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twice visited Wales, had heard from an ancient British bard that Arthur was interred at Glastonbury, and that some pyramids marked the place. The king communicated this to the abbot and monks of the monastery, with the additional information, that the body had been buried very deep to keep it from the Saxons, and that it would be nd, not in a stone tomb, but in a hollowed oak. There were two pyramids and pillars at that time in the cemetery of the abbey. They dug between these till they came to a leaden cross, lying under a stone, which had this inscription, “Hic jacet sepultus inclytus Rex Arthurus in insula Avallonia." Below this, at the depth of sixteen feet from the surface, a coffin of hollowed oak was found, containing bones of an unusual size. The leg-bone was three fingers longer than that of the tallest man then present.
Giraldus saw it. The skull was large, and shewed the marks of ten wounds, nine of which bad concreted into the bony mass, but one, apparently from the mortal blow, had a cleft in it, and the opening still remained. He says that the bones of one of Arthur's queens were also found there, at the lower end. Her yellow hair lay perfect in colour, but a monk eagerly grasping and raising it up, it fell to dust. The bones were removed into the great church of the abbey, and deposited in a magnificent shrine, which was afterwards placed by order of Edward I. before the high altar.' Joinville's chief consolation at Ptolemaide was in finding the monument of his uncle Geoffroi, who had come very young to the Holy Land in the crusade led by Philip Augustus and Richard of England, along with Henry II. count of Troy, whose seneschal he was, and whom he served so faithfully, that the King of England, uncle of the count, permitted him, as a reward for his valour and fidelity, to join the arms of England to those of his family. Geoffroi died, and was buried in Ptolemais : his shield was hung over his tomb. Joinville took it down, and placed it in the church of St. Laurent at Joinville. In Froissart, there is a most affecting account of Sir Walter Manny finding his father's body at La Reole. The tombs of the old kings and knights still are sure to excite the interest of every beholder :
| Turner's Hist. of the Anglo-Saxons, i. 280.
Though mean and mighty rotting,
Of place 'twixt high and low. If the deceased died in battle, the figure on his tomb is on its knees, with helmet on and in full armour. If he died of wounds after the battle, it is on its knees, without a helmet, but in other points armed. If he died in peace on his bed, it should lie on its back in full armour, with its feet upon two dogs. Philippe d'Artois, constable of France, having been taken by the Turks in the battle of Nicopolis in 1396, his tomb, which I have seen in the church of Notre Dame at Eu, is covered with an iron grating, to mark that he died in prison. The simple and affectiona’e feelings of the faithful inclined them to pay a regard to the posture of the body itself. In the early ages of Christianity men were buried with their feet towards the east; so that the figure on their tomb, with its head resting on a stone cushion, appeared to look towards the region where Jesus Christ was born and crucified, and whence he will come again to judgment. After the battle of Albuera, an English officer, who visited the field, which was covered with the slain, says, “I was much struck with one affecting though simple proof of the attachment of our peninsular allies : the hands of vast numbers of the British corpses had been clasped together in the attitude of prayer, and placed by the Spaniards in the manner in which they' (I must omit the word which follows) "imagine it important to lay out their dead.” He was “much struck," therefore it was not altogether in vain. How solemn are those lights which you find burning at tombs in churches before break of day, or which are placed over the representation of our Lord's sepulchre! To pay respect to the body, in consideration of our Saviour having assumed the same, was invariably the practice of Christians. There was, besides, an heroic and generous feeling which dictated respect. The Norman soldier who struck Harold on the thigh after he was dead was disgraced on the field by William the Conqueror. “ When King Lewis the Eleventh,” says Holinshed, “by certayne undiscreete persons, was counsayled to deface the tomb of the Duke of Bedford, in the cathedral church of our Lady in Rouen,
being told that it was a great dishonour both to the king and to the realm to see the enemy of his father and theyrs to have so solemn and riche memoriall: he answered, saying, What honour shall it be to us or to you to breake this monument, and to pull out of the ground the dead bones of him whom in hys lyfe tyme neyther my father nor your progenitors, wyth all theyr power, puissance, and friends, were not once able to make flee one foot backewarde, but by his stringth, wytte, and policie, kept them all out of the principal dominions of the realme of Fraunce, and out of thys noble and famous duchie of Normandie. Wherefore I say, fyrst, God have his soule, and let his bodie nowe lye in rest, which, when he was alyve, woulde have disquieted the proudest of us all; and as for the tomb, I assure you it is not so decent nor convenient as his honour and actes deserved, although it were moche rycher and more beautiful.” One of the first cares of René, the young duke of Lorraine, after his great victory at Nancy over Charles the Bold, duke of Burgundy, was to make anxious inquiry after the duke, who had been his cruel enemy. No one knew what had become of him. The field of battle, deep in snow, covered with the slain, was diligently searched, and the bodies of many valiant knights were discovered, but not that of the duke. The prisoners were interrogated, but they could give no account of their master : some, however, said that they had heard him cry “ Luxembourg ;” others, that being stunned by a blow, the Sire de Cité had kept him in the saddle, and that then rushing like a lion into the press, the Sire de Cité, wounded at the same moment, had been unable to follow him, or to discover on which side he had gone. The Duke René sent messengers in all directions. Some said that he was confined in the castle of Luxembourg ; others, that his servants had carried him off wounded to some secret retreat ; others, that a German lord had made him prisoner, and sent him across the Rhine. At last, on Monday evening, the Count of Campo Basso led to the duke a young page, John Baptist Colonna, who said that he had seen his master fall, and could point out where he lay. The fate of the duke had been as follows. Finding it in vain to oppose the flight of his army, he wished to escape, so as, if possible, not to fall into the
hands of the Swiss; but his horse, Moreau, quite spent, slipped in crossing a frozen ditch, which separates the pond of St. John from a church of the order of Rhodes, called St. John de Astre. It had snowed hard for days before ; but on the morning of Sunday, the 5th of January, 1477, the sun broke forth as the two armies advanced to battle : and the ice was now bare of snow. In vain the
duke endeavoured to raise him up; the weight of his armour prevented him, and he himself fell motionless by the side of his horse. At that moment a gentleman of Lorraine, chatelain of the Tour du Mont at St. Dié, named Claude de Beaumont, rode up to him, struck with the richness of his armour.
