France (Margaret Roberts)  

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"A truer if less celebrated poet, Breton to the core, is Briseux, whose "Marie" is a lovely picture of life in the "terre de granit recouverte de chênes.""-- France (1881) by Margaret Roberts

"MOST countries have some characteristic epithet bestowed on them by themselves or others, in the latter case not always a flattering one, witness "perfide Albion." The green pastures of Ireland have won for her the name of "the Emerald Isle"; the Cymri, proud of their hills, sing of "Wild Wales;" "Holy Russia" boasts of her "sanctity;" England and Norway pride themselves on being "old," while America plumes herself on her youth; Italy may unquestioned call herself "bella," and France too claims the same title. To the troubadours she was "douce France," and to Mary Stuart "le plaisant pays," but whether she has any right to be called "Fair," or whether her beauty is merely borrowed from her neighbours, will always remain a question to be settled only by the taste of the individual. If he can feel the beauty of her hillsides, bright green in the clear atmosphere, and with a true mountain character in their lines, or the charm of her sunlit meadows, over which the poplars cast long shadows as they stand along the winding streams, or the striking character of her finely situated towns, with their stately churches, then he will say that la belle France well deserves her name."-- France (1881) by Margaret Roberts

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France (1881) by Margaret Roberts

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MOST countries have some characteristic epithet bestowed on them by themselves or others, in the latter case not always a flattering one, witness "perfide Albion." The green pastures of Ireland have won for her the name of "the Emerald Isle"; the Cymri, proud of their hills, sing of "Wild Wales;" "Holy Russia" boasts of her "sanctity;" England and Norway pride themselves on being "old," while America plumes herself on her youth; Italy may unquestioned call herself "bella," and France too claims the same title. To the troubadours she was "douce France," and to Mary Stuart "le plaisant pays," but whether she has any right to be called "Fair," or whether her beauty is merely borrowed from her neighbours, will always remain a question to be settled only by the taste of the individual. If he can feel the beauty of her hillsides, bright green in the clear atmosphere, and with a true mountain character in their lines, or the charm of her sunlit meadows, over which the poplars cast long shadows as they stand along the winding streams, or the striking character of her finely situated towns, with their stately churches, then he will say that la belle France well deserves her name.

Picardy may seem hopelessly uninteresting to the hurrying traveller, but Picardy has a beauty of its own in its wide stretches of country, its dark pools on which stately water-lilies grow, and round which tall reeds wave. Brittany, or Armorica as its own people call it, " pays de granit, recouvert de chênes," has its own wild and mournful charm. It is bordered by Normandy, at once fertile and wild ; now rugged and heathery, and broken into beautiful dells, a granite and basalt district ; then rich and commonplace, and in many parts so like Kent and Sussex that William the Conqueror must have felt quite at home when he crossed the Chan nel. Adjoining it is La Vendée, an elevated plateau, furrowed into narrow glens which are traversed by muddy streams, an inextricable laby WEEBIDEN FOUNDER SPINS GUNNA AUSWirin ArmsTa OUTER HOUSES AT PONT ANDEMER, NORMANDY. Page 2.

GEOGRAPHICAL CHARACTERISTICS. 3 rinth of moors and brooks, heights and hollows. Although covered with trees, there are no true forests, even in the Bocage ; but every field is framed in high hedges and close- set trees and deep ditches. As in Devonshire, the hollow roads are so deep that a man's head cannot be seen above them, and the banks are surmounted again by hedges. It was not till after the Revolution that high roads penetrated it ; up to 1830 there were only two, one from Nantes to Bordeaux, the other to Poitiers. The district called Le Marais is a little world of salt marshes, dykes, and canals, and the Plaine is rich and highly cultivated, but “ La Vendée " will always recall the Bocage, and the desperate struggle made in its maze of moorland and woodland by the Chouans in arms against the "Bleus." Passing down the west of France, where the moist sea wind keeps up a freshness and verdure like that of our own western coasts, we come to Guienne, which in the middle ages comprehended several provinces, the chief being Bordelais, one of the principal wine districts of France ; Perigord, with its feudal keeps, its Saracenic churches ; and Quercy, in one of whose towns Cœur de Lion got his death-blow from the archer, Bertrand de Gour don ; and where Henri Quatre made his heroic B 2 4 FRANCE. struggle against the League. This is a well- watered district, with at least four large rivers and countless torrents. " Le Limousin ne périra point par séche resse," says the old proverb. The lower part of Limousin, with its rounded hills and great chestnut forests, offers a marked contrast to the mountainous region of the north- east, which is con nected with Auvergne. Here we find, as in Auvergne itself, towns built of black lava, and a rude population, which winters in stables to escape the severe cold of the climate. From this part of France came Pascal, and the great Chancelier de l'Hôpital. Passing southwards, far away, we catch sight of the Pyrenees. The valleys are fertile, the oxen are ploughing in the valleys, and the elms are wreathed by vines. We enter the district bordering on the Pyrenees, and find ourselves in the Landes, once a sea-bottom, now sand, sometimes a hundred. feet in depth, under which is a layer of hard reddish alios, a sandstone held together by vegetable matter, cemented into a substance as hard as a pavement, effectually preventing all drainage. There is no slope, and in summer there is great evaporation, followed by miasmas and sicknesses peculiar to this unhealthy district ; while in the rainy season there would be constant floods but for the canals which carry off the water to the sea,

THE LANDES . Page 5. GEOGRAPHICAL CHARACTERISTICS. 5 or to the land-locked salt pools on the shore. Water fit to drink is almost impossible to obtain ; if the alios is broken, either bottomless sand is found, or a turbid unwholesome liquid. The sea wind carries the sand inland, and has nearly choked up the harbour of Bayonne ; where 600 years ago was the port of St. Vincent there is now only a land-locked basin ; the mouth ofthe Gironde itself would be choked up but for its great current. Even Arcachon is threatened. The sand is as dangerous here as the sea waves are further north. If at Finistère the tide flows where once were farms and villages and Roman roads, here all Languedoc is threatened by this minute, treacherous enemy, which advances as in some of the Friesland isles, where hamlets disappear, and churches are filled up by the fine' drifting sand against which no barriers avail. At one time the great dunes along the coast were kept in their place by pines and other trees ; there were woods where wild boars and stags had their lairs, but these being cut down, the sand was set free. In 1816 Napoleon issued a decree that since private individuals would take no pains to avert the danger, the State should take possession ofthe dunes and plant them with pines ; this turned out a very profitable plan, as both the wood and resin sold at FRANCE. a high price. Oaks too have been planted and flourish admirably. The roots of the trees bind down the sand, grass with long fibres springs up under them, and forms a net-work over the mounds, keeping the particles in their place. Elsewhere in the landes there is tall heath and fern, golden broom, masses of waving reeds, and smooth, stiff flags. The landes are intersected by canals, and some attempt at agriculture is made, the ploughing being done by oxen, as it is too heavy for horses, though the landes have a small fiery breed of their own. Locomotion in these sand wastes is so difficult that men, women, and even little children mount on stilts , and stride about like gigantic com passes on these " chanques," which raise them high above the ground. This singular custom is not mentioned by any early author, and is thought to date from the time when Bordeaux was the head quarters of the English in the south of France, the very word chanques being derived from one which in those days had a not undignified sound— shanks.¹ From the landes we pass to the stony plain of Southern Languedoc, where myriads of grass hoppers rejoice in the summer heat which burns up all verdure, and the olives stand grey and dusty 1 Reclus. GEOGRAPHICAL CHARACTERISTICS. 7 under a hot and pitiless sky. The population have imbibed something of this scorching temperature. Proud as the Arabs who once lived among them, or the Spaniards whose language their own resem bles, they rarely will enter domestic service, and are violent and intolerant ; usually well off and living in comfort, they spend their lives in agri culture and in adding acre to acre. The love of land, ingrained in the Celt, is extraordinarily strong in Languedoc. Rich and poor farm their own ground, and pride themselves onbeing "proprietors. " The love of a Languedocian or a Provençal for his land is only equalled by his entire indifference to progress or to beauty. A flower-garden is un known. Instead of the roses and pinks which the English labourers delight in, or the half- dozen pots crowded with blossom in the cottage window, a straggling pomegranate with its russet fruit hangs over a well, probably dug by the Moors ; a rampant gourd, whose great yellow fruit is used for soup, scarlet tomatoes and peppery capsicums grow behind the house, a dusty fig-tree grows in a corner, or a jujubier droops its slender branches, laden with little green fruit ; and if there is a blossom tolerated at all, it is sure to be a staring sunflower. Nothing can be a greater contrast to the arid 8 FRANCE. summer of Languedoc than its severe winters. The cold is often intense, and especially felt on those moorlands, or garrigues, which are one of the marked features of this province. This word, garrigue, is familiar to us in a slightly anglicised form as a surname, being that of Garrick, the actor, whose family came from Southern France. Formerly covered with evergreen oaks, low bushes of lentisk, with slender leaves and coral flowers, and junipers, a covert thick enough to shelter the wild boar, they are now almost treeless, except for the bushes of Quercus coccifera, a holly-like shrub, which springs up in these fissures of the rocks, and bears the kermes, still very valuable as a dye, though replaced in great measure by cochineal. The local name of this oak is garrig, and thence comes the name of these wild and poetical moor lands, which have a rich and aromatic flora, desolate as they look. Spanish broom waves its slender branches, laden with golden blossoms over beds of rosemary, everlastings, and heather ; the arbutus ripens its rosy fruit in company with stiff box trees, fine- leaved phyllareas, and an evergreen shrub called tritanelle. The turf, where turf can grow on the rocks, is fine and close, as the sheep and goats know well, and wherever there is a little earth there spring up stately asphodels, with cream GEOGRAPHICAL CHARACTERISTICS. 9 coloured bells and cruel pointed leaves, plumy fennel, the hooded flowers of the sarriette, fragrant thyme, lavender, and a host of other sturdy plants, which fear neither the scorching summer sun, nor the wild spring winds, known by the expressive name of " les cavaliers," which uproot the olives and break the vines in the plains, and roar trium phantly over the wide garrigues, bearing away for leagues the fresh and aromatic perfume exhaled by the plants whose home is on the uplands. The garrigues have a population of their own. Any one who has lived near the little rocky chain of hills between Montpellier and Frontignan will recall the garriguaïres, or woodcutters, a very poor but proud and independent race, passionately fond of their barren domain, and living a life quite apart from that of the villagers among whom they are scattered. Every day they leave their huts at dawn, not to return until night, and start, men, women, children, and donkeys for the garrigues. The menwear clothes originally made ofsome coarse white material, but dyed as red as those ofa Devon shire labourer, not, however, by the earth, but by the stains from the roots of the kermes oak, the bark of which they beat off with hammers for the tanners. In this treeless district, the boughs and roots of the oak, too, are valuable, and the garriguaïres carry IO FRANCE. them down to the villages to sell. The women have short skirts, a sort of blouse, and high gaiters, to defend them from the thorns and bushes, and on their heads are the broad felt hats so universal in Languedoc, which serve both as umbrella and parasol. Perhaps there is Arab blood in this small, dark, muscular race ; its nomad habits and in grained pride would lend themselves to the conjec ture. A similar race, but more nomad still, may be met with in the uplands of Provence, with their donkeys, tame and well treated , and large white dogs, fierce and dangerous, which will lay hold of any passing stranger, and detain him till ordered by their masters to loose him. The long succession of pools, or "graus," from Narbonne to the estuary of the Gironde, confirms the assertion of geologists, that this deep depression was once a sea. By their geology and their charac teristics, the coasts of the Mediterranean offer two completely different regions. In the eastern part we have granite, chalk, and schist, a sun- bleached region, with desolate, arid rocks, where not a blade of grass can grow, while the lovely bays, and the semi-tropical vegetation of aloes and palm, fig tree, olive and almond recalls at once Africa and Palestine. Lower Provence is the land of flowers, and there is a fertile region where vines flourish and GEOGRAPHICAL CHARACTERISTICS. II flocks abound. Towards the sea is again a different region of salt marshes and pools, and the desolate Crau, a district of round stones, like the shingle of the sea- coast. It is here that the ancients laid the scenes of the combat between Hercules and the Ligurians, these stones having been showered down for his use by Jupiter. Barren as the Crau is, the sheep find a short grass under the stones, which they learn to turn over in search of it . In autumn, great flocks come down from the Alps and the Pyrenees and remain all winter. The sea has continually retreated from Languedoc and Provence, leaving Aigues Mortes land- locked, and Arles twice as far from the coast as it was in Roman times ; all the life of Provence now lies along her shores. At the mouth of the Rhone stands Mar seilles, with her port filled by vessels from Greece, from India, from England, and Germany. Alittle further east comes Toulon, a great centre of activity, and yet further along the beautiful coast line come Hyères and Cannes ; and then, crossing the natural boundary of the Var, since a turn in politics has shifted the frontier to the gorge of St. Louis, stands Nice and Mentone. Hyères is a favoured little spot. Sheltered in a fold of the hills, palms ripen their clustering fruit in the open air, and plants and insects found nowhere else in 12 FRANCE. France abound here. The flora is rather Spanish than French, and in spring all the hillsides suddenly flush pink with almond blossom. Almost equally soon do the lovely rosy blossoms fade into white, and the beautiful colouring is gone. Over the beds of spikenard and the tall white Mediterranean heath flit two kinds of swallowtail butterfly, Papilio macheon (le grand Carottier) and P. podalirius (la Flambe) , which English entomologists would fain believe has once or twice crossed the Channel, and the magnificent oleander hawkmoth (Mesop sius neris), with its olive-green wings, barred with white and rose- colour, is not at all uncommon. This part of Provence has, too, its noteworthy birds. The scarlet flamingo builds its nest there, raising a cone of sand, and laying its eggs in a little hollow at the top, an arrangement to suit its long legs ; the purple heron and crowned crane haunt the shore ; the Falco abicilia (a bird of passage) may be seen hunting water-fowl in pools near the sea ; the brilliant little wasp- eaters come over from Africa and flit about like swallows, and eagles and hawks soar up from the woods on the hillsides while the hoopoe sets up its crown of feathers and looks half shyly, half boldly at the passer-by who disturbs it among the rocks. On the Ile Por querolles there used to be golden pheasants quite • GEOGRAPHICAL CHARACTERISTICS. 13 wild, but the fact that the first were sent there by Louis Quatorze was sufficient to cause them to be destroyed in the Revolution ; common ones have since been successfully introduced there. Passing from Provence to Dauphiné, we are at once in another region, one northern in tempera ture and in characteristics, an almost Alpine district, bordering on that Savoy which was ceded to France in 1860, but is none the more French for that. Passing northwards, we come to " Waterish Burgundy," as Shakespeare accurately calls the great duchy which curved round the north and great part of eastern France. South of Dijon, the old capital of the duchy, which has much that is Flemish about its architecture, is one of the most wealthy districts of France, and one nearly as un interesting as Champagne, for here is the great vine country, shadeless and monotonous, though here and there are unexpected rocky gorges sud denly ending in a precipice. Quite other is the scenery near Macon, where the hills are broken into such fantastic cliffs, that when the mists float about them they might be taken for ruined castles. Dif ferent, again, is the rainy Morvan (black mountains) , with its still extensive forests, its pools, its in tensely green valleys and limpid streams, a granite region, with a population of the celtic type, who 14 FRANCE , speak a patois peculiar to themselves, and are more like Bretons than the true Burgundians, or the rough Auvergnats, their neighbours. Among the most noteworthy hills in Burgundy is Mont Auxois, not from its superior height or grandeur, but because here probably was the scene of the last struggle between independent Gaul and Rome. All Gaul came at the summons of Vercingetorix,2 except the Remi, always staunch to Rome. Here, after a magnificent resistance, Vercingetorix told his men that he was about to yield himself to Cæsar to save his people. And the next day, in bright armour, a mounted horseman dashed through the Roman lines, and stood silently before the Roman conqueror. No magnanimity moved Cæsar. He reviled his defeated foe, led him in his triumph at Rome, then kept him for six years a captive before putting him to death. But Vercingetorix had given peace to Gaul. Thenceforward Cæsar's policy was one of conciliation. His yoke was light to Gaul. Vercingetorix had not sacrificed himself in vain, and some 1800 years later his country set up his statue on Mont Auxois, where it stands nobly, looking grandly out over the wood and hills, as if he "triumphed where he failed." 2 "Vercingetorix means ' the great chief of a hundred kings. ' It is not quite certain whether it is a proper name or a title of office. At any rate, it is characteristically Gallic in its splendour. ” —Kitchin. 15 CHAPTER II. MOUNTAINS. THE important part which France has played in the history of the world, is greatly owing to her geo graphical position. Washed by the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, she is the high road between north and south ; in the palmy days of Rome, it was up the Rhone valley that civilization flowed northward. Roughly speaking, the shape of France is an octagon, and though the country is on the whole a level one, it is raised three or four hundred feet above the sea, and traversed by valleys, through which flow streams, calm and tranquil in the north, and wild torrents in the south. It is in these valleys that stand the towns, almost always beautifully situated, or the villages, often with a château over looking them from above. Sometimes the character ofthe country recalls Devonshire, there is a wooded and elevated plateau, broken suddenly by a valley, 16 FRANCE. in which is a town by a river ; on the other side the table-land rises again, covered with corn and fruit-trees, and extends until there is again a valley, with another plateau beyond it. Less level than Holland and Northern Germany, France may rather be compared to England, only in England the mountainous districts lie north and west, while in France they are in the east and south. Picardy, Normandy, Artois, and the country immediately south of the Loire have no mountains like Wales and the Lake District. In the centre of France is a triangular plateau of granite and schist, bounded by a deep depression, through which flow the Saône and Rhone, with the Loire on the north-west, and the Garonne on the south-east. On its southern edge it rises into the granite rocks of the Rouergue, and on the north are the hills of the wild and melancholy Morvan, whose cold, limpid waters seem to bring fever rather than health to the inhabitants. There are five mountain chains which form the natural frontier of France, the Vosges, the Ar dennes, Jura, Pyrenees, and Alps. The Ardennes is the weakest. Their eastern branch is a succes sion of wooded and rounded heights, separating the tributaries of the Meuse from those of the Moselle ; the western is a series of table- lands, often very MOUNTAINS. 17 steep, full of valleys and marshes locally known as fagnes, and clothed with woods and thick heather. The northern branch ends at Cape Grisnez, a head land well known to passengers from Dover to Calais. The eastern Ardennes are a low range wat passing through Picardy and Normandy, and dividing the Somme and Seine. Readers of Sir Walter Scott need not be reminded of the Boar of the Ardennes, a name familiar also as that of the forest where the scene of "As You Like It " is placed . These hills and their department were the scene of fierce conflicts in the Franco- Prussian war ; Sedan, the old Calvinist university, and the birthplace of both Turenne and the gallant Mac donald, saw the memorable capitulation of the Third Napoleon, on September 2nd, 1870.¹ As M. de Beaumont well observes, those mountain chains which form the most formidable barrier, divide France from those nations most akin to her self. The huge wall of the Pyrenees has only passes so dangerous during great part of the year that the Spanish saying runs, " A son would not wait there for his father ; and until the tunnel through Mont Cenis was made, the same might almost be "" 1 In the same district took place the decisive battle of Valmy, in 1792, where began, as Alison says, " that career of victory which carried the French armies to Vienna and the Kremlin. " с 18 FRANCE. said of the Alps. But the Vosges, the Jura, and the Ardennes allow Germany, and Switzerland , which is partly German, all but free access ; the Romans and Saracens indeed advanced from the south, but since the battle of Poitiers France has had to guard against foes from the north only. The consequences of this separation are striking. Had France been more accessible to Spain and Italy, her individuality or theirs would probably have been lost ; but, though the north has had a distinct effect on her, the differences of race and character are far too deep for any essential change to be made in the national genius by closeness of contact. The Jura may be considered as a part of the great Alpine chain which divides France from North Italy and Switzerland. Chiefly composed of lime stone, these mountains take the most fantastic forms, and the dark pine woods with which the great part are clothed, give a singularly gloomy, northern look to many slopes, scarcely lessened by the sunny, emerald green pasturages sloping from the edge of the forests. Asmall kind of bear is found in the Jura, only dangerous to the vineyards and bee hives, to rob which it sometimes ventures out of the woods and comes close to houses. The tap ofthe handsome black woodpecker ( Picus martius) may MOUNTAINS. 19 be heard constantly in the forests of the Jura ; the bird is about eighteen inches in length, jet black, except the head, which has a magnificent crimson hood. With it may be seen the green woodpecker (P. viridi), which often comes into gardens, climbing about the walnut and fruit-trees, striking the trunks and branches with its beak, while it supports itself on its stiff tail, and darts its barbed tongue into the hole which it has dug in search of grubs or beetles. If frightened, it hides behind a tree trunk, clinging. on motionless, or mounting spirally higher and higher, until tired of being watched, it flies heavily off with a shriek to the next tree. The nest of the woodpecker is made high up in a hollow tree ; there the white eggs are laid and the young brought up, but when they have taken flight, apparently the deserted nest is used as a lodging by any kind of woodpecker that takes a fancy to it. The wryneck ( Yunx torguillas) is also found on the edge of the forest, hopping about and running over the branches, or going through a series of extraordinary gym nastics, as if suddenly gone mad, rolling its eyes, nodding and fanning out its tail. If alarmed , it flies off with a monotonous, hawk-like cry. Among finches, one (Fringilla petronia) seems indigenous to the Jura, it is not unlike a sparrow, but hand somer, the plumage is greyish- brown, dashed on the C 2 20 FRANCE. breast with yellow, and the beak too is yellow. Two species ofredstart ( Sylvia thitys and P.ruticillas) may be seen among the woods, perching on rocks and bushes, jerking up their tails, and uttering a few high plaintive notes, or hunting insects with unceasing energy. The gaudy yellow and black oriole builds in the Jura, but bright coloured as they are, it is difficult to see them, as they are very shy, and contrive to hide themselves in the foliage ; nor does their song betray them, as it is like that of the missel-thrush. Almost equally difficult is it to see the owls, which, nevertheless, abound in the forests. One of the prettiest is the little Strixpyg mea, scarcely bigger than a lark, reddish grey, spotted with white, with a flattened head, sur rounded by a ruff. It is the briskest of little birds, hunting insects, mice, and not at all objecting to a titmouse by way of change, plucking off every feather before eating it. The French name of this comical little owl is chevêchette. It is said to have been occasionally seen in Devonshire. The grand aquilabrachydactyla (Jean le Blanc, as he is familiarly called) builds in the Jura. It lives chiefly on rep tiles, food which seems unworthy of a bird whose stretch of wing is often over six feet. The department of the Jura is one of the most flourishing in France ; the inhabitants are very in MOUNTAINS. 21 dustrious, take great care of their woods, unlike most mountaineers, and profit to the utmost by their rich pastures. In some of the wildest valleys are villages where clocks and watches are made and exported far and wide, a trade, however, less profit able now than formerly. Whole families work at home, making special parts of the delicate machinery, and thus, by incessant practice, extreme dexterity is acquired. Looking northward from Montpellier we see the bare, blue peak of St. Loup, the most southern point of the Cevennes. Climbing thither, we look over a wild, treeless expanse of garrigues ; the air is full of pungent fragrance from lavender, thyme, rosemary, fennel, and numerous other plants, to which the country people give no name beyond "fleurs du berger "-shepherd's flowers ; all is still, except for the whistle of the shy, blue ousel ( Turdus cyancus), which suddenly opens its wings, fringed with silver crescents, and disappears in haste and flurry ; or, at early morning, the twitter of count less little birds, linnets, greenfinches, and coquillades (Alauda cristata) fluttering round some little pool where the goats come to drink. In former times a procession used to wind its way up the steep ascent of St. Loup every Christ mas Day-no easy task barefoot, and defending 22 FRANCE. a consecrated taper against the gusts of wintry wind. Childless women came to pray for offspring, or mothers to give thanks that their prayer had been heard by the saint ; girls to pray for husbands ; men to ask a blessing on their crops. Even now there is an annual pilgrimage, though not under quite such painful conditions. Parts of the Cevennes are very difficult of access, though Julius Cæsar did cross them when the snow was six feet deep. They are chiefly granite, over lapped by strata belonging to the Jurassic system, and towards the southern border the limestone, which here overlaps the granite, rises into flat- topped hills with perpendicular cliffs, seven or eight hundred feet high. These plateaus are called causses in the provincial dialect, and they have a singularly dreary and desert aspect from the monotony of their form, and their barren and rocky character. The valleys which separate them are rarely of considerable width. Winding, narrow, and all but impassable cliff-like glens predominate. Large caves, as is usual in such formations, are frequently found, and formed refuges for the persecuted Huguenots when they made their desperate stand in the reign of Louis Quinze. It is little to the credit of the rish officers who followed James II. to France 2 Scrope's " Geology of Central France. " MOUNTAINS. 23 that they lent themselves to fight against the gallant band who stood at bay in this labyrinth of ravines, precipices, and forests, yielding only when 30,000 men, women, and children had perished, or lay in captivity worse than death. The inhabitants of the Cevennes are very poor, chiefly occupied with sheep-farming, but the soil is so thin in many parts that nothing will grow but a few bushes. Elsewhere chestnut woods flourish, and the nuts form the chief food of the villagers. Here and there is a flourishing town, as at Alais, doubly rich in its crops and pasturages, and its coal mines, but such spots are exceptional. Far more characteristic of the Cevennes is such a chaos as the Peyrou, full of giant shrubs, and tangled plants growing almost into shrubs, trees scathed by lightning, huge white rocks among which a torrent roars, a wilderness of thorny bushes, ferns, and creeping plants. Kites and hawks, sometimes an eagle, hover overhead, and crows croak angry defiance as they rise up in a black cloud and dare the birds of prey who are lords of this wild domain. In such a spot as this, wolves are not uncommon. The ravages of the Bête du Gévandan are still re called with a shudder, the more that there was a terrible suspicion that a human being, who in his 24 FRANCE. insanity fancied himself a wolf, had a hand in them. This lycophobia is not unknown in other countries where men live solitary lives, as shepherds and herdsmen, with the thought of wild beasts always present. It may have given rise to the ghastly superstition of the Loup Garou. In Normandy there is a lonely spot with a broken cross, known as the Croix des Garoux. Here, as is popularly believed, come the wretches who at night turn into wolves, and receive a beating from an invisible. hand-for in Normandy the Loup Garou is not a wizard, as elsewhere in France, but a lost soul. Many supposed Loups Garoux were burned by the Inquisition in the Middle Ages. This belief that human beings can take the form of animals is widely spread. In Egypt one of each pair of twins is believed nightly to take the form of a cat, as is told in one of Lady Duff Gordon's amusing letters. The wolf has all the bad qualities of the fox, without his craft and cleverness. Timid and sneaking, he is now supposed never to attack a human being ; and the mere presence of a child is thought to suffice to secure the little black sheep and cows of Brittany from the assaults of the gaunt wolves which haunt the deep coverts afforded by the woods which stretch away for fifteen or twenty MOUNTAINS. 25 leagues without a break, or hide in the dense broom or heather of the wild moorlands, wearing hollow track-ways by their runs, In winter, when food is scarce, they become, like King Louis XI. , " une anatomie cheminante," kill cows and sheep, break through the broom thatch of cottages into which the cattle have been driven for protection, and snatch up dogs at the very doors of their masters. Sometimes the peasants set traps for them ; some times they appeal to the Louvetier, usually one of the chief gentlernen of the neighbourhood, whose office it is to keep down these animals, as well as to destroy the equally mischievous wild boars, which eat up the chestnuts and ravage the crops. But to hunt wolf and boar is too exciting an amusement for the gentry willingly to exterminate the wild beasts, and no Louvetier but would if possible spare a she-wolf or a wild sow ; though a battue is sometimes organized, and the peasantry then turn out with such furious energy that there is far more danger from their shots than from the fangs of a desperate wolf, or even from the formidable tusks of a wild boar. The cry of the wolf, something between a roar and a howl, once heard in the stillness of night, is a sound never to be forgotten. Some years ago wolves must have been much more audacious than now, when the mere striking of a 26 FRANCE . lucifer match will scare them. It is not yet half a century since an English family, settled in Brittany, reluctantly allowed a guest to leave them one winter night, when snow was on the ground. He rode away over a lonely heath, laughing at their fears. Half an hour later his horse rushed back, bleeding, riderless, wild with fright. Wolves had evidently attacked him, and in his mad terror he had thrown his master, or the wolves had pulled him down. Even yet bands of wolves will attack stables in Brittany, and in mountain villages, break ing through the thatch of houses. The office of Louvetier still exists in France, but has become merely nominal. The usual food of the wolf is hares, rabbits, sheep, if they are to be got, rats, and frogs if nothing better can be had, now and then a partridge, some times his cousin the fox, who in his turn eats the young cubs if by a rare chance the mother wolf leaves them alone in their burrow. White wolves have been found in the Ardennes, and there is a black variety in the Pyrenees. The mountains of Auvergne branch off from the Cevennes, and extend into the centre of France. Their conical dome-shaped peaks, and the perfect craters in many, tell that this was a volcanic district. In some parts the lava stream may be MOUNTAINS. 27 traced which once poured out of them. Set on a rocky platform at the top of many peaks are ruined castles, telling of an outbreak as wild as any volcano's, where the Revolution flung itself against these strongholds and shattered them. In such a district traditions and superstitions are sure to abound. It was out of the " bottomless " Lac Pavin that the sorcerers conjured wind and storm by casting a stone into its enchanted waters, fed by subterranean springs, and lying dark and stern in its deep bed, to whose rocky sunless walls fir-trees and beeches cling. On the Puy de Dome stood in Roman- Gallic times a great temple, sacred to Mercury Dumiatus, god of the sixty Gallic cities , or rather cantons ; and the mountain top served as a pedestal for his bronze statue. Naturally, Chris tians saw in this spot the place where all the wizards and witches met for their Sabbath, unless indeed they were holding carnival in the equally ill-famed gorge of Ollioules, near Toulon. The Auvergnats are a rude and ignorant race, but honest and kind-hearted. They share the usual lot of mountaineers ; passionately attached to their homes, poverty obliges them to emigrate in large numbers. Many go to Paris, working as porters, or in any occupation which enables them to lay up money enough to return home, and labouring with 28 FRANCE. incessant toil and economy until this end is achieved. Comparativelyfew settle out ofAuvergne. This province has produced famous men ; thence came the Arnaulds, so connected with Port Royal. Lafayette, too, was a native of Auvergne. Railroads, which bring many places hitherto obscure into notice, isolate others. When the travellers who went to Nice by diligence orcarriage through the Esterel spent a night or two at some little wayside inn, these hills were much better known than now, when trains whisk through a succession of tunnels. It was pleasant to make acquaintance with this beautiful little chain of hills, even wilder than the Maures, though with less forest, the ground being covered by tall white heath and myrtle, with a great tree rising here and there from a thicket of arbutus, and dense undergrowth clothing the base of the bare peaks ; while lower down grow aloes, cactus, and palms ; or along the coast, the stone- pine spreads its dark green canopy. No one can forget the Esterel who has seen them under a silvery moon, or at noon, when the sun stands high in a cloudless heaven, " And like an angel's train, The burnish'd waters blazed ; " while the great porphyry headlands glow with MOUNTAINS. 29 66 extraordinary vividness, far richer in colour and grander in form than even the deep red sand stone cliffs of Devon, or the Rochers Rouges of Mentone. To the north of the Esterel rises another range of hills, almost equally wild and picturesque, and, like both the Esterel and the Maures, not directly connected with the Alpine system, To the heights known as the Sainte Baume belong many of the mediæval traditions dearest to Provence and Languedoc. An old cantique tells how the Jews put the three Maries, with other Christians, on board a vessel without helm or oar, and gave them to the mercy of the waves : ' Entrez, Sara, dans la nacelle, Lazare, Marthe, et Maximin, Cléon, Trophime, Saturnius, Les trois Maries et Marcelle, Eutrope et Martial, Sidonie avec Joseph, 3 Vous périrez dans le nef. " Allez sans voile et sans cordage, Sans mât, sans ancre, sans timon, Sans aliments, sans aviron, Allez faire un triste naufrage ! Retirez-vous d'ici, laissez-nous en repos, Allez crever parmi les flots ! "

