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Title: Burgundy: The Splendid Duchy - Stories and Sketches in South Burgundy
Author: Allen, P. S. (Percy Stafford)
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                         BURGUNDY: THE
                         SPLENDID DUCHY



                       BY THE SAME AUTHOR

      IMPRESSIONS OF PROVENCE. FOOLSCAP QUARTO, 12/6 NET

           SONGS OF OLD FRANCE. CROWN 8VO. 6/- NET

                   LONDON: FRANCIS GRIFFITHS



  [Illustration: MONT BEUVRAY
                 _Frontispiece_]



                         BURGUNDY: THE
                         SPLENDID DUCHY

             STORIES AND SKETCHES IN SOUTH BURGUNDY


                               BY

                           PERCY ALLEN

             AUTHOR OF "IMPRESSIONS OF PROVENCE" ETC.


  Fully illustrated with eight water-colour and 86 line drawings
                     by Miss Marjorie Nash


                             LONDON

                       FRANCIS GRIFFITHS

                  34 MAIDEN LANE, STRAND, W.C.

                              1912



  [Illustration: Lion]



                              TO M.


                  TANT L VAUT, the Virgin name,
                  Five hundred years ago,
                  On stately hall and tower aflame,
                  Blazoned in gold, bade all acclaim
                    Her worth in high Rochepot.

                  Here above London's roar I sit,
                  To watch the splendour flow
                  O'er myriad roof-trees glory-lit,
                  And read,--with golden fingers writ--
                    A sunset's TANT L VAUT.

                  Darkness and stars begin to be,
                  Light leaves the world below;
                  Turning, a gracious form I see,
                  And vesper music wakes in me--
                  Ma deboinaire, très doulce amie,
                    Seule Etoile, TANT L VAUT.



  [Illustration: Grapes]



PREFACE


I have to thank very cordially my friend, Monsieur François Fertiault,
for his kindness in permitting me to make use of the valuable material
comprised in his charming books upon rural Burgundy; and I have also
to thank M. A. de Charmasse and his publisher, M. Dejussieu, of Autun,
for placing at my disposal the information contained in that author's
Précis Historique to "Autun et ses Monuments" and in the archeological
portion of the same work, written by the late M. H. de Fontenay, a book
which I recommend to those who wish to study fully the stones of that
interesting city.

I have also to acknowledge the kindness of Mm. Mame & Fils, of Tours,
in granting permission to translate the Burgundian legends, "Le
Creux du Diable," "Le Puits de St. Martin," and "L'Abbaye de St^{e.}
Marguerite," by the late Abbé B----, published by that house: also the
courtesy of M. Gabriel Hanotaux, of the French Academy, and of his
publishers, Messrs. Hachette, of Paris, in permitting the reproduction
of a portrait of Philippe le Bon (p. 191) from his recent work on
Jeanne d'Arc. My thanks are due, too, to M. Perrault-Dabot, who kindly
allows me to make use of the engraving of Cluny (p. 72) from his work
"L'Art en Bourgogne."

If the support given to this volume on South Burgundy justifies me in
doing so, I hope, before very long, to follow it by a second, dealing
with the northern part of the duchy.

Among the works consulted in writing this book are the following:--


LIST OF WORKS CONSULTED

THE DATES REFER TO THE EDITION MADE USE OF

  Olivier de la Marche      "Mémoires"                              1819

  Olivier de la Marche      "Le Chevalier délibère."                1842

  C. R. de Caumont de
    la Force                "Histoire secrète de la Bourgogne"      1694

  Brugière de Barante       "Histoire des Ducs de Bourgogne
                             de la Maison de Valois"              1825-6

  Ernest Petit              "Histoire des Ducs de Bourgogne,
                             de la Race Capétienne" 9 vols.    1835-1905


  Dom Urbain Plancher       "Histoire Générale de la
                             Bourgogne." 4 vols.                 1739-81

  Philippe de Comines       "Chroniques," etc. 5 vols.

  Claude Courtépée          "Voyages en Bourgogne"                  1905

  Claude Courtépée          "Description du Duché de
                             Bourgogne"                          1775-85

  A. Kleinclausz            "Histoire de la Bourgogne."             1909

  A. Kleinclausz            "Régions de la France; La Bourgogne"

  Francis Miltoun           "Castles and Châteaux of Old
                             Burgundy"                              1909

  Sir G. F. Duckett (Bart.) "Abbey of Cluny"; 1839 "Charters
                             and Records"                           1888

  P. Lorrain                "Essai Historique sur L'Abbaye de
                             Cluny"                                 1839

  J. Pignot                 "Histoire de L'Ordre de Cluny"
                             3 vols.                                1868

  A. Penjon                 "Cluny; La Ville et L'Abbaye"

  Cistercian Monk           "A Concise History of the Cistercian
                             Order"                                 1852

  H. Collins                "The Cistercian Fathers"

  M. T. Ratisbonne          "Histoire de Saint Bernard"             1843

  G. Chevallier             "Histoire de St. Bernard"               1888

  François Fertiault        "Rimes Bourguignonnes"                  1899

  François Fertiault        "Histoire d'un Chant Populaire
                             Bourguignon"                           1883

  François Fertiault        "En Bourgogne; Récits Villageois"       1898

  François Fertiault        "Une Noce d'Autrefois en Bourgogne"     1892

  François Fertiault        "Le Cher Petit Pays"                    1903

  A. Perrault-Dabot         "L'Art en Bourgogne"                    1897

  A. Perrault-Dabot         "Le Patois Bourguignon"

  P. G. Hamerton            "Round my House"

  P. G. Hamerton            "The Mount"                             1897

  H. de Fontenay  }         "Autun et ses Monuments"                1889

      and         }

  A de Charmasse  }         "Autun et ses Monuments, Précis
                             Historique"                            1889

  Joseph Déchelette         "Guide des Monuments D'Autun"           1907

  Joseph Déchelette         "L'Oppidum de Bibracte"

  Alphonse Germain          "Les Néerlandais en Bourgogne"          1909

  M. L'Abbé B----           "Légendes Bourguignonnes"               1872

  M. L'Abbé B----           "Tebsima"                               1872

  Lettres d'Abailard et d'Héloise; Nouveau receuil, etc.            1720

  Matthew Arnold's Poems                                            1885

  Jules Baux                 "Richesses Historiques et
                              Archéologiques sur L'Eglise de Brou"  1844.

  Camille Jullian            "Vercingetorix"                        1902

  Camille Jullian            "Histoire de Gaule"                    1908

  Camille Jullian            "Tableau sommaire de la Gaule sous
                              la domination romaine."               1892

  S. Cambray                 "Lamartine;    A Study"                1890

  Lamartine                  "Confidences"      "                   1849

  Lamartine                  "Le Tailleur de Pierre de Saint
                              Point"            "                   1851

  Michelet                   "Histoire de France"

  Viollet-le-Duc             "Dictionnaire Raisonné"



INTRODUCTION


Although the history of Burgundy is intimately connected with that
of England--the policy of the Valois Dukes, for example, affected
profoundly our national destinies during the hundred years' war--the
average English reader's knowledge of the subject is contained within
the four corners of a wine list. He knows Beaune--knows the name well,
as that of a drinkable brand, may have blessed it in his heart, when
a ray from the shaded lamp shot through its ruby depths. If by any
chance he loves Meredith, he may, even, under its kindly influence,
have whispered to his fair partner, Dr. Middleton's phrase: "Burgundy
has great genius; Burgundy sings the inspired ode." But should his lady
slip in a question concerning this ruddy heartener of man, he could not
answer; he would stumble between the Côte d'Azur and the Côte d'Or.

Not another town of Burgundy could he name. Dijon he knows, and
remembers; because there he scalded his throat with hot coffee, gulped
down, at three in the morning, on the way home from the Riviera; or,
bound for Switzerland, he may have passed through the town. But he does
not know Dijon as a Burgundian Capital, nor as a proud city of royal
palaces and unrivalled sculpture. At most, when he hears the duchy
named, there floats through his mind a shadowy memory of Henry V., or
of King Lear.[1]

Yet Burgundy was the scene of events vital in the making of Europe. It
was one of the strongholds of Roman civilization. It saw the genesis
of a religious movement that was the greatest feature of eleventh and
twelfth century history. Cluny was a nursery of popes; Citeaux became
a breeding ground of saints; their abbots lorded it over mighty kings;
they dictated to potentates and princes; they bent all western Europe
beneath their sway. Bernard's eloquence fired three nations with
enthusiasm for the second crusade.

That Power, when it had passed from the great monastic houses, fell
later, in a modified form, to the Valois Dukes. Safely housed in Dijon,
or in Bruges, ruling a people sheltered, to some extent, from the
appalling disasters that were transforming the fair kingdom of France
into a howling wilderness, they kept a more than royal state. Gathering
about their persons a great company of distinguished artists and
valiant knights, they established a school of sculpture unmatched in
their time; they held pageants and tournaments the most brilliant that
chivalry had ever seen.

Headstrong and ambitious, they challenged the crown of France, and
defied it; they dreamed dreams of a Burgundian empire extending
eastward beyond the Alps and northward to the Channel.

'Tis true that these ambitions were never sated. The house of Valois
had not the constructive mind of which empire is begotten: moreover,
Destiny, and Louis XI., were too strong for them. But the glorious
tale of ducal efforts towards that goal outshines all other sunset
splendours of dying mediævalism.

When I think of what might be made of such a theme, I could tear these
pages, because my best is not better.

Yet history does not end the attractions of Burgundy. It only begins
them. Nature, too, has her pageant "in this best garden of the
world," she will hold you here, whether you choose the delicious,
poplar-fringed plains of the Saône, the "waterish" Burgundy that the
French king sneers at in "Lear"--he would have gloried in the land had
it been his own--or the stern and silent hills of the Jura and the
Morvan; or the vine-clad slopes of sunny Côte d'Or.

But, best of all, this land and its people have a character wholly
their own. You will not feel here the twilight melancholy of Celtic
Brittany; the quivering, electric atmosphere of romantic Provence; nor
the passionate intensity of dark Languedoc; but you will find a country
well typified by its wines, its sculpture, its architecture--a solid,
ample, full-bodied, full-blooded land; a people strong and vivacious,
concealing, beneath a somewhat harsh and stern exterior, a cheerful
heart and an abundant generosity; comfortable, courageous, eloquent,
sonorous folk, that love a good dinner, and a good story to follow,
that have produced a Bernard, a Bossuet, and a Lamartine.

The key to this Burgundian character, with its blend of Gallic,
Latin, and German elements, the key to Burgundian history, too, is
the geographical position of the country. Its great water-ways flow
northward, by the Yonne, to the English Channel, and southward, by the
Saône, to the Mediterranean and the traffic of the East; along its
valleys run the great trading roads and railways connecting northern
and southern, eastern and western Europe. With the exception of the
Jura, no natural barriers exist between Burgundy and the adjoining
lands. It was open at all quarters; from every point of the compass it
borrowed, and it lent. Michelet's visionary thought has summed up, in
a splendid phrase, the secret of Burgundy. He says, speaking of the
country round Dijon: "La France n'a pas d'élément plus liant, plus
capable de réconcilier le nord et le midi."

There you have it. To reconcile the bitter antagonisms of north and
south, and, in a lesser degree, of east and west, was Burgundy's
destiny; the geographical position that enabled her to do so was at
once the source of her greatness, and the cause of her fall. While she
remained independent, unity was impossible for France; and England's
peace was imperilled by irresistible temptations to attack a weakened
neighbour.

In writing this book, I have endeavoured, as far as possible, to
preserve historical continuity. That must be my excuse for geographical
flights which, else, might bewilder my readers.

My hope is that these pages may awaken, here and there, lasting
interest in a land that, whether for varied scenery, sunny climate,
good living, characteristic architecture, or, above all, historical
associations of the first importance, can hold its own with any other
ancient province of France.


FOOTNOTES:

[1] Henry V., Act V., Scene 2; King Lear, Act I., Scene 1.



CONTENTS


                             CHAPTER I

                         BENEATH THE MOUNT
                                                                    PAGE

  The Hiring at St. Léger--Distant Beuvray--Fun of the Fair--A
  mad wolf--Legends of the Mount--Gaulish Bibracte--St. Martin at
  Beuvray--La Pierre de la Wivre--Legend of the Wivern--The Curé
  of Monthelon                                                         1


                             CHAPTER II

                           THE ROMAN CITY

  A Suffering Cow--Temple of Janus--The Aedui--Druids--Divitiacus
  and Dumnorix--Vercingetorix--The Founding of Augustodunum--Pierre
  de Couhard--Francis I. at Couhard--The Plan of
  Augustodunum--Temple of Janus--Restoration--Origin of the
  Name--Roman Gates--Porte d'Arroux--Porte St. André--Date of
  Construction--Porte des Marbres--Vagaries of Peasant guides         11


                             CHAPTER III

                     THE ROMAN CITY (CONTINUED)

  French Passion for Statues--Roman Temple at Autun--Ecoles
  Méniennes--The Capitol--The Roman Theatre--Two Ways of
  Lunching--Promenade des Marbres--The Amphitheatre                   31


                             CHAPTER IV

                     THE ROMAN CITY (CONTINUED)

  Christian Autun--Relics of Lazarus--Translation of the
  Relics--Tomb of Lazarus--Exterior of Cathedral St. Lazare--The
  Porch--The Interior--Romanesque and Gothic--The East
  End--Imbecile Restorations--The Capital--St. Symphorien by
  Ingres--Story of St. Symphorien--Fontaine St. Lazare--Hotel
  Rolin--The Museums--Napoleon at the Hotel St. Louis--No charge
  for Moonlight                                                       41


                             CHAPTER V

                         THE MOTHER ABBEY

  Cluny and Citeaux--Cluny still the Abbey--The Birth of
  Cluny--Duke William's Anathema--Odon--Legend of the
  Crumbs--Legend of the Boar--Growth of Cluny--Birth of Hugues--St.
  Odilon--Hildebrand--Glory of Cluny--The Monk's Vision--The new
  Abbey--Consecration--Gifts--Description of New Cluny--The
  Narthex--The Interior--Conventual Buildings--Ambulatorium
  Angelorum--The Rule of Cluny--Monkish life at Cluny--Pierre
  Damien--Death of St. Hugues--Luxury and Decadence                   59


                             CHAPTER VI

                   THE MOTHER ABBEY (CONTINUED)

  Cluny of To-day--Palace of Pope Gélase--The remaining
  Transept--Chapelle Bourbon--Tour du Moulin--Tour des
  Fromages--Gate of the Narthex--The Abbey Gate--Notable Visitors
  to Cluny--Palais abbatial--Musée--Hotel de Ville--Romanesque
  Houses--Hotel des Monnaies--Eglise St. Marcel--Hotel
  Dieu--Bouillon Monument--Prud'hon--Women of Burgundy--Hotel de
  Bourgogne--An amusing Evening--A Dream--Berzé-le-Châtel--Castle
  of Lourdon--St. Point--A Poet's Garden--Lamartine's Home--Tramaye   86


                             CHAPTER VII

                         MORE POPE THAN YOU

  Decadent Cluny--Birth of St. Robert--Abbey of Molême--The Founding
  of Citeaux--White Robes--Black Scapular--Stephen's Vision--The
  Coming of St. Bernard--His Appearance--Legend of His
  Birth--Bernard converts his Family--Bernard a Cistercian--His
  Austerities--Rise of Citeaux--Daughter Abbeys--Ceremony of
  Foundation--Character of Bernard--Cistercian
  Ideals--Self-sacrifice--Simplicity--Bernard's Letter to Pierre le
  Vénérable--Visitors to Citeaux--Albigensian Crusade--Citeaux's
  Crime--A Cistercian Site--Citeaux to-day--The Chapter--My Flemish
  Guide                                                              111


                             CHAPTER VIII

                           CLUNY'S DAUGHTER

  Monkish Paray--"Une Simple Formalité"--Burgundian
  Manners--Clothes and the Woman--Hotel de Ville--Church of
  Paray--Splendid Example of Clunisian
  School--"Diorama-Musée"--Burgundian English--North
  Door--Porch--Interior--Blasphemy and kindred Matters--A very
  young Mule--A Snake-charmer                                        127


                             CHAPTER IX

                          HER THREE CROWNS

  Chalon-Sur-Saône--River Pageants--Gontran--Abbey of St.
  Marcel--The Story of Bertille                                      136


                             CHAPTER X

                        ABELARD AND HELOISE

  Church of St. Marcel--Story of Abélard and Héloise--Olivier de
  la Marche--Tournament of la Dame des Pleurs--Tournament of
  1273--Modern Chalon-Sur-Saône--Eglise St. Vincent                  145


                             CHAPTER XI

                        TOURNUS BY THE SAONE

  Abbey of St. Philibert--Oldest Clunisian Porch--Interior of St.
  Philibert--A Change of Author--The Record of Raoul
  Glaber--Raoul's Visions--Famine in Burgundy--Human Vampires--In
  a Tournusian Café--"Au Point du Jour"--Greuze--Morning and
  Evening on the Saône--Mâcon                                        160


                             CHAPTER XII

                      THE VALLEY OF THE OUCHE

  A Page of Dialogue--Castle of Marigny--Legend of
  Tebsima--Albéric--Labussière--Albéric's Dream--Aid from
  Citeaux--The new Church--Modern Labussière--A magnificent
  Mansion--Antigny-le-Chatel--A Vigneron's
  Wedding--Arnay-le-Duc--Study in Roofs and Colours--A charming
  Town--The Goats--The Poor Man--The Hotel Chrétien--Around Arnay    173


                             CHAPTER XIII

                        THE CITY OF THE DUKES

  Unknown Dijon--The City in 1364--Philip le Hardi--His jewelled
  Coats--The Madness of the Period--Costume of that Day--Madness of
  King Charles--Philip's Patronage of Art--Chartreuse de
  Champmol--Puits de Moise--Portal of the Chapel--Claus Slater and
  his Nephew--Tombs of Philip le Hardi and Jean sans Peur--The
  Pleurants--Character of Jean sans Peur--Murder of Duke of
  Orleans--Whitewashing--Armagnacs and Burgundians Revenge           184


                             CHAPTER XIV

                   CITY OF THE DUKES (CONTINUED)

  Salle des Gardes--Dijon Castle--A new Post-Office--Final Struggle
  between Charles le Téméraire and Louis XI--Characters of both
  Men--Defeats and Death of Charles--Discovery of the
  Body--Victorious René--Louis' Joy--New Castles--Entry into
  Dijon--End of Burgundian Dreams--Modern Dijon--St.
  Bénigne--St. Michel--Notre Dame Jacquemart--Ducal Palace and
  Kitchen--Sketching--Palais de
  Justice--Plombières--Talant--Fontaine-lez-Dijon--Memories of
  Bernard--Tournament of Tree of Charlemagne                         203


                             CHAPTER XV

                          THE DEVIL'S PIT

  Easter Morning--Lux--The Devil's Pit--Dialogue--The
  Legend--Serve him right!                                           221


                             CHAPTER XVI

                      BEAUNE AND THE COTE D'OR

  "Bits" in Beaune--Notre Dame--Hotel Dieu--An Earthly
  Paradise--Exterior--Courtyard--Chapel--Devices--Roger Van der
  Weyden's "Last Judgment"--Nicholas Rolin--Guigonne                 230


                             CHAPTER XVII

       SAINT MARTIN'S WELL AND THE LEGEND OF SAINT MARGUERITE

  Bouilland--Abbey of Sainte Marguerite--The Legend--Vineyards
  of the Côte d'Or--Meursault--Rochepot--Story of Philippe
  Pot--Crusader's Return--His Marriage at Dijon--Tant L
  Vaut--A Talk at Auxey-le-Grand--Through Côte d'Or by
  Train--Cussy-la-Colonne--Bewitched--The Column--A Democratic
  Journey--St. Martin's Well--Legend of St. Martin's Well            237


                             CHAPTER XVIII

                           IN RURAL BURGUNDY

  The Road to Verdun--Burgundian Folk-song, "Eho!"--Its
  Story--Verdun sur le Doubs--The First of March--Burgundian
  Folk-Lore--Teillage--Winter Scene--An old-time Burgundian
  Wedding--The Patois--François Fertiault                            258


                             CHAPTER XIX

                         A LAKE IN THE JURA

  Swiss Burgundy--Scenes in the Jura--Nantua from the Hills--Real
  Burgundy--A capable Woman--Church of Nantua                        272


                             CHAPTER XX

                     PRINCESS MARGARET'S CHURCH

  Bourg-en-Bresse--Signs of the South--Conveyances--Monument
  Historique--Cezenat--Princess Margaret's
  Church--Exterior--Interior--Story of Princess Margaret---Loys
  von Boghen--Death of Margaret--The Meaning of her Church--The
  Tombs--Paradin's Chronique de Savoie--Francis I. at Bourg          276



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.


                                                                    PAGE

  Mont Beuvray                                              Frontispiece

  A Gaulish Soldier                                                    1

  On Mont Beuvray                                                      7

  The Wivern                                                          10

  The Porte St. André                                                 11

  Autun; shewing Cathedral and Mediæval Towers                        17

  Autun; Pierre de Couhard                                            19

  Autun; Temple of Janus                                              23

  Autun; Porte d'Arroux                                               25

  Burgundian Peasant                                                  30

  Head of Augustus                                                    31

  Autun; Mediæval Towers                                              35

  A Burgundian Welcome                                                38

  Masks of Comedy and Tragedy                                         40

  Roman Vine Ornament                                                 41

  St. Lazarus; from the Porch of Autun Cathedral                      46

  Autun; Fontaine St. Lazare                                   Facing 50

  Autun; Tour des Ursulines                                           52

  Cluny Abbey and Gateway, as they were                               59

  Cluny; Valley of the Grosne and part of the Abbey Grounds           62

  Cluny; Tour Fabri                                                   64

  Clunisian Ornament                                                  67

  God reproving Adam; from a capital of the Abbey of Cluny            70

  Cluny Abbey, as it was at the beginning of XIXth Century (by
    permission of M. Perrault-Dabot)                                  72

  Cluny; Clocher de l'Eau Bénite                                      78

  Cluny; ruined Gate of the Narthex                                   81

  A Jewelled Crucifix                                                 85

  Early Clunisian Ornament                                            86

  Cluny; Tour des Fromages                                            87

  Cluny; Gateway of the Abbey                                         90

  Cluny; Hotel de Ville                                               92

  Cluny; Pascal Lamb; twelfth century                                 93

  Cluny; Hôtel des Monnaies, twelfth century                          96

  Ornament                                                            99

  Cluny; a Capital from the Abbey                                    102

  Château de Berzé                                                   104

  Château de Lourdon                                                 106

  House of Lamartine                                                 110

  St. Bernard                                                        111

  St. John: Burgundian School                                        119

  Justice and Truth                                                  126

  Paray-le-Monial; the Church                                        127

  Two Priests                                                        128

  Paray-le-Monial; North Door of the Church                          132

  Gontran and Bertille                                               136

  Her Three Crowns                                                   144

  Abélard and Héloïse                                                145

  Beaune; Maison Colombier                                    Facing 150

  Chalon-Sur-Saône; Maison de Bois.                                  159

  The Saône near Tournus                                             160

  A Street in Tournus                                                162

  Tournus; the Abbey                                                 170

  By the Saône                                                       172

  Antigny-le-Chatel                                                  173

  Arnay-le-Duc; Corner House, sixteenth century                      181

  Arnay-le-Duc; Tour de la Motte Forte                        Facing 182

  Dijon                                                              184

  Dijon: at the Café                                                 187

  Moses; from the Puits de Moïse, Dijon                              189

  Philippe le Bon, Duke of Burgundy                                  191

  A Corner of the Tomb of Philippe le Hardi                          193

  Pleurants from the Tomb of Philippe le Hardi                       194

  Dijon; Corner of the Place des Ducs                                197

  Pleurant                                                           199

  Ornament                                                           200

  Sword                                                              202

  Dijon: Decorated windows of the Maison Milsand                     203

  Dijon Museum; Woman at Prayer                                      204

  Dijon; a Street                                             Facing 208

  Dijon; Door of Eglise St. Michel                                   211

  Dijon; A Font in the Eglise St. Michel                             212

  Sculpture; Notre Dame de Dijon                                     213

  Dijon; Well outside the Duke's Kitchen                             214

  Vine Ornament                                                      215

  Dijon; a fifteenth century Window                                  218

  Ornament                                                           219

  Arbre Charlemagne                                                  220

  The Three Huntsmen                                                 221

  Through the Forest                                                 225

  Vine Ornament                                                      230

  Beaune; Belfry of the Hospice de la Charité                        231

  Beaune; Porch of Notre Dame                                 Facing 232

  Beaune; Courtyard of the Hôtel Dieu                                235

  Star Ornament                                                      236

  Saint Martin and Saint Margaret                                    237

  Ruins of St. Margaret's Abbey                                      239

  La Rochepot                                                        241

  Beaune: Porch of the Hôtel-Dieu                             Facing 242

  Tomb of Philippe Pot                                               245

  Taking his Ease                                                    247

  Roman Column at Cussy                                              251

  Valley of Nantoux                                                  254

  St. Martin Preaching                                               257

  Burgundian Ox-cart                                                 258

  In Rural Burgundy                                                  261

  Junction of Rivers Doubs and Saône                                 261

  Oxen ploughing                                              Facing 264

  Burgundian Cottage                                                 267

  Château de Moux                                                    270

  Nantua and the Lake                                                272

  Nantua from the Hill                                               274

  Princess Margaret's Tomb                                           276

  Bourg; in the Street                                               278

  Eglise de Brou: Ste. Madeleine from the Tomb of Marguerite
    d'Autriche                                                       287

  Eglise de Brou: Ornament from the Tomb of Marguerite d'Autriche    290

  Princess Marguerite d'Autriche                                     292

  Sketch Map of South Burgundy                                       293



  [Illustration: Heading, chapter I]


CHAPTER I

BENEATH THE MOUNT


We had expected quiet, rural times in this far-away village of
St.-Léger-sous-Beuvray; but I doubt whether we shall get them. The
village green in front of the Hotel du Morvan shows signs of unusual
animation; it is dotted with carts, which are discharging tent-poles,
canvas, golden cars, and other paraphernalia of a country festival;
and, surer sign still, through the door of an open shed, I can see
hanging, headless and lamentable, the gaping corpse of a fatted calf.
Yes! there is his tawny countenance and two mild eyes looking down,
like those of a martyred saint, from the cruel hook. The odour of him,
wafted in succulent puffs, from the dead-house door, has cheered with
a splendid hope half the dogs in the village, and awakened from torpor
two ancient hounds, who prowl, almost youthfully, sniffing fragrant
memories in the air.

"What is going to happen?" I asked the landlord, who was sharpening
tools on a bench.

"'Tis the Louée, Monsieur, the hiring that takes place every year. All
in the neighbourhood who want farm-hands, or domestic servants, and
those who want places, come to-morrow morning and make bargains. And
the Directeur of Enfants Assistés (Foundlings) is coming, too; he is to
stop here at my hotel, and so his children get work."

We were up early the next morning. Only deaf men, or dead ones, sleep
through a Louée. There came to us in our bedroom, with the sunshine, an
indescribable babel of sounds--babble of voices, braying of trumpets,
banging of drums. To a Londoner, strange methods of doing business!

We went out into the din and the sunshine to find the transformation
complete. All the green was dotted with booths bright with gaudy
trinkets of every imaginable colour; shooting galleries, and a hundred
other sou-trapping devices. Before every inn had sprung up, as if by
magic, a salle de bal, with a real wooden floor, and a little balcony
for the musicians. There was a gipsy encampment, too, where, heedless
of the din, a Romany sat upon the trunk of a fallen tree, methodically
skinning hedgehogs with a knife; while his two small sons were
unmethodically currey-combing the yellow pony, and dusting him down
with his own tail, cut off and tied to a stick! The door of the caravan
opened; there was a glimpse of a woman's arm, and a pailful of slops
shot out, sparkling in the sun, to alight where fate might decree.
Brown drops splashed up into the hollow eyes of Grandmother, dreaming
on a chair by the steps. Meanwhile the peasants went on hiring and
being hired; some sealing the bargain with a glass of red wine, in the
Café; some, if the maid were comely, with a kiss. Peasants I call them,
though, at first sight, this array of black blouses and black squash
hats suggests a meeting of nonconformist parsons, rather than farmers
of the Morvan. Yet one learns to accept them so, and to enjoy the deep,
black shadows that lurk in the folds of the garments. Straw hats are
few; but the white caps of the old ladies are there for contrast.

Wearied of the buzzing crowd, the nerve-racking crack of the rifles, we
wandered out of the village, and sat by the edge of a ploughed field,
where we watched, above a rampart of firs shot with spring greens,
the purple mass of dark Beuvray lifting its crested summit into the
cloudless sky,--mysterious Beuvray, whence of old, as darkness closed
upon their homes, the wondering peasants in the valley, heard, from the
mysterious mountain city above their heads, the sound of great gates
creaking harshly upon their hinges.

But to-morrow is for Beuvray. To-day we will watch the long stream of
peasants coming to the Fair, by the lanes that wind, up and down,
among the buttress hills of the mount. They come on foot, in farm
carts, on bicycles; but most of them come in little, trim donkey-carts;
husband and wife sitting primly side by side, their tanned faces
shewing strongly above the silently twitching, brown ears of the
"baudet." Here is a family in a donkey-drawn washing-basket, three
generations of them, packed like sardines. After déjeuner, when the
hiring is done, the older ones leave; the turn of the younger is come.
Then the fillettes begin to appear--Fifines made fine for the Fair--all
cut after the same pattern, with white blouses below much be-ribboned
straw hats; each carrying, because of the mid-day sun, a grey jacket
lined with light blue. These come tripping from village and hamlet,
clinging to each other, with little toddlers holding their hands; all
chattering, smiling, sweltering, happy. The fiddlers will be tuning up
in the Salles de Bal.

So we followed the maids back to the village, and wandered again among
the booths. An old, old lady, beside a not less ancient friend was
nursing a tin mug. They were discussing bargains and their budget. "I
got this for three sous; et je trouve que c'est bien solide." On that
point she was cruelly deceived. But what matter? Thinking makes it so.
What a popping of corks comes from the Café!

Bang! Bang!! Bang!! Bang!! Bang!!! The crowd surges toward a compelling
din. Before the largest of the tents a half-naked, muscular ruffian
stands silent upon a tub; beside him another, clad in shiny velveteens,
shouts himself hoarse.

"Gentlemen, you all know that the 'lutte est le premier gymnastique du
monde.' Come in then, and see. Our professor challenges all comers. He
will wrestle with a great bear. Now for la lutte aux ours! Entrez; we
will show you the véritable gorille, and the most terrible beast in the
world, the Monstre du Pole Nord." And, indeed, above his head was writ
in gold letters, the fearsome legend: "MONSTRE DU POLE NORD."

We went in, with other youths and maidens. The baby that followed us,
shewing signs of strong emotion, was hastily removed by its mother.

"Up against the canvas, please gentlemen. La séance va commencer au
milieu!"

We watched while, before the bars that held the four-legged animals,
the naked bipeds struggled furiously; clutching, writhing, rolling,
till the bare, oily skins were dark with perspiration and sawdust.
Their eyes were so full of it, that, between the rounds, they were
gouging it out with their knuckles. "Ca y est! Ca y est!" "At it again!"

"Bravo monsieur l'amateur, un petit bravo pour l'amateur"--with arms
like telegraph posts--"le plus fort du pays." So it went on--the "lutte
aux hommes," the "lutte aux ours."

For a full five minutes the sanded professor leant up against and
pushed the furry mass of Jean Pierre, the feebly scratching, tangled
bear, who was too bored to be méchant. From behind their bars the
Monstre Du Pole Nord (a sloth bear) and "le véritable gorille" (a
Barbary ape) grunted approval of their companion's efforts.

Through the crowded entrance we pushed our way into the largest of the
Salles de Bal, bright with lit lamps and coloured ribbons. In a scarlet
and green box, with a yellow diamond, slung to the roof of the tent,
the fiddlers and viol players, sitting in their shirt-sleeves, squeaked
and ground lustily. There was babble of voices and rhythmic scuffle of
feet. A young soldier, fair and close-cropped, in uniform, crossed the
salle, bowed to my wife, and asked for a dance. A moment's hesitation,
and she was whirling round with the others. As he said to her at
parting; "You are not in France every day." It was three in the morning
before darkness and silence settled down upon St.-Léger-sous-Beuvray.

The next morning we rode to the Mount by a lane that, undulating,
climbs, through pasture, arable, and woodland, among the buttress hills
of Beuvray, to the Poirier aux Chiens, a lonely farmhouse, where we
left our bicycles. Cyclists are rather worried hereabout by excitable
dogs and hysterical sheep; but the former are not dangerous, as they
are in Languedoc and other parts of the south of France; and we are
happily free to-day from the dangers of two hundred years ago; as when,
on the 18th of June, 1718, at nightfall, St. Léger was visited by a
mad wolf from the top of Beuvray, that wounded and disfigured sixteen
people, of whom all but one died of hydrophobia. The single exception
was a woman, who had only been scratched by the animal's claws.
After this incident a Confraternity of St. Hubert was established in
connection with the Church, and by the authority of the bishop, for the
destruction of wild beasts.[2]

The easiest path by which those who are not familiar with the locality
can climb Beuvray, is from the Croix du Rebout, nearly two kilometres
beyond the Poirier aux Chiens, at the top of the col, just where the
descent begins. Several other paths lead up to it; but as there are
more than twenty miles of Gaulish roads intersecting on the tree-clad
slopes of the Mount, it is very easy to lose yourself completely, as I
did on my first visit; until there was nothing for it but to descend to
the road and seek another path. My only consolation for those two hours
of wasted energy was that, while lunching beside the forest path, I
met, face to face, a red fox ambling jauntily on his way. How we stared
at one another; and how I wished that, for once, he could talk.

But, "after all," the reader may ask, "Why climb Beuvray? When you are
up there, what is to be seen but a view; and what mean these twenty
miles of Gaulish roads through a wilderness of boughs?" To which
pertinent question I reply, that in all France there is but one Beuvray.

You will find more romantic peaks in the Alpines of Provence, you will
find grander, more striking mountains in volcanic Auvergne; in the Alps
you will see summits, clothed in eternal snow, beside which the Mount
is but a molehill; but nowhere will you find such a hill as this, whose
flanks have echoed to the tramp of Cæsar's legions, whose crest, the
council chamber of kings and generals, has flamed through long nights
with the beacon fires of a great city. Nowhere else will you find a
hill that the centuries have so peopled with dragon and saint, with
phantom hound and spectre horseman, and have made as harmonious with
legendary poetry and immemorial voices, as nature has made her woods
vocal with whispering fern and wandering wind, with the ripple of the
brook, and the stir of creeping things in the grass.[3]

For this Beuvray is no other than Bibracte, the Gaulish oppidum that
Cæsar speaks of as "Oppido Aeduorum longe maximo et copiosissimo."[4]
Tradition, as I have said, had rumoured it for centuries as the site
of an ancient city; but many had supposed that Autun was the place
referred to, until the researches of M. Bulliot, the Antiquary of
Hamerton's delightful work "The Mount," settled the problem once for
all. Of the history of the last days of the town I will say something
in the next chapter; for the present, let us be content to mount the
rocky, rain-washed, Gaulish road that leads up, through interlacing
boughs, to the "Grand Hotel des Gaulois," or, in other words, the
little house and sheds near the summit, which the antiquary occupied
while making his researches and excavations.

The path runs beside many of the most interesting discoveries, though
nothing of the remains is to be seen, the owner having stipulated that
all "fouilles" should be covered up, a precaution necessary in any
event, if the primitive Gaulish homes of stones and wood, with mud for
mortar, are ever to be preserved to a later posterity.[5]

After passing the huts, you come, by a grassy woodland path winding up
through ferns and bracken, to the terrace on the summit of the hill,
now mercifully clear of the ubiquitous trees. Here, on the site of
the ancient temple to the Dea Bibracte, one of the many Gaulish gods,
M. Bulliot has erected a little chapel in Romanesque style, dedicated
to St. Martin. Here, also, is a granite cross, with a carving of St.
Martin performing an act of charity at the gate of Amiens; not far away
is a memorial to M. Bulliot himself.

Tradition has given much prominence to the doings of St. Martin here,
as elsewhere in France, and it seems probable that the saint did visit
Bibracte, about the year 377, on his way to Autun. M. Bulliot, and
other authorities, agree that he preached on the plateau of Beuvray,
possibly from the Pierre de la Wivre; and the legend has it that here
he overthrew a pagan temple, arousing thereby such fierce anger among
the inhabitants, that he escaped only by a miraculous leap of his ass
across the gorge of Malvaux (Mauvaise vallée) to the south-west of the
Mount, where the animal's hoof-prints are still to be seen. Later I
shall give fully a precisely similar legend concerning St. Martin in
the valley of Nantoux.

When once we had got our bearings, and accustomed ourselves to the
silence and solitude of the spot, we began to feel the charm of the
lonely plateau, and to realize its attractions for those who would live
close to nature and to the past. When I first visited it, on a bright
autumn afternoon, not a leaf was astir upon the golden oaks, not a
spray of the bramble trembled, not a rustle was heard among the dead
ferns in the grass; only, from far away in the valley below, came the
rumble of a cart-wheel, the crack of a sportsman's rifle in the distant
woods.

  [Illustration: ON MONT BEUVRAY]

    "So still it was that I could almost hear
    The sigh of all the sleepers in the world;
    And all the rivers running to the sea."

I looked down through the fringing trees. For mile after mile the
country lay golden before me, fields rising and falling, till they were
lost in the eastern sky. There was little St. Léger, a toy village
among tiny hills; there was the Etang de Poisson, a sapphire set in
emeralds, and far away the evening sun flashing upon the spires of
Autun Cathedral.[6] The sound of a footstep broke the stillness. A
youth was approaching me--a chétif, mis-shapen, shaking thing. He gazed
on me with drooping jaw, and passed muttering--an idiot wandering
through a night-mare world.

Then I, too, began to dream fantastic dreams, and to see spectres of
the past, such as--the peasants tell you--still flit over the crest of
Beuvray,--a white horse galloping at midnight, a loud voice commanding
ghostly legions in Latin; shadowy riders, moving shades of mediæval
knights and barons still climbing the stony paths to this their airy
tilting ground. Winged gabble raches passed screaming over my head,
and, from afar, baying in deep-mouthed thunder, I heard the hounds of
the phantom hunter of Touleur.[7]

But that was a thundery day last autumn, and this is a soft April
evening, with a breeze in the leaves, and silver clouds afloat in a
blue sky. Moreover, I am not alone.

We wandered back by the path along which we had come, and made our way
to the Pierre de la Wivre, a curious, pointed rock rising from the
plateau. Its sulphurous yellow colour is due to the lichen with which
it is covered. From the green headland, surrounded with holly-bushes,
on which it stands, you have magnificent views over rounded,
village-dotted hills, whose brown-green upland fields nestle up to the
dark forests that crown every summit. Up from the valleys come the
shouts of the teamsters urging on the slow, pale oxen.

This Pierre de la Wivre shows signs of man's handling, and has
probably been the scene of human sacrifices, and of other ancient
religious rites. We asked ourselves whether there may not have been
some religious significance in the surrounding belt of holly bushes,
since there are indications of a similar belt round the chapel of St.
Martin. Perhaps the holly tree was sacred to the Gauls. Sitting upon
the stone we recalled the legend as told by Hamerton.[8]

"The peasants believe that the Wivern dwells near it in a hidden cavern
guarding its treasure, but that once a year the cavern opens and the
Wivern goes out, leaving the treasure unguarded. As to the time of
year when this happens the narrators differ. Some say that it is at
midnight on Christmas Eve, others fix it for Easter Day during High
Mass; in either case it is during Mass, as there is a midnight service
at Christmas. The popular legend in its present form goes on to recount
how a certain woman, accompanied by her child, went to the stone of
the Wivern, instead of going to Mass, intending to take his treasure.
She found the cave open, entered, and took as much gold as she could
carry, and came out just in time to escape the Wivern on his return.
On looking round for her child, she could not find him anywhere. The
cavern being now closed again, she knew not what to do, and went in
despair to the priest, who told her to go to the place every day and
pour milk and honey on the stone till the expiration of twelve months,
and then, when the day came for the opening of the cave, to take her
treasure back to it undiminished, and she would find her child. So she
went day by day without fail, in heat and cold, in fine weather and
foul, and poured milk and honey on the stone. At last the day came
when the Wivern left the cave, and the mother found her child within,
sitting quite unhurt, and in perfect health, with an apple before him
on a stone table. So she restored the treasure gladly, and took away
her child."

M. Bulliot thinks that the legend was originally one of some Gaulish
sacrilege and reparatory oblation, the Gaulish priests requiring
a daily offering (perhaps of milk and honey) until certain stolen
treasure was restored. The Catholic character of the legend he looks
upon as nothing but an aftergrowth; and the apple has, in his opinion,
a distinct though undiscoverable significance.

From the Pierre de la Wivre we could see, on the next headland to our
left, the ridge of Pierre Salvée sharply serrated against the sky.
There, half an hour later, we found ourselves rewarded by a glorious
sight. Westward we could see extending mile upon mile, ridge after
ridge, the glowing mountains of Auvergne, and the valley of the Loire,
veiled in a shimmering mist, through whose mysterious wreaths flashed,
here and there, in diamond splendour, the sun-touched roof of a humble
cottage and the tower of a lordly chateau.[9]

With all the thousand other interesting details concerning
Bibracte--the Gaulish roads, the ramparts, the remains, the
descriptions and industries of the town, the visits of Cæsar--I have
no space to deal here; but I recommend particularly to the reader
Hamerton's book, from which I have quoted, and M. Dechelette's handy
guide, "L'Oppidum de Bibracte."

We cycled from St. Léger to Autun, by way of La Grand Verrière
Monthelon, and the Valley of the Arroux. Monthelon, some seven
kilometres from Autun, is a place famous in French Ecclesiastical
history. It has, as is common in Burgundian villages, a delightful
little Romanesque Church, concerning one of whose curés Hamerton tells
a good story which I cannot refrain from giving in the original tongue.

This old curé, then, was fond of putting Latin into his sermons, a
little bit at a time, his own Latin; not of the best. "'Lorsque je
paraîtrai devant Notre Seigneur, il me demandera; 'Curé Monthelonius,
ubi sunt brebetis meis'--ce qui veut dire; 'Curé de Monthelon, où sont
me brebis?' Et moi je lui répondrai; 'bêtes je les ai trouvées, bêtes
je les ai laissées, et bêtes elles sont très probablement encore.'"

Can you refrain from reading "The Mount" after that?

  [Illustration: End of chapter I; dragon]


FOOTNOTES:

[2] Hamerton's "The Mount," p. 26.

[3] Alesia, though intensely interesting, lacks the mysterious
    quality of Beuvray.

[4] De Bello Gallico, lib. 1, cap. 23: "By far the finest and largest
    town of the Aedui."

[5] I am told that the fouilles are open every year during a part of
    the month of August.

[6] Hamerton says, that, on a clear day you can see Mont Blanc,
    157 miles as the crow flies. It is the distance from London to
    Scarborough.

[7] "The Mount," pp. 54-56.

[8] "The Mount," pp. 103-4.

[9] The Pierre Salvée has no legend; the name is probably
    derived from some ancient divinity.



  [Illustration: Heading, chapter II; The Porte St. André]


CHAPTER II

THE ROMAN CITY


In the railway station of Autun we had waited long for our bicycles to
be taken out of the train. They did not appear. The porters were all
busy with a cattle-truck that they were pushing casually down a siding,
till it was stopped in mid-career by the buffers of another truck.

Bang!! Rattle! Bang!! The thicket of horns, visible from without, shook
like a wood in a winter gale. A mild white head was thrust over the
lime-washed barrier, mutely protesting. We echo the animal's protest,
and our own.

"Do you always keep travellers waiting like this?"

"You see, Monsieur, it is because of the cow, she is bien souffrante."

"Then why treat her so?" I pointed to the still trembling truck; "but
in any case, are we of less importance than a cow? Are not we, too,
bien souffrant?"

"Yes, but you see, Monsieur, if the cow died, the _patron_ would lose
four hundred francs; but, had I known, I would have brought your
bicycles earlier." We reached the Hotel St. Louis at last.

Then, wishing to escape, until dinner-time, from the still glowing
streets, we crossed the Place du Champs de Mars, followed the gentle
descent of the Faubourg d'Arroux, and passed beneath the Roman gate
that leads northward from the city of Augustus into the open plain.
A hundred yards or so further on, a sharp turn to the left brought
us to two bridges crossing the tributary streams that wind among
the whispering poplars, beneath which, all day long, the kneeling
blanchisseuses have been pounding mercilessly their unoffending
washing. Continuing our walk between the dusty green hedges of the lane
meandering through the fertile plain of Autun, we saw, rising before
us, a building whose mysterious, alluring aspect at once rivetted
our attention, as it must that of all who have an eye for the spirit
of the past, and an ear for her call. We entered boldly by the gate
in the hedge, and shared possession of the field with the pale cows,
who, placid as the stones, and not unlike them in colour, lifted to us
questioning eyes.

The monument,--all that remains of it, rather,--consists of two great
stone walls, adjacent sides of a building, ruined and roofless. It
rises in the midst of the meadow, from among the grasses and brambles
about its base, a huge, weird, Caliban-like thing, shattered, yet
still massive, pierced with great tortured openings, and many smaller
ones above. The golden light of evening, gilding it, casts into the
holes and crevices, between the weather-worn masonry, pitchy shadows
from which the stones bristle out defiantly, as though challenging the
centuries to undo them, if man will but hold his hand.

This relic of Roman times, called by the peasants, "The Temple of
Janus"--though some antiquarians deny that it was ever a temple, and
that the three headed god was ever worshipped there--is not the only
striking object in the landscape. Away to the north-west, behind
the tossing boughs of the poplars, the setting sun is adorning with
changing purples the flanks of the distant hills. The broadest of those
peaks, crested with dark foliage, is none other than our old friend the
Mount.

We turned to the opposite side of the valley. Before us were symbols of
two later periods of Burgundy's prosperity--the modern city of Autun,
seated proudly upon the lower slopes of a mountain throne, and, high
above the roofs, the great mass of the cathedral of St. Lazare lifting
her Gothic spire to the sky.

The peculiar interest of the spot, the reason why we chose it as a
starting point in our travel through Southern Burgundy, is that here
we have, before our very eyes, visible symbols of four clearly marked
stages in the history of the Duchy; the Gallic, Roman, Gothic, and
modern periods.

We will begin with the Gallic period, in the days when Cæsar wrote of
that city, there upon Mont Beuvray; "Bibracte, oppido Aeduorum longe
maximo et copiosissimo";[10] and tell, very shortly, the story of the
tribe, in their relations with the Roman conquerors.[11]

The Aedui, concerning whom all our available information comes from
the Latin writers, were a Gallic tribe, inhabiting, approximately,
the space of country bounded on the east by the Saône, on the south
by the chain of mountains between the Lyonnais and Auvergne, on the
west by the Loire, and on the north by the valleys of the Vouge, the
Oze, the Brenne and the Yonne. They were a virile, warlike race,
that, from a very early period, had been recognised as the superior
of the neighbouring races, among which the strongest were, perhaps,
their enemies and rivals, the Arverni of mountainous Auvergne.
For very many years before the Roman invasion, there had been
intercommunication--often of an aggressive nature--between the Aedui
and the Italian races; but it was not until the year 123 B.C. that
anything in the nature of a direct alliance was formed between the
former and the Romans, although Tacitus and Cicero both allude to them
as "Brothers of the Roman Nation"; and the weaker people naturally
would not be slow to take advantage of the great military strength of
the new-comers, if it could be exercised on their behalf. The occasion
soon came to put that strength to the test, when, after a series of
quarrels with the Arverni and other neighbouring tribes, the latter
summoned the Germans to their assistance. The Aedui, feeling that their
independence was threatened, sent their chief Druid priest, Divitiacus,
to appeal unto Cæsar.

Before we see how he fared, let us glance at this leader, whose
statue stands to-day in the Promenade des Marbres at Autun. The
Druids were the magistrate-priests of their respective cities, where,
by the right of knowledge, riches, birth--for all were of noble
blood--they exercised almost despotic power. They were the theologians,
philosophers, jurists, astronomers, physicians, and moralists of their
times; they were the educators of youth, the depositaries of the holy
mysteries of their religion, and of the supernatural forces; the
arbitors of life and death--since no human sacrifice might be offered
without their sanction.

They were also superintendents of the observance of religious rites,
of the practice of the ritual demanded by the gods. Still subject
to those gods, the people would fear the priest not less than the
magistrate. Kings, even, were awed by these mouthpieces of the most
high. Such was he whom the Aedui chose for their ambassador.

Divitiacus went to Rome, and there, in person, pleaded his cause before
the senate. His embassy seems to have been of little apparent effect;
but, though he lost his suit, he gained a friend--Cicero.

In spite of the Druid's failure, Cæsar's legions were, nevertheless,
soon on their way to Gaul. The Helvetii, coveting the fertile land
that lay beside theirs, decided to attempt its conquest. Cæsar, aided
by some Aeduen troops, who now fought for the first time beneath the
eagle, met the invaders on the banks of the Saône,[12] and annihilated
them in the first great battle of his life. Henceforth, for a time, the
two nations are brothers. "Aeduii, fratres nostri, pugnant."[13] Such
they remained; until the next nation that threatened them--Ariovistus
and his German hordes--had suffered the fate of the Helvetii.

It was, however, inevitable that the warlike tribes of Gaul should
endeavour, sooner or later, to throw off the yoke of an alien
civilization, which, while it brought them material blessings of
inestimable value--of which not the least was the introduction of
the vine,--was, nevertheless, galling to their spirit of sturdy
independence. Soon the Aedui were being stirred to revolt. Foremost
among the discontents, was the leader of the Aeduen cavalry, Dumnorix,
brother to Divitiacus, though his opposite in character. The trusted
ally of Cæsar, and the friend of Cicero, Divitiacus the Druid
accepted philosophically the Roman dominion; his brother, turbulent,
adventurous, restless--a Prince Rupert of his day--had other dreams
for his country. Cæsar was about to embark on his second expedition
to Britain, when the news came that Dumnorix, who was under orders to
accompany him, had withdrawn, followed by the Aeduen cavalry. Cæsar,
delaying his embarkation, sent his own cavalry in pursuit, with orders
to kill or capture the rebel, if he refused to submit.

Soon overtaken, Dumnorix defended himself valiantly, and fell, sword
in hand, with the cry on his lips: "I die a free citizen of a free
country."[14] One is tempted to wish that the people of Autun had
raised in the "Place des Marbres," beside that of his more philosophic
brother, a statue to this gallant leader of a forlorn hope.

The example of Dumnorix was followed, before long, by almost the whole
of Roman Gaul; the principal cities being quite unable to resist the
temptation offered by the long absence of their enemy at the capital.
Cæsar, writing from Rome, protested vigorously against the ingratitude
of the Aedui. He reminded them of their grievous plight before his
legions freed them; of their decimated armies, of their ravaged land,
of the heavy tributes, the noble hostages wrung from them. But he spoke
in deaf ears. The Aedui had definitely linked their destiny with that
of their nation. Only the final arbitrament of force could be appealed
to.

They summoned to a council of war, Vercingetorix, the ablest general
of his day, chief of their hereditary enemies, the Arverni; but,
accustomed for long to regard themselves as the dominant tribe of the
Gauls, they offered him only a subordinate command. His refusal of any
command, other than the highest, was followed by an assembly general
of the Gallic tribes at Bibracte, when, on the matter being put to the
vote, the great meeting, with one voice, proclaimed Vercingetorix their
leader.[15] The story of his last desperate struggle against the Romans
at Alesia, and of his defeat and death, do not properly belong to the
history of Autun, nor to that of Bibracte.

Gaul had become a province of the great Roman Empire. A higher
civilisation, already familiar to the conquered tribes, is to impose
its dominion, its architecture, its art, upon the conquered land.
Bibracte, the oppidum on the wooded hills, will echo no more to the
shouts of Gauls acclaiming their general or their victory. Deserted,
probably in the first years of the Christian era, silence reigns
henceforth over the hills; silence broken only by the patter of rain
drops, by the moan of the wind, or the weird howl of the wolf, roaming,
at midnight, among the ruins of the abandoned city.

Meanwhile, here, upon the plain below, another and fairer city was
arising--Augustodunum, the Roman capital of Gaul, now known as Autun.
It has often been asserted that the location of Bibracte upon Mont
Beuvray is merely legendary, and that Autun is the historic site of
the great city of the Aedui. But this theory, as we have seen, has
been finally exploded by the researches of M. Bulliot. He proves
conclusively, not only that Bibracte was situate on the summit of
Beuvray, but also that Autun was built upon virgin soil, and not
upon the site of a Gallic city, which would inevitably have yielded
tangible proof of its existence in Gaulish coins and other remains. The
proportion of Gaulish to Roman coins found in Autun, up to the present
time, is about one to fifteen hundred.[16] Further evidence is offered
by the fact that the city conforms to the requirements mentioned by
Vitruvius at the time of its erection--about fifteen to ten years
before the Christian era--that, in building a town, the first necessity
is to choose a healthy site, elevated, not subject to fogs, of good
temperature, not exposed to extremes of heat and cold, away from
marshy land, and facing south or west.[17] One of the chief features
of Burgundian towns is the excellence of their sites. This feature,
due no doubt, to Roman example, is nowhere more noticeable than at
Autun, which remains to-day one of the best situate, and among the most
interesting, of all the cities of France.

       *       *       *       *       *

The first thing to be done, it seems to me, in exploring such a place
as Autun, which comprises a mediæval and a modern town within the
Enceinte of a Roman city, is to get your bearings, to orient yourself,
as the French say.

On the previous evening, looking up from our sunset seat on the grass,
beside that mysterious pile known as the Temple of Janus, we had seen,
far above the city, to the south-east, on the slope of the hills which
enthrone Autun, a gaunt, grey stone lifting its head over the village
roofs of Couhard. The next morning found us descending the Rue St.
Pancras, into the hollow that lies between the village and the town. As
we climbed the ascent, the rising sun gave us alluring glimpses of the
mysterious stone, seen through the curling mists of an autumn morning;
yet, many a time, we turned from it, to watch the light playing upon
ancient wall and tower, and gilding the spire of the cathedral of St.
Lazare.

  [Illustration: AUTUN; shewing Cathedral and Mediæval Towers]

A bend to the left brought us into Couhard, a straggling group of
dishevelled cottages and huts lining the Ruisseau de la Toison, that
bubbles merrily along the side of the hill. It is a dilapidated,
picturesque, tangled village, given over to ducks and dirt, and to
washerwomen, who, like flies in summer, settle upon the running waters
of France, to wash their toisons d'or.

"Quite an ancient, conservative, stagnant village," we were saying to
ourselves; "built beside a Roman burial ground, and itself going its
dirty way to death"--when, suddenly, we made a discovery. Couhard is
not conservative. On the contrary, it is advanced. Before us, on a
placard, we read: "Association des Femmes de Saône et Loire. Les Femmes
doivent Voter." And they tell you there is no feminist movement in
France!

Here is the Pierre de Couhard; a gaunt, uncouth, pointed mass of
rubble, rising from the hillside, in the midst of a little tangled
island--the dust bin of the village--where every ill weed grows. 'Tis a
characteristic setting for a Burgundian monument.

But the stone is impressive. Inchoate, formless, it yet suggests
a lost form, that of a corpse long-exposed, or of the mysterious,
human-inhuman figure, that the mad sculptor, in Andreev's story, hewed
out, after he had talked with one returned from the dead, and had gazed
deep into death's basilisk eyes.[18]

A close inspection reveals the truth--that the Pierre de Couhard was
in the form of a quadrangular pyramid upon a cubical base--the lower
part faced with large blocks of sandstone, the pyramidal portion with
limestone. All the facing has suffered the usual fate of similar work
in France--it formed the quarry from which the peasants of Couhard
built and maintained their village. On the south-east side of the
pyramid are two holes, bored about the year 1640, with the intention
of discovering whether the monument was hollow within.[19] It is now
believed to be solid throughout. The Aeduen Society, and others, have
undertaken excavations at various times; but local antiquaries have not
yet discovered any cella containing coins or relics that determine the
date of erection, which, however, M. de Fontenay, with good reason,
assigns to the reign of Vespasian (A.D. 69-79).

  [Illustration: PIERRE DE COUARD · AUTUN ·]

As to the purpose of the Pierre, there is now little reason to doubt
that it was a memorial stone; a supposition borne out, not only by the
shape of the monument, but by its position at the summit of the Champs
Des Urnes, as it is popularly called, the great burial ground which
bordered the Roman road from Lyons to Autun.

Curiously enough, the same opinion was adopted, after a long
examination and discussion, by that mighty hunter, and amateur
antiquary, Francis I., when he came here, in August, 1521, accompanied
by his mother, Louise de Savoie, and by his wife, Claude de France.
While the ladies visited the Churches and Convents, which, to them,
were the superior attraction, the merry monarch did the round of the
Roman monuments, and afterwards restored his jaded faculties with
a day's hunting in the neighbouring forest of Planoise, where he
lost himself, and might have passed the night in the wilds had he
not happened upon the old castle of Porcheresse, whose lord, Celse
de Traves, led him back to Autun. The delighted populace, anxious
over their lost king, received him with "chiming bells and flaming
torches."[20]

Yet, however great the preparations and rejoicings with which the
inhabitants received their monarch--as, five years earlier, they had
welcomed his predecessor, Charles VIII.--it was neither a flourishing
nor a cheerful town that Francis looked down upon, from the Pierre de
Couhard, on that summer day, nearly four hundred years ago. He saw the
towers, spires, and gables of a mediæval city--one might almost say,
of two mediæval cities--built upon the ruins of the much larger Roman
town, the silent immensity of whose shattered walls, palaces, temples,
and amphitheatre, dwarfed into insignificance the small houses amongst
which they stood, and chilled, with a nameless fear, the hearts of
those who watched the shadows of evening falling about them, and heard
the spirit voices of the past calling, in the moonlight, from among the
haunted stones.

    "Ou ses temples estoient a chaque coin de vue
    Les buissons herissez presque y donnent la terreur;
    Ou les riches palais furent, le laboureur
    Y couple ses taureaux pour trainer la charrue."[21]

Less fortunate than Dijon and other towns of Burgundy, Autun had
suffered a sequence of disasters. When Francis I. saw the town, neither
the Roman walls nor the Roman buildings had recovered from the ravages
of Tetricus, King of the Gauls, who, about the year 269, after a siege
of seven months, sacked Augustodunum, leaving it in such a pitiable
condition that the emperor Constantine, when he came from Rome in 310,
could not restrain his tears at the sight of the wasted country and
ruined towns through which he had passed; nor could the banners of
the corporation, the statues of the gods, nor the groups of musicians
at the secret corners, blind the emperor to the real poverty hidden
beneath official pomp.[22]

There is no better spot than the Pierre de Couhard from which to
picture Augustodunum as it was on that day when Constantine rode
through the Porte de Rome, now known as the Porte des Marbres, which
then stood where the cemetery now abutts on to the end of the Rue de la
Jambe de Bois. Thence the main street of the city, the Voie d'Agrippa,
bordered by the important and imposing buildings, such as the Temple
of Apollo, the Schools, the Forum, and the Capitol, ran in a straight
line to the Porte d'Arroux, nearly in the direction of the Temple of
Janus, still faintly visible to-day, far away on the plain beyond the
river. This Voie d'Agrippa roughly bisected the Roman town, all the
streets of which were laid out, like those of a modern American City,
either parallel or at right angles to that axial line. Augustodunum,
though it lacked the lovely gables, lofty spires, and pleasant disorder
of Gothic Autun, must yet have shown to the traveller looking back from
the road to Rome, a splendid pile of temples and palaces and gardens,
as his glance wandered from the gleaming marble gates, and the flashing
dome of the Capitol, to the majestic arches and sculptured columns and
colonnades of the great arena and lovely theatre, whose ruins are yet
seen through the avenue of lime trees, above the ivy-crowned stones of
the ancient enceinte.[23]

Lovely is this spectacle, even to-day. On the left, to the south-west,
the mediæval city, the Castrum, lifts its pile of gabled, palace roofs
above the sombre firs, and line of bronzed fortresses, walls, and
leaf-clad towers that mark the Roman enceinte. Higher yet, over all,
the spires and pinnacles of the cathedral of St. Lazare glitter against
the background of hills.

On the way back, our attention was divided between the glories of that
view, and the "chasse aux poules" or chicken hunt--the one form of
sport indulged in by the old ladies of a Burgundian village.

A very few hours in Autun were enough to reveal the fact that this
largest Gallo-Roman city of Burgundy contains Roman remains as
interesting as any in France, known to me, excepting those of Nimes,
Orange, and Arles; while, around two of them--the Temple of Janus[24]
and the Pierre de Couhard--there still lingers an element of mystery
that renders them doubly attractive to the curious mind.

The "Temple de Janus" lies, as the reader will remember, at the foot
of Autun, in the meadow beside the Arroux. Its original purpose is
doubtful. M. Viollet le Duc held it to be a Fort Détaché, built outside
the ramparts, for the purpose of barring the passage of the river,
and commanding the plain.[25] M. de Fontenay, on the other hand,
asserts,--and I venture to think proves,--that the building was not
designed for military purposes, and was, in fact, a temple; though
there is no evidence to tell us to which deity it was dedicated.[26]

M. le Duc contends that the tower had no door on the ground floor,
and was entered by means of a ladder; but one of the features that
first strike any observer who is endeavouring mentally to reconstruct
the building, is, that, along both remaining walls, between the lower
openings and the upper windows, run two lines of rectangular holes
pierced in the masonry. The purpose of those holes, was, undoubtedly,
to carry the roof timbers of a peristyle, or outer gallery, whose
foundations have been unearthed at a distance of between five and six
metres from the main wall,--a discovery which seems at once to demolish
M. le Duc's theory of entry by ladder. The design of the peristyle is
not known, nor the order of its architecture; but it probably took the
ordinary form of a stylobate, or base, columns with capitals supporting
an entablature, and a sloping roof. The niches on the interior sides of
the walls, and the traces of red colouring--a mixture of powdered brick
and chalk, still easily visible in their more protected parts--are
further evidence that the tower was indeed a temple.

  [Illustration: TEMPLE OF JANUS · AUTUN]

M. de Fontenay dates the building, conjecturally, from the founding of
Autun. Concerning its popular name, "Temple of Janus," he has some very
interesting information to give.

It appears that, until the 17th century, the tower was known as the
"Tour de la Gênetoie," a term which a local savant took to be a
corruption of Janitect, "à Jani tecto." This legend was accepted by the
historians for about the next two centuries, until, in 1843, another
Burgundian writer reluctantly announced the truth,--that Gênetoie
did not mean "Temple of Janus," but simply, "Champ des balkins" or
"genets," the broom known to all Englishmen as the device of our
Plantagenet kings. So much for the Temple of Janus. Whatever may have
been its purpose, no one who has visited Rome, looking up at the huge,
shattered walls, gilded by the sunset, standing out against the purple
shadows of the hills far away across the plain, can fail to recall
memories of the Roman Campagna.

The Roman city of Augustodunum possessed four gates, at the north-west,
north-east, south-west, and south-east corners of the town, leading
to the roads for Boulogne, Besançon, Bourbon L'Archambaud, and Lyons
respectively. The first and last of these was known also as the "Voie
d'Agrippa." The gates, taking them in the same order, are known as the
Porte d'Arroux, the Porte St. André, the Porte St. Andoche, and the
Porte de Rome. The first two of these are still standing; the others
have disappeared.

The Porte d'Arroux is distant only a few minutes walk from the Temple
of Janus, near the river, at the foot of the Faubourg d'Arroux.
Incomplete though it is, the grace and dignity of the fallen monument
yet contrast strongly with the squalor of its setting. It is backed,
on either side, by a medley of disreputable villas, and dilapidated,
half-timbered cottages, whose squalor is not without charm. To-day
hordes of ragged children play beneath the arches that once echoed to
the roll of chariot wheels, and to the tramp of lictors' feet.

  [Illustration: PORTE D'ARROUX · AUTUN ·]

The Porte d'Arroux has four openings for traffic,--two large central
arches, by which chariots could pass in and out, and two smaller gates,
at the sides, for foot passengers. Each of the central arches is
grooved for a portcullis, which some authorities, including M. Viollet
le Duc, think were not added till the middle ages,[27] a supposition
that M. de Fontenay seems effectually to disprove by pointing out
that, since the Roman rampart at that period was broken down in many
places, any additional defences to the gates would have been a useless
precaution.

Autun, in mediæval times, comprised what were, in effect, two
distinct towns, both built within the Roman enceinte. These were the
Castrum, the centre of which was the Cathedral of St. Lazare, and the
Marchaux--still known by the same name,--in the lower part of the town,
north of the Place des Champs de Mars. Each of these towns was then
sheltered within its own walls and towers, of which portions are still
in existence.

The upper part of the gate consisted of a pierced gallery or arcade,
of ten bays,--seven of them still intact,--forming a Chemin de Ronde,
on a level with that running along the crest of the Roman wall. This
gallery, serving the double purpose of ornament and defence, could
be closed at any time by wooden shutters.[28] The gate was flanked
on either side by two rectangular towers (corps de garde) with
semi-circular apses projecting far beyond it, as though--in the phrase
of Eumenes, a local historian and orator of the late 3rd and early 4th
centuries--they were stretching out welcoming arms to those about to
enter the town.[29]

All who are interested in the development of Burgundian architecture,
should give careful attention to the Porte d'Arroux, which is certainly
the source of one of the most marked characteristics of the style,--the
use of the fluted pilasters, which, for some reason or other, seem to
have struck the fancy of the architects of this part of France. We
shall see this arcade imitated closely in the triforium gallery of the
cathedral of St. Lazare, and also influencing, in turn, the churches of
Cluny, Paray le Monial, Notre Dame de Beaune, and others.

The masonry of the gate is very finely executed, with close joints,
without mortar, in the manner of the period, and is, on the whole, in a
wonderfully good state of preservation. The lower part of the work is
quite plain. The archivolts, the entablature, including the architrave
and the frieze, show little ornament; the cornice, however, is richly
decorated with dentals, palmettes and other designs, as is also the
remaining fragment of cornice above the arcade, whose fluted pilasters
have beautiful capitals in the Corinthian style.

The other surviving Roman gate,--the Porte St. André,--is on the
north-east boundary of the city, not far from the Porte d'Arroux, by
way of the Faubourg Arroux and the Rue de la Croix Blanche. It is less
picturesquely situate, and, though very similar, is distinctly inferior
to its neighbour in design and finish. The central arches are lower,
and heavier, while the gallery lacks the lightness and grace which are
characteristic of the Porte d'Arroux, and is, moreover, built in a
stone darker and less pleasing to the eye than the oolithic limestone
of the lower portion.

M. de Fontenay suggests that this upper part was restored at some
later and degenerate period of Roman architecture. Certainly the plain
pilasters are badly designed and carelessly set, while the capitals,
of a composite, semi-ionic order, appear to be too narrow for their
pilasters--not too wide, as stated by M. de Fontenay, and also by M.
Déchelette in his careful little guide to Autun. The Porte St. André
shows no signs of having been fitted with a portcullis. Hamerton[30]
states, no doubt correctly, that the door was barred by strong beams
inserted into holes and grooves. These are still visible.

The Porte St. André, it should be noted, is one of the most complete
Roman gates existing in France. The lower portion of one of the
flanking towers, which rose originally several feet above the attic
story of the gate, owes its escape from destruction to its shape,
which, coinciding with that of a typical Romanesque chapel, tempted
certain ecclesiastics of the middle ages, to dedicate it to St. André,
as a place for Christian worship.[31] These flanking towers comprised
three stories. The first communicated with the Chemin de Ronde, along
the crest of the walls, the second was a vaulted chamber, and the third
remained open to the sky. Access was obtained by a double staircase.

On the question of the period during which these gates were built,
M. de Fontenay and Viollet le Duc are again at variance,--the latter
attributing them to the fourth or fifth centuries,[32] the former to
the reign of Vespasian (A.D. 69-79).[33] Strange as it may seem that
another writer should contradict continually so eminent an authority as
the last-named, the author of "Autun et ses Monuments" again has reason
on his side, since he can refer to the orator Eumenes as describing the
gates in the year 311 A.D.

Moreover, since the Roman walls were admittedly broken down in many
places during the siege by Tetricus, in the year 269 A.D.,--an event
of which Eumenes was a witness,--and the inhabitants were already
beginning to retire within the safer precincts of the Citadel; what
would be the reason for erecting elaborate gates on the line of the
ruined wall? I am not an authority upon ancient architecture; but I
was certainly astonished to read the date given in the "Dictionnaire
Raisonné"; and I should be glad to know whether other experts support
M. le Duc's theory.

