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.
know that such gratifications bestowed upon the living are seldom thrown away.  We rarely give them but to the dead.  Capt.  Manby, to whom above one hundred and thirty shipwrecked mariners are even now indebted for their existence, and whose invention will probably be the means of preservation to thousands, is allowed to live in comparative obscurity; while in France, a mere pilot, for having saved the lives of only eight individuals, had a residence built for him at the public expence, received an immediate gratification of one thousand francs, enjoyed a pension during his life, and, with his name and his exploits, now occupies a conspicuous place in the history of the duchy.

Within the piers, the harbor widens into a stone basin, capable of holding two hundred vessels, and full of water at the flow of the tide; but at the ebb exhibiting little more than a sheet of mud, with a small stream meandering through it.  Round the harbor is built the town, which contains above twenty thousand inhabitants, and is singularly picturesque, as well from its situation, backed as it is by the steep cliff to the east, which, instead of terminating here abruptly, takes an inland direction, as from the diversity in the forms and materials of the houses of the quay, some of which are of stone, others of grey flint, more of plaster with their timbers uncovered and painted of different colors, but most of brick, not uncommonly ornamented, with roofs as steep as those of the Thuilleries, and full of projecting lucarnes.  This remark, however, applies only to the quay:  in its streets, Dieppe is conspicuous among French towns for the uniformity of its buildings.  After the bombardment in 1694, when the English, foiled near Brest, wreaked their vengeance upon Dieppe, and reduced the whole to ashes, the town was rebuilt on a regular plan, agreeably to a royal ordinance.  Hence this is commonly regarded as one of the handsomest places in France, and you will find it mentioned as such by most authors; but the unfortunate architect who was employed in rebuilding it, got no other reward than general complaints and the nickname of M. Gateville.  The inconveniences arising from the arrangements of the houses which he erected must have been serious; for we find that sixty years afterwards an order of council was procured, allowing the inhabitants to make some alterations that they considered most essential to their comfort.  Upon the quay there is occasionally somewhat of the activity of commerce; but elsewhere it is as I have observed before, as well with the people as the buildings.  As far as the houses are concerned, a little care and paint would remove their squalid aspect:  to an English eye it is singularly offensive; but it cannot possibly be so to the French, among whom it seems almost universal.

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