An Hour Later I Purchased In The Town A
Little Pamphlet By M. Marius Topin, Who Undertakes
To Explain This Latter Anomaly, And To Show That There
Is Water Enough In The Port, As We May Call It By
Courtesy, To Have Sustained A Fleet Of Crusaders.
unable to trace the channel that he points out, but
was glad to believe that, as he contends, the sea has
not retreated from the town since the thirteenth century.
It was comfortable to think that things are not so
changed as that.
M. Topin indicates that the other
French ports of the Mediterranean were not then _dis-
ponsibles_, and that Aigues-Mortes was the most eligible
spot for an embarkation.
Behind the straight walls and the quiet gates the
little town has not crumbled, like the Cite of Carcas-
sonne. It can hardly be said to be alive; but if it is
dead it has been very neatly embalmed. The hand
of the restorer rests on it constantly; but this artist
has not, as at Carcassonne, had miracles to accomplish.
The interior is very still and empty, with small stony,