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.
to Philip Augustus the military line of the Epte, and nearly the whole of the Norman Vexin.  By an express article of the treaty, neither party was allowed to repair the fortifications of Andelys; and Philip was in possession of Gisors, as well as of every other post that might have afforded security to the Normans.  Thus the frontiers of the duchy became defenceless; but Richard, like other politicians, determined to evade the spirit of the treaty, adhering nevertheless to its letter, by the erection of this mighty bulwark.—­The building arose with the activity of fear.  Richard died in 1199, yet the castle must have been completely habitable in his life-time, for not a few of his charters are dated from Chateau Gaillard, which he terms “his beautiful castle of the rock.”—­Three years only had elapsed from the decease of this monarch, when Philip Augustus, after having reduced another castle, erected at the same time upon an island opposite the lesser Andelys, encamped before Chateau Gaillard, and commenced a siege, which from its length, its horrors, and the valor shewn on either side, has ever since been memorable in history.—­Its details are given at great length by Father Daniel; and Du Moulin briefly enumerates a few of the stratagems to which the French King was obliged to have recourse; for, as the reverend author observes, “to have attempted to carry the place by force, would have been to have exposed the army to certain destruction; while to have tried to scale the walls, would have required the aid of Daedalus, with the certainty of a fall, as fatal as that of Icarus;” and without the poor consolation of

   “.... vitreo daturus
    Nomina ponto.”—­

The castle, commanded by Roger de Lacy, defied the utmost efforts of Philip for six successive months.—­So great was its size; that more than two thousand two hundred persons, who did not form a part of the garrison, were known to quit the fortress in the course of the siege, compelled to throw themselves upon the mercy of the besiegers.  But they found none; and the greater part of these unfortunate wretches, alternately suppliants to either host, perished from hunger, or from the weapons of the contending parties.  At length the fortress yielded to a sudden assault.  Of the warriors, to whose valor it had been entrusted, only thirty-six remained alive.  John, ill requiting their fidelity, had already abandoned them to their fate.

Margaret of Burgundy, the queen of Louis Xth, and Blanche, the consort of his brother, Charles le Bel, were both immured in Chateau Gaillard, in 1314.  The scandalous chronicle of those times will explain the causes of their imprisonment.  Margaret was strangled by order of her husband.  Blanche, after seven years’ captivity, was transferred to the convent of Maubuisson, near Pontoise, where she continued a recluse till her death—­In 1331, David Bruce, compelled to flee from the superior power of the third Edward, found an asylum in Chateau Gaillard;

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