previous next

[223] Raphael: it was a picture of the Mother of the Saviour, with the infant in her arms; it did not, however, particularly arrest my attention. From the gallery we passed to the library, consisting principally of the books which formerly belonged to the church and monastery of St. Ouen. One of the books was a show-piece, very curious, being a splendid folio of vellum, splendidly illuminated and printed with the pen by one of the monks of St. Ouen, and which cost him the labor of thirty years. It was a collection, I think, of the music used in the monastery,—a monument of the time and labor employed for a trivial purpose. Thirty years of time spent in the manual operation of making a single copy of an unimportant work!

The Palais de Justice was a very interesting building,—ancient and finished with the elaborateness which seems to have been lavished upon public buildings in earlier times. One of the rooms was covered with a ceiling of oak, which had become black as ebony from age, and was studded with golden knobs. Several courts were in session; but my guide could not explain to me about them, and my knowledge of French was so imperfect that I could with difficulty ascertain even the general nature of the discussion which was proceeding. The judges appeared to be numerous; in one court, which seemed the highest,—perhaps La Cour Royale,—there were as many as half a dozen, all having a peculiar costume, consisting of a cap, bands round the neck, and gown. The lawyers wore gowns and caps, and the dresses appeared to be different in the different courts. In Paris I hope to make these matters more of a study; but at this time my means of getting correct information were so small, and my time so limited, that I passed to other objects, which possessed an interest into which I could more readily enter. Particularly among these was the market-place in which the Maid of Orleans was burnt;1 and a building which the Duke of Bedford was said to have occupied, and which had a beautiful relievo on its wall of the meeting of Francis and Henry at the Field of the Cloth of Gold. Bridges, market-places, &c., we visited; also we passed in a narrow street the house in which Pierre Corneille was born, on which was printed in large characters, La Maison du Grand Corneille. It was a tall and well-looking house, the lower part of which, I think, was occupied by a brazier. A beautiful bronze statue of Corneille has been quite recently erected by subscription on one of the bridges. My guide spoke of him as one of the greatest men of France: the same in France, he said, as that great man that lived in England. Shakspeare, I said. ‘Yes,’ said he; ‘he died not many years ago’!

At dinner to-day we had the music of the harp instead of the guitar, and an attendant appeal to charity.

It seems that I could spend months in Rouen and still find interest. If I had time and fortune I should like, while here, to read the various histories of this wonderful cathedral, and master the romantic history of Normandy. From Normandy sprang the long line of kings that has governed England; and here are the tombs of the founders of this dynasty. Two of the finest specimens of Gothic architecture that exist in Europe are here to be seen,

1 Place de la Pucelle.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Normandy (France) (2)
France (France) (2)
Rouen (France) (1)
Paris (France) (1)
Orleans (France) (1)
Bedford, N. Y. (New York, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Pierre Corneille (3)
Shakspeare (1)
Palais Justice (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: