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Title: Brittany & Its Byways
Author: Palliser, Fanny Bury
Language: English
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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.

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Brittany & Its Byways


by Fanny Bury Palliser



Edition 02 , (November 9, 2007)



                          BRITTANY & ITS BYWAYS

                             SOME ACCOUNT OF
                  ITS INHABITANTS AND ITS ANTIQUITIES;
                   DURING A RESIDENCE IN THAT COUNTRY.

                          BY MRS. BURY PALLISER

[Illustration: Vignette: St. Michael’s Mount]

                       WITH NUMEROUS ILLUSTRATIONS

                            ------------------

                                  London

                                   1869



CONTENTS


Contents.
List of Illustrations.
Britanny and Its Byways.
Some Useful Dates in the History of Brittany.
Chronological Table of the Dukes of Brittany.
Index.
Transcribers’ Notes



CONTENTS.


                              --------------

CHERBOURG—Mont du Roule—Visit of Queen Victoria—Harbour,
1—Breakwater—Dock-Yard, 2—Chantereyne—Hôpital de la Marine,
3—Castle—Statue of Napoleon I.—Library—Church of La Trinité,
4—Environs—Octeville, 5—Lace-school of the Sœurs de la Providence, 11.

QUERQUEVILLE—Church of St. Germain, 5—Château of the Comte de Tocqueville,
6.

TOURLAVILLE—Château, 7—Crêpes, 11.

MARTINVAST—Château, 12.

BRICQUEBEC—Castle—History, 12—Valognes, 14.

ST. SAUVEUR-le-Vicomte—Demesne—History, 15—Castle—Convent—Abbey, 16.

PÉRIERS, 17—La Haye-du-Puits, 17—Abbey of Lessay—Mode of
Washing—Inn-signs, 18—Church, 19.

COUTANCES—Cathedral—Churches, 19—Fête of St. Fiacre, 20.

GRANVILLE—Situation—History—Church, 21—View from the
"Roc"—Bathing-machines—Defeat of the Vendean army—Death of La
Rochejacquelin, 22—Costume of the Women—Environs—St. Pair, 23.

AVRANCHES—Extensive View—Scene of Absolution of Henry II.—Cemetery, 24.

PONTORSON—Story of the Lady Typhaine, 24—Government by Du Guesclin—Mont
St. Michel, 25—Chapel of St. Aubert—Visits of English kings—Pilgrimages of
Kings of France, 26—Convent of "La Merveille," 27—Isle of La
Tombeleine—Prison, 28—The Iron Cage, 29.

DOL-DE-BRETAGNE—Street Architecture, 30—Cathedral, 31—Tomb of Bishop
James—Chapel of St. Samson, 32—Monks, 33—Dyke, 34—Menhir, 35—Château of
Combourg, 36—Chateaubriand, 37.

CANCALE—Oysters, 37—Wretched public vehicles, 38—Bay, 39.

ST. MALO—Situation, 39—Sea-wall, 40—Tomb of Chateaubriand—Memorials of
him, 41—Watch-dogs, 42—Castle—History, 43—DINARD, 44.

DINAN—Ascent of the Rance—Statue of Du Guesclin, 44—Siege of 1359—Duel of
Du Guesclin and Thomas of Cantorbéry, 45—Castle of Montfilant—Story of
Gilles de Bretagne, 46—Lunatic Asylum—Castle of Dinan, 50—Church of St.
Sauveur, 51—Museum, 52—Environs—Château of La Bellière, 54—Château of La
Garaye—Count Claude de la Garaye and his Wife, 57—Jugon, 61—Castle of La
Hunaudaye, 62—Legend of La Hunaudaye, 63—Forest of La Hunaudaye—The Chouan
War, 66.

LAMBALLE—Jeanne la Boiteuse—War of Succession, 67—Temple of Lanleff,
68—Tradition of the blood-spots, 70.

ST. BRIEUC—Palais de Justice—Tour de Cesson, 71—Church of Notre
Dame—Review of his army by James II. of England, 72.

GUINGAMP—Situation—Fishing in the Trieux—Sanctuary of Notre Dame du Bon
Secours—"Frérie blanche," 72—Fountain of Duke Peter—Women of
Guingamp—Knitting and spinning—Ransom for Du Guesclin, 74—Chapel of St.
Leonard patron saint of prisoners—Curious charms against fever, 75.

PAIMPOL—Château de Boisgelin, 75—Abbey of Beauport, 76—Situation of
Paimpol—Suspension-bridge of Lézardrieux, 80—Château of La Roche Jagu, 81.

PONTRIEUX—Castle of La Roche Derrien, 82—"War of the two Jeannes"—Church
of Langoat—Monument of Ste. Pompée, 83—Burial customs—Excellence of roads
in Brittany, 84.

KERMARTIN—St. Ives, 84—Inscription at his birthplace—Interior of a Breton
dwelling, 86—Church of Minihy-Tréguier—Will of St. Ives, 87.

TRÉGUIER—Cathedral—Burial-place of St. Ives, 88—Constable Clisson,
89—Cemetery, 90—Skull-boxes, 91.

LANNION—Difficulty of the road, 91—Perros Guirec—Ploumanach—Roche Pendue,
92—Situation of Lannion—Fishery—Sea-weed gathering, 94—Castle of
Touquédec, 95—Château of Kergrist, 96.

MORLAIX—Situation—Timbered houses, 97—History, 98—Breton characteristics,
99—Protestant Missions, 100—"Fontaine des Anglais," 102—River Scenery,
103.

ST. POL DE LÉON, 103—Religious Monuments—Character of the Léonnais,
104—Church of Notre Dame de Creizker—Legend of St. Génévroc,
105—Cathedral, 106—St. Pol and the Dragon, 109—Ursuline Convent—"Droit de
Motte," 110.

ROSCOFF—Contraband trade with England—Vegetable produce, 111—Historic
importance, 112—Church—Island of Batz—Enormous old fig-tree, 113.

ST. THÉGONNEC STATION—Cabaret—Church, 114—Guimiliau Church—Sculptures,
115—Calvary, 116—Buckwheat, 117—Castle and Church of La Roche Maurice,
118.

BREST—Situation, 118—Harbour, 119—Church of the Folgoët—Legend,
120—Kersanton stone, 122—Sculptures in Kersanton stone, 123—The Fool’s
Well, 124—Exterior of Church, 125—Churchyard, 127—Monthly Fair of
Brest—Peasants’ Costumes, 133.

FINISTÈRE—Abbey of St. Mathieu, 129—Sea-fights, 130—Pont Launay and
Châteaulin, 134.

QUIMPER, 135—Legend of St. Corentin, 137—Cathedral, 139—National costume,
140.

CONCARNEAU, 142—Sardine Fishery, 143—Aquarium, 147—Dolmen and
Rocking-stone of Trégunc—Château of Rustéphan, 149—Valley of Pontaven,
150.

QUIMPERLÉ—Fishing, 151—Buildings—Tomb of St. Gurloës, 152—Tomb of John de
Montfort—Ruins of St. Columban, 153—Dirtiness of the Bretons—Animals and
Farm produce—Butter Indulgence, 154.

LORIENT—Bisson and the Pirates, 155.

HENNEBONT—Heroic defence by Jeanne de Flandre, 156—Church of Notre
Dame-de-Paradis, 157.

STE. ANNE D’AURAY, 158—Scala Sancta—Fête, 159—Chartreuse, 160—Battle,
161—Deaf and Dumb School, 164—Massacre of Quiberon, 165—Champ des Martyrs,
168—Celtic Remains, 169.

LOCMARIAKER—Tumulus—Celtic and other Remains, 170—Tumulus of Gavr’ Inis,
175.

CARNAC—Celtic Remains—Menhirs of Kermario, 177—Legend of St. Cornély,
178—Jade Celts, &c., at Plouharnel, 180—Dolmen of Concorro, 181.

VANNES—History—Promenade, 183—Cathedral, 184—Château Gaillau—Tour du
Connétable, 185—Model Village of Korner-hoët, 187—Peninsula of Rhuys,
188—Fortress of Sucinio, 189—Abbey of St. Gildas, 192—Abelard and the
Breton Monks, 193—The Breton "Blue Beard," 194—Butte d’Arzon—Castle of
Elven, 199—Growth of Chestnuts, 203.

PLOËRMEL, 203—Church, 204—Tombs, 205—Column of the Thirty, 206—Battle of
the Thirty, 207—Château of Josselin, 209—Church of Josselin, 213.

MONTFORT-SUR-MER—Forest of Paimpont—Fairy tales, 215.

RENNES, ancient capital of Brittany—Entry of Henry IV.—Scenery of the
Loire, 216—Castle of Champtoceaux, 218.

NANTES—Cathedral, 221—Tombs, 222—Castle—Anne of Brittany, 223—Promenades
and Boulevards—Museum, 227—Jardin des Plantes—Descent of the Loire—The
Noyades, 228.

ST. NAZAIRE—Historical associations, 230—Le Croisic, 232—Salt-pans,
233—Costume of the Paludiers, 234—Saulniers—Chouan: origin of the name and
of the War, 241—Church of Batz, 243—Situation of Le Croisic, 244—Chapel of
St. Goustan, 245.

GUÉRANDE—Church of St Aubin—Chapel of Notre Dame Blanche, 246—La Roche
Bernard, 247—Wedding Festivities, 248—National Music—Female Costume—Fête
de la Vierge and of the Emperor, 249—Scenery of the River Loch, 250.

BELLE ISLE—Le Palais—M. Trochu’s Model Farm, 251—Breton fatalism,
252—Grotte du Port Coton, 255—Historical associations of Belle Isle,
256—Fishery, 257.

PONT L’ABBÉ, 257—Costumes, 258—Church, 259.

LOCTUDY—Romanesque Church, 261.

TORCHE DE PENMARCH, 262—Church of St. Guenolé, 263—"Le filet saint"—Ruins
of the old Town, 264—Fontenelle the Leaguer, 267—Church of St. Nonna,
268—Menhirs at Kerscaven, 269.

AUDIERNE—Lighthouse—Bathing-machines, 269—Town, 270.

POINTE DU RAZ—Popular superstitions—Church of St. Collédoc, 271—"Enfer de
Plogoff"—Island of Sein—Druidesses, 272—Dangerous passage, 273—Baie des
Trépassés—Submerged city of Is, 274—Legend of King Gradlon and his
daughter Dahut, 275.

DOUARNENEZ—Romanesque Church of Pointcroix, 276—Chapel of Notre Dame de
Comfort—Wheel of Sacring-Bells—Town of Douarnenez, 279—Pardon of Ste.
Anne-de-la-Palue, 280—Costume, 281—Church of Ste. Anne—Procession,
282—Holy Well of Ste. Anne, 285.

SCAËR—Old Customs and Superstitions, 285—Wrestling—"Pierres de Croix,"
286.

LE FAOUÉT—Chapel of St. Barbe, 287—Wedding ceremonies and amusements,
288—Fishing, 289—Old Breton superstitious still prevalent—Lavandières de
la Nuit, 290—Church of St. Fiacre—Elaborately carved Rood-screen,
293—Painted glass—Ruined Castle of Poncallec—Plot of Cellamare,
294—Montagnes Noires, 296.

CARHAIX—Situation, 297—Statue of La Tour d’Auvergne, 298—Fair and
Market—Church of St. Tremeur—Skull-boxes, 299.

HUELGOAT, 300—Lead-mines, 301—Cascade of St. Herbot—Chapel of St. Herbot,
303—His tomb, 304—Patron of cattle—Offerings of horsehair and cows’ tails,
304—Homeward journey, 307.

USEFUL DATES in the History of Brittany           309

CHRONOLOGICAL TABLE of the Dukes of Brittany      310



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.


  VIGNETTE—St. Michael’s Mount, Title-page.
  1. Querqueville Church, 6
  2. Plan of Querqueville Church, 6
  3. Château of Tourlaville, 9
  4. Castle of Bricquebec, 13
  5. Badge of the Sœurs de la Miséricorde, 17
  6. Coutances Cathedral, 20
  7. Pilaster and Cornice from Tomb of Bp. James in Cathedral of Dol, 31
  8. Front of the Tomb, 32
  9. Menhir, near Dol, 35
  10. Château of Combourg, 37
  11. Peasant Girl of Cancale, 38
  12. St. Malo and Chateaubriand’s Tomb, 40
  13. Effigy of Jean de Beaumanoir, 52
  14. Château of La Bellière, 54
  15. Chimney, Château of La Bellière, 56
  16. Château of La Garaye, 60
  17. Section of Lanleff Church, 69
  18. Plan of Lanleff Church, 70
  19. Fountain of Duke Peter, 73
  20. Abbey of Beauport, 77
  21. Skull-box, 91
  22. The Creizker, 107
  23. Calvary, Guimiliau, 116
  24. The Fool’s Well, Folgoët, 124
  25. Abbey of St. Mathieu, 131
  26. Peasant Girl of Ouëssant, 133
  27. Peasant Girl, Châteaulin, 135
  28. Begger, Quimper, 141
  29. Concarneau, with Sardine Boats, 143
  30. Dolmen, Trégunc, 146
  31. Rocking-Stone, Trégunc, 148
  32. Château of Rustéphan, 150
  33. Scala Sancta, Ste. Anne d’Auray, 159
  34. Champ des Martyrs, Auray, 169
  35. Sculptured Stone, Locmariaker, 171
  36. Hatchet-shaped Sculpture, Locmariaker, 173
  37. Entrance to Tumulus of Gavr’ Inis, 175
  38, 39. Sculptured Stones, Gavr’ Inis, 176
  40. Dolmen of Corcorro, 182
  41. Castle of Elven, 200
  42. Column of the Thirty, 206
  43. Château of Josselin, 212
  44. Salt-Pans, with Le Croisic in the distance, 235
  45. Paludier of the Bourg de Bate in his working dress, 237
  46. Paludier of the Bourg de Bate in his wedding dress, 239
  47. La Roche Bernard, 247
  48. Entrance to Le Palais, Belle Isle, 253
  49. Device of Fouquet, 257
  50. Peasant Girl, Pont l’Abbé, 258
  51. Apse of the Church, Loctudy, 260
  52. Torche of Penmarch, 262
  53. Ship sculptured on the walls, Church of St. Guenolé, Penmarch, 264
  54. Church of Guenolé, Penmarch, 265
  55. Fleur-de-lisé Window, Church of St. Nonna, Penmarch, 269
  56. Pointe du Raz, 270
  57. Front of the Church at Pont Croix, 277
  58. Wheel of Sacring Bells, Notre Dame-de-Comfort, near Douarnenez, 279
  59. Costume of a Finistère Bride, 281
  60. Well of Ste. Anne-la-Palue, 284
  61. Cross Stones, 286
  62. Rood-screen or Jubé, St. Fiacre, 291
  63. Carved Stalls, St. Herbot, 304
  64. Carved Stalls, St. Herbot, 305



BRITANNY AND ITS BYWAYS.


A fair wind conveyed us in six hours from Poole to Cherbourg. It was dusk
when we entered the harbour, and so we had no opportunity of seeing its
beauty until the following morning, when we ascended a height behind the
town, called the Mont du Roule. It is reached either on foot or by
carriage, the Emperor having ordered a road to be made up to the fort
which crowns the heights, on the occasion of the visit to Cherbourg, in
1858, of her Majesty Queen Victoria. Some 1500 men were immediately set to
work, and, in a few days, an easy carriage-road was finished, up which the
Emperor drove the Queen at his usual rapid pace. The view from the fort is
lovely, commanding the whole line of the northern point of the Cotentin,
from the low promontory of Cape de la Hogue to Barfleur. The water of the
harbour, owing to its great depth, is of the most intense blue, which we
quite agreed with the guardian of the fort in likening to that of the Bay
of Naples. Across its entrance stretches, for two miles, the long line of
the breakwater, and within were anchored the fleet of our yacht squadron,
which the day before had run a race between Poole and Cherbourg. We took a
boat to visit the breakwater. It is commanded at each end by a fort, with
another in the centre, where the provisions are kept. In stormy weather
the sea washes over the breakwater, and sometimes for days prevents all
communication between the forts, and the supplies consequently are
stopped. Boys offered us for sale the silvery shells of the Venus’ ear,
which inhabits the rocks of the breakwater. We afterwards saw them in the
fish-market exposed for sale, and, on expressing some curiosity as to how
they were eaten, the landlord had a dish prepared for us. These fish
resemble the scallop in taste, but are very tough, and require a great
deal of beating with a wooden mallet to make them tender enough to eat.
They are called "ormer," or "gofish." The table d’hôte was very
plentifully supplied with fish, and here, as throughout Normandy and
Brittany, cider, the customary beverage of the country, was always placed
upon the table. It varies very much in quality in different districts;
that of Bayeux is most esteemed.

The next morning we set out for the dockyard. To obtain admission, it
first requires a letter from the English Consul, who lives in a charming
spot overlooking the sea, at the foot of the Montagne du Roule. Furnished
with this, we repaired to the Préfet Maritime, who gave us an order to be
presented at the dockyard gate, where it was countersigned, and a guide
appointed to show us over the establishment. We made the tour round all
the basins and workshops, and saw the canot impérial used by the Emperor
on the visit of our Queen,—a most elegant boat, beautifully carved with
marine subjects. The model of a Roman trireme, or galley, is in one of the
basins, and in the little museum, or Salle des Modèles, are the two
flagstones that covered the grave of Napoleon, and were deposited here by
the Prince de Joinville, when he returned with the Emperor’s remains from
St. Helena. The dockyard partly stands on a spot called Chantereyne. The
Empress Matilda, fleeing from Stephen, was overtaken by a tempest when
making for Cherbourg, and vowed, if her life were spared, to build a
church. The ship was in jeopardy, but the pilot cheered her spirits, and,
when gaining the port, exclaimed, "Chantes Reine! we are safe in harbour."
The place where she landed has always retained the name; and here the
Empress, in fulfilment of her vow, founded an abbey, which was destroyed
in the Revolution. The habitations of the nuns is the present provisional
Hôpital de la Marine; a new one, containing above a thousand beds, being
in course of construction, and a modern church, called Eglise du Vœu, has
been erected in another part of the town in place of that of the Empress
Matilda.

Henry II. held his court in the castle with his empress-mother in great
splendour; it had formerly been tenanted by Duke William of Normandy
before his invasion of England, and, within its enclosure, he built a
church also, in consequence of a vow made during a serious illness. There
are few objects of interest in the town of Cherbourg. The women all wear
the large Normandy cap. In the Place d’Armes is a bronze equestrian statue
of the Emperor Napoleon I., and on the pedestal is inscribed "J’avois
résolu de renouveler à Cherbourg les merveilles de l’Egypte."  In the
Library is a curiously sculptured chimney-piece of the fifteenth century,
coloured and gilt, removed from a room of the abbey. The principal church,
La Trinité, is a strange jumble of architecture. There is some beautiful
tracery in the windows, and a fine boss (clef pendante) in the south
porch, now restored. On a board in the church is an inscription, setting
forth it was built in consequence of a "vœu solennel des habitans de
Cherbourg en 1450 de la délivrance de la domination étrangère"—that is,
from the English, whose defeat the same year at Formigny, by the Constable
de Richemont, expelled them for ever from Normandy.

There is much to see in the environs of Cherbourg, which makes it a good
central point for excursions. We drove by the fort of Octeville, where a
magnificent panoramic view is obtained, equalling in extent that from the
Mont du Roule. A fisherman, who was standing by, told us the names of the
numerous forts that bristle in every direction, and related to us the
legend of the monk of Saire, who, having received the rent due to his
father for some land, appropriated the money to his own use, and, on the
tenant declaring he had paid the sum, adjured the evil one to carry him
off, if he had ever received the money. The words were no sooner uttered
than there came a flash of lightning, and the monk vanished: but he still
appears in the roads of Cherbourg floating on the sea; when he sees a
sailor, he cries "Save me, save me! I am about to sink!" but the hapless
being who approaches to assist him is immediately dragged into the water,
a peal of infernal laughter is heard, and the luckless mariner disappears
for ever. We asked our guide if he believed in the phantom monk, but he
was silent.

[Illustration: 1. Querqueville Church.]

From Octeville we proceeded to Querqueville, where, in the same churchyard
as the parochial church, stands a little church, named after St. Germain,
the first apostle of the Cotentin, who, in the fifth century, landed from
England on the coast of La Hogue, and preached Christianity in this
district and the valley traversed by the river Saire, which falls into the
sea near St. Vaast-la-Hogue. This tiny church, for it measures only 34
feet by 24, and is 11 feet high, is by some supposed to have been a temple
of the Gauls converted into a Christian place of worship; the nave and
tower having been added to the old temple, which consists of a triple apse
forming a regular trefoil, each of which has a domed top. We drove on to
Nacqueville, the château of Comte Hippolyte de Tocqueville. The park is
prettily laid out, a stream of water runs in front of the house, and a row
of blue hydrangeas blazed forth in great beauty, with the relief of a
background of dark firs. Time prevented us from pursuing our excursion
further west, to see the famed cliffs of Jobourg.

[Illustration: 2. Plan of Querqueville Church.]

To the east of Cherbourg a high road leads to Barfleur and the lighthouse
of Gatteville, between which and the Isle of Wight is the narrowest point
of the English Channel, passing by Saint-Pierre-Eglise, near which is the
château of the late Alexis de Tocqueville, author of ’Democracy in
America;’ but we did not get further on the road than Tourlaville, the
ancient château of the Ravalet family, upon whom tradition has heaped
every crime imaginable. One seigneur entered the church with his hounds
and stabbed the priest at the altar, because he refused to administer to
him the consecrated element; another hanged some of his vassals, because
they did not grind their corn at the seignorial mill, for "haute or basse
justice" was then among the nobles’ rights. Marguerite, a daughter of this
ancient house, expiated, with her brother, their offences upon the
scaffold at Paris. Every effort was made to spare their lives; but the
King, or rather Queen Margot, was inexorable. The château of Tourlaville
is beautifully situated; it is in the style of the Renaissance, with an
angular tower, which recalls that of Heidelberg Castle. The ground-floor
consists of two large unfurnished rooms, and a staircase, with iron
railing, leads to the story above. In one room hangs the portrait of a
lady châteleine, in the costume of the period of Louis XIII., with the
château of Tourlaville in the distance. On her left are eight Cupids with
bandages over their eyes, one in advance of the others is not blinded.
From the lady’s mouth is a label, with the inscription "Un (seul) me
suffit." This is said to be the portrait of the Lady Marguerite, but the
costume is of a later date. In one of the rooms is a chimney-piece covered
with a variety of amatory devices and mottoes:—a Cupid blinded, holding a
lighted torch, motto "Ce qui me donne la vie me cause la mort." Again,
another Cupid with eyes bandaged, pouring water out of a vase to cool a
flaming heart he holds in his hand, motto "Sa froideur me glace les veines
et son ardeur brûle mon cœur." Six winged hearts flying at the approach of
Cupid, but which are reached by his darts, "Même en fuyant l’on est pris."
Further is a sentiment in verse:—


    “Plusieurs sont atteints de ce feu,
    Mais il ne s’en guérit que fort peu.”


Again,—


    “Ces deux n’en font qu’un.”


[Illustration: 3. Château of Tourlaville.]

A river in the foreground, in the distance a setting sun, motto "Ainsi
puissai-je mourir." This assemblage of devices and mottoes is not
applicable to any particular individual, but may be supposed to be merely
an expression of the taste of the time. They are of the seventeenth
century, when the Ravalet had been succeeded by the Franquetot family, who
have since taken the name of Coigny. Their arms, with several others, are
in the little boudoir in one of the towers, called the Blue Chamber. Its
walls are distempered blue, and the coverlet and hangings of the bed, with
all the decorations of the room, are of the same colour. Having admired
the lovely view from the "Tour des quatre vents," we descended to the
kitchen of the farmer who rents the house, which now belongs to the
Tocqueville family. His wife was busily employed in making "crêpes," a
favourite kind of cake in Normandy and Brittany. It is made generally of
the flour of the sarrasin or buckwheat, mixed with milk or water, and
spread into a kind of pancake, which is fried on an iron pan, resembling
the Scotch griddle-cakes. Another variety, called "galette," is made of
the same ingredients, but differs from the crêpe in its being made three
or four times the thickness, and is therefore not so light. Though
generally made of buckwheat, wheat or oat-flour is sometimes used; and in
the towns, sugar and cinnamon and vanilla are added, and the simple
character of the crêpe entirely changed under the hands of the
confectioner. The little village of Tourlaville was famous for its
glassworks, until supplanted by those of Gobain.

On our return to Cherbourg we visited the lace school of the Sœurs de la
Providence, where about two hundred girls are employed in making black
lace like that of Bayeux, which has now completely superseded the
Chantilly; the manner of making both laces is similar. The old Chantilly
has completely died out, and the modern manufacture extends the whole
length of Normandy from Cherbourg to Bayeux. How the children can keep the
bobbins from entangling is a marvel; there were as many as five hundred on
one pillow. The lace-makers were chiefly employed in flounces, shawls, and
other large works. These are all made in separate pieces, and united by
the stitch called fine joining or "raboutissage." A half-shawl or "pointe"
was divided into thirty segments. We passed the evening at the
Etablissement, and next morning left Cherbourg.

The railway traverses the picturesque and rocky valley of Quincampoix to
Martinvast, whose little Romanesque church stands close to the station,
and at a short distance is the château of Martinvast, where its late
proprietor, M. du Moncel, established a model farm. A monument has been
erected to his memory in the church by the commune of Martinvast.

[Illustration: 4. Castle of Bricquebec.]

At Sottevast we took the omnibus for Bricquebec, which lies nearly five
miles from the station. Its ruined castle, dating from the end of the
fourteenth century, with its lofty octagonal donjon, nearly a hundred feet
high, standing on a high "motte" or artificial mound, has a most imposing
appearance. Bricquebec, the most considerable demesne of the Cotentins,
was taken by King Henry V. from the Sire d’Estouteville, who had so
gallantly defended Mont St. Michel against him. Henry gave Bricquebec to
William de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk, the ill-fated favourite of Queen
Margaret of Anjou, and he, on being taken prisoner by the French, sold it,
to raise the money for his ransom, to Sir Bertie Entwistle, who fought at
Agincourt, and who held it till the battle of Formigny expelled the
English from Normandy, and Sir Bertie fell at St. Albans in the
Lancastrian cause. The inn, "Hôtel du Vieux Château," is within the
enclosure of the ruins—a most dilapidated old place; our dirty
ill-furnished room next to a hayloft, the horses passing through the house
to the stable, and every kind of litter and rubbish accumulated under the
windows. Yet in the room we occupied had once slept our gracious Sovereign
Queen Victoria. On a placard is inscribed, "Chambre de la famille royale
d’Angleterre, 18 Août 1857;" and below stairs is another, setting forth,
"S. M. la Reine d’Angleterre, le Prince Albert, les Princesses Royale et
Alice, le Prince Alfred, sont descendus à l’hôtel du Vieux Château le 10
Août 1857." About a mile from Bricquebec is a Trappist convent; but we
were not allowed admission beyond the parlour, where is sold a quantity of
cutlery, not made—as we were given to understand when offered for sale—by
the monks.

Regaining the railroad, we went on to Valognes, which has been styled the
St. Germain of Normandy; a dull town, with worn-out houses, occupied by
worn-out aristocratic families. The grass grows in the streets.

Here we left the rail and proceeded to Saint Sauveur-le-Vicomte. On
entering the town, the castle is on the right of the road, the Abbey
church on the left. The large demesne of Saint Sauveur-le-Vicomte passed
by marriage into the Harcourt family, and belonged, in the time of Edward
III., to Geoffrey d’Harcourt, whose fortress was one of the most
formidable in Normandy. Banished from France, he went over to England and
persuaded Edward III. to make a descent upon Normandy instead of Gascony,
assuring him he would find rich towns and fair castles without any means
of defence, and that his people would gain wealth enough to suffice them
for twenty years to come. The King landed at La Hogue, or Saint
Vaast-la-Hogue, as it is now called, where he knighted the Prince of Wales
and made Warwick and Harcourt marshals of his army. They advanced in three
divisions—the King and the Prince in the centre, the two marshals on the
right and left—ravaging all before them, and not stopping in their
victorious course till the great victory at Crecy. Harcourt subsequently
met a traitor’s fate. A force was sent against him, his army was routed,
and, preferring death to being taken, he fought most valiantly until he
was struck to the ground by French lances, when some men-at-arms
dispatched him with their swords. He had sold the reversion of his castle
to King Edward III., to whom it was confirmed by the treaty of Bretigny.
Edward bestowed the barony upon that pride of English chivalry, Sir John
Chandos, in recompense for his great services in the wars. The square
donjon and inner gate were built by Chandos. The castle is well preserved,
and is now used as a hospice for orphans and aged women. The rooms are
kept beautifully clean, and on a tablet in one of the corridors is written
up "Dortoirs restaurés par la munificence de M. le Comte Georges
d’Harcourt en mémoire de ses illustres ayeux, anciens Seigneurs de ce
château, en 1838."

The Benedictine convent also belonged to the Harcourts until the revolt of
Geoffrey. It is now the property of the Sœurs de la Miséricorde, who have
rebuilt the fine Abbey church according to its former model. Originally
built in the eleventh century, it was partly burnt in the fourteenth, and
reconstructed in the fifteenth. The columns and arches of the nave are of
the first period; the form of the church is a Latin cross, having an apse
ornamented with a double row of lancet windows, richly sculptured. The
sculptures are all executed by an untaught workman of the place, who died
before he had completed the pulpit. To collect the funds necessary for the
undertaking, the foundress travelled throughout Europe. Her tomb is in the
church. "Julie Françoise Catherine Postel, née à Barfleur, 1756. Sœur
Marie Madelaine, Fondatrice et première Superieure Générale de l’Institut
des Ecoles Chrétiennes de la Miséricorde, morte en odeur de Sainteté 16
Juillet 1846, à l’Abbaye de St. Sauveur-le-Vicomte." The badge of the
sisterhood is a cross inscribed with their motto "L’obéissance jusqu’à la
mort." Some of the party made an attempt at fishing in the little river
Douve, but without success, though rewarded for their walk by a pretty
view of the apse of the Abbey church, with its delicately-sculptured
lancet windows, from the opposite side of the river.

[Illustration: 5. L’OBÉISSANCE JUSQU’À LA MORT.]

We hired a private carriage (_voiture à volonté_) to Périers. After
passing over a hilly road we crossed a marsh which extends from Carentan
to the sea, and reached a town called La Haye-du-Puits—a singular name
derived from the custom in the middle ages of surrounding the "motte" or
enclosure upon which the donjon was built, with a wooden palisade, or
sometimes with a thick hedge formed of thorns and branches of trees
interlaced: hence La Haye-du-Puits, La Haye-Pesnel, and others. Here is a
Norman church restored: all the capitals of the columns are of the same
pattern.

The Abbey church at Lessay, where next we stopped, is of the twelfth
century, and considered, with Coutances and Périers, to be the finest
examples of Romanesque in the Cotentin. The arches are round, and all the
architecture of the church, which has been restored, is of the same
period. The Abbey of Lessay had transmarine jurisdiction and the right of
presentation to the Priory of Boxgrove and other endowments in the diocese
of Chichester. The Abbey house, now inhabited, is a fine modernised
habitation. At Lessay we saw the manner of washing linen practised in many
places throughout Normandy and Brittany. Being first roughly washed in the
river, the clothes are placed in layers in a large cask, with a bunghole
at the bottom, alternately with wood-ashes, and on the top is laid a piece
of coarse sacking. Boiling water is poured over the top, which, as it
passes through the linen, absorbs the soda of the ashes, escaping at the
bottom and carrying away with it all impurities. This process is repeated
several times till the clothes are perfectly white.

Throughout this part of the country the mistletoe hangs as the sign of a
cabaret; and if cider is sold, some apples are fastened to the bush. On
the road to Périers we crossed a "lande" or common, where we met numerous
carts carrying sea sand, here used to mix with the heavy soil as manure.

At Périers we slept at the little inn "La Croix Blanche," kept by Madame
Casimir, the widow of a Polish officer, well known for her eccentricity
and good cuisine. The entrance to the apartments in the inns is generally
through the kitchen; in many the box bedstead (_lit clos_) stands in the
corner near the fire, Breton fashion. On a barber’s shop we saw painted up
"Içi l’on rajeunit." The church has a tall spire, and is one of the finest
religious edifices in this part of Normandy—painted windows, the capitals
of the columns of varied foliage, and fine groined clustered arches.

We had a most perilous drive to Coutances, the coachman, "en ribote,"
drove us at a fearful pace, and we were thankful when we arrived in
safety. The Norman cathedral is beautiful—so simple, so pure, and elegant;
its tall towers terminating in spires; and the chapels being separated by
open mullioned arches, great lightness is given to the interior. The
Bishop of Coutances was officiating at the consecration of some stones for
a new pavement; each flag was rubbed over and anointed with oil.

[Illustration: 6. Coutances Cathedral.]

The church of St. Pierre has a handsome square tower, pierced gallery, and
apse with a double row of columns. In the church of St. Nicholas we
particularly noticed the fine bosses of the groined arches in the chancel.
The fonts hereabouts have the serpent with the apple, and the cross carved
upon the cover. The church was filled with pots of flowers they were
employed in removing, for the day before had been the Fête of St. Fiacre,
the patron of gardeners. St. Fiacre, or Fiaker, was an Irish monk of the
seventh century, who, according to tradition, obtained from the Bishop of
Meaux a grant of as much ground out of the forest as he could dig a trench
round in one day’s labour, for the purpose of making a garden and
cultivating vegetables for travellers. Long time after, the peasants would
show the ditch ten times longer than was expected, and relate how, when
the Irishman took his stick to trace a line upon the soil, the earth dug
itself under the point of the stick, while the forest trees fell right and
left to save him the trouble of cutting them down. Outside the town are
the remains of an aqueduct, with ivy-covered arches, said to be the work
of the middle ages. It is a good point of view for sketching the
cathedral, and the public gardens also command a fine prospect.

The approach to Granville is by a sharp descent. The town is built at the
foot of a rocky promontory, the streets rising in terraces cut in the
rock, on the top of which are the citadel and the church on the
culminating point. It has been styled a Gibraltar in miniature. A fort was
built here by Lord Scales, who commanded the English forces in the
Cotentin in the time of Henry VI., and it was taken by surprise by
Estouteville, the hero of Saint Michel. The church is cruciform in plan,
the arms of the cross being equal. The axis of the nave is inclined to the
left, as we afterwards observed that of the Creizker at St. Pol de Léon.
It has been lately restored, and the painted windows are offerings of the
different families of the town. The view from the top of the "Roc" is very
extensive, including the Chausey islands and Jersey. A steamer runs twice
a week to St. Helier. A deep cutting in the rocks opens on the beach,
where the bathing-machines are stationed—curious little canvas huts
carried upon poles, like sedan chairs. The tide here rises 45 feet. It was
to Granville the Vendean army, commanded by La Rochejacquelin, appointed
generalissimo at twenty-two, marched after their fatal step of crossing
the Loire, expecting to make a junction with the English; but Granville
was vigorously defended, contrary winds retarded the arrival of the
English fleet, and the retreat from the coast, where it might have been
supported by the English, was the ruin of the Royalist army. Of the 80,000
who crossed the Loire sixty days before, only 8000 remained to make their
last heroic resistance at Savenay, which ended the great Vendean war. A
few months after, the hero of this noble army, the chivalrous Henri de la
Rochejacquelin, fell from the bullet of a soldier whose life he had
spared(1):—


    “Lorsqu’en des jours trop malheureux
    Pâlissait l’astre de la France;
    Quand les cœurs les plus valeureux
    Semblaient perdre toute espérance,

    L’antique honneur, la sainte foi,
    Brillèrent dans cette contrée;
    Mourir pour son Dieu, pour son roi,
    Fut le serment de la Vendée.”


The costume of the Granville women is singular. They wear long black
cloaks or mantles, edged with a frill of the same material, and on their
heads a kind of bandeau or under-cap, turned up at the ears, surmounted by
a white handkerchief, folded square and placed horizontally upon the head,
like the plinth of a Grecian capital.

We drove to St. Pair, a small watering-place about two miles from
Granville, nicely situated in a little sandy bay. In the middle of the
church is the monumental tomb of St. Pair and another saint (St. Gault);
their effigies, with mitre and crozier, side by side.

Next day we had a beautiful drive to Avranches. A winding road leads up to
the town, which is situated on an elevated plateau, commanding a view of
Brittany on one side and of Normandy on the other—a broad expanse of land
and sea, the former extending over the valley of the Sée, with its network
of small streams interlacing each other; Mont St. Michel appears in the
distance. The finest view is from the Botanic gardens. The cathedral of
Avranches fell at the end of the last century, but a model of it is
preserved in the museum. One stone remains, carefully surrounded by
massive chains, with an inscription recording that it was the spot where
Henry II. received absolution for the murder of Thomas à Becket:—"Sur
cette pierre, içi à la porte de la cathédrale d’Avranches, après le
meurtre de Thomas Becket, Archévêque de Cantorbéry, Henri II., roi
d’Angleterre, duc de Normandie, reçut à genoux, des légats du pape,
l’absolution apostolique, le dimanche xxii Mai, 1172." The cemetery is at
the foot of the hill; the tombs are of granite, with the letters in
relief: among them we read many well-known English names.

At Pontorson we could find no remains of the castle of Du Guesclin, which
was nearly surprised by the English under a captain named Felton, during
the absence of Du Guesclin, with the connivance of the "chambrières" of
the Lady Typhaine, his wife. Already their scaling-ladders were against
the wall, when Juliana, Du Guesclin’s sister, agitated by a troublous
dream, awoke suddenly, seized a sword, rushed to the window, and upset
three English who were coming up the ladder, and they were killed by the
fall. The enemy retired. Next morning Du Guesclin, on his return to
Pontorson, met Felton and his party, attacked them, and took them
prisoners. When Typhaine saw Felton, she tauntingly exclaimed, "Comment,
brave Felton, vous voilà encore! C’est trop pour un homme de cœur comme
vous d’être battu, dans une intervalle de douze heures, une fois par la
sœur, une autre par le frère." Du Guesclin caused the faithless
"chambrières" to be sewed up in sacks and flung into the river.

John IV. Duke of Brittany conferred upon Du Guesclin the government of
Pontorson, of which territory he was personally lord, by right of his
mother. It was here he often resided, and here he celebrated being made
Constable of France by King Charles V., and fraternised with Olivier de
Clisson, agreeing to afford each other mutual help—"contre tous ceux qui
peuvent vivre et mourir." The granite church was founded by Duke Robert,
father of the Conqueror.

Pontorson is the most convenient place for visiting Mont St. Michel. Our
drive thither was by the banks of the river Couësnon, along a sandy road,
bordered on each side by hedges of tamarisks, which leads to the "Grève,"
or sands, which have to be crossed to reach the Mount, a distance of
rather more than a mile. We met numbers of bare-legged half-clad women and
children, bringing in the produce of their fishing, shrimps and cockles
tied up in nets, and peasants with carts carrying in sea sand for dressing
the land. The appearance of Mont St. Michel is very imposing, a cone of
granite encircled by the sea. Above rises the fortress, surmounted by the
church, a height of 400 feet from the top to the water. Below, at the foot
of the Mount, picturesquely situated on an insulated rock, is the little
chapel of St. Aubert, Bishop of Avranches, the founder of St. Michel. The
Mount has been the residence of many of our English princes. Matilda,
queen of the Conqueror, visited St. Michel.  It was here her son Henry I.,
then only Count of the Cotentin, was blockaded by his brothers William and
Robert, and obliged to surrender. Here Henry II. held his court, and, when
Henry V. overran Normandy, St. Michel was the only fortress that held out
against him, under its gallant defender Louis d’Estouteville of
Bricquebec. Two cannons, now at the entrance of the castle, are said to
have been taken from the English at the siege. Normandy was always the
scene of the quarrels between the English Norman princes, of the disputes
between the sons of the Conqueror, between Stephen of Blois and Henry of
Anjou, and again of those between Henry II. and his sons, and of Richard
and his brother John, to the latter of whom the Normans were attached.

Seven French kings have made pilgrimages to St. Michel; and here Louis XI.
instituted the order of knighthood, called in honour of the archangel St.
Michael, but afterwards styled the order of the Coquille, from the
cockleshells that formed the collar of the knights, and the golden
cockle-shells that bordered their mantles. The motto of the order was the
old motto of the Mount, "Immensi tremor Oceani" (the trembling of the
immeasurable ocean), being an allusion to the popular belief that when the
English approached St. Michel, the guardian archangel of the Mount raised
a tempest to drive the enemy’s vessels upon the rocks. This belief may be
traced back to the time when the island was occupied by the Druid
priestesses, who were supposed to have the power of raising storms and
stilling them by their magic arrows of gold.

We ascended by the flight of steps to the "Merveille," as the convent
building is called, and well it deserves its name, from its elegance, its
boldness, and its position, with a wall of above one hundred feet high,
and of immense length, rising from the rock and supported by fifteen
buttresses, and divided into three stories. In every point of view it is
one of the most remarkable edifices of the thirteenth century. The salle
des chevaliers, where the chapters of the knights were held, is a fine
hall, with three rows of columns, and above it are the beautiful Gothic
cloisters. The "préau" or court is surrounded by a double row of pointed
arches, interlacing each other, and filled in with flowered spandrils and
cornices, carved with the greatest delicacy and endless variety. The
church which crowns the building is supported by a circle of enormous
columns in the crypt beneath, called the Souterrain des Gros Piliers: it
has been entirely restored, and the carvings are the work of the prisoners
who were confined here. From one of the doors we went out to the platform
or terrace called Beauregard, from the beauty of its prospect, or
sometimes Sault Gautier, from a prisoner of that name, who three times
threw himself off the platform to commit suicide. The view from hence is
most extensive, the whole circuit of the bay extending to the west as far
as Cancale. In 1203 St. Michel became a royal demesne, and the buildings
were entirely reconstructed by the Abbot Jourdan, assisted by Philip
Augustus; and the works were continued by his successors to 1260.

Beneath and adjacent to the Mount, is the little island of La Tombeleine
or tombeau d’-Helène, so called from a young lady of that name, who unable
to accompany her lover knight when he left for England with the Conqueror,
as soon as the vessel which carried him away disappeared from her sight,
laid down on the shore and died. Every year, on the anniversary of her
death, the fishermen will tell you they see a dove seated upon the
Tombeleine rock, and remain there till morning’s dawn.

The guide pointed out to us the window of St. Michel, from which Barbès
tried to escape by means of a cord made of his sheets cut into strips and
tied together; but the line was too short, and he fell upon the rock and
was taken up much hurt. The provisions for the fortress are brought in up
an inclined plane, and raised by means of a tread-wheel, formerly worked
by the prisoners. We were conducted to the spot where stood, with bars
only three inches apart, the iron cage in which so many celebrities were
immured. Dubourg, the Dutch journalist, who wrote against Louis XIV., died
within its bars, devoured, it is said, by the rats. In 1777, the Comte
d’Artois (afterwards Charles X.) desired it should be destroyed, but his
wishes were disregarded. His cousin, the Duc de Chartres (afterwards Louis
Philippe), with his brother and sister, and Madame de Genlis, subsequently
visited the Mount. All exclaimed against the iron cage, and when they
heard that the Comte d’Artois had ordered its destruction, they sent for
hatchets, and the Duc de Chartres gave the first blow towards its
demolition; but the fine old fortress is no longer desecrated as a prison.
The Emperor has restored it to its original position, and it is now placed
under the control of the Bishop of Coutances, and is used as an asylum for
orphans under the care of a few Sisters.

Next morning we crossed the boundary between Normandy and Brittany, the
river Couësnon, which has often changed its course, once, it is said,
running beyond St. Michel—hence the popular saying—


    “Le Couësnon par sa folie
    A mis le Mont en Normandie.”


We had a beautiful drive to Dol or Dol-de-Bretagne, as it is styled, to
distinguish it from the fortress of the same name in the Jura, upon the
taking of which Madame de Sevigné writes in her letters with so much
enthusiasm. We were now fairly in Brittany, which though geographically
part of France still remains very distinct, owing to the Celtic origin of
its inhabitants. Brittany consists of five departments; but it is in Lower
Brittany alone, comprised in the departments of Finistère, Morbihan, and
the Côtes-du-Nord, that the true Celtic race, its language, names,
features, costumes, and superstitions are to be found.

This is the true Brittany, the Bretagne Bretonnante of Froissart, who
calls the eastern part of the province, La Bretagne Douce, because the
French language is spoken there. Dol was the great bulwark of Brittany
against Normandy; the wall and moat surrounding the town, with some of the
towers, still remain. Many of the houses are built, as the French term it,
"en colombage" that is, with the upper story projecting some fifteen feet
over the ground-floor, forming a gallery or porch supported by oak posts
or columns with sculptured capitals of the thirteenth century. The inn we
occupied had one of these porches: Madame Barbot, our landlady, and her
maid, were both dressed in Breton costume, with lace-trimmed embroidered
caps and aprons of fine muslin, clear-starched and ironed with a
perfection which the most accomplished "blanchisseuse du fin" of Paris
would find it difficult to surpass. The people here have the Breton
physiognomy, sharp black eyes, short roundi faces and brown freckled
complexions, a contrast to the blue eyes, long oval faces, and bright
tints of their Norman neighbours.

[Illustration: 7. Pilaster and Cornice from the Tomb of Bishop James,
Cathedral, Dol.]

The principal building at Dol is the Cathedral, built of grey granite, in
the style of many of our English churches. On the south is the "porte
episcopale," a large projecting porch with mullioned sides, and, near it,
a smaller porch with a central column semée of hearts, the "armes
parlantes" of Bishop Cœuret who built it. The clustered columns of the
nave, consist of a central pillar surrounded by four others running up to
the roof, so slender and delicate that they are united to the centre by
small bars of iron. Over the high altar is an enormous wooden crozier,
carved and gilt, from which the Host is suspended. A beautiful Renaissance
tomb on the north side of the cathedral was raised in 1507 to the memory
of Bishop James, who died three years before. The sculpture is much
mutilated, but the arabesques are most delicately and elegantly chiselled.
It is supposed to be the work of Jean Just of Tours, sculptor of the
magnificent tomb of Louis XII. and Anne of Brittany, erected at St. Denis
by order of Francis I.

[Illustration: 8. Front of the Tomb of Bishop James, Cathedral, Dol.]

The chapel of St. Samson, patron saint of the cathedral, has been
restored. Mad people were brought here for cure, and placed in a recess
which still remains; the opening was covered over by an iron grating. Dol
was formerly the ecclesiastical metropolis of Brittany; the see was
founded by Samson, one of those British monks, who, with a whole
population of men and women, emigrated from England to escape the Saxon
slavery. They crossed the Channel in barks made of skins sewn together,
singing, as they went, the Lamentations of the Psalmist. This emigration
lasted more than a century (from 450 to 550), and poured a Christian
population into a Celtic country where paganism was longest preserved. St.
Samson and his six suffragans—all monks, missionaries, and bishops, like
himself—were called the "Seven Saints of Brittany;" St. Samson was what
was termed an "evêque portatif," meaning a bishop without a diocese, until
he founded that of Dol. Telio, also a British monk, with the assistance of
St. Samson, planted near Dol an orchard three miles in length, and to him
is attributed the first introduction of the apple-tree into Brittany.
Wherever the monks went, they cultivated the soil; all had in their mouths
the words of the Apostle, "If any would not work, neither should he eat."
The people admired the industry of the new comers, and, from admiration
they passed to imitation; the peasants joined the monks in tilling the
ground, and even the brigands became agriculturists. "The Cross and the
plough, labour and prayer," was the motto of these early missionaries.


    “Sûr que le Ciel maudit l’arbre stérile,
    Le sage passe en opérant le bien:
    Vivre et mourir à l’univers utile,
    C’est la devise et l’esprit du chrétien.”
                    _Chants de Piété_, MALO DE GARABY.


The monks of Dol were great bee-farmers, as we learn from an anecdote told
by Count Montalembert in his ’Moines de l’Occident.’ One day when St.
Samson of Dol and St. Germain, Bishop of Paris, were conversing on the
respective merits of their monasteries, St. Samson said that his monks
were such good and careful preservers of their bees that, besides the
honey which they yielded in abundance, they furnished more wax than was
used in the churches during the year, but that, their climate not being
fit for the growth of vines, they had great scarcity of wine. Upon hearing
this, St. Germain replied, "We, on the contrary, produce more wine than we
can consume, but we have to buy wax; so, if you will furnish us with wax,
we will give you a tenth of our wine." Samson accepted the offer, and the
mutual arrangement was continued during the lives of the two saints.

The marshy country round Dol has been formerly inundated by the sea; it is
now reclaimed and protected by a dyke twenty-two miles long, extending
from Pontorson to Chateauneuf. The whole tract is full of buried wood, a
submerged forest, which the people dig up, and use for furniture. It is
black, like the Irish bog-oak. They call it "couëron." In the midst of
this plain rises a mamelon or insulated granite rock, resembling in form
Mont St. Michel, called the Mont Dol. On the top is the little chapel of
Notre Dame de l’Espérance, upon which was formerly a telegraph, and near
it is a column surmounted by a colossal statue of Our Lady. Mont Dol was a
consecrated place of the Druids. The guides showed us a spring which never
dries, and also a rock upon which they point out the print of the foot of
the demon, left by him when wrestling with St. Michael. We met the curé,
who gave us a medal of the church, and told us the principal points in the
view before us, extending over the whole Bay of Cancale.

[Illustration: 9. Menhir, near Dol.]

On our way back to Dol, we walked to a cornfield, in the midst of it
stands a menhir(2) (they are so termed from the Breton _mœn_, stone, and
_hir_, long), called the "Pierre du champ dolant," a shaft of gray
granite, about thirty feet high, and said to measure fifteen more
underground. On the top is a cross. The first preachers of Christianity,
unable to uproot the veneration for the menhirs, surmounted them with the
cross, preserving the worship but changing the symbol. In the same manner,
they did not attempt to destroy the veneration for sacred groves and
fountains, but transferred to new saints the miracles of times past.

We drove through a pretty country to see the Château of Combourg, where
Chateaubriand passed his early days. It is a fine square castle of the
fifteenth century, with massive towers at each corner, surrounded by
trees, and standing proudly over the village below. The drawbridge has
been replaced by a modern "perron" or flight of stone steps, which leads
to the entrance hall. The salle d’honneur looks over a lake. We were taken
into his little melancholy room which Chateaubriand so well describes.

[Illustration: 10. Château of Combourg.]

  "La fenêtre de mon donjon s’ouvrait sur le cour intérieure; le jour,
  j’avais en perspective les créneaux de la courtine opposeé, où
  végétaient des scolopendres et croissait un prunier sauvage. Quelques
  martinets, qui, durant l’été, s’enfonçaient en criant dans les trous des
  murs, étaient mes seuls compagnons. La nuit je n’apercevais qu’un petit
  morceau du ciel et quelques étoiles. Lorsque la lune brillait et qu’elle
  s’abaissait à l’occident, j’en étais averti par ses rayons, qui venaient
  à mon lit au travers des carreaux losangés de la fenêtre. Des chouettes
  voletant d’un tour à l’autre, passant et repassant entre la lune et moi,
  dessinaient sur mes rideaux l’ombre mobile de leurs ailes."

The bed on which Chateaubriand died has been brought from Paris and placed
in the room.

[Illustration: 11. Peasant Girl of Cancale.]

The next morning we left Dol for Cancale, of such world-wide celebrity for
its oysters. We left the railway at La Gouesnière, five miles and a half
from Cancale, to which we proceeded by the mail cart. It requires to
travel in Brittany to form any notion of the detestable vehicles, whether
public or "voitures à volonté," in which travellers in this country are
condemned to ride. Uncleaned, unpainted, creaking, jolting machines—as
fully tenanted with every kind of insect annoyance, as if one were
travelling in a hen-house. The horses are good, hardy, enduring little
animals, which go their thirty to fifty miles a day without any distress
either to themselves or the traveller. The Breton drivers are gentle and
kind, making more use of their voices than of their whips in urging on
their horses. The town of Cancale is situated on the heights, a
precipitous descent leading to the village below, called La Houle, which
lines the edge of the shore, and is occupied mostly by fishermen. This is
the port, and here are the pier and the lighthouse, and also a comfortable
inn to which the people of St. Malo resort in large parties, an omnibus
running thence daily. The panoramic view of the bay of Cancale is
beautiful and most extensive, one vast crescent of sand some ten square
leagues in extent, stretching from the picturesque rocks of Cancale to
Granville, its most northern point, and including Mont Dol, Mont St.
Michel, and Avranches.  The western side is lined with huts and windmills,
but the water is so shallow that no boat can land. Having walked round the
little hurdled-in oyster parks, numbering, we were told, about 600, and
made ourselves very wet and dirty, though we borrowed sabots to enable us
to wade through the mud, we returned to the inn, and next day reached St.
Malo.

[Illustration: 12. Tomb of Chateaubriand, and View of St. Malo.]

St. Malo stands on a small granite island at the mouth of the Rance,
connected, by a causeway called "Le Sillon," with the mainland. The space
it occupies is so small, that castle, churches, streets, and towers are
all crowded together, and the whole is nearly surrounded by a sea wall,
which makes the town appear as if rising straight out of the ocean.
Towards the sea, the bay is encircled with groups of craggy islets, many
surmounted by forts, bristling up as the tide recedes, in every direction.
Conspicuous among these island rocks is that called the Grand Bé, chosen
by Chateaubriand for his last resting-place, as he wished to be buried
near the place of his birth. Singularly enough the name of the island "Bé"
signifies a tomb. On his request being granted, Chateaubriand wrote to the
Mayor of St. Malo.

  "Enfin, Monsieur, j’aurai un tombeau, et je vous le devrai, ainsi qu’à
  mes bienveillants compatriotes. Vous savez, Monsieur, que je ne veux que
  quelques pieds de sable, une pierre de rivage sans ornement et sans
  inscription, une simple croix de fer, et une petite grille pour empêcher
  les animaux de me deterrer. La croix dira que l’homme réposant à ses
  pieds était un Chrétien; cela suffit à ma mémoire."

At low water, the island is accessible on foot. The tomb consists of a
plain stone without inscription, surmounted by a granite cross, and is
surrounded by an iron railing. It is placed on the edge of a rock, and is
the resort of crowds of pilgrims.


  "La vaste mer murmure autour de son cercueil."


The Hôtel de France is the house where Chateaubriand’s family lived, and
the room he occupied is filled with various memorials of him. The
Chateaubriand arms hang upon the wall. They were given by St. Louis to an
ancestor who was wounded and taken prisoner at the battle of Massoura. The
King changed the peacock’s plumes, previously borne by the family, to
fleurs de lys on a field gules, with the proud motto "Mon sang teint les
bannières de France." The tides here rise to between forty and fifty feet
above low-water mark, so that the harbour is dry at low water, and is
crossed on foot to go to St. Servan, the suburb on the opposite side.

We walked round the ramparts and were shown the little gate down which
were sent every night the watch dogs of St. Malo, "chiens Anglais qui
s’appelent dogues." Shut up during the day, they were let out at ten at
night, and recalled in the morning to the sound of a copper trumpet, by
their keeper, styled the "chiennetier." Enactments were made for their
maintenance, called the "droit de chiennage." When let loose at night, a
warning bell was rung to apprise the inhabitants, as they tore the legs of
every one they met. Hence it used to be said "Il a été à St. Malo, les
chiens lui ont rongé les mollets." In 1770, a naval officer trying to
force a passage was attacked by a troop of these dogs prowling between St.
Malo and St. Servan; his sword was useless as defence, and, exhausted, in
despair he threw himself into the sea, but here he was followed by the
dogs and torn to pieces. A few days after they were all destroyed by the
municipality, and the custom of keeping them has been since discontinued.
In an old map of St. Malo, or "Saint Malo de l’isle," as it was then
styled, preserved in the Imperial Library at Paris, is laid down, near the
"Sillon" a little sentry-box marked, "Corps-de-garde de nuit pour les
chiens," and again, near the "Tour de la grande Porte," is the "Pont aux
chiens." The date of the map is 1662. The arms of St. Malo till the
seventeenth century were, on a field argent, a mastiff gules.

The castle dates principally from the Queen-Duchess Anne, and one of its
massive towers, the "Qui qu’en grogne" is a memorial of her dauntless
spirit. Twice crowned Queen of France, she was the only one of her line
worthy of the ducal crown. The Bishop of St. Malo was temporal lord of the
town, and maintained he held it direct from the Pope, as a fief of the
Church, because it was built upon land where a convent formerly stood; and
consequently the Duke of Brittany had no authority over it, either
spiritual or temporal. Duke John V. began to build a castle, but the
Bishop opposed himself to its construction, and the contest lasted on
until the time of the Queen-Duchess Anne, who, in defiance of the Bishop,
and to shew that she was and always would be sovereign of St. Malo,
finished the fortress and caused the lofty inscription to be placed in
raised letters upon the great tower: "Qui qu’en grogne, ainsi sera, c’est
mon plaisir;"—so runs the legend, but unfortunately a similar story is
told of Louis II., Duke of Bourbon.

On the opposite side of the mouth of the Rance is Dinard, lately become a
favourite watering-place; it has good sands, and houses and villas are
rapidly rising up in every direction, and covering its granite hills.

The prettiest route to Dinan is by the little steamer which ascends the
Rance, a lovely voyage, occupying about two hours. The banks one mixture
of rocks, valleys, and verdure; the river now expanding into the width of
a lake, now narrowing between its forest-clothed sides. After passing
through a lock, and, winding our way through a narrow pass of rocky crags,
we reached the bridge of Dinan; above us, the gigantic granite viaduct
stretched across the valley, the town, with its feudal walls and castle,
perched on its rocky heights over the river.

In the Grande Place is a miserable statue of Du Guesclin, who looks more
like a wandering minstrel than the hero of Brittany and Constable of
France. His life forms quite an historic romance. His future greatness was
foretold by a prophetess; his wife, the Lady Tiphaine, was herself a
fairy; his battles resemble those of the giants of old. Du Guesclin was
born at Broons, and was the eldest of ten children and of great trouble to
his parents. One day his mother dreamt she was in possession of a casket,
containing portraits of herself and her lord, and on one side were set
nine precious stones of lustrous beauty encircling one rough unpolished
pebble. In her dream she carried the casket to a lapidary, and asked him
to take out the rough stone as unworthy of such goodly company; but he
advised her to allow it to remain, and subsequently it shone forth more
brilliantly than the precious gems with which it was surrounded. The after
superiority of Bertrand over the other nine children explained the dream.

It was in this "Place," where his statue now stands, the celebrated duel
took place between Du Guesclin and an English knight, called by the Breton
chroniclers Thomas of Cantorbéry. Dinan was at that time closely besieged
by the Duke of Lancaster (1359), with the young Count de Montfort, and
defended by Du Guesclin. A truce of forty days had been agreed upon,
before the expiration of which Oliver, brother of Du Guesclin, rode out
unarmed beyond the city walls, and was made prisoner by Thomas of
Cantorbéry, who demanded a ransom of 1000 florins. On this news reaching
Du Guesclin, he immediately repaired to the English camp, where he found
the Duke of Lancaster playing chess with Sir John Chandos. They received
him most cordially, and agreed that the dispute should be settled by a
combat within the walls, the Duke of Lancaster consenting to preside.
Victory declared in favour of Du Guesclin, who would have cut off the head
of his adversary, had not the Duke of Lancaster interceded for his life.
Cantorbéry was dragged upon a hurdle out of the lists, and condemned to
pay 1000 florins to Oliver; his horse and armour were given to Bertrand,
and the felon knight expelled the English army.

We drove to see the Castle of Montafilant, one of the apanages of the
Rohan family, which passed with many others to the unfortunate Gilles de
Bretagne, by his marriage with the heiress Françoise de Dinan. The castle
is approached by a steep winding path, leading to the plateau upon which
it stands. Before the use of firearms, its position rendered it
impregnable. Of its seven towers, two only remain.

The story of Gilles de Bretagne forms the subject of a romance by the
Vicomte Walsh. Though his conduct was not free from blame, his long
captivity and tragic end have rendered this unfortunate prince an object
of pity to posterity. Third son of Duke John V., he was reared with Henry
VI. of England, and personally attached to the English; but he never was
in league with England against his own country, and his uncle the
Constable Richemont regarded him as the honour and hope of his house. His
wife Françoise was the most beautiful and accomplished woman of her time,
the "perle de noblesse, de gentilesse, et de savoir;" and moreover
possessed of the rich inheritance of her uncle Bertrand de Dinan, of the
Montafilant branch. She had been betrothed from her infancy to the Sire de
Gavre, son of Guy, Comte de Laval; but her father died when she was only
eight years old, and Gilles de Bretagne carried her off by force.
Dissatisfied with his paternal inheritance, the lordship of Champtocé, he
retired to Guildo, one of the châteaux of Françoise’s dower, where he
passed his time in company with his English archers. His withdrawal from
court was represented to Duke Francis as the beginning of a revolt, by
Arthur de Montauban, his bitterest enemy and a great favourite of the
Duke. Gilles neglected his young wife, and she is reported, in an
unguarded moment, to have said to Montauban, she would marry him "if her
husband were to die." Duke Francis was determined to get rid of his
brother, and Charles VII. was persuaded to assist him in his vile design.
The King arrested Gilles on the charge of high treason, as being in
correspondence with the English; and, in proof of the charge, his enemies
produced forged letters from the King of England compromising the loyalty
of Gilles. Charles gave him over to his brother for punishment. In vain
were Gilles’s supplications to the Duke, or the entreaties of the
Constable, who went to Dinan and knelt to Francis to beg for the pardon of
his brother. Equally fruitless his being acquitted at Rédon, from there
being no proof of his guilt. The unfortunate Gilles was dragged from
prison to prison, and consigned to keepers destitute of every feeling of
humanity.  Montauban, an Italian by descent (his mother was a Visconti),
sent for poison from Lombardy, and administered in his soup a strong dose,
which the good constitution of Gilles enabled him to resist. Starvation
was then tried, and the wretched Gilles would stand at his prison window,
calling on the passers by to give him bread: "Du pain, du pain pour
l’amour de Dieu," but no one ventured to relieve him. At last, a poor
woman dared to give him food, and placed a loaf on the edge of his grated
window, continuing for six months to share with him in secret her scanty
meal of black bread. Seeing that he could hold out no longer and that his
death was determined upon, Gilles begged the woman would fetch him a
minister of religion, that he might confess before he died. By stealth she
brought him a Cordelier monk, who confessed him across the bars of his
prison, and Gilles adjured him to seek his brother and acquaint him with
his pitiable condition. The monk started on his errand, but in the mean
time the gaolers of Gilles determined on putting an end to his life. They
twisted a cloth round his neck, and smothered him between two mattresses
while he slept. The monks of Bosquen carried his body to their abbey for
interment, and the wooden effigy that was placed over his grave is still
preserved in the Museum at St. Brieuc. The monk who had received Gilles’s
confession went in quest of Duke Francis, who, on hearing of his brother’s
death when at Avranches, had left for Saint Michel. The monk met him on
the Grève, and cited him in the name of his brother "de la part du Messire
Gilles" to appear within fifty days at the tribunal of Heaven to answer
for his murder. The menace was realised. Duke Francis died within the
appointed time, struck with remorse, and terrified at the summons of the
Cordelier. The monk was never seen again. On the death of Gilles, the Duke
of Brittany himself wished to marry Françoise, but she would not listen to
his proposals; and at last was obliged, in order to recover her liberty,
to marry the aged Comte de Laval, father of her betrothed, with whom she
lived peacefully thirty years, and had three sons. Duke Francis II.
appointed her to the charge of rearing his daughter Anne.

Arthur Montauban turned monk to avoid the vengeance of Duke Peter, brother
of Gilles, and eventually became Archbishop of Bordeaux. The Pope gave him
the Abbey of Rédon, but popular indignation prevented him from accepting
the appointment.

On our return from Montafilant we stopped to visit the Lunatic Asylum
(Asile des aliénés), called Les Bas Foins, kept by the brothers of
Saint-Jean-de-Dieu. There are six hundred inmates under the charge of
about sixty brethren. The buildings, with the chapel, are very handsome
and most complete in all the arrangements. Within the enclosure is a large
piece of land. The lunatics are employed in agricultural, garden, and
house occupations; they look very contented and happy. Visitors are not
allowed to speak to them. We omitted seeing the Croix du Saint Esprit, a
curiously sculptured Gothic granite cross of the fourteenth century, not
far from the asylum.

The castle of Dinan is now a prison. It was occupied by the Queen-Duchess
Anne, when on her way to a pilgrimage to Notre Dame-du-Folgoët, in
fulfilment of a vow made during the illness of Louis XII. In the chapel is
shewn a sculptured seat, still called the arm-chair of the Duchess Anne.
Within these walls were crammed, in the last century, about 2000 English
prisoners of war, many of whom fell victims to a contagious fever. From
the platform of the keep we had a magnificent view of the surrounding
country, extending to Mont Dol and the sea.

The church of St. Sauveur has a richly sculptured Romanesque portal. It
contains the heart of Du Guesclin, transferred from the church of the
Dominicans, where he desired it to be interred by the side of his wife
Tiphaine. His body was buried at St. Denis, in a tomb King Charles V.
caused to be made in his lifetime, and he left orders that on his death
his Constable should repose at his feet. On the dark-coloured monumental
stone now incrusted on the wall, are roughly sculptured his arms (an eagle
displayed charged with a cotice(3)), with a commemorative inscription in
gold letters:—


    “Cy: gist: le cueur: de
    Missire: bertram: du gueaquī
    en: son vivāt: conētiable de
    france: qui: trepassa: le: xiii^e
    jour: de: jullet: l’an: mil iii^e
    IIII^xx dont: son: corps: repos
    avecques: ceulx: des: Roys
    a sainct: denis en France.”


Above hangs a painting representing the Governor of Châteauneuf Randon,
laying the keys of the town upon the dead body of the Constable.(4)

[Illustration: 13. Effigy of Jean de Beaumanoir.]

Many of the streets of Dinan preserve the character of the Middle Ages,
the houses upon columns forming a kind of porch or covered way; and most
curious of all is the dirty, steep, narrow, winding street, called the Rue
de Jerzual, a ravine extending from the top of the town, in one pitch, to
the river’s edge. The Museum at the Mairie has an interesting collection
of tumulary slabs—recumbent figures taken from different churches and
abbeys, mostly from the Beaumanoir chapel of the Abbey of Lehon. There is
one of Jean de Beaumanoir, son of the hero of the "Combat des Trente,"
treacherously slain by his steward. He is represented in full armour, but
with his head bare, to indicate the manner of his death. The effigy of his
wife is also in complete armour, but on the belt that encircles her waist,
like those worn by the knights, is sculptured a wreath of roses. She was a
Du Guesclin by birth, and her feet repose upon an eagle, the bearing of
her house. The statue of Roland, Vicomte de Dinan, one of the nine great
Barons of Brittany in the twelfth century, is of gigantic proportions; the
warrior is clad from head to foot in chain mail, but he holds one of his
gauntlets in his hand. In the Museum is also a clock given to the city of
Dinan by the Duchess Anne, inscribed with the name of its maker and the
date of its construction: "1498, à Nantes par M. Hainzer de cette ville."
The ancient bronze standard measures (étalons) of Dinan are decorated with
the arms of the City, and Gothic inscriptions in relief, "Cart (quart) à
gros blé pour Dinan"—"Cart à fourmant (froment) pour Dinan"—and "Bouesceau
à scel (boisseau à sel) pour Dinan." Portraits of Du Guesclin and other
Breton worthies are in one of the rooms (Salle de l’Odéon). That of the
Constable answers to the description given of his appearance. He was low
in stature, with large Breton head, broad shoulders, long arms, and large
hands. His eyes were green, and his complexion swarthy: "la peau noire
comme un sanglier."

[Illustration: 14. Château of La Bellière.]

The drives round Dinan are endless in variety,(5) and all beautiful. We
took a carriage to see the Château of la Bellière, about five miles and a
half from Dinan, formerly the residence of Du Guesclin’s wife, the
celebrated Lady Tiphaine; her name answers probably to our English
Tiffany:—


    “William de Coningsby—
    Came out of Brittany
    With his wife Tiffany
    And her maid Manifas
    And his doggs Hardigras.”


[Illustration: 15. Chimney. Château of La Bellière.]

The Lady Tiphaine was heiress and daughter of the Vicomte de Bellière; so
deeply versed was she in astrology, she was called Tiphaine la Fée. During
her husband’s absence in Spain, she resided at Mont Saint Michel, having
chosen this insulated spot for the facilities it afforded her of studying
the stars. She gave Du Guesclin a calendar on vellum, containing verses at
the beginning of each month, pointing out the lucky and unlucky days; how
many she marked down as such, we know not. Tycho Brahe had thirty-two
fatal days in his calendar. Had Du Guesclin consulted this precious
volume, which is now preserved in the Library at Avranches, he would never
have risked his fortune by fighting the battle of Auray on the Feast of
St. Michel, one of the fatal days against which she specially warns him in
her book. We wished to have seen the room where she died, and where many
memorials of her are preserved; but the proprietor was at his déjeuner,
and would not grant us admittance, so we were forced to be content with
seeing the exterior of the house, a château of the end of the fourteenth
century. It stands on the edge of a large sheet of water, in the midst of
trees on the roadside between Dinan and St. Malo. Its principal
characteristics are its tall octagonal chimney-shafts, composed of
granite, brick, and slate.  They are surmounted by pieces of slate placed
edgeways and forming a kind of capital or coronet to the granite shaft.
Some of the chimneys have two circles of these coronets, and others are
enriched with little rows of arches, of which the sombre slate background
throws out the delicate ornamentation. Recrossing the magnificent viaduct,
we proceeded to visit the Benedictine Priory of Lehon, called in the
country "Chapelle des Beaumanoirs" from the mortuary chapel of that family
attached to the abbey:—


    “Beaumanoir! à ce nom de glorieux prodiges
    Des siècles écoulés réveillent les prestiges:
    La pierre des tombeaux a paru se mouvoir
    Et des trente Bretons les clameurs belliqueuses
    Semblent répondre, sous ces voûtes fameuses,
    A ce grand nom de Beaumanoir.” —AUBRY.


The west front, with its round-arched portal surmounted by a large Gothic
window, is very pretty. The chapel of the Beaumanoirs was ravaged at the
Revolution, the lead of the coffins sold, and the bones scattered. The
statues have since been removed to the Museum at Dinan, and the crypt
beneath, where they were buried, is inaccessible. At the Revolution, when
the monks were expelled, the priory was sold and used for a spinning
factory; and the weight of the machines crushed the floors, so as to shut
up the entrance to the vaults. In the parish church adjacent, is to be
noticed an ancient baptismal font, of cylindrical form, sculptured within
and without. We returned home by the Château du Chêne-Ferron, approached
by an avenue of firs, and had a lovely drive along the banks of the Rance.

Our last excursion in Dinan was to the Château of La Garaye, rendered
famous by the virtues and boundless charity of its last proprietors, Count
Claude Toussaint Marot de la Garaye and his wife, whose interesting story
is told in the charming poem of Mrs. Norton:—


    “Listen to the tale I tell,
    Grave the story is—not sad,
    And the peasant plodding by
    Greets the place with kindly eye,
    For the inmates that it had.”
                    THE LADY OF LA GARAYE.


Count Claude de la Garaye and his wife were young, beautiful, and endowed
with friends, riches, and all that could make life bright and happy. They
entertained with hospitality, and enjoyed the pleasures and amusements of
the world; when one day the Countess was thrown from her horse, the
expectations of an heir vanished, and she was left a cripple for life.
Both were inconsolable for their disappointment. One day a monk came to
visit them, and tried to comfort them, seeking by his converse to turn
their thoughts from earthly affections to heavenly consolation—

"Ah! my father," said the lady, "how happy are you, to love nothing on
earth!"

"You are mistaken," answered the monk; "I love all those who are in sorrow
or suffering, and I submit myself to the will of the Almighty, and bend
myself with resignation to every blow He strikes."

He proceeded to show them there was still great happiness in store for
them, in ministering to the comforts of others. Following his counsel,
they went to Paris; for three years the Count studied medicine and
surgery, and his wife became a skilful oculist. On their return to La
Garaye, they gave up all the amusements of society, and devoted themselves
to relieving the sufferings of their fellow creatures. Their house was
converted into an hospital for the sick and the wounded, under the
ministering care of the Count and his benevolent wife:—


    “Her home is made their home; her wealth their dole;
    Her busy courtyard hears no more the roll
    Of gilded vehicles, or pawing steeds,
    But feeble steps of those whose bitter needs
    Are their sole passport. Through that gateway pass
    All varying forms of sickness and distress,
    And many a poor worn face that hath not smiled
    For years,—and many a feeble crippled child,—
    Blesses the tall, white portal where they stand,
    And the dear Lady of the liberal hand.”
                    THE LADY OF LA GARAYE.


Nor was their philanthropy confined to their own province. In 1720, they
offered themselves to M. de Belzunce—"Marseilles’ good bishop"—to assist
him during the visitation of the Plague. The fame of their virtues reached
even the French Court, and Louis XV. sent Count de la Garaye the order of
St. Lazarus with a donation of 50,000 livres and a contract on the post of
25,000 more.

They both died at an advanced age, within two years of each other, and
were buried among their poor at Taden, but their marble mausoleum in the
church was destroyed in the French Revolution. Count de la Garaye(6) left
a large sum to be distributed among the prisoners, principally English, at
Rennes and Dinan, who were suffering pent up in these crowded gaols. The
Comte had attended the English prisoners at Dinan during a contagious
fever, called the "peste blanche," and, in acknowledgment of his humanity,
Queen Caroline sent him two dogs with silver collars round their necks,
and an English nobleman made him a present of six more.

[Illustration: 16. Château of La Garaye.]

The ruined château is approached by an ivy-covered gateway, through an
avenue of beeches:—


    “Le lierre flottant comme un manteau de deuil,
    Couvre à demi la porte et rampe sur le seuil.”
                    LAMARTINE, _Harmonies Poëtiques_.


or, as Mrs. Norton renders it:—


    “And like a mourner’s mantle, with sad grace,
    Waves the dark ivy—hiding half the door
    And threshold, where the weary traveller’s foot
    Shall never find a courteous welcome more.”


It is fast falling to pieces. The principal part remaining is an octagonal
turret of three stories, with elegant Renaissance decoration round the
windows. One more quotation from Mrs. Norton, and we quit these hallowed
ruins:—


    “We know the healthy stir of human life
    Must be for ever gone!
    The walls where hung the warrior’s shining casque
    Are green with moss and mould;
    The blindworm coils where Queens have slept, nor asks
    For shelter from the cold.
    The swallow,—he is master all the day,
    And the great owl is ruler through the night;
    The little bat wheels on his circling way,
    With restless flittering flight;
    And that small bat, and the creeping things,
    At will they come and go,
    And the soft white owl with velvet wings,
    And a shout of human woe!
    The brambles let no footsteps pass
    By that rent in the broken stair,
    When the pale tufts of the windle-strae grass
    Hang like locks of dry dead hair;
    But there the keen sound ever sweeps and moans,
    “Working a passage through the mouldering stones.”
                    THE LADY OF LA GARAYE.


From Dinan, instead of taking the customary road to the railway station of
Caulnes, we hired a carriage, in order to visit the fortress castle of La
Hunaudaye, midway between Dinan and Lamballe. The road lay by Jugon, a
town prettily situated in the cleft of two hills. On one once stood an
important castle, which gave rise to the saying:—


    “Qui a Bretagne sans Jugon,
    A chape sans chaperon.”


Jugon is on the edge of two ponds. One of them, the largest in Brittany,
hangs suspended over the town, as if threatening it with inundation. They
told us it was swarming with fish of every description, and with pike of
fabulous dimensions. Turning off the road to the right, we entered the
forest of La Hunaudaye, and walked in a pouring rain to the château,
situated a short distance from the road. It is of vast extent, has five
round towers with ramparts of cut stone, and is surrounded by walls with
machicolated parapets. It is a splendid ruin, but the incessant rain
prevented us from spending much time in its examination. It was built in
the thirteenth century by Olivier de la Tournemine, and was one of the
strongest fortresses in Brittany. Situated in the midst of a vast forest,
its lord and his retainers were the terror of the surrounding country. No
traveller passed untaxed; all were compelled to pay toll. In 1504, the
Bishop of St. Brieuc complains to the Parliament at Rennes that,
regardless of the safeguard of the Duke, the foresters of the Lord of La
Hunaudaye had carried off his horses, trunks, and baggage, and, a year
later, they had the audacity to stop the Queen-Duchess Anne on her way to
a pilgrimage to the Folgoët. The Queen was conducted to the presence of
the Lord of La Hunaudaye, who maintained to her that he had only exercised
his right of exacting a ransom from all who passed through the forest
without his permission, but that he waived his privilege in favour of his
Sovereign. Be that as it may, he received her Majesty most royally, as the
old chaplain, Oliver de la Roche recounts, and gave a splendid banquet,
which he fully describes. The table, he says, was four times covered with
thirty-six dishes of viands, and lastly, was brought in, "en grande
vénération," by eight squires, a whole calf, standing on its legs, well
seasoned, with an orange in its mouth; and, when it appeared, the trumpets
sounded so loud that it seemed as if the walls shook. On seeing the
"dainty dish" that was "set before the Queen," all wished to have a share;
and the chaplain relates, with great satisfaction, how he was served
himself twice by the Lord of La Hunaudaye.

The dark deeds of the lords of La Hunaudaye have given rise to many a
legend. The following is a translation of one of the most popular:—


    LEGEND OF LA HUNAUDAYE.
        _(Translation.)_

    “When the rock eagle wakes,
    And the towers of Hunaudaye
    Gleam like three phantom forms
    In the morning’s sunlight ray;
    When night her darksome wing
    Folds round this desert waste,
    Shun all this cursed ground—
    Traveller flee thou in haste.

    “There once—Great Heaven shield
    Us all! and no ill arise—
    There once—Hush! leave me not;
    Hear you, from the ground, low sighs?—
    There once—wrapped in the gloom
    Of a dark and rainy night,
    A man of haughty mien
    Knocked at the door of might.

    “’Open!’ cried he,—it turns
    On groaning hinge. The rain
    Pours, but the frightened guards
    Mark neither spot nor stain
    On his purple cloak—nor his plumes
    Droop wet, yet the torrents fall
    Wildly and fast to night,
    Beating the castle wall.

    “The baron, stern and sad,
    Was in his tower alone,
    Pacing, with mailed heel,
    Upon the echoing stone:
    Cried he—’What stranger seeks,
    This hour, my castle drear?
    Ho! Oliver, Ho! Ralph,
    See who intrudeth here.’

    “’Heaven shield thee, baron brave!
    A strange knight in the hall
    Craves audience.’ ’Lead him here:
    Stay thou and Ralph in call,
    At need.’ Silent and slow
    The purple-mantled knight,
    Advancing, paused—his looks
    Gleaming unearthly bright.

    “’Who art thou coming thus,
    Loud clamouring at my gate,
    Thou truly puissant knight,
    With not one squire for state?
    Knowst thou at word of mine—’
    The stranger knight smiled stern,
    Replied in awful voice,
    ’Would’st thou my name? now learn:
    Here is my train—behold!’
    He cried. There hideous stood
    One spectre, then two more—
    A sight to chill the blood—
    Unveiled their features pale,
    All three in cere-cloth dressed,
    Opening all wide to point
    Where blood flowed from the breast.

    “’Baron, these are my guard,’
    Said the unknown—’Here, lo!
    Thy father’s aged form,
    By poignard stroke laid low;
    Here thy wife, cruelly slain
    In the year thy brother fell;
    They stand, pale, bleeding, stiff,—
    Their murderer, can’st thou tell?’

    “The phantoms three enlaced
    The trembling baron round;
    He vainly shrieked,—the walls
    With demon laughs resound;
    The echoing thunders rolled
    Along the valley deep;
    Lightnings, when pale dawn broke,
    Blasted the castle keep.

    “It stands a blackened pile;
    The ruined gate is there.
    But the sky lowers dark,
    Oh! traveller flee, beware;
    At this hour the shades of night
    Brood o’er the solemn gloom.
    Traveller, haste, oh! haste;
    Leave this abode of doom.”


It was in the forest of La Hunaudaye that the Chouans of the Côtes du Nord
were secretly exercised and drilled by their chief, La Rouërie, under the
name of Gosselin, who died of horror on hearing of the execution of
thirteen of his confederates betrayed by the physician Chaftal. Gosselin
was succeeded by the "Cid" of the Chouan chiefs, Boishardy, called the
"Sorcier," who, after his interview with General Humbert, was betrayed and
shot by the "Bleus." For twelve years was Brittany cut off from France by
this Chouan war, an insurrection even more formidable than that of La
Vendée. The peninsular position of Brittany, its vast extent of coasts,
its forests, its mountains, its people, speaking a strange language,
entirely under the subjection of the priests, rendered it peculiarly
adapted to carry on a war against the republicans; a war, the whole object
of which was to upset all order, by preventing the citizens from accepting
office under the republic, by punishing those who acquired national
property, by stopping couriers and all public conveyances, destroying
bridges, breaking up roads, assassinating public officers, and executing
horrible punishments on those who sent provisions into the towns.

The castle of La Hunaudaye was destroyed by order of the Commune of
Lamballe, in 1793, that it might not serve as a retreat for the Chouans.

We arrived very wet at Lamballe, a town most picturesquely situated on the
declivity of a granite cliff, surmounted by a handsome church, rising from
the very edge of the rocks. It formed part of the territory of the Duke of
Penthièvre, whose heiress, Jeanne la Boiteuse, married Charles of Blois,
the competitor with John de Montfort(7) for the dukedom of Brittany. More
tenacious of her rights than her husband, Jeanne would never listen to any
compromise. After the treaty of Bretigny, the kings of England and France
proposed a division of the duchy between the two rivals; but, intimidated
by his wife, Charles dared not consent; and again, before the battle of
Auray, when a division was agreed upon, subject to the acceptance of the
Countess, Jeanne exclaimed, "My husband makes too cheap a bargain of what
is not his own." And she wrote to Charles, "Do what you please. I am a
woman, and cannot do more; but I had rather lose my life, or two if I had
them, before I would consent to so reproachable an act, to the shame of my
family" (_des miens_). Later she said to him, "Preserve me your heart, but
preserve me also my duchy, and, happen what may, act so that the
sovereignty remains to me entire." Her pride and obstinacy cost her
husband his life. The name of Lamballe is associated with the memory of
the unfortunate Princesse de Savoie de Carignan, the sad victim of
revolutionary fury. On the death of her husband, the Prince de Lamballe,
the vast estates of the Penthièvre family passed to his sister, the wife
of Philippe Egalité, and from her descended to Louis Philippe, King of the
French.

[Illustration: 17. Section of Lanleff Church.]

Next day we made an excursion to the famed Temple of Lanleff, in Breton,
the "land of tears," situated in a retired valley about six miles from the
sea. According to the tradition of the country, it was built by "Les
moines rouges," as they style the Templar Knights. The road was
incessantly up and down hill, as we afterwards found they are throughout
Brittany; a "pays accidenté" it may be truly called. The chapel of Lanleff
is composed of two concentric circular enclosures separated by twelve
round arches, with cushion-shaped capitals, having heads, human and
animal, rudely sculptured upon them at the four angles. Its whole diameter
is about twenty-two feet. It was probably built by some Templar Knight in
the beginning of the twelfth century on his return from the Holy Land. The
number of arches may allude to that of the twelve Apostles.

[Illustration: 18. Plan of Lanleff Church.]

