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Title: Winged Wheels in France
Author: Shoemaker, Michael Myers
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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[Illustration: TOMB OF AGNES SOREL AT LOCHES

By permission of Mansell & Co.]



  WINGED WHEELS
  IN FRANCE

  BY
  MICHAEL MYERS SHOEMAKER

  Author of "Islands of Southern Seas," "The Great Siberian Railway,"
  "The Heart of the Orient," "Prisons and Palaces of Mary, Queen of
  Scots," Etc.

  ILLUSTRATED


  G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS

  NEW YORK AND LONDON

  The Knickerbocker Press
  1906


  _Copyrighted 1906 by
  Michael Myers Shoemaker_



    TO
  MY DEAR FRIEND
  MRS. W. P. HULBERT
  OF CINCINNATI



PREFACE


This is not a love story. These wings are wings of motion, not of
Cupid, yet there is much of romance and story in these pages,--for who
can travel the _plaisant pays de France_ and not dip deeply into both?

When I entered my red machine at Nice no route had been laid out,--to
me there is small pleasure in travel when that is done,--so I told
Jean to start and left the direction to him. Being French he naturally
turned towards his own country, and knowing whither the superb highways
and enchanting byways could lead one, I tacitly agreed, and we glided
away by the level sea and on into the olive-crowned hill of Provence,
to where Aix--the home of politeness--dreams the years away and the air
seems still to echo to King René's music. Arles, Narbonne, fantastic
Carcassonne, Lourdes, and Pau followed in rapid succession, and then
we rested awhile at Biarritz with short journeys into Spain. Turning
northward we rolled off into Central France, pausing daily in some
ancient city or quaint village, climbing mountains to long forgotten
castles, or rolling into valleys in search of deserted abbeys.

So we wandered through Auvergne, through courtly Touraine, sad Anjou,
and stormy Brittany, until Normandy and Picardy smiled into our faces
and Paris received us within her gates. Exploring the surroundings of
that great city as one can do only in an auto, we finally glided off
through the forest of Fontainebleau and Côte-d'Or to the mountains
of the Vosges and thence over the Schlucht to the Rhine Valley to
Freiburg, and up to Baden-Baden. There the spirits of the woods seized
upon us and we promptly got lost in the Black Forest, and so rolled
on into Switzerland to Geneva and finally to Aix-les-Bains, where the
journey ended and I bade goodbye to my staunch car which had carried
me without mishap or delay for near five thousand miles. To its winged
wheels the highest mountains of France were no barrier.

If all this pleases you, read these pages--if not, drop the book.

  M. S. M.

  Union Club, N. Y.
  June, 1906.



CONTENTS


                                                                    PAGE

  CHAPTER I.

  MONTE CARLO                                                          1


  CHAPTER II.

  OUR DEPARTURE FROM NICE--THE ROAD TO AIX--THE CITY OF KING RENÉ      8


  CHAPTER III.

  THE ROAD TO ARLES--THE CAMARGUE--RUINS OF ARLES--THE "ALISCAMPS"    17


  CHAPTER IV.

  THE ROUTE TO TARASCON--CASTLE OF KING
  RENÉ--BEAUCAIRE--NÎMES--MONTPELLIER--AN ACCIDENT--NARBONNE,
  ANCIENT AND MODERN                                                  22


  CHAPTER V.

  THE APPROACH TO CARCASSONNE--ITS PICTURESQUENESS--ITS RESTORATION
  AND HISTORY                                                         29


  CHAPTER VI.

  THE ROUTE TO TOULOUSE--GREAT MACHINES ON THE ROADS OF
  FRANCE--DELIGHTS OF AN AUTO--TOULOUSE--ITS UNIVERSITY--THE CHÂTEAU
  DE ST. ELIX                                                         36


  CHAPTER VII.

  THE DEATH OF A DOG--ENCOUNTERS ON THE HIGHWAY--TRAVELLERS BY THE
  WAY--PEOPLE OF THE PROVINCES--LOURDES--HER SUPERSTITION AND
  HER VISIONS                                                         43


  CHAPTER VIII.

  PAU AND THE LIFE THERE--DELIGHTFUL ROADS--ANCIENT ORTHEZ--MADAME
  AND HER HOTEL--THE CHÂTEAU OF BIDACHE AND ITS HISTORY               49


  CHAPTER IX.

  THE ROUTE TO BIARRITZ--BIARRITZ--THE HÔTEL DU PALAIS                58


  CHAPTER X.

  THE ROAD TO THE MOUNTAINS--ST. JEAN-PIED-DE-PORT--ST.
  JEAN-DE-LUZ--MARRIAGE OF LOUIS XIV--ISLAND OF PHEASANTS--THE
  ROADS IN SPAIN--THE SOLDIERS OF SPAIN--SAN SEBASTIAN                62


  CHAPTER XI.

  DEPARTURES FOR THE NORTH--CRAZY CHICKENS--GRAND ROADS--DAX--RIDES
  THROUGH THE FORESTS--FRENCH SCENERY AND
  PEOPLE--MARMANDE--AUTOMOBILE CLUB OF FRANCE AND ITS WORK            69


  CHAPTER XII.

  RAPID MOTION--BEAUMONT--RACES AND DASHES--CADOUIN AND ITS
  CLOISTERS--THE ROUTE TO TULLE                                       76


  CHAPTER XIII.

  THE GREAT COURSE OF BELMONT--DIFFICULT STEERING--THE "CUP GORDON
  BENNETT"--THE MOUNTAINS TO CLERMONT-FERRAND                         82


  CHAPTER XIV.

  CLIMBING A MOUNTAIN IN AN AUTO--THE CHÂTEAU OF TOURNOËL--ITS
  HISTORY--DESCENT OF THE MOUNTAIN                                    86


  CHAPTER XV.

  ANCIENT TOWN OF RIOM--THE ROUTE TO VICHY--CHÂTEAU DE
  BOURBON-BUSSET--VICHY--THE LIFE THERE--DANGER OF SPEEDING--ARRIVAL
  AT BOURGES                                                          95


  CHAPTER XVI.

  ANCIENT BOURGES--ITS CATHEDRAL--HOUSE OF JACQUES COEUR--LOUIS
  XI. AND THE HÔTEL LALLEMENT--THE HÔTEL CUJAS--THE RIDE TO
  MEILLANT--ITS SUPERB CHÂTEAU--ITS LEGEND                           102


  CHAPTER XVII.

  DEPARTURES FROM BOURGES--THE CHÂTEAU OF MEHUN--THE DEATH OF
  CHARLES VII--THE VALLEYS OF TOURAINE--ROADS BY THE LOIRE--ENTRANCE
  TO TOURS                                                           113


  CHAPTER XVIII.

  RIDE TO LOCHES--AN ACCIDENT--THE CASTLE OF LOCHES--ITS HISTORY--THE
  CAGES OF LOUIS XI.--THEIR COST TO THE KING--AGNES SOREL--THE
  MISTRESSES OF FRENCH KINGS VERSUS THEIR QUEENS                     116


  CHAPTER XIX.

  AUTOMOBILES IN TOURS--DEPARTURE FROM THE CITY--THE ROAD TO
  CHINON--ROMANCE AND HISTORY OF CHINON--THE ABBEY OF
  FONTEVRAULT--RICHARD COEUR DE LION AND HIS TOMB--THE DEAD KING
  HENRY II                                                           130


  CHAPTER XX.

  THE ROAD TO ANGERS--CATHEDRAL AND TOMB OF KING RENÉ--CASTLE OF
  BLACK ANGERS--CRADLE OF THE PLANTAGENETS--HISTORY--TO
  CHATEAUBRIANT IN A STORM--A FRENCH INN--RENNES AND THE TRIAL OF
  DREYFUS--THE ROADS IN BRITTANY--ARRIVAL AT ST.-MALO--THE RIDE TO
  MONT ST.-MICHEL--INN OF THE POULARD ÂINÉ--THE CATHEDRAL AND
  CASTLE--THEIR HISTORY                                              138


  CHAPTER XXI.

  ARRIVAL AT CAEN--WILLIAM THE NORMAN AND CHARLOTTE CORDAY--CHURCH OF
  ST. ÉTIENNE--PEOPLE AND RAILROADS OF NORMANDY--ROUEN AND ITS
  CHURCHES--THE MAID OF ORLEANS, HISTORY OR LEGEND?--CASTLE OF
  PHILIPPE LE BEL--DEPARTURE FROM ROUEN                              149


  CHAPTER XXII.

  THE RACE THROUGH PICARDY--AMIENS CATHEDRAL--ITS VASTNESS--THE
  ROAD TO BOULOGNE                                                   161


  CHAPTER XXIII.

  THE RIDE TO BEAUVAIS--DEAD DOGS--GREAT CHURCHES--BEAUVAIS BY
  NIGHT--VAST WEALTH OF THE CHURCHES OF FRANCE--WONDERFUL TAPESTRIES 166


  CHAPTER XXIV.

  THE ROUTE TO SAINT-GERMAIN-EN-LAYE--THE PEOPLE--THE CASTLE AND
  TERRACE--THEIR PICTURESQUE HISTORY--FIRST VIEW OF PARIS            174


  CHAPTER XXV.

  PARIS AND HER SO-CALLED REPUBLICAN GOVERNMENT--NECESSITY FOR AN
  AUTOMOBILE--THE RIDE TO CHARTRES--CATHEDRAL NOTRE DAME--THE
  AQUEDUCT AT MAINTENON AND ITS BURDEN OF SORROW--THE CASTLE OF
  MAINTENON--MADAME AND LOUIS XIV.--ST. CYR AND HER DEATH--RETURN
  TO PARIS                                                           180


  CHAPTER XXVI.

  MY CHAUFFEUR SUMMONED BY THE GOVERNMENT--THE NEW MAN--YAMA'S
  OPINION OF PARIS--SPEED OF AUTOS IN PARIS                          194


  CHAPTER XXVII.

  DEPARTURE FROM PARIS--THE CEMETERY OF THE PICPUS--RIDE THROUGH THE
  FOREST OF FONTAINEBLEAU TO SENS--THE CATHEDRAL--TOMB OF THE
  DAUPHINS--THE GREAT ROUTE TO GENEVA--STONED BY BOYS--TONNERRE      198


  CHAPTER XXVIII.

  DIJON--THE FRENCH AND FRESH WATER--THE ANTIQUITIES OF DIJON--RIDE
  THROUGH THE CÔTE D'OR--ARRIVAL AT BESANÇON                         208


  CHAPTER XXIX.

  THE FORTRESS OF BESANÇON--AUTOS IN HEAVY
  RAINS--DREAMS--BELFORT--ENTRANCE INTO THE VOSGES--THE RISE TO
  BALLON D'ALSACE--SUPERB RIDE TO GÉRARDMER                          215


  CHAPTER XXX.

  GÉRARDMER AND THE MOUNTAINS--A WEDDING--FRENCH
  COURTSHIP--EXCURSION TO ST. DIÉ--OVER THE COL DE LA
  SCHLUCHT--GERMAN CUSTOM HOUSE--"ALWAYS A GERMAN"--COLMAR--RHINE
  VALLEY--ARRIVAL AT FREIBURG                                        222


  CHAPTER XXXI.

  FREIBURG--FANTASTIC CITY--THE YOUTHS OF GERMANY--MUSIC AND LEGENDS
  OF THE OLD TOWN--CATHEDRAL BY MOONLIGHT                            227


  CHAPTER XXXII.

  FROM FREIBURG TO BADEN-BADEN--THROUGH THE WOODS TO
  GERNSBACH--SUPERB ROADS--PEOPLE OF THE BLACK FOREST--CROSSING THE
  DANUBE--CUSTOMS REGULATIONS AS TO AUTOS--AN OLD SWISS MANSION--THE
  RIDE TO GENEVA AND AIX-LES-BAINS                                   232



ILLUSTRATIONS


                                                                    PAGE
  TOMB OF AGNES SOREL AT LOCHES                          _Frontispiece._
    By permission of Mansell & Co.

  INTERIOR OF THE CASINO AT MONTE CARLO                                2
    By permission of Messrs. Neurdein

  CLOISTERS OF THE CATHEDRAL AT AIX                                   14
    From a photograph

  THE PORTAL OF THE CATHEDRAL OF SAINT TROPHIMUS, ARLES               16
    By permission of Messrs. Neurdein

  EXTERIOR OF THE AMPHITHEATRE AT ARLES                               18
    By permission of Messrs. Neurdein

  THE ALISCAMPS AT ARLES                                              20
    By permission of Messrs. Neurdein

  GENERAL VIEW OF THE CHÂTEAU OF KING RENÉ AT TARASCON                24
    From a photograph

  THE FORTIFICATIONS AT THE OLD TOWN OF CARCASSONNE                   30
    From a photograph

  THE GROTTO AT LOURDES                                               46
    By permission of Messrs. Lévy

  THE BRIDGE OVER THE GAVE AT ORTHEZ                                  52
    By permission of Messrs. Lévy

  CHÂTEAU OF BIDACHE                                                  54
    From a photograph

  MAISON DE L'INFANTE AT SAINT-JEAN-DE-LUZ                            64
    From a photograph

  INTERIOR OF THE CHURCH OF SAINT JOHN AT SAINT-JEAN-DE-LUZ           66
    By permission of Messrs. Neurdein

  THE HOME OF MADAME DE SÉVIGNÉ AT VICHY                              96
    By permission of Jules Hautecoeur

  RUE DE L'ÉTABLISSEMENT AT VICHY                                    100
    From a print

  THE SOUTH PORTAL OF THE CATHEDRAL AT BOURGES                       102
    By permission of Messrs. Neurdein

  THE PALACE OF JACQUES COEUR AT BOURGES                             104
    By permission of Messrs. Neurdein

  HÔTEL LALLEMENT AT BOURGES                                         106
    By permission of Messrs. Neurdein

  CHÂTEAU OF MEHUN NEAR BOURGES                                      108
    By permission of Messrs. Neurdein

  THE CHÂTEAU AT MEILLANT                                            110
    By permission of Messrs. Neurdein

  THE GRAND SALON OF THE CHÂTEAU OF MEILLANT                         112
    By permission of Messrs. Neurdein

  THE CHÂTEAU OF LOCHES                                              116
    From a photograph

  THE ENTRANCE TO THE CHÂTEAU OF LOCHES                              118
    From a photograph

  THE CAGE IN WHICH JEAN DE LA BALUE WAS IMPRISONED FOR ELEVEN YEARS 122

  LOUIS XI                                                           126
    From the engraving by Hoopwood

  GENERAL VIEW OF CHINON                                             132
    By permission of Messrs. Neurdein

  PAVILION DE L'HORLOGE AT CHINON                                    134
    From a photograph

  THE COURT OF THE CLOISTERS, ABBEY OF FONTEVRAULT                   136
    By permission of J. Kuhn

  TOMBS OF RICHARD I. AND ELEONORE OF GUINNE AT FONTEVRAULT          138
    From a photograph

  THE STATUE OF KING RENÉ AND THE CHÂTEAU AT ANGERS                  142
    By permission of Messrs. Neurdein

  MONT SAINT-MICHEL, FROM THE SOUTH                                  144
    By permission of Messrs. Neurdein

  THE CLOISTERS OF THE ABBEY OF MONT SAINT-MICHEL                    146
    By permission of Messrs. Neurdein

  THE CRYPT DE L'AQUILON IN THE ABBEY OF MONT SAINT-MICHEL           148
    By permission of Messrs. Neurdein

  LA TRINITÉ, ABBEY OF WOMEN, AT CAEN                                150
    By permission of Messrs. Neurdein

  THE ABBEY OF MEN AT CAEN                                           152
    By permission of Messrs. Neurdein

  CHARLOTTE CORDAY                                                   154
    After the painting by Raffet

  MONUMENT OF CARDINAL D'AMBOISE IN ROUEN CATHEDRAL                  156
    By permission of Messrs. Neurdein

  THE TOMB OF LOUIS DE BRÉZÉ IN THE CATHEDRAL OF ROUEN               158
    From a photograph

  THE CATHEDRAL AT ROUEN                                             160
    By permission of Messrs. Neurdein

  A HOUSE OF THE 15TH CENTURY AT ROUEN                               162
    From a photograph

  THE GREAT CLOCK OF ROUEN                                           164
    By permission of Messrs. Neurdein

  THE TOWER OF JEANNE D'ARC AT ROUEN                                 168
    From an old print

  THE CATHEDRAL AT AMIENS                                            170
    By permission of Messrs. Neurdein

  THE GRAND PORTAL OF THE CATHEDRAL OF BEAUVAIS                      172
    By permission of Messrs. Neurdein

  OLD HOUSES ON THE RUE DE LA MANUFACTURE, BEAUVAIS                  174
    By permission of Messrs. Neurdein

  THE TERRACE AT SAINT-GERMAIN                                       176
    By permission of Messrs. Neurdein

  THE CHÂTEAU OF SAINT-GERMAIN, FROM THE NORTH                       180
    By permission of Messrs. Neurdein

  THE NORTH PORTAL OF THE CATHEDRAL AT CHARTRES                      182
    By permission of Messrs. Neurdein

  THE SOUTH PORTAL OF THE CATHEDRAL AT CHARTRES                      184
    By permission of Messrs. Neurdein

  THE CATHEDRAL AT CHARTRES                                          186
    By permission of Messrs. Neurdein

  STONE CARVINGS SURROUNDING THE CHOIR OF THE CATHEDRAL AT CHARTRES  188
    From a photograph

  THE VIERGE DU PILIER IN THE CATHEDRAL OF CHARTRES                  190
    By permission of Messrs. Neurdein

  THE VIADUCT OF MAINTENON, NEAR CHARTRES                            192
    By permission of Messrs. Neurdein

  THE CHÂTEAU OF MAINTENON, FROM THE NORTH                           196
    By permission of Messrs. Neurdein

  THE TOMB OF LAFAYETTE IN THE PICPUS CEMETERY, PARIS                200
    From a photograph

  THE CEMETERY OF THE PICPUS. LAFAYETTE'S TOMB ON THE RIGHT,
  TABLET TO ANDRÉ CHÉNIER ON THE LEFT                                202
    From a photograph by the author

  THE CATHEDRAL AT SENS                                              204
    By permission of Messrs. Neurdein

  THE TOMB OF JEAN SANS PEUR AT DIJON                                210
    From a photograph

  THE WELL OF MOSES IN THE ABBEY OF CHARTREUX AT DIJON               212
    By permission of Messrs. Neurdein

  THE TOWER OF STATE, PALACE OF THE DUKES OF BOURGOGNE, AT DIJON     216
    By permission of Messrs. Neurdein

  LA SCHLUCHT. THE TUNNEL ON THE ROAD TO MÜNSTER                     224
    By permission of Messrs. Neurdein

  THE CATHEDRAL OF FREIBURG, BADEN                                   228
    By permission of F. Firth & Co.

  A CORNER IN THE BLACK FOREST                                       236
    From a photograph

  THE MANOR HOUSE AT WÜLFLINGEN, NEAR WINTERTHUR                     238
    From a photograph

  INTERIOR OF THE MANOR HOUSE AT WÜLFLINGEN, NEAR WINTERTHUR         240
    From an old woodcut



WINGED WHEELS IN FRANCE



CHAPTER I

     MONTE CARLO


"Monsieur smiles." To begin a journey with the greeting of a little
child should be a happy omen. I am leaning over the terrace at Monte
Carlo, watching the sparkle of the shifting sea. Away to the eastward
glisten the villas on Cape Martan, to the west rises the ancient city
of Monaco, behind me towers the Casino, the scene of more misery
than almost any other spot on earth. Beyond and above it, rise the
hills tier on tier, dotted with hotels and villas, while far in the
blue dome of sky soar the eternal snows. A scene of beauty, yet one
so familiar that I scarcely note it; neither are my thoughts of the
nearby misery in the Casino when the little voice murmurs "Monsieur,"
and I see at my feet, seated on the marble of the terrace with masses
of rhododendrons all around her, a mite of a girl, with sunny hair
and blue eyes, who laughingly holds up for my acceptance a pink rose.
It evidently is not considered proper for a young lady of her age
to be talking to a strange man and she is accordingly hustled away,
her wondering and rebellious eyes gazing back at me as she waves a
farewell. Bless her little heart, it must be almost the only innocent
thing in this sink of iniquity. With her disappearance, I have the
place all to myself, the town gives up no sounds of life and soon even
the sea has murmured itself to sleep, while yonder building, from the
outside, is silent as a tomb now; yet as I enter I find every table
in all the vast rooms so hemmed in by a struggling humanity, that I
must wait my turn almost before throwing away good money if such is
my desire. All the nations of the earth come here, and to manage and
keep them in check, hundreds of detectives in plain clothes are always
present. Yonder a man has dropped a pocket-book, which is at once
pounced upon, and he is hustled through some door in the wall which
has escaped your notice. Probably he is a thief, and will not return.
If you end your life at the suicides' table--the last on the right on
your way out--your body will be hustled off in a like manner, and the
crowd without turning to look after you will close in again, leaving
no sign that you have ever been. It is said that there is a carriage
belonging to this establishment especially arranged so that a dead man
may be driven away seated erect as though alive without shocking the
senses of those who are here for pleasure. These people would rather
you did not kill yourself and will give you a ticket home if you will
go, but if you must pass to the great beyond, there will be no high
mass said over your silent face and no further attention paid to your
stiff fingers which have ceased to pour gold on the green tables. This
world has no use for one whose pockets are empty--his day is done and
he might as well be dead.

[Illustration: INTERIOR OF THE CASINO AT MONTE CARLO

By permission of Messrs. Neurdein]

You will not be impressed with the misery of Monte Carlo unless you
walk this terrace after dark and note the dejected figures huddled up
on the benches beneath the rhododendrons. The sea does not seem to
receive many of them, yet it is a better mode of exit than to throw
one's self beneath the wheels of the trains rushing east and west just
beneath here. Yesterday a man was literally swept off the wheels of a
locomotive--there was nothing to pick up.

Inside these halls everything is done quietly and in order. There is
never any confusion or noise, and you must check hat, overcoat, and
stick before you enter. Save for the orchestra in the outer hall there
is nothing to be heard but the subdued call of the croupier, the click
of the rakes against the heaps of gold on the tables, and the whir of
the wheels. The game does not interest me, as I always lose, but the
circles of silent, intent faces form a study I never tire of until
the perfume-laden air drives me out of doors. To-night there are some
windows opened, the air is purer and as yet the crush is not too great;
so let us watch for a time this world of Monte Carlo. As I wander
through the over-decorated and gorgeous rooms there is space to move
about, the people are not so absorbed in play and occasionally raise
their eyes from the "green carpet," affording one a glimpse of the
souls behind them--gay, desperate, indifferent--sodden with misery or
drunk with the love of gambling; they are all here, the only impassive
face is that of the man at the wheel who in both garb and countenance
strongly resembles a funeral director, and his long rake generally
buries your hopes as effectually as the spade of the grave-digger. What
queer figures are hereabouts. Look at that old, old man intent only
on the whirling of the wheel. His daughter stands behind him stowing
his gains away. It is pure business with both of them. Beyond stands
a woman who has not been young for years and who was never beautiful,
though she may perhaps have possessed the fascination of the devil,
with that red hair and those green eyes; but to-night at least, there
is nothing about her which will make clear to you why a Russian Grand
Duke should have gone crazy for her. She is gowned in soft sea green
and trailing mosses, as though she had risen from the unsounded sea
gleaming in the moonlight yonder, while upon neck, arms, and head is
one of the most wonderful displays of diamonds I have ever seen. Both
in size and brilliancy, they rival any of the crown jewels of Europe,
and were, so it is said, all given her by that Grand Duke. She is under
the constant watch and ward of two armed detectives. She has the face
of a vampire, and that word probably describes her character. The
Grand Duke is not here and has probably gone the way of all men of his
kind long since.

Near her, and most intent upon the game, is a young American, who is
called the easiest victim that has come to Monte Carlo in many a day.
He has a face which most American mothers would be apt to trust, a
smiling countenance, with dark eyes and hair, while his slender figure
tells of his youth. It is said that he has dropped one hundred thousand
dollars on these green tables within a short time. To-night he is
certainly dead to all around him save that whirling ball. Poor fool!

Near me moves a smartly gowned, chic, French, auburn-haired woman,
delicate in form and features, and wedded to that man near her, a huge
edition of Louis XVI. Cupid's mind was preoccupied when he made that
match. She is the author of several novels which have made some stir in
the world, especially in English high life which she handles without
gloves.

A woman behind me, evidently an American, is telling of her desertion
by an American and of her destitute state. She will not fool the
man who is with her now, as I discover by a glance. But what fools
we mortals be, especially we men mortals! The other day in London I
was dining at Prince's. The dinner was well advanced when I became
conscious of a voice behind me, evidently an American and as evidently
young. He was pouring out his life story to the woman, oblivious of
all around him. To please his mother he had married a woman he could
never love; in fact, he never had known what love was until he met his
present companion.

"How old are you," he asked.

"How old do you think?"

"Twenty-eight."

"Not yet twenty-four," came the reply.

I managed by much manoeuvering to catch a glimpse of her face; the
usual thing, painted and dyed, certainly forty if a day. As I passed
out, I asked the head waiter who she was. "Bless your soul, sir, one
of the most notorious women of London; used to live at the Savoy; has
ruined more men than she can count; age, well forty-five if a day; why
she was old when I first saw her and that was long ago."

As he was talking, the couple passed me, the poor fool of a boy flushed
with wine, the woman such a palpable fraud that it was of no interest
to follow. In the glare of the street lamps she gave him a look and
me a look, which fully told her story. While one may excuse such
infatuation in a young man, one cannot do so in a man of middle life,
for he surely knows that, while it is possible for him to attract the
respect and even love of a good woman, a bad woman will have use for
him only so long as his money holds out and he is a fool if he does not
understand this. There are many such fools and homes are constantly
being wrecked, lives destroyed by them. There are many such women in
these rooms at Monte Carlo, and the ruin they strew broadcast is only a
shade less in degree than that of the spinning wheels.

As I pass outside, the air is full of the balmy odor of the orange
and lemon; the sky, deep blue, is spangled with myriads of stars and
a new moon gleams over Monaco; while the waters of the sea lap a
lullaby, and the world seems full of peace. The scene is beautiful past
description and I linger a while on one of the many benches facing the
Casino, linger until I discover that its other occupant is huddled up
in the far corner with a face full of staring misery, and then as I
pass onward I realize that almost every bench holds one or more such
hopeless wretches.

But enough of Monte Carlo with its glitter and misery. Let us pass to
Nice, stretching away on the shores of the sea with its pale yellow
and green houses glowing in the sunshine and its promenade full of
everything that can move.



CHAPTER II

     OUR DEPARTURE FROM NICE--THE ROAD TO AIX--THE CITY OF KING RENÉ


I had greatly desired to make a long auto tour, but being alone save
for Yama, my Jap servant, I had scarce the courage to start, so I
decided to go by train to Paris, and was in fact booked by that of
Saturday week. As I stand on the porch of the Hôtel des Anglais
gazing with regret at the flashing machines as they glide by, an old
acquaintance comes out and asks me to "take a spin in his," which I
gladly do, with the result that before I return to the hotel I have
engaged that same machine and driver by the month. So it is settled. I
offer the owner some payment in advance, but he waves it aside, "Any
friend of Mr. E. is all right." However, we shall see what we shall
see. I secure, as is wise, a written agreement to the effect that I
am to have the auto at the rate of six hundred dollars per month,
everything included except the board, lodging, and _pourboire_ of the
driver, also that I am in no way to be held responsible for any sort
of accident or breakage. This is necessary as otherwise one would
certainly be charged with every scratch.

So it is settled that we start two days hence and I have some
consultations with the chauffeur. Everything is arranged for an
extended tour through Southern France or wherever I will, and then
"Jean," the driver, says that the owner would like "half a month's pay
in advance." I thought that smile of the other day meant something. He
reminded me of Monsieur Blandois in _Little Dorrit_ whose "nose came
down over his mustache and whose mustache went up under his nose,"
but a pleasant man withal. Having disposed of my railway tickets and
forwarded my heavy luggage to Paris, and all being ready, we start,
stopping a moment to pay Monsieur half a month in advance. That is of
course as it should be. Off at last. Away over the beautiful Promenade
des Anglais we roll with all Nice glittering and gleaming a goodbye at
us, while the sea joins in in a soothing monotone. Our route leads over
the long Corniche road, "Autos de course" thunder by us at an appalling
speed, would we plod on at a modest gait of forty-five miles per hour.

A moment's pause at Cannes to say goodbye to a friend, and we are en
route once more. Cannes is beautiful, but agreeable only if one owns
a villa and knows the people. Hotel life there is desolate. It is the
Newport of this coast. Gorgeous yachts lie in its harbor, splendid
villas gleam amidst the olive trees, and the people are mostly English.
Here we leave the coast and sail,--that seems the best way to describe
our motion,--up into the hills of Provence until the olives vanish and
we are surrounded by the peaceful mountains, while the air is laden
with the balsam from the pines. We do not sight the sea again, but the
ride is glorious. The racing machines are now few and far between, so
one does not hold on for dear life and is not choked in dust,--one's
own dust never bothers.

The roads are simply superb, hard as a floor and magnificently made.
They appear to have been sprinkled with petroleum.

Towards evening as we are gliding into the peaceful land of Provence,
high on an adjacent peak stands a Madonna (which forces from Jean the
confession that he has not been a good Catholic). The setting sun turns
her crown into glittering gold and the sad green of the olive trees
into silver. The peasants' horses are plodding peacefully homeward,
with their tired masters sleeping soundly in the rumbling vans. It has
always been a desire of mine to visit Aix, but it seemed a sacrilege,
almost, to enter it in a train of cars. To-day, however, sailing
onward, soundless and with no sense of motion save that of gliding,
it is almost as though we are borne on wings until the first paving
stone of the city jostles us down to earth once more. But even so we
are spared the usual porters and omnibus and all the paraphernalia of
an hotel in the twentieth century, and moving up to the portals of the
quaint hôtel Nègre Coste, are welcomed by Madame in a black gown and a
white cap.

Here my first day in an auto comes to an end, and rising, I shake
myself, and, rubbing my eyes, step out, and instantly the auto, Jean,
and Yama vanish, and I stand,--almost wondering whether they have ever
been--gazing up at the statue of King René who died four hundred years
ago, and who seems to smile and hold out his bunch of grapes as he
welcomes me to Aix in his fair kingdom of Provence.

The voice of Madame recalls me from the royal presence, asking, "Is it
Monsieur's wish to have a chamber for himself and one for each of his
domestics?"

"Yes." (Jean might go to a cheap hotel, has even so suggested, but my
life is in his hands and I want good service, such as can come only
from good nature. Therefore Jean will stop in the house with me.)

This hôtel Nègre Coste has made no changes since before the great
Revolution, and I doubt not but that members of the Committee of Public
Safety or Revolutionary tribunals have entered this same door, nay,
slept in that same bed where I shall presently forget all about them.
It is my day now, theirs is done, and most of them have not even graves
alone, but rest in the public fosses.

From my window I look down upon the Cours Mirabeau, though it bore
no such name in his day. In this city King René lived and reigned in
peace, the centre of all the music and romance of this section and
apparently unaware of that werewolf Louis XI, awaiting just outside
for his death in order to seize the kingdom. The "Cours" is long and
narrow, with a promenade in its centre, the whole being sheltered by
double rows of plane trees cut square over the tops, and forming
beneath a long tunnel where the sunlight filters through the green
gloom of the leaves, as thick here as in Vallambrosa. At the head
of the Cours the statue of the king gazes downward upon the two old
moss-grown fountains, where all form and shape has long since been
lost in the passing years and plashing waters. To the music of one
just outside my window in the quaint little hotel, I sink to sleep and
dreams of King René and Margaret of Anjou intermingle with those of
wild rushes over long highways.

The morning sunlight shines brightly, and Jean would like to move on,
but Jean has not that sort of a man to deal with. The twentieth century
and the automobile must wait while I spend some hours in exploring this
quaint town, a decision of which Madame, mine hostess, approves, as she
smiles from a seat near the door where she sits knitting and watching
her hotel. Madame is old and knows many things, amongst them, that
"Monsieur would visit the Cathedral, it is ancient and very curious,
and is to be found far up by the first turn to the left."

Modern Aix holds some thirty thousand people, and to the great outer
world is but little known. One hears much of Aix-la-Chapelle and of
Aix-les-Bains, but little of Aix in Provence, yet to my thinking
it is more interesting than either of the others, certainly than
Aix-les-Bains, though the German city with its memories of Charlemagne
holds its own for interest intense and abiding.

[Illustration: CLOISTERS OF THE CATHEDRAL AT AIX

From a photograph]

The Cours Mirabeau divides the modern city from its ancient fellow,
and as I leave the hotel, I plunge at once into the dark and narrow
streets of the latter where in René's day the poets, troubadours, and
gallants held high revels. Aix was the home of politeness, the theatre
of the courts of love, which in the valley of the Rhone can never be
platonic--and there were held fêtes and tournaments, and life was all
a song. It is not always the well-known objects which attract one most
in these old mediæval towns but the quaint bits and corners, fountains
and monuments unnoted in any guide-book. Yonder stately façade was
surely the dwelling of some one of importance in the old days. To-day
it is occupied by many of a far different order. An arched portal
gives entrance to a courtyard with an old fountain. A stately façade
beautifully carved rises beyond; and through a distant archway one
catches a glimpse of a deserted garden where the trees form a wild
tangle around broken statues, and there is the murmur of water, but
the soul of the house has long since passed away. Perhaps in the days
of the terror those doors resounded to thunderous knocking while the
silence of the night and the peace of the house vanished forever at the
dread summons, "Open in the name of the nation," a sure bidding, in
those times, to the guillotine; and I doubt not that, with the courage
of their class, Monsieur le Marquis and Madame la Marquise went forth
to their doom calmly and with great dignity.

One could stand and dream forever in this town of old Provence, but
the boys are gathering in curiosity as to why I gaze at a spot that
has never attracted a passing interest in their minds. "No one save
Jacques the huckster lives there, why should he excite any attention?"

The faded gilding in the ceilings of the great salon visible through
the dusty window tells no tale of bygone splendour to the boys, no
picture of Watteau figures in high heels dancing around that broken god
Pan in the garden pass before their mental visions. To-day one shaft of
that old cart rests upon his flute and a blossoming plum tree casts its
white shower over his head, but his music is silent for ever.

[Illustration: CLOISTERS OF THE CATHEDRAL AT AIX

From a photograph]

In the square beyond stands the Hôtel de Ville which shelters in its
courtyard an excellent statue of Mirabeau, and just outside rises
one of the old towers of the city, now dedicated by a tablet to the
souls of those who have lost their lives for their country. A young
woman under its shadow tells me that I shall find the Cathedral just
beyond, and in company with the archiepiscopal palace and the little
university, there it stands in a square by itself. The Cathedral of
St. Sauveur is very ancient. As I enter, the whole interior rests in
silence save for the droning voice of some priest. Candles twinkle
before the many altars, and the sunlight filters through the trees
outside and the painted windows, casting wavering shadows down upon
the empty aisles and many tombs. In the nave one may see the portraits
of King René and his second wife Jeanne de Laval, and as you gaze upon
them, the picture of his life unrolls itself across your mental vision.
Born in the grim castle of Angers in 1409, René was married when but
twelve years of age and his eldest child came on earth when the father
was but eighteen. Eventually René, Duke of Bar and Lorraine, became
Duke of Anjou, Count of Provence, and King of the two Sicilies. Though
he held the last-named honour but eight years he never surrendered the
title. He was a friend of Agnes Sorel and of Joan of Arc, women much
more to his liking than his fierce daughter Margaret. René gave all his
love to this land of Provence where his palace stood intact--here in
Aix--until destroyed most wantonly in 1786. His progress thither was by
state barges up and down the rivers--on the Loire to Roanne and thence
over land to the Rhone at Lyons and so to Tarascon. Music and flowers,
sunshine and happiness seem to have been his portion, yet there was one
shadow--that of Louis XI. then the dauphin, whom he met for the first
time in the Castle of Tarascon. At Tarascon he instituted the Order of
the Crescent and held a fête which is remembered to this day. To his
credit it is recorded that he gave protection to Jacques Coeur, fleeing
from the ingratitude and treachery of Charles VII., and enabled him to
escape into Italy. Having already said farewell to France and Anjou,
René plainly saw the absorption of his beloved Provence by King Louis.
His picture--some say painted by himself--here in the Cathedral does
not impress one strongly. He was too old when it was done and while
interesting and beautiful in detail one does not linger long in its
contemplation. This cathedral was four hundred years old when René was
born and portions of it date far before that, being of Roman origin.
Especially is this the case in the baptistery whose superb columns
came from the temple of Apollo. The cloisters are quaint and most
interesting, and the temptation to linger is strong upon me, but time
presses and so I pass outward and down the queer streets to where Jean
solemnly seated in the Red Machine awaits my pleasure.

Yama has the luggage already packed in the auto when I reach the hotel
and we are shortly off, jumping instantly back, or rather forward, from
the fourteenth to the twentieth century. Madame smiles an adieu from
her seat by the door and keeps on knitting, as those women of France
have ever done through sunshine and sorrow, days of happiness and days
of blood.

As we speed away, Jean catches sight of the Madonna high up on the
mountain and heaves a great sigh, regret I suppose at the recollection
of all those neglected confessions.



CHAPTER III

     THE ROAD TO ARLES--THE CAMARGUE--RUINS OF ARLES--THE "ALISCAMPS"


Leaving Aix down in her bowl in the hills with the silvery olive and
flowering almond and plum trees framing her quaint old face, we roll
on over the finest stretches of highway I have ever imagined. This is
the level land of the mouth of the Rhone and in the next two hours we
have three bits of road of ten miles each, and all as straight as a
string drawn taut. What speed we seem to make; how the wind sings, and
how exhilarating! The machine, a ---- of some twenty-four horse-power,
makes now about forty-five miles an hour; yet we feel when one of
ninety horse-power passes as though we were at a stand-still.

During the morning hours our route lies through many old towns; each
of which has its memories. This one of Salon holds the castle of the
astrologist Nostradamus and in her church of St. Laurent he lies buried.

From Salon our way leads directly west and we skim along for twenty
miles through the flat land but see nothing of the Rhone until we reach
and pass through Arles. Then we bring up suddenly upon its very brink
with its yellow floods rolling southward at our feet.

On our right are the gateways of the famous old city of Arles, but my
eyes are drawn off and away across the river and out over the fantastic
land of the Camargue, a land more akin to Africa than to Europe,--that
great "Field of Reeds" between the two branches of the Rhone, only a
few feet above the level of the sea, where the ibis, Egyptian vulture,
and the flamingo are to be found. The whole is so low and so covered
with salt that it glistens and glitters under the morning's sunlight,
while the air quivers and shifts above it, and is full of the mirage,
taking on strange forms and fantastic shapes as the eye wanders over it.

[Illustration: THE PORTAL OF THE CATHEDRAL OF ST. TROPHIMUS, ARLES

By permission of Messrs. Neurdein]

The people out there are as wild as the cattle which roam its plains,
and their manners and customs as oriental as those of the Arabs who
invaded the land centuries ago, while its one town, Les Saintes-Maries,
has all the characteristics of an African town of the desert, and there
Mary Magdalene, Mary of Salome, and Mary the mother of James, landed to
escape persecution.

We cannot go further into the Camargue now and so turn to where, on
our right, the entrance to the ancient city of Arles is guarded by
two great low round towers, beyond which stretches a vista of narrow
shadowy streets full of attractions and inviting exploration. The
main features of the old Roman town are too well known to justify
description, but every street holds some relic of the past worth
inspection, and on our way to the very comfortable inn, where we dine
in plenty, my eyes are constantly on the alert and yet much is
missed. There are two inns in this city of Arles situated at right
angles to each other in the same corner of the public square and it
would appear that whichever the traveller selects he will be subjected
to the pitying glances of the proprietor of the rival establishment
watching from the door of his own house; however, I find nothing to
complain of either in the house I enter or in the dinner service.

