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Title: Castles and Chateaux of Old Burgundy
Author: Mansfield, M. F. (Milburg Francisco)
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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 [Every attempt has been made to replicate the original as printed.
 Some typographical errors have been corrected; a list follows
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                 Castles and Chateaux of Old Burgundy
                       and the Border Provinces


           _WORKS OF FRANCIS MILTOUN_

                [Illustration]


_Rambles on the Riviera_                       $2.50

_Rambles in Normandy_                           2.50

_Rambles in Brittany_                           2.50

_The Cathedrals and Churches of the Rhine_      2.50

_The Cathedrals of Northern France_             2.50

_The Cathedrals of Southern France_             2.50

_In the Land of Mosques and Minarets_           3.00

_Castles and Chateaux of Old Touraine and
    the Loire Country_                          3.00

_Castles and Chateaux of Old Navarre and
    the Basque Provinces_                       3.00

_Castles and Chateaux of Old Burgundy
    and the Border Provinces_                   3.00

_Italian Highways and Byways from a
    Motor Car_                                  3.00

_The Automobilist Abroad_                 _net_ 3.00

                                   (_Postage Extra_)

[Illustration]

_L. C. Page and Company_

_New England Building, Boston, Mass._

[Illustration: _Chateau de Montbéliard_

(See page 194)
]



                         Castles and Chateaux
                                  OF
                             OLD BURGUNDY
                       AND THE BORDER PROVINCES

                          BY FRANCIS MILTOUN

    Author of "Castles and Chateaux of Old Touraine," "Castles and
       Chateaux of Old Navarre," "Rambles in Normandy," "Italian
              Highways and Byways from a Motor-Car," etc.

                       _With Many Illustrations
              Reproduced from paintings made on the spot_

                          BY BLANCHE MCMANUS

                            [Illustration]

                                BOSTON
                     L.   C.    PAGE   &   COMPANY
                                 1909

                          _Copyright, 1909_,
                        BY L. C. PAGE & COMPANY
                            (INCORPORATED)

                         _All rights reserved_

                   First Impression, November, 1909

                     _Electrotyped and Printed by
                          THE COLONIAL PRESS
                 C. H. Simonds & Co., Boston, U.S.A._



[Illustration: CONTENTS]


CHAPTER                                              PAGE

    I.  THE REALM OF THE BURGUNDIANS                    1

   II.  IN THE VALLEY OF THE YONNE                     19

  III.  AVALLON, VEZELAY, AND CHASTELLUX               36

   IV.  SEMUR-EN-AUXOIS, ÉPOISSES AND BOURBILLY        50

    V.  MONTBARD AND BUSSY-RABUTIN                     62

   VI.  "CHASTILLON AU NOBLE DUC"                      75

  VII.  TONNERRE, TANLAY AND ANCY-LE-FRANC             84

 VIII.  IN OLD BURGUNDY                               101

   IX.  DIJON THE CITY OF THE DUKES                   131

    X.  IN THE COTE D'OR: BEAUNE, LA ROCHEPOT
          AND ÉPINAC                                  113

   XI.  MAÇON, CLUNY AND THE CHAROLLAIS               153

  XII.  IN THE BEAUJOLAIS AND LYONNAIS                170

 XIII.  THE FRANCHE COMTÉ; AUXONNE AND BESANÇON       185

  XIV.  ON THE SWISS BORDER: BUGEY AND BRESSE         199

   XV.  GRENOBLE AND VIZILLE: THE CAPITAL OF THE
          DAUPHINS                                    218

  XVI.  CHAMBÉRY AND THE LAC DU BOURGET               229

 XVII.  IN THE SHADOW OF LA GRANDE CHARTREUSE         245

XVIII.  ANNECY AND LAC LEMAN                          259

  XIX.  THE MOUNTAIN BACKGROUND OF SAVOY              278

   XX.  BY THE BANKS OF THE RHÔNE                     290

  XXI.  IN THE ALPS OF DAUPHINY                       300

 XXII.  IN LOWER DAUPHINY                             313

        INDEX                                         325



[Illustration: List _of_ ILLUSTRATIONS]


                                                       PAGE

CHATEAU DE MONTBÉLIARD (_see page_ 194)      _Frontispiece_

GEOGRAPHICAL LIMITS COVERED BY CONTENTS (Map)             x

THE HEART OF OLD BURGUNDY (Map)               _facing_    2

CHATEAU DE SAINT FARGEAU                      _facing_   28

TOUR GAILLARDE, AUXERRE                       _facing_   32

CHATEAU DE CHASTELLUX                         _facing_   38

SEMUR-EN-AUXOIS                               _facing_   50

CHATEAU D'ÉPOISSES                            _facing_   54

ARNAY-LE-DUC                                  _facing_   60

CHATEAU DE BUSSY-RABUTIN                      _facing_   68

CHATEAU DES DUCS, CHÂTILLON                   _facing_   76

CHATEAU DE TANLAY                             _facing_   90

CHATEAU AND GARDENS OF ANCY-LE-FRANC                     94

CHATEAU OF ANCY-LE-FRANC                      _facing_   96

MONOGRAMS FROM THE CHAMBRE DES FLEURS                    98

BURGUNDY THROUGH THE AGES (Map)                         101

THE DIJONNAIS AND THE BEAUJOLAIS (Map)        _facing_  112

KEY OF VAULTING, DIJON                                  113

CUISINES AT DIJON                                       119

CHATEAU DES DUCS, DIJON                       _facing_  122

CLOS VOUGEOT.--CHAMBERTIN                               137

HOSPICE DE BEAUNE                             _facing_  144

CHATEAU DE LA ROCHEPOT                        _facing_  148

CHATEAU DE SULLY                              _facing_  150

CHATEAU DE CHAUMONT-LA-GUICHE                 _facing_  154

HÔTEL DE VILLE, PARAY-LE-MONAIL               _facing_  156

CHATEAU DE LAMARTINE                          _facing_  166

CHATEAU DE NOBLE                                        169

PALAIS GRANVELLE, BESANÇON                    _facing_  192

THE LION OF BELFORT                                     195

WOMEN OF BRESSE                               _facing_  200

CHATEAU DE VOLTAIRE, FERNEY                   _facing_  204

TOWER OF THE PALAIS DE JUSTICE, GRENOBLE                219

CHATEAU D'URIAGE                              _facing_  224

CHATEAU DE VIZILLE                            _facing_  226

PORTAL OF THE CHATEAU DE CHAMBÉRY             _facing_  230

PORTAL ST. DOMINIQUE, CHAMBÉRY                          231

CHATEAU DE CHAMBÉRY                           _facing_  232

LES CHARMETTES                                          235

CHATEAU DE CHIGNIN                            _facing_  238

ABBEY OF HAUTECOMBE                           _facing_  240

MAISON DES DAUPHINS, TOUR-DE-PIN              _facing_  246

CHATEAU BAYARD                                _facing_  248

LA TOUR SANS VENIN                                      255

CHATEAU D'ANNECY                              _facing_  260

CHATEAU DE RIPAILLE                           _facing_  272

ÉVIAN                                         _facing_  276

AIX-LES-BAINS TO ALBERTVILLE (Map)                      279

MONTMELIAN                                              280

CHATEAU DE MIOLANS                            _facing_  284

CONFLANS                                      _facing_  286

SEAL OF THE NATIVE DAUPHINS                             290

TOWER OF PHILIPPE DE VALOIS, VIENNE           _facing_  292

CHATEAU DE CRUSSOL                            _facing_  298

CHATEAU DE BRIANÇON                           _facing_  304

BRIANÇON; ITS CHATEAU AND OLD FORTIFIED BRIDGE          305

CHATEAU QUEYRAS                               _facing_  308

CHATEAU DE BEAUVOIR                           _facing_  316

CHATEAU DE LA SONE                            _facing_  320

[Illustration: Geographical Limits covered _by_ Contents]



                 Castles and Chateaux of Old Burgundy

                       and the Border Provinces



CHAPTER I

THE REALM OF THE BURGUNDIANS

    "_La plus belle Comté, c'est Flandre;_
     _La plus belle duché, c'est Bourgogne,_
     _Le plus beau royaume, c'est France._"


This statement is of undeniable merit, as some of us, who so love _la
belle France_--even though we be strangers--well know.

The Burgundy of Charlemagne's time was a much vaster extent of territory
than that of the period when the province came to play its own kingly
part. From the borders of Neustria to Lombardia and Provence it extended
from the northwest to the southeast, and from Austrasia and Alamannia in
the northeast to Aquitania and Septimania in the southwest. In other
words, it embraced practically the entire watershed of the Rhône and
even included the upper reaches of the Yonne and Seine and a very large
portion of the Loire; in short, all of the great central plain lying
between the Alps and the Cevennes.

The old Burgundian province was closely allied topographically,
climatically and by ties of family, with many of its neighbouring
political divisions. Almost to the Ile de France this extended on the
north; to the east, the Franche Comté was but a dismemberment; whilst
the Nivernais and the Bourbonnais to the west, through the lands and
influence of their seigneurs, encroached more or less on Burgundy or
vice versa if one chooses to think of it in that way. To the southeast
Dombes, Bresse and Bugey, all closely allied with one another, bridged
the leagues which separated Burgundy from Savoy, and, still farther on,
Dauphiny.

The influence of the Burgundian spirit was, however, over all. The
neighbouring states, the nobility and the people alike, envied and
emulated, as far as they were able, the luxurious life of the Burgundian
seigneurs later. If at one time or another they were actually enemies,
they sooner, in many instances at least, allied themselves as friends or
partisans, and the manner of life of the Burgundians of the middle ages
became their own.

[Illustration: Map

The HEART
_of_
OLD
BURGUNDY
]

Not in the royal domain of France itself, not in luxurious Touraine, was
there more love of splendour and the gorgeous trappings of the
ceremonial of the middle ages than in Burgundy. It has ever been a land
of prosperity and plenty, to which, in these late days, must be added
peace, for there is no region in all France of to-day where there is
more contentment and comfort than in the wealthy and opulent Departments
of the Côte d'Or and the Saône and Loire which, since the Revolution,
have been carved out of the very heart of old Burgundy.

The French themselves are not commonly thought to be great travellers,
but they love "_le voyage_" nevertheless, and they are as justifiably
proud of their antiquities and their historical monuments as any other
race on earth. That they love their _patrie_, and all that pertains to
it, with a devotion seemingly inexplicable to a people who go in only
for "spreadeaglism," goes without saying.

    "_Qu'il est doux de courir le monde!_
     _Ah! qu'il est doux de voyager!_"

sang the author of the libretto of "Diamants de la Couronne," and he
certainly expressed the sentiment well.

The Parisians themselves know and love Burgundy perhaps more than any
other of the old mediæval provinces; that is, they seemingly love it for
itself; such minor contempt as they have for a Provençal, a Norman or a
Breton does not exist with regard to a Bourguignon.

Said Michelet: "Burgundy is a country where all are possessed of a
pompous and solemn eloquence." This is a tribute to its men. And he
continued: "It is a country of good livers and joyous seasons"--and this
is an encomium of its bounty.

The men of the modern world who own to Burgundy as their _patrie_ are
almost too numerous to catalogue, but all will recall the names of
Buffon, Guyton de Morveau, Monge and Carnot, Rude, Rameau, Sambin,
Greuze and Prud'hon.

In the arts, too, Burgundy has played its own special part, and if the
chateau-builder did not here run riot as luxuriously as in Touraine, he
at least builded well and left innumerable examples behind which will
please the lover of historic shrines no less than the more florid
Renaissance of the Loire.

In the eighteenth century, the heart of Burgundy was traversed by the
celebrated "_coches d'eau_" which, as a means of transportation for
travellers, was considerably more of an approach to the ideal than the
railway of to-day. These "_coches d'eau_" covered the distance from
Chalon to Lyon via the Saône. One reads in the "Almanach de Lyon et des
Provinces de Lyonnois, Forêz et Beaujolais, pour l'année bissextile
1760," that two of these "_coches_" each week left Lyon, on Mondays and
Thursdays, making the journey to Chalon without interruption via
Trévoux, Mâcon and Tournus. From Lyon to Chalon took the better part of
two and a half days' time, but the descent was accomplished in less than
two days. From Chalon, by "_guimbarde_," it was an affair of eight days
to Paris via Arnay-le-Duc, Saulieu, Vermanton, Auxerre, Joigny and Sens.
By diligence all the way, the journey from the capital to Lyon was made
in five days in summer and six in winter. Says Mercier in his "Tableau
de Paris": "When Sunday came on, the journey mass was said at three
o'clock in the morning at some tavern en route."

The ways and means of travel in Burgundy have considerably changed in
the last two hundred years, but the old-time flavour of the road still
hangs over all, and the traveller down through Burgundy to-day,
especially if he goes by road, may experience not a little of the charm
which has all but disappeared from modern France and its interminably
straight, level, tree-lined highways. Often enough one may stop at some
old posting inn famous in history and, as he wheels his way along, will
see the same historic monuments, magnificent churches and chateaux as
did that prolific letter writer, Madame de Sévigné.

Apropos of these mediæval and Renaissance chateaux scattered up and down
France, the Sieur Colin, in 1654, produced a work entitled "Le Fidèle
Conducteur pour les Voyages en France" in which he said that every
hillside throughout the kingdom was dotted with a "_belle maison_" or a
"_palais_." He, too, like some of us of a later day, believed France the
land of _chateaux par excellence_.

Evelyn, the diarist (1641-1647), thought much the same thing and so
recorded his opinion.

The Duchesse de Longueville, (1646-1647), on her journey from Paris
called the first chateau passed on the way a "_palais des fées_," which
it doubtless was in aspect, and Mlle. de Montpensier, in a lodging with
which she was forced to put up at Saint Fargeau, named it "_plus beau
d'un chateau_,"--a true enough estimate of many a _maison bourgeois_ of
the time. At Pouges-les-Eaux, in the Nivernais, just on the borders of
Burgundy, whilst she was still travelling south, Mlle. de Montpensier
put up at the chateau of a family friend and partook of an excellent
dinner. This really speaks much for the appointments of the house in
which she stopped, though one is forced to imagine the other attributes.
She seemingly had arrived late, for she wrote: "I was indeed greatly
surprised and pleased with my welcome; one could hardly have expected
such attentions at so unseemly an hour."

La Fontaine was a most conscientious traveller and said some grand
things of the Renaissance chateaux-builders of which literary history
has neglected to make mention.

Lippomano, the Venetian Ambassador of the sixteenth century, professed
to have met with a population uncivil and wanting in probity, but he
exalted, nevertheless, to the highest the admirable chateaux of princes
and seigneurs which he saw on the way through Burgundy. Zinzerling, a
young German traveller, in the year 1616, remarked much the same thing,
but regretted that a certain class of sight-seers was even then wont to
scribble names in public places. We of to-day who love old monuments
have, then, no more reason to complain than had this observant
traveller of three hundred years ago.

Madame Laroche was an indefatigable traveller of a later day (1787), and
her comments on the "_belles maisons de campagne_" in these parts (she
was not a guest in royal chateaux, it seems) throw many interesting side
lights on the people, the manners and the customs of her time.

Bertin in his "Voyage de Bourgogne" recounts a noble welcome which he
received at the chateau of a Burgundian seigneur--"Salvos of musketry,
with the seigneur and the ladies of his household awaiting on the
_perron_." This would have made an ideal stage grouping.

Arthur Young, the English agriculturist, travelling in France just
previous to the Revolution, had all manner of comment for the French
dwelling of whatever rank, but his observations in general were more
with reference to the _chaumières_ of peasants than with the chateaux of
seigneurs.

Time was when France was more thickly bestrewn with great monasteries
and abbeys than now. They were in many ways the rivals of the palatial
country houses of the seigneurs, and their princely _abbés_ and priors
and prelates frequently wielded a local power no less militant than
that of their secular neighbours.

Great churches, abbeys, monasteries, fortresses, chateaux, donjons and
barbican gates are hardly less frequently seen in France to-day than
they were of old, although in many instances a ruin only exists to tell
the tale of former splendour.

This is as true of Burgundy as it is of other parts of France; indeed,
it is, perhaps, a more apt reference here than it would be with regard
to Normandy or Picardy, where many a mediæval civic or religious shrine
has been made into a warehouse or a beet-sugar factory. The closest
comparison of this nature that one can make with respect to these parts
is that some Cistercian monastery has become a "wine-chateau" like the
Clos Vougeot or Beaune's Hospice or Hotel Dieu, which, in truth, at
certain periods, is nothing more nor less than a great wholesale
wine-shop.

Mediæval French towns, as well in Burgundy as elsewhere, were invariably
built up on one of three plans. The first was an outgrowth of the
remains and débris of a more ancient Gaulish or Roman civilization, and
purely civic and secular. The second class of community came as a
natural ally of some great abbey, seigneurial chateau, really a
fortress or an episcopal foundation which demanded freedom from
molestation as its undeniable right. It was in such latter places that
the bishops and abbés held forth with a magnificence and splendour of
surroundings scarcely less imposing than that of royalty itself, though
their domains were naturally more restricted in area and the powers that
the prelates wielded were often no less powerful than their militant
neighbours. The third class of mediæval settlements were the
_villes-neuves_, or the _villes-franches_, a class of communities
usually exempt from the exactions of seigneurs and churchmen alike, a
class of towns readily recognized by their nomenclature.

By the sixteenth century the soil of France was covered with a myriad of
residential chateaux which were the admiration and envy of the lords of
all nations. There had sprung up beside the old feudal fortresses a
splendid galaxy of luxurious dwellings having more the air of
domesticity than of warfare, which was the chief characteristics of
their predecessors. It was then that the word _chateau_ came to supplant
that of _chastel_ in the old-time chronicles.

Richelieu and the Fronde destroyed many a mediæval fane whose ruins were
afterwards rebuilt by some later seigneur into a Renaissance palace of
great splendour. The Italian builder lent his aid and his imported
profusion of detail until there grew up all over France a distinct
variety of dwelling which quite outdistanced anything that had gone
before. This was true in respect to its general plan as well as with
regard to the luxury of its decorative embellishments. Fortresses were
razed or remodelled, and the chateau--the French chateau as we know it
to-day, distinct from the _chastel_--then first came into being.

Any review of the castle, chateau and palace architecture of France, and
of the historic incident and the personages connected therewith, is
bound to divide itself into a geographical or climatic category. To
begin with the manner of building of the southland was only transplanted
in northern soil experimentally, and it did not always take root so
vigorously that it was able to live.

The Renaissance glories of Touraine and the valley of the Loire, though
the outcome of various Italian pilgrimages, were of a more florid and
whimsical fashioning than anything in Italy itself, either at the period
of their inception or even later, and so they are to be considered as
something distinctly French,--indeed, it was their very influence which
was to radiate all over the chateau-building world of the fourteenth,
fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

By contrast, the square and round donjon towers of the
fortress-chateaux--like Arques, Falais and Coucy--were more or less an
indigenous growth taking their plan from nothing alien. Midi and the
centre of France, Provence, the Pyrenees and the valleys of the Rhône
and Saône, gave birth, or development, to still another variety of
mediæval architecture both military and domestic, whilst the Rhine
provinces developed the species along still other constructional lines.

There was, to be sure, a certain reminiscence, or repetition of common
details among all extensive works of mediæval building, but they existed
only by sufferance and were seldom incorporated as constructive elements
beyond the fact that towers were square or round, and that the most
elaborately planned chateaux were built around an inner courtyard, or
were surrounded by a _fosse_, or moat.

In Burgundy and the Bourbonnais, and to some extent in the Nivernais,
there grew up a distinct method of castle-building which was only allied
with the many other varieties scattered over France in the sense that
the fabrics were intended to serve the same purposes as their
contemporaries elsewhere. The solid square shafts flanking a barbican
gate,--the same general effect observable of all fortified towns,--the
profuse use of heavy Renaissance sculpture in town houses, the
interpolated Flemish-Gothic (seen so admirably at Beaune and Dijon), and
above all, the Burgundian school of sculptured figures and figurines
were details which flowered hereabouts as they did nowhere else.

So far as the actual numbers of the edifices go it is evident that
throughout Burgundy ecclesiastical architecture developed at the expense
of the more luxuriously endowed civic and domestic varieties of
Touraine, which, we can not deny, must ever be considered the real
"chateaux country." In Touraine the splendour of ecclesiastical building
took a second place to that of the domestic dwelling, or country or town
house.

For the most part, the Romanesque domestic edifice has disappeared
throughout Burgundy. Only at Cluny are there any very considerable
remains of the domestic architecture of the Romans, and even here there
is nothing very substantial, no tangible reminder of the palace of
emperor or consul, only some fragments of more or less extensive
edifices which were built by the art which the Romans brought with them
from beyond the Alps when they overran Gaul. If one knows how to read
the signs, there may still be seen at Cluny fragments of old Roman walls
of stone, brick, and even of wood, and the fact that they have already
stood for ten or a dozen centuries speaks much for the excellence of
their building. It was undoubtedly something just a bit better than the
modern way of doing things.

Of all the domestic edifices of Burgundy dating from the thirteenth
century or earlier, that enclosing the "cuisines" (the only name by
which this curious architectural detail is known) of the old palace of
the dukes at Dijon is credited by all authorities as being quite the
most remarkable, indeed, the most typical, of its environment. After
this comes the Salle Synodale at Sens. These two, showing the civic and
domestic details of the purely Burgundian manner of building, represent
their epoch at its very best.

In Dauphiny and Savoy, and to a certain extent the indeterminate ground
of Bresse, Dombes and Bugey which linked Burgundy therewith, military
and civic architecture in the middle ages took on slightly different
forms. Nevertheless, the style was more nearly allied to that obtaining
in mid-France than to that of the Midi, or to anything specifically
Italian in motive, although Savoy was for ages connected by liens of
blood with the holder of the Italian crown.

It was only in 1792 that Savoy became a French Département, with the
rather unsatisfactory nomenclature of Mont Blanc. It is true, however,
that by holding to the name of Mont Blanc the new department would at
least have impressed itself upon the travelling public, as well as the
fact that the peak is really French. As it is, it is commonly thought to
be Swiss, though for a fact it is leagues from the Swiss frontier.

Before a score of years had passed Savoy again became subject to an
Italian prince. Less than half a century later "La Savoie" became a
pearl in the French diadem for all time, forming the Départements of
Haute Savoie and Savoie of to-day.

The rectangular fortress-like chateau--indeed more a fortress than a
chateau--was more often found in the plains than in the mountains. It is
for this reason that the chateaux of the Alpine valleys and hillsides of
Savoy and Dauphiny differ from those of the Rhône or the Saône. The
Rhine castle of our imaginations may well stand for one type; the other
is best represented by the great parallelogram of Aigues-Mortes, or
better yet by the walls and towers of the Cité at Carcassonne.

Feudal chateaux up to the thirteenth century were almost always
constructed upon an eminence; it was only with the beginning of this
epoch that the seigneurs dared to build a country house without the
protection of natural bulwarks.

The two types are represented in this book, those of the plain and those
of the mountain, though it is to be remembered that it is the specific
castle-like edifice, and not the purely residential chateau that often
exists in the mountainous regions to the exclusion of the other variety.
After that comes the ornate country house, in many cases lacking utterly
the defences which were the invariable attribute of the castle. Miolans
and Montmelian in Savoy stand for examples of the first mentioned class;
Chastellux, Ancy-le-Franc and Tanlay in Burgundy for the second.

Examples of the _hôtels privées_, the town houses of the seigneurs who
for the most part spent their time in their _maisons de campagne_ of
the large towns and provincial cities are not to be neglected, nor have
they been by the author and artist who have made this book. As examples
may be cited the Maison des Dauphins at Tour-de-Pin, that elaborate
edifice at Paray-le-Monail, various examples at Dijon and the svelt,
though unpretending, Palais des Granvelle at Besançon in the Franche
Comté.

To sum up the chateau architecture, and, to be comprehensive, all
mediæval and Renaissance architecture in France, we may say that it
stands as something distinctly national, something that has absorbed
much of the best of other lands but which has been fused with the
ingenious daring of the Gaul into a style which later went abroad to all
nations of the globe as something distinctly French. It matters little
whether proof of this be sought in Touraine, Burgundy or Poitou, for
while each may possess their eccentricities of style, and excellencies
as varied as their climates, all are to-day distinctly French, and must
be so considered from their inception.

Among these master works which go to give glory and renown to French
architecture are not only the formidable castles and luxurious chateaux
of kings and princes but also the great civic palaces and military
works of contemporary epochs, for these, in many instances, combined the
functions of a royal dwelling with their other condition.



CHAPTER II

IN THE VALLEY OF THE YONNE


There is no more charming river valley in all France than that of the
Yonne, which wanders from mid-Burgundy down to join the Seine just above
Fontainebleau and the artists' haunts of Moret and Montigny.

The present day Département of the Yonne was carved out of a part of the
old Senonais and Auxerrois; the latter, a Burgundian fief, and the
former, a tiny countship under the suzerainty of the Counts of
Champagne. Manners and customs, and art and architecture, however,
throughout the department favour Burgundy in the south rather than the
northern influences which radiated from the Ile de France. This is true
not only with respect to ecclesiastical, civic and military
architecture, but doubly so with the domestic varieties ranging from the
humble cottage to the more ambitious _manoirs_ and _gentilshommeries_,
and finally, to the still more magnificent seigneurial chateaux. Within
the confines of this area are some of the most splendid examples extant
of Burgundian domestic architecture of the Renaissance period.

The Yonne is singularly replete with feudal memories and monuments as
well. One remarks this on all sides, whether one enters direct from
Paris or from the east or west. From the Morvan and the Gatinais down
through the Auxerrois, the Tonnerrois and the Époisses is a definite
sequence of architectural monuments which in a very remarkable way
suggest that they were the outgrowth of a distinctly Burgundian manner
of building, something quite different from anything to be seen
elsewhere.

In the ninth century, when the feudality first began to recognize its
full administrative powers, the local counts of the valley of the Yonne
were deputies merely who put into motion the machinery designed by the
nobler powers, the royal vassals of the powerful fiefs of Auxerre, Sens,
Tonnerre and Avallon. The actual lease of life of these greater powers
varied considerably according to the individual fortunes of their
seigneurs, but those of Joigny and Tonnerre endured until 1789, and the
latter is incorporated into a present day title which even red
republicanism has not succeeded in wiping out.

The real gateway to the Yonne valley is properly enough Sens, but Sens
itself is little or nothing Burgundian with respect to its architectural
glories in general. Its Salle Synodale is the one example which is
distinct from the northern born note which shows so plainly in the tower
and façade of its great cathedral; mostly Sens is reminiscent of the
sway and tastes of the royal Bourbons.

A few leagues south of Sens the aspect of all things changes
precipitately. At Villeneuve-sur-Yonne one takes a gigantic step
backward into the shadowy past. Whether or no he arrives by the
screeching railway or the scorching automobile of the twentieth century,
from the moment he passes the feudal-built gateway which spans the main
street--actually the great national highway which links Paris with the
Swiss and Italian frontiers--and gazes up at its battlemented crest, he
is transported into the realms of romance. Travellers there are,
perhaps, who might prefer to arrive on foot, but there are not many such
passionate pilgrims who would care to do this thing to-day. They had
much better, however, adopt even this mode of travel should no other be
available, for at Villeneuve there are many aids in conjuring up the
genuine old-time spirit of things.

At the opposite end of this long main street is yet another great
barbican gate, the twin of that at the northerly end. Together they form
the sole remaining vestiges of the rampart which enclosed the old
Villeneuve-le-Roi, the title borne by the town of old. Yet despite such
notable landmarks, there are literally thousands of stranger tourists
who rush by Villeneuve by road and rail in a season and give never so
much as a thought or a glance of the eye to its wonderful scenic and
romantic splendours!

Before 1163 Villeneuve was known as Villa-Longa, after its original
Roman nomenclature, but a newer and grander city grew up on the old
emplacement with fortification walls and towers and gates, built at the
orders of Louis VII. It was then that it came to be known as the king's
own city and was called Villeneuve-le-Roi. By a special charter granted
at this time Villeneuve, like Lorris on the banks of the Loire, was
given unusual privileges which made it exempt from Crown taxes, and
allowed the inhabitants to hunt and fish freely--feudal favours which
were none too readily granted in those days. Louis himself gave the new
city the name of Villa-Francia-Regia, but the name was soon corrupted to
Villeneuve-le-Roi. For many years the city served as the chief
Burgundian outpost in the north.

The great tower, or citadel, a part of the royal chateau where the king
lodged on his brief visits to his pet city, was intended at once to
serve as a fortress and a symbol of dignity, and it played the double
part admirably. Attached to this tower on the north was the Royal
Chateau de Salles, a favourite abode of the royalties of the thirteenth
century. Little or nothing of this dwelling remains to-day save the
walls of the chapel, and here and there an expanse of wall built up into
some more humble edifice, but still recognizable as once having
possessed a greater dignity. There are various fragmentary foundation
walls of old towers and other dependencies of the chateau, and the old
ramparts cropping out here and there, but there is no definitely formed
building of a sufficiently commanding presence to warrant rank as a
historical monument of the quality required by the governmental
authorities in order to have its patronage and protection.

Philippe-Auguste, in 1204, assembled here a parliament where the
celebrated ordonnance "Stabilementum Feudorum" was framed. This alone is
enough to make Villeneuve stand out large in the annals of feudalism, if
indeed no monuments whatever existed to bring it to mind. It was the
code by which the entire machinery of French feudalism was put into
motion and kept in running order, and for this reason the Chateau de
Salles, where the king was in residence when he gave his hand and seal
to the document, should occupy a higher place than it usually does. The
Chateau de Salles was called "royal" in distinction to the usual
seigneurial chateau which was merely "noble." It was not so much a
permanent residence of the French monarchs as a sort of a rest-house on
the way down to their Burgundian possession after they had become
masters of the duchy. The donjon tower that one sees to-day is the
chief, indeed the only definitely defined, fragment of this once royal
chateau which still exists, but it is sufficiently impressive and grand
in its proportions to suggest the magnitude of the entire fabric as it
must once have been, and for that reason is all-sufficient in its appeal
to the romantic and historic sense.

Situated as it was on the main highway between Paris and Dijon,
Villeneuve occupied a most important strategic position. It spanned this
old Route Royale with its two city gates, and its ramparts stretched out
on either side in a determinate fashion which allowed no one to enter
or pass through it that might not be welcome. These graceful towered
gateways which exist even to-day were the models from which many more of
their kind were built in other parts of the royal domain, as at
Magny-en-Vexin, at Moret-sur-Loing, and at Mâcon.

A dozen kilometres from Villeneuve-sur-Yonne is Joigny, almost entirely
surrounded by a beautiful wildwood, the Forêt National de Joigny. Joigny
was one of the last of the local fiefs to give up its ancient rights and
privileges. The fief took rank as a Vicomté. Jeanne de Valois founded a
hospice here--the predecessor of the present Hotel Dieu--and the
Cardinal de Gondi of unworthy fame built the local chateau in the early
seventeenth century.

The Chateau de Joigny, as became its dignified state, was nobly endowed,
having been built to the Cardinal's orders by the Italian Serlio in
1550-1613. To-day the structure serves the functions of a schoolhouse
and is little to be remarked save that one hunts it out knowing its
history.

There is this much to say for the schoolhouse-chateau at Joigny; it
partakes of the constructive and decorative elements of the genuine
local manner of building regardless of its Italian origin, and here, as
at Villeneuve, there is a distinct element of novelty in all domestic
architecture which is quite different from the varieties to be remarked
a little further north. There, the town houses are manifestly town
houses, but at Joigny, as often as not, when they advance beyond the
rank of the most humble, they partake somewhat of the attributes of a
castle and somewhat of those of a palace. This is probably because the
conditions of life have become easier, or because, in general, wealth,
even in mediæval times, was more evenly distributed. Certainly the
noblesse here, as we know, was more numerous than in many other
sections.

Any one of a score of Joigny's old Renaissance houses, which line its
main street and the immediate neighbourhood of its market-place, is
suggestive of the opulent life of the seigneurs of old to almost as
great a degree as the Gondi chateau which has now become the
École-Communal.

Of all Joigny's architectural beauties of the past none takes so high a
rank as its magnificent Gothic church of Saint Jean, whose vaultings are
of the most remarkable known. Since the ruling seigneur at the time the
church was rebuilt was a churchman, this is perhaps readily enough
accounted for. It demonstrates, too, the intimacy with which the
affairs of church and state were bound together in those days. A
luxurious local chateau of the purely residential order, not a fortress,
demanded a worthy neighbouring church, and the seigneur, whether or not
he himself was a churchman, often worked hand in hand with the local
prelate to see that the same was supplied and embellished in a worthy
manner. This is evident to the close observer wherever he may rest on
his travels throughout the old French provinces, and here at Joigny it
is notably to be remarked.

Saint Fargeau, in the Commune of Joigny, is unknown by name and
situation to the majority, but for a chateau-town it may well be classed
with many better, or at least more popularly, known. On the principal
place, or square, rises a warm-coloured winsome fabric which is the very
quintessence of mediævalism. It is a more or less battered relic of the
tenth century, and is built in a rosy brick, a most unusual method of
construction for its time.

The history of the Chateau de Saint Fargeau has been most momentous, its
former dwellers therein taking rank with the most noble and influential
of the old régime. Jacques Coeur, the celebrated silversmith of Bourges
and the intimate of Charles VII, Mademoiselle de Montpensier, and the
leader of the Convention--Lepelletier de Saint Fargeau--all lived for a
time within its walls, to mention only three who have made romantic
history, though widely dissimilar were their stations.

An ornate park with various decorative dependencies surrounds the old
chateau on three sides and the ensemble is as undeniably theatrical as
one could hope to find in the real. In general the aspect is grandiose
and it can readily enough be counted as one of the "show-chateaux" of
France, and would be were it better known.

Mlle. de Montpensier--"la Grande Mademoiselle"--was chatelaine of Saint
Fargeau in the mid-seventeenth century. Her comings and goings, to and
from Paris, were ever written down at length in court chronicles and
many were the "incidents"--to give them a mild definition--which
happened here in the valley of the Yonne which made good reading. On one
occasion when Mademoiselle quitted Paris for Saint Fargeau she came in a
modest "_carosse sans armes_." It was for a fact a sort of sub-rosa
sortie, but the historian was discreet on this occasion. Travel in the
old days had not a little of romanticism about it, but for a

[Illustration: _Chateau de Saint Fargeau_]

lady of quality to travel thus was, at the time, a thing unheard of.
This princess of blood royal thus, for once in her life, travelled like
a plebeian.

Closely bound up with the Sennonais were the fiefs of Auxerre and
Tonnerre, whose capitals are to-day of that class of important
provincial cities of the third rank which play so great a part in the
economic affairs of modern France. But their present commercial status
should by no means discount their historic pasts, nor their charm for
the lover of old monuments, since evidences remain at every street
corner to remind one that their origin was in the days when knights were
bold. The railway has since come, followed by electric lights and
automobiles, all of which are once and again found in curious
juxtaposition with a bit of mediæval or Renaissance architecture, in a
manner that is surprising if not shocking. Regardless of the apparent
modernity roundabout, however, there is still enough of the glamour of
mediævalism left to subdue the garishness of twentieth century
innovations. All this makes the charm of French travel,--this unlocked
for combination of the new and the old that one so often meets. One can
not find just this same sort of thing at Paris, nor on the Riviera, nor
anywhere, in fact, except in these minor capitals of the old French
provinces.

The Comté d'Auxerre was created in 1094 by the Roi Robert, who, after
the reunion of the Burgundian kingdom with the French monarchy, gave it
to Renaud, Comte de Nevers, as the dot of one, Adelais, who may have
been his sister, or his cousin--history is not precise. The house of
Nevers possessed the countship until 1182, when it came to Archambaud,
the ninth of the name, Sire de Bourbon. One of his heirs married a son
of the Duc de Bourgogne and to him brought the county of Auxerre, which
thus became Burgundian in fact. Later it took on a separate entity
again, or rather, it allied itself with the Comtes de Tonnerre at a
price paid in and out of hand, it must not be neglected to state, of
144,400 _livres Tournois_. The crown of France, through the Comtes
d'Auxerre, came next into possession, but Charles VII, under the treaty
of Arras, ceded the countship in turn to Philippe-le-Bon, Duc de
Bourgogne. Definite alliance with the royal domain came under Louis XI,
thus the province remained until the Revolution.

With such a history small wonder it is that Auxerre has preserved more
than fleeting memories of its past. Of great civic and domestic
establishments of mediævalism, Auxerre is poverty-stricken nevertheless.
The Episcopal Palace, now the Préfecture, is the most imposing edifice
of its class, and is indeed a worthy thing from every view-point. It has
a covered _loggia_, or gallery running along its façade, making one
think that it was built by, or for, an Italian, which is not improbable,
since it was conceived under the ministership of Cardinal Mazarin who
would, could he have had his way, have made all things French take on an
Italian hue. From this _loggia_ there is a wide-spread, distant view of
the broad valley of the Yonne which here has widened out to considerable
proportions. The history of this Préfectural palace of to-day, save as
it now serves its purpose as a governmental administrative building, is
wholly allied with that of Auxerre's magnificent cathedral and its
battery of sister churches.

Within the edifice, filled with clerks and officials in every cranny,
all busy writing out documents by hand and clogging the wheels of
progress as much as inefficiency can, are still found certain of its
ancient furnishings and fittings. The great Salle des Audiences is still
intact and is a fine example of thirteenth century woodwork. The
wainscotting of its walls and ceiling is remarkably worked with a
finesse of detail that would be hard to duplicate to-day except at the
expense of a lord of finance or a king of petrol. Not even government
contractors, no matter what price they are paid, could presume to supply
anything half so fine.

It was at Auxerre that the art and craft of building noble edifices
developed so highly among churchmen. The builders of the twelfth century
were not only often monks but churchmen of rank as well. They occupied
themselves not only with ecclesiastical architecture, but with painting
and sculpture. One of the first of these clerical master-builders was
Geoffroy, Bishop of Auxerre, and three of his prebendarys were classed
respectively as painters, glass-setters and metal-workers.

The towering structure on the Place du Marché is to-day Auxerre's
nearest approach to a chateau of the romantic age, and this is only a
mere tower to-day, a fragment left behind of a more extensive
residential and fortified chateau which served its double purpose well
in its time. It is something more than a mere belfry, or clock tower,
however. It is called the Tour Gaillarde, and flanked at one time the
principal breach in the rampart wall which surrounded the city. It is
one of the finest specimens of its

[Illustration: _Tour Gaillarde, Auxerre_]

class extant, and is more than the rival of the great Tour de l'Horloge
at Rouen or the pair of towers over which conventional tourists rave, as
they do over the bears in the bear-pit, at Berne in Switzerland.

The entire edifice, the tower and that portion which has disappeared,
formed originally the residence of the governor of the place, the
personal representative of the counts who themselves, in default of a
special residence in their capital, were forced to lodge therein on
their seemingly brief visits. The names of the counts of Tonnerre and
Auxerre appear frequently in the historical chronicles of their time,
but references to their doings lead one to think that they chiefly idled
their time away at Paris. That this great tower made a part of some sort
of a fortified dwelling there is no doubt, but that it was ever a part
of a seigneurial chateau is not so certain.

With respect to the part Auxerre played in the military science of the
middle ages it is interesting to recall that the drum, or _tambour_, is
claimed as of local origin, or at least that it was here first known in
France, in the fourteenth century. No precise date is given and one is
inclined to think that its use with the army of Edward III at Calais on
the 3rd August, 1347, was really its first appearance across the
Channel after all.

Above Auxerre the Yonne divides, or rather takes to itself the Armançon
and the Seruin to swell its bulk as it flows down through the Auxerrois.
Above lies the Avallonnais, where another race of seigneurs contribute
an altogether different series of episodes from that of their
neighbours. It remains a patent fact, however, that the cities and towns
of the valley of the Yonne give one ample proof of the close alliance in
manners and customs of all mid-France of mediæval times.

The inhabitants of this region are not a race apart, but are
traditionally a blend of the "natural" Champenois and the "frank and
loyal" Burgundian,--"strictly keeping to their promises, and with a
notable probity in business affairs," says a proud local historian. Here
in this delightful river valley were bred and nourished the celebrated
painter, Jean-Cousin; the illustrious Vauban, the builder of fortresses;
the enigmatical Chevaliere d'Eon; the artist Soufflot, architect of the
Pantheon; Regnault de Saint-Jean d'Angely, Minister of Napoleon;
Bourrienne, his secretary and afterwards Minister of State under the
Bourbons.

Following the Yonne still upwards towards its source one comes
ultimately to Clamecy. Between Auxerre and Clamecy the riverside is
strewn thickly with the remains of many an ancient feudal fortress or
later chateaux. At Mailly-le-Chateau are the very scanty fragments
of a former edifice built by the Comtes d'Auxerre in the fifteenth
century, and at Chatel-Censoir is another of the same class. At
Coulanges-sur-Yonne is the débris, a tower merely, of what must one day
have been a really splendid edifice, though even locally one can get no
specific information concerning its history.

From Clamecy the highroad crosses the Bazois to Chateau Chinon in the
Nivernais. The name leads one to imagine much, but of chateaux it has
none, though its nomenclature was derived from the emplacement of an
ancient _oppidum gaulois_, a _castrum gallo-romain_ and later a feudal
chateau.

The road on to Burgundy lies to the southwest via the Avallonnais, or,
leaving the watershed of the Yonne for that of the upper Seine, via
Tonnerre and Châtillon-sur-Seine lying to the eastward of Auxerre.



CHAPTER III

AVALLON, VEZELAY AND CHASTELLUX


Avallon owes its origin to the construction of a chateau-fort. It was
built by Robert-le-Pieux, the son of Hugues Capet, in the tenth century.
Little by little the fortress has crumbled and very nearly disappeared.
All that remains are the foundation walls on what is locally called the
Rocher d'Avallon, virtually the pedestal upon which sits the present
city.

Avallon, like neighbouring Semur and Vezelay, sits snugly and proudly
behind its rampart of nature's ravines and gorges, a series of military
defences ready-made which on more than one occasion in mediæval times
served their purpose well.

It was in the old Chateau d'Avallon that Jacques d'Epailly, called
"Forte Épice," was giving a great ball when Philippe-le-Bon beseiged the
city. Jacques treated the inhabitants with the utmost disrespect, even
the ladies, and secretly quitted the ball just before the city troops
surrendered. History says that the weak-hearted gallant sold out to the
enemy and saved himself by the back door, and in spite of no documentary
evidence to this effect the long arm of coincidence points to the
dastardly act in an almost unmistakable manner.

