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Brittany & Its Byways
by Fanny Bury Palliser
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"'Baron, these are my guard,' Said the unknown—'Here, lo! Thy father's aged form, By poignard stroke laid low; Here thy wife, cruelly slain In the year thy brother fell; They stand, pale, bleeding, stiff,— Their murderer, can'st thou tell?'

"The phantoms three enlaced The trembling baron round; He vainly shrieked,—the walls With demon laughs resound; The echoing thunders rolled Along the valley deep; Lightnings, when pale dawn broke, Blasted the castle keep.

"It stands a blackened pile; The ruined gate is there. But the sky lowers dark, Oh! traveller flee, beware; At this hour the shades of night Brood o'er the solemn gloom. Traveller, haste, oh! haste; Leave this abode of doom."

It was in the forest of La Hunaudaye that the Chouans of the Cotes du Nord were secretly exercised and drilled by their chief, La Rouerie, under the name of Gosselin, who died of horror on hearing of the execution of thirteen of his confederates betrayed by the physician Chaftal. Gosselin was succeeded by the "Cid" of the Chouan chiefs, Boishardy, called the "Sorcier," who, after his interview with General Humbert, was betrayed and shot by the "Bleus." For twelve years was Brittany cut off from France by this Chouan war, an insurrection even more formidable than that of La Vendee. The peninsular position of Brittany, its vast extent of coasts, its forests, its mountains, its people, speaking a strange language, entirely under the subjection of the priests, rendered it peculiarly adapted to carry on a war against the republicans; a war, the whole object of which was to upset all order, by preventing the citizens from accepting office under the republic, by punishing those who acquired national property, by stopping couriers and all public conveyances, destroying bridges, breaking up roads, assassinating public officers, and executing horrible punishments on those who sent provisions into the towns.

The castle of La Hunaudaye was destroyed by order of the Commune of Lamballe, in 1793, that it might not serve as a retreat for the Chouans.

We arrived very wet at Lamballe, a town most picturesquely situated on the declivity of a granite cliff, surmounted by a handsome church, rising from the very edge of the rocks. It formed part of the territory of the Duke of Penthievre, whose heiress, Jeanne la Boiteuse, married Charles of Blois, the competitor with John de Montfort(7) for the dukedom of Brittany. More tenacious of her rights than her husband, Jeanne would never listen to any compromise. After the treaty of Bretigny, the kings of England and France proposed a division of the duchy between the two rivals; but, intimidated by his wife, Charles dared not consent; and again, before the battle of Auray, when a division was agreed upon, subject to the acceptance of the Countess, Jeanne exclaimed, "My husband makes too cheap a bargain of what is not his own." And she wrote to Charles, "Do what you please. I am a woman, and cannot do more; but I had rather lose my life, or two if I had them, before I would consent to so reproachable an act, to the shame of my family" (des miens). Later she said to him, "Preserve me your heart, but preserve me also my duchy, and, happen what may, act so that the sovereignty remains to me entire." Her pride and obstinacy cost her husband his life. The name of Lamballe is associated with the memory of the unfortunate Princesse de Savoie de Carignan, the sad victim of revolutionary fury. On the death of her husband, the Prince de Lamballe, the vast estates of the Penthievre family passed to his sister, the wife of Philippe Egalite, and from her descended to Louis Philippe, King of the French.



Next day we made an excursion to the famed Temple of Lanleff, in Breton, the "land of tears," situated in a retired valley about six miles from the sea. According to the tradition of the country, it was built by "Les moines rouges," as they style the Templar Knights. The road was incessantly up and down hill, as we afterwards found they are throughout Brittany; a "pays accidente" it may be truly called. The chapel of Lanleff is composed of two concentric circular enclosures separated by twelve round arches, with cushion-shaped capitals, having heads, human and animal, rudely sculptured upon them at the four angles. Its whole diameter is about twenty-two feet. It was probably built by some Templar Knight in the beginning of the twelfth century on his return from the Holy Land. The number of arches may allude to that of the twelve Apostles.



The parish church was built into the east side of the temple, the only part which has preserved its roof, and which served as a vestibule to the more modern building. A gigantic yew formerly grew in the central enclosure, and overshadowed it with its spreading branches; but the parish church has been taken down and rebuilt in another part of the village, and the yew-tree has disappeared.

Close to the temple is a spring enclosed by flagstones. When moistened, they appear covered with blood-stained spots. According to the tradition, in olden times an unnatural father sold his child to the Evil One. The gold received for the bargain was counted out upon the side of the spring, and the accursed money left its print upon the stones. A bare-legged peasant who stood by with her pitcher, threw some water over the stones, and immediately there appeared round red spots of different sizes—indelible marks of the diabolical bargain. We went into a cottage close by, and had some boiled eggs and cider. The inmates were at their meal—a bowl of milk, into which they broke their buckwheat "galette." We were much struck with the jealous pertinacity of the Breton, to show he considers himself as of a different people and country to the rest of France, a feeling which more than three hundred years has not dissipated. Our driver would talk of Bretons and French as of distinct nations, and the Normans in this part of Brittany are the special objects of hatred, originating, perhaps, in the former subjection of Brittany to Normandy. When Charles the Simple ceded to the fierce Northmen the province now known by their name, their sovereignty extended over Brittany, and the dukes of Normandy did homage for both provinces to the King of France. The Bretons struggled hard against the supremacy of the Barbarians, but eventually had to acknowledge the Duke of Normandy as their sovereign lord.

St. Brieuc, principal town of the department of the Cotes-du-Nord, has been described as an old town with a new face. Though one of the oldest in Brittany, it has little of antiquity to detain the traveller. The Palais de Justice is a handsome building, in the midst of a pretty garden, commanding a view of the Tour de Cesson, lower down the river (the Gouet), a large circular tower built by Duke John IV., and blown up by Henry IV., at the desire of the Briochins, as the inhabitants of St. Brieuc style themselves. The mine split it in two, and the part that remains serves as a landmark for the pilots between St. Brieuc and its port, about two miles distant, called Legue. Notre Dame d'Esperance is a pretty church, rebuilt about ten years since, with a calvary in front, and a series of painted windows representing the principal saints of Brittany, and the most celebrated pilgrimages of the Virgin in that province. At St. Brieuc, 1689, James II. of England reviewed his little army, and was received with royal honours by the bishop of the place.

We proceeded by the railway to Guingamp, next to St. Brieuc, the principal town of the department, capital of the duchy of Penthievre. It is situated in the richly wooded and cultivated valley of the Trieux, a favourite fishing river of considerable size, and affording trout, salmon, and dace, from Guingamp to Paimpol, where it falls into the sea, a distance of twenty miles. It runs through the centre of the town, and is here a considerable stream.

Attached to the Cathedral is the venerated sanctuary of Notre Dame-du-Bon-Secours, one of the most celebrated places of pilgrimage in Brittany. The pardon takes place the Saturday before the first Sunday in July, and owes its origin to the brotherhood called the "Frerie blanche," an association of which Duke Peter accepted the title of lay-abbot. The motto embroidered on their banner was (in Breton) "A triple cord is not easily broken." The triple cord being emblematic of the three estates—clergy, nobles, and laity—in whose unity consisted the strength of Brittany. The Frerie blanche no longer exists, the triple cable is broken, the pilgrimage alone remains.



La Pompe, or the fountain of Duke Peter, as it is called, is of later dater date, being in the style of the Renaissance. It consists of three circular basins in tiers. On the lower are sea-horses, which, with their wings, support the second basin, and Naiads uphold the third. On the top is a figure of the Virgin with her arms extended.

The women of Guingamp wear high muslin caps, dark petticoats, and black stockings. Knitting-pins in hand, they work away at their stockings whether walking, talking, or with a load of butter on their heads, as they do throughout all Brittany. When not at work, their knitting-pins are stuck in their hair. Knitting and spinning are the occupation of their lives. When the Breton's idol, Du Guesclin, was a prisoner to the Black Prince, and was asked how he could raise the large sum named for his ransom, Du Guesclin replied, that "the women of Brittany would rather spin for a year and ransom him with their distaffs, than that he should remain prisoner."

"Quand vous etiez captif, Bertrand, fils de Bretagne, Tous les fuseaux tournaient aussi dans la campagne; Chaque femme apporte son echeveau de lin; Ce fut votre rancon, messire Du Guesclin!" Les Bretons, A. BRIZEUX.

Guingamp was given by Duke John V. to his son Peter, who resided here and rebuilt the castle. When attacked by his mortal illness, the physicians attributed his malady to witchcraft, and declared it could only be remedied by counter-spells. The Prince refused to have recourse to such means, saying, "I had rather die by the will of God, than live by the will of the Devil."—"J'aime mieux mourir de par Dieu, que de vivre de par le Diable."