The day is one of blinding sunshine as we draw up before the
amphitheatre. Its great arches glitter against the blue sky and the
white city all around us is as silent as a tomb. There are two pictures
which must arise to the thoughts here: one, that of the place in the
voluptuous splendour of its Roman days. The vast crowds thronging
every space; the silver netting to protect them from the beasts in the
arena; the fountains in these arches casting up scented waters; the
sunlight filtering through awnings of gorgeous silks; the heat; the
smell of perfumes and of fresh blood; the roar of the beasts and the
murmur of the multitudes,--all these made Rome what she then was and
kept the people from thinking. The other picture is so widely different
that it is difficult to believe it can be of this same structure,
choked from the summit to far underground with the hovels of the
poor, every archway closed up, the whole centre a veritable rabbit
warren--thousands of outcasts found their homes in this spot. To enter
it was scarcely possible save to the initiated, to leave it also was
well nigh impossible. A murderer from the town had but to disappear
here and all trace of him vanished. If any ventured to pursue him
they never returned to tell of what they had seen. Upon this mass of
vileness the plague descended in 1640--It came many more times to
Arles--none were allowed to come out and the dead and living crowded
the place to its utmost hidden recesses. Finally they were summoned
forth to quarters beyond the town and only the dying and the dead were
left to occupy this amphitheatre of Arles. We have the scene of those
horrors and of former gorgeousness to ourselves to-day and we wander in
and out at pleasure.

[Illustration: EXTERIOR OF THE AMPHITHEATRE AT ARLES

By permission of Messrs. Neurdein]

All the world knows of the Greek theatre here of which there is much
left, but of the quaint Cathedral of the middle ages less is spoken
though it is of interest, especially the cloisters, where you may spend
a pleasant half hour back in the myths of the past. You are told again
that Martha and Mary came here from the Holy Land for there are their
figures carved in stone, and also here that Mary conquered the dragon
by a piece of the true Cross. The portal of the Cathedral is simple,
yet so beautiful that I venture to reproduce it that you may judge for
yourself. Enter, and you will find a very lofty, very plain, but very
dignified nave of the twelfth century. As I leave the sanctuary, I am
greeted by the priest in a dignified solemn salutation,--he does not
raise his eyes, and I am evidently completely forgotten before he has
turned away. A lot of boys, shut up in school in one of the chapels
for some hours back, stop to stare at me for an instant and then go
whooping away down the quiet streets of the old city.

Arles is truly a Roman town--aside from the Cathedral,--all Roman;
her amphitheatre impresses you with its majesty, her theatre charms
more in its ruins than it could have done two thousand years ago in its
prime, and you will linger long in that beautiful avenue of the dead,
"Aliscamps," (avenue of death) just outside the gates where stately
lines of cypresses march away on either side, shading in a sad sort of
fashion rows of ancient sarcophagi, ruined and empty. The place is vast
in extent and in the days of its splendour, the dead were brought here
even from Lyons. It is mentioned by Dante in his _Inferno_. Pagans and
Christians sleep here side by side until the day breaks and the shadows
flee away.

[Illustration: THE ALISCAMPS AT ARLES

By permission of Messrs. Neurdein]

The weather has all to do with one's impressions of a country. I always
associate France with a golden sunlight, for so many times I have left
London, stifling under its black fogs, and literally sailed into the
sunshine on the coast of France. So especially does sunshine form a
part and parcel of Southern France, somewhat too strong and blinding in
summer, but in the spring with its blossoms of fruit trees and in the
autumn with its splendour of color and the dreamy odor of over-ripened
fruits, the sunlight of France is,--well, just the sunlight of France,
and those who have seen it will remember it always. To-day in the high
tide of spring all nature rejoices. These ruins gleam white and pure,
the city, like an ancient dame of high degree, bears a gracious aspect,
the river dances and sparkles, and the long highways stretch off and
off until lost in the midst of olive groves and blossoming fruit trees.



CHAPTER IV

     THE ROUTE TO TARASCON--CASTLE OF KING
     RENÉ--BEAUCAIRE--NÎMES--MONTPELLIER--AN ACCIDENT--NARBONNE,
     ANCIENT AND MODERN


Leaving Arles we speed northward to Tarascon and so drop downward a
thousand years in history as Tarascon belongs to the Middle Ages.

To me these mediæval cities and fortresses are far more charming, far
more interesting than the Roman remains with which this land abounds.
The latter seem cold and the lives led in them so far different from
our own, that with it and them we can have but little sympathy, but
this does not hold with the France of the middle ages. There, all is
warmth and color and distant music. So it is to-day at Tarascon; I can
almost fancy that King René and his troop of minstrels yet hold high
revels in yonder castle and I should not be greatly astonished to see
its portals open and give egress to Margaret of Anjou on her departure
for England. How, by the way, came such a woman, as history paints her,
to be daughter of a king who cared only for music and grapes, and the
joy of laughter?

This castle of Tarascon was King René's palace of pleasure to which he
came from Aix and held high revel; here you may still see his chapel
and there are many apartments of his time, amongst them his private
rooms all of which I did not see, for the fat jailer would under no
circumstances permit my entrance. My inclination for a fight in order
to secure an entrance was strong, but then it occurred to me that the
quarters to which I would be consigned might not be those of King René
and my sojourn therein might be protracted.

It is shameful that such a place should be used for such a purpose and
our intentions to effect a change are great as we roll off to inspect
the town.

I must confess that in Tarascon it is not so much King René as Daudet's
"Tartarin" who occupies my thoughts. On the whole, the place is very
lonely or the people all asleep. Certainly it does not seem a spot to
offer much adventure, but then, who can tell? As we repass the portals
of René's fortress, the jailer sits sound asleep and his prisoners
might escape without difficulty. The river is not very wide awake. I
feel sleepy myself, and Jean and the auto are in like condition. Here,
here, now! Wake up there, get your winged wheels and let's off and away!

So we spin past the frowning towers and crossing the Rhone by a fine
bridge, pass through Beaucaire, where high above the river are the
ruins of another castle once belonging to the Count of Toulouse. Wars
and time have left nothing save its tower and the arches of a chapel,
where Saint Louis prayed on his way to the Crusade. The Castle's last
tenant was Duke François de Montmorency, the last of his line and a
victim of Richelieu's.

Our ride to Nîmes is hot and dusty and under a glaring sun. Nîmes is
another spot too well known to need mention, and, like most of the
places well known and greatly talked about, it is not so interesting
as one of which one has heard but little. Certainly Nîmes, a bustling,
prosperous city cannot approach Aix or Arles in interest of story and
romance, and she has aside from her Roman remains nothing to detain us.

I find that I am not alone in my opinion of these Roman remains. James
in his _Little Tour in France_ speaks of them as monotonous and brutal,
and not at all exquisite. He referred especially to the amphitheatres
at Nîmes and Arles. They are cold and cheerless even under a brilliant
sunlight; perhaps the memory of their wild beasts and all the blood and
slaughter have much to do with this. Certainly here at Nîmes, while one
must admire the splendid arches and sweeping lines of the whole, one
does not linger with any such pleasure as, for instance, in Heidelberg
or among the ruined abbeys of England. The Maison Carrée is beautiful
to look upon and you feel glad that there is such a gem, yet it is cold
and you soon leave it with no regret. It stands on the busy street of
a too large town, and trams rattle and rush by its door. You cannot
picture men in togas and sandals on those steps to-day.

The rest of Nîmes, while probably a comfortable city in which to live,
will not hold your interest for a moment and I roll off and away
with no desire ever to return. How different our feelings at Avignon!

Leaving Nîmes we roll southward for some hours until Montpellier is
reached at half past five. The roads have been fine but the ride not so
pleasant as that of yesterday. Montpellier is simply a place to spend
the night with nothing to see, a busy place of some sixty thousand
people. The streets and sidewalks bubble and sparkle until a late hour
with the life that is so dear to these people,--open cafés and tables
all over the sidewalks, much wine but never a case of intoxication.
No matter in what part of the world you find this nation, they will
arrange some portion of their abiding place to resemble their beloved
Paris. It is so here, it is so in Saigon, and would be so on a desert
island.

This afternoon, during an enforced stoppage of fifteen minutes, I saw
Jean smile, and looking round beheld a group for a picture. In the
middle of the long dusty highway stood my little Jap servant gazing up
into the face of an old French woman perched high on a pile of rubbish
which loaded a small cart almost to the breaking point, the whole being
drawn by the most diminutive donkey I have ever seen. Surely there was
a strange juxtaposition; she who might have been a descendant of the
Vixen in Dickens' _Two Cities_ gazing down upon a representative of the
far-off rising Empire. Yama is greatly amused by the carts drawn by
small dogs, and in many ways he finds France different from the Land of
the Morning.

[Illustration: GENERAL VIEW OF THE CHÂTEAU OF KING RENÉ AT TARASCON

From a photograph]

This is our third day and we are leaving Montpellier, having passed
from Aix to Arles, Tarascon, and Nîmes, and thence here, and have had
but one mishap, not at all our fault. In a long, straight stretch of
the Corniche, between Nice and Cannes, two men were walking away from
us and we fortunately were not moving at high speed. Our horn was blown
constantly and there were no other machines in sight. One of the men,
knowing we should follow the law of the land and pass him on his left,
kept his side of the road, but the other completely lost his head, and
dodging from one side to the other like a chicken, forced us either
to run over him or into the ditch. Of course we did the latter. Jean
managed the auto so well that no injury was done, as the ditch was but
a few inches deep, but then came the problem, how to get out. The soft
mud rendered our own power useless, we simply churned holes. Finally a
van came along, drawn by two stately Normandy horses, the driver, after
a moment's inspection of our plight, calmly hitched on to our springs
and drew us on to the high-road, after which the horses stood nodding
their great heads at us as though to say, "After all you have to come
to us when in trouble, as you are most of the time." A few francs
called down a benediction upon us from the old driver and we skimmed
away, the horses still holding converse concerning us as we vanished in
a cloud of dust.

Jean takes as much interest in this auto as one does in a horse. He
knows all its good points and one discovers its bad ones only by noting
his watching of certain parts. The tire of the right hand rear wheel
seems to bother him and late in the day that tire collapses. He claims
that that wheel, being mostly off the crown of the road, or rather
being forced off when we meet or pass anything is subject to a greater
strain than the others, and we have some trouble until at Montpellier
he buys some new ones, and to-day towards Carcassonne there has been no
trouble--but I anticipate.

The ride from Montpellier to Narbonne, where we have luncheon, is
pleasant but not of much interest. In one village the people are _en
fête_ for the return of Monseigneur, and we shortly meet his Reverence
in a coupé, the only sign of affluence I have noted in all the land.
When I ask Jean who is with his reverence, he suggests "his niece," and
adds that it is marvellous how many "nieces" these priests have. Now
that is the suggestion of Jean, who, as I have before stated, is not a
good Catholic and does not go to Mass. I know, for I saw him, that the
black-robed figure beside the one in purple was a priest.

Narbonne is only five miles from the sea, and one may scent the salt
marshes even in her streets. In the days of her birth, five centuries
before our era, she was surrounded by lakes and so connected with the
sea, making her one of the most important ports of the great Roman
Empire. She is described as beautiful in the year 95, possessed of
theatres, temples, baths, a superb capitol, and all that in those days
made the splendour of a Roman city. All this has vanished utterly in
the passage of Visigoths, and Saracens,--who defied Charles Martel
and Pépin until treason aided the latter. Its history onward is that
of France, but its decay began one hundred years before day dawned on
America, at which time the Jews were expelled and the port began to
fill up through the bursting of a dike.

To-day we roll into a commonplace town with but two relics even of
the middle ages, and nothing at all of the more ancient periods. A
fragment of a cathedral and a bishop's palace alone attract the eye.
Of the former there is little of interest, though it would have been a
great shrine if completed. The palace has a stately façade, but nothing
inside worthy of note.

We find a comfortable hotel here with a garrulous old lady seated near
its door, who immediately asks me where Madame is, and on my telling
her that I am not married, offers to bring forth several applicants for
the empty post, adding that I am none too old, as she herself married
again but lately at sixty-five, and I am but a boy. However, I decline
the proffered assistance, and we roll away out of the very ancient
city, leaving the old dame shaking her head at the "queer ideas of
those Americans."



CHAPTER V

     THE APPROACH TO CARCASSONNE--ITS PICTURESQUENESS, ITS RESTORATION
     AND HISTORY


The ride from Narbonne via Béziers proves most enjoyable. As we leave
the town, the air becomes cooler, and from the summit of a hill the
Pyrenees range into view, a long line of glittering snow marching in
stately procession across the southern horizon.

The air is full of the buoyant freshness of the hills, and one's
thoughts turn to pine forests and rushing waters. Over the superb
highway where in ancient days stately processions passed to and fro
from Spain, our machine glides on with a sweeping, flying motion, until
I find myself leaning over and looking for the wings which should
project from the centre of each wheel,--winged wheels, surely.

What intense satisfaction such a journey brings, how different from
that of the most luxuriant train, where, no matter how comfortable our
bodies may be made, our eyes are constantly irritated by being shut off
from some desired view of mountain, town, or castle, by a deep cut or
long line of freight cars. One has a proscenium box always when in an
automobile, and is enabled to ring down or up the curtain at will. So
to-day with not eyes enough to see the beauties of this fair land, we
glide onward to the beating of the wings when suddenly on a hill before
us sharply silhouetted rise the towers of Carcassonne. The old poem is
at fault this time--I have "seen Carcassonne" even though I approach no
nearer and surely the prospect is enchanting.

[Illustration: THE FORTIFICATIONS AT THE OLD TOWN OF CARCASSONNE

From a photograph]

But is that Carcassonne, or any town built by man's hands? I have seen
many a mirage in distant deserts like unto this before me. Through the
fantastic dancings of the afternoon's waves of light, the old city
looms up as though cut out of black cardboard. Sharply and clearly
against the tawny background stands forth every tower and pinnacle,
cathedral spire and parapet. Behind it, rise the yellow hills, the
green mountains, and the eternal snows, while to the north, east,
and west, stretch the undulating valleys of France, clothed now in a
blanket of spring blossoms, and over all arches the deep, fathomless,
southern sky.

Occupying the top of a hill in the middle fore-ground, yonder dream
city of the dark ages needs but the flaunting banners of its ancient
lords and the call of trumpets to make the picture perfect. But it is
ghostly and silent as we roll by, taking no note of the passage of this
strange machine, which, in the Middle Ages, would have produced great
commotion amongst its defenders and peopled the walls and towers with
thousands to see us pass. To-day no living thing gives evidence of
life, not even a dog barks, and as we glide onward and leave it, I
wonder again--"Was that Carcassonne, or indeed its mirage? Shall we
find it ahead of us; are there two such places in this world of the
twentieth century?"

Crossing a fine bridge, we pass through the streets of a comparatively
modern town, and draw up at the excellent Hôtel Bernard. It does not
take long to wash the dust off and I am shortly en route in a carriage
to investigate the old _Cité_. How ridiculously slowly these horses
move, how the trap jolts! It is hot and dusty and there is no singing
of the wind as we do _not_ rush along.

I would advise those who would retain their romantic impressions of
Carcassonne to content themselves with the vision which greets their
eyes in the approach and passing. Then the _Cité_ will dawn and vanish
clothed in all the romance of its centuries, but when you really
approach its walls and, crossing its drawbridge, enter its portals, all
the romance vanishes in a flash. I suppose, as an example of a walled
and fortified town, it was well to restore Carcassonne, but from a
picturesque and romantic point, such restorations are always a failure.
Carcassonne in ruins and covered with trailing vines would yet speak
and relate its story, holding you enthralled for hours as you clambered
over ruined towers and churches and the abodes of those so long dead.
There are the foundations laid by the Romans, with the superstructures
of the Visigoths and the battlements of later periods. In yonder
citadel there are dungeons under dungeons, and a prison of the
Inquisition. That cathedral was founded in the fifth century, rebuilt
in the eleventh and twelfth, and restored in 1853. In fact to-day you
will find a perfectly restored city, (and still the work goes on), its
angles are all sharp, as though cut out of cardboard. You may not enter
its citadel used as barracks, but you will in the tour of its walls
mount perfectly new stairs, unlock new doors, and find sound floors
beneath your feet. Not a shadow of romance or interest attaches to any
of this, nor can you re-people in your imagination the place with the
life of long ago. As a most perfect example of a walled town it is
worthy of inspection, but Viollet-le-Duc has done so much for it and
written so much about it, that it would be useless to enter here into
detailed description. Loches which we will visit later, is to me of far
greater interest and it cannot be said that that is merely a castle and
this a whole city, for within those walls is an entire town, and there
the ghosts are ever present to one's thoughts.

Carcassonne dates from the days of the Romans, but its higher and
greater wall was erected by Theodoric, King of the Visigoths, upon
the site of the Roman structure. With the advent of the Moors (713),
silence descends upon its history, and does not raise the curtain for
four centuries. Of this occupation there are no traces; which is most
unusual--not a horseshoe arch or a bit of Arabic in all the town, yet
it is said to derive its name from a Saracen Queen named Carcas.

The next we learn of it is in the year 1209 when it is besieged in the
name of the Pope by Simon de Montfort.

The result of the Albigensian "heresy"--this revolt against the
symbolism and mysteries of the Church of Rome--fell heavily upon all
this section but most terribly upon Carcassonne when Simon de Montfort
with a French army attacked this French fortress.

Baptism, the Mass, the Adoration of the Cross, and the sale of
indulgences were absolutely rejected--with what effect one can
imagine;--all this some centuries before Luther. The danger of this to
the Pope and his Church promptly moved the powers of Rome to action.
Béziers, through which we passed this morning, was the first point of
attack, when forty thousand were slain. No quarter was given--orthodox
and infidel, in all one thousand were put to death--"God will know his
own," shouted the Abbé of Cîteaux; "slay them all."

Into its great Church of St. Nazaire crowded both men and women, and
the priest tolled the bells until all were dead. The news of this
horror caused every town to open its gates save Carcassonne, which
for fourteen days was the scene of continual slaughter before it fell
through want of water and famine. It is stated that three hundred
thousand from all over Europe assembled here, drawn by the promises of
pardon and indulgences.

How peaceful the scene to-day! How green the grass, and how blue the
heavens!

It was Louis IX, who made the "Key of the South" impregnable, clearing
away the surrounding town and establishing it across the river where
it now is. He had the outer line of the fortifications constructed
around the _Cité_, forming a sure refuge in all the wars with Spain.
Carcassonne was never again taken by storm and when the Black Prince
devastated the lower town, the _Cité_ did not open its gates. It is
stated that it required one thousand four hundred men to defend these
walls and to this must be added some two thousand workmen, servants,
etc.--To-day a few cannon would soon blow these towns into dust.

The custodian rolls all of this off to you as he pilots you around the
inner wall, up and down ladders and staircases, and into all sorts of
impossible places, which would be of interest if they were not all so
new; but the theatrical effect is beautiful, and so theatrical that
one is surprised to find this tower of stone, not canvas, and yonder
battlement entirely safe to lean upon. From the ramparts, the traveller
will observe that between the outer and inner walls the space was
once occupied by the hovels of the poor, but they are all gone now,
and also that, around the outer circle where the moat once was, the
grass mounts to the wall itself, so that one may encircle the _Cité_
and find nothing to distract one's attention from the old town save
the wonderfully beautiful panorama of the distant mountains or far
stretching valleys, all violet and pale rose in the light of the fading
day. In his inspection of the _Cité_ one finds nothing of interest
save the church, as the houses are those of the middle classes. The
church holds some interesting monuments. There is no semblance of
palace or "hôtel de ville," and the château seems but an empty shell.
I am not allowed to enter it, which I do not greatly regret, and so
turning again I pass one of the portals,--and emerge from the walls of
the _Cité_, the outer circle of which is some sixteen hundred and the
inner twelve hundred yards in circumference, so that the space enclosed
is not so great as that at Loches, I think. Carcassonne has but two
portals, each over double draws and many portcullises. Its towers are
all named and, as I have stated, they have not forgotten to call one
the Tower of the Inquisition, with, I doubt not, much truth, but its
walls are new, its door and floors both new, and when one enters into
comparisons--which at all times are odious--with Loches, Nuremberg, or
Salzburg, one quietly turns from Carcassonne, gets into the carriage
and drives away, wishing again that one had been contented with that
first fantastic panorama spread against that tawny sky.



CHAPTER VI

     THE ROUTE TO TOULOUSE--GREAT MACHINES ON THE ROADS OF
     FRANCE--DELIGHTS OF AN AUTO--TOULOUSE--ITS UNIVERSITY--THE CHÂTEAU
     DE ST. ELIX


There is nothing of interest between Carcassonne and Toulouse and so we
speed along at thirty-six miles an hour on the wide highways reaching
Toulouse at eleven o'clock A.M.; seventy-five miles in just two hours
is quite fast enough, for the wings again come out and the sensation
is therefore as near angelic as mortal man is permitted to enjoy. The
projection of our hood prevents that incurling of dust, which is the
curse of autos without these tops, and I find that my linen keeps
remarkably clean. I could have gotten along with much less clothing,
and I have only a shirt case full as it is. A dress-suit case with
perhaps the addition of a hand-bag, will hold all that a man needs.

Such a ride as that of to-day demonstrates one of the many advantages
of an auto over a carriage and horses. One can loiter when desirable,
but one can also pass quickly over the tedious stretches which
must occur in all journeys. To-day, for instance, we covered the
seventy-five miles with actual pleasure, while the journey in a
carriage would have taken two long, hot dusty days of absolutely no
interest.

An auto is also cheaper than a team. I could not have hired any sort of
horses and a comfortable trap for less than ten dollars a day and could
use the team certainly not longer than ten hours per day, whereas this
machine, a 25-horse-power, at twenty dollars per day, costs me less
than a dollar an hour and can be used every hour of the twenty-four.
So that ride of seventy-five miles, all expenses included, cost about
two dollars. Of course, the expense of renting an auto by the month
counts in the possible delays by sickness, or otherwise, but I have so
far had none of these occur, and if I may be allowed to anticipate,
can state that in the three months' tour covering nearly five thousand
miles, I was never laid up save when I so desired. If I had owned the
machine, my expenses would have been enormous. Mr. B. of New York,
whose auto (a new one) met him at Naples, told me that he had spent
one thousand dollars in tires between that city and Paris. I have paid
my twenty dollars per day, and no extras save the board and lodging
of my chauffeur. If I lived in Paris I should own an auto, but under
no other circumstances. It is always cheaper and more satisfactory to
rent than to own. This holds good with electrics as well as gasoline.
For three seasons I rented an electric in Newport. It was brought in
the morning and taken away at any hour I desired, late or early, and
all expenses were covered by the two hundred dollars per month. For two
seasons there I owned an electric which cost me certainly one hundred
dollars per month and I had it barely half the time and was never sure
of it. It ended by my giving it to my brother-in-law, who has scarcely
spoken to me since. If you own, your chauffeur, like your butler,
is forced to be in league with the tradesman. If you rent, he makes
nothing by accident or delay and runs the risk of being dismissed by
_his_ employer if the car meets with accidents or delay through his
fault. Of course, the pleasure, and a great one, of running the car
is lost. I have not and shall not attempt that at all, as I well know
that if I ran it but ten feet and all went well, any accident which
occurred during the after time would be attributed to that ten feet.
I should certainly wish to feel very sure of myself before running a
great car on these roads where those of tremendous speed are constantly
passing me. The slightest nervousness or error as to handle bars would
mean death to all. I neglected to add that owners of cars must insure
against all accidents, and also insure the life of the driver, whereas
renting, as I did, from a responsible party, all that was upon his
shoulders, not mine. If the car had been wrecked past repair and the
chauffeur killed, in fact, from every sort of accident, I was held
blameless.

When I dismissed it at Geneva, I asked George whether it would be of
service for another long tour. "Certainly, sir. It would be well to
expend about one hundred dollars on it, but it would go all right
without even that. We have covered nearly five thousand miles and it
is in very good condition. Also we have met with no losses, save a few
pneumatics." But I anticipate--

I noticed at Montpellier, when Jean thought a new envelope was
necessary for one of the rear wheels, he telegraphed to the owner at
Nice before he bought it.

Toulouse, a city of 150,000 people, is one of the most prosperous in
France, but it is not a place of interest for the tourist, and if the
automobilist finds dusty, disagreeable roads anywhere in France it will
be around this city of the Southwest, because of the very high winds
prevailing in this section. Its past dates back some centuries before
its capture by the Romans, and around and in it history has been made
hard and fast throughout all these passing years until the present,
when it is happy, contented, and prosperous, even if commonplace. It
possesses probably the oldest literary institution in Europe, dating
from 1300, and one which observes the singular custom of distributing
flowers of gold and silver to its laureates; all of its prizes take the
form of different flowers in gold or silver.

But this does not interest the ordinary mortal and as we roll into the
city over her rough pavements, I feel ordinary,--the high, hot winds
irritate, and I am glad, after a very comfortable luncheon at a very
good hotel to start forth towards Pau.

The people of Toulouse have evidently never seen a Japanese before and
I feel sorry for Yama, so great is the crowd around us at all times,
but if he objects to the scrutiny his stolid, expressionless face gives
no sign thereof.

The day becomes hot as we turn southward toward St. Gaudens. About
an hour and a half out, an ancient château, evidently unpolluted by
restoration, is seen on the right. I hesitate as to whether I shall
stop, but it is hot and we are moving so well that I give up the idea,
when, _pop!_ a tire is torn wide open. Now we must stop and not three
hundred yards from the château, which an old peasant, washing clothes
in a brook, tells me is well worth a visit, and the lord of the manor
willing to allow one. In the meantime poor Jean is down in the dust
and when he pulls out the pneumatic finds a hole as large as a dime.
Heat is the worst enemy of these pneumatics as the delicate rubber will
not stand it. However, the work is finally done and we move off to the
entrance of the Château de St. Elix. It is surrounded by its village
and one approaches through an avenue guarded by stately gates. A wide
moat in which water still flows is crossed by an ancient bridge, and
beyond rises a structure of the date of Francis I. A central portion
with an enormously high mansard roof is supported by two huge round
towers, one on either side, crowned by cone-shaped tops. A winding step
leads to the main portal, where a servant stands awaiting my approach.
"I am a traveller, will it be permitted to inspect the château? I am
told it is of great interest." I hand in my card which is carried
to the master off somewhere in the out-buildings, which on one side
appear to be stables, on the other, gardener's cottages and hot-houses.
When he comes I meet a pleasant-faced young Frenchman, who smilingly
conducts me to the house, his home, to which he seems much attached,
and to me it proved most interesting.

A long wide hall leads straight from the front door out upon a rear
terrace which overlooks a great square garden holding many rows of
cedar trees cut in all sorts of fantastic shapes, no two alike. One
represents a huge bird upon its nest, another a layer of mushrooms,
while a third is round as a ball, and a fourth square as a box. "They
have been trimmed that way for centuries and would not know how to grow
otherwise."

But to return to the house. We enter a vast apartment with heavy
rafters gilded, and in blue. Its walls are hung in ancient Flemish
tapestry and a huge fire-place occupies one end. There are many curious
pictures and ancient objects of art. Evidently the place has remained
unchanged for centuries. What a sense of repose these places afford
one, how far off the bustle of the world seems! I mention this to
mine host, but he shakes his head replying, "There is little peace in
France." In one of the great round towers is a library, and behind the
salon a wide drawing-room where things are of the fashion of the great
Louis, and where that monarch would not feel the lapse of years or out
of place if he could return. Crimson damask, fast going to tatters,
cover the walls, from which ladies in high wigs and gentlemen in court
dresses question "your presence here in such a costume." The Grand
Mademoiselle is in great array, but Marie Antoinette knows the vanity
and sorrow of all things and smiles sadly at you. Here I discover
that the present family have owned the château for only one century.
The portraits are all of the ancient race who died out long ago. That
painting under the groined roof of the great hall is of the last of
that line, the Baron de St. Elix, who died childless and so the house
passed to strangers. Whether the Terror was the cause of his death or
not, I could not discover, but that man in the hall would have gone
to the guillotine with dignity, of that I am sure. If his shade ever
returns, he must feel grieved at the sadness of these old towers of his
race. Some of that same sadness is reflected in the face of the present
owner as he watches us speed away into the greater world of which he
knows so little and which means life and progress to him. The sunlight
strikes athwart the ancient portal and the stately towers, turning the
garden into green and gold, lighting the village and its ancient dames
in a sad sort of fashion, emphasizing the silence which is a part of it
all.

A turn in the long avenue and we are off and away down the dusty
highway, leaving the Château de St. Elix to its dull repose.



CHAPTER VII

     THE DEATH OF A DOG--ENCOUNTERS ON THE HIGHWAY--TRAVELLERS BY THE
     WAY--PEOPLE OF THE PROVINCES--LOURDES--HER SUPERSTITION AND HER
     VISIONS


Later in the day as we speed down a long incline the only thing in
sight is a huge van drawn by three horses tandem. Jean sounds his horn
constantly, which has the effect of causing them to straggle all across
the road. No man is in sight--nothing save an old dog that is working
his best to get the horses into line and out of our way. This he
succeeds in doing, but alas, though Jean does his _best_ to save him,
he goes down under our wheels and I distinctly feel the crunch, crunch,
as we pass over his poor old body, driving the life out. As I look
back, it is only an old dog dead in the dusty highway with some old
horses gazing down at his quiet figure. They have been friends for so
many years,--it is all over now. When we see the stupid driver emerge
from beneath the van, where he has been asleep in a swinging basket, we
almost regret that it was not he instead of the old dog. My man did his
best to save the dog and felt as badly as I did over his death, but he
must have ditched the auto with danger to us and wreck for the machine
to have done other than he did.

These vans are the terror of these highways and the government should
either banish the automobiles or force the van drivers to attend to
their charges. We passed dozens to-day with the drivers fast asleep
underneath, as was this man, or if not asleep then yards behind their
teams. Several times serious wrecking was prevented only by Jean's cool
head and prompt hand. There should be a law passed and enforced with
a fine, that would correct matters. The death of that poor old dog
saddened the whole day.

About five o'clock in the afternoon, as the shadows lengthened and we
were passing slowly through the streets of Lannemezan, on rounding a
corner we were confronted by two hogs and a driver--the lesser beast
fled away in terror, but the larger--a good-sized porker,--kept his
place firmly planted in the middle of the road, while with his ears
pointed forward and snout lowered, he gravely regarded our approach as
much as to say, "Let me see, let me see, what have we here?" Just then
Jean ran the machine gently against him and bowled him over, whereupon
the air was rent asunder by squeals from his astounded and indignant
pigship, and a volley of oaths in the patois of this section from his
master, which together with remarks from Jean and shrieks of laughter
from Yama rendered the spot anything but tranquil. The personalities
and profanities of these two Frenchmen would certainly have caused
their telephones to be removed if passed thereover.

Our route all the afternoon is glorious, on a high table-land,
overlooking the Garonne and commanding the sparkling Pyrenees as far as
the eye can reach both east and west; the air is fresh and full of life.

St. Gaudens and Montréjeau are passed in turn, and Tarbes reached at
six o'clock, where we descend at the Hôtel de la Paix on the main
square. The hotels in all this section show the influence of Spain.
This one has a _patio_ and the one at Carcassonne also possessed one
with a raised platform at the end over which a vine was twined and
under which Carmen might have carried on her flirtations. Three autos
arrived while I was in Carcassonne, a large one with three Englishmen,
which had destroyed three tires that day and caught on fire; a small
one of twelve horse-power with three men, and one just like ours,
of twenty-four horse-power. This held a lady, a maid, and two dogs.
Imagine travelling in an auto with two dogs. Jean says the lady is an
American countess and seems surprised when I tell him that we have no
titles in America. He might have replied that we try to marry as many
as possible, which is quite true, to our sorrow generally. This person
looked like a painted countess of the stage.

One must journey through the provinces in France to find her men and
understand the source of her past power. Those we meet with daily are
a fine, manly looking lot of fellows, bright eyes and erect, sturdy
figures, nothing effeminate about them, in all ways superior to the
men of the towns who would seem to be descended from the old men and
boys, all Napoléon left in the land in his wild race for self glory.
What a magnificent figure his would have been in history had he placed
France first and remained First Consul! How absurd that play at
Emperor! Of his military and executive genius there can be no question,
but for his own glory he deliberately sacrificed France and hundreds of
thousands of her best men. His family playing at royalty always reminds
one of some stage performance; "Belles of the Kitchen", for example.

I think we made a mistake in coming via Toulouse. It would have been
more interesting to have gone via Montreal, Pamiers, and St. Gaudens.
If I ever come this way again, I shall keep nearer the Pyrenees. The
run to-day has covered from Carcassonne at nine o'clock to Tarbes at
six, one hundred and seventy-five miles. It is but thirty miles further
into Pau, but man and master both are weary and the auto must be hot,
to say the least.

[Illustration: THE GROTTO AT LOURDES

By permission of Messrs. Lévy]

In Tarbes,--at the Hôtel de la Paix,--we find our last stopping place
before Pau, a town with a comfortable little inn and but little else
of interest. From there we turn southwest for an inspection of that
centre of the greatest superstition of the nineteenth century, Lourdes.
The ride is a pleasant one down, or rather up, a valley with a rushing
river. Lourdes is found nestling in a nook of the foot-hills of the
Pyrenees while high in its centre rises an ancient castle with the
distant range of snow as a background. The location is beautiful,
much like Salzburg, but Lourdes is a bustling busy city full of
fine shops and big hotels, though I think I should have to be paid
handsomely to sleep in any bed in the town. This is not the season,
and therefore we perhaps have a better opportunity to inspect the
theatre of the place, for one can call it by no other name. Beyond
the castle and in a valley one first sees a sweeping circle of arches
forming an approach to a species of Pantheon, at least shaped like
the Roman structure and on a rock directly behind and above towers a
Gothic church. Both are crammed with votive offerings of all sorts and
descriptions. Passing around to the right one comes upon the sacred
grotto. It is directly under the higher church, in fact, in the rock
upon which that edifice stands, a simple grotto of slight depth and
some thirty feet high. In a niche on the right is an image of the
Virgin in white with a blue scarf. Hundreds of votive candles blaze and
smoke in the grotto, smudging the whole with nasty soot. The sacred and
healing spring issues from a spigot, in the front centre of the grotto,
and the faithful are constantly drinking its water. Rows of benches
occupy the space before the cave, which is enclosed by an iron grill,
wherefore! one wonders. Certainly there is no one who would steal
those candles and there is nothing else. On the left one sees a tablet
upon which is inscribed the words of the peasant's dream as uttered by
the Virgin, "Go to Lourdes, bathe, drink, and be cleansed," while the
entire space and roof of the grotto is hung thickly with the discarded
crutches, wooden legs, &c., &c., of those who, following the divine
instructions, were healed. The water has been conducted into adjacent
baths for men and for women, and I fancy it is the unusual cleanliness
which produced the cures. Certainly there are many past all hope of
cure even here, for the place is full of disgusting beggars. The whole
affair is, as Jean announced, "good for commerce and politics." It is
the greatest evidence of the superstition of the Middle Ages which
Europe can show to-day. Let us leave it. Lourdes as God made it and its
ancient rulers left it, is beautiful; Lourdes as that name means to-day
is vile. No one with any regard for his health would venture near there
while a pilgrimage is in progress. It is a relief to get off into the
country where disease does not seem to hang in the air.



CHAPTER VIII

     PAU AND THE LIFE THERE--DELIGHTFUL ROADS--ANCIENT ORTHEZ--MADAME
     AND HER HOTEL--THE CHÂTEAU OF BIDACHE AND ITS HISTORY


Our ride to Pau is down the banks of the Gave de Pau, past quaint
towns and churches and many mineral baths. Near noon, that well known
watering-place of Southern France comes into view, her famous terrace
rising high over the river; crowned by a line of hotels and villas,
and with the ancient castle, the birthplace of Henry IV, rising
majestically at its further end. In the valley rushes the Gave and
beyond the foot-hills the higher Pyrenees rise tier on tier to the
snows and clouds. The prospect is enchanting.

I should imagine that one might become very fond of Pau. It is a
quaint old city, delightfully placid, and its promenade like one great
proscenium box with God's theatre of the mountains holding perpetual
performance before you, and most of your time will be passed on that
terrace watching the lights and shadows as they chase each other past
the many mountain peaks into far-off valleys leading into Spain. You
will find yourself quoting _Lucile_ on the slightest provocation, and
will become romantic if you remain too long. The window of my room in
the Hôtel de France,--a good hostelry by the way,--overlooked terrace,
valley, and mountains, and I found myself hanging out of it in a most
dangerous fashion at all hours of the day and night, until sleep and
the murmuring river drove me to bed.

The lover of golf will find in Pau, I am told, the best links in
Europe. The hunter may follow the paper fox any day and the drives
must be endless and all beautiful. Yet I fancy the stranger in Pau has
little time to spend on them,--the social life being more attractive.
It seems to be a pleasant existence, not too strenuous, and composed of
pleasant people. The usual run of tourist does not come here, which is
greatly in its favour.

Its château, which has been judiciously restored, holds many beautiful
rooms and much of interest within its wall, but I shall not describe so
well known a building.

  Monday, April 3d.

The day of our departure opens cloudy with threatening rain and I am
in doubt as to going forward. However it may clear by ten, and as Jean
has been "summoned" for fast driving and is now in court, we must wait
at all events. I do not know why they have selected Jean for a victim.
We are not of the great racing community and never have gone more than
thirty-eight miles an hour. Perhaps it is because of the killing
of the poor old dog, or maybe because of the old lady who climbed a
tree,--then again that porker may have entered protest at our too close
attentions. However, it will be but a small fine if anything. Jean
returns disgusted. It was all because of a "spurt" a month ago between
Nice and Monte Carlo when Mr. E. had the auto. They made no move during
the weeks in Nice but tracked him by his number all over our crooked
course from Nice here.

We are finally off after having bidden mine host of the Hôtel de France
_au revoir_, with thanks for the pleasant days passed in his excellent
establishment and having insulted the little fat porter by asking him
if he is not a German,--an insult wiped out by a franc. We roll off
through the streets of this ancient capital and for a dozen kilometers
fairly skim over the long white road, when an appearing sign-post
shows Jean that he is off his route and we must perforce return until
we find a cross-road that will put us on our way once more, a course
which proves to be one of the longest stretches of straight road which
we have encountered and for mile after mile the auto fairly flies. It
is cloudy and there is no dust, so the sensation is delightful. It is
marvellous how quickly the nerves become used to this rapid motion, so
that one minds it no more than in a railway train, nor is the speed
realized until the auto begins to slow down. One certainly loses all
fear and ceases to hold on for dear life, and also is no more alarmed
for the safety of men and beasts,--not that auto cars instill a desire
for murder, but one certainly does become a species of Nero, and had
that gentleman possessed an auto, Rome would not have been forced to
endure so many quiet days under his rule as history relates. There
would at least have been greater variety, and the game of nine pins,
with useless Christians as the pins and autos as the balls, would have
been much in vogue.

We halt in the town of Orthez for luncheon and I note an ancient tower
which will be visited after the inner man has become satisfied. The
Grand Hôtel is another of those comfortable little inns with which
France abounds and the smiling landlady assured me that when she saw us
rush by she knew we would return, for there was no more comfortable inn
than hers and no more agreeable landlady than herself in all France.
How impossible it would be in America to find in our small towns such
accommodations. Here is a scrupulously clean house and I am served with
a most appetising luncheon. Two kinds of native wines, a good soup,
shirred eggs, an entrée, a nice piece of steak with potatoes, a pastry,
cheese, fruit and coffee, all good, and for three francs.

Orthez, the ancient capital of Béarn, is a very quaint old town. Its
tower is a remnant of the château of the Counts of Béarn and its
streets, bordered by ancient dwellings with high slate roofs, belong
to long past days. The world would never have returned to these old
towns of France but for the autos, and under their passing all the
post-houses are opening their eyes once more, like old gentlemen
aroused from a nap, and the horns of the modern machine are not unlike
in sound the ancient post-horns.

[Illustration: THE BRIDGE OVER THE GAVE AT ORTHEZ

By permission of Messrs. Lévy]

After luncheon I mount the hill to the tower, which I find in stately
seclusion amidst a grove of trees and still surrounded by its moat full
of stagnant water. I have it all to myself and the old stones seem
desirous of telling their store of legends from the days of chivalry.
The tower reminds me of Niddry, from whose windows the Scotch queen
gazed downward on her first day of freedom after Lochleven. Like Niddry
this is but an empty shell now, but the view from it is characteristic
of France. Long lines of white highways bordered by stately Lombardy
poplars, a smiling river wandering here and there, now through quiet
meadows and just there where it passes through Orthez, under an ancient
bridge with a tower in its centre. The steep roofs of the old town
cluster around the base of the castle hill and a tall church spire
points the way to heaven. On the green slopes of the hills are numerous
châteaux embowered in blossoming fruit trees, lilies bloom in the
stagnant moat of the castle, tall and fair, and some yellow flowers
yonder cast a cascade of gold over the delicate tracery of a ruined
archway.

