“De ceste court
grace est grand chanceliere,
Vertus ont lieu de presidens prudens:
Verite est premiere conseillere,
Et purete huyssiere la-dedans:
La greffiere est virginite feconde,
Et la concierge humilite profonde.
Pythie procure a vuider les discords,
Comme advocat, amour ayde aux accords.
De geolier vacque le seul office:
Aussy on voyt par officiers concors,
La noble court rendante a tous justice.”
In the same style and strain is a ballad, which, thanks to the care of De Bourgueville, the author of the Antiquities of Caen, hath been preserved for the edification of posterity. It enumerates all the members of the court seriatim, and compares their lordships and worships, one after another, to the heroes and demi-gods of ancient story.
The parliament in its turn has given way to the Court of Assizes; and, where the states once deliberated, the electors of the department now come together for the purpose of naming the deputies who represent them in the great council of the nation;—such are the vicissitudes of all human institutions.
When the Jews were expelled from Normandy, in 1181, the Close, or Jewry, in which they dwelled, escheated to the king. The sons of Japhet spoiled the sons of Shem with pious alacrity. The debtor burnt his bond; the bailie seized the store of bezants; the synagogue was razed to the ground. In this Close the palace was afterwards built. The wise custom of Normandy was mooted on the spot where the law of Moses had once been taught; and, by a strange, perhaps an ominous, fatality, the judge held the scales of justice, where whilome the usurer had poised his balance.
The palace forms three sides of a quadrangle. The fourth is occupied by an embattled wall and an elaborate gate-way. The building was erected about the beginning of the sixteenth century; and, with all its faults, it is a fine adaptation of Gothic architecture to civil purposes. It is in the style which a friend of mine chooses to distinguish by the name of Burgundian architecture; and he tells me that he considers it as the parent of our Tudor style. Here, the windows in the body of the building take flattened elliptic heads; and they are divided by one mullion and one transom. The mouldings are highly wrought, and enriched with foliage. The lucarne windows are of a different design, and form the most characteristic feature of the front: they are pointed and enriched with mullions and tracery, and are placed within triple canopies of nearly the same form, flanked by square pillars, terminating in tall crocketed pinnacles, some of them fronted with open arches crowned with statues. The roof, as is usual in French and Flemish buildings of this date, is of a very high pitch, and