Of the two other gates--the Porte St. Andoche, on the south-west,
and the Porte de Rome on the south-east, in the direction of
Lyons,--nothing remains except the rectangular portion of one of the
lateral towers of the former. The loss of the Porte de Rome, or the
"Porte des Marbres," as it was popularly called, is especially to be
regretted, since that name alone suggests the truth, of which evidence
exists, that it was by far the most beautiful of the four. Moreover, it
has additional historic interest as being the gate by which Constantine
entered Autun in 311.

The old writers agree in describing the Porte des Marbres as a
thing of beauty,--a quality which was its undoing, as offering an
irresistible attraction to the Mediæval and later builders. Several
ancient Corinthian capitals, not otherwise easily accounted for, are
to be seen to-day in the porch of the cathedral built at the close of
the 12th century. It appears, indeed, that around the present site of
the Fountain of the Pelican was a burial ground named Les Marbres, on
account of its richness in borrowed sculpture. The site of the gate was
known from the 14th century onwards as "à Marbres" or "de Marboribus."
At the time of the construction of the bastion of the Jambe de Bois,
the workmen unearthed many marbles, including columns, capitals, and
bases of the Corinthian or some composite order.[34] The date of the
final destruction of the Porte des Marbres is uncertain; but its
flanking towers, then known as the Fors de Marboribus, were still
standing in the middle of the 14th century.

Before beginning another chapter, let me speak one word of warning.
If you ask one of the humbler inhabitants of Autun where the Porte
St. Andoche stood, you will be directed, without hesitation,--as we
were,--to the bank of the river, near the railway station. Having
reached that spot and crossed the bridge, you will obtain a lovely
view of the Roman wall and the river beside it, but will fail to find
the remaining tower of the gate, for the reason that it is not there.
The Porte St. Andoche stood at the foot of the Boulevard Schneider,
opposite to the Couvent du Sacrement, on the road leading, by way of
the enceinte, to the Tour des Ursulines.

The reader may ask why the peasants should misdirect him? They
misdirect him, in this particular instance, because they believe that
the gate really stood on the town side of the western bridge of the
Arroux, in the corresponding position to that of the Porte d'Arroux.
But my point is, that, had your informant been utterly ignorant of
the supposed whereabouts of the gate, he would, very probably, have
directed you with almost equal facility. The Burgundian peasant is very
ignorant; but he is also very proud,--much too proud to admit that he
does not know the whereabouts of a monument that a stranger has come,
perhaps, a thousand miles to visit. His swift imagination, therefore,
promptly creates the site; and he, or she, will tell you promptly,
volubly, and with much circumstantial detail, exactly how to get there.
In this snare we have been taken many times during our travels among
the Burgundians. The Provençals have a different and preferable method.
They do not invent a site for the monument; they deny its existence.
Speaking with some experience of the peculiar ways of the French
peasant in such matters, my advice to the gentle stranger is--not to
trust him. Get the best guide and map that you can find in the local
librairie; and rely on them, and on your own intelligence. You may
then, when you are at fault, consult the passer by as to details,
letting your judgment decide whether, in his particular case, he is to
be trusted.

If it be a Château that you are seeking, you must be doubly careful. To
a French peasant many a tiny cottage is a "fine house" (belle maison),
and almost every modern house, of any pretentions at all, is a château.
To us, on the contrary, a château means a castle; usually an ancient
one.

Many a time has a blue-shirted peasant looked up from his work by the
road side, to address me somewhat as follows:

"The Château de Bon Espoir; Certainly, Monsieur, 'tis there, three
kilometres away, up the hill, tout droit en montant."[35]

We climb the three kilometres, wander about for an hour, and return
disconsolate. The labourer, hearing the whirr of bicycle wheels, looks
up again.

"M'sieur et Dame have found the Château?"

"No, Monsieur. They told us up there that the ancient Château de Bon
Espoir was on the other side of the valley to the north."

"Oh! that one? That's only an old ruin. I thought you meant the château
de Monsieur Pigot."

"No. Who is Monsieur Pigot?"

"Monsieur Pigot, 'Sieur Dame, is the proprietor of the grand magasin du
Louvre at Paris. He has a lovely château, up there where you went. They
would have let you in if you had gone up the drive."

"We are sorry we missed it. Good day, Monsieur."

The "lovely château" was a terrible erection of red brick and stone,
defiling the landscape for a mile around.

  [Illustration: End of chapter II; Burgundian Peasant]


FOOTNOTES:

[10] De Bello Gallico, lib. 1, cap. 23: "Bibracte, by far the finest
     and largest town of the Aedui."

[11] I refer all who want full details of the period to M. Camille
     Jullian's book "Histoire de la Gaule," and to Mm. de Fontenay
     and de Charmasse's "Autun et ses Monuments avec un précis
     historique," a very useful book obtainable at the "Libraire
     Dujessieu" at Autun.

[12] The battle took place probably near Montmort, about 5 kilometres
     north of Toulon.

[13] De Bell: Gall: lib. i, cap. 15: "Autun et ses Monuments," p. 12.

[14] "Ille enim revocatus resistere, ac se manu defendere--saepe
     claimitans liberum se liberaque civitatis esse." Cæsar de Bell.
     Gall. lib. v. cap. 7; "Autun et ses Monuments," p. 19.

[15] "Autun et ses Monuments," Précis Historique, p.27.

[16] "Autun et ses Monuments," p. 8.

[17] "Autun et ses Monuments," pp. 8 and 9.

[18] See "Lazarus" in "Judas Iscariot" by Andreev.

[19] "Autun et ses Monuments," pp. 216-232.

[20] "Autun et ses Monuments," "Précis Historique," p. 206-7.

[21] François Perrier, poet of the 16th century, quoted in
     "Autun et ses Monuments," from the Mémoires of the Société Eduenne.

[22] Ibid, p. 71-73.

[23] See the interesting map of the Roman City in "Autun et ses
     Monuments." Roman Autun was sacked again by the Saracens in 731
     A.D.; the havoc on that occasion being even more complete than
     that wrought by Tetricus.

[24] "Dictionnaire Raisonné," Tome 9, p. 68.

[25] "Dictionnaire Raisonné," Tome 9, p. 68.

[26] "Autun et ses Monuments," pp. 216-232.

[27] "Dictionnaire Raisonné," Tome vii., p. 214. Note I.

[28] "Dictionnaire Raisonné," Tome vii., p. 314.

[29] "Autun et ses Monuments," p. 36.

[30] P. G. Hamerton, The Mount, p. 190.

[31] Déchelette, "Guide des Monuments d'Autun," p. 10.

[32] "Dictionnaire Raisonné," Tome vii., p. 314.

[33] "Autun et ses Monuments," p. 46.

[34] "Autun et ses Monuments," pp. cliv., 45 and 414.

[35] Straight ahead as you go up.



  [Illustration: Heading, chapter III; Head of Augustus]


CHAPTER III

THE ROMAN CITY


Leaving the Hotel St. Louis, about which I shall have more to say later
on, and passing along the Rue de l'Arquebus, you emerge upon an open
space, where stands a statue to a Gaulish chieftain with whom we have
already made acquaintance--the Druid, Divitiacus.

It may be heresy on my part, but I must admit that I have very little
sympathy with the French passion for erecting statues of known or
unknown persons, in every public place, quite irrespective of any
ulterior considerations, such as whether such a monument is in any way
expressive of the celebrity's particular talent or genius, or whether
modern garments in carved stone are desirable in a "Place," often
bordered with the most beautiful examples of Gothic or Renaissance
architecture.

Many an open space in the ancient cities of France might have been
spared such an indignity, had the French people cared to remember that,
in the absence of a more worthy memorial--such as a house that can
be lived in--a wall-tablet is sufficient for all practical purposes.
M. Emile Montégut, in his "Souvenirs de Bourgogne," has very justly
satirized the French idiosyncracy; but France in general, and Burgundy
in particular, still bristles with unnecessary statues.

The memorial of Divitiacus, however, is an exception to the general
rules, for the figure is a successful and spirited piece of work,
showing the Druid, bareheaded, pointing down the Roman Road. His helmet
lies at his feet, and he carries a shield on which a battle scene is
engraved. The figure stands upon a historic site; for here, on the west
side of the Voie d'Agrippa, joining gate with gate, stood three of the
most important buildings of the Roman city,--the Temple of Apollo, the
Schools, and the Capitol.

The Aedui had always conceived of Apollo as surrounded by the Muses.
He was their God of poetry, of youth, of joy, of prosperity, and of
beauty; he was the healer and enlightener; to him the woods and streams
were consecrated in the days

    "When holy were the haunted forest boughs,
      Holy the air, the water, and the fire;"

In the third century the Healer was already the most venerated of the
Roman divinities in the hierarchy of Augustodunum, and his temple was
probably the most important of them all, until 270, when it fell, with
many another Roman temple and palace, before the hordes of Tetricus.

The Emperor Constantius Chlorus, however, decided that the temples
should rise again; and it appears, from the records of Eumenes, that,
by the end of the third century, the house of "Apollo Noster" was
restored to more than its former beauty. The house was restored; but
not the cult. Influences more powerful than the decree of Constance
Chlore, or of Constantine, were at work within the Roman city. Every
year, meaner gifts were offered, fewer vows were made before the Temple
of Apollo; every year more citizens--at first in fearful secrecy, later
with open enthusiasm--worshipped the Carpenter of Nazareth.

Excavations have revealed the substructure of the circular building
which is generally accepted as having been the Temple of Apollo. The
character of the remains, shewing that strings of bricks were used in
the construction of the building,[36] point to the reign of Constantius
Chlorus, or of his son Constantine,[37] as the probable date. Readers
familiar with the Roman buildings of Arles, will recognise the same
architectural feature in the Palace of Constantine in that town.

The great schools of Autun, the Ecoles Méniennes, as they were called,
were probably situate between the Temple of Apollo and the Capitol,
just below the site of the present Sous-préfeture. They appear to have
been well known throughout the Roman Empire; for Tacitus[38] mentions
the capital of the Aedui as a place where the children of the Gaulish
nobility were wont to apply themselves eagerly to the study of the
liberal arts, while Eumenes speaks of them as "a sanctuary consecrated
to instruction and eloquence, a very home of literature; for," says he,
"the study of letters is the foundation of all the virtues; they are,
indeed, a school of temperance, of modesty, of vigilance, of patience;
and when all these virtues are implanted as a habit in the heart of
childhood, they penetrate, like a vigorous sap, all the functions of
civil life, and even those which seem to be in opposition to it, I mean
the charges and duties of military life."[39]

Many men, celebrated in their day, must have attended these schools,
which seem to have retained their popularity well into the third
century, though, at the time of their destruction in the catastrophy
of 270 A.D., they may, perhaps, have been living, to a certain
extent, upon their past glories. We do not know much concerning their
architecture; but Eumenes says they were known as a monument of
imposing beauty, and adds this interesting detail--that "the buildings
were surrounded by galleries or porticos, in which the students could
see every day the extent of all the lands and of all the seas, the
towns restored by the good-will of the invincible emperors, the nations
conquered by their valour, and the barbarous countries chained by the
terror of their arms. There were shewn the name and situation of each
country, its extent, its relative distance, the source and outfall of
each river, the windings of the banks, and the circuits of the sea
which washes the continents and the shores of the countries swept by
its impetuous movement. The whole universe was there pictured. There
were to be seen the two rivers of Persia, the parched regions of Lybia,
the joined branches of the Rhine, and the many mouths of the Nile."[40]

The schools had been named after these galleries, on whose walls or
ceilings the young nobles of Gaul could learn all that was known of
the world of their day, that is to say, the whole of the Roman Empire.
Maeniana,--in French, Ménienne,--means a construction projecting from
the front of an edifice, an exterior gallery or balcony, which appears
to have been so common a characteristic of the schools of Augustodunum,
that the term Maeniana came to be applied to them generally.[41]

In 270 A.D. the schools suffered the general fate, and the scholars,
henceforth, had to be accommodated in separate quarters. Eumenes talked
of restoring the porticos, and repainting the map of the world; but,
probably, the work was never carried out, and the schools remained in
their shattered state, even after the adjoining buildings--the Temple
of Apollo and the Capitol--had been restored to something of their
former glory.

The Capitol was probably the building whose foundations, circular
on plan, have been traced to the garden of the Hospice St. Gabriel,
beside the Ecoles Méniennes, and fronting also upon the great central
street leading from gate to gate. Authorities appear to have differed
considerably on this point; but many Corinthian capitals, fragments of
entablatures, statuettes, groups of goddesses, etc., have been found
on this site, suggesting that it was once occupied by a building of
great importance,[42] decorated as one would expect of such a temple,
and dedicated, as the Capitol was, to the principal divinities of the
official hierarchy. Eumenes, moreover, states that the Capitol was
situate beside the schools. M. de Fontenay, however, thinks that,
possibly, the Capitol may have occupied the other circular site, now
attributed to the Temple of Apollo; and, conversely, that the latter
building should be placed below the schools.

       *       *       *       *       *

Not far from this centre of Roman civilization, beyond the shady
plantation of plane trees, the Promenade des Marbres, dotted with
seats of Roman stone, and stretching eastward from the statue of
Divitiacus, you will find, if you follow the Faubourg des Marbres, on
the right side of the downward slope, a board with the legend "Caves
Joyaux." Then, turning up the path to the right, passing a hideous
modern cottage devoted principally to "tir," from the walls of which
the counterfeit presentments of dead citizens look out stonily upon
you from the Roman stele, you will come upon a grassy, semi-circular
terrace, planted with lime trees, whose green banks slope down towards
a smaller semi-circle of sward below.

Beyond it lies a broad expanse of allotment garden, in which peasant
women are bending over their crops. Standing among the leaves, that,
on this bright autumn day, are fluttering upon the grass, and looking
down more closely into the semi-circle, one observes irregularities
in the surface of the horseshoe, lines suggestive of terracing;
strangely shaped, hollow, grassy boulders that seem to have shouldered
their way up from below. Here, at the end of the curve, is a mass of
broken stone; there a black shadow below the revealed head of an arch
projecting from the weed-entangled débris.

The reader will have guessed his whereabouts. This is, or was, the
Roman theatre. Upon those heavy shoulders rested the marble seats;
there were the entrances and exits by which the spectators passed to
and from the staircases and corridors. From the flat semi-circle below
us, the chorus chanted their melodious comments upon the play that was
being enacted on the stage where now the women are at work.

  [Illustration: ·AUTUN·
                 ·MEDIAEVAL TOWERS·]

There are those who will tell you that the Theatre is not worth the
trouble of a visit,--that it has lost all charm. I cannot agree. On the
contrary, ruined though the monument is, hardly one stone of it left
upon another, there is nothing more impressive to be seen in Autun;
for the general contour of the building is so preserved, that, for any
person in the least degree familiar with the forms of these monuments,
no great effort of the imagination is needed to restore the play-house
to some of its ancient glory, and to re-people it with the voices of
the past. Moreover, the spectator, though he cannot see the graceful
columns, that, probably, as at Arles, rose from the back of the stage,
nor the sculptured frieze, nor the marble capitals and statues that
adorned the proscenium, nor the arcaded gallery that crowned the upper
rows of seats, though he may not follow with the eye the distant white
roads of Vesentio and Agrippa; yet still his glance can range over the
same landscape that met the Roman of old, the near fields and meadows,
the distant uplands and gloomy forest lit by the rising sun.

Still more impressive must the theatre be, when moonlight has shed her
revealing mystery over the terraces of this forsaken garden.

Tradition has it, that, until the latter part of the 17th century, a
considerable portion of the Roman theatre was still standing; and M. de
Fontenay gives a very interesting sketch of the ruins in 1610, showing
that soil and débris had not then obliterated the tiers of seats, and
that the fore-part and the arcaded gallery of the semi-circle were
still in existence.[43] This comparatively happy condition of affairs
might have endured until to-day, but for an unfortunate temptation that
overcame Gabriel de Roquette, Bishop of Autun, in 1675, to make use of
the Roman theatre as a quarry for the new seminary he was building. It
was a deed doubly inexcusable, because, at so late a period, after the
publication of Eden Thomas' book, and others dealing with the subject,
he had no longer the commonly-urged excuse that no interest was taken
in the ancient monuments of Autun.[44] It is quite possible, however,
that we are blaming the bishop needlessly. After the fate of Cluny,
who shall say of what a Frenchman is not capable, when the lust of
destruction is upon him?

The theatre of Autun was 147m.80. in diameter, the largest in Gaul,
and the fourth largest of the known buildings of the kind; coming
immediately after that of Bacchus at Athens, and those of Ephesus and
Smyrna.[45] The orchestra was paved in red marble, and the stage lined
with white marble veined with red.

The exterior arcades of the hemi-cycle were formed of large blocks,
the space between ornamented with pateræ. Anfert's, the oldest
description we have, dating from the 17th century, mentions that
the circumference of the theatre is broken by several chambers and
subterranean passages; these chambers are vaulted; they are seven or
eight feet wide, and known as "Caves Jolliot."[46]

This brings us back to the legend "Caves Joyaux," which greeted our
approach to the theatre. Up to the end of the 16th century, the remains
appear to have been known as the "Grotto" (Grottes), an interesting
example of the extraordinary vulgarity of popular nomenclature.
Later, a certain worthy Autunois, whose line of business has not
come down to us with his name, decided that these vaulted chambers
would suit him excellently as a domicile. No doubt his venture proved
successful, for the Grotto soon became known as the "Cellier Jolyot,"
or "Caves Jolyot," a name which, in the form of "Caves Joyaux," still
passes current among the vulgar of Autun.[47] This is by no means the
first time that the substructure of a Roman monument has been dubbed
"cellars" by an indiscriminating public.

For us the Roman theatre was more than a historic relic,--it was our
favourite lunching place in Autun! However severe a shock the admission
may be to some of my readers, I admit boldly, that never, during all
our travels in France, do we, if we can avoid it, lunch either in
restaurant or hotel. To go twice a day, with credit, through the six
courses of a French déjeuner and dinner, is a gastronomic effort of
which we confess ourselves wholly incapable; consequently, before
setting forth on our day's excursion, we may be seen passing into the
épicerie, boulangerie, or other boutique of the village street, whence,
our pockets bulging with sundry small paper parcels, we emerge, amid
the not wholly disinterested curiosity of all the old ladies who have
been eyeing us from door and window during our journey down the street.

The custom of picnic lunches is one that I recommend to all travellers
in Burgundy, including those to whom the saving of a five-pound note,
at the end of a month's holiday, is a matter of no moment whatever.
The Burgundians feed more richly, perhaps, than any other people of
Europe, and their dinners, like the country's monuments--rich rather
than dainty--need a healthy appetite to do them justice. Further,
the secrecy that these picnic methods necessarily involve--for you
cannot proclaim your intention to a maître d'hôtel, whose luncheon
tables groan beneath their burden of good things appointed for you to
eat,--will titillate deliciously the insatiable curiosity of the lady
his wife, who passes hours in wondering where and how you lunched.

  [Illustration: A Burgundian Welcome]

"Monsieur et Dame will not be in to lunch to-day?"

"No, Madame."

"Monsieur et Dame were not in to lunch yesterday."

"No, Madame." A pause, during which our hostess, screwing up her
courage for the plunge, eyed us with a glance, half-timid, half-amused.

"Where did Monsieur et Dame lunch yesterday?" The speaker looked at my
wife; my wife looked at me. I looked innocently at Madame.

"On a wall, Madame." Madame's eyebrows rose slightly. She could make
nothing of it.

"But it was raining all day yesterday, Monsieur!"

"Not on the wall, Madame. The fact is, we never lunch at an hotel--even
when it rains."

"Vous faites bien" was what she said to us. What she said to her
husband, an hour later, I leave to the reader to guess. But we parted
excellent friends.

These picnic lunches, of course, are rather scrappy. Things get blown
away sometimes, or are fastened upon by ants. Il faut souffrir pour
bien vivre.

While I have been writing these notes, my wife has left the bench of
Roman stone that is our table, and is seated on the grass half way down
towards the orchestra, where she is exercising her not inconsiderable
powers of imagination in recreating the traditions of the spot. Also
she is proving, unwittingly, the excellent acoustic properties of the
natural theatre, constructed in the Greek, rather than in the Roman
method; that is to say, by hollowing out of the hill, not building up
upon the plain. The keeper of the buvette told us that a play is to be
given in the theatre next June (1911) and "a little bull-fight."

Going back to the hotel that day, we noticed, among the crisp leaves of
the Promenade des Marbres, many a handful of confetti,--souvenirs of
the great fair or festival of St. Lazare, that, for nearly the whole
of September, disturbs the tranquillity of Autun. Let the traveller,
therefore, see the Roman city before September, or after it.

The stone benches beneath the trees of the Promenade des Marbres,
placed there about 1765, appear to have been taken from another of the
most important Roman monuments of Autun, the Amphitheatre, a building
which, in the middle ages, was known by the same name as its neighbour,
the Theatre, and suffered a similar fate. It was situate to the north
of the Caves Joyaux, close to the wall of the town, in such a position
that the Faubourg des Marbres nearly bisects its site. Not very much
is known concerning it; but its dimensions have been determined by
excavations that prove it to have been the largest of the known
amphitheatres of France, as it is of Burgundy as a whole.

Here are the figures, compared with those of the Arènes of Arles and
Nimes, both of which still exist.[48]

   -----------------------------------------------
  |        |  Large diameter.  |  Small diameter. |
  |        |-------------------+------------------|
  | Autun  |    154 metres     |   130 metres.    |
  | Arles  |    140 metres.28  |   103 metres.20. |
  | Nimes  |    135 metres.27  |   105 metres.87. |
   -----------------------------------------------

M. de Fontenay publishes in his work, a drawing which shows that, in
1610, there remained of the amphitheatre two parallel, vaulted arcades;
but he does not venture on an attempt to reconstruct the building.
It appears that, by the 18th century, all trace of the construction
had vanished, except the oval site, which, being at a lower level
than the surrounding land, is still popularly known as the Crot-Volu
(Creux Volu), the latter name being that of a 14th century family
who occupied part of it.[49] One of the most significant discoveries
made among the ruins was that of the skull of a lion, probably the
victim of a gladiator. It is supposed that the amphitheatre was built
contemporaneously with the theatre, and, in the year of the siege,
suffered the same fate.

A walk round the quiet roads and avenues of this outlying portion of
Autun, and half an hour spent on the grassy slopes of the theatre,
cannot fail to impress the most casual observer with a sense of the
grandeur and extent of the Roman city. Modern Autun is a town of
respectable dimensions; but here, within the Roman Enceinte, the few
dwelling houses stand isolated among their own gardens; and ancient,
immemorial trees cast their shadows over quiet spots once resounding
with the hum and rumour of Roman life.

All those who would visualize Burgundian history will be grateful that,
in spite of the destructive enmity of her foes, and the scarcely less
destructive ignorance and folly of certain of her inhabitants, enough
of Augustodunum is left to enable us to group round her our mental
pictures of this part of Gallo-Roman Burgundy.

  [Illustration: End of chapter III; Masks of Comedy and Tragedy]


FOOTNOTES:

[36] "Autun et ses Monuments," p. 151.

[37] Constantius Chlorus died 306 A.D. Constantine reigned from 306-337.

[38] "Autun et ses Monuments," p. 160.

[39] Ibid, p. 161.

[40] "Autun et ses Monuments," p. 165.

[41] Ibid, p. 167.

[42] Ibid, pp. 152-158.

[43] "Autun et ses Monuments." Facing p. 181.

[44] "Autun et ses Monuments," p. 183.

[45] Ibid, p. 189.

[46] "Autun et ses Monuments," p. 181.

[47] "Autun et ses Monuments," pp. 178-179.

[48] "Autun et ses Monuments," p. 193.

[49] Ibid, p. 196.



  [Illustration: Heading, chapter IV; Roman Vine Ornament]


THE ROMAN CITY

CHAPTER IV


After two or three days among the relics of Pagan civilization, we were
ready to turn our attention to Christian monuments of the town, and
it was with our expectations fully aroused that we left what might be
described as the neutral ground of the Hôtel St. Louis, and climbed the
busy streets that lead within the castrum to the Cathedral of Saint
Lazarus, in which the relics of the saint are enshrined.

Readers unfamiliar with the Provençal legends will ask, not
unnaturally, how the body of Christ's friend came to the city of Autun.
The answer is that, according to tradition, Lazarus, Martha, Mary, and
others, driven from Palestine after the crucifixion of Christ, and
cast adrift in an open boat, were blown, on the wings of a great wind,
westward across the Mediterranean, and eventually, by miraculous aid,
were cast ashore, unhurt, on the coast of Provence. This land they
proceeded to evangelize, Lazarus finding his way to Marseilles, of
which city he became the first bishop.[50]

Nearly a thousand years later, at the end of the 10th century, the
body was translated to Autun, through the efforts of one Gerrard, the
then bishop, and was housed in the basilica of St. Nazaire. So holy a
relic naturally demanded a worthy shrine, and already, during the first
quarter of the 12th century, we find proposals on foot for the erection
of a new church for the housing of the body.

Hamerton, indeed, says that the work was planned in the 11th century;
the original idea being due to Robert I., Duke of Burgundy.[51] This
building, the existing cathedral of St. Lazarus, begun in 1120, was
ready for consecration by Pope Innocent II. when he passed through
Autun, in 1132.

Although the work was not completed at this time, the porch, in
particular, being wanting, the Bishop of Autun resolved to take
advantage of the great gathering of Vézelay, for the preaching of the
second crusade, to announce the translation of the relics. King Louis
VII. attended in person, and the ceremony was performed with great
éclat, on Sunday, October 20th, 1146. Four weeks of continuous rain
had given place to warm sunshine, and enormous crowds of pilgrims
gathered to celebrate the event, among whom were Eudes II., Duke of
Burgundy, and many bishops and nobles. After the all-night ceremonies
which preceded the principal function, two stonemasons, says the old
chronicle, were taken into the church to effect the opening of the
tomb. The stone was raised, the vault exposed, and, to the sound of the
TE DEUM, those present pressed forward to venerate the relics.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, followed with the fervent religious
emotion characteristic of the time, Humbert de Bage wrapped the body
of St. Lazarus, together with the winding-sheet and the deerskin bag
which covered it, in a silken covering, and with new straps bound
the precious bundle upon a wooden bearer destined for the solemn
translation. Meanwhile, outside the church, an immense crowd was
awaiting admission. Soon the pressure became so great that the gates of
the church were forced, and the mob broke in with such violence that
the iron grill barring the sanctuary would have been broken, had it
not been supported by sheer muscular effort on the part of the clerks.
"Eudes, Duke of Burgundy, William, Count of Chalon, and other brave
nobles, each hurriedly putting down his chlamys, and arming himself
with sword or stick, began to cut and thrust, right and left, among the
crowd, to open a passage for the cortège, which, with great pomp, was
transporting the holy relics to the church of St. Lazarus. This church,
too, was so gorged with humanity, that the bearers, breathless with
fatigue and fright, and despairing of ever reaching the altar, set down
their precious burden upon some wooden planks, where it long remained
in the middle of the nave."[52]

During the whole of the following week, the crowd surged round the
holy relics, and miraculous cures followed one another with such
rapidity that the priests engaged in chanting Te Deums, in gratitude
for each healing, were unable to keep pace with the calls made upon
them. While prayer, praise, and cries of "Miracle!" were resounding
through the church, blood was being shed freely outside. A trivial
quarrel between some nobles had strewn the neighbouring streets with
wounded men.[53] Such contrasts were a common feature of the age.

The tomb of Lazarus occupied a position in the apse, behind the great
altar. According to the evidence of an eye-witness, it was a monument
of unusual magnificence, built in the form of a church, constructed
of porphyry, and black and white marble. Its sculpture comprised a
recumbent figure of Lazarus, in his winding-sheet, with Christ's word,
written below it, "Lazare veni foras (Lazarus, come forth)." Among
other figures were those of Christ, Saint Peter, Saint Paul, and,
before the head of Lazarus, two statues in stone representing Martha
and Mary, one of them lifting to her nose a handkerchief, recalling
the "jam foetet" (by this time he stinketh) of the Gospel story. This
priceless monument, interesting to all, doubly interesting to those
who believe that it did, indeed, house the relics of the friend of
Christ, was destroyed during the course of improvements carried out in
the choir of the cathedral during the 18th century; but three of the
figures--those of St. Andrew, Martha and Mary, are still preserved in
the little Musée Lapidaire of Autun, of which collection they are the
gems. A glance at them reveals the fact that, even at this early epoch,
the art of sculpture was well developed in Autun. The rapt expression
of the countenances, the graceful lines of the draperies, the
comparative delicacy of the execution, without sacrifice of strength,
recall something of the Græco-Roman tradition, that probably had never
perished wholly from the Roman city. That these figures, the work of
one Martin, were the result of no mere sporadic outbreak of genius is
proved, I think, by the rapport they bear with the work of Geraldus,
which, when seen in the apse of the Musée, they instantly recall.

But before succumbing to the attractions of that unique porch of the
cathedral of Autun, we could not resist the temptation to get a first
general impression of a building which, we had always been told, was
one of the best to be found, even in this land of beautiful Romanesque
churches. The exterior effect, however, is not entirely satisfactory,
especially if the approach be made by one of the streets leading up
from the middle of the town. The western towers are, indeed, still
Romanesque; but they have been re-handled, not too happily; and
the unity of the whole has been lost by the substitution, for the
Romanesque work, of Gothic side chapels, and pierced parapets of
varying designs, with a profusion of mediæval and classical ornament,
in the spandrels and below the parapets, all utterly at variance with
the simple grandeur of the original building. Moreover the north-east
door, in the tympanum of which was a magnificent piece of sculpture
representing the raising of Lazarus, has been replaced by a heavy
production, of the revolution period, in the latest and ugliest
classical style. The 15th century spire,--a beautiful piece of work,
somewhat after the manner of that of Lichfield Cathedral,--has a rather
squat appearance from this lower side of the church. Its grace and
lightness, and the harmony of its proportions, are better seen from the
higher lane to the south-east; but the finish of the spire, is not, in
my judgment, wholly successful. The crocketing is somewhat overdone,
and the decoration rather fussy in treatment.

The original Romanesque tower, which was probably in some danger of
collapse, was at last destroyed by fire. Cardinal Rolin, brother of
Nicholas Rolin, whom we shall meet later on, rebuilt the new tower in
1480. The state of the foundations necessitated lightness for the new
work, which relies for its security almost wholly upon excellence of
construction. The spire, built without any internal support whatever,
is said to be only seven inches thick at the base, and six towards the
summit.[54] Towards the close of the 13th century, probably, the walls
of the nave, threatening to collapse under the vault, were supported
by flying buttresses surmounted by heavy pinnacles. These additions,
lightened during the 15th century, almost complete the transformation
of the exterior effect from that of a Romanesque to a late Gothic
church.

The greatest glory of Autun Cathedral, is its magnificent two-storied,
barrel vaulted, open porch with aisled bays, forming the western
entrance. In the tympanum of the door is the famous sculpture by
Geraldus, respresenting the Last Judgment. Standing at the foot of the
noble flight of steps leading up to the stately hall, where of old the
lepers, and the horde of unclean, torn between the love of life and
its miseries, must have trembled and hoped before that awful vision of
judgment, we first realised that here is one of the most majestic and
impressive ante-chambers that Burgundy, or France, ever built at the
gates of her houses of God.

This porch owes its existence indirectly to Clunisian influence,
and directly to the cult of Saint Lazarus. Among the thousands of
pilgrims drawn every year, for solace or for healing, to the sacred
tomb, were many ladres, or lepers, whose admission to the interior
of the church would have been a menace to the public health. Under
these circumstances, the Chapter obtained from Hugues III., Duke of
Burgundy, in 1178, permission to construct a porch, on the condition
that it should not be of a military character.[55] This work was duly
carried out; but it must not be supposed that the original was as we
see it now. The first porch did not extend as far as the two side
doors, but comprised a vault supported on two walls, whose position
is now represented by two pairs of columns. The ground adjoining
was levelled up to the porch, and the entrance was through an arch
pierced in the eastern wall.[56] Some years later, as the cult of
St. Lazarus increased, the porch was modified to its present design.
The magnificent flight of steps, built in the 18th century, was the
only improvement that the colossal foolishness of the revolutionary
iconoclasts succeeded in effecting in the cathedral.

The upper storey of the porch, and the niche in the facade above it, is
also interesting, as being entirely characteristic of the architecture
of this part of France, though limited to a very short period, from
about 1130 to 1200.[57] In the 13th century, with the advent of
developed Gothic, these appendages disappear.

The magnificent central doorway, taken as a whole, is the best example
of its kind, both as regards design and sculpture, to be seen in
Burgundy, with the exception of Vézelay, which, politically, belongs
rather to the Nivernais than to the land of the Dukes.


The God in Judgment of the tympanum, one of the most ancient and
complete of the many examples of the subject to be seen in France, is
striking, terrifying almost, in vigour, in that dramatic power which,
even so early, was one of the marked characteristics of Burgundian
sculpture. With hands outstretched He sits between the elect and the
damned. On His left, in the place of torment, the sinners, weighed in
the angel balance, and found wanting, are handed over, for torment, to
the powers of darkness, whose bony claws, reaching down, fasten upon
more victims from a sinful world. The hideous malignity upon the faces
of these tormentors, the twisted, tortured postures of the despairing
victims, all heighten the effect, and contrast strongly with the still
somewhat rigid, though easier, lines of the other picture, where mighty
angels are lifting into a heavenly mansion the spirits of the redeemed.

  [Illustration: ST. LAZARE.]

Not less effective, probably, in execution and symbolism, was the
figure of the door-post upon which rests this early conception of the
world's destiny. Here was Lazarus, who triumphed over death, and beside
him, his sisters, Martha and Mary, symbols of two aspects of personal
service. The original statues were destroyed at the Revolution, but
the lines of their substitutes, among the most successful modern
imitations that I know, have still, in form and drapery, something of
Hellenic delicacy, suggesting that the original sculptor's eye was lit
by the dying radiance of Grecian art, or by the herald beams of an
earlier, unremembered Renaissance. The author of this ancient sculpture
is known. He has written his name above the lintel: "Gisilbertus hoc
fecit."

I need not enumerate all the other subjects of the carvings on
this beautiful porch; the reader will not have any difficulty in
discovering some of them for himself--Jerome and his Lion; Hagar and
Ishmael driven out by Abraham; Balaam and the Ass; the Presentation in
the Temple; and, on the archivolt, the signs of the Zodiac.

It is curious that Voltaire appears to have had some influence, good
and bad--the good was involuntary--over the destiny of this porch of
Autun. While staying at the Château of Montjeu, where he attended
the marriage of the Duc de Richelieu, he condescended to visit the
cathedral, and so ridiculed the barbarism of its architecture, and
especially of its sculptured adornments, that the Canons had the whole
of the great tympanum plastered over, to hide the composition of the
Last Judgment. In doing this, they preserved it from damage during
the Revolution, and it remained so hidden for seventy years.[58]
Eventually, after its existence had been entirely forgotten, an
intelligent inhabitant of the city suspected that there might be
carving beneath the plaster, and made the great discovery.

One glance round the interior of the church is sufficient to show
that, in spite of the loss of unity caused by the addition of a
Flamboyant Gothic Jubé, and Gothic side chapels, we have here the best
of lower Burgundian churches, modelled on Cluny, and comprising all
the characteristics of the classical Romanesque style; although the
pointed arches of the bays of the nave, and of the high vault, not
quite a barrel vault, might lead some people to suppose, wrongly, that
the church is essentially Gothic. The fluted pilasters on the piers, a
feature which we shall see repeated in many a church hereabouts, and
the triforium gallery, imitated obviously from the arcade of the Porte
d'Arroux, with further fluted pillars between pierced arches, and the
cornice above, all show how persistent was the influence of the Roman
tradition. Another feature that strikes one immediately is the stunted
height of the triforium and clerestory, a fact easily accounted for
when we remember that the Burgundians of the 12th century, while they
liked a lofty first storey, had not developed the art of buttressing
sufficiently well to enable them to lift their vaults very high. Even
so the settlement, in an outward direction, above the springing of
the aisle arches, is very noticeable, and, as we have already seen,
necessitated the insertion of flying buttresses to prevent collapse
within two hundred years of their erection.

Yet, despite these drawbacks, an observer, standing in one of the
transepts, and looking across at the other transept, and down the
nave, cannot but be struck by the grandeur of the whole effect;
by the lightened solidity, the well-tempered massiveness which is
characteristic of Burgundian architecture, as it is of Burgundy as a
whole.

I am not one of those who consider that the building art of the 12th
century, here or elsewhere, can ever rival the developed Gothic in
inspiring power, as a setting for, or as a symbol of, the mystical
spirit of Christianity, and I think that this opinion applies
especially to the work of these Burgundian architects, whose adherence
to classic detail must inevitably recall, to cultured minds, the
Hellenic myths with which they are historically associated, and carry
down an architectural tradition of horizontal effect, utterly at
variance with the dominance of vertical line that was to be one of the
main characteristics of 13th century development.

This clashing of two styles, however, has been tempered in Autun
Cathedral by the insertion at the transepts, between the piers, of
round shafts which carry the eye up to the vault, and break the
severity of the square angles of the crossing.

The top of the little spiral staircase in the north transept, is the
best place from which to see the detail of the triforium arcade, the
decoration of the archivolts, and the band of roses above them. Here,
too, is to be had a good view of the domed vault.

The eastern end of the cathedral has no ambulatory, but is in the
form of a circular apse, with eastern chapels. In the 15th and 16th
centuries were carried out the drastic changes that have completely
altered the character of the exterior, and destroyed the unity of the
cathedral. At this time the Romanesque apse underwent considerable
modifications; and, two centuries later, further futile improvements
were made. The western towers were practically rebuilt and domed; the
Last Judgment in the porch was mutilated and covered with plaster,
and--crowning feat of all--the magnificent tomb of Lazarus, by Brother
Martin, which had sheltered for 600 years the relics of Autun's patron
saint, was utterly destroyed. Lastly, these imbecile clergy of the 18th
century, lined the apse, nearly up to the walls of the comparatively
new Gothic windows, with panels of red Sicilian marble, divided by
columns of grey, antique marble, and adorned them with gilded capitals,
fat cherubs, and other utterly incongruous ornaments. It is generally
believed that a portion of this marble was taken from the tomb of
Lazarus, which they used as a quarry, and the remainder from the Roman
ruins.

The capitals of the church,--among the best of their period existing
in France--are typically Burgundian in their animation and vigour,
their richness of detail, and their freedom of treatment, both as
regards figures and foliage. They are at too high an elevation, and
not sufficiently well lighted, to be studied thoroughly from below;
but they are full of interest; and any enthusiast who is well versed
in these matters, can pass a very pleasant hour in making more or less
successful guesses at the subjects illustrated. Here are some of them.
On the south-west side: The body of Saint Vincent guarded by Eagles;
The History of Simon the Magician; The Washing of Feet; The Martyrdom
of Stephen; The Ark on Mount Ararat; The History of Judas. On the
north-east side: The Birth of the Virgin; The Sacrifice of Isaac; Saint
Joakim in the Desert; The Hebrews in the Furnace; Daniel in the Lions'
Den; Christ on the Roof of the Temple; The Resurrection; The Visit of
the Magi to Herod; The Flight into Egypt.[59]

The few monuments to be found in the cathedral are not of great
interest. The best are the kneeling statues which originally formed
part of the Gothic tomb of Pierre Jeannin, the famous Minister of Henry
the Fourth, and of his wife. The tomb, now destroyed, was by Nicolas
Guillain, about the year 1626; but M. de Fontenay thinks that the bust
of Jeannin, much superior to the other, dates, more probably, from
the end of the 16th century. Those who wish to know more than I can
tell them of the subjects of this monument, are referred to Montégut's
charming book, "Souvenirs de Bourgogne," which is well worth reading,
for the aptness of its observation, its many interesting historical and
local references, its delicate wit, and its literary style.

The many Gothic chapels thrown out from the aisle in the 15th and 16th
centuries, and the flamboyant jubé, are not of particular interest,
and, moreover, destroy the unity of the interior. I will, therefore,
pass them by; but, before leaving the church, I must call attention
to what some people consider to be one of its chief treasures,--the
martyrdom of Saint Symphorien, by Ingres--a painting ranked by some
connoisseurs as the masterpiece of the 19th century. It was specially
ordered for the cathedral in 1824, but was not delivered until some
thirty years later.

One cannot pretend to any enthusiasm for the result of those thirty
years of labour. The picture leaves me absolutely cold, as it does
nine out of every ten who see it. The figures are vigorous, and the
colouring is, perhaps, more pleasing than is the case with some
of Ingres' paintings--probably because the canvas is dirty and
ill-lighted--but the picture is overcrowded, and the general effect
theatrical. On the whole I am not disposed to quarrel with the critics
who regretted that ever Ingres forsook the pencil for the brush.

Here, in a few words, is the story of Saint Symphorien which the
reader will find in full in the "Précis Historique" of "Autun et ses
monuments." It appears that, in the middle of the twelfth century,
the gods chiefly favoured by the Autunois, were, Berecynthia--or
Cybele--Apollo, and Diana. One day, when the image of Berecynthia,
accompanied by an enormous crowd, was being wheeled on a cart through
the streets of the city, Symphorien, having refused to do homage to
her, was arrested and brought before the Roman magistrate, Heraclicus,
to whom he boldly confessed his Christian faith. The magistrate,
unwilling to deal harshly with a patrician youth, read to him the
ante-Christian edict of Marcus Aurelius, which decrees the capital
punishment of obstinate heretics, and endeavoured, in vain, to bring
Symphorien to reason. Finally, he gave orders for the prisoner to be
beaten by the lictors, and brought before him again, after passing
three days in prison. Some of the dialogue that took place at the
second interview is worth recording as the _acta sincera_ of Symphorien
probably give it to us in a nearly verbatim form, and support, in
a very interesting way, the other evidence we can produce to show
that the worship of the Romans, as of the Greeks, whose religion
they honoured, was, to our way of thinking, somewhat indecently
commercial--the purchase, for value received, of the divinity's favour.
Thus the magistrate: "How much wiser you would be, Symphorien, by
sacrificing to the immortal gods, to obtain promotion in the army, and
rewards from the public treasury. If to-day you do not bend the knee
before the image of the goddess mother, if you do not practice the
cult due to Apollo and Diana, you will be put to death, and nothing
can prevent it. If you consent, I will have the altar of the gods made
ready; prepare, then, to let the smoke of the incense rise in their
honour, and to render to the divinity the rights which are his due."

Symphorien replied:

  [Illustration: FONTAINE ST LAZARE--AUTUN
                 _Facing page 50_]

"The judge in whom is vested the public authority should not accompany
his sentence with vain and useless words. If it be perilous not to make
every day further progress in the way of perfection, how much more so
to wander from the straight path and to risk foundering upon the reefs
of sin?"

Again the magistrate spoke:

"Sacrifice to the gods, that you may enjoy the honour granted by the
prince to those who serve him." Symphorien replied in the same strain.

"A judge degrades his authority when he thus publicly puts a price upon
the observance of the law. He does irreparable wrong to his soul, and
shames his good name for ever."

Finally, the official, irritated, cut short Symphorien's discourse,
with the following sentence:--"That Symphorien, guilty of public crime,
in having committed sacrilege by refusing to sacrifice to the gods, and
seeking to profane our holy altars, should be struck by the avenging
sword, that the dread effects of his crime may be cancelled, and the
law, human and divine, satisfied."

In Ingres' picture, Symphorien is on his way to execution outside the
town walls, while, from the rampart, his mother is addressing to him
her last words of farewell and encouragement. He was decapitated by
the executioner, and his body buried at night near a fountain "extra
publicum campum," probably one of the vast burial places on the road to
Langres and Besançon.[60]

Here we leave the cathedral of Autun, comforting ourselves with
the assurance that, though we pass no more beneath its magnificent
porch, we shall meet sister churches, not less beautiful, in other
ancient towns of Burgundy. Meanwhile, before descending the steep old
street that leads downwards, by the Hotel Rolin, to the centre of
modern Autun, wander awhile through the narrow ways of the cathedral
precincts, where still, as of old, the priests, living relics of a
shadowy past, muttering into their breviaries, pace up and down before
many a curious Gothic building.

In the sixteenth century--1543, to be precise--the chapter of the
cathedral commissioned an architect unknown, who may possibly have been
Jean Goujon, to erect a fountain which was placed, at first, near the
corner of the Place St. Louis and the Place des Terraces.

In 1784, it was decided that the fountain obstructed the road; and it
was accordingly removed to its present site, where it remains, after
many moving accidents and adventures, and in spite of alterations, a
gem of the Renaissance.[61] No description can convey an idea of the
harmonious and decorative effect of this little fountain, unmatched
for felicity in all France. The design is in two superposed pierced
lanterns, the lower one surrounded by a cupola, and containing a basin
below. The Ionic columns, the pilasters, the vases surmounting the
entablature, and the pelican crowning the whole, are all perfectly
proportioned and harmonized; and enough is left of the original
sculpture to show how exquisite in every detail was the execution of
the original work.

  [Illustration: ·AUTUN ·TOUR DES URSULINES·]

Just below the fountain, in the Rue des Bancs, is the Hotel Rolin, the
most interesting of the many museums with which Autun is favoured.
Personally, I must confess to a very lukewarm enthusiasm for the
majority of provincial museums; and I am inclined to wish that Autun
had collected its relics in one good building, instead of having them
in various quarters of the town; but the Hotel Rolin is well worth
a visit for its own sake. It is the annexe of the ancient palace of
the Rolins, the _magna domum Johannis Rolini_, which faced the church
of Notre Dame on the site of the Place St. Louis; and was built by
Guillaume de Beauchamp, son of Nicholas Rolin, the famous chancellor
of Burgundy, to accommodate the numerous members of the suite of that
august personage.

The courtyard and the glimpse it gives of the Hotel, when you have
emerged from the darkness of the gate, is quite characteristic of its
period, though, if nature should have imparted to you the least degree
of timidity, where animals are concerned, you will probably leave that
courtyard without regret, owing to the attentions of the concierge's
very strenuous dog, who will make frantic and disconcerting endeavours
to break out upon you through a frail, ground-floor window, which alone
stands between you and a violent death. But all travellers must be
prepared to face danger, and Cerberus at the gate will enhance your
appreciation of the home of the Eduen Society.

The building contains some stele from the Roman burial grounds, and
numerous interesting relics, collected, for the most part, by M.
Bulliot, from the Oppidum Bibracte. It has also some good recumbent
mediæval statues, Guillaume de Brasey, 1302, Jehan de Brasey, 1305, and
the Sire de Rousillon, of the end of the thirteenth century. There is
a relic of Charles le Téméraire, from Granson, and good portraits of
Nicholas Rolin and his brother.

Just below the Hotel Rolin are the remains of the old tower of the
Porte des Bancs, of the fifth century, part of the rampart surrounding
the Castrum, or upper city of Autun.[62]

The museum which ranks next in interest to the Hotel Rolin, is the
Musée Lapidaire in the Rue St. Nicholas, in the Marchaux, the lower
part of the town. It is housed in a nice little Romanesque chapel of
the twelfth century, once attached to the Hôpital St. Nicholas et St.
Eloi de Marchaux. I found the bell at the entrance broken, and had to
apply for admission at the concierge's cottage, No. 10, on the right.
Knowing what I do of French provincial museums, I have little doubt
that the reader will find the bell in the same condition. But let
him not be deterred. The building, a charming and typical example of
Burgundian Romanesque, on a small scale, is worth seeing. Its walls
still show the remains of some faded frescoes, probably, thinks M.
Fontenay, of late twelfth century, representing Christ in glory.

The chapel is filled with odds and ends of different periods; of the
most important of which, the statues of Martha and Mary, from the
cathedral, we have already spoken. In addition to these, there is, in
the apse, a good Renaissance vierge from Autun, treated in a manner
that contrasts very thoroughly with the saints on the wall behind her.
The Renaissance remains from the chapel of Denis Poillot, ambassador
of Francis I. in England, are of the highest order of merit, and make
one regret much that the building has not survived. On the floor is
a fine Roman mosaic, now covered with a cloth, and, close to it, a
well-executed Roman sarcophagus, from Arles, representing the chase of
the wild-boar of Calydon. The realistic sculpture is typical of much
that is still to be seen in the most interesting Musée Lapidaire of
that provincial town.

Beside the chapel is a pleasant little garden, surrounded by an open
shed which houses numberless relics of Roman and early Christian Autun,
chiefly stele, tombstones, fragments of mosaic, etc. Historically the
most interesting are the débris of the grey marble sarcophagus that
once contained the body of Queen Brunehault, one of the most energetic
and clear-sighted personalities of Merovingian times. In the name
of her grandson, Thierry, she governed Burgundy for fifteen years
(598-613), establishing her court at Autun, and, although more than
sixty years of age, showed a "sagacity in council and administrative
ability" which is noted by Gregory of Tours. Finally, some of the
Burgundian chiefs, who hated her, delivered her over to her enemy, King
Clotaire II. He caused her to be paraded for three days on a camel's
back, in sight of all the army, and then had her tied by her hair, and
by one foot and arm, to the tail of a wild horse, which was then driven
far away. Her remains, buried in the Abbey of St. Martin, at Autun, not
far from the chapel of St. Nicholas, were discovered there in 1632, in
a leaden coffin, which contained, also, among other objects, a spur,
said to be that which was used upon the horse to which the Queen was
bound.

There are worse places to wander in, and to dream in, than these open
galleries, where the silent ones stand, side by side, upon their
funeral stones, and the chickens scratch among Roman capitals. The
gardienne's children are at play on the path, and, in the centre of
the green cloister garth, the ripening pears tremble upon the swaying
branches. The old caretaker--blessed among caretakers--leaves you
alone, until you summon her. She is ready for a chat, but can impart no
information whatever concerning the monuments in her charge.

"Good-bye, Madame; and when I come again, in the spring, I shall expect
to find the bell mended." "Parfaitement, Monsieur; Ha! ha! ha!" and her
gossip friend, across the road, joins in the chorus, "Ha! ha! ha! Ha!
ha! ha!" But the bell will not be mended--and they know it.

The Musée municipal in the Hotel de Ville--the last musée which I shall
inflict upon the reader--is as dreary as a haunted house, and much
less interesting. You wander through gallery after gallery of second
and third rate paintings, to be rewarded, at last, in the end room, by
two little bronze crupellaires, or fighting gladiators of the first
century, so called because, according to Tacitus, they were completely
hidden beneath an iron armour, so thick as to make the wearer as
immune against blows as he was incapable of dealing them.[63] The most
interesting thing in the museum is the famous Greek inscription which
has excited the interest of antiquarians and theologians all over the
world. The stone is a piece of white marble, broken into fragments
which are pieced together again, and on which is a Greek acrostic, and
something supposed to stand for a Sigma. The inscription, believed to
be of the third or fourth century, is as follows. The translation I
give is from the French, as quoted by Hamerton in "The Mount."

"O divine race of heavenly Ιχθυς, receive with a heart full of respect
life immortal among the mortals. Renew thy soul's youth, O my friend!
in the divine waters, by the eternal waves of wisdom that flow from the
true riches. Receive the delicious food of the Saviour of saints. Take,
eat and drink, thou holdest Ιχθυς in thy hands. Ιχθυς grant me this
grace, ardently I desire it, Master and Saviour; may my mother rest in
peace, I conjure thee, light of the dead. Aschandeus, my father, thou
whom I cherish, with my tender mother and all my relations in the peace
of Ιχθυς. remember thy Pectorius."[64]

The Hotel de Ville in which the Musée Municipal is housed, fronts upon
the Champ de Mars, formerly the Champ St. Ladre (campus sancti Lazari)
the centre of the life of the town. It was built over in Roman times,
as proved by the substructures that have been found, but the land was
cleared about the twelfth century. Throughout all the middle ages its
convenient position between the Castrum and the Marchaux rendered it
a kind of forum, or general public meeting place, and the site of the
great fêtes and fairs. During the visit of Charles VIII. to Autun,
in 1516, the inhabitants constructed in St. Ladre an immense wooden
amphitheatre, with a linen velarium as a protection, quite in the old
Roman manner. Here, too, from time immemorial, has been held, and is
still held, in September, the great fête de St. Ladre, and cattle
fair that draws so many traders to Autun, and destroys for a month
the peace of the cathedral city.[65] The wars of religion and the
great revolution have brought their quota of victims to the stake, the
gallows, or the guillotine, that in turn were set up in the centre of
the place. At the north-east corner, opposite the Hotel de Ville, are
the best cafés of the town, where, I remember, we learned the latest
news of the Portuguese Revolution.

Just round the corner, in the Rue de l'Arbalète, is the best Hotel
of Autun, "St. Louis et de la Poste," a great rambling building of
the early seventeenth century, that, in itself, is a lasting souvenir
of great historical events. On the 10th of January, 1802, Napoleon
Buonaparte passed through Autun on the way to Lyons. He stayed one
night, with the Empress Josephine, at the Hotel St. Louis, where he
received the local authorities. Several ladies of the town, eager for a
sight of the great man, obtained the hotelier's permission to officiate
as waitresses, for that night only. Josephine discovered the ruse at
once, and was so amused thereby that she proceeded to play her part in
the game with the utmost grace and charm.

The hundred days saw Napoleon again at the Hotel St. Louis. He had
left Elba on the 26th February, 1815, and arrived at Autun on the 15th
of March. According to the account of an eye witness[66] the troops
accompanying him were utterly exhausted, and could keep no sort of
order; their ranks were broken, and soldiers of all arms were marching
pell-mell. Napoleon was surprised and deeply hurt by his reception at
Autun. No crowds came out to meet him, and scarcely a cry of "Vive
l'Empereur" was heard. The houses were shut, the streets deserted, and
only a small company of nobodies, in blouses and sabots, formed his
cortège.... No sooner had he descended at the Hotel de la Poste, than
he asked for the mayor and the municipal council. They were brought
into a balconied room looking on the street.

The Emperor, attended by Marshal Bertrand, General Brayer, and five or
six other military men, appeared to be in a state of great agitation.
He was pacing up and down, holding in his hand the proclamation of the
night before, stepping at every moment on to the balcony, and leaving
it with angry looks. When all had entered he stood in the middle of the
apartment, and asked which was the mayor of Autun.

"I am," said M. Piquot.

"I know what you are," the Emperor replied, "a man always ready to pay
court to nobles; one who would sacrifice his dignity for a dinner. You
are mayor no longer; only a fanatic and a madman could have drawn up
such an act as this. You dare to treat me as an usurper!"

"Sire," said M. de la Chaise, president of the civil tribunal, "by your
abdication you have freed us from our oaths, and we have sworn fealty
to Louis XVIII."

"I have abdicated, you say. I did it only to assure the happiness of
the French. France is not happy. She recalls me, and you would oppose
her.... Madman! you would have civil war, then!"

"But, enfin, sire, you have abdicated."

"Be silent!" cried Napoleon, angrily, "you are only a wretched
attorney."

We need not follow any further a quarrel which led nowhere. Amid the
same cold silence that had marked his arrival, Napoleon left early the
next morning, to face the last triumphs and the crushing disaster of
those fateful hundred days.[67]

Another visitor to the Hotel St. Louis was George Sand, who came in the
midst of all the bustle and excitement of the fair of St. Ladre, on the
2nd September, 1836, and was served, with two children and a nurse,
under a fruit tree in the garden into which the guests had overflowed.
She must have overheard, at the large table, words which offended her,
for, says St. Fonteney, she left her repast and the hotel in haste,
and, two months afterwards, took a full revenge in the columns of the
"Revue des deux Mondes," in which she referred darkly to the occasion
as an "obscenity" and an "orgie of patricians." One would hardly have
thought George Sand so squeamish.

We, too, being only passers by, must leave Autun in haste. The autumn
sun was setting, and the ruby mists of evening were creeping up the
purple slopes of the Morvan, as the train steamed out of the station.
Our compartment was quite unlit, and gradually, as night fell, darkness
enwrapped us so completely that we could not so much as see a hand held
before the face. When we drew up at Epinac, a bent old woman, standing
huddled up on the platform, peered into the compartment, in a futile
endeavour to see what it might contain. She called the guard. They
both looked in. "Fait ben noir" (very dark), she muttered. He shrugged
his shoulders. The old woman wandered off vacantly. Third class fare
on a monopoly railway does not entitle you to light; and she knew it.
Along the darkened train ran a legend that they were buying oil and
wick in the town. We waited, waited, long enough for them to have
bought up the whole town and the one beyond it. But no light came,
until, southward, I saw a faint, silvery glimmer. Then I knew what we
were waiting for. There is no charge for moonlight--not even on that
railway. But it was still dark as pitch. With a jerk the train began to
move out; a large parcel, the property of a young French girl in front
of me, fell down upon the head of her small and sleepy nephew, Madelon,
who howled plaintively. The soldier in the corner, compelled by the
presence of ladies to refrain, for an hour past, from indulging in his
ruling passion, could contain himself no longer. He spat voluminously,
vociferously, like a hen clucking. Almost as loudly Madelon sucked
at a lozenge bestowed for the soothing of the bruised head. As the
moon rose, the darkness paled. I could just see Madelon regarding
complacently the lozenge that he had removed from his mouth.

"Madelon, Madelon, how many times have I told you not to take things
from your mouth when you are eating? Once in, they must stay in. Veux
tu m'obéir." The rich sucking noise ceased, to be followed by the light
breathing of a child asleep. We stopped at another station. Not content
with the moon, people put their heads out of the windows, and clamoured
for light. They chaffed the station-master; they ragged the guard. Like
rabbits the men ran up and down over the roofs of the carriages. Five
porters gathered in a little woe-begone group, and looked on vacantly.
But no light came. A tin trumpet blew, and the train started. An hour
later we were climbing the hills of the Côte d'Or and dropping down
into the eastern plain. That is how we left Autun.


FOOTNOTES:

[50] "Impressions of Provence," pp. 118-121.

[51] P. G. Hamerton. "The Mount," p. 115.

[52] "Autun et ses Monuments."

[53] "Autun et ses Monuments," pp. 143-147. For full description of
     the tomb of Lazarus, see p. 148.

[54] P. G. Hamerton. "The Mount," p. 167.

[55] "Autun et ses Monuments," p. 153.

[56] Dictionnaire Raisonné, V. le Duc, tom: vii., p. 275.

[57] Dictionnaire Raisonné, V. le Duc, tom: vii., p. 278.

[58] P. G. Hamerton. "The Mount," p. 171.

[59] "Autun et ses Monuments," pp. 422-438.

[60] "Autun et ses Monuments," pp. 52-54.

[61] In 1863 it was removed for some years to the Musée Lapidaire.

[62] The Rue des Bancs was so called from the butchers' benches which
     once lined it. "Autun et ses Monuments," p. 379.

[63] "Crupellarios vacant, inferendis sitibus inhabilis, accipiendis
     impenetrabilis."--Taciti Aun: lib. iii., c. 43, quoted "Autun et
     ses Monuments," p. 38

[64] Hamerton. "The Mount," p. 184.

[65] "Autun et ses Monuments," p. 332.

[66] Dr. Guyton. "Mes Souvenirs de Soixante Ans pour servir à
     l'Histoire d'Autun," quoted in "Autun et ses Monuments," p. 354.

[67] "Autun et ses Monuments," pp. 354-357.



  [Illustration: Heading, chapter V; Cluny Abbey and Gateway, as they
  were]


CHAPTER V

THE MOTHER ABBEY


The loitering train, that, climbing, winds among the vine-clad slopes
of the Mâconnais, gave us our first glimpse of the vendangeurs
gathering the last of a scanty crop. Those blue shirts, moving
through the bronze-clad bushes, were our first intimation that the
Saône-et-Loire had escaped the utter ruin that the winds and rains of
a wintry summer had wrought among the vines of the Côte d'Or. But this
incident did not impress us as it might have done at another time or in
another place. Our thoughts were not with the wine-harvest; they were
ahead, busy with the memories the name of Cluny evokes.

To one who cares for what was best in the middle ages, no place in
France, no place in Europe, unless, perhaps, it be Citeaux, can
exercise an equal charm. But, as we shall see, though Citeaux rivalled,
and ultimately eclipsed Cluny in power, and, through the influence
of St. Bernard, outshone her, not in material splendour, but by the
dazzling whiteness of her purity, the historic interest of the site of
the Cistercian house, there, by the deserted woods and wind-ruffled
pools of the eastern plain, could not survive, in the minds of many,
the destruction of the ancient monastery. Cluny, the Mother Abbey of
Europe, the school of popes, holds first place, by right of birth, by
right of what she was, and is. For Cluny still stands. The little town
nestling upon the lower slopes of the valley, through which the Grosne
winds between her poplars, is not merely built upon the site of the
Abbey. It is the Abbey.

From the moment, when, on the way from the station, you see the ancient
towers raising, one by one, their hoary heads above the roofs, as
they have raised her past from oblivion, till, having climbed the
cobble-stoned street that winds upwards through the town, you look down
through the ruined gateway that once gave passage to kings and abbots,
from every street corner, from every church, and dwelling-house, Cluny
calls to you out of the past.

We did not hear her at first; and we were disappointed. The Grande
Rue, by which you enter the town from the east, is so narrow, that
it affords no glimpse of what lies on either hand; and it was with
unexpected suddenness, that, turning to the right, after a few minutes
of wandering, we stood before the Hotel de Bourgogne, and looked up
from the little, white building, at the great, grey, octagonal tower
and the wall of masonry, that, we knew, must be the last survival of
the Abbey Church itself. At that moment we were standing on the site of
the nave; but we did not know it. It takes time to orient oneself.

       *       *       *       *       *

Following upon the Gallo-Roman and early Christian periods, centred in
the Autunois, the story of the rise of Cluny from humble beginnings to
her apothegm of spiritual and temporal power marks the second notable
period of Burgundian history. From this source, also, was to flow the
main stream of progress, religious and artistic, that culminated in
the mediæval triumphs of thirteenth-century European civilization. At
the time of the rise of Cluny, Burgundy, under the capetian dukes, was
already established as a vassal province of France, but the inwardness
of Burgundian history--of French history, indeed, in the 11th and 12th
centuries--will be understood only by those who realize that, until the
advent of the semi-royal dukes of the house of Valois, in 1364, the
controlling forces of the duchy are to be sought, not in Dijon, nor in
Auxerre, but here, in this the mother abbey of Western Europe.[68]

In the year 909, the veteran Duke William of Aquitaine, haunted by
the shades of the many warriors who had fallen in the service of his
ambition, or troubled by the whispers of conscience, or moved, perhaps,
by that not wholly disinterested piety which sometimes awakens with
the approach of death, decided to follow the course then usual in
such cases, and to found a monastery. For this purpose, he took into
his confidence his friend, Bernon, Abbot of Gigny, who, accompanied
by Hugues, Abbot of St. Martin at Autun, paid a visit to the Duke in
his villa of Cluny, and was bidden to search out a place meet for
the service of God. But the monk, gifted with a keen eye for all the
amenities of a monastic site, could find none more fitting than this
"in a spot withdrawn from all human society, so full of solitude, of
repose and of peace, that it seemed in some sort a picture (image) of
the heavenly solitude."[69] The Duke, however, stung by a last pang of
regret for the loss of his lovely valley, had objections to raise. The
spot was not suitable; for, all day long, the shouts of huntsmen and
the baying of hounds broke the silence of the neighbouring forest.

"Drive the dogs away," said Bernon, with a laugh, "and replace them
with monks; for you well know which shall stand you best before God,
the bay of the hounds, or the monks' prayers."

"Surely, Father," replied the Duke, "your advice is sound, and since
you give it unfeignedly, be it done, with Christ's aid, as thy goodness
bids me do."

In the year 909, the 11th year of Charles the Simple, the old Duke,
lest, at his last hour, he should deserve the reproach of having
thought only of the care of his body, and of the augmentation of
his earthly possessions, wrote in his will, as follows:--"I declare
that, for the love of God and of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, I give
and bequeath to the holy apostles, Peter and Paul, all that I possess
at Cluny ... without excepting anything dependent upon my domain of
Cluny (Villa), farms, oratories, slaves of both sexes, vines, meadows,
fields, water, water-courses, mills, rights of way, lands, cultivated
or uncultivated, without any reserve."[70]

  [Illustration: ·NEAR CLUNY]

He gives this, he goes on to say, for the good of soul and body of
himself, his wife, his relatives, and dependents, "on condition that a
monastery shall be built at Cluny, in honour of the apostles, Peter and
Paul, and that there shall gather monks, living according to the rule
of St. Benedict[71] to hold and administer for ever the things given,
so that this house may become the true house of prayer, that it may be
filled for ever with faithful vows and pious supplications, that here
shall be desired and besought, with ardent wish and earnest longing,
the wonders of communion with Heaven, that prayers and supplications be
addressed without ceasing to God, both for me and for those persons of
whom I have already made mention."

Further:--"By God, in God and all His Saints, and under the fearful
menace of the last judgment, I beg, I beseech, that no secular prince,
nor count, nor bishop, nor the Pontiff himself of the Roman Church, do
invade the possessions of God's servants, nor sell nor diminish, nor
give in benefice to whomsoever it may be, anything to them belonging,
nor allow any head to be set over them against their will. And that
this prohibition may be more strongly binding upon the wicked and the
headstrong, I insist and I add, and I conjure you, Oh! Holy Apostles,
Peter and Paul, and Thou, Pontiff of the Pontiffs of the apostolic
seat, to cut off from communion with the Holy Church and from life
eternal, by the canonical authority thou has received of God, all
robbers, invaders, or sellers of that which I give, of my full
satisfaction and of my evident will."

Sometimes, reading the old Duke's powerful anathema, that tells us
more of the spirit of the time in which he lived than could any long
narration of facts, I wonder, as I think of the after history of Cluny,
whether that awful curse may not have alighted, or may not alight
hereafter, upon the souls of those who have violated the conditions of
its grant, or in blind fury have laid impious hands upon the hallowed
stones of its church.

Here, then, in the solitary valley of the Grosne, on the slope of a
hill forming one of a range which marks the northern extremity of the
Cevennes, was planted the tree whose branches were to over-shadow
Europe. The site was well chosen for the birthplace of such a destiny.

Occupying a middle position between Gothic and Latin influences, Cluny
could here best fulfil her mission, which, indeed, has been and is
still, in some sort, the mission of Burgundy, that of reconciling the
conflicting, and often bitterly antagonistic, elements of north and
south. Situated within a few kilometres of the Roman Road of Agrippa,
which, passing Clermain and St. Cécile, connected Lyons and Boulogne,
by way of Mâcon and Autun, the Abbey was also connected with Italy by
that magnificent waterway, the Saône and the Rhône. Travellers could
come by land or by river to Cluny.

In the early years of the monastery, few came. Faith had weakened
throughout all the land, and in many houses the monks of Gaul had
departed from the strict rule of St. Benedict. It was the mission of
Odon, the first of the long line of great and saintly abbotts, to be
a reformer of that rule, and, by the example of his holy life, to
augment the numbers, and increase the prosperity of the Abbey. From his
earliest years, while yet he was in the monastery of Balme, says his
chronicler, Jean de Salerne, his merits, becoming known throughout all
the district, were finding expression in the gracious legends of the
time. One of the best known was the miracle of the crumbs.

  [Illustration: TOUR FABRI]

An article of the rule bade the monks gather carefully the crumbs of
bread from the table, and eat them before the end of the meal. When the
signal to rise had been given, it was forbidden to lift any more food
to the mouth. Odon, intent, one day, upon the lesson that was being
read aloud in the refectory, forgot the crumbs. Not daring either to
eat them, or to leave them on the table, he kept them in his hand,
while he and his companions left the refectory and went into the church
where grace was sung. At the conclusion of the ceremony, Odon threw
himself at the feet of the father, and asked forgiveness; but, when he
opened his hand to show him the crumbs, behold, to the astonishment of
the brothers, each crumb was a precious pearl! By the order of Bernon,
the stones were fastened to one of the ornaments of the church.[72]

Under such heavenly guidance, even the very beasts of the forest
ministered to the growing community. When Odon had completed the early
church, which Jean de Salerne modestly speaks of as an oratory and
chapel, replaced, a century later, by a larger one, the bishop came
to consecrate the building. Forgetting the poverty of the monks, he
brought with him such a lordly retinue of attendants and servants,
that the abbot was sorely troubled as to how his guests were to be
worthily received, and suitably fed. On the day of the ceremony, when
the grey dawn had driven westward the shadows of the night, a great
wild boar emerged from the neighbouring forest, and ran, at full
speed, to the monastery. The guardian of the church, who was busy
adorning the exterior porch, struck with terror at the sight, retreated
hastily, shut the door behind him, and drew the bolts. But the fierce
animal, fierce no longer, began to lick the door--leaving upon it
marks of white foam--and to tap gently with its hoof, as though to beg
admittance. But all who saw the beast, fled, until, weary with much
knocking, it lay down across the threshold. When the bishop and his
suite arrived, a cry of terror rose from the company. They aroused
the neighbours, who came, armed with sticks. But the boar, instead of
shewing fight, offered himself voluntarily to death, and his flesh,
prepared with all the art of the monastic cooks, satisfied the refined
tastes of the prelates.