We walked to the small chapel of St. Leonard, picturesquely situated on a little eminence. It was built by Charles of Blois, on his return from his captivity in England, and dedicated by him to St. Leonard, the patron-saint of prisoners—a contemporary of Clovis, from whom he obtained permission to set free all the captives he should find in the prisons. In the month of May, people who are attacked with fever repair to St. Leonard to seek, upon the walls of the chapel or on the calvary attached to it, snails as cures for their malady. They must gather them themselves, pound them, and put them into little bags, which they wear round their necks. As soon as the fever leaves them they bury their bags at the foot of the walls of the chapel, and, if they fail to perform this ceremony, the fever will return. We found quantities of these bags, made of coarse linen, lying half-buried under the walls of the chapel. There is a pardon here every year, on which occasion only the chapel is opened.

We took a carriage to Paimpol. On our way we stopped at the Chateau de Boisgelin, belonging to the Marquis of the same name, but could not obtain admittance. On to the Abbey of Beauport (Sancta Maria de Bello Porto), founded in the thirteenth century, beautifully situated on a tongue of land at the entrance of the Bay of Paimpol, opposite the island of Saint-Rion. In its large garden, which extends down to the sea, are planted myrtles, figs, mulberries, and other trees of the south of Europe. Beauport has been called the Chartreuse of Brittany. It is a lovely secluded spot, as, indeed, are most of the sites of the old abbeys, varying in aspect, but always beautiful. No description can give an idea of the magnificent panoramic views from the walls of the abbey.



M. Merimee justly observes, "It appears strange that, in so early a stage of civilisation, the monks should be so alive to the beauties of nature. The contemplative habits of monastic life must at all times have imparted to the mind a feeling of abstract beauty, independent of any idea of real utility. Secure of an uniform, peaceful existence, limited in his pleasures and his ambition, sheltered by his sacred office, above others, from the reverses of fortune, the monk of the thirteenth century was in a position to love, and did love, beauty for itself. And while the knight, at war with all the world, thought only on building an impregnable fortress, the abbot embellished his dwelling, and tasted the enjoyments afforded by imagination and the arts. "The abbey of Beauport is built in the pointed style, and is a perfect example of the monastic architecture of the thirteenth century—the most important and most beautiful convent ruins in Brittany. The original disposition of its buildings may yet be clearly traced. These abbeys were all built upon the same plan. In the centre was the square garden (preau), surrounded by the cloisters. On the south side the church, extending from west to east; on the north, the refectory, with the kitchen attached. On the east was the chapter-house, and some small apartments; above these were the dormitories. Outside was the interior court, reserved for the brethren, and beyond, the great court, into which the provisions were brought, and round which were the stables and farm buildings. The garden, orchard, mill, oven, dovecote, cider-press, &c., were all within the walled enclosure, for the abbeys were not merely convents dedicated solely to devotional exercises. After prayer followed labour. The Breton abbeys were quite model farms; the woods and the commons afforded the means of rearing cattle to those who had the privilege of pasturage in the forests. Many had also the right of acorns and beech-mast for their pigs (droit au gland et a la faine). One abbey, that of Morimond (Haute Marne), is recorded to have had twenty piggeries, of three hundred pigs each, distributed in its forests. The monks also reared sheep and horses, and fattened fish in their ponds. They were the first who advanced the science of horticulture and the cultivation of vegetables. To these agricultural pursuits were added, in many convents, the industrial arts, and some of the brethren were brewers, curriers, fullers, weavers, shoemakers, carpenters, and blacksmiths. Their cultivation of the liberal arts and sciences is well known. During the Middle Ages the monasteries were the sole depositories of learning. Beauport is now occupied by a Polish lady, Countess Poninsky, who allows no one to enter the abbey, as her husband was buried in the church.

Two or three miles further we reached Paimpol, where we remained the night, at a nice hotel. Paimpol is a seaport town prettily situated in a cultivated country on the bay that bears its name. Its inhabitants are employed in the mackerel and Iceland fisheries. The women about here wear close straw-bonnets. They all, in this department, ride on horseback, "a califourchon," like the men.

We hired our carriage on to Treguier. At Lezardrieux we passed the estuary of the Trieux, over a magnificent suspension-bridge, at a considerable elevation above the water, vessels sail under it. It was built 1840, and is 833 feet long, that is, 167 longer than the famed bridge of La Roche Bernard (Loire Inferieure). The bridge swung frightfully when we passed over it. In the churchyard of Pleudaniel is a pretty granite calvary, and skulls are placed in recesses in the wall on each side of the church-porch.

We next came to the Chateau of La Roche Jagu, on the summit of a hill overhanging the river Trieux and defending the entrance. It has more of the character of a "maison forte" than of a "manoir," as was termed the habitation of a knight, and of those who holding a fief, yet did not possess the seignorial right to a castle with towers and donjon. The manoir might be enclosed by walls and moats, but not with towers. The entrance on the side opposite to the river is through a large walled court by a low Gothic doorway, closed by an enormous iron grating of upright and horizontal bars of great thickness, hanging on four hinges, and secured by four locks; all the windows have gratings of the same kind. A stone staircase leads to the one story, consisting of a suite of large rooms half lighted by narrow windows. Some of these are occupied by the keeper of the castle and others are reserved for the use of the proprietor, the Marquis d'Argentre, and, when he goes there, are decorated and partly furnished with the pieces of old tapestry lying about. At the end of these rooms is a turret, which communicates with a covered gallery surmounting the whole length of the facade facing the river, and commanding a beautiful view of the windings of the silvery Trieux and of its fir-clothed banks. This gallery is furnished with battlements, and served the double purpose of a rampart and an observatory. The wall on the river-side is fifteen feet thick, and a chapel hewn in the thickness of the wall is lighted by a Gothic window looking over the Trieux. Fourteen elegant chimney-shafts of cut stone, cylindrical in form, and ornamented with iron spikes, give a most original character to the building. The chateau belonged to the Marechal Duc de Richelieu, who sold it in 1773 to the Tressan family, under the stipulation that its subterranean passages should not be explored. They are said to extend under the bed of the river to the Chateau of Frinandour, half a league distant.

We next passed through Pontrieux, a pretty, small town, seated in a deep valley, the river Trieux flowing through it. The river here is famous for salmon, and there is a considerable commerce in its little port.

La Roche-Derrien on the Jaudy, during the War of Succession in Brittany, was a castle of some celebrity. It was here Charles of Blois was taken prisoner by the English, who, under Sir Thomas Dagworth, were in possession of the place. Charles of Blois assembled a large army, and attacked them by night. Three times was he rescued, and three times retaken; he had received eighteen wounds, and was at last compelled to surrender. Jeanne de Montfort, like all women who hate, was very vindictive, and caused her illustrious prisoner to be ignominiously dragged to Quimperle, Vannes, and Hennebont, whence he was transferred to London, and confined in the Tower. It was nine years before he regained his liberty. Meanwhile his heroic wife, Jeanne de Penthievre, became head of his party, as Jeanne de Flandre was that of the De Montfort. The "War of the two Jeannes" continued for nine years, during which they fought with fierceness and courage, and ruled with ability. Curious,—the history of France was illustrated in this century by five heroines of the name of Jeanne: Jeanne d'Arc, Jeanne Hachette of Beauvais, and the Jeannes of Penthievre, Flandre, and Clisson, who made themselves famous in Brittany. On his release, Charles of Blois gave La Roche-Derrien to Du Guesclin. The castle was demolished, but a calvary has been built on the site.

Not far from La Roche-Derrien is the church of Langoat, which contains the monument of Ste. Pompee (1370), mother of St. Tugdual. On the granite tomb reposes her marble effigy, and around it bas-reliefs in Gothic niches represent the life of the saint. In all the churches in this district, tressels are placed in the nave ready for funerals. The gravestones have in each a little hollow well, to contain water for sprinkling over the grave, or in some a small basin is set upon the gravestone, with a sprig of box laid by the side, for the same pious purpose.

Every one must be struck by the excellence of the roads in Brittany, as indeed throughout France; in no instance does the French administrative talent more fully display itself. The roads are of three classes: the "routes imperiales," under the care of the Government; "departementales," kept entirely at the expense of the department; and the "chemins vicinaux," which belong to the communes or parishes, and which all the inhabitants are called upon to support. To each lieue de poste (two and a half miles), is appointed a "cantonnier" or road-keeper, who is responsible for the condition of the length of road assigned to his care.

We stopped at Kermartin, a farmhouse near Treguier, to see the bed said to have belonged to St. Ives, the favourite saint of the Bretons, and whose name is borne by the majority of the inhabitants of the district of Treguier and St. Brieuc. Charles of Blois held him in great veneration. He gave part of a rib of St. Ives to the church at Lamballe, and carried the relic in procession barefooted to the church. Before the battle of Auray, he ordered his men to march "in the name of God and St. Yves."

