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churchman of Bray, doffed his protestant mantle and conformed to the ancient faith:
outwardly, saith his recent biographer, Dr. Nares, but certainly so far as engaging a Romish domestic chaplain, humbling himself at the confessional, and kneeling before the altar of the real presence, constitute such a conformation. This outward demonstration proved not to have been assumed in vain, for we find the wily politician enjoying again the sunshine of royal favor," &c. &c.
The Count de Feria's evidence on this subject is obviously worthless.
MEMORIALS OF LITERARY CHARACTERS, No. XXVI.
POETICAL NOTE FROM EDWARD CAVE
TO MR. JOHN HUGHS, PRInter. (Printed in Nichols's Literary Anecdotes, vol. V. p. 35; but here more correctly, from the original now in the Duke of Buckingham's Library at Stowe.)
Good Master Hughes, I hope you'll excuse That a favour to ask I presume. What favour is it?That me you will visit, Who cannot stir out of my room. I hope you're stout, And can trudge about, And therefore your favour I crave, The sooner the better, Thus ends a gout letter From your humble, très humble E. CAVE. Monday, Dec. 12, 174-(Sic in orig.) St. John's Gate.
poem notwithstanding, and accordingly requested its insertion in the Mercure, a periodical of some reputation. This, however, the editor, De la Roque, positively refused, and indeed declined receiving any more of his communications. If Desforges, in the extraordinary step which he took in consequence, had only intended to be revenged, he would have had his object; but there is no reason to suppose that the spretæ injuria musæ actuated him with any such design. He probably wanted to be read, and to secure that gratification at all events.
He conceived the idea of personating a female authoress, and of giving his poetry to the world as her productions. Of course it was necessary to assume a different name from his own, and this he took from a vineyard called Malcrais, which was situated near his residence at Brederac. Under the name of Mademoiselle Malcrais de la Vigne, he forwarded some little pieces of poetry to De la Roque, the aforementioned editor of the Mercure. Whether he made use of any other person's handwriting is not mentioned; but in any case he risked detection : for if they were sent in his own hand, it was hardly to be expected that the editor would be blinded by a feigned name; while if they were written out by some one else, he exposed himself to the betrayal of the secret. ever plan he adopted, the device succeeded; the editor fell into the snare, and not only inserted the verses without suspicion, but did it with plea,
As the Mercure had a great circulation, the poetry was extensively read.
In a short time the praises of the Breton authoress were in everybody's mouth, and she was hailed, by the poets of the day, as a tenth muse. The criticism, which would have blasted the real author, was dumb when a lady was believed to be in the case. Destouches addressed some complimentary lines to her in the same periodical, as also did several others, and even Voltaire complimented her through that channel, in some lines beginning,
Toi dont la voix brillante a volé sur nos rives.
Thou, whose delightful song,
So far, there was no great harm done, except the compromise of truth, which ought not to be tampered with, on any account. The situation of the poet was ridiculous enough, to any one who was in the secret; but to De la Roque, the editor of the Mercure, the consequences were quite pitiful. He became violently enamoured of the fair unknown, and, as he was a bachelor, determined on making her an offer of marriage. How to address her was the difficulty, as he had no direct means of communicating with her: he therefore resolved on doing so through the Mercure, and inserted a declaration to that effect; part of it was thus expressed: "Je vous aime, belle Bretonne; pardonnez moi cet aveu, mais le mot est laché."—I love you, fair Breton; forgive me this avowal, but the word has escaped
Whether Desforges thought it was now high time to impose on the world no longer, or whether (as M. Delaporte says,) he had grown tired of acting a part, he declared himself to be the author of the poetry which had been so much admired. The result of this acknowledgment astonished everybody, but to himself it must have been deeply mortifying. When the female mask was taken off the idol, the charm was gone.
The verses, which had been so highly extolled, now sank below mediocrity in public estimation, and it must be owned, that such was their real value. It is now agreed, that his style was prolix, and wanted taste. The adventure furnished Pirou with the subject of his
metromanie, and thus Desforges was condemned to a reputation he would never otherwise have attained. It is remarkable, that he was a member of the provincial academies of Angers, Caen, La Rochelle, and Nancy, a circumstance which certainly tends to rate the privilege of their admission very low.