Descending the hill, I express to Madame at the hotel my feelings
that she lives in an interesting old town. "Oui, Monsieur, mais très
triste." Surely, but places that have watched the passing of so many
centuries, with all their joys and sorrows, must seem sad.

Our ride during the afternoon is delightful, not by the direct route
to Bayonne but via Sauveterre and Bidache. As we approach the latter
place, a turn in the road brings in view a magnificent mansion, part
castle and part palace. As it rises majestically on its terrace above
the river it resembles Linlithgow, is as stately as Rheinfels, and,
like both, is all in ruins. An old peasant on the highway tells us that
many visitors go there and so Jean turns the auto into a shady lane
and drives past some old cottages, near one of which the custodian
stands smiling and is more than willing to go with us to yonder stately
mansion, through whose empty windows the birds are flying and over
whose walls the ivy tumbles in dark green masses. It is the property
of the Ducs de Gramont, though they seldom come here. We wander into
the court of honour, into the banquet hall, open now to all the winds
of heaven; stop a moment to gaze upon the majestic keep, and passing
on emerge upon the terrace from which another vision of the fair land
of France is spread before us. Seated here the old custodian tells
her story. "This is the Château de Bidache, Monsieur, et de Gramont."
It is not certainly known when it was founded but it was so long,
long ago that it seems to have been here since time was. It is known
to have existed in the eleventh century at which period its masters,
the Barons de Gramont, were in continual strife with their neighbors,
the Seigneurs d'Asqs and de Guiche, or uniting with them against the
neighbouring city of Bayonne or any other which offered the show of an
exciting encounter,--the necessary breath of life to the lords of those
dark ages. England and Navarre both claimed its allegiance and its
history has been the history of Navarre and France throughout all the
years.

[Illustration: CHÂTEAU OF BIDACHE

From a photograph]

One of the most adventurous of the lords of Bidache would appear to
have been Arnaud Guilhem II. de Gramont (1275). In wars with England,
Navarre, and Spain, he sustained two sieges in the Château which was
taken and burned. Then followed exile and departure for the Crusades,
and a return at sixty-nine years of age. His tomb in the church of
Villeneuve la Montarie was opened in 1860, when his long sword, casque,
and spurs of gold were found in good condition after a lapse of five
hundred and eighty-five years. He was but one of the many who made
Bidache the theatre of their lives.

The Château was reconstructed in 1530, upon what scale and in what
fashion you may see to-day even in its ruins.

In 1610, Louise Comtesse de Gramont, for an "intrigue galante",
was tried by her husband's order before the parliament of Bidache,
convicted, and executed. The endeavours of her father to save her, even
by the aid of the King of France, were without avail, though the Count
was later forced to grant her sepulchre in the tombs of his ancestors
where she was interred with much state and ceremony. On this condition
he was guaranteed relief from all attempts at revenge by the blood kin
of the unfortunate lady.

Mazarin was entertained here in great state when he returned from
negotiating the treaty of the Pyrenees; then the Château and all the
country round about was _en fête_ for days and Bidache was in the
heyday of its popularity.

Years of silence settled after that upon the Castle, during which in
the days of the great Louis this terrace, where I sit writing these
notes, was constructed. Whatever sorrow this Louis XIV. brought upon
France, the land certainly owes much of its beauty of architecture,
which still abides, to him. Not alone in the Royal palaces but in or
around almost every château of the land, one is sure to find something
beautiful of his day. This terrace redoubles the charm and stateliness
of Bidache, and when mortals lived within these walls it must have been
a continual joy; it is so to-day to all who come this way.

Most of the improvements in the private châteaux were accomplished
while the owners thereof suffered banishment from the court. Such was
the case here with the lord of Bidache during the reign of Louis XIV.
As usual another affair of love. To the terrace he added orangeries,
fountains, and vast stables,--the latter still exist,--and Bidache
reached the acme of its splendour in his day. Its library, placed on
the ground floor of the great tower, was lighted from above by a dome
more than thirty feet in diameter; below was a magnificent gallery of
paintings (all destroyed in the final conflagration save those which
had been taken to Paris) while the ground floor of the castle formed a
vast armory, full of ancient and modern weapons.

In the Revolution, the Château was not greatly disturbed and certainly
was not destroyed in that convulsion. It remained for a dishonest agent
to commence this work during the period of the emigration and for a
great conflagration on a night of 1796 to reduce the immense structure
in ten hours to the state in which we find it to-day. However, no
fire or storm can entirely destroy Bidache and as I wander through its
superb court of honour and gaze upon its mighty towers and walls there
is enough left, bowered as it is in curtains of ivy and many flowers,
to impress itself upon the memory for many a day, to be remembered
always as a thing of beauty, even after its death.

Turning reluctantly away, I bid the custodian farewell; she tells
me she is very old and will not be here if I return, "save yonder
where Monsieur can see the crosses on the hillside." I depart under
her benediction, and, while Jean is at work and the auto beginning
to breathe, I turn curiously to the present dwelling of the Duke of
Gramont.

He comes here every year and occupies this very unpretentious
structure just outside the park gates,--a long low, two-storied
house. There is certainly a satisfaction to him in knowing that he
has just claim to that stately ruin yonder with its history and its
wealth of associations, and he shows his good taste in not attempting
a restoration. Moving swiftly, the auto glides down a hill and off
and away across the valley, while I turn for one last glimpse of the
stately mansion, the Château de Bidache.



CHAPTER IX

     THE ROUTE TO BIARRITZ--BIARRITZ--THE HÔTEL DU PALAIS


The route thence into Bayonne is hilly and winding but good withal. Our
car moves rapidly forward with all wings spread until that prosperous
city is reached and passed, and we are on the route to Biarritz. The
deep and powerfully-flowing river Adour near by shows the influence of
the neighbouring ocean and there is that sense of spaciousness, that
freedom of body and spirit to be experienced only by the sea, on the
higher mountains, or upon our vast Western plains.

The traveller does not see the ocean itself until his machine mounts
the last hill before reaching Biarritz. Nature has found it necessary
to erect a huge barrier against the onslaught of all that water which
just here in the right angle formed by the coasts of France and Spain
rolls in with such terrible force that no wall built by man is able to
withstand it. Hence the God of the earth erected these hills to protect
his domain in the eternal warfare with the God of the sea, and Biarritz
has set herself down on the outer side of the hills to have a good view
of the conflict. Her green and pink villas and many hotels spread out
before one on either hand, and down below cluster the hotels close to
the water where even on "a quiet day" their windows are splashed by the
attacking waves.

Fortunately the God of the earth has made this coast a rocky one, using
these foot-hills of the Pyrenees as buffers against the sea; otherwise,
the town would vanish some stormy night. In fact, even a rock barrier
does not appear to have protected at this point, for surely in some
wild moment of rage the storm dragon did seize a large mouthful from
just this corner of Europe,--thus forming the Bay of Biscay,--and
turning, dropped it in the shape of the Island of New Foundland in
the dreariest portion of the Western Atlantic. (Examine the map for
yourself.) There he hides his plunder in perpetual mists, where the
fishermen from this coast go down to their graves annually by the
hundreds.

Here to-day all is glorious sunshine with no thoughts of disaster. Off
to the southwest the sparkling mountains of Spain stretch out and out
until they blend with the swirling waters of the Bay of Biscay gleaming
blackly, while to the northward the coast of France bears away on guard
against further encroachments.

As we roll into the outskirts of the town of Biarritz, the route is
mostly between high walls draped in trailing vines and pierced with
iron gateways, through whose trellis-work stiff walks bordered by
formal flower beds, are to be seen leading up to much more formal
villas. There are some quaint signs on the many little hotels; here,
for instance, is the "Inn of the Parlor of Love" in a shady corner all
by itself. Jean seems inclined to stop, but I veto the inclination, and
rolling swiftly onward, we shortly draw up at the door of the Hôtel du
Palais, recently opened and so new that its magnificence hurts both the
sense of smell and sight. It was originally the palace of the Empress
Eugenie and stands just over the sea.

Turned into an hotel in 1893, it was burned down two years ago, and
this is the rebuilt structure. Part of the palace remains. The main
staircase is the original, and that woman in the days of her power
and vanity must have swept down it many times. Even now she is not
forgotten, as all the chandeliers bear the letters "N" and "E" in
monogram. The location is magnificent, on the rocks right over the
sea, whose waves in stormy times dash on the terrace and spray all the
windows.

This is the so-called little season in Biarritz, the great season comes
in July, August, and September, when the place is crowded, but now it
is only pleasantly full, though this new hotel is not half filled.

This Grand Hôtel du Palais is evidently the Sherry's and Ritz's of
Biarritz. The same life, exactly the same amount of gold lace and the
same eternal dinner parties. As for the people, I fancy they are always
English, Russians, or Americans. No German would pay the prices, much
less a Frenchman. Yet they do not seem exorbitant. I have a very large
front room with a commodious and complete bathroom, both having all
the modern improvements, for which I pay twenty francs. The dinner
is eight francs, and coffee and eggs three francs; add two oranges to
the coffee and eggs and in New York it would be ninety cents, here
certainly not more than seventy cents.

The house is a spacious structure, with grand marble halls, with an
attractive dining-room almost on the water, and there is certainly one
feature which to my taste could be adopted to advantage in our hotels.
The old table d'hôte has vanished from Europe, with all its weary
details. The long tables are gone and now the dining-rooms are filled
with small tables. In most of the houses, as here for instance, one may
dine at any time from seven to nine and the dinner is excellent, all
one could wish to offer to any guest. I have been many times wearied
and disgusted by the long bills of fare offered at our best hotels;
what to order, and to be obliged to order _at all_ is to me the great
drawback. How much more attractive to find a good dinner ready whenever
you desire and without words or thought. Let someone else do that for
you, as the Shah said about our dancing. The dinner here costs only
eighteen francs, and it is better than many a so-called feast at our
American houses. The tables are beautifully decked with all that can be
desired from flowers to linen and the service excellent.



CHAPTER X

     THE ROAD TO THE MOUNTAINS--ST. JEAN-PIED-DE-PORT--ST.
     JEAN-DE-LUZ--MARRIAGE OF LOUIS XIV.--ISLAND OF PHEASANTS--THE
     ROADS IN SPAIN--THE SOLDIERS OF SPAIN--SAN SEBASTIAN


The Bay of Biscay roars in a sullen monotone this morning, but the
clouds are high up and in the warm sunshine the valleys glow with
the blossom of the fruit trees while the air is laden with the
perfume of flowers and sweet grasses. We are bowling along toward St.
Jean-Pied-de-Port, some fifty miles away at the base of the Pyrenees.
The road is fine and the machine in good condition. Jean sings as he
turns on full speed until we fairly fly down and up the hills and over
long stretches of curving road. This is quite off the grand route and
we meet no autos all the distance. The natives are more than usually
surprised at our advent and the animals have evidently not known enough
about such machines to be afraid of them. As we speed down a hill I
notice in the road what appear to be small piles of brush; but as we
near them, they begin to move and, as Jean with a swish and a jerk
passes to one side, some small ears and a nose or two emerge from the
bundles which have paused in a startled sort of fashion and a loud,
scared "Hee-haw, hee-haw" rends the soft spring air. Those are quite
the smallest donkeys I have ever seen impressed into service; in fact,
later on, one sturdy boy simply picks up his beast and deposits it in
a place of safety. They are always amusing animals to me. They never
lose their ruminating tendencies inherited from ancestors bred in the
silence of distant deserts, and save, as now, by the pointing of an ear
or by a loud "hee-haw," take no notice of our rushing progress. They
were here before auto cars and will be here when autos are things of
the past.

We find St. Jean-Pied-de-Port deep in a dell in the foot-hills, and in
a quaint little inn, furnished chiefly by dishes hung on the wall, we
are served with refreshment for the inner man. As I enter the little
dining-room, I find there two groups; in one is an Englishman and
his wife, in the other, two Frenchmen. The former studiously avoid a
glance, when I am looking in their direction; we must be in no way
aware of the existence of each other--we have "never been introduced."
The Frenchmen both bow as they meet my eye and in a few moments we are
pleasantly conversing. You can make your choice, but to me the latter
custom is more agreeable in travelling. Not that I do not like the
English, for I most certainly do, still one cannot have too many of
these small courtesies in one's fleeting life, and after all, it is the
minute things which make our sunshine.

After luncheon I am recommended by the landlord to visit the castle
which rises on a hill near the hotel. I have mounted but part way to
the height where it stands when a soldier warns me off, "It is not
permitted." I suppose the same regulations must hold all over the
republic, but it would certainly seem an altogether useless rule off
in these mountains, and one would have imagined from the peremptory
gestures made that that old ruin was the key to France.

On our return trip we make a long detour to the west, where the roads
are not so good and we are glad to strike the main highway once more
and speed back to Biarritz.

While Spain is not commended for an auto tour, one can at least go so
far into the ancient kingdom as the city of San Sebastian, her great
watering place in the north.

The route hence, as far as the French frontier, is a delight to the
automobilist. It rises and falls like the lines of a roller coaster or
"Montagnes Russes" and you sail up on one side and down the other with
a most delicious motion. Hills rise and fall, one's heart is gay and
the scene is charming. To the right sparkles the deep blue Atlantic,
while to the east and in front and far off to the westward, along the
Spanish coast, range the sparkling Pyrenees.

[Illustration: MAISON DE L'INFANTE AT ST. JEAN-DE-LUZ

From a photograph]

As we roll into the plaza of St. Jean-de-Luz the people are dancing a
fandango and I pause awhile to view the sight. The quaint old place
is surrounded on three sides by its ancient houses. That of King
Louis XIV. is to your left, while the square towers of the one which
sheltered the Infanta are across the plaza, and those are seen in
the accompanying illustration. Through the portals of the queer old
church the fragrance of frankincense rolls out to you, while the air
is full of the wild barbaric music of the land and the sound of the
neighbouring ocean. In couples or singly as the humour seizes them, the
people are dancing, dancing with a life and a motion known only to the
Spaniards and Italians. Flashing eyes and snapping fingers keep time
to the shaking of the many tambourines and the clash of sabots. Then
the music changes to that of the beautiful Spanish _danza_; fingers
cease to snap and the eyes to flash, and the motion becomes wavy and
dream-like, as the dancers float hither and thither over the grass.
Then suddenly the multitude falls upon its knees with bowed heads and
crossed hands as the Host is borne along to some passing soul.

Passing onward, we pause a moment, to inspect the house where the grand
Louis rested the night before he bestowed his affections, together with
the crown matrimonial, upon the Infanta of Spain and then turn to her
old palace, a quaint red and white brick structure, to which it is said
strangers are admitted. A dainty maid answered my clamors of the bell
but would not admit me; even the silver key had no effect. I think, had
I been younger, matters might have prospered more to my advantage--as
it was, I failed ingloriously and took refuge in the church of St.
Jean, a very quaint old edifice where the influence of Spain is plainly
evident in the rich gilding of the entire choir. Here also the men and
women may not worship God together. The women have the whole body of
the church while the men are confined to three galleries which rise one
above the other on either side. The custom is still in force, but one
wonders whether these galleries are over-crowded. If so, the men must
be more religious than those in America.

[Illustration: INTERIOR OF THE CHURCH OF SAINT JOHN AT SAINT JEAN-DE-LUZ

By permission of Messrs. Neurdein]

The marriage of Louis and the Spanish princess was celebrated in this
church of St. Jean, to which the bride advanced over a raised platform
from yonder palace of the Queen-mother, Anne of Austria. Robed in
white with a mantle of violet-coloured velvet, she is described as
undersized, but well made, of fair complexion, and having blue eyes
of charming expression; her hair was a light auburn. If she had been
taller and had had better teeth, she would have been one of the most
beautiful women in Europe.

Louis at that period was at his best, and is described as a head taller
than either of his ministers.

Of the celebrated Island of Pheasants, where the Treaty of the Pyrenees
and the contracts for this marriage were signed, there is little
left. We passed it later on our ride to San Sebastian, turning off to
Fontarabia for the purpose. Here, in a room half in France and half
in Spain, French in its decorations in one half, Spanish in those of
the other half, the Kings of Spain and France met, each advancing
from doors exactly the same distance from two arm-chairs, two tables,
and two inkstands--one of each in France and one of each in Spain.
Neither monarch left his own kingdom but they embraced each other at
the border line. We do not enter the Kingdom of Spain here but at
Irun where we spend quite half an hour getting the auto and ourselves
admitted. We must pay a toll of three francs and also deposit seven
francs for the auto with the customs, but this is returned when we come
back. Irun is a spot where the millions who have passed this way have
paused in their progress to and fro. From the stately caravans down to
these automobiles what a procession it has been.

How instantly the type of the people changes as we cross the border!
What superb-looking women gaze at one over the line of this frontier!
How deep and magnificent are their great black eyes! Yonder is a
Spanish blonde with golden hair and brown eyes; what a subject for a
painter, in that picturesque dress and framed by that window, draped in
wisteria in full bloom!

The little soldier guarding here is funny to look at,--one cannot
imagine his meeting fire and ball. Were our late opponents such boys?
If so, we committed rank murder. His features are regular and he has
fine eyes, but he certainly does not weigh one hundred and twenty
pounds and is not five feet tall. However, his conceit is colossal, and
he struts up and down with all the dignity of a Don Carlos, paying no
attention to me until I happen to dismount near him and he gasps at my
six feet and over. After a little, he attempts conversation, and asks
if I am English. "No." And I hesitate to add "American," and when I do
his eyes look doubtfully into mine until I smile and offer him my hand,
which he smilingly accepts, and two francs seal our acquaintance;
rather cheaper that than the unnecessary twenty million dollars we
paid his country for a possession very doubtful in profit to us, some
think, but----. We are off over the road into Spain and at once note
the difference in its quality, bumpy and dusty and dirty, all the way,
and I think on the whole that the people would rather like a break-down
on our part. However, we roll into the modern town of San Sebastian and
after a pause of some time turn back to France.

San Sebastian has no interest for the traveller unless there is a bull
fight on at its fine amphitheatre, but there is none now and this is
not the season here, so we coast back to the protection of the French
republic, pausing an instant at the frontier to receive the seven
francs.

The little soldier then shows me a wife and baby which he knows is more
than I can do. So he smiles at me in happy content and would not think
of changing places--that is if he had to leave wife and baby. At all
events there is no envy in his glance as my red car speeds off towards
France.



CHAPTER XI

     DEPARTURES FOR THE NORTH--CRAZY CHICKENS--GRAND
     ROADS--DAX--RIDES THROUGH THE FORESTS--FRENCH SCENERY AND
     PEOPLE--MARMANDE--"AUTOMOBILE CLUB OF FRANCE" AND ITS WORK


To-day we start for the heart of France. It is misty as we leave the
hotel at Biarritz, but mist generally portends a fine day later on.

Our road to Bayonne passes along by the sea and is a delightful
highway, running much of the time through fragrant pine trees. There
are two routes between Biarritz and Bayonne, but this is much to be
preferred to that by which we entered the former town. It is that to
the right after passing the walls of Bayonne. In the other, to the
left, one is bothered by trams and much traffic. The route by the sea
must have been especially constructed for autos, and it is a splendid
piece of work. Jean is evidently of the same opinion and much pleased,
for he grunts, and the machine flies. Yesterday in one of his wild
moments he actually took off the tail feathers of a chicken, with no
further injury, so far as we could determine, to her ladyship, who
flew to a neighbouring wall, where, missing the accustomed balance of
said tail, she ignominiously tumbled into the dung heap on the other
side. As we drew away, her lord and master, certainly a Bourbon, stood
gazing down upon her very much as the grand Louis must have glared at
de Montespan as he turned her out of Court.

Jean absolutely declines to pause or change his course for chickens,
but he will do so for dogs. As for cats, the machine has yet to be
invented that can take a tabby unawares, much less catch one; on the
whole, they can beat an auto on a straight course, and yesterday a
hobbled pony gave us a lively brush for an instant and at a fine gait
too. Occasionally one meets a dog whose spirits are so broken that he
cowers behind any available object moaning in fright, but it is not so
generally, and the young steers, of which there are many, never give
way. As for geese, they simply retire to a point of safety and scoff at
us.

The mist shifts about us all the way to Bayonne, and when we have
passed that city, seems to have settled into rain, but we are no sooner
made snug by the cover and lap-robes than the clouds break and the sun
shines warmly and pleasantly. The same superb condition of the highway
noted between Biarritz and Bayonne continues here.

Broad and solid as a floor, it stretches away before us for miles on
miles in a perfectly straight line and between Bayonne and Dax I do not
think there are a dozen curves. Most of the way is through a thick pine
woods where the trees are being tapped for the pitch and the air is
heavy with the balsam.

The bed of the road is elevated some four feet above the forest, and as
I gaze off on either side, I am reminded of Florida; even the same kind
of trees and climbing vines are all around us.

I have heard many who have not travelled in automobiles in France
express their fears that these long stretches of straight roadways
would prove monotonous, but such is far from the case, and it cannot
be, I think, with the delicious rushing motion one's car attains upon
them. The run to Dax is rapidly covered and we descend at the Hôtel
de la Paix for luncheon, though it is rather early. It is only in the
small towns that one finds the pleasant little inns. This one at Dax is
dark and dirty and I am greeted by a slovenly old woman who conducts
me into an unattractive _salle à manger_, where the food is none too
good. From Dax our route lies towards Mont-de-Marsan, and nearly the
whole way is through the forest of pine. Accidents will happen, even
to autos, and while we are speeding up a hill, Jean discovers by some
signs that there is trouble with our left rear wheel, where we have
never had any before, and on examination the ruin is very apparent.
We have picked up a crooked nail which has punctured both envelopes
and pneumatic. So another pneumatic must be put in place. It gives me
an opportunity for a stroll in the pine forests, where I find that
every tree has been blazed and to each is affixed a small concave cup;
most of these are nearly full of the thick white sap. It is evident
that many of these forests have been planted, as the trees stand in
regular rows. During most of the day, our route lies through these
forests, and is, in consequence, rather monotonous, as we cannot
see beyond them, but as we pass Casteljaloux the scene changes to
one of those characteristic French prospects, so familiar to most
of us; a far-reaching, smiling green valley traversed by the many
high-roads along which march the stately rows of Lombardy poplars, a
church-crowned town here, and there a smiling river which is crossed
by a graceful viaduct in light colored stone, over which a train is
speeding; a sense of peace and prosperity over all, and above that a
fair blue sky. That is France. One would fancy in contemplating such a
picture, that trouble and sorrow never came to such a spot, and yet no
land on earth has seen more of horror and bloodshed than this fair land
of France. The French are a queer people, and it would take but little
to erect the guillotine in any or all of these towns where the people
are dancing now so merrily. It was but the other day in Paris that the
police were forced to disperse a mob found dancing and singing around
a guillotine (from some chamber of horrors), in the Temple Square. How
long would it have been before the sound of the Carmagnole would have
drawn the bloodhounds from the slums of the city, transforming that
mob from monkeys who mocked to tigers which tore. The sight of that
instrument to these people is as the smell of blood to a wild beast.

My Japanese boy "Yama" excites the keenest kind of interest and
curiosity, and to-day as we were forced to stop a moment in
Casteljaloux where a fair was being held, I really felt apprehensive
for a moment,--not that they would do anything to him, but as to
how long his blank Oriental face could retain its utter lack of
expression before changing to one of sudden fury, as I knew the faces
of these Japs could do. The people pressed around the automobile and
almost fingered him, yet he never for an instant lost his Buddha-like
expression, or lack of expression. Let out amongst that crowd he could
floor any number, for he is a master in _jiu-jitsu_.

Last winter in Washington an English valet boasted to him that he could
handle him with ease.

"Let's try," said the Jap, and, no sooner attempted than the stalwart
Englishman lay sprawling on the far side of the room.

Again, when a burly priest weighing certainly two hundred and fifty
pounds insisted upon calling for my cook at the main door of the house,
upon my expressing my distaste thereat, the Jap, who weighs I should
say one hundred and ten pounds, promptly offered to "put him out" if
he came again, and he could probably have done so with great ease, but
I declined to allow a priest of the Church to be treated in such a
summary manner.

Our stopping place to-night is Marmande, an uninteresting town, with a
dirty hotel. There is absolutely nothing to see or to do save to watch
the inhabitants and their manners and customs.

How placidly the lives of these people seem to flow in these provincial
towns. The café of this hotel--I suppose the Waldorf of the place--is
the rendezvous of the wits and beaux of society hereabouts. It is a
large room with sanded floor upon which are marble-topped tables ranged
against the leather divans which line the walls. Madame presides
in stately form over the whole and welcomes her _habitués_. The old
gentleman in shiny black, the young gentleman in queer cut habiliments,
the middle-aged gentleman with the pointed beard, all come and engage
in a mild game of cards until the dinner hour. Do they dine here? Bless
your soul, no; or, if so, in the outer room. "Madame" conducts me
through to an inner sanctum where only the elect may break their fast,
and here it is better than I had expected, judging from the hotel. This
is certainly a spot in France to which not a dozen foreigners come in a
year. There is no reason for their doing so unless the night overtakes
them. We could have gone farther, but it was evident that Jean was
tired. The strain upon a chauffeur must tell in time as it does upon
the driver of an express engine. So we stopped over and are very well
off. The waiter is surprised that here, where it is made, I let the
wine alone.

Jean comes around as usual after his dinner and we arrange our route
for the next day. It is an intense satisfaction to travel in this
country. The Automobile Club of France has mapped out all the Republic
and every cross-road, every hill, or dangerous curve has its iron or
stone sign post with names and distances or warning. These together
with the excellent charts published by A. Taride, 18 Boulevard Saint
Denis, Paris, under the directions of the "Union vélocipédique de
France" render it almost impossible to go astray, or to get into
trouble, yet in the rush of our auto we have several times gone a few
kilos wrong, having passed the posts so quickly that we could not read
the names, but that matters not with these cars which move so quickly
or in France where it is a pleasure to get lost.



CHAPTER XII

     RAPID MOTION--BEAUMONT--RACES AND DASHES--CADOUIN AND ITS
     CLOISTERS--THE ROUTE TO TULLE


_April 7th._--We are late in starting from Marmande. Jean has just sped
by with the auto, waving his hand in some sort of explanation. However,
time is nothing on this trip and when we are _en route_ the world is so
beautiful that one soon forgets any irritation which the unavoidable
delay has occasioned.

Nature has opened another eye during the night--all the valleys are
clothed in that tender green which one associates with France, the
fruit trees have suddenly put forth all their beauty and the landscape
is radiant with the glory of white and pink blossoms. Almost every
hill is crowned with the tower of some ancient windmill, whose arms
have vanished long since; old châteaux and churches preside in stately
fashion over quaint villages. Jean sings as we roll over the white
roads and I ask him why. "Why, Monsieur! but the world is beautiful, it
is spring, and I am young and a boy." Surely, Jean, sufficient reason
for joy with any breathing mortal and it is well you appreciate that
which never comes but once and goes so quickly.

We are moving rapidly, for us, forty miles an hour for four hours. Yama
is the time keeper and announces our record from his throne in the
rear amongst the baggage. His excitement was most intense when just
now we passed in a whirl over a black hen. The feathers flew in all
directions, but when last seen the hen had rejoined her friends none
the worse for her encounter.

Can the naturalists inform me why all animals on the approach of a
train or auto will, if possible, cross the track? For instance, that
hen left the safety and seclusion of a neighbouring dung heap and
did her best to throw dust in our eyes. One can have no regret for a
creature that will deliberately run such risks, but when an old dog is
killed doing his duty, while his lazy master sleeps, one's regret is
great.

The ancient town of Lauzun with a grand château and church are passed,
and shortly thereafter, a tire gives up the ghost and we stop for
repairs. We have expected it for some time as it is the one that
bothered in starting. However, new ones having reached us at Pau, it is
only a matter of a few moments' delay.

_En route_ once more, we leave the meadows and mount to a more sterile
region, stopping at Beaumont for luncheon. The inn is certainly not in
the habit of receiving many strangers,--it is the dirtiest place we
have encountered and I wonder what the meal will be. The table shows
the wreck of a former feast which "Madame" with a dirty napkin sweeps
onto the floor. But the vegetable soup is hot and good, followed by
some sort of game, of which I eat and question not. Then comes a _pâté
de foie gras_ made in this section and after that some cold mutton
done up with onions and some fried fish, of all of which I eat. Coffee
in a big glass with cognac follows and "Madame" even then wants me to
partake of some other hot meat which a fat cook brings up smoking.
But there is room for no more if I would not go to sleep. I can hear
the people in the streets talking about Yama. The fat cook is greatly
excited; never having seen a Jap before, she is surprised that he
is not a monkey. She thinks she would rather have him little than
big,--enough is as good as a feast.

Beaumont is one of those quaint old walled towns long since forgotten
of the world. It has its old church and gateway, the latter once taken
by the English. Its houses project over the sidewalks like those of
Chester, but life has left it long ago, and we pass onward and away.

The ride all the afternoon is a delight, the roads are as fine as ever,
and the air is cool and fresh. Our route lies over the hills and at
last in a long descent through beautiful valleys.

Much of the last hour or two Jean shuts off all the power and we coast
like the wind down the floor-like roads. Many a dog joins in the race
and one kept pace with us for some hundreds of yards. I laid ten francs
on the dog but there were no takers. Another poor beast met instant
death. We were going at a tremendous speed down hill, when he rushed
from a doorway straight at the wheels and we passed over him like a
flash. I looked back, but he never moved.

Both "Madame" and her cook at Beaumont insisted that we stop at Cadouin
and visit an old cloister there, which we promised to do, and on
entering the town while its people are basking in the sun of this quiet
day of rest we pass the ancient church and are directed by an old dame,
who is washing her pans at the town pump, to a door in the rear whereby
we enter an ancient kitchen garden, and wandering amongst its cabbages
and sweet peas, find three portly priests who greet us smilingly. One
conducts us to the ruined cloister, now a mass of broken carvings,
tottering pillars and sad looking saints, around and over which nature
has thrown a beautiful veil of trailing vines and flowers. Yonder saint
is embowered in morning-glories, while red poppies spring from the soil
in the centre where the dead sleep on and on.

The whole is charming and one is taken far back into the past
and reminded of the present only by the distant puffing of one's
automobile. The garrulous old priest tells his story, but the place
is too enchanting to listen to details. However, he pays no attention
to my distraction; he has his story to tell and will not be gainsaid.
Once out again into the garden I press a coin into his palm, which,
glancing to see if the other priests have observed my act and will
insist upon a division, he quickly pockets, assuring me that it is for
the poor only that he accepts. Surely yes, father, for the poor only. I
fully understand, but mentally I add that in this case charity begins
at home. As we roll away, the smiling fathers stand watching us, six
fat hands reposing upon three fat stomachs within which the succulent
vegetable growing here but yesterday and the chickens which lately
strutted these walks sleep side by side, but the end is peace.

About four this afternoon, our auto stopped for no reason that I could
see. Jean insists that he was not sure of the route, but the only
other way ran into a church of no interest. However, as we stopped,
there came from an open doorway a very pretty woman. I happened to
glance at Jean's face and found it flaming red. Off came his cap and
he seized the dame by both hands. The confab is not for me; so I do
not listen but I do look. Presently Jean says that the lady would be
pleased if we would stop and refresh ourselves. He looks sheepish as
he puts the question. Really what does he take me for, does he think I
am going to delay my journey for an hour or so that he may flirt with
what I suspect is an old sweetheart? He tells me that her husband is
fatigued and is upstairs, also that he is a client of his. (Just what
sort of clients do chauffeurs have?) But I am obdurate and we move
on. Then Jean acknowledges that he has known the lady when both were
younger,--all of which his face told me half an hour ago. It is very
evident that Yama has also sized up the situation, his remarks are to
the point.

That Jean was disappointed is proven by the movements of the car, which
are jerky and uneven all the afternoon, until we enter ancient Tulle,
which, like Carlsbad, is down in a gully with the river flowing through
its centre. Tulle is well off the beaten track, and but few autos come
this way, though by so doing they would pass over one of the most
delightful roads in France. It has not the appearance of a place of
importance though full of life and bustle and boasting some twenty
thousand inhabitants.

The evening shadows are falling as we enter its streets and all the
people are abroad, while the cafés glitter with the life so dear to the
French. As we pause a moment in the great square, the stately spire
of the cathedral rises before us, backed by the fantastic old houses,
piling up tier on tier and all sharply outlined against a lilac sky
where the crescent of the new moon gleams faintly. But I am too tired
with our rushing ride to examine the town to-night and so seek the
quiet of my room at the Hôtel Moderne, and rest until dinner is served,
though on the whole I think I should prefer to go to bed than to eat.



CHAPTER XIII

     THE GREAT COURSE OF BELMONT--DIFFICULT STEERING--THE "CUP GORDON
     BENNETT"--DOWN THE MOUNTAINS TO CLERMONT-FERRAND


The day opens cloudy, cold, and threatening and, as our way to Clermont
lies over the high lands, good weather was to be desired. However, the
fortunes of war vary. The entire journey is amongst the hills, mounting
higher and higher, until the snow appears on the large peaks and it is
cold, but no rain falls.

We move forward very briskly; the weather must have instilled new
life into the car though it was not needed. At Bourg we strike the
great circuit, a circle from Clermont of some ninety kilos considered
very fine for autos, though why I cannot understand. The road-bed is
good and there are no trees on the side, but it is very circuitous
and dangerous for fast machines. I am forced to call a halt on Jean
as we are moving at a mile per minute down grade. That's not bad on
a straightaway course such as we have found many times, but on these
curves it is another thing. To my mind we have passed dozens of roads
to be preferred to this for speeding.

We reach Rochefort at half past twelve and after racing through the
wind since half past eight are too cold to go farther without something
to eat, and so we stop at a wretched little inn where, however, the
welcome makes up for its appearance. Two Angora cats immediately adopt
me as their father, and decline to leave my chair. While the food is
simple it is good, and much better than one would find in such places
in our land.

This is the land of prunes. You do not know how delicious they can be
until you come here, and I must say that the "dirty little inn" has put
up a very good meal for us. Pity we can't have that cheese at home,
though I am almost ill because of it.

The route from here on leads over the high mountain table-lands until
the valley of Clermont-Ferrand comes in view far below us. From this
point the descent is rapid, circuitous, and zigzaggy. I cannot imagine
a worse one for high speed. It must have been selected because of
the difficulty it presents in handling the great cars. Certainly the
chauffeur who succeeds in driving such machines at a speed approaching
the rapid, should receive a gold medal, and I doubt not that in the
coming contest in July for the "Coupe Gordon Bennett" there will be
numerous accidents, and I fear fatal ones. I should not care to be in
a machine on that occasion.[1] While all this is in consideration we
reach the brow of the hill from whence the view down into the Valley of
Clermont-Ferrand is superb. From its centre rises the city on a hill
with its cathedral in the midst and the whole surrounded by an extended
plain, encompassed by a circle of domes, all craters whose life died
out almost before time began.

[1] Strange to relate there were no casualties and few accidents.

Our flight down the mountains is swift and we soon arrive at the
excellent little Hôtel de l'Univers. As it has begun to rain, the
shelter is very acceptable, and I am cold with my ride of two hundred
kilos from Tulle. We left there at nine o'clock and reached here at
three, with an hour's stoppage for luncheon, curving up and down the
mountains most of the route. That's about forty miles an hour, quite
fast enough. On reaching Clermont we learn that already, to-day, there
has been a smash-up on the circle. A big auto, with three men, crashed
into a tree and then over a bank. Result, three men in the hospital
and one expensive ninety horse-power machine a total wreck, loss up in
the thousands. The owner had brought the auto here to try the course
before the races come on, and yesterday departed for Italy, leaving it
in charge of a young man of fifteen. Said young man took two of his
friends out in it to-day and essayed the zigzags, with the result above
mentioned.

Clermont-Ferrand, the ancient capital of Auvergne, is now a city
of some fifty thousand people,--a city on a hill in the midst of
encircling mountains rising to some five thousand feet above, extinct
volcanoes all of them. The city possesses a stately cathedral,
surrounded by a maze of narrow crooked streets where the lover of the
artistic finds many a bit of beauty to delight the eye,--both beauty in
stone and beauty in flesh and blood, for the maidens of Clermont are
pleasant to look upon, and also in all her streets and almost every
court you will come across some ancient façade or delicate staircase of
stone most beautifully carved and mellow with age, and you will spend
many hours wandering at will until darkness drives you within doors.



CHAPTER XIV

     CLIMBING A MOUNTAIN IN AN AUTO--THE CHÂTEAU OF TOURNOËL--ITS
     HISTORY--DESCENT OF THE MOUNTAIN.


Morning breaks with a cloudless sky and brilliant sunshine. This little
city bubbles all over with life and, it being Sunday, every one is
out for a good time. It is all so attractive that I decide to remain
over for the day and night. That is one reason, but the second is the
greater. I think it is absolutely imperative that the chauffeur have
a day off now and then. The responsibility and strain is very great
upon him. I can plainly detect it in Jean's face after a long day's
run, more especially when the route has lain up and down the mountains
like that of yesterday. Each instant of the day, every faculty is on
the alert,--not only for the route ahead and behind but for what is
going on in his machine. Every sound is full of meaning to his ears and
anything unusual immediately attracts his attention. Yesterday while we
were speeding at a rapid rate he suddenly stopped and got out, stating
that there was a noise he could not account for. It turned out to be
the clink of my umbrella handle on his air-pump, both of which lay in
the hood; of course of no importance, but he was not sure, hence the
stoppage. That is merely an incident told to show how careful a good
chauffeur must be, and also how great the strain. Therefore if you
desire continued perfect service you must give him a day off now and
then.

Jean is of the best of natures, and does not take advantage, as he
might, of the whole day, but comes to me and states that we had better
go this morning to a most interesting old castle and town some kilos
away, as it may rain to-morrow. My man is better than a guide-book for
he knows what is good and what of no interest, and I find that I do not
miss anything.

We start out after coffee and roll off into the hills nearby, mounting
higher and higher every moment, until we come to the village of
Volvic, where a route is pointed out, which leads to the old Château
of Tournoël, far up in the mountains. I prepare to foot it, but Jean
objects and turns the auto up hill. The route is but a country lane
and not intended for machines, but up we go, turning and twisting
ever higher and higher and I wait, wondering how long we can keep it
up. Twenty-four horses have considerable power and when that power
is condensed in one machine, it can do something, even considering
the weight it must carry. So it proves now, for we climb like a cat
and at a good pace until the castle walls frown directly above us,
but even then Jean does not pause, but circles the ruins and mounting
still higher comes to a halt directly under the great gateway and on
a small platform not much larger than the automobile. How are we to
get down, is a question which arises in my mind, even now, but do not
cross a bridge until you reach it. Look rather at the superb panorama
spread out before you. You are high up upon one of the domes which
encircle Clermont. The vast plain stretches away below you, dotted
here and there with picturesque towns, crossed by long highways, and
overspread with splashes of pink and white fruit-tree blossoms. In the
middle distance rises, upon a hill like that of Edinburgh, the city of
Clermont, with its stately Cathedral crowning the summit. Immediately
beyond is the Puy de Dôme and, stretching far away and up to the snow
tops, circles the chain of mountains. Over all a brilliant sun sends
glittering showers of light, and, though this is central France, Mt.
Blanc can be seen on a clear day resting cloud-like on the horizon.

The auto has ceased its puffing and we have been very silent for a
long time gazing on that scene, and breathing the delicious perfume of
spring arising from the valley, and the balsam of the pines from the
woods around.

It is Sunday and all the world up here is either asleep or gone to
church. The little village of half a dozen houses, which clusters
around this rock, gives no evidences of life. There is not even the
bark of a dog, and the walls of the castle dominated by the great
keep rise in silent majesty, while some white clouds drift by far up
in a blue sky. The peace is intense and I regret to break in upon it,
but there is the castle to be examined and I jangle an ancient bell
at the great gateway, jangle and jangle, but no answer comes, until
finally the bark of an old dog inside replies to my summons. He comes
to the inside and barks again, plainly intimating that he is alone.
It is Sunday and he was asleep and he wishes we would go away; _he_
cannot open the gate, any one should have sense enough to see that.
The custodian, evidently a woman from the flowers in that window, must
have gone to church and locked him in, but did she carry the key to
that great lock? I doubt it and settle the question by lifting a smooth
stone near the arch. Underneath are the keys and Jean and I are shortly
on the other side of the great gateway with all the world, save the
old dog, locked out. How charming! No one to bother one with useless
tales of that of which they understand nothing, and full opportunity to
wander at will over this enchanted place. The old dog returns to his
slumbers before the door of a room where the custodian has evidently
made a home for herself as though to tell us that there at least
we must not enter. As for the rest, we may do as we desire. To his
decision we pay due respect and leave him to his slumbers.

