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.
marriage, is quite a work of supererogation, and may be omitted or not, just as the parties please; the law requiring no other proof of a marriage, beyond the certificate recorded in the municipal registry.  After this most important preliminary, the priest exhorted every one present, under pain of excommunication, to declare if they knew of any impediment:  this, however, was merely done for the purpose of keeping up the dignity of the church, for the knot was already tied as fast as it ever could be.  He then read a discourse upon the sanctity of the marriage compact, and the excellence of the wedded state among the Catholics, compared to what prevailed formerly among the Jews and Heathens, who degraded it by frequent divorces and licentiousness.  The parties now declared their mutual consent, and his reverence enjoined each to be to the other “comme un epoux fidele et de lui tenir fidelite en toutes choses.”—­The ring was presented to the minister by one of the acolytes, upon a gold plate; and, before he directed the bridegroom to place it upon the finger of the lady, he desired him to observe that it was a symbol of marriage.—­During the whole of the service two other acolytes were stationed in front of the bride and bridegroom, each holding in his hands a lighted taper; and near the conclusion, while they knelt before the altar, a pall of flowered brocade was stretched behind them, as emblematic of their union.  Holy water was not forgotten; for, in almost every rite of the Catholic church, the mystic sanctification by water and by fire continually occurs.—­The ceremony ended by the priest’s receiving the sacrament himself, but without administering it to any other individual present.  Having taken it, he kissed the paten which had contained the holy elements, and all the party did the same:  each, too, in succession, put a piece of money into a cup, to which we also were invited to contribute, for the love of the Holy Virgin.—­They entered by the south door, but the great western portal was thrown open as they left the church; and by that they departed.

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[Footnote 47:  Masson de St. Amand, Essais Historiques sur Evreux, I. p. 39.]

[Footnote 48:  Johnes’ Translation, 8vo, IV. p. 292.]

[Footnote 49:  See Britten’s Architectural Antiquities, III. t. 2.]

[Footnote 50:  Goube, Histoire de Normandie, III. 249.]

[Footnote 51:  Histoire de la Haute Normandie, II. p. 319.]

[Footnote 52:  Mr. Gough, (See Archaeologia, X. p. 187.) whose attention had been much directed to this subject, seems to have known only four fonts made of lead, in the kingdom;—­at Brookland in Kent, Dorchester in Oxfordshire, Wareham in Dorsetshire, and Walmsford in Northamptonshire; but there are in all probability many more.  We have at least four in Norfolk.  He says, “they are supposed to be of high antiquity; and that at Brookland may have relation to the time of Birinus himself.  To what circumstance the others are to be referred, or from what other church brought, does not appear.”—­The leaden fonts which I have seen, have all been raised upon a basis of brick or stone, like this at Bourg-Achard, and are all of nearly the same pattern.]

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