Page images
PDF
EPUB

Chicago.)

HISTORICAL SKETCH.

299

he plunged into the deep water, but held her head above the waves. This was the friendly Black Partridge, who thus preserved her life by feigning to destroy it. One of the wagons in the rear contained twelve children, and these were all slaughtered by a single savage.

When but twenty-six soldiers were left to confront five hundred warriors, the commander surrendered, stipulating that the women and children should be spared. Fifty-six whites had been killed ; and the Indians destroyed the fort and barracks by fire.

In 1816 white men once more sought the site of Chicago, and Fort Dearborn was rebuilt and garrisoned. In 1823 the civilian population was augmented by the arrival of Clybourne, who rode thither on horseback, a thousand miles, from Virginia. In 1827 there were two other families living outside the fort-the indomitable John Kinzie and his competitor, the French trader Oulimette. The fortifications were inconsiderable, and consisted mainly of a block-house near the mouth of the river. As late as the

As late as the year 1857 this venerable defence was still standing, weather-beaten and ruinous, but worthy to have been preserved as an eloquent historical relic. On several occasions it had served as a city of refuge during the terrors of the border-wars; and the Government agency continued in its walls for many years. From 1832 until 1836 it was garrisoned by two companies of infantry under Winfield Scott, afterwards the conqueror of Mexico and commander-in-chief of the American armies. The Agency building proper-a grotesque group of log-buildings, with many angles and wings-was entitled Cobweb Castle by the imaginative pioneers. At that time the North Side was covered with a vigorous forest, while the South Side lay partly under water and morasses.

An active and prominent citizen, Mr. Gurdon S. IIubbard, found but two families living here when his first visit was made (he then being a lad of sixteen) in the year 1818. . He was an employé of the American Fur Company, sent out from Montreal, and detailed to service in the Illinois brigade of traders, over whom the Canadian voyageur, Antoine Dechamps, held command. Cautiously and slowly the little flotilla of Mackinaw boats coasted the shores of the Great Lakes, as the early merchants were wont to do, passing hundreds of leagues of desolate and uninhabited lands. They found a few whites at Mackinaw and Chicago, but nowhere any others, from Lake Ontario to the Mississippi River.

By the year 1830 Chicago had made no advance, and was still composed of a military post and a fur-station—the former a log-fort, garrisoned by two companies of regulars, the latter composed of two shops, filled with trinkets for barbarian traders ;-three taverns, where the Indians who brought furs spent their earnings in drunkenness; a blacksmith's shop, where rude work was done ; a house for the interpreter; and a shanty for the chiefs of the visiting tribes. John Jacob Astor's little schooner made a yearly voyage to the post to carry away the accumulated furs.

The fort was menaced by the Winnebago Indians in 1829, and reinforcements were hurried in from the eastward. But four years later the garrison evacuated the works, and their barracks were occupied by immigrant families. At one time, more than four thousand Indians gathered here to receive their annuities; and soon afterwards, during the disastrous war waged by the chief Black Hawk against the frontier settlements, Fort Dearborn was crowded with many hundreds of refugees from the devastated country beyond. The powerful above a crypt in which the early Christians were wont to assemble round the tombs of the martyrs under St. Irenæus, the successor of St. Pothinus in the see of Lyons. The crypt, although, like the church above, sadly undermined, is very antique and primitive in its character. In the midst of it is a well, into which, according to tradition, the bodies of 19,000 Christians were thrown when the Emperor Severus revenged himself on Lyons for its adherence to the cause of Albinus.

The church built by St. Patient was destroyed by the barbarians in the ninth century, and rebuilt shortly afterwards. It was again sacked and pulled down by the Baron des Adrets, in 1562. The Protestant general caused the bones and débris of animals to be thrown down the well in the crypt, but a careful separation was subsequently effected; and it is alleged that the bones now shown behind a triple iron grating at the entrance of the crypt are the bones of the martyrs, and nothing else. When Des Adrets sacked the church, the head of St. Irenæus was set up as a laughing-stock for the soldiers; but a medical man contrived to obtain possession of it, and preserved it till the disturbances

were over.

The present edifice consists of a single nave, the choir being crowned by a double cupola. It has been rebuilt at various epochs, and its present modern style does not harmonise with its historical associations.

Nearer to the river than St. Irénée stands the Church of St. Just. Early in the third century a crypt was formed here, in memory of all the first native martyrs, then called the Macchabees. Above the crypt soon rose a church, which, like all other Christian edifices in the district, was destroyed by the barbarians. St. Patient rebuilt it on a grand scale, devoting to it his immense fortune; and when the body of St. Just, the third bishop of Lyons, was brought back from its solitary grave in Egypt, it was deposited here, and the church received his name. In connection with the church was a vast monastic castle with massive walls and towers. Many sovereigns made these cloisters a temporary abode. In 1245 Innocent IV., fleeing before the German Emperor Frederick II., found a refuge here, and remained in safety for seven years, till his enemy's death. To this strong fastness the canon-barons retreated when the citizens were rising against their authority, and sustained more than one siege from the bourgeois army. Here dwelt the Regent Louisa of Savoy whilst her son Francis I., the first of French monarchs to cross the Alps with artillery, was campaigning in Italy, and here she received the famous letter after the battle of Pavia, “All is lost except honour!” In 1562, when the Protestants were ravaging Lyons, it was at St. Just that their zealous fury seemed to culminate. The golden shrine that enclosed the body of St. Just, raised upon four marble columns ten feet in height, the Rose d'Or, and other priceless gifts of popes and princes, and all the vast wealth in the treasury of the church, were pillaged and dispersed; the relics and tombs were profaned, and all the historic title-deeds and monuments destroyed. The present structure was in building from 1661 to 1747.

