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A Visit to the Monastery of La Trappe in 1817 With Notes Taken During a Tour Through Le Perche   By:

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[Illustration: VIEW of the MONASTERY of LA TRAPPE]

A VISIT TO THE MONASTERY OF LA TRAPPE

IN 1817.

WITH NOTES

TAKEN DURING A TOUR THROUGH LE PERCHE, NORMANDY, BRETAGNE, POITOU, ANJOU, LE BOCAGE, TOURAINE, ORLEANOIS, AND THE ENVIRONS OF PARIS.

BY

W.D. FELLOWES, ESQ.

ILLUSTRATED WITH NUMEROUS COLOURED ENGRAVINGS, FROM DRAWINGS MADE ON THE SPOT.

LIST OF THE PLATES.

View of the Monastery of La Trappe

Ruins of the Ancient Church of ditto

Ruins of the Gateway of the ancient Chartreuse

Les Noyades ( vignette )

Grotto of Héloïse at Clisson

Tomb of Abélard and Héloïse

Ruins of Abélard's House

Granite Rock in the Garenne

Le Connétable de Clisson ( outline )

Ruins of Clisson

Tour des Pélerins

Moulin aux chêvres

Tour d'Oudon on the River Loire

View of St. Florent

Tomb ( etching )

PREFACE.

In justice to the public and to myself, I must disavow for the following pages any higher literary pretension than what is conveyed by the simple title of "Notes," under which I have ventured to give them to the world. I had no other aim in writing but to occupy as rationally as I could the hours of travel, and no other object in publishing but to impart to others as plainly as I could a portion of the pleasure I myself experienced. It has somewhere been remarked to this effect, that if every man of common understanding were to put down the daily thoughts and occurrences of his life, candidly and unaffectedly as he experienced them, he must necessarily produce something of interest to his fellow men, and make a book, which, though not enlivened by wit, dignified by profundity of reasoning, nor valuable by extent of research, yet no man perhaps should throw aside with either weariness or disgust.

Whether I shall prove fortunate enough not to excite these sensations in such readers as may honour my book with a perusal, I fear to conjecture. But it was my good fortune, during a season of uncommon beauty, to make a tour through some of the most interesting parts of France, and to meet with persons who, from situation and talents, were highly calculated to give my journey every charm of society and information. The natural face of the country through which I passed was peculiarly beautiful: I could scarcely move a step without some novelty of picturesque enchantment, and had the most perfect opportunities of contemplating Nature in all her varied poetry, from the grand and terrible graces of savage sublimity, to the soft and playful loveliness of cultivated luxuriance. There was scarcely a town or village where I arrived which romance or history, religion or politics, had not invested and adorned with every interest of mental association. Under such impressions, and with such opportunities, it was scarcely possible to resist recording something of what I saw and felt; and if the publication of my hasty record be an error, it will be deemed by my friends, I hope, a pardonable one. My book can scarcely demand the serious attention of the critic; nor could criticism well expect a better style from one whose profession is seldom supposed to allow much leisure to acquire nicety in the arts of composition. I claim no other merit for my Notes than having followed the advice (of Gray, I believe) that ten words put down at the moment upon the spot, are worth a whole cart load of recollections. I have not sought to add to their attraction (if they should possess any) by the embellishments of my invention, or the graces of my periods the decorative artifices of execution can never give value to falsehood, and truth needs them not. A simple landscape, simply described from nature, has always a charm above the most high finished compositions of mere fancy; and, like a moderate painting from the same source, still imparts a feeling of reality. I hope, therefore, I shall be excused for attempting some description, slight and unskilful as it may be, of places and scenery where the human mind has exhibited some of its most curious and powerful features, and which awaken reflections of the deepest interest I allude particularly to the monastery of La Trappe , and to the country of La Vendée ... Continue reading book >>




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