Imágenes de página


MSS. possessed by M. John Aymon.

(perhaps the first) was dedicated to the Parthians, which Mills advances, because it begins: Incipit Epistola Johannis ad Parthos. It wants 1 John, v. 7, which place M. Aymon takes for supposititious; especially as the text had a better connexion with the precedent verses, if this passage be omitted.

3. One single leaf on vellum, which certainly is cut out somewhere, coutaining the First Epistle of St. Johu, almost of the same date with the former. The seventh verse is here written by a modern on the margin; the eighth verse is written in the text by the same hand which wrote the seventh verse.

4. A MS. in 4to, damaged by fire, with very ancient characters in the Saxonian form, viz. the Epistles and the Revelations, in Latin, quite different from the Vulgate, especially the Epistle to the Hebrews, where ch. x. 8, it is said of the sacrifices: noluisti, nec exquæsisti, which is conformable to M. Spencer's opinion. Ch. xi. 1. is expressed: Est autem fides, horum quæ sperantur, substantia rerum, apparentium argumentum, exprobatio, quæ non videntur. In hac enim

testimonium habuerunt seniores; which seems to be contrary to the ordinary readings of this text.

5. A volume on vellum, 4to minori; the Four Gospels in Latin, cum glossa interlineari Hybernica; which MS. certainly was stolen out of the King's Library at Paris. See Simon, Biblioth. Critique, t. 1. ch. 18, P. 271. M. Aymon falsely asserted, that this MS. was written by Father Dom Aelbrigt, a Benedictine Monk, and that the Gloss was English. The name of the compiler is Donyel Brigte, which Simon converts into Don Elbrigt. Donyel signifies in Irish, Daniel, which name is expressed at the end of this MS. where the author says in the Irish, that he had written and coinpiled the Gospels by order of seven Irish Kings or Princes, whose names he mentions. M. Toland has decyphered and translated this, and delivered to M. Aymon, whom he assured, that considering the chronology and time of the reign of these Kings, this Codex must exceed the age of 900 years. On the margin is a Calena Patrum, wherein the passages quoted from the Fathers differ very much from the ancient MSS. and editions; nay, the text itself is quite different from the Vulgate; f. e. Matth. v. 22, qui irascitur fratri suo, is the marginal note. "In alio Codice sic legitur, sine causa.' Simon says that additions are made to it by a modern; but they are very few, and of little moment.

[ocr errors]

6. A volume on vellum, 8vo. three fingers thick, very ancient. It is written with the same litteris uncialibus per breves lineas, as the Codex Bezanus at Cambridge, and is, perhaps, of the same date. It contains the four Gospels in Latin. You find there a


great many corrections, written by a modern, and several things which were omitted in the text are put on the margin.

7. Four Original Letters from Charles Visconti, secretary to Pope Pius IV. at the Council of Trent, which are very much praised by Amelet in his Preface to the Histoire du Concile de Trente. These letters clear up all the several intrigues committed at this Council, more than even Sarpi does. M. Aymon has published some of them. He is in possession of many more Original Letters of Catherine de Medici, Henry the Second and Fourth, Kings of France, and others.

8. The Original Letter of Hercules, Cardinal of Mantoua, primus Legatus at the Council of Trent, 1562, 1563, to the Pope, wherein he very warmly complains of the intrigues, and if it should not be mended, he would quit his service, from which he was afterwards dismissed.

9. M. Aymon has likewise the MS. of the Memoires d'Estrades, Ambassador in Holland, which he published, without mentioning his name and the Memoirs of the Ambassadors who were at that time at Vienna, Rome, and in England, which he intends to publish.