Every day Cluny grew in grace, in wisdom, in numbers, in riches, in
influence, in power civil and spiritual. One after one, she founded
new monasteries, and reformed those already in existence, until, under
Odilon, in the beginning of the 11th century, a cluster of priories had
been built upon lands ceded to the abbey, and Cluny was attaining an
importance greater than any other order had acquired until that day. In
the plains, upon the summits of the hills, by the banks of river and
stream, in the depths of the forests, in the solitude of the valley,
even in remote and silent places, were springing up little communities
of monks, whose clocher, was, for the peasants, a symbol of charity, of
refuge, of God come down among men;[73] and every year, nobles, not a
few, gave lands in the neighbouring comtés to the Abbey of Cluny.

The great fervour with which the monastic revival was received, had
been due, in part, to the awful miseries of France during the 10th
century, and in part to an almost universal belief that the year
1000 A.D. would herald the second coming of Christ, and the end of
the world; but, by the time that year had passed without the advent
of any of the expected phenomena, the more clear-sighted, perceiving
the immense possibilities which the religious revival shadowed forth,
for the welfare of a people crushed beneath the harsh feudal laws of
the time, saw therein an additional inducement to encourage monastic
effort. Gratitude for preservation had also its effect. All omens were
propitious for the rise of Cluny to great glory.

In the year 1024, a lady of noble Burgundian family, knowing that the
hour was come in which she should give birth to a child, and following
the custom of the time, summoned a priest, who, by the sacrifice of the
mass, should assure her a happy delivery. At the moment when, while
consecrating the host, he was wrapt in fervent prayer, there appeared
to him, shaping itself upon the golden bottom of the cup, a child's
face radiant with a heavenly light. At the conclusion of the ceremony,
he hastened to tell the mother what he had seen, and, finding the child
already born, predicted that, God granting him life, the boy was chosen
out for a great destiny, and would surely be found worthy, one day,
to minister the cup in which his birth had been thus signalized. To
the great joy of the mother, that hope was gloriously fulfilled; for
the son born under such happy omens was Hugues, the greatest of the
great abbots of Cluny, he, under whom the abbey, and, indeed, the whole
church of Rome, was to establish an authority never before dreamed of
in Christendom.

Braving the anger of his father, Delmace, an ambitious and violent
Seigneur, who would fain have seen his son don the knight's armour
rather than the monk's cowl, Hugues, already ardently set upon a life
of piety, obtained admission to the monastery of St. Marcel de Chalon,
which he soon left, in order to place himself under the protection of
Odilon, the then abbott of Cluny. This new father of the young Hugues
was one of the best beloved of the abbotts of that monastery. Lacking
the austerity of his predecessor, Odon--the great reformer whose
energies had given new life to the Benedictine order--Saint Odilon,
this "dernier et le plus méprisable des frères de Cluny," as he styled
himself, though short and thin in person, was, at the same time, robust
and virile; a humble, grave, sympathetic, fatherly man, whose pale face
could flush with anger, and his gentle voice become terrible in rebuke
of wrong-doing; one whom the sins and sorrows of the living and the
dead[74] touched to the heart, as attested by the many healings with
which legend has credited his name.

Such was the man, already abbot for more than forty years, under whose
worthy protection young Hugues placed himself. The new-comer, elected
abbot on the death of Odilon in 1048, soon showed himself to be of yet
sterner stuff even than his predecessor. Humble as regards his personal
pretensions, kind and charitable to the poor and needy, he had,
nevertheless, an eye which could read in their faces the souls of men;
and he was fired with a holy ambition for the glory of the church.

  [Illustration: Clunisian Ornament]

In bringing about the realization of these dreams, he found a worthy
ally in that Napoleon of the Church, Hildebrand (Gregory VII.), one of
the four monks, who, from a cell at Cluny, passed to the throne of St.
Peter.[75] We need not here deal at length with that long struggle--the
most significant event of the eleventh century--between the civil
and religious rules of Christendom, in which Gregory succeeded in
enforcing, if only for a time, the most tremendous and all-embracing
claims that the church has ever advanced; but I shall be excused for
recalling again that extraordinary scene enacted, in 1076, on the
castled summit of the craggy Apennine hills, the rock of Alba Canossa,
where the representative of temporal power, Henry IV., King of the
Germans, attired in a penitent's garb of coarse wool, waited barefoot,
through three bitter winter's days, in the courtyard of the castle,
upon the pleasure of God's vice-regent on earth. Hugh, then Abbot of
Cluny, was present at that scene; and it was largely owing to his
mediation, backed by the influence of the Countess Matilda, that Henry
was at last admitted to the royal presence.[76]

Remembering how brief was Gregory's pontificate--a span of ten
years--and his bitter last words at Palermo: "I have loved justice
and hated iniquity, therefore I die in exile," it may appear to
some readers that the triumph of this little, ill-shaped homuncio
was short-lived; but we have to remember that, as Bishop Mathew has
pointed out, his influence upon succeeding generations was greater than
upon his own, and that without Gregory VII. there would have been no
Innocent III. to become, in effect, "the king of kings, lord of lords,
the only ruler of princes" in all Christendom.

In many sublime and dramatic scenes, then being enacted throughout
Europe, Hugues was called upon to play the part of peacemaker, but in
none was his task more difficult than in that struggle between Gregory
and Henry, to whom he was equally bound by ties of close friendship.
That he remained on good, even on intimate terms, with both men,
is strong testimony to his integrity of character. More than once,
in later years, he allayed the storms that Gregory was raising; he
defended Henry IV. against the ingratitude of his son; and it is to
Hugues that we find the dethroned and fugitive emperor turning for
consolation and advice concerning that revolt.[77]

In such hands, at such a time, the glories of Cluny were safe. Nor
was the papacy unmindful of all it owed to the great abbey. Here is
Gregory's own eulogy of Cluny, delivered before the Council of Rome, in
1077. "Among all those situate beyond the hills, shines in the first
rank that of Cluny under the protection of the holy seat. Under its
holy abbots, it has reached so high a degree of honour and of religion,
that, by the fervour with which God is there served, it surpasses
undeniably all other monasteries, not excepting even the most ancient;
so that none other in this part of the Christian world may be compared
with it. To this day, all her abbots have been raised to the honour
of sainthood. Not one among them, not one of their monks, obedient
sons of the Romish Church, has fallen away nor bowed the knee to
Baal; but, faithful always to the dignity and liberty granted to them
by the Church from the foundation of the monastery, they have nobly
upheld its authority, and will submit to no other power than that of
St. Peter."[78] The privileges of Cluny became the ideal type for all
others, and Gregory always regarded a comparison with the Burgundian
abbey as a peculiar sign of favour, as in the case of St. Victor of
Marseilles, whose monks he wished to console for the loss of a beloved
abbot.

Not unnaturally, an institution so growing in grace, power, and
riches, was growing also in numbers. The new monks must be housed; God
must be honoured in, and by, a nobler Church. Nor was the Deity long in
making known His will.

One night, a monk of Cluny, sick and paralytic, was asleep in bed, when
he saw appear before him the Apostles, Peter and Paul, and Stephen, the
first Martyr. The monk asked them who they were, and what their will
might be. Then St. Peter spoke:--

"I am St. Peter, and these are St. Paul and St. Stephen. Rise, without
delay, brother, and bear our orders to Hugues, Abbot of this Church.
It pains us to see so many brothers gathered into so small a space,
and our wish is that the Abbot should build a greater. And let him not
consider the cost; we shall know how to provide all things necessary
for the work."

"I dare not take it upon me to bear your orders," replied the monk.
"For no heed would be given to my words."

"You have been chosen before all others," said St. Peter, "to transmit
our commands to Hugues, so that your miraculous healing may gain
credence for your message. If you obey faithfully, seven years shall be
added to your life, and if Hugues defers the execution of our will, the
sickness, upon leaving you, shall pass into his body."

So speaking, St. Peter proceeded to measure out with cords the length,
breadth, and height of the new building; then, showing the monk its
proportions, the style, the necessary ornament, and the nature of
the materials to be used, he counselled him to keep all these things
faithfully in his memory.

The monk, for whose funeral the bell-ringers were already awaiting the
summons, awakened with a start, ran, safe and sound, to the Abbot's
room, and told him the whole story. This midnight appearance of a man,
dying an hour ago, and now healed by a marvellous vision, greatly
astonished the good Abbot. Threatened with his brother's sickness,
if he postponed the commencement of the building, and encouraged,
moreover, by the heavenly aid promised to the enterprise, he believed,
obeyed, and, with God's help, raised, in twenty years, a temple that
was the glory of its age, and remained, for centuries, one of the
marvels of Western Europe.[79]

Tradition adds, that Hugues, not knowing exactly where to build the
Church, threw a hammer into the air, and chose the spot where it
fell for the site of his sanctuary. In after years, before the abbey
buildings were mutilated, the inhabitants would still show, near one
of them, an enormous stone that all the workmen and all their machines
were unable to lift. St. Hugues only, during the night, by Divine help,
could raise the huge mass, and place it in position; and ever after the
stone retained the imprint of the Holy Founder's hand.

Often the workmen, as they built the walls of the Church, would notice,
watching them unweariedly, working silently in their midst, but sharing
never in their repasts, a mysterious and wonderful figure. Some said
that he was an angel presiding over the erection of the House of God;
some said that he was none other than St. Hugues himself.

It was in 1095 that Pascal II., crossing Provence by way of Tarascon
and Avignon, arrived at Cluny, in the month of November, accompanied
by a large suite of cardinals, bishops, and priests. Everywhere he was
received with transports of joy; for no living man had yet seen the
Vicar of Christ in this part of the land of Burgundy. At the request
of Hugues, he had come to consecrate the great altar of the unfinished
basilica. This he did, and also superintended the consecration, by
attendant archbishops, of the other altars in the transept. In the
midst of these ceremonies, turning to the crowd of on-lookers who
had surrounded the building on all sides, Pascal reminded them of
the special privileges with which the monastery had been endowed, of
his own connection with it as monk under the same Abbot, who still,
by God's mercy, was alive and well in their midst; then, in the name
of God, and by the holy memories he had awakened, he implored all to
uphold and respect the sanctity of the new abbey-church.

  [Illustration: LE BON DIEU
                 CLUNY]

It was not until 1131 that the great basilica, completed at last, was
consecrated by Innocent II., amid scenes similar to those that had
attended the visit of Urban II.

Whether the building was inspired of God, or was merely a successful
exercise of a fast-developing art, the new Cluny was not unworthy of
the great order for which it stood. Not only was it, with the exception
of St. Peter's at Rome, the largest Church in existence,[80] but it
remained also one of the most perfect examples of the Romanesque
architecture, and became the accepted model for many a later Burgundian
church and cathedral. The architect, according to Pignot, was a former
canon of Liège, named Etzebon; artist, orator, theologian, and author
of the life of St. Hugues. He appears to have had no difficulty in
acquiring the first necessity of his work, namely, funds. Kings,
nobles, and bishops vied with one another in their eagerness to make
offerings to the new Church; the neighbouring princes made handsome
donations, the pious of all classes brought gifts, offered voluntary
labour, or the loan of beasts of burden. The two lordliest givers were
Alonzo VI., King of Castille, and Henry I. of England, the former of
whom was deeply indebted to Hugues, whose influence with his kinsman,
Eudes, Duke of Burgundy, had often smoothed Alonzo's path. The Abbot,
in recognition "of the incessant benefits of this faithful friend,"
founded, on his behalf, almsgivings and special prayers throughout the
order, and every day served, at the chief table, as though the King
were present, a royal dinner, which was afterwards distributed among
the poor.

Meanwhile, as the gifts poured in, the building grew. From the great
double gates,[81] Roman in style, and imitated, probably, from the
Porte d'Arroux, at Autun, the land sloped downwards to the parvis,
from the midst of which rose a great stone cross. Thence flights of
balustraded steps, broken, at intervals, by terraced platforms, led
down to the porch, flanked on each side by square towers, the Tour
de la Justice, and Tour des Archives, each a hundred and forty feet
high, and crowned with a pyramidal flêche. This porch, ornamented with
statues of the saints and the Virgin, was surmounted, in the space
between the towers, by a great rose, thirty feet in diameter, with the
figure of a Benedictine monk above.

  [Illustration: THE ABBEY OF CLUNY AS IT WAS AT THE BEGINNING OF THE
                 XIX^{TH} CENTURY·]

It opened into a magnificent church of five bays, one hundred and ten
feet long, and one hundred and eighteen feet high, the narthex of the
great basilica.[82] It was divided into a nave and two aisles, the
whole supported by enormous square pillars, their sides decorated with
fluted pilasters, which also helped to carry the pointed arches of the
bays. From the capitals of the pilasters, clusters of four shafts rose
to the level of a frieze, just above the tops of the arches, from which
other columns carried the high vault. A cornice supported on consoles
separated the clerestory from the triforium arcade of four round-headed
arches, enclosed in pairs under a larger arch. Cornices, friezes, and
capitals were decorated with flowers, birds, figures, and grotesque
animals in the Clunisian style. Many a pilgrim visitor, standing in
this great church, nearly as large as the Church of Notre Dame de
Dijon, believed himself to be in the basilica itself, never dreaming
that this was but the porch or ante-nave.

Many theories have been advanced as to the purpose of this narthex,
which became a usual feature of Clunisian construction, from about
the middle of the twelfth century. Some have suggested that it was
for overflow congregations from the new church, or that it served
for the servants of the Abbey, for the suites of noble visitors, for
the peasants from the neighbouring towns, or for criminals seeking
refuge, as they were wont to do, in the shadow of the porch. Others
have supposed, perhaps rightly, that it was used for the reconciliation
of the excommunicated, for rites of exorcism, or for the dispensation
of justice; but the most probable solution is that the narthex was
a temple, in which, at Easter and other seasons of the year, the
crowds of penitents and pilgrims--too numerous to be admitted into the
basilica, or to be left outside--might hear the Word of God at the very
threshold of, but not within, the building reserved for the monks. The
narthex was, in effect, a purgatory, a sojourning place between earth
and Heaven; the natural development of a custom which had arisen, for
the priest, by order of the bishop, to say mass as near as possible to
the gates of church, for the benefit of the penitents in the porch.

There existed, until the 18th century, on the left of the door of the
narthex, a stone table, which, perhaps, was formerly an altar, though
made use of, at that time, only by mothers and nurses, who believed
that they could hush their crying charges by depositing them thereon.

At the end of the vestibule was the original gate of the basilica,
of which the impost was the stone that St. Hugues had miraculously
raised. Twenty-three figures were carved upon it in relief, and in the
tympanum above was seated the Heavenly Father, as Teacher, His right
Hand raised in benediction, His left holding the Gospel. Beside Him the
four Evangelists listened to His words, and cloud-borne angels held the
medallions upon which were shown the Throne and Person of Christ.

The interior of the great basilica must have been of the most majestic
and impressive character, with its two transepts[83] and double row
of aisles on each side of the nave. The great pillars supporting the
central vault were seven and a half feet in diameter, with pilasters
on the side of the nave, and engaged columns on the other three sides,
meeting the aisle vaults. At the transept, the columns, together
with the pillars they surmounted, rising in unbroken lines, formed
the ribs of the vaulting. Above each bay was a triforium of two rows
of superposed, romanesque, round-headed, arcaded arches, in threes,
the lower row separated by pilasters, and the upper by colonnettes.
The arches of the bays and the transepts were pointed; a feature,
which, though quite usual in Burgundian work of the period, was more
or less accidental, and was necessitated, or rendered advisable, by
practical considerations, rather than by a deliberate departure from
an architectural style that was still of the purest Romanesque. The
capitals everywhere were ornamented with characteristic sculpture, of
extraordinary freedom and boldness, representing scriptural, and many
other subjects.

At the bottom of the nave, close to the entry of the choir, was placed,
in after years, the tomb of Pope Gélase, and two altars, which, with a
gate at the entrance, screened the monks from the eyes of the laymen.
Here, too, against the pillars of the nave, were four large, painted,
wooden statues, representing St. Hugues, holding the model of the
church in his right hand, St. Mayeul, St. Odon, and St. Odilon.

The choir occupied the space between the two transepts; the sanctuary
was carried on eight columns, three of which were of African marble,
and three of Pentelic Greek marble, veined with blue, which St. Hugues
brought from Italy by way of the Durance and the Rhône. The transept
had many lateral chapels, and the east end, which was in semi-circular
form, had five apsidal chapels, vaulted in half dome. A processional
ambulatory circled the sanctuary and the tomb of St. Hugues, in front
of which stood the great altar. Here, too, at opposite ends of the
ambulatory, were placed the tombs of the Abbot Pons, and of Pierre le
Vénérable. The vault of the apse was adorned with a fine painting,
of the end of the eleventh, or beginning of the twelfth century,
representing the Eternal Father borne upon clouds, one hand raised, and
the other placed upon the Apocalypse sealed with seven seals. At his
feet was the Lamb without Blemish, and about Him were winged figures of
man, the lion, the eagle, and the ox.

But, in spite of the realism of the sculpture and the painting,
in spite of the gorgeous tapestries, the golden candelabra, the
pearl-encrusted ornaments of every kind, which the noblest men and
women of the time, and of later times, showered upon Cluny, it is in
the sense of spacious dignity and majesty, rather than in the sense
of ostentation and magnificence, that we must interpret the words of
Hildebrand de Mans, when he said that, "If it were possible for the
inhabitants of the heavenly mansions to be happy in an abode fashioned
by the hand of man, Cluny would be the angels' walk (ambulatorium
angelorum)."

Nor was the church less noble without than within. From the circular
chapels lying about her transepts and her apse, along the collateral
and the double row of flying buttresses,[84] rising higher than the
narthex, the eye was lifted, stage after stage, high above her lofty
nave, to the mighty towers that rose to the sky, in witness, for ever,
one would have said, of Him whose Dwelling was not made with hands.

The conventual buildings were on the south side of the basilica. From
the principal south transept, a processional, and a smaller, door,
opened upon the great romanesque cloister, of which a fragment here and
there remains, built into the modern work. It was similar in style to
the other buildings of the period. Further south were the Lady Chapel
and the great refectory. Abutting on the great wall of the Abbey, by
the side of the Grosne, was a mill and a thirteenth century bake-house,
which still exist. Among the many other buildings, chapels, baths,
schools for the young, pharmacy, workshops, dormitories, and stables,
which are the necessary equipment of a great monastery, was a large
infirmary, with its own cloister and refectory--a small establishment
within the larger one. On the east side, extending to the fortified
wall that enclosed the whole monastery, were the gardens of the abbey.

Such, in its essential aspects, was the "ambulatorium angelorum."
How did its occupants live? What was the rule observed within those
walls? The rule, as kept in those early days, was stern and exacting.
The first of the regulations was silence, except at stated intervals.
In the church, in the dormitory, in the refectory, in the kitchen,
absolute silence, broken only by the summoning bell or by the chanting
of prayers. Like ghosts, the sandalled monks glided about the echoing
corridors; deaf mutes speaking by signs. The times for speech were
the mornings, after chapter, and evenings after sexte. A parlour was
reserved for the talkers, where, seated, book in hand, they might
converse on spiritual and other topics. Yet they were recommended
rather to remain in the cloister, and there meditate, read, pray, or
copy manuscripts. This was the hour, too, for drying their clothes in
the sun, for visiting the sick in the infirmary, for washing their
cups, or for sharpening their knives on the grindstone in the cloister.
Their daily food was limited to bread, vegetables, and fruits--meat
was given only to the sick--eggs, cheese, and fish were allowed only
occasionally, and nothing whatever might be eaten after complines.
At certain seasons, the use of fat for flavouring vegetables was
forbidden. If wine were permitted, on days of great solemnity, and
during exhausting fasts, it must be free from spirituous seasoning, and
from the spice that flatters the palates of the worldly. Still less was
it permitted to drink hypocras, or oriental or Italian liqueurs--the
"little wine" of the apostle was to suffice them. Only two repasts a
day were allowed, except to the young, or to those engaged in specially
hard work.

The monks might shave one another once in three weeks, chanting psalms
the while, and not until the days of decadence were they shaved by a
secular barber. "In bygone times," says the chronicler, "they were not
shaved, they were skinned."[85] They might not bathe often, lest the
habit should engender softness, and they did not usually indulge in
full ablution more than twice a year--before Christmas and Easter. Sick
monks, however, might bathe as often as they pleased.

The clothing allowed to the brothers consisted of a woollen shirt of
dark colour--one for the day, another for the night. Their garments
were rustic in form and substance; such as were worn by the peasants.
Over the tunic was a scapular, with a hood or capuchon attached, and
over all the frock was sometimes worn. Precious stuffs, silks, and
gay colours were forbidden; for it was unfitting, said the statutes,
that monks should be apparelled like brides for the nuptial chamber.
The strict rule of St. Benedict allowed no furs; but a concession was
made to the rigour of the Burgundian climate, and the monks might wear
sheep-skin or goat-skin cloaks in winter, and fur boots for sleeping
in, but no rich and costly skins from foreign lands--"For those who are
softly clothed dwell in kings' Palaces." No monk might eat or drink at
other than the regular hours; he might not go out at night, nor leave
the monastery without the abbot's permission. When on a journey, he
should receive only monastic hospitality, and, in any event, must never
accept wine or meat; nor might he eat outside the gates, unless it were
impossible for him to return home before sunset.

The vice of property was resisted to the utmost. Each monk received
from the Superior, in addition to his clothing, all necessary articles,
such as a handkerchief, a knife, a needle, a writing pencil and tablet.
Nothing was the monk's own; no brother possessed money; testaments were
forbidden; and those who violated the precepts were excommunicated, and
refused ecclesiastical burial.

Above all, the Clunisian monk must earn his bread with his hands. The
earth, whence his body came, and whither it should return, must support
him. This held good for long; but in later times, the monasteries
increased in size, manual labour naturally became specialized, and some
did little more than mend their clothes, wash their linen, clean and
grease their boots, and take their turn in the kitchen.

  [Illustration: ·CLOCHER DE L'EAU BENITE
                 ·CLUNY·]

"To speak truth," remarks Udalric, "the work which I saw done most
often was to free the beans of the leaves which retarded their growth,
to pluck the ill weeds from the garden, and sometimes to knead the
bread in the bake-house." Manual work, however, remained always part of
the strict rule. "Then will you be monks," said St. Benedict, "when you
live by the work of your hands, after the example of the holy preachers
of the monastic law." Bitter must it have been to Pierre le Vénérable,
the last of the great abbots, to have to write as he did of the growing
decadence:--"Idleness is the enemy of the soul: and do we not see the
greater part of the brothers ... both within and without the cloister,
in a state of absolute inactivity. How few are they who read, still
fewer they who write! Do not the greater number sleep, leaning against
the walls, or do they not waste their day from dawn to sunset in vain
and idle, or in what is yet worse, malicious conversation." But, in
the earlier years of Cluny, the rule was not easily broken, nor broken
with impunity. A continuous surveillance, day and night, was exercised
so regularly, by monks called "circateurs," that scarcely the least
fault could be committed unseen, and punishment, inflicted in grave
cases by the abbot himself, followed hard upon the offence. Sometimes
the delinquent was condemned to solitary confinement, or to stand,
all day long, at the door of the church; sometimes he was flogged, in
full chapter, by his brother monks, or, if the fault had been publicly
committed, the whipping was administered before all the people. It
was customary, also, to expose certain delinquents before the door of
the basilica, at the hour of mass, while one of the servants of the
abbey announced the cause of his penance to the worshippers as they
entered. The sinner was denied all participation in the solemnities and
in Christian communion; he was denied the kiss also. If he revolted
against his punishment, the outraged monks would drag him voluntarily
to a fearful dungeon, without door or window, into which he must
descend by a ladder.

And over all their day of toil, of silence, of fasting, and of prayer,
hung a shadow, dark as those that fell from the vaulted nave, or
lingered at sunset in the cool cloister galleries--the shadow of
ever-present death. When a brother died, each monk, with his own hand,
must sew stitches in the winding-sheet, whose clinging folds should
recall vividly to his spirit that all flesh is as grass, and that the
way of life is the way of death.

The monks' day was divided between work, prayer, and psalmody; the
latter sub-divided into the office and the mass, thus fulfilling
literally the words of the psalmist;[86] "Seven times in the day have
I celebrated Thy praises, and I rose in the middle of the night to
confess Thy Name."

The intervals for rest or sleep were short, and, during a part of the
year, the monks slept less than half the night. Udalric, the author of
the widely-circulated manual of the customs of Cluny, gives a vivid
picture of the discipline observed by the brothers during the "regular
hours," as they were called. At the first sound of the bell announcing
nocturnes, they sat up in bed, put on the frock without throwing
off the blankets, finished dressing without showing their legs, and
descended to the church. As it might well chance that one of them
would be overcome by sleep during the psalmody or prayer, a brother
was appointed to go the round of the choir, carrying a wooden lantern,
which he would hold under the eyes of any monk whom he believed to be
asleep. If he had made a mistake, and found that his brother was merely
wrapped in meditation, he would bow low before him by way of excusing
himself; if, on the contrary, the delinquent was really asleep, the
light would be held awhile, close to his eyes. This warning would be
repeated three times during the round, and if, at the third time, the
light did not awaken the sleeper, the lantern would be left at his
feet; and upon the somnolent monk, when he awoke, fell the duty of
doing the next round.

At the signal for matins, the monks would descend to the cloister, and
there wash their hands and faces, and comb themselves, returning to
the choir before the last stroke of the bell. There, whether they were
sitting or standing, the feet must be in line, and neither the long
sleeves, nor the skirt of the frock, must touch the ground.

With the addition of regular hours for reading and study, such, in
short, was the life led by the Clunisian monk, from the day of his
entry, until the tolling of bells, and the coming of the brothers with
cross, candles, and incense, announced that one more devotee had gone
to receive--let us hope--the reward of a life of self-sacrifice.

One might be pardoned for supposing that an existence such as this we
have outlined, would have been austere enough to satisfy even the most
rigorous ascetics of the time. But it was not so. To old Pierre Damien,
for example, when he rested awhile at Cluny, to nurse in good company
his aged back, scarred by the strokes of iron rods, the rule seemed
almost voluptuous. He spoke about it to Abbot Hugh.

"If you could abstain for two days more in the week from using fat in
your victuals, you, who are so perfect in other points, would, in the
matter of mortification, be in no way behind the anchorites."

  [Illustration: RUINS OF THE ABBEY GATEWAY·-CLUNY·]

The wary Abbot replied with a smile:--

"Before attempting, well-beloved father, to augment our merits by
augmenting our abstinence, try yourself to bear, for eight days, the
burden of our rule; and then judge whether we can add aught to our
austerities."

The brave old ascetic accepted the challenge, and at the end of eight
days decided that things might well remain as they were.[87] The rule
of Cluny was more severe than his own.

Under the government of St. Hugues, grown old and gray, Cluny had
reached the summit of worldly power, and of moral influence; with him,
her best days passed. On the 29th April, 1109, the priests, loudly
lamenting, were gathered round the body of their dead saint. Clothed
in his sacerdotal robes, he lay, for three days, in the church, and a
great crowd of lords and ladies, of bourgeois, woodsmen, labourers from
field and vineyard, women and children, came to kiss his feet, and lift
his raiment to their lips. On the day before, Bernard de Varennes heard
Saint Denis the Areopagite announce to him, in a vision, that, if he
wished to see again, for the last time, his friend and abbot, Hugues of
Cluny, he must haste to the dying man. Bernard obeyed the summons, but,
on his arrival, fell sick and remained three days in a lethargy. When
he came to himself, he said to the monks around him, "Unhappy man that
I am. I had come to salute my abbot, and he is dead before the grace is
granted me. But what I might not see with the eyes of the body, I saw
with the eyes of the spirit. I saw the dwellers in Heaven descend among
men, and the Mother of God, brighter than the morning star, standing in
the midst of the monks around the death-bed of Seigneur Hugues. At the
moment of the passing of his soul, spirits, armed with arrows, flew to
seize upon it, but the Mother of Mercy, raising her hand, struck them
with terror, and put them to flight, as the wind scatters the autumn
leaves. Martin, the pearl of priests, Benedict the sun of abbots,
at the head of the heavenly cohorts, bore the soul of Hugues into a
fair and fertile vineyard, that there it might rest awhile. Hugues,
perceiving me in this place, addressed me thus: 'Eat, dear friend,
these bunches of white grapes, eat and rest with me awhile; not for
long am I here. When my feet are freed from the swelling and the dust
of a long earthly pilgrimage, I shall pass into the home that God hath
prepared for me throughout eternity. Recommend to Pons, my successor,
to treasure humility and innocence, to forget his own needs for those
of others, and to follow my example of monastic rule.'"

Pons did not follow Hugues' example of monastic rule. When his vanity,
weakness, and love of pomp had alienated a portion of his following, he
resigned his abbacy and retired. His successor, Hugues II. held office
only a few months, when the task of presiding over the destinies of
Cluny passed to Pierre le Vénérable, the last of the great abbots, a
name that already links us in memory with him whose destiny it was,
by a return to simplicity, as a source of strength, to rival, and,
for a time, to exceed the power of Cluny. I speak of St. Bernard, the
champion of the Cistercian order. We shall meet him again at Citeaux
and elsewhere.

It is probable that St. Hugues himself, by acquiring such great wealth
for the abbey, prepared its ultimate downfall. Be that as it may,
though the rhyming Burgundian proverb,

    "En tous pays ou le vent vente
    L'Abbaye le Cluny a rente,"

may not have been coined until a later century, it is certain that
Cluny was fast acquiring wealth, and succumbing to a luxury utterly
alien to the Spirit of Him Whose benediction was upon the poor and the
humble. It was natural that the order, following the fashion of the
age, should wish to house worthily the many priceless relics brought
back by pious, though too credulous, crusaders from the Holy Land, and
the members of the Clunisian school of art soon learned to vie with one
another in fashioning châsses for the miraculous rod with which Moses
brought forth water in the desert, or for the stone from Mount Sinai
on which he kneeled when he received from God the table of the law, or
for the alabaster vase from which Mary Magdalen anointed the Saviour's
Feet.[88]

As the treasures grew in number, the skill of the artificers, and their
passion for exercising it increased simultaneously, until, at last, the
story of the treasures of Cluny, in the monastic inventories, is like
a tale from the "Thousand and one Nights," told in gold and jewels.
When there were no more relics to work for, the monks turned to what
was next to hand, and soon, from the crosses, from the pastoral baton,
from the candelabra of gold and silver, of crystal and ivory, from the
draped altars, from the pontifical mitres, even, diamonds and rubies
flashed, opals sparkled with their changing rays, while, sometimes, a
softly-shining pearl dropped from the Abbot's sandal, as he stepped
into the blaze of light in which the great altar was bathed.

Not less gorgeous were the sacerdotal robes, woven always of the most
precious stuffs, and in the choicest colours, and worked, on body and
sleeves, with an infinite number of designs, lions and griffons, kings
and dragons, angels, eagles, leopards and serpents, crosses, arms,
lilies, and roses. All the rich and varied symbolism of the times shone
out from the robes of Cluny. Nor were the altars, statues, and tombs
less gorgeous. The magnificent châsse of St. Hugues was of precious
wood, entirely covered with silver, the reliefs representing, in gold,
the mysteries of the Life and Death of the Saviour. The pictures and
altar pieces were similarly treated. One of the statues of Mary was of
gold; she held in her hand a silver candle adorned with great pearls;
she was crowned with a golden crown; precious stones flashed upon her
brow. The Infant Christ was playing with a golden rattle, and wore,
upon His Baby head, a golden crown enriched with rubies and emeralds.

To such a Cluny there could only be one end. Her days, as a spiritual
force, were spent. Henceforth, to the religious world, she was to be
no more than a splendid memory; yet the soul of goodness that ever
lives and moves in things seemingly evil, had reserved wonderful uses
for the work that deft hands, otherwise idle, were still fashioning in
the cloisters of Cluny. Her lions, her lilies, her crosses in wrought
gold, her symbols in chased silver and in precious stones, had already
awakened the spirit of emulation in a thousand brooding minds. Who
shall tell the debt that Gothic art owes, that we, its inheritors,
shall ever owe to the decadence of the mother abbey.

When we come to talk of Bernard and Citeaux, we shall hear again of
Clunisian luxury; but we have not time, nor would it repay us, to
follow, through all its stages, the decline and fall of this Mother
Church of Europe, from its glorious position as "the light of the
world," to a mere asylum for feudalism--interesting to the student of
sociology, but no longer in touch with the great onward movements of
history. The last three centuries of the Abbey's existence make sad
reading. The envy and jealousy with which the monks were regarded on
all sides, made it hard for them successfully to cultivate and harvest
their enormous territories. Their rights and privileges, grown old and
almost forgotten, could scarcely be asserted and maintained, except by
threats and violence. The Revolution found the Benedictines in conflict
with the town, over pasturage and other rights in the woods of the
monastery; and, on July 29th, 1789, the abbey was threatened by a band
of armed peasants, who were repulsed only by the united efforts of
monks and townsmen.

On the 21st April, 1799, after considerable discussion, in which it
appears that the inhabitants of Cluny did their best, or at least
made an effort, to save the abbey, the buildings were sold to Citizen
Batonard, a merchant of Mâcon, for the sum of two million, fourteen
thousand francs.

In spite of the lively protests of the municipality, the new-comer at
once proceeded to play havoc with the church ornaments, a feat which
he followed up by making a new road, north and south, through the
precincts, cutting the church in two. Later, the Empire completed what
the Revolution had begun. In the summer of 1811, Cluny was shaken by a
series of terrific explosions. They were blasting, with 75 bombs, the
towers and sanctuary of the Abbey.[89]

  [Illustration: Decoration; end of chapter V; A Jewelled Crucifix]


FOOTNOTES:

[68] _Note._--For the condition of France in the 10th century and the
     causes that contributed to the Christian revival, see Chapter xi.

[69] Loraine's "Cluny," p. 19.

[70] "Histoire de l'Ordre de Cluny," Pignot; "Essai Historique sur
     Cluny," Loraine. Duckett's "Cluny."

[71] For the principles of the Benedictine rule, see Chapter on Citeaux,
     pp. 119, 120.

[72] Pignot's "Histoire de l'Ordre de Cluny," Tome i., pp. 97-8.

[73] Pignot. Tome i., p. 413.

[74] Odilon founded the "Fête des Trépassés."

[75] The three others were Urban II., Pascal II., and Urban V.

[76] "Life and Times of Hildebrand," p. 128, by Right Rev. A. H. Mathew,
     D.D. Bishop Mathew describes Hildebrand's connection with Cluny as
     a myth, probably originating in his visit to this monastery
     during the pontificate of Leo X.; but Creighton, Milman, and other
     historians have accepted Cluny's claims to Hildebrand. Whatever
     the truth may be, certainly Hughes and Hildebrand were friends,
     united by a common aim.

[77] P. Lorain. "Essai Historique sur l'Abbaye de Cluny," vol. II.,
     pp. 99-100.

[78] Bull: Clun, p. 21. Quoted in Pignot's "Histoire de l'Ordre de
     Cluny," Vol. ii., pp. 99-100.

[79] P. Lorain. "Essai Historique sur Cluny," pp. 72-73.

[80] Its total length was 555 feet, about the same as that of Winchester
     Cathedral; that of St. Peter is about 560 feet.

[81] These gates still exist.

[82] This narthex did not form part of Hugues' Church. It was not added
     until the time of Robert I., twentieth abbot of Cluny, in 1220--but
     it is more convenient to deal with it here.

[83] Cluny is the only church in France with two transepts. English
     examples, which are rare, include Salisbury and York. The purpose
     of the second transept was probably to add to the architectural
     beauty of the church, by opening up more vistas, and to provide
     additional space for altars. See Bond's "Gothic Architecture in
     England."

[84] Flying buttresses were added in the thirteenth century to prevent
     the collapse of the nave walls.

[85] Lorain, p. 237-8. "Non rasura, sed potius excoratio." In view of
     this statement, the accompanying psalm-singing is rendered the
     more meritorious.

[86] Psalm cxviii., v.

[87] Pignot, Vol. II., pp. 62-67.

[88] The relics of Cluny included also, among many others, a veil,
     hair and clothing of the Virgin; the palm which Christ carried on
     His triumphal entry into Jerusalem; the vessel in which Jesus
     changed water into wine at the marriage of Cana in Galilee;
     portions of the true cross and the crown of thorns; two rings of
     the iron chain which held St. Peter when the angel came to deliver
     him from prison, etc., etc. See Lorain, p. 330.

[89] See "Cluny, la Ville et l'Abbaye," by A. Penjon, pp. 159-166.



  [Illustration: Heading, chapter VI; Early Clunisian Ornament]


CHAPTER VI

THE MOTHER ABBEY


It is time to turn from Cluny of the past to Cluny of the present. We
have not far to go; for the town is still the abbey, and will be so
yet, I hope, for many a year to come.

Early on the first morning of our stay, we left the little Hotel de
Bourgogne, which stands on the site of the nave, in the very shadow of
the last remaining gaunt tower of Cluny. The entrance to the alley is
through the façade of the ancient "Palace of the Pope Gélase," as it
is called, a fine, fourteenth-century building, restored--rebuilt one
might say--in 1783, and fronting on the old courtyard of the monastery,
now known as the Place de la Grenelle, or the Place du Marché, on the
opposite side of which is a building that was once the monastic stable.
The upper story of the façade has fine Gothic windows, forming almost
an arcade. The trefoiled tracery is satisfactory, and exquisitely
carved faces look down upon you from the corbels of the drip-stones. It
was to Cluny, during the abbacy of Pons, that Gélase II., ill-treated
and threatened by the partisans of Henry V., fled for rest and refuge;
and here, a few days afterwards, lying upon ashes, clothed in the robe
of the Benedictine order, and surrounded by his cardinals and the
monks of the community, says a contemporary, he died "as in his own
house."[90] This palais du pape Gélase is now the principal building
of the secondary school, the "Ecole nationale des Arts et Métiers,"
established in the precincts of the abbey. We wandered for an hour
about the building, endeavouring to fashion again, in our minds, Cluny
as it was.

Standing in that echoing transept, the sole relic of the great
Mother Church of Western Christendom, following the noble shafting
up to where, above the mutilated capitals, sculptured with all the
naive skill and courage of the time, the eye can reach the lofty
vault, and follow round the fluted pilasters of the triforium
arcades, I felt that, of all the thousand acts of Vandalism that the
incredible, immeasurable folly and ignorance of man have inflicted
upon a long-suffering world, this is the most insufferable, the most
unpardonable. I can understand, I can almost forgive, a Puritan
Cromwell, blinded by a fanaticism, that, though savage and ignorant,
was yet, in intention, religious, battering down the statues of Mary
from their niches, and shattering with fusilades the glass that, for
hundreds of years, had bathed in loveliest colours the sunlit aisles
of our Gothic cathedrals; but this I can neither understand nor
pardon--that those who, discarding all other religions, have bowed the
knee to Reason, as the most divine attribute of man, should have found,
in her name, a warrant to drive a street through the abbey's cloister
garth, and blast, with the dynamiter's bomb, the hoary arches of Cluny.

  [Illustration: ·CLUNY·]

This chapel of the normal school, as it now is, was once the southern
limb of the great transept. With the tower of the Eau Bénite, the
smaller tower of the Horloge, and the Chapelle Bourbon, it is the sole
remaining relic of the church itself. Until after 1823, the transept
was open to the wind and rain, which threatened ruin to the fabric. It
was decided, therefore to close the gaping arches of the collateral
on the east and west, and to build a wall on the north side. The
immense height of the transept, emphasized by the vaulting shafts,
is made more striking by the small space within which it is viewed,
and the blind gallery and clerestory, with their arcades, and coupled,
engaged columns, and fluted pilasters, enable one to break through, in
imagination, that northern wall, and get a realistic glance, east and
west, into the sanctuary, and down the five aisles of the church as it
was.

The two chapels remaining in the transept, are those of St. Martial and
St. Stephen. The former, half domed and lighted by three windows, is
similar in style to the original apsidal chapels; that of St. Stephen
is fine Gothic work of the first half of the fourteenth century. Here
was buried Pierre de Chastelux, abbot from 1322 to 1343, who bought
the Palais des Thermes, at Paris, where Jean de Bourbon, a century
later, was to commence the Hotel de Cluny. Here, too, was buried, in
the middle of the chapel, Jacques d'Amboise (1480-1510), the successor
of Jean de Bourbon, and the completer of the Palais Abbatial, here at
Cluny, and of the Hotel de Cluny at Paris. The brickwork of the south
wall of the transept still shows the position of the two doors, one for
ordinary use, and one processional gateway, leading into the cloisters.

The most important remaining building is the Chapelle Bourbon, which
was added to the south end of the smaller (eastern) transept by Abbot
Jean de Bourbon (1456-1480), who had his own private oratory here,
whence he could assist, through an aperture in the wall, at the
ceremonies before the great altar in the sanctuary. Enough remains
of the decoration of the chapel to show, at a glance, that it was a
good example of late Gothic art. Around it were ranged, on a series
of sculptured corbels or consoles, the heads of fifteen prophets,
painted in colours. They are not lacking in expression, but are
clumsy and heavy. These busts served as supports for fifteen stone
statues, those of St. Paul, the Virgin Mary, John the Baptist, and the
twelve Apostles, all of which have disappeared, no one knows whither.
The guide told us that one of these statues, that of Christ, was
in gold, and all the others in silver; a statement which, if it be
true, accounts sufficiently for their disappearance. The only thing
of interest remaining in the grounds of the école normale is the
thirteenth-century bake-house, close to the Tour du Moulin, by the
river wall.

The ancient wall of the abbey is broken down in many places, and part
of it is engulfed by the buildings of the town erected against it. Of
the interior towers of the abbey--besides those of the church--only two
remain, the Tour du Moulin, and the Tour des Fromages. The first, as
we have just seen is close to the river, and the second is close to the
church of Notre Dame. The origin of its curious name is not known. Of
the exterior relics of the abbey, the most interesting, architecturally
and historically, is the great entrance gate, which is high up on the
side of the hill, at the top of the road leading from the Hotel de
Bourgogne, the street that extends along the site of the nave, the
narthex, the porch, and the parvis of the basilica. On your right,
as you mount the rise, you pass part of a gateway, to the crevices
of whose moulded stones cling rock plants and grasses--a beautiful,
time-mellowed ruin--all that remains of the gate of the narthex.

The great abbey gate is a dark and forbidding piece of masonry, in
the Roman manner, and evidently imitated from the gates of Autun. It
comprises two arches, each with fluted, engaged columns, whose richly
sculptured capitals support an ornamented archivolt. There were also
fluted pilasters supporting a cornice. The greater part of these has
disappeared, as has the attic colonnade, also imitated from the gates
of Autun, and similar to the colonnades which exist still in the
Romanesque houses of Cluny. The thickness of the pillars behind the
door, and the absence of windows in the adjoining wing of the Palais
Abbatial, point to the conclusion that the gate was fortified in the
late middle ages, probably by a quadrangular tower. Interesting as
this shattered old relic is architecturally, its charm lies in the
memories of the great ones to whom it opened. All those who made the
most glorious pages of the history of Cluny have passed beneath its
arches--Priests and Saints, as St. Hugues, Pierre Damien, Abélard,
and Anselm; great Popes, as Hildebrand (Gregory VII.), Gélase II.,
Innocent IV., Boniface VIII.; among Kings, William the Conqueror, Saint
Louis, Philippe le Bel, and his sons; Charles VI. and his uncles.
Some of these passed through in humble guise, but most came with
royal, or semi-royal pageantry, mounted on proud chargers, at the head
of glittering cavalcades, and followed by a long retinue of lords,
soldiers and attendants, to partake of the limitless hospitality of
Cluny.

On the north side of this famous gate, is the Palais Abbatial,
comprising two buildings, once joined, but separated at the time of
the Revolution, and now serving as the Musée and the Hotel de Ville.
That nearest to the gate was built, in the latter half of the fifteenth
century, by the famous abbot, Jean de Bourbon, who added the Chappelle
Bourbon to the basilica, and commenced the Hotel de Cluny at Paris.

  [Illustration: THE ABBEY GATE ·CLUNY·]

He was, in effect, the first of the commendatory abbots, a system which
Julien de Baleure rightly calls "vraye sappe de l'état monastique
et ruine des bons monastères,"[91] since under it the rule and
revenues of the abbey passed into the hands of a stranger, who often
wholly neglected his charge, or, if he visited it at all, paid only
infrequent, ceremonial calls.

Jean de Bourbon, though Bishop of Puy when Charles VII. recommended him
to the choice of the monks of Cluny, was not a member of any monastic
order; nevertheless, while still remaining the "grand seigneur," he
appears to have done something to re-establish discipline in the
monastery. It soon became apparent to him that the frequent visits of
distinguished persons to his palace within the church precincts, were
a menace to the peace of the cloister. He accordingly bought land from
the monks, and built his palace adjoining the great gate, one arch of
which was reserved for his private entrance.

The building has undergone some modifications, but it remains a good
example of fifteenth-century work, especially the windows, which have
the typical flat arch of the period, and drip-stones with finely
sculptured heads for corbels. On the east side, a later age has
painted imitations of similar windows upon the stone wall. Within
the palace are some handsome staircases and doors, and two excellent
chimney-pieces, restored, showing the arms of Jean de Bourbon, of the
Bishopric of Puy, and of the Abbey and Town of Cluny. The arms of the
town are a silver key, on azure, with the ring below; those of the
abbey are two golden keys crossed by a sword with silver blade, the
hilt downwards.

The musée lapidaire on the ground floor is full of interesting relics.
They need not all be catalogued here, but I must point out two or
three of the best. Probably the oldest relic there is a triangular
memorial stone, in the corner, on the left of the fire-place, with the
epitaph of Aimard (Sanctus Aimardus), third abbot of Cluny, who died
in 964. Until 1872, this stone formed the threshold of a house in the
town. Another relic, not to be missed, is the pierre tombale of St.
Hugues (Abbot from 1046-1109), which is over the door opposite to the
entrance; there is also the urn that contained his heart.

  [Illustration: HOTEL DE VILLE · CLUNY ·]

But the most interesting of all are some twelfth century capitals from
the ambulatory of St. Hugues' church. All of these, though showing the
naiveté of treatment characteristic of early Gothic art, are carved
with wonderful freedom, vigour, and sincerity. Figures, foliage, fruit,
and animals are all realistically produced, and grouped with a fine
sense of design and decorative effect. So strong are they, that the
Gothic capitals in the collection look weak beside them. The best of
them represents God driving a terrified Adam and Eve from the garden of
Eden. Eve is hiding behind Adam, who is draped in fig leaves. Another
shows the sacrifice of Abraham at the moment when he is interrupted
by the angel; another the creation of the world; and another has
figures of musicians, playing various instruments, sculptured from
elliptical medallions. More of these capitals would probably have been
preserved, had the church been demolished with less fracas; but the
revolutionaries chose the easier way, which was to blow it to pieces
with bombs; consequently the capitals, falling from so great a height,
were nearly all destroyed.

  [Illustration: Ornament; Pascal Lamb; twelfth century]

Among other notable things is a frieze from a twelfth century house,
and a delicious cobbler's sign, of the same period, showing the man
hard at work at his bench, assisted by his wife holding a little pot in
both hands, while, beside them, a fiddler passes the time in harmony.
There is also a charming Pascal Lamb, endowed with a seeing eye and
a cloven fore-foot, which, turned upwards, balances a Greek cross.
Another remarkable stone is that known as the "Belle Pierre," so named
from the street in which it was found.[92] It represents two knights
tilting, and a bearded man riding upon a strange beast.

Upstairs is a picture gallery containing old views of the Abbey, and a
number of other things worth seeing, one of the most notable being a
wooden chest of the fifteenth century, banded with iron, in which were
kept the famous Rouleaux de Cluny, archives that disappeared during the
Revolution. No official catalogue is published, so far as I am aware;
but those who desire fuller information than I have given here, can
find it in M. Penjon's book.

The Hotel de Ville is the eastern-most building of the two forming
the Abbot's palace. It was built by Jacques d'Amboise, in the early
part of the seventeenth century, and, during the period of the Abbés
Commendataires, was the official residence of the grand prior. It
has been so much altered within as scarcely to be worth a visit,
but the exterior, though somewhat mutilated, retains much of its
original charm. At the west entrance is a beautiful little tower, in
transitional style, with a late Gothic arch, and cupids and foliage
sculptured on the spandrils and the tympanum.

The main eastern façade, though somewhat unusual, is of very effective
design. Its chief characteristics are two square projecting towers,
connected by a raised balcony, with a double staircase surmounted by
an ornamental, pierced parapet. The stone towers are decorated with
sculpture, in the form of flamboyant church-window tracery below, and
panels above, carved with arabesques, foliage, lilies, grotesques,
shell ornaments, etc., all in the purest and lightest style of that
early Renaissance work, which the discovery of Italy by Charles VIII.
had been the means of developing in France. The effect of the whole,
though rather conscious and artificial, is quite pleasing and graceful.
On the south wall is an inscription of Claude de Guise, 1586.

From the buttressed terraces of the public gardens, around the Hotel de
Ville, you get some fine views of Cluny and the Tour de l'Eau Bénite,
extending right away to the wooded hills beyond the valley of the
Grosne.

Close to the great gate of the Abbey, in the Rue d'Avril, a narrow
street leading upwards out of the Rue de la République, are a number
of those Romanesque houses of the eleventh and twelfth centuries, for
which Cluny is famous. Up to about sixty years ago, whole streets of
this little Burgundian town had remained for seven or eight centuries
almost unchanged, but the utilitarian and commercial spirit of the age
has made itself felt, even in this out of the way corner of Burgundy,
and, one by one, the Romanesque houses are disappearing. Two remain,
however, in the middle of the town; and, in addition to those in the
Rue d'Avril, there are two adjoining one another in the Rue de la
République, above the Hotel de Ville. Beside these is a house of the
fifteenth century. Indeed, it would be still possible, in this town, to
trace the evolution of domestic architecture, almost without a break,
from the twelfth century to the present time.

The Romanesque houses of Cluny follow, pretty closely, a general type.
The window arcades reveal at once the great influence of the abbey
church. The majority of these houses are what we call terrace-built;
and are entered from the street by a door which opens into the front
room, or shop, and leads up the staircase to the first floor. At the
back of the front room or shop was an open court yard, with a well
in one corner of it. Across the court yard a covered passage led to
a kitchen at the back. The upper floor was similar in design, with a
roofed gallery leading to a room above the kitchen. The first floor
front room was the bedroom of the tenant, his wife, and children; while
the servants and apprentices did as best they could in the attic above;
for the practice of rigidly separating the sexes did not come in until
the twelfth century. Each house showed a pleasing elevation, and was
erected with a solidity and elegance of design far excelling anything
seen in the same class of building to-day. The shop front was formed
by one great arch, without windows, but closed at night by a shutter,
which, dropped during the day, formed a counter for the exhibition of
the shopman's wares. Customers did not enter the shop, but transacted
their business across the counter, and no tradesman might call a
purchase from another shop until the latter had finished his business.
Different trades were kept together in particular streets--hence such
names as the Rue des Tanneurs, which still exists in Cluny. Above
the ground floor were two other stories, of which the upper one was
generally lighted by an arcade of round-headed arches, imitated from
the Abbey, with sculptured piers or colonnettes, surmounted by a carved
cornice or architrave, and protected by overhanging eaves.[93]

  [Illustration: ROMANESQUE HOUSE·CLUNY·]

These charming houses were among the earliest examples of domestic
architecture in stone, and it is very interesting to notice that the
builders have made no attempt to adhere to the principles of wooden
construction; but have followed the right masters, the ecclesiastical
builders. One of the best of the old houses is that popularly known
as the Hotel des Monnaies, on the right as you go up the Rue d'Avril.
In this case the windows are square-headed, but the most interesting
characteristics are the projecting chimney, and the great arches,
revealing the extraordinary thickness of the walls, a feature which
lends some colour to the legend that this is the old mint of the Abbey.
I will not mention any more particular houses; only let me assure the
reader that he who walks the streets of Cluny remembering that the
older portions of it are built with the very stones of the ruined
abbey, will assuredly have his reward.

The churches of the town are not particularly interesting. St. Marcel,
a somewhat barrack-like building of the twelfth century, at the station
end of the town has a good Clunisian clock-tower. The building is
roofed with wood, because, having no buttresses, it would not stand the
thrust of vaulting. The église Notre Dame, in the centre of the town,
is more attractive; though its thirteenth-century façade is mutilated.
Birds rest upon the backs of the gargoyles, and upon the ends of the
broken shafting; and dirty children play, all day long, upon the
steps of the porch. The interior, however, has some good work in the
capitals, mouldings, and vaulting shafts of the nave. The engaged
vaulting shafts of the aisles are probably remains of an older church,
as they have squared plinths and clawed angles, transitional in style.
If anyone cares to see to what a plight the lost art of making stained
glass can come, let him look at the tympanum of the door of Notre Dame
de Cluny. The building adjoining the church has a Renaissance door, and
a thirteenth-century arcade on the upper floor.

There are two other houses, at least, in Cluny, to which, I suppose,
I should draw attention. The first of them is the Hotel Dieu, a
seventeenth-century building on the site of the old hospital of Cluny,
of which a few vestiges yet remain. Neither the architecture, nor
the kindred arts of that period, have ever aroused much enthusiasm in
me; consequently, I remember almost nothing of the fabric itself, and
my general impression is little more than a blaze of garden flowers,
tempered by delicious palm-leaves, and dotted here and there with pale
invalids, chatting in groups, or walking or sitting beside the flowers.
Within the entrance hall the frail voices of nuns earnestly intoning
prayers in unison awakened the religious spirit within me far more
effectively than had the deserted nave of Notre Dame, or of St. Marcel.
Their solemn chant and the austere cleanliness that reigned everywhere,
awed me so that I crept out on tip-toe into sunlight again, without
more than a glance at the famous Bouillon statues that I had come there
expressly to see.

The Cardinal de Bouillon, abbot of Cluny from 1683 to 1715, had
intended to erect, to the memory of his father and mother, at the
southern end of the small transept of the abbey church--opposite to the
Chappelle Bourbon--a monumental tomb that should be worthy of a family
and individual so illustrious as that brother of Turenne, who had faced
Richelieu, and played a leading part in the Fronde.

But the cardinal had reckoned without Louis XIV. That monarch, hearing
of the project, made further inquiries; and decided, as the report of
d'Aguerriau, which preceded the royal veto, put it, "That every part of
this design tended equally to preserve and immortalize, by the religion
of an ever-durable tomb, the too-ambitious pretensions of its author
towards the origin and grandeur of his house."

It was an ironical fate that chose such means for preserving the
statues, which were already on their way from Rome. Had the Roi Soleil
permitted the erection of the monument, not a vestige of it, probably,
would have survived the Revolution; consequently, its statues would
not, to-day, adorn the chapel of the Hotel Dieu at Cluny. The loss of
the mausoleum we need not regret; but the statues, though, to my mind,
too artificial and conscious to be pleasing, are carved with skill and
vivacity, and are generally considered to be among the best examples of
their kind. The bas-relief of the battle scene, on the plinth below the
male figure, is, to many, the most interesting part of the work.

On the way back to the town, on the right hand side, a lion, quite
Byzantine in character, and taken, I imagine, from the abbey church,
forms the sign of the café "Lion d'Or." In the lower part of the
town, in the Rue Prudhon, not far from the church of St. Marcel, is a
modest little dwelling, whereon the passer-by may read the name of the
greatest Burgundian painter, Prudhon, born there on April 4th, 1758.
The French Correggio, as he has been called, after the Italian master
who exercised most influence upon him, represents very faithfully,
in the quality of his art, some of the characteristics of the land
of its birth. On this more mountainous side of Burgundy, west of the
Côte d'Or, we should expect to find, in a modified form, along with
the typical Burgundian qualities of vivacity, strength, solidity,
and grace, some of the passion, the sterner qualities of the harder,
hill-bred race, more closely in touch with the sterner aspects of
nature--especially in the case of one whose birth synchronized with the
birth-throes of the great Revolution. It may be, too--and it appeals to
one's historic sense to believe--that something of the stern ethical
ideal of Cluny had passed into the mind of one who was born beneath
the shadow of the abbey towers. Many of those, however, to whom the
works of Prudhon are familiar, find greater pleasure in his lighter,
allegorical paintings, such as those in the Musée at Montpellier,
which, perhaps, show the influence of his predecessor Greuze, who, born
in Tournus, by the wide pastures of the Saône, represents the more
peaceful, pastoral, and lighter aspect of Burgundian art.

  [Illustration: Ornament]

In connection with Prudhon, and with a parallel drawn between his
work and that of Greuze, M. Perrault-Dabot, in his book, "L'Art en
Bourgogne," and Montégut also, in his "Souvenirs," speak of a type of
feminine beauty at Cluny, which, I must confess, escaped my notice, as
it did also the not unobservant eyes of my wife.

"In the same way," says M. Perrault-Dabot, "the type of woman that one
still meets to-day, at Cluny, recalls to us the shadowy grace and the
warm suavity of Prudhon's talent. Cluny belongs to that region of our
province where the massy heads and highly-coloured complexions that
distinguish the mountain-dweller, disappear, to give place to subtler,
slighter forms, and to faces of an exquisite pallor. It is not that
perfect beauty in which every feature is regular; but it is beauty in
its most suave and touching form."

We were the more disappointed, because, though we had not expected to
find in Cluny any rivals to the classic beauties of Arles and St. Rémy,
we had come prepared for a welcome break in the monotonous plainness
of Burgundian humanity, a subject on which I shall have more to say
later on. Yet the types we met hereabouts, if not, on the whole,
attractive, were certainly not without the individuality that natural
vivacity imparts. My wife, sketching the great gate of the abbey, was
scandalized by the inordinate amount of child-smacking indulged in by
the mothers of the neighbourhood. I was not a witness on that occasion,
but I am inclined to think, that, in most cases, she failed to allow
for the excitability of a semi-southern temperament, and, could she
have read them, would have found more hardness in the hands than in the
hearts.

The little Hotel de Bourgogne, a white, straggling old building, snugly
placed beneath the protecting walls of the Tour de l'Eau Bénite,
added its quota to our amusement. The ways of the establishment were
refreshingly unconventional. For example, they rang neither bell nor
gong for dinner, but sent up two maids, who popped their tousled heads
simultaneously in at the bedroom door, and invited us to come down to
a meal, which, by the way, quite maintained the traditions of later
Clunisian luxe.

The company, too, was notable. We sat at the head of the table. On my
right was an individual whose cruel, yet suffering, face reminded me
of the executioner in Van der Weyden's great picture in the hospital
at Beaune. I gathered that the digestive organs were the seat of his
troubles; for he rejected, with a grunt, the normal fare, preferring
to dine on lightly-boiled eggs, whose liquid contents he imbibed by
a peculiar, sucking process, that was, in its way, a clever, though
noisy, gastronomic feat.

To us there entered an angelic newsboy, ragged yet smiling. He
distributed evening "Matins" all round the table, and departed,
as radiant as he had come. At the far end of the table, a
twentieth-century Mephistopheles, with the traditional lowering
brows and cunning smile, was transmitting improper stories to a
delighted Falstaffian neighbour; just as certain decadent fat abbots
of Cluny were wont to do, over a bottle of sparkling Meursault, in
those generous, degenerate days. The ample man on his left listened
covertly, and cleaned his mouth with his fingers, while the red wine,
poured in that nervous, spasmodic, Burgundian manner, gurgled from the
bottle neck into the bubbling, ruby lake below.

After dinner, came coffee and cigars, in the little café adjoining, of
which the floor is covered with sawdust, and the ceiling with flies.
Madame, a good-natured woman, dressed in flaming yellow satin, adorned
with much lace and passementerie, and possessing a very arch manner,
where the men were concerned, suggested to some of her intimates
that they should join her in a game of cards. Two of them at once
consented; but a third invité--an elephantine Burgundian voyageur de
commerce--ruminating over a petit verre in the corner, declined, on
the plausible pretext that he had "no small vices." Indeed, nothing
about him was small! For our part, we fell into agreeable conversation
with another habitué of the hotel, a gentleman also suffering from
the amplitude engendered by two six-course meals a day, washed down
with copious libations of red wine. He displayed a kindly interest in
my wife's sketches, and was particularly complimentary concerning one
reproduced in this book, representing a corpulent person--who might
well have been himself--sitting on a dangerously small chair before a
café table.

He had commenced to practise upon us his limited supply of English,
when our intercourse was interrupted, during the temporary absence of
Madame on domestic duties, by the advent, through the balcony leading
to the street, of a small pinched boy and girl, both in advanced
stages of tatters and dirt, who abruptly announced their intention of
entertaining us with a "petit chanson." Taking our silence for consent,
they stood, side by side, in the middle of the sanded floor, and,
lifting grimy faces to the fly-spotted ceiling, proceeded, with one
accord, to give vent to a series of extraordinarily discordant sounds,
which, to the universal relief, were interrupted by the reappearance of
Madame, who bustled into the room, and "shoved" the juvenile vocalists
out of it, barely giving them time to collect largesse during their
flight.

"Two young hooligans!" (apaches), she said severely, and, smoothing the
ruffled yellow satin, sat down again to enjoy her "small vice."

  [Illustration: CAPITAL· ·CLUNY ABBEY·]

That night I dreamed a dream. I was back in the twelfth century, as a
brother, participating in a solemn mass in the great abbey of Cluny.
The sanctuary and the transepts of the mighty church were flooded in
the soft light, that, streaming from gold and jewelled candelabras,
flickered upon the bent forms of the dark-robed priests, and threw
into strong relief the flutings of the pilasters that adorned the huge
piers, and the strange birds and beasts that gazed from the foliage
of the capitals. Above us, the lines of the soaring vault were lost
in eternal shadows, and before us a thousand lights and jewels blazed
upon the High Altar, where Hugues himself, gloriously arrayed in cope
and mitre, was kneeling before the holy rood. The solemn chanting of
the mass sobbed and echoed down the lofty nave, across the shadowy
aisles, and up to where, upon the eastern dome, the Eternal Father
Himself, cloud-borne, among the symbols of His creation, lifted the
Right Hand in blessing, and laid His Left Hand upon the Book sealed
with seven seals. Suddenly, while our souls were pouring themselves
out in rapt adoration, a fearful detonation resounded above our heads.
Startled, terrified, we looked up. As we did so, while yet the echoes
of the shock were rolling through the upper darkness, a series of
crackling explosions shook the whole fabric to its foundations. The
floor heaved, the vaulting above our heads cracked from side to side,
the huge pillars trembled and tottered. Then an awful cry of alarm was
stilled into the louder silence of horror, as the whole mighty building
swayed, and towers, columns, vaults, and capitals collapsed, and, with
an appalling crash and a roar like the fall of many waters, buried all
in universal ruin.... I awoke--to find myself yet alive, in the prosaic
twentieth century, while from the house opposite proceeded uproarious
sounds of revelry by night, carried on with that sustained exuberance
which the Latin races alone can impart to their festivals. It was not
Cluny that was falling again, but furniture, glasses and crockery. Then
it all came back to me--the tale I had heard of the impending marriage
of Yvonne. They were worthily celebrating the occasion. Blessings upon
her! I rose and leaned out of the casement. Two or three songs were
being sung, simultaneously, to the accompaniment of a running chorus of
applause, and an obbligato with the chairs of the salon.

Until the orgy was at an end, I lay awake, meditating upon my dream,
and finding, to my sorrow, a real historical analogy between that tipsy
revel and the ever-to-be-regretted fall of the stones of Cluny.

       *       *       *       *       *

The next morning, I started on my bicycle for Berzé-le Chatel, a
castle about twelve miles from Cluny, on the road to Mâcon. On the
steps of the hotel I was accosted affably, in the English tongue, by
a gentleman, whose face was quite unfamiliar to me. He assured me,
however, that he had met us at Bourg en Bresse; and I, being unable
either to deny or to affirm the assertion, must needs listen. Having
finished with the weather, he paused, turned, waved his hand towards
the gray abbey tower, that rose above our heads, and said majestically,
with an air of imparting valuable information; "C'est ancien." Being
still heavy for want of sleep, I just cursed him inwardly, and went my
ways.

As you mount the road that winds upwards towards Berzé, there opens out
a most lovely view over the green valley of the Grosne, whose windings
are marked by tall poplars, through which shine the distant towers and
hills of Cluny. Then come four or five kilometres of typical Burgundian
climbing, before you gain the crest of the ridge, and find yourself
looking down, and away for mile after mile, until, between a succession
of rugged hills, that lie like prehistoric monsters couchant towards
the southern sun, among golden vineyards dotted with ancient villages
and immemorial walls, the serpenting, poplar-fringed stream is lost
to sight, where at last, far off, in the blue distance, the valley
merges into the great plain of the Saône. To the left, on a spur of the
hill, guarding proudly the hamlet that shelters at its base, rise the
time-bronzed towers of the great castle of Berzé.

The Castle of Berzé, now the residence of the Comte de Milly, became
one of the defensive fortresses of the Abbey and town of Cluny,
according to the treaty of 1250, which, through the intervention of
Blanche de Castille, set forth the respective powers, and adjusted
the somewhat strained relations of the lords of Berzé and the Abbots
of Cluny. It gave to the Seigneurs of Berzé-le Chatel, the right to
administer justice over the abbatial lords in the neighbourhood of the
castle, including Berzé-la Ville. Moreover, it bound the tenants of
these lands to come together "at the clamour of the castle," to defend
and guard it, in return for which assistance, they were granted, in war
time, the right of shelter within the fortress, both for themselves and
their goods. From that time forward, the Abbots and Seigneurs were on
such good terms, that some of the latter subscribed liberally to the
Abbey, and even obtained the privilege of burial within its precincts.

  [Illustration: ·CHATEAU DE BERZÉ·]

In legend, as well as in history, Berzé has played its part. A Seigneur
of the castle, it is said, piqued by a morbid curiosity, shut up in
the lowest donjon an ox and a man, that he might know which would
die first. Tradition avers that his passion for knowledge remained
unsatisfied, since both died together. In 1315, Geoffrey de Berzé,
tiring of his diurnal occupations, namely, hunting in the morning and
beating his servants at night, raised an impious hand against, and let
it descend upon, the archdeacon of Mâcon, who, through the chapter,
brought a complaint before parliament; with the result that Geoffrey
and his successors were condemned, in perpetuity, to burn, every year,
a candle of fifty pounds weight in the choir of the cathedral of Mâcon.
This fine was still being paid, up to the close of the eighteenth
century, when it was customary to set forth in bad verses, on a card
at the foot of the chandelier that carried the candle, an explanation
of this "amende honorable."

Berzé-le Chatel was prominent, too, in those bloody wars of the
Armagnacs and Bourguignons, which, for more than thirty years, drenched
the stricken land of France in the blood of her bravest men. Later
on, it fell into the hands of the Dauphin, afterwards Charles VII.,
who, by magnificent promises, succeeded in inducing the governor to
betray the Duke of Burgundy. It did not remain long in the hands of
the French; for local knowledge of the subterranean passages soon
effected its recapture by the Burgundians, who, to the terror of the
French soldiers, seemed to have arisen mysteriously from the earth. The
last siege of the castle took place in 1591, when the Duc de Namours
after making a breach in the walls with artillery, captured it for the
Huguenots, whose attacks it had resisted hitherto.[94]

A path leads off the road, down through the vines, and up to the
cottages at the castle foot, where you can climb, by another steep
stony way, to the great, double-towered gate, guarded by machicolations
and portcullis, and bearing the coat-of-arms of the house of Berzé.
Within is a lawn, encircling a little pond, and an ivied avenue of
ancient firs, whose sombre hues set off, in summer, the vivid scarlet
of the geraniums, and the soft tints of the laburnum. Crossing this
grassy, stoutly-walled terrace, you pass beneath another fortified
gate, where scarlet creepers cling, to the court yard of the castle,
bright with beds of fuschias, and masses of ball-shaped white flowers.
Shade is given by a great walnut-tree; and here, too, is an adjunct,
indispensable now, as in mediæval times,--a well. The façade of the
house shows, upon its soft, gray stone, the typical cupid's bow windows
of the fifteenth century. Across the dwarf wall, the view extends away,
eastward, over a lower terrace, to the trimly-kept kitchen gardens,
and ancient out-buildings; westward to the vine-clad hills. This is a
castle of enchantment, in whose flowery courts one can recall visions
of the purple past that has floated over the towers of Berzé.

