A Little Tour In France, By Henry James



























































































 -   It was thoroughly _meri-
dional_.

In going to Narbonne I had of course counted upon
Roman remains; but when I - Page 170
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It Was Thoroughly _Meri- Dional_.

In going to Narbonne I had of course counted upon Roman remains; but when I went forth in search of them I perceived that I had hoped too fondly.

There is really nothing in the place to speak of; that is, on the day of my visit there was nothing but the market, which was in complete possession. "This intricate, curious, but lifeless town," Murray calls it; yet to me it appeared overflowing with life. Its streets are mere crooked, dirty lanes, bordered with perfectly insignifi- cant houses; but they were filled with the same clatter and chatter that I had found at the hotel. The market was held partly in the little square of the hotel de ville, a structure which a flattering wood-cut in the Guide-Joanne had given me a desire to behold. The reality was not impressive, the old color of the front having been completely restored away. Such interest as it superficially possesses it derives from a fine mediaeval tower which rises beside it, with turrets at the angles, - always a picturesque thing. The rest of the market was held in another _place_, still shabbier than the first, which lies beyond the canal. The Canal du Midi flows through the town, and, spanned at this point by a small suspension-bridge, presented a cer- tain sketchability. On the further side were the venders and chafferers, - old women under awnings and big um- brellas, rickety tables piled high with fruit, white caps and brown faces, blouses, sabots, donkeys.

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