The court of honour was once a splendid inclosure and its door-frames
and windows still hold masses of fine carvings. On the far side, the
donjon keep, a vast circular structure, rises more than one hundred
feet above us. Mounting a flight of broken stairs, one comes to the
ancient chapel, where the old custodian has erected an altar for
herself and adorned it with some flowers and a picture of our Lady.
These walls still show traces of painting and we find like traces in
many of the rooms as we gaze up into them through the places where the
floor used to be. The heavily carved chimney-places still retain their
positions, tier above tier; that in the great hall with its pent-house
roof could hold an ox. Reaching the battlements, we pass thence to the
donjon, and find in its top two prisons, secure enough for the Iron
Mask. In the floor of the lower one is an oubliette, through which,
dropping a lighted paper, we watch it float downward until it rests
far below, quite at the base of the tower one hundred feet beneath us.
Those who went that way in the old days never returned to describe
their experiences. This great tower holds nothing save those two
donjons on top and that awful empty space downward; black as midnight,
having no loopholes for any gleam of sunlight, though probably it
mattered not.

On descending by the outer wall we discover an opening leading into
the base of that oubliette, and used, I should say, by the lord of the
castle to discover whether life yet remained in his victims after that
drop from the hole glimmering faintly far above us.

There are other dungeons under the castle but nothing like this, which
was the court of last resort, and one can picture the grimly smiling
face of the jailer as he conducted his unsuspecting prisoner upon that
rolling stone above. Even yet the blackness seems to resound with
the shrieks of the poor wretch as he plunged downward, then, silence
forever; while above the flag waved a summons to the Crusades "In the
name of Christ" the compassionate, and the clouds drifted as idly by
then as now. Gomot, in his interesting history of this castle, resents
the generally accepted theory of this oubliette--holding rather that
the tower was a last refuge for the besieged in this castle and this
opening, yawning black before us, but the means of entrance from a
ladder. I think him wrong, for all the vast space below shows no signs
of any rest for a ladder, indeed the walls are smooth as a stone well
for the entire one hundred feet.

It is impossible to fix the date of the foundation of the Château de
Tournoël, but like all old castles it was back in the time when such
places were needed to protect the surrounding land from the barbarians
of the adjoining mountains and used as often as an instrument of
oppression. The name in Latin was Turnolium and has passed through
many changes until to-day it is Tournoël. It is first mentioned in
the eleventh century, but was very ancient at that period. Durand,
Abbé of Chaise-Dieu, preached a crusade at that time. Bertrand was
then Seigneur of the Château and such were his offences against the
Church that Pope Grégoire excommunicated him, which promptly brought
him to time. With Philip Augustus on the throne in 1180 we find him
using Robert, Bishop of Clermont, as a weapon against his (Robert's)
brother Guy, Count of Auvergne, and Lord of Tournoël, perhaps the most
picturesque figure of that age and section, and long celebrated in song
and story by the wandering minstrels.

Audacious, brutal, gigantic in stature, and with long red hair, he
knew no will save his own and reigned here like a king.

His own brother, being betrayed into his hands, was confined in this
donjon frowning above us and that created war in all the province, in
which the Pope and the Church and State were involved. Count Guy did
not fear the anathema of the Church in the least, and locked his Bishop
brother up whenever he could catch him so that the journeys by force
of Robert between his ecclesiastical city of Clermont, glistening in
the sun over there, and this frowning fortress were frequent. War was
forever on between them save when they united in a Crusade, but that
was but a temporary interruption. Guy was finally summoned by the King
to appear before him and answer for his sack of the rich abbeys of
Marsat and Mozat. Refusing, war was declared against him by Church and
King.

Tournoël was considered impregnable with its lofty rampart, deep moat,
and many towers, the whole placed so high upon the mountain that only
the birds, one would think, could reach it. Three times the soldiers of
the King made attacks only to be repulsed. Disease broke out amongst
the royal forces and almost caused the siege to be abandoned. However,
during a sortie by the garrison, the sons of Count Guy were taken
prisoners, which finally caused a surrender of the fortress, and in the
little chapel where the old custodian has her altar to-day were found
all the stolen riches of the convents recently sacked.

Those were gay days in France when knights would rather fight than
eat, and bishops with great pleasure threw aside their copes for the
sword.

Here at Tournoël the castle was confiscated because of the felony of
its lord. It passed to the care of Comte Guy de Dampierre and his
successor restored it to Alphonse, Comte de Poitou, brother of St.
Louis, and it became an appendage of the land of Auvergne. During the
invasion of the English, Tournoël was several times attacked, but
always without success. Later on we find the hands of Louis XI. at
work, as ever, against the power of his nobles; in this case, by giving
a charter to that little town of Volvic yonder and exciting it to
rebellion against its high lords in Tournoël.

As the years drift past, the history of the castle is painted also with
the faces of many women, some good, mostly dissolute. During the reign
of Francis I. it was repaired and restored by the Maréchal de St. André
who had married its young _chatelaine_. Nothing was spared to make the
work monumental and durable, yet the castle has been a ruin now for
more than a hundred years.

We spend a long time upon the tower and still there is no sign of life;
no angry summons on the old bell from an astonished custodian, until
one wonders whether there ever was any one save the old dog, or whether
he alone is the custodian and if so, what shape he assumes on dark
nights when the wind shrieks like lost souls around the Castle walls.
It is warm and sunny to-day and we finally pass downward and out,
locking the dog in and depositing the key where we found it, together
with two francs.

Just outside the gateway I pause to inspect an outer tower--one of the
most curious bits of architecture I have ever seen. It is circular
and formed by square, heavy blocks of lava, closely fitting together.
Each block has carved upon it the half of a ball. There is a well in
the enclosure and evidently this was the water supply for those in the
Castle.

I decide not to get into the auto until Jean has turned it around and
I watch this manoeuvre with much interest and some fear as to results,
for a sudden spurt would mean a fall of fifty feet and destruction all
round. However, he manages it all as easily as I could a baby carriage,
and we are shortly _en route_, skimming down the mountains and out onto
the long white highways of the valley.



CHAPTER XV

     ANCIENT TOWN OF RIOM--THE ROUTE TO VICHY--CHÂTEAU DE
     BOURBON-BUSSET--VICHY--THE LIFE THERE--DANGER OF SPEEDING--ARRIVAL
     AT BOURGES


Returning to Clermont, we pass the old town of Riom, a very interesting
relic of the days of Francis I. The walls have been removed but the
town stands unchanged as it was constructed, and being built of blocks
of lava from the Volvic quarries it will endure with time. Riom holds
a beautiful chapel like the Sainte Chapelle in Paris, and many stately
mansions with façades of the renaissance period. On a flight of steps
are a group of Auvergne women with strong faces--faces one could trust.
They are spinning and give no heed to our passing.

As we are speeding through the streets, without warning, we are upon
a baby carriage,--so near that it is impossible to stop and we strike
it with great force. Believing that it holds a helpless child, one can
fancy our feelings of horror, and also our feelings of thankful relief
when out of it roll two empty milk cans. The old woman who owns it
certainly makes more racket over her cans than she would have done over
a baby.

Our ride to Vichy is uneventful and short, over the usual fine
roads. Dropping Yama and the baggage at the very excellent Hôtel
Internationale we run out twelve miles to visit the Château de
Bourbon-Busset, standing on a high plateau with a fine view of the
valley of the Allier. The Château has been restored, which destroys
the interest to my thinking and as we are not allowed to enter I can
give no descriptions nor shall I attempt any description of Vichy. It
is evidently a very gay place during the summer season and one which
would never interest me in the least. And yet one cannot but pause
an instant to compare Vichy with the great American watering-place,
Saratoga, and very decidedly to the disparagement of the latter.
Nature has not endowed Vichy as she has Saratoga. The French Spa lies
flat--very flat--the surrounding country is not of interest and is the
least beautiful through which we have passed. Yet what do we find? The
entire section of the springs has been parked and finely cultivated.
It holds the most gorgeous and largest casino in Europe--a building
comprising vast halls for promenades, concerts, and balls, great halls
for card-playing, the whole being surrounded by beautiful terraces. Of
its kind the place is a fairy-land,--where art has done all that can be
done. This holds with all the other spas of Europe.

[Illustration: THE HOME OF MADAME DE SÉVIGNÉ AT VICHY

By permission of Jules Hautecoeur]

What do we find in Saratoga? Nature there has done her best, and it
should be the greatest sanatorium of our country. Where Vichy is
only tolerable in summer, Saratoga's climate is superb the year round;
and especially is this the case in winter, when it is in all respects
equal to that of the Adirondacks, and it is within four hours of New
York. Its hotels are so superior to those in Vichy that no comparison
is possible. Its surrounding scenery is beautiful,--I do not refer
especially to that on the lake side, though that might be made a superb
drive at no great expense,--but rather to the many charming roads to
the north and west. That scene from Mt. McGregor is a gem even in
America, and it is totally neglected and the road thereto abandoned.
The scenery to the westward of the town is in its way equally fine, yet
how many of the thousands who go to Saratoga know anything about it.
As for the springs, where are they and how are they used? A very few
are in the park, which at one period with its detached white pagodas,
was lovely. Observe the gimcrackery which adorns it now. The other
springs are spread through a valley upon which all the back-yards,
stable and otherwise abut,--a disgrace to the place. The waters are
swallowed by the mob utterly regardless of their medicinal qualities
or their effects--and with dire results. As I stated above the place
might be the great sanatorium of our country the year round if our
physicians would take it in hand. That has been done at the Hot
Springs of Virginia, and has _made_ that place what it is, yet the
waters there are as nothing when compared to those of Saratoga, which,
according to the medical fraternity of Europe, has more and better
springs than almost all of the spas of the old world put together. In
Europe the visitor is warned to consult a physician before drinking
the waters--so also at Hot Springs, Virginia. Nothing of the sort is
attempted at Saratoga. The whole place is given over to gamblers and
horse-racing. Reputable people, until within the last year or so,
have been forced out of the great hotels and the future holds out no
hope for the better. The people of the village have killed the goose
provided by nature to lay their golden eggs. When they might make the
place profitable the year round, they have deliberately sacrificed that
opportunity for the few weeks--often dead failures--of midsummer. I
speak strongly and feelingly, for I remember our beautiful "Springs"
when they were the resort of all the best people in our land; and while
many will not even to-day desert the spot, they are lost in the flood
of the undesirables.

[Illustration: RUE DE L'ÉTABLISSEMENT AT VICHY

From a print]

We start from Vichy on a threatening morning, but aside from a splash
or two, have no rain, and a splendid trip all day.

The roads are fine and we meet one or two autos. I do not know of
anything more Satanic in appearance than a great auto passing one at
full speed. Just now one came upon us unheard because of the high winds
and passed with a swerve and a swish that made us gasp. Long, low and
rakish, and dark grey in color, it sped by like a spirit of evil making
our motion appear as nothing. The occupants clothed in furs and goggled
turned, mouthing and shrieking upon us because we had not given way,
which we should have done had we been aware of their approach. The
appearance of the whole thing was devilish. There was no danger in the
passing as the road was of ample width and we were upon our own side.

It seems a question to me in great emergencies as to what a man in a
great machine is to do. Mr. Croker, for instance, certainly sacrificed
his life to the man on the motor cycle, who, to my thinking, had no
business on a course where he knew those great machines were speeding
and where they had come for that purpose only. On a highway it is
another matter. Mr. Croker certainly knew also that when a machine is
making such tremendous speed it is dangerous in the extreme to swerve.
Of course it is horrible to run down a man and one would scarcely
recover from the effects of so doing, yet self-preservation is the
first law of nature. He certainly gave his life to save that of the
other man who had no business on the course. I think I should have
saved my own life and I do not consider that I am cold-blooded in
saying so. It was another case with us to-day. If, on the highway, in
approaching from the rear you cannot securely pass on you _must_ stop,
there is only one law as to that. We should have slaughtered no end of
men and beasts had we done otherwise and as the roads are open to all
from the little work dogs to the great machines, each must exercise
discretion and obey the laws of the land. So we shrieked back defiance
at the mouthing monsters and kept upon the even tenor of our way.

As for these very fast machines on the main roads, they should not
be permitted. Every railroad is forced to maintain gates at the
crossings or to pass over or under the highways, though these trains
rarely exceed forty miles an hour. Yet great autos are permitted to
exceed sixty miles an hour down the crowded highways. There certainly
would appear to be an inconsistence in allowing the latter to traverse
the length of the roads at high speed, while the former may not even
cross them without gates. Again, if the tremendous speed is to be
permitted, then certain routes should be set apart and the traveling
world advised as to what they have to expect; otherwise loss of life,
of man and beast, will occur constantly. Yet, again, if such speed is
permitted the authorities should hold those who avail themselves of
this permission blameless for accidents which the authorities know are
bound to occur.

Our route lay all day long through smiling valleys guarded by ancient
towns and picturesque castles, which I should like to have inspected
but we have lost much time in stupid Vichy and the day is fine. Also
my letters are waiting at Tours. So we pass Moulins, lunch at Nevers,
which is interesting, and reach Bourges in due time. No rain and a
glorious run, all ill health, if there was any, driven completely out
of one by the rushing winds of spring.

We enter Bourges on a bright afternoon. The ancient city is steeped in
sunshine and the towers and flying buttresses of the great cathedral
glitter as though coated in gold. Our modern machine looks strangely
out of place here as it rolls noisily through the narrow streets and
one almost expects to be challenged by the sentries of the King and
the reason for our intrusion demanded. But the gabled houses make no
complaint; no men at arms sound rude alarms from the ancient palace of
Charles VII.; and we descend at the Inn of the Boule d'Or amidst all
the busy chatter of a provincial establishment. A "Madame" as usual
welcomes us, but while she is showing my room to Yama I slip off on
foot for a tour of the ancient city.



CHAPTER XVI

     ANCIENT BOURGES--ITS CATHEDRAL--HOUSE OF JACQUES COEUR--LOUIS
     XI. AND THE HÔTEL LALLEMENT--THE HÔTEL CUJAS--THE RIDE TO
     MEILLANT--ITS SUPERB CHÂTEAU--ITS LEGEND


Bourges, the ancient capital of Berry. The very name brings to the mind
visions of stately days, panoramas of mediæval France, and those who
come here will find the theatre of those times still intact. The great
cathedral around which every thing centres remains unchanged in all
its majesty; crooked streets, narrow and dark, yet in this sunshine
cheerful withal, wind off and away from it down into the old city. If
you take that one to your right you will find the house where Louis XI.
was born; or the one to the left will lead you straight to the palace
of "Jacques Coeur" as they call him; turn in any direction and these
old streets will show you houses and palaces of the long ago, smiling
down upon you or retiring in magnificent seclusion behind high walls.
You may here have, if you so desire it, memories of Julius Cæsar, as
he besieged this city, but the figures which flit across the shafts
of sunlight move in stately procession into the cathedral or steal
stealthily off into the shadows are to me those of the Maid, of the
weak Charles, of the generous Jacques,--or of the malign and terrible
Louis XI., the latter bent perhaps upon an urgent errand to poison his
father a little more in yonder Castle of Mehun on the river Yèvre.

[Illustration: THE SOUTH PORTAL OF THE CATHEDRAL AT BOURGES

By permission of Messrs. Neurdein]

Bourges was evidently a Court City, a home of the aristocracy; even
to-day with its air of seclusion it impresses the beholder as very
much the fine gentleman. Your automobile clothes worry you, you feel
an inclination to return to your hotel and don silks and velvets, a
plumed hat and sword and high-heeled shoes, as you may be summoned into
the presence of the King to be questioned as to your purpose in coming
here and also about that strange and devilish machine which in old
times would have brought you to the stake promptly, unless you could
have first induced His Majesty to take a ride through the sunny lands
stretching out on all sides of the ancient city. After which Louis
would probably have locked you up in one of his cages and kept the
machine.

In these days of flying, many pass this way to whom the stones of
Bourges are dumb, but such is often the case. At Monte Carlo I met
the owner of a great machine, who stared at me in dumb amazement when
I asked him what he thought of Carcassonne. Actually he had not even
seen it,--had sped by under the very walls of that vision on the hill
and not known it was there,--remembered nothing save that he did not
like the hotel in the modern town. Likewise later in Tours, when I
asked one of the ancient faith, from America, what he thought of the
châteaux which make Touraine an open book which he who runs may read,
he replied that he would not give two dollars for the whole lot. He had
"left Biarritz at eight o'clock in the morning" and "would reach Paris
on record breaking time." _His_ machine "was the best on the road"--a
swish, and a swirl, a cloud of dust, a starting, and a getting there,
that was his idea of what automobile life should be, causing one to
regret that so many at home through lack of means can never see these
places save in dreams, while unstinted gold is thrown away upon those
who cannot appreciate them.

But all that has little to do with the ancient city of Bourges. It
is to-day a town of some fifty thousand inhabitants, and its modern
section holds a great arsenal and a gun foundry. Its streets are gay
with the uniforms of many soldiers; its cafés bubbling over with life.
Until the Maid delivered Orleans it was the capital of France. It
possessed a university upon whose rolls appeared the names of Calvin
and Cujas. It has been devastated by fire and sword, but I think its
darkest day must have been that upon which Louis XI. first saw the
light in yonder curious Hôtel Lallement; but let us pass on now and
visit first the cathedral, considered by these people to be the most
magnificent in France, and as one stands before its five great portals,
each crowned with superb carvings, while far above soar the flying
buttresses and great towers, the whole bathed in the mellow light of a
setting sun, it surely is majestic, most impressive, and while perhaps
not so perfect as Chartres it must delight the soul of an architect.
Its location is especially fine. It stands high and is approached by
long flights of steps up which the people are crowding for Vespers, to
which the mellow tones of the old bells are summoning the faithful. As
I enter and pass forward under the lofty arches, an ancient clock raps
out the passing hour with a cheery tone and the great organ floods the
silence with waves of melody. The church is especially rich in ancient
glass through which the sunlight filters in long streams of colour
touching here the living, bowed in prayer, and yonder an effigy of one
long since dead,--dead for the sake of the Cross and holy Jerusalem.

One is permitted to wander unattended wherever fancy dictates, which
is always a pleasure to the lover of these old shrines, and so one may
enter into their soul and spirit until the stones almost speak. Here
to-day it is quiet enough, back in the chapel of the Virgin behind the
high altar, where it would be dark but for the trembling lights before
the sacred image, and deserted, save for one old dame muttering her
petitions.

Gazing backward the majestic double aisles reach away until lost in
perspective and the roof of the nave in the fading light is so far
above one as almost to seem a portion of the sky. Kings, princes, and
people have passed by and left no mark, and the flying centuries have
added to the beauty of this sacred edifice. A subdued murmur with the
scraping of many chairs tells that the service is ended, and I pass
with the people out on the great square to the south, gay with spring
flowers and the brilliant scarlet of many uniforms. This is the hour
when Bourges takes its pleasure and all the phases of that life so
peculiar to France go on where once the walls of the city stood. That
black _caniche_ is taking excellent care of the baby in the wagon while
its nurse flirts with the soldier boy. Those two officers, gorgeous in
scarlet and gold, have so far made no impression upon those girls in
yonder window, while from the cathedral come the black-robed priests
to bask awhile in the sunshine of this world. The old dame in the
_kiosque_, after selling me many postal cards, and giving me many bits
of information about those around us but which I shall not repeat here,
assures me that I shall find the "most interesting house" of Jacques
Coeur far down yonder crooked street and that there is yet time to
inspect it before the day ends; so I wander on to where it stands, a
monument to the enterprise of one of the best of French citizens, also
a monument to the ingratitude of one of the poorest and weakest of
French kings.

[Illustration: THE PALACE OF JACQUES COEUR, AT BOURGES

By permission of Messrs. Neurdein]

Jacques Coeur was a famous silversmith of vast wealth, to whom Charles
VII. applied for funds and who was taken at his word that "all that I
have is thine." Jealousy and the sense of obligation on the part of all
from the king down caused his destruction. He was accused of debasing
the coinage, and of poisoning Agnes of Sorel. Sentenced to death he was
saved by the Pope, and banished, and he finally died while leading
a naval expedition for the Pontiff against the Turks. In this little
Place you will pause a moment, ere you enter his still perfect palace,
to gaze upon his statue which stands facing the house. The countenance
is beautiful while stern, yet it possesses none of those attributes of
craft necessary to meet such enemies as are raised up only to envy and
jealousy. The house, as you see, shows a stately façade to the street
and stands unchanged to-day, having been spared in the great revolution
because of its history. One may even pull the same handle which jangles
the same bell hung there by Jacques Coeur when the Maid of Orleans was
alive.

His misfortunes made him immortal on earth and his generosity to
France has preserved his house to us, a quaint and curious structure
of the olden days. Note the courtyard and its curious carving, also
the ceilings of the guard-rooms shaped like inverted boats. The
reception-room of Jacques is now a court-room and where he gave all to
his country and received no justice in return, justice is administered
impartially, let us hope, to the French of to-day. After all, his
life was not a failure, as he is not forgotten, and the desire to be
remembered on this earth is, I think, greater than the desire to enter
heaven. Certainly, it is the source of all ambition.

Bourges, however, possesses another figure in history which is better
remembered by the world than that of Jacques, probably because
wickedness always carves more deeply than goodness upon the pages of
history and the life of a nation. Few in the world will remember who
Jacques Coeur was, none can ever forget the crafty King Louis XI. and
here in Bourges his sinister shadow was first cast athwart the life of
France, for here in the Hôtel Lallement he was born.

[Illustration: HÔTEL LALLEMENT AT BOURGES

By permission of Messrs. Neurdein]

It is more fitting to inspect such a spot after dark, and, as the moon
shines brightly to-night, let us go. Leave the hotel and pass up the
second crooked street to your left, the Rue Lallement, and you will
find a queer old façade, with no evidence of life anywhere near it.
The street is so narrow that one can almost touch the houses on either
side and the moon can scarcely illumine the centre, much less the dark
corners.

A French officer, leaning from a casement, asks what I am looking for,
and tells me to pull the old bell handle. Doing so brings the custodian
who is surprised at a visit by night and suggests that daylight would
be better. "Not for _this_ house surely," and I insist upon entering.
I follow him across the quaint courtyard, which is alternately in deep
shadow or the intense light of the moon, where carved faces grin at us
as the wicked old king used to leer at his nobles. The house is not
large but it possesses some curious apartments. Note the little chapel
and the room near it, a good-sized chamber with heavy beams crossing
a sagging ceiling and holding a deep fire-place facing the door. Here
Louis was born to the delight of his father, Charles VII, who later on
starved himself to death in the neighbouring castle of Mehun through
fear of poison by this same son.

[Illustration: CHÂTEAU OF MEHUN NEAR BOURGES

By permission of Messrs. Neurdein]

The old house is oppressed with these memories and the shadows are
deep upon it, while the stealthy foot-falls in the street without
might belong to the emissaries of that dreadful King. However, they
are those of the law-abiding citizens of the Republic in this year of
grace, 1905, and one may move without fear of any soul through the
ancient city, and if your interest takes you to the museum in the old
Hôtel Cujas, once the residence of the great Juris-consul, of that name
when the University existed here (from 1465 to 1793,) you will find
a statue of Louis, probably the best portrait extant, and you will
remember the evil face for long thereafter. This Hôtel Cujas holds much
that is curious, but it is itself of more interest than its contents,
and the streets of Bourges are lined with many interesting structures,
and those who pass by Bourges in the rushing mode of this twentieth
century pass by one of the gems of France.

The old dame in the _kiosque_ told me that I should not depart without
a visit to the neighbouring Château of Meillant, now the property of
the Duc de Mortemart. So, as it is but twenty-eight miles to the south,
we are off and away, delaying our onward progress until after luncheon.

The roads are superb and the morning divine. From Bourges to St. Amand
the highway is a straight line and, as we descend, it stretches away
until lost in perspective, a magnificent route for high speed, and
as Jean puts the auto to its best; we skim along scarcely seeming to
touch the earth,--hills rise and fall, and the motion is joyous, while
the spring winds sweep the dreams of dead kings off and away, leaving
only the smell of the grasses and blossoming fruit trees. We pause but
once, and then, as we pass one of the many curious groups to be found
on these highways. This time there are half a dozen mounted police
gorgeous in high boots and blue and black uniforms, gravely regarding
a travelling circus. The dancing bear, erect by his owner, solemnly
contemplates our passing, while the trained ape glares and evinces a
desire to go along. Indeed, I should not have been surprised to find
him enthroned in the place of Yama, left behind in Bourges, nor, if he
had donned Yama's blue glasses, could I have been certain which was
which, save that the ape possesses a more expressive countenance.

The Château of Meillant stands in a pleasant park on the road to St.
Amand-Mont-Rond. It is in perfect condition and is occupied by its
owner every summer. It is a Renaissance pile of great antiquity, the
original portions dating from 1100.

The illustration gives one a better idea of its exterior than any
description can furnish, while its interior shows a succession of rooms
splendid in themselves and full of objects of beauty and interest.

[Illustration: THE CHÂTEAU AT MEILLANT

By permission of Messrs. Neurdein]

The façade in the illustration is not the oldest part of the château.
Pass around to the other side and, overlooking the forest, you will
find the Tour des Sarasins, the only remaining portion of the feudal
castle and evidently forming at one period a part of the outer
fortifications. There is also the Ladies' Tower and the Tower of the
Chatelaine, but the most beautiful,--that shown in the illustration--is
the Tower of the Lion, with its great spiral staircase, by means
of which the traveller will enter the great drawing-room with its
gorgeously coloured and heavily raftered ceiling, and its fire-place,
with an immense mantel, that holds a gallery for musicians. The
château is not only magnificent in itself and superbly furnished, but
it is one that can be used and is used to live in. It is called the
most splendid of its kind in France, and as you mount to its towers and
look abroad, you discover that it stands in the heart of a vast forest,
twenty thousand acres in extent, so the custodian tells me, and, as we
sit perched high up among the grotesque gargoyles and strange carving
of the tower, he weaves the château's legend into this.

They say that this forest of Meillant is haunted by wolves of the
demon order, and that one of them holds the spirit of a woman, who
prowls these shadows nightly and pauses ever under the window of the
former chamber of the Chevalier Bayard, who once came here to see the
king and who did not respond to her advances,--in revenge for which
she inserted a dreadful bit, of fangs of iron, into his horse's mouth
before the battle of Milan, and so, nearly caused the death of Bayard
and the loss of that conflict. Pursuing him even to his death, in the
Battle of Pavia, he escaped her only by kissing the cross in his sword
hilt as his spirit ascended to God and she fled shrieking away into the
darkness. Now she must forever haunt the aisles of this ghostly forest
in the shape of a werewolf, and it is said that on misty, moonless
nights you may even see the fire of her eyes and hear her dismal howls.
As I listen to this legend I wonder whether she has not perchance taken
for to-day the shape of that ape which glared so malignantly at me on
that hill yonder as we came down here.

The world of travel does not come often to Meillant, but perhaps now
in the days of auto cars the traveller may discover it. If so he will
be amply repaid. I pause a moment as I depart to inspect an exquisite
little chapel in the court, and then pass away to the outer gate,
where I find a dark-eyed daughter of France sitting on the steps of my
machine. She has allowed Jean to bring it within the gates, and smiles
pleasantly at my recognition of her courtesy, and so we glide away into
the dim aisles of the forest on the return ride to Bourges.

[Illustration: THE GRAND SALON OF THE CHÂTEAU OF MEILLANT

By permission of Messrs. Neurdein]



CHAPTER XVII

     DEPARTURES FROM BOURGES--THE CHÂTEAU OF MEHUN--THE DEATH
     OF CHARLES VII.--THE VALLEYS OF TOURAINE--ROADS BY THE
     LOIRE--ENTRANCE TO TOURS


After luncheon in Bourges, we set out for Tours, bidding the old city
a reluctant farewell. Jean's interest in his country seems great,
and he is always delighted when I bid him slow down or stop to visit
some spot in passing. Ten miles out from Bourges we do so to inspect
all that is left of the Castle of Mehun-sur-Yèvre where Charles VII.
passed many years of his life with Agnes of Sorel, the earlier ones in
indolence and the latter in horror of Louis, until, as I have stated,
he starved himself to death for fear of poison by that same son. The
accompanying illustration shows this château as it stands to-day. It
suffered in the Revolution, but not until 1812 were the rooms of Agnes
and the King destroyed. To-day two of the towers of the castle alone
remain to testify to its former state. They are majestic structures
built of very beautiful granite, rising in massive grandeur from the
bosom of the swift flowing Yèvre, and on the whole, are the finest
towers I have seen in France. We glide away through a stately gateway
and off on our ride to Tours through the province of Touraine. It is,
of course, beautiful. We are in the valley of the Cher almost the
entire distance. Picturesque old towns and châteaux smile upon us from
every nook and hill, and the river sings merrily. Yonder is Chenonceaux
with its fantastic pinnacles and odd construction spanning the river. I
visited it years ago before the old furniture had been sold and when it
stood unchanged as it had been for centuries, so I do not care to see
it now when it would be found full of modern stuff, a Court dame in an
Edgeware Road frock, as it were.

Towards three, the towers of Tours Cathedral and the older tower of St.
Martin's loom up before us and as we mount to the summit of a hill the
city lies spread out before us. Here at the junction of the Cher and
the Loire our route is just above the water, a long smooth road with
no trees, winding away before us, over which the auto flies as though
anxious to reach its goal and have done with the day's journey.

We enter the busy streets of the city, and passing on to the Hôtel de
l'Univers, we leave mediæval France and rural life behind us. Here all
is bustle and roar. How the times have changed the place; When I first
knew Tours it was a sleepy old town where people came to rest and to
learn French. It was also a cheap place in which to live.

Now, with the coming of autos, all that is gone. This hotel is one
of the most expensive in France and the city roars with the passing
machines. There are twenty in and around this house now, making it at
times difficult to be heard and most unpleasant. This is on the highway
to Spain and the châteaux bring many travellers to Touraine. It is a
singular sight to see an auto puffing and snorting just within the arch
of an ancient castle with the teeth of the portcullis projecting above
and seemingly about to descend upon it,--but--letters and papers from
home drive thoughts of Europe off and away and I spend the rest of the
day back in my own land once more and dream of it all night long.



CHAPTER XVIII

     RIDE TO LOCHES--AN ACCIDENT--THE CASTLE OF LOCHES--ITS
     HISTORY--THE CAGES OF LOUIS XI.--THEIR COST TO THE KING--AGNES OF
     SOREL--THE MISTRESSES OF FRENCH KINGS VERSUS THEIR QUEENS


Life is all sparkle to-day in this fair city of Tours, her people are
evidently happy and we are not the least so as the car flies down the
wide avenues, through her Champs-Élysées, and crossing the river, turns
south-eastward through smiling meadows, where the sheep are grazing
and the people wave at us as we pass. Some miles out on a long stretch
of highway we are rapidly approaching a train of a dozen empty carts,
each bearing a man and a woman, and, between the rattle of the carts
and the clattering tongues of their occupants, I fancy the outer world
and its sounds are completely drowned. However, we have a clear stretch
to their left, can easily pass without danger, and are skimming onward
with little thought of a catastrophe when, as we reach the last cart
but one forward, it quietly draws out immediately across our track,
evidently to allow the occupants to gossip with greater ease with
those of the cart in front. Jean shuts off all power, puts on all
breaks, we all shriek and horn and trumpet, to the utter confusion of
the peasants, who drive in every direction save the right one, like a
flock of chickens. There is no averting a collision, but we minimise
as far as possible its danger and it results in nothing worse than a
bent lamp as we bang into the tail-board of the cart, causing the old
lady and gentleman therein to turn complete somersaults and land by
the wayside,--reeds shaken by the winds, as it were,--but the winds of
heaven were like unto a dead calm when compared with the clatter and
shrieks which arose around us. I am afraid the remarks were personal,
though the ancient dame who was dumped into the grass, when I told her
her tongue was as long as her arm and had caused all the damage, looked
at me in grand amaze and said--nothing. She knew that it was true and
she knew also that the others would tell her that it _was_ true after
we had vanished. At least I think the unfortunates of her village will
be safe from the organ for a day or so.

[Illustration: THE CHÂTEAU OF LOCHES

From a photograph]

The day changes as we move onward, and under clouds and through a
gloomy forest we near the towers of Loches,[2] the most remarkable
relic extant of the darkest days of the Middle Ages, the favourite
abode of Louis XI. Doubtless he had many times approached over this
same road and down this way his victims must have passed, the most of
them to disappear forever,--certainly Cardinal Balue came this way
from Plessis-lès-Tours, to occupy a cage of his own designing for many
years. The forest drops away, and off across a valley we obtain our
first glimpse of the château, its great square towers rising dark and
forbidding, while all around it clusters the ancient city with its
convent, church, and palace. The panorama is not so fantastic as that
of Carcassonne, there are not so many pinnacles, barbettes, and curious
towers, it is not backed by a glowing sky, but the whole is somber,
majestic, and gloomy,--a fitting appearance for a château with such
history.

[2] Pronounced "Loche."

As we roll onward up its narrow streets, the clouds lower and we are
forced to take refuge under cover; but the rain does not last long and
shortly we come out again, leaving the church and palace to our left,
and noting as we move onward that while Carcassonne possessed few, if
any, private houses of the nobility, these streets present many even
to-day. Interesting façades rise around us at every turn, but with the
castle before us we do not pause until under the shadow of its great
gateway. I know of nothing in Europe more impressive of its kind than
this entrance to the Château of Loches. It is absolutely unchanged by
the flight of years. The moat, the drawbridge, the low-browed heavy
portal, with the great square donjon rising above, inspire me with a
greater respect for the power of that old King Louis, and, as I clang
the bell, I wonder whether I may come out again once these portals
close behind me,--a question I put to the bright-eyed French woman who
smilingly admits me and as smilingly assures me that I may indeed go
hence.

[Illustration: THE ENTRANCE TO THE CHÂTEAU OF LOCHES

From a photograph]

Once inside, the great tower, which replaced an ancient Roman fortress
in the eleventh century, rises one hundred and thirty feet before me
in all its majesty. One does not see from here that it is but an empty
shell, yet on entering it loses none of its impressiveness as one
gazes upward through its vastness, noting where the floors were, and
even from below descrying the many inscriptions carved by the weary
prisoners of the King. I can distinctly see from here one deeply cut,
"Help--God or man," which tells its own story.

In this donjon--except the floors--there is nothing which could be
consumed by fire. Its walls are nine feet in thickness at their
base and six at the summit. The interior shows a deep well which
communicated by subterranean passages with all the feudal châteaux in
the neighbourhood, and was used to re-victual the Castle in times of
siege. That this great tower was the royal residence in feudal days
can be seen by the divisions on the walls. Such prisoners as were here
confined were of little importance as they possessed light and fresh
air.

The little donjon adjoining the greater served as the residence of
the Governor and communicated with the former tower by staircases in
the thickness of the walls. It was in this section of the castle that
history was made throughout so many centuries. We first hear of it when
Foulques le Roux, Count of Anjou, acquired it by marriage in 879--but
of all the lives lived out here before this date there is no tale
remaining to us. It became the cradle of the Plantagenet race. John
of England ceded the Castle to Philip Augustus in 1192, but Coeur de
Lion on his return from captivity objecting, took it by storm; again it
passed to France after a year's siege by Philip Augustus in 1205. Bells
rang out for the wedding in this queer place of James V. of Scotland
and Madeline of France, but that was after the days of Louis XI, and
really nothing else holds the attention of the traveller here to-day
save this King, sordid and devilishly horrible.

The great donjon does not contain the most famous and fearful of
Louis's prisons. You must pass on to the right and enter the smaller
towers to find the cages where he placed those high in his favour.
Both in the round tower and the Martelet and every tower of the outer
walls, you will find dungeon under dungeon, high up or far underground,
where the sun never shines and where men learned to see in the black
darkness, as the carvings and names testify, for, rest assured,
Louis allowed no lights to his guests in Loches. Passing onward, the
traveller enters the round tower built by Louis. It is still in very
excellent condition. Here one finds all the original floors in place.
Here are the guard-rooms and many prisons,--used as such by the town
to-day,--amongst them the great conical chamber where hung the famous
iron and wooden cage of Cardinal Balue--an invention of his own, in
which for conspiracy with Charles le Téméraire he spent eleven years,
though some authorities state that it was but three. The tower is
shaped like a vast cistern with a conical top, its walls are circular
and there are slit-like apertures, through which the wind moans, and
the sunlight could never come save in stray shafts, making the shadows
deeper by contrast.

[Illustration: THE CAGE IN WHICH JEAN DE LA BALUE WAS IMPRISONED FOR
ELEVEN YEARS]

Down the passage yonder, which communicates underground with the great
donjon, Louis and his Tristan entered to torment the Cardinal, swinging
like a huge bird in his cage. The walls still show two holes in each
side into which the beams supporting the cage, were inserted,--the
chains from each corner thereof met in a ring at the top, which was
fastened into the beams and turned on a pivot. The cage composed of
wood, bound and riveted with iron, formed a cube four feet in size,
wherein its occupant could neither lie down or stand up, and there
the Cardinal spent eleven years exposed and yet confined. A singular
refinement of torture that.

This cage in Loches, in which the historian Philippe de Comines was
also confined, was very different from that in the Bastille,--the
prison for fourteen years of the Bishop of Verdun. The expense account
of the period holds the following item concerning that cage:

"For making a great wooden cage of heavy beams, joists, and rafters,
measuring inside nine feet long by eight broad and seven high between
the planks, mortised and bolted with great iron bolts, which has
been fixed in a certain chamber of one of the towers of the Bastille
St. Antoine, in which said cage, is put and kept, by command of our
Lord the King, a prisoner that before inhabited an old, decayed, and
worn-out cage. Used in making said new cage ninety-six horizontal
beams and fifty-two perpendiculars, ten joists each eighteen feet long;
employed in squaring, planing, and fitting all the said woodwork in the
yard of the Bastille, nineteen carpenters for twenty days,--used in
the cage two hundred and twenty great iron bolts nine feet long,--with
plates and nuts for fastening of said bolts, the iron weighing three
thousand seven hundred and thirty-five pounds,--besides eight heavy
iron _equières_, for fixing the said cage in its place with cramp-irons
and nails weighing all together two hundred and eighteen pounds,
without reckoning the iron for the trellis work of the windows of the
chamber in which said cage has been placed, the iron bars of the door
of the chamber and other articles. The whole amounts to three hundred
and seventeen livres, five sol and seven deniers."

A great, cubical mass of masonry, iron, and woodwork, its windows so
thickly latticed with bars of iron that no glass was visible,--its
door, one large flat stone like a tomb,--a door for entrance only! "Our
Lady!" exclaimed the King, "here is a cage out of all reason."

Therefore he curtailed expenses and space when he caused to be
constructed the habitation for his Eminence of Balue, and then again
there was exercise for the Cardinal as the cage was swung to and fro
or whirled on its pivot at the bidding of Louis. What a picture! The
great, gloomy, conical shaped prison, with the cage swinging to and
fro, now in dense shadow and anon in the rift of sunlight shooting in
through the slits in the wall,--the grotesque figure of the wretched
old King crouching on the incline in yonder passage mumbling prayers
before the leaden figures of the Virgin with which his greasy old hat
is laden, and stopping now and then to command Tristan to "further
agitate his Eminence." It is not reported that any remarks came from
the Cardinal in the cage for he knew he had been guilty of treason and
hope was not for him.

Cages would appear to have been the fad of King Louis. There were two
in Loches, and one at the old palace of the Tournelles. The one in
the Bastille was evidently too spacious (9 x 8 x 7 feet), and it was
considered necessary to attach a ball to the ankle of the unfortunate
Bishop of Verdun, who, it is also stated, was the originator of these
cages and not Cardinal Balue. It was a distinction scarcely coveted,
I fancy, to be confined in one of these "filets du Roi." The cages in
Loches existed in perfect condition until the days of 1789, when they
were destroyed and the wood given to the poor, but a relic of one still
exists in the barred door through which you pass into the corridor just
outside. That is the same door which shut in the Cardinal for so many
years, and you feel like leaving one of your number--not your heir
at law--on guard, to see that it does not do likewise for yourself.
Knowing Louis, one is quite certain that these prisoners were not
allowed to feel forgotten, as Louis XIV. probably forgot Matthioli, the
Man of the Iron Mask, whose master, Charles of Mantua, was in Paris
when he died in 1703. It is very doubtful whether master or captor
would, at first, have remembered who the poor wretch was who was being
dragged to his grave in the Cemetery of St. Paul whilst they feasted
in the Luxembourg.

