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[542] also by the heights of St. Florent, so memorable in the history of the Vendean war.

May 28. Rose early, and with a carriage visited the chief points of interest in Nantes; took the express for Tours, then took a private carriage for Loches, a distance of thirty miles through a country beautifully cultivated. Here I am in a hotel, very ancient and primitive in all respects.

May 29. This morning rose early to look about and enjoy this old picturesque place; visited the chateau, and inspected the dungeons once occupied by prisoners of state; saw the writing and marks of Ludovico Sforza made during his gloomy imprisonment; was filled with detestation of the government that kept such cells; as a ruin this chateau is one of the finest in Europe; here also is the tomb of Agnes Sorel. my landlord here was a simple man, who had seen few strangers; he told me that there was not a single Man cook in Lochoes with its five thousand inhabitants. Drove through a fertile country to La Haye, and visited the chamber in which Descartes was born. my visit here seemed to excite attention; lost the train I had intended to take at Les Ormes; waited there in a park till evening, when I went on to Poitiers.

May 30. This is an old place. Early in the morning visited its cathedral, its ancient churches, and its library; at eleven o'clock took the train for Bordeaux, passing Angouleme; also Contras, the scene of Henry IV.'s battles, and St. Emilion. In the evening went for a little while to the magnificent theatre.

May 31. Walked and drove, in order to see everything; found, after two efforts, the tomb and effigies of Montaigne; in the evening tired, tired, tired; obliged to take to my bed.

June 1. Left Bordeaux by rail for Bayonne. Dreary country, flat, with peasants on stilts. On reaching Bayonne, went out to Biarritz, the famous watering-place, where the emperor has built a chateau.

June 2. Left Bayonne early by rail for Dax, where at breakfast met a Frenchman who insisted upon knowing my age and business; he set me down at thirty-five, perhaps thirty-eight. The Eaux-Chaudes there are striking. Thence by diligence to Pan, where I arrived at evening; the view here is far more beautiful than I had expected,—I think the most beautiful thing of the kind which I have seen in France.

June 3. This whole day passed at Pau, where I saw the castle, and enjoyed the Pyrenees capped with snow.

June 4. Started at eight o'clock in the morning on the outside of the diligence for Eaux-Bonnes in the Pyrenees; as an accidental companion was a priest, with whom I talked a great deal, and who was very civil. The road was constantly ascending by the side of a beautiful little stream. Arrived before four o'clock; tasted the waters, took a bath, and made a contract with a guide to conduct me to-morrow across the mountains to Cauterets.

June 5. Mounted on horseback at six o'clock in the morning; guide also on horseback, and another horse with my trunk led by a person on foot; traversed the mountain to Argeles, where I arrived about five o'clock; on the top was snow. Gave up going to Cauterets, to rest at the pleasant inn of Argeles; weary, very weary; on the way passed shepherds on the mountain.

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