Leaving the castle, and passing down the great double avenue of walnuts
and sycamores which connect it with the romanesque church of the
Village of Berzé, I stood, looking at the curious staircase that leads,
between roofed-in buttresses, to the church tower. An old woman passed
me, carrying, by a yoke on her shoulders, two large buckets of water.

"Whose castle is this, Madame?"

"This is Monsieur le Comte de Milly's, monsieur," and she bowed
slightly; whether to me or to the great name, I do not know. Two jets
of water splashed over her sabots.

We went our ways; she looking down at her wet feet, and I thinking
of the Marquis of Carabas--not by reason of any legendary connection
between that potentate and the château of Berzé, but because the turn
of her phrase had recalled my first reading of "Puss in Boots."

       *       *       *       *       *

  [Illustration: CHATEAU DE LOURDON]

Another of the guardian castles of Cluny, that to which in dangerous
times the treasures, charts, and title deeds of the Abbey were taken,
was the Château de Lourdon. It was pillaged in 1575 by the partisans
of the Duc d'Alençon, who burned so many of the original papers that
Claude de Guise, after his reconciliation with Henry IV., obtained
letters patent rendering valid the existing copies of the parchments.
In 1632, Richelieu, who had obtained possession of the Abbey of Cluny,
ordered the demolition of the donjon and castle of Lourdon, a command
so faithfully carried out that nothing was left of the fortress, except
what is to be seen to-day--a ruined ivy-hung wall, its line broken by
a round tower, through whose windows you can see the concierge moving,
and by a curious row of great columns, like organ pipes, now generally
supposed to be the remains of a kind of mediæval tennis court. From the
castle rising high above the bush-covered rocks, you can look down over
the grape vines to the village of Lourdon, and the hills of the Grosne
valley. Looking up at it, through the houses of the village street, it
must have appeared a not unworthy guardian of a trust so great as were
the treasures of Cluny.

The best way to get there by the valley road from Cluny, is to turn up
the hill when you come to a small sentinel tower. If you ask the way,
you will probably be told, as we were, to turn at the next lane, which
is longer, less convenient, and gives a much less striking approach
to the castle. Persistent mis-direction of strangers is a common
Burgundian failing.

       *       *       *       *       *

Those who have wandered about the streets of Cluny may have happened
upon the late fifteenth century, or early sixteenth century, house of
the Prat family, the ancestors of the poet Lamartine, whose name is
frequently heard by travellers in the Mâconnais or the Dauphiné; though
the nation as a whole, soon forgot him, after that swiftly rising wave
of latin enthusiasm had swept him into the seats of the mighty, and,
receding, had dragged him with it, to face, as best he might, the
obscure, penniless life of a literary hack.

His birthplace, at Milly, is not now in existence; but the prospect
of seeing the family Château de Saint Point, where part of his youth,
and some later years of retirement, were passed, tempted me to pay a
visit to that valley. In a very improbable, though naturally written
and pathetic study of rustic life, "Le Tailleur de Pierres de St.
Point"--he who died of that, unhappily, rare malady, the love of
God--we have Lamartine's own description of his home.

From the mountain side projects a low hill "dominated at its summit
by an old castle flanked by compact towers, and by the notched spire
of a romanesque church tower. At the foot of the hill are pastures
bordered with alders, cherry and large nut trees, between whose trunks
can be seen the walls, roofs and rustic bridge of a hamlet built in
the shadow of the castle and comprising fifteen or twenty cottages of
workmen, small farmers or shopkeepers, all grouped around the village
church. These old towers, undermined at their bases by the weather,
and cracked by the weight of stone above them, shorn of the spires
at their summits, are useless to-day, except to flank a heavy square
mass of naked stone, pierced with a winding stair and several vaulted
rooms--such is my abode.... Thence the view, falling and rising,
extends over the most beautiful part of the valley of St. Point. One's
glance, following the rapid slope of the pastures, rests upon a field
through the middle of which runs the river 'Vallonge.' Great nut trees
with bronze foliage, motionless as metal leaves, poplars with trunks
storm-twisted, and with foliage more hairy and whiter than the head of
an old man, European cypresses, alders, birches, willows rescued by me,
twenty-five years ago now, from the bill of the tree-trimmer, leaning
from bank to bank of the river they love and are loved by, interwoven
over its course, form a lofty, floating, capricious vault of foliage of
every tint, a very mosaic of vegetation. The lightest airs of summer
sway this moving curtain, and summon thence waves of sound, breathings,
the watery sheen of leaves, flights of birds and vegetable scents,
which gladden the eyes, vary the outlook, and rise in sweet sounds and
wandering fragrances to the balcony of my house."

This balcony was the construction in sculptured stone, in imitation
of the old Gothic Balustrades of Oxford, that he had added to the
principal façade. Here the peacocks perching, day and night, bordered
its heavy stones with a row of living caryatides, as they spread their
brilliant tails to the sun.[95]

Meanwhile, with such passages as these in my mind, I was making for
the village. Having climbed the winding staircase that leads up to
the terraced churchyard, I saw, as I drew near, across the tangled
graves, the tomb of Lamartine, a pretentious, but quite unsuccessful,
production, in bastard gothic style, the interior hung round with
horrible wreaths of artificial flowers. On a pedestal was a bust of the
poet, with a metal urn on each side, and, below, a recumbent statue of
his wife, and memorials of other descendants.

It was with a feeling of intense relief that I turned from the
artificial to the real, to the monument in which nature's art, that is
not artifice, has immortalized the memory of Lamartine.

Here is the primitive little romanesque church, whose gracious tower
is now hoary with years, and golden with the kisses of the sun.
One's glance rests long upon those stones, where, above the slender
colonettes, among the waving grasses, wild flowers, ferns, and soft
moss of the slag roof, the stone corner-heads of a thousand years ago
watch silently over a tree-embowered, weed-entangled, dreamy garden
of the dead. For these are the living memorials of a poet--the wide,
green meadow of the valley, the undulating boughs, and gray and silver
glimpses of the breeze-swung poplars, the red tiles of the ancient
village, the stream willow-fringed, the creamy cattle browsing in
upland pastures, the gracious contours of woodland hill, touched by
Autumn's mellowing hand, the blue dome above, whose silver islands
float on the wings of a warm, south wind.

His memories linger, too, in melodious songs, sung by poets not less
than he, the lark in the blue, the thrush on the bough, the zephyrs
among the leaves; the distant tap, tap, tap, of the woodpecker in
the far-off forest, or of some follower of that stone-cutter of St.
Point, with whom Lamartine, high up in the mountain quarry, talked of
the ways of God with man. One day, perhaps, France will realize these
truths; then she will cease to desecrate, with hideous monuments, the
open spaces of her ancient villages, and the resting place of her
illustrious dead.

Having been assured by a villager that visits to the Château were
permitted, encouraged even, I effected an entrance to the grounds,
through a gate in the wall on the north side of the church. The
building appears to be a patchwork of many dates, marred by some
wretched, modern imitations, and the hideous device, not infrequent
hereabouts, of painting sham gothic windows on a plaster wall; but the
general effect of the whole, matured by age, set in finely timbered
grounds, is not unpleasing. I wish I could say the same for my welcome,
which might be summed up in these words: "Come in, go through; damn
you, get out!"

The cicerone who, by the way, was kind enough to inform me that no part
of the building was of earlier date than the nineteenth century,[96]
was so rude that I felt much more disposed to discuss with her, gently
but firmly, the question of manners, than to look at the many relics
she was able to show me.[97]

It is obvious that only three courses are open to the owner of an
historic house. He can refuse admission to the public; he can grant
admission unconditionally; or he can grant admission on payment, or on
other reasonable conditions; but, upon whatever terms he admits you,
he must make you welcome, so long as you, in your turn, conform to the
exigencies of polite society. A thinly veiled attitude of hostility
deprives the self-respecting visitor of all pleasure.

Be it added, however, lest I should discourage others from visiting
the castle, that the account of my experience was received most
apologetically by several villagers, who assured me that the present
inhabitants were "gentils," and that my cold reception must have been
due to the fact, of which I was, of course, unaware, that there was
illness in the house.

My wrath having been appeased by lunch, and the attentions of a
good-natured hostess, I proceeded boldly to climb to the head of the
Valley of St. Point, and, after many kilometres of very hard work,
was rewarded by a look back over the Valley, from below Tramaye. In
the middle distance, shone, in the afternoon sun, bronze and white
among the tapering poplars, the Village of St. Point, crowned by the
ancient gray church; and, higher yet, the sombre trees of the garden,
and the towers of Lamartine's château. Above Tramaye, itself a very
eagle's aerie, one by one the lower valleys open out to view, until, at
last, crossing the "col," you descend, for kilometre after kilometre,
to Clermain in the Valley of the Grosne, one of the once-fortified
advance-guard villages protecting the approach to Cluny from the South.

  [Illustration: End of chapter VI; House of Lamartine]


FOOTNOTES:

[90] Lorain, p. 95.

[91] "Undermining of the monastic state and ruin of good
     monasteries."--Penjon's "Cluny," p. 125.

[92] It was found in the façade of a barn, but once formed part of the
     arch of a Romanesque house.

[93] For further particulars see the article on "Maisons" in
     Viollet-le-Duc's "Dictionnaire Raisonné," Tome vi., p. 222 and on.
     Also the chapter "Maisons Particuliéres" in M. Penjon's book.

[94] "Cluny, la Ville et l'Abbaye," par A. Penjon, pp. 4-5.

[95] "Le Tailleur de Pierre de St. Point," cap. vii., viii.

[96] In the sixteenth century the castle was occupied by Guillaume de
     St. Point, Governor of Mâcon, a bitter enemy of the Calvinists.

[97] You are shown the bed on which he died, many interesting
     photographs, articles of wearing apparel, and other personal relics
     of Lamartine, also many paintings by Mme. Lamartine, an English
     lady. There are others in the church.



  [Illustration: Chapter VII heading; St. Bernard]


CHAPTER VII

MORE POPE THAN YOU


Purity and simplicity having been always potent factors in the
development of the spiritual life, it followed, as the night the day,
that Cluny's ever-growing indulgencies and luxury, while they sapped
her own strength, laid her open to supercession by the devotees of an
uncorrupted order. By the time of Pierre le Vénérable, that rival had
already arisen. The Cistercian Order, under the rule of St. Bernard, at
Clairvaux, had already supplanted Cluny as the first religious power
of Europe. The story of the rise of Citeaux is full of legendary and
historical interest.

About the middle of the eleventh century, Eringarde, the wife of
Theodoric, a nobleman of Normandy, was about to become a mother. On
the eve of the expected birth, the Holy Virgin appeared to the lady,
and showed to her a golden ring, saying: "With this ring I betrothe
to myself the son whom you shall bring into the world." The child was
baptized under the name of Robert. When he was grown up, and had heard
the story of his mother's vision, he left his native home, and betook
himself to Burgundy, there to consecrate a monastery to the cult of
God and St. Mary. The spot he chose for the foundation, in the year
1075, was in the forest of Molême, beyond Châtillon. There a company
of fellow anchorites built, of the branches of trees, a chapel in
honour of the Virgin, and there, in that solitude, they led a life so
austere, so laborious, so fervent, that the monks of Molême came to be
known rather as angels than men.

But, before many years had passed, abundance and prosperity had brought
about a general lassitude, and departure from the austerity of the
early rule. Robert's disciples mutinied against their Abbot, who then
knew that the time for departure was come. Early in the year 1098,
a little band of Benedictine monks, twenty-one in number, including
Robert, the prior, and sub-prior, might have been seen issuing from
the abbey gateway of Molême. They took with them no other provision
for their travels than the vestments and sacred vessels for the
celebration of the most holy mysteries, and a large breviary for the
due performance of the divine office. Through wild and rugged paths, by
mountain and forest, they journeyed on, chanting the divine praises,
until, in the midst of the great plain of Burgundy, they came upon a
vast solitude, the haunt of wild beasts, which, among the forest trees,
found shelter in the underwood and brambles. Here, as they wended their
way along the banks of a stream, beside reed-fringed, stagnant pools,
where only the discordant cry of the water-fowl broke the awful silence
of nature, the travellers heard a voice from Heaven, crying "Sistite
hic!" (halt here), and knew that this forest was the spot in which God
willed that they should serve Him.

Obtaining grant of the land, and aid, from Eudes, Duke of Burgundy, and
the Vicomte de Beaune, whose it was, they raised their monastery, which
was solemnly dedicated, on the 21st March, 1098, to the Virgin Mary,
and named Citeaux, in memory of the divine command they had heard.[98]

St. Robert stayed only for one year in Citeaux, before an order of
the sovereign pontiff recalled him to Molême; but the new monastery
continued to flourish under the guidance of Stephen Harding, a young
English monk.

About this time it pleased the Virgin to show conspicuously to the
brethren her good pleasure in the life they were leading in her honour.
One day, when they were chanting matins, Mary, Queen of Heaven and
Earth, resplendent in glory, appeared to them with the first rays of
the dawn, and, in a moment, with a touch of her hand, changed the tawny
robes of the Cistercians into garments of spotless purity. The vision
vanished; but cowl and tunic retained the dazzling brilliancy of snow.

Then the pious cenobites understood that they must adopt,
henceforth, the white dress, as symbol of her--that flawless
lily-of-the-valley--whose servants they were, and towards whose
unspotted purity they were ever to strive.[99]

In after years, when the black monks reproached the Cistercians with
wearing a garment fit only for a time of joy, whilst the monastic state
was one of penitence, the white monks would answer, that the religious
life was not only one of penitence, but was like that of the angels,
and therefore they wore white garments to show the spiritual joy of
their hearts.[100] The Cistercian habit bore about it another touch of
grace, derived from long and holy association. In the black scapular,
worn over the white tunic, broad about the shoulders, then falling in
a narrow strip to the feet, they saw the form of the Lord's cross, and
thus they loved to bear it about with them, even in their sleep.[101]
And notwithstanding their coarser bread, hard beds, and clothing no
better than that of the peasantry, there was ever a cheerfulness about
the Cistercians that comes always to him whose heart beats in sympathy
with the warm heart of mother nature, whose work lay where their days
were passed, not in towns, but in sequestered valleys and lonely
uplands, among fruitful vineyard, meadow, and cornfield.

After a while, upon Citeaux, too, in its turn, came evil days, when
one by one the monks fell away and died, until Stephen began to doubt
whether the austerities of his rule were not above human strength, and
to fear that God had willed the destruction of the new community. One
day, when he, with his brothers, was seated at the bed-side of a dying
priest, he told the sufferer of his fear, and ordered him, in Christ's
Name, to return from among the dead, and reveal to him God's Will
concerning the future of the Abbey.

The monk promised to do so, in so far as might be permitted him. Then
he died.

Some days after the passing of that brother, Stephen, at work in the
fields, gave the signal for rest. Withdrawing himself from the others,
he knelt down to pray, when the dead monk, ashine with heavenly light,
and seeming rather to float above the ground than to be standing upon
it, appeared to him.

"Father," said he, "The Lord Christ has sent me to tell you that
your way of life is good in His sight, and that the desolation and
sterility of Citeaux are about to pass away. Soon your children will be
saying to you, 'Make room for us; the abode is too narrow; enlarge its
boundaries.' Multitudes of men will come to range themselves beneath
your crook, and among them shall be many learned ones, and many a lord.
Your disciples, in number as bees when they swarm, shall go hence to
found new abbeys in far off lands."

Not long after this vision, one evening, in the year 1113, whilst
Stephen and the remnant of his little flock were imploring God to
fulfil His promises, a band of thirty persons, under the guidance of a
young man, was slowly traversing the forest towards the abbey. Soon the
sound of the iron knocker, clanging upon the gate, summoned the porter,
whose bell announced the arrival of strangers. The new-comers entered,
prostrated themselves at the feet of Stephen, and begged to be admitted
into the number of his monks. They were a notable company; young lords,
noble in feature and deportment, from among the greatest houses in
Burgundy; older men who had shone in the councils of princes, and had
worn, hitherto, only the furred mantle, or the steel hauberk, now to be
exchanged for the lowly cowl of St. Benedict.

"At the head of the troops was a young man of about twenty-three years
of age, of exceeding beauty. He was rather tall of stature, his neck
long and delicate, his whole frame very thin like that of a man in
weak health. His hair was of a light colour, and his complexion fair;
but with all its pallor, there was a virgin bloom spread over the thin
skin of his cheek; an angelic purity and a dove-like simplicity shone
forth from his eye, which showed at once the serene chastity of his
soul."[102] Such, in aspect, was Bernard, the young saint, who, before
many years had passed, was to be the dominant force in the policies of
western Europe.

Bernard's origin was not less worthy than that of his companions.
His father, Tescelin le Roux (the Red), could trace back his descent
through the chevaliers of old, to immemorial times. Born at Châtillon
on Seine, he belonged to the seigneurial family of that town, though he
resided much at his castle of Fontaines-les-Dijon, where Bernard was
born, only a short distance from the Burgundian capital. Tescelin's
wife, Alethea, was descended in direct line from the Counts of
Montbard, and through them was connected with the Dukes of Burgundy,
in whose court, as counsellor of Eudes I. and Hugues II., Tescelin was
high in favour. He was a man of honour, strong and firm of character;
she, a girl of fifteen at the time of her marriage, was of gentle
disposition, sorrowing often because God had seen fit to thwart her
leanings towards the cloister life. As the mother of Bernard, third
of her seven children, a yet nobler destiny was reserved for her.
Shortly before the birth of this third child, there came to Alethea a
mysterious dream, in which she seemed to see, imprisoned within her
own body, a little red and white dog, who barked without ceasing.
Astonished and troubled by this vision, she consulted a priest, as to
what it might mean. His interpretation filled her heart with joy.

"Fear not," said he, "You are to become the mother of a marvellous
child. Like unto a faithful dog he will keep guard over the House of
the Lord, and shall make his cry heard against the enemies of the
faith. He shall surpass all other preachers, and his word, full of
light and authority, shall be the saving of many."[103]

The young child in every way fulfilled the heavenly promise; yet,
for many a year, he was torn mentally between the calls of the world
and of the cloister; both in his early training at the schools of
Châtillon-sur-Seine, and later, when in spiritual solitude, at the
château of Fontaines, he looked down upon the dead body of his
mother. The world would not yield, without a struggle, so promising
a recruit as Bernard, whose father, never dreaming that the gates of
the monastery were soon to close upon him too, was not alone in his
endeavours to keep his son from the religious life.

Bernard, however, was proof against all persuasion; nor was it long
before his fast-developing strength of character and conviction caused
him, in his turn, to become the aggressor. One by one the brothers were
won over, until, at last, all, save Gérard, were upon Bernard's side.
Resolute, he still turned with indignation from all the young saint's
proposals. Bernard laid his hand upon his brother's side:

"I see," said he, "that misfortune alone can enlighten thee. A day is
coming, and it is not far off, when a lance shall pierce this body, and
open, towards the heart, an easy passage to the thought of salvation."

And so it came about; for some days later, at the siege of the castle
of Grancy, Gérard fell, struck by a lance; and, covered with blood, was
carried into the fortress prison. Then he recalled Bernard's saying,
saw his destiny clearly, and accepted the religious life.

Bernard's brothers were among the company who had knocked that day at
the gate of Citeaux. The new-comers remained for a week in the guest
house of the monastery. On the eighth day they were taken into the
chapter house, where the Abbot and his monks were assembled. As they
knelt before him, the Abbot put to each of them the question prescribed
by the rule:

"What seek you?" to which they replied in turn:

"My Father, God's Mercy, and yours." Then were read to them the
stricter points of the Cistercian rule, and the Abbot dismissed them
saying,

"My sons; may God fulfil in you that which His Grace has begun."[104]

From the commencement of his novitiate, Bernard practised austerities
that were severe--even for a Cistercian. He would kneel until, on
rising, his swollen limbs refused, almost, to support him, and, while
always ready with a helping hand to lighten the toil of other monks
in the forest or the marsh, he prepared himself for his labours with
nourishment so poor that his body wasted and fever consumed him,
until his life was despaired of. Devoting all his mind to the inward
and spiritual, to answering well the question he was always asking
himself, "Bernarde ad quid venisti?" (Bernard, wherefore art thou
here?), he seems to have been almost unobservant of outward things. The
old chronicler relates how, one day, being thirsty, the saint drank,
without noticing its taste, (nihil sapiebat gustandi) a jar of oil
whose contents he had mistaken for water. On another occasion, when
asked whether the ceiling of his cell was flat or vaulted, he was quite
unable to answer.

The immediate result of the coming of such a man, with such companions,
was an enormous increase in the numbers and power of that order.
Postulates flocked in hundreds to the Abbey of Citeaux, and, by the
year 1113, it had become necessary to establish daughter abbeys. The
first was La Ferté (Firmitas), so called to signify the strength and
consistency that the Almighty had already bestowed upon the rising
order. Then followed Pontigny, where Bernard's friend, Hugues de Mâcon,
was sent as abbot; then, in 1115, Morimond, and Clairvaux (Claire
Vallée)--once the robber-haunted Valley of Wormwood. Before long, the
order had the choice of the fairest fields of France; indeed, of all
Europe.

But Clairvaux had no abbot; and Citeaux must supply one. The choice
fell upon St. Bernard, twenty-five years of age, hardly out of his
novitiate, scarce able to support the exercise of his rule, and little
fitted, as it seemed, to undertake a voyage of discovery to the
loneliest forest in all the diocese of Langres. Yet he must go.

The form in which such an expedition set out was characteristic, and
impressive in its simplicity. The monks, having been assembled by sound
of the bell, all the community went down upon their knees. After a long
silence, the Abbot intoned a psalm; then, taking a cross of wood from
the altar, he handed it, as the token of office, to the new Abbot. The
latter received it in silence, kissed it, still without speaking, and
left his stall, followed by twelve other monks, symbols of the Christ
and apostles. All the brothers then ranged themselves in the cloister,
while, with heads bowed, the thirteen passed between them. Silently
the gates of the monastery swung open, revealing to all a glimpse of
the dangerous world beyond. The pilgrims filed out; and the clang of
closing gates announced the termination of the ceremony.

We have not space to follow further the career of the "Last of the
Fathers," as he was called, or to trace in detail the growth of an
influence so extraordinary, that about the year 1148, we find Pierre
le Vénérable, Abbot of Cluny, writing of "Bernard of Clairvaux, the
splendid and immovable column that sustains not the monastic order
only, but the entire church," while Bernard himself, broken down by the
weight of affairs pressing upon him, writes to Eugène III: "People are
pretending everywhere that you are not pope, but I; and all who have
business, flock to me for help," (Aiunt non vos esse papam, sed me).
Geoffrey, Bernard's secretary and successor, writing two years after
his master's death, said: "Whoso has met Bernard has seen Christ. For
in him the whole Christ dwelt."[105]

Without, indeed, going so far in praise as did his secretary, we may
agree that Bernard's character comprised most of those elemental
virtues, that, blended, make the perfect man. In him, calmness and
vehemence, tenderness and serenity, tenacity and flexibility, vivid
imagination and unswerving rectitude, were all present; ever ready
to meet the necessities of any occasion that might arise. With all
these varied gifts he never flattered, never betrayed the truth, never
dissembled the sacred ardour that burned within him. Everywhere he
was listened to with profound respect; his stern voice was heard in
the cottages of the poor, and in the palaces of kings. Neither his
enthusiasm, nor his ceaseless activities, caused him to lose lucidity
nor precision of argument in debate. His repartee was gentle and
penetrating; swift to disentangle truth from error, without practising
the subtleties of the schools. He was that rarest of phenomena, a
practical idealist, an enlightened fanatic. And with all these varied
faculties, high above men of his time though his intellect was, he
remained ever a true son of the Church, nor sought to free himself
from the yoke of Catholic authority. Therein lay the secret of his
subsequent bitter antagonism to the teachings of Abélard.

A few words as to Cistercian ideals, and especially as to Cistercian
rule, as compared with that of Cluny, may not be out of place here.

For the sites of all their monasteries, they chose invariably lonely
and wild lands, marshy valleys, swamps, or lake, or forest, where
the monks would be under no temptation from the vicinity of worldly
attractions, nor from too close contact with the secular clergy, whose
influence was sometimes harmful. The Cistercian's first duty was the
first duty of man--to reclaim the dark places of the earth from watery
desolation to culture and fertility; just as, later on, the first duty
of preaching friars was to win back the souls of men, from the power of
Satan unto God. Faurtride, third abbot of Clairvaux, quotes St. Bernard
as giving another reason. "It is not sufficient for a monk to allege
illness (as an excuse for shirking the austerities of the rule).

The holy fathers, our predecessors, sought deep damp valleys for their
monasteries, so that the monks might be often ailing, and having death
always before their eyes, should never live in security."[106]

It may be well imagined, that an order founding its houses upon such
sites, and for such a reason, did not err upon the side of indulgence.
The rule was more strict, even, than that followed by Cluny in early
days, both as regards abstinence from food and the rigid enforcement of
silence. Vegetables were not to be served with fat or butter; meat was
absolutely forbidden, unless sometimes to the sick; and fish, except
herrings during Advent and Lent, was allowed only on rare occasions.
When Pope Innocent II. visited Clairvaux in 1131, the monks had a hard
task to find a single herring for his table. In the matter of clothing,
too, they were much more simple than the Clunisians, and closer to the
Benedictine rule; for instance, the gloves, boots, and furred pelisses,
permitted in the older abbey during the winter, were forbidden to monks
of the rival order.

The whole secret of Citeaux's influence may be summed up in two
words--simplicity and self-sacrifice. These principles extended right
through the life of the order, even to its architecture and to its art.
Already, at the time of the coming of St. Bernard, the Clunisians were
beginning to lighten with sculpture the splendid severity of their
Romanesque buildings, to deck their statues with precious stones, and
with beautiful glass; to adorn with gilding and voluptuous colour the
gray stones of aisle and nave.

  [Illustration: ST. JOHN. BURGUNDIAN SCHOOL]

St. Bernard, quick to see the danger, sent his masons back to the
essential. Nave and choir were to be of low elevation, and without
towers; within must be neither painting, nor sculpture, nor crucifix,
nor colour, nor any other ornament. Even the tympanum of the porch,
so richly carved in Clunisian churches, might show only a cross in
bas-relief, sometimes surmounted by the Lamb of God. Any sculpture in
the interior must be confined to simple flowers and foliage on the
capitals, with perhaps a claw at the base of the pillars; the apse and
chapels were to be square, not polygonal nor semi-circular, as in the
work of the other school. Above all, the Cistercians banished from
their churches the scenes from the Ancient and New Testaments, the
symbolical figures and fantastic animals, of which the Clunisians were
so fond. Their cloisters were low and heavy, and the windows of the
monastic buildings were narrow, almost, as loopholes.

In ceremonial observances they were equally simple, and contented
themselves with a monotonous psalmody, poor and thin compared with the
melodious chants that rang down the aisles of Cluny. The manuscripts
showed the same scorn of art. Cluny bound their parchments beautifully
in gold and silver, and ornamented them with precious stones; Citeaux
was content with a rough binding of pig-skin, decorated with nails, and
fastened with copper bands.

It was inevitable that such vital difference of opinion should find
contemporary expression in words, as well as deeds. Bernard protests
vehemently against luxe. His correspondence on the subject with his
friend, Pierre le Vénérable, is full of interest.

"I do not speak," he writes, "of the prodigious height of the churches,
of their immeasurable length, of their unnecessary width, of their
sumptuous ornaments, of their curious paintings, which draw the glances
of those who are at prayer, and prevent them from praying. As a monk,
I address myself to monks, and I say to them: You who should be poor,
what do you with this gold in the sanctuary? Other than this should
be the conduct of the bishops, other than this that of the monks. The
bishops, as we know, extend their solicitude to the foolish as well as
to the wise. That they should seek to arouse by exterior ornament the
devotion of a carnal people insensible to the ornaments of the soul,
we can well understand; but we who have come forth from the bosom of
this people, who, for the love of Christ, have left the world and all
which is precious and apparent, we who regard as dung all that shines
by beauty, all that flatters the ear by harmony, that pleases the
senses of smell and touch, in a word, all that can give rise to sensual
pleasure, whose devotion do we aspire to arouse by these ornaments?

"And to speak my thought openly, is it not avarice, that idolatry of
slaves, which inspires us, and do we not seek rather the gifts of
matter than the fruits of the spirit? How so, will you reply? I will
tell you. Gold is lavished on every hand that it may multiply; it is
spread abroad that it may be augmented. At the sight of these sumptuous
vanities which excite astonishment, men feel themselves inflamed with
the will to give, rather than with the will to pray. I do not know what
this penchant may be, that bids us give more willingly to him that
already has much. Eyes are dazzled by reliquaries covered with gold,
and the sight of them opens every purse. The more the chasse shines in
beauty, the more sacred are the relics held to be. We hasten to kiss
them, and we feel ourselves drawn on into giving; we admire that which
strikes the eye, rather than venerate holy things. In the churches are
exposed, not crowns, but wheels encrusted with pearls, and the lamps
which surround them cast a light less bright than the precious stones.
For candalabra, we see rise a tier of enormous weight, fashioned with a
marvellous art, which glitters less by the candles which surmount it,
than by the diamonds with which it is adorned.

"What seek ye in all that, I ask you; is it the compunction of
penitence or the astonishment of the eye? O Vanity of Vanities, O
Folly! In her buildings, the church is ashine, in her poor she is
all impoverished. She clothes her stones with gold, she leaves her
children naked. 'Tis at the expense of the poor that we seek to flatter
the eye of the rich. The curious find wherewithal to charm them;
the unfortunate seek in vain their daily bread. Do we not abuse our
veneration of the images of the saints, until they are ready to rise
from the paving-stones? Here one is spitting in an angel's mouth; there
the passers-by tread upon the face of a saint. If you do not respect
these holy images, why do you not respect at least their brilliant
colouring? Of what use is it to decorate these figures if they are to
be continually soiled with dust? Of what use are they to the poor, to
the monks, to spiritual men?

"What is the meaning in the cloisters, before the brother occupied in
reading, of those ridiculous monsters, those deformed beauties, those
beautiful deformities? What do they there, those unclean apes, those
fierce lions, those monstrous centaurs, those figures half man, half
beast, those striped tigers, those fighting soldiers, those huntsmen
who sound the horn? On one side, I see many heads on a single body;
on the other, many bodies with a single head; here a beast with a
serpent's tail; there a fish with an animal's head. Half a horse ends
in half a goat; a horned animal bears a horse's croup. Everywhere
appears a multitude of varied and uncouth forms. More pleasure is taken
in reading on marble than in books; we choose rather to pass the whole
day in looking upon these pictures than in meditating upon the Divine
Law. Great God, though we blush not at such follies, let us blush, at
least, at the sums they cost!"[107]

However worthy such ideals might be from the spiritual point of
view--and no one, surely, can read Bernard's letter without feeling
its power and sincerity--it is obvious that, like those of the later
Puritanism, they bore within them the germs of their own destruction.
No community of man, even in those glorious days of the early middle
ages, could live, for long, up to that standard; and as the order
established itself all over Europe, almost, the diffusion of its
forces resulted necessarily in a swift falling away, and loss of
prestige. That change, though, perhaps, a disaster for the Christian
church, was the salvation of Western Europe; for, had the ideals of
Citeaux finally prevailed over those of Cluny, the glorious Gothic
arts of the next three centuries, upon which Cluny certainly exercised
great influence--of which, indeed, she was the mother--would not have
attained the same development.

       *       *       *       *       *

Among the distinguished visitors to Citeaux, were Louis le Gros, in
1127; Pope Eugène III., who presided over the chapter general, in 1148;
Louis VII., in 1166; and Louis IX. (St. Louis), who came here from
Vézelay, in 1244.

On that occasion, according to custom, the Duke of Burgundy, Hugues
IV., preceded the royal cortège up to the limit of his lands. As they
approached Citeaux, coming in sight of the church, all left their
horses, and advanced on foot in the attitude of prayer. The prelates,
the abbots who were there, and the monks, to the number of five
hundred, came forth in procession to welcome the monarch visiting them
for the first time. Louis IX. and Queen Blanche did not lodge in the
abbey, but in the Hotel du Duc de Bourgogne, without the walls. They
were specially authorized to eat meat during their stay, on condition
that such permission would not be granted on a future occasion.[108]

Upon the fair fame of the later history of the order there rests one
indelible stain. Citeaux was largely responsible for that series of
awful crimes and massacres known as the Albigensian crusade. Early
in the thirteenth century, Innocent III., weary of vain attempts by
spiritual force to crush out heresy from the church, decided to employ
the not unwilling Cistercians to preach a new crusade. A great army
of "Crusaders," under the command of Eudes III., Duke of Burgundy,
crossed the Rhône at Avignon, and passing through Montpellier, came to
Béziers, where they proceeded to indulge in "the greatest massacre ever
committed in all the world; for they spared neither young nor old, nor
even infants at the breast." It seems a cruel irony that from Arnaud,
Abbot of Citeaux, a successor of St. Robert and St. Bernard, should
have come the answer to the question how they were to deal with the
heretics: "Kill them all; God will know His Own!"

       *       *       *       *       *

But happier recollections than those were in my mind when last I rode
to Citeaux from Dijon, on a dull and rainy morning of October, a
fitting day on which to visit that savage and lonely site. There are
people--cultured people, even, such as Emile Montégut--who will tell
you that, because the country here is flat, and the old monastery
almost entirely destroyed, Citeaux is not worthy of a visit. I find
it hard to understand how anyone possessing a spark of historic
imagination, can thus deprive himself of the pleasure of seeing the
abbey; though there were certainly less inducement to go there when
the place was a penitentiary school, than now, when it is again in
the occupation of the white monks. I hope that this account of my own
pilgrimage there will induce others to follow my example.

I rode to Citeaux by way of Rouvres, a lonely village on the plain
south of Dijon. It has, or had, a château--not now visible within its
belt of trees--that has some interesting historical associations, and
there is a Romanesque church accessible, I remember, by a somewhat
unique bridge, consisting of gravestones, evidently taken from the
churchyard, laid, with the inscriptions uppermost, across the stream
where the ducks paddle.

Passing through many a tangled and dilapidated Burgundian village, I
came at last, after miles of plodding across the plain, to a spot so
savage of aspect, that it might well be a halting-place, even to-day,
for an ascetic brotherhood faring forth in search of a site for a
new foundation. On the left of the lonely road was a stagnant marsh,
bordered with clumps of yellow reeds and brown bullrushes. Before me,
a great expanse of sullen water, fringed with a line of distant, black
fir trees, reflected on its broken surface the drifting, gray clouds.
A dismal lake it was, marged with red and green rushes, dappled with
broad-leaved water plants, and spotted with splashing drops. No human
note broke the silence; no sound but the harsh cry of wild fowl,
the croaking of frogs, the monotonous swish of falling rain. At my
feet were growing thistles and deadly night-shade; through the reeds
I caught a glimpse of a pink sow snouting in the mud. A feeling of
intense exaltation arose within me--the delight born of unity with
Nature in her elemental mood. I knew now why the Cistercians loved
these spots. There welled up in me the same sensation of burning
pleasure that lightened the life of the ascetic of eight hundred years
ago, when, leaning upon the handle of his spade, as he paused for a
moment from his labour, he watched the wind furrowing the rippled
water, and heard the holy spirits of the air singing to the bending
rushes on the bank.

I rode on, past the gateway of the Abbey grounds, to the village
of Citeaux, where I lunched with an asceticism that, though not
inappropriate to the occasion, was due, I must confess, rather to
the limitations of the innkeeper's resources, than to a voluntary
compliance with the rule of St. Benedict. During the repast, Madame,
standing before me, and punctuating her remarks with an occasional
sweep of the back of her hand across her mouth, held forth upon the
history of the Abbey. Learning from her that the buildings could be
visited, I determined to see what was to be seen. Cycling boldly up to
the gate of the monastery, and ignoring utterly a mighty hound, who
nearly strangled himself in his efforts to rend me limb from limb, I
looked about me. Near the gate was a white monk, walking slowly, with
his eyes upon the ground. He bowed in response to my salutation; but,
when he raised his head, his hesitation, and the spasmodic movements of
his lips before he spoke, betrayed the effect of the rule of silence.
The words came with an effort.

"Vous n'avez qu'à sonner à la porte."

I rang the bell accordingly, when there emerged, from the lodge
opposite to the gate, another little, square-headed, white-robed monk,
who, smiling, and bowing low, with spread hands, welcomed me to the
monastery.

My guide was an intelligent, affectionate, resigned little Flamand,
his natural cheerfulness of disposition tempered by the inevitable
sadness of a vocation now generally despised, and quite apart from
the swiftly-flowing current of modern life. Together we traversed
the rooms and corridors of the modern buildings--until recently a
penitentiary school--from which the members of the chapter, held
annually in September, had departed only the day before my visit. On
the walls of the assembly room were plans of the four daughter abbeys
of Citeaux--La Ferté, Pontigny, Clairvaux, and Morimond; "Une mère bien
féconde," as my guide said--and the signed letter of Pope Leo XIII.,
restoring Citeaux to the Cistercian order. The chapter table, round
which ran the names of the abbeys represented, was still littered with
pens and ink for use at the function. My monk pointed out the little
ballot-box, filled with white beans, by means of which the voting was
done. A majority of one carries the day, and the ballot is open, unless
one member expresses a desire for it to be secret. The rule of St.
Benedict, and the book of the constitutions, are kept on the table for
reference, if necessary.

We passed beneath the bust of St. Bernard, which is over the door, and
descended to the foot of the stairs, where my companion put on again,
over his sandalled feet, the sabots he had kicked off on entering. A
moment later we were standing in the refectory, where, upon the table,
were laid the spoons, the brown earthenware plates, the bowls and the
napkins, all ready for the next meal. The abbot sits, as of old, at the
head of his twenty-five monks, and in the middle is a table with three
"couverts," where the same vegetarian repast is served to three souls
in purgatory, the remains being given to the poor. Thence, I was taken
to see the little cloister, the staircase tower and library, probably
of the fourteenth century, all that remains of the great Abbey. On the
way we passed through the garden, where a dozen or more black and
white-robed brethren were busily digging the ground, still carrying on
the tradition of St. Benedict, that in the sweat of their brow they
should eat bread. That sight alone repaid well the trouble of coming to
Citeaux in the rain.

  [Illustration: Justice and Truth]

Meanwhile, my gentle guide talked resignedly of the ruin of the
building, of the decay of the order. There was a note of deep sadness
in his voice, as he said:--

"Justice and truth are like the sun; they traverse the earth; they set."

"They rise again on the other side," I added. A smile lit up the
peaceful, flamand face.

"Yes, they rise again on the other side."

We were at the gate.

"How I wish my wife had been here," I said, thoughtlessly. "She would
so have enjoyed talking with you."

The little monk smiled, twinkled almost. Here was an artless stranger,
indeed!

"Monsieur," shaking his head, "We do not allow ladies to pass the
gate." It was my turn to smile, and to apologise. My friend guide
understood. He took my hand.

"Probably," he murmured, "we meet no more in this world. Then, adieu."

Again he bowed low, with spread hands. The iron gate of Citeaux clanged
behind me; I was out in the living world once more. As I rode to
Nuits in the rain, between the dripping trees of the ancient forest,
whose glades had echoed to the foot-fall of St. Bernard, I felt, more
strongly than ever before, how close is the rapport existing between
the ascetic mysticism of that time--symbolising the soul of things
in saint and hermit--and the wider transcendentalism of to-day,
that, taking, as Bacon took, the all for its medium, works, through
art, through science, through poetry, through even subtler and more
recondite communion of the human spirit with fellow spirits and with
nature, towards the ultimate goal of truth.


FOOTNOTES:

[98] Some authorities think that the name refers to the many pools,
     overgrown with bulrushes and other aquatic plants--Cit-eaux.

[99] The author of "A Concise History of the Cistercian Order," cap.
     iii. p. 67, states that tradition assigns the appearance of the
     vision to St. Alberic, but he adds that the immediate historical
     cause of the adoption of the white habit is somewhat mysterious. I
     venture to think that the legendary cause was also the historical
     one, seeing that all the Cistercian houses were dedicated to "the
     Queen of Heaven and Earth, Holy Mary." Moreover, what more natural
     than such a symbol in a wholly symbolical age?

[100] See Life of St. Stephen in "Cistercian Saints" quoted in
      "A Concise History of the Cistercian Order." p. 68.

[101] Martenne Thes. Anec. Tome v., p. 1650, quoted in "History of
      Cistercian Order." p. 71.

[102] "Cistercian Saints" cap. xiii., quoted in "A Concise History of
      the Cistercian Order." Chevalier speaks also of a boy face, and
      a white forehead; and adds that his bearing would have appeared
      proud but for a slight drooping of the head upon the shoulders,
      which lent sweetness to his general appearance.

[103] Guill. Vit. S. Bern: lib. 1, n. 2. Quoted Chevalier's "Histoire
      de St. Bernard," p. 8.

[104] Chevalier's "Life of St. Bernard." p. 55.

[105] Chevalier's "St. Bernard," vol. xi., p. 357.

[106] Quoted "Histoire de St. Bernard," Chevalier, vol. ii., p. 350.

[107] Pignot's "Cluny," Tome iii., pp. 108-114.

[108] Petit. "Histoire des Ducs Capétiens."



  [Illustration: Heading of chapter VIII; Paray-le-Monial; the Church]


CHAPTER VIII

CLUNY'S DAUGHTER


The country, as one travels from Cluny to Paray-le Monial, is varied
and interesting--so were the other passengers. At Charolles, there
entered our compartment two priests, one of whom devoted himself to
his book, while the other, a very tall, spare ecclesiastic, divided
his time evenly between his breviary, the sign of the cross, and a
close scrutiny of my wife. Whether there was any connection in his mind
between the last two occupations, I am unable to determine.

This little incident was sufficient to remind us that Paray--as the
adjunct Le Monial implies--is a town of ecclesiastical origin and
tradition. It was, in fact, a daughter of Cluny, an annexe of the
maison abbatiale, and a place of rest and of villégiature for the
abbots, who had their country seat here. To-day it is the centre of the
cult of the Sacré Cœur, and a favourite place of pilgrimage for the
French peasantry of the district.

On arrival at the station, while I was engaged with the luggage, a
straw-hatted individual, who had been lounging about in the company
of a young woman, drew my wife's attention to the fact that there
was no "plaque" on our bicycles. On being referred to me, he demanded
my permit, which I naturally refused to exhibit, until he had proved
his authority to ask for it. He then produced, from his pocket-book,
a printed paper, which appeared to be the document required. I showed
my permit accordingly; whereupon, with a satirical smile, and the
remark, "Une simple formalité, Monsieur," the insuppressible strolled
off. Insolent officialism is one of the "désagréments" of France, to
which a few more years of democratic supremacy will probably expose
this country also. A breach of that "simple formalité," as he called
it, would inevitably have brought me to the sub-prefecture, and would
have cost me thirty francs and costs, for each machine. Let cyclists in
France see that they comply with all "simples formalités."

Setting out in the morning to explore Paray, we had corroborative
evidence of an impression already formed, concerning the manners--or
want of them--of many Burgundians. Two or three groups of young girls,
passing us in the streets, burst into shrieks of laughter under
our very noses; and a band of school children, who intercepted and
surrounded us at a corner shop, in a narrow lane, could not have shown
deeper interest had we been two teddy bears, or a Punch and Judy show.
They made the street absolutely impassable; we could not move until the
shop-keeper emerged, and drove them away.

  [Illustration: Two Priests]

Modesty compels me to add that my wife was always the chief cause
of this hilarity and interest. These public attentions made her so
uneasy that she asked me plaintively, on one occasion, whether she
had grown a hump in the night! Though able to reassure her upon that
point, I could not, nor can I at this moment, satisfactorily account
for the undisguised astonishment her appearance caused; but I lean
to the conclusion that the secret lay mainly in her clothes. My wife
was dressed--quite simply--but she was dressed; whereas the women of
Burgundy merely wore clothes; garments that bore no relation to each
other, nor to the individuality of the wearer. The directors of the
Grands Magazins du Louvre have much to answer for in these matters, and
it was positively refreshing, in the remoter parts of the country,
to see the village women, naturally dressed, walking like goddesses,
freely, and in the shape in which Nature made them.

But to return from flesh and blood to the stones of Paray. Her old
monuments, though few, are choice. The best of them, excepting the
church, is the Hotel de Ville, a building with an exquisite Renaissance
façade, beautifully harmonized, showing Italian influence, and dating
from 1525. The flatness of the elevation is relieved, and the whole
bound together vertically, by three half-round turrets, which spring
from corbels below the sill strings of the first floor windows. Three
moulded courses ornamented with heads and busts in medallion,[109]
and panels in relief, extend right across the building, below the
windows. Several of the heads, including that of Francis I., are still
recognizable portraits. Between the windows, and beside the turrets,
are decorative, sculptured pilasters. There are many figures in niches,
and a profusion of scallop-shell ornament, all showing the transitional
character of the work. The top story, with alternating turrets, and
gables surmounted by statuettes, is extremely effective. All the
windows are beautifully proportioned, and finely, though not deeply,
moulded. As a whole, weathered by time to a rich, warm brown, this is
one of the most effective façades of its kind that I know in France.

The interior, which might easily be restored, has been spoiled by
whitewashing the oak beams of ceilings that shelter many exhibits, of
little interest, excepting some nice tiles from the old house. This
was built by a rich cloth manufacturer, Pierre Jayet, from 1525-1528.
According to Montégut, Pierre's brother was so jealous of the beauty of
the building, that he determined to eclipse it; and accordingly erected
the church of St. Nicholas, which, with the later tower of that name
(1658), still stands opposite to the Hotel de Ville. If the date of
the Church, as given to me, namely 1505, is correct, the legend must
be without foundation; but, whether it be true or false, that lovely
façade has nothing to fear from comparison with any other building in
the town.

Paray-le Monial's church is a splendid and typical example of the
Clunisian school of Burgundian architecture, about contemporary
with the Cathedral of Autun. In fact, you have only to create, in
imagination, a longer nave, transeptal towers, a second transept, and
flying buttresses, to form a very good idea of the appearance of Cluny
abbey in the middle ages.

From the eastern end you get the typical Burgundian effect of a series
of apsidal chapels and collaterals, lifting the eye, stage by stage,
up to the central clock tower, and thus conveying an impression of
dependent solidity unique in architecture, and quite symbolical of
Burgundian character. The apsidal chapels are buttressed by engaged
columns, and lightened by a string, ornamented with a billet, run right
round, to form the drip-stones and the abaci of the capitals, some of
which are very beautiful.

'Tis sad that Cluny's fair daughter is content to keep such ill
company. The approach to, and view of, the church from the north, is
almost completely blocked out by hideous booths filled with tawdry
trinkets, by a "Diorama Musée," and other mean erections, which should
be ruthlessly swept away by the authorities. Visitors may be annoyed,
too, as we were, by the attentions of an imbecile woman, employed by
the hangers-on of the church, to fetch water and run errands for them.
She looked over my shoulder diligently while I took notes, and only
replied with a wild stare, and a "Rien, rien," to my request to know
what I could do for her. A few yards further on, we came upon the
following:--

  _Apparition of the Sacred Heart to Blessed Margaret Mary Alacocque._
             _The Nusstree and Garden of the Visitation_
                       _Figures in natural size,_
                                   _Entrance ... Centimes._[110]

On reading this effusion, our first impression was, that there must
be some mental affinity between the dreadful woman who had just been
jibbering at us, and the promoters of this novel entertainment; until
we realized that the wax-works were merely another catch-penny, aimed
at pilgrims' pockets--the invitation I had just read being no more
than a weak attempt to rope in an occasional English enthusiast. The
discovery, not far off, of a similar legend, written in bad German,
revealed the origin of the "Nusstree." It is curious how seldom French
attempts to break out publicly into the English tongue, meet with any
degree of success. From the "High Life Tailor" of Parisian boulevards,
to the "Nusstree" of Paray-le Monial, it is always the same story;
one English word is as good as another to a Frenchman who understands
neither.

The north door of the church, flanked though it be by disreputable
buildings, is a graceful construction, of somewhat unusual classical
design, well harmonized and proportioned, and exquisitely carved. All
the sculpture, from the flowered architrave within the pilasters, to
the ornamentation of the shafts and the shouldered arches, is very
pleasing, as are the doors themselves, with their quatre-foiled iron
ornament, surrounding an inner cross.

The primitive porch, and the western towers of the church are somewhat
remarkable. Murray, on what authority I cannot say, puts their date at
1004, but Viollet-le-Duc contents himself with admitting this portion
to be earlier than the remainder of the Church. The northern tower is
the later of the two. The porch is arched, and of two bays, forming six
quadripartite vaults between the arches. The weight of the towers above
was originally taken by two central clusters of stone columns, which
proved quite inadequate for the purpose, and were replaced--in the
19th century, I think--by a granite column.[111] The western precincts
of the Church exhibit the usual signs of decadence of ecclesiastical
power and influence. Dead leaves littering the porch, mercifully screen
the "choses immondes" and the building materials with which the floor
is scattered; and as though the building were not yet sufficiently
defiled, a board invites the public to deposit its rubbish between the
porch and the river, on a site at present in the occupation of noisy
children.

Seen from within, the church is noble and impressive; but the eye at
once notices a want of proportion; the height of the first storey
being too great for that of the triforium and clerestories. This is
due, in part, to the shortness of the nave, which might be three
times as long, and, in part, to the flatness of the triforium, a true
blind-story, rendered mean for lack of shadow to break up the flatness
of the arcades. The supports for the vaulting take the form of fluted
pilasters, which rise to the capitals, on a level with the sill string,
below the triforium; whence the thrust is taken by half round vaulting
shafts.

  [Illustration: THE CHURCH DOOR ·PARAY-LE-MONIAL·]

Here, as elsewhere in Burgundy and Southern France, the pointed arch
is obviously used as a necessity of construction, rather than for any
inherent love the builders bore it. Before the art of buttressing had
developed, no other method was open to them.[112]

Grateful memories still linger of that vista--down the wide-aisled nave
to the well-proportioned columns of the apse, bathed in rich colours
from the stained glass, which, modern though it be, is worthy, when
compared with our recollections of Notre Dame de Cluny. The interior
has not many decorative features, except the fluted pilasters, and the
archivolts, somewhat in the Lombard style, in which the lozenge and the
billet ornament are effectively used. Very local, on the contrary, and
very characteristic are the Byzantine beasts carved among the foliage
on the capitals of the ambulatory.

'Tis a pity that the crossings are so prominent; their nudity enhances
the ill-effect of the debauch of whitewash that renders the interior
so cold. One of the few good monuments is a fifteenth-century,
south-eastern, transeptal chapel, with the remains of the gothic
canopied tomb of the Seigneurs of Digoin. The windows, doors and niches
of the chapel are satisfactory, but the ribbed vaulting is clumsy, and
much too heavy for so small a roof. I believe that the figures are all
modern.

As we left by the north transept, we noticed a lady standing before the
statue of St. Peter. Rising upon her toes until her bonnet feathers
nodded, she was just able, with an effort, to kiss the toe of the
Saint. I examined that toe; it was bright with the salutes of the
faithful.

Nowhere do I remember to have seen so many appeals and warnings against
blasphemy and desecration as are displayed in the church of Paray. No
doubt they are needful and salutary; but it struck us, that, before
enforcing too severely their observance, the ecclesiastical authorities
would do well to set their own house in order, and, once for all, to
sweep the precincts of their basilica clear of all rubbish, human and
inanimate, that now defiles it. I wonder, sometimes, whether those who
are responsible for the condition of affairs at Paray, and other great
French churches, have ever seen the close of Salisbury, or of Wells,
or can ever have realized how enhancing to the dignity and grandeur
of mediæval architecture, and how seemly, as settings to a sacred
building, are the delicious haunts of peace, upon whose trim, green
lawns and ancestral elms, those ancient cathedrals look down. That,
having done so, they can be content to let the towers of Paray rise
from among tawdry booths and a howling wilderness of filth and débris,
is something I do not care to believe. That is why, having visited in
hope Cluny's lovely daughter, we left her with little other feeling
than one of sadness that such things should be.

       *       *       *       *       *

The country around Paray is not particularly interesting; but some fine
views of the Church are to be had from the other side of the Bourbince.
Having set forth on bicycles to explore the land, we halted on a little
bridge that crosses the Canal du Centre. The waterway was lined, on
our side, for about a hundred yards, with small tumble-down cottages
and sheds. The other bank was alive with washerwomen all thumping
mercilessly at soapy garments. As we appeared, the thumping ceased.
Every scrubbing-brush was put down, or remained poised in mid-air, and
all eyes turned towards the two figures, who, even at that distance,
bore the stamp of aliens.

We approached a cottage labelled "Café." Before it was a perambulator
containing a howling baby, whom a very serious little maid of about
fourteen was trying unsuccessfully to hush. We sat down on a rickety
bench, and ordered things. The little maid was so shy that her lips
refused to part; but her ears were open; she fetched and carried
willingly, though dumbly. We sat sipping, and contemplating nature. The
washers returned to their thumping; the baby howled.

Presently a lanky mule, into whom the spirit of devilment had entered,
broke from a neighbouring shed, and made for the bridge. The girl left
her charge, and endeavoured to "shoo" the beast to his stall again. He
would neither be coerced nor cajoled, but, with a wicked gleam in his
eye, turned his back upon her blandishments, and, to the great peril of
the baby, lashed out fiercely with both heels. The girl rushed to the
perambulator. Conscious of victory, the ass lay down upon the towing
path, and rolled and kicked, until the washers across the water were
screened from us by clouds of dust. Then, in due season, he arose and
walked quietly back to his stable. As my wife observed: "He is a very
young mule; and there is no fun in being naughty, if nobody minds."

A moment later, we saw coming towards us with swinging strides over
the bridge, a tall, swarthy, handsome figure, dressed as a stage
bandit, in copper-coloured leather coat, of the same tint as his face,
a dark slouch hat, and black leather gaiters. From each capacious
side pocket projected the neck of a large, white-glass, wine bottle.
He called for a drink, and sat down near us on a bench before the
café; then, removing one of the bottles from his coat, he revealed two
snakes wriggling within it. Holding the bottle by the neck, he shook it
before the eyes of the howling baby, who promptly fell into such strong
convulsions that my wife feared for its life.

"What are those?" I asked, pointing to the bottle.

"Vipers," said the bandit, "'Tis my trade." Diving into the coat again,
he produced a metal armlet inscribed "Charmeur de Vipères." Thence
followed, one by one, all his certificates of efficiency, signed by
the mayors of places in the neighbourhood--Digoin, Mâcon, and Paray.
Here were forty-six killed in one day; thirty-five more in the woods of
Charolles; "Et il y en a encore." He did not stay long enough for us to
question him concerning his methods of procedure; but, rising abruptly
from the wooden bench, strode off, a great, bronzed figure, and was
soon lost among the coppery tints of the Burgundian forest.

I have often wondered since, whether he worked solely by close
observation, or whether he had developed that supernormal or subnormal
faculty, withheld from most, but granted often to undeveloped minds, as
it was to the boy in Rollinat's song:--

    When Autumn has tinted the boughs and the brakes,
      With fixed eyes, sadly and sweetly asway,
    The wandering idiot who charms the snakes,
      Wearying never, hobbles all day.

    The vipers asleep on the marge of their lakes,
      In chorus awaken at sound of his song;
    And, shrilling thin hisses, they follow along--
      A crowd of old gossips--each path that takes
    The wandering idiot who charms the snakes.[113]

We saw the mysterious snake-charmer once more in Paray. He raised the
wide, slouch hat, and saluted with all the dignity of a forest king.


FOOTNOTES:

[109] Hence the original name, "Maison des Pompons."

[110] The Reference is to the alleged apparition of Christ, revealing
      His Bleeding Heart, to a young girl, Marguerite Marie Alacocque,
      in 1690, beneath a nut-tree, the site of which is now marked
      by the Chapelle de la Visitation. It was this vision which
      established in Paray the "Culte du Sacré Cœur," now common
      throughout France.

[111] Viollet le Duc. "Dictionnaire Raisonné" Tome vii. p. 283.

[112] Bond's "Gothic Architecture in England," p. 265.

[113] "Songs of old France," Percy Allen.



  [Illustration: Heading, chapter IX; Gontran and Bertille]


CHAPTER IX

HER THREE CROWNS


To the outward eye Chalon-Sur-Saône is no more than a thriving, modern,
commercial town, containing little of interest to the antiquarian;
though the stir of life on the busy wharves may prove enticing to those
who weary, sometimes, of the sleepiness of country towns, and the faded
glories of mediæval cities. Yet, for our part, especially when we are
in France, we prefer the shadows of the past to the realities of the
present; and, no sooner were we in Châlon, than we set ourselves to
picturing the town as it had been, when the river was the scene of
royal pageants, when three golden bands girdled the city walls, and
great tournaments were held on the island where bold knights laid lance
in rest round the banner of La Dame des Pleurs.

One of the last of the river pageants was in 1371, when the Duke of
Anjou gave rendez-vous to Philippe le Hardi, his brother, at the papal
city of Avignon. The Duke embarked at Châlon with a great suite. In
the first vessel was Philip and his principal barons; then came the
Chancellor's boat, with other nobles; then the barges of the kitchen,
the wardrobe, the wine-cellar, and the fish store. The Duke appeared
with great éclat at Avignon, and offered the pope a courser, a hackney,
two flagons, and two basins of silver-gilt. He also dealt so generously
with the cardinals, that, to enable him to return, he was obliged
to pawn his jewels with a Lombard, as security for a loan of twenty
thousand francs.[114]

But I want now to go back to earlier days, even, than those--to the
year 589, when Gontran was king of Burgundy, and had his court at
Châlon--whenever his wars with Childebert and Chilperic allowed him to
hold court anywhere. Gontran, it was, who, twelve years before, in 577,
had founded two miles away eastward, in the plain, a great abbey in
honour of St. Marcel, the apostle of the Châlonnais, martyred upon that
very spot. Gontran too, it was, who rebuilt the walls of Châlon, broken
down by the Huns, and ornamented them, for a belt, with three bands of
golden stone; so that, in after years, the early historians and the
poets, singing of the city by the Saône, hailed it as Orbandale, the
town "aux bandelettes d'or." That is why, to-day, the arms of Châlon
are three golden circles, two and one, on a field of azure.

I am going to tell here, briefly, the story of Bertille, the heroine of
the golden bands--surnamed, not too happily, La Judith Châlonnaise.[115]

In the year 589, there dwelt in the royal city of Châlon, a worthy
man, Vulfrand by name, and his wife, Ludwige. They had a daughter,
Bertille, supple, graceful, dignified, and so lovely and virtuous, that
she was the pride, not of her parents only, but of all the town, famous
though it then was for producing beautiful women. Bertille was nearly
seventeen years old, and she had been brought up in the Christian
faith, at a time when that religion, then still young, needed every
proselyte it could win. And she was her parents' only child.

One summer evening, after Bertille had read aloud the vesper prayer,
her father, having made the sign of the cross upon his brow, rose,
and went to the door of the apartment, which opened upon the street.
Standing upon the threshold, he was enjoying the freshness of the
twilight air, when suddenly he was aware of a commotion in the
neighbouring street--the stir of a great crowd, men's voices, and the
clatter of horses' hoofs.

"Bertille!" he called, "Come, come quickly, or you will be too late!"
And, indeed, already there drew near a great cortège, ecclesiastics for
the most part, proceeding in some dis-array, and hastening, because of
the late hour, and the distance they had yet to go.

King Gontran had convoked a council in the church of St. Marcel--the
town then named Hobiliacus--and thither this cortège of bishops and
priests was bent, eager to arrive before nightfall, that they might
begin their conference early the next morning.

Bertille came to the door just as the last members of the cortège
were passing. Among them was a rider whose costume showed plainly
that he was no ecclesiastic. From the scutcheon embroidered upon the
front of his garment, he appeared to be a noble--lord, perhaps, of
some neighbouring kingdom. His steed was rearing; and he, not averse
from showing to the crowd his strength and skill in horsemanship, let
it plunge at its will. Then he reined it in, and was looking proudly
around him at the moment when Bertille ran to the door. His eyes rested
upon her, in a fixed gaze. Bertille felt the stare; and shuddered
before it.

"Father, that horseman is not following the cortège," said the girl,
blushing and hiding her head behind Vulfrand's shoulder. "Let us go
in," she added, "I have seen enough."

"What is the matter, ma belle, are you feeling ill?"

"No, but that lord's stare has tired me."

"And reddened you, too, little angel of Paradise! But in with you!
though there's small harm in being seen; even when one is as pretty as
you." He kissed her forehead, smiling, and together they went in. They
told the mother what had chanced. "His eyes," said Bertille, "were upon
me like a serpent's upon a bird."

Night fell, and with it came the hour of sleep.

"Allons!" said Vulfrand, "Good night, my Bertille; sleep well, and
above all, forget the eye of that serpent."

"If only you were there, to put your foot on his head," said she,
smiling, to her father.

"Oh! you are no big girl, are you?--no more than the little bird was a
big bird. Go to bed; sleep, dream of him, and crush him under your own
heel." Half an hour later, Bertille was asleep.

Meanwhile, the young horseman in question, Amalon by name, a Duke
in rank, from the country of Champagne, charged with the conduct of
negotiations at the court of Burgundy, was following the cortège of
ecclesiastics, with whom he must attend to-morrow's council at St.
Marcel. But, ever, as he rode, the beautiful face of Bertille shining
before his eyes, awoke evil thoughts within him. He soon decided that
so fair a maid was better worth his attention, than a discussion with
the bishops concerning the goods of the church. So, after waiting until
the boats had carried the learned company across the Saône, he returned
to his own apartment, preoccupied, and with his heart beating rather
faster than was its wont.

"Surely the girl is very fair," he said to himself, "and well worth
a little trouble. These are quiet days in my town of Troyes; and who
knows but the name of Duchess may tickle her ears." Then he, too, slept.

The next day, the Duke Amalon, faring forth earlier than was his
custom, chanced to meet Bertille in the street, as she was going forth
to do marketing for the household. Making her a low obeisance, he
accosted the maid, told her who he was, and how her charms had brought
him, at one glance, to her feet. But, to his great surprise, he found
that neither the magic title of Duke, nor of Duchess, even, wrought
favourably with the girl. On the contrary, her dark eyes showed only
fear and resentment, until, taking advantage of the protection afforded
by passers-by, she turned swiftly and fled from him, homeward.

"Fly away, shy dove," hissed the young lord between his teeth. "None
the less there shall be good bird-nesting to-morrow."

A week later, Duke Amalon sat at the board. He was sick at heart, his
proud face aflame with wine and anger. Messengers were announced, and
there entered to him the five servants he had left behind at Châlon.

"You have been longer than long enough," he growled at them, "Ere now I
would have caught her six times over."

"She did not quit the house until this morning, Prince, and 'tis a
day's journey twixt there and here."

"'Tis well enough, for this time," said he, relenting somewhat. "Bring
in the shy dove." And he threw them a purse of gold. As they withdrew,
Amalon retired into a far corner of the apartment. The valets led into
the room Bertille, pale as the morn, and trembling, her hand upon her
breast.

"Where am I?" she cried. "Mother of God, whither hast thou let them
bring me?" And her beautiful, terrified eyes searched the room. They
lighted upon the dark face of the Duke.

"Ah!" she cried, and uttering a piercing scream, fell upon her knees.

"Well, shy bird; are you still so little fain to become the lady of
fair Champagne?" And he drew near to her. The girl raised her eyes. "Do
not come near to me," she whispered, and turned away her head.

"Come, come, listen to reason, little one. A duchy for your beaux yeux;
sooth! tis not too much; yet, for all that, be not too exacting." He
laid his fingers under the chin of the kneeling girl. Shuddering,
Bertille sprang to her feet; his touch had aroused anger, and, with
anger, courage. She turned from him, the red lips blanching, so firmly
were they set.

"Nay, do not fly my sight, wild dove."

"The dove flies the serpent's gaze," she replied. Amalon made a step
nearer. She heard the foot-fall, and could not restrain a little cry,
that was half appeal, half prayer. As she prayed, her eye caught the
glint of something shining upon the wall opposite. That cry irritated
the lord. His sensual face grew darker.

"Cry on," he scoffed; "Walls hear naught; and my men without hear only
my voice." With a sob, she flung herself on her knees before him.

"Pity! lord duke, pity! for my parents' sake. Soil not your honour,
nor mine; yield a frail girl to her mother again. Already she has wept
long for me." Then, as she humbled her beauty before him, and her long,
black hair, dishevelled, swept his very feet, strong passion burnt out
all pity from Amalon's heart. He bent low, and took her in his arms.
With a wild cry, the girl broke from his grasp, and rushed to the thing
shining on the wall. Cursing, the duke followed her. As he reached her,
she turned.

"Serpent, feel how the dove can peck!" Torchlight flashed bright upon
the uplifted blade. There came the sound of a blow, an awful cry, and
Duke Amalon, his skull cloven, lay prostrate at the feet of the maid.

With a crash, the doors flew open; five poniards were raised over
Bertille's head. The Duke saw them, before darkness swam into his dying
eyes.

"Slay her not," he whispered, "Slay her not, but let her go. This is
God's hand; so should virtue strike." He shuddered in every limb; then
lay still in death.

       *       *       *       *       *

The great council at St. Marcel was nearing its end. Already King
Gontran had withdrawn to his private apartments, and the fathers were
deeply occupied with the last session of the conference. The voice
of the speaker was filling the vast nave, and all were rapt in the
closest attention, when suddenly the door of the church was seen to
open swiftly, and a figure, heedless of the guardian's stern warning,
entered the church, and ran down the nave towards the choir. At the
barrier behind which the conference was assembled, the new-comer
knelt; and the astonished prelates saw before them a young girl, weary
and travel-stained, whose disordered dress and dishevelled hair could
not conceal her natural beauty.

Crossing her hands upon her breast, she looked upwards.

"Mother of Christ! it was to keep me still worthy of thee!"

The priest, who had been addressing the conference, stood silent. Every
eye was fastened upon the maid. The ecclesiastics gathered round her,
putting questions.

"My fathers, I have but one boon to ask of you. Deign to take me to the
king. It is with him that I would speak." So the fathers brought her
to the king's presence, within the monastery. The Prince received her
kindly; but Bertille hesitated, her beautiful eyes downcast.

"Speak," said Gontran, smiling; "A maid as fair as you are has little
to fear."

"Prince," replied the young girl, "I know not how it may have pleased
God to fashion me; but if it be, indeed, beauty that He has given
me--then is beauty a fatal gift?"

"How so?" said the King, with rising interest. The girl stood silent.
She reddened, and bent her head still lower. Her breast heaved, and the
tears flowed down.

"Prince," she said in broken tones, "I am ... guilty ... and I come to
yield myself into your hands." All eyes looked at her in astonishment.

"Guilty, my child, you!" said Gontran, not less amazed than the others.
"That is not easily believed."

"Yet it is true, Prince; and the proof is, that for three days I have
seen neither father nor mother."

"And where are your parents?"

"At Châlon."

"And why have you not seen them for so long?"

"I dared not return to them. Look, Prince, look!" She loosened a fold
of her dress; and there, plain for all to see, was a large, red, stain.

"Blood!" cried Gontran.

"Blood, my King!" Then the girl told all her tale. As they heard it,
indignation, writ at first upon every face, gave way to nods and
smiles, and murmurs of applause scarce restrained, when the end came.

"No criminal here, holy fathers, methinks; but rather a heroine!" said
Gontran. Then, turning to the maid, he added:

"You hold yourself guilty; but, meseems you have been guided rather by
the Hand of God. Was the widow of Bethulie guilty when she delivered
her people? Yet, in my thought, your maiden modesty and fear rank you
above even that noble Judith. Be comforted then; to-morrow you shall
see your parents again. Now, go to rest; and God have you in His care
this night." So they made ready a chamber for Bertille; and there she
slept, and that right soundly.

       *       *       *       *       *

On the next day, Gontran sent secretly to Châlon certain servants, with
commands to bring the parents of Bertille to his presence. The good
people were much terrified, and refused, at first, to follow the king's
men, saying that the loss of their daughter had stricken them so deep
in sorrow, that they would go no whither for no man--even though he be
their own beloved king, Gontran. But at length they let themselves be
persuaded, and went--not without fearful questioning as to what their
lord the king might want with such simple folk as they.

So they came before the king at the monastery of St. Marcel, and
Gontran told them that he wotted well their story, and asked them
whether they were indeed fain to see their child again.

"Ah! Prince," moaned the naïve old Vulfrand, "If the dear God had but
one angel in all heaven--and he lost her--dost think he would not be
fain for her face again?" And Ludwige wailed an echo to that plaint.
Then the king spoke much with them both, and knew that, in sooth, these
two loved their daughter well.

