A Little Tour In France

A Little Tour In France

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A Little Tour In France by Henry James

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1884

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A Little Tour In France

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We good Americans - I say it without presumption - are too apt to think that France is Paris, just as we are accused of being too apt to think that Paris is the celestial city. This is by no means the case, fortunately for those persons who take an interest in modern Gaul, and yet are still left vaguely unsatisfied by that epitome of civilization which stretches from the Arc de Triomphe to the Gymnase theatre.

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cturesque, a reflection of the splen- dor still glitters in the current of the Loire. Some of the most striking events of French history have occurred on the banks of that river, and the soil it waters bloomed for a while with the flowering of the Renais- sance. The Loire gives a great "style" to a landscape of which the features are not, as the phrase is, promi- nent, and carries the eye to distances even more poetic than the green horizons of Touraine. It is a very fit- ful stream, and is sometimes observed to run thin and expose all the crudities of its channel, - a great defect certainly in a river which is so much depended upon to give an air to the places it waters. But I speak of it as I saw it last; full, tranquil, powerful, bending in large slow curves, and sending back half the light of the sky. Nothing can be finer than the view of its course which you get from the battlements and ter- races of Amboise. As I looked down on it from that elevation one lovely Sunday morning, through a mild glitter of

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