Desforges deserves some credit, for a readiness of mind, which turned everything to account. Having become acquainted with Voltaire, in his assumed character, he endeavoured to make an advantageous use of the introduction. He was desirous of obtaining an appointment, which was in the gift of the comptroller-general, with which view, he wrote to Voltaire, to secure his interest. Voltaire promised to do his best to procure him the appointment, concluding his letter with these words, which Desforges had no right to complain of, though they may have touched him close:"Trop heureux si je puis obtenir quelque chose du Plutus de Versailles en faveur de l'Apollo-de Bretagne." Too happy if I can obtain anything from the Plutus of Versailles in favor of the Apollo of Britanny.
Desforges died in 1772. He published Poems of Mlle. Malcrais de la Vigne, 1735. Verses in French and Latin on the taking of Bergen-opZoom, 1748. Les Arbres, an idyll, 1751. Works in verse and prose, 1759 printed at Amsterdam, 2 vols.
The following specimen of his poetry will suffice to shew that his standard was not above mediocrity; the lines were composed for the portrait of M. de Robien, who possessed a fine collection of medals.
Magistrat équitable, ami pur et sincère,
Et son beau cabinet a de quoi satisfaire
*The preceding account is taken from M. Delaporte's Recherches sur la Bretagne, Les Siècles Litteraires of M. Sabatier de Castres, and the Dict. Historique of M. de Beauvais.
ON THE KINGDOM OF YVETOT.
"Yvetot, Yvetotium, grand bourg de France, au pays de Caux, en Normandie, a 2 lieues de Caudebec, et 6 de Rouen. Il à porté le titre de Prince dans la Maison du Belai. Il y a en de grands disputes entre les savans, sur le titre de Royaume que plusieurs ont prétendu avoit été donné à ce bourg."-Vosgien (Ladvocat) Dictionnaire Géographique, edit. 1759.
Yvetot, 9,853 habitans, jolie ville industrieuse, eut des seigneurs qui, avant Louis XI. portaient le titre de Rois."Teuliéres, Nouvelle Géographie de la France, 1832, p. 94.
The preceding extracts sufficiently indicate the nature of the question which attaches to the town of Yvetot in Normandy. The kingdom of Yvetot, and its kings, are proverbial in France, though the title is now a mere burlesque, like that of the Mayors of Garratt in our country. But so general a belief prevails, of this place having formerly enjoyed the dignity of a kingdom, however insignificant in point of size, that seemingly some circumstance must have occurred, to give rise to the tradition. The following account, which contains the essence of the controversy, is taken from the "Histoire du duché de Normandie" by M. Goube, 1815, vol. iii. p. 97-99.
"This town has given rise to many fables, since Robert Gaguin (of the order of Mathurins) who, notwithstanding his errors was not the less a person of merit, thought fit to say in his History of France, which ends in 1499, book ii. fol. 17, that Gautier, chamberer* or valet to Clotaire I. having been disgraced by his master, withdrew into banishment for the space of ten years; that at the close of this period, flattering himself that the son of Clovis was mollified, he determined on returning to France, and, in passing by Rome, Pope Agapetus I. gave him letters of recommendation to the King, who was then at Soissons, the capital of his dominions. Gautier d' Yvetot arrived there on Good
Friday, 536; he went immediately to the church where Clotaire was, and threw himself at his feet, intreating him to receive him into favour, by His merit, who on a similar day had shed His blood for the salvation of mankind; but Clotaire, a stern and cruel prince, having recognised his chamberer, ran him through the body with his sword.
Gaguin, apparently indignant at the King's abominable treatment of Gautier, and supposing that Agapetus had felt the same indignation, says, that the pontiff threatened Clotaire with the thunders of the Vatican, if he did not make amends for his crime; that the monarch, being intimidated, erected the lordship of Yvetot into a kingdom, in favour of the heirs and successors of the lord of Yvetot; that he dispatched letters to that effect, signed by himself and sealed with his signet; and that since this time the lords of Yvetot have borne the title of King.' Gaguin proceeds to say, that this extraordinary event happened in the year of grace 536, as is proved by certain and indisputable authority.'