Beaumont, seeing him lie motionless on the ice, turned him on his back, and ran his horse through with a spear, to secure his person. By a strange fatality, Beaumont was deaf, so as not to distinguish the words which the unfortunate Charles uttered, with the hope of moving his compassion. “ Mon ami, mon ami,” said he with a weak voice,
sang de Bourgogne !” Beaumont thought that he dared to cry still, « Vive Bourgogne!” and his pity changing into fury, he split his skull with a blow of his battle-axe, ran him through with his lance, and finished him, as he supposed, with blows of his mace, and then left him to continue the pursuit. Charles, however, still breathed, and he felt such terrible agony, that he rolled himself on the ice, which was now thawing with his blood, and he uttered mournful cries, which were at last heard by this young page Colonna, who had followed him from far when he watched his course; and he was about to approach him, when the aspect of a warrior expiring in such torments, and the dolorous groans which he uttered, so terrified the boy, that he fled away, and Charles breathed his last sigh without a hand to close his eyes. This page now came up, and offered to conduct a party to the spot. In the bed of a rivulet near the chapel of St. John de l’Astre, these messengers found a dozen corpses. A poor washerwoman of the duke's household was employed to search. At the sight of a ring on the finger of one body, she ran up, turned it round, and cried out, Ah, my prince!" There was the body, which the wolves had already been devouring. His head was frozen down to the ice, so that in lifting it up the skin was torn off.
“ Il estoit estendu comme le plus pauvre homme du monde, says Olivier de la Marche. The skull was cloven from the ear to the mouth; the thighs were pierced with a pike, and another wound was in the groin. His body was recognised by the scar on his neck from a wound at Montlheri, the loss of two teeth from a fall, and by his ring. The body was carried in religious pomp into Nancy, and placed on a bed of state, under a canopy of black satin, ornamented with his arms. The corpse was dressed in white satin, the head placed on a black velvet pillow, a crown, rich with precious stones, still encircled his bloodsmeared forehead; his feet were in scarlet boots; around him were a silver cross, a vase of holy water, lighted tapers, and priests, who chanted at intervals the dirge for the dead." The Duke of Lorraine came to sprinkle the holy water on the body of the unfortunate prince. The tears stood in his eyes; he took hold of the hand, “ He dea! biau cousin,” said he, « vos ames ait Dieu ; vous nous avez faict moult maux et douleurs.” Tears stopped his words; he kissed the hand, kneeled down before the cross, and remained in earnest prayer for a quarter of an hour.
The fact of the resurrection of Christ, and the faith of the church respecting the resurrection of the body, rendered the early Christians most careful in their respect for the bodies of the departed. “ We gathered up his bones, which are more precious than jewels and gold, and preserved them in a suitable place, where the Lord gave us power to assemble, that with joy and rapture we might keep the anniversary of his martyrdom." Thus writes the contemporary of St. Polycarp, the disciple of St. John, making mention of his death. The festivals of the martyrs were celebrated as early as the second century, in the places where their bones or reliques were preserved; as the church of Smyrna writes to that of Philomel respecting St. Polycarp.2 So says Tertullian, “ On consecrated days we sacrifice in memory of their deaths.”3 St. Cyprian also requires attention to the precise day on which the martyrs suffer, in order that it may be celebrated by gifts and sacrifice.4
1 Villeneuve, Hist. de René d'Anjou, iii. 134. Barente, Hist. des Ducs de Bourgogne, xi, 156. * Euseb. iv. 15.
3 De Corona Milit. 3. 4 Epist. xxxvii. 84.