Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

darts upon that, with a falcon-like to take up the task of reviewing Mr velocity, which puts all his blood in Dibdin's labours with all the energies a tingle, and deprives him of sleep for of earnest advocates, but with all the at least the six succeeding nights! candour and courage of unhired judges. And then for bargaining, purchasing, The volumes before us contain little or diplomatic protocols !-how happy short of 1900 honestly filled pages, to be instrumental to the enriching of and 150 highly finished copper-plates; his noble Patron's Cabinet! A Virgil, and the author seeins to have gone by that most ancient of all printers, over very little less than 3000 miles. Adam ;-a Boccacio by his younger He started from Brighton for Dieppe, brother Adam de Michaelibus ;-the then for Rouen, Havre, Harfleur, Greek Hours by Aldus ;--a German Caen, Bayeux, St Lo, Contances, Bible by Mentelin, and other similar Vire, and Falaise; to say nothing of marvels, of which we northern lite- a few minor places, such as Caudebec, rati pretend not to have heard even Jumièges, Lillebonne, and Tancarthe names; all these, first made known ville, which make his Tour through to us in the pages under considera- NORMANDY tolerably complete. Pation, are absolutely delectable and ris, Nancy, and Strasbourg, form the most ravishing.

principal features of his account of The seasons are also marked by our France. Stuttgart, Ulm, Augsbourg, author with a sort of Thomson-like Munich, and Vienna, are the grand accuracy. In spring, the blossoms of characteristics of his third volume, Normandy throw out their delicious devoted to Germany. And here, by perfume ; in summer, there is no re- the way, we do most sincerely regret medy against the sweltering heat, but that the accounts of Ratisbon, Nuin the “ pyramid-shaped” ices of remberg, avd Manheim, which are Fortoni and Riche; while, in autumn, compressed into the form of a Supplethe whole country is reeling beneath meni, were not more dilated—or exthe influence of the gushing grape, tended in a manner to do justice to the as first witnessed in the suburbs of materials which seem absolutely to Vienna, and afterwards in the neigh- have been collected. bourhood of Metz and Rheims. This To begin with the Preface: this is no idle unconnected rhapsody, as a

is, as it should be, perfectly explana. prelude to the commencement of our tory. We are great enemies to fine critical labours, but an ebullition of writing in prefaces; it is, in general, feeling excited by the contents of the fine nonsense. Let no man (as a jusvolumes before us. Mr Dibdin start- tification) pretend to say, that he ed in April, and returned quite at the strove to imitate Casaubon in his prelatter end of October; and he hap face to Atheneus; or De Thou, in pened to witness a year of remarkable that of the History of his own Times; fecundity, characterised by a summer or Johnson, in his preface to his Dicheat of almost unsupportable oppres- tionary, or to his Shakespeare. The siveness.

conclusion of Mr Dibdin's preface is, Such is our exordium ; from which however, well deserving of quotation. it will be observed, that, differing It is British all over. from some few of our obscurer criti

“ One word more, and I have done. cal brethren, who seem to have sub

Whatever may have been the objects of stituted ignorance for knowledge, and other travellers, or the feelings with which vulgarity for good breeding, -dis- those objects may have been viewed by torting their analysis of these volumes them, whether as connected with art, or by the most “ loathsome and laugha- with society, I have never ceased to bear in ble absurdities," "-it is our intention mind, that an attachment to the laws and

liberties of one's own country, could never

be increased by a systematic disparage• Tracls of a Warburtonian. The tri. umph of the author of the Bibliographical, there must be some drollery or sarcasm aAntiquarian, and Picturesque Tour,” may bout all this !-since it must be obvious to be considered as complete ; in as much as, every man who knows any thing of the in the very heblomaval journals which subject upon which Mr Dibdin and his fol. have spit their spite upon his pages, we lowers write, that the two most worthy find such trashy stuff as Mr Clarke's poc- gentlemen just mentioned are the very try, and such sleepy stuff as Mr Davies's Messieurs Doodle and Noodle of Biblio prose, lauded to the very skies ! Surely graphy!