  • Of Arimathea, whom the Arlesienne tradition asserts to have

gone from Provence to England. 309 FRANCE . The ship grounded on the Camargue, and the Maries preached to the heathen, and then came to die in the Sainte Baume, having, first carved their likenesses on a large pointed block of stone, which stands upright against a precipice east of the rocher des Baux, and has on it three figures, venerated with unquestioning faith by all the countryside. The fête of the Maries is the great event of the year to all within reach ; a vast con course flocks to the chapel, to petition for miraculous cures, and listen to the annual sermon, preached by a monk, on the story of the Three Maries. Scenes from their legends, based on traditions probably not earlier than the thirteenth century, are common in the stained glass of French churches. In the hôtel de Cluny is an old picture in distemper, attributed to René of Anjou, father of Henry VI.'s wife, with the port of Marseilles in the background, and Mary Magdalene standing on some steps, a tall figure draped in white, ad dressing a crowd, with René and his wife Jeanne de Laval among them. King René is said to have had the bodies of the Maries sought for ; they were duly recognized by the fragrance which exhaled from them ! Lazarus, called by legend the brother of Mary Magdalene, is considered as the first bishop and patron saint of Marseilles ; his tradi MOUNTAINS. 31 tional history is represented in the bas- reliefs behind the high altar of " La Major " in that town. From the Peyrou at Montpellier, far away, distinct yet dreamlike, may be seen at sunrise and sunset the chain of the Pyrenees ; nay, the grey and furrowed pyramid of Mont Canigou is visible from Marseilles and from Barcelona ! It rises so haughtily, and overlooks so large a space, that it was long supposed to be the highest peak of the Pyrenees, and it is difficult to believe that Mont Perdu and the Vignemale are really higher. The Pyrenees are like a vast wall, drawn from sea to sea, with very high passes, often of such grandeur that the Basque proverb says, " He who has not seen the sea nor the Gates of the Hills knows not God." Rocky ridges enclose valleys starting out from the sides of the main chains, reached by minor passes, called portillons, or little gates ; some valleys end in what are known as cirques, great hollows with tremendous rocky walls, sometimes 1200 feet high. The well- known Cirque de Gavarnie is nearly three miles round ; a huge wall of granite encloses it, with three stones, rising in giant steps, down which fall countless streamlets, "like a downward smoke," or bounding from ledge to ledge with a low murmur, until they reach the furrowed glacier at the bottom. The peaks around 32 FRANCE. rise out of the gloomy fir woods which climb them, bare and threatening, their flattened tops giving a peculiar effect quite unlike the Alpine aiguilles. A stream or gave flows out of this glacier, at first turbid, but soon gaining the green and beryl tints which distinguish these streams. The Cirque de Gavarnie has a dismal legend. Yearly, on the anniversary of the night of the aboli tion of the Templars as an order, a figure in full armour appears, wearing the white cloak with its red cross, and cries three times " Who will defend the holy Temple ? who will deliver the sepulchre of the Lord ? " Then the seven stone heads which may there be distinguished reply three times, " No one ! No one ! The Temple is destroyed." 4 In one of the charming letters of M. Doudan, writing to a child, he gives a vivid impression of the solitude of these cirques. " Twenty years ago a man reached the top of that Mont Perdu, which no one had ever ascended during the 6000 years that we mortals have lived on the earth. The dusk was coming on when he got there ; not a plant was there, not an insect, not a cloud, not a sound, only the vast walls of rocks, a cirque which the eye could not measure. You would have thought that millions of years previously giants 4 Hist. de France. H. Martin. THE CIRQUE DEGAVARNIE . Page 32.

MOUNTAINS. 33 had built this great enclosure, and then withdrawn in silence, slowly, as if afraid of the grand edifice which they had raised. Not a word had reached here from the world below. God alone looked on this solitude while men were struggling down below-while we were working out the French revolution, and Bonaparte was cannonading every town in Europe. I said that there was not a living thing on this mountain when M. Raymond ascended it : yes, there were two, to give life to this desert— two white butterflies, which the wind had borne thither ; one still fluttered, numb with cold and half dead ; the other was flying round it, not daring to alight, and terrified lest it should be left there all alone. " 5 The mountain system of the Pyrenees consists of two great chains, one running east from the Bidassoa to the western bank of the Noguera Pallaresa, and the other, starting from the Pic du Midi d'Ossau, reaches the Mediterranean. On the northern side they are more or less wooded ; beech-trees grow as high up as 3000 feet, their roots grasping the rocky soil like great snakes, their stately trunks bearing up broad fanlike branches, each tree having a certain space to itself, while the pines crowd along the rocky ledges in 5 Reclus. D 34 FRANCE. serried lines, except where a storm has torn away some of their number, and left the dead trunks prostrate in the space thus cleared. The glaciers look ghostly white set in their dark frame. Higher still grow box-trees ; then come dwarf firs ; the rhododendron opens its rosy blossoms in company with the scarlet flowers of the thornless rose, and tufts of blue campanula or bluer gentian. Highest of all is close, scanty turf, and moss of many shades, from yellow to white. The snow line is about 9000 feet, which is 1300 higher than in the Alps ; thus heights which in the Alps would be bare, or merely clothed with lichens and mosses, are here almost hidden in verdure. The Eastern Pyrenees, unlike the Western, rise into the region of perpetual snow, and the Spanish side is a succession of steep terraces. There is a great variety of climate´in these mountains ; the eastern part is swept by fierce gusts of wind, while the west enjoys gentle breezes and abundant rain. Parts are like the hills of Scotland, while others " recall the arid summits of Greece." One of the peculiar charms of the Pyrenees is the great and sudden variety of views. You have but to pass round a rock, and instead of a clear green gave, rich forests of oak and beech, and emerald meadows-a scene of desolation meets the eye, a wild gorge, inaccessible PONT D'ESPAGNE . Page 34.

MOUNTAINS. 35 rocks, and a desert of stones. Lakes are almost entirely wanting, the Lac Bleu and one or two others, being little more than wild and romantic tarns, and cascades, though very plentiful, are mere threads of water. The once vast forests were greatly diminished and destroyed by shepherds and peasants even before the Revolution. Under the false idea of getting more pasturage, or to get wood for firing and building, the trees were recklessly felled ; then the same unhappy consequences follow as may be seen nowadays in Italy ; rain swept the ground clear of soil, and nothing could grow. Many hamlets are now deserted because no firewood can be procured. Unfortunately the Pyrenean peasant is strongly opposed to any attempt to replant the mountains, fearing to see his pastures diminished . With the forests have disappeared many animals. The stag and wild cat are extinct, as almost is the ibex. Wolves still abound, and bears are some times seen, martins and pole-cats are common enough, and the bleat of an isard may be heard on some height as the sentinel utters his call of warn ing ; in an instant the whole band lift their delicate little antlered heads, a streak of fawn colour flashes by, and they are gone. The lynx is not uncommon, though rarely seen, and more rarely killed. Dogs D 2 36 FRANCE . dread it ; cats have a curious hatred of it. Lying apparently dozing on a branch for days, it yet makes long journeys at night when pressed by hunger, springing suddenly on its prey, and, if it fails, never pursuing it, but patiently waiting for another chance. 37 CHAPTER III. RIVERS. THE four chief rivers of France are the Seine, Loire, Rhone, and Garonne ; and of these, says Michelet, the Seine is in all respects the first, the one most capable of civilization and improvement. "It has not the capricious, perfidious softness ofthe Loire, or the rough ways of the Garonne, or the terrible impetuosity of the Rhone, which comes down like a bull escaped from the Alps, traverses a lake fifty miles long, and rushes to the sea, biting at its shores as it goes. From Troyes the Seine allows itself to be cut up, divided at will, goes to seek manufactories and lends them its waters. One ought to see how between Pont de l'Arche and Rouen the beauteous river wanders round her countless islands, framing them at sunset in waves of gold, while all along the banks the apple-trees see their yellow and red fruit reflected in the water. " 38 FRANCE . Rising in the table-land of Langres, the Seine flows on past Paris and Rouen, until it reaches the Channel-La Manche, as the French name has it, "the Sleeve," as it was sometimes called in Queen Elizabeth's time, when her admirals found it in conveniently " wide " to keep watch over. Its slow current makes it a great contrast to the Loire, which Carrier called a " torrent révolutionnaire." Its long course of 600 miles begins among the glittering micaceous rocks of the Mesenc : first of all a mere streamlet, it flows south, then turns westward and flows on among the mountains, and past many a castle and town famous in history, to the Bay of Biscay. Chambord is on its banks, bristling with turrets, and studded with the crescent of Diane de Poitiers ; Blois, with all its memories of conspiracy and murder ; Amboise, with like associa tions, the favourite abode of Charles VIII.; beautiful Chenonceaux, built across the river, the favourite abode of Diane de Poitiers, wrested from her when Catherine de Medici was no longer a neglected wife, but an all- powerful Queen Mother ; Plessis, the lair of Louis XI.; Chenon, the abode of Charles VII. and the opening scene of Joan of Arc's wonderful career ; Fontevrault, where lies Cœur de Lion ; Loches, which brings Louis XI. before us again, and, strange contrast, Agnes Sorel too, RIVERS. 39 whose name is half redeemed by her patriotism ; Dampierre, belonging to a family illustrious in French history, and the place where ended the miserable life of Margaret of Anjou ; Nantes, where seven bridges cross the Loire, and which lent its name to the great edict of toleration given by Henri Quatre, and revoked by Louis Quatorze to the ruin of France. On the whole it is but very gloomy associations which these names call up, not by any means such as make us regret the good old times, and the horrible scenes which took place in Nantes during the Revolution : the " republican marriages," when men and women were stripped, bound together and flung into the river, and chil dren were led out and shot wholesale, are perhaps the most repulsive of all the pictures conjured before us. Near Saumur, famous in Huguenot annals, the Loire runs through a low district, but with banks of gravel or chalk some thirty or forty feet high. These banks are singularly hollowed by the peasantry, who use the caves which they make as cellars, building also rude sheds, so that a kind of village follows the shore, backed by cliffs. In Turner's " Rivers of France " is a landscape near Saumur, which gives the true spirit if not the actual details of the landscape . Some rivers which we 40 FRANCE. consider German have their source in France : the Meuse rises near Bourbonne- les- Bains, the Escaut or Scheldt near Le Catelet (department of Aisne) , and flows past Cambrai and Condé ; the Moselle, rising like the Meurthe among the moraines of the Vosges, in the north-eastern corner of France. The general slope of France is westward. The south is drained by the Garonne, which rises in the Spanish Pyrenees, plunges suddenly into a natural well called the " Trou du Taureau," perhaps from the roar of the falling torrent, flows by underground passages under the mountains, and rushes upwards again to the daylight in mighty jets on either side of a rocky staircase. ' Fed by countless tributaries, the Garonne sweeps on its way to Toulouse, a gay and lively town, with a population Moorish or Spanish rather than French. The old capital of Languedoc, Toulouse had her full share of suffer ing in the Albigensian war. One of the charges brought against the Counts of Toulouse was that they did not persecute- not even Jews. The same sin could certainly not be laid at the door of Innocent III . and Domenic, Bishop of Osma. To an English visitor Toulouse has a special interest ; it is the place where the roads from Spain converge, the strategic point of South France ; and here ac 1 Reclus. RIVERS. 41 cordingly, in 1814, Wellington attacked Marshal Soult-in the formidable lines raised between the Lers, the Garonne, and the Canal du Midi, in order to arrest the victorious course of the English army and defend Bordeaux-and forced the posi tion. In prehistoric times the overflow of the Garonne was prevented or greatly lessened by lakes, now filled up, and the floods are violent and destructive. The inundation of 1875 will long be remembered, when almost the whole of Languedoc was under water, and Toulouse was nearly destroyed. A little below Bordeaux the Dordogne joins the Garonne, and the united streams are called the Gironde, and name a department, which again named the Girondins of the Revolution, all deputies from this district. Lamartine has written their history, with much charm and little veracity. It was of this book that the elder Dumas, who him self had taken more liberties with history than any man living, said, " Ah, monsieur ! you have ele vated history to the dignity of romance ! " The Gironde is salt far up its course ; it is indeed rather an estuary, like our Humber, than a river. Whales swim up it, porpoises tumble about in its waters, there are oyster-beds, and the Sciena aquila is not uncommon, one of those singing fish so rare 42 FRANCE. in the marine fauna. When a vessel passes through a bank of them, a strange concert ofvoices, like myriads of organ stops, is heard. Ships' crews have been filled with terror at hearing this strange music, fancying that the keel had opened, and that water was coming in on all sides. The Atlantic is connected with the Mediterranean by the Canal du Midi, made in 1681 , and still the greatest achievement of the kind on the continent. It is over 148 miles in length, and is carried in different parts over no less than fifty aqueducts, being some times 600 feet above the sea, and navigable for vessels of upwards of 100 tons. It is the Cevenol rivers which chiefly feed this great water-way, all important until railroads superseded it, and put an end also to travelling by steamer down the Rhone. Those who have journeyed down the Saône-at first a tranquil glassy stream, reflecting the banks and trees ; then, nearer Lyons, swift and winding-and recall the beautiful sight of Lyons at night, glitter ing with light above the broad Rhone, into which the Saône had flowed ; further down, the wild and rocky banks, terraced with vineyards, crowned with ruined castles such as Château Crillon, spanned with noble bridges-such travellers may be excused ifthey regret those earlier days of leisurely journeys, 2 Reclus. 2 RIVERS. 43 · and prefer the Rhone to the better- known Rhine. " I was delighted by my first sight of the blue, rushing, healthful- looking Rhone," wrote Lord Macaulay in his diary. " I thought, as I wandered along the quay, of the singular love and veneration which rivers excite in those who live on their banks ; of the feeling of the Hindoos about the Ganges ; of the Hebrews about the Jordan ; of the Egyp tians about the Nile ; of the RomansCuique fuit rerum promissa potentia Tibrin ; ' of the Germans about the Rhine. Is it that rivers have, in a greater degree than almost any other inani mate object, the appearance of animation, and some thing resembling character ? They are sometimes slow and dark-looking ; sometimes fierce and im petuous ; sometimes bright, dancing, and almost flippant. The attachment of the French for the Rhone may be explained into a very natural sympathy. It is a vehement rapid stream ; it seems cheerful and full of animal spirits, even to petulance ! " Fifteen years later he wrote again : "My old friend the Rhone is the bluest, brightest, swiftest, most joyous of rivers." The Rhone from Lyons flows as nearly in a direct line as possible, receiving a great tribute of water from the Isère, coming down fiercely from 44 FRANCE. the glaciers of the Alps, and reinforced by the still wilder Drac and Romanche. Like the Drôme, the Isère, in spite of her volume of water, is too shallow to be much used for traffic. The torrents of the Vivarais, on the west bank of the Rhone, have a short course, but come down with tremen dous force, sometimes so swelled by rain that they suddenly overflow, and bear into the Rhone, trees, drowned animals, wreck of all kinds, in long trains. On the 10th of September, 1857, by no means an exceptional instance, the Doux, the Erieux, and the Ardèche, all rivers contained in a single depart ment, poured into the Rhone more water than the Ganges and Euphrates together carry to the sea.³ Providentially the torrents never swell thus on both banks at the same time, as the rain- winds which affect them are distinct, otherwise the country on each side would be a desolate marsh. Such floods as those of the Rhone and Garonne make us realize forcibly what the power of water is, as does the vast opening, with a circular archway some sixty yards across, which the Ardèche has cut for herself in a mighty wall of rocks in the valley to which she gives her name. After the Rhone has received the Durance and Gardon into her bosom, her waters begin to divide 3 Reclus. RIVERS. 45 into many channels. The main stream continues to flow south, past the old Greek colony of Arles, whose women keep much of their traditional beauty, and whose amphitheatre still recalls the time when Arles could be called "the Rome of Gaul ;" but part of the waters flow into the Petit Rhone, in that strange district known as the Camargue. The various branches which the river now takes have named a department, " Les Bouches du Rhone," As the stately stream flows past the old Papal city of Avignon, the scenery becomes southern. Grey olives give a new aspect to the landscape ; the rocks are white, and calcined by a hotter sun than any north of this town-the first on the Rhone which gives the feeling of really belonging to the south. From the bridge which crosses the river we see the rosy peaks of Mont Ventoux, "the Mount of Winds," rising grandly in the distance, as it has done ever since the far- off days when, as its fossils tell, the Mediterranean, out of which it rose, was a continuation of the Indian Ocean. The two great cities on the banks of the Rhone have each their special interest. Raised by Augustus from a village to a great city, Lyons was the point whence diverged the four great Augustine roads through Gaul ; and the roads to Helvetia and to Italy, over the Cottian Alps, also started from it. 46 FRANCE . At the confluence of the Saône ( Arar) and Rhone stood the temple dedicated to Augustus and Rome, with the statues of the sixty Gallic cities , or rather states, around the imperial altar. Here Caligula established contests of eloquence, where the vanquished were to be thrown into the Rhone, unless they preferred to lick off their discourses from the waxen tablets on which they were written. Nero rebuilt Lyons, and she at least mourned for him. The leading Christian churches in Gaul, in the second century, were Vienne and Lyons, evangelized from Asia Minor, and thoroughly Greek. The names of their martyrs are Greek ; their illustrious bishop, Irenæus, wrote in Greek ; and the narrative of their martyrdoms was sent, not to Rome, but to Asia Minor. These Rhone churches have possibly a close connexion with the evangelization of Britain. A chain of Gallo- Celtic churches reached from Vienne to Langres, and from Langres to the British Channel. It seems probable that during the terrible persecution in A.D. 177, many Christians fled from the Rhone valley to Britain, avoiding the districts where Rome was all-powerful, and took refuge in Wales. Certainly the early strength of the church in Britain implies the immigration of a band of well-organized Christians under a strong leader. * 4 Bright. RIVERS. 47 Lyons had a bitter taste of persecution again in the Revolution, when, to punish it for its brave attempt to resist the Jacobin party, not only were hundreds of all ranks guillotined, or shot wholesale, but the Place Bellecourt was condemned to be pulled down for want of affection to the Republic. Carried in an arm-chair by four men, dressed out and perfumed, Couthon was borne from house to house, striking three blows on the door of each, and saying in gentle accents, " I strike thee once, twice thrice, in the name of the French Republic ! " 5 The noble library of the city suffered greatly in the siege during the Revolution ; the National Guard lighted fires with the books to boil their coffee, and a cartload or more were thus used every week. The very name of Lyons was ordered to be changed to Commune Affranchie ; but it is no easy matter to alter the name of a town, as was proved long before by the inhabitants of Aigues Mortes, who besought St. Louis to call their city Bonne par force, but this uncouth appellation would not take root. Lyons has always had a full share of the turbulence of manufacturing towns, and its silk weavers, who inhabit the suburbs of La Croix Rousse, are nearly as formidable as used to be 5 For a striking account of Lyons under the Republic see the " Mémoires de Mlle. des Echerolles ." 48 FRANCE . the population of the Faubourg St. Antoine, in Paris. While all the rest of Gaul was barbarous, the Greek colonies along the South of France were in full communication with Asia Minor, and diffusing civilization through south- eastern Gaul. The chief of these was Massilia, built by Phocean exiles. In spite of the sanguinary monopoly of trade by the Etruscans and Carthaginians-every foreigner who traded with Sardinia was to be drowned "-Mas silia flourished, and has continued to do so. Thanks to her noble harbour, she is the first seaport of France, and a centre whence come travellers from many parts, to avoid, by crossing France, a long sea voyage-as of old did those who traversed the Isthmus of Corinth, and in the New World do those who cross Panama. Even if new railroads make shorter ways to Turkey and India than by Marseilles, traffic with Algeria will compensate for other losses. In return for cattle, cotton, iron ore, wool, and many other articles from foreign coun tries, Marseilles sends out cement, coal, bricks and tiles, stone for building, and wines from Port Vendres, also an old Greek colony, and would do yet more were she better off for railroads. • Michelet. 49 CHAPTER IV. FORESTS. ALTHOUGH the march of civilization is marked by the disappearance of forests, and great part of those which once covered France have long been felled, there are still immense tracts, not only of woodland, but covered with real forest. Fontaine bleau, once the great hunting-ground of the kings of France, still keeps some magnificent trees, often rising to a great height before they branch, but most of its wild and rocky ground is covered with undergrowth of broom, heather, and thick bushes, broken by deep ravines and great slabs of rock, on whose sunny sides the wicked vipers of Fontaine bleau bask in extreme comfort. The peasants of the district say that there are three sorts, but there are probably only two, the common kind, and V. Redii, the red sort, called after the Italian na E 50 FRANCE. to men. turalist, who first noticed it . This kind is sometimes found in the south of England ; it loves the edge of forests and warm slopes, and is far more venomous than with us. Sporting dogs are constantly ill for weeks after its bite, or die of it, and it is dangerous The viper swarms in the west and centre of France ; there have been years when it was a real pest if a bundle of vine-boughs were brought into a house to burn, a viper was pretty sure to drop out of it ; they came into gardens, lurked in every bush and tuft of heather, and were a constant danger to man and beast. Poitou has always been famous for its vipers ; and in the days when they entered largely into the composition of the " remède royal " (theriac), they were exported far and wide. Theriac was supposed to be an antidote for poison ; and as a " hair of the dog which bit you was a doctrine very literally held to in former times, poison of course entered into the medicine. There were sixty-nine other ingredients, and in France and some other countries druggists were only allowed to compound it before the magistrates, with certain solemn ceremonies. Modern science pronounces theriac to have been an absurd compound, whose ingredients must have neutralized each other, but it is still made to some extent, and vipers are still sold in France as part ofthe drug. Our own word "" FORESTS. 51 treacle is derived from it, having the same black and smooth look. The rounded hills, or " ballons," of the Vosges are covered with woods, and send large quantities of planks and logs yearly to Paris. The trees are felled on the heights, and sent down what are locally called voytons, roads down the hill- sides by a series of steps made of logs, fastened at regular intervals by a strong peg at each end. The load is fastened on schlittes, and sent down the voyton under the guidance of a woodcutter, who sits in front, and regulates the speed by setting each heel alternately on a log as he goes rapidly down. It is an exciting scene as the schlittes come flying down from all directions, passing each other with rapidity far greater than seems possible from the mode of guidance, each woodman giving his cry of greeting or warning as he goes by. Accidentsare only too frequent, as amongthe Swiss woodcutters (though they send the logs down a rize, something like the voyton, but the trunks come down without a guide or schlitte, rushing and bounding along) ; and the wild and perilous life led by the peasants of the Vosges inclines them to gloomy superstitions. No where is the wild hunt oftener seen-here called the Menée d'Hellequin-than in the Vosges, where indeed the moan of the wind among the trees, and E 2 52 FRANCE. the mists driven through the ravines in wild and fantastic forms, constantly lend themselves to such fancies. The Ardennes as well as the Vosges are densely wooded. Wild boars are still plentiful there ; about a hundred are sometimes killed in a year in no large space and wolves are common enough, but they are not on good terms with the boar, and keep apart. With the Ardennes is connected the legend of St. Hubert, patron of the chase, and patron of the military order of St. Hubert, instituted in 1414, by Gerard, Duke of Gueldres. One day in Holy Week, says the legend, in the time of Pepin d'Heristal, a nobleman of Aqui taine, named Hubert, was sinfully hunting in the Ardennes, instead of being at mass. He found, indeed, a stag, but it was milk-white, with a crucifix between its horns. Struck with remorse, he became a hermit in the forest of Ardennes, and finally bishop of Liége. The real wealth of Le Morvan, a district lying between vine-clad Burgundy and the mountains of the Nivernois, is not the rye and wheat, the hemp and flax, of its fertile plains, but its forests. Thou sands of trees are yearly felled, sawn up, and thrown into a torrent, which carries them down to some river, probably the limpid Cure, where, lashed into T LAC D'OO. Page 52.

