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Cornwall, St. Michael's Mount, 52
Dover Castle, ancient Church in, 132
Egotism, remark on, 53
Example and Precept, remark on, 4
W. Heat, &c. continued, 118
Fable of the Tortoise, Frog, and
Firmness, its efficacy in overcoming
Gardiner, Colonel, anecdote of, 23
Good example, remark on, by Boyle, 62
Happiness, how attained, 158
XIII. Water, in its solid state, 149
North Cape, account of, 47
Passious, unrestrained, their evil ef.
Pool, Cardinal, anecdote of, 8
Scripture sentences, remark on their
southey, remarks by. 71, 136,823, 247
INDEX TO THE ENGRAVINGS,
Splugen Pass, description of the, 29
Square of the Little Pillar, in Lisbon,
Subterranean Works of a Mine, 180
Talapát Palm of Ceylon, Description
Fairy Rings, 200
Georgian mode of cleaning Cotton, 69
Halifax Gibbet, 32
Hereford Cathedral, 73
chief School at, 233
India, Itinerant Musicians of, 225
Lighthouse on the Scilly Islands, 242
Machine for separating the Cotton
Mine, first shaft of 76
Natives of Madagascar preparing
Needles, Isle of Wight, View of, 173
North Cape, View of, 48
Orleans Cathedral, in France, 137
Palm, wild, of the Desert, 145
Reculver Church, 24
Salisbury Cathedral, 153
Scilly Islands, Lighthouse on, 242
Strasburgh Cathedral, 201
Tunnels, account of 231
Vegetables, structure and growth, of 116
Walton, Izaak, extracts from, 54, 136
Yak of Thibet, the, 143
Zeal, Christian, remark on, \\5
Talapát Palm of Ceylon, 185
Vegetable Physiology, Illustrations of,
Walmer Castle, Kent, 16
, seventh compart-
Wild Ass of the Desert, 184
Yak of Thibet, 143
UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE COMMITTEE OF GENERAL LITERATURE AND EDUCATION,
THE CATHEDRAL OF RHEIMS.
REIMs, or Rheims, is a large and ancient city, in the north-east of the kingdom of France, in the department of the Marne. It is situated on the right bank of the little river Wesle, in the midst of a large plain, which is bounded at a distance by a chain of low vine-covered hills.
The Cathedral, which is more particularly the subject of our present notice, is a noble Gothic edifice of the twelfth century, and one of the finest specimens of that kind of architecture in France. It is said to have been founded in 818 by the Archbishop Ebon, afterwards Pope Eugenius the Fourth, in the reign of Louis the First, surnamed Le Débonnaire. The accounts which are given of the edifice then erected, its paintings and sculptures, its marbles and mosaics, its tapestries, and splendid windows, seem to indicate that it was of great importance. But doubts have been expressed, whether the early structure thus spoken of was really one occupying the site of the present Cathedral, and not the church of St. Remi. However, this building was burnt down in 1210, together with a portion of the city itself. But this disaster was soon repaired; for the age was one in which the people felt strongly the influence of religion, and contributed largely to works which had for their object its support and diffusion. Accordingly, the piety of individuals, the liberality of princes, and the zeal of the clergy, soon caused a sum to be amassed, sufficient to replace the ancient Cathedral of Rheims by a nobler and more splendid edifice; and the year after the destruction of the old building, the first stone of the new one was laid. The work proceeded with great rapidity; the altar was dedicated on the 18th of October, 1213, and twenty-seven years afterwards, the body of the church was finished; the whole time occupied in the erection being only thirty years, and but one architect being engaged throughout that period. It is to this circumstance, probably, that we are to attribute that unity of style and design which in a great measure distinguish this Cathedral.
