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. De Knech . . . Extinct
Such dicta probably had their origin in the kingdom of Burgundy, for we find similar lists in Dauphiné and Provence. Cæsar Nostradamus, in his · Histoire de Provence, tells us that there formerly existed upon the cover of a book the following sobriquets of the chief families of Provence, written by the hand of René, roy de Sicile et Comte de Provence,' in 1434: Hospitalité et Bonté . Hospitality and Kindness D'Agoult Libéralité . . . Liberality . . . De Ville Neufve Magnificence . . . Magnificence. . . De Castellane Sagesse : . Wisdom . .
. De Rambrands de Simiane Fallace et Malice. Falsity and Malice. . Des Barras Simplesse
. Simplicity . . . De Sabran Fidélité . Fidelity :
. De Bobers Constance . . . Constancy . . . De Vintimille
Témérité et Fierté . • Rashness and Pride . De Glandevez
. De Pontevez Inconstance . . . Inconstancy.
· De Baux Envieux . . Envy .
. De Candole Communion . . Sociability
. De Forcalquier Riche . . . Riches.
. D'Aperioculos Desloyauté . Disloyalty
. De Beaufort Gravité . . . Gravity.
D'Arcussia Sottise . . · Stupidity
De Grasse Vaillance . Valour. .
. De Blaecas Opinion . Self-will.
De Sado Prud'homie. . Bashfulness.
. De Cabassole Bonté . . Kindness
. De Castillon Subtilité. . Subtlety.
. De Gerente Ingéniosité . . Ingenuity
. D'Auraison Grandeur . . Grandeur
. Des Porcellets Vanité . Vanity .
. Des Bonifaces Vivacité d'Esprit . Lively Wit .
. Des Fourbins Légèreté . Giddiness .
. Des Loubières Finesse . . . . Diplomacy . . . Des Grimauds
The details concerning the nobility of Vaud may also be found in the work of Père Menestrier.
one rustic manor captured and relean was in a chron
The fourteenth century was not a period of peace and good-will throughout the Canton of Vaud. Rival claimants for power, ecclesiastical and civil, kept alive the fires of a contest which became a war between village and village, and finally between one rustic manor and another. Houses were burned, serfs pillaged, prisoners captured and released, knights in armour scoured the country, and the whole region was in a chronic state of bloodshed.
Years of dryness and sterility, and swarms of locusts, destroying the crops and stripping the trees, devastated the barony, creating a general gloom which oppressed alike the rich and the poor.
In 1315, nearly the whole of Europe was visited by an extraordinary rain which extended to Lausanne. It began on May 1, and it continued with but slight intervals until the end of December. The greater part of the world, says Baron d’Alt, was reduced to the direst misery.'
| Histoire des Helvétiens, aujourd'hui connus sous le nom de Suisses, par M. le Baron d'Alt de Tieffenthal (Fribourg, 1749), i. 315.
In 1317 the seigniory of Châtelard came into being. Nine years later occurs the first mention of the ancestors of Gibbon as holding land in far-away England, at Rolvenden, in Kent; and, shortly after, John Gibbon is recorded as the Marmorarius or architect of King Edward III. Gibbon characteristically embalms his progenitor by telling us that the strong and stately castle of Queenborough, which guarded the entrance of the Medway, was a monument of his skill, and the grant of an hereditary toll on the passage from Sandwich to Stonar, in the Isle of Thanet, was the reward of no vulgar artist.
In 1348 the general persecution of the Jews in Europe, during which fifty thousand of all ages and sexes perished, commenced with the murder of the three hundred at Chillon, who were accused of having poisoned the fountains. There is an original document at Villeneuve giving an account of this massacre and its horrid accompaniments. The populace of that town, on a certain day, broke down the gates of the castle of Chillon, and burned or hanged all the Jews that they found therein, without even the semblance of a trial. One of the beams still remains in the vaulted cell, beneath the double arch of masonry, and the living rock juts out behind, as it did in that day, assuming fantastic forms, like devils mocking at the sad agony of the unfortunates.
