Normandy Picturesque
by Henry Blackburn
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[45] For a detailed description of the monuments in this Cathedral, and of the church of St. Ouen, we cannot do better than refer the reader to the very accurate account in Murray's 'Handbook;' and also to Cassell's 'Normandy,' from which we have made the above extracts.

[46] We must record an exception to this rule, in the case of the church at Dives, which a kept closely locked, under the care of an old woman.

[47] Just as the words of our Baptismal service, enrolling a young child into the 'church militant,' lose half their effect when addressed to men whose ideas of manliness and fighting fall very short of their true meaning.

It has a strange sound (to say the least that could be said) to hear quiet town-bred godfathers promise that they will 'take care' that a child shall 'fight under the banner' of the cross, and 'continue Christ's faithful soldier and servant unto his life's end;' and it is almost as strange to hear the good Bishop Heber's warlike imagery—'His blood-red banner streams afar; who follows in his train?' &c., &c.—in the mouths of little children.

[48] The incongruity strikes one more when we see him afterwards in the town, marching along with a flat-footed shambling tread, holding an umbrella in front of him in his clenched fist (as all french priests hold it),—a figure as unromantic-looking as ungraceful.

[49] He could not be called naturally gifted, even in the matter of speaking; but he had been well taught from his youth up, both the manner and the method of fixing the attention of his hearers.

[50] On the quay at the front of the Hotel d'Angleterre, the public seats under the trees are crowded with people in the afternoon, especially of the poor and working classes.

[51] There seem to be few living French artists of genius, who devote themselves to landscape painting; when we have mentioned the names of Troyon, Lambinet, Lamoriniere and Auguste Bonheur, we have almost exhausted the list.

[52] It is unfortunately different in the case of the inhabitants of the neighbourhood of Fecamp and Etretat, who are certainly not improved, either in manners or morals, by the fashionable invasion of their province.

[53] The London 'Illustrated Police News.'

[54] The people in this part of Normandy are becoming less political, and more conservative, every day (a conservatism which, in their case, may be taken as a sign of prosperity, and of a certain unwillingness to be disturbed in their business); they are content with a paternal government—at a distance; they wish for peace and order, and have no objection to be taken care of. They are so willing to be led that, as a Frenchman expressed it to us, 'they would almost prefer, if they could, to have an omnipotent Postmaster-General to inspect all letters, and see whether they were creditable to the sender and fitting to be received'!

[55] In the matter of bells, the same voices now ring half over Europe—the music is the same at Bruges as at Birmingham; church bells being made wholesale, to the same pattern and in the same mould, another link in the chain of old associations, is broken.

[56] We are tempted to remark, in passing, on the curious want of manner in speaking French that we notice amongst English people abroad; arising, probably, from their method of learning it. French people have often expressed to us their astonishment at this defect, amongst so many educated English women; a defect which, according to the same authority, is less prominent amongst travelled Englishmen in the same position in life. We will not venture to give an opinion upon the latter point; but most of us have yet to learn that there are two French languages—one for writing and one for speaking; and that the latter is almost made up of manner, and depends upon the modulation of the voice.

[57] It is worthy of note that, in a cruel country like France, the 'blinkers' to the horses (which we are doing away with in England) are a most merciful provision against the driver's brutality; and a security to the traveller, against his habitual carelessness.

[58] We confess to a lively sympathy with the growth of artistic taste in America; a sympathy not diminished by the knowledge that every English work of credit on these subjects is eagerly bought and read by the people.

[59] The carving may be machine-made, and the slate and fringes to the roofs cut by steam; but we must remember that these houses are only 'run up to let,' as it is called, some of them costing not more than 500l. or 600l.

[60] It is interesting to note how the changes in the modern systems of warfare seem to be tending (both in attack and defence) to a more practical and picturesque state of things. Thus in attack, the top boots and loose costume of the engineers and sappers figure more conspicuously in these days, than the smooth broad-cloth of the troops of the line; and in defence (thanks to Captain Moncreiff's system), we are promised guns that shall be concealed in the long grass of our southern downs, whilst stone and brick fortifications need no longer desolate the heights.

[61] In one of the west-end clubs a fresco has lately been exhibited as a suggestion to the members, shewing the easy and graceful costume of the fifteenth century.

[62] If the words in an ordinary letter in a lady's handwriting, were measured, it would be found that the point of the pen had passed over a distance of twenty or thirty feet.

