the preference to be given to the spot from which
I send this my last Norman despatch.

I have before made mention of the fountains in this place. They are equally
numerous and clear. The inn in which we reside has not fewer than three
fountains--or rather of _jets d'eau_--constantly playing. Those in the
_Place St. Trinité Grand Rue_, and _Place St. Gervais_, are the largest;
but every gutter trickles with water as if dissolved from the purest
crystal. It has been hot weather during the greater part of our stay; and
the very sight of these translucent streams seems to refresh one's languid
frame. But I proceed chiefly to the productions of the PRESS. They do a
good deal of business here in the way of ephemeral publications. Letellier,
situated in the Grande Rue, is the chief printer of _chap books_: and if we
judge from the general character of these, the _Falaisois_ seem to be
marvellously addicted to the effusions of the muse. Indeed, their ballads,
of all kinds, are innumerable. Read a few--which are to be found in the
very commonest publications. There is something rather original, and of a
very pleasingly tender cast, in the first two:

  LE BAISER D'ADIEUX.

  Pres de toi l'heuré du mystère
  Ne m'appellera plus demain,
  Vers ta demeure solitaire
  Mes pas me guideront en vain;
  J'ai respiré ta douce haleine,
  Et des pleurs ont mouillé mes yeux,
  J'ai tout senti, plaisir et peine,  )
  J'ai reçu ton baiser d'adieux.      ) _bis._

    Tu pars, et malgré ta promesse
  Rien ne m'assure de ta foi,
  Nul souvenir de ta tendresse
  Ne vient me dire: Pense à moi.
  Ton amour qu'envain je réclame
  Ne me laisse, en quittant ces lieux,
  Que Phumide et brulante flamme
  De ton dernier baiser d'adieux.

    Puisse au moins ton indifférence
  Te garder d'un nouvel amour.
  Et le veuvage de l'absence
  Hâter ton fortuné retour!
  Puisse alors l'amant qui t'adore,
  Te revoyant aux mêmes lieux,
  Sur tes lèvres vierges encore
  Retrouver son baiser d'adieux!

       *       *       *       *       *

  L'IMAGE DE LA VIE.

  Nous naissons et dans notre coeur,
  A peine aux portes de la vie,
  Tout au plaisir, tout au bonheur,
  Et nous invite et nous convie;
  D'abord, simples amusements
  Savent contenter notre enfance;
  Mais bientòt aux jeux innocens,
  L'amour nous prend ... sans qu'on y pense.

  Fillette à l'âge de quinze ans,
  Offre l'image de la rose,
  Qui dès l'approche du printemps,
  Entr'ouvre sa feuille mi-close;
  Bientôt l'aiguillon du désir
  Vient ouvrir fleur d'innocence,
  Et sous la bouche du plaisir,
  Elle s'éclôt ... sans qu'elle y pense.

  Vous, qui pendant vos jeunes ans,
  Ne courtisez pas la folie,
  Songez donc que cet heureux temps
  Ne dure pas toute la vie,
  Assez vite il nous faut quitter
  Tendres ardeurs, vives jouissances;
  Et dans uu coeur qui sait aimer,
  La raison vient ... sans qu'on y pense.

  Mais enfin, sur l'âile du temps,
  On arrive au but du voyage,
  Et l'on voit la glace des ans,
  Couronner nos fronts à cet âge;
  S'il fut sensible à la pitié,
  S'il cultiva la bienfaisance,
  Entre les bras de l'amitié
  L'homme finit ... sans qu'il y pense

You must know that they are here great lovers of royalty, and of course
great supporters of the Bourbon Family. The King's printer is a Mons. BRÉE
l'Ainé. He is a very pleasant, well-bred man, and lives in the _Place
Trinité_. I have paid him more than one visit, and always felt additional
pleasure at every repetition of it. My first visit was marked with a
somewhat ludicrous circumstance. On entering the compositors' room, I
observed, pasted upon the walls, in large capital letters, the following
well known words:

  GOD SAVE THE KING.

Both Monsieur Brée l'Ainé--and his workmen were equally gratified by my
notice and commendation of this sentiment. "It is the favourite sentiment,
Sir, of your country,"--remarked the master. To this I readily assented.
"It is also, Sir, the favourite one of our own," replied M. Brée
l'Ainé--and his men readily attested their concurrence in the same reply.
"Ah, Sir, if you would only favour us by _singing the air_, to which these
words belong, you would infinitely oblige us all" ... said a shrewd and
intelligent-looking compositor. "With all my heart"--rejoined I--"but I
must frankly tell you, that I shall sing it rather with heart than with
voice--being neither a vocal nor an instrumental performer." "No matter:
give us only a notion of it." They all stood round in a circle, and I got
through two stanzas as gravely and as efficiently as I was able. The usual
"charmant!" followed my exertions. It was now my turn to ask a favour.
"Sing to me your favourite national air of ROBERT and ARLETTE." "Most
willingly, Sir," replied the forementioned "shrewd and intelligent-looking
compositor." "Tenez: un petit moment: je vais chercher mon violon. Ca ira
mieux."

He left the house in search of his violin. The tune of the National air
which he sung was both agreeable and lively: and upon the whole it was
difficult to say which seemed to be the better pleased with the respective
national airs. M. Brée shewed me his premises in detail. They had been
formerly a portion of an old church; and are situated on the edge of the
great fosse which encircles the town. A garden, full of sweet blooming
flowers, is behind them; and the view backwards is cheerful and
picturesque. There are generally five presses at work; which, for a
provincial printing office, shews business to be far from slack. Mons. B.
sells a great number of almanacks, and prints all the leading publications
connected with the town. In fact, his title, as _Imprimeur du Roi_,
supposes him to take the principal lead as a printer. This agreeable man
has a brother who is professor of rhetoric in the Collège Royale at Paris.

Of _Bouquinistes_, or dealers in old books, there are scarcely any. I spent
three or four fruitless hours in a search after old chronicles and old
poetry: and was compelled, almost from pure civility, to purchase of
DUFOURS a _Petit's Virgil_ of 1529, folio--which will be hardly worth the
carriage. I tried hard for a fine copy of _Fauchet's Origines de la Poésie
Françoise_, 1581, 4to. with the head of the author, but in vain; yet
endeavoured to console myself by an old blue morocco copy of _Les regrets
et tristes lamentations du Comte de Montgomery_, by _Demorenne_, Rouen,
1574, 8vo. as well as a clean, fresh, and almost crackling copy of
_Amoureuses occupations de la Taysonniere_, Lyon, 1555, 8vo.--for two
francs each--and both destined for the rich and choice library of our
friend....

Thus much for FALAISE: for a spot, which, from the uniform serenity of the
weather since I have been here--from the comfort of the inn--from the
extreme civility and attention of the townspeople--and from the yet more
interesting society of the Comte de la Fresnaye, the _Curés_ Mouton and
Langevin--together with the amenity of the surrounding country, and the
interesting and in part magnificent remains of antiquity--can never be
erased from my recollection. It is here that the tourist and antiquary may
find objects for admiration and materials for recording. I have done both:
admired and recorded--happy, if the result of such occupations shall have
contributed to the substantial gratification of yourself and of our common
friends. And now, farewell; not only to Falaise, but to NORMANDY. I shall
leave it, from this delightful spot, in the most thorough good humour, and
with more than ordinary regret that my stay has necessarily been short. I
have taken my place in the Diligence, direct for PARIS. "Il n'y a qu'un
Paris"--said the Comte de la Fresnaye to me the other day, when I told him
I had never been there--to which I replied, "Are there then TWO Londons?"
Thirty-six hours will settle all this. In the mean time, adieu.


[169] On the return of Louis the XVIII. the town of Falaise manifested its
    loyalty in the most unequivocal manner.

      COUPLETS

      _Chantés par les Elèves du Collége de Falaise, en arborant le
      Drapeau Blanc_.

      Air: _Un Soldat par un coup funeste_.

        Loin de nous la sombre tristesse,
        Mars a déposé sa fureur;
        Enfin la foudre vengeresse
        Vient de terrasser _l'opresseur,_
            L'aigle sanguinaire
        Succombe à l'aspect de ces LYS.
      Peuple français, tu vas revoir ton Père!
        Vive le Roi! Vive LOUIS!

        Drapeau, que d'horribles tempêtes
        Avoient éloigné de ces lieux,
        Tu reviens embellir nos Fêtes,
        Plus brillant et plus radieux!
            Ta douce présence
        Ramène les jeux et les ris;
      Sois à jamais l'Etendard de la France,
        Vive le Roi! vive LOUIS!

        O Dieu! vengeur de l'innocence,
        Protège ces LYS glorieux!
        Conserve long-temps à la France
        LE ROI que tu rends à nos voeux!
            Si la perfidie
        De nouveau troubloit ton bonheur
      Viens nous guider, ô Bannière chérie!
        Nous volerons au champ d'honneur.

[170] The worthy historian of Falaise, quoted in a preceding page, is
    exceedingly anxious to make us believe that there are portions of this
    church--namely, four stones--in the eastern and western gable
    ends--which were used in the consecration of it, by MATHILDA, the wife
    of our first William. Also, that, at the gable end of the south
    transept, outside, an ancient grotto,--in which the Gallic priests of
    old purified themselves for the mysteries of their religion--is now
    converted into the sacristy, or vestry, or robing room. But these are
    surely mere antiquarian dreams. The same author more sagaciously
    informs us that the exact period of the commencement of the building
    of the nave, namely in 1438, is yet attested by an existing
    inscription, in gothic letters, towards the chief door of entrance.
    The inscription also testifies that in the same year, "there reigned
    DEATH, WAR, and FAMINE." The _chancel of the choir_, with the
    principal doors of entrance, &c. were constructed between the years
    1520, and 1540. It may be worth remarking that the stalls of the choir
    were brought from the Abbey of St. John--on the destruction of that
    monastic establishment in 1729; and that, according to the _Gallia
    Christiana_, vol. xi. p. 756, these stalls were carved at the desire
    of Thomas II. de Mallebiche, abbot of that establishment in 1506-1516.
    In a double niche of the south buttress are the statues of HERPIN and
    his WIFE; rich citizens of Falaise, who, by their wealth, greatly
    contributed to the building of the choir. (Their grandson, HERPIN
    LACHENAYE, together with his mistress were killed, side by side, in
    fighting at one of the gates of Falaise to repel the successful troops
    of Henry IV.) The _Chapel of the Virgin_, behind the choir, was
    completed about the year 1631. LANGEVIN, p. 81-128-131.

[171] We have of course nothing to do with the first erection of a place of
    worship at Guibray in the VIIIth century. The story connected with the
    earliest erection is this. The faubourg of Guibray, distant about 900
    paces from Falaise, was formerly covered with chestnut and oak trees.
    A sheep, scratching the earth, as if by natural instinct (I quote the
    words of M. Langevin the historian of Falaise) indicated, by its
    bleatings, that something was beneath. The shepherd approached, and
    hollowing out the earth with his crook, discovered a statue of the
    Virgin, with a child in its arms. The first church, dedicated to the
    Virgin, under the reign of Charles Martel, called the Victorious, was
    in consequence erected--on this very spot--in the centre of this
    widely spreading wood of chestnut and oak. I hasten to the
    construction of a second church, on the same site, under the auspices
    of Mathilda, the wife of the Conqueror: with the statue of a woman
    with a diadem upon her head--near one of the pillars: upon which
    statue Langevin discourses learnedly in a note. But neither this
    church nor the statue in question are now in existence. On the
    contrary, the oldest portions of the church of Guibray, now
    existing--according to the authors of the _Gallia Christiana_, vol.
    xi. p. 878, and an ancient MS. consulted by M. Langevin--are of about
    the date of 1222; when the church was consecrated by the Bishop of
    Coutances. The open space towards the south, now called _La Place aux
    Chevaux_, was the old burying ground of the church. There was also a
    chapel, dedicated to St. Gervais, which was pillaged and destroyed by
    the Hugonots in 1562. I should add, that the South-East exterior
    (behind the chancel) of this very curious old church at Guibray,
    resembles, upon a small scale, what M. Cotman has published of the
    same portion of St. Georges de Bocherville. _Recherches sur Falaise_,
    p. 49-53. Monsieur le Comte de la Fresnaye, in his _Notice Historique
    sur Falaise_, 1816, 8vo. will have it, that "the porch of this church,
    the only unmutilated portion remaining of its ancient structure,
    demonstrates the epoch of the origin of Christianity among the Gauls."
    "At least, such is the decision of M. Deveze, draftsman for Laborde;
    the latter of whom now Secretary to the Count d'Artois, instituted a
    close examination of the whole fabric." p. 5-6. I hope there are not
    many such conclusions to be found in the magnificent and meritorious
    productions of LABORDE.

[172] This fair lasts full fifteen days. The first eight days are devoted
    to business of a more important nature--which they call the GREAT
    WEEK: that is to say, the greatest number of merchants attend during
    the earlier part of it; and contracts of greater extent necessarily
    take place. The remaining seven days are called the LITTLE WEEK--in
    which they make arrangements to carry their previous bargains into
    effect, and to return home. Men and merchandise, from all quarters,
    and of all descriptions, are to be seen at this fair. Even Holland and
    Germany are not wanting in sending their commercial representatives.
    Jewellery and grocery seem to be the chief articles of commerce; but
    there is a prodigious display of silk, linen, and cotton, &c.: as well
    as of hides, raw and tanned; porcelaine and earthen ware. The live
    cattle market must not be forgotten. Langevin says that, of horses
    alone, they sometimes sell full four thousand. Thus much for the buyer
    and seller. But this fair is regularly enlivened by an immense
    confluence of nobility and gentry from the adjacent country--to
    partake of the amusements, which, (as with the English,) form the
    invariable appendages of the scene. Langevin mentions the minor fairs
    of _Ste. Croix, St. Michel_, and _St. Gervais_, which help to bring
    wealth into the pockets of the inhabitants. _Recherches Historiques
    sur Falaise_; p. 199, &c.

[173] [Since the publication of this Tour, the amiable Mons. Langevin has
    published "additions" to his historical account of Falaise; and in
    those additions, he has been pleased to notice the account which is
    HERE given of his labours and character. It would be bad--at least
    hardly justifiable--taste, to quote that notice: yet I cannot
    dissemble the satisfaction to find that there is _more_ than ONE
    sympathising heart in Normandy, which appreciates this record of its
    excellence. I subjoin, therefore, with the greatest satisfaction, a
    fac-simile of the autograph of this amiable and learned man, as it
    appears written (at my request) in the title-page of a copy of his
    "Researches."

    [Illustration: Langevin ptre.]



LETTER XXI.

JOURNEY TO PARIS. DREUX. HOUDAN. VERSAILLES. ENTRANCE INTO PARIS.

_Paris, Rue Faubourg Poissonière, May_ 30, 1819.

"Time and the hour runs through the roughest day." They must be protacted
miseries indeed which do not, at some period or other, have something like
a termination. I am here, then my good friend--safe and sound at last;
comfortably situated in a boarding house, of which the mistress is an
agreeable Englishwoman and the master an intelligent Swiss. I have
sauntered, gazed, and wondered--and exchanged a thousand gracious
civilities! I have delivered my epistolary credentials: have shaken hands
with Monsieur Van Praet; have paced the suite of rooms in which the
renowned BIBLIOTHEQUE DU ROI is deposited: have traversed the _Thuileries_
and the _Louvre_; repeatedly reconnoitred the _Boulevards_; viewed the gilt
dome of the _Hôtel des Invalides_, and the white flag upon the
bronze-pillar in the _Place Vendome_; seen crowds of our countrymen at
_Meurice's_ and in the hotels about the _Rue de la Paix;_ partaken of the
rival ices of _Tortoni_ and the _Caffé des Mille Colonnes_; bought old
French poetry at a Bouquiniste's: and drank Chambertin and Champagne at the
richly garnished table of our ----. These are what may be called good
_foreground objects_ in the composition of a Parisian picture. Now for the
filling up of the canvas with appropriate and harmonizing detail.

