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Title: Account of a Tour in Normandy, Volume 1
Author: Turner, Dawson, 1775-1858
Language: English
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ACCOUNT OF A TOUR IN NORMANDY Volume I

by Dawson Turner

LETTERS FROM NORMANDY

ADDRESSED
TO THE REV. JAMES LAYTON, B.A.
OF
CATFIELD, NORFOLK.

UNDERTAKEN CHIEFLY FOR THE PURPOSE OF INVESTIGATING THE ARCHITECTURAL
ANTIQUITIES OF THE DUCHY, WITH OBSERVATIONS ON ITS HISTORY, ON THE
COUNTRY, AND ON ITS INHABITANTS.

ILLUSTRATED
WITH NUMEROUS ENGRAVINGS.

VOL. I.

LONDON: 1820.



PREFACE.

The observations which form the basis of the following letters, were
collected during three successive tours in Normandy, in the summers of
1815, 1818, and 1819; but chiefly in the second of these years. Where I
have not depended upon my own remarks, I have endeavored, as far as
appeared practicable and without tedious minuteness, to quote my
authorities for facts; and I believe that I have done so in most
instances, except indeed where I have borrowed from the journals of the
companions of my tours,--the nearest and dearest of my connections,--or
from that of my friend, Mr. Cohen, who, at almost the same time,
travelled through a great part of Normandy, pursuing also very similar
objects of inquiry. The materials obtained from these sources, it has
been impossible to separate from my own; and, interwoven as they are
with the rest of the text, it is only in my power to acknowledge, in
these general terms, the assistance which I have thus received.--We were
proceeding in 1818, to the southern and western districts of Normandy,
when a domestic calamity compelled me to return to England. The tour was
consequently abridged, and many places of note remained unvisited by us.

My narrative is principally addressed to those readers who find pleasure
in the investigation of architectural antiquity. Without the slightest
pretensions to the character either of an architect or of an
antiquarian, engaged in other avocations and employed in other studies,
I am but too conscious of my inability to do justice to the subject. Yet
my remarks may at least assist the future traveller, by pointing out
such objects as are interesting, either on account of their antiquity or
their architectural worth. This information is not to be obtained from
the French, who have habitually neglected the investigation of their
national monuments. I doubt, however, whether I should have ventured
upon publication, if those who have always accompanied me both at home
and abroad, had not produced the illustrations which constitute the
principal value of my volumes. Of the merits of these illustrations I
must not be allowed to speak; but it may be permitted me to observe,
that the fine arts afford the only mode of exerting the talents of
woman, which does not violate the spirit of the precept which the
greatest historian of antiquity has ascribed to the greatest of her
heroes--

[English. Greek in Original] "Great will be your glory in not falling
short of your natural character; and greatest will be hers who is least
talked of among the men whether for good or for bad." Thucydides'
Historiae. (Book 2, Chapter 45, Paragraph 2, Verses 3-5.)

DAWSON TURNER.

YARMOUTH, _13th August_1820.



CONTENTS.

LETTER I.

Arrival at Dieppe--Situation and Appearance of the Town--Costume of the
People--Inhabitants of the Suburb of Pollet.

LETTER II.

Dieppe--Castle--Churches--History of the Place--Feast of the Assumption.

LETTER III. Cæsars Camp--Castle of Arques.

LETTER IV.

Journey from Dieppe to Rouen--Priory of Longueville--Rouen-Bridge of
Boats--Costume of the Inhabitants.

LETTER V.

Journey to Havre--Pays de Caux--St. Vallery--Fécamp--The precious
Blood--The Abbey--Tombs in it--Moutivilliers--Harfleur.

LETTER VI.

Havre--Trade and History of the Town--Eminent Men--Bolbec--Yvetot--Ride
to Rouen--French Beggars.

LETTER VII.

On the State of Affairs in France.

LETTER VIII.

Military Antiquities--Le Vieux Château--Original Palace of the Norman
Dukes--Halles of Rouen--Miracle and Privilege of St. Romain--Château du
Vieux Palais--Petit Château--Fort on Mont Ste. Catherine--Priory
there--Chapel of St. Michael--Devotee.

LETTER IX.

Ancient Ecclesiastical Architecture--Churches of St. Paul and St.
Gervais--Hospital of St. Julien--Churches of Léry, Pavilly, and
Yainville.

LETTER X.

Early Pointed Architecture--Cathedral--Episcopal Palace.

LETTER XI.

Pointed Ecclesiastical Architecture--Churches of St. Ouen, St. Maclou,
St. Patrice, and St. Godard.

LETTER XII.

Palais de Justice--States, Exchequer, and Parliament of Normandy--Guild
of the Conards--Joan of Arc--Fountain and Bas-Relief in the Place de la
Pucelle--Tour de la Grosse Horloge--Public Fountains--Rivers Aubette and
Robec--Hospitals--Mint.

LETTER XIII.

Monastic Institutions--Library--Manuscripts--Museum--Academy--Botanic
Garden--Theatre--Ancient History--Eminent Men.

LIST OF PLATES.
Plate 01 Head-Dress of Women of the Pays de Caux.

Plate 02 Entrance to the Castle at Dieppe.

Plate 03 Font in the Church of St. Remi, at Dieppe.

Plate 04 Plan of Caesar's Camp, near Dieppe.

Plate 05 General View of the Castle of Arques.

Plate 06 Tower of remarkable shape in ditto.

Plate 07 Church at Arques.

Plate 08 View of Rouen, from the Grand Cours.

Plate 09 Tower and Spire of Harfleur Church.

Plate 10 Bas-Relief, representing St. Romain.

Plate 11 Sculpture, supposed Roman, in the Church of St. Paul, at Rouen.

Plate 12 Circular Tower, attached to the Church of St. Ouen, at Rouen.

Plate 13 Interior of the Church at Pavilly.

Plate 14 Monumental Figure of Rollo, in Rouen Cathedral.

Plate 15 Ditto of an Archbishop, in ditto.

Plate 16 Monument of ditto.

Plate 17 Equestrian Figure of the Seneschal de Brezé, in Rouen Cathedral.

Plate 18 Tower of the Church of St. Ouen, at Rouen.

Plate 19 South Porch of ditto.

Plate 20 Head of Christ, in ditto, seen in profile.

Plate 21 Ditto, in ditto, seen in front.

Plate 22 Stone Staircase in the Church of St. Maclou, at Rouen.

Plate 23 Sculpture, representing the Feast of Fools.

Plate 24 Bas-Relief, from the representations of the Champ du Drap d'or.

Plate 25 Initial Letter from a MS. of the History of William of Jumieges.



LETTERS FROM NORMANDY.



LETTER I.

ARRIVAL AT DIEPPE--SITUATION AND APPEARANCE OF THE TOWN--COSTUME OF THE
PEOPLE--INHABITANTS OF THE SUBURB OF POLLET.


(_Dieppe, June_, 1818)

MY DEAR SIR,

You, who were never at sea, can scarcely imagine the pleasure we felt,
when, after a passage of unusual length, cooped up with twenty-four
other persons in a packet designed only for twelve, and after having
experienced every variety that could he afforded by a dead calm, a
contrary wind, a brisk gale in our favor, and, finally, by being obliged
to lie three hours in a heavy swell off this port, we at last received
on board our French pilot, and saw hoisted on the pier the white flag,
the signal of ten feet water in the harbor. The general appearance of
the coast, near Dieppe, is similar to that which we left at Brighton;
but the height of the cliffs, if I am not mistaken, is greater. They
vary along the shores of Upper Normandy from one hundred and fifty to
seven hundred feet, or even more; the highest lying nearly mid-way
between this town and Havre, in the vicinity of Fécamp; and they present
an unbroken barrier, of a dazzling white[1], except when they dip into
some creek or cove, or open to afford a passage to some river or
streamlet. Into one of these, a boat from the opposite shores of Sussex
shot past us this afternoon, with the rapidity of lightning. She was a
smuggler, and, in spite of the army of Douaniers employed in France,
ventured to make the land in the broad face of day, carrying most
probably a cargo, composed principally of manufactured goods in cotton
and steel. The crew of our vessel, no bad authority in such cases,
assured us, that lace is also sent in considerable quantities as a
contraband article into France; though, as is well known, much of it
likewise comes in the same quality into England, and there are perhaps
few of our travellers, who return entirely without it. On the same
authority, I am enabled to state, what much surprised me, that the
smuggled goods exported from Sussex into Normandy exceed by nearly an
hundred fold those received in return.

The first approach to Dieppe is extremely striking. To embark in the
evening at Brighton, sleep soundly in the packet, and find yourself, as
is commonly the case, early the next morning under the piers of this
town, is a transition, which, to a person unused to foreign countries,
can scarcely fail to appear otherwise than as a dream; so marked and so
entire is the difference between the air of elegance and mutual
resemblance in the buildings, of smartness approaching to splendor in
the equipages, of fashion in the costume, of the activity of commerce in
the movements, and of newness and neatness in every part of the one,
contrasted in the other with a strong character of poverty and neglect,
with houses as various in their structure as in their materials, with
dresses equally dissimilar in point of color, substance, and style, with
carriages which seem never to have known the spirit of improvement, and
with a general listlessness of manner, the result of indolence, apathy,
and want of occupation. With all this, however, the novelty which
attends the entrance of the harbor at Dieppe, is not only striking, but
interesting. It is not thus at Calais, where half the individuals you
meet in the streets are of your own country; where English fashions and
manufactures are commonly adopted; and where you hear your native
tongue, not only in the hotels, but even the very beggars follow you
with, "I say, give me un sou, s'il vous please." But this is not the
only advantage which the road by Dieppe from London to Paris possesses,
over that by Calais. There is a saving of distance, amounting to twenty
miles on the English, and sixty on the French side of the water; the
expence is still farther decreased by the yet lower rate of charges at
the inns; and, while the ride to the French metropolis by the one route
is through a most uninteresting country, with no other objects of
curiosity than Amiens, Beauvais, and Abbeville; by the other it passes
through a province unrivalled for its fertility and for the beauty of
its landscape, and which is allowed by the French themselves to be the
garden of the kingdom. Rouen, Vernon, Mantes, and St. Germain, names all
more or less connected with English history, successively present
themselves to the traveller; and, during the greater part of his
journey, his path lies by the side of a noble stream, diversified beyond
almost every other by the windings of its channel, and the islands which
stud its surface. The only evil to counterbalance the claims of Dieppe
is, that the packets do not sail daily, although they profess and
actually advertise to that effect; but wait till what they consider a
sufficient freight of passengers is assembled, so that, either at Dieppe
or Brighton, a person runs the risk of being detained, as has more than
once happened to myself, a circumstance that never occurs at Dover.
There is still a third point of passage upon our southern coast, and one
that has of late been considerably frequented, from Southampton to
Havre; but this I never tried, and do not know what it has to recommend
it, except to those who are proceeding to Caen or to the western parts
of France. The voyage is longer and more uncertain, the distance by land
between London and Paris is also greater, nor does it offer equal
facilities as to inns and public carriages.

Dieppe is situated on a low tongue of land, but from the sea appears to
great advantage; characterized as it is by its old castle, an assemblage
of various forms and ages, placed insulated upon an eminence to the west,
and by the domes and towers of its churches. The mouth of the harbor is
narrow, and inclosed by two long stone piers, on one of which stands an
elegant crucifix, raised by the fathers of the mission; to the other has
lately been affixed a stone, with an inscription, stating that the
Duchess d'Angoulême landed there on her return to her native country;
but here is no measure of her foot, no votive pillar, as are to be seen
at Calais, to commemorate a similar honor done to the inhabitants by the
monarch. A small house on the western pier, is, however, more deserving
of notice than either the inscription or the crucifix: it was built by
Louis XVIth, for the residence of a sailor, who, by saving the lives of
shipwrecked mariners, had deserved well of his sovereign and his
country. Its front bears, "A J'n. A'r. Bouzard, pour ses services
maritimes;" but there was originally a second inscription in honor of
the king, which has been carefully erased. The fury of the revolution
could pardon nothing that bore the least relation to royalty; or surely
a monument like this, the reward of courage and calculated to inspire
only the best of feelings[2], might have been allowed to have remained
uninjured. The French are wiser than we are in erecting these public
memorials for public virtues: they better understand the art of
producing an effect, and they know that such gratifications bestowed
upon the living are seldom thrown away. We rarely give them but to the
dead. Capt. Manby, to whom above one hundred and thirty shipwrecked
mariners are even now indebted for their existence, and whose invention
will probably be the means of preservation to thousands, is allowed to
live in comparative obscurity; while in France, a mere pilot, for
having saved the lives of only eight individuals, had a residence built
for him at the public expence, received an immediate gratification of
one thousand francs, enjoyed a pension during his life, and, with his
name and his exploits, now occupies a conspicuous place in the history
of the duchy.

Within the piers, the harbor widens into a stone basin, capable of
holding two hundred vessels, and full of water at the flow of the tide;
but at the ebb exhibiting little more than a sheet of mud, with a small
stream meandering through it. Round the harbor is built the town, which
contains above twenty thousand inhabitants, and is singularly
picturesque, as well from its situation, backed as it is by the steep
cliff to the east, which, instead of terminating here abruptly, takes an
inland direction, as from the diversity in the forms and materials of
the houses of the quay, some of which are of stone, others of grey
flint, more of plaster with their timbers uncovered and painted of
different colors, but most of brick, not uncommonly ornamented, with
roofs as steep as those of the Thuilleries, and full of projecting
lucarnes. This remark, however, applies only to the quay: in its
streets, Dieppe is conspicuous among French towns for the uniformity of
its buildings. After the bombardment in 1694, when the English, foiled
near Brest, wreaked their vengeance upon Dieppe, and reduced the whole
to ashes, the town was rebuilt on a regular plan, agreeably to a royal
ordinance. Hence this is commonly regarded as one of the handsomest
places in France, and you will find it mentioned as such by most
authors; but the unfortunate architect who was employed in rebuilding
it, got no other reward than general complaints and the nickname of M.
Gâteville. The inconveniences arising from the arrangements of the
houses which he erected must have been serious; for we find that sixty
years afterwards an order of council was procured, allowing the
inhabitants to make some alterations that they considered most essential
to their comfort. Upon the quay there is occasionally somewhat of the
activity of commerce; but elsewhere it is as I have observed before, as
well with the people as the buildings. As far as the houses are
concerned, a little care and paint would remove their squalid aspect: to
an English eye it is singularly offensive; but it cannot possibly be so
to the French, among whom it seems almost universal.

To a painter Dieppe must be a source of great delight: the situation,
the buildings, the people offer an endless variety; but nothing is more
remarkable than the costume of the females of the middle and lower
classes, most of whom wear high pyramidal caps, with long lappets
entirely concealing their hair, red, blue, or black corsets, large
wooden shoes, black stockings, and full scarlet petticoats of the
coarsest woollen, pockets of some different die attached to the outside,
and not uncommonly the appendage of a key or corkscrew: occasionally too
the color of their costume is still farther diversified by a chequered
handkerchief and white apron. The young are generally pretty; the old,
tanned and ugly; and the transition from youth to age seems
instantaneous: labor and poverty have destroyed every intermediate
gradation; but, whether young or old, they have all the same
good-humored look, and appear generally industrious, though almost
incessantly talking. Even on Sundays or feast-days, bonnets are seldom
to be seen, but round their necks are suspended large silver or gilt
ornaments, usually crosses, while long gold ear-rings drop from either
side of their head, and their shoes frequently glitter with paste
buckles of an enormous size. Such is the present costume of the females
at Dieppe, and throughout the whole Pays de Caux; and in this
description, the lover of antiquarian research will easily trace a
resemblance to the attire of the women of England, in the XVth and XVIth
centuries. As to the cap, which the Cauchoise wears when she appears _en
grand costume_, its very prototype is to be found in _Strutt's Ancient
Dresses_. Decorated with silver before, and with lace streaming behind,
it towers on the head of the stiff-necked complacent wearer, whose locks
appear beneath, arrayed with statuary precision. Nor is its antiquity
solely confined to its form and fashion; for, descending from the great
grandmother to the great grand-daughter, it remains as an heir-loom in
the family from generation unto generation. In my former visit to
Normandy, three years ago, we first saw this head-dress at the theatre
at Rouen, and my companion was so struck with it that he made the
sketch, of which I send you a copy. The costume of the females of
somewhat higher rank is very becoming: they wear muslin caps, opening in
front to shew their graceful ringlets, colored gowns, scarlet
handkerchiefs, and black aprons.

[Illustration: Head-Dress of Women of the Pays de Caux]

But nothing connected with the costume or manners of the people at
Dieppe is equally interesting as what refers to the inhabitants of the
suburb called Pollet; and I will therefore conclude my letter, by
extracting from the historian of the place[3] his account of these men,
which, though written many years ago, is true in the main even in our
days, and it is to be hoped will, in its most important respects,
continue so for a length of time to come. "Three-fourths of the natives
of this part of the town are fishermen, and not less effectually
distinguished from the citizens of Dieppe by their name of Poltese,
taken from their place of residence, than by the difference in their
dress and language, the simplicity of their manners, and the narrow
extent of their acquirements. To the present hour they continue to
preserve the same costume as in the XVIth century; wearing trowsers
covered with wide short petticoats, which open in the middle to afford
room for the legs to move, and woollen waistcoats laced in the front
with ribands, and tucked below into the waistband of their trowsers.
Over these waistcoats is a close coat, without buttons or fastenings of
any kind, which falls so low as to hide their petticoats and extend a
foot or more beyond them. These articles of apparel are usually of cloth
or serge of a uniform color, and either red or blue; for they interdict
every other variation, except that all the seams of their dress are
faced with white silk galloon, full an inch in width. To complete the
whole, instead of hats, they have on their heads caps of velvet or
colored cloth, forming a _tout-ensemble_ of attire, which is evidently
ancient, but far from unpicturesque or displeasing. Thus clad, the
Poltese, though in the midst of the kingdom, have the appearance of a
distinct and foreign colony; whilst, occupied incessantly in fishing,
they have remained equally strangers to the civilization and
politeness, which the progress of letters during the last two centuries
has diffused over France. Nay, scarcely are they acquainted with four
hundred words of the French language; and these they pronounce with an
idiom exclusively their own, adding to each an oath, by way of epithet;
a habit so inveterate with them, that even at confession, at the moment
of seeking absolution for the practice, it is no uncommon thing with
them to _swear_ they will be guilty of it no more. To balance, however,
this defect, their morals are uncorrupted, their fidelity is exemplary,
and they are laborious and charitable, and zealous for the honor of
their country, in whose cause they often bleed, as well as for their
priests, in defence of whom they once threatened to throw the Archbishop
of Rouen into the river, and were well nigh executing their threats."

Footnotes:

[1] The chalk in the cliff, in the immediate vicinity of Dieppe, is
divided at intervals of about two feet each by narrow strata of flint,
generally horizontal, and composed in some cases of separate nodules,
which are not uncommonly split, in others of a continuous compressed
mass, about two or three inches thick and of very uncertain extent, but
the strata are not regular.

[2] _Goube Histoire de Normandie_, III. p. 188.--In _Cadet Gassicourt
Lettres sur Normandie_, I. p. 68, the story of Bouzard is given still
more at length.

[3] _Histoire de Dieppe_, II. p. 56.


[Illustration: Entrance to the Castle at Dieppe]

LETTER II.

DIEPPE--CASTLE--CHURCHES--HISTORY OF THE PLACE--FEAST OF THE ASSUMPTION.


(_Dieppe, June_, 1818.)

The bombardment of this town, alluded to in my last, was so effectual in
its operation, that, excepting the castle and the two churches, the
place can boast of little to arrest the attention of the antiquary, or
of the curious traveller. These three objects were indeed almost all
that escaped the conflagration; and for this they were indebted to their
insulated situations, the first on an eminence unconnected with the
houses of the place, the other two in their respective cemeteries.

The hill on which the castle stands is steep; and the building, as well
from its position, as from its high walls, flanked with towers and
bastions, has an imposing appearance. In its general outline it bears a
resemblance to the castle of Stirling, but it has not the same claims to
attention in an architectural point of view. It is a confused mass of
various æras, and its parts are chiefly modern: nor is there any single
feature that deserves to be particularized for beauty or singularity;
yet, as a whole, a picturesque and pleasing effect results from the very
confusion and irregularity of its towers, roofs, and turrets; and this
is also enhanced by a row of lofty arches, thrown across a ravine near
the entrance, supporting the bridge, and appearing at a distance like
the remains of a Roman aqueduct. What seems to be the most ancient part
is a high quadrangular tower with lofty pointed pannels in the four
walls; and though inferior in antiquity, an observer accustomed only to
the English castellated style, is struck by the variety of numerous
circular towers with conical roofs, resembling those which flanked the
gates of the town. Some of these gates still remain perfect; and one of
them, leading to the sea, now serves as a military prison. It was the
Sieur des Marêts[4], the first governor of the place, who began this
castle shortly after the year 1443, when Louis the XIth, then dauphin,
freed Dieppe from the dominion of the English, attacking in person, and
carrying by assault, the formidable fortress, constructed by Talbot, in
the suburb of Pollet. Of this, not a vestige now remains: the whole was
levelled with the ground in 1689; though, at a period of one hundred and
twenty years after it was originally taken and dismantled, it had again
been made a place of strength by the Huguenots, and had been still
further fortified under Henry IVth, in whose reign the present castle
was completed; for it was not till this time that permission was given
to the inhabitants to add to it a keep. In its perfect state, whilst
defended by this keep, and still further protected by copious out-works
and bomb-proof casemates, its strength was great; but the period of its
power was of short duration; for the then perturbed state of France
naturally gave rise to anxiety on the part of the government, lest
fortresses should serve as rallying points to the faction of the league;
and the castle of Dieppe was consequently left with little more than
the semblance of its former greatness.

Of the churches here, that of St. Jaques is considerably the finest
building, and is indeed an excellent specimen of what has been called
the _decorated English style of architecture_, the style of this church
nearly coinciding in its principal lines with that which prevailed in
our own country during the reigns of the second and third Edward. It was
begun about the year 1260, but was little advanced at the commencement
of the following century; nor were its nineteen chapels, the works of
the piety of individuals, completed before 1350. The roof of the choir
remained imperfect till ninety years afterwards, whilst that of the
transept is as recent as 1628[5]. The most ancient work is discernible
in the transepts, but the lines are obscured by later additions. A
cloister gallery fronted by delicate mullions runs round the nave and
choir, and the extent and arrangement of the exterior would induce a
stranger, unacquainted with the history of the building, to suppose that
he was entering a conventual or cathedral church. The parts long most
generally admired by the French, though they have always been miserable
judges of gothic architecture, were the vaulted roof, and the pendants
of the Lady-Chapel. The latter were originally ornamented with female
figures, representing the Sibyls, made of colored terra cotta, and of
such excellent workmanship, that Cardinal Barberini, when he visited
this chapel in 1647, declared he had seen nothing of the kind, not even
in Italy, superior to them for the beauty and delicacy of their
execution; but they are now gone, and, according to Noel[6], were
destroyed at the time of the bombardment. The state, however, of the
roof does not seem to warrant this observation; and, contrary also to
what he says, the pendants between the Lady-Chapel and the choir are
still perfect, and serve, together with numerous small canopies in the
chapel itself, to give a clear idea of what the whole must have been
originally. One of the most elegant of the decorations of the church is
a spirally-twisted column, elaborately carved, with a peculiarly
fanciful and beautiful capital, placed against a pillar that separates
the two south-eastern chapels of the choir. The richest object is a
stone-screen to a chantry on the north side, which is divide into
several canopies, whose upper part is still full of a profusion of
sculpture, though the lower is sadly mutilated. I could not ascertain
its history or use; but I do not suppose it is of earlier date than the
age of Francis Ist, as the Roman or Italian style is blended with the
Gothic arch. The Chapel of the Sepulchre, is not uncommonly pointed out
as an object of admiration. There is certainly some, handsome sculpture
round the portal; but it is not this for which your admiration is
required: you are told that the chapel was made in 1612, at the expence
of a traveller, then just returned from Palestine, and that it offers a
faithful representation of the Holy Sepulchre itself at Jerusalem; by
which if we are to understand that the wretched, grisly, painted, wooden
figures of the three Maries, and other holy women and holy men,
assembled round a disgusting representation of the dead Saviour, have
their prototype in Judea, I can only add I am sorry for it: for my own
part, putting aside all question of the propriety or effect of
symbolical worship, and meaning nothing offensive to the Romish faith, I
must be allowed to say that most assuredly I can conceive nothing less
qualified to excite feelings of devotion, or more certain to awaken
contempt and loathing, than the images of this description, the
tinselled virgins, and the wretched daubs, nick-named paintings, which
abound in the churches of Picardy and Normandy, the only catholic
provinces which I have yet visited; so that, if the taste of the
inhabitants is to be estimated by the decoration of the religious
buildings, this faculty must be rated very low indeed. The exterior of
the church is as richly ornamented as the inside; and not a buttress,
arch, or canopy is without the remains of crumbled carving, worn by
time, or disfigured by the ruder hand of calvinistic or revolutionary
violence. Tradition refers the erection of this edifice to the English.
From the certainty with which a date may be assigned to almost every
part, it is very interesting to the lover of architecture. The
Lady-Chapel is also perhaps one of the last specimens of Gothic art, but
still very pure, except in some of the smaller ornaments, such, as the
niches in the tabernacles, which end in escalop shells.

[Illustration: Font in the Church of St. Remi, at Dieppe]

The other church is dedicated to St. Remi, and is a building of the
XVIIth century; though, judging from some of its pillars, it would be
pronounced considerably more ancient. Those of the transept and of the
central tower are lofty and clustered, and of extraordinary thickness;
the rest are circular and plain, and not very unlike the columns of our
earliest Norman or Saxon churches, though of greater proportionate
altitude. The capitals of those in the choir are singularly capricious,
with figures, scrolls, &c.; but it is the capriciousness of the gothic
verging into Grecian, not of the Norman. On the pendants of the nave are
painted various ornaments, each accompanied by a mitre. The eastern has
only a mitre and cross, with the date 1669; the western the same, with
1666; denoting the æra of the edifice, which was scarcely finished, when
a bomb, in 1694, destroyed the roof of the choir, and this remains to
the present hour incomplete. The most remarkable object in the church is
a _bénitier_ of coarse red granite, on whose basin is an inscription, to
me illegible. The annexed sketches will give you some idea of it:

[Illustration: Sketch of inscription]

In the letters one looks naturally for a date: the figures that
alternate with them are probably mitres, and, like those on the roof,
indicate the supreme jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Rouen in the
place.

Dieppe itself is, by its own historians[7], said to boast an origin as
early as the days of Charlemagne[8], who is reported to have built a
fortress on the scite of the present town, and to have called it
Bertheville, in honor of the Berthas, his mother and his daughter.
Bertheville was one of the first places taken by the Normans, by whom
the appellation was changed to Dyppe or Dieppe, a word which in their
language is said to signify a good anchorage. Other writers[9], however,
treat the whole of the early chronicle of Dieppe as a fiction, and
maintain, that even at the beginning of the XIth century the town had no
existence, and the place was only known as the port of Arques, within
whose territory it was comprehended; nor was it till the end of the same
century that the inhabitants of Arques were, partly from the convenience
of the fisheries, and partly from the advantages of the salt trade,
induced to form this settlement. Whatever date may be assigned to the
foundation of Dieppe, it is frequently contended that William the
Conqueror embarked here for the invasion of England, and it seems
undoubted that he sailed hence for his new kingdom in the next year,
agreeably to the following passage from Ordericus Vitalis, (p. 509) by
which you will observe, that the river had at that time the same name as
the town, "Deinde sextâ nocte Decembris ad ostium amnis Deppæ ultra
oppidtim Archas accessit, primâque vigiliâ gelidæ noctis Austro vela
dedit, et mane portum oppositi littoris, (quem Vvicenesium vocitant)
prospero cursu arripuit." In 1188, our Henry II built a castle upon the
same hill on which the present fortress stands. This strong hold,
however, afforded little protection; for we find that, in 1195, Philip
Augustus of France, entering Normandy with an hostile army, laid siege
to Dieppe, and set fire not only to the town, but also to the shipping
in the harbor. Two years subsequently to this event, Dieppe ceased to
form a part of the demesne of the Sovereign of the Duchy. Richard the
Ist had given great offence to Walter, Archbishop of Rouen, by
persisting in the erection of Château Gaillard, in the vicinity of
Andelys, which belonged to the archbishop in right of his see; and
though our lion-hearted monarch was not appalled either by the papal
interdict or by the showers of blood that fell upon his workmen, yet at
length he thought it advisable to purchase at once the forgiveness of
the prelate and the secular seignory of Andelys, by surrendering to him,
as an equivalent, the towns and lordships of Dieppe and Louviers, the
land and forest of Alihermont, the land and lordship of Bouteilles, and
the mills of Rouen. This exchange was regarded as so great a subject of
triumph to the archbishop, that he caused the memory of it to be
perpetuated by inscriptions upon crosses in various parts of Rouen, some
of which remained as late as 1610, when Taillepied wrote his _Recueil
des Antiquitéz et Singularitéz de la Ville de Rouen_. The following
lines are given as one of these inscriptions in the _Gallia
Christiana_[10]:

         "Vicisti, Galtere, tui sunt signa triumphi
     Deppa, Locoveris, Alacris-mons, Butila, molta,
     Deppa maris portus, Alacris-mons locus amoenus,
     Villa Locoveris, rus Butila, molta per urbem.
     Hactenus hæc Regis Richardi jura fuere;
     Hæc rex sancivit, hæc papa, tibique tuere[11]."

Nor was this the only memorial of the fact; for the advantages of the
exchange were so generally recognized, that the name of Walter became
proverbial; and to this day it is said in Normandy of a man who
over-reaches another, "c'est un fin Gautier." It might be inferred from
the terms of the bargain in which Dieppe merely appears as one of the
items of the account, that it was then a place of little consequence;
yet, one of the old chroniclers speaks of it at the time it was taken by
the French under Philip Augustus, as

         "portus famâ celeberrimus atque
     Villa potens opibus."

These historians, however, of former days are not always the most
accurate; but from this period the annals of the place are preserved,
and at certain epochs it is far from unimportant in French history: as,
when Talbot raised in 1442 the fortress called the Bastille, a defence
so strong and in so well-chosen a situation, that even Vauban honored
its memory by lamenting its destruction; when the inhabitants fought
with the Flemings in the channel, in 1555; when Henry IVth, with an army
of less than four thousand men, fled hither in 1589, as to his last
place of refuge, winning the hearts of the people by his frank
address:--"Mes amis, point de cérémonie, je ne demande que vos coeurs,
bon pain, bon vin, et bon visage d'hôtes;" and when, as I have already
mentioned, the town sustained from our fleet a bombardment of three
days' duration, and was reduced by it to ashes.

For the excellence of its sailors, Dieppe has at all times been
renowned: no less an authority than the President de Thou has pronounced
them to be men, "penes quos præcipua rei nauticæ gloria semper fuit;"
and they have proved their claims to this encomium, not only by having
supplied to the navy of France the celebrated Abraham Du Quesne, the
successful rival of the great Ruyter, but still more so by having taken
the lead in expeditions to Florida[12]; by having established a colony
for the promotion of the fur trade in Canada, if indeed they were not
the original discoverers of that country; and by having been the first
Christians who ever made a settlement on the coast of Senegal. This
last-mentioned event took place, according to French writers, at as
early a period as the XIVth century; and, though the establishment was
not of long duration, its effects have been permanent; for it is owing
to the consignments of ivory then made to Dieppe, that many of the
inhabitants were induced to become workers in that substance; a trade
which they preserve to the present time, and carry the art to such
perfection that they have few rivals. This and the making of lace are
the principal employments of such of the natives as are not engaged in
the fishery. In the earlier ages of the Duchy, the inhabitants of the
Pays de Caux found a more effectual and important employment in the
salt-works which were then very numerous on the coast, but which have
long since been suffered to fall into decay. Ancient charters, recorded
in the _Neustria Pia_, trace these works on the coast of Dieppe, and at
Bouteilles on the right of the valley of Arques, to as remote a period
as 1027; and they at the same time prove the existence of a canal
between Dieppe and Bouteilles, by which in 1390 vessels loaded with salt
were wont to pass. But here, as in England, such works have been
abandoned, from the greater facility of communication between distant
places, and of obtaining salt by other means.

At present the only manufacture on the beach is that of kelp, for which
a large quantity of the coarser sea-weeds is burned; but the fisheries,
which are not carried on with equal energy in any other port of France,
are the chief support of the place. The sailors of Dieppe were not
confined to their own seas; for they used to pursue the cod fishery on
the coast of Newfoundland with considerable success. The herring fishery
however was a greater staple; and previously to the revolution, when
alone a just estimate could be formed of such matters, the quantity of
herrings caught by the boats belonging to Dieppe averaged more than
eight thousand lasts a year, and realized above £100,000. This fishery
is said to have been established here as early as the XIth century[13].
From sixty to eighty boats, each of about thirty tons and carrying
fifteen men, were annually sent to the eastern coast of England about
the end of August; and then, again, in the middle of October nearly
double the quantity of vessels, but of a smaller size, were engaged in
the same pursuit on their own shores, where the fish by this time
repair. The mackerel fishery was an object of scarcely less importance
than that of herrings, producing in general about one hundred and
seventy thousand barrels annually. Great quantities of these fish are
eaten salted and dried, in which state they afford a general article of
food among the lower classes in Normandy. Surely this would be deserving
of the attention and imitation of our merchants at home. During the war
with England this branch of trade necessarily suffered; but Napoléon did
every thing in his power to assist the town, by giving it peculiar
advantages as to ships sailing under licences. He succeeded in his
views; and, thus patronized, Dieppe flourished exceedingly, and the
gains brought in by the privateers connected with the port, added not a
little to its prosperity. Hence to this hour the inhabitants regret the
peace, although the town cannot fail to be benefitted by the fresh
impulse given to the fisheries, and the quantity of money circulated by
the travellers who are continually passing. Napoléon intended also to
bestow an additional boon upon the place. A canal had been projected
many years ago, in the time of the Maréchal de Vauban, and was to have
extended to Pontoise, through the fertile districts of Gournay and
Neufchâtel, and to have communicated by different branches with the
Seine and Oise. This plan, which had been forgotten during so many
reigns, Napoléon determined to carry into effect, and the excavations
were actually begun under his orders. But the events which succeeded his
Russian campaign put a stop to this, as to all similar labors: the plan
is now, however, again in agitation, and, if performed, Dieppe will soon
become one of the most important ports in France.

By the revolution Dieppe was emancipated from the dominion of the
Archbishop of Rouen, who, by virtue of the cession made by Richard Coeur
de Lion, exercised a despotic sway, even until the dissolution of the
_ancien régime_. His privileges were oppressive, and he had and made use
of the right of imposing a variety of taxes, which extended even to the
articles of provision imported either by land or sea. Yet it must be
admitted that the progress of civilization had previously done much
towards the removal of the most obnoxious of the abuses. The times,
happily, no longer existed, when, as in the XIIth century, the prelate,
with a degree of indecency scarcely to be credited, especially under an
ecclesiastical government, did not scruple to convert the wages of sin
into a source of revenue, as scandalous in its nature as it must have
been contemptible in its amount, by exacting from every prostitute a
weekly tax of a farthing, for liberty to exercise her profession[14].

Many uncouth and frivolous ecclesiastical rites and ceremonies of the
middle ages, which good sense had banished from most other parts of
France, where they once were common, still lingered in the archbishop's
seignory. Thus, at no very remote period, it was customary on the Feast
of Pentecost to cast burning flakes of tow from the vaulting of the
church; this stage-trick being considered as a representation of the
descent of the fiery tongues. The Virgin, the great idol of popery, was
honored by a pageant, which was celebrated with extraordinary splendor;
and as I must initiate you in the mysteries of Catholicism, I think you
will be well pleased to receive a detailed account of it. The ceremony I
consider as curiously illustrative of the manners of the rulers, of the
ruled, and of the times; and I will only add, by way of preface, that it
was instituted by the governor, Des Marêts, in 1443, in honor of the
final expulsion of the English, and that he himself consented to be the
first master of the _Guild of the Assumption_, under whose auspices and
direction it was conducted.--About Midsummer the principal inhabitants
used to assemble at the Hôtel de Ville, and there they selected the girl
of the most exemplary character, to represent the Virgin Mary, and with
her six other young women, to act the parts of the Daughters of Sion.
The honor of figuring in this holy drama was greatly coveted; and the
historian of Dieppe gravely assures us, that the earnestness felt on the
occasion mainly contributed to the preservation of that purity of
manners and that genuine piety, which subsisted in this town longer than
in any other of France! But the election of the Virgin was not
sufficient: a representative of St. Peter was also to be found among the
clergy; and the laity were so far favored that they were permitted to
furnish the eleven other apostles. This done, upon the fourteenth of
August the Virgin was laid in a cradle of the form of a tomb, and was
carried early in the morning, attended by her suite of either sex, to
the church of St. Jacques; while before the door of the master of the
guild was stretched a large carpet, embroidered with verses in letters
of gold, setting forth his own good qualities, and his love for the holy
Mary. Hither also, as soon as _Laudes_ had been sung, the procession
repaired from the church, and then they were joined by the governor of
the town, the members of the guild, the municipal officers, and the
clergy of the parish of St. Remi. Thus attended, they paraded the town,
singing hymns, which were accompanied by a full band. The procession was
increased by the great body of the inhabitants; and its impressiveness
was still farther augmented by numbers of the youth of either sex, who
assumed the garb and attributes of their patron saints, and mixed in the
immediate train of the principal actors. They then again repaired to the
church, where _Te Deum_ was sung by the full choir, in commemoration of
the victory over the English, and high mass was performed, and the
Sacrament administered to the whole party. During the service, a scenic
representation was given of the Assumption of the Virgin. A scaffolding
was raised, reaching nearly to the top of the dome, and supporting an
azure canopy intended to emulate the "spangled vault of heaven;" and
about two feet below the summit of it appeared, seated on a splendid
throne, an old man as the image of the Father Almighty, a representation
equally absurd and impious, and which could alone be tolerated by the
votaries of the worst superstitions of popery. On either side four
pasteboard angels of the size of men floated in the air, and flapped
their wings in cadence to the sounds of the organ; while above was
suspended a large triangle, at whose corners were placed three smaller
angels, who, at the intermission of each office, performed upon a set of
little bells the hymn of "_Ave Maria gratiâ Dei plena per Secula_," &c.
accompanied by a larger angel on each side with a trumpet. To complete
this portion of the spectacle, two others, below the old man's feet,
held tapers, which were lighted as the services began, and extinguished
at their close; on which occasions the figures were made to express
reluctance by turning quickly about; so that it required some dexterity
to apply the extinguishers. At the commencement of the mass, two of the
angels by the side of the Almighty descended to the foot of the altar,
and, placing themselves by the tomb, in which a pasteboard figure of the
Virgin had been substituted for her living representative, gently raised
it to the feet of the Father. The image, as it mounted, from time to
time lifted its head and extended its arms, as if conscious of the
approaching beatitude, then, after having received the benediction and
been encircled by another angel with a crown of glory, it gradually
disappeared behind the clouds. At this instant a buffoon, who all the
time had been playing his antics below, burst into an extravagant fit of
joy; at one moment clapping his hands most violently, at the next
stretching himself out as if dead. Finally, he ran up to the feet of the
old man, and hid himself under his legs, so as to shew only his head.
The people called him _Grimaldi_, an appellation that appears to have
belonged to him by usage, and it is a singular coincidence that the
surname of the noblest family of Genoa the Proud, thus assigned by the
rude rabble of a sea-port to their buffoon, should belong of right to
the sire and son, whose _mops_ and _mowes_ afford pastime to the upper
gallery at Covent-Garden.

Thus did the pageant proceed in all its grotesque glory, and, while--

    "These labor'd nothings in so strange a style
     Amazed the unlearned, and made the learned smile,"

the children shouted aloud for their favorite Grimaldi; the priests,
accompanied with bells, trumpets, and organs, thundered out the mass;
the pious were loud in their exclamations of rapture at the devotion of
the Virgin; and the whole church was filled with "un non so che di rauco
ed indistinto".--But I have told you enough of this foolish story, of
which it were well if the folly had been the worst. The sequel was in
the same taste and style, and ended with the euthanasia of all similar
representations, a hearty dinner.

Footnotes:

[4] _Description de la Haute Normandie_, I. p. 130.

[5] _Histoire de Dieppe_, II. p. 86.

[6] _Essals sur le Département de la Seine Inférieure_, I. p. 119.

[7] _Histoire de Dieppe_, I. p. 1.

[8] Another author, mentioned by the Abbé Fontenu, in the _Mémoires de
l'Académie des Inscriptions_, X. p. 413, carries the antiquity of the
place still eight centuries higher, representing it as the _Portus
Ictius_, whence Julius Cæsar sailed for Britain.

[9] _Description de la Haute Normandie_, I. p. 125.

[10] Vol. XI. p. 55.

[11] The deed itself under which this exchange was made is also
preserved in _Duchesne's Scriptores Normanni_, and in the _Gallia
Christiana_, XI. _Instr_. p. 27, where it is entitled "_Celebris
commutatio facta inter Richardum I, regem Angliæ et Walterium
Archiepisc. Rotomagensem_." It is worth remarking, in illustration of
the feudal rights and customs, how much importance is attached in this
instrument to the mills and the seignorage for grinding: the king
expressly stipulates that every body "tam milites quàm clerici, et omnes
homines, tam de feodis militum quàm de prebendis, sequentur molendina de
_Andeli_, sicut consueverunt et debent, et moltura erit nostra.
Archiepiscopus autem et homines sui de _Fraxinis_ (a manor specially
reserved,) molent ubi idem Archiepiscopus volet, et si voluerit molere
apud _Andeli_, dabunt molturas suas, sicut alii ibidem molentes. In
escambium autem ... concessimus ... omnia molendina quæ nos habuimus
Rotomagi, quando hæc permutatio facta fuit, integrè cum omni sequelâ et
molturâ suâ, sine aliquo retinemento eorum quæ ad molendinam pertinent
vel ad molturam, et cum omnibus libertatibus et liberis consuetudinibus
quas solent et debent habere. Nec alicui alii licebit molendinum facere
ibidem ad detrimentum prædictorum molendinorum; et debet Archiepiscopus
solvere eleemosinas antiquitùs statutas de iisdem molendinis."

[12] A very copious and interesting account of the nautical discoveries
made by the inhabitants of Dieppe, and of their merits as sailors, is
given by Goube, in his _Histoire du Duché de Normandie_, III, p.
172-178.

[13] _Goube, Histoire de Normandie_, III, p. 170.

[14] _Noel, Essais sur le Département de la Seine Inférieure_, I. p.
194.



LETTER III.

CÆSAR'S CAMP--CASTLE OF ARQUES.


(_Dieppe, June_, 1818)

After having explored Dieppe, I must now conduct you without the walls,
to the castle of Arques and to Cæsar's camp, both of which are in its
immediate neighborhood. At some future time you may thank me for
pointing out these objects to you, for should you ever visit Dieppe,
your residence may be prolonged beyond your wishes, by the usual
mischances which attend the traveller. And in that case, a walk to these
relics of military architecture will furnish a better employment than
thumbing the old newspaper of the inn, or even than the contemplation of
the diligences as they come in, or of the packets as they are not going
out, for I am anticipating that you are becalmed, and that the pennons
are flagging from the mast. With respect to my walk, let me be allowed
to begin by introducing you to a friend of mine at Dieppe, M. Gaillon,
an obliging, sensible, and well-informed young man, as well as an ardent
botanist, my companion in this walk, and the source of much of the
information I possess respecting these places. The intrenchment,
commonly known by the name of Cæsar's camp, or even more generally in
the country by that of "_la Cité de Limes_," and in old writings, of
"_Civitas Limarum_," is situated upon the brink of the cliff, about two
miles to the east of Dieppe, on the road leading to Eu, and still
preserves in a state of perfection its ancient form and character;
though necessarily reduced in the height of its vallum by the operation
of time, and probably also diminished in its size by the gradual
encroachments of the ocean. Upon its shape, which is an irregular
triangle, it may be well to make a preliminary observation, that this
was necessarily prescribed by the scite; and that, however the Romans
might commonly prefer a square outline for their temporary encampments,
we have abundant proofs that they only adhered to this plan when it was
perfectly conformable to the nature of the ground, but that when they
fortified any commanding position, upon which a rectangular rampart
could not be seated, their intrenchments were made to follow the
sinuosities of the hill. In the present instance the northern side, the
longest, extending nearly five thousand feet, fronts the channel, and it
required no other defence than was afforded by the perpendicular face of
the cliff, here more than two hundred feet in height. The western side,
the second in length, and not greatly inferior to the first, after
running about three thousand feet from the sea, in a tolerably straight
line southward, suddenly bends to the east, and forms two semi-circles,
of one of which the radius is turned from the camp, and of the other
into it. The third side is scarcely more than half the length of the
others, and runs nearly straight from south to north, where it again
unites with the cliff. Of the two last-mentioned sides the first is
difficult of access; from its position at the summit of a steep hill;
but it is still protected by a vallum from thirty to forty feet high,
and between the sea and the entrance nearest to it, a length of about
three hundred yards, by a wide exterior ditch with other out-works, as
well as by an inner fosse, faint traces of which only now remain. Hence
to the next and large entrance is a distance of about two thousand feet;
and in this space the interior fosse is still very visible; but the
great abruptness of the hill forbade an outer one.

You, who are not a stranger to the pleasures of botany, would have
shared my delight at finding upon the perpendicular side of this
entrance the beautiful _Caucalis grandiflora_, growing in great
luxuriance upon almost bare chalk, and with its snowy flowers
resembling, as you look down to it, the common species of _Iberis_ of
our gardens. The _Asperula cynanchica_, and other plants peculiar to a
chalky soil, are also found here in plenty, together with the _Eryngium
campestre_, a vegetable of extreme rarity in England, but most abundant
throughout the north of France. _Papaver hybridum_ is likewise common in
the neighboring corn fields round.

Returning from this short botanical digression, let me tell you that the
position considered by some as the southern side of the fortification,
but which I have described as the sinuous part of the western, has its
ramparts of less height. Not so the eastern: on this, as being the most
destitute of all natural defence, (for here there is no hill, and the
eye ranges over an immense level tract, stopped only by distant woods,)
is raised an agger, full forty-five feet in height, and, at a further
distance, is added an outward trench nearly fifty feet wide, though in
its present state not more than three feet deep, and now serving for a
garden.

Such is the external appearance of this camp, which, seen from the sea,
or on the approach either by the west or south, cannot fail to strike
from the boldness of its position; but the effect of the interior is
still more striking; for here, while on one side the horizon is lost in
the immensity of the ocean, on the other two the view is narrowly
circumscribed by the lofty bulwark, at whose feet are almost every where
discernible the remains of the trenches I have already noticed, more
than thirty feet in width. Nor is this the only remarkable circumstance;
for it is still more unaccountable to observe, extending nearly across
the encampment, the traces of an ancient fosse not less than one hundred
and fifty feet wide, and, though in most places shallow, terminating
towards the sea in a deep ravine. Internally the camp appears to have
been also divided into three parts, in one of which it has been
supposed, from a heap of stones which till lately remained, that there
was originally a place of greater strength; while in another,
distinguished by some irregular elevations, it is conjectured that there
was a wall, the defence probably to the keep.

[Illustration: Plan of Cæsar's Camp, near Dieppe]

But I must tell you that these conjectures are none of my own, nor could
I have had any opportunity of making them; the stones and the hillocks
having disappeared before the operations of the plough. Such as they
are, I have borrowed them from a dissertation by the Abbé de
Fontenu[15], a copy of whose engraving of the place I insert. Indebted
as I am to him for his hints, I can, however, by no means subscribe to
his reasoning, by which he labors with great erudition to prove that,
neither the popular tradition which ascribes this camp to Cæsar, nor
its name, evidently Roman, nor some coins and medals of the same nation
that have been found here, are at all evidences of its Latin origin; but
that, as we have no proof that Cæsar was ever in the vicinity of
Dieppe, as the whole is in such excellent preservation, (a point I beg
leave to deny,) and as the vallum is full thrice the height of that of
other Roman encampments in France[16], we are bound to infer it is a
work of far more modern times, and probably was erected by Talbot, the
Cæsar of the English[17], while besieging Dieppe in the middle of the
XVth century.

This opinion of the learned Abbé I quote, principally for the purpose of
shewing how far a man of sense and acquirements maybe led astray from
truth and probability in support of a favorite theory. Nothing but the
love of theory could surely have induced him to suppose that this strong
hold was erected for a purpose to which it could in no wise be
applicable, as the intervening ground prevents all possibility of seeing
any part of Dieppe from the camp, or to ascribe it to times when
earth-works were no longer used. In Normandy and Picardy are other
camps, more evidently of Roman construction, which are likewise ascribed
to Cæsar[18]; with much the same reason perhaps as every thing
wonderful in Scotland is referred to Fingal, to King Arthur in Cornwall,
and in the north of England and Wales to the devil.

[Illustration: General View of the Castle of Arques]

Upon the origin of the castle of Arques, it is somewhat unfortunate for
the learned that there is not an equal field for ingenious conjecture,
its antiquity being incontestible. Du Moulin, the most comprehensive,
though the most credulous of Norman historians, one who, not content
with dealing in miracles by wholesale, tells us how the devil changed
himself into a postillion, to apprize an alehouse-keeper of the fate of
the posterity of Rollo, may still be entitled to credit, when the theme
is merely stone and mortar; and from him we may conclude that Arques
was a place of importance at the time of William the Conqueror, as it
gave the title of Count to his uncle, who then possessed it, and who,
confiding perhaps in the strength of his fortress, and secretly
instigated by Henry Ist, of France, usurped the title of Duke of
Normandy, but was defeated by his nephew, and finally obliged to
surrender his castle. This, however, was not till, after a long siege,
in which Arques proved itself impregnable to every thing but famine. In
the following reign, we again find mention made of Arques, as a portion
given by Robert, Duke of Normandy, to induce Helie, son of Lambert of
St. Saen, to marry his illegitimate daughter, and join him in defending
the Pays de Caux against the English. From this period, during the
reigns of the Anglo-Norman Sovereigns, it continues to be occasionally
noticed. Before the walls of Arques, according to William of Malmesbury,
Baldwin, Count of Flanders, received the wound which afterwards proved
fatal. Arques was the last castle which held out in Normandy for King
Stephen. It was taken in 1173, by our Henry IInd, and then repaired; was
seized by Philip Augustus during the captivity of Richard Coeur de Lion;
was restored to its legitimate sovereign at the peace in 1196; and was a
source of disgrace to its former captor, when in 1202 he laid siege to
it with a powerful army, and was obliged to retreat from its walls.
Under the reign of our third Edward, we find it again return to the
British crown, as one of the castles specified to be surrendered to the
English, by the treaty of Bretigny, in 1359; after which, in 1419, it
was taken by Talbot and Warwick, and was finally given up to France by
one of the articles of the capitulation of Rouen in 1449. More
recently, in 1584[19], it was captured by a party of soldiers disguised
like sailors, who, being suffered to approach without distrust, put the
sentinels to the sword, and made themselves masters of the fortress;
while in 1589 it obtained its last and most honorable distinction, as
the chief support of Henry IVth, at the time of his being received at
Dieppe, and as having by the cannon from its ramparts, materially
contributed to the glorious defeat of the army of the league, commanded
by the Duke de Mayenne, when thirty thousand were compelled to retire
before one tenth of the number. I have already mentioned to you the
address of this king to the citizens of Dieppe: still more magnanimous
was his speech to his prisoner, the Count de Belin, previously to this
battle, when, on the captive's daring to ask, how with such a handful of
men, he could expect to resist so powerful an army, "Ajoutez," he
answered, "aux troupes que vous voyez, mon bon droit, et vous ne
douterez plus de quel côté sera la victoire."

In _Sully's Memoirs_[20], as well as in the history of the town of
Dieppe, you will find these transactions described at much length, and
the warrior, as well as the historian, expatiates on the strength of the
castle of Arques; but how much longer it remained a place of
consideration I have no means of knowing: most probably the alteration
introduced into the art of war by the use of cannon, caused it to be
soon after neglected, and dismantled, and suffered to fall gradually
into its present state of ruin. It is now the property of a lady
residing in the neighboring town of Arques, who purchased it during the
revolution, and by her good sense and feeling it has been preserved from
further injury. The castle is situated at the extremity of a ridge of
chalk hills, which, commencing to the west of Dieppe, run nearly
parallel to the sea, and here terminate to the east, so that it has a
complete command over the valley. Standing by its walls, you have to the
north-west a full view of the town of Dieppe; in an opposite direction
the eye ranges uncontrolled over a rich vale of corn and pasturage; and
in front, immediately at your feet, lies the town of Arques itself,
backed by the hills that are covered by the forest of the same name.
Either this forest, or the neighboring one of Eavy, is supposed to have
been the ancient Arelanum. The little river called the Arques flows
through the valley, and beneath the walls of the castle is lost in the
Béthune, under which name the united waters continue their course to
Dieppe, after receiving the tribute of a third, yet smaller, stream, the
Eaulne.

Of the power of the castle an idea may be formed from the extent of the
fosse, little less than half a mile in circumference. The outline of the
walls is irregularly oval, and the even front is interrupted by towers
of various sizes, and placed at unequal distances. On the northern side,
where the hill is steepest, there are no towers; but the walls are still
farther strengthened by square buttresses, so large that they indeed
look like bastions, and with a projection so great as to indicate an
origin posterior to the Norman æra. The two towers which flank the
western entrance, and the towers which stand behind each of the flanking
towers in the retiring line of the wall, are much larger than any of the
rest. One of the latter towers is of so extraordinary a shape, that I
consider it as a non-descript; but, as I should tire both you and myself
by endeavoring to describe it, I think it most prudent to refer you to a
sketch: perhaps its angular parts may not be coeval with the rest of the
building[21]: on this it would be impossible to decide positively, so
shattered, impaired, and defaced are the walls, and so evidently is
their coating the work of different periods. I fancied that in some
parts I could discern a mode of construction, in layers of brick and
stone, similar to that of Roman buildings in our own country, while
many of the bricks, from their texture and shape, appear also to be
Roman. Tradition, if we follow that delusive guide, teaches us that we
are contemplating a work of the middle of the eighth century, and of one
of the sons of Charles Martel. If we follow William of Jumieges, the
Chronicle of St. Vandrille, and William of Poitiers, we ascribe it to
the uncle and rival of the Conqueror; other writers tell us that the
ruins arose under Henry IInd. I dare not decide amongst such reverend
authorities, but I think I may infer, without the least disrespect
towards monks and chroniclers, that the Norman Arques now occupies the
place of a far more early structure, and that a portion of the walls of
this latter was actually left in existence. Taken, however, as a whole,
the castle is evidently a building of different æras; and it would be
extremely difficult, if not impossible, to define the parts belonging to
each.

[Illustration: Tower of remarkable shape in Castle of Arques]

The principal entrance is to the west, between the two towers first
mentioned, over a draw-bridge, whose piers still remain, and through
three gateways, whose arches, though now torn and dislocated into
shapeless rents, seem to have been circular, and probably of Norman
erection. One of the towers of the gate-way appears formerly to have
been a chapel. Hence you pass into a court, whose surface, uneven with
the remains of foundations, marks it to have been originally filled with
apartments, and, at the opposite end of this, through a square
gate-house with high embattled walls, a place evidently of great
strength, and leading into a large open space that terminated in the
quadrangular and lofty keep. This, which is externally strengthened by
massy buttresses, similar to those of the walls, is within divided into
two apartments, each of them about fifty feet by twenty. In one of them
is a well, communicating with a reservoir below, which is filled by the
water of the river, and was sufficiently capacious for watering the
horses of the garrison. The greatest part, if not the whole, of the
walls seems to have been faced with brick of comparatively modern date.
The keep also was coated with brick within, and with stones carefully
squared without. The windows are so battered, that no idea can be formed
of their original style. The walls of the keep are filled with small
square apertures. At Rochester, and at many other castles in England, we
observe the same; and unless you can give a better guess respecting
their use, you must content yourself with mine: that is to say, that
they are merely the holes left by the scaffolding. At the foot of the
hill to the west is a gate-house, by no means ancient, from which a wall
ascends to the castle; and another similar wall connects the fortress
with the ground below, on the north-eastern side; but the extent or
nature of these out-works can no longer be traced. Still less possible
would it be to say any thing with certainty as to the excavations, of
the length of which, tradition speaks, as usual, in extravagant terms,
and mixes sundry marvellous and frightful tales with the recital.

In the general plan a great resemblance is to be traced between many
castles in Wales and its frontiers, especially Goodrich Castle, and this
at Arques. Yet I do not think that any of ours are of an equal extent;
nor can you well conceive a more noble object than this, when seen at a
distance: and it is only then that the eye can comprehend the vast
expanse and strength of the external wall, with the noble keep towering
high above it.

[Illustration: Church at Arques]

Until the revolution, the decaying town of Arques was not wholly
deprived of all the vestiges of its former honours: the standards of the
weights and measures of Upper Normandy were deposited here. It was the
seat of the courts of the Archbishop of Rouen, and, though the actual
session of the municipal courts took place at Dieppe, they bore the
legal style and title of the courts of Arques. Since the revolution
these traces of its importance have wholly disappeared, nor is there any
outward indication of the consequence once enjoyed by this poor and
straggling hamlet.

The church is a neat and spacious building, of the same kind of
architecture as that of St. Jacques, at Dieppe; and, as it is a good
specimen of the florid Norman Gothic, (I forbid all cavils respecting
the employment of this term) I have added a figure of it. My slender
researches have not enabled me to discover the date of the building, but
it may, have been erected towards the year 1350. A most elegant bracket,
formed by the graceful dolphin, deserves the attention of the architect;
and I particularize it, not merely on account of its beauty, but
because, even at the risk of exhausting your antiquarian patience, I
intend to point out all architectural features which cannot be retraced
in our own structures; and this is one of them. By the way, Arques
contributed to increase the bulk of our herbal as well as of our
sketch-book, for under the walls of the church is found the rare
_Erodium moschatum_; and near the castle grow _Astragalus glycyphyllos_
and _Melissa Nepeta_.

The field of battle is to the southward of the town. A small walk under
the south wall of the castle, near the east end, adjoining a covered way
which led to a postern-gate or draw-bridge, is still called the walk of
Henry the IVth, because it was here that this monarch was wont to
reconnoitre the enemy's forces from below.

Napoléon, towards the conclusion of his reign, visited the field of
battle at Arques; he ascertained the position of the two armies, and
pronounced that the King ought to have lost the day, for that his
tactics were altogether faulty. I am willing to suppose that this
military criticism arose merely from military pedantry, though it is now
said that Napoléon was envious of the veneration, which, as the French
believe, they feel for the memory of Henri quatre. Napoléon is accused
of having given the title of _le Roi de la Canaille_ to the Bourbon
Monarch. And when Napoléon was in full-blown pride, he might have had
the satisfaction of hearing the rabble of Paris chaunt his comparative
excellence in a parody of the old national song--

       "Vive Bonaparte, vice ce conquérant,
     Ce diable à quatre a bien plus de talent
     Que ce Henri quatre et tous ses descendans,"

Footnotes:

[15] _Mémoires de l'Académie des Inscriptions_, X. p. 403. tab. 15.

[16] Such are the Abbé's principal arguments; but he goes on to say,
that the height of the ramparts proves almost to demonstration their
having been erected since the use of fire-arms, a mode of reasoning that
would, I fear, be equally conclusive against the antiquity of a very
celebrated earth-work, the Devil's-Ditch, in Cambridgeshire, whose agger
is of about the same elevation, but of whose modern origin nobody ever
yet dreamed;--that the ramparts opposite Dieppe could only be of use
against cannon, another position equally untenable;--that, were the camp
Roman, there would be platforms on the agger for the reception of wooden
towers, as if time would not wear away vestiges of this nature;--that
the disposition is not in regular order like that of a Roman encampment,
a matter equally liable to be defaced;--and, finally, that the out-works
to the west are fully decisive of a more modern æra, as if intrenchments
were not, like buildings, frequently the objects of subsequent
alterations;--In his inferences he is followed, and, apparently without
any question as to their authenticity, by Ducarel, whom I suspect from
his description never to have visited the place. The Abbé Fontenu, in a
paper in the same volume, gives it as his opinion that, from the term
_Civitas Limarum_, it might safely be believed there was a _city_ in
this place; and he tries to persuade himself that he can trace the
foundations of houses.

[17] _Noel, Essais sur le Départment de la Seine Inférieure_, I. p. 88.

[18] The same is also notoriously the case in our own country: popular
tradition, by a metonymy very easily to be accounted for, from a desire
of adding importance to its objects, attributes whatever is Roman to
Julius Cæsar, as the most illustrious of the Roman generals in England;
just as we daily hear smatterers in art referring to Raphael any
painting, however ordinary, that pretends to issue from the schools of
Rome or Florence, every Bolognese one to Guido or Annibal Carracci,
every Kermes to Ostade or Teniers, &c.

[19] _Noel, Essais sur la Seine Inférieure_, I. p. 98.

[20] Sully, who was himself in this battle, and bore a conspicuous part
in it, dwells upon its details completely _con amore_, and evidently
regards the issue of this day as decisive of the fate of the monarch,
who is reported to have said of himself shortly before the battle, that
"he was a king without a kingdom, a husband without a wife, and a
warrior without money."--I. p. 204.

[21] In justice to my readers, I must not here omit to say that such is
the opinion of a most able friend of mine, Mr. Cohen, who visited this
castle nearly at the same time with myself, and who writes me on the
subject: "I feel convinced that the brick coating of the _wedge-tower_
at Arques is recent. Such was the impression I had upon the spot; and
now I cannot remove it. It appeared to me that the character of the
brick-work, and of the stone cordons or fillets, was entirely like that
of the fortifications of the XVIth century; and I also thought, perhaps
erroneously, that the _wedge_ or _bastion_ was _affixed to_ the round
tower of the castle, and that it was an after-construction. At the south
end of the castle, you certainly see very ancient and singular masonry.
The diagonal or herring-bone courses are found in the old church of St.
Lo, and in the keep at Falaise; not in the front of the latter, but on
the side where you enter, and on the side which ranges with Talbot's
Tower. The same style of masonry is also seen, according to Sir Henry
Englefield, at Silchester, which is most undoubtedly a pure Roman
relic."--It abounds likewise in Colchester Castle.



LETTER IV.

JOURNEY FROM DIEPPE TO ROUEN--PRIORY OF LONGUEVILLE--ROUEN--BRIDGE OF
BOATS--COSTUME OF THE INHABITANTS.


(_Rouen, June_, 1818.)

I arrived alone at this city: my companions, who do not always care to
keep pace with my constitutional impatience, which sometimes amuses, and
now and then annoys them, made a circuit by Havre, Bolbec, and Yvetot,
while I proceeded by the straight and beaten track. What I have thus
gained in expedition, I have lost in interest. During the whole of the
ride, there was not a single object to excite curiosity, nor would any
moderate deviation from the line of road have brought me within reach of
any town or tower worthy of notice, except the Priory of Longueville,
situate to the right of the road, about twelve miles from Dieppe. I did
not see Longueville, and I am told that the ruins are quite
insignificant, yet I regret that I did not visit them. The French can
never be made to believe that an old rubble wall is really and truly
worth a day's journey: hence their reports respecting the notability of
any given ruin can seldom be depended upon. And at least I should have
had the satisfaction of ascertaining the actual state of the remains of
a building, known to have been founded and partly built in the year
1084, by Walter Giffard[22], one of the relations and companions of the
Conqueror, in his descent upon England, and therefore created Earl of
Buckingham, or, as the French sometimes write it, _Bou Kin Kan_. The
title was held by his family only till 1164 when, upon the decease of
his son without issue, the lands of his barony were shared among the
collateral female heirs. He himself died in 1102, and by his will
directed that his body should be brought here, which was accordingly
done; and he was buried, as Ordericus Vitalis[23] tells us, near the
entrance of the church, having over him an epitaph of eight lines, "in
maceriâ picturis decoratâ." You will find the epitaph, wherein he is
styled "templi fundator et ædificator," copied both in the _Neustria
Pia_ and in _Ducarel's Anglo-Norman Antiquities_. The latter speaks of
it as if it existed in his time; but the doctor seldom states the extent
of his obligations towards his predecessors. And in consequence of this
his silent gratitude, we can never tell with any degree of certainty
whether we are perusing his observations or his transcripts. If he
really saw the inscriptions with his own eyes, it is greatly to be
regretted that he has given us no information respecting the paintings:
did they still exist, they would afford a most genuine and curious
proof of the state of Norman art at that remote period; and possibly, a
search after them among the cottages in the neighborhood might even now
repay the industry of some keen antiquary; for the French revolution may
well he compared to an earthquake: it swallowed up every thing,
ingulphing some so deep that they are lost for ever, but leaving others,
like hidden treasures, buried near the surface of the soil, whence
accident and labor are daily bringing them to light. The descendants of
Walter Giffard are repeatedly mentioned as persons of importance in the
early Norman writers; nor are they less illustrious in England, where
the great family of Clare sprung from one of the daughters; while
another, by her marriage with Richard Granville, gave birth to the
various noble families of that name, of which the present Marquis of
Buckingham is the chief.

Of the Priory, we are told in the _Neustria Pia_[24], that it was
anciently of much opulence, and that a Queen of France contributed
largely to the endowment of the house. Many men of eminence,
particularly three of the Talbot family, were buried within its walls.
Peter Megissier, a prior of Longueville, was in the number of the judges
who passed sentence of death upon the unfortunate Joan of Arc; and the
inscription upon his tomb is so good a specimen of monkish Latinity,
that I am tempted to send it you; reminding you at the same time, that
this barbarous system of rhyming in Latin, however brought to perfection
by the monks and therefore generally called their own, is not really of
their invention, but may be found, though quoted to be ridiculed, in the
first satire of Persius,

       "Qui videt hunc lapidem, cognoscat quòd tegit idem
     Petrum, qui pridem conventum rexit ibidem
     Annis bis senis, tumidis Leo, largus egenis,
     Omnibus indigenis charus fuit atque alienis."

I believe it is always expected, that a traveller in France should say
something respecting the general aspect of the country and its
agriculture. I shall content myself with remarking, that this part of
Normandy is marvellously like the country which the Conqueror conquered.
When the weather is dull, the Normans have a sober English sky,
abounding in Indian ink and neutral tint. And when the weather is fine,
they have a sun which is not a ray brighter than an English sun. The
hedges and ditches wear a familiar livery, and the land which is fully
cultivated repays the toil of the husbandman with some of the most
luxuriant crops of wheat I ever saw. Barley and oats are not equally
good, perhaps from the stiffness of the soil, which is principally of
chalk; but flax is abundant and luxuriant. The surface of the ground is
undulated, and sufficiently so to make a pleasing alternation of hill
and dale; hence it is agreeably varied, though the hills never rise to
such a height as to be an obstacle to agriculture. There is some
difficulty in conjecturing where the people by whom the whole is kept in
cultivation are housed; for the number of houses by the road-side is
inconsiderable; nor did we, for the first two-thirds of the ride, pass
through a single village, excepting Tôtes, which lies mid-way between
Dieppe, and Rouen, and is of no great extent. Yet things in France are
materially altered in this respect since 1814, when I remember that, in
going through Calais by the way of the Low Countries to Paris, and
returning by the direct road to Boullogne, the whole journey was made
without seeing a single new house erecting in a space of four hundred
miles. This is now far from being the case; there is every where an
appearance of comparative prosperity, and, were it not for the coins, of
which the copper bear the impress of the republic, and the gold and
silver chiefly that of Napoléon, a stranger would meet with but few
visible marks of the changes experienced in late years by the government
of France. Much has been also done of late towards ornamenting the
châteaux, of which there are several about Tôtes, though in the opinion
of an Englishman, much also is yet wanting. They are principally the
residences of Rouen merchants.

Upon approaching Malaunay, about nine miles from Rouen, the scene is
entirely changed. The road descends into a valley, inclosed between
steep hills, whose sides are richly and beautifully clothed with wood,
while the houses and church of the village beneath add life and variety
to the plain at the foot. Here the cotton manufactories begin, and, as
we follow the course of the little river Cailly, the population
gradually increases, and continues to become more dense through a series
of manufacturing villages, each larger than the preceding, and all
abounding in noble views of hill, wood, and dale; while the tracts
around are thickly studded with picturesque residences of manufacturers,
and extensive, often picturesque, manufactories. Such indeed was the
country, till we found ourselves at Rouen, shortly before entering which
the Havre road unites to that from Dieppe, and the landscape also
embraces the valley of the Seine, as well as of the Cailly the former
broader by far, and grander, but not more beautiful.

Rouen, from this point of view, is seen to considerable advantage, at
least by those who, like us, make a _détour_ to the north, and enter it
in that direction: the cathedral, St. Ouen, the hospital and church of
La Madeleine, and the river, fill the picture; nor is the impression in
any wise diminished on a nearer approach, when, through a long avenue,
formed by four rows of lofty elms, you advance by the side of a stream,
at once majestic from its width and eminently beautiful from its winding
course.

Rouen is now unfortified; its walls, its castles, are level with the
ground. But, if I may borrow the pun of which old Peter Heylin is guilty
when, describing Paris, Rouen is still a _strong_ city, "for it taketh
you by the nose." The filth is extreme; villainous smells overcome you
in every quarter, and from every quarter. The streets are gloomy,
narrow, and crooked, and the houses at once mean and lofty. Even on the
quay, where all the activity of commerce is visible, and where the
outward signs of opulence might be expected, there is nothing to fulfil
the expectation. Here is width and space, but no _trottoir_; and the
buildings are as incongruous as can well be imagined, whether as to
height, color, projection, or material. Most of them, and indeed most in
the city, are merely of lath and plaster, the timbers uncovered and
painted red or black, the plaster frequently coated with small grey
slates laid one over another, like the weather-tiles in Sussex. Their
general form is very tall and very narrow, which adds to the singularity
of their appearance; but mixed with these are others of white brick or
stone, and really handsome, or, it might be said, elegant. The contrast,
however, which they form only makes their neighbors look the more
shabby, while they themselves derive from the association an air of
meanness. The merchants usually meet upon a small open plot, situated
opposite to the quay, inclosed with palisades and fronted with trees.
This is their exchange in fine weather; but adjoining is a handsome
building, called _La Bourse à couvert_, or _Le Consulte_, to which
recourse is always had in case of rain. It was here that Napoléon and
Maria Louisa, a very short time previous to their deposition, received
from the inhabitants of Rouen the oath of allegiance, which so soon
afterwards found a ready transfer to another sovereign.

About the middle of the quay is placed the bridge of boats, an object of
attraction to all strangers, but more so from the novelty and
singularity of its construction than from its beauty. Utility rather
than elegance was consulted by the builder. This far-famed structure is
ugly and cumbrous, and a passenger feels a very unpleasing sensation if
he happens to stand upon it when a loaded waggon drives along it at low
water, at which time there is a considerable descent from the side of
the suburbs. An undulatory motion is then occasioned, which goes on
gradually from boat to boat till it reaches the opposite shore. The
bridge is supported upon nineteen large barges, which rise and fall with
the tide, and are so put together that one or more can easily be
removed as often as it is necessary to allow any vessel to pass. The
whole too can be entirely taken away in six hours, a construction highly
useful in a river peculiarly liable to floods from sudden thaws; which
sometimes occasion such an increase of the waters, as to render the
lower stories of the houses in the adjacent parts of the city
uninhabitable. The bridge itself was destroyed by a similar accident, in
1709, for want of a timely removal. Its plan is commonly attributed to a
monk of the order of St. Augustine, by whom it was erected in 1626,
about sixty years after the stone bridge, built by the Empress Matilda
in 1167, had ceased to be passable. It seems the fate of Rouen to have
_wonderful_ bridges. The present is dignified by some writers with the
high title of a _miracle of art_: the former is said by Taillepied, in
whose time it was standing, to have been "un des plus beaux édifices et
des plus admirables de la France." A few lines afterwards, however, this
ingenuous writer confesses that loaded carriages of any kind were seldom
suffered to pass this _admirable edifice_, in consequence of the expence
of repairing it; but that two barges were continually plying for the
transport of heavy goods. The delay between the destruction of the stone
bridge, and the erection of the boat bridge, appears to have been
occasioned by the desire of the citizens to have a second similar to the
first; but this, after repeated deliberations, was at last determined to
be impracticable, from the depth and rapidity of the stream. Napoléon,
however, seems to have thought that the task which had been accomplished
under the auspices of the Empress Matilda, might be again repeated in
the name of the daughter of the Cæsars and the wife of the successor
of Charlemagne; and he actually caused Maria-Louisa to lay the first
stone of a new bridge, at some distance farther to the east, where an
island divides the river into two. This, I am told, will certainly he
finished, though at an enormous expence, and though it will occasion
great inconvenience to many inhabitants of the quay, whose houses will
be rendered useless by the height to which it will be necessary to raise
the soil upon the occasion. My informant added, that, small as is the
appearance yet made above water, whole quarries of stone and forests of
wood have been already sunk for the purpose.

From the scite of the projected bridge, the view eastward is
particularly charming. The bold hill of St. Catherine presents its steep
side of bare chalk, spotted only in a few places with vegetation or
cottages, and seems to oppose an impassable barrier; the mixture of
country-houses with trees at its base, makes a most pleasing variety;
and, still nearer, the noble elms of the _boulevards_ add a character of
magnificence possessed by few other cities. The _boulevards_ of Rouen
are rather deficient in the Parisian accompaniments of dancing-dogs and
music-grinders, but the sober pedestrian will, perhaps, prefer them to
their namesakes in the capital. Here they are not, as at Paris, in the
centre of the town, but they surround it, except upon the quay, with
which they unite at each end, and unite most pleasingly; so that,
immediately on leaving this brilliant bustling scene, you enter into the
gloom of a lofty embowered arcade, resembling in appearance, as well as
in effect, the public walks at Cambridge, except that the addition of
females in the fanciful Norman costume, and of the Seine, and the fine
prospect beyond, and Mont St. Catherine above, give it a new interest.
On the opposite side of the Seine, the inhabitants of Rouen have another
excellent promenade in the _grand cours_, which, for a considerable
space, occupies the bank of the river, turning eastward from the bridge.
Four rows of trees divide it into three separate walks, of which the
central one is by far the widest, and serves for horses and carriages;
the other two are appropriated exclusively to foot passengers. In these,
on a summer's evening, are to be seen all classes of the inhabitants of
Rouen, from the highest to the lowest; and the following sketch, which
you will easily perceive to be from a pencil more delicate than mine,
gives a most lively and faithful picture of them. It may indeed be in
some measure in the nature of a treatise _de re vestiariá_, yet such
details of gowns and petticoats never fail to interest, at least to
interest me, when proceeding from a wearer.

[Illustration: View of Rouen, from the Grand Cours]

"Our carriage had scarcely stopped when we were surrounded with beggars,
principally women with children in their arms. The poor babes presented
a most pitiable appearance, meagre, dirty to the utmost degree, ragged
and flea-bitten, so that round the throat there was not the least
portion of "carnation" appearing to be free from the insect plague.
Their hair, too, is seldom cut; and I have seen girls of eight or ten
years of age, bearing a growing crop which had evidently remained
unshorn, and I may add, uncombed, from the time of their birth. It is
impossible not to dread coming into contact with these imps, who, when
old, are among the ugliest conceivable specimens of the human race. The
women, even those who inhabit the towns, live much in the open air:
besides being employed in many slavish offices, they sit at their doors
or windows pursuing their business, or lounge about, watching passengers
to obtain charity. Thus their faces and necks are always of a copper
color, and, at an advanced age, more dusky still; so that, for the
anatomy and coloring of witches, a painter needs look no further. Their
wretchedness is strongly contrasted by the gaiety of the higher classes.
The military, who, I suppose, as usual in France, hold the first place,
appear in all possible variety of keeping and costume, with their
well-proportioned figures, clean apparel, decided gait, martial air, and
whiskered faces. Here and there we see gliding along the well-dressed
lady (not well dressed, indeed, as far as becomingness goes, but
fashionably), with a gown of triple flounces, whose skirt intrudes even
upon the shoulders, obliterating the waist entirely, while her throat is
lost in an immense frill of four or more ranks; and sometimes a large
shawl over all completes the disguise of the shape. The head of the dame
or damsel is usually enveloped in a gauze or silk bonnet, sufficiently
large to spread, were it laid upon a table, two feet in diameter, and
trimmed with various-colored ribbons and artificial flowers: in the hand
is seen the ridicule, a never-failing accompaniment. The lower orders of
women at Rouen usually wear the Cauchoise cap, or an approach to it,
rising high to a narrowish point at top, and furnished with immense ears
or wings that drop on the shoulder, then opening in front so as to allow
to be seen on the forehead a small portion of hair, which divides and
falls in two or three spiral ringlets on each side of the face. The
remainder of the dress is generally composed of a colored petticoat,
probably striped, an apron of a different color, a bodice still
differing in tint from the rest, and a shawl, uniting all the various
hues of all the other parts of the dress. Some of the peasants from the
country look still more picturesque, when mounted on horseback bringing
vegetables: they keep their situation without saddle or stirrup, and
seem perfectly at ease. But the best figures on horseback are the young
men who take out their masters' horses to give them exercise, and who
are frequently seen on the _grand cours_. They ride without hat, coat,
saddle, or saddle-cloth, and with the shirt sleeves rolled up above the
elbow. Their negligent equipment, added to their short, curling hair,
and the ease and elasticity they display in the management of their
horses, gives them, on the whole, a great resemblance to the Grecian
warriors of the Elgin marbles. Men, as well as women, are frequently
seen without hats in the streets, and continually uncravatted; and when
their heads are covered, these coverings are of every shape and hue;
from the black beaver, with or without a rim, through all gradations of
cap, to the simple white cotton nightcap. A painter would delight in
this display of forms and these sparkling touches of color, especially
when contrasted with the grey of the city, and the tender tints of the
sky, water, and distance, and the broad coloring of the landscape."

Footnotes:

[22] "He was son of Osborne de Bolebec and Aveline his wife, sister to
Gunnora, Duchess of Normandy, great-grandmother to the Conqueror, and
was one of the principal persons who composed the general survey of the
realm, especially for the county of Worcester. In 1089 he adhered to
William Rufus, against his brother Robert Courthose, and forfeited his
Norman possessions on the king's behalf, of whose army there he was a
principal commander, and behaved himself very honorably. Yet, in the
time of Henry Ist, he took the part of the said Courthose against that
king, but died the year following,"--_Banks' Extinct Baronagé_, III. p.
108.

[23] _Duchesne, Scriptores Normanni_, p. 809.

[24] P. 668.



LETTER V.

JOURNEY TO HAVRE--PAYS DE CAUX--ST. VALLERY--FÉCAMP--THE PRECIOUS
BLOOD--THE ABBEY--TOMBS IN IT--MONTIVILLIERS--HARFLEUR.


(_Rouen, June_, 1818.)

Lest I should deserve to be visited with the censure which I have taken
the liberty of passing upon Ducarel's tour, I shall begin by premising
that my account of the present state of the tract, intended for the
subject of this and the following letter, is wholly derived from the
journals of my companions. Their road by Fécamp, Havre, Bolbec, and
Yvetot, has led them through the greater part of the Pays de Caux, a
district which, in the time of Cæsar, was peopled by the Caletes or
Caleti. Antiquaries suppose, that in the name of this tribe, they
discover the traces of its Celtic origin, and that its radical is no
other than the word _Kalt_ or _Celt_ itself. As a proof of the
correctness of this etymology, Bourgueville[25] tells us that but little
more than two hundred years have passed since its inhabitants, now
universally called _Cauchois_, were not less commonly called _Caillots_
or _Caillettes_; a name which still remains attached to several
families, as well as to the village Gonfreville la Caillotte, and,
probably, to some others. I shall, however, waive all Celtic theory,
"for that way madness lies," and enter upon more sober chorography.

The author of the Description of Upper Normandy states, that the
territory known by that appellation was limited to the Pays de Caux and
the Vexin: the former occupying the line of sea-coast from the Brêle to
the Seine, together with the governments of Eu and Havre and the Pays de
Brai; the latter comprising the Roumois, and the French as well as the
Norman Vexin. All these territorial divisions have, indeed, been
obliterated by the state-geographers of the revolution; and Normandy,
time-honored Normandy herself, has disappeared from the map of the
dominions of the French king. The ancient duchy is severed into the five
departments of the Seine Inférieure, the Eure, the Orne, Calvados, and
the Manche. These are the only denominations known to the government or
to the law, yet they are scarcely received in common parlance. The
people still speak of Normandy, and they still take a pleasure in
considering themselves as Normans: and, I too, can share in their
attachment to a name, which transmits the remembrance of actual
sovereignty and departed glory.

Until the re-union of feudal Normandy to the crown of its liege lord,
the duke was one of the twelve peers of the kingdom; and to his hands
that kingdom entrusted the sacred Oriflamme, as often as it was
expedient to unfurl it in war. Normandy also contained several titular
duchies, ancient fiefs held of the King as Duke of Normandy, but which,
out of favour to their owners, were "erected," as the French lawyers
say, into duchies, after the province had reverted to the crown. This
erection, however, gave but a title to the noble owner, without
increasing his territorial privileges; nor could any of our Richards, or
our Henries, have allowed a liege man to write himself duke, like his
proud feudal suzerein. The recent duchies were Alençon, Aumale,
Harcourt, Damville, Elbeuf, Etouteville, and Longueville, and three of
them were included in the Pays de Gaux, the inhabitants of which, from
the titles connected with it, were accustomed to dignify it with the
epithet of _noble_. Their claim to the epithet is thus given by an
ancient Norman poet of the fifteenth century; and if, according to the
old tradition, which Voltaire has bantered with his usually incredulity,
we could admit that Yvetot was ever really a kingdom, it must be allowed
that few provinces could produce such a titled terrier:

    "Au noble Pays de Caux
     Y a quatre Abbayes royaux,
     Six Prieurés conventionaux,
     Et six Barons de grand arroi,
     Quatre Comtes, trois Ducs, un Roi."

The soil of the district is generally rich; but the farmers frequently
suffer from drought, especially in its western part, where they are
obliged almost constantly to have recourse to artifical irrigation. The
houses and villages are all surrounded with hedges, thickly planted, and
each village is also belted in the same manner. These inclosures, which
are peculiar to the Pays de Caux, give a monotonous appearance to the
landscape, but they are highly beneficial, for they break the force of
the winds, and furnish the inhabitants with fuel. If my memory does not
deceive me, the towns either of the ancient Gauls or Teutons, are
described as being thus encompassed in primitive times; but I cannot
name my authorities for the assertion.