Still nearer to the river, at the end of the Quai de l'Archevêché, stands the primatial Church of St. Jean Baptiste, the Cathedral of Lyons. The primitive cathedral was the Church of St. Nizier, already described, but St. Jean belongs to the epoch when the pastors of the Church had become powerful barons, wielding temporal as well as spiritual power.

Lyons.]

THE CATHEDRAL.

287

ز

Two other churches once abutted on that of St. Jean, forming an architectural symbol of the Trinity. The present structure was in building from the twelfth to the fifteenth century, though successive earlier erections occupied the same site since the sixth. In its architecture, the Gothic, the Transitional, and the Renaissance are all exemplified. Its grand western façade, flanked by two towers, is an imposing spectacle. The triple portal is profusely decorated with well-executed sculpture, but a great deal of it remains in the mutilated condition in which it was left by Des Adrets and his Protestant soldiers in 1562. The second stage of the façade is not lavishly adorned ; a magnificent rose window formed the centre of the most elevated portion.

The apse, which is also dominated by two towers, is the most picturesque portion of the cathedral. It is certainly the most ancient, and is said to combine some of the work of the great church restorer, Leydrade. The northern tower contains the bells, one of which weighs 18,000 kilogrammes. It was founded in 1508, and re-founded in 1622 ; on the first occasion its godmother was Anne of Brittany, and on the second Anne of Austria.

The interior of the cathedral is divided by pillars into three naves; an elegant and noble simplicity is its chief characteristic. The apse, however, is adorned with sculptures ; beautiful and well-preserved glass windows admit the light. Amongst the other special features of the interior are the high altar of coloured marble, the fourteenth-century organ, and an immense carved wainscot from the Abbey of Cluny.

Of the chapels, one displays some wood of the true cross; another enshrines the heart of St. Vincent de Paul; a third, and the most interesting, is the Chapel of St. Louis, erected by the Cardinal Charles de Bourbon and his brother, the Duc Pierre de Bourbon, and splendid with sculpture, stained glass, and other ornaments. Duc Pierre had married the King's daughter, and in allusion to this cher don, the thistle (chardon) is sculptured in great profusion. The hammers of Des Adrets' enthusiastic followers have been busy at work here also. In another chapel is a remarkable astronomical clock, manufactured by Lippius of Bâle, in 1598. It records all divisions of time, from centuries to seconds, and various astronomical phenomena. It is also furnished with a crowd of automata, representing the three Persons of the Trinity, the Virgin Mary, angels, etc., who at appointed times are worked by mechanism, and perform various functions. Popular tradition asserts that the Counts of St. Jean put out the eyes of the inventor, lest he should furnish any one else with the counterpart of their wonderful toy.

The Chapter of the Cathedral of Lyons was the most important body of clergy in France; they were thirty-two in number, all Counts of Lyons, the rank of Premier Canon being held by the reigning King of France. Amongst the remarkable events that have occurrel here was the Council-General of 1245, when Innocent IV. hurled the thunders of the Church against Frederick II., and where for the first time the cardinals wore the red dress, to distinguish them from other prelates. In 1274 a Council-General held here consummated a very short-lived union of the Latin and Greek Churches. Two crosses borne at that council, and still displayed beside the high altar, commemorate the event. In this church Henry II., the Emperor of Germany, performed mass, in one of his periodical efforts to desert his throne and take to holy orders; and here, in 1600, Henry of Navarre renewed his marriage with Marie de Medicis.

[ocr errors]

retreats : at the festivals of the Ascension and Assumption and in the month of Mary. From 120,000 to 150,000 francs are spent every year amongst the vendors of crosses, chaplets, and ex votos, whose shops line the approaches to the church.

From the terrace beside the church, or still better, from the summit of the tower, there is a magnificent view of Lyons and the vicinity. Just below, the city displays a magnificent panorama, with its two noble rivers and bridges and quays, and with the various quarters of the town distinctly discernible. Beyond are the fields and plains, and hills sprinkled with country houses. The plains of Dauphiny and Lyonnais lie outspread, watered by the two rivers, one of which-the Rhône-can be traced for twenty leagues. Eastward, the view extends to the Alps, on clear days, Mont Blanc (a hundred miles distant) is seen. More to the south are seen the Alps of Dauphiny, the mountains of the Grand Chartreuse, Mont Pilat, and Mont Ventoux. To the west rise the mountains of Lyonnais, and the peaks of Mont d'Or on the north.

