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.
greatest architectural curiosities in England.  But, alas!  I was sadly disappointed.  The wooden church of Honfleur, so old in the report of my informant, is merely a thing of yesterday, certainly not above two hundred and fifty years of age; and, though it is undeniably of wood, within and without, the walls are made, as in most of the houses in the town, of a timber frame filled with clay.  There is another church in Honfleur, but it was equally without interest.  Thus baffled, we walked to the heights above the town:  at the top of the cliff was a crowd of people, some of them engaged in devotion near a large wooden crucifix, others enjoying themselves at different games, or sitting upon the neat stone benches, which are scattered plentifully about the walks in this charming situation.  The neighboring little chapel of Notre Dame de Grace is regarded as a building of great sanctity, and is especially resorted to by sailors, a class of people who are superstitious, all the world over.  It abounds with their votive tablets.  From the roof and walls

   “Pendono intorno in lungo ordine i voti,
    Che vi portaro i creduli divoti.”

Among the pictures, we counted nineteen, commemorative of escape from shipwreck, all of them painted after precisely the same pattern:  a stormy sea, a vessel in distress, and the Virgin holding the infant Savior in her arms, appearing through a black cloud in the corner,—­In the Catholic ritual, the holy Virgin, is termed Maris Stella, and she is IºI+-I"’ I muI3/4I?I‡I.I1/2 [English.  Not in Original:  pre-eminently, especially, above all] the protectress of Normandy.

Honfleur is still a fortified town; but it does not appear a place of much strength, nor is it important in any point of view.  Its trade is inconsiderable, and its population does not amount to nine thousand inhabitants.  But in the year 1450, while in the hands of our countrymen, it sustained a siege of a month’s duration from the king of France; and, in the following century, it had the distinction, attended with but little honor, of being the last place in the kingdom that held out for the league.

From Honfleur we would fain have returned by Sanson-sur-Risle and Foullebec, at both which villages M. Le Prevost had led us to expect curious churches; but our postillion assured us that the roads were wholly impassable.  We were therefore compelled to allow Mr. Cotman to visit them alone, while we retraced a portion of our steps through the valley of the Risle, and then took an eastern direction to Bourg-Achard in our way to Rouen.

Bourg-Achard was the seat of an abbey, built by the monks of Falaise, in 1143:  it was originally dedicated to St. Lo; but St. Eustatius, the favorite saint of this part of the country, afterwards became its patron.  Before the revolution, his skull was preserved in the sacristy of the convent, enchased in a bust of silver gilt[51]; and even now, when the relic has been consigned to its kindred dust, and the

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