[ocr errors]

ment of those of others; that civilities and fied by what I saw. There was more simkindnessas conferred called for grateful plicity; a smaller congregation ; softer mureturas; and that the sentiments which sic; a lower-toned organ ; less rush of possessed me at an early period of my con- people ; and in very many of the flock, the tinental visit, have never ceased to operate most intense and unfeigned expression of till the moment of my return. This con- piety. At the elevation of the Host, from fession implies neither unqualified praise, the end of the choir, (near which was susnor unqualified censure, of the manners pended a white flag, with the portrait of and customs of the countries visited. It the present king thereupon,) a bell was neither checks freedom of thought, nor rung from the tower of the church : the truth of observation ; but, least of all, does sound below was soft, and silver-toned, acit betray a fixed and maligo disposition to companied by rather a quick movement of disown the soil of one's birth, to forget the the organ, upon the diapason stop ; which, country which has yielded protection to our united with the silence and prostration of persons and properties, and to traduce the congregation, might have commanded those laws woich have long rendered her the reverence of the most profane. I bothe enry and admiration of the world. If, came motionless, save a slight and fixed on the one hand, I may say with a writer, * inclination of the head, in which attitude I when speaking of the character of FRANCE, could not refrain from offering up a prayer

Gens humanitate in exteros, benevolen- for the preservation of those left behind ; tiâ in eruditos, et facili in omnes comitate, and which prayer, although not borrowed PRAE ALIIS INSIGNIS.' I trust, on the from the Romnish ritual, might possibly be other hand, that I may be peruitted to not the less availing on that account. conclude, in the words of a much higher There is nothing, my dear friend, more reanthority, 1 . I suppose that, wherever freshing in a foreign lard, than the general mention is made of countries, manners, or appearance of earnestness of devotion upon men, the ENGLISH PEOPLE, among the a Sabbath-day, especially within the house first that shall be praised, may deserve to of God. Out of doors, a very different orbe accounted a right pious, right honest, der of things prevails. But I quickly and right hardy nation.” pp. xiii-sv.

heard the clangor of the trumpet, the beat We know not why or wherefore it feet, and it marched two or three troops of

of drums, the measured tramp of human is, but we rather like the author's ac- the National Guard, to perform military count of his passage to Dieppe ; and I retired precipitably to the inn. are quite in love with the plate of the My companions, who staid behind, told crucifix seen on landing at the latter me, that this military mass consisted of place. Nothing strikes an English- certain manæuvres of the soldiers, with man—who views it for the first time, their caps on, within the choir, accompawith an artist-like, or even serious nied by loud and stunning music. It seem. feeling

with more powerfully mixed ed a frightful contrast to all that had presensations than the form of worship

ceded it." p. 23. observed in the greater churches a- The vignette embellishments, scátbroad. We think the following, al- tered about our author's account of though an early, a very good specie Dieppe, are certainly too profuse. men of Mr Dibdin's manner of treat. They are beautiful of their kind; but ing this subject, to which, it is evi- we are not so desperately smitten as dent, he invariably pays great atten- Mr Dibdin, or his“ graphic compation, in his rambles among the seve- nion, (as he calls him,) seems to have ral cities which he visited. He is been, with squat figures, ugly faces, now describing military mass

at flaunting caps, and busikking pettiDieppe.

coats. The view of the Castle of Ar.

ques is a delicious exception, or relief u Military Muss was performed about to the quantity of grotesquenese an hour after at the church of St Remy. which precedes it. Both Mr Lewis and my son saw this ex

We hardly know how to trust ourtraordinary spectacle, but I had had • suf.

selves at Rouen. There surely never ficient for one dose.'' Yet I strolled quict. ly to that same church, to witness the de

was, and never will be, such another votion of the congregation, previous to the city. If the ne plus ultra of deformity entry of the soldiers; and I will not dis. should by chance turn out to be the persemble, that I was much struck and grati- fection of beauty, this capital of Lower

Normandy would be the most beau• BUCKLEY, in his dedication of the teous of all continental capitals. Overedition of De Thou's Historia Sui Tem. hanging roofs, elaborated architraves, peris, to Dr Mead.

window-frames, and window-mullions, + Milton.

which, like the strong man, seem to

mass.

