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yesterday, amused in observing the aptitude of the creatures belonging to an immensely laden waggon coming down a steep hill. In this case, the wheels were not locked as with us, but the shaft-horse only being left in, the remaining six, seven, or eight, were simply chained behind, when they all immediately pulled the vehicle back with all force, and curiously slid down on their haunches till they reached the bottom.
Rouen, anciently Rotomagus, ranks as the fourth, or fifth, largest city of France: the Seine, which intersects it, can here boast of as much craft as may serve to remind one of the aspect of the Thames at London Bridge, while the general trade and activity on the quays exceed Paris beyond all comparison. From the countless casks I saw, I should judge wine to be a principal article of traffic; but I understand that cotton goods are the staple commodity. In the centre of the town is a bridge of very peculiar construction, said to have been first contrived by an Augustine friar. Owing to the very wide expanse of the river, this bridge is much longer than that of Westminster, and about as broad. It is composed of timber, the stone paving for carriages being laid over in the middle, and it rests entirely upon fifteen immensely large, and solid, barges, moored in the river. Hence, the bridge rises, and falls, as the barges do, with the ebb and flow of the tide, and being divided, as it
were, into compartments of the width of the respective boats, it is curious to a new spectator, when on the bridge, to watch the several divisions swaying up and down, as the heavy carts rumble over, and to feel the bridge tremble beneath him. No vessel can consequently pass under; yet, for the purpose of passing through, any portion of it may be removed, and the whole may be taken to pieces in one hour; a practice which, I believe, prevails in the winter, to avoid the concussions from the masses of ice. From Mount St. Catherine, an elevation commanding a most beautiful prospect, and from the seats on this bridge, are the best views of the city. On one side, looking on the Seine, you see its broad bosom, teeming on either hand with merchant vessels of the largest navigation; while the light pleasure-skiffs skim along the central surface, till lost in the beautiful meanders of the river. Reverse your seat, and the Seine presents a still broader expanse, and more graceful curves. Boulevards of lofty elms, and champaign fields, studded with villas, carry the eye from height to height, till bounded by St. Catherine, and the yet more distant mountains of Normandy. Islands of considerable extent arise in the middle of the waters, their beauties multiplied by the reflection in the pellucid stream of their many lofty poplars, gardens, and groves. By moonlight, such scenes might inspire that exquisite description
How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank!
Merchant of Venice.
The far-famed cathedral remains to be spoken of; an Anglo-Norman pile of consummate beauty, originally founded by our William the Conqueror. The exterior front presents two towers, not strictly uniform, and a central spire rising to the prodigious height of 390 French feet. The whole principal front, and portal, are most richly and curiously carved with bishops, saints, martyrs, lions, griffins, and devices of every sort, rising each above the other in endless succession; while the gothic tracery, through which we view the heavens, though it is formed by solid limbs of stone, appears below singularly light and elegant. Most strangely, and lamentably indeed, is the exterior of this venerable cathedral disfigured by the meanest shops on every side attached to it, and actually burrowing in the walls. In the interior, the eye ranges through vistas, and arcades, of the loftiest arches;-all the solemn imageries and appendages of a Roman-Catholic Gothic Cathedral, with the beautiful and elaborate ornament, and finish of every part, till the prospect terminates with the gorgeous altar of the Lady Chapel, rising to the roof in the remote distance.
One object struck me as singularly inconsistent, and in a vitiated taste. In this cathedral, every part of which is so strictly Gothic, the Screen which separates the choir from the transept and nave, is of a modern Grecian style, consisting of six Ionic pillars, surmounted by a gilt ballustrade, and four vases. That this design may be good in its place, no one will dispute; but to me, whenever my eyes fell upon it, its style and character immediately, and ungraciously, tended to dispel those solemn impressions which the venerable fabric everywhere else inspires.
The length of the interior is ... 408 Fr. ft. Ditto of Nave.
Ditto of Choir..
Ditto of Transept..
Ditto of Lady Chapel.
and wide in proportion. The depth of the various chapels, each dedicated to a particular saint, is ten French feet. This church once contained the tomb and heart of Richard Cour de Lion, with other illustrious dead of those days; but not a vestige of their monuments remains; a short inscription over their supposed places of sepulture excepted. Yet the Lady Chapel contains two monuments of elaborate beauty. That of the Duke de Brezé, Seneschal of Normandy, whose sculptured corpse at the bottom shows all the rigid and stern character of death, and further displaying female
figures on either side, as large as life; one of them supposed to be Diana of Poictiers, who erected the monument :-above, the warrior appears on horseback, himself, and steed, in complete armour; with emblematical and allusive figures. The second monument represents two Cardinals of Amboise, formerly Archbishops of Rouen, kneeling, of the size of life; but the greater value of the tomb consists in the profusion of the minor figures. The seven cardinal virtues, Prudence, Temperance, Fortitude, Faith, Justice, Charity, Hope, and the yet smaller accompanying devotional figures, are truly beautiful. The sculpture, detail, and finishing, of both these tombs are unrivalled.
Not being versed in the Catholic rites, the ceremonies of their religion were, to me, matters of curiosity. Various services are performed in the same church at the same moment. Marriages, christenings, mass, private devotion, or confession, in the various lateral chapels. The doors are always open; one may walk in, or out, and every where; sit or stand; pray or play; and yet, from the immense range, disturb no one. The dogs come in with their owners; these immediately fall on their knees before some favourite altar, or crucifix; those run about till summoned away. The Virgin is the more peculiar object of Catholic worship. Before her altars more candles burn than at the Saviour's. The poorest creature who totters