St. Ives, or Yves Helory, was one of the most remarkable characters of the thirteenth century. He studied law in the schools of Paris, and applied his talents in defending the cause of the poor; hence he was called "the poor man's advocate;" and so great to this day is the confidence placed in his justice, that, in the department of the Cotes-du-Nord, when a debtor falsely denies his debt, a peasant will pay twenty sous for a mass to St. Yves, convinced that St. Yves will cause the faithless creditor to die within the year. His truthfulness was such, he was called St. Yves de Verite. He is the special patron of lawyers, and always represented in the "mortier," or lawyer's cap, with an ermine-trimmed scarlet robe.

"Saint Yves etait Breton, Avocat et pas larron, Chose rare, se dit-on."

Lawyers, says a writer, take him for a patron, but not for a model. Philip le Hardi, in acknowledgment of his worth, granted him a pension of six deniers a day—in those times a considerable sum.

Over this house is a marble tablet with this inscription:—

"Ici est ne le 17 Oct^r 1253, et est mort le 19 Mai 1303,

SAINT YVES,

Officiel de Treguier, cure de Tredretz et de Lohannec. Sa maison, qui a subsiste jusqu'en l'annee 1834, ayant ete alors demolie a cause de vetuste, Mg^r Hyacinthe Louis de Quelen, Arch^vque de Paris, et proprietaire des domaines de Kermartin, a fait placer cette inscription, afin qu'un lieu sanctifie par la presence d'un si grand serviteur de Dieu ne demeurat pas inconnu (1837)."

The house is a good specimen of a Breton dwelling; by the side of the fire, in the one room of which most of these cottages consist, fixed against the wall like the berth of a ship, stands the bedstead or "lit clos" of old oak, shut in by carved and well-waxed sliding panels, often inscribed with the sacred monogram. The two mattresses, paillasse, and "cossette de plume," are piled up to such a height as barely to admit of its tenants creeping into the bed. In front is the customary chest, containing the family wardrobe, answering the double purpose of a seat and the means of ascending into the bed. Often we have seen cupboards on each side of the large chimney with two shelves, which served as beds for the juvenile members of the family. Forms and a polished table complete the furniture; the last has frequently little wells hollowed in the top, used, instead of plates, to hold the soup. Over the table, suspended by pulleys, are two indispensable articles in a Breton dwelling—a large circular basket to cover the bread, and a kind of wooden frame or rack, round which the spoons are ranged. Forks they do not use. Festoons of sausages, with hams, bacon, candles, skins of lard, onions, horse-shoes, harness, all hang suspended from the ceiling, which consists of fagots of hazel suspended by cross-poles. The floor is of beaten earth. One narrow window admits the light, and there are no outhouses. The manure-heap is generally at the house-door, and the pigs and poultry seem on an equally intimate footing as they are in our Irish cabins. The Breton's cottage has often no garden, to occupy his leisure hours; and the men, after their daily work, resort to the cabaret to spend their time and their earnings. Agriculture is very backward in Brittany, but the land produces abundance of corn. It is thrashed out direct from the field, on a clay floor (aire). Beet-root and clover grow very luxuriantly, and in some fields the pretty red clover (Trifolium incarnatum) carpets the country with its crimson flowers.

Near the farmhouse of Kermartin is the parish church of Minihy-Treguier, formerly a chapel founded by St. Ives and attached to the "manoir." The will of St. Ives is framed and hung up in the church, and his breviary is also preserved here; but the guide said it was now kept at the priest's house, as people were in the habit of taking away a leaf as a relic. Minihy, i. e. Monk's House, is a name given to those places which, through the intercession of some saint, had the right of sanctuary. They were marked with a red cross, and, how great soever the crime, were regarded as inviolable. In 1441 the right of sanctuary was restricted to churches; before, it was extended to towns and districts. Treguier had the privilege within a radius of twelve miles from the town. St. Malo also possessed the right of sanctuary. Treguier is one of the four bishoprics that formed the ancient divisions of Brittany. The others were Leon, Cornouaille, and Vannes. The "pays de Treguier" answers exactly to the present department of the Cotes-du-Nord; Leon to the territory or arrondissement of Brest and Morlaix; Cornouaille has Quimper and Carhaix for its principal towns; and Vannes, the country of Celtic remains, is to the south.

Treguier is prettily situated on a hill, at the confluence of the rivers Jaudy and Guindy; its principal building is the beautiful, imposing cathedral, with its elegant spire, begun in the thirteenth century by St. Yves, and dedicated to St. Tugdual, whose name, like St. Yves, is often given in baptism to the Breton children. St. Yves is buried here, and also Duke John V., who founded the Chapelle du Duc, and desired to be interred at the feet of St. Yves, for whom he had a special regard, and to whom he erected a magnificent tomb, for three centuries the object of veneration in Brittany. The Duke paid for it his own weight in silver (389 marks 7 oz.), in 1424, to Maistre Jacques de Hougue. The victories of his father John the Conqueror were chased in bas-relief round the tomb, which was destroyed in 1793. Duke John V. was a contemptible prince, who eight times changed his party from weakness rather than policy, and on whom Margaret de Clisson and her sons retaliated the cowardly seizure of her father, the Constable Clisson, by Duke John IV. One of the towers of the cathedral is called the tower of Hastings, but its date is evidently subsequent to that of the Norman freebooter. The cathedral has preserved its beautiful cloisters, the work of the fifteenth century, although it has been ravaged by the Normans of the ninth century, the English in the fourteenth, the Spaniards in the sixteenth, and by the Revolutionists of 1793. It was the port chosen by the Constable Clisson, 1387, for the invasion of England, an expedition proposed and projected by himself. His hatred against the English was so great, though educated in England, he was termed the "boucher des Anglais." When the Duke of Brittany gave Chandos the chateau of Gavre, which was within a league of Clisson's chateau of Blain (Loire Inferieure), "I will never," he exclaimed, "be the neighbour of the English," and accordingly he sallied out one morning and burnt the castle to the ground. Chandos complained to the Black Prince, who sent a letter of remonstrance to Clisson, but it was only replied by a challenge to the Prince to meet him in single combat. Clisson caused his own ship to be built at Treguier, and had constructed a tower or framework of large timber, to be put together on his landing in England, for the lords to retreat to as a place of safety, and to be lodged therein securely in the event of a night attack. This tower, Froissart says, was so constructed, that when dislodged it could be taken to pieces, and many carpenters and other workmen were engaged, at very high wages, to go with it to England to superintend the putting of it together. Four thousand men-at-arms and 2000 cross-bowmen were in readiness for the expedition, with horses, vessels laden with wine, salted provisions, and other necessaries. All these formidable preparations were rendered useless by the arrest of the Constable the day before his embarkation. We went to the Cemetery, which has its ossuary, reliquary, or bone-house, an inseparable appendage to a Breton churchyard. It is the custom in Brittany, after a certain time, to dig up the bones of the dead, and preserve their skulls in little square boxes, like dog-kennels, with a heart-shaped opening through which the skull is visible. They are all ticketed with the names and dates of the deceased, as "Ci git le chef de * * * D. c. D. (decede) le * * * * *. Priez Dieu pour son ame."



These boxes sometimes occupy prominent places inside the churches or porch, on window sills, the capitals of columns, and other ledges; but more often are ranged in the ossuaries or charnel-houses built in the churchyards to receive them, with a row of death's-heads carved in the stone outside. The large bones are also placed in the ossuaire. The rich are buried in "enfeux" or arched recesses in the chapels or abbeys they have founded.

We continued our carriage to Lannion, our driver not very clear of his way, and in Brittany the road is very difficult to be discerned; for on each side are high earthen banks, sometimes eight or ten feet high, and on the top of these are planted timber-trees, such as oak, elm, and ash, which often meet at the top, entirely intercepting the view, making these narrow lanes a perfect slough and most intricate to thread. Sometimes they are cut in irregular steps in the solid rock, and serve for the bed of a stream. Each field is also surrounded by these hedgerow-trees, which are cut every four or five years.

We drove to Perros Guirec, a lovely little watering-place built on a small promontory with a safe harbour, whence wheat, hemp, and cattle are exported to England; it is six miles from Lannion. A dangerous rock, called Roche Bernard, is at its entrance. The view is lovely. From Perros we scrambled over a hilly cart-road to Ploumanach, about three miles distant—a wonderful spot, huge round erratic blocks of pink granite flung over land and sea in the wildest confusion. The whole coast is one sea of boulders, a chaos of rocks of all sizes cover the soil in every direction, and in many places there is no soil at all, and the loose masses rest on a bare bed of rock, stretching, in unbroken extent, to a great distance. "A wanderer," says Mr. Trollope, "amid this strange and silent scene might fancy himself the only living thing in the midst of a world turned to stone. In every possible variety of uncouth form and capricious, strange positions, the endless masses were around us."