FORESTS. 53 rafts, they drift to the Seine and Paris. Avallon, whose name conjures up King Arthur, is on the edge of this district, which, if we include Le Nièvre, has the most extensive forests in all France, ex tending over such a space that a traveller who lost his way might easily have to go over forty miles in a straight line, under the thick, dark shades of aged oaks, of maple, and of beech, without seeing house or man. The ground is a vast sponge, out of which the water filters to the plains below. There are no large rivers or lakes-indeed France has no lakes, unless we count those of Bourget and Annecy, both in Savoy-but here and there in these forests are lovely little pools, reflecting the blue sky, and passing clouds, and the tremulous leaves overhead, pools which are the delight of dragon flies -winged needles, as the Bretons well name them-and of thirsty little birds all through the summer. Some times, too, there are large sheets of water, sur rounded by dense thickets, and covered with water lilies and feathery reeds ; all round, standing a little back from the smooth greensward, are old trees, sometimes dead of sheer age, or scathed by lightning, or uprooted by one of the terrible storms that sometimes rage in these forests ; medlars, wild cherries, service-trees drop their blossoms on the 54 FRANCE. water, and make a momentary ripple ; bulfinches come and feed on the rosy fruit of the arbutus, whose young shoots are dear also to the shy little roe bucks ; honeysuckle and clematis make a fragrant tangle in the summer, and earlier in the year there is wealth of violets and lilies of the valley. Some times a tiny village has sprung up near one of these pools, or a farmer has settled here, and their women in red petticoats, with brown jugs poised on their heads, come to fetch water ; or a man drives down the horses and cattle to drink. The birds do not object to human companionship, and indeed seem to increase and flourish where man is, if let alone ; but the wild animals of the forest are sure to retreat from it, for the best of reasons. To see them one must go to the depths of the woods, where are the largest sheets ofwater. There is little to be noticed all the day, but when the sun sets on a summer's evening the forest awakes. A sort of shiver goes through the leaves as the cool evening air begins to breathe on them ; the birds fly down, and splash, and bathe, and drink at the edge of the water ; troops of rabbits come leaping and nibbling the grass on the banks ; then a shy roebuck steals out, turning its little head at every sound, even while it stoops to drink. Sometimes a gaunt wolf springs out, and all is skurry and flight. Last and latest FORESTS. 55 comes a great wild boar, and wallows in the mud. The forests are beautiful by day, but their real interest and life is at night. The contrast between the Nivernois and Burgundy, " so near and yet so far," is extraordinary. The race, too, is utterly different the Nivernois have small features, and have a more wiry, slender make than the robust Burgundians, and their manners and customs are quite distinct. It is in the Nivernois that we find Hamecy, a commune whose inhabitants were so hated by those of Avallon, on account of something or other done by them during the Hundred Years' War, that for centuries no marriages were allowed between those of the two communes. " Fille qui passe la rivières , Aura sous sa cotte étrivières, " ran the old saying. It is probable that the decrease of forests, to gether with draining, and general cultivation of the land has affected the climate. Seemingly it has grown colder, for we hear in earlier times of vines and olives growing where now it would be vain to plant them. Perhaps, however, experience has shown that other things prosper better, and the struggle to make tender plants succeed has been gradually given up. Climate varies much in dif 56 FRANCE . ferent parts of France, and allows a wide range of vegetable productions to be cultivated. Brittany and the western coast generally is mild and rainy, "a land of streams ;" the north is much less damp, but comparatively sunless and chill ; in the Vosges there is very hot and very cold weather, while the south is hot, dry, swept by the mistral, and some times deluged by sudden bursts of rain. No exact region can be assigned for different crops, as they overlap each other, and depend much on situation ; but, roughly speaking, the olive grows from Bagnères de Luchon to the department of the Isère ; maize, from the mouth of the Gironde to the Vosges ; the vine in the south, and from the mouth of the Loire to the Ardennes ; the apple- tree, said to have been introduced by the monks, as in Glouces tershire, flourishes in the north, and the almond in the south, coming into blossom on the hillsides with a sudden lovely flush of colour, which reminds us that its Hebrew name means "hastening." But, in point of fact, vines come much further north, even if they do not grow very luxuriantly, and there is plenty of maize in Brittany. The south has many trees and plants which are not found further north than Languedoc. The micocoulier with its little perfumed fruits, the graceful jujubier ¹ Celtis australis, in Provençal, falabréguié, 1 FORESTS. 57 with bending, slender boughs, the caroubier with large, awkward branches and clusters of green pods, and the aloe, all belong to this region, as do the scarlet-blossomed pomegranate, and the feathery, dwarf palm. Wheat grows in the more temperate parts of France, and maize in the hotter districts. 58888 FRANCE. CHAPTER V. BOUNDARIES OF FRANCE, AND SOMETHING ABOUT HER INDUSTRIES. " I HAVE lived through six revolutions," was a saying of that charming artist, Madame Lebrun, who died in 1842, at the age of ninety. Had she lived a few years longer, the fall of the Orleans dynasty would have added another to her list. In 1851 came the coup d'état, and France found her Republic once again converted into an Empire by a Bonaparte. Eighteen years passed, and there were ominous signs of another change. Indignant Savoy and reluctant Nice had been coaxed or compelled to accept annexation ; intervention on behalf of Poland had miserably failed ; Maximilian of Austria had perished unavenged ; Europe would not be summoned to a Congress ; the clergy were full of resentment at the attitude which Louis Napoleon had taken up towards the Pope ; and BOUNDARIES. 59 the press denounced the Imperial Government on other grounds in unmeasured terms. In 1869 Spain was looking about for a king, and offered the crown to Frince Leopold of Hohenzollern Sig maringen, whom Prussia authorized to accept it. Spain has always been a match to the powder magazine of European politics, and so it proved now. Already irritated by the growth of Prussian power, France interfered, and would not be pacified by the withdrawal of Prince Leopold. The de throned Queen Isabel of Spain was a personal friend of the Empress Eugénie, who threw all her influence on the side of war, backed by an Ultra montane party, to whom the Protestant German power was odious. Thiers and the Liberal party vainly opposed the war. They were hooted, mobbed, insulted by the Parisians, who filled the streets with shouts of " à Berlin ! " Prevost Paradol had compared France and Prussia to two express trains, started from opposite points along the same line of rails . Collision was only a question of time, and the time had come. The Emperor announced that everything was ready, " five times ready," and thus France began war without allies, against a strong and united country, which had the brutal invasion of the First Napoleon to avenge. Indi vidual valour can never fail in France, but every 60 FRANCE. thing else was wanting. Metz was the head quarters of the French ; Mainz of the Germans. The Prussians rushed down upon France, and were over the frontier almost before the Parisians had sent out the army which was to march " à Berlin.” Battle after battle was lost. Bazaine, whose name wasalready connected with the disastrous campaign in Mexico, was shut up within the lines of Metz. The Crown Prince of Prussia marched upon Paris, and on September 2nd, 1870, the Emperor of the French, with 80,000 men, surrendered at Sedan. In the midst of the stupefaction produced by such news, a Republic was proclaimed at Paris, and the city prepared for a siege. She held out for four long months of the cruel winter of 1870-71 , in spite of the crushing news that Bazaine with his 120,000 men had capitulated, and that Metz was in the enemy's hands. Nor were the sufferings of the Parisians by any means over when an armistice opened the gates of the city ; chaos and the Com mune were yet to come. Paris was a prey to violence worse than that of the First Revolution ; her Archbishop died nobly, like more than one of his predecessors ; the Tuileries, the Hôtel de Ville, the Palais de Justice, were burned ; every breeze carried away the charred fragments of in valuable public papers, laid up for safety-vain BOUNDARIES. 61 hope !-in these buildings. Death and pillage stalked abroad. When something like order was restored, a day of reckoning came, in which too often innocent and guilty were confounded together, and unsparing punishment was meted out. It is noteworthy as a proof of the wealth of France, that after all these unparalleled disasters, and the almost total suspension of trade for many months, when she had to pay the enormous fine levied by the Germans, M. Thiers had but to ask for a loan of two milliards ( 80,000,000l. ) , and more than that sum was offered in Paris alone before the day was out. Far more bitter to the French was the cession of half Lorraine, Alsace, and the fortress of Metz. Lorraine, the province of the Maid of Orleans, French to the core ; Alsace, French at heart too, however unjustly seized by the Grand Monarque it was bitter ! What was the remaining three milliards yet to be paid, to that ? But they had to go. Belfort was only saved by the obstinate, passionate pleading of the veteran statesman Thiers, who was well rewarded later by the welcome which he received there, a drop of sweetness in the intolerable cup which he had had to slowly drink. Thenceforward the territory of France was bounded by the Gorge of St. Louis a little beyond Mentone the south-east ; thence the border line turns. 62 FRANCE. north and north-west, on the edge of Dauphiné, passes Mont Cenis, bends round Savoy, and passes over Mont Blanc, part of which is still Italian, and is bent southward again by Geneva. Part of the Jura, as we have seen, is French, the frontier coming near the picturesque old city of Basel, whose cathedral looks proudly over the Rhine-stream. Here France has lost ground since the war of 1870 ; and again in the Vosges and Lorraine, where the border-line passes nearly through the middle of the province. Luxemburg is neutral ground, and forms with Belgium the north - eastern frontier of France up to Dunkirk. Half way along the south rises the great Pyrenean-wall. Provence and the Nizzard territories are guarded by the " blue crystal " waves ofthe Mediterranean, while the west is washed bythe Bay of Biscay, and the " Sea of Gloom," as the Atlantic was once called, and the English Channel, friendly to England and hostile to France, accord ing to the historian Michelet. With the great material prosperity of France, there is yet a decided decrease of population, and this in departments extremely flourishing, rather than in the poorer ones. Families are usually small, which must be set against a larger number of marriages than in England ; and though the French are not wanderers by nature, and do not succeed in INDUSTRIES. 63 colonization, there is a large emigration from many parts. This alone, however, would by no means explain the decrease of population. On the other hand, the numbers of foreigners who settle in France is very large. Her colonies are far more a source of expense than ofprofit, except perhaps Algeria, fast becoming a new France. Nouvelle Calédonie is used us a penal settlement, and a very real one. Thriving as commerce is in France, it is a good deal hampered by the want of railways, which the six great companies who hold those at present ex isting do not seem at all inclined to make. Roads on the other hand, were well looked to by the government of Louis Philippe. The First Napoleon thoroughly understood their importance in the his tory of a country, so did the Third, but in each case war absorbed the attention and energy which would have been better spent in constructing them. Those who have lived in France, or travelled through the country in a carriage, know well the long white ribbon of a way, which goes up one undulation and down another, with elm-trees on either side-weari some enough, but something to be thankful for in deed when compared to certain roads still existing like those of a couple of generations ago in Sussex— deep in mud, too narrow for one cart (nothing else 64 FRANCE . can go along them) to pass another. Great stones. lie in the mud, or a large hole and deep ruts are ready for a wheel to sink into, and it takes all the strength of the oxen which drag the cart along to get it out. But the more frequented ways are excellent. There are three kinds, the route impériale, kept up by the Government-route nationale it would now in these republican days be called ; the route départementale, maintained by the department ; and the chemin vicinal, cross roads, which the communes have to keep up, with a can tonnier to each two and a half miles, who is responsible for it. The military roads, chiefly con structed after the rising in La Vendée, are partlykept up by the State, partly by the departments through which they pass. These are in admirable repair, as are the national and departmental ones, but the cross roads are not numerous enough, and often are steep and dangerous. They are oftener all the prettier for that, and for their unpractical way of winding about, and sometimes have green bowery hedges like those of Devonshire or Sussex, if in a part of France where hedges are used. These lanes are kept up by what are called prestations, the peasants having to bring stone to mend them, un less they like to pay a certain fixed sum in money instead. The corvée for the advantage of the INDUSTRIES. 65 seigneur has turned into one for that of the peasants. The discovery of coal-fields has brought many places into communication with the rest of the country which before were off all beaten tracks, and has necessitated new roads being made. A century ago the name of Creuzot was unknown ; now there are 10,000 workmen employed there, in digging for coal and iron ore, in manufacturing cast iron and machinery. So active are its factories that all the coal and iron ore raised in the immediate district cannot suffice them, and they are supplied with coal from other parts of France, and with iron ore from Algeria and Elba. There are districts again which have been fertilized instead of spoiled, as is usually the case by the discovery of coal, as the poorest kind is turned into manure, and where formerly only rye and buckwheat grew, wheat is now flourish ing, and property trebled in value. The coal- mines of St. Etienne were known as early as the eleventh century, but not worked to any extent until the Revolution. St. Etienne is now a large town ; trees are black-roads are black-men, women, and children are black ; but at night its furnace fires give it a lurid glow, and a certain picturesqueness. To the mines of St. Etienne France owed her first 1 Simonin. 1 F 66 FRANCE . railways. Rails were laid down from this town to Andrézieux on the Loire , but the trams were drawn by horses ; another line was constructed in 1826 to Lyons, and there for the first time steam was used as a motive power. But as late as 1834 great opposition was made to the use of steam on lines destined for passenger traffic ; a celebrated savant publicly urged that there would be danger of suffocation in tunnels, while another protested that all the metal in France would be used up in making these iron roads. The northern coal- fields were discovered by chance, after many vain attempts had ruined one seeker after another. In 1847, during an attempt to find artesian springs, the borer revealed the presence of coal ; 100,000 acres of new fields were thus discovered. The cost of carriage is however so great from the mines to other parts of France, that it is found necessary to import coal largely from other countries. Poor in minerals, France is rich in stone, marble, and clay, and has more salt than she knows what to do with. Salt is largely manufactured in that singular district which stretches from Arles to the sea, nearly as far as Marseilles, part of which is called the Camargue. It is a level plain, glittering with shining particles, among which grow sea INDUSTRIES. 67 lavender, golden asters-called there cabridello (Aster tripolium) -large daisies, and camomiles with thick leaves and stalks, as if in this strange spot even the commonest flowers changed their charac ter. The stagnant salt lakes gleam yellow under the sun, and the forest of reeds and flags and bulrushes upon the marshes bend and wave under the mistral. Among these reeds live a strange company of birds ; cranes stalk through them, in company with pelicans and ibis ; scarlet-winged flamingoes flash past ; ducks and teal, and water birds of all kinds, splash and dive and cry in the pools ; owls hoot in the woods of stone-pines ; terns and sea-gulls float above the sea. For not only does the Rhone encircle the Camargue, but the Mediterranean washes its shores, makes inlets among the pine woods, casts seaweed over the dark green Aleppo pines of the Sylvaréal, and leaves her track in glittering salt when the water has dried up. Everything is salt in the Camargue. It is a fever- stricken region, where the mistral rages so violently that it often strips the houses of their reed-thatch, blows men off their horses, and fills the air with rolling clouds of dust and yellow haze. But the people who live here have the same. passionate affection for it as the Lapps for their desolate moors and the Frieslanders for their F 2 68 FRANCE. sea-beaten islands. There are well- to-do farmers here, living it is true in tumble- down looking houses, but cultivating prosperous crops of rye, lucerne, and barley, while round the house grow almonds, mulberry-trees for the silkworms ; there is probably too a flourishing kitchen-garden and a row of hives. Besides the farmers, there are the gardiens, who have the care of the fierce cattle of the Camargue, and the saulniers. No life can be more strongly contrasted than those led by these two. The latter are often workmen with their families, from other parts, who spend the winter in huts near the salt- pools, getting through the time as best they can, ague-stricken , lean and poor. The canals connecting the salt-pans must indeed be kept clean, but otherwise nothing can be done until the sun is hot enough to make the sea- water evaporate. When that time comes, the sea-water is let into a large reservoir, then led into smaller ones, leaving a deposit like plaster as it drains. along ; and lastly, when thus purified it is forced, by machinery turned by a horse, into other basins, where the crystallization is completed. The water is drained off before it has entirely dried up, as else it deposits salt of magnesia, which would make the sea- salt bitter. Lastly the salt has to be heaped up in camelles and left for the air to purify, but it INDUSTRIES. €9 must be carefully covered should rain threaten : rain is the constant terror of the saulnier. While the saulniers, and the unfortunate doua niers who are tied to the salt district, lead the most monotonous and unhealthy of lives, the gardien enjoys one as wild and free as a red Indian's. These cattle- herds never go on foot ; indeed, man, woman, and child, in the Camargue are constantly on horseback, though to ride the aigues of this district is a dangerous matter, for these beautiful white arabs are never thoroughly tamed, and after behaving well for years will sometimes fling them selves suddenly down, throwing or crushing the rider, flick their long sweeping tails, and gallop off to the thickets and pools of the lower Camargue. While the horses are nearly all white, the bulls are jet black, and exceedingly fierce ; nor are the tawny, deer-like cows much tamer. It would be impossible to govern the herds but for the trained oxen, dondaïres, which are extraordinarily sagacious, and attached to their master. In a contest with the herd the dondaïre always lends his utmost aid to the gardien, attacking a rebellious bull, hunting him up when he has chosen to stray and hide himself in the reeds, and, proud of the bell hung round his neck, marching up and down and keeping the cows together, as a collie might with a flock of 70 FRANCE. sheep. The gardiens are a fine, daring set of men, as they have need to be, delighting in their wild life, fearing nothing, and if hard pressed by a bull, leaping their fiery horses right over the angry animal. Both in the Provence and in the Cévennes the bringing up of silkworms is a trade which em ploys many women and children . In Provence the women who thus occupy themselves are called magnarellos, the worms being the magnans. The children gather mulberry leaves for them. The women carry the eggs in little packets, marked with the name of the person who brought them, in their breasts or in their pockets, to keep them warm. When the worms are hatched they are put on shelves in the magnanerie, each shelf being covered with a cani, or mat made of bark and reeds, plaited flat and soft. A statuette of the Virgin Mary is usually placed in the magnanerie to bring a blessing on the magnans, but besides this there are many precautions to be taken. Dusty shoes must never be brought into any place where silkworms are ; they abhor anything impure, and it would bring bad luck ; nor can they bear noise this is a Chinese belief also-so that the magnarello must wear list slippers . No sick or old person must come near them, and should a cold INDUSTRIES. 71 or thirsty traveller stop at the door, and ask to drink or to sit by the fire, he must be sent away at once ; to grant his request would be to deprive the magnans of as much strength as he gained. Nor must rats or mice be named before them. It is evident that to bring up silkworms is no easy task. Certainly those who have to feed them find it so. They eat prodigiously : when the leaves are too wet, they must be dried ; when too dry, they must be moistened. The youngest magnans must have their food cut up small, and the older, tougher leaves must be chosen out for the bigger ones. They live about thirty-four days, changing their skins four times, and growing dull and sleepy. " Dourmis de la proumier," say the Provençals, "to sleep at the first " moulting, or, " di dos," or "tres," as may be. In the barren parts of the Cévennes many an industrious peasant spends incredible pains in cultivating a muriéraie. To keep the wild rains. from washing away the earth, painfully collected, stone walls are raised, forming sterile terraces up the sunbaked mountain side ; and there the mul berries are planted, and somehow resist storm and heat and loss of leaves every year, stunted and twisted, and most unlike the mulberry better treated and in a more genial climate ; but they do 72 FRANCE. live, and feed the magnans, so precious to the Cévenol. The cultivation of the olive is entirely a southern industry. The olivettes require careful manuring (old rags are often employed) , and even the few fruits which fall, or are forgotten in the first gather ing, are carefully gleaned . The Provence olive is the best, though old Gerarde maintains that they that do yield the most pleasant oil do grow in the island of Candy. The whole tree is useful, for the fruit is eaten, or crushed for oil, the refuse being made into mottes for fuel, and the beautifully- veined wood is in great request among cabinet- makers. It is a curious sight to see an olive-mill in full activity at night in Languedoc. When the olives begin to be brought in they must be crushed at once, else they ferment, and get a sharp, disagree able taste ; and one set of workmen relieves another until the work is done. A fire of mottes (dried olive refuse) is burning, round which sit and lounge those who have brought their fruit-women in their broad hats, patiently knitting as they wait their turn, often for long hours in the cold night-girls , glad of the chance of meeting a lover-elderly men, who play at cards with a cask upside down for a table ; while the mule which turns the press goes steadily round, encouraged by the strange cries 1 INDUSTRIES. 73 addressed to it by its driver, which no doubt it perfectly understands, and the oil falls in streams. into stone basins filled with water, from which it has by-and-by to be lightly and daintily skimmed . There are much better ways known of pressing olives than by this fashion of a millstone and a heavy beam ; but the Languedocian peasant clings to his old manner of doing it, just as he prefers to thresh his corn on an open air mud or stone floor, to any place which can be suggested to him. A far prettier scene than the olive-harvest is the Languedocian vintage, which really has something of the gaiety and romance which poets have con nected with it. The grapes are in good years magnificent ; every one hastens out to help or hinder, from the strong young men who toil backwards and forwards between the vines and the carts carrying laden buckets, while the girls pluck the clusters, singing to the children, with their hands full of fruit, and perhaps a wreath of the graceful leaves on their little heads, to the old grandmother, too infirm to go far, but who sits at the door of her son's house to share as far as she can in the stir, and pick grapes with trembling, aged fingers, to make into raisiné. In the heavy presses the beautiful fruit is fast being crushed and pouring out its fragrant juice amid a crowd of 74 FRANCE. eager workmen, and faces, hands, and legs are stained with juice. The wayin which these presses are worked is unique. There are two wooden screws turned by several men, who fling themselves upon the heavy bars which move them, with a sort of wild cry, keeping time and tune, and bruising themselves black and blue, apparently without feeling the pain. The Côte d'Or is much more famous, as is Champagne, for its vintage than southern Languedoc, but it is much less inte resting, and has a prosperous, commonplace look ; and there is nothing picturesque in the long carts with their huge wheels and piles of casks. That vin tage is, however, far more important than in Pro vence or most of Languedoc, the prosperity of the whole district depending on it. And there is a joy ful scene if the vintage begins with fine weather. For some months previously only the owners have a right to enter the vineyards, and it is a time of peace and plenty for the hares and rabbits, and fat, red- legged partridges, which dwell there. If an intruder comes too near, some garde-champêtre, usually an old soldier, soon espies him, and shouts a formidable, " De par la loi, arrêtez ! " In due time the maire sends the crier to announce to all whom it may concern that the vintage has begun, and in a few hours the roads are covered with waggons