A second reflection corrects however the precipitancy of such a proposal;
for it cannot be, in this my _first_ despatch, that you are to receive any
thing like an adequate notion of the topics thus hastily thrown together on
the first impulse of Parisian inspiration. Wait patiently, therefore: and
at least admire the methodical precision of my narrative. My last letter
left me on the eve of departure from Falaise; and it is precisely from that
place that I take up the thread of my journal. We were to leave it, as I
told you, in the Diligence--on the evening of the Sunday, immediately
following the date of the despatch transmitted. I shall have reason to
remember that journey for many a day to come; but, "post varios casus, &c."
I am thankful to find myself safely settled in my present comfortable
abode. The Sabbath, on the evening of which the Diligence usually starts
for Paris, happened to be a festival. Before dawn of day I heard incessant
juvenile voices beneath the window of my bedroom at the Grand Turc; What
might this mean? Between three and four, as the day began to break, I rose,
and approaching the window, saw, from thence, a number of little boys and
girls busied in making artificial flower-beds and sand-borders, &c. Their
tongues and their bodily movements were equally unintermitting. It was
impossible for a stranger to guess at the meaning of such a proceeding;
but, opening the window, I thought there could be no harm in asking a very
simple question--which I will confess to you was put in rather an irritable
manner on my part ... for I had been annoyed by their labours for more than
the last hour. "What are you about, there?" I exclaimed--"Ha, is it you
Sir?" replied a little arch boy--mistaking me for some one else. "Yes,
(resumed I) tell me what you are about there?" "in truth, we are making
_Réposoirs_ for the FETE-DIEU: the Host will pass this way by and bye. Is
it not a pretty thing, Sir?" exclaimed a sweetly modulated female voice.
All my irritability was softened in a moment; and I was instantly convinced
that Solomon never delivered a wiser sentiment than when he said--"A soft
answer turneth away wrath!" I admitted the prettiness of the thing without
comprehending a particle of it: and telling them to speak in a lower key,
shut the window, and sought my bed. But sleep had ceased to seek me: and
the little urchins, instead of lowering their voices, seemed to break forth
in a more general and incessant vociferation. In consequence, I was almost
feverish from restlessness--when the fille de chambre announced that "it
was eight o'clock, and the morning most beautiful."

These _réposoirs_ are of more importance than you are aware of. They
consist of little spots, or spaces in the streets, garnished with flowers,
and intersected by walks, marked with fine gravel, in the centre of which
the Host rests, on its passing to and fro from the several parishes. When I
rose to dress, I observed the work of art--which had been in progress
during the night--perfectly complete. Passengers were forbidden to trespass
by pieces of string fastened to different parts by way of a fence--or,
whoever chose to walk within, considered themselves bound to deposit a sous
as the condition of gratifying their curiosity. Upon the whole, this
réposoir might be about sixteen feet square. Towards eleven o'clock the
different religious ceremonies began. On one side the noise of the drum,
and the march of the national guard, indicated that military mass was about
to be performed; on the other, the procession of priests, robed and
officiating--the elevation of banners--and the sonorous responses of both
laity and clergy--put the whole town into agitation, and made every inmate
of every mansion thrust his head out of window, to gaze at the passing
spectacle. We were among the latter denomination of lookers on, and
recognised, with no small gratification, our clerical friends Messieurs
Mouton, Langevin, and the huge father confessor at Guibra, followed by a
great number of respectable citizens, among whom the Comte de la Fresnaye
and his amiable and intelligent son (recently married) made most
respectable figures; They approached the réposoir in question. The priests,
with the Host, took their station within it; silence followed; one
officiating clergyman then knelt down; shut, what seemed to be, the wooden
covers of a book,--with, considerable violence--rose--turned round, and the
procession being again put in motion--the whole marched away to the church
of the Holy Trinity;--whither I followed it; and where I witnessed what I
was unable to comprehend, and what I should not feel much disposed to
imitate. But let every country be allowed to reverence and respect its own
particular religious ceremonies. We may endure what we cannot commend ...
and insult and disrespect are among the last actions which a well regulated
mind will shew in its treatment of such matters. I should add, that these
réposoirs, a few hours after the performance of the ceremony just
described, are indiscriminately broken up: the flowers and the little sand
banks falling equally a prey to the winds and the feet of the passenger.

Opposite to the inn was an hospital for the female sick. It had been
formerly an establishment of very considerable extent and celebrity; but
whether it was originally connected with the hospital of the _Léproserie de
Saint Lasare_, (about which the Abbé Langevin's History of Falaise is
rather curious) the _Hôtel-Dieu_, or the _Hôpital Général_, I cannot take
upon me to pronounce. Certain it is, however, that this establishment does
great credit to those who have the conduct of it. As foreigners, and
particularly as Englishmen, we were permitted to see the whole, without
reserve. On my return from witnessing the ceremony at the church of the
Trinity, I visited this hospital: my companion having resumed his graphic
operations before the Castle. I shall not easily forget the face and figure
of the matron. To a countenance of masculine feature, and masculine
complexion--including no ordinary growth of beard, of a raven tint--she
added a sturdy, squat, muscular figure--which, when put into action, moved
in a most decided manner. A large bunch of massive keys was suspended from
a girdle at her side; and her dress, which was black, was rendered more
characteristic and striking, by the appearance of, what are yet called,
_bustles_ above her hips. As she moved, the keys and the floor seemed
equally to shake beneath her steps. The elder Smirke would have painted
this severe Duenna-like looking matron with inimitable force and truth.
But ... she no sooner opened her mouth, than all traits of severity
vanished. Her voice was even musical, and her "façon de parler" most
gracious. She shewed me the whole establishment with equal good humour
and alertness; and I don't know when I ever made such a number of bows
(to the several female patients in the wards) within such limited time
and space. The whole building has the air of a convent; and there were
several architectural relics, perhaps of the end of the fifteenth
century, which I only regretted were not of portable dimensions; as,
upon making enquiry, little objection seemed to be made to the
gratuitous disposal of them.

The hour for departure, after sun-set, having arrived, we were summoned to
the Diligence when, bidding adieu to the very worthy host and hostess of
the _Grand Turc_, (whom I strongly recommend all Englishmen to visit) I
made up my mind for a thirty-six hour's journey--as I was to reach Paris on
Tuesday morning. The day had been excessively hot for the season of the
year; and the night air was refreshing. But after a few snatches of
sleep--greatly needed--there appeared manifest symptoms of decay and
downfall in the gloomy and comfortless machine in which we took our
departure. In other words, towards daylight, and just as we approached
_L'Aigle_, the left braces (which proved to be thoroughly rotted leather)
broke in two: and down slid, rather than tumbled, the Falaise Diligence!
There were two French gentlemen, and an elderly lady, besides ourselves in
the coach. While we halted, in order to repair the machine, the Frenchmen
found consolation in their misfortune by running to a caffé, (it was
between four and five in the morning), rousing the master and mistress, and
as I thought, peremptorily and impertinently asking for coffee: while they
amused themselves with billiards during its preparation. I was in no humour
for eating, drinking, or playing: for here was a second sleepless night!
Having repaired this crazy vehicle, we rumbled on for _Verneuil_; where it
was exchanged for a diligence of more capacious dimensions. Here, about
eleven o'clock, we had breakfast; and from henceforth let it not be said
that the art of eating and drinking belongs exclusively to our
country:--for such manifestations of appetite, and of attack upon
substantials as well as fluids, I had scarcely ever before witnessed. I was
well contented with coffee, tea, eggs, and bread--as who might not well
be?... but my companions, after taking these in flank, cut through the
centre of a roast fowl and a dish of stewed veal: making diversions, in the
mean while, upon sundry bottles of red and white wine; the fingers, during
the meal, being as instrumental as the white metal forks.

We set off at a good round trot for _Dreux_: and, in the route thither, we
ascended a long and steep hill, having _Nonancourt_ to the left. Here we
saw some very pretty country houses, and the whole landscape had an air of
English comfort and picturesque beauty about it. Here, too, for the first
time, I saw a VINEYARD. At this early season of the year it has a most
stiff and unseemly look; presenting to the eye scarcely any thing but the
brown sticks, obliquely put into the ground, against which the vine is
trained. But the sloping banks, on each side of the ascending road, were
covered with plantations of this precious tree; and I was told that, if the
_autumn_ should prove as auspicious as appeared the _spring_, there would
be a season of equal gaiety and abundance. I wished it with all my heart.
Indeed I felt particularly interested in the whole aspect of the country
about _Nonancourt_. The sun was fast descending as we entered the town of
_Dreux_--where I had resolved upon taking leave both of the diligence and
of my companions; and of reaching Paris by post. At seven we dined, or
rather perhaps made an early supper; when my fellow travellers _sustained_
their reputation for their powers of attack upon fish, flesh, and fowl.
Indeed the dinner was equally plentiful and well cooked; and the charge
moderate in proportion. But there is nothing, either on the score of
provision of reasonableness of cost, like the _table d'hôte_ throughout
France; and he who cannot accommodate himself to the hour of dining
(usually about one) must make up his mind to worse fare and treble charges.

After dinner we strolled in the town, and upon the heights near the castle.
We visited the principal church, _St. Jean_, which is very spacious, and
upon the whole is a fine piece of architecture. I speak more particularly
of the interior--where I witnessed, however, some of the most horrible
devastations, arising from the Revolution, which I had yet seen. In one of
the side chapels, there _had been_ a magnificent monument; perhaps from
sixteen to twenty feet in height--crowded with figures as large as life,
from the base to the summit. It appeared as if some trenchant instrument of
an irresistible force, had shaved away many of the figures; but more
especially the heads and the arms. This was only one, but the most
striking, specimen of revolutionary Vandalism. There were plenty of similar
proofs, on a reduced scale. In the midst of these traces of recent havoc,
there was a pleasure mingled with melancholy, in looking up and viewing
some exceedingly pretty specimens of old stained glass:--which had escaped
the destruction committed in the lower regions, and had preserved all their
original freshness. Here and there, in the side chapels, the priests were
robing themselves to attend confession; while the suppliants, in kneeling
attitudes, were expecting them by the side of the confessionals. From the
church I bent my steps to the principal bookseller of the place, whom I
found to be an intelligent, civil, and extremely good-natured tradesman.
But his stock was too modern. "Donnez vous la peine de monter"--exclaimed
he precipitately; begging me to follow him. His up-stairs collection was
scarcely of a more ancient character than that below. There were more
copies of _Voltaire_ and _Rousseau_ than I should have supposed he could
sell in six years--but "on the contrary" (said he) "in six months' time,
not a single copy will remain unsold!" I marvelled and grieved at such
intelligence; because the poison was not extracted from the nourishment
contained in these works. To an enquiry about my old typographical friends,
_Verard, Pigouchet_, and _Eustace_, the worthy bibliopole replied "qu'il
n'avoit jamais entendu parler de ces gens-la!" Again I marvelled; and
having no temptation to purchase, civilly wished him good evening.

Meanwhile Mr. L. had attained the castle heights, and was lost in a sort of
extacy at the surrounding scene. On entering the outer walls, and directing
your steps towards the summit, you are enchanted with a beautiful
architectural specimen--in the character of a zigzag early Norman
arch--which had originally belonged to a small church, recently taken down:
The arch alone stands insulated ... beyond which, a new, and apparently a
very handsome, church is erecting, chiefly under the care and at the
expence of the present Duke of Orleans;--as a mausoleum for his family--and
in which, not many days before our arrival, the remains of one of his
children had been deposited. I wished greatly for a perfect drawing of this
arch ... but there was no time ... and my companion was exercising his
pencil, on the summit, by a minute, bird's eye of the sweep of country to
be seen from this elevated situation--through the greater part of which,
indeed, the diligence from _Verneuil_ had recently conducted us. I should
add, that not a relic of that CASTLE, which had once kept the town and the
adjacent country in awe, is now to be seen: but its outer walls enclose a
space hardly less than twenty acres:--the most considerable area which I
had yet witnessed. To give a more interesting character to the scenery, the
sun, broad and red, was just hiding the lower limb of his disk behind the
edge of a purple hill. A quiet, mellow effect reigned throughout the
landscape. I gazed on all sides; and (wherefore, I cannot now say) as I
sunk upon the grass, overwhelmed with fatigue and the lassitude of two
sleepless nights, wished, in my heart, I could have seen the effect of that
glorious sun-set from, the heights of Dover. Now and then, as when at
school, one feels a little home-sick; but the melancholy mood which then
possessed me was purely a physical effect from a physical cause. The
shadows of evening began to succeed to the glow of sun-set--when, starting
from my recumbent position, (in which sleep was beginning to surprise me) I
hastened down the heights, and by a nearer direction sought the town and
our hotel. We retired betimes to rest--but not until, from an opposite
coach maker, we had secured a phaeton-like carriage to convey us with post
horses, the next day, to Paris.

Excellent beds and undisturbed slumber put me in spirits for the grand
entrée into the metropolis of France. Breakfasting a little after
nine--before ten, a pair of powerful black horses, one of which was
surmounted by a sprucely-attired postilion--with the phaeton in the
rear--were at the door of the hotel. Seeing all our baggage properly
secured, we sprung into the conveyance and darted forward at a smart
gallop. The animals seemed as if they could fly away with us--and the whip
of the postilion made innumerable circular flourishes above their heads.
The sky was beautifully clear: and a briskly-stirring, but not unpleasantly
penetrating, south-east wind, played in our faces as we seemed scarcely to
be sensible of the road. What a contrast to the heat, vexation, and general
uncomfortableness of the two preceding days of our journey! We felt it
sensibly, and enjoyed it in proportion. Our first place of halting, to
change horses, was at HOUDAN; which may be about four leagues from Dreux;
and I verily believe we reached it in an hour. The route thither is through
a flat and uninteresting country; except that every feature of landscape
(and more especially in our previous journeys through Normandy) seems to be
thrown to a greater distance, than in England. This may account for the
flatness of views, and the diminutiveness of objects. Houdan is a
village-like town, containing a population of about 2000 inhabitants; but
much business is done on market days; and of _corn_, in particular, I was
told that they often sold several thousand sacks in a day. Its contiguity
to Paris may account for the quantity of business done. In the outskirts of
the town,--and flanked, rather than surrounded, by two or three rows of
trees, of scarcely three years growth--stands the "stiff and stower"
remains of the _Castle of Houdan_. It is a very interesting relic, and to
our eyes appeared of an unusual construction. The corner towers are small
and circular; and the intermediate portion of the outer wall is constructed
with a swell, or a small curvature outwards. I paced the outside, but have
forgotten the measurement. Certainly, it is not more than forty feet
square. I tried to gain admittance into the interior, but without success,
as the person possessing the key was not to be found. I saw enough,
however, to convince me that the walls could not be less than twelve feet
in thickness.

The horses had been some time in readiness, and the fresh postilion seemed
to be lost in amazement at the cause of our loitering so long at so
insignificant a place. The day warmed as we pushed on for the far-famed
"proud Versailles." The approach, from Houdan, is perhaps not the most
favourable; although we got peeps of the palace, which gave us rather
elevated notions of its enormous extent. We drove to the _Hôtel de
Bourbon_, an excellent, clean mansion, close to the very façade of the
palace, after passing the Hôtel de Ville; and from whence you have an
undisturbed view of the broad, wide, direct road to Paris. I bespoke
dinner, and prepared to lounge. The palace--of which I purposely declined
visiting the interior--reserving Versailles for a future and entire day's
gratification--is doubtless an immense fabric--of which the façade just
mentioned is composed of brick, and assumes any thing but a grand and
imposing air: merely because it wants simplicity and uniformity of design.
I observed some charming white stone houses, scattered on each side of this
widely extended chaussée--or route royale--and, upon the whole, Versailles
appeared to us to be a magnificent and rather interesting spot. Two or
three rows of trees, some forty or fifty generations more ancient than
those constituting the boulevards at Houdan, formed avenues on each side of
this noble road; and all appeared life and animation--savouring of the
proximity of the metropolis. Carriages without number--chiefly upon hire,
were going and returning; and the gaits and dresses of individuals were of
a more studied and of a gayer aspect. At length, we became a little
impatient for our dinner, and for the moment of our departure. We hired one
of these carriages; which for nine francs, would convey us to the place of
our destination. This appeared to me very reasonable; and after being
extravagant enough to drink Champagne at dinner, to commemorate our near
approach to the metropolis, we set forward between five and six o'clock,
resolving to strain our eyes to the utmost, and to be astonished at every
thing we saw!--especially as _this_ is considered the most favourable
approach to the capital.

