Amboise, Chapelle du château

Témoignage de John Evelyn (1644)

2nd May. We took boat again, pas­sing by Char­mont, a proud castle on the left hand ; before it is a sweet island, deli­cious sha­ded with tall trees. A lit­tle dis­tance from hence, we went on shore at Amboise, a very agreeable vil­lage, built of stone, and the houses cove­red with blue slate, as the towns on the Loire gene­ral­ly are ; but the castle chie­fly invi­ted us, the thi­ck­ness of whose towers from the river to the top, was admi­rable. We ente­red by the draw-bridge, which has an inven­tion to let one fall, if not pre­mo­ni­shed. It is full of halls and spa­cious cham­bers, and one stair-case is large enough, and suf­fi­cient­ly com­mo­dious, to receive a coach, and land it on the very tower, as they told us had been done. There is some artille­ry in it ; but that which is most obser­vable is in the ancient cha­pel, viz. a stag’s head, or branches, hung up by chains, consis­ting of twen­ty brow-ant­lers, the beam big­ger than a man’s middle, and of an incre­dible length. Indeed, it is mons­trous, and yet I can­not conceive how it should be arti­fi­cial : they show also the ribs and ver­te­brae of the same beast ; but these might be made of wha­le­bone.

(The dia­ry of John Eve­lyn, Ed. William Bray, J.M. DENT et E.P DULTON, Lon­don-New York, 1905, Tome I, p.71–72.)