584 A FISHER GIRL . Page 75. INDUSTRIES. 75 drawn by large oxen, tall asses bearing panniers, horses and mules, vine-dressers, with their baskets on their backs, their grape-knives in their belts, and ribbons and flowers round their hats, singing as they go ; while sportsmen, portentously armed and equipped, hurry to attack the hares and part ridges, whose days of peace are over. Generally speaking, the vines are not comparable for beauty to English hops, with their lovely wreaths of leaf and fruit, dark and light ; but no hop-picking can give the least idea of the joyousness of the vintage. In a short sketch such as this it is impossible to give any but the slightest account of the trade of France, or her many manufactories ; but one more, though a very small one, must be noticed, because it must have struck all travellers who know Dieppe. Three centuries ago, when Dieppe was the most flourishing seaport in France, and one of the first in Europe, the ships of that great merchant- prince and friend of François Premier, D'Ango, brought great supplies of elephant tusks, with other precious things, from India . He was justly called the Medici of Dieppe, and treated as equal with kings, yet he died in debt. Dieppe, much crippled by the bombardment of the English in 1694, found her trade entirely ruined by the superior position of Le 76 FRANCE. Havre ; but she still keeps up a speciality for carving in ivory, and her shops display figures and toys of unequalled delicacy, a branch of trade dating from the time when D'Ango's vessels brought ivory from over seas to his native town. 77 CHAPTER VI. EDUCATION. FOR many centuries education in France was in the hands of the priesthood, who regarded it as a dangerous stimulant, to be administered in very very small doses. Although every commune of 500 inhabitants must now have a boys' and girls' school, education is not compulsory, and is very partially diffused . Napoleon once declared as a boy that if ever he had power, education should be very differently managed to what it had ever been, and it would be better for all. He kept his word. The National Convention laid the founda tion of the system of public instruction now pur sued, but it was Napoleon who developed it. The branch of administration which comprehends Public Instruction is under the care of the Grand Maître de l'Université, the title given to the Ministre de l'In struction Publique, who appoints to all vacancies in 78 FRANCE . government colleges and schools, and has under him. a council to superintend all books used there, and all measures taken with regard to public education . By university we must not imagine an Oxford or a Havard ; the name means, as it indeed originally always did, a number of educational bodies bound into one. The French Université has lycées and colleges all over France. It gives gratis education to numbers who otherwise would at the best get none beyond that offered by a village school, and affords a much better education than we are apt to suppose, though there is a tendency to attempt too much, which, indeed, is the fault of modern edu cation. Nineteen inspectors-general are appointed to visit the principal schools. France is divided into sixteen academies-seventeen, counting Algiers each comprehending several departments, and each academy has a rector, assisted by a council and the inspectors of the district, one for each department. It is the rector's business to watch over the various schools, though the préfet is supposed to be answer able for the école primaire, or elementary schools, which may be either " libre " (private) , or main tained by Government. Every month the rector is expected to send in his report to the grand maître, who, by virtue of his office, is rector of Paris, but is represented by a vice- rector. Secondary education EDUCATION. 7914 is given in lycées and colléges communaires ; the lycée belongs to the nation, and is on a larger scale than the college, which is communal. Teachers are trained in the écoles normales, and must gain a brevet de capacité, or certificate, before being allowed to teach. In this point of requiring a certificate from teachers, governesses included, France is before England. There are 100 students maintained in the école normale supérieure, who go through a three years' course of study. In the lycées and colleges there is a special course for pupils who mean to engage in commerce and in dustrial pursuits. The Institut de France is kept up by the Government on behalf of science and literature ; it consists of the Academies of Inscrip tions and Belles- Lettres, Science, Beaux Arts, Sciences Morales et Politiques, and the Académie Française. The fine arts ( i. e. painting, sculpture, architecture, music, and the drama) are greatly en couraged in France. The salon, answering in some degree to our exhibition of paintings at Burlington House, is opened by Government, which also main tains the celebrated Conservatoire of Music and Acting, to which the French opera and stage owe so much. A pupil who has talent enough to gain admittance to the Conservatoire obtains the best instruction gratis, under condition of devoting a 80 FRANCE. certain time to the Comédie Française, should this latter claim him. Of late, education at the Con servatoire has fallen a little into discredit, from pupils of a much lower class in society than formerly having pressed in. The system of French education differs entirely from the English. The hours of study are very long ; exercise in the English sense is unknown, except perhaps as far as swimming is concerned ; holidays are few and short, and the surveillance is incessant. That putting trust in boys' honour which produced so deep a ' moral effect on Rugby in Dr. Arnold's time, is unknown. The feeling of two English boys may easily be imagined when on being asked to spend a holiday out of the Parisian college where they had been placed, they found that they must take back a note, stating at what time they had arrived and left their friends, and— height of indignity !-that they were to be escorted back by a young bonne ! This regulation as to an escort is not always very strictly observed however. Monsieur," said a collegian of some eighteen years old on one occasion to a total stranger whom he met in Paris, " might I ask you to walk with me to my college yonder ? I have been to see re lations who could not see me back, and I must have an escort." Accordingly they walked a few steps "C EDUCATION. 81 together; the door was opened, the school- boy and the gentleman gravely bowed to each other, the lad disappeared into the college, and the man went on his way, somewhat amused by the unexpected service which he had rendered. There is no question that French boys are a great deal better mannered and more agreeable to grown up people than are English lads of the same age, but the after results of this education in leading- strings are scarcely satisfactory. The education of women is very superficial, especially among Roman Catholics, though public attention has been somewhat turned to it, and the earnest effects of Dupanloup, Bishop of Orleans, have had some effect in stimulating it. It is only of later years that a literature for the young has sprung up, and though now there are many books for girls, boys are still badly off ; there seems to be no Mayne Reid or Kingston for them, unless Jules Verne may stand in their place. Nor is there a literature for the lower classes—a very significant fact. The French peasant has no newspapers, no cheap illustrated magazines, no tracts, no Bibles. He does not even read legends of the saints, though he may know them well through tradition. Not always, indeed a Norman peasant-woman, reckoning over the many trials of Our Lady of Sorrows, added to all G 82 FRANCE. which the Roman Church acknowledges, another "And then she was married to an old horror of a carpenter !" " But do you not know," was the answer, "that he of whom you speak is the St. Joseph whom you pray to ? " " Pas possible ! " was the incredulous answer. In England it would be difficult to find any household of the lower class where any member could read in which the Bible was not more or less familiar. Even if laid aside, as a child at school, on Sundays or weekdays, one or more of the household probably learned some thing at least of it . Far otherwise is the case in France. A lady at Dieppe gathered some women for what somewhat corresponded to a mother's meeting, and on one occasion she spoke earnestly of the Bible, and read a few verses. "What is this Bible ?" one woman was heard to ask. " Dame! I do not know," answered another, " but it is pro bably some book which she has written herself." A French peasant is so intelligent, and ready witted, compared with the slowness of a south country English labourer, or the surly reserve of a northern one, that it is difficult to believe how enormously ignorant he really is. Totally unedu cated, there is nothing in his life which can intro duce fresh ideas. Rural customs are inflexible. Dress, furniture, habits, all are regulated by EDUCATION. 83 traditional customs to a degree quite unknown in England. An ambitious young peasant perhaps goes to a town and becomes an artisan, but if he remains in his own class he must do as they do. The peasant dreads education ; he instinctively knows that if he had a wider outlook he could not endure his frugal, dull life. Few indeed are the peasants who, like Millet's uncle, read Pascal and Nicole, Montaigne and Charron ; or his father, who, absorbed in hard labour all his life, yet would show his little son a bit of grass, and say, " See how beauti ful ! " Yet, to judge by Millet's paintings, his impression of peasant life was profoundly sad, summed up in the melancholy old song, 66 Après triste vie et dur travail, Pauvre paysan, voici la mort ! " Patriarchal discipline is still very strong. A father will beat a grown up son, and the punishment is accepted with entire submission. But a change is coming over the present class. Children are beginning to be sent to school, and little indul gences-smoking, for instance-are creeping in, hitherto unknown. It is a pity that, with the introduction of more education and wider interests, some of the excellences of this class must go. The new generation will hardly be as thrifty, self G 2 84 FRANCE . denying, and self-disciplined as the last, whatever it may lose of narrowness and ignorance. How far the constant subdivision of land works well among the small proprietors it is hard to say. The Celtic love of land is very strong in them, and there is hardly any sacrifice which a peasant will not make to add another acre to his little domain. From constant subdivisions following on deathsthere is always land in the market, and it is apt to be bought by persons without sufficient capital to farm well. Sometimes a whole family will live together, the eldest son managing the property, and the others acting as his labourers. This usually answers very well. There is more difficulty if a business or a house has to be sold in a town. Then the proceeds are divided, the shop is kept by one of the family or by a new comer, and the rest invest their money otherwise. Of course there is a disadvantage in such enforced sales, which may altogether break up a business or bring on a sale at a bad time ; and families are a good deal split up, for after the father's death there is no head or chief. This does not apply to aristocratic families, where the old feudal loyalty to the head of the house is handed down in spite of the Code Napoléon, but the law of division has struck at the root of aristocracy in France. Among the poor there is too apt to be a - EDUCATION. 85 great deal of hardness towards parents, who having been coaxed into allowing their little property to be divided during their lifetime among their family, are shifted as a burden from one child to another, and fare somewhat like Lear, only with no Cordelia to console them. There is no poor law to make provision for the pauper class . The Ministre de l'Intérieur superintends certain cha ritable establishments maintained by the state, Vésinet has its Quinze Vingts (a hospital originally founded by St. Louis to support 300 blind crusa ders), and other asylums and hospitals belong to communes and departments ; but the relief of the poor falls to private charity, and such small help as each commune can give ; and the needy often fare very badly indeed. Cases of starvation are far from uncommon, even in flourishing pro vinces like Normandy. On the whole, however, this system of obliging the labouring classes to look to their own savings to maintain themselves induces more independence and frugality than if they had the workhouse to fall back on ; and it is admirably easy for them to invest even very small sums in Government securities, which bring in a fair interest ; while in England a safe and small investment, say of five pounds, at any rate of interest which can tempt the investor 86 FRANCE. to save instead of spend the money, is all but . unknown. By the present law property is divided amongst all the sons and daughters of a family, in equal shares, except that the father may make the portion of one larger, if he choose, within certain fixed limits, which allow no opportunity for reviving pri mogeniture and sacrificing the other children to the desire of enriching one alone . When either parent dies, a child who is of age has a right to his or her share of that parent's property. Parental authority as to marriage is much greater than in England, and recent unhappy cases have shown that it would be well were this clearly understood in other countries. Up to the age of twenty-five no man can legally marry without the consent of his parents ; a woman comes of age at twenty- one. If after this age parents still refuse consent, a legal summons to give it, ironically termed " sommations respecteuses," may be served on them ; and the contracting parties must show that they are of age, have applied for consent in due legal form, and been refused without sufficient cause. At whatever age a man or woman marries, proof must be shown that they have their parents' consent, or if orphans, that they have applied in due legal form by the " re spectful summons." The notice of marriage must EDUCATION. 87 be put up in the parish of each party, and they must be publicly married by the maire, to secure the legal ceremony being duly fulfilled and all the rights of children assured, should there be any. Of course this does not interfere with the religious ceremony, which is quite distinct. The impossi bility of contracting a secret marriage in France may be regrettable for novelists, but it prevents all the miserable cheating of unguarded women, and the lawsuits as to titles and inheritance, too common in Great Britain . Nor do the thorny difficulties which surround the step prevent mar riages in France. On the contrary, there is one in every 122 persons, to one in every 143 in England. For all that, population decreases in France at about the rate of 2000 a year. In a country where girls are kept strictly aloof from men—to such a degree that where there are daughters many mothers would not invite a young man to the house even to spend an hour, and if a party were by chance given, would very likely send the young ladies from home for the day-marriages are necessarily arranged on different principles to English ones, where personal choice is more or less supreme. Suitability of fortune and rank are chiefly thought of, and acquaintanceship must be made after marriage. Yet there is much affection. 88 FRANCE. in French homes. Perhaps there has been a little too much said in praise of the amiability which enables different branches of a family to live in one house on the best of terms, in a way that would be out of the question in England. To begin with, in such cases the house is generally very large, and the inhabitants need not rub up constantly against each other. Then, probably, a good deal of cere mony is sensibly observed . They may meet at meals, but there is no running in and out of each other's apartments uninvited . The different lives are led to a considerable extent independently, and thus they get on very pleasantly, and can keep up the old family château for a few more generations. Girls in the peasant class have rather more liberty than is good for them, much as in other countries, but in the middle and upper ranks the surveillance is incessant. Many are scarcely ever out of their mother's sight day or night until marriage, and cannot stir a step out of their house unattended. "Would it be very wrong if I went out now and then alone to mass ; I am as well known to every one as the loup blanc ? " asked a girl belonging to a small household, where a servant could not possibly be spared to chaperone her, and the mother was almost equally busy. The question in itselfwas scandalous in the opinion of the lady to EDUCATION. 89 - whom it was submitted. "You should not even think of such a thing," she answered ; " unless, indeed if absolutely you must give up mass or go out alone, I fear you must do so, but as seldom as possible ! " The church was but a few yards distant, but it was perfectly true that the sight of the girl alone would set all the tongues in the little town wagging. There comes a time, however, when a demoiselle, if she does not marry feels herself a vieille demoiselle, and resolves to benefit by such freedom as this sad state allows her. She emancipates herself-goes out shopping unattended, perhaps. There is a good deal of ill natured talk ; then society accepts the thing, and her position is recognized. In married life, while too often the wife in the upper classes is anxious to turn her husband away from any serious study or occupation, the bourgeoise shares her husband's labours with great zeal and intelligence, and often proves the shrewder of the two. Seldom, very seldom, is there the strong tie of mutual faith. The lower classes are often actively hostile to religion : it is a great mistake to suppose that the peasants are led by their priests. In the upper ranks, the men are usually passively irreligious, but seldom interfere with their wives' views, or with the boys being sent 90 FRANCE. by the mothers' desire to a Jesuit college and making their first communion. Religion is a sub ject avoided in most French homes, either from indifference, or to escape wounding one person or another. Among Legitimists, indeed, it is part of the political creed to stand by the Church, so that with far too many in and outside of that party Christianity and royalism and priestcraft have become hopelessly jumbled up together. 91 CHAPTER VII. ARMY AND NAVY. THE over-tenderness of French education is more or less counteracted by the military training which every Frenchman not absolutely incapacitated by physical infirmity must undergo, with certain very clearly defined exception. The law of 1872 de clares that " Tout Français doit le service militaire en personne," and adds, " Tout Français qui n'est pas déclaré impropre au service militaire peut être appelé, depuis l'âge de 20 ans jusqu'à celui de 40 ans à faire partie de l'armée active et des réserves, selon le mode déterminé par la loi." It is the business of each maire to draw up a list of recruits of age to serve ; should any name be omitted, its owner is bound to report himself. Refusal to serve is of course a heavy offence ; and by emigrating to avoid it the rights of citizenship are forfeited. The old practice of buying a substi 92 FRANCE. tute has been abolished. As, however, the number of recruits is beyond what the army requires, a man who draws a high number in the kind of lottery which decides the fate of the conscripts serves only from six months to a year, unless he is exceptionally stupid and requires more training. All fit to serve owe five years' active service, four in the reserve, five in the territorial army, and six in the reserve. Thus a man may be called on to give twenty years' service ; but persons engaged in public teaching, and ministers of religion, are free, on condition of devoting at least ten years to their professions. It is now permissible, in time of peace, for young men who have certain diplomas, or who can pass a somewhat stiff examination, to volunteer for one year, and then return to their studies, as there are careers in which a livelihood can be gained from the age of sixteen, or even earlier, and others only open to those who have studied up to the age of twenty-four or twenty-five. To such, a break of some years would be ruin. This measure must raise the standard of education throughout France.¹ Life is by no means luxurious in the French army. One shirt and a pair of stockings is about the allowance of baggage for a private ; the pay is 1 Block, " La France." ARMY AND NAVY. 93 a sou a day, and two sous on the march. A sergeant gets about eightpence halfpenny, and a sergeant-major not quite a shilling a day. The consequence is, that as soon as the petty officers are free they leave the army. They have learned much while in it , which makes them valuable out of it. A French soldier is taught reading, writing, and arithmetic, to obey readily, to live frugally, though the food is good and sufficient, and if he has had sense and education enough to rise to be a petty officer, he is quite fit to take a place in a merchant's office, and frequently does so. To a great extent all conscripts fare alike, but of course money procures certain immunities and indul gences ; for instance, a deputy can be, and is often paid, for mounting guard. Allowances, however, even to conscripts whose families are well to do, are not ruinous. The colonel of a regiment lately consulted as to how much a month a young recruit of good family ought to have, suggested fifteen francs a month as ample ! The young noble who has volunteered, or been drawn for the army, is expected to share all the duties of the other men ; he may be sent to fetch a sack of potatoes, or carry a truss of straw, and run against the lady of his affections at this happy moment ; put up with time-honoured practical jokes, and take them good 94 FRANCE. humouredly, and obey the rough orders of the officer over him respectfully. It is not exactly an amusing life for the conscript, yet he can look back to it with a half- laughing regret in after-years, and speak of his " joyeuses années. " 2 The " inscription marine " was established by the great minister Colbert, which obliges all fisher men, and sailors on merchant-vessels, to put down their names on special registers. If called on, they must give five years in the navy. In time ofwar, the number who can be called on is about 110,000 men, but those who have already served five years can only be summoned a second time by a special decree. The five chief arsenals of France are Brest-fort, arsenal, and convict station, all in one, cannons, and vessels, and armies, all the strength of France, heaped up at the far end of France, and all in a narrow port where one is stifled between two mountains loaded with huge buildings ; Lorient, ruined as a commercial station by English conquests in India ; Cherbourg, with its mighty fortifications, and its harbour full of English vessels ; Rochefort, entirely modern and military ; and Toulon, the first place where the military genius of "" "13 2 See "Joyeuses Années," par Saint Genest, the real letters of a volunteer, but published under a feigned name. 3 Michelet. ARMY AND NAVY. 95 Bonaparte showed itself, turning the tide just when it seemed setting in favour of the English. France is not well off for harbours ; there is not a single one both large and safe, west of Marseilles, all about the Mediterranean coast ; there is none from the Bidassoa to the Gironde. Many, as tra vellers to Calais know only too well, are inaccessible at high tide. France has hitherto spent far too little on her harbours. 96 FRANCE . CHAPTER VIII. ADMINISTRATION. SINCE the fall of Louis Napoleon, France has been governed as a Republic, with a President as head of the executive power, chosen by the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies . To be elected he must unite the suffrages of over half the voters. He is President for seven years, and can be re- elected. His powers are very extensive . He can bring forward laws, and announce those which are passed ; he names all public functionaries, and the officers in army and navy ; he can pardon criminals, but without restoring their rights as citizens, such as enabling them to vote or offer themselves as candidates . Such rights can only be restored by an amnesty. ' He has also, in conjunction with the Senate, the power of dissolving the Chamber 1 M. Block, " La France. " ADMINISTRATION. 97 of Deputies. Another must however be elected within three months. The check on his wide. powers is that each of his decrees must be signed by a minister, who bears the responsibility of it before the country, the President himself being irresponsible, except in case of treason to France. There is a Council of State, whose business it is to give advice on the law projects laid before it by the Chambers, and on the carrying out of regulations and bye-laws. All disputes on matters of adminis tration, or complaints against officials, are brought before it. The Vice- President has a salary of 25,000 francs a year ; the counsellors have 16,000 francs, and its twenty-four maîtres de requêtes 8000. Nine ministers form a Cabinet Council, to preside over home and foreign affairs ; they have public hotels, where, if they please, they may live as well as carry on their duties. The eighty-seven departments of France are sub divided into arrondissements, cantons, and com munes ; each department has its préfet, and each arrondissement its sub- préfet. The préfet is a great man. He can issue local decrees, appoint and dismiss a number of subalterns, he is the head of the police, can summon out the military if he thinks it necessary, and superintends the collecting of taxes. He is the intermediary between the H 98 FRANCE . minister and the department. Under him is a council, elected by universal suffrage, which assesses taxes, superintends roads and canals, votes money for charitable purposes, and manages all local matters, but is not allowed to meddle with politics. By the law of February, 1872, these councils have become of an importance hitherto unknown, as should the Parliament be dissolved by a coup d'état -and coups d'état are not absolutely unknown in France-they would meet, and at once elect members for a new one. There was a time, not long distant, when Government had it all its own way in elections ; but this is not so now. Any inter ference on the part of the ruling powers would act very unfavourably on a candidate's chances. This is now becoming recognized, and it seems as if out of the long period of revolution through which France has been passing a system of real represen tative government may be evolved, but to gain this, to learn to govern herself, France must keep her republic. The influence of the clergy is of course against it ; a republic will not help the popes, and will give general education and tolera tion, and their opposition has brought about un happily something like war to the knife, in which not only Rome but Christianity itself is becoming regarded as hostile to freedom and progress . The ADMINISTRATION. 99 Legitimists consider that a people has a sovereign divinely appointed, and that the nation is created for him and his pleasure. The Bonapartists would appeal to popular support, and then, as Doudan says, " put a fine new harness and a curb and blinkers on the animal, with a large N. embossed everywhere." All these would rather combine together for a time in an unholy alliance than see a republic. But the nation is nevertheless growing more and more republican. The commune has its maire and his adjoint ; he is registrar of births, deaths, and marriages, and has no salary. He is chosen by vote out of the municipal counsellors who manage local affairs , such as whether the schools shall be entrusted to laymen or congregationists, the care of forests, if there are any in the commune, and the voting of a small tax called les centimes additionnels. Every canton has its commissary of police, supposed to be under the maire, but his duties are complex, as he is also an agent of government, In civil matters each canton has its juge de paix, whose valuable office it is to bring contending parties to an amicable decision , and prevent quarrels and lawsuits. He can at once give decision in all matters of debt not over 47. Affairs beyond his jurisdiction are sent up to the Primary H 2 100 FRANCE. Court in the arrondissement ; an appeal from this is sent to the Cour d'Appel. In these matters England might copy much with advantage, and those who have experience of Chancery suits and of the state of dilapidation into which property in Chancery is allowed to fall may well envy the rapid way in which French law deals with them, and the subdivision of law-work which enables it to be done. The juge de paix also deals with small offences ; but when they get into the Criminal courts French offenders might well wish to change places with English ones. So harassing is the mode of procedure and the questioning to which a supposed criminal is subjected that some have actually owned themselves guilty, though later discovered to be perfectly innocent, rather than hold out and endure it. Above all these courts is the Cour de Cassation, which sits at Paris and investigates appeals, not as to the facts of a case, but as to technical matters of law. It can, if it pleases, order a new trial. This court is divided into civil and criminal cham bers. Besides these there are tribunals military, marine and legal, and the accounts of Government agents are examined by the Cour des Comptes. All Frenchmen aged twenty-one, not disqualified ADMINISTRATION. ΙΟΙ by having been condemned for crime, and who have lived in one place for six months have a vote by ballot, and, roughly speaking, every 100,000 persons are represented by a deputy, the number being at present 537. The number in the Senate is 300 ; 225 are elected by the departments, 75 by the Senate itself. These last are life- members, while the others are elected for nine years only, and may be changed oftener, as a third of the number are obliged to submit every three years to a fresh election, and may or may not be again returned . The object of keeping seventy-five life- members is no doubt because these are usually chosen on account of special gifts and powers which make them valuable to the Senate, and thus a sort of tradition of customs and experiences is handed on in the Upper House, which counterbalances the innovating spirit of the lower one. A senator must be forty years of age at least ; a deputy need only have attained majority. The power of laying on or increasing taxation resides in the Chambre des députés ; the Senate has only a veto. 102 FRANCE. CHAPTER IX. LANGUAGE. " FRENCH is a Latin tongue," says Ampere ; "Celtic words have remained in it ; German words have come into it ; but Latin words form the tongue itself and constitute it." About a million of French subjects speak Breton ; in the département du Nord Flemish is spoken ; in the province of Roussillon, now the department of the Pyrenées Orientales, we find Catalonian, derived from Latin ; and in the Lower Pyrenées the language of the people is Basque, a mysterious tongue, unlike any other in Europe, and which has had no influence on French. When the Romans invaded Gaul, the Celts possessed the country, except such districts as were inhabited by the Basques, and Celtic was the national tongue. After the conquest, when Roman garrisons were stationed throughout the country, and Roman colonies were settled in it, Latin LANGUAGE. 103 alone was used in the tribunal and the basilica. Martial could congratulate himself that at Vienna every one was reading his book ; and St. Jerome wrote in Latin to ladies in Gaul. Celtic, except in Armorica, might seem to have been as thoroughly rooted out as in England after the Saxon Conquest. But this was hardly the case. No doubt educated people, especially in the south of France, spoke Latin by preference, but Celtic remained the tongue of the peasantry. Many words of Celtic origin, chiefly relating to daily life, still remain in modern French, Bouleau, branche, alouette, are pure Celtic ; so are coquelicot, fagot, gaule, grève, and marne. The carter's call to his horse is used just as it was some two thousand years ago ; the animal kingdom gives us furet, geai, goëland, hobereau, (whence our hobby hawk), mouton, truie, and turbot. Gober, moquerie, narguer testify to that ironical spirit which still exists in the descendants of the men who first used the words ; balai, baril, braie, gousset, and mitaine are all familiar words, or as baraque, brique, geôle, pignon, route, and rue ; and every housekeeper has at her tongue's end such words as crêpe, gâteau. and tourte. Although it is true that something like an article crept into late Latin, yet probably the use of it in French may rather be traced to its presence in 104 FRANCE. Celtic. This is a radical difference between Latin and the French which seems so greatly influenced by it. Again, Celtic had no declensions, and we find French rapidly dropping them. All simple Celtic sounds are to be found in French ; i pure is peculiar to these two languages. Yet after all Ampere is right in pronouncing French to be a Romance language. Gradually, just as during the last three centuries, Alsace and Lorraine have learned to speak French, with many local words and a horrible accent, the Celtic population acquired such Latin as was imported into Gaul by soldiers and merchants and Italian colonists, changing it still further from the classic speech by a Celtic pronunciation and ignorance of Latin grammar. Scarcely had they learned to do this when the German invasion came like a flood, and almost en tirely destroyed Latin literature and civilization in Gaul. Out of the confusion came a Celtic Latin mingled with Teutonic words, such as heaume (helm), marechal, pennon, marche, hareng, bière, hangar (shed), vième, and tailler. This dialect is known as the langue romane, mentioned for the first time by the unknown author of the " Life of St. Mommolin," bishop of Noyon, a work in the seventh century. " Roman " and Latin seem to have been taught together in the schools of the eighth LANGUAGE. 105 century. Words relating to laws, the chase, and war now have been borrowed from the Germans, and form part of the language ; and others, though of Latin origin, are almost disguised by German pronunciation, such as haut, from altus ; hurler, from ululare. Some disappear, but return in much later times, as ignis, replaced by feu, but recovering a place in the language under a learned form as ignition. The syntax of the language however remained essentially Latin, and this tonic accent (that is to say, the syllable on which a stress is unconsciously laid in speaking) falls in all words of popular origin just where it did from Latin lips ; whenever a word breaks this rule, as in confidence, it is because the learned have introduced the word, it has not grown up naturally as part of the lauguage. In the popular form it is confiance. By the tenth century we find words becoming contracted, as un for unus, avant for ab ante. Two dialects began to share France between them, the langue d'oui, spoken north of the Loire ; and the langue d'oc, spoken south of that river. Every province indeed had its peculiarities of speech, which linger more or less to this day, but only the two above mentioned ever seemed likely to be the language of the whole French nation. They 106 FRANCE. were named from the word in each which means Yes, just as Dante calls Italy "the fair land of Si." The langue d'oc, used by the trouvères and troubadours, was for a time queen of the Romance tongues ; a literature sprung up owing nothing to classic authors, and which influenced all succeeding poets, even those of England and Germany, but its decay was as rapid as its growth, its range was narrow, and its morality more than lost. " They soiled the rose in gathering it," said an early French writer, alluding to the continuation of the Romance of the Rose. Of Thibaud, of Champagne, another observes, he went about the world making poetry and deceiving ladies. The high civilization of the south of France lasted barely three hundred years, and perished in the merciless crusade against the Albigeois in the early part of the thirteenth century. Even had the langue d'oc not thus fallen to the condition of a patois, the dialect of the Ile de France, one of the four which made up the langue d'oui, would probably in the end have gained the upper hand. In the tenth century it had no superiority, but by the time that Hugh Capet came to the throne it had become the language of a nation. It was spoken around the royal domain ; it was the dialect LANGUAGE. 107 of Paris ; and as the king's power spread, and the capital became more and more the heart, every beat of which was felt throughout the whole country, "Français," orthe French dialect, necessarily became more and more spoken by the educated classes, though the provinces were as slow to accept it as they were to yield their independence, and consider themselves merely parts of a united France. To this day the Norman peasant speaks of " going to France " when he quits his province, and "le Franci man," or " le Franceaux " are the alien names given by Provence and Languedoc to the " estranches d'aou défora," the strangers from outside. Inthe eleventh century François I. ordered French to be used in Law Courts and legal documents, and the discovery of printing spread books far and wide. No language was more slow in coming to perfection than French, and like the land in which it developed it went through many revolutions ; now it was simple and natural ; then it fell under foreign in fluence, Italian during the Renaissance and when Catherine de' Medici was Regent, Spanish under Henri Quatre. To the former period we may trace the introduction of such words as carabine, parapet, alerte, courtisan, charlatan, and carotte ; to the latter duègne, guitare, nègre, and balcon. Sully complains that the court was " Spaniardized," and that the 108 FRANCE. courtiers' mouths were full of Spanish ejaculations . A sweeping attempt to get rid of foreign words followed, just such as Germany saw on the part of the national party after Napoleon laid his heavy yoke on the land. Malherbe was the leader in this reform, and his work was continued both by the Hôtel de Rambouillet, whose blue hangings made this thetint popularly ascribed to learned ladies, and then by the Academy. Very little change was made in the French language from the end of the six teenth century up to the Revolution, but if during the eighteenth century it was over- tightly bound, it has since become almost lawless. Science and com merce have introduced many thousand terms, such as orographie, photographie, tunnel, coupon, drainage ; and the great spread of newspapers and light literature have brought in a flood of new words, such as the terrible inconstitutionellement. The same process seems going on far and wide ; whether desirable or not it is impossible to arrest it ; we can however, look on language as a sacred thing, using the inheritance which we have received from our forefathers, and the additions which each day seems to bring to it conscientiously, recollecting that the form in which ideas are habitually couched must affect the ideas themselves, and that we are to à great extent " at the mercy of the words we use." 109 CHAPTER X. RACE. THE earliest race of which we have any knowledge in Gaul is the Iberian, of whom the Basques, or Euskarians, are now generally admitted to be the representatives. " The Basques, " says Mr. Sayer, "physically and linguistically, are the representatives of a race which preceded the Kelts, and were driven bythem into the mountain fastnesses of the extreme west. Basque is the sole survivor of what may be called the Iberian family of speech, which was dis placed by the Celtic. The skeletons found by M. Broca in the neolithic cavern, called the Grotte de l'homme mort in southern France belonged ap parently to this race, as do those found in caves in Andalusia and Gibraltar. The Basque type seems to have prevailed through both the Neolithic and Paleolithic ages, and continued to occupy western rope until driven back by the Celts. The IIO FRANCE. modern Basques, Béarnais, and Gascons belong to his family, though modern French Basque is not descended from the ancient dialect of Aquitaine, but from some cognate one. In the Middle Ages the Basques were famous as hardy fishers and daring mariners. They have a tradition that before Columbus was heard of, one of their race, Echaïde by name, discovered America, and this tradition is supported by the fact that maps, drawn as early as the middle of the fifteenth century, have marked on them certain islands in the western Atlantic called the Bacalaos (cod-islands) , and that New foundland long bore this name. Phoenicians, Romans, Teutons, Moors have in vaded their valleys, and yet the Escaldunas (those that speak, as they call themselves) have retained their mountain homes and their perplexing lan guage up to our own day. But now Basque is dying out, and the race itself disappearing from France. The conscription is abhorrent to them ; and in order to avoid it, young men constantly emigrate, chiefly to South America, where they are followed by their families. These hardy moun taineers, among whom Henri Quatre was born and bred, have all the pride of a free and far- descended race. "Savez vous que nous datons de mille ans ?" said a Montmorency to one of them. " Et FRANCE. III 66 nous," was the quiet answer ; nous ne datons plus. " There were at least two distinct types of Celt, the one small, brown, with short heads and round chins ; while the other-the Belga, who came into Gaul over the Rhine-were tall and fair, with red hair and heads of a long shape. These two types exist very distinctly still in several countries. The first of these were named Gauls (a root found in Welsh, Wallachian, and Gael) , and formed a com plete contrast to the Iberians with their sober gar ments of black hair-cloth and boots of woven hair. The Gauls loved bright and varied colours, and wore gaudy stuffs, or else were nearly naked, and loaded their white breasts and huge limbs with massive gold chains. The Iberians were divided into small independent tribes ; the Gauls were sociable and loquacious, living in large numbers in villages or on the plains, delighted to meet a stranger and hear what he had to tell. There was not much confidence to be placed in them. They promised, laughed, and broke their word. ' But there was no scheming in their faithlessness ; they lied out of heedlessness, de gaité de cœur. The Gallic type is strongly marked in Burgundy, Dauphiné, and Savoy ; the Belgian is to be still. 1 Michelet. 112 FRANCE. seen north of the Seine, where the people have something ofa German look, with long heads, high, square brows, and well-shaped chins. Roman influence spread northwards from southern Gaul, always the focus of thought and civilization, until it came into inevitable con flict with a Pope and a King, and was crushed in the thirteenth century. Rome left her mark deep on Gaul. From her came those views of universal empire which have so deeply influenced her history, from her was learned the love of law and system and city life, and that belief in the equality of men which appeared again and again, if only to be crushed, long before 1789. Poitou, for example, was always democratic ; Coligny nearly succeeded in establishing a Protestant republic there, and though La Vendée rose for a deadly struggle in the name of royalty, the contest really was against despotic power as then concentrated in Paris. When we see how entirely Rome succeeded in moulding Gaul, we are tempted to wonder what Ireland might have been made had it passed through the same discipline. Germany left far less impression on Gaul, though it is to a tribe of Teuton invaders that the country owes its present name. Although the Gauls and Germans must have been akin, it was . RACE. 113 but a surface likeness . The German loved free dom and hated slavery ; he had none of the viva cious fancy or the lively sociability of the Gaul, and none ofhis love of bright colours ; his view of worship, too, was diametrically opposite ; he clung to the direct relationship between each soul and its God (a point noticed by Taine as an English characteristic) , while the Gaul instinctively desired to interpose a hierarchy between himself and the Almighty. Thus, though the invaders became fused with the conquered race, they have not deeply influenced it, and the leading traits of the Celt prevail in the French, though the inhabitants of different provinces are so unlike each other that we are constantly reminded that France was peopled by various tribes and races of markedly different character. 1 114 FRANCE. CHAPTER XI. RELIGION. ALTHOUGH there is no State Church in France, and Roman Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish ministers are paid by the Government, just as it maintains Mohammedan worship in Algeria, in point of fact the Roman Church reigns triumphant. Nowhere is she more powerful. Her clergy form a solid and formidable organization , and money is always forth coming when needed for her service, although indi vidually very many priests are as poor as the poorest of their flocks, and their salaries are miserably small . The supervision of all matters relating to religion, such as the appointment of a minister to a Pro testant congregation just grown numerous enough to claim one, paying salaries to ecclesiastics, &c. , is given to whichever member of the Government seems best fitted to undertake it ; sometimes it forms part ofthe Ministère de l'Instruction publique, CALVARY AT PLEYREN, BRITTANY . Page 114.