10. M. Aymon showed me some very remarkable MSS. which, as he told me, he received from the Bishop of Lyons, with the condition to publish them. The Bishop was in China eight years, where he had a great dispute with the Jesuits about the adoration of Confucius. That he might discover the better their forgeries and malice, he took care to get, by the help of a young Mandarin, the first translation of Confucius out of the library of the Emperor of China, which MS. is that of M. Aymon. This translation is quite different from that which the Jesuits published afterwards. It was executed by the most learned among the Jesuits, as soon as they came over to China, and is done so well and exact, that all the Chinese words are numbered. The Latin translation is numbered in the same manner, and written with large letters, that they could be the better distinguished, and that one may see the proper meaning of each word. The modern Jesuits, who published Confucius, did not exactly perform it after this first translation, but they omitted whole chapters which were against their purpose, and corrected and altered many things. The MS. of Confucius is in five volumes, folio, each volume two fingers thick, but the modern Latin translation contains only one single volume in print. M. Aymon told me, that he saw at Rome, in the Vatican, Baronii Annales, xiv. vols. in MS. where many passages are blotted out, which they afterwards omitted in print: nay they left out two volumes, concerning the 10th century, where Baronius relates all the wicked actions of the Popes.

[Then follows an account of various printed Chinese books and maps.]

14. Six leaves on vellum, folio, whereupon are these words, Ex Cod. 1827 (which is, perhaps, a reference to the King's library at Paris, and cut out of a Codex belonging to it). The contents are Sapientissimi Scholarii, Patriarchæ Constantinopolitani, de Christiana Fide, scil. Confessio. M. Aymon had made the following note to it: "Hæc fidei confessio Gennadii S. Georgii, legitur in Codd. 1004. 1686. 1816. 1727. 2388. Bibl. Reg. Par. et in Bibl. Patr. T. iv. et in Hæresiologia, sed notandum, quod iste Codex nonnulla in fine addat, quæ in aliis frustra quæras.'

[ocr errors]

15. A volume in 4to. forma oblongiori, wherein was noted, "Hic liber formularum charactere Kirna dicto, continet Epistolas elegant. Imp. Solymani ad Schach Tamas Persarum Regem."

16. A vol. in fol. MS. on vellum, viz. Sermones Ricardi de S. Victore, Parisiensi, which is, as M. Aymon said, published by the Fathers of the Congregation of S. Maur, under the name of Hugo de S. Victore, because Richard is reckoned as a heretic, and there are many things in his Sermons they do not like, therefore they made in their edition several alterations and transpositions. M. Aymon takes this Codex to be 400 or 500 years old; but I believe it does not reach to 300 years.

16. M. Aymon gave me a sight of a very remarkable book, which, as he confessed, he had stolen from Rome, viz. two volumes in fol. min. each two fingers thick, containing a perfect Taxam Cancellariæ Rom. S. Apostolica. There are two printed copies of it, one in Latin in 12mo, published at Lyons, the other in French, at Amsterdam. But you do not find the tenth part of the original in them, especially of the second volume, wherein is treated de peccatis el absolutione. Here are named the most shocking crimes, of which nothing is said in the printed copies. There is in this original MS. au Index of the sodomy, whoredom, &c. committed by the Clergy with their spiritual children. A Key is affixed, or a Modus solvendi taxam, wherein it is said, that each x signifies a ducato di Camera. This Codex is the more to be observed, as the Papists deny that this Tax ever has been in use. It is now and then added in the margin, that on that day such a sum was paid, and that remission was received for it ex speciali gratia. M. Aymon discovered to me his intention to publish it.

17. Lastly, M. Aymon took the pains to shew me 200 of the scarcest and most beautiful foreign plants and herbs. He told me that they formerly belonged to the collection of Professor Herman, part of which he kept for himself, the rest he sold to the King of Prussia. But as M. Herman's wife assured me that she sold the whole collec

tion to the said King, it seems to me, that M. Aymon had the disposal of it, and that he acted mala fide as a commissioner.