Near Avallon are still to be seen extensive Roman remains. A Roman camp,
the Camp des Alleux, celebrated in Gaulish and Roman history, was here,
and the old Roman road between Lyons and Boulogne in Belgica Secundus
passed near by.

It is not so much with reference to Avallon itself, quaint and
picturesque as the city is, that one's interest lies hereabouts. More
particularly it is in the neighbouring chateaux of Chastellux and
Montréal.

The Seigneur de Chastellux was one of the most powerful vassals of the
Duc de Bourgogne. By hereditary custom the eldest of each new generation
presented himself before the Bishop of Auxerre clad in a surplice
covering his military accoutrements, and wearing a falcon at his wrist.
In this garb he swore to support Church and State, and for this devotion
was vested in the title of Chanoin d'Auxerre, a title which supposedly
served him in good stead in case of military disaster. It was thus that
the Maréchal de Chastellux, a famous warrior, was, as late as 1792,
also a canon of the cathedral at Auxerre. It was, too, in this grotesque
costume that the Chanoin-Comte d'Chastellux welcomed Louis XIV on a
certain visit to Auxerre. At Auxerre, in the cathedral, one sees a
monument commemorative of the Sires de Chastellux. It was erected by
César de Chastellux under the Restoration, to replace the tomb torn down
by the Chapter in the fifteenth century. This desecration, by churchmen
themselves, one must remember, took place in spite of the fact that a
Chastellux was even then a dignitary of the church.

Chastellux, beyond its magnificent chateau, is an indefinable,
unconvincing little bourg, but from the very moment one sets foot within
its quaintly named Hotel de Maréchal de Chastellux he, or she, is
permeated with the very spirit of romance and mediævalism. The bridge
which crosses the Cure in the middle of the village owns to the ripe old
age of three hundred and fifty years, and is still rendering efficient
service. This is something mature for a bridge, even in France, where
many are doing their daily work as they have for centuries. Will the
modern "suspension" affairs do as well? That's what nobody knows! The
hotel, or

[Illustration: _Chateau de Chastellux_]

_auberge_ rather, can not be less aged than the bridge, though the
manner in which it is conducted is not at all antiquated.

A rocky, jagged pedestal, of a height of perhaps a hundred and fifty
feet, holds aloft the fine mass of the Chateau de Chastellux. For eight
centuries this fine old pile was in the making and, though manifestly
non-contemporary as to its details, it holds itself together in a
remarkably consistent manner and presents an ensemble and silhouette far
more satisfactory to view than many a more popular historic monument of
its class. Its great round towers, their coiffes and the pignons and
gables of the roof, give it all a _cachet_ which is so striking that one
forgives, or ignores the fact that it is after all a work of various
epochs.

Visitors here are welcome. One may stroll the corridors and apartments,
the vast halls and the courtyard as fancy wills, except that one is
always discreetly ciceroned by a guardian who may be a man, a woman, or
even a small child. There is none of the espionage system about the
surveillance, however, and one can but feel welcome. Blazons in stone
and wood and tapestries are everywhere. They are the best, or the worst,
of their kind; one really doesn't stop to think which; the effect is
undeniably what one would wish, and surely no carping critic has any
right to exercise his functions here. There is not the least cause to
complain if the furnishings are of non-contemporary periods like the
exterior adornments, because the certain stamp of sincerity and
genuineness over all defies undue criticism.

The Chateau de Chastellux dates, primarily, from the thirteenth century,
with many fifteenth, sixteenth and seventeenth century restorations or
additions which are readily enough to be recognized. From its inception,
the chateau has belonged to the family of Beauvoir-de-Chastellux, the
cadet branch of Anseric-de-Montréal.

Practically triangular in form, as best served its original functions of
a defensive habitation, this most theatrical of all Burgundian chateaux
is flanked by four great attached towers. The Tour de l'Horloge is a
massive rectangular pile of the fifteenth century; the Tour d'Amboise is
a round tower dating from 1592; the Tour de l'Hermitage and the Tour des
Archives, each of them, also round, are of the sixteenth century. In the
disposition and massiveness of these towers alone the Chateau de
Chastellux is unique. Another isolated tower, even more stupendous in
its proportions, is known as the Tour Saint Jean, and is a donjon of
the ideally acceptable variety, dating from some period anterior to the
chateau proper.

Moat-surrounded, the chateau is only to be entered by crossing an
ornamental waterway. One arrives at the actual entrance by the usual
all-eyed roadway ending at the _perron_ of the chateau where a simple
bell-pull silently announces the ways and means of gaining entrance. The
domestic appears at once and without questioning your right proceeds to
do the honours as if it were for yourself alone that the place were kept
open.

The chief and most splendid apartment is the Salle des Gardes, to a
great extent restored, but typical of the best of fifteenth century
workmanship and appointments. Its chimney-piece, as splendid in general
effect as any to be seen in the Loire chateaux, is but a re-made affair,
but follows the best traditions and encloses moreover fragments of
fifteenth century sculptures which are authentically of that period. The
cornice of this majestic apartment bears the Chastellux arms and those
of their allied families, interwoven with the oft repeated inscription,
_Monréal à Sire de Chastellux_. In this same Salle des Gardes are hung a
pair of ancient Gobelins, and set into the floor is a dainty morsel of
an antique mosaic found nearby.

The modern billiard-room, also shown to the inquisitive, contains
portraits of the Chancelier d'Aguesseau and his wife, and its
fittings--aside from the green baize tables and their accessories--are
well carried out after the style of Louis XIII. Good taste, or bad, one
makes no comment, save to suggest that the billiard tables look out of
place.

In what the present dweller calls the Salon Rouge are portraits and
souvenirs of a military ancestor Comte César de Chastellux, who, judging
from his dress and cast of countenance, must have been a warrior bold of
the conventional type.

After the Salle des Gardes the Grand Salon is the most effective
apartment. Its wall and ceiling decorations are the same that were
completed in 1696, and incorporated therein are fourteen portraits of
the Sires and Comtes who one day lived and loved within these castle
walls. These portraits are reproductions of others which were destroyed
by the unchained devils of the French Revolution who made way with so
much valuable documentary evidence from which one might build up French
mediæval history anew. The village church contains several tombal
monuments of the Chastellux.

The Chateau de Montréal, or Mont-Royal, so closely allied with the
fortunes of the Chastellux, between Avallon and Chastellux, is built
high on a mamelon overlooking the Seruin, and is one of the most ancient
and curious places in Burgundy. The little town, of but five hundred
inhabitants, is built up mostly of the material which came from one of
the most ancient of the feudal chateaux of mid-France. This chateau was
originally a primitive fortress, once the residence of Queen Brunhaut,
the wife of the Roi d'Austrasie in 566. It was from this hill-top
residence that the name Montréal has been evolved.

The sparse population of the place were benefited by special privileges
from the earliest times and the _cité movenageuse_ itself was endowed
with many admirable examples of administrative and domestic
architecture.

Of the Renaissance chateaux of the later seigneurs, here and there many
portions remain built into other edifices, but there is no single
example left which, as a whole, takes definite shape as a noble
historical monument. There are a dozen old Renaissance house-fronts,
with here and there a supporting tower or wall which is unquestionably
of mediæval times and might tell thrilling stories could stones but
speak.

In Renaissance annals Montréal was celebrated by the exploit of the Dame
de Ragny (1590), who recaptured the place after it had been taken
possession of by the Ligeurs during the absence of her husband, the
governor.

At the entrance of the old bourg is a great gateway which originally led
to the seigneurial enclosure. It is called the Port d'en Bas and has
arches dating from the thirteenth century. Montréal and its Mediæval
chateau was the cradle of the Anseric-de-Montréal family, who were
dispossessed in 1255 to the profit of the Ducs de Bourgogne. It was to
the cadet branch of this same family Chastellux once belonged.

To the west lies Vezelay, one of the most remarkable conglomerate piles
of ancient masonry to be seen in France to-day. It was a most luxurious
abode in mediæval times, and its great church, with its ornate portal
and façade, ranks as one of the most celebrated in Europe.

Vezelay is on no well-worn tourist track; it is indeed chiefly unknown
except to those who know well their ecclesiastical history. It was
within this famous church that Saint Bernard awakened the fervour of the
Crusade in the breast of Louis-le-Jeune. The abbey church saw, too,
Philippe-Auguste and Richard Coeur-de-Lion start for their Crusades,
and even Saint Louis came here before setting out from Aigues Mortes for
the land of the Turk. This illustrious church quite crushes anything
else in Vezelay by its splendour, but nevertheless the history of its
other monuments has been great, and the part played by the miniscule
city itself has been no less important in more mundane matters. Its
mediæval trading-fairs were famous throughout the provinces of all
France, and even afar.

In the middle ages Vezelay had a population of ten thousand souls;
to-day a bare eight hundred call it their home town.

The seigneurial chateau at Vezelay is hardly in keeping to-day with its
former proud estate. One mounts from the lower town by a winding street
lined on either side by admirably conserved Renaissance houses of an
unpretentious class. The chateau, where lodged Louis-le-Jeune, has
embedded in its façade two great shot launched from Huguenot cannon
during the siege of 1559. Another seigneurial "_hôtel privée_" has over
its portal this inscription:

    "_Comme Colombe humble et simple seray_
     _Et à mon nom mes moeurs conformeray._"

Here in opulent Basse-Bourgogne, where the vassals of a seigneur were
often as powerful as he, their dwellings were frequently quite as
splendid as the official residence of the overlord. It is this genuinely
unspoiled mediæval aspect of seemingly nearly all the houses of this
curious old town of Vezelay which give the place its charm.

The Porte Neuve is a great dependent tower which formerly was attached
to the residence of the governor--the chateau-fort in fact--and it still
stands militant as of old, supported on either side by two enormous
round towers and surmounted by a machicoulis and a serrated cornice
which tells much of its efficiency as a mediæval defence. To the right
are still very extensive remains of the fourteenth and fifteenth century
ramparts.

Near Vezelay is the Chateau de Bazoche, which possesses a profound
interest for the student of military architecture in France by reason of
its having been the birthplace of Maréchal Vauban, who became so
celebrated as a fortress-builder that he, as much as anybody, may be
considered the real welder of modern France. Vauban's body is buried in
the local churchyard, but his heart had the distinction of being torn
from his body and given a glorious (?) burial along with countless other
fragments of military heroes in the Hotel des Invalides at Paris.

Bazoches is not a name that is on the tip of the tongue of every mentor
and guide to French history, though the appearance of its chateau is
such that one wonders that it is not more often cited by the guide-books
which are supposed to point out the quaint and curious to vagabond
travellers. There are many such who had rather worship at a shrine such
as this than to spend their time loitering about the big hotels of the
flash resorts with which the Europe of the average tourist is becoming
overcrowded. Makers of guide-books and the managers of tourist agencies
do not seem to know this.

Bazoches is a townlet of five hundred inhabitants, and not one of them
cares whether you come or go. They do not even marvel that the chateau
is the only thing in the place that ever brings a stranger there,--they
ignore the fact that you are there, so by this reckoning one puts
Bazoches, the town and the chateau, down as something quite unspoiled.
Half the population lives in fine old Gothic and Renaissance houses
which, to many of us, used to living under another species of rooftree,
would seem a palace.

What the Chateau de Bazoches lacks in great renown it makes up for in
imposing effect. Each angle meets in a svelt round tower of the typical
picture-book and stage-carpenter fashion. Each tower is coiffed with a
peaked candle-snuffer cap and a row of machicoulis which gives the whole
edifice a warlike look which is unmistakable. The finest detail of all
is "La Grande Tour" supporting one end of the principle mass of the
chateau, and half built into the hillside which backs it up on the rear.
Vauban bought an old feudal castle in 1663 and added to it after his own
effective manner, thus making the chateau, as one sees it to-day, the
powerful bulwark that it is.

The chateau belongs to-day to the Vibrave family, who keep open house
for the visitor who would see within and without. The principle
apartment is entirely furnished with the same belongings which served
Vauban for his personal use.

Another neighbouring chateau, bearing also the name Chateau de Vauban,
was also the property of the Maréchal. It dates from the sixteenth
century, and though in no way historic, has many architectural details
worthy of observation and remark.



CHAPTER IV

SEMUR-EN-AUXOIS, ÉPOISSES AND BOURBILLY


Due east from Avallon some thirty odd kilometres is Semur-en-Auxois. It
is well described as a feudal city without and a banal one within. Its
mediæval walls and gates lead one to expect the same old-world
atmosphere over all, but, aside from its churches and an occasional
architectural display of a Renaissance house-front, its cast of
countenance, when seen from its decidedly bourgeois point of view, is,
if not modern, at least matter-of-fact and unsympathetic.

In spite of this its historical recollections are many and varied, and
there are fragments galore of its once proud architectural glories which
bespeak their prime importance, and also that the vandal hand of
so-called progress and improvement has fallen heavily on all sides.

The site of Semur to a great extent gives it that far-away mediæval
look; that, at least, could not be taken away from it. It possesses,
moreover, one of the most astonishing

[Illustration: _Semur-en-Auxois_]

silhouettes of any hill-top town in France. Like Constantine in North
Africa it is walled and battlemented by a series of natural defences in
the form of ravines or gorges so profound that certainly no ordinary
invading force could have entered the city.

Semur was formerly the capital of the Auxois, and for some time held the
same rank in the Burgundian Duchy.

The city from within suggests little of mediævalism. Prosperity and
contentment do not make for a picturesque and romantic environment of
the life of the twentieth century. It was different in the olden time.
Semur, by and large, is of the age of mediævalism, however, though one
has to delve below the surface to discover this after having passed the
great walls and portals of its natural and artificial ramparts.

Semur's bourg, donjon and chateau, as the respective quarters of the
town are known, tell the story of its past, but they tell it only by
suggestion. The ancient fortifications, as entire works, have
disappeared, and the chateau has become a barracks or a hospital. Only
the chateau donjon and immediate dependencies, a group of towering
walls, rise grim and silent as of old above the great arch of the bridge
flung so daringly across the Armançon at the bottom of the gorge.

The last proprietor of Semur's chateau was the Marquis du Chatelet, the
husband of the even more celebrated Madame du Chatelet, who held so
great a place in the life of Voltaire. The philosopher, it seems,
resided here for a time, and his room is still kept sacred and shown to
visitors upon application.

Semur as much as anything is a reminder of the past rather than a living
representation of what has gone before. Within the city walls were
enacted many momentous events of state while still it was the Burgundian
capital. Again during the troublous times of the "Ligue," Henri IV
transferred to its old chateau the Parliament which had previously held
its sittings at Dijon.

Semur's monuments deserved a better fate than has befallen them, for
they were magnificent and epoch-making, if not always from an artistic
point of view, at least from an historic one.

We made Semur our headquarters for a little journey to Époisses,
Bourbilly and Montbard, where formerly lived and died the naturalist
Buffon, in the celebrated Chateau de Montbard.

Époisses lies but a few kilometres west of Semur. Its chateau is a
magnificently artistic and historic shrine if there ever was such. In
1677 Madame de Sévigné wrote that she "here descended from her carriage:
_chez son Seigneur d'Époisses_." Here she found herself so comfortably
off that she forgot to go on to Bourbilly, where she was expected and
daily awaited. It was ten days later that she finally moved on; so one
has but the best of opinions regarding the good cheer which was offered
her. At the time it must have been an ideal country house, this mansion
of the Seigneur d'Époisses, as indeed it is to-day. The lady wrote
further: "Here there is the greatest liberty; one reads or walks or
talks or works as he, or she, pleases." This is what everyone desires
and so seldom gets when on a visit. As for the other natural and
artificial charms which surrounded the place, one may well judge by a
contemplation of it to-day.

Here in the chateau, or manor, or whatever manner of rank it actually
takes in one's mind, you may see the room occupied by Madame de Sévigné
on the occasion of her "pleasant visit." It is a "Chambre aux Fleurs" in
truth, and that, too, is the name by which the apartment is officially
known.

Above the mantel, garlanded with flowers carved in wood, one reads the
following attributed to the fascinating Marquise herself. The
circumstance is authenticated in spite of the fantastic orthography. As
a letter writer, at any rate, she made no such faults.

    "_Nos plaisirs ne sont capparence_
     _Et souvent se cache nos pleurs_
     _Sous l'éclat de ces belles fleurs_
     _Qui ne sont que vaine éperance._"

The Chateau de Bourbilly, where Madame de Sévigné was really bound at
the time she lingered on "_chez son cher seigneur_," is a near neighbour
of Époisses. It was the retreat of Madame de Chantal, the ancestress of
Madame de Sévigné, the founder of the Order of the Visitation who has
since become a saint of the church calendar--Sainte Jeanne-de-Chantal.

This fine seventeenth century chateau, with its pointed towers and its
mansard, belonged successively to the families Marigny, de Mello, de
Thil, de Savace, de la Tremouille and Rabutin-Chantel, of which the
sanctified Jeanne and Madame de Sévigné were the most illustrious
members.

Madame de Sévigné, the amiable letter writer, sojourned here often on
her voyages up and down France. She herself lived in the

[Illustration: _Chateau d'Époisses_]

Chateau des Rochers in Brittany and her daughter, the Comtesse de
Grignan, in Provence, and they did not a little visiting between the
two. Bourbilly was a convenient and delightful halfway house.

Madame de Sévigné can not be said to have made Bourbilly her residence
for long at any time. For a fact she was as frequently a guest at the
neighbouring Chateau de Guitant, a feudal dwelling still inhabited by
the de Guitants, or at Époisses, as she was at Bourbilly.

In the chapel, which is of the sixteenth century, is the tomb of the
Baron de Bussy-Rabutin and some _reliques_ of Sainte-Jeanne-de-Chantal.
The latter has served to make of Bourbilly a pilgrim shrine which, on
the 21st August, draws a throng from all parts for the annual fête.

There was a popular impression long current among French writers that
Madame de Sévigné was born in the Chateau de Bourbilly. A line or two of
that indefatigable penman, Bussy, tended to make this ready of belief
when he wrote of his cousin as "_Une demoiselle de Bourgogne egarée en
Bretagne_." She herself claimed to have been "transplanted," but it was
a transplantation by marriage; she was most certainly not born at
Bourbilly, at any rate, for history, better informed than an
unconvincing scribbler, states that she was born in Paris, like Molière
and Voltaire, who also have finally been claimed by the capital as her
own.

At all events, at Bourbilly Madame de Sévigné was true enough on the
land of the "_vieux chateau de ses pères, ses belles prairies, sa petite
rivière, ses magnifiques bois_." It was her property in fact, or came to
be, and she might have lived there had she chosen. She would not dispose
of it when importuned to do so, and replied simply, but coldly (one
reads this in the "Letters"), "I will not sell the property for the
reason that I wish to hand it down to my daughter." From this one would
think that she had a great affection for it, but at times it was a
"_vieux chateau_" and at others it was a "_horrible maison_." Capricious
woman! The letters of Madame de Sévigné written from here were not
numerous, as she only "stopped over" on her various journeyings. When
one recognizes the tastes and habits of the Marquise, it is not to be
wondered at that her visits to Bourbilly were neither prolonged nor
multiplied.

Turning one's itinerary south from Semur one comes shortly to
Cussy-la-Colonne, where "la Colonne" is recognized by the archæologists
as one of the most celebrated and most ancient monuments of Burgundy.

One learns from the inscription in Franco-Latin that the ancient
monument (_antiquissimum hoc monumentum_) much damaged by the flapping
wings of time, was rebuilt, as nearly as possible in its original form,
by a prefect of the Department of the Côte d'Or (Collis Aurei
Praefectus), M. Charles Arbaud, in the reign (sous l'empire) of Charles
X (imperante Carolo X.... Anno Salutis MDCCCXXV.) An astonishing mélange
this of the tongue of Cicero and modern administrative _patois_.

The Colonne de Cussy, is rather a pagan memorial of a victory of the
Romans in the reign of Diocletian, or, from another surmise, a funeral
monument to a Roman general dead on the eve of victory. In either case,
there it stands fragmentary and wind and weather worn like the pillars
of Hercules or Pompey.

One simply notes Cussy and its "colonne" _en passant_ on the road to
Saulieu and Arnay-le-Duc, where the Ducs de Bourgogne had one of their
most favoured country houses, or manors.

We only stopped at Saulieu by chance anyway; we stopped for the night in
fact because it was getting too late to push on farther, and we were
glad indeed that we did.

Saulieu is a most ancient town and owes its name to a neighbouring wood.
Here was first erected a pagan temple to the sun; fragments of it have
recently been found; and here one may still see the tracings of the old
Roman way crossing what was afterwards,--to the powerful colony at
Autun,--the Duchy of Burgundy.

As a fortified place Saulieu was most potent, but in 1519 a pest
destroyed almost its total population. Disaster after disaster fell upon
it and the place never again achieved the prominence of its neighbouring
contemporaries.

It was here at Saulieu in Revolutionary times that the good people, as
if in remembrance of the disasters which had befallen them under
monarchial days, hailed with joy the arrival of the men of the
Marseilles Battalion as they were marching on Paris "to help capture
Capet's castle." Before the church of Saint Saturnin the Patriots' Club
had lighted a big bonfire, and the "Men of the Midi" were received with
open arms and a warm welcome.

"How good they were to us at Saulieu," said one of the number,
recounting his adventures upon his arrival at Paris; "they gave us all
the wine we could swallow and all the good things we could eat,--we had
enough boeuf-à-la-daub to rise over our ears...."

To-day the good folk of Saulieu treat the stranger in not unsimilar
fashion, and though the town lacks noble monuments it makes up for the
deficiency in its good cheer. Saulieu in this respect quite lives up to
its reputation of old. This little capital of the Morvan-Bourguignon has
ever owned to one or more distinguished Vatel's. Madame de Sévigné, in
1677, stopped here at a friend's country house, and, as she wrote, "_le
fermier donne à tous un grand diner_." This was probably the Manoir de
Guitant between Bourbilly and Saulieu. They were long at table, for it
was a _diner des adieux_ given by her friend Guitant to his visitors.
She wrote further: "With the dinner one drank a great deal, and
afterwards a great deal more; all went off with the greatest possible
éclat. Voila l'affaire!"

Evidently such a manner of parting did not produce sadness!

A donjon tower with a duck-pond before it, opposite the Hotel de la
Poste is all the mediævalism that one sees within the town at Saulieu
to-day. It is all that one's imagination can conjure up of the ideal
donjon of mediævalism and interesting withal, though its history is most
brief, indeed may be said to exist not at all in recorded form, for the
chief references to Saulieu's historic past date back to the pagan
temple and the founding of the Abbey of Saint Andoche in the eighth
century.

Still heading south one comes in a dozen kilometres to a chateau of the
fourteenth century, and the restorations of Henri IV at
Thoisy-la-Berchere. Later restorations, by the Marquis de Montbossier,
who occupies it to-day, have made of it one of the most attractive of
the minor chateaux of France. One may visit it under certain conditions,
whether the family is in residence or not, and will carry away memories
of many splendid chimney pieces and wall tapestries. For the rest the
furnishings are modern, which is saying that they are banal. This of
course need not always be so, but when the Renaissance is mixed with the
art nouveau and the latest fantasies of Dufayal it lacks appeal. This is
as bad as "Empire" and "Mission," which seem to have set the pace for
"club furniture" during the past decade.

Arnay-le-Duc still to the south was the site of a ducal Burgundian manor
which almost reached the distinction of a palace. Here the country
loving dukes spent not a little of their leisure time when away from
their capital.

Arnay-le-Duc, more than any other town of its class in France, retains
its almost undefiled feudal aspect to-day when viewed from beyond the
walls. Formerly it was the seat of a _bailliage_ and has conserved the
débris of the feudal official residence. This is supported in addition
by many fine examples of Renaissance-Burgundian architectural treasures
which give the town at once the stamp of genuineness which it will take
many years of progress to wholly eradicate.

None of these fine structures, least of all the ducal manor, is
perfectly conserved, but the remains are sufficiently ample and well
cared for to merit the classification of still being reckoned habitable
and of importance. The old manor of the dukes has now descended to more
humble uses, but has lost little of the aristocratic bearing which it
once owned.

It was near this fortified bourgade of other days--fortified that the
dukes might rest in peace when they repaired thither--that the infant
Henri IV, at the age of sixteen, received his baptism of fire and first
gained his stripes under the direction of Maréchal de Cossé-Brissac.



CHAPTER V

MONTBARD AND BUSSY-RABUTIN


Montbard lies midway between Semur and Châtillon-sur-Seine, on the great
highroad leading from Burgundy into Champagne. The old Chateau de
Montbard is represented only by the donjon tower which rises grimly
above the modern edifice built around its base and the sprawling little
town which clusters around its park gates at the edge of the tiny river
Brenne.

The "grand seigneur" of Montbard was but a simple man of letters, the
naturalist Buffon. Here he found comfort and tranquillity, and loved the
place and its old associations accordingly. Here he lived, "having
doffed his sword and cloak," and occupied himself only with his literary
labours, though with a gallantry and _esprit_ which could but have
produced the eloquent pages ascribed to him.

Buffon was a native of the town, and through him, more than anyone else,
the town has since been heard of in history.

Having acquired the property of the old chateau, the donjon of which
stood firm and broad on its base, he made of the latter his study, or
_salon de travail_. This is the only remaining portion of the mediæval
castle of Montbard. The ancient walls which existed, though in a ruined
state, were all either levelled or rebuilt by Buffon into the dependent
dwelling which he attached to the donjon. The Revolution, too, did not a
little towards wiping out a part of the structure, as indeed it did the
tomb of the naturalist in the local churchyard.

Buffon, or, to give him his full title, Georges-Louis-Leclerc-de-Buffon
lived here a life of retirement, amid a comfort, perhaps even of luxury,
that caused his jealous critics to say that he worked in a velvet coat,
and that he was a sort of eighteenth century "nature-fakir." This is
probably an injustice.

In 1774 Louis XV made the "_terre de Buffon_" a countship, but the
naturalist chose not to reside in the village of the name, but to live
at Montbard some leagues away.

Montbard's actual celebrity came long before the time of Buffon, for its
chateau was built in the fourteenth century and was for centuries the
possessor of an illustrious sequence of annals intimately associated
with the dukedom of Burgundy.

Jean-Sans-Peur, it is to be noted, passed a portion of his youth within
its walls. This gives it at once rank as a royal chateau, though that
was not actually its classification. The Princesse Anne, sister of
Philippe le Bon, here married the Duke of Bedford in 1423. All this
would seem fame enough for Montbard, but the local old men and women
know no more of their remote rulers than they do of Buffon; local pride
is a very doubtful commodity.

It is disconcerting for a stranger to accost some _bon homme_ or _bonne
femme_ to learn the way to the Chateau de Buffon, and to receive in
reply a simple stare and the observation, "I don't know the man." Aside,
to some crony, you may hear the observation, "Who are these strangers
and what do they want with their man Buffon anyway?" This may seem an
exaggeration, but it is not, and furthermore the thing may happen
anywhere. Glory is but as smoke, and local fame is often an
infinitesimal thing. _Vanitas vanitatum et omnia vanitas!_

Buffon wrote his extensive "Histoire Naturelle" at Montbard. It created
much admiration at the time. To-day Buffon, his work and his chateau are
all but forgotten or ignored, and but few visitors come to continue the
idolatry of Jean Jacques Rousseau, who kissed the "_seuil de la noble
demure_."

Not long since, within some few years at any rate, a former friend of
Alfred de Musset quoted some little known lines of the poet on this
"_berceau de la histoire naturelle_," with the result that quite
recently the local authorities, in establishing the Musée Buffon, have
caused them, to be carved on a panel in the naturalist's former study at
the chateau.

    "Buffon, que ton ombre pardonne
        A une témérité
    D'ajouter une fleur à la double couronne
        Que sur ton front mit l'Immortalité."

Buffon's additions to the old chateau were made for comfort, whatever
they may have lacked of romanticism. The French Pliny was evidently not
in the least romantically inclined, or he would not have levelled these
historic walls and the alleyed walks and gardens laid out in the profuse
and formal manner of those of Italy. The result is a poor substitute for
a picturesque grass-grown ruin, or a faithfully restored mediæval
castle.

Between the Brenne and a canal which flows through the town rises an
admirable feudal tower indicating the one time military and strategic
importance of the site. It is called Mont Bard, and marks where once
stood the fortress that surrendered in its time to the "Ligueurs."

Near Montbard is a hamlet which bears the illustrious name of Buffon,
but it is doubtful if even a few among its three hundred inhabitants
know for whom it is named.

Still further away, on the Châtillon road, is the little town of
Villaines-en-Dumois, a bourg of no importance in the life of modernity.
It is somnolent to an extreme, comfortable-looking and apparently
prosperous. The grand route from Paris to Dijon passes it by a dozen
kilometres to the left, and the railway likewise. Coaching days left it
out in the cold also, and modern travel hardly knows that it exists.

In spite of this the town owns to something more than the trivial
morsels of stone which many a township locally claims as a chateau. Here
was once a favourite summer residence of the Burgundian dukes, and here
to-day the shell, or framework, of the same edifice looks as though it
might easily be made habitable. The property came later to the Madame de
Longueville, the sister of the Grand Condé. There is nothing absolutely
magnificent about it now, but the suggestion of its former estate is
still there to a notable degree. The walls and towers, lacking roofs
though they do, well suggest the princely part the edifice once played
in the life of its time.

In spite of the fact that the name of the town appears in none of the
red or blue backed guide-books, enough is known of it to establish it as
the former temporary seat of one of the most formal of the minor courts
of Europe, where--the records tell--etiquette was as strict as in the
ducal palace at Dijon. Four great round towers are each surrounded by a
half-filled moat, and the suggestion of the old chapel, in the shape of
an expanse of wall which shows a remarkably beautiful ogival window,
definitely remains to give the idea of the former luxury and
magnificence with which the whole structure was endowed.

A detached dwelling, said to be the house of the prior of a neighbouring
monastery who attached himself to the little court, is in rather a
better state of preservation than the chateau itself, and might indeed
be made habitable by one with a modest purse and a desire to play the
"grand seigneur" to-day in some petty gone-to-seed community. These
opportunities exist all up and down France to-day, and this seems as
likely a spot as any for one who wishes to transplant his, or her,
household gods.

Beyond Montbard is Les Laumes, a minor railway junction on the line to
Dijon, which is scarcely ever remembered by the traveller who passes it
by. But, although there is nothing inspiring to be had from even a
glance of the eye in any direction as one stops a brief moment at the
station, nevertheless it is a prolific centre for a series of historical
pilgrimages which, for pleasurable edification, would make the traveller
remember it all his life did he give it more than a passing thought. One
must know its history though, or many of the historic souvenirs will be
passed by without an impression worth while.

On Mont Auxois, rising up back of the town, stands a colossal statue of
Vercingetorix, in memory of a resistance which he here made against the
usually redoubtable Cæsar.

Six kilometres away there is one of the most romantically historic of
all the minor chateaux of France and one not to be omitted from
anybody's chateaux tour of France. It is the Chateau de Bussy-Rabutin,
to-day restored and reinhabited, though for long periods since its
construction it was empty save for bats and mice. This restoration,
which looks to-day like

[Illustration: _Chateau de Bussy-Rabutin_]

a part of the original fabric, was the conceit of the Comte de
Bussy-Rabutin, a cousin of Madame de Sévigné in the seventeenth century.
It gives one the impression of being an exact replica of a seigneurial
domain of its time.

The main fabric is a vast square edifice with four towers, each marking
one of the cardinal points. The Tour du Donjon to the east, and the Tour
de la Chapelle to the west are bound to a heavy ungainly façade which
the Comte Roger de Bussy-Rabutin built in 1649. This ligature is a sort
of a galleried arcade which itself dates from the reign of Henri II.

As to its foundation the chateau probably dates from an ancestor who
came into being in the twelfth century. In later centuries it frequently
changed hands, until it came to Leonard du Rabutin, Baron d'Epiry, and
father of the Comte Roger who did the real work of remodelling. It was
this Comte Roger who has gone down to fame as the too-celebrated cousin
of Madame de Sévigné. To-day, the chateau belongs to Madame la Comtesse
de Sarcus and although it is perhaps the most historic, at least in a
romantic sense, of all the great Renaissance establishments of these
parts, it is known to modern map-makers as the Chateau de Savoigny. Much
of its early history is closely bound with that picturesque owner,
Comte de Bussy-Rabutin.

In Holy Week in 1657, at the age of forty-one, Bussy became involved in
some sort of a military scandal and was exiled from France. The
following year he made peace with the powers that be and returned to
court, when he composed the famous, or infamous, "Histoire Amoureuse des
Gaules," a work of supposed great wit and satirical purport, but
scandalous to a degree unspeakable. It was written to curry favour with
a certain fair lady, the Marquise de Monglat, who had an axe to grind
among a certain coterie of court favourites. Bussy stood her in great
stead and the scheme worked to a charm up to a certain point, when Louis
XIV, not at all pleased with the unseemly satire, hurried its
unthinking, or too willing, author off to the Bastile and kept him there
for five years, that no more of his lucubrations of a similar, or any
other, nature should see the light.

In 1666 Bussy got back to his native land and was again heard of by
boiling over once more with similar indiscretions at Chazeu, near Autun.
Finally he got home to the chateau and there remained for sixteen
consecutive years, not a recluse exactly, and yet not daring to show
his head at Paris. It was a long time before he again regained favour in
royal circles.

The Cour d'Honneur of the chateau is reached by a monumental portal
which traverses the middle of the _corps du logis_. Above this are two
marble busts, one of Sainte-Jeanne-de-Chantal, which came originally
from the Couvent de Visitation at Dijon, and the other of Colbert, the
minister of Louis XIV.

The ancient Salle des Devises (now the modern billiard room) has a very
beautiful pavement of hexagonal tiles, and a series of allegorical
_devises_ which Bussy had painted in 1667 by way of reproach to one of
his feminine admirers. On other panels are painted various reproductions
of royal chateaux and a portrait of Bussy with his emblazoned arms.

The Salon des Grands Hommes de Guerre, on the second floor, is well
explained by its name. Its decorations are chiefly interlaced monograms
of Bussy and the Marquise Monglat, setting off sixty odd portraits of
famous French warriors, from Duguesclin and Dunois to Bussy himself,
who, though more wielder of the pen than the sword, chose to include
himself in the collection. Some of these are originals, contemporary
with the period of their subjects; others are manifestly modern copies
and mediocre at that, though the array of effigies is undeniably
imposing.

The Chambre Sévigné, as one infers, is consecrated to the memory of the
most famous letter writer of her time. For ornamentation it has
twenty-six portraits, one or more being by Mignard, while that of "La
Grande Mademoiselle," who became the Duchesse de Berry, is by Coypel.

Below a portrait of Madame de Sévigné, Bussy caused to be inscribed the
following: "Marie de Rabutin: vive agreable et sage, fille de Celse
Béninge de Rabutin et Marie de Coulanges et femme de Henri de Sévigné."
This, one may be justified in thinking, is quite a biography in brief,
the sort of a description one might expect to find in a seventeenth
century "Who's Who."

Beneath the portrait of her daughter--Comtesse de Grignan--the
inscription reads thus: "Françoise de Sévigné; jolie, amiable, enfin
marchant sur les pas de sa mere sur le chapitre des agreements, fille de
Henri de Sévigné et de Marie de Rabutin et femme du Comte de Grignan." A
rather more extended biography than the former, but condensed withal.

Another neighbouring room is known as the Petite Chambre Sévigné, and
contains some admirable sculptures and paintings.

Leading to the famous Tour Dorée is a long gallery furnished after the
style of the time of Henri II, whilst a great circular room in the tower
itself is richly decorated and furnished, including two _faisceaux_ of
six standards, each bearing the Bussy colours.

Legend and fable have furnished the motive of the frescoes of this
curious apartment, and under one of them, "Céphale et Procris," in which
one recognizes the features of Bussy and the Marquise, his particular
friend, are the following lines:

    "Eprouver si sa femme a le coeur précieux,
     C'est être impertinent autant que curieux:
     Un peu d'obscurité vaut, en cette matière,
     Mille fois mieux que la lumière."

Not logical, you say, and unprincipled. Just that! But as a documentary
expression of the life of the times it is probably genuine.

Here and elsewhere on the walls of the chateau are many really worthy
works of art, portraits by Mignard, Lebrun, Just, and others, including
still another elaborate series of fourteen, representing Richelieu,
Louis XIII, Anne d'Autriche, Mazarin, Louis XIV. Again in the _plafond_
of the great tower are other frescoes representing the "Petits Amours"
of the time, always with the interlaced cyphers of Bussy and Madame la
Comtesse.

From the Chambre Sévigné a gallery leads to the tribune of the chapel.
Here is a portrait gallery of the kings of the third race, of the
parents of Bussy, and of the four Burgundian dukes and duchesses of the
race of Valois. The chapel itself is formed of a part of the Tour Ronde
where are two canvasses of Poussin, a Murillo and one of Andrea del
Sarto.

The gardens and Park of the chateau are attributed to Le Notre, the
garden-maker of Versailles. This may or may not be so, the assertion is
advanced cautiously, because the claim has so often falsely been made of
other chateau properties. The gardens here, however, were certainly
conceived after Le Notre's magnificent manner. There is a great
ornamental water environing the chateau some sixty metres in length and
twelve metres in width, and this of itself is enough to give great
distinction to any garden-plot.



CHAPTER VI

"CHASTILLON AU NOBLE DUC"

(The War Cry of the Bourguignons)


The importance of the ancient Chastillon on the banks of the Seine was
entirely due to the prominence given to it by the Burgundian dukes of
the first race who made it their preferred habitation.

The place was the ancient capital of the Bailliage de la Montague, the
rampart and keep to the Burgundian frontier from the tenth to the
fifteenth century.

The origin of the Chateau des Ducs is blanketed in the night of time.
Savants, even, can not agree as to the date of its commencement. One
says that it and its name were derived from Castico, a rich Sequanais;
and another that it comes from Castell, an enclosed place; or from
Castellio--a small fortress. Each seems plausible in the absence of
anything more definite, though according to the castle's latest
historian it owes its actual inception to the occupation of the Romans
who did build a castrum here in their time.

During the pourparlers between Henri IV and the League, the inhabitants
of the city demanded of Nicolas de Gellan, governor of the place, the
giving up of the castle which had for years been the cause of so much
misery and misfortune. The place had been the culminative point of the
attacks of centuries of warriors, and the inhabitants believed that they
had so suffered that it was time to cry quits.

When the surrender, or the turning over, of the castle took place, all
the population, including women and children, marched en masse upon the
structure, and wall by wall and stone by stone dismantled it, leaving it
in the condition one sees it to-day. A castle of sorts still exists, but
it is a mere wraith of its former self. There is this much to say for
it, however, and that is that its stern, grim walls which still stand
remain as silent witnesses to the fact that it was not despoiled from
without but demolished from within. Peace came soon after, and the
people in submitting to the new régime would not hear of the rebuilding
of the chateau, and so for three hundred years its battered walls and
blank windows have stood the stresses of rigorous winters and broiling
summers, a

[Illustration: _Chateau des Ducs, Châtillon_]

silent and conspicuous monument to the rights of the people.

The majestic tower of the chateau, for something more than the mere
outline of the ground-plan still exists, is bound to two others by a
very considerable expanse of wall of the donjon, and by the _courtines_
which formerly joined the bastions with the main structure.

The suggestion of the ample inner court is still there, and the
foundations of still two other towers, as well as various ruined walls.
A neighbouring edifice, the buildings formerly occupied by the Canons of
Saint Vorles, is inexplicably intermingled with the ruins of the chateau
in a way that makes it difficult to tell where one leaves off and the
other begins. The _chevet_ of the Eglise de Saint Vorles and its
churchyard also intermingle with the confines of the chateau in an
extraordinary manner. To say the least, the juxtaposition of things
secular and ecclesiastic is the least bit incongruous.

Châtillon's Tour de Gissey, practically an accessory to the chateau, is
a noble work whose well-preserved existence is due entirely to the
solidity of its construction. Its lower ranges are of the twelfth and
thirteenth centuries, but its upper gallery and its row of _meurtrières_
were due to the military engineers of Henri IV. who sought to make it
the better serve the purpose of their royal master.

Within this tower are two fine apartments, of which the upper, known as
the Salle des Gardes, was, before the Revolution, the sepulchre of
certain wealthy neighbouring families.

Within the limits of the plot which surrounds the chateau, the church
and the tower, is the tomb of Maréchal Marmont, Duc de Raguse.

The present edifice at Châtillon occupied by the Sous-Préfecture was
built, as a plaque on the wall indicates, by Madame la Comtesse de
Langeac in 1765. It is a fine example of the architecture of the period
which, in spite of glaring inconsistencies to be noted once and again,
is unquestionably most effective, and suggests that after all the
chateau filled its purpose well as a great town house of a wealthy
noble. The building plays a public part to-day, and if it serves its
present purpose half as well as its former, no one should complain.
Within this really superb and palatial structure is still to be seen the
magnificent stairway of forged iron of the period of Louis XVI. Besides
this are various apartments with finely sculptured wooden panels and
rafters of the same epoch, all of which accessories were brought
thither from the nearby Chateau de Courcelles-les-Ranges, demolished
during the Revolution.

The Chateau de Marmont at Châtillon was formerly the princely residence
of the Maréchal de Marmont, rebuilt from the fifteenth century chatelet
occupied by the Sires de Rochefort, who were simply the appointed
chatelains of the Duc de Bourgogne, to whom the property really
belonged.

In various successive eras the edifice was transformed, or added to,
until it took its present form, the gradual transformation leaving
little or no trace of its original plan.

The Maréchal de Marmont, one of Châtillon's most illustrious sons, would
have transformed his native city into a Burgundian Versailles, or at
least a "Garden City." He did found a great agricultural enterprise, of
which the chateau, its gardens and its park, formed the pivot. Too
enterprising for his times, the Duc de Raguse saw himself ruined, and
then came the German invasion of '71, when, in a combat with the
Garibaldians, the chateau was burned.

Châtillon has perpetuated the name of its great man in the public
_place_, and also by naming one of the principal streets for him, but
has not yet erected a statue to him. This indeed may be a blessing in
disguise. Statues in trousers are seldom dignified, and this noble duke
lived too late for cloak and sword or suit armour.

The Chateau de Marmont, so called even to-day, was rebuilt after the
fire and now serves a former Maire of the city as his private residence.

Châtillon-sur-Seine was--though all the world seems to have forgotten or
ignored it--the seat of a convention in 1814 which proposed leaving
France its original territorial limits of 1792, a proposition of the
ambassadors which was utterly rejected by Napoleon.