"All is rocks at random thrown, Black waves, bare crags, and banks of stone."" LORD OF THE ISLES.

One rock, surrounded at high water by the tide, is a square block of red granite of thirty to forty feet high, placed on the top of a still higher mass, on which it rests upon a very small base. It is called the "Roche Pendue," and serves as a landmark for the fishermen. We took a small boat full of fish resembling codlings or small cod, called "lieu," and were rowed by the fishermen through a sea of granite boulders to the opposite side of the Tregastel estuary, to see the "pierre pendue," or rocking-stone (Breton, rouler), the largest in Brittany. These stones are so nicely poised that they can be moved with the slightest impulse by any one knowing the exact point at which to touch them. They were used in early times as proving-stones, and called "Pierres de verite."

"Firm as it seems, Such is its strange and virtuous property, It moves obsequious to the gentlest touch Of him whose breast is pure; but to a traitor, Though e'en a giant's prowess nerved his arm, It stands as fixed as Snowdon." —MASON.

Or, as Sir Walter Scott alludes to them,—

"Some, chance-poised and balanced, lay So that a stripling arm might sway A mass no host could raise, In nature's rage at random thrown, Yet trembling like the Druid's Stone, On its precarious base." —LORD OF THE ISLES.

The council of Nantes, in the seventh century, ordered the bishops to have the rocking-stones destroyed. The coarse rose-coloured granite of this coast resembles the Egyptian.

We rowed back to the little inn at Ploumanach, and had some eggs and a hot langouste or rock-lobster. This kind is more plentiful on the coast of Brittany than the common, but these rocky shores abound in both sorts. The village of Ploumanach is built nearly into the sea, in the midst of rocks overhanging the harbour. It is almost exclusively frequented by fishermen; in the front is a group of rocks or islands called Les Sept Iles; the Ile aux Moines, the most important among them, is strongly fortified, and is directly opposite Ploumanach. At the inn we found a German artist employed in making sketches in oil of this strange coast. It was late when we reached Lannion, a town prettily situated in the valley of Leguer; it contains no remarkable buildings except a few houses of the period of Henry IV. and Louis XIII. in the market-place. The mackerel and other fisheries are carried on from here, the grande and petite peche, the "lieu" is taken in shoals and salted. The seaweed or wrack (Fucus vesiculosus) called goemon, is extensively collected along the coasts of Brittany for fertilising the lands and also for fuel, which last is so scarce that even cow-dung is collected and dried against the walls for the same use. The gathering of goemon takes place in March and September, and employs the whole population of the district. Souvestre says, that on the appointed day for gathering the crop, horses, oxen, cows, dogs, every animal, and every machine, is put into requisition. Women and children all are assembled in the bays, sometimes to the number of 10,000 persons; but, to allow the poor to have the full advantage, the custom is, on the first day, to admit only the necessitous of the parish. These borrow their neighbours' vehicles, and collect a good crop. It is called "the day of the poor." The goemon grows on rocks at a distance from the shore, and the peasants not having sufficient boats to collect it tie the heaps together with cords on to branches of trees and form a raft, on which the whole family is launched; a barrel is attached at the end, and the unsteady craft often rolls over and its cargo is precipitated into the water. The fine sands of the sea shore are also carted and laid on the heavy lands to divide the soil. Ascending the valley of the Leguer, about eight miles from Lannion, on the opposite side of the river, we turned down a muddy lane, and getting out into a field saw in front of us the imposing castle of Tonquedec, perhaps the finest remains in Brittany of military architecture, dating from the fourteenth century. It crowns the summit of a hill, wooded down to the river's edge, with water-mills and a little village at the foot, the bright sparkling river running through the deep wild valley; nothing can exceed the picturesque effect of these ruins when seen from the opposite bank. Tonquedec has belonged from time immemorial to the Viscomtes de Coetmen, who held the first rank among the nobles of Brittany, but one of them espousing the cause of the Constable Clisson against Duke John IV. saw his fortress demolished. It was restored under Henry IV., and again dismantled by order of Cardinal Richelieu, who hated castles and their nobility. The castle is an irregular four-sided figure. It had an outer enclosure, and was entered by a drawbridge, and furnished with every imaginable fortification. Three sides were surrounded by dwellings, among these a fine roofed salle d'armes remains. A flying bridge led to the keep, which was of four stories, but the entrance on the first story, so that in case of siege the garrison might retire to the keep, and hold out till want of provisions or ammunition compelled them to surrender. The towers and walls remain, the latter are ten feet thick.

On our way to Plouaret we drove up to the chateau of Kergrist, a square edifice with pepper-box towers at each angle, in good preservation, occupied by a lady of the name of Douglas. Our driver could not find the way to the "Chapelle des Sept Saints," built over a dolmen, which lay near the station at Plouaret, whence we proceeded by rail, and, entering the department of Finistere, shortly after reached Morlaix over its magnificent granite viaduct, the most important among the many which occur between Rennes and Brest. The railway runs parallel to the coast, and traverses, not far from their mouths, the streams which abound in this "pays accidente." This gigantic work is one-sixth of a mile (292 yards) long, and consists of two tiers of arches, fourteen in the upper line and nine below.

Morlaix is picturesquely built on the sides of three ravines, so steep that the saying goes, "De la mansarde au jardin, comme on dit a Morlaix." It is situated on a tidal river, about eight miles from the sea, ascended by small vessels, which give the place a lively appearance. Few towns have so many beautiful timbered houses of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries remaining. One of the most curious is that belonging to a miller, No. 19, in the Rue des Nobles, a street where the houses are built one story projecting over the other, so that the top stories of the opposite houses nearly touch each other and exclude the light. The fronts, gable-shaped, have their enormous beams richly carved, and supported by brackets and statues of St. Yves or other favourite saints; some are overlaid with lozenge-shaped slates, and finished at the point with a leaden "epi," or ornamental terminal. All have a kind of hall, panelled and sculptured to the roof, the staircases richly sculptured and supported by a pillar carved from top to bottom with statues of saints or grotesque figures superposed one over the other. Among the statuettes in the house, No. 19, are the figures of St. Roch and his dog; St. Christopher carrying the infant Jesus, St. Michael, and various others. On another staircase, in better preservation, but not so richly carved (at the Veuve Perron's, No. 14, Grande Rue), are female saints,—the Virgin, St. Catherine, and St. Barbara.

Morlaix gave a grand reception to the Queen-Duchess Anne, when on her pilgrimage through Brittany in 1505. The town presented her with a little ship of gold, bearing the arms of the city, and enriched with precious stones, and a tame ermine with a diamond collar round its neck. Anne received the ermine, and caressed the little animal, who returned her endearments, and, at length, suddenly concealed itself in her bosom, which unexpected proceeding startled the Queen, when the Seigneur du Rohan, who was by her side, exclaimed, "What do you fear, madam; is not the ermine your cognisance?" No less enthusiastic was the reception given by the citizens of Morlaix forty years later (1548) to Mary Stuart, then only five years old, on her landing in France. She was lodged in the convent of the Jacobins, and assisted at the Te Deum in the church of Notre Dame-du-Mur. When passing through one of the gates on her way back, the drawbridge, overloaded with spectators, gave way, and several persons were thrown into the water. Mary's Scottish attendants cried out "Treason!" but the Seigneur de Rohan, who was on horseback by the side of the royal litter, indignantly exclaimed, "Jamais Breton ne fit trahison." The loyalty and good faith of the Bretons is proverbial. "En tout chemin, loyaute," is a Breton motto,(8) and it is one of the virtues attributed to them by a Breton writer, who assigns to them four virtues and three vices. Their virtues consist in a love of their country and their home, resignation to the will of the Almighty, loyalty to each other, and hospitality. Their vices are avarice, contempt for women, and drunkenness. Their love of country and home is carried to an extent, rivalling, if not exceeding, that of the Swiss. The Breton not only loves the village where he was born, but he loves the field of his fathers, the hearth and the clock of his home, even the bed on which he was born, and on which he hopes to close his eyes. The conscript and sailor are often known to die of grief when away from their native land. Brittany possesses for its children an inconceivable attraction, and there is no country in the world where man is more attached to his native soil.

"O landes! o forets! pierres sombres et hautes, Bois qui couvrez nos champs, mers qui battez nos cotes, Villages ou les morts errent avec les vents, Bretagne, d'ou vient l'amour de tes enfants?" —BRIZEUX.

The Bretons are brave soldiers and good sailors; their disposition is hasty and violent, and even ferocious in anger. When the people of Nantes rose up in rebellion against Duke Francis, his brother-in-law, the Comte du Foix, sent to pacify them, said to him on his return from his mission, "J'aimerais mieux etre prince d'un million de sangliers que de tel peuple que sont vos Bretons"—Brittany has always been the theatre of great virtues and great crimes.