In the following year, the city of Cologne, hearing that the Council of Berne had sent to Strasburg a Jew whose revelations might lead to the truth, wrote to the authorities of the latter city to say that Cologne desired information concerning the poisoning of the springs. The Council of Strasburg, without referring to the Jew in question, replied that it was necessary to exercise great prudence and impartiality in order to prevent the frightful scenes which had disgraced several cities, and not to condemn persons who were probably quite innocent. In its opinion, the great mortality reigning all over Europe should be regarded as an affliction sent from God, and should not be referred to the poisoning of the springs most wickedly imputed to the Jews.
The Cologne Council was apparently dissatisfied by this reply, and addressed itself directly to Aymon de Pontverre, châtelain of Chillon, and ancestor in the female line of the
in of chessed itself
notorious Ferdinand Bouvier, lieutenant of the same castle two hundred years later. The noble castellan did not hesitate to declare his conviction that the Jews were guilty, and in support of his opinion enclosed a copy in Latin of the procès-verbal. This curious document lay for a long time in the archives of Strasburg, but was finally brought to light by Schiltern, who published it in 1698, in Latin and in German, in his “Supplément à la Chronique Allemande d'Alsace,' by Jacques de Königshofen, a work now rare.
The truth seems to have been that the populations of Burgundy, Savoy, Switzerland, and Alsace, finding themselves in the midst of a terrible plague which was destroying onethird of their number, entirely lost their wits, and, being influenced by the signs of death and mourning, seized with avidity upon theories which in a brighter moment would not have moved them. The experience of five centuries counts little against passion and prejudice; in our own time harsh measures have been taken against the Jews in various regions, to the shame of modern civilisation.
In the fourteenth century ideas of right were only beginning to be felt. People were groping in the dark. Violent actions were the order of the day. Desperate efforts to throw off crushing burdens were frequently accompanied by deeds of dastardly injustice. Feudalism had indeed begun to decay in the early thirteenth century (when the towns and villages owed certain liberties to the impoverishment of their seigniors by luxury and war), and it waxed more feeble as the century grew old.
Philip, Count of Savoy, seignior of Vaud, dying in 1285, had left to his nephew, Louis of Savoy, the barony of Vaud, consisting of towns and fiefs disseminated throughout that country, forming an appanage dependent upon the House of Savoy. His son and successor, Louis II., Baron of Vaud, had been profoundly afflicted by the death of his only child, who fell fighting heroically at the battle of Laupen, and had himself vainly sought death on numerous fields in the foremost battalions of France.
In the battle of Laupen, which took place on June 21,
i Verdeil, i. 160.
1339, the House of Austria, the Counts of Arberg, of Kybourg, of Gruyère, of Neuchâtel, of Valangin, and of Nidau, with various other seigniors, and the city of Freiburg, were united against the forces of Berne and nine hundred men from the Cantons of Ury, of Schwytz, and of Unterwald. During the siege which preceded the battle, many authorities declare that Rodolph d’Erlach, vassal of the Count of Nidau, but bourgeois of Berne, said to his lord: My liege, up to the present moment I have well served you; but my country is threatened. Permit me, therefore, to partake of the dangers of my fellow citizens.' His seignior replied: "Go to the defence of your native land. One man less will not change the aspect of things. 'Count de Nidau,' returned d’Erlach, 'I will endeavour to show that there is one man less.'
to escape had starved to death. This armour is now in the shell the late Dr
On the night before the battle, the Bernese army of six thousand men, with d’Erlach, according to tradition, at their head, sallied forth from the town by moonlight, while the women and the old men, closing the gates, retired into the church to pray for the success of their arms. The Consecrated Host was carried at the head of the Bernese forces, and each man wore as a rallying sign a white cross, which is the origin of the emblem on the Swiss flag. The poet Olivier has well a observed that there is something of green and white in the appearance of his country, and on this account the national colours have been well chosen. There seems to be something of the same appropriateness in the vine branch, sculptured on their ancient monuments, and now the garland around the national shield of Switzerland.
The young Baron of Vaud, who had been sent by his father to play the role of mediator, made many attempts to conciliate the opposing parties; but, failing in all his efforts, he mingled in the fray against the Bernese, and fell fighting gallantly. The defeated allies, says Vulliemin, lost four thousand five hundred men, eighty knights and fourteen counts, among whom was the general, Count of Nidau. In 1804 the skeleton of a warrior in rich armour was found in the hollow of an ancient oak near that battlefield. The wounded man—there is a hole in the helmet—had doubtless taken refuge there, and being too feeble
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