The parish church was built into the east side of the temple, the only
part which has preserved its roof, and which served as a vestibule to the
more modern building. A gigantic yew formerly grew in the central
enclosure, and overshadowed it with its spreading branches; but the parish
church has been taken down and rebuilt in another part of the village, and
the yew-tree has disappeared.

Close to the temple is a spring enclosed by flagstones. When moistened,
they appear covered with blood-stained spots. According to the tradition,
in olden times an unnatural father sold his child to the Evil One. The
gold received for the bargain was counted out upon the side of the spring,
and the accursed money left its print upon the stones. A bare-legged
peasant who stood by with her pitcher, threw some water over the stones,
and immediately there appeared round red spots of different
sizes—indelible marks of the diabolical bargain. We went into a cottage
close by, and had some boiled eggs and cider. The inmates were at their
meal—a bowl of milk, into which they broke their buckwheat "galette." We
were much struck with the jealous pertinacity of the Breton, to show he
considers himself as of a different people and country to the rest of
France, a feeling which more than three hundred years has not dissipated.
Our driver would talk of Bretons and French as of distinct nations, and
the Normans in this part of Brittany are the special objects of hatred,
originating, perhaps, in the former subjection of Brittany to Normandy.
When Charles the Simple ceded to the fierce Northmen the province now
known by their name, their sovereignty extended over Brittany, and the
dukes of Normandy did homage for both provinces to the King of France. The
Bretons struggled hard against the supremacy of the Barbarians, but
eventually had to acknowledge the Duke of Normandy as their sovereign
lord.

St. Brieuc, principal town of the department of the Côtes-du-Nord, has
been described as an old town with a new face. Though one of the oldest in
Brittany, it has little of antiquity to detain the traveller. The Palais
de Justice is a handsome building, in the midst of a pretty garden,
commanding a view of the Tour de Cesson, lower down the river (the Gouët),
a large circular tower built by Duke John IV., and blown up by Henry IV.,
at the desire of the Briochins, as the inhabitants of St. Brieuc style
themselves. The mine split it in two, and the part that remains serves as
a landmark for the pilots between St. Brieuc and its port, about two miles
distant, called Légué. Notre Dame d’Espérance is a pretty church, rebuilt
about ten years since, with a calvary in front, and a series of painted
windows representing the principal saints of Brittany, and the most
celebrated pilgrimages of the Virgin in that province. At St. Brieuc,
1689, James II. of England reviewed his little army, and was received with
royal honours by the bishop of the place.

We proceeded by the railway to Guingamp, next to St. Brieuc, the principal
town of the department, capital of the duchy of Penthièvre. It is situated
in the richly wooded and cultivated valley of the Trieux, a favourite
fishing river of considerable size, and affording trout, salmon, and dace,
from Guingamp to Paimpol, where it falls into the sea, a distance of
twenty miles. It runs through the centre of the town, and is here a
considerable stream.

Attached to the Cathedral is the venerated sanctuary of Notre
Dame-du-Bon-Secours, one of the most celebrated places of pilgrimage in
Brittany. The pardon takes place the Saturday before the first Sunday in
July, and owes its origin to the brotherhood called the "Frérie blanche,"
an association of which Duke Peter accepted the title of lay-abbot. The
motto embroidered on their banner was (in Breton) "A triple cord is not
easily broken." The triple cord being emblematic of the three
estates—clergy, nobles, and laity—in whose unity consisted the strength of
Brittany. The Frérie blanche no longer exists, the triple cable is broken,
the pilgrimage alone remains.

[Illustration: 19. Fountain of Duke Peter.]

La Pompe, or the fountain of Duke Peter, as it is called, is of later
dater date, being in the style of the Renaissance. It consists of three
circular basins in tiers. On the lower are sea-horses, which, with their
wings, support the second basin, and Naiads uphold the third. On the top
is a figure of the Virgin with her arms extended.

The women of Guingamp wear high muslin caps, dark petticoats, and black
stockings. Knitting-pins in hand, they work away at their stockings
whether walking, talking, or with a load of butter on their heads, as they
do throughout all Brittany. When not at work, their knitting-pins are
stuck in their hair. Knitting and spinning are the occupation of their
lives. When the Breton’s idol, Du Guesclin, was a prisoner to the Black
Prince, and was asked how he could raise the large sum named for his
ransom, Du Guesclin replied, that "the women of Brittany would rather spin
for a year and ransom him with their distaffs, than that he should remain
prisoner."


    “Quand vous étiez captif, Bertrand, fils de Bretagne,
    Tous les fuseaux tournaient aussi dans la campagne;
    Chaque femme apporte son écheveau de lin;
    Ce fut votre rançon, messire Du Guesclin!”
                    _Les Bretons_, A. BRIZEUX.


Guingamp was given by Duke John V. to his son Peter, who resided here and
rebuilt the castle. When attacked by his mortal illness, the physicians
attributed his malady to witchcraft, and declared it could only be
remedied by counter-spells. The Prince refused to have recourse to such
means, saying, "I had rather die by the will of God, than live by the will
of the Devil."—"J’aime mieux mourir de par Dieu, que de vivre de par le
Diable."

We walked to the small chapel of St. Léonard, picturesquely situated on a
little eminence. It was built by Charles of Blois, on his return from his
captivity in England, and dedicated by him to St. Léonard, the
patron-saint of prisoners—a contemporary of Clovis, from whom he obtained
permission to set free all the captives he should find in the prisons. In
the month of May, people who are attacked with fever repair to St. Léonard
to seek, upon the walls of the chapel or on the calvary attached to it,
snails as cures for their malady. They must gather them themselves, pound
them, and put them into little bags, which they wear round their necks. As
soon as the fever leaves them they bury their bags at the foot of the
walls of the chapel, and, if they fail to perform this ceremony, the fever
will return. We found quantities of these bags, made of coarse linen,
lying half-buried under the walls of the chapel. There is a pardon here
every year, on which occasion only the chapel is opened.

We took a carriage to Paimpol. On our way we stopped at the Château de
Boisgelin, belonging to the Marquis of the same name, but could not obtain
admittance. On to the Abbey of Beauport (Sancta Maria de Bello Porto),
founded in the thirteenth century, beautifully situated on a tongue of
land at the entrance of the Bay of Paimpol, opposite the island of
Saint-Rion. In its large garden, which extends down to the sea, are
planted myrtles, figs, mulberries, and other trees of the south of Europe.
Beauport has been called the Chartreuse of Brittany. It is a lovely
secluded spot, as, indeed, are most of the sites of the old abbeys,
varying in aspect, but always beautiful. No description can give an idea
of the magnificent panoramic views from the walls of the abbey.

[Illustration: 20. Abbey of Beauport.]

M. Merimée justly observes, "It appears strange that, in so early a stage
of civilisation, the monks should be so alive to the beauties of nature.
The contemplative habits of monastic life must at all times have imparted
to the mind a feeling of abstract beauty, independent of any idea of real
utility. Secure of an uniform, peaceful existence, limited in his
pleasures and his ambition, sheltered by his sacred office, above others,
from the reverses of fortune, the monk of the thirteenth century was in a
position to love, and did love, beauty for itself. And while the knight,
at war with all the world, thought only on building an impregnable
fortress, the abbot embellished his dwelling, and tasted the enjoyments
afforded by imagination and the arts. "The abbey of Beauport is built in
the pointed style, and is a perfect example of the monastic architecture
of the thirteenth century—the most important and most beautiful convent
ruins in Brittany. The original disposition of its buildings may yet be
clearly traced. These abbeys were all built upon the same plan. In the
centre was the square garden (préau), surrounded by the cloisters. On the
south side the church, extending from west to east; on the north, the
refectory, with the kitchen attached. On the east was the chapter-house,
and some small apartments; above these were the dormitories. Outside was
the interior court, reserved for the brethren, and beyond, the great
court, into which the provisions were brought, and round which were the
stables and farm buildings. The garden, orchard, mill, oven, dovecote,
cider-press, &c., were all within the walled enclosure, for the abbeys
were not merely convents dedicated solely to devotional exercises. After
prayer followed labour. The Breton abbeys were quite model farms; the
woods and the commons afforded the means of rearing cattle to those who
had the privilege of pasturage in the forests. Many had also the right of
acorns and beech-mast for their pigs (_droit au gland et à la faîne_). One
abbey, that of Morimond (Haute Marne), is recorded to have had twenty
piggeries, of three hundred pigs each, distributed in its forests. The
monks also reared sheep and horses, and fattened fish in their ponds. They
were the first who advanced the science of horticulture and the
cultivation of vegetables. To these agricultural pursuits were added, in
many convents, the industrial arts, and some of the brethren were brewers,
curriers, fullers, weavers, shoemakers, carpenters, and blacksmiths. Their
cultivation of the liberal arts and sciences is well known. During the
Middle Ages the monasteries were the sole depositories of learning.
Beauport is now occupied by a Polish lady, Countess Poninsky, who allows
no one to enter the abbey, as her husband was buried in the church.

Two or three miles further we reached Paimpol, where we remained the
night, at a nice hotel. Paimpol is a seaport town prettily situated in a
cultivated country on the bay that bears its name. Its inhabitants are
employed in the mackerel and Iceland fisheries. The women about here wear
close straw-bonnets. They all, in this department, ride on horseback, "à
califourchon," like the men.

We hired our carriage on to Tréguier. At Lézardrieux we passed the estuary
of the Trieux, over a magnificent suspension-bridge, at a considerable
elevation above the water, vessels sail under it. It was built 1840, and
is 833 feet long, that is, 167 longer than the famed bridge of La Roche
Bernard (Loire Inférieure). The bridge swung frightfully when we passed
over it. In the churchyard of Pleudaniel is a pretty granite calvary, and
skulls are placed in recesses in the wall on each side of the
church-porch.

We next came to the Château of La Roche Jagu, on the summit of a hill
overhanging the river Trieux and defending the entrance. It has more of
the character of a "maison forte" than of a "manoir," as was termed the
habitation of a knight, and of those who holding a fief, yet did not
possess the seignorial right to a castle with towers and donjon. The
manoir might be enclosed by walls and moats, but not with towers. The
entrance on the side opposite to the river is through a large walled court
by a low Gothic doorway, closed by an enormous iron grating of upright and
horizontal bars of great thickness, hanging on four hinges, and secured by
four locks; all the windows have gratings of the same kind. A stone
staircase leads to the one story, consisting of a suite of large rooms
half lighted by narrow windows. Some of these are occupied by the keeper
of the castle and others are reserved for the use of the proprietor, the
Marquis d’Argentré, and, when he goes there, are decorated and partly
furnished with the pieces of old tapestry lying about. At the end of these
rooms is a turret, which communicates with a covered gallery surmounting
the whole length of the façade facing the river, and commanding a
beautiful view of the windings of the silvery Trieux and of its
fir-clothed banks. This gallery is furnished with battlements, and served
the double purpose of a rampart and an observatory. The wall on the
river-side is fifteen feet thick, and a chapel hewn in the thickness of
the wall is lighted by a Gothic window looking over the Trieux. Fourteen
elegant chimney-shafts of cut stone, cylindrical in form, and ornamented
with iron spikes, give a most original character to the building. The
château belonged to the Maréchal Duc de Richelieu, who sold it in 1773 to
the Tressan family, under the stipulation that its subterranean passages
should not be explored. They are said to extend under the bed of the river
to the Château of Frinandour, half a league distant.

We next passed through Pontrieux, a pretty, small town, seated in a deep
valley, the river Trieux flowing through it. The river here is famous for
salmon, and there is a considerable commerce in its little port.

La Roche-Derrien on the Jaudy, during the War of Succession in Brittany,
was a castle of some celebrity. It was here Charles of Blois was taken
prisoner by the English, who, under Sir Thomas Dagworth, were in
possession of the place. Charles of Blois assembled a large army, and
attacked them by night. Three times was he rescued, and three times
retaken; he had received eighteen wounds, and was at last compelled to
surrender. Jeanne de Montfort, like all women who hate, was very
vindictive, and caused her illustrious prisoner to be ignominiously
dragged to Quimperlé, Vannes, and Hennebont, whence he was transferred to
London, and confined in the Tower. It was nine years before he regained
his liberty.  Meanwhile his heroic wife, Jeanne de Penthièvre, became head
of his party, as Jeanne de Flandre was that of the De Montfort. The "War
of the two Jeannes" continued for nine years, during which they fought
with fierceness and courage, and ruled with ability. Curious,—the history
of France was illustrated in this century by five heroines of the name of
Jeanne: Jeanne d’Arc, Jeanne Hachette of Beauvais, and the Jeannes of
Penthièvre, Flandre, and Clisson, who made themselves famous in Brittany.
On his release, Charles of Blois gave La Roche-Derrien to Du Guesclin.
The castle was demolished, but a calvary has been built on the site.

Not far from La Roche-Derrien is the church of Langoat, which contains the
monument of Ste. Pompée (1370), mother of St. Tugdual. On the granite tomb
reposes her marble effigy, and around it bas-reliefs in Gothic niches
represent the life of the saint. In all the churches in this district,
tressels are placed in the nave ready for funerals. The gravestones have
in each a little hollow well, to contain water for sprinkling over the
grave, or in some a small basin is set upon the gravestone, with a sprig
of box laid by the side, for the same pious purpose.

Every one must be struck by the excellence of the roads in Brittany, as
indeed throughout France; in no instance does the French administrative
talent more fully display itself. The roads are of three classes: the
"routes impériales," under the care of the Government; "départementales,"
kept entirely at the expense of the department; and the "chemins
vicinaux," which belong to the communes or parishes, and which all the
inhabitants are called upon to support. To each lieue de poste (two and a
half miles), is appointed a "cantonnier" or road-keeper, who is
responsible for the condition of the length of road assigned to his care.

We stopped at Kermartin, a farmhouse near Tréguier, to see the bed said to
have belonged to St. Ives, the favourite saint of the Bretons, and whose
name is borne by the majority of the inhabitants of the district of
Tréguier and St. Brieuc. Charles of Blois held him in great veneration. He
gave part of a rib of St. Ives to the church at Lamballe, and carried the
relic in procession barefooted to the church. Before the battle of Auray,
he ordered his men to march "in the name of God and St. Yves."

St. Ives, or Yves Hélory, was one of the most remarkable characters of the
thirteenth century. He studied law in the schools of Paris, and applied
his talents in defending the cause of the poor; hence he was called "the
poor man’s advocate;" and so great to this day is the confidence placed in
his justice, that, in the department of the Côtes-du-Nord, when a debtor
falsely denies his debt, a peasant will pay twenty sous for a mass to St.
Yves, convinced that St. Yves will cause the faithless creditor to die
within the year. His truthfulness was such, he was called St. Yves de
Verité. He is the special patron of lawyers, and always represented in the
"mortier," or lawyer’s cap, with an ermine-trimmed scarlet robe.


    “Saint Yves était Breton,
    Avocat et pas larron,
    Chose rare, se dit-on.”


Lawyers, says a writer, take him for a patron, but not for a model. Philip
le Hardi, in acknowledgment of his worth, granted him a pension of six
deniers a day—in those times a considerable sum.

Over this house is a marble tablet with this inscription:—

         “Ici est né le 17 Oct^r 1253, et est mort le 19 Mai 1303,

                               SAINT YVES,

  Officiel de Tréguier, curé de Tredretz et de Lohannec. Sa maison, qui a
  subsisté jusqu’en l’année 1834, ayant été alors demolie à cause de
  vetusté, Mg^r Hyacinthe Louis de Quelen, Arch^vque de Paris, et
  propriétaire des domaines de Kermartin, a fait placer cette inscription,
  afin qu’un lieu sanctifié par la presence d’un si grand serviteur de
  Dieu ne demeurât pas inconnu (1837).”

The house is a good specimen of a Breton dwelling; by the side of the
fire, in the one room of which most of these cottages consist, fixed
against the wall like the berth of a ship, stands the bedstead or "lit
clos" of old oak, shut in by carved and well-waxed sliding panels, often
inscribed with the sacred monogram.  The two mattresses, paillasse, and
"cossette de plume," are piled up to such a height as barely to admit of
its tenants creeping into the bed. In front is the customary chest,
containing the family wardrobe, answering the double purpose of a seat and
the means of ascending into the bed. Often we have seen cupboards on each
side of the large chimney with two shelves, which served as beds for the
juvenile members of the family. Forms and a polished table complete the
furniture; the last has frequently little wells hollowed in the top, used,
instead of plates, to hold the soup. Over the table, suspended by pulleys,
are two indispensable articles in a Breton dwelling—a large circular
basket to cover the bread, and a kind of wooden frame or rack, round which
the spoons are ranged. Forks they do not use. Festoons of sausages, with
hams, bacon, candles, skins of lard, onions, horse-shoes, harness, all
hang suspended from the ceiling, which consists of fagots of hazel
suspended by cross-poles. The floor is of beaten earth. One narrow window
admits the light, and there are no outhouses. The manure-heap is generally
at the house-door, and the pigs and poultry seem on an equally intimate
footing as they are in our Irish cabins. The Breton’s cottage has often no
garden, to occupy his leisure hours; and the men, after their daily work,
resort to the cabaret to spend their time and their earnings. Agriculture
is very backward in Brittany, but the land produces abundance of corn. It
is thrashed out direct from the field, on a clay floor (aire). Beet-root
and clover grow very luxuriantly, and in some fields the pretty red clover
(_Trifolium incarnatum_) carpets the country with its crimson flowers.

Near the farmhouse of Kermartin is the parish church of Minihy-Tréguier,
formerly a chapel founded by St. Ives and attached to the "manoir." The
will of St. Ives is framed and hung up in the church, and his breviary is
also preserved here; but the guide said it was now kept at the priest’s
house, as people were in the habit of taking away a leaf as a relic.
Minihy, _i. e._ Monk’s House, is a name given to those places which,
through the intercession of some saint, had the right of sanctuary. They
were marked with a red cross, and, how great soever the crime, were
regarded as inviolable. In 1441 the right of sanctuary was restricted to
churches; before, it was extended to towns and districts. Tréguier had the
privilege within a radius of twelve miles from the town. St. Malo also
possessed the right of sanctuary. Tréguier is one of the four bishoprics
that formed the ancient divisions of Brittany. The others were Léon,
Cornouaille, and Vannes. The "pays de Tréguier" answers exactly to the
present department of the Côtes-du-Nord; Léon to the territory or
arrondissement of Brest and Morlaix; Cornouaille has Quimper and Carhaix
for its principal towns; and Vannes, the country of Celtic remains, is to
the south.

Tréguier is prettily situated on a hill, at the confluence of the rivers
Jaudy and Guindy; its principal building is the beautiful, imposing
cathedral, with its elegant spire, begun in the thirteenth century by St.
Yves, and dedicated to St. Tugdual, whose name, like St. Yves, is often
given in baptism to the Breton children. St. Yves is buried here, and also
Duke John V., who founded the Chapelle du Duc, and desired to be interred
at the feet of St. Yves, for whom he had a special regard, and to whom he
erected a magnificent tomb, for three centuries the object of veneration
in Brittany. The Duke paid for it his own weight in silver (389 marks 7
oz.), in 1424, to Maistre Jacques de Hougue. The victories of his father
John the Conqueror were chased in bas-relief round the tomb, which was
destroyed in 1793. Duke John V. was a contemptible prince, who eight times
changed his party from weakness rather than policy, and on whom Margaret
de Clisson and her sons retaliated the cowardly seizure of her father, the
Constable Clisson, by Duke John IV. One of the towers of the cathedral is
called the tower of Hastings, but its date is evidently subsequent to that
of the Norman freebooter. The cathedral has preserved its beautiful
cloisters, the work of the fifteenth century, although it has been ravaged
by the Normans of the ninth century, the English in the fourteenth, the
Spaniards in the sixteenth, and by the Revolutionists of 1793. It was the
port chosen by the Constable Clisson, 1387, for the invasion of England,
an expedition proposed and projected by himself. His hatred against the
English was so great, though educated in England, he was termed the
"boucher des Anglais." When the Duke of Brittany gave Chandos the château
of Gavre, which was within a league of Clisson’s château of Blain (Loire
Inférieure), "I will never," he exclaimed, "be the neighbour of the
English," and accordingly he sallied out one morning and burnt the castle
to the ground. Chandos complained to the Black Prince, who sent a letter
of remonstrance to Clisson, but it was only replied by a challenge to the
Prince to meet him in single combat. Clisson caused his own ship to be
built at Tréguier, and had constructed a tower or framework of large
timber, to be put together on his landing in England, for the lords to
retreat to as a place of safety, and to be lodged therein securely in the
event of a night attack. This tower, Froissart says, was so constructed,
that when dislodged it could be taken to pieces, and many carpenters and
other workmen were engaged, at very high wages, to go with it to England
to superintend the putting of it together. Four thousand men-at-arms and
2000 cross-bowmen were in readiness for the expedition, with horses,
vessels laden with wine, salted provisions, and other necessaries. All
these formidable preparations were rendered useless by the arrest of the
Constable the day before his embarkation. We went to the Cemetery, which
has its ossuary, reliquary, or bone-house, an inseparable appendage to a
Breton churchyard. It is the custom in Brittany, after a certain time, to
dig up the bones of the dead, and preserve their skulls in little square
boxes, like dog-kennels, with a heart-shaped opening through which the
skull is visible. They are all ticketed with the names and dates of the
deceased, as "Ci gît le chef de * * * D. c. D. (décédé) le * * * * *.
Priez Dieu pour son âme."

[Illustration: 21. Skull-box.]

These boxes sometimes occupy prominent places inside the churches or
porch, on window sills, the capitals of columns, and other ledges; but
more often are ranged in the ossuaries or charnel-houses built in the
churchyards to receive them, with a row of death’s-heads carved in the
stone outside. The large bones are also placed in the ossuaire. The rich
are buried in "enfeux" or arched recesses in the chapels or abbeys they
have founded.

We continued our carriage to Lannion, our driver not very clear of his
way, and in Brittany the road is very difficult to be discerned; for on
each side are high earthen banks, sometimes eight or ten feet high, and on
the top of these are planted timber-trees, such as oak, elm, and ash,
which often meet at the top, entirely intercepting the view, making these
narrow lanes a perfect slough and most intricate to thread. Sometimes they
are cut in irregular steps in the solid rock, and serve for the bed of a
stream. Each field is also surrounded by these hedgerow-trees, which are
cut every four or five years.

We drove to Perros Guirec, a lovely little watering-place built on a small
promontory with a safe harbour, whence wheat, hemp, and cattle are
exported to England; it is six miles from Lannion. A dangerous rock,
called Roche Bernard, is at its entrance. The view is lovely. From Perros
we scrambled over a hilly cart-road to Ploumanach, about three miles
distant—a wonderful spot, huge round erratic blocks of pink granite flung
over land and sea in the wildest confusion. The whole coast is one sea of
boulders, a chaos of rocks of all sizes cover the soil in every direction,
and in many places there is no soil at all, and the loose masses rest on a
bare bed of rock, stretching, in unbroken extent, to a great distance. "A
wanderer," says Mr. Trollope, "amid this strange and silent scene might
fancy himself the only living thing in the midst of a world turned to
stone. In every possible variety of uncouth form and capricious, strange
positions, the endless masses were around us."


    “All is rocks at random thrown,
    Black waves, bare crags, and banks of stone."”
                    LORD OF THE ISLES.


One rock, surrounded at high water by the tide, is a square block of red
granite of thirty to forty feet high, placed on the top of a still higher
mass, on which it rests upon a very small base. It is called the "Roche
Pendue," and serves as a landmark for the fishermen. We took a small boat
full of fish resembling codlings or small cod, called "lieu," and were
rowed by the fishermen through a sea of granite boulders to the opposite
side of the Trégastel estuary, to see the "pierre pendue," or
rocking-stone (Breton, _rouler_), the largest in Brittany. These stones
are so nicely poised that they can be moved with the slightest impulse by
any one knowing the exact point at which to touch them. They were used in
early times as proving-stones, and called "Pierres de verité."


                    “Firm as it seems,
    Such is its strange and virtuous property,
    It moves obsequious to the gentlest touch
    Of him whose breast is pure; but to a traitor,
    Though e’en a giant’s prowess nerved his arm,
    It stands as fixed as Snowdon.” —MASON.


Or, as Sir Walter Scott alludes to them,—


      “Some, chance-poised and balanced, lay
    So that a stripling arm might sway
      A mass no host could raise,
    In nature’s rage at random thrown,
    Yet trembling like the Druid’s Stone,
      On its precarious base.” —LORD OF THE ISLES.


The council of Nantes, in the seventh century, ordered the bishops to have
the rocking-stones destroyed. The coarse rose-coloured granite of this
coast resembles the Egyptian.

We rowed back to the little inn at Ploumanach, and had some eggs and a hot
langouste or rock-lobster. This kind is more plentiful on the coast of
Brittany than the common, but these rocky shores abound in both sorts. The
village of Ploumanach is built nearly into the sea, in the midst of rocks
overhanging the harbour. It is almost exclusively frequented by fishermen;
in the front is a group of rocks or islands called Les Sept Iles; the Ile
aux Moines, the most important among them, is strongly fortified, and is
directly opposite Ploumanach. At the inn we found a German artist employed
in making sketches in oil of this strange coast. It was late when we
reached Lannion, a town prettily situated in the valley of Leguer; it
contains no remarkable buildings except a few houses of the period of
Henry IV. and Louis XIII. in the market-place. The mackerel and other
fisheries are carried on from here, the grande and petite pêche, the
"lieu" is taken in shoals and salted. The seaweed or wrack (_Fucus
vesiculosus_) called goëmon, is extensively collected along the coasts of
Brittany for fertilising the lands and also for fuel, which last is so
scarce that even cow-dung is collected and dried against the walls for the
same use. The gathering of goëmon takes place in March and September, and
employs the whole population of the district. Souvestre says, that on the
appointed day for gathering the crop, horses, oxen, cows, dogs, every
animal, and every machine, is put into requisition. Women and children all
are assembled in the bays, sometimes to the number of 10,000 persons; but,
to allow the poor to have the full advantage, the custom is, on the first
day, to admit only the necessitous of the parish. These borrow their
neighbours’ vehicles, and collect a good crop. It is called "the day of
the poor." The goëmon grows on rocks at a distance from the shore, and the
peasants not having sufficient boats to collect it tie the heaps together
with cords on to branches of trees and form a raft, on which the whole
family is launched; a barrel is attached at the end, and the unsteady
craft often rolls over and its cargo is precipitated into the water. The
fine sands of the sea shore are also carted and laid on the heavy lands to
divide the soil. Ascending the valley of the Leguer, about eight miles
from Lannion, on the opposite side of the river, we turned down a muddy
lane, and getting out into a field saw in front of us the imposing castle
of Tonquédec, perhaps the finest remains in Brittany of military
architecture, dating from the fourteenth century. It crowns the summit of
a hill, wooded down to the river’s edge, with water-mills and a little
village at the foot, the bright sparkling river running through the deep
wild valley; nothing can exceed the picturesque effect of these ruins when
seen from the opposite bank. Tonquédec has belonged from time immemorial
to the Viscomtes de Coêtmen, who held the first rank among the nobles of
Brittany, but one of them espousing the cause of the Constable Clisson
against Duke John IV. saw his fortress demolished. It was restored under
Henry IV., and again dismantled by order of Cardinal Richelieu, who hated
castles and their nobility. The castle is an irregular four-sided figure.
It had an outer enclosure, and was entered by a drawbridge, and furnished
with every imaginable fortification. Three sides were surrounded by
dwellings, among these a fine roofed salle d’armes remains. A flying
bridge led to the keep, which was of four stories, but the entrance on the
first story, so that in case of siege the garrison might retire to the
keep, and hold out till want of provisions or ammunition compelled them to
surrender. The towers and walls remain, the latter are ten feet thick.

On our way to Plouaret we drove up to the château of Kergrist, a square
edifice with pepper-box towers at each angle, in good preservation,
occupied by a lady of the name of Douglas. Our driver could not find the
way to the "Chapelle des Sept Saints," built over a dolmen, which lay near
the station at Plouaret, whence we proceeded by rail, and, entering the
department of Finistère, shortly after reached Morlaix over its
magnificent granite viaduct, the most important among the many which occur
between Rennes and Brest. The railway runs parallel to the coast, and
traverses, not far from their mouths, the streams which abound in this
"pays accidenté." This gigantic work is one-sixth of a mile (292 yards)
long, and consists of two tiers of arches, fourteen in the upper line and
nine below.

Morlaix is picturesquely built on the sides of three ravines, so steep
that the saying goes, "De la mansarde au jardin, comme on dit à Morlaix."
It is situated on a tidal river, about eight miles from the sea, ascended
by small vessels, which give the place a lively appearance. Few towns have
so many beautiful timbered houses of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries
remaining. One of the most curious is that belonging to a miller, No. 19,
in the Rue des Nobles, a street where the houses are built one story
projecting over the other, so that the top stories of the opposite houses
nearly touch each other and exclude the light. The fronts, gable-shaped,
have their enormous beams richly carved, and supported by brackets and
statues of St. Yves or other favourite saints; some are overlaid with
lozenge-shaped slates, and finished at the point with a leaden "épi," or
ornamental terminal. All have a kind of hall, panelled and sculptured to
the roof, the staircases richly sculptured and supported by a pillar
carved from top to bottom with statues of saints or grotesque figures
superposed one over the other. Among the statuettes in the house, No. 19,
are the figures of St. Roch and his dog; St. Christopher carrying the
infant Jesus, St. Michael, and various others. On another staircase, in
better preservation, but not so richly carved (at the Veuve Perron’s, No.
14, Grande Rue), are female saints,—the Virgin, St. Catherine, and St.
Barbara.

Morlaix gave a grand reception to the Queen-Duchess Anne, when on her
pilgrimage through Brittany in 1505. The town presented her with a little
ship of gold, bearing the arms of the city, and enriched with precious
stones, and a tame ermine with a diamond collar round its neck. Anne
received the ermine, and caressed the little animal, who returned her
endearments, and, at length, suddenly concealed itself in her bosom, which
unexpected proceeding startled the Queen, when the Seigneur du Rohan, who
was by her side, exclaimed, "What do you fear, madam; is not the ermine
your cognisance?" No less enthusiastic was the reception given by the
citizens of Morlaix forty years later (1548) to Mary Stuart, then only
five years old, on her landing in France. She was lodged in the convent of
the Jacobins, and assisted at the Te Deum in the church of Notre
Dame-du-Mur. When passing through one of the gates on her way back, the
drawbridge, overloaded with spectators, gave way, and several persons were
thrown into the water. Mary’s Scottish attendants cried out "Treason!" but
the Seigneur de Rohan, who was on horseback by the side of the royal
litter, indignantly exclaimed, "Jamais Breton ne fit trahison." The
loyalty and good faith of the Bretons is proverbial. "En tout chemin,
loyauté," is a Breton motto,(8) and it is one of the virtues attributed to
them by a Breton writer, who assigns to them four virtues and three vices.
Their virtues consist in a love of their country and their home,
resignation to the will of the Almighty, loyalty to each other, and
hospitality. Their vices are avarice, contempt for women, and drunkenness.
Their love of country and home is carried to an extent, rivalling, if not
exceeding, that of the Swiss. The Breton not only loves the village where
he was born, but he loves the field of his fathers, the hearth and the
clock of his home, even the bed on which he was born, and on which he
hopes to close his eyes. The conscript and sailor are often known to die
of grief when away from their native land. Brittany possesses for its
children an inconceivable attraction, and there is no country in the world
where man is more attached to his native soil.


    “O landes! ô forêts! pierres sombres et hautes,
    Bois qui couvrez nos champs, mers qui battez nos côtes,
    Villages où les morts errent avec les vents,
    Bretagne, d’où vient l’amour de tes enfants?” —BRIZEUX.


The Bretons are brave soldiers and good sailors; their disposition is
hasty and violent, and even ferocious in anger. When the people of Nantes
rose up in rebellion against Duke Francis, his brother-in-law, the Comte
du Foix, sent to pacify them, said to him on his return from his mission,
"J’aimerais mieux être prince d’un million de sangliers que de tel peuple
que sont vos Bretons"—Brittany has always been the theatre of great
virtues and great crimes.

On Sunday we went to the Welsh Baptist Chapel, to hear Mr. Jenkins preach
in the Breton language. He has been there thirty years zealously labouring
among the peasants, to convert whom he was sent by the Welsh Baptist
Missionary Society. From his thorough knowledge of the French and Breton
languages, he is eminently fitted for the task. He travels about the
surrounding country preaching, and establishing schools, and has revised
the Breton(9) translation of the New Testament for the Society, and
circulated, by means of colporteurs, from eight to nine thousand Bibles,
besides above 100,000 tracts. The task of acquiring the Breton language is
less difficult for a Welshman, for the similarity between them is so great
that the two people are able to make themselves understood to each other.
The labours of Mr. Jenkins have lately awakened the attention of the
Breton Roman Catholic clergy, who have publicly denounced him from their
altars, but without causing him to slacken in the good work he has
undertaken. Persecuted by a tyrannical priesthood, who hold dominion over
a peasantry bigoted in proportion to their ignorance, his position is one
of difficulty and danger; but he goes on with undrooping energy, convinced
that, though the progress is slow, the good seed has not been sown in
vain, and will, in due time, bear fruit, though those who first sowed it
may have passed away. There were about a dozen Bretons at the evening
service; they seemed to be constantly going in and out, as if unable to
keep up their attention to so long a service. There are also English
Protestant chapels at Morlaix and Quimper, and French at Brest and
Lorient.

We saw a christening in the cathedral, of a child about eighteen months
old; the mother wore a wonderful conical cap of lace.

A few houses from our hotel a ball was going on, given every week for the
workpeople of the town. The clatter of their iron-pointed wooden shoes
seemed quite to drown the music.

Next day we walked to the Fontaine des Anglais, so-called from the
slaughter of a body of English at that place. Jealous of the prosperity of
Morlaix, Henry VIII. sent a fleet up the river to attack the place, and
the commander, being informed by a spy of the absence of the chief nobles
at Guingamp, and of the townsmen at the fair of Pontivy, landed with a
force which entered Morlaix, burnt it, and returned laden with booty to
their boats. Six or seven hundred men, who were intoxicated, fell asleep
in the wood, where they were attacked by the nobles, who had hastened from
Guingamp to the assistance of the town, and were all massacred. The
neighbouring fountain, said to have been tinged with the invaders’ blood,
received in memory of the event the name of "Fontaine des Anglais." It was
on this occasion the town of Morlaix added to its arms, a lion (emblem of
vigilance), encountering a two-headed leopard (for England), with the
punning motto, "S’ils te mordent, mors-les" (Morlaix).

Emile Souvestre, author of ’Le Foyer Breton,’ and ’Les Derniers Bretons,’
the ablest portrayer of Breton manners, customs, and superstitions, was a
native of Morlaix; he died in the Protestant Communion, 1854.

We were recommended to sail down the Morlaix River to its mouth, as the
scenery is very picturesque, but we had not time to effect it. The great
beauty of Brittany generally consists in its river scenery, the Rance, to
Dinan; the rivers of Quimper and Quimperlé; the Aven, Elorn, and Blavet,
are all highly picturesque and worth visiting. Our next drive was to St.
Pol de Léon, partly along the bank of the river, passing under the church
of Notre Dame-de-la-Salzette and the convent below of St. François. The
tall steeples of St. Pol are seen at a great distance, and looking behind
is the best view of the Mené-Bré, an insulated conical mountain, one of
the Mené-Arré chain, situated near the station of Belle-Isle-Bégard. A
chain of mountains runs through the Côtes-du-Nord, and, at the western end
of the department, forks off into two branches which traverse the whole of
Finistère,—the Mené-Arré, or northern chain, and the Montagnes Noires, or
southern.

St. Pol looks like a town of the Middle Ages. "The holy city," as it is
called by the Léonnais, one of the four bishoprics(10) into which Brittany
was divided, comprising the modern districts of Morlaix and Brest. The
Pays de Léon is remarkable for the number of its religious monuments, its
fine churches, its bone-houses, calvaries, way-side crosses, and shrines.
Crosses are set up in every direction, and of every description, from the
plain unpretending simple cross of wood or stone, to the huge crosses
flaunting in green paint, with tears of gold—specimens of the taste of the
maire or priest of the district. No Breton passes the sacred symbol
without kneeling to salute it, and making the sign of the cross—evidence
that the piety of those who first raised them has not degenerated in their
posterity. The country is rich and varied. The Léonnais is tallest of all
the Breton race; his dress is generally black or blue, with a coloured
scarf round his waist, his hair is worn very long, and his broad-brimmed
hat has a silver buckle.  He is grave, of a calm confiding faith, which
nothing can shake or alter, and of intense religious feeling.  The church
is the place of meeting, where all his business is transacted, all his
aspirations centered. Throughout Brittany the priesthood are low and
ignorant. Like the Irish, the Breton farmer’s great ambition is to make
his son a priest. In no part of France are they more uneducated than in
Brittany.

St. Pol is still and melancholy, the grass grows in the streets, the city
looks as if it had not awakened since its palmy days of the fourteenth
century. Its churches, calvaries, cemeteries, all silent as death—

                 “A deep, still pool in the ocean of life.”

Its lively neighbour, Morlaix, offers a strange contrast: its inhabitants
may well say they are three hundred years in advance of St. Pol.

The pride of St. Pol de Léon is the church of Notre Dame-de-Creizker. Its
steeple, nearly 400 feet high, was said by Vauban to be the boldest piece
of architecture he ever beheld. It is built in the centre of the church,
entirely of granite, cut in the shape of tiles and open work, to within
eighty feet from the base. According to the legend, on the spot where the
church now stands, there lived in the time of St. Génévroc, a young girl,
whom the saint found, when passing her house on the fête of our Lady,
employed at her needle. He reproached her gently with her impiety, yet she
went on sewing, saying "she required food on Sundays as well as on work
days." But the girl has hardly finished speaking, when all her body became
cold and motionless as a stone. She was completely paralysed. Asking
pardon of St. Génévroc, he made the sign of the cross upon each of her
limbs, and the power of motion returned. Grateful for her recovery, she
gave to the saint, her house, which was situated in the middle of the town
(as its name implies), as a site for his church. It is said to have been
built by an English architect, invited to Brittany by Mary Plantagenet,
daughter of Edward III., and first wife of Duke John IV.(11)

The axis of the nave is inclined to the left, a mystic allusion to the
position of the head of the expiring Saviour on the cross. _Et inclinato
capite, emise spiritum_, "And He bowed his head, and gave up the ghost."
The north porch of the Creizker is beautifully sculptured with leaves of
the mallow, the vine, and mulberry. It was all under repair when we saw
it.

[Illustration: 22. The Creizker.]

The cathedral has two fine towers with spires, and a magnificent rose
window of the fifteenth century in the south transept, with, above, the
"fenêtre d’excommunication." The fine porch, lightly and delicately
sculptured, is surmounted by a balustrade, whence the episcopal
benediction was given. Over the high altar is a large wooden crosier,
gilt, from which to suspend the ciborium, similar to that we saw in the
cathedral of Dol. A black marble slab, at the foot of the steps of the
high altar, marks the grave of St. Pol de Léon, who died 570. St. Pol, the
patron bishop and founder of the cathedral, was one of the clergy of Great
Britain who emigrated to Brittany in the sixth century; he landed in the
island of Ouëssant, and passed on to the country of Léon, where he founded
a monastery. The island of Batz was, at that time, infested by an enormous
dragon, sixty feet long; the saint, accompanied by a warrior, entered the
cavern of the monster, tied his stole round its neck, and gave him to his
companion to lead, St. Pol following, beating him with his stick, till
they arrived at the extremity of the island, when he took off the stole,
and commanded the dragon to throw itself in the sea, an order the animal
immediately obeyed. St. Pol is always represented with the dragon by his
side, the stole round its neck. We were shown a little bell, said to have
belonged to the saint. It appears he had repeatedly asked the king to give
him this bell for his new church, but had always been refused. When one
day some fishermen brought him a large fish taken off the island of Batz,
and in its mouth was the coveted bell. It is certainly very ancient in
form, a kind of square pyramid about four inches wide and nine high, of
beaten red copper mixed, we were told, with a considerable quantity of
silver. It is now rung over the heads of the faithful on pardons, as a
specific against headache and earache—a singular remedy! The cathedral has
a fine marble tomb of Bishop Visdelou, preacher to Queen Anne of Austria;
he is represented in a half reclining posture, in his pontifical garments.
In every part of the cathedral are the little boxes of skulls.

Adjacent is the Ursuline convent, where is preserved a small figure of the
Virgin in jet; brought from a church in the Iles Sainte Marguerite, taken
from the Spaniards in the seventeenth century. It is supposed to possess
miraculous powers, and is sent round to the sick as a specific.

We breakfasted at the little inn (Hôtel de France), commanding a pretty
view of the coast from its windows and garden. The Léon country was
governed by Viscounts, who boasted, among several manorial rights, the
"droit de motte," which empowered them, if a vassal (they were "serfs de
motte") attempted to live out of his demesne, or to enter the service of
another lord, to bring him back to his "motte," a cord round his neck, and
inflict upon him corporal punishment. By virtue of the same right, if the
demesne of a lord was so placed that it had no natural height from which
to survey its extent, his vassals were made to bring sufficient cart-loads
of earth to raise a mound or "motte" of the requisite elevation. The other
privilege was the droit de "bris," equivalent to our flotsum and jetsum,
so lucrative that a Léon Viscount is recorded to have said, when a noble
was exhibiting his casket of gems, that he possessed a jewel more precious
than all they were admiring—alluding to a rock famous for its shipwrecks.
Duke John the Red, taking advantage of the misdeeds of one of these lords
of Léon, seized his rich possessions and united them (1276) to the crown.
The viscounty of Léon fell by alliance, in the fourteenth century, to the
house of Rohan, in whose favour is was raised in the sixteenth to a
principality.

