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.
to have been “un des plus beaux edifices et des plus admirables de la France.”  A few lines afterwards, however, this ingenuous writer confesses that loaded carriages of any kind were seldom suffered to pass this admirable edifice, in consequence of the expence of repairing it; but that two barges were continually plying for the transport of heavy goods.  The delay between the destruction of the stone bridge, and the erection of the boat bridge, appears to have been occasioned by the desire of the citizens to have a second similar to the first; but this, after repeated deliberations, was at last determined to be impracticable, from the depth and rapidity of the stream.  Napoleon, however, seems to have thought that the task which had been accomplished under the auspices of the Empress Matilda, might be again repeated in the name of the daughter of the Caesars and the wife of the successor of Charlemagne; and he actually caused Maria-Louisa to lay the first stone of a new bridge, at some distance farther to the east, where an island divides the river into two.  This, I am told, will certainly he finished, though at an enormous expence, and though it will occasion great inconvenience to many inhabitants of the quay, whose houses will be rendered useless by the height to which it will be necessary to raise the soil upon the occasion.  My informant added, that, small as is the appearance yet made above water, whole quarries of stone and forests of wood have been already sunk for the purpose.

From the scite of the projected bridge, the view eastward is particularly charming.  The bold hill of St. Catherine presents its steep side of bare chalk, spotted only in a few places with vegetation or cottages, and seems to oppose an impassable barrier; the mixture of country-houses with trees at its base, makes a most pleasing variety; and, still nearer, the noble elms of the boulevards add a character of magnificence possessed by few other cities.  The boulevards of Rouen are rather deficient in the Parisian accompaniments of dancing-dogs and music-grinders, but the sober pedestrian will, perhaps, prefer them to their namesakes in the capital.  Here they are not, as at Paris, in the centre of the town, but they surround it, except upon the quay, with which they unite at each end, and unite most pleasingly; so that, immediately on leaving this brilliant bustling scene, you enter into the gloom of a lofty embowered arcade, resembling in appearance, as well as in effect, the public walks at Cambridge, except that the addition of females in the fanciful Norman costume, and of the Seine, and the fine prospect beyond, and Mont St. Catherine above, give it a new interest.  On the opposite side of the Seine, the inhabitants of Rouen have another excellent promenade in the grand cours, which, for a considerable space, occupies the bank of the river, turning eastward from the bridge.  Four rows of trees divide it into three separate walks,

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