Albeit that Châtillon lies on the banks of the Seine it is well within
the confines of Burgundy. Roundabout is a most fascinating and little
exploited region.

Thirty kilometres to the north is Bar-sur-Seine and to the northwest
Brienne-le-Chateau, where the Corsican first learned the rudiments of
the art of war.

"_La grand'ville de Bar-sur-Seine a fait trembler Troyes en
Champaigne!_" Poor _grand'ville_! To-day it is withered and all but
dried up and blown away. Poor grand'ville! It is the same of which
Froissart recounts that it lost in one day the houses of nine hundred
"_nobles et de riches bourgeois_" by fire. Without doubt these houses
were of wooden frames and offered but little resistance to fire, as the
period was 1359. Afterwards the town was rebuilt and became again
populous and rich. Then began the decadence, until to-day it is the
least populous "_chef-lieu_" of the department. Its population is, and
ever has been, part Bourguignon and part Champagnois, the latter
province being but a league to the northward, where, on the actual
boundary, is found the curiously named little village of Bourguignons.

South from Châtillon, across the great forest of the same name, one of
the great national forests of France so paternally cared for by the
Minister for Agriculture, is the actual source of the Seine. Here is
what the engineers call a "Chateau d'Faux," though there is little
enough of the real chateau of romance about it. It is simply a
head-house with an iron _grille_ and various culverts and canals and
what not which lead the bubbling waters of the Seine to a wider bed
lower down, there to continue their way, via Paris, to the sea.

A classic sculpture, typifying the Source of the Seine, has been erected
commemorating the achievement of the engineers, but appropriate as the
sentiment is it has not prevented the dishonouring hand of that
abominable certain class of tourist of graving its names and dates
thereon.

The Seine at this point is nothing very majestic. It is simply a
"_humble filet que le nain vert, Oberon, franchirait d'un bond sans
mouiller ses grelots_." All Frenchmen, and Parisians in particular, have
a reverence for every kilometre of the swift-flowing waters of the
Seine. This is perhaps difficult for the stranger, who may be familiar
with greater if less historic streams at home, to appreciate until he
has actually discussed the thing with some Frenchman. Then he learns
that it is the Frenchman's Niagara, Mississippi and Yosemite and Pike's
Peak all rolled into one so far as his worship goes.

Midway between Châtillon and the source is Duesme, a smug, unheard of
little hamlet, the successor of a feudal bourg of great renown in its
day. The sparse ruined walls still suggest the pride of place which it
once held when capital of the powerful Burgundian Countship of Duesme.
Its walls are still something more than mere outlines, but the manorial
residence has become one of those "walled farms," so called, so
frequently seen, and so unexpectedly, in the countryside of France. Here
and there a gate-post, a wall or a gable, is as of old, and two great
ornamental vases support the entrance to the alleyed row of trees which
leads from the highroad to the dwelling, suggesting, if in a vague way,
the old adage, "Other days, other ways."

The fall of this fine old feudal residence has been great, but the
present occupant--if he has a thought or care for such things--must be
content indeed with such a princely farm-house. It must be a fine thing
to raise chickens and other barn-yard livestock amid such surroundings!



CHAPTER VII

TONNERRE, TANLAY AND ANCY-LE-FRANC


The origin of Tonnerre was due to a chateau-fort built here on the right
bank of the Armançon, surrounded by a groupment of huddling dwellings
which, in turn, were enclosed by a corselet wall of ramparts.

Tonnerre grew to its majority through the ambitions of a powerful line
of counts who made the original fortress which they constructed the
centre of a tiny capital of a feudal kingdom in miniature. From the
suzerainty of the Sennonais, of which it was a county, Tonnerre came to
bear the same title under control of the Burgundians, in whose hands it
remained until it passed to the house of Luvois.

Only skimpy odds and ends remain of Tonnerre's one-time flanking gates,
walls and towers. Its old chateau--which the counts invariably referred
to, and with reason doubtless, as a palace--has been rebuilt and
incorporated into the structure of the present hospital, itself a
foundation by Marguerite de Bourgogne and dating back to 1293. No doubt
many of the wards which to-day shelter the ill and crippled were once
the scene of princely revels.

In the nineteenth century the structure was further remodelled and put
in order, but it remains still, from an architectural point of view at
least, an admirable example of Renaissance building, though none of its
attributes to be seen at a first glance are such as are usually
associated with a great chateau of the noblesse of other days. At all
events its functions of to-day are worthy, and it is far better to
admire a mediæval chateau which has become a hospital than one which has
been transformed into a military barracks or a prison for thieves and
cutthroats, an indignity which has been thrust on many a grand old
edifice in France deserving of a better fate. To-day such a hard
sentence is seldom passed. The "Commission des Monuments Historiques"
sees to it that no such desecrations are further committed.

Within the hospice is the remarkably sculptured tomb of Marguerite de
Bourgogne; as remarkably done in fact as the better known ducal tombs at
Dijon, and those of the Église de Brou at Bourg-en-Bresse. The
workmanship of these elaborate sculptures is typical of that known as
the École de Dijon.

Tonnerre's most remarkable sight is neither its chateau, nor its
hospice, at least not according to the inhabitant. There is nothing to
the native more curious or interesting to see than the celebrated Fosse
Dionne (the Fons Dionysius of the ancients), a fountain which supplies
the city with an abundance of fresh water coming from no one knows
where, but spouting from the earth like a geyser, and with a sufficient
force to turn a couple of water-mills. An ordinary enough bubbling
spring is interesting to most of us, so that one enjoying an ancient and
mysterious reputation is put down as a local curiosity well worth coming
miles to see.

Half a dozen kilometres out from Tonnerre, on the road to
Châtillon-sur-Seine, is the Chateau de Tanlay, not known at all to the
travellers by express trains who are whisked by to Switzerland with
never as much as a slow-up or a whistle as they pass the little station
but a short distance from the park gates.

The Chateau de Tanlay is a superb relic of a sixteenth century work.
This was a period when architectural art had become debased not a
little, but here there is scarcely a trace of its having fallen off
from the best traditions of a couple of centuries before. It is this
fact, and some others, that makes Tanlay a sight not to be neglected by
the lover of old chateaux.

In the midst of a great flowered and shady park sits this admirable
edifice belonging to the descendants of the family of Coligny. It was
here, to be precise, that the Coligny and the Prince de Condé leagued
themselves together against the wily Catherine de Medicis and her crew,
and much bad blood was shed on both sides before they got en rapport
again.

The Chateau de Tanlay is perhaps the finest, certainly one of the most
monumental, chateaux of Burgundy. Frankly Renaissance, the best of it
dating from 1559, it was begun by Coligny d'Andelot, the brother of the
"Admiral."

One of the most notable of its constructive features is the imposing
Tour de la Ligue where, previous to that dread Saint Bartholomew's
night, the Colignys and the Prince de Condé and their followers plotted
and planned their future actions, and those of their associated
Ligueurs.

The Marquis de Tanlay, the present owner of the ancient lands of the
Courtneys of royal race, graciously opens the portal of the chateau that
the world of curiosity-loving folk who pass by may enter if they will,
and marvel at the delights within.

The "Terre de Tanlay" in the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth
centuries belonged to the de Courtneys, by whom, it was sold to Louise
de Montmorency, the mother of the Huguenot Admiral of Henri IV. This
latter, in 1559, ceded it to another of her sons, François d'Andelot,
the Coligny who began the work of construction of the chateau forthwith.
In 1574 d'Andelot bequeathed the unachieved work to Anne de Coligny, the
wife of the Marquis de Mirabeau, who, still working on the original
plans, left it uncompleted at his death in 1630. His daughter Catherine
fell heir to the property, but sold it five years later to Porticelli
d'Hémery--Mazarin's Surintendant des Finances, who called in the
architect Lemuet to carry the work to a finish. This he did, or at least
brought it practically to the condition in which it stands to-day.

The name of Hémery did not long survive as chatelain of the property,
and the lands passed by letters patent to the Thévenin family,
its present owners, who were able to have the fief made into a
marquisat. The chateau fortunately escaped Revolutionary destruction
and to-dayranks as one of the most beautiful examples of the
Renaissance-Bourguignonne style of domestic architecture to be seen.

The edifice in its construction and exterior decoration shows plainly
its transition between the _moyen-age_ manner of building and that which
is considerably more modern. It is towered and turreted after the
defensive manner of the earliest times, and moat surrounded in a way
which suggests that the ornamental water is something more than a mere
accessory intended to please the eye. Entrance is had by a bridge over
this moat and finally into the Cour d'Honneur through a fortified
gateway, as pleasingly artistic in its disposition as it is effective as
a defence.

Chiefly, the chateau shows to-day d'Hémery's construction of the
seventeenth century, paid for, says one authority, by silver extorted
from the poor subjects of his king in the form of general taxes. This
may or may not be so, but as d'Hémery's wealth was quickly acquired only
when he had need of it to build this great chateau, it is quite likely
that some of it came from sources which might never otherwise have
produced a personal revenue.

Another distinct portion of the chateau is that arrived at through the
Cour d'Honneur, and known as Le Petit Chateau, a sort of distinct
pavillion, a beautiful example of late Renaissance work at least a
century older than the main fabric.

Though non-contemporary in its parts, the chateau taken entire is
intensely interesting and satisfying in every particular. Furthermore,
its sylvan site is still preserved much as it was in other days, and its
alleyed walks are the same through which strolled the Colignys and the
de Courtneys of old. No sacrilege has been committed here as in many
other seigneurial parks, where more than one virgin forest has been cut
down to make firewood, or perhaps sold to bring in gold which an
impoverished scion of a noble house may have thought he needed. One
avenue alone of this great park runs straight as the proverbial flight
of an arrow, only ending at the chateau portal after a course of two
kilometres straightaway.

The park in turn is enclosed by a wall nearly six kilometres long, and
the chief ornamental water is considerably over five hundred metres in
length, and merits well its appellation of Grand Canal. This water which
fills the moat and surrounds the chateau is not stagnant, but flows
gently from the Quincy to the Armançon after first enveloping the
property in its folds.

The greater portion of the structure, that of Lemuet, is imposingly
grand with its central _corps de logis_ and its two wings which advance
to join up with the extended members of the Petit Chateau, forming with
them the grand Cour d'Honneur, more familiarly known as the Cour Verte.

The actual entrance is known as the Portail Neuf (1547) and serves as
the habitation of the concierge. At the right is the imposing Tour de la
Ligue (1648) and to the left the Tour des Archives, each enclosing a
large spiral stairway and surmounted by a dome terminated with a
_lanternon_. At each end of the outer façade are two other towers, in
form more svelt than those in the courtyard.

In the vestibule within, as one enters the main building, are the marble
busts of eight Roman Emperors, of little interest one thinks in a place
where one would expect to find effigies of the former illustrious
occupants of the chateau. Various trophies of the chase are hung about
the walls of this corridor and are certainly more in keeping with the
general tone of things than the cold-cut visages of the noble Romans
before mentioned.

A gallery of mythological paintings opens out of the vestibule and leads
to the seventeenth century chapel, which contains a "Descent from the
Cross," by Peregrin, and other religious paintings of the Flemish
school. Distributed throughout the various apartments are numerous
paintings and portraits by Mignard, Nattier, Philippe-de-Champaigne, and
others, and some pastels by Quentin de la Tour.

The chimney-pieces throughout are notable for their gorgeousness; that
in the Chambre des Archevèques, at least a dozen feet high, is decorated
with two pairs of massive caryatides and other statuettes in relief. On
another is a carven bust of Coligny, the Admiral, with a cast of
countenance suggesting a sinister leer towards the statue of a sphinx
which is supposed to represent the features of Catherine de Medicis.

The paintings of the Tour de la Ligue, supposedly by Primataccio,
representing mythological divinities in the personages of the members of
the court of the Medicis, bespeak a questionable taste on the part of
the Colignys who caused them to be put there. It would seem as though
spite had been carried too far, or that the artist was given carte
blanche to run a riot of questionable fantasy for which no one stood
responsible. All these gods and goddesses of the court are, if not
repulsive, at least unseemly effigies. Catherine herself is there as
Juno, her son Charles IX as Pluto, the Admiral as Hercules, Guise as
Mars, and Venus, of course, bears the features of the huntress, Diane de
Poitiers.

About as far south from Tonnerre as Tanlay is to the eastward is
Ancy-le-Franc. It is in exactly the same position as Tanlay; its charms
are pretty generally unknown and unsung, but its sixteenth century
chateau of the Clermont-Tonnerre family is one of the wonder works of
its era. Rather more admirably designed to begin with than many of its
confrères, and considerably less overloaded with meaningless ornament,
it has preserved very nearly its original aspect without and within. The
finest apartments have been conserved and decorated to-day with many
fine examples of the best of Renaissance furnishings. This one may
observe for himself if he, or she, is fortunate enough to gain entrance,
a procedure not impossible of accomplishment though the edifice is not
usually reckoned a sight by the guide-books.

At present the Marquis de Clermont-Tonnerre holds possession of the
property, and keeps it up with no little suggestion of its former
magnificent state.

If not notable for its fine suggestive feudal nomenclature,
Ancy-le-Franc certainly claims that distinction by reason of the
memories of its chateau, which dates from the reign of Henri II. Nearly
three-quarters of a century were given to its inception. Of a unique
species of architecture, presenting from without the effect of a series
of squat façades, ornamented at each corner with a two storied square
pavillon, it is sober and dignified to excess. The interior arrangements
are likewise unique and equally precise, though not severe. The whole is
a blend of the best of dignified Italian motives, for in truth there is
little distinctively French about it, and nothing at all Burgundian.

[Illustration]

The structure was begun by the then ruling Comtes de Tonnerre in 1555,
and became in 1668 the property of the Marquis de Louvois, the minister
of Louis XIV, and already proprietor of the countship of Tonnerre which
came to him as a _dot_ upon his marriage with the rich heiress Anne de
Souvre.

The gardens and park, now dismembered, were once much more extensive and
followed throughout the conventional Italian motives of the period of
their designing. Enough is left of them to make the site truly enough
sylvan, but with their curtailment a certain aspect of isolation has
been lost, and the whole property presents rather the aspect of a
country place of modest proportions than a great estate of vast extent.

The Chateau de Ancy-le-Franc is commonly accredited as one of the few
edifices of its important rank which has preserved its general aspect
uncontaminated and uncurtailed. No parasitical outgrowths, or additions,
have been interpolated, and nothing really desirable has been lopped
off. With Chambord and Dampierre, Ancy-le-Franc stands in this respect
in a small and select company. Ancy-le-Franc is even now much the same
as it was when Androuet du Cerceau included a drawing of it in his great
work (1576), "Les Plus Excellents Bastiments de France."

He was an architect as well as a writer, this Androuet du Cerceau, and
he said further: "For my part I know no other minor edifice so much to
my liking, not only for its general arrangements and surroundings, but
for the dignified formalities which it possesses."

Comte Antoine de Clermont, Grand Maitre des Eaux et Forêts, built the
chateau of Ancy-le-Franc on the plans of Primataccio, probably in 1545,
certainly not later, though the exact date appears to be doubtful. That
Primataccio may have designed the building there is little doubt, as he
is definitely known to have contributed to the royal chateaux of
Fontainebleau and Chambord. For a matter of three-quarters of a century
the edifice was in the construction period however, and since
Primataccio died in 1570 it is improbable that he carried out the
decorations, a class of work upon which he made his great reputation,
for the simple reason that they were additions or interpolations which
came near the end of the construction period. This observation probably
holds true with the decorations attributed to the Italian at
neighbouring Tanlay. It may be that Primataccio only furnished sketches
for these decorations and that another hand actually executed them.
Historical records are often vague and indefinite with regard to such
matters. Again, since Primataccio was chiefly known as a

[Illustration: _Chateau of Ancy-le-Franc_]

decorator the doubt is justly cast upon his actually having been the
designer of Ancy-le-Franc. It is all very vague, one must admit that, in
spite of claims and counterclaims.

All things considered, this chateau ranks as one of the most notable in
these parts. The surrounding walls bathe their forefoot in the waters of
the Armançon and thus give it a defence of value and importance, though
the property was never used for anything more than a luxurious country
dwelling.

Built, or at any rate designed, by an artist who was above all a
painter, its walls and plafonds naturally took on an abundance of
decorative detail. For this reason the chateau of Ancy-le-Franc, if for
no other, is indeed remarkable. Two of its great rooms have been
celebrated for centuries among art-lovers and experts, the Chambre des
Fleurs, with its elaborately panelled ceiling, and that of Pastor Fido,
whose walls show eight great paintings depicting the scenes of a
pastoral romance. The Chambre du Cardinal contains a portrait of
Richelieu, and the Chambre des Arts is garnished most ornately
throughout. The monograms and _devises_ of the ceiling of the Chambre
des Fleurs suggest the various alliances of the Clermonts, but the
painted arms are those of the Louvois, who substituted their own
_marque_ for that of the Clermonts wherever it could readily be done.

[Illustration: _Monograms from the Chambre des Fleurs_]

The present Marquis de Clermont-Tonnerre has ably restored the chateau
of his ancestors and put the family arms for the great part back where
they belong. His arms are as follows: "_De gueules aux deux clefs
d'argent en sautoir avec la tiare pour cimier_." The motto is "_Etsi
omnes ego non_." These arms were originally conceded to Sibaut II de
Clermont by Pope Calixtus II in recognition of his having chased the
Anti-Pope Gregoire VIII from Rome in 1120.

In the Salle des Empereurs Romains are a series of paintings of Roman
Emperors which makes one think that Tanlay's sculptured Roman busts must
have set the fashion hereabouts or vice versa.

The Bibliothèque contains a remarkable folio showing plans and views of
the chateaux of Ancy-le-Franc and Tonnerre, the latter since destroyed
as we have found.

In the Chapel, dedicated to Sainte Cécile, are a series of admirable
painted panels of the apostles and prophets, a favourite religious
decorative motif in these parts, as one readily recalls by noting the
Puits de Moise and the tomb of the Burgundian dukes at Dijon, the
inspiration doubtless of all other similar works since.

The Grand Salon of to-day was once the sleeping apartment of Louis XIV
when one day he honoured the chateau with his presence.

A dozen kilometres south from Ancy-le-Franc is Nuits-sous-Ravières.
Nuits, curiously enough, a name more frequently seen on the wine-lists
of first class restaurants than elsewhere, here in the heart of
Burgundy, is supposedly of German origin. Its original inhabitants were
Germans coming from Neuss in Prussia, whose inhabitants are called
Nuychtons, whilst those of Nuits are known as Nuitons. Again, near
Berne, in Switzerland, is a region known as Nuitland, which would at
least add strength to the assertion of a Teuton origin for this smiling
little wine-growing community of the celebrated Cote d'Or.

Nuits possesses a minor chateau which to all intents and purposes
fulfils, at a cursory glance, its object admirably. It is a comfortably
disposed and not unelegant country house of the sixteenth century,
sitting in a fine, shady park and looks as habitable as it really is,
though it possesses no historical souvenirs of note.

A fortified gateway leads from the north end of the town towards
Champagne, Nuits being on the borderland between the possessions of the
Ducs de Bourgogne and those of the Comtes de Champagne.

[Illustration: BURGUNDY THROUGH THE AGES]



CHAPTER VIII

IN OLD BURGUNDY


Burgundy has ever been known as a land of opulence. Since the middle
ages its _richesse_ has been sung by poets and people alike. There is an
old Burgundian proverb which runs as follows:

       _"Riche de Chalon_
        _Noble de Vienne_
        _Preux de Vergy_
        _Fin de Neufchâtel_
    Et la maison de Beaufremont
    D'où sont sortis les hauts barons"

The Burgundians were first of all vandals, but with their alliance with
the Romans in the fifth century they became a people distinct and
apart, and of a notable degree of civilization. They established
themselves first in Savoy, a gift to them of the Emperor Valentinian,
and made Geneva the capital of their kingdom.

A new Burgundian kingdom of vast extent came into being under the
Frankish kings; this second dynasty of Burgundian rulers finally came to
the French throne itself. In the meantime they held, through their
powerful line of dukes, the governorship of the entire province with a
power that was absolute,--a power that was only equalled by that of
independent sovereigns. The Burgundians were no vassal race.

The hereditary Ducs de Bourgogne reigned from 721 to 1361, during which
period the duchy rose to unwonted heights of richness and luxury as well
as esteem by its neighbours. Under the Frankish line the career of the
province was no less brilliant, and when the King of France gave the
duchy to his third son Philippe, that prince showed himself so superior
in ability that he would treat with his suzerain father only as an equal
in power.

In the reign of Louis XIV the eldest son of the house of France bore
again the title Duc de Bourgogne, his grandson, born in 1751, being the
last prince to be so acknowledged.

Burgundy in 1789 still formed one of the great "_gouvernements_" of the
France of that day, and in addition was recognized in its own right as a
Pays d'État. With the new portioning out of old France under
Revolutionary rule the old Burgundian province became the modern
Départements of the Cote d'Or, the Saône et Loire and the Yonne.

The Burgundian nobles who made Dijon their residence in Renaissance
times lived well, one may be sure, with such a rich larder as the heart
of Burgundy was, and is, at their door. There is no granary, no
wine-cellar in France to rival those of the Cote d'Or. The shop-keepers
of Dijon, the _fournisseurs_ of the court, supplied only the best. The
same is true of the shop-keepers of these parts to-day, whatever may be
their line of trade. Even the religious institutions of old were, if not
universal providers, at least purveyors of many of the good things of
the table. When the monks of Saint Béninge sent out their lay brothers,
sandalled and cowled, to call in the streets of Dijon the wines of the
convent vineyards not a wine dealer was allowed to compete with them.
This made for fair dealing, a fine quality of merchandise and a full
measure at other times, no doubt. The monks who sold this product were
accompanied by a surpliced cleric who fanfared a crowd around him and
announced his wine by extolling its virtues as if he was chanting a
litany.

In Burgundy there has come down from feudal times a series of sobriquets
which, more than in any other part of France, have endured unto this
time. There were the "_buveurs_" of Auxerre, the "_escuyers_" of
Burgundy and the "_moqueurs_" of Dijon. All of these are terms which are
locally in use to-day.

The Bourguignons in the fifth century, by a preordained custom, wore,
suspended by cords or chains from their belts, the keys of their houses,
the knives which served them at table as well as for the hunt (forks
were not then invented, or at any rate not in common use), their purse,
more or less fat with silver and gold, their sword and their ink-well
and pens; all this according to their respective stations in life. When
one was condemned for a civil contravention before a judge he was made
to deposit his belt and its dangling accessories as an act of
acknowledgment of his incapacity to properly conduct his affairs. It was
no sign of infamy or lack of probity, but simply an indication of a lack
of business sagacity. It was the same, even, with royalty and the
noblesse as with the common people, and the act was applied as well to
women as men. The Duchesse de Bourgogne, widow of Philippe-le-Hardi, who
died covered with debts brought about by his generosity, admitted also
that she was willing to share the responsibilities of his faults by
renouncing certain of her rights and deposition on his tomb of his
_ceinture_, his keys and his purse.

Isabelle de Bavière, who owed so much to a Duc de Bourgogne of the
seventeenth century, was criticised exceedingly when she came among his
people because of the luxury of possessing two "chemises de toile," the
women of the court at the time--in Burgundy at all events--dressing with
the utmost simplicity. With what degree of simplicity one can only
imagine!

Another luxury in these parts in mediæval times was the use of candles.
What artificial light was made use of in a domestic manner came from
resinous torches, and _cires_ and candles were used only in the
churches, or perhaps in the oratories, or private chapels, of the
chateaux.

The homes of the Burgundian _bourgeoisie_ were hardly as luxuriant or
magnificent as those of the nobles, nor were they as comfortably
disposed in many instances as one would expect to learn of this land of
ease and plenty. Frequently there was no board flooring, no tiles, no
paving of flag stones, even. A simple hard-pounded clay floor served the
humble householder for his _rez-de-chaussee_. In the more splendid
Renaissance town houses, or even in many neighbouring chateaux, it was
not infrequent that the same state of affairs existed, but sheaves or
bunches of straw were scattered about, giving the same sort of warmth
that straw gives when spread in the bottom of an omnibus. If a visitor
of importance was expected fresh straw was laid down, but this was about
all that was done to make him comfortable. Otherwise the straw was
generally of the Augean stable variety, since it was usually renewed but
three times during the cold season, which here lasts from three to five
months out of the twelve. In time a sort of woven or plaited straw
carpet came into use, then square flags and tiles, and finally rugs, or
_tapis_, which, in part, covered the chilly flooring. Elsewhere, as the
rugs came into the more wealthy houses, plain boards, sometimes
polished, served their purpose much as they do now.

Only the rich had glazed windows. The first window glass used in France
was imported from England in the twelfth century, at which time it was
reckoned as one of the greatest of domestic luxuries.

Chimneys, too, were wanting from the houses of the poor. Houses with
windows without glass, and entirely without chimneys, must have lacked
comfort to a very great degree. Such indeed exist to-day, though, in
many parts of France. This is fact! A sort of open grate in a lean-to
outside the house, and iron barred open windows without even shutters
are to be found in many places throughout the Midi of France. One such
the writer knows in a town of three thousand inhabitants, and it is
occupied by a prosperous "decorated" Frenchman. What comfort, or
discomfort!

The Burgundian householder of mediæval times sat with his family huddled
around a great brazier upon which burned wood or charcoal. The rising
smoke disappeared through a hole in the centre of the roof in primitive
redman's fashion.

As late as the fifteenth century there were no individual chairs in any
but the most prosperous and pretentious homes. Their place was taken by
benches, and these mostly without backs.

Chiefly the meaner houses were built of wood and thatched after the
manner of such thatched roofs as exist to-day, but with less symmetry,
one judges from the old prints.

All the world and his wife retired early. This one learns from the
Burgundian proverb already old in the time of Louis XII.

    "_Lever à cinq, diner à neuf_
     _Souper à cinq, coucher à neuf_
     _Fait vivre d'ans nonante et neuf._"

This is probably as true to-day as it was then if one had the courage to
live up to it and find out.

The ancient reputation of the wine of Burgundy dates back centuries and
centuries before the juice of the grape became the common drink of the
French. During the famous schism which divided the Church in the
fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the Duc de Bourgogne,
Philippe-le-Hardi, was deputed, in 1395, to present to Pope Benoit XIII,
then living at Avignon in the Comtat, "rich presents and twenty _queues_
of the wine of Beaune."

History and romance have been loud in their praises of the rich red
wines of Burgundy ever since the dawn of gormandizing. Petrarch has said
that his best inspirations and sentiments came from the wine of Beaune,
and the Avignon Popes lengthened their sojourn in their Papal City on
the banks of the Rhone because of the easy transport and the low price
of the fine wines of Beaune. "There is not in Italy," they said, "the
wine of Beaune nor the means of getting it."

The heart of old Burgundy, that is, the Côte d'Or of to-day, is the
region of France the most densely wooded after the Vosges. Great forests
exploited for their wood are everywhere, oak and beech predominating.
Only the _coteaux_, the low-lying hillsides, where the vines are chiefly
grown, are bare of forest growth.

Two great rivers cross the province from north to south, and two from
east to west, the Aube, the Dheune, the Saône and the Vingeanne, and the
Seine itself takes birth between Saint Seine and Chanceaux, this last,
like most of the great rivers of Europe, being but a humble rivulet at
the commencement. Two canals furnish an economical means of
communication, and are really remarkable waterways. The Canal de
Bourgogne joins up the Saône and the Seine, and more important still is
that which joins the Rhône and Rhine.

Eight "Routes Royales" crossed the province in old monarchical days, and
where once rolled princely corteges now whiz automobiles without count.

In the seventeenth century from Paris to Dijon was a journey of eight
days in winter and seven in summer, by the _malle-poste_. One departure
a week served what traffic there was, and the price was twenty-four
_livres_ (francs) a head, with baggage charged at three _sols_ a pound.
The departure from Paris was from the old auberge "Aux Quatre Fils
Aymon," and more frequently than not the announcements read that the
coach would leave "as soon as possible" after the appointed hour.

Whatever feudal reminiscence may linger in the minds of the readers of
old chronicles let no one forget that France in general, and Burgundy in
particular, is no longer a land of poverty where everybody but the
capitalist has to pick up fagots for fires. Far from it; the peasant
hereabouts, the worker in the fields, may lack many of the commonly
accepted luxuries of life, but he eats and drinks as abundantly as the
seemingly more prosperous dweller in the towns, and if not of meat three
times a day (the worn-out, threadbare argument of the English and
American traveller who looks not below the surface in continental
Europe) it is because he doesn't crave it. That he is the better in
mind and body for the lack of it goes without saying.

The valley of the Saône above Dijon is a paradise of old fiefs of counts
and dukes. Almost every kilometre of its ample course bears a local name
allied with some seigneur of feudal days. The whole watershed is
historic, romantic ground. Mantoche was the site of a Cité Romain;
Apremont gave birth to one of the most prolific of romancers, Xavier de
Montepin, a litterateur who wrote mostly for concierges and shop girls
of a couple of generations ago, but a name famous in the annals of
French literature nevertheless.

Leaving the country of the minor counts the Saône enters into Basse
Bourgogne, taking on at various stages of its career the name of Petite
Saône, Saône Supérieur or Grande Saône. All told it has a navigable
length of nearly four hundred kilometres, making it one of France's
mightiest _chemins qui marche_, to borrow Napoleon's phrase.

The entire heart of old Burgundy above Dijon, the plain that is, is most
curiously sown with cultures of a variety that one would hardly expect
to find.

Here and there a _chateau de commerce_, as the French distinguish the
"_wine-chateaux_" from the purely domestic establishments and the
"_monuments historiques_" of which the French government is so justly
proud, crops up surrounded by its vineyards, with its next door
neighbour, perhaps, an exploitation of hops, the principal ingredient of
beer, as the grape is of wine. The paradox is as inexplicable, as is the
fact that Dijon is famous for mustard when not a grain of it is grown
nearer the Côte d'Or than India.

It is true that Dijon is noted quite as much for its mustard and its
gingerbread as for its sculpture. The École Dijonnais is supreme in all
three specialties. The historic figure, "mustardmaker to the Pope," has
caused many a "_rire bourguignon_"; nevertheless the preparing of Dijon
mustard is a good deal of a secret still, as all who know the subtleness
of this particular condiment recognize full well.

The mustard pots of Dijon, even those of commonest clay, are veritable
works of art. It would pay some one to collect them. The "Fontaine de
Jouvence," which one may buy for thirty sous at the railway buffet, is
indeed a gem; another, blazoned with the arms of Burgundy, and the
legend "Moult me tarde," followed by "d'y gouster" is no less.



CHAPTER IX

DIJON, THE CITY OF THE DUKES

[Illustration: KEY of VAULTING DIJON]


Of no city of France are there more splendid ducal memories than of
Dijon. To the French historians it has ever been known as "the city of
the glorious dukes." It is one of the cities which has best conserved
its picturesque panoramic silhouette in Europe. Certainly no other of
the cities of modern France can approach it in this respect. Its
strikingly mediæval skyline serrated with spires, donjon and gables
innumerable gives it a _cachet_ all its own. Its situation, too, is
remarkable, lying as it does snugly wrapped between the mountain and the
plain by the flanks of the gently rolling _coteaux_ round about. Dijon
is still a veritable reminder of the moyen-age in spite of the fact that
countless of its palaces, towers and clochers have disappeared with the
march of time and the insistent movement of progress.

This was less true a generation or so ago. Then the city's old ramparts
were intact. To-day not more than a scant area of house front or garden
wall suggests the one time part that the same stones played in the glory
of war and siege. Nearby, too, the contemplation of Dijon evokes the
same emotions in spite of a monotonous modernity to be seen in the new
quarters of the town, where all is a dull drab in strong contrast to the
liveliness of the colouring of the older parts. Dijon, take it all in
all, is indeed a museum of architectural splendours.

    "_Nous allions admirant clochers, portails et tours,_
     _Et les vielles maisons dans les arrière cours._"

Thus said Saint-Beauve, and any who come this way to-day, and linger
long enough in the city of the dukes, may well take it for their text.

After many and diverse fortunes Dijon became the capital of the Duché de
Bourgogne in 1015 under Duc Robert, the first of the line of Burgundian
dukes, known as the dukes of the _première race royale_. This
particular Robert was the grandson of Hugues Capet. Twelve princes in
succession (until 1349) ruled the destinies of the dukedom from the
capital, and showered upon its inhabitants benefits galore. At this time
Philippe de Rouvres came into the control of the duchy, under the
tutelage of his mother, Jeanne de Bourgogne.

One reads in the "Rôle des Dépenses" of 1392 unmistakable facts which
point to the luxury which surrounded the court of Burgundy in the
fourteenth century. Particularly is this so with regard to the
_garde-robe_ of Philippe-le-Hardi, wherein all his costumes, including
the trappings of his horses, were garnished with real gold. Many other
attributes went to make up the gorgeous properties of this admirable
stage setting. There was an elaborate "_chaine à porter reliques_" and
"_la bonne ceinture de Monseigneur Saint Louis_" to be counted among the
_tresor_ of the court.

Amid all this sumptuousness there was a notable regard for the
conservation and safeguarding of governmental funds and property. This
is to be remarked the more because of the fact that the overlord
generally took for his own, and that of his heirs, all that came within
his immediate presence. The Burgundian dukes at Dijon administered
their rule with prudence and good judgment in all particulars until the
Duché and the neighbouring Comté (afterwards the Franche Comté) stood
almost alone among the European states of their time in not being
obliged to own to a profligate hierarchy of administrators.

In all phases of their history the Dijonnais have ever been jealous of
their personal liberties. François Premier, a prisoner at Madrid, had
ceded Burgundy as a part of unwillingly given ransom to Charles Quint,
who had already acquired the Franche Comté. The Dijon parliament would
hear nothing of such a project, and energetically refused to ratify the
treaty, sending their deputies to Cognac, to the convention which had
been called, in protest.

Dijon's chateau was first built by Louis XI to hold in leash his "_bonne
ville de Dijon_." The edifice was only completed in 1572, under Louis
XII. It was in its prime, judging from historical descriptions, a most
curious example of fifteenth century military architecture. The
Dijonnais of late years demanded the suppression, and the clearing away,
of the débris of this old royal chateau, believing (wrongly of course)
that the ducal palace was sufficient to sustain the glory of their
city. Accordingly, there remains nothing to-day of the chateau of the
Louis but a scant funeral pile built up from the stones of the former
chateau merely as a historical guide post, or rather, memorial of what
has once been. Historical enthusiasm and much palavering on the part of
a certain body of local antiquarians against the popular wave of
feeling, could accomplish no more of a restoration. For the past fifty
years the ruin has been, it is true, something of an eye-sore, an
ill-kept, badly guarded, encumbering ruin, and unless it may be better
taken care of, it would be as well to have it removed.

In form this chateau was a perfectly rectangular tower, sustained at
each corner by a round tower of lesser proportions. As a whole it was
one of the most massive works of its era in these parts. Its defence
towards the north was a great horse-shoe shaped redoubt, a most unusual
and most efficient rampart. Towards the city it was defended by a moat
over which one entered the chateau proper by the traditional drawbridge.

The vast monumental pile at Dijon which bears the name of Hôtel de Ville
to-day has been variously known as the Palais des Ducs, the Logis du Roi
and the Palais des États. It has served all three purposes and served
them well and with becoming dignity.

The exact origin of the structure has been left behind in the dim
distance, but it is certain that it was the outgrowth of some sort of a
foundation which existed as early as the tenth century, a period long
before the coming of the so-called chateau.

In the twelfth century Hugues III built the Sainte Chapelle, all
vestiges of which, save certain decorative elements built into the
eastern wall of the Palais des Ducs, have now disappeared.

Philippe-le-Hardi, in 1366, almost entirely rebuilt the palace as it
then existed, and Philippe-le-Bon actually did complete the work in
1420, when the great square Tour de la Terrasse, of a height of nearly
fifty metres, was built. There is still existing another minor tower,
the Tour de Bar, so named from the fact that for three years it was the
prison of René d'Anjou, the Duc de Bar. In 1407 and 1502 this tower was
nearly destroyed by fire, which carried away as well a great part of the
main structure of that time.

The edifice is to-day occupied by many civic departments, including the
Musée, the Archives and the École des Beaux Arts, but the Salle des
Gardes and the "Cuisines des Ducs" still remain, as to their general
outlines of walls and ceilings, as they were when they served the dukes
themselves.

The present edifice, in spite of being known as the Ducal Palace, was
not inhabited by any of the nobles of the first race; there is no part
which dates from so early a period as that of the end even of their
régime. The most ancient of the elements which formerly made up the
collective block of buildings was the Sainte Chapelle, which was
demolished in 1802, and the _rez-de-chaussee_ of the Tour de Bar, which
still exists. The lower part of this tower dates from the thirteenth
century, the upper portions from the fourteenth.

[Illustration: CUISINES at DIJON]

From the ducal account books it appears that the portions known as the
"Cuisines"--actually housing the Musée Lapidaire to-day--were
constructed in 1445, and it is this part of the old palace which is the
most interesting because it best illustrates the manner of building
hereabouts at that period.

The Burgundian court attached great importance to the service at table,
and during the fifteenth century there was not in all of Europe a line
of princes who were better fed or got more satisfaction from the joys of
the table. This is historic fact, not mere conjecture! The descriptions
of the _festins_ which were given by the Ducs de Bourgogne and described
in the "Mémoires d'Olivier de la Marche" make interesting reading to one
who knows anything of, and has any liking for, the chronicles of
gastronomy.

For such a bountiful serving at table as was habitual with the dukes,
kitchens of the most ample proportions were demanded. It is recounted
that on many occasions certain of the _mets_ were cooked in advance, but
a prodigious supply of soups, ragouts and sauces, of fish, _volaille_,
and _rotis_ were of necessity to be prepared at the moment of
consumption. To produce these in their proper order and condition was
the work of an army of cooks supported by a numerous "_batterie de
cuisine_;" necessarily they required an ample room in which to work. The
modern French cook demands the same thing to-day. Details in this line
do not change so rapidly in this "land of good cooks" as elsewhere, for
the French chef is still supreme and cares not for labour or time-saving
appliances.

The "Cuisines," as to their ground plan, form a perfect square, the roof
being borne aloft by eight columns, which on three sides of the
apartment serve as supporters also for the great twin-hooded chimneys.
Two _potagers_, or _braisers_, where the pots might be kept simmering,
were at B on the plan, and the oven, or _foyer ardente_ was at C. D was
a well, and E its means of access. The windows were at F and G, and H
was a great central smoke-pipe, or opening in the roof, which served the
same functions as the hole in the roof of the Indian's wigwam. K was a
serving table, made also of stone, to receive the dishes after being
cooked; and, that they might not become literally stone cold before
being finally served, this table had a sort of subterranean heating
arrangement.

The conglomerate structure of to-day which serves its civic functions so
well is an outgrowth of all these varied components which made up the
ducal residence of old. It was midway in its career that it became the
Parliament House of the États de Bourgogne, so it took naturally to its
new function when it came to uphold merely civic dignity.

The apartment where sat the Burgundian Parliament, the Salle des États,
has been recently restored and decorated with a series of wall paintings
depicting the glories of Burgundy. It is a seemingly appropriate
decoration and in every way admirably executed, though the name attached
thereto may not be as famous as that of an Abbey or a Sargent.

In general the character of the great pile of buildings to-day, on
account of the heterogeneous aspect of the mass, forbids any strict
estimate applicable to its artistic merits. The most that can be
ventured is to comment on that which is definitely good.

At many times during its career it has been remodelled and added to by
many able hands. As a result there are naturally many worthy bits which
may be discovered by close observation that in general run a fair chance
of being overlooked. Two pupils of Mansart worked upon the remodelling
of the structure, and Mansart himself designed the colonnade and the
vestibule of the Salle des États. Twelve principal buildings surrounding
the main courtyard came into being from time to time, and in one

[Illustration: _Chateau des Ducs, Dijon_]

form or another they are all there to-day, though in the scantiest of
fragments in some instances. An old-time iron gateway, or _grille_,
still exists midway between the two principal façades of the Doric
order. The effect of this façade is heavy, but ornate: frankly it is bad
architecture, but it is imposing. It is bad because it is a manifest
Italian interpolation with little or nothing in common with other
decorative details to be seen, details which are of the transplanted
French variety of Renaissance, and that in truth is far and away ahead
of anything in Italy or any rank copy of anything of Italian origin.

The old Place Royale opened out fan-like before the building and gave a
certain spectacular effect which saved it from ultra bad taste at that
period. The Place d'Armes, before the present Hotel de Ville (which now
occupies the principal part of the old ducal palace), and the Place des
Ducs, at the rear, lend the same artistic aid which was performed by the
Place Royale in its time.

Of the interior arrangements but little remains as it was of old save a
range of vaulted rooms on the lower floor, the Salle des Gardes, the
apartments of the Tour de Bar and the "Cuisines." The public functions
which have been performed by the structure in late years have nearly
swept away the old glamour of romance and chivalry which might otherwise
have hung about the place for ages, so that to-day it is, like many
edifices of its class in France, simply a hive of office-holders and
little-worked authorities of the state and civic administrations. It is
difficult to see any romance in the visage of a modern town-clerk or a
sergeant-at-arms.

This old palace of the dukes was chiefly the work of Dijon craftsmen, at
least those portions which were built in the sixteenth century or
immediately after. This is the more to be remarked because the gables
and roof-tops are not unlike that Flemish-Gothic of the Hospice de
Beaune which was built by alien hands.

At Dijon the northern portal was designed by Brouhée and the roofing of
the Grande Salle was made from the plans of Sambin and Chambrette, as
was the doorway from the street to the chapel. The Chambre Dorée has a
most beautiful ceiling of the time of François Premier, and the
_boiseries_ and the _grisaille_ of the same apartment date from the
period of Louis XIII.

There are two other notable ceilings in the edifice, those of the
Bibliothèque and the Salle d'Assises.

Dijon has ever been noted down by those who know as a city of a
distinctly local and a really great and celebrated art. The École de
Dijon was a unique thing which had no counterpart elsewhere. Under the
liberally encouraging patronage of the Ducs de Bourgogne numerous habile
artists banded together and constituted the local "École de Dijon." It
was a body of artists and craftsmen whose careers burned brilliantly
throughout the best period of the Renaissance, indeed up to its end, for
the Hôtel de Vogué at Dijon, of a very late period, shows the distinct
local manner of building at its best.

