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the attacks of the Romans; and we talk about Julius Cæsar, and all that sort of thing.
Then we look upon the little village of Seaforth, which occupies the western side of Beachy Head, and, after clearing the celebrated promontory, obtain glimpses of Eastbourne, Pevensey, St. Leonard's, and Hastings. Looking in the opposite direction, Brighton may be seen in clear weather. In about two hours the sight of the English coast and its white cliffs is lost, and for about an hour's sail no land is visible. Three hours give generally the first glimpse of the French coast, which increases in clearness and distinctness, inspiring fresh hopes as the form and features of the coast are discerned, until the large and excellent hotels and boarding houses facing the beach are clearly seen, with the tower of St. Jacques rising up in their
The steamer is generally welcomed by a crowd on the pier, at the mouth of the harbour ; and as she gently winds her way round the curve of the narrow channel, on either side a large crucifix arrests attention, symbolical of the national faith.
To those who are making their first visit to a foreign land, the landing at Dieppe will make an impression which, perhaps, will never be forgotten; first impressions rarely
You will notice the confusion of tongues; then the peculiarities of costume, the simplicity of the French blue blouse, and the magnificence of the gendarme. Then the recognitions which take place; the heartiness but soberness of the English in contrast with the hilarious excitement when French meet French; then the mode of salutation,the Englishmen shaking hands, and the Frenchmen kissing one another, probably on both cheeks. Then, if the “fishwives” chance to be on the quay, they will not fail to arrest attention, dressed in their short skirts, coloured stockings, and wooden shoes, with fish-baskets on their backs, and snowy-white handkerchiefs on their heads, and generally hard at work towing-in a boat, or sorting-out fish while their 6 lords and masters ” bask in the sun, whiffing cigarettes.
Dieppe is one of the best fishing seaports on the coast, and its principal fisheries are herring, whiting, and mackerel, which supply the Paris market.
Having shown our tickets as we pass the gangway to the shore, at the place where only so recently as a year or two ago (during the war) passports were examined, we start for
A PEEP AT DIEPPE AND ITS NEIGHBOURHOOD.
Dieppe, as the place where the tourist first touches French soil, invariably awakens feelings of curiosity and interest on the part of those who have not previously visited it, and the two or three hours which are sometimes found elapsing between the time of the vessel's arrival and the departure of the train may be well employed in a ramble through the quaint little town, and obtaining a glimpse of Norman life and manners. So after having refreshed our inner man again at one of the numerous hotels, or at the railway-station buffet (we prefer the Hotel Queen Victoria, on the Quai Henry IV., almost opposite the steamboat pier), we set forth on our voyage of discovery. Proceeding along the quay, turning neither to right nor left, we pass the covered fish-market, crowded with fish-wives wearing various head-dresses, and find ourselves in the Grande Rue, the principal street of the town, where some of the shops contain beautiful specimens of ivory carving and turning--an art in which many of the townsmen excel. A little way up the street, on our left, is the Place Royale, a large open space crowded with market-people, villagers, fishermen, and others. In the centre of the square is a spirited bronze statue of Duquesne, who drove De Ruyter off the coast of Sicily. Saturday is the great market day. The annual fair commences on August the 15th, lasting for several days. At La Place du Puits Sale, where the Grande Rue forms a junction with the Rue St. Jacques and other thoroughfares, a few steps down the broad street on our right conducts us to the Church of St. Remi. Here are several beautiful tombs. The remains of Emar de Chaltes, the friend and companion of Henri IV., are interred here. On the northern face of the western tower are the marks of a cannon-shot fired by the English during their bombardment of the town in 1694. Retracing our way into the Grande Rue, we proceed along its continuation, the Rue de la Barre, at the end of which, a little to the right, is the picturesque castle, rising high above the town. Here is the ancient tower of St. Remi, the sole existing remains of the earlier church of that name. From the parapets of the quaint old fortress is obtained a fine view of the town. Under the principal archway Henri IV. was triumphantly received by the governor after the battle of Arques; while from a window opposite, if tradition may be believed, the Duchess of Longueville made her escape in 1650. Behind the castle is the new and fashionable suburb, the Faubourg de la Barre, inhabited principally by wealthy visitors, both French and English.
