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.
every night to the spot where she was disinterred.  Baldwin therefore understood that it was his duty to erect a chapel for her reception, and he accordingly built that which is now standing, and made a donation of the edifice to the Bishop of Bayeux, whose successor receives the mass-pennies and oblations at this very day.  Some idea of the architecture of the building may be formed from the inclosed sketch of the western front.  During the morning mass, the chapel was crowded with women, young and old, who were singing the litany of the Virgin in a low and plantive tone.  A hymn of praise was also chaunted.  It was composed by the learned Bishop Huet, and it is inscribed upon a black marble tablet, which was placed in the chapel by his direction.  The country women of the Saxon shore possess a very peculiar physiognomy, denoting that the race is unmixed.  The Norman-Saxon damsel is full and well made, her complexion is very fair, she has light hair, long eyelashes, and tranquil placid features; her countenance has an air of sullen pouting tenderness, such as we often find in the women represented in the sculptures and paintings of the middle ages.  And all the girls are so much alike, that it might have been supposed that they all were sisters.  As to our Lady, she is gaily attired in a Cashemire shawl, and completely covered with glaring amber necklaces and beads, and ribband knots, and artificial flowers.  Many votive offerings are affixed round her shrine.  The pilgrim is particularly desired to notice a pair of crutches, which testify the cure of their former owner, who lately hobbled to the Virgin from Falaise, as a helpless cripple, and who quitted her in perfect health.  Of course the Virgin has operated all the usual standard miracles, including one which may be suspected to be rather a work of supererogation, that of restoring speech to a matron who had lost her tongue, which had been cut out by her jealous husband.  Miracles of every kind are very frequently performed, yet, if the truth must be told, they are worked, as it were, by deputy, for the real original Virgin suffered so much during the revolution, that it has been thought advisable to keep her in the sacristy, and the statue now seen is a restoration of recent workmanship.  In order to conciliate the sailors and fishermen of the coast, the Virgin has entered into partnership with St. Nicholas, whose image is impressed on the reverse of the medal representing her, and which is sold to the pilgrims.

The country about La Delivrande is flat, but industriously cultivated and thickly peopled.  The villages are numerous and substantial.  From a point at the extremity of the green lane which leads onward from La Delivrande, six or eight church spires may be counted, all within a league’s distance.  By the advice of the Abbe de la Rue, we proceeded to Bernieres, which is close to the sea.  The mayor of the commune offered his services with great civility, and accompanied us to the church, which, as he told

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