Hugues Sambin, who designed the Palace of the Burgundian Parliament, was
the best known of these Dijon craftsmen--best known perhaps because of
his architectural writings (1572), for his work was not indeed superior
to that of his fellows. His dwelling exists to-day at Dijon, in the Rue
de la Vannerie, somewhat disfigured and not at all reminiscent of the
great capabilities of his art which he so freely bestowed on the more
magnificent structures of his clients. A tower, presumably a part of the
house itself, rises close beside, and on its vaulting one sees the
_devise_ "Tout par Compas," the same that may be seen in the Hôtel de
Vogué, though it is declared that there is no other connection between
the two save that Sambin had a hand in the construction of both. The
motto is undeniably a good one for an architect.

The local Museum contains one of the most important provincial
collections in France. It occupies the ancient Salle des Gardes of the
Palais and encloses the tombs of Jean-Sans-Peur and Philippe-le-Hardi.
As examples of the sculptures of the Burgundian school of the fifteenth
century these ornate tombs are in the very first category. They were
brought from the Chartreux de Dijon in 1795. How they escaped
Revolutionary desecration is a marvel, but here they are to-day in all
the glory of their admirable design and execution. If Sargent's frieze
of the prophets in the Boston Public Library was not inspired by these
cowled figures surrounding the ducal tombs at Dijon, it must be a dull
critic indeed who will not at least admit the suggestion of similarity.

The mausoleum of Philippe-le-Hardi has a single recumbent effigy on the
slab above, whilst that of Jean-Sans-Peur is accompanied by another,
that of his wife, Marguerite de Bavière. The tiny statuettes in the
niches of the arcade below, and surrounding each of the tombs, are
similar; finely chiselled, weeping, mourning figures, most exquisitely
sculptured and disposed.

The tomb of Philippe-le-Hardi is the older, and is the work of Claus
Sluter and Claus de Werve; that of Jean-Sans-Peur was conceived (half a
century later) by Jehan de la Heurta and Antoine Moiturier. A statue of
Anne de Bourgogne, the Duchess of Bedford, the daughter of
Jean-Sans-Peur, stands between these two royal tombs.

It is worthy to note that the robe of the statue of Marguerite de
Bavière is sown with that particular species of field daisy which we
have come to know as the _marguerite_, so named from the predilection of
the princess in question for that humble flower.

Dijon's Maison de Saint François-de-Sales may well be given passing
consideration for reasons stated below. It dates from 1541 and thus
belongs to an epoch when the art of the Renaissance was at its height.
It is an elaborately conceived edifice and, judging from the escutcheons
of its façade, was the habitation, at one time or another, of some of
the royal family of France. In spite of this the authorities have
little definite to say with regard to its founders.

On the svelt tourelle at the side one notes that the lead _épi_, or
weather-vane, is intact, a remarkable fact when one considers that it
has endured for nearly five centuries. All things considered, this
dainty habitation is one of the most pleasing and ornate structures of
its class. If it were at Azay-le-Rideau in Touraine, or at Beaugency on
the Loire, it would be heralded far and wide as one of the flowers of
the Renaissance. To rank it in any place but as one of the most charming
_hôtels privés_, or small town chateaux, of Burgundy would be a grave
error.

Dijon possesses as well a most curious and little known structure, at
least not known to the usual hurly burly world of tourists. It is near
the Palais de Justice, enclosed behind a high protecting wall, through
which easy access is to be had by a gateway opened on request. The
edifice is mysteriously called the Hôtel de Venus, and is a diminutive
edifice with its entire outer wall garlanded with flowers and emblems
cut deep into its rather crumbly stones. Just what the significance of
this strange building was, and who, or what, were its antecedents, is in
great doubt.

Dijon's Bibliothèque occupies a part of the great town house built by
Odinet Godran in 1681. The Departmental Archives occupy the restored
city dwelling of Nicolas Rollin, the Chancellor of the first Burgundian
Parliament. It is a reconstruction now of the eighteenth century, but
originally came into being in the fifteenth. The principal apartment
owns to a richly sculptured chimney-piece and an elaborate _plafond à
caissons_, each the work of Rancurelle, a seventeenth century sculptor
of Dijon.

In the Rue des Forges are numerous old Renaissance houses, many of them
of a grandeur which entitles them to a higher rank than a mere _maison
bourgeoise_. Many of them indeed bear the proud names of the old
Burgundian noblesse. One is called the Maison des Ambassadeurs
d'Espagne, though just why, history is dark. One can readily surmise
however, for it certainly is a luxuriously appointed dwelling in spite
of the fact that it lacks a definite history.

Near the Eglise Notre Dame are the Maison Milsand, the old Hôtel des
Ambassadeurs d'Angleterre; the Hôtel du Vogué is in the Rue
Chaudronnerie, and also the Maison des Cariatides. All are admirable
examples of the Burgundian Renaissance, which tells its history in its
stones. And what history!

The old Hôtel des Ambassadeurs d'Angleterre was the residence of the
Duke of Bedford when he married, in 1423, Anne de Bourgogne. The alleys
and the "park," supposedly designed by the famous "Le Notre, the man of
gardens," who was responsible for those of Versailles and Vaux, are
little changed to-day from what they were in the century of Louis XIV.



CHAPTER X

IN THE CÔTE D'OR: BEAUNE, LAROCHEPOT AND ÉPINAC


In the heart of the Cote d'Or are found first of all the _bonnes villes
de bons vins_ of the French, Beaune, Pommard, Nuits, etc. Here is a
region which was literally sown with great country houses of wealthy
seigneurs; each ancient seigneurie of any importance whatever had its
own little fortress or block-house which stood forth as an advance post
at some distance from the residence of the overlord. By this means only
could the seigneurs command respect for their vineyards. One notes much
the same condition of affairs to-day. If there are no forts nor
block-houses any more, nor arrows shot from bows, nor melted lead poured
down on one from some castle wall, there are at least high stone
barriers and big dogs and guardians of all ranks to serve their masters
as faithfully as did the _serfs_ and _vilains_ of old. One is glad to
say, however, that the Cote d'Or of to-day is not an inhospitable
region.

The transformations of later years which have taken place hereabouts
have been very considerable, and the historic names one recognizes best
to-day are those used by the _chateaux de commerce_, and found
reproduced on the labels on the bottles in the chic restaurants and
hotels throughout the world.

One can not, must not, pass these great enterprises by unnoted or with
their praises unsung. Their histories are often as interesting as those
of the _maisons de plaisance_ of the seigneurs who despised trade and
robbed and grafted for a livelihood. Undoubtedly many of them did take
the wide road to riches, for the feathering of political nests by the
willing or unwilling aid of one's constituents is no new thing.

The gatherers of the grape under the Burgundians and the Bourbons were
not always the happy contented crew that they have so frequently been
pictured on canvas. The novelists, the playwrights and the painters have
limned the lily a little too strong at times. One judges of this from a
chanson which has come down through centuries.

    "_Allons en vendagne pour gagner cinq sous_
     _Coucher sur la paille, ramasser les poux_
     _Manger du fromage qui pue comme la rage._"

It was said in the good old days that the grape-pickers were wont to eat
as much as eight kilos of the grapes a day, to say nothing of drinking
three litres of wine,--manifestly they were not so badly off, even at a
wage of only five sous for a whole day's labour.

South from Dijon the itinerary through the core of the Côte d'Or passes
in review a succession of names which one usually associates only with a
wine list. If one has studied the map of France closely the surprise is
not so great, but for many it will come as something unexpected to be
able to breakfast at Chambertin, lunch at Nuits, dine at Beaune and
sleep at Mersault or Nolay. First off, on leaving the capital of the
dukes, almost within sight of its palace towers, one comes to the great
wine district of Chénove, and more than all others of this region it is
to be revered by the lover of the history and romance of feudal lords.
Sheltered, and almost enwrapped by the mountain background, it sits on
the edge of the sunny plain where once the Ducs de Bourgogne marshalled
their armies and their courtiers.

Not one of the very first wines of the Côte d'Or Chénove comes from the
bright particular vineyards or _closes_ of the Burgundian dukes. Their
ancient cellars and _cuviers_ are still existent but the wines matured
in them are to-day the growth of American roots, planted in the last
dozen or twenty years to take the place of those destroyed by the
phylloxera, the grafted stocks serving to give that classic body and
flavour which have made the Burgundian _crus_ famous. Thus the favourite
axiom is proved that it is the soil and not the grape which makes fine
wine.

Here at Chénove there is still to be seen the wine vats and presses
which served the minions of Philippe-le-Hardi and Charles-le-Téméraire
as they pressed their masters' wines, handling the great fifty foot
levers and chanting much as do sailors as they march around the capstan.
A block of stone weighing twenty-five tons was alternately raised and
lowered with the grapes beneath in great hollowed-out troughs of stone
or wood in no far different fashion from the methods of to-day.

Below Chénove is Fixin, glorious in memory because of a striking
monument to Napoleon, placed there by one of his fanatical admirers,
Commandant Noisat. The Clos de la Perrière, and the Clos du Chapitre,
two of the grand wines of the Côte d'Or, also help to give Fixin its
fame--how much, who shall say--although this Napoleonic shrine is really
a wonder of statuesque sculpture. An alley of pines leads up to a
fountain behind whose basin rise stone seats and a rustic shelter
destined to protect the effigy of Napoleon, a bronze by the Dijon
sculptor, Rude. The whole ensemble is most effective, far more so than
the usual plaster, or cast-iron statues of the "Little Corporal" with
which France is peopled. To carry the devotion still farther, Monsieur
Noisat built the guardian's house in the form of the Fortress of Saint
Helena.

Gevrey is near by, with an old ducal chateau, still well preserved, and
supported by an ivy-grown square tower. Gevrey produces one of the most
celebrated wines to be found on the lists of the _restaurants mondains_
throughout the world. It is the "Chambertin of Yellow Seal," coming from
the Champs de Bertin, a narrow strip of land sloping down the flank of
the hillside to the plain below. Another famous vineyard at Gevrey which
festoons itself between the height and the plain is that of
Crais-Billon, which takes its name from the celebrated feudal fief of
Crébillon.

The Clos Vougeot, the cradle of an equally well known Burgundian wine,
is scarce a half dozen kilometres away and may be classed among the
historic chateaux of France. Still enclosed with its rampart of
whitewashed wall, the great square of vineyard remains to-day as it has
been since first developed by the monks of Citeaux.

The property has, it is true, been dismembered and divided among many
proprietors, but the two great square pavilions joined together
originally gave the Clos that distinctive aspect which, in no small
measure, it retains unto this day. Taken as a whole, it still possesses
a proud mediæval aspect, though the modern porte-cochère, an iron gate
which looks as though it was manufactured yesterday in South
Chicago--and perhaps was--somewhat discounts this. Years ago, when the
Clos Vougeot was the nucleus of the many Vougeots of to-day, the grapes
passed entirely through the wine-presses of the monks, who reserved the
product entire to be used as presents to Popes and Princes. Thus Clos
Vougeot was the model for all other ambitious, monastic vineyards, and
those mediæval monks who excelled all others of their time as
wine-growers were the logical inheritors of that Latin genius of
antiquity which gave so much attention to the arts of agriculture.

Hard by Vougeot is Romanée-Conti, first celebrated under the ancient
régime when the

[Illustration: B. McManus CLOS VOUGEOT

CHAMBERTIN]

court-physician, Fagon, ordered its wine as a stimulant for the jaded
forces of Louis XIV, a circumstance which practically developed a war
between the wine growers of Champagne and Burgundy, with a victory for
the Côte d'Or, as was proper. To-day we are backsliders, and "champagne"
has again become fashionable with kings, emperors and the _nouveau
riche_.

The property known as Romanée-Conti has been thus known since the
Revolution, when this princely family of royal blood came into
possession thereof. The old abbey is to-day, in part, turned into a
beet-sugar factory, its thousand brothers and sisters now giving place
to working men and women of the twentieth century, less picturesque and
less faithful to their vocation, without doubt.

Moulin-a-Vent was another of the near-by properties of the Citeaux
monks, and to-day preserves the great _colombier_, or pigeon-house, as
all may note who travel these parts by road. It is the most conspicuous
thing in the landscape for miles around, and looks as much like the
tower of a military chateau as it does a dove-cote.

The Forêt Nationale de Citeaux was once the particular domain of the
monastery, whose monks preserved and enveloped it with the same degree
of devotion which they bestowed upon their vineyards, planting villages
here and there, of which the most notably picturesque and unspoiled
still alive is that of Saint Nicholas-les-Citeaux, a red-roofed
chimney-potted little village in close proximity to the uncouth
fragments of the old conventual establishment.

Nuits, not to be confounded with Nuits-sous-Ravières, is more famous for
its wine _crus_ than its monuments or its history. Besides a picturesque
belfry and hôtel-de-ville, both excellent examples of the local
architecture, it has no monuments of remark, although a sort of
reflected glamour hangs over it by reason of its proximity to the site
of the ancient Chateau de Vergy, when it was the capital of the tiny
province belonging to the celebrated Burgundian family of this name.

The metropolis of these parts is Beaune. It has been called a "_vieille
grande dame qui s'est faite ouvrière et marchande_." And Beaune is, for
a fact, all this. But by contrast with its commercialism its mediæval
aspect is also well preserved in spite of the fact that its manorial
magnificence is much depleted.

The contrastingly modern and mediæval aspect, and to some extent its
military character, makes Beaune most interesting. The ramparts
themselves have been turned into a series of encircling boulevards, but
here and there a fragment of wall is left plunging sheer down to the
moat below, which has not yet been filled up. This gives quite a
suggestion of the part the old walls once played, an effect heightened
the more by three or four massive towers and portals flanking the
entrances and exits of the town. This at least gives a reminiscence of
what the former city must have been when it was girded in its corselet
of stone.

Here and there a sober and dignified _maison bourgeoise_ rears its
Renaissance head above a more humble and less appealing structure
suggestive of an ancient prosperity as great, perhaps greater, than that
which makes possible the comfortable lives of the city's fourteen
thousand souls to-day.

Another civic monument of more than ordinary remark is the watch-tower,
or belfry, a remainder of the cities of Flanders, a most unusual
architectural accessory to find in these parts, the only other
neighbouring example recalled being at Moulins in the Allier.

In spite of all this, Beaune's historic tale has little of blood and
thunder in its make-up; mostly its experiences have been of a peaceful
nature, and only because the dukes so frequently took up their residence
within its walls was it so admirably defended.

Beaune was originally the seat of the Burgundian Parliament. Henri IV,
who was particularly wroth with all things Burgundian, treated the city
with great severity after the revolt of Maréchal de Biron, razing its
castle, one of the most imposing in the province, to the ground. As a
part of the penalty Biron was put to death. On the scaffold he said to
his assistants "_Va t'en! Va t'en! Ne me touche pas qu'il soit temps_."
Five minutes later his head fell into the basket and his king was
avenged.

Since this time Beaune has been little heard of save in the arts of
peace; there is no city in France more calm to-day, nor "_plus
bourgeoise_" than Beaune, and by the use of the word _bourgeoise_ one
does not attempt irony.

The Hospice de Beaune is for all considerations a remarkable edifice;
its functions have been many and various and its glories have been
great. Formerly the Hospice stood for hospitality; to-day it is either a
hospital, or a matter-of-fact business proposition; you may think of it
as you like, according to your mood, and how it strikes you.

The Benedictine Abbey de Fécamp, like Dauphiny's Grande Chartreuse, is
but a business enterprise whose stocks and bonds in their inflated
values take rank with Calumet and Hecla, Monte Carlo's Casino, or other
speculative projects. The same is true of the wine exploitation of the
monks of Citeaux at Clos Vougeot, and of the famous wine cellars of the
Hospice de Beaune. We may like to think of the old romantic glamour that
hangs over these shrines, but in truth it is but a pale reflected light.
This is true from a certain point of view at any rate.

Beaune's Hospice, with its queer mélange of churchly and heraldic
symbols ranged along with its Hispano-Gothic details, is "more a
_chateau-de-luxe_ than a poor-house," said a sixteenth century vagabond
traveller who was entertained therein. And, taking our clue from this,
we will so consider it. "It is worth being poor all one's life to
finally come to such a refuge as this in which to end one's days," said
Louis XI.

The foundation of the Hospice dates from 1443, as the date on its carven
portal shows. It was started on its philanthropic and useful career by
Nicholas Rollin and his wife Guignonne de Salins. It was then accounted,
as it is to-day, "a superb foundation endowed with great wealth."

The desire of the founders was that the occupants should be surrounded
with as much of comfort and luxury as a thousand of _livres_ of income
for each (a considerable sum for that far-away epoch) should allow.

This fifteenth century Hospice de Beaune is one of the most celebrated
examples of the wood-workers' manner of building of its time. The role
that it plays among similar contemporary structures wherever found is
supreme. It is only in Flanders that any considerable number of similar
architectural details of construction are found.

The general view of the edifice from without hardly does justice to the
many architectural excellencies which it possesses. The _heurtoir_, or
door-knocker, in forged iron, still hanging before the portal, is the
same that was first hung there in the fifteenth century, and which has
responded to countless appeals of wayfarers. The iron work of the
interior court is of the same period.

With the inner courtyard the aspect changes. On one side is the
Flemish-Gothic, or Hispano-Gothic, structure of old, one of the most
ornate and satisfying combinations of wooden gables and _pignons_ and
covered galleries one can find above ground to-day. Frankly it is an
importation from alien soil, a transplantation from the Low Countries,
where the style was first developed during the Spanish occupation in
Flanders.

Save for certain modifications in 1646, 1734 and 1784 this portion of
the edifice remains much as it was left by the passing of the good old
times when knights, and monks as well, were bold. The Grande Salle,
where the Chancelier Rollin first instituted the annual wine sale which
still holds forth to-day, and the entrance portal were again restored in
1879, but otherwise the aspect is of the time of the birth of the
structure.

The Hospice de Beaune is properly enough to be classed among the palaces
and chateaux of Burgundy, for its civic functions were many, besides
which it was the princely residence of the chancellor of the Burgundian
Parliament.

The old Collége de Beaune, now disappeared, or transformed out of all
semblance to its former self, was a one-time residence of the Ducs de
Bourgogne, and in addition the first seat of the Burgundian Parliament
when its sittings were known as the _Jours Généraux_.

A near neighbour of Beaune is Corton.

[Illustration: _Hospice de Beaune_]

"_C'est le Chambertin de la Côte de Beaune_," said Monillefert, writing
of its wine. Another neighbouring vineyard is that which surrounds the
little village of Pernand. Its _cru_, called Charlemagne, has
considerably more than a local reputation. Savigny-sous-Beaune is
another place-name which means little unless it be on a wine-card. The
little town is set about with sumptuous _bourgeoise_ houses, and a local
chateau bears the following inscription over its portal, "_Les vins de
Savigny sont nourrisants, theologiques et morbifuges_." They have been
drunk by countless _bon vivants_ through the ages, and the Ducs de
Bourgogne were ever their greatest partisans. Mention of them appears
frequently in the accounts written of public and private fêtes; almost
as frequently, one may note, as the more celebrated "_vin du Hospice_."

South from Beaune is Mersault, a tiny city of the Côte de Beaune. All
about its clean-swept streets rise well-kept, pretentious dwellings,
many of them the gabled variety so like the mediæval chateaux, though
indeed they may date only from the last three-quarters of a century, or
since the Revolution.

An old feudal castle--the typical feudal castle of romance--has been
restored and remodelled, and now serves as Mersault's Hôtel de Ville.
All about is the smell of wine; barrels of it are on every curb, and
running rivers of the lees course through every gutter.

Nolay, a trifle to the west, is scarcely known at all save as the name
of a wine, and then it is not seen on every wine list of the popular
restaurants. In the good old days it was the seat of a marquisat and was
of course endowed with a seigneurial chateau. Nothing of sufficient
magnitude, seemingly, exists to-day, and so one does not linger, but
turns his attention immediately to the magnificent Chateau de La
Rochepot, which virtually dominates the landscape for leagues around.

In contrast with the vast array of _chateaux de commerce_ scattered all
through the Côte d'Or--the "Golden Hillside" of the Romans--is the
Chateau de La Rochepot, marvellous as to its site and most appealing
from all points.

It was at Nolay that was born Lazare Carnot. It is the name of the
_grand homme_ who is almost alone Nolay's sole claim to fame. His
ancestor has his statue on the little Place, and his grandson--he who
was President of the French Republic--is also glorified by a fine, but
rather sentimentally conceived, monument.

Lazare Carnot was born in a humble little cottage of Nolay, and this
cottage, after all, is perhaps the town's most celebrated monument to
the glorious name.

The ancient home of the Sires de la Roche, the Chateau de La Rochepot,
to-day belongs to Captaine Carnot, the son of the former President, who,
thoroughly and consistently, has begun its restoration on model lines.

The Sire de la Roche-Nolay, who planned the work, hired one by the name
of Pot, it is said, to dig a well within the courtyard. The price
demanded was so high that he was obliged to turn over the property
itself in payment. It was by this means, says historic fact or legend,
that the line of Pots, big and little, came into possession. This
Philippe Pot, by his marriage, brought the property to the Montmorencys
and himself to the high office of Counsellor of Anne de Beaujeau. He
became seigneur of the lands here in 1428, and was afterwards better
known as ambassador of the Duc de Bourgogne at London. His tomb was
formerly in the Abbey of Citeaux, but has been transported to the
Louvre.

After the Rochepots' tenure the property came to the Sullys, and in 1629
to the family De Fargis. During the Revolution it was acquired as a
part of the _biens nationaux_ of the government, and in 1799 the donjon
of the chateau was pulled down, the same which is to-day being rebuilt
stone by stone on the same site.

The present noble edifice is after all nothing more than a completion of
the admirably planned reconstruction of the fifteenth century; the
restoration, or rebuilding, of to-day being but the following out of the
plans of the original architect, a procedure which has seldom been
attempted or accomplished elsewhere. It was done with the sixteenth
century fountain of the Medicis in the Luxembourg Gardens (whose
sculptures according to the original designs were only completed in
1839), but this is perhaps the only instance of a great mediæval chateau
being thus carried to completion. The restorations of Carcassonne,
Saint-Michel and Pierrefonds are in quite another category.

The Chateau La Rochepot was a development of the ancient Chastel-Rocca,
which stood on the same site in the twelfth century, and which drew its
name originally from its situation.

Épinac, just to the west of La Rochepot, is in the heart of a veritable
"black country"; not the "black country" of the Midlands in England, but
a more picturesque region, where the soot and grime of coal and its
products mingle by turns with the brilliancy of foliage green and gold.
In addition to drawing its fame from the mines roundabout, Épinac owes
not a little of its distinction to its chateau, and a neighbouring
Chateau de Sully which dates from the sixteenth century.

The Chateau de Sully is a magnificent edifice built in 1567 for the
Maréchal de Saulx-Tavannes, and is to-day classed by the French
government as a "monument historique." It was built from the plans of
Ribbonnier, a celebrated architect of Langres in the sixteenth century,
and terminated only in the reign of Henri IV. It is an excellent type of
the French Renaissance of the latter half of the sixteenth century. In
form it is a vast rectangle with square _pavilions_, or towers, at each
angle set diagonally. Though varied, its architecture is sober to a
degree, particularly with respect to the _rez-de-chaussée_.

The inner court of this admirable chateau is surrounded by an arcaded
gallery whose rounded arches are separated by a double colonnette. The
gardens are of the "jardin anglais" variety, so affected by the French
at the time of the completion of the chateau, and are cut and crossed by
many arms of the ornamental water which entirely surrounds the
property.

After the tenure of the family of Tavannes, the property passed to those
of Rabutin and Montaigu, and, for the last century, has been owned by
the MacMahons. There are some fragments lying about which belong to
another edifice which dates from the thirteenth century, but not enough
to give the stones the distinction of being called even a ruined
chateau.

Épinac's chateau dates from at least two centuries before the Chateau de
Sully, and is a resurrection of an old chateau-fort. Two great heavy
towers remain to-day as the chief architectural features, beside an
extent of main building through whose walls are cut a series of splendid
Gothic window frames. Tradition has it that these towers were originally
much more lofty, but at the period when barons, whether rightly or
wrongly, held their sway over their peers and anyone else who might be
around, if the local seigneur was beaten at a tourney, the penalty he
paid was to cut the towers of his castle down one-half. This seems a
good enough tale to tack to a mediæval castle, as good as a ghost tale,
and as satisfactory as if it were a recorded fact of history, instead of
mere legend.

[Illustration: _Chateau de Sully_]

Originally these towers of the Chateau d'Épinac were of such an
overwhelming height that they could be seen a hundred leagues
around--this is local tradition again, and this time it is probably
exaggeration. Three hundred miles is a long bird's-eye view indeed!
Anyway a local couplet reads thus, and is seemingly justifiable:

    "_Démène-toi, tourne toi, vire toi,_
     _Tu ne trouveras pas plus beau que moi._"

Épinac, too, is noted for its bottles, the fat-bellied, ample litres in
which ripe old Burgundy is sold. "_Dame Jeans_" and "_flacons_" are here
made by millions, which is only another way of referring to demijohns
and bottles. Of their variety of shapes and sizes one may judge by the
song the workers sing as they ply their trade:

    "_Messieurs, messieurs, laissez nous faire_
     _On vous en donnera de toutes les façons._"

The glass industry of Épinac, if not as old as its chateau, at least
dates from the very earliest days of the art.

Retracing one's steps some forty kilometres to Chalon-sur-Saône one
comes midway to Chagny. The railroad guides chiefly make mention of
Chagny as a junction where one is awakened at uncomfortable hours in the
night to change cars. Some of us who have passed frequently that way can
call attention to the fact that Chagny possesses, among other wonders,
certain architectural glories which are worthy of consideration by even
the hurried twentieth century traveller.

Here is a fine twelfth century Roman tower, a former dependency of some
civic establishment, but now serving as the _clocher_ of the church, a
svelt but all imposing square broad-based tower of the local manor from
which the seigneur of other days, even though he was not a "grand
seigneur," stretched forth his velvet-clad iron hand in mighty
benediction over his good men and true.

Besides this there is a monstrosity of a cupola of the modern chateau
which is hideous and prominent enough to be remarked from miles around.

Clearly, then, Chagny is much more than a railway junction. No one who
stops more than a passing hour here will regret it, although its
historic shrines are not many nor beautiful to any high degree.



CHAPTER XI

MÂCON, CLUNY AND THE CHAROLLAIS


Mâcon is a name well known to travellers across France, but its
immediate environs are scarcely known at all save as they are recognized
as a region devoted to the product of the vine. For a fact the romantic
and historic lore which abounds within a short radius of the capital of
the Mâconnais makes it one of the most interesting regions of
mid-France.

Lying just to the westward is the Charollais, whose capital, Charolles,
the ancient fortress of the Comtes de Charolles, is surrounded by a
veritable girdle of castles and donjons, the nearest two kilometres
beyond the town. They formed in their prime an outer line of defence
behind which the counts lived in comparative safety. Montersine, the
nearest of these works, a vast rectangular donjon with _echauguettes_,
must certainly have been the most formidable. Within ten leagues are the
chateaux of Lugny, Rambeauteau and Corcheval--one of the most ancient
of the Charollais. There are also Terreaux-à-Verostres, the Renaissance
Chaumont at Saint-Bonnet-de-Joux and, finally, the fortress of
Commune-sur-Martigny-le-Comte.

Of these, that of Chaumont-la-Guiche, two kilometres from
Saint-Bonnet-de-Joux, is quite the most splendid when it comes to best
fulfilling the mission of a luxurious Renaissance _maison de campagne_.
It is to-day the magnificent twentieth century residence of the Marquis
de la Guiche, but is a lineal descendant of the edifice built in the
reign of François Premier and terminated by Philibert de Guiche, who
died in 1607. At the time of the Saint Bartholomew massacre he was
Bailli de Mâcon, and, throughout, the Mâconnais and the Charollais took
a firm stand against the killing off of the Protestants as an unholy
means to a Christian end.

Before the chateau is an equestrian statue of its sixteenth century
chatelain, and the stables, a great vaulted hall whose ceiling is upheld
by more than fifty svelt colonnettes, are in no small way reminiscent of
the still more extensive Écuries at Chantilly. There is also, as a
dependency of the chateau, a remarkably beautiful Gothic chapel with
fine old glass in its windows--Gothic of a late construction, be it
understood, but acceptable Gothic nevertheless.

At Paray-le-Monail--a place of sainted pilgrimage, because of the
miracle of the Sacré Coeur which took place here--is to be seen the
luxurious dwelling of a local seigneur who was closely allied to the
Comte de Charolles. It is a palace in all but name, and were it on the
well-worn travel track in Touraine would be accounted one of the marvels
of the brilliant array of Renaissance dwellings there. It holds this
distinction to-day among the comparatively few who know it, and, as it
serves the public functions of a Hôtel de Ville, its future as a
"monument historique" worthy of preservation seems assured. Chateau or
palace it may not be; it may be only a luxurious town house; who shall
make the distinction after all? Let the reader, or better yet, the
visitor, to this admirable Renaissance wonder-work be assured that it is
more royally palatial than many which have sheltered the heads and
persons of the most fastidious of monarchs.

South from Charolles, behind the hills of the Brionnais, almost on the
edge of the ancient Forez, in part only Burgundian, is the _coquette
bourgade_ (a French expression absolutely untranslatable) of Marcigny,
all ochre and brown after the local colouring. It is a town of a great
tree-bordered Place, or Square, with decrepit old houses overhanging
its narrow streets, made famous in the past by a celebrated Benedictine
priory which received only the daughters of the nobility. Of this
monastery there remains only the prior's palace, a princely sort of
abode which to-day has been turned into a hotel. Here one may experience
one of the greatest and most joyful surprises of French travel, and pick
up his historical lore on the spot.

Leaving Marcigny for Semur-en-Brionnais, one passes a vestige of the
feudal past in the shape of an elaborately decorated feudal tower. At a
distance this decorative effect seems to be produced by shot still
clinging to the walls, an effect that may be seen also at Arques in
Normandy and at Tarascon in the Midi. Here this is an illusion. As one
approaches nearer it is easy to see these round bosses transform
themselves into _mascarons_, or sculptured decorative details, like the
escutcheons and plaques so frequently seen stuck into the walls of so
many civic edifices in Italy. This old tower is of a different species,
but manifestly it is a memorial of some sort. Its peaked head rises
above a sort of _pavillon_, or loft, like a gigantic pigeon-house. There
is a diminutive barbican on one side, and on the other are narrow slits
of Gothic

[Illustration: _Hôtel de Ville, Paray-le-Monail_]

windows, as if for defence rather than as a means of letting light and
air within.

"This is some ancient historic monument, no doubt?" you query of some
passing peasant. And to be precise he answers: "Yes, a tower." That is
all the information you can get beneath its shadow, but you are content
and go your way. It fulfils exactly your idea of what a mediæval donjon
should be, and what it lacks in apparent authenticated history can be
readily enough imagined by anyone with a predilection for such musings.

Leaving the Charollais and the Brionnais, one turns toward Mâcon by the
gateway of Cluny. Mediævalism here is rampant in memory, song and story,
though the monuments are unfamiliar ones. It is an echo of the days when
abbots and priors were often barons, and barons were magistrates who
held the keys of life and death over other of mankind. These were the
days, too, when the Pope was the real ruler of many a kingdom with
another titular head. Large parcels of land, from the Black Sea to
Brittany, fiefs, countships and even dukedoms, were church property, and
others held their brief sway therein only by the tolerance of the
Pontiff.

Seemingly exempt from this domination, the powerful monks of Cluny knew
no lord nor master. On one occasion a Pope and a King of France, with
numberless prelates and nobles in their train, took refuge in the old
abbey, but not a brother put himself out in the least to do them honour.

By the fifteenth century, the hour of decadence had rung out for Cluny;
no more was it true

    "_En tout pays où vent vente_
     _L'Abbe de Cluni à rente._"

It was at this time that the "_arbitres des rois_" lost their power.

The great Abbey of Cluny may readily enough be included in any
contemplation of the great civic and domestic establishments of these
parts. The only difference is that in some cases the chatelains or
chatelaines were princes or princesses instead of abbés or abbesses.

Cluny's destinies were presided over by an abbé, but kings and cardinals
and popes all, at one time or another, came to dwell within its walls.

When Cluny was but a mere hamlet, in the year 910 A.D., Guillaume, Duc
d'Aquitaine et Comte d'Auvergne, founded this abbey, which became one of
the most celebrated in the universe. From the first its abbés were
cardinals and princes of Church and State.

In 1245 Pope Innocent IV. visited the abbey with a train of twelve
cardinals and scores of minor churchmen. The Sainted Louis and the
queen, his mother, enjoyed hospitality within its walls, and the Emperor
of Constantinople, and a throng of followers, all found a welcome here;
and this without incommoding the four hundred monks who were attached to
the foundation. Pope Gelasse II died at the abbey, and the Archbishop
Guy of Vienne was here elected Pope, under the name of Calixtus II, by a
conclave assembled within its halls. To-day the pride of the former
powerful abbey rests only on its laurels of other days. Its superb
basilica has practically disappeared. Only its foundations, five hundred
and fifty feet in length, are to be traced. The extensive library has
disappeared, and only certain of the walls and roofs and a few minor
apartments of the former palatial conventual buildings remain to suggest
the one time glory.

The rich plain of Cluny was, in 910 A.D., but a forest called the "Vallé
Noire" when the Abbé Bernon with a dozen brothers founded the celebrated
Abbey of Cluny, called the "cradle of modern civilization."

Of the conventual buildings the most remarkable features still standing
are the south arm of the great transept of the abbey church, the massive
octagonal tower, of a height of sixty metres, another slighter octagonal
_clocher_, and the Chapelle des Bourbons.

Cluny's old houses, or such of them as remain, have been to a large
extent rebuilt and remodelled, but still enough remains to suggest that
the old monastic city was a place of luxury-loving and worldly citizens
as well as monks. Here and there a flying stair, a balcony, a loggia, or
a _rez-de-Chaussée_ arcade suggests a detail almost Italian in its
motive. Colonnettes divide a range of windows and pilasters support
stone balconies and terraces here and there in a most pleasing manner,
and with a most surprising frequency,--a frequency which is the more
pleasing, since, as has been said, scarcely anything of the sort is to
be seen here in more than fragmentary form, though indeed all the
architectural orders and devices of the ingenious mediæval builder are
to be noted. The Revolution respected Cluny, but the Empire and "La
Bande Noire" condemned it to destruction.

The Abbatial Palace, a palatial dependence of the abbey, where lodged
visiting potentates and prelates, escaped entire destruction, and is
to-day the chief ornament of the town. A national educational
institution now occupies the halls and apartments of this great building
where lords and seigneurs and churchmen once held their conclaves.

A fine Gothic portal leads to the inner court of this magnificent
edifice, which was erected by two abbés, Jean de Bourbon and Jacques
d'Amboise. Each had built a separate dwelling on either side of the
great portal. That of the Cardinal de Bourbon is unlovely enough, as
such edifices go, but has an air of a certain sumptuousness
notwithstanding. That of Jacques d'Amboise is a highly ornate work of
the Renaissance, and now serves as the Hôtel de Ville, whilst the other
houses a local museum and library.

A garden of the formal order surrounds the two edifices and covers a
goodly bit of the ground formerly occupied by the other buildings
attached to the abbey. Entrance to this garden, and its Palais Abbatial,
as the ensemble is officially known, is through a double Romanesque
portal, as much a militant note as the rest is religious.

Cluny's Hôtel Dieu is another remarkable souvenir of old. Within are
various monuments and statues of churchmen and nobles which give it at
once a lien on one's regard. There is a luxurious monument to one of the
Abbés of Cluny; another, that the Cardinal de Bouillon erected to his
father, Maurice de la Tour d'Auvergne, Duc Souverain de Bouillon, Prince
Souverain de Sedan.

Here and there about the town an old feudal tower or house-front juts
out in close communion with some banal modern façade, but the whole
aspect of the city of some four thousand inhabitants to-day is, when
viewed from a distant approach, as of a feudal city with no modernities
whatever. Near acquaintance disabuses one of this idea, but, regardless
of this, the aspect of Cluny, the monastery and the city, is one of
imposing and harmonious grandeur, hardly to be likened to any similar
ensemble in France or beyond the frontiers.

Near Cluny, in the heart of the "Black Valley," is the Chateau de
Cormatin, belonging to a M. Gunsbourg, and containing an important
collection of pictures and furniture, all of them antique, which are
cordially submitted to the gaze of the curious upon a diplomatic
request.

Rising from the plain, on the road to Tournus, is the Chateau de
Brançion, a feudal relic and not much more, but proclaiming its former
military glory as if its history had been epoch-making, which it
probably was not, as there is but scant reference to it in local annals.

As one approaches Mâcon by road from the north or west, great villas and
"_chateaux de commerce_" line every kilometre of the way. Some are
ancient and historic, though in no really great sense; others are modern
and banally, painfully, well-kept and whitewashed--only the _badigeon_
is pink or blue or green, painted one can readily believe by the artist
(_sic_) descendants of the Italians who once inhabited the region in
large numbers. There are overhanging balconies on all sides;
balustrades, terraces and loggias relieve the monotony of most of the
façades, and indeed, it is as if a corner of Italy had been transported
to mid-France.

Mâcon is a picturesque ensemble of much that is ancient, but the
smugness of the place, its undeniable air of modernity and prosperity,
have done much to discount what few well conserved architectural charms
it still possesses. This is true of great churches and palatial
dwellings alike, though there are many undeniably fine bits here and
there which, if one only knew, perhaps possess a history as thrilling
as that enjoyed by many more noble edifices.

For one of the best impressions of Mâcon it is possible to have, there
is nothing better than Turner's painting "Mâcon," or a photographic copy
thereof. It is a drawing which until recently was never engraved. Turner
and his engravers never dared attempt it, so complex was the light and
shadow of the vintage sun shining on the hillsides and valleys of the
Côte d'Or. Recently Frank Short made a mezzotint of it, and it stands
to-day as one of the most expressive topographical drawings extant.

Mâcon was originally the capital of a _petit pays_, the Mâconnais, and
is to-day, in local parlance. In former times it was the governmental
seat of a line of petty sovereigns, from the day of Louis-le-Débonnaire
until the country passed into the hands of the ducal Burgundians. From
this time forth, though forming a component part of the great duchy, the
region was settled frequently upon various members of the parent house
as a vassal state where the younger branch might wield a little power of
its own without complicating the affairs of the greater government.

In Revolutionary times Mâcon was considered by the Republicans as "a
hateful aristocratic hole." This being so, one wonders that more
souvenirs of royalty have not remained.

In feudal times the city was enclosed by an _enceinte_ cut with six
great gates, supported by an inner citadel. These walls and bastions
were demolished later, and the city was almost alone among those of
Burgundy to freely open its doors to the Ligueurs and Henri IV. From
this time on important historical events seem to have avoided Mâcon.

The site of Mâcon's ancient citadel is now occupied by the Préfecture.
It was formerly the Episcopal Palace, a regal dwelling which the bishops
of other days must have found greatly to their liking. It is the nearest
thing to a chateau which Mâcon possesses to-day.

The Hôtel de Ville is a banal structure of the eighteenth century, the
gift of the Comte de Montreval, formerly his family residence. The
Palais de Justice is also a made-over _hôtel-privée_ and has some
architectural distinctions, but there is nothing here to take rank among
the castles and chateaux of the rest of the Burgundian countryside.

Southwest from Mâcon, scarce thirty kilometres away, is a romantic
little corner of old France known to the French themselves--those who
know it at all--as the Pays de Lamartine. The little townlets of Milly
and Saint-Pont were the cradle and the refuge of Lamartine, who so loved
this part of France extending from the Loire to Lac Leman and the Alps.

The political world of the capital, into whose vortex the great
litterateur was irresistibly drawn, had not a tithe of the effect upon
his character as compared with that evoked by the solitudes of his
Burgundian _patrie_ and his Alpes de Chambéry.

Milly, here in the midst of the opulent plains and hillsides of
Burgundy, is a spot so calm and so simply environed that one can not but
feel somewhat of the inspiration of the man who called it his "_chère
maison_."

A half a dozen kilometres from Milly is Saint-Pont surrounded by a
magnificent framing of rounded summits forming one of those grandiose
landscapes of which Lamartine so often wrote:

    "_Oui, l'homme est trop petit, ce spectacle l'écrase._"

Here is the Chateau de Lamartine, not a tourist sight by any means, at
least not an over-done one, but a shrine as worthy of contemplation and
admiration as many another more grand and more popular.

Seated snugly at the foot of a wooded slope, the chateau, flanked with
two great towers, lifts its serrated sky-line proudly above the reddish,
ochre-washed walls (a colour dear to the folk of the Mâconnais) high
above the level of the roofs of the town below.

A more massive square tower sets further to the rear, and a _tourelle_,
with a pointed candle-snuffer roof, accentuates the militant aspect of
the edifice, though indeed its claims rest entirely on the arts of peace
to the exclusion of those of war.

Here, in the family chateau, Alphonse-Marie-Louis-de-Lamartine passed
the happiest years of his life. This was at a time when the pomp of
power which he afterwards tasted as Minister of Foreign Affairs, after
the abdication of Louis Philippe, had no attraction for him.

    "_Il est sur la colline_
     _Une blanche maison,_
     _Une tour la domine,_
     _Un buisson d'aubepine_
     _Est tout son horizon._"

As Lamartine himself wrote: "Nothing here will remind one of luxury; it
is simply the aspect of a great farm where the owners live the simple
life in a great block of a silent dwelling." These words describe the
Chateau de Lamartine very well to-day.

Saint-Pont and the Chateau de Lamartine are well worth half a day of
anyone who is found at Mâcon and not hard pressed to move on.

Near Saint-Pont is the ancient Chateau de Noble, belonging, in 1558, to
Nicolas de Pisa, and, in 1789, to Claude de la Beaune. It is not a
splendid structure in any architectural sense, but a most curious and
appealing one. Its chief distinction comes from its two pointed coiffed
towers, one at either end of a high sloping gable.

Repairs and restorations made since the Revolution have deprived it of
the ancient ramparts which once entirely surrounded it, but the romantic
and curious aspect of the main body of the structure, and those
all-impressive, svelt, sky-piercing towers, make it seem too quaint to
be real. Certainly no more remarkable use of such adjuncts to a
seigneurial chateau has ever been made than these towers. Here they are
not massive, nor particularly tall, but their proportions are seemingly
just what they ought to be. They are, at any rate, entirely in accord
with the rest of the structure, and that is what much modern
architecture lacks.

