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.
of the natives of this part of the town are fishermen, and not less effectually distinguished from the citizens of Dieppe by their name of Poltese, taken from their place of residence, than by the difference in their dress and language, the simplicity of their manners, and the narrow extent of their acquirements.  To the present hour they continue to preserve the same costume as in the XVIth century; wearing trowsers covered with wide short petticoats, which open in the middle to afford room for the legs to move, and woollen waistcoats laced in the front with ribands, and tucked below into the waistband of their trowsers.  Over these waistcoats is a close coat, without buttons or fastenings of any kind, which falls so low as to hide their petticoats and extend a foot or more beyond them.  These articles of apparel are usually of cloth or serge of a uniform color, and either red or blue; for they interdict every other variation, except that all the seams of their dress are faced with white silk galloon, full an inch in width.  To complete the whole, instead of hats, they have on their heads caps of velvet or colored cloth, forming a tout-ensemble of attire, which is evidently ancient, but far from unpicturesque or displeasing.  Thus clad, the Poltese, though in the midst of the kingdom, have the appearance of a distinct and foreign colony; whilst, occupied incessantly in fishing, they have remained equally strangers to the civilization and politeness, which the progress of letters during the last two centuries has diffused over France.  Nay, scarcely are they acquainted with four hundred words of the French language; and these they pronounce with an idiom exclusively their own, adding to each an oath, by way of epithet; a habit so inveterate with them, that even at confession, at the moment of seeking absolution for the practice, it is no uncommon thing with them to swear they will be guilty of it no more.  To balance, however, this defect, their morals are uncorrupted, their fidelity is exemplary, and they are laborious and charitable, and zealous for the honor of their country, in whose cause they often bleed, as well as for their priests, in defence of whom they once threatened to throw the Archbishop of Rouen into the river, and were well nigh executing their threats.”


[1] The chalk in the cliff, in the immediate vicinity of Dieppe, is divided at intervals of about two feet each by narrow strata of flint, generally horizontal, and composed in some cases of separate nodules, which are not uncommonly split, in others of a continuous compressed mass, about two or three inches thick and of very uncertain extent, but the strata are not regular.

[2] Goube Histoire de Normandie, III. p. 188.—­In Cadet Gassicourt Lettres sur Normandie, I. p. 68, the story of Bouzard is given still more at length.

[3] Histoire de Dieppe, II. p. 56.

[Illustration:  Entrance to the Castle at Dieppe]

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