[63] We are becoming so accustomed to the deliberate misuse of words, that when a person (in London) informs us that he is going 'to dine at the pallis,' we understand him at once to mean that he if going to spend the day at the great glass bazaar at Sydenham.

[64] The fares by Diligence are not inserted because they are liable to variation; but the traveller may safely calculate them, at not more than 2d. a mile for the best places, All railway fares stated are first class.

_Books by the same Author.




_Published by Sampson Low and Co.,

Crown Buildings, Fleet Street, London._

Crown 8vo., 10s. 6d.



Sketching in Sunshine.

"Let us sit down here quietly for one day and paint a camel's head, not flinching from the work, but mastering the wonderful texture and shagginess of his thick coat or mane, its massive beauty, and its infinite gradations of colour.

"Such a sitter no portrait painter ever had in England. Feed him up first, get a boy to keep the flies from him, and he will remain almost immoveable through the day. He will put on a sad expression in the morning which will not change; he will give no trouble whatever, he will but sit still and croak."—Chap. IV., 'Our Models.'


Opinions of the Press on "Artists and Arabs."

'"Artists and Arabs" is a fanciful name for a clever book, of which the figures are Oriental, and the sceneries Algerian. It is full of air and light, and its style is laden, so to speak, with a sense of unutterable freedom and enjoyment; a book which would remind us, not of the article on Algeria in a gazetteer, but of Turner's picture of a sunrise on the African coast.'—Athenaeum.

'The lesson which Mr. Blackburn sets himself to impress upon his readers, is certainly in accordance with common sense. The first need of the painter is an educated eye, and to obtain this he must consent to undergo systematic training. He is in the position of a man who is learning a language merely from his books, with nothing to recall its accents in the daily life around him. If he will listen to Mr. Blackburn he may get rid of all these uncongenial surroundings.'—Saturday Review.

'This it a particularly pretty boor, containing many exquisite illustrations and vignettes. Mr. Blackburn's style is occasionally essentially poetical, while his descriptions of mountain and valley, of sea and sky, of sunshine and storm, are vivid and picturesque.'—Examiner.

'Mr. Blackburn is an artist in words, and can paint a picture in a paragraph. He delights in the beauty of form and colour, in the perfume of flowers, in the freedom of the desert, in the brilliant glow and delicious warmth of a southern atmosphere.'—Spectator.

'This is a genuine book, full of character and trustworthiness. The woodcuts, with which it is liberally embellished, are excellent, and bear upon them the stamp of truth to the scenes and incidents they are intended to represent. Mr. Blackburn's views of art are singularly unsophisticated and manly.'—Leader.

'Interesting as are Mr. Blackburn's ascriptions of Algiers, we almost prefer those of the country beyond it. His sketches of the little Arab village, called the Bouzareah, and of the storm that overtook him there, are in the best style of descriptive writing.'—London Review.

'Mr. Blackburn is an artist and a lover of nature, and he pretends to nothing more in these gay and pleasing pages.'—Daily News.

'Since the days of Eoethen, we have not met with so lively, racy, gossiping, and intellectual a book as this.'—News of the World.

'The reader feels, that in perusing the pages of "Artists and Arabs," he has had a glimpse of sunshine more intense than any ever seen in cloudy England.'—The Queen.

'The narrative is told with a commendable simplicity and absence of self display, or self boasting; and the illustrations are worthy the fame of a reputable British artist.'—Press.

'The sparkling picturesqueness of the style of this book is combined with sound sense, and strong argument, when the author pleads the claims and the beauties of realism in art; and though addressed to artists, the volume is one of that most attractive which hat been set before the general reader of late.'—Contemporary Review.

&c. &c. &c.

* * * * *

Second Edition, Crown 8vo., Six Shillings.


In the Present Day.




Opinions of the Press on "Travelling in Spain."

'This pleasant volume, dedicated to the Right Hon. E. Horsman, M.P., by his late private secretary, admirably fulfils its author's design, which was "to record simply and easily, the observations of ordinary English travelers visiting the principal cities of Spain." The travellers whose adventures are here recorded were, however, something more than ordinary observers. Some artists being of the party, have given graceful evidence of their observations in some spiritedly sketches of Spanish scenes and Spanish life. There are no less than nineteen of these illustrations, some by John Phillip, R.A.; and the ornaments at the beginning and close of each chapter are fac-similes of embroideries brought from Granada. The whole volume, in its getting up and appearance, is most attractive; and the descriptions of Spanish men and women are singularly interesting.

'At the end there is an APPENDIX OF ROUTES, &c., which will be invaluable to all intending travellers in Spain.'—Sun.