"This passage of the history of France by Gaguin has been examined with the most rigid exactitude by the Abbé de Vertot, in a dissertation inserted among those of the collection of the Memoirs of
[the Academy of] Inscriptions in 1714,
4to. vol. iv. where this learned abbé proves, that no contemporary historian mentions this singular event; that Clotaire was not sovereign of Neustria, be cause he was King of Soissons; lastly, that Pope Agapetus was dead. That at this time fiefs were not hereditary; and that acts were not dated by the year of grace, as Robert Gaguin relates.
"It is probable, that in the period between 1370 and 1390, the sovereign, by a particular favour, changed the land of Yvetot into franc-aleu, and freed it from all duty of homage and vassalage, which land has since enjoyed all the privileges of the noble freeholds.
"On this subject may be consulted, the dissertation of the Abbé Vertot; the treatise on Nobility, by M. de la Roque; the Geographical Dictionary of France; the Mercure for January, 1726; and the Latin treatise on the kingdom of Yvetot, by Claude Malingre,† entitled, De falsa
Or chamberlain; this officer formerly held one of the five great offices of the Crown. The grand chamberer took precedence of the constable. (Note by M. Goube.) An historian of the seventeenth century; his best work is his History of the Honorary Dignities of France. (Note by M. Goube.-M. Beauvais considers him a very mediocre writer.)
GENT. MAG. VOL. XII.
regni Yvetoti narratione, ex majoribus commentariis fragmentum, Paris, 1615,
Such is the account which M. Goube has given in his History of Normandy. The objections of Vertot are not entirely conclusive; for 1. Neustria is a vague term, and M. Goube (vol. i. p. 30) includes it in the dominions of Clotaire; and as M. Teuliéres observes, there is no settled opinion as to the positive boundary to be assigned to the kingdoms of Austrasia and Neustria. (Nouvelle Géographie, p. 163.) 2. The death of Agapetus is placed in 536, but great exactness of calculation is not to be required in these cases, nor would the mistake of a pope's name invalidate the story.* 2. Gaguin, as cited by M. Goube, does not say that the act was dated by the year of grace, but that it happened in the year of grace 536, i. e. according to the present mode of computation. 4. Although fiefs may not usually have been hereditary at that time, the narrative is not materially affected by the argument, for the practice may have commenced in this instance. The silence of contemporary historians is certainly unfavourable, though not insuperably so; at least the story is but too conformable to Clotaire's character. In Galignani's Guide through France, p. 643, it is said, without referring to any authority, that "this prince and the aforesaid lord were not contemporaries, and consequently the tale deserves no credit."
As might be expected, the French historians are divided on the subject, but the proponderance is against it. President Henault thinks it worth alluding to, but merely says, at the year 534, "The supposed kingdom of Yvetot is placed in this year." Lenglet Dufresnoy, in his Chronology, treats it as "a mere fable," but adds, that "The land of Yvetot has long been a franc-aleu." M. Beauvais, in his va
luable Dictionnaire Historique, (art. GAUTIER) says, that" the pope erected Yvetot into a kingdom, but the circumstance is not incontestable." The Abbé Macquer, in his Abrége Chronologique de l'Histoire Ecclesiastique (drawn up on the plan of Henault) makes no mention of it. It is also passed over by Guyot, in a History of France, composed for the plates of F. A. David, a work particularly severe on the crimes of the French Kings, and where we might naturally expect to have found it, if the writer had not thought fit to omit it.
Mr. Beauvais (art. GAUTIER) has mentioned some other works, to which the reader may refer, who is disposed to investigate the subject. 1. Les Preuves de l'Histoire du Royaume d'Yvetot, par Jean Ruault, Paris, 1631, 4to. which he elsewhere states to be rare et recherché. 2. A dissertation on the supposed kingdom, by the Abbé des Thuileries, printed in the third volume of the Dictionnaire Universelle de France. 3. The dissertation of Foncemagne, inserted in the description of Upper Normandy, by Toussaint-Duplessis. 4. Précis Analytique des Travaux de l'Académie de Rouen, 1812, 8vo.