We continued our drive to Roscoff, three miles distant, a little sea-port
town, formerly one of the three great dens of corsairs and smugglers, all
under the protection of St. Barbe,—the other two being Camaret and Le
Conquet. Roscoff was the emporium of considerable contraband trade with
England. Tea, wine, and brandy were brought over in small casks, which the
smugglers tied together and threw into the sea, when near the coast, and
landed at night. The whole country round is now one extent of
kitchen-garden, the light sandy soil, dressed with the goëmon, produces an
incredible quantity of vegetables, onions, cabbages, parsnips, asparagus,
artichokes, cauliflowers, &c. Of onions, 2,000,000 lbs. are said to be
sent every year to England alone. The people here wear black caps, those
of the men are stocking-knit. The gardeners of Roscoff will carry their
produce above a hundred miles for sale. The chief vegetable consumed by
the Bretons themselves is the cabbage, of which the quantity raised is
enormous. The kind grown is mostly the Jersey or cow-cabbage, which grows
with stalks from five to six feet high, and has large leaves at every
joint. They use them for their cattle, as well as for their own eating.
Avenues of cabbages, stacked five or six feet high, are to be seen in most
Breton markets. Bread or porridge of buckwheat (blé noir) with
cabbage-soup is the customary diet of the country. The recipe is simple,
consisting of a cabbage-leaf, over which a little hot water is thrown, and
a "soupçon" of butter added to give it a flavour. These ingredients
compose the national soup which always appears at the tâble d’hôte, with
the inevitable "ragoût," _i. e._ harricoed mutton. The little town of
Roscoff has some historic importance. It was here that John de Montfort
sailed to England to do homage to King Edward III. for the duchy of
Brittany, and returned by the same port. Here also the child-princess Mary
Stuart landed in 1548 to marry the young Dauphin, afterwards Francis II.
In commemoration of the event, she afterwards caused the little chapel of
St. Ninian to be built close on the water’s edge. It is not more than
fifty feet long, and has an eastern flamboyant window, with others in the
side walls. The arches are fast going to decay, the stone altar is also
sculptured. When we saw it, the interior was filled with bundles of
broom-branches and poultry. It is strange this little chapel, built by the
Queen of two Kingdoms, should be suffered to fall to ruin for the lack of
a trifling outlay.

Here, two hundred years later, Prince Charles Stuart landed after
Culloden, in the French frigate the ’Heureux,’ sent by the French
Government to facilitate his escape, having eluded, through the chances of
a fog, the pursuit of the English cruisers; and here he knelt, in the
chapel of his ancestress, to return thanks for his deliverance.

The church of Roscoff has a curious pierced steeple, like many of those in
Finistère, and some alabaster bas-reliefs of the fourteenth century, with
numerous boxes of skulls. A ship rudely sculptured by the porch, and
another by the east window, show that the fishermen and ship-owners
contributed to the building of the church. By the shore is a rock of
grotesque form, and opposite, about three miles from Roscoff, is the
pretty island of Batz, which derives its name—Breton "batz," a stick—from
the rod used by St. Pol de Léon to work his miracle.

People were busily employed in boats collecting the goëmon, which they
pile in heaps along the shore. The great curiosity of Roscoff is its
enormous fig-tree, in the garden of the Capucine convent, said to be two
centuries old. It is supported by stone pillars, and is, we were informed,
above 300 feet in circumference.

We returned that evening to Morlaix: the viaduct by moonlight had a most
picturesque appearance. Next morning we proceeded by rail to the station
of St. Thégonnec, where nothing in the shape of a vehicle was to be had to
convey us to the town—nearly a mile and a half distant—but the ricketty
two-wheeled mail cart. At the little cabaret, which bears the important
name of Hôtel de la Grande Maison, we procured breakfast. The church has
been restored. It is rich in carvings, spoiled by gilding, the altars and
canopied pulpit especially. Opposite to the last are two coloured
"retables." The high altar, with two side altars and two smaller ones
behind, are gorgeously carved, coloured and gilt, and extend to the roof.
The painted-glass windows are the gifts of various persons. At the
entrance of the churchyard is a Renaissance porch, or triumphal arch,
dated 1581, with a sculpture representing St. Thégonnec, a bullock and car
by his side. Adjoining, is the ossuary, or reliquary, bearing the date
1676, also in the same elaborate style, destitute of bones, but having
below a crypt containing a group of life-sized figures representing the
Entombment, with this inscription:—


    “Tu le vois mort, pécheur, ce Dieu qui t’a fait naître:
    Sa mort est ton ouvrage, et devient ton appui.
    A ce trait de bonté, tu dois au moins vivre pour lui.”


In the churchyard is also a calvary; the name given to those monumental
sculptures peculiar to Brittany, consisting of the crucifix, surrounded by
the chief witnesses of the crucifixion, together with minor groups
representing passages in the life of our Saviour. This calvary, executed
in Kersanton stone, is dated 1610; the numerous figures are all in the
grotesque costume of the period, with ruffs, toquets, trained gowns, and
scalloped jackets.

[Illustration: 23. Calvary, Guimiliau.]

We took a carriage for Guimiliau, passing on our road to the left, a
grotto. The church of Guimiliau partly dates from the Renaissance; it has
a finely sculptured porch, and contains within carvings of great beauty;
the pulpit, supported on a column, is dated 1677; the organ-loft is
enriched with splendid bas-reliefs in oak panels,—one represents a
triumphal march, after Le Brun, the others, King David and St. Cecilia.
But the grand monumental carving is the magnificent baptistery or
baptismal font, surmounted by a baldachin or canopy, supported by eight
twisted columns interlaced with vines, grapes and flowers, with graceful
little birds pecking the fruit. On the top of the canopy is a dolphin, and
above, two figures of Fame, trumpet-mouthed, surmounted by a royal crown
and the letters S. V. This baptistery and the organ-loft are both in the
style of Louis XIV., and are said to have cost 30,000 francs. In the
churchyard are a triumphal arch and a reliquary, both inferior to those of
St. Thégonnec, but the calvary of Guimiliau is one of the most extensive
in Brittany. It is of the sixteenth century. It consists of a solid
platform, ascended by a staircase, and raised upon arches; upon it,
sculptured in Kersanton stone, are the three crosses, the centre one
beautifully carved with St. John and the Virgin Mary by the side. The four
Evangelists are placed at each corner, and all the passages in the life of
Christ are represented by groups of little figures in the costume of the
sixteenth century. This singular monument bears two different dates, those
of 1581 and 1588.

Guimiliau is close to the railway, but there is no station there. We
returned to St. Thégonnec. The peasants along the road were threshing
their buckwheat on the open ground; women as well as men were at work.
They threshed in a circle, keeping good time with their strokes, and
laughing merrily while they flourished their flails,—they appeared a most
joyous party,—


    “Ho! batteux, battons la gerbe,
    Compagnons, joyeusement.”


Buckwheat, their "blé noir," is the Breton’s chief food, and is cultivated
to a large extent. With its coral-red stalks and snowy flowers it has a
very pretty appearance growing, and is the first care of the Breton
farmer—


    “Ah! que la sombre nue aux funestes lueurs,
      Planant sur la campagne,
    Epargne les blés-noirs, les blés aux blanches fleurs,
      Ce pain de la Bretagne."” —STÉPHANE HALGAN.


This plant, a native of Asia Minor, was evidently, from its French name,
"sarrazin," introduced into Europe by the Saracens or Moors. We proceeded
by rail to Brest, passing under the foot of the abrupt rock upon which
stand the picturesque ruins of the ancient castle of La Roche Maurice and
the church of La Roche. The rail runs along the banks of the Elorn through
a narrow wooded valley; the windings of the river are very picturesque,
and formerly a steamer ran from Landerneau to Brest, affording the
opportunity of seeing them.

Brest, the first harbour in France, is Breton only in name and locality;
it is built in an amphitheatre on the slopes of two hills divided by the
river Penfeld, which forms the port. On the right is the suburb
Recouvrance, on the left Brest proper. This irregular site often causes
the second floor of the houses in one street to be on a line with the
ground floor of another. Brest is clean and well built, and consists of
three long parallel streets. The principal one, called the Rue de Siam, in
commemoration of the Siamese Ambassadors sent to Louis XIV., who landed
here, runs the whole length of the town, ending at the fine iron bridge
called the Pont Impériale, the largest swing-bridge ever constructed. You
descend by a flight of steps from the Rue de Siam to the lower streets.
Running along the bay, of considerable extent, and well planted with
trees, is the magnificent promenade called the Cours d’Ajot, from the name
of the officer of the Engineers by whom it was laid out and planted a
century back. Well sheltered by its trees and refreshed by the sea
breezes, it commands a fine view over the new "port de commerce," and the
whole extent of the harbour of Brest, which is capable of containing 500
ships of the line, and is, with the exception of those of Rio Janeiro and
Constantinople, the largest and most beautiful in the world.

Brest harbour has only one entrance, which is to the west, through a
narrow channel called Le Goulet, less than a mile in width, and cut into
two by the Mingant rock. In the year 1796 the ’Republican’ was lost here.
Sailing out of the harbour, with a contrary wind and snow, the pilot
thought he had passed the Mingant rock, when the ship struck, and went
down with 800 men on board. Brest Castle in the Middle Ages was a place of
such strength and importance that John IV., who had four times besieged it
fruitlessly, when it was under the English dominion, was wont to say "Ce
n’est duc de Bretagne, qui n’est pas sire de Brest." It had been held by
Sir Robert Knolles against the army of the King of France under Du
Guesclin, who was obliged to raise the siege. The donjon was built by King
Richard II. during the War of Succession. The making Brest an important
naval station was the thought of Richelieu, and the work of Louis XIV.,
who built the arsenal.

Next day we made an excursion to see the church of Notre Dame-du-Folgoët
or the Fool of the Wood, celebrated in legendary lore: the tale is so old
and often told, we have some scruples in repeating it.

Towards the middle of the fourteenth century, there lived in the woods of
Lesneven, a poor idiot boy, called Salaun (Solomon), better known under
the name of the Fool of the Wood (Folgoët). He was miserably clad, had no
bed but the ground; no pillow, but a stone; no roof, but the tree which
gave him shelter. He went every day to Lesneven to seek his daily bread,
but he never begged; he uttered the simple words "Ave Maria! Solomon could
eat bread," and returned with whatever pittance was given him to his tree
near the fountain, into which he dipped his crusts, and plunged even in
the depth of winter, for his bath, always repeating the words, "Hail,
Maria!"  One day a party of marauding soldiers accosted him. In answer to
their questions, he replied, "I am neither for Blois nor Montfort, I am
the servant of the Lady Mary." This simple life he led for nearly forty
years, when at last he fell ill and died, repeating his favourite words
"Ave Maria." He was found dead near the fountain, and was buried by his
neighbours. After a time, when the memory of the poor idiot boy had nearly
passed away, there suddenly sprung up from his grave a white lily with the
words "Ave Maria" inscribed in letters of gold upon its petals. The news
of the miracle spread throughout all Brittany, Duke John sent
commissioners; the grave was opened, and it was found the lily proceeded
from the mouth of Salaun,—"ceste royale fleur sortait par sa bouche du
creux de son estomach"—a testimony of the innocence and piety "du plus
beau mignon de la reine des Cieux." Duke John vowed to erect a church to
our Lady over the fountain of the poor mendicant, whose faith had been
thus recognised;(12) and, faithful to his promise, the first stone was
laid by him in 1366, as a thank-offering for his success the previous year
at the battle of Auray, which had fixed the crown upon his head. His wife,
Joan of Navarre, not only made a pilgrimage to the Folgoët in 1396, but
also contributed to the building of the church. It was completed by John
V., about 1419. The Queen-Duchess Anne of Brittany went there in
pilgrimage after the recovery from illness of Louis XIII. Anne of Austria
founded six masses at the Folgoët, in gratitude for the birth of Louis
XIV., and several popes granted indulgences to those who made pilgrimages
to this shrine. This church is one of the finest in Brittany. Its colour
is sombre; it is the oldest monument in Brittany in which the Kersanton
stone is employed.  This stone is a volcanic rock called hornblende, of
very fine grain, with minute specks of mica. There is a large quarry near
St. Pol de Léon; but it is found principally on the west of the harbour of
Brest, near a village from which it takes its name. Kersanton stone is of
a dark-green colour, approaching to bronze, gives out a metallic sound
when struck, and is easily worked in the quarry, in blocks of from twenty
to forty feet cube, but hardens on exposure to the air. Time has no
destructive effect on it; the most delicate, lightest, and most ornamental
sculptures executed in it remain uninjured, while the hardest granites,
erected at the same time, are friable and decomposed. The Kersanton stone
cuts glass like a diamond.

The architecture of the Folgoët is distinguished for the elegance and
richness of its ornamentation: the softness of the Kersanton stone, when
fresh taken from the quarry fits it specially for the deeply cut,
lace-like works of the artists of the flamboyant school, and the church is
remarkable for the skill with which the productions of the vegetable
kingdom are represented both within and without. It has no transepts, but
to the south is a projection formed by the treasure chamber. The modern
pulpit has a series of medallion bas-reliefs representing the legend of
Solomon.

The jubé, or roodloft, is a perfect lacework of stone. Above three arches,
decorated with vine-leaves, is an open-worked gallery of pierced
quatre-foils surpassing in exuberance of ornament any other known.

To the east are five altars, all of Kersanton stone, most delicately
sculptured—the under-cutting of the foliage most wonderful. They are in
the shape of tombs or sarcophagi, the form generally adopted for altars in
the sixteenth century. Round the "autel des anges," richest of them all,
is a row of eighteen niches, filled in with the figures of angels, holding
alternately phylacteries and escutcheons; round the top is a cornice of
thistle-leaves—on the cut stalk of one hangs a dew-drop perfect to nature.

The high altar is decorated with vine-leaves, birds pecking the grapes,
and the ermine, with its motto "À ma vie," introduced. The altar of the
rosary has also a cornice of vine-leaves modelled evidently after the high
altar.

[Illustration: 24. The Fool’s Well, Folgoët.]

The fine flamboyant rose window at the east of the church resembles that
of St. Pol de Léon, and below it is the fountain of Salaun. The spring is
concealed under the high altar, and flows into a basin without, preserved
by a kind of Gothic porch sculptured with thistle-leaves and crockets, and
within it, on a bracket, is a delicately chiseled image of the Virgin.
Some children round the fountain offered us pins, the use of which we did
not understand. We afterwards learned that it is the custom in Brittany
for girls to take a pin from their bodice, and throw it into a sacred
well, to ascertain, by its manner of sinking, when they would be married.
If the pin falls head foremost, then there is no present hope of
matrimony, but if the point goes first, it is a sure sign of being married
that year.

On the new year, in some parts of Brittany, pieces of bread-and-butter are
thrown into the fountains, and from the way in which they swim the future
is foretold. If the buttered side turns under, it forebodes death; if two
pieces adhere together, it is a sign of sickness; and if the piece floats,
it is an assurance of long life and happiness.

The veneration for springs and healing wells is of very ancient date, and
was prohibited by early councils of the Church; but the worship of that
element from which suffering humanity seeks for relief in all its ailments
has passed through succeeding creeds, and that which was held sacred a
thousand years back is still the object of reverence and affection.

Nor is the sculpture outside the church less remarkable than the interior.
The west door, now fallen to decay, has an arch with double entrance
separated by a column containing a bénitier. A wreath of curled leaves
runs round the arch, and on a bracket of thistle-leaves formerly stood a
statue of John V.

The north side has little ornament. The great richness is in the south,
where is the fine porch of Bishop Alain de la Rue, who consecrated the
building, and more splendid still, is, at the angle formed by the
projecting sacristy facing the west, the Porch of the Apostles. The twelve
Apostles are ranged on each side, under rich canopies; the whole porch one
mass of floral decoration, vine-leaves and mallows, interspersed with
dragons, birds, and insects. On the right of the porch is a crouching
figure with a label inscribed: "Bn soiez venz,"—"Bien soiez venuz" or
"Soyez les bien venus"—an invitation to the faithful to enter into the
church. On the lintel of the two doors are ermines passant, and the motto
of the Dukes of Brittany, "À ma vie," and towards the south are the
remains of a whole cornice of ermines, running through the rings of a long
scroll inscribed with "À ma vie." This motto was first taken by Duke John
IV. (who instituted the order of the Ermine) to imply that he had
conquered Brittany, and would maintain it, even at the cost of his life,
"à ma vie."(13)

The collar consisted of a double chain, in each of which were four
ermines, and two more hung suspended from two chains, surmounted by
coronets. The motto "À ma vie" was placed round each of these ten ermines.
The Père Lobineau quotes a history of Duke John, in which the order is
thus spoken of:—


    “Lors fit mander tous les Prélats,
    Abbés et Clercs de tous Estats,
    Barons, Chevaliers, Escuyers,
    Qui tous portoient nouveaux Colliers
    De moult bel port et belle guise;
    Et étoit nouvelle Dévise
    De deux Rolets brunis et beaux,
    Couplés ensemble de deux fermeaux;
    Et au dessus étoit l’Ermine
    En figure et en couleur fine,
    En deux Cedules avoit escript
    _À ma vie_, comme j’ai dit;
    L’un mot est blanc, l’autre noir,
    Il est certain, tien, pour le voir.”


In the churchyard is a cross erected by Cardinal de Coëtivy (died 1474),
who is represented kneeling at the foot; it is said to be the work of
Michel Colomb, sculptor of the celebrated monument raised by Queen Anne of
Brittany to her parents, now in the Cathedral at Nantes. Next day, we went
to Le Conquet, returning by St. Mathieu. We crossed the swing-bridge to
the suburb Recouvrance, so called from the chapel of our Lady, to whom
shipwrecked mariners addressed their petitions to recover (recouvrir)
their property. On our left we saw the islet rock of Bertheaume, about 200
feet high, distant from the coast 150. Until lately, the communication
with the mainland was by means of a kind of cradle drawn on two cables,
about nine mètres in circumference.

Le Conquet(14) is a little seaport built on the slope of a steep hill.
Formerly it was of some importance, and a great resort of pirates. Sir
Walter Manny took the town for the Countess of Montfort, during the war of
the two Jeannes, and it was attacked by the fleets of Henry VIII. and his
daughter Mary. Opposite is a beautiful beach, called the Blancs Sablons,
accessible at low water by walking across the harbour. Here is the point
of communication with the island of Ouëssant, about seventeen miles
distant, by means of a steamer, weather permitting, as the Chenal du Four,
which separates this group of islands from the continent, is covered with
rocks and is very dangerous in rough weather. Its men are all seamen or
fishermen, the women perform the agricultural labour. They bring in their
produce to Brest at the monthly fairs, and are not so cut off from the
world as Gresset describes them:—


    “Sous un ciel toujours rigoureux
    Au sein des flots impétueux,
    Non loin de l’Armorique plage
    Habitacle marécageux,
    Moitié peuplé, moitié sauvage,
    Dont les habitants malheureux
    Separés du reste du monde,
    Semblent ne connoître l’onde
    Et n’être connus que des cieux.”
                    GRESSET.—_Carême impromptu._


[Illustration: 25. Abbey of St. Mathieu.]

We now reached the Abbey of St. Mathieu, situated on the extreme point of
Brittany and of France, on the top of a promontory, well called Finistère.
Here in the sixth century was built a monastery in honour of St. Matthew
the Evangelist, whose head had been stolen in Egypt by some Breton
navigators, and been brought to land at this point, which long bore the
name of "St. Mathieu de fin de terre" (Finistère). In the twelfth century
the monastery was converted into a Benedictine abbey, which is a beautiful
example of the Early English style. The formidable rocks at its feet are
called Les Moines. The monks of St. Mathieu kept a beacon for the safety
of mariners on these dangerous shores. The modern lighthouse quite masks
the sight of the abbey, and is a great disfigurement to the view, which,
in other respects, is most grand; the imposing granite ruins of the abbey
church on the very edge of these weather-beaten cliffs, worn and torn by
the ocean with its unwearied waves; on the right, the reefs of the Passage
du Four, which appear to unite the islands of Ouëssant and its satellites
to St. Mathieu; on the left the elongated point of the Bec du Raz, which
no one, according to the Bretons, ever passed without grief and suffering.
In sight of Saint Mathieu, the English in 1504, with eighty ships,
attacked Hervé de Porzmoguer, a Breton captain, with only twenty. His own
ship the ’Cordelière,’ which had been built and fitted out by Anne of
Bretagne, at her own expense, took fire; it held 1200 troops besides the
ship’s company. Porzmoguer grappled the ’Cordelière’ to the ship of the
English admiral, the ’Great Harry;’ and both vessels, driven by the
north-west wind to the entrance of the Goulet, were burned together, and
above 2000 men perished in the two ships. Porzmoguer mounted the mast
followed by the raging flames, and cast himself from the main-top, in full
armour, into the sea.

In 1597, the fleet sent by Philip II. to take possession of Brittany for
Spain was dispersed in a storm off Point St. Mathieu, and, out of a
hundred and twenty ships, scarcely one remained.

On our way home, we passed a little town called La Trinité, from three
springs all issuing from the same fountain, at which washerwomen with
their wooden bats were hard at work, beating the clothes to rags on the
stones.

[Illustration: 26. Peasant Girl of Ouëssant.]

Next day was the monthly fair at Brest, which brought in many of the
country people in their picturesque costumes. Most conspicuous among them
were the peasants of Ouëssant, last type of the Celtic women, in their
singularly Italian-looking head-dress, their hair streaming over their
shoulders; and the Plougastel men, in red caps, with coats and trowsers of
white flannel.

Most of the market-women were furnished with enormous umbrellas, red,
blue, and green. In this rainy province, they are indispensable, and the
acquisition of an umbrella is a great object of ambition to the Breton
peasant.

We left Brest by the steamer for Pont Launay and Châteaulin, a four hours’
sail in the harbour of Brest. On the right we passed the Point des
Espagnols, where Frobisher, sent by Queen Elizabeth to the assistance of
Henry IV., received his death wound. Leaving on our left Plougastel, where
we were unable to visit the celebrated calvary, we passed near the "Anse
du Fret," whence Joan of Navarre, then widow of Duke John IV., sailed to
England to marry Henry of Lancaster, 1403. Henry, when Earl of Derby, had
visited Nantes to ask the assistance of his uncle in returning to England,
and Joan had favoured his expedition, but Duke John died the same year
(1399). When Queen Dowager of England, she saw the children of her two
husbands arrayed against each other, and her son Arthur, who had been
invested by King Henry IV. with the Earldom of Richmond, made prisoner at
Agincourt by his half-brother King Henry V., who confined him in the
Tower, and afterwards in Fotheringay Castle. Joan received hard treatment
from her stepson. Accused of being a sorceress—a reputation she inherited
from her father, Charles the Bad of Navarre—Henry caused her to be
confined in Leeds and Pevensey castles, and deprived her of her property.
It was only on his approaching death that he restored her to liberty. She
retired to Havering Bower in Essex, where her grandson, the unfortunate
Gilles de Bretagne, was reared and educated with Henry VI. She died in
1437, and the memory of "Joan the witch queen" was long held in awe by the
people of Havering Bower.

[Illustration: 27. Peasant Girl, Châteaulin.]

On the left is the hamlet of Kersanton, which gives its name to the stone
so called. At the entrance of the Aulne,(15) to the right, we passed the
ruins of the abbey of Landévenec, the most ancient monastic establishment
in Brittany. At Pont Launay an omnibus took us to the railway station at
Châteaulin, celebrated for its slate quarries, a drive of three quarters
of an hour. From here we proceeded by rail to Quimper, capital of
Cornouaille. The district of Cornouaille—Cornu-Galliæ, expressing its
position at the horn or extremity of France—is most varied in character.
The part on the north is enclosed between the two chains of mountains,
which, running nearly parallel with each other, traverse the department of
Finistère, the Mené-Arré, and the Montagnes Noires. A single chain passes
through the Côtes-du-Nord, and forks off, at the edge of the department,
near Callac, whence the northern range, the Mené-Arré, runs westwards to
Faou harbour; while the Montagnes Noires incline to the south-west, and
reach the sea near Crozon. The country between these chains is dreary and
bare—barren plains and black mountains; to the south it is cultivated and
productive. The stormy rock-bound coast is wild and desolate. One-third of
the department consists of landes, marshes, and sandy shores (_grèves_).
The people are the Irish of Brittany. Their wants are restricted to a tub
of salted pork and a provision of cider, with rye, or black corn, to make
their "galette." They are simple in their manners, kind to the poor, and
enduring of suffering. Respect for the misfortunes of others, and patience
under their own, is one of the Breton characteristics.

In the days of Conan Meriadec there lived a holy man, called Corentin, who
retired to a solitude for prayer and meditation, near a fountain in a
forest. Every morning a little fish came to him from the fountain; he cut
a piece off it for his daily pittance and threw it again into the water,
and in an instant the fish became whole. The miracle was repeated every
morning. One day King Gradlon, who held his court at "Kemper," was in the
forest near the hermitage of St. Corentin, with some of his suite, and
asked him if he could give him something to eat. The saint immediately ran
to his fountain and called his little fish, cut off a piece, which he gave
to the maître d’hôtel to prepare for the king and his attendants. The chef
laughed when he took the slice; but, to the surprise of everybody, the
fish multiplied so as to completely satisfy the hunger of the king and his
party. Gradlon threw himself on his knees at the feet of St. Corentin, and
gave him the forest, with a "maison de plaisance," which St. Corentin
converted into a monastery. The king afterwards erected Quimper into a
bishopric, to which he nominated St. Corentin:—


    “Voici dans le fond la ville de Kemper,
    Asise au confluent de l’Oded et du Ster.
    Comme sa cathédrale, aux deux tours dentelées,
    S’élève noblement du milieu des vallées,
    O perle de l’Oded, fille du roi Grallon,
    Qui de saint Corentin portes aussi le nom,
    Rejouis-toi, Kemper, dans tes vielles murailles!
    Vois avec quelle ardeur, ô reine de Cornouailles,
    Tes fils de tous les points de l’antique évêché,
    Pêcheurs et montagnards, viennent à ton marché!
    Cornouillais! en passant près de sa basilique,
    Du bon saint Corentin adorez la relique.
    Que tous ceux d’Elliant et des mêmes chemins
    Boivent à sa fontaine et s’y lavent les mains;
    Non pas les Léonards, eux de qui les ancêtres,
    Voici quelque mille ans, hommes jaloux et traîtres,
    Volèrent le poisson dont notre Corentin
    Coupait pour se nourrir un pen chaque matin,
    Et qui chaque matin, ô pieuse merveille!
    Nageait dans sa fontaine aussi frais que la veille:
    Eh bien! les Léonards volèrent ce poisson,
    Mais Kemper n’oublie jamais leur trahison;
    Sans jouir de leur crime, ils en portent la peine,
    Et toujours le poisson nage dans la fontaine.”
                    _Les Bretons_—BRIZEUX.


Quimper, or Quimper-Corentin, is prettily situated at the junction of the
rivers Odet and Stheire; its Breton name, Kemper, signifying confluence.
It was long called Kemper-Odet. On the opposite side of the river the
hills, consisting of a mass of rocks, covered with trees, rise to some
height, and are ascended by well-kept walks. The river runs straight
through the town, like a canal, edged by stone quays and crossed by iron
bridges, with avenues of trees on each side. Trout can be seen in the
sparkling stream; and we watched a boy with a hook at the end of a reel of
black silk, hanging over the bridge, with a piece of kneaded bread for
bait. With this simple tackle he contrived to hook a trout of tolerable
size, and let it run out the length of his silk line till he had tired it
out and landed it. The scenery of the river below Quimper, flowing through
a bed of granite blocks, is, we were told, lovely, but we had no time to
visit it further down. The view from the top of the wood-covered heights
on the opposite side is very extensive, looking down upon the town, with
its cathedral towers rising above, the promenade, and the course of the
river. At the end of the town there is a manufactory of coarse pottery;
but formerly it produced ware of a finer quality.

The beautiful cathedral is the largest of the four episcopal churches of
Lower Brittany (Vannes, St. Pol, Quimper, and Tréguier), and was
principally built in the fifteenth century. On the platform over the
finely sculptured porch, rich in foliage like the Folgoët, placed between
the two towers, is the equestrian statue of King Gradlon, to whom is
attributed the introduction of the vine into Brittany. The statue was
decapitated in 1793, but restored ten years back. On St. Cecilia’s day
companies of musicians used to mount on the platform. While they sang a
hymn in praise of King Gradlon, one of the choristers, provided with a
flagon of wine, a napkin, and golden hanap, mounted on the crupper of King
Gradlon’s horse, poured out a cup of wine, which he offered ceremoniously
to the lips of the statue and then drank himself, carefully wiped with his
napkin the moustachios of the king, placed a branch of laurel in his hand,
and then threw down the hanap in the midst of the crowd below, in honour
of the first planter of the grape in Brittany. To whoever caught the cup
before it fell, and presented it uninjured to the Chapter, was adjudged a
prize of two hundred crowns.

The two spires of the cathedral are modern, and were built by an annual
subscription of a sou for five years, called the "sou du St. Corentin:"
more than 600_l._ was thus raised. They have only been lately finished.

[Illustration: 28. Beggar. Quimper.]

The men about Quimper all wear the national costume—enormous bragou-bras,
or breeches of a kind of white sail-cloth, a broad-brimmed felt hat, long
hair, falling over the shoulders, wooden shoes, and a broad belt with
metal buckle. Their woollen jacket and waistcoat are edged with gay
colours, and have sometimes the itinerant tailor’s name and the date of
the making of the garment, embroidered in wool upon the breast. On gala
days brown or blue cloth bragous are worn, tied with coloured ribbons at
the knees, black leather gaiters with buttons, and the sabots are replaced
by leather shoes and costly silver buckles. The national costume is more
preserved in Cornouaille than in the other parts of Brittany.  The pen bas
or cudgel, with a large knob, like the Irish shillelah, is always ready at
hand:—


    “Comme une conque immense ouverte au bord des eaux,
    En Cornouaille est un port, il y vient cent bateaux.
    Un sable jaune et fin couvre ses côtes plates,
    Mais un infect amas de rogues, de morgates,
    D’ossements de poissons sur le rivage épars,
    La saumure qui filtre entre ses deux remparts,
    Soulèvent tous les sens quand cette odeur saline
    Arrive au voyageur qui tourne la colline,
    Laissant derrière lui les taillis de Melven,
    La belle lande d’or qui parfume Aven,
    Et ces mouvants aspects de plaines, de montagnes
    Que déroulent sans fin nos sauvages campagnes.
    Plus de batteurs de seigle ici, plus de faucheurs,
    Mais des canots chargés de mousses, de pêcheurs,
    Partant et revenant avec chaque marée,
    Et sur les quais du pont versant à leur rentrée,
    Des sardines en tas, des congres, des merlus,
    Des homards cuirassés, de gros crabes velus;
    Et, du fond des paniers, mille genres énormes,
    De toutes les couleurs et de toutes les formes,
    Avec leur œil vitreux et leur museau béant,
    Tous enfants monstrueux du grand monstre Océan.
    Aussitôt le pressier les sèche, les empile,
    Et quand leur grasse chair a degorgé son huile,
    De Nantes à Morlaix cherchant les acheteurs,
    On voit bondir sur mer les hardis caboteurs."”
                    _Les Bretons_—BRIZEUX.


[Illustration: 29. Concarneau, with Sardine Boats.]

Thus the Breton poet describes Concarneau, a little fortified town, which
has been called the St. Malo of Cornouaille, and is celebrated for its
sardine fishery. The road lay through a wooded country, with steep hills
and valleys, intersected by streams: on the right a view of the Bay of La
Forêt, where extensive oyster-culture is going on. After a tedious journey
with miserable horses, we reached Concarneau at nine, a distance of little
more than thirteen miles, having set off a few minutes after four.
Concarneau proper is on a rocky island, surrounded by fortifications, with
eight or nine towers and thick walls, and communicating with the mainland
by means of a drawbridge. This is called the "Ville Close." It consists of
only one street. When Duke John IV. embarked from here for England, he
left Sir Robert Knollys governor of the duchy. The constable Du Guesclin,
after the surrender of Hennebont and Quimperlé, took Concarneau by storm
and slew all the English garrison, except the captain, who received
quarter.

Opposite the island is the faubourg Sainte Croix, which is more populous
than the Ville Close, and where all the business of the place is carried
on. The sardine fishery, from June to November, occupies two-thirds of the
population. From three to four hundred vessels are employed with five men
to each boat. Calm weather is most favourable for fishing. The sardines
are taken in large seine nets, one side floating with corks on the surface
of the water, the other falling vertically. The sardines, attracted by the
bait, try to force themselves through the meshes of the net, and are
caught by their gills. The bait used is called "rogue:" the best is
composed of the roe of the cod-fish, pounded and steeped in salt water for
several days; sometimes the roe and flesh of the mackerel is used. Rogue
is made in Norway and Denmark, but principally at Drontheim, and is very
expensive, costing about sixpence the lb.; hence an inferior bait is
substituted, composed of shrimps and other small crustacea, with fish
salted, and the heads of anchovies, all pounded and putrified together.
But this kind of decomposed bait is forbidden by the fishery laws. The
employment of it accounts for the rareness of good sardines, as the
remaining of such a substance in the body of the animal cannot fail of
corrupting it. It is a pretty sight to behold the little fleet employed in
the sardine fishery return in the evening, laden with the results of the
day’s work. The fish, when landed, are counted out into baskets, shaken in
the water, and taken up to one of the curing-houses: of these there are
about sixty in Concarneau. In the first shed we saw above fifty women
employed in taking off their heads—"detêter" it is called—an operation
they effect with great dexterity. With one cut at the back of the neck the
head is separated and the fish "éventré" at the same time.

The sardines are next placed in little wire trays, with divisions like a
double gridiron, and fried or dipped in boiling oil, an operation
principally performed by the women of Pont l’Abbé, who are supposed, like
the Germans of our baking and sugar-refining houses, to be peculiarly
constituted to resist heat. The gridirons are then hung up to drain. The
sardines are next packed in tin boxes, cold oil poured over them, and the
boxes soldered down. From 800 to 900 boxes are placed in a boiler and
boiled for half an hour to test the boxes, and those which leak are put
aside. They are of English tin, and the making of them is the winter’s
occupation. Finally, the boxes are stamped with the name of the
establishment, and packed in deal cases for exportation. The sardine is a
very delicate fish, and easily decays. It is only taken out of the net
with a rake (_raquette_); in summer, numbers are spoiled from being heaped
in the boats, and at whatever hour the boats come in the fish go through
the whole process of curing, as they will not keep till the next day.
Concarneau exports from 15,000 to 20,000 barrels of sardines annually.
Only a part are "anchoitée," that is, preserved like the anchovies of the
Mediterranean, the others are salted in casks; and quantities, only
slightly salted, are packed in baskets, to be sent to the provincial
markets. It is estimated that twelve hundred million fish have been caught
this year. The sardine fishery extends along the whole western coast of
Brittany from Douarnenez to the Loire.

One of the curiosities of Concarneau is its aquarium, under the direction
of M. Guillon. It consists of six cisterns, made by the blasting of the
solid rock, and comprising an area of large extent, within a walled
enclosure. In these cisterns the water is renewed at each turn of the tide
through narrow openings in the wall. Three of these reservoirs are
reserved for fish, the others for crustacea—lobsters and langoustes. Of
these they keep from 10,000 to 15,000 at a time, and send them off daily,
when fattened, to Paris and the principal markets of France. It was
curious to see the dread shown by the common lobster to the langouste.
They all were adhering to the sides of the reservoirs as if afraid to
encounter their more powerful companions. Quantities of turbot, also
reared for sale, were in one of the cisterns, darting with the greatest
rapidity in the water when the keeper threw in pieces of sardines for them
to eat. At the end of these cisterns is a building, with every arrangement
for the culture of fishes—rows of little troughs, and other vessels, to
contain them. Many of the fish are so tame, they came immediately to the
keeper on his making a noise in the water with his fingers. Here are fish
of every description, and naturalists have every facility of studying
their habits. Among others, we saw the graceful little sea-horse or
hippocampus, a native of the seas of Brittany as well as of the
Mediterranean.

[Illustration: 30. Dolmen. Trégunc.]

From Concarneau to Quimperlé is a distance of above eighteen miles. The
road runs near the sea, over a large tract of land covered with furze
(ajonc), which, in Brittany, grows from five to six feet high, forming a
solid impenetrable mass. Huge blocks of granite are scattered about in
every direction, jutting out from among the furze—menhirs, cromlechs, and
dolmens—a perfect wilderness of Celtic remains. We drove over an extent of
several miles of furze-covered hills and heathy land. Before we reached
the village of Trégunc we stopped to see a large dolmen on the side of the
road, and further to the right a rocking-stone, twelve feet long and nine
feet thick, standing about fifteen feet from the ground, the second
largest in Brittany. It is poised by a little projection, like an inverted
cone, upon another rock lying half-buried in the ground. The upper block
can easily be set in motion by the hand. It is called by the country
people "La pierre aux maris trompés," and was formerly consulted by
husbands to test the fidelity of their wives. Even now the partner of a
faithless wife is said to be incapable of giving to the stone the rocking
motion it so easily receives from another.

[Illustration: 31. Rocking Stone. Trégunc.]

On the left we passed the majestic ruins of the castle of Rustéphan,
_i. e._ Run, mound, of Stephen, having been built by Stephen Count of
Penthièvre at the beginning of the twelfth century. It belonged in the
thirteenth to Blanche of Castile, the mother of St. Louis. The present
edifice dates from the fifteenth. One of the sides remaining has a
cylindrical tower with pinnacled doorway, and the windows have stone
mullions.

[Illustration: 32. Château of Rustéphan.]

Pursuing our road through blocks of granite, we descended into the valley
of Pontaven, the town of millers, according to the old saying—


    “Pont Aven, ville de renom;
    Quatorze moulins, deux maisons;”


a little port built upon rocks, at the foot of two elevated mountains,
over which are scattered masses of granite boulders, obstructing the
course of the river which bounds over them. The banks are lined with woody
slopes; wooden bridges cross the river at intervals; mills are established
on the ledges of the rocks on its sides; and the noise of the mills, with
that of the sparkling river tumbling through the rocks in waterfalls, keep
up a perpetual din. Pontaven is celebrated for the quantity of its salmon:
so much is taken, that it used to be said that the millers fattened their
pigs upon this fish, which was literally true, as they took the small
salmon, called glésils, in nets (_poches_) for that purpose. Salmon now is
very dear. At the mouth of the Pontaven river was a castle, whose
proprietor had the privilege of firing upon the fishing-boats which
returned up the river without giving to the castellan their finest fish,
which his steward went down to select. Pontaven is seven and a half miles
from Bannalec, the nearest railway station. After remaining a few hours we
drove on to Quimperlé—in Breton, Kemper (confluence) Ellé—so called,
because it is at the confluence of two rivers, the Elle and Isole:—


    “Vous reverrai-je encore, ô fleuve de l’Ellé,
    Vous, Izôle, où mon cœur est toujours rappellé!
    Les eaux sombres de l’Ellé, claire ceux de l’Izôle;
    De ces bords enchantés je dirais chaque saule.”
                    BRIZEUX.


Quimperlé is a great resort for fishing, the Quimperlé salmon and trout
being renowned throughout Brittany, and even at Paris. This town is
beautifully situated, surrounded by high hills, in a valley, watered by
these bright rivers, the hills covered with gardens, orchards, the
Ursuline, Capucine, and other convents, and crowned by the steeples of the
Gothic church of St. Michael. Its principal building is the church of St.
Croix, formerly that of a Benedictine abbey, celebrated for its riches.
The island of Belle-Ile-en-Mer then belonged to it. It is a most singular
edifice, built in the eleventh century, after the model of the church of
the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem. In 1862 it fell down, but is at present
in course of restoration, after its original plan. The old abbey buildings
are now occupied by the Prefecture. We were given permission to pass
through the convent garden—the workmen and building materials having
blocked up the other entrances—to see the crypt in which is the tomb of
Saint Gurloës, first abbot of Quimperlé. His effigy, with crosier in hand,
his feet resting on a dragon, lies upon a monument, about three feet high,
with an opening in the lower part. The saint—Saint Urlose, as the Bretons
call him—is invoked principally for the gout, and persons so afflicted
crawl through the hole under the tomb, where, suspended by chains, is an
iron hook. They twist a lock of their hair round this hook, and tear it
off with violence, hoping to propitiate the saint by this
mortification—evidently a remnant of heathen times, when hair was
sacrificed to deities or to the memory of departed friends.

At Quimperlé was buried John de Montfort, rival of Charles of Blois for
the ducal crown. Sent to Paris under a safe-conduct by the Dauphin John,
Philip of Valois had him shut up in the Louvre, whence he escaped, after a
captivity of three years, to England. Edward III. espoused his cause and
granted him some troops. After an unsuccessful attack upon Quimper, De
Montfort died (1345) at Hennebont, and was buried in the church of the
Dominicans at Quimperlé. He appointed Edward III. guardian of his son, and
Edward immediately occupied Quimperlé and caused money to be struck in his
name. Lord Lewis of Spain, on the side of Charles of Blois, made a descent
upon Quimperlé at the head of 6000 men, and pillaged the whole country. On
the news reaching Sir Walter Manny, he hastened to meet the enemy, took
possession of their fleet, and made such carnage of the soldiers, that
they were all killed or taken prisoners, and Lewis of Spain escaped with
difficulty. The country about Quimperlé is beautiful—wood and water in
every direction. The department of Finistère is traversed by three hundred
streams, and has an extent of nearly four hundred miles of coast. We were
advised to go and see the rood-screen of the chapel of Rosgrand, but had
no time. We visited the ruins of the church of St. Columban. Above a
round-arched doorway is a beautiful flamboyant window, between two
canopied niches. We next walked up to the Place near St. Michel, where a
cattle-market was being held. The Breton peasants, with their long shaggy
uncombed hair hanging round their shoulders—they comb and wash only on
fête days—their dirty canvas bragou bras, patched coats, and sabots with
tufts of straw crammed in, looked more dirty than it is possible to
imagine. Cleanliness is the last of the Breton virtues. The market and the
fair are the two great events of the country, and people flock from great
distances to sell their merchandise. But of all extraordinary animals is
the Breton pig, as tall as a donkey; a lean, long-necked, ragged, bristly,
savage-looking beast, as ill kept as its master, and it runs like a
greyhound when approached. The Breton cow is very small, small as the
Kerry cows of Ireland, very pretty and very productive. The Breton butter
is proverbially good, and is given out most liberally, in lumps as big as
loaves, at the tables-d’hôte. It is brought to market in jars which the
women carry upon their heads. It is to the Queen-Duchess that Brittany,
and indeed all France, owes the privilege of eating butter in Lent.  It
was forbidden as animal food by the laws of the Church, and oil, a
vegetable production, ordered as a substitute.  In 1491, Anne solicited of
Rome, for herself and household, permission to eat butter on fast-days,
alleging, as a plea, that Brittany did not produce oil. Encouraged by this
favour, Brittany obtained the same indulgence, and it was acquired
successively by the other provinces of France; but all are originally
indebted for the privilege to the good Queen-Duchess Anne.

