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the more usual articles of female apparel in the age of Charles VI. The latter, instead of being closed behind as with the men, was now closed before. The girdle, too, was taken from the surcote, and placed over the houppelande, and it was raised higher up to the breast, so as to give the ladies very short waists. The tails of the dress were made extravagantly long, and trailed through dust and dirt, to the great disgust, especially, of the clergy, who attacked the enormous tails of the ladies continually, and one of them has left us in his Latin, the following story. It is very edifying according to the ideas of the time. “I have heard,” he says,
" of a certain woman who dragged white garments behind her on the ground, and leaving her tracks behind her, raised the dust up to the altar and up to the image of the crucifix.” (It is evident that the church must have been ill swept.) “But when she went out of the church, and lifted her tail up on account of the mud, a certain holy man saw a devil laughing, and adjured him to tell why he laughed. And he said, “Because my fellow was just now sitting on the tail of that woman, and used it as his chariot; but when the woman raised up her tail, my fellow was thrown off the tail, and fell into the mud; and that is the reason why I laughed.'"* Devils were common about the world in those days of Catholicism.
According to Monstrelet, about the year 1467, the ladies and damoiselles abandoned these long tails, but instead of them they wore borders and trimmings of great extravagance, with much broader girdles. Under Charles VIII., who ascended the throne of France in 1483, the ladies began to seek more to show the natural form of their body, and wore close-fitting corsages, with shortened jupes, so as to show the lower part of their legs and feet, but the extravagance in jewellery increased rather than otherwise, and, above all, the use of paint for the face became more general than ever.
The horned head-dress of the previous century continued for sometime into the fifteenth, and the exact period of its disappearance is hardly known. There is a “dite" of honest, rather than poetic, John Lydgate, composed sometime in the earlier half of the fifteenth century, in which he attacks the horned head-dresses of ladies, and advises them to cast them away.t The satire of this poem is very mild, which, perhaps, might be expected from the circumstance that it is addressed to a royal princess, who is exhorted,
Under support of your pacyence,
Yeveth (give) example hornes to cast away. * The original, in Latin, is printed in my “Latin Stories" (Percy Society), p. 18. + It will be found in Mr. Halliwell's edition of Lydgate's "Minor Poems."
The lady's pair of horns certainly passed away about this time. But in their place there arose upon the heads of the ladies a horned head-dress of a new fashion and still greater extravagance. We learn from the old French chroniclers that about the year 1428 there came into fashion a cap in the form of a single horn, raised on a form of latten or pasteboard, and trimmed with very fine linen. They called this curious head-covering a hennin. It became suddenly the great fashion of the day, and it has been seen in several of the illustrations to our former chapters. The hennin rose from the head, leaning a little backward, to a height of sometimes nearly two feet, diminishing towards a point, and ending a little variously, but always furnished with a quantity of fine linen and gauze, which fell backward like a veil, and then turned back in horns upon the ears, forming a sort of dome over the top, and advancing like a large sheet of paper spread over the face. The ladies of the day are represented as absolutely running mad after these hennins, and of course the preachers set their face against them with the utmost zeal. They went so far that they promised at least a spiritual reward to all boys and girls who would shout after them in the open streets, and cry, “Au hennin! au hennin !” And this appears to have been executed so effectively, that the objectionable costume was at length driven out of fashion. The ladies then went to another extreme, and wore little flat hats, covered outside with skin or leather spotted black and blue. Our coloured plate to the present chapter, which will be given with the next number of The Student, represents the lady's head-dress of the latter part of the fifteenth century; it is taken from one of the illuminations in the well-known manuscript of the
Roman de la Rose” in the British Museum. The lady is dame Nature dispatching Genius, her messenger, to the Court of Love.
Besides these extravagances, the head-dresses of the ladies underwent many changes in the fifteenth century. It was customary not only to wear the hair long, but to carry a great bulk of it upon the head, and the use of false hair became much more extensive than ever, and even wool and other materials were used in the manufacture of it. The reader of the French poetry of the fifteenth century will remember the lines of Coquillart :
De la queue d'un cheval peinte,
VOL. III. NO. III.
A CURIOUS PAGE OF ANIMAL LIFE.
BY HENRY WHITE, PH.D.