Meanwhile, one after one, the priests and bishops were filling the
chamber; but Vulfrand and Ludwige, with eyes only for the king, knew
nought of this, until Gontran made a movement causing them to look
round. Then, when they saw themselves in the midst of this royal
assembly, they feared greatly, and Ludwige clung to her husband. But,
with a smile and a gracious nod, the king reassured them, and bade them
be seated upon two stools, not far from his own person. So they sat
amazed, and knew not yet whether good was to befall them, or evil.

Gontran made a sign, and a great silence fell upon all. Then there
entered a young page, bearing, upon a cushion of azure velvet, three
small, golden crowns, the which he laid at the king's feet. Then that
sainted and holy bishop, Gregory of Tours, rose from his chair in
the great hall, and approached the throne. The page lifted, and put
into his hands, the cushion and the three crowns. Holding them forth,
Gregory turned to that august assembly.

"These three crowns," said he, "are each the reward of a merit--merits
widely differing, yet such as Heaven is pleased to unite, sometimes, in
a single being. Yestereve were you and I permitted to see and to hear
her whom God has so privileged; and you shall now judge whether she is
worthy of these rewards, or rather, whether these rewards are worthy of
her."

"The first of these crowns is the crown of beauty--you have seen her,
lords. The second is the crown of virtue--and how great hers is, you
know well. The third is the crown of courage--you have heard her, and
you have acclaimed her, even as have I." A murmur of assent rolled
through the assembly.

Meanwhile the young maid had been brought into the hall. She was
dressed in fair, white raiment, and veiled, even to her feet. She drew
near to the throne; and her tread was light as the foot-fall of an
angel. Ludwige and Vulfrand could not take their eyes from off her.
Their hearts beat within them as never before; yet they scarce knew
why; though, indeed, they sat beside a king.

"Come hither, noble child," said Gregory of Tours. And he took the
golden crowns in his hands, and laid upon the royal dais the azure
cushion, and bade the maid kneel thereon. Then he gave the three golden
crowns in to the hands of the king, and yielding place to him, stood
respectfully by his side. The king spoke.

"Noble child, Heaven has granted you beauty, and beauty deserves a
crown. Here is the crown of beauty." And he laid upon her brow the
first golden circlet. Then he spoke again.

"Noble child, thine is the purest virtue; virtue deserves a crown. Here
is the crown of virtue." And he placed upon her head the second golden
circlet. A third time the king spoke.

"Noble child, you have given proof of strong courage; and courage
deserves a crown. Here is the crown of courage." And he laid upon her
head the third golden round. Vulfrand and Ludwige gazed breathlessly.

"Now, brave maiden," added the king, "raise your veil." The girl
obeyed.

"My daughter!... Bertille!" ... "My Mother!" The two women wept in each
other's arms. Vulfrand drew near to the king.

"There was that within, Sire, told me you knew somewhat of my
daughter." Gontran smiled.

"Good people," said he to the happy parents, "Bertille will go back
with you to Châlon, and there, if I know aught of maids' minds, she
will tell you all. Be happy, then; for God has given you a daughter
after His Own Heart." Then, turning to the assembly, he spoke thus:

"Lords, since the fatal passage of the Huns across our land, our walls
have lain in ruin. We must needs raise them again. In so doing, let us
preserve the memory of Bertille's triumph. Three bands of gilded stone
shall be built within the wall, to serve it for a girdle; and to remind
all descendants to whom our fair city may pass, of the honour due to
beauty, to courage, and to virtue."

Loud rang the applause from all the townspeople, when, that very
evening, Bertille and her parents returned to their home. The family of
dead Amalon were forbidden by Gontran, on pain of extinction, to molest
further either parents or daughter, and soon, around the new walls of
the royal city of Châlon, ran a triple girdle of gold--the three crowns
we see to-day upon the arms of the town.

  [Illustration: End of chapter IX; Her Three Crowns]


FOOTNOTES:

[114] De Barante. Tome I.

[115] François Fertiault's "Bertille" Feuilleton de Paris, 1848.



  [Illustration: Heading, chapter X; Abélard and Héloïse]


CHAPTER X

ABELARD AND HELOISE


The first thing we did on arriving at Châlon was to mount our bicycles
and cross the river to the Church of St. Marcel, all that now remains
of the ancient abbey. The feature of the journey was the number of
rough Bressane carts we met, filled with potatoes, and drawn, very
deliberately, by yoked, dreamy, creamy oxen, whose mild eyes were
veiled by fringes of string, tied across the forehead, to keep off the
flies.

The Abbey church is a well-proportioned and satisfactory early
Burgundian building, with a high narthex, a western tower, and a late
Renaissance west front. It is designed rather in the Cistercian manner,
with a square apse and two apsidal chapels, square and semi-circular
respectively. The whole forms a fine example of early purity of style.
Excepting the simple foliage of the capitals and the bosses of the high
vault, one looks in vain for any carving, and there is very little
moulding that catches the eye. The orders of the arches are left
square-edged, and the ridges of the aisle vaulting scarcely show. The
piers of the nave, too, are square, with circular shafts to carry the
vault.

Over the High Altar are two châsses with the relics of St. Agricola
and St. Marcel. A notice in the church informs one that, in the year
879, John VIII. canonized in this church the holy bishops of Châlon;
also that, on Holy Saturday, April 13th, 1805, Pope Pius VII. came to
visit the relics of Saint Marcel and Saint Agricola, and blessed the
High Altar.

But the most interesting memory associated with the Abbey is that of
the first of the modernists, Abélard, whose name is linked for ever
with that of his lover, Héloïse. Only the peaceful, closing years of
Abélard's stormy life connect him with Burgundy; but his stay at Cluny,
under the care of Pierre le Vénérable, and his last days and burial at
St. Marcel, justify me, I hope, in telling again here the life stories
of two whose names, with those of Aucassin and Nicolette, Petrarch and
Laura, Dante and Beatrice, Paolo and Francesca, are blazoned, for all
time, upon the scrolls of love.

It was in the year 1105, or 1106, that a young Breton, about sixteen
years of age, of good family, came to Paris to study at the schools of
the Quartier Latin, on the Montagne St. Gêneviève, now occupied by the
buildings of the Sorbonne. His father, the Seigneur de Pallet, near
Nantes, had destined his son for the profession of arms; but a natural
bent towards books and learning, and the consequent ambition to become
formidable in "logic," induced the lad to abandon prospects of fortune
and military glory, to play a prominent and extraordinarily romantic
part in the religious and philosophical movements of the greatest
century of the middle ages.

The schools of philosophy of Paris were already the most famous in the
world, when Abélard put himself, as he expresses it in a letter to
Philintus, "under the direction of one Champeaux, a professor who had
acquired the character of the most skilful philosopher of his age, but
by negative excellencies only, as being the least ignorant." The boy
was well received at first, but his abilities in debate and dialectics
soon aroused the natural jealousy of a master, who perceived himself to
be no match for his pupil. Abélard withdrew to Melun for safety, and
for the better establishment of his fast-developing theories concerning
the necessary compatibility of dogma and reason, summed up in the
phrase "Nul ne peut croire sans avoir compris," an axiom fraught with
danger in the middle ages, and in those which succeeded them.

After some years of retirement, the young dialectician attended the
schools of Anselm, Bishop of Laon, where, finding himself thoroughly
dissatisfied with the teaching of one of whom he could only say, "Stet
magni nominus umbra," he decided to take for his guides the primitive
fathers, and to launch boldly, for himself, into the study of the Holy
Scriptures.

When he deemed the time ripe, he returned to Paris, where his success
drew many to him; so many that, before long, the fame of the young
Breton, now Maitre Pierre, author of the "Gloze d'Ezéchiel," the great
teacher of the new doctrine of Conceptualism, was finding an echo in
all Paris. He became the centre of a school of young enthusiasts,
who hung upon his words. These early years of success in Paris
were, intellectually, the most fruitful of his life, but they had a
disastrous effect upon a character, the strength of which was never
equal to that of his mind. His pride and vanity, naturally great,
became consuming. Freedom of thought was not sufficient for him; so
great a liberationist must live a free life; the scholars must share
him with the courtesans.

Meanwhile, in a little house in the western end of the Isle de la
Cité, at the foot of Notre Dame, that already was beginning to lift
its mighty bulk above the palace of the king, and the surrounding
churches and cloisters, were living Canon Fulbert and his young niece,
fifteen years old, who had just completed her education at the convent
of Argenteuil. Héloïse was a girl of unusual ability. That her talents
are no mere legend, is abundantly proved by her letters, that rank her
among the great women of literature. And she had yet more dangerous
gifts--character, charm, beauty. This white lily, blossoming among the
cloisters, was the one flower that could draw from Abélard the soul no
courtesan had been able to reach. She was fair, sweet, impressionable;
looking out upon a lovely world, and waiting only for love to lighten
it. He was famous, young, tall, handsome, and well-dressed, beyond the
wont of scholars.[116] No more was needed. Their destiny was upon them.
They met; and looked long into each other's eyes.

Within a short time, Abélard was installed in the Canon's house;
commissioned to instruct Héloïse in philosophy. "It is my wish that she
should obey you in everything," said the guileless uncle, in confiding
his niece to her tutor. "Employ every means, even manual chastisement,
if you judge it necessary, to stimulate her zeal and constrain her to
further submission."[117]

Fulbert was to discover, only too soon, how little need there was for
such an injunction.

So the professor of thirty-eight and the maiden of seventeen sat
side by side over their book of philosophy, until, at length, their
eyes rose from the page to one another, "And that day they read no
farther."[118] Day by day their mutual sympathy increased, though the,
as yet, innocent liaison still masqueraded in the guise of a platonic
friendship, while, all the time, says Abélard, "There came more words
of love than philosophy into our conversations, and more kisses than
explanations."

Meanwhile, Abélard the lover was at war with Abélard the philosopher.
Gradually, to their astonishment and dismay, it dawned upon his
students in the Sainte Montagne, that the metaphysical speculations of
their Master had lost something of the accustomed brilliance; that the
well of his eloquence was drying up. Then came a greater shock. Maitre
Pierre, their own Maitre Pierre, was writing love songs, like any
ballad-monger; and all Paris was singing them.

They were very beautiful love songs, sincere love songs; for Abélard
and Héloïse were in love. Few knew it, least of all Fulbert, who,
dreaming the days away in his stall in the choir of Notre Dame, appears
to have had no suspicions concerning the bona-fides of the philosopher
in his house. But, one day, coming home unexpectedly, he surprised
the lovers in a close embrace. His fury was intense. All his love for
Abélard changing to hate, he drove him from the house. He might well
have done more than that, had he known all; had he known that Héloïse
was to become a mother.

Abélard, in this crisis, appears to have acted with a certain degree of
courage. He entrusted his mistress to the care of his sister, Denise,
at the Bourg du Pallet, in Brittany, where she went in a nun's dress,
to avert suspicion as to her real condition. He endeavoured, too, to
obtain the forgiveness of her father; and even promised to marry his
daughter, on condition that the alliance was kept secret; but Héloïse,
with characteristic greatness of mind, refused to compromise his career
by so tightening his bonds. "The title of mistress," she said, speaking
with the extraordinary abandonment of self that she always displayed
toward her lover, "is infinitely sweeter to me than that of wife." She
allowed herself to be persuaded, however, and, after the birth of her
child, a son, she returned to Paris, where the secret marriage was
celebrated, and Abélard returned to his scholastic duties.

But the presence of Héloïse irked him; probably he felt it impossible
to play the double part of husband and philosopher, while his wife
was within reach; and he succeeded in persuading her, docile as ever,
to return to the cloisters of Argenteuil. So far, he had suffered the
least of the three involved in this tragedy; but Nemesis was close at
hand. Fulbert, outwardly satisfied, was contemplating a dire revenge.

All Paris was startled, one morning, by the rumour of an extraordinary
crime. A ruffian, armed with a razor, had broken into Maitre Pierre's
house, at night, and had shamefully mutilated the teacher. It was true.
Abélard was unsexed; and Fulbert, fully avenged, had fled from Paris.
Loud was the lamentation in the Sainte Montagne.

The dominant feeling aroused by such a humiliation, in the mind of a
man so proud as Abélard, was, naturally, that of shame; penitence took
but a second place. He felt that he could face the world no longer; yet
jealousy told him that he could not take the cowl, while another took
Héloïse, and knew delights, spiritual and carnal, that had once been
his. Héloïse, living only in and for her earthly husband, could refuse
him nothing at such a crisis. She took the veil at Argenteuil, and
became, for her lover's sake, the spouse of Christ. Abélard donned the
robe of the Benedictines at the great abbey of St. Denis, in 1119.

If he had expected to regain peace and serenity in such a house, he
must have been grievously disappointed. The abbey of St. Denis had
not escaped the degeneracy that had already overtaken many of the
monastic institutions of the day. It had become a centre of private
and political intrigue, a pleasure resort for the fashionable life of
Paris; laughter and the rustle of ladies' robes were heard in the long
alleys of the cloister.[119] Against these abuses the new-comer was not
slow to raise his eloquent voice. It was not heeded, or was received
only with jeers. Abélard withdrew, by permission, to the monastery
of Deuil, close by, where he opened a school, and gave himself up
again to teaching, and to propagating the advanced theology that had
already scandalized the more orthodox of Paris. His treatise on "The
Divine Trinity and Unity," brought him before the Council of Soissons.
The persecution of the freethinker had begun; and though the daring
innovator endeavoured strenuously to justify his writings, the fathers
condemned him to throw, with his own hands, his book into the lighted
brazier prepared in the midst of the assembly. He was then handed over,
for correction, to the care of the abbot of St. Médard de Soissons.

This sentence was soon annulled, and Abélard found himself once more
at St. Denis. But not for long. Sleeping enmities were aroused; and,
one night, Abélard, with the connivance of certain monks, fled secretly
from the abbey, and took refuge near Nogent, in a remote part of
Champagne, where he hoped "to avoid fame" and live secure against the
malice of his enemies. But to avoid fame was not in the reformer's
destiny. The hermit was soon surrounded by his followers, who converted
a natural grotto into a chapel, and built themselves rustic huts of
boughs and thatch, in this Paraclet,[120] the place of their master's
consolation.

Again he re-opened his school, again many listened to his defence of
the truth, again he aroused the enmity of the orthodox church, who,
this time, had as their champion the greatest name in all Christendom,
the more than Pope, St. Bernard. Abélard's four happy years of quiet
service were at an end. He fled to the lonely abbey of St. Gildas, in
Brittany, his native province, "a barbarous country, the language of
which I do not understand," where his walks were along the inaccessible
shore of a sea that was always stormy, where dissolute monks lived
only to hunt, "and the doors and walls were without ornament, save the
heads of wild boars and the feet of hinds and the hides of frightful
animals."[121]

During all these years, though neither was forgotten by the other, no
communication had passed between Abélard the monk and Héloïse the nun.
Now, for a brief period, the currents of their lives were to mingle
again. In the year 1128, the monastery of Argenteuil passed to the
abbey of St. Denis, then ruled by Suger, who was no friend to Abélard.
The nuns were dispersed, and Héloïse and her sisters found themselves
without shelter. Here was the old lover's opportunity. Paraclet, bereft
of its lord, had no tenants; Héloïse had no home. An impulse swiftly
acted upon, some sudden instinct of pity, of desire, of remorse for the
sufferings of which he was the responsible cause, led Abélard to obtain
permission to offer her the shelter of his old retreat. She accepted
this offer, and established there a nunnery, of which she herself was
appointed to be the first abbess. Héloïse and her sisters were to
follow the rigorous rule of St. Benedict, modified by Abélard--after
special study--as a concession to the frail physique of women.

  [Illustration: MAISON COLOMBIER--BEAUNE
                 _Facing page 150_]

The old lovers, both taught in the stern school of suffering, seem
to have accepted, with full self-control, the new and spiritual
relationship upon which they were about to enter. In the priest's case,
that is more easily understood. For him, though still he says, "I sigh,
I weep, I grieve, I speak the dear name of Héloïse, I delight to hear
the sound," the days of physical desire were past for ever.

But what an effort must it have cost the woman, not yet in her
thirtieth year, and with her beauty still in bloom, to accept her
position, to respect his; to honour as her spiritual brother only,
him who was her lover and her husband. Yet she did it--though with
awful searchings of heart, with longings, and inward rebellion against
fate, that her letters have, in measure, revealed. Happily for her,
the torturing joy of their last meetings was not for long. Already
rumours and scandal were busy with their names. Abélard came one day
to Paraclet; then he came no more. The lovers were not to meet again
in this world. Only letters would pass between them--letters that
reveal in a wonderful light the passive strength of her character, the
utter surrender of herself, body, soul, and spirit, to the man who
had won her love. As literature, they reveal the fact that Héloïse,
had she given her life to such work, could have excelled all the men
of her time[122] in the domain of letters. As human documents, their
correspondence remains

    "A dream, an idyll, call it what you will,
    Of man still man, and woman--woman still."

The man remained the man, in that, true to his new relationship to
her, with the passing of the years he became less the lover and more
the priest; he conquered, or he cooled. The woman, true to her type,
renounced; but she, though she, too, attained a measure of spiritual
liberty, never repented, and I think that she never really changed.

The last episodes in the stormy life of Abélard are soon told. On his
final return from Paraclet, he found the monks risen in active revolt
against him. Attempts were made, even, to poison him in the holy cup;
and he hardly escaped the assassin's knife. In this extremity his
thoughts turned again to the scene of those early successes in the
Montagne St. Gêneviève, and Paris saw and heard him for the last time.
Years that had bowed his head, had not changed the bent of his mind.
The innovator was the innovator still. To Bernard, busily engaged in
reforming his order in the lonely Vallée d'Absinthe, came the news
that Abélard, whom he thought a spent force, had broken out once more.
The fanatic was furious. "On fermera cette bouche avec des bâtons," he
said, and girded up his loins "to fight the dragon." From his renewed
triumphs among the scholars of the Latin quarter, Abélard was summoned
to the last great public scene of his life, the Council of Sens.

It was on January 11th, 1140. The King of France, young Louis VII.,
presided over the assembly. Abélard had hoped to be heard in his own
defence; but judgment had already been decided upon. The offensive
volume had been read, and condemned, overnight, by the prelates,
sleeping over their cups. Upon the occurrence of an objectionable
passage, the reader had interrogated the somewhat somnolent judges.
"_Damnates?_" to which one drowsy voice had answered, "Damnamus"; while
the remainder, aroused by the noise, responded, in half articulate, but
appropriate chorus, "Namus."[123] Abélard, the ascetic, was condemned
by the satellites of Bacchus.

The old man, broken, yet still resolute, determined to appeal to the
Pope. He set out on the long journey for Rome; but got no further than
Cluny, where Pierre le Vénérable received him, with all the gentle
and tolerant affection that reveal him as one of the most lovable
characters of the century. He obtained the Pope's permission to let
Abélard remain with him; he even succeeded in reconciling him with the
hitherto implacable St. Bernard. The old orator passed the last two
years of his life in the quietude of Cluny, growing ever weaker in
body, ever calmer in soul. At last Pierre le Vénérable had him removed
to the Abbey of St. Marcel de Châlon, hoping that the change might
restore his health; but the end had come. On April 11th, 1142, the
Reformer died.[124]

Pierre, writing to Héloïse of her husband, says: "It is not easy to
tell in a few lines, O my sister, the saintliness, the humility, the
abnegation that he showed us, to which the whole monastery can bear
witness.... I gave him high rank among our brothers, but he would be
as the least of all by the simplicity of his clothing. It was the same
with his food and all that touched upon the delights of the senses
... he refused everything but what was indispensable to life. He read
continually, he prayed often, he kept perpetual silence."

Héloïse received her lover's body, and buried it in her own convent of
Paraclet. She survived Abélard twenty years, ruling her convent so well
that it became one of the most famous religious houses in France, in
high repute with all the great ecclesiastics of the day. Legend, always
busy with such lives and loves as theirs, tells us, in an ancient
chronicle of Tours, that when they laid the body of the Abbess in the
tomb of her Abélard, who had rested there already twenty years, the
faithful husband raised his arms, stretched them forth, and closely
embraced his Héloïse.[125]

       *       *       *       *       *

We turn now to a later phase of Burgundian life--the tournaments that
are remembered in connection with such towns as Chalon-Sur-Saône, and
Dijon.

Olivier de la Marche, that loyal servant of the House of Valois, for
whom he suffered so many mischances, has given us, in his memoirs, a
good account of the great tournament of La Dame des Pleurs, which took
place at Châlon, in a field on the far side of the river, in 1449.

Two famous knights of the time, the Sire of Lalain, who had sworn to
appear thirty times in the lists before he attained his thirtieth
year, and the Seigneur Pierre de Vasco, had caused a great pavilion
to be set up, and lists to be made ready, where, for a whole year,
they engaged themselves to fight against all coming in the name of La
Dame des Pleurs. "Now this pavilion was palissaded and barred right
honourably, and none might approach it without leave of Charolois the
herald, a right honourable herald, officer-at-arms of the Count Charles
of Charolois; and he wore his coat-of-arms, and bore a white baton in
his hand, and kept the images ordered for the challenger's enterprise:
and first at the head of that pavilion, as high as might be, was set,
on a picture, a representation of the glorious Virgin Mary, holding
the Redeemer of the World, her Lord and her Son; and below, on the
right side of the picture was fashioned a lady right honestly and
richly clad, and her master in simple attire; and she was in guise of
weeping so sore, that the tears were falling even on to the left side,
where was shown a fountain, and on it a unicorn seated, seeming to
embrace the three targets, arranged for the three manners of arms the
challenger might furnish for his enterprise; of which the first was
white, for the arms of the axe, the second violet for the arms of the
sword, and the third (which was below in the manner of a triolet) was
black for the arms of the lance, and the said targets were all sown
with blue tears; and for these causes was the lady named the Lady of
Tears, and the fountain, the Fountain of Tears. Now have I shown the
enterprise and the ordering of this noble meeting (_pas_): which things
were strange and new in the country, and much admired and seen of many
and divers personages.

"That same day came to the palace a herald, named Toulongeon, who
summoned the herald guard of the pavilion and said to him: 'Noble
herald, I ask that you open to me, that I may go and touch one of the
targets that are in your guard, for, and in the name of a noble squire
named Pierre de Chandios.' The herald received him right joyously, and
told him that he was very welcome; and opened to him; and the said
Toulongeon, like an officer well learned, kneeled before the Virgin
Mary, saluted honourably the Lady of Tears, and then touched the white
target, and said, 'I touch the white target for and in the name of
Pierre de Chandios esquire: and affirm in word of truth, saying that
on the day which shall be appointed him, he will furnish in his person
the conditioned and ordered arms for the said target, according to the
contents of the chapters of the noble challenger, if God keep him from
encumbrance and loyal cares.' And so he left, and the palissades were
shut again, and the pavilion remained spread and guarded until mid-day,
when Charolois told of the enterprise and made his report to the good
knight messire Jacques de Lalain of his day's adventure, and how Pierre
de Chandios had caused the white target to be touched: at which he
rejoiced greatly, and welcomed Toulongeon the herald of these good
news, gave gift, and named him an early day for the fight, which was
the following Saturday.

"On that day (which was the thirteenth day of September) the lists
were made ready, and the house of the judge and the pavilions were
spread for the champions; and that of messire Jacques was of white
satin, sown with blue tears; and that of Chandios of rose red silk
emblazoned with his arms about the roof: and came the judge to his
place, accompanied by Guillaume, lord of Sarcy, then bailiff of Châlon,
by master Pierre, lord of Goux, a great man in the grand council of
the duke, and who was afterwards chancellor; and of several other
councillors and noblemen well versed in the noble profession of arms.
These having taken their places, the said messire Jacques quitted
the church of Les Carmes, situate at the gate of the town and of the
faubourg of the gate of St. Jehan-du-Maiseau; and after having heard
three masses very devoutly, entered into a covered boat, accompanied by
messire Pierre de Vasco and by several other noblemen of his house (for
he kept very great state), and he found also, of many in the country
two noblemen, brothers german; of whom the elder was messire Claude de
Toulongeon, lord of La Bastie, and the other Tristan de Toulongeon,
lord of Soucy ... and because the said messire Jacques was a stranger
in the country, they accompanied him: nor evermore during this contest
did they leave him.

"Thus the knight crossed the river of Saône, and came to land at the
island on which he was to fight: and there jumped out of his boat,
clothed in a long robe of cloth of gold, furred with sable. He held his
banner in his hand, figured with his devotions; with which he signed
himself at the same time, and right well it became him. So came he into
the lists, and presented himself before the judge,[126] and spake with
his own mouth these words: "Noble king-of-arms of the Golden Fleece,
commissioned by my most redoubted and sovereign lord the duke of
Burgundy and count of Hainault, to be my judge in this trial, I present
myself before you to keep and defend this enterprise and contest and
on my part to furnish and accomplish the arms chosen and required
by Pierre de Chandios according to the contents of the chapters on
that behalf." The judge, habited in the coat-of-arms of the Duke of
Burgundy, the white baton in his hand, received and welcomed him right
honourably, and the challenger withdrew into his pavilion.

"Not long had he been there, when there appeared upon the great bridge
of Châlon the said Pierre de Chandios, who was coming upon his horse,
armed with all arms, the bacinet upon his head and the coat-of-arms
upon his back; and, in truth, he was one of the greatest and most
powerful squires in all Burgundy, or in Nivernais, and might, in age,
be thirty-one years or thereabouts. He was accompanied by the lords
of Mirebeau, of Charny and of Seyl, and by so many lords and nobles
of Burgundy that I should estimate the company at more than four
hundred noblemen. The said de Chandios entered the lists upon a horse
emblazoned with his arms, and dismounted; and the lord of Charny led
him on his right before the judge, and made speech, and said: 'Noble
King of Arms of the Golden Fleece, commissioned by my most redoubted
and sovereign lord the duke and count of Burgundy, judge in this cause,
here is Pierre de Chandios, my nephew, who presents himself before you,
in order that, God aiding him, he may furnish and accomplish the arms
by him undertaken and required, in encounter with the challenger of
this noble contest, according to the condition of the chapters, and of
the white target which he has caused to be touched.'

"The King of Arms welcomed him and received him as was his due, and
withdrew into his pavilion: and this done, everyone withdrew from the
lists, and the accustomed cries were begun; and meanwhile a cousin
german of mine, named Anthony de la Marche, lord of Sandon, appointed
marshall of the lists, drew near to the said Chandios by the judge's
command, and bid him declare the number of strokes of the axe he
required, and demanded to make and furnish these arms: and the said
Chandios declared seventeen strokes of the axe. So the said marshall
came to the judge to acquaint him of the number of strokes, and then he
came to the said Jacques de Lalain, to acquaint him of his adversary's
intention, and also to ask of him the axes which he must deliver to
furnish and do battle withal. So were two axes given and delivered to
him, which were long and heavy; and the mallets and heads of the said
axes were fashioned like falcons' beaks, with large and heavy spikes
above and beneath: and were bladed with a screw-plate of flat iron,
with three nail-heads short and thick, diamond fashion, and somewhat
after the manner of lance blades for jousting with arms of war, without
roquet; and the said axes were taken to the said de Chandios to chose
from: and a moment after Pierre de Chandios sallied forth from his
pavilion, clothed in his coat-of-arms, his bacinet on his head and his
visor lowered, crossing himself with his bannerolle: and then did his
uncle, the lord of Charny, deliver him his axe and accompanied him
far into the lists. On the other side came forth messire Jacques de
Lalain: and had his harness covered, in place of a coat-of-arms, with
an over-mantle with sleeves of white satin sown with blue tears, of
the same colour as the target that his adversary had touched. He wore
a little round helmet, and had his visor covered, and protected with
a little collar-piece of steel-mail (maille d'acier): and after the
recommendation of his bannerolle, Messire Pierre Vasco handed him his
axe.

"So paced the champions each towards the other with great assurance,
and met before the judge, and, at first each was on his guard against
the other. But before long they ran together and dealt great and
heavy blows, knightly given and borne on one side and the other; and
I remember that the said de Lalain (who knew that the axes he had
given and delivered had no spike nor point with which he could bend
nor injure his adversary) stepping aside some distance turned his axe,
making the head the tail, and the tail the head: and came forward again
with a great effort and reached the said Chandios, with the spike of
his axe on the vizor of the bacinet, and gave him so great a blow that
he broke the point on the vizor; but the said Chandios (who was strong
and great, powerful and valiant) did not give way; but began again the
battle between them more fiercely and proudly than before, so that
they beset one another so fiercely that in a short time the seventeen
strokes required by the said de Chandios were accomplished.

"Then Toison d'Or threw down the baton, and the combattants were taken
and separated by the men-at-arms appointed as guard and attendants, and
to act as is the wont in such a case; and they, taken before the judge,
touched together, and returned each whence he had come, and those arms
were accomplished (achevées) on a Saturday, the 18th day of September,
the year 49."[127]

So ended the first combat, which was followed by many others at
which several knights and squires of Burgundy, Nivernais, Savoy and
Switzerland presented themselves. Among the audience were the duke and
duchess of Orleans and a brilliant company from the court of Italy.
At the close of the tournament a great banquet was given to all the
nobles who had taken part, at which the guests were entertained with
many "entremets," as the representations given during the repast were
called.

The giver of the feast had desired that all combattants should be
painted in their armour, and his own portrait was exhibited with a
couplet at the foot, expressing thanks to all noble companions who had
accepted him as adversary, and offering to serve them on all occasions,
in person or property, as their brother in arms. He presented to Toison
d'Or a fair robe of sable, and after having courteously saluted the
Lady of Tears, and kissed the feet of the Holy Virgin, he retired;
and the picture, the image and the unicorn were carried, in solemn
procession, to the church of Châlon.[128]

We shall hear more of these Burgundian Tournaments when we come to
speak of the royal court at Dijon, and the festivities of the Tree
of Charlemagne. Here I conclude the subject, for the present, merely
reminding my readers that these heavily armoured and comparatively
innocuous fights were but the slow development of sterner combats,
such as that which occurred in 1273, when Edward I. of England passed
through Burgundy, on his way to meet Philip III. returning from
Italy. The Burgundians, wishing fittingly to celebrate the occasion,
organized a tourney at Chalon-Sur-Saône. "There was a battle," says
Mathew of Westminster, "but the English were victors and slew several
who were despoiling the conquered; but as these last were men of small
condition, the matter was not followed up."[129]

       *       *       *       *       *

Modern Chalon-Sur-Saône has not very much that is attractive. The most
interesting streets are those around the old cathedral of St. Vincent,
before which, on Sunday morning, there is a busy market scene. The
church is a fairly good specimen of Burgundian Gothic of the 12th to
14th centuries; but it appears to have been so much restored that a
dogmatic opinion concerning its age would be unusually dangerous. The
choir appears to be of the 13th century, and the arches, with unribbed
vaults, of the late 12th. Strong Roman and Byzantine influence is
everywhere apparent, and there are some rich late Gothic side chapels.
The upper part of the design betrays the same fault as at St. Bénigne
de Dijon. The triforium--weakly designed--and the parapet above it,
are lifted up to the clerestory, leaving an unsightly space of bare
wall above the arches of the nave. The shafts of the high vault are
taken down, as usual, on to fluted pilasters, with highly ornamented
capitals. The façade of the church is modern, and unsuccessful.

In the old quarter, I remember one particularly good timbered Gothic
house, known as the Maison de Bois.

  [Illustration: MAISON DE BOIS. CHALON SUR SAONE]


FOOTNOTES:

[116] And he knew it. "I enjoyed at that time so great a renown, and
      I so outshone all with the glamour of youth and beauty, that I
      needed to fear no refusal, whoever might be the woman to whom I
      chanced to address myself."

[117] "La Passion d'Héloïse et d'Abélard," Bertheroy, p. 45.

[118] "quel giorno più non vi leggemmo avanti," Inferno, Canto V., 138.

[119] Bertheroy, p. 97.

[120] Paraclet--The Consoler, the Holy Ghost.

[121] Abélard's letter to Philintus. "Love Letters of Abélard and
      Héloïse," p. 19, Temple Classics.

[122] Lord Lyttleton, "Life of Henry II.," quoted in "Abélard." Temple
      Classics.

[123] We swim.

[124] Bertheroy, p. 176.

      The tablet to the memory of Abélard, in the Church of St. Marcel
      is a conventionally worded Latin inscription, setting forth his
      virtues, the date of his death (1142) and the fact of his removal
      to Paraclet.

[125] "Curiosities of Literature," Disraeli, quoted in "Abélard and
      Héloïse," Temple Classics. The tomb was removed later to Père la
      Chaise, the great cemetery of Paris.

[126] Duke Philippe le Bon was in Flanders at the time; but he had sent
      Toison d'Or to officiate as judge in his place. Barante, Tome
      VII., p. 284.

[127] Olivier de la Marche. Mémoires, Petitot's edition, cap. xxi.,
      pp. 5-11.

[128] De Barante, Tome VII., pp. 284-5.

[129] Petit, Tome VI., p. 20.



  [Illustration: Heading, chapter XI; The Saône near Tournus]


CHAPTER XI

TOURNUS BY THE SAONE


Tournus is an attractive old town, lying asleep on a hill beside the
Saône. Through it ran, north and south, the old Roman road of Agrippa.
Its chief monument, the church of the ancient abbey of St. Philibert,
whether viewed from within or from without, is one of the most striking
examples I know, of the barbaric majesty of early Burgundian art. The
grim façade, with its two-storied narthex of three bays--the oldest
Clunisian porch--and its machicolations and towers, recalls the
fortified churches of Provence and Languedoc, built when the southern
land still shook with fear at the thought of the northern "crusaders,"
or the sea-pirates of the south. Nor does the sight of the interior do
other than confirm that impression.

Passing through the lower storey of the gloomy portal, that might well
have served to imprison the bodies of men--just as, symbolically, it
was a shadowy ante-chamber, a purgatory of souls not yet fitted for the
full light of Paradise--we emerged into a church whose rugged strength
had in it something awful and menacing, suggestive of a period even
more barbaric than that eleventh century in which the nave and narthex
were built.

This impression may possibly have a historical as well as an
imaginative basis, owing to the fact that the church has been twice
destroyed--first by the Huns, and later by fire--both disasters
occurring so soon after construction, that the original design may have
been adhered to closely.[130]

Several points of detail catch the eye immediately, especially one
most unusual feature--that the axes of the barrelling are at right
angles to the longitudinal axes of the church. One notices also the
great height of the aisles, and the transfer of capitals from their
usual position on the columns of the nave, to the vaulting shafts. The
aisle columns are engaged in the wall. The apse has a fine ambulatory,
and five square radiating chapels. This part of the church dates from
the latter part of the eleventh century, and contrary to the evidence
of the square chapels, which are somewhat Cistercian, was built under
Clunisian influence. Roman example also is apparent. Over the transept
is a fine central tower of the twelfth century, beneath which is a
dome with Burgundian fluted pilasters. The general barbarity of the
romanesque is lightened in the apse by carved shafts, of great delicacy
and beauty, which have been selected by Viollet-le-Duc for illustrating
the section on colonnettes in his "Dictionnaire Raisonné."

The lower part of the narthex, or rather its extraordinarily massive
pillars, are generally attributed to the tenth century; the towers,
both of which have some good carving, to the eleventh; and the upper
part of the south-west tower to the twelfth. The upper chamber of the
narthex, loopholed in several places, was probably intended for the
defence of the abbey,[131] further security being afforded by the
enceinte and gate, of which the round tower opposite formed part. A
door opened from the upper narthex to the interior of the church, so
that defenders might attend the office.

The crypt, which occupies the whole of the space beneath the choir,
has many pillars, so cunningly disposed that they give to this part of
the church an appearance of much greater size than is really the case.
It contains several relics of the past, notably a wooden vierge of the
twelfth century, the sarcophagus of St. Valérien, and a twelfth century
fresco, the earliest of its kind in the department. The central chapel
in the crypt is the best part of the building, architecturally; though
the beautiful columns and capitals of the eleventh century, including
two Roman ones, do not harmonize well with the primitive roof.

Very little now remains of the ancient monastery; but the
fifteenth-century salle abbatiale is still to be seen in the Place des
Arts, on the south-east side of the church. The buildings on the site
of the cloisters are still known as the carré.

Saint Philibert, after whom the church is named, was not a Burgundian
saint; but the monks who had the keeping of his relics, driven from
their monastery of Noirmoutiers, established themselves at Tournus.
That the cult of this Saint eventually gained great popularity in
Burgundy, is evident from the number of churches--St. Philibert of
Dijon, of Mersault, &c.--dedicated to him throughout the province.

While I was in St. Philibert, my wife was sketching and writing in the
sunny street outside. I have purloined the following from her notebook.

  [Illustration: ·STREET IN TOURNUS·]

"When I think of Tournus, there comes to my mind the picture of a dear
little street bathed in warm afternoon sunlight. On my left, as I sit,
pencil in hand, is the west front of the Cathedral, and in front of me,
a row of little, low, whitewashed cottages line the street. Above the
last cottage there rises a heavy gable, thick, and white, and solid,
pierced only by one little grated window. This gable is a fragment of
the old abbey, and the arched grating is the window of the refectory
used by the monks. There are small shops and more cottages on my right.
The street slopes downhill, and ends in a little, round, white tower,
with a round, brown, pointed hat. It is the sort of tower that one
longs to get round the other side of, or, best of all, into. A great,
warm, purple shadow crosses the street in front of me, and creeps a
little way up the white cottages opposite. It leaves a piece of wall in
brilliant, dazzling sun, and then begins again in a jagged, purple lace
fringe, under the heavy frieze of vine-leaves over the doors.

"An old lady, in white cap and woolly shawl, walks out of a cottage,
and into my sketch. The little boys round me, with best striped Sunday
socks, and mouths full of sweets, suddenly become eager and interested,
whereas before they were only curious.

"Hey! La gran'mère!" they whisper excitedly; and a discussion ensues
as to whose grandmother it is. There must be heaps of grandmothers in
Tournus, and I have only shown her back view disappearing round the
little white tower. And, because of the human interest with which my
picture is now endowed, the crowd of little boys becomes quite twice as
large."

       *       *       *       *       *

Wandering to-day through the quiet, sleepy, but by no means
poverty-stricken streets of Tournus, one can easily forget the
condition of awful misery to which this part of Burgundy was reduced
at the close of the tenth and the beginning of the eleventh centuries,
when the old church of St. Philibert was in course of construction. The
horrors of that period--when the faithful, eagerly awaiting the second
coming of Christ, had, as they thought, ocular demonstration that the
end of all mankind was at hand--have been best depicted for us by that
strange figure, the priest, Raoul Glaber.

This, the most vivid historian of his time, was a wild, unbalanced,
eccentric visionary, whom one of his uncles, himself a monk, had
dedicated to the same vocation, in the hope that monkish discipline
would cure his natural perversities. The hope was not fulfilled, for
Raoul the Bald, always restless and dissatisfied, wandered, in turn,
from monastery to monastery, appearing successively at St. Bénigne
de Dijon, Moutier St. Jean, St. Germain d'Auxerre, Béze, and Cluny,
finding only in St. Guillaume and St. Odilon, at the first and last
named houses, masters of calibre enough to calm his troubled spirit,
and encourage his literary bent.

But, wherever he might be dwelling, Raoul remained an unhappy man, a
victim of a disordered and powerful imagination. He himself tells us
of the frequent visions to which he was subject; visions not without
interest as throwing light upon the mental condition of the time. At
Moutier appeared to him Guillaume de St. Bénigne, who, laying his hand
upon the bald head, said gently; "Do not forget me, I beg of you, if it
be true that I have sincerely loved you; accomplish rather, such is my
desire, the work you have promised to me."[132]

Not all his visions were so consoling. Conscience often brought the
devil to his dreams. He saw one night, standing at the foot of his bed,
"A hideous little monster. He was of middle height, with a thin neck, a
skinny figure, eyes very black, a narrow and wrinkled forehead, a flat
nose, a wide mouth, swollen lips, chin short and tapering, a goat's
beard, straight ears, hair dirty and stiff, dog's teeth, the back of
his head pointed, a protruding belly, a hump on the back, hanging
buttocks and dirty clothing. His whole body appeared to be animated
by a convulsive and desperate activity. He seated himself on the edge
of my bed and proceeded to say to me; 'You will not remain here much
longer,' then ground his teeth and repeated; 'You shall not stay here
any longer.' I jumped out of bed; I ran to prostrate myself at the foot
of the altar of Father Benedict; I recapitulated all the sins I had
committed since my childhood, whether by negligence or perversity."

This strange work of his, which recounts in a chaotic, tortured manner,
without order and without literary grace, though with extraordinary
vividness and effect, the chief social, political, and religious events
of the period dating from 900 to 1046, is the most highly coloured,
yet, at the same time, the most sincere and the most valuable document
we possess concerning the first half of the eleventh century in
Burgundy. The book deals only briefly with the political events of his
time, but is extraordinarily prolix concerning monks and marvels, which
are a source of constant bewilderment to his troubled brain.

For poor Raoul never attained the calm assurance of the established
Christianity of his day, nor came near to realizing the monkish ideals
of Cluny and Citeaux. His book is full of dreadful visions, such as
the one we have already described. He sees the powers of evil lurking
and prowling after men, as lions that lie in wait for their prey. No
Christian charity is found in him, no tenderness, no hope; only the
spirit of revolt, of discontent, of disgust; superstitious fear and
hallucinations chasing one another through his tortured mind, until, at
last, with despairing appeals to the Divine pity, he falls into nervous
crises which paralyse his mental and physical action.

Nor was so terrible a state of mind then unnatural to any timid ones,
whose temperament forbade them to shelter soul, as well as body, within
the safe fold of the church. The events which Raoul himself describes
as happening, within his own experience, here, in this district round
Tournus, are such as might well wreck all but the strongest minds, or
those fortified by an incorruptible faith in the good providence of
God. Look at his picture of the famine of 1031, and you will cease to
wonder that, in those days, men dreamed strange dreams.

"Famine commenced to desolate the universe, and the human race was
threatened with imminent destruction. The temperature (seasons)
became so contrary that no fitting time was found to sow the land,
none favourable to the harvest, chiefly on account of the water with
which the fields were flooded. One would have said that the elements,
enraged, had declared war on one another, when, they were, in fact, but
obeying Divine vengeance in punishing the insolence of men.... This
avenging scourge had first begun in the East; after having ravaged
Greece, it passed to Italy, spread among the Gauls and spared not even
the people of England. All men equally felt its attacks. The great,
those of middle estate and the poor, all had their mouths equally
famished, the same pallor was upon their foreheads; for even the
violence of the great had given way at last to the common dearth. When
they had fed on beasts and birds, that resource once exhausted, hunger
was no less keenly felt, and, to appease it, men must needs resort
to devouring corpses, or even, to escape death, uproot the trees in
the woods, pluck the grass in the streams; but all was useless, for
against the wrath of God there is no refuge save God Himself. Alas!
must we believe it? Fury of hunger renewed those examples of atrocity
so rare in history, and men devoured the flesh of men. The traveller,
assaulted on the road, succumbed to the blows of his aggressors. His
limbs were torn, grilled on the fire, and devoured. Others, flying
their country to escape famine, received hospitality on the road, and
their hosts slew them in the night that they might furnish food. Others
lured children away with the offer of an egg or an apple, and immolated
them to their hunger. In many a place corpses were unearthed to serve
for these sad repasts. One wretch dared even to carry human flesh to
the market of Tournus, to sell it cooked for that of animals. He was
arrested and did not attempt to deny his crime; he was garrotted, then
thrown to the flames. Another, during the night, stole this flesh that
they had buried in the earth; he ate it, and was also burned.

"Three miles from Mâcon, in the forest of Châtigny, is an isolated
church consecrated to St. John. Not far from there, a scoundrel built
a cabin, where he cut the throats of any passers-by, or travellers who
stopped with him. The monster then fed upon their bodies. One day, a
man came there with his wife, to ask for hospitality, and rested a few
moments. But, throwing his glance round all the corners of the cabin he
saw the heads of men, women and children. Immediately he is troubled,
he grows pale, he would leave; but his cruel host endeavours to keep
him there by force. The fear of death doubles the traveller's strength;
at last he escapes with his wife, and runs with all haste to the town.
There he hastens to communicate this frightful discovery to Count Otho
and all the other inhabitants. They send instantly a large number of
men to verify the fact; they press forward, and on their arrival find
the wild beast in his haunt, with forty-eight heads of men whom he
had butchered, and whose flesh he had already devoured. They take him
to the town, hang him up to a beam in a cellar, then throw him to the
flames. We, ourselves, were present at his execution."

"They tried, in the same province, a means which was not, we believe,
adopted elsewhere. Many persons mixed a white earth, like clay, with
any bran or flour they might have, and made loaves therewith to satisfy
their cruel hunger. The faces of all were pale and emaciated, the skin
drawn tight and swollen, the voice shrill and resembling the plaintive
cry of dying birds. The great number of the dead forbade any thought
of their burial, and the wolves, attracted for a long time past by
the odour of corpses, came to tear their prey. As they could not
give separate burial to all the dead, because of their great number,
men full of the Grace of God, dug, in many places, ditches, commonly
called "Charniers," into which they would throw five hundred bodies,
and sometimes more when they would hold more; they lay there mixed
pell mell, half naked, often without any clothing. The cross-ways, the
ditches in the fields, served as burial places.

"The church ornaments were sacrificed to the needs of the poor. They
consecrated to the same purpose the treasures that had long been
destined for this use, as we find it written in the decree of the
Fathers; but, in many places, the treasures of the churches could
not suffice for the necessities of the poor. Often, even, when these
wretches, long consumed by hunger, found means to satisfy it, they
swelled immediately and died; others held in their hands, the food
which they wished to raise to their lips; but this last effort cost
them their life, and they perished without having been able to enjoy
this sad pleasure. There are no words capable of expressing the pain,
the sadness, the sobs, the plaints, the tears of the unhappy witnesses
of these scenes of disaster, especially among the Churchmen, the
bishops, the abbots, the monks and the religieux. It was thought that
the orders of the seasons and the laws of the elements, which, till
then, had governed the world, were fallen back into eternal chaos, and
all feared that the end of the human race had come."

Let those who haste to decry modern institutions remember that to-day
you can buy bread in Tournus for a few sous the kilo.

       *       *       *       *       *

From the great abbey church that still symbolizes, in its aspect,
something of the horror of those famine-stricken years in which it was
built, we wandered down the main street towards the river, and there
rested at a little café in the Place de l'Hôtel de Ville, which is
adorned, as might have been expected, by a statue of Greuze. Here we
were waited on by a kindly, grey-haired, stupid, but intensely curious
old lady, who, wearied by sixty years of monotonous Tournusian life,
was anxious to imbibe from passing travellers, all available gossip,
concerning themselves and the world from which she was cut off. My wife
showed her some sketches. They left her cold.

"Vous faites ça à coup d'œil?" she said, and yawned.

"Madame est artiste," I interjected, carelessly, using a word which
suggests public performer, or actress, rather than artist. The old
woman thawed. Smiling, she turned to my wife.

"In that case madame will be able to earn her evening at the Café de la
Terrasse, beside the river. All the artistes go there, and there is a
piano and singing." We acquiesced, without intending to go. Meanwhile
the old lady studied my wife closely.

"Do you English people dress as we do; and are you married in church?"
She looked from one to another.

"_We_ were," I said, "But everyone isn't." I had answered the last
question first. "And as to clothes, every painter and artistic person,
as is well-known, has her little 'mode à elle.'"

"Justement," said our hostess, "Is this your tour de noces?"

The negative reply grieved her. While I paid for the coffee, Madame
cast an eye upon the retreating figure of my wife;

"Comme Madame est grande," she said, "Et bien belle!"

A few yards away, in the Rue de l'Hôpital, we came to a little inn with
the pretty sign "Au Point de Jour," and the inscription on a board, in
capital letters:

    "Avan le jour commence ta journée
    De l'Eternel le sainct nom bénissant
    Loue le encore et passe ainsy lannée
    Ayme Dieu et ton procchain. 1672."

A little girl, who had been sitting before the inn, approached.
Pointing to the inscription, she said scornfully:

"That's not French."

"Pardon, mon enfant," I said, "But it is most certainly French." The
little maid looked rather guilty for a moment. Then she cheered up.
This French that puzzled her must be a local patois.

"Oh, well then," she said. "C'est que je ne suis pas d'ici." (I am not
from this part of the country) and she trotted off up the street.

The landlady and coffee had so fully monopolized our attention that we
had bestowed no more than a passing glance upon the statue of Greuze,
opposite to which we had been sitting. I doubt whether it deserved
more. Surely the most satisfactory monuments to the famous Burgundian
painter are the house in which he was born,[133] the studies from his
brush and pencil, to be seen in the local musée, and the rich meadows
by the Saône. All these complete a setting that enables us better to
sympathize with Greuze's fresh and delicate art.

The painter's life, like that of his fellow-Burgundian, Prudhon, fell
short of happiness. Friction with the authorities of the Academy, and
the merited failure of his classical work, "The Emperor Severus and
Caracalla"--the very title calls up a smile, when we think of it in
connection with the painter of "La Cruche Cassée"--caused him to cease
exhibiting at the Salon, until the Revolution had opened the way for
all painters. Yet the apparent failure was a blessing in disguise;
it taught him his limitations, and brought him back from the stilted
manner of his time, to the call of individual genius, and the freshness
of nature.

He had other troubles; not the least of which was an ill-chosen
wife. Mdlle Babuti, whose charming face he has reproduced on so many
canvasses, was not so easy to live with as her picture, perhaps
idealized by the painter, would lead us to believe; and Greuze himself
lacked that touch of philosophy which would have counterbalanced his
natural sprightliness of character. Finally came the crowning disaster,
the Revolution, that robbed him of nearly all he possessed; so that,
though the Convention gave him lodgings in the vacant chambers at the
Louvre, he died in complete poverty. Shortly before his death, he
remarked to his friend, Barthélemy:

"At my funeral you will be the poor man's dog."

It is said that Napoleon, hearing of the painter's wretched end, said:
"If I had known his situation, I would have given him a Sèvres vase
full of gold, in payment for all his cruches cassées."[134]

We need not, in these pages, discuss Greuze's art; but we may recall
its best feature. Though his manner sometimes lays him open to the
charge of being merely pretty and graceful, to the exclusion of
greater qualities, we must not forget that he was one of the first
who brought men back to nature--at a time when nature was everywhere
forgotten--and reminded them, beautifully, that the simple incidents of
village life, the small joys and sorrows that swell the breast of the
rustic maid over the broken jug, or the welcome home of her lover, are
not less elementally joyful or tragic, not less worthy the attention
and sympathy of the true artist, than scenes of court and throne, and
kindred emotions that, by the caprice of chance, swell the breasts of
kings and decide the destinies of nations.

The idyllic and pastoral effects of Greuze's art, harmonize well with
the unpretentiousness of the town of Tournus, and also with one of its
most delightful features, the meadow-walks that border the Saône.

Here, at sunset, when you have gazed your fill at the mysterious towers
of the abbey, rising above the roofs of the town, you may turn to watch
the opalesque lights in the quivering water, that, doubling in its
mirror the line of distant poplars, slides between reedy banks, between
wide stretches of green pasture, where the pale herds browse. Scarcely
a sound breaks the stillness; only, from time to time, comes the chance
cry of a roystering Sunday youth, from a meadow far away floats the
lowing of distant cattle, from the path the heavy tramp of an aged
peasant, homeward-bound, bending beneath the weight of his spade.

  [Illustration: ·TOURNUS·Evening]

From the river, where, all day long, around idle punts, tempting baits
have been dipping and dropping, comes the flop of a lazy fish, making
rings that widen over the glassy surface. Now a distant throb is heard,
that deepens, as a tug, gaudily painted in red and black, with white
bows, comes gliding down the river, drawing four barges laden with
barrels. The second steamer, reversed in the water beneath, is hardly
less vivid to the eye. Swish! Swish! Swish! The water foams from the
flat prow; all the river is decked with dancing, rainbow ripples, azure
blue below, rose pink above, singing, bubbling, racing one another in
music to the shore.

This pastoral, green plain of the Saône, these luscious meadows of
waterish Burgundy, have often recalled to me Phaedra's longing words,
in those last days, when the burden of her life and love was more than
she could bear.

    "Oh, for a deep and dewy spring,
      With runlets cold to draw and drink!
    And a great meadow blossoming,
    Long grassed, and poplars in a ring,
      To rest me by the brink."[135]

Not less lovely was the same spot next morning, when all the landscape
shone in a light that had in it already something of southern
intensity; when wind and sun were stirring the rushes by the water
side, and jewelling the rippled sweep of the river below the dark
towers of St. Philibert. Two gaily-caparisoned horses, led by a small
boy in a black blouse, came plodding along the towing-path. Two rowers
were easing the horses' labours, with long oars which flashed as they
rose and fell. The banks and meadows were dotted with the same herds of
white philosophers, browsing, and lazily swishing their tails; only,
this morning, heads were bent down to the luscious feast of green,
whereas, towards evening, they are lifted, to ruminate through long
hours of dreamy delight.

       *       *       *       *       *

Mâcon, to which we paid a flying visit during the interval between two
trains, was once the capital of the Mâconnais, until that country was
incorporated with the Duchy of Burgundy. It is now too wholly modern
a town to retain much character or interest. Almost all the ancient
houses are destroyed, and of the two cathedrals--St. Pierre and St.
Vincent--the former is wholly modern. The west front of the old church,
which was sacked during the Revolution, remains. Our best impression of
Mâcon was the view of the town and river from the train, as it left for
Bourg.

  [Illustration: End of chapter XI; By the Saône]


FOOTNOTES:

[130] "L'Art en Bourgogne." Perrault-Dabot p. 55.

[131] Viollet le Duc seems to doubt whether it was originally intended
      for defence.

[132] The history of his time, by Raoul Glaber.

[133] August, 1725.

[134] "L'Art en Bourgogne," Perrault-Dabot.

[135] "Hippolytus" of Euripides, Gilbert Murray's translation.



  [Illustration: Heading, chapter XII; Antigny-le-Chatel]


CHAPTER XII

IN THE VALLEY OF THE OUCHE


Ever since developing a keen interest in the fortunes of the great
Burgundian monasteries, we had decided to take the first opportunity of
seeing the Valley of the Ouche, and Labussière, the adopted daughter of
Citeaux.

It was a public holiday; and the train from Dijon was packed with
excursionists. I found myself the only male in a compartment crammed
with eight old ladies, mostly stout, and all in holiday spirits. We
fell into conversation. They all expressed kindly interest in the task
that had brought me to Dijon. I was catechized.

"Has Monsieur seen the prisons of Dijon?"

"No, Madame; je n'aime pas beaucoup ces endroits là." Little tinkling
laughs ran all round the carriage.

"But I only just missed seeing them yesterday--because I had left
behind me my permis de circulation. You have so many regulations in
France."

"Talking of regulations, Monsieur," said the stoutest and shrewdest of
the old ladies, with a wicked twinkle in her eye, "Permit me to call to
your attention to the fact that you are in a "Dames seules!"

"Mille pardons, Mesdames; but permit me to observe that I have chosen
my company well."

This time the compartment rang with laughter; and eight bonnetted heads
bobbed in recognition of the courtoisie.

"And if we let him stay, Monsieur will promise to be bien sage?"

"Assurément, Mesdames, foi de Lion." So the banter went on, until our
station was called; and in ten minutes we found ourselves lunching in a
meadow of St. Victor, and looking up at the Castle of Marigny perched
upon its rock.

In the time of the first Crusade, Marigny, the great fortress, whose
lord was one of the four most powerful barons of Burgundy, proudly
dominated the valley. Now it is but a charming relic, where you may
wander beneath broken arches and the ivied vaults of great chambers,
from whose crannied floors young fir-trees grow, and bushes hoary with
silver lichen. There, too, you may wile away all a summer day, lying
upon mossy, blossom-jewelled lawns, and dreaming dreams of the great
lords of Marigny, and of Brother Albéric of Labussière, or of Tebsima,
the Arab exile, whose bones rest in a mountain tomb not far away. All
the hills hereabout are full of memories of this most gracious of all
Burgundian legends.

Tebsima Ben-Beka (Smile Son of Tears)--so named because his birth
brought joy and death to his mother--was a direct descendant of the
prophet himself. Growing up a strong and courageous youth, imbued with
a fierce hatred of all Christians, he fought valiantly for Islam in the
great struggle of the Crescent against the Cross,[136] but was taken
prisoner by Guillaume, Lord of Marigny, at the assault of Jerusalem in
1099. Guillaume, from the first, was drawn towards his young prisoner,
whom he tried earnestly to convert to the Christian faith. His prayers
were heard, and answered by a wonderful miracle. Tebsima and some
companions were present one day, as spectators at a holy celebration.
The officiating priest had pronounced the sacramental formula, and
was elevating the host, when, suddenly, the sacred emblem was seen by
all to change into the form of a young child of marvellous beauty.
All present fell upon their faces. Before the priest stood a crystal
chalice, filled with white wine and water. He took it between his
hands, and spoke the mysterious words. As he did so, the wine changed
to blood. Before the new miracle the hardest heart surrendered. Tebsima
became a Christian.

In the chalice rested ever after a drop of blood. Guillaume de Marigny
was given the sacred relic by the priest, on condition that he would
stay two years longer in Palestine. This condition he fulfilled; then,
taking with him Tebsima, whose life, as a Christian, was in mortal
danger so long as he stayed in the East, Guillaume set out for France.
For three long years his wife, Matilde, sorrowing, had awaited her
lord. Imagine, then, her joy when, gazing one day from the battlements
of the castle, she heard, floating from far down the valley, the blare
of the Crusader's trumpets, then caught the glint of sun on shining
armour, and, at last, the white plume tossing upon her husband's helmet.

The Holy Tear, as people had learned to name the sacred relic that
Guillaume had brought with him, was placed, with all reverence, in the
tabernacle of the chapel, and every year a solemn fête was celebrated
in its honour. Tebsima, the exile, lived in the Castle of Marigny,
where Guillaume and his lady treated him as their brother. But his
heart ached to see his own people again; and, when the winter cold of
Burgundy pierced him through and through, he longed for the strong suns
of the East. So he told his friends of his resolution, and, despite
their protests, returned whence he came. But his own family, much as
they loved him, would not receive him when they knew the truth. How
could the very children of Mahomet welcome a follower of the Christ?
So, after sorrows and adventures, too many to tell, Tebsima came a
second time to the great Castle by the Ouche. Warm, indeed, was the
welcome he received, and great the rejoicing, when he told how he had
sworn never to leave Burgundy again.

One day a brilliant cavalcade was seen riding down the valley. It was
the cortège of Hugues,[137] the Duke of Burgundy, come to celebrate, by
a day's hunting with the lord of Marigny, the safe return of the young
Emir. An hour later the horns sounded the ballad of St. Hubert from
the Castle tower, and the hunt was laid on. A noble stag broke from
the thicket. There was hue and cry down into the valley of Labussière,
where the beast was brought to bay. Suddenly, with a splendid bound,
it cleared the baying hounds, and made furiously for the lady of the
castle, who had followed the hunt. Tebsima, on his Arab steed, that
many a time had been his saviour, saw the danger, and pressed forward.
His blade pierced the stag's body up to the hilt, but not before the
terrible horns had buried themselves deep in the horse's side.[138]

The violence of Tebsima's fall, the loss of his horse, that, to an
Arab, is as the loss of a brother, and the chill winds of Burgundy,
wrought mortal harm in the young Arab. Then came a yet greater
disaster. It was on the great day of the veneration of the Sainte
Larme. A young page, nobly dressed in black, came at evening to the
castle chapel, and knelt in prayer before the relic. A moment later
the page and the relic had gone. Tebsima, who first noticed the theft,
rode headlong in pursuit. Seeing the black rider in front of him, he
summoned him, by the blood of Christ, to halt; and, behold, the mule,
despite its rider's efforts, stood immovable, as though changed to
stone. Tebsima drew near to the thief, demanded the return of the relic.

"Since I cannot keep it," said the page, "let it be lost for ever to
the Chapel of Marigny." He hurled the chalice down the face of the
rock, and, drawing his sword, attacked the Emir, who, while avoiding
the blow, plunged his scimitar into the mule's body. The animal bounded
into the air; and man and beast rolled headlong over the brink of the
abyss, and were dashed to pieces on the stones below. Weeping bitterly,
Tebsima descended to seek the fragments of the cup. He found them lying
in a dozen pieces, where a little stream bubbles from the rock. That
stream is called to this day the Fontaine de Sainte Larme; and still
its limpid waters seem to weep the sacrilege its name commemorates.[139]

The holy relic had vanished for ever. So, with the precious object that
had served always to remind Tebsima of the miracle of his conversion,
all hope in this life departed from the stricken Emir. Feeling himself
to be dying, he left the Castle of Marigny, and withdrew to the
pleasant grotto that by chance he had discovered, near by, in the
side of the hill. There he lived the life of a hermit, giving his
mind wholly to devotion and earnest prayer--which was granted--for
conversion to the Faith of Christ of his relatives in the East. There
he was visited frequently by the lord and lady of Marigny, who brought
him food, and oil for his lamp. He had another friend, to whom he told
all his story--the good Albéric, the infirmier at the neighbouring
monastery of Labussière.

Into that grotto of Marigny there entered, one stormy night, a group of
monks. One of them bore the cross of the monastery; another, Brother
Albéric, carried a robe and a scapular. Two novices, torch in hand,
preceded the Abbot, who carried the oil and the holy mysteries. Then
they clothed Tebsima in the robes of the order, and consecrated him
to the service of the church.[140] And so, while a great wind howled
through the hollows of the wooded hills, peacefully, with folded hands,
and lips pressed upon the cross of olive, the new monk passed to the
joys of the new life.

The good Albéric had been one of the three brothers who, at the close
of the eleventh century, had founded a little monastery beside the
Ouche, in the lonely vale of Labussière, where three mountain ranges
and three valleys meet.[141] He had once been a rich lord; but, when
years of famine came, he sold all that he had, and gave to the poor
and to God; then, having nothing beside to give, he gave his heart,
vowing himself to the religious life. Virtues such as his soon raised
him to the head of the monastery; but, well though he filled his post,
troubles beset his way. Monk after monk was laid in the cemetery;
the cells were empty, and none came to fill them. All the stream of
monastic vocation was turned towards Citeaux, the then flourishing
Abbey, whose fortunes we have already followed.

One summer night, in 1131, when the tale of the monks of Labussière had
dwindled to the original number, three, a mysterious vision came to
Albéric.

He was walking, on a bright morning, in the monastery garden. Suddenly
he paused before a hive whose tenants seemed to be few and ailing. He
raised the cover; the hive was almost empty. "Poor little bees,"[142]
he said, with a sigh, "What will become of you during the winter?" He
thought of his own convent, and he wept. Suddenly he heard a noise
coming from the mountain, then he perceived a vigorous swarm humming
above his head; and, in a moment, the bees of the valley had come forth
to greet their sisters of the hill. All together entered the hive,
and set to work with joyful hum. Towards the close of the day Brother
Albéric lifted the basket. It was heavy, and already half full. "God be
praised," said he. "The future of the hive is assured." As he awoke, at
dawn, he heard a voice saying to him, "Do as the bees of the valley,
and your work shall live."

At first Albéric did not understand this vision; but the next day,
while giving alms at the gate of the convent, one of the poor told him
that a great fire had destroyed the monastery of Aseraule, whose monks
were in dire distress. This news was a ray of light to Albéric. He told
his brother monks of the dream that had come to him, and of the burning
of the neighbouring monastery. They marvelled greatly, and all knew
surely that God's will bade them summon the Cistercians of the mountain.

In all haste they went to offer aid to their homeless brothers; and
there they met the pious English monk, Stephen Harding, friend of St.
Robert, and St. Bernard's master, who had come to offer the shelter
of Citeaux. Falling at Stephen's feet, and kissing his hand, Albéric
begged him to take into his order himself, his companions, and their
monastery. Stephen willingly consented. He gave to Albéric and his
companions the white robe of Citeaux, and soon after traced with his
own hand upon the soil of Labussière the plan of a new monastic church.
Stone by stone the building grew, until, on the 10th September, 1172,
in the presence of a vast assemblage, before all the clergy and nobles
of Burgundy, the new church was consecrated by Saint Pierre, Archbishop
of Tarentaise, who, by prayer and the laying on of hands, wrought so
many miracles of healing that day, that the people, witnessing these
prodigies, shouted, till the three valleys were echoing with their
cries of "Noel, Noel!" The Abbey of Labussière was well founded at last.

       *       *       *       *       *

A great part of the Abbey buildings still remain, restored almost
beyond recognition, and transformed into a magnificent mansion, now in
the occupation of a family whose name I have forgotten. To our great
regret we were unable to see the house, as the gardien had vanished,
taking the keys with him; so we had to content ourselves with glimpses
of glorious Gothic arcades, Romanesque staircases, and a west front,
apparently of the fifteenth century, with a flamboyant door. But much
of the building may be entirely new, for all I know.

It was late in the afternoon that we rode into Labussière, and as
we had to get on to Bligny that night, very little time was left in
which to do more than explore the church, a thoroughly good sample of
Cistercian severity, of the eleventh or twelfth century, with a square
apse. It has some fine tombs, and Gothic monumental slabs. Dining that
night in the "Cheval Blanc" at Bligny, where the host served to us,
at half an hour's notice, a dinner that the Carlton could not have
bettered, for hungry men, we agreed that it would not be easy to find a
more charming _pays_ than the valley of the Ouche, in which to pass a
lazy fortnight, tracing out some of its hundred legends, and steeping
oneself in its romantic past.

The road to Arnay-le-Duc, without being more than ordinarily
interesting, gives you some fine views over the Côte d'Or. You pass
through Antigny-le-Chatel, where there is a fine ruin on a hill, and
below it a later ghostly castle of the 14th or 15th century, with
the high-pitched roof of the period, and a round tower. At Froissy,
entering an inn in search of déjeuner, we found a wedding in full
swing. Through a glass panelled door we could see half a dozen
perspiring couples scuffling round what would be described in England
as the bar parlour. We were detected at once; hot faces were pressed
against the glass, while Madame produced an armful of bread, and some
cheese on a broken plate.

"Par ici, m'sieur et dame," said she; "Vous serez mieux dans la
charmesse." She opened the panelled door, and, one carrying the
bread, and the other the cheese on a broken plate, we walked in grand
procession through the ballroom--so shaking with our inward mirth that
the cheese nearly came to grief. The poor bride, however--a study in
sticky purple and white, not good to look upon--did not relish the
joke; she scowled upon the intruders; but madame seemed glad to have
us--and ready to talk to us, as we sat in the charmesse--a little
dusty, rickety arbour, through which the south wind was blowing clouds
of dust.

"That castle over there. Oh! no one has lived in it these many years
now, except rats. You can't tax them. You see the Government put such
heavy taxes upon the castles that they just drive people away. There's
not a habited château now in all Côte d'Or. And what weather! Such a
wind! Nous n'avons plus de saisons en Bourgogne."

"Whose wedding is this?" said my wife, looking towards the ballroom
bar-parlour.

"Oh that's my nephew; he is a vigneron, and a good lad. Is madame
married, and has she children? No children! Then madame, je vous
souhaite un beau fils."

As for me, I was speculating on the market price of rat-poison, of
castles in the Côte d'Or, and on the squeezability of the French
government in the matter of assessments.

       *       *       *       *       *

Few incidents in life give more pleasure than happy discovery. That is
why we so much enjoyed Arnay-le-Duc. We just found it out, by instinct,
or by chance. For nobody knows about it; not even the learned people
who write guide-books. And as for the motorists; they come in with the
darkness, and go out with the dawn--"Must be at Dijon by ten."

In all France I do not know a richer study in warm, red roof-colours
than towered Arnay, seen at sunset from the high land on the road to
Saulieu, nor a more satisfying example of the outlines of a ramparted
Gothic-Renaissance town. Nor, as is sometimes the case, does close
acquaintance disenchant you. Wander through its streets, and prove for
yourself that it is one of the most unspoiled places in all Burgundy.
There is something good at every turn--a high-pitched, pierced,
white gable, from which black window-eyes look out upon a dark,
brown-green, mottled roof touched with red; a wall with a warm tiled
hood; a glimpse, through a trefoiled gate, of a miniature Renaissance
garden, with box and ivy edged borders, fruit trees jewelled with
white blossom, and a lovely, pierced balustrade, leading up to a
Kate-Greenaway House.

But these are the town's less substantial, and less obvious
attractions. Plain for all to see are the flamboyant church with
its octagonal lantern, and, at the back of it--best approached by a
charming staircase such as we have neither time nor skill to design
now-a-days--the old round tower of the Motte Forte. In the central
_Place_ is a charming white, turretted, and gabled house, reminding
one of the Colombier at Beaune, and close to it, beside the Marché,
are fifteenth-century, cupid-bow windows, and an old Gothic arch
leading into a Gothic courtyard. Some of the houses have curious stone
benches before them, with lovely round and square-edged mouldings,
and everywhere are quaintly designed handles and knockers of forged
ironwork. The women, too, it seemed to us, were less heavy in feature,
and more spirituelle, than in other parts of Burgundy. The naughtiest
of all the naughty children who crowded and criticised round my wife's
easel, was a beautiful blonde girl. We reproved her pranks more often
than those of the others--because she looked so lovely when she
blushed.