The Bastille witnessed few such horrors as those so common within the
walls of Loches.

Passing up the corridor to lesser prisons, one comes to a chamber with
a vast chimney where the question, ordinary and extraordinary, was
applied, and where one still finds many of the instruments of torture.
I know of no more gruesome spot on earth than this castle, unless it be
those chambers at Nuremberg, where chamber after chamber is filled with
every conceivable instrument of torture until one stands shuddering
before the Iron Virgin. Still, after all, those chambers and their
instruments meant a speedy death, but Louis knew that life, as he could
dole it out here, was more horrible than _any_ death.

It is a relief to mount a winding stair in the thickness of the
walls and emerge into the free fresh air. The panorama over city and
rolling country is charming, and my red auto down there at the portal
re-assuring, but neither can hold us long from a renewed contemplation
of this château.

Passing down into the court, we cross a grassy enclosure towards the
walls, and the tower of the Martelet, where we descend ninety-six steps
into prisons cut in the solid rock, passing four floors of them; the
first was for ordinary prisoners and is of no interest, as there is too
much sunlight and air. In the dungeon just below was imprisoned for ten
years Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan, a prisoner of Louis XII. in 1500.
These walls are covered with carvings made during those ten years.
There are many inscriptions and this carved face before us is said to
be his portrait. Below is the name:

     "Ludovico."

A sort of shadow of daylight penetrates through a small, heavily barred
window in the wall twelve feet thick, and opposite this Ludovico deeply
engraved in the stone a dial plate, which permitted him to know the
passing of the hours.

Further downward in the rock you find another prison where Francis I.
confined the father of Diane de Poitiers, whose hair whitened in a
single night. This prison is more gloomy than the one above it. We find
here the name of one of the officers in the Scotch guard of Louis XI.,
"Ebenezer Kelburn." In the centre of the chamber there is an oubliette
to the darkness below. Down there are the fosses waiting for more
victims, which in the days when this chamber above was used for the
torture, were not slow in coming.

[Illustration: LOUIS XI.

From the engraving by Hoopwood]

Pontbrillant, governor of Loches, who certainly knew all the secrets of
the donjons found an iron door which, upon being forced open, led in to
a long passage cut in the rock, which conducted to a chamber far under
ground, where was seated upon a stone a gigantic man, holding his head
in his hands. The admission of the air reduced him instantly to dust,
and in like manner, there crumbled away a little coffer of wood which
had enclosed some linen, very white and carefully folded. Who or what
he had been was never known.

In the oubliette of the tower, is to be read an inscription which shows
that the Revolution placed its seal upon Loches: "Without fear, we
destroy the high walls, break the chains, and cause to disappear the
tortures invented by the King, too weak to arrest a people moving to
liberty.--1785"

Doubtless this fortress would repay weeks of research and yield up many
a present unknown dungeon, each with its grizzly horror and tale of
distress. Against modern artillery it would have little show, but in
the Middle Ages it was almost impregnable.

The great donjon and inner sections surrounded by its immense wall,
with many towers, is in its turn encompassed by a moat completely
isolating the whole. The second line of fortifications established
subsequently by Philip Augustus comprised also a moat "twenty-five
metres in depth," and bastions flanked by round towers and "tours à
bec."

On the top of the bastions which were a mile and a half in circuit was
a road protected by double walls. One of its outer gates is called the
"Gate of the Queen," because Maria de Medici entered there after her
escape from Blois in 1619.

That there is so much of Loches standing to-day is probably due to the
knowledge of the destroyers of 1793 that Louis, while he would hang a
few of the people now and then, turned most of his attention to the
upper classes. One was sure of good company if one went to the gibbet
or to jail in those days of the fifteenth century.

Loches does not appear to have been inhabited often by royalty after
the reign of Louis XII. when the usefulness of such fortresses
passed away, but it stood in perfect condition until 1793, and what
is left will endure while time lasts, an object of intense interest to
all who behold it.

The clouds lower darker and darker as we move to leave this forbidding
spot. The air is heavy as though laden with the sorrows of those who
never left it, even after death; the winds sough through the ghostly
trees, causing their branches to rattle against the walls of the great
donjon like skeleton fingers,--and it is with a feeling of relief that
we hear the outer portal clang behind us and know that we are outside.
As I pause a moment, I can distinguish the sound of the foot-falls of
my late guide, dying away fainter and fainter inside, and then silence
deep and unbroken settles over the Château of Loches.

In the town there is a cathedral and a royal palace and the whole was
at one time surrounded by a great outer wall.

Though the general effect is not so picturesque as Carcassonne, it is
far more majestic, and its inspection amply repays all the time one can
give while Carcassonne is a disappointment from the time one enters its
inner portals.

There is another name, Agnes of Sorel, connected with Loches,--the
only mortal who ever produced one manly act in the weak Charles VII.
All the good of his reign appears to be traceable to her influence and
it is easily believed that she could not be acceptable to the dark
spirit of Louis XI. Insulted and driven from the Court, she died, many
assert by poison from his agents. She left a large dower to the Church
of St. Ours here, and there she was buried. In the succeeding reign,
the monks, after having secured the inheritance, alleging scruples as
to her life, requested permission to remove her remains, which Louis
granted, provided the inheritance was returned. That placed a different
light upon the matter and she rested in peace until the Revolution
scattered her ashes to the winds. Her tomb now stands in one of the
towers of the Royal Palace. If that face is a portrait, she had claim
to some of the beauty attributed to her,--of her good influence over
the weak king there is no doubt.

In the history of France, how insignificant a part her queens have
generally played and how important that of many of these "lights o'
love." One hears nothing of the Queen of this Charles VII., but how
much of this Mistress Agnes. In the case of Louis XI. there would seem
to have been no woman of importance though he had a queen--Did that
figure of leather ever know passion or love?

With Louis XII. one does hear of the Queen, Anne of Brittany. But
with Francis I. it is all Diane de Poitiers, and again the same Diane
with his son Henry II. Poor little Francis II. knew none save his
Queen, Mary of Scots, and it was not until after his death that Queen
Catherine de Medici came to the front on the stage of France. With
Henry IV. and all the Louis, save one, we hear much of the mistresses,
little of the queens, unless there be a touch of wickedness, as with
Maria de Medici. True, there was Anne of Austria, but she came forward
only when a widow and as regent. It is difficult to remember even
the names of the queens of Louis XIV. and XV., but none forget La
Vallière, Montespan, Maintenon, Pompadour and du Barry,--women who
had so greatly to do with hastening the downfall of the throne and
producing the horrors of the Revolution, when again a queen comes into
view and we stand with bowed heads as Marie Antoinette moves to her
doom.

In all the long years from the time of Charles VII. until to-day there
was but one of the royal favourites, his own Agnes of Sorel, who
exerted her powers for good. As I stand in the old tower to-day gazing
down upon her graven image, I quietly blow the dust away and leave a
flower.

Louis XI. ended the feudal period by breaking the power of the
independent barons and establishing that of royalty. The traveller from
Orleans to Blois may notice to-day opposite Meung the heavy square
masses of the Church of Notre Dame de Cléry. There Louis XI. built his
own grave and was wont to occupy it now and then during life, though
he did not rest there for many years after his death as the tomb was
destroyed by the Huguenots in 1563.

Entering our car, we are off and away, rattling through the narrow
streets, and gliding out on to the wide high-road for Tours. It
was near Tours at "Plessis-lès-Tours" that Louis XI. met the grim
destroyer. I have before this fully described that Château,[3] and will
pass it now.

[3] In _Palaces and Prisons of Mary Queen of Scots_. G. P. Putnam's
Sons: New York and London.



CHAPTER XIX

     AUTOMOBILES IN TOURS--DEPARTURE FROM THE CITY--THE ROAD
     TO CHINON--ROMANCE AND HISTORY OF CHINON--THE ABBEY OF
     FONTEVRAULT--RICHARD COEUR DE LION AND HIS TOMB--THE DEAD KING
     HENRY II.


A bright, sparkling morning. The courtyard in Tours is alive with men
and machines and every moment someone departs until we are almost the
only travellers left here, but our time comes, and Jean, seated in
state on our red car, sails out of the garage and draws up at the main
portico, where Yama directs the loading of our luggage, and then seats
himself in great grandeur in the midst thereof. Then I am allowed to
take my place, which is always by Jean's side in front, and we start
off on our day's ride--not on the grand route towards Paris but away to
the south-westward, to Chinon and Angers and so into Brittany.

Our road lies in from the Loire and through Azay-le-Rideau to where
Chinon's towers circle the hilltop like a crown dominating its ancient
city and wide-spreading valley. The place above is sweet and pure,
while the towers with the passing rains of many centuries, glisten
white in the sunlight.

[Illustration: GENERAL VIEW OF CHINON

By permission of Messrs. Neurdein]

Wandering up the steep ascent I clang the bell at the great entrance,
kept still in good preservation. A sweet-faced little girl answers my
summons and conducts me from tower to tower. There are many of them,
some with dungeons under dungeons, some with one solitary oubliette;
others holding chambers of state and one where the Maid slept before
her departure for Tours and Orleans.

But Chinon's crown to-day is one bestowed by nature. The whole hill
is embowered in lilac trees, whose bending boughs brush our hats with
white and pale purple blossoms and all the air is fresh and sweet with
their delicate perfume so sacred to spring. Surely a fitting bloom
to adorn the spot where one so pure as the Maid offered her life and
service to her country.

In contrast with the dismal, sordid Court of Louis XI. the gay court
of his father Charles VII. stands forth in strong relief, and it
reached its most spectacular period here in Chinon. The white château
embowered in lilac blossoms formed a fairy background to the moving
picture of the times. One imagines that Charles wore his gold pointed
crown all the time, that his robes were of blue spangled with the
silver fleur-de-lis, and that he used up many sceptres, never being
without one, and that so fashioned he paced these alleys between the
great white towers, the lilacs touching him now and then as though
to contrast their colours with his. With him there moved the fair
Agnes of Sorel in pink and silver, the many courtiers in velvets and
cloth of gold, the men at arms in grim array and far above against the
blue of heaven waved the white banner of France bearing its silver
lilies, while from the door of yonder tower came a simple maiden to the
King,--with none of the glory of his Court in her attire, but with all
the glory of God in her face.

One can picture the weak, smiling countenance of the monarch, the
beautiful eyes of Agnes of Sorel, the scowling, contemptuous faces
of the Court as they watch the Maid approaching, all unconscious of
everything save her mission to save France. Ah well! we know the whole
story now, but then at Chinon there was nothing of the sadness of her
after days to cloud the face of this Maid of Orleans, to dampen the
spirits of Jeanne d'Arc as she moved forward to kneel at the feet of
this King here under the lilacs. Here then she induced him, amidst all
the jealousy and ridicule of his voluptuous Court to rise in behalf
of his country. History does not tell us that Agnes of Sorel had any
part in this movement but such was probably the case; neither does it
state that she made any effort to save the King and France the disgrace
of that death in Rouen, which almost inclines one to believe that the
story of that life and death is indeed but a fable.

Leaving the castle we descend by the narrow, crooked street named for
the Maid, undoubtedly the one she used four hundred and fifty years
ago, though it did not bear her name at that time. This old gabled
house of the town was surely here, and she may have stopped a moment by
that ancient fountain which still gives its waters to the chattering
women of Chinon.

In the little hotel where we luncheon there is a parrot which speaks
French. That seems an outrage,--Spanish, yes, but French for a parrot
should not be allowed. Leaving Chinon, we return to the banks of the
Loire. As we speed along this wide road on the dykes above the river,
the waters go singing along beneath us and telling of spring and life
and hope, pausing ever and anon as though to call our attention to
some ruin from which life and hope fled long ago,--or to some stately
château where both still abide amidst the surroundings of centuries.

Reaching Candes, standing by its babbling brook whose waters rush on
to the Loire, we pause a moment to inspect its quaint church of the
twelfth century, where St. Martin of Tours died,--though Tours will
dispute the truth of this claim,--and where they show us his tomb
and recumbent effigy. Just across the brook stands the Castle of
Montsoreau, once the abode of the counts of that name, who were but
executioners of the bloody decree of the kings. The place to-day is
an abode for the very poor, of which there appear to be many in this
section.

Here we turn southward some three miles to the secluded valley where
rest the town and Abbey of Fontevrault. The scene behind us is so
attractive that we almost hesitate to leave it, but to all lovers of
history, history in its most romantic and picturesque years, the name
of Fontevrault will conjure such a series of kingly tableaux that all
else will be forgotten.

Down in a valley, three miles from the Loire, the traveller comes upon
the celebrated Abbey, the ancient shrine of the Plantagenets, where
to-day reposes the dust of Henry II. and Richard Coeur de Lion, and
while I am not tempted to do violence upon my swiftly moving machine,
I certainly do enter protest against such an entrance to such a spot
and command the slowest progress of which it is capable. The way should
be lined with broom corn and there should be many knights and "ladyes"
abroad; and towering above them all (they say he was six feet six),
dressed in mail, with the sign of the Leopard on his shield--one more
stately than the rest, with a lofty brow, blue eyes wide apart, reddish
yellow hair and curling beard, both cut short,--Richard Coeur de Lion,
Count of Anjou, King of England.

The scene was undoubtedly picturesque in his time, but it is sombre and
dull to-day. The Abbey stands long, low, and gloomy in the midst of the
sad little town, and where the King found a religious establishment
of great importance, we find one of the largest prisons in France and
must obtain a permit to visit even the church. I wait in the little
place while Jean is off to the Mayor for that purpose. It is a dull,
sad-looking little place, and one not often intruded upon by those who
move in autos, as I discover through the attention bestowed upon my
machine, though save for those imprisoned in yonder buildings, there
do not seem enough people here to make a crowd. Fontevrault is as
forgotten of the world as those who are sent here at the expense of the
State.

[Illustration: PAVILION DE L'HORLOGE AT CHINON

From a photograph]

It is said that King Richard came here to pray by the body of his
father, King Henry, who died at Chinon, and that he was met at the head
of the cathedral steps by his brother John, who succeeded him on the
throne. The edifice in those days evidently stood in an open square;
to-day we approach it by a covered way, through whose openings we see
the prison buildings. Richard came in all humility and in deep remorse
for the war he had waged upon his father, and, it is said, that when he
knelt and touched the corpse it bled and shuddered. What a picture! The
high altar in shadow save for its one blinking light, the many candles
around the dead king on his bier, with the dark stain on his face, the
living king with Count John peering in terror over his shoulder, and
all the Court with the Abbess and her nuns shrinking away, while over
all the great church, which even at that day (1189), had neared its
century, rose dim and shadowy full of the chill taint of darkness.

Here Richard took up the Cross, and we know what followed in Palestine.
To-day you must force yourself to bring to mind any of these pictures,
for the church has little of romance about it. The structure is in
the form of a Roman cross, with no aisles, and with short transepts
having two chapels. The choir has three chapels. Where the royal dead
originally slept does not appear,--certainly not in the south transept
where one now finds the monuments restored after the Terrorists had
done their work upon them. As for the nave, it is boarded off and
divided into floors for dormitories for the prisoners. The place is
more desecrated than Stirling, for that is a barrack, not a prison.
The royal effigies are however of great interest, especially that of
Coeur de Lion, as it is considered to be a portrait, and certainly
fulfils one's idea of the appearance of that king. The traveller of
to-day who does not stand long in contemplation before this figure in
stone must be lacking in many ways; but the effigy of Henry II. will
not hold his attention in the same degree, though he will pause a
moment over that of Eleanor, queen to Henry and the mother of Richard.

[Illustration: THE COURT OF THE CLOISTERS, ABBEY OF FONTEVRAULT

By permission of J. Kuhn]

The Abbey of Fontevrault was founded in 1099 by Robert of Arbrissel
and held one hundred and fifty nuns and seventy monks, all under the
rule of an Abbess of high degree, and the establishment existed as such
throughout seven centuries to the days of the Revolution. Its cloisters
and chapter house are still beautiful and in perfect preservation, and
in the latter are some interesting old wall paintings. France prizes
too highly her historic places to allow Fontevrault to remain long in
its present state. The day will come when the traveller will find it
restored almost to the state in which it stood when King Richard came
over the downs and down this long avenue of poplars to visit it.

[Illustration: TOMBS OF RICHARD I. AND ELEONORE OF GUINNE AT FONTEVRAULT

From a photograph]

We are speeding away now and shortly are again by the placid Loire, and
rolling beneath the ruins of the Castle of Dampierre, given to Margaret
of Anjou by Louis XI. Louis had his weak moments (which he undoubtedly
regretted) or he would never have expended fifty thousand crowns in the
ransom of a woman, who could be of no possible service to him, whose
day was done, and whose life was to end in sorrow and bitter tears
in yonder towers.

As we move onward, the cliffs above us form a veritable rabbit warren
inhabited by the poor. This stone is soft and easily cut and sawed so
that many of the houses present pretentious façades to the highway and
are nothing but dark holes behind. Now Saumur comes into view white
and pleasing to look upon with its castle dominating the town--but the
interest of the place is in this panorama before which we roll slowly
on and, turning northward, cross the Loire.



CHAPTER XX

     THE ROAD TO ANGERS--CATHEDRAL AND TOMB OF KING RENÉ--CASTLE
     OF BLACK ANGERS--CRADLE OF THE PLANTAGENETS--HISTORY--TO
     CHATEAUBRIANT IN A STORM--A FRENCH INN--RENNES AND THE TRIAL OF
     DREYFUS--THE ROADS IN BRITTANY--ARRIVAL AT ST. MALO--THE RIDE
     TO MONT ST. MICHEL--INN OF THE POULARD ÂINÉ--THE CATHEDRAL AND
     CASTLE--THEIR HISTORY.


The country becomes more barren and unpleasing as we enter Anjou, and
Angers is an uninteresting busy town. It holds some quaint old houses,
and King René sleeps in its cathedral, being probably the only king
of France--prior to 1793--who lies where he was interred. The furies
of the Revolution did not discover his tomb, therefore it was not
molested. I would rather sleep in fair Provence; but if he had been
buried there, his ashes would long since have been scattered to the
winds of heaven.

As the traveller approaches the Castle of Angers over the long bridge,
it presents a most impressive, majestic appearance. Its seventeen great
round towers and lofty walls seventy feet high fairly oppress the
beholder. In its prime this fortress was called the key of France, and
bears a key upon its shield. It commanded the outlet of the rivers of
Brittany when rivers were the open highways. The château dates only
from the days of Philip Augustus, but it looks ancient enough to have
sheltered Cæsar. It was the birthplace of the Foulques of Anjou, the
ancestors of the Plantagenets, and the place still resounds with tales
of their times.

There was Foulques the black-hearted, also his son. One hears of a
Geoffrey made by his father--the Black Falcon--to crawl for miles
with a saddle on his back, of this same Geoffrey having led his wife,
dressed in her most gorgeous robes, to the stake where he burned
her swiftly and well for infidelity. He was all powerful. There was
Foulques the Fifth, King of Jerusalem and his son Geoffrey Plantagenet,
who married the Empress Matilda and so the countship of Anjou passed to
England through their son Henry II., only to be returned to France in
the next century.

We read of Bertrade of Monfort so enchanting two husbands that they sat
at the same table with her here.

Roland's name is woven into the warp and woof of its
history,--Charlemagne's also, though the present château is not of that
date; still it is claimed that the "Tower of the Devil" is part of the
early Celtic castle. It is certain that Robert the Strong, founder of
the Capet family, lived here.

It came finally to King René, who with his court of love and minstrels
surely felt strangely out of place within yonder gloomy walls; at
least fate would appear to have thought so, for it passed Anjou on to
Louis XI., a more fitting custodian for this sullen fortress of this
"Black City."

[Illustration: THE STATUE OF KING RENÉ AND THE CHÂTEAU AT ANGERS

By permission of Messrs. Neurdein]

Disenchantment awaits one on entering the castle for it is but a vast,
empty shell. There is nothing for the traveller of to-day save the
panorama of its outer walls, and I confess the disappointment drove me
hence and away.

As we enter Brittany, the weather darkens, and rain sets in, so that
we reach our stopping-place for the night, Chateaubriant, in a driving
storm, not wet but very glad to get under cover. The little hotel has a
blazing fire and the cook in cap and apron is enjoying a game of cards
with one of the guests. He asks me to come in, but I do not care for
cards, and so look on. The conversation is brisk. "Madame" joins in,
and the cat takes her place by the fire, making the family complete.
Outside the wind howls and the rain pours in torrents off the roofs of
the old gabled houses. It is a night and place when one might hear such
a story as that of "The Bells," but the faces all look friendly and we
chat on until dinner, about anything save murder. It is a good night
for sleep and I am not long in seeking that tonic of nature.

Next day the ride is through storm and clouds. The people are more
opposed to automobiles than in the other sections and we have several
conflicts with old women who, with their cattle, insist upon occupying
the entire road.

We lunch at Rennes--a bustling, prosperous city of no interest save as
the theatre for the trial of Dreyfus the Jew. One meets with soldiers
everywhere in France and I have taken occasion to talk with many of
them concerning this man, famous, or infamous, as the case may be, and
from general to private I find but one opinion, "guilty." When I ask
what they make of Esterhazy and Pâté du Clam, they do not hesitate to
say that they were bought by the Jews, and that Dreyfus's entire case
has been governed by money from the chosen people. I was not surprised
at this opinion from the officers, but coming also from the rank and
file it was unexpected, to say the least.

It is early in the afternoon when St. Malo is reached and there we pass
the night, almost the only guests within the Hôtel de France.

All the world knows St. Malo, the ancient town on an island, where one
must have a room on the third floor in order to see over the walls.
Though it is picturesque as one approaches, St. Malo is gloomy and
depressing when one enters within its gates. The whole town reeks with
moisture and one is not tempted to remain, at least at this season.

The route from there onward lies over roads not in very good condition,
at least for France, though they would be considered prime in America.
In fact the sections of Brittany through which we have passed do
not possess the superb highways universal all over the rest of the
Republic, and her climate just now is rainy and cold, though the rain
is more of a mist from the sea. Occupying the long cape-like projection
lying between the stormy Bay of Biscay and the equally unquiet Channel,
she is swept by the winds of both, alternately, and at times it would
seem from both at the same moment. But when one enters Normandy, all
the land is as smiling as Touraine, and one goes on rejoicing. Brittany
is picturesque, but with a sad sort of picturesqueness. In all of
her churches you will find a catafalque ready for the dead, and she
knows all the wild, sad legends, and truths sadder than any legend, of
the neighbouring ocean. Normandy smiles at you seemingly happy. Her
valleys are all abloom with millions of fruit trees, and spring is well
advanced.

As we turn out towards Mont St. Michel, a fussy little train makes
great to-do over its no miles an hour and puffs indignantly as we,
leaving it far behind, speed on over the broad high dyke, which
connects St. Michel with the main land. On either side stretch the
sands over which, when the tide races in, it outstrips a fast horse,
but the sea is far out to-day, so far that its murmurs do not reach us,
and there is no sound save our own on-rushing.

Mont St. Michel, pinnacle on pinnacle, rises directly before us five
hundred feet into the blue sky and becomes more and more distinct as
we approach until we finally reach a stand-still with the nose of our
auto poked against--a blank wall. Where to now? Above rises the wall
with no sign of a gate, and on either side and below us stretch the
wet sands,--no thoroughfare there surely. However, over an elevated
foot-bridge come a man and a woman, the former covers up the auto,
while the latter assures us that the Hôtel Poulard Âiné is the only
place for a gentleman to breakfast, a statement which causes high
words with the runner of another house who arrives a moment late.
But "Madame" carries the day and we follow her over the foot-bridge
which the high tides cover, and rounding a corner pass under a gateway
and into the quaintest spot in France. The way is narrow and steep,
disappearing upwards under a second gateway, but our guide turns us
promptly into a great kitchen with a bell above its entrance clanging
for the meal about to be served. One finds these kitchens in France,
but I have no memory of them elsewhere. Always spotlessly clean, the
walls hung with shining copper utensils, while the cook, in snowy
cap and apron, turns the spit where some fowls are roasting before
a roaring fire, whose glow is most acceptable after our swift ride
through the air. These cooks are personages in France and the proper
making of an omelette an affair of State, as it were. This man greets
us with a salutation so magnificent that I return it in kind as nearly
as I know how--but feel that I fall short.

[Illustration: MONT SAINT-MICHEL, FROM THE SOUTH

By permission of Messrs. Neurdein]

Every house in St. Michel climbs up the rocks. This one climbs high
and I must mount four flights of stairs to find the lavatories. As for
a lift, Mont St. Michel permits no such desecration of her ancient
usages. If you come here you will use the legs God gave you.

After breakfast, which by the way was excellent, I descend to the
street with the intention of exploring the place alone, but I reckon
without my host, who, in this instance, proves to be the old lady who
met us on arrival. She waves aside my gentle remonstrance, tells me
that I may never come again and had best see it all, and no one can
do as well for me as herself. I yield perforce, also because of her
cheery old face; God bless her! I have no doubt but that she is a good
mother to some one. So I start, Yama and Jean following closely. The
latter will fully appreciate all he sees, but the former will not know
any more two hours hence than he does now. But let him come; as my
instructor in German used to say when I could not remember the dative
case, that she should continue to pour it into one ear in the hopes
that some of it would stick before it passed out of the other. I think
she was wrong, for I never knew how I got into that case and was always
at a loss as to how I was to get out.

The old lady mounts to the lower battlements and begins her story. Her
French is so distinct and so slowly spoken that all must understand
her. She should command a high salary in some school at home. One could
not help but learn even without studying. So she rolls out the history
of the celebrated spot until we reach the portals of the fortress,
a lofty donjon flanked by two projecting turrets. There she must
consign us to its custodian, cheerily housed with his family in the
great guard-room, and under his guidance we mount the wide and stately
staircase of the Abbots, and for another hour wander through gallery
after gallery, crypt over crypt, here in a donjon in the rock, and
there in a prison spacious and cheerful. From every casement glimpses
of the beautiful panorama without greet one's eyes, but the full glory
of that is reserved until, having mounted five hundred steps, we
emerge upon a platform where stands the Cathedral, lifted far above
the sins of the earth, a fitting place for the worship of God. Gazing
downward one sees the fair land of Normandy to the left, while Brittany
stretches away to the right and the glistening waters of the English
Channel are behind one. The sunlight comes in long rays through the
cloud rifts and the land sparkles and the sea dances where it strikes
far out towards England.

High above us rise the pinnacles of the Cathedral, while on the topmost
point of its Gothic spire the gilded statue of St. Michael seems to
shout his hosannas upwards far towards the blue of heaven.

The wind is strong and fresh and full of life, for this is spring, and
the world rejoices; this is Holy Week with its divine resurrection and
its hope for all men! Lilies and apple blossoms deck these altars,
while in far off New Zealand autumn leaves will crown this festival.
How strange a circumstance!

There may be those in Europe and America who do not know the history
of this famous spot, but it has been so often described that there can
be but few so uninformed, and I fancy that its picture is certainly
known to all.--A conical rock rising from the sands close to the sea
and covered by houses, abbeys, and fortresses with the whole capped by
a great Cathedral, which flings its gilded statue of St. Michael five
hundred feet into the air where, on the apex of the delicate spire, it
seems, especially on a cloudy day when the support is invisible, to
float in the air.

The Holy Monks of the Order of St. Benedict founded the abbey here in
the year 709, and until the Revolution of 1793 it flourished and was a
prime factor in most political events from the Norman conquest downward.

Here again we hear of Louis XI. and Cardinal Balue who occupied one of
these prisons for two years, probably before the King had conceived
the happy thought of that cage,--and in fact, this same rock prison
may have suggested the cage, for both were a singular combination of
confinement and exposure. This in St. Michel, however, was spacious
and supported by many columns, as you may see it in its perfect state
to-day and from its loop holes the prisoner had spread out before him
a page from the book of nature whose interest was inexhaustible and
from which he could not be shut away save by chains or blindness. If
I must go to prison I hope it will be in Mont St. Michel, for here I
could scarcely be lonely. On sunny days one could see much of the world
below and many stately ships on the seas, and on stormy nights what
awe-inspiring sounds one must listen to, and listening, wonder whether
even this fortress of stone will not be blown into high air, mere dust
before the tempest, and then when the moon comes out, casting long
rifts of light into the darkness amongst these arches, what strange
shadows of kings, priests, knights, and prisoners must flit to and fro.

In the cathedral above, Louis XI. founded the knightly order of St.
Michael, but long before his day the city on the rock was called the
"City of Books," and here is a cloister in perfect condition,
where many of the books were written, I doubt not. Note the exquisite
capitals of the columns of polished granite and the double arcades. In
the crypt below, forming a cemetery, there is an old wheel of gigantic
proportions used as a windlass to haul provisions up into the castle.

[Illustration: THE CLOISTERS OF THE ABBEY OF MONT SAINT-MICHEL

By permission of Messrs. Neurdein]

The guard tells the history as he moves onward, and I notice that those
of the party who evince the least reverence for the sacred places are
two priests, who laugh at everything. The refectory interests them
most--one of the finest Gothic halls in France--and time is spent in
the inspection of the three great chimneys in the kitchen with many
sighs and much patting of capacious stomachs,--in regret, I doubt
not, at not having been on hand at all these feasts throughout the
centuries. This portion of the monastery dates from the year 1203, and
if you descend into the crypt beneath the church choir you will find
pillars twelve feet in diameter. Though one sees much, I fancy, that as
at Loches, there is much one does not see. If you could only come alone
and be permitted the freedom of the place. But you might get lost,--it
is quite possible I should think. If Louis XI. did not have some
particularly choice and horrible prison hidden away in Mont St. Michel
then he was not the king history paints for us. The cathedral is being
restored by the State. France seems desirous of preserving her historic
spots in the proper form and gives a good example to her neighbour,
Great Britain, who allowed the great hall of Edinburgh Castle to be
restored by a private citizen, and still permits the desecration of
Stirling Castle. There are plenty of places which would serve as well
and better for barracks and it is a disgrace to Scotland that she
permits such a use to be made of Stirling, whose great halls are cut
up and divided by common partitions to form accommodations of such a
character. Royal Stirling of all places! For the sake of the history of
the nation and the students thereof it should be cleared out, it would
be far more instructive than any history extant.

[Illustration: THE CRYPT DE L'AQUILON IN THE ABBEY OF MONT SAINT-MICHEL

By permission of Messrs. Neurdein]

But time passes,--we must move on.

Descending the rock, we enter our machine and are soon speeding along
the wide high dyke, which forms also the dividing line between Normandy
and Brittany.

These people look glad to see us. In Brittany we met with many frowns.
As the day wears onward the air becomes perceptibly colder. We have a
short storm or two and one burst of hail, so that the ancient city of
Caen is not an unwelcome sight, nor the comfort of her hotel "Place
Royale" objectionable.



CHAPTER XXI

     ARRIVAL AT CAEN--WILLIAM THE NORMAN AND CHARLOTTE CORDAY--CHURCH
     OF ST. ÉTIENNE--PEOPLE AND RAILROADS OF NORMANDY--ROUEN AND ITS
     CHURCHES--THE MAID OF ORLEANS, HISTORY OR LEGEND?--CASTLE OF
     PHILIPPE LE BEL--DEPARTURE FROM ROUEN


There are two names connected with the history of Caen which obliterate
the memory of all others: one of a king and warrior, the other of a
woman who gave her life for her country,--William of Normandy, and
Charlotte Corday. How far apart their lives lay, how widely different
their history! While the story of the man is full of interest and
glory, my thoughts rest longest on that of the girl, and I seem to see
her stepping from the door of the old house in the Rue St. Jean and
flitting away, down the long highway towards Paris and the guillotine;
her figure clothed in quiet gray stuff, a white kerchief crossed on
her bosom, and fastened by a bow of black ribbon, while a mass of wavy
black hair is crowned by a white cap bearing a black bow, and great
dark eyes light up a pallid face,--eyes glowing with that intense love
of country much more common to women than to men. That is to my mind
Charlotte Corday and in a simple house of the bourgeoise in this quiet
street she passed most of the years of her life. Its façade is changed
but the interior remains and one can picture the simple provincial
household with its scant furniture, its necessary economies, the old
aunt confiding to the family friend her "fear for Charlotte," the
meeting with her young patriots, and the last quiet closing of the door
of her home with no farewells to any one--the flitting away down this
long bright highway where we are speeding joyously to-day. Follow her
and you will go to the garden of the Palais Royal where she bought the
knife; go with her to the chamber of Marat where she slaughtered his
vileness; see her in the hands of the furies of the Revolution; watch
her as she mounts the scaffold. Surely if ever murder was forgiven by
God, that girl went spotless into His presence,--pure as the Maid of
Orleans.

[Illustration: CHARLOTTE CORDAY

After the painting by Raffet]

But Charlotte did not walk to Paris. She travelled in the diligence,
and seems to have had a very good time of it. She is a case in point
showing that vanity in women, especially in French women, is strong
even in the face of death by violence. We find her smiling upon the
artist who sketched her during the trial and turning her face towards
him, while, as the executioner waited, she gave a sitting for her
portrait in the Conciergerie. In this portrait which still exists she
is clothed in the red robe in which she met her death, as she called
it, "the toilette of death arranged by somewhat rude hands, but it
leads to immortality."

It rained in torrents as she moved out to her doom, and then the
sun shone forth. "Its departing rays fell upon her head, and her
complexion heightened by the red of the chemise, seemed of an unearthly
brilliance. Robespierre, Danton, and Camille Desmoulins watched her on
her way, a celestial vengeance appeased and transfigured."

How different the story of the other name which makes Caen famous! Pomp
and glitter, the call to arms and a throne! While the girl's grave is
unknown her death was attended by a nation, though the King sleeps in
the choir of the majestic Church of Saint Étienne and his descendants
rule in his stead, his death was neglected and he was buried by
charity. But which name stands first in the great court of God?

As the traveller enters Caen the first object which greets his eye
is the Church of St. Étienne, the Church of the Abbey of Men, which
was founded by the Conqueror in 1036, the same year his Queen Matilda
founded the Church of the Abbey of Women,--La Trinité, which one sees
over yonder, both as an expiation of the sin they had committed in
marrying within the forbidden degree of consanguinity. While singularly
majestic, St. Étienne is simple to severity, but what do architects
think about its façade and the odd-looking spires? To me they appear
as though brought by some giant on a dark night and set upon the
wrong church, after which it was not worth while to take them down.
Certainly to one who is not an architect, they seem oddly placed on
that façade.

[Illustration: THE ABBEY OF MEU AT CAEN

By permission of Messrs. Neurdein]

The interior however, the nave that is, satisfies by its dignified
simplicity and was a fitting resting-place for a king like the Norman.
I say "was" because the tomb under the black marble slab before the
high altar is empty. The King formerly slept beneath the great central
tower, but both Huguenots and Revolutionists desecrated his grave and
his bones have never rested in that tomb or choir.

Caen possesses many fine churches, especially that of Saint Pierre,
also the "Trinité" or "Abbaye aux Dames" founded by the Queen of the
Conqueror; but while that church is fine, its crypt is unique.

[Illustration: LA TRINITÉ, ABBEY OF WOMEN, AT CAEN

By permission of Messrs. Neurdein]

Our way through Normandy is as though driving through a beautiful park.
The long highways stretch off into the smiling country like great
white ribbons turning and twisting on a bed of delicate green satin
and the brooks bubble and sing along happy in the ever increasing life
of spring. Tall poplars clothed in the pale green which seems peculiar
to France in this season, march away in stately procession, while the
quaint thatched cottages are all a-blossom with the flowers of peach
and pear trees trained over their faces, and through which the windows
twinkle out at you like the eyes of a maiden from under the frills of
a white sunbonnet. There are many Evangelines abroad in this smiling
country, still wearing their Norman caps and kirtles of homespun.
Ancient dames sit by the open doors thankful that they may bask in
the sunshine of another year, and that they will not as yet add another
cross to the many on the hillside yonder. One with whom a black-robed
priest is talking is evidently so old that she must say farewell to all
this brightness before very long. We pass many curious groups. Here
comes one on a make-shift of a wagon, evidently of home construction.
It is hauled by three poor dogs, one on each side and one underneath
it. A stolid-looking girl pushes behind, and in it sits enthroned a
beast of a man, evidently a cripple in his legs, but with bestiality
written on every feature; such a man as Quilp must have been. A
wretched baby completes the party, but such groups of misery are the
exception, most of the people of Normandy look happy.

Our route lies through Lisieux, a prosperous little city, earnestly
engaged in its own affairs, and having no time to waste on a passing
show like ourselves. But we note as we glide by that Lisieux possesses
a church and many bits of curious architecture that would interest, but
to-day is one of those days when it is good to be alive, when there
is great joy in motion, so we sail onward almost like the flight of a
great flamingo, onward and onward, until from the top of a hill the
Seine comes into view, winding through its fair valley on the way to
the sea; and, off in the other direction, with her spires glittering
in the sunlight, sits Rouen, the pride of all this region which would
appear to have placed the town in its centre, and arranged its hills
like a vast amphitheatre all around it, that the looker-on might the
better observe the pageant of history as it swept through the ancient
city. As we move onward and into her streets we discover that the Rouen
of to-day, while evidently a "member of one of our oldest families"
is not a dead town. The Seine sweeping through her midst bears on its
waters ships from all over the world as well as the quaint barges and
puffing little steamers which come down from Paris. The old walls have
vanished, giving place to wide boulevards, which encircle the ancient
town and are in turn surrounded by far-spreading suburbs. Light and
life is everywhere and the cafés over-flow far into the streets with
their little tables and merry throngs. Evidently the fortune of the
ancient city was great, for its heir of to-day is certainly in affluent
circumstances,--so that there is nothing of the sadness which envelops
so many of the ancient towns of the Republic, and yet few, if any, of
them preserve intact so much that belongs to the Middle Ages.

Leave the wide, gay boulevard by the river and enter any of the
adjoining streets and you slip at once backward for hundreds of
years,--large sections stand unchanged by the flight of time,--ancient
mansions gaze down upon you still bearing their coats of arms in
stone,--still showing the high peaked roofs and heavy carving of a
distant age.

Moving on, you will pass the exquisite Church of St. Maclou and at
last pause with a feeling of satisfaction before the majestic façade
of the great cathedral. This temple holds perfect beauty in its plan,
is a poem in stone, which satisfies the mind and the eye ever more
and more. When the traveller passes into the shadowy interior he is
forced to pause in deepest admiration. The majestic pillars of its
nave stretch away hundreds of feet before him until merged in one of
the most beautiful choirs in Europe; centuries old all of it, and
never having been restored it possesses that mellow beauty which only
the passage of the years can bestow, and the artist lingers long in
its shadows drinking in the charm around him, with scarcely a desire
to enter into an examination of details,--nor shall I attempt such
descriptions here.

[Illustration: MONUMENT OF CARDINAL D'AMBOISE, IN ROUEN CATHEDRAL

By permission of Messrs. Neurdein]

As you move on into the choir, you will pass over some small
lozenge-shaped pieces of marble, marking the spot where rested once
the lion heart of Richard, and the body of his brother Henry. Here
they found the former in a greenish taffeta bag inclosed in a case
of lead,--it is now in the Museum. The gorgeous monument of George,
Cardinal of Amboise and Louis de Brézé will hold the attention in one
of the chapels,--both stately affairs. Brézé was the husband of Diane
de Poitiers, who is here represented clothed in deep mourning and
shedding many tears. An inscription upon the tomb states that she was
faithful in life and will be with him in death. Doubtless Francis I. or
Henry II. helped her erect the monument and compose the epitaph. As for
her sepulchre, it was built in her Château of Anet and there she was
buried. As for her faithfulness to her husband, those two kings, father
and son, can testify better than we can. One wonders why the furies
of the Revolution did not pull that tomb to bits,--for even in our
day, a complacent husband is not a pleasant object. As one wanders out
into the quiet streets of the old town, one wonders much as to whether
things in those days were after all very different from things in our
own time. Certainly those husbands did not think it worth while to kill
themselves.

