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in the region of Tours," where in “spring buildings are now levelled to the ground, love Aies at large beneath the open sky, but the fine stone bridge which united ...in autumn the air is full of memories them to the Château du Milieu is still of those who are no more.” When the standing. As travellers present themtrain reached Chinon on the banks of the selves “the little guardian in petticoats” Vienne, the first step into the little square looks through a slit in the side of the beyond the station gates showed that the room where soldiers once used to work visitors had chanced to come on the chief the portculis. A high wall with remnants market day of the town at the end of Sep. of chimneys is the only relic of the aparttember.
ment where Jeanne d'Arc first met the
king of France. The visitor next enters The roads were closed in with tall trees, whose sides were cut with somewhat frigid
the guard-room and armory of the royal exactitude in lines parallel to the direction of apartments, with the kitchen and livingthe pavement; they were full of country girls, room whose windows are furnished with brown-cheeked, and black-eyed, arrayed in low stone seats from which the Vienne is the picturesque lace caps of their province; seen curving round to join the Loire. A booths of every kind were full of busy traffic; fight of stairs leads down to the moat, skeleton men and fat women in their fullest which is crossed by a stone bridge and glory were disputing for attention with tiny defended by two towers erected in the travelling theatres and vendors of malodorous thirteenth century. Within one of them refreshment. No one seemed in any particu- the prisons lie vault below vault. The lar hurry to do anything; so imitating the Fort du Coudray, the third castle, stands frame of mind of the inhabitants, we aimlessly strolled up the long straight road towards the
“at the extreme western edge of the bridge that spans the reddish waters of the cliff ; its chief feature is the fine Tour du river. Here the press grew thicker, and round Moulin, where the mill of the fortress once the statue of Rabelais was a gay crowd of stood, whose pointed leaden roof and wide. buyers and sellers, of laughing girls and chat- spread sails must have been a strange tering children, carts and donkeys laden with feature in the old castle. Along the wall, country produce, geese and chickens dead of which this tower forms the western and alive, the very scene of busy happiness corner, are the oldest relics of the twelfth. and careless human nature that Rabelais him
century buildings.” self enjoyed and described, too, when he tells how Couillatris goes to Chinon, “ ville noble
Chinon, more than any other of the
châteaux of Touraine, bears the stamp of ville antique voyre première du monde,” to buy oxen, cows and sheep, pigs, capon, geese, France has been left far behind. The
antiquity. The visitor feels that modern and a whole catalogue of sound comestibles.
place is a mass of ruins —"a very wilderThe satirist was born at Chinon in 1490. ness of towers and battlements.” The His statue, which has caught the genius of dense woodland of larches, oaks, and firs, the man far better than the simpering mon- to the north-east, formed, Mr. Cook thinks, ument erected to him at Tours, looks out one of the chief attractions of the castle on a busy little square crowded with gaily for the Black Falcon and our Henry II., decorated booths and thronged with traf. whose favorite home in France was here. fickers. The hill above the town is The French Windsor was the scene of crowded by the “long broken line of the some of his sharpest sorrows. His unduti. three fortresses whose ruins combine to ful son Richard had seized his father's form the relic of feudal strength known treasury at Chinon when news of the Sara
Chinon.” Countless vines flourish cen conquest of Jerusalem led him to take peacefully within the old home of the the cross from the Archbishop of Tours. Plantagenets. On the extreme right stood Before he left France he joined the French the castle and chapel of St. George, built king in an attack upon his father who was by the Plantagenets to protect the one hotly besieged in his native town of Le weak point- a tongue of land which Mans. Henry escaped from the flaming unites the promontory on which the for-town towards the Norman frontier, then tress rests with the hills beyond. These changing his route he dashed back to
Chinon at such a breathless pace that his bore her up through the trials of her stay knights fainted or died of fatigue and there amid the jeering courtiers. But at wounds on the way. Philip of France length Joan conquered the king's irresolunow took Tours, and Henry was compelled tion and rode out clad in complete armor to sign a humiliating peace at Colombières. to accomplish the promised deliverance.
