Page:A book of the Pyrenees.djvu/75

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53
BASQUE LAND

bridge, and let them drown to show by occular demonstration that the tide did rise to Villefranche, and that therefore it was within the jurisdiction of Bayonne. The Basques rose en masse and massacred the Labourdins wherever they caught them. Finally, both parties appealed to the arbitration of the Sieur d'Albret, and the town of Bayonne was condemned to pay a heavy sum as indemnity to the families of the drowned men. The Bayonnais appealed to the King of England. He mitigated the fine, but the Basques would only consent to his adjudication on condition of reserving the right to pursue the sons of the Sieur de Puyane till they had exterminated the family. This was the last act by which the Basque nation manifested its political existence. But they retained their special privileges till the French Revolution, when the common law of France superseded all local independence of jurisdiction.

Cambo is a pretty, pleasant place, that has of late years risen to notice as a health resort. It takes its name from what has been supposed to be an Euscaldunic, i.e. Basque camp. I planned this and sent plan and description to the Archæologia, in 1852. But with greater experience of ancient camps than I had then, I have come to doubt whether it is what has been supposed. It consists of a platform on a hillock with a network of trenches about it, and ridges between them sharp as the back of a knife. It may have been used as a camp of refuge, but it could not contain a large force, and the dykes around appear to have been formed by currents of water.

Itxasson is an eminently Basque village. The church contains rich ornaments of silver gilt for the altar, given in the eighteenth century by an emigrant, Pedro d'Echegaray, on his return from America, where he had realized a fortune.