[ocr errors]

be pulling down the superincumbent terior! ! can never forget it. It has not edifice,-doorways, through which the magical effect, or that sort of artificial dwarfs could only have glided, and burst, which attends the first view of T'inothers apparently' niade for the exclu, tern abbey; but, as the ruin is larger, sive, promenade of giants--striped there is necessarily more to attract atten.

tion. Like Tintern also, it is unroofed; black exteriors of plastered mansions -narrow streets-foaming gutters-. different cause, of which presently. The

yet this unroofing has proceeded from a a ceaseless and countless throng of side aisles present you with a short flattennoisy population--these, and very ed arch: the nave has none ; but you obmuch more than these, seem to be

serve a long pilaster-like, or alto-relievo the cbaracteristics of Rouen, while its column, of slender dimensions, running cathedral, abbey, and churches, are from bottom to top, with a sort of Roman absolutely of the most massive and capital. The arched ceiling and roof are magnificentclass of ecclesiastical build- entirely gone. We proceeded towards the ings. And then, for its neighboure exterior extremity, and saw more frightful hood! Here is Mont St Catherine, ravages, both of time and of accident. The there the deep and rapid Seine, with a former ; but for accident, you must read

latter, however, had triumphed over the forest of masts; above, the Boule.:

revolution. vards, powdered (at the time of our “ On the first view of each surrounding author's visit) with innumerable blos- objec., we were struck with a variety of soms of almond, apple, and pear; be- sensations. In the land of Normandy, the low are meadows, villas, bleaching- land of castles and cathedrals, we fancied a grounds, and trout-streams, while a higher tone of feeling was connected with belt of gently undulating hills forms every thing we saw. But this was only a background worthy of all which it the venial enthusiasm of young travellers. encircles. The population of Rouen The day had been rather oppressive for a is estimated at 100,000 souls.

May morning; and we were getting far

into the afternoon, when clouds began to We shall now accompany our author to Havre. In our way thither, gather, and the sun became occasionally ob

scured. We seated ourselves upon a grassy we are cheered with the descriptions hillock, and began to prepare for dinner. To of the abbey of Jumièges, Caudebec, the left of us lay a huge pile of fragments and Bolbec. We know not whether of pillars and joinings of arches—the effects Mr Dibdin's enthusiasm be greater in of recent havoc ; to the right, within three a place of worship, or in a public li- yards, was the very spot in which the celebrary. We select a specimen of it, brated AGNES SOREL, mistress of Charles as connected with his visit to the abbey VII., lay entombed :—not a relic of mauof Jumièges.

soleum now marking the place where, for

merly, the sculptor had exhibited the “ Sacred be the moment, and serene be choicest efforts of his art, and the devotee the Heavens, on the first view of this in. had repaired to

Breathe a prayer for her soul-and pass • We should hardly forgive ourselves, if, in enumerating the various engravings by " What a contrast, my dear friend, to which the account of the city of Rouen is the present aspect of things to the mix. illustrated, we omitted to notice most par- ed rubbish and wild flowers with which ticularly those of the south trunsept of the every spot is now well nigh covered! The cathedral, and the Rue du Bac.

We sus

mistress of the inn having furnished us pect the perspective of the cathedral to be with napkins and tumblers, we partook of a little wrong; but the accompaniments of our dinner, surrounded by the objects just houses and groups of figures are quite en. described, with no ordinary sensation. chanting. H. de Keux, the engraver, has The first and only sentiment which we here outdone himself in the execution of drank was, (naturally I would hope,) his department. Among the minor em. * Dear Old England, and all that it con. bellishments, that of the basso-relievo oftains !' A more enthusiastic toper would the Champ de Drap d'or shews how miser. have drank to the memories of those who ably faithless the representation of the same slept within the walls of the abbey;-but interesting relic of antiquity is in Mont- we were content to sacrifice the unknown faucon's Monarchie Françoise.

The cas

dead to the cherished living. Yet I will tellated remains, at p. 154, are as much a not conceal, that, more than once or twice, credit to Landseer as to Lewis. We defy I felt a sort of romantic twinge come athe reader to point out any similar speci- cross me, which liad nearly induced me men of antiquity so perfectly and artist- to make a libation to

But it was like executed in Millio's Antiquités Na. only a twinge-and, like twinges in genetionales.

ral, was perfectly evanescent.

on !

come across me.