On his return to Chinon after that bit. A less pleasing picture of olden days at ter scene his chancellor read aloud to the Chinon is the brilliant reception given king the list of rebels. Sire,” he said, there in 1498 to Cæsar Borgia, the infa“ may Jesus Christ help me! The first mous son of the infamous Pope Alexander name which is written here is the name of VI. Such a procession as his had probaCount John, your son.” The old king bly never streamed into the castle before. turned his face to the wall. He had re- “ first came eighty mules in gorgeous ceived his death-blow. As he lay uncon. harness, blazoned with Cæsar Borgia's scious he was heard to murmur : “ Shame, crest and arms, followed by the finest shame on a conquered king.” When the horses of the prince's stables; then end drew near, his servants bore him to eighteen pages riding," clad in velvet, two the castle chapel that he might breathe out of them resplendent in cloth of gold; then his soul before the altar, Thence the came more mules, and, after a flourisis of dead king, “ robed as for coronation, with drums and trumpets, Borgia and his suite a crown of gold upon his head, a gold ring rode into Chinon. The duke wore a dress upon his finger, sandals upon his feet, and of red satin and cloth of gold, beset with a sceptre in his gloved right hand," was jewels. His cap was adorned with great borde to Fontevrault, where Richard came rubies, his boots strewn with precious to see his murdered father. The Arch- stones. Louis XII. wanted a divorce, bishop of Tours buried him before the Borgia wanted a dukedom, and both were high altar in July, 1189.
gratified. Such are some of the scenes Richard had soon to pay the penalty of which crowd before the mind of a visitor his misconduct. In 1193 the attacks made to the greatest of all the châteaux of Tou. on Touraine by his old ally, the French raine. For two centuries it has been king, were so fierce and systematic that he slowly mouldering, but ages must pass beleft England for Tours where he drove fore the old home of the Plantagenets bas out the canons for disloyalty. After his crumbled into dust. death in 1199 John was acknowledged The road to Fontevrault for a little king by the royal household at Chinon. while after leaving Chinon lies straight to Having scandalized the barons by putting the south, then it turns sharply and winds away his first wife, he married Isabel of through apple-orchards and walnut-trees Angoulême, and spent the following sum- till it reaches the river bank. At Candes, mer at Chinon with her and Berengaria, where St. Martin died, it was a great surthe widow of Richard. The castle was prise to English visitors to catch a first taken by the French after a long and des glimpse of the sculptured saints and battle. perate siege on Midsummer eve, 1205. mented roofs of the church through an À century later Jacques Molay, grand opening of the twisting little village master of the Knights Templars, was ex. street. Begun in the year of Magna amined here by the cardinals before he Charta, and finished towards the end of was led to the stake in Paris. It was in the century, the place is filled with quaint Chinon that Joan of Arc had her first in and grotesque carvings, many of which terview with Charles VII. The English have entirely escaped the hand of the reseemed about to regain their old dominion storer. Fontevrault itself had been turned in France. In 1423, when “wolves were into a vast prison, or reformatory, guarded fighting for the corpses of the dead in the by a regiment. Long files of silent pris. churchyard of Paris,” churches sacked, oners in dull uniform and round caps, castles' burnt down, and lands left untilled, move about where nuns once walked to the States-General met at Chinon to con- and fro; one of the chapels is a storesult with the king about the defence of house for the garrison beer, lines of casks their country. Some years of loss and fill the spaces between the pillars from the trouble followed. In 1428, Tours implored altar to the door. Amid such strange sur. help against the English who were besieg-roundings our great Plantagenets rest in ing Orleans. At last, on Sunday, March a dark little chapel opening out of the right 6, 1429, the Maid of Orleans came to the transept. The statue of Henry II. shows rescue. The well where she lighted from him dressed as he was borne out for her horse is still shown at Chinon. Only burial from Chinon. His wife, Eleanor firm confidence in her patriotic mission of Guienne, who died here in May, 1204,
holds a book in her hands. Richard 1. the most important fortress of Anjou. rests by the side of his parents. The Great cliffs of stone form the keep. three statues are of colossal size, hewn out Traces of four stories are still visible, of tufa rock, and painted. A smaller with stairs cut in the thick walls. The statue, carved in wood, represents Isabel, place could hold a garrison of twelve hunthe wife of John - the most beautiful and dred men. most wicked woman of the day. The abbey The prisons at Loches have witnessed owed its foundation to Robert d'Arbrissel, some terrible scenes. The woman who a famous preacher of the end of the elev. acted as guide bore a small and sputtering enth century. Pope Urban II. directed lamp, and led the visitors down a narrow, him to preach in favor of the Crusades, twisting staircase, barred with great doors and crowds of people left all to follow the at every turn. Mr. Cook found it a veritanew apostle. He had started for Jerusa. | ble descent into the infernal regions. lem with this strange retinue but was com- Sforza, Duke of Milan, was immured in a pelled to halt at Fontevrault, and found a cell one hundred steps below ground. Its community which, under the care of its window gathers what little light can pierce first abbess, had four houses for learned its way through a slit made in fourteen ladies, penitent women, lepers, and monks. feet of rock. Here for nine years Sforza There were soon four thousand inmates. languished, decorating with inscriptions The place was always dear to the Planta- the walls of his gloomy cell, where “death geneis. The ladies of their house found assailed him, but he could not die.” One shelter here when some dark disaster is thankful that he was moved higher up blotted the sun out of their firmament, and the tower, and allowed some exercise behere the great soldiers of their race slept fore his death. Further along the dark well after the roar of battle.
passage, and yet deeper under ground, is Twenty-five miles south of Tours lies the Prison of the Bishops. The two eco the great garrison château of Loches. clesiastics who were entombed there had One of the chief features of the flat land- made a pitiful representation of an altar scape by which you approach the place is and a cross, and each in turn had climbed the vast square mass of masonry, the keep up the wall to the window in order to catch of Montbazon, intended as a guard and a glimpse of the daylight. Richelieu kept sentinel for Loches. Every inch of land François de Rochechouart at Loches for is cultivated by the industrious French two years without any positive proof of peasants. Suddenly the hill fortress of conspiracy against him, but nothing would Loches rises above the plain. “The induce this brave man to divulge his sehouses, thrown together along steep and cret. He was ordered for execution, and twisted streets, cluster beneath the walls not reprieved till the last moment in order that guard the castle, and the eye rises to shake his resolution, but he still main. from the Toure de St. Antoine in the little tained heroic silence. • place' beneath towards the donjon keep We are thankful to close the pages which and the pinnacles of the Collegiate contain these gruesome stories. The next Church.” A sharp ascent leads up to the journey may be to Langeais. That vil. first line of walls. The church is the chief lage has “one good main street, from architectural feature of the place. Viollet which numberless little alleys open out, le Duc says: “In France, exactly on the lined by tiny cottages, and ending in a border line which separates buildings strip of green or garden ground." Two with cupolas from those with none, there vast round towers rise at the end of this is a strange and unique monument in street. This is the fortress-château of which the influences of Oriental art are Langeais, the finest existing example of blended with the methods of construction a French castle built about the middle of adopted in the north at the beginning of the fifteenth century. Lady Dilke points the twelfth century. This is the Colle. out in her “ Renaissance of Artin France giate Church of Loches; a monument that the problem before the architect was unique in the world, perfect in its kind, how to blend the necessities of defence and of a savage beauty.” It was begun in with the already increasing demands of 1180, and is all broken into points and domestic life. As a fortress it is cer. angles. A fine Romanesque porch leads tainly not up to date. Elaborate precauinto the quiet building, which has two tions against scaling-ladders have been white, funnel-like domes opening upward taken, but gunpowder is quite forgotten. to the roof. Agnes Sorrel's tomb lies in “One gate only affords access to the inte. a little chapel in the Tour d'Agnès. The rior court, and that gate is flanked by oldest part of the castle shows that it was massive towers, and protected by a portcullis. The interior court is almost wholly | compact and perfect mansion for Charles, confined by the buildings around it, the the brother of the cardinal. The fourth high walls which defend it on the outside side of the original quadrangle was demol. are cut up at well-guarded angles by mas. ished in 1739. A splendid terrace was sive towers, and protected by a poricullis. thus formed, looking out on the Loire, The whole length is crowned by heavy with the main buildings of the castle as machicolated battlements, so that the as background. Cardinal d'Amboise intro. pect of the exterior is severe; but the duced good order, economy, and reformi façade which looks upon the court within into the French government, repressed is not wanting in elegance. Four small brigandage, reformed justice, and became towers, each of which contains a spiral the most influential man of his time. He staircase, break the monotony of the front, has often been compared to Wolsey. But and give access to the different stories.” he was more happy in his fortunes, for he Each story is a repetition of the simple died immensely wealthy, with all his honarrangement of rooms adopted on the ors thick upon him. His old red cardi. ground floor. The first château of Lan- nal's hat is still seen hanging above his geais, occupied by the Black Prince during carved 'chair on the altar steps of bis the campaign on the Loire, has perished. chapel at Chaumont. Catherine de MediThe present building was erected in 1464, cis was for a while mistress of the château, under the direction of Jean Briconnet, first where her bed, with its curtains and the mayor of Tours. Its present owner, M. old worn prie-dieu, is now shown to visit. Siefried, is turning it " into one harmoni ors. The Duc de Broglie, who preserves ous picture of oak carvings, tapestry, and it with loving care, is the present lord of warm-tiled floors.” The porch is as lovely this fine old castle. as the château. A quaint feature of the Chenonceaux is associated with the place is the guard's chemin de ronde, a name of Diane de Poitiers, to whom it little passage beneath the roof formed by was given by Henry II. The first view the machicolations. It extends all round of the château is very impressive. A long the château, “lighted by innumerable little range of buildings stand on the right, to windows, which give an ever changing the left is Diane's wide terraced garden, view of the valley of the Loire from the surrounded by its high walk, which leads forest of Chinon, west and south, to the to the raised courtyard immediately in cathedral towers of Tours, far off among front of the main building, a large and the mist towards the east." In the Great very handsome open space rising upon Hall, Anne of Brittany, the vivacious, im- high walls from the lower level, with a perious, yet true-hearted and devout little fine detached tower at the right corner, Breton duchess, was married to Charles the oldest part of the château, the last VIII., and here she spent her brief widow- relic of its earliest owners.” The vine hood until her second marriage with Louis lands slope softly to the river, and the XII.
trees round the water's bank form “an Chaumont is on the left bank of the exquisite natural setting for one of the Loire, twenty-five miles above Tours. most beautiful dwellings ever fashioned From the magnificent bridge which here by the heart of man. It was built for spans the river, one of the finest views is Thomas Bohier, the great financier. The obtained of the sweeping current. The foundations were laid in 1515, the year forest of Blois shows above the house when Francis I. came to the throne. A tops. The towers of Chaumont rise upon confused medley of spires, minarets, and the wooded hill, whilst the little village cupolas greet the eye as you approach nestles by the river. When the Black from the eastern side. “Every turret, Falcon drove the Lord of Saumur out of every pinnacle, is crowned with some fanhis castle by his famous night attack, the tastic ornament," angles jut forth from the Count of Blois gave Chaumont to his de. pierced and carved work surrounding pendant. This castle was burnt down in them. “The surprises, the accidents of one of the perpetual wars with Henry the interior multiply with incessant mysPlantagenet. In the second castle Beckettery. The numberless halls, chambers, met his royal master for the last time. cabinets, present the most striking sign of Here Georges, Cardinal d'Amboise, the diversity both as to size and character.” great minister of France, was born in Its ruling idea is that of a secular convent, 1460. The cardinal's father incurred the bringing together " halls of state, private displeasure of Louis XI., who rased his apartments, secluded cabinets, and hidden château to the ground; but a few years cells ” under one roof. The individual later, Philibert l'Orme built the present life thus finds room for development, even
amid all the claims and pleasures of a and the extraordinary effect of lofty macommon society. Francis I. became mas- sonry, produced by building on the sumter of the château after Bohier's death. mit of an elevation and carrying the stone After Francis's time it passed to Diane de courses upwards from the lower ground, Poitiers. This lady had come to court is here seen at its best.” The white after she had lost her husband, the sen houses of the little town cluster round the eschal of Normandy. Francis 1. com. castle “ like crumbs that have fallen from mended his dull son to the handsome a well-laden table.” After passing the widow, who soon won complete power archway a winding ascent leads into garover the dauphin. “Her strength, her dens lifted high above the world below, magnificent health, the cold reserve and and shut in by towers and terraces. The energy of her character appealed to him lovely little Chapel of St. Hubert "looks as much as the firm line of her features, very tiny in one corner of the vast courtthe proud curve of her lips, the narrow yard, but the charming effect of its light forehead which marked the decision of buttresses, rising from below and clinging her nature rather than the loftiness of her to the great outer walls of rock and brickideas.” Nothing disturbed this woman's work until they end in finely chiselled serenity or checked her insatiable avarice pinnacles that blossom from the angles of and ambition. Her two daughters married the roof, is completed by a richness and into the powerful families of Lamarck and care in the workmanship of the interior Guise. The mistress reconciled her very rarely surpassed by any monument lover to the presence of Catherine de of its time; the inner surface of its walls Medicis, the wife whom he disdained. is a marvel of beautiful stone carving fine She even nursed Catherine and her child as lace, and shows up the more as it is dren. When Henry II. died she was almost the only work of its kind to be seen turned out of Chenonceaux, which Cathe. at Amboise." Amboise can boast of great rine wished to have for herself. She built antiquity. There was a Roman camp the long gallery there, and gave a splendid here, and King Arthur is said at one time fête to the young king and queen – Fran. to have been lord of the castle. In the cis 1 1. and Marie Stuart. As their majes- cinih century it belonged to the Counts of ties entered the main drive of the castle Anjou. Six hundred years later, when it knots of women stood at the foot of every became a royal residence, the townsmen tree "in their holiday attire, wearing great greeted Louis XI. with a mystery play broad-brimmed rustic hats, and waving such as that age loved, and distributed many-colored ribands, while their hus- wine to all comers at the civic expense. bands and brothers, with flags flying and At Amboise Louis instituted the order of drums beating, made a brave show upon St. Michael, which was to rival the Golden the little bill at the entrance to the park.” Fleece. Here also the king, feeling that Before the great court stood a grand tri- death was near, invested his son, Charles umphal arch, resting on four pillars, round VIII., with royal authority. When Charles which ivy was twined. As the king en- lost his little son at the age of three he tered the castle a shower of fireworks tried to forget his sorrow in building the went off, and thirty cannons roared forth Chapel of St. Hubert and the two great a welcome. Pallas stepped forward, and towers, which have winding planes of rained down a shower of Powers and brickwork instead of stairs. Up these leaves inscribed with sonnets to the king strange ascents Charles V. once rode with and queen. Those were bright days in Francis I. amid snch a blaze of flambeaux the life of Mary Queen of Scots. "Che" that a man might see as clearly as at nonceaux, in the days of Madame Dupin, midday.” Passing through a little doorway at the end of last century, became a resort at Amboise Charles VIII, struck his head of all the literati. Voltaire, Bolingbroke, violently against the low stone arch, and Rousseau, were constant visitors here. died in a few hours. His two boys, whose It is now in the hands of the Crédit Fon- monument is still seen at Tours Cathedral, cier, who charge a franc for admission. died before him, so that the throne passed The place seems to have been built for to the house of Orléans. The Comte de domestic pleasure, and leaves an impres- Paris, the present owner of the château, sion of beauty and happiness on the mind has restored it with great care, but this of every visitor.
work has been cut short by his exile. Amboise is said to gain more from the Francis I. spent many happy days of river than the other châteaux of Touraine. his boyhood here. Louise de Savoie's Its magnificent rourd tower “completely journal is full of the son whom she almost commands the approaches of the bridge, worshipped. She notes that in January,