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The Argosy Vol. 51, No. 4, April, 1891

By that same Rivod who murdered his brother Miliau


We

lingered as long as we dared, but knew that we should not travel back at express speed, and that our coachman, after his indulgence in Breton beer or spirit, would probably be more sleepy than ever.

The sun was declining as we left Guimiliau, the church and its monuments forming a very singular composition against the background of the sky as we turned and gave it a farewell look. One scarcely analysed the reason, but there was almost an effect of heathendom about it, as if it dated from some remote age, when visible objects were worshipped, and the sun and the moon and dragons and grotesques took a prominent place in religion.

The sun was declining and twilight was beginning to creep over the land. It threw out in greater relief the wayside crosses that we passed on the road, solemnising the scene, and insensibly leading the mind to contemplation; all the beauty, all the mystery of our faith, the lights and shadows of our earthly pilgrimage, so typified by the days and nights of creation; and the "one far-off divine event" which concerns us all.

When we entered Morlaix the sun had set; table d'hote was not over, and we knew that Catherine had our places and our welfare in her special keeping; and the driver having done his best on the road, and having fallen asleep not more than five times on his box, we forgot our threat, and dismissed him with a _pourboire_, for which he

returned us a Breton benediction.

[Illustration: BRITTANY PEASANTS.]

Once again the next day was kindly, the sun shone, the sky was unclouded. These are rare days in Brittany, which, surrounded on three sides by water, lives in an atmosphere that is always damp and too often gloomy and depressing.

Mindful of our host's wise counsel to profit by the fine weather, we started for St. Jean-du-Doigt.

This time our drive lay in a different direction. Yesterday it had been inland, to-day it was towards the sea-coast. The country for some time was sad and barren-looking, but as we approached St. Jean and the coast it became more interesting and fertile.

Lanmeur, a small town not far from St. Jean, lies in a rather sad and solitary plain, and is said to occupy the site of a city of great antiquity. Here runs the river Douron, a small stream that, considerably higher up, separates the Department of Finistere from Les Cotes du Nord. The ancient city was named _Kerfeunteun_, and possessed a wonderful church which was destroyed by the Normans in the eleventh century, but of which the crypt still remains. In the centre of this crypt springs a fountain or well, dedicated to St. Melar, a Breton prince put to death in the year 538, by that same Rivod who murdered his brother Miliau, and then had himself proclaimed king. The crypt also contains a statue of St. Melar of the fourteenth century, representing him minus a hand and foot, which Rivod had had cut off before putting him to death, in order that he should not be able to mount a horse or use a sword. Of the church built in the eleventh century only a few arches in the nave and the south porch remain. The rest of the existing building is modern.


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