The Works of Alphonse Daudet
This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) ... Show synopsis This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1898 edition. Excerpt: ... XI. THE FETES IN HONOR OF THE BEY. In the regions of the South, of the civilization of long ago, the historic chateaux still standing are very few. At rare intervals some old abbey rears its tottering and dismantled facade on a hillside, pierced with holes which once were windows, which see naught now but the sky, --monuments of dust, baked by the sun, dating from the days of the Crusades or of Courts of Love, without a trace of man among their stones, where even the ivy has ceased to climb, and the acanthus, but where the dried lavender and the firigoule perfume the air. Amid all these ruins the chateau de Saint-Romans stands forth a glorious exception. If you have travelled in the South you have seen it, and you shall see it again in a moment. It is between Valence and Mont&imart, in a neighborhood where the railroad runs straight along the Rhone, at the base of the hills of Beaume, Rancoule and Mercurol, the whole glowing vintage of the Hermitage, spread out over five leagues of vines growing in close, straight lines in the vineyards, which seem to the eye like fields of fleece, and extend to the very brink of the river, as green and full of islands at that spot as the Rhine near Bale, but with such a flood of sunshine as the Rhine never had. Saint-Romans is opposite, on the other bank; and, notwithstanding the swiftness of the vision, the headlong rush of the railway carriages, which seem determined at every curve to plunge madly into the Rhone, the chateau is so huge, extends so far along the neighboring slope, that it seems to follow the wild race of the train and fixes in your eyes forever the memory of its flights of steps, its balcony-rails, its Italian architecture, two rather low stories surmounted by a terrace with little..