• The air now became oppressive; by the author, for which we refer to when, looking through the few remaining p. 249. We have scarcely entered unglazed mullions of the windows, 1 ob Caen, and looked about us, before served that the clouds grew darker and

our very hearts are won by a handdarker, while a faint ruinbling of thunder reached our ears. The sun, however, yet choise of the most towering dimen

some fille de chambre, with a caushone gaily, although partially ; and as the storm neared us, it floated as it were sions, and a group of females of the round the abbey,_affording, by means of common class," sitting and gossipping its purple, black colour, contrasted with at work, out of doors betimes in the the pale tint of the walls, one of the most morning.” This latter, or vignettebeautiful painter-like effects imaginable. plate, is quite delicious to our fancies ; Mr L started up from his seat to enjoy a but we think that the filles de chambre more general view; but I was unwilling are uniformly made too much of: to quit the vicinity of Agnes Sorel, and re- they have too much of the “air immained tranquillg upon the hillock, even

posant," and although characteristic, though two smart flashes of lightning bad In an instant almost,

and good sort of people in their way, and as if touched by the wand of a mighty

we do not see why they are come in necromancer, the whole scene became mc- competition, in size, and finish of exelamorphosed. The thunder growled, but cution, with the Brials, and Bartschs, only growled, and the threatening phalanx and Schweighäusers of the day. The of sulphur-charged clouds rolled away, smaller head in the Supplement, p. and melted into the quiet uniform tint xvii. is just an illustration of the thing which usually precedes sun-set. Our din- we mean. Here is the prettiest fille ner being dispatched, we rose to make a de chambre in the work, and yet, thorough examination of the ruins which had survived not only the Revolution, of its size. However, that we may

more becoming, from the diminution but the cupidity of the present owner of not be taxed with scandal, we will get the soil, who is a rich man, living at Rouen, and who loves to dispose of any

away from the obliging creatures, and portion of the stone, whether standing or

take up the thread of Mr Dibdin's prostrate, for the sake of the lucre, how- story at Caen. ever trifling, which arises from the sale. Here our reverend author indulged Surely the whole corporation of the city of one of those strange and infatuated Rouen, with the inayor at their head, curiosities, which we suppose to be cught to stand between this ruthless rich inseparable from a black-letter biblioman' and the abbey, the victim of his bru- grapher and antiquary. In ascending tal avarice and want of taste."

a wooden stair-case, in a dark passage pp. 200_203.

or lobby, which "absolutely led to Beautifully bedecked as this first nothing,” he was indebted for the prevolume is with picturesque engrav

servation of his life to his knowledge ings, and fondly as we have hung

of the words “ Tenez, Arrêtez.” in over the distant view of Rouen on the fact, a depth of eighteen feet was beroad to Havre, as well as Caudebec low him, and he would have tumbled from the Heights, we are yet uncon. headlong down in five seconds, but for scionable enough to desiderate a view,

the intervention of his guide. Caen bowerer slight, of the venerable abbey is well described, and thickly illustraof Jumièges. The history of its foun- ted with copper-plates. The church dation and early celebrity (as deve- of Șt Pierre de Dornetal strikes us loped by Mr D.) makes us the more as the grandest piece of architecture, anxious for such a gratification. How for a parish church, which we reinemfrer, we would wish to avoid every ber to have ever seen. We only wish thing in the shape of exaction, and so the clouds had been equal to the buildwe will take, and be thankful for, “the ing. Mr Lewis, with all his incompagood the gods provide us." We have rable talent, is a bad vecernyigéans Zeus. scarcely time to rest our legs at Lille- His skies are too frequently in an agibonne, Bolbec, (where there is an tated state; looking at times like asanecdote, quite à la Sterne, respecting cending vapoursor approaching storms.

a poor little Savoyard" and his or- In that of Strasbourg cathedral, (a gan-grinding ballad,) Tancarville, Ha- wonderful plate on the whole, and enyre, or Harfleur. Át Havre, a droll graved by the same artist as the predispute about our House of Commons, sent,) there is an appearance of the in a bookseller's shop, was witnessed Aurora Borealis, or as if a set of wicked

own.

