A Little Tour In France, By Henry James


For the rest, the picturesque at Toulouse consists
principally of the walk beside the Garonne, which is
spanned, to the - Page 150
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For The Rest, The Picturesque At Toulouse Consists Principally Of The Walk Beside The Garonne, Which Is Spanned, To The Faubourg Of Saint-Cyprien, By A Stout Brick Bridge.

This hapless suburb, the baseness of whose site is noticeable, lay for days under the water at the time of the last inundations.

The Garonne had almost mounted to the roofs of the houses, and the place continues to present a blighted, frightened look. Two or three persons, with whom I had some conversation, spoke of that time as a memory of horror. I have not done with my Italian comparisons; I shall never have done with them. I am therefore free to say that in the way in which Toulouse looks out on the Garonne there was something that reminded me vaguely of the way in which Pisa looks out on the Arno. The red-faced houses - all of brick - along the quay have a mixture of brightness and shabbiness, as well as the fashion of the open _loggia_ in the top- story. The river, with another bridge or two, might be the Arno, and the buildings on the other side of it - a hospital, a suppressed convent - dip their feet into it with real southern cynicism. I have spoken of the old Hotel d'Assezat as the best house at Toulouse; with the exception of the cloister of the museum, it is the only "bit" I remember. It has fallen from the state of a noble residence of the sixteenth century to that of a warehouse and a set of offices; but a certain dignity lingers in its melancholy court, which is divided from the street by a gateway that is still imposing, and in which a clambering vine and a red Virginia- creeper were suspended to the rusty walls of brick stone.

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