The _Ecole Militaire_, to the left, of which Marshal Ney had once the chief
command, struck me as a noble establishment. But it was on approaching
_Sèvre_ that all the bustle and population, attendant upon the immediate
vicinity of a great metropolis, became evident. Single-horsed vehicles--in
many of which not fewer than nine persons were pretty closely stowed--three
upon a bench, and three benches under the roof--fiacres, barouches, and
carriages of every description, among which we discovered a great number
from our own country--did not fail to occupy our unremitting attention.
_Sèvre_ is a long, rambling, and chiefly single-street town; but
picturesquely situated, on a slope, and ornamented to the left by the
windings of the Seine. We were downright glad to renew our acquaintance
with our old, and long-lost friend, the river Seine; although it appeared
to be sadly shorn of its majestic breadth since we had parted with it
before the walls of Montmorenci castle, in our route to Havre. The new
nine-arch bridge at Sèvre is a sort of Waterloo bridge in miniature. Upon
the heights, above it, I learnt that there was a beautiful view of the
river in the foreground with Paris in the distance. We passed over the old
bridge, and saw _St. Cloud_ to the left: which of course interested us as
the late residence of Bonaparte, but which, in truth, has nothing beyond
the air of a large respectable country-gentleman's mansion in England. We
pushed on, and began to have distinct perceptions of the great city. Of all
the desirable places of retreat, whether for its elevated situation, or
respectable appearance, or commodious neighbourhood, nothing struck me more
forcibly than the village of PASSY, upon a commanding terrace, to the left;
some three or four English miles from Paris--and having a noble view both
of the river and of the city. It is also considered to be remarkably
healthy; and carriages of every description, are constantly passing thither
to and from Paris.

The dome of the _Pantheon_, and the gilded one of the _Hôtel des
Invalides_, together with the stunted towers of _Notre Dame_, were among
the chief objects to the right: while the accompaniment of the Seine,
afforded a pleasing foreground to this architectural picture in the
distance. But, my friend, I will frankly own to you, that I was
disappointed ... upon this first glimpse of the GREAT city. In the first
place, the surrounding country is flat; with the exception of _Mount
Calvary,_ to the left, which has nothing to do with the metropolitan view
from this situation. In the second place, what are the _Pantheon_ and
_Notre Dame_ compared with _St. Paul's_ and _Westminster Abbey_?--to say
nothing of the vicinity of London, as is connected with the beautifully
undulating ground about Camberwell, Sydenham, Norwood, and. Shooter's
Hill--and, on the other side of the water, Hampstead, Highgate and
Harrow: again, Wimbledon and Richmond!... What lovely vicinities are
these compared with that of _Mont Martre_? And if you take river scenery
into the account, what is the _Seine_, in the neighbourhood of Paris,
compared with the _Thames_ in that of London? If the almost impenetrable
smoke and filth from coal-fires were charmed away--shew me, I beseech
you, any view of Paris, from this, or from any point of approach, which
shall presume to bear the semblance of comparison with that of London,
from the descent from _Shooter's Hill_! The most bewitched
Frenchified-Englishman, in the perfect possession of his eye sight, will
not have the temerity to institute such a comparison. But as you near
the barriers, your admiration increases. Having got rid of all
background of country--as you approach the capital--the foregoing
objections vanish. Here the officers of police affected to search our
luggage. They were heartily welcome, and so I told them. This disarmed
all suspicion. Accordingly we entered Paris by one of the noblest and
one of the most celebrated of its Boulevards--the _Champs Elysées_. As
we gained the _Place Louis Quinze_, with the _Thuileries_ in front, with
the _Hôtel des Invalides_ (the gilded dome of which latter reflected the
strong rays of a setting sun) to the right--we were much struck with
this combination of architectural splendour: indisputably much superior
to any similar display on the entrance into our own capital.[174]
Turning to the left, the _Place Vendome_ and the _Rue de la Paix_, with
the extreme height of the houses, and the stone materials of their
construction, completed our admiration. But the _Boulevards
Italiens_--after passing the pillars of the proposed church of _Ste.
Madelaine_, and turning to the right--helped to prolong our extreme
gratification, till we reached the spot whence I am addressing you.
Doubtless, at first glance, this is a most splendid and enchanting city.
A particular detail must be necessarily reserved, for the next despatch.
I shall take all possible pains to make you acquainted with the
treasures of PAST TIMES--in the shape of Manuscripts and printed Books.
THE ROYAL LIBRARY has as much astonished me, as the CURATORS of it have
charmed me by their extreme kindness and civility.[175]


[174] [The above was written in 1818-19. Now, what would be said by a
    foreigner, of his first drive from Westminster Bridge, through Regent
    Street to the stupendous Pantheon facing the termination of Portland
    Place?]

[175] At this point, the labours of Mons. LICQUET, as my translator, cease;
    and I will let him take leave of his task of translation in his own
    words. "Ici se termine la tache qui m'a été confiée. Après avoir
    réfuté franchement tout ce qui m'a semblé digne de lêtre, je crois
    devoir déclarer, en finissant, que mes observations n'ont jamais eu
    _la personne_ pour objet. Je reste persuadé, d'ailleurs, que le coeur
    de M.D. est tout-à-fait innocent des écarts de son esprit. Si l'on
    peut le condamner pour le fait, il faudra toujours l'absoudre pour
    l'intention...." The _concluding_-sentence need not be copied: it is
    bad taste to re-echo the notices of one's own good qualities.

    My Norman translator at least takes leave of me with the grace of a
    gentleman: although his thrusts have been occasionally direct and
    severely intended. The foil which he has used has not always had the
    button covered. The candid reader will, however, judge how these
    thrusts have been parried; and if the "hits" on the part of my
    adversary, have been sometimes "palpable," those of the original
    author will not (it is presumed) be deemed feeble or unimpressive.
    After all, the sum total of "Errata" scarcely includes THREE of
    _substantial moment_: and wishing Mons Licquet "a very good day," I
    desire nothing better than to renew our critical coqueting on the
    floor of that Library of which he is the "Bibliothècaire en Chef."



END OF VOL. I.


London: Printed by W. Nicol,
Cleveland-row, St. James's.



SUPPLEMENT TO VOL. I.

OLD POEM ON THE SIEGE OF ROUEN.


The city of Rouen makes too considerable a figure in the foregoing pages,
and its history, as connected with our own country in the earlier part of
the fifteenth century, is too interesting, to require any thing in the
shape of apology for the matter which the Reader is about to peruse. This
"matter" is necessarily incidental to the _present_ edition of the "Tour;"
as it is only recently made public. An "_Old English Poem_" on our Henry
the Fifth's "_Siege of Rouen_" is a theme likely to excite the attention of
the literary Antiquary on _either_ side of the Channel.

The late erudite, and ever to be lamented Rev. J.J. Conybeare, successively
Professor of the Saxon language, and of English Poetry in the University of
Oxford, discovered, in the exhaustless treasures of the Bodleian Library, a
portion of the Old English Poem in question: but it was a portion only. In
the 21st. vol. of the Archæologia, Mr. Conybeare gave an account of this
fortunate discovery, and subjoined the poetical fragment. Mr. Frederick
Madden, one of the Librarians attached to the MS. department in the British
Museum, was perhaps yet more fortunate in the discovery of the portion
which was lost: and in the 22d. vol. of the _Archæologia_, just published,
(pp. 350-398), he has annexed an abstract of the remaining fragment, with
copious and learned notes. This fragment had found its way, in a prose
attire, into the well-known English MS. Chronicle, called the
BRUTE:--usually (but most absurdly) attributed to Caxton. It is not however
to be found in _all_ the copies of this Chronicle. On the contrary, Mr.
Madden, after an examination of several copies of this MS. has found the
poem only in four of them: namely, in two among the Harleian MSS. (Nos.
753; 2256--from which _his_ transcript and collation have been made) in one
belonging to Mr. Coke of Holkham, and in a fourth belonging to the _Cotton_
Collection:--Galba E. viii. This latter MS. has a very close correspondence
with the _second_ Harl. MS. but is often faulty from errors of the Scribe,
See _Gentleman's Magazine, May_, 1829.

So much for the history of the discovery of this precious old English
Poem--which is allowed to be a contemporaneous production of the time of
the Siege--namely, A.D. 1418. A word as to its intrinsic worth--from the
testimony of the Critic most competent to appreciate it. "It will be
admitted, I believe, (says Mr. Madden) by all who will take the trouble
to compare the various contemporary narratives of the Siege of Rouen,
that in point of simplicity, clearness, and minuteness of detail, there
is NO existing document which can COMPARE with the Poem before us. Its
authenticity is sufficiently established, from the fact of the Author's
having been an EYEWITNESS of the whole. If we review the names of those
Historians who lived at the same period, we shall have abundant reason
to rejoice at so valuable an accession to our present stock of
information on the subject." _Archæologia_, vol. xxii. p. 353. The
reader shall be no longer detained from a specimen or two of the poem
itself, which should seem fully to justify the eulogy of the Critic.

"On the day after the return of the twelve delegates sent by the City of
Rouen to treat with Henry, the Poet proceeds to inform us, that the King
caused two tents to be pitched, one for the English Commissioners, and the
other for the French. On the English side were appointed the Earl of
Warwick, the Earl of Salisbury, the Lord Fitzhugh, and Sir Walter
Hungerford, and on the French side, twelve discreet persons were chosen to
meet them. Then says the writer,

  'It was a sight of solempnity,
  For to behold both party;
  To see the rich in their array,
  And on the walls the people that lay,
  And on our people that were without,
  How thick that they walked about;
  And the heraudis seemly to seene,
  How that they went ay between;
  The king's heraudis and pursuivants,
  In coats of arms _amyantis_.
  The English a beast, the French a flower,
  Of Portyngale both castle and tower,
  And other coats of diversity,
  As lords bearen in their degree.'

"As a striking contrast to this display of pomp and splendour is described
the deplorable condition of those unfortunate inhabitants who lay starving
in the ditches without the walls of the City, deprived both of food and
clothing. The affecting and simple relation of our Poet, who was an
eye-witness, is written with that display of feeling such a scene must
naturally have excited, and affords perhaps one of the most favourable
passages in the Poem to compare with the studied narratives of Elmham or
Livius. In the first instance we behold misery literally in rags, and
hiding herself in silence and obscurity, whilst in the other she is
ostentatiously paraded before our eyes:

  'There men might see a great pity,
  A child of two year or three
  Go about, and bid his bread,
  For Father and mother both lay dead,
  And under them the water stood,
  And yet they lay crying after food.
  Some _storven_ to the death,
  And some stopped both eyen and breath,
  And some crooked in the knees,
  And as lean as any trees,
  And women holding in their arm
  A dead child, and nothing warm,
  And children sucking on the pap
  Within a dead woman's lap.'

On Friday the 20th of January, King Henry V. made his public entry into
Rouen. His personal appearance is thus described:

  'He rode upon a brown steed,
  Of black damask was his weed,
  A _Peytrelle_ of gold full bright
  About his neck hung down right,
  And a pendant behind him did honge
  Unto the earth, it was so long.
  And they that never before him did see,
  They knew by the cheer which was he.'

"With the accustomed, but mistaken, piety for which Henry was ever
distinguished, he first proceeded to the monastery, where he alighted from
his charger, and was met by the chaplains of his household, who walked
before him, chanting _Quis est magnus Dominus?_ After the celebration of
mass, the king repaired to the Castle, where he took up his abode. By this
termination of a siege, which, for its duration and the horrors it
produced, is perhaps without a parallel in ancient or modern times, the
city was again plentifully supplied with provisions, and recovered the
shock so tedious and afflicting a contest had occasioned:

  'And thus our gracious liege
  Made an end of his siege;
  And all that have heard this reading,
  To his bliss Christ you bring,
  That for us died upon a tree,
  Amen say we all, _pur charite!_'

The Duke of Exeter is appointed Governor of the City, and ordered by Henry
to take possession of it the same night. The Duke mounts his horse, and
rides strait to the Port de Bevesyne or Beauvais, attended by a retinue, to
carry the commands of his sovereign into execution. His Entré, and the
truly miserable condition of the besieged, together with the imposing
appearance of Henry, shall now be described in the language of the poet.

  Thanne the duke of Excestre withoute bode
  Toke his hors and forth he rode,
  To bevesyne[E] that porte so stronge,
  That he hadde ley bifore so longe,
  To that gate sone he kam,[F]
  And with hym many a worthy[G] manne.
  There was neying of many a stede,
  And schynyng of many a gay wede,
  There was many a getoun[H] gay,
  With mychille[I] and grete aray.
  And whanne the gate was openyd there,
  And thay weren[J] redy into fare,
  Trumpis[K] blewgh her bemys[L] of bras,
  Pipis and clarionys forsothe ther was,
  And as thay entrid thay gaf a schowte
  With her[M] voyce that was fulle stowte,
  'Seint George! seint George!' thay criden[N] on height,
  And seide, 'welcome oure kynges righte.'
  The Frensshe pepulle of that Cite
  Were gederid by thousandes, hem to see.
  Thay criden[N] alle welcome in fere,
  'In siche tyme mote ye entre here,
  Plesyng to God that it may be,
  And to vs pees and vnyte.'
  And of that pepulle, to telle the trewthe,
  It was a sighte of fulle grete ruthe.
  Mykelle of that folke therynne
  Thay weren[O] but verrey bonys and skynne.
  With eyen holowgh and[P] nose scharpe,
  Vnnethe thay myght brethe or carpe,
  For her colowris was[Q] wan as lede,
  Not like to lyue but sone ben dede.
  Disfigurid pateronys[R] and quaynte,
  And as[S] a dede kyng thay weren paynte.
  There men myght see an[T] exampleyre,
  How fode makith the pepulle faire.[U]
  In euery strete summe lay dede,
  And hundriddis krying aftir brede.
  And aftir long many a day,
  Thay deyde as[V] faste as[W] they myght be lad away.
  Into[X] that way God hem wisse,
  That thay may come to his blisse! amen.
  Now[Y] wille y more spelle,
  And of the duke of exestre to[Z] telle.
  To that Castelle firste he rode,
  And sythen[AA] the Cite alle abrode;
  Lengthe and brede he it mette,
  And rich baneris he[AB] vp sette.
  Vpon the porte seint Hillare
  A Baner of the Trynyte.
  And at[AC] the port Kaux he sette evene
  A baner of the quene of heven.
  And at[AD] port martvile he vppyght   Of seint George a baner bryght.
  He sette vpon the Castelle to[AE] stonde
  The armys of Fr[a]unce and Englond.
  And on the Friday in the mornynge
  Into that Cite come oure kynge.
  And alle the Bisshoppis in her aray,
  And vij. abbottis with Crucchis[AF] gay;
  xlij.[AG] crossis ther were of Religioune[AH],
  And seculere, and alle thay went a precessioun,
  Agens that prince withoute the toune,
  And euery Cros as thay stode
  He blessid hem with milde mode,
  And holy water with her hande
  Thay gaf the prince of oure lande.
  And at[AI] the porte Kaux so wide
  He in passid withoute[AJ] pride;
  Withoute pipe or bemys blaste,
  Our kyng worthyly he in paste.
  And as a conquerour in his righte
  Thankyng[AK] euer god almyghte;
  And alle the pepulle in that Citie
  'Wilcome our[AL] lorde,' thay seide, 'so fre!
  Wilcome into[AM] thyne owne righte,
  As it is the[AN] wille of[AO] god almyght.'
  With that thay kryde alle _'nowelle!_'
  Os[AP] heighe as thay myght yelle.
  He rode vpon a browne stede,
  Of blak damaske was his wede.
  A peytrelle[AQ] of golde fulle bryght
  Aboute his necke hynge[AR] doun right,
  And a pendaunte behynd him dide[AS] honge
  Vnto the erthe, it was so longe,
  And thay that neuer before hym dide[AT] see,
  Thay knew by chere[u] wiche was he.
  To the mynster dide he fare,
  And of his horse he lighte there.
  His chapelle[AU] mette hym at[AV] the dore there,
  And wente bifore[AW] hym alle in fere,
  And songe a response[AX] fulle glorivs,
  _Quis est magnus dominus_.
  Messe he hirde and offrid thoo,
  And thanne to the Castelle dide he goo.
  That is a place of rialte,
  And a paleis of grete beaute.
  There he hym[AY] loggid in the Toune,
  With rialle and grete renoune.
  And the[AZ] cite dide faste encrece
  Of brede and wyne, fisshe, and fflesshe.[BA]
  And thus oure gracious liege
  Made an ende of his seege.
  And alle that[BB] haue hirde this redynge[BC]
  To his[BD] blisse criste you brynge,
  That for vs deide vpon[BE] a tre,
  Amen sey[BF] we alle, pur cherite!