On Sunday we went to the Welsh Baptist Chapel, to hear Mr. Jenkins preach in the Breton language. He has been there thirty years zealously labouring among the peasants, to convert whom he was sent by the Welsh Baptist Missionary Society. From his thorough knowledge of the French and Breton languages, he is eminently fitted for the task. He travels about the surrounding country preaching, and establishing schools, and has revised the Breton(9) translation of the New Testament for the Society, and circulated, by means of colporteurs, from eight to nine thousand Bibles, besides above 100,000 tracts. The task of acquiring the Breton language is less difficult for a Welshman, for the similarity between them is so great that the two people are able to make themselves understood to each other. The labours of Mr. Jenkins have lately awakened the attention of the Breton Roman Catholic clergy, who have publicly denounced him from their altars, but without causing him to slacken in the good work he has undertaken. Persecuted by a tyrannical priesthood, who hold dominion over a peasantry bigoted in proportion to their ignorance, his position is one of difficulty and danger; but he goes on with undrooping energy, convinced that, though the progress is slow, the good seed has not been sown in vain, and will, in due time, bear fruit, though those who first sowed it may have passed away. There were about a dozen Bretons at the evening service; they seemed to be constantly going in and out, as if unable to keep up their attention to so long a service. There are also English Protestant chapels at Morlaix and Quimper, and French at Brest and Lorient.

We saw a christening in the cathedral, of a child about eighteen months old; the mother wore a wonderful conical cap of lace.

A few houses from our hotel a ball was going on, given every week for the workpeople of the town. The clatter of their iron-pointed wooden shoes seemed quite to drown the music.

Next day we walked to the Fontaine des Anglais, so-called from the slaughter of a body of English at that place. Jealous of the prosperity of Morlaix, Henry VIII. sent a fleet up the river to attack the place, and the commander, being informed by a spy of the absence of the chief nobles at Guingamp, and of the townsmen at the fair of Pontivy, landed with a force which entered Morlaix, burnt it, and returned laden with booty to their boats. Six or seven hundred men, who were intoxicated, fell asleep in the wood, where they were attacked by the nobles, who had hastened from Guingamp to the assistance of the town, and were all massacred. The neighbouring fountain, said to have been tinged with the invaders' blood, received in memory of the event the name of "Fontaine des Anglais." It was on this occasion the town of Morlaix added to its arms, a lion (emblem of vigilance), encountering a two-headed leopard (for England), with the punning motto, "S'ils te mordent, mors-les" (Morlaix).

Emile Souvestre, author of 'Le Foyer Breton,' and 'Les Derniers Bretons,' the ablest portrayer of Breton manners, customs, and superstitions, was a native of Morlaix; he died in the Protestant Communion, 1854.

We were recommended to sail down the Morlaix River to its mouth, as the scenery is very picturesque, but we had not time to effect it. The great beauty of Brittany generally consists in its river scenery, the Rance, to Dinan; the rivers of Quimper and Quimperle; the Aven, Elorn, and Blavet, are all highly picturesque and worth visiting. Our next drive was to St. Pol de Leon, partly along the bank of the river, passing under the church of Notre Dame-de-la-Salzette and the convent below of St. Francois. The tall steeples of St. Pol are seen at a great distance, and looking behind is the best view of the Mene-Bre, an insulated conical mountain, one of the Mene-Arre chain, situated near the station of Belle-Isle-Begard. A chain of mountains runs through the Cotes-du-Nord, and, at the western end of the department, forks off into two branches which traverse the whole of Finistere,—the Mene-Arre, or northern chain, and the Montagnes Noires, or southern.

St. Pol looks like a town of the Middle Ages. "The holy city," as it is called by the Leonnais, one of the four bishoprics(10) into which Brittany was divided, comprising the modern districts of Morlaix and Brest. The Pays de Leon is remarkable for the number of its religious monuments, its fine churches, its bone-houses, calvaries, way-side crosses, and shrines. Crosses are set up in every direction, and of every description, from the plain unpretending simple cross of wood or stone, to the huge crosses flaunting in green paint, with tears of gold—specimens of the taste of the maire or priest of the district. No Breton passes the sacred symbol without kneeling to salute it, and making the sign of the cross—evidence that the piety of those who first raised them has not degenerated in their posterity. The country is rich and varied. The Leonnais is tallest of all the Breton race; his dress is generally black or blue, with a coloured scarf round his waist, his hair is worn very long, and his broad-brimmed hat has a silver buckle. He is grave, of a calm confiding faith, which nothing can shake or alter, and of intense religious feeling. The church is the place of meeting, where all his business is transacted, all his aspirations centered. Throughout Brittany the priesthood are low and ignorant. Like the Irish, the Breton farmer's great ambition is to make his son a priest. In no part of France are they more uneducated than in Brittany.

St. Pol is still and melancholy, the grass grows in the streets, the city looks as if it had not awakened since its palmy days of the fourteenth century. Its churches, calvaries, cemeteries, all silent as death—

"A deep, still pool in the ocean of life."

Its lively neighbour, Morlaix, offers a strange contrast: its inhabitants may well say they are three hundred years in advance of St. Pol.

The pride of St. Pol de Leon is the church of Notre Dame-de-Creizker. Its steeple, nearly 400 feet high, was said by Vauban to be the boldest piece of architecture he ever beheld. It is built in the centre of the church, entirely of granite, cut in the shape of tiles and open work, to within eighty feet from the base. According to the legend, on the spot where the church now stands, there lived in the time of St. Genevroc, a young girl, whom the saint found, when passing her house on the fete of our Lady, employed at her needle. He reproached her gently with her impiety, yet she went on sewing, saying "she required food on Sundays as well as on work days." But the girl has hardly finished speaking, when all her body became cold and motionless as a stone. She was completely paralysed. Asking pardon of St. Genevroc, he made the sign of the cross upon each of her limbs, and the power of motion returned. Grateful for her recovery, she gave to the saint, her house, which was situated in the middle of the town (as its name implies), as a site for his church. It is said to have been built by an English architect, invited to Brittany by Mary Plantagenet, daughter of Edward III., and first wife of Duke John IV.(11)

The axis of the nave is inclined to the left, a mystic allusion to the position of the head of the expiring Saviour on the cross. Et inclinato capite, emise spiritum, "And He bowed his head, and gave up the ghost." The north porch of the Creizker is beautifully sculptured with leaves of the mallow, the vine, and mulberry. It was all under repair when we saw it.



The cathedral has two fine towers with spires, and a magnificent rose window of the fifteenth century in the south transept, with, above, the "fenetre d'excommunication." The fine porch, lightly and delicately sculptured, is surmounted by a balustrade, whence the episcopal benediction was given. Over the high altar is a large wooden crosier, gilt, from which to suspend the ciborium, similar to that we saw in the cathedral of Dol. A black marble slab, at the foot of the steps of the high altar, marks the grave of St. Pol de Leon, who died 570. St. Pol, the patron bishop and founder of the cathedral, was one of the clergy of Great Britain who emigrated to Brittany in the sixth century; he landed in the island of Ouessant, and passed on to the country of Leon, where he founded a monastery. The island of Batz was, at that time, infested by an enormous dragon, sixty feet long; the saint, accompanied by a warrior, entered the cavern of the monster, tied his stole round its neck, and gave him to his companion to lead, St. Pol following, beating him with his stick, till they arrived at the extremity of the island, when he took off the stole, and commanded the dragon to throw itself in the sea, an order the animal immediately obeyed. St. Pol is always represented with the dragon by his side, the stole round its neck. We were shown a little bell, said to have belonged to the saint. It appears he had repeatedly asked the king to give him this bell for his new church, but had always been refused. When one day some fishermen brought him a large fish taken off the island of Batz, and in its mouth was the coveted bell. It is certainly very ancient in form, a kind of square pyramid about four inches wide and nine high, of beaten red copper mixed, we were told, with a considerable quantity of silver. It is now rung over the heads of the faithful on pardons, as a specific against headache and earache—a singular remedy! The cathedral has a fine marble tomb of Bishop Visdelou, preacher to Queen Anne of Austria; he is represented in a half reclining posture, in his pontifical garments. In every part of the cathedral are the little boxes of skulls.

Adjacent is the Ursuline convent, where is preserved a small figure of the Virgin in jet; brought from a church in the Iles Sainte Marguerite, taken from the Spaniards in the seventeenth century. It is supposed to possess miraculous powers, and is sent round to the sick as a specific.