Next day, leaving the department of Finistère, we entered that of
Morbihan, and went by rail to Lorient on the river Scorff, here joined by
the Blavet. It was formerly the seat of the French East India Company; it
is now one of the five military ports of France and the residence of a
maritime Prefect. In the Place Bisson is the statue of a young officer of
the French navy, a native of Guemené-sur-Scorff (Morbihan). When
commanding, in 1827, a brig in the Greek Archipelago, he was attacked by
two pirate vessels. Nine out of his fifteen men were killed and himself
wounded; the enemy crowded on the deck. Desiring the survivors of his crew
to jump overboard, "Now," cried he to the pilot, "is the moment for
revenge!" and, setting fire to the powder-magazine, he blew up himself,
his ship, and the pirates who had boarded her. Next morning the bodies of
seventy Greeks lay on the sea-shore, showing the success of his
self-devotion. The pilot, who, with four sailors, was saved, received the
decoration of the Legion of Honour. On the pedestal of Bisson’s statue is
an inscription, concluding with these words: "Mort en héros, pour son roi
et sa patrie, ses amis le pleurent, la France le regrette, et ses frères
d’armes envient son sort."

From here we proceeded to Hennebont (Breton, "old bridge"), famous, in the
War of Succession, for its heroic defence by Jeanne de Flandre, during the
captivity of her husband, Jean de Montfort, who had been taken prisoner at
Nantes and carried off to Paris. Jeanne, who, as Froissart says, had the
courage of a man and the heart of a lion, placed herself at the head of
his party. Like another Maria Theresa, she presented herself before the
Breton lords, with her infant son in her arms, and received their oaths of
allegiance. She then joined in the defence of Hennebont, which was
invested by Charles of Blois. Clothed in armour and mounted on a
war-horse, she galloped up and down the streets, encouraging the
inhabitants. She ordered the ladies of her suite and other women of the
place to cut short their "keytels," carry the stones to the ramparts, and
transport pots of quick-lime to throw down upon the enemy. At the head of
300 horsemen, the Countess, who rode better than any squire, sallied out
of the town, attacked and burnt the enemy’s camp, retreated to Auray, and,
a few days after, re-entered Hennebont, with banners flying and trumpets
sounding. But the blockade was so close that provisions were wanting, and
the garrison compelled her to agree to a capitulation, unless within three
days assistance arrived from England. The time was on the point of
expiring, and a herald had approached the gate of the city to receive the
keys in the name of Charles of Blois, when the Countess, from her window,
perceived at sunrise the English fleet entering the port in full sail. She
exclaimed, "We are saved!" The siege was raised, and the Countess, says
Froissart, kissed Sir Walter Manny and all his companions, one after the
other, two or three times, like a noble and valiant dame. "Better,"
observed Charles, when he heard the news, "that Jeanne, instead of her
lord, had been shut up in the Louvre." He left the carrying on of the
siege to Lewis of Spain, and proceeded to Vannes and Auray. Some fragments
of walls are all that remain of Jeanne de Montfort’s castle, which was
situated on a height on the other side of the river in the "Vieille
ville." The town on the left bank of the Blavet is called the "Ville
neuve" and the "Ville close," being surrounded by walls. Large vessels
ascend the Blavet to Hennebont. It is traversed by a light and elegant
railway viaduct of twelve arches. We saw on the quay a quantity of red
iron-ore from Bilbao.

Hennebont is a very pretty town; the principal building is the church of
Notre Dame-de-Paradis, of the sixteenth century, with a fine square stone
tower, surmounted by a beautiful spire, and a tall porch, forming one side
of the tower. This handsome church has lately been restored. The scenery
about the Blavet is very pretty—the banks wooded, and fertile fields. We
took a boat and rowed up the river, passing the ruined Abbaye de la Joie,
where a hideous château has been built. This was a Cistercian convent,
founded in the thirteenth century by Blanche of Navarre, wife of Duke John
I. (_le Roux_). The chapel of Notre Dame-de-Paradis formerly belonged to
the convent; but when the parish church was demolished, the Abbey ceded
this chapel to the town, reserving the privilege of a separate seat for
the Abbess, who, on the Sunday after St. John’s day, had her crosier
carried before her in state by one of her vassals at high mass and
vespers.

From Hennebont we went by rail to Auray, and established ourselves for
some time in the Pavillon d’en Haut, a most comfortable hotel. Auray is
situated on the slope of a hill, the streets narrow and steep.

Our first drive was to Ste. Anne d’Auray, one of the most famous places of
pilgrimage in Brittany, on account of its miraculous well and church. It
has been called the Mecca of Brittany. Here, according to the legend in
the seventeenth century, Ste. Anne appeared to a countryman, and directed
him to dig in a certain field, where he would find her image, and to build
a chapel there. Guided by a miraculous light, Nicolazic discovered the
statue, and erected a chapel on the site.

[Illustration: 33. Scala Sancta. Ste. Anne d’Auray.]

The spring where Ste. Anne first appeared is now enclosed in a large basin
of cut stone. Near it is the church, in course of reconstruction. It
stands in a court surrounded by covered galleries for the shelter of the
pilgrims. Two flights of steps, called the Scala Sancta (after that of St.
John Lateran), lead to a platform over the three entrance gates, upon
which is an altar surmounted by a cupola, where mass can be heard by
20,000 persons. The steps are ascended by the pilgrims barefooted, as they
do at Rome. The fête of Ste. Anne is celebrated on the 26th of July, when
pilgrims arrive from all parts of Brittany to visit the miraculous statue,
to ascend the holy staircase, and to drink or wash in the sacred fountain.
It was a fête day when we visited Ste. Anne. There was a large assemblage
of people, and booths were erected round the court, where were sold
rosaries and the wire brooches, with scarlet and blue tufts of worsted,
called _épinglettes_, worn by the Bretons in their hats as a token of
their having made a pilgrimage. We saw exhibited the photograph of a young
lady, said to have lately recovered from paralysis after bathing in the
holy well. So world-wide is the fame of Ste. Anne d’Auray that a traveller
mentions having seen at her shrine an embroidered altar-cloth of Irish
damask, with "Irlande: Reconnaissance à Sainte Anne, 1850," woven into the
pattern. The convent, with its enclosure, the Scala Sancta, fountain, and
miraculous bush, all date from the seventeenth century. There is a railway
station for Ste. Anne, within two miles of the church.

Returning to Auray, we went to the Chartreuse, which owes its origin to
the chapel of Saint Michel-du-Champ founded (1382) by John de Montfort,
afterwards Duke John IV., on the spot where, in 1364, he gained the battle
of Auray, which obtained for him the duchy of Brittany. The chapel is
close to the railway station. In the fifteenth century it was given to the
Chartreux, and became a monastery of the order which existed until the
Revolution. The present church was built at the end of the reign of Louis
XV.

The battle was fought on the marshy plain by the side of the muddy river
Alrée. It is fully described by Froissart. In the two armies were
assembled all the chivalry of England, France and Brittany. The
Breton-English were commanded by Sir John Chandos; the French, by Du
Guesclin; with de Montfort were also Sir Robert Knollys, Sir Hugh
Calverley and Olivier de Clisson; with Charles of Blois, Du Guesclin, the
Comte d’Auxerre, the Viscomtes of Rohan and Tournemine, and Charles de
Dinan. At the moment of the battle, the white greyhound of Charles of
Blois deserted his master and ran to his rival de Montfort, who was on
horseback, and caressed him, standing on his hind paws. De Montfort
recognised the dog by his collar, ornamented with the arms of Brittany,
and this incident passed through his army as a favourable omen. The dog
was known to have been the gift of a witch to Duke John the Good, who
bequeathed it to his niece Jeanne, wife of Charles of Blois.

Both armies heard mass, confessed themselves, and received the Communion
before they opened the battle. The war cry of Charles was, "In the name of
God and St. Ives," Montfort repeated the motto of his family, "Malo mori
quam fœdari" (better to die than be sullied), and his troops advanced to
the onset to the cry of "Malo." Both chiefs wore the ermines emblazoned on
their armour and their standards; and relatives and friends were ranged in
battle array against each other. Following the tactics which had been
successful at Cressy and Poitiers, Chandos quietly awaited the impetuous
attack of the Franco-Breton army, which was unable to shake their
antagonists, who returned the charge. The melée was fearful, but the
battle was in favour of the English. Charles performed prodigies of
valour. In vain Rohan and Laval rallied round him with the flower of the
Breton knights; the prince was a prisoner, and an English soldier
despatched him by plunging a dagger into his throat. Du Guesclin sustained
all the force of the fight with his heavy steel mace, his battle-axe and
his sword; but his mace was broken, the handle of his axe carried away,
his sword shivered, and he had no other weapon left but his gauntlets, and
was nearly overpowered by numbers, when Chandos, who fought with a
battle-axe, entreated him to surrender, "Messire Bertrand, rendez-vous,
cette journée n’est pas vôtre; il faut céder à la fortune, une autre fois
vous serez plus heureux." Convinced of the truth of Chandos’ words, Du
Guesclin surrendered to him the handle of his sword. Beaumanoir was among
the prisoners; and Clisson, who never left the field, lost an eye in the
conflict.

A hair shirt was found, with thick knotted cords round the waist, upon the
body of Charles, for he delighted in deeds of mortification. He often used
to place pebbles in his shoes, and once walked two leagues barefoot in the
snow to visit the relics of St. Ives, in consequence of which he was laid
up for three months. He was buried at Guingamp, and his widow and children
desired his canonisation; but de Montfort, fearing such a step would
render him unpopular in Brittany, persuaded Pope Gregory XI. to refuse it.

Du Guesclin, after he recovered his liberty, was destined, three years
later, to be a second time the prisoner of the English at Navarrete, when
the Black Prince replaced on his throne the cruel, perfidious Don Pedro.
When Sir Hugh Calverley asked for the freedom of Du Guesclin, he was met
by the reply, "Il ne faut pas lâcher ce dogue de Bretagne, si fatal aux
Anglais." It was represented to the Black Prince that report ascribed his
detention to fear or jealousy; upon which he sent for Du Guesclin, who
told him he was tired of listening to the squeaking of the mice in his
prison, and longed to hear the nightingales of Brittany. He named his own
ransom at 100,000 florins, the Black Prince reduced it to 60,000; and the
Princess of Wales contributed 20,000. It was paid by Charles V. "Had it
been ten millions," says his biographer, "France would have paid it all."
In the Musée des Archives at Paris is preserved an order of Charles V. to
his treasurer, to prepare 30,000 Spanish doublons, to be paid to the
Prince of Wales for the ransom of Du Guesclin, adding, "il touche notre
honneur grandement." This is the most ancient royal autograph in the
collection. Charles calls him Bertran de Caclin. The Constable, in a deed
of gift of the Château of Cachant to the Duke of Anjou, signs "Bertrain."

A school for deaf and dumb occupies the Chartreuse, directed by the Sœurs
de la Sagesse. We were shown round by a deaf and dumb guide, who made us
write on his slate what we could not explain on our fingers, and he also
wrote his reply. He showed us a series of paintings, copies of Le Sœur’s
Life of St. Bruno in the Louvre, which are said to have been executed by
the monks of the Chartreuse. Attached to the church is a sepulchral chapel
containing the bones of the victims of the unfortunate descent on
Quiberon, when the immense armament of French royalists who were landed in
British ships, perished. They were commanded by d’Hervilly, an old officer
of the Constitutional Guard of Louis XVI., and he had for lieutenant Count
Charles de Sombreuil, whose sister had rendered the name illustrious by
her heroism in the Reign of Terror. They landed at Carnac, where Georges
Cadoudal and a band of Chouans awaited their arrival. Hoche, at the head
of a republican army, hastened to meet them. Every thing depended upon
their rapidity of action, but three days were lost in disputes about the
command among the emigrant generals. They took possession of the peninsula
of Quiberon, a strip of land about six miles long by three wide, united to
the mainland by a narrow tongue of sand a league in extent, called the
Falaise. Fort Penthièvre, placed on the plateau of a steep rock, and
bathed on each side by the sea between the peninsula and the Falaise,
defends the approach by land. The emigrant army was protected by the
English fleet which lay in the bay of Quiberon, one of the safest and most
sheltered on the coast. The defence of Fort Penthièvre was entrusted to
some republican soldiers taken from the English prisons. In a night
encounter d’Hervilly was killed.  Hoche marched upon Fort Penthièvre,
which was given up to him by the traitor soldiers. La Puisaye threw
himself into a boat and gained the English fleet. The emigrant army was
thrown into the greatest disorder; the "Bleus," as the republican soldiers
were called, pressed close upon them, and Sombreuil, driven to the water’s
edge, and deserted by his troops, offered to capitulate, on the condition
that the lives should be spared of all save himself. "Yes," cried the
republicans with one voice. They demanded that the fire of the English
corvette should cease, and there being no boat at hand, Gesril du Papeu
swam to the English ship, and having delivered his message, returned and
surrendered himself prisoner. It is said that Hoche considered the
capitulation sacred, but Tallien arrived armed with full powers from the
Convention to treat the emigrants according to law. The prisoners had been
conducted to Auray; Hoche, unwilling to be the witness of acts he could
not prevent, returned to Brest. Not one French officer would consent to be
a member of the military commission who were to try, or rather condemn,
the captives. It was composed of Belgians and Swiss, and it was difficult
to induce the soldiers to execute the sentence. Sombreuil and a few others
were shot at Vannes. The execution of the rest took place in a field now
called the Champ des Martyrs. They were brought out in twenties, and
placed before a trench, dug beforehand, and shot. The massacre lasted
three weeks. In all there were 952 victims. Two chapels have been erected;
the one attached to the Chartreuse, and the other on the Champ des
Martyrs. That in the Chartreuse has inscribed over the front, in letters
of gold, "France in tears has raised it." The interior walls are overlaid
with black and white marble, with two marble bas-reliefs by David of
Angers: one representing the Duc d’Angoulême praying over the bones of the
victims in 1814, when they were transferred from the Champ des Martyrs to
the Chartreuse; the other, the laying of the first stone of the mausoleum
by the Duchesse d’Angoulême in 1823. In 1829 the solemn inauguration of
the expiatory monument took place; and it must have been touching to the
spectators to have assisted at the ceremony with the Duchesse d’Angoulême,
daughter of Louis XVI. and Marie Antoinette, niece of the martyr saint the
Princess Elizabeth, and herself long subjected to imprisonment and
indignities. Only one year after this ceremony she again took the road to
exile, where she ended her troublous life, a pattern of piety and
resignation—

            “Sa mort fut le soir d’un beau jour.”

In the centre of the mausoleum is the vault containing the bones, and over
it a sarcophagus on a pedestal, upon which are inscribed the names of the
victims. On the sarcophagus are busts of Sombreuil and the other chiefs of
the expedition; and a profile of Monseigneur d’Hercé, Bishop of Dol, one
of the victims. Of the bas-reliefs on the mausoleum, one represents the
heroic act of Gesril du Papeu, with the words "I hoped in God, and shall
not be afraid;" the other, the landing of the emigrants on the shore of
Carnac, with "All my brothers are dead for Israel;"—these inscriptions are
all in Latin. Others are round the monument:—"Unworthily slain for God and
the King;"—"Precious before God is the blood of his saints;"—"For our
lives and our laws;"—"You will receive a greater glory and an eternal
name." Our deaf and dumb guide let a light down into the vault to show us
the bones of the victims, collected in one common sepulchre. The
Chartreuse convent therefore commemorates two great tragedies of history:
in ancient times the battle of Auray, which caused the death of Charles of
Blois, the captivity of Du Guesclin, and the slaughter of the flower of
Breton chivalry by the swords of their fellow Bretons. In modern days, the
massacre of the royalists at Quiberon—both the horrible consequence of
civil war.

We then repaired to the "Champ des Martyrs," where took place the
execution of the royalists. At the end of an avenue of silver firs is the
expiatory chapel, with a granite portico, in the Doric style. Above is
inscribed, "It is here they fell," and "The memory of the just shall be
eternal."

On the tomb is written, "Tombeau des royalistes courageux defenseurs de
l’autel et du trône, ils tombèrent martyrs de leurs nobles efforts. Quel
Français pénetré des droits de la couronne ignore ce qu’il doit à ces
illustres morts."

The inn Pavilion d’en Haut is particularly comfortable and reasonable, and
the people very obliging. Wishing to taste the crêpes we had seen before,
they procured some, and gave them to us hot—we thought they resembled a
greasy crumpet.

[Illustration: 34. Champ des Martyrs. Auray.]

Auray is a good central point for visiting the Celtic remains:—menhirs,
dolmens, cromlechs, all of which are as plentiful here as are calvaries,
shrines, and churches in Léon. They seem all concentrated on these dreary
wild landes, sometimes covered with furze bushes, at others strewn along
the coast.

Next day we drove to Locmariaker, nine miles from Auray, through Crach. On
the right is the river or estuary of that name; over which a bridge is
contemplated at La Trinité, to communicate with Carnac. Locmariaker is at
the extremity of the peninsula formed by the rivers of Crach and Auray, at
the entrance of the Morbihan. It must have been a place of some importance
in the time of the Roman occupation of Gaul, as there are the remains of a
circus, whose walls now enclose the cemetery, of a Gallo-Roman house, with
baths, frescoed walls, and marble pavement. We picked up some fragments of
Roman bricks which lie strewn upon the ground in great abundance. Midst
these Roman remains are gigantic menhirs, barrows, and dolmens, vestiges
of a still more ancient race. Locmariaker has two large tumuli, both vast
tombs.

[Illustration: 35. Sculptured Stone. Manné er Hroëck. Locmariaker.]

We first visited the Manné-er-Hroëk, the Montagne de la Fée, or de la
Femme, which bears in the marine charts the name of "Butte de César," for
it was the fashion with antiquaries to attribute to Cæsar and the Romans
every Celtic monument, although bearing no resemblance whatever to any
work of these conquerors. The Montagne de la Fée is a galgal or tumulus of
elliptic form, about thirty feet high, formed of dry stones.  It was
opened in 1863, and found to contain a sepulchral chamber or dolmen,
outside of which lay a granite stone above three feet long, inscribed with
various figures, and, in the middle, a cartouche, with hatchet-shaped
characters. There were also found a number of celts (stone hatchets or
knives), a green jasper necklace, and some glass beads, which have been
transferred to the museum at Vannes.  The guide who furnished the light
and showed us the grotto is the widow of a Polish officer. She had a
Scotch terrier, which she wanted us to accept.  The legend of the mound is
this:—A widow had the misfortune of losing her only solace, her son,
compelled by law to embark for foreign lands. Years rolled by; he did not
return. All said he was lost; but the heart of a mother hopes for ever,
and the sad Armorican went every day to the point of Kerpenhir, whence she
surveyed the ocean, and searched the depths of the horizon with tearful
eyes for the purple sail(16) which was to bring joy and peace to her
dwelling. One day, when she was returning sad as usual to her desolate
home, she was accosted by an old woman, who enquired the cause of her
troubles; and, on hearing them, advised her to heap a pile of stones, so
that, mounting on the summit, she might see to a greater distance, and
perhaps discern the long looked-for vessel. During the whole night the two
women worked, and carried in their aprons the stones they gathered on the
heath. In the morning their task was finished, and the Bretonne was scared
to see the enormous heap that had been piled together; but the other
quieted her fears, and helped her to climb to the top, whence soon the
happy mother beheld the vessel of her son. The fairy, her assistant, had
disappeared. This story evidently bears a vague tradition of this tumulus
having been raised by a woman, and of some maritime expedition made by him
for whom it was probably destined. The name of fairy is attached in
Brittany to everything—mountains, springs, grottoes, rocks; every accident
in nature is explained by a fairy origin.

The next object we saw is also attributed to the fairies, the great
menhir, called Men-er-Groách, or stone of the fairies. It is the largest
menhir known, but it has been broken into three pieces, some say by
thunder. Put together, it measures about 67 feet in length, and is 16 feet
in diameter. The wonder is how it was placed there, for it is little less
than the obelisk of St. Peter’s, which took 800 to 900 men and 70 horses
nearly a year to raise,—a work which was the great triumph of Fontana the
engineer. The menhir is estimated to be one-third the height of Notre Dame
at Paris.

Lying also prostrate on the ground, by the side of it, is a smaller
menhir, which is, however, above 30 feet long.

[Illustration: 36. Hatchet-shaped Sculpture. Dol des Marchands.
Locmariaker.]

Close to these gigantic menhirs is the large dolmen (Breton, _daul_,
table, and _mœn_, stone), known as the "Table de César," or the "Dol des
Marchands." We walked under it to see the curious hatchet-shaped figure
sculptured on one of the upper stones. The common belief is that these
dolmens or table-stones were Druidic altars, and the guides will show you
the furrows for the blood of the human sacrifice to run down; but human
bones having been found under some of these dolmens, lead one to suppose
they were tombs. In the Scandinavian countries the peasants call them
"Giants’ Graves."

The other great tumulus of Locmariaker is the Mont Heleu or Manné-Lud,
also opened in 1863, and supposed to have been the sepulchre of a number
of persons, perhaps of a whole generation. It has, like the Montagne de la
Feé, a galleried chamber or dolmen, the floor formed of an enormous slab
across the centre, on which is a sculpture resembling a celt; other
sculptured stones were found in the same chamber. At the other end of the
dolmen was an avenue of stones, some supporting the skeletons of horses’
heads. This tumulus was probably the tomb of some great warrior: the
horses’ skeletons were the remains of a sacrifice, and the human bones of
beings who had been immolated to accompany the earthly remains of their
great chief to another world.

We took a boat for Gavr’ Inis, or the Goat Island, and embarked on the
Morbihan (Breton, Little Sea), an inland sea, that gives its name to the
department. Shut out from the ocean by the two peninsulas of Locmariaker
and Rhuys, which form a narrow gully between the points of Kerpenhir and
Port Navalo, this sea contains an archipelago of islands, numbering,
according to tradition, as many as the days in the year. Of these, the Ile
aux Moines is the largest. The arms of the sea forming the rivers of Auray
and Vannes run into it. The navigation of the Morbihan is very dangerous,
the ocean entering it by this narrow opening in three distinct currents;
it is an endless labyrinth of rocks and water; its granite shores, torn by
the sea, are indented with creeks, capes, and inlets.

[Illustration: 37. Entrance to the Tumulus of Gavr’ Inis.]

[Illustration: 38/39. Sculptured Stones. Gavr’ Inis.]

Gavr’ Inis is a small island, surmounted by a tumulus, which forms a
conspicuous object, seen from all the mounds and dolmens around. It is a
galgal of heaped stones, in the centre of which is a dolmen or galleried
chamber, which was opened in 1832, and is the most curious monument in the
Morbihan. The gallery, with its square sepulchral chamber at the end, is
above fifty feet long and about five wide, composed of two rows of granite
menhirs, or upright stones, which form the sides, with horizontal stones
resting on them, ending in a chamber consisting of eight menhirs, with an
enormous slab, thirteen feet long, placed over them horizontally to form
the roof, and another, nearly as large, to form the floor. These stones
are of granite, and no cement is used to unite them.  They are covered
with incised figures of unknown meaning: sculptures in concentric whorls
or circles, as if tattoed like the cheek of a New Zealander; and the only
forms to be distinguished are serpent-like figures, and the representation
of an axe, similar to those to be seen in the Grotte des Fées, the Dol des
Marchands, and the Manné-Lud. In one of the side stones of the chamber are
two handle-looking projections, with a recess behind, said, probably
erroneously, to be the place where the victims were bound. No celts or
other objects of antiquity were found in the grotto, which must have been
previously rifled of its contents. These sculptures cannot have been
executed without the use of metal instruments. There are also Celtic
remains in the Ile aux Moines and other islands of the Morbihan, but our
guide did not encourage us to extend our sail to visit them. The current
between the island and Port Navalo is sometimes of great rapidity and
violence.

Next day we went to Carnac to see its marvellous avenues of menhirs. The
Celtic remains here are of a different character from those of
Locmariaker. Here there is quantity, at Locmariaker size. The monuments of
the last are covered with strange characters and signs; in Carnac they are
all plain and silent, according to the laws of the Druids, who prohibited
writing, in the fear of thereby divulging their mysteries, and also that
the people might not neglect to cultivate their memories.


    “Tout cela eut un sens, et traduisit
    Une pensée; mais la clé de ce mystère,
    Où est elle? et qui pourrait dire aujourd’hui
    Si jamais elle se retrouvera?”—CAYAT DELANDRE.


Before reaching Carnac, we stopped at Kermario on the left, and got out of
the carriage to inspect the army of large menhirs about the windmill. They
are arranged in eleven rows, some sixteen feet high, placed with the small
end in the ground. They are all of a sombre grey, many of them clothed
with straggling lichens of various species. This wild heathy tract was
covered with the blue flower of the dwarf gentian, and strewed all over
with menhirs. Before arriving at Carnac, the road passes the avenues of
Menec, all running in the same direction as those of Kermario, from east
to west: among these are some of the largest stones. The third large
group, at Erdeven, we saw on our way from Carnac back to Auray by another
road.


    “D’un passé sans mémoire incertaines reliques,
    Mystères d’un vieux monde en mystères écrits.”
                    LAMARTINE.


We do not pretend to enter into the various explanations attempted of this
wonderful monument. The legend at Carnac is, that St. Cornély, pursued by
an army of pagans, fled towards the sea; finding no boat at hand, and on
the point of being taken, he transformed the soldiers into stones.


                    “Les soldats de deux rois idolâtres
    Poursuivaient notre saint dejà l’ami des pâtres,
    Et sur un chariot trainé par de grands bœufs
    Le bons vieux Cornéli se sauvait devant eux;
    Or, voici que la mer, terrible aussi l’arrête;
    Alors, le saint prélat, du haut de sa charrette
    Tend la main: les soldats, tels qu’ils étaient rangés,
    En autant de menhirs, voyez! furent changés.
    Telle est notre croyance, et personne n’ignore
    Que le patron des bœufs c’est ici qu’on l’honore;
    Aux lieux où la charrette et le saint ont passés,
    Le froment pousse encor plus vert et plus pressé.”
                    BRIZEUX.


St. Cornély is the patron of bullocks. When a beast is ill, his owner buys
an image of St. Cornély, and hangs it up in the stable till its recovery.
In the church of Carnac is a series of fresco paintings portraying the
principal events of his life, and outside, a sculpture representing him
between two bullocks. The head of St. Cornély is preserved here; the
pulpit is of forged iron, and in the sacristy is shown a silver gilt
monstrance of the Louis XIV. period, with a representation of the Supper
at Emmaus, chased in relief round the foot. We walked to the Mont St.
Michel, a tumulus of stones with sepulchral dolmen, opened in 1862, but
now closed. It was found to contain objects of the "Stone" age, a number
of jade celts from four to sixteen inches long, some perforated beads and
pendents for a necklace, and there were traces of burnt bones. Like most
monuments of Celtic origin, these tumuli were regarded with religious
veneration; and the first teachers of Christianity, to enlist the old
worship to the cause of truth, marked each of these monuments with the
symbol of the new faith. Thus the cross was placed on the menhir, and a
chapel built upon Mont St. Michel, and, as we have before seen, on Mont
Dol, and other high places of Druidic worship. The little chapel dedicated
to St. Michel, which surmounts the tumulus, forms a conspicuous landmark
from every point, and commands a most extensive view over the stones of
Carnac ranged in their eleven lines, on a treeless plain, the Morbihan,
and the long dreary peninsula of Quiberon.

Returning by another route, we alighted at the inn at Plouharnel to see a
collection of jade celts, gold torques, and necklaces of beads, found in
the neighbourhood, belonging to the landlord, M. Bail, who has them all
arranged in a frame. They were discovered in a group of dolmens near the
village, opened in 1830, consisting of three grottos or allées couvertes,
a kind of triple dolmen, covered over with a mound. The central grotto and
gallery had been opened before. The second dolmen had also a grotto or
allée couverte, in which was found an earthen pot, containing ashes and
three gold necklaces. In the third were some fragments of pottery. Three
gold necklaces, composed each of a single plate of metal, an inch and a
half wide, with fragments of the earthen vessels in which they were found,
together with stone celts and some pieces of bronze, extracted from the
dolmen, we afterwards saw exhibited in the "Musée du Travail" of the
Universal Exhibition of 1867. These dolmens belong to a much later period
of civilisation than those of Locmariaker—to the "Bronze" Age.

[Illustration: 40. Dolmen of Corcorro.]

The number of dolmens in the Morbihan is estimated at 250. In the
department of Finistère they are set at double the number. All are
supposed to have been originally covered with earth. The bodies are more
frequently buried than burnt. The dolmens contain implements of stone and
bone, occasionally gold and bronze, but never iron. To judge from the
comparative quantities found in the different departments, it may be
assumed that they are the work of people who have entered France from the
west, and have gradually worked their way by the rivers and valleys
further up the country. In this secluded spot we found a large English
family located, ten in number; they had been living there several months.
Before reaching Erdeven, at Kerserho, on a large lande or heathy plain, we
arrived at another series of the great Carnac army of stones, of which
they are a continuation. They are arranged in nine parallel rows, as may
be clearly distinguished by standing upon one of the stones; but the lines
are rather interrupted by hedges and ditches. Some are menhirs planted
vertically on the end, others enormous blocks simply laid upon the soil.
They extend half a league from north to south, more numerous than Carnac,
but generally not so tall, the highest from ten to twelve feet, but very
large. The road is strewed with Druidic monuments. At Corcorro, between
Plouharnel and Erdeven, on a farm, a short distance off the road, is a
dolmen, the largest in the Morbihan. Its original length appears to have
been 45 feet; the part preserved is 24 feet by 12 feet wide, and is
covered with two slabs: one of these is enormous, about six feet wide. It
is used as a cart-shed, and, when we saw it, contained bundles of hemp and
a hemp-breaker. One of the top stones overhangs the others, showing the
dolmen to have been originally larger. A number of ragged children
clustered upon the top, as if they had been accustomed to group themselves
for a picture. They effectually prevented any of us sketching the dolmen,
for, as soon as we began to draw, they all, in number about forty, came
down from their height and pressed closely around us. From Auray we took a
carriage to Vannes, a tidal port, one league from the gulf of Morbihan,
and capital of that department.

Its people, the Veneti, were the head of the Armorican confederation, and
commanded the fleet in time of war. Their vessels had sails of prepared
skins, their cables were chains of iron. They traded with the Scilly
Islands, and brought back tin, copper, skins, slaves, and dogs, objects of
traffic with other nations. The Armorican confederation made a vigorous
resistance against Cæsar, who sent round for the Roman fleet and beat them
in a naval battle in the Morbihan sea. The Romans had attached to their
ships large sharp scythes which mowed down masts and rigging, and a dead
calm rendering the enemy’s ships immovable, they were soon taken, burnt,
or sunk. This battle ended the war with the maritime states of the west.
Cæsar showed little mercy to the conquered: all the senators were put to
death, and the rest of the population sold by auction to furnish the
slave-markets of Italy.

We walked to the promenade, called the "Garenne," where Sombreuil, Renée
de Hercé, bishop of Dol, and twenty-two others of the emigrants, were
shot. Sombreuil was about twenty-six or twenty-seven years of age, a
native of Périgord. He always persisted in the same account of the
capitulation. His last words were:-"Si j’avais pu imaginer que des
militaires pussent manquer à leur parole donnée sur le champ de bataille,
je n’aurais jamais consenti à une capitulation; elle me cause des regrets
amers qui me suivront jusqu’au tombeau. Adieu, Messieurs, nous trouverons
justice et clémence devant un tribunal où la fraude des hommes ne saurait
jamais parvenir." A republican officer offered to bandage his eyes: "Non,"
he exclaimed, "je veux voir mon ennemi jusqu’au dernier instant."
Requested to kneel, Sombreuil answered: "Je le veux bien; mais je fais
observer que je mets un genou pour mon Dieu, et l’autre pour mon roi."
Thus ended the most ill-fated expedition that history has ever had to
record.

The cathedral of Vannes has a richly-sculptured north porch of Kersanton
stone, and another, facing the Rue des Trois Duchesses. Also, a
Renaissance chapel, called the Chapelle du Saint Sacrament or du Pardon,
with a hideous roof replacing the original. Adjoining are the remains of
the elegant cloisters of the cathedral, with basket-handled arcades of the
fifteenth century. In the cathedral is also the chapel of St. Vincent
Ferrier, the great preacher of the fifteenth century, whose labours
extended over almost every country of Europe—Italy, Germany, France,
Switzerland, and Great Britain. San Vicente Ferrar, a Dominican monk, was
the son of an attorney, originally of Valencia, in Spain, of which city he
is the tutelar saint. In Spain he led the way in preaching a crusade
against the Jews and Moors, who were persecuted by the Inquisition with
the most cruel bigotry. Invited to Brittany by Duke John V., he fixed
himself at Vannes, where, after having evangelised the province, he died
in 1419. He was buried in the cathedral. The Duchess Jeanne de France,
daughter of Charles VI., was present at his deathbed, and insisted on
laying him out. By her own desire, she was buried at his feet. Philip II.,
King of Spain, desired his relics, but did not succeed in obtaining them.
The little house in which St. Vincent Ferrier lived is preserved (No. 13,
Rue des Orfèvres). A tiny room, up a narrow staircase, is now converted
into a chapel, in which are shown the stone which served him as a pillow,
his lamp, and other relics.

The Maison du Parlement or Château Gaillau is a curious old building, with
its entrance by a stone staircase and turret. Vannes was the usual
residence of Dukes John IV. and V., and had formerly three châteaux: La
Motte, of which the Hôtel de la Préfecture occupies the site; Plaisance,
half a mile out of the town, where Duke Francis I. died; and La Hermine,
scene of John IV.’s treacherous imprisonment of the Constable Clisson,
which was razed in 1614. It had two towers—one demolished in 1770, the
other still standing, called the "Tour du Connétable," because it was
within its walls he imprisoned Clisson. The Duke had resolved on his
death, to prevent the marriage of Clisson’s daughter Marguerite to Jean de
Bretagne, Count de Penthièvre, son of Charles of Blois.(17) The story is
well related by d’Argentré.

The Duke of Brittany summoned his barons and knights to a council at
Vannes, and entertained them in the Castle de la Motte. He behaved in the
most friendly manner, and invited the Constable, the Lords of Laval and de
Beaumanoir, to see the castle of Hermine he was building. He led the
Constable by the hand through the chambers, and when they arrived at the
keep, said, "Sir Oliver, there’s not a man who understands masonry so well
as yourself; enter and examine the walls well, and if you say it is
properly built, it shall remain." The unsuspecting Constable ascended the
staircase, when the door was closed upon him and he was seized and loaded
with three pairs of fetters. The Duke ordered him to be put into a sack,
his hands and feet tied, and to be thrown secretly at night into the sea.
But the Constable owed his life to the loyalty of Jean Bazvalen, who, like
another Hubert, did not obey his master’s commands, the laws of his
sovereign being less sacred in his eyes than the dictates of humanity and
honour. Clisson was set at liberty, on agreeing to pay 100,000 livres and
to surrender the town of Jugon and some other fortresses. This perfidious
attempt occasioned a war of three years, and was retaliated by Clisson’s
daughter and grandsons upon Duke John V.

The Tour du Connétable, which formed the north-east angle of the Château
de la Hermine, is now used as a museum of Celtic antiquities, and contains
various objects collected in the tumuli of the Morbihan. We observed one
very large jade celt, eighteen inches long, found, we understood, in the
Butte de Tumiac. At Vannes the States of Brittany held their sittings, and
here took place the union of that province with France, 1532.

About twelve miles from Vannes is Korn-er-hoët, demesne of the Princess
Baciocchi, cousin of the Emperor. It was formerly surrounded by woods and
the interminable lande of Lanvaux, which stretches its desolate length
along the Morbihan from Baud to Rochefort. This district had been, from
time immemorial, the abode of some eighty families of gipsies, who lived
there in clay huts under the rule of a chieftain. The sight of this barren
wilderness had so impressed the Princess Baciocchi, in a tour she made in
Brittany in the year 1857, that she obtained the sanction of the Emperor
to reclaim it. She caused a temporary châlet to be built for her
occupation at Kern-er-hoët, and, superintending the works herself, in a
few years effected a wonderful transformation. A model village has been
formed, with church and schools, a well-ordered agricultural population
organised, farm-buildings erected, roads macadamised, the barren lande
drained and reclaimed, and the château surrounded by a well-wooded park.

Great attention has been paid to the details of the dairy farm; all the
disposable milk is made into Dutch cheese. The cows are those of Brittany
and Ayrshire; the pigs from England. The whole demesne comprises about
1300 acres, and the benevolent Princess resides entirely on the scene of
her labours, among the people whose condition she has so ameliorated.(18)

From Vannes we made an excursion into the peninsula of Rhuys, on the south
of the Morbihan Sea. We first stopped at Sarzeau, where Lesage, the
amiable author of ’Gil Blas,’ was born, of whom it was written on his
epitaph:—


    “S’il ne fut pas ami de la fortune,
    Il fut toujours ami de la vertu.”


Then on to the ducal fortress of Sucinio, situated on the borders of the
ocean. It is a magnificent ruin, built in 1250, by Duke Jean le Roux, to
deposit his treasures, in case an invasion of the French should compel him
to leave his duchy. The position is well chosen, its situation on the
seashore enabling him easily to embark his treasures.

This formidable "coffre fort" was a favourite residence of the Dukes of
Brittany, who came here as a relief from the cares and ceremonies of a
Court. Its name, of which Sucinio is a corruption, Soucy-ny-ot, synonymous
with the Sans-Souci of the great Frederick, shows its intention. This
locality was long celebrated for its fine air, and its peaceful character.
Louis XIV. used to say to his courtiers—


    “Désirez vous un pays de repos et de délices?
    Allez habiter l’île de Rhuys.”


Partly demolished, Sucinio presents a mass of now only picturesque ruins,
a curious type of the architecture of the thirteenth century. Five of the
eight enormous battlemented towers remain, and the flamboyant window of
the chapel on the upper floor of the building is still preserved. Traces
of the portcullis and drawbridge are visible. Over the gallery is an
escutcheon, with a couchant lion holding the arms of Brittany, between two
stags, also couchant, at the foot of a tree. The sea that bathed the walls
of the castle has been driven back by the accumulation of mud and the
crumbling of the walls.

Here was born Arthur III., Comte de Richemont, Constable of France, and
afterwards Duke of Brittany. This illustrious man, equally great as a
warrior and politician, does not take his merited place in the page of
history, owing probably to the partiality of French historians, who were
always jealous of the glory of Brittany. Except Du Guesclin, no other
constable has rendered greater service to France.

A prisoner at Agincourt, where he commanded the van, he fought with the
Maid of Orleans,(19) at Beaugeney, took Talbot captive at Patai,
reconquered almost the whole of Normandy, entered Paris in 1436, and
finally expelled the English by the crushing victory of Formigny, having
staked his honour to drive them out of the kingdom. Seven years after, he
succeeded to the ducal crown; but such was the confidence of Charles VII.
in his loyalty, that he retained the supreme command of the French army
with his new dignity. He reigned only fourteen months. Richmont always
caused two swords to be carried before him when he appeared in presence of
the King; a naked sword, as Duke of Brittany, and the other sheathed and
the point turned downwards, as Constable of France. The title of Earl of
Richmond, styled by the French Comte de Richmont, dates from the
Conqueror. Alan Rufus, son of the Earl of Brittany, accompanied Duke
William to England, and commanded the rear of the army at the battle of
Hastings. For these services, he was rewarded with the hand of the
Conqueror’s daughter, and all that northern part of Yorkshire, now called
Richmondshire, where he built, on the river Swale, the town and castle of
Richmond.  The title passed through Alice, daughter of Constance of
Brittany, to Pierre de Dreux, and descended through him to all the Dukes
of his house, until John IV., having gone over to the King of France, was
deprived of the earldom by Act of Parliament, in the reign of King Richard
II.; but Henry IV. again conferred the title upon his stepson Arthur,
afterwards the celebrated Constable and Duke of Brittany.

We returned to breakfast at Sarzeau; then on to the Abbey of St. Gildas de
Rhuys, founded on this inaccessible coast by St. Gildas, an English saint,
the schoolfellow and friend of St. Samson of Dol and St. Pol de Léon, and
which counted among its monks our Saxon St. Dunstan, who, carried by
pirates from his native isle, settled on the desolate shores of Brittany,
and became, under the name of St. Goustan, the patron of mariners.

St. Gildas built his abbey on the edge of a high rocky promontory, the
site of an ancient Roman encampment, called Grand Mont, facing the shore,
where the sea has formed numerous caverns in its rocks. They are composed
chiefly of quartz, and are covered to a great height with innumerable
small mussels. The tide was too high to admit of our entering into any of
the grottoes, but the piles of dark rocks beaten into every form by the
violence of the waves, rising sometimes to the height of sixty feet, are
very imposing. St. Gildas, in the twelfth century, had Abelard for
superior, who, on his appointment, made over to Eloise the celebrated
abbey he had founded at Nogent, near Troyes, which he called the Paraclete
or Comforter, because he there found comfort and refreshment after his
troubles, but his peace soon ended on his arrival in Brittany. His gentle
nature was unable to contend against these coarse, ferocious, unruly,
Breton monks. As he writes in his well-known letter to Eloise, setting
forth his griefs:—

  “J’habite un pays barbare, dont la langue m’est inconnue et en horreur:
  je n’ai de commerce qu’avec des peuples féroces; mes promenades sont les
  bords inaccessibles d’une mer agitée; mes moines n’ont d’autre règle que
  n’en point avoir. Je voudrais que vous vissiez ma maison, vous ne la
  prendriez jamais pour une abbaye: les portes ne sont ornées que de pieds
  de biche, de loups et d’ours, de sangliers, des dépouilles hideuses des
  hiboux. J’éprouve chaque jour de nouveaux périls; je crois à tout moment
  voir sur ma tête un glaive suspendu.”