RELIGION. 115 but it is always given to a Roman Catholic, as the majority of those whose interests he has in charge are Romanists. Roman Catholic France is divided. into dioceses and parishes ; archbishops and bishops are appointed by the Pope, with a veto if the Government choose to object. There is the same check on the appointment of the vicars-general who assist the prelates ; and the chapters of canons, though named by the bishops, must also be ap proved by Government. In the Protestant Church, divided into the Reformed Church and that of Augsbourg, there are no bishops. The pasteurs of the former are chosen by Government from a list sent up by the various churches ; there are about a hundred consistories which arrange the business of the church. The second has a consistory at Paris, which meets once a year. Montauban, where, in the time that this city was one of the four strongholds granted to the Huguenots, all the delegates from the Protestants of France used to meet in synod, is still a university for theological students of the Reformed Church, who receive there an excellent education . It is very difficult to say what the relative numbers of Roman Catholics and Protestants are in France, as the census returns are very inaccurate, or over look the religious question altogether, but the I 2 116 FRANCE. former greatly outnumber the latter. The dead ness and divisions among the Protestants have been deplorable, but at present there is a revival among them which seems hopeful. Sometimes, as lately near Tréport, whole villages, roused by some earnest lecturer who has come among them, will claim a pasteur, stating to Government that they have left the Roman communion, but usually, where Roman Catholics and Protestants have long dwelt side by side, there are very few conversions either way ; they simply hold aloof in a quiet way, much as members of the English Church do from Dissenters. It is a very serious matter for Pro testantism in France that it is looked on as Dissent. It is " vulgar "-terrible accusation—perhaps im pious even, disliked almost as Judaism, against which in some circles there is a quite medieval feeling. The very name of Christian is sometimes denied to a Protestant. " You are not Christians," said a Frenchwoman of good birth and unusual education one day to an English lady. " You do not believe in the blessed Virgin nor in the Holy Trinity." A little explanation was attempted, and the fact that the Creeds were used was stated. " I know there is something all wrong ; you do not believe as we do, " was the only answer. The failure of the Reformation in France and its RELIGION. 117 success in Germany may be greatly laid to that instinct already alluded to which leads the Teuton to reject human mediation between himself and God, and the craving of the Celt to obtain it. At one time indeed a very considerable part of France was Protestant, with the stamp which seems peculiar to Calvinists in all countries, but the Reformation early took a political shape, and was fatally mixed up with self- seeking and party- spirit in the nobles who attached themselves to it. This strong inclination to mingle politics and religion, and use the latter to back up the former has always been marked in France with most unhappy results, alienating numbers from Christianity, because they confounded it with the politics of some party, of late years the one opposed to liberty and progress. Almost immediately the young Reformation was tried by persecutions, even more disastrous to the country than to the immediate sufferers, though they underwent tortures only to be compared to early Christian martyrdoms. A wholesale emigra tion followed, especially from Languedoc, which gave England her Romillys and Layards, Bosan quets, Portals, and many other distinguished names ; and which spread throughout France, in spite of the terrible punishments inflicted on those who were captured. By this emigration France 118 FRANCE. lost not only the industrious middle class with a stake in the country who might have counter balanced the Jacobins in the great Revolution, but a vast amount of that fervent faith and pure morality which is the life of a nation. Perhaps the religious indifference which has fallen on France may be the nemesis for having cast forth the Huguenots with their vivid and lofty faith, and for having stamped out the no less fervent devotion of Port Royal. Nor let it be thought that the cruelties exercised have been exaggerated in the telling. They are re lated with devout satisfaction by Montluc, who lent an enthusiastic hand in inflicting them. Neither were the Huguenots punished as rebels. Placed between the alternative of hypocritically seeming to accept doctrines which they abhorred, or being cast out by Rome, they endured the consequences of their honesty until the " patience of a Huguenot" passed into a proverb. At last the remnant stood at bay in the Cévennes, and there, in what they pathetically called " the desert," they held their assemblies, and lived " in dens and caves of the earth." In the " Private Life of M. Guizot " we see that his father and mother were married by a pasteur whose ministry was still proscribed, and though in 1787 a royal edict gave some elementary RELIGION. 119 rights to the Huguenots, in spite of strong opposition from the Roman Catholic clergy, its effects were not retrospective, and Guizot's birth could not be legalized. As late as 1816 the ill- treatment of Protestants in the south of France was brought before the House of Commons by Sir Samuel Romilly, him self of a refugee family ; houses had been pillaged, men and women insulted and murdered, and again the Cévennes were becoming a refuge to the Hugue nots. Cromwell had interfered with mighty effect in behalfofthe Vaudois, but the English ministry of 1816 declined to interfere to protect the French Protestants. However, the French Government took alarm, and civil war was averted . It was not until the time of the third Napoleon that the Protestants of France had equal rights with the Romanists. A maire and curé could always combine to close a school or temple-(église was a forbidden name) —and many petty vexations were exercised , or disabilities insisted on. "Tem ples " were few, and it was difficult to get leave to have a new one. Twenty years ago the Protestants of Nismes and Montpellier could recall being taken by their parents long distances into the Cévennes to religious meetings. a torrent, in a chestnut grove, In the dry bed of or in the quarry 120 FRANCE. called l'Echo, where the Romans dug stone for building, many hundreds of Protestants would meet, the pasteur standing on a rock and preaching to his audience. From these open-air meetings came the custom of the old men in the temple at Montpellier, when at last they had one, of keeping on their hats during divine service, reverently lift ing them, however, when the name of God was mentioned. An ineffaceable impression was made by the religious persecutions. A French peasant knows usually nothing whatever about the history of his country ; he cares nothing at all for the loss of Alsace and Lorraine, unless he belongs to those provinces ; he probably is convinced that Louis Napoleon was identical with the first Consul, who had not died at St. Helena, but had lived in the statue on the Colonne Vendôme ; but there are two things which he feels strongly about, the religious wars and the return ofthe Bourbons. The latter, it must be owned, calls forth the stronger sentiment. The religious wars were not universal ; the corvée, the gabelle, and feudal rights in general were so, and the restoration of the Bourbons, the accession of Henri Cinq means to the peasant the return ofall these, heralded by another Terreur Blanche, such as desolated southern France at the first restoration. RELIGION. 121 Many places, once a stronghold of Protestantism, have now few or no adherents of the reformed religion there. Not one of its staunch old Hugue not families remains in La Rochelle, the " proud city ofthe waters, " la ville blanche, as the Norman English called it from its white cliffs. Those in Poitou, though numerous, are as indifferent to religion as are their Roman Catholic neighbours, but in the French Vaudois valleys in the south of France and in the Cévennes a considerable number of earnest and enlightened Protestants are found, and the same may be said of Normandy. There is a spot in the Cévennes which has very curious associations with the religious wars, the ruined castle of Le Castellas, on a barren height, each part built on a separate knoll. The keep, the garden, a grave-yard, and a cistern are still to be distinguished, a gardon, or rather, except in rainy weather, the dry bed of a gardon winds among them. It is a desolate, treeless, silent spot, from which life has long ebbed away ; the only wonder is how any ever existed there. In the midst of the ruins is a great heap of stones, bits of coal, spar, sandstone, basalt, and chalk, apparently brought there from all parts of the Cévennes. And indeed it was so. On each stone there has been traced a message and a sign, sometimes by a practised hand, 122 FRANCE. in fine, delicate, and steady characters ; others are rude and ill -formed. The words are usually from the Bible-perhaps it is, " Flee ye to the moun tains," or " Many dogs have come about me," or "Not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together," and the sign varied according to the kind of stone on which it was cut, granite being always marked by a sword, slate by a round spot like a dial-drop, while another kind of stone will have a cross . There they lie, on le Roc des Pro testants, messsages sent from all parts of the sur rounding country during a St. Bartholomew not of a night and a day, but of over a hundred years, mysterious warnings and notices perfectly under stood by those concerned, but incomprehensible to their persecutors, even had they surprised them in the hand of a messenger, or made their way to this lonely spot. Passed from hand to hand by old men, little children , shepherds travelling with their flocks down to the Crau or the Pyrenées, or coming up to the high pastures of the Cévennes, labourers going to their work, by a thousand means these messages went from hand to hand until they were dropped at the appointed place. Pasteurs and "prophets " were charged to visit it, and send on intelligence. The kind of stone indicated the district whence it came ; a stalactite showed that RELIGION. 123 • it came from a cave of refuge ; granite told of the Vivarais ; coal from another district ; sandstone from a fourth. Each district had too its sign, a dagger, a sword, a cross, and the brief words added were full of meaning to those who had devised this strange correspondence . Below the ruins are large hollows, made by nature, and of great extent, which served as a refuge for the Camisards, when they "wandered in dens and caves of the earth " for conscience sake, 124 FRANCE . CHAPTER XII. BRITTANY AND HER LITERATURE. THE earliest literature which France possesses, unless we may accept as genuine one fragment of a Basque poem, is Celtic. The Basque songs current among the peasantry seem of almost modern date, the oldest not probably being of much greater an tiquity than the sixteenth century. To this period belong the poems of Dechepare, the first book printed in Basque. It is far otherwise with Celtic. Poems of undoubted antiquity still exist, such as the Prediction of Gwenchlan, apparently the only bard whose productions were committed to writing. They still exist in manuscript at the end of the last century, and yet live on the lips of the peasantry. As I was softly sleeping in my cold tomb, I heard the eagle call in the middle of the night. He was calling his eaglets and all the fowls of heaven. He said as he called, " Arise swiftly on both wings ; BRITTANY AND HER LITERATURE. 125 " Tis not the carrion flesh of dogs and sheep, ' tis human flesh that we need. " Old crow of the sea, say, what dost thou hold ? " " I hold the head of the leader of the army ; I must have his two red eyes. "I tear out his eyes because he tore out thine. " " And thou, fox, what holdest thou ? " " I hold his heart, false as mine own, "Which longed for thy death, and caused thee long ago to die. " " And thou, tell me, toad, what dost thou by his mouth ? " " I await his soul as goes out ; it shall dwell in me as long as my life endures, to punish him for the crime which he wrought against the bard who dwelt of old between Roch-Allaz and Port Gavenu. " We have here the true spirit of the unforgetting, unforgiving Celt, who still holds aloof from the altered world around him, looking on with sad and alien eyes, who still regards the French as strangers in the land, and bears a grudge against the Saxon for the murder of his prince, Arthur of Brittany, done to death by King John. He is isolated, not only by character, but by geographical position . No large river has made a highway from all time through Brittany. The Rhone connects the Medi terranean coasts with those of northern nations ; the Loire unites the eastern and western provinces of France ; the Garonne makes a road along the south ; and the Seine is a highway to the narrow seas. But the granite rocks of Armorica shut out the Seine and Loire, and formed a refuge for the 126 FRANCE. Celtic population, pressed westward, as in Britain, by the invader. The sea keeps watch and ward round her dangerous coasts. "There is nothing more gloomy and formidable," says Michelet, "than the coast of Brest . . . . there the two enemies, the land and the sea, face each other It is a sight to see when ocean rises up furious, what monstrous waves she heaps up at Point St. Mathieu, waves fifty, sixty, eighty feet high. The surge flies over the church, where mothers and sisters are praying. ' Help me, great God, at the Pointe du Raz,' murmurs the Breton sailor ; ' my boat is so small, and the sea so great ! ' " The Breton is further isolated by speaking a language unintelligible to the rest of France ; his aspect and dress have something old-world and unlike other people. When the traveller, crossing some wide, sandy moorland, comes on a bare- footed girl, in her singular cap, spinning, and singing something about Constance of Brittany, or the Lord of Nanu, while she watches her sheep near a rude cromlech, relic of a forgotten worship ; or when he meets a peasant, with his long, flowing hair, trunk hose, and broad hat overshadowing a grave and dreamy countenance, he feels as if both place and people belonged to a long past time. Thelife is as primitive as the people. The beggar who asks • BRETON PEASANTS . Page 126.

BRITTANY AND HER LITERATURE. 127 charity is never turned away ; he may enter and sit by the wide hearth, on the massive benches, and share the family soup, often poured into hollows made on purpose in the table, over which hangs a round basket to cover the bread and keep it fresh, and a rack for spoons. Forks are almost as little used as they were among ourselves in Henry VIII.'s time. There will be a huge oaken chest, and a box- bed such as may still be seen in Northumberland, and a manure heap close to the door. No greater contrast can be found than the rich pasture- lands and green hills of Normandy, recalling those of Kent and Sussex and their well-to - do, shrewd, prosaic owners ; and these sad-faced, serious Bre tons, these moorlands where the granite rises through the broom and heather-moorlands whose uniform monotony is only broken by some tall dolmen, rising perhaps over forty feet, or lying prostrate like the gigantic one near Lokmariaker ; or a crom lech with rude blocks supporting a grey slab, wetted by the mists which the damp wind brings from the sea which moans in the distance. Melancholy has marked Brittany for her own. There is as much difference between the Armorican peninsula and all the other provinces of France, as between our midland counties and the Highlands. It is but fitting that strange and doleful tra 128 FRANCE. ditions should cling around Brittany. The rocks around the Isle de Sein were once cities ; the ravens which fly over them are the souls of King Is and his wicked daughter. In the whistling of the wind is heard the voices of souls crying for a tomb wherein to lay their unburied bodies. Even the local names are full of melancholy. Here we have the Baie des Trépassés ; there, l'enfer de Rogoff. On these coasts, says Claudian, Ulysses offered bloody libations to the manes of his ancestors, whose plaintive voices were heard while pale ghosts glided past. Procopius, a contemporary of the sons ofClovis, tells us that the fisher-folk on these shores were exempt from tribute because the Frank con querors knew that they ferried souls over to Brittia, an island north of Gaul, divided by a wall ; the eastern side is habitable, but the western full of diseases and serpents. Towards midnight the boatmen hear a low call, and hasten to the shore, where they see stranger barks which they must row ; therein is no man visible, yet so laden are they that they sink to the water's edge. The crossing is over in less than two hours, though ordinarily it takes all night. On reaching land the ghosts quit the vessels, and they rise, lightened of their freight ; a voice is heard telling the name of cach soul, his office and parentage, and if any wives BRITTANY AND HER LITERATURE. 129 have come across they cry out their husband's name. ' By some, however, Brittia is maintained to be Great Britain, and though it is not easy to think that Procopius meant this, Germany and Scandi navia certainly held " Engellond " to be the land of souls . "Wo ropt mêne moder in Engellond," says the Nightmare in a Westphalian legend, when she wants an excuse for slipping away. The Bodann anavo (bay of souls) in Brittany still bear record to this belief as to the ship of ghosts, and it is still believed in Brittany that all souls go, on leaving the body, to the presbytery of Braspar, that the priest's dog may escort them to Brittia. The wheels of the " carr an ancon" (soul car) may often be heard creaking invisible in the air. In Aryan mythology dogs are supposed to be attendants on souls, and even now it is a common belief that they can see ghosts. Brittany is full of relics of the religion of its Celtic inhabitants, but the Christian missionary hastened to turn the dolmen into a chapel, and make the menhir the pedestal of a crucifix. Tra dition says that the province was evangelized by a British monk, named Samson, who, with six other ecclesiastics, crossed the channel in a coracle "singing mournful psalms." This little company is 1 De Bell, Goth. iv. 20. K 130 FRANCE. known as the seven saints of Brittany, and to them is attributed the introduction of the apple- tree, just as in Gloucestershire it is said to have been brought by the monks. Another of these saints was St. Pol de Léon, patron saint and founder of the cathe dral in the town of that name. Of course he has his special legend. The isle of Ratz being infested by a dragon, the saint, accompanied by a single soldier, entered the cave where it housed, tied his stole round its neck, and bade his companion lead it forth. Beating it with his staff St. Pol walked beside it to the sea-shore, where he commanded it to throw itself into the sea. He is always repre sented with the dragon of Ratz by his side. A little bell is rung at the pardons of St. Pol de Léon over the heads of those who have earache or headache, and marvellous cures are said to be wrought: St. Pol had alwayswished for this bell, which belonged to the king ; it was refused him, but soon after a fish was caught and taken to the saint, and in its mouth was the bell ! It is evidently very ancient, a square pyramid in shape, about nine inches high, and made of a mixture of copper and silver. In spite of tradition, there do not seem to have really been any bishops in the little band of missionaries. They established convents, round which a district some two leagues in extent was held sacred and A BRETON FARMER. Page 130.