We breakfasted at the little inn (Hotel de France), commanding a pretty view of the coast from its windows and garden. The Leon country was governed by Viscounts, who boasted, among several manorial rights, the "droit de motte," which empowered them, if a vassal (they were "serfs de motte") attempted to live out of his demesne, or to enter the service of another lord, to bring him back to his "motte," a cord round his neck, and inflict upon him corporal punishment. By virtue of the same right, if the demesne of a lord was so placed that it had no natural height from which to survey its extent, his vassals were made to bring sufficient cart-loads of earth to raise a mound or "motte" of the requisite elevation. The other privilege was the droit de "bris," equivalent to our flotsum and jetsum, so lucrative that a Leon Viscount is recorded to have said, when a noble was exhibiting his casket of gems, that he possessed a jewel more precious than all they were admiring—alluding to a rock famous for its shipwrecks. Duke John the Red, taking advantage of the misdeeds of one of these lords of Leon, seized his rich possessions and united them (1276) to the crown. The viscounty of Leon fell by alliance, in the fourteenth century, to the house of Rohan, in whose favour is was raised in the sixteenth to a principality.

We continued our drive to Roscoff, three miles distant, a little sea-port town, formerly one of the three great dens of corsairs and smugglers, all under the protection of St. Barbe,—the other two being Camaret and Le Conquet. Roscoff was the emporium of considerable contraband trade with England. Tea, wine, and brandy were brought over in small casks, which the smugglers tied together and threw into the sea, when near the coast, and landed at night. The whole country round is now one extent of kitchen-garden, the light sandy soil, dressed with the goemon, produces an incredible quantity of vegetables, onions, cabbages, parsnips, asparagus, artichokes, cauliflowers, &c. Of onions, 2,000,000 lbs. are said to be sent every year to England alone. The people here wear black caps, those of the men are stocking-knit. The gardeners of Roscoff will carry their produce above a hundred miles for sale. The chief vegetable consumed by the Bretons themselves is the cabbage, of which the quantity raised is enormous. The kind grown is mostly the Jersey or cow-cabbage, which grows with stalks from five to six feet high, and has large leaves at every joint. They use them for their cattle, as well as for their own eating. Avenues of cabbages, stacked five or six feet high, are to be seen in most Breton markets. Bread or porridge of buckwheat (ble noir) with cabbage-soup is the customary diet of the country. The recipe is simple, consisting of a cabbage-leaf, over which a little hot water is thrown, and a "soupcon" of butter added to give it a flavour. These ingredients compose the national soup which always appears at the table d'hote, with the inevitable "ragout," i. e. harricoed mutton. The little town of Roscoff has some historic importance. It was here that John de Montfort sailed to England to do homage to King Edward III. for the duchy of Brittany, and returned by the same port. Here also the child-princess Mary Stuart landed in 1548 to marry the young Dauphin, afterwards Francis II. In commemoration of the event, she afterwards caused the little chapel of St. Ninian to be built close on the water's edge. It is not more than fifty feet long, and has an eastern flamboyant window, with others in the side walls. The arches are fast going to decay, the stone altar is also sculptured. When we saw it, the interior was filled with bundles of broom-branches and poultry. It is strange this little chapel, built by the Queen of two Kingdoms, should be suffered to fall to ruin for the lack of a trifling outlay.

Here, two hundred years later, Prince Charles Stuart landed after Culloden, in the French frigate the 'Heureux,' sent by the French Government to facilitate his escape, having eluded, through the chances of a fog, the pursuit of the English cruisers; and here he knelt, in the chapel of his ancestress, to return thanks for his deliverance.

The church of Roscoff has a curious pierced steeple, like many of those in Finistere, and some alabaster bas-reliefs of the fourteenth century, with numerous boxes of skulls. A ship rudely sculptured by the porch, and another by the east window, show that the fishermen and ship-owners contributed to the building of the church. By the shore is a rock of grotesque form, and opposite, about three miles from Roscoff, is the pretty island of Batz, which derives its name—Breton "batz," a stick—from the rod used by St. Pol de Leon to work his miracle.

People were busily employed in boats collecting the goemon, which they pile in heaps along the shore. The great curiosity of Roscoff is its enormous fig-tree, in the garden of the Capucine convent, said to be two centuries old. It is supported by stone pillars, and is, we were informed, above 300 feet in circumference.

We returned that evening to Morlaix: the viaduct by moonlight had a most picturesque appearance. Next morning we proceeded by rail to the station of St. Thegonnec, where nothing in the shape of a vehicle was to be had to convey us to the town—nearly a mile and a half distant—but the ricketty two-wheeled mail cart. At the little cabaret, which bears the important name of Hotel de la Grande Maison, we procured breakfast. The church has been restored. It is rich in carvings, spoiled by gilding, the altars and canopied pulpit especially. Opposite to the last are two coloured "retables." The high altar, with two side altars and two smaller ones behind, are gorgeously carved, coloured and gilt, and extend to the roof. The painted-glass windows are the gifts of various persons. At the entrance of the churchyard is a Renaissance porch, or triumphal arch, dated 1581, with a sculpture representing St. Thegonnec, a bullock and car by his side. Adjoining, is the ossuary, or reliquary, bearing the date 1676, also in the same elaborate style, destitute of bones, but having below a crypt containing a group of life-sized figures representing the Entombment, with this inscription:—

"Tu le vois mort, pecheur, ce Dieu qui t'a fait naitre: Sa mort est ton ouvrage, et devient ton appui. A ce trait de bonte, tu dois au moins vivre pour lui."

In the churchyard is also a calvary; the name given to those monumental sculptures peculiar to Brittany, consisting of the crucifix, surrounded by the chief witnesses of the crucifixion, together with minor groups representing passages in the life of our Saviour. This calvary, executed in Kersanton stone, is dated 1610; the numerous figures are all in the grotesque costume of the period, with ruffs, toquets, trained gowns, and scalloped jackets.



We took a carriage for Guimiliau, passing on our road to the left, a grotto. The church of Guimiliau partly dates from the Renaissance; it has a finely sculptured porch, and contains within carvings of great beauty; the pulpit, supported on a column, is dated 1677; the organ-loft is enriched with splendid bas-reliefs in oak panels,—one represents a triumphal march, after Le Brun, the others, King David and St. Cecilia. But the grand monumental carving is the magnificent baptistery or baptismal font, surmounted by a baldachin or canopy, supported by eight twisted columns interlaced with vines, grapes and flowers, with graceful little birds pecking the fruit. On the top of the canopy is a dolphin, and above, two figures of Fame, trumpet-mouthed, surmounted by a royal crown and the letters S. V. This baptistery and the organ-loft are both in the style of Louis XIV., and are said to have cost 30,000 francs. In the churchyard are a triumphal arch and a reliquary, both inferior to those of St. Thegonnec, but the calvary of Guimiliau is one of the most extensive in Brittany. It is of the sixteenth century. It consists of a solid platform, ascended by a staircase, and raised upon arches; upon it, sculptured in Kersanton stone, are the three crosses, the centre one beautifully carved with St. John and the Virgin Mary by the side. The four Evangelists are placed at each corner, and all the passages in the life of Christ are represented by groups of little figures in the costume of the sixteenth century. This singular monument bears two different dates, those of 1581 and 1588.

Guimiliau is close to the railway, but there is no station there. We returned to St. Thegonnec. The peasants along the road were threshing their buckwheat on the open ground; women as well as men were at work. They threshed in a circle, keeping good time with their strokes, and laughing merrily while they flourished their flails,—they appeared a most joyous party,—

"Ho! batteux, battons la gerbe, Compagnons, joyeusement."

Buckwheat, their "ble noir," is the Breton's chief food, and is cultivated to a large extent. With its coral-red stalks and snowy flowers it has a very pretty appearance growing, and is the first care of the Breton farmer—

"Ah! que la sombre nue aux funestes lueurs, Planant sur la campagne, Epargne les bles-noirs, les bles aux blanches fleurs, Ce pain de la Bretagne."" —STEPHANE HALGAN.

This plant, a native of Asia Minor, was evidently, from its French name, "sarrazin," introduced into Europe by the Saracens or Moors. We proceeded by rail to Brest, passing under the foot of the abrupt rock upon which stand the picturesque ruins of the ancient castle of La Roche Maurice and the church of La Roche. The rail runs along the banks of the Elorn through a narrow wooded valley; the windings of the river are very picturesque, and formerly a steamer ran from Landerneau to Brest, affording the opportunity of seeing them.

Brest, the first harbour in France, is Breton only in name and locality; it is built in an amphitheatre on the slopes of two hills divided by the river Penfeld, which forms the port. On the right is the suburb Recouvrance, on the left Brest proper. This irregular site often causes the second floor of the houses in one street to be on a line with the ground floor of another. Brest is clean and well built, and consists of three long parallel streets. The principal one, called the Rue de Siam, in commemoration of the Siamese Ambassadors sent to Louis XIV., who landed here, runs the whole length of the town, ending at the fine iron bridge called the Pont Imperiale, the largest swing-bridge ever constructed. You descend by a flight of steps from the Rue de Siam to the lower streets. Running along the bay, of considerable extent, and well planted with trees, is the magnificent promenade called the Cours d'Ajot, from the name of the officer of the Engineers by whom it was laid out and planted a century back. Well sheltered by its trees and refreshed by the sea breezes, it commands a fine view over the new "port de commerce," and the whole extent of the harbour of Brest, which is capable of containing 500 ships of the line, and is, with the exception of those of Rio Janeiro and Constantinople, the largest and most beautiful in the world.