The above extracts will demonstrate pretty clearly what a scoundrel this Aymon was, and there is too much reason to fear that depredations of a similar kind on the Continental libraries, have within the last century been carried on to a great extent. The system, indeed, on which most of them are conducted, renders it difficult, if not impossible, to guarantee the safety of a MS. or printed book. I could add several instances, from my own knowledge, of volumes purloined; but the above is quite sufficient to prove how necessary it is to have some voucher for the respectability of a stranger admitted to a public library, and for the MSS. he there be permay mitted to consult. It is well known that Sir Robert Cotton lost many MSS. out of his library, both before and after the fire; and No. 4, described by V. Uffenbach, has very much the appearance of having escaped in this manner. I may add, that at a public auction last year in Dublin, one of the original Cotton MSS. taken out of the library previously to its being deposited in the British Museum, was sold, and purchased by a friend of mine, of whose collection it is not the least valuable ornament. Yours, &c. C. N.

[blocks in formation]

AFTER a residence of a fortnight at Rouen, I proceeded to Caudebec about twenty-two miles on the road to Havec. This small town is situated in a deep and narrow valley, through which a clear and rapid stream, turning several miles in its course, finds its way into the Seine, which washes the walls of the town. The Seine makes a bend opposite this place, and forms the most magnificent feature in the prospect. The walks on the banks of the river, have lofty and precipitous rocks on one side, above which the views are most magnificent, having the extensive forest of Brintom in front, and commanding a view of the course of the river for many miles. The view from Richmond-hill, if we except the numerous and beautiful villas with which that prospect is ornamented, is a miniature representa

[ocr errors][merged small]


Caudebec, in Normandy.—St. Vaudrille.

tion of the Seine which the heights above Caudebec present.

The town itself, containing about 5000 inhabitants, consists of narrow crowded streets, or rather alleys, some very ancient and all picturesque, especially that through which the rivulet flows. Its principal ornament is the church, one of the most splendid monuments of the Architecture of the commencement of the 16th century, which France, or any other country, can exhibit, and well deserving the encomium which Henry the Fourth of France passed upon it, as being the most beautiful chapel in his dominions. The building was commenced, as we learn from an inscription on his monument, by Guilac de Telier of Fontaines le Pin near Falaise, on the 1st of September 1484. The church consists of a nave, two ailes, with a circular aspic, supported by 24 columns, and lighted by 26 windows below, and 22 in the clerestory. These, which are of large dimensions, give a great lightness to the building. The entire length is 260 feet, by 75 wide and 68 high. The windows have been filled with painted glass, and though many of them are much defaced, yet those on the north side are very perfect, and coeval with the original building. A window on the south west, representing the passage of the Israelites through the Red Sea has given the artist an opportunity of displaying a profusion of that gorgeous red which distinguishes the works of the ancient vitriers. In one of the windows at the west end, is a representation of the Last Supper, which bears, in the arrangement of the figures, a strong resemblance to that by Lionardo da Vinci on the subject. The top of the church on the outside is surrounded with an open balustrade of gothic letters, three feet high, containing the commencement of the hymn Salve Regina and the Magnificat, and which have been originally gilt. The elaborate carving round the arch of the west entrance, consisting of various series of figures under gorgeous tabernacles, is, for elegance of design and delicacy of workmanship, beyond my power of description in the short account which this letter must contain. The tower is on the side of the church. It is like the south tower of the cathedral of Rouen and that of the church GENT MAG. January, 1832.


of St. Ouen, being surmounted by an octangular lantern of great beauty and elegance. On this lantern is a low spire of open tracery, chiefly of fleursde-lis, and enclosed by three crowns. It is quite in keeping, as to richness of ornament, with the other parts of the


The neighbourhood of Caudebec is rich in places of great antiquarian interest. As the monastery of St. Vaudrille is not mentioned either by Dr. Dibdin or Mr. Dawson Turner, I cannot omit giving a slight account of it, though I should fail of making it so acceptable to your readers, as if it had come from the pen of either of those accomplished tourists.