But if Abelard hated the monks, they equally detested him, and one day
tried to poison him, but he escaped through a gate in the garden wall,
still pointed out, to the sea shore, where his friend and protector, the
Count de Rhuys, awaited him in a boat.

The abbey is now in the occupation of twelve sisters of the "Charité de
St. Louis," who have a school for poor girls, and, in the summer, take in
families to board who come here for the benefit of the bracing air of this
fine wild coast. There is a kind of establishment for bathing in the
little bay below the abbey. The board and lodging is moderate, three
francs and a half a day, wine, tea, and sugar, not included. Boys are
admitted up to thirteen, but the men are sent into the town.

Part of the abbey church is Romanesque: a semi-circular choir, with three
round chapels and the transepts. The nave and tower are of modern date.
The pavement is covered with tumulary stones. Four children of Duke John
III. le Roux are buried here, and one of Joan of Navarre and John IV. In
the Treasury are several pieces of plate, among which is a Renaissance
chalice, with six canopied statuettes of Apostles forming the knop; and a
cross of the same period, a châsse of St. Gildas, his head and arm both
encased in silver reliquaries.  His tomb is in the church.  Encrusted in
the wall outside the church are the figures of two knights on horseback in
mailed armour, conical Norman helmets, long pointed shields, and lances in
the attitude of combat. The church and convent of St. Gildas belonged to
the family of Bisson, whose self-devotion is commemorated by a statue at
Lorient. He passed here many years of his early life, and wishing to
preserve the buildings from ruin, gave them as a present to the parish.
St. Gildas is called by the Bretons St. Feltas. There is a rude coloured
print in the church relative to the legend of Comorre, or Comor, the
Breton "Blue Beard," in which St. Gildas plays a conspicuous part. The
story, as told by Emile Souvestre, is this:—Guerech, Count of Vannes, the
country of white corn, had a daughter, Triphyna, whom he tenderly loved.
One day, ambassadors arrived from Comorre, a Prince of Cornouaille, the
country of the black corn, demanding her in marriage. Now this caused
great distress, for Comorre was a giant, and one of the wickedest of men,
held in awe by every one for his cruelty. As a boy, when he went out, his
mother used to ring a bell to warn people of his approach. He shot a child
in order to prove his gun; and, when unsuccessful in the chase, would set
his dogs on the peasants to tear them in pieces. But most horrible of all,
he had had four wives, who all died one after the other, under suspicion
of having been killed by either the knife, fire, water, or poison. The
Count of Vannes, therefore, dismissed the ambassadors, and advanced to
meet Comorre, who was approaching with a powerful army; but St. Gildas
went into her oratory, and begged Triphyna would save bloodshed, and
consent to the marriage. He gave her a silver ring, which would warn her
of any intended evil, by turning, at the approach of danger, as black as
the crow’s wing. The marriage took place with great rejoicings. The first
day six thousand guests were invited; on the next as many poor were fed,
the bride and the bridegroom serving at table, a napkin under their arms.
For some time, all went on well. Comorre’s nature seemed changed, his
prisons were empty, his gibbets untenanted; but Triphyna felt no
confidence, and every day went to pray at the tombs of his four wives. At
this time there was an assembly at Rennes of the Breton Princes, which
Comorre was obliged to attend. Before his departure, he gave Triphyna the
keys, desiring her to amuse herself in his absence. After five months he
unexpectedly returned, and found her occupied in trimming an infant’s cap
with gold lace.  On seeing the cap, Comorre turned pale; and when Triphyna
joyfully announced to him that in two months he would be a father, he drew
back in a rage and rushed out of the apartment. Triphyna saw that her ring
had turned black, which betokened danger, she knew not why. She descended
into the chapel to pray; when she rose to depart it was midnight, and she
saw the four tombs of Comorre’s wives open slowly, and they all issued
forth in their winding-sheets. Half dead with fear, Triphyna tried to
escape; but the spectres cried, "Take care, poor lost one! Comorre seeks
to kill you." "I," says the Countess, "what evil have I done?"—"You have
told him that you will soon become a mother; and, through the Spirit of
Evil, he knows that his child will kill him, and that is why he has
murdered us, when we told him what he has just learned from you." "What
hope then of escape remains for me," cried Triphyna."—"Go back to your
father," answered the phantoms. "But how escape when Comorre’s dog guards
the court?"—"Give him this poison which killed me," said the first wife."
"But how can I descend this high wall?"—"By means of this cord which
strangled me," answered the second wife. "But who will guide me through
the dark?"—"The fire which burnt me," replied the third wife. "And how can
I make so long a journey?" returned Triphyna.—"Take this stick which broke
my skull," rejoined the fourth spectre. Armed with these weapons, Triphyna
sets out, silences the dog, scales the wall, sees her way through the
darkness, and proceeds on her road to Vannes. On awakening next morning,
Comorre finds his wife fled, and pursues her on horseback. The poor
fugitive, seeing her ring turn black, turned off the road and hid herself
till night in the cabin of a shepherd, where was only an old magpie in a
cage at the door. Comorre, who had given up the pursuit, was returning
home that road, when he heard the magpie trying to imitate her complaints,
and calling out "Poor Triphyna!" he therefore knew his wife had passed
that way, and set his dog on the track. Meanwhile, Triphyna felt she could
proceed no further, and laid down on the ground, where she brought into
the world a boy of marvellous beauty. As she clasped him to her arms, she
saw over her head a falcon with a golden collar, which she recognised as
her father’s. The bird came to her call, and giving it the warning ring of
St. Gildas, she told it to fly with it to her father. The bird obeyed and
flew with it like lightning to Vannes; but, almost at the same instant,
Comorre arrived; having parted with her warning ring, Triphyna, who had no
notice of his approach, had only time to conceal her babe in the cavity of
a tree, when Comorre threw himself upon his unhappy wife, and with one
blow severed her head from her body. When the falcon arrived at Vannes, he
found the King at dinner with St. Gildas; he let the ring fall into the
silver cup of his master, who recognising it, exclaimed, "My daughter is
in danger; saddle the horses, and let St. Gildas accompany us." Following
the falcon, they soon reached the spot where Triphyna lay dead. After they
had all knelt in prayer, St. Gildas said to the corpse, "Arise, take thy
head and thy child, and follow us." The dead body obeyed, the bewildered
troop followed; but, gallop as fast as they could, the headless body was
always in front, carrying the babe in her left hand, and her pale head in
the right. In this manner, they reached the castle of Comorre. "Count,"
says St. Gildas, "I bring back your wife such as your wickedness has made
her, and thy child such as Heaven has given it thee. Wilt thou receive
them under thy roof?" Comorre was silent. The Saint three times repeated
the question, but no voice returned an answer. Then St. Gildas took the
new-born infant from its mother, and placed it on the ground. The child
marched alone to the edge of the moat, and picking up a handful of earth,
and throwing it against the castle, exclaimed, "Let the Trinity execute
judgment." At the same instant the towers shook and fell with a great
crash; the walls yawned open and the castle sunk, burying Comorre and all
his fellow partners in crime. St. Gildas then replaced Triphyna’s head
upon her shoulders, laid his hands upon her, and restored her to life, to
the great joy of her father.—Such is the history of Triphyna and Comorre.

On our way back to Vannes we saw on our left the Butte de Tumiac, or Butte
d’Arzon, the largest tumulus of the Morbihan. It was opened in 1853, and
found to enclose a chamber full of pulverised bones and various curious
objects. From Vannes we also visited the stately castle of Elven, about
four miles from the station of that name; not built on a lofty site, for,
in the fifteenth century, the barons had descended from their heights to
places more convenient of access, and where water was more easily
obtained. The Breton feudal lords of Rohan, Rieux, Clisson, and
Penthièvre, no longer required fortified places as means of defence
against the French and English, but, in consequence of their own internal
divisions, to defend them in their wars with their duke or among
themselves. The castle of Elven is situated in an insulated coppice wood,
in the midst of the lande of Elven. It was the chief place of the lordship
of l’Argoët (in Breton, "upon the wood"), and is also called the fortress
of Largoët.

[Illustration: 41. Castle of Elven.]

The ruins, which occupy a large enclosure, consist chiefly of two towers;
the principal one, 130 feet high, is octagonal; the other, which is not
above 100 feet in height, is split from top to bottom. The battlemented
walls are nearly 20 feet thick at the base. A wide deep moat surrounded
the castle, and it was furnished with subterranean passages and everything
requisite to make it a model of the military architecture of the fifteenth
century. The donjon has two granite staircases; one leads to the top,
whence may be seen Vannes and the Morbihan, with its islands. Here, in
1793, the Royalists established signals. In the castle of Elven, Henry of
Richmond, then only fifteen, with his uncle, Jasper Tudor, Earl of
Pembroke, were detained by Duke Francis II. for fifteen years. Fugitives
after Tewkesbury, they were thrown by a tempest upon the shores of
Brittany. Henry was claimed both by King Edward IV. and Louis XI., and was
kept by Duke Francis as a pledge of the good faith of Edward towards
Brittany. Perhaps also Francis may have entertained some ill-feeling
towards Henry from his bearing the title of Earl of Richmond, which had
been held for more than three hundred years by the Dukes of Brittany.
Francis revived the claim to the title which Henry VI. had conferred
(1452) on Edward Tudor, father of Henry. Subsequently, on the assurance of
the King of England that he only required the release of Henry to invest
him with the Order of the Garter and to give him his daughter, the
Princess Elizabeth, in marriage, Duke Francis made over the Prince to the
English Ambassador, and he was about to embark at St. Malo for England,
when the Duke’s Grand Treasurer (Landais) arrived, warned Henry of his
danger, and helped him to take refuge in the sanctuary of the church,
whence he afterwards withdrew him again to place him in honourable
captivity for twelve more years, till King Edward’s death. A party being
formed in England, aided by the Duchess of Brittany, Françoise de Foix,
Henry attempted a descent; but the plan being discovered, after seeing the
English coast, Henry was obliged to return to Brittany and his ships were
scattered in a storm.  Again within his power, Landais listened to the
offers of King Richard III., and agreed to give him up; but Henry,
informed in time, left Vannes, threw himself into the forest, and escaped
to France, where he obtained from the regent, Anne de Beaujeu, the
assistance which enabled him to mount the English throne.

The castle of Elven, with those of Rieux and Rochefort, belonged to the
Maréchal de Rieux. Elven was rebuilt by him with the materials of the old;
but they were all dismantled by the orders of the Duchess Anne in 1496, to
punish her guardian for his revolt. Yet Rieux acted as he thought best for
the welfare of his late master and his daughter, whose cause he defended
against the interested views of the King of France. Rieux had that keen
sense of honour which is one of the characteristics of the Breton
gentleman. When he reproached Anne de Beaujeu, regent, to her brother
Charles VIII., for having instigated the King to attack Nantes, contrary
to his engagements, Anne replied, "He had no written promise." "Et quoi,
Madame!" he indignantly exclaimed; "la parole d’un roy, ne vaut elle pas
mille scellez?" Louis de Rieux, the last of the race, was shot on the
Champs des Martyrs. True to the motto of his house, "A toute heure,
Rieux," he showed himself ready "at any hour" to die for the altar and the
throne.

Elven is the scene of M. Octave Feuillet’s "Roman d’un jeune Homme
pauvre;" and the keeper who shows the ruins points out the spot whence the
"Hero of Romance" took the leap to prove his loyalty, and which gained him
the hand of the lady.

Next morning we started early by rail to Questembert, to meet the
diligence for Ploërmel, twenty miles from this station, passing through
Malestroit. We saw quantities of chestnuts on our road, and were told they
were largely exported to England. They come principally from the
neighbourhood of Redon and other places in the department of
Ile-et-Vilaine, where they grow as abundantly as described by Madame de
Sevigné, when writing from the Château des Roches, in the same department:
"Pour nous, ce sont des châtaignes qui font notre ornement. J’en avois
l’autre jour trois au quatre paniers autour de moi. J’en fis bouillir,
j’en fis rôtir, j’en mis dans mes poches, on en sert dans les plats, on
marche dessus, c’est la Bretagne dans son triomphe."

Ploërmel derives its name (plo-ermel, land or territory of Armel) from an
anchorite of the sixth century, who treated a dragon which ravaged the
country in the time of King Childebert in the same manner as St. Pol de
Léon disposed of the monster at Batz.

The façade of the church of Saint Armel has a number of grotesque
carvings—the sow playing the bagpipes, the cobbler sewing up the mouth of
his wife, &c.; but it is principally remarkable for its eight painted
windows of the sixteenth century, lately restored, and the monumental
effigies of two Dukes of Brittany; the one, John II., who was killed at
Lyons, where he went to settle some differences with his clergy, on the
occasion of the coronation of Pope Clement V. A wall, loaded with
spectators, fell, and the Duke was crushed in its ruins; the Pope escaped
with being only thrown from his mule.

The other effigy is that of Duke John III., or the Good, whose death was
the signal for the War of Succession. He died at Caen. These tombs were
formerly in the Carmelite convent founded by John II., who, on his return
from the Holy Land, established the first Carmelite convent in Brittany,
and brought monks from Mount Carmel to inhabit it.

The tombs were destroyed in the Revolution, but the two statues were
saved. They are of white marble, and are placed on a monumental slab, side
by side, with this inscription: "De tous temps la fidélité Bretonne rendit
hommage à ses souverains." Duke John II. is represented in a hauberk of
mail, the hood turned back, with cotte d’armes, shield, and sword. Duke
John III. has his head encircled by the ducal crown, his hair long, his
genouillières, cuissarts, &c., of plate armour. His shield and cotte
d’armes are semé of ermines, and by his side is the dagger of miséricorde,
which served to kill the fallen enemy unless he cried for mercy. When
James II. passed through Ploërmel after the Battle of the Boyne, a
fugitive and a dethroned monarch, the Carmelite monks would not take him
in; but he found in the little village of Penfra the hospitality they had
refused him. Here is an establishment, directed by a brother of Lamennais,
the celebrated author of ’Paroles d’un Croyant,’ where people of all
nations—Indians, negroes from Senegambia, and others—are educated and
taught trades of every kind, and sent back to their own countries.

[Illustration: 42. Column of the Thirty.]

The people about Ploërmel and Josselin speak French instead of Breton, the
prevailing language of the Morbihan department. It is nearly seven miles
between Ploërmel and Josselin. Equally distant from each, at Mi-voie, in
the centre of a star formed by avenues of firs and cypresses, is an
obelisk set up to commemorate the famous "Combat des Trente," which took
place on this spot in 1351, and on which are inscribed the names of the
thirty who fought on the French side. It was during that period of the War
of Succession when hostilities were carried on by the two Jeannes, Marshal
Beaumanoir, the Breton commander of the garrison of Josselin for Jeanne de
Penthièvre, gave a challenge to Bembro’, as he is called, the English
captain who held Ploërmel for Jeanne de Montfort and her infant son, in
consequence of an alleged infraction by the latter of a truce, agreed upon
between the Kings of France and England, in which it had been stipulated
that the peasants and those not bearing arms should be unmolested. In
spite of this compact, the English soldiers devastated the country and
committed every kind of excess. Jean de Beaumanoir repaired to Ploërmel to
remonstrate, and it was agreed to settle the dispute by a fight between
thirty warriors from each camp. The prophecies of Merlin were consulted,
and found to promise victory to the English. The appointed place of
meeting was by a large oak, the "Chêne de Mi-Voie," on a lande or large
plain, half way from each town. The battle began with great fury, at first
to the disadvantage of the Bretons, when Bembro’ was killed, which threw
dismay among the English; but a German, who succeeded in the command,
rallied their courage, and the melée became thicker than ever. Beaumanoir
was wounded, and his loss of blood and his long fast produced a burning
thirst, and he asked for water. "Bois ton sang, Beaumanoir, ta soif se
passera," was the reply of Geoffroy du Bois; and Beaumanoir, forgetting
his thirst and his wound, continued the fight. The English kept their
ranks close, till Guillaume de Montauban broke them by a stratagem and
threw them into confusion. He mounted his horse and pretended to fly, then
suddenly turned upon the English with such force that he threw seven down
and broke their ranks:—


    “Grande fut la bataille et longuement dura:
    Et le chapple (carnage) horrible est deçà et delà;
    La chaleur fut moult grande, chacun si tressua (sua);
    De sœur et de sang la terre rosoya (rougit).
    A ce bon samedi Beaumanoir si jeuna;
    Grand soif eut le baron, à boire demanda;
    Messire Geoffrey du Bois tantôt répondu a:
    ’Bois ton sang, Beaumanoir, la soif te passera;
    Ce jour aurons honneur, chacun si gagnera
    Vaillante renommée, ja blâme ne sera.’—
    Beaumanoir le vaillant adonc s’évertua,
    Tel deuil eut et telle ire que la soif lui passa;
    Et d’un côté et d’autre le chapple commença:
    Morts furent ou blessés, guères n’en échappa.”—BRIZEUX.


Sir Robert Knollys, Sir Hugh Calverly Croquart, and others were made
prisoners, and thus ended the Battle of the Thirty; gained, however, in a
most disloyal manner, Montauban getting the aid of a horse, when all the
other combatants fought on foot.

The Breton knights returned to Josselin, their helmets decorated with
branches of the broom—


    “In every basnet a bright broom flower;”


the place where the battle was fought running, according to the French
poem,


    “Le long d’une génetaie qui était verte et belle.”


Josselin is celebrated for its château, where died, 1407, Olivier du
Clisson, the contemporary and brother of arms of Du Guesclin, whom he
succeeded in the dignity of Constable of France, which no one for some
time would accept, not thinking themselves worthy of replacing him. Both
differed widely in position and character. Du Guesclin, though of a noble
family, had not the advantage of fortune like Clisson, who had immense
wealth and landed possessions, which made him a kind of sovereign in the
duchy. He willed away a million of money. Clisson was a statesman, Du
Guesclin’s sole glory was in arms. Clisson was cruel, intriguing, and
insatiable for riches; Du Guesclin was humane, loyal, and disinterested.
Both were equal in bravery and physical force: the lance of Du Guesclin
and the axe of Clisson(20) carried all before them. Clisson joined with Du
Guesclin in freeing the country from the "Great Companies," and his most
celebrated action was the defeat of the Flemings at Rosbecq. Few subjects
have been so powerful, or have filled so important a part, as Olivier du
Clisson. He was true to his sovereign after his reconciliation, and to his
children after him. John IV. had scarce closed his eyes when the daughter
of Clisson, wife of Jean de Penthièvre, came to her father and said, "It
depends only on you that my husband receives the inheritance of Brittany."
"How?" asked the Constable. "By your ridding yourself of the children of
De Montfort." "Ah! cruel and perverse woman," exclaimed Clisson; "if you
live long, you will destroy the honour and property of your children;" and
he accompanied his words with such violent menaces, that, seized with
affright, she fled from his presence, and falling down, broke her thigh.
The prophecy of Clisson was fulfilled, as we shall later relate. The
ancient château in which he died was destroyed by Henry IV.; the present
building was raised by Alain IX., Vicomte de Rohan, through Alain VIII.,
who married Beatrix, eldest daughter of the Constable, by which Josselin
descended to the Rohans,(21) a house yielding to none in antiquity and
illustration, being descended from the ancient sovereigns of Brittany, and
allied with all the crowned heads of Europe,—"Princes of Bretagne" they
were styled. But the Rohan family became unpopular in the duchy, when John
II. attached himself to Louis XI. and France, for the bribe of 8000 livres
to himself and 4000 to his wife.

At the battle of St. Aubin du Cormier, which sealed the fate of Brittany,
the Vicomte du Rohan betrayed his brother-in-law Duke Francis and the
national cause, and fought on the side of France. He afterwards marched at
the head of the French troops, and besieged Guingamp, where its brave
defenders declared, "As long as there is a duchess in Brittany, we will
not give up her towns." But they took Pontrieux and Concarneau, and in
1491 the Vicomte du Rohan was appointed by Charles VIII.
Lieutenant-General in Lower Brittany.  He was called by his countrymen the
"Felon Prince;" and so detested was he and his race, that it passed into a
proverb to say of a mean, treacherous, dishonest person, "Il mange à
l’auge comme Rohan,"—"He eats at the manger (that is, the table of the
King of France) like Rohan." "Un peu de jactance," therefore, justly
observes Daru, in the proud motto of the Rohans:—(22)


    “Roi ne puis,
    Prince ne daigne,
    Rohan je suis.”


[Illustration: 43. Château of Josselin.]

The château of Josselin stands by a river, on which side it presents piles
of towers and fortifications covered with slate, a severe specimen of
military architecture; while on the other side, the cour d’honneur, we see
one of the handsomest châteaux of the Renaissance yet remaining in
Brittany. This façade is richly ornamented with sculptures of varied and
fanciful design.  Immense gurgoyles, in the form of serpents, stretching
from the roof to the base, pierced balustrades or galleries of lace-like
delicacy, in which are introduced, according to the fashion of the period,
the initial letters of the Vicomte Alain, A and V interlaced. The old
Rohan motto, "À plus," and the escutcheon of gules, nine mascles or
lozenges, occur in every part of this gorgeous front, and also on the
finely-carved chimneypiece of the reception room (salle d’honneur). The
whole of the château is in course of restoration by the Prince de Léon.

In the church of Josselin is the tomb of the Constable Clisson, with that
of Marguerite de Rohan his wife; both statues were mutilated in the
Revolution, but are now restored: they are of white marble on a black
slab. Clisson is in armour, Marguerite has her hair plaited and confined
in a network of pearls; she wears a long robe, with a surcoat above,
furred with ermine. The motto, "Pour ce qu’il me plest (plait)," is in an
oratory which belonged to Clisson, expressing his haughty and overbearing
will. This same motto appears on his seal, affixed to a letter preserved
in the archives of the empire, and he is recorded to have had it inscribed
upon his Constable’s sword, which, like Du Guesclin, he always wore
unsheathed, to show he was ready at all times to fight the enemies of the
crown.

There hangs in the church a picture of the finding of the image Notre
Dame-du-Roncier, of which we relate the legend:—

Long before Josselin was a town, a poor labourer had remarked, on the spot
where now stands the church of Notre Dame, a bramble bush, which the frost
and snow of the roughest winters never deprived of its leaves, but it
always remained fresh and green. Surprised at this strange phenomenon, he
dug the soil under the bramble, and discovered a wooden statue of the
Virgin. A marvellous light played round the head of the image. The man
carried it home; but next morning, to his surprise, he found the statue
under the same bush whence he had taken it. The miracle was repeated
several times, and soon attracted crowds of devotees. A chapel was built
to deposit the sacred image, houses followed next, and a little town
gradually formed, which the Comte de Porhoët surrounded with walls, and
Josselin, his son, endowed with his name, 1030. Such was the rise of
Josselin. A celebrated pilgrimage still exists to Josselin on Whit
Tuesday, resorted to by crowds of "aboyeuses" or barkers, people possessed
with this kind of epilepsy, said to be hereditary in several families, and
which is accounted for from the circumstance of a party of washerwomen
having refused a glass of water to the Vierge du Ronçier, who went to them
disguised in the garb of a beggar. The merciless creatures set their dogs
upon the pretended mendicant, and thus brought down upon themselves and
their posterity this fearful malediction. The disease is supposed to
return periodically about Whitsuntide, and only to leave the afflicted
when they are carried forcibly to the sanctuary of Notre Dame to press
with their foaming lips the fragments still remaining of the ancient
miraculous statue which was burnt upon the public Place in the time of the
French Revolution.

We left Ploërmel at four o’clock in the morning for Montfort-sur-Mer,
passing through Plélan; while the horses baited at a little auberge we got
some hot coffee, and found a good fire in the kitchen. The landlady, shut
in her "lit clos," did not disturb herself, but occasionally put out her
head to give directions for our breakfast. On the left of the road is the
forest of Paimpont, which formerly extended from Montfort to Rostrenan, a
kind of neutral desert land, called Brocéliande, and famous, under that
name, in the history of King Arthur. It was the theatre of the fairies’
most wondrous enchantments. Here was the fountain of Youth and also that
of Barenton, where they came every day to draw water in an emerald basin.
Here, too, the enchanted Merlin has lain sleeping for centuries,
enthralled by his pupil the fairy Viviana, who has cast a spell upon her
master she knows not how to break.

Montfort, where we joined the railway, is celebrated for the legend of the
duck and its ducklings, and was the residence of the De Montfort family
until Guy Comte de Laval and Sire de Montfort married Françoise de Dinan,
widow of the unfortunate Gilles de Bretagne, when the Montforts left their
paternal demesne for the châteaux of Laval, Vitré, and Châteaubriant.

The railway took us to Rennes, an uninteresting modern French town, the
old town was burnt down in 1720, and straight streets have risen up, with
no traces of its having been once the ancient capital of Brittany. Indeed,
so French is it altogether, that the saying runs—"Bon Breton de Vannes,
bon Français de Rennes." It was here that Constance, heiress of the duchy,
held her court, with Geoffrey Plantagenet, who, with their unfortunate son
Arthur, were the only Plantagenets, dukes of Brittany. On the murder of
Arthur, his sister Alice carried the ducal crown to her husband, Pierre de
Dreux (called Mauclerc, from his animosity to the clergy), and from them
descended the dukes of Brittany down to Queen Anne, whose double marriage
conveyed the duchy to France and the Valois.

When Henry IV. made his solemn entry into Rennes, the Governor presented
him with the three silver-gilt keys of the city, of rich workmanship; upon
which the King observed, "Elles étaient belles, mais qu’il aimait mieux
les clefs des cœurs des habitants."

The following year we made a tour along the banks of the Loire, and at
Angers embarked on board the steamer for Nantes. The scenery down the
Loire is rich, and the hills covered with vineyards, islands planted with
willows, and sunny villages, or occasionally a gloomy fortress comes to
view. Ingrandes is the frontier town, half in Anjou and half in Brittany,
between the modern departments of Loire Inférieure and Maine-et-Loire.
Lower down is St. Florent (Maine-et-Loire), with its recollections of the
wonderful passage of the Loire by the Vendean army, so graphically related
by Madame de la Rochejacquelin, and near the island of Meilleraie, where
their brave General Bonchamps expired, after the fatal engagement of
Chollet; his last act being the saving the lives of four thousand
prisoners shut up in the church, and about to be executed by the
exasperated Vendeans. "Grâce aux prisonniers" were his dying words.
Opposite St. Florent is Varades, where the Vendeans landed after crossing
the Loire. Only a feeble post opposed them. Had the republicans lost less
time, and sent a force after their victory at Chollet, much calamity would
have been spared to Brittany, and the Royalists themselves would have been
saved the terrible defeats of Le Mans and Savenay.

Passing Ancenis, which rises in an amphitheatre on the vine-clothed hills,
and, with its suspension-bridge, is one of the most picturesque points in
the river, we reached Oudon, with its tall octagonal tower; on the left,
in the department of Maine-et-Loire, nearly opposite, stands the ruined
castle of Champtoceaux, where Duke John V. was kept a prisoner by the
implacable enemies of his house, the Penthièvre family.

Marguerite de Clisson, widow of Jean de Bretagne, Comte de Penthièvre,
lived in retirement in her stately fortress of Champtoceaux, with her
three sons, Oliver, Count of Blois, and his brothers. Marguerite inherited
the pride, hatred, and cruelty, of her father, without his chivalrous
loyalty and magnanimity. The kingdom was filled with troubles, and she
thought it a favourable moment for reviving the pretensions of her family.
John V. held his court at Nantes. She sent Oliver there to assure the Duke
that his mother and brother were ready to do him homage; and he swore, on
his own part, "de le servir envers et contre tous ceux qui peuvent vivre
et mourir." John, delighted, made the young man share his bed, and treated
him with the greatest distinction. Oliver expressed his regret that the
age and infirmities of his mother prevented her going to court, and
timidly insinuated the honour she would feel at a visit from the Duke. The
Duke consented, and, sending off his plate to Champtoceaux, started with
his brother-in-law, Count Oliver, and his attendants. Having passed the
little river which separates Anjou from Brittany, they saw a man throwing
the planks of the bridge into the water, and thus preventing the Duke’s
suite from following. At the same time, Charles de Penthièvre, Margaret’s
second son, issued suddenly from a wood with an escort of lances and
surrounded the Duke. There was no kind of indignity they did not make him
suffer. He was tied upon his horse like a criminal, and conducted first to
Clisson, Oliver leading him with a halter round his neck. The Penthièvres,
who would not let the place be guessed where they held their captive,
conducted him at night, sometimes on foot, from fortress to fortress, from
dungeon to dungeon; at the same time circulating the report that they had
drowned him in the Loire. As a last insult, they took him to Champtoceaux,
where Marguerite visited him in prison to exult over his misfortunes.
Meantime the Breton barons, indignant at the treason of which their
Sovereign was the victim, raised an army for his deliverance, and civil
war broke out with redoubled fury. His heroic wife, Jeanne de France,
showed an untiring energy to save him. Undaunted by the threats of the
Penthièvres,—who sent word to her, if she did not desist from hostilities
they would cut her husband in pieces, nor by the messages from the Duke
himself assuring her that her zeal would cost him his life,—she induced
her brother, the Dauphin, to order the Penthièvres not to attempt the life
of their prisoner; she besieged, one after the other, all their castles,
and at last compelled Marguerite to capitulate to save her own life.
Finding herself and family in a perilous position, Marguerite agreed that
the Duke should be released (he was at Clisson), and that she and her sons
should retire where they wished, on their promise to appear at the summons
of the Breton nobles. Immediately on his liberation, Duke John ordered the
destruction of Champtoceaux. A parliament assembled at Vannes in 1424,
condemned Marguerite and her sons to capital punishment, and declared all
the Penthièvre possessions to be forfeited to the State. But the culprits
had all escaped the kingdom, except the youngest son, William, a child
only ten years of age, who had been given as a hostage for the appearance
of his mother and brothers, and was condemned to languish for twenty-seven
years in prison, where he lost his eyesight—a victim to crimes in which he
had not been an accomplice. John had made a vow, during his detention, to
give, if he regained his liberty, to the church of Notre Dame at Nantes,
his weight in gold; and most conscientiously did he perform his promise,
for we read, "He placed himself in his war armour in the balance, and
caused the opposite scale to be filled with gold till it had attained the
weight of the first; that is to say, three hundred and eighty marks, seven
ounces"—which sum was delivered over to the church. Vows of this nature
are not unfrequently recorded. When Don Carlos, the ill-fated son of
Philip II., lay ill, he vowed to give to the Virgin, on his recovery, four
times his weight in gold plate, and seven times his weight in silver. The
vow was fulfilled; but the Prince was placed in the scale in a damask robe
and fur coat, and weighed only seventy-six pounds—so much was he reduced
by his long illness.

Nantes is a cheerful, busy, handsome city, but wanting in the picturesque
characteristics of the towns of Lower Brittany. Quimper, Vannes, Rennes,
and Nantes, have all been successively capitals of the duchy, but Nantes
was the usual residence of its dukes.

The cathedral contains its principal artistic monument, the tomb of Duke
Francis II. and his second wife, Marguerite de Foix, called "sein de lys,"
from the beauty of her complexion. It was erected by their daughter, the
Queen-Duchess Anne, and was executed by Michel Colomb, a sculptor of St.
Pol de Léon, originally a herd-boy. This monument, considered a
masterpiece of the Renaissance, is not copied from any Italian original,
but is entirely the offspring of the artist’s own fancy. There is much
simplicity in its design and execution. The tomb, about five feet high, is
of white marble, diapered with ermine and the letter F. On a black slab
repose the effigies of the Duke and Duchess, and at their feet are lying a
lion and a greyhound, holding their several escutcheons. Four large
allegorical figures are at each angle of the tomb, representing the
cardinal virtues. Justice carries the book of the laws, and the sword by
which she makes them respected. This figure is said to be the portrait of
the Duchess Anne. Temperance, in a monastic dress, is characterised by a
bit and a lantern. Prudence, double faced, holds a mirror and a compass,
and has a serpent at her feet. This figure is in the costume of a peasant
girl of St. Pol; the second face, that of an old man, is also in the dress
of Lower Brittany. Strength or Fortitude, handsome, resolute, and calm,
strangles a dragon with his grasp.

Upon the principal sides of the tomb are the twelve Apostles, and below,
in niches, sixteen mourners (pleureuses) in monastic habits, the faces and
hands white, the rest of the body black. The beautiful attitude of these
figures is much admired. Some are kneeling, others are seated—all in the
attitude and expression of prayer. This monument was originally in the
church of the Carmelites, whence it was transferred to the cathedral.

Besides the remains of Duke Francis and his two wives, it formerly
contained the heart of his daughter, the Queen-Duchess Anne, enshrined in
a golden case in the form of a heart, surmounted by a crown, and
surrounded by a cordelière; but the tomb was rifled during the Reign of
Terror. It now holds the remains of the Constable Duke Arthur III.

Duke John IV. also died at Nantes, after his long eventful reign, having
acquired a military glory which earned him the name of Conqueror, and
equalled that of Du Guesclin and Clisson. Twice he lost and twice he
regained his crown. He alienated Du Guesclin and his faithful subjects by
his partiality to England. The Bretons rose, and he fled to Edward III.;
but when Charles V. entered the duchy, with the intention of confiscating
it to the crown of France, the Bretons all united to defend their
nationality against the ambition of the French King, and recalled their
Sovereign. So great was the enthusiasm on his arrival at St. Malo, that
the nobles plunged into the water to approach his ship; and even the widow
of his rival, Charles of Blois, went to welcome him. His cowardly attempt
against the Constable Clisson again compromised his reputation, and was
disgracefully avenged upon his son by the implacable daughter of Clisson.

The old ducal castle still rises on the left bank of the river. It was
here Anne of Brittany was born, and here she married, 1499, her old
admirer, the chivalrous Duke of Orleans, then King Louis XII., according
to her stipulation, that the King, "viendra l’espouser en sa maison de
Nantes." Left at the age of eleven, by the death of her father, a prey to
claimants to her hand, which carried with it the powerful duchy of
Brittany, Anne was a prize worth a king’s seeking, even at a time when
there were so many other rich heiresses undisposed of—Mary of Burgundy,
Elizabeth of York, Isabella of Castille, and Catherine de Foix. Anne is
described as handsome, but slightly lame, generous, and gentle, but grave
and proud in her demeanour. Louis XII. called her his "fière Bretonne,"
and allowed her the uncontrolled government of Brittany, "tout ainsi que
si elle n’estoit point sa femme."

Though the wife of two Kings of France, Anne never forgot the interests of
her duchy, whose nationality she always strove to maintain with the
pertinacity of a true Breton, and showed herself, by her spirit and
independence, to be the most worthy of all her race to wear the ducal
crown. Jean Marot addresses her as "Royne incomparable, deux fois
devinement sacrée, Anne Duchesse de Bretagne."

Like most of the ladies of her age, Anne was an accomplished linguist. She
understood Latin and Greek, and most of the European languages. She
corresponded with her husband in Latin verse. Her letters, still extant,
breathe the most tender affection. One, written to him (1499) during the
Italian wars, begins, "Une épouse tendre et chérie écrit à son époux
encore plus chéri, l’objet à la fois de ses regrets et de son estime,
conduit par la gloire loin de sa patrie. Amante infortunée, il n’est pour
elle aucun instant sans alarmes. Quel malheur affreux que celui d’être
privé d’un Prince que l’on aime, d’un Prince plus amant qu’époux."

It was in this castle that Henry IV. signed his celebrated Edict of
Nantes, so fatally revoked by Louis XIV.

The Duc de Mercœur, when governor of Brittany, made Nantes a regular
fortified town. Having married Marie de Luxembourg, heiress of the house
of Penthièvre, he sought to secure to himself the duchy of Brittany, while
his brother, the Duke de Guise, aimed at the crown of France. Head of the
League in that province, he looked upon it as a means of attaining his
end: his wife joined him in his plans of ambition, and they by turns
tyrannized and caressed the Nantais, amusing them with fêtes, in which the
Duchess condescended to dance with the townsfolk. For twenty years Mercœur
held the province; but a peace was eventually signed between him and Henry
IV., through the mediation of Gabrielle d’Estrées, whose son César de
Vendôme, then four years of age, was affianced to the Duke de Mercœur’s
daughter, then only six.  When Henry IV. made his entry into Nantes after
the pacification, he observed, on surveying the fortifications, "Ventre
Saint Gris, les Ducs de Bretagne n’étaient pas de petits compagnons."

Nantes has been the scene of many an act of vengeance on the part of the
Kings of France.

The Place du Bouffay, the place of execution, was the scene of the tragic
death of the young Henri de Talleyrand, Comte de Chalais, executed by
Louis XIII. for his part in the conspiracy which bears his name. Its
object was the death of the Cardinal, and to place the crown on the head
of the feeble Gaston, who was celebrating his marriage at Nantes at the
time that his victim Chalais was paying the penalty of his crime.

The restless, intriguing Cardinal de Retz was imprisoned in Nantes Castle
during the minority of Louis XIV., and made a wonderful escape by letting
himself down from the walls to the river, where a boat awaited him. It was
also at Nantes that the same monarch caused Fouquet to be arrested, not,
as alleged, for his malpractices in office, but because his ambition and
pomp offended the pride of his royal master.

For their part in the conspiracy of Cellamare, the Marquis de Poncallec
and three other Breton gentlemen suffered on the Place du Bouffay, and the
Vendean chief, La Charette, was also there shot in 1795.

Not far from the castle is the Rue Haute du Château. At the Maison Juigny,
in this street, the Duchesse de Berri was arrested, after having remained
sixteen hours concealed in an aperture behind a chimney on the third
floor, scarcely a foot and a half high and four feet long. The police,
having information of her being in the house, through the treachery of a
Jew, had made a fruitless search, but had left a watch behind. The
soldiers lighted a fire in the chimney, and the Duchess, with her three
attendants, sallied out, her dress completely scorched. They had endured
the heat, but were unable to bear the suffocation.

Nantes has some fine promenades and boulevards, planted with trees. In the
Cours Saint Pierre and St. André are statues of the Duchess Anne and of
the three Breton constables, Du Guesclin, Clisson, and Richmont.

One of the leading characteristics of Nantes is its numerous bridges: a
regular chain of them form a continuous line across the river and canals,
and others unite the islands which form the suburbs to the town itself.

The Museum contains a large collection of pictures, which the bequest of
the Duke de Feltre (Maréchal Clarke) has increased considerably. These
consist mostly of sketches by Paul Delaroche, and the charming Italian
subjects of Léopold Robert.

"L’enfant charitable"—a nun on her deathbed embracing a child who is
standing by her side, an angel behind—is a touching composition of Ary
Schäeffer. Another, by Paul Baudry, represents the death of Marat:
Charlotte Corday’s open, handsome face, looks incapable of the crime she
has just perpetrated. There is one by Ziegler—Daniel in the lion’s den—an
angel staying the lions from molesting him. The atmosphere of light
surrounding the angel is wonderful and unearthly. These two are in the
general collection, together with numerous examples of the old masters.

Near our hotel is one of the curiosities of Nantes, the Passage de la
Pommeraye, consisting of three stories of iron galleries or arcades,
uniting the Rue de Crébillon with the Rue de la Fosse. The second arcade
communicates by a flight of stairs with the third, called the Galerie de
la Fosse, opening upon the street of that name.

The Garden of Plants is beautifully laid out; groves and avenues of
magnolias in full flower, with rocks, waterfalls, rustic bridges, all most
picturesquely disposed, making it one of the prettiest gardens and public
promenades in France.

We descended the Loire by steamer, passing by vast granite buildings,
built as magazines for colonial imports, called Les Salorges, in front of
which the horrible noyades of Carrier took place, and these warehouses
served as a temporary place of confinement for the victims. We next
steamed past the island of Indret, the great manufacture of steam-engines
for the State. Here we landed some market women, in caps of the same form,
with high combs, as those of clear muslin worn by the Nantaises, only of a
coarse material, and edged with black. On the right was Couëron, where
Duke Francis II. died in consequence of a fall from his horse. The battle
of St. Aubin-du-Cormier had decided his fate and that of his daughters,—a
humiliation from which he never recovered. His faithful friend Rieux, who
commanded his army, defeated by the youthful Louis de la Trémouille; the
chivalrous Louis of Orleans, a prisoner in an iron cage in the "Grosse
Tour" at Bourges; and the safety of his daughters at the mercy of King
Charles VIII., or worse, of his imperious sister, the Regent Anne de
Beaujeu, who would have committed some act of spoliation, had not the
Chancellor Rochefort saved the duchy by his integrity, declaring to Anne
that "a conqueror without right is but an illustrious robber."

At Les Pellerins, barges were loading with hay, and heaps of it standing
on the river’s edge ready for embarkation. On the left bank is Paimbœuf,
where diligences run to Pornic, a favourite little watering-place south of
the Loire.

St. Nazaire is a bustling seaport town, now the point of departure of the
transatlantic steamers for the West Indies and Mexico. A Mexican, in his
picturesque costume, all the seams of his dress fringed with hanging
silver buttons, was living in the same hotel with ourselves. St. Nazaire
has now a large floating basin, opened in 1858, capable of holding 200
ships of large size, and another is in course of construction.