Leaving the castle, we turn to the left of the Rue de la Barre, thence to the right, then again to the left, and we reach the last of the six castellated gates which belonged to the ancient fortifications surrounding the town.
It was formerly used as a prison, and a few years ago the poor captive's basket was often to be seen dangling at the end of a cord suspended from the grated windows above. In this basket the benevolent would place their alms. Passing through the gateway, we have before us the famous bathing establishment. Here are gardens, terraces, lawns, parterres, ball, reading, and refreshment rooms, an orchestra, and various other attractions and conveniences. During the summer season, it is delightful to pass an evening here, listening to the strains of the band, and watching the gaily attired groups which throng the promenades, or gazing at the lovely placid sea, dotted here and there with the tiny white sails of the distant fishing vessels. Proceeding along the Rue Aguado, lined on one side with houses, shops, fine hotels, and other buildings, and on the other by La Plage, or public promenade, beyond which continually glisten the rippling waters of the broad green sea, we turn round by the great tobacco manufactory, and find ourselves close to our old starting-point on the Quai Henri IV. Very picturesque is the scene before us. Policemen with swords and cocked hats; soldiers wearing baggy trousers and smoking cigars ; a stray priest or two; noisy fish-wives, with lofty caps of starched muslin ; porters, custom-house officers, labourers wearing blue blouses, seem inextricably mingled together. Passing through the motley crowd, we wander towards the Place Royale, passing through which we find ourselves in front of the Church of St. Jacques, a beautiful structure, possessing many features of archaeological interest, the rose window in the south transept being as fine as that in Westminster Abbey. The Lady Chapel and the Chapel of the Holy Sepulchre are very beautiful, the picturesque effect being heightened by the numerous candles burning before the latter. The street in front of the principal entrance is the Rue St. Jacques. Passing up this, we turn sharply round to the left into the Rue d'Ecosse, in which is the creche, or public nursery ; old hospital; and the Maison Dieu, or mad-house. The two latter buildings are said to afford
a very good idea of the style of Dieppe houses before the destruction of the town by the bombardment of 1694."
If, instead of proceeding down the Rue d'Ecosse, we pass up the Rue des Tribuneaux, we shall pass the old church and monastery of the Minimes. The buildings are now used for police and other public purposes. Proceeding past the head of the dock, and keeping to the right, the railway station is reached. If, however, the visitor has more time at his disposal, he may proceed to the oyster-ponds, a few minutes' walk from the station. These are six in number, each containing about 250,000 fish. On the opposite side of the docks is the Pollet, a neighbourhood inhabited almost wholly by fishermen and sailors, who in costume, manners, and language, are very different to the Dieppers. They are supposed to be of Scandinavian origin. The church frequented by them should be visited. About 3 miles from Dieppe is Arques, the castle of which was erected by a relative of William the Conqueror. It is a favourite place with tourists. The Cité des Limes, the most ancient monument in Normandy, is about two miles beyond the Pollet. It is an immense earthen dyke or rampart, thrown up in the form of a semi-circle of about two thousand yards, and capable of holding an army a hundred thousand strong. The camp
is believed to have been the work of Cæsar. Ancourt (31 miles), Affranville (41 miles), Petit Appeville (1) miles), and Pourville (2 miles), are each worth visiting. From the last-named place the visitor can return by the cliffs facing the sea.
For those who care to make a prolonged stay in Dieppe, there are many other places of interest within a short distance, where the scenery, historical and other associations, costumes and manners of the inhabitants, irresistibly awaken our desire to behold something more of a district said to be the Eden of Northern Europe.