St. Vallery, the first stage beyond Dieppe, is situated in a valley; and
there is an obscure tradition that this valley was once watered by a
river, which disappeared some centuries ago. It is conjectured, from the
name of the town, that it claims an origin as high as the seventh
century, when the disciples of St. Vallery were obliged to quit their
original monastery and take refuge elsewhere. Yet, according to other
authorities[26], it did not receive its present appellation till 1197,
when Richard Coeur de Lion, after having destroyed the town and abbey of
St. Vallery sur Somme, carried off the relics of the patron saint, and
deposited them in this town. My reporters tell me that it has an air of
antiquity and gloom, but that it contains nothing worthy of notice
except a crucifix in the churchyard, of stone, richly wrought, dated
1575, and a _bénitier_ of such simple form and rude workmanship, as to
appear of considerable antiquity. The place itself is only a wretched
residence for four or five thousand fishermen; but still it has a
name[27] in history. Hence William sailed for the conquest of England;
and its harbor, all poor and small as it is, has always been considered
of importance to the country; there being no other between Havre and
Dieppe capable of affording shelter to vessels of even a moderate size.

The road to Fécamp passes through the little town of Cany, situated in a
beautiful valley; and there my family met the Archbishop of Rouen, who,
at this moment, is in progress through his diocese, for the purpose of
confirmation. The approach of his eminence gave the appearance of a fair
to every village: young and old of both sexes were collected in the
highways to welcome the prelate. He travelled in considerable state,
attended by a military escort of twenty men; and arrayed in the scarlet
robe of a Roman Cardinal, with the brilliant "decoration" of the Legion
of Honor conspicuous upon his breast. For the archbishop is a grand
officer of that brotherhood of bastard chivalry; and this ornament,
conjoined to his train of whiskered warriors, seemed to render him a
very type of the church militant. His eminence is extremely bulky; and
my pilgrims were wicked enough to be much amused by the oddity of his
pomp and pride. Nor did the postillion spare his facetiousness on the
occasion; for you are aware that in France, as in most other parts of
the continent, the servile classes use a degree of familiarity in their
intercourse with their betters, to which we are little accustomed in
England, and which has given rise to the Italian proverb, that "Il
Francese è fedele, l'Italiano rispettoso, l'Inglese schiavo[28]."

Throughout this part of France, large flocks of sheep are commonly seen
in the vicinity of the sea, and, as the pastures are uninclosed, they
are all regularly guarded by a shepherd and his black dog, whose
activity cannot fail to be a subject of admiration. He is always on the
alert and attentive to his business, skirting his flock to keep them
from straggling, and that, apparently, without any directions from his
master. In the night they are folded upon the ploughed land; and the
shepherd lodges, like a Tartar in his _kibitka_, in a small cart roofed
and fitted up with doors.

Fécamp, like other towns in the neighborhood, is imbedded in a deep
valley; and the road, on approaching it, threads through an opening
between hills "stern and wild," a tract of "brown heath and shaggy
wood," resembling many parts of Scotland. The town is long and
straggling, the streets steep and crooked; its inhabitants, according to
the official account of the population of France, amount to seven
thousand, and the number of its houses is estimated at thirteen hundred,
besides above a third of that quantity which are deserted, and more or
less in ruins[29].

Fécamp appeared desolate and decaying to its visitors, but they
recollected that its very desolation was a voucher of the antiquity from
which it derives its interest. It claims an origin as high as the days
of Cæsar, when it was called _Fisci Campus_, being the station where
the tribute was collected.

It is in vain, however, to expect concord amongst etymologists; and, of
course, there are other right learned wights who protest against this
derivation. They shake their heads and say, "no; you must trace the
name, Fécamp, to _Fici Campus_;" and they strengthen their assertion by
a sort of _argumentum ad ecclesiam_, maintaining that the _precious
blood_, for which Fécamp was long celebrated, corroborates and confirms
their tale. A chapel in the abbey church attests the sanctity of this
relic. The legend states that Nicodemus, at the time of the entombment
of our Saviour, collected in a phial the blood from his wounds, and
bequeathed it to his nephew, Isaac; who afterwards, making a tour
through Gaul, stopped in the Pays de Caux, and buried the phial at the
root of a fig-tree[30].

Nor is this the only miracle connected with the church. The monkish
historians descant with florid eloquence upon the white stag, which
pointed out to Duke Ansegirus the spot where the edifice was to be
erected; the mystic knife, inscribed "in nomine sanctæ et individuæ
trinitatis," thus declaring to whom the building should be dedicated;
and the roof, which, though prepared for a distant edifice, felt that it
would be best at Fécamp, and actually, of its own accord, undertook a
voyage by sea, and landed, without the displacing of a single nail, upon
the sea-coast near the town. All these _contes dévots_, and many others,
you will find recorded in the _Neustria Pia_[31]. I will only detain you
with a few words more upon the subject of the _precious blood_, a matter
too important to be thus hastily dismissed. It was placed here by Duke
Richard I.; but was lost in the course of a long and turbulent period,
and was not found again till the year 1171, when it was discovered
within the substance of a column built in the wall. Two little tubes of
lead originally contained the treasure; but these were soon inclosed in
two others of a more precious metal, and the whole was laid at the
bottom of a box of gilt silver, placed in a beautiful pyramidical
shrine. Thus protected, it was, before the revolution, fastened to one
of the pillars of the choir, behind a trellis-work of copper, and was an
object of general adoration. I know not what has since become of it;
but, as they are now managing these matters better in France, we may
safely calculate upon the speedy reappearance of the relic. Nor must you
refer this legend to the many which protestant incredulity is too apt to
class with the idle tales of all ages, the

    "... quicquid Græcia mendax
     Audet in historiâ;"

for no less grave an authority than the faculty of theology at Paris
determined, by a formal decree of the 28th of May, 1448, that this
worship was very proper; for that, to use their words, "Non repugnat
pietati fidelium credere quòd aliquid de sanguine Christi effuso tempore
passionis remanserit in terris."

The abbey, to which Fécamp was indebted for all its greatness and
celebrity, was founded in 664[32] for a community of nuns, by Waning,
the count or governor of the Pays de Caux, a nobleman who had already
contributed to the endowment of the Monastery of St. Wandrille. St.
Ouen, Bishop of Rouen, dedicated the church in the presence of King
Clotaire; and, so rapidly did the fame of the sanctity of the abbey
extend, that the number of its inmates amounted in a very short period
to three hundred or more. The arrival, however, of the Normans, under
Hastings, in 841, caused the dispersion of the nuns; and the same story
is related of the few who remained at Fécamp, as of many others under
similar circumstances, that they voluntarily cut off their noses and
their lips, rather than be an object of attraction to the lust of their
conquerors. The abbey, in return for their heroism, was levelled with
the ground, and it did not rise from its ashes till the year 988, when
the piety of Duke Richard I. built the church anew, under the auspices
of his son, Robert, Archbishop of Rouen; but, departing from the
original foundation, he established therein a chapter of regular canons,
who, however, were so irregular in their conduct, that within ten years
they were doomed to give way to a body of Benedictine Monks, headed by
an Abbot, named William, from a convent at Dijon. From his time the
monastery continued to increase in splendor. Three suffragan abbies,
that of Notre Dame at Bernay, of St. Taurin at Evreux, and of Ste.
Berthe de Blangi, in the diocese of Boullogne, owned the superior power
of the abbot of Fécamp, and supplied the three mitres which he proudly
bore on his abbatial shield. Kings and princes in former ages frequently
paid the abbey the homage of their worship and their gifts; and, in a
period nearer to our own, Casimir of Poland, after his voluntary
abdication of the throne, selected it as the spot in which he sought for
repose, when wearied with the cares of royalty. The English possessions
of Fécamp (for like most of the great Norman abbeys, it held lands in
our island) do not appear to have been large; but, according to an
author of our own country[33] the abbot presented to one hundred and
thirty benefices, some in the diocese of Rouen, others in those of
Bayeux, Lisieux, Coutances, Chartres, and Beauvais; and it enjoyed so
many estates, that its income was said to be forty thousand crowns per
annum. Fécamp moreover could boast of a noble library, well stored with
manuscripts[34], and containing among its archives many original
charters, deeds, &c. of William the Conqueror, and several of his
successors.

This magnificent church is three hundred and seventy feet long and
seventy high; the transept, including the Chapel of the Precious Blood,
one hundred and twenty feet long; the tower two hundred feet high. A
portion of it was burned in 1460, but soon repaired. William de Ros,
third abbot, rebuilt all the upper part in a better taste, and enlarged
the nave, which was not finished till 1200. A successor of his at the
beginning of the next century completed the chapels round the choir. The
screen was begun by one of the monks about 1500, who erected the chapel
dedicated to the death of the Virgin, a master-piece of architecture and
adorned with historical carving. The cloister was built so late as 1712.
Cathedral service was performed in the church, in which were the tombs
of the first and second of the Richards of Normandy; of Richard, infant
son of the former, and of William, third son of the latter; of Margaret,
betrothed to Robert, son of William the Conqueror, who died 1060; of
Alard, third Earl of Bretagne, 1040; of Archbishop Osmond, and of a
Lady Judith, whose jingling epitaph has given rise to a variety of
conjectures, whether she was the wife of Duke Richard IInd, or his
daughter, or some other person.--

       "Illa solo sociata, mariti at jure soluta,
     Judita judicio justificata jacet;
     Et quæ, dante Deo, sed judice justificante,
     Primo jus subiit sed modò jura regit."

As to Duke Richard Ist, he caused a sarcophagus of stone to be made and
placed within this church; and so long as he lived, it was filled with
wheat on every Friday, and the grain, together with five shillings,
distributed weekly among the poor. And when his death approached, he
expressly charged his successor, "Bury not my body within the church,
but deposit it on the outside, immediately under the eaves, that the
dripping of the rain from the holy roof may wash my bones as I lie, and
may cleanse them of the spots of impurity contracted during a negligent
and neglected life."

Our party could not ascertain whether any of the historical monuments
were yet in existence. The church, at the time they were there, was
wholly occupied with preparations for the approaching confirmation.
Young girls in their best dresses, all in white, and holding tapers in
their hands, filled the nave, while the chapels were crowded with
individuals at prayer, or still more with females waiting for an
opportunity of confessing themselves, previously to receiving the
expected absolution from the archbishop. Under such circumstances
nothing could be examined; but there appeared to be in the chapels five
or six fine, though mutilated, altar tombs: to whom, however, they
belonged, or what was their actual state, it was impossible to tell.
Accompanying them are also some curious pieces of sculpture. For the
same reason no farther remark could be made upon the interior of the
building, except that its architecture is imposing, and its roof,
supported by tall clustered pillars, has much the general effect of the
nave of our cathedral at Norwich, one of the purest specimens of Norman
architecture in England. Externally the tower is handsome, and of nearly
the earliest pointed style; not altogether so, as its arches, though
narrow, contain each a double arch within. The rest of the building
seems to have suffered much from alterations and dilapidation; and
whatever tracery there may have been originally has disappeared from the
windows; nor are there saints or even niches remaining above the doors.

The exterior of the church of St. Etienne, one of the ten parochial
churches of Fécamp, before the revolution, is considerably more
imposing; but upon this I will not detain you, as you will see it
engraved in Mr. Cotman's _Architectural Antiquities of Normandy_, from a
sketch taken by him last year.

Henry IInd, of England, made a donation of the town to the abbey, whose
seignorial jurisdiction also extended over many other parishes, as well
in this as in the adjoining dioceses. Its exclusive privileges were
likewise ample. Under the first and second race, Fécamp was the seat of
government of the Pays de Caux, and the residence of the counts of the
district: it was also a residence of the Norman Dukes. Their castle was
rebuilt by William Longue-Epeé, with a degree of magnificence which is
said to have been extraordinary. This duke took particular pleasure in
the place, and he and his immediate successors frequently lived here.
But the palace has long since disappeared[35]: the continual increase of
the monastic buildings gradually occupied its place; and they, in their
turn, are now experiencing the revolutions of fortune, the inhabitants
being at this very time actively employed in their demolition.

The town is at present wholly supported by the fisheries, in which are
employed about fourteen hundred sailors[36]. The herrings of Fécamp have
always had the same high character in France, as those of Lowestoft and
Yarmouth in England. The armorial lion of our own town ends, as you
know, with the tail of a herring; and I really have been often inclined
to affix the same appendage to the rump of the lion of Normandy. You are
not much of an epicure, nor are you very likely to search in the
_Almanach des Gourmands_ for dainties; if you did, you would probably
find there the following proverb, which has existed since the thirteenth
century,--

       "Aloses de Bourdeaux;
     Esturgeons de Blaye;
     Congres de la Rochelle;
     Harengs de Fécamp;
     Saumons de Loire;
     Sêches de Coutances."

The fortifications of Fécamp are destroyed; but, upon the cliffs which
command the town, there still remain some slight vestiges of a fort,
erected in the time of Henry IVth, when the inhabitants espoused the
party of the league. The capture of this fort was one of those gallant
exploits which the historian delights in recording; and it is detailed
at great length in Sully's Memoirs[37].

From Fécamp to Havre the country is well wooded, and much applied to the
cultivation of flax, which flourishes in this neighborhood, and has
given rise to considerable linen manufactories. The trees look well in
masses, but individually they are trimmed into ugliness. Near Havre the
road goes through Montivilliers, and, still nearer, through Harfleur.

The first of these is, like Fécamp, a place of antiquity, and derived
its name[38] and importance from a monastery which was founded at the
end of the seventh century. Its history is headed by the chapter which
begins the records of most of the ecclesiastical foundations of the
duchy: when the invading heathen Normans reached Montivilliers, it
shared the common fate of destruction, and when they withdrew, the
common piety recalled it to existence. Richard IInd bestowed it upon
Fécamp, but the same sovereign restored it to its independence, at the
request of his aunt, Beatrice, who retired hither as abbess, at the head
of a community of nuns. A convent, over which an abbess of royal blood
had presided, could not fail to enjoy considerable privileges; and it
retained them to the period of the revolution. The tower of the church
still remains, a noble specimen of the Norman architecture of the
eleventh century, at which period the building is known to have been
erected. The rest of the edifice, though handsome as a whole, is the
work of different æras. The archives of the monastery furnish an account
of large sums expended in additions and alterations in the years 1370
and 1513. The interior contains some elegant stone fillagree-work in the
form of a small gallery or pulpit, attached to the west end near the
roof, and probably intended to receive a band of singers on high
festivals. A gallery of a similar nature, but of wood, and to which the
foregoing purpose was assigned by the learned wight, John Carter, is yet
remaining at the north-west corner of Westminster Abbey. You and I, who
are sadly inclined to admire ugliness and antiquity, would have been
better pleased with the capitals of the pillars, which are evidently
coeval with the tower. Drawings were made of some of these capitals, and
I have selected two which appeared to be the most singular.

[Illustration: Capital with angel]

In this you observe an angel weighing the good works of the deceased
against his evil deeds; and, as the former are far exceeding the
avoirdupois upon which Satan is to found his claim, he is endeavoring
most unfairly to depress the scale with his two-pronged fork.

This allegory is of frequent occurrence in the monkish legends.--The
saint, who was aware of the frauds of the fiend, resolved to hold the
balance himself.--He began by throwing in a pilgrimage to a miraculous
virgin.--The devil pulled out an assignation with some fair mortal
Madonna, who had ceased to be immaculate.--The saint laid in the scale
the sackcloth and ashes of the penitent of Lenten-time.--Satan answered
the deposit by the vizard and leafy-robe of the masker of the
carnival.--Thus did they still continue equally interchanging the
sorrows of godliness with the sweets of sin, and still the saint was
distressed beyond compare, by observing that the scale of the wicked
thing (wise men call him the correcting principle,) always seemed the
heaviest. Almost did he despair of his client's salvation, when he
luckily saw eight little jetty black claws just hooking and clenching
over the rim of the golden basin. The claws at once betrayed the craft
of the cloven foot. Old Nick had put a little cunning young devil under
the balance, who, following the dictates of his senior, kept clinging to
the scale, and swaying it down with all his might and main. The saint
sent the imp to his proper place in a moment, and instantly the burthen
of transgression was seen to kick the beam.

Painters and sculptors also often introduced this ancient allegory of
the balance of good and evil, in their representations of the last
judgment: it was even employed by Lucas Kranach.

The other capital which I send to you is ornamented with groups of
Centaurs or Sagittaries. Astronomical sculptures are frequently found
upon the monuments of the middle ages. Two capitals, forming part of a
series of zodiacal sculptures, are preserved in the _Musée des Monumens
Français_; and, speaking from memory, I think they bear a near
resemblance in style to that which is here represented.

[Illustration: Capital with Centaurs or Sagittaries]

Montivilliers itself is a neat little town, beautifully situated in a
valley, with a stream of clear water running through it. At this time
its trade is trifling; but the case was otherwise in former days, when
its cloths were considered to rival those of Flanders, and the
preservation of the manufacture was regarded of so much consequence,
that sundry regulations respecting it are to be found in the royal
ordinances. One of them in particular, of the fourteenth century,
notices the frauds committed by other towns in imitating the mark of the
cloth of Montivilliers.

The general appearance of Harfleur is much like that of Montivilliers;
but numerous remains of walls and gates denote that it was once of
still greater comparative importance. The ancient trade of the place is
now transferred to Havre de Grace, the situation of the latter town
being far more elegible.

The Seine no longer rolls its waves under Harfleur; and the desiccated
harbor is now seen as a verdant meadow. Without the aid of history,
therefore, you would in vain inquire into the derivation of the name, in
connection with which, the learned Huet, Bishop of Avranches[39], calls
upon us to remark, that the names of many places in Normandy end in
_fleur_, as Barfleur, Harfleur, Honfleur, Fiefleur, Vitefleur, &c.; and
that, if, as it is commonly supposed, this termination comes from
_fluctus_, it must have passed through the Saxon, in which language
_fleoten_ signifies _to flow_. Hence we have _flot_, and from _flot,
fleut_ and _fleur_, the last alteration being warranted by the genius of
the French language. The bishop further states, that there are two
facts, affording a decisive proof of this origin: the one, that the
names now terminating in _fleur_, ended anciently _flot_, Barfleur being
Barbeflot, Harfleur Hareflot, and Honfleur Huneflot; the other, that all
places so called are situated where they are washed by the tide. Such is
also the position of the towns in Holland, whose names terminate in
_vliet_, and of those in England, ending in _fleet_, as Purfleet,
Byfleet, &c. The Latin word _flevus_ is of the same kind, and is derived
from the same source; for, instead of Hareflot and Huneflot, some old
records have Hareflou and Huneflou, and some others Barfleu, terms
approaching _flevus_, which is also called by Ptolemy, _fleus_, and by
Mela, _fletio_. It is highly improbable, that these two last terms
should have been coined subsequently to the time of the Romans becoming
masters of Gaul, and it is equally unlikely that the Saxon _fleoten_
should be derived from the Latin. Thus far, therefore, the languages
appear to have had a common origin, and they are insomuch allied to the
Celtic, that those towns in Britanny, in whose names are found the
syllables _pleu_ and _plou_, are also invariably placed in similar
situations.

If, however, I am fairly embarked in the sea of etymological conjecture,
I know not where I shall be carried; and therefore, instead of urging
the probability that the root of the Celtic _pleu_ is apparently to be
found in the Pelasgic [Greek in original] sail or float, I shall return
to Harfleur and its history. Whilst Harfleur was in its glory, it was
considered the key of the Seine and of this part of France. In 1415 it
opposed a vigorous resistance to our Henry Vth, who had no sooner made
himself master of it, than, with a degree of contradiction, which
teaches man to regard the performance of his duty to God as no reason
for his performing it to his fellow-creatures, "the King uncovered his
feet and legs, and walked barefoot from the gate to the parish church of
St. Martin, where he very devoutly offered up his prayers and
thanksgivings for his success. But, immediately afterwards he made all
the nobles and the men at arms that were in the town his captives, and
shortly after sent the greater part out of the place, clothed in their
jerkins only, taking down their names and surnames in writing, and
obliging them to swear by their faith that they would surrender
themselves prisoners at Calais on Martinmas-day next ensuing. In like
manner were the townsmen made prisoners, and obliged to ransom
themselves for large sums of money. Afterwards did the King banish them
out of the town, with numbers of women and children, to each of whom
were given five sols and a portion of their garments." Monstrelet[40],
from whom I have transcribed this detail, adds, that "it was pitiful to
hear and see the sorrow of these poor people, thus driven away from
their homes; the priests and clergy were likewise dismissed; and, in
regard to the wealth found there, it was not to be told, and appertained
even to the King, who distributed it as he pleased." Other writers tell
us that the number of those thus expelled was eight thousand, and that
the conqueror, not satisfied with this act of vengeance, publicly burned
the charters and archives of the town and the title-deeds of
individuals, re-peopled Harfleur with English, and forbad the few
inhabitants that remained to possess or inherit any landed property.
After a lapse, however, of twenty years, the peasants of the neighboring
country, aided by one hundred and four of the inhabitants, retook the
place by assault. The exploit was gallant; and a custom continued to
prevail in Harfleur, for above two centuries subsequently, intended to
commemorate it; a bell was tolled one hundred and four times every
morning at day-break, being the time when the attack was made. In 1440,
the citizens, undismayed by the sufferings of their predecessors,
withstood a second siege from our countrymen, whom the town resisted
four months, and in whose possession it remained ten years, when Charles
VIIIth permanently united it to the crown of France. Notwithstanding
these calamities, it rose again to a state of prosperity, till the
revocation of the edict of Nantes gave the death-blow to its commerce;
and intolerance completed the desolation which war had begun. At
present, it is only remarkable for the elegant tower and spire of its
church, connected by flying buttresses of great beauty, the whole of
rich and elaborate workmanship.

[Illustration: Tower and Spire of Harfleur Church]

At a short distance from Harfleur, the Seine comes in view, flowing into
the sea through a fine rich valley; but the wide expanse of water has no
picturesque beauty. The hills around Havre are plentifully spotted with
gentlemen's houses, few only of which have been seen in other parts in
the ride. The town itself is strongly fortified; and, having conducted
you hither, I shall leave you for the present, reserving for another
letter any particulars respecting Havre, and the rest of the road to
Rouen.

Footnotes:

[25] _Antiquités de Normandie_, p. 53.

[26] _Dumoulin, Géographie de la France_, II p. 80.

[27] _Description de la Haute Normandie_, I. p. 109.

[28] Heylin notices the familiarity of the approach of the French
servants, in his delineation of a Norman inn. An extract may amuse those
who are not familiar with the works of this quaint yet sensible writer.
"There stood in the chamber three beds, if at the least it be lawful so
to call them; the foundation of them was straw, so infinitely thronged
together, that the wool-packs which our judges sit on in the Parliament,
were melted butter to them; upon this lay a medley of flocks and
feathers sewed up together in a large bag, (for I am confident it was
not a tick) but so ill ordered that the knobs stuck out on each side
like a crab-tree cudgel. He had need to have flesh enough that lyeth on
one of them, otherwise the second night would wear out his bones.--Let
us now walk into the kitchen and observe their provision. And here we
found a most terrible execution committed on the person of a pullet; my
hostess, cruel woman, had cut the throat of it, and without plucking off
the feathers, tore it into pieces with her hands, and afterwards took
away skin and feathers together: this done, it was clapped into a pan
and fried for supper.--But the principal ornaments of these inns are the
men-servants, the raggedest regiment that ever I yet looked upon; such a
thing as a chamberlain was never heard of amongst them, and good clothes
are as little known as he. By the habits of his attendants a man would
think himself in a gaol, their clothes are either full of patches or
open to the skin. Bid one of them make clean your boots, and presently
he hath recourse to the curtains.--They wait always with their hats on,
and so do all servants attending on their masters.--Time and use
reconciled me to many other things, which, at the first were offensive;
to this most irreverent custom I returned an enemy; _neither can I see
how it can choose but stomach the most patient_ to see the worthiest
sign of liberty usurped and profaned by the basest of slaves."--Peter
then has a learned _excursus de jure pileorum_, wherein _Tertullian de
Spectaculis, Erasmus_ his _Chiliades_, and many other reverent
authorities are adduced; also, giving an account of his successful
exertions, as to "the licence of putting on our caps at our public
meetings, which privilege, time, and the tyranny of the vice-chancellor,
had taken from." After which, he still resumes in ire,--"this French
sauciness hath drawn me out of the way; an impudent familiarity, which,
I confess, did much offend me; and to which I still profess myself an
open enemy. Though Jacke speak French, I cannot endure Jacke should be a
gentleman."

[29] _Géographie de la France_, II. p. 115.

[30] _Description de la Haute Normandie_, I. p. 94.

[31] P. 196, 203, 204.

[32] _Description de la Haute Normandie_, I. p. 90.--Some other writers
date the foundation A.D. 666.

[33] _Gough's Alien Priories_, I. p. 9.

[34] This important part of its treasures, we may hope, from the
following passage in Noel, has been in a measure preserved. "On m'a
assuré que cette dernière partie des richesses littéraires de notre pays
étoit heureusement conserveé: puisse aujourd'hui ce dépot, honorant les
mains qui le possédent, parvenir intégre jusqu'aux tems propères où le
génie de l'histoire pourra utiliser sa possession."--_Essais sur la
Seine Inférieure_, II. p. 21.

[35] I do not know if it be wholly destroyed; for the author of the
Description of Upper Normandy and Goube both speak of the existence of a
square tower within the precincts of the abbey, part of the old palace,
and known by the name of the _Tower of Babel_.

[36] _Noel, Essais sur la Seine Inférieure_, II. p. 11.

[37] Vol. I. p. 389.

[38] This name, in Latin, is _Monasterium Villare_; in old French
records it is called _Monstier Vieil_.

[39] _Origines de Caen, 2nd edit._ p. 300.

[40] Vol. II. p. 78.



LETTER VI.

HAVRE--TRADE AND HISTORY OF THE TOWN--EMINENT MEN--BOLBEC--YVETOT--RIDE
TO ROUEN--FRENCH BEGGARS.


(_Rouen, June_, 1818.)

To Fécamp and the other places noticed in my last letter, a more
striking contrast could not easily be found than Havre. It equally wants
the interest derived from ancient history, and the appearance of misery
inseparable from present decay. And yet even Havre is now suffering and
depressed. A town which depends altogether upon foreign commerce, could
not fail to feel the effects of a long maritime war; and we accordingly
find the number of its inhabitants, which twenty years ago was estimated
at twenty-five thousand, now reduced to little more than sixteen
thousand.

The blow, which Havre will with most difficulty recover is the loss of
St. Domingo; for, before the revolution, it almost enjoyed a monopoly of
the trade of this important colony, in which upwards of eighty ships,
each of above three hundred tons burthen, were constantly employed. With
Martinique and Guadaloupe it had a similar, though less extensive,
intercourse. As the natural outlet for the manufactures of Rouen and
Paris, it supplied the French islands in the West Indies with the
principal part of their plantation stores; and the situation of the port
was equally advantageous for the importation of their produce. Guinea
and the coast of Africa afforded a second and important branch of
commerce; and this also is little likely entirely to recover. We may
add that, happily it is not so; for it depended principally upon the
slave-trade, the profits of which were such, that it was calculated a
vessel might clear upon an average nearly eight thousand pounds by each
voyage[41]. Its whale-fishery has, for more than a century, ceased to
exist. This pursuit began with spirit and at as early a period as the
year 1632, when the merchants of this port, in conjunction with those of
Biscay, fitted out the expedition commanded by Vrolicq, seized upon a
station near Spitzbergen, where they would have obtained a permanent
establishment, had they not been violently expelled by the Danes and
Dutch. But the coasting-trade with the various ports of France, and the
communication with the other countries of Europe, is now again in full
vigor; and it is to these sources that Havre is chiefly indebted for the
life and spirit visible in its quays and public places.

The appearance of bustle and activity is a striking, at the same time
that it is a most pleasing, character, of every great and commercial
sea-port, in every part of the world: it is especially so in a climate
which is milder than our own, and where not only the loading and
unloading of the ships, with the consequent transport of merchandize, is
continually taking place before the spectator; but the sides of the
shops are commonly set open, sail-makers are pursuing their business in
rows in the streets, and almost every handicraft and occupation is
carried on in the open air. An acute traveller might also conjecture
that the mildness of the atmosphere is comfortable and congenial to the
parrots, perroquets, and monkeys, which are brought over as pets and
companions by the sailors. Great numbers of these exotic birds and
brutes are to be seen at the windows, and they almost give to the town
of Havre the appearance of a tropical settlement.

The quays are strongly edged and faced with granite: the streets, of
which there are forty, are all built in straight lines, and chiefly at
right angles with each other. In them are several fountains, round which
picturesque groups of women are continually collected, employed with
Homeric industry in the task of washing linen. The churches are ugly,
their style is a miserable caricature of Roman architecture, the
interiors are incumbered by dirty and dark chapels, filled up with wood
carvings. The principal church has figures of saints, of wretched
execution, but of the size of life, ranged round the interior. The
harbor is calculated to contain three hundred vessels. The houses are
oddly constructed: they are very narrow, and very lofty, being commonly
seven stories high, and they are mostly fronted with stripes of tiled
slate, and intermediate ones of mortar, so fantastically disposed, that
two are rarely seen alike.

Notwithstanding what is alledged by the author of the _Mémoires sur
Havre_, in his endeavors to give consequence to his native place, by
maintaining its antiquity, it appears certain that no mention is made of
the town previously to the fifteenth century. Even so late as 1509, its
scite was occupied by a few hovels, clustered round a thatched chapel,
under the protection of Notre Dame de Grace, from whom the place derived
the name of Havre de Grace. Francis Ist, who was the real founder[42]
of Havre, was desirous of changing this name to _Françoisville_ or
_Franciscopole_. But the will of a sovereign, as Goube very justly
observes, most commonly dies with him: in our days, the National
Convention, aided by the full force of popular enthusiasm, has equally
failed in a similar attempt. The jacobins tried in vain to banish the
recollections of good St. Denis, by unchristening his vill under the
appellation of _Franciade_. Disobedience to the edict, exposed, indeed,
the contravener to the chance of experiencing the martyrdom of the
bishop; yet the mandate still produced no effect. Nor was Napoléon more
successful; and history affords abundant proof, that it is more easy to
build a city, or even to conquer a kingdom, than to alter an established
name.

Viewed in its present condition, no town in France unites more
advantages than Havre: it is one of the keys of the kingdom; it commands
the mouth of the river that leads direct to the metropolis; and it is at
once a great commercial town and a naval station. Possessing such claims
to commercial and military pre-eminence, it may appear matter of
surprise that it should be of so recent an origin; but the cause is to
be sought for in the changes which succeeding centuries have induced in
the face of the country--

         "Vidi ego quæ fuerat quondam durissima tellus
     Esse fretum; vidi factas ex æquore terras."

The sea continually loses here, and, without great efforts on the part
of man to retard the operation of the elements, Havre may, in process of
time, become what Harfleur is. At its origin it stood immediately on the
shore; the consequence of which was, that, within a very few years, a
high tide buried two-thirds of the houses and nearly all the
inhabitants. The remembrance of this dreadful calamity is still annually
renewed by a solemn procession on the fifteenth of January.

With regard to historical events connected with Havre, there is little
to be said. It was the spot whence our Henry VIIth embarked, in 1485,
aided by four thousand men from Charles VIIIth, of France, to enforce
his claim to the English crown. The town was seized by the Huguenots,
and delivered to our Queen Elizabeth, in 1562. But it was held by her
only till the following year, when Charles IXth, with Catherine of
Medicis, commanded the siege in person, and pressed it so vigorously,
that the Earl of Warwick was obliged to evacuate the place, after having
sacrificed the greater part of his troops. At the end of the following
century, after the bombardment and destruction of Dieppe, an attack was
made upon Havre, but without success, owing to the strength of the
fortifications, and particularly of the citadel. For this, the town was
indebted to Cardinal Richelieu, who was its governor for a considerable
time, and who also erected some of its public buildings, improved the
basin, and gave a fresh impulse to trade, by ordering several large
ships of war to be built here. As ship-builders, the inhabitants of
Havre have always had a high character: they stand conspicuous in the
annals of the art, for the construction of the vessel called _la Grande
Françoise_, and justly termed _la grande_, as having been of two
thousand tons burthen. Her cables are said to have been above the
thickness of a man's leg; and, besides what is usually found in a ship,
she contained a wind-mill and a tennis-court[43]. Her destination was,
according to some authors, the East Indies; according to others, the
Isle of Rhodes, then attacked by Soliman IInd; but we need not now
inquire whither she was bound; for, after advantage had been taken of
two of the highest tides, the utmost which could be done was to tow her
to the end of the pier, where she stuck fast, and was finally obliged to
be cut to pieces. Her history and catastrophe are immortalized by
Rabelais, under the appellation of _la Grande Nau Françoise_.

It were unpardonable to take leave of Havre without one word upon the
celebrated individuals to whom it has given birth; and you must allow me
also, from our common taste for natural history, to point it out to your
notice as a spot peculiarly favorable for the collecting of fossil
shells, which are found about the town and neighborhood in great numbers
and variety. The Abbé Dicquemare, a naturalist of considerable eminence,
who resided here, may possibly be known to you by his observations on
this subject, or still more probably by those upon the Aetiniæ; the
latter having been translated into English, and honored with a place in
the Transactions of our Royal Society. Of more extensive, but not more
justly merited, fame, are George Scudery and his sister Magdalen: the
one a voluminous writer in his day, though now little known, except for
his _Critical Observations upon the Cid_; the other, a still more
prolific author of novels, and alternately styled by her contemporaries
the Sappho of her age, and "un boutique de verbiage;" but unquestionably
a writer of merit, notwithstanding the many unmanly sneers of Boileau,
whose bitter pen, like that of our own illustrious satirist, could not
even consent to spare a female that had been so unfortunate as to
provoke his resentment. She died in 1701, at the advanced age of
ninety-four. The last upon my list is one of whom death has very
recently deprived the world, the excellent Bernardin de Saint Pierre; a
man whose writings are not less calculated to improve the heart than to
enlarge the mind. It is impossible to read his works without feeling
love and respect for the author. His exquisite little tale of _Paul and
Virginia_ is in the hands of every body; and his larger work, the
_Studies of Nature_, deserves to be no less generally read, as full of
the most original observations, joined to theories always ingenious,
though occasionally fanciful: the whole conveyed in a singularly
captivating style, and its merits still farther enhanced by a constant
flow of unaffected piety.

The road from Havre to Rouen is of a different character, and altogether
unlike that from Dieppe; but what it gains in beauty of landscape it
loses in interest. And yet, perhaps, it is even wrong to say that it
gains much in point of beauty; for, though: trees are more generally
dispersed, though cultivation is universal, and the soil good, and
produce luxuriant, and though the mind and the eye cannot but be pleased
by the abundance and verdure of the country, yet in picturesque effect
it is extremely deficient. Monotony, even of excellence, displeases. I
am speaking of the road which passes through Bolbec and Yvetot: there is
another which lies nearer to the banks of the Seine, through Lillebonne
and Caudebec, and this, I do not doubt, would, in every point of view,
have been preferable.

At but a short distance from Havre, to the left, lies the church,
formerly part of the priory, of Grâville, a picturesque and interesting
object. Of the date of its erection we have no certain knowledge, and it
is much to be regretted that we have not, for it is clearly of Norman
architecture; the tower a very pure specimen of that style, and the end
of the north transept one of the most curious any where to be seen, and
apparently; also one of the most ancient[44]. I should therefore feel no
scruple in referring the building to a more early period than the
beginning of the thirteenth century, where our records of the
establishment commence; for it was then that William Malet, Lord of
Grâville, placed here a number of regular canons from Ste. Barbe en
Auge, and endowed them with all the tythes and patronage he possessed in
France and England. The act by which Walter, Archbishop of Rouen,
confirmed this foundation, is dated in 1203. _Stachys Germanica_, a
plant of extreme rarity in England, grows abundantly here by the
road-side; and apple-trees are very numerous, not only edging the road,
but planted in rows across the fields.

The valley by which you enter Bolbec is pretty and varied; full of trees
and houses, which stand at different heights upon the hills on either
side. The town itself is long, straggling, and uneven. Through it runs a
rapid little stream, which serves many purposes of extensive business,
connected with the cotton manufactory, the preparation of leather,
cutlery, &c. This stream, of the same name with the town, afterwards
falls into the Seine, near Lillebonne, one of the most ancient places in
Normandy, and formerly the metropolis of the Caletes, but now only a
wretched village. Tradition refers its ruin to the period of the
invasion of Gaul by the Romans; but it revived under the Norman Dukes,
who resided here a portion of the year, and it was a favorite seat of
William the Conqueror. To him, or to one of his immediate predecessors
or successors, it is most probable that the castle owes its existence.
Mr. Cotman found the ruins of it extensive and remarkable. The
importance of the place, at a far more early date, is proved by the
medals of the Upper and Lower Empire, which are frequently dug up here,
and not less decisively by the many Roman roads which originate from the
town. Bolbec can lay claim to no similar distinction; but it is full of
industrious manufacturers. Twice in the last century it was burned to
the ground; and, after each conflagration, it has arisen more
flourishing from its ashes. At the last, which happened in 1765, Louis
XVth made a donation to the town of eighty thousand livres, and the
parliament of Normandy added a gratuity of half as much more, to assist
the inhabitants in repairing their losses.

Yvetot, the next stage, possesses no visible interest, and furnishes no
employment for the pencil. The town is, like Bolbec, a residence for
manufacturers; and the curious stranger would seek in vain for any
traces of decayed magnificence, any vestiges or records of a royal
residence. And yet, it is held that Yvetot was the capital of a
_kingdom_, which, if it really did exist, had certainly the distinction
of being the smallest that ever was ruled on its own account. The
subject has much exercised the talents and ingenuity of historians. It
has been maintained by the affirmants, that an actual monarchy existed
here at a period as remote as the sixth century; others argue that,
though the Lords of Yvetot may have been stiled _Kings_, the distinction
was merely titular, and was not conferred till about the year 1400;
whilst a third, and, perhaps, most numerous, body, treat the whole as
apocryphal.

Robert Gaguin[45], a French historian of the fifteenth century, prefaces
the anecdote by observing, that he is the first French writer by whom
it is recorded; and, as if sensible that such a remark could not fail to
excite suspicion, he proceeds to say, that it is wonderful that his
predecessors should have been silent. Yet he certainly was not the first
who stated the story in print; for it appears in the Chronicles of
Nicholas Gilles, which were printed in 1492, whilst the earliest edition
of Gaugin was published in 1497.--According to these monkish historians,
Clotharius, of France, son of Clovis, had threatened the life of his
chamberlain, Gaultier, Lord of Yvetot, who thereupon fled the kingdom,
and for ten years remained in voluntary exile, fighting against the
infidels. At the end of this period, Gaultier hoped that the anger of
his sovereign might be appeased, and he accordingly went to Rome, and
implored the aid of the Supreme Pontiff. Pope Agapetus pitied the
wanderer; and he gave unto him a letter addressed to the King of the
Franks, in which he interceded for the supplicant. Clotharius was then
residing at Soissons, his capital, and thither Gaultier repaired on
Good-Friday, in the year 536, and, availing himself of the moment when
the King was kneeling before the altar, threw himself at the feet of the
royal votary, beseeching pardon in the name of the common Savior of
mankind, who on that day shed his blood for the redemption of the human
race. But his prayers and appeal were in vain: he found no pardon;
Clothair drew his sword, and slew him on the spot. The Pope threatened
the monarch with apostolical vengeance, and Clothair attempted to atone
for the murder, by raising the town and territory of Yvetot into a
kingdom, and granting it in perpetuity to the heirs of Gaultier.

Such is the tradition. There is a very able dissertation upon the
subject, by the Abbé de Vertot[46], who endeavors to disprove the whole
story: first by the silence of all contemporary authors; then by the
fact, that Yvetot was not at that time under the dominion of Clothair;
then by an anachronism, which the story involves as to Pope Agapetus;
and finally by sundry other arguments of minor importance. Even he,
however, admits, that in a royal decree, dated 1392, and preserved among
the records of the Exchequer of Normandy, the title of _King_ is given
to the Lord of Yvetot; and he is obliged to cut the knot, which he is
unable to untie, by stating it as his opinion, that at or about this
period Yvetot was really raised into a sovereignty, though, on what
occasion, for what purpose, and with what privileges, no document
remains to prove. As a parallel case, he instances the Peers of France,
an order with whose existence every body is acquainted, while of the
date of the establishment nothing is known. It is surprising, that so
clear-sighted a writer did not perceive that he was doing nothing more
than illustrating, as the logicians say, _obscurum per obscurius_, or,
rather, making darkness more dark; as if it were not considerably more
probable, that so strange a circumstance should have taken place in the
sixth century, and have been left unrecorded, when society was unformed,
anomalies frequent, and historians few, than that it should have
happened in the fourteenth, a period when the government of France was
completely settled in a regular form, under one monarch, when literature
was generally diffused, and when every remarkable event was chronicled.
Besides which, the inhabitants of the little kingdom continued, in some
measure, independent of his Most Christian Majesty, even until the
revolution. At least, they paid not a sou of taxes, neither _aides_, nor
_tenth-penny_, nor _gabelle_. It was a sanctuary into which no farmer
of the revenue dared to enter. And it is hardly to be doubted, but that
there must have been some very singular cause for so singular and
enviable a privilege. In our own days, M. Duputel[47], a member of the
academy of Rouen, has entered the lists against the Abbé; and between
them the matter is still undecided, and is likely so to continue. For
myself, I have no means of throwing light upon it; but the impression
left upon my mind, after reading both sides of the question, is, that
the arguments are altogether in favor of Vertot, while the greater
weight of probabilities is in the opposite scale. I shall leave you,
however, to poise the balance, and I shall not attempt to cause either
end of the beam to preponderate, by acting the part of Old Nick as
before exhibited to you; though I decidedly believe that Gaguin had some
authority for his tale, but, by neglecting to quote it, he has left the
minds of his readers to uncertainty, and his own veracity to suspicion.