[Illustration]



CHAPTER XII

IN THE BEAUJOLAIS AND LYONNAIS


South from Chalon, by the banks of the Saône, lies the Beaujolais, a
wine-growing region which partakes of many of the characteristics of the
Côte d'Or itself. Further south, beyond Mâcon, the aspect of the
Lyonnais is something quite different. All is of a bustle and hustle of
the feverish life of to-day, whilst in the Beaujolais pursuits are
agricultural. Each of these regions is profoundly wealthy and
prosperous, an outgrowth, naturally enough, of the opulent times of old,
for here, as in the heart of Burgundy, the conditions of life were ever
ample and easy.

Throughout the countryside of the Beaujolais and the Mâconnais one notes
a manner of building with respect to the meaner dwellings which, to say
the least, is most curious. These small houses are built of a species of
sun-dried bricks or lumps of clay. It seems satisfactory; as
satisfactory as would be an adobe dwelling--in a dry climate. But here
in times of flood those built in the river bottoms have been known to
melt away like the sand castles of children at the seashore.

The present Département of the Saône-et-Loire was evolved from the very
midst of the Burgundian kingdom, and comprises chiefly the mediæval
Comtés of the Autunnois, Chalonnais, Mâconnais and Charollais. The
Romans were the real exploiters of all this region, and only with the
pillage of the Normans, and the successive civil and religious wars, did
the break-up of Burgundy really come to be an assured fact.

Chalon-sur-Saône itself is most attractive--in parts. As a whole it is
disappointing. François Premier built the fortifications of Chalon in
1521, and half a century later Charles IX constructed the citadel--"to
hold the town in subjection, and the inhabitants in ignorance."

Dijon was the city of the mediæval counts; Chalon was a city of
churchmen. Nevertheless the bishops of the episcopal city bore the title
of Counts, and of its churches which remain none is more typical of the
best of Romanesque in France than the nave and side aisles of Chalon's
Cathedral de Saint Vincent.

Chalon's monuments of the feudality are few indeed to-day; they and
their histories have been well nigh forgotten, but here and there some
fine old gable or portico springs into view unannounced, and one readily
enough pictures again the life of the lords and ladies who lived within
their walls, whilst to-day they are given over to matter of fact,
work-a-day uses with little or no sentimental or romantic atmosphere
about them.

There is no distinct official edifice at Chalon which takes up its
position as a chateau, or _manoir_, at least none of great renown,
though a rebuilt old church now transformed into a hotel of the second
or third rate order is one of the most curiously adapted edifices of its
class anywhere to be seen.

What a great family the Chalonnais were is recalled by the fact that in
the sixteenth century all the folk of the city were regarded as cousins.
This is taking the situation by and large, but certain it was that a
community of family liens as well as interests did tend to make this
relationship notable. Furthermore each of the trades and _métiers_
herded by themselves in real clansman fashion, the nail-makers in the
Rue des Cloutiers, the boiler-makers in the Rue des Chaudronniers and
the barrel-makers in the Rue des Tonneliers. And there was a quarter,
or faubourg, devoted to the priests and monks, as well as another where
none but the nobility were allowed to be abroad.

To the west of Chalon are two famous vineyards, Touches and Mercurey,
surrounded by mere hamlets, there being no populous centres nearer than
Givry or Chalon. One remarks these two famous vineyards because of their
repute, and because of the neighbouring superb ruin of the mediæval
Chateau de Montaigu which crowns a hill lying between the two
properties.

In the neighbourhood of Chalon are numerous little towns of no rank
whatever as historic or artistic shrines, but bearing the suffix of
_Royal_. It is most curious to note that many have changed their
nomenclature--as it was before the Revolution. Saint Gengoux-le-Royal
and ten other parishes all dropped the Royal, and became known as Saint
Gengoux-le-National, etc. Donzy-le-Royal was not so fortunate in its
position. Saint Gengoux has gained nothing by its spasm of
republicanism. It is not more national to-day than Cavaillon or
Carpentras, whereas the suffix Royal meant, if it meant anything, that
it was an indication of its ancient rank when it belonged directly to
the crown of France. Republicanism did not change its allegiance, only
its name.

The diligence from Paris stopped at Chalon-sur-Saône in the old days and
passengers made their way to Lyons by the river. Colbert it was who
sought to develop the service of _coches d'eau_ on the Saône between
Chalon and Lyons. He carried the thing so far, in 1669, that he
suppressed the public diligence by land which had formerly made the
journey between the two capitals. This was not accomplished without a
live protestation from the residents of the terminal cities.

In the last days of the _malle-poste_, when Chalon was the end of the
journey from Paris, four steamboats of a primitive order competed for
the privilege of carrying passengers from Chalon to Lyons.

To-day the service has been suppressed; the "_piroschapes_," as they
were called, have gone the way of the mail coaches. Travel to-day is
accomplished with more comfort and more expedition.

Below Chalon, following down the Saône, within a league, one comes to
Toisé, with a celebrated chateau, almost wholly ignored to-day when
checking off the historical monuments of France. And this is true in
spite of the fact that it was here within the walls of the Chateau de
Toisé that was signed the famous treaty between Henri IV and the Duc de
Mayenne. The chateau is simply an admirable Renaissance monument of its
time with no very remarkable features or history save that noted above.
This is enough to make it better known and more often visited, if only
glanced at in passing. The author hopes the suggestion may be taken in
earnest by those interested.

Midway between Mâcon and Chalon is Tournus, the site of a chateau-fort
built by the Franks, and also of an abbey founded by Charles-le-Chauve
in 875 A.D. This monarch gave the abbey a charter as proprietor of the
city of Tournus in consideration of the monks putting it and its
inhabitants under the protection of the Virgin and Saint Philibert. He
also made the congregation of monks of the order of Saint Benoit
"_fermiers_" of this "_celestial domain_."

The Abbés of Tournus were a powerful race, rivalling the princes and
dukes of other fiefs, and owning allegiance only to the king and Pope,
more often to the latter than to the former. Among them were numbered no
less than eight cardinals in the fifty-nine who ruled the city and the
"domain."

The monastery itself has become a sort of institution, a secular lodging
house, but its fine church still remains as one of the most famous
Romanesque-Burgundian examples of its time.

Above Tournus, high on the hill back of the town, sits a disused ancient
fabric, a former Benedictine abbey. Its abbés had the right to wear the
pontifical vestments, and to administer justice to the city and its
neighbouring dependencies. More like an antique fortress than a
religious foundation, it is the most ambitious and striking edifice now
to be seen in Tournus.

Tournus has an artistic shrine of great moment and interest, although
its architectural details comport little with the really dignified
examples of mediæval architecture. It is the birthplace of the painter
Greuze, and before its arcades rises a monument to his memory. The great
painter of the idealist school was born here. In the local museum are
nearly five hundred designs from his hand.

Opposite Tournus, in mid-Saône, is a strip of flat island known as the
Ile-de-la-Palme, a morsel of alluvial soil respected by centuries of
spring floods which have passed it by on either side, and indeed, often
over its surface. The Helvetians, quitting their country in ancient
times, invaded Gaul and made use of the Ile-de-la-Palme to cross the
Saône, aided by either pontoons or rafts. Centuries later, after the
bloody battle of Fontenay, the son of Louis-le-Débonnaire held a
conference on this isle with regard to the division of the conquered
territory. Thus it is that the Ile-de-la-Palme in the Saône has
something in common with that other historic island in the Bidassoa
where France and Spain played a game of give and take in the sixteenth
century.

A short distance from the east bank of the Saône is Romenay in the heart
of the Chalonnais. It is a relic of an ancient fortified city, a townlet
to-day of less than six hundred inhabitants, though once, judging from
the remains of its oldtime ramparts, much more extensive and
influential.

Saint Trivier-de-Courtes, like Romenay, has little more than a bare half
a thousand of population to-day, though it was once a noble outpost
planted by the Ducs de Savoie, the masters of Bresse, against the
possible invasion of the Burgundians and the French from the north.

At Bagé-le-Chatel, between Mâcon and Bourg, rises a grim reminder of the
feudality. It is the silhouette of the fine old castle of the ancient
Seigneurs de Bagé.

Passing Mâcon by, and still following the Saône, one comes in a dozen or
twenty kilometres to Thoissey, a town which has not been greatly in
evidence these latter days. It is a somnolent little city of the ancient
Principality of Dombes, that disputed ground of the Burgundians and the
Savoyards in the middle ages. Only from the fact that it was the
birthplace of Commandant Marchand of the ill-fated Faschoda expedition
would it ever have been mentioned in the public prints of the last
generation.

In good old monarchial days it was different. Then Thoissey set an
aristocratic example to many a neighbour more prosperous and better
known to-day. The Princes de Dombes had a chateau here, and they
embellished the local Hospice in a way that made it almost a rival of
that other establishment of its class at Beaune. Throughout Thoissey
there were, and are still, many admirable examples of the town houses of
the nobles and courtiers of the little State of Dombes. Thoissey was the
miniature capital of a miniature kingdom. The local "college" still
shows evidences of a luxuriant conception of architectural decoration
with its finely sculptured window frames and doorways.

The most striking incident of Thoissey's career was when the Seigneur
de Bagé attacked the Seigneur de Thoissey, who was at the time the Sire
de Beaujeau, in his stronghold. The latter called the Duc de Bourbon to
his aid and thus brought about an inter-province imbroglio which
necessitated the intervention of the King of France as mediator, though
without immediate success. The litigation finally went before Pope
Clement VII (a French Pope, by the way), and only in 1408, a quarter of
a century after the feud began, did the Duc de Bourbon, who meantime had
become also the Sire de Beaujeau, succeed in throwing off his
adversaries.

Thoissey during the time of the Ligue, or more particularly its
Seigneur, threw in its lot with Mayenne, who ultimately, when he finally
went over to his royal master, caused the Chateau de Thoissey to be
razed to earth. This is why to-day one sees only the heap of stones,
locally called "the chateau," which, to be appreciated, require a
healthy imagination and some knowledge of the situation.

At Belleville-sur-Saône is a little strip of the earth's surface called
by the French the finest panorama in the world and "le plus bel lieu de
France." It is beautiful, even beyond words, a smiling radiant river
valley with nearly all the artistic attributes which go to make up the
ideal landscape. Just how near it comes to being the finest view in the
world is a matter of opinion. The New Zealander thinks that he has that
little corner of God's green earth, and so does many a down-east farmer,
to say nothing of the man from the Missouri Valley and the occasional
Scotch Highlander.

The tiny little city of Anse has few recollections for most travellers,
but it possesses an admirable ruin of a chateau-fortress, with two
towers bronzed by time and still proudly erect. This ruin, together with
the memory that Augustus once had a palace here in the ancient Anita of
the Romans, and the neighbouring ruin of the chateau of the Sires de
Villars over towards Trévoux, are all that Anse has to-day for the
curious save its delightful situation in a bend of the Saône.

Opposite Belleville-sur-Saône is Montmerle. In the middle ages it was
one of the sentinel cities which guarded the Principality of Dombes.
Sieges and assaults without number were its portion, from the
Bourguignons, the troops of the Sire de Beaujeau, the Dauphinois and the
Counts and Dukes of Savoy.

The imposing ruins of the former chateau-fortress tell the story of its
mighty struggle which endured for nearly a century. For the most part
the bulk of the material of which it was built has disappeared, or at
least has been built up into other works, but the massive signal tower
which once bolstered up the main portal still rises high above the
waters of the Saône. The tower supposedly dates from the twelfth
century--the period to which belonged the chateau--and is distinguished
by its hardiness and height rather than for its solidity and
massiveness.

At Farcins, near-by, is a magnificent and still habitable chateau of the
end of the reign of Henri IV, built by Jean de Sève, Conseiller du Roi,
on the plans of Baptiste Androuet du Cerceau. From Montmerle one may see
the towers and roofs of half a dozen other minor chateaux of the
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries scattered here and there through
the Beaujolais, but nothing distinctive arrests one's attention until
Villefranche and Trévoux are reached.

The Sires de Beaujeau, from motives of policy if from no other, ever
respected the privilege of Villefranche (founded by Humbert IV). The
traditions of Villefranche's old Auberge du Mouton are classic, and
have been used time and again by playwright and novelist without even
acknowledgment to history. It was here in the "Free City" beside the
Rhone that Edward II swore to observe the city's claims of municipal
liberty.

Villefranche has no other notable monuments save the Hôtel de Ville of
to-day, which is an admirable Renaissance town house, and another
equally striking in the Rue Nationale. The latter is almost palatial in
its proportions.

Just below Villefranche is Trévoux, the ancient capital of the
Principality of Dombes. It comes into the lime-light here only because
of its ruined castle on a height above the town which travellers by road
or rail cannot fail to remark even if they do not think it worth while
to become intimately acquainted.

The old castle is situated on the summit of a hill to the west of the
town, its two black-banded towers of the middle ages proclaiming loudly
the era of its birth. The octagonal donjon is a master-work of its kind
and dates from the twelfth century. Since the Revolution this remarkable
donjon has been shorn of a good two-thirds of its former height, and the
effect is now rather stubby. With another twenty metres to its credit it
must indeed have been imposing, as well by its construction as its
situation. It is no wonder that this powerful defence was able to resist
the attack of the Sire de Varambon, who, after capturing the city,
sought vainly to take the chateau in 1431. It was a cruel victory
indeed, for the wilful seigneur, not content with capturing the city,
drove out all its wealthy and comfortably rich inhabitants and charged
them a price of admission to get in again, mutilating their persons in a
shocking manner if they did not disgorge all of their treasure as the
price of this privilege.

The local seigneur, his family and immediate retainers, were meanwhile
huddled within the walls of the chateau and only escaped starvation at
the hands of the victor by his having tired of the game of siege and by
his withdrawal, carrying with him all the loot which he could gather
together and transport.

It was at Trévoux that the Jesuits compiled the celebrated Dictionary
and Journal which made such a furor in the literary annals of the
eighteenth century.

With the exception of François Premier all of the French monarchs from
Philippe-Auguste down to Louis XIV acknowledged the independence of the
Principality of Dombes, and owed them the allegiance of supplying men
and money in case they were attacked. The Parliament met at Trévoux and
the Principality was one of the earliest and smallest political
divisions of France to coin its own money.



CHAPTER XIII

THE FRANCHE COMTÉ: AUXONNE AND BESANÇON


East of Dijon, from the centre of which radiated Burgundian influence
and power, was a proud and independent political division which, until
1330, never allied itself intimately with the royal domain of the French
kings nor with Burgundy. From this time, as a part of the Burgundian
dukedom, it retained the right to be known as the Franche Comté, and was
even then exempted from many impositions and duties demanded of other
allied fiefs: "_Burgundiæ Comitatus, Liber Comitatus_," was its official
title.

It is characteristic of the independent spirit of the people of these
parts that they should tell Henri IV, who praised the wine they offered
him, when he was making a stay among them, and was being entertained in
Besançon's citadel, that they had a much better one in the cellar which
they were saving for a more august occasion.

The Franche Comté is in no sense a tourist region; its varied topography
has not been given even a glance of the eye by most conventional
tourists, and its historical souvenirs have been almost entirely ignored
by the makers of romances and stage-plays. Switzerland-bound travellers
have an excellent opportunity to become acquainted with this
comparatively little known corner of old France as they rush across it
by express train via Pontarlier, but few avail themselves thereof. For
this reason, if no other, the architectural monuments of the Franche
Comté come upon one as genuine surprises.

From Dijon our way lay through Genlis and Auxonne to Besançon, and there
is no better way of approaching the heart of things, though it will
require some courage on the part of travellers by train to accommodate
themselves to the inconvenient hours of departure and arrival. The
traveller by road will have a much easier and a much more enjoyable time
of it; and right here is a suggestion of a new ground for touring
automobilists who may be tired of well-worn roads. It is just as
enjoyable to hunt out historic monuments with an automobile as with a
Cook's ticket and a railway train--more so, some of us think. It would
certainly not have been possible for the makers of this book to have
otherwise got over the ground covered herein, so let not the
ultra-sentimentalist decry the modern mode of locomotion.

Winding its way between the confines of Burgundy and the Comté the
highroad from Paris to Pontarlier and Switzerland led us first to
Auxonne. Genlis we passed _en route_ and almost had a thrill over it by
recalling the notorious Comtesse de Genlis. We racked our brains a
moment and then remembered that the celebrated "_bas bleu_" hailed from
somewhere in Picardy, so, then, this particular Genlis had no further
interest for us, above all in that there was no chateau in sight.

Auxonne (the old Ad Sonam of the Romans, afterwards corrupted into
Assona, then Assonium and finally as it is to-day) was but a dozen
kilometres beyond Genlis, and, sitting astride the great highway from
Paris to Geneva, was early a fortified place of great strategic
importance. Vauban traced its last ramparts and it was thought likely to
hold its rank for all time, but now the fortifications have disappeared
and the city no longer takes its place as a frontier outpost, that
honour having been usurped by Besançon in the Jura.

Of the military and feudal past there are still vivid memories at
Auxonne. The chateau-fort is still there, built in different epochs by
Louis XI, Charles VIII and Louis XII, and these works combined to make
an edifice seemingly all-resistant, or at least formidable to a high
degree. The chateau is still there, in part at least--not much has
actually been despoiled, but actually the railway station is more
militant in aspect. The stranger coming to Auxonne for the first
time--unless he be prepared beforehand--will have grave doubts at first
as to which is the chateau and which is the _gare_. The latter has a
crenelated cornice, meurtrières pierced in its walls, and the vague
appearance of bastions, all of which are also found in the real in the
old chateau grimly overlooking the swift-flowing Saône. The enormous
flanking towers of the real chateau, in spite of the city having been
shorn of its prime military rank, are still kept in condition for the
service of long-range guns, for the French are ever in a state of
preparedness for the invasion which may never come. The lesson of "71"
was well learned.

On the great entrance portal of the chateau is blazoned a
stone-sculptured hedgehog, the _devise_ of Louis XII, and in opposing
niches are two carven angels holding aloft an escutcheon. Another
doorway is hardly less impressive, though somewhat vague as to the
purport of its ornament, which stands for nothing military or even
civic.

This introduction to the militant glory of the Auxonne of other days is
a ripe indication of the dignity with which the place was one day
enhanced. Of a population to-day of something less than five thousand
souls, the city shelters nearly three thousand soldiers of all arms. Its
warlike aspect can hardly be said to have changed much from what it was
of old in spite of the fact that its importance is lower down in the
scale.

Another warlike reminder is the statue which rises proudly in the Place
d'Armes. It is that of the Sous-Lieutenant Bonaparte as he was upon his
arrival at Auxonne, a pallid youth just out of the military school of
Brienne.

In the plain neighbouring upon Auxonne, a sort of mid-France Flanders,
is a populous town with a momentous and romantic history, albeit its
architectural monuments, save in fragments, are practically nil. The
Revolutionary authorities took away its old name and called it "Belle
Defense," in memory of a heroic resistance opposed by the place to the
invading Duc de Lorraine in 1616. Gallas had freed the Saône with
thirty thousand men, and with Cardinal La Valette at the head of his
army (a cardinal whom Richelieu had made a general) found Dijon so well
guarded that he turned on his steps and attacked what is to-day Saint
Jean-de-Losne. Fifty thousand soldiers in all finally besieged the
place, and less than fifteen hundred of the inhabitants, and a garrison
of but a hundred and fifty, held them at bay. The Duc d'Enghien, the
future Grand Condé, then Governor of Burgundy, was able to send a feeble
body of reinforcements and thus turn the tide in favour of the besieged.

For this great defence Louis XIII exonerated the city from all future
taxes, and the grand cross of the Legion d'Honneur was allowed to be
incorporated into the city arms, as indeed it endures unto to-day. The
tracings of the former fortifications are plainly marked, though the
walls themselves have disappeared.

Dole is commonly thought of as but a great railway junction. Besançon
and Montbéliard are the real objectives of this itinerary through the
Franche Comté and the half-way houses are apt to be neglected. For fear
of this we "stopped over" at Dole.

Dole's historic souvenirs are many and have in more than one instance
left behind their stories writ large in stone. The present Hôtel de
Ville was the old Palais du Parlement, built in the sixteenth century,
from the designs of Boyvin, who was himself President of the Chambre at
the time. Within the courtyard of this old Parliament House is an
impressive donjon of a century earlier, the Tour de Vergy, which offers
as choice a lot of underground cells, or _oubliettes_, as one may see
outside the Chateau d'If or the Castle of Loches. The Palais de Justice
at Dole, with a magnificently carved portal, was formerly the Couvent
des Cordeliers and dates from 1572.

The memory of Besançon in the minds of most folk--provided they have any
memory of it at all--will be recalled by the opening lines of Stendhal's
"Rouge et Noir." "_Besançon n'est pas seulement une des plus jolies
villes de France, elle abonde en gens de coeur et d'esprit._"

The flowing Doubs nearly surrounds the "Roc" of Besançon with a great
horse-shoe loop which gives a natural isolation and makes its citadel
more nearly redoubtable than was ever imagined by Vauban, its builder.

From an artistic point of view Besançon's monuments are not many or
varied if one excepts the Palais Granvelle and the military defences,
which are made up in part of a number of mediæval towers and Vauban's
citadel. There are four great sentinel towers surrounding the city, all
dating from the period of Charles Quint, but the city gates, piercing
the fortification walls, were built also by Vauban between 1668-1711,
and are by no means as ancient as they look.

The Palais Granvelle, of the sixteenth century, has a fine dignified
monumental aspect wholly impressive regardless of its lack of magnitude
and the absence of a strict regard for the architectural orders.
Liberties have been taken here and there with its outlines which place
it beyond the pale of a thoroughly consistent structure, but for all
that it undeniably pleases the eye, and more. And what else has one a
right to demand unless he is a pedant? In general the civic and domestic
architecture of the Franche Comté are of a sobriety which gives them a
distinction all their own; the opposite is true of the churches, taking
that at Pont-à-Mousson as a concrete example.

The street façade of the Palais Granvelle is undeniably fine, with a
dignity born of simplicity. Its interior façade, that giving on the
courtyard, is freer in treatment, but still not

[Illustration: _Palais Granvelle, Besançon_]

violent, and its colonnaded cloister forms a quiet retreat in strong
contrast with the bustle and noise which push by the portal scarce
twenty feet away.

The Palais Granvelle actually serves to-day the purpose of headquarters
of Besançon's Société Savante.

Nicolas Perrenot, Seigneur de Granvelle, its builder (1533-1540), was
the chancellor of Charles Quint, and brother of the Cardinal de
Granvelle, minister of Charles Quint and Philippe II. He was descended
from a noble Burgundian family, not from a blacksmith as has faultily
been given by more than one historian.

Charles Quint, in writing to his son, after the death of his
chancellor--"in his palace at Besançon," said: "My son, I am extremely
touched by the death of Granvelle. In him you and I have lost a firm
staff upon which to lean."

The centre of the admirable town house of the sixteenth century is
occupied by a vast courtyard surrounded by a series of Doric columns in
marble, supporting a range of low arcades. The principal façade is built
of "_marbre du pays_," which is not marble or anything like it, but a
very suitable stone for building nevertheless. It might be called
"near-marble" by an enterprising modern contractor, and a fortune made
off it by skilful advertising. It is better, at any rate, than armoured
cement.

The structure rises but two stories above the _rez-de-chaussée_, but is
topped off with an "_attique_" (a word we all recognize even though it
be French) and three great stone _lucarnes_, ornamented with light
open-work _consoles à jour_.

Each story is decorated at equal intervals by a superimposed series of
columns. The first is Doric, the second Ionic and the third Corinthian,
and each divides its particular story into five _travées_.

The entrance portal is particularly to be remarked for its elegance. It
is flanked on either side by a Corinthian column and is surmounted by a
pair of angel heads in bronze.

Drawing closer and closer to the frontier, the face of everything
growing more and more warlike the while, one comes to Montbéliard,
practically a militant outpost of modern France, though actually its
importance in this respect is overshadowed by neighbouring Belfort. At
Belfort Bartholdi's famous lion--a better stone lion by the way than
Thorwaldsen's at Luzerne--crouches in his carven cradle in the hillside
ready to spring at the first rumours of war. If France is ever invaded
again it will not be by way of the gateway which is defended by Belfort
and Montbéliard, that is certain!

[Illustration]

Montbéliard is a little fragment of Germany that has become French.
Rudely grouped around the walls of the old chateau of the Wurtemburgs,
the town remains to-day an anomaly in France, more so than the greater
Strassbourg and Metz are to Germany, because they have become thoroughly
Germanized since "la guerre" and the "annexation," which are the half
whispered words in which the natives still discuss the late
unpleasantness.

How did this little German stronghold become French? One may learn the
story from "Le Maréchal de Luxembourg et Le Prince d'Orange," by Pierre
de Ségur, better even than he may from the history books. The tale is
too long to retell here but it is undeniably thrilling and good reading.
The town, the chateau and the local duke were, it seems, all captured at
one fell swoop. There was no defence, so it was not a very glorious
victory, but it came to pass as a heroic episode and a Wurtemburg castle
thus came to be a French chateau.

The Chateau de Montbéliard has all the marks of a heavy German castle.
It has little indeed of the suggestion of the French manner of building
in these parts or elsewhere. To-day it serves as a barracks for French
soldiers, but its alien origin is manifest by its cut and trim.

The history of Montbéliard has been most curious. Its name was derived
from the Latin Mons Peligardi (in German Munpelgard) and the
principality, as it once was, had a council of nine _maîtres-bourgeois_,
as the city councilmen were called. The principality comprised the
seigneuries of Héricourt, Blamont, Chatelet and Clémont. For a time it
was a part of the Duchy of Lorraine, then it passed to the house of
Montfaucon, and then to the Wurtemburgs, who built the castle. The
Treaties of Luneville and Paris made it possible for the tricolor to fly
above the castle walls, otherwise it might have remained a German town
with a burgomaster instead of a French _ville_ with a _maire_.

The Tour Neuve of the chateau dates from 1594 and the Tour Bossue from
1425. The main fabric was restored in such a manner that it would seem
to have been practically remodelled, if not actually rebuilt, in 1751.
It preserves nevertheless the _cachet_ that one expects to see in a
castle of its time, albeit that an alien flavour hovers around it still.

It is worth continuing in this direction a step farther to Belfort in
the "territory," although it is actually beyond the confines of
Burgundy's "Free County." Belfort is worth seeing for the sake of its
"Lion," though if one is pressed for time he may take a ride in Paris
over to the Rive Gauche and see the same thing in the Place de Belfort,
or at least a miniature replica of it.

In the midst of the great entrenched camp of Belfort rises "La Chateau,"
as Belfort's citadel is known. It sets broad on its base nearly five
hundred metres above sea-level. The chateau and the "Roc" were first
fortified in the sixteenth century, since which time each year has added
to the strength of the defences until to-day it is perhaps the most
strongly fortified of all the frontier posts of France.

It is at the base of the massive "Roc" which bears aloft the chateau
that is sculptured Bartholdi's celebrated lion. Its proportions are
immense, at least seventy-five feet in length and perhaps forty in
height.

The ancient Tour de la Miotte is all that remains of a fortress of the
middle ages, so Belfort's claims rest on something more than its
artistic monumental remains, though the silhouette and sky-line of the
grouping of its chateau and citadel are imposingly effective and
undeniably artistic.



CHAPTER XIV

THE SWISS BORDER: BUGEY AND BRESSE


"La Bresse, le Bugey, le Val-Romey et la Principauté de Dombes" was the
high-sounding way in which that hinterland between Burgundy and Savoy
was known in old monarchial days. Of a common destiny with the two
dukedoms, it was allied first with one and then with the other until the
principality was nothing more than a name; independence was a myth, and
allegiance, and perhaps something more, was demanded by the rulers of
the neighbouring states.

In Roman times these four provinces were allied with the I-Lyonnais, but
by the Burgundian conquerors forcibly became allied with the stronger
power.

Bresse of itself belonged to the Sires de Bagé and in 1272 became a
countship allied with the house of Savoy, which in 1601 ceded it to the
king of France.

Local diction perpetuates the following quatrain which well explains
the relations of Bresse with the surrounding provinces.

    "_Pont-de-Veyle et Pont-de-Vaux,_
     _Saint Trivier at Romeno_
     _Sont quat' villes bien renommo;_
     _Mias viv' Mâcon pour beir_
     _Et Bourg pour mangi._"

Bresse, more than any other of the subdivisions of mediæval and modern
France, is endowed with renown for the sobriety and purity of the life
of its people; and family ties are "respectable and respected," as the
saying goes. Above all has this been notably true of the nobility, who
were ever looked up to with love and pride by those of lower stations.
Among the common people never has one been found to willingly ally
himself, or herself, with another family who might have a blot on its
escutcheon. The marriage vow and its usages are simple but devout, and
in addition to the usual observations the peasant husband grants, as a
part of the marriage contract, a black dress to be worn at Toussaint and
the Jour des Mortes, and to all family mourning celebrations. If a widow
or widower seeks another partner the event is celebrated by a ball--for
which the doubly wedded party pays.

[Illustration: _Women of Bresse_]

The village fêtes of Bresse, still continued in many an out-of-the-way
little town, are the usual drinking and dancing _festins_ of the comic
opera merry-making variety. They are simple and proper enough
exhibitions, and never descend to the freedom of speech and manners that
such exhibitions often do in the Midi.

None more than Brillat-Savarin has carried the fame of Bresse abroad. A
one-time member of the Cour de Cassation, he perhaps was better known to
the world at large as the father of gastronomy in France. His
"Psychologie de Gout," if nothing else, would warrant giving him this
title.

Val-Romey--the Vallis Romana of the Emperors--and Bugey had for
overlords the Sires de Thoire et Villars. It, too, came in time to the
Ducs de Savoie, by gift and by heritage, and also was ceded in 1601 to
Henri IV, by virtue of the Treaty of Lyons.

Dombes, principality in little, although at first a part of the kingdom
of Burgundy, later fell by favour of circumstances to the Sires of
Beaugé and afterwards to the Sire de Beaujeau. Finally it turned its
fortunes into the hands of the Bourbons, when Mademoiselle de
Montpensier came to rule its destinies. She turned it over to Louis XIV
as payment for his authorization for her marriage with Monsieur de
Lauzun.

The princess made this sacrifice of love in vain, and Dombes fell to the
Duc de Maine, while Lauzun languished in the prison Pignerolo, for the
king did not abide by his back-handed favouritism.

On the border between the mediæval dukedom and the principality of
Dombes, to-day the Départements of the Saône et Loire and the Ain, is a
race apart from other mankind hereabouts. In numerous little villages,
notably at Boz and Huchisi, one may still observe the dark Saracen
features of the ancients mingled with those of to-day. A monograph has
recently appeared which defines these peoples as something quite unlike
the other varied races now welded into the citizens of twentieth century
France.

Modern vogue, style, fashion, or whatever you may choose to call it, is
everywhere fast changing the old picturesque costume into something of
the ready-made, big-store order, but to stroll about the highways and
byways in these parts and see men in baggy Turkish trousers with their
coats and waistcoats tied together by strings or ribbons in place of
conventional buttons, is as a whiff of the Orient, or at least a
reminder of the long ago.

The women dress in a distinct, but perhaps not otherwise very
remarkable, manner, save that an occasional "Turk's-Head" turban is
seen, quite as Oriental as the _culotte_ of the men. A blend of Spain,
of Arabia, of Persia and of Turkey could not present a costume more
droll than that of the "_Chizerots_," as these people are known.

Another _petit pays_, and one of the most remarkably disposed,
politically, of all the old provinces which go to make up modern France,
is what is known even to-day as the Pays de Gex. It belonged
successively to the house of Joinville, to the Comté de Savoie and to
the States of Berne and Geneva. The Duc de Savoie, by the treaty of
1601, ceded it to France, but a strip is still neutral ground for both
Switzerland and France, which by common accord allows Geneva full access
to the territory in order to establish its communications with Swiss
territory on the west and south shores of Lac Leman, particularly to
that region beyond Saint-Gingolphe.

The name Gex is evolved from the Latin Gesium, the capital of a kingdom
owning but a length of six leagues and a width of about half as much.
The Bernese and the Genevois conquered it in turn, and to-day its
personality is _nil_ except that one recalls it as the head centre for
the trade in Gruyère cheese, the kind which we commonly call Swiss
cheese. It is in the Pays de Gex, on the railway line from Gex to
Geneva, that one notes the name of Fernay and endeavours to recall for
just what it stands. At last it comes to one. Fernay possesses a
literary shrine of note that all who pass this way may well remember.
The wonder is that one did not recall it with less effort.

The whole town is virtually a monument to Voltaire. It was he who built
the town, practically; that is, he furnished the land and the means to
erect many of the meaner houses which surround the chateau which he came
himself to inhabit, and from which, for a time, the rays of his
brilliant wit were shed over the whole literary world of the eighteenth
century.

After his flight from Berlin, Voltaire, the Seigneur de Fernay, founded
Fernay, within six kilometres of the frontier and Geneva, and sought to
attract Swiss watch-makers thither that a similar industry might there
be established on French soil. Surely Voltaire was more of a benefactor
of his race than he is usually considered.

The Voltaire manor, or chateau, albeit that it is nothing grandly
monumental, still exists with

[Illustration: _Chateau de Voltaire, Ferney_]

furniture and portraits of the time of the satirist. At the entrance to
the chateau is a tiny chapel, built also by Voltaire when he was in that
particular mood. Over its portal it bears the following words, "Deo
Erexit Voltaire MDCCLXI." Arsène Houssaye called the words an
impertinence, and, admitting Voltaire's genius, one is inclined to
assent to the dictum. "My church," said Voltaire, "is erected to God,
the only one throughout Christendom; there are thousands to Saint Jean,
to Saint Paul and to all the rest of the calendar, but not another in
all the world to God."

Such a romantically storied region as this might naturally be expected
to abound in historic souvenirs and monuments almost without end. To an
extent this is true, but such souvenirs and recollections of the past
more frequently present themselves than do actual castle walls, be they
ruined or well-preserved.

The antique lore of ancient Bresse goes back to Druidical days. Stone
axes, Celtic tombs and medals, skeletons wearing bracelets and anklets
of iron and copper have been found in great numbers, and from these have
been built up a vague history of the earliest times.

Of Roman remains there are still evident many outlines of the camps of
the legionaries, innumerable evidences and tracings of old Roman
highroads, with here and there fragments of aqueducts, baths and
temples. Near Bourg have been discovered various medals of the ancient
colony of Massilia, on the shores of the Mediterranean, and one wonders
what were the relations of the Ostragoth peoples of Bresse with the
Phoceans of Marseilles. History is non-committal.

There are no magnificent monumental remains of Roman times left in these
parts save occasional fragments and towers which presumably served for
signalling purposes as a part of the fortifications of the Saracens. For
any architectural monuments of note one can not with certainty go back
to a period earlier than that in which the Burgundian power was at its
height, or to the time of Charles-le-Chauve in the ninth century.

The feudal memories of Bresse are chiefly the ruins of the seigneurial
chateau at Chateauneuf, the chief-town of the Val-Romey. Built high on
the summit of a peak of rock and surrounded by deep-cut fosses, and
walls which drop down sheer like the sides of a precipice, this chief
feudal residence of the Val-Romey was more a fortress than a delectable
domestic establishment, though it served the functions of both, as was
frequently the case with the feudal edifice of its class. What it lacked
in actual luxury or comfort it made up for in the added protection
offered by its sturdy walls. This was notably true of all seigneurial
residences which occupied isolated positions in the feudal epoch. Its
walls to-day, shorn of any æsthetic beauty which they may once have
possessed, and crumbling and moss-grown on every side, still rise a
hundred or more feet in air above their rocky foundations, and in many
places have a thickness of a dozen or fifteen feet. They built well in
those old days, before the era of armoured cement covered with stucco.
Modern builders make great claims for their product, but will it last?
No man knows, and, from the fact that masonry cannot be built even
to-day so as to stand up against shot and shell, one doubts if modern
work is really as durable as that of a thousand years ago. The military
architecture of feudal France, so often closely allied with that of the
civic and domestic varieties, was preëminent in its time.

The religious architecture, the monasteries and churches, of these parts
have certainly more ornate reminders of the undeniable opulence of the
region than the secular examples still existing.

Connecting Bresse and the Franche Comté is a curious little battery of
townlets that have never been mentioned in the guide-books, nor ever
will be. A motor flight from Bourg-en-Bresse to Besançon evolved the
following: First came a smug little town named briefly Pierre. It
possesses a chateau, too, reckoned as one of the really remarkable
examples of the style of Burgundian building. It certainly looks all
that is claimed for it, though we saw it only in the dim twilight of a
May evening. The impression was all-satisfying, and, that being what one
really travels for, one should be content.

For a neighbour there was Champdivers, which recalled a memory of Odette
de Champdivers, the one time companion of the poor Charles VI. during
his latter unhappy days. Truly this was proving for us a most romantic
region, a region utterly neglected by the great world of tourists who
pick out the big-type names on the map and make up their itineraries
accordingly.

On the banks of the Doubs, near the border of Bresse and the Comté, lies
Molay, whose seigneur, Jacques de Molay, the Grand Master of the
Templars, died at the stake in Paris during the playing of the great
drama of 1314.

After Molay a succession of dwellings continues to the important
frontier town and fortress of Dole, a decayed county-town whose official
importance, even, has been absorbed by the fortified city and
watch-making metropolis of Besançon. Dole will never be reckoned a city
of celebrated art, but regardless of this its fine old Renaissance
houses and Parliamentary Palace of other days all follow the
architectural scheme which makes the civic and secular edifices of
mid-France the most luxurious of their epoch.

Bourg, the capital of Bresse, has ever been one of the most important
towns of France lying near the eastern frontier, though indeed as a
fortified place the modern French military authorities give it scant
value from a strategic point of view. Six great national highways cross
and recross the city, and many of the narrow streets of the days of the
dukes have lately given way to avenues and boulevards. From this one
puts Bourg down as something very modern--which it is, in parts.

Built on the site of the ancient Forum Sebusianorum, the city came in
time under the sway of Burgundy, of the Empire of the States of Savoy,
and finally definitely allied itself with France in 1601.

Bourg is in the heart of Bresse. Its inhabitants are known as Bressans
de Bresse, in contradistinction to those who live on the borders of the
old province. "_Viv Mâcon pour beir et Bourg pour mangi_"--Mâcon for
drinking and Bourg for eating--say the Bressans of Bresse, and with good
reason.

The Bressan costume is most peculiar, at least so far as that of the
women is concerned; the men might be of Normandy or Poitou. Only on a
fête day will one see the real costume of the women of Bresse, but on
such occasions the mere sight of the triple-decked, steeple-like
coiffe--a good replica of an ornamental fountain in miniature--will
suggest nothing so much as the costume of a masquerade.

The only palatial domestic or civic edifice notable in Bourg to-day is
the Parliament Building of the ancient États de la Bresse. Of the many
princely dwellings of the time of the Seigneurs de Bagé, and of the
Savoyan princes of the sixteenth century, not a fragment remains, though
the records tell of a splendid chateau-fort and an episcopal residence
of like luxurious proportions which existed at the time of the union of
Bresse with France. This may be the edifice of the États which now
shelters the Musée Lorin. The longbeards disagree as to this, but the
casual observer will be quite willing to accept the suggestion. The
monument is certainly a splendid one, even if its history is vague.

The famous Église de Brou at Bourg is intimately bound with the life of
the nobles of mediæval times, as closely indeed as if it had been a
secular establishment where lived lords and ladies and their courts. A
description of this classic wonder of architectural art can have no
extended place here. It must suffice to recall that it was erected by
Philibert le Beau in completion of a vow made by his mother Marguerite
de Bourbon. Within are the magnificently sculptured tombs of the two
royalties and another of Marguerite d'Autriche. The sculpture of these
famous tombs has been the subject of more than one monograph, and indeed
the whole ornate structure--church, tombs and sculpture--is a
never-ceasing source of supply to critics and archæologists.

The Italian style, in the most gracious of its flowering forms, is here
united with the flamboyant Flemish school in a profligate profusion. The
Église de Brou is one of the greatest marvels of Renaissance
architecture in all the world.

North of Bourg, on the road to Louhans, through the heart of the Bresse
so dear to gastronomes, are the well conserved remains of the Chateau
de Montcony, and those of more ruinous aspect which represent the
departed glories of Duretal.

Cuiseaux' monumental remains are even more scant, and the town itself
hardly resembles a town of Burgundy. It is more like a place in
Switzerland or the Jura; indeed, to the latter region it once belonged,
and only came to be Burgundian when the princes of the house, through
some petty quarrel, took it for their own by force, as was the way in
those gallant, profligate days.

Cuiseaux does possess, however, a ruined aspect of wall and rampart
which suggests that it must have been one of the most admirably defended
places of the neighbourhood, judging from an old fifteenth century plan
preserved in the Bibliothèque Nationale. Then it was proud of its
ramparts which possessed thirty-six protecting towers. To-day but two of
these sentinels remain, and it were vainglorious to claim too much for
them, particularly since the modern plan of the town makes it look as
conventionally dull and uninteresting as an Arab _ghourbi_ in the Atlas,
or an adobe village in Arizona.

At Pont-de-Vaux, between Bourg and Louhans, one comes to a trim little
town, an outgrowth of the ancient village of Vaux, belonging at one time
to the Sires de Baugé, and later to the Duc de Savoie, Charles III, who
made it a Comté in 1623. It afterwards grew to the dignity of a Duché,
so made by Louis XIII. Much is preserved to-day of the ancient manner of
building, and, all in all, it is quite as satisfactory an example of a
mediæval town as has been left untouched by the mature hand of progress
of these late days.

Nantua is known to the traveller in modern France only as another of
those lakeside resorts which are such delightful places of sojourn for
those who would avoid for a time the strife of great cities. It is a gem
of a town, set in a diadem of beauty which surrounds the tiny lake of
the same name, but it has no historic monuments, if we except the tomb
of Charles le Chauve in the church. This at least entitles it to a
passing comment here, this and the memory of a happy afternoon we passed
by the crystal waters of this brilliant lake.

Midway between Bourg and Mâcon is Pont-de-Veyle. This old feudal town
was once the particular possession of a brilliant line of seigneurs of
France and Savoy, the last, under François I, being the Comte de
Furstemburg, who acquired it as a payment for certain levies of Germans
that he had furnished the French monarch.

The ancient manor of the Furstemburgs still exists, but it is hardly of
a proportion or architectural merit to have distinction. Here, too, are
the reconstructed remains of the eighteenth century of a family chateau
of the Maréchal de Lesdiguières, whose fortunes were more intimately
bound up with Gap and Vizille than with this less accessible property.
Like Vizille it has been "put into condition" in recent years, and,
while lacking the mossy, romantic air of mediævalism, fulfils most of
the demands of the worshipper at historic shrines.

