Account of a Tour in Normandy, Volume 2 eBook

Dawson Turner
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 249 pages of information about Account of a Tour in Normandy, Volume 2.
off.—­I suspect it to be the old mandore, whence the more modern mandolin.  The rotundity of the sounding-board may warrant this conjecture.—­No. 6 was called the psalterion, and is of very great antiquity, (I mean as to the middle ages).—­Its form was very diversified, and frequently triangular.  It was played with a plectrum, which the performer holds in his right hand.—­No. 7 is the dulcimer, which is very common in sculpture.  This instrument appears, as in the present case, to have been sometimes played with the fingers only, and sometimes with a plectrum.—­No. 8 is the real vielle, or violin, of very common occurrence, and very ancient.—­No. 9 is a female tumbler, or tomllesterre, as Chaucer calls them.  This profession, so far as we can depend on ancient representation, appears to have exclusively belonged to women.—­No. 10.  A harp played with a plectrum, and, perhaps, also with the left hand occasionally.—­No. 11.  The figure before the suspended bells has had a hammer in each hand with which to strike them, and the opposite, and last, person, who plays in concert with him, has probably had a harp, as is the case in an ancient manuscript psalter illumination that I have, prefixed to the psalm Exaltate Deo.—­I have seen these bells suspended (in illumination to the above psalm) to a very elegant Gothic frame, ascending like the upper part of a modern harp.”]

[Footnote 9:  Gallia Christiana, XI. p. 270.]

[Illustration:  Distant View of the Abbey of St. Jumieges]

LETTER XV.

ABBEY OF JUMIEGES—­ITS HISTORY—­ARCHITECTURAL DETAILS—­TOMBS OF AGNES SOREL AND OF THE ENERVEZ.

(Ducler, July, 1818)

The country between Ducler and Jumieges is of much the same character with that through which we had already travelled from Rouen; the road sometimes coasting the Seine, and sometimes passing through a well-wooded country, pleasantly intermingled with corn-fields.  In its general appearance, this district bears a near resemblance to an English landscape; more so, indeed, than in any other part of Normandy, where the features of the scenery are upon a larger scale.

The lofty towers of the abbey of Jumieges are conspicuous from afar:  the stone of which they are built is peculiarly white; and at a distance scarcely any signs of decay or dilapidation are visible.  On a nearer approach, however, the Vandalism of the modern French appears in full activity.  For the pitiful value of the materials, this noble edifice is doomed to destruction.  The arched roof is beaten in; and the choir is nearly levelled with the ground.  Two cart-loads of wrought stones were carried away, while we were there; and the workmen were busily employed in its demolition.  The greater part, too, of the mischief, appears recent:  the fractures of the

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