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.
to eleven.  Within this coffin was a leaden box, soldered down; and, in addition to the box, the head of an effigy of a monk, in stone, and a portion of a skull-bone filled with aromatic herbs, and covered with a yellowish-white membrane, which proved, upon examination, to be the remains of a linen cloth.  The box contained various bones, that had belonged to a person of nearly the same height as Matilda is described to have been.  No doubt seemed to remain but that the desideratum was discovered.  The whole was therefore carefully replaced; and the prefect ordered that a new tomb should be raised, similar to that which was destroyed at the revolution; and that the slab, with the original epitaph, should be laid on the top; that copies of the former inscription, stating how the queen’s remains had been re-interred by the abbess, in 1707, should be added to two of the sides; that to the third should be affixed the ducal arms of Normandy; and that the fourth should bear the following inscription:—­

   “Ce tombeau renfermant les depouilles mortelles
    de l’illustre Fondatrice de cette Abbaye,
    renverse pendant les discordes civiles,
    et deplace depuis une longue serie d’annees,
    a ete restaure, conformement au voeu des
    amis de la religion, de l’antiquite et des arts,
        1819. 
    Casimir, comte de Montlivault, conseiller d’etat, prefet. 
    Lechaude d’Anisy, directeur de l’Hospice.”

The ceremony of the re-interment was performed with great pomp on the fifth of May; and the Bishop of Bayeux pronounced a speech on the occasion, that does him credit for its good sense and affecting eloquence.]

[Footnote 79:  Hist.  Normannorum Scriptores, p. 662.]

LETTER XXVI.

PALACE OF THE CONQUEROR—­HERALDIC TILES—­PORTRAITS OF WILLIAM AND MATILDA—­MUSEUM—­PUBLIC LIBRARY—­UNIVERSITY—­ACADEMY—­EMINENT MEN—­HISTORY OF CAEN.

(Caen, August, 1818.)

Within the precincts of the abbey of St. Stephen are some buildings, which do not appear to have been used for monastic purposes.  It is supposed that they were erected by William the Conqueror, and they are yet called his palace.  Only sixty years ago, when Ducarel visited Caen, these remains still preserved their original character.

He describes the great guard-chamber and the barons’ hall, as making a noble appearance, and as being perhaps equally worth the notice of an English antiquary as any object within the province of Normandy.  The walls of these rooms are standing, but dilapidated and degraded; and they have lost their architectural character, which, supposing Ducarel’s plate to be a faithful representation, must have been very decisive.  It is scarcely possible to conceive how any man, with such a specimen of the palace before his eyes, could dream of its being coeval with the Norman conquest:  every portion is of the pointed

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