Account of a Tour in Normandy, Volume 1 eBook

Dawson Turner
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 230 pages of information about Account of a Tour in Normandy, Volume 1.
that they are lost for ever, but leaving others, like hidden treasures, buried near the surface of the soil, whence accident and labor are daily bringing them to light.  The descendants of Walter Giffard are repeatedly mentioned as persons of importance in the early Norman writers; nor are they less illustrious in England, where the great family of Clare sprung from one of the daughters; while another, by her marriage with Richard Granville, gave birth to the various noble families of that name, of which the present Marquis of Buckingham is the chief.

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

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

I believe it is always expected, that a traveller in France should say something respecting the general aspect of the country and its agriculture.  I shall content myself with remarking, that this part of Normandy is marvellously like the country which the Conqueror conquered.  When the weather is dull, the Normans have a sober English sky, abounding in Indian ink and neutral tint.  And when the weather is fine, they have a sun which is not a ray brighter than an English sun.  The hedges and ditches wear a familiar livery, and the land which is fully cultivated repays the toil of the husbandman with some of the most luxuriant crops of wheat I ever saw.  Barley and oats are not equally good, perhaps from the stiffness of the soil, which is principally of chalk; but flax is abundant and luxuriant.  The surface of the ground is undulated, and sufficiently so to make a pleasing alternation of hill and dale; hence it is agreeably varied, though the hills never rise to such a height as to be an obstacle to agriculture.  There is some difficulty in conjecturing where the people by whom the whole is kept in cultivation are housed; for the number of houses by the road-side is inconsiderable; nor did we, for the first two-thirds of the ride, pass through a single village, excepting Totes, which lies mid-way between Dieppe, and Rouen, and is of no great extent.  Yet things in France

Project Gutenberg
Account of a Tour in Normandy, Volume 1 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook