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.
and here, for a time, maintained the pageantry of a court.—­Twenty-four years subsequently, when Charles the Bad, king of Navarre, was sent as a captive from Rouen to Paris, he was confined here, during one night, by order of the dauphin, who had made him his prisoner by treachery, whilst partaking of a banquet.—­In the following century Chateau Gaillard braved the victorious arms of Henry Vth; nor was it taken till after a siege of sixteen months.  The garrison only consisted of one hundred and twenty men; yet this scanty troop would not have yielded, had not the ropes, by which they drew up their water-buckets[31], been worn out and destroyed.—­During the same reign, it was again taken and lost by the French, into whose hands it finally fell in 1449, when Charles VIIth commanded the siege in person.  Even then, however it stood a long siege; and it was almost the last of the strong-holds of Normandy, which held out for the successors of the ancient dukes.  After the re-union of the duchy, it was not destroyed, or suffered to fall into decay, like the greater number of the Norman fortresses:  during the religious wars, it still continued to be a formidable military post, as well as a royal palace; and it was honored by the residence of Henry IVth, whose father, Anthony of Bourbon, died here in 1562.—­Its importance ceased in the following reign.—­The inhabitants of the adjacent country requested the king to order that the castle should be dismantled.  They dreaded, lest its towers should serve as an asylum to some of the numerous bands of marauders, by whom France was then infested.  It was consequently undermined and reduced to its present state of ruin.

We did not again attempt to pay our devotions at the shrine of Saint Clotilda, and we found no interesting object in the church of Andelys which could detain us.  We therefore proceeded without delay to Ecouis, where we were assured that the church would gratify our curiosity.—­This building has an air of grandeur as it is seen rising above the flat country; and it is of a singular shape, the ground-plan being that of a Greek cross.  The exterior is plain and offers nothing remarkable:  the interior retains statues of various saints, which, though not very ancient or in very good taste, are still far from being inelegant.  Saint Mary, the Egyptian, who is among them, covered with her tresses, which may easily be mistaken for a long plaited robe, is a saint of unfrequent occurrence in this part of France.  In the choir are several tomb-stones, with figures engraved upon them, their faces and hands being inlaid with white marble.—­In this part of the building also remains the tomb of John Marigni, archbishop of Rouen, with his effigy of fine white marble, in perfect preservation.  The face is marked with a strong expression of that determined character, which he unquestionably possessed.  When he was sent as an ambassador to Edward IIIrd, in 1342, he made his appearance at the English court in the guise of a military man, and not as a minister of peace; and we may doubt whether his virtues qualified him for the mitre.  If even a Pope, however, in latter days, commanded a sculptor to pourtray him with a sword in his hand, the martial tendency of an archbishop may well be pardoned in more turbulent times.  The following distich, from his epitaph, alludes to his achievements:—­

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