_There was many a getoun gay_.] The following particulars relative to the
_getoun_ appear in MS. Harl. 838. "Euery baronet euery estat aboue hym shal
have hys baner displeyd in y'e field yf he be chyef capteyn, euery knyght
his penoun, euery squier or gentleman hys _getoun_ or standard." "Item, y'e
meyst lawfully fle fro y'e standard and _getoun_, but not fro y'e baner ne
penon.". "Nota, a stremer shal stand in a top of a schyp or in y'e
fore-castel: a stremer shal be slyt and so shal a standard as welle as a
_getoun_: a _getoun_ shal berr y'e length of ij yardes, a standard of iii
or 4 yardes, and a stremer of xii. xx. xl. or lx. yardes longe."

This account is confirmed by MS. Harl. 2258, and Lansd. 225. f. 431. as
quoted by Mr. Nicholas, in the Retrosp. Rev. vol. i. N.S. The former of
these MSS. states: Euery standard and _Guydhome_ [whence the etymology of
the word is obvious] to have in the chief the crosse of St. George, to be
slitte at the ende, and to conteyne the creste or supporter, with the
posey, worde, and devise of the owner." It adds, that "a guydhome must be
two yardes and a halfe, or three yardes longe." This rule may sometimes
have been neglected, at least by artists, for in a bill of expences for the
Earl of Warwick, dated July 1437, and printed by Dugdale, (Warw. p. 327.)
we find the following entry; "Item, a _gyton_ for the shippe of viij.
yerdis long, poudrid full of raggid staves, for the lymnyng and
workmanship, ijs." The Grant of a _guydon_ made in 1491 to Hugh Vaughan, is
preserved in the College of Arms. It contains his crest placed
longitudinally. _Retrospective Review, New Series_, vol. i. p. 511.


[E] _bewesyns_.

[F] _came_.

[G] _worthy_ deest.

[H] A species of banner or streamer. See Note.

[I] _noble_.

[J] _were_.

[K] Trumpeters.

[L] Trumpets.

[M] _that_.

[N] cryed.

[O] _were_.

[P] _with nose_.

[Q] _were_.

[R] _patrons_.--Workmens' models or figures. _Patrone_, forme to
    werke by. _Prompt. Parvul_. MS. Harl. 221. There is probably here
    an allusion to the waxen or wooden effigies placed on the hearse of
    distinguished personages.

[S] _as dede thyng they were peynte_.

[T] _in_.

[U] _to fare_.

[V] as _deest_.

[W] _as cartes led awey_.

[X] _Vnto_.

[Y] In MS. Harl. 753, a break is here made, and a large capital letter
    introduced.

[Z] _to_ deest.

[AA] _sithe_.

[AB] _vp he_.

[AC] _atte porte kauxoz_.

[AD] _atte_ porte.

[AE] _that stounde_.

[AF] Crosses.

[AG] xliiij.

[AH] _religiouns_.

[AI] _atte porte hauxoz_.

[AJ] The remainder, of this, and the two following lines are omitted.

[AK] _Thanked_.

[AL] _they seyde our lord so free_.

[AM] _vnto_.

[AN] _the_ deest.

[AO] _to_.

[AP] _As_.

[AQ] Poitrell, breast plate.

[AR] _hangyng_.

[AS] _dide_ deest.

[AT] _the_ chere.

[AU] The chaplains of his household. Lat. _capella_.

[AV] _atte_ dore, _there_ deest.

[AW] _afore_.

[AX] _respon._

[AY] _logged hym._

[AZ] _his cite fast encrest_.

[BA] _beste_.

[BB] _that_ deest.

[BC] _tydyng_.

[BD] _his_ deest.

[BE] on.

[BF] _seyde all for charitee_.



BRONZE GILT ANTIQUE STATUE AT LILLEBONNE, p. 127-8.


This Statue, as the above reference will testify, is now in the possession
of Mr. Samuel Woodburn, of St. Martin's Lane. When the note relating to it
was written, I could, not place my hand upon a Brochure (in my possession)
published at Rouen in 1823,[176] containing an archaeological description
of this Statue by M. Revet, and a scientific account of its component
parts, by M. Houton La Billardière, Professor of Chemistry at Rouen. The
former embodied his remarks in two letters addressed to the Prefect of the
Lower Seine. A print of the figure in its then extremely mutilated state,
is prefixed; but its omission would have been no great drawback to the
publication--which, in its details, appears to be ingenious, learned, and
satisfactory. The highest praise is given to the Statue, as a work of art
of the second century.[177] Its _identity_ seems to be yet a subject of
disputation:--but M. Revet considers it as "the representation of some
idolatrous divinity." The opinion of its being a representation of Bacchus,
or of Apollo, or of a Constellation, he thinks might be regulated by a
discovery of some emblem, or attribute, found in the vicinity of the
Statue. Two other plates--lithographised--relating to explanations of the
pieces of the Statue, close this interesting performance.


[176] "_Description de la, Statue Fruste, en Bronze Doré, trouvée a
    Lillebonne &c. Suivie de l'Analyse du Métal, avec le dessein de la
    Statue, et les Tracés de quelques particularités relatives à la
    Confection de cette Antique." Rouen,_ 1823. pp. 56.

[177] Other details induce me to fix the period of its completion towards
    the end of the second century: and after the unheard of difficulties
    which the artist had to overcome, one would scarcely be believed if
    one said that every thing is executed in a high state of perfection."
    p. 34.



BIBLIOGRAPHICAL INDEX.

INDEX OF MANUSCRIPTS, AND OF PRINTED BOOKS,
DESCRIBED, QUOTED, OR REFERRED TO.

                                                                  Vol Page
_Æneas Sylvius de Duobus Amantibus_, no date, 4to.--in
the Imperial Library at Vienna,                                   iii  315

_Æsopus, Gr_. 4to. Edit. prin.--in the Imperial Library
at Vienna,                                                        iii  308

---- _Lat_. 1481, folio--in the Royal Library at Paris,            ii  141

---- _Ital_. 1485, _Tuppi_, in the same library
at Paris,                                                          ii  142

---- _Ital_. 1491 and 1492, 4to.--in the Imperial
Library at Vienna,                                                iii  308

---- _Hispan_. 1496, folio--in the Royal Library at
Paris,                                                             ii  142

---- _Germ. Without Date, &c_., in the same library                ii  142

---- ---- in the same library,                                     ii  142

_Alain Chartier, paraboles de, Verard_, 1492,
folio--UPON VELLUM--in the Royal Library at Paris,                 ii  134

_Albert Durer_; original drawings of, in a Book of
Prayers, in the Public Library at Munich,                         iii  132

_Alcuinus de Trinitate, Monast. Utimpurrha_, 1500,
folio--in the Public Library at Augsbourg,                        iii  101

_Aldine Classics_, in the Royal Library at Paris,                  ii  145

---- ----, in the Library of St. Geneviève,                        ii  177

---- ----, in the King's Private Library at Stuttgart,            iii   41

---- ----, in the Public Library at Munich,                       iii  146

_Alexandrus Gallus_, vulgo _de Villa Dei Doctrinale V
de Spira_, folio--in the Imperial Library at Vienna,              iii  315

_Almanac historique--le Messager Boiteux_--a chap book,
extracts from,                                                    iii   73

_Anti-Christ--block book_--in the Public Library at
Landshut,                                                         iii  181

_Ambrosii Hexameron_, 1472, folio--in the Public
Library at Augsbourg,                                             iii   99

---- ---- in the Public Library at Nuremberg, _Supplement_,       iii  430

_Amours, chasse et départ, Verard_, 1509, folio--UPON
VELLUM, in the Royal Library at Paris,                             ii  132

_Anthologia Græca_, 1498, 4to.--UPON VELLUM, in the
Library of Ste. Geneviève, at Paris,                               ii  176

---- ---- 1503, _Aldus_, UPON VELLUM, in the Royal Library
at Paris,                                                          ii  145

_Antonii Archpi Opera Theologica_, 1477, _Koberger_,
folio--in the Public Library at Strasbourg,                        ii  407

_Apocalypse, block book_, in the Royal Library at
Stuttgart,                                                        iii   26

---- ---- in the Imperial Library at Vienna,                      iii  331

_Apostles Creed_, in German, _block book_, with
fac simile--in the Public Library at Munich,                      iii  137

_Appianus, Lat. Ratdolt_, 1478, folio--in the library
of the Monastery of St. Florian,                                  iii  236

_Apuleius_, 1469, folio--in the Royal Library at Paris,            ii  128

---- ----, in the Library of the Monastery of Closterneuburg,     iii  397

---- ----, imperfect, in the Public Library at Munich,            iii  142

---- ----, UPON VELLUM, in the Imperial Library at Vienna,        iii  308

---- ----, 1472, _Jenson_, folio--in the last mentioned
library,                                                          iii  308

_Aquinas, T., Sec. Secundæ, Schoeffher_, 1467,
folio--UPON VELLUM, in the Imperial Library at Vienna,            iii  316

----, _Opus Quartiscript. Schoeffher_. 1469, folio--UPON
VELLUM, in the same Library,                                      iii  316

----, _In Evang. Matt, et Marc_. 1470, _S. and
Pannartz_, folio--in the same library,                            iii  316

---- _de virtut. et vitiis. Mentelin_--in the Public
Library at Munich,                                                iii  141

_Arbre des Batailles, Verard_, 1493, folio--UPON VELLUM,
in the Royal Library at Paris,                                     ii  132

_Aretinus de Bella Gothico_, 1470, folio--in the Public
Library at Caen,                                                    i  208

_Aristotelis Opera, Gr. Aldus_, 1495, 6 vols. Two copies
UPON VELLUM (the first volume in each copy wanting) in the
Royal Library at Paris,                                            ii  136

---- _Ethica Nichomachea. Gr. (Aldus)--_ remarkably
splendid copy of, in the Royal Library at Paris,                   ii  138

_Ars Memorandi_, &c.--_block book_: five copies of,
in the Public Library at Munich,                                  iii  135

---- ---- in the Public Library at Landshut,                      iii  181

---- ---- in the Imperial Library at Vienna,                      iii  332

---- -----in the Library of Göttwic Monastery,                    iii  428

_Ars Moriendi, Germanicé--4to_.-- in the Royal Library
at Stuttgart,                                                     iii   26

---- _Lat. block book_--two editions, in the Public
Library at Munich,                                                iii  136

_Art de bien Mourir, Verard_, no date, folio--UPON
VELLUM, in the Royal Library at Paris,                             ii  133

_Art and Crafte to know well to dye, Caxton_, in the
Royal Library at Paris,                                            ii  124

ARTUS LE ROY; MS. xiith century,--in the Royal Library at Paris,   ii   94

Another MS. of the same Romance, in the same Library,              ii   94

_Artaxani Summa_, (1469) folio--in the Public Library
at Augsbourg,                                                     iii  232

_Augustinus Sts. De Civitate Dei_, 1467, folio--in the
Royal Library at Paris,                                            ii  113

---- ---- in the Library of Ste. Geneviève at Paris,               ii  173

---- ---- in the Imperial Library at Vienna,                      iii  301

---- ---- in the Library of Closterneuburg Monastery,             iii  397

---- ---- _Sweynheym and Pannartz_, 1470, folio, in the
Public Library at Vire,                                             i  297

_Augustinus Sts. De Civitate Dei_, 1467, folio,
UPON VELLUM, late in the Library of Chremsminster Monastery,      iii  221

---- ---- in the Public Library at Landshut,                      iii  181

---- ---- _Schoeffher_, 1473; folio--in the Library of the
Monastery of Chremsminster,                                       iii  221

---- ---- _Jenson_, 1475, folio--UPON VELLUM, in the
Imperial Library at Vienna,                                       iii  301

---- _Confessionum Libri XIII_. 1475. 4to.--in the
Imperial Library at Vienna,                                       iii  301

---- ---- _de singularitate Clericorum_, 1467, 4to. in the
King's Private Library at Stuttgart,                              iii   40

AUGUSTINI STI. IN PSALMOS, MS. xvth century--formerly in the
library of Corvinus, King of Hungary, and now in the
Royal Library at Stuttgart,                                       iii   36

---- ---- _Yppon. de Cons. Evang_. 1473, folio--in the
Public Library at Augsbourg,                                      iii  101

_Aulus Gellius_, 1469, folio--in the Royal Library
at Paris,                                                          ii  127

---- ---- UPON VELLUM, in the Imperial Library at Vienna,         iii  308

Aurbach's Meditations upon the Life of Christ, 1468,
Printed by Gunther Zeiner. _Pub. Lib. Augsbourg_,                 iii  100

_Ausonius_, 1472, folio--in the Royal Library at Paris,            ii  128

---- ---- in the Imperial Library at Vienna,                      iii  309

---- ---- _Aldus_, 1517, 8vo. Grolier's copy, on large
paper, in the Royal Library at Paris,                              ii  148

_Aymon, les quatre filz_, 1583, 4to.--in the Library
of the Arsenal, at Paris,                                          ii  163


B.

