Account of a Tour in Normandy, Volume 2 eBook

Dawson Turner
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 302 pages of information about Account of a Tour in Normandy, Volume 2.
Falaise, who was there with him, and begged it from the rioters, and that this bone was longer by four fingers’ breadth than that of a tall man.  The bone thus preserved, was re-interred, after the cessation of the troubles:  it is the same that is alluded to in the inscription, which also informs us that a monument was raised over it in 1642, but was removed in 1742, it being then considered as an incumbrance in the choir.

With this detail I close my letter.  The melancholy end of the Conqueror, the strange occurrences at his interment, the violation of his grave, the dispersion of his remains, and the demolition and final removal of his monument, are circumstances calculated to excite melancholy emotions in the mind of every one, whatever his condition in life.  In all these events, the religious man traces the hand of retributive justice; the philosopher regards the nullity of sublunary grandeur; the historian finds matter for serious reflection; the poet for affecting narrative; the moralist for his tale; and the school-boy for his theme.—­Ordericus Vitalis sums the whole up admirably.  I should spoil his language were I to attempt to translate it; I give it you, therefore, in his own words:—­“Non fictilem tragoediam venundo, non loquaci comoedia cachinnantibus parasitis faveo:  sed studiosis lectoribus varios eventus veraciter intimo.  Inter prospera patuerunt adversa, ut terrerentur terrigenarum corda.  Rex quondam potens et bellicosus, multisque populis per plures Provincias metuendus, in area jacuit nudus, et a suis, quos genuerat vel aluerat, destitutus.  Aere alieno in funebri cultu indiguit, ope gregarii pro sandapila et vespilionibus conducendis eguit, qui tot hactenus et superfluis opibus nimis abundavit.  Secus incendium a formidolosis vectus est ad Basilicam, liberoque solo, qui tot urbibus et oppidis et vicis principatus est, caruit ad sepulturam.  Arvina ventris ejus tot delectamentis enutrita cum dedecore patuit, et prudentes ac infrunitos, qualis sit gloria carnis, edocuit[79].”

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[Footnote 76:  Anglo-Norman Antiquities, p. 45.]

[Footnote 77:  See Cotman’s Architectural Antiquities of Normandy, t. 24-33.]

[Footnote 78:  A detailed account of the proceedings on this occasion, is given in the Journal Politique du Departement du Calvados, for March 21, and May 6, 1819.—­The first attempt at the discovery of Matilda’s coffin, was made in March, 1818, and was confined to the chapter-house:  the matter then slept till the following March, when Count de Montlivault, attended by the Bishop of Bayeux, Mr. Spencer Smythe, and other gentlemen, prosecuted his inquiries within the church itself, and, immediately under the spot where her monument stood, discovered a stone coffin, five feet four inches long, by eleven inches deep, and varying in width from twenty inches

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Account of a Tour in Normandy, Volume 2 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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