BRITTANY AND HER LITERATURE. 131 called the Minihi. The convents were known as pabu, a corruption of papa, the name by which the monks were called. Each great monastery governed a diocese, totally independent of Rome, though she ruled close by at Rennes and Nantes, and strove hard to draw this Celtic colony into her fold. As late as the ninth century, when the Duchy of Brit tany was formed, a great struggle was made bythe monasteries to get an archbishop of their own. Samson was claimed as their first primate, but this could not be proved, and the new bishoprics were joined to the diocese of Tours. Monasticism took deep root in Brittany ; there are whole streets in some of the towns composed of the high blank walls of cloisters, but heathenism lingered long. Within two centuries Ouessant could not be said to be thoroughly Christianized, and many heathen cus toms still exist, thinly coated with Christianity. Fountain worship still prevails in so far that certain streams are held sacred ; girls divine their chances of marriage by throwing in pins ; if the pin falls point first they will marry that year, and offerings are still laid on dolmens, though with a prayer to some saint. The moon, always dreaded by Celts, is now called Notre Dame, and the peasant will say, as he sees her overhead, " Thou findest us in safety, leave us so." K 2 132 FRANCE. Novelty finds no favour in Brittany. When in 1828 a chapel near Tréguier was burned, built over what had once been a holy fountain, and a new and gorgeous statue of the Virgin was erected, not a worshipper offered homage. All prayers were still addressed to the charred remains of the former statue, which had been collected and put in a box. Change in civilization are alien to the race. They must necessarily be left behind by other nations who move on, but that does not trouble them at all. They only ask to be let alone. All Brittany, however, is not so impenetrable to modern influences ; a perception that the old things are passing away breathes sadly through the poems of Briseux , one of her truest children . The borders of the province are scarcely Breton now, and agriculture has made progress in these parts. There are great tracts of buckwheat, " les blés aux blanches fleurs, Ce pain de la Bretagne ;" hemp, rape, wheat, and flax are cultivated . Tall, lean, and fleet pigs abound, and in the islands there is a peculiar small race of horses and rabbits. Brittany has her great men of whom she may justly boast. When the northmen invaded the coasts of France they were repulsed by Nomenoé, whose statue was erected at St. Florentin, turning menacing look to France. The deeds of Dugues sc BRETON PEASANT WOMAN. Page 132

BRITTANY AND HER LITERATURE. 133 chin are too famous to need record here ; Richemont, Constable of France and Duke of Brittany, fought nobly beside Jeanne d'Arc, took Talbot captive, and won Formigny. It should be noticed that his title is connected with Richmond, in Yorkshire, carried by Alix, daughter of Constance of Brittany, to Pierre de Dreux, but forfeited by Duke Jean IV. , who was declared a traitor by Act of Parliament in Richard II.'s reign, and in abeyance until a later reign. In later days Brittany sent a formidable enemy against England in Dugnay-Tronin, who encoun tered her bravely on her own element ; Latour d'Auvergne was the first grenadier of the Republic, and it was a Nantais, according to the tradition of the town, who shouted the last war- cry of Waterloo, "La garde meurt et ne se rend pas ! " From Brittany too came Descartes, and the unfortunate Abbé Lamenais, of whom an English poetess touch ingly wrote, " Another spirit passed, I knew him bythe mighty shade he cast." Chateaubriand too belongs to Brittany. Born in the château of Combourg, he was buried by his own wish at Grand Bé, conspicuous among the craggy islets near the mouth of the Rance. Strangely enough Bé means a tomb. Mon sang teint les bannières de France," was the motto of his proud though "6 2 Dora Greenwell. 2 134 FRANCE. ruined family, a motto assumed after the battle of Mansourah. When we read the curious memoirs of Chateaubriand, we are tempted to think that it was not for nothing that the old arms of his family were Peacock's plumes. They were changed by St. Louis to fleur de lys on a field gules. A truer if less celebrated poet, Breton to the core, is Briseux, whose "Marie" is a lovely picture of life in the "terre de granit recouverte de chênes." But his poems have a mournful tone ; half unconsciously he feels that he sings of what is out of date, and must pass away ere long, in spite of the stubborn though passive resistance of the " olde gentil Bretons." 135 CHAPTER XIII. A SKETCH OF FRENCH LITERATURE. THE poetical imagination of the Celts created numerous legends, which became the property of their conquerors. The stories of the Round Table were the delight of after-ages, and a new cycle of legends sprang up, of which Charlemagne, " Carles li roi," the " King with the snowy beard," and but twelve peers were the heroes, and to which almost all Europe lent traditions, chiefly concerned with deeds of war, but also telling the story of his mother, " Berthe aux grands pieds," whose name appears in the saying equivalent to " a Golden Age,” "when Queen Berthe used to spin." No trace of the spirit world which pervades the Breton romances is found here ; there is no great enchanter like Merlin, no Quest of the Sangreal. The Carlovin gian romances are full of doughty deeds ; they are feudal rather than chivalrous. The Chanson de 136 FRANCE. Roland is one of the most famous. It relates how the Saracens fell on the rear of Charlemagne's army near Roncevalles ; only his nephew Roland remains alive, and he wounded to death. He speaks to his sword, Durandal, " which has gained as many battles as Charles with the great beard," and he vainly tries to break it on " a pierre brune " close by, lest the infidels should take it. Durandal is carved on one side of the great Cathedral doors at Modena, and Excalibur on the other, and its mighty sweep is commemorated in the Brèche de Roland in the Pyrenées, which Roland is said to have cut at one blow. Besides these romances, there were fabliaux, little stories, often keenly satirical, from which La fontaine drew largely. Such an one is the warning against travellers' tales. A knight goes with his squire to Compostella, and sees a fox run across the road. " A fox of goodly size," exclaimed the knight. " Oh, Monseigneur," answered the squire, " in the lands which I travelled through before I was in your service, by the faith which I owe you, I saw one as big as an ox." " A fine fur for a good huntsman," said the master, and rode on in silence. After a while he cried, " Heaven keep us this day from lying, so that we may safely cross the Ebro ! " Then the servant asked why he so C A SKETCH OF FRENCH LITERATURE. 137 prayed. " Know'st thou not," replied his master, "that the Ebro which we have to cross drowns all liars, unless they repent ? " So they came to the Zacona. " Is this the river, my lord ? " " Nay, we are yet far off." " Sir knight, perhaps the fox which I saw was no larger than a calf." "What matters thy fox to me ? " Then they reached a ford. "Monseigneur, the water here is perhaps-" "Not yet." "However, my lord, the fox whereof I spake was, I remember me, no bigger than a sheep." The knight pressed on. There is the Ebro." " The Ebro ! Ah, my good master, I own that the fox was scarce so large as the one we saw this morning ! " (6 Unlike Provençal literature, the fabliaux are generally on the side of religion and morality, though the spirit of the middle ages is usually free thinking and irreverent to a remarkable degree. In a Latin version of Reynard the Fox, Copée, a good and holy hen, is murdered by Reynard. Miracles are worked at her tomb ; Conart, the hare, is cured there of a fever ; Isengrim the wolf, of ear- ache ; Rogue, the dog, bears witness to these and many more miracles, and barks at or bites all who doubt them. Copée is declared a saint and martyr. Sometimes, however, what seems irreverence is 138 FRANCE. only simplicity ; no more harm is meant than by a modern Italian peasant, who speaks of the Virgin and saints as if they were next- door neighbours. The church, however, gets very disrespectful treat ment. Reynard mocks at his excommunication, and says, "Alas ! now he shall never more eat. except when hungry, and his pot will not boil , unless set on the fire." In another fabliau a wolf, who had vowed to eat no meat in Lent, sees a fat sheep browsing ! " How willingly would I eat that sheep but for my vow ! But he is alone ; some one will steal him. Better is it that I eat him than a salmon : a salmon is more delicate meat, and sells dearer in Lent." So he took the sheep, and did eat thereof. Of all the satires of the middle ages, that of Reynard is the most famous. No wonder that in a time when brute force governed, and the people were hardly recognized as having any rights at all, a satire where wit and craft overcome might, and lion, king, and lords are befooled by the low-born fox was welcomed by the masses. With Villehardouin ( 1167—1213) we have the first writer of chronicles. His " Conquest of Con stantinople " is not only a curious study of the French language in the twelfth century, but full of lofty heroism and grave piety. A century later A SKETCH OF FRENCH LITERATURE. 139 came De Joinville, whose history of ' Saint Loys ' (Louis IX. , who well deserved the title of saint) was so closely studied by Sir Walter Scott that a Frenchman accused him of speaking the language of the good Sire de Joinville. That Scott also thoroughly knew Froissart, the great chronicler of the " Hundred Years' War" is shown by the admirable critique which he puts into the mouth of Claverhousein " Old Mortality." Scandalized to find that Morton has never read Froissart, Claverhouse exclaimed, " I have half a mind to contrive that you should have six months' imprisonment in order to procure you that pleasure. His chapters inspire me with more enthusiasm than even poetry itself. And the noble canon, with what true chivalrous feeling he confines his beautiful expressions of sorrow to the death of the gallant and high- bred knight, of whom it was a pity to see the fall ! . . Ah, Benedicite ! how he will mourn over the fall of such a pearl of knighthood, be it on the side he happens to favour, or on the other. . . But, truly, for sweeping from the face of the earth some few hundred ofvillain churls, who are born but to plough it, the high-born and inquisitive historian has marvellous little sympathy ! " As Scott notices, the pleasant, gossipping canon's sympathies, whether describing the death of a 140 FRANCE. knight or the revolt of Wat Tyler, are markedly aristocratic. Unlike his predecessors, he does not tell of his personal recollections so much as of those of others. Theirs are rather memoirs, the first of a long and delightful series, while his are truly chronicles. The true father of history in France was De Commines, " a grave personage, who judges men and things, not without occasional mistakes, but without amusing himself with his materials as Froissart did. To trace with an impartial hand the portraits of great men, to reflect on the events and character of nations, to compare their institutions distinguishing between good and bad policy, to point out progress to be made, reforms to be carried out-in short, to regard history as a lesson, these are the qualities which give De Commines the right to the title of Historian. " The " Roman de la Rose " belongs to this period ; it is decidedly one of those works oftener named than read. It is overlaid with erudition, and in some 20,000 verses describes how the hero tries to gather a rose defended by Felony, Hatred, Calumny, &c. Two authors produced this tedious allegory, the second part of which is so immoral that M. Nisard says that " Jean de Meung withered the rose by 1 Nisard. A SKETCH OF FRENCH LITERATURE. 141 plucking it." The true spirit of chivalry had exalted and honoured women, but henceforward French literature has been but too ready to represent marriage as a prison, and woman " a caged bird, wild to escape." Gerson, the reputed author of the " Imitation of Christ," wrote a treatise against the "Roman de la Rose, " now forgotten, as are his famous harangues, yet they laid the foundation of French oratory. Alain Chartier too is little known. to modern readers, yet he was once so popular that Margaret of Scotland, wife to Louis XI. , passing with her train through a hall where he had fallen asleep, stooped and kissed him on the mouth, saying, "that nature had placed a lovely mind within a misshapen body, and none need therefore marvel if she kissed lips whence so many golden words had issued." In Villon ( 1431 ) we have a child of the people, a sort of Beranger, whose verses are inspired by his disorderly life and loves, his misfortunes and his vices. In the same century we see the rise of the drama in France, beginning with the mysteries and moralities first encouraged by the church as a means of instructing the people in sacred history, some ofwhich have lingered down to our own time, at Monaco and elsewhere, though become more scandalous than edifying. The feeling with which the natives of Ammergau regard their Passion play 142 FRANCE. a may show, however, that at the time when these performances began they were regarded with devout and respectful faith . It was a time when the lower classes were so wretched that to see before their eyes something which reminded them there was another world besides this where they toiled and were oppressed, was priceless to them . Moreover, in the monotony of their lives and total absence of books, political interests, or travel, these plays were the one precious amusement which life offered . Pagan ceremonies lingering among the people in sinuated themselves among sacred performances ; such was the king of the bean, of which a trace lingers among ourselves in the ring or bean of the Twelfth Day cake, and the wild dances in the very churches and over the graves, which the church vainly tried to cheek. François I. has been called le père des lettres. The strange medley of elegance and coarseness which pervaded his court is reflected in the literature which he patronized . It is curious to observe how strong an influence Clément Marot ( 1495-1544) had on our Own Spenser. One of the eclogues of the " Shepherd's Calender ” is an imitation of the lament for Louis of Savoy, " made in imitation of Marot his song," and François I. appears as the "great shepherd 66 A SKETCH OF FRENCH LITERATURE. 143 Lobbin ! " Thenot and Colin are the speakers in Marot, and these names also appear in the Calender a more than once. Shakespeare, too, studied French authors-but probably in Lord Berner's quaint and racy translation. There is a passage in his " An tony and Cleopatra " which is not to be found in deed in " Plutarch's Lives," but which exists, almost word for word, in Bishop Amyot's version of them. The epigram came into fashion through Marot, and was later polished to its keenest edge under the hands of Racine and J. B. Rousseau. Rabelais was his contemporary, and gave "the inestim able life of the great Gargantua," and "the heroic deeds and utterances of the good Pantagruel ," to astonished readers. " The works of Rabelais," says St. Beuve, "are inconceivable medleys of science, obscurity, comicality, eloquence, and lofty fancy, which recalls everything, yet can be compared to nothing, which strikes and yet disgusts. There is too much to say on Rabelais. He has compre hended and satisfied at once the upright good sense, the vulgar tastes, and the sly roguishness of the middle classes in the sixteenth century ;" and La Bruyère observes, " where he is bad, he is worst of the worst ; he is the delight of the vulgar rabble ; where he is good, he attains to excellency." The language is extraordinarily rich and flexible, and 144 FRANCE. as racy as the Elizabethan idiom ; but after all, Rabelais is simply unreadable. The sixteenth century saw the rise of a new school, which set itself to cultivate and purify the French language by infusing words drawn from Greek and Latin, and ennobling poetry by copying classic models. Chief of this school was Ronsard, who may be said to have changed the future of French poetry and language, though happily neither he nor the little association of Purists known as the Pleiade, fully carried out their plan, for language and literature are not artificially created, and cannot be changed in a day by the will of a knot of learned men. For fifty years, however, this school ruled, "réglant tout, brouillant tout, fit un art à la mode," says Boileau, " en français parlant grec et latin." With Régnier came back truth and simplicity. Servile imitations of the clsssics found no mercy with him. On one occasion the manuscript of a young poet was submitted to him, and coming to the line " Here mine Apollo do I curb," in his wrath at finding the god confounded with his steed, he wrote on the MS. " Faut avoir le cerveau bien vide , Pour brider des muses le roi ; Les dieux ne portent pas de bride, Mais bien des ânes comme toi ! " A SKETCH OF FRENCH LITERATURE. 145 One of the greatest prose writers of this century was Calvin, in whose hands French displays to the full its admirable clearness and precision, with a manly strength which it has since greatly lost. A little later came Montaigne, one of the most grace ful and fanciful of writers , whose " Essais " have a delicate flavour, peculiar to themselves, like those of Charles Lamb, but go much deeper. A breath of scepticism breathes softly through them ; his device was "Que sais-je?" Montaigne was a great admirer of Amyot's writings ; he considered the transla tion of " Plutarch's Lives " not only as a literary but as a political event. " Je lui sçai bon gré, " he says, " d'avoir scen trier et choisir un livre si digne et si apropos pour en faire présent à son pays. Nous autres ignorants estions perdus si ce livre ne nous eust relevés du bourbier ; sa mercy, nous osons à ceste heure et parler et escrire ; c'est notre bréviare. " In 1555-1628 came Malherbe, of whom it was said, ― " Enfin Malherbe vint, et le premier en France, Fit sentir dans les vers une juste cadence ; D'un mot mis à sa place enseigna le pouvoir, Et réduisit la muse aux règles du devoir. " We can merely name the numerous remarkable authors of the seventeenth century, when Corneille L 1 2 146 FRANCE. Racine, and Molière wrote their immortal works for the stage ; Bossuet, Massillon, and Fénelon, preached equally immortal sermons ; the Huguenots had their Claude, scarcely inferior to Massillon ; Pascal was equally wonderful as boy and man ; La Rochefoucauld wrote his cynical maxims, and Mme. de Sévigné her delightful letters, never equalled, unless in our own day by those of M. Doudan. The eighteenth century was an age of revolt against the seventeenth. This had seen the revival of priestly life in France, and had succeeded in expelling the Huguenots and silencing Port Royal and the Jansenists. But now faith died out. Uniformity, confounded, as it too often is, with unity, had been gained at a vast cost, and now Voltaire meets us on the threshold of a new century, and all philosophy, literature, poetry, history, and drama, is influenced by him. Rousseau, who never would ount himself among the school of unbelievers, however lax his own views, some what balanced the cynical atheism of Voltaire. We need not expect to find poetry in this century, for poetry cannot exist without faith. We must look for great writers exclusively in prose, if we except, perhaps, André Chénier. Foreign litera ture began somewhat to influence France, though Shakespeare is hardly to be recognized as adapted A SKETCH OF FRENCH LITERATURE. 147 by Ducis. However, a French audience would not have tolerated anything nearer to the original. Years after, the voices of the actors in " Othello " were drowned in hisses and roars of laughter, because the familiar word " handkerchief" was used, and shocked the ears polite of the audience. The storm of the Revolution paralyzed literature, and few writers dared speak honest truths under Napoleon. Among these were a woman, whose work on Germany " broke down," said Goethe, "the barrier between two nations." But this woman became the especial mark for Bonaparte's hatred, and his minister of police ordered Mme. de Staël to quit France. Chateaubriand was another who did not stoop to the terrible usurper. His Work, " Le Génie du Christianisme," little interest as it has now for a time which has outgrown it, pro duced an immense effect when it appeared, and answered to the longing of a period which had seen its churches closed, its religion proscribed, and the very name of God forbidden. Le Maistre followed in the same track, but his view that all which was good and desirable was to be found in the middle ages effectually prevented his exer cising any great influence. With the Restoration came a strange mingling of Puritanism and licence ; the morality of the stage had never been at so low L 2 148 FRANCE. an ebb, and the desire to shake off all old rules and creeds simply because they were old showed itself in the so-called Romantic school, of which Victor Hugo was the leader. Just when England had her Byron and Scott, and her Lake poets, and Germany her Goethe, Schiller, and other writers full of promise, a similar burst of poetry was seen in France. Aweight had been lifted off the mind of Europe ; fresh hopes had dawned ; new horizons had opened ; and men's passions had been deeply stirred. All that was best and worst had been brought to the surface . But long hours of twilight are apt to follow such a splendid burst of day, as poetry and fiction in France only too clearly show. After all, her surest title to glory in literature will be the historical studies which she has pro duced. " If we had to characterize briefly our four last centuries," says Larousse, " we should say that the sixteenth was the century of poetical feeling ; the seventeenth that of classicality ; the eighteenth of philosophy, and the nineteenth of history. Thierry, Guizot, Thiers, Mignot, Michelet, Lanfrey , have made of history not only a philosophical and political science, but have given it the highest place among all branches of literature." 149 CHAPTER XIV. LOCAL NAMES. NOTHING is more tenacious than local names. They survive all changes. The red Indian falls back before the white man, but amid all the nomenclature brought in by the conquering race, Niagara and Ohio, Ontario and Ottawa keep their place. The Celt was driven westward in Britain. over a thousand years ago, but London retains the name given by its founders, though Roman, Saxon and Norman have successively possessed it. It is over 600 years since the Templars were stamped out in France, but many names, such as the Mas Den (God's house) near the Canigon, remain to remind us that here once stood a commandery. The religious wars of France ended in the reign of Louis Quinze, and the Revolution has swept over France since then, but some Mas Calvi (house of the Calvinists), or Champ- des- Huguenots yet recalls those evil days. 150 FRANCE. Among the races which have given names to France we may scarcely count the Basques. " The oldest Basque dialect," says Mr. Boyd Dawkins, "with which we are acquainted does not date back beyond three or four centuries." In Bretagne, T called by its own Celts Armonica, the land by the sea, we may possibly find a Basque root, as Nie buhr and Arnold suggest ; if so, it also appears in Britain, a name in that case bestowed by Eus karian colonies in Cornwall ; but this is very doubtful. Bigorre is certainly Basque, as is Auch (Ausques, or Euscaras), so are Biscarosse and Oléron. Greek names are very rare, yet Greek colonies extended all the way from Nice to Port Vendres. Here and there, however, one is found. A little stream in the department of Gers has, however, a pure Greek appellation, the Hydrone. Agele was once agathé (good) , and there is a Mont Olympe in Provence. It is the Celts who have left most names to France. Hardly a river can be found which is not called by a Celtic word. "Writ in water " has no transitory meaning in the nomen clature of streams, for the Celts named them throughout Europe, and Celtic names they keep to this day. If England and Scotland have their Avons, so has France, though the root is often so

.LUZ NEAR GAVE Page 151 . LOCAL NAMES 151 disguised that we hardly recognize it until we meet with its earlier form in ancient authors : the Aisne (Auxona) may serve as an instance. The Langue docian word for stream, garden, and the Pyrenean gave both contain this root. Where on or an occurs in a river-name, it may generally be traced to this root, meaning water. It appears in the Ausonne, in the Seine (Sequana) , the Bléonne, Aveyron, and many others. Garonne means rough water, from Garw, rough, and on, a name well deserved by that impetuous river, which rolls along a far greater volume of water than the much longer Loire, and is fed not only by the snows of the Pyrenees, rapidly melting under the warm wind called autan, but by innumerable wild torrents. In Dordogne we get water twice over, as dur (Welsh dwr) has the same meaning as on. This word dor is found in our Dorchester, and in the Dorons of Savoy. The doubling of some of the various words for water is not uncommon ; probably some new tribe came into a district, took the original name for a river to be a proper one, and added their own word for water to it. Rhone and Rhine both mean rapid, epithets well earned by " the blue rushing of the arrowy Rhone," and the scarcely less swift Rhine-stream. Ar is a root found in many names, as Arriège and Arize ; it may mean 152 FRANCE. either violent or slow, according to which Celtic dialect it belongs, and thus fits rivers of very various character. In Languedoc combe means a torrent, but usually, as with us, it signifies a hollow. Dun, a hill fortress, is compounded into many Latinized names, as Augustodunum, now Autun ; Laudunum, now Laon, " the last refuge of the Karoling kings ;" Novidunum (Noyon) , Eburodu num (Yverdun), past which the Romans made a road through the Jura, and many others ; while pen, head or mountain, familiar to us in Penman mawr, appears in many Breton names. Cefn, a back or ridge, lurks in Cévennes. Nant, a valley, found in our Nantwich, and in names around Cha mounix, appears in France in Nantes, Nancy, &c. Sometimes we come on a name recalling that of a tribe whom the Romans found in Gaul. Such as Auvergne, from the Averni, and Quercy ( Cadurci) once well known at Rome for the fine flax ofthe district, which was woven into veils for the Roman ladies. Rouergue and Rodez are named from the Ruteni, to whom Cæsar assigns the wild, rocky district on either side of the Aveyron . This is a noteworthy name, akin to the Ruthenians of Galicia and elsewhere, to the Russians, and there fore to the Tartar tongues. It is said that some Ruthenian tribes settled in Gaul, and that where LOCAL NAMES. 153 + they did so their mark is still found, not only in names, but in the features and character of the population. Or a name may be purely Gaelic, as the Brenne, a district of moor and marsh, a paradise of wild fowl, which is said to bear the name of Brennus ; or altogether Roman, as Grenoble (Gratianopolis) , past which Hannibal's army marched to the col de Lautiret, or Fréjus ( Forum Julii), or Limes, near Dieppe, also known as the Camp de César. Limes (limit or boundary) was probably an old station, where in Roman times a great market was held. It would seem as if this were connected with the legend that the fairies hold a fair at times, offering onyxes to give beauty and health, and bring back the absent in dreams, magic arms and mirrors, fairy tissues, marvellous talking birds ; but if a deluded passer-by puts out his hand to purchase their wares, the mocking elves cast him headlong from the cliff. Not rarely the name given to a place tells of some deed done before French existed. Such is the Monts de la Victoire, where, almost down to the present day, fires used annually to be kindled in memory of the great victory won by Marius over the Teutons, a victory also commemorated by the unpleasant name of Pourrières (Campi Putridi) , 154 FRANCE. otherwise the field of decayed corpses, borne by a village near that grand mountain amphitheatre beneath which the battle raged . As might be expected, German names, more or less disguised , abound, owing probably not only to the Frank immigation, but to Charlemagne's having imported great numbers of German captives into France, in true oriental style. After one of his thirty victories over the stubborn Saxons, he - forced every third captive to leave his fatherland and to settle in France. Such names abound in Burgundy, itself one of them, and meaning the burghers, or dwellers in fortified towns ; apparently the settlers in this district were more civilized and less nomade than the other invaders. Alsace or Elsass also abounds in Teutonic names, thoroughly and rapidly French as it became after the coup de main by which Louis Quatorze annexed it in time of peace. The nomenclature of Picardy and Artois is very curious, testifying to a very early Saxon settle ment, perhaps dating from the sixth century. Who would have looked for places called Roebeck, Warham, Estreham and Le Ham in France ? ¹ Douvres corresponds to our Dover, and Agincourt is traceable to the Escings, the royal race of Kent. 1 T. Taylor, " Words and Places. " LOCAL NAMES. 155 In the departments of the Eure and Seine In férieure are many Danish names, telling of colonies from Scandinavia such as Haconville, Ivetot (the toft or enclosure of Ivo), Plumetot ( bloom- toft) , Grimonville, called either after Odin, one of whose many names was Grimr, or some warrior of the common name of Grim. Bec, familiar to all north country people as meaning a stream, is famous as the monastery whence came two great prelates, Lanfranc and Anselm. Originally it was called Le Bec, from the nameless rivulet which flowed by the abbey, and fell into the Rille. The well- known Danish termination by, so common in that part of England once the Dane lagh, appears in French names as bauf, Rutebœuf, Quillebœuf, &c. Those who know the south of France familiarly need scarcely be reminded of the deep traces left there by the Moors who settled in Narbonne, which had already been successively seized and sacked by the Visigoths, Burgundians, and Franks ; and in spite of the advantages gained by Pepin l'Heristal, who besieged the intruders for seven years, they took root in the neighbouring district, plundering far and wide, and on one occasion carrying off the nuns from a convent near Hyères, whose abbess had, like the boy in the old fable, 156 FRANCE. Icried Wolf! so often that when at last the alarm bell was rung in fierce earnest, no one moved to the rescue. So far did they carry the crescent, that but for the victory won by Charles Martel, in A.D. 732, which " saved and delivered the Christian nations of the west from the deadly grasp of destroying Islam," Europe might now be Mo hammedan." Beaten back from northern France, they settled in the fertile south, where much must have re minded them of Spain and Africa. They have left many traces, such as Arabic words in popular dialect, and deep picturesque wells, such as the. Moor never failed to make wherever he went-wells which still exist in many Provençal and Langue docian gardens and villages, with great wheels and earthern jars, and maidenhair fern springing in every crack between the stones. Almanare, Rochemaure, Port Sarrasin, Castel Sarrasin, the gate called Del Morou at Cahors on its lofty rock with the swift Lot coursing round it, a spot as far north as Vire named after them the Tour des Maures, the Forêt des Maures in the south-all tell ofthese invaders ; and the district of the Mauri enne shows that they reached Savoy. Repeatedly in the tenth century English pilgrims journeying 2

  • Schlegel, " Philosophy of History. "