  [Illustration: ·CORNER HOUSE·ARNAY·LE·DUC·]

Another attractive spot in Arnay is the walk, by a red path, between
the towering, moss-grown, grey-brown ramparts, where in autumn
the wallflowers blow. Good company, too, are the willow-fringed,
elder-shaded stream, across which you have a glimpse of garden and
orchard, and the green slopes over which anxious ganders take their
fluffy yellow children out for exercise.

But I have not yet mentioned the building that many of the locals,
including the landlord of the Cheval Blanc at Bligny, regard as the
crowning glory of Arnay; and that is the splendid, transitional,
Gothic-Renaissance manoir of the Ducs de Burgogne; though, of course,
the landlord of the Cheval Blanc does not know it is anything of
the kind. For him it is the Limier or file-factory--the best in all
France. For us it is a defiled manoir--still showing traces of ancient
loveliness, in slated turret, snake-skin roof, and daintily-carved
friezes above the ruined dormer-windows.

Yes: this place is good to wander in. Here comes an old man followed by
a flock of tinkling goats. He stops before a house, and knocks at the
door. The tinkling stops, too. Then a cup is handed out to him, to be
filled from an accommodating goat. He hands it back quite full of warm
milk. The door slams; the tinkling begins again.

A very ancient, bent, bearded man, ragged and dirty, was sitting
munching bread, on the steps that lead down from the _place_.

"Would you like to give him half a franc?" I said to my wife. She
would, very much. In a moment the two were in conversation.

"Why do you give me this?" said the old man, looking down at the coin
in his hand.

"Because we saw you having déjeuner yesterday, and were interested.
This is for to-day."

"It is much for one who is poor. Are you French?"

"No, English."

"All the English are rich. Are you selling things here?"

"No: I am making pictures for a book my husband is writing."

"Ah! you gain much by that?"

"Not very much. But we like it: we did a book on Provence once."

"Ah Provence. I know Provence. I am from the Basses Alpes. I like
Provence very much; you get such good wine there."

"Don't you? Now I must go back to the Café--and finish _my_ wine."

"Yes, and I'll finish mine." He put his head under the pump, and drank.

  [Illustration: TOUR DE LA MOTTE FORTE--ARNAY-LE-DUC
                 _Facing page 182_]

Then there was the Hotel Chrétien, as I think it was called; an
establishment rather casually run, but marked by a bonhomie and
insouciance that enlivened the monotony of wet days. The commercial
travellers made themselves very much at home with Madame and the
waitress. One of these gentlemen, in particular, subjected the latter
to a flow of chaff that ceased not even with the coffee. He always
began with a request to her to recite the ménu aloud, and whenever a
lull came, he would turn to her, and say in the most innocent tone:

"By the way, Madamoiselle, what have we to eat this evening?"

"Is Monsieur stone deaf?"

"Not at all, Mademoiselle; only hungry. And I like to regulate appetite
by the dishes that are coming!"

Dessert came on. The voluble one cut an apple in half. It was rotten.
"Hey, Mademoiselle; regardez-moi ça. Il y en a une qui marche (There's
one walking)."

"So I see. He would willingly be quit of Monsieur."

The other men would sit round sniggering--and occasionally chipping in;
but they seldom got the better of the maid, who had a fund of repartee
that I have rarely heard matched, even in France.

From this house of frivolity and good cooking--the chef had been seven
months at the Carlton--hence enough quite incomprehensible jargon to
warrant the legend "English spoken" on the hotel omnibus--we made some
good excursions over the undulating country that lies around Arnay;
through miles of spring woods where brave nightingales sang on a spray
before your very eyes; by lofty green uplands, through plateaux,
suggestive of Normandy, where the cattle and the lady's-smock dapple
with splashes of white and mauve the rich green meadows; where the
cloudless skies are mirrored in bluer than English ponds, and peasants'
sabots clatter through the most tangle-wood villages of France; wide
silences where your eye can roam all ways, along the distant hills
shimmering in silver and blue, quivering with living light, to majestic
Château-Neuf of Philippe Pot, and the tower-crowned castles of other
lords of ancient Burgundy.


FOOTNOTES:

[136] Godefroy de Bouillon left France for the crusade in 1096.

[137] Hugues le Pacifique, one of the worthiest of the Capetian Dukes
      of Burgundy, died in 1142.

[138] The spring that marks the site of this incident is still called
      the _Fontaine-Cheval_. It runs into the rivulet De Larvot, by
      the "Pré de l'Etang." See l'Abbé B---- s "Tebsima," p. 179.

[139] Tebsima, p. 185.

[140] Ibid, p. 220.

[141] The spot was called originally Tres Valles--The Three Valleys.

[142] He did not use the word abeille, but the prettier mediæval form,
      _avette_, from the Latin _apicula_ little bee.
      "Labussière et Citeaux," p. 233 of Tebsima, by l'Abbé B----.



  [Illustration: Heading, chapter XIII; Dijon]


CHAPTER XIII

THE CITY OF THE DUKES


Of the thousand who pass through the town annually, on their way to
Switzerland or the Riviera, only a small percentage, probably, know
Dijon as the ancient capital of the Duchy of Burgundy; fewer still have
any conception of the vanished glories it stands for; or could name
the three commodities--if I may so describe them--and the principal
industry upon which the prosperity of the modern city is based.

From the early middle ages to the closing years of the Capetian Dukes,
from 1032 to 1364, the essential history of Burgundy is centred rather
round the religious communities of Cluny and Citeaux, than in the
ducal courts of Auxerre or of Dijon. But upon the advent in that year,
of the royal house of Valois, with Philippe le Hardi, the full light
of the most glorious, and by far the most highly coloured, period of
Burgundian history is turned upon the capital of the Duchy.

Yet the "bonne ville de Dijon," through which Duke Philip rode on
November 26th, 1364, on his way to the solemn function in the cathedral
of St. Bénigne, was no more than a second-rate city. Not only did it
lack the glories of the Ducal Palace and the Chartreuse de Champmol
that he himself was soon to found, but one would have missed the church
of St. Michel, the Palais de Justice, and many other hotels, palaces,
and churches, that, still standing, make the modern city one of the
most interesting in France. The Dijon of that day was a straggling town
of narrow, filthy, unpaved streets over whose projecting gables rose
the towers and spires of St. Bénigne, St. Philibert, Notre Dame, and
many another Church. In wet weather, the mud spurted from under horses'
hoofs upon the grimy walls of the houses on either side of the street,
and it is more than probable that the gorgeously attired courtiers of
Philip's procession arrived, splashed up to the knees, at the abbey.

Twenty years later, even, in 1388, the Duke was annoyed by the dirty
condition of the town, which was such that, in the rains of winter,
neither man nor horse could make progress without great difficulty.
Each inhabitant was consequently compelled to clean and level, at his
own cost, the portion of street on which his house fronted; and a new
pavement was then laid down, at an expense to the Duchy of two thousand
golden francs.[147]

But, before I tell of modern Dijon, I must say something of the first
of the four great Dukes of the house of Valois, who were to lead
Burgundy through its brief, meteoric career of greatness.[144]

Philip, brother of Charles V. of France, and uncle of his successor the
mad Charles VI., had deservedly won his title of "Hardi" at the battle
of Poictiers, as Froissart has told us. He was a bold, determined,
somewhat imprudent prince; kindly and good-natured, as is evident from
a glance at the statue upon his tomb; but proud, ambitious, and so
addicted to magnificence that he could leave to his son only debts and
the dukedom.[145] His clothing was wonderful to see, as we may judge by
some of the details that have come down to us. In 1391, when engaged
in treaty with the Duke of Lancaster, uncle of the King of England,
he had two coats made for him. One, of black velvet, was embroidered,
on the left sleeve and collar with a bunch of roses, upon which were
growing twenty-two blossoms, of rubies, or of a single sapphire,
surrounded with pearls; and rose-buds also of pearls. The buttonholes
were made with a running embroidery of broom, with the pods worked in
pearls and sapphires--a souvenir of the ancient order of the Cosse
(Broom-pod),[146] instituted by the Kings of France, and sometimes
bestowed by them as a reward for loyal service. One of the coats was
embroidered also with P and Y interlaced, while the other, of crimson
velvet, showed, on each side, a silver bear, outlined in sapphires and
rubies.[143]

These bears were more than characteristic of the extravagance of the
time; they were symbolical of the spirit that, possessing France in
the closing years of the thirteenth century, departed only before the
exorcisms of La Pucelle.

The wise and noble kings, Edward IV. of England, and Charles V. of
France, had given place to a dullard and a madman; and the people,
no less than the princes, had lost their reason. The feudal system
was passing, had passed; and no new political nor social order had as
yet developed in its place. Nobles of the day, looking back upon the
monkish régime and the early chivalry, could only ape and burlesque the
outward splendours of the movements whose inward spirit and ideals they
were wholly incapable of understanding. It seemed that God, even, to
borrow Luther's phrase, weary of the game, had thrown his cards upon
the table.

Such is the significance of the bear upon Philip's mantle. Everywhere
ranged these strange and uncouth beasts. They grinned in long lines
from the eaves of the Churches; with a thousand other fantastic fancies
of disordered imaginations, they met the eye, at every turn, in
corridors of royal palaces, in the reception rooms of baronial halls.
Foul jests and foul shapes leered at the passer-by from the fringes of
a scarlet skirt. On a high dame's rustling sleeve, whose folds swept
the ground, were set the notes of a song; rich doublets blazed with
lewd figures, or with strange symbols, improper, if well understood.
Great ladies, wearing long horns upon their heads, jested with lords
whose pointed toes wriggled up into serpent shapes. Art, sanity,
religion were no longer at one. All the pure and natural ornament of
early Gothic work, filched from church and cathedral for the service of
base needs, flaunted, in horrible disguise, in houses of pleasure and
ill fame.[148]

Small wonder that distracted souls, searching in thick darkness for
guidance, for God, and not finding him in life, turned, at last, in
despair, to the great negations, Death and the Devil. God had failed
them; evil, at least, shall not fail them. In a frenzy of false joy
they danced the "danse des morts" in the cemeteries of Paris.[149]

  [Illustration: ·AT THE CAFE·]

Their dear king Charles, even, so beloved of a mad people, was not
less mad than they. Save for occasional lucid intervals, he was a "fou
furieux."

"It was great pity, this malady of the king, which held him for long
seasons, and when he ate it was very gluttonously and wolfishly. And he
could not be persuaded to strip himself, and was full of lice, vermin,
and filth. And he had a little piece of iron that he put secretly close
to his flesh. Of which nothing was known. And it had rotted all his
poor flesh, and no-one durst go near him to remedy it.

"Nevertheless there was a physician who said that it must be remedied,
else was he in danger, and otherwise as it seemed to him, there was no
hope for the healing of the malady. And he advised that they should
bring ten or twelve companions disguised, who should be blackened, and
each one furnished beneath, lest he should wound them. And so it was
done and the companions entered very terrible to see, into his chamber.
When he saw them he was much astonished, and they drew nigh to him at
once: now there had been made ready all new clothing, shirt, tunic,
cloak, hose, boots, that they bore with them. They took hold of him,
he saying many words to them the while, then they stripped him and put
upon him the said things that they had brought. It was great pity to
see him, for his body was all eaten with lice and filth. And they found
on him the said piece of iron: every time that they would cleanse him,
it must needs be done in this said manner."[151]

Such was the France of the closing years of Philippe le Hardi's
rule--King and country lifting clasped hands, to say, with old Lear:
"Not mad, sweet Heaven, not mad!"

The condition of Burgundy, and especially of its great appanage
Flanders, which Duke Philip had inherited from his wife, though bad,
was not so serious as that of the country in general.

In Dijon there was comparative security--enough for the establishment,
under Philippe le Hardi, of a new era in Burgundian art. For Philip
had great ideas. He never forgot that he was brother to Charles V. of
France. Dijon, if not to rival Paris, should be at least a capital
worthy of its Valois Duke. This jouisseur raffiné must have architects,
sculptors, and painters; cunning embroiderers, too, and workers in
ivory. But above all, he must have goldsmiths. They came flocking
in from all Flanders. "On s'harnachoit d'orfavrerie" says Martial
d'Auvergne.[150] We have already seen the bear upon Philip's coat.

He began, in 1366, with the tower of a new castle--now the Tour de
Bar--to replace the ruined château of the Capetian Dukes; and followed
it, twelve years later, with a monastery, the Chartreuse de Champnol,
at the gates of Dijon, where he wished to house suitably his monks and
his tomb.

The Chartreuse de Champnol remained the burial place of the Ducal house
until the 16th century; but it has not survived to our day. Its close
connection with royal authority marked it out for the attentions of the
revolutionary mob. The site is now occupied by an "Asile des Aliénées"
as the French politely term a mad-house--a choice in which the cynic
may detect either a retort upon rampant democracy, or a sly allusion to
certain congenital failings of the House of Valois. There is little to
be seen in the Asile des Aliénées; but that little is so important that
we decided to go there. For, in the centre of the old cloister, was,
and is, Claus Sluter's world-famous sculpture--Le Puits des Prophètes.

  [Illustration: ·MOSES·]

"Puits?" interrogated a sullen maid, laconically, as she opened to
us. We followed in silence. Truly the present home of the Well is
depressing, and I wish the authorities would remove it to a safe and
more cheerful spot in the precincts of the ducal palace.

But the work itself, though despoiled, by wind and rain, of the calvary
that crowned it, and though quite denuded of the gold and brilliant
colours with which it once blazed, remains one of the strongest and
most impressive pieces of sculpture in existence. Naturally, as one
would expect in the case of a work completed so early as the sixth year
of the fifteenth century, there are serious and obvious faults--for
instance, the figures are too short, the hands and feet generally too
small, and the drapery, in some points, badly handled--but all the
personalities are so striking, so individual, the whole is so strongly
grouped, that the effect is more than majestic. As M. Germain well
says: "Il y a un souffle épique dans ces figures." Stand for five
minutes before the stern, inflexible face of the law-giver; compare
that statue, mentally, with the Moses of Michael Angelo, to which alone
it is inferior, and you will begin to realize Claus Sluter's genius
as a sculptor of the human face and form. He broke away boldly from
primitive and conventional traditions, and went straight to nature,
to the men about him, for his types. These strong physiognomies and
massive forms are eminently Burgundian.[152]

In the portal of the chapel the guide will show you other, and
rather earlier work, generally attributed to Claus Sluter, namely,
five statues representing Philippe le Hardi and his wife Margaret of
Flanders, being presented to the Virgin by Saint Catherine and Saint
John. Four of them may well be from the chisel of the famous sculptor,
but I think, with M. Germain, that the figure of the Virgin is wrongly
attributed, chiefly for the reason that the proportions are much longer
than those of other Sluterian statues.

And what of the man whose genius was to exercise such influence upon
Burgundian art? Little is known of him. He remains an enigmatic,
mysterious figure, living for us only through his work, and that of the
school of which he was the inspiring force. He died in 1406, the same
year in which he had finished his Puits des Prophètes; leaving to his
nephew, Claus de Werve, the task of further realizing their new ideals
in sculpture.

Thus it came about that the second Claus--an artist not unworthy to
follow his uncle--was entrusted with the construction of the next
great Burgundian monument we have to consider, the tomb of Philippe
le Hardi, now in the great hall of the musée, once the "salle des
gardes" of the Ducal Palace. The commission had been given originally,
in 1384, to Jean de Marville, who died after completing the masonry
and the alabaster gallery. Claus Sluter made some progress with the
_pleurants_, but it was not completed until the end of 1410, when young
De Werve had been at work upon it for four years.

The masterpiece was received with universal acclamations. Jean sans
Peur, with a Valois' eye for the beautiful, recognised the merit of
his new imagier, and commissioned him forthwith to do his (the Duke's)
own tomb. Claus accepted the task, but was never able to get to work.
Money lacked; and the Duke of Burgundy was too deeply involved in
the political struggles of his time to give heed to such trifles as
financing the construction of a tomb, even though it were his own. So
poor Claus, filled with a glorious ideal that he was never able to see
realized in stone, wasted his life in waiting, waiting, until, in 1439,
death found him, poor and unknown, and laid him in an obscure tomb, not
of his own design, in the Chartreuse de Champnol. So fare they who hang
upon princes' favours.

  [Illustration: ·PHILIPPVS·DVX·BVRGVNDIAE·
                 PHILIPPE LE BON.]

When Jean sans Peur had expiated, at Montereau, the crime of which
I shall presently tell, his son, Philippe le Bon, had perforce to
look about him for another imagier to do the work. His choice fell,
unwisely, upon a Spaniard from Aragon, one Jean de la Huerta, an
unscrupulous rascal, who bolted from Dijon in 1455, taking with him
cash that he had not earned, and leaving behind him the tomb, void of
sculpture, except the angels and the tabernacles of the gallery. The
monument was completed, in 1466-1470, by his successor, Antoine le
Moiturier, of Avignon.

The revolutionary mob destroyed both monuments; but they were pieced
together again and restored; and there they stand, for all time let
us hope, worthily housed in that magnificent Salle des Gardes. There
is nothing in all Burgundy that so conveys, in one coup d'œil, the
magnificence of the Valois Dukes.

Philippe le Hardi, clothed in a white robe and a blue mantle lined
with ermine, lies, with folded hands, upon a slab of black marble.
Two angels with outspread wings hold the helmet over his cushioned
head, and his feet rest upon a lion's back. The form and face are
realistically done, even to the veins on the hands. But, so far, all
is conventional, traditional. It is when we look at the white-robed
figures beneath the sculptured tabernacles of the gallery, that we
recognise a new motif, dramatic realism, in the monumental art of the
period. Claus Sluter and his nephew had developed the individuality of
portraiture that made the success of the "Puits de Moïse." Their great
patron Duke was dead; and all Dijon had followed weeping in his funeral
procession. Claus reproduced that procession, perpetuated it in living
stone. They are all there--the high functionaries, the praying monks,
the plebeian, wiping his nose on his fingers, all done with a felicity
and truth unequalled in any sculpture that has come down to us. Here
is a hooded mourner comforted by a priest with finger on text, there
an obstinate one receiving exhortation; and an old bourgeois, chin in
hand, pondering the way of life. The attitudes alone are so significant
that, though the face be hidden, you do not wish to look beneath the
cowl. Resignation, despair, faith, argument; all are expressed in pose;
the figures behind the pillars are treated with as much sincerity as
those which are fully seen.[153] Look up from them to the figure above
their heads, and you will see at once that, while the angels have
only a decorative function, the _pleurants_ are both decorative and
dramatic.

  [Illustration: ·CORNER OF THE TOMB OF PHILIPPE LE HARDI·]

And what of Jean San Peur's tomb, with which young Claus had dreamed
of outdoing his uncle? A glance will show that, as a whole, it is
greatly inferior to that of the father. The recumbent figure and the
decorative angels are equally well done; are, perhaps, even superior
in the matter of draperies, which were not Sluter's strong point; but
the alabaster gallery lacks the harmonious simplicity of the earlier
monument: the detail has been over-elaborated in the fashion of the
period, and in a not unnatural though ineffectual attempt to improve
upon a chef-d'œuvre. The _pleurants_ directly imitative of those of
Philip's tomb, are, without exception, less natural, less restrained,
and less felicitous. Yet, despite all these faults, the monument
remains a not unworthy companion of its predecessor.

Would we could say that Jean sans Peur himself was equally worthy of
the first Valois Duke. In that case the whole course of French history
might have been different and happier.

But the fact is that the Dukes' characters, ethically considered, are
of the same relative merit as are their tombs. The contrast between the
features of father and son is most striking. Philip has an open, almost
handsome face, with a noble, though very Jewish, nose, and a generous
mouth revealing kindliness and good intentions. Jean's head, on the
contrary, is ill-proportioned, flatter, with a weaker chin, and meaner
nose. The cheek-bones are too prominent, and the crafty mouth and eye,
and "disinheriting" expression, bid the student of physiognomy beware.

  [Illustration: Pleurants from the Tomb of Philippe le Hardi]

Yet, stained though he was by one bloody crime, we shall judge wrongly
if we conceive as wholly bad this little chétif, crafty, inarticulate,
careful man, who, in days of unbridled luxury, dared to be seen,
like Louis XI., in mended clothes, and never risked large sums at
play.[154] He was a working prince--brave, intelligent, interested;
with his finger always upon the pulse of public opinion. A hardy
campaigner, he knew how to endure patiently hunger and thirst, heat
and cold, rains and winds; and he possessed the gift, inestimably
valuable in those days, of winning and holding the loyal devotion of
his immediate friends and servants.[155]

Looking at him, lying there robed, upon royal marble, one's mind
returns to the foul murder that for thirty years held France in misery,
and drenched her fair fields in blood--a deed that robbed the doer of
all happiness, and darkened the after years of his life with the shadow
of impending death, until a revenge, not less cowardly in conception,
nor less pregnant with calamity, loosed again civil war upon France,
and humbled the distracted country beneath a foreign dominion.

For some considerable time before the murder, hatred, bitter though
concealed, had existed between Jean sans Peur and Louis, Duc d'Orléans,
the brother of King Charles VI. Louis, himself a poet, was a pretty,
wayward, loose-living, irresponsible, and charming personality, gifted
with that fantastic grace of the early renaissance that is so pleasing
in his son, Charles d'Orléans, the singer of Blois. Louis, naturally,
was beloved of all ladies, and in spite of his faults--if not because
of them, since they were gracious ones--was liked, even by the priests
whom he cajoled, and by the commoners whom he oppressed.

The spirited youngster, with an eye upon his Burgundian rival, had
taken for his device a knotty cudgel and the words "Je l'envie" (I
defy). Jean sans Peur, knowing well at whom that shaft was aimed,
retorted by adopting for himself a plane, with the motto, "Je le Tiens"
(I hold it), thereby intimating his intention of planing down that
cudgel. None guessed how soon he would do so.

Though each prince wore his device openly, and displayed it broadcast
on robe, banner, and pennon, they were brought together, and there was
sworn reconciliation between the pair. On the 20th November, 1407, they
heard mass, and took the sacrament side by side. Two days later the
princes attended a great dinner given by the Duc de Berri. After the
feast they embraced, drank to each other, and again swore friendship.

The Queen, who was lodging at the time in a little hotel in the old
Rue du Temple, near the Porte Barbette, had recently given birth to a
still-born child. On November 23rd, the duke of Orleans, always on the
best of terms with his sister-in-law--popular rumour, indeed, made her
his mistress--came to offer his condolences, and supped with her in
that house. The gay meal was interrupted by the advent of a suborned
valet de chambre of the king, summoning the duke immediately to the
royal presence.

"Il a hâte de vous parler," said the messenger, "pour chose qui touche
grandement à vous et à lui."[156]

The Duke, nothing doubting, ordered his mule to be brought without
delay, and, though he had six hundred armed men in Paris, set out,
unaccompanied, except by two squires, mounted upon the same horse,
and four or five valets on foot carrying torches. It was about eight
o'clock in the evening; the night was overcast (assez brun), and the
street deserted. The Duke, dressed in a simple costume of black damask,
rode slowly down the old Rue du Temple, singing, and playing with his
glove. As he was passing before the house of the Maréchal de Rieux,
no more than a hundred paces distant from the Queen's apartments, a
company of about twenty armed men, in ambuscade behind a house called
L'Image Notre Dame, broke out upon the little party. The horse on which
were the two squires, startled by the noise, took fright, and galloped
away down the street. With cries of "À mort! à mort!" the assassins
fell upon the Duke, and one of them struck him a blow with an axe that
cut off his hand.

"What is this?" cried Louis. "Who are all these? I am the Duc
d'Orléans."

"'Tis you whom we want" (C'est ce que nous demandons) replied the
assailants. In a moment, a storm of blows, from sword, axe, and spiked
club, brought him down from his mule. He rose upon his knees, but,
before he could recover himself, his head was split open, and his
brains were streaming over the pavement. "And they turned him over and
over, and so terribly hammered him that he was soon dead and piteously
slain." A young page, who sought to defend his master, was likewise
struck down; another, grievously wounded, managed to escape into a
little shop in the Rue des Rosiers.

  [Illustration: ·CORNER OF THE PLACE DES DUCS· ·DIJON·]

At that very hour, Jaquette, the wife of a poor cobbler, was in her
room, high above the street, awaiting her husband's return. While
taking in a garment that had been hanging out of the window to dry, she
saw a nobleman pass by on horseback, and, a moment after, while putting
her child to bed, she heard the shouts of "À mort! à mort!" She ran to
the window with her child in her arms, and, throwing open the casement
cried, "Au meurtre, au meurtre!" "Taisez-vous mauvaise femme!" cried
one who noticed her, and arrows rattled upon the wall of the house. A
moment later, all was over. A big man in a red chaperon drawn down over
his eyes, who seemed to be the leader, shouted, "Put out all lights,
and let us be off; he is dead!" Some sprang on to their horses which
were in waiting at the gates of the Maison Notre Dame, and with a last
blow or two at the lifeless body of the Duke, they made off, mounted
and on foot, crying, "Au feu! au feu!" in response to the cries of
"murder" raised by some of the Duke's men who had come upon the scene.

The assassins had set fire to the Maison Notre Dame. As they fled,
they threw down behind them iron traps to prevent pursuit, and coerced
terrified shopkeepers into extinguishing the lights in the shops along
their route. The Duke's men found their master in a pitiable plight.
The skull lay open in two places, the left hand was cut off, and the
right arm was almost severed. Beside the dead Duke, the young German
page, Jacob, lay gasping out his life.

"Ah! mon maître, ah! mon maître!" Il se complaignoit moult fort, come
s'il vouloit mourir.[157]

When it was known that the murdered body of young Louis of Orléans was
lying in the Hotel de Rieux, all Paris was in consternation. Death
veiled his faults from the people. They could see only his virtues. A
prince so gallant and debonair, to die so young! the pity of it! Women
and men, noble and base-born, wept for him, so foully slain. Did not
even his great rival of Burgundy echo their grief?[158]

"Never" was he heard to say, "was more wicked nor traitorous murder
committed nor executed in his kingdom."

At the solemn funeral in the Church of the Célestins, Jean sans Peur
was one of those who bore the pall.[159] He was to bear that pall for
the remainder of his life.[160] Of hundreds who watched him there,
clothed in deep mourning, and weeping bitterly,[161] how many guessed
the truth. Yet the truth was not long concealed. When the hue and cry
was raised, it soon became known that the assassins had fled towards
Rue Mauconseil, where was the Palace of the Duke of Burgundy; and the
Provost of Paris suggested that he could soon lay hands on his men,
were he permitted to search the hotels of the Princes. Then the Duke of
Burgundy's countenance was observed to pale. Drawing aside the Duke of
Berri and the King of Sicily, he whispered to them: "'Twas I, the Devil
tempted me." They shrank from him; the Duke of Berri burst into tears.
"I have lost both my nephews," he murmured.

  [Illustration: Pleurant]

A few hours later the scene was changed. Pride had conquered remorse in
the heart of Jean sans Peur. Denied access to the Council, the murderer
mounted horse, and galloped ventre à terre, into Flanders, there to
steel his conscience against a deed which was to darken his shortened
days with the shadow of impending death, and for thirty years was to
drench the fields of France in the blood of her best.

The absent Duke entrusted to a certain learned doctor of Theology, Jean
Petit, the duty of whitewashing his master--a task less formidable than
it sounds to those unversed in the casuistry of the schools of that
day. To do Petit justice, he seems to have acquitted himself as well as
the obvious weakness of his case would permit.

Starting from the principal that it is "licit and meritorious to slay
a tyrant traitorous and disloyal to his king and sovereign lord," he
proceeded to show, to his own satisfaction, that the murder of the
"criminal" Duke of Orleans "was perpetrated for the very great good
of the king's person, and that of his children and all the kingdom,"
and held that the king should not only be pleased thereat, but should
pardon the Seigneur de Bourgogne, "and remunerate him in every way,
that is to say in love, honour, and riches, following the example of
remunerations made to Monseigneur Michael the Archangel and the valiant
man Phineas."

This extraordinary document, which, to the modern mind, is a jumble of
unconscious humour and deliberate blasphemy, aroused, not unnaturally,
"much murmuring within the town of Paris." The quarrel was taken up
far and wide, and soon all France was divided into two camps, the
Armagnacs,[162] known by the white scarf, and the Burgundians, whose
badge was the Cross of St. Andrew.

  [Illustration: Ornament]

We have no space in which to follow here the varying fortunes of the
two parties. For long years, in town and country, they fought it out;
the children of the villages with fists, feet, stones, and sticks;
their elders in the towns, with sword, dagger, and club. In the autumn
of 1418 the Burgundians effected an entry into Paris, and the excited
mob commenced an indiscriminate slaughter of their opponents. Two
presidents of parliament, magistrates, bishops, even, fell. Sixteen
hundred persons perished in a day. They were slain in the prisons, they
were slain in the street. "Did you see your enemy passing on the other
side of the way, you had but to cry "À l'Armagnac" and he was dead." A
woman, about to become a mother, was ripped open; within her dead body,
as she lay in the street, the child could be seen to move. "Vois donc,"
said the canaille, "this little dog still stirs." But none durst take
the child. No Burgundian priest would baptise a little Armagnac. Why
should he save an enemy's brat from damnation?

"The children played with the corpses in the streets. The body of the
Constable and others lay for three days in the palace, a butt for the
jests of the passers by. Some of them remembered to take a strip of
skin from his back, so that he, too, might wear in death, the white
emblem of the living Armagnacs." At last the stench forced them to
throw all the debris into the tomberaux; thence, without priest or
prayer, into an open ditch in the pig-market.[163]

These closing years of the reign of the mad king,[164] from 1418 and on
to 1425, were the darkest in all the history of France. War, famine,
pestilence, three grim spectres, stalked over the land. Every evening
a starving crowd surged round the bake-houses of Paris. In all the
town were heard the piteous lamentations of little children crying:
"Je meurs de faim!" Upon a dung-heap, thirty boys and girls died of
hunger and cold. The dog-knacker was followed by the poor, who, as he
slew, devoured all, "chair et trippes."[165] Nor were things better
without the town. The fields, deserted by their normal labourers, were
re-peopled with wolves, that, scouring the country in great packs,
grew fat upon the corpses they scratched up. The people lived only in
the woods and the fortresses; the towns teemed with men at arms; all
culture was abandoned, except around the ramparts, within sight of the
sentry upon his tower. When the enemy appeared upon the horizon, the
sound of the tocsin moved man and beast, by a common instinct, to seek
shelter within the walls.[166] Hunger made brigands of all.

France was receiving at the hand of God full measure for all her sins.
The dead man's pall, that Jean sans Peur had been bearing through
twelve wretched years of misery and blood, were soon to cover his own
mangled body. Murder, as of old, was to breed murder. He who had taken
the sword, was to perish by it.

Several attempts, more or less futile, had been made to patch up a
reconciliation between the Duke of Burgundy and the Orleanist Dauphin,
a boy of sixteen years. In the autumn of the year 1419, a meeting was
arranged to be held in a long, wooden gallery, specially erected on the
bridge of Montereau, at the junction of the Seine and the Yonne.

Burgundy's fortunes at this time were at a low ebb, and the Dauphin's
principal counsellors thought the time had come to deal their enemy
a crushing blow. The rumour of their intention spread, and Jean was
warned many times of his danger; but he made light of it. In vain his
servants assured him that a plot was laid, that he was going to his
death. He would not listen. At the last moment, however, he seems to
have felt some compunction; for he delayed his coming so long that
Tanneguy du Chatel was sent to fetch him. The duke hesitated no more.
"This is he in whom I trust," said he, and he laid his hand upon du
Chatel's shoulder.

The accounts of the final scene differ materially; the exact truth will
probably never be known. On coming into the Dauphin's presence, the
Duke removed his velvet cap, and kneeling, made a profound obeisance.
Hardly had he risen to his feet when a confused mêlée arose, and the
young Dauphin was led off to the Castle of Montereau. Meanwhile the
assassins had got to work. The first blow passed down the right side
of the Duke's face, and cut off the hand with which he sought to ward
off the stroke. The second pierced his heart, when, "with a sigh and a
movement of the loins," he fell. The abandoned body was buried by the
curé of Montereau in the town cemetery, where it was found, several
weeks after, clothed only in hose, doublet, and breeches. "A piteous
thing to see, and no man there could refrain from weeping."[167]

Thus the Duke of Orleans was avenged; but the act, as might have been
expected, only raised the fallen fortunes of the party it was intended
finally to destroy.

As it had been with his victim, so, in turn, it was with Jean. Death
expiated the murder, and veiled the murderer's faults. The many, who
had been lukewarm for Burgundy, returned to their allegiance again.

  [Illustration: End of chapter XIII; Sword]


FOOTNOTES:

[143] De Barante, Tome II., pp. 69, 70.

[144] The four Dukes of the house of Valois were, Philip le Hardi,
      1365-1404, Jean sans Peur, 1404-1419, Philip le Bon, 1419-1467,
      and Charles le Téméraire, 1467-1476.

[145] I have heard Philip le Hardi described by a flippant American
      as "Philip le Hard-up."

[146] Compare the devise of our Plantagenet Kings.

[147] The coats cost 2977 livres d'or, an enormous sum, bearing in
      mind the purchasing power of money in those days. De Barante,
      Tome II., p. 131.

[148] Michelet V. pp. 72-77.

[149] A lady well-known in Russian "revolutionary" circles, told me,
      recently, of similar experiences in Russia to-day. Suicides
      are so frequent as to excite little comment. Children, even,
      have caught the contagion. "Life fails them--they turn to death."

[150] Juvénal des Ursins, quoted Michelet, Tome V., p. 183.

[151] A. Germain "Les Néerlandais en Bourgogne," p. 38, 39.

[152] The prophets are all commemorative of Christ, taken from the
      Messianic texts. The costumes are supposed to be those of the
      actors in the mystery plays of that time. Germain, p. 63.

[153] The figures have not been restored in their original order,
      which is regrettable, as some of the processional effect is
      thereby lost.

[154] Shakespeare makes him articulate enough in Henry V., Act V.,
      scene 2. His economies were, perhaps, begotten of his father's
      prodigalities, who bequeathed only debts and a dukedom.

[155] Kleinclausz "Histoire de la Bourgogne," p. 142. Also De Barante,
      Tome IV., p. 466.

[156] "He is eager to speak with you on a matter that touches closely
      both you and him."

[157] Michelet.

[158] For a contemporary account of the murder, see Monstrelet.

[159] The others were the King of Sicily and the Dukes of Bourbon and
      Berri.

[160] Michelet.

[161] There is no reason to suppose that the tears were hypocritical.
      Such display of emotion was in the spirit of the times; and
      certainly no man had better cause than its author to regret the
      murder.

[162] After Bernard d'Armagnac, brother-in-law of the young Duke of
      Orleans.

[163] Michelet, Tome VI., pp. 55, 56.

[164] Charles VI. died in 1422, deeply mourned by the common people.
      "Ah! très cher prince, jamais nous n'en aurons un si bon."
      Journal du Bourgeois.

[165] Michelet, Tome VI., p. 114, "Flesh and entrails."

[166] Barante, Tome V., p. 204.

[167] Kleinclausz, p. 146.



  [Illustration: Heading, chapter XIV; Dijon: Decorated windows of the
                 Maison Milsand]


CHAPTER XIV

THE CITY OF THE DUKES


After this long historical digression, it is quite time that we
returned to the Salle des Gardes, where there are many good things
to be seen beside the tombs of the Dukes. Not the least interesting
are the ducal portraits, all very Jewish, and bearing a strong family
likeness. In the picture gallery adjoining is a portrait of Charles le
Téméraire, by Van Hemerren, done, it is said, shortly before his death
at Nancy. Here is Valois madness, indeed; shown in the wildly staring
eyes, the furrowed brow, the pursed lips, the poised head, the spread
hands, and straying fingers--a mind and body in extreme of tension.
What brought the last of the Valois Dukes to such a pass? Readers who
do not know will discover, when we come to talk of--the Post Office!

Upon the many other things worth seeing in that Salle des Gardes,
I have no time to dwell; also the reader will find them catalogued
in any guide. But one or two I will mention. The most striking of
all, perhaps, is the magnificent chimney-piece, built in 1504, after
the great fire, which, in 1502, destroyed all the decorations and
the original ceiling of the chamber. On the walls are two gorgeous
altarpieces in wood-gilt, done by a Flemish artist, Jacques de Baerze,
to the order of Philippe le Bon, in 1391. The subjects of one are: The
Execution of John the Baptist, The Martyrdom of St. Catherine; and the
Temptation of St. Anthony. Those of the other include the Adoration of
the Magi, Calvary, and the Entombment. All the figures, especially the
Roman soldiery, in very mediæval clothing, playing dice for Christ's
vesture at the foot of the Cross, and the weeping relatives, are
treated with the usual vivacity and realism of the Burgundian school;
the whole is decorated with flamboyant Gothic detail of richness
unrivalled, so far as I am aware, by any similar work, excepting,
possibly, the famous rétable at the Eglise de Brou. The painting and
gilding of the volets is by Melchior Broederlam, court painter to
Philippe le Hardi.

  [Illustration: PRAYING WOMAN DIJON]

There are also two charming sixteenth century renaissance doors, from
the Palais de Justice, carved with the most perfect arabesques, and
a torso by Hugues Sambin, the famous architect who built the curious
façade of the Eglise St. Michel. The guide will point out to you, in
the centre cabinets, St. Bernard's Cup, the cross of his friend St.
Robert, who received him when he first came to Citeaux, and other good
relics, including a cast of a skull, said to be that of Jean sans Peur,
with a slit in it--the slit through which the English entered France,
as our guide sagely remarked. The epigram earned for him the respect
due to an homme instruit, until he proffered the information that the
église Notre Dame is not a thirteenth century church!

If you want to get an idea of Dijon in mediæval times, study the
sixteenth century tapestry in this salle. It shows a walled city with
many churches, most of which have now disappeared. Indeed, with the
exception of the Tour du Logis du Roi, or Tour de la Terrasse, beneath
which you are standing at the moment, very few of the buildings are
easily recognisable. The subject represents the siege of the City by
the Swiss. The black virgin, now, I believe, in the Eglise Notre
Dame, has been borne out to assist in the relief of the City, and the
mayor of the town is in negotiation with the enemy. They covenanted to
raise the siege for a specified sum; but were foolish enough to depart
without the cash, which, consequently was never paid.

The remainder of the musée installed in the Palace has little that is
of first-rate interest, except, the ducal kitchen, some good Burgundian
altarpieces, and a large collection of modern statues, chiefly by the
Burgundian Rude (1784-1855).[168] Among hundreds of inferior pictures,
I was most interested in three paintings of Dijon Castle, in salle 8,
by G. P. H. Jeanniot. Dijon Castle does not now exist. If the reader
can endure more history, I will tell him the reason why.

If you will walk down the Rue de la Liberté, in this town, and turn,
two hundred yards or so below the arch, along one of the narrow streets
to the left, you will emerge on to a large _place_, in the centre of
which stands a great, white building. That white building, the Post
Office, occupies the site of the Castle, which, until a few years ago,
stood as a memento of the end of the Valois Dukes. Dijon, however, now
grown to be a great and prosperous city, a centre of the wine trade,
is more concerned with the development of her industries than with her
historical monuments; consequently, when a new Post Office was needed,
the authorities came to the conclusion that a castle so centrally
situate must go.[169] It went: but its memories remain. Its story is that
of the final struggle between Burgundy and France, between Charles le
Téméraire and Louis XI., respective champions of the old order and the
new.[169]

These rivals were not well matched. It was the unequal combat of the
matador against the bull. Charles, though a prince of great charm and
ability, endowed with the dual qualities of scholar and general, was
still but a man of his time. If he possessed the virtues of the middle
ages--courage, daring, resolution,--he shared also its defects--pride,
obstinacy, shortsightedness, boundless ambition, and a touch, perhaps,
of the hereditary insanity of the House of Valois. Dreams of more than
feudal glory, of empire, even, dazzled him.

His father had been "Philip the Good"; the son should be Alexander the
Great. "Si grand et si puissant qu'il put être conducteur et meneur des
autres." He would re-establish in greater glory, with wider bounds, the
ancient Kingdom of Burgundy. And France! He reckoned without France.
It was not within the power of this man to fathom nor to play move for
move against such an opponent as Louis. He had held the king in his
grasp once,[170] and had let him go. The opportunity would never recur.

Patient, untiring Louis, touched, just as his rival was, with insanity,
endowed with more than the common cunning of his type, possessed a mind
as modern, almost, in essentials, as was that of Bacon half a century
later. He foresaw clearly enough the coming death of feudalism, and,
while waiting wolf-like, to prey upon the corpse, he bent his mind
to the wider constructive processes of a subtler, more Machiavellian
policy.

The reigning princes of Europe were old; Louis, noting the fact,
realized that he had only to wait, leaving the active part to his ally,
Death, a power as certain as God's, and one, moreover, that he need
not cajole with prayers, nor bribe with silver balustrades. He waited,
while the black angel shook the tree; then he gathered the plums as
they fell: and France was his.

King Charles, meanwhile--king in all but name--was burning to fight
all comers. He flung himself first upon the Swiss, who were in league
against him. He was defeated at Grandson, and again at Morat, on the
22nd June, 1476, losing many men and much spoil, including his great
diamond, one of the largest in Christendom.[171] He lost heart, too,
and retired into solitude, letting his beard grow, and dreaming of
revenge. There was to be no revenge for him.

On the 22nd October, he commenced the siege of Nancy, which he
prosecuted with quiet energy, until, in the following January, he heard
that the Swiss were advancing against him to the relief of the town.
The doomed Duke turned to meet them, and his fate. His army, wearied by
much campaigning, was completely routed. The following day Duke Charles
could not be found; various rumours were current in the town concerning
him.

He was dead; he was not dead. "Beware," said the timid ones, "lest you
behave otherwise than if he were yet alive, for his vengeance will be
terrible on his return." On 6th January there was brought to Duke René,
a young page, named Jean Baptiste Colonna, who said he had seen his
master fall, and could find the place. The next day they recommenced
their search for the body. The page led them to a pond called the Etang
de St. Jean, distant about three culverin shots from the town. There,
half-buried in the mud-banks of a little stream, near a chapel, lay a
dozen despoiled corpses. "They commenced to search all the dead; all
were naked and frozen, scarcely could one know them; the page, passing
here and there, found many mighty ones, and great and small, white
as snow. And all turned them over. 'Alas!' said he, 'Here is my good
master.'"[172]

Others gathered round. As they lifted the head from the ice to which
it had frozen, the skin was torn from the face. Already the wolves and
dogs had been at work upon the other cheek; moreover a great wound had
split the head from the ear to the mouth.[173]

In such condition the corpse was not easily recognisable, but Olivier
de la Marche and others identified it by the teeth and the nails, and
by certain marks, such as the scar of the wound received at Montlhéri.
When they had washed the body in warm water and wine, it was easily
recognised by all. In addition to the wound in the head, there were
two others, one through the thighs, and another below the loins. The
dead Duke was borne into the town, and placed in a velvet bed beneath
a canopy of black satin. The corpse was clothed in a camisole of white
satin, and covered with a crimson mantle of the same material. A Ducal
crown was laid on the head, scarlet shoes and golden spurs upon the
feet. "The said Duke being honourably clothed, he was white as snow; he
was small and well-limbed; on a table, well wrapped up in white sheets,
upon a silk pillow, on the head a red cap set, the hands joined, the
cross and holy water beside him; all who would might see him, none were
turned away; some prayed God for him, and others not." The victorious
René, Duke of Lorraine, came to throw holy water upon the body of the
unhappy prince.

He took the hand beneath the coverlet; tears came into his eyes. "Ah!
dear cousin," said he, "may God receive your soul, you have brought on
us many an ill and many a sorrow." Then he kissed the hand, fell upon
his knees, and remained for a quarter of an hour in prayer.[174]

Louis XI. made no attempt to conceal his rejoicing over the tragedy of
Nancy. A silver balustrade, weighing 6,776 marks, erected around the
tomb of St. Martin de Tours, testified his gratitude to the heavenly
powers, who had removed the rival of the most Christian King. Then,
with great energy, he proceeded to support his claim to Burgundy.
Towns were occupied; rebels and seditious persons were executed and
proscribed, and a castle was erected at the gates of Beaune, in
addition to that at Dijon. Both were occupied by royal garrisons
responsible for the subjection of the country.

On July 31st, 1479, the king made his solemn entry into Dijon. "The
mayor, the échevins, the procureurs, clothed in scarlet robes, walked
before him, as they had formerly walked before the Dukes; the clergy
in their chapes bore the holy relics. Louis proceeded first to the
Abbey of St. Bénigne, where the Dijonnais swore fealty to him, as to
their natural lord, and prayed him to hold them in his good grace;
then, preceded by trumpets, tambourines, and minstrels, he went to
lodge at the Ducal Palace. Everywhere they covered with lime the arms
of Burgundy, broke the windows of the Chambre Des Comtes which bore
that device, and replaced it by that of the King with the cord of St.
Michael and the arms of the Dauphin."[175]

So ended the power of Burgundy. From the days of Philippe le Hardi,
onwards, there had arisen in the minds of those proud dukes--who
were more than dukes--a dream of a new kingdom that should exceed
in extent and in dominion the old Burgundy of their fathers--a
kingdom, an empire, perhaps, freed for ever from the hated rivalry
of the Fleur-de-lys. But that dream was not to be realised. All the
conditions, geographical, historical, psychological, were against them;
nor had the dukes themselves, for all their abilities, the constructive
minds necessary for the accomplishment of such a task. Louis, on the
other hand, as we have seen, possessed such a mind; and destiny and
death, as though consciously realizing the fact, worked for him.
Burgundy was no more than the greatest of the fruits that fell into his
lap.

  [Illustration: STREET IN DIJON
                 _Facing page 208_]

Nevertheless, we shall surely do well to remember these years, and
these Dukes, that went to the making of France. Dijon, it appears,
proud of her mustard, and of her wine-begotten prosperity, does
not care to remember. She has pulled down the unworthy memento of
subjection. Truly she has her reward. She has the best Post Office in
the Duchy.

       *       *       *       *       *

Now, after all this history, what of Dijon as it is to-day? Well,
modern Dijon, despite the ever-to-be-deplored demolition of the Castle,
remains one of the most individual and fascinating of French towns--a
cheerful, lively, bustling little city, full of fine buildings, and
unexpected architectural surprises of the Renaissance and earlier
times. For its size, I know no town in France in which past and present
have blended more happily. Wherever you walk, in the heart of the town,
the next corner has something fascinating to show.

The building which first calls for attention is the Cathedral of
St. Bénigne. Of the early, circular, Romanesque church, which dated
from the eleventh century, and was probably imitated from the Holy
Sepulchre, nothing now remains but the crypt. The primitive, carved
pillars are the oldest of their kind in Burgundy, and mark the origin
of an art of sculpture, that, as we have already seen, was to go far.
In this rude church was buried St. Bénigne, the Christian martyr of the
third century; here, too, the pious Alèthe, St. Bernard's mother, was
laid, probably in the year 1110; and here, many a time, Bernard himself
came down from his father's castle at Fontaine, to pray, in those early
days when his spirit was torn between the claims of cloister and the
world. The cathedral, above ground, though historically interesting,
as the scene of the inaugural ceremonies of the great Dukes, and
the solemn merger of the duchy into the kingdom of France, is not
architecturally of first-rate interest. Gothic art was not always well
inspired in Burgundy during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries;
and St. Bénigne is no exception to the rule. The façade is very bold,
for a church of cathedral rank; the west window is weak and shallow,
and the parvis mean and uninteresting. Nor is the interior successful.
The triforium, one of the feeblest I know, is suggestive of a cardboard
model, and the simplicity of the nave has been broken by a series of
restless yearning statues, that, poised upon the abaci of the capitals,
grimace at one another across the nave. The thirteenth-century choir
is better; though spoiled architecturally by bare spaces of wall
between the triforium and the sills of the clerestory. The exterior,
however, especially as seen from the east-end, is impressive, and
the "Snake-skin" tiling, though rather trying at first, is rich and
effective, when the eye has become accustomed to the shock.

Opposite to St. Bénigne is a typical Burgundian church of the twelfth
century, with a triple porch and narthex, an octagonal tower, and a
beautiful Romanesque south doorway. It is now a secular building,
as are several other old churches of Dijon. You may look, as I did,
through a decorated window of St. Etienne, and see a man changing his
shirt!

Another church of considerable interest, from the architectural point
of view, is St. Michel. I am not referring to the interior, which
is, on the whole, an ineffective example of late Gothic, with clumsy
vaulting ribs, and heavy, square, nave piers, rounded off by vaulting
shafts at the angles--but to the façade, one of the best examples I
know of Gothic design worked out in Renaissance detail, with four
classical orders superposed.[176] Hugues Sambin, the architect, or
reputed architect--he who did those beautiful doors for the Palace
de Justice, that we have seen in the Musée--has made so harmonious
a compromise of the two styles, that I wonder he has not found more
imitators. The fact that others dared not follow emphasises the
difficulty of the task.

But the most interesting, by far, of all the churches of Dijon, is
Notre Dame, that, within hail of the Palace, and dedicated to Our Lady,
enjoyed the special patronage of the Dukes. It was here that, after the
great tournament at the arbre Charlemagne, in the plain south of Dijon,
to be spoken of presently, the competing knights came to hang up their
shields, and to render thanks to their preserver. Here, too, in 1453,
after long imprisonment in the east, came Philippe Pot, whom also we
shall meet again, barefooted, amidst a brilliant assemblage, to fulfil
his vows to Notre Dame de Bon Espoir.

Notre Dame is a purely Burgundian Gothic church, of the thirteenth
century. The interior, with its typical stiff leaf capitals, and
pointed arches, is not very remarkable. The arcade round the choir is
good; but the square blocks above the abaci, that take the vaulting
shafts, are clumsy, and the rose windows without tracery, in the
transept, are not effective. As with St. Michel, it is the exterior
design that makes the church so remarkable from an architectural point
of view. The triple porch--if its carvings were as good as those
above--must have been very charming before the revolutionary gentlemen
set to work with hammer and axe upon tympanum and arch.

  [Illustration: · DOOR OF THE EGLISE ST. MICHAEL · DIJON ·]

Even now it is pleasing. Indeed, the west front, as seen from the
Rue des Forges, though, perhaps, a little stiff, is most striking,
especially when the bright sun of Burgundy is picking out in warm light
and pitchy shadow the triple row of strange eager faces, that, craning
their necks out over the street, gaze down upon the passers-by. These
grotesque beasts, and the friezes in which they dwell, are among the
best examples of Burgundian sculpture to be seen anywhere. They have
all the vigour, individuality, and vivacity that are characteristic of
the Province. The façade, as a whole, with its double arcade, between
the friezes, surmounting the triple porch, is one of the most original
in France, and would be much more effective than it is, could it be
better seen. The tower, too, and the flanking turrets, are boldly
designed, and relieved with little sculptures, grinning suns and
grimacing heads, on the corbels and the springings, that suggest an
art lively and alert compared with the conventional dulness of St.
Bénigne. The sense of realism is increased by the many pigeons--not of
stone--who glide all day over monsters' backs, and coo into old monks'
ears.

  [Illustration: · EGLISE · ST. MICHEL · DIJON]

The Jacquemart clock on the tower was brought to Dijon by Philippe le
Hardi, after the sack of Courtrai, in 1383. Froissart, charmed with it,
declared it to be "ouvrage le plus beau qu'on put trouver deçà ni delà
la mer." Philip may have thought so, too; since he chose it for his
trophy.

Nearly every street in this central part of old Dijon, around the
palace of the Dukes, has many good things. Late Gothic buildings meet
you at every turn, and in no town of France that I know, except,
perhaps, Toulouse, will you find better Renaissance houses. The fronts
of the Maison Milsand and the Maison des Caryatides, are both charming
of their kind; and so is the courtyard of the Maison Richard, or
Hotel des Ambassadeurs, with a magnificent mediæval staircase, and a
fifteenth century gallery of perpendicular woodwork. Behind Notre Dame
is the old Hotel Vogué, with one of the fine snake-skin roofs that are
a feature of Dijon.

  [Illustration: Sculpture; Notre Dame de Dijon]

But of all the quiet haunts in the city, the best are the little garden
without, and the courtyard within, the Palace of the Dukes. Looking
up through green boughs at the beautiful windows of the Salle des
Gardes and the Tour de la Terrasse, or, from a post upon the inner
flag-stones, peering into the dark shadows of the lovely Renaissance
staircase that mounts by the Tour de Bar,[177] you may go back again
into the days when Dijon was more famous, more alive, than mustard and
gingerbread can ever make it.

The mention of mustard and gingerbread, reminds me that here, opposite
to the staircase, is the kitchen, where, between eight great furnaces,
two in each wall, below a converging shaft, fashioned to carry the
fumes upward to the blue sky, the Duke's chef superintended a small
army of perspiring cooks and scullions.

My wife's brains were busy with such dreams, as she sat in that
courtyard sketching the well, the staircase, and little Marie Bon,
who, for two sous, and the privilege of being allowed to tell about
her uncle, also a painter--he worked on back doors--allowed herself
to be drawn. And while the picture grew, tiresome boys would come
up and jostle each other, and make remarks--usually, however, of a
complimentary nature.

  [Illustration: · WELL OUTSIDE THE DUKE'S KITCHEN ·]

"Ma foi, c'est épatant, ça!" "C'est très chic--beaucoup mieux qu'une
photographie."

Gallant young men, too, would come, and say boldly, as though prepared
to step into the breach, "Madame, n'a pas de cavalier aujourdhui!" And
diffident old ladies, shy, but unable to restrain their curiosity,
would come up and say, "Est-ce qu'on est permis de regarder un peu,
Madame?" And my wife would smile and reply, "Mais oui, certainement."
For towards good and diffident old ladies her heart is as soft as it is
adamantine towards small and cheeky urchins.

  [Illustration: Vine Ornament]

One other building in Dijon I will mention--the Palais de Justice,
which has a beautiful Renaissance façade, with a high gable in the
Flemish style, and a domed Corinthian porch. The threatening darkness
of the stone, and the grim, lurid, purplish colours it takes in certain
lights, harmonise well with our memories of deeds done in that Salle
des Pas Perdus, and the torture chamber of the prisons within. This
Palace was also the Parliament House of the Valois Dukes.

       *       *       *       *       *

But we, who pass our days in London, soon weary of other cities, even
though they be ancient and French; besides, we wanted to see something
of the environs of Dijon; so a fine afternoon found us cycling along
the five kilometres of flat yet attractive road that leads by the
Canal de Bourgogne to Plombières, in the valley of the Ouche. There
was music all the way; the breeze that whispered to the "paint-brush"
poplars, and rustled in the reeds and grasses of the bank; the song
of the grasshoppers, the "sound of waters shaken" where they curled
foaming through the lock gates. We had beauty with us, too; all the
mature beauty of a bright autumn day, as we glided beside the still
water, between waving grasses and lichen-gilded trunks. On our left
were golden vineyards, and, beneath them, rose-embowered cottages and
jagged quarries where brawny quarrymen were dealing mighty, swinging
strokes that echoed through the valley. To our right were the terraced
hills of Talant, and ahead the tower of Plombières church, high above
the village roofs. We passed white-hooded peasants--ample women with
genuine, solid bodies, ambling homeward from the markets of Dijon,
and black-bloused peasants, who, blessed with a patience that was
never given to us, were "soaking an indefinite bait in an indifferent
stream;" we passed blazing bonfires by the side of the road, whereon
girls were heaping all the grasses they had cut during a busy day with
the sickle. And when we got there, we found the mairie besieged by
women in white dresses and men in black coats. There was a wedding; and
couples were whirling in the Salle de Bal.

That Talant I spoke of, on the hill, is another spot to make for
between tea and dinner; if only for the views it gives you down over
the City of Dijon and the Valley of the Ouche. From the village green,
shaded with ancient walnut trees, between which the children play with
their dappled goats, there lie before you, across the willow-fringed
silver streak that is the Canal de Bourgogne, the hills of the Côte
d'Or, now shrouded in the purple mists of evening. Southward, looming
through the red smoke-wreaths, that curl upwards from its factories,
rise the towered palace, and the spires of the ducal city. Below,
among the vines and fruit trees, beside the red gravel pit in the grey
cemetery, the flames of the peasants' fires, flashing in lines, like
the camp fires of a beleaguered town, are deepening with an opalesque
veil of floating vapour the gathering mysteries of the night.

As we climbed the road that winds up the hill to Talant, whose old
Castle, by the way, was the scene of a hundred memorable events, that
I have no time to remember now, we saw on our right another wooded
spur of the Côte d'Or, crowned with a big church and a little one. We
knew it at once for Fontaine, the home of St. Bernard--a spot not to
be missed. The next day found us there. Passing through the village,
we came to a small, round pool at the foot of the steep, shaded with
a ring of poplars and walnut trees. This must be the very pool in
which St. Bernard plunged, when, in the hey-day of youth, he felt his
blood glowing too warmly within him. I wonder that the peasants, or
the priests, have not made holy water of it before this. We climbed
the hill, and, sitting on a broken stone wall, caught glimpses, across
the changing vines, of distant Dijon towers, while those improvident
grasshoppers, who should have been harvesting against a coming winter,
just sang and sang, as though they would out-sing the larks.

Then I wandered through the little Burgundian church, and the tangled
wilderness of a churchyard, while my wife, sitting enthroned in lilac
bushes, and eating blackberries of her own picking, watched the western
sun gilding, height beyond height, the distant hills, and dreamed of
Bernard, her chosen patron saint. How often must he, torn between
chivalry and church, have wrestled with his spirit upon that very spot.

This great building near us, on the crest of the hill, is built on
the site of Tescelin le Roux's castle; and contains, I believe, some
remnants of it; but it has no longer any attraction for us. Restoration
and modern additions[178] have stolen away its hoary age. We may be
foolish in these matters; but we got more pleasure from a wooden bust
of St. Bernard, that we bought for three francs from a white-winged
sister, in the pilgrimage shop beside the basilica. We still look at
it daily, and believe it--quite wrongly, no doubt--to be a perfect
likeness of Tescelin's perfect son.

       *       *       *       *       *

Before we part from Dijon, there is one other episode in its history to
which I should like to refer.

Leaving the town by the southward road that leads to the ancient
village of Rouvres--Philippe le Hardi, by the way, before his accession
to the dukedom, was Philippe de Rouvres--you come upon a vast plain
traversed by many poplar-fringed roads.

It was in this plain, close to Dijon, towards Nuits, that was held,
in July, 1443, the great tournament known as the Tournoi de l'Arbre
Charlemagne, given by the Seigneur de Charny and twelve other noblemen
of Burgundy. Two lists were dressed--the smaller one for combats on
foot, and the other, much larger, for mounted knights with the lance.
Between them was a great pavilion of wood. The larger list had two
steps at one end, to enable attendants to assist, to arm, or to disarm
their knight, without compelling him to dismount. On the Dijon side of
the lists was a great tent, for use as occasion might require. The tree
of Charlemagne, close by, was draped with cloth of high warp, bearing
the arms of the Lord of Charny; near it was "a fountain large and fair
with a high stone capital above which were images of God, of Our Lady,
and of Madame St. Anne, and upon the said capital were raised in stone
the thirteen blazons of the arms of the said Lord of Charny and of his
companions."

  [Illustration: Dijon; a fifteenth century Window]

On that 11th July, "the princes having come they entered the house
set apart for this purpose (which was right honourably decked and
hung); and the Duke of Burgundy held a little white baton in his hand
to throw and separate the champions, their arms being concluded, as
is the custom in such a case. As for the lists, they were a sight
most triumphant to see; for they were decked with two pavillons for
the knights, bearing their arms and devices in blazons, banners, and
otherwise ... the entry of the assailant in the lists was on the side
of Dijon, and that of the defender and guardian of the pas was on the
side of Nuits."

The first fight between Charny and a Spanish knight, both on foot and
armed with axes, is too like that already described, in the Tournoi
de la dame de Pleurs, to justify us in giving Olivier de la Marche's
graphic description of it. We will tell, instead, of a fight on
the 9th day of the Tournament, between the Count of St. Martin and
Guillaume de Vaudrey.

"At the third course the said De Vaudrey reached the Count's great
arm-guard and disarmed him, so that they had to forge and open the
said arm-guard, and two full hours were spent before he was re-armed.
At the fourth charge the said Guillaume de Vaudrey reached the Count,
with his lance on the arm near the side, and with this stroke he
dinted his arm, and broke his lance off short at the blade, so that
the blade remained in the said Count's arm, and readily appeared the
blood and the wound. So the Duke commanded that he should at once be
disarmed, and set aright, and certes the duke and all the lords were
most troubled at this adventure; and even the said De Vaudrey regretted
right wonderfully his companion's wound."

There was much subsequent discussion as to how this accident could
have occurred; and the general opinion seemed to be that it was the
Count's own fault, by reason of a bad trick he had of riding at his man
from the corner of the lists, and so meeting him cross-wise, instead
of charging along the matting--which was laid from end to end of the
lists especially for that purpose; but, whatever the cause, as Olivier
fatalistically remarks, "Ce qui doit advenir advient: et fut telle
ceste aventure."

  [Illustration: Ornament]

"On the 10th day of August, a day of St. Laurence, came Monsieur de
Bourgogne, Madame his spouse, all the ladies and lords, to see the arms
of the two noblemen, and there presented himself Jacques de Challant
Signeur de Manille, most honourably accompanied by the Lord of Charny,
and by his companions, as also by his relatives and friends; and he
presented himself on a charger, covered with cloth of blue damask,
right prettily adorned with his letters and devices; as he was mounted
and armed ready to furnish arms. On the other side presented himself
the knight (who sustained the enterprise), mounted and armed as is
fitting in such case. His horse was decked, as I remember, in satin,
half white and half violet, quartered; and right well the knight sat on
his horse, for in figure he was supple, fair to look upon, and right
agreeable to all. All due things were done and the lances distributed;
and it came about that in the first onset Jacques de Challant got home
upon the knight's arm-guard; by the which he was disarmed, so that the
said arm-guard had to be opened by the armourers, (and it took) more
than three hours, and while they made good the said arm-guard, the Lord
of Charny caused a banquet to be served to the Duke and to the Duchess
and to all the Signeurs, where they were sitting, right bounteously,
both meats and wines."

After the luncheon they set to it again.

"And at their second charge the noble men rode with all the strength
of their steeds; and so stern was this onset, that the Spaniard's
charger could not sustain the shock, so fell to the ground; and swiftly
horseman and horse were raised, but from this fall the Spaniard's
harness was so bent and forced that he was quite disarmed; and they
must needs put off those arms unto another day. Within a few days after
that the term of six weeks that this noble meeting should last was past
and expired, and the following day (which was on a Sunday, a little
before the Great Mass) the kings-at-arms and the heralds assembled from
all parts further to honour the mystery; and, having put on their coats
of arms, they brought by order and with great magnificence, the two
shields which for six weeks had been hung and fastened to the tree of
Charlemagne, and on which was founded the meeting aforesaid. Then they
entered the Church of Notre Dame de Dijon, and all kneeling offered
and presented the aforesaid shields to the glorious Virgin Mary; which
shields are still in the said church, in a chapel on the right hand as
you come to the choir."

  [Illustration: End of chapter XIV; Arbre Charlemagne]



FOOTNOTES:

[168] I should add that there is a good replica of the Puits de Moïse,
      which gives you an opportunity to study that work at leisure.

[169] The demolition was begun in 1870, to give work to the unemployed
      at the time of the war.

[170] At Péronne.

[171] Kleinclausz, "Histoire de la Bourgogne."

[172] De Barante states that the body was found by a washerwoman,
      who was attracted by the sparkle of a ring on the Duke's
      finger. I have followed Michelet.

[173] Olivier de Marche, "Mémoires."

[174] De Barante, Tome XI; pp. 156-158.

[175] Kleinclausz.

[176] The classical orders are five: Doric, Ionic, Corinthian,
      Tuscan, Composite.

[177] The Tour de Bar was named after Renée of Anjou (Duke of Bar),
      known as good king Renée, who was imprisoned there after the
      battle of Buligneville in 1431, the year in which Joan of Arc
      was burned.

[178] The western portion was rebuilt under Louis XIII.



  [Illustration: Heading, chapter XV; The Three Huntsmen]


CHAPTER XV

THE DEVIL'S PIT


By a curious coincidence--by a real coincidence, reader, not by
design--it was on a morning of Easter-day that we rode out from Dijon
to Lux--on just such an Easter morning as that about which I am going
to tell; the air fresh and fragrant, the larks in full song, and the
sun shining so strongly in the deep, blue sky, that I had to make a
Sunday purchase of a broad-brimmed straw hat. So that, you see, in one
sense, I began the day badly, and perhaps deserved the trouble that
befell me later.

Lux, the village in which the legend begins, and the village beyond it,
are not particularly interesting places, situate on the border of the
Forêt de Velours, some twenty or more kilometres north-east of Dijon,
in Wiltshire-like scenery reminding one of Salisbury Plain. If you want
a not too exciting excursion, to fill an otherwise idle day, by all
means go there; but truth compels me to add that this Creux du Diable,
when you have found it[179]--and it is not particularly easy to find,
being hidden one hundred yards within the wood--is not exciting. It is
just a tangled pit running sheer down from the scrub that borders the
forest path. One look at it was enough. We felt no desire to follow the
devil down into its depths, nor did conscience tell us that we deserved
to. True, we, too, had hunted on Easter morning, without going to Mass;
but then we had hunted a legend, not a boar--and surely that makes all
the difference.

Back to the village, then, we went; and there I re-discovered a
peasant, of whom I had asked the way. He was sitting in a lovely
doorway, at the top of some broken steps, reading a paper. Hearing the
whirr of the wheels, he looked up.

"Ah ha! did you find it?" "Thanks to you," said I, and joined him on
the steps.

"Mon Dieu," says he, "It's a strange place. It ends almost in a
point--this Creux du Diable. It is just full of foxes' holes; and as
for the vipers--there are so many there that, when the time comes to
cut the wood, they have to do it in the fraiche; sans cela ils vous
mordent les jambes à tout instant. O! il y en a; il y en a!

"Why do they bite less in the fraiche--these limbs of Satan?" I asked
him.

"Oh! they are busy in the morning (font leur travail le matin)."

I tried to get the old man's version of the legend; but, discovering
that he knew nothing of it, I bid him farewell.

"Good-bye," said he, shaking my hand warmly, "When we meet at Dijon,
nous irons boire un coup."

So we rode home through a hop country--a land of blackthorn and good
purple furrows, dotted with stacks of poles. Will you listen, while we
go, to the legend of that viper-haunted pit?


THE DEVIL'S PIT

It is Easter day. From the belfry the Alleluia rings out; the lark
sings it above the meadows; the thrush whistles it in the woods; the
sun writes it in letters of gold on the blue, blue sky. All nature is
in her gayest mood, to celebrate the festival of Christ's resurrection.

In the village of Lux, all hearts are echoing this Alleluia. The good
people, in their holiday attire, go to hear matins, and to receive
communion with holy Jesus, the renewer of heavenly as of earthly
spring. But to Gaston, the lord of the village, the pure joys of the
Christian Easter are unknown. He is a young baron, proud, haughty,
violent, and devoted only to the chase. Loudly he sounds the horn, and
cries to his servants: "Saddle the horses, and bring hither my hounds."

Vainly the grooms and valets recall to him the solemnity of the day,
and our Lord's commandment. "To the hunt," he cries; "We leave prayers
to the priests and the women; such a fine hunting day is not to be
missed."

The steeds are ready; in the courtyard of the castle the hounds are
baying. As Gaston gives the signal for departure, the old chaplain lays
his hand on the courser's rein.

"For the love of Heaven, Monseigneur!" cries he, "do not thus outrage
God, nor so darkly stain your soul!"

The headstrong baron strikes the priest, who, without flinching, offers
again his old white head to the blow.

"Strike again, Monseigneur; but, for pity of your soul, do not fail to
hear mass to-day; else, evil will befall you."

Again he is repulsed, and the young lord departs.

Followed by his hounds and his servants, and blowing great blasts upon
his horn, Gaston passes through a straggling village. Disdainfully
he looks down on the good villagers, who salute him on their way to
church. "Misfortune will come upon our lord," murmur the old men.
"Great and powerful seigneur though he be, he insults and scorns a
greater and more powerful than himself."