With this digression I bid farewell to Yvetot, and its Lilliputian
kingdom; nor will I detain you much longer on the way to Rouen, the road
passing through nothing likely to afford interest in point of historical
recollection or antiquities; though within a very short distance of the
ancient Abbey of Pavilly on the one side, and at no great distance from
the still more celebrated Monastery of Jumieges on the other. The houses
in this neighborhood are in general composed of a framework of wood,
with the interstices filled with clay, in which are imbedded small
pieces of glass, disposed in rows, for windows. The wooden studs are
preserved from the weather by slates, laid one over the other, like the
scales of a fish, along their whole surface, or occasionally by wood
over wood in the same manner. I am told that there are some very ancient
timber churches in Norway, erected immediately after the conversion of
the Northmen, which are covered with wood-scales: the coincidence is
probably accidental, yet it is not altogether unworthy of notice. At one
end the roof projects beyond the gable four or five feet, in order to
protect a door-way and ladder or staircase that leads to it; and this
elevation has a very picturesque effect. A series of villages, composed
of cottages of this description, mixed with large manufactories and
extensive bleaching grounds, comprise all that is to be remarked in the
remainder of the ride; a journey that would be as interesting to a
traveller in quest of statistical information, as it would be the
contrary to you or to me.

Poverty, the inseparable companion of a manufacturing population, shews
itself in the number of beggars that infest this road as well as that
from Calais to Paris. They station themselves by the side of every hill,
as regularly as the mendicants of Rome were wont to do upon the bridges.
Sometimes a small nosegay thrown into your carriage announces the
petition in language, which, though mute, is more likely to prove
efficacious than the loudest prayer. Most commonly, however, there is no
lack of words; and, after a plaintive voice has repeatedly assailed you
with "une petite charité, s'il vous plait, Messieurs et Dames," an
appeal is generally made to your devotion, by their gabbling over the
Lord's Prayer and the Creed with the greatest possible velocity. At the
conclusion, I have often been told that they have repeated them once,
and will do so a second time if I desire it! Should all this prove
ineffectual, you will not fail to hear "allons, Messieurs et Dames, pour
l'amour de Dieu, qu'il vous donné un bon voyage," or probably a
song or two; the whole interlarded with scraps of prayers, and
ave-marias, and promises to secure you "santé et salut." They go through
it with an earnestness and pertinacity almost inconceivable, whatever
rebuffs they may receive. Their good temper, too, is undisturbed, and
their face is generally as piteous as their language and tone; though
every now and then a laugh will out, and probably at the very moment
when they are telling you they are "pauvres petits misérables," or
"petits malheureux, qui n'ont ni père ni mère." With all this they are
excellent flatterers. An Englishman is sure to be "milord," and a lady
to be "ma belle duchesse," or "ma belle princesse." They will try too to
please you by "vivent les Anglais, vive Louis dix-huit." In 1814 and
1815, I remember the cry used commonly to be "vive Napoléon," but they
have now learned better; and, in truth, they had no reason to bear
attachment to the ex-emperor, an early maxim of whose policy it was to
rid the face of the country of this description of persons, for which
purpose he established workhouses, or _dépots de mendicité_, in each
department, and his gendarmes were directed to proceed in the most
summary manner, by conveying every mendicant and vagrant to these
receptacles, without listening to any excuse, or granting any delay. He
had no clear idea of the necessity of the gentle formalities of a
summons, and a pass under his worship's hand and seal. And, without
entering into the elaborate researches respecting the original habitat
of a _mumper_, which are required by the English law, he thought that
pauperism could be sufficiently protected by consigning the specimen to
the nearest cabinet. The simple and rigorous plan of Napoléon was
conformable to the nature of his government, and it effectually answered
the purpose. The day, therefore, of his exile to Elba was a _Beggar's
Opera_ throughout France; and they have kept up the jubilee to the
present hour, and seem likely to persist in maintaining it.

Footnotes:

[41] _Goube, Histoire de la Normandie_, III. p. 127.

[42] "François premier, revenant vainqueur de la bataille de Marignan en
1515, crut devoir profiter de la situation avantageuse de la Crique; il
conçut le dessin de l'agrandir et d'en faire une place de guerre
importante. Ce prince avoit pris les interêts du jeune Roi d'Ecosse,
Jacques V, et ce fut pour se fortifier contre les Anglais qu'il forma la
résolution de leur opposer cette barrière. Pour conduire l'entreprise il
jetta les yeux sur un Gentilhomme nommé Guion le Roi, Seigneur de
Chillon, Vice-Amiral, et Capitaine de Honfleur, et la premiere pierre
fut posée en 1516."--_Description de la Haute Normandie_, I. p. 195.

[43] _Description de la Haute Normandie_, I. p. 200.

[44] See _Cotman's Architectural Antiquities of Normandy_, t. 12.--There
is also a general view of the church, and of some of the monastic
buildings from the lithographic press of the Comte de Lasteyrie.

[45] "Sed priusquàm a Clotario discedo, illud non prætermittendum reor,
quod, cùm maximè cognitu dignum est, mirari licet a nullo Franco
Scriptore litteris fuisse commendatum. Fuit inter familiarissimos
Clotarii aulicos, Galterus Yvetotus, Caletus agri Rothomagensis, apprimè
nobilis et qui regii cubiculi primarius cultor esset. Huic pro suâ
integritate, de Clotario cùm meliùs meliùsque in dies promereretur,
reliqui aulici invident, depravantes quodlibet ab eo gestum, nec
desistunt donec irritatum illi Clotarium pessimis susurris efficiunt;
quamobrem jurat Rex se hominem necaturum. Perceptâ Clotarii
indignatione, Galterus pugnator illustris cedere Regi irato constituit.
Igitur derelictâ Franciâ in militiam adversus religionis catholicæ
inimicos pergit, ubi decem annos multis prosperè gestis rebus, ratus
Clotarium simul cum tempore mitiorem effectum, Romam in primis ad
Agapitum Pontificem se contulit: a quo ad Clotarium impetratis litteris,
ad eum Suessione agentem se protinùs confert, Veneris die, quæ parasceve
dicitur, cogitans religiosam Christianis diem ad pietatem sibi
profuturam. Verùm litteris Pontificis exceptis cùm Galterum Clotarius
agnovit, vetere irâ tanquam recenti livore percitus, rapto a proximo
sibi equite gladio, hominem statìm interemit. Tam indignam insignis
atque innocentis hominis necem, religioso loco et die ad Christi
passionem recolendam celebri, pontifex inæquanimitèr ferens, confestìm
Clotarium reprehendit, monetque iniquissimi facinoris rationem habere,
se alioquin excommunicationis sententiam subiturum. Agapiti monita
reveritus Rex, capto cum prudentibus consilio, Galteri hæredes, et qui
Yvetotum deinceps possiderent, ab omni Francorum Regum ditione atque
fide liberavit, liberosque prorsùs fore suo syngrapho et regiis scriptis
confirmat. Ex quo factum est ut ejus pagi et terræ possessor _Regem_ se
Yvetoti hactenus sine controversiâ nominaverit. Id autem anno christianæ
gratiæ quingentesimo trigesimo sexto gestum esse indubiâ fide invenio.
Nam dominantibus longo post tempore in Normanniâ. Anglis, ortâque inter
Joannem Hollandum, Auglum, et Yvetoti dominum quæstione, quasi
proventuum ejus terræ pars fisco Regis Anglorum quotannis obnoxia esset,
Caleti Proprætor anno salutis 1428, de ratione litis judiciario ordine
se instruens, id, sicut annotatum a me est, comperisse
judicavit."--_Robert Gaguin_, lib. II. fol. 17.

[46] _Mémoires de l'Académie des Inscriptions_, IV. p. 728.--The
question is also discussed in the _Traité de la Noblesse_, by M. de la
Roque; in the _Mercure de France_, for January, 1726; and in a Latin
treatise by Charles Malingre, entitled "_De falsâ regni Yvetoti
narratione, ex majoribus commentariis fragmentum_."

[47] _Précis Analytique des Travaux de l'Académie de Rouen_, 1811, p.
181.



LETTER VII.

ON THE STATE OF AFFAIRS IN FRANCE.


(_Rouen, June_, 1818.)

Abandoning, for the present, all discussion of the themes of the elder
day, I shall occupy myself with matters relating to the living world.
The fatigued and hungry traveller, whose flesh is weaker than his
spirit, is often too apt to think that his bed and his supper are of
more immediate consequence than churches or castles. And to those who
are in this predicament, there is a material improvement at Rouen, since
I was last here: nothing could be worse than the inns of the year 1815;
but four years of peace have effected a wonderful alteration, and
nothing can now be better than the Hôtel de Normandie, where we have
fixed our quarters. Objection may, indeed, be made to its situation, as
to that of every other hôtel in the city; but this is of little moment
in a town, where every house, whatever street or place it may front,
opens into a court-yard, so that its views are confined to what passes
within its own quadrangle; and, for excellence of accommodations,
elegance of furniture, skill in cookery, civility of attendance, nay,
even for what is more rare, neatness, our host, M. Trimolet, may
challenge competition with almost any establishment in Europe. For the
rent of the house, which is one of the most spacious in Rouen, he pays
three thousand francs a year; and, as house-rent is one of the main
standards of the value of the circulating medium, I will add, that our
friend, M. Rondeau, for his, which is not only among the largest but
among the most elegant and the best placed for business, pays but five
hundred francs more. This, then, may be considered as the _maximum_ at
Rouen. Yet Rouen is far from being the place which should be selected by
an Englishman, who retires to France for the purpose of economizing:
living in general is scarcely one-fourth cheaper than in our own
country. At Caen it is considerably more reasonable; on the banks of the
Loire the expences of a family do not amount to one-half of the English
cost; and still farther south a yet more sensible reduction takes place,
the necessaries of life being cheaper by half than they are in Normandy,
and house-rent by full four-fifths.

A foreigner can glean but little useful information respecting the
actual state of a country through which he journeys with as much
rapidity as I have done. And still less is he able to secern the truth
from the falsehood, or to weigh the probabilities of conflicting
testimony. I therefore originally intended to be silent on this subject.
There is a story told, I believe, of Voltaire, at least it may be as
well told of Voltaire as of any other wit, that, being once in company
with a very talkative empty Frenchman, and a very _glum_ and silent
Englishman, he afterwards characterized them by saying, "l'un ne dit que
des riens, et l'autre ne dit rien." Fearing that my political and
statistical observations, which in good truth are very slender, might be
ranked but too truly in the former category, I had resolved to confine
them to my own notebook. Yet we all take so much interest in the
destinies of our ancient rival and enemy, (I wish I could add, our
modern friend,) that, according to my usual habit, I changed my
determination within a minute after I had formed it; for I yielded to
the impression, that even my scanty contribution would not be wholly
unacceptable to you.

France, I am assured on all sides, is rapidly improving, and the
government is satisfactory to all _liberal_ men, in which number I
include persons of every opinion, except the emigrants and those
attached exclusively to the _ancien régime_. Men of the latter
description are commonly known by the name of _Ultras_; and, speaking
with a degree of freedom, which is practised here, to at least as great
an extent as in England, they do not hesitate to express their decided
disapprobation of the present system of government, and to declare, not
only that Napoléon was more of a royalist than Louis, but that the King
is a jacobin. They persuade themselves also, and would fain persuade
others, that he is generally hated; and their doctrine is, that the
nation is divided into three parties, ready to tear each other in
pieces: the _Ministerialists_, who are few, and in every respect
contemptible; the _Ultras_, not numerous, but headed by the Princes, and
thus far of weight; and the _Revolutionists_, who, in point of numbers,
as well as of talents and of opulence, considerably exceed the other
two, and will, probably, ultimately prevail; so that these conflicts of
opinion will terminate by decomposing the constitutional monarchy into a
republic. To listen to these men, you might almost fancy they were
quoting from Clarendon's History of the Rebellion in our own country;
so entirely do their feelings coincide with those of the courtiers who
attended Charles in his exile. Similar too is the reward they receive;
for it is difficult for a monarch to be just, however he may in some
cases he generous.

Yet even the Ultras admit that the revolution has been beneficial to
France, though they are willing to confine its benefits to the
establishment of the trial by jury, and the correction of certain abuses
connected with the old system of nobility. Among the advantages
obtained, they include the abolition of the game laws; and, indeed, I am
persuaded, from all I hear, that this much-contested question could not
receive a better solution than by appealing to the present laws in
France. Game is here altogether the property of the land-owner; it is
freely exposed for sale, like other articles of food; and every one is
himself at liberty to sport, or to authorize his friend to do so over
his property, with no other restriction than that of taking out a
licence, or _port d'armes_, which, for fifteen francs, is granted
without difficulty to any man of respectability, whatever may be his
condition in life. In this particular, I cannot but think that France
has set us an example well worthy of our imitation; and she also shews
that it may be followed without danger; for neither do the pleasures of
the field lose their relish, nor is the game extirpated. The former are
a subject of conversation in almost every company; and, as to the
latter, whatever slaughter may have taken place in the woods and
preserves, at the first burst of the revolution, I am assured that a
good sportsman may, at the present time, between Dieppe and Rouen kill
with ease, in a day, fifty head of game, consisting principally of
hares, quails, and partridges.

But, while these men thus restrict the benefits derived from the
revolution, the case is far different with individuals of the other
parties, all of whom are loud and unanimous in its praises. The good
resulting from the republic has been purchased at a dreadful price, but
the good remains; and those, who now enjoy the boon, are not inclined to
remember the blood which drenched the three-colored banner. Thirty years
have elapsed, and a new generation has arisen, to whom the horrors of
the revolution live only in the page of history. But its advantages are
daily felt in the equal nature and equal administration of the laws; in
the suppression of the monasteries with their concomitant evils; in the
restriction of the powers of the clergy; in the liberty afforded to all
modes of religious worship; and in the abolition of all the edicts and
mandates and prejudices, which secured to a peculiar sect and caste a
monopoly of all the honors and distinctions of the common-wealth; for
now, every individual of talent and character feels that the path to
preferment and power is not obstructed by his birth or his opinions.

The constitutional charter, in its present state, is a subject of pride
to the French, and a sure bulwark to the throne. The representative
system is beginning to be generally appreciated, and particularly in
commercial towns. The deputies of this department are to be changed the
approaching autumn, and the minds of men are already anxiously bent upon
selecting such representatives as may best understand and promote their
local interests. Few acts of the Bourbon government have contributed
more powerfully to promote the popularity of the King, than the law
enacted in the course of last year, which abolished the double election,
and enabled the voters to give their suffrages directly for their
favorite candidate, thus putting a stop at once to a variety of unfair
influence, previously exerted upon such occasions. The same law has also
created a general interest upon the subject, never before known; the
strongest proof of which is, that, of the six or eight thousand electors
contained in this department, nearly the whole are expected now to vote,
whereas not a third ever did so before. The qualifications for an
elector and a deputy are uniform throughout the kingdom, and depending
upon few requisites; nothing more being required in the former case,
than the payment of three hundred francs per annum, in direct taxes, and
the having attained the age of thirty; while an addition of ten years to
the age, and the payment of one thousand francs, instead of three
hundred, renders every individual qualified to be of the number of the
elected. The system, however, is subject to a restriction, which
provides, that at least one half of the representatives of each
department shall be chosen from among those who reside in it.

In the beginning of the revolution, a much wider door was open: all that
was then necessary to entitle a man to vote, was, that he should be
twenty-one years of age, a Frenchman, and one who had lived for a year
in the country on his own revenue, or on the produce of his labor, and
was not in a state of servitude. It was then also decreed, that the
electors should have each three livres a day during their mission, and
should be allowed at the rate of one livre a league, for the distance
from their usual place of residence, to that in which the election of
members for their department is held. Such were the only conditions
requisite for eligibility, either as elector or deputy; except, indeed,
that the citizens in the primary assemblies, and the electors in the
electoral assembly, swore that they would maintain liberty and equality,
or die rather than violate their oath[48].

The wisdom and prudence of the subsequent alterations, few will be
disposed to question: the system, in its present state, appears to me
admirably qualified to attain the object in view; and such seems the
general character of the French _Constitutional Charter_, which unites
two excellent qualities, great clearness and great brevity. The whole is
comprised in seventy-four short articles; and, that no Frenchman may
plead ignorance of his rights or his duties, it is usually found
prefixed to the almanacks. Some persons might, indeed, be inclined to
deem this station as ominous; for, since the revolution began, the frame
of the French government has sustained so many alterations, that,
considering that several of their constitutions never outlived the
current quarter, they may be fairly said to have had a new constitution
in each year. How far the Bourbon charter will answer the purpose of
serving as the basis of a code of laws for the government of an
extensive kingdom, time only can determine. At present, it has the
charm of novelty to recommend it; and there are few among us with whom
novelty is not a strong attraction. Our friends on this side of the
water are greatly belied, if it be not so with them.

The finances of the French municipalities are administered with a degree
of fairness and attention, which might put many a body corporate, in a
certain island, to the blush. Little is known in England respecting the
administration of the French towns: the following particulars relating
to the revenue and expences of Rouen, may, therefore, in some measure,
serve as a scale, by which you may give a guess at the balance-sheet of
cities of greater or lesser magnitude.--The budget amounted for the last
year to one million two hundred thousand francs. The proposed items of
expenditure must be particularized, and submitted to the Prefect and the
Minister of the Interior, before they can be paid. In this sum is
comprised the charge for the hospitals, which contain above three
thousand persons, including foundlings, and for all the other public
institutions, the number and excellence of which has long been the pride
of Rouen. You must consider too, that every thing of this kind is, in
France, national: individuals do nothing, neither is it expected of
them; and herein consists one of the most essential differences between
France and England. To meet this great expenditure, the city is provided
with the rents of public lands, with wharfage, with tolls from the
markets and the _halles_; and, above all, with the _octroi_, a tax that
prevails through France, upon every article of consumption brought into
the towns, and is collected at the barriers. The _octroi_, like
turnpike-tolls or the post-horse duty with us, is farmed; two-thirds are
received by the government, and the remaining one-third by the town. In
Rouen it produced the last year one million four hundred and fifty
thousand francs.--If, now, this sum appears to you comparatively greater
than that of our large cities in England, you must recollect that, with
us, towns are not liable to similar charges: our corporations support no
museums, no academies, no learned bodies; and our infirmaries, and
dispensaries, and hospitals, are indebted, as well for their existence
as their future maintenance, to the piety of the dead, or the liberality
of the living. Nor must we forget that, even in this great kingdom,
Rouen, at present, holds the fifth place among the towns; though it was
far from being thus, when Buonaparté, uniting the imperial to the iron
crown, overshadowed with his eagle-wings the continent from the Baltic
to Apulia; and when the mural crowns of Rome and Amsterdam stood beneath
the shield of the "good city" of Paris.

The population of Rouen is estimated at eighty-seven thousand persons,
of whom the greater number are engaged in the manufactories, which
consist principally of cotton, linen, and woollen cloths, and are among
the largest in France. At present, however, "trade is dull;" and hence,
and as the politics of a trader invariably sympathize with his cash
account, neither the peace, nor the English, nor the princes of the
Bourbon dynasty, are popular here; for the articles manufactured at
Rouen, being designed generally for exportation, ranged almost
unrivalled over the continent, during the war, but now in every town
they meet with competitors in the goods from England, which are at once
of superior workmanship and cheaper. The latter advantage is owing very
much to the greater perfection of our machinery, and, perhaps, still
more to the abundance of coals, which enables us, at so small an
expence, to keep our steam-engines in action, and thus to counterbalance
the disproportion in the charge of manual labor, as well as the many
disadvantages arising from the pressure of our heavy taxation.--But I
must cease. An English fit of growling is coming upon me; and I find
that the Blue Devils, which haunt St. Stephen's chapel, are pursuing me
over the channel.

Footnotes:

[48] _Moore's Journal of a Residence in France_, I. p. 82.



LETTER VIII.

MILITARY ANTIQUITIES--LE VIEUX CHÂTEAU--ORIGINAL PALACE OF THE NORMAN
DUKES--HALLES OF ROUEN--MIRACLE AND PRIVILEGE OF ST. ROMAIN--CHÂTEAU DU
VIEUX PALAIS--PETIT CHÂTEAU--FORT ON MONT STE. CATHERINE--PRIORY
THERE--CHAPEL OF ST. MICHAEL--DEVOTEE.


(_Rouen, June,_ 1818)

My researches in this city after the remains of architectural antiquity
of the earlier Norman æra, have hitherto, I own, been attended with
little success. I may even go so far as to say, that I have seen nothing
in the circular style, for which it would not be easy to find a parallel
in most of the large towns in England. On the other hand, the perfection
and beauty of the specimens of the pointed style, have equally surprised
and delighted me. I will endeavor, however, to take each object in its
order, premising that I have been materially assisted in my
investigations by M. Le Prevost and M. Rondeau, but especially by the
former, one of the most learned antiquaries of Normandy.

Of the fortifications and castellated buildings in Rouen very little
indeed is left[49], and that little is altogether insignificant; being
confined to some fragments of the walls scattered here and there[50],
and to three circular towers of the plainest construction, the remains
of the old castle, built by Philip Augustus in 1204, near to the Porte
Bouvreuil, and hence commonly known by the name of the _Château de
Bouvreuil_ or _le Vieux Château_.--It is to the leading part which this
city has acted in the history of France, that we must attribute the
repeated erection and demolition of its fortifications.

An important event was commemorated by the erection of the _old castle_,
it having been built upon the final annexation of Normandy to the crown
of France, in consequence of the weakness of our ill-starred
monarch,--John Lackland. The French King seems to have suspected that
the citizens retained their fealty to their former sovereign. He
intended that his fortress should command and bridle the city, instead
of defending it. The town-walls were razed, and the _Vieille Tour_, the
ancient palace of the Norman Dukes, levelled with the ground.--But, as
the poet says of language, so it is with castles,--

      ... "mortalia facta peribunt,
     Nec _castellorum_ stet honos et gratia vivax;"

and, in 1590, the fortress raised by Philip Augustus experienced the
fate of its predecessors; it was then ruined and dismantled, and the
portion which was allowed to stand, was degraded into a jail. Now the
three[51] towers just mentioned are alone remaining, and these would
attract little notice, were it not that one of them bears the name of
the _Tour de la Pucelle_, as having been, in 1430, the place of
confinement of the unfortunate Joan of Arc, when she was captured before
Compiégne and brought prisoner to Rouen.

It must be stated, however, that the first castle recorded to have
existed at Rouen, was built by Rollo, shortly after he had made himself
master of Neustria. Its very name is now lost; and all we know
concerning it is, that it stood near the quay, at the northern extremity
of the town, in the situation subsequently occupied by the Church of St.
Pierre du Châtel, and the adjoining monastery of the Cordeliers.

After a lapse of less than fifty years, Rouen saw rising within her
walls a second castle, the work of Duke Richard Ist, and long the
residence of the Norman sovereigns. This, from a tower of great strength
which formed a part of it, and which was not demolished till the year
1204, acquired the appellation of _la Vieille Tour_; and the name
remains to this day, though the building has disappeared.

The space formerly occupied by the scite of it is now covered by the
_halles_, considered the finest in France. The historians of Rouen, in
the usual strain of hyperbole, hint that their _halles_ are even the
finest in the world[52], though they are very inferior to their
prototypes at Bruges and Ypres. The hall, or exchange, allotted to the
mercers, is two hundred and seventy-two feet in length, by fifty feet
wide: those for the drapers and for wool are, each of them, two hundred
feet long; and all these are surpassed in size by the corn-hall, whose
length extends to three hundred feet. They are built round a large
square, the centre of which is occupied by numberless dealers in
pottery, old clothes, &c.; and, as the day on which we chanced to visit
them was a Friday, when alone they are opened for public business, we
found a most lively, curious, and interesting scene.

It was on the top of a stone staircase, the present entry to the
_halles_, that the annual ceremony[53] of delivering and pardoning a
criminal for the sake of St. Romain, the tutelary protector of Rouen,
was performed on Ascension-day, according to a privilege exercised, from
time immemorial, by the Chapter of the Cathedral.

The legend is romantic; and it acquires a species of historical
importance, as it became the foundation of a right, asserted even in our
own days. My account of it is taken from Dom Pommeraye's History of the
Life of the Prelate[54].--He has been relating many miracles performed
by him, and, among others, that of causing the Seine, at the time of a
great inundation, to retire to its channel by his command, agreeably to
the following beautiful stanza of Santeuil:--

    "Tangit exundans aqua civitatem;
     Voce Romanus jubet efficaci;
     Audiunt fluctus, docilisque cedit
         Unda jubenti."

Our learned Benedictine thus proceeds:--"But the following miracle was
deemed a far greater marvel, and it increased the veneration of the
people towards St. Romain to such a degree, that they henceforth
regarded him as an actual apostle, who, from the authority of his
office, the excellence of his doctrine, his extreme sanctity, and the
gift of miracles, deserved to be classed with the earliest preachers of
our holy faith. In a marshy spot, near Rouen, was bred a dragon, the
very counterpart of that destroyed by St. Nicaise. It committed
frightful ravages; lay in wait for man and beast, whom it devoured
without mercy; the air was poisoned by its pestilential breath, and it
was alone the cause of greater mischief and alarm, than could have been
occasioned by a whole army of enemies. The inhabitants, wearied out by
many years of suffering, implored the aid of St. Romain; and the
charitable and generous pastor, who dreaded nothing in behalf of his
flock, comforted them with the assurance of a speedy deliverance. The
design itself was noble; still more so was the manner by which he put it
in force; for he would not be satisfied with merely killing the monster,
but undertook also to bring it to public execution, by way of atonement
for its cruelties. For this purpose, it was necessary that the dragon
should be caught; but when the prelate required a companion in the
attempt, the hearts of all men failed them. He applied, therefore, to a
criminal condemned to death for murder; and, by the promise of a pardon,
bought his assistance, which the certain prospect of a scaffold, had he
refused to accompany the saint, caused him the more willingly to lend.
Together they went, and had no sooner reached the marsh, the monster's
haunt, than St. Romain, approaching courageously, made the sign of the
cross, and at once put it out of the power of the dragon to attempt to
do him injury. He then tied his stole around his neck, and, in that
state, delivered him to the prisoner, who dragged him to the city, where
he was burned in the presence of all the people, and his ashes thrown
into the river.--The manuscript of the Abbey of Hautmont, from which
this legend is extracted, adds, that such was the fame of this miracle
throughout France, that Dagobert, the reigning sovereign, sent for St.
Romain to court, to hear a true narrative of the fact from his own lips;
and, impressed with reverent awe, bestowed the celebrated privilege upon
him and his successors for ever."

The right has, in comparatively modern times, been more than once
contested, but always maintained; and so great was the celebrity of the
ceremony, that princes and potentates have repeatedly travelled to
Rouen, for the purpose of witnessing it. There are not wanting, however,
those[55] who treat the whole story as allegorical, and believe it to be
nothing more than a symbolical representation of the subversion of
idolatry, or of the confining of the Seine to its channel; the winding
course of the river being typified by a serpent, and the word
_Gargouille_ corrupted from _gurges_. Other writers differ in minor
points of the story, and alledge that the saint had two fellow
adventurers, a thief as well as a murderer, and that the former ran
away, while the latter stood firm. You will see it thus figured in a
modern painting on St. Romain's altar, in the cathedral; and there are
two persons also with him, in the only ancient representation of the
subject I am acquainted with, a bas-relief which till lately existed at
the Porte Bouvreuil, and of which, by the kindness of M. Riaux, I am
enabled to send you a drawing.

[Illustration: Bas-Relief, representing St. Romain]

To keep alive the tradition, in which Popish superstition has contrived
to blend Judaic customs with heathen mythology, the practice was, that
the prisoner selected for pardon should be brought to this place, called
the chapel of St. Romain, and should here be received by the clergy in
full robes, headed by the archbishop, and bearing all the relics of the
church; among others, the shrine of St. Romain, which the criminal,
after having been reprimanded and absolved, but still kneeling, thrice
lifted, among the shouts of the populace, and then, with a garland upon
his head and the shrine in his hands, accompanied the clergy in
procession to the cathedral[56].--But the revolution happily consigned
the relics to their kindred dust, and put an end to a privilege
eminently liable to abuse, from the circumstance of the pardon being
extended, not only to the criminal himself, but to all his accomplices;
so that, an inferior culprit sometimes surrendered himself to justice,
in confidence of interest being made to obtain him the shrine, and thus
to shield under his protection more powerful and more guilty
delinquents. The various modifications, however, of latter times, had so
abridged its power, that it was at last only able to rescue a man guilty
of involuntary homicide[57]. We may hope, therefore, it was not
altogether deserving the hard terms bestowed upon it by Millin[58] who
calls it the most absurd, most infamous, and most detestable of all
privileges, and adduces a very flagrant instance of injustice committed
under its plea.--D'Alégre, governor of Gisors, in consequence of a
private pique against the Baron du Hallot, lord of the neighboring town
of Vernon, treacherously assassinated him at his own house, while he was
yet upon crutches, in consequence of the wounds received at the siege of
Rouen. This happened during the civil wars; in the course of which,
Hallot had signalized himself as a faithful servant, and useful
assistant to the monarch. The murderer knew that there were no hopes for
him of royal mercy; and, after having passed some time in concealment
and as a soldier in the army of the league, he had recourse to the
Chapter of the Cathedral of Rouen, from whom he obtained the promise of
the shrine of St. Romain. To put full confidence, however, even in this,
would, under such circumstances, have been imprudent. The clergy might
break their word, or a mightier power might interpose. D'Alégre,
therefore, persuaded a young mam, formerly a page of his, of the name of
Pehu, to surrender himself as guilty of the crime; and to him the
privilege was granted; under the sanction of which, the real culprit,
and several of his accomplices in the assassination, obtained a free
pardon. The widow and daughter of Hallot, in vain remonstrated: the
utmost that could be done, after a tedious law-suit, was to procure a
small fine to be imposed upon Pehu, and to cause him to be banished from
Normandy and Picardy and the vicinity of Paris. But regulations were in
consequence adopted with respect to the exercise of the privilege; and
the pardons granted under favor of it were ever afterwards obliged to be
ratified under the high seal of the kingdom.

The _Château du Vieux Palais_ and _le petit Château_ like the edifices
which I have already noticed, have equally yielded to time and violence.
M. Carpentier has furnished us with representations of both these
castles, drawn and etched by himself, in the _Itinerary of Rouen_. The
first of them has also been inaccurately figured by Ducarel, and
satisfactorily by Millin, in the second volume of his _Antiquités
Nationales_; where, to the pen of this most meritorious and
indefatigable writer, of whom, as of our Goldsmith, it may be justly
said, that "nullum ferè scribendi genus non tetigit, nullum quod tetigit
non ornavit," it affords materials for a curious memoir, blended with
the history of our own Henry Vth, and of Henry IVth, of France. The
castle was the work of the first of these sovereigns, and was begun by
him in 1420, two years after a seven months' siege had put him in
possession of the city, long the capital of his ancestors, and had thus
rendered him undisputed master of Normandy. This was an event worthy of
being immortalised; and it may easily be imagined that private feelings
had no little share in urging him to erect a magnificent palace,
intended at once as a safeguard for the town, and a residence for
himself and his posterity. The right to build it was an express article
in the capitulation he granted to Rouen, a capitulation of extreme
severity[59], and purchased at the price of three hundred thousand
golden crowns, as well as of the lives of three of the most
distinguished citizens; Robert Livret, grand-vicar of the archbishop,
John Jourdain, commander of the artillery, and Louis Blanchard, captain
of the train-bands. The two first of these were, however, suffered to
ransome themselves; the last, a man of distinguished honor and courage,
was beheaded; but Henry, much to his credit, made no farther use of his
victory, and even consented to pay for the ground required for his
castle. He selected for the purpose, the situation where, defence was
most needed, upon the extremity of the quay, by the side of the river,
near the entrance from Dieppe and Havre. A row of handsome houses now
fills the chief part of the space occupied by the building, which, at a
subsequent period, was again connected with English history[60], as the
residence of our James IInd, after the battle of La Hague; before his
spirit was yet sufficiently broken to suffer him to give up all thoughts
of the British crown, and to accept the asylum offered by Louis XIVth,
in the obscure tranquillity of Saint Germain's. It continued perfect
till the time of the revolution, and was of great extent and strength,
defended by massy circular towers, surrounded by a moat, and
approachable only by a draw-bridge.

The castle, which still remains to be described, and whose smaller size
is sufficiently denoted by its name, was also built by the same monarch,
but it was raised upon the ruins of a similar edifice that had existed
since the days of King John. Being situated at the foot of the bridge,
the older castle had been selected as the spot where it was stipulated
that the soldiers, composing the Anglo-Norman garrison, should lay down
their arms, when the town surrendered to Philip Augustus.--It was known
from very early time by the appellation of the _Barbican_, a term of
much disputed signification as well as origin: if we are to conclude,
according to some authorities, that it denoted either a mere
breast-work, or a watch-tower, or an appendage to a more important
fortress, it would appear but ill applied to a building like the one in
question. I should rather believe it designated an out-post of any kind;
and I would support my conjecture by this very castle, which was neither
upon elevated ground, nor dependent on any other. It consisted of two
square edifices, similar to what are called the _pavillions_ of the
Thuilleries, flanked by small circular towers with conical roofs, and
connected by an embattled wall. Not more than fifty years have passed
since its demolition; yet no traces of it are to be found.

A few rocky fragments, appearing now to bid defiance to time, indicate
the scite of the fortress, which once arose on the summit of Mont Ste.
Catherine, and which, though dismantled by Henry IVth, and reduced to a
state of dilapidation, was still suffered to maintain its ruined
existence till a few years ago. Its commanding situation, upon an
eminence three hundred and eighty feet high and immediately overhanging
the city, could not but render it of great importance towards the
defence of the place; and we accordingly find that Taillepied, who
probably wrote before its demolition, gives it as his opinion, that
whoever is in possession of Mont Ste. Catherine, is also master of the
town, if he can but have abundant supplies of water and provisions;--no
needless stipulation! At the same time, it must be admitted that the
fort was equally liable to be converted into the means of annoyance.
Such actually proved the case in 1562, at which time it was seized by
the Huguenots; and considerations of this nature most probably prevailed
with the citizens, when they declined the offer made by Francis Ist, who
proposed at a public meeting to enlarge the tower into an impregnable
citadel. In the hands of the Protestants, the fortress, such as it was,
proved sufficient to resist the whole army of Charles IXth, during
several days.--Rouen was stoutly defended by the reformed, well aware of
the sanguinary dispositions of the bigotted monarch. They yielded, and
he sullied his victory by giving the city up to plunder, during
twenty-four hours; and we are told, that it was upon this occasion he
first tasted heretical blood, with which, five years afterwards, he so
cruelly gorged himself on the day of St. Bartholomew. Catherine of
Medicis accompanied him to the siege; and it is related that she herself
led him to the ditches of the ramparts, in which many of their
adversaries had been buried, and caused the bodies to be dug up in his
presence, that he might be accustomed to look without horror upon the
corpse of a Protestant!

Near the fort stood a priory[61], whose foundation is dated as far back
as the eleventh century, when Gosselin, Viscount of Rouen, Lord of
Arques and Dieppe, having no son to inherit his wealth, was induced to
dispose of it "to pious uses," by the persuasions of two monks, who had
wandered in pilgrimage from the monastery of Saint Catherine, on Mount
Sinai. These good men assured him, that, if he dedicated a church to
the martyred daughter of the King of Alexandria, the stones employed in
building it would one day serve him as so many stepping-stones to
heaven. They confirmed him in his resolution, by presenting him with one
of the fingers of Saint Catherine. To her, therefore, the edifice was
made sacred, and hence it is believed that the hill also took its name.
In the _Golden Legend_, we find an account of the translation of the
finger to Rouen not wholly reconcileable with this history.--According
to the veracious authority of James of Voragine, there were certain
monks of Rouen, who journeyed even until the Arabian mountain. For seven
long years did they pray before the shrine of the Queen Virgin and
Martyr, and also did they implore her to vouchsafe to grant them some
token of her favor; and, at length, one of her fingers suddenly
disjointed itself from the dead hand of the corpse.--"This gift," as the
legend tells, "they received devoutly, and with it they returned to
their monastery at Rouen."--Never was a miracle less miraculous; and it
is fortunately now of little consequence to inquire whether the
mouldering relic enriched an older monastery, or assisted in bestowing
sanctity on a rising community. According to the pseudo-hagiologists,
the corpse of Saint Catherine was borne through the air by angels, and
deposited on the summit of Mount Sinai, on the spot where her church is
yet standing. Conforming, as it were, to the example of the angels, it
was usual, in the middle ages, to erect her religious buildings on an
eminence. Various instances may be given of this practice in England, as
well as in France: such is the case near Winchester, near
Christ-Church, in the Isle of Wight, and in many other places. St.
Michael contested the honor with her; and he likewise has a chapel here,
whose walls are yet standing. Its antiquity was still greater than that
of the neighboring monastery; a charter from Duke Richard IInd, dated
996, speaking of it as having had existence before his time, and
confirming the donation of it to the Abbey of St. Ouen. But St.
Michael's never rivalled the opulence of Saint Catherine's
priory.--Gosselin himself, and Emmeline his wife, lay buried in the
church of the latter, which is said to have been large, and to have
resembled in its structure that of St. Georges de Bocherville: it is
also recorded, that it was ornamented with many beautiful paintings; and
loud praises are bestowed upon its fine peal of bells. The epitaph of
the founder speaks of him, as--

    "Premier Autheur des mesures et poids
     Selon raison en ce päis Normand."

It is somewhat remarkable, that there appear to have been only two other
monumental inscriptions in the church, and both of them in memory of
cooks of the convent; a presumptive proof that the holy fathers were not
inattentive to the good things of this world, in the midst of their
concern for those of the next.--The first of them was for Stephen de
Saumere,--

    "Qui en son vivant cuisinier
     Fut de Révérend Pere en Dieu,
     De la Barre, Abbé de ce lieu."

The other was for--

    "Thierry Gueroult, en broche et en fossets
     Gueu très-expert pour les Religieux."

The fort and the religious buildings all perished nearly at the same
time: the former was destroyed at the request of the inhabitants, to
whom Henry IVth returned on that occasion his well-known answer, that he
"wished for no other fortress than the hearts of his subjects;" the
latter to gratify the avarice of individuals, who cloked their true
designs under the plea that the buildings might serve as a harbor for
the disaffected.

Of the origin of the fort I find no record in history, except what Noel
says[62], that it appears to have been raised by the English while they
were masters of Normandy; but what I observed of the structure of the
walls, in 1815, would induce me to refer it without much hesitation to
the time of the Romans. Its bricks are of the same form and texture as
those used by them; and they were ranged in alternate courses with
flints, as is the case at Burgh Castle, at Richborough, and other Roman
edifices in England. That the fort was of great size and strength is
sufficiently shewn by the depth, width, and extent of the entrenchments
still left, which, particularly towards the plain, are immense; and, if
credence may be given to common report, in such matters always apt to
exaggerate, the subterraneous passages indicate a fortress of
importance.

It chanced, that I visited the hill on Michaelmas-day, and a curious
proof was afforded me, that, at however low an ebb religion may be in
France, enthusiastic fanaticism is far from extinct. A man of the lower
classes of society was praying before a broken cross, near St. Michael's
Chapel, where, before the revolution, the monks of St. Ouen used
annually on this day to perform mass, and many persons of extraordinary
piety were wont to assemble the first Wednesday of every month to pray
and to preach, in honor of the guardian angels. His manner was earnest
in the extreme; his eyes wandered strangely; his gestures were
extravagant, and tears rolled in profusion down a face, whose every
feature bore the strongest marks of a decided devotee. A shower which
came at the moment compelled us both to seek shelter within the walls of
the chapel, and we soon became social and entered into conversation. The
ruined state of the building was his first and favorite topic: he
lamented its destruction; he mourned over the state of the times which
could countenance such impiety; and gradually, while he turned over the
leaves of the prayer-book in his hand, he was led to read aloud the
hundred and thirty-sixth psalm, commenting upon every verse as he
proceeded, and weeping more and more bitterly, when he came to the part
commemorating the ruin of Jerusalem, which he applied, naturally enough,
to the captive state of France, smarting as she then was under the iron
rod of Prussia. Of the other allies, including even the Russians, he
owned that there was no complaint to be made: "they conduct themselves,"
said he, "agreeably to the maxim of warfare, which says 'battez-vous
contre ceux qui vous opposent; mais ayez pitié des vaincus.' Not so the
Prussians: with them it is 'frappez-çà, frappez-là, et quand ils entrent
dans quelque endroit, ils disent, il nous faut çà, il nous faut là, et
ils le prennent d'autorité.' Cruel Babylon!"--"Yet, even admitting all
this," we asked, "how can you reconcile with the spirit of christianity
the permission given to the Jews by the psalmist, to 'take up her little
ones and dash them against the stones.'"--"Ah! you misunderstand the
sense, the psalm does not authorize cruelty;--mais, attendez! ce n'est
pas ainsi: ces pierres là sont Saint Pierre; et heureux celui qui les
attachera à Saint Pierre; qui montrera de l'attachement, de
l'intrépidité pour sa religion."--Then again, looking at the chapel,
with tears and sobs, "how can we expect to prosper, how to escape these
miseries, after having committed such enormities?"--His name, he told
us, was Jacquemet, and my companion kindly made a sketch of his face,
while I noted down his words.

This specimen will give you some idea of the extraordinary influence of
the Roman catholic faith over the mind, and of the curious perversions
under which it does not scruple to take refuge.