LOCAL NAMES. 157 to Rome through France were beset by them. Their special stronghold was the wild and little known chain of hills which runs from the Gapeau, a valley familiar to visitors to Hyères, nearly up to Fréjus. Though not very high, these hills, full of ravines and dense forests of cork-trees and gloomy pines, from which rise steep cliffs among which eagles build, are still almost inaccessible, and it was with the utmost difficulty that the Saracens were driven out. There is another class of names, connected with natural productions, like the Fenouillet, a great peak near Hyères, so called from the abundance of fennel on its slopes ; or a ruined ivy-covered tower in the heart of the Cévenol mountains, whence once blazed the beacons of the Camisards known as L'Agnelle, from the quantity of flags (agneelles in patois) which grow there ; or the Pres qu'île des Castors, with its little wild garden whence the beavers are gone, but which man has left un touched, with its wild apple-trees, its grotto half hidden in traveller's-joy and honeysuckles, and its clear-flowing gardon. Often a name is connected with some favourite saint; the peak of St. Loup, for instance, the kindly bishop of Troyes, who seeing the weary haymakers parched with thirst, struck his crozier into the ground, and forthwith 158 FRANCE. there sprung a fountain of limpid water. There is a wolf-taming legend too connected with him, evidently suggested by his name, but it is not clear whether the St. Loup of the Cévennes is the one who, oddly enough, succeeded St. Ursus at Troyes, and saved his diocese by his intervention with Attila, or a bishop of Lyons with the same name. Aber Beniquet, near Finistère is a less mythical memorial, for it commemorates the Benedictine monks, who kept a light burning by night in their abbey to warn vessels off the rocks of that terrible coast. St. Cyr bears the name of the three-years old child of Seleucia, who answered the promises and threats of the heathen prefect with the constant reply, " I am a Christian," and was dashed by the angry magistrate against the steps of the tribunal. His relics, and those of his mother, Julitta, were supposed to have been brought to Auxerre about A.D. 400, and many places besides the well- known St. Cyr of Madame de Maintenon, near Versailles, were named after the child-martyr. It may be an historical fact which is crystallized in a local name, as the Champs des Huguenots, out side Vezelay, where, in the time of Catherine de Medici nine Huguenots were buried alive, their heads being left above ground, that the garrison might LOCAL NAMES. 159 amuse themselves by shooting at them from the ramparts. Again, Carrétes- Tombes is a name full of history, but history vague and lost. This is a spot in the Moiran, where immense numbers of tombs are found ; many were broken up to build or repair the parish church some 300 years ago, but great numbers still remain. They are seven or eight feet long, hollowed like troughs. The greater part have been empty time out of mind, but five tall skeletons have been discovered, helm on head, and a Roman sword by their side. One tomb had a Latin inscription, and one a rude escutcheon. Pierre Percée, Pierre Litte, and others of the kind, suggest a new class of associations. They tell of the mysterious stones raised by the Celts in various parts of France, and strange legends are usually connected with them. The blotting out of names is often a vast loss. At the Revolution those of the provinces of France were ruthlessly swept away, and France was divided into departments, corresponding closely to the capitularies of Charlemagne, though perhaps it was unaware that the scheme of the great emperor was followed. However convenient the plan may be, we cannot but regret such suggestive names as Normandy, recalling Rolf and his fearless band ; the Ile de France, earliest seat of the Frank con 160 FRANCE. querors ; Anjou, reminding us of that line of An gevin kings so closely connected with the fortunes. of England ; Languedoc, a name knit up with the history of the French language ; Provence, the province par excellence of Roman days. Dauphiné has a singular history. Southern France early took the name of Delphinus into favour, probably through the influence of the Greek colony of Massalia. The dolphin was a sacred animal in Greek eyes, connected with Delphi and Apollo, and Delphinus became received later as a Christian name. In the fourth century there was a bishop of Bordeaux, so called, and it was probably after him that Delfine d'Albon was named. In 1125 this lady married one of the Counts of Vienne, her son being called Guiges Delfin, he took the dolphin as his badge, and it was not only used by his descendants, but became the name of the pro vince over which they ruled, until it was bequeathed by the childless Humbert II . in 1349, to the eldest son of Philip of Valois. Thenceforth the heir of France was called the Dauphin. Lorraine, too, deserves special notice. This border-land was named after Lothaire or Hlotar, grandson of Charlemagne, and has been a bone of contention between France and Germany from the ninth century to the nineteenth. 161 CHAPTER XV. FOLK LORE. IF even in countries where education has spread widely, we have only to scratch the surface to find popular beliefs and superstitions still deeply rooted, still more must it be so in a country like France, where there is little or nothing to eradicate them . The country priests, often excellent men, ready to spend themselves ungrudgingly for their flocks, yet rather encourage than fight against superstition . The wild story of the three Maries is preached as Gospel truth every year at Les Baux, and many another legend is allowed to pass unquestioned, for if people once get to doubting, where will they stop ? Numerous heathen customs, covered with a faint varnish of Christianity, are tolerated ; superstition is turned to account for religion ; and if a nervous woman tells her confessor she has seen a ghost, she will probably be told that it came to implore masses to release it from purgatory. M 162 FRANCE. Where such a temper of mind prevails, legends and superstition necessarily flourish. Every town, almost every spot, has its local legend. Sometimes it is St. Philibert, whose annual fête at Jumièges was observed until quite late times under the re markable name of Le Loup Vert, on June 24th, though the person chiefly concerned was St. Aus treberthe, whom he made Abbess of Pavilly. Her nuns used to wash the convent linen at a distant spot, and to lighten their labours had it carried by an ass so intelligent that he would go and come without a driver. One evil day a wolf encountered him, and having no respect either for the patience or obedience of the poor ass, ate him up. Just then came by the abbess, and bade him as a penance do the work of the ass, which, even more docile than the brother wolf of St. Francis of Assisi, he did. The tree near where this scene is declared to have taken place, is still called the chênes à l'âne. A similar story is told of St. Malo and St. Hervé. In the latter case, " estait chose admirable de voir ce loup vivre en mesme étable, avec les mou tons sans leur mal faire, trainer la charme, porter les faix, et faire tout autre service comme une bête domestique." Dragons, too, play a part in saintly miracles, but otherwise they do not figure much in French folk-lore . One of the most famous was the B CLOCK TOWER AT VIRE, NORMANDY. Page 162.

FOLK LORE. 163 Gargouille of Rouen, whose name is closely related to our gurgoil. About 630, when St. Romain was bishop of that town, a dragon haunted a marsh near, and sorely annoyed both man and beast. Maidens were his special food ; if he bathed in the Seine, the town was flooded ; if he rubbed his scaly body against a church, down fell tower and spire. So greatly did he persecute the workmen building a church for St. Romain, that they dared not con tinue. The bishop was wrath, and taking with him a criminal condemned to death, he sought the marsh. Out rushed the worm, snorting and lash ing his tail ; but on St. Romain's addressing him in Latin he stopped aghast, and suffered the mur derer to lead him back to Rouen. There he was burned alive, and the criminal received a pardon for his share in this great deed. The chapter of Rouen confirmed the miracle in 1394, and in memory of it, every Ascension Day a prisoner was pardoned. This custom was known as the Fierte (or shrine) of St. Romain, and lasted until the Revolution. Tradition dates its beginning from Dagobert's time, but antiquarians persist that it is no older than that of our Henry II. Giants are not very popular in French legends, except indeed Gargantua, who has left his mark deeply on the hills where there are stone-chairs, and M 2 164 FRANCE. soup-bowls, and boots, all named after the " grant et énorme géant Gargantua," famous as a hero in King Arthur's time among the people, long before Rabelais made him his own. In the deep valleys, on the hill -tops, and among the huge oaks of Le Morvan there are stones either three-cornered or standing in a mystic circle ; here come the gaurics, spirits of the giants who once possessed the land, and lament on the night of each new moon. All kinds of weird traditions belong to these stones, remains of a forgotten worship ; those of Anjou and Auvergne owe their origin to fairies ; those of Brittany to the poulpicans and korigans, or dwarfs. Vast treasures are hidden under many of them, known only to the robin redbreast, who in reward for having broken off a point from the Crown of Thorns is allowed to communicate with the good spirits of Armorica, and yearly enrich some maiden, poor and chaste, with part of these buried treasures. The belief in gold and jewels hidden under these monuments by spirits, fairies, or the English, has had " confirmation strong " from time to time, for in the Grottes des Fées of the Morbihan valuable and curious discoveries have been made, -golden bracelets, and armlets, hatchets, fragments of silver and gold ornaments. Similar relics have been FOLK LORE. 165 found elsewhere. The Grottes des Fées seem to have been burying- places, perhaps asylums in time of danger ; they are composed of huge stones, flat slabs covering others set upright. ' The belief in hidden treasures always seizes on the popular mind, and sometimes becomes almost a mania. There are three kinds, one belonging to the Black Angel or Robert or Estaffier de St. Martin (the peasant would no more call the Fallen Angel by his name than he would name a wolf ; both are to be spoken of in a cautious, roundabout way) ; those which are the property of a dead man ; and those kept by spirits, or dead men who will yet return to life. The first class contains all treasure which for a century has not seen 66 the eye of day ;" the second are those hidden while a life was taken -these are guarded by a ghost ; and the third were simply hidden and never sought for. The first and second are very difficult to get ; the third may be obtained by charms, a mass said backwards, if only a priest would do it, or a white hen may be sacrificed where four roads meet, while the Evil Spirit is invoked by the thrice- repeated cry, “ By the power of my white hen ! " The Provençal way of expressing something rare or scarce, by "that is 1 Amezeuil, " Légendes Brétonnes. " 2 Souvestre, "Derniers Paysans. " 166 FRANCE. a white hen's egg," may probably be connected with this. In the north, however, the hen must be a black one. Divination with a hazel-wand too, is used ; when it turns to the left , water is near, when to the right, there is ore. Once a year, or once in a century, there is another chance, for then the great stones leave their place and hurry to the nearest river to drink ; but if any one attempt to seize their unguarded treasures they will crush him as they rush back, unless he gives them the life of a "baptized Christian," or is protected by a bunch of magic herbs, of which vervein, called herb ofthe cross in Breton, must be one. It is not always treasures which are hidden under the stones. On the road from Aurac to Plouharnel, in a plain of dreary sand with a furze bush here and there, rises a giant menhir, the only thing which attracts the eyes far or near. Once there was a vast forest here, and the Virgins of the Isle of Seyn came with offerings to the goddess Nehalennia. Here, too, came many maidens, for all who attended this spring festival would find a husband in the year. A cross has been cut on the pagan menhir, which is still a place of pilgrimage for girls who want a husband. Under it lies the Aëzr Haonard, or hissing serpent (the Evil One) , whom a saint caught one day by craft, drove him FOLK LORE. 167 into a subterranean cave, and closed it up with this huge block of grey stone. The fée of the north, the fada of the south, appear in countless stories. There are evidently two kinds of fairies, without counting farfadets, lutins, and masculine fés, who appear in some grotesque Norman traditions. "All women are called fairies," says the romance of " Lancelot of the Lake," "who know enchantments and charms, the power of certain words, and that of stones and plants." These are connected with Peris, houris, and the priestess fairies of Armorica, who could sell wealth, health, and fine weather to sailors, and lived in the mysterious forest of Brocyliande, where Merlin lies spellbound by wicked Vivien, and where girls still throw pins into the well, to divine if they will be married that year. Mélusine belonged to this class. Married into the great house of Lusignan, she passed for a noble lady until the fatal day when her husband discovered her periodical change into a serpent. Then she fled over his castle at Poitiers, with cries commemorated in the expression, "des cris de Merlusine," as well, no doubt, as by the mermaid-shaped gingerbread cakes sold in Poitiers as " Merlusines." Is it only that in Poitevin patois piron means a goose, or do we find a trace of the Scandinavian 168 FRANCE. swan-maidens in the legend of Chateau Péron ? When a boy was born in this illustrious family, says Vigneul Marville in his " Mémoires d'histoire et de littérature," the ganders of a flock of geese, once children of a great magician , but who assumed this form to escape the Northmen, walked proudly through the castle courts ; but when a girl was born, the geese stalked triumphant before their mates, unless indeed the child was hereafter to be a nun, when one goose, who never laid, but led a solitary life, was seen to fast, " soupirant dans son cœur, je ne sais pourquoi." The dames blanches, again, are quite unlike the little fairies who dance in a ring, and leave the grass bent and burned where they have been. They answer to the Celtic maidens of Brocyliande, and are led by Dame Abundia, who is alluded to in the " Romance of the Rose," and seems connected with the Teuton Holda and Berhta. The Blanquettes belong to the south, they have power over storm and sunshine, dance by moonlight, while fennel springs up under their steps, and visit houses on New Year's Eve." Every wise housewife prepares a feast for them, laying a cloth white as snow, with a white-handled knife, bread, wine, and a consecrated taper, lighted, with lavender from a bunch partly burned on 3 Souvestre, " Derniers Paysans. " FOLK LORE. 169 Midsummer Eve. At midnight come the Blan quettes, each bearing two children, one crowned with roses and singing, but the other wears a wreath of houseleek, and weeps large tears. If the Blanquettes are pleased with their reception it is the former child, bearer of good fortune, whom they set on the table ; but woe to the house where the weeping babe is set ! Another form of the Blanquettes is the Lavan dière of Normandy, who in the south is the Bugadière. There Mont Ventoux is her abode ; seen from below she seems like a white cloud wandering round the mountain ; but beware ! it is the Mountain Spirit, gathering the mists for her lessive ; presently she will beat them with her beetle, wring them out with her fierce hands, and then there will be storm at sea, and tumult on land. This Bugadière seems closely related to those Draci of Languedoc, whom Lubricht speaks of, with hands like sieves, water- spirits , once, no doubt, cloud- gods. The Norman Lavandière is less majestic than the dweller on Mont Ventoux ; she and her kin are seen at night, on lonely moors, beating linen ; the belated traveller has no choice but to accept her proposal to wring out the linen with him, but he must be sure to twist the same way as she does, for should he allow her to make the sheet into a rope, 170 FRANCE. she will strangle him with it. In some parts of Normandy even to see the Lavandières washing in peluches (torrent- beds, which dry up in hot summers) is a sentence of death. There is a peluche some three miles from Nonancourt notably haunted by these " dames blanches, " according to the peasantry. Fairies play a great part in the history of certain families. The Plantagenet temper was laid to the door ofa demon ancestress, and Godfrey de Bouillon had a great grandmother who was a fairy, and all her children were born with golden circlets round their necks, which enabled them to turn into swans. This is either the swan- maidens again , or connected with some belief like that in Prussia, which forbids a stork to be hurt, " for he is elsewhere a man." We find that in France the fairies carry off children, as in other countries, and there is a Norman counter part of the changeling who was discovered by a brewery of egg- shells . The stolen child reappears. tall and fair, after a life in a dolmen, and a diet of roots and cinders, which seems to have suited it admirably. In Mère Nique, with her terrible staff, for naughty children, we seem to have a grotesque form of the Neck from Scandinavia, who has named the Neckar, and has far prettier legends in his own country. Dwarfs constantly appear in popular belief, FOLK LORE. I7I The Korigan lives in dolmens and ruins, and is specially at home at Carnac. In the springtime they hold festival by fountains, with a feast spread on a snowy cloth, and a cup, one drop of which gives all wisdom, but a human step puts all to flight. They specially hate priests, and ill wish any who see them or throw a stone into their fountains. Villemarqué tells us that these Kori gans were Celtic princesses, who turned a deaf ear to the Christian missionaries. Normandy has its Gobelin, which, like Puck, turns into a horse, and woe to him who mounts it ! If it approach under the shape of a village lad, it should be addressed as Bon Garçon, which flatters and soothes it.' The lutins, or teuz, answer to those sprites who used to pinch idle maids and put testers in the shoes of industrious ones, but differ from the pixies who object to payment, for, according to Burchard, the gift of tiny cross- bows and boots would induce them to settle in a house, which thenceforward abounded in food, at the expense of neighbouring larders ! The Red Dwarf rules over the Pays de Caux, a stern and morose spirit, touchy as Rübezahl, but, like the Hartz spirit, kind to those who speak him fair, and beg for his protection. More poetical 4 Bosquet, " La Normandie romanesque. " 172 FRANCE. than any of these are the Trèvo, who dance on the water when the sun or moon shines on it, The wild hunt is known in many countries by many names ; it sweeps over Germany, France, and England ; making the cry of its wish-hounds heard even on Dartmoor. France calls it Arthur's Chase, Chasse Cain, Chasse Hérode, Chasse Ma cabre, and always connects fear and disgust with it . Sometimes, as at Tours, it takes the shape of " Hugh Capet's coach ; " sometimes it is Charle magne riding with an airy troop, while Roland bears his banner, or it is " le grand veneur" hunting in the forest of Fontainebleau. But by whatever name it goes, we may see in it Woden and his train. " Oden fares forth," say the Swedes when at night thunder growls and the wind blows. Sorcery is still fully believed in by the French peasantry, and the meneurs des loups, or conducteurs de nuées as the wizards are called by the north, and hermites du diable by the energetic south, are looked on with a mixture of fear, respect, and suspicion. The Bretons believe that by blowing one of their hairs into the air they can make it take what form they will. They are believed to foretell the future and influence the weather ; and the south still credits them with nocturnal gather 5 Wish was a name connected with Odin. FOLK LORE. 173