It was from St. Nazaire that Prince Charles, the young Pretender, sailed
on the adventurous expedition of ’45, furnished with a frigate and a ship
of the line by Mr. Walsh, of Nantes. Among the noble cavaliers who had
sacrificed everything to follow the Stuarts into exile was the Walsh
family, originally from Ireland. They had shared the wandering fortunes of
Charles II., returned with him at the Restoration to find the greater part
of their property confiscated; but they did not hesitate to sacrifice the
rest when James II. abdicated the throne, and a Walsh commanded the ship
which carried the King to France. Sent on a secret mission to England, he
was recognized, denounced, and arrested. James II. created him an Earl at
St. Germain. Two of his sons had retired to St. Malo and Nantes, and
engaged in commercial speculations, endeavouring thereby to restore the
fortunes of their house. Commerce was strictly forbidden to the Breton
nobles; but, when war or misfortune had reduced their fortunes, they were
allowed to enter into commerce, or any other profession, without
derogating from their rank, provided they first deposited their swords
with the Parliament, to be again claimed when their circumstances were
improved. All will remember the anecdote in the ’Sentimental Journey.’ As
a book, called ’The State of Nobility in Brittany,’ published in 1681,
sets forth: "When nobles are engaged in commerce, their noble blood
sleeps; but when the derogatory works are over, it revives. It is never
lost but in death." But to return to the Walsh family. One of the brothers
had embarked the remains of his little fortune in the business of
"armateur"—a kind of shipowner, or one who fits out and charters ships,
and sometimes commands them himself—the profession of Jean Bart and Duguay
Trouin.(23) It was to this Anthony Walsh, and a banker of Dunkirk, that
Prince Charles addressed himself to fit out an old worm-eaten seventy-gun
man-of-war, the ’Elizabeth,’ they had just obtained from Government for
his expedition. True to the hereditary loyalty of his family, Mr. Walsh
not only devoted all he possessed to the armament of the frigate, but also
fitted out a brig, called the ’Doutelle’—both intended as privateers to
cruise against the English—and took the command of her himself. On the
28th June, 1745, furnished with about 4000l. of money, Charles Edward
embarked on the Loire, in a fisherman’s boat, to join the ’Doutelle’ at
St. Nazaire, and the ’Elizabeth’ at Belle-Isle. He passed for a young
Irish priest, and wore the habit of a student of the Scots’ College at
Paris. The ships encountered an English man-of-war, the ’Lion.’ At the
sound of the first shot, the Prince rushed on deck and asked for a sword.
Mr. Walsh, by virtue of his authority as captain, took him by the arm and
said to him sternly, "M. Abbé, your place is not here; go below with the
passengers." The Prince obeyed, night separated the combatants, and on the
18th of July he was safely landed in Scotland. On Michaelmas Day, the
following year, the disasters of Culloden again threw him an exile on the
shores of Brittany.

From St. Nazaire we took a carriage for Guérande, to visit that remarkable
district called the Canton de Croisic, and consisting chiefly of that
place and the Bourg de Batz. We first came to Escoublac, a corruption of
Episcopi lacus, deriving its name from a lake belonging to the bishop of
the diocese.

The old town has been entirely buried by the moving sands which have blown
over it, and, in 1779, its inhabitants transferred their houses to the
present site. Hills of sand surround it in every direction.

Here we left the high road, and turned off to the left to Poulignan, a
little white bay, as its name implies; a charming retreat, with beautiful
white sands and picturesque rocks. This is a favourite watering-place with
the Nantais. Its whole population appeared to be in the water. A row of
small wooden châlets are built along the shore for the bathers, no
machines are used.

From Escoublac begins the large extent of salt-pans in which consist the
riches of this country. They reach to Batz and Le Croisic, the peninsula
which forms this district having formerly been an island which gradually
has been transformed into a marsh.

[Illustration: 44. Salt-pans, with Le Croisic in the distance.]

These salt-pans, cut out into small squares, have the appearance of one
great chess-board, interspersed with occasional hamlets and woods. The
working of them employs the whole population of the district.

They consist of large basins, dug at different depths, into which the
water of the sea is introduced, and are divided into squares called
"œillets." The salt-water is turned upon the marsh by canals styled
"étiers," edged with narrow paths or roads called "bossis," elevated, some
of them, three or four feet above the marsh; on these the newly collected
salt is generally laid. The water passes by a subterranean conduit, the
"coëf," into the "vasière," where the first evaporation takes place; and
then successively into the "cobiers," "fares," and "adernemètres," until
it flows finally into the "œillets," where the salt is definitively
formed. Each "œillet" is about 20 feet by 30.  The heat of the sun and the
wind effect the evaporation, which the paludier assists by stirring the
water from time to time. The salt which forms on the surface resembles a
kind of white cream, and exhales an agreeable perfume resembling violets.
This is the finest salt; that which falls to the bottom of the salt-pan is
of a greyish cast. The salt when formed is then scraped off, drained, and
the women collect it and stack it on the "bossis" into conical heaps,
which they cover with a coating of clay, to render them impervious to
weather. In the salting season, the salt marshes with their innumerable
hillocks of white salt have the appearance of a vast tent-covered camp.
Each "œillet" produces about 150 lbs. of salt. The same salt-pans are
worked from century to century by the same "paludiers" or their
descendants. The proprietors may change, but the workmen remain,
considering the salt-pans their prescriptive inheritance. For payment,
they receive one-fourth of the salt. The dress of the paludier is a
smock-frock of irreproachable whiteness, with pockets, white shoes,
gaiters, and linen breeches, an enormous black flap hat turned up on the
side in a point or horn. The young man wears the point over the ear, the
married turns it behind, and the widower in front. We reached the Bourg de
Batz in time for vespers, and had an opportunity of seeing the people in
their Sunday dress. The men wear three or four cloth waistcoats, all of
different lengths, so as to let the various colours, red, white, and blue,
with which they are bound, appear one above the other in tiers, a muslin
turnover collar, full plaited breeches of fine cloth tied at the knee by
garters of floating ribbon, white woollen stockings with worked clocks and
light yellow shoes, their flap hats ornamented with a roll of chenille of
varied colours. The headdress of the women is singular and most intricate.
The hair, in two rolls, twisted round with white tape, forms a kind of
coronet across their heads; over this, a piece of net is drawn tight,
forming a sort of cap, describing a peak behind, and crossing in front
like a handkerchief.

[Illustration: 45. Paludier of the Bourg de Batz, in his working dress.]

The dress consists of several petticoats of cloth plaited, red body,
turned-up sleeves, and large coloured bibs or plastrons which they call
"pièces," of the same stuff as their dresses. The girls’ aprons are plain,
without pockets, but the women’s are of coloured silk, some of a rich
brocade. A shawl with fringed border completes the costume. Some of the
women had their heads and shoulders wrapped up in a triangular, black,
shaggy sheepskin mantle; these were widows.

At the inn where we alighted, they keep the splendid costumes worn by the
people at weddings and other great occasions; and, by paying them for
their trouble, they will put them on for inspection. The bride’s costumes
are of great magnificence; they array themselves in three different
dresses on their wedding-day. First, a gown of white velvet, with apron of
moire antique; secondly, one of violet velvet; and the third equally
costly. Embroidered sleeves, the "pièce" of cloth of gold, the petticoats
looped up with a wide sash, embroidered in gold, and gold clocks to the
stockings.

[Illustration: 46. Paludier of the Bourg de Batz, in his wedding dress.]

We were shown a state bed, or "lit de mariage," a tall four-post, painted
red, with green reps tester and curtains, embroidered with yellow
chenille. The great sign of wealth is to have the bedding reach to the top
of the bedstead.  To effect this, the base is formed of bundles of
vine-stalks, over which is spread the straw, and when this scaffolding has
been raised some feet, a paillasse is placed over it, then the
feather-bed, so that it literally requires a ladder to ascend to the top
of this mountain of bedding, and then it is difficult to crawl into it.
There were a bolster and two pillows covered with velvet, which, with the
sheets, were all trimmed with a kind of lace or cutwork.

The houses are solidly built of granite, and slated; the windows large.
The furniture is good, generally comprising a well-waxed carved oak
armoire, upon which are arranged earthenware plates of various colours.

The paludiers of Batz preserve their original type distinct from the
peasants of the environs; and form, like the Jews, a separate people,
intermarrying among themselves, retaining their own peculiar manners and
customs. They are supposed to descend from a Saxon colony. The paludier is
tall in stature; their women remarkable for their fair complexions, which
contrast strongly with their sunburnt neighbours. They are loyal and
devout, true to their word, courageous and enduring; though the paludier
is miserably poor, from the oppressiveness of the salt-tax, he never
complains. Begging is unknown. Their food consists of rye bread, porridge
of black corn, potatoes, and shellfish. They are sober, and drink wine in
small quantities.

Formerly the salt was distributed over the adjacent provinces by means of
"saulniers," the journeymen labourers of the paludiers. Dressed in their
picturesque costume, with a train of mules, whose tinkling bells announced
their arrival, the saulnier was welcomed in every village where he sold
his salt or exchanged it for other merchandize. "Le sucre des pauvres," as
salt has been aptly called, was severely taxed under the old régime;
distributions of the "sel royale" were yearly made by the Government among
the gentry of the provinces, but the poor, who had no such privileges,
severely felt the oppression, and smuggling was consequently extensively
carried on, and the "faux saulnier," with his double bag across his
shoulders, secretly sold salt upon which the gabelle had not been paid.
With a faux saulnier originated the great peasant rising in Brittany, the
Chouan war; a war to which Napoleon said, "All preceding wars have been
but games." Jean, father of the four brothers Cottereau, was a maker of
wooden shoes, and lived in a forest near Laval (Maine). From his solitary
life he had acquired such sombre, wild, melancholy habits, that people
gave him the name of Chouan, Maine patois for Chat-huant, and his family
received the sobriquet long before the insurrection of 1792. Jean
Cottereau was the most celebrated faux saulnier of Maine; he had
accidentally killed a revenue officer in one of his encounters, and his
heroic mother made a journey to Versailles, barefooted, "sur le cuir de
ses pieds," to obtain his pardon. Jean’s master and patron was
guillotined, his two sisters shared the same fate, and one of his brothers
died of his wounds, and his body was disinterred by the Revolutionists.
These personal wrongs, the treatment of the King, the interdiction of the
Catholic religion, its processions, its bells, the persecution of its
ministers, all goaded the Breton peasantry to revolt; and Jean was the
first to fire a gun against a Republican at the cry of "Vive le Roi." The
rising began with a few peasants, armed with a gun or a stick, dressed in
short breeches open at the knee, with leather gaiters, and coloured
garters; their long hair streaming over the shoulders, their heads covered
with a wide-brimmed hat, or brown or red cap, sabots tipped with iron,
and, in cold weather, a loose coat of goatskin. The Chouans assembled in
small bands and attacked the Republicans at night in ambuscade, and when
they had killed a few "Bleus" disappeared among the corn-fields or the
furze-bushes. Simple peasants, they fought against the Republicans in
defence of the altar and the throne. Their "commandements" ran thus:—


    “Ton Dieu, ton Roy, tu serviras
    Jusqu’à la mort fidèlement.
    Docile à tes chefs tu seras,
    Afin de vaincre surement.
    Sobre et discret te montreras,
    Buvant peu, parlant rarement;
    De ton chef jamais n’agiras
    Attendant le commandement;
    Violemment rien ne prendras,
    Mais en payant exactement.
    Age et sexe respecteras,
    Etant soldat et non brigand.
    Les comités corrigeras,
    Et les mouchards chrétiennement;
    Né Breton, tu n’oublieras,
    Afin d’agir loyalement.
    Dans le succès clement seras;
    Dans le malheur, ferme et constant.
    Chaque jour ton Dieu tu prieras;
    Que peux tu sans son bras puissant?”


Such were the first Chouans: they had no organisation until they followed
Larochejaquelin and the Vendean army to Granville, and accompanied them in
their retreat; when their numbers were materially increased and their
character completely changed by the deserters and brigands, who joined and
eventually succeeded the peasantry.

The church of Batz is of cut stone. It has a square tower, surmounted by a
cupola steeple, which with that of Le Croisic serves as a landmark to
vessels having to steer between the two dangerous rocks Le Four, in front
of Le Croisic, and Les Blanches, situated near the mouth of the Loire.

The choir is inclined, like that of St. Pol and others in Brittany. On one
of the bosses in the interior is a grotesque carving of a man torn to
pieces by the seven capital sins. On others are the Santa Veronica, the
Good Shepherd, Ste. Barbara, &c. Near the church are the pretty ruins of
the chapel of Notre Dame-du-Mûrier.

We drove on to Le Croisic, in Breton, "Little Cross;" so called from the
small chapel of the Crucifix, built to commemorate the baptism by St.
Felix, Bishop of Nantes, in the sixth century, of the Saxon colony who
occupied the peninsula. Le Croisic was one of the first towns in Brittany
which received Christianity, and bears for its arms a cross between four
ermines. Along the road-side are cisterns or wells dug in the sand, and
girls were filling with water the classical stone pitchers they carried
upon their heads—quite an Eastern picture, suggestive of Rebecca and the
damsels of her country. Le Croisic is almost surrounded by the sea, low,
and without shelter, which renders it cold, damp, and exposed to the
winds; turf is almost the only fuel used.

It is much frequented as a watering-place, and has an Etablissement. It is
also a sea-port, with a rocky entrance to the harbour, and the dangerous
rock with its lighthouse, called Le Four, extending for a league in front.
The inhabitants of Le Croisic are principally engaged in the sardine
fishery, and the curing of these fish consumes much of the salt of the
marshes. The people complain this year they have no large orders for
sardines, and there is but little white salt.

The chapel of St. Goustan, on the edge of the harbour, is singularly
built; its western gable perched upon a little rock, half of which is
inside and half outside the building. The church is no longer open for
Divine service; but the peasant-girl who desires to know if she will be
married this year, tries to pass a pin through the bars of the northern
window without touching the wall. On the opposite side of the estuary are
Périac and La Turbale, both seats of the sardine fishery. Returning the
way we came, we stopped at the Plage Valentin, another bathing-place in a
pretty little bay; with dressing-rooms and a small Etablissement. An
omnibus conveys the bathers from Le Croisic, for two sous. The sea looks
more inviting here and at Poulignan than at Le Croisic, where there is so
much seaweed in the harbour. We returned through Batz; the cathedral tower
of Saint Aubin at Guérande is to be seen at a great distance, and is a
prominent object in the scenery; the whole country is covered with
salt-pans. Guérande stands on a height, and turning back, the view of the
whole district is most extensive. We passed through Saillé, where Duke
John IV. married Joan of Navarre, afterwards the second wife of Henry of
Lancaster.

Guérande, built on a vine-covered granite slope, is a singular old feudal
town of the fifteenth century. It was fortified by Duke John V., and is
nearly surrounded by granite walls, with ten towers and four old gateways,
placed at the cardinal points of the compass. St. Michel, the principal
gate, or rather a fortress, is flanked by two high towers, and contains
the prison, archives, and hôtel de ville. A moat formerly surrounded the
walls; but it has long been filled in, and boulevards substituted. From
the battlements hang festoons of honeysuckle and ivy, and the moat is full
of the yellow iris and water-lilies; nevertheless, Guérande has an
austere, sombre aspect. There is a fine terrace walk, called the Mail,
commanding a view of the whole country over Poulignan, Batz, and Le
Croisic—a tented plain of salt.

[Illustration: 47. La Roche Bernard.]

The church of St. Aubin has Romanesque columns, with grotesque capitals.
In one, two persons are sawing a third, stretched upon a wheel. On the
left of the double-arched porch, is a pulpit outside the church, and there
is some good painted glass within. Notre Dame Blanche, a chapel of the
fourteenth century, is a pretty little building with stone pulpit and a
sculptured group of Notre Dame-de-la-Salette with the two peasant children
of Alsace. Next day, we took a private carriage for La Roche Bernard; the
road lying over a wide extent of land through Herbignac to La Roche
Bernard (Morbihan), which is most picturesquely situated on a rocky height
overhanging the Vilaine, here traversed by an elegant suspension-bridge,
opened in 1839, about 666 feet long and above 108 feet above high-water
mark—a terrible dizzy height to cross even in calm weather. A few years
since, the postman, his cart, and horse were all blown over into the
river, and nothing more was ever heard of them. We went fishing several
days in a large étang close to La Roche Bernard, and one evening took a
pretty walk over the hills to another pond situated in a lovely secluded
valley near a water-mill. La Roche Bernard was an early Protestant colony,
founded by the Sieur d’Andelot, Seigneur of La Roche Bernard, brother to
Admiral Coligny, and one of the firmest supporters of Calvinism. The
Calvinists used to assemble at his château of Bretesch, where the minister
of La Roche Bernard came to preach to them. D’Andelot and his sister, who
was equally zealous in the cause, are, it is said, interred at La Roche
Bernard. Near the Halles is a square block of houses; one of timber, with
"Voie au Duc" inscribed upon it. These houses are said to have belonged to
a Protestant community, and all to communicate with each other.

The evening of our arrival there was a wedding supper given at our hotel,
the grand dinner having taken place elsewhere. The bride wore a white
sash, with wreaths of white flowers round her Nantais cap. After supper
the party danced Breton "ronds." The dancers form a large ring (grand
rond), holding each other’s hands, which they swing violently as they
sidle round in a kind of hop-skip-and-a-jump step, accompanied by singing
in a most monotonous tone. This went on until midnight. This kind of dance
dates, they say, from Celtic times. The music consists of the biniou or
bagpipe, and the flageolet or hautboy, sometimes with the addition of a
drum. The biniou, cornemuse, or bagpipe, is the national instrument of
western and southern France. How it came to be introduced into Scotland
and expel the harp—which was as much the original music of Scotland as of
Wales and Ireland—is a mystery. But, as in the sixteenth century the harp
went out and the bagpipes came into fashion, it may be surmised that it
was brought in, with other French novelties, on the return of Queen Mary,
perhaps by the Queen herself, or, maybe, some itinerant player of the
cornemuse may have accidentally been in her train, and his music set a
fashion which has now become national.

On market-day numbers of the women from Muzillac, a place about ten miles
distant, came in with their fruit. They all wear an enormous plaited black
cap, which looks like the cowl of a friar. The graceful form of the
earthenware pots attracted our attention: probably they came from the
adjacent town of Herbignac. The 15th August, Fête de la Vierge, and also
that of the Emperor, was kept as a general holiday. An immense concourse
of people arrived from the neighbourhood, and attended the six o’clock
mass. We walked to the quay, to see the sports on the water; the
spectators picturesquely grouped on a mass of bare rocks, commanding a
pretty view up and down the river.

The amusements consisted of some races, and a mât de cocagne, or greased
pole, placed horizontally over the river; the feat being to walk safely to
the end, where the prize was fixed, without falling into the water. In the
evening "ronds" were danced, and every house had illuminations, in the
shape of a candle stuck in a potato, and placed on each end of the window
sill.

Next day we left by diligence for Vannes, passing through Muzillac and on
to Auray, where we took the steamer for Belle Isle.

A steamer sails daily from the quay at Auray. The banks of the River Loch
are very picturesque, the pine-trees (_Pinus maritima_) growing to the
water’s edge. On the left, the islands of the Morbihan; on the right,
Locmariaker; the view extending to Carnac and Mont St. Michel, over the
whole sweep of the bay formed by the peninsula of Quiberon.

At Port Navalo we emerged from the Morbihan, and, on our right, passed the
little rocky island of Teigneuse, with its lighthouse; and, on the left,
those of Houat and Haedik (the duck and the duckling); the former famous
as the retreat of St. Gildas, who leaped from here with one bound, a
distance of ten miles, to the peninsula of Rhuys, where he built his
monastery. From Auray to Belle Isle is in all forty-eight miles—ten miles
of river to Port Navalo, the rest open sea. After eight hours’ sail we
reached Le Palais, the port and principal town of Belle Isle, built on the
north-east side, and overhung by the citadel, the work of Vauban. The town
consists of one principal street—the Rue Trochu—so called after the
General of that name and his brother, who were the first, at the beginning
of this century, to introduce agriculture into the island. We passed, at a
distance to the right, the model farm of M. Trochu fils, on our way across
the island to the lighthouse,—a cheerless drive, as there are no trees to
be seen except near Le Palais. When M. Trochu commenced his labours,
agriculture was little attended to in France, but he persevered in his
exertions, beginning by clearing about sixty acres of granite rock, a land
covered with heath and furze, setting at defiance the Breton saying,
"Lande tu fus, lande tu es, lande tu seras." This same district is now
covered with rich meadows, fine woods, productive arable fields, and
magnificent pasture land, on which horses are extensively reared.

[Illustration: 48. Entrance to Le Palais, Belle Isle.]

We gathered on the heathy moor three kinds of heath, the Cornish among
others. The artichoke grows wild in the waste grounds. Wheat, turnips,
beetroot, Indian corn, and potatoes, are the chief produce of the land in
cultivation. This last vegetable was introduced by the families from Nova
Scotia (Acadia), who settled in Belle Isle, after that province was ceded
to England by the Treaty of Paris, in 1766. This was several years before
Parmentier had extended the use of the potato, or "truffe rouge," as it
was first called, over other parts of France. Indian corn was probably
also brought in by the Nova Scotians. The leaves are constantly cut during
its growth as fodder for the cattle, so that the cob hardly attains a foot
in height from the ground. On the left of our road we saw in the distance
the village of Bangor, which gives its name to one of the four districts
into which Belle Isle is divided. A little south is the fine granite
lighthouse, of the stupendous height of 450 feet. We toiled up 255 steps
(223 stone and 32 iron) before we gained the lantern, and, though the view
was very extensive, we were rejoiced at finding ourselves safe down. One
of the guardians had been waylaid, kicked, and beaten, a few evenings
before, for some slight grudge. He seemed in great suffering, but had no
doctor; the Breton, in his simple confiding faith—that with the Almighty
are the issues of life and death, and that illness will end according to
His decree—considers the calling in of a medical adviser but an
unnecessary expense to his family. From the lighthouse we walked to the
sea-shore. Belle Isle is a table-land, surrounded by steep cliffs,
averaging 130 feet in height, which can only be descended to the shore in
particular places. We walked to the Grotte du Port Coton, where begins the
"Mer Sauvage," as it is called, an extent of five to six miles of most
picturesque rocks, some elevated from 130 to 160 feet above the level of
the sea, jagged and torn into most fantastic forms by the ceaseless
dashing of the waters of the Atlantic, which have formed various grottoes
in the cliffs. We descended into one of these caverns by a narrow gulley,
but could not proceed far, as the tide was entering fast, and would soon
have surrounded us, cutting off all means of retreat.

[Illustration: 49. Device of Fouquet.]

It reminded us of the description in the ’Vicomte de Bragelonne’ of the
grotto at Locmaria, which was blown up, and crushed the mousquetaire
Porthos, at the moment of his and Aramis’ triumph over the soldiers of the
King. So great at times is the fury of the waves, that our guide at the
lighthouse told us he had seen on several occasions the spray driven over
to Le Palais, nearly five miles distant. Continuing our walk along the
cliffs, we came to an enormous mass of rock, standing far out detached
from the cliff, and covered with screaming sea-gulls. We again descended
by another fissure into a pretty sandy cove, surrounded by the same wild
granite rocks; but in most places there is no beach at all. It was now
high water, so it was useless to attempt the Grotte des Apothécaires,—the
finest, they say, of them all, and we returned to Le Palais well pleased
with the remarkably wild coast we had seen. Belle-isle forms now a canton
in the department of Morbihan. In ancient days it belonged to the Abbot of
Saint-Croix, at Quimperlé, who sold it, in the time of Charles IX., to the
Maréchal de Gondi, and, in 1573, it was erected into a Marquisate.
(Cardinal de Retz lived here after his escape from the castle of Nantes.)
One of his successors, Henri de Gondi, being overwhelmed with debt, sold
the island to Nicolas Fouquet, the ill-fated Superintendent of Finance, on
whose disgrace, and his being subsequently consigned to the fortress of
Pignarol, his grandson, the Marquis de Belle Isle, exchanged it with Louis
XV. for the Comté of Gisors, erected into a duchy in 1742. Fouquet built a
palace and completed the citadel, for which he employed Vauban. He also
projected fortifications to enclose the town, which are now in course of
completion by the Emperor, after Vauban’s plans. Several guns had just
been landed, the day before we visited the citadel, to see which an order
is requisite. Near the citadel is the "Maison centrale des détenus," now
only containing a few old men, too feeble for hard labour. We were too
tired to walk to look at the celebrated cistern of Vauban, which holds, we
were told, above thirty thousand imperial gallons of water. Fouquet’s
palace was, it is said, destroyed to complete the line of fortifications.
A house was pointed out to us as having formed part of the original
building. Some years since, a stone was picked up in the harbour bearing
his ambitious device—a squirrel, with the motto, _Quo non ascendum?_ "To
where shall I not rise?"  The greater number of the population of Belle
Isle are employed in the fisheries; of these the sardine and the tunny are
the chief. There are large establishments for curing sardines, which are
very abundant, and lobsters, taken in the rocks of Belle Isle and the
little islands of Houat and Hædic, are sent to London and Paris. The boats
go as far as Spain, to the coast of Catalonia, for the tunny fishery,
which extends from August to the beginning of October. These fish are
taken by lines hung along the sides of the vessel, with a bell attached to
each to give notice of a bite. The most esteemed part of the tunny is the
underneath, or "panse." The next morning we sailed back to Auray. The
nearest point to Belle Isle is Quiberon, only ten miles from Le Palais.
From Auray by rail to Quimper, where we took the diligence to Pont l’Abbé,
an old town formerly of some importance, in the midst of a fertile, rich
country. The costume worn at Pont l’Abbé and along the Bay of Audierne is
very singular. The cap, or "bigouden," is composed of two pieces: first, a
kind of skull-cap, or serre-tête, fitting tight to the head over the ears,
then a little round bit, resembling, the young people said, a "pork-pie"
hat, made of starched linen, pinched into a three-cornered peak, the
middle peak embroidered and tied on by a piece of tape fastening under the
chin; the hair is turned up, "en chignon," over the skull-cap. The body of
the dress has a large "pièce" of red or yellow, and sleeves to match. The
men wear several very short coats, one over the other, the shortest
trimmed with fringe; sometimes sentences are embroidered with coloured
woollens round the edge. It was market day; the women were sitting, with
distaff and spindle, on each side of the entrance to the Halle. Some of
them have short bead-chains with a ring, attached to the left shoulder, to
stick their distaffs in when not at work. There was abundance of fruit and
vegetables, potatoes, and sardines, which, with bigoudens and other
articles of dress, formed the principal commodities for sale. Pont l’Abbé
and its Port, Loctudy, carry on an extensive trade with Jersey, and large
quantities of potatoes are exported to that island. There were some Jersey
merchants at the table-d’hôte.

[Illustration: 50. Peasant Girl. Pont l’Abbé.]

The church of Pont l’Abbé has only one aisle. There is a fine rose window
over the west entrance, of great lightness and richness, with a smaller
one at the left; at the east end is another rose window of larger
dimensions, the mullions forming geometric patterns, but differing in
design from the other. The French architects always took great pains in
the decoration of this part of the church, and these wheel windows really
rival those of Rouen.

[Illustration: 51. Apse of the Church, Loctudy.]

Attached to the church, are the cloisters of the Carmelite convent to
which the church formerly belonged, built in the beginning of the
fifteenth century by Bertram de Rosmadec, who had so much contributed to
the completion of the cathedral at Quimper. The square is surrounded by an
interlaced circular arcade, forming trefoiled pointed arches, all in
excellent preservation. The access to the cloisters is through the
conventual building, now a private house and garden, the proprietor kindly
granting us permission.

We drove to Loctudy, on the mouth of the Pont l’Abbé river opposite the
little island of Tudy, called after an English saint of that name. Fleeing
from the persecutions of the Picts and Scots who desolated his country, he
founded here, at the end of the fifth century, a considerable monastery,
afterwards destroyed by the Normans.

At Loctudy is a curious Romanesque church, one of the best preserved in
Brittany, which dates from the Templars of the twelfth century. It has a
nave with aisles going all round the choir, and three round apsidal
chapels at the end. The five arches on each side of the nave are
horse-shoe shaped, and the choir is surrounded by the same number of high
narrow arches, resting on columns with grotesque capitals of complicated
design. The three chapels behind are seen through the opening; on one of
the capitals is sculptured the cross of the Templars. The whole building
is spoiled by whitewash.


    “Chevaliers en ce monde cy
    Ne peuvent vivre sans souci;
    Ils doivent le peuple defendre,
    Et leur sang pour la foi espandre.”
                    EUSTACHE DESCHAMPS.


[Illustration: 52. Torche of Penmarch.]

We engaged a rough kind of vehicle, much like a butcher’s cart, to visit
the Torche de Penmarch, a rocky promontory, so called from its fancied
resemblance to a horse’s head, forming the southern extremity of the
department of Finistère. The Torche is a mass of rocks separated from the
mainland by a chasm called the "Saut de Moine," because an Irish saint,
named Viaud, jumped across it on his landing. In rough weather, the noise
made by the sea dashing against its sides and rushing through the crevices
of the rocks, is said to be heard at Quimper, a distance of twenty-one
miles. A line of rocks runs all along the coast, marked by a lighthouse at
Penmarch; we proceeded to another group of rocks near which M. de
Châtellier, a proprietor and antiquary of this country, has built a house
for painting and enjoying the scenery. One of our party clambered down to
see the "Trou d’Enfer," a tremendously deep hole in the rocks, the bottom
covered with a pink sort of sea-weed, and the water as clear as crystal.
The whole country is a dreary sandy level, with salt-marshes, over which
we passed to the ruined church of St. Fiacre, and close by is that of St.
Guenolé, both situated near the sea. The countryman who showed us the
church, knelt reverently down at the threshold and put up a short prayer
before he entered the sacred building. The general devoutness and strong
faith of the Bretons is most impressive and genuine, mixed, no doubt, with
great superstition; but, as Wesley says, "Heaven makes allowance for
invincible ignorance, and blesses the faith notwithstanding the
superstition."

[Illustration: 53. Ship Sculptured on the Walls. Church of St. Guenolé,
Penmarch.]

St. Guenolé consists of an unfinished square tower, with crocketed
pinnacles and a porch of considerable size, under a large mullioned window
of the fifteenth century. On each side of the porch are rude sculptures of
ships and fishes, not uncommon in these parts, set there to show the
church has been built with the thank-offerings of the fisher population of
the district. In our tour we met with several churches with this sign,
evidences of the piety of the fishermen; indeed, at Dunkirk, when the
church was burned down in the sixteenth century by the French, it was
entirely rebuilt by the contribution called "le filet saint," from an
ancient custom among the fishermen of having one net so called, the
produce of which was set apart for the church.

[Illustration: 54. Church of St. Guenolé, Penmarch.]

Towards the lighthouse are the ruins of the old town of Penmarch, much
celebrated in the maritime history of the fourteenth to sixteenth
centuries; its commerce extended even to Spain, and the riches of its
inhabitants were so surpassingly great, that they drank out of silver
cups, and the lords of a manor near the Torche furnished the silk required
to line the road traversed by religious processions, their wealth being
due to the "viande de carême," that is to say, to the cod fishery. But the
discovery of Newfoundland deprived them of this lucrative monopoly, and
the ravages of Fontenelle le Ligueur completed their ruin. All now is a
scene of desolation. Penmarch has been called the Palmyra of Brittany.

Guy Eder Fontenelle, the Leaguer, who spread terror and devastation
throughout Brittany in the sixteenth century, was a member of the
Beaumanoir family; the name he adopted was that of one of the family
estates. He was born in the Château of Beaumanoir (near Evran), and his
elder brother early foresaw his guilty career. He escaped from college and
united himself with a set of young men as lawless as himself; they formed
themselves into a band, which soon became the dread of all Brittany. They
ravaged the whole of Tréguier and Cornouaille, surprised the châteaux of
Coëtfrec and others, took the church of Carhaix, which they fortified, and
the towns of Paimpol, Lannion, and Landerneau, which they pillaged,
Penmarch and Pontcroix, whence they carried off an immense booty and 300
vessels, with which they scoured the seas; and lastly, Douarnenez and the
Island of Tristan (in 1595), whence fruitless attempts were made to
dislodge them. For three years Fontenelle made this island his
head-quarters, issuing from his stronghold to devastate the country. He
murdered above fifteen hundred peasants at Plougastel, sank an English
ship, without allowing her crew a moment to save themselves, imprisoned
and tortured at Douarnenez all who fell into his hands. His victims never
survived his cruelties more than three or four days, when their bodies
were cast out into the bay to the fishes. These were only a few of his
atrocities. As he called himself one of the leaders of the League in
Brittany, the Duke de Mercœur, its chief, indignant at the barbarities
perpetrated in its name, caused Fontenelle to be imprisoned, but he was
liberated on paying a ransom; and, fearing he would give Douarnenez over
to the Spaniards, Fontenelle was included in the pacification of Mercœur
with Henry IV. But four years later he was implicated in the conspiracy of
Biron; on which occasion all his old crimes were raked up against him, and
he was condemned to be dragged on a hurdle, and broken alive upon the
wheel, which sentence was executed on the Place de Grève at Paris in 1602.
In consideration of the illustrious house to whom he belonged, the king
granted that in the act of condemnation he should not go by his own name.
We next went to see the church of Saint Nonna in the town, the largest of
the numerous churches in the parish of Penmarch. Ships are sculptured in
front of the tower, as at St. Guenolé. On the left of the porch is a
pretty window, the mullions formed by three fleur de lis. In the church is
a curious old painting styled, "Procession du vœu de Louis XIII."
Portraits of the King, the Dauphin (Louis XIV.), Anne of Austria, and
Cardinal Richelieu, are introduced, and a view of the church of St. Nonna
is in the background.

[Illustration: 55. Fleur-de-Lisé Window, Church of St. Nonna, Penmarch.]

On our way home we passed, on the left, at Kerscaven, two menhirs, one
curiously furrowed and shaped like a half-opened fan.

We had a pretty drive from Pont l’Abbé, with occasional views of the Bay
of Audierne, extending from Penmarch to the Pointe du Raz. Midway the
horse, going down a steep hill, fell, and we all found ourselves upon the
road, but happily unhurt. We met numbers of peasants returning from the
fair at Pontcroix; and our driver, a butcher by trade, coolly stopped the
vehicle, to discourse with them on the price of stock, and to handle the
sheep they had bought. Our drive was enlivened with occasional peeps of
the Bay of Audierne till we reached the little port of that name, the view
of which is very pretty. Audierne is approached by a bridge across the
river or estuary. At its entrance is a lighthouse, and on the right a
sandy bay, with bathing-machines in the season.

[Illustration: 56. Pointe du Raz.]

The town consists of three streets of cut granite houses, with the name of
the builder and the date of their construction inscribed over the door.
Fishing is the occupation of the inhabitants, and the table-d’hôte at our
comfortable, clean, little inn was plentifully supplied with magnificent
john dorys, large red mullet, langoustes, and fish of every description.

From Audierne we took a carriage to visit the Pointe du Raz, a promontory
so famous for its rocks and wrecks. We went through a treeless country;
near a pretty bay, on the left, is the chapel of Notre Dame-de-Bon-Voyage,
destined chiefly for sailors, after which the country becomes more wild,
barren, and cheerless. We passed over a bridge which no Breton would dare
to cross at night, for fear of being flung by the spirits into the river.
According to their belief, a hare appears on the bridge, and terrifies the
horses, who throw their rider, and the traveller is dragged by the phantom
into the muddy river, where he is kept till morning’s dawn, when he is
allowed to pursue his way, exhausted with cold, and half dead with fright.
They are very superstitious here, as in all Cornouaille. A writer says,
"every nation of the earth has its superstitions and absurdities, but
Brittany has those of all other nations united." An old woman in a village
hard by, said our driver, has never been seen inside the walls of a
church; the people say she has sold herself to the evil one, and no one
dares go near or speak to her.

On the left is the pretty steeple of the church of Plogoff, situated on an
eminence, and dedicated to Saint Collédoc, a Welsh bishop of the sixth
century, contemporary of King Arthur, and associated with many of the
doings of Queen Guinevre and the knights of the Round Table. Lescoff is
the last village we passed through before—after driving over a barren
plain—we arrived at the lighthouse, built thirty years back at the Pointe.

We walked thence to the Pointe, a gigantic and magnificent mass of rocks,
eighty feet above the level of the sea. We met with a good-natured woman,
who led the young people over the rocks to look down the "Enfer de
Plogoff." They had a slippery scramble to reach the hole, a kind of tunnel
through which the sea rushes with great violence, so much more terrible
than that of Penmarch, that the noise has been compared to the distant
roaring of some thousands of wild beasts issuing from the depths of a
forest. In the mean time, we remained seated on the bank enjoying the
view. On the south lay the Bay of Audierne, extending in the form of a
crescent, the promontories of Penmarch and Raz forming the extreme points.
The currents, and the numerous rocks of the bay, render it a dangerous
coast, formerly peopled by barbarous wreckers, who despoiled the
shipwrecked mariners as our Cornish men of old. Opposite the Raz, about
seven miles distant, is the Island of Sein, and to the right, the Baie des
Trépassés. The island of Sein was anciently the seat of an oracle,
interpreted by nine Druidesses, who were versed in every art and science.
Moreover, they appear to have been accomplished needlewomen; for a Breton
chronicler, giving an account of the coronation of an early king (Erech)
at Nantes, describes his mantle as embroidered by these priestesses with
figures of Arithmetic, Astronomy, and Music. Their skill in divination
caused them to be associated with the fairies; and Morgan—_i.e._ "born of
the sea"—one of these priestesses, who lived in the first century of the
Christian era, was famous among the British fairies.


    “Avec succès cultivait la magie,
    Morgan de plus, était assez jolie.”


Chateaubriand celebrates Velleda, the last of the Druidesses of Sein, tall
in stature, her eyes blue, with long fair floating hair, dressed in a
short black tunic, without sleeves, bearing a golden sickle suspended from
a brazen girdle, and crowned with a branch of oak. Here King Arthur was
brought by Merlin to recover of his wounds. The inhabitants of the island
were celebrated for their ferocity as wreckers.

The passage between the island and the point or Bec du Raz—"qu’aucun n’a
passé sans mal ou sans crainte"—is very dangerous, owing to the number of
rocks and the violence of the currents; hence the well-known prayer of the
Breton sailor, "Mon Dieu, secourez-moi pour traverser le Raz, car mon
navire est petit et la mer est grande." Having no wish to run the risk of
being detained at the island by rough weather, we did not attempt the
passage.

The Baie des Trépassés, over which we looked on the right, is so called
from the Celtic legend that the Druids embarked in this bay after their
death, to be buried in the island of Sein:—


    “Autrefois, un esprit venait, d’une voix forte;
    Appeler chaque nuit un pêcheur sur sa porte;
    Arrivé dans la baie, on trouvait un bateau
    Si lourd et si chargé de morts qu’il faisait eau,
    Et pourtant il fallait, malgré vent et marée,
    Les mener jusqu’à Sein, jusqu’à l’île sacrée.”
                    BRIZEUX.


The bay also derives its name from the numerous shipwrecks that have taken
place on its rocks, and from the number of corpses that have been floated
there by the currents from ships foundered in the gulf comprised between
the entrance of Brest, the Ouëssant Islands, and Sein. The whole extent of
the coast of Brittany is one long wall of rocks, placed as it were to
protect it from the inroads of the sea and from foreign invasion. Heaped
one over the other, they resemble the bastions of a citadel, the advanced
rocks extending out to sea, jutting up in every direction in endless
reefs. Or its line of coast may be compared to the jagged teeth of a comb,
with a second line of defence in the rocks further out to sea.

On the desolate shore of the Baie des Trépassés is a piece of water, the
étang de Laoual, site of the city of Is—submerged by Divine vengeance,
according to popular tradition, in the fifth century—a place of great
commerce, arts, riches, and also of luxury. Gradlon, or Grallo, the king,
alone attempted to stem the torrent. Built in the vast basin which now
forms the Bay of Douarnenez, it was protected from the ocean by a strong
dyke, the sluices only admitting sufficient water to supply the town. King
Gradlon kept the silver key (which opened, at the same time, the great
sluice and the city gates) suspended round his neck. His palace was of
marble, cedar, and gold; in the midst of a brilliant Court sat enthroned
his daughter Dahut, a princess who "had made a crown of her vices, and had
taken for her pages the seven capital sins." Taking advantage of the sleep
of her father, Dahut one night stole the silver key, and instead of
opening the city gate, by mistake unlocked the sluices. The King was
awakened by St. Guenolé, who commanded him to flee, as the torrent was
reaching the palace.  He mounted his horse, taking his worthless daughter
behind him. The torrent was gaining upon him fast, when a voice from
behind called out, "Throw the demon thou carriest into the sea, if thou
dost not desire to perish." Dahut felt her strength failing her; the hands
that convulsively grasped her father’s waist relaxed their hold; she
rolled into the water, disappeared, and the torrent immediately stopped
its course. The King reached Quimper safe and sound, and that town became
afterwards the capital of Cornouaille.

So runs the legend. That a great city once existed in the Bay of
Douarnenez admits of no doubt. Besides the religious chronicles of the
country, which have preserved the memory of its existence, in the
sixteenth century, remains of old edifices were standing at the entrance
of the bay, old paved roads have been traced, and walls found under water
near the Pointe du Raz.

The tradition of a town thus swallowed up is common among the Celtic race.
In Wales, the site of the submerged city is in Cardigan Bay; in Ireland,
in Lough Neagh:—


    “On Lough Neagh’s banks, where the fisherman strays,
            At the hour of eve’s declining,
    He sees the round towers of other days
            Beneath the waters shining.”—MOORE.


One of our party went out fishing to the Pointe, and returned well laden
with his spoils.

[Illustration: 57. Front of the Church, Pontcroix.]

The road from Audierne to Douarnenez passes by Pontcroix, a little town on
the same river (Goazien) as Audierne, along which the road runs—a charming
drive. It has a magnificent Romanesque church of the twelfth (probably of
the fifteenth) century, with a remarkable porch, richly embroidered in
quatrefoils and trefoils. A tower in the centre, with octagonal spire is
second to none in Cornouaille, except that of Quimper. The arches of the
nave are horseshoe, the transepts very narrow. Under the altar of the Lady
Chapel is a "Cène," half the size of nature, sculptured in ivory and
marble, of marvellous workmanship.