Leaving for the present the dusty legends of superstition, I describe
with pleasure my recollections of the glorious prospect over which the
eye ranges from the hill of Saint Catherine.--The Seine, broad, winding,
and full of islands, is the principal feature of the landscape. This
river is distinguished by its sinuosity and the number of islets which
it embraces, and it retains this character even to Paris. Its smooth
tranquillity well contrasts with the life that is imparted to the scene,
by the shipping and the bustle of the quays. The city itself, with its
verdant walks, its spacious manufactories, its strange and picturesque
buildings, and the numerous spires and towers of its churches, many of
them in ruins, but not the less interesting on account of their decay,
presents a foreground diversified with endless variety of form and
color. The bridge of boats seems immediately at our feet; the middle
distance is composed of a plain, chiefly consisting of the richest
meadows, interspersed copiously with country seats and villages
embosomed in wood; and the horizon melts into an undulating line of
remote hills.

Footnotes:

[49] _Farin, Histoire de Rouen_, I. p. 97.

[50] In a paper printed in the _Transactions of the Rouen Academy for
1818_, p. 177, it appears that, so late as 1789, a considerable portion
of very old walls was discovered under-ground; and that they consisted
very much of Roman bricks. Among them was also found a Roman urn, and
eighty or more medals of the same nation, but none of them older than
Antoninus.--From this it appears certain that Rouen was a Roman station,
though of its early history we have no distinct knowledge.

[51] These are the _Tour du Gascon_, _Tour du Donjon_, and _Tour de la
Pucelle_.

[52] _Histoire de Rouen_, I. p. 32.

[53] _Histoire de Rouen_, III. p. 34.

[54] It is also worth while to read the following details from
Bourgueville, (_Antiquités de Caen_, p. 33) whose testimony, as that of
an eye-witness to much of what he relates, is valuable:--"Ils ont le
Privilege Saint Romain en la ville de Rouen et Eglise Cathédrale du
lieu, au iour de l'Ascension nostre Seigneur de deliurer un prisonnier,
qui leur fut concedé par le Roy d'Agobert en memoire d'un miracle que
Dieu fist par saint Romain Archeuesque du lieu, d'auoir deliuré les
habitans d'un Dragon qui leur nuisoit en la forest de Rouuray pres
ladite ville: pour lequel vaincre il demanda à la justice deux
prisonniers dignes de mort, l'un meurtrier et l'autre larron: le larron
eut si grand frayeur qu'il s'enfuit, et le meurtrier demeura auecque ce
saint homme qui vainquit ce Serpent. C'est pourquoy l'on dit encore en
commun prouerbe, il est asseuré comme vn meurtrier. Ce privilege de
deliurance ne doit estre accordé aux larrons.--Saint Ouen successeur de
S. Romain, Chancelier dudit Roy d'Agobert viron l'an 655, impetra ce
priuilege: dont ie n'en deduiray en plus oultre les causes, pour ce
qu'elles sont assez communes et notoires, et feray seulement cest
aduertissement, qu'il y a danger que messieurs les Ecclesiastiques le
perdent, acause qu il s'y commet le plus souuent des abus, par ce qu'il
se doit donner en cas pitoyable et non par authorité ou faueurs de
seigneurs, comme aussi ne se doit estendre, sinon à ceux qui sont
trouuez actuellement prisonniers sans fraude, et non à ceux qui s'y
rendent le soir precedent comme estans asseurez d'obtenir ce priuilege,
combien qu'ils ayent commis tous crimes execrables et indignes d'un tel
pardon, voire et que les Ecclesiastiques n'ayent eu loisir d'avoir veu
et bien examinez leur procez. Aussi ce beau priuilege est enfraint en ce
que ceux qui l'obtiennent doiuent assister par sept annees suiuantes aux
processions au tour de la Fierte S. Romain, portant vne torche ardante
selon qu'il leur est chargé faire. Ce qui est de ceste heure trop
contemné: et tel mespris leur pourroit estre reproché comme indignes et
contempteurs d'vn tel pardon. Vn surnommé Saugrence pour auoir abusé
d'un tel priuilege fut quelque temps apres retrudé et puni de la peine
de la rouë pour auoir confesse des meurtres en agression pour sauuer
aucuns nobles ou nocibles qui les auoient commis.--Il s'est faict autres
fois et encore du temps de ma ieunesse de grands festins, danses,
mommeries ou mascarades audit iour de l'Ascension, tant par les
feturiers de ceste confrairie saint Romain que autres ieunes hommes auec
excessiues despences: et s'appelloit lors tel iour Rouuoysons, à cause
que les processions rouent de lieu en autre, et disoit l'on comme en
prouerbe, quand aucuns desbauchez declinoient de biens qu'ils auoient
fait Rouuoysons, à sçauoir perdu leurs biens en trop uoluptueuses
despenses et mommeries sur chariots, qui se faisoient de nuict par les
ruës quelque saison d'Esté qu'il fust, pour plus grandes magnificences."

[55] See _Gallia Christiana_, XI. p. 12.

[56] A minute and very curious account of the whole of this ceremony,
from the first claiming of the prisoner to his final deliverance, is
given in _Tuillepied's Antiquités de Rouen_, p. 79.

[57] _Noel, Essais sur le Département de la Seine Inférieure_, II. p.
228.

[58] _Antiquités Nationales_, II. No. 21 p. 3

[59] _Millin, Antiquités Nationales_, II. No. 20. p. 3.

[60] _Noel, Essais sur le Département de la Seine Inférieure_, II. p.
209

[61] _Farin, Histoire de Rouen_, V. p. 113.

[62] _Essais sur le Département de la Seine Inférieure_, II. p. 210.



LETTER IX.

ANCIENT ECCLESIASTICAL ARCHITECTURE--CHURCHES OF ST. PAUL AND ST.
GERVAIS--HOSPITAL OF ST. JULIEN--CHURCHES OF LERY, PAVILLY, AND
YAINVILLE.


(_Rouen, June_, 1818.)

We, _East Angles_, are accustomed to admire the remains of Norman
architecture, which, in our counties, are perhaps more numerous and
singular than in any other tract in England. The noble castle of
Blanchefleur still honors our provincial metropolis, and although
devouring eld hath impaired her charms and converted her into a very
dusky beauty, the fretted walls still possess an air of antique
magnificence which we seek in vain when we contemplate the towers of
Julius or the frowning dungeons of Gundulph. Our cathedral retains the
pristine character which was given to the edifice, when the Norman
prelate abandoned the seat of the Saxon bishop, and commanded the Saxon
clerks to migrate into the city protected or inclosed by the garrison of
his cognate conquerors. Even our villages abound with these monuments.
The humbler, though not less sacred structures in which the voice of
prayer and praise has been heard during so many generations, equally
bear witness to Norman art, and, I may say, to Norman piety; and when we
enter the sheltered porch, we behold the fantastic sculpture and varied
foliage, encircling the arch which arose when our land was ruled by the
Norman dynasty.

Comparatively speaking, Rouen is barren indeed of such relics. Its
military antiquities are swept away; and the only specimens of early
ecclesiastical architecture are found in the churches of St. Paul and
St. Gervais, both of them, in themselves, unimportant buildings, and
both so disfigured by subsequent alterations, that they might easily
escape the notice of any but an experienced eye. Of these, the first is
situated by the side of the road to Paris, under Mont Ste. Catherine,
yet, still upon an eminence, beneath which are some mineral springs,
that were long famous for their medicinal qualities, but have of late
years been abandoned, and the spa-drinkers now resort to others in the
quarter of the town called _de la Maréquerie_. Both the one and the
other are highly ferruginous, but the latter most strongly impregnated
with iron.

The chancel is the only ancient part of the present church of St.
Paul's, and even this must be comparatively modern, if any confidence
may be placed in the current tradition, that the building, in its
original state, was a temple of Adonis or of Venus, to both which
divinities the early inhabitants of Rouen are reported to have paid
peculiar homage. They were worshipped in vice and impurity[63]; nor were
the votaries deterred by the evil spirits who haunted the immediate
vicinity of the temple, and who gave rise to so fetid and infectious a
vapor, that it often proved fatal! This very remark seems to indicate
the scite of the church of St. Paul, with its neighboring sulphureous
waters. St. Romain demolished the temple, and dispersed the sinners.
Farin, in his _History of Rouen_[64], says, that the church was
repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt by the Norman Dukes, to some of whom,
the chancel, which is now standing, probably owes its existence. The
nave is evidently of much more modern construction: it is thrice the
width of the other part, from which it is separated by a circular arch.
The eastern extremity differs from that of any other church I ever saw
in Normandy or in England: it ends in three circular compartments, the
central considerably the largest and most prominent, and divided from
the others, which serve as aisles, by double arches, a larger and
smaller being united together. This triple circular ending is, however,
only observable without; for, in the interior, the southern part has
been separated and used as a sacristy; the northern is a lumber-room. In
the latter division, M. le Prevost desired us to notice a piece of
sculpture, so covered with dirt and dust that it could scarcely be seen,
but evidently of Roman workmanship, and, probably, of the fourth
century, if we may judge from its resemblance to some ornaments[65] upon
the pedestal of the obelisk raised by Theodosius, in the Hippodrome of
Constantinople. Our friend's conjecture is, that it had originally
served for an altar: perhaps it might, with equal probability, be
supposed to have been a tomb.--The corbels on the exterior of this
building are strange and fanciful.

[Illustration: Sculpture, supposed Roman, in the Church of St. Paul, at Rouen ]

St. Gervais also stands without the walls of Rouen; but at the opposite
end of the town, upon a hill adjoining the Roman road to Lillebonne, and
near the Mont aux Malades, a place so called, as having been selected in
the eleventh century, on account of the salubrity of its air, for the
situation of a monastery, destined for the reception of lepers. Upon
this eminence, the Norman Dukes had likewise originally a palace; and,
it was to this, that William the Conqueror caused himself to be
conveyed, when attacked with his mortal illness, after having wantonly
reduced the town of Mantes to ashes. Here, too, this mighty monarch
breathed his last, and left a sad warning to future conquerors, deserted
by his friends and physicians the moment he was no more; while his
menials plundered his property, and his body lay naked and neglected in
the hall[66].

The ducal palace, and the monastic buildings of the priory, once
connected with it, are now completely destroyed. Fortunately, however,
the church still remains, though parochial and in poverty. It preserves
some portions of the original structure, more interesting from their
features than their extent. The exterior of the apsis is very curious:
it is obtusely angular, and faced at the corners with large rude
columns, of whose capitals some are Doric or Corinthian, others as wild
as the fancies of the Norman lords of the country. None reach so high as
the cornice of the roof, it having been the intention of the original
architect, that a portion of work should intervene between the summit of
the capitals and this member. A capital to the north is remarkable for
the eagles carved upon it, as if with some allusion to Roman power. But
the most singular part of this church is the crypt under the apsis, a
room about thirty feet long by fourteen wide, and sixteen high, of
extreme simplicity, and remote antiquity. Round it runs a plain stone
bench; and it is divided into two unequal parts by a circular arch,
devoid of columns or of any ornament whatever, but disclosing, in the
composition of its piers, Roman bricks and other _débris_, some of them
rudely sculptured. Here, according to Ordericus Vitalis[67], was
interred the body of St. Mellonus, the first Archbishop of Rouen, and
one of the apostles of Neustria; and here, his tomb, and that of his
successor, Avitien, are shewn to this day, in plain niches, on opposite
sides of the wall. St. Mello's remains however, were not suffered to
rest in peace; for, about five hundred and seventy years after his
death, which happened in the year 314, they were removed to the castle
of Pontoise, lest the canonized corpse should be violated by the heathen
Normans. In the diocese of Rouen St. Mello is honored with particular
veneration; and the history of the prelates of the see contains many
curious, and not unedifying stories of the miracles he performed. His
feast, together with that of St. Nicasius, his companion, is celebrated
on the second of October; and their labors are commemorated with a hymn
appointed for their festival:--

    "Primæ vos canimus gentis apostolos,
     Per quos relligio tradita patribus;
     Errorisque jugo libera Neustria
         CHRISTO sub duce militat.

    "Facti sponte suis finibus exules
     Hùc de Romuleis sedibus advolant;
     Merces est operis, si nova consecrent
         Vero pectora Numini.

    "Qui se pro populis devovet hostiam
     Mellonus tacitâ se nece conficit;
     Mactatus celeri morte Nicasius
         Christum sanguine prædicat."

Heretics as we are, we ought not to refrain from respecting the zeal
even of a saint of the Catholic calendar, when thus exerted. Besides
which, he has another claim upon our attention: our own island gave him
birth, and he appeared at Rome as the bearer of the annual tribute of
the Britons, at the very time when he was converted to Christianity,
whose light he had afterwards the glory of diffusing over Neustria. The
existence of these tombs and the antiquity of the crypt, recorded as it
is by history and confirmed by the style of its architecture, have given
currency to the tradition, which points it out as the only temple where
the primitive Christians of Neustria dared to assemble for the
performance of divine service. Many stone coffins have also been
discovered in the vicinity of the church. These sarcophagi seem to
confirm the general tradition: they are of the simplest form, and
apparently as ancient as the crypt; and they were so placed in the
ground that the heads of the corpses were turned to the east, a position
denoting that the dead received Christian burial.

[Illustration: Circular Tower, attached to the Church of St. Ouen, at Rouen]

Another opportunity will be afforded me of speaking of the church of St.
Ouen; but, as a singular relic of Norman architecture, I must here
notice the round tower on the south side of the choir, probably part of
the original edifice, finished by the Abbot, William Balot, and
dedicated by the Archbishop Géoffroi, in 1126. It consists of two
stories, divided by a billetted moulding. Respecting its use it would
not now be easy to offer a probable conjecture: the history of the
abbey, indeed, mentions it under the title of _la Chambre des Clercs_,
and supposes that it was formerly a chapel[68]; but its shape and size
do not seem to confirm that opinion.

The chapel of the suppressed lazar-house of St. Julien, situated about
three miles from Rouen, on the opposite side of the Seine, is more
perfect than either St. Paul or St. Gervais, and, consequently, more
valuable to the architect. This building, without spire or tower, and
divided into three parts of unequal length and height, the nave, the
choir, and the circular apsis, externally resembles one of the meanest
of our parish-churches, such as a stranger, judging only from the
exterior, would be almost equally likely to consider as a place of
worship, or as a barn. It is, however, if I am not mistaken, one of the
purest and most perfect specimens of the Norman æra. I know of no
building in England, which resembles it so nearly as the chancel of
Hales Church, in Norfolk; but the latter has been exposed to material
alterations, while the chapel of which I am speaking is externally quite
regular in its design, being divided throughout its whole length into
small compartments, by a row of shallow buttresses rising from the
ground to the eaves of the roof, without any partition into splays.
Those on the south side are still in their primæval state; but a
buttress of a subsequent, though not recent, date, has been built up
against almost every one of the original buttresses on the north side,
by way of support to the edifice. Each division contains a single narrow
circular-headed window: beneath these is a plain moulding, continued
uninterruptedly over the buttresses as well as the wall, thus proving
both to be coeval; another plain moulding runs nearly on a level with
the tops of the windows, and takes the same circular form; but it is
confined to the spaces between the buttresses. There are no others. The
entrance was by circular-headed doors at the west end and south side,
both of them very plain; but particularly the latter. The few ornaments
of the western are as perfect and as sharp as if the whole were the work
of yesterday. This part of the church has, however, been exposed to
considerable injury, owing to its having joined the conventual
buildings, which were destroyed at the revolution. The inside is, like
the exterior, almost perfect, but it is very much more rich, uniting to
the common ornaments of Norman architecture, capitals, in some
instances, of classical beauty. The ceiling is covered with paintings of
scriptural subjects, which still remain, notwithstanding that the
building is now desecrated, and used as a woodhouse by the neighboring
farmer.

The date of the erection of the chapel is well ascertained[69]. The
hospital was founded in 1183, by Henry Plantagenet, as a priory for the
reception of unmarried ladies of noble blood, who were destined for a
religious life, and had the misfortune to be afflicted with leprosy. One
of their appellations was _filles meselles_, in which latter word, you
will immediately recognize the origin of our term for the disease still
prevalent among us, the _measles_. Johnson strangely derives this word
from _morbilli_; but the true northern roots have been given by Mr.
Todd, in his most valuable republication of our national dictionary; a
work which now deserves to be named after the editor, rather than the
original compiler. It may also be added, that the word was in common use
in the old Norman French, and was plainly intended to designate a slight
degree of scurvy.

To pursue this subject a few steps farther, Jamieson, who is as
excellent in points of etymology as Johnson is deficient, quotes, in his
Scottish Dictionary, an instance where the identical expression,
_meselle-houses_, is used in old English;

   "...to _meselle-houses_ of that same rond,
    Thre thousand mark unto ther spense he fond."
                                R. BRUNNE, p. 136.

The Norfolk farmers and dairy-maids tell us to this day of _measly
pork_: in Scotch, a leper is called a _mesel_; and, among the Swedes,
the word for measles is one nearly similar in sound, _mäss-ling_. The
French academy, however, have refused to admit _meselle_ to the honor of
a place in their language, because it was obsolete or vulgar in the time
of Louis XIIIth. The word is expressive, and no better one has supplied
its place; and we may suppose that it was introduced by the Norman
conquerors, and that it properly belongs to the Gothic tongues, in the
whole of which the root is to be found more or less modified. Instances
of this kind, and they are many, serve as additional proofs, if proofs
indeed were needed, of the common origin of the Neustrian Normans, of
the Lowland Scots, and of the Saxon and Belgian tribes, who peopled our
eastern shores of England.

The priory continued to be appropriated to its original purpose till
1366, when Charles Vth united it to the hospital, called the Magdalen,
at Rouen, upon condition that a mass should be celebrated there daily
for the repose of his soul. In the year 1600, on the destruction of the
abbey upon Mont Ste. Catherine, the monks of that establishment were
allowed to fix themselves at St. Julien; but they resigned it, after a
period of sixty-seven years, to the Carthusians of Gaillon, who,
incorporating themselves with their brethren of the same order at Rouen,
formed a very opulent community. The monastery, previously occupied by
the latter, was known by the poetical appellation of _la Rose de Notre
Dame_: indeed, it is thus termed in the charter of its foundation, dated
1384. But the situation was unhealthy, and the new comers had therefore
little difficulty in persuading its occupants to remove to the convent
of St. Julien, which they inhabited conjointly till the revolution. At a
very short period before that event, they had rebuilt the whole of the
priory with such splendor, that it was one of the most magnificent in
the neighborhood. But the edifice, which had then been scarcely raised,
was soon afterwards levelled with the ground. The foundations alone
attest the former extent of the buildings; and the park, now in a state
of utter neglect, their original importance.

Rouen, as I have observed, is scantily ornamented with remains of _real_
Norman architecture; for, even at the risk of a bull, we must deny that
title to the Norman edifices of the pointed style. Its vicinity,
however, furnishes a greater number of specimens, among which the
churched of _Léry_, of _Pavilly_, and of _Yainville_, are all of them
deserving of a visit from the diligent antiquary.

Léry is a village adjoining Pont-de-l'Arche: its church is cruciform,
having in the centre a low, massy, square tower, surmounted by a modern
spire. A row of plain Norman arches, intended only for ornament, runs
round the tower near the base, and over them on each side is a single
round-headed window. All the other windows of the building are of the
same construction, and this renders it probable that the east end, in
which there is also one of these windows, is really coeval with the rest
of the church; though, contrary to the usual plan of the Norman
churches, it is terminated by a straight wall instead of a semi-circular
apsis. The west front contains a rich Norman door-way, surmounted by
three windows of the same style, adjoining each other, with a triple row
of the chevron-ornament above them. The interior wears the appearance of
remote antiquity: the arches are without mouldings, the pillars without
bases, and the capitals are destitute of all ornamental sculpture. In
fact, these portions are nothing but rounded piers; and so obviously was
mere solid strength the aim of the architect, that their diameter is
fully equal to two-thirds of their height. A double row of pillars and
arches separates the nave into three parts, of unequal width; and
another arch of greater span, though equally plain, divides it from the
chancel. In St. Julien, we observe a most simple exterior, accompanied
by an interior of comparatively an ornamented style: here the case is
exactly the reverse; but in neither instance does there appear any
reason to doubt that the whole of the building is coeval. We shall be
driven, therefore, to admit, that any inferences respecting the æra of
architecture drawn merely from the comparative richness of the style,
must be considered of little weight, and that, even in those days, a
great deal depended upon the fancy of the patron or architect. Of the
real time of the erection of the church at Léry, there is no certain
knowledge. Topographers, however minute in other matters, seem in
general to have considered it beneath their dignity to record the dates
of parish-churches; though, as connected with the history of the arts,
such information is exceedingly valuable. Lauglois, who has given a
figure of the western front of this at Léry, refers it without any
hesitation to the time of the Carlovingian dynasty. But this opinion is
merely grounded on the resemblance of some of its capitals to those of
the pillars in the crypt at St. Denis; the best judges doubt whether
there is a single architectural line in that crypt, which can fairly be
referred to the reign of Charlemagne. Hence such a proof is entitled to
little attention; and On studying the style of the whole, and its
conformity with the more magnificent front of St. Georges de
Bocherville, it would seem most reasonable to regard them both as of
nearly the same æra, the time of the Norman Conquest. We may through
them be enabled to fix the date to a specimen of ancient architecture in
our own country, more splendid than these, the Church of Castle Rising,
whose west front is so much on the same plan, that it can scarcely have
been erected at a very different period.

Pavilly has considerably more to recommend it, as the "magni nominis
umbra" than either of the others; it having been the seat of an abbey
founded about the year 668, and named after Saint Austreberte, who first
presided over it. Here, too, we have the advantage of being able to
ascertain with greater precision the date of the building, which, in the
archives of the Chartreux at Rouen[70], is stated to have been
constructed about the conclusion of the eleventh century. The remains of
the monastery are not considerable: they consist of little more than a
ruined wall, containing three circular arches, evidently very ancient
from their simplicity and the style of their masonry, and some pillars
with capitals differing in ornament from any others I recollect, but
imitations of the Grecian, or rather attempts to improve upon it. The
inside of the parish-church is more interesting than the ruins of the
abbey. It is characterised, as you will observe in the annexed sketch,
by massy square piers, to each side of which are attached several small
clustered columns, intended merely for ornament. One of them is fluted,
the work, probably, of some subsequent time; and another, on the same
pier, is truncated, to afford a pedestal for the statue of a saint. The
capitals are without sculpture.

[Illustration: Interior of the Church at Pavilly]

The church at Yainville differs materially from either of the others:
its square low central tower is of far greater base than that of Léry:
the transept parts of the cross have been demolished; and, beyond the
tower, to the east, is only an addition that looks more like an apsis
than a choir, a small semi-circular building with a roof of a peculiarly
high pitch, like those of the stone-roofed chapels in Ireland, which, I
trust, I shall be able hereafter to convince you were undoubtedly of
Norman origin. But the most curious feature in this building is, that
one of the buttresses is pierced with a narrow lancet window; a decisive
proof, that the Normans regarded their buttresses as constituent parts
of the edifice at its original construction, and that they did not add
them at a subsequent time, or design them to afford support, in the
event of any unexpected failure of strength. Indeed, what are usually
called Norman buttresses, such as we find at Yainville, and at the
lazar-house at St. Julien, have so very small a projection, that they
seem much more designed to add ornament or variety than for any useful
purpose.--Yainville is a parish adjoining Jumieges, and was formerly
dependent upon the celebrated abbey there, which will furnish ample
materials for a future letter.

Footnotes:

[63] _Taillepied, Antiquités de Rouen_, p. 77.

[64] Vol. II. part V. p. 8.

[65] _Seroux d'Agincourt, Historie de la Décadence de l'Art_; plate 10,
_Sculpture_, fig. 4-7.

[66] _Du Moulin, Histoire Générale de Normandie,_ p. 236.

[67] _Duchesne, Scriptores Normanni_, p. 558.

[68] _Histoire de l'Abbaye de St. Ouen_, p. 188.

[69] _Farin, Histoire de Rouen_, V. p. 121

[70] _Description de la Haute Normandie_, II. p. 268.



LETTER X.

EARLY POINTED ARCHITECTURE--CATHEDRAL--EPISCOPAL PALACE.


(_Rouen, June_, 1818.)

In passing from the true Norman architecture, characterised "by the
circular arch, round-headed doors and windows, massive pillars with a
kind of regular base and capital, and thick walls without any very
prominent buttresses",[71] to those edifices which display the pointed
style, I shall enter into a more extensive field, and one where the
difficulty no longer lies in discovering, but in selecting objects for
observation and description.

The style which an ingenious author of our own country has designated as
_early English_[72], is by no means uncommon in Normandy. In both
countries, the circular style became modified into _Gothic_, by the same
gradations; though, in Normandy, each gradation took place at an earlier
period than amongst us. The style in question forms the connecting link
between edifices of the highest antiquity, and those of the richest
pointed architecture; combined in some instances principally with the
peculiarities of the former, in others with the character of the latter:
generally speaking, it assimilates itself to both. The simplicity of the
principal lines betray its analogy to its predecessors; whilst the form
of the arch equally displays the approach of greater beauty and
perfection.

Of this æra, the cathedral[73] of Rouen is unquestionably the most
interesting building; and it is so spacious, so grand, so noble, so
elegant, so rich, and so varied, that, as the Italians say of Raphael,
"ammirar non si può che non s'onori."--By an exordium like this, I am
aware that an expectation will be raised, which it will be difficult for
the powers of description to gratify; but I have still felt that it was
due to the edifice, to speak of it as I am sure it deserves, and rather
to subject myself to the charge of want of ability in describing, than
of want of feeling in the appreciation of excellence.

The west front opens upon a spacious _parvis_, to which it exposes a
width of one hundred and seventy feet, consisting of a centre, flanked
by two towers of very dissimilar form and architecture, though of nearly
equal height. Between these is seen the spire, which rises from the
intersection of the cross, and which, from this point of view, appears
to pierce the clouds; and these masses so combine themselves together,
that the entire edifice assumes a pyramidical outline. The French, who,
without any real affection for ancient architecture, are often
extravagant in their praises, regard this spire as a "chef d'oeuvre de
hardiesse, d'élégance, et de légèreté." Bold and light it certainly is;
but we must pause before we consider it as elegant: the lower part is a
combination of very clumsy Roman pediments and columns; and, as it is
constructed of wood, the material conveys an idea of poverty and
comparative meanness.--It is commonly said in France, that the portal of
Rheims, joined to the nave of Amiens, the choir of Beauvais, and the
tower of Chartres, would make a perfect church; nor is it to be denied
that each of these several cathedrals surpasses Rouen in its peculiar
excellence; but each is also defective in other respects; so that Rouen,
considered as a whole, is perhaps equal, if not superior, to any. The
front is singularly impressive: it is characterised by airy
magnificence. Open screens of the most elegant tracery, and filled, like
the pannels to which they correspond, with imagery, range along the
summit. The blue sky shines through the stone filagree, which appears to
be interwoven like a slender web; but, when you ascend the roof, you
find that it is composed of massy limbs of stone, of which the edge
alone is seen by the observer below. This _free_ tracery is peculiar to
the pointed architecture of the continent; and I cannot recollect any
English building which possesses it. The basement story is occupied by
three wide door-ways, deep in retiring mouldings and pillars, and filled
with figures of saints and martyrs, "tier behind tier, in endless
perspective." The central portal, by far the largest, projects like a
porch beyond the others, and is surmounted by a gorgeous pyramidal
canopy of open stone-work, in whose centre is a great dial, the top of
which partly conceals the rose window behind. This portal, together with
the niches above on either side, all equally crowded with bishops,
apostles, and saints, was erected at the expence of the cardinal,
Georges d'Amboise, by whom the first stone was laid, in 1509[74].

The lateral door-ways are of a different style of architecture, and,
though obtusely pointed, are supposed to be of the eleventh century: a
plain and almost Roman circular arch surmounts the southern one. Over
each of the entrances is a curious bas-relief: in the centre is
displayed the genealogical tree of Christ; the southern contains the
Virgin Mary surrounded by a number of saints; the northern one, the most
remarkable[75] of all, affords a representation of the feast given by
Herod, which ended in the martyrdom of the Baptist. Salomè, daughter of
Herodias, plays, as she ought to do, the principal character. The group
is of good sculpture, and curiously illustrative of the costumes and
manners of the times. Salomè is seen dancing in an attitude, which
perchance was often assumed by the _tombesteres_ of the elder day; and
her position affords a graphical comment upon the Anglo-Saxon version of
the text, in which it is said that she "_tumbled_", before King Herod.
The bands or pilasters (if we may so call them) which ornament the jambs
of the door-ways, are crowned with graceful foliage in a very pure
style; and the pedestals of the lateral pillars are boldly underworked.

On the northern side of the cathedral is situated the cloister-court.
Only a few arches of the cloister now remain; and it appears, at least
on the eastern side, to have consisted of a double aisle. Here we view
the most ancient portion of the tower of Saint Romain.--There is a
peculiarity in the position of the towers of this cathedral, which I
have not observed elsewhere. They flank the body of the church, so as to
leave three sides free; and hence the spread taken by the front of the
edifice, when the breadth of the towers is added to the breadth of the
nave and aisles. The circular windows of the tower which look in the
court, are perhaps to be referred to the eleventh century; and a smaller
tower affixed against the south side, containing a stair-case and
covered by a lofty pyramidical stone roof, composed of flags cut in the
shape of shingles, may also be of the same æra. The others, of the more
ancient windows, are in the early pointed style; and the portion from
the gallery upwards is comparatively modern; having been added in 1477.
The roof, I suppose, is of the sixteenth century.

The southern tower is a fine specimen of the pointed architecture in its
greatest state of luxuriant perfection, enriched on every side with
pinnacles and statues. It terminates in a beautiful octagonal crown of
open stone-work.--Legendary tales are connected with both the towers:
the oldest borrows its name from St. Romain, by whom chroniclers tell us
that it was built; the other is called the _Tour de Beurre_, from a
tradition, that the chief part of the money required for its erection
was derived from offerings given by the pious or the dainty, as the
purchase for an indulgence granted by Pope Innocent VIIIth, who, for a
reasonable consideration, allowed the contributors to feed upon butter
and milk during Lent, instead of confining themselves, as before, to oil
and lard.--The archbishop, Georges d'Amboise, consecrated this tower, of
which the foundation was laid in 1485; and he had the satisfaction of
living to see it finished, in 1507, after twenty-two years had been
employed in the building.

The cardinal was so truly delighted by the beauty of the structure,
which had arisen under his auspices, that he determined to grace it with
the largest bell in France; and such was afterwards cast at his
expence.--Even Tom of Lincoln could scarcely compete with Georges
d'Amboise; for thus the bell was duly christened. It weighed
thirty-three thousand pounds; its diameter at the base was thirty feet;
its height was ten feet; and thirty stout and sweating bell-ringers
could hardly put it into swing.--Such was the importance attached to the
undertaking, that it was thought worthy of a religious ceremony. At the
appointed hour for casting the bell, the clergy paraded in full
procession round the church, to implore the blessing of heaven upon the
work; and, when the signal was given that the glowing metal had filled
the enormous mould, _Te Deum_ resounded as with one voice; the organ
pealed, the trombones and clarions sounded, and all the other bells in
the cathedral joined, as loudly and as sweetly as they could, in
announcing the birth of their prouder brother.--The remainder of the
story is of a different complexion:--The founder, Jean le Machon, of
Chartres, died from excess of joy, and was buried in the nave of the
cathedral, where Pommeraye[76] tells us the tomb existed in his time;
with a bell engraved upon it, and the following epitaph:--

        "Cy-dessous gist Jean le Machon
     De Chartres homme de façon
     Lequel fondit Georges d'Amboise
     Qui trente six mille livres poise
     Mil cinq cens un jour d'Aoust deuxième
     Puis mourut le vingt et unième."

Nor was this the only misfortune; for, after all, this great bell
proved, like a great book, a great nuisance: the sound it uttered was
scarcely audible; and, at last, in an attempt to render it vocal, upon a
visit paid by Louis XVIth to Rouen in 1786, it was cracked[77]. It
continued, however, to hang, a gaping-stock to children and strangers,
till the revolution, in 1793, caused it to be returned to the furnace,
whence it re-issued in the shape of cannon and medals, the latter
commemorating the pristine state of the metal with the humiliating
legend, "monument de vanité détruit pour l'utilité[78]."

Some of the clerestory windows on the northern side of the nave are
circular: the tracery which fills them, and the mouldings which surround
them, belong to the pointed style; the arches may therefore have been
the production of an earlier architect. The windows of the nave are
crowned by pediments, each terminating, not with a pinnacle, but with a
small statue. The pediments over the windows of the choir are larger
and bolder, and perforated as they rise above the parapet; the members
of the mouldings are full, and produce a fine effect.

The northern transept is approached through a gloomy court, once
occupied by the shops of the transcribers and caligraphists, the
_libraires_ of ancient times, and from them it has derived its name. The
court is entered beneath a gate-way of beautiful and singular
architecture, composed of two lofty pointed arches of equal height,
crowned by a row of smaller arcades. On each side are the walls of the
archiepiscopal palace, dusky and shattered, and desolate; and the vista
terminates by the lofty _Portal of St. Romain_; for it is thus the great
portal of the transept is denominated. The oaken valves are bound with
ponderous hinges and bars of wrought iron, of coeval workmanship. The
bars are ornamented with embossed heads, which have been hammered out of
the solid metal. The statues which stood on each side of the arch-way
have been demolished; but the pedestals remain. These, as well as other
parts of the portal, are covered with sculptured compartments, or
medallions, in high preservation, and of the most singular character.
They exhibit an endless variety of fanciful monsters and animals, of
every shape and form, mermaids, tritons, harpies, woodmen, satyrs, and
all the fabulous zoology of ancient geography and romance; and each
spandril of each quatrefoil contains a lizard, a serpent, or some other
worm or reptile. They have all the oddity, all the whim, and all the
horror of the pencil of Breughel. Human groups and figures are
interspersed, some scriptural, historical, or legendary; others mystical
and allegorical. Engravings from these medallions would form a volume
of uncommon interest. Two lofty towers ornament the transept, such as
are usually seen only at the western front of a cathedral. The upper
story of each is perforated by a gigantic window, divided by a single
mullion, or central pillar, not exceeding one foot in circumference, and
nearly sixty feet in height. These windows are entirely open, and the
architect never intended that they should be glazed. An extraordinary
play of light and shade results from this construction. The rose window
in the centre of the transept is magnificent: from within, the painted
glass produces the effect of a kaleidoscope.--The pediment or gable of
this transept was materially injured by a storm, in 1638, one hundred
and thirty years after it was completed; and the damage was never
restored.

The southern transept bears a near resemblance to that which I have
already described; but it was originally richer in its ornaments, and it
still preserves some of its statues. Here the medallions relate chiefly
to scripture-history; but the sculpture is greatly corroded by the
weather, and the more delicate parts are nearly obliterated; besides
which, as well here, as at the other entrances, the Calvinists, in 1562,
and, more recently, the Revolutionists, have been most mischievously
destructive, mutilating and decapitating without mercy. The spirit,
indeed, of the French reformers, bore a near resemblance to the
proceedings of John Knox and his brethren: the people embraced the new
doctrine with turbulent violence. There was in it nothing moderate,
nothing gradual: it was not the regular flow of public opinion,
undermining abuses, and bringing them slowly to their fall; but it was
the thunderbolt, which--

    "In sua templa furit, nullâque exire vetante
     Materiâ, magnamque cadens magnamque revertens
     Dat stragem latè sparsosque recolligit ignes."

Among the legends recorded on the southern portal, or the _Portail de la
Calende_, is that of the corn-merchant; the confiscation of whose
property paid, as the chronicles tell us, for the erection of this
beautiful entrance. He himself, if we may believe the same authority,
was hanged in the street opposite to it, in consequence of having been
detected in the use of false measures.

The original Lady-Chapel, at the east end of the cathedral, was taken
down in 1302. The present, which is considerably more spacious, is
chiefly of a date immediately subsequent. Part, however, was built in
1430, when new and larger windows were inserted throughout the church;
whilst other parts were not finished till 1538, at which time the
Cardinal Georges d'Amboise restored the roof of the choir, which had
been injured in 1514, by the destruction of the spire.

The square central tower, which is low and comparatively plain, is the
work of the year 1200. It is itself more ancient than would be supposed
from the character of its architecture; but it occupies the place of one
of still greater antiquity, which was materially damaged in 1117, when
the original spire of the church was struck by lightning. This first
spire was of stone, but was replaced by another of wood, which, as I
have just mentioned, was also destroyed at the beginning of the
sixteenth century. A fire, arising from the negligence of plumbers
employed to repair the lead-work, was the cause of its ruin.--To remedy
the misfortune, recourse was had to extraordinary efforts: the King
contributed twelve thousand francs; the chapter a portion of their
revenue and their plate; collections were made throughout the kingdom;
and Leo Xth authorised the sale of indulgences, a measure, which, at
nearly the same period, in its more extensive adoption for the building
of St. Peter's at Rome, shook the Papacy to its foundation. The spire
thus raised, the second of wood, but the third in chronological order,
is the one which is now in existence. It was, like its predecessor,
endangered by the carelessness of the plumbers, in 1713; but it does not
appear to have required any material reparations till ten years ago,
when a sum of thirty thousand francs was expended upon it.

From what has already been said, you will not have failed to observe
that this cathedral is the work of so many different periods, that it
almost contains within itself a history of pointed architecture. To
attempt a labored description of it were idle: minute details of any one
of the portals would fill a moderate volume; and a quarto of seven
hundred pages, from which I have borrowed most of my dates, has already
been written upon the subject by a Benedictine Monk of the name of
Pommeraye, who also published the history of the Archbishops of the
See[79].

The first church at Rouen was built about the year 270: three hundred
and thirty years subsequently, this edifice was succeeded by another,
the joint work of St. Romain and St. Ouen, which was burned in the
incursions of the Normans, about the year 842. Fifty years of Paganism
succeeded; at the expiration of which period, Rollo embraced the faith
of Christ, and Rouen saw once more within its walls, by the munificence
and piety of the conqueror, a place of Christian worship. Richard Ist,
grandson of this duke, and his son Robert, the archbishop, enlarged the
edifice in the middle of the tenth century; but it was still not
completed till 1063, when, according to Ordericus Vitalis, it was
dedicated by the Archbishop Maurilius with great pomp, in the presence
of William, Duke of Normandy, and the bishops of the province. Of this
building, however, notwithstanding what is said by Ducarel[80] and other
authors, it is certain that nothing more remains than the part of St.
Romain's tower, just noticed, and possibly two of the western entrances;
though the present structure is believed to occupy the same spot.

To the honor of the spirit and good feeling of the inhabitants of Rouen,
this church is one of those that suffered least in the outrages of the
year 1793. Its dimensions, in French feet, are as follows:--

                                        FEET.

    Length of the interior.............. 408
    Width of ditto....................... 83
    Length of nave...................... 210
    Width of nave........................ 27
    Ditto of aisles...................... 15
    Length of choir..................... 110
    Width of ditto....................... 35-1/2
    Ditto of transept.................... 25-1/2
    Length of ditto..................... 164
    Ditto of Lady-Chapel................. 88
    Width of ditto....................... 28
    Height of spire..................... 380
    Ditto of towers at the west end..... 230
    Ditto of nave........................ 84
    Ditto of aisles and chapels.......... 42
    Ditto of interior of central tower.. 152
    Depth of chapels..................... 10

Four clustered pillars support the central tower, each of which is
thirty-eight feet in circumference; the rest, of which there are
forty-four in the nave and choir, those in the former clustered, the
others circular, are less by one-third. The windows amount in number to
one hundred and thirty-three; the chapels to twenty-five. Most of the
latter were fitted up during the minority of Louis XIVth, with wreathed
columns, entwined with foliage, the style in vogue in the seventeenth
century. In the farthest of these chapels, upon the south side, is the
tomb of Rollo, first Duke of Normandy; in the opposite chapel, that of
his son and successor, William Longue-Epeé, who was treacherously
murdered at Pecquigny, in 944, during a conference with Arnoul, Count of
Flanders.

[Illustration: Monumental Figure of Rollo, in Rouen Cathedral]

The effigies of both these princes still remain placed upon sarcophagi,
under plain niches in the wall. They are certainly not contemporary
with the persons which they represent, but are probably productions of
the thirteenth century, to which period Mr. Stothard, from whose
judgment few will be disposed to appeal, refers the greater part of what
are called the most ancient in the _Musée des Monumens Français_. At the
same time, they may possibly have been copied from others of earlier
date; and I therefore send you a slight sketch of the figure of Rollo.
Even imaginary portraits of celebrated men are not without their value:
we are interested by seeing how they have been conceived by the
artist.--Above the statue is the following inscription:--

     HIC POSITUS EST
     ROLLO,
     NORMANNIÆ A SE TERRITÆ, VASTATÆ,
     RESTITUTÆ,
     PRIMUS DUX, CONDITOR, PATER,
     A FRANCONE ARCHIEP. ROTOM.
     BAPTIZATUS ANNO DCCCCXIII,
     OBIIT ANNO DCCCCXVII.
     OSSA IPSIUS IN VETERI SANCTUARIO,
     NUNC CAPITE NAVIS, PRIMUM CONDITA,
     TRANSLATO ALTARI, HIC COLLOCATA
     SUNT A B. MAURILIO ARCHIEP. ROTOM.
     ANNO MLXIII.

Two other epitaphs in rhyming Latin, which were previously upon his
tomb, are recorded by various authors: the first of them began with the
three following lines--

     DUX NORMANNORUM, CUNCTORUM NORMA BONORUM,
     ROLLO FERUS FORTIS, QUEM GENS NORMANNICA MORTIS
     INVOCAT ARTICULO, CLAUDITUR HOC TUMULO.