At a mile and a half on the road to Rouen a small valley is crossed, which divides about a mile higher into two narrow dells. That on the right, about a mile from the high road, contains the interesting ruin of one of the most ancient and most magnificent monastic establishments in France. first object on arriving at the village is the parish church, which contains more than a small sprinkling of the figures of Saints, with considerable remains of painted glass. The tower in the centre is of early Norman architecture, and would remind a Sussex antiquary of Old Shoreham, except that all the parts are much more fresh and sharp. A few paces to the east of the church are the remains of the monastery, which was the oldest established in Normandy, except St. Ouen at Rouen, being founded by St. Vaudrille in the year 684. To trace its history, from its first establishment, under the name of Fontanella, and recount the various accidents from fire, and the ravages of barbarians, would take up too great a portion of your pages. The church was commenced in 1255 and finished in 1304. The fall of the tower in 1631 destroying a great part of the nave, left it in an imperfect state, which was never afterwards restored, so that at the time of the revolution there was only the quire, the transepts, and about half of the nave. These remains, though extremely beautiful, are now under the hands of the Goths and Vandals, and in less than six months will probably have entirely disappeared, or only be found in heaps by the road side. The house of the Abbot,

the apartments for the guests and visitors on the west side, and a wing 300 feet in length, containing the cells of the monks on the east, were built in the latter part of the 17th century. Between these are the cloisters and refectory of a much earlier date. The door leading from the cloisters to the church, and that leading to the abbot's house, are in the richest style of florid Gothic. The lavatory near the door of the refectory, is 7 feet in length, supplied by four streams, and ornamented in the style of Gothic arabesque. The refectory is 125 feet long, 35 feet wide, with an arched roof 50 feet high of very excellent carpentry. The Gothic windows, eight on each side, contain fragments of painted glass. A corridor under the dormitory, 140 feet long and 25 feet wide, is supported by pillars and lighted with windows of plain glass, surrounded by a rich border of painted glass, representing flowers, fruits, and animals. The original purchaser of these extensive buildings, converted them into a cotton-spinning manufactory, which since his death has been discontinued. The husbands of his two daughters and coheirs have disagreed as to the division of the property, and a wall was building when I was there between their separate shares. The destruction of the church, which was their joint property, seems, to have been the only matter on which they have agreed. Through the narrow valley in which this monastery is situated, and indeed, under a great part of the building itself, a clear stream flows, from which it took its ancient name of Fontanelle. On the side of the bank facing the south, are the extensive gardens of the monks, where many of the fruit trees planted before the revolution, still luxuriate. The most striking circumstance relating to these ruins is the extreme whiteness and freshness of the stone. That part of the building erected about 160 years ago is as white as chalk, while that of the older part is of a rich creamy hue, with the ornaments and carving as sharp and fresh as when they came from the sculptor's hands. Yours, &c.



Jan. 9.

THE persevering exertions of the friends and admirers of antiquity saved York Cathedral from a greater mis

chance than that which the hand of the incendiary had inflicted. Let us hope that by means of the same exertions the impending fate of the Priory Church of St. Saviour's, Southwark, may be averted. With this view, I beg to occupy a page in your Magazine with another notice. Though I have already more than once pressed the same subject upon your readers' attention, I feel no apology is necessary for again recurring to it. The friends of the ancient building are gaining strength; a sensation is excited in its favour which is mainly to be attributed to the notice bestowed by the public press on this interesting building; but, as considerable error seems to be abroad, it shall be the subject of the following letter to remove, in the first place, the erroneous notions which exist with respect to the Lady Chapel.

The advocates for the destruction of this portion of the building are evidently in error, in supposing that it is an extraneous piece of building, in no way connected with the church. This is a serious but manifest error; and, if exposed, will no doubt induce some of the opposers of the existence of it to change their opinions. The Lady Chapel of St. Saviour's is a portion of the church situated at the east end of the building. It consists of four ailes in breadth, and three in length, and the disposition is as follows of the four ailes which make up the breadth, the two external ones are continuations of the ailes of the choir; the other two are situated immediately behind the altar-screen, and make up together an extent equal in breadth to the nave, the architecture being in the best style of the thirteenth century. Now, inasmuch as the nave and transepts had been rebuilt in the fourteenth century, the exterior features of the choir and Lady Chapel were certainly different to the other portions; but any person taking the trouble to compare the mullions in the very singular windows in the north aisle of the choir with those on the south side of the Lady Chapel, will perceive, not only that the same general features are prevalent in both, but that in fact the windows are perfectly fac-similes of each other.* The four

To the architectural antiquary these windows are highly interesting, as presenting one of the earliest specimens of the mullioned window.