Two wide roads meet upon the verge of the forest of Velours. There
come two horsemen, riding swiftly as the wind, and place themselves
each by Gaston's side. He on the right, mounted on a white horse, is
radiant and of noble mien; his eyes shine with a heavenly light, and
his clothing, glistening like snow, exhales a perfume sweeter than the
meadows on a morning of Spring. The rider on the left is of sullen
countenance, and swarthy of aspect; his glance stern and forbidding.
His hair is blacker than the raven's wing; and his garments, darker
than the night, emit an odour of sulphur. His steed glows like a flame
of fire.

"Friends," cries Gaston, "Welcome to you both. In happy hour you have
come, to hunt the great woods with me. Fair fall us then! there is no
sport, in heaven or on earth, like the chase--above all when we hunt in
goodly company."

The horseman on the right speaks: "Young seigneur, the bell calls you;
listen to its plaintive note chiming, from far away, through the trees.
Return; or misfortune will befall you. Let us kneel together at the
altar of Christ. Already, before daybreak, I heard mass, and sang the
Alleluia; willingly will I do so again by your side. Come! Our duty
done, sweeter by far will be the pleasures of the chase."

"Ride, noble baron, ride," cries the black horseman. "Do not listen to
this ill counsellor. The bugle blast is finer music than the chiming of
bells, and the hunt better pastime far than a dull priest's sermon, and
the droning of hymns."

"Well said, friend on my left!" cries Gaston. "Without offence to the
white horseman, you are jovial company, after my own heart. We young
lords want lively sport and merry jests; let us leave sermons and
paternosters to the monks."

Gaston has unleashed his hounds. Caressing them with eye and hand,
urging them on with voice and gesture, he looses them upon the scent.
With heads held low and wagging tails, baying with deep bell notes,
they dash through the forest upon the track of the game. The baying
redoubles, as, plunging into a thick copse, they come upon the lair of
a great wolf. With bristling hair, fiery eyed, and snarling horribly,
for an instant the fierce brute faces the hounds, then turns, and flies
through the forest. Vainly he seeks the thickest brakes, the most
secret hollows; always the ravening pack is at his heels.

At length the wolf gains the open country, and the chase follows him:
the blast of Gaston's horn has collected the scattered huntsmen. Far,
far they gallop, by cornfields and meadows, over weald and waste.

From a hamlet before them, comes tripping a little shepherdess at the
head of her flock. The road is narrow and bordered by hedges. All in
tears, the child cries out to Gaston: "Be merciful, sweet lord, be
merciful; spare my flock. For pity's sake, do not destroy the widow's
sheep, and our dear little lambs."

"Have pity, for your soul's sake," cries the white horseman. "Do not
scorn her prayers nor her tears; they will rise to God, and cry out for
vengeance against you there."

"Ride down lambs and sheep," replies the black rider. "What are
they--that they should spoil a young lord's sport? For such a trifle
must we let our prey escape us?"

  [Illustration: Through the Forest]

"You are right," cries the impetuous hunter. He spurs on his horse;
after him gallop the grooms and the valets. Only the white horseman
turns aside with a sigh.

Like a whirlwind the hunt has passed, leaving desolation and death in
its wake. The sheep fall bleeding to the earth, the lambs are trampled
down, and the little shepherdess is lying upon the ground, bruised like
a trodden flower of the field.

Still the wolf flies on--by field and wood, by hill and valley, by
upland and mountain. None can overtake him. The hounds fall exhausted;
scarce a horse can carry its rider further.

The hunters come to a lonely valley. There, near a spring which bubbles
beneath an ancient oak, a little chapel and a cottage rise from the
midst of a field of green corn. This is the little domain of an old
hermit, whose days are passed in work and in prayer; one who shelters
the poor, and puts the lost traveller upon his way.

"Noble baron," cries the black horseman, "By my troth, here let us
stay, and refresh ourselves. There is water for our thirst, and good
grazing for our steeds." "Zounds," replies the hunter, "You say well."

Gaston, with a blast of his horn, recalls the hounds and attendants;
and, despite the entreaties of the white horseman, and the reluctance
of his followers, he bids them turn the horses into the field of green
corn. Hastening to him, the hermit cries, in tones of earnest pleading:
"Have pity, gracious lord; spare the labour of an old man; do not let
your steeds devour and trample down the field which nourishes the
solitary, the traveller, and the poor."

"To the devil with hermits and nuns," replies the proud hunter. "Away
with you, lazy rascal; or your carcass shall go to feed my hounds."

Frightened and sad, the poor old man turns away, murmuring to himself:
"Father, which art in Heaven, forgive this young man; Thy providence
which feeds the birds of the air and clothes the flower of the field
will suffice for me also."

"Gaston," interposes the white rider, "Your words are harsh. Who knows
but that you owe your very life to this old man? that, perchance
without his prayers and fastings, your soul, already weighed many times
in the heavenly scales, might well have been found too light." But the
admonition of the white horseman passes unheeded. Seated beside the
spring, the huntsmen make a long and merry repast; the jests ring out,
loose and loud; with wild laughter the young baron applauds every
sally of his dark companion.

'Tis the vesper hour; the hermit rings the chapel bell. To-day he is
not alone in the sanctuary; the white horseman, leaving his companions,
joins the old man in psalm and canticle. Never has the recluse heard a
voice more pure, never has he joined in a more holy communion. The two
servants of God, leaving the chapel together, pause for a moment on the
threshold. They gaze out over the scene. The huntsmen are gone; the
field of green corn is ravaged, blasted, as though by a storm of hail.
In one hour, Gaston's horses have destroyed the work of a year.

The white horseman bids farewell to the hermit, and hastens to join the
baron. Regretfully the recluse watches the departing figure. "Who," he
murmurs to himself, "may this noble hunter be? His kiss has filled me
with peace and joy, and all my heart is aglow in his presence."

Now the hunt is again set on. The wolf has doubled back upon his track.
Meanwhile the forest shadows lengthen, the sun is low upon the horizon.
Once more the hunt passes through the village. In the road, still red
with the blood of the shepherdess, a poor man stands, awaiting Gaston.
He seizes the young lord's cloak, and asks alms, for the love of God.

"Dear baron," cries the white rider, "It is a means of grace, which the
Saviour sends you. I beseech you, redeem your sins by the giving of
alms; it is like water which quenches fire. Give a helping hand to him
who stands for Jesus."

"Gaston," retorts the black rider, "For this clown will you stay the
hunt, and let the great wolf win the day? Gallop! gallop!"

"There are my alms," cries the brutal lord; and, making his horse rear,
with his whip he strikes at the poor man's head. The beggar utters
a cry, and wipes his bleeding face. Again the hunt plunges into the
forest of Velours, in pursuit of the tireless wolf. The sun has set
behind the great trees; the forest shadows are blotted out in the
darkness of the night. 'Tis the hour of solemn thought.

"Friend," says the white horseman, softly to Gaston, "this has been an
ill day's work: you have mocked God, you have insulted his minister;
you have trampled upon the shepherdess and her flock; you have ravaged
the hermit's field, and you have struck the face of the poor. Turn, I
entreat you, a suppliant eye to heaven, breathe a word of repentance
towards God."

"What is that to me?" replies the hunter with a sneer. "Time enough yet
to think of my soul. When I can search the woods no more, then I will
wear a hair shirt, throw largesse to monk and beggar, and mutter psalms
and what-not in church; but, until then, the gay life for me!"

"Gaston! the life of man is short and fragile; it is given him, not to
waste in folly; but to purchase therewith the joys of heaven. I conjure
you, for your soul's sake, implore the mercy of God."

"He's dull company indeed! Off with you to your paradise!" cries
the young lord, irritated by these entreaties, and by his day of
ill-success.

"Farewell, Gaston," murmurs the white rider. "Why would you not listen
to one who would save you?" A tear falls from his eye, as spreading
wide two white wings, he soars heavenward, leaving behind him a stream
of light.

Then the hunter realizes that his good angel has deserted him.
Fearfully he looks towards the dark figure on his left; a shiver of
mortal dread shakes every limb, and the sweat of death rises damp upon
his face. The arms of the black one extend and seize him. He feels his
flesh pierced and torn by talons more powerful than a lion's, sharper
than those of a vulture. He roars with pain and terror; so bewildered
is he, that no cry to God comes from him, nor, with the holy sign, does
he invoke the name of Jesus.

Still grasping his prey, the black horseman strikes the ground with his
lance. The earth groans deeply, opens wide, and from the gaping cavity
there rises a column of black smoke. From the abyss beneath, a sea of
fire, upon whose heaving waves are rolled the legions of the damned,
rise lamentations, cries, and blasphemies, heard above the roaring
of the infernal waters. Like fiery serpents the flames writhe and
coil round the body of the guilty hunter. "Gaston," hisses the black
horseman, as steed and rider leap into the boiling cavity; "Gaston, you
have lent ear to me during life; now you are mine for all eternity."

"Woe betide me!" cries the reprobate. "I have disregarded the Lord's
warning, and the counsels of my good angel!"

The abyss closed up, leaving only a dark and fearsome cavity. That
cavity is the Devil's Pit.

       *       *       *       *       *

We had started on our way back to Dijon by train, when, at Gemeaux, the
first stopping place, I became unpleasantly aware that I had left my
notebook behind me, on the table of a café at Is-sur-Tille. Not caring
to leave several chapters of this volume to the vagaries of a very
uncertain memory, there was nothing for it but to leave the train, and
walk the five kilometres back to Is. Under less anxious circumstances
I should have enjoyed that walk, by field paths, below hills that
reminded me of the North Downs at Wrotham. The light was golden; the
evening breeze rustled in the young crops. In front of me paced a
shepherd, followed by a flock of pattering sheep, at whose fleeces
the guardian dog tugged mercilessly, when succulent, wayside trifles
tempted them from the straight path.

On the bridge at Is, I met mademoiselle of the café, whose beaming
countenance revealed to me, before she spoke, the news that she had
found my book. So far so good; but how to pass the four hours before
the next train? I was cold and clammy; and much too tired to explore
that savage étang de Marcilly hard by--lonely and desolate enough for
the site of a Cistercian house. Such places need a receptive mood.
Moreover, here was no fit place to dine--and I had within me a _Creux
du Diable_. Surely my good angel had left me.

I dined at last--very badly--and there were still two hours to wait.
Time flew no longer; it crept. Thoughts came no longer; nothing came;
nothing happened. I was bored, bored stiff. Reader, do you know what it
is to be bored?

"I wish to goodness you wouldn't be so garrulous--all about nothing."

"That's all very well, Reader; but what the dickens is a fellow to do,
cast away for four mortal hours in this benighted hole--except talk?"

"Well its your own fault. You ought to have known, when you started,
that it was Easter morning, and----"

"Oh! G r r r r r r r!"

"Monsieur, it is time you left. If you miss this train you will be here
all night!"

"Et bien; au revoir, Mademoiselle."


FOOTNOTES:

[179] The Carte-Taride marks it incorrectly as being outside the wood,
      whereas it is within it.



  [Illustration: Heading, chapter XVI; Vine Ornament]


CHAPTER XVI

BEAUNE AND THE COTE D'OR


Ever since we left Beaune, my wife has been endeavouring, at frequent
intervals, to extract from me an unconditional promise that, one day,
we will go to live there. "It would be lovely," she says, "to live
close to the Hôtel Dieu, and to watch the vines, for a whole summer,
ripening on the Côte d'Or." So it would.

Certainly, if we are to live in France, we might do worse than choose
this little rampart-girdled town, that, though on the main line of
the P.L.M., has retained so much of its mediæval charm, and still has
houses to show you of every century from the thirteenth onwards.

Beaune has a _cachet_, and surprises all its own. Go where you may,
you will find them, or they will find you. Stand in the little Rue de
l'Enfer, not happily named, and look up towards the church. Along a
white wall, that the sun has fretted with a lace-work of leafy shadow,
runs a frieze of ivy, below a rich cornice of blossoming lilac. Within
that garden are glimpses of ancient mottled walls, seen through green
branches, whose wavy lines lead up to the tower, crowned by the lovely
dome and lantern of Notre Dame.

Or stand beneath the exquisite, gothic porch of that same church, and
look through its soft, brown shadowy arches to the white walls and
flowery gardens of the old houses beside it; or across the place, to
where the warm, purple shadows lie upon the rosy oriel and tourelle of
the Maison du Colombier.

  [Illustration: · BEAUNE ·]

There are good things, too, in the centre of the town--the Flemish
belfry in the Place Monge; ancient houses in the Rue de Lorraine; and
especially a glimpse of a fifteenth century, pink-washed corner shop,
topped by the graceful lantern of the Hospice de la Charité.

Here we are back at Notre Dame, one of the finest churches in Burgundy,
but so hemmed in by other buildings that it is not seen to advantage,
except from the west side, at a point in the street beyond the
Colombier. There only do you get the whole building and the proportions
of the tower in good perspective. The view from the east end, however,
is presentable. The apsidal chapels, the ambulatory and lofty choir,
leading the eye upward, stage by stage, to the glorious dome tiled in
red, green, and yellow, give a quite Burgundian effect of satisfying
solidity, and of colouring that, though, on the whole, rather cold, is
harmonious in certain lights.

As usual, the heavy flying buttresses, that fail to fly, are an
architectural defect.

The gem of the exterior is the early thirteenth-century, triple,
open-aisled porch, of two bays, with gloriously carved panelled doors
of the fifteenth century. For grace and harmony of proportion this
porch is one of the best in France. It recalls that most successful of
all façades, Peterborough Cathedral.

The interior has all the features of twelfth-century Burgundian
romanesque--an almost barrel-vaulted nave, and aisle, with slightly
stilted horseshoe arches, and quadripartite vaulting, groined, without
ribs. Some of the cushion capitals are plain, some carved, and the
vaulting shafts throughout, except in the transept, take the ordinary
Burgundian form of fluted pilasters.

Each bay of the triforium is divided, as usual, into three round-headed
arches--of which two are blind and the centre one pierced--with fluted,
or zig-zagged pilasters between them. In the chapel of St. Léger are
two quite interesting fifteenth century frescoes of the raising of
Lazarus, and the stoning of Stephen--both, probably, by a painter of
the Flemish school. The former picture, though mutilated and faded, is
still quite realistic; too much so, in a sense; for the bystanders are
so interested in the miracle that they have elbowed the Christ quite
to one side of the picture. Martha is prominent, in the conventional
attitude, with her handkerchief to her nose. "Jam Foetet."

  [Illustration: PORCH OF EGLISE NOTRE DAME--BEAUNE
                 _Facing page 232_]

But Notre Dame, though good, is not the best of Beaune. The church must
yield to the Hôtel Dieu. History, or, at any rate, my history, does
not relate how Nicholas Rolin, the Chancellor of Philippe le Bon, came
to erect at a little fifth-rate town, such as is Beaune, a hospital
unrivalled in all France; yet such is the fact. I do not even know why
he built one at all, unless old Louis XI.'s mot be true--that he had
"made enough poor to necessitate building a hospital to keep them in."
But, there it is, an eighth wonder of the world; beautiful, from the
crest on the gable to the knocker on the door.

This Hôtel Dieu, seen on a grey day or a blue one, is absolutely
harmonious and satisfying. Whether you follow the length of soft,
yellow, brown wall, the blue-grey expanse of the high-pitched roof, the
delicate flêche, or the starry, gabled hood over the entrance, your eye
feasts upon a poem in form and colour; you feel at once the intense
delight of looking upon a work of art that could not have been better
done. But you will stay longest before the porch, the most daring and
most completely successful that exists.

The entrance is beneath a flattened arch, through a panelled door
with a beautiful forged-iron knocker and alms-box; all protected by a
glorious three-gabled hood, crocketed and pinnacled, and built into the
main wall, from which it projects without visible support. The pendants
have angels, bearing shields, with the arms of Nicholas Rolin and his
wife. The hood is slated in grey, as is the roof, and the blue vault
beneath is starred with golden stars, symbolizing the little heaven
within. Upon the blue tympanum is written in gold letters, "Hostel
Dieu, 1443." All these blues and golds harmonise perfectly with the
great crested roof, whether in its more sombre, grey mood, or when the
richer purples come leaping from it at the call of the sun, to play
about the sides of the dormers, or among the shadows of the flagged
pinnacles above.

The exterior remains almost unchanged from the time of Nicholas Rolin,
when the poor of Beaune first gathered round the stone benches, and
beneath the verandah,[180] to receive their dole of five hundred kilos
of bread that are still distributed once a year to the needy of the
district.

Following a white-winged sister, we passed into the courtyard, to find
ourselves in a great, galleried building, of the late Flemish type,
with a many-coloured linoleum roof, elaborate pinnacled gables, and, in
one corner, a well in the forged ironwork which the Flamands of that
time worked with unrivalled skill.

There was only one jarring note--the garish brown colour of the
woodwork, laid on, the guide told me, five years ago. It is a thousand
pities; for had the oak been merely oiled, or painted a dark brown,
or matched with one of the tints in the roof, many visitors would be
spared a shock, and I doubt not that the convalescence of certain
patients would be considerably accelerated. Yet, in spite of garish
paint, we can echo Viollet-le-Duc's sentiment, that it is worth while
to be ill at Beaune.

This abode of peace takes you straight back to the fifteenth century,
with its beauties all intact, and only its horrors mitigated. Nothing
here has changed--from the costumes of the white angels who flit
noiselessly through the kitchens and wards, to the tapestry covers laid
upon the curtained, oak beds, with the oak chairs beside them. Even the
pewter vessels are identical with those in use at the founding of the
hospital.

The chapel, too, opening from one of the wards, is a good place to pray
in. Through the glorious windows--copies of the original, resplendent
with figures and devices--the warm colour streams down upon the
altar, where of old was set up Roger Van der Weyden's magnificent
Last Judgment; now in the musée above. On great days the volets were
drawn back, and the picture exposed; magnificent red tapestries were
laid upon the beds, and all was ordered for the best in this little
kingdom-of-heaven upon earth.

Here Guigonne de Salins, the great Chancellor's wife, is laid; and
her arms (the castle) and his (the key) with his device, "Seule
[Illustration: 6-pointed star]" (Only Star), are scattered broadcast.
No less ubiquitous is her motto, The Bird on the Bough, signifying how
lonely she was to be after her lord's death. Guigonne, no doubt, was
sincere enough; but one cannot help remembering that the sentiments
expressed in these devices were not always lived up to. Did not Rolin's
own master, Philippe le Bon, for example, choose the words "Aultre
n'Auray" as a chaste allusion to his conjugal devotion? yet we have
Olivier de la Marche assuring us that his gracious master had "de
bâtards et de bâtardes une moult belle compagnie."

  [Illustration: · COURT YARD OF THE HOSPITAL ·
                 · BEAUNE ·]

But I am digressing. We must follow to the musée our
guide, whose manner could not be more gentle, were we patients and not
visitors,--reminded on the way, by the sight of polished floors and
shining pots, that the cleanliness of this building moved a certain
worthy Canon Papillon, in the 17th century, to remark, "Ineptiarum
stultus est labor," which, freely rendered, means: "They are fools who
waste soap."

The best thing in the musée--in fact, the only thing that one really
goes there to see--is the Last Judgment of Roger Van der Weyden, which,
in spite of the 19th century restoration, remains a splendid example of
Flemish art, still very Gothic in treatment, and full of the sadness
of decline. The work is executed with all the microscopic accuracy
of detail characteristic of the school. There is fine realism, and
individual treatment; but no breakaway from tradition: all the figures
are consciously attitudinizing, and one feels that the painter is
making a last desperate effort to enforce belief in an outworn dogma.
The welter of human beings, bursting out from their graves, dragging
one another, and being dragged, by hair and limbs, pell-mell down into
hell; this biting of fingers, and pulling of ears till they bleed,
does not convince. Such a subject was well suited to the primitives of
the Romanesque and early Gothic periods, but seems hopelessly archaic
for a painter born within hail of the Renaissance. Nevertheless,
though, in spite of its horrors, and its unhappy colouring, the
picture, as you linger before it, grows on you, it is with a sigh of
relief that you turn to its more successful part, the portraits of the
donors, magnificent in their energy and expression. Here you have an
opportunity to judge concerning the probability of Louis XI.'s alleged
slander upon Nicholas Rolin. Did he, or did he not, grind the faces
of the poor? My wife says unhesitatingly, "He did"; and, looking at
the significant scarlet angel above his head--suggestive of a red
aura--I decline to contradict a lady. His is, indeed, a disinheriting
countenance. But Guigonne, his seule étoile, is of a different stamp.
Piety exudes from her. As the guide somewhat bluntly put it, "She was
as good as she was ugly"--a speech which no lady, living or dead, would
ever forgive.

  [Illustration: End of chapter XVI; Star Ornament]


FOOTNOTES:

[180] This verandah or hood has disappeared. It is shown on a model
      of the hospital to be seen in the musée.



  [Illustration: Heading chapter XVII; Saint Martin and Saint Margaret]


CHAPTER XVII

SAINT MARTIN'S WELL AND THE LEGEND OF SAINT MARGUERITE


Leaving my wife to run the gauntlet of the gamins of Beaune, while she
sketched the starry hood and the porch of Notre Dame, we fared forth
on our bicycles, towards the ancient village of Bouilland, fifteen
kilometres away, to which I received my first call when I happened upon
the legend of its Abbey.

Bouilland lies beyond Savigny, in the heart of the valley of the
Bouxaise, a tributary of the Saône, by a road so lonely that, between
Savigny and our destination we met only one individual--and he was
sitting in a cart, so fast asleep that, though we longed to do so, we
had not the heart to wake him.

Saint Marguerite lies high up in a hollow of the rocky hills, on the
edge of the Forêt au Maitre--one of the most deserted spots in all
Christendom. What was once a glorious building, with a Romanesque nave
and a lovely, late thirteenth-century transept and apse, lightened
with carved foliage, capitals, and graceful, slender shafts, is now a
roofless ruin. Wild fruit trees grow in the transepts; the floor of
the nave is paved with a litter of mossy stones, beneath which the ivy
and the brambles take root; cowslips and purple violets jewel the apse
with delights beyond the art of even Gothic sculptors; through the
roofless arches you look up at the whispering forest-pines. Westward of
the Abbey, beside the deserted adjunct buildings, is a grassy terrace,
stone-walled, shaded by blossoming fruit trees. From this fresh, green
garden you can look, beyond the darkness of the ancient gateway, into
the flaming yellow of a field of "Mustard," the symbol of a living
world beyond. Sit beside me on the old stone wall, and hear the legend
of Saint Marguerite.

In days of yore, there lived in the Castle of Vergy, a maiden,
beautiful and pure as an angel; she was named Marguerite.

Many young suitors of noble birth desired her hand: one, in particular,
was more handsome than all the others; but his conversation was
unchaste, and treachery lurked in his glance and in his smile.

Marguerite would never listen to his profane addresses; she repulsed
him, saying: "Speak not to me of earthly love; to me, who have chosen,
for all eternity, Jesus, the most loving and tender of husbands."

At the name of Jesus, the face of the handsome youth grew pale; and he
turned away.

The holy maid, sometimes followed by one of her companions, went to
speak of God and of heavenly things, with an old hermit, who lived in
the depths of a neighbouring forest.

One evening, when she was returning from one of these visits, and,
mounted on her mule, was crossing the great wood, she perceived the
page awaiting her at a bend of the path. Swiftly she turned the animal,
and, in her hasty flight, left her veil hanging on the branches of a
hawthorn bush.

Her steed moved swiftly; but swifter still follows the treacherous
youth; he is lighter than the wind; scarcely do the grasses bend
beneath his feet.

But--crowning misfortune--the poor girl, instead of following the broad
valley way, as her companion has done, turns into a side path that is
soon barred by a great rampart of rocks.

All is over; she must fall a victim to her pursuer.... Already he
stretches out his arms to seize her. As his hands, quivering with
passion, touch the young girl, he breaks into a peal of infernal
laughter that resounds through the whole valley.

Then Marguerite remembers her betrothed in Heaven. She calls upon Him
for aid; she murmurs His name, and arms herself with His sign.

At the name of Jesus, spoken with that faith which removes mountains,
the rock opens before her, and the mule carries the Christian maid to
safety.

But the false page, a demon in disguise, fell down into a fiery gulf
that opened suddenly beneath his feet. Afterwards, when the earth had
closed again over the spot, the peasants found, lying upon the wayside
grass, a girdle of white silk, the symbol of Marguerite's purity and
innocence.

  [Illustration: ·RUINS OF THE ABBEY OF SAINT MARGUERITE·]

The maid of Vergy reined in her mule before a fountain, a few paces
from the parted rock. She dismounted, and, prostrating herself, she
consecrated to the Lord her virginity that had been so miraculously
preserved.

In a later year, with the dowry left her by her father, she built, on
this spot, a monastery, to which she gave the name of Ste. Marguerite,
her patron saint, as a song of thanksgiving in praise of her Heavenly
Spouse.

       *       *       *       *       *

Philippe Pot being a name to conjure with in Burgundy, we took the
first opportunity to make acquaintance with his eagle's nest, the
Roche-Pot. The road from Beaune skirts the Côte d'Or, as far as
Pommard, and climbs, between the vineyards, into the hills. These
vineyards, in which are produced some of the choicest vines of the
district, are surrounded each with a stone wall and gateway, with the
name of the _clos_ written on it--"Clos des Chênes," "Clos des Antres,"
etc. As you rise, there opens out a lovely view over the fruitful plain
of Burgundy, a golden sea of vines. Below us, ahead, the dark roofs and
spires of Meursault rise from the trees, and beyond them, shining in a
blue mist, the widening southern hills of the Côte d'Or.

About half a mile from Meursault, the road, turning due west, plunges
down into the valley of the Clous, between the hills, rock-clad
at their summits, vine-clad below. Thence the way undulates past
Auxey-le-Grand and Melin, until suddenly you sight, above the trees,
the towers of Rochepot perched upon its crag. Leaving my wife to
sketch, I made my way up through the dilapidated village, and soon
found myself crossing the drawbridge of a mediæval castle, glowing as
brightly with gold and colour, and with blazoned coats of arms, as on
the day when it was first built. Here were round towers, machicolated
battlements, a pepper-pot roof, with not a stone or tile of them
disordered. I had expected a ruin--a lizards' playground; yet here
before my eyes was Philippe Pot's own legend, "TANT L VAUT," as fresh
as painter and gilder could make it.

"Whose is this castle?" I asked of the harmless, necessary guide, who
by now had put in an appearance, and was assuring some gaping visitors
that Philippe was called Pot because he always carried a pot about with
him--a paint pot, judging by the condition of his castle.

"This is M. Carnot's castle, Monsieur, the eldest son of the late
President. He has already spent millions in restoration, and he is
about to convert into a terrace the remains of the 11th century
Château, up there." He pointed to a fine, rounded-headed window, of two
lights, high above us on the rock. While we were being hurried round
this fortress of all the centuries, I fell to thinking of Philippe Pot,
of his home, and his legend.

  [Illustration: ·LA ROCHEPOT·]

Begun in the thirteenth century, by Alexandre de Bourgogne, Prince
de Morée, the castle was fortified in the early fifteenth by René
Pot,[181] whose son Philippe[182] was the only man of them all to leave
it a popular name.

In the middle of the fifteenth century, the Ottoman Sultan, Mahomet
II., was threatening Constantinople, then in the hands of Constantine,
Emperor of Byzantium, who appealed to Pope Nicholas V. for help against
the Islamite invasion. To young Philippe Pot, nearly twenty-five years
of age, the bravest, most handsome, and most eloquent chevalier of his
day, and a poet withal--a crusade was as the candle to the moth. Never
might come such another opportunity to win his spurs away from home.
So he wrote to his fiancée, the richest and loveliest heiress of all
Burgundy, Jeanne, daughter of Pierre de Baufremont, Comte de Charny,
great chamberlain of Philippe le Bon.

"Gentille Damoiselle, I am setting forth to Constantinople; I wish
before our bridal to render myself worthy of you and of your valiant
father." Before dawn, on an August morning, in the year 1452, he left
Rochepot, and rode to Notre Dame de Dijon, where he met four hundred
other young knights sworn to follow his lead. There they heard Mass
before the altar of the Virgin, and bespoke her blessing on their
banner, that bore her picture, and the device: "Notre Dame de Bon
Espoir, soyez-nous en aide." Then they rode eastward through the
streets of Dijon. "Honneur aux preux!" shouted the crowds; "Honneur aux
chevaliers de Notre Dame!"[183]

We have no time to follow all the adventures of our chevalier in the
land of Islam--how with his own hand, he slew and slew, until the
bravest of the Saracens learned to fear the prowess of the "Chevalier
de la Mort"; how, at last, he was captured by the Turks, before
Constantinople, imprisoned, flogged, almost to death, because he would
not become the Sultan's man, nor bow to the name of the Prophet--how he
consoled himself in prison by writing verses to the Lady Virgin to whom
he was vowed.

  [Illustration: PORCH OF HOTEL DIEU--BEAUNE
                 _Facing page 242_]

    "Sauve-moi, Dame glorieuse,
    De la prison tant rigoureuse,
    Où l'on ne voit que cruauté;
    Garde-moi d'y être bouté,
    Car à chacun tu es piteuse,
        Mère de Dieu."[184]

His prayer was answered. For, before long, the Sultan, wishing to make
an end of his prisoner, brought him one day into the arena, and caused
to be handed to him, for his only weapon, a light scimitar, that was
but a toy compared with the young chevalier's mighty sword, beneath
whose deadly strokes so many Turks had already fallen. Then was loosed
upon him, thus armed, a magnificent lion, that had already been the
death of many prisoner knights.

"This is no combat," murmured the assembled thousands, one to another,
"'Tis an execution--already the old lion has slain his hundreds--and he
has eaten nothing these three days," Meanwhile the adversaries stood
face to face. With two great bounds the lion is upon his man; but, as
he crouches for the third spring, the hero makes a swift movement; the
scimitar flashes, falls upon the animal's front paws. Roaring with pain
and fury, the beast rolls upon his back, and licks the stumps of his
wounded legs. Again, like lightning, the scimitar plays. In a moment
the lion's tongue is lying at the feet of the Sultan. With a last
effort the wounded beast rises, open-mouthed. Philippe, seizing his
opportunity, plunges the blade down the ravening throat. The great lion
falls dead. Loud rings the applause of the crowd, as the hero, waving
aloft his smoking weapon, cries, "Gloire à Notre Dame. Tant elle vaut!"

The Sultan, who loved courage first and last, descended into the arena,
hung a rich chain about his prisoner's neck, and said: "Such valour
deserves freedom. Return to your lady, and to your home."

So the victorious Philippe reached France again, and, in poor man's
guise, begging his bread by the way, came to Rochepot, on the day
following the Fête des Trépassés, the great Autumn festival that the
Catholic church has appointed in celebration of the dead. There he
found the castle all hung with black, and a great company mourning a
living man's death. So he made himself known, and sorrow changed into
exceeding great joy.

On the 11th November, 1453, through the fresh warm air of a St.
Martin's summer, a brilliant cortège issues from the Ducal Palace at
Dijon, and turns towards the church of Notre Dame. At their head rides
Philippe le Bon, crowned with the crown of Burgundy, and wearing,
about his neck and breast, the collar of the Golden Fleece, and a
purple mantle, lined with ermine. He is leading by the arm a slim girl,
veiled, and clothed in white. Behind them follows a young chevalier,
in shining armour, with a lion's skin clasped upon his shoulder. 'Tis
Philippe Pot; his feet still bleeding from the stones of the pilgrim
way. In one hand he carries a candle, the other arm supports the
Duchess of Burgundy, splendid in a robe of cloth of gold. Beside them
walk two heralds-at-arms, one bearing a scimitar, the other a veiled
picture. From balcony and window the people acclaim their passage:
"Noel! Noel!"

They enter Notre Dame--its walls splendid with tapestries of Arras--and
kneel in the chapel of Notre Dame de Bon-Espoir. Philippe lights his
candle, and places it upon the altar. The picture is uncovered, and
hung before the black virgin. It shows the knight, under his Lady's
protection, slaying the lion in the arena. Below are written the words--

    "Tant L vaut et a valu
    A celui qui a recouru
    A celle pour qui dit ce mot
    Le suppliant Philippe Pot
    Qui de tout mal l'a secouru
        TANT L VAUT."[185]

  [Illustration: ·TOMB OF PHILIPPE POT·]

Having accomplished his vow, the knight puts on his spurs. The Duke of
Burgundy approaches, embraces him, gives him the collar and mantle of
the Toison d'Or. The fiancée is led forward. Lover and lady join hands,
and--the due ceremonies accomplished--Philippe and his bride leave the
church.

"Noel! Noel!" shout the people. "Honneur au chevalier de Notre Dame!"

Now you know why you may read, in letters of gold, upon the walls and
windows of Philippe's castles--at Rochepot, at Château-neuf, and at
others--that device--TANT L VAUT.[186]

       *       *       *       *       *

On our way home from Rochepot, we halted for a rest at Auxey le Grand,
and dropped into an inn, where we found two workmen hobnobbing over a
bottle of red wine. One of them--the listener--was just an ordinary
workman; common, base, and popular, as Pistol would have said. His
companion, however, was a man of mark--a handsome, bronzed rascal,
whose fiercely curled moustache and Paderewski hair, well set off by
enormously baggy corduroys, a scarlet belt, and a blue shirt, suggested
the merry bandit of an Elizabethan drama. Our curiosity being aroused,
we addressed the brigand, who was not slow to reveal his identity.
He was one François Paulin, a vine-dresser, and no brigand, as he
proved by the production of a greasy document, stating that "The
administrative council of the Société Vigneronne of the arrondissement
of Beaune certifies that Monsieur Paulin (François) successfully passed
the examinations of March 24th, 1889, and is skilled in pruning (apte à
greffer) the vine, and in teaching that operation." Vines and vineyards
naturally became our topic.

"Ah!" said the brigand; "What a season we have had. Nothing but rain
and cold, cold and rain! It is just ruin for us poor workmen." He
drained his glass, and put it down, with a tense Gallic movement of the
arm. He failed, somehow, to convey the idea that he was ruined. Such
are the triumphs of personality.

"Did the crop fail utterly hereabouts?" I asked.

"Utterly, Monsieur," said Mathilde Duhesme, the innkeeper's daughter,
as she brought us our coffee. "Not a bunch of grapes."

Mathilde was a perfectly charming French girl, of the type that you
will come upon, here and there, even in the remotest part of that
country. England breeds few such women, in her station of life. That
easy, graceful manner, and natural amiability and dignity are found
here--when they are found at all--only among the educated or the
high-born.

"Yes, yes; mon Dieu, you have come in the wrong year for the vines,"
said the brigand, thumping the table. "You should have chosen a good
season. Then lots of visitors come. They come in carts, full of _belles
anges_ with gentlemen standing behind in top-hats. And they all take
photographs. This very day we ought to have been in full vendange."

  [Illustration: Taking his Ease]

His pride would have been solely hurt, had he guessed how little his
description allured us.

"Let's drink to a full vendange," said I. Mathilde ran off for another
bottle.

"What do you earn, you vignerons, in a good year?"

"Four francs, and a litre of wine, per man, per day. And it is worth
it; for we make good stuff here on the hillside, though this village of
Auxey is the end of it. Yes, good wines!"

"Tell me more about them," I said.

"The best wines of all are called Aligote, and the second-best--still
very good--are called Pinot. The boite ordinaire that grows away there
in the plain, is called Gamay. When the Gamay is not red enough, we put
it into some Otellot; that's as black as your hat, and colours the rest
up beautifully. Do you drink much wine in your country, Monsieur?"

"No, only the rich drink wine in our country. The poor never taste it.
They drink mostly beer!"

"Sapristi!"

It was now our turn to be questioned. Mathilde, in particular, was very
much interested in my wife's appearance and clothes. Were we married?
Were we married in church? Why were we travelling? Were the English
peasantry poor, and were they provident?

"More poor than provident," we said.

"Ah! now; the French poor are provident. They kill one pig a year,
and lose not a hair of it. First comes the bacon; the fat is used for
preparing meat; the blood for pudding; the entrails for sausages. It
lasts from winter to winter--ah, Madame is making a picture!"

Madame was sketching the brigand.

"I shall put you into our book," said she. The brigand beamed approval.
Five minutes later my wife thoughtlessly gave him the sketch. He tried
not to look hurt--he was not, then, to go into the book, after all. Her
woman's readiness saved the situation.

"I never forget what I have once drawn," she said.

"Vous y serez quand même." He was quite pacified.

Then we left the men over their wine, while Mathilde took us the round
of the church and village. She certainly was a charming person. I am
not so sure that we shall live at Beaune after all.

       *       *       *       *       *

Lest we should entirely forget the Roman occupation that was so much in
our minds at Autun, we decided to make a pilgrimage to Cussy, a village
due west of Beaune, where the Romans have set up a column, in memory
of an event, or of a person, unknown. If a motor car be not available,
you can best get there by taking the steam tramway, between Beaune and
Arnay-le-Duc, as far as Lusigny; thence by bicycle, or as you will. The
journey is worth making, for the sake of the climb you get through the
gorge of Nantoux, and up the valley of Mavilly, where the train mounts,
by a series of steep zig-zags, into the heart of the Côte d'Or. The
view that opens out is quite Swiss in quality and magnificence. You
look from the summit of a gigantic devil's cauldron, down rocky steeps,
shaped like cathedral organ-pipes, whose eerie mountain music cheers
the vignerons at their work below. All this great expanse of brown,
cliff-bound upland, dappled in spring-time with blossoming fruit trees,
is curiously chequered by dark hedges and white serpentine roads.
Stage by stage the land falls away from you, until all detail is lost,
and far away, over range after range of shining hills, the boundless
plains of lower Burgundy merge imperceptibly into the sky.

So the train puffs up to the col, then rattles down into the quaint
village of Lusigny. The road to Cussy climbs the opposite hill for two
kilometres or so, before switchbacking through the village of Montceau
to this lovely spot that the Romans, or Gallo-Romans, have so chosen to
honour.

Not a human being could we discover in all Cussy. Some destroying
angel, I thought, must have passed over, leaving only chickens alive,
and, by oversight, one old woman, of whose close-fitting, white cap we
caught a glimpse through an open window.

But my wife would not accept that solution.

"No; there has been no destroying angel here. There has just been a
most wicked old witch, who, in revenge for some insult, has changed
all the villagers into ducks and hens. Let's speak to them. I'm sure
they'll answer."

She addressed a lanky, yellow hen, that had left scratching, to watch
us. Poised on one leg it stood, with its head bent inquiringly.

"Please, Mrs. Hen; can you tell me the way to the colonne?"--only, of
course, it being a French hen--if it was really a hen at all--she spoke
to it in French. The hen moved its head to the other side.

"La colonne, Madame, est là bas, dans la prairie."

My wife danced for joy. It _was_ a talking hen. The people were really
bewitched! "How lovely!" But I knew all the time that she was wrong.
The hen had not spoken--not a word. No such luck. It was that dark
girl, who had been watching us from the shed by the house. So we just
thanked her, for politeness sake, and walked sadly down the hill
towards the Colonne. I looked round. The hen was scratching again.

We found the Colonne at last--a fine one, of the composite Corinthian
style, its shaft beautifully ornamented with the favourite Roman
leaf pattern. Round the base are eight statues in relief. Every
antiquary in the kingdom has puzzled his brains over the motif of this
column; and, except Courtepée, who says that "selon toute apparence
c'est un monument sépulcral,"[187] and Lempereur and Montfauçon,
who respectively believed it to be a Gaulish tomb, and a religious
monument, all agree that it is in memory of a great victory.

But what victory? One has said that it commemorates the triumph of
Cæsar over the Helvetii B.C. 58; another that it was raised by the
Emperor Claude, conqueror of the Goths; others believe it to have been
erected by the Aedui to Maximian Hercules, after his victory over
the Bagaudes in 286 A.D.; finally the Burgundian, Girault, maintains
that the monument remembers the victory of Silius over Sacrovir in 22
A.D.[188]

Beyond expressing a doubt whether the column is of later date than 100
A.D., and my conviction that it is triumphal not monumental, I venture
no opinion upon any of these interesting theories. The antiquarians
must settle that among themselves.

Meanwhile, let me inform the visitor who may find himself there in
the autumn, that blackberries of a very choice quality grow in those
prairies of the Colonne. I devoured them steadily, while the cows
chewed their cud, and my wife sketched. She sketched; but she was not
happy, as she usually is when thus occupied. A cruel wind came out of
the north, and chilled her to the bone. She shivered; almost she wept.
I, too, in spite of blackberries, was all comfortless within, and felt
an uncanny sensation in the small of my back.

"Come along, Marjorie; you were quite right. It _was_ the hen who
spoke. This place is bewitched." She cheered up.

"How lovely! I was so afraid witches had quite died out."

       *       *       *       *       *

Then we went home in the gloaming, by the same plucky, cheerful, little
train that puffed up the hills, and chattered tumbling down them.
Opposite to us, in the dimly-lit, bare apartment, a fat farmer and a
slim little sister of mercy slept, nodding in time to the jerks and
vibrations that shook them from head to foot.

At the first station a wrinkled old woman, leaning out of the window,
held so animated a debate with another on the platform, concerning
peaches, that the company were constrained to chip in, as one may do in
democratic France. Across the compartment came the laconic tones of an
unseen listener.

"Twenty sous the livre, for peaches! eh! ma foi!"

  [Illustration: ·ROMAN COLUMN AT CUSSY·]

The train started, snorting violently; the old lady sat, firm-lipped,
vigilantly on guard among her baskets of fruit. There arose around
her a running commentary concerning peaches, and the ethics of trade
therein.

"Moi, je vous dis"--"Eh bien moi je vous dis...."

"And half of them were rotten--the robber!" "Et quand même!" The old
lady defended herself warmly.

"Rattle, rattle, rattle," commented the train, as it plunged downhill
into the pitchy darkness of the valley of Nantoux. Still the passengers
babbled. I grew weary of it, and my dreams went back to St. Martin,
and the Christianity he planted there. Were they really honest, these
chattering peasants? I thought of all the bad money palmed off on us in
Burgundy--the Italian, Spanish, Belgian rubbish; any coin at all that
your carelessness or trustfulness will accept. I thought of the lumps
of lead unblushingly handed to me in the dark by a Paris cabman, on the
steps of St. Lazare. I thought ... I yawned ... I joined the fat farmer
and the slim nun in dreamland.

"Beaune Ville!" said the guard. And the drowsy company searched
vacantly--every man for his pack.

       *       *       *       *       *

During a hunt for Burgundian lore and legend among the libraries of
Beaune, we found ourselves in conversation with a very entertaining
bookseller, who described to us his boyhood holidays in the valley of
Nantoux, and the legendary haunts of St. Martin.

"Many a summer afternoon," he said, "we spent climbing the valley
hills, and playing upon the rock in which is St. Martin's well; and
never once, not even in the hottest summers--and some were very
hot--did we find the well dry. Always there was water in it. I cannot
tell why. But it was so."

Next morning I mounted my bicycle, and went to see for myself, whether,
after a week of cloudless October skies, I should find water in St.
Martin's well.

Following the valley road as far as Pommard--every name hereabouts
is borrowed unblushingly from a wine-list--you turn northward, and,
always following the railway, come to the little, grey village of
Nantoux, where the valley narrows, until you see, on your right, almost
overhanging the road, a ridge of jagged, grey rock, crossing the
sparsely-wooded hill. Just before it, on the Nantoux side, at a rather
lower elevation, projects another shoulder of the rock. There is the
Puits de St. Martin.

If you call a passer-by, or one of the workmen in the roadside
quarries, he will show you the way, or take you up. It is not very
easy to find without help. You pass the overhanging cliff, and take
a narrow path, at the first bend of the road; not the wider one at
the top of the slight ascent. I enlisted the services of a brawny,
good-tempered, blue-trousered young quarryman, who landed me in a trice
upon the terrace of weather-worn rock, known locally as the Saut (leap)
de St. Martin. As I stood facing the gorge, my guide pointed to an
oval-shaped, red-edged basin, not a foot in diameter, filled, to within
a few inches of the surface, with clear water.

"That is St. Martin's Well, Monsieur; it is never empty. And see, here
beside it is the mark of his horse's hoofs clear-cut in the rock. Those
long marks there were made by the lash of his whip. There are more
hoof-prints nearer the edge. He jumped clean across, in one bound. Ma
foi! it needed jarrets!"

We looked down at the rough-hewn gashes in the limestone. Gold-green
mosses, ivy, and warm, red rock plants were creeping out from every
cranny of the terrace, where of old the people beset St. Martin.
Elderberry bushes trembled in the breeze.

"Now look down the valley, Monsieur! There is Nantoux, towards the midi
where the rains come from. No rain while the sky is clear there. Come
now, and see the view up the valley."

Climbing to the topmost northward ridge, we found ourselves standing
before a majestic amphitheatre of dusky, brown hills of the Côte
d'Or, whose threatening, almost terrible, aspect suggested rather the
wicked brew of a devil's cauldron, than the juice of the merry vines
over which black spider workmen were bending. Threatening clouds,
driven before a rising wind, darkened with flying shadows the narrow
roads that serpented up to the lofty, lonely villages of Mavilly and
Mandelot. A rumbling sound broke the silence. Below us we saw, writhing
and snorting up the hill, like a legendary, fire-breathing demon, a
black train, fouling with wreaths of purple smoke the lovely valley of
Nantoux.

We returned to the Puits de St. Martin. Sitting on the very edge of
the cliff, we looked across at the wooded hill where the Saint alit,
and down the road, over the scrub, the vines, and the red quarries,
still echoing the sound of the pick; over the winding row of silvery
willows and dark alders that mark the valley stream bubbling towards
the welcoming roofs of Beaune.

  [Illustration: ·THE VALLEY OF NANTOUX·]

There, in the very spot where it happened, the young quarryman told me
the story of St. Martin's Well. But I shall tell it you in my words,
not his--for story-telling was not his forte.

In the second century of the Christian era, Saint Bénigne and his
companions, coming from Asia, brought the Gospel of Christ into
Burgundy. The good news spread rapidly through the towns, but gained
only a slow hearing in the villages and the hamlets. Idol worship,
driven from the cities, found refuge among the remote hills and valleys
of the land.

Mavilly, which, for centuries past, had possessed a college of Druids,
remained faithful to its gods, its priests, and its temple. Vauchignon,
too, whose hills, rocks, and woods, full of murmuring sounds and
mysterious terrors, was one of those natural sanctuaries dear to the
heart of the Gaul, still practised the heathen cult.[189]

It is a warm autumn day; the holy missionary, Saint Martin, whose
good horse has borne him over the rugged mountain which rises between
Mavilly and the plain, has passed, one by one, through the villages
of the Côte d'Or. At a crossing of the ways, in the midst of a great
wood, he meets a little, ragged, red-haired man, with fiery eyes and an
anxious countenance. The bishop offers him alms.

"Keep your silver piece," replies the stranger, "for I am more rich
than you."

Saint Martin, taking him for a herdsman of the country, asks him the
way to Mavilly.

"I know your object," replies the unknown man, laying hold upon the
horse's bridle, "and I will be your guide."

They go on in silence, and come, at length, to the slope of a
vine-covered hill where peasants are busy at the vintage. Martin, like
Boaz of old in the fields, salutes them:--"The Lord be with you!"

"Vintagers!" cries the guide, "Come hither in haste; I bring you the
great enemy of the gods. This man, on his way, destroys their statues
and breaks down their altars; he is come to destroy the temple that is
the glory and safety of your country. Rise and defend your gods!"

The angry peasants come running towards the speaker. They surround
the Saint and threaten him with the billhooks with which they are
cutting the grapes. Serenely the aged bishop looks round upon them; his
calmness disarms their anger. He is about to speak to them, but the red
man knows well that his cause is lost, if once the missionary obtains a
hearing.

"Let us shut his impious mouth!" he cries to the vintagers. "His
blasphemies will bring down upon us the wrath of heaven. Cry aloud,
'Death! death to the denouncer of the gods!' Away with him to the edge
of the cliff, and hurl him down into the torrent!"

Loud rise the angry shouts of the crowd, as the guide leads away the
horse. Already they have reached the brink of the abyss. All is over;
the saint must die. Hemmed about on all sides, Martin cries:

"Come to my aid, O my God! make haste to help me!"

He signs himself with the cross, strikes, with his whip, the rock and
the flanks of his horse. The animal, with one mighty bound, clears the
valley, and alights upon the opposite peak. Immediately, around the
spot which he has just left, the earth trembles with an awful rending
sound; a rock is torn from the flank of the hill, and plunges into
the torrent beneath, bearing with it the false prophet, whose fall is
marked by a flash of sulphurous lightning. The troubled waters boil and
bubble, as they close over his body.

At the sight of such wonders, the vintagers stand dumb with
astonishment. Imprinted upon the granite rock they see the stroke of
the rider's whip, and the hoof-print of his horse, from which, already,
a stream of limpid water is flowing.

The old man, calm and majestic as before, standing motionless upon
the opposite peak, casts upon the peasants a compassionate glance.
Terror-stricken, they acclaim him a divine being. Then, swarming down
the mountain path to the valley, they climb the opposite peak, and
again surround him. But, this time, they lie prostrate at his feet,
and, with prayers for pardon, are about to adore him.

"Rise," says the bishop; "I am but a mortal, a vintager of Christ; and
your souls are the grapes I have come to gather in His name."

He bids them sit down upon the hill side, and there, before the temple
of the false gods, on the brink of the abyss into which Satan fell
lightning-struck, he speaks to them of the emptiness of their past
worship, and reveals the power, the beauty, and the tenderness of the
God of the Gospel. The peasants, won at last from Paganism, descend
to the temple, overthrow the images, and bury them in many a deep
trench.[190] They would destroy the temple itself, but the pontiff
restrains them.

"Not so; let us offer it to the true God, as a trophy won from the
powers of darkness; let Jesus be adored upon the altar whence Jupiter
has fallen; and let the Virgin Immaculate stand in the place of Venus."

"Be it so," replies the crowd, with one voice; "Let Christ reign and
rule, here where He has overthrown the Devil."

  [Illustration: End of chapter XVII; St. Martin Preaching]


FOOTNOTES:

[181] Rochepot has been inhabited by many other noble families of the
      house of Burgundy, notably those of Montmorency, Silly, Angennes,
      Legoux, Blancheton.

[182] Born 1428.

[183] Légendes Bourguignonnes; "Philippe Pot" p. 154. By l'Abbé B----.

[184]    Sovereign Lady, of thy grace,
         Save me from this fearsome place,
         Where but cruelty is seen;
         Come thou me and harm between,
         Pity all who seek thy face,
              Mother of God.

[185]    Great her worth was, aye, and is
         To her seekers all, I wis;
         So of her he speaketh--so,
         The poor suppliant Philippe Pot--
         Shielding him from miseries,
              GREAT HER WORTH.

[186] Those interested in Philippe Pot can find his tomb in the
      mediæval gallery of the Louvre at Paris. It is one of the best
      monuments of its kind in existence, certainly inspired by the
      work of Claus Sluter, and possessing the dramatic qualities of
      that school. It was completed in 1477-1483, and placed originally
      in the Abbey of Citeaux. See picture on preceding page.

[187] Description de Bourgogne, tom. iii, p. 33.

[188] "Lettre sur les Richesses historiques de la Bourgogne."
      Abel Jeandet.

[189] St. Martin, bishop of Tours, who visited Burgundy, probably
      in the year 376 A.D., was mainly instrumental in putting an
      end to Paganism among the Gauls.

[190] The debris referred to were discovered in the 18th century.
      Among the images identified were those of Jupiter, Neptune,
      Minerva, Pan, Vulcan, Venus, Apollo, Diana, and Esculapius.
      Histoire de Beaune. M. Rossignol, p. 39.



  [Illustration: Heading, chapter XVIII; Burgundian Ox-cart]


CHAPTER XVIII

IN RURAL BURGUNDY


The little town of Verdun sur le Doubs has no particular attraction
for the archæologist nor for the tourist, yet it is a place with which
all visitors to Beaune who wish to keep themselves in touch with the
real Burgundy, with the life of the village and the ville de Canton, as
well as with the larger movements of the great cities, cannot afford to
neglect.

For myself, the little town will always be associated with happy
souvenirs, and with gracious pictures of country life, as it has been
since first I rode there, on a warm September afternoon, along a
pleasant, undulating road, through typical, low-lying lands of fertile
Burgundy, sometimes running quite straight for several kilometres,
sometimes curving slightly through golden vineyards, and fields of
bearded maize, and crimson clover. I passed through St. Loup, a village
with a delightful Romanesque church, and through other attractive
hamlets crowned with Gothic towers; by hay fields, where a late second
crop was being taken in, by rich arable lands, where yoked oxen were
ploughing with attendant women clearing the way for the plough-share
with a stick. I passed patches of fragrant wild flowers, and ill weeds
growing in tangled masses by the road side, by rich grasses that lean
cattle were stolidly munching.

One of the boys who looked after them was singing a song. I could not
catch the words exactly, nor the air, but I fitted the snatch of melody
to the best of all Burgundian folk-songs, an exquisite little poem with
a curious and very pretty history, that I am going to tell. This is the
song. It is sung to-day, with local variations, not by the shepherds
of Burgundy only, but throughout all France almost; in Dauphiné, in
Champagne, in the lonely forests of the Ardennes.

    Eho! ého! ého!
    Les agneaux vont aux plaines,
    Eho! ého! ého!
    Et les loups sont aux bos.

    Tant qu'aux bords des fontaines,
    Ou dans les frais ruisseaux
    Les moutons baign'nt leur laine,
    I dansont au préau.
    Eho! ého! ého!

    Mais, queq'fois par vingtaines
    I s'éloign'nt des troupeaux
    Pour aller sous les chênes
    Qu'ri des herbag's nouviaux.
    Eho! ého! ého!

    T'es mon agneau, ma reine;
    Les grand's vill's, c'est les bos ...
    Par ainsi donc Mad'leine
    N't'en vas pas du hameau.
    Eho! ého! ého!

    Et ses ombres lointaines
    Leurs y cach'nt leurs bourreaux;
    Car, malgré leurs plaint's vaines,
    Les loups croqu'ent les agneaux.
    Eho! ého! ého!

    Eho! ého! ého!
    Les agneaux vont aux plaines
    Eho! ého! ého!
    Et les loups sont aux bos.

The French is so simple that, though I have appended no translation,
nearly all my readers will be able to feel some of the charm and lilt
of the original.

Generally speaking, of course, a folk song is not the work of one
individual, but of many; it is essentially a local product, that grows
with the years, and reflects truly the spirit of the land which gave it
birth. Yet, strangely enough, this particular song, though it has all
the virtues of its kind--the simplicity, the melody, the descriptive,
pastoral, and amorous characteristics of a semi-southern race--is an
exception to the general rule.

When it first appeared, in 1840, in the Burgundian section of an
important work, "Les Français peint par eux-mêmes," the whole
French nation welcomed it as one of the best of its kind; and other
provinces, as I have said, did not hesitate to adopt it. It was held
to be one of the most naive, and authentically popular songs of all
Burgundy,--Burgundy itself, even, had no doubt whatever upon the
subject. It was discussed everywhere in literary circles; and that
eminent writer, M. Catulle Mendès, one evening, in the presence of
many other French litérateurs, openly expressed the opinion that it
was written by a young Burgundian shepherd, very much in love. Then a
strange thing happened. One of the oldest men present, the Burgundian
poet, M. François Fertiault, walked up to Mendès, and said, with a
smile: "Eh, bien Monsieur, then I am that young Burgundian shepherd."

All the world wondered. The thing was impossible! It was not
impossible; it was true. Indeed, rightly regarded, it was simple, and
natural. M. Fertiault, living among the peasants and loving them, had
absorbed all that of which the folk song is born. The poetic spirit of
a rural people had, indeed, passed into him. What he had heard sung
within him, he wrote. M. Fertiault, still hale and hearty, after ninety
seven years of active life, told us the story himself, in his library,
in the Rue Clausel, at Paris.

"I had to get material for this work," he said; "And though, for a
dance song, I had ready a Bourrée Charollaise, and for a religious
song, one of De La Monnoye's Noels Bourguignons, I could find no
example of the Chanson, properly so called; nothing, nothing at all,
that was complete enough to be representative. The first part of my
article was already published; the remainder must go to press. What
could I do? Then an idea came to me. Only to attempt to carry it out
was absurd. A minute later the attempt seemed to be audacious; then
merely bold; then perfectly possible. Soon I knew that I must do
it. The idea was growing in my brain. I felt something at work here
(tapping his forehead), something alive. I could see my country; I
could see my peasants. I was listening, listening. It all came to
me--an impression straight from life, with the scent of the fields in
it. I heard couplets, and a refrain. Yes, through the sweetness of the
dream, came a song. I heard words and music.

  [Illustration: IN THE COUNTRY]

For the words it was simple enough; but what to do for the tune?
Technically I was ignorant of music; I could not read the hieroglyphics
that are the language of Gounod and Rossini. I thought. Then I
remembered Scheffer; he knew of my search for a song. He would
understand. It was nearly eleven at night. With a feverish hand I was
knocking at Scheffer's door.

"You are not in bed?"

"Not yet; but it's about time."

"Are you sleepy?"

"I could be--if I liked."

"In that case, let me come in." My friendly neighbour opened wide the
door of his room. I hurried in.

"What is it?" said he, briskly.

"I have got my Burgundian song," said I, with an air of triumph.

"Bravo! Where did you unearth it?"

"I didn't. I made it. And as it needs you, here it is." Scheffer stood
in unspeakable astonishment. I told him my story. Then I added: "My
crime is double,--the air came to me with the words." My neighbour's
eyes opened wide. He thought me very mad indeed. "And," I added,
"musician that I am, I bring you my air; I can hear it buzzing in my
head; but my throat will not translate it properly."

"What shall we do?" said he.

"I will hum it over to you, and we will piece it together on the piano."

"Bon. J'y suis. And together it was done--well done. We kept silence.
The next day the compositors were busy; and soon everyone was reading
the Burgundian Folk-Song, 'Eho.' I had succeeded." Now you understand
why one remembers a déjeuner with François Fertiault.[191]

       *       *       *       *       *

Here we are at the shining Saône, crossed by a suspension bridge that
rocks under the weight of every carriage we meet; and here, at the end
of the long avenue of poplars, beside the junction of the two rivers,
is Verdun sur-le-Doubs.

Now that we are here I do not know that I have much to say about the
town itself, except that it is a peaceful little place, lying snugly
beside its waters that flow over golden sands.[192] In the 14th
century, however, Verdun was a bonne ville fermée, one of the most
ancient baronies of Burgundy, with fortress, fairs, markets, fiefs,
vassals, and all the other appointments of a mediæval town; but the
tides of war, sweeping, time after time, over this part of the country,
have left not even a ruin to remind us of its past.

  [Illustration: Junction of Rivers Doubs and Saône]

Yet some incidents of that past are worth remembering; notably the
siege of 1350, following on a disastrous war between the Sieurs de
Viennes and the Seigneurs de Verdun, and again, in 1477 and 1478, when
the Verdunois, always prominent in their adherence to the Burgundian
cause, refused to accept the merger of their province into Louis XI.'s
great kingdom of France.

But the most memorable of all the bloody scenes in which Verdun has
played a part, was the great struggle of 1592, when the little town,
the strongest holding for Henry IV. in all Burgundy, sustained a
desperate attack under the Ligueurs, commanded by the Vicomte de
Tavannes. At the head of the Verdunois was Héliodore de Thiard de
Bissy, and his brave wife, Marguerite de Busseul-Saint-Sernin, who, to
sustain the courage of the defenders, voluntarily shared the fatigues
and dangers of the fight.

She took upon herself the duty of distributing, with her own hands,
powder and ammunition to her soldiers; until a spark set light to the
barrels, and the brave girl, blown to pieces, met a warrior's death.
Young, beautiful, generous, intrepid, and of noble birth, though she
was, her heroic deed, by some strange caprice of destiny, has not
rescued her name from oblivion.

But the thoughts uppermost in my mind, in connection with Verdun, are
not historical, nor are they archæological. They hover rather about
rural Burgundy; the folk-lore, the old superstitions, and the intimate
life of the peasants, such as that of which M. Fertiault has made such
good use in his charming little story "The First of March."

Every year on the last day of February, when they think it will soon
be midnight, the women of the village leave their beds--I mean, of
course, the young women, the maids, with roses in their cheeks, and
love in their hearts--and await impatiently the first minute of the
first hour of March, the decisive minute for them. At the first stroke
from the belfry tower their windows fly open, each girl leans out, and
whispers in the darkness her prayer to Mars: "Bonjour, Mars; Comment te
portes-tu Mars? Montre-moi dans mon dormant celui que j'aurai dans mon
vivant."[193]

Then they go back to bed, and their lovers come floating into their
dreams.[194]

Not very long ago in Arcy, the hamlet which gave its name to the famous
grottos that so many travellers have visited and described, dwelt two
splendid cocks, whose voices were the pride of the village. But a day
came when they were heard no more. The birds stood downcast, each upon
his favourite waste-heap, wheezing vainly from a voiceless throat. Then
it was known that they had been bewitched by a wicked sorcerer. Their
owner was in consternation. For who would wake him now in the morning
and hearten him cheerily for his day's work? So he went off to discuss
his trouble with one in the village who was known to be wise in these
matters; and this man told him at once the remedy.

"You must give the cocks," he said, "barley cooked at the rising of the
moon." The owner went home straightway; did as he was bid, and in the
grey light of the following morning, to his great joy, he was awakened
by his two chanticleers announcing lustily, from rival dung-heaps, the
coming of the dawn.

  [Illustration: OXEN PLOUGHING
                 _Facing page 264_]

Not less fantastic, nor less poetical in conception, are some of the
measures adopted for the cure of personal ills. "Indeed," says M.
Fertiault, "it is difficult to conceive the amount of imaginative
labour these rustic intelligencies impose upon themselves, in their
efforts to heal those who are dear to them. They vie with one another
in rummaging among old customs, to find the best cure. Antoinette will
take her sick Pierre to the church, and, somehow or other, holding him
by the hands and under the arms, will lead him nine times round the
altar so that health may come again; well she knows, too, what healing
virtue there is, for children's fevers, in the sweet odour of hawthorn
in spring; for did not the murderers of Christ weave for him a crown of
thorns."[195]

It is around such places as Verdun, where the mind is not too much
distracted by archæological interests, that one's thoughts can escape
from the town, into the fertile surrounding lands, and picture scenes
that M. Fertiault has described for us so vividly, such as the autumn
fête of the grand teillage when they work far into the night, beside
the great bonfires, the boys and girls sitting around the piles of
hemp. The work goes ahead speedily; and much chaffing and many a merry
jest inspire deft fingers to outdo one another in peeling the hemp.
The little mountains grow smaller, disappear. The workers gather up
what is left of the peeled stalks, and pile them upon the fire which
blazes again into a feu de joie. All dance round it gleefully; some
even jump through the tongues of flame, believing that courage will
make them incombustible. Then each takes his girl, and together they go
home through the autumn night, the maid and the boy she had seen in her
dreams six months ago, when, with her long hair falling about her face,
she had leaned from the window, to say "Good-morning" to March. And as
they go, they sing:

                      "Le mariage fait heureux
                      Les Amoureux."

"And if ever one day you love me less than you love me to-night?"

"Eh ben! ma foi?

"Eh ben! Pierre ... je mourrais." 'Tis time to say "Good-night" at the
cottage gate.

Or it is a winter scene that comes. The copper lamp, hanging from a
beam, does its best, though not quite successfully, to play the part
of the moon upon a harvest field. Catherine plies her distaff busily,
making her bobbin hum; Toinette knits, steadily as a machine, a thick,
woollen stocking; Jacquot mends, with osier rushes, a basket for next
summer's vintage. Justin, sitting with his face to the back of his
chair, is cutting, upon the blade of an iron shovel, bunches of maize,
of which the grains go raining down and dancing up from the heaps in
the vessel below. The old father, Claude, does just nothing at all. A
long life of hard work has well earned him some idle hours; and he is
content to sit and doze by the fireside; just throwing in a word now
and again; when the right cord is struck, or something reminds him of
a story of his early escapades, in the days when he was as Jacquot
is--with a good hand for the plough, a good heart for the girls, and a
good stomach for a bowl of la Pochouse.[196]

So, through the quiet round of French rustic life, the generations are
born, are married, and pass again to the keeping of the earth that kept
them.

The second of these episodes, marriage, in a family of any consequence,
in the olden time, was a charmingly elaborate and picturesque function.
Much of the poetry of it has now passed for ever; though, a few years
back, a prominent citizen of the locality decided to revive all the
ceremonies at his daughter's wedding, and did so with complete success.

I have not the space here to describe in detail, as I would--as
M. Fertiault has done so effectively in "Une Noce d'Autrefois en
Bourgogne,"--all that took place. But I cannot pass it by wholly in
silence.

The wedding festivities extend over three days. The first day is full
of processions, and fife and drum, and flying ribbons, and sweetmeats,
and official journeys to summon from their abodes the Dames d'honneur,
who attend upon the bride. Then comes the municipal ceremony at the
mairie--the official marriage--and then the return to the Hôtel des
Trois Maures, where the bride and bridegroom, who, all the time have
been scattering sweetmeats right and left, receive, in their turn, an
aspersion of grains of corn, which come showering down upon them from
the upper windows. This is the ceremony of "Sowing the épousés"; the
golden rain is a blessing upon the marriage, a poetical invocation of
the good-will of Plenty's Goddess.

  [Illustration: · BURGUNDIAN PEASANT'S HOUSE ·]

    "Scarcity and want shall shun you
    Ceres' blessing now is on you."

Then before the spread feast, comes the _trempée_, the health-drinking,
a very significant function in a wine country. But first they clink
glasses--for franc Bourguignon, on ne boit jamais sans trinquer--and
having drunk, clink again, and all relatives and intimates--relatives
embrace cousins, as the boy's latin book darkly hints--give the bride
the baiser de la trempée.

Then there is feasting, more healths, more music; then a general cry
for the farandole, and in an instant they are wreathing it, uninvited
and all, in hall, and lane, and street; fife and tambourine and
flying feet are at it with an élan that even that sunny land of song
and dance, Provence, would find it hard to equal. In the evening
there is a great ball given to the guests, and, on the next days,
more processions, and a ball for the uninvited, at which the bride
and bridegroom appear for a few minutes, open the dancing with a
contre-danse, and then withdraw.

The third day's round is somewhat similar, but there are fewer ladies
present--many of them have had enough--and one notices, walking behind
the drums and fifes, an individual carrying a laurel--not a branch, but
a bush, well-grown and decked with ribbons. At the maison paternelle a
halt is made, and all gather round to admire the laurel. Then he calls
for the strongest volunteers to assist the bearer.

"Are you ready, you six?" "Yes," in six voices.

"You know the job is none so easy--dangerous too?"

"No fun if it wasn't."

"To it, then."

"Tie it well!"

"And as high as you can!"

"Come down now--and take care!"

They have to tie the laurel to the highest chimney of the house.

They mount gaily, for they are very excited, and, moreover, have a
bottle with them, a bottle of good wine; good, sparkling, red wine that
is pushing at the cork. They are going to sprinkle the tree with it.
Happy tree!

But the boys have had their share these days--'tis fairly the tree's
turn. So they mount to the roof, called the _lid_ in the locality.

"Not too steep, is it?"

"Not a bit."

"Can you stick it?"

"Rather--comfortable as an armchair!" At last it is done, well done,
with a good stout cord.

"Look out for the baskets, John!" John pours prodigally, till the wine
is trickling down the wall, and making a little rivulet in the street.

"Long life to the laurel" yell the five others. "Long life to the
porteur."

"A la santé des camarades."

All glasses are charged; then comes the clash of a trinquade, and, in
an instant, every glass is drained. Jests fly about, and laughter.
There is more drinking, more trinquades.

"La ronde, the round of the laurel! Allons!"

"Hands for the round--and hold tight."

Beating time with their feet, they dance round the chimney, until the
tiles resound, singing:

    Il est planté, le laurier;
      Le bon vin l'arrose.
    Qu'il amène aux mariées
      Ménage tout rose!
        Tout rose,
        Tout rose.

    Autour buvons et chantons;
      Ayons l'âme en joie!
    Qu'en gentil rejeton
      La mère se voit
        Se voie,
        Se voie!

    Que le rejeton grandi
      Plus tard se marie,
    Pour qu'un laurier reverdi
      Leux charme la vie!
        La vie,
        La vie!

    Que des ans et puis des ans
      Passent sur leur tête!...
    Et nous, sur ce Toit plaisant,
      Célébrons la fête.
        La fête,
        La fête!

The laurel is well fixed, the drums cease. From every window of the
house, besieged by the gamins, pours down a shower of sugar plums. The
timid ones get what they can, the greedy fight and struggle. After the
mass it is still worse; there is many a sore head for souvenir. Fameux!
Fameux les enfants! But the thing has been mightily well done.