Over William Longue-Epeé is inscribed--

     HIC POSITUS EST
     GULIELMUS DICTUS LONGA SPATHA,
     ROLLONIS FILIUS,
     DUX NORMANNIÆ,
     PREDATORIE OCCISUS DCCCCXXXXIV.

with an account of the removal of his bones, exactly similar to the
concluding part of his father's epitaph.

The perspective on first entering the church is very striking: the eye
ranges without interruption, through a vista of lofty pillars and
pointed arches, to the splendid altar in the Lady-Chapel, which forms at
once an admirable termination to the building and the prospect. The high
altar in the choir is plain and insulated. No other praise can be given
to the screen, except that it does not interrupt the view; for surely it
was the very consummation of bad taste to place in such an edifice, a
double row of eight modern Ionic pillars, in white marble, with the
figures of Hope and Charity between them, surmounted by a crucifix,
flanked on either side with two Grecian vases.

The interior falls upon the eye with boldness and regularity, pleasing
from its proportions, and imposing from its magnitude. The arches which
spring from the pillars of the aisles, are surmounted by a second row,
occupying the space which is usually held by the triforium: the vaulted
roof of the aisles runs to the level of the top of this upper tier. This
arrangement, which is found in other Norman churches, is almost peculiar
to these; and in England it has no parallel, except in the nave of
Waltham Abbey. Within the aisle you observe a singular combination of
small pillars, attached to the columns of the nave: they stand on a
species of bracket, which is supported by the abacus of the capital;
and they spread along the spandrils of the arches on either side. These
pillars support a kind of entablature, which takes a triangular plan.
The whole bears a near resemblance to the style of the Byzantine
architecture. Above the second row of arches are two rows of galleries.
The story containing the clerestory windows crowns the whole; so that
there are five horizontal divisions in the nave.--I give these details,
because they indicate the decided difference of order which exists
between the Norman and the English Gothic; a difference for which I have
not been able to assign any satisfactory cause.

The tombs that were originally in the choir, commemorating Charles Vth,
of France; Richard Coeur de Lion; his elder brother, Henry; and William,
son of Geoffrey Plantagenet, were all removed in 1736, as interfering
with the embellishments then in contemplation. The first of them alone
was preserved and transferred to the Lady-Chapel, where it has
subsequently fallen a victim to the revolution. The others are wholly
destroyed; nor could Ducarel find even a fragment of the effigies that
had been upon them; but engravings of these had fortunately been
preserved by Montfaucon[81], from whom he has copied them. The monument
of the celebrated John of Lancaster, third son of our Henry IVth, better
known as the Regent Duke of Bedford, had been previously annihilated by
the Calvinists. Lozenge-shaped slabs of white marble, charged with
inscriptions, were inserted in the pavement over the spots that contain
the remains of the princes, and they have been suffered to continue
uninjured through the succeeding tumults. On the right of the altar,
you read,--

     COR
     RICHARDI, REGIS ANGLIÆ,
     NORMANNIÆ DUCIS,
     COR LEONIS DICTI.
     OBIIT ANNO
     MCXCIX.

On the opposite side:--

     HIC JACET
     HENRICUS JUNIOR,
     RICHARDI, REGIS ANGLIÆ,
     COR LEONIS DICTI, FRATER.
     OBIIT ANNO
     MCLXXXIII.

And in the choir behind the altar:--

     AD DEXTRUM ALTARIS LATUS
     JACET
     JOHANNES, DUX BEDFORDI,
     NORMANNIÆ PROREX.
     OBIIT ANNO
     MCCCCXXXV.

Of Prince William nothing is said; it was found, upon opening his place
of sepulture, that he had not been interred here.--Richard strangely
received a triple funeral. In obedience to his wishes, his heart was
buried at Rouen, while his body was carried to Fontevraud, and his
entrails were deposited in the church of Chaluz, where he was
killed:--this division is commemorated in the quaint, yet energetic
lines, which are said to have been inscribed upon his tomb:--

     VISCERA CARCEOLUM, CORPUS FONS SERVAT EBRARDI,
       ET COR ROTOMAGUM, MAGNE RICHARDE, TUUM.
     IN TRIA DIVIDITUR UNUS QUI PLUS FUIT UNO;
       NEC SUPEREST UNI GLORIA TANTA VIRO.

Richard neither withheld his gifts nor his protection from the
metropolitan church; and, after his death, the chapter inclosed the
heart of their benefactor in a shrine of silver. But a hundred and fifty
years subsequently, the shrine was despoiled, and the precious metal was
melted into ingots, forming a portion of the ransom which redeemed St.
Louis from the fetters of his Saracen conqueror.

Henry the younger, who was crowned King of England during the life-time
of his father, against whom he subsequently revolted, also requested on
his death-bed, that his body might be interred in this church; and his
directions were obeyed, though not without much difficulty; for the
chapter of the cathedral of Mans, where his servants rested with the
body _in transitu_, seized and buried it there; nor did those of Rouen
recover the corpse, without application to the Pope and to the King his
father.

A tablet of black marble, affixed to one of the pillars of the nave,
contains the following interesting memorial:

     IN MEDIA NAVI,
     E REGIONE HUJUS COLUMNÆ,
     JACET
     BEATÆ MEM. MAURILIUS,
     ARCHIEP. ROTOM. AN. MLV.
     HANC BASILICAM PERFECIT
     CONSECRAVITQUE ANNO MLXIII.
     VIX NATOS BERENGARII ERRORES
     IN PROX. CONCIL. PRÆFOCAVIT.
     PLENUS MERITIS OBIIT ANN. MLXVII.
     HOC PONTIF. NORMANNI,
     GULIELMO DUCE, ANGLIA POTITI SUNT
     ANNO MLXVI.

[Illustration: Monumental Figure of an Archbishop, in Rouen Cathedral]

In the northern aisle of the choir, there still exists a curious
monument, in an injured state indeed, but well deserving of attention,
from its antiquity. It has been referred by tradition to Maurice, or
William of Durefort, both of them archbishops of Rouen, and buried in
the cathedral, the former in 1237, the latter in 1331; but the recumbent
figure upon it seems of a yet more distant date. It differs in several
respects from any that I have seen in England[82]. The tomb is in the
wall, behind a range of pillars, which form a kind of open screen round
the apsis. Below the effigy, it is decorated with a row of whole-length
figures of saints, much mutilated: the circular part above is lined with
angels, a couple of whom are employed in conveying the soul of the
deceased in a winding-sheet to heaven[83].

[Illustration: Monument of an Archbishop]

The Lady-Chapel contains two monuments of great merit, and which,
considered as specimens of matured art, have now no rivals in Normandy;
for both owe their origin to a period of refinement and splendor. The
sepulchre raised over the bodies of the two Cardinals of Amboise,
successively Archbishops of Rouen, towers on the southern side of the
chapel. The statues of the cardinals are of white marble. The prelates
appear kneeling in prayer; and the following inscription, engraved in a
single line, and not divided into verses, is placed beneath them:--

     PASTOR ERAM CLERI, POPULI PATER, AUREA SESE
     LILIA SUBDEBANT QUERCUS[84] ET IPSA MIHI.
     MORTUUS EN JACEO, MORTE EXTINGUUNTUR HONORES;
     AT VIRTUS MORTIS NESGIA MORTE VIRET.

Immediately behind the cardinals are figures of patron saints; a centre
tablet represents St. George and the Dragon; above are the apostles;
below, the seven cardinal virtues. The execution of these is
particularly admired, especially that of the figure of Prudence; but a
row of still smaller figures, in devotional attitudes, carved upon the
pilasters between the virtues, are in higher taste. Various arabesques
in basso-relievo, of great beauty, and completely in the style of the
_Loggie_ of Raphael, adorn the other parts of this sumptuous tomb.--As a
whole it is unquestionably grand, and it is yet farther valuable as an
illustration of the gorgeous taste that prevailed at the end of the
fifteenth century; but the mixture of black and white marble and gilding
has by no means a good effect, and every part is overloaded with
ornaments[85]. These, however, are the faults of the times: its merits
are its own.

On the north side of the chapel is entombed the Duke of Brezé, once
Grand Seneschal of Normandy; his tomb is chaste and simple, forming a
pleasing contrast to the elaborate memorial of the cardinals. The statue
of the seneschal himself, represented stretched as a corpse, upon a
black marble sarcophagus, is admirable for its execution. The rigid
expression of death is visible, not only in the countenance, but extends
through every limb. Diana of Poitiers, a beauty who enjoys more
celebrity than good fame, erected the monument; and she caused her
statue to be placed on the tomb, where she is seen kneeling and
contemplating. In the following inscription she promises to be as
faithful and united to him after his death as she was while they both
lived: and she truly kept her word; for, during his life-time, she was
grievously suspected of infidelity[86], and she subsequently lived in
an open state of concubinage with Henry IInd, and was at last buried at
her own celebrated residence at Anet, twenty leagues from her husband.--

     HOC, LODOICE, TIBI POSUI, BREZÆE, SEPULCHRUM,
     PICTONIS AMISSO MOESTA DIANA VIRO;
     INDIVULSA TIBI QUONDAM ET FIDISSIMA CONJUX,
     UT FUIT IN THALAMO, SIC ERIT IN TUMULO.

A second female figure on the tomb, with a child in her arms, has been
supposed intended to represent the nurse of the duke; as if the design
of the sculptor had been to read a lesson to mortality, by exhibiting
the warrior in the helplessness of infancy, in the vigor of manhood, and
as a breathless corpse. Some persons, however, consider it as a
personification of Charity; others suppose that it represents the Virgin
Mary. In the midst was originally an erect statue of De Brezé, decorated
with the various symbols of his dignities; but this sinned beyond the
hope of redemption against the doctrines of liberty and equality, and it
was accordingly removed at the time of the revolution, together with two
inscriptions. One of them, which detailed his honors, with the addition
that he died July twenty-third, 1531, has recently been recovered by the
care of M. Riaux, and is restored to its place. The other inscription
and the effigy, it is feared, are irrevocably lost. An equestrian statue
in the upper part of the monument was suffered to remain, and, as a
record of the military costume of the sixteenth century, I annex a
sketch of it. The armorial hearings upon the horse and armor are nearly
obliterated.--The pile is surmounted a figure of Temperance; the bridle
in whose mouth shews how absurd is allegory, when "submitted to the
faithful eye."

[Illustration: Equestrian Figure of the Seneschal de Brezé, in Rouen Cathedral]

Lenoir, who, in his work on the _Musée des Monumens Français_, has
treated much at large of the history of Diana of Poitiers, and has
figured her own beautiful mausoleum, which he had the merit of rescuing
from destruction, pronounces[87] this monument to be from the hand of
Jean Cousin, one of the most able sculptors of the French school.

Over the altar in the Lady-Chapel is the only good painting in the
cathedral, the _Adoration of the Shepherds_, by Philip de Champagne, a
solid, well-colored, and well-grouped picture. Two cherubs in the air
are excellently conceived and drawn: the whole is lighted from the
infant Christ in the cradle, a _concetto_, which has been almost
universally adopted, since the time when Corregio painted his celebrated
_Notte_, now at Dresden.

There is no great quantity of painted glass in the church, but much of
it is of good quality. The windows of the choir, on either side of the
Lady-Chapel, are as rich as a profusion of brilliant colors can make
them; but the figures are so small, and so crowded, that the subjects
cannot be traced. They are said to be the work of the thirteenth
century. The painted windows in St. Stephen's chapel, of the sixteenth
century, are generally considered the best in the cathedral. I own,
however, that I should give the preference to those in the chapel of
St. Romain, in the south transept. One of them is filled with
allegorical representations of the virtues of the archbishop; another
with his miracles: every part is distinct and clear, and executed with
great force and great minuteness. The vestments of the saint have all
the delicacy of miniature-painting.

The library of the cathedral, formerly one of the richest in France,
disappeared during the revolution; but the noble room which contained
it, one hundred feet long, by twenty-five feet wide, still remains
uninjured; as does the door which led into it from the northern
transept, and which continues to this day to bear the inscription,
_Bibliotheca_. The staircase, communicating with this door, is delicate
and beautiful. The balustrades are of the most elegant filagree; and it
has all the boldness and lightness which peculiarly characterise the
French Gothic. Its date being well ascertained, we may note it as an
architectural standard. It was erected by the archbishop, Cardinal
d'Etouteville, about the year 1460, thirty or forty years subsequently
to the building of the room.

Respecting the contents of the sacristy, I can say little from my own
knowledge; but I find by Pommeraye, that, before the revolution, it
boasted of a large silver image of the Virgin, endued with peculiar
sanctity, a few drops of her milk, and a portion of her hair[88]; a
splinter of the true cross, set in gold, studded with pearls,
sapphires, and turquoises; and reliques of saints without number. Now,
however, it appears, that of all its treasures, it has preserved little
else except the shrine of St. Romain, and another known by the general
name of _Chasse des Saints_. The former is two feet six inches long, and
one foot nine inches high, and is of handsome workmanship, with a
variety of figures on the sides, and St. Romain himself at the top.
Formerly it was supposed to be made of gold; now I was assured by one of
the canons, that it is of silver gilt; but Gilbert[89], who is a plain
layman, maintains that it is only copper. Had it been otherwise, it
would have contributed to the ways and means of the unchristian
republic; but the democrats spared it, for they had well ascertained
that the metal was base, and that the jewels, which adorn it, are but
glass.--This is not the original shrine which held the precious relics:
the shrine in which they were deposited by the archbishop, William Bonne
Ame, when first brought to the cathedral, in 1090, was sold during a
famine, and its proceeds distributed to the starving poor; after which,
in 1179, Archbishop Rotrou caused another still more costly to be made;
but the latter was broken to pieces by the Calvinists, in 1562, and the
saint's body cast into the fire[90].

Thus, then, I have led you, as far as I am able; through the cathedral,
adjoining which, at the east end, stands the palace of the archbishop, a
large building, but neither handsome nor conspicuous, principally the
work of the Cardinal Georges d'Amboise, though begun by the Cardinal
d'Etouteville, in 1461. The rooms in it which are shewn to strangers are
the anti-chamber, commonly called _la salle de la Croix_, the library,
and the great gallery. This last, which is one hundred and sixty feet
long, is also known by the name of _la salle des Etats_. In it are
placed four very large paintings by Robert, an eminent French artist of
comparatively modern date. They represent the city of Rouen, the town of
Dieppe, that of Havre de Grace, and the archiepiscopal palace at
Gaillon. The view of Rouen represents in the foreground the _petit
Château_, and is on that account peculiarly interesting. All of them are
fine paintings, but much injured by the damp. In the anti-chamber are
portraits of seven prelates of the see, and among them those of the
Cardinal de la Rochefoucault, and M. de Tressan: our guide could name no
others.

The present archbishop is the Cardinal Cambacérés, brother to the
ex-consul of that name, a man of moral life and regular in his religious
duties. He was placed here by Napoléon, all of whose appointments of
this nature, with one or two exceptions, have been suffered to remain;
but I need scarcely add that, though the title of archbishop is left,
and its present possessor is decorated with the Roman purple, neither
the revenue, nor the dignity, nor the establishment, resemble those of
former times. The chapter, which, before the revolution, consisted of an
archbishop, a dean, fifty canons, and ten prebendaries, besides
numberless attendants, now consists but of his eminence, with the dean,
the treasurer, the archdeacon, and twelve canons. The independent annual
income of the church, previous to the revolution, exceeded one hundred
thousand pounds sterling; but now its ministers are all salaried by
government, whose stated allowance, as I am credibly informed, is to
every archbishop six hundred and twenty-five pounds per annum; to every
bishop four hundred and sixteen pounds thirteen shillings and fourpence;
and to every canon forty-one pounds thirteen shillings and four-pence.
But each of these stipends is doubled by an allowance of the same amount
from the department; and care is taken to select men of independent
property for the highest dignities.--From the foregoing scale, you may
judge of the state of the religious establishment in France. It is,
indeed, unjustly and unreasonably depressed, and there is much room for
amendment; but we must still hope and trust that things will not soon
regain their former standard, though attempts are daily making to
identify the Catholic clergy with the present dynasty; and the most
lively expectations are entertained from the well-known character of
some of the royal family.

Footnotes:

[71] _Bentham, History of Ely, 2nd edit_. I. p. 34.

[72] _Liverpool Panorama of Arts and Sciences_, article _Architecture_.

[73] The only views of the cathedral with which I am acquainted, are,

  A single plate of the west front, 16 in. by 11-1/2in.--_Anonymous_;
  . . . . . . . . . . . north side, 16 in. by 11-1/2in.--Marked _S.L.B._;
  A small north-west view, engraved by Pouncey, in the first volume
    of _Gough's Alien Priories_;
  And the west front, on an extremely reduced; scale, in _Seroux
    d'Agincourt's Histoire de l'Art par les Monumens, Architecture_,
    t. 64. f. 21. p. 68.

[74] This great benefactor to Rouen died the following year, deeply
lamented by the inhabitants, and generally so by France; but, above all,
regretted by Louis XIIth, his sovereign, whom, to use the words of
Guicciardini, he served as oracle and authority. The author of the
History of the Chevalier Bayard, is still louder in his praise.--The
western facade of the cathedral was not finished till 1530, twenty years
after his death.

[75] A representation of this has recently been published from an
engraving on stone by Langlois.

[76] _Histoire de l'Eglise Cathédrale de Rouen_, p. 50.

[77] _Noel, Essais sur le Département de la Seine Inférieure_, II. p.
239.

[78] _Millin, Histoire Métallique de la Révolution Française_, t. 22. f.
84.

[79] _Histoire des Archevêques de Rouen_, folio 1667.

[80] Anglo-Norman Antiquities, p. 12.

[81] _Monumens de la Monarchie Française_, II. t. 15. f. 3 and 5.

[82] As these effigies are in general little understood, even by those
who look at them with pleasure as specimens of art, or with respect as
relics of antiquity, I am happy to be able to give the following
detailed illustration of this at Rouen, extracted from a letter which
the Right Rev. Dr. Milner had lately the kindness to write me upon the
subject.

   "The sepulchral monument in the cathedral of Rouen represents a
   prelate; that is to say, Bishop or Mitred Abbot, as appears by his
   mitre, gloves, ring, and sandals. But, as he bears the _Pallium_, (to
   be seen on his neck, just above his breast, and hanging down before
   him, almost to his feet) it appears that he is a _Metropolitan_, or
   Archbishop, as, indeed, each of the bishops of Rouen was, from the
   time of St. Ouen and St. Romanus, in the seventh century, if not from
   that of St. Nicasius, in the third or fourth. The statue has been
   mutilated in the mitre, the face, and the crosier; probably when the
   Huguenots were masters of the city. The mitre is low, as they used to
   be from the tenth century, when they began to rise at all in the
   Latin Church, down to the fourteenth, since which they have grown to
   their present disproportioned height. The arms are crossed, as in
   prayer; and the left arm supported a crosier, the remnant of which is
   seen under that arm. Both hands are wrapped up in ornamented gloves,
   which were an essential part of the prelatic dress. The principal
   vestment is the _Planeta, Casula,_ or _Chausible_; as it was shaped
   till within these three or four hundred years. Underneath that, and
   behind the hanging _Pallium_, appears the _Dalmatic_, edged with gold
   lace; and under that, extending the whole breadth of the figure, and
   finishing with rich and deep thread lace, is the _Alb_, made of fine
   linen. The _Tunic_ is quite hidden by the dalmatic. The _Sandals_
   appear to be of gold tissue, and to rest on a rich carpet.

   "I ought to have mentioned, that the mitre appears, by the jewels
   with which it is ornamented, to represent that which is called _Mitra
   pretiosa_, from this circumstance. An inferior kind of mitre, worn on
   less solemn occasions, was termed _Mitra Aurifrygiata_; and a common
   one, made of plain linen or silk, was termed _Simplex Mitra_. The
   only part of the dress which puzzles me, is the great ornament on the
   neck and shoulders. The question is, (which those can best determine
   who have seen the original statue,) whether it adheres to the
   _Pallium_, or to the _Casula_. In either case, it must be considered
   as part of the vestment to which it adheres.

   "It is quite out of my power to determine, or even to conjecture on
   any rational grounds, which, of a certain three-score of archbishops
   of Rouen, the figure represents; but, if I were to choose between
   Maurice, the fifty-fourth archbishop, who died in 1235, and William,
   of Durefort, the sixty-first, who died in 1330, from the comparative
   lowness of the mitre, and some other circumstances of the dress, I
   should determine in favor of the former. Perhaps it may represent our
   Walter, who was first Bishop of Lincoln, and then transferred to
   Rouen, by Pope Lucius IIIrd. He died in 1208, after having signalized
   himself as much as any of his predecessors or successors have done.

   "P.S. On consulting with an intelligent ecclesiastic of Rouen, I am
   inclined to think that the above-mentioned ornament upon the
   shoulders, is the _Mozetta_, being a short round cloak, which all
   bishops still wear, with the _Rochet, Pectoral Cross_, and _Purple
   Cassock_, as their _ordinary dress_; but, in modern times, the
   _Mozetta_ is laid aside, when the prelate puts on his officiating
   vestments; though he retains the cassock, cross, and rochet,
   underneath them. My informant says, that this mozett is common on the
   tombs of bishops who died in former ages."

[83] The same idea is to be observed on many ancient monuments: among
others, it is engraved on the fine sepulchral brass to the memory of Sir
Hugh Hastings, in Elsing church.--See _Cotman's Norfolk Sepulchral
Brasses._

[84] By the words _Lilia_ and _Quercus_, are designated the armorial
bearings of the King of France, and Pope Julius IInd, of the House of
Rovere.

[85] The bodies of the Cardinals d'Amboise were dug up in 1793, together
with most of the others interred in the cathedral, for the sake of their
leaden coffins: at the same time the lead was also stripped from the
transepts; and a colossal statue of St. George, which stood on the
eastern point of the choir, was likewise consigned to the furnace.

[86] Ducarel says (_Anglo-Norman Antiquities_, p. 20.) that she was the
favorite mistress of two successive kings; but I do not find this
assertion borne out by history.

[87] Vol. IV. p. 47.

[88] The doctrine of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, gave rise to
some curious doubts respecting the authenticity of the Virgin's hair.
Ferrand, the Jesuit, states the arguments to the contrary with candor;
but replies to them with laudable firmness. The passage is a whimsical
specimen of the style and reasoning of the schools:--"Restat posteriore
loco de capillis Deiparæ Virginis paucis dicere, enimverò an illi sint
jam in terris!--Dubitationem aliquam afferre potest mirabilis ipsius
anastasis, et in coelum viventis videntisque assumptio
triumphalis.--Quid ita?--quid si intra triduum ad vitam revocata, si
coelis triumphantis in morem invecta, si corpore gloriâ circumfuso
Christo assidet? _Quidquid Virgineo capiti crinium inerat hand dubiè
cælis intulit_, ne quid perfectæ ac numeris omnibus absolutæ ipsius
pulchritudini deesse possit. Næ ille in politiori literaturâ imo et in
rebus humanis omnino peregrinus sit qui ignoret quantum ad muliebrem
formam comæ conferat pulchritudo ... ne singulas Marianæ pulchritudinis
dotes persequar, ejus ima cræaries de quâ, agimus tantæ fuit venustatis
ut mysticus ipsius Sponsus blandè querulus exclamare cogatur,
_vulnerasti cor meum in uno crine colli tui_.... Nænias igitur occinere
videtur qui Deiparæ capillos in terris relatos esse memoret atque adeo
servari obfirmatè asseveret, cùm illos tantum ad redivivæ Virginis
speciem conferre constet.--Non efficiet tamen unquam hæc
_Antidicomarianitæ_ fabula, quin credam bene multos ex aureâ Dei
Genitricis cæsarie crines, diversis in locis ecclesiisque religiosè
servari.... Meæ fidei non unum est argumentum; nam a primâ ætate ad
confectam usque, e Marianâ comâ non pancos, ut fit, capillos pecten
decussit, nisi si fortè cæsariem B. Virginis impexam semper perstitisse
velis, quòd numquam (ut inquit de Christo Diva Brigitta) super eam venit
vermis, aut perplexitas, aut immunditium. At sine causâ multiplicari
miracula quis æquo animo feret?--Ubi vero Genetrix e vitâ discessit,
quàm sollicitè pollinctrices auream illam Marianæ comæ segetem
demessuerunt, quàm in sacris suis tunc hierothecia reconderent ad
memoriam tantæ Imperatricis, et ad suæ consolationis et pietatis
argumentum: quòd si fortè totam funditùsque a pollinctricibus, Deiparæ
reverentissimis, demessam cæsariem ferre nec possis nec velis, extremes
saltem illius cincinnos attonsos fuisse feres ab piissimis illis
fæminis, quibus vel perexiguus Dei Genitricis capillus ingentis thesauri
loco futurus etat."--_Disquisitio Reliquiaria_, l. 1. cap. II.

[89] _Description Historique de l'Eglise de Notre Dame de Rouen_, p. 83.

[90] The event is described in the metrical history of Rouen, composed
by a minstrel ycleped _Poirier, the limper_. This little tract is a
_chap-book_ at Rouen: most towns, in the north of France and Belgium,
possess such chronicle ballads in doggerel rhyme, which are much read,
and eke chaunted, by the common people.

    "... un massacre horrible
     Survint soudainement.
     Les Huguenots terribles
     Et Montgommerie puissant,
     Par cruels enterprises
     Renverserent les Eglises
     De Rouen pour certain.
     Sans aucune relâche
     Pillent et volent la châsse
     Du corps de St. Romain.

    "Le zelé Catholique
     Poursuivant l'Huguenot
     Un combat héroique
     Lui livra à propos,
     Au lieu nommé la Crosse,
     Et reprirent par force
     La châsse du Patron.
     Puis de la Rue des Carmes
     La portent à Notre Dame
     En déposition!"



LETTER XI.

POINTED ECCLESIASTICAL ARCHITECTURE--THE CHURCHES OF ST. OUEN, ST.
MACLOU, ST. PATRICE, AND ST. GODARD.


(_Rouen, June_, 1818.)

In the religious buildings, the subject of my preceding letters, I have
endeavored to point out to you the specimens which exist at Rouen, of
the two earliest styles of architecture. The churches which I shall next
notice belong to the third, or _decorated_ style, the æra of large
windows with pointed arches divided by mullions, with tracery in flowing
lines and geometrical curves, and with an abundance of rich and delicate
carving.

This style was principally confined in England to a period of about
seventy years, during the reigns of the second and third Edward. In
France it appears to have prevailed much longer. It probably began there
full fifty years sooner than with us, and it continued till it was
superseded by the revival of Grecian or Italian architecture. I speak of
France in general, but I must again repeat, that my observations are
chiefly restricted to the northern provinces, the little knowledge which
I possess of the rest being derived from engravings. No where, however,
have I been able to trace among our Gallic neighbors the existence of
the simple _perpendicular_ style, which is the most frequent by far in
our own country, nor of that more gorgeous variety denominated by our
antiquaries after the family of Tudor.

So long as Normandy and England were ruled by the same sovereign, the
continual intercourse created by this union caused a similarity in
their architecture, as in other arts and customs; and therefore the two
earliest styles of architecture run parallel in the two countries, each
furnishing the counterpart of the other. Whether or not the _decorated_
style was transmitted to England from the continent, is a question which
cannot be solved, until our collections of continental architecture
shall become more extensive. After the reign of Henry VIth, our
intercourse with Normandy wholly ceased; and, left to ourselves, many
innovations were gradually introduced, which were not known to the
French architects, who, with nicer taste, adhered to the pure style
which we rejected. Hence arose the _perpendicular_ style of pointed
architecture, a style sufficiently designated by its name, and obviously
distinguished from its predecessors, by having the mullions of its
windows, its ornamental pannelling, and other architectural members and
features, disposed in perpendicular lines. Finally, however, both
countries discarded the Gothic style, though at different æras. The
revival of the arts in Europe, in consequence of the capture of
Constantinople and of the greater commercial intercourse between
transalpine Europe and Italy, gradually gave rise to an admiration of
the antique: imitation naturally succeeded admiration; and buildings
formed upon the classical model generally replaced the Gothic. Italian
architects found earlier patrons and earlier scholars, in France, than
amongst us, our intermediate style being chiefly distinguished by its
clumsiness.

I will not detain you by any attempt at a comparison between the
relative beauties of the Gothic and Grecian architecture, or their
respective fitness for ecclesiastical buildings. The very name of the
former seems sufficient to stamp its inferiority; and perhaps you will
blame the employment of a term which was obviously intended at the
outset as an expression of contempt; but I still retain the epithet, as
one generally received, and therefore, commonly understood. It may be
added, that the modern French seem to be the only _Goths_, in the real
and true acceptation of the word. They, to the present day, build Gothic
churches; but, instead of confining themselves to the prototypes left
them, they are eternally aiming at alterations, under the specious name
of improvements. Horace was indignant that, in the Augustan age, the
meed of praise was bestowed only upon what was ancient: the architects
of this nation of recent date seem under the influence of an opposite
apprehension. They build upon their favorite poet:--

    "Loin d'ici ce discours vulgaire
     Que l'art pour jamais dégénère,
         Que tout s'éclipse, tout finit;
     La nature est inépuisable,
     Et le génie infatigable
         Est le Dieu qui la rajeunit."

But they overlook, what Voltaire makes an indispensable requisite, that
art must be under the guidance of genius: when it is not so, and caprice
holds the reins, the result cannot fail to be that medley of Grecian,
Norman, Gothic, and Gallic, of which this country furnishes too many
examples.

The church of St. Ouen is unquestionably the noblest edifice in the
pointed style in this city, or perhaps in France; the French, blind as
they usually are to the beauties of Gothic architecture, have always
acknowledged its merits. Hence it escaped the general destruction which
fell upon the conventual churches of Rouen, at the time of the
revolution; though, during the violence of the storm, it was despoiled
and desecrated. At one period, it was employed as a manufactory, in
which forges were placed for making arms; at another, as a magazine for
forage.

Nor was this the first instance of its being violated; for, like most of
the religious buildings at Rouen, it was visited in the sixteenth
century with the fury of the Calvinists[91], who burned the bodies of
St. Ouen, St. Nicaise, and St. Remi, in the midst of the temple itself;
and cast their ashes to the winds of heaven. The other relics treasured
in the church experienced equal indignities. All the shrines became the
prey of the eager avarice of the Huguenots; and the images of the saints
and martyrs, torn from their tabernacles, graced the gibbets which were
erected to receive them in various parts of Rouen.

Dom Pommeraye, in reciting these deplorable events, rises rather above
his usual pitch of passion: "O malheur!" he exclaims, "ces corps sacrés,
ces temples du Saint Esprit, qui avoient autrefois donné de la terreur
aux Démons, ne trouverent ni crainte ni respect dans l'esprit de ces
furieux, qui jetterent au feu tout ce qui tomba entre leurs mains impies
et sacrilèges!"--The mischief thus occasioned was infinitely more to be
lamented, he adds, than the burning of the church by the
Normans;--"stones and bricks, and gold and jewels, may be replaced, but
the loss of a relic is irreparable; and, moreover, the abbey thus
forfeits a portion of its protection in heaven; for it is not to be
doubted, but that the saints look down with eyes of peculiar favor upon
the spots that contain their mortal remains; their glorified souls
feeling a natural affection towards the bodies to which they are
hereafter to be united for ever," on that day, when

    "Ciascun ritrovera la trista tomba,
       Ripigliera sua carne e sua figura,
     Udira ciò che in eterno rimbomba."

The outrages were curiously illustrative of the spirit of the times; the
quantity of relics and ornaments equally characterise the devotion of
the votaries, and the reputed sanctity of the place.

The royal abbey of St. Ouen had, indeed, enjoyed the veneration of the
faithful, during a lengthened series of generations. Clothair is
supposed to have been the founder of the monastery in 535; though other
authorities claim for it a still higher degree of antiquity by one
hundred and thirty years. The church, whoever the original founder may
have been, was first dedicated to the twelve apostles; but, in 689, the
body of St. Ouen was deposited in the edifice; miracles without number
were performed at his tomb; pilgrims flocked thither; his fame diffused
itself wider and wider; and at length, the allegiance of the abbey was
tranferred to him whose sanctity gave him the best claims to the
advocation.

Changes of this nature, and arising from the same cause, were frequent
in those early ages: the abbey of St. Germain des Prés, at Paris, was
originally dedicated to St. Vincent; that of Ste. Genevieve to St.
Peter; and many other churches also took new patrons, as occasion
required. According to one of the fathers of the church, the tombs of
the beatified became the fortifications of the holy edifices: the saints
were considered as proprietors of the places in which their bodies were
interred, and where power was given them, to alter the established laws
of nature, in favor of those who there implored their aid. But the aid
which they afforded willingly to all their suitors, they could not
bestow upon themselves. And oft, when the sword of the heathen menaced
the land, the weary monks fled with the corpse of their patrons from the
stubborn enemy. Thus, St. Ouen himself, on the invasion of the Normans,
was transported to the priory of Gany, on the river Epte, and thence to
Condé; but was afterwards conveyed to Rouen, when Rollo embraced
Christianity. Other causes also contributed to the migration of these
remains: they were often summoned in order to dignify acts of peculiar
solemnity, or to be the witnesses to the oaths of princes, like the
Stygian marsh of old,

    "Dii cujus jurare timent et fallere numen."

William the Conqueror, upon the dedication of the abbey of St. Stephen,
collected the bodies of all the saints in Normandy[92].

Those who wish to be informed of the acts and deeds of St. Ouen, may
refer to Pommeraye's history of the convent, in which thirty-seven folio
pages are filled with his life and miracles; the latter commencing while
he was in long clothes. The monastery, under his protection, continued
to increase in reputation; and, in the year 1042, the abbatial mitre
devolved upon William, son of Richard IInd, Duke of Normandy, who laid
the foundation of a new church, which, after about eighty years, was
completed and consecrated by William Balot, next but one to him in the
succession[93].

But this church did not exist long: ten years only had elapsed when a
fire reduced it, together with the whole abbey, to ashes. An opportunity
was thus afforded to the sovereign to shew his munificence, and Richard
Coeur de Lion was not tardy in availing himself of it; but a second fire
in 1248 again dislodged the monks; and they continued houseless, till
the abbot, Jean Rousel, better known by the name of _Mardargent_, laid
the foundation in 1318, of the present structure, an honor to himself,
to the city, and to the nation. By this prelate the building was
perfected as far as the transept: the rest was the work of subsequent
periods, and was not completed till the prelacy of Bohier, who died in
the beginning of the sixteenth century.

To speak more properly, I ought rather to say that it was not till then
brought to its present state; for it was never completed. The western
front is still imperfect. According to the original design, it was to
have been flanked by magnificent towers, ending in a combination of open
arches and tracery, corresponding with the outline and fashion of the
central tower. These towers, which are now only raised to the height of
about fifty feet, jut diagonally from the angles of the facade; and it
was intended that, in the lower division, they should have been united
by a porch of three arches, somewhat resembling the west entrance of
Peterborough; and such as in this town is still seen, at St. Maclou,
though on a much larger scale. Pommeraye has given an engraving of this
intended front, taken from a drawing preserved in the archives of the
abbey. The engraving is miserably executed; but it enables us to
understand the lines of the projected building. Pommeraye has also
preserved details of other parts of the church, among them of the
beautiful rood-loft erected by the Cardinal d'Etouteville, and long an
object of general admiration. The bronze doors of this screen were of a
most singular and elegant pattern: Horace Walpole imitated them in his
bed-room, at Strawberry-Hill. The rood-loft, which had been maimed by
the Huguenots, was destroyed at the revolution; when the church was also
deprived of its celebrated clock, which told the days of the month, the
festivals, and the phases of the moon, and afforded other astronomical
information. Such gazers as heeded not these mysteries, were amused by a
little bronze statue of St. Michael, who sallied forth at every hour,
and announced the progress of time, by the number of strokes which he
inflicted on the Devil with his lance.

[Illustration: Tower of the Church of St. Ouen, at Rouen]

It is impossible to convey by words an adequate idea of the lightness,
and purity, and boldness of St. Ouen. My imperfect description will be
assisted by the sketches which I inclose. Of their merits I dare not
speak; but I will warrant their fidelity; The flying buttresses end in
richly crocketed pinnacles, supported by shafts of unusual height. The
triple tiers of windows seem to have absorbed the solid wall-work of the
building. Balustrades of varied quatrefoils run round the aisles and
body; and the centre-tower, which is wholly composed of open arches and
tracery, terminates, like the south-tower of the cathedral, with an
octangular crown of fleurs-de-lys. The armorial symbol of France, which
in itself is a form of great beauty, was often introduced by the French
architects of the middle ages, amongst the ornaments of their edifices:
it pleases the eye by its grace, and satisfies the mind by its
appropriate and natural locality.

The elegance of the south porch is unrivalled. This portion of the
church was always finished with care: it was the scene of many religious
ceremonies, particularly of espousals. Hence they gave it a degree of
magnitude which might appear disproportionate, did we not recollect
that the arch was destined to embower the bride and the bridal train.
The bold and lofty entrance of this porch is surrounded within by
pendant trefoil arches, springing from carved bosses, and forming an
open festoon of tracery. The vault within is ornamented with pendants,
and the portal which it shades is covered with a profusion of sculpture:
the death, entombment, and apotheosis of the Virgin, form the subjects
of the principal groups. The sculptures, both in design and execution,
far surpass any specimens of the corresponding æra in England. But this
porch is now neglected and filled with lumber, and the open tracery is
much injured. I hope, however, it will receive due attention; as the
church is at this time under repair; and the restorations, as far as
they go, have been executed with fidelity and judgment.

[Illustration: South Porch the Church of St. Ouen, at Rouen]

The perspective of the interior[94] is exceedingly impressive: the
arches are of great height and fine proportions. If I must discover a
defect, I should say that the lines appear to want substance; the
mouldings of the arches are shallow. The building is all window. Were
it made of cast iron, it could scarcely look less solid. This effect is
particularly increased by the circumstance of the clerestory-gallery
opening into the glazed tracery of the windows behind, the lines of the
one corresponding with those of the other. To each of the clustered
columns of the nave is attached a tabernacle, consisting of a canopy and
pedestal, evidently intended originally to have received the image of a
saint. It does not appear to have been the design of the architect that
the pillars of the choir should have had similar ornaments; but upon one
of them, at about mid-height, serving as a corbel to a truncated column,
is a head of our Saviour, and, on the opposite pillar, one of the
Virgin: the former is of a remarkably fine antique character. The
capitals of the pillars in this part of the church were all gilt, and
the spandrils of the arches painted with angels, now nearly effaced. The
high altar is of grey marble, relieved, by a scarlet curtain behind, the
effect of which is simple, singular, and good. Round the choir is a row
of chapels, which are wholly wanting to the nave. The walls of these
chapels have also been covered with fresco paintings; some with figures,
others with foliage. The chapels contain many grave-stones displaying
indented outlines of figures under canopies, and in other respects
ornamented; but neglected, and greatly obliterated, and hastening fast
to ruin. It is curious to see the heads and hands, and, in one instance,
the crosier of a prelate, inlaid with white or grey marble; as if the
parts of most importance were purposely made of the most perishable
materials. I was much interested by observing, that many of these
memorials are almost the exact counterparts of some of our richest
English sepulchral brasses, and particularly of the two which are
perhaps unrivalled, at Lynn[95].--How I wished that you, who so delight
in these remains, and to whom we are indebted for the elucidation of
those of Norfolk, had been with me, while I was trying to trace the
resemblance; and particularly while I pored over the stone in the chapel
of Saint Agnes, that commemorates Alexander Berneval, the master-mason
of the building!

[Illustration: Head of Christ, in the Church of St. Ouen, at Rouen, seen in profile]
[Illustration: Head of Christ, in the Church of St. Ouen, at Rouen, seen in front]

According to tradition, it was this same Alexander Berneval who executed
the beautiful circular window in the southern transept. But being
rivalled by his apprentice, who produced a more exquisite specimen of
masonry in the northern transept, he murdered his luckless pupil. The
crime he expiated with his own life; but the monks of the abbey,
grateful for his labors, requested that his body might be entombed in
their church; and on the stone that covers his remains, they caused him
to be represented at full length, holding the window in his hand.

These large circular windows, sometimes known by the name of rose
windows, and sometimes of marigold windows, are a strong characteristic
feature of French ecclesiastical architecture. Few among the cathedrals
or the great conventual churches, in this country, are without them. In
our own they are seldom found: in no one of our cathedrals, excepting
Exeter only, are they in the western front; and, though occasionally in
the transepts, as at Canterbury, Chichester, Litchfield, Westminster,
Lincoln and York, they are comparatively of small size with little
variety of pattern. In St. Ouen, they are more than commonly beautiful.
The northern one, the cause of death to the poor apprentice, exhibits in
its centre the produced pentagon, or combination of triangles sometimes
called the pentalpha.--The painted glass which fills the rose windows is
gorgeous in its coloring, and gives the most splendid effect. The church
preserves the whole of its original glazing. Each inter-mullion contains
one whole-length figure, standing upon a diapered ground, good in
design, though the artist seems to have avoided the employment of
brilliant hues. The sober light harmonizes with the grey unsullied
stone-work, and gives a most pleasing unity of tint to the receding
arches.

Among the pictures, the-best are, the _Cardinal of Bologna opening the
Holy Gate, instead of the Pope_, in the nave; and _Saint Elizabeth
stopping the Pestilence_, in the choir: two others, in the Lady-Chapel,
by an artist of Rouen, of the name of Deshays, the _Miracle of the
Loaves_, and the _Visitation_, are also of considerable merit.--Deshays
was a young man of great promise; but the hopes which had been
entertained of him were disappointed by a premature death.