Brest harbour has only one entrance, which is to the west, through a narrow channel called Le Goulet, less than a mile in width, and cut into two by the Mingant rock. In the year 1796 the 'Republican' was lost here. Sailing out of the harbour, with a contrary wind and snow, the pilot thought he had passed the Mingant rock, when the ship struck, and went down with 800 men on board. Brest Castle in the Middle Ages was a place of such strength and importance that John IV., who had four times besieged it fruitlessly, when it was under the English dominion, was wont to say "Ce n'est duc de Bretagne, qui n'est pas sire de Brest." It had been held by Sir Robert Knolles against the army of the King of France under Du Guesclin, who was obliged to raise the siege. The donjon was built by King Richard II. during the War of Succession. The making Brest an important naval station was the thought of Richelieu, and the work of Louis XIV., who built the arsenal.

Next day we made an excursion to see the church of Notre Dame-du-Folgoet or the Fool of the Wood, celebrated in legendary lore: the tale is so old and often told, we have some scruples in repeating it.

Towards the middle of the fourteenth century, there lived in the woods of Lesneven, a poor idiot boy, called Salaun (Solomon), better known under the name of the Fool of the Wood (Folgoet). He was miserably clad, had no bed but the ground; no pillow, but a stone; no roof, but the tree which gave him shelter. He went every day to Lesneven to seek his daily bread, but he never begged; he uttered the simple words "Ave Maria! Solomon could eat bread," and returned with whatever pittance was given him to his tree near the fountain, into which he dipped his crusts, and plunged even in the depth of winter, for his bath, always repeating the words, "Hail, Maria!" One day a party of marauding soldiers accosted him. In answer to their questions, he replied, "I am neither for Blois nor Montfort, I am the servant of the Lady Mary." This simple life he led for nearly forty years, when at last he fell ill and died, repeating his favourite words "Ave Maria." He was found dead near the fountain, and was buried by his neighbours. After a time, when the memory of the poor idiot boy had nearly passed away, there suddenly sprung up from his grave a white lily with the words "Ave Maria" inscribed in letters of gold upon its petals. The news of the miracle spread throughout all Brittany, Duke John sent commissioners; the grave was opened, and it was found the lily proceeded from the mouth of Salaun,—"ceste royale fleur sortait par sa bouche du creux de son estomach"—a testimony of the innocence and piety "du plus beau mignon de la reine des Cieux." Duke John vowed to erect a church to our Lady over the fountain of the poor mendicant, whose faith had been thus recognised;(12) and, faithful to his promise, the first stone was laid by him in 1366, as a thank-offering for his success the previous year at the battle of Auray, which had fixed the crown upon his head. His wife, Joan of Navarre, not only made a pilgrimage to the Folgoet in 1396, but also contributed to the building of the church. It was completed by John V., about 1419. The Queen-Duchess Anne of Brittany went there in pilgrimage after the recovery from illness of Louis XIII. Anne of Austria founded six masses at the Folgoet, in gratitude for the birth of Louis XIV., and several popes granted indulgences to those who made pilgrimages to this shrine. This church is one of the finest in Brittany. Its colour is sombre; it is the oldest monument in Brittany in which the Kersanton stone is employed. This stone is a volcanic rock called hornblende, of very fine grain, with minute specks of mica. There is a large quarry near St. Pol de Leon; but it is found principally on the west of the harbour of Brest, near a village from which it takes its name. Kersanton stone is of a dark-green colour, approaching to bronze, gives out a metallic sound when struck, and is easily worked in the quarry, in blocks of from twenty to forty feet cube, but hardens on exposure to the air. Time has no destructive effect on it; the most delicate, lightest, and most ornamental sculptures executed in it remain uninjured, while the hardest granites, erected at the same time, are friable and decomposed. The Kersanton stone cuts glass like a diamond.

The architecture of the Folgoet is distinguished for the elegance and richness of its ornamentation: the softness of the Kersanton stone, when fresh taken from the quarry fits it specially for the deeply cut, lace-like works of the artists of the flamboyant school, and the church is remarkable for the skill with which the productions of the vegetable kingdom are represented both within and without. It has no transepts, but to the south is a projection formed by the treasure chamber. The modern pulpit has a series of medallion bas-reliefs representing the legend of Solomon.

The jube, or roodloft, is a perfect lacework of stone. Above three arches, decorated with vine-leaves, is an open-worked gallery of pierced quatre-foils surpassing in exuberance of ornament any other known.

To the east are five altars, all of Kersanton stone, most delicately sculptured—the under-cutting of the foliage most wonderful. They are in the shape of tombs or sarcophagi, the form generally adopted for altars in the sixteenth century. Round the "autel des anges," richest of them all, is a row of eighteen niches, filled in with the figures of angels, holding alternately phylacteries and escutcheons; round the top is a cornice of thistle-leaves—on the cut stalk of one hangs a dew-drop perfect to nature.

The high altar is decorated with vine-leaves, birds pecking the grapes, and the ermine, with its motto "A ma vie," introduced. The altar of the rosary has also a cornice of vine-leaves modelled evidently after the high altar.



The fine flamboyant rose window at the east of the church resembles that of St. Pol de Leon, and below it is the fountain of Salaun. The spring is concealed under the high altar, and flows into a basin without, preserved by a kind of Gothic porch sculptured with thistle-leaves and crockets, and within it, on a bracket, is a delicately chiseled image of the Virgin. Some children round the fountain offered us pins, the use of which we did not understand. We afterwards learned that it is the custom in Brittany for girls to take a pin from their bodice, and throw it into a sacred well, to ascertain, by its manner of sinking, when they would be married. If the pin falls head foremost, then there is no present hope of matrimony, but if the point goes first, it is a sure sign of being married that year.

On the new year, in some parts of Brittany, pieces of bread-and-butter are thrown into the fountains, and from the way in which they swim the future is foretold. If the buttered side turns under, it forebodes death; if two pieces adhere together, it is a sign of sickness; and if the piece floats, it is an assurance of long life and happiness.

The veneration for springs and healing wells is of very ancient date, and was prohibited by early councils of the Church; but the worship of that element from which suffering humanity seeks for relief in all its ailments has passed through succeeding creeds, and that which was held sacred a thousand years back is still the object of reverence and affection.

Nor is the sculpture outside the church less remarkable than the interior. The west door, now fallen to decay, has an arch with double entrance separated by a column containing a benitier. A wreath of curled leaves runs round the arch, and on a bracket of thistle-leaves formerly stood a statue of John V.

The north side has little ornament. The great richness is in the south, where is the fine porch of Bishop Alain de la Rue, who consecrated the building, and more splendid still, is, at the angle formed by the projecting sacristy facing the west, the Porch of the Apostles. The twelve Apostles are ranged on each side, under rich canopies; the whole porch one mass of floral decoration, vine-leaves and mallows, interspersed with dragons, birds, and insects. On the right of the porch is a crouching figure with a label inscribed: "Bn soiez venz,"—"Bien soiez venuz" or "Soyez les bien venus"—an invitation to the faithful to enter into the church. On the lintel of the two doors are ermines passant, and the motto of the Dukes of Brittany, "A ma vie," and towards the south are the remains of a whole cornice of ermines, running through the rings of a long scroll inscribed with "A ma vie." This motto was first taken by Duke John IV. (who instituted the order of the Ermine) to imply that he had conquered Brittany, and would maintain it, even at the cost of his life, "a ma vie."(13)

The collar consisted of a double chain, in each of which were four ermines, and two more hung suspended from two chains, surmounted by coronets. The motto "A ma vie" was placed round each of these ten ermines. The Pere Lobineau quotes a history of Duke John, in which the order is thus spoken of:—

"Lors fit mander tous les Prelats, Abbes et Clercs de tous Estats, Barons, Chevaliers, Escuyers, Qui tous portoient nouveaux Colliers De moult bel port et belle guise; Et etoit nouvelle Devise De deux Rolets brunis et beaux, Couples ensemble de deux fermeaux; Et au dessus etoit l'Ermine En figure et en couleur fine, En deux Cedules avoit escript A ma vie, comme j'ai dit; L'un mot est blanc, l'autre noir, Il est certain, tien, pour le voir."

In the churchyard is a cross erected by Cardinal de Coetivy (died 1474), who is represented kneeling at the foot; it is said to be the work of Michel Colomb, sculptor of the celebrated monument raised by Queen Anne of Brittany to her parents, now in the Cathedral at Nantes. Next day, we went to Le Conquet, returning by St. Mathieu. We crossed the swing-bridge to the suburb Recouvrance, so called from the chapel of our Lady, to whom shipwrecked mariners addressed their petitions to recover (recouvrir) their property. On our left we saw the islet rock of Bertheaume, about 200 feet high, distant from the coast 150. Until lately, the communication with the mainland was by means of a kind of cradle drawn on two cables, about nine metres in circumference.

