Brunehilde and Fredegonde
were the results of the painful struggle of civilization in its infancy, when man was learning to control mind, were it even by an emissary from the realms of darkness.
The printed waste used as the front endpaper pastedown has the word "Fredegonde
" in capitals at the tail; this is the catch-word from the prelims of another book, Fredegonde
Le loup se fait berger, Fredegonde
garde les moutons, Hernani joue de la flute, Marguerite, de la Tour de Nesle, pince de la harpe." Commenting on the music, he exclaimed: "Quelle idee de faire grincer cette harpe, quand nous entendons a peine le bruit de l'ophicleide et du tambour!" (11 November 1839).
More than thirty years later, he declared that the medieval graves rescued by Alexandre Lenoir from revolutionary destruction had made a profound impression on him: "I filled those graves with my imagination, I felt the dead through the marble, and it was not without apprehension that I entered the vault where Dagobert, Chilperic, and Fredegonde
slept." In the grip of the "religion of the past," he made his way to Pere-Lachaise many times thereafter.