Church of St. Saviour's, Southwark.

gables which form the eastern termination of the Lady Chapel contain triple lancet windows, in two series, which assimilate with those in the clerestory of the choir, except that there the central arch is alone pierced, the others being blank; an arrangement which arose from the architect's fear of weakening the walls of the choir by piercing the whole of the apertures, and so rendering it insufficient to sustain the stone vault. So far the exterior features of the structure show the work of one hand; and, though a buttress built by Mr. Gwilt on the restoration of the choir, appears to make a distinction between the aile and the Lady Chapel, such distinction is entirely modern, and is, after all, only made by an alteration in the cap of a buttress. Before the restoration, the rough flinty walls of the Lady Chapel and the aile of the church showed plainly enough the workmanship of one period. Now, it is true, from the improved state of the choir and the neglect of the Lady Chapel, the latter certainly does, to fastidious eyes, present the appearance of an uncouth excrescence; yet this is a fault easily removed by repair, and calls not for total destruction. In the interior, the connexion is the more striking a spectator standing in either aile of the choir, would, if the wooden partition was removed, see the aile terminated by a lancet window of three lights, and, if he looked to the vaulting, he would perceive it to be continued in an uniform design from the eastern wall of the transept to the aforesaid lancet window, without interruption, without any change of ornament, or any distinctive mark whatever, to show where the aile terminated and where the Lady Chapel began. How, then, can it with any propriety be termed an excrescence ? It was built at the same time with, and is in the same style of architecture as the choir. To an antiquary, or to any one at all acquainted with the antient ecclesiastical arrangement, it appears to bear the same relation to the church as the head does to the human body; it is the appropriate finish-the harmonious terminationof a grand and beautiful design.


[ocr errors]

I shall be told that it is an excrescence, in so far as it is not wanted for the purposes of public worship, according to the ritual of the Church of


England. I am ready to admit that as far as mere utility is concerned, it is not a necessary part of the Church; but as every building consecrated for public worship in the Established Church is expected to present a handsome and imposing appearance, the parts of such a structure ought not to be tried solely by the test of utility. The steeple, for instance, is a necessary appendage, not only to contain the bells, but to add to the dignity of the structure, and to distinguish it from all secular buildings; and if the architecture is Grecian, the portico also is almost indispensable.* View the dome of our Cathedral, crowning the stupendous metropolis to which it is so proud an ornament. If a mere room for public worship was all that is required, the swelling cupola, the aspiring steeple, and the noble portico, are all excrescences, and ought to be lopped off and destroyed; but, inasmuch as they add to the dignity of the building, they are as much entitled to protection as those portions which possess the merit of utility. I may therefore affirm without hesitation, that not only such parts of the church as are absolutely necessary for the accommodation of the congregation and the performance of worship, are essential, but also all those which add to the beauty and increase the dignity of the church as a building. Now of this class is the Lady Chapel of St. Saviour's; it is not required for public worship (of its uses I shall speak by and by), but its existence is absolutely necessary to preserve the integrity and beauty of the building. The church of which it forms a part is built on the perfect cathedral arrangement; it bears a resemblance in its ground plan to the matchless Cathedral of Salisbury; and if any part is destroyed, the harmony of the whole design is essentially injured. How, then, can the dignity of the church, as a building, be preserved, if it is mutilated and denuded of an important member? The ground plan, as it now exists, was laid down by the original architect, and the elevation raised as we now see it. To improve a finished design is a difficult,

*If every part of a Church which is merely ornamental, is to be considered unworthy of preservation, what will become of the cariatidal porticoes of St. Pancras, for which the parish paid so dearly?

« AnteriorContinuar »