ings under walnut-trees or in certain mountain places, leaving their houses in the good old fashioned way, " They set ane foot on the black brick stone, And out at the lum they flew," crying Pe-su-fielio ( foot on leaves). To keep them aloof holy water should be sprinkled, a packet of salt fastened to the horns of cattle, or a branch of consecrated box or wild rose be hung up. Holly dipped in holy water is also effectual. It would seem as if the red berries of the rose and holly might be the reason why they are regarded as magic ; all red things, as the fox, the robin, the mountain-ash berries, the willow with its young coral shoots, were sacred to Thor, and earlier still to Agni, god offire. Of the ghastly belief in wehr-wolves we have already spoken. One of the poems of Marie de France, the " Bisclaveret," turns on this superstition. It is at least as old as the time of Herodotus, and was so strong as late as the sixteenth century that in 1591 a man called Gilles Garnier was condemned to death as a loup- garou by the Parliament fo Dôle. Popular belief held that King John Lack land ran about France after death as a wehr-wolf, or garwall, as the Normans call what in Brittany 174 FRANCE. is the " Bisclaveret. " St. Roman was accused of being a loup-garou, a very unsaintly practice, and is invoked in all cases of magic transformation . The belief that the cattle talk together on Christ mas eve is very general, but it is dangerous to listen to what they say, as a farmer who did so heard them announcing his approaching death. Still, the temptation must be strong, for they sometimes tell each other where there is hidden treasure. The redbreast, Jean Rouge Gorge, can tell this also, but to understand him you must, while in a state of grace, barefoot, in shirt or shift, gather the golden herb with the hand, for no iron. or steel must touch it. This magic herb gives the power of understanding the language of birds and beasts. We have here in this Breton belief an undoubted reference to some Druidical ceremony. The swallow is another bird protected-would there were more ! -by popular superstition. Ill luck attends him who hurts a swallow or robs its nest. It is the favourite bird of St. Martin, and when, at the earnest prayer of an honest peasant, who could not go to mass because when his back was turned the birds ate his hemp, St. Martin obliged them to gather themselves into a barn, and stay there as long as the service lasted, the swallow alone was allowed to fly about. And because the FOLK LORE. 175 saint loves the innocent bird, one species bears his name, and is the martinet of France, the martin of England. The wren is either called roitelet, or little king, in allusion to a well-known story, or reblet, or poulette au bon Dieu. When on Twelfth Night beacon-fires are kindled, and families meet and rejoice, the wren assembles his wife and children and they sit in their nest and are glad. Lucky is the house near which their nest was built. Auguries from spiders, the cry of the quail, and from the pretty humming bird hawkmoth, are commonly believed . The latter are called bon espoir in the south of France, where they abound, poised on vibrating wings above the flowers, and fanning out their tails for joy in the sunshine. If a light- coloured one comes into a house it means good luck, but should it be dark- coloured it predicts misfortune, and ought to be crushed at once a fate which its rapid movements cannot always avert. Bees have, as almost everywhere, their peculiar legends. If they will not swarm, a spell from a witch must be sought. They are Christian creatures, and share in the good and ill fortune of those to whom they belong, therefore they must never be sold, and on the Purification the gospel 176 FRANCE. for the day should be read to them, with a lighted taper held before the hives. Sometimes a superstition is evidently a relic of Roman days. Such is the very common one that a coin should be put into the hand of a corpse. Further back still, dates the worship of trees and fountains. The first missionaries did their best to transfer the reverence paid them to saints and to the Virgin, and to this day springs are re garded with a mixture of pagan and Christian reverence. There is a spring in Saintonge where girls still invoke St. Estelle, throwing in small coins and pins as offerings, while they pray for husbands. This seems connected with the pretty love-legend of Estelle, who was converted by Eutropius, " son of the king of Babylon," a beauti ful and stately youth, who made his way to Gaul, preached to the fair daughter of the chief of the Santones, converted and baptized her, and in return was put to death by her father. Eutropius is the patron of Saintes, and his story may be seen in the painted glass windows of Sens. In Normandy and Brittany the fairies are supposed to have quite as much to do with streams and fountains as the saints, and there is a little spring called the Réveillon in Normandy, which has not indeed the virtue of some others of curing diseases, or bringing FOLK LORE. 177 good luck to those who drink its water ; no pins are thrown into it, no pieces of bread and butter offered to its guardian spirit as to some ; but it has even a stronger spell than that of Trevi at Rome, for those who have drunk of it must return thither. In the time of the crusades all pilgrims from the district near took care to drink of the Réveillon to ensure their return to their native land. Ghosts play much the same part in French folk lore as in that of other countries, but the Jour des Morts has its own peculiar legends. If a Dieppois sailor or fisherman put to sea on that day he would be followed by a second self, a Doppelganger, and if he fished, only bones and skeletons would be found in his nets. On that day a funeral car passes through one of the suburbs of Dieppe, drawn by eight white horses ; white dogs run before it, and the voices of those who died during that year may be heard. If souls of the drowned are not prayed for, or not enough prayed for, at midnight the sea suddenly rises in storm ; a ship is seen far out, coming with supernatural swiftness ; it is a missing vessel, battered and with torn sails. Those present on the pier recognize in the mute crew their drowned relations, but no answer is made to tears and appeals. As the clock strikes , N 173 FRANCE. one the ghosts cries " Pay your debts " (i. e. pray for us) , and all vanishes. On the night of St. Médard all the drowned return to earth, as those lost on the treacherous sands below Mont St. Michael do on All Souls' Day, a long procession, bare foot, dripping, each bearing a lighted taper, old men and young, women and children, to seek the good actions which they did while on earth, that they may plead them before heaven ! Thus they have a chance of Paradise ; but those who did no good works return to the watery depths and to Purgatory ! One of the most touching poems of Autran, a poet too little known in England, and a native of the south of France, describes the cry of the drowned for prayers and regrets. "Plaignez-nous ! Plaignez-nous ! c'est là que nous dormons, Sur un lit du varech, d'algues et des goëmons, Du débris de tous les rivages ; Au fond de cet abîme où s'élève en monceaux, Tout ce qu'ont englouti sous les pesantes eaux Soixante siècles de naufrages ! " 179 CHAPTER XVI. THE FAUNA OF FRANCE. “ THERE are few singing-birds in foggy England, " says M.Toussenel in his " Tristia," but on the whole birds have a considerably better time of it in England than in France, and there are quite as many which sing. Indeed, in some places nightingales are so abundant that we might answer as did a French gardener on being asked if there were any in his neighbourhood, " S'il y a des rossignols ! Ils nefont que beugler toutes les nuits ! ” So many birds and animals are identical in both countries that it seems desirable merely to mention a few found only in France, or rare in England, such as the gélinotte, or poule des bois, ( Bonasia Europea) found in the Jura, but much commoner in the Vosges and Ardennes, where it eats the fruit of the whortleberries which grow densely under the trees, and from whose purple black berries a liqueur is made, and called " cherry brandy. " Besides N 2 180 FRANCE. whortleberries the gélinotte eats beech-mast, black berries, service- berries, and insects, and tender green shoots ; it is probably from some such food as these that in Germany and Russia it has a taste of turpentine, not at all agreeable. It is a pretty bird, the size of a grouse, with a red semicircle round its bright dark eyes, a black beak, feathery feet, and a plumage of mingled dull red , black, and white, delicately shading into each other ; but the grey tail has a strongly marked black and white bar across it. The male bird has a crest, and is brighter coloured and larger than its mate ; they live in pairs, running very fast among the whortle berries, and are extremely difficult to shoot, as when frightened they fly straight up and make for the nearest high tree. In autumn the males assemble in little flocks. Common as they are in some dis tricts they are very difficult to see, unless when run ning about picking up food with eager, outstretched neck, for they are very wild and shy, and either crouch motionless among the underwood, or sit al most flat on a branch equally quiet. The female lays about a dozen reddish eggs, spotted with brown, under a bush ; after three weeks very pretty active little birds appear, which are as wild and shy and difficult to see as their mother, and almost imme diately learn to fly up on a branch and crouch beside THE FAUNA OF FRANCE. ISI her. The male, who does not take the least interest in his wife while she is sitting, now reappears, when he has only to enjoy the delights of family life with out any of its cares , and until the young birds are full grown, the brood keep together. The ganga (sand-grouse, Pterocles arenaria) is also found in France. The blue ouzel (Turdus cyaneus) , has been already mentioned as found in Les Maures and in the Cévennes. It is a wild and solitary bird, with a beautiful song, and a plumage of dark and light blue ; rare in France, it is at home in the mountains ofDalmatia. Its nest has been found on the Salève, a line of rock- strewn limestone precipices, really on French ground, though it looks as if it must belong to Geneva. Much commoner is the loriot ( Oriolus galbula) , which occasionally strays to England, and has been known to build there, making a saucer shaped nest of interwoven skeins of grass and sheep's wool. In Normandy they come as "single spies " and return " battalions," building in the orchards, and arriving while the cherries are still green, soon making their strong peculiar whistle heard, calling out, say the Norman peasants, " ils rougiront," i.e. "they (the cherries) are getting red." The general colour of the oriole is gaudy yellow and black, the female has more green in the yellow than the male. 182 FRANCE The great and lesser bustard are still found in France ; the latter sometimes finds its way as a winter visitor to England ; it is a pale brown bird, about as big as a pheasant. The marshes of southern France shelter numbers of African birds ; spoon bills, pelicans, ibis, and flamingo are seen there, with innumerable rails, plovers, terns, and teals. The siskin or lucre is very common in Provence ; "to sing like a lucre " is a proverbial way of expressing that such a one has a good voice. They live chiefly on elderberries and seeds of pine cones. The pretty couquihado (Alauda cristata) , extremely rare in England, is common in France, especially in ProvenceandLanguedoc, and comes close to houses, perching on low walls. It builds in fields, making a nest like the skylark, and has a sweet song, like its cousin the woodlark, also resident all the year round in France, but a local and rare bird in England. The ortolan bunting (Emberiza hortulana) comes to southern France with the swallows, chirping all day long, and building a grass-lined nest in corn fields . The ortolan is sometimes kept as a cage bird, on account of its song ; but it is a great deal oftener caught to be fattened and eaten . In autumn, birds fed on millet and oats become actual lumps of fat, and Cyprus, where they abound, sends out casks of them, potted and pickled , to Holland, England, and THE FAUNA OF FRANCE. 183 France, as the number of epicures who eat them there exceeds the native supply. Scarcely any bird varies more in plumage than the ortolan. M. Viel lot names six distinct varieties in his " Faune française." One of the very prettiest of migratory French birds is the blue- throated warbler ( Sylvia Snucica) , which belongs to the large class known as bec-fins. It is not uncommon in Provence in summer, and is frequent in Alsace and Lorraine, where it shares the fate of a great many other little birds in France, and is eaten. As soon as the earliest dawn begins to break this warbler begins his powerful note, perch ing on a bush, rather like a chat, whose note its own resembles, but it is much shyer, dropping out of sight into the brushwood in an instant if alarmed . It is easy to see, for when not frightened it will rise on the wing singing loudly, its tail fanned out, and then perch again some way off. The nest-very difficult to find -is usually built by streams, near the alder-trees whose berries this bird eats (as well as worms and insects), or among the fragrant bog myrtle. It seems always to choose a wet marshy situation for its nest, no doubt because there its special food is easily found. The bird is brown, the two middle tail feathers of bright dark shade, those on each side black and bright chestnut, and 184 FRANCE. half its breast beautiful bright blue -a rare colour in European birds ; -there is a spot, either white or red, in the middle of its gorget. The black red start, another bec-fin, (Sylvia tithys) is common in Provence, among the rocks ; its notes have a faint resemblance to those of the nightingale, but are much less strong and brilliant ; it has also clear high notes of its own. But for its black breast it would be rather like a robin ; it jerks its tail in the same way, and builds fearlessly close to houses, some times in garden-walls, sometimes in holes of roofs, or in some plant climbing over a trellis, where there are plenty of aphides. Dead bees, too, are a favourite food . This " rossignol du muraille " builds a soft little nest, lined with grass, moss, and wool, in which are laid green-blue eggs, spotted with brown. The parent birds have no fear of man, and will perch and fly close by a chair where the owner of the garden in which they build is sitting and watching them. Weasels and cats are great enemies of this bird, whose nest is easily found and reached. The black redstart seems able to bear both cold and heat, for it may sometimes be seen flying close to Alpine glaciers, like the accentor (Accentor Alpinus), a brown and ash- coloured bird, with a white throat and yellow feet, which runs over the rocks in companies of four or five, hunting for snails THE FAUNA of France. 185 and beetles, stopping, darting at its prey, jerking its tail, flying with an undulating rapid movement, or perched motionless on a rock, in strange contrast to its usual restless ways. Its song is rather like that of a lark, and it is often kept as a cage- bird, but it misses its insect diet, and suffers from the close air ofa house. No one who knows its free wild life would willingly imprison it, though it is easily tamed, and even when loose shows little fear of man. In Switzerland, until winter drives it into the valleys, it constantly haunts the high châlets, and when the herdsmen and their flocks have gone away in late autumn, it will still fly round the deserted shelters, as if looking for the late inhabitants. Its large, beautifully woven nest is always placed on the ground, among grass or flags ; it never willingly perches on a tree. There are two broods in the year. Robins and wheatears seem the usual com panions of the accentor. It belongs to the same family as the hedge- sparrow. The pretty sini, or verdon, of Provence (Fringilla citronella) is made to be petted, and allowed to fly in and out of its cage. Its song is not unlike that of the canary, but is much softer, its call- note as it flies sounds like zie- zie. Even if caught after it is full fledged it readily becomes tame, and will fly about a room fearlessly, delighted if a tall reed with 186 FRANCE. long leaves is cut and set up, so that it can perch on it and climb along the leaves. The nest is a wonder ful piece of weaving, such as finches only have the secret of; it is hung among the branches of a fir tree, and exceedingly hard to discover. When the little ones are hatched from the five dirty green eggs, they fly about in little parties, almost touch ing one another, always in company with their parents, who are a model couple, as affectionate as bulfinches. They live on seeds, especially the un ripe ones of the dandelion . It is curious to see the little creatures alight on the head of a faded plant, bending it down to the ground, so that they can stand and peck them out. The colour of the verdon is greeny-yellow, softly shaded and brighter on the back ; he is like a little wild canary. The Bohemian waxwing ( Bombycivora garrula) is ⚫ seen in Provence, but is rare. It feeds on berries, especially those of the juniper, and perches on the tops of hedges, like the shrike, twittering and fluttering incessantly from twig to twig. The wax wing is known immediately by the conspicuous position which it chooses, and its foreign look, the deep red of some of its wing feathers, and its graceful, pale- brown crest. The Egyptian vulture ( Neophron percnopterus) , a remarkably unpleasant bird, builds in the Pyre THE FAUNA OF FRANCE. 187 nees and the high Alps, as does the lammergeier. Some years ago one used to perch constantly on a great rock above the Grindelwald glacier, dis daining innumerable attempts to shoot it . The peasants used to call it " das alte weib " (the old woman). The Pyrenean lammergeier is smaller than the Alpine kind, but its habits are identical. As usual with birds of prey, the female is larger than the male. They devour lambs, badgers, hares, and foxes ; even wild cats are not safe from them. Poised high in air they look round for some animal to attack, then descend in narrowing circles, frightening their prey, driving it towards a preci pice, and then striking it over, or stunning it with a blow of their broad wing. On one occasion a lam mergeier was seen thus to attack an ox on the edge of a precipitous rock, flapping it and flying round it, but the ox-perhaps the only animal which would have borne such an assault unmoved-lowered its head, set its feet firm, and never stirred until the enemy gave up the attack.¹ A much nobler bird, the golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) is found not only in the Pyrenees, but among the rocks and tall trees of Fontainebleau, where it hunts the game, probably not disdaining foxes, when nothing better is to be had. Its little 1 Tschudi, " Die Alpen. " 188 FRANCE. cousin, the red- footed falcon ( Falco rufipes) builds in the Pyrenees, in hollow trees or a deserted mag pie's nest, and only hawks for prey in the dusk. From the eagle to the wren is a natural tran sition ; the French name of roitelet, little king, seems to allude to the well-known story of the wren mounting on the eagle's back unperceived, and thus flying highest and being chosen monarch of the birds. That little flash of light, the fire crest ( Regulus ignicapillus) , is much commoner in France than in England. It attracts attention by its harsh call, out of all proportion with its size ; half a dozen fire- crests together scarcely weigh an ounce. It flits about in couples, mixing with tit mice and common wrens, but apparently rather avoiding others of its own kind, and very rarely appearing in eager, fluttering little flocks, as the golden crest does ; its hanging nest of moss and hair is usually suspended from the branch of a fir tree, and contains many little pinky eggs, spotted with red, and hardly so big as a pea. Of wolves we have already spoken ; the bear, too, has been mentioned ; naturalists say there is only one kind in the Jura and Pyrenees, but the peasants and hunters do not agree with them. "The poor Piedmontese and his harmless mar mot was once a line familiar to all children who "" THE FAUNA OF FRANCE. 189 learned poetry when Mrs. Aikin was a popular author, though probably few had much more notion of what a marmot was than a traveller who was heard asking in a shop at Chambery if " l'on ven dait des marmottes ? " apparently believing them to be some manufacture peculiar to Savoy. The marmot is not altogether a harmless animal, at least if kept as a pet, for he prevents his teeth from growing too long by gnawing any furniture which he can get at those long teeth which mark him as a rodent, and make him formidable even to large dogs. The marmot hates dogs, and will attack even those of considerable size. It is a comical looking animal, with a head like a hare, a mous tache like a cat, short tail and ears, and a stumpy, rusty brown body. More easily tamed than almost any other animal, the Savoyards profit by its docility, teach it tricks, and carry it about as a show. It sits up like a squirrel to eat, accepting almost anything offered to it, from a cockchafer to a bit of butter, though its natural food is the short fresh grass, and still more the beautiful flowers of the Alpine sward ; it rarely drinks. It is a pretty sight to see rabbits at play, secure and unconscious of observation ; and equally pretty and still more amusing to observe a party of marmots stealing cautiously out of their burrows on some sunny slope . 190 FRANCE. in the Alps of Dauphiné or the Pyrenees, despatching their breakfasts, and brushing their furs and mous taches, teasing and hunting one another, or climb ing so cleverly that the saying goes that the Savoyards learned to ascend chimneys by watching the marmots clambering between two walls of rock. There is always a sentinel keenly on the alert, whose whistle sends the whole troop scuttling into their holes should the shadow of a bird of prey overhead fall on the mountain- lawn, or the least movement of a human being betray his presence. The murmur of pleasure, or little growl when angry, which has given the word marmotter, is quite distinct from this warning whistle. The Germans call it from its expressive grunts of disapproval "Murmelthier " (grumble-beast) . The burrow is deep, and has two passages shaped lile a y, the two arms sloping down-hill, the end lined thickly with moss and hay. No winter store is made ; when cold weather comes the animals close up the burrow, and sleep until the sunshine again reaches them. It is possible, however, that if they rouse up by mistake while snow is still on the ground they may eat some of the hay in their nests, often as much as a man could carry ! The badger is still not uncommon in some parts of France, though a much persecuted animal. He THE FAUNA OF FRANCE. 191 is a shy, solitary, melancholy creature, sleeping rolled up in winter in a burrow lined with moss, which it pulls off the rocks and ground, and hardly ever appearing by day. Each lives alone in its hole, stealing out suspiciously and watchfully by night to feed on roots, sometimes insects, and doing a good deal of mischief in vineyards by breaking down the grape- laden boughs. If they can find a viper they are delighted, and seem to be quite proof against its bite. In France, where vipers are so formidable, the badger ought to be encouraged instead of being treated like a dangerous wild beast. Ill- tempered as they seem, they can be tamed if caught young ; after a time, if turned loose they remain tolerably friendly to man, and will come at a whistle. A bit of honey-comb or a dried fig is greedily welcomed by them, and they will attack a wasp's nest to get the grubs. The badger is a very thirsty animal, requiring a great deal of water, and juicy roots or fruit. It does not seem very happy by nature, and the life which man has made for it may be guessed by the verb "to badger." Much more attractive as a pet is the loir ( Sciur ris glis), a creature like a dormouse, or a stumpy little squirrel, reddish- grey in colour, white below, with black marks on its head, and a slender tail, 192 FRANCE. red half way down, and then black with a white tip. It has the great black eye of the dormouse, which in fact is a sort of loir, though its familiar French name is croquenoix. The lérot is a pretty grey creature, which, like the loir, makes havoc of pears and peaches, coming out after sunset in the summer twilight, and running about the fruit- trees against walls and espaliers. The lérot prefers gardens and inhabited places, while the loir lives in the woods. Like an allied species, the muscar din, they hibernate-whence the saying, " dormir comme un loir "—but rouse up in mild weather and then go to sleep again, even late in the spring should the weather be cold. The Germans call the loirs "the seven sleepers. " In Italy the loir is made into "dormouse pie, An ancient classical dish, by the bye," and is eaten too in some parts of Switzerland. The muscardin is much gentler, and more easily tamed than the two other species ; it is orange- brown above and dull grey underneath, with a tufted tail . Running rapidly over the bushes or sitting up with a nut in its paws, it is very like a tiny squirrel. From mice to cats is a natural transition, but the true wild cat has become very rare in France. It is found, however, in the Jura and in the Pyrenees, THE FAUNA OF FRANCE. 193 a formidable creature, twice as large as the tame kind, and as different from the soft furry pet of a drawing room as the wolf is different from the dog. The head is flatter, the tail very straight and thick, with black rings ; the general colour is tawny grey, striped with black, and there is a white mark on the creature's chest. It is fierce and brave, fighting to the death when attacked ; lives much the same wild and solitary life as the lynx, and attacks any animal which it can deal with, sometimes, it is said even sheep ; hares, rabbits, marmots, partridges, and gélinottes, all are its prey; or it will sit and fish by a stream, and seize on the water-hens and ouzels in the reeds. The stronger build, white gorget, and ringed tail, distinguish the wild cat at once from tame ones which have taken to the woods, but they sometimes pair and have magni ficent kittens, which can be tamed if taken young. Other inhabitants of the woods are the polecat and marten, nocturnal animals, the latter scarcely leaving the fir- woods which one sort (Martis abie tum) seems to choose as its especial home, living in the deserted nest of a crow, or a squirrel's dray, and springing lightly from tree to tree with grace ful movements. The marten is destroyed not only because it kills game, but for its valuable fur ; that of the pine marten being especially sought after. 194 FRANCE. There the ermine, too, is hunted for the same reason ; from the use of ermine as a royal fur in the middle ageserminecameto be a term recognized in heraldry. This animal appears in the arms of Brittany ; and on the church of Folgoët are the remains of a line of ermines, with a scroll inscribed with the motto of Duke John of Brittany " à ma vie." This Duke John instituted the Order of the Ermine, whose knights wore a collar consisting of a double chain with four of these little animals in each, and two more hung from the collar. The first use of ermine in heraldry is thus explained, " Brutus, the son of Silvius, having by accident killed his father, left that unhappy ground, and travelling in Bretagne, fell asleep, and when he awoke he found the little beast upon his shield, and from that time wore a shield ermine ! " The ermine, brown in summer, becomes white in winter, -" fair ermines, spotless as the snow they press ;" but the sight of one is unwelcome to the French peasant ; it betokens ill luck, or it is a létiche, the soul of a child which died unbaptized. Peasants who believe perhaps in nothing else all hold the most dismal views of the fate of such dead infants. Even many of those who have no superstitious feeling about the ermine, would be quite incredulous if told that the little white creature is only the stoat in a winter dress . APPENDIX I. AUTHORITIES USED. ~www IN a work of this kind so much is necessarily the outcome of personal knowledge or private information that it is diffi cult to give a list of authorities, but the author would acknow ledge her obligations to the following works : Géographie de France Faunefrançaise LeMonde souterrain Histoire de France La Normandie pittoresque Le Morvan Bibliothèque de poche Les Alpes . History ofFrance • · · · · • • • G. Reclus. Vieillot. Simonin. Michelet. A. Bosquet. De Ceignolles Traditions. Tschudsi. Kitchen. 02 TABLE OF PROVINCES AND DEPARTMENTS. Provinces. Ile de France . Picardy . Artois French Flanders Normandy Brittany . APPENDIX II. Maine Anjou Touraine. • • Departments. Seine. Seine-et-Oise. Seine-et-Marne. Oise. Aisne. Somme. Pas-de-Calais. Nord. ( Seine- Inférieure. Eure. Calvados. Orne. Manche. Ille-et-Vilaine. Côtes-du-Nord. Finisterre. Morbihan. Loire- Inférieure. S Mayenne. Sarthe. Maine-et-Loire. Indre-et-Loire. APPENDIX II. 197 Provinces. Orleannais Beauce Poitou Berri Marche . Limousin Angoumois Saintonge Perigord . Guienne . Gascony . Béarn Foix Roussillon • Languedoc Vivarnais Gévaudan Velay Avignon, &c. Provence. • · S Loiret. Loire-et- Cher. Eure-et-Loire. La Vendée. Deux Sèvres. Vienne. • • Departments. S Indre. Cher. Creuse. Haute Vienne. {Corrèze. Charente. Charente-Inférieure . Dordogne. Gironde. Lot- et-Garonne. Lot. Tarn-et- Garonne. -Aveyron . Gers. Landes. Hautes- Pyrénées. Basses- Pyrénées. Ariége. Pyrénées- Orientales . Haute-Garonne. Tarn. Aude. Hérault. Gard. Ardèche. Lozère. Haute-Loire. Vaucluse Bouches-du- Rhone. Var. Basses-Alpes. 198 APPENDIX II. Provinces. Dauphiné Fores Lyonnais Auvergne Bourbonnais Nivernais Burgundy Franche-Comté Champagne Lorraine . • Nice Savoy Corsica . · · Isère. Drôme. Hautes-Alpes. Loire. Rhône. Departments. Puy-de-Dôme. Cantal. Allier. Nièvre. Saône-et- Loire. Yonne. Côte-d'Or. Ain . Doubs. Jura. Haute-Saône. Aube. Marne. Haute- Marne. Ardennes. Meuse. Vosges. Alpes- Maritimes. Savoie. Haute- Savoie. Corse. Meurthe-et- Moselle. APPENDIX III. wwwwwww. CHIEF EVENTS IN THE FRENCH HISTORY. FIRST century after Christ. Persecutions of Christians in the Rhone valley. 355. Julian the Apostate makes Paris the seat of Roman government. 407. German settlements in Gaul. 486. Battle of Soissons. 496. Clovis baptized . 567. Frankish Gaul divided into Austrasia, Neustria, and Burgundy. 715. Karl the Hammer (Charles Martel) . 800. Charlemagne emperor. 987. Hugh Capet. Rise of French monarchy. Paris, capital of France. 997. Towns begin to form themselves into corporations. Foundation of middle- class freedom laid. 1095. First crusade. 1108. Communes enfranchised . Power of the crown con tinues to increase. 1189-1214. Third crusade. Philip Augustus wrests Normandyfrom John Lackland. University ofParis founded. Albigensian persecution . Battle of Bouvines, 200 APPENDIX III. 7 1216-1285. St. Louis. Last crusade. Touraine, Anjou, Poitou, Maine, Champagne, added to the dominions of the crown, with Narbonne, Nîmes, and other towns in the south of France. 1270. Languedoc, Vivarais, and Rouergue fall to the crown. 1302. Order of the Templars abolished. Clement V. of Avignon. 1328-1377. Dauphiné annexed. Limousin taken from the English. House of Valois begins with Philip VI. Hundred years' war begins. Crécy. Calais taken by the English. Battle of Poitiers. Treaty of Bretigny. Gabelle levied. Froissart writes his chronicles. Jacquerie. 1392-1418. Disputes between the Houses of Orleans and Burgundy. 1418–1487 . Agincourt. Treaty of Troyes;, Jeanne d'Arc. Standing army instituted. Fixed taxation. Battle of For migny. Guienne and Gascony taken from the English. Burgundy annexed on death of Charles the Bold. Provence annexed on death of last count. End of Hundred years' war. Philip de Commines writes his history of the Dukes of Burgundy. Battle of 1500-1600. Italian wars. Francis I. loses battle of Pavia. Persecution of the Vaudois. Catherine de' Medici. St. Bartholomew. Religious wars. Rise of the Guise family. English lose Calais. Battles of Jarnac and Moncontour. Henri III. assassinated. House of Bourbon. Ivry. Wars of the League. Jesuits expelled. Edict of Nantes granted. Henri Quatre assassinated. Richelieu. Royal printing press established. Académie française founded. Huguenots persecuted . Brittany annexed. Béarn, Navarre, Foix, Armagnac pass to crown as patrimony of Henri Quatre. 1643-1659. France under Anne of Austria and Mazarin. APPENDIX III. 201 France Ά Wars of the Fronde. End of Thirty years' war. and England allied . Treaty of Pyrenees leading to the War of Succession. Alsace, Roussillon, and Artois annexed. LouisXI 1661-1715. Bourbon monarchy at its height. Huguenots persecuted. Edict of Nantes revoked. This fatal to com merce. Dutch war. Turenne. Condé. Battles of Blenheim, Malplaquet, &c. Europe against France. Spanish Succession. Madame de Maintenon. Port Royal and Jansenists per secuted. Corneille, Racine, and Molière write for stage. Sully lays foundation of dramatic music in France. Monarchy absolute. r MX 1715-1774. Regency, Finance in utter confusion. Tax ation unjust and unequal. Law's Mississippi scheme. Quadruple alliance. Lorraine finally annexed. Seven years' war, French losses in India. Montesquieu and Voltaire write. Battle of Minden. French losses in Canada. 1774-1793. Turgot attempts reforms. Neckar continues them . War between France and England. States General meet ( 1789) . Mirabeau becomes leader of the National Assembly. Fall of Bastille. Imprisonment of Royal family. Louis XVI. , Marie Antoinette, and Madame Elizabeth guillotined. Reign of Terror. War in La Vendée. Battle ofValmy. 1799-1815. Directory. Rise of Napoleon. Victories in Italy and on German frontier. Consulate. Empire. European war. Disasters in Russia. Napoleon at Elba. Waterloo. Code Napoleon. 1815-1830. Restoration of the Bourbons. Charter. Charles X. falls back on old system . Deposed. 1830-1848. Louis Philippe, Citizen King. Algiers colonized . Spanish marriages. General disaffection. King abdicates. 1848-1881 . Louis Napoleon President of the Republic. Coup d'état in 1852 ; takes title of Emperor. Crimean war, 202 APPENDIX III. 1859, war with Austria in Italy. Savoy and Nice annexed. Campaign in Mexico and death of Maximilian of Austria. Franco- Prussian war. Battle of Sedan. Abdication of Emperor. Republic. Siege of Paris. Commune. Alsace, part of Lorraine, and Metz restored to Germany. Struggle between the clerical and ultra-republican party. Convents closed. Education secularized. APPENDIX IV. mmmmm CHIEF EXPORTS OF FRANCE. ALTHOUGH French commerce has suffered rude shocks. during the last century from constant violent changes of government, and was all but at a standstill in the Franco Prussian war of 1870-71, it is only less important than that of the United States and England. The four chief centres of trade are Paris, Lyons, St. Etienne, and Lille. Lyons is the centre of silk weaving ; Lille employs thousands of hands in manufacturing cotton, linen, sugar, and machinery. Wine is very largely exported from the south of France, and from Champagne and Burgundy ; roughly speaking, half the quantity of wine which is drunk in the world comes from French vineyards. Up to 1830 France imported English machinery ; now, though poor in metals, she makes machines of imported material, and sends them all over the world, even to England, a weighty fact for ourselves . About the middle of the eighteenth century a German chemist drew attention to the amount of sugar existing in beetroot ; but it was first largely used, as he had suggested, 204 APPENDIX IV. when France found herself cut off from colonial produce by Napoleon's wars. Since then beetroot sugar has become an important article, both for home use and for exportation, but it is not quite as sweet as that made from the cane, even though juice from the latter is mixed with it. Besides all these, and many other articles, France exports beautiful china, glass, jewellery, objects of art, and her com merce increases yearly. She buys vast quantities of raw material, and returns it manufactured to other countries in the shape of cotton, silk, and woollen goods, and furniture, and also sends out cereals, butter, fruit, cheese, and poultry. ADMINISTRATION, 96. Alios, 4. Ardennes, 16, 52. Arles, 45. Armorica, 2. Army and Navy, 91. Auvergne, 4, 26. Avignon, 45. Boundaries, 58. Briseux, 134.. Brittany, 2, 124. Burgundy, 13. CALVIN, 145. Camargue, 67. Canal du Midi, 42. Cévennes, 21 , 121 . Chartier, 141. INDEX . Chateaubriand, 133. Churches of the Rhone valley, 46. Climate, 55. Coal, 65. Colonies, 63. Cran, II. DAUPHINÉ, 13. De Commines, 140. De Joinville, 139. Dieppe, 75. EDUCATION, 77. Esterel, 28. FABLIAUX, 136. Fauna, 179. Folk-lore, 161. Forests, 49. Franco- Prussian War, 59. Froissart, 139. GARONNE, 41. Garrigues, 8. 206 INDEX. Gironde, 41. Guienne, 3. INDUSTRIES, 63. JURA, 18. LAC PAVIN, 27. Landes, 5. Language, 102. Languedoc, 7. Le Morvan, 52. Limousin, 3. Literature, 135. Local names, 145. Loire, 39. Lyons, 45. MALHERBE, 145 . Marot, 143. Marseilles, 48. Montaigne, 145. Mountains, 15. Mont Ventorix, 45, 169. Mulberry, 70. NORMANDY, 2. OLIVE, 72. PROTESTANTS, 185. Provence, II. Pyrenees, 4, 31. QUERCY, 3. RABELAIS, 143. Race, 109. Régnier, 144. Religion, 114. Rhone, 42. Rivers, 37. Roads, 63. Ronsard, 144. SEINE, 37. Silk-worms, 70. St. Pol de Léon, 130. VENDÉE, 9. Vercingetorix, 14. Villehardouin, 138. Villon, 141. Vintage, 73. Viper, 49. Vosges, 51. Wehr Wolf, 24. Wolf, 23. LONDON : GILBERT AND RIVINGTON, PRINTERS, ST. JOHN'S SQUARE.

A Catalogue of American and Foreign Books Published or Imported by MESSRS. SAMPSON Low & Co. can be had on application. Crown Buildings, 188, Fleet Street, London, April, 1880. A Selection from the List of Books PUBLISHED BY SAMPSON LOW, MARSTON, SEARLE, & RIVINGTON. ALPHABETICAL LIST. A CLASSIFIED Educational Catalogue of Works pub lished in Great Britain. Demy 8vo, cloth extra. Second Edition, revised and corrected to Christmas, 1879, 5s. About (Edmond). See " The Story of an Honest Man. " About Some Fellows. By an ETON BOY, Author of " A Day ofmy Life. " Cloth limp, square 16mo, 2s. 6d. Adventures of Captain Mago. A Phoenician's Explorations 1000 years B.C. By LEON CAHUN. Numerous Illustrations. Crown 8vo, cloth extra, gilt edges, 7s. 6d. ; plainer binding, 5s. Adventures of a Young Naturalist. By LUCIEN BIART, with 117 beautiful Illustrations on Wood. Edited and adapted by PARKER GILLMORE. Post 8vo, cloth extra, gilt edges, New Edition, 7s. 6d. Afghan Knife (The). A Novel. 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