[Illustration: THE TOMB OF LOUIS DE BRÉZÉ IN THE CATHEDRAL OF ROUEN

From a photograph]

In the Church of St. Ouen, Rouen possesses another cathedral, beautiful
in every line, but part is new and much restored, and, while the
architect will be charmed with it, the artist and historian will find
much greater pleasure in the Cathedral. So I wander in and out of it,
and off into the winding streets of the old town, where a tide of life
flows on making them cheery, cheerful places where even the ancient
houses, with their weight of years, smile downward upon the passing
throng like the "old, old, old, old lady at the boy just half-past
three." The great clock in its ancient gate-house tower has something
to say to me as I pass it by, as it has had something to say to kings
and princes, to black-cowled monks and purple-robed bishops, to the
Maid in her forbidden armour, to the child Queen of Scots when she
slept in this ancient city,--perhaps to Charlotte Corday. "Time hath
wings; how, O mortal, hast thou spent thine?"

[Illustration: THE GREAT CLOCK OF ROUEN

By permission of Messrs. Neurdein]

Hearing its bell, you are reminded of that fragment in the Museum, once
a part of the great bell of George of Amboise, which was melted by
the Terrorists into sou pieces, bearing the inscription "Monument of
Vanity, destroyed for utility, in the second year of the equality."

Passing onward the traveller comes to the Church of St. Gervais--the
oldest in Rouen and in the priory of which William the Conqueror died.

The royal dead in France were generally treated with scant respect on
their final journeys. Francis II. and Louis XV. were carted in old
wagons by night to St. Denis, and even this English king owes his
burial to a stranger. After the siege of Nantes, wounded to death, he
retired to this priory of St. Gervais to die. Deserted by his sons and
plundered by his servants when scarcely dead, his body lay naked and
uncared for until in pity and charity, a neighbouring knight assumed
the obligation of his funeral and escorted his body to the Church of
St. Étienne in Caen.

St. Gervais has suffered restoration, so let us move onward to where
the Maid of Orleans is supposed to have ended her life at the stake.

Which story are we to believe as to this maiden,--that given by history
and with which every schoolboy is familiar, or that related by M.
Lesigne, who terms the former "a beautiful legend?" He points out
that it is incredible that people should seriously believe that the
English were driven out by a peasant girl even though inspired and he
shows that just then the power of the French was strengthened, while
that of the English was weakened by dissensions at home; that Jeanne
was taken up by the war party,--not to lead its armies but to instill
religious fervour and courage into the hearts of its soldiers, that
she was not even aware of the first action between the contending
armies but was in fact in bed at the time; that Orleans fell because
the English had been abandoned by their allies of Burgundy, and he
gives credit for that to "the astute policy of Charles VII.," which,
by the way, is the first move denoting any brains on the part of that
monarch of which we have ever been made aware; that Jeanne's triumph
came during the rejoicings at Orleans, and when Charles was crowned at
Rheims. Taken by the Burgundians, she was transferred to the English,
whose king, as a Christian monarch, was under obligations to hand
her over to stand trial before the proper ecclesiastical court, but
that court had no power to inflict punishment, death, or torture. The
judgment of a secular court was necessary. On threat of being consigned
to that court, Jeanne signed a recantation, which was accepted,
provided she promised henceforth to wear woman's dress. Condemned to
life imprisonment, she passed again into the hands of the English as
a prisoner of war who represented a large ransom. Left to herself she
soon assumed male attire and was again handed over to the Church for
trial. Again recanting, she was recommended by that court to the mercy
of the secular powers, the English, who had never pronounced judgment
upon her. The legend of her burning was due to a desire to make her
fulfil the whole prophecy of the ancient Merlin, who was supposed to
have said that the islanders would put her to death, but she seems
to have subsequently married Robert des Armoises, and we possess a
document drawn up in the names of Robert des Armoises, Chevalier,
Seigneur of Trichiemont and "Jehanne du Lys la Pucelle de France," wife
of said Trichiemont. The identity of Jehanne du Lys and Jeanne d'Arc
is proven by several documents, among these a part of the chronicle of
Saint Thibault de Metz, describing her meeting with her brothers and
mentioning her marriage. This is the substance of M. Lesigne's book,
proving that every story has two sides. However, the world in general
and the Church in particular accept the story as history gives it.

She is now a regularly canonised saint of the Church of Rome and I
should not like to suggest to many healthy schoolboys at home that
she was not burned to death. If that did occur, it was not where
this meaningless and absurd monument stands to-day, but on the site
of the Théâtre Français. The scene of her imprisonment, trial, and
condemnation was the ancient Castle of Philip Augustus in 1204, of
which nothing now remains unless, as is claimed, the donjon tower shown
to-day as the prison of Jeanne d'Arc be part thereof. It certainly was
not her prison as that was torn down in 1809,--a year, by the way,
which seems to have been more fatal to many of these old buildings than
the period of the Revolution.

[Illustration: THE TOWER OF JEANNE D'ARC AT ROUEN

From an old print]

This Castle of Philip was immense in size, possessed of many towers,
and would be of intense interest to-day, as the illustration shows. It
is said to have stood intact until 1809.

Few of the old houses which crowd these streets and point their
aristocratic gables towards the sky stood here in 1400, though many of
the less pretentious did do so. The great churches were here, and in
whatever direction you may stroll in Rouen, you will arrange to pass
through one at least of these beautiful shrines, carrying away with you
into after life the memory of something which you would not forget.

[Illustration: A HOUSE OF THE 15TH CENTURY AT ROUEN

From a photograph]

We leave the city on a glorious morning. As we glide away down her
wide boulevard stretching by the river, the world is all astir about
its business, and this Rouen is all of to-day, but as we speed off up
the encircling hillside, the modern town drops down toward earth as it
were, while the majestic cathedral and her sister churches lift their
dark walls and spires higher and higher, towards the sky.

[Illustration: THE CATHEDRAL AT ROUEN

By permission of Messrs. Neurdein]



CHAPTER XXII

     THE RACE THROUGH PICARDY--AMIENS CATHEDRAL--ITS VASTNESS--THE ROAD
     TO BOULOGNE


So we bid farewell to Rouen, deep down in her valley by the river, and
rolling swiftly through the fair country towards Neufchâtel, we pause
a moment to render homage at the altar of their great god, cheese; and
so onward past many picturesque spots and interesting ruins. But the
day is too fair to pause for the dead past. This air is the wine of
life and the rush of our car drives it into and through us until, on
arriving at Amiens for luncheon, we are ready to eat anything.

One really runs a risk of being ruined by dyspepsia on such a journey,
as one's appetite becomes great and one gets no exercise. After a long
day's ride and a hearty dinner, bed becomes most attractive at an
early hour, and I often find myself snugly ensconced at eight o'clock
and awakened at two in the morning by vivid dreams of my ancestors,
entangled in flying wheels.

There are few in the vast tide of travellers between London and Paris
who do not note, as their train speeds across the plains of Picardy,
the towering gables and gigantic roof of the great cathedral of her
capital, Amiens. It rises so far above the surrounding city that it
appears to have nothing in common with it, nor are there any other
structures round about to detract from this impression.

In common with millions of others, I had heretofore found no time for
closer inspection. The tide of life sweeps too strongly through here to
allow one to do more than gasp at the immensity of this church. To-day
as we roll onward from the smiling country into the streets of the
town, the cathedral looms up grander and grander until all thought of
anything else passes from the mind. The busy tide of life and the city
of seventy thousand souls does not and will not hold your attention
for half an hour while within its limits. "It is a great manufacturing
town, weaves cotton velvets for Spain, spins woolen yams, makes satin
for ladies' shoes, and was the cradle of cotton manufacture in France."

[Illustration: THE CATHEDRAL AT AMIENS

By permission of Messrs. Neurdein]

Yes, yes, yes,--perhaps so, perhaps so, but, what is that to us? Leave
it all and move faster, into that square. Now,--stop.----What are all
the cotton mills of earth compared to this stately shrine? Look at
those three deeply recessed and majestic portals towering as high as an
ordinary church before you, the destroyer has passed them by and they
are crowded with statues, prominent amongst which, dividing the central
doors is that of the "Beautiful God of Amiens." Over the central
doorway is the Last Judgment in high relief,--the twelve Apostles, the
wise and foolish virgins. Yonder is the Virgin crushing a monster with
a human head, and above it the expulsion of Adam and Eve. One sees the
burial and assumption of the Virgin in another spot, and row after row
of kings, bishops, and priests, with the great towers rising far above
and equally rich in carvings to their very summit. There would appear
to be too much of carved work and yet the church is so huge that it
would look barren without it. Entering, you are at once impressed with
the vast dimensions, which are surpassed only by St. Peter's and the
Dom of Cologne. The nave rises one hundred and forty feet above you.
Its height and breadth are so great and the pillars so majestic that
one wonders whether this church was not built by and intended for a
larger, grander race of beings than we who now walk this earth.

Passing onward down the nave and into the choir, you are again struck
with the beauty and richness of the carvings both in the stalls in
wood and in the stone screens and altars, all around you. The rose
windows are glorious, and yet--you feel that you have dropped your
sense of delightful satisfaction somewhere. What is it,--why? It is
absurd to criticise such a temple, yet Amiens, notwithstanding its
majestic interior, does not fascinate, is not so satisfying as the
great churches of Rouen, and I think it is because there is too much
light. There, all is subdued; here a glare of white light detracts from
the majesty, if such a thing be possible. Certainly one shivers and is
cold and fully realises that ancient coloured glass has a wonderfully
beautifying effect in these old churches.

Amiens has her history also. Henry IV. from a seat up yonder watched
the retreat of the Spaniards and Isabeau of Bavaria here married the
idiot Charles VI.

There is nothing in the city to interest, save the cathedral, and I
come again and again, and finally take a swirling view as my auto
flashes around it, and off and away to the northward. As we move
farther and farther afield, I turn again and again to look backward and
each time the cathedral has risen higher and higher until it reigns
supreme in a kingdom all its own,--a thing not made by man.

The route from Amiens to Boulogne is very unpleasant for France, narrow
and badly marked, so that we several times go astray, especially before
reaching Abbeville. The way is also crossed frequently by stone gutters
which will in passing destroy the springs of the auto unless extreme
caution be used. These should be changed, one does not find them south
of Paris.

As it would be impossible to pass through Brussels without a thought of
Waterloo so at Abbeville the mind wanders away from the noisy town and
off to the neighbouring battlefield of Crécy whose forest we see at our
right as we speed northward.

Reaching Boulogne at about three o'clock, we are almost blown backward
by the winds off the Channel, and seek shelter in a draughty, desolate
hotel. Yama thinks that we have come to the end of the world, and
will be lost if we attempt to go out on that churning sea. He asks if
England is five days off, and seems very doubtful of my truthfulness
when I say it is but an hour's sail.



CHAPTER XXIII

     THE RIDE TO BEAUVAIS--DEAD DOGS--GREAT CHURCHES--BEAUVAIS BY
     NIGHT--VAST WEALTH OF THE CHURCHES OF FRANCE--WONDERFUL TAPESTRIES


Two days of gloom and mist in London, London during the holidays, which
means a desert, rendered our return to France doubly agreeable. The sun
streams out its light as we enter the harbour at Boulogne, and Jean
waves his cap at us while the auto is snorting a welcome.

The important custom-house officials insisted upon examining my bundle
of home papers but finding the _Enquirer_ harmless, passed it and we
sailed away. Collecting the wash and traps at the windy, disagreeable,
and most expensive Hôtel Pavilion Impérial we started off once more,
gladly shaking the dust of Boulogne from our wheels. It's a sadly
dreary place where indigent English come over to enjoy the risk of
gambling at a dead sort of casino,--good church members at home, very
pillars of the sanctuary, who gamble like street arabs all the time
they are here. Let us leave it and roll off and away into the fair land
of France.

The ride to Beauvais proves to be one of the most delightful of the
journey. The roads are superb and we meet many autos which, while they
add to the danger, also give zest to the sport as they go shrieking
past us. Just now we killed one poor dog so suddenly that he never
knew what hurt him. Rushing at us from an out-house he got his neck
just in the spot for our flying wheels to pass over it, and he never
moved after that. It was over in a flash, all his wild rollicking life
snuffed out like the flame of a candle. We regretted the accident but
could in no way have prevented it.

Skirting the town of Abbeville and leaving Amiens well to our left, we
go directly south via Poix, Grandvilliers, and "Marseilles the Little."
Once during the afternoon, though the sun shines brilliantly the air
becomes suddenly very cold and a short, sharp shower of hail forces
us to slow down and draw up the cover. We are moving very rapidly and
our momentum added to the force of the hailstones causes us to feel as
though suddenly subjected to an assault of the enemy, but it lasts for
a moment only, and with top again thrown back, we are speeding onward.

If you would feel the elixir of life and youth pouring into your
veins, take such a ride on such a day. There is nothing with which to
compare it, save the wild flight of a toboggan. An eagle may know the
sensation as he soars through space, but until mortals shall have put
on immortality or wings we can know it only in auto cars or toboggans,
for I am told that in a balloon one feels no motion unless one falls,
and it does not last long even then,--mercifully so.

The ride is superb all the way to Beauvais. It is Easter Sunday, all
the villages are rejoicing. Giddy-go-rounds are in full swing, and the
Beauvais hotel is occupied by boys from Paris and their best girls,
the latter are not above flirting even with an elderly gentleman
like myself. The fact that _his_ arm is around her waist and _his_
head on her shoulder does not in the least interfere with her double
actions,--she can squeeze _his_ hand while she throws languishing
glances at me.

But dinner is over and the old town presents greater attraction to me
than these passers-by within her limits. Darkness has come down upon
the narrow streets, where, as I wander along, the lamps cast queer
shadows under the eaves of the gabled houses. There is a mass of
something over there that should be the cathedral, it towers so high
into the sky and I pause before it in doubt. Part is Gothic and as the
light will permit, I fancy very beautiful. The remainder is evidently
a building of another century, certainly of a totally different style
of architecture. While I am pondering, a foot-step draws nearer and
nearer, the only sound of life in the city, and its owner, a little
man, in answer to my question, assures me that this is not the
Cathedral, but St. Étienne--a structure as old as the greater church
which stands quite on the other side of the town, and "If Monsieur
visits it, let him go at noon and ask for the old clock, it is well
worth an inspection and very curious."

So he patters off into the silence of the night, and I wander on
through street after street until the Cathedral looms up before me.
Only a piece of a church, but what a piece, how gigantic! Why, since
there would be few if any rivals on the earth, does not the nation
complete it to its own glory? It may lose some of its majesty by
daylight,--that often happens,--but to-night it is superbly solemn and
most majestic, even though but a fragment.

These great religious temples are all in place here in old Europe,
but I cannot but think that the erection of a vast cathedral for the
Episcopal Church in America is money ill spent and but to gratify
vanity. These structures were built when great temples were almost a
necessity for the processions of the Church of Rome, but they are of
little use, save the choir, for any other purpose even in that church
of to-day and, aside from the Cathedral of Westminster in London, the
Church of Rome has erected no such structures since that of Orleans.

The good people of Beauvais in the year 1225 evidently bent upon
building a church which would dwarf that of their neighbors in Amiens,
began this one before me; and if they had completed it they would
have succeeded in their intention, for that vast edifice could then
have been placed bodily within this structure, as the ridge pole of
this roof is one hundred and fifty-three feet above the pavement or
thirteen feet higher than that of Amiens, and three feet higher than
the Cathedral of Cologne; but, money and the genius of the architect
both failed,--the former want calling a halt on further progress,
and the latter, through his desire to have as few inner supports as
possible over-shot his mark, so the walls bulged and roof collapsed in
1284. With the repair of that damage came a cessation of all work, and
so the cathedral stands to-day. As I wander around it in the darkness,
I stumble upon a little structure at its western end, evidently much
older than its gigantic neighbour, as it is Roman in design, and in the
shadow farther on rise two great round towers of some château; exactly
what it is one does not know or care to inquire, leaving all facts for
the plain daylight of the morrow and allowing the darkness of to-night
to claim what it may.

Even in the shadows one may discern that Beauvais is a very curious
old place. Ancient it certainly is, as Cæsar mentions this district,
but its most memorable day was that upon which it closed its gates in
the face of a vast Burgundian army, and kept them closed until succour
arrived from Paris. Women took such a prominent part in the siege that
Louis XI. complimented them and declared that they should forever march
first in the commemorative procession,--this they do in this year,
1905. One can well imagine that Louis cared little for the women, but
it gave him another opportunity of humiliating his noblemen.

On my return to the inn, I have the great square all to myself save
for a rising moon,--in fact, I wonder whether I have not the whole
of Beauvais to myself, for I have not met a dozen of my kind since I
started out,--but as the air is cold and the moonlight seems very
old to-night, let us to bed, where I, at least, dream of disjointed
churches and queer round towers when I dream of anything at all,--which
is not often, for sleep after these rushing rides is as profound as
death.

Daylight brings another state of affairs. The inn is alive with the
noise of departing autos, and there is much wonderment that I will
linger in this "queer place," with Paris and all it holds so near.
There are even doubtful glances cast at my red car and insinuations
that it will not go. It certainly will not now, nor for several hours
to come.

Passing out into the sunny street I find a busy little bustling city,
alive to its own concerns. Yonder old gentleman in that postal card
shop is very much alive to the fact that I have not patronised his
wares, which I do at once, and he is delighted that I really take an
interest in his beloved old town. His preference is for the ancient
city but he does not forget her attractions of to-day and trusts that
I will not depart without an inspection of the factory where the
tapestries are made. This factory was established before the Gobelins,
and these good people of Beauvais consider their work far superior to
that of the better known fabric near Paris.

[Illustration: THE GRAND PORTAL OF THE CATHEDRAL OF BEAUVAIS

By permission of Messrs. Neurdein]

As I enter the Cathedral, even the majesty of the building is for a
time secondary to the interest excited by the splendid specimens of
this work, which hang upon the walls. They are vast in size and very
rich in colouring, as well as beautiful in design, and represent the
histories of St. Peter and St. Paul after the cartoons of Raphael.
These tapestries are worth a million and a half of francs, and it
has been proven by the returns made to the Minister of Fine Arts from
all over France, that the art treasures of the churches far surpass
in beauty and value those of the great public institutions of Paris,
Versailles, the Louvre, Luxembourg, de Cluny, and Carnavalet. In fact
those vast collections are but a small part of the artistic wealth of
France. Its real wealth is in its churches, and if brought to a sale
would realise the fabulous sum of six thousand millions of francs, or
twelve hundred millions of dollars.

The little Roman church of Conques, hidden in the mountains of the
Aveyron, possesses a treasure,--shown at the Exhibition of 1900, for
which a syndicate offered thirty-two million francs. It is well for
France that it is inalienable. It holds the finest enamels in the
world, reliquaries given by the kings, and Roman statues in gold and
silver. For the silver Virgin of Amiens, eight hundred thousand francs
was offered, and the one at Le Mans is valued at a million, while the
Cathedral of Rheims possesses in its panel, representing the Nativity,
the most valuable piece of tapestry extant.

That these treasures were not dispersed by the Terrorists is a marvel;
they certainly would have produced far more money for their cause
than the melting down of a few bells. The colouring of these pieces
in Beauvais is of a freshness and strength which surprises one. They
evidently have been shut off from the light through most of the many
years since they were made.

This cathedral in the daytime still impresses by its immensity, and
now one sees the painted glass of the sixteenth century. There is
so much of it and the windows are so close together that the effect is
like that of the Sainte Chapelle in Paris enlarged enormously, and the
church has the appearance of a glass house as the stone work is far
less prominent than in other cathedrals.

I spend some time in the adjacent château. The great round towers
observed last night are but the guardians of the entrance to the court,
across which rises the old palace of the Archbishop, now the Hôtel de
Ville. The whole is picturesque, but the interior is not of interest.

[Illustration: OLD HOUSES ON THE RUE DE LA MANUFACTURE, BEAUVAIS

By permission of Messrs. Neurdein]

There is much indeed of the picturesque in Beauvais and one may spend
many hours wandering through her streets, but the attraction of motion
is upon me and I am certain to secure it in yonder red car, which
to-night will deposit me in the capital. But before that we shall have
a delightful ride, all too speedily a thing of the past.



CHAPTER XXIV

     THE ROUTE TO SAINT-GERMAIN-EN-LAYE--THE PEOPLE--THE CASTLE AND
     TERRACE--THEIR PICTURESQUE HISTORY--FIRST VIEW OF PARIS


It is close to high noon when we enter the ancient and once royal city
of St. Germain-en-Laye, after some miles speeding through the aisles of
her forest, where they say wild boar may be found to this day. As we
enter the town, the people are streaming out of the churches and off
and away in every sort of vehicle for the festal part of the day. How
happy they all look, especially the children, whose faces are, as it
were, mirrors reflecting the sunlight. Here are the funny little donkey
and dog carts, both such serious-looking concerns. Yonder is a bridal
coach with its happy party, and in this tram-car is another bridal
party not at all ashamed of its costumes, and all around it seem bent
upon making it happy for this one day at any rate. The morrow and its
sorrows will come soon enough. This is a work-a-day world, and this
festival will be looked back upon throughout all the coming years.
I saw last spring in one of the Parisian gardens a bride in full
regalia, veil and all, proudly seated on an elephant, and very happy
over the admiration of the groom and the others around below her.

Passing rapidly through the streets of Saint-Germain we emerge upon
the castle square, with that picturesque structure to our left, while
far beyond it, along the brow of the hill, stretches the stately and
famous terrace, its balustrade, vases, and statues glimmering white
against the squarely trimmed, pale green trees bordering the walks, and
behind all rise the darker masses of the forest. Off and away before
us the land drops to where the Seine twists and winds through the
valley of rich green. Yonder are the heights of Marly and the forest
of Vésinet and beyond, the white city of Paris, glittering in the
sunshine, spreads away over hill after hill, crowned on the one side
by the Cathedral of Montmartre and on the other by the Fortress of Mt.
Valerian. There is no fairer scene in all the world than this before
us,--as there is no such fair city on earth as Paris in the month of
May. All the world is abroad to-day. Here in the square of the palace
of St. Germain the tide of people is quite tremendous, beating its
human waves against the walls of this ancient abode of the kings of
France and streaming far out upon the wide walks of her terrace.

If Louis le Grand should return and visit this favourite promenade,
favourite until he grew old enough to find the plainly to be seen
towers of St. Denis disagreeable of contemplation, what would he think
of this democratic assemblage where two centuries ago all was state and
ceremony, velvets and laces? However, there are women here as lovely
as La Vallière or de Montespan, and he would probably arrange a later
meeting with some of them. After all is said, the people are about
the same, notwithstanding the lapse of centuries. There are plenty of
La Vallières and Louises in plain air on yonder terrace to-day where
the gay god of love reigns just as supreme as in the days of le grand
Monarque.

[Illustration: THE CHÂTEAU OF SAINT-GERMAIN FROM THE NORTH

By permission of Messrs. Neurdein]

This old castellated château before us was built by Charles V. and
finally completed by Francis I. It was more of a fort than a palace,
and far too sombre to please the gay Henry of Navarre, who had
constructed a gorgeous palace near where the terrace now stands, and
wherein Louis XIII. died. This was destroyed by Charles X.

But there were gay days even in this château before us. Louis XIV.
was born here, and it was here that he came down through the trapdoor
in the ceiling in search of La Vallière sleeping probably on straw.
These old palaces were not always furnished and the king's bed was
hauled from house to house many times. This is said to have occurred
especially here at St.-Germain, to reach which it was in those days
somewhat difficult.

[Illustration: THE TERRACE AT SAINT-GERMAIN

By permission of Messrs. Neurdein]

The terrace was inaugurated when Louis XIV. was in the height of his
glory and with a splendour we can scarcely conceive, surely a contrast
to the very democratic crowds which swarm its alleys and hang over its
balustrade in this year, 1905. James II. of England and his Queen lived
and died here and in this church to our right he lies buried. The
sadness and misfortune of the fated Stuarts never forsook them for an
instant even after death, for the bodies of Henrietta Maria, widow of
Charles I., and her daughter Henrietta were the first to be torn from
their tombs in St. Denis and cast into the fosse.

Before all this, St.-Germain witnessed the reception of the little
Queen of Scotland and historic faces were clustered thickly around her
fair head.

One can picture that stately assemblage as it came from yonder portal
to greet the very weary, tired out little girl, whose brows already
ached with her Scottish crown; Henry II., the gay gallant; Catherine
de Medici,--queen as yet in name only,--with the smouldering fires of
ambition and the gleam of an indomitable will in her black, velvety,
opaque eyes,--eyes which held no pupil yet saw all. One always pictures
her as in her latter days, garbed in sweeping black with a long veil
of sombre hue sweeping down from a black cap whose white frill comes
to a point in the centre of her brow. But here she was clothed in
brilliancy. Henry allowed no black in his court. In the throng came
the boy princes whose short lives were to be so full of tragedies.
Nostradamus also appeared with his prophecies of blood for the little
princess. The head of the house of Guise and all who made history in
those days together with the glittering courtiers,--poured in gorgeous
array from yonder archway onto this square, crowded to-day with its
plebeian humanity, and, as the eye wanders past the château and rests
on the far-reaching terrace, the mental picture, shifting downward
through the years is filled with a throng even far more brilliant.
Masses of Watteau figures headed by Louis le Grand in his high
red-heeled shoes and vast wig, and clothed with pomposity, advance out
of the past; then the furies of the Revolution like a pack of great
gaunt wolves sweep them away as though chaff, and passing onward give
place to the beautiful if mock courts of the Napoléons, and then, the
picture merges into this of to-day where the stage is the same, but how
different the players thereon. Yonder, glittering in the sunshine lies
the cauldron of Paris, which has produced and destroyed all who have
performed on this stage of St.-Germain.

Even with the gaiety of the scene around us we cannot altogether forget
what has occurred here, or wonder what may not yet occur, for it is
quite within the possibilities that future revolutionists may carry
out the intention of Robespierre and establish the guillotine within
this court as a permanence,--an intention thwarted only by his death.
Certainly he was nothing if not picturesque. The grim court of this old
fortress would form a picturesque surrounding for his pet instrument
of destruction, and the last glimpse afforded its victims of the world
they were to leave would be one of the most beautiful that the world
contains. The contemplation of it holds me long to-day, but time flies,
we must move on, and so, entering our red car, we drop away from
St.-Germain speeding down the hillside, rushing through village after
village, crossing and re-crossing the river, skimming onward through
the beautiful Bois de Boulogne, where all Paris is coming outward to
the races, and so through the grand avenues, past the Arch of the Star,
and into the court of the hotel where the auto vanishes and we rest for
a season.



CHAPTER XXV

     PARIS AND HER SO-CALLED REPUBLICAN GOVERNMENT--NECESSITY FOR
     AN AUTOMOBILE--THE RIDE TO CHARTRES--CATHEDRAL NOTRE DAME--THE
     AQUEDUCT AT MAINTENON AND ITS BURDEN OF SORROW--THE CASTLE OF
     MAINTENON--MADAME AND LOUIS XIV.--ST. CYR AND HER DEATH--RETURN TO
     PARIS.


Paris is _en fête_ for the coming of the little Spanish King, and
as the shadows lengthen, he passes in state, down the Avenue of the
Champs-Élysées,--a delicate, pale-faced boy, with apparently no
constitution. The French nation may be on the downward path, but this
city of Paris is gay to-day with no fear of the handwriting on the
wall. One seems to _live_, here, as in no other capital in the world;
all the others are work-a-day where, to their credit be it said,
business and the serious side of life are ever foremost; but here, all
is pleasure and for pleasure, while work is shoved far off into the
distant quarters of the city. To a citizen from a real republic, this
of France seems one in name only. These people so dearly love the pomp
and glitter of fine pageants that the simplicity of our republican
nation could not be endured. One would judge that there are as many
titles in France at the present time as before the great Revolution
and I doubt the arrival of the day when they will be things of the
past, to-day at least they are recognised in France and receive all due
respect socially and politically.

I have visited Paris many, many times in the years gone by and thought
I knew the city thoroughly. So I did and do, the immediate city within
the walls, and many of the points without them, but that is far from
the whole of Paris. So much lies around it which it is bother-some to
reach and that I never saw or should have seen but for an auto, that
I feel deeply grateful to the puffing, conceited thing, which, so to
speak, swallows one up and rushes off in any and all directions, and
at a moment's notice; so that day after day glides by in skimming the
country round about of its rich cream of interest.

To-day we are off for Chartres,--a short run of fifty-five miles each
way. I had asked an acquaintance to go along and warned him to bring
his heavy wraps. He appeared in low shoes, silk socks, a light spring
overcoat and wearing a delicate orchid in his buttonhole. Before we
reach Chartres I have to wrap him up in about everything the car holds
save the gasoline, and I think he is inclined to swallow some of that
and to touch a match to it so hard are the shivers. However, a bottle
of whiskey sets him on his legs again, but I fancy the next time he is
warned he will take heed.

The day's ride is beautiful and proves one of utmost interest, one in
which the pages of France's history are unrolled all too rapidly before
us. The air is fresh and life-giving as we race past the Arch, and so
on into the shade of the Bois, which this morning is so entrancing
that we speed through many of its avenues before starting onward for
the real ride of the day. The machine skims over these level roadways
soundlessly, and so smoothly that one may write if one were so disposed
on such a morning. Other autos rush past us and we hold on to our caps
and almost to our hair; thousands of bicycles flash along the by-paths;
Paris is out to enjoy itself as only Paris knows how to do.

Yonder is Bagatelle, to my thinking the most exquisite portion of
the Bois, and one so little known, to Americans at least. Enter its
gateways, and there, in the very centre of this French wood, you find a
great park intensely English in its characteristics. One might imagine
one's self in some English estate in the heart of that country, for,
save for the villa, there is nothing to remind one that this is France.
The villa itself is not of a size to greatly mar the picture, and as it
is empty and closed you will spend your time in the winding walks and
under the shade of the trees.

There are two statements as to the building of yonder villa, one, that
it was done by the Comte d'Artois on a wager with Marie Antoinette that
he would build a château in a month's time. This he accomplished. The
other statement makes the wager by that same nobleman with the Prince
of Wales and the time sixty days. Whichever is true, the villa was
built and for many years with its park belonged to and was the home
of Sir Richard Wallace, who housed his superb collection, now in
London, within its walls.

Bagatelle now belongs to Paris and is part of the Bois, though still
shut off by its walls and gateways, and you are only permitted to enter
on foot.

It would be pleasant to linger longer here to-day, but with Chartres
in our minds we move off, passing en route the Café de Madrid, which,
to the many thousands who visit or pass it by, means simply a place to
get something to eat and yet it occupies the site of the villa built by
Francis I. on the model of his prison in Madrid (hence the name). Here
the gay monarch first caused ladies to become a necessary part of his
Court, insisting that "a court without women is a year without spring
time and a spring time without roses."

With such power of compliment is it a marvel that he was a favourite of
the fair sex, or that his taste was so perfect that his son could do no
better than make his father's fair Diane the first lady of his Court?

"Madrid" was a house of pleasure. After Francis, Henry II. used it with
Diane de Poitiers, Charles IX. with Mlle. de Rouet. Henry III. changed
it from a menagerie of women to that of beasts. Here the gay Marguerite
divorced by Henry IV. spent her latter years; how, we can well imagine.
History is silent concerning it after that, though it was probably used
for the same purpose by the succeeding Louis until Louis XVI. ordered
its demolition. There is not a vestige of it left to-day, but on its
site stands the pink restaurant with its green benches and shading
trees, its white covered tables and laughing throngs, but it is too
early in the day for them as yet, and the place is rather silent as we
flash by it towards the murmuring river.

As we pass through Louveciennes, we pause a moment before the pavilion,
all that remains of the Villa of Madame du Barry. Everything else has
vanished and it is only the exterior of the pavilion that remains as
she beheld it.

What was her real character,--the daughter of a dressmaker, the
mistress of a king, the power before which all the Court bowed, and
whose influence over the aged monarch was unbounded? How did she
use it? Should we pity her fate, or turn in disgust from a thing so
degraded? Some authorities state that from the first to last she was
all bad,--the mistress of one Comte du Barry, she was, by the King's
orders, married to another, and so presented at Court where her power
soon eclipsed that of all others. The Court was at its lowest stage
of depravity during her time. She cost France thirty-five millions of
francs, and died a coward, showing more fear and terror on the scaffold
than any other woman who mounted its fatal platform. The only thing in
her favour was her patronage of art and of the men of letters.

The other side of the picture, told by an eye-witness, Madame Campan,
is far different, at least as regards the standing of the frail du
Barry. Therein we find her treated with indulgence by Louis XVI. and
Marie Antoinette, and we are told that with the latter she was, during
the dark days of the terror, in constant communication, giving the
queen all the information which she worked so hard to obtain,--that
her grief over the tragedy of the Queen was intense, and that she
desired to dispose of all she possessed in their favour, in re-payment
for the infinite goodness of the King and Queen towards herself.
Returning to France to join the man she loved, de Bressac, she was
forced to gaze upon his severed head carried on a pike past her windows
in Versailles.

Betrayed at last by the negro boy Zamore, whom she had benefited and
protected for years, she was guillotined.

She was evil, doubtless, but was there not enough good there to admit
of the hope of a greeting in another world such as came to the woman of
Palestine, "Neither do I condemn thee?"

The figures of history come trooping to us as we roll onward towards
Versailles, to which we give but a passing glance. Later on, we glide
through the woods where Racine first learned the language of poetry and
so on to Rambouillet, where Francis I. ended his days murmuring to his
son, "Beware of the Guise." The château is a gloomy pile of red brick,
and it was in a chamber in its great round tower that the soul of the
merry monarch sailed forth on its long journey, scarcely faster I think
we glide away from his palace to-day.

To me, properly dressed, this ride is delightful. I find a lined
leather jacket to be of all things the most comfortable, but poor
Narcissus is chattering with cold and so we leave the Château de
Maintenon for inspection on our return.

There is much rushing water around the château and its little village,
and we come soon upon a majestic aqueduct spanning the river,--a
structure which might be considered one of the immediate causes of
the French Revolution. Rising from the placid river and its bright
green banks, the arches are picturesque and beautiful to-day, and
yet, to build them, forty thousand troops were employed. The spot was
so unhealthy that the mortality was immense,--many thousands,--and
the dead were carried away by night that the workers might not be
discouraged or the pleasure of the King delayed, for this was to
furnish life to his fountains at Versailles. The King intended to carry
the waters of the river through a new channel eight leagues in length,
and hence this aqueduct, as it was necessary to connect two mountains.
However, before it was completed, the work was abandoned for the
hydraulics at Marly. This structure was partly demolished to build the
Château of Crécy for Madame de Pompadour. Of the forty-seven original
arches, fourteen remain, each eighty-three feet high with a forty-two
foot span. The loss of life caused in the building of this canal of
thirty-three miles does not appear to have excited much attention at
the time,--such was the power of the King, but the people remember, and
the grandchildren of these did remember in 1793, when, as usual, the
innocent suffered for the guilty.

Leaving the aqueduct with its burden of sorrow and the softly murmuring
river, we mount the hills and enter upon La Beauce, the finest corn
land in France. It spreads away from us, a vast plain, gently sloping
off for miles, until far in the hazy distance of this lovely spring
day the twin towers of the famous Cathedral of Chartres pierce the sky,
and from now on with scarcely any power, and soundless, the car speeds
on and on, ever faster and faster, until the wings come out on its hubs
once more, and we are flying, fairly flying.

If Sheridan had possessed an automobile that day at Winchester, T.
Buchanan Reid would have lost the opportunity to make him immortal, but
still "hurrah, hurrah for Sheridan, hurrah, hurrah for horse and man,"
and one feels like returning to boyhood's days and giving utterance to
some wild whoops as this car rushes onward and onward.

The vast plain spreads away, spangled with daisies. The hedges are all
a-blossom, the air is full of perfume and this old world seems young
once more, until, as we enter the ancient city of Chartres and pause
before her Cathedral, we suddenly drop back again into the Middle Ages.

[Illustration: THE CATHEDRAL AT CHARTRES

By permission of Messrs. Neurdein]

This Cathedral of Notre Dame is considered by architects to be the most
perfect in France. Its "vast size" is also mentioned. As to the former
opinion, it arises, I think, so far as the exterior is concerned, from
its simplicity of outlines. One comprehends the whole at a glance, and
the eye is not confused and tired by a vast conglomeration of styles,
as is the case with many churches. If one were to see this at Chartres
first, many of the other cathedrals would impress one as over-dressed,
so to speak.

As for its size, after the churches of Rouen, Amiens, and Beauvais,
this does not impress me, as it is on a far smaller scale than any of
those edifices. For instance, the height of the nave is thirty-four
feet less than in the Cathedral of Amiens and forty-seven less than
that of Beauvais. Neither is it so long or wide as those of Rouen
and Amiens. However, while it is not so vast, it is in its interior
much more impressive than Amiens. Because of its ancient windows, it
holds a "dim religious light" under its arches soothing to mind and
heart. "Peace, be still," pervades the silence and follows you as a
benediction when you go hence. But before you go, gaze a while upon
the glory of these windows. Europe holds nothing like them. They are
perfect, and they are eight hundred years old. Other cathedrals have
a few or a few fragments, here are one hundred and thirty perfect
windows; and from the great rose circle forty feet in diameter to those
surrounding the aisles, all are full of that beautiful painted glass,
such as we are not able to produce in this latter day.

After all, the glory of this Church of our Lady is in such details as
this, and in her exquisite lace-like carvings in stone, surrounding the
outer wall of the choir. These, together with the Gothic porticoes on
the north and south side, form the objects of the greatest beauty and
interest in Chartres.

[Illustration: THE NORTH PORTAL OF THE CATHEDRAL AT CHARTRES

By permission of Messrs. Neurdein]

[Illustration: THE SOUTH PORTAL OF THE CATHEDRAL AT CHARTRES

By permission of Messrs. Neurdein]

[Illustration: STONE CARVINGS SURROUNDING THE CHOIR OF THE CATHEDRAL AT
CHARTRES

From a photograph]

The cathedral has been the object of vast pilgrimages because of a
sacred image of the Virgin, which stood in its crypt,--it was destroyed
in 1793. Henry IV. was crowned here, and here one still sees the
celebrated black image of the twelfth century which was crowned with a
"bonnet rouge" during the Terror, but is now restored to its ancient
occupation of receiving the veneration of the faithful.

[Illustration: THE VIERGE DU PILIER IN THE CATHEDRAL OF CHARTRES

By permission of Messrs. Neurdein]

We were not impressed with the town of Chartres and so after a good
dinner and much whiskey for the frozen youth of the orchids, we bid
it farewell. While there we met some friends who had come from Naples
in their own car, a new one, and had spent a thousand dollars for it
in tires alone. It was now on the way to the shops in Paris, to be
"thoroughly overhauled" and it is not two months old. My red car is not
so gorgeous, but I enter it with every satisfaction, and my enjoyment
of my tour is not rendered any the less by the knowledge that though
I keep it a year or for ever, I shall have no such items to pay when
it leaves me, nor shall I have an old car on my hands, and that means
much, for the fashions of these machines change so from year to year
that a "last year's car" is worth little when you try to sell it.
However, as I have stated before, Jean says that this car is of such
sturdy make that it should last for years with small additional expense.

[Illustration: THE VIADUCT OF MAINTENON, NEAR CHARTRES

By permission of Messrs. Neurdein]

As we near again the aqueduct of Louis XIV. its arches frame most
picturesquely the Château de Maintenon, which stands some distance
beyond it, on the river's bank. Built by Cocquereau, the treasurer of
Louis XI., the castle was given by Louis XIV. to de Maintenon, and
here in 1685 in its little chapel, he is supposed to have married
her, though it is generally conceded that that ceremony occurred at
Versailles but that they came here immediately afterwards. The King
was but forty-seven and she fifty years of age, so that he lived with
her thirty years. She certainly possessed charms past understanding
to have enchained such a man at that comparatively youthful age, to
have enchained and held him as she did for thirty years. We picture the
widow Scarron as a pinched-nose, pale-faced woman of sour expression.
She must have been far different and far more to have held this
Louis, who probably was as nearly natural as it was possible for him
to be, here in these rooms which to-day are, so they tell us, as
she left them. If so, how did the Terrorists overlook them? Here is
the sitting-room with its frayed green satin furniture, and yonder
the bedroom and several other apartments. There was no great state
maintained in Maintenon and I doubt not that the worthy couple often
strolled down the banks of this placid river to look at the work on
yonder aqueduct outlined against the sky.