'Mr. Blackburn's charming volume is on a different principle from that of Irving and Cayley. He does not aspire to present Spain as it affected him,—but Spain as it is. His travelling party consisted of two ladies and two gentlemen—an arrangement fatal to romance. To go out on a serenading adventure in wicked Madrid is quite impossible for Mr. Horsman's ex-private secretary, having in charge two English gentlemen. So Mr. Blackburn wisely did not go in for adventures, but preferred to describe in straightforward fashion what he saw, so as to guide others who may feel disposed for Spanish travel—and he describes capitally. He saw a couple of bull-fights, one at Madrid and one at Seville, and brings them before his readers in a very vigorous style. He has admirably succeeded in sketching the special character in each of the cities that he visited. The book is illustrated by several well-known hands.'—Press.

'A delightful book is Mr. Blackburn's volume upon "Travelling in Spain." Its artistic appearance is a credit to the publishers as well as to the author. The pictures are of the best, and so is the text, which gives a very clear and practical account of Spanish travel, that is unaffectedly lively, and full of shrewd and accurate notes upon Spanish character.'—Examiner.

'Mr. Blackburn sketches the aspect of the streets with considerable humour, and with a correctness which will be admitted by all who have basked in the sunshine of the Puerta del Sol.'—Pall Mall Gazette.

'The writer has genuine humour, and a light and graceful style, which carries the reader through the notes with increasing relish.'—Public Opinion.

'Extremely readable,—a lively picture of Spain as it is.'—London Review.

'A truthful and pleasant record of the adventures of a party of ladies and gentlemen—an accomplished and artistic little company of friends.'—Era.

'This unpretending but practical volume is very readable.'—Standard.

'Not only to be admired, but read.'—Illustrated London News.

'A lively and interesting sketch of a journey through Spain.'—Builder.

'Very useful as well as entertaining.'—Observer.

'A most amusing book, profusely illustrated.'—John Bull.

'The dullest of books—a thing of shreds and patches.'—Morning Star.

Royal 8vo. (cloth 18s., or morocco 24s.)

* * * * *


With One Hundred Illustrations by GUSTAVE DORE.

Opinions of the Press on "The Pyrenees."

'This handsome volume will confirm the opinion of those who hold that M. Dore's real strength lies in landscape. Mr. Blackburn's share in the work is pleasant and readable, and is really what it pretends to be, a description of summer life at French watering-places. It is a bona fide record of his own experiences, told without either that abominable smartness, or that dismal book-making, which are the characteristics of too many illustrated books.'—Pall Mall Gazette.

'The author of this volume has spared no pains in his endeavour to present a work which shall be worthy of public approbation. He has secured three elements favourable to a large success,—a popular and fascinating subject, exquisite illustrative sketches from an artist of celebrity, and letter-press dictated by an excellent judgment, neither tedious by its prolixity, nor curtailed to the omission of any circumstance worth recording.'—Press.

'Mr. Blackburn has accomplished his task with the ease and pleasantness to be expected of the author of "Travelling in Spain." He writes graphically, sometimes with humour, always like a gentleman, and without a trace or tinge of false sentiment; in short, this is as acceptable a book as we have seen far many a day.'—Atheneum.

'A general, but painstaking account, by a cultivated Englishman, of the general impression, step by step, which an ordinary Englishman, travelling for his pleasure, would derive from a visit to the watering-places of the Pyrenees.'—Spectator.

'Mr. Blackburn has an eye for the beautiful in nature, and a faculty for expressing pleasantly what is worth describing; moreover, his pictures of men and manners are both amusing and life-like.'—Art Journal.

'Readers of this book will gain therefrom a great deal of information should they feel disposed to make a summer pilgrimage over the romantic ground so well described by the author.'—Era.

'One of the most exquisite books of the present year is Mr. Henry Blackburn's volume, "The Pyrenees;" it is brightly, amusingly, and intelligently written.'—Daily News.

'Few persons will be able to turn over the leaves of the pretty book before us, without a longing desire for a nearer acquaintance with the scenes which it depicts.'—Guardian.

'A pleasant account of travel and summer life in the Pyrenees.'—Examiner.

'The author has illustrated M. Gustavo Dore's engravings very successfully.'-The Times.

'This is a noble volume, not unworthy of the stately Pyrenees.'—Illustrated London News.

'A singularly attractive book, well written, and beautifully illustrated.'—Contemporary Review.

London: Sampson Low, Son, and Marston.


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