Page:Notes and Queries - Series 11 - Volume 11.djvu/91

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ii s. XL JAN. so, 1915.] NOTES AND QUERIES ,


81


LONDON, SATURDAY, JANUARY 30, 1915.


CONTENTS.-No. 266.

NOTES : The Cathedrals of Soissons and Laon, 81 Wordsworth and Shelley, 83 Hplcroft Bibliography, Inscriptions in the Ancien Cimetiere, Mentone, 85 Maria Catherine, Lady Blandford Renton Nicholson 86 " Lutheran " " Porphyrogenitus " Mortimer' Market, Tottenham Court Road, 87.

QUERIES : Cogan's Edition of Addison Dufferin 1 4 Letters from High Latitudes ' Bonington : Picture o Grand Canal, Venice Copying-Pad George III. Meda The Great Harry, 88 Woodhouse, Shoemaker Poet Guide to Irish Fiction ' Authors of Poems Wantec Richard Neve, 89 Authors of Quotations Wanted "Quay": "Key" Marble Hall, Hereford Families o Kay and Key Biographical Information Wanted Sacrifice of a Snow-White Bull Perthes-les-Hurlus Ayrton Light at Westminster, 90 "Petit Roi d Pe"ronne " Craniology, 91.

REPLIES : Black-bordered Title-PagesDartmoor, 91 Beamish Names on Coffins " Cole : " Coole " Warren Hastings ' Chickseed without Chickweed ' Contarine 92 Henrietta Maria's Almoner Emblem Ring of Napo Icon E. Armitage Farthing Stamps 1 Fight at Dame Europa's School' Crooked Lane, 93 Mercers' Chapel "Brother Johannes "" Forwhy "Arms in Hathersagr Church Horse on Column in Piccadilly Xanthus Exanthe, 94 Scarborough Warning Print of Gunpowder Plot Conspirators, 95 "Sound as a roach" France and England Quarterly Analogy to Sir T. Browne, 96 Sovereigns as Deacons Gregentius Archiepiscopus Tephrensis, 97 Dibdin and Southampton Regent Circus, 98.

NOTES ON BOOKS: 'The Aberdonians, and Other Lowland Scots ' ' Edmond Hawes of Yarmouth, Massa- chusetts ' ' The Edinburgh Review ' ' The Quarterly Review ' The Antiquary.'


THE


CATHEDRALS OF AND LAON.


SOISSONS


THE appalling damage to Notre Dame de Reims, the Sacring Place of the Kings of France, the glory of Gothic architecture damage apparently involving the portals of the west front, the matchless " rosace " over the central portal, and the gallery of the apse, and the portals on the north, " le portail Saint -Sixte " and " le portail du 'Beau-Dieu'" evoked the indignation of the civilized world. But the terse announce- ment in The Times of 12 Jan., that in the re -bombardment of Soissons forty-two shells have fallen on that Cathedral, may call forth less sazva indignatio than it deserves, just because, perhaps, not a tithe of travellers turn aside to visit that little ancient city, often the residence of early kings of France, in whose Abbey of St. Medard, in the en- virons, Clotair was probably buried ; while close by, in an overhanging hill, the wretched hole may still be seen where Louis le D^bonnaire was imprisoned by his


Soissons Cathedral has been called " the Salisbury of France." Externally the com- parison is inapt, for with its one rather awkwardly placed tower the building cer- tainly offers some justification for the quaint jest of the proprietor of the well-known shop, " Reims-Touriste," who sold beautiful photo- graphs in the old days of " his " Cathedral, and dismissed the name of Soissons to intending visitors with an indescribable shrug of one shoulder, and the exclamation, "That humpback!"

It is the interior which, in its own way, not only excels Salisbury, but perhaps all others. For Soissons owes nothing to sculpture or adornment : dazzlingly white, it is a triumph of " line," an achievement of pure and incomparable proportion. The south transept was the gem of the whole, recalling, without exactly resembling it, Seffrid's Retro-Choir at Chichester. Much of the original glass having disappeared, the parish church of St. Yved at Braisne despoiled herself of her thirteenth-century windows, and gave them for the choir of the mother church ; henceforth, from the white- ness of the fabric, the jewelled gleaming of sapphire and carbuncle, like that in the Chapel of the Blessed Sacrament at Reims and in the Sanctuary of Laon, shone forth "ike gems in a perfect setting.

In the long list of Germany's crimes against religion and art, the irrevocable loss nvolved in the attack on Soissons Cathedral,

o say nothing of the beautiful remains near

oy of St. Jean des Vignes, stands out in hocking relief. Because it was less known, t may have been less widely mourned ; but

0 those who knew and loved it no recom-

pense can avail for the damage done to that

flawless, perfect place.

But can its sacrifice save another ? The Cathedral* of Laon, with its unique towers,

with that square choir (gloriously windowed) seeping the memory alive of William the

Englishman, whose influence substituted his ational form for the usual French apse (the atter in itself surely the more beautiful)

Laon, in site, and partly in structure akin to ur own beautiful Lincoln remains, so far s we yet know. But it must be in dire anger. Do not Reims and Soissons call to tie world for fresh protest in the forlorn hope hat haply Laon might be saved ? Should heir protest fail, at least civilized people

would not have, through all the future, to


  • Technically, however, Notre Dame de Laon is

o longer a Cathedral, though still called so, Laon


sons, having been merged in the diocese of Soisson*.