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.

Evreux, at present, is a town containing about eight thousand inhabitants, a great proportion of whom are persons of independent property, or rentiers, as the French call them.  Hence it has an air of elegance, seldom to be found in a commercial, and never in a manufacturing town; and to us this appearance was the more striking, as being the first instance of the kind we had seen in Normandy.  The streets are broad and beautifully neat.  The city stands in the midst of gardens and orchards, in a fertile valley, watered by the Iton, and inclosed towards the north and south by ranges of hills.  The river divides into two branches before it reaches the town, both which flow on the outside of the walls.  But, besides these, a portion of its waters has been conducted through the centre of the city, by means of a canal dug by the order of Jane of Navarre.  This Iton, like the Mole, in Kent, suddenly loses itself in the ground, near the little town of Damville, about twenty miles south of Evreux, and holds its subterranean course for nearly two miles.  A similar phenomenon is observable with a neighboring stream, the Risle, between Ferriere and Grammont[46]:  in both cases it is attributed, I know not with what justice, to an abrupt change in the stratification of the soil.

* * * * *


[Footnote 36:  This curious transaction, which took place in the year 1119, is related with considerable naeivete by Ordericus Vitalis, p. 852, as follows:—­“Henricus Rex rebellibus ultra parcere nolens, pagum Ebroicensem adiit, et Ebroas cum valida manu impugnare coepit.  Sed oppidanis, qui intrinsecus erant, cum civibus viriliter repugnantibus, introire nequivit.  Erant cum illo Ricardus filius ejus, et Stephanus Comes nepos ejus, Radulfus de Guader, et maxima vis Normannorum.  Quibus ante Regem convocatis in unnm, Rex dixit ad Audinum Episcopum.  “Videsne, domine Praesul, quod repellimur ab hostibus, nec eos nisi per ignem subjugare poterimus?  Verum, si ignis immittitur, Ecclesiae comburentur, et insontibus ingens damnum inferetur.  Nunc ergo, Pastor Ecclesiae, diligenter considera, et quod utilius prospexeris provide nobis insinua.  Si victoria nobis per incendium divinitus conceditur, opitulante Deo, Ecclesiae detrimenta restaurabuntur:  quia de thesauris nostris commodos sumptus gratanter largiemur.  Unde domus Dei, ut reor, in melius reaedificabuntur.”  Haesitat in tanto discrimine Praesul auxius, ignorat quid jubeat divinae dispositioni competentius:  nescit quid debeat magis velle vel eligere salubrius.  Tandem prudentum consultu praecepit ignem immitti, et civitatem concremari, ut ab anathematizatis proditoribus liberaretur, et legitimis habitatoribus restitueretur.  Radulfus igitur de Guader a parte Aquilonali primus ignem injecit, et effrenis flamma per urbem statim volavit, et omnia (tempos enim autumni siccum erat) corripuit.  Tunc combusta est basilica sancti Salvatoris, quam Sanctimoniales incolebant, et celebris aula gloriosae virginis et matris Mariae, cui Praesul et Clerus serviebant, ubi Pontificalem Curiam parochiani frequentabant.  Rex, et cuncti Optimales sui Episcopo pro Ecclesiarum combustione vadimonium suppliciter dederunt, et uberes impensas de opibus suis ad restaurationem earum palam spoponderunt.”]

Project Gutenberg
Account of a Tour in Normandy, Volume 2 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook