Read online or download a free book: East Of Paris Sketches In The G[Tinais, Bourbonnais, And Champagne
Publisher: RareBooksClub.com (23 Aug. 2012)
By: Matilda Betham-Edwards (Author)
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Excerpt: ...way for the revolutionary iconoclasts of a century later. It was simply a recurrence of the old fatality, the inevitable moral, since History began. For here, defaced to such a point that sculptures they can be called no longer, are memorialised not only Louis XIV.'s ancestors, but his offspring, namely, Louise Marie, one of his seven children by Madame de Montespan, all, as we know, with those of Madame de la Valliè:re, legitimised, ennobled and enriched. Pierre de Beaujeu, husband of the great Anne of France, was also buried here. Anne it was who, on the death of Louis XI., governed France with all her father's astuteness, but without his cruelty, and pleasant and comforting it is to find that Duke Pierre, her husband, seconded her in every way, himself remaining in the background, acting to perfection the difficult rô:le of Prince Consort. The sight of these once exquisite marbles may perhaps awaken in other minds the reflection that crossed my own. Heretical as I shall seem, I venture to express the opinion, that in such cases one of two courses are advisable, either the removal of the torsos, or restoration: why should not some genius be able in this field to do what Viollet le Duc has so successfully achieved in another? But for that great architect, the cathedral of Moulins-and how many other beautiful French churches?-would long ago have tumbled to pieces, been handed over as storage to corn merchants, or brewers! Is it so much more difficult to restore a marble effigy, whether of human being or animal, than a faç:ade or an altar-piece? If impossible, then, I say, let broken marbles like those of Souvigny be hidden from view. The agreeable town of Sens on the Yonne is here described for completeness' sake. Although not lying in the Bourbonnais, Sens formed the last stage of our little tour in this direction, a direct line of railway connecting the town with Moulins. What a change we found here! Instead of unswept, malodorous streets, and...
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