“In the richness and magnificence of the external architecture," says Mr. Woods, “Rheims is superior to every other Cathedral I have seen, and probably to any which has ever been erected.” The principal, or western front is the great object of attraction; it is frequently considered as the finest work of its kind in existence, and, according to a common saying in France, is one of the four parts, the union of which is necessary to the composition of a perfect Cathedral; the other three being the spire of Chartres, the nave of Amiens, and the choir of Beauvais. The lower part of this front is divided into three porches or doorways. This arrangement, which is to be seen in some of our Cathedrals, is very generally observable in the larger religious edifices of France; and we are told that these three entrances corresponded to three internal divisions, each of which was reserved for a special use; the middle one being for the clergy, that on the right for the men, and that on the left for the women.
The central porch is divided into two parts by a pilaster, (a disposition very common in France.) which is adorned by an image of the Virgin, to whom the Cathedral is consecrated. The sides of the three porches are decorated with a row of colossal statues, thirty-five in number, representing patriarchs, prophets, kings, bishops, virgins, and martyrs. The arches above and the pediments which surmount them, present an elaborate composition in sculpture, in which, according to a French writer, the artist has given full range to his genius. Our readers will
obtain a correct motion of the richness and magnificence of this front. Above the porches, and a little thrown back, rises the remainder of this beautiful front. Above the central one, is the great rose window, the workmanship of which is remarkably rich, and very carefully executed. Over the right porch is a lofty opening for a window, but not filled with glass; and over the left door-way is a similar one. The space occupied by these windows is broken into three divisions, by four projecting piers, ornamented each with a statue, and terminating in small octagonal turrets. Higher still is the gallery of kings, an elegant colonnade, decorated with forty-two statues of the kings of France, from Clovis to Charles the Sixth; and this is surmounted by two towers, which complete this magnificent front. The interior of this Cathedral corresponds with its exterior. It is vast and noble; and its appearance has much that is imposing. The obscurity of the nave, contrasted with the light of the aisles, has a
very curious effect; in the former, the coloured glass
has been preserved, while in the latter it has very little colour. The whole length of the building is 466 feet, and its breadth upwards of 90; the height of the nave is 121 feet, and that of the aisles about 54. The plan of the edifice is a Latin cross. The choir occupies nearly one half of its length.
The chancel, which is situated at the middle of the cross-aisle, raised upon several steps, is remarkable for its beautiful mosaic pavement, which formerly belonged to the church of the ancient Abbey of St. Nicaise, and was removed to the Cathedral in 1791, when that church was pulled down. The altar, which is of modern construction, is of variegated marble, and ornamented with gilt bronze. It is a beautiful piece of workmanship, and was the gift of a rich canon, who, by his economy, frugality, and above all, his peculiar skill in the cultivation of vines, was enabled to amass a considerable fortune, which he devoted entirely to the embellishment of this Cathedral, to the relief of the poor, and to the promotion of objects of a public nature. Unfortunately, the canon's liberality was scarcely equalled by his good taste and discernment; the old altar, which had existed from the earliest years of the church, was displaced in 1747, to make room for his new present, and the church was thus deprived of an extremely rare and valuable specimen of the kind of monuments used as altars in the twelfth, thirteenth, and fourteenth centuries.
Behind the choir, so called, is what the French denominate the arrière-cha-ur. It occupies the space usually devoted to the chancel, and does not seem to be ever used for any definite purpose. In former times, it was the depositary of the treasure of the Cathedral, of all the many rich and valuable gifts, which kings, prelates, and pious individuals of various classes and conditions, had offered as an earnest of their zeal and devotion. The immense wealth which was brought together in this treasury, rendered it one of the richest in France. It contained a vast number of works, executed in the precious metals, gold and silver vases, chalices, sets of all the various utensils employed in the service of the church, which were not less valuable for the richness of their materials than for the beauty and finish of the workmanship. Of nearly all these, however, the Cathedral was despoiled in 1791; they were confiscated by a decree of the National Assembly, and coined into money for the service of the State. The few that remained were destroyed during the revolutionary frenzy of 1793.