A church like this, so ancient, so renowned, and so holy, could not fail
to enjoy peculiar privileges. The abbot had complete jurisdiction, as
well temporal as spiritual, over the parish of St. Ouen; in the Norman
parliament he took precedence of all other mitred abbots; by a bull of
Pope Alexander IVth, he was allowed to wear the pontifical ornaments,
mitre, ring, gloves, tunic, dalmatic, and sandals; and, what sounds
strange to our Protestant ears, he had the right of preaching in public,
and of causing the conventual bells to be rung whenever he thought
proper. His monks headed the religious processions of the city; and
every new archbishop of the province was not only consecrated in this
church, but slept the evening prior to his installation at the abbey;
whence, on the following day, he was conducted in pomp to the entrance
of the cathedral, by the chapter of St. Ouen, headed by their abbot, who
delivered him to the canons, with the following charge,--"Ego, Prior
Sancti Audoeni, trado vobis Dominum Archiepiscopum Rothomagensem vivum,
quem reddetis nobis mortuum."--The last sentence was also strictly
fulfilled; the dean and chapter being bound to take the bodies of the
deceased prelates to the church of St. Ouen, and restore them to the
monks with, "Vos tradidistis nobis Dominum Archiepiscopum vivum; nos
reddimus eum vobis mortuum, ita ut crastinâ die reddatis eum
nobis."--The corpse remained there four and twenty hours, during which
the monks performed the office of the dead with great solemnity. The
canons were then compelled to bear the dead archbishop a second time
from the abbey cross (now demolished) to the abbey of St. Amand[96],
where the abbess took the pastoral ring from off his finger, replacing
it by another of plain gold; and thence the bearers proceeded to the
cathedral. These duties could not be very agreeable to portly,
short-winded, well-fed dignitaries; and consequently the worthy canons
were often inclined to shrink from the task. In the case of the funeral
of Archbishop d'Aubigny, in 1719, they contented themselves with
carrying him at once to his dormitory; but the prior and monks of St.
Ouen instantly sued them before the parliament, and this tribunal
decreed that the ancient service must be performed, and in default of
compliance, the whole of their temporalities were to be put under
sequestration: it is almost needless to add, that a sentence of
excommunication would scarcely have been so effectual in enforcing the
execution of the sentence.

The gardens formerly belonging to the abbey are at this time a pleasant
promenade to the inhabitants of the town: the remains of the monastic
buildings are converted into an _Hôtel de Ville_, where also the library
and the museum are kept, and the academy hold their sittings. No
remains, however, now exist of the abbatial residence, which was built
by Anthony Bohier, in the beginning of the sixteenth century, and which,
according to the engraving given of it by Pommeraye, must have been a
noble specimen of domestic architecture. The sovereigns of France always
took up their abode in it, during their visits to Rouen.--The circular
tower called the _Tour des Clercs_, mentioned in a former letter, is the
only vestige of Norman times.--The cloister corresponded with the
architecture of the church: the south side of the quadrangle attached
to the northern aisle still exists, but blocked up and dilapidated, and
converted into a sort of cage for those who are guilty of disturbances
during the night.

[Illustration: Stone Staircase in the Church of St. Maclou, at Rouen]

The church of St. Maclou is unquestionably superior to every other in
the city, except the cathedral and St. Ouen. Its principal ornament are
its carved doors, produced during the reign of Henry IIIrd, by Jean
Goujon, a man so eminent as to have been termed the Corregio of
sculpture; but they have been materially injured by repairs and
alterations by unskilful hands. Within the church, near the west
entrance, is a singularly elegant stair-case, in filagree stone-work,
which formerly led to the organ.--This building was erected in the year
1512, and chiefly by voluntary contributions, if such can be called
_voluntary_ as were purchased by promises from the archbishop, first of
forty, and then of one hundred, days' indulgences, to all who would
contribute towards the pious labor.--The central tower resembles that of
the cathedral, both in the interior and the exterior. It now appears
truncated; but it was originally surmounted by a spire, which was of
such beauty, that even Italian artists thought it worthy to be engraved
and held out as a model at Rome[97]. The spire, however, was greatly
injured by a hurricane, in 1705, and it was at last taken down thirty
years afterwards. To the triple porch, I have already alluded, in
describing the intended front of St. Ouen. The general lines of the
church, are such as in England would be referred to the fourteenth
century: on a closer examination, however, the curious eye will
discover the peculiar beauties of the French Gothic. Thus the bosses of
the groined roof are wrought and perforated into filagree, the work
extending over the intersections of the groins, which are seen through
its reticulations. Such bosses are only found in the French churches of
the sixteenth century. In other parts, the interior closely resembles
the style of the cathedral[98].

St. Patrice is a building of the worst style of the commencement of the
sixteenth century: to use the quaint phraseology of Horace Walpole, it
exhibits "that _betweenity_ which intervened when Gothic declined and
Palladian was creeping in." The paintings on the walls of this church,
and the stained glass in its windows, are more deserving of notice than
its architecture. The first are of small size, and generally better than
are seen in similar places. One of them is after Bassan, an artist,
whose works are not often found in religious edifices in France. The
painted windows of the choir deserve unqualified commendation. They are
said to have been removed from St. Godard. Each is confined to a single
subject; among which, that of the _Annunciation_ is esteemed the best.

To this church was attached a confraternity[99], established in 1374,
under the name of the _Guild of the Passion_. Its annual procession,
which continued till the time of the revolution, took place on
Holy-Thursday. It consisted of the usual pageantry; a host of children,
dressed like angels, increased the train, which also included twelve
poor men, whose feet the masters of the brotherhood publicly washed
after mass. Like some other guilds, they were in possession of a pulpit
or tribune, called, in old French, a _Puy_, from which they issued a
general invitation to all poets, who were summoned to descant upon the
themes which were commemorated by their union. The rewards held out to
the successful candidates were, in the true monastic spirit of the
guild, a reed, a crown of thorns, a sponge, or some other mystic or
devotional emblem. Occasionally, too, they gave a scenic representation
of certain portions of religious history, according to the practice of
early times. The account of the _Mystery of the Passion_ having been
acted in the burial-ground of the church of St. Patrice, so recently as
September, 1498, is preserved by Taillepied[100], who tells us, that it
was performed by "bons joueurs et braves personages." The masters of
this guild had the extraordinary privilege of being allowed to charge
the expence attendant on the processions and exhibitions, upon any
citizen they might think proper, whether a member or otherwise.

The neighboring church of St. Godard possesses neither architectural
beauty, nor architectural antiquity; for, although it occupies the scite
of an edifice of remote date, yet the present structure is coeval with
St. Patrice. It has been supposed that this church was the primitive
cathedral of the city[101]. One of the proofs of this assertion is found
in a procession which, before the revolution, was annually made hither
by the chapter of the present cathedral, with great ceremony, as if in
recognition of its priority. The church was originally dedicated to the
Virgin; but it changed its advocation in the year 525, when St. Godard,
more properly called St. Gildard, was buried here in a subterranean
chapel; and, for the reasons before noticed, the old tutelary patroness
was compelled to yield to the new visitor. In the succeeding century,
St. Romain, a saint of still greater fame, was also interred here; and,
as I collect from Pommeraye[102], in the same crypt. This author
strenuously denies the inferences which have been drawn from the annual
procession, which he maintains was performed solely in praise and in
honor of St. Romain; for the chapter, after having paid their devotions
to the Host, descended into the chapel, to prostrate themselves before
the sepulture of the saint; on which subject, an antiquary[103] of Rouen
has preserved the following lines:--

    "Ad regnum Domini dextrâ invitatus et ore,
       Huic sacra Romanus credidit ossa loco;
     Sontibus addixit quæ cæca rebellio flammis,
       Nec tulit impietas majus in urbe scelus.
     Quid tanto vesana malo profecit Erynnis?
       Ipsa sui testis pignoris extat humus.
     Crypta manet, memoresque trahit confessio cives,
       Nec populi fallit marmor inane fidem.
     Orphana, turba, veni, viduisque allabere saxis,
       Est aliquid soboli patris habere thorum."

The body of St. Godard was carried to Soissons; but the tomb, which, has
doubtfully been designated as appropriated either to him or to St.
Romain, was left to the church, and remained there at least till the
revolution. I have even been told that it is there still; but I had no
opportunity of going down into the chapel to verify this point. It
consisted, or rather consists, of a single slab of jasper, seven and a
half feet long, by two feet wide, and two feet four inches thick. Upon
it was this inscription:--

    "Malades, voulez-vous soulager vos douleurs?
     Visitez ce tombeau, baignez-le de vos pleurs;
     Rechauffez vos esprits d'une divine flame;
     Touchez-le settlement du doigt,
     Et vous y trouverez (si vous avez la foi)
     Et la santé du corps, et la santé de l'ame."

The building retains, at this time, only two of its celebrated painted
windows; but they are fortunately the two which were always considered
the best. One of them represents the history of St. Romain; the other,
the genealogy of Jewish kings, from whom the Holy Virgin descended.
Rouen has, from a very early period, been famous for its manufactories
of painted glass. But the windows of this church were still esteemed the
_chef d'oeuvre_ of its artists; and these had so far passed into a
proverb, that Farin[104] tells us it was common throughout France to
say, in recommendation of choice wine, that "it was as bright as the
windows of St. Godard." The saying, however, was by no means confined to
Rouen, for it was also applied to the windows of the Ste. Chapelle, at
Dijon.

It was at St. Godard that the burst of the reformation was first
manifested. The Huguenots, taking courage from the secret increase of
their numbers, broke into the building, in 1540, demolished the images,
and sold the pix to a goldsmith. But the man suffered severely for his
purchase: he was shortly afterwards sentenced, by a decree of the
parliament, to be hanged in front of his shop; and two of those
concerned in the outrage also suffered capital punishment. The spark
thus lighted, afterwards increased into a conflagration; and, to this
hour, there is a larger body of Protestants at Rouen, than in most
French towns.

I do not expect that you will reproach me with the prolixity of these
details. The subject is attractive to me, and I feel that you will
accompany me with pleasure in my pilgrimage, from chapel to shrine,
dwelling with me in contemplation on the relics of ancient skill and the
memorials of the piety of the departed. Nor must it be forgotten, that
the hand of the spoliator is falling heavily on all objects of
antiquity. And the French seem to find a source of perverse and
malignant pleasure in destroying the temples where their ancestors once
worshipped: many are swept away; a greater number continue to exist in
a desecrated state; and time, which changes all things, is proceeding
with hasty strides to obliterate their character. The lofty steeple
hides its diminished head; the mullions and tracery disappear from the
pointed windows, from which the stained glass has long since fallen; the
arched entrance contracts into a modern door-way; the smooth plain walls
betray neither niches, nor pinnacles, nor fresco paintings; and in the
warehouse, or manufactory, or smithy, little else remains than the
extraordinary size, to point out the original holy destination of the
edifice.

Footnotes:

[91] The following brief statement of their excesses is copied from a
manuscript belonging to the monastery: the full detail of them engages
Pommeraye for nearly seven folio pages:--"Le Dimanche troisiéme de May,
1562, les Huguenots s'étans amassez en grosse troupe, vinrent armez en
grande furie dans l'Eglise de S. Ouen, où étant entrez ils rompirent les
chaires du choeur, le grand autel, et toutes les chapelles: mirent en
pieces l'Horloge, dont on voit encore la menuiserie dans la chapelle
joignant l'arcade du costé du septentrion, aussi bien que celles des
orgues, dont ils prirent l'étaim et le plomb pour en faire des balles de
mousquet: puis ils allumerent cinq feux, trois dedans l'Eglise et deux
dehors, où ils brûlerent tous les bancs et sieges des religieux, auec le
bois des balustres des chapelles, les bancs et fermetures d'icelles,
plusieurs ornemens et vestemens sacrez, comme chappes, tuniques,
chasubles, aubes, vne autre partie des plus riches et precieux ornemens
de broderie et drap d'or ayant esté enlevée en l'hôtellerie de la pomme
de pin, où ils les brûlerent pour en auoir l'or et l'argent. Ils firent
la mesme chose des saintes reliques, qu'ils brûlerent, ayant emporté
l'or, l'argent, et les pierreries des reliquaires."--_Histoire de
l'Abbaye Royale de St. Ouen_, p. 205.

[92] Farin, Histoire de Rouen, IV. p. 134.

[93] _Histoire de l'Abbaye Royales de Saint Ouen_, p. 204.

[94] The following are the dimensions of the interior of the building,
in French feet:

    Length of the church.................. 416
    Ditto of the nave..................... 234
    Ditto of the choir.................... 108
    Ditto of the Lady-Chapel.............. 66
    Ditto of the transept................. 130
    Width of ditto........................ 34
    Ditto of nave, without the aisles..... 34
    Ditto, including ditto................ 78
    Height of roof........................ 100
    Ditto of tower........................ 240

[95] _Figured in Cotmans Norfolk Sepulchral Brasses_.

[96] The house of the abbess of St. Amand is still standing, though
neglected, and in a great degree in ruins. What remains, however, is
very curious; and is, perhaps, the oldest specimen of domestic
architecture in Rouen. It is partly of wood, the front covered with
arches and other sculpture in bas-relief, and partly of stone.

[97] _Farin, Histoire de Rouen_, IV. p. 156.

[98] The dimensions of the building, in French feet, are,--

    Length of the nave.................... 70
    Ditto of choir........................ 40
    Ditto of Lady-Chapel.................. 30
    Ditto of the whole building.......... 140
    Width of ditto........................ 76
    Height to the top of the lanthorn.... 142

[99] _Farin, Histoire de Rouen_, IV. p. 168.

[100] _Antiquitéz et Singularitéz de la Ville de Rouen_, p. 186.

[101] _Farin, Histoire de Rouen_, IV. p. 132.

[102] _Histoire des Archevêques de Rouen_, p. 130.

[103] _La Normandie Chrétienne_, p. 487.

[104] _Histoire de Rouen_, IV. p. 134.



LETTER XII.

PALAIS DE JUSTICE--STATES, EXCHEQUER, AND PARLIAMENT OF NORMANDY--GUILD
OF THE CONARDS--JOAN OF ARC--FOUNTAIN AND BAS-RELIEF IN THE PLACE DE LA
PUCELLE--TOUR DE LA GROSSE HORLOGE--PUBLIC FOUNTAINS--RIVERS AUBETTE AND
ROBEC--HOSPITALS--MINT.


(_Rouen, June_, 1818.)

Amongst the secular buildings of Rouen, the Palais de Justice holds the
chief place, whether we consider the magnificence of the building, or
the importance of the assemblies which once were convened within its
precinct.

The three estates of the Duchy of Normandy, the parliament, composed of
the deputies of the church, the nobility, and the good towns, usually
held their meetings in the Palace of Justice. Until the liberties of
France were wholly extirpated by Richelieu, this body opposed a
formidable resistance to the crown; and the _Charte Normande_ was
considered as great a safeguard to the liberties of the subject, as
Magna Charta used to be on your side of the channel. Here, also, the
_Court of Exchequer_ held its session. According to a fond tradition,
this, the supreme tribunal of Normandy, was instituted by Rollo, the
good Duke, whose very name seemed to be considered as a charm averting
violence and outrage. This court, like our _Aula Regia_, long continued
ambulatory, and attendant upon the person of the sovereign; and its
sessions were held occasionally, and at his pleasure. The progress of
society, however, required that the supreme tribunal should become
stationary and permanent, that the suitors might know when and where
they might prefer their claims. Philip the Fair, therefore, about the
year 1300, began by enacting that the pleas should be held only at
Rouen. Louis the XIIth remodelled the court, and gave it permanence;
yielding in these measures to the prayer of the States of Normandy, and
to the advice of his minister, the Cardinal d'Amboise. It was then
composed of four presidents, and twenty-eight counsellors; thirteen
being clerks; and the remainder laymen. The name of exchequer was
perhaps unpleasing to the crown, as it reminded the Normans of the
ancient independence of their duchy; and, in 1515, Francis Ist ordered
that the court should thenceforward be known as the _Parliament of
Normandy_; thus assimilating it in its appellation to the other supreme
tribunals of the kingdom. There is an old poem extant, written in very
lawyer-like rhyme, which invests all the cardinal virtues, and a great
many supernumerary ones besides, with the offices of this most honorable
court, in which purity is the usher, truth has a silk gown, and
virginity enters the proceedings on the record.

    "De ceste _court_ grace est grand _chanceliere_,
     Vertus ont lieu de _présidens_ prudens:
     Vérité est première _conseillere_,
     Et pureté _huyssiére_ là-dedans:
     La _greffiére_ est virginité féconde,
     Et la _concierge_ humilité profonde.
     Pythié _procure_ a vuider les discords,
     Comme _advocat_, amour ayde aux accords.
     De _geolier_ vacque le seul office:
     Aussy on voyt par _officiers_ concors,
     La noble _court_ rendante à tous justice."

In the same style and strain is a ballad, which, thanks to the care of
De Bourgueville, the author of the _Antiquities of Caen_, hath been
preserved for the edification of posterity. It enumerates all the
members of the court _seriatim_, and compares their lordships and
worships, one after another, to the heroes and demi-gods of ancient
story.

The parliament in its turn has given way to the _Court of Assizes_; and,
where the states once deliberated, the electors of the department now
come together for the purpose of naming the deputies who represent them
in the great council of the nation;--such are the vicissitudes of all
human institutions.

When the Jews were expelled from Normandy, in 1181, the _Close_, or
Jewry, in which they dwelled, escheated to the king. The sons of Japhet
spoiled the sons of Shem with pious alacrity. The debtor burnt his bond;
the bailie seized the store of bezants; the synagogue was razed to the
ground. In this _Close_ the palace was afterwards built. The wise custom
of Normandy was mooted on the spot where the law of Moses had once been
taught; and, by a strange, perhaps an ominous, fatality, the judge held
the scales of justice, where whilome the usurer had poised his balance.

The palace forms three sides of a quadrangle. The fourth is occupied by
an embattled wall and an elaborate gate-way. The building was erected
about the beginning of the sixteenth century; and, with all its faults,
it is a fine adaptation of Gothic architecture to civil purposes. It is
in the style which a friend of mine chooses to distinguish by the name
of _Burgundian architecture_; and he tells me that he considers it as
the parent of our Tudor style. Here, the windows in the body of the
building take flattened elliptic heads; and they are divided by one
mullion and one transom. The mouldings are highly wrought, and enriched
with foliage. The lucarne windows are of a different design, and form
the most characteristic feature of the front: they are pointed and
enriched with mullions and tracery, and are placed within triple
canopies of nearly the same form, flanked by square pillars, terminating
in tall crocketed pinnacles, some of them fronted with open arches
crowned with statues. The roof, as is usual in French and Flemish
buildings of this date, is of a very high pitch, and harmonizes well
with the proportions of the building. An oriel, or rather tower, of
enriched workmanship projects into the court, and varies the elevations.
On the left-hand side of the court, a wide flight of steps leads to the
hall called _la Salle des Procureurs_, a place originally designed as an
Exchange for the merchants of the city, who had previously been in the
habit of assembling for that purpose in the cathedral. It is one hundred
and sixty feet in length, by fifty in breadth.

"In this great hall," says Peter Heylin, "are the seats and desks of the
procurators; every one's name written in capital letters over his head.
These procurators are like our attornies; they prepare causes, and make
them ready for the advocates. In this hall do suitors use, either to
attend on, or to walk up and down, and confer with, their
pleaders."--The attornies had similar seats in the ancient English
courts of justice; and these seats still remain in the hall at
Westminster, in which the Court of Exchequer holds its sittings. The
walls of the Salle des Procureurs are adorned with chaste niches. The
coved roof is of timber, plain and bold, and destitute either of the
open tie-beams and arches, or the knot-work and cross timber which adorn
our old English roofs. If the roof of our priory church was not
ornamented, as last mentioned, it would nearly resemble that in
question.--Below the hall is a prison; to its right is the room where
the parliament formerly held its sittings, but which is now appropriated
to the trial of criminal causes. The unfortunate Mathurin Bruneau, the
soi-disant dauphin, was last year tried here, and condemned to
imprisonment. He is treated in his place of confinement with ambiguous
kindness. The poor wretch loves his bottle; and, being allowed to
intoxicate himself to his heart's content, he is already reduced to a
state of idiotism.--Heylin, who saw the building when it was in
perfection, says, speaking of this _Great Chamber_, "that it is so
gallantly and richly built, that I must needs confess it surpasseth all
the rooms that ever I saw in my life. The palace of the Louvre hath
nothing in it comparable; the ceiling is all inlaid with gold, yet doth
the workmanship exceed the matter."--The ceiling which excited Heylin's
admiration still exists. It is a grand specimen of the interior
decoration of the times. The oak, which age has rendered almost as dark
as ebony, is divided into compartments, covered with rich but whimsical
carving, and relieved with abundance of gold. Over the bench is a
curious old picture, a _Crucifixion_. Joseph and the Virgin are standing
by the cross: the figures are painted on a gold ground; the colors deep
and rich; the drawing, particularly in the arms, indifferent; the
expression of the faces good. It was upon this picture that witnesses
took the oaths before the revolution; and it is the only one of the six
formerly in this situation that escaped destruction[105]. Round the
apartment are gnomic sentences in letters of gold, reminding judges,
juries, witnesses, and suitors, of their duties. The room itself is said
to be the most beautiful in France for its proportions and quantity of
light. In the _Antiquités Nationales_, is described and figured an
elaborately wrought chimney-piece in the council-chamber, now destroyed,
as are some fine Gothic door-ways, which opened into the chamber. The
ceiling of the apartment called la _seconde Chambre des Enquêtes_,
painted by Jouvenet, with a representation of Jupiter hurling his
thunderbolts at Vice, is also unfortunately no more. It fell in, from a
failure in the woodwork of the roof, on the first of April, 1812. It was
among the most highly-esteemed productions of this master, and not the
less remarkable for having been executed with the left hand, after a
paralytic stroke had deprived him of the use of the other.

Millin observes, with much justice, that one of the most remarkable of
the decrees that issued from this palace, was that which authorized the
meetings of the _Conards_, a name given to a confraternity of buffoons,
who, disguised in grotesque dresses, performed farces in the streets on
Shrove Tuesday and other holidays. Nor is it a little indicative of the
taste of the times, that men of rank, character, and respectability
entered into this society, the members of which, amounting to two
thousand five hundred, elected from among themselves a president, whom
they dressed as an abbot[106], with a crozier and mitre, and, placing
him on a car drawn by four horses, led him, thus attired, in great pomp
through the streets; the whole of the party being masked, and
personating not only the allegorical characters of avarice, lust, &c.
but the more tangible ones of pope, king, and emperor, and with them
those of holy writ. The seat of this guild was at Notre Dame de Bonnes
Nouvelles.

[Illustration: Sculpture, representing the Feast of Fools]

In the cathedral itself the more notorious _Procession des Fous_ was
also formerly celebrated, in which, as you know, the ass played the
principal part, and the choir joined in the hymn[107],--

    "Orientis partibus
     Adventavit Asinus," &c.

These, or similar ceremonies, call them if you please absurdities, or
call them impieties, (you will in neither case be far from their proper
name,) were in the early ages of Christianity tolerated in almost every
place. Mr. Douce has furnished us with some curious remarks upon them in
the eleventh volume of the _Archaeologia_, and Mr. Ellis in his new
edition of _Brand's Popular Antiquities_. I am indebted to the first of
these gentlemen for the knowledge that the inclosed etching, copied some
time ago from a drawing by Mr. Joseph Harding, is allusive to the
ceremony of the _feast of fools_, and does not represent a group of
morris-dancers, as I had erroneously supposed. Indeed, Mr. Douce
believes that many of the strange carvings on the _misereres_ in our
cathedrals have references to these practices. And yet, to the honor of
England, they never appear to have been equally common with us as in
France.--According to Du Cange[108], the confraternity of the Conards or
Cornards was confined to Rouen and Evreux. I have not been able to
ascertain when they were suppressed; but they certainly existed in the
time of Taillepied, in the beginning of the seventeenth century, about
fifty years previously to which they dropped their original name of
_Coqueluchers_. At this time too they had evidently degenerated from the
primary object of their institution, "ridendo castigare mores atque in
omne quod turpitèr factum fuerat ridiculum immittere." Taillepied was
an eye-witness of their practices; and he prudently contents himself
with saying; "le fait est plus clair à le voir que je ne pourrois icy
l'escrire."

At a short distance from the palace is a small square, called the _Place
de la Pucelle_, a name which it has but recently acquired, in lieu of
the more familiar appellation of _le Marché aux Veaux_. The present
title records one of the most interesting events in the history of
Rouen, the execution of the unfortunate Joan of Arc, which is said to
have taken place on the very spot now covered by the monument that
commemorates her fate. Three different ones have in succession occupied
this place. The first was a cross, erected in 1454, only twenty-four
years after her death; for even at this early period, the King of France
had obtained from Pope Calixtus IIIrd, a bull directing the revision of
her sentence, and he had caused her innocence to be acknowledged. The
second was a fountain of delicate workmanship, consisting of three
tiers of columns placed one above the other, on a triangular plan, the
whole decorated with arabesques and statues of saints, while the Maid
herself crowned the summit, and the water flowed through pipes that
terminated in horses' heads. The present monument is inferior to the
second, equally in design and in workmanship: it is a plain triangular
pedestal, ornamented with dolphins at the base, and surmounted by the
heroine in military costume. Of the two last, figures are given by
Millin[109], who could not be expected to suffer a subject to escape
him, so calculated for the gratification of national pride. In a
preceding volume of the same work[110], he has represented the monument
erected to her memory by Charles VIIth, upon the bridge at Orleans: the
latter is commemorative of her triumphs; that at Rouen, only of her
capture and death. But the King testified his gratitude by more
substantial tokens: he ennobled her three brothers and their
descendants; and even allowed the females of the family to confer their
rank upon the persons whom they married, a privilege which they
continued to enjoy till the time of Louis XIIIth, who abolished it in
1634.

In the square is a house within a court, now occupied as a school for
girls, of the same æra as the Palais de Justice, and in the same
_Burgundian style_, but far richer in its sculptures. The entire front
is divided into compartments by slender and lengthened buttresses and
pilasters. The intervening spaces are filled with basso-relievos,
evidently executed at one period, though by different masters. A
banquet beneath a window in the first floor, is in a good _cinque-cento_
style. Others of the basso-relievos, represent the labors of the field
and the vineyard; rich and fanciful in their costume, but rather wooden
in their design: the Salamander, the emblem of Francis Ist, appears
several times amongst the ornaments, and very conspicuously. I believe
there is not a single square foot of this extraordinary building, which
has not been sculptured.--On the north side extends a spacious gallery.
Here the architecture is rather in Holbein's manner: foliaged and
swelling pilasters, like antique candelabra, bound the arched windows.
Beneath, is the well-known series of bas-reliefs, executed on marble
tablets, representing the interview between Francis Ist of France, and
Henry VIIIth of England, in the _Champ du Drap d'or_, between Guisnes
and Ardres. They were first discovered by the venerable father
Montfaucon, who engraved them in his _Monumens de la Monarchie
Française_[111]; but to the greater part of our antiquaries at home,
they are, perhaps, more commonly known by the miserable copies inserted
in Ducarel's work, who has borrowed most of his plates from the
Benedictine.--These sculptures are much mutilated, and so obscured by
smoke and dirt, that the details cannot be understood without great
difficulty. The corresponding tablets above the windows, are even in a
worse condition; and they appear to have been almost unintelligible in
the time of Montfaucon, who conjectures that they were allegorical, and
probably intended to represent the triumph of religion. Each tablet
contains a triumphal car, drawn by different animals, one by elephants,
another by lions, and so on, and crowded with mythological figures and
attributes.--A friend of mine, who examined them this summer, tells me,
that he thinks the subjects are either _taken_ from the triumphs of
Petrarch, or _imitated_ from the triumphs introduced in the _Polifilo_.
Graphic representations of allegories are susceptible of so many
variations, that an artist, embodying the ideas of the poet, might
produce a representation bearing a close resemblance to the mythological
processions of the mystic dream.--Of one of the most perfect of the
historical subjects, I send you a drawing: it is the first in order in
Montfaucon's work, and exhibits the suite of the King of England, on
their way from the town of Guisnes, to meet the French monarch. Two of
the figures might be mistaken for Henry himself and Wolsey, riding
familiarly side by side; but these dignified personages have more
important parts allotted them in the second and third compartments,
where they appear in the full-blown honors of their respective
characters.

[Illustration: Bas-Relief, from the representations of the Champ du Drap d'or]

The interior has been modernized; so that a beam covered with small
carvings is the only remaining object of curiosity. On the top, a bunch
of leaden thistles has been a sad puzzle to antiquaries, who would fain
find some connection between the building and Scotland; but neither
record nor tradition throw any light upon their researches. Montfaucon,
copying from a manuscript written by the Abbé Noel, says, "I have more
than once been told that Francis Ist, on his way through Rouen, lodged
at this house; and it is most probable, that the bas-reliefs in question
were made upon some of these occasions, to gratify the king by the
representation of a festival, in which he particularly delighted." The
gallery sculptures are very fine, and the upper tier is much in the
style of Jean Goujon. It is not generally known that Goujon re-drew the
embellishments of Beroald de Verville's translation of the Polifilo; and
that these, beautiful as they are in the Aldine edition, acquired new
graces from the French artist.--I have remarked that the allegorical
tablets appear to coincide with the designs of the Polifilo: a more
accurate examination might, perhaps, prove the fact; and then little
doubt would remain. The building is much dilapidated; and, unless
speedily repaired, these basso-relievos, which would adorn any museum,
will utterly perish. In spite of neglect and degradations, the aspect of
the mansion is still such that, as my friend observed, one would expect
to see a fair and stately matron standing in the porch, attired in
velvet, waiting to receive her lord.--In the adjoining house, once,
probably, a part of the same, but now an inn, bearing the sign of _la
Pucelle_, is shewn a circular room, much ornamented, with a handsome
oriel conspicuous on the outside. In this apartment, the Maid is said to
have been tried; but it is quite certain that not a stone of the
building was then put of the quarry.

Hence I must take you, and still under the auspices of Millin[112], to
the great town-clock, or, as it is here called, _la Tour de la Grosse
Horloge_; and I cannot help wishing on the occasion, that I had half the
powers of instructing and amusing which he possessed. Like the writers
in our most popular Reviews, he uses the subjects which he places at the
head of his articles as little more than a peg, whereon to hang whatever
he knows connected with the matter; and the result is, that he is never
read without pleasure or information. Such is peculiarly the case in the
present instance, in which he takes an opportunity of giving the history
of the origin of clocks, tracing them from the simple dial, and
particularising the most curious and intricate contrivances of modern
ingenuity. Another name of the tower which contains this clock, is _la
Tour du Beffroi_, or, as we should say in English, the _Belfry_; for the
two words have the same meaning, and it is not to be doubted but that
they originated from the same root, the Anglo-Saxon _bell_, whence
barbarous Latinists have formed _Belfredus_ and _Berfredus_, terms for
moveable towers used in sieges, and so denominated from their
resemblance in form to bell-towers. I mention this etymology, because
the French have misled themselves strangely on the subject; and one of
them has wandered so widely in his conjectures, as to derive _beffroi_
from _bis effroi_, supposing it to be the cause of double alarm!
Happily, in the most alarming of all times for France, that of the
revolution, this bell, though appointed the _tocsin_, had scarcely ever
occasion to sound. There is, however, another purpose, alarming at all
periods, and especially in a town built of wood, to which it is
appropriated, and to which we only yesterday heard it applied, the
ringing to announce a fire. The precautions taken against similar
accidents in Rouen, are excellent, and they had need be so; for
insurance-companies of any kind are unknown, I believe, in France[113],
or exist only upon a most limited scale, at the foot of the Pyrenees,
where the farmers mutually insure each other against the effects of the
hail. The daily office of this bell is to sound the curfew, a practice
which, under different names, is still kept up through Normandy. Here it
rings nightly at nine. In other towns it rings at nine in winter only,
but not till ten in summer. In some places it is called _la retraite_.

Adjoining the bell-tower is a fountain, ornamented with statues of
Alpheus and Arethusa, united by Cupid; a specimen of the taste of the
far-famed _siècles de Louis XIV et de Louis XV_, and a worthy companion
of the water-works at Versailles. There are in Rouen more than thirty
public fountains, all supplied by five different springs, among which,
those of Yonville and of Darnétal are accounted to afford the purest
water.--The Robec and the Aubette also flow through Rouen in artificial
channels. St. Louis granted them both to the city in 1262; but it was
the great benefactor of the place, the Cardinal d'Amboise, who brought
them within the walls, by means of a canal, which he caused to be dug
at his own expence. For a space of two leagues their banks are
uninterruptedly lined with mills and manufactories of various
descriptions; and it is this circumstance which has given rise to the
saying, that Rouen is a wonderful place, for "that it has a river with
three hundred bridges, and whose waters change their color ten times a
day."

As a building, the fountain of Lisieux, decorated with a bas-relief
representing Parnassus, with Apollo, the Muses, and Pegasus, is most
frequently pointed out to strangers; a wretched specimen of wretched
taste. Infinitely more interesting to us are the Gothic fountains or
conduits, which are now wholly wanting in England. Such is the fountain
_de la Croix de Pierre_, which, in shape, style, and ornaments,
resembles the monumental crosses erected by; our King Edward Ist, for
his Queen Eleanor. The water flows from pipes in the basement. The stone
statues, which filled the tabernacles, were destroyed during the
revolution: they have been replaced by others in wood.--The fountain _de
la Crosse_ is of inferior size, and more recent date. It is a polygon,
with sides of pannelled work, each compartment occupied by a pointed
arch, with tracery in the spandrils. It ends in a short truncated
pyramid, which, in Millin's time, was surmounted by a royal crown[114].
Its name is taken from a house, at whose corner it stands, and on whose
roof was originally a crozier.

Writing to a friend may be regarded, if we extend to writing the happy
comparison which Lord Bacon has applied to conversation, not as walking
in a high-road which leads direct to a house, but rather as strolling
through a country intersected with a variety of paths, in which the
traveller wanders as fancy or accident directs. Hence I shall scarcely
apologize for my abrupt transition to another very different subject,
the hospitals.--There are at Rouen two such establishments, situated at
opposite extremes of the town, the _Hospice Général_ and the _Hôtel
Dieu_, more commonly called _la Madeleine_. The latter is appropriated
only to the sick; the former is also open to the aged, to foundlings, to
paupers, and to lunatics. For the poor, I have been able to hear of no
other provision; and poor-laws, as you know, have no existence in
France; yet, even here, in a manufacturing town, and at a season of
distress, beggary is far from extreme. These institutions, like all the
rest at Rouen, are said to be under excellent management.

The annual expences of la Madeleine are estimated at two hundred and
forty thousand-francs[115]; out of which sum, no less than forty-seven
thousand francs are expended in bread. The number of individuals
admitted here, during the first nine months of 1805, the last authentic
statement I have been able to procure, was two thousand seven hundred
and seventeen: during the same period, two thousand one hundred and
fifty-eight were discharged, and two hundred and seventy died. The
building is modern and handsome, and situated at the end of a fine
avenue. The church, a Corinthian edifice, and indisputably the
handsomest building of that description at Rouen, is generally admired.
The Hospice Général, destitute as it is of architectural magnificence,
cannot be visited without satisfaction. When I was at this hospital, the
old men who are housed there were seated at their dinner, and I have
seldom witnessed a more pleasing sight. They exhibited an appearance of
cleanliness, propriety, good order, and comfort, equally creditable to
themselves and to the institution. The number of inmates usually
resident in this building is about two thousand; and they consisted, in
1805, of one hundred and sixty aged men, one hundred and eighty aged
women, six hundred children, and eight hundred and twenty-five invalids.
Among the latter were forty lunatics. The food here allowed to the
helpless poor is of good quality; and, as far as I could learn, is
afforded in sufficient quantity: there are also two work-shops; in one
of which, articles are manufactured for the use of the house; in the
other, for sale.

The principal towns of France, as was anciently the case in England,
have each its mint. The numismatic antiquities of this kingdom are yet
involved in considerable obscurity; but it is said that the monetary
privileges of the towns were first settled by Charles the Bald[116],
who, about the year 835, enacted, that money, which had previously only
been coined in the royal palace itself, or in places where the sovereign
was present, should be struck in future at Paris, Rouen, Rheims, Sens,
Chalons sur Saone, Mesle in Poitou, and Narbonne. At present, the money
struck at Rouen is impressed with the letter _B_, indicating that the
mint is second only to that of Paris; for the city has remained in
possession of the right of coinage throughout all its various changes of
masters: it now holds it in common with ten other, cities in the
kingdom. Ducarel[117] has figured two very scarce silver pennies, coined
here by William the Conqueror, before the invasion of England; and
Snelling and Ruding[118] detail ordinances for the regulation of the
mintage of Rouen, during the reign of Henry Vth. I have not been able,
however, to procure in the city any specimens of these, or of other
Norman coins; and in fact the native spot of articles of _virtu_ is
seldom the place where they can be procured either genuine or in
abundance. Greek medals, I am told, are regularly exported from
Birmingham to Athens, for the supply of our travelled gentlemen; and, if
groats and pennies should ever rise in the market, I doubt not but that
they will find their way in plenty into the old towns of Normandy. There
is not, at Rouen, any public collection of the productions of the mint.
Since the annexation of the duchy to the crown of France, no coins have
been struck here, except the common silver currency of the kingdom: the
manufacture of medals and of gold coins is exclusively the privilege of
the Parisian mint. The establishment is under the care of a commissary
and assay-master, appointed by the crown, but not salaried. Their pay
depends upon the amount of money coined, on which they are allowed one
and a half per cent., and are left to find silver where they can; so
that, in effect, it is little more than a private concern. The work is
performed by four die-presses, moved by levers, each of which requires
ten men; and about twenty thousand pieces can be produced daily from
each press. But this method of working is attended with unequal
pressure, and causes both trouble and uncertainty: it is even necessary
that each coin should be separately weighed. The extreme superiority of
the machinery of our own mint, where the whole operation is performed by
steam, with a rapidity and accuracy altogether astonishing, affords Just
reason for exultation to an Englishman.--It is true, that the execution
of our bank paper rather counterbalances such feelings of complacency.

Footnotes:

[105] This appears from the following inscription now upon a silver
tablet placed near it.--"Ce tableau est celui qui fut donné par Louis
XII, en 1499, à l'Exchiquier, lorsqu'il le rendit permanent. C'est le
seul de tous les ornemens de ce palais qui ait échappé aux ravages de la
révolution: il a été conservé par les soins de M. Gouel, graveur, et par
lui remis à la cour royale de Rouen qui l'a fait placer ici, comme un
monument de la piété d'un roi, à qui sa bonté mérita le surnom de père
du peuple, et dont les vertus se reproduisent aujourd'hui dans la
personne non moins chérie que sacrée de sa majesté très chrétienne,
Louis XVIII, 15 Janvier, 1816."

[106] Du Cange, (I. p. 24.) quoting from a book printed at Rouen, in
1587, under the title of _Les Triomphes de l'Abbaye des Conards_, &c.
gives the following curious mock patent from the abbot of this
confraternity, addressed to somebody of the name of De Montalinos.--

   "Provisio Cardinalatus Rothomagensis Julianensis, &c.

   "Paticherptissime Pater, &c.

   "Abbas Conardorum et inconardorum ex quacumque Natione, vel
   genitatione sint aut fuerint: Dilecto nostro filio naturali et
   illegitimo Jacobo à Montalinasio salutem et sinistram benedictionem.
   Tua talis qualis vita et sancta reputatio cum bonis servitiis ... et
   quod diffidimus quòd postea facies secundùm indolem adolescentiæ ac
   sapientiæ tuæ in Conardicis actibus, induxenunt nos, &c. Quocirca
   mandamus ad amicos, inimicos et benefactores nostros qui ex hoc
   sæculo transierunt vel transituri sunt ... quatenus habeant te
   ponere, statuere, instalare et investire tàm in choro, chordis et
   organo, quàm in cymbalis bene sonantibus, faciantque te jocundari et
   ludere de libertatibus franchisiis, &c.... Voenundatum in tentorio
   nostro prope sanctum Julianum sub annulo peccatoris anno pontificatus
   nostri, 6. Kalend. fabacearum, hora verò noctis 17. more Conardorum
   computando, &c."

[107] The music of this hymn, or _prose_, as it is termed in the
Catholic Rituals, is given in the Atlas to Millin's Travels through the
Southern Departments of France, _plate_ 4.

[108] See under the article _Abbas Conardorum_, I. p. 24.

[109] _Antiquités Nationales_, III. No. 36.

[110] Vol. II. No. 9.

[111] Vol. IV. t. 29, 30, 31.

[112] _Antiquités Nationales_, III. No. 30.

[113] This ceased to be the case almost immediately after this remark
was made; for, on my return to France, in 1819, I observed on the whole
road from Dieppe to Paris, the letters P A C I, or others, equally
meaning _pour assurance contre l'incendie_, painted upon the fronts of
the houses.

[114] _Antiquités Nationales_, III. article 30, p. 26.--(In the figure,
however, which accompanies this article, the summit is mutilated, as I
saw it.)

[115] _Peuchet, Description Topographique et Statistique de la France,
Département de la Seine Inférieure_, p. 33.

[116] _Histoire de la Haute Normandie_, I. p. 94.

[117] _Anglo-Norman Antiquities_, p. 33. t. 3.

[118] _Annals of the Coinage of Britain_, I. p. 505-507.



LETTER XIII.

MONASTIC INSTITUTIONS--LIBRARY--MANUSCRIPTS--MUSEUM--ACADEMY--BOTANIC
GARDEN--THEATRE--ANCIENT HISTORY--EMINENT MEN.