The King is described as always majestic, yet sometimes with gaiety,
leaving nothing out of place or to hazard before the world. Down
to the least gesture, his walk, his bearing, his countenance, all
were measured, decorous, grand and noble, and always natural, which
the unique, incomparable advantages of his whole appearance greatly
facilitated. In serious affairs, no man ever was more imposing, and
it was necessary to be accustomed to see him, if, in addressing him
one did not wish to break down. The respect, which his presence at
any place inspired, imposed silence and even a sort of dread. When
the mob tore him from the tomb at St. Denis they found a "black mass
of spices,"--the man was lost after death in perfumes, as during
life in pride, and his body was flung, together with all the other
royalties of France, into the great ditch at St. Denis, and, if
the story be true, his heart swallowed by a canon of Westminster was
interred with the very reverend gentleman in that sacred place. It
probably killed him. Another tale is to the effect that one Philip
Henri Schunck, a royalist did, in the year 1819 in Paris, make the
acquaintance of an artist named St. Martin, a friend of one of the
officials who superintended the opening of the royal monuments in the
Jesuits' churches. St. Martin states that he was present on the opening
of several monuments in order to secure the royal dust to be utilized
as "Momie" a valuable dark brown pigment which was often obtained from
mummy cases and ancient tombs. St. Martin converted part of the heart
of Louis XIV. to this use but returned the rest together with the heart
of Louis XII., intact to Schunck through whom they reached St. Denis
where they now are. St. Martin made this surrender during his last
illness--a time when he would scarcely have perpetrated a practical
joke on posterity. At the opening of the monuments two painters were
present; the other was Droling, and between them they bought eleven
hearts including those of Anne of Austria, Maria Theresa, Gaston of
Orleans, the regent, and Madame Henrietta and all were made into
"Momie." There is a picture in the Louvre by Droling--"Intérieur de
Cuisine"--whose rich colours may owe their brilliancy to these hearts
of dead royalties. The heart of Louis le Grand mashed up by a painter's
knife and spread on canvas--where now is your greatness, O King? But of
all this these murmuring waters at Maintenon told the anointed of God
nothing, but reflected his image as placidly as they do ours to-day.

Madame is described as a woman of very stately elegant figure and
bearing. Possessed of infinite tact she never lost her temper even
before de Montespan had been banished from Court. Nothing appeared to
vex her, and she would smile past and through all obstacles until she
obtained what she desired. With all, she would appear to have been an
austere woman, caring little for dress or the pageants of the Court and
much for power. In that, she bore a certain resemblance to Catherine
de Medici. As time wore on, she so influenced the King that we find
the red heels, diamond buckles, laces and plumes almost all gone. That
she ever loved the man is doubtful, and she certainly did not forgive
his dying reference to her age, which exceeded his by two years. Her
last words as she deserted him, which he probably heard--and which she
intended he should hear--were as heartless as only a woman of that
stamp could make them,--"There lies a man who never loved any one but
himself."

[Illustration: THE CHÂTEAU OF MAINTENON. FROM THE NORTH

By permission of Messrs. Neurdein]

To the students of history, Maintenon and its seclusion would seem a
place more to the liking of its austere mistress than Versailles, and
it is probable that she spent much time in the château. It may be that
here she induced Louis to sign that revocation of the Edict of Nantes
which so affected the fortunes of our own land, by driving the best of
the population of France down the Rhine valley and out on to the ocean.

On our return to Paris we pass by St. Cyr, the immense collection of
buildings which Louis built for Madame as a wedding gift and wherein
she held court at the head of a convent of two hundred and fifty noble
dames.

The place is at present a military school and we are not permitted to
enter, but there is after all nothing to see save the black marble slab
which covers her tomb. To St. Cyr she came a day before the king died,
leaving him to enter upon the great hereafter alone. Here she lived the
simplest and most austere of lives and here she ended her days.

A rushing ride through the afternoon brings us again to Paris, in
the twilight and into the Élysées Palace Hôtel where at least two
hundred of the gayest women of the under world are taking tea, and I
am surprised to find the majority of them speaking English, many, by
their accents, coming from our own country. It is a strange sight this;
London has some such scenes, but I know of none in New York, to its
credit be it said.[4]

[4] In view of the present conditions in one of New York's greatest
hotels, I must qualify that statement.--M. M. S.

With the auto disappeared also, but into the subway I think, the youth
with the spring suit and the orchid, both sadly drooping. I believe he
got into a boiling bath and filled up on what whiskeys and sodas Paris
had left, for twenty-four hours, resting the while at the bottom of a
deep, deep bed.



CHAPTER XXVI

     MY CHAUFFEUR SUMMONED BY THE GOVERNMENT--THE NEW MAN--YAMA's
     OPINION OF PARIS--SPEED OF AUTOS IN PARIS.


While I am dressing for dinner, Jean comes in with a flaming face and
a telegram. He has been summoned for military service, and though it
will last but two weeks it must be performed at Gap, near the Italian
frontier, and what shall I do in the meantime? Certainly I do not
propose to pay for an idle auto car, and can another chauffeur be
gotten? Jean has wired to Nice and thinks that "George" may be sent,
and if so, I will be all right as he states that George is a better
chauffeur than he himself.

All this is very annoying but cannot be helped, and one does not desire
to growl at the government of a country where one receives so much
kindness, especially when all this is for a very necessary service.
Still, to lose a chauffeur that one knows, and can trust, is a serious
business, and I am almost tempted to end the tour now, but the idea of
foregoing the Vosges and the Black Forest, to say nothing of what may
follow, is not any more acceptable, so I decide to see what can be done
in Nice, and await the reply to Jean's telegram to the owner of the
auto, Monsieur le Jeunne. It comes promptly and states that George is
already _en route_ to us, and will arrive that night on the express.

In the interval I take my last ride with Jean, rambling all over old
Paris, which he seems to know and love, and he is so delighted that it
interests me.

Yama still insists that the capital does not look respectable. That
from one _of a nation_ which maintains the Yoshawarra, as a national
institution and which does not know the meaning of the word morality,
is severe. Still, I doubt whether Japan could be considered as immoral
as that great Yoshawarra called Paris; rather they are _un_moral. The
order of things is certainly reversed in the two countries. In France,
a girl is shut up in a convent until she marries, but after that, well
the less said the better (I do not hold that this is the case in the
provinces); whereas in Japan there is no morality, as we understand
that word, before marriage, while there certainly is, after that
ceremony. The Jap women are faithful wives and faithful mistresses.

We consider Japan as a semi-barbarous nation and do not judge her
people by our standards but France is another so-called Christian
nation, yet I think _that_ slave market in the hotel is worse than
any our Southern States knew of in their darkest days. I asked Yama
which city he liked the better, New York or Paris. "Why certainly,
New York, sir. Here there are such funny-looking men talking to
disreputable-looking women at those dirty tables all over the street;
the place is not respectable and you ought to go home."

I quite agree with him but I do not go; but then to him the other
side, the fair side of Paris, is a closed book. All its beauty, all
its intense historical interest he does not see and cannot comprehend,
but it is difficult to understand how any living being can fail to
see and feel the beauty of Paris, when the horse-chestnuts are in
bloom, when the trees in the Bois are of that tender green which seems
peculiar to France, when the Seine dances and sparkles in the sun,
and all the world goes for an outing. For my part, I most intensely
enjoy the actual living when my carriage rolls between the horses of
Marly up the Avenue of the Champs-Élysées past the arch and into that
fairy-land beyond it. And yet I never pass the Place de la Concord
that I do not remember its terrible history, see in my mind's eye the
white-robed queen moving to her death, or the shrieking tumultuous mob
which carried Robespierre to justice. The prancing stone horses from
Marly which the gay world passes every day looked down upon both those
scenes. Those old houses in the Rue St. Honoré saw the passing of both
King and Queen and the saintly Madame Elizabeth. What were even French
brutes made of to destroy a woman like that?

George arrives at six o'clock in the evening, and Jean brings him to
my rooms and then departs, with regret, as one can tell by the catch
in his voice. Escorted by George and Yama he disappears into the
"underground," and is gone to serve his country. As it turns out, that
is the end of his service with me, though I have agreed to have him
back when his time expires at Gap.

But I anticipate--George seems to know his business and the first run
through these crowded streets places my mind at rest on that score.
Motor cars in Paris are lords of the way,--the police pay no attention
to them, and just why each day is not marked by fatal accidents all
over the city passes my comprehension. Apparently there is no limit
placed upon their speed. Yesterday I saw one enter the city and fly up
the Avenue of the Grand Army at certainly fifty miles an hour. That
wide thoroughfare was crowded, yet no accident happened, and the car,
rounding the arch, fled away down the avenue of the Champs-Élysées at
the same furious pace. In the old days, Paris was considered dangerous
for pedestrians, because of its cabs and carriages. To-day one waves
them aside as one would a fly and pauses only for an auto car, for _it_
will not pause for you and it is very heavy. I confess my first ride
down this Avenue in the car of one living in Paris tested my nerve. I
held on for dear life, and fairly shrieked two or three times at what I
thought was wilful murder. When we reached the Hôtel Ritz I descended
in a shaking condition, and I had been used to a high rate of progress
for two solid months.

Personally, I do not care for such speeding and will not permit it
with my car for many reasons aside from the danger, but most of these
people have taken as their motto, "A short life and a merry one,"--all
of which may have one good result, it will save tremendous funeral
expenses, for there will be little left to bury.



CHAPTER XXVII

     DEPARTURE FROM PARIS--THE CEMETERY OF THE PICPUS--RIDE THROUGH
     THE FOREST OF FONTAINEBLEAU TO SENS--THE CATHEDRAL--TOMB OF THE
     DAUPHINS--THE GREAT ROUTE TO GENEVA--STONED BY BOYS--TONNERRE


To those who love her, Paris shows even yet glimpses of the olden days,
and as we flash past the Louvre and along the banks of the Seine, many
a stately façade rises above us. This section was Royal Paris for
many centuries, and it is to be regretted that the government of the
city does not assume control and preserve what is left of the private
hotels, at least preserve their exteriors. To build a modern city is
at all times possible, but once down, these ancient houses can never
be replaced, and their existence brings thousands of strangers and
much money to this capital of France and its people. Something of such
preservation has been done, but there is much which should be preserved
which stands in danger. The Hôtel de Sens, unique and perfect but a
year or so ago, is gone, and for what?

We leave the Column Bastille well to our left, and speed off down the
Rue du Faubourg St. Antoine to the Place du Trône,--now, Place de la
République--a vast open space guarded by two stately columns and from
which broad avenues stretch away until lost in perspective. Here Louis
XIV. erected a throne and received the homage of Paris when he returned
from his Spanish marriage. All the gorgeousness and glitter of his
capital gathered then with no shadows on their sky of what was to come.
Just here where he was enthroned stood, later, a scaffold holding two
long high posts with a glittering knife flashing up and down, a hedge
of steel surrounded it and a howling mob thronged the place. When the
Place de la Revolution became too slippery with blood, the guillotine
came here, and here, between June 14 and July 27, 1794, fell thirteen
hundred of the most illustrious heads of France. For any reason or for
no reason, whole families came together and were glad to be allowed
to go "together." It is related that a little child, a girl, at the
Luxembourg, then a prison, came racing and shouting from the door to
the waiting trumbril with the cry, "O Mama, Mama, my name _is_ on your
list and I can go too."

Close by in what is now the neighbouring cemetery of the Picpus they
found rest.

Leaving the Place du Trône on the city side, by the first street to
the left we enter a quiet quarter of Paris which the tide of life
rarely invades. These streets are of the oldest in Paris, and this
convent before us, now called the Sacred Heart, was once that of
the Bernardin-Benedictin, into which Jean Valjean penetrated, and I
must confess that it is with him rather than the illustrious dead
that my thoughts are busy as we draw up before the gates. The whole
neighbourhood seems deserted, the yellow streets are as silent as the
convent and its grave-yard, and one wonders over which of these walls
Jean Valjean made that wonderful escape into this abode of Perpetual
Adoration, of Perpetual Silence.

[Illustration: THE TOMB OF LAFAYETTE IN THE PICPUS CEMETERY, PARIS

From a photograph]

But our George has jangled the porter's bell and the gate is shortly
opened by a sad-faced Sister, who, with down-cast eyes conducts us
through the long convent gardens, past the buildings which one may
not enter, and into an oblong enclosure crowded with flat tombstones,
upon which as we pass down the walks we read the most historical names
in France, until upon reaching the last in the line, the name of La
Fayette is before us. Two little American flags adorn it and hang
motionless in the quiet air. But even La Fayette's tomb cannot hold
our thoughts long here. The eye is irresistibly drawn to a small door
in a wall just beyond it, guarded by an iron grill and surmounted by a
tablet bearing a simple inscription.

Gazing inward you see a space some seventy-five feet square and guarded
by high walls. Its grass is shaded by some cypress trees, a simple
iron cross rises in the centre. There are no stones or monuments of
any sort to mark this last resting place of the flower of the French
aristocracy. Thirteen hundred and six were brought here from the Place
du Trône and were cast pell mell into the fosse.

[Illustration: THE CEMETERY OF THE PICPUS. LAFAYETTE'S TOMB ON THE
RIGHT, TABLET TO ANDRÉ CHÉNIER ON THE LEFT

From a photograph by the author]

Amongst them, the figure of the poet André Chénier will probably be
remembered the longest. His only crime lay in his beautiful verses,
in his life and character, all of which were a reproach to the wolves
of the Revolution. The night following his execution a cart loaded with
twenty-five headless corpses left the Place du Trône and wended its
way to this deserted quarry, into which for six weeks had been tumbled
pell mell, stripped of their clothing by the men in charge of the work,
the victims of these last days of the Terror. This fosse remained open
from day to day awaiting further executions and no day passed without
its additions to the mournful assemblage. Here André Chénier was buried
unknown to his family who sought for his grave, for the work was done
in secret and these grave diggers never spoke of their task as to do
so would have insured their joining the silent throng. The secret was
discovered by a poor workwoman, Mlle. Paris, who followed the cart
containing the body of her father, and each week she would repair
thither to pray on the brink of his grave. The days of Robespierre
accomplished and the Terror ended, the plot was bought by an inhabitant
of the Faubourg de Picpus and enclosed in walls, after which it was
blessed by a rebellious priest, rebellious against the Commune, in
hiding in Paris.

In 1802, when Mme. de Montagu Noailles returned to France, her first
care was to discover the grave of her mother guillotined in 1794. Her
search was fruitless until she heard by accident of this workwoman, and
so in the end succeeded in buying this sacred plot of ground.

The ancestor of Prince Salm Krybourg, who now owns the spot, was the
last victim of the guillotine and sleeps here with all the others.
None have the privilege of sepulchre in the outer enclosure unless
they be of blood kin to those who suffered in the Terror and were
buried in this fosse. If there be any aristocracy in death it is here
in this cemetery of the Picpus. As I turn for a last glimpse, the
spring sunshine is filtering down through the thickness of the trees
caressing the grass within, and the tombs without, in a tender sort of
way, as though to make up to the dead, in some small degree, for all
the horrors which had been hurled upon them when alive. So we leave
them under the benediction of spring and follow our sad faced guide who
utters no word or sound, but stands with bowed head and crossed hands
at the great gateway until we pass outward and away.

After such a spot it is well to come down to the cheerful commonplace
streets of this farthest corner of Paris on our way to the South, and
yet as we roll onward through the sunshine, it is some time before
we recover our usual spirits and the world seems gay once more, and
here is one of the charms of automobiling. If all goes well with your
machine, and such has been the case with mine, you cannot long remain
sad or gloomy, ill or desponding. The rushing air and the glory of
living wraps you round about and you cannot but be joyous. Care may be
back there somewhere, but with good luck he cannot catch you. To-day
the air is moist and warm and with the smell of the asphalt comes the
odour of wood violets. The market women, as they rattle past us with
their loads of bright yellow carrots and well washed turnips appear
jolly and good-natured. Doubtless they could enjoy a good day at the
guillotine, but they are not bent upon that now. So we roll onward
through mile after mile of streets and a quarter of Paris heretofore
unknown to me; rather uninteresting on the whole and yet to me no
section of this city is without great interest, and the panorama of her
people is an inexhaustible study, and one of which I never tire.

Paris, like its wickedness, lays fast hold upon those who would leave
it, as the traveller in an auto will find to his discomfort. Of all the
exits from the great city there is but one, that to Brittany, which is
open and straight away. As we entered two weeks ago from Beauvais we
were entangled in a maze of streets which appeared to have no outlet,
and so again as we leave for the south. It is all fair sailing down the
magnificent avenues of the city, but once past the walls our trouble
begins. George gets lost several times and it is with great relief
that we at last leave the houses and roll out once more on one of the
splendid highways of France.

One half the day is misty and rainy with two short, sharp showers,
but with all, the ride is beautiful, passing by the lovely Seine and
through the forest of Fontainebleau. It is dark as we roll into the
quaint old town of Sens and seek shelter in the comfortable Hôtel de
Paris. Again I am welcomed by "Madame" who shows me to a comfortable
room and soon has a fire blazing,--acceptable, though this is the sixth
of May.

After all, I enjoy these quaint hotels. They are so honest, their
people so wholesome, and the whole such a relief after the
perfume-laden air of Paris. Dinner at this hotel is served at a long
white covered table, with its palms and bottles of wine, around which
sit serious-looking provincials with their napkins tucked up under one
ear and spread over ample stomachs. What am I writing, they wonder.
They say nothing to each other but all stare at me. The newsman comes
in and sells the Paris papers and high overhead chime softly the
Cathedral bells noted for their silvery tones.

The importance of Sens in other days is attested by its ancient and
majestic gateways, but the Sens of to-day is a small place clustering
around the portals of its Cathedral, which is supposed to be the parent
of the Choir of Canterbury, that church having been built by Williams
of Sens. There is a resemblance but I shall not enter into description
here, after having described so many other cathedrals of France.

[Illustration: THE CATHEDRAL AT SENS

By permission of Messrs. Neurdein]

Passing its portals, one will linger a moment before the tomb of
the Dauphin, father of Louis XVI., speculating as to whether he was
a stronger character than his son, and as to what effect he would
have had, had he worn the crown, though realising that nothing could
have prevented that deluge of 1793. A Napoléon in command would have
dispersed many of the mobs, spared the world much of the horrible
bloodshed, but the Bourbon throne was doomed.

Again, if the king had possessed a modern fire department he could have
gained time if not saved his head. There is no mob which can stand
against water as applied by a fire-engine. It has been tried and
always with success. It would have saved the day at Versailles and the
Tuileries and would do so at the present time in Russia--but to return
to Sens.

There is another monument not mentioned in the books and one of great
beauty. It is to some archbishop whose name I have forgotten. The
statue kneels on a black marble sarcophagus and is of white marble.
It is not so much in the statue itself that the beauty lies, but in
the wonderfully natural arrangement of the robe which flows behind
in billowy folds, until one touches it and marvels that it is really
marble and not heavy satin.

Thomas à Becket fled to Sens to escape Henry II., and you may still see
his robes and mitre in the treasury of this church. You may say your
prayers if you desire at the same altar where he knelt, one wonders
whether it was in adoration of himself or of God.

In Sens you again encounter the work of Viollet-le-Duc, who has
restored wherever he found it possible, but there are bits which
escaped his eye if you care to hunt them out. I find myself before one
now, off in a quiet corner. It is only a detached head on a column and
the eyes gaze into mine in a sidewise fashion as though desirous of
telling me its story,--just as the lips of the deserted Buddhas in the
forests of Java seem ever quivering to speak. They say you were Jean
du Cognot,--but will you pardon a wanderer in these latter days if he
asks, who was Jean, and why his head is here all alone on this column?
Was there ever any more to him? Did he listen to the booming of these
great bells rolling out their summons above us? The eyes gaze downward
at me in a sad sort of fashion and seem to follow me reproachfully as I
pass outward.

The people are streaming in for High Mass and it would be more
respectful to get our car away from the sacred edifice, and so we move
off down the streets of the little city and on into the fair land about
it.

As we leave Sens her beautiful bells shower a benediction upon all
mankind. Their tone is wonderfully soft and mellow and follows us far
out over the misty meadows and by the placid river. A light rain sets
in and the skies give no hope of a pleasant day, but an hour later the
blue patch appears, and when we stop for luncheon, the sun is shining.

This is the main route to Geneva, the highways are superb, and great
machines are rushing past us to and from Paris. Later on, speeding
moderately, we are approaching a bridge where some boys are standing,
when, as we move by, one of them casts a handful of small stones
straight in our faces. Fortunately they did not strike our eyes, or
there would have been a catastrophe more or less serious. Quickly
stopping the car, George rushes after the fleeing culprits, but without
success, those remaining on the bridge calmly tell us that we have no
right to go so fast, and we reply that another time we shall answer by
shooting. We were not going faster than fifteen miles an hour and the
bridge was not in town, making the act one of pure deviltry. It was
the first of its kind which we have encountered since starting from
Nice. These towns nearly all have signs by the highway regulating speed
within their limits and we have always obeyed the notice.

Later we entered a very beautiful avenue of trees leading into
Tonnerre, a melancholy old place with little of interest, save the
Great Hall of a hospital founded by Marguerite de Bourgogne, seven
hundred years ago,--a vast chapel resembling St. Stephen's hall in
Westminster and quite as large.



CHAPTER XXVIII

     DIJON--THE FRENCH AND FRESH WATER--THE ANTIQUITIES OF DIJON--RIDE
     THROUGH THE CÔTE D'OR--ARRIVAL AT BESANÇON.


As we roll onward, Dijon comes into view, picturesquely placed at the
foot of the vine-clad hills of the Côte d'Or, backed in turn by the
Jura Mountains.

The sun shines brightly as we roll into this ancient capital of Charles
of Burgundy. It is only since motor cars have commenced to fly over
this land that any one has thought of stopping at Dijon. Its glory has
long since departed. It was absorbed into that of France under Louis
XI. after the death of Charles, when ceasing of importance as a capital
it has remained merely a prosperous provincial town, associated in
one's mind, together with its province, with much that is rich and red
and good in the shape of wine. Judging by the fat bottles all down the
dinner table of this hotel, that reviver of mankind is cheaper here
than water.

We have descended at the Hôtel du Jura, which holds out a special
inducement of "baths on every floor," an inducement I must confess,
for aside from the greatest hotels in the largest cities, one finds no
bathrooms in beautiful France,--and on arriving at an inn after a long
auto ride, a bath is an absolute necessity, unless you are so utterly
tired out, which I have never been, that nothing save bed is of the
slightest importance.

Where and how does the vast mass of the French nation bathe? I am not
scoffing, I would like to know. It is a fact that until the advent
of English and American tourists there were no baths in any hotel in
France from Brest to Nice, and even with the building of the Hôtel
Continental in Paris, in 1878, if one wanted a bath one must descend
to the basement. In 1900, there were but one or two in all the hotel
part of that vast establishment, and the rooms containing them were
usually used as bedrooms. That condition is slowly improving, but even
now they cannot understand the necessity of a bath with every bedroom.
The plumbers' bills would drive them to drink, and even in the present
Élysées Palace Hôtel, with all its paint, glass, and glitter, unless
one has a large suite one has to walk a distance down the hall to the
bath and often wait half an hour. The day may come when Europe will
boast the convenience of such hotels as one finds in every American
city, but she cannot do so now, and in Berlin it is reported that the
Royal Palace has no bathrooms, that his Majesty's tub is behind a
curtain at the end of a hall. The Empress is said to have exclaimed,
when reading of a New York hotel, "I should think myself in heaven
if I had such luxury around me." She evidently understood that
luxury in its truest sense does not mean gorgeous pageants, pomp, and
glitter, but a bathroom of your own less than a block away. How was it
at Versailles in the days of the grand Louis? One reads much of the
state function called "the toilet" where the King is represented as
washing his eyes in some spirits of wine, but one has never read of a
bath being part of the royal establishment, consequently one cannot
but imagine that under all its pomp and majesty, the Court of France
must have been a very dirty place. In fact it is necessary to look
to the extremities of Europe, Turkey and Spain, to find evidences of
the proper appreciation of fresh water as applied to the human frame.
The Turks--though unspeakably vile in all other respects--do bathe
and southern Spain holds mute testimony to the love of the Moors for
water--a trait they certainly carried away with them when they crossed
the straits.

[Illustration: THE TOWER OF STATE, PALACE OF THE DUKES OF BOURGOGNE, AT
DIJON

By permission of Messrs. Neurdein]

As I sally forth for an inspection of the city of Dijon the first
glances show an entirely modern town of wide streets and rattling
trams, while just below me the trains rush to and fro from Paris, but
pass onward on to the left, and while you will not find a Bourges or
Rouen, you will discover many quaint relics of another period. On the
corner of the Rue du Secret and the square of the Duke of Burgundy is
an ancient mansion with a turret at its angle and an image in the niche
over its doorway. The whole is black with the passing ages and one
wonders what the lives were which were lived out there in the old days
of chivalry. It's a shop now and from the windows of the adjacent
palace no faces look down. It might have housed some dainty mistress
of the duke. In the little garden which separates it from the palace
there is a fountain and under the trees the people sleep when they will
and there, as the museum is not open just yet, I wait listening to the
bells of Notre Dame and watching the progress of a love-making between
a man and girl on the same bench. They pay no attention to me. The work
in hand is too serious for any notice of a passing stranger. Poor fool!
He is a bright-eyed, honest-looking lad and she is one of the streets
in every sense of that word. They finally move away and I turn to enter
the Hôtel de Ville where I find the ancient palace of its dukes, and
where there is something of interest even now. The vast kitchen and
its six great chimney-places, all unchanged is a curious spot. There
the feasts for the "Wild Boar of Ardennes" were prepared, where whole
oxen were cooked at once. Above it you may still see his Noble Hall
with its richly carved stone work and great chimney with flamboyant
traceries, and in its Museum, the gorgeous tombs of Philippe le Hardi
and Jean-sans-peur will hold your attention by their beauty of carving
and colour. Being in a museum, one can pardon their restoration which
has been most successfully accomplished. I have never seen anything so
exquisite as these carved draperies.

[Illustration: THE TOMB OF JEAN SANS PEUR AT DIJON

From a photograph]

Passing outward, pause a moment before the Church of Notre Dame, and
allow its curious clock, brought from Courtrai by Philippe le Hardi,
to speak. If it is a quarter to the hour, it will be struck off by a
child, if a half, by a "hammer woman," if the full hour, by a "hammer
man," and all have been doing like service for the citizens of Dijon
for six hundred years and more, and will do so for thousands long
after you are dust and ashes. We would probably pull down the church
and erect a skyscraper upon the premises, but these Burgundians love
their ancient city, and so this old shrine will stand and yonder quaint
figures continue to ring these people into life and through life and
off into the realms of heaven, where I doubt not their souls will rest
more in peace if sometimes the winds from earth waft to them the tones
of their ancient bells.

As I wander through the streets of the town it is plain to be seen
that it was a Court city, for there are many stately and interesting
façades lining the way. Passing onward beyond the railway station and
its puffing locomotives, one comes to the ancient Chartreuse, once
the ducal burying-place for the house of Burgundy. Charles the Bold
slept here until carried off to Bruges. The only relic left here now
is what formed once the base of a Calvary,--a group of stone figures
surrounding the pedestal where formerly rose the crucifix. The figures
of Moses, David, Jeremiah, Zachariah, Daniel, and Isaiah are life
size, beautifully carved and very majestic. Formerly the whole Calvary
was richly gilded and was the object of many pilgrimages, for which
was accorded the remission of sins. I certainly feel better after my
pilgrimage, but I fear it is for no religious feeling, but rather the
brisk walk and the many hours of interest I have passed this sunny
morning in the fresh air of this capital of Burgundy.

[Illustration: THE WELL OF MOSES IN THE ABBEY OF CHARTREUX AT DIJON

By permission of Messrs. Neurdein]

However, luncheon is ready, and the auto waits, it would seem
impatiently, judging from the row it is raising and so we speed away
from Dijon, and enter upon the richest section of France, the Côte
d'Or, where the yellow hills for league after league are smothered
in vineyards, and all the prospect is green and gold, with villages
nestling here and there, clean and delightful to look upon. As we
ascend the terraces and speed off and away on the wide highway, winding
along the table-land on their summits, the air is full of the freshness
of the mountains and on reaching the top of a hill, George points out
Mt. Blanc far in the distance. It is Sunday, the people are abroad
and all the world goes singing onward. Everybody seems glad to see
every one else. The chickens are more reckless than usual and even the
machine moves joyously.

If you pass this way during the season of the vintage, the air will
be laden with the odour of the over-ripened grapes, and the vines
will fairly shake out at you the fragrance of Chambertin, Pommard,
or Volnay, until your senses swim as though in truth you had been
drinking, but to-day in May there is only the fragrance of green leaves
and the smell of the rich yellow earth wafted to us as we rush onward.

Our route lies through Auxonne, which held out successfully against
the Prussians in 1871;--and so on towards Dôle. Turning for a glimpse
of the land behind us, we see the spires of Dijon far down in the
valley, while before us and to the north stretch the mountains of the
Vosges, and far in the hazy distance, the greater Alps are beginning
to assume form and shape. Dôle is passed at a rapid rate, and turning
northeastward towards Besançon we fairly fly along and all goes well
until four o'clock when a storm, which has blackened the heavens in
front of us breaks in heavy rain and--then a tire gives out. While I
write, George is down in the mud putting on a new one. He does not seem
to mind the work in the least.

To-night we stop at Besançon. It is in sight all the time, but that
tire must be replaced at once. So George takes refuge under a tree
until the worst of the storm is over and then goes to work in the mud.
Yama gets out to assist and is a good second,--the flow of French,
Japanese, and pigeon English going on all the time. The work done, we
roll on again.



CHAPTER XXIX

     THE FORTRESS OF BESANÇON--AUTOS IN HEAVY
     RAINS--DREAMS--BELFORT--ENTRANCE INTO THE VOSGES--THE RISE TO
     BALLON D'ALSACE--SUPERB RIDE TO GÉRARDMER


Besançon is so old that Cæsar thought it of the utmost importance as
a basis, and France thinks so to-day. As we approach it, we note that
every hill (and it is surrounded by hills) holds its fortifications and
even the river assists in the work of defence, by enclosing the town
in a complete horseshoe. At the opening of the horseshoe, is a hill
crowned by the citadel. If you explore the town you will find relics of
the Romans on every hand, even a triumphal arch, rich with statues and
bas-reliefs.

The Christian martyrs, St. Ferréol and St. Ferjeux, were slain in A.
D. 212 in the amphitheatre whose remains one may see here. The wars of
France have raged around Besançon to the present day. It is the most
important stronghold on the Swiss frontier, and last but not least, it
was the birthplace of Victor Hugo, who would seem to have acquired some
of his ruggedness and strength from these surrounding mountains and
yonder rushing river. The town is black and forbidding in appearance,
as though strangers were not wanted, and we pass onward over the river
Doubs and find refuge from the storm in the very comfortable "Hôtel des
Bains," near the Casino, for Besançon is also a watering-place, has
springs, a season, and a casino. Thank the Lord we are too soon for the
season, and in consequence have the huge draughty hotel to ourselves.

The air is cold here and a wood fire is most cheering and acceptable.
It is storming hard, and as I look downward upon the dripping trees,
three autos rush past, autos without tops, and whose occupants are
fairly drowned out. While a fixed top is a great weight to carry, and
very hard on pneumatics, one should certainly have a calash. We are
so provided and could never get wet save in a water-spout. The poor
women who are coming out of these veritable bath-tubs below there are
forced to pause in the rain and allow some of the accumulated water to
run off them. Wearily they struggle to the lift and disappear for the
night. I have the _salle à manger_ all to myself, and gather my feet up
upon the opposite chair to escape the draughts. Ensconced at last on a
sofa in my room before a great blazing log, I look up the history of
Besançon and while I read, the warm air gets into my brain and holds
consultation with the cold air which has been rushing through it all
day long, producing a drowsy effect. The dancing flames are full of
shapes and fantasies, and as I watch them, the door opens and a
queer figure dressed in sandals and short skirts and wearing a breast
plate and helmet enters. He carries a green wreath in his hand, which,
having doffed the helmet, he puts on: it has pointed leaves which
stick forward over his big nose. I ask him if he likes Besançon, and
he promptly tells me that it is called "Vesontio," at which I differ
and we argue, finally deciding to go out and inquire. I take the auto
which he scoffs at, preferring a thing shaped like a coal scuttle,
with knives on its wheel hubs and drawn by three horses abreast--with
a shout we are off through the storm, sweeping up and down the streets
of the ancient city, past closed houses, and through silent fortresses,
and even out on the face of the river, where car and auto hold a wild
race, cheered by ghostly multitudes on the banks. Cæsar loses his
wreath, and Yama stands up and yells a desire to have him in Manchuria.
The race is mine and the Emperor of Rome is so enchanted with my red
devil that he announces that it is his, and I will "just get out."
Again discussion follows and he waves to his assistance some thousands
or so of shadows, but a word to George and we rush right through them,
and off and away until we come up with a bang somewhere, and I wake to
find the fire out and the room very cold. Ah me, how one does sleep and
dream after a rushing ride!

Our entrance into the Vosges was not propitious. Heavy mist and some
rain attended all our morning progress until we neared the luncheon
hour. The roads were fine and the scenery picturesque, what we could
see of it.

At one we reached Belfort, another great army post, with soldiers
everywhere,--necessary to prevent the gobbling up of one Christian
nation by another.

In the very good "Hotel of the Ancient Post" I have an excellent
luncheon served by a waiter who scarcely speaks French. He is an
Alsatian, speaks English, and was at Chicago in 1893, says he is going
back to America "just as soon as he can get there," was "a fool to
leave," says this place is no good save for soldiers and there would
be no soldiers if it were not for the fine clothes. Yea, verily! The
Emperor William would find his army melt away if he put the men in
plain clothes. Vanity and ambition form the basis of most empires.

Belfort is the last military post of great strength in this direction.
If the traveller will mount to the foot of the old ruined tower which
rises on a hill some twelve hundred feet above the town, he will obtain
a view of all the fortifications, amongst them the famous "Intrenched
Camp," capable of holding twenty thousand men. Off to the north, he
will see the Vosges Mountains, and to the east, the Black Forest, while
the Bernese Alps gleam in the south, rising above the Jura.

The siege and capture of Belfort by the Germans in 1871 forms an
interesting chapter in the history of that conflict, and one would
judge from the warlike appearance here to-day that the place would not
be taken unawares if a struggle came on.

From Belfort to Ballon d'Alsace there is a rise of some four thousand
feet. As we leave the former place, the clouds roll away and the sun
streams out warmly. The road commences to mount soon after we quit
the town and at one of the first hills the auto balks and refuses to
go farther. George gets out and fusses and fixes for ten minutes and
then away we go,--all of our twenty-four horses put their full speed
forth and we sail up the mountains, skimming like a bird. The higher we
mount, the steeper the grades, the faster we move.

Really this is a sturdy machine. In all the long journey, save a burst
tire now and then, we have had no accidents and now it is lifting
itself and ourselves up and over these mountains as easily as it rolled
along the level.

It is good to be alive in such air and amidst such scenery. These
mountains of the Vosges are very much like those at the Horse Shoe Bend
and our Allegheny Mountains would be just as charming if we had such
roads to reach them by. Here at an elevation of four thousand feet the
highways are as fine as those in Central Park. Reaching the summit, a
magnificent panorama is unrolled on all sides, but there is snow abroad
and we do not linger long. Our route lies past Le Thillon. Farther on,
we begin to ascend again and are soon high up in the snow line. As we
round the shoulder of the peak, far off to the westward, between two
great green mountain pyramids, the sun is setting in a golden glory
high overhead the new moon sails in a pink sky, while far below,
deep down in the valley sparkles an emerald lake on whose shore lies
Gérardmer, where we shall stop for the night, the most beautiful spot
in the Vosges.

The descent is rapid and very crooked, but George manages the turns as
easily as with a hand cart, though I confess I hold on tightly now and
then, feeling that that will help matters. Waterfalls tumble all around
us and the sunlight rolls down through the pine boughs in a golden
glory. Far below, the land is spread out like a map and dotted thickly
with villages, while above, the sky bends, a blue arch without shadow
of a cloud,--a blessing after the mists of this morning.

With all power shut off, our car glides down the white highway
stretching in long curves and zigzags far below. The hills on
either side are spangled with yellow easter lilies, and the glowing
buttercups; the air is wine, which adds to one's lease of life; and
again it is good to be alive,--one of those days and scenes which would
force an atheist to believe in God.

The road winds through dense forests of pine trees where no sound
breaks the silence, save that of our on-rushing and the music of the
many waterfalls; and as for the sound of our wheels, this auto on the
down grade is almost noiseless. It is nearly as silent on the level,
but on the up grade when the speed is changed its motor talks quite
loudly,--does not hesitate to discuss the change.

The journey to-day impresses me again with the advantages of motor cars
over all other methods of locomotion for pleasure. We have run away
from the storm and my perseverance in coming has had its reward. It
was so wretched when we started and the prospects looked so hopeless
that nothing save stubbornness and pride prevented my giving the order
to turn southward towards the sun--if sun there could be--and give up
the Vosges. My reward for not doing so has been a ride that I shall
always remember as one of the most glorious of my travels. My own land
holds many scenes of equal beauty, but as I have already stated we
have not the roads by which to reach them. Then again we would find
such wretched inns and poor food that the pleasure would be all gone,
whereas here I draw up at the Hôtel de la Poste, where "Madame" shows
me to a room, simple but clean, and later I sit down to a dinner which
would do justice to any New York restaurant. To be sure, we are but a
century old, whereas Cæsar fought for this section two thousand years
ago, and I have a hazy recollection that he returns hereabouts every
now and then.



CHAPTER XXX

     GÉRARDMER AND THE MOUNTAINS--A WEDDING--FRENCH
     COURTSHIP--EXCURSIONS TO ST. DIÉ--OVER THE COL DE LA
     SCHLUCHT--GERMAN CUSTOM HOUSE--"ALWAYS A GERMAN"--COLMAR--RHINE
     VALLEY--ARRIVAL AT FREIBURG


Gérardmer (pronounced _Je-rah-may_) is considered one of the loveliest
spots in these mountains. It nestles deep down in a valley by a smiling
lake, and lies far apart from the rush of the great whirl of life; yet
life does come here, as the several pretty half Swiss hotels proclaim.
Gérardmer has its season, but not until July, and to-day the place is
placid and peaceful, as though knowing that there are good times in
store, and I found later in Paris that the spot is well known in the
great capital--but only to the French. I fancy few Americans ever come
this way.

Had I reached here yesterday, so "Madame" tells me, I would have been
present at a wedding. It was here in her hotel, and she has the air
of having added another leaf to her crown of laurels. She tells me
that yonder middle-aged bachelor was one of the guests, and promptly
lost his heart to one of the _demoiselles_. To-day he returns with
his mother and that huge bouquet, and will shortly request the honour
of the maiden's hand. But, I exclaim, you say he never saw her until
yesterday? Certainly, Monsieur, but that is long enough surely, for at
his age he must know his own mind. A statement which I do not think
is always a true one. I watch him as he moves off into the garden of
the hotel and wonder whether love can find any place under those prim
angular black clothes. But the sunshine is too attractive to allow one
to remain indoors, and to "Madame's" regret, who dearly loves to talk,
I wander off into the streets of the town, lifting my eyes up to the
hills all around it--for over them, we are told, cometh peace. The
departing sunlight gilds the forests into gold, and sparkles on the
cross high up on the village church, whose portals stand invitingly
open bidding me enter. One of the attractions and beauties of the
Catholic Church in Europe is that its sanctuaries are never closed;
one may wander in at any and all times and be at rest and peace as
long as one wishes it. Here in the heart of the Vosges, amidst this,
busy little town is this one which I have all to myself save for the
divine face looking downward from the cross and the painted saints in
the windows. It is a simple structure, yet withal very impressive.
Its Norman columns and arches must be very old, and very dear to
these people, as the place where they have been baptised, married,
and buried, throughout all the centuries. As I leave, two ancient
black-robed priests greet me with smiles like a bit of late October
sunshine.

This afternoon has been passed in an excursion to St. Dié, a beautiful
ride to an uninteresting town, noted merely as the place where Amerigo
Vespucci published his account of the land now bearing his name. Coming
back, we left the beaten track, climbed mountains, and descended
into valleys where autos rarely go, and our appearance created much
astonishment; only two machines have passed that way this year. That
route is not down on the map but plunges through the mountains to the
west of St. Dié, passing Laveline, Le Valtin, and other towns. Just a
run of seventy-five miles for the fun of it.