There is still standing here an old city gate dating from the thirteenth
century, and this in turn is surmounted by a belfry of the sixteenth.
The ensemble suggests that it was once a part of a more noble
fortress-chateau. The Maison des Savoyards was probably a princely
rest-house when the nobles of its era passed this way. Beyond its name,
and the elaborate decorations of its façade, there is nothing else to
support the conjecture. Its history, whatever it may have been, is lost
in the confusion with which many ancient records are covered to-day.

Turning southwest on the highroad, from Burgundy into Savoy through the
heart of Dombes, one soon reaches Châtillon-les-Dombes. As its name
indicates, it is a descendant of the town which grew up around an
ancient seigneurial residence here of the fourteenth century. Chiefly
this is memory only, for the fragmentary débris takes on no distinction
to-day beyond that of any other indiscriminate pile of stones and
mortar.

Montluel, near-by, is in much the same category. It is famous only for
the fact that it was here that Amé VII was presented the Duché de Savoie
by Sigismond in 1496, and that in troublous, mediæval days it was the
safe haven for many political refugees from Geneva and Florence.
Montluel, in Latin Mons Lupelli, was the capital of the fief of
Valbonne. The remains existing to-day, and locally called "le chateau,"
are those of an edifice which had an existence and a career of sorts in
the eleventh century, but which since that date has no recorded history.

To Pont d'Ain and Belley is still on the direct road to Savoy. On the
great "route internationale" from Paris to Turin sits the ancient
chateau of Pont d'Ain, which owes its name to the old bridge which once
spanned the Ain at this point.

On an eminence high above the river is the old chateau built by the
Sires de Coligny in 1590, the ancestors of the great admiral. Previously
it had been the residence of the rulers of Savoy, and to this luxurious
dwelling the princesses of the house invariably came to give birth to
the inheritors to the throne. Louise de Savoie, the mother of François
Premier, was born here in 1476, and here died Philibert II, Duc de
Savoie, in 1504, he whose death gave impetus to the erection of that
magnificent mausoleum, the Église de Brou.

Belley, a matter of fifty kilometres further on, is a veritable gateway
through which passed the ancient Route de Savoie along which trotted the
palfreys and rolled the coaches of Renaissance days.

Lacking entirely mediæval monuments of note, Belley ranks, judging from
positive documentary evidence, as one of the most ancient towns of the
border province lying between Burgundy and Savoy. Its episcopate dates
from the year 412 A.D., and, if its feudal monuments have disappeared,
its great episcopal palace of later centuries is certainly entitled to
be considered an example of domestic architecture quite as appealing as
many a feudal chateau of more warlike aspect.

So strong a centre of the church as Belley was bound to be prominent
politically, and its bishops bore as well the title of Princes of the
Empire.

Herein has been given an epitome of a round of travel in this forgotten
and neglected border country lying between old Burgundy, Switzerland and
Savoy. What it lacks in elaborate examples of feudal and Renaissance
architecture it makes up for in storied facts of history, which though
too extensive to be more than hinted at here are as thrilling and
appealing as any chapter of the history of old France. For that reason,
and the fact that some acquaintance with these tiny border provinces is
necessary for a proper appreciation of the exterior relations of both
Burgundy and Savoy, the détour has been made.



CHAPTER XV

GRENOBLE AND VIZILLE: THE CAPITAL OF THE DAUPHINS


Dauphiny owes its name as a province to the rightful name of the eldest
sons of the French kings down to the middle of the nineteenth century.
The actual origin of the application of the name seems to have been
lost, though the Comtes de Vienne bore a dolphin on their blazon from
the eleventh century to the fourteenth, when Comte Humbert, the last
Dauphin, made over his rights to the eldest son of Philippe de Valois,
who acquired the country in 1343, bestowing it upon his offspring as his
patrimony. Thus is logically explained the absorption of the title and
its relations with the province, for it was then that it came first to
be applied to that glorious mountain region of France lying between the
high Alpine valleys and the shores of the Mediterranean.

The Dauphin, Humbert II, first established the Parlement du Dauphiné at
Saint Marcellin in 1337, but within three years it was transferred to
Grenoble, where it held rank as third among the provincial parliaments
of France.

[Illustration: Tourelle _du_ Palais _de_ Justice GRENOBLE B. McM. '08.]

Saint Laurent, the Grenoble suburb, not the mountain town hidden away in
the fastness of the mountain _massif_ of Chartreuse, occupies the site
of an ancient Gaulish foundation called Cularo. Its name was later
changed to Gratianopolis, out of compliment to the Emperor Gratian,
which in time evolved itself into Grenoble, the capital of "the good
province of our most loyal Dauphin."

Grenoble's chief architectural treasure is its present Palais de
Justice, the ancient buildings of the old Parliament of Dauphiny and its
Cour des Comptes. Virtually it is a chateau of state and is, moreover,
the most important monument of the French Renaissance existing in the
Rhône valley. Begun under Louis XI, it was terminated under François
Premier, when, following upon the Italian wars, it was a place of
sojourn for the kings of France.

On entering the portal at the right one comes directly to the Chambre du
Tribunal of to-day, its walls panelled with a wonderful series of
wood-carvings coming from the ancient Cour des Comptes, the work of a
German sculptor, Paul Jude, in 1520.

The portal to the left leads to the Cour d'Appel--the Chambres des
Audiences Solennelles--whose ceiling was designed in 1660 by Jean
Lepautre, a great decorative artist of the court of Louis XIV, and
carved by one Guillebaud, a native of Grenoble. The ancient chapel, or
such of it as remains, where the parliament heard mass, is reached
through this room. The ancient Chambre des Comptes dates from the reign
of Charles VIII.

The Grande Salle on the upper floor is one of the notable works of its
epoch with respect to its decorations, though the noble glass of its
numerous windows was destroyed long years ago, leaving behind only a
record of its magnificently designed _armoiries_ and inscriptions. The
chief, out-of-the-ordinary, decorations still to be observed are the
sculptured fronts of thirty-eight cupboard doors which enclose the
provincial archives. From an artistic, no less than a utilitarian, point
of view, they are certainly to be admired, even preferred, before the
"elastic" book cases of to-day.

Much of the old Palais des Dauphins' former magnificent attributes in
the shape of decorative details remain to charm the eye and senses
to-day, but of the extensive range of apartments of former times only a
bare three or four suggest by their groinings, carvings and
chimney-pieces the splendour with which the elder sons of the kings of
France were wont to surround themselves.

A remarkably successful work of restoration of the façade was
accomplished within a dozen years on the model of the best of
Renaissance details in other parts of the edifice, until to-day the
whole presents a most effective ensemble.

In Grenoble's museum is a room devoted to portraits of the good and
great of Dauphiny. There are a dozen busts in marble of as many
Dauphins, a portrait of Marie Vignon, the wife of Lesdiguières, and a
crayon sketch of Bayard, which is the earliest portrait of the
"Chevalier" extant. In the Église Saint Andre is the tomb of Bayard.
The funeral monument surmounting it was erected only in the seventeenth
century. The official chapel of the Dauphins has a great rectangular
_clocher_ remaining to suggest its former proportions. This fine tower
is surmounted by an octagonal upper story and is flanked at each corner
with a _clocheton_ rising hardily into the rarefied atmosphere. The grim
tower braves the tempests of winter to-day as it has since 1230.

Grenoble's Hôtel des Trois Dauphins is an historic monument as replete
with interest as many of more splendour. It was here that Napoleon
lodged, with General Bertrand, on the night when he passed through the
city on that eventful return from Elba when he sought to kindle the
European war-flame anew.

Grenoble's sole vestige of ancient castle or chateau architecture, aside
from the temporary royal abode of the French kings and the Dauphins, is
a round tower--La Grosse Tour Ronde--now built into the Hôtel de Ville,
the only existing relic of a still earlier Palais des Dauphins which in
its time stood upon the site of the ancient Roman remains of a structure
built in the days of Diocletian.

Grenoble's citadel possesses to-day only a square tower with
_machicoulis_ to give it the distinction of a militant spirit. It was
built in 1409, but to-day has been reduced to a mere barrack's accessory
of not the slightest military strength, a "_colombier militaire_," the
authorities themselves cynically call it.

Vauban's ancient ramparts have now been turned into a series of those
tree-planted promenades so common in France, but the militant aspect of
Grenoble is not allowed to be lost sight of, as a mere glance of the eye
upward to the hillsides and mountain crests roundabout plainly
indicates.

Grenoble, with its fort-crowned hill of "La Bastille," has been called
the Ehrenbreitstein of the Isère, a river which has played a momentous
part in the history of Savoy and Dauphiny, but which is little known or
recognized by those who follow the main lines of French travel.

Mont Rachet forms the underpinning of "La Bastille" and gives a foothold
to an old feudal fortress now built around by a more modern work. Below
is the juncture of the Isère and the Drac, and the great plain in the
midst of which rests the proud old capital of the Dauphins. The site is
truly remarkable and the strategic importance of the fortress was well
enough made use of in mediæval times as a feudal stronghold. What its
value for military purposes may actually be to-day is another story. The
walls of the fortress certainly look grim enough, but it is probable
that even the puniest of Alpine mountain batteries could reduce it in
short order.

Grenoble, as might be expected of a wealthy provincial capital, is
surrounded by a near-by battery of palatial country houses which may
well take rank as _chateaux de marque_. Some are modern and some are
remodelled from more ancient foundations, but all are of the imposing
order which one associates with a mountain retreat. These of course are
of a class quite distinct from the countless forts, fortresses, towers
and donjons with which the whole countryside is strewn.

Uriage, a near neighbour, is a popular resort in little, in fact, a
_ville d'eau_, as the French aptly name such places. The Chateau
d'Uriage will for most folk have vastly more sympathetic interest than
the semi-invalid attractions of the spa itself. It is at present the
property of the Saint Ferreol family, and though not strictly to be
reckoned as a sight, since it is not open to the public, it still
remains one of the most striking residential chateaux of these parts. It
was built by the Seigneurs d'Allemon under the old régime. Its
architecture is frankly of the nondescript order, a mélange of much that
is good and some that is bad, but all of it effective when judged from a
more or less distant view-point. With respect to its details it is a
livid mass of non-contemporary elements to which the purist would give
scant consideration, but the effect, always the most desirable quality
after all, is undeniably satisfying. The situation heightens this
effect, no doubt, but what would you? The high sloped roof, in place of
the mansards one usually sees, may be considered an innovation in a
structure of its epoch. It was so built, without question, that it might
better shed the snows of winter, which here come early and stay late.

The Chateau de Vizille, in a wooded park bordering upon the little
industrial suburb of Grenoble bearing the same name, is a most imposing
pile, and is fairly reminiscent of its eighteenth century contemporaries
in Touraine and elsewhere in mid-France. It was the place of meeting of
the États Généraux of Dauphiny in 1788, one of the momentous preambles
to the French Revolution, a chapter of the great drama which was
vigorously spoken and acted.

It was on July 21, 1788, under the presidency of the Comte de Marges,
that were voted the preliminary paragraphs of the famous "Declaration
des Droits de l'Homme et du Citoyen." The occasion is perpetuated in
memory by a monument erected in the town to "La Gloire de l'Assemblée de
Vizille ... et prepare la Revolution Française."

This was the first parliamentary vote against the sustaining of
aristocratic hereditary government in favour of popular
representation--really the general signal for revolution, a year before
the convention at Versailles.

The massive pile, ornate but not burdensome, with its mansards, its
towers and terraces, composes with its environment in a most agreeable
manner.

Known originally as the Chateau des Lesdiguières, for it was built
originally by that celebrated Constable, Vice-Roi du Dauphiné, the
Chateau de Vizille was formerly the property of the family of Casimir
Perier, that which gave a president to the later Republic.

In the early part of the seventeenth century a German traveller, Abraham
Goelnitz, "greatly admired" the chateau, and compared it to that of the
Duc d'Epernon at Cadillac, which contained seventy rooms. That of the
Maréchal Lesdiguières had a hundred and twenty-five, among them (at that
time) a picture gallery, an arsenal with six hundred suits of armour,
two thousand pikes and ten thousand muskets, as the inventory read. No
wonder Richelieu would have reduced the power of the local seigneurs
when they could get, and keep together, such a store as that.

Vizille abounds in historical memories the most exciting; the very fact
that it was the home of Lesdiguières, the terrible companion of the
Baron des Adrets--a Dauphinese tyrant, a warrior-pillager and much more
that history vouches for--explains this.

"_Viendrez ou je brulerai_," Lesdiguières wrote to the recalcitrant
vassals of his king who originally had a castle on the same site. And
when they stepped out, leaving the edifice unharmed, he stepped in and
threw it to the ground and built the less militant chateau which one
sees to-day. This edifice as it now stands was practically the work of
Lesdiguières. The Protestant governor of Dauphiny was reckoned a "sly
fox" by the Duc de Savoie, and doubtless with reason. It is a recorded
fact of history that the governor built his chateau with the unpaid
labour of the neighbouring peasants. This was in conformity with an old
custom by which a governor of the Crown could release his subject from
taxes by the payment of a _corvée_, that is, labour for the State. He
took it to mean that as the representative of the state the peasants
were bound to work for him. And so they did. The charge goes home
nevertheless that it was a case of official sinning.

This "Berceau de la Liberté" is in form an elegant pavilion of the style
current with Louis XIII. Originally it possessed certain decorative
features, statues and bas reliefs, all more or less mutilated to-day.
What is left gives an aspect of magnificence, but after all these
features are of no very high artistic order. Within, the decoration of
the apartments and their furnishings rise to a considerably higher
plane. Everywhere may be seen the arms of the Constable, three roses and
a lion, the latter rampant, naturally, as becomes the device of a
warrior.

The later career of the Chateau de Vizille has been most ignoble. Twice
in the last century it suffered by fire, in 1825 and 1865, and finally
it was rented as a store-house for a manufacturing concern, later to
become a boarding house controlled by a Société Anglaise. Nothing good
came of the last project and the enterprise failed, as might have been
anticipated at the commencement. To-day the property is on the market,
or was until very recently.



CHAPTER XVI

CHAMBÉRY AND THE LAC DU BOURGET


One comes to Chambéry to see the chateau of the Ducs de Savoie, the
modest villa "Les Charmettes," celebrated by the sojourn of Jean Jacques
Rousseau and Madame de Warens, and the Fontaine des Elephants. That is
all Chambéry has for those who would worship at picturesque or romantic
shrines, save its accessibility to all Savoy.

To begin with the last mentioned attraction first, one may dispose of
the Fontaine des Elephants in a word. It has absolutely no artistic or
sentimental appeal, though the town residents worship before it as a
Buddhist does before Buddha. The ducal splendour of the chateau and of
"La Sainte Chapelle," which together form the mass commonly referred to
as "the chateau," is indeed the first of Chambéry's attractions.
Restorations of various epochs have made of the fabric something that
will stand the changes of the seasons for generations yet to come and
still preserve its mediæval characteristics. This is saying that the
restoration of the Chateau de Chambéry has been intelligently conceived
and well executed.

The great portal, preceded by an ornate terrace, with a statue of the
Frères de Maistre, is the chief and most splendid architectural detail.
A good second is the old portal of the Église Saint Dominique, which has
been incorporated into the chateau as has been the Sainte Chapelle. Its
chevet and its deep-set windows form the most striking externals of this
conglomerate structure.

One of the old towers forms another dominant note when viewed from
without, but let no one who climbs to its upper platform for a view of
the classic panorama of the city and its surroundings think that he, or
she, treads the stones where trod lords and ladies of romantic times,
for the stairway is a poor modern thing bolstered up by iron rods, as
unlovely as a fire-escape ladder on an apartment house, and no more
romantic.

It was in the Chateau de Chambéry that was consummated the final
ceremony by which Savoy was made an independent duchy in 1416.
Historians of all ranks have described the magnificence of the event in
no sparing

[Illustration: _Portal of the Chateau de Chambéry_]

[Illustration: _Portal St. Dominique, Chambéry_]

terms. It was the most gorgeous spectacle ever played upon the stage of
which this fine old mediæval castle was the theatre.

The final act of the ceremony took place before a throng of princes,
prelates and various seigneurs and minor vassals of all the neighbouring
kingdoms and principalities. The Emperor Sigismond, Amadée VIII, who was
to be the new duke, dined alone upon a raised dais in the Grande Salle,
and the service was made by "a richly dressed throng of seigneurs
mounted on brilliantly caparisoned chargers." This is quoted from a
historical chronicle, which however neglects to state the quality of the
service. It is quite possible that it may not have been above reproach.

Here, a couple of centuries later, another Victor-Amadée married the
Princesse Henriette, Duchesse d'Orléans. The bride to be had never met
her future husband until they came together at a little village near-by,
as she was journeying to the Savoyan castle for the ceremony. Says the
chronicle: "When the princess saw the pageant, at the head of which
marched Victor-Amadée, the fair young man of distinguished and martial
bearing, without a moment's hesitation, casting to the winds all her
previous instruction in matters of etiquette,

[Illustration: _Chateau de Chambéry_]

she flew down the stairs and into the street and finally into the arms
of the duke."

The marriage was not, however, a happy one. The duke became disloyal to
his vows and left his wife to pine and moan away her days in the ducal
chateau whilst he went off campaigning for other hearts and lands. He
acquired Sicily, and became the first King of Sicily and Sardinia, and
paved the way for the future greatness of his house, but this was not
accomplished by adherence to the code of marital constancy.

The Chateau de Chambéry was finally abandoned definitely by the Savoyan
dukes, who, when they became also monarchs of Sardinia, took up their
residence at Turin. The "_beaux jours_" had passed never to return.
Henceforth its career was to be less brilliant, for it but rarely
received even passing visits from its masters. In 1745 it was
considerably damaged by fire; in 1775 it was, in a way, furbished up and
put in order for the marriage of Charles Emmanuel and Madame Clotilde of
France, but again, in 1798, it was ravaged by fire.

From 1793 to 1810 the chateau was the headquarters of the officialdom of
the newly formed Département du Mont Blanc, and in 1860 it was used as
the Préfecture of the Département de la Savoie. Napoleon III, journeying
this way in 1860, decided to make it an imperial residence and certain
transformations to that end were undertaken, but it never came to real
distinction again, save that it exists as an admirable example of a
"monument historique" of the old régime.

It was on the esplanade, beneath the windows of the chateau, that Amadée
VI won the title of the Comte Vert, because of the preponderant colours
of his arms and costume in a tournament which was held here in 1348.

The third of Chambéry's classic sights, "Les Charmettes," is the
"delicious habitation" rendered so celebrated by Rousseau. One arrives
at "Les Charmettes" by a discreet and shady by-path. It has been
preserved quite in its primitive state and is devoid of any pretence
whatever. Its charm is idealistic, romantic and intimate. Nothing
grandiose has place here. It is a simple two-story, sloping tiled-roof
habitation of the countryside. As the "Confessions" puts it, "Les
Charmettes" was discovered thus: "_Apres avoir un peu cherché nous nous
fixâmes au Charmettes ... à la porte de Chambéry, mais retirée et
solitaire, comme si l'on en était à cent lieus._"

This dwelling where Jean Jacques passed so many of his "_rares bons
jours_" of his

[Illustration: Les Charmettes

75 · _McManus_

1909]

adventurous life has been bought by the city, and will henceforth be
guarded as a public monument, a tourist shrine like the Chateau des Ducs
and La Grande Chartreuse. Here Madame de Warens will reign again in the
effigy of a reproduction of Quentin de la Tour's famous portrait,
possessed of that "_air caressant et tendre_" and "_sourire angelique_"
which so captured the author of the "Confessions." Arthur Young, that
observant English agriculturalist, who travelled so extensively in
France, paid a warm tribute to Rousseau's good fairy when he wrote:
"There was something so amiable in her character that in spite of her
frailties her name rests among those few memories connected with us by
ties more easily felt than described."

In one of his stories Alphonse Daudet tells us of a _bourgeois_ who had
purchased an old chateau, and was driven away from it by the ghosts of
the family which had preceded him as proprietors. Surely something of
the same kind might have happened to that citizen of the United States
who proposed to transport "Les Charmettes" to Chicago. The offer was
declined and that is how the city of Chambéry came to possess it for all
time. It is well that this took place, for there is hardly a house in
Europe in which one would imagine that the ghosts of history would so
persistently survive.

Not only was "Les Charmettes" and Madame de Warens connected so
intimately, but they were also associated with another name less known
in the world of letters. Hear what the "Confessions" has to say:

"He was a young man from Viaud; his father, named Vintzinried, was a
self-styled captain of the Chateau de Chillon on Lac Leman. The son was
a hair-dresser's assistant and was running about the world in that
quality when he came to present himself to Madame de Warens, who
received him well, as she did all travellers, and especially those from
her own country. He was a big, dull blond, well-made enough, his face
insipid, his intelligence the same, speaking like a beautiful Leander
... vain, stupid, ignorant, insolent." For the rest one is referred to
the "Confessions."

Within a radius of fifty kilometres of Chambéry there are more than
thirty historic chateaux or fortresses of the middle ages and the
Renaissance. Many are in an admirable, if not perfect, state of
preservation, and all offer something of historic and artistic interest,
though manifestly not all can be included in a rush across France. This
fact is patent; that a picturesquely disposed and imposing castle or
chateau adds much to the pleasing aspect of a landscape, and here in
this land of mountain peaks and smiling valleys the prospect is as
varied as one could hope to find. Built often on a mountain slope--and
as often on a mountain peak--frequently within sight of one another, the
dwellers therein would have been glad of some means of "wireless"
communication between their houses, for not always were the seigneurs at
war with their neighbours.

Off to the southward, towards Saint Michel de Maurienne, is one of the
most conspicuous of these hill-top chateaux. Chignin is still the proud
relic of an ancient chateau which is a land-mark for miles around. It
has no history worth recounting, but is as much like the conventional
Rhine castle of reality and imagination as any to be seen away from the
banks of that turgid stream. On a lofty eminence are four great towers
to remind one of the more extensive structure to which they were once
connected. These ruins, and another rebuilt tower of the old chateau of
the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, are now practically all devoted to
the religious usages of the Chartreux, but in spite of this they present
a militant aspect such as one usually associates with things secular.

The round of Lac Bourget, which environs Chambéry on the north, suggests
many historic souvenirs of the dukes and the days when they held their
court at the Chateau de Chambéry.

[Illustration: _Chateau de Chignin_]

Between Chambéry and Aix-les-Bains, just beside that wide dusty road
along which scorch the twentieth century _nouveau riche_, who with their
villas and gigantic hotels have all but spoiled this idyllic corner of
old Europe, rise the walls of the Chateau de Montagny, captured in 1814
by the allied armies marching against France, and which still conserves,
embedded in its portal, a great shot, one of a broadside which finally
battered in its door. If one would see war-like souvenirs still more
barbarous, a cast of the eye off towards Montmélian and Miolans will
awaken even more bloody ones. Their story is told elsewhere in these
pages.

At Bourget du Lac, a dozen kilometres out, are the ruins of the Chateau
de Bourget, within sight of the ancient Lacus Castilion, and a near
neighbour of the celebrated Abbey of Hautecombe.

Comte Amé V was born in the Chateau de Bourget in 1249. It had
previously belonged to the Seigneur de la Rochette, and during the
thirteenth century was occupied continually by the princes of the house
of Savoy. As may be judged by all who view, its site was most ravishing,
and though one may not even imagine what its architectural display may
actually have been it is known that Amé V bestowed much care and wealth
upon it when he came to man's estate. A pupil of Giotto's was brought
from Italy to superintend the decorations, and evidences have been found
in the ruined tower at the right of the present heap of ruins which
suggest some of the decorative splendour which the building one day
possessed. In spite of its fragmentary condition the ruin of the Chateau
de Bourget is one of the most romantically disposed souvenirs of its era
in Savoy, and one may well echo the words of a local poet who has
praised it with all sincerity.

    "_O lac, te souvient-il ... des beaux jours du vieux castel._"

The chronicles, too, have much to say of the brilliant succession of
seigneurs who came to visit the Comtes de Savoie here in their wildwood
retreat, "a line of counts as noble, rich and powerful as sovereigns of
kingdoms."

The sepulchre of the Savoyan counts in the old Abbey of Hautecombe must
naturally form a part of any pilgrimage to the neighbouring chateau. For
no reason whatever can it be neglected by the visitor to these parts,
the less so by the chateau-worshipper just because it is a religious
foundation. It is in fact the mausoleum of the princes of the house of
Savoy. Within its walls are buried various members

[Illustration: _Abbey of Hautecombe_]

of the dynasty who would have made of it the Valhalla of their time.

    "_Il est un coin de terre, au pied d'une montagne_
       _Que baigne le lac du Bourget_

           *       *       *       *       *

     _Hautecombe! port calme! O royal monastere!_
       _Abri des fils de Saint Bernard._"

At the extreme northerly end of the Lac du Bourget is the ancient Manoir
de Châtillon, sitting high on an isolated and wooded hillside above the
gently lapping waters, and in full view of the snow-capped mountains of
the Alpine chain to the eastward.

Here was born, towards the end of the twelfth century, Geoffroi de
Châtillon, son of Jean de Châtillon and Cassandra Cribelli, sister of
Pope Urban III. In every way the edifice is an ideally picturesque one,
as much so because of its site and its historical foundation. As an
architectural glory it is a mélange of many sorts, with scarce a
definite æsthetic attribute. It is as an historical guide-post that it
appears in its best light. Its chief deity, Geoffroi, became a canon and
chancellor of the chapter at Milan; later he entered the religious
retreat of Hautecombe, from which Gregory IX finally drew him forth to
make him a cardinal-bishop. He ultimately succeeded to the pontifical
robes and tiara himself as Celestin IV (1241). He died eighteen days
later, poisoned, it is said, so his reign at the head of Christendom was
perhaps the briefest on record.

Bordeau, another ruined memory of mediævalism, also overlooks the Lac du
Bourget from near-by.

Aix-les-Bains is of course the lode-stone which draws the majority of
travellers to this corner of the world. It is but a city of pleasure, a
modern "Spa," the outgrowth of another of Roman times when they took
"_cures_" more seriously. It has the reputation to-day, among those who
are really in the whirl of things, as being the gayest, if not the most
profligate--and there is some suspicion of that--watering place in
Europe. Judging from prices alone, and admitting the disposition or
willingness of those who would be gay to pay high prices without a
murmur, this is probably so.

The site of Aix-les-Bains is lovely, and its waters really
beneficial--so the doctors say, and probably with truth. Its Casino is
only second to that of Monte Carlo.

The chief charm of Aix-les-Bains after all is, or ought to be, its
accessibility to the historic masterpieces roundabout, and its
delightful situation by the shores of the "_lac bleu_" whose praises
were so loudly sung by Lamartine in "Raphael."

North from Chambéry and east from Aix-les-Bains, is a mountain region
known as Les Bauges, a little known and less exploited region. It is a
charming isolated corner of Savoy, where once roamed the gorgeous
equipages of the Ducs de Savoie, who here hunted the wild boar, the deer
and the bears and foxes to their hearts' content. To-day pretty much all
game of this nature has disappeared, save an occasional _sanglier_, or
wild boar, which, when met with, usually turns tail and runs.

Midway in this mountain land between Aix-les-Bains and Albertville is Le
Chatelard, a tiny townlet on the banks of a mountain torrent, the
Chéran. On a hill above the town, at a height of nearly three thousand
feet above the sea level, are the insignificant remains of the chateau
of Thomas de Savoie. Scant remains they are to be sure, endowed with a
history as scant, since little written word is to be met with concerning
them.

Otherwise the chateau is a very satisfactory historical monument.

After climbing a tortuous winding path one comes suddenly upon a great
walled barrier through which opens a door on which is to be read:

                              ON EST PRIE
                             DE FERMER LES
                                PORTES
                              (J'exige).

The last line is delicious. Of course one would close the doors after
the mere intimation that it was desired that they should be closed. The
proprietor says that he demands it, but he takes no measures to see that
his demands are carried out. What pretence! All the same the pilgrimage
is worth the making, but it's not an easy jaunt.



CHAPTER XVII

IN THE SHADOW OF LA GRANDE CHARTREUSE


One may leave Rousseau's smiling valley above Chambéry and journey to
Grenoble via La Grande Chartreuse, or by the valley of the Isère, as
fancy dictates. In either case one should double back and cover the
other route or much will otherwise be missed that will be regretted.

Grenoble is militant from heel to toe. Its garrison is of vast numbers,
soldiers of all ranks and all arms are everywhere, and every hill
round-about bristles with a fortification or a battery of masked guns.

Every foot of the region is historic ground, and whether one crosses
from Savoy to Dauphiny or from Dauphiny to Savoy the borderland is at
all times reminiscent of the historic past.

The cradle of the Dauphin princes of France is not only a region of
mountains and valleys, but it is a land where a numerous and warlike
nobility was able to withstand invaders and oppressors to the last. Like
Scotland, Dauphiny was never conquered; at least it lost no measure of
its original independence by its alliances until it was cut up into the
present-day departments of modern France.

Dauphiny is possessed of multiple aspects. It has the sun-burnt
character of Provence in the south, with Montelimar and Grignan as its
chief centres; it has its _coteaux_ and _falaises_, like those of
Normandy, around Crest and Die; and its "Petite Hollande" neighbouring
upon Tour-de-Pin where the Dauphins once had a gem of a little
rest-house which still exists to-day. The mountains of Dauphiny rival
the Alps of Switzerland--the famous Barre des Écrins is only a shade
less dominant than Mont Blanc itself.

The chief singer of the praises of Dauphiny has ever been Lamartine. No
one has pictured its varied aspects better.

    "L'oeil embrasse au matin l'horizon qu'il domine
     Et regarde, à travers les branches de noyer,
     Les eaux bleuir au loin et la plaine ondoyer.

           *       *       *       *       *

     On voit à mille pieds au dessous de leurs branches
     La grande plaine bleue avec ses routes blanches
     Les moissons jaunes d'or, les bois comme un point noir,
     L'Isère renvoyant le ciel comme un miroir."

[Illustration: _Maison des Dauphins, Tour-de-Pin_]

The very topographical aspect of Dauphiny has bespoken romance and
chivalry at all times. The mass of La Grande Chartreuse was dedicated to
religious devotion, but those of other mountain chains, and the plains
and valleys lying between, were strewn with castle towers and donjons
almost to the total exclusion of church spires.

Coming south from Chambéry by the valley of the Graisivaudan, by the
side of the rushing waters of the Isère hurrying on its way to join the
greater Rhône at Valence, the point of view is manifestly one which
suggests feudalism in all its militant glory, rather than the
recognition of the fact that it is overshadowed by the height of La
Grande Chartreuse, whose influences were wholly dissimilar.

It was the valley of Graisivaudan that Louis XII rather impulsively
called the most beautiful garden of France: "_charmé par la divinité de
ses plantements et les tours en serpentant qu'y fait la rivière Isère_."

Stendhal, too, compared it to the finest valleys of Piedmont. One may
differ, but it is a very beautiful prospect indeed which opens out from
Barraux or Pontcharra, midway between Grenoble and Chambéry.

Near Pontcharra is the Chateau Bayard, where was born and lived the
famous "_Chevalier, sans peur et sans reproche_." As an historic
monument of rank its position is pre-eminent, though not much can be
said of its architectural pretence. Still here it is, on the route from
Grenoble to Gap by the famous Col. Bayard, also celebrated in history,
almost as much so as the famous Breche de Roland in the Pyrenees.

It was through this cleft in the mountain that Napoleon marched on that
eventful journey from Golfe Jouan to Paris in the attempt to rise again
to power. It was not far from the crest, the pass between the two
principal valleys of the French Alps, that Napoleon made the first
important additions to the few followers who had gathered around him on
his doubtful journey. The troops sent out from Grenoble opposed his
progress, whereupon he advanced towards them, bareheaded and alone, and
demanded to know if they, his former fellows in arms, would kill their
leader. Not one of them would fire, though the order was actually given.
With one common inspiration they went over to him _en masse_, with the
classic cry of "_Vive l'Empereur!_" and continued their way towards the
capital, where, just before Grenoble, they were also joined by the
forces of Labedoyère, with their colonel at their head, sent out to
stop them.

On the shores of the Grand Lac de Laffrey, as the marvellous mountain
road swings by on its _corniche_, one notes a marble tablet on which is
carven the following words, which are quite worth copying down. No
further explanatory inscription is to be seen, simply the words:

     "_Soldats! Je suis votre Empereur. Ne me reconnaissez vous pas!
     S'il en est un parmi vous qui veuille tuer son general, me voila!_"
     (7 Mars 1815.)

In spite of the significance of the words the driver of a cart going the
same way as ourselves professed an utter ignorance of their meaning.
Passing strange, this, but true! Is it for this that history is written?

The ruins of the Chateau de Bayard sit imposingly on a height commanding
a wide-spread panorama of the valley below, and the distant barrier of
mountain peaks on every side. The walls and turrets are mouldering
to-day, as they have been for generations, but local historians and
antiquarians have on more than one occasion written of the rooms and
gardens where strolled and played the youthful warrior, and acquired the
principles which afterwards led to so great a fame.

Of the ancient chateau of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, where
(1476-1524) was born the Chevalier Bayard, but a crumbling portal and
tower remain sufficiently well preserved to suggest the dignity it once
had. They attach themselves to two minor structures, one of which was
probably the chapel, and the other, perhaps, the Salle des Gardes.
Within the walls which enclose the latter are also the apartments which
were occupied by the warrior-knight in his youth, doubtless the same as
that in which his mother, Helene Alleman, gave him birth. The guardian
claims all this, and, since this is what you come to see, you accept the
assertion gratefully, though history itself vouches for nothing so
precise.

A bridge which crosses the river Breda at this point has on its parapet
an equestrian statue representing the infant Bayard. The "bon chevalier"
was descended from a local lord who bore the name of Bayart, but some
careless chronicler changed the final consonant of Aymon Terrail's title
(Seigneur de Bayart), and the name of his better known progeny has thus
gone to history.

The family was of antique extraction; "of a noble and antique chivalry,"
as one learns from the old historians of Dauphiny. "The prowess of a
Terrail" has passed into a local proverb. So the infant Terrail who was
to become the future Bayard came to his glorious calling by good right.
At the age of six or seven the young Terrail went to live with his
uncle, Bishop of Grenoble, but at twelve returned to the paternal
chateau, where his inclinations became the "_plus belliqueuses_,"
whereas, before, his infant predilections were of a studious kind.
Henceforth he was for war, and he came rightly enough by his liking, for
one of his ancestors, Philippe Terrail, died gloriously at Poitiers,
another at Crécy, another at Verneuil and another, already known as
"Épée Terrail" to the English, died at the side of Louis XI.

Young Pierre was asked by his father (1487) what profession he would
adopt, and it was then that he replied that the war spirit was bred in
him and that he would never renounce it. His uncle, the bishop,
presented him to the Duc Charles de Savoie, who was holding court at the
moment at Chambéry, and by his mere riding up on his horse before the
duke, he was immediately accepted as a page of his suite.

Opposite Pontcharra, on the opposite bank of the Isère, is the
comparatively modern Fort Barraux, which looks far more ideally
picturesque than the historic castle of the Bayards. History has not
been silent with regard to the fortifying of these mountain peaks of
Dauphiny and Savoy. The fortress was first built on this site by Charles
Emmanuel, Duc de Savoie, though an opposing army was drawn up before him
under the command of the celebrated Connetable Lesdiguières. Being
reproved by his king, Henri IV, for his dilatoriness in allowing the
enemy to so entrench itself whilst he and his men stood idly by, the
Connetable sagaciously and brilliantly replied, "Your Majesty has need
of a fortress on the Savoyan side to hold in check that of Montmélian,
and since Charles Emmanuel has been good enough to commence the building
of one, let us wait until it is finished." The wait was not long, and
the completed fortress, after a very slight struggle, came to the French
king.

The remarkable feudal Chateau de Rochefort-en-Montagne, above
Pontcharra, is a ruin scarcely equalled, as a ruin, by any other above
ground to-day. It has a majestic sadness and appeal, crumbled and
dishonoured though it is.

To paint the picture one must hold the brush himself. Little
satisfaction can be got from the contemplation of another's sketch of
this noble ruin. Grand and imposing it is, however, though but a mere
echo of the splendid edifices of the Renaissance in the Loire valley,
and yet its firm, flat ground plan, its massive portal and its massive
round tower are all reminiscent of the best of the Renaissance castle
builder's art. The point should be recognized nevertheless that it is of
the mountain and not of the plain. This will account for many of its
vagaries of detail as compared with the more familiar chateaux of the
Loire.

The surroundings are varied and beautiful, and the grim gaunt drabness
of the proud old walls give at once a note of melancholy memory which
sounds perhaps the stronger because this fine old feudal monument is but
a shell as compared contrastingly with the better preserved examples of
its era to be seen in mid-France.

The property belongs to-day to the Rochefort-Lucay family, of which
Henri Rochefort, the publicist, is best known. It is not, however,
habitable in any sense, but it could be made so with a more reasonable
expenditure than one usually puts into a great country house, so let us
hope that its fortunes will some day come into their own again.

Just below Grenoble are Sassenage and Saint Donat, quite unknown and
unworshipped. They deserve a better fame. Sassenage, but six kilometres
from Grenoble, is what the French call "_propre, riant_" and "_aise_."
It is all this, as a round of a fortnight's excursions in different
directions, in and out of Grenoble, proved to us. There is nothing else
quite in its class, and its chateau is a wonderfully chiselled sermon in
stone, as its portal and façade demonstrate readily enough to the most
casual observer. A most curious emblem is here to be noted. It is worthy
of being added to those carved porcupines and salamanders of Louis XII
and François Premier. In this case it is a mythological, or traditional,
figure, half woman and half snake, and possessed of two tails. It is a
most unpleasant architectural decoration and perpetuates the mythical
character of a local legend. One is glad to know that it is not an
emblem personal to the family of the present owner.

Some kilometres to the south is the Tour Sans Venin, one of the ancient
wonders of Dauphiny, though it is little more than a single flank of
wall to-day. The natives, skeptical when they first heard the tale of
Roland the Paladin, built the edifice of which this wall formed a part,
and built it of wonderful stone,

[Illustration]

or earth, warranted to chase away reptiles and vermin. Imagination, no
doubt, played its part, but one can readily enough accept the properties
as desirable ones for a building material to possess.

Saint Donat, still further down the valley, has hardly a memory for one
save that he remembers having heard of it in connection with the rather
merry life of Diane de Poitiers. To-day it is nothing but a no-account
little Dauphinese village. It is not even a railway junction. It has
however an old mill built up out of an old _rendez-vous de chasse_ where
the fickle Diane had more than one escapade. Like many another old ruin
of Dauphiny the Chateau de Saint Donat is reminiscent of the local
manner of building. It is nothing luxurious, but massive, and, withal, a
seemingly efficient stronghold for the time in which it was built, or
would have been had it ever been called upon to serve its purpose to the
full. It seems a fatal destiny that a chateau should be no longer a
chateau, for here in Dauphiny no inconsiderable number of mediæval
dwellings of this class have been turned into factories of one sort or
another. Here in the _salles_ and _chambres_, as the apartments are
still named on the spot, are machines and workmen spinning silk and
weaving ribbons for the great Paris department stores. The Chambre de
Diane, however, is still preserved as a show-place in much the same
manner in which it was originally conceived. It is a circular apartment,
rather daringly attached to the main building. A sort of alcove, or
addition, is built out into the open still further, and one only reaches
it by three steps up from the floor. Three secret doors separate the
sleeping apartment itself from the connecting corridor. If there is
anything of the sentiment of the enchanting huntress Diane hanging about
the apartment to-day one quite forgets it by reason of its being drowned
out by the noise of the whirring mill-wheels below.

The twentieth century is far from the time when romance dwelt in purling
brooks or stalked through marble halls. "Other days, other ways" is a
trite saying which applies as well to chateaux as other things. To-day,
in Dauphiny in particular, a purling brook or a mountain torrent is more
valued for its "_force motrice_" than for any other virtues, and a
chateau that can be readily transformed into a silk-mill is a better
business proposition than would be its value as a ruin. This is the
practical, if sad, point of view.

There are no coal mines in Dauphiny, but the _houille blanche_, as the
French call water-power, is a product highly valued. Sentiment and
romance are apt to be little valued in comparison.



CHAPTER XVIII

ANNECY AND LAC LEMAN


The immediate environs of the Lac du Bourget, the Lac d'Annecy and the
French shores of Lac Leman,--more popularly known to the world of
tourism as the Lake of Geneva--offer a succession of picturesque sights
and scenes, presented always with a historic accompaniment that few who
have come within the spell of their charms will ever forget.

It is not that these Savoyan lakes are more beautiful than any others;
it is not that they are grander; nor is it that they are particularly
"unspoiled," considering them from a certain point of view, for in the
season they are very much visited by the French themselves and loved
accordingly. The charm which makes them so attractive lies in the blend
of the historic past with the modernity of the twentieth century. The
mélange is less offensive here than in most other places, and their
contrasting of the old and the new, the historic and the romantic, with
the modern ways and means of travel and accessibility, gives this
mountain lakeland an unusual appeal.

On almost every side are the modern appointments of great hotels; there
are "good roads" everywhere for the automobilist, and the main lines of
railway crossing France to Italy give an accessibility and comfortable
manner of approach which is not excelled by the region of the Swiss and
Italian lakes themselves.

Annecy, the metropolis of these parts, has an old chateau that is much
better conserved than that of Chambéry so far as the presentation of it
as a whole is concerned. It is more nearly a perfect unit, and less of a
conglomerate restoration than the former.

The Chateau d'Annecy was the ancient residence of the Comtes de
Genevois, but in 1401 the seigniory passed to the house of Savoy. Robert
de Geneve, known to ecclesiastical history as Pope Clement VII, the
first of the Avignon Popes, was born here in 1342.

The military history of the Chateau d'Annecy is intimately bound up with
that of the town because of the fact that as a matter of protection the
first settlement grouped itself confidingly around the walls which
sheltered the seigneurial presence. Populace and the guardians of the
chateau together were thus enabled to throw off the troops which turned
back on Annecy after the defeat at Conflans in 1537, but no resistance
whatever was made to Henri IV and his followers, who entered without a
blow being dealt, and "found the inhabitants agreeable and warm of
welcome." This was perhaps a matter of mood; it might not have so
happened the day before or the day after, but their cordiality was
certainly to the credit of all concerned from a humane point of view,
whatever devotees of the war-game may think.

In 1630 Comte Louis de Sales commanded the chateau when the Maréchal de
Chatillon marched against it. The besieged made a stiff fight and only
capitulated after being able to make such terms as practically turned
defeat into victory. On the morrow the Comte de Sales escorted his
troops to the Chateau de Conflans, "with all the honours of war."