SOME time ago, when in search of materials for a history of the Huguenot wars in France, I came upon references to a speech, said to have been delivered by the President of the Parliament of Provence, in defence of the rats of Lucenay. The story was this, that when the cruel decree of extermination was issued against the Vaudois in 1540, a Provençal gentleman waited upon First Presi. dent Chasseneuz, and reminding him of the reprieve he had formerly obtained for the rats who were on trial in the bishop's court of Autun, urged that a whole population was at least of as much importance as a colony of vermin, and that the Vaudois were as fairly entitled to be heard in self-defence before they were punished, as his ravenous four-legged clients. The President blushed and the execution of the murderous decree was suspended. Now circumstantial as this story is, it does not contain one word of truth, and yet it is recorded as a fact by De Thou, Bouche, Gaufridi, Father Garnier, Bernardi (in the “Biographie Universelle,” sub voce Chassanée), and by the learned editors of the “Historial du Jongleur," who also quote a passage from a speech of the defendants' counsel, to the effect that the rats were prevented by the cats from appearing personally in court! I know not how the error arose, but it is evidently a misrepresentation of a portion of a famous work by President Chasseneuz, which the writers were too lazy to examine. That work is the “Repertorium consiliorum Dom. Bartholomei de Chassaneo” (first printed in 1535), which, like most of the writings of that age, is a singular mixture of theology, jurisprudence, politics, history, and physics. There is not the slightest attempt at arrangement; a treatise on the excellence of certain cheeses is printed between a dissertation on the seven beatitudes, and a chapter on the goodness of eggs. An essay on the throne of God is coupled with an inquiry whether a marquis should precede a count. A panegyric on judicial astrology is “sandwiched” between one on the wine of Beaune, and another on smoked hams. Among such matters Chasseneuz devotes five chapters to the discussion of a question, then much debated among lawyers, whether brute animals could be excommunicated. There was no doubt that animals could be tried and punished for damage done to life or limb. The instances are numerous, and it will be sufficient to give merely the dates of a few of them. . Paris, 1314; Caen, 1470;
Bordeaux, 1528; Paris again, 1601. Martène quotes the case of a bull that was condemned in 1499 to be hanged for having “par furiosité, estant aux champs, occis et mis à mort un joine filz de l'aage de quatorze ans.” In the archives of Lille there is the certificate of the execution of a pig for having killed and eaten a child. When examining the city muniments at Dijon, I came upon some letters from Nicolas le Jaul, lieutenant-general of the bailiwick of Mâcon (18th September, 1474), commanding the treasurer of the Mâconnaise to pay the provost of Mâcon sixty sols tournois for hanging a pig which had killed a child. In this case a new gibbet had been built, the ladder and pulley alone costing ten sols tournois. Our “ deodand” seems to have been a relic of this curious custom.
But learned pundits contended that -though animals might be executed, they could not be excommunicated, as they were not in communion. Chasseneuz examines this nice question with true mediæval longwindedness, and it is in the course of this examination that he refers to the “rats of Autun.” was this.
A petition had been presented to the bishop complaining that certain unclean animals, in formam murium urbanarum grisei coloris, had been committing serious damage in the vineyards botros et ramos corrodendo, and had caused, famem et caristiam, famine and high prices. The petitioners prayed their spiritual father to remove the terrible scourge, and the rats were duly summoned. An advocate was appointed to defend them, but they were duly condemned along with their accomplices. “Rats, slugs, and caterpillars,” said the bishop, “and all other unclean creatures that prey upon the harvests of our brethren, quit this district without delay, and depart to places where you can injure nobody, In the name of the Father,” etc.
In the sentence of excommunication the vermin were enjoined to leave within three hours, and the petitioners to do penance for the sins which had brought the scourge upon them. Chasseneuz records many
trials of this kind, but the most complete is one that occurred after he had been dead some years. The particulars are preserved in the registers of St. Julien in Savoy, a little place not far from the old episcopal city of St. Jean de Maurienne, on the Mount Cenis road. The place was famous for its vineyards, which appeared to have suffered from the hungry appetites of a green caterpillar, called amblevin, or verpillon, by the peasantry, and Rhynchites auratus by entomologists. In 1545 these ravenous insects appeared in such numbers that an action for
damages was brought against them. At first the case was referred to arbitration; but as this came to nothing the matter was in due course brought before the official or ecclesiastical judge of St. Jean; the syndics of St. Julien, who were the plaintiffs, appearing by counsel, two brothers, learned in the law also, acting for the defendants. First, letters monitory were issued, to be followed by an interlocutory, ordering certain experts to inspect the vineyards and assess the damage. When this was done, a discussion arose upon the validity of the inspection, which the official overruled, and, in his judgment, adopted the safe course of ordering public prayers to be offered up.
Seeing,” says the judge, “that God, the supreme creator of everything that exists, has permitted the earth to bring forth fruits and vegetables (animas vegetativas), not only for the nourishment of reasonable creatures like man, but even for the preservation of the insects which fly over the surface of the earth, it would be by no means becoming to proceed with too much haste against the animals in this cause; better would it be under the premises that we should have reconrse to the mercy of heaven, and ask pardon for our sins." And then follows a list of the prayers enjoined upon the inhabitants of the commune. There was no need for the bishop's official to deprecate haste, for the case had been opened in 1545, and judgment was not delivered until May 1546, when the defendants had disappeared.
In 1587 these destructive insects returned in greater numbers than before, and the syndics once more appeared in the bishop's court to revive the dormant case of 1545, the defendants being looked upon as the same unitedly, though different individually. In the title of the documents they are described " animalia bruta ad formam muscarum volantia coloris viridis,” and as guilty of contumacy. The syndics, “considering that, if man's sins are the cause of such a scourge, it is the duty of the representatives of Christ upon earth to ordain what should be done to appease the divine wrath,” pray the official to nominate a commission to visit the damaged vineyards, and summon the opposite party to be present at the said visitation. They further promise, in case the noxious creatures should be excommunicated or put under interdict, to assign them a place where they would have sufficient food for the future. To a certain extent the prayer was granted, a proctor and a counsel were appointed for the amblevins, ne indefensa remaneant, and the priest of St. Julien was ordered to see that the dormant decree of 1546 was duly carried out before any further steps were taken. The decree is a curious picture of sacerdotalism.