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.

   “Seditione, dolis, scelere, atque libidine, et ira,
    Iliacos extra muros peccatur et intra.”

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[Footnote 80:  Engravings of the same tiles, and of some others, chiefly with fanciful patterns, are to be found in the Gentleman’s Magazine for March 1789, LIX. p. 211, plates 2, 3.  The subjects of the latter plate are those tiles which were hung in a gilt frame, on the walls of the cloister of the abbey, with an inscription, denoting whence they were taken.]

[Footnote 81:  Monumens de la Monarchie Francaise, I. p. 402, t. 55.]



(Bayeux, August, 1818.)

Letters just received from England oblige us to change our course entirely:  their contents are of such a nature, that we could not prolong our journey with comfort or satisfaction.  We must return to England; and, instead of regretting the objects which we have lost, we must rejoice that we have seen so much, and especially that we have been able to visit the cathedral and tapestry of Bayeux.

At the same time, I will not deny that we certainly could have wished to have explored the vicinity of Caen, where an ample harvest of subjects, both for the pen and pencil, is to be gathered; but the circumstances that control us would not even allow of a pilgrimage to the shrine of our Lady of la Delivrande, on the border of the English Channel, or of an excursion to the village of Vieux, in the opposite direction.—­Antiquaries have been divided in opinion, concerning the nature and character of the buildings which anciently occupied the site of this village.—­The remains of a Roman aqueduct are still to be seen there, and the foundations of ancient edifices are distinctly to be traced.  In the course of the last century, a gymnasium was likewise discovered, of great size, constructed according to the rules laid down by Vitruvius, and a hypocaust, connected with a fine stone basin, twelve feet in diameter, surrounded by three rows of seats.  Abundance of medals of the upper empire, among others, of Crispina, wife to Commodus, and Latin inscriptions and sarcophagi, are frequently dug up among its ruins[82].  Hence, a belief has commonly prevailed that during the Roman dominion in Gaul, Vieux was a city, and that Caen, which is only six miles distant, arose from its ruins.  This opinion was strenuously combated by Huet; yet it subsequently found a new advocate in the Abbe Le Beuf[83].  The bishop contends that the extent of the buildings rather denotes the ruins of a fortified camp, than of a city; and he therefore considers it most probable, that Vieux was the site of an encampment, raised near the Orne, for the purpose of defending the passage of the river, at the point

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