A Little Tour In France, By Henry James



























































































 -   Behind and
above the gallery that surmounts the three fireplaces
are high Gothic windows, the tracery of which masks,
in - Page 130
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Behind And Above The Gallery That Surmounts The Three Fireplaces Are High Gothic Windows, The Tracery Of Which Masks, In

Some sort, the chimneys; and in each angle of this and of the room to the right and left of

The trio of chimneys, is all open-work spiral staircase, ascending to - I forget where; perhaps to the roof of the edifice. This whole side of the _salle_ is very lordly, and seems to express an unstinted hospitality, to extend the friendliest of all invitations, to bid the whole world come and get warm. It was the invention of John, Duke of Berry and Count of Poitou, about 1395. I give this information on the authority of the Guide- Joanne, from which source I gather much other curious learning; for instance, that it was in this building, when it had surely a very different front, that Charles VII. was proclaimed king, in 1422; and that here Jeanne Darc was subjected, in 1429, to the inquisition of certain doctors and matrons.

The most charming thing at Poitiers is simply the Promenade de Blossac, - a small public garden at one end of the flat top of the hill. It has a happy look of the last century (having been arranged at that period), and a beautiful sweep of view over the sur- rounding country, and especially of the course of the little river Clain, which winds about a part of the base of the big mound of Poitiers. The limit of this dear little garden is formed, on the side that turns away from the town, by the rampart erected in the fourteenth century, and by its big semicircular bastions.

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