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.
are materially altered in this respect since 1814, when I remember that, in going through Calais by the way of the Low Countries to Paris, and returning by the direct road to Boullogne, the whole journey was made without seeing a single new house erecting in a space of four hundred miles.  This is now far from being the case; there is every where an appearance of comparative prosperity, and, were it not for the coins, of which the copper bear the impress of the republic, and the gold and silver chiefly that of Napoleon, a stranger would meet with but few visible marks of the changes experienced in late years by the government of France.  Much has been also done of late towards ornamenting the chateaux, of which there are several about Totes, though in the opinion of an Englishman, much also is yet wanting.  They are principally the residences of Rouen merchants.

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

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

Rouen is now unfortified; its walls, its castles, are level with the ground.  But, if I may borrow the pun of which old Peter Heylin is guilty when, describing Paris, Rouen is still a strong city, “for it taketh you by the nose.”  The filth is extreme; villainous smells overcome you in every quarter, and from every quarter.  The streets are gloomy, narrow, and crooked, and the houses at once mean and lofty.  Even on the quay, where all the activity of commerce is visible, and where the outward signs of opulence might be expected, there

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Account of a Tour in Normandy, Volume 1 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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