Le Conquet(14) is a little seaport built on the slope of a steep hill. Formerly it was of some importance, and a great resort of pirates. Sir Walter Manny took the town for the Countess of Montfort, during the war of the two Jeannes, and it was attacked by the fleets of Henry VIII. and his daughter Mary. Opposite is a beautiful beach, called the Blancs Sablons, accessible at low water by walking across the harbour. Here is the point of communication with the island of Ouessant, about seventeen miles distant, by means of a steamer, weather permitting, as the Chenal du Four, which separates this group of islands from the continent, is covered with rocks and is very dangerous in rough weather. Its men are all seamen or fishermen, the women perform the agricultural labour. They bring in their produce to Brest at the monthly fairs, and are not so cut off from the world as Gresset describes them:—

"Sous un ciel toujours rigoureux Au sein des flots impetueux, Non loin de l'Armorique plage Habitacle marecageux, Moitie peuple, moitie sauvage, Dont les habitants malheureux Separes du reste du monde, Semblent ne connoitre l'onde Et n'etre connus que des cieux." GRESSET.—Careme impromptu.



We now reached the Abbey of St. Mathieu, situated on the extreme point of Brittany and of France, on the top of a promontory, well called Finistere. Here in the sixth century was built a monastery in honour of St. Matthew the Evangelist, whose head had been stolen in Egypt by some Breton navigators, and been brought to land at this point, which long bore the name of "St. Mathieu de fin de terre" (Finistere). In the twelfth century the monastery was converted into a Benedictine abbey, which is a beautiful example of the Early English style. The formidable rocks at its feet are called Les Moines. The monks of St. Mathieu kept a beacon for the safety of mariners on these dangerous shores. The modern lighthouse quite masks the sight of the abbey, and is a great disfigurement to the view, which, in other respects, is most grand; the imposing granite ruins of the abbey church on the very edge of these weather-beaten cliffs, worn and torn by the ocean with its unwearied waves; on the right, the reefs of the Passage du Four, which appear to unite the islands of Ouessant and its satellites to St. Mathieu; on the left the elongated point of the Bec du Raz, which no one, according to the Bretons, ever passed without grief and suffering. In sight of Saint Mathieu, the English in 1504, with eighty ships, attacked Herve de Porzmoguer, a Breton captain, with only twenty. His own ship the 'Cordeliere,' which had been built and fitted out by Anne of Bretagne, at her own expense, took fire; it held 1200 troops besides the ship's company. Porzmoguer grappled the 'Cordeliere' to the ship of the English admiral, the 'Great Harry;' and both vessels, driven by the north-west wind to the entrance of the Goulet, were burned together, and above 2000 men perished in the two ships. Porzmoguer mounted the mast followed by the raging flames, and cast himself from the main-top, in full armour, into the sea.

In 1597, the fleet sent by Philip II. to take possession of Brittany for Spain was dispersed in a storm off Point St. Mathieu, and, out of a hundred and twenty ships, scarcely one remained.

On our way home, we passed a little town called La Trinite, from three springs all issuing from the same fountain, at which washerwomen with their wooden bats were hard at work, beating the clothes to rags on the stones.



Next day was the monthly fair at Brest, which brought in many of the country people in their picturesque costumes. Most conspicuous among them were the peasants of Ouessant, last type of the Celtic women, in their singularly Italian-looking head-dress, their hair streaming over their shoulders; and the Plougastel men, in red caps, with coats and trowsers of white flannel.

Most of the market-women were furnished with enormous umbrellas, red, blue, and green. In this rainy province, they are indispensable, and the acquisition of an umbrella is a great object of ambition to the Breton peasant.

We left Brest by the steamer for Pont Launay and Chateaulin, a four hours' sail in the harbour of Brest. On the right we passed the Point des Espagnols, where Frobisher, sent by Queen Elizabeth to the assistance of Henry IV., received his death wound. Leaving on our left Plougastel, where we were unable to visit the celebrated calvary, we passed near the "Anse du Fret," whence Joan of Navarre, then widow of Duke John IV., sailed to England to marry Henry of Lancaster, 1403. Henry, when Earl of Derby, had visited Nantes to ask the assistance of his uncle in returning to England, and Joan had favoured his expedition, but Duke John died the same year (1399). When Queen Dowager of England, she saw the children of her two husbands arrayed against each other, and her son Arthur, who had been invested by King Henry IV. with the Earldom of Richmond, made prisoner at Agincourt by his half-brother King Henry V., who confined him in the Tower, and afterwards in Fotheringay Castle. Joan received hard treatment from her stepson. Accused of being a sorceress—a reputation she inherited from her father, Charles the Bad of Navarre—Henry caused her to be confined in Leeds and Pevensey castles, and deprived her of her property. It was only on his approaching death that he restored her to liberty. She retired to Havering Bower in Essex, where her grandson, the unfortunate Gilles de Bretagne, was reared and educated with Henry VI. She died in 1437, and the memory of "Joan the witch queen" was long held in awe by the people of Havering Bower.



On the left is the hamlet of Kersanton, which gives its name to the stone so called. At the entrance of the Aulne,(15) to the right, we passed the ruins of the abbey of Landevenec, the most ancient monastic establishment in Brittany. At Pont Launay an omnibus took us to the railway station at Chateaulin, celebrated for its slate quarries, a drive of three quarters of an hour. From here we proceeded by rail to Quimper, capital of Cornouaille. The district of Cornouaille—Cornu-Galliae, expressing its position at the horn or extremity of France—is most varied in character. The part on the north is enclosed between the two chains of mountains, which, running nearly parallel with each other, traverse the department of Finistere, the Mene-Arre, and the Montagnes Noires. A single chain passes through the Cotes-du-Nord, and forks off, at the edge of the department, near Callac, whence the northern range, the Mene-Arre, runs westwards to Faou harbour; while the Montagnes Noires incline to the south-west, and reach the sea near Crozon. The country between these chains is dreary and bare—barren plains and black mountains; to the south it is cultivated and productive. The stormy rock-bound coast is wild and desolate. One-third of the department consists of landes, marshes, and sandy shores (greves). The people are the Irish of Brittany. Their wants are restricted to a tub of salted pork and a provision of cider, with rye, or black corn, to make their "galette." They are simple in their manners, kind to the poor, and enduring of suffering. Respect for the misfortunes of others, and patience under their own, is one of the Breton characteristics.

In the days of Conan Meriadec there lived a holy man, called Corentin, who retired to a solitude for prayer and meditation, near a fountain in a forest. Every morning a little fish came to him from the fountain; he cut a piece off it for his daily pittance and threw it again into the water, and in an instant the fish became whole. The miracle was repeated every morning. One day King Gradlon, who held his court at "Kemper," was in the forest near the hermitage of St. Corentin, with some of his suite, and asked him if he could give him something to eat. The saint immediately ran to his fountain and called his little fish, cut off a piece, which he gave to the maitre d'hotel to prepare for the king and his attendants. The chef laughed when he took the slice; but, to the surprise of everybody, the fish multiplied so as to completely satisfy the hunger of the king and his party. Gradlon threw himself on his knees at the feet of St. Corentin, and gave him the forest, with a "maison de plaisance," which St. Corentin converted into a monastery. The king afterwards erected Quimper into a bishopric, to which he nominated St. Corentin:—

"Voici dans le fond la ville de Kemper, Asise au confluent de l'Oded et du Ster. Comme sa cathedrale, aux deux tours dentelees, S'eleve noblement du milieu des vallees, O perle de l'Oded, fille du roi Grallon, Qui de saint Corentin portes aussi le nom, Rejouis-toi, Kemper, dans tes vielles murailles! Vois avec quelle ardeur, o reine de Cornouailles, Tes fils de tous les points de l'antique eveche, Pecheurs et montagnards, viennent a ton marche! Cornouillais! en passant pres de sa basilique, Du bon saint Corentin adorez la relique. Que tous ceux d'Elliant et des memes chemins Boivent a sa fontaine et s'y lavent les mains; Non pas les Leonards, eux de qui les ancetres, Voici quelque mille ans, hommes jaloux et traitres, Volerent le poisson dont notre Corentin Coupait pour se nourrir un pen chaque matin, Et qui chaque matin, o pieuse merveille! Nageait dans sa fontaine aussi frais que la veille: Eh bien! les Leonards volerent ce poisson, Mais Kemper n'oublie jamais leur trahison; Sans jouir de leur crime, ils en portent la peine, Et toujours le poisson nage dans la fontaine." Les Bretons—BRIZEUX.

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