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were in latin, and Grimkie could read and translate them very well, except that he was now and then somewhat puzzled, by certain abbreviations that he was not accustomed to see.
The figures were very rudely drawn, the men and the horses being in shape very much such as children would make upon a slate. The embroidery was executed in different colored threads. Only the figures themselves, and sometimes merely the outlines of them, were worked, the groundwork being everywhere the naked linen. It resulted from this that the figures were all exceedingly distinct, looking as bright and well defined as if the work had but just been finished.
And yet the linen itself had been worn and torn by age and hard usage, though all the rents and holes had been patched and repaired.
The scenes represented on the tapestry comprised all the important events and incidents connected with the invasion of England by William. First there was a picture of King Edward, the previous king of England, sitting on his throne, and commissioning his brother-in-law Harold to proceed to Normandy and inform William that after Edward's death he would be the next heir to the crown, and to invite him to come at the proper time and take possession; then a picture of Harold setting out on his jour
ney of his voyage across the channel-of his landing on the coast of Normandy-of his being seized and made prisoner there by a Norman baron-of William sending an embassador to reclaim him—of his being set at liberty by the baron, and finally arriving in the presence of William at one of his castles and delivering his message of his taking the oath of allegiance to William as the future king of England—and of various scenes and incidents which occurred during Harold's stay in Normandy, and his final safe return to England.
Then follows a representation of the death of Edward, and of the usurpation of the throne by Harold, who, taking advantage of William's absence, and violating the oath of allegiance which he had taken, caused himself to be immediately proclaimed king-of the sending of an English vessel to inform William of what had occurredof William's ordering a fleet to be built and equipped-of the labors of the ship-builders in the forests in felling trees and building vesselsof the assembling of the fleet when the vessels were finished-of the voyage across the channel -of the landing of the expedition on the coast of England-of the approach of the army of Harold to repel the invaders--of the meeting of the two armies at Hastings, and of the great
battle there, ending in the triumph of William, the destruction of the English army and the death of Harold.
The whole number of separate scenes represented in the work, as marked and numbered in the margin, is fifty-eight. It is only the leading outline of the story that is comprised in the above summary. Besides these, a great many minor and subordinate scenes and incidents are introduced, which add greatly to the interest of the work by the curious details which they contain, but which cannot here be particularly specified.
One or two other parties came to view the tapestry while Mrs. Morelle was in the room, but as each new party began at the beginning and went on in regular order, they followed each other in succession along the range of cases, and did not interfere with one another at all.
The lower portions of the cases were filled with antique relics and curiosities of various sorts, but the children were so much interested in the tapestry that they did not pay much attention to these. They went on to the end of the series of figures, following the descriptions as Grimkie read them, and then went round again, recalling to mind the various scenes, and commenting on the most striking peculiarities
which they had observed. Then they returned into the outer room, the walls of which were lined with pictures, and which contained the staircase leading to the library above. They went up stairs and looked into the library room. It was a long apartment, with book-shelves filling the sides and ends of it, and long tables at which a number of gentlemen were reading and writing.
When they came down stairs again, and were ready to pass out into the court, they found a girl sitting there at a table with a number of pieces of black lace of various kinds upon it, which she was offering for sale to the visitors. There were several ladies around her, looking at the lace, and bargaining for it. Mrs. Morelle stopped and looked at some of the pieces, but did not buy any.
Grimkie asked the girl if there was anything to pay for viewing the tapestry. She said nothing, unless they were inclined to give some trifle to the concierge. So Grimkie gave the concierge a franc, and then the whole party passed out through the great gate into the street again.
"Mother," said Florence, "were not those laces pretty ?"
66 Yes," said Mrs. Morelle, "they were beautiful."
"Then why did not you buy some of them, mother?" asked Florence.
"It was not the right place," said Mrs. Morelle. "The lace that I buy here, if I buy any, as I fully intend to do, I shall value chiefly as a souvenir of the lacemaking and lacemakers of Bayeux, and so I shall wish to buy it directly from the lacemakers themselves, or at least from some of the lacemaking establishments."
"Ah, yes," rejoined Florence; "that will be much the best plan."