We finally leave Gérardmer on a glorious morning. George is well on
time and the auto is snorting before the door at nine o'clock. Yama
has become an expert in packing our goods and chattels in it, and they
fit like a puzzle of his own land. The road begins to mount as soon as
we leave the town, and when we reach the Col de la Schlucht we are far
above the valley, and on one of the highest points of the Vosges. The
road winds directly along the precipice. On one side, the pine forests
mount above us, while on the other, the fall is sheer to the valley
below, some three thousand feet and the panorama of the Rhine land and
these mountains is magnificent. Here we enter Germany. George shuts
off all power and for the next half hour we coast down the mountain
in superb fashion to a village near the base where we are halted by
a dapper little man in a German cap to pay a duty of one hundred
francs for the auto, which will be returned when we leave the country.
The number and make of the machine are taken and also my name, which
I give with its present spelling; but the little man promptly changes
it to that of his own land. When I venture to fear that it will cause
confusion and that the spelling given has held in America for two
centuries, he waves my objections aside, "Your name is Schumacher,--the
fact that your family has spent _the last few years_ away from _home_
does not change it,--once a German, always a German." Well, perhaps,
but in those two centuries and more, other strains have entered, which
may claim a showing, and at least you could never get my mustache
into that Kaiser fashion and I am very certain that I am exempt from
military duty.

[Illustration: LA SCHLUCHT. THE TUNNEL ON THE ROAD TO MÜNSTER

By permission of Messrs. Neurdein]

So we move on. The entire characteristics of the land have changed. All
the neat, sweet appearance of France is gone, and the daintiness has
vanished. Germany is a work-a-day world. No matter how interesting, and
the interest is, of course, very great, at its best it cannot be called
an elegant country, and that word does apply to France. The soldiers
with their spiked helmets are an improvement over the rank and file of
the French, but the French officers are _chic_, elegant. The same holds
with her women, while in Germany, the word "dowdy" certainly suits the
dress from the Court down.

In Colmar at the Hotel of the "Two Keys" we find as much English spoken
as German, and have cabbage, boiled mutton, and carrots for luncheon.
Many German officers enter and, pausing at the dining-room door, take
out pocket combs and carefully arrange their hair.

I noticed a change in the highway, the moment we entered the Empire,
and only trust it will not hold throughout. The excellent road-beds,
well rolled and oiled to prevent dust, vanished, and we jolted on over
an ordinary pike, dirty and rough, until it was agreeable to stop at
Colmar. All this was before luncheon. Now that the meal has placed
me more at peace with the world, my point of view is different and I
am forced to retract at once. The road from Colmar to Freiburg is an
excellent one, well marked, and well kept up.

We make quick time, crossing the Rhine at Breisach, and then on through
its wide green valley until we reach Freiburg, nestling under the hills
which form a lovely background for the stately red stone spire of the
great Cathedral.



CHAPTER XXXI

     FREIBURG--FANTASTIC CITY--THE YOUTHS OF GERMANY--MUSIC AND LEGENDS
     OF THE OLD TOWN--CATHEDRAL BY MOONLIGHT


I cannot overcome the feeling in strolling through these old German
towns that I am on the stage of a theatre. Painted houses never look
solid or ancient and especially when they are fantastic in decoration
and brilliant in colour and are kept up. This city certainly is ancient
but it is too well scrubbed and done up to be pleasing. Even the very
superb cathedral is subject to the same objection. All the images
inside and out glow with colour, and all the monuments likewise, and
when compared to a cathedral like Westminster, for instance, or many in
France, it lacks dignity and for that very reason. If you can banish
from your thoughts all this and remember only the beautiful lines of
the church, then you will appreciate the structure, but you will never
enjoy it.

[Illustration: THE CATHEDRAL OF FREIBURG, BADEN

By permission of F. Firth & Co.]

The Cathedral is interesting and very stately, but in its inspection
there is no such deep satisfaction, like unto a draught of spring water
on a hot day, which one experiences in England and France.

After I had wandered around the outside, which must appeal to every
one, and through the nave, I approached the choir, to be greeted by the
smell of soap and wet rags. Just inside the grating in the south aisle
sat half a dozen scrub-women as loudly dirty as only scrub-women know
how to be, munching great hunks of bread.

I was told that I could not enter the holy of holies without the
Sacristan. He was not to be found, but from the glimpse I had beyond,
I don't regret it,--the chapels are full of monuments coloured to the
last degree of gorgeousness,--saints in red, green, and blue with heads
much too large for their bodies--which is generally the case with
German statues--stand and lie around in all directions.

The statues in this great church are nearly all of plaster, which at
once detracts from their interest. How they escaped throughout the
centuries is a marvel.

There are many quaint structures in these streets, all freshly painted,
and I find myself poking them, half expecting to discover canvas.

To-day the charm of Germany does not fasten upon me until the shadows
gather and the lights come out in her ancient city of Freiburg. Perhaps
the spirits of the neighbouring Black Forest then descend upon the
place. It is still theatrical, but one is in the mood for theatres
after night falls, and as one moves through the fantastic place
one would not be surprised to be accosted by any of the figures
from Grimm's _Fairy Tales_. There are many old fairy godmothers and
Rumplestiltskins wandering about. The throng is all moving in the same
direction, and if you follow you will find a vast concert hall. There
are thousands there, and, not knowing the customs of the university
towns, I take a seat in the central section of the hall, only to be
told promptly that it is reserved, and to be waved to the surrounding
galleries. Then I discover that the centre is filled by the students,
hundreds of them, divided into societies, the members of each wearing a
different coloured cap, and every man with a great stein of beer before
him. Groups of red, blue, yellow, green, and purple caps, worn all the
time, make splotches of brilliant colour all over the hall, and shade
bright wholesome faces,--the hope and strength of Germany, such boys as
these,--manly young fellows all of them; and I cannot but feel sad when
remembering that I saw no such scene throughout all my long tour in
France. There must be young men there, but where are they? All through
the provinces whenever I saw any and could talk with them, I found them
bent upon going to Paris, which is not usually to their advantage. They
did not seem to possess the strong feeling for "home" which keeps these
Germans where they were born until they leave the fatherland for ever.
Certainly Berlin is very much farther from being Germany than Paris is
from being France. Here to-night, two hours are spent in listening to
superb music from an orchestra of a hundred and more musicians, and
the contrast between the vicious, lascivious gardens and halls of Paris
is borne in upon one most markedly.

Pondering upon what the future holds for these two nations, I pass
off into the night with this German multitude and hear on all sides,
"Good-night, good-night," and in fact, every one does seem to have gone
off to bed and I shortly have this ancient university town of Freiburg
all to myself, though there may be Fausts and Mephistopheles about; I
should not be surprised to have the latter suddenly appear and, drawing
liquid fire from yonder beer keg, sing his famous Song of Gold. The
moon is at the full and the place looks more than ever like a scene in
a theatre. Indeed, I think if you pushed, you could shove aside the
front of yonder house and show us the interior, but, rounding a corner,
I come suddenly before the great minster. Its lace-like majestic spire
soars far up into the blue of heaven and seems to hold a diadem of
stars around its cross. If there are any witches about, they are in the
deep shadows of its great portals yonder which, being closed, protect
them from a sight of the holy interior, and they may have their evil
way for a time, but I see nothing save a large black cat and I do not
think to-night that her mistress is evilly disposed. I am certain
yonder fat King Gambrinus on the walls of that drink-hall is chuckling
at me as I move off into the silence of the shadows, and so to bed
where honest people should be at such an hour, leaving the moon to see
what she may. Amidst the electric lights of the great cities, the moon
is not of much account nowadays, but in these quiet old towns she is
of importance, and to-night has thrown the shadows of yonder lace-like
spire so sharply athwart the great square that I stop to trace its
pattern with my stick, and looking up find her laughing at me, it
would seem. She wrote a book once about what she has seen. I have it
somewhere. It is in quaint old German and called, "Hear what the Moon
Relates," and from its pages, I judge her to be an old gossip, for she
tells much which she should keep silent about, but, to bed, to bed, or
one may meet a committee of the _Vehmgericht_.



CHAPTER XXXII

     FROM FREIBURG TO BADEN-BADEN--THROUGH THE WOODS TO
     GERNSBACH--SUPERB ROADS--PEOPLE OF THE BLACK FOREST--CROSSING THE
     DANUBE--CUSTOMS REGULATIONS AS TO AUTOS--AN OLD SWISS MANSION--THE
     RIDE TO GENEVA AND AIX-LES-BAINS


The ride from Freiburg to Baden lies along the foot of the Black Forest
Mountains through the Rhine valley and is hot and dusty, rough and
without interest of any kind until we enter the valley of Baden-Baden,
and find that lovely spa nestled under the shadow of the mountains.
All the world knows the town. The portion which man has made is just
like a hundred other resorts in Europe; an old section full of curious
structures and a new part all great hotels, casinos, and pagodas.

On entering the grounds of the Hôtel Stephanie, George takes a wrong
turn and brings up on one of the fancy foot-bridges in the park. For
an instant we are in dismay as to whether the structure will hold
the great weight of the car, but it does, and George does not allow
of any change of mind but backs promptly off on to safer ground. In
Baden-Baden the traveller falls at once into the clutches of hotel
porters and waiters, each of whom levies some sort of blackmail. This
Hôtel Stephanie, for charges, quite surpasses any other of my tour. For
a simple dinner of soup, roast beef, mashed potatoes, and asparagus, I
pay $2.50. As usual, the dining-room is hermetically sealed, such is
the dread of fresh air, and what air there is, is rent and tattered by
the noise of the Hungarian band.

The surrounding mountains are very beautiful, very romantic. Many of
the crags hold ruined castles, which the people have had the good taste
not to restore, simply preserving them as best they may. That of the
Alten Schloss is especially romantic. The view from its tower embraces
the Rhine Valley with the Vosges to the west and the Black Forest to
the east; and there I spend an hour or more talking to the custodian
who interlards his description with bits of personal history, until
things are somewhat mixed.

The sun has set beyond Strasburg and the mountains become dense in
shadow before I seek the carriage. The woods of the Black Forest cover
these mountains so thickly that only the light of the moon shows from
above and it is far past the dinner hour before we reach the hotel,
where the usual dinner parties are in full swing, and the fact that I
do not order almost everything on the bill of fare causes the waiters
to regard me as of little moment and not to be greatly bothered
over. The spirit of the mountains abides too strongly to make the
dining-room agreeable and I soon retire, and then for the next three
hours am forced to regret that this is not a Moslem country. How softly
on this delicious night air the voice of the muezzin would mingle with
the sound of falling waters and music of the winds in the neighbouring
forest over which the moon is sending downwards her cascades of silver
light! How beautiful the scene is! How rudely the whole beauty is
destroyed by the harsh tones of the brazen bells of the neighbouring
church! Not only are the quarters marked with a double chime, but the
full hours are struck _twice_ on different bells in the same steeple.
The clangour and noise is such that sleep is an impossibility until
utter weariness compels it. Such things are a stupid nuisance, a menace
to health, and a death to any religious feelings one might possess.
They should be suppressed. There is nothing more beautiful than a
soft-toned bell or more discordantly disagreeable than harsh tones
jangled out of tune. Those bells drive me out of Baden.

The auto is at the door at nine o'clock and, though the day threatens
rain, we are off and away through the woods. Our route lies via
Gernsbach and Forbach to Freudenstadt, over these picturesque
mountains. The road is good and well marked, and we swing along at a
rapid pace, sailing upwards and downwards with a most intoxicating
motion. The ride to Freudenstadt is very beautiful, all the way by a
rushing stream, past the Schwarzenberg and through the forest, with
glimpses of old castles high above us and red-roofed villages in the
green valleys far down the distance.

In Freudenstadt in Würtemberg, at the Schwarzwald Hotel which I have
all to myself apparently, I am served by the host who talks English all
the time. He says that while he does not approve of the French distaste
for children he considers that Germany is overdoing in that respect,
that there are too many,--they are "eating each other" so to speak.
Well, they are sending one thousand a month, generally those who have
been trained as soldiers, to Brazil, and they will be ready to meet us
when that question arises.

Freudenstadt is a quaint old town, high up in the hills. It has an
antique market square and is somewhat of a watering-place. It was
founded by Duke Frederick as a refuge for Protestants expelled from
Salzburg.

Our host here proves of service in directing our route onward as one
can easily get lost in these mountains without watchfulness. While the
routes are marked, the charts are not nearly so excellent as in France.
That republic is divided into squares, each numbered and with a chart
of the same number for each square, showing distinctly _first_ the
roads, then the rivers and towns and all so simply that a child can
understand at once, whereas the German charts are like an ordinary map
with all its colours, mountains, etc., and the route not so plainly
marked. The chart is too elaborate. However, both are good, only one is
better, so do not growl.

Our afternoon's ride takes us through the finest section and over
the best roads of the Black Forest, and includes an extra spurt of
some forty versts caused by our having lost our way during an animated
discussion between George and myself over the comparative merits of
American and French women.

About that time two of our pneumatics give up the ghost in rapid
succession, announcing that act by a report which makes George say
things. We are near a secluded village around which the forest closes
in thickly and, it being Sunday, we are shortly surrounded by all the
children of the place; and what a lot of them there are, good-natured,
respectful, little, yellow heads, whose chubby faces try to become
solemn, as a funeral _cortege_ approaches, but with little success,
and I must say that shortly that _cortege_ was diminished by half,
said half coming to inspect my machine. I feel as though I were the
owner of a successful rival show. These new comers are all men and all
interested in my car, not superficially, but with comprehension of
its parts. They tell me that they live here or hereabouts, and when I
ask if they do not desire to go to Berlin or Munich they look at me
wonderingly and ask, Why? There spoke the hope of Germany. This was
near Triberg where we lost the route and we may as well go forward via
Furtwangen and Villingen and so to Donaueschingen. When once you know
the Hartz Mountains and the Black Forest you understand where these
people got their knowledge of fairies and elves, witches, Christmas
trees, and music. The woods are to my imagination full of funny little
people who hurry away as this machine advances, and if I stop to
listen I find the brooks are singing all sorts of carols to which the
pine trees furnish the undertones; also I doubt not if you put a crank
to yonder funny little white church its windows will glow with lights.
Take the top off that pink house and you will find it full of candy.
All this is because there are children everywhere and because of the
children there are homes and home life--a gain--the hope of Germany.

[Illustration: A CORNER IN THE BLACK FOREST

From a photograph]

It is getting cold as we roll into Donaueschingen where we cross the
Danube, but as we are assured that it is down hill all the way to
Schaffhausen and a splendid road, we speed onward, only to find shortly
some of the steepest grades of our tour, one so steep that George turns
the auto around and runs it up backwards, then stopping, he arranges
matters and that will not have to be repeated.

At the Swiss frontier, we deposited two hundred francs, which will be
returned when we leave the country, and so passing Schaffhausen we
draw up for the night at Neuhausen, having made two hundred and eighty
kilometers during the day. When such a day is finished, there is little
inclination left one save for dinner and bed, and I am soon through
with the one and in the other.

We had been told on paying that one hundred francs when we entered
Germany, that it would be repaid whenever we left the Empire, but,
on demanding it in Schaffhausen, the pompous officials in the German
Custom House informs us that our papers stated that we would leave from
some other town than Schaffhausen, and consequently he will not repay
the money. When we assure him that the error, if error it is, is not
ours and that our seal on the machine shows that we have _not_ left
the country since we paid that money, he waves us off and will say no
more. We must write to the town where we entered and so may get back
the cash. I may state here that I turned the papers over to George and
understand that he never did get it back. The whole thing was absurd
and most irritating and kept me kicking my heels for hours around the
post-house before they would decide one way or the other.

[Illustration: THE MANOR HOUSE AT WÜLFLINGEN, NEAR WINTERTHUR

From a photograph.]

While the town of Winterthur aside from its quaintness is not of much
interest, there stands on its outskirts an ancient and curious Manor
House called "Wülflingen," a stately stone structure somewhat back
from the highway. We visit it on our way to Zurich and the ancient
dame in charge seems delighted that any one from the outer world
should take an interest in her beloved old charge. She appears to be
the only soul in the house and was I believe born here. It is deserted
now by the family whose ancestors built it at a period when castles
had ceased to be of importance and the protection of a town more to
be desired. "Wülflingen" became the home of the Steiner family about
1620 A.D., when their castle on the mountains was deserted for this
more cheery habitation. We enter through a curious old doorway into a
large square hall wainscotted and ceiled in oak blackened by the flight
of years, and we can hear the mice in the walls scamper away as the
unusual sound of foot-steps breaks the profound silence. Opposite
the doorway a tall old clock built into the wall has grown weary with
telling of the flight of time and given up its work--useless work now
that it is deserted by all those whose lives it regulated and whose
faces were friends to it. A stately staircase with carved balustrade
mounts to the floor above, but before going thither we inspect the
lower rooms. Both are large square apartments entirely encased in
polished oak; but the old dame draws us on and upward to what she
claims were the state apartments. Of these also there were two of large
size and interest connected by a large square hall like the one below.
In that on the left the walls and ceiling are heavily panelled and
black with time. Each panel is decorated with Swiss scenes and there
are some antique brass drop-lights. In one corner stands one of those
great porcelain stoves of elaborate make which are found all through
Germany and Russia; this one we are told, is one hundred years older
than the house, having been brought from the castle on the mountains
when the family migrated. It is very curious and interesting and one
discovers that the panels of the room have been decorated to correspond
with those of the stove. This was evidently the state apartment, if
one may use the term here, yet, for the day in which it was built
and for a Swiss house, "Wülflingen" was considered a great mansion.
In the Switzerland of three hundred years ago, the family who could
produce sufficient funds to abandon one house and build such another
as this were people of wealth and importance. In passing again into
and across the upper hall one notes the arms of the family carved
over the doorways--they are also found in the great hall of the Castle
of Chillon on Lake Geneva. Entering the other room, an apartment
occupying the entire side of the house and evidently at one period a
salon or ball-room, one meets the questioning gaze of some old family
portraits. Crossing the polished floor, which causes my foot-falls
to resound through the empty house with a solemn sound, I throw open
the window and let in the flickering sunshine and the song of birds,
and seating myself on the sill, turn to these faces on the walls.
There are several of them but I note especially a stately dame and an
old gentleman whose eyes meet mine in a questioning gaze seemingly
demanding the reason for my intrusion upon their solitude, time was
when open-hearted hospitality reigned supreme here, but in these later
days visitors have been few and far between and my violation of their
solemn state does not appear altogether welcome. However I whisper a
fact or two which produces an expression of lively interest. It was
either this or the flickering sunshine drifting over their faces. Who
or what yonder ancient dame in the high cap was, there is no record,
but beneath the portrait of the old gentleman one reads in Latin the
following: "Henricus Steinerius Med. Doct. Poliater, Inspector Scholae
et Bibliothecarius Ano 1730, Aet 55." And what, my dear Sir, may
"Poliater" mean? The rest is plain enough.

[Illustration: INTERIOR OF THE MANOR HOUSE AT WÜLFLINGEN, NEAR
WINTERTHUR

From an old woodcut]

In one corner of this portrait are his family arms, a steinbock on a
white shield; above, a coronet on a closed helmet with a steinbock
pawing the air, as crest. I am not versed in heraldry or I might
read much from this coat-of-arms. The owner wears a suit of black
velvet, a great white ruff and vast yellow curly wig. His hands,
delicate and shapely, rest on a pile of books and are shaded by lace
ruffles. He wears two signet rings. The custodian tells me that he
was born in this house and also that his nephew, the Rev. John Conrad
Steiner, also born here in 1707, was sent by the great council of the
Reformed Church to that Church in Philadelphia in 1749, and I discover
later that that church stood in what is now Franklin Square in that
city. He was also in charge in Frederick, Maryland, but returning to
Philadelphia to the same church, he died there in 1762, and was buried
in what is now Franklin Square--in company with Wesley "Winkhams" and
"Hendal" some ten feet below the surface on the north-east side of
the fountain, they alone being left there when the place was changed
into a public square. It certainly required great fervour in religion
on the part of a young man with a family to leave a home like this in
sunny comfortable Winterthur and face the ocean and the blackness of
America in 1750. He should have his reward now in a brighter land than
either Europe or America. This old _Herrenhaus_ smiles down upon us in
a friendly manner as we leave its portal and as our car speeds off into
the greater world, the ancient dame who cares for it waves us an adieu
with the hope that we may return to "Wülflingen."

Our route lies hence through Zurich to Geneva and so on to Berne. While
we have no rain, it is chilly and disagreeable, and as for mountains,
if I had not seen them often before, I should not believe that in
Switzerland there were any, for from first to last we do not get a
glimpse of their grandeur.

The roads are good at all times, and the peasants friendly, but it
rains heavily as we reach Berne, and the shelter of the hotel is not
objectionable.

The following morning, George comes in and announces that the incoming
chauffeurs proclaim the route from here to Geneva is so deep in mud
that I had better go on by train, as he may be stuck anywhere and
delayed. I decide at first to do this, and then my distaste for the
train overcomes all and I order the auto. That ride proved that you
cannot trust these statements. There was little or no mud, the roads
were excellent, the ride delightful, and we rolled into Lausanne and so
on down to Ouchy in ample time for luncheon.

From there on to Geneva the sun shone all the time and by three o'clock
we descended at the Hôtel Beau-Rivage. Not a drop of rain during the
whole day, no dust, and no mud.

Here I find some friends and together we go to Aix-les-Bains.

There are few more beautiful rides than that from Geneva to
Aix-les-Bains, and, especially on the return, one is impressed with the
enchanting vistas over mountain, valley, and lakes. The roads are both
good and indifferent. The former in France, the latter in Switzerland,
and one is again impressed with the belief that France is the land for
auto touring.

To the lover of flowers this section is fairy-land just now; especially
is the wisteria beautiful; such masses of it over almost every cottage
and church, and the terrace at the Hôtel Splendide in Aix is festooned
from end to end with the dainty fragrant blossoms. Masses of lilacs
bank the houses, while apple blossoms are abroad over all the land
round about.

Lake Bourget gleams like a vast emerald framed by the shadowy
mountains, and there are some glimpses of the greater glory of the
snows.

The auto sings and hums and rushes down the slopes into the streets of
Geneva, and swirls up before the door of the Beau-Rivage and the long
tour is over. In my memory it will rank with that winter on Old Nile in
a dihabiah.

To-day as George came in to say goodbye and as I watched my red
carriage rush off and disappear down the streets of Geneva, I felt a
positive bereavement, even as though a friend had vanished forever,
and truly that car has been a friend. It has carried me safely nearly
seven thousand kilos. The journey has been all sunshine and pleasure;
rushing over broad highways, under the shadows of stately mountains,
by fair rivers, through smiling meadows; pausing here to loiter in an
old château, or again to wander the streets of a mediæval city full
of romance and story; yet again amidst the beauties and glories of
the capital and then off to the mountains and forests; all joy, all
delight, yet I do regret that old dog dead down on that long dusty
highway under the shadows of the Pyrenees.



INDEX


  Abbaye aux Dames, 151, 152

  Abbeville, 164, 167

  Abbey of Men, Church of the, 151

  Abbey of Women, Church of the, 151, 152

  Adour, the, 58

  Aix, 10-16

  Aix-les-Bains, 12, 242

  Albigensian "heresy," the, 33

  "Aliscamps," the, 21

  Alphonse, Comte de Poitou, 93

  Alten Schloss, the, 233

  Amboise, George, Cardinal of, 155, 156

  Amiens, 162-164, 169, 172

  Anet, Château of, 155

  Angers, 130, 138

  Angers, Castle of, 14, 138

  Anjou, 138

  Anne of Austria, 66, 128, 191

  Anne of Brittany, 128

  Arbrissel, Robert of, 136

  Ardennes, Wild Boar of, 211

  Arles, 17-21

  Armoises, Robert des, 159

  Artois, Comte d', 182

  Asqs, Seigneur d', 54

  Automobile Club of France, 74

  Auvergne, 84

  Auvergne, Count of, _see_ Guy, Count of Auvergne

  Auxonne, 213

  Aveyron, mountains of the, 172

  Azay-le-Rideau, 130


  Baden-Baden, 232, 233

  Bagatelle, 182, 183

  Ballon d'Alsace, 218

  Balue, Cardinal, 118, 120, 121-123

  Barry, Madame du, 129, 184

  Bastille, the, 121-124

  Bayard, Chevalier, 111

  Bayonne, 54, 58, 69, 70

  Béarn, 52

  Beaucaire, 23

  Beauce, La, 186

  Beaumont, 77-79

  Beauvais, 167-173

  Belfort, 218

  Bernardin-Benedictin, Convent of, Paris, 199

  Berne, 242

  Berry, 102

  Bertrade of Montfort, 139

  Bertrand, Count, 91

  Besançon, 214-216

  Béziers, 29, 33

  Biarritz, 58-61, 64, 69, 70

  Bidache, 53

  Bidache, Château de, 54-57

  Biscay, Bay of, 59

  Black Forest, the 218, 226, 228, 232, 233, 236

  Black Prince, the, 34

  Blanc, Mt., 88, 213

  Blois, 129

  Bois de Boulogne, the, 179, 196

  Boulogne, 164, 166

  Bourbon-Busset, Château de, 96

  Bourg, 82

  Bourges, 100-109

  Bourget, Lake, 243

  Bourgogne, Marguerite de, 207

  Breisach, 226

  Bressac, de, 185

  Brézé, Louis de, 155

  Brittany, 130, 139, 140, 141, 142, 145, 148

  Bruges, 212

  Burgundy, Duke of, 210


  Cadouin, 79

  Caen, 148, 149, 151, 152, 157

  Cæsar, Julius, 102

  Calvin, John, 104

  Camargue, the, 18

  Campan, Madame, 184

  Candes, 133

  Cannes, 9, 26

  Carcas, Queen, 32

  Carcassonne, 27, 30-35, 45, 103, 118, 127

  Casteljaloux, 72

  Catherine de Medici, 128, 177, 192

  Champs-Élysées the, Tours, 116

  Champs-Élysées the, Paris, 196, 197

  Charlemagne, 139

  Charles V., 176

  Charles VII., 15, 101, 106, 108, 127, 128, 129, 131, 158

  Charles IX., 183

  Charles X., 176

  Charles le Téméraire, 120

  Charles of Mantua, 123

  Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, 208, 212

  Chartres, 105, 181, 187-189

  Chartreuse, the, 212

  Chateaubriant, 140

  Chénier, André, 200, 201

  Chenonceaux, 114

  Cher, the, 114

  Chillon, Castle of, 240

  Chinon, 130-133

  Cîteaux, Abbé of, 33

  Clermont-Ferrand, 82, 84, 85, 88, 92, 95

  Clermont-Ferrand, Valley of, 83, 84

  Cléry, 129

  Cocquereau, 189

  Coeur, Jacques, 15, 106, 108;
    palace of, 102, 106

  Colmar, 225, 226

  Conciergerie, the, 150

  Concord, Place de la, Paris, 196

  Conques, 172

  Corday, Charlotte, 149, 150, 151, 156

  Corniche, the, 9, 26

  Côte d'Or, the, 208, 213

  Courtrai, 211

  Crécy, 164

  Crécy, Château of, 186

  Croker, Mr., 99

  Cujas, 104


  Dampierre, Comte Guy de, 93

  Dampierre, Castle of, 136

  Danton, 151

  Danube, the, 237

  Dax, 70, 71

  Desmoulins, Camille 151

  Diane de Poitiers, 125, 128, 155, 183

  Dijon, 208, 210-213

  Dôle, 213

  Donaueschingen, 236, 237

  Doubs, the, 216

  Dreyfus, 141

  Droling, 191

  Durand, Abbé of Chaise-Dieu, 91


  Edict of Nantes, _see_ Nantes, Edict of

  Eleanor, Queen, 136

  Elizabeth, Madame, 196

  "Field of Reeds," 18

  Fontarabia, 66

  Fontevrault, Abbey of,   133-136

  Forbach, 234

  Foulques V., King of Jerusalem, 139

  Foulques le Roux, Count of Anjou, 119, 139

  Francis I., 93, 125, 128, 155, 183, 185

  Frederick, Duke, 235

  Freiburg, 226, 228-231

  Freudenstadt, 234, 235

  Furtwangen, 236


  Garonne River, 45

  Gave de Pau, the, 49

  Geneva, 206, 242, 243

  Geoffrey Plantagenet, 139

  Gérardmer, 219, 222-224

  Gernsbach, 234

  Gramont, Arnaud Guilhem II. de, 55

  Gramont, Ducs de, 54, 57

  Gramont, Louise, Comtesse de, 55

  Grandvilliers, 167

  Grégoire, Pope, 91

  Guiche, Seigneur de, 54

  Guy, Count of Auvergne, 91


  Hartz Mountains, 236

  "Hendal," 241

  Henrietta, Madam, 191

  Henry II., 128, 134-136, 139, 155, 177, 205

  Henry IV., 49, 128, 164, 176, 188

  Hugo, Victor, 215


  Iron Mask, Man of the, 123

  Iron Virgin, the, 124

  Irun, 67

  Isabeau of Bavaria, 164


  James II. of England, 176

  James V. of Scotland, 120

  James, Henry, _Little Tour in France_, 24

  Jean du Cognot, 205

  Jean-sans-peur, 211

  Jeanne d'Arc, _see_ Joan of Arc

  Joan of Arc, 15, 103, 104, 107, 131, 132, 150, 157

  John, King of England, 120

  John, Count, 135

  Jura Mountains, 208


  Kelburn, Ebenezer, 125

  Krybourg, Prince Salm, 201


  La Fayette, Marquis de, 200

  Lannemezan, 44

  Lausanne, 242

  Lauzun, 77

  Laval, Jeanne de, 14

  La Vallière, 129, 176

  Laveline, 224

  Lesigne, M., 157, 159

  Lisieux, 153

  Loches, Castle of, 35, 117-127

  Loire, the, 114, 130

  Louis IX, 23, 33

  Louis XI., 15, 93, 102-104, 108, 109, 117, 120, 123, 126-129, 131,
    140, 146, 147, 170, 208

  Louis XII., 124, 128, 191

  Louis XIII., 176

  Louis XIV. (Louis le Grand), 56, 64-66, 70, 128, 175, 176, 189,
    191, 199

  Louis XV., 128, 157, 176

  Louis XVI., 183, 184

  Lourdes, 46-48

  Louveciennes, 184

  Luxembourg, the, 199

  Lys, Jehanne du, 159


  Madeline of France, 120

  Madrid, Café de, 183

  Maintenon, Madame de, 129, 189, 190, 192

  Maintenon, Aqueduct at,   186

  Maintenon, Château de, 185, 186, 189, 190, 192

  Maison Carrée, the, Nîmes, 24

  Margaret of Anjou, 12, 22, 136

  Maria de Medici, 126, 128

  Maria Theresa, 191

  Marie Antoinette, 129, 182, 184

  Marly, 175

  Marmande, 73, 76

  Marsat, Abbey of, 92

  "Marseilles the Little," 167


  Martan, Cape, 1

  Martel, Charles, 27

  Mary Queen of Scots, 128

  Matilda, Empress, 139

  Matilda, Queen, 151, 152

  Matthioli, 123

  Mehun, Castle of, 108, 113

  Meillant, Château of, 109-111

  Meung, 129

  Monaco, 7

  Mont-de-Marsan, 71

  Mont St. Michel, 142-147

  Monte Carlo, 1, 3-7, 51, 103

  Montespan, Madame de, 129, 176, 192

  Montfort, Simon de, 33

  Montmartre, Cathedral of, 175

  Montmorency, Duke François de, 24

  Montpellier, 25, 27, 39

  Montreal, 46

  Montréjeau, 45

  Montsoreau, Castle of, 133

  Mortemart, Duc de, 109

  Moulins, 100

  Mozat, Abbey of, 92


  Nantes, Edict of, 192

  Napoléon, 46

  Narbonne, 27, 29

  Neufchâtel, 161

  Neuhausen, 237

  Nevers, 100

  Nice, 7, 26, 51

  Nîmes, 24, 25


  Noailles, Mme. de Montagu,   201

  Normandy, 142, 152, 153

  Nostradamus, 17

  Notre Dame de Cléry, Church of, 129

  Nuremberg, Castle of, 35, 124


  Orleans, 104, 129

  Orleans, Gaston of, 191

  Orleans, Maid of, _see_ Joan of Arc

  Orthez, 52, 53


  Pamiers, 46

  Paris, 175, 180, 181, 193, 195-197, 199, 202, 203

  Pau, 46, 49, 50

  Pavia, Battle of, 111

  Pépin, 27

  Pheasants, Isle of, 66

  Philip Augustus, 91, 120, 126, 139;
    Castle of, 120, 159

  Philippe de Comines, 121

  Philippe le Hardi, 211

  Picardy, 162

  Picpus, Cemetery of, 199-202

  Plantagenets, the, 120, 134, 139

  Plessis-lès-Tours, 118, 129

  Poix, 167

  Pompadour, Madame, 129, 186

  Pontbrillant, 124

  Promenade des Anglais, 9


  Provence, 10, 11, 15, 138

  Puy de Dôme, 88

  Pyrenees, the, 29, 46, 49, 59, 64, 243

  Pyrenees, Treaty of the, 55, 66


  Racine, 185

  Rambouillet, 185

  René, King, 11-15, 22, 23, 138, 139

  Rennes, 140

  Republic, Place de la Paris, 199

  Revolution, Place de la, Paris, 199

  Rheims, Cathedral of, 172

  Rhine Valley, the, 224, 232, 233

  Richard Coeur de Lion, 134-136

  Riom, 95

  Robert, Bishop of Clermont, 91, 92

  Robert the Strong, 139

  Robespierre, 151, 178, 201

  Rochefort, 83

  Roland, 139

  Rouen, 154-160

  Rouet, Mlle. de, 183


  St. Amand-Mont-Rond, 109, 110

  St. André, Maréchal de, 93

  St. Cyr, 192, 193

  St. Denis, 175, 177, 190, 191


  St. Dié, 224

  St. Elix, Baron de, 42

  St. Elix, Château de, 40-42

  St. Étienne, Church of, Caen, 151, 157

  St. Ferjeux, 215

  St. Ferréol, 215

  St. Gaudens, 40, 45, 46

  St. Germain-en-Laye, 174-178

  St. Gervais, Church of, Rouen, 157

  St. Jean-de-Luz, 64-66

  St. Jean-Pied-de-Port, 62, 63

  St. Maclou, Church of, Rouen, 154

  St. Malo, 141

  St. Martin, an artist, 191

  St. Martin, of Tours, 133

  St. Nazaire, Church of, Béziers, 33

  St. Ouen, Church of, Rouen, 156

  St. Ours, Church of, Loches, 127

  St. Sauveur, Cathedral of, 14

  St. Thibault de Metz, 159

  Saintes-Maries, Les, 18

  Salon, 17

  Salzburg, 235

  Salzburg, Castle of, 35

  San Sebastian, 66, 68

  Saumur, 137

  Sauveterre, 53

  Scarron, Widow, 190

  Schaffhausen, 237

  Schlucht, Col de la, 224


  Schunck, Philip Henri, 191

  Schwarzenberg, the, 234

  Seine, the, 153, 154

  Sens, 203-206

  Sforza, Ludovico, Duke of Milan, 124

  Sorel, Agnes, 15, 106, 113, 127, 129, 132

  Steiner, Henry, 240

  Steiner, Rev. John Conrad, 241


  Tarascon, 15, 22, 23

  Tarbes, 45, 46

  Taride, A, 74

  Theodoric, King of the Visigoths, 32

  Thillon, Le, 219

  Thomas à Becket, 205

  Tonnerre, 207

  Toulouse, 36, 39

  Touraine, 104, 114, 115

  Tournelles, Palace of the, 123

  Tournoël, Château of, 87-93

  Tours, 100, 104, 113, 114, 116, 129, 130

  Tours Cathedral, 114

  Triberg, 236

  Trichiemont, 159

  Trinité, La (Church of the Abbey of Women), 151

  Tristan l'Ermite, 121


  Trône, Place du, Paris, 199-201

  Tulle, 80, 81


  Valerian, Mt., Fortress of, 175

  Valjean, Jean, 199, 200

  Valtin, Le, 224

  Verdun, Bishop of, 122, 123

  Versailles, 192, 210

  Vésinet, forest of, 175

  Vesontio, 217

  Vespucci, Amerigo, 224

  Vichy, 96-98, 100

  Villeneuve la Montarie, Church of, 55

  Villingen, 236

  Viollet-le-Duc, 32, 205

  Volvic, 87, 93, 95

  Vosges Mountains, 217-224


  Wallace, Sir Richard, 183

  William the Conqueror, 149, 152, 157

  "Winkhams," Wesley, 241

  Winterthur, 238

  Wülflingen, 238-241

  Würtemberg, 235


  Yèvre, the, 114

  Yoshawarra, the, 195


  Zamore, 185

  Zurich, 238



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  Quaint Corners of Ancient Empires

  Southern India, Burma and Manila. With 47 illustrations. Large 8^o.
  Gilt top. $2.25.

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  8^o. With 30 Illustrations and a Map. By mail, $2.20. Net, $2.00.

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     development."--_Literary News._

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  Palaces and Prisons of Mary Queen of Scots

  Revised by _Thomas Allen Crowell_, F.S.A. (Scot.)

  With 8 photogravure plates and about 50 other illustrations. Large
  square 8^o, handsomely bound, net, $5.00. _Large Paper Edition_.
  Limited to 375 copies. With portrait of Mary Stuart in colors.
  Photogravures printed on Japanese paper, and other full-page
  illustrations on India paper. 4^o, decorated parchment cover, in box,
  net, $12.00. This sumptuous work is now offered at very greatly
  reduced prices.

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     in history would without hesitation select the beautiful Queen
     of Scots, round whose tragic career more controversy has raged
     than concerning any other personage in the history of these
     islands.... Those who are fascinated by the great romance, who
     have as yet made no detailed study of the period, will find the
     story here outlined by a trustworthy hand, and adorned by a wealth
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  The Heart of the Orient

  Saunterings through Georgia, Armenia, Persia, Turkomania,
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  8^o, with about 60 Illustrations. Net, $2.50.

  The record of a motor-car trip of nearly 5000 miles over beautiful
  highways and enchanting byways of the Rhine Valley and
  Switzerland. It is in no sense of the word a guide-book; no set
  itinerary is followed with feverish haste; but, as fancy directs, the
  traveller pauses in ancient cities or quaint villages, climbs mountains,
  visits long-forgotten castles, or goes in quest of deserted abbeys.


  _Send for descriptive circular._


  G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS
  NEW YORK        LONDON



  +---------------------------------------------------------------------+
  | Transcriber's Note:                                                 |
  |                                                                     |
  | Minor typographical errors have been corrected without note. Other  |
  | errors are noted below.                                             |
  |                                                                     |
  | Punctuation and spelling were made consistent when a predominant    |
  | form was found in this book; otherwise they were not changed.       |
  |                                                                     |
  | Ambiguous hyphens at the ends of lines were retained.               |
  |                                                                     |
  | Mid-paragraph illustrations have been moved between paragraphs and  |
  | some illustrations have been moved closer to the text that          |
  | references them. The List of Illustrations paginations were not     |
  | corrected.                                                          |
  |                                                                     |
  | Italicized words are surrounded by underline characters,            |
  | _like this_.                                                        |
  |                                                                     |
  | Corrections:                                                        |
  | Bologne (pp. viii, 161) changed to Boulogne.                        |
  | Montmorenci (pp. 24, 249) changed to Montmorency.                   |
  | Chateau de Mehum (p. 102) changed to Château de Mehun.              |
  | Trichemout (p. 159) and Trichiemout (p. 251) changed to Trichemont. |
  | Abbey of Meu (p. 152) changed to Abbey of Men.                      |
  | Andri Chenier (p. 202) changed to André Chénier.                    |
  | St. Ferrea and St. Farjeux (pp. 215, 250) changed to St. Ferréol    |
  | and St. Ferjeux.                                                    |
  | Col de Schluct (p. 222) changed to Col de la Schlucht.              |
  | Chapter XXIII (p. viii) in the Table of Contents was incorrectly    |
  | labeled Chapter XVIII. Chapter XXII (p. 161) was incorrectly labeled|
  | XXI. Chapter XXIII (p. 166) was incorrectly labeled XXII. These     |
  | errors were corrected.                                              |
  +---------------------------------------------------------------------+





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