rogues were letting off squibs and character, I took a pleasure in gazing upon crackers from the summit of the build- the roof which contained an inhabitant ca. ing! Once more to return, but for a pable of administering so much good to few minutes, to Caen. The account the community. In short, I shall always of the antiquities here is, perhaps, à remember the view from the top of the cenlittle too scanty; but the house and

tral tower of the cathedral of Contances !" medal of Malherbe, the black and

Pp. 406, 407. bushy-bearded portrait of Bourgue- Granville makes us melancholy, and ville, the old historian of Caen; the so we will take a seat upon the springbiographical sketches of Pierre Aimé less bench within the voiture which Lair, and Moysant; the spirited no- conveyed our author and his compatices of booksellers and black-letter nion to Vire. This latter town is lore ; together (as at Rouen) with an described as “ a sort of Rouen in miaccount of chap-books, &c. are sever: niature;" but ere we reach it we must ally and collectively of a perfectly an- stop one moment to compliment the tiquarian cast, and may perhaps suit author upon his resistance to a strong the taste of our southern neighbours temptation of running away with "a better than our

We think

very clean, large paper, and uncut Bayeux an excellently well written copy of the folio Rouen Missal of article; and the portrait of Harold, 1759,” which presented itself upon the ne plus ultra of marvellous fac- the desk of a deserted monastic chapel simile. We were obliged to draw our at St Sever. As to Vire, whether we finger across the surface, to be con- consider the plates, the bibliographical vinced that it was not worsted. At extracts, the fine glowing old poetry Contances we should greatly desire to of Basselin, “ the Drunken Barnaby spend a few of the next summer of France," the accounts of Messieurs months of our vacation, if it were on- Du Mortueux, Seguin, and, above all, ly to hire a cottage which should of De la Renaudière, we own, that this command a view of the old aqueduct place strikes us as being possessed of and cathedral, as seen in the beauti- no ordinary sources of antiquarian ful plate opposite p. 409. Meantime, gratification. The larger plate of the let us listen to the account of the fountain, washerwomen, and castle, prospect from the top of the central splendid and interesting as it is, is tower of the said cathedral.

not, in our opinion, more seductive “ The view was lovely beyond measure.

than the vignette-plate of the castle Contances lies within four miles of the Seam (where the land

sometimes lets as highte alone. The country around Vire

an immense expanse of ocean.

as six guineas per acre) is called the site points was an extensive landscape, well Bocage of Normandy. It was renwooded, undulating, rich, and thickly stude dered as memorable in the sixteenth ded with farm-honses. Jersey appeared century, by the bloody persecution of to the north-west, quite encircled by the the Huguenots and Calvinists, as the sea ; and nearly to the south stood out the Bocage in the south of France has bold insulated little rock of Granville, de been, more recently, from the butfying the eternal washing of the wave. Such a view is perhaps no where else to be slightly mentioned the name of Mi

cheries of the Revolution. We have seen in Normandy ; certainly not from any ecclesiastical edifice with which I am ac

de la Renaudière. Mr Dibdin found quainted. The sun was now declining a.

him “a bibliomaniac of the first wapace, which gave a warmer glow to the ter," but he was also a critic and a colocean, and a richer hue to the landscape. lector of English literature. He had It is impossible to particularize. All was nearly a thousand volumes in our lanexquisitely refreshing and joyous. The guage ; and, speaking of the two great heart beats with a fuller pulsation as the northern and southern quarterly crieye darts over such an expansive and ex- tical journals, he said he preferred hilarating scene! Spring was now clad in her deepest-coloured vesture ; and a pro- burgh, but thought the Quarterly

the politics and vivacity of the Edinspect of a fine summer and an abundant harvest infused additional delight into the

more instructive, and more carefully beholder. Immediately below stood the

written." DE GUSTI BUS NON EST insulated and respectable mansion or pa

DISPUTANDUM. lace of the Bishop, in the midst of a formal We cannot take leave of the first garden-begirt with yet more formally volume, and enter upon the second, clipt hedges. As the prelate bore a good without a word or two of observation,

On the oppo.

« ElőzőTovább »