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princes changed into beasts, white cats,
giant-killers, (whether Jacks or no), dragon-
quellers, and champions, that never existed.
Likewise, all and every the Bevis's, Arthurs,
dun cows, demon dwarfs, banshees, Brownies
(of Bodestock, or otherwise), magicians,
sorcerers, good people, uncanny folk, elves,
giants, tall black men, wolves addicted to
eating grandmammas and grandchildren,
communicative fish (whether with rings or
otherwise), ghoules, afrits, genii, peris, djinns,
calenders, hobgoblins, "grim worthies of-the
world," ogres with preternatural olfactory
powers, paladins, dwergars, Robin
Goodfellows, and all other supernatural things
and persons.

And preferring these great claimshowsoever
wise we grow, are they not great after
all! — of Queen Mab's, to the general respect, I
present Her Majesty as a case of real distress.
She has been brought very low indeed. She
is sadly reduced. She has hardly a shoe to
stand upon. Boards, Commissions, and
Societies, grimly educating the reason, and
binding the fancy in fetters of red tape, have
sworn to destroy her. Spare her, drivers of
Whole Hogs to not unprofitable markets:
spare her, also, Marlborough House; spare
her, MR, COLE, for you ride your hobbies
desperately hard!


WHEN I fixed my abode, in October last,
in the Hôtel des Carmes in the street of the
same name, which runs through the town of
Rouen, piercing it from the broad Quai du
Havre to the weird old tower of Philip
Augustus on the Boulevard Beauvoisine, I
had not taken the well known fact into
consideration that, if the season be wet anywhere,
the rain has a peculiar privilege of coming
down into the basin of Rouen. For a whole
month that I remained there it rained every
day, more or lessbut generally more; for
an hour in the middle of the day, it would
sometimes clear and allow the possibility
of a pedestrian reaching the cathedral or
Saint Ouen; and, amidst the grove-like
aisles of either of these, the most beautiful
churches in France, endeavouring to forget
the ennui of a solitude into which he had
rashly betrayed himself.

Probably there is no city in Europe which
has been longer in getting rid of its
antiquity and its dirt than Rouen, but it has
at last advanced considerably in that way.
For instance, to form the magnificent street,
which after several changes of dynasty since
it was first begun is now called La Rue
Impériale, no less than six narrow streets of
high striped houses of the fifteenth and
sixteenth centuries had to be demolished. The
street, as wide as Picadilly in London, is
now nearly completed, and would be quite so,
but for the opposition of an obstinate
millowner whose ancestors for several centuries
before him may have possessed his mill on
the subterranean stream, whose black waters
can be perceived from a parapet above the
footway, and from whence he refuses to move
without receiving almost the weight of his
domicile in francs, in exchange for his filthy
dilapidated black and yellow striped tenement.
Just opposite this unsightly pile of building,
beneath which the dragon of Saint Romain,
so celebrated for his ravages in monkish days,
might well have hidden himself in the sable
waters, is a fine range of new houses in the
Parisian style, much disgraced by the
vicinity. A few steps further, in a vast square,
rises high in air the white and fairy-like
structure of the newly restored church of
Saint Ouen, the boast of Normandy. All that
presents itself to the stranger's eye on this
side is new and clean and freshly decorated.
There are new iron gates to the pretty, freshly
arranged garden which surrounds the church,
newly painted seats under the trees, generally
dripping with the heavy rain drops, hanging
on their last leaves, but if you advance to
the edge of the garden, and observe the
remaining ends of the streets which have
been cleared away to afford space for these
parterres and avenues and gold fish
fountains, you recognise the Rouen of the Regent

As no one can help being an antiquary in
the city of a hundred towers, as Rouen has
been called, and as the stranger has nothing
more amusing on his mind than speculating
on old stones, I allowed myself to indulge in
many dreamy speculations. But in vain had I
examined the huge posts at the entrance of
the hotel court to convince myself that they
were part of the ancient temple of Roth; I
was obliged to believe what the old woman
who sold hot cakes opposite told me, that
they were recently put there to guard the
foot passenger in the absence of the pavement,
which is some day to beautify the street; in
vain had I hoped in the Rue de Fossés Louis
VIII., close by, to discover a tourelle or a
buttress which would tell a tale. I was
forced to give up all thoughts of times gone
by as I ascended the gaily ornamented flight
of steps leading to the coffee-room of the
hotel where usually stood my smart hostess
and her smarter daughter, glittering in
mosaic gold, and blossoming in the gay
artificial flowers for which Rouen is famous.

The room assigned me looked to the street,
and was a lively, noisy, tawdry chamber,
with nothing old about it. Though I knew
that every step I took along the galleries
which led to countless bed-rooms and dining-
halls, was over the site of the old convent of
Carmelites of the time of Joan of Arc, yet
it was but too evident that not a plank, a
brick, or a stone of the modern building
had the remotest connexion with the middle

The great fair of Saint Romain or the Pardon

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