BALLADS;
  _Bon Jour, Bon Soir_:                                             i  132
  --_Toujours_,                                                        389
  various, from the _Vaudevires of Olivier Basselin_,                  292
                                                                      -293
                                                                      -294
  _Vive Le Roi, Vive L'Amour_,                                      i  310
  _en arborant le drapeau blanc, at Falaise_,                       i  324
  _le Baiser d'Adieu_,                                              i  343
  _L'Image de la Vie_,                                              i  344

_Bartholi Lectura de Spira_, 1471. Folio.
In the Imperial Library at Vienna,                                iii  316

_Bartsch, I. Adam de--Catalogue des Estampes, par, &c_.
1818. 8vo.                                                        iii  393

_Bella (La) Mano_, 1474, 4to.--in the Imperial
Library at Vienna,                                                iii  321

_Bellovacensis Vinc. Spec. Hist_. 1473, folio--in
the Imperial Library at Vienna,                                   iii  317

_Berlinghieri, Geografia_, folio--in the Imperial
Library (Prince Eugene's copy) at Vienna,                         iii  321

_Berinus et Aygres de Lamant, Bonfons_, no date,
in the Library of the Arsenal at Paris,                            ii  165

_Bessarionis Epistolæ_, (1469) folio--in the
Royal Library at Stuttgart,                                       iii   24

BIBLIA LATINA, MS. ixth century, of Charles the Bald--in
the Royal Library at Paris, with a copper-plate
engraving of that Monarch's portrait,                              ii   65

------ ------ XIIth century, in the same library,                  ii   67

------ ------ XVth century, of the _Emperor Wenceslaus_--in
the Imperial Library at Vienna,                                   iii  290

BIBLIA HIST. PARAPHRASTICA, MS. XVth century,                      ii   69

_Biblia Polyglotta Complut_. 1516, &c. in the
Public Library at Coutances,                                        i  270

------ ------ copy belonging to Diane de Poictiers,
in the Royal Library at Paris,                                     ii  149

------ ------ 1521, in the Public Library at Landshut,            iii  181

------ ------ copy of Demetrius Chalcondylas, afterwards
that of Eckius, in the Public Library at Landshut,                iii  181

------ ------ _Walton_; royal copy, in the Public
Library at Caen,                                                    i  211

------ ------ with the original
dedication, in the Public Library at Stuttgart,                   iii   22

------ ------ in the Library
of the Monastery of St. Florian, in Austria,                      iii  237

_Biblia Polyglotta, Le Jay_: in the Library of the Lycée
at Bayeux                                                           i  245

------ _Hebraica, edit. Soncini_, 1488, in the
Imperial Library at Vienna,                                       iii  303

_Biblia Hebraica edit. Houbigant_, 1753, in a
Private Collection near Bayeux,                                     i  235

---- ---- _Hahn_, 1806, in the Library of the
Monastery of Closterneuburg,                                      iii  396

---- _Græca, Aldus_, 1518, folio--Francis Ist's copy,
upon thick paper, in the Royal Library at Paris,                   ii  148

---- ---- _Aldus_, upon thick paper, in the Library of the
Arsenal at Paris,                                                  ii  157

---- ---- the usual copy, in the King's Private Library
at Stuttgart,                                                     iii   39

_Biblia Latina_, (_edit. Maz. 1455_) folio, 2 vols.,
two copies of, in the Royal Library at Paris,                      ii  106

---- ---- a copy in the Mazarine Library at Paris,                 ii  190

---- ---- a copy in the Public Library at Munich,                 iii  139

---- ---- a copy in the Imperial Library at Vienna,               iii  302

---- ---- _Pfister_, (1461) folio, 3 vols. in the Royal
Library at Paris,                                                  ii  108

---- two copies, 1592, 1603, in the Royal Library at Stuttgart,   iii   39

---- ---- in the Imperial Library at Vienna,                      iii  302

---- _Fust und Schoeffher_, 1462: folio--three copies,
(two UPON VELLUM, and a third on paper) in the
Library of the Arsenal at Paris,                                   ii  154

---- ---- VELLUM COPY, in the Library of Ste. Geneviève,           ii  173

---- VELLUM COPY, in the Mazarine Library at Paris,                ii  190

---- ---- in the Public Library at Stuttgart,                     iii   22

---- ---- (imperfect) in the Public Library at Landshut,          iii  181

---- ---- in the Imperial Library at Vienna,                      iii  302

_Biblia Latina Mentelin_--in the Public Library
at Strasbourg,                                                     ii  404

_Biblia Latino Mentelin_, in the Imperial Library
at Vienna,                                                        iii  302

---- _Eggesteyn_, (ms. date, 1468) in the Public
Library at Strasbourg,                                             ii  404

---- ---- (ms. date, 1466) in the Public Library at Munich,       iii  141

---- _Sweynheym and Pannartz_, in the Imperial Library
at Vienna,                                                        iii  302

---- supposed edition of Eggesteyn, in the Public Library
at Strasbourg,                                                    iii   55

---- 1475, folio, _Frisner_, &c.--in the Public
Library at Augsbourg,                                             iii   96

---- (1475 _edit. Gering_) imperfect copy in the
Chapter Library at Bayeux,                                          i  244

---- _Hailbrun_, 1476, folio: two copies, of which
one is UPON VELLUM, in the Imperial Library at Vienna,            iii  303

---- ---- _Jenson_, 1479, folio, in the Public Library at
Strasbourg,                                                        ii  405

---- ---- UPON VELLUM, in the Imperial Library at Vienna--and a
second copy upon paper,                                           iii  303

---- ---- 1485, folio, in the Public Library at Caen,               i  208

---- ---- _Froben_, 1495, 8vo. in the Public Library
at Vire,                                                            i  298

BIBLIA GERMANICA, MS. of the Emperor Wenceslaus, in the
Imperial Library at Vienna,                                       iii  290

_Biblia Germanica, Mentelin_, folio--in the Royal
Library at Paris,                                                  ii  108

---- ---- in the Public Library at Strasbourg,                     ii  403

---- ---- two copies, in the Public Library at Stuttgart,         iii   21

---- ---- two copies in the Public Library at Munich,             iii  140

---- ---- in the Public Library at Landshut,                      iii  180

_Biblia Germanica, Mentelin_, folio, in the Library at
Closterneuburg Monastery,                                         iii  397

---- ---- in the Public Library at Ratisbon, _Supplement_,        iii  418

---- ---- in the Public Library at Nuremberg, _Supplement_,       iii  431

---- ---- _supposed first edition_, in the Public Library
at Landshut,                                                      iii  180

---- ---- _supposed first edition_, folio, in the Library
of Closterneuburg Monastery,                                      iii  397

_Biblia Germanica, Sorg. Augsbourg_, 1477, folio, in
the Library of the Monastery of St. Florian,                      iii  236

---- ---- _Peypus_, 1524, folio--UPON VELLUM, in the
Public Library at Stuttgart,                                      iii   22

_Biblia Italica; Kalend. Augusti_, 1471--folio--in
the Mazarine Library, at Paris,                                    ii  191

---- ---- imperfect copy, in the Public Library at Stuttgart,     iii   22

---- ---- _Kalend. Octobris_, 1471, folio--in the Library
of Ste. Geneviève, at Paris,                                       ii  173

---- ---- in the Public Library at Stuttgart,                     iii   22

---- ---- in the Imperial Library at Vienna,                      iii  303

_Bibl. Hist, Venet_. 1492, folio--copy purchased of
M. Fischeim at Munich,                                            iii  154

_Biblia Bohemica_, 1488, folio--in the Royal Library
at Paris,                                                          ii  109

---- _Polonica_, 1563, folio--in the same Library,                 ii  109

---- ---- in the Public Library at Stuttgart,                     iii   22

---- ---- copy purchased by the Author at Augsbourg,              iii   96

---- ---- in the Imperial Library at Vienna,                      iii  304

---- ---- 1599; folio--in the Library of Ste. Geneviève,           ii  174

_Biblia Hungarica_, 1565, folio--incomplete, in the
King's Private Library at Stuttgart,                              iii   39

---- _Sclavonica_, 1581, folio, in the Royal Library
at Stuttgart,                                                     iii   22

---- ---- 1587, folio--in the Royal Library at Paris,              ii  109

_Bible, La Sainte_, 1669, folio; large paper copy in
the Public Library of Caen,                                         i  211

BIBLIA-HISTORICA, _MS. versibus germanicis_, Sec.
XIV.--in the Royal Library at Stuttgart,                          iii   29

---- _Aurea. Lat. I. Zeiner_, 1474, folio--in the
Library of Chremsminster Monastery,                               iii  222

---- _Pauperum, block book_: in the Royal Library at Paris,        ii  108

---- ---- _block book_, German,--in the Public Library at
Stuttgart                                                         iii   26

---- ---- _Latine_, first edition, in the same Library,           iii   27

---- ---- _block book_--one German, and two Latin
editions, in the Public Library at Munich,                        iii  136

---- ---- in the Imperial Library at Vienna,                      iii  331

BIOGRAPHY, ROYAL, OF FRANCE;--XVIth century--magnificent
MS. in the Royal Library at Paris.                                 ii   87

BLAZONRY OF ARMS, BOOK OF--XIVth century, with fac-simile
portrait of _Leopold de Sempach_ in the Imperial
Library at Vienna,                                                iii  299

_Block books_; at Paris, ii 208, at Stuttgart, iii 26,
at Munich, iii 134; at Landshut, iii 181; at Vienna, iii 331.

BOCACE, DES CAS DES NOBLES HOMMES ET FEMMES,
MS. XVth century, in the Royal Library at Paris,                   ii   84

---- ---- two more MSS. of the same work, in the same Library,     ii   85

_Boccace Ruines des-Nobles Hommes_, &c. 1476,
_Colard Mansion_, folio, in the Royal Library at Paris,            ii  126

_Boccaccio Il Decamerone_, 1471, _Valdarfer_,
folio--in the Royal Library at Paris,                              ii  125

---- ---- 1472, _A. de Michaelibus_, folio, in the
Royal Library at Paris,                                            ii  126

_Boccaccio II Decamerone_, in the Public Library at
Nuremberg, _Supplement_,                                          iii  431

---- ---- 1476, _Zarotus_, folio, in the Imperial Library
at Vienna,                                                        iii  321

---- ---- _Deo Gracias, Sine Anno: forsan edit. prin_. in
the Public Library at Munich,                                     iii  143

---- _Nimphale_, 1477, 4to., in the Royal Library at
Stuttgart,                                                        iii   26

_Boetius, F. Johannes_, 1474, 4to. in the Library of
Ste. Genevieve. at Paris,                                          ii  176

_Bonifacii Papæ Libr. Decret_, 1465, folio, UPON VELLUM,
in the Library of Mölk Monastery,                                 iii  252

---- UPON VELLUM, in the Public Library at Nuremberg,
_Supplement_,                                                     iii  430

_Bonnie vie, ou Madenie, Chambery_, 1485, folio,
in the Imperial Library at Vienna,                                iii  326

Book of the Gospels of the Emperor Lotharius, Royal
Library at Paris,                                                  ii   67

BREVIAIRE DE BELLEVILLE, MS. xivth century, in the
Royal Library at Paris,                                            ii   72

BREVIARY OF JOHN DUKE OF BEDFORD, MS. xvth century--in
the Royal Library at Paris--with copper plate fac-simile
of a portion of the Adoration of the Magi, from the same,          ii   73

BREVIARE DE M. DE MONMORENCY, MS. xvith century--in the
Emperor of Austria's private collection at Vienna,                iii  386

BREVIARIUM ECCL. Liss. MS.; in the Public Library at
Caen                                                                i  209

BRUT D'ANGLETERE, MS. xivth century--in the Imperial
Library at Vienna,                                                iii  300

_Budæi Comment, in Ling. Gr_. 1529, folio--Francis 1st.
copy, UPON VELLUM, in the Royal Library at Paris,                  ii  140

_Burtrio, Anthon. de, Adam Rot_, 1472, folio, in
the Library of Closterneuburg Monastery,                          iii  399


C.

_Cæsar_, 1469, folio--in the Royal Library at Paris,               ii  128

_Cæsar_, 1460, folio, in the Mazarine Library,                     ii  192

---- ---- in the Public Library at Munich,                        iii  142

---- ---- UPON VELLUM, in the Imperial Library,                   iii  309

---- 1471. _Jenson_, in the library of Göttwic Monastery,         iii  430

---- 1472. _S. and Pannartz_, folio, in the Imperial
Library at Vienna,                                                iii  309

_Calderi Opus Concilior. Adam Rot_.--1472. Folio, in
the library of Closterneuburg Monastery,                          iii  399

CALENDARIUM, MS., xvith century in the Public Library
at Munich                                                         iii  128

---- ---- _Regiomontani, block book_ in the Public
Library at Munich                                                 iii  138

_Cantica Canticorum, Edit. Prin_. three copies in the
Public Library at Augsbourg,                                      iii  138

_Castille et Artus d'Algarbe_, 1587. 4to., in the
Library of the Arsenal at Paris                                    ii  160

_Catéchisme à l'usage des grandes filles pour êtres mariés_         i   89

_Caterina da Bologna_, no Date. 4to. in the
Imperial Library at Vienna,                                       iii  332

---- _da Sienna_, 1477, 4to., in the Imperial Library
at Vienna,                                                        iii  322

---- _de Senis_, 1500, folio, in the Royal Library at
Paris,                                                             ii  149

_Catholicon_, 1460, folio, UPON VELLUM, in the
Royal Library Paris,                                               ii  114

---- ---- 1460, folio, in the Imp. Lib. at Vienna,                iii  317

---- ---- UPON VELLUM, in the Public Library at Munich,           iii  143

---- _G, Zeiner_, 1469, UPON VELLUM, in the Public
Library at Munich,                                                iii  143

---- ---- in the Monastic Library of Chremsminster,               iii  221

---- ---- UPON VELLUM, in the Imperial Library at Vienna,         iii  317

_Catullus, Tibullus, et Propertius_, 1472, in the
Royal Library at Paris,                                            ii  128

_Catullus, Tibullus, et Propertius_, in the
Mazarine Library,                                                  ii  193

---- ---- in the Public Library at Strasbourg,                     ii  409

_Caxton, books printed by_, in the Royal Library at Paris,         ii  102

---- ---- in the Imperial Library at Vienna,                      iii  331

_Celestina Commedia de, Anvers_, 18mo., in the
Library of the Arsenal at Paris,                                   ii  162

_Chaucer's Book of Fame, Caxton_, folio, in the
Imperial Library at Vienna,                                       iii  332

CHESS, GAME OF, _metrical German version of_,
MS., sec. xv., in the Royal Library at Stuttgart,                 iii  154

_Chevalier Delibre_, 1488, 4to., in the Imperial
Library at Vienna,                                                iii  326

CHEVALIER AU LION, MS., 1470, in the Public Library
at Stuttgart,                                                     iii  33

_Chivalry_; see _Tournaments_.