Yvetot, as Vosgien mentions, was the property of the Du Bellay family, but not their residence, as the most eminent of them were born at Montmirail. Martin du Bellay, LieutenantGeneral of Normandy, is known by the title of Prince of Yvetot. He was author of historical memoirs, illustrative of the reign of Francois I. and died in 1559. After remaining in this family for about a hundred and thirty years, it passed to that of AlbonSaint-Marcel.
These particulars are better calculated to excite curiosity than to satisfy it. The subject has not received much attention in England, and offers a new field of inquiry to our antiquaries. I am, &c. CYDWELI.
*Pope Agapetus died at Constantinople, April 14, 536, and as he was advanced to the popedom May 4, of the year preceding, it is evident that he could not be the pontiff of the whole story. But one pope may have given the commendatory letters to Gautier, and his successor may have threatened Clotaire for that nobleman's death.
HURLEY CHURCH, BERKSHIRE.
(Continued from Vol. XI. p. 263.)
June 6. IN continuation of my description of the exterior of Hurley Church, which you did me the honour to insert in your March number, I now proceed with a description of its interior.
The northern wall is quite blank, its Saxon windows and the doorway having been blocked up flush to its surface, and the whole so plastered over, that their former situations are hardly discernible. The eastern is a mere partition wall, and also blank. The windows of the south wall I have fully described in my previous paper, and need here only state that the Saxon jambs are much splayed, and that the modern windows have their jambs and mullions moulded, and otherwise ornamented, like those of the exterior. The southern entrance to the nave is a compound doorway of three several receding arches. The loftiest and first in order, reckoning from within, and which may be called the constructional arch, is semicircularly-headed, and square-edged, having, in hollowed chamfers, edge shafts with small but mutilated bases, astragals, and singly. cleft cushion capitals. The second is a square-edged segmental arch stopped by the jambs of the first; and the third or sub-arch, being pointed, designates this doorway as an insertion of the twelfth century, and an example of the gradual transition of Norman into pointed architecture. The door is of oak, but modern and strongly made. Nearly above this doorway was one of the little Saxon windows, and, though now merely a plain niche, yet interestingly shews that the jambs of Saxon windows were less sloped than those of their Norman successors. The chancel doorway has plain sloped jambs; and the interior arches of the Norman west doorway and window we have previously noticed.
The floor of the nave is on a much lower level than the ground surround
ing it, the western and southern entrances having each a descent of four steps inwards. The chancel floor is one step higher than that of the nave, and the floor of the altar-place is two steps higher than the chancel; but this elevation is in part evidently modern, the base of the Lovelace monument being hidden by it. With respect to this difference of levels of the lower floor and the church-yard, although it may in some degree be attributed to the interments of many centuries, I still think that it was originally intended to be so; and, when so considerable as in the present case, that it demonstrates the Saxon origin of all churches similarly circumstanced.
The pavement consists principally of common square red tiles, but in the chancel and altar place are some with glazed green and yellow surfaces, and several of those small figured tiles, denominated Norman, variously adorned with quater and octo-foliated circles and gyrons of different angles; though none have any more decidedly heraldic bearings than leopards' faces, and large single fleursde-lis.
The figures on these ancient tiles are mostly red and yellow, but a few are of a bluish tinge, and imperfectly vitrified, as if only half baked.
The ceiling is apparently of lath and plaster. Its eastern part is of irreguIar polygonal form, beneath which are two tie-beams. The western portion is, however, semi-decagonal, and has four tie-beams with queen-posts, braces, and straining beams, being open on two of its faces to the purlins and rafters of the roof's slope. The ancient ceiling was either flat, or, more probably, sloped, and open to its timber frame, for there are no remains of shafts, or pilasters, or corbel-brackets, from which groined or vaulted ceiling could have sprung; a fact corroborative of our previously expressed opinion, that the