[Illustration: 58. Wheel of Sacring Bells, Notre Dame de-Comfort, near
Douarnenez.]

Eleven miles from Douarnenez we stopped to see the pretty little chapel of
Notre Dame-de-Comfort, in a hamlet of that name, with light open-work
steeple. Attached to one of the arches, on the left of the choir, is a
wooden wheel, hung round with bells, to which is attached a long string.
It is erroneously called "the wheel of fortune;" but is, in fact, the old
wheel of sacring bells in use before the single bell was adopted. The boy
who showed us the chapel pulled the string which was fastened to a hook
near the altar, and the wheel revolved and rang a merry peal. Formerly
there was a little wooden figure attached to the wheel, which performed
the same office. The road runs round a hill, along an estuary formed by
the river, and suddenly the beautiful lake, called the Bay of Douarnenez,
bursts on the sight, of a blue as lovely as the Italian seas.

The dirty little town of Douarnenez is charmingly situated to the south of
the bay, the hills clothed with trees to the water’s edge. The Pointe du
Raz forms the western boundary of the bay, and it is shut in to the north
by the peninsula of Crozon; its extreme point, Pointe de la Chèvre,
advancing nearly midway into the bay. The tide here falls eighteen feet.
The triple peaks of the Méné-Hom, one of the Montagnes Noires, is a
prominent feature in the view. Islands are scattered over the gulf, and
the island of Tristan, retreat of Fontenelle le Ligueur, is so close to
Douarnenez, that it may be reached on foot at low water.

The hotel was crammed, gentlemen sleeping on the billiard-table, or
littered down in the room of the table-d’hôte: the place was crowded. All
the world had flocked in to assist at the Pardon of Sainte Anne-la-Palue,
which was to take place the following morning. No vehicle was to be had,
and we were in despair of being able to go, when a good-natured voyageur
kindly offered to drive us in his carriage—a proposal we thankfully
accepted. In all our wanderings we had hitherto never been so fortunate as
to see a Pardon, and we were very anxious to go.

The Pardon of Sainte Anne-la-Palue takes place the last Sunday in August,
continuing three days, and is one of the most frequented in Finistère.

[Illustration: 59. Costume of a Finistère Bride.]

At Plonevez-Porzun we turned off the Crozon road, and about two miles
further arrived at the chapel. The road all the way was lined with
peasants walking to the Pardon. The young men of Douarnenez wear blue
jackets, embroidered in colours, with rows of plated buttons, the sleeves
and waistcoat of a darker blue than the jacket, scarlet sashes, some with
plaited bragou bras and shining leather gaiters; but most of them wore
trowsers, their hair long, and their hats with two or three rows of
coloured variegated chenille. The women had square caps, and aprons with
bibs. Those who were in mourning wore light yellow caps, called
"bourladins," stained that colour with beeswax or saffron.

St. Anne is a newly-built church, standing on the slope of a down which
separates it from the sea, in a perfectly insulated situation. It is only
opened once a year for the Pardon. Round it were erected numerous stalls,
with toys, epinglettes, and rosaries (chapelets), in heaps for sale; for
rosaries must always be purchased at the Pardon, to preserve the wearer
from thunder and hydrophobia. The great fabric for them is at Angers,
where they are made in immense quantities. In the principal manufactory a
steam-engine is used for turning the beads; in the others the common
lathe. One maker told us she sent annually into Brittany alone rosaries to
the value of 800_l_. There were tents and booths erected for the
accommodation of the pilgrims who had arrived the preceding day. They eat,
drink, and dance in the tents by day, and sleep on the tables at night.

At ten o’clock, at the ringing of a bell, a procession was formed,
consisting of a long line of peasants, preceded by priests and banners,
which made the round of the church; the penitents, en chemise to the
waist, barefooted, carrying wax-tapers in their hands. The penance is
sometimes executed by proxy: a rich sinner may, for a small sum, get his
penance performed by another. One woman made the round of the church on
her knees, telling her beads as she hobbled along. This was in performance
of a vow made for some special deliverance.

We proceeded to the top of the hill, from which the beautiful Bay of
Douarnenez presented a most lively appearance; fleets of small boats
arriving from every direction, and a huge steamer from Brest, which was
obliged to land its passengers in small boats, on account of the
shallowness of the water.

The appearance of the downs now became very animated, covered with
gaily-dressed peasants arranged in groups, sitting or lying on the grass,
in every kind of attitude.

At four o’clock the grand procession took place. First came the priests of
all the surrounding districts, with the banners and crosses of their
parishes; then followed five girls (three and two) in white, carrying a
banner, and eight more in similar attire, bearing a statue of the Virgin.
Next appeared the banner of Sainte Anne, carried by women in the gorgeous
costume of the commune—gowns of cherry-coloured silk, trimmed half the way
up with gold lace, a silver lace scarf, and aprons of gold tissue or rich
silk brocade. Under their lace caps was a cap of gold or silver tissue.
Four more of these superbly-dressed bearers ("porteuses") carried the
statue of Ste. Anne.

[Illustration: 60. Well of Ste. Anne-la-Palue.]

Girls carrying blue flags walked by their side. Troops of barefooted
penitents and shaggy-headed beggars closed the procession, which was
followed by a countless train of the peasants. It slowly wound its way
over the hill, and again descended to the church, where it mingled among
the crowds of assembled spectators, which filled the churchyard and were
seated on the steps of the calvary.

Not far from the church is the holy well of Ste. Anne, where devotees were
engaged pouring the holy water over their hands and backs, dipping their
children, and testing its miraculous efficacy by various other ablutions.

We proceeded next morning to Quimper, having had no opportunity of seeing
Douarnenez itself. In the season it is a favourite watering-place, the
bathing being about two miles from the town. It is a great place for the
sardine fishery. From Quimper we went by rail to Rosporden, whence an
omnibus runs to Concarneau. The church of Rosporden is situated on a
little promontory, jutting out into a large étang fed by the river Aven,
which runs through it and flows on to Pontaven.

We took a carriage at Rosporden for Le Faouët, passing by Scaër on the
Isole, a stream which rises at the foot of the Montagnes Noires, takes a
curve round the town of Scaër, and joins the Laita. It is full of trout
and salmon.

Scaër is a town remarkable for having preserved many old customs and
superstitions; among others, the bees are considered to be entitled to
share in the joys and sorrows of the family. Their hives are surrounded
with a red stuff on the occasion of a marriage; with a black on that of a
death. This custom is still preserved in Wales. In all parts of Brittany
bees are treated with special affection. As the redbreast is sacred,
because she broke a thorn from the crown of our Lord that pierced His
brow, so are the bees revered because, as we learn from the code of Hoel
the Good, though they were sent from heaven to earth after the fall of
man, the blessing of Heaven has ever followed them in their exile. This,
too, is the reason the wax they produce has the privilege of lighting the
altars for the divine office.

[Illustration: 61. Cross Stones.]

It was the day of a Pardon, and the peasants were all in gala dresses. A
wrestling match unfortunately had just been finished; for throughout
Cornouaille wrestling has been, from time immemorial, as favourite a game
as in our county of the same name. Our driver tried without success to
procure for us some of the little double crystals, intersecting each other
at right angles, called "pierre de croix"—by mineralogists grenatite—found
in the Coatdry, a small affluent of the Aven, washed out of the mica slaty
rocks in which they abound. The peasants assign to them a miraculous
origin, and wear them in little bags round the neck as charms against
headache, blindness, shipwreck, and hydrophobia, being, as they allege,
signed with the cross. According to tradition, a pagan chief, having, in
his impious rage, thrown down the cross in the chapel of Coatdry, Heaven,
in memorial of the outrage, placed the sacred symbol upon the stones of
the river.

At Le Faouët we again entered the department of the Morbihan. This pretty
little town is situated between the Sterlaer and the Ellé. We first walked
to see the chapel of Ste. Barbe, perched, in the most singular manner, in
the cleft of a high rock, about a mile from the town.

After a steep climb we reached the plateau of the hill, where is the
monument of a M. Berenger, who desired to be buried in this elevated spot,
which commands a charming view of the surrounding country, the silvery
waters of the Ellé winding at the base of the mountain. We then descended,
by a flight of handsome, broad, granite steps, with balustrades, to the
chapel, placed on so narrow a space that it was impossible to give it the
usual inclination to the east. The entrance-porch is to the southwest, and
the high altar opposite, against the walls of the chapel, to the
north-east. On the top of the steps is the belfry, consisting of a roof,
supported by four columns. The day of the Pardon each pilgrim rings the
bell. The chapel was built in this singular spot, according to tradition,
by a knight, who was overtaken by a storm in the valley of the Ellé
beneath. He saw an enormous mass of detached rock on the point of falling
down and crushing him, when he invoked the intercession of Sainte Barbe,
the guardian saint against thunder, promising to build her a chapel, if
delivered from the danger. His prayer was heard; the rock was stayed in
its descent and rested on the cleft, where, next day, the grateful knight
began building the chapel, as a thank-offering for his escape. Above Ste.
Barbe, stationed on an insulated rock, one of the highest peaks in
Brittany, is a small chapel, dedicated to St. Michael, also approached by
a flight of stone steps, like Ste. Barbe, with bridge built over an
archway. The rock on which it stands is so abrupt, that rings are placed
along the sides of the chapel for the pilgrims, when creeping round, to
hold on by. Many have perished in the attempt; none, they say, have ever
succeeded in making the circuit.

There was a wedding at Le Faouët during our stay there. Guests, invited
from all quarters, to the number of 250, arrived in their gala costumes,
some of them magnificent: one woman wore a gown entirely of gold tissue;
it was her wedding-dress. The musicians, with biniou and hautboy, went
round to summon the guests. We saw the procession going to church. The
bride was prettily dressed, with a high cap, beautifully "got up," pointed
in form, and trimmed with lace, and embroidered; a muslin apron, also
lace-trimmed, and a double muslin shawl, similarly trimmed, the lace
beautifully plaited; a violet silk dress, white moire sash, and a small
bunch of white flowers. The bridegroom was "en bourgeois." Outside the
church door were tables, laid out with cakes; after the service the bride
and all the party took each a cake and put money in the plates, as an
offering for the poor. They next adjourned to the Place, where they danced
three "gavottes" under the trees. The ceremony of stealing away the bride
then took place; that is, she was chased by some dozen of the youths of
the company, and he who had the good fortune to capture her she treated to
a cup of coffee at a café. Dinner followed, and then they returned to the
interminable gavotte. They hold each other’s hands "en grand rond," then
wind themselves round the centre couple, executing most elaborate steps,
and uncoil again to return to the grand rond. We counted as many as thirty
couples in one gavotte. These festivities last two, or sometimes three,
days, during which time all the wedding party are entertained free of
expense.

Le Faouët is a great fishing quarter. The Ellé, which flows round the
town, is a stream of considerable size; and, four miles below Le Faouët,
it is joined by the Laita, and before Quimperlé unites its waters with the
Isole, whence its mingled streams flow into the Atlantic, under the name
of the Laita. We were told that large fish were taken in a pond in the
grounds of the Abbey of Langonnet, not far from Le Faouët, but it is
strictly preserved.

The people of this district retain all the old Breton superstitions; they
believe in the Car of Death, drawn by six black horses, driven by the
"Ankou," or Phantom of Death, with an iron whip. They also have full faith
in the Washerwomen of the Night (Lavandières de la Nuit), who wash the
shrouds for the dead, and fill the air with their melodious songs:—


    “Si chrétien ne vient nous sauver,
    Jusqu’au jugement faut laver:
    Au clair de la lune, au bruit du vent,
    Sous la neige, le linceul blanc.”


    “If no good soul our hands will stay,
    We must toil on till judgment-day:
    In strong wind or clear moonlight,
    We must wash the death-shroud white.”


They engage the passer-by to help them in wringing the linen; if he
refuses, they drown him in their washing trough, or suffocate him in a wet
sheet. Should he show himself ill-disposed, after having agreed to help
them, they dislocate his arm. If he wrings the wrong way, his fate is
inevitable; but if docile and obliging, they give him some clothes and
dismiss him.

[Illustration: 62. Rood-Screen or Jubé, St Fiacre.]

A mile and a half from Le Faouët, on a height a little off the Quimperlé
road, is the beautiful church of Saint Fiacre, dating from the middle of
the fifteenth century, celebrated for its carved wooden jubé, or
rood-screen, and its painted glass. The church is falling to decay. It
would be tedious to enumerate all the figures, and describe the details of
this beautiful jubé. The carving is a perfect tracery of lace-work. Three
large figures represent our Saviour and the two thieves. Then there are
the Virgin and St. Joseph; the latter, with carpenter’s plane and hammer.
Below, Adam and Eve, and the Angel with the flaming sword. Two angels hold
cartouches, on one of which is inscribed, "L’an mil C/IIII XX/IIII (1480)
fut fait cette sculpture par Olivier de Loergan;" and, on the other,
"Cette passion fut peinte l’an 1627. Yves Perez fabricant. Tous repaint en
1866." Below are panels carved in the flamboyant style, of exquisite
workmanship. The two middle panels have the sacred monogram, those on the
east side ermines surrounded by cordelières.

The side of the rood-loft facing the choir has pendents with grotesque
carvings of allegorical signification.

A man in an apple-tree, gathering the fruit, symbolizes theft. Next comes
a disgusting representation of gluttony: a man relieving himself of a pig
he has swallowed, the tail alone remaining in his mouth. Then follow a
young man and woman, gaily attired, emblematic of luxury. So far, three of
the "sept péchés capitaux" are represented; but after these comes a
national subject: a man playing on the bagpipe. The figures throughout the
rood-screen are all boldly executed, and the tracery most elegant and
delicate.

The painted glass in the church is considerable, and represents the Life
of Our Saviour, that of St. Fiacre, the Feast of Herod, and the Martyrdom
of the Baptist, figures of the Prophets of the Old Testament, with many
others. In most of the subjects, the figures are much mutilated. On one
window is inscribed, "Pierre Androuet ouvrier demeurant à Kemperlé 1552."
Over one altar is a sculpture, representing the Martyrdom of Saint
Sebastian, between two archers, in the quaint costume of the sixteenth
century.

About six miles from Le Faouët, is the ruined castle of Poncallec, with
its forest, étang, and forge; once the demesne of the young marquis of
that name, who was implicated in that conspiracy to transfer the Regency
from the Duke of Orleans to Philip V. of Spain, called the plot of
Cellamare. Of the hundred and forty-eight gentlemen included in the
accusation, all escaped to Spain, except Poncallec and three others.
Poncallec refused to accompany them from a superstitious fear, a
fortune-teller having foretold he should perish by the sea, "par la mer."
They took refuge in a church, but were surprised by a party of cavaliers
who had muffled the feet of their horses to reach them unheard. They
escaped through a subterranean passage, and, for fifteen days, lay
concealed in the hollow of a yew-tree, fed in secret by faithful peasants.
Poncallec traversed France in the disguise of a priest, but was arrested
at the Pyrenees. He with the three others were all convicted of high
treason, and, a few hours after their condemnation, were beheaded at
Nantes. Poncallec was the last to suffer. When ascending the scaffold, he
asked the executioner his name; on his answering "La Mer," Poncallec felt
the witch’s prophecy was fulfilled.

The estates of the four victims were confiscated, their arms effaced from
the fronts of their houses, the moats of their castles filled in, and
their trees (hautes futaies) cut down, "à hauteur d’infamie," that is,
within nine feet of the ground, in like manner as were those of Moor Park,
after the execution of the Duke of Monmouth. A list was presented to the
Regent Philip of other offenders, but he tore the paper, and published an
amnesty. The story of Poncallec is dramatically told by Alexandre Dumas,
in his novel, called ’Une fille du Regent.’ The Bretons honoured the
victims as martyrs, and M. de la Villemarqué, in his ’Chansons Bretons,’
gives a touching elegy which shows the sympathy excited by the tragic fate
of Poncallec:


    “Quand il arriva à Nantes, il fut jugé et condamné,
        Condamné non par ses pairs,
    Mais par des gens tombés de derrière les carrosses.
          Ils demandèrent à Poncallec:
          ’Seigneur marquis, qu’avez vous fait?
          —Mon devoir; faites notre métier.’
    Il est mort, chers pauvres, celui qui vous nourissait,
    Qui vous vêtissait, qui vous soutenait;
    Il est mort celui qui vous aimait, habitants de Berné
    Celui qui aimait son pays et qui l’a aimé jusqu’à mourir.
            Il est mort à vingt-deux ans
      Comme meurent les martyrs et les saints;
            Que dieu ait pitié de son âme!
      Le seigneur est mort … Ma voix s’éteint, …
      Toi qui l’as trahi, sois maudit, sois maudit;
            Toi qui l’as trahi, sois maudit.”


We left Le Faouët and its comfortable primitive inn, the "Lion d’Or," with
much regret; the country around is beautiful, and we had arranged to set
out early that we might cross the Montagnes Noires by daylight; but we
were disappointed in procuring a carriage, and it was not till late in the
afternoon that we were able to leave in a diligence, of which the coupé
alone was reserved to us, the interior being occupied by Breton farmers,
returning from a horse-fair. From the elevated wooded ground of Le Faouët,
the road makes a precipitous descent, and crosses the little stream of
Moulin-au-duc, after which it again rises, in a winding direction, along
the side of a mountain with a valley and little stream beneath. Then a
rapid descent brought us to Gourin, where we would gladly have risked
staying the night, and waited till morning to pursue our road over the
mountains, but we had paid our fare to Carhaix. Up hill and down again,
like all the roads in mountainous Finistère, from Gourin we ascended again
and passed a crest of the Montagnes Noires, which separates the three
departments of Finistère, Morbihan, and Côtes-du-Nord; and proceeded
through a valley to Carhaix, where we arrived at midnight, and therefore
had no opportunity of seeing the beauties of the mountain scenery.

Carhaix is a dirty, unpaved, dull town of the middle ages, much decayed
from its ancient importance when capital of the country dismembered from
Cornouaille, in the sixth century, by Comorre the Breton Bluebeard. It is
situated on an eminence, commanding an extensive view of the barren
monotonous surrounding country, bounded by the Arré mountains, the Alps of
Finistère. It is the centre of Lower Brittany, and the Duke d’Aiguillon,
Minister of Louis XV., caused six roads to be made from it to Brest,
Quimper, Morlaix, St. Brieux, Vannes, and Châteaulin, with the hope of
introducing commerce and civilisation into this barren district, "le
dernier trou du monde," as it is styled by the Parisian.

La Tour d’Auvergne, Premier Grenadier de France, was born here, and a
bronze statue of him, by Marochetti, has been erected to his memory. He is
in the uniform of a private soldier, and presses to his heart the sword of
honour just presented to him by the First Consul. Round the pedestal are
four bas-reliefs, representing scenes in his life. In the first, he saves
a wounded soldier; in the second, he forces the gates of Chambery; in the
third, he takes leave of the parents of a youth, for whom he goes as a
substitute into the army. The last represents his death; he was killed by
a lance at Ober-hausen (Bavaria), fighting against the Austrians. The
monument bears this inscription on its four sides:—

  “La Tour d’Auvergne, 1^er Grenadier de France, né à Carhaix le 23
  Decembre, 1715; mort au champ d’honneur le 27 Juin, 1800.

  “Ecrivain, Citoyen, Soldat, sa vie toujours glorieusement remplie ne
  laisse que de sublimes exemples à la posterité.

  “Tant de talens, et de vertus, appartenaient à l’histoire et au premier
  Consul, de les devancer.

  “Celui qui meurt dans une lutte sacrée trouve pour le repos une patrie
  même sur la terre etrangère.”

Preferring the title of "Premier Grenadier de France" to higher honours,
La Tour d’Auvergne remained as a private soldier to his death; but in a
decree of Buonaparte, then First Consul, preserved in the Musée des
Archives, he orders that La Tour d’Auvergne’s name should still be kept on
the muster-roll of his old regiment; and, when called, the corporal should
answer, "Mort au champ d’honneur!"

The moderation and absence of ambition in the character of La Tour
d’Auvergne is expressed in a letter to Le Coq, Bishop of Ille-et-Vilaine.
He writes,—"Je me prosterne bien plus volontiers devant la Providence pour
le remercier que pour rien demander; du pain, du lait, la liberté; et une
cœur qui ne puisse jamais s’ouvrir à l’ambition, voilà l’objet de tous mes
désirs."

La Tour d’Auvergne had a learned dog, which he educated as a soldier; he
went through the whole drill, and his master made him always wear boots.
He marched in them, on one occasion, the whole distance from Paris to
Guingamp.

A horse fair and market were going on at Carhaix. Some of the women wore
curious flannel hoods, edged with colours. There were baskets of burnt
limpet shells and lime, used in washing as substitutes for soap. In the
porch of the church dedicated to St. Tremeur (son of the Bluebeard
Comorre) are some of the little skull-boxes so common in the north of
Brittany. One was labelled, "Ci gît le chef de Mr. Thomas François Nonet,
ancien notaire et maire de la ville de Carhaix le 28 J^ier 1776, décédée
le 8 7^bre 1842." The curfew bell rings at Carhaix at a quarter to ten.

We left next day for Huelgoat, fifteen miles distant, the road up and
down, wild and dreary. At Pont Pierre, about nine miles from Carhaix, we
crossed the Aulne, even here a considerable river, with a beautiful thick
forest on our right. At a place called La Grande Halte, we turned off the
road to the right for Huelgoat, about a mile and a half off. It is
prettily situated on a large pond or lake, nearly a mile and a half in
circumference, and of great depth (20 feet). It was market day; the men
wore brown serge coats, close white breeches and black gaiters, with straw
hats bound with black. The countrymen from Saint Herbot were there in
their black shaggy goat or sheepskin overcoats, the hair turned outwards
(there are flocks of black sheep throughout Finistère), without sleeves,
and the white breeches, black gaiters, and straw hats. The women of
Huelgoat wear large white turnover collars and caps with long ends turned
up.

We first walked to the rocking stone on the slope of a steep hill,
considered the third largest in Brittany; the block forming a kind of
double cube, that is, about twice the length of its height. It requires a
very slight impulse to make it rock. This "fairy stone" is often consulted
by the peasants. In the ravine close by, below the path, is what is called
the "Cuisine de Madame Marie," but termed in the guide-books the "Ménage
de la Vierge;" a recess formed of large masses of fantastically shaped
granite rocks, through which a small stream of water flows, arriving
thither from the pond, by a subterranean course. One stone, hollowed out,
is called the écuelle of the Virgin, and others have each the name of some
different utensil requisite for the "Ménage" of our Lady. The young people
managed to scramble to the bottom.

Huelgoat (Breton, "high wood") is celebrated for its lead-mines, which are
now no longer worked. A well-kept path, cut on the top of the ridge, leads
to the mines, about two miles and a half distant, along a neat little
canal, three feet wide, issuing from the great pond, and supplying the
hydraulic machine used to pump the water out of the mine. The deeply
wooded valley, along the ridge of which it runs, is traversed by a rushing
stream, which runs over rocks; and at a place called Le Gouffre, the
rounded granite masses are piled in the wildest confusion, like those of
the Ménage de la Vierge, forming a large dark cavern, at the bottom of
which the imprisoned river foams and roars, and has forced itself an
escape through a gorge at some distance from the place, where it is lost
to view. A young girl is said, about a century back, to have fallen down
this gulf. Attempting to gather some of the mosses that line the sides of
the rocks, she slipped in and perished in the sight of her intended. Her
body never reappeared, but our guide assured us that her ghost was seen
four years since, and that sighs and groans are to be heard at eve issuing
from the fatal chasm.

The pretty little ivy-leaved campanula was growing here in abundance. We
visited in succession the "robber’s cave," the "Pierre cintré" (a natural
archway), and other wonders, and returned much pleased with the infinite
variety of fantastic rocks, rushing waters, and hanging woods, which form
this charming scene.

The lead-mines of Huelgoat have been worked since the fifteenth century
for the silver which the lead-ore (galena) contains.

The right of working these mines and those of Poullaouen was given by
Louis XIII. to Jean du Châtelet, Baron of Beausoleil, and his wife. He was
at that time General of the Mines in Hungary, and inspector of the French
mines. They were accompanied by German miners, but their mysterious
researches caused them to be accused of sorcery and magic. Richelieu had
them imprisoned in the Bastille, where they both died, victims of the
fanaticism of the age, and the works were abandoned till the eighteenth
century. They are now no longer in operation, but it is said are about to
be re-opened.

Retracing our steps to La Grande Halte, on the Carhaix road, we turned off
to the left to see the cascade of St. Herbot. We left our carriage, and
walked up a hill covered with underwood, opposite the fall. The cascade is
formed by the little river Elez falling through a mountain gorge about 650
feet  in length, filled with granite rocks of every shape and size, the
sides overhung with woods of oak. The height of the fall is 230 feet.

There was no water in the cascade. At the best, it must be only a
succession of small falls. The river tumbles from rock to rock, forming on
some of the ledges pools of water, filled with small trout, some of which
were caught by our party.

According to the legend, a giant of the country, wishing to clear the
fields of his friend, a Druid, from the rocks that encumbered them, rolled
them down the torrent.

We descended the hill to the road where we had left our carriage, and went
to the chapel of St. Herbot, a building of the sixteenth century, on the
side of a rushing brook. It has a high square tower opening into the
church, and a rood-screen of wood beautifully carved in the style of the
Renaissance, which forms three sides round the altar. Two angels are
represented with cups, the "sainte graal" receiving the blood of Christ.
The entrance to the church is up a flight of steps. It has a beautifully
sculptured south porch, with statues of the Apostles, and some fine
painted-glass windows. One part of the church has the windows with iron
bars, as if for defence.

[Illustration: 63. Carved Stalls, St. Herbot.]

Near the altar is the tomb of the anchorite, St. Herbot; his effigy
reposes under a Gothic canopy, upon a granite sarcophagus, represented in
his hermit’s gown, the hood thrown back, flowing hair, long beard, his
breviary suspended to his girdle, and his pilgrim’s staff by his left arm.
His feet repose on a recumbent lion. St. Herbot is the great patron of
cattle; the three days of the fair and pardon all the bullocks rest; and
when an animal is ill, an offering of his hair is made to the saint. We
saw a heap of horsehair and cows’ tails lying on one of the altars. These
are annually sold for the profit of the church, and the proceeds amount to
a considerable sum. Our guide gravely assured us that on the first of May,
day of the Pardon of St. Herbot, the cows "d’elles mêmes" walk three times
round the church.

[Illustration: 64. Carved Stalls, St. Herbot.]

We returned late to Carhaix, and left next day for Guingamp, passing,
about two miles out of the town, through the village of St. Catherine on
the Hierre, where the church has fleur-de-lisé windows, like that of
Penmarch. We here entered the department of the Côtes-du-Nord through
Callac, where we changed horses; the country was hilly and wooded. On the
left we saw the spire of the church of Notre Dame-de-Grâces, where repose
the remains of Charles of Blois; on the right appeared the cathedral
towers of Guingamp. At this last place we took the rail to Caulnes-Dinan,
and on, by diligence, to Dinan, whence we proposed returning by St. Malo;
but, finding the time of the boat’s sailing did not suit our arrangements,
we returned by Paris and Dieppe to London.



SOME USEFUL DATES IN THE HISTORY OF BRITTANY.


  1320. Du Guesclin born.
  1338. Marriage of Charles of Blois and Jeanne de Penthièvre.  Du
              Guesclin at the tournament.
  1341. Death of John III. Beginning of the War of Succession.
  1342. John de Montfort, prisoner in the Louvre, 1345. Escape to England
              and death.
  1346. Siege of Hennebont defended by Jeanne de Flandre.
  1347. Charles of Blois taken prisoner at La Roche Derrien.
  "   War of the two Jeannes.
  1351. Combat of the Thirty.
  1356. Charles of Blois liberated.
  1359. Siege of Dinan.
  1364. Battle of Auray.
  1365. Treaty of Guérande.
  1370. Du Guesclin, Constable of France.
  1375. John IV. flees to England.
  1380. He is recalled.
  1387. Death of Du Guesclin.
  1387. Clisson marries his daughter to Jean de Penthièvre.
  1407. Death of Clisson.
  1420. Seizure of John V. by the Penthièvres.
  1488. Battle of St. Aubin du Cormier.



CHRONOLOGICAL TABLE OF THE DUKES OF BRITTANY.


                                    []



1. GEOFFROY II.                        CONSTANCE
3rd son of Henry II.,--------=--------Heiress of Britanny
    1175                     |
                          Arthur,
                           1196.

CONSTANCE,------------=-----------2. GUY DE THOUARS
Heiress of            |
Brittany.           Alix,
                    1213------=-----Pierre de Dreux.
                              |
                       John II., 1286.
                Beatrix, daughter of Henry III.
                              |
                              |
1. Maria,-------------=------Arthur II., 1305----------------------------------=-----2. Jeanne de Montfort.
Vicountess            |                                                        |
de Limoges            |                                                        |
                      |                                         +--------------+--------+
          +-----------+----------+                              |                       |
          |                      |                 Jean Comte de Montfort + 1345.    Beatrix.
Jean III. (Bon), 1313.   Gui Comte de Penthièvre.........Jeanne de Flandre........Gui de Laval.
Isabelle de Valois.              |                              |                       |
                                 |                              |                Beatrix de Laval
                          Jeanne la Boiteuse.        Jean IV. (Vaillant), 1366.         |
                        Charles de Blois + 1364 ....... 1. Mary of England.      Richard de Bretagne.
                                 |                       2. Joan Holland.........Marguerite d’Orleans.
          +----------------------+--------------+       3. Joan of Navarre.             |
          |                      |              |               |                       |
Jean Comte de Penthièvre.       Gui.           Henri.           |                       |
Marguerite de Clisson.     Died in captivity.                   |                       |
          |                                       +-------------+-----+           Francis II., 1458
   +------+-------+                               |                   |
   |      |       |                         John V., 1439     Arthur III., 1457...1. Marguerite de Bretagne.
Olivier Charles Guillaume ................ Jeanne de France      Constable.       2. Marguerite de Foix.
                                                  |                                     |
        +----------------------+------------------+--------+                            |
Francis I., 1442.         Pierre II.,          Maria.     Gilles.                  Anne, 1488.
1. Yolande d’Anjou.       1450.                         Francoise de Dinan.......1. Charles VIII.
2. Isabeau d’Ecosse.     Francoise d’Amboise.                                    2. Louis XIII.
                                                                                        |
                                                                                   +----+----+
                                                                                 Claude.   Renée.



INDEX.


Abelard, 192.
Ancenis, 217.
Angoulême, Duke and Duchess, 167.
Anne, of Austria, Queen, 122, 269.
Anne de Beaujeu, Regent, 203, 229.
Anne of Brittany, Queen-Duchess, 42, 50, 62, 98, 121, 153, 221, 222, 223.
Arré, mountains, 103, 136, 297.
Arthur and Geoffroy Plantagenet, 216.
Arthur III., Duke of Brittany, Constable of France, 190.
Artois, Comte d’, 29.
Auray, 157.
Auray, battle of, 161.
Auray, Ste. Anne d’, 158.
Avranches, 23.
Audierne, 269.

Baciocchi, Princess, 187.
Baie des Trépassés, 274.
Barbès, 28.
Barkers (aboyeurs), 214.
Bas-Foins, 49.
Beaumanoir Chapel, 56.
Beaumanoir, Jean de, 52, 206.
Beauport, Abbey of, 76.
Belle-Isle-en-Mer, 250.
Bellière, Château of, 54.
Berri, Duchess, 226.
Bertheaume, Island, 128.
Bigouden, 258.
Biniou, 249.
Bisson, 155, 194.
Blanche of Castille, 149.
Blue Beard, Breton, 194.
Boisgelin, Château, 75.
Bonchamps, 237.
Bourg-de-Batz, 217.
Brest, 118.
Bretesch, Château of, 248.
Breton bed, 239;
— butter, 153;
— character, 99;
— chestnuts, 203;
— cow and pig, 153;
— distaffs, 259;
— farmhouse, 86;
— knitting, 74;
— soup, 112;
— threshing, 117;
— vehicles, 37.

Cancale, 39.
Carnac, 177.
Cesson, Tour de, 71.
Carhaix, 297.
Chalais, Comte de, 226.
Champ des Martyrs, 166.
Champtoceaux, Château de, 218.
Chandos, Sir John, 16, 46, 89, 162.
Châteaubriand, 36, 41.
Châteaulin, 135.
Chatelet, J. du, 302.
Chêne-Ferron, Château of, 57.
Cherbourg, 1.
Charles the Bad, 134.
Charles of Blois, 67, 75, 82, 161.
Charles V., 223.
Charles VI., 185.
Charles VII., 47, 191.
Charles VIII., 203, 229.
Clisson, Constable, 25, 89, 186, 209.
Clisson, Marguerite, 89, 218.
Colomb, Michel, 127, 221.
Combat des Trente, 206.
Combourg, Château de, 36.
Comorre, 194, 297.
Concarneau, 142.
Conquet, Le, 128.
Constance of Brittany, 216.
Cornouaille, 135.
Costume, 23, 133, 140, 234, 249, 258, 283, 288, 298.
Couëron, 34.
Couësnon, 29.
Courcorro, 181.
Coutances, 19.
Crêpes, 11, 169.
Croisic, Le, 232.
Crosses, 104.

D’Andelot, Sieur, 248.
Dinan, 44, 50.
Dinan, Françoise de, _see_ Françoise.
Dinan, Roland de, 53.
Dinard, 44.
Dogs of St. Malo, 42.
Dol, 30.
Douarnenez, 276, 279.
Dubourg, 29.
Du Guesclin, 24, 44, 45, 51, 53, 74, 143, 162, 209.

Elven, Château of, 199.
Edward III., 15, 112, 153, 223.
Edward IV., 201.
Escoublac, 232.
Estouteville, Sieur d’, 13, 26.
Epinglettes, 160.
Ermine, Order of, 126.

Filet, saint, 264.
Faouët, Le, 287.
Folgoët, Le, 120.
Fouquet, N., 256.
Francis I., Duke of Brittany, 47, 126 _note_, 185.
Francis II., Duke of Brittany, 221, 229.
Françoise de Dinan, 46, 215.
Fontenelle le Ligueur, 267.
Frérie Blanche, 72.
Frobisher, 134.

Gavr’ Inis, 174.
Gesril du Papeu, 166, 167.
Gilles de Bretagne, 46.
Goëmon (wrack), 94.
Grallo, King, 139, 275.
Guérande, 245.
Guimiliau, 115.
Granville, 21.
Guingamp, 72.

Hædic, Isle, 250, 257.
Haye du Puits, La, 17.
Harcourt, G. d’, 15.
Hennebont, 156.
Henry II., 4, 24, 26.
Henry IV., 71, 134, 191.
Henry V., 13, 26, 134, 201.
Henry VI., 201.
Henry VII., 201.
Henry VIII., 128.
Henri IV., 216, 225.
Hercé, 167, 183.
Hoche, Gen., 166.
Hunaudaye, Château de la, 62.
Huelgoat, 300.

Indian corn, 251.
Inclined axis of church, 106.
Is, City of, 274.
Ingrandes, 217.

James II., 72, 205.
Jean de Montfort, 67, 112, 153.
Jeanne d’Arc, 190.
Jeanne de Flandre (Montfort), 83, 156.
Jeanne de France, 185, 219.
Jeanne de Penthièvre, 83.
Jeanne (Joan) of Navarre, 106, 121, 134, 194, 246.
John I. (Roux), 189, 194.
John II., 204.
John III. (Bon), 67, 160, 205.
John IV. (Victorieux), 25, 67, 71, 119, 121, 126, 160, 185, 223, 246.
John V., 88, 121, 185.
Josselin, Château, 211.
Jugon, 61, 187.

Kergrist, Château, 96.
Kermartin, 84.
Kermario, 177.
Kersanton stone, 122, 135.
Kerserho, 181.
Kerscaven, 269.
Knights Templars, 69.
Knollys, Sir R., 119, 143.
Korn-er-Hoët, 187.
La Forêt, Bay, 143.
La Garaye, Château of, 57.
Lamballe, 67.
Lanleff, 68.
Langoat, 83.
Langoustes, 94, 147.
Lannion, 94.
Lanvaux, Lande de, 187.
Larochejaquelin, 22.
La Tour d’Auvergne, 297.
Lehon Abbey, 56.
Lavandières de la Nuit, 290.
Lesage, 188.
Léonnais, 103.
Léon, Viscounts, 110.
Lézardrieux, 80.
Lessay, 17.
Locmariaker, 170.
Loctudy, 261.
Lorient, 155.
Louis XI., 26, 201.
Louis XII., 32, 223.
Louis XIV., 119, 189.

Manny, Sir W., 128, 153, 157.
Manoir, 81.
Martinvast, 12.
Matilda, Empress, 3.
Mary, daughter of Edward III., 106.
Mercœur, Duke de, 225.
Menhir, 35.
Mingant Rock, 119.
Minihy (sanctuaries), 88.
Mivoie, Chêne de, 207.
Montafilant, Château, 46.
Montfort, 215.
Mont St. Michel, 25.
Motto of Dukes of Brittany, 126, 161.
Morbihan Sea, 174.
Morlaix, 97.

Nacqueville, Château, 6.
Nantes, 221.
Napoleon I., 3, 4.
Notre Dame-de-Comfort, church, 279.
Notre Dame-du-Roncier, 213.

Octeville, 5.
Ouëssant Isle, 128, 133.

Paimbœuf, 229.
Paimpol, 80.
Palais, Le, 251.
Penmarch, 263.
Penmarch, Torche de, 262.
Penthièvre, 149, 210, 225.
Périers, 18.
Perros Guirec, 92.
Peter, Duke, 72.
Philip Augustus, 28.
Pierre de Dreux, 216.
Pierres de Croix, 286.
Pleudaniel, 81.
Ploërmel, 203.
Plouaret, 96.
Plougastel, 133.
Plouharnel, 180.
Ploumanach, 92.
Pointe du Raz, 271.
Pole, W. de la, Earl of Suffolk, 13.
Pontacallec, Marquis de, 226, 294.
Pontaven, 150.
Pontcroix, 276.
Pont l’Abbé, 257.
Pontorson, 24.
Port Navalo, 250.
Potatoes, 251.
Poulignan, 233.
Porzmoguer, 130.

Querqueville, 5.
Quiberon, 165.
Quimper, 138.
Quimperlé, 151.

Rance River, 43.
Richelieu, Cardinal, 96, 119.
Richelieu, Duke, 82.
Rennes, 216.
Retz, Cardinal, 226.
Rieux, Marshal, 202.
River scenery, 103, 216, 250.
Roads, 84, 91.
Roche Bernard, La, 247.
Roche Derrien, La, 82.
Roche Jagu, La, 81.
Rochefort, Chancellor, 229.
Rocking stones, 93, 149, 300.
Rohan family, 98, 99, 111, 210.
Rosaries, 282.
Roscoff, 111.
Rosgrand, 153.
Rosporden, 285.
Rustéphan, Château, 149.

Sacring bells, 279.
Saire, Monk of, 5.
Ste. Anne la Palue, 282.
St. Armal, 204.
— Aubin du Cormier, 229.
Ste. Barbe, 287.
St. Brieuc, 71.
— Corentin, 137.
— Cornély, 178.
— Fiacre, 20.
—  "  church, 293.
— Florent, 217.
— Génévroc, 105.
— Germain, 5, 34.
— Gildas, 192.
— Guenolé, 263.
— Herbot, 303.
— Ives, 85, 88.
— Léonard, 75.
— Malo, 39.
— Mathieu, 129.
— Michael, Order of, 26.
— Nazaire, 230.
— Pair, 23.
— Pol de Léon, 103.
— Samson, 32.
— Thégonnec, 114, 117.
— Urlose, 152.
— Vincente Ferrar, 184.
Salt, 233.
Sardine fishery, 144.
Sarzeau, 192.
Scaër, 285.
Scales, Lord, 21.
Sein, Isle, 272.
Sevigné, Madame de, 203.
Skull-boxes, 91.
Sœurs de la Miséricorde, 16.
Sœurs de le Providence, 11.
Sombreuil, Comte de, 164, 183, 184.
Stuart, Charles, 113, 230.
Stuart, Mary, 98, 112.
Sucinio, Château, 189.

Teigneuse, Isle, 250.
Thomas à Becket, 24.
Tocqueville, A. de, 7.
Tombeleine, Isle, 28.
Touquédec, Château, 95.
Tourlaville, Château, 7.
Tréguier, 88.
Trégunc, 149.
Trieux River, 80.
Trinité, La, 130.
Tumiac, Butte de, 199.
Typhaine, the Lady, 24, 44, 54.

Valognes, 14.
Vannes, 183.
Varades, 217.
Vendean army, 217.
Veneti, 183.
Venus’ ear, 2.
Victoria, Queen, 1, 3, 14.

Walsh, 230.
War of the two Jeannes, 83.
War of Succession, 67 _note_.
Washing, 18.
Wells, holy, 125, 285.
Welsh Baptists, 100.
William the Conqueror, 4.



TRANSCRIBERS’ NOTES


The following substitutions were applied to the text by Doctrine Publishing Corporation
proofers and transcribers—

On page 7: "recals" —> "recalls"
On page 25: "John IV Duke of Britanny" —> "Brittany"
On page 93: "slighest" —> "slightest"
On page 104: "calvarys" —> "calvaries"
In Ill. 22: "Creisker" —> "Creizker"
On page 144: "mackarel" —> "mackerel"
On page 149: "out out" —> "out"
On page 167: twice "d’Angoulme" —> "d’Angoulême"
On page 178: "Erdevan" —> "Erdeven"
On pages 196/197: several extra double quotes removed
On page 212: "ballustrades" —> "balustrades"
On page 270: "promonotory" —> "promontory"
On page 272: "corronation" —> "coronation"
On page 303: "in in" —> "in"





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