_Chrétien de Mechel_, Cat. des Tableaux de la Galerie
imp. et roy. de Vienne, 1781, 8vo.,                               iii  371

---- _Foresii, Lat_. 1474, folio, _printed by Gotz_,
in the Public Library at Strasbourg,                               ii  405

---- _Hungariæ_, 1485, 4to., in the Public Library
at Augsbourg,                                                     iii   99

_Chronicon Gottwicense_, 1732, folio, 2 vols., some
account of this rare and valuable work,                           iii  436

---- ---- referred to,                                            iii  271

_Chrysostomi Comment., Gr_. 1529, folio, copy of
Diane de Poictiers, in the Public Library at Caen,                  i  213

_Cicero, de Officiis_ 1465, 4to., two copies
UPON VELLUM, in the Imperial Library at Vienna,                   iii  309

---- ---- 1466, 4to., upon paper, in the Mazarine
Library at Paris,                                                 iii  192

---- ---- 1466, 4to., UPON VELLUM, in the Royal
Library at Stuttgart,                                             iii   24

---- ---- 1466, 4to., UPON VELLUM, in the Imp.
Lib. at Vienna,                                                   iii  309

---- ---- (_Aldus_), 8vo., UPON VELLUM, in the
Royal Library at Paris,                                            ii  146

_Cicero, Epistolæ ad Familiares_, 1467, Cardinal
Bessarion's copy in the Imperial Library, at Vienna,              iii  310

---- ---- 1469, _S. and Pannartz_, folio,
in the same Library,                                              iii  310

---- ---- 1469, _S: and Pannartz_, folio, in the Public
Library at Augsbourg,                                             iii   98

---- ---- 1469, _I. de Spira_, in the Royal
Library at Stuttgart,                                             iii   24

---- ---- 1502, Aldus, 8vo., UPON VELLUM, in the possession
of M. Renouard, bookseller,                                        ii  222

_Cicero, de Oratore, Monast. Soubiac_., folio, in the
Library of Ste. Geneviève, at Paris,                               ii  173

---- ---- _V. de Spira_, folio, in the Public Library
at Strasbourg,                                                     ii  408

---- _Opera Philosophica, Ulric Han_, folio, in the
Public Library at Munich,                                         iii  142

---- _De Natura Deorum, V. de Spira_. 1471, folio, in
the Mazarine Library, at Paris,                                    ii  192

---- _Rhetorica Vetus, Jenson_, 1470, folio, UPON VELLUM,
in the Library of Ste. Genevieve, at Paris,                        ii  175

---- ---- UPON VELLUM, in the Imperial Library at Vienna,         iii  310

---- _Orationes, S. and Pannartz_, 1471, folio, in the
Imperial Library at Vienna,                                       iii  310

---- ---- _Valdarfer_, 1471, folio, UPON VELLUM,
(wanting one leaf) in the Royal Library at Paris,                  ii  141

---- ---- 1519, _Aldus_, 8vo, UPON VELLUM, first volume
only, in the Royal Library at Paris,                               ii  146

----  ---- perfect copy, UPON VELLUM, in the Library of St.
Geneviève,                                                         ii  177

---- _Opera Omnia_, 1498, folio, 4 vols., in the
Library of Ste. Geneviève, at Paris,                               ii  176

---- ---- in the Imperial Library at Vienna,                      iii  310

---- ---- 1534, _Giunta_, folio, singular copy in the
Royal Library at Paris,                                            ii  152

_Cid el Cavalero_, 1627, 4to., in the Library of the
Arsenal, at Paris: bound with _Seys Romances del Cid Ruy
Diaz de Bevar_, 1627, 4to.                                         ii  161

CITÉ DE DIEU, MS., in the Royal Library at Paris,                  ii   82

_Cité des Dames, (Verard)_ folio, UPON VELLUM, in
the Imperial Library at Vienna,                                   iii  327

_Codex Ebnerianus_, referred to                                   iii  447

_Compendium Morale_, folio, UPON VELLUM, unique copy,
late in the possession of the Baron Derschau, at Nuremberg,
_Supplement_,                                                     iii  443

COSTENTIN DU, MS., in the Public Library at Caen,                   i  209

COUTANCES, MS., biographical details connected with, in the
Public Library at Caen,                                             i  210

_Coutumes Anciennes_, 1672, 12mo. at Caen,                          i  211

_Cronica del Cid. Seville_. 4to., in the Imperial
Library at Vienna,                                                iii  327

Cronique de France, 1493, _Verard_, UPON VELLUM, in
the Royal Library at Paris,                                        ii  130

---- _de Florimont_, 1529, 4to.--in the Library of the
Arsenal at Paris,                                                  ii  164

---- _de Cleriadus_, 1529, 4to.,--in the Library of the
Arsenal at Paris,                                                  ii  166


D.

_Daigremont et Vivian_, 1538, 4to., in the Library of
the Arsenal, at Paris,                                             ii  166

_Dante Numeister_, 1472, folio, in the Mazarine Library
at Paris,                                                          ii  193

---- ---- in the Imperial Library at Vienna,                      iii  322

---- _Petrus Adam_, 1472, folio, in the Library of
Ste. Geneviève, at Paris,                                          ii  176

---- ---- _Neapoli, Tuppi,_ folio, in the Public
Library at Stuttgart,                                             iii   25

---- ---- _Milan_, 1478, with, the comments of G. Tuzago,
folio, in the same collection,                                    iii   25

---- 1481, folio, perfect copy, with twenty copper plates,
in the Public Library at Munich,                                  iii  144

---- 1481, folio, with xx copper-plates, in the Imperial
Library at Vienna,                                                iii  323

_Decor Puellarum, Jenson_, 1461, 4to., in the Imperial
Library at Vienna,                                                iii  323

_Defensio Immac. Concept. B.V.M_. 1470, _block book_,
in the Public Library at Munich,                                  iii  139

_Delphin Classics_, fine set of, in the library of
Chremsminster Monastery,                                          iii  222

_Der Veis Ritter_, 1514, folio, unique copy, in the
Public Library at Landshut,                                       iii  183

_Dion Cassius_, 1548, Gr. folio, edit. prin., Diane
de Poictiers' copy, in the Royal Library at Paris,                 ii  152

_Dio Chrysostom. de Regno, Valdarfer_, 4to. UPON
VELLUM, in the Emperor's private collection at Vienna,            iii  388

DIOSCORIDES, GRÆCE, MS., VIth century, in the Imperial
Library at Vienna,                                                iii  296

DIVERTISSMENTS TOUCHANT LA GUERRE, MS., in the
Public Library at Caen,                                             i  209

_Doolin de Mayence, Paris, Bonfons_, 4to. in the Library
of the Arsenal,                                                    ii  167

_Durandi Rationale_, 1459, folio, in the Royal Library at
Paris,                                                             ii  108

---- ---- in the Imperial Library, Vienna,                        iii  317

_Durandi Rationale_, 1459, folio, in the Public
Library at Nuremberg, _Supplement_,                               iii  430

---- ---- 1474, _I. Zeiner_, folio, in the Library
of Chremsminster Monastery,                                       iii  222


E.

ECHECS AMOREUX. MS. folio--with copper-plate fac-simile
in the Royal Library at Paris,                                     ii   83

_Echec Jeu de, (Verard)_ no date--UPON VELLUM, in the
Royal Library at Paris,                                            ii  132

_Ein nuizlich büchlin, Augs_., 1498, 4to.--in the
Imperial Library at Vienna,                                       iii  327

_Erasmus expurgatus iuxta cens. Acad. Lovan_. 1579,
folio, in the Public Library at Augsbourg. See _Testament.
Novum,_ 1516.                                                     iii  102

EVANGELIA QUATUOR, Lat. MS. VIth century, in the
Royal Library at Paris,                                            ii   64

---- ---- VIIIth century, in the Library at
Chremsminster Monastery,                                          iii  224

---- ---- IXth century--in the Public Library at Munich,          iii  123

---- ---- XIth century, in the same Library,                      iii  124

---- ---- Xth century, in the Public Library at Landshut,         iii  179

---- ---- XIth century--in the Public Library at Stuttgart,       iii   27

---- ---- XIVth century, in the Imperial Library at Vienna        iii  291

EVANGELIUM STI. IOHANNIS, MS. Lat. XIth century, in
the Royal Library at Paris,                                        ii   71

_Evangelia cum Epistolis: Ital_. folio--in the
Library of Göttwic Monastery,                                     iii  428

Evangelistarium, of Charlemagne, MS. folio, in the Private
Library of the King, at Paris,                                     ii  199

_Euclides_, 1482, folio, UPON VELLUM, in the Royal
Library at Paris,                                                  ii  139

---- ---- four varying copies of, in the Public
Library at Munich,                                                iii  143

---- Ratdolt. 1485, in the Library of the Monastery
of St. Florian,                                                   iii  236

_Euripides, Gr_., 1503, _Aldus_--UPON VELLUM,
in the Royal Library at Paris,                                     ii  145

_Eustathius in Homerum_, 1542--folio, UPON VELLUM, in
the Royal Library at Paris,                                        ii  138

---- ---- upon paper, in the same collection,                      ii  151

---- ---- 1559, folio, fine copy, upon paper, in the
Public Library at Caen,                                             i  211

_Eutropius_, 1471, _Laver_, folio--in the
King's Private Library at Stuttgart,                              iii   39

_Exhortation against the Turks_ (1472) in the
Public Library at Munich,                                         iii  135


F.

_Fait de la Guerre C. Mansion_, folio--in the Royal
Library at Paris,                                                  ii  127

_Fazio Dita Mundi_, 1474, folio--in the Imperial
Library at Vienna,                                                iii  323

_Ficheti Rhetorica--Gering_--4to.--UPON VELLUM,
in the Imperial Library at Vienna,                                iii  317

_Fiorio e Biancifiore, Bologna_, 1480, folio--in the
Library of the Arsenal, at Paris,                                  ii  161

_Fierbras_, 1486, folio--Prince Eugene's copy, in
the Imperial Library at Vienna,                                   iii  327

_Fortalitium Fidei_--folio--no date--in the Public
Library, at Munich: curious printed advertisement in this copy,   iii  145

_Frezzi Il Quadriregio_, 1481, folio--in the Imperial
Library at Vienna,                                                iii  323

_Fulgosii Anteros_--1496--folio--in the Imperial Library
at Vienna,                                                        iii  323

FUNERAILES DES REINES DE FRANCE, MS. folio--in the
Emperor's Private Collection at Vienna,                           iii  387


G.

_Galenus, Gr_. 1525, folio. _Aldus_--large paper,
in the Royal Library at Paris,                                     ii  148

_Galien et Jaqueline_, 1525, folio--in the Library of
the Arsenal, at Paris,                                             ii  163

_Gallia Christiana_, 1732, folio, in the Chapter Library
at Bayeux,                                                         ii  244

_Games of Chess, Caxton_, folio, 2d. edit.--in the
Imperial Library at Vienna,                                       iii  332

GENESIS--MS. of the _ivth century--fragments of Chapters
of_, account of--with fac-simile Illuminations, in the
Imperial Library at Vienna,                                       iii  289

_Gerard Comte de Nevers_, 1526, 4to.--in the Library
of the Arsenal at Paris,                                           ii  164

_Geyler, Navic. Fat_. 1511, 4to.--in the Public Library
at Augsbourg,                                                     iii  102

_Gloria Mulierum Jenson_, 4to.--in the Imperial Library
at Vienna,                                                        iii  324

_Godfrey of Boulogne, Caxton_, folio--in the Imperial
Library at Vienna,                                                iii  333

_Gospels_, folio--MS. xiiith century--in the Emperor's
Private Library at Vienna,                                        iii  386

_Grammatica Rythmica_, 1466, folio--in the Royal Library
at Paris,                                                          ii  114

_Gratian Opus. Decret. Schoeffher_, 1472, folio, UPON
VELLUM, in the Library of Closterneuburg Monastery,               iii  398

_Guillaume de Palerne_, 1552, 4to, in the Library of the
Arsenal: another edition, 1634, 4to.,                              ii  166

_Guy de Warwick_, no date, 4to., in the Library of the
Arsenal at Paris,                                                  ii  159

_Gyron Le Courtoys_, no date, _Verard_, UPON VELLUM,
in the Royal Library at Paris,                                     ii  130


H.

_Hartlieb's Chiromancy, block book_, in the Royal Library
at Paris,                                                          ii  115

---- ---- in the Imperial Library at Vienna,                      iii  332

_Helayne La Belle_, 1528, 4to., in the Library of the
Arsenal at Paris,                                                  ii  166

_Hecuba et Iphigenia in Aulide_, Gr. et Lat. 1507,
UPON VELLUM, 8vo.                                                  ii  145

_Hector de Troye, Arnoullet_, 4to., in the Library of the
Arsenal at Paris,                                                  ii  167

_Heures, printed by Vostre_, fine copy of, in the Public
Library at Caen,                                                    i  210

_Herodotus, Gr_. 1502, _Aldus_, folio, large paper
copy in the Royal Library at Paris,                                ii  150

HISTORIA B.M. VIRGINIS, MS., folio, xvth century,
in the Public Library at Paris,                                    ii   76

---- ---- _block book_, folio, in the Royal Library
at Paris,                                                          ii  116

---- ---- in the Public Library at Stuttgart,                     iii   26

---- ---- in the Imperial Library at Vienna,                      iii  331

_Historiæ Augusta Scriptores_, 1475, folio, _P. de
Lavagna_, in the Public Library at Strasbourg,                     ii  408

---- ---- _Aldus_, 1521, 8vo., UPON VELLUM, in the
Royal Library at Paris,                                            ii  147

_History of Bohemia_, _by Pope Pius II_, 1475,
in the Public Library at Augsbourg,                               iii   99

HISTOIRE ROMAINE, MS, xvth century; folio, 3 vols.
in the Royal Library at Paris,                                     ii   87

_Homeri Opera, Gr_., 1488, folio, UNCUT, in the Royal
Library at Paris,                                                  ii  129

---- ---- in the Imperial Library at Vienna,                      iii  311

---- ---- in the Public Library at Nuremberg,
_Supplement_,                                                     iii  432

---- ---- _No date_, _Aldus_, 8vo., UPON VELLUM, in
the Royal Library at Paris,                                        ii  145

---- ---- in the Library of Ste. Genevieve,                        ii  177

---- ---- 1808, _Bodoni_, folio, UPON VELLUM,
in the Royal Library at Paris,                                     ii  129

---- ---- _Batrachomyomachia_, _Gr._ 4to., edit.
prin. in the Imperial Library at Vienna,                          iii  311

HORÆ B.M. VIRGINIS, MS., 8vo., in the Royal Library
at Paris,                                                          ii   74

---- ---- folio, belonging to ANN OF BRITANNY, with copper
plate  engraving of her portrait therefrom, in the
Royal Library at Paris,                                            ii   78

---- ---- belonging to Pope Paul III. in the same Library,         ii   80

---- ---- MS., XVth century, in the Royal Private Library
at Stuttgart,                                                     iii   37

---- ---- 8vo., in the Emperor's private collection at Vienna,    iii  386

---- STI. LUDOVICI, MS., XIIIth century, in the Library
of the Arsenal at Paris,                                           ii  157

---- ---- _Gr._ 1497, 12mo. _printed by Aldus_,
in the Royal Library at Paris,                                     ii  103
                                                                      -147

---- ---- purchase of a copy from Mr. Stöger, at Munich,          iii  151

HORATIUS, M. S., XIIth century in the Mölk Monastery,             iii  258

---- Edit. Prin. 4to., in the Public Library at Augsbourg,        iii   96

---- _Venet_. 1494, 4to., purchased of Mr. Fischeim,
at Munich,                                                        iii  154

---- 1501, _Aldus_, 8vo., UPON VELLUM, in the
Royal Library at Paris,                                            ii  146

---- ---- UPON VELLUM, in the Public Library at Munich,           iii  143

_Horloge de Sapience, Verard_, 1493, folio,
UPON VELLUM, in the Royal Library at Paris,                        ii  131

HORTUS DELICIARUM, MS., XIIth century, in the Public
Library at Strasbourg,                                             ii  401

HORTULUS ANIMÆ, MS., XVth century, in the Imperial
Library at Vienna,                                                iii  294

---- ---- 1498, 12mo., in the King's Private Library
at Stuttgart,                                                     iii   38

---- _Rosarum, &c_., 1499, 8vo., in the Public Library
at Augsbourg,                                                     iii  101

_Huet, Demonstrat. Evang_. 1690, (1679?) folio, unique
copy in the Public Library at Caen,                                 i  211

_Huon de Bourdeaux_, four editions of, in the Library
of the Arsenal at Paris,                                           ii  163


I.

_Isocrates, Gr., Aldus_, 1534, folio, large paper copy
in the Royal Library at Paris,                                     ii  148

---- ---- Printed at Milan, 1493, folio,                           ii  149

_Jason, Roman de, printed by Caxton_, in the Royal
Library at Paris,                                                  ii  103

---- ---- _same edition_, in the Library of the
Arsenal at Paris,                                                  ii  155

_Jason, printed by Caxton_, in the Imp. Lib. at Vienna,           iii  332

_Iehan de Saintré, Bonfons_, no date, 4to., in the
Library of the Arsenal at Paris,                                   ii  165

---- _Paris, Bonfons_, no date, 4to., in the same collection,      ii  165

JEROME, ST., VIE, MORT, ET MIRACLES DE, MS., XVth
century, in the Public Library of Stuttgart,                      iii   31

_Ieronimi Epistolæ_, 1468, UPON VELLUM, in the Imperial
Library at Vienna,                                                iii  304

---- ---- 1470, _S. and Pannartz_, folio, in the Library
of Closterneuburg Monastery,                                      iii  398

---- ---- in the Public Library at Nuremberg, _Supplement_,       iii  431

----  ---- 1470, _Schoeffher_, in the Public Library
at Strasbourg,                                                     ii  406

---- ---- in the Public Library at Nuremberg, _Supplement_,       iii  431

---- ---- _Parmæ_, 1480, folio, in the Public
Library at Augsbourg,                                             iii   98

_Josephus, Lat_. 1480, folio, in the Library of the
Monastery of St. Florian,                                         iii  236

---- _Gallicè_, 1492, folio, in the Imperial Library
at Vienna,                                                        iii  328

_Jourdain de Blave, Paris, Chretien, no date_, 4to.,
in the Library of the Arsenal at Paris,                            ii  166

_Jouvencel le_, 1497, _Verard_, folio, UPON VELLUM,
in the Imperial Library at Vienna,                                iii  328

_Juvenalis_, folio, _V. de Spira_, edit. prin. in
the Public Library at Strasbourg,                                  ii  409

---- _Ulric. Han. typ. grand_, folio, in the Imperial
Library at Vienna,                                                iii  311

---- 1474, folio, in the Public Library at Caen,                    i  208

--- _I. de Fivizano_, folio, in the Imperial Library
at Vienna,                                                        iii  311


L.