(_Rouen, June_, 1818.)

The laws of France do not recognize monastic vows; but of late years,
the clergy have made attempts to re-establish the communities which once
characterized the Catholic church. To a certain degree they have
succeeded: the spirit of religion is stronger than the law; and the
spirit of contradiction, which teaches the subject to do whatever the
law forbids, is stronger than either. Hence, most towns in France
contain establishments, which may be considered either as the embers of
expiring monachism, or the sparks of its reviving flame. Rouen has now a
convent of Ursulines, who undertake the education of young females. The
house is spacious; and for its neatness, as well as for the appearance
of regularity and propriety, cannot be surpassed. On this account, it is
often visited by strangers. The present lady-abbess, Dame Cousin, would
do honor to the most flourishing days of the hierarchy: when she walks
into the chapel, Saint Ethelburgha herself could not have carried the
crozier with greater state; and, though she is somewhat short and
somewhat thick, her pupils are all wonderfully edified by her dignity.
She has upwards of dozen English heretics under her care; but she will
not compromise her conscience by allowing them to attend the Protestant
service. There are also about ninety French scholars, and the inborn
antipathy between them and the _insulaires_, will sometimes evince
itself. Amongst other specimens of girlish spite, the French fair-ones
have divided the English damsels into two _genera_. Those who look plump
and good-humored, they call _Mesdemoiselles Rosbifs_; whilst such as are
thin and graver acquire the appellation of the _Mesdemoiselles Goddams_,
a name by which we have been known in France, at least five centuries
ago.--This story is not trivial, for it bespeaks the national feeling;
and, although you may not care much about it, yet I am sure, that five
centuries hence, it will be considered as of infinite importance by the
antiquaries who are now babes unborn. The Ursulines and _soeurs
d'Ernemon_, or _de la Charité_, who nurse the sick, are the only two
orders which are now protected by government. They were even encouraged
under the reign of Napoléon, who placed them under the care of his
august parent, _Madame Mère_.--There are other sisterhoods at Rouen,
though in small numbers, and not publickly patronized.

Nuns are thus increasing and multiplying, but monks and friars are
looked upon with a more jealous eye; and I have not heard that any such
communities have been allowed to re-assemble within the limits of the
duchy, once so distinguished for their opulence, and, perhaps, for their
piety and learning.

The libraries of the monasteries were wasted, dispersed, and destroyed,
during the revolution; but the wrecks have since been collected in the
principal towns; and thus originated the public library of Rouen, which
now contains, as it is said, upwards of seventy thousand volumes. As may
be anticipated, a great proportion of the works which it includes
relate to theology and scholastic divinity; and the Bollandists present
their formidable front of fifty-four ponderous folios.

[Illustration: Initial Letter from a MS. of the History of William of Jumieges]

The manuscripts, of which I understand there are full eight hundred, are
of much greater value than the printed books. But they are at present
unarranged and uncatalogued, though M. Licquet, the librarian, has been
for some time past laboring to bring them into order. Among those
pointed out to us, none interested me so much as an original autograph;
of the _Historica Normannorum_, by William de Jumiegies, brought from
the very abbey to which he belonged. There is no doubt, I believe, of
its antiquity; but, to enable you to form your own judgment upon the
subject, I send you a tracing of the first paragraph.

[Illustration: Historica Normannorum tracing of autograph]

I also add a fac-simile of the initial letter of the foregoing epistle,
illuminated by the monk, and in which he has introduced himself in the
act of humbly presenting his work to his royal namesake. I am mistaken,
if any equally early, and equally well authenticated representation of a
King of England be in existence. The _Historia Normannorum_ is
incomplete, both at the beginning and end, and it does not occupy more
than one-fifth of the volume: the rest is filled with a comment upon the
Jewish History.

The articles among the manuscripts, most valued by antiquaries, are a
_Benedictionary_ and a _Missal_, both supposed of nearly the same date,
the beginning of the twelfth century.

The Abbé Saas, who published, in 1746, a catalogue of the manuscripts
belonging to the library of the cathedral of Rouen, calls this
Benedictionary, which then belonged to the metropolitan church, a
_Penitential_; and gives it as his opinion, that it is a production of
the eighth century, with which æra he says that the character of the
writing wholly accords. Montfaucon, who never saw it, follows the Abbé;
but the opinion of these learned men has recently been confuted by M.
Gourdin[119], who has bestowed considerable pains upon the elucidation
of the history and contents of this curious relic. He states that a sum
of fifteen thousand francs had been offered for it, by a countryman of
our own; but I should not hesitate to class this tale among the
numberless idle reports which are current upon the continent, respecting
the riches and the folly of English travellers. The famous Bedford
Missal, at a time when the bibliomania was at its height[120], could
hardly fetch a larger sum; and this of Rouen is in no point of view,
except antiquity, to be put in competition with the English manuscript.
Its illuminations are certainly beautiful; but they are equalled by many
hundreds of similar works; and they are only three in number, the
_Resurrection_, the _Descent of the Holy Ghost_, and the _Death of the
Virgin_.--The volume appears to have been originally designed for the
use of the cathedral of Canterbury; as it contains the service used at
the consecration of our Anglo-Saxon sovereigns.

The Missal, which is also the object of M. Gourdin's dissertation, is
from the convent of Jumieges. Its date is established by the
circumstance of the paschal table finishing with the year 1095. It
contains eleven miniatures, inferior in execution to those in the
Benedictionary; and it ends with the following anathema, in the
hand-writing of the Abbot Robert, by whom it was given to the
monastery:--"Quem si quis vi vel dolo seu quoque modo isti loco
subtraxerit, animæ suæ propter quod fecerit detrimentum patiatur, atque
de libro viventium deleatur et cum justis non scribatur."

As a memorial of a usage almost universal in the earlier ages of the
church, the _Diptych_, commonly called the _Livre d'Ivoire_, is a
valuable relic. The covers exhibit figures of St. Peter and of some
other saint, in a good style of workmanship, perhaps of the lower
empire. The book contains the oaths administered to each archbishop of
Rouen and his suffragans, upon their entering on their office, all of
them severally subscribed by the individuals by whom they were sworn. It
begins at a very early period, and finishes with the name of Julius
Basilius Ferronde de la Ferronaye, consecrated Bishop of Lisieux, in
1784. In the first page is the formula of the oath of the
archbishop.--"Juramentum Archiepiscopi Rothomagensis jucundo adventu
receptionis suæ.--Primo dicat et pronuntiet Decanus vel alius de
Majoribus verba quæ sequentur in introitu atrii;--Adest, reverende
pater, tua sponsa, nostra mater, hæc Rothom. ecclesia, cum maximo gaudio
recipere te parata, ut eam regas salubriter, potenter protegas et
defendas.--Responsio Archiepiscopalis;--Hæc, Deo donante, me facturum
promitto.--Iterum Decanus vel alius;--Firma juramento quæ te facturum
promittis.--Ego, Dei patientia, bujus Rothom. ecclesiæ minister, juro
ad hæc sancta Dei evangelia quod ipsam ecclesiam contra quoslibet tam in
bona quam in personas ipsius invasores et oppressores pro posse
protegam viriliter et defendam, atque etiam ipsius ecclesiæ jura,
libertates, privilegia, statuta et consuetudines apostolicas servabo
fideliter. Bona ejusdem ecclesiæ non alienabo nec alienari permittam,
quin pro posse, si quæ alienata fuerint, revocabo. Sic me Deus adjuvet
et sancta Dei evangelia."

The oath of the bishops and abbots was nothing more than a promise of
constant respect and obedience on their parts to the church and
archbishop of Rouen. You will find it in the _Voyages Liturgiques_[121];
in which you will also meet with a great deal of curious matter touching
the peculiar customs and ceremonies of this cathedral. The different
metropolitan churches of France before the revolution, like those of our
own country prior to the reformation, varied materially from one another
in observances of minor importance; at the same time that their rituals
all agreed in what may be termed the doctrinal ceremonies of the church.

The last manuscript which I shall mention, is the only one that is
commonly shewn to strangers: it is a _Graduel_, a very large folio
volume, written in the seventeenth century, and of transcendent beauty.
Julio Clovio himself, the Raphael of this department of art, might have
been proud to be considered the author of the miniatures in it. The
representations of lapis lazuli are even more wonderful than the flowers
and insects. The whole was done by a monk, of the name of Daniel
D'Eaubonne, and is said to have cost him the labor of his entire life.

In earlier times, a similar occupation was regarded as peculiarly
meritorious[122].--There died a friar, a man of irregular life, and his
soul was brought before the judgment-seat to receive its deserts. The
evil spirits attended, not anticipating any opposition to the claim
which they preferred; but the guardian angels produced a large book,
filled with a transcript from holy writ by the hand of the criminal; and
it was at length agreed that each letter in it should be allowed to
stand against a sin. The tale was carefully gone through: Satan exerted
his utmost ingenuity to substantiate every crime of omission or
commission; and the contending parties kept equal pace, even unto the
last letter of the last word of the last line of the last page, when,
happily for the monk, the recollection of his accuser failed, and not a
single charge could be found to be placed in the balance against it. His
soul was therefore again remanded to the body, and a farther time was
allotted to it to correct its evil ways.--The legend is pointed by an
apposite moral; for the brethren are exhorted to "pray, read, sing, and
write, always bearing in mind, that one devil only is allowed to assail
a monk who is intent upon his duties, but that a thousand are let loose
to lead the idle into temptation."

The library is open every day, except Sundays and Thursdays, from ten to
two, to everybody who chooses to enter. It is to the credit of the
inhabitants of Rouen, that they avail themselves of the privilege; and
the room usually contains a respectable assemblage of persons of all
classes. The revenue of the library does not amount to more than three
thousand francs per annum; but it is also occasionally assisted by
government. The French ministers of state consider that it is the
interest of the nation to promote the publication of splendid works,
either by pecuniary grants to the authors, or, as more commonly happens,
by subscribing for a number of copies, which they distribute amongst the
public libraries of the kingdom.--I could say a great deal upon the
difference in the conduct of the governments of France and England in
this respect, but it would be out of place; and I trust that our House
of Commons will not be long before they expunge from the statute-books,
a law which, under the shameless pretence of "encouraging learning," is
in fact a disgrace to the country.

The museum is also established at the Hôtel-de-Ville, where it occupies
a long gallery and a room adjoining. It is under the superintendence of
M. Descamps, son of the author of two very useful works, _La Vie des
Peintres Flamands_ and _Le Voyage Pittoresque_. The father was born at
Dunkirk, in 1714, but lived principally at Paris, till an accidental
circumstance fixed him at Rouen, in 1740. On his way to England, he here
formed an acquaintance with M. de Cideville, the friend of Voltaire,
who, anxious for the honor of his native town, persuaded the young
artist to select it as the place of his future residence. The event
fully answered his expectation; for the ability and zeal of M. Descamps
soon gave new life to the arts at Rouen. A public academy of painting
was formed under his auspices, to which he afforded gratuitous
instruction; and its celebrity increased so rapidly, that the number of
pupils soon amounted to three hundred; and Norman authors continued to
anticipate in fancy the creation of a Norman school, which should rival
those of Bologna and Florence, until the very moment when the revolution
dispelled this day-dream. Descamps died at the close of the last
century. To his son, who inherits his parent's taste, with no small
portion of his talent, we were indebted for much obliging attention.

The museum is open to the public on Sundays and Thursdays; but daily to
students and strangers. It contains upwards of two hundred and thirty
paintings. Of these, the great mass is undoubtedly by French artists,
comparatively little known and of small merit, imitators of Poussin and
Le Brun. Such paintings as bear the names of the old Italian masters,
are in general copies; some of them, indeed, not bad imitations. Among
them is one of the celebrated Raphael, commonly called the _Madonna di
San Sisto_, a very beautiful copy, especially in the head of the virgin,
and the female saint on her left hand. It is esteemed one of his finest
pieces; but few of his pictures are less generally known: there is no
engraving of it in Landon's eight volumes of his works.

Looking to the unquestionable originals in the collection, there are
perhaps none of greater value than Jouvenet's finished sketches for the
dome of the Hôtel des Invalides, at Paris. They represent the twelve
apostles, each with his symbol, and are extremely well composed, with a
bold system of light and shadow. The museum has five other pictures by
the same master; in this number are his own portrait, a vigorous
performance, as well in point of character as of color; and the _Death
of St. Francis_, which has generally been considered one of his happiest
works. Both these were painted with his left hand. The death of St.
Francis is said to have been his first attempt at using the brush, after
he was affected with paralysis, and to have been done by way of model
for his scholar, Restout, whom he had desired to execute the same
subject for him. A _Christ bearing his Cross_, by Polemburg; is a little
piece of high finish and considerable merit; an _Ecce Homo_, by Mignard,
is excellent; and a _St. Francis in Extasy_, by Annibal Caracci, is a
good illustration of the true character of the Bolognese school: it is a
fine and dignified picture, depending for its excellence upon a grand
character of expression and drawing, and light and shade, and not at all
on bright or varied coloring, to which it makes no pretension.

As local curiosities, the attention of the amateur should be devoted to
the productions of the painters to whom Rouen has given birth, Restout,
Lemonnier, Deshays, Leger, Houel, Letellier, and Sacquespée, artists,
not of the first class, but of sufficient merit to do great credit to
the exhibition of a provincial metropolis.

From these recent specimens, you would turn with the more pleasure to a
picture by Van Eyck, the inventor, as it is generally supposed, of oil
painting. Let us respect these fathers of the art. Let us pardon the
stiffness of their composition, the formality of their figures, the
inelegance of their draperies, the hardness of their outlines, and the
want of chiaroscuro;--for, in spite of all these failings, there is a
truth to nature, and a richness of coloring, which always attract and
win. The picture in question is the _Virgin Mother in her Domestic
Retirement_, surrounded by her family, a comely party of young females
in splendid attire, some of them wearing the bridal crown. It is
altogether a curiosity, partaking, indeed, of the general bad taste of
the times, but painted with great attention to nature in the minutiæ,
and resembling Lionardo da Vinci in many particulars, especially in the
high finishing, the coloring of the carnations, and the grace, and
beauty of some of the heads. The draperies, too, are rich and brilliant.

This museum is a recent erection: most, if not all, of the departments
of France, possess similar establishments in their principal towns. The
basis of the collection is founded upon the plunder of the suppressed
monasteries; but M. Descamps told us that, in the course of a journey to
Italy, he had been the means of adding to this, at Rouen, its principal
ornaments. He had the greater merit of preserving it entire, when orders
were transmitted from Paris to send off its best pictures, to replace
those taken from the Louvre by the allies; for on all occasions, whether
great or small, the interests of the departments are sacrificed without
mercy to the engulphing capital. Descamps was firm in defending his
trust: he resisted the spoliation, upon the principle that the museum
was the private property of the town; and the plea was admitted.

The same conventual buildings also contain the rooms appropriated to the
use of the academy at Rouen, a royal institution of old standing, and
which has published fifteen volumes of its transactions.--It was
founded in 1744, under a charter granted to the Duke of Luxembourg, then
governor of the province, and its first president. The present
complement of members consists of forty-six fellows, besides
non-resident associates. Its meetings are held every Friday evening, and
the members, as at the institute at Paris, read their own papers. A few
nights ago, at a meeting of this academy, I heard a memoir from the pen
of the professor of botany, in which he dwelt at large upon the family
of the lilies, but prized and praised them for nothing so much as for
their connection with the Bourbon family. I mention the fact to shew you
how readily the French seize hold of every occasion of displaying their
devotion to the powers that be. In 1814, at the moment of the
restoration of Louis XVIIIth, we were not surprised to see every town
and village between Calais and Paris, decorated with a proud display of
the busts of the monarch, the shields of France and Navarre, and
innumerable devices and mottoes, _consecrated_, as the French say, to
the Bourbons; but four years have given time for this ebullition of
loyalty to subside; and the introduction of such topics at the present
day, and especially in the meetings of a body devoted solely to the
improvement of literature and of the arts and sciences, appears to savor
somewhat of adulation. These praises excited no remarks and no
criticisms; though both might have been expected; for, during the
reading of a paper, the by-standers are allowed to discuss its merits
and its defects. This practice gives the sittings of a French literary
society a degree of life and spirit wanting to ours in England; but I
doubt if the advantage be not more than counter-balanced by the
frequent interruptions which it occasions, and which an ill-natured
person might in some cases suspect to proceed from a desire of
attracting notice, rather than from fair, and just reprehension. I
should be sorry to insinuate that any thing of this kind was evident at
the time, just alluded to, which was the Friday previous to the annual
meeting, the day appointed for taking into consideration the report
intended to be submitted to the full assembly of the inhabitants. The
president also read his projected speech, in the course of which he took
the opportunity of declaring in strong terms his dislike to Napoléon's
plan of education, directed almost exclusively to military affairs and
mathematics: he even stated that the present generation "étoit sans
morale."--The opinion could not be allowed to pass: he found himself
beset on all sides; not an individual supported him; and after a variety
of attempts to palliate and explain away the offensive passage, he was
obliged to consent to expunge it. This will give some farther idea of
the state of public feeling in France: the compliment upon the lilies
passed as words of course; but the same body that tolerated it,
positively refused to stamp with the sanction of their approbation, any
comparison unfavorable to the system of Napoléon, when put in opposition
to that of the subsisting government.

There is another literary body at Rouen; called _la Société
d'Emulation_, of more recent establishment, it having been founded in
1791. Conformably to the national spirit which then prevailed, it is
directed exclusively to the encouragement of manufactories and
agriculture.--This society distributes annual medals as the reward of
improvements and discoveries, though I am afraid that as yet it has
been productive but of slender utility.

Rouen also possesses a Botanic Garden, which was founded in 1738; but
the scite which it now occupies was not thus applied till twenty years
subsequently, when the municipality conveyed the ground in perpetuity to
the academy in its corporate capacity, stipulating that it should yield
a nosegay every year as an appropriate _rent in kind_. At the revolution
a grant like this would scarcely be respected; still less did the
jacobins appreciate the pleasures or advantages derived from the garden.
The demagogues of that period seem to have entered heartily into Jean
Jacques Rousseau's notions, that the arts and sciences were injurious to
mankind: this fine establishment was seized as national property, and,
according to the revolutionary jargon, was _soumissioné_; but a more
temporate faction obtained the ascendancy before the sale was carried
into effect.--The collection is extensive, and the plants are in good
order: I am not however, aware that the city has ever given birth to any
man of eminence in this department of science. Lately, indeed, the Abbé
Le Turquier Deslongchamps, a very well-informed botanist, as well as a
most excellent man, has published a _Flore des Environs de Rouen_, in
two volumes; and there are many instances in which such works have been
known to diffuse a taste, which public gardens and the lectures of
professors had in vain endeavored to excite.

The variety of soil in the vicinity of the city renders it eminently
favorable to the study of botany. It is peculiarly rich in the
_Orchideoe_ of the most beautiful and interesting families of the
vegetable kingdom. The curious _Satyrium hircinun_ is found in the
utmost profusion upon the chalky hills immediately adjoining the city;
and, at but a few miles distance, in a continuation of the same ridge,
the bare chalk, under the romantic hill of St. Adrien, is purpled with
the flowers of the _Viola Rothomagensis_, a plant scarcely known to
exist in any other place.

The suburbs of Rouen abound with nursery-grounds and gardens: the former
contribute greatly to the preservation of the genuine stock of
apple-trees, which furnish the cider, for which Normandy has for many
centuries been celebrated; the latter supply the inhabitants with the
flowers which are seen at almost every window. The square in front of
the cathedral is the principal flower-market; and the bloom and
luxuriance and variety of the plants exposed for sale, render it a most
pleasing promenade. Various species of jessamines and roses, with
oleanders, pomegranates, myrtles, egg-plants, orange and lemon trees,
the _Lilium superbum_ and _tigrinum_, _Canna Indica_, _Gladiolus
cardinalis_, _Clerodendrum fragrans_, _Datura ceratocolla_, _Clethra
alnifolia_, and _Dianthus Carthusianorum_, are to be seen in the
greatest profusion and beauty. They at once attest the care of the
cultivators, and a climate more genial than ours. None of the flowers,
however, excited my envy so much as the _Rosa moschata_, which grows
here in the open air, and diffuses its delicious fragrance from almost
every window of the town.

It is perhaps to the credit of Rouen, that science and learning appear
to flourish more kindly than the drama. The theatre of Rouen is quite
uncharacteristic of the passion which the French usually entertain for
_spectacles_. The house is shabby; the audience, as often as we have
been there, has been small; and in this great city, the capital of an
extensive, populous, and wealthy district we have witnessed acting so
wretched, as would disgrace the floor of a village barn. We have been
much surprised by seeing the performers repeatedly laugh in the face of
the spectators, a thing which I should least of all have expected in
France, where usually, in similar cases, the whole nation is tremblingly
alive to the slightest violations of decorum. And yet Corneille, the
father of the French drama, was born in this city: the scene that is
used for a curtain at the theatre bears his portrait, with the
inscription, "_P. Corneille, natif de Rouen_;" and his apotheosis is
painted upon the cieling. These recollections ought to tend to the
improvement of the drama. The portrait of the great tragedian is more
appropriate than the busts of Henry IVth and Louis XVIIIth, which occupy
opposite sides of the stage; the latter laurelled and flanked with small
white flags, whose staffs terminate in paper lilies.

Corneille and Fontenelle are the citizens, of whom Rouen is most proud:
the house in which Corneille was born, in the _Rue de la Pie_, is still
shewn to strangers. His bust adorns the entrance, together with an
inscription to his honor. The residence of his illustrious nephew, the
author of the _Plurality of Worlds_, is situated in the _Rue des bans
Enfans_, and is distinguished in the same manner. The whole _Siécle de
Louis XIV_, scarcely contains two names upon which Voltaire dwells with
more pleasure.--Rouen was also the birth-place of the learned Bochart,
author of _Sacred Geography_ and of the _Hierozöicon_; of Basnage, who
wrote the _History of the Bible_; of Sanadon, the translator of Horace;
of Pradon, "damn'd," in the Satires of Boileau, "to everlasting fame;"
of Du Moustier, to whom we are indebted for the _Neustria Pia_; of
Jouvenet, whom I have already mentioned as one of the most distinguished
painters of the French school; and of Father Daniel, not less eminent as
an historian.--These, and many others, are gone; but the reflection of
their glory still plays upon the walls of the city, which was bright,
while they lived, with its lustre;--"nam præclara facies, magnæ
divitiæ, ad hoc vis corporis, alia hujuscemodi omnia, brevi dilabuntur;
at ingenii egregia facinora, sicuti anima, immortalia sunt. Postremò
corporis et fortunæ bonorum, ut initium, finis est; omnia orta occidunt
et aucta senescunt: animus incorruptas, æternus, rector humani generis,
agit atque habet cuncta, neque ipse habetur."

The more remote and historical honors of Rouen would present ample
materials. Prior to the Roman invasion, it appears to have been of less
note than as the capital of Neustria.

Julius Cæsar, copious as he is in all that relates to Gaul, makes no
mention of Rouen in his Commentaries. Ptolemy first speaks of it as the
capital of the Velocasses, or Bellocasses, the people of the present
Vexin; but he does not allow his readers to entertain an elevated idea
of its consequence; for he immediately adds, that the inhabitants of the
Pays de Caux were, singly, equal to the Velocasses and Veromandui
together; and that the united forces of the two latter tribes did not
amount to one-tenth part of those which were kept on foot by the
Bellovaci.--Not long after, however, when the Romans became undisputed
masters of Gaul, we find Rouen the capital of the province, called the
_Secunda Lugdunensis_; and from that tine forward, it continued to
increase in importance. Etymologists have been amused and puzzled by
"Rothomagus," its classical name. In an uncritical age, it was contended
that the name afforded good proof of the city having been founded by
Magus, son of Samothes, contemporary of Nimrod. Others, with equal
diligence, sought the root of Rothomagus in the name of Roth, who is
said to have been its tutelary god; and the ancient clergy adopted the
tradition, in the hymn, which forms a part of the service appointed for
the feast of St. Mellonus,--

    "Extirpate Roth idolo,
     Fides est in lumine;
     Ferro cinctus, pane solo
     Pascitur et flumine,
     Post hæc junctus est in polo
     Cum sanctorum agmine."

The partizans of _Roth_ are therefore supported by the authority of the
church; the favorers of _Magus_ must defend themselves by more worldly
erudition; and we must leave the task of deciding between the claims of
the two sections of the word, divided as they are by the neutral _o_, to
wiser heads than ours.

Footnotes:

[119] Précis Analytique des travaux de l'Académie de Rouen, pendant
l'année 1812, p. 164.

[120] At the sale of Mr. Edwards' library, in April 1815, it was bought
by the present Duke of Marlborough for six hundred and eighty-seven
pounds fifteen shillings.--The following anecdote, connected with it,
was communicated to me by a literary friend, who had it from one of the
parties interested; and I take this opportunity of inserting it, as
worthy of a place in some future _Bibliographical Decameron_.--At the
time when the Bedford Missal was on sale, with the rest of the Duchess
of Portland's collection, the late King sent for his bookseller, and
expressed his intention to become the purchaser. The bookseller ventured
to submit to his Majesty, that the article in question, as one highly
curious, was likely to fetch a high price.--"How high?"--"Probably, two
hundred guineas!"--"Two hundred guineas for a Missal!" exclaimed the
Queen, who was present, and lifted up her hands with extreme
astonishment.--"Well, well," said his Majesty, "I'll still have it; but,
since the Queen thinks two hundred guineas so enormous a sum for a
Missal, I'll go no farther."--The bidding for the royal library did
actually stop at that point; and Mr. Edwards carried off the prize by
adding three pounds more.

[121] Published at Rouen, A.D. 1718.--The book professes to be written
by the Sieur de Moléon; but its real author was Jean Baptiste de Brun
Desmarets, son of a bookseller in that city.--He was born in 1650, and
received his education at the Monastery of Port Royal des Champs, with
the monks of which order he kept up such a connection, that he was
finally involved in their ruin. His papers were seized; and he was
himself committed to the Bastille, and imprisoned there five years. He
died at Orleans, 1731.

[122] _Ordericus Vitalis_, in _Duchesne's Scriptores Normanni_, p. 470.

       *       *       *       *       *

END OF THE FIRST VOLUME.



INDEX.


A.

Abbey, of Fécamp,
  Montivilliers,
  Pavilly,
Abbot of the Canards, his patent,
Academy, Royal, at Rouen,
Angel weighing the good and evil deeds of a departed spirit, on a capital
  in the church at Montivilliers,
Archbishop, tomb of, in Rouen cathedral,
Archbishop of Rouen, formerly had jurisdiction at Dieppe
  his present salary,
  the oath taken by him on his accession,
Architecture, perpendicular style of, unknown in Normandy,
Arques, battle of,
Arques, castle of, its origin,
  its history,
  situation,
  described,
  when built,
Arques, town of, formerly a place of importance,
Arques, church of, a beautiful specimen of florid Norman-gothic
  architecture,


B.

B, the mark of money coined at Rouen,
Bedford, John, Duke of, buried in Rouen cathedral,
Bedford Missal, anecdote respecting the sale of, in 1786,
Beggars In France,
Benedictionary, in the public library at Rouen,
Berneval, Alexander, his tomb in the church of St. Ouen
Bertheville, ancient name of Dieppe,
Bochart, a native of Rouen,
Bolbec,
Botanic Garden, at Rouen,
Boulevards, at Rouen,
Bourgueville, his account of the privilege of St. Romain,
Bouzard, I.A., house built for, at Dieppe,
Brezé, Lewis, Duke of, his monument in Rouen cathedral
Bridge of boats, at Rouen,
Brighton, compared with Dieppe,


C.

Cæsar, Julius, Roman camps in France commonly ascribed to,
Cæsar's camp, near Dieppe, described,
  plan of,
  if really Roman,
Caletes, name of the former inhabitants of the Pays de Caux,
Canal from Dieppe to Pontoise, projected by Vauban,
Castle, at Dieppe,
  at Lillebonne,
Cathedral at Rouen, described
  western portal
  sculpture over the doors,
  tower of St. Romain,
  Tour de Beurre,
  great bell,
  transepts,
  central tower,
  origin of,
  details of,
  monuments,
  lady-chapel,
  paintings,
  staircase leading to the library,
  relics,
Catherine of Medicis, her sanguinary conduct at the capture of
  Rouen,
Caucalis grandiflora, found at Cæsar's camp, near Dieppe,
Champ du Drap d'or, meeting at, represented in a series of
  bas-reliefs,
Charles Vth, buried in Rouen cathedral,
Charles IXth, his conduct at the capture of Rouen,
Charter, constitutional, of France,
Château de Bouvreuil at Rouen, three towers standing of,
Château du Vieux Palais at Rouen, built by Henry Vth; destroyed
  at the revolution,
Church, of St. Jacques, at Dieppe,
  St. Remi, at ditto,
  Arques,
  the Trinity, at Fécamp,
  St. Stephen, at ditto,
  Montivilliers,
  Harfleur,
  St. Paul, at Rouen,
  St. Gervais, at ditto,
  Léry,
  Pavilly,
  Yainville,
  St. Ouen, Rouen,
  St. Maclou, at ditto,
  St. Patrice, at ditto,
  St. Godard, at ditto,
Churches, in early times, often changed patrons,
Cité de Limes, Cæsar's camp, near Dieppe, anciently so called,
Civitas Limarum, Cæsar's camp, near Dieppe, anciently so called,
Cliffs, height of, near Dieppe,
Conards, confraternity of,
  confined to Rouen and Evreux;
  their original object,
Convent of the Ursulines, at Rouen,
Coqueluchers, name originally borne by the Conards,
Corneille, a native of Rouen,
Costume, of females at Dieppe,
  of the inhabitants of the suburb of Pollet, at Dieppe,
  of the people at Rouen,
Crypt in the church of St. Gervais, at Rouen, the burial place of St.
  Mello,


D.

D'Amboise George, Cardinal of, builds the west portal of Rouen
  cathedral,
  builds the Tour de Beurre, and places in it the great bell called
  after him,
  finishes the lady-chapel in the cathedral,
  builds the archbishop's palace,
  brings the Robec and Aubette to Rouen,
  his monument in Rouen cathedral,
Daniel, Father, native of Rouen,
Deputies, qualifications requisite for, in France,
Descamps, a resident at Rouen, and founder of the academy of
  painting there,
Devotee, anecdote of,
Dicquemare L'Abbé, native of Havre,
Dieppe, arrival at,
  compared with Brighton,
  situation and appearance of,
  harbor and population,
  rebuilt in 1694,
  costume of females,
  castle,
  church of St. Jacques,
  church of St. Remi,
  history of,
  one of the articles in the exchange for Andelys,
  celebrated for its sailors,
  its nautical expeditions,
  its trade in ivory,
  the chief fishing-town in France,
  much patronized by Napoléon,
  formerly under the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Rouen,
  feast of the Assumption at,
Duchies, titular, in Normandy before the revolution,
Du Moulin, his character as an historian,
Du Quesne, Admiral, native of Dieppe,


E.

Electors, qualifications requisite for, in France,
Erodium moschatum, found at Arques,
Establishment, clerical, in France, how paid,
Expences, annual, of the city of Rouen,


F.

Feast of the Assumption, how celebrated at Dieppe,
Fécamp, population and appearance of,
  etymology of the name,
  given by Henry IInd to the abbey,
  formerly the seat of the government of the Pays de Caux,
  a residence of the Norman Dukes,
  now a poor fishing-town,
Fécamp, abbey of, founded in 664,
  famous for the precious blood,
  its armorial bearings,
  burial-place of Duke Richard Ist,
  church of St. Stephen,
Fécamp, church of the abbey,
Ferrand, his reasoning as to any portion of the hair of the Virgin
  being on earth,
Flint, strata of, in the cliffs near Dieppe,
Fontenelle, native of Rouen,
Fontenu, Abbé de, his dissertation on Cæsar's camp,
Fossil shells, found plentifully near Havre,
Fountains, public, at Rouen,
Francis Ist, founder of Havre
Françoisville, name given by Francis Ist to Havre,


G.

Gaguin, his account of the origin of the kingdom of Yvetot,
Game-laws, in France,
Gargouille, dragon so called, destroyed by St. Romain,
Glass, painted, in the cathedral, at Rouen,
  in the church of St. Godard,
Goujon, Jean, author of the embellishments in the French translation
  of the Polifilo,
Graduel, by Daniel d'Eaubonne, in the Public Library at Rouen,
Grâville, priory of,
Guild, of the Assumption at Dieppe,
  of the Passion at Rouen,


H.

Hair of the Virgin, curious dissertation concerning,
Halles, at Rouen,
Harfleur, formerly of importance, now chiefly deserted,
  etymology of the name,
  its history,
  beauty of the tower and spire of the church,
Havre, a great commercial town,
  its present appearance,
  founded in 1515,
  history of,
  eminent men,
Henry, eldest son of Henry IInd, buried in Rouen cathedral,
Henry IVth, his address to the inhabitants of Dieppe,
  speech before the battle of Arques,
Henry Vth, his conduct at the capture of Harfleur,
  builds the Château du Vieux Palais, at Rouen,
Herring and Mackerel Fishery, at Dieppe,
Heylin, Peter, his description of a Norman inn,
  account of the great chamber of the Palais de Justice, at Rouen,
Holy sepulture, chapel of the, in the church at Dieppe,
Hospitals at Rouen, annual charge of,
Houses, construction of, between Yveto and Rouen,
House-rent, expence of, at Rouen,
Huguenots, excesses committed by, in the church of St. Ouen,
Hymn, in honor of St Nicaise and St. Mello,

I.

Inns in Normandy, described by Peter Heylin,
Inscription, on a bénitier, at Dieppe,
  formerly upon crosses, at Rouen,
Ivory, much wrought by the inhabitants of Dieppe,


J.

Joan of Arc, burned at Rouen,
  privileges granted to her family,
Jouvenet, cieling painted by, in the Palais de Justice, at
  Rouen,
  his sketches for the dome of the Hôtel des Invalides,
  native of Rouen,
Judith, Lady, her epitaph at Fécamp,


K.

Kelp, made in large quantity near Dieppe,

L.

Lace, much smuggled into France,
Léry, church of, a fine specimen of Norman architecture,
Library, public, at Rouen, how formed,
  its regulations and revenue,
Lillebonne, ruins of the castle,
  metropolis of the Caletes
Living, expence of, in France,
Livre d'Ivoire,
Longueville, priory of, built by Walter Giffard,
  burial-place of the Talbots,


M.

Machon, Jean, founder of the great bell, at Rouen,
  his epitaph,
Malaunay
Manby, Captain, ill rewarded,
Manuscript, by William de Jumieges,
  fac-simile from,
Maurilius, archbishop of Rouen, his epitaph,
Medallions, remarkable, on the portal of St. Romain, in Rouen
  cathedral,
Megissier, Peter, one of the judges of Joan of Arc,
  his epitaph,
Millin, his account of a crime, screened under the privilege of
  St. Romain,
Milner, Rev. Dr., his description of a monumental effigy in
  Rouen cathedral,
Mint, at Rouen,
Miserere, sculpture upon, in Beverley Minster,
Missal from Jumieges, in the library, at Rouen,
Missals, merit attached to writing, in early times,
Mont aux Malades, near Rouen, site of a ducal palace,
Mont Ste. Catherine, fort upon,
  priory,
  fortress probably Roman,
  view from,
Montfaucon, his engravings of historical sculpture, at Rouen,
Montivilliers, seat of an abbey in the seventh century,
  church,
  remarkable capitals in the church,
  present state of,
Monument, of the Cardinals d'Amboise,
  of the Duc de Brezé
Museum, at Rouen,


N.

Napoléon, benefactor to Dieppe,
  his opinion as to the issue of the battle of Arques,
  jealous of Henry IVth,
  song in his honour,
  began a new bridge at Rouen,
  cleared France of beggars,
Normandy, divided into departments,
  its former titular duchies,


O.

Oath of the Archbishop of Rouen,
Orchideæ, abundant about Rouen,


P.

Palais de Justice, at Rouen, built on the site of the Jewry,
  described,
  now used as a court of assize,
  great chamber in,
Parliament of Normandy,
Parties, state of, in France,
Patent, of the abbot of the Conards,
Pavilly, monastery and church of,
Pays de Caux, the country of the Caletes,
  formerly dignified with the epithet, noble,
Philip de Champagne, painting by, in Rouen cathedral,
Place de la Pucelle, so called because Joan of Arc was burned there,
  monument in it in honor of Joan of Arc,
  house in it richly ornamented with sculpture,
Poirier, his account of the destruction of the Châsse of St. Romain,
Pollet, a suburb of Dieppe, costume of its inhabitants,
Pommeraye, Dom, his account of the outrages committed by the Huguenots
  in the church of St. Ouen,
Precious blood, the most sacred relic at Fécamp,
Priory, of Longueville,
  Grâville,
  at Rouen, on Mont Ste. Catherine,
Procession des Fous, held in the cathedral, at Rouen,


R.

Relics, in old times, often migratory,
  frequently collected on solemn occasions,
Representative system in France,
Révolution, advantages resulting from, to France,
Richard Ist, Duke of Normandy, buried at Fécamp,
  his extraordinary directions respecting his interment,
Richard Coeur-de-Lion, offends the archbishop of Rouen, by building
  Château Gaillard,
  his heart buried at Rouen,
Roads to Paris, by Dieppe, Calais, and Havre, compared,
  from Dieppe to Rouen,
  from Yvetot to Rouen,
Rolec and Aubette, brought to Rouen by the Cardinal d'Amboise,
Robert, paintings by, in the palace at Rouen,
Rollo, his monument and epitaph,
Roth, idol so called, worshipped at Rouen,
Rouen, seen to advantage on entering from Dieppe,
  general character of,
  bridge of boats,
  stone bridge built by Matilda,
  boulevards,
  grand cours,
  costume of the inhabitants,
  house-rent,
  annual expences of the city,
  population,
  probably a Roman station,
  old castles,
  halles,
  privilege of St. Romain,
  capitulation to Henry Vth,
  Château du Vieux Palais,
  petit Château,
  fort on Mont Ste. Catherine,
  priory upon ditto,
  taken by Charles IXth,
  mineral springs,
  church of St. Paul,
  church of St. Gervais,
  palace on the Mont aux Malades,
  old part of the church of St. Ouen,
  cathedral,
  church of St. Ouen,
  church of St; Maclou,
  church of St. Patrice,
  church of St. Godard,
  house of the Abbess of St. Amand,
  Palais de Justice,
  Place de la Pucelle,
  Tour de la Grosse Horloge,
  fountains,
  hospitals,
  mint,
  convent of the Ursulines,
  public library,
  museum,
  academy,
  Société d'Emulation,
  botanic garden,
  flower-market,
  theatre,
  eminent men,
  etymology of the name,
Rousel, John, abbot of St. Ouen, built the present church,


S.

St. Amand, house of the abbess at Rouen,
Ste. Catherine, eminences dedicated to,
St. Gervais, church of, at Rouen,
St. Godard, his monument,
St. Godard, church of, at Rouen, originally dedicated to the Virgin,
  the primitive cathedral of the city,
  famous for its painted glass,
St. Jacques, church of, at Dieppe,
  pendants in the lady-chapel,
  chapel of the sepulchre,
St. Julien, lazar-house of, near Rouen,
  its chapel, a fine specimen of Norman architecture,
  monastery ceded to the Carthusians, and now destroyed
St. Maclou, church of, at Rouen,
St. Mello, buried in the crypt of St. Gervais, at Rouen,
St. Nicaise, buried in the crypt of St. Gervais, at Rouen,
St. Ouen, church of, at Rouen, a fine specimen of pointed
  architecture,
  its history,
  described,
  details of,
  paintings in,
  privileges of,
St. Patrice, church of, at Rouen,
St. Paul, church of, at Rouen
St. Pierre, Bernardin de, native of Havre,
St. Remi, church of, at Dieppe,
  inscription on its bénitier
St. Romain, archbishop of Rouen, dragon destroyed by,
  his shrine in the cathedral,
St. Romain, privilege of,
  abuse committed under its plea,
St. Vallery,
Satyrium hircinum, plentiful near Rouen,
Scuderi, George and Magdalen, natives of Havre,
Sculpture, on the capitals of the church at Montivilliers,
  in the church of St. Paul,
  over the entrances to Rouen cathedral,
  head of Christ, in fine character, in the church of St. Ouen,
  on a house at Rouen,
Senegal, first colonized from Dieppe,
Société d'Emulation, at Rouen,
Stachys germanica, abundant, near Grâville,
Stair-case of filagree stone-work, in the cathedral at Rouen,
  in the church of St. Maclou,


T.

Talbot, fortress called the Bastille, built by, at Dieppe,
Theatre, at Rouen,
Tour de Beurre, in Rouen cathedral, built with money raised from the
  sale of indulgences,
Tour de la Grosse Horloge, at Rouen,


U.

Upper Normandy, limits of,
Ursulines, convent of, at Rouen,


V.

Van Eyck, painting by, in the museum at Rouen,
Vertot, Abbé de, denies the existence of the kingdom of Yvetot,
Viola Rothomagensis, abundant on the hill of St. Adrien,


W.

Walter, archbishop of Rouen, offended with Richard Coeur-de-Lion,
  proverbial for his cunning,
William Longue Epée, his monument and epitaph,
William the Conqueror, sailed from St. Vallery to invade England,
  died in the palace on the Mont aux Malades,
William of Jumieges, the original autograph of his history at Rouen,
Windows, rose, characteristic of French ecclesiastical architecture,


Y.

Yainville, church of,
Yvetot, present appearance of,
  said to have been formerly a kingdom,
  exempt before the revolution from taxes,





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