There are many other churches in Lyons, but our space forbids us to enlarge further on this topic. St. George's, with its very pretty clock-tower; St. Etienne, attributed to St. Patient, and once the chapel of the Kings of Burgundy; St. Polycarp, richly adorned, and possessing the finest organ in the city; and the vast church of L'Immaculée Conception, in the quarter of Les Brotteaux: in all of these, and numerous others, the rites of the Roman Catholic religion are performed, amidst all the usual accompaniments of pomp and splendour. St. Bonaventure, beside the Place des Cordeliers, claims a passing notice. It was at first the little church of an obscure convent, but afterwards rose to great renown. The present edifice dates from the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, but it has been restored in costly style, and is lavishly adorned with sculptures and stained glass. Its history presents many points of interest. It has always been a popular church, for the fathers of the attached convent cultivated very familiar relations with the people. In 1425 an Assembly of citizens met in the church, to demand' a diminution of the taxes imposed on the city. In 1468 the church was rebuilt, and took the name of Bonaventure, whose body was enshrined under one of the altars. In 15:29 there was a corn famine; the poor people gathered here, and broke into rebellion. But the authorities erected a gallows before the church, and kept it hard at work for four days, when tranquillity was restored. Assemblies of notables and merchants often met here, and in this place was formed the ancient “Charity Organisation Society” of Lyons, the "Aumône Générale." In 1562, Baron des Adrets broke down the gates, overthrew statues, destroyed pietures, burnt the corpse of Bonaventure, and threw the ashes into the Rhône, but church and convent soon flourished again. A dreadful massacre of Protestants, who had fled here for refuge, took place on St. Bartholomew's Day. The shrewd Cordeliers tried to meet all needs; in their thirty chapels (many of them built by trades guilds) were altars and saints for all conditions : St. Catherine for young girls, St. Anne for widows, St. Joseph for husbands, Notre Dame de Délivrance for expectant mothers, and so forth. At the time of the Revolution the Provincial Assembly met here.

The Church of which Pothinus and Blandina were martyrs, and which Irenaus watched over, had suffered many important changes when Peter Waldo, a rich merchant of Lyons in the twelfth century, found himself in its communion. He was noted for

Lyons.)

HÔTEL DE VILLE.

291

same manner.

his charity and religious zeal, but he refused to believe the doctrine of transubstantiation which Rome was then enforcing, denounced the prevalent abuses and superstitions, and the vices of the clergy, and sought to bring back religion to the simplicity of the early Church. He gathered the poor about him, and taught them, and for their sakes translated (or caused to be translated) the four Gospels into French. To him Europe is indebted for the first version of part of the Bible in a modern tongue. The Archbishop of Lyons saw that these things tended to undermine ecclesiastical authority. The Pope was informed of what was taking place, and Waldo was excommunicated. He and all his adherents were expelled the city. They were known as Leonists, or Poor People of Lyons, and became amalgamated with the pre-existent Waldenses, whose name is not derived from Waldo, as is often erroneously supposed, for authentic documents speak of the Waldenses many years before his time.

Three hundred years passed on, and found Europe awakening to the trumpet-tones of the Reformers of the sixteenth century. France shared in the religious movement of the

. period, but the rulers in Church and State determined to crush out the new heresy. In 1552 five students were burnt in the corn-market at Lyons, and many other martyrs soon perished in the

In 1559, Viret, the friend of Calvin, came to preside over the Reformed Church of Lyons, but was banished by the decree which forbade any but the natives of France to preach in French cities. Religion now got mixed up with politics, and the so-called Religious Wars broke out. Baron des Adrets, with his motley host of religious zealots and mercenary troops, who lived by war and pillage, held the city for several months, and committed frightful ravages, to some of which we have referred. Four or five Pacifications, of a very hollow kind, lasted for a time. In 1572 came the horrors of St. Bartholomew; the Protestants were massacred in the convents and other buildings in which they had been invited to take refuge ; and the Rhône and Saône (like the Seine) carried many hundreds of dead bodies down to the sea. Lyons shared with all France the subsequent troubles from the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, and, indeed, was long in recovering from the blow which that disastrous event inflicted on her commerce.

The Hôtel de Ville faces the Place des Terreaux, which has been already alluded to. This place was the scene of a memorable event in the reign of Louis XIII., when Cinq-Mars and his friend De Thou perished on the scaffold to satisfy the vengeance of Richelieu. In 1792 the Place des Terreaux was the scene of an attack on the Hôtel de Ville by the Sections in order to dislodge Chalier, the imitator of Marat, who was presiding over a revolutionary tribunal in the name of the Convention. The Conventional troops were beaten, the tribunal broken up, and Chalier was beheaded. It was for this that Lyons sustained that memorable siege by the troops of the Convention, to the number of 60,000. For sixty-three days the city maintained a heroic resistance, till the incessant cannonading from without, and famine and sickness within the walls, had rendered success hopeless ; 30,000 citizens perished, and then, on October 9th, 1793, the town yielded to the victorious besiegers. During the siege 11,000 red-hot shot and 27,000 shells had been poured into the city, and it was now decreed by the National Convention that, in order to humble the pride of the citizens, all the principal buildings,

« PreviousContinue »