_Lactantii Institutiones_, 1465, folio, in the Royal
Library at Paris,                                                  ii  112

---- ---- in the Library of Ste. Geneviève,                        ii  172

---- ---- in the Imperial Library at Vienna,                      iii  305

---- ---- 1470, _S. and Pannartz_, folio, in the
Mazarine Library at Paris,                                         ii  192

---- ---- _Rostoch_, 1476, UPON VELLUM, in the
Imperial Library at Vienna,                                       iii  305

LANCELOT DU LAC, MS., XIVth century, in the Royal Library at
Paris,                                                             ii   88

---- ---- another MS. of about the same period, in the same
Library,                                                           ii   89

---- ---- another manuscript in the same library,                  ii  89


---- ---- 1488, _Verard_, folio, in the Imperial
Library (Prince Eugene's copy) at Vienna,                        iii   328

---- ---- 1494, _Verard_, folio, UPON VELLUM,
in the Royal Library at Paris,                                    iii  130

---- ---- 1496, _Verard,_ folio, UPON VELLUM,
in the Imperial Library at Vienna,                                iii  328

_Lascaris Gram. Græc_. 1476, 4to., in the Royal Library
at Paris,                                                          ii  127

LEGES BAVARICÆ, MS., XIIIth century, in the Public
Library at Landshut,                                              iii  179

_Legenda Aurea, (seu Sanctorum) Ital. Jenson_, 1476,
folio, in the Mazarine Library at Paris,                           ii  191

---- ---- UPON VELLUM, in the Imperial Library at Vienna,         iii  324

---- ---- 1475, _Gering_, folio, in the Public Library
at Caen,                                                            i  208

_Les Deux Amans, Verard_, 1493, 4to., in the Imperial
Library at Vienna,                                                iii  328

LIBER GENERATIONIS IES. XTI. MS. VIIth century:
in the Royal Library at Paris,                                     ii   70

_Liber Modorum significandi_, 1480, _St.
Albans_,--in the Royal Library at Paris,                           ii  125

_Liber Moralisat. Bibl_. 1474, Ulm, folio--copy purchased
of M. Fischeim, at Munich,                                        iii  154

LIBER PRECUM, _cum not. et cant_. MS. _pervet_. in the
  Royal Library at Paris,                                          ii   71

---- ---- MS. xvth century, in the Public Library at Munich,      iii  131

_Liber Regum, seu Vita Davidis--block books_--in the
Imperial Library at Vienna,                                       iii  331

_Life of Christ, block book_--in the Public Library at
Munich,                                                           iii  134

_Littleton's Tenures, Lettou_, &c. folio--in the
Imperial Library at Vienna,                                       iii  333

LIVIUS, MS. XVth century--in the Imperial Library at
Vienna,                                                           iii  298

---- 1469, folio,--in the Royal Library at Paris,                  ii  122

---- ---- in the Public Library at Munich,                        iii  142

---- 1470, _V. de Spira_, folio, UPON VELLUM, in the
Royal Library at Paris,                                            ii  122

---- ---- upon paper, in the same Library,                         ii  122

---- ---- in the Library of Closterneuburg Monastery,             iii  397

---- 1472, _S. and Pann_., folio, in the Royal
Library at Paris,                                                  ii  123

_Lombardi Petri Sentent. (Eggesteyn)_, folio, in
the Library of Closterneuburg Monastery,                          iii  399

_Lucanus_, 1469, folio--in the Public Library at Munich,          iii  142

---- 1475, folio, cum comment. Omniboni--in the
Public Library at Stuttgart,                                      iii   24

_Luciani Opera_, Gr. 1496, folio--fine copy, in
the possession of M. Renouard, at Paris,                           ii  230

---- ---- 1503, _Aldus_, folio--large paper copy,
in the Royal Library at Paris,                                     ii  151

---- ---- _Opusc. Quæd. Lat_. 1494--4to.--UPON
VELLUM, in the Imperial Library at Vienna,                        iii  311

_Lucretius_, 1486, folio--in the King's Private
Collection at Stuttgart,                                          iii   39

---- _Aldus_, 1515, 8vo.--UPON VELLUM, (supposed
to be unique) in the Royal Library at Paris,                       ii  146

_Luctus Christianorum, Jenson_, 4to.--in the
Imperial Library at Vienna,                                       iii  324

_Ludolphus Vita Christi (Eggesteyn)_, 1474, folio,
in the Public Library at Nancy,                                    ii  363

---- ---- _De Terra Sancta_, &c. 4to.--in the Imperial
Library at Vienna,                                                iii  317


M.

_Mabrian_, 1625, 4to.--in the Library of the Arsenal
at Paris,                                                          ii  163

_Maguelone, La Belle_, 1492, _Trepperel_, 4to.--in
the Imperial Library at Vienna,                                   iii  328

_Maius, de propriet. prisc. verb_. 1477. folio--_B. de
Colonia_--in the Public Library at Strasbourg,                     ii  407

_Mammotrectus, Schoeffher_, 1470--folio--UPON VELLUM,
in the Imperial Library at Vienna,                                iii  317

---- ---- in the Library of Closterneuburg,                       iii  398

---- ---- _H. de Helie_, 1470, folio--in the Public
Library at Landshut,                                              iii  181

MANDEVILLE, MS. _German_--in the Public Library at
Stuttgart,                                                        iii   32

_Manilius_, 1474, folio,--in the King's Private
Library at Stuttgart,                                             iii   39

_Marco Polo, Germ_. 1477, folio--in the Imperial
Library at Vienna,                                                iii  329

_Marsilius Ficinus: In Dionysium Areopagitam_, no
Date, folio, in the Library of Ste. Geneviève at Paris,            ii  176

_Martialis_, 1475, folio--in the Library of a Capuchin
Monastery, near Vienna,                                           iii  403

---- ---- _Aldus_, 1502, 8vo. two copies UPON VELLUM,
in the Royal Library at Paris,                                     ii  146

MAYNI IASONIS EPITALAMION, MS. 4to.--in the Emperor's
Private Library at Vienna,                                        iii  387

_Mayster of Sentence, Caxton_, folio--in the
Imperial Library at Vienna,                                       iii  332

_Meinart, St. Life of, block book_: in the Public
Library at Munich,                                                iii  137

_Melusina, Historie von der, Germ_. no date, folio,
in the King's Private Library at Stuttgart,                       iii   41

_Melusine, P. Le Noir_, 4to.--in the Library of the Arsenal        ii  167

_Memoirs of the Transactions of the Society of Belles Lettres
&c. at Rouen_, vol. i. page 49, of a _similar_ Society
at Caen,                                                            i  185

_Messer Nobile Socio, Miserie de li Amante di_, 1533,
4to. in the Library of the Arsenal at Paris,                       ii  159

_Meurin Fils d'Oger, Paris, Bonfons_, 4to.--in the
Library of the Arsenal at Paris,                                   ii  167

_Milles et Amys, Verard_, no date, folio--UPON VELLUM,
in the Royal Library at Paris,                                     ii  131

---- ---- _Rouen_, 4to.--in the Library of the Arsenal
at ditto,                                                          ii  162

_Mirabilia Urbis Romæ, block book_,--in the Public
Library at Munich,                                                iii  137

MISSALE, MS. XIVth century, in the Public Library at
Stuttgart,                                                        iii   30

---- ---- XVth century, two in the Public Library
at Stuttgart,                                                     iii   31

---- ---- of Charles the Bold, XVth century--in
the Imperial Library at Vienna, with fac-simile,                  iii  292

---- ---- XVth century,--in the Public Library at Munich,         iii  129

---- ---- 8vo.--belonging to Sigismund, King of Poland,
in the Public Library at Landshut,                                iii  180

---- _Herbipolense_ (1479), folio, UPON VELLUM, in
the imperial Library at Vienna,                                   iii  306

---- ---- _Venet_. 1488, folio,--UPON VELLUM,
in the Emperor's Private Collection at Vienna,                    iii  388

---- _Pro. Patav. Eccl. Ritu_, 1494, folio, in the
Library of a Capuchin Monastery, near Vienna,                     iii  403

---- _Mozarabicum_, 1500, folio--with the Breviary
1502, in the Library of the Arsenal at Paris,                      ii  156

---- ---- in the Library of Ste. Geneviève,                        ii  178

---- ---- in the Imperial Library at Vienna,                      iii  305

---- _Parisiense_, 1522, folio--UPON VELLUM,
in the Library of the Arsenal at Paris,                            ii  156

_Missal of Henry IV_. XVIth century, in the Royal
Library at Paris,                                                  ii   81

_Missa Defunctorum, Viennæ_, 1499, folio, in the Library
of a Capuchin Monastery, near Vienna,                             iii  403

_Montaigne's Essays_, 1635, folio, large paper, in the
Library at Caen,                                                    i  212

_Monte Sancto di Dio_, 1477, folio,--in the Royal
Library, at Paris,                                                 ii  134

_Monte Sancto di Dio_, 1477, folio, in the
Imperial Library at Vienna,                                       iii  324

_Moreri des Normans; par I.A. Guiat_, MS. in the
Public Library at Caen,                                             i  209

_Morgant le Géant_, 1650, 4to.--in the Library
of the Arsenal at Paris,                                           ii  164

_Mori Thomæ Opera, edit. Lovan_. 1566, folio, in the
Library of the Lycée at Bayeux,                                     i  245

_Munsteri Cosmographia_, 1556, folio, copy of, belonging
to D. de Poictiers, in the Public Library at Caen,                 ii  214

_Mureti Disticha_, Lat. and Fr. _chap book_, at Vire,               i  286


N.

_Nanceidos Liber_, 1518, folio; copy of, with ms. notes of
Bochart, in the Public Library at Caen,                             i  212

---- ---- two copies of, one upon large paper, in the
Public Library at Nancy,                                           ii  362

---- ---- one, UPON VELLUM, in the possession of Messrs. Payne
and Foss,                                                          ii  362

_Nef des Folz du Monde_, Verard, no date, folio--UPON
VELLUM, in the Royal Library at Paris,                             ii  133

---- ---- Printed by the same, UPON VELLUM, in the
same library,                                                      ii  133

_Nef des Dames, Arnollet, à Lyon_, 4to.--in the Library
of the Arsenal at Paris,                                           ii  160

_Niger P., contra perfidos Judæos_, 1475, folio--in the
King's Private Library at Stuttgart,                              iii   41

_Nonius Marcellus_, 1471, folio,--in the Imperial
Library at Vienna,                                                iii  318

_Nova Statuta, Machlinia_, in the Royal Library at Paris,          ii  125

_Novelas, por de Maria Zayas_, 1637, 4to.--in the
Library of the Arsenal at Paris,                                   ii  160

---- _Amorosas_, 1624, 4to. in the same Library,                   ii  160


O.

OFFICIUM B.M. VIRGINIS, MS., XVth century, in the
Emperor's private collection at Vienna,                           iii  386

---- ---- MS., XVIth century, in the Public Library at Munich,    iii  129

OFFICIUM B.M. VIRGINIS, MS., in the same library,                 iii  130

_Ogier le Danois_, 1525, folio, in the Library of
the Arsenal at Paris,                                              ii  162

_Ovidii Opera Omnia, Azoguidi_, 1471, wanting two
leaves, in the Royal Library at Paris,                             ii  141

---- _Fasti, Azoguidi_, in the Imperial Library at Vienna,        iii  312

---- _Opera Omnia, S. and Pannartz_, 1471, in the
Imperial Library at Vienna,                                       iii  312

---- _Epistolæ et Fasti_, folio, in the same collection,          iii  312


P.

_Paris et Vienne, Paris_, no date, 4to., in the Library of
the Arsenal at Paris,                                              ii  164

_Pentateuch, Hebr._ 1491, folio, in the Royal Library at
Paris,                                                             ii  111

_Petrarcha Sonetti_, 1470, Prince Eugene's copy in the
Imperial Library at Vienna,                                       iii  325

---- ---- 1473, _Zarotus_, folio, in the Imperial
Library at Vienna,                                                iii  325

---- ---- _Jenson_, 1473, folio, in the Imperial
Library at Vienna,                                                iii  325

---- ---- _Comment. Borstii, Bologn_., 1475, folio, two
copies in the Imperial Library at Vienna, of which one
belonged to Prince Eugene,                                        iii  325

---- ---- _Bolog._, 1476, folio, (_Azoguidi_[178])
with the comment of Philelphus, in the Public Library at
Stuttgart,                                                        iii   25

---- _Aldus_, 1501, 8vo., UPON VELLUM, in the
Royal Library at Paris,                                            ii  147

---- ---- 1514, 8vo., UPON VELLUM, in the possession of
M. Renouard, bookseller,                                           ii  229

---- ---- 1521, 12mo., in the King's Private Library
at Stuttgart,                                                     iii   41

---- _Sonetti cum Comment. Velutelli_, 1546, 8vo.,                iii   41

---- _Hist. Griseldis, Lat_., 1473, folio,--Prince Eugene's
copy in the Imperial Library at Vienna,                           iii  318

_Phalaris Epist_., 1471, 4to., in the Imperial
Library at Vienna,                                                iii  318

---- ---- _Ulric Han_, folio, in the same collection,             iii  319

PHILOSTRATUS, _Lat_., MS., XVth century in the Imperial
Library at Vienna,                                                iii  297

_Pierre de Provence et la belle Maguelonne_, 1490,
4to. in the Library of the Arsenal at Paris,                       ii  165

_Pindarus, Gr_. 1502, _Aldi_, 12mo., in the Library
of the Monastery of St. Florian,                                  iii  237

_Plautus_, 1472, folio, edit. prin. in the Mazarine
Library at Paris,                                                  ii  192

---- 1522, _Aldus_, 4to., Grolier's copy, apparently
_large paper_, in the Royal Library at Paris,                      ii  148

_Plinius Senior_, 1469, folio, one copy, UPON VELLUM,
and another upon paper, in the Royal Library at Paris,             ii  120

---- ---- in the Library of Ste. Geneviève,                        ii  174

---- ---- UPON VELLUM, in the Imperial Library at Vienna,         iii  312

---- ---- _Jenson_, 1472, folio, UPON VELLUM, in the
Royal Library at Paris,                                            ii  120

---- ---- _Jenson_, 1472, folio, UPON VELLUM, in the
Imperial Library at Vienna,                                       iii  313

---- ---- upon paper, in the Library of Closterneuburg
Monastery,                                                        iii  398

---- ---- _Ital_. 1476, _Jenson_, folio, UPON VELLUM,
in the Royal Library at Paris,                                     ii  121

---- ---- upon paper, in the same collection,                      ii  121

---- ---- upon paper, in the Imperial Library at Vienna,          iii  313

_Plutarchi Vitæ; Parallellæ, Ital_., folio, Litt. R.,
in the Public Library at Strasbourg,                               ii  409

---- ---- the same edition in the Monastic Library at
Closterneuburg,                                                   iii  398

_Plutarchi Opuscula Moralia, Gr_, 1509, _Aldus_,
UPON VELLUM, in the Royal Library at Paris,                        ii  137

_Poetæ Græci Principes, Gr_., 1556, folio, large paper,
De Thou's copy in the Royal Library at Paris,                      ii  152

_Pogii Facetiæ, Monast. Euseb_., folio, in the Imperial
Library at Vienna,                                                iii  319

---- _Hist. Fiorent._, 1476, folio, UPON VELLUM and paper,
in the Imperial Library at Vienna,                                iii  325

POLYBIUS, _Gr_. MS., sec. XVI., Diane de Poictiers's copy,
in the Royal Library at Paris,                                     ii   99

_Polybius, Lat., S. and Pannartz_, 1473, folio, in the
Library of Closterneuburg Monastery,                              iii  398

PRAYER BOOK OF CHARLES THE BALD, Ill. MS. 4to, in
the Royal Library at Paris,                                        ii   67

_Priscianus_, 1470, _V. de Spira_, folio, UPON
VELLUM, in the Royal Library at Paris,                             ii  139

---- ---- in the Imperial Library at Vienna,                      iii  319

---- ---- _Ulric Han_, folio--in the Imperial Library at
Vienna,                                                           iii  319

----, _Aldus_, 1527, 8vo., Grolier's copy, upon large
paper, in the Royal Library at Paris,                              ii  148

----, _Printed by V. de Spira_, UPON VELLUM, in the
Library of Ste. Geneviève,                                         ii  175

PSALTERIUM, MS., IXth century, of Charles the Bald; in
the Public Library at Paris;                                       ii   66

---- ----, Sti. Ludovici, XIIIth century, in the
same library,                                                      ii   68

---- ----, XIth century, in the Public Library at Stuttgart       iii   27

---- ----, XIIth century, in the same Collection,                 iii   28

---- ----, XIIth century, in the Royal Private Library
at Stuttgart,                                                     iii   36

---- ----, XIIth century, in the Public Library at Munich,        iii  125

---- ----, with most splendid illuminations, of the XVIth
century, in the same library,                                     iii  133

---- ----, St. Austin, XVth century, in the Public Library
at Stuttgart,                                                     iii   33

---- ---- _Latine_, 1457, _Fust and Schoeffher_, folio,
in the Royal Library at Paris,                                     ii  104

---- ----, in the Imperial Library at Vienna,                     iii  306

_Psalterium Latine_, 1459, folio--in the Royal
Library at Paris,                                                  ii  105

---- ----, 1490, folio, _Schoeffher_, UPON VELLUM, in the
Royal Library at Paris,                                            ii  105

---- ----, 1502, folio, _Schoeffher_, in the same library,         --  106

---- ----, UPON VELLUM, _Printed by Schoeffher's Son_,
1516, folio,                                                       ii  106

---- ----, without date--in the Imperial Library at Vienna,       iii  307

---- ----, _Lips_. 1486, 4to.--in the Public Library at
Landshut,                                                         iii  181

PTOLEMÆUS, _Lat_. MS. folio--in the Royal Library at Paris,        ii   85

---- ----  MS. folio, in the Public Library at Strasbourg,         ii   59

---- ----, 1462, folio, in the Public Library at Munich,          iii  142

---- ----, in the Imperial Library at Vienna,                     iii  319

---- ----, _Printed by Buckinck_, 1478, folio, in the
Imperial Library at Vienna,                                       iii  320


Q.

_Quintilianus, I. de Lignam_, 1470, folio, in the
Library of Ste. Geneviève, at Paris,                               ii  175

---- ----, 1471, _Jenson_, folio, in the Public Library
at Nuremberg, _Supplement_,                                       iii  431


R.

_Ratdolt_, specimens of the types from his press, in the
Public Library at Munich,                                         iii  144

_Recueil des Histoires de Troye, printed by Caxton_,
in the Royal Library at Paris,                                     ii  102

---- ---- _printed by Verard_, UPON VELLUM,
in the same Library,                                               ii  102

_Regnars, les, &c. Verard_, 4to. Prince Eugene's copy
in the Imperial Library at Vienna,                                iii  329

_Regulæ, Confitend. peccata sua. Ital_., 1473, 4to., in
the Imperial Library at Vienna,                                   iii  326

_Repertorium Statut. Ord. Carth_. 1510, folio, in the
Public Library at Caen,                                             i  202

_Richard sans Peur, Janot, no date_, 4to., in the
Library of the Arsenal at Paris,                                   ii  158

---- _Bonfons, no date_, 4to., in the same library,                ii  158

_Robert le Diable, Janot, no date_, 4to., in the Library of
the Arsenal at Paris,                                              ii  158

_Romances, MS_., in the Royal Library at Paris,                    ii   88

---- ----, _printed_, in the same Library,                         ii  131

---- ----, in the Public Library at Strasbourg,                    ii  407

---- ----, in the Public Library at Munich,                       iii  126

_Ronsard_, 1584, folio, in the Public Library at
Caen,                                                               i  212

ROSE, ROMAN DE LA, MS. XIVth century, in the Royal
Library at Paris,                                                  ii   95

---- ---- MS. XIVth century, in the Public Library at
Stuttgart,                                                        iii   31

---- ---- _Verard_, no date, UPON VELLUM, in the Royal
Library at Paris,                                                 ii   131

_Rossei opus elegans, &c., Pynson_, 1523, 4to.,
the author's copy, afterwards that of Sir Thomas More,
in the Public Library at Landshut,                                iii  183


S.

SACRAMENTARIUM, SEU MISSA _Pap. Greg_., MS., VIth
century, in the Imperial Library at Vienna,                       iii  290

_Sanchez de Matrim. Sacram_., copy in the chapter
Library at Bayeux, i. 244, in the Library of the Lycée
at Bayeux,                                                          i  245

_Sannazarii Arcadia_, 1514, _Aldus_, 8vo., Grolier's
copy, on large paper, in the Royal Library at Paris,               ii  148

_Sannazarius de partu Virginis, Aldi_, 1527, 12mo. in the
King's Private Library at Stuttgart,                              iii   41

SCHAKZABEL, DER, MS. 1400 or 1450, in the Public Library
at Stuttgart,                                                     iii   32

_Séguin, Histore Militaire des Bocains_, quoted,
i 300, 301, 302, _sur l'histoire de l'industrie du
Bocage, en général, et de la ville de Vire sa capitale
en particulière_, 1810, 8vo.,                                       i  303

_Servius in Virgilium_, see _Virgilius_.

_Sforziada La_, 1480, folio, UPON VELLUM, in the
Royal Library at Paris,                                            ii  134

_Shyppe of Fools_, 1509, 8vo. _printed by W.
Worde_, UPON VELLUM, in the Royal Library at Paris,                ii  103

_SIBILÆ, &c_., MS., xvth century, in the Public
Library at Munich,                                                iii  127

_Silius Italicus, Laver_, 1471, folio, in the
Mazarine Library at Paris,                                         ii  193

---- ---- in the Imperial Library at Vienna,                      iii  313

---- ---- _S. and Pannartz_, 1471, folio, in the Imperial
Library at Vienna,                                                iii  313

---- ---- in the Public Library at Stuttgart,                     iii   26

---- ---- in the Imperial Library at Vienna,                      iii  332

_Spec. Hum, Salv_, 1476, folio, _printed by Richel_,
in the Public Library at Strasbourg,                               ii  407

_Spec. Morale P. Bellovacensis_, 1476, folio,                      ii  405

---- _Judiciale Durandus_, Printed by Hussner and
Rekenhub, 1473, folio,                                             ii  405

_Speculum Stultorum_, _no date_, 4to., in the
Public Library at Caen,                                             i  211

_Statius in usum Delphini_, 4to., two copies, in the
Library of the Arsenal at Paris,                                   ii  156

---- ---- beautiful copy in the Library of Chremsminster
monastery,                                                        iii  222

_Statutes of Richard III. Machlinia_, in the Royal
Library at Paris,                                                  ii  124

---- ---- in the King's Private Library at Stuttgart,             iii   41

_Stephani, H. Gloss. Græc_. 1573, &c., folio--_cum notis
mss: Bocharti_, copy of, in the Public Library at Caen,             i  211

_Successos y Prodigos de Amor_, 1626, 4to., in the Library
of the Arsenal at Paris,                                           ii  161

_Suetonius I. de Lignamine_, 1470, folio--in the Library
of Ste. Geneviève, at Paris,                                       ii  175

_Suetonius S. and Pannartz_, 1470, folio--in the Imperial
Library at Vienna,                                                iii  313

---- _Jenson_, 1471, 4to.,--in the same collection,               iii  313

---- _Reisinger_, 4to.,--_without date_, in the
private royal collection at Stuttgart,                            iii   39

_Suidas, Gr_., 1499, folio--Lambecius's copy, in the
Imperial Library at Vienna,                                       iii  314

---- 1503, folio, _Aldus_--large paper copy, in the
Royal Library at Paris,                                            ii  151

_Sypperts de Vinevaulx, Paris, no date_, 4to.--in
the Library of the Arsenal at Paris,                               ii  159


T.

_Tacitus, I. de Spira_, folio, edit. prin. in the
Public Library at Stuttgart,                                      iii   24

----, in the Imperial Library at Vienna,                          iii  314

_Tasso, Gerusalemme Conquistata_, the author's
autograph--in the Imperial Library at Vienna,                     iii  300

_Terentius, Mentelin_, folio--in the Imperial Library at
Vienna,                                                           iii  314

----, _Ulric Han_, folio--in the Royal Library at Paris,           ii  136

----, _Reisinger_, folio--in the Public Library
at Stuttgart,                                                     iii   23

_Testamentum Novum, Hollandicè et Russ_., 1717, folio,
in the Royal Library at Paris,                                     ii  110

---- ----, _Bohemice, Sec_. xv--in the Imperial Library at
Vienna,                                                           iii  307

---- ----, _Græcè Erasmi_, in the King's Private Library
at Stuttgart,                                                     iii   39

---- ----, _R. Stephani_, 1550, folio--Diane de Poictiers's
copy--in the Royal Library at Paris,                               ii  150

_Tewrdanckhs_, 1517, folio--UPON VELLUM, in the Library
of Ste. Geneviève, at Paris,                                       ii  179

---- ----, two copies of, in the Public Library at Munich,        iii  147

_Tewrdanckhs_, 1517, folio, UPON VELLUM, two copies
of, in the Imperial Library at Vienna,                            iii  329

---- ----, in the Library of the Monastery of St. Florian,        iii  238

_Theophrastus_, 1497, Gr. _Aldus_,--Diane de
Poictiers's copy, in the possession of M. Renouard at Paris,       ii  231

_Thucydide, Gourmont_, folio, _Verard_--UPON VELLUM,
in the Imperial Library at Vienna--Prince Eugene's copy,          iii  330

TITE LIVE, MS. folio--in the Royal Library at Paris,               ii   86

_Tityrell and Pfartzival_, 1477, folio--in the Public
Library at Landshut,                                              iii  181

---- ---- in the Library of the Monastery of St. Florian,         iii  236

TOURNAMENTS, BOOK OF, MS. xvth century--in the
Royal Library at Paris,                                            ii   95

---- ---- duplicate and more recent copy of                        ii   99

_Tracts_, Printed by Pfister, at Bamberg, folio,                   ii  111

_Trebisond, Paris_, 4to.--in the Library of the
Arsenal at Paris,                                                  ii  167

TRISTAN, MS. xivth century, in the Royal Library at Paris,         ii   91

---- ----, another MS. in the same library,                        ii   91

---- ----, a third MS. in the same library,                        ii   92

---- _Gall_. Sec. XIII., in the Imperial Library
at Vienna,                                                        iii  299

---- ----, another MS. in the same Collection,                    iii  300

_Tristran, Verard_, folio--in the Imperial
Library at Vienna,                                                iii  330

_Trithemii Annales Hirsaugienses_, 1690, folio--in
the Library of the Monastery of Chremsminster,                    iii  227

---- ----, in the Library of a Capuchin Monastery,
near Vienna,                                                      iii  403

_Troys filz de Roys_, Paris, no date, 4to.--in the
Library of the Arsenal,                                            ii  164

_Tully of Old Age, Caxton_--in the Royal Library at Paris,         ii  124

_Turrecremata I. de Meditationes, Ulric Han_, 1467,
folio--in the Imperial Library at Vienna,                         iii  320

---- ---- in the Public Library at Nuremberg,
_Supplement_,                                                     iii  430

---- ----, 1473, in the Imperial Library at Vienna,               iii  307


V.

VALERIUS MAXIMUS, MS. xvth century--in the Imperial
Library at Vienna,                                                iii  298

---- ---- _Mentelin_, folio--two copies in the
Public Library at Strasbourg,                                      ii  408

---- ---- in the Imperial Library at Vienna,                      iii  314

---- ---- in the Royal Library at Stuttgart,                      iii   24

---- ---- 1475, _Coes & Stol_, folio--in
the Public Library at Caen,                                         i  208

---- ---- _Aldus_, 1534, 8vo. Grolier's copy, on large
paper, in the Royal Library at Paris,                              ii  148

_Valturius De Re Militari_, 1472, folio--in the
Imperial Library (Prince Eugene's copy) at Vienna,                iii  321

_Vaudevires, Basselin_, 1811,                                       i  212
                                                                      -289

_Vie des Peres_, 1494, folio, at Caen,                              i  208

_Virgilius, S. & Pannartz_, (1469) folio--in the
Royal Library at Paris,                                            ii  116

---- ---- in the Public Library at Strasbourg--incomplete,         ii  408

---- ---- in the Imperial Library at Vienna,                      iii  314

---- 1470, _V. de Spira_, UPON VELLUM, in the Royal
Library at Paris,                                                  ii  117

---- ---- upon paper, in the Royal Library  at Paris,              ii  117

---- ---- in the Imperial Library at Vienna,                      iii  314

---- 1471, _S. and Pannartz_, folio--in the Royal
Library at Paris,                                                 iii  118

_Virgilius_, 1471, _S. and Pannartz_, late
in the Public Library at Stuttgart,                               iii   23

---- ---- 1471, _V. de Spira_, folio--in the
Imperial Library at Vienna,                                       iii  315

---- ---- 1471, _Adam_, folio--late in the Public
Library at Stuttgart,                                             iii   23

---- _Servius in Virgilium_. _Ulric Han_,
folio--Diane de Poictiers's copy, in the Mazarine
Library at Paris,                                                  ii  191

---- ---- _Valdarfer_, 1471, folio--in
the Public Library at Strasbourg,                                  ii  408

---- ---- 1478, _Gering_, 4to., in the Royal Library
at Paris,                                                          ii  119

---- _Aldus_, 1501, 8vo.--UPON VELLUM, in the
Public Library at Munich,                                         iii  146

---- ---- 1505, 8vo.--in the possession of M. Renouard,
bookseller,                                                        ii  230

---- _S. and Pannartz_, (1469) folio--in the Library
of Ste. Geneviève,                                                 ii  174

---- _Gallicè_, 1582, folio--in the Public Library at
Caen,                                                               i  212

VITÆ SANCTORUM, MS. Sec. XII.--in the Public Library
at Stuttgart,                                                     iii   29

_Vitruvius Giuntæ_, 1513, 8vo.--UPON VELLUM, in
the Library of Ste. Geneviève at Paris,                            ii  178

Vocabularius, Bechtermuntze, 1467, 4to.                            ii  115


U.

_Utino, T. de, Sermones_, _printed by Gering_--in
the Public Library at Vire,                                         i  297


W.

WILLIBROODI STI. VITA. AUCT. ALCUINO. MS. xith
century, in the Private Royal Library at Stuttgart,               iii   38


[178] In the page referred to, I have conjectured it to be printed by
Ulric Han-or Reisinger. To these names I add the above.



PRINTED BY WILLIAM NICOL, AT THE
Shakspeare Press.





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A Bibliographical, Antiquarian and Picturesque Tour in France and Germany, Volume One" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home