After a brilliant career of centuries the ancient residence of the
Comtes de Genevois, and the Princes de Savoie-Nemours who came after,
has become a barracks for a battalion of Chasseurs Alpins. Fortunately
for the æsthetic proprieties, it has lost nothing of its seigneurial
aspect of old as have so many of its contemporaries when put to a
similar use.

Really, Annecy's chateau, its well lined walls, its ramparts and towers,
and above all, its situation, close to the water's edge, where the
ensemble of its fabric mingles so well with artistically disposed
foreground, has an appeal possessed by but few structures of its class.

If one would see the town and lake of Annecy at their best they should
be viewed of a September afternoon, when the oblique rays of the autumn
sun first begin to gild the heavy square towers of the ancient chateau
of the Ducs de Nemours. Behind rise the roofs and spires of the town set
off with the reddish golden leaves of the chestnuts of La Puya. All is a
blend of the warm colouring of the southland with the sterner, more
angular outlines of the north. The contrasting effect is to be remarked.
To the left, regarding the town from the water's edge, or better yet
from a boat upon the lake, rises the Villa de la Tour, where died Eugene
Sue; and farther away the Grange du Hameau de Chavoires, where lingered
for a time Jean Jacques Rousseau. All around, through the chestnut
woods, are scattered glistening _villas_ and _manoirs_ and _granges_,
with, away off in the distance, the towering walls of the feudal Chateau
de Saint Bernard.

Another marvellous silhouette to be had from the bosom of the lake is
midway along the western shore, where the ramparts of Tournette and the
crenelated walls of the Dents du Lanfont and Charbonne are, after
midday, lighted up as with yellow fire. The brown and yellow roof and
façade of an old Benedictine convent, now become a hotel, rise above the
verdure of the foreshore, and the whole is as tranquil as if the
twentieth century were yet to be born.

On the opposite shore of the lake is the Chateau de Duingt, with its
white towers piercing the sky in quite the idyllic manner.

The Chateau de Duingt is a pretentious country residence belonging to
the Genevois family which in the seventeenth century gave a bishop to
the neighbourhood, a bishop, it is true, who was excommunicated and
shorn of all his rights by the Comte de Savoie, Amadée V, but a bishop
nevertheless.

The environs of the Lac d'Annecy have ever been a retreat for
litterateurs and artist folk. Ernest Renan lodged here in the
_hôtellerie_ of the famous Abbey, where he occupied a _chambre de
prieur_. José-Maria Héredia came here in company with Taine; Ferdinand
Fabre passed many months here in an isolated little house on the very
shores of the lake; Albert Besnard, the painter, has recently built a
studio here, and a quaint and altogether charming villa; Paul Chabas,
too, has resorted hither recently for the same purpose, and indeed
scores have found out this accessible but tranquil little corner of
Savoy. Another Parisian, a Monsieur Noblemaire, has acquired the
picturesque Savoyard Manoir de Thoron, built sometime during the
seventeenth century, and lives indeed the life of a noble under the old
régime amid the very same luxuriant and agreeable surroundings.

Faverges, at the lower end of the Lac d'Annecy, backed up by the sombre
Forêt de Doussard, and in plain view of the snowy top of Mont Blanc off
to the eastward, is at once a _ville industrielle_ and a reminiscent old
feudal town. Its interest is the more entrancing because of the
contrasting elements which go to make up its architectural aspect and
the life of its present day inhabitants. A mediæval chateau elbows a
modern silk factory, and the idle gossip of the workers as they take
their little walks abroad on the little _Place_ blends strangely enough
with the amorous escapades of Henri IV which still live in local legend.

On the road from Faverges to Thone, by the switch-back mountain road,
following the valley of the Fier, is the Manoir de la Tour, where on a
fine mid-summer morning in 1730 Jean Jacques Rousseau climbed a cherry
tree and bombarded the coquettish Mademoiselle Graffeny and Mademoiselle
Galley with the rich, ripe--not overripe--fruit. We know this because
Jean Jacques himself said so, and for that reason this little human note
makes a pilgrimage hither the pleasurable occupation that it is. The
fine old manor is still intact. But the cherry tree? No one knows. May
be it was a mythical cherry tree like that of the George Washington
legend. In spite of this the guardian will show visitors many cherry
trees, and one may take his choice.

Lac Leman is commonly thought a Swiss lake, as is Mont Blanc usually
referred to as a Swiss mountain--which it isn't. A good third of the
shore line of Lac Leman is French--"_Leman Français_," it is called.

Practically the whole southern, or French, shore of the Lake of
Geneva--or Lake Leman, as we had best think of it since it is thus known
to European geographers--is replete with a fascinating appeal which the
Swiss shore entirely lacks. It is difficult to explain this, but it is a
fact.

The region literally bristles with old castle walls and donjons, though
their histories have not in every instance been preserved, nor have
they always been so momentous as to have impressed themselves vividly in
the minds of the general reader or the conventional traveller. Perhaps
they are all the more charming for that. The writer thinks they are.

Mont Blanc dominates the entire region on the east, and may be
considered the good genius of Savoy and Upper Dauphiny, as it is of
French-speaking Switzerland and the high Alpine valleys of Italy.

The French shore of Lac Leman, the Département of Haute-Savoie, is cut
off from Geneva by the neutral Pays de Gex, and from Switzerland on the
east by the torrent of the Morge, just beyond Saint Gingolph. For
fifty-two kilometres stretches this French shore, or the "Côte de la
Savoie" as the Swiss call it, and its whole extent is as romantic and
fair a land as it is possible to conceive.

One may come from Geneva by boat; that indeed is the ideal way to make
one's entrance to Haute Savoie, unless one rolls in over the superb
roads comfortably ensconced on the soft cushions of a luxurious
automobile, a procedure which is commonly thought to be unromantic, but
which, it is the belief of the writer, is the only way of knowing well
the highways and byways of a beloved land, always excepting, of course,
the ideal method of walking. Not many will undertake the latter, least
of all the stranger tourist, who, perforce, is hurried on his way by
insistent conditions over which he really has but little control.
Walking tours have been made with pleasure and profit in Switzerland
before now; the suggestion is made that the thing be attempted on the
"Côte de la Savoie" sometime and see what happens.

One should leave the Geneva boat at Hermance, the last Swiss station on
the west. After that, one is on French soil. Touges is a simple landing
place, but rising high above the greenswarded banks are the donjon and
imposing gables of the Chateau de Beauregard belonging to the Marquis
Leon Costa. It is in a perfect state of conservation. It was here that
was born, in 1752, Marquis Joseph Costa, a celebrated historian, whose
fame rests principally on a work entitled "Comment l'Education des
Femmes Peut-elle Rendre les Hommes Meilleurs?" This is considered an
all-absorbing question even to-day.

At Nernier is a charming souvenir of Lamartine. It was here he lodged in
1815, in a humble thatched cottage--one of the few in France, one
fancies, as they are seldom seen--at a franc a day, "_la table et le
couvert compris_." There are some artists and literary folk living
cheaply in France to-day, but the _pension_ is not nearly as _bon
marché_ as that.

A little farther on, beyond the green hillside of Boisy, is the tiny
Savoyan city of Yvoire, with a great square mass of an old chateau, now
moss-grown and more or less crumbled with age.

Near-by are Excevenex, Sciez and the magnificently environed Chateau de
Coudrée, surrounded by a leafy park, a veritable royal domain in aspect.

Back a few kilometres from the shore of the lake is Douvaine, about
midway between Geneva and Thonon. Here is the ancient Chateau de
Troches, on the very limits of the Comté de Genevois, to the seigneurs
of which house it formerly belonged. It served many times as the meeting
place of the Princes of Savoy, and has been frequently cited in the
historical chronicles.

In 1682 Victor Amadée II made Troches and Douvaine a barony in favour of
François Marie Antoine Passerat, whose family were originally of Lucca
in Italy. The descendants of the same family have held the property
until very recent times, perhaps hold it to-day.

Throughout this region of the Chablais, as it is known, on towards
Thonon, and beyond, are numerous well preserved chateaux (_chateaux
debout_ the French appropriately call them in distinction to the ruined
chateaux which abound in even greater numbers), and others, here and
there arising a crumbled wall or tower above the dense foliage of the
hillsides round about. Certain of these old manors and chateaux of the
Genevois, the Chablais and Faucigny have, in recent years, after
centuries of comparative ruin, taken on new life as country houses and
"villas" of commoners--as sad a fall for a proud chateau as to become a
barracks or a poorhouse if the transformations have not been undertaken
in good taste. Still others remain at least as undefiled memories of the
_chateaux orgueilleux_ of other days. A remodelled, restored chateau of
the middle ages may be sympathetic and appealing, but the work must be
well done and all _art nouveau_ instincts suppressed.

There are other examples which have been allowed to tumble to actual
ruin, mere heaps of stones without form or outline, and others, like
Allinges, La Rochette, De la Roche and Faucigny, possessing only a
crumbling tower perched upon a height which dominates the valley and
the plain below and tell only the story of their former greatness by
suggestion. Chiefly however these can be classed as nothing more
pretentious than ruins.

Thonon-les-Bains, midway along the extent of the French shore, is
renowned as a "_ville d'eau_." In all ways it quite rivals many of the
Swiss stations on the opposite shore. It sits high on a sheaf of rock,
the first buttresses of the Alps, and enjoys a wide-spread view
extending to the other shore, and beyond to the Swiss Jura and the
Bernese Oberland.

A dainty esplanade shaded with lindens is the chief thoroughfare and
centre of life of this attractive little lakeside resort. Here once
stood an old chateau of the Ducs de Savoie. The court frequently
repaired thither because of the purity of the air and the altogether
delightful surroundings. It was one of the later line of dukes who
exploited the mineral springs which have given Thonon its latter-day
renown.

Back of Thonon rises a curiously disposed table-land known as the
Colline des Allinges. It alternates bare rock with a heather-like
vegetation in a colouring as wonderful as any artist's palette could
conceive. The ruins of two fortress-chateaux crown the height of the
plateau, one coming down from a period of great antiquity, whilst the
other is of more recent date, with a well preserved portal and a
drawbridge. Within the precincts of this latter are still to be seen the
ruins of a chapel rich in memories of Saint François-de-Sales, who spent
a considerable part of his apostleship here in the Chablais. To-day, the
old chateau and its chapel are a place of pious pilgrimage, but with the
piety left out it is the chief and most popular excursion for mere
sight-seers coming out from Thonon. This mere fact does not, however,
detract from its historic, religious and romantic significance, so let
no one omit it for that reason.

The Chateau de Ripaille, beyond Thonon towards Évian, is a grander
shrine by far. It was the retreat of a Duc de Savoie who was finally
withdrawn from his hiding place that he might be crowned with the papal
tiara. The incident is historically authenticated, and the very
substantial remains of the old chateau to-day--monumental even--make it
one of the most interesting shrines of its class in all France.

The Chateau de Ripaille was originally built by Amadée VIII as a
_rendez-vous de chasse_. "Near the Couvent des Augustins he built
himself a chateau of seven rooms and seven towers, after the death of
his wife, Marie de Bourgogne, in 1434," say the chronicles.

Here Amadée shut himself up with six fellowmen, either widowers or
celibates, who formed his sole counsellors and society. The Council of
Bale of 1439 sent the Cardinal d'Arles and twenty-five prelates to offer
the self-deposed monarch the papal crown. The attractions of the
position, or the inducements offered, were seemingly too great to be
resisted, and, as Felix V, he was made Pontiff in the Église de Ripaille
in the same year.

Soon the cramped quarters of the chateau and all the town were filled
with a splendid pageant of ambassadors, prelates and dignitaries. All
were anxious to salute in person the new head of the Church. France,
England, Castile, the Swiss Cantons, Austria, Bohemia, Savoy and
Piedmont recognized the new Pope, but the rest of Christendom remained
faithful to Eugene IV. Ripaille and Thonon received such an influx of
celebrities as it had never known before, nor since.

The towered and buttressed walls remain in evidence to-day, but within
all is hollow as a sepulchre. The great portal by which one passed from
the chapel to the dwelling is monumental from every point of view. What
it lacks in architectural excellence it makes up in its imposing
proportions, and moreover possesses an individual note which is rare in
modern works of a similar nature.

The chief centre after Thonon, going east, is Évian, with which most
travellers in France are familiar only as a name on the label on the
bottle of the most excellent mineral water on sale in the hotels and
restaurants. The "Eau d'Évian" is about the only table water universally
sold in Europe that isn't "fizzy," and is accordingly popular--and
expensive.

Évian, sitting snug under the flank of Mont Bénant, a four thousand foot
peak, its shore front dotted with little latteen-rigged, swallow-sailed
boats is the "Biarritz de Lac Leman," but a Biarritz framed with a
luxuriant vegetation, whereas its Basque prototype is, in this respect,
its antithesis.

Twenty thousand visitors come to Évian "for the waters" each year now,
but in 1840, when the delightful Tapffer wrote his "Voyages en Zig Zag,"
it was difficult for his joyous band of students to find the change for
a hundred franc note. Aside from its fame as a watering-place Évian has
no little architectural charm.

The waters of Évian and their medicinal properties were discovered by a
local hermit of the fifteenth century who loved the daughter of the
neighbouring Baron de la Rochette. This daughter, Beatrix, also loved
the hermit, all in quite conventional fashion, as real love affairs go,
but the obscure origin of the young man was no passport to the good
graces of the young lady's noble father, who had fallen ill with the
gout or some other malady of high living and was more irascible than
stern parents usually are.

So acute was the old man's malady that he caused it to be heralded afar
that he would give his daughter in marriage to him who would effect a
cure. This was a new phase of the marriage market up to that time, but
the hermit, Arnold, at a venture, suggested to the baron that he had but
to bathe in the alkaline waters of Évian to be cured of all his real or
imaginary ills. The miraculous, or curative, properties of the waters,
or whatever it was, did their work, and the lovers were united, and the
smiling little city of Évian on the shores of Lac Leman has progressed
and prospered ever since.

The origin of Évian is lost in the darkness of time, though its
nomenclature is supposed to have descended from the ancient _patois_
Evoua (water), which the Romans, who came long before the present crop
of flighty tourists, translated as Aquianum. From this one gathers that
Évian is historic. And it is, as much so as most cities who claim, an
antique ancestry. From the thirteenth century Évian possessed its
chateau-fort, surrounded by its sturdy bulwarks and a moat. Some
vestiges still remain of this first fortification, but the wars between
the Dauphin of the Viennois and the Comtes de Genevois necessitated
still stronger ones, which were built under Amadée V and Amadée VI.

Within the confines of the town are three distinctly defined structures
which may be classed as mediæval chateaux: the Chateau de Blonay, the
Tour de Fonbonne, and the Manoir Gribaldi, belonging to the Archbishops
of Vienne. This last has been stuccoed and whitewashed in outrageous
fashion, so that unless the rigours of a hard winter have softened its
violent colouring, it is to-day as crude and unlovely as a stage setting
seen in broad daylight. It has moreover been incorporated into the great
palatial hotel which, next to the more splendid Hotel Splendid on the
height, is the chief land-mark seen from afar. _Sic transit!_

Évian's parish church, capped with an enormous tower, is most curious. A
great Place, or Square, has been formed out of the ancient lands of the
Seigneurie of Blonay, which belonged to Baron Louis de Blonay, Vice-Roi
de Sardaigne. The seigneurial residence itself has been transformed,
basely enough, one thinks, into a casino and theatre, with an _art
nouveau_ façade. Not often does such a debasement of a historic shrine
take place in France to-day. Sometimes a fine old Gothic or Renaissance
house will disappear altogether, and sometimes a chateau, a donjon or
even a church may be turned to unlikely public uses, such as a hospital,
a prison or a barracks. This is bad enough, but for an historic monument
to be turned into a music hall and a gambling room seems the basest of
desecration. That's a great deal against Évian, but it must stand.

Another property once belonging to the same proprietor, and known as the
Manoir de Blonay, a name continually recurring in the annals of the
Chablais, is to be noted beyond the town, near the little village of
Maxilly.

Beyond Évian is "La Tour Ronde," a name given to a structure on the edge
of the lake. The nomenclature explains itself. A dismantled donjon of
the conventional build rises grim and militant among a serried row of
coquettish villas, chalets and hotels, but uncouth as it is, using the
word in a liberal sense, it forms a contrasting note which redounds to
its benefit as compared with the latest craze for fantastic building
which has been incorporated into many of the houses which line the
shores of the lake. Your modern tourist often cares as much for an
armoured cement, green tiled villa with a plaster cat on its ridge pole
as he does for a great square manoir of classic outline, or a donjon
with a _chemin de rond_ at its sky line and a half-lowered portcullis at
its entrance.

Meillerie, just beyond the Tour Ronde, is ever under the glamour cast
over it by Jean Jacques Rousseau. A souvenir of the hero of "La Nouvelle
Heloise" is here, the vestiges of the grotto where Saint Preux sought a
refuge. As a sight it may compare favourably with other grottos of its
class, but that is not saying that it is anything remarkable.



CHAPTER XIX

THE MOUNTAIN BACKGROUND OF SAVOY


"La Savoie," say the French, is "La Suisse Française," and indeed it is,
as anyone can see and appreciate. With respect to topography, climate
and nearly all else this is true. And its historic souvenirs, if
sometimes less romantic, are more definite and far more interesting, in
spite of the fact that the sentimentally inclined have not as yet
overrun the region; it may with confidence be said that they have not
even discovered it.

The amalgamation of Savoy with France was fortunate for all concerned.
As President Carnot said, when on a speech-making tour through the
region in 1892: "Can any of us without emotion recall those memorable
days when the Convention received the people of this province with the
welcome: 'Generous Savoyards! In you we cherish friends and brothers;
never more shall you be separated from us.'" Savoy was ever more French
in spirit than Italian in spite of its variable alliances.

Leaving the resorts like Aix-les-Bains, Annecy and Évian behind, and
following the turbulent Isère to its icy cradle beneath the haunches of
Mont Saint Bernard, one may literally leave the well-worn travel track
behind, the railway itself striking off Italy-wards via a gap in the
mountain chain to the southeast, where it ultimately burrows through the
massif of the chain of which Mont Cenis forms the most notable peak.

[Illustration]

Just at the confines of Dauphiny and Savoy the Isère sweeps majestically
around the forefoot of the fortress of Montmélian, which guards the
mountain gateway to the snowbound upper valleys. Montmélian can be seen
from a great distance; from a great distance even one may imagine that
he hears the echoes of the cries of the victims of the cruel Seigneurs
de Montmélian who once lived within its walls. Their barbarous acts were
many, and historic facts, not merely legendary tales, perpetuate them.
It is the knowledge that such things once existed that makes the
suggestion of course, but these are the emotions one usually likes to
have nourished when viewing a mediæval castle.

[Illustration]

Montmélian's chateau-fort played a very important role in the history of
Savoy. It was one of the finest fortresses of the States of Savoy, and
was the chief point of attack of François Premier, who, in 1535,
succeeded finally in taking it, but by treason from within. The French
from the moment of their occupation gave it a heavy garrison, and Henri
II still further strengthened its massive walls, as did also Henri IV
later on. He called it "a marvellously strong place; a stronger one has
never yet been seen."

In Montmélian's proud fortress-chateau, also, were born Amadée III and
Amadée IV, Princes of Savoy. Once it was considered, and with reason
apparently, the strongest fortress of Savoy, and was for ages the wall
against which the Viennois Dauphins battled vainly. Treason opened its
doors to François Premier and treason delivered it to Henri IV. This
last giving over of the chateau was brought about by the wife of Sully,
who by "sweet insinuations" got into the good graces of the wife of
Brandes, the governor, and between them planned to win him over.

In 1690 it was again attacked and taken by the French, costing them the
bagatelle of eight thousand men, for lives were cheap in those days
compared to castles. It was a hollow victory, too, for the French, for
they marched out again after the Peace of Ryswick.

In the early years of the eighteenth century the French again came into
possession and immediately began the work of demolishing the defensive
walls, leaving only the residential chateau, that which in its
emasculated form exists to-day. Thus disappeared from the scene, said
the celebrated historian, Leon Menabrea, a fortress to whose annals are
attached the names most grand and the events most important in Savoyan
history.

The Montmayeurs, the feudal family which first made Montmélian its
stronghold, have left a vivid and imperishable memory in the annals of
Savoy. They were a warlike race to begin with, and bore the eagle and
the motto UNGUIBUS ET ROSTRO in their family arms.

Legend recounts that the last of the seigneurs, having lost a case at
law, invited the president of the court, one Fésigny, to dinner. Either
before, or after, he cut off the judge's head, enclosed it in a sack
bearing a label which read: "Here is a new piece of evidence for the
court to digest," and deposited it on the public highway circling below
the rocky foundations of Montmélian. This episode took place in 1465,
and the ignoble seigneur naturally fled the country immediately. His
reputation has ever lived after him in the region where the historic
fact, or legend, of the "Dernier des Montmayeurs" is still current.

Near the rock-cradled chateau of Montmélian is La Rochette; there one
sees the vast remains of a chateau which was overthrown by Louis XIII.
This chateau, called also the Chateau des Hulls, occupies one of the
most strikingly imposing sites imaginable, and only in a lesser degree
than Montmélian presents all the qualities which one would naturally
suppose to be necessary in order to make such a work impregnable. It was
heroically defended by Pierre de la Chambre, but the defence availed
nothing, and now what is left has been built up into--of all things--a
silk-mill. Its outlines might well be that of a mediæval chateau even
now; site and silhouette each have this stamp, and it will take little
exercise of the imagination to picture the smoke from its chimneys as
coming from the fires which may have been lighted at some epoch before
the invention of the steam engine. There is nothing, from a distant
point of view, to suggest that the old Chateau des Hulls is the murky,
work-a-day hive of industry that it is.

Above Montmélian is Saint Pierre d'Albigny, where rises the ancient and
formidable chateau of the Sires de Miolans. In the eighteenth century it
was a prison of state incarcerating many famous personages, among them
the celebrated Marquis de Sade, the story of whose escape would make as
thrilling a chapter as was ever read in a romance of the cloak and sword
variety. Another famous, or infamous, prisoner was the unfortunate
Lavin, the minister of finance of Charles-Emmanuel III, who was
imprisoned because of his fine, but unappreciated, talent for copying
bank-notes. For twenty-four years Lavin languished in the dungeons of
Miolans; indeed it was within these walls that he passed the greater
part of his life after becoming of age. For this reason Miolans may be
called the Bastille of Savoy.

Miolans is typical of the middle ages. It can be seen, it is said, fifty
kilometres away, either up or down the Isère. This one can well believe.
It can only be compared to a castled burg of the Rhine or Meuse: it is
like nothing else in modern France. The great moats surround it as of
old, its drawbridge, its _chemin-de-ronde_, its _cachets_, dungeons and
_oubliettes_ are quite undespoiled, and its chapel as bright and
inspiring as if its functions served to-day as in the time of the
seigneurs of the joint house of Miolans and Montmayeur, a family one of
the most ancient in Savoy, but which became extinct in 1523.

The Sardinian government in 1856--when Savoy belonged still to the Crown
of Sardinia--sold the edifice for the paltry sum of five thousand
francs, scarcely more than the price of a first rate piano. The buyer
preserved and made habitable, in a way, the mediæval fabric, but not
without considerably lessening its genuine old-time flavour. This is not
apparent from afar, and only to the expert near at hand, so the castle
lives to-day as one of the most thrillingly romantic piles of its class
in all the mountain background of Savoy. To-day the castle, for it is
more a feudal castle than a modern chateau after all, is still in
private hands, but no incongruous details have been further incorporated
and the chatelain as lovingly cares for it as does that of Langeais in
Touraine, perhaps the best restored, and the best kept, of all the
habitable mediæval castles in the pleasant land of France.

In the time of the Savoyan dukes each of these upper valleys was
deprived of communication with its neighbours, because of either the
utter lack of roads, or of their abominable up-keep. A sort of petty
state or kingdom grew up in many of these shut-in localities, each
possessing its individual life, and, above all, ecclesiastical
independence.

The sovereigns of each had their own particular lands and ruled with
velvet glove or iron hand as the mood might strike them or the case
might demand.

Still higher up above Montmélian, which may properly be considered the
barrier between the lower and the upper valleys of the Tarentaise and
the Maurienne, are scores of these chateaux, as appealing, and with
reason, as many more noble in outline and record elsewhere. At Grésy is
one of these; at Bathie is a fine feudal ruin with a round and square
tower of most imposing presence; Blay has another, with a wall
surmounted by a range of tripled tourelles; Feisons has yet another, and
a castle wall or an isolated tower is ever in view whichever way one
turns the head.

The roadway through Albertville and Moutiers leads into Italy over the
Petit Saint Bernard; that by the valley of the Maurienne over the Mont
Cenis. Here, just as Lans-le-Bourg is reached, you may still see the
signboards along the road reading: "Route Impériale No. 16: Frontière
Sarde à 10 kilom." It would seem as though Lans-le-Bourg had not yet
heard that the Empire had fallen, nor of the creation of the unified
Italian Kingdom.

Still penetrating toward the heart of the Savoyan Alps one soon reaches
Albertville, primarily a place of war, secondly a centre for excursions
in upper Savoy. This gives the modern note. For that of mediævalism one
has to go outside the town to Conflans, where sits the old town high on
a rocky promontory, with a picturesque citadel-fortress filled with
souvenirs of warlike times.

The Chateau du Manuel flanks the old fortress on one side, and the
garrison barracks of to-day was at one time an old convent of
Bernardins. This structure of itself is enough, and more, to attract one
thither. It is built of red brick, with a range of curiously patterned
twin windows. Besides these attributes the faubourg has also the Chateau
Rouge, another of the resting places of the Savoyan dukes.

The historic souvenirs of Conflans and its chateau are many and
momentous. It defended the entrance to the Tarentaise, and was able to
resist the terrible battering sieges of the troops of François Premier
and Henri IV, which was more than Miolans could do, in spite of the fact
that it was supposedly a more efficient stronghold.

The town itself was erected into a Principality in favour of the
Archbishops of the Tarentaise, and in 1814, following upon the Treaty of
Paris, which gave back to Sardinia a part of its estates, the
administrative authorities of Savoy took up their seat here.

All around are modern forts and batteries only to be arrived at by
military roads climbing the mountain-side in perilous fashion, but they
have nothing of sentiment or romance about them and so one can only
marvel that such things be.

The neighbouring Fort Barraux is one of the marvels of modern
fortresses, rebuilt out of an old chateau-fort. This fortress was
originally constructed before the end of the sixteenth century by
Charles-Emmanuel de Savoie, and taken over, almost without a struggle,
by Lesdiguières, almost before the masons had finished their work for
the ducal master.

"Wait," said the Maréchal to his king, "we will not be in a hurry. It
were better that we should have a finished fortress on our hands than
one half built." And with a supreme confidence Lesdiguières waited six
months and then simply walked up and "took it" and presented it to his
royal master.

At Montvallezen-sur-Séez, in the Tarentaise, there existed, in the
seventeenth century, a sort of a monkish chateau, at least it was a
purely secular dwelling, a sort of retreat for the Canon of the Hospice
of Saint Bernard. It was built in 1673 by the Canon Ducloz, and though
all but the tower has disappeared, history tells much of the luxury and
comfort which once found a place here in this "Logement du Vicar." The
tower rises five stories in height and contains a heavy staircase
lighted on each landing by a single window. From this one judges that
the tower must have been intended as a defence or last refuge for the
dwellers in the chateau in case they were attacked by bandits or other
evil doers. On arriving at the final floor, the walls are pierced with
ten windows. A carven tablet reproduced herewith tells as much of the
actual history of the tower as is known.

                      +-------------------+
                      |    HOC . OPVS     |
                      |                   |
                      | F. F. R. D . LOES |
                      |                   |
                      |      DVCLOT       |
                      |                   |
                      |    CUBERNATOR     |
                      |                   |
                      |   DOMUS . SATI    |
                      |                   |
                      |     BERNARDI      |
                      |                   |
                      |     16 + 73       |
                      +-------------------+



CHAPTER XX

BY THE BANKS OF THE RHÔNE


The boundary between Dauphiny and Provence was by no means vague; it was
a well defined territorial limit, but in the old days, as with those of
the present, the climatic and topographic limits between the two regions
were not so readily defined. The Rhône, the mightiest of French rivers
when measured by the force and, at times, the bulk of its current,
played a momentous historic part in the development of all the region
lying within its watershed, and for that reason the cities lying midway
upon its banks had much intercourse one with another.

[Illustration]

Vienne, on the left bank of this swift-flowing river, was the capital
of the Counts of the Viennois, and the birthplace of the earliest of the
"native" Dauphins, who afterwards transferred their seat of power to
Grenoble. For this reason it is obvious that the history of Vienne and
that of the surrounding territory was intimately bound up with the later
mountain province of Dauphiny, whose capital was Gratianopolis.

As the capital of this mountain empire evolved itself into Grenoble, and
the power of the Dauphins gradually waned at Vienne, Comte Humbert, who
was then ruler at Vienne, transferred his sceptre to the heir of
Philippe de Valois who built his palace in the ancient mountain
stronghold of the Romans in preference to continuing the seat of
governmental dignity and rule by the banks of the mighty Rhône.

From this one gathers, and rightly, that Vienne is one of the most
ancient cities of Dauphiny, and indeed of all the Rhône valley. Its
history has been mentioned by Cæsar:

    "_Accolit Alpinis opulenta Vienna calonis._"

In the fifth century it was the capital of the first Burgundian kingdom,
and at a later period the official residence of the native Dauphins, the
race that came before those eldest sons of the French kings who wielded
their power from their palace at Grenoble.

Vienne's architectural monuments are many and of all states of nobility,
but of palaces, castles and chateaux it contains only the scantiest of
memories.

Down by the river, at the terminus of the ugly wire-rope suspension
bridge, the modern useful successor of the more æsthetic works of the
mediæval "Brothers of the Bridge," is a most remarkable tower known as
the "Tour de Mau Conseil." It has for a legend the tale that Pontius
Pilate threw himself from its topmost story. History, more explicit than
the over-enthusiastic native, says that it was only the shore-end or
gatehouse of a chateau which guarded the river crossing, and was built
by Philippe de Valois. There is a discrepancy here of some centuries, so
with all due respect to local pride one had best stick to historic fact.

There is a Chateau de Pilate, so-called, on the banks of the Rhône just
below Saint Vallier, a few leagues away, of which the traditional legend
is also kept green. It may be only a story anyway, but if one is bound
to have it repeated, it had best be applied at this latter point.

This tower of Philippe de Valois as it exists

[Illustration: _Tower of Philippe de Valois, Vienne_]

to-day, also known as the "Clef de l'Empire," is thus much more
explicitly named, for it was in a way a sort of guardian outpost which
controlled the entrance and exit to and from the neighbouring Lyonnais.

Vienne, being the outgrowth of a city of great antiquity, its Roman
remains are numerous and splendid, from the bare outlines of its
Amphitheatre to its almost perfectly preserved Temple d'Auguste.
Monuments of its feudal epoch are not wanting either, though no splendid
domestic or civic chateau exists to-day in its entirety. Instead there
are scattered here and there about the town many fragmentary reminders
of the days of the first Burgundian kingdom, and of the later city of
the counts and Dauphins.

In 879 A.D. the ruler of the province, Boson, Comte de Vienne, Arles et
Provence, by his ambition and energy, was proclaimed king by the barons
and bishops assembled in the Chateau de Mantaille, belonging to the
Archbishop of Vienne and situated at Saint Rambert, between Vienne and
Valence.

In the Rue de l'Hopital one sees two coiffed towers rising high above
the surrounding gables. They are all that remain of the semi-barbarian
Comte Boson's palace. In the passage entered by an antique portal, and
running between two rows of rather squalid buildings, there is a slab
which bears the following inscription:

                  +-------------------------+
                  |   LE PALAIS DE BOSON    |
                  | SERVIT D'HOTEL DE VILLE |
                  |      DE 1551-1771.      |
                  +-------------------------+

It is not a very convincing souvenir, but the sight of the great round
towers, rising above the canyon-like alleys roundabout, at least lends
aid to the acceptance of the assertion by one who does not demand more
clearly defined proofs.

In the Rue Boson is another edifice which may have something in common
with the life of the first Burgundian court. It is a house which
combines many non-contemporary features and possesses a marvellously
built winding Renaissance stairway and two great towers, one a mere
watch-tower, seemingly, the other strongly fortified. Frankly these
towers might be accessories of some church edifice, or yet the chimneys
of a factory, or of an iron furnace, since, even considering their
situation, there is nothing distinctively feudal about them. They are,
however, of manifest ancient origin and served either military or
chateau-like functions. Of that there is no doubt in spite of their
ungainliness.

Valence is a _bruyante_, grandiose city, which, without the Rhône or the
mountains, might be Tours or Lille so far as its local life goes, and
this in spite of the fact that it is on the border line between the
north and the south.

"_À Valence le Midi commence_" is the classic phrase with which every
earnest traveller in France is familiar, though indeed for three or four
months of the year Valence is surrounded by snow-capped mountains. "The
women of Valence are _vive et piquante_" is also another trite saying,
but the city itself has nothing but its historic past to recommend it in
the eyes of the sentimental traveller of the twentieth century.

The strategic position of Valence has made it in times past the scene of
much historic action. With this importance in full view it is really
astonishing that the city possesses so few historic monuments.

Almost at the juncture of the Isère and the Rhône, Valence to-day
bustles its days away with a feverish local life that, in a way, reminds
one of a great city like Lyons, to which indeed it plays second fiddle.
There are few strangers except those who have come to town from places
lying within a strictly local radius, and there is a smug air of
satisfaction on the face of every inhabitant.

Things have changed at Valence of late years, for it was once one of the
first cities of Dauphiny where religious reform penetrated in the later
years of the sixteenth century, and even in the preceding century it had
already placed itself under the protection of Louis XI, fearing that
some internal upheaval might seriously affect its local life. Valence
has always played for safety and that is why it lacks any particularly
imposing or edifying aspect to-day. When Napoleon was staying at the
military school at Valence he wrote of it as a city "_sombre, severe et
sans grace_." There is no cause to modify the view to-day.

Almost the sole example of domestic architecture at Valence worthy to be
included in any portrait gallery of great Renaissance houses, is that
which is somewhat vulgarly known as the "Maison des Têtes." It was built
in 1531 by the art-loving François Premier, not for himself but as a
recompense for some less wealthy noble who had served him during his
momentous Italian journey.

The name applied to this historic house is most curious, but is obvious
from the decoration of its façade. Who its owner may actually have been
has strangely enough been overlooked by those whose business it is to
write such things down. Certain it is that he was fortunate to have a
patron who would bestow upon him so luxurious a dwelling as it must once
have been.

Perhaps, to go deeper into the question, the edifice was one of those
"_discrets chateaux_" which François had a way of building up and down
France, where he might repair unbeknownst to the world or even his
court. Surely, here, in a tortuous back street of the dull little city
of Valence, in the sixteenth century, one might well consider himself
sheltered from the few inquisitive glances which might be cast on his
trail. The _oeil de boeuf_, that Paris spy or coterie of spies, did
not exist for the monarch at Valence.

The Maison des Têtes is the more remarkable by reason of its modest
proportions and the exceedingly ornate and bizarre decorations of its
façade. Below and above the window-frames is an elaborate sculptured
frieze, and between the _arceaux_ of the windows, even, are equally
finely chiselled motives.

There is a series of medallions of five philosophers and poets of
antiquity, flanked on either side by a head of a Roman emperor and
another of Louis XI. Two mutilated effigies, nearly life size, occupy
niches on a level with the second story, and directly beneath the roof
are posed four enormous heads, typifying the winds of the four quarters.

This interesting façade, no less than the vague history which attaches
to the house itself, is in a comparative state of dilapidation. It seems
a pity that in a city so poor in artistic shrines it were not better
preserved and cared for. But there it is--Valence again! As a matter of
fact the lower floor is occupied by a mean sort of a wine-shop, which
assuredly casts an unseeming slur upon the proud position that the
edifice once held.

Nearly opposite the Maison des Têtes is the house where the young
Napoleon lodged in 1785-1786.

Just above Valence, at the confluence of the Isère and the Rhône, is the
magnificent feudal ruin of Crussol, the guardian of the gateway leading
from the south to the north. It sits at a great height above the
swirling waters of the current on a peak of rock, and from the aspect of
its projecting, fang-like gable is locally known as the "Corne de
Crussol."

[Illustration: _Chateau de Crussol_]

For years this typical feudal castle and military stronghold of great
power belonged to the family of Crussol, the old Ducs d'Uzes. So vast
was it originally in extent that it contained a whole village within its
walls, and indeed there was no other protection for those who called the
duke master, as the castle had appropriated to itself the entire
mountain-top plateau.

Certainly Crussol must have been as nearly impregnable a fortress as any
of its class ever built, for from its eastern flank one may drop down a
sheer thousand feet and then fall into the whirlpool waters of the
Rhône. This was sure and sudden death to any who might lose their
footing from above, but it was also an unscalable bulwark against
attack.

The panorama which opens out from the platform of the ruined chateau is
remarkable and extends from the Alps on the east to the Cevennes on the
west, and from the Vivarais on the north to the distant blue of the
Vercors on the south, and perhaps, at times, even to Mont Ventoux in
Vaucluse.



CHAPTER XXI

IN THE ALPS OF DAUPHINY


In the high Alpine valleys back of the Barre des Écrins is a frontier
land little known even to the venturesome tourist by road, who with his
modern means of travel, the automobile, goes everywhere. The
conventional tour of Europe follows out certain preconceived lines, and
if it embraces the passing of the Alps from France into Italy it is
usually made by the shortest and most direct route. If the Saint Bernard
or the Mont Cenis route seems the shortest and quickest, few there are
who will spend a day longer and pass by the highway crossed by Hannibal,
even though they would experience much that was delectable _en route_.

Southeast from Grenoble and Vizille is Bourg d'Oisans, the end of a
branch railway line, and a diminutive, though exceedingly popular,
French Alpine station. To the traveller by road it is the gateway to the
high Alpine valleys of Dauphiny, whose heart is the palpitating
mountain fortress of Briançon, the most elevated of all French cities.

The highroad between Bourg d'Oisans and Briançon, really the only direct
communication between the two places, was begun by Napoleon, that
far-seeing road-builder whom future generations of travellers in France
have good reason to rise up and call blessed. The roadway climbs up over
the Lautret Pass, leaving the Galibier--the highest carriage road in
Europe except the Stelvio--to the left, finally descending the
southeastern slope and entering Briançon via Monetier-les-Bains, just
opposite the famous Barre des Écrins, the highest of the French Alps, a
peak of something over thirteen thousand feet, the first ascent of which
is credited to Whymper as late as 1864.

Briançon's chateau, or rather Fort du Chateau, is no chateau at all,
being a mere perpetuation of a name. Its history is most vivid and
interesting nevertheless. Briançon itself is one vast fortress, or a
nest of them. The bugle call and the tramp of feet are the chief sounds
to awaken mountain echoes roundabout. It has rightfully been called the
Gibraltar of the Alps, and commands the passage from France into Italy.

The town sits most ravishingly placed just above the pebbly bed of the
incipient Durance, which rushes down to the Mediterranean in a mighty
torrent. Save Briançon's barrier of forts and fortresses and mountain
peaks roundabout, the town is a sad, dull place indeed, where winter
endures for quite half the year, and, until the last century, it was
entirely cut off from the world, save the exit and entrance by the
single carriage road which rises from Gap via Embrun and Argentière.

Charles le Chauve died here at Briançon in the edifice which stood upon
the site of the present Fort du Chateau, and to that circumstance the
place owes its chief historic distinction.

Above the city, a dozen kilometres away only, rises the famous
international highroad into Italy. On one side of the mountain the
waters flow through the valley of the Po into the Adriatic, and on the
other, via the Durance and the Rhône, to the Mediterranean.

    "Adieu, ma soeur la Durance,
       Nous nous séparons sur ce mont:
     Tu vas ravager la Provence,
       Moi féconder le Piedmont."

On the extreme height of the pass is the famous Napoleon obelisk,
commemorating the passage of the First Consul in 1806, though indeed
the pass was one of the chief thoroughfares crossing the Alps for long
centuries before. In 1494 Charles VIII crossed here with the army with
which he invaded Italy.

There remains little of actual monumental aspect at Briançon which has
come down from other days. There is still something left of the old
chateau of the Seigneurs de Briançon, but not much. This was the same
edifice in which Charles le Chauve died, and the mountain retreat of the
lords of the Tarentaise. The general outlines of its walls are still to
be traced, and there is always the magnificent site to help one build it
up anew, but that is all.

The donjon is built on a peak of triangular rock rising sheer from the
torrent at the bottom of the gorge which has cut its way through the
town from the source higher up under the Montagne de la Madeleine.

The donjon is still there in all its solidity and sadness, but it takes
a climb of two hundred and fifty steps up an exceedingly steep stair to
reach the platform of rock on which it sits, and this after one has
actually arrived at the base.

The retreat was practically untakable by the enemy, and the seigneurs
conceived the idea of making it still more difficult of access by
ignoring any convenient and comfortable means of approach. This must
have been a great annoyance to themselves, but those were the days
before time was money, so what matter? The old Roman way through the
Tarentaise ran close along by the base of the chateau.

There are four distinct ruined elements to-day from which one may build
up anew the silhouette of this mediæval stronghold. Chiefly these
elements have been crumbled by stress of time, but here and there a
reminder more definite in form, a gaunt finger of stone, points
skyward,--a battery of them in fact surround the actual donjon.

The bridge on which the Roman road crossed the Durance was fortified,
but was built of wood brought from the neighbouring mountain sides. It
is supposed that the present stone structure is the direct successor of
this wooden bridge, though it possesses the antique look which may well
claim a thousand years. Aymon, the Seigneur de Briançon, when occupying
the donjon on the heights, committed many extortions for toll on
travellers passing this way. It was a sort of scandalous graft of the
eleventh century which finally induced Héraclius, Archbishop of the
Tarentaise, to petition

[Illustration: _Chateau de Briançon_]

Humbert II, the overlord, Comte de Maurienne, to call his brother lord
to a more reasonable method of procedure. This was to the Comte de
Maurienne's liking, for he fell upon him tooth and nail and drove Aymon
from his castle, leaving it in the ruined and dismantled condition in
which it stands to-day.