       *       *       *       *       *

  [Illustration: ·CHATEAU DE MOUX·]

While we are talking about these ancient customs, let us spare a word
or two for the tongue which was heard through so many of them--the
patois. The Burgundian patois, to use Sainte-Beuve's picturesque
expression--"a eu des malheurs"; it has never become a living language
as the Breton and the Provençal have, and is therefore doomed, I
suppose, to early destruction; as its older devotees die off, and the
young peasant, versed in the language of towns, learns to despise his
father's tongue.

M. Perrault-Dabot, in his excellent little work on the subject,[197]
tells us that, as might have been expected, all the many races that
have inhabited or influenced Burgundy--the Eduens, the Romans, the
Flemish--have left their traces upon its local tongue. Its chief
defect, he adds, is that, like the country itself, half plain half
mountain, it lacks unity. Placed between the two great centres of the
Langue d'Oil and Langue d'Oc, it has naturally drawn from both. In
accent, its chief characteristics are vivacity, expression, and charm;
it comes between the northern lisp and the resonant redundance of
the southern tongue, and is spoken in a sing-song manner not easily
rendered typographically. It has many peculiar words, phrases, and
idioms, but does not appear to have taken definite form until the
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, when it was spoken in all the
provinces of eastern and central France, and also in the Canton of
Geneva (Switzerland), which once formed part of the ancient kingdom of
Burgundy.

To the practised ear, a Burgundian reveals his origin at once, by the
way he pronounces his _a's_. A becomes â (ah) in all words such as
_cave_, _table_, _Jacques_, terminated by a dumb syllable, and the O
is shortened in all words ending in _ot_ or _op_, such as _gigot_ or
_sirop_.

The Burgundian offers no exception to the general rule that the words
peculiar to a dialect are often very beautiful. Provence gives us
"voun, voun" for the hum of the bees, Normandy gives us "boisettes"
for the dead sticks that the peasants gather for faggots; while from
Burgundy we get "faublette" for a little tale. For "beggar," instead of
a brutal word like "mendiant," they say "cherchou de pain." There is
purity in their dialect, as in their customs.

While writing these pages upon the old creeds and customs of rustic
Burgundy, I have felt strongly, as a foreigner, my inefficiency for
such a task, and have wished that I could hand over my pen to the
Burgundian poet, my friend, M. François Fertiault, by whose kind
permission I am able to make use of so much material that is his, and
to whom any merit there may be in this chapter is wholly due. Had his
still firm and active, though aged hand, taken up my task, my readers
would well have been able to say, as the peasants of Burgundy, with one
voice, have said of his work: "Yé ben vrâ qu' tout c'qui s'passe cheu
nous."


FOOTNOTES:

[191] "L'Histoire d'un Chant Populaire." F. Fertiault.

[192] Abel Jeandet, in the Feuilleton de Paris, March 1851, records
      several historical instances of the discovery of gold in the
      sands of Doubs.

[193] "Good morning, Mars. How are you Mars? Show me in my sleep him
      I am to have in my waking life." This is an interesting poetical
      relic of pagan worship.

[194] "Le Premier de Mars" by F. Fertiault, published in the Feuilleton
      de Paris.

[195] "En Bourgogne."

[196] A national dish of fresh-water fish cooked in white wine and
      seasoned with garlic and aromatic herbs. It is not unlike the
      provençal bouillabaisse.

[197] "La Patois Bourguignon" A. Perrault-Dabot.



  [Illustration: Heading, chapter XIX; Nantua and the Lake]


CHAPTER XIX

A LAKE IN THE JURA


When the train from Bourg had left the valley, and commenced its
mountainous passage across the Jura, en route for Nantua, we felt that,
historically, if not geographically, we were leaving Burgundy for an
intermediate land that, while ceasing to be France, was not quite
Switzerland. Yet, for all that, the journey is worth making, for the
sake of the loveliness of the hills, and the links it forms in your
mind between what you have left, and the regions of lake and mountain
that once formed part of the old Kingdom of Burgundy.

The passage of the viaduct over the Suran soon reconciles you to the
Cimmerian darkness of Jura tunnels. Hundreds of feet below winds the
blue river mackerel-backed, beside terraced lawns of rich, green grass,
between banks of dark fir-wood, through which silvery, snowy waterfalls
come swirling and splashing down to the valley stream.

Almost equally beautiful is the crossing of the Ain that follows. At
length, after some fifty kilometres of charming surprises, you leave
La Cluse and jog onward, until the bend of the line shows you the red
roofs and white church-tower of the little town of Nantua reflected in
the dark waters of the placid lake, ringed round with upland meadows,
and steep, fir-clad hills.

Here, for a few days, we ceased to see things. We just idled, lounged,
looked on. Only too soon we learned that this is not Burgundy, but a
pocket edition of Switzerland, a tourist resort, where the hotel is
more expensive, and the gamins hail you with cries of "Oh! yes!" But if
this spot has Swiss drawbacks, it has Swiss beauties, too; ce que est
déjà quelque chose.

It was on a lovely autumn morning, that, after a breakfast made
memorable by mountain honey, we climbed the hills above the town, and
basked in the rays of the sun, that shone from a cloudless sky. Such
sun-heat has not been felt in Burgundy all this frozen summer and
vineless fall. We bathed in it with infinite joy. Below us flickered,
golden green, the grasses of an upland meadow, where the hay-makers
were busy raking over the last crop. Lower down, across a fringe of
branches tossing in the north wind, shone in soft, warm colours, grey,
brown, and red, the roofs and walls of ancient Nantua, crowned with the
tower of the Romanesque Church, whose sides and sculptured shafts and
capitals challenged, in the fierce morning light, the pitchy shadows
that lurked in every rounded arch.

Through the angle, formed by the tower and the mottled roof of the
nave, one caught a glimpse of shops in the main street. From the gable
of one of them flapped the tricolor flag of France. People passed
beneath it--black specks, like flies walking. Beyond lay the blue
lake, breeze-ruffled, striped like a fish's back in shades of azure
and grey, passing now and then into buff and yellow, where the waters
reflected the naked rock--the whole framed, hemmed in by rugged cliffs,
whose lower slopes are clothed in scrub and trees of every tint, from
black to green and gold. The topmost rocks--jagged, bare, vertical
faces broken with black patches, and streaked, on the sunny side, with
bright, zig-zag paths--threaten the town and lake beneath. Unbroken
shadows still enveloping the eastern cliffs, throw into stronger relief
the gleaming water, and opposite shore quivering in the morning light.
Westward only can the eye escape from these rugged beauties to the
gentler slopes of the Jura beyond La Cluse.

Wandering dream-hunter that I am, it is there that I find myself
gazing, at these shining, shining waters, and beyond them, to the real
Burgundy, to the memories of her glorious past still lingering in the
Palace of Dijon, and the mother abbeys of the west. While my wife
sketched Nantua, and envied the hay-makers their arms, I thought of
Cluny and of Citeaux, of things, in fact, symbolized in that Romanesque
tower below.

Walking through the town, on our way back to our hotel, we entered a
shop, and nearly fell over a small child--some seven years old--who was
playing on the doormat with shells and bits of glass. She jumped up at
once, adjusted her long, straight, red hair, worn in two plaits; and
turned to us a round, sweet, intelligent little face.

  [Illustration: NANTUA FROM THE HILL]

"Bonjour, Monsieur et Dame!" she said.

"Bonjour, Mademoiselle," we replied; and looked round for the
shop-keeper. There was no other. This was the shop-keeper--this baby,
with the sweet face and red plaits; now a woman, official, dignified,
alert.

"You desire post-cards, 'Sieur et Dame? Here is a tray-full--please
choose."

We chose. Our dame de comptoir looked on, graciously. The cards were
handed to her to count: The little red head was ready first with the
figure.

"Ca fait dix-neuf sous, Monsieur. Yes, I have change. Do you desire
stamps?" Stamps and change were instantly forthcoming.

"Voilà, Bonjour M'sieur-Dame!"

From twenty yards away we looked back. A sweet child with ted pigtails
was playing with shells on the doormat.

Don't believe people who tell you that French women are not born
capable.

       *       *       *       *       *

The church of Nantua is worth a visit. It has a good Romanesque façade,
carved with the usual energy and freedom of the Burgundy school; but
the capitals are mutilated, as is the tympanum at the first order of
the arch. The interior is in the usual Burgundian style. The nave has
square pillars with engaged vaulting shafts; but the original ceiling
has been replaced by a thirteenth-century ribbed vault, springing
from corbel-capitals at the same height as the vaulting shafts. The
thrust of the vaults has forced the pillars outwards both ways, and
flying buttresses of a very substantial kind have been built to hold
the church together. The tower, of later date than the body of the
church, is the best in the district. Other points worth noticing are
the barrel-vaulted transept, the primitive vaulting of the ceiling, the
frescoes in the choir, and the westward slope of the floor.



  [Illustration: Heading, chapter XX; Princess Margaret's Tomb]


CHAPTER XX

PRINCESS MARGARET'S CHURCH


Our strongest impression of Bourg en Bresse--apart from its
associations with the Eglise de Brou--was that it brought us almost
within hail of the beloved Midi. As at Mâcon, the sun, when it shone,
was aggressive. You welcomed the sight of leafy plane trees, you hugged
the shady side of the road. Good peaches were to be had for a sou la
pièce; and the cattle wore hats--red and yellow tassels and elaborate
string fly-protectors bound about their foreheads. These things are
full of significance for one who has seen the south.

Another memory is the ill-manners of the townspeople. The attentions of
the folk at Paray were but neglect when compared with the fixed stare
of Bourg. One delinquent was so absorbed in us that he nearly wrecked
his motor in the open street: another fell down the hotel stairs;
there were three cases of abrasion. The fact that these victims had
obviously not forgotten the "convenances," only made more striking
their failure to observe them. They appeared to have no control over
certain faculties. Both sexes had forgotten how to blush. They wrought
me to anger, and my wife to tears.

But such trifles, after all, are merely the "petit désagréments" of
travel--remembered only with a smile; relics of primitivism, such as
was the service de la gare--omnibuses still running, not so much as
varnished since the French Revolution.

"C'est ancien" said a hotel porter, with a wave of the hand. "C'est un
monument historique," added a bystander. The porter smiled, as his hand
closed mechanically over a franc.

We rode, that first afternoon, to Cezenat, on the slopes of the Jura.
The aspect of the country round was harsher than that of central
Burgundy, and the light fiercer; the landscape, as a whole, lacks
the soft charm of the vine-clad Côte d'Or, without attaining to the
romantic quivering whiteness of the vrai midi. It was very delightful
to rest before the café opposite to the church of Revonnat, and
watch the shapely, creamy cattle, following the swarthy maid to the
water-trough beneath the virgin-crowned fountain. They drank steadily,
until a long stick, rattling about their shiny muzzles, made them raise
mildly-protesting heads. They walked home with unruffled dignity, a
processional frieze of madonnas--their faces veiled, as befits holiness.

More, and then more, came tinkling by, driven by a diminutive boy. They
disappeared down a winding lane, and were followed by four horses,
harnessed tandem, wearing the three-horned attelage of the Midi, and
stamping, swishing their tails, and tossing heads, till all the village
was vocal with their music. After them waddled a fat woman, leaking
seed, and followed by a hundred hungry fowls. Last of all, two piebald
oxen, harnessed in front of a skinny pony, tugged wearily up the hill
the household goods of a whole family piled upon a creaking cart.

With the exception of a few old houses and the world-famous Brou, there
is very little architecture worth seeing in Bourg. Or, if there is,
it did not detain us long. We made at once for Princess Margaret's
Church, rather more than a kilometre distant from the lower part of
the town, at the end of a long, straight, squalid road. There we found
it--this jewel ill-set. The authorities, with the cynical apathy, or
ignorance, that characterises French ecclesiasticism, have surrounded
the building, on the west and north, with a gravelled open space, like
the playground of a board-school, adorned with a tawdry crucifix, and
a lavatory, the whole enclosed within an ignoble wall. Why the French
public tolerate such outrages is a mystery!

  [Illustration: ·IN THE STREET·]

I suppose that, in this case, darkness is just ignorance.[198] Yet
before their very eyes are evidences that it was not always so. The
pictures in their church show that the "parvis" was originally planted
with shrubs, which would grow as readily to-day as they did then;
failing a grassy lawn, and the money or men to keep it green and trim.

Enough of the setting--what of Princess Margaret's Church? Looking
up at it, we are reminded, at once, of her Flemish sympathies. The
high gables of this west front--of which the centre one is lightened
by a rose and three triangular windows, symbols of eternity and the
Trinity--recall the splendid architecture of Bruges and the Rhine
country. Rich flamboyant carving is to be seen everywhere; yet the
effect is more striking than successful. The façade is surrounded with
elaborate embellishments, that, jostling with one another, break the
harmony of line; the ornament is tortured, and conveys the impression
that it is merely hung upon the Church; the figures in the tympanum
below the flat-arched portal, are poor in execution; the tower is
mean and insufficient. Yet we must not hasten to condemn. This fallen
Gothic, though marred by the defects of its qualities, and, beyond
question, fundamentally decrepit, has yet wintry graces all her own.
Her death days were neither ignoble, nor frozen; rather they were
instinct with a repentant animation, and warmed by a delicate flush,
the hope and vision of coming spring.

Yes, despite the wanton waste of ornament, despite intemperance and
lack of restraint, there is pathos, there is beauty, even, in these
splendid agonies of a matchless art. That proud princess of ancient
lineage, lying stricken in her darkened chamber, where yet lingered
the shadows of a passing night, bent timidly, fearfully, her dreamy,
dying eyes upon the before and after, upon what had been and was yet
to be; until, gathering strength for a last effort, the frail, fair,
white hand, drawing apart the silken folds of the curtain, caught,
through the glowing casement, a glimpse of a golden dawn brightening a
yet lovelier world, and smiled to see the pure radiance of a happier,
more human belief touching with the tender light of a new-born hope the
sterner mysticism of her earlier discarded faith. The discarded faith
was mediævalism; that new-born hope we call the Renaissance.

Come with me into the building, and, before I tell Margaret's story,
look, for a moment, round this amazing church. The nave, though it
conveys at once to the mind of the devotee of pure Gothic, a sensation
of wintry decadence, that neither the richness of the lovely _jubé_,
nor a glimpse, through its open door, of the wonderful marble tombs
within the choir, can quite dispel, is pleasing in its grace and
simplicity, qualities which the exterior would not have led you to
expect. So restful, too, are the flowing lines of the columns and
engaged colonnettes rising, unbroken by capitals, to the low vaults,
that one imagines the architect to have planned deliberately this cool,
white marble hall, in which worshippers could soothe spirits wrought to
intensity by sights seen within. They may well have needed such repose,
since we need it to-day; though the love which brought this church into
being was left lonely four hundred years ago. Pass through that open
doorway, and see for yourself. You stand in a maze of sculptures, among
a thousand flowers, figures, emblems, devices, and myths, feminine
fantasies carved everywhere, in regal profusion upon many a pedestal
and column, upon shadowy niches and overhanging tabernacles, upon
dainty shaft, and lightest fretwork pinnacle, their marble whiteness
all warmed in blue, crimson, and golden light streaming from the
painted windows. Whether you look down upon the blue enamelled bricks
at your feet,[199] at the silent figures beneath those strangely
decorated canopies, and the myriad carven shapes about them, or whether
you look up at the resplendent saints, kings, and nobles ablaze upon
the panes, your sensation is one of unsatisfied wonder, and you know
yourself to be in a building, that, for all its faults, is unrivalled
in the world of art. Let me tell how it came to be so.

The story of Margaret d'Autriche, the unfortunate princess to whom
we owe this extraordinary Eglise de Brou, is closely linked with
events and personalities already mentioned in these pages. Born in
1480, she was the daughter of Maximilian and Marie de Bourgogne,
and grand-daughter of Charles le Téméraire. In the closing years of
his life, that old fox, Louis XI., had chosen her out as the future
wife of his Dauphin, and would, no doubt, have had his will, had not
his erstwhile ally, death, turned against him at last, and claimed
forfeiture.

The childhood of Marguerite passed peaceably in that lovely Château of
Amboise by the Loire, in the company of her official husband, Charles
VIII., and his French Court, was not foreshadowed by sorrows that
were soon to come. The King torn between desires to unite Burgundy
and Brittany to the French crown, and finding that he could not have
both, decided in favour of the latter. Acting upon that decision, he
broke his sworn faith to Marguerite, dismissed his fiancée, and married
Anne of Brittany. Marguerite left in anger; nor did she ever forgive
Charles. Henceforth, France was her enemy. So, for many years, was
Fortune. The next stroke fell swiftly.

In April, 1497, Marguerite married Juan, Prince of Castille, the son
of Ferdinand and Isabella, who died of fever at Salamanca in the same
year--a misfortune that--if we are to believe her historiographer,
Jean Lemaire--neither crushed the girl's spirit, nor extinguished her
natural wit; "for, being on shipboard, and having passed a horrible and
tempestuous night, in fear of perilous shipwreck, as the following day
the sea had been calm and tranquil, while Marguerite was conversing
with her maids upon their past fears and perturbations, the proposal
was made that each should compose her own epitaph; whereupon she
promptly composed her own in this manner":

    "Cy gist Margot la gentil' Damoiselle,
    Q'u ha deux marys et encore est pucelle."[200]

Truly a very joyous epitaph, as Lemaire says, "si plein de vraie
urbanité." Not so did she salute the death of her next husband.[201]

It was on the 26th of September, 1501, that was signed the treaty of
her marriage with Philibert le Beau, Duke of Savoy--the event that
first links Marguerite's story with that of Brou.

The fifth of August in the following year, when Philibert and
Marguerite paid their first visit to Bourg, was a memorable day in the
annals of the town. Artillery boomed, joy bells clashed; every house
was bright with gay hangings of all colours, with festoons, and the
arms of Burgundy and Savoy. Soon the call of the trumpet drew all the
crowd to the Town Hall, whence issued the corps municipal, preceded by
the syndics clothed in red robes, one of whom bore the keys of the town
upon a silver plate.

The procession moved slowly forward, to the beat of music, until a
warlike fanfare of trumpets, and the neighing of horses, announced the
coming of the ducal cortège, at the head of which rode Philibert and
Marguerite. Loud were the cries of joy that greeted the young couple.
On a prancing steed, decked with rich draperies, bearing the arms of
Burgundy, its beautiful head plumed with tossing white feathers, rode
Marguerite, wearing the ducal crown. Through the folds of her silver
veil, spectators could obtain a glimpse of a gracious face, and long
fair tresses. Her dress was of crimson velvet, embroidered in gold,
showing upon the skirt the escutcheons of Austria and Savoy. In one
hand she held her reins, the other was lifted in gracious salutation
to the crowd. At her right ambled the Duke Philibert, proud of the
reception that Bourg was according his lady.

Philibert le Beau was a handsome, gay, debonair prince, who loved to
give to music and good cheer all the hours he could spare from his
favourite pastime of the hunt. He left to his ministers exclusively
all such troublesome matters as affairs of State. Such was the young
gallant who rode by Marguerite's side through the streets of Bourg.

Every house, as we have said, was gay with blazoned arms and bunting.
On a great scaffold before the Church of Notre Dame, the preaching
friars were presenting mystery plays, the Christian legends of St.
George and of the Archangel St. Michael. On the scaffolds, in various
parts of the town, were figured scenes from mythological history. The
Labours of Hercules, or Jason's encounters with monsters and dragons
during his quest of the Golden Fleece. Before the town wall, in the
presence of a crowd so dense that a way could scarcely be cleared for
the duchess, was represented the allegory of "The Fountain and the
Maid," in which, from the metal breasts of a gigantic female figure,
two jets of wine splashed into the basin below.

During the three short years of Philibert's married life, the peace
of Europe was untroubled, and the Duke of Savoy was forced to appease
his military ardour in tournament and hunt. A chronicler of the time
has left us a detailed account of the jousts held on the occasion
of the marriage of Laurent de Gorrevod, at the Castle of Carignan.
Philibert bore himself so bravely in the lists, that the ladies, with
one consent, "benign and not ungrateful, knowing the honour and the
great and mighty feats of arms done for love of them, advised that by
right and without favour, the honour and prize of the combat should be
given to Duke Philibert. Wherefore the said ladies desired him that he
would of his grace accept the ring presented to him on their behalf by
a young and fair demoiselle--which supplication, as one full of honour,
courtesy, and benignity, thanking the said ladies, their said ring and
present he graciously accepted."[202]

The Duke's favourite hunting-seat was at Château de Pont-Ain,[203]
high up on the hill overlooking Bresse and Bugey. Many a day the dark
woods around echoed the merry note of the horn, and the deep bay of his
hounds, as Philip and Marguerite rode forth together. She with "the
ivory horn hung in a sling, mounted on a spirited palfrey, followed her
very dear lord and spouse, in hot chase of the horned stags, by wood
and plain, by mountain and valley, fearing not the ardour of the sun
nor the toil of the hunt, so that by her careful presence she could
guard him from all misfortune."

On a very hot morning, in September, 1504, the young prince, led far
afield by the excitement of the chase, "and almost separated from his
party, who could follow him no longer, was passing, at mid-day, a long
and narrow valley, on foot, because his horses, by reason of the long
ride, were dead or broken down."

Arriving, breathless and bathed in perspiration, at the Fontaine St.
Vulbas, he was charmed by the cool shade of the place, and ordered his
meal to be served to him there. Before long, feeling himself seized
with a sudden shivering fit, he ordered his horse, and began his
homeward journey, "holding his hand to his chest, then commencing to
bend forward and to be in great agony." He reached the Castle at last,
and threw himself down upon a camp bed, "beside which came soon, all
troubled in heart, the very dear Duchess, his very dear spouse and
companion, who, seeing her lord and friend lying ill, and nevertheless
not knowing as yet of her great mourning so soon to be, began to
comfort him very sweetly, and to cheer him with all her power."

For several days the young prince battled with a violent attack of
pleurisy; but, at last, in spite of bleeding and many prayers, even his
strong constitution gave way, and the lovers knew that they must part.
"And himself feeling his end drawing near, rose and would fain bid an
eternal farewell to his very loved companion, holding her in a strong
embrace." He died in the arms of Marguerite, on the 10th September,
1504, in the very room in which he had been born, twenty-four years
before, in the Château de Pont-d'Ain.

The brief days of Marguerite's happiness were closed. Coming years
were to bring their measure of consolation to the stricken woman; but,
as she herself, a poetess of sorrow, wrote in verse, whose graceful
melodies recall the plaintive notes of Charles D'Orléans, henceforth
for her

    Deuil et ennuy, soussy, regret et peine,
    Ont eslongué ma plaisance mondaine,
    Dont a part moy, je me plains et tourmente;
    Et en espoir n'ay plus un brin d'attente:
    Véez là, comment Fortune me pourmeine.

    Ceste longheur vault pis que mort soudaine;
    Je n'ay pensé qui joye me rameine;
    Ma fantasie est de déplaisir pleine;
    Car devant moy à toute heure se présente
        Deuil et ennuy.[204]

So poor Marguerite adopted a new device, the last and saddest of three
comments upon her destiny.[205] You may read it to-day, a hundred
times, on the walls, the tombs, the windows of the church of Brou.


FORTUNE. INFORTUNE. FORT UNE.[206]

It was in the spring of 1505 that Margaret laid with her own hand the
first stone of the building she had dreamed of ever since her husband's
death, a church which would, at the same time worthily perpetuate
the memory of their loves, and accomplish the unfulfilled vow of her
mother, Marguerite de Bourbon, who had sworn many years before to
erect a church to the glory of God, should her husband recover from an
illness that then threatened his life.

The princess chose for her architect Loys van Boghen, a Flamand of
great ability, under whose direction the whole fabric of the church
was constructed. The statues and sculptures were in the hands of
"Maistre Conrard, le consommé tailleur d'ymages," between whom and the
difficult, quarrelsome Loys considerable friction seems to have arisen.
This we gather from the archives of Ain.[207]

"Insomuch as Maistre Loys is somewhat light of word and threat towards
one and another, both ecclesiastic and secular, whence much scandal
may arise, as indeed has already chanced, and our Lady's work thereby
retarded, the said Maistre Loys is thereby expressly forbidden and
prohibited henceforth from using such threats and words; and should he
notwithstanding attempt to do so, he will be held accountable therefore
to our Lady in his person and goods. The same shall be said to Maistre
Conrard and to all other whom it may concern."[208]

At length, stone by stone, in spite of Maistre Loys' temper and the
awful famine and pestilence, which, in those years, were ravaging the
town of Bourg, Marguerite's darling project approached completion. Many
a day would she ride over from the Castle of Pont d'Ain, where she was
passing the early years of her widowhood, to watch her beloved building
growing beneath her eyes.

    On her palfrey white the Duchess
      Sate and watched her working train--
    Flemish carvers, Lombard gilders,
      German masons, smiths from Spain.

    Clad in black, on her white palfrey,
      Her old architect beside--
    There they found her in the mountains,
      Morn and noon and eventide.

    There she sate and watched the builders,
      Till the Church was roofed and done.
    Last of all the builders reared her
      In the nave a tomb of stone.[209]

The closing years of Marguerite's life were passed in administering,
wisely and justly, the affairs of the Pays Bas, of which country she
had long been appointed governor. Her wealth, her great abilities, and
her exalted rank all combined to render her one of the most prominent
figures in the political life of the time.

  [Illustration: SAINTE MADELEINE: TOMB OF MARGUERITE D'AUTRICHE: BROU.]

Francis I., after his defeat at Pavia, sought her good graces; she was
courted of many; her voice was loud in the counsels of Europe. But
Marguerite, who had already refused the hand of Henry VII. of England,
was not to be dazzled by the glitter of a crown. Long ago she had
renounced wedded life, until friendly death should lay her once more
beside Philibert in those bridal tombs. Her inmost thoughts, far away
from thrones and principalities, were turning towards the cloister, as
a fitting refuge from the cares of state, when, in 1530, her unhappy
life was brought to a sudden close. This is the traditional story of
her death, as told in a manuscript of the eighteenth century.[210]

On the fifteenth of the month of November, in the morning, before
rising, she asked for a drink of water from one of her attendants,
Magdeleine of Rochester, who, obeying her immediately, brought the
water in a crystal cup; but, while taking it back, she unfortunately
let the glass fall in front of the bed, where it was smashed to pieces.
The girl gathered the fragments up, as carefully as she could, but
did not think of looking into her Royal mistress's slippers. Some
hours later, Princess Marguerite put on her slippers, and walked to
the fire. Feeling a violent pricking sensation in her left foot, she
called a lady in waiting, who found a fragment of the broken cup firmly
embedded therein. This she drew out, as carefully as she could, and
the princess, with her usual courage, made light of the matter, and
dismissed it from her mind.

Some days after, she began to feel great pain in the foot, and noticed
that the limb was swollen. Physicians were summoned, who, after private
consultation, decided that the wound was gangrened, and that amputation
was the only practicable means of saving the patient's life. They
communicated their decision to Montécut, the princess's confessor, and
asked him to break the news to his mistress. She was much surprised,
but bore bravely what she must have known to be virtually a sentence of
death. The next few days having been passed in confession, absolution,
and the settlement of her temporal affairs, she submitted herself to
her doctors, who proceeded to administer to their patient so large a
dose of opium "that they put her to a sleep so sound that it is not yet
ended, and will not end until the Resurrection of all the dead."

Marguerite was buried at Malines, where her body lay for two years,
until, her tomb being ready, she was laid, in 1532, according to the
express terms of her will, beside her "lord and husband," who was to
rest between his mother and his wife.

There you may see her to-day lying, proud and lovely, as in life, her
royal face still turned to the man to whose glory, rather than to
God's, she had raised those astounding memorials of a woman's devotion.
There, in flaming colour upon the purpled panes, in blazoned device
upon floor and wall, in a thousand delicate fancies, wrought, with most
exquisite art, upon the pale, white marble of the tombs, and altar
pieces, you may read the story of her life.

       *       *       *       *       *

We are now in a position to realize why the church, though built by
men, breathes femininity. It was the expression of a woman's mind, the
love offering of a lady to her lord. As such, all women's virtues are
expressed in it--dignity and grace in the flowing lines of the nave,
purity in the whiteness of the marble, wit and ingenuity in the legends
and devices, daintiness in the exquisite detail; courage, patience, and
devotion, revealed everywhere in the complete unity of the whole.[211]
And those women's virtues carried with them women's faults--a certain
lack of breadth and vision; over-elaboration of detail, and a love
of prettiness that verges upon the petty.[212] All these things are
apparent. But the greatest defect of all--the subordination of design
to ornament--is as much the fault of the age as of the individual.
These were the years of transition.

The old greatness had passed; the new greatness in building was not yet
come. In that sense this church is inherently decadent.

When men of the early middle ages reared their mighty fanes to God
and to his saints, they lifted vault and roof into echoing airy
spaces, where the rapt worshippers, looking upward, might seek haply
after God; but here is no upward call. This roof is low, flattened,
heavy; threatening, almost, to fall upon the heads bent in prayer.
The builders of pure Gothic loved to ornament their churches with the
richest sculpture that skilful, reverent hands could carve; and they
sought their inspirations in Nature alone, who shapes the tree before
she decks it with leaves, and fashions the plant before the flower.

But these later men, losing sincerity, lost truth; they thought of
the leaf before the limb, and of blossom rather than of bough. That
is why Brou leaves us unsatisfied. Yet, as I have said, we must not
blame utterly. Whatever architect and sculptor may have lacked, one
thing they did not lack--patience. And if patience were indeed genius,
as Buffon says it is, then is genius here, too. Surely, the most
fastidious spectator may say with Paradin, the old chronicler of Savoy,
"après tout estant léans (à Brou), semble que voyez un songe, et ne
savez à quoi premierment addresser vos yeux pour les repaistre, parce
qu' une chascune chose se convie á regarder comme un nouveau spectacle."

We have no space left in which to deal with details of the tombs, the
choir stalls, altar pieces, and other marvels the church contains. The
reader must discover them for himself; we can only give a few general
impressions.

  [Illustration: Ornament from the Tomb of Marguerite d'Autriche]

As you face the east end of the Church, the tomb of Marguerite
d'Autriche is on your left, that of Philibert le Beau in the centre,
and that of Marguerite de Bourbon on the right. This last, the earliest
of the three, is obviously inspired by the royal tombs at Dijon, but,
having no base, it lacks their dignity, just as it lacks their harmony
and simplicity. The pleurants are very poor, when compared with those
of Claus Sluter and his nephew. The minute detail is extraordinarily
good, but there is a superabundance of ornament, and the whole is
tortured and conscious. The meaning of the device bearing the letters F
E R T has been much debated. Some say that it represents Fortitudo Ejus
Rhodum Tenuit, or Tuetur, in memory of Amédee le Grand's victory over
the Turks; others that it is a chevaleresque French device; Frappez,
Entrez, Rompez Tout. The guide, however, gave us Fide et Religione
Tenemur, as the true solution.

Philibert's tomb is quite fittingly the best of the three, as being the
simplest and most dignified. The detail is very Flemish, some of the
figures recalling in pose as well as in costume, the manner of Van Eyck
and his school.

The tomb of Marguerite d'Autriche is beautifully proportioned, but much
of the ornament has so little relation to the design that it appears
to be appliqué. Tortured lines are the inevitable result. Many of the
figures however, are very charming; notably the Madeleine holding her
hair, and Catherine of Alexandria trampling down the Emperor Maximilian
of Italy. The Marguerites make effective and appropriate ornament, as
also do the briquets of the house of Burgundy--two sticks in the form
of St. Andrew's cross.

The altar piece of the virgin in the north transept is one of the
most extraordinary productions of its kind that I know. It is more
magnificent even than the tombs, and far exceeds them in grace, charm,
and realism. The seven scenes represented are: The Ascension of the
Virgin; the Visitation; the Annunciation; the Nativity; the Adoration;
Pentecost; Christ appearing to His Mother. In the oratory of Marguerite
d'Autriche there is a curious oblique arch, enabling her to see both
altars at the same time.

Let me close these few notes on the church of Brou with some lively
comments from Paradin's Chronique de Savoie.

"As to the pavement, even that which is in the choir as well as that
which is in the chapel of my said Lady Marguerite d'Autriche, it is
in truth a thing as pleasant and delicious to see as may possibly be
found, being all such joyous and singular leadwork mingled with very
divers picturing ... which so pleases spectators that almost with
regret one walks upon it. I remember that, being there, was a gentleman
who feeling scruples at walking on this pavement, spat in the face of a
great rascal of a pastrycook, whose nose was all beflowered with knobs
of scarlet tint, saying that there was no spot in all the church more
dirty to spit on than that."

"I remember also having seen descend (here), the late King Francis[213]
when he came to Bourg, who, having seen this church, was ravished with
admiration, saying that he had never seen nor heard of a temple of such
excellence for what it contained. And true it is that he noted (as he
was a Prince exceeding in good sense all the kings of his time) that
this white stone of which the Church is built, would not well endure
frost, being too rare and tender. And it was since found that he spoke
truly; for long after there fell from the clock tower some of the great
bastions or gargoyles which take the water over the roof, on the side
of the cloisters, a thing which did much hurt to the building."

The revolutionary mob were proposing to do still greater hurt to the
building, and would have done so, had not the wisest man in all Bourg
filled the church with hay which the sans-culottes could not bring
themselves to burn. So Brou is ours, we hope, for many centuries to
come.

  [Illustration: THE END; Princess Marguerite d'Autriche]


FOOTNOTES:

[198]
 The English public are supposed to be extraordinarily tolerant,
 yet the French are undoubtedly more so. The inconveniences of such
 a large railway station as that at Dijon, for example, with its
 almost impassable doors and swinging gates that bang all day long
 with a report like that of heavy artillery, are such as would be
 dealt with sternly by an English public. But the French take quite
 good-humouredly the evils of railway monopoly--and other ills besides.

[199] Azulejos--from the Arab word _Azul_, blue.

[200]     "Within this tomb the sweet Margot is laid,
           Who has two husbands and is still a maid."

[201] "Eglise de Brou," by Jules Baux, p. 22.

[202] Beaux's "Eglise de Brou," 52.

[203] The Château de Pont D'Ain does not seem to have met with general
      favour, to judge from the following humourous lines which Jean
      Lemaire imagined himself addressing to Marguerite.

          "Ha! Le Pont d'Ain, que tu fusses péry!
          Lieu exécrable, anathématisé,
          Mal feu, puist êstre en tes tours attisé!
          Au moins, Princesse, en extrême guerdon,
          Je te requiers et te supplie ung don:
          C'est que mon corps n'y soit ensevely;
          Ains le netz en quelque lieu joy,
          Bien tapisesé de diverses flourettes
          Où pastoureaulx devisent d'amourettes."

[204]     Mourning and care, regret and grief and pain,
          Within my heart all worldly joy have slain,
          Wherefore, apart, I make my moan and grieve
          That hope no more my anguish may relieve,
          For see how Fate to do me hurt is fain.

          Far less to sudden Death would I complain,
          Than life drawn out--nor ever joy again;
          But fancy leading phantoms in her train,
          For here, all day, all year long, I receive
              Mourning and care.

      For complete poem see Baux's "Eglise de Brou," p. 66.

[205]
 The first, adopted after her dismissal from the Court of France by
 Charles VIII., was a windswept mountain, with the motto, "Perflant
 altissimo venti." The second, taken after the death of John Castille,
 and her child by him, was a fruit tree split by lightning.

[206]
 This enigmatic device has been variously deciphered, but two
 contemporary authors agree in interpreting it "_Fortuna infortunat
 fortiter unam_," which means "Fortune tries cruelly a woman." Murray's
 guide gives incorrectly, "Fortune infortune forte une," meaning "Here
 is a woman strong in fortune or in misfortune."

[207] Beaux's "Eglise de Brou," p. 57.

[208]
 The fabric, however, does not seem to have suffered as much from the
 quarrels of the builders, as from the extraordinary failure of the
 architect to provide efficiently for carrying away the roof water,
 with the result that heavy rains nearly destroyed the building before
 even it was finished. Loys had probably forgotten structural soundness
 in his efforts to satisfy his employer's passion for decorative
 effect.

[209]
 Matthew Arnold's poem, "The Church of Brou," is marred by a number of
 unnecessary inaccuracies. Philibert was not slain by a boar, he died
 of pleurisy. Marguerite's Tomb is at the "Crossing East of the Choir,"
 and not in the nave, moreover, the poet seems so uncertain whether the
 Church is in the mountain or in the valley, that one is led to doubt
 whether he really knew.

[210] "Description Historique de la belle église et du couvent royal
      de Brou." Quoted Beaux pp. 126-8.

[211] Baux points out that the church does not contain one statue of
      St. Nicholas of Tolentin, its patron saint.

[212] Michelet vii. cap. xii.

[213] Francis I.



[Illustration: ·SKETCH MAP TO· ILLUSTRATE P. ALLEN'S "BURGUNDY"
               _Facing page 292._]



INDEX


                                         PAGE

  Abélard                        89, 146, 153

     "    At Paris                        146

     "    Marriage with Héloïse           148

     "    Fulbert's crime                 149

     "    At St. Denis & St. Gildas       150

     "    Paraclet & correspondence       151

     "    Death                           152

  Aedui                            13, 16, 32

  Agrippa, Voie de                 21, 36, 63

  Aimard, Abbot of Cluny                   91

  Ain, The                                272

  Albéric                       174, 176, 178

  Albigensian Crusade                     123

  Alençon, Duc d'                         106

  Alesia                                   15

  Alethea (Alèthe)                   115, 209

  Alexandre de Bourgogne                  242

  Aligote (wine)                          247

  Alonzo VI., King of Castille             71

  Amalon, Duke                       138, 140

  Amboise, Jacques de                  88, 94

  Amboise, Château de                     281

  Ambulatorium Angelorum, Cluny Abbey      75

  Amphitheatres                            39

  Andrew                                   18

  Anjou, Duke of                          136

  Anne of Brittany                        281

  Anselm                                   89

    "    Bishop of Laon                   146

  Antoine-le-Moiturier                    192

  Antigny-le-Châtel                       179

  Antony de la Marche                     156

  Apollo                               32, 50

  Apollo, Temple of                21, 32, 34

  Aquitaine, William, Duke of      60, 61, 63

  Argenteuil, Convent of             147, 149

  Ariovistus                               14

  Arles                           32, 36, 100

  Armagnacs et Bourguignons          105, 200

  Arnay-le-due, Road to                   179
        "       Town       180, 182, 183, 248

  Arnaud, Abbot of Citeaux                123

  Arnold, Matthew, "Church of Brou"       286

  Arverni                                  13

  Aseraule, Monastery of                  178

  Asile des Aliénées, Dijon               189

  Augustodunum (See Autun)                 33

  Augustus                                 11

  Autun                              8, 10-58

    "   Amphitheatres                      39

    "   Cathedral St. Lazare   12, 26, 42, 51

    "       "     translation of Relics    42

    "       "     Destruction of Tomb      48

    "       "     Alterations to           48

    "       "     Capitals                 49

    "   Capitol                    21, 32, 34

    "   Castrum                    21, 26, 55

    "   Caves Joyaux (See Theatre)

    "   Champ de Mars,
           Place du            11, 26, 55, 56

    "       "     des Urnes                20

    "   Crot Volu (Amphitheatre)           39

    "   Ecoles Méniennes       21, 22, 33, 34

    "   Faubourg d'Arroux          11, 24, 27

    "       "     des Marbres              34

    "   Forum                              21

    "   Fountain of Pelican        28, 51, 52

    "   Hôpital St. Nicholas               53

    "   Hôtel Rolin                     51-53

    "     "   de Ville                     55

    "     "   St. Louis                31, 41

    "   Hospice St. Gabriel,               34

    "   Jambe de Bois, Rue de la,          21

    "   Lazarus (See St. Lazare)

    "   Marbres, Faubourg des,             34

    "      "     Promenade des,        34, 39

    "      "     Porte des,                21

    "   Martha (See St. Martha)

    "   Mary (See St. Mary)

    "   Musée lapidaire,            43, 53-55

    "   Musée municipal,                   55

    "   Porch of Cathedral,            44, 45

    "   Porte d'Arroux,                26, 27

    "     "   des Marbres (Porte de Rome), 21

    "     "   St. Andoche,                 39

    "     "   André,                       27

    "   St. Andrew,                        43

    "   Saint Lazare,                 41, 46;
           Tomb of,                   43, 48;
           Cathedral of,       12, 26, 42, 51

    "   St. Martha,            41, 43, 46, 54

    "    "  Martin, Abbey of,             154

    "    "  Mary,              41, 43, 46, 54

    "   Rue de la Jambe de Bois,           21

    "   Sand, Georges,                     57

    "   Temple of Appollo,         21, 32, 34

    "     "    "  Janus,       12, 16, 22, 24

    "   Theatre (Roman),            35-37, 39

    "   Tour des Ursulines,                29

    "   Voie d'Agrippa,                21, 36

  Auvergne, Mountains of,              10, 13

  Auxerre,                                184

  Auxey-le-Grand,                    240, 246

  Avignon,                                136


  Babuti, Mdlle. (Mme Greuze),            169

  Bagaudes, The,                          250

  Baleuse, Julian de,                      91

  Balme, Monastery of,                     64

  Bar, Tour de, Dijon,                    215

   "   Duc de,                            213

  Batonard, Citizen,                       85

  Baufremont, Jeanne de,                  242

      "       Pierre de,                  242

  Beauchamp, Guillaume de,                 53

  Beaune, Vicomte de,                    112;
          Castle of,                      208

     "    Maison du Colombier,           230;
            Flemish Belfry,              232;
            Hospice de la Charité,       232;
            Notre Dame,                  232;
            Hotel Dieu,               233-236

  Bees, Albéric's Dream of,               177

  Belfry of Beaune,                       232

  Belle Pierre, Cluny,                     94

  Berecynthia, Cybele,                     50

  Bernard (see St. Bernard)

  Bernon, Abbot of Gigny,                  61

  Berri, Jean, Duke of,              196, 199

  Bertille,                           137-144

  Bertrand, Maréchal,                      56

  Besançon,                                24

  Beuvray,            2, 4-10, 13, 15, 16, 53

  Berzé-le-Châtel,                    103-106

  Béziers,                                123

  Bibracte, Oppidum (see Beuvray),          5

     "      Goddess,                        6

  Blanche de Castille (Queen),       103, 123

  Bligny-sur-Ouche,                  178, 179

  Boniface VIII., Pope,                    89

  Bouilland,                              237

  Boulogne,                                24

  Bouillon, Cardinal de,                   98

  Bourbon, Jean de,                88, 89, 91

     "     l'Archambaud,                   24

     "     Marguerite de,                 285

  Bourg-en-Bresse,                   276, 277

  Bourgogne, Canal de,                    215

     "       Marie de,                    250

  Bouxaise, Valley of the,                237

  Brasey, Guillaume de,                    53

  Brayer, General,                         56

  Bresse, Pays de,              276, 277, 283

  Broederlam, Melchior,                   204

  Brou, Eglise de,               204, 277-292

  Brunehault, Queen,                       54

  Bugey,                                  283

  Buligneville, Battle of,                213

  Bulliot,                       6, 9, 16, 53

  Burgundian Dreams of Empire,  205, 206, 208

      "      Patois,                 270, 271

      "      Sculpture, 44, 45, 49, 191, 192,
                                194, 204, 212

      "      Wedding,                 266-270

  Busseul-Saint Sernin, Marguerite de,    263


  Cæsar, Julius,           5, 10, 13, 14, 250

  Canal de Bourgogne,                215, 216

  Canossa,                                 67

  Capitals, Cluny Abbey,                  93;
    Autun Cathedral,                       49

  Carignan, Château de,              282, 283

  Carnot,                                 240

  Caves Joyaux,                            34

  Célestins, Church of the,               199

  Cezenat,                                277

  Challant, Jacques de,
      Seigneur de Manille,           219, 220

  Chalonnais,                             137

  Chalon-Sur-Saône,       136, 137, 153, 158;
         "          Cathedral of,         158

  Champeux,                               146

  Champs des Urnes, Autun,                 20

  Chandios, Pierre de,                154-158

  Chapelle Bourbon, Cluny,             87, 88

  Charlemagne, Tree of,         210, 217, 220

  Charles V. of France,         185, 186, 188

  Charles VI. of France,             89, 185;
    madness of,                      188, 201

  Charles VII. of France,            91, 105;
    as Dauphin,                      201, 202

  Charles VIII. of France,                20;
    at Autun,                     56, 94, 281

  Charles le Téméraire,         53, 203, 205;
    death of,                    206-208, 280

  Charles the Simple,                      61

  Charmeur de Vipères,               134, 135

  Charney, Lord of,   156, 217, 219, 220, 242

  Charolles,                              135

  Charolois, Count Charles of,            153

  Chartreuse de Champnol,            189, 191

  Chastelux, Pierre de,                    88

  Château-neuf,                           246

  Châtigny, Forest of,                    166

  Châtillon-sur-Seine,               111, 115

  Childebert,                             137

  Chilperic,                              137

  Cicero,                              13, 14

  Circateurs,                              79

  Cistercian Architecture,           120, 145

      "      Order and Rule,    111, 112, 113

      "      Sites,                       113

      "      to-day,   124-126, 177, 184, 204

  Citeaux,                       59, 111-126;

     "     Foundation of,                 112

  Clairvaux,                    111, 117, 125

  Claude de France,                        20

  Claude de Guise,                         94

  Claudius, Emperor,                      250

  Claus Sluter (see Sluter)

    "   de Werve,                    190, 191

  Clermain, village of,               63, 110

  Clotaire,                            11, 54

  Clous, Valley of the,                   240

  Cluny,       26, 59-110, 111, 120, 127, 184

    "    Eglise Notre Dame,                97

    "       "   St.  Marcel,           97, 99

    "    Hôtel Dieu

    "      "   de Bourgogne, 60, 88, 100, 101

    "      "   des Monnaies,               97

    "      "   de Ville,                   94

    "    Impressions of,           59, 60, 99

    "    Women of,                    99, 100

  Cluny Abbey,                             75

    "     "    Abélard at,                152

    "     "    Arms of,                    91

    "     "    Basilica, Interior of,      74

    "     "    Boar, Legend of the,        65

    "     "    Capitals,                   93

    "     "    Chapelle Bourbon,           87

    "     "    Consecration by
                   Innocent II.,           70

    "     "    Crumbs, Legend of the,      64

    "     "    Description,             71-73

    "     "    Dream of,                  102

    "     "    Exterior,               75, 76

    "     "    Foundation,         60, 61, 63

    "     "    Gateway,                    89

    "     "    Hugues, Death of St.,       82

    "     "    Luxury,                     84

    "     "    Monastic Revival,       65, 66

    "     "    Monks Vision,               69

    "     "     "    Purpose of,           73

    "     "    Palace of Pope Gélase,      86

    "     "    Palais Abbatial,            89

    "     "    Pascal II. at,              70

    "     "    Raoul Glaber at,           163

    "     "    Revolution,                 85

    "     "    Romanesque Houses,          95

    "     "    Rule of,                 76-82

    "     "    Tour de l'Eau Bénite,       89

    "     "       "    l'Horloge,          87

  Colonna, Jean Baptiste,                 207

  Conrad, Maitre,                    285, 286

  Constantine,                     21, 28, 32

    "          Emperor of Byzantium,      242

  Constantius Chlorus,                     32

  Correggio,                               99

  Cosse (Broom-pod) Order of,             185

  Costumes of 15th century,          185, 186

  Côte-d'Or,      216, 230-257, 240, 248, 253

  Couhard, Pierre de,           16, 18, 20-22

  Courtépée,                              249

  Courtrai,                               212

  Creux du Diable,                   221, 222

    "       "      Legend of,         222-229

  Cross of St. Andrew (Burgundian Badge), 200

  Croix de Rebout,                          5

  Crumbs, Legend of,                       64

  Cussy,                              248-250

    "    la Colonne,                  248-250

  Cybele (Berecynthia),                    50


  Damien, Pierre,                      80, 89

  Dame des Pleurs, Tournament of,     153-158

  Dance des Morts,                        186

  Déchelette,                              27

  De la Monnoye,                          260

  Delmace,                                 66

  Devil's Pit,                       221, 222

    "        " Legend of,             222-229

  Diana,                                   50

  Digoin,                                 135

  Dijon,                          21, 184-220

    "   As it was in the 14th century,    184

    "   Asile des Aliénées,               189

    "   Bar, Tour de,                     189

    "   Castle of,                        205

    "   Chartreuse de Champnol,           189

    "   Louis 11th, Entry of,             208

    "   Musée,                        203-205

    "   Murder of Duc d'Orléans,      196-199

    "   Notre Dame, Church of, 204, 210, 212,
                                220, 242, 244

    "   Palais de Justice,      204, 210, 215

    "   Palais des Ducs,             213, 244

    "   Post Office,                 205, 209

    "   Prisons of,                       173

    "   Puits des Prophètes,         189, 190

    "   St. Michel, Church of,       204, 210

    "   Tomb of Jean Sans Peur,      192, 194

    "     "     Philippe le Hardi    191, 192

    "   To-day,                       209-215

  Divitiacus,                  13, 14, 31, 34

  Druids,                                  13

  Dumnorix,                            14, 15


  Edward I. (King of England),            158

  Edward IV.   "        ",                186

  Eglise de Brou (see Brou)

  "Eho" (Folk Song),                  258-262

  Epinac,                                  58

  Eringarde,                              111

  Etzebon,                                 71

  Eudes I., Duke of Burgundy,             115

  Eudes II., Duke of Burgundy,             42

  Eudes III., Duke of Burgundy,           123

  Eugène III., Pope,            117, 118, 122

  Eumenes,                 26, 28, 32, 33, 34


  Famine in France,                   165-168

  Faurtride, Abbot of Clairvaux,          118

  Ferdinand, King of Spain,               281

  Fertiault, François,          260, 262, 271

  Fête des Trépassés,                     244

  First of March,                         264

  Folk Song,                          258-262

  Fontaine-les-Dijon,                115, 216

  Fontaine St. Vulbas,                    283

  Fontenay (M. De),    22, 24, 26, 27, 34, 36

  Fountain of the Pelican, Autun,      51, 52

  Forêt au Maitre,                        237

  François I.,      20, 21, 54, 129, 288, 291

  Froissart,                              212

  Froissy,                                179

  Fulbert, Canon,                     147-149


  Gabriel de Roquette,                     36

  Gamay, Wine,                            247

  Gaul,                      6, 9, 10, 14, 15

  Gaulish Coins,                           16

  Gaulish Remains,                          6

  Gélase II., Pope,                74, 86, 89

  Gemeaux,                                228

  Geneva, Canton of,                      271

  Geoffrey (St. Bernard's Secretary),     118

    "      de Berze,                      104

  Geraldus,                            43, 44

  Gérard (Brother of St. Bernard),        116

  Gisilbertus,                             46

  Glaber, Raoul,                      163-167

    "     History of his Time,            164

  Gloze d'Ezéchiel,                       147

  Golden Fleece (Toison d'Or),       156-158,
                                     244, 246

  Gontran (King of Burgundy),    137, 140-144

  Gorrevod, Laurant de,                   282

  Goujon, Jean,                            51

  Goux, Pierre de,                        155

  Grandson, Battle of,                53, 206

  Grancy, Château de,                     116

  Gregory of Tours,                   54, 143

    "     VII. (Pope Hildebrand),       67-69

  Greuze,                         99, 167-169

  Guigonnes de Salins,               234, 236

  Guillain, Nicolas,                       49

  Guillaume de St. Bénigne,               164

  Guillaume de Vaudray,                   220

    "      Lord of Marigny,           174-176

  Guise, Claude de,                   94, 106


  Hamerton, P. G.,          9, 10, 27, 42, 55

  Harding, Stephen,              112-114, 178

  Héliodore de Thiard de Bissy,           263

  Héloïse,                           146-153;
    meets Abélard,                       147;
    marriage,                       148, 149;
    at Paraclet,                    150, 151;
    death of,                             153

  Helvetii,                           14, 250

  Henry I. (King of England),              71

    "   IV. (King of France),        106, 263

    "   IV. (King of the Germans),     67, 68

    "   V. (King of the Germans),          86

    "   VII. (King of England),           288

  Heraclicus,                              50

  Hercules, Maximian,                     250

  Hildebrand de Mans,                      75

    "    Pope Gregory VII.,        67, 68, 89

  Holy Tear,                              175

  Hospice de la Charité, Beaune,          232

  Hotel Chrétien, Arnay-le-Duc,           183

    "   des Ambassadeurs,
            Maison Richard, Dijon,        213

    "   de Bourgogne, Cluny,           60, 68

    "   de Cluny, Paris,                   91

    "   Dieu, Beaune,                 232-236

    "   Dieu, Cluny,                   97, 98

    "   Rolin, Autun,                      51

    "   St. Louis, Autun,                  51

  Huerta, Jean de la,                     191

  Hugues, Abbot of St. Martin, Autun,      61

    "     Abbot of Cluny,          66-70, 74,
                                   80, 82, 91

    "     II. Abbot of Cluny,              83

    "     II. Duke of Burgundy,           115

    "     III.  "      ",                  45

    "     IV.   "      ",                 122

    "     le Pacifique, Duke of Burgundy, 175

    "     de Mâcon,                       117

    "     Sambin,                    204, 210

  Huguenots,                              105

  Humbert de Bage,                         42

  Huns,                         137, 144, 160


  Ingres,                              49, 50

  Innocent II., Pope,             42, 71, 119

    "      III., Pope,                68, 123

    "      IV.,  " ,                       89

  Isabella, Queen of Spain,               281

  Isabeau de Bavière, Queen,              196

  Is-sur-Tille,                           229


  Jaquemart, Clock,                       212

  Jacques d'Amboisè,                   88, 94

    "  de Baerze,                         203

  Janus, Temple of (See Autun)

  Jayet, Pierre,                          129

  Jean de la Huerta,                      191

    "  de Bourbon,                     88, 89

    "  de Marville,                       191

    "  Petit,                             199

    "  sans Peur, Tomb of,          192, 194;
    character,       194, 195, 198, 199, 201;
    murder of,                       202, 204

  Jeannin, Pierre,                         49

  Jeanniot, G.H.P.,                       205

  John VIII., Pope,                       146

  Josephine, Empress,                      56

  Juan, Prince of Castille,               281

  Judith Chalonnaise, La (Bertille),  137-144


  Labussière, Abbey of,               173-178

       "      Church,                     178

  La Cluse,                          272, 273

  La Ferté, Abbey of,                117, 125

  Lalain, Jaques de,                  154-158

  La Marche, Olivier de,            153, 207,
                                218, 219, 234

    "   "    Anthony de,                  156

  Lamartine (de Prat),                107-110

  Lancaster, Duke of,                     185

  Langue d'Oc,                            271

  Langue d'Oil,                           271

  Laurel, Fixing and Song of,         268-270

  Lemaire, Jean,                          281

  Lempereur,                              249

  Leo XIII., Pope,                        125

  Les Carmes, Church of,                  155

  Lichfield Cathedral, Spire of,           44

  Ligueurs,                               263

  Loire, Valley of,                        10

  Lois von Boghen,                   285, 286

  Louée, la,                                1

  Louis VII., of France,         42, 122, 152

    "   IX.     ",               89, 122, 123

    "   XI.     ",   194, 205, 206, 208, 233,
                           236, 263, 280, 281

    "   XIV.    ",                         98

    "   d'Orléans, murder of,         196-199

    "   le Gros,                          122

  Louise de Savoie,                        20

  Lourdon, Château de,               106, 107

  Ludwige,                 137, 138, 142, 144

  Lusigny,                           248, 249

  Lux, Village of,                   221, 222


  Mâcon,               63, 104, 135, 171, 172

  Maeniana,                                33

  Magdeleine of Rochester,                288

  Maison de Bois, Chalon-sur-Saône,       158

    "    Colombier, Beaune,               230

    "    des Caryatids, Dijon,            213

    "    Milsand, Dijon,                  213

    "    Notre Dame, Paris,          196, 198

    "    des Pompons,                     129

    "    Richard, Dijon,                  213

  Mahomet II., Sultan,                    242

  Maitre, Foret au,                       237

  Malines,                                289

  Malvaux, Gorge of,                        6

  Mandelot,                               253

  Manoir des Ducs de Bourgogne,
      Arnay-le-Duc,                       182

  Marbres, Les, Autun,                     28

  "March, First of",                      264

  Marcilly, Etang de,                     229

  Marcus Aurelius,                         50

  Maréchal de Rieux,                      196

  Marguerite d'Autriche,             280-292;
    Devices of,                          285;
    closing years of,                    286;
    death of,                             288

  Marguerite de Bourbon,                  285

    "        de Busseul-Saint-Sernin,     263

    "        de Flandres,                 190

    "        Ste. Abbey and Legend of,
                                      237-240

  Marigny, Château de,                    174

  Marie de Bourgogne,                     280

  Martha (see St. Martha)

  Martial d'Auvergne,                188, 189

  Martin of Autun,                     43, 48

  Marville, Jean de,                      191

  Mary (see St. Mary)

  Mathilde Duhesme,                       247

    "      Lady of Marigny,               175

  Matthew Arnold's "Church of Brou",      286

    "     Bishop, of Westminster,          68

  Mavilly,                      248, 253, 255

  Maximilian d'Autriche,                  280

      "      of Italy,                    291

  Melchior Broederlam,                    204

  Melin,                                  240

  Melun,                                  164

  Mendes, Catulle,                        260

  Meursault,                              240

  Michael Angelo,                         190

  Milly, Comte de,                   103, 106

  Milly, Village of,                      107

  Mirebeau, Lord of,                      156

  Molême, Forest and Abbey of,       111, 112

  Monnoye, De la,                         260

  Montagne Ste.  Gêneviève, Abélard at,   146

  Montbard, Counts of,                    115

  Mont Beuvray (see Beuvray)

  Montceau,                               249

  Montécut,                               288

  Montégut, Emile,       31, 49, 99, 123, 129

  Montereau,                             191;
    Murder at Bridge of,                  202

  Montfauçon,                             249

  Monthelon,                               10

  Montjeu, Chateau de,                     47

  Montlhéri, Battle of,                   206

  Morat, Battle of,                       206

  Morée, Prince de
      (Alexandre de Bourgogne),           242

  Morimond,                          117, 125

  Morvan,                                   2

  Moses, Well of,                         100

  Motte Forte, Tour de la, Arnay-le-Duc,  180

  Musée Lapidaire, Autun,           43, 53-55

    "   Municipal, Autun,                  55


  Namours, Duc de,                        105

  Nancy, Siege and Battle of,        206, 207

  Nantoux, Valley and Gorge of, 248, 252, 253

  Nantua,                            272-275;
    Church of,                            275

  Napoleon Buonaparte,            56, 57, 169

  Narthex, Purpose of,                     73

    "   of St. Philibert, Tournus,   160, 161

  Nicolas Rolin,             44, 53, 233, 236

    "     V., Pope,                       242

  "Noce d'autrefois en Bourgogne",    266-270

  Nogent,                                 150

  Noirmoutiers, Monastery of,             162

  Notre Dame, Beaune,                     232

    "         Cluny,                       97

    "         Dijon,           204, 210, 212,
                                220, 242, 244

  Nuits,                             217, 218


  Odilon, Abbot of Cluny,      65-67, 74, 163

  Odon,                               64, 74;
    Legend of the Crumbs,                  64

  Olivier de la Marche (see La Marche)

  Orbandale,                              137

  Otellot, Wine,                          247

  Ouche, Valley of the,     172-183, 215, 216


  Palace of Pope Gélase,                   86

    "    "  the Dukes, Dijon,             213

  Palais Abbatial, Cluny,                  89

    "    de Justice, Dijon,          204, 215

  Palermo,                                 67

  Pallet, Seigneur de,                    146

    "     Bourg du,                       148

  Papillon, Canon,                        236

  Paraclet,                     150, 151, 153

  Paradin, Chronicler of Savoy,           291

  Paray-le-Monial,                   127-135;
    Hotel de Ville,                      129;
    church,                           129-134

  Pascal II., Pope,                        70

  Paris, Massacre of the Armagnacs,      200;
    famine,                               201

  Patois, Burgundian,                270, 271

  Perrault-Dabot,                         271

  Petit, Jean,                            199

  Philibert le Beau, Duke of Savoy,  281-284;
    death of,                            284;
    tomb,                                 290

  Philintus,                              146

  Philippe le Bon,
      Duke of Burgundy,        191, 203, 206,
                                218, 234, 244

    "  de Rouvre (see Philippe le Hardi)

    "  le Bel,                             89

    "  le Hardi,  136, 184-190, 204, 212, 217

    "  III., King of France,              158

    "  Pot,                      210, 240-246

  Pierre Damien,                       80, 89

    "    de Chastellux,                    88

    "    de Chandios,                 154-158

    "    de Couhard, La,        16, 18, 29-32

    "    de la Wivre, La,                6, 8

    "    le Vénérable,           75, 79, 111,
                           117, 120, 146, 152

    "    Jayet,                           129

    "    Salvee, La,                        9

    "    de Vasco,                        153

  Pinot, Wine,                            147

  Pius VII., Pope,                        146

  Planoise, Forest of,                     20

  Pleurants,                    191, 192, 194

  Plombières,                        215, 216

  Pochouse, La (national dish),           266

  Poillot, Denis,                          54

  Poirer aux Chiens,                        4

  Pommard,                                252

  Pons, Abbot of Cluny,                    75

  Pont d'Ain, Château de,            283, 284

  Pontigny, Abbey of,                117, 125

  Porcheresse, Château de,                 20

  Porch of Cathedral, Autun,           44, 45

  Porte d'Arroux,          24, 26, 27, 29, 47

    "   des Marbres,                   21, 28

    "   de Rome (See Porte des Marbres)

    "   St. Andoche,               24, 28, 29

    "   St. André,                     24, 27

  Post Office, Dijon,                205, 209

  Pot, Philippe (see Philippe Pot)

    "  René,                              242

  Prat family (Lamartine),                107

  Prudhon,                            99, 168

  Puits des Prophètes, Dijon,             189


  Raoul Glaber,                       163-167

  Richelieu,                              106

  Rieux, Maréchal de,                    196;
    Hotel de,                             198

  Renée (Duc d'Anjou, Duc de Bar,
      "Good King Renée"),                 213

  René (Duke of Lorraine),                207

  Revonnat,                               277

  Robert I., Abbot of Cluny,               73

  Robert, Abbot of Molême (see St. Robert)

  Rochepot, Castle of,                240-243

  Rolin, Cardinal,                     44, 53

    "    Hotel,                         51-53

    "    Nicolas,            44, 53, 233, 236

  Roman Buildings (see Autun)

    "   Column (see Cussy la Colonne)

  Romanesque Houses, Cluny,                95

  Rouvres,                      123, 124, 217

  Rude,                                   205


  Sacré Cœur, Cult of,                    127

  Sainte Larme, Fontaine de,              176

    "        "  (Holy Tear),         175, 176

  Saint Agricole,                    145, 165

    "   Albéric,                          113

    "   Antony, Temptation of,            204

    "   Bénigne de Dijon, Abbey of, 163, 184;
    Cathedral,                       208, 209

    "     "    Missionary,                255

    "   Benedict, Rule of,              76-82

    "   Bernard,      83, 115, 150, 152, 216;
          takes the Cowl,                114;
          Legend of his birth,           115;
          His Austerities,               116;
          Appointed Abbot of Clairvaux,  117;
          His Character,                 118;
          Correspondence with Pierre
              le Vénérable,          120-122;
          Cup of,                        204;
          Home of,                   216, 217

  Saint Catherine, Martyrdom of,     203, 204

    "   Cécile,                            63

    "   Denis, Abbey of,             149, 150

    "   Germain d'Auxerre, Abbey of,      163

    "   Gildas, Abbey of,                 150

    "   Hubert, Confraternity of,           4

    "   Lazare, and Cathedral of (see Autun)

    "   Leger-sous-Beuvray,            1-4, 8

    "   Louis (see Louis IX.)

    "   Loup, Village of,                 258

    "   Marcel de Chalon,      137, 140, 142,
                                145, 146, 152

    "   Marcel, Eglise de, Cluny,          97

    "   Marguerite, Abbey and
            Legend of,                237-240

    "   Martha,                41, 42, 43, 54

    "   Martial Chapel of, Cluny,          88

    "   Martin, Abbey of, Autun,    54, 6, 9,
                                      255-257

    "      "    Count of,                 219

    "      "    de Tours, Tomb of,        208

    "      "    Legend of,            255-257

    "      "    Saut de,                  253

    "      "    Puits de,             252-255

    "  Mayeul, Abbot of Cluny,             74

    "  Mary,                   41, 43, 46, 54

    "  Michael, Church of, Dijon,    204, 210

    "  Nicholas, Church of, Paray,        129

    "  Odilon (see Odilon)

    "  Pierre, Mâcon,                     172

    "  Philibert, Tournus,           160-162;
                                   Dijon, 185

    "  Point, Chateau and Village of, 107-110

    "    "    Church,                     108

    "    "    Guillaume de,               109

    "  Rémy, Provence,                    110

    "  Robert,                      111, 112;
         Cross of,                        204

    "  Stephen, Stoning of,              232;
         Chapel of, Cluny,                 88

    "  Symphorien,                      49-51

    "  Valérien,                          161

    "  Victor, Village of,                174

  Saint Vincent, Mâcon,                   172

    "      "     Cathedral of,
                     Chalon-Sur-Saône,    158

    "   Vulbas, Fontaine de,              283

  Salamanca,                              281

  Salernes, Jean de,                       64

  Sambin, Hugues,                    204, 210

  Sand, Georges,                           57

  Sandon, Lord of (Anthony de la Marche), 156

  Sarcy, Guillaume de,                    155

  Savigny,                                237

  Scheffer,                               262

  Sens, Council of,                       152

  Seyl, Lord of,                          156

  Sluter, Claus,                 192-194, 246

  "Snake-Skin" tiling,                    210

  Soissons, Council of,                   149

  Suran, The,                             272


  Tacitus,                         13, 32, 35

  Talant,                                 216

  Tanneguy du Chatel,                     202

  Tavannes, Vicomte de,                   263

  Tebsima-Ben-Beka,                   174-177

  Tebsima, Legend of,                 174-177

  Teillage (Autumn Fête),                 265

  Tescelin le Roux,                  115, 117

  Tetricus,                        21, 28, 32

  Theatre of Ephesus,                      36

    "     "  Roman (see Autun)

    "     "  Smyrna,                       36

  Thermes, Palais des, Paris,              88

  Thomas, Eden,                            36

  Touleur,                                  8

  Toulongeon, the Herald,                 154

    "         Tristan de,                 155

    "         Claude,                     155

  Tour des Fromages

    "  de l'Eau Bénite, Cluny,    87, 99, 100

    "  de la Gênetoie,                     24

    "  de l'Horloge, Cluny,                87

    "  du Logis du Roi (Tour de la
           Terrasse) Dijon,          204, 213

  Tour du Moulin, Cluny,                   88

    "  des Ursulines,                      29

  Tournament of La Dame des Pleurs,   153-158

    "        "  the Tree of Charlemagne,  217

  Tournoi (see Tournament)

  Tournus,                        99, 160-171

  Tramaye,                                110

  Trempée, La,                            268

  Tres Valles (Three Valleys),            177


  Udalric,                             77, 80


  Vallée d'Absinthe,                      152

  Valois, Duke of House of,              185;
    Madness of,                      203, 205

  Van Boghen, Lois de,               285, 286

    " der Weyden, Roger,        100, 234, 236

    " Hemerren,                           203

  Varennes, Bernard de,                    82

  Vauchignon,                              82

  Vaudrey, Guillaume de,                  220

  Velours, Forest of,                     221

  Vercingetorix,                           15

  Verdun-sur-le-Doubs,           258, 262-264

    "    Seigneurs de,                    263

  Vergy, Castle of,                       238

    "    Maid of (see Marguerite)

  Verrière, La,                            10

  Vesentio, Road of,                       36

  Vespasian,                               18

  Vézeley,                             42, 45

  Vienne, Sieurs de,                      263

  Violet-le-Duc,    22, 24, 27, 131, 161, 234

  Vitruvius,                               16

  Voltaire,                                47

  Vulfrand,                 137, 138, 142-144


  Well of St. Martin,                 252-255

  Well of the Prophets

  Werve, Claus de,                   190, 191

  William I., of England,                  89

  Wines, qualities of,                    247

  Wivern,                                   9


                          NEWPORT, SALOP:
              BENNION, HORNE AND CO., LTD., PRINTERS.



Transcriber's notes:

--Different spelling of Citeaux and Cit-eaux results from usage in
  text.
--Chalon-Sur-Saône (city) is different from Chalon and Châlon. No
  further change to spelling.
--Other differences in spelling like Hotel/Hôtel remain in text as
  intended by the author. Many of those result from usage of English
  AND French texts.
--Caret character ^ used for superscripts





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