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.

About four miles farther on from Caen, we reached Cambre, one of the many seignories which belonged to the very noble family of Mathan.  There was a Serlo de Mathan, who appears as a witness to one of the Conqueror’s charters, and the family is now represented by the present Marquis, who has recovered his chateau, and a fragment of his domain.  Cambre is also the residence of the Abbe de la Rue, by whom the Marquis was educated.  When they both took refuge in England, the Abbe was the only protector of his pupil, who now returns the honorable obligation.  It is well known that the Abbe has devoted his life to the investigation of the antiquities both of Normandy and of the Anglo-Normans.  Possessing in a high degree the acute and critical spirit of research which distinguished the French archaiologists of the Benedictine school, we have only to regret, that the greater part of his works yet remain in manuscript.  His History of Anglo-Norman Poetry, which is quite ready for the press, would be an invaluable accession to our literature; but books of this nature are so little suited to the taste of the French public, that, as yet, he has not ventured upon its publication.  The collections of the Abbe, as may be anticipated, are of great value; they relate almost wholly to the history of the duchy.  The chateau escaped spoliation.  The portraits of the whole line of the Mathans, from the first founder of the race, in his hauberk, down to the last Marquis, in his frisure, are in good preservation; and they are ancient specimens of the sign-post painting usually found in old galleries.  The Marquis has also a finely-illuminated missal, which belonged to a Dame de Mathan, in the fourteenth century, and which has been carefully handed down in the family, from generation to generation.

The church of Douvre, the next village, is rather a picturesque building.  The upper story of the tower has two pointed windows of the earliest date.  A pediment between them rests on the archivolt on either side.  This is frequently seen in buildings in the circular style.  The other stories of the tower, and the west front of the church are Norman; the east end is in ruins.  The British name of the village may afford ground for much ethnigraphical and etymological speculation.

Saint Exuperius is said to have founded the Chapel of La Delivrande, some time in the first century.  The tradition adds, that the chapel was ruined by the Northmen,—­and the statue of the Virgin, which now commands the veneration of the faithful, remained buried until the appointed time of resuscitation, in the reign of Henry Ist, when it was discovered, in conformity to established usage and precedent in most cases of miraculous images, by a lamb.  Baldwin, Count of the Bessin and Baron of Douvre, was owner of the flock to which the lamb belonged.  The Virgin would not remain in the parish church of Douvre, in which she was lodged by the Baron, but she returned

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