High-ways and By-ways: Or Tales of the Roadside; Picked Up in the French Provinces

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G. Roberts, 1840 - France
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Page 203 - One evening, while pursuing his favourite walk during the continuance of a tempest, that would probably have driven him to his hut, had not a secret inspiration urged him still to keep abroad, he discovered a vessel far out at sea, in great distress and apparently on the eve of perishing. Not being able to render the least possible assistance otherwise than by his prayers, he betook himself to his knees, and had scarcely commenced an impassioned invocation, when the little vessel, as if it had been...
Page 172 - ... sheep. The first days of my entering these forlorn and monotonous regions were marked with adventures of no common interest ; but these are too long for insertion here, and may possibly form the subject of a regular narration hereafter. The district of Arcachon, including the little town of La Teste, its capital, is probably one of the most perfect retirements in any part of civilized Europe. Standing on the remote and uncultured border of the Bay of Biscay, it is utterly out of the way of communication...
Page 204 - ... building to the ground ; and when, wonderful to tell, the pious erectors attempted to move the little image from its shrine, which the waves had no power to overthrow, it resisted the efforts of dozens of men to remove it; and it was only by the powerful prayers of Thomas that forty pair of the strongest oxen had force sufficient to effect that object. The image, be it known, is full twelve inches in height! Another chapel was built, and another catastrophe was at hand. It was utterly cast down...
Page 149 - Fay for it! Always like himself, generous and noble ! No, no, no ! it's the least we can do for monsieur, and we shall be too well rewarded if he will do us the honour of giving himself the trouble to write a little word to the gentlemen of the Octroi at Bordeaux to let us pass the barrier without search that we may get to the market early, and pull up for the time we have lost in the storm.
Page 145 - ... spinning-tops, I flung myself prostrate on the sand, one hand encircling Ranger, who clung trembling to my bosom, and the other grasping the stem of a newly-shattered fir-tree. The shepherds followed my example, and throughout the whole scene showed less presence of mind than stupid apathy. The magnificent and awful war of nature continued about twenty minutes. The wind then dropped suddenly still, as if forced from the heavens by the torrents of rain which poured upon us. We raised ourselves...
Page 147 - ... tureen, whose brown exterior was not a shade more dark than the mess of soup which smoked within, and which sent up a savoury fume, where the odour of garlic had a proud pre-eminence. An omelet of six eggs, mixed well with herbs of all varieties, was already in the fryingpan, and the plump, brown arm of Cazille was stretched out to place it on the fire. The hostess's hand was in the act of cutting from a string of black puddings, one whose dimensions seemed suited to a Patagonian mouth. I was...
Page 141 - I shall not enter into regular description, or details of distances. I shall content myself with saying, that the Landes stretch from the Gironde to the Adour, between north and south — are washed by the bay of Biscay on the west — and lose themselves to the eastward, by insensibly mingling with the fertile plains of Aire and Villeneuve de Marsan. A gazetteer and a map will tell the rest. Extensive pine-woods cover this ocean of sands. Here and there a hut or a hamlet forms the centre of a patch...
Page 145 - ... sea of rain which every cloud cast down. I was nearly overpowered with fatigue, for the wet sand was to me almost impassable, while my wooden-legged companions found but little obstruction from it. My delight may then be imagined when I saw them stop suddenly before a house, which the darkness of the night prevented my observing till we were actually against its wall. They shouted together, and the door was cautiously halfopened by a woman with a resin taper in her hand. At the welcome prospect...
Page 147 - The string of black puddings dangled uncut upon the wall — the embryo omelet was upset into the fire — and the spoonful of soup remained untasted in my hand. This moment of awful suspense was followed by the entrance of the important personage, to whom such unconditional homage had been rendered by...
Page 147 - ... and red woollen petticoat; and in a little while they placed on the table a small earthen tureen, whose brown exterior was not a shade more dark than the mess of soup which smoked within, and which sent up a savoury fume, where the odour of garlic had a proud preeminence. An omelet of six eggs, mixed well with herbs of all varieties, was already in the frying-pan, and the plump brown arm of Cazille was stretched out to place it on the fire. The hostess's hand was in the act of cutting from a...

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