A Little Tour In France, By Henry James

 -   I have a kindness for any little group of
towers, any cluster of roofs and chimneys, that lift
themselves from - Page 125
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I Have A Kindness For Any Little Group Of Towers, Any Cluster Of Roofs And Chimneys, That Lift Themselves From

An eminence over which a long road ascends in zigzags; such a picture creates for the mo- ment a presumption

That you are in Italy, and even leads you to believe that if you mount the winding road you will come to an old town-wall, an expanse of creviced brownness, and pass under a gateway sur- mounted by the arms of a mediaeval despot. Why I should find it a pleasure, in France, to imagine my- self in Italy, is more than I can say; the illusion has never lasted long enough to be analyzed. From the bottom of its perch Poitiers looks large and high; and indeed, the evening I reached it, the interminiable climb of the omnibus of the hotel I had selected, which I found at the station, gave me the measure of its commanding position. This hotel, "magnifique construction ornee de statues," as the Guide-Joanne, usually so reticent, takes the trouble to announce, has an omnibus, and, I suppose, has statues, though I didn't perceive them; but it has very little else save immemorial accumulations of dirt. It is magnificent, if you will, but it is not even relatively proper; and a dirty inn has always seemed to me the dirtiest of human things, - it has so many opportunities to betray itself.

Poiters covers a large space, and is as crooked and straggling as you please; but these advantages are not accompanied with any very salient features or any great wealth of architecture.

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