Imágenes de páginas
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

influence over his mind than the lord Trimouille, who appears from history to have cared very little about the French monarchy, provided he could augment his power at court, accumulate riches, and sow the seeds of discord among the best friends of his sovereign. Indeed, to such a pitch did he carry his abuse of princely favour, that many zealous royalists, and even princes of the blood, declared themselves against the king, and took possession of Bourges when that city was his capital. It has been equally affirmed by some historians, and with every appearance of probability, that the shameful abandonment of Jeanne d'Arc, after she had been made prisoner, originated in the jealousy of Trimouille, who could not bear a rival in his monarch's favour.

[ocr errors]

But he would not permit him to be one of the journey, nor

present at his inauguration. The dissatisfaction evinced by Jeanne and the nobles at this conduct of the king is little to be wondered at, when it is considered that the count de Richemont was a most powerful prince ; his friendship and succour being of the very last importance to the king, whose overweening fondness for his favourite Trimouille might, by incensing Richemont, have completely turned the tide of fortune against him.

[ocr errors]

Page 95.

But the inhabitants of the city gave in secret two thousand crowns to the lord de la Trimouille, &c.

From this conduct on the part of Trimouille, it is evident, that no treasonable practice was worthy con

sideration, if gold was the price at which his honour was to be compromised.

Page 99. And then departed in the direction of Rheims.

Rheims, formerly the capital of Champaigne, now of the department of the Marne, is computed to contain upwards of thirty thousand inhabitants. The principal church, a most magnificent Gothic structure, dedicated to the Virgin, was built prior to the year 406, the principal portal of which stands unrivalled, as a specimen of grand and costly architecture of the remote period when it was erected. Behind the high altar of the church of Saint Remy were formerly preserved the relics of that archbishop, which were deposited in a sumptuous shrine; in the same temple was also kept la Sainte Ampoule, being a reddish liquor contained in a phial, which was in former ages supposed to have been brought from heaven, and was always used at the coronation of the French monarchs, who were successively inaugurated at Rheims; because Clovis, who founded the French monarchy, on being converted from paganism, was baptized in the cathedral of Rheims in the year 496. This city is situated north-east of Paris, from whence it is distant about seventy-five miles.

Page 100. And after the dinner hour and towards evening, the king entered (Rheims) together with his whole army.

“ The inhabitants of Rheims) then despatched towards Charles, the principal from among them to present him

[ocr errors]

the keys of the city, and to inform him that they confided their goods and their lives to his faith and power. Charles having welcomed them with his accustomed clemency, the churchmen and the magistrates in a body went to welcome him under a canopy, and received him in their city, with a degree of pomp and magnificence suitable to his grandeur and the dignity of his person: the streets through which his majesty was to pass, were covered with flowers; and the exterior of the houses adorned with beautiful and rich tapestry and choicest hangings, &c. .

Nevertheless they equally regarded the Pucelle with avidity and pleasure ; for independent of the particular reverence which this people naturally entertained towards their king, it was scarcely credible, with how much tenderness of heart, and love, respect and admiration, they welcomed her, in consequence of the wisdom of God and the strength of his hand having been visible throughout all her enterprises.” Dubreton, pages 278, &c.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Upon this occasion, as was customary at all public rejoicings in those days, a very grand mystery is said to have been performed by the inhabitants of Rheims. Concerning this species of amusement the editor is in possession of some very curious matter connected with the reigns of Charles VI. and Charles VII. of France; as well as relating to earlier and subsequent periods; most of which bears reference to the monarchs of both or of either country. As some account therefore of these singular representations may tend to illustrate the page of history as regards pageants, shows, &c. the editor has ventured to subjoin the accompanying note, the interest


of which, it is presumed, will compensate for the space it necessarily occupies.

The Mysteries derived their origin from the pilgrimages so universally performed in ancient times to the Holy Land, or such sanctified places as Saint James of Compostella, the saintly Baume of Provence; La Sainte Reine of Mount Saint Michael ; Notre Dame du Puy, &c. &c. Upon these occasions the pilgrims frequently composed rude pieces of poetry descriptive of their journeys, whereto they subjoined the records of the martyrdom of the Saint, at whose shrine they had offered up their vows. In the second book of the history of the city of Paris, page 523, it is stated, that, in 1313, Philip le Bel gave the most sumptuous entertainment in that city ever remembered, to which Edward II. of England, whom he had invited, together with his queen Isabel of France, and a great retinue of nobility, repaired, crossing the channel for that express purpose. Every thing shone (says the historian) with the magnificencé of the costumes, the variety of the amusements, and the splendour of the banquetings. During the space of eight days, the princes and the lords changed their garments three times a day; and the populace on their side represented divers spectacles : sometimes La Gloire des Bienheureux (The Glory of the Blessed); at others, La Peine des Damnés (The Torments of the Damned); together with various sorts of animals; which last spectacle was called La Procession du Renard (The Procession of the fox).

Le Mistere de la Passion de Notre Seigneur (The Mystery of the Passion of our Lord), was done to the life as it is figured round the choir of Notre Dame at Paris; being

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

performed at the entrance of the kings of France and of England into Paris, the first day of December 1420, in the street called Kalende, before the palace, on a raised scaffolding about one hundred paces in length, reaching from the said street unto the wall of the palace.

Le Mistere de la Conception, Passion, et Resurrection (The Mystery of the Conception, Passion, and Resurrection), appeared in the reign of Charles VI., being performed at the Bourg de Saint Maur, about five miles from Paris; the edict to perform the same having been accorded by that monarch on the fourth of December, 1402. The writer of this piece was Jean Michel, who died in 1447. In this mystery of the passion, &c. we find in the dramatis personce, God the Father, Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost, the Virgin Mary, together with archangels, cherubims, seraphims, &c. as also Lucifer, Beelzebub, Astaroth, Belial, &c. But in order to convey an idea of the manner in which sacred matters were handled in this composition, under the thirty-first head is, Le doubte de Joseph touchant l’Incarnacion du Filz de Dieu (Joseph's doubt respecting the Incarnation of the Son of God); in which, after expressing himself pretty freely to Mary, he is made to retire and go to sleep, when God the Father seeing the trouble and agitation of Mary and Joseph, and being very desirous that they should not remain in a state of uncertainty, commands the angel Gabriel to go and inform Joseph in a dream, that Mary is pregnant of Christ, that he must not entertain any further doubts in regard to her virginity, as the whole operation has been performed by the Holy Ghost: which commission Gabriel punctually executes; so that, when Joseph awakes, he is ashamed

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
« AnteriorContinuar »