[Illustration]

This toll of roads and bridges was, by inherited right, the privilege of
many local seigneurs throughout the feudality, but here the demand was
so excessive, so much greater than the traffic could stand, to put it in
modern parlance, that the concession was suppressed in the same fashion
as has been often brought to bear on latter day monopolies badly
administered. This thing doesn't happen often, but with the precedent of
the toll bridge at Briançon it has been steadily growing as a
commendable practice. Incidentally the Seigneur of Briançon was killed
in the struggle which deprived him of what he thought his right, but
that was seemingly a small matter; the main thing was to do away with
the oppression, and the Lord of the Maurienne, being one of those who
did things thoroughly, went at the root of the evil. It is to his credit
that he did not continue the toll-gathering for his own benefit.

The enormous flanks of wall of the Chateau de Briançon, which still
stand, show a thickness in some instances of thirty feet, and the mortar
of eight centuries still holds the blocks firmly together here and
there. What a comparison between the ancient and modern manner of
building!

The same strategic position which first gave a foothold to the
seigneurial chateau was newly fortified in 1536, in order to resist the
troops of François I. The French by chance, or skill, finally took the
position, and occupied it for a quarter of a century, until the time
when Savoy was returned to Emmanuel-Philibert by the victory of Saint
Quentin. Again it was captured in 1690 by Lesdiguières, the date of the
conquest of Savoy by Henri IV.

The walls of the chateau which are to be remarked to-day are probably
of the eleventh and twelfth centuries; all other works are of the later
fortifications, or of the more modern military structure of the present
war system of France.

Briançon from the plain below has the appearance and dignity of a
monumental and prosperous city. Near-by this aspect is lost entirely. As
the French say, it is like a shako stuck rakishly over the ear of a
grenadier. One may take his choice of view points, but at all events
Briançon is marvellously imposing and romantic looking from a distance.
Roundabout on every peak and monticule are forts bristling with guns,
all pointing Italy-wards; whilst on the height of Mont Genèvre the
Italians in turn train their cannon on Briançon's chateau and the plain
beyond.

South from Briançon runs the great _route nationale_ from Dauphiny and
the Alps to Provence and the Mediterranean. It is replete with historic
and romantic souvenirs, but like all the rest of these more or less
poverty-stricken mountain regions, it lacks any great or splendid
domestic or civic monuments on its route. Souvenirs of mediæval times
there are, and many, but they were born of warlike deeds rather than
peaceful ones.

Midway between Briançon and Embrun is Mont Dauphin, another key to the
Italian gateway. The fortress is a conspicuous point of rock sitting
strategically at the mouth of the river Guil at its junction with the
Durance. The fortress was the work of Vauban, and its bastions are built
of a curious pink marble found in the valley of the Queyras. No doubt
but that the fortress is impregnable, or was when built, but it would
avail little to-day against modern explosives.

Up the valley of the Guil is the region known as the Val de Queyras, one
of the "Protestant Valleys" of Dauphiny, where the religious wars under
Lesdiguières, during the reign of Henri IV, raged fast and furious.
Chateau Queyras, as its name indicates, is the seat of a mediæval pile
which, if not stupendous with respect to its outlines, is at least more
than satisfying when viewed from afar. It is an ancient feudal castle
and befits its name, in looks at least, and was once the seat of the
seigneurs of Chateau-Vieille Ville. Like the fort of Mont Dauphin it
seemingly was built to guard the passage to the frontier by the Col
Lacroix and the Col de Traversette.

Here as early as 1480 Louis II of Dauphiny cut a tunnel below the Col to
make the road between the French valleys and the rich plains of the Po
the easier of passage.

South of Chateau Queyras is Saint Véran, the highest collection of human
habitations in France, and one of the most elevated in Europe. It is
commonly called the highest commune in Europe where the peasants eat
white bread. Approximately its elevation is seven thousand feet, still
some thousands below Leadville, one recalls. Because of its altitude
also, it has been called the most pious village in France. This may or
may not be so, but at any rate the place has ever been on the verge of
changing its religion from Protestant to Catholic and from Catholic to
Protestant. What is in the rarefied atmosphere, one wonders, to induce
such fickleness in matters spiritual!

Embrun, of all the towns of this part of Dauphiny, is the most
illustrious and famous. This is perhaps as much from its association
with Louis XI as for any other reason, for it is reckoned one of the
dullest towns in France.

The general aspect of Embrun is most singular as it snuggles intimately
around the drab walls of an old donjon, the sole relic of its ancient
feudal glory. The roof and gables of the houses of the town rise
abruptly from the low levels to the height on which sits the donjon and
the shrine dedicated to the divinity of Louis XI, "Our Dear Lady of
Embrun," as he called her.

To know more of what passed in the mind of Louis XI with regard to
Embrun and its divinity one should re-turn the pages of "Quentin
Durward." The monarch indeed resided so long in Dauphiny, at one place
or another, that many of the most affecting scenes of his life were
enacted here.

A Roman city was here in ancient times, and from this grew up a great
strategic military base. Not a morsel of the débris of the Roman town
remains, but the cathedral still preserves the best of Roman principles
of building in the stones of its pillars and vaulting.

The donjon of the old chateau, the Tour Brune, as it is called, is not
far from the cathedral, within the confines of the military barracks. It
is, therefore, not accessible to the general public, unless by chance
one makes the acquaintance of some genial Alpin-Chasseur who can be
induced to do the honours--of course with permission of his superior,
which on this particular occasion was, for us, not easy to get. The
thing was finally "arranged." Military property in France is not for the
vulgar eye, leastwise not in the vicinity of a frontier boundary.

The Tour Brune is accredited as the most ancient military edifice in
Dauphiny. Gotran, Roi de Bourgogne, built it and ravished the valleys
roundabout, using it as a base from which to make his pillaging sorties
and then as a retreat in case he was hard pressed. This was according to
the ethics of guerrilla warfare at that time, and probably is to-day.

As a mere habitation, the Tour Brune could hardly have been very
comfortable. It certainly never partook of any luxurious appointments or
accessories, judging from its build alone.

The metropolis of the upper valley of the Durance is Gap, whose chief
romantic memory, since indeed it has no worthy architectural monuments
to-day, is recalled by the magnificent marble statue of the Connetable
de Lesdiguières on the mausoleum of this Dauphinese hero, now installed
in the Préfecture, having been brought thither from the warrior's natal
chateau in the neighbourhood. It shows the protestant defender of the
rights of Henri IV in Dauphiny clad in the full regalia of his fighting
armour. It is worthy of record to note that from being a protestant
Governor of Dauphiny, Lesdiguières changed faith as did his royal master
and became a Catholic, acquiring at the same time the title of
Connetable de France as a mark of favour for his devotion to the tenets
of his sovereign.

There is another Chateau de Lesdiguières, which lies out on the road
running from Grenoble to Gap, via Corps and Vizille, and is nothing at
all grand or monumental in aspect. For a fact, the chateau at Vizille
was his preferred domicile, and the present shapeless, ruined mass,
though built by the Connetable, was intended merely to be a mausoleum
rather than a dwelling. He was actually buried here, his body having
been brought hither from Italy, but the Revolution threw his ashes to
the winds and his funeral monument was removed to Gap.



CHAPTER XXII

IN LOWER DAUPHINY


There is not a village or a town in Dauphiny, be it ever so humble, but
which guards some vestige or tradition of some feudal chateau or
fortress of the neighbourhood. Nor are ocular evidences wanting which
even he who runs may read. This is far from stating that the region is
strewn with noble and luxurious monuments as are Touraine or Anjou, but
nevertheless he, or she, who knows how to translate the story of the
stones may make up history to any extent he likes, and yet never finish
the volume. And much of the tale will be as vivid and thrilling as that
of the western and southern provinces, which are usually given the palm
for romance.

On almost any site around one's horizon a seigneur might have built
himself a chateau, an all but impregnable stronghold where he might
sustain successfully the powers vested in him as a vassal of the
Dauphin. This was the usual procedure, and if many of these classic
strongholds have disappeared, there are enough remaining to suggest the
frequency and solidity of mediæval building in these parts, a species of
castle building which here in the mountains differed not a little from
that of the lowlands. It is just this view-point that makes the study of
the chateaux of Dauphiny the more interesting. Even the imperfectly
preserved ruins which crown many a peak and hill-top are suggestive of
this unique and effective manner of castle building, and though many
have fallen from sheer decay in later years, it is chiefly because they
were undermined or overthrown in some great or petty quarrel, and not
because their design was not well thought out nor their workmanship
thorough. The picks of Louis XI caused more actual depredation than has
the stress of time. Often but a local legend remains to tell the tale.
Chambaraud, Mantailles, and Beaufort have disappeared, and Moras,
Thodure and Vireville, all of them reminiscent of the prowess of the
feudal barons, are in truth but dim reminiscences of their once proud
estate.

Between Grenoble and Vienne is the Chateau de Bressieux, most
picturesque, the first great requirement of a castle. It dates, in part,
from the twelfth century. That is its second qualification. Antiquity
comes after picturesqueness in its appeal to even the traveller of
conventional mould.

The Barons of Bressieux were by the right of their title members of the
Parliament of Dauphiny. The situation of their chateau assured them the
full and free exercise of their power, right or wrong, and, like all the
Dauphinese seigneurs, they were practically rulers of a lilliputian
empire.

It seems that the celebrated Mandrin, a brigand so dignified that he was
ranked as a "_gentilhomme_," married into the family of Bressieux.
History has apparently been unjust to Mandrin, "the _escroc_ who
possessed the manners of a dandy," but at any rate there be those in
Dauphiny to-day who revere his memory before that of Bayard.

Saint Marcellin, in the lower valley of the Isère, is Italian in its
general aspect and layout. Its house walls, its roof-tops and its
arcaded streets are what most folk will at once call Italian. Be this as
it may, it was originally the stronghold of the native Dauphins and the
place in their _royaume_ where they lived the most at ease and ate and
drank the best. This is not conjecture or a far-away twentieth century
estimate, but a quotation from recorded history. The only thing one
recalls of Saint Marcellin in the eating line to-day is an exceedingly
pungent variety of goat's milk cheese. It is not for that that most of
us make of the quaint little Dauphinese city a place of pilgrimage.

Saint Marcellin was the seat of the ancient Dauphinese Parliament, but
since it was three times destroyed by fire, it actually possesses but
few of its old-time monumental records in stone.

Beauvoir, scarce a kilometre away from Saint Marcellin, was the site of
an incomparable chateau-fort which, it is sad to state, the enthusiasm
of Louis XI for pulling things down did not leave unspoiled. To-day the
chateau is a reminiscence only, but the situation, at the juncture of
the Iseret, the Isère and the Cuman, tells the possibilities of its
storied past in the eye's rapid review. There is little doubt that mere
attack could have had but small effect on its sturdy walls, and that its
having been destroyed or injured in any way must have been the result of
weakness or lack of courage on the part of those who held it from
within. Only two definite architectural details of this great fortress
remain as they were in those warlike

[Illustration: _Chateau de Beauvoir_]

times, the tower of the chapel and a flank of wall containing a series
of ogival windows.

Still in the Vallée Saint Marcellinoise, as this junction of the three
rivers is known, one sees the ignoble pile which marks the site of the
former chateau of the Seigneur de Flandaines, one of the allies of the
Dauphins, descended from one of the proudest families of the region.

The Seigneur de Flandaines would build himself a stronghold so sturdy
that no one might take it from him, nor no one drive him out; primarily
this was the formula upon which all castles were built. This was the
very sentiment that the seigneur expressed to Louis XI at the time when
the latter was but a Prince of Dauphiny:

    "_Lou vassa de fe valan mais que lousignous in buro._"

It was only another way of saying (in the local _patois_) that a vassal
clothed in armour was worth considerably more than one who dressed only
in velvet.

The Dauphin took this to mean much, but he had a mighty envy for the
Seigneur de Flandaines, and sought forthwith the ways and means by which
to turn him out of his fortress abode.

The Dauphin invited the seigneur to a court ball and plied him and his
retainers with food and drink, not only to excess, but to the point of
insensibility. After this the troops of the Dauphin marched on
Flandaines, took it without the least resistance, turned it over to the
crowbars of the house-breakers, and went back and told their prince that
their work was finished.

In the Chateau de Rochechinard, near Flandaines, the Dame de Beaujeau,
emulator of the policy of Louis XI, martyred the poor Zizim, son of
Mohamet II and brother of Bajazet. The history of the affair entire is
not to be recounted here, but the Turk was exiled in France and chose
this "pays de Franguistan," of which he had read, as the preferred place
of his future abode.

Louis XI arranged with one of his Dauphinese familiars to take the
infidel into his chateau. The alien was at first enchanted with his new
life and played the zither and sang songs to the fair ladies of Dauphiny
all the long day with all the gallantry of a noble of France. He went
further: he would have married with one of the most gracious he had met:
"It was a thing a thousand times more to be sought for than the control
of the Ottoman Empire," he said.

For the moment it was the one thing that the Turk desired in life. Proof
goes further and states that for the purpose he became converted to
Christianity.

And the rest? The fair lady of Dauphiny did not marry the Turk; so he
was sent a hundred leagues away in further exile and the daughter of the
Béranger-Sasseange married and forgot--in fact she married three times
before she eradicated the complete memory of the affair.

To-day the walls of Rochechinard are half buried in an undergrowth of
vine and shrubs and are nothing more than a sad reminder of the history
which has gone before.

Three leagues from Saint Marcellin and Beauvoir is Saint Antoine, a
sixteenth century townlet of fifteen hundred souls which has endured
much, as it has always existed unto this day. It possesses one of the
most remarkable and astonishing flamboyant-Gothic churches in all
Christendom.

During the middle ages Saint Antoine was a place of pilgrimage for Popes
and princes, and the Dauphins, by reason of their intimate associations
with the distinguished visitors to their country, gained both riches and
power from the circumstance.

When Dauphiny came to be united to the Crown of France the tradition of
Saint Antoine and its life-giving wine continued, and neither François
Premier nor Louis XI neglected to make the journey thither. In the case
of François Premier there may have been another good, or at least
sufficient, reason, for Saint Vallier and Diane de Poitiers were but a
few hours away. But that's another point of view, a by-path which need
not be followed here, since it would lead us too far astray.

Following still the valley of the Isère, one comes to the Chateau de la
Sone, at one time one of the strongest fortifications of the lower
valley. It was the key to the Royonnais, and a subterranean passage led
from its platform underneath the bed of the Isère itself to a chateau of
the Dauphins on the opposite bank.

With the establishment of a silk-mill here in the chateau in 1771 all
romance fled, and there being no more need for a subterranean exit, the
passage-way was allowed to fill up. To-day one takes the assertion on
faith; there is nothing to prove it one way or another.

It was here within these walls that Vaucanson (1709-1782), the
"_sorcier-mécanicien_," invented the chain without end, which
revolutionized the silk-spinning industry.

The aspect of the chateau to-day, declassed though it is, is most
picturesque. It is the very ideal of a riverside castle, for it bears
the proud profile of a fortress of no mean pretensions even now, far
more than it does that of a luxurious dwelling or a banal factory. It is
one of those structures one loves to know intimately, and not ignore
just because it has become a commoner among the noble chateaux of
history.

Two very curious twin towns are Romans and Bourg-de-Péage, separated by
the rapidly flowing waters of the Isère. If such a groupment of old
houses and rooftops were in Switzerland or Germany, and were presided
over by some burgrave or seneschal, all the world of tourists would rave
over their atmosphere of mediævalism. Being in France, and off the main
lines of travel, they are largely ignored, even by the French
themselves. It is to be remarked that their history and romance have
been such that the souvenirs and monuments which still exist in these
curious old towns are most appealing. In that they are now seeking to
attract visitors, a better fate is perhaps in store for Romans and
Bourg-de-Péage than has been their portion during the last decade of
popular touring.

Chateaux of a minor sort there are galore at Romans. Noble and opulent
_hôtels privées_ in almost every street reflect the glories of the days
of the Dauphins, still but little dimmed. Here and there an elaborately
sculptured façade without, or a courtyard within, bespeaks a lineal
dignity that of later years has somewhat paled before the exigencies of
modern life.

Romans of late years has become a _ville commercante_ and has broken the
bounds of its old ramparts and flowed over into new quarters and suburbs
which have little enough the character of the old town. This is a
feature to be remarked of most French towns which are not actually
somnolent, though true enough it is that in population they may have
gained very little on the centuries gone by. The demand is for new
living conditions, as well as those of trade, and so perforce a certain
part of the population has to go outside to live in comfort.

It was from the castle of Mazard at Romans, now a poor undignified ruin,
that the last of the _native_ Dauphins signed his abdication in favour
of Philippe de Valois, who acquired the province for the French Crown.
The event was induced by the loss of his infant son, who, by some
mysterious agent, fell into the swift-flowing Isère at the base of the
castle walls. Overwhelmed with grief, the father would no longer hold
the reins of state, and turned his patrimony over to the French king
with content and satisfaction, stipulating only that the French heir to
the throne should be known as the Dauphin henceforth, a state of affairs
which obtained until the reign of Louis Philippe.

South from Romans lies Die, which in spite of its great antiquity has
conserved little of its ancient feudal memories. There are some ancient
walls with a supporting tower here and there, but this is all that
remains to suggest the power that once radiated from the _Dea
Vocontiorum_ of the ancients.

From Die down towards the Rhône, through the valley of the Drome, is
however a pathway still strewn with many reminders of the feudality.
Where the valley of Quint enters that of the Drome, are Pontaix and
Sainte Croix, each of them possessed of a fine old ruin of a chateau on
a hill overlooking the town and the river-bed below.

Outside the stage setting of an opera no one ever saw quite so
romantically disposed a landscape as here. The hills and vales bordering
upon the Rhine actually grow pale before this little stretch of a dozen
kilometres along the banks of the Drome.

The village of Sainte Croix, and its chateau, is the more notable of the
two mentioned, and played an important rôle in the military history of
the Diois. First of all the Romans laid the foundations of the fortress
one sees on the height above the crooked streets of the town. This was
originally a work intended to protect their communications from their
capital city at Vienne, on the banks of the Rhône, with Milan, beyond
the Alpine frontier.

Formerly, it was a stronghold of the Emperor of the Occident, and in
1215 the Emperor Frederick II gave it to the Bishop of Saint
Paul-Trois-Chateaux, who, by the end of the century, had transferred it
to the house of Poitiers. Catholics and Protestants occupied it turn by
turn during the religious wars, when, after the taking of La Rochelle,
Richelieu razed it, as he did so many another feudal monument up and
down the length and breadth of France.

A great modern--comparatively modern--pile situated at the entrance of
the village, has nothing in common with the old fortress on the height,
and, though to-day it well presents the suggestion of a fortified
mediæval manor, it is in reality nothing but a walled farm, a
transformation from an old Antonian convent suppressed at the
Revolution.



Index


_Adrets, Baron des_, 227

_Aguesseau, Chancelier d'_, 42

Aix-les-Bains, 239, 242-243, 279

Albertville, 243, 286

_Allemon, Seigneurs d'_, 224

Allinges, 269

_Amboise, Jacques d'_, 161

Ancy-le-Franc, 16, 93-99

_Andelot Family_, 87-88

_Angely, Regnault de Saint-Jean d'_, 34

_Anjou, René d'_, 118

Annecy, 260-262, 279

Anse, 180

Apremont, 111

_Arbaud, Charles_, 57

Argentière, 302

_Arles, Cardinal d'_, 272

Arnay-le-Duc, 5, 57, 60-61

Autun, 58, 70, 171

Auxerre, 5, 19, 20, 29-34, 35, 37, 38, 104

_Auxerre, Comtes d'_, 30, 33, 35

_Auxerre, Geoffroy, Bishop of_, 32

Auxois, The, 51

Auxonne, 186, 187-189

Avallon, 20, 36-37, 43, 50

Avignon, 108


Bagé-le-Chatel, 177

_Bagé, Seigneurs de_, 177, 179, 199, 210

_Bar, Duc de_, 118

Bar-sur-Seine, 80-81

Barraux, Fort, 247, 251-252, 288

_Bartholdi_, 194, 198

Bathie, 286

_Bavière, Family_, 105, 126, 127

Bayard, Chateau de, 247-252

_Bayard, Chevalier_, 221-222, 247-251, 315

Bazoche and its Chateau, 46-48

Beaufort, 314

_Beaujeau, Anne de_, 147, 318

_Beaujeau, Sire de_, 179, 180, 201

Beaujolais, The, 170, 181

Beaune, 9, 13, 108, 109, 124, 131, 133, 139-145, 178

_Beaune, Claude de la_, 168

Beauregard, Chateau de, 267

Beauvoir, 316, 319

_Bedford, Duke of_, 64, 127, 130

Belfort, 194, 195, 197-198

Belleville-sur-Saône, 179-180

Belley, 215, 216-217

_Benoit XIII_, 108

_Berry, Duchesse de_, 72

_Bertin_, 8

_Bertrand, General_, 222

Besançon, 17, 185, 186, 187, 190, 191-194, 208

_Besnard, Albert_, 263

_Biron, Maréchal de_, 141

Blamont, 196

Blay, 286

_Blonay, Baron de_, 276

Blonay, Chateau de, 275

Blonay, Manoir de, 276

Bordeau, 242

Boulogne, 37

Bourbilly and its Chateau, 52, 53, 54-56, 59

_Bourbon, House of_, 30, 161, 179, 201, 211

Bourbonnais, The, 2, 12

Bourg-de-Péage, 321

Bourg d'Oisans, 300-301

Bourg-en-Bresse, 85, 177, 206, 209-211, 212, 213

Bourges, 27

Bourget du Lac and its Chateau, 239-240

Bourgogne, Canal de, 109

Bourguignons, 81

_Bourrienne_, 34

_Boyvin_, 191

Boz, 202

Brançion, Chateau de, 162-163

_Brandes_, 281

Bresse, 2, 14, 177, 199-201, 205-214

Bressieux, Chateau de, 314-315

_Briançon, Seigneurs de_, 303-306

Brienne-le-Chateau, 80, 189

_Brillat-Savarin_, 201

_Brouhée_, 124

_Buffon_, 4, 52, 62-66

Bugey, 2, 14, 199, 201

_Burgundy, House of_, 30, 37, 4, 57, 64, 75,
   79, 85, 100, 102, 105, 108, 113-130, 133-134,
   144, 145, 147, 164, 272, 311

Bussy-Rabutin, Chateau de, 68-74

_Bussy-Rabutin Family_, 55, 69-74


_Calixtus II_, 98, 159

_Capet, Hughes_, 36, 115

_Carnot, Lazare_, 4, 146-147, 278

Carpentras, 173

Cavaillon, 173

_Celestin IV_, 242

_Cerceau, Androuet du_, 95-96, 181

_Chabas, Paul_, 264

Chablais, The, 269, 271, 276

Chalon-sur-Saône, 5, 151, 170, 171-173, 174, 175, 177

Chambaraud, 314

Chambertin, 133, 135, 137

Chambéry, 229-239, 243, 247, 251, 260

Chambord, 95, 96

_Chambre, Pierre de la_, 283

_Chambrette_, 124

_Champagne, Counts of_, 19, 100

Champdivers, 208

_Champdivers, Odette de_, 208

Chagny, 151-152

Chanceaux, 109

_Chantel, Mme. de_ (St. Jeanne de), 54, 55, 71

Chantilly, 154

Charbonne, 262

_Charles I_ (Le Chauve), 175, 206, 213, 302, 303

_Charles VI_, 208

_Charles VII_, 28, 30

_Charles VIII_, 188, 220, 303

_Charles IX_, 93, 171

_Charles X_, 57

_Charles V_ (Emperor), 116, 192, 193

Charolles, 153, 155, 171

Chastellux, Chateau de, 16, 37-43, 44

Chastillon (see Châtillon)

Chateau des Ducs (see Chastillon)

Chateauneuf, 206-207

_Chateau-Vieille Ville, Seigneurs de_, 308

Chatel-Censoir, 35

Chatelet, 196

_Chatelet Family_, 52

Châtillon-sur-Seine, 35, 62, 66, 75-82, 86

Châtillon-les-Dombes, 215

_Châtillon, House of_, 241-242, 261

Chaumont-la-Guiche, 154

Chazeu, 70

Chénove, 133-134

Chéran, The, 243

Chignin, Chateau de, 238

Chinon, Chateau, 35

Clamecy, 35

_Clement VII_, 179, 260

Clémont, 196

_Clermont Family_, 93, 96, 97-98

Clos de la Perrière, 134

Clos du Chapitre, 134

Clos Vougeot, 9, 135-137, 142

Cluny and Its Abbey, 13-14, 157-162

_Coeur, Jacques_, 27

Cognac, 116

_Colbert_, 70, 174

_Coligny Family_, 87-88, 90, 92, 93, 216

_Colin, Sieur_, 6

_Condé, Prince de_, 66, 87, 190

Conflans, 261, 286-288

Corcheval, 153

Cormatin, Chateau de, 162

Corps, 312

Corton, 144-145

_Cossé-Brissac, Maréchal_, 61

_Costa, Marquis Leon and Joseph_, 267

Coucy, 12

Coudrée, Chateau de, 268

Coulanges-sur-Yonne, 35

Courcelles-les-Ranges, Chateau de, 79

_Courtney Family_, 87-88, 90

_Cousin, Jean_, 34

_Coypel_, 72

Crais-Billon, 135

Crest, 246

Crussol, 298-299

Cuiseaux, 212

Cure, The, 38

Cussy-la-Colonne, 56-57


Dampierre, 95

_Daudet, Alphonse_, 236

Dauphiny, 2, 14, 15, 218-228, 245-247, 252, 256, 257, 266, 279, 290-324

De La Roche, 269

Dents du Lanfont, 263

Dheune, The, 109

Die, 246, 323-324

Dijon, 13, 14, 17, 24, 52, 66, 67, 68, 70, 85, 99,
   103, 104, 110, 111, 112, 113-130, 133, 135, 171, 185, 186, 190

Dole, 190-191, 209

Dombes, Principality of, 2, 14, 178, 180, 182, 183-184, 199, 201, 202, 215

Donzy, 173

Doussard, Forêt de, 264

Douvaine, 268

_Ducloz, Canon_, 288

Duesme, 82-83

Dufayal, 60

_Duguesclin_, 71

Duingt, Chateau de, 263

_Dunois_, 71

Duretal, 212


_Edward III_, 33

Embrun, 302, 308, 309-311

_Eon, Chevalier d'_, 34

_Epailly, Jacques d'_, 36

Épinac, 148-151

_Epiry, Baron d'_, 69

Époisses, 20, 52-55

_Eugene IV_, 272

_Evelyn_, 6

Évian, 271, 273-276, 279

Excevenex, 268

_Fabre, Ferdinand_, 263

_Fagon_, 138

Falais, 12

Farcins, 181

_Fargis Family, De_, 147

Faucigny, 269

Faverges, 264

Fécamp, Abbey de, 142

Feisons, 286

_Felix V_, 272

Fernay, 204-205

_Fésigny_, 282

Fixin, 134-135

_Flandaines, Seigneur de_, 317-318

Franche, Comté, 2, 17, 116, 185-197, 208

_François I_, 116, 124, 154, 171, 183,
   213, 216, 220, 254, 280, 281, 287, 296-297, 306, 320

_Froissart_, 80

_Furstemburg, Comte de_, 213-214


_Gallas_, 189

_Galley, Mlle._, 265

Gap, 214, 248, 302, 311-312

Gatinais, The, 20

_Gellan, Nicolas de_, 76

_Gelasse II_, 159

Geneva, 102, 203-204, 215, 259, 265-268

_Genevois, Comtes de_, 260-261, 263, 268, 275

Genlis, 186, 187

Gevrey, 135

Gex, 203-204, 266

Givry, 173

_Godran, Odinet_, 129

_Goelnitz, Abraham_, 226

_Gondi, Cardinal de_, 25

_Graffeny, Mlle._, 265

Grange du Hameau de Chavoires, 262

_Granville Family_, 193

_Gregory VIII_, 98

_Gregory IX_, 241

Grenoble, 219-224, 225, 244, 247, 248, 253, 254, 291, 292, 300, 314

Grésy, 286

_Greuze_, 4, 176

Gribaldi, Manoir, 275

Grignan, 246

_Grignan, Comtesse de_, 55, 72

Guiche Family, De, 154

_Guillebaud_, 220

Guitant, Chateau de, 55, 59

_Gunsbourg, M._, 162


Hautecombe, Abbey of, 239, 240

_Hémery, Porticelli d'_, 88-89

_Henri II_, 69, 73, 94, 280

_Henri IV_, 52, 60, 61, 76, 77, 88, 141, 149,
   165, 175, 181, 185, 201, 252, 261, 264, 281, 287, 306

_Héredia, José-Maria_, 263

Héricourt, 196

Hermance, 267

_Heurta, Jehan de la_, 127

_Houssaye, Arsène_, 205

Huchisi, 202

_Hugues III_, 118

Hulls, Chateau des (see La Rochette)

_Humbert IV_, 181


Ile-de-la-Palme, 176-177

_Innocent IV_, 159


_Jean-sans-Peur_, 64, 126-127

Joigny, 5, 20, 25-27

_Joinville, House of_, 203

_Jude, Paul_, 220

_Just_, 73


Labedoyère, 249

_La Fontaine_, 7

_Lamartine_, 165-168, 243, 246, 267-268

Lamartine, Chateau de, 166-168

_Langeac, Comtesse de_, 78

_Langres_, 149

Lans-le-Bourg, 286

_Laroche, Madame_, 8

La Rochepot, Chateau de, 146-148

La Rochette, 269, 282-283

La Tour Ronde, 276-277

_Lauzun_, 202

_La Valette, Cardinal_, 190

_Lavin_, 284

_Lebrun_, 73

Le Chatelard, 243

_Lemuet_, 88, 91

_Le Notre_, 30, 74

_Lepautre, Jean_, 220

_Lepelletier de Saint Fargeau_, 28

Les Bauges, 243

Lesdiguières, Chateaux de, 311-312

_Lesdiguières, Maréchal de_, 214, 221,
   226-227, 252, 288, 306, 308, 311-312

Les Laumes, 68

_Lippomano_, 7

_Longueville, Duchesse de_, 6, 66

Lorraine, Duchy of, 196

Lorris, 22

Louhans, 211, 212

Louis I (Le Débonnaire), 164, 177

_Louis VII_ (Le Jeune), 22, 45

_Louis IX_ (Saint), 45, 159

_Louis XI_, 30, 116, 142, 188,
   220, 251, 296, 298, 309-310, 314, 316, 317, 318, 320

_Louis XII_, 108, 116, 188, 247, 254

_Louis XIII_, 73, 124, 190, 213, 228, 282

_Louis XIV_, 38, 70, 71, 74, 94, 99, 102, 130, 138, 183, 201-202, 220

_Louis XV_, 63

_Louis XVI_, 78

_Louis Philippe_, 167, 323

_Louvois, Marquis de_, 94, 98

Lugny, 153

_Luvois Family_, 84


_MacMahon Family_, 150

Mâcon, 5, 25, 153, 157, 163-165, 168, 170, 171, 175, 177, 178, 210, 213

Magny-en-Vexin, 25

Mailly-le-Chateau, 35

_Maine, Duc de_, 202

_Mandrin_, 315

_Mansart_, 122

Mantaille, Chateau de, 293

Mantailles, 314

Mantoche, 111

Manuel, Chateau de, 287

_Marchand, Commandant_, 178

Marcigny, 155-156

_Marges, Comte de_, 225

_Marigny Family_, 54

Marmont, Chateau de (see Châtillon)

_Marmont, Maréchal_, 78, 79

_Maurienne, Comte de_, 305-306

Maxilly, 276

_Mayenne, Duc de_, 175, 179

_Mazard, Castle of_, 322

_Mazarin, Cardinal_, 31, 74, 88

_Medicis, Catherine de_, 87, 92

Meillerie, 277

_Mello Family, De_, 54

_Menabrea, Leon_, 282

_Mercier_, 5

Mercurey, 173

Mersault, 133, 145-146

_Michelet_, 4

_Mignard_, 72, 73, 92

Milly, 166

Miolans, Chateau de, 16, 239, 283-285, 287

_Mirabeau, Marquis de_, 88

Molay, 208

_Molière_, 56

_Moiturier, Antoine_, 127

_Monetier-les-Bains_, 301

_Monge_, 4

_Monglat, Marquise de_, 70, 71, 73, 74

_Monillefert_, 145

Montagny, Chateau de, 239

Montaigu, Chateau de, 173

_Montaigu Family_, 150

Montbard and its Chateau, 52, 62-66, 68

Montbéliard, 190, 194-197

_Montbossier, Marquis de_, 60

Montcony, 212

Mont Dauphin, 308

Montelimar, 246

_Montepin, Xavier de_, 111

Montersine, 153

_Montfaucon Family_, 196

Montluel, 215

Montmayeur Family, 282, 284

Montmélian, 16, 239, 252, 279-282, 283, 285

Montmerle, 180-181

_Montmorency Family_, 88, 147

_Montpensier, Mlle. de_, 6, 7, 28, 201

Montréal, Chateau de, 37, 43-44

_Montréal, Family of_, 40, 44

_Montreval, Comte de_, 165

_Montvallezen-sur-Séez_, 288

Moras, 314

Moret-sur-Loing, 25

_Morveau, Guyton de_, 4

Moulin-à-Vent, 138

Moulins-en-Allier, 140

Moutiers, 286

_Murillo_, 74

_Musset, Alfred de_, 65


Nantua, 213

_Napoleon I_, 80, 111, 134-135, 189, 222, 248-249, 296, 298, 301, 302-303

_Napoleon III_, 233

_Nattier_, 92

_Nemours, Ducs de_, 261-262

Nernier, 267-268

_Nevers, Renaud, Comte de_, 30

Noble, Chateau de, 168-169

_Noblemaire, M._, 264

_Noisat, Commandant_, 134-135

Nolay, 146-147

Nuits, 131, 133, 139

Nuits-sous-Ravières, 99-100


_Orléans, Henrietta, Duchesse d'_, 232


Paray-le-Monail, 17, 155

_Passerat, Baron_, 268

_Peregrin_, 92

_Perier, Casimir_, 226

Pernand, 145

_Perrenot, Nicolas_, 193

_Philibert le Beau_, 211

_Philibert II_, 216

_Philippe-Auguste_, 23, 45, 183

_Philippe-de-Champaigne_, 92

_Philippe-le-Bon_, 36, 64, 118

_Philippe-le-Hardi_, 105, 108, 115, 118, 126-127, 134

_Philippe II_, 193

Pierre, 208

_Pisa, Nicolas de_, 168

_Poitiers, Diane de_, 93, 256-257, 320

Pommard, 131

Pontaix, 323

Pontarlier, 186, 187

Pontcharra, 247, 251, 252

Pont d'Ain, 215

Pont-de-Vaux, 212-213

Pont-de-Veyle, 213-214

_Pot, Philippe_, 147

Pouges-les-Eaux, 7

_Poussin_, 74

_Primataccio_, 92, 96-97

_Prud'hon_, 4


_Quentin de la Tour_, 92

Queyras, Chateau, 308-309

Quincy, The, 90


_Rabutin Family_, 150

_Rabutin-Chantel Family_, 54, 69

_Ragny, Dame de_, 44

_Raguse, Duc de_, 78, 79

Rambeauteau, 153

_Rameau_, 4

_Rancurelle_, 129

_Renan, Ernest_, 263

_Ribbonnier_, 149

_Richard Coeur-de-Lion_, 45

_Richelieu_, 10, 73, 97, 190, 227, 324

Ripaille, Chateau de, 271-273

_Roche, Sires de la_, 147

Rochechinard, Chateau de, 318-319

_Rochefort, Sires de_, 79

Rochefort-en-Montague, Chateau de, 252-253

_Rochefort-Lucay Family_, 253

_Rochette Family, De la_, 239, 274

_Rollin, Nicolas_, 129, 142, 144

Romanée-Conti, 136-138

Romans, 321-323

Romenay, 177

Rouge, Chateau, 287

_Rousseau, Jean Jacques_, 65, 229, 234-237, 245, 262, 265, 277

_Rude_, 4, 135


_Sade, Marquis de_, 283

Saint Antoine, 319-320

_Saint-Beauve_, 114

Saint Béninge, 103

_Saint Bernard_, 45

Saint Bernard, Chateau de, 262

Saint-Bonnet-de-Joux, 154

Sainte Croix, 323-324

Saint Donat, 253, 256-257

Saint Fargeau, 6, 27-28

_Saint Ferreol Family_, 224

_Saint François-de-Sales_, 271

Saint Gengoux, 173

Saint Gingolph, 266

Saint Jean-de-Losne, 190

Saint Laurent, 219

Saint Marcellin, 218, 315-316, 319

Saint Michel de Maurienne, 238

Saint Nicholas-les-Citeaux, 139

Saint Pierre d'Albigny, 283

Saint-Pont, 166-168

Saint Rambert, 293

Saint Seine, 109

Saint Trivier-de-Courtes, 177

Saint Vallier, 292, 320

Saint Véran, 309

_Saint Vorles, Canons of_, 77

_Sales, Comte Louis de_, 261

_Salins, Guignonne de_, 142

_Sambin, Hugues_, 4, 124, 125-126

_Sarcus, Comtesse de_, 69

_Sarto, Andrea del_, 74

Sassenage, 253-254

Saulieu, 5, 57-60

_Saulx-Tavannes, Maréchal de_, 149

_Savace Family, De_, 54

Savegny-sous-Beaune, 145

Savoigny, Chateau de, 69

Savoy, 2, 14, 15, 16, 102, 199, 215,
   216-217, 223, 229-244, 245, 252, 264, 266, 278-289, 306

_Savoy, House of_, 177, 180,
201, 203, 210, 213, 215, 216, 227, 229-234, 239,
   240, 243, 251, 252, 260, 263, 268, 270, 271, 281, 285, 288

Sciez, 268

_Ségur, Pierre de_, 195

Semur-en-Brionnais, 156-157

Semur-en-Auxois, 36, 50-53, 56, 62

Sennonais, The, 19, 29, 84

Sens, 5, 14, 20, 21

_Serlio_, 25

Seruin, The, 34, 43

_Sève, Jean de_, 181

_Sévigné, Mme. de_, 6, 53-56, 59, 69, 72

_Short, Frank_, 164

_Sigismond, Emperor_, 215, 232

_Sluter, Claus_, 127

Sone, Chateau de la, 320-321

_Soufflot_, 34

_Souvre, Anne de_, 95

_Stendhal_, 191, 247

_Sue, Eugene_, 262

Sully, Chateau de, 149-150

_Sully Family_, 147, 281


Taine, 263

Tanlay, Chateau de, 16, 86-93, 96, 98

_Tapffer_, 273

Tarentaise, The, 286-288, 303, 304

_Tavannes Family_, 149-150

_Terrail Family_, 250-251

Terreaux-à-Verostres, 154

_Thil Family, De_, 54

_Thévenin Family_, 88

Thodure, 314

_Thoire et Villars, Sires de_, 201

Thoissey, 178-179

Thoisy-la-Berchere, 60

Thone, 264

Thonon-les-Bains, 268-270, 271, 272, 273

Thoron, Manoir de, 264

_Thorwaldsen_, 194

Toisé, 174-175

Touches, 173

Touges, 267

Tour de Fonbonne, 275

Tour-de-Pin, 17, 246

Tour, Manoir de la, 264-265

_Tour, Quentin de la_, 236

Tour Sans Venin, 254-255

Tour, Villa de la, 262

Tournette, 263

Tournus, 5, 162, 175-176

Trévoux, 5, 180, 181-184

Tonnerre, 20, 29, 35, 84-86, 93, 99

_Tonnerre Family_, 30, 33, 84, 93, 94, 95, 98

_Tremouille Family, De la_, 54

Troches, Chateau de, 268

_Turner_, 164


_Urban III_, 241

Uriage, 224-225

_Uzes, Ducs de_, 299


Valbonne, 215

Valence, 247, 293, 295-298

_Valentinian, Emperor_, 102

_Valois, Jeanne de_, 25

_Valois, Philippe de_, 218, 291, 292, 322

Val-Romey, 199, 201, 206

_Varambon, Sire de_, 183

_Vatel Family_, 59

Vauban, Chateau de, 48-49

_Vauban, Maréchal_, 34, 46-49, 187, 191, 192, 223, 308

_Vaucanson_, 320

Vergy, Chateau de, 139

Vermanton, 5

Vezelay, 36, 44-46

_Vibrave Family_, 48

Vienne, 290-295, 314, 324

_Vienne, Archbishops of_, 275

_Vienne, Comtes de_, 218, 291, 293

_Vienne, Guy of_ (see _Calixtus II_)

Villaines-en-Dumois, 66-67

_Villars, Sires de_, 180

Villeneuve-sur-Yonne, 21-25

Villefranche, 181-182

Vireville, 314

Vizille, Chateau de, 214, 225-228, 300, 312

_Voltaire_, 52, 56, 204-205


_Warens, Mme. de_, 229, 236

_Werve, Claus de_, 127

_Whymper_, 301

Wurtemburgs, Chateau of the, 195-196


_Young, Arthur_, 8, 236

Yvoire, 268


_Zinzerling_, 7

_Zizim_, 318-319

       *       *       *       *       *

Typographical errors corrected by the etext transcriber:

Forêz et Beaujolais, pour l'annee=> Forêz et Beaujolais, pour l'année
{pg 5}

Le Fidele Conducteur=> Le Fidèle Conducteur {pg 6}

mon nom mes mes=> mon nom mes {pg 46}

francherait d'un bond=> franchirait d'un bond {pg 82}

distict pavillon=> distict pavillion {pg 90}

D'ou sont sortis=> D'où sont sortis {pg 101}

hôtels privées=> hôtels privés {pg 128}

restaurants mondaines=> restaurants mondains {pg 135}

toutes les facons=> toutes les façons {pg 151}

En tout pays ou vent vente=> En tout pays où vent vente {pg 158}

rez-de-Chausée=> rez-de-Chaussée {pg 160}

ce spectacle l'ecrase=> ce spectacle l'écrase {pg 166}

rez-de-chaussêe=> rez-de-chaussée {pg 194}

la Principaute de Dombes=> la Principauté de Dombes {pg 199}

Mias viv' Macon pour beir=> Mias viv' Mâcon pour beir {pg 200}

chateaux débout=> chateaux debout {pg 269}

surounded by=> surrounded by {pg 224}

comem si l'on=> comme si l'on {pg 234}

rendezvous de chasse=> rendez-vous de chasse {pg 256}

Route Imperiale=> Route Impériale {pg 286}

said the Marechal to his king=> said the Maréchal to his king {pg 288}

guerilla warfare=> guerrilla warfare {pg 311}





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