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.
queen, and that she had brought a kingdom as a marriage portion to her husband.  Her son, Charles the Bad, a prince whose turbulent and evil disposition caused so much misfortune to France, was born here.  Happy too had it been for him, had he here closed his eyes before he entered upon the wider theatre of the world!  During his early days passed at Navarre, he is said to have shewn an ingenuousness of disposition and some traits of generosity, which gave rise to hopes that were miserably falsified by his future life.—­The present edifice, however, a modern French Chateau, retains nothing more than the name of the structure which was built by the queen, and which was levelled with the ground, in the year 1686, by the Duc de Bouillon, the lord of the country, who erected the present mansion.  His descendants resided here till the revolution, at which time they emigrated, and the estate became national property.  It remained for a considerable period unoccupied, and was at last granted to Josephine, by her imperial husband.  At present, the domain belongs to her son, Prince Eugene, by whom the house has lately been stripped of its furniture.  Many of the fine trees in the park have also been cut down, and the whole appears neglected and desolate.  His mother did not like Navarre:  he himself never saw it:  the queen of Holland alone used occasionally to reside here.—­The principal beauty of the place lies in its woods; and these we saw to the greatest advantage.  It was impossible for earth or sky to look more lovely.—­The house is of stone, with large windows; and an ill-shaped dome rises in the centre.  The height of the building is somewhat greater than its width, which makes it appear top-heavy; and every thing about it is formal; but the noble avenue, the terrace-steps, great lanthorns, iron gates, and sheets of water on either side of the approach, are upon an extensive scale, and in a fine baronial style.—­Yet, still they are inferior to the accompaniments of the same nature which are found about many noblemen’s residences in England.—­The hall, which is spacious, has a striking effect, being open to the dome.  Its sides are painted with military trophies, and with the warlike instruments of the four quarters of the globe.  We saw nothing else in the house worthy of notice.  It is merely a collection of apartments of moderate size; and, empty and dirty as they were, they appeared to great disadvantage.  In the midst of the solitude of desolation, some ordinary portraits of the Bouillon family still remain upon the walls, as if in mockery of departed greatness.

We were unable to direct our course to Cocherel, a village about sixteen miles distant, on the road to Vernon, celebrated as the spot where a battle was fought, in the fourteenth century, between the troops of Navarre, and those of France, commanded by Du Guesclin.—­I notice this place, because it is possible that, if excavations were made there, those antiquaries who delight in relics of the remotest age of European

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