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The Sepulchre Of The French Monarchs

The Sepulchre Of The French Monarchs image
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It is lo bo regretted tlint. tt nearly all tl:o 3f nis vi hete the fjrunt contending annies in JOnrope have met, the most noble churc'.icE cf ffmooe are iiuilt. Tlm catheclrals of Strnsbourp, Motl and Kheims are known tu every tourist, and adrpired, almopt veneratcd, wlierevur men have hearta to love bt-auty of fornj aODtQOrated lo tlie spirit of religión. And Saint Dudíh, adds tho Loui.-villo Courier Juurnal, ia no exceptioo to the lit. The honutiful faciule, the portals emblenmtio of' tlie coiouation oi the Virgin and the PauioD, tho rose window imaging the haptism oi Clovis, and the six huudred Btutue of the catbedra] at Jilieims are happiljr nninjurcd, but the ti;ie old Guthiu Churcli of at. Martin, at Metz, ffith its towers, its apses, and puintings of tho Lorraiii" school, aro nndoubtedfy like the pires, the clock and the high altsr cf Strasbonrg - in ruins. tta defenselepsncss saved liheima; Imt the foititioatiüDg which have neccKnitated tho terrible destruction aud loss of life at Mutz and .Strabourg will, wo aru afniid, lo eiually fatul to the Abbey of St. Denis. While the bells hcre in hundreds of churches are sumnioning worshipers to praise and prayer, anotlicr pel raay be lieard in one oí' the most ancient fanes of Fiance - tho peal of tho oatraon WitB the exception of tho brief priod of i eanity when, at the commeiiceinent of tlie gicat Itevolution, the Purisians in■talled the (Toddess of lleason in tbe nltars of Juhovah, nntil Kobepierre, with a strango mixture of irnpiety aud conipuDotion, declared that the new reublic recogoized God, the tower of the ibbey of St. Denis had for twelve (lïJd and thirty-two years been a momoriul and a sancíuary of worship. Jiut indcpeudoDt of ts beauiy nnd anctily, lue old abbey is venerable froin listone nssociationH. Since the days of Dagobtrt t Jias been the burial place of the raonarehsol'France, and despite the liipse of time and the as-aults of the revolution, its aisles and transept and crypt teem wit.h monnmonts of the past. Napoleon reBtored itj tho Bourbons, the Orleaoiste and the late empire repairedit; and atrain the long range of royal tonibs, vticant of their dust, scattered by a decree of the Convention in 1(93, decórate the upper churoh. Thora ere terrible weeks in 'i)3. In the courso of threo days, fiftv-one tombs were rified, nnd the ashes of queens and kingH and marshals torn np ia cvery shage of decay, and after subjeetion to every species of indignity, thrown in a heap ioto two tronches hiietily dug without the walls of the ehuruh. A Soldier with his abre cut Iho beard from the Hp nf Henry of Navaire, nnd the body 4' Turenno, go little injured by time that tho likeness, stiil recoünized, was placed in a glass case and exhibited os a show to grutify idle curiosiiy. Fur twelve years after this paorilege. tho Abbey Church of St. Denis rumained roo ftuss. "By ruin was Hashrlns profaned, J$y .uioke eacli holy Image Btalued." Hut Napoleon refitterl llie ,-lesecraíed j sepulchral vaults of iho Bourbons as a mausoleum fjr thfl n;v regime. To the vaults b-low Mie high nltar have ágata b en carried tbeburned remaius of Louis XVÍII. and Maria Autoinettc, nnd officers of Louis XVIII. aud others of his family. lint worthier than these, groater thnn most in the long roll of Frene!) king, here rest, in a rarely visited oorser, all that is mortal of the last Cofl'íe, tí)a father of the Duc d'Enghien, who dit-d at St. Len Belwppn 1806 and 1847, more than one mülion of dollars were expended in the restnration of 8t. Danis, nnd now, in all probability, a bomb&rdment will again deetroy the grand cld churttu ïhe column erected to the memory ot Henry 1IL, assassinated in 1589; the monument to Francia II., husband of tho beautiful Queen of Scots, eurrounded nt ts base by weeping angels, like Promeiheua by sea-nymphs on the rock of Cauensus, may be destioyed, and the effigy of üugueschn in the transept bu as powcrlcfis to protect as the Tonown of Tureune beneath liie towir. But if the tovvers oí the abboy be leveled to the dust, and Frussians maroh where Paris is since Lutelia was, the fame of St. Denis will never fade from the memory of man. It was at St. Uenis, in the tiaio of Charlea VII, tbat the oriflammé was raiscd beneath who-e conmiering folds the Maicl of Dn-nronulled led the bcaten hots ol Franco to viotory from ürleans to Paris. VV'hat the Partbenon was to Athena, the Grotto of Egeria to Jiome and Nuina, the cave where Mahomet concealed himself when the religión of the Koran was confined to his Uncle A!i, bis wife, and a few determin cd followerg- what tho ark was to David, the holy of holies to Israel - thul is St. Denis to Jaranee. Historically speaking Paris itself is bul an outwrotttb, a complement of the towns wbich Dajiobert built. All over Franeë, in the wilds of Bnttany, in the plnius of Normandy, in the fertile levéis of Champagne - wherever the real thought and strength of the people hold sway - St. Denis is liko the burial place of Mohammed in Mocea, the high place and altar of Gaul. The town is protected by a fort upon the southeast, but is scarcely capable of a prolongcd dcfenso. lts 20,542 iuhabitants must suffer the horrors of a fiege, or yield to the first suinmons of tho advancing army. The memoriala of the past are not easiiy obliterated, but as the ehivalry of tho middlo ages becomo more nearly cruthed with the tnaternlisiio ppirit of tho nincteenth century, ro the tnonuments of the past grow in grandeur, and oxert a more powerful inüuence upou the destinies of mankind. ■ "Man," said Sir Thomas Brownc in Ileligio Medici, "is nplcndid in ahes, pompons in iho gravo, covering bimfelf with a halo af iminortality, and, godlike, rising again and covering hiiiipplf with glry even in tho iofirmity of his na'.ure." If St. Denis falls and France is a republie, the ruiu and destruetion of tho historio town may flash like an electrio spark, reanímalo France and inRpire her ohildren with the memory of her antique valor. Denver bas Cve shade to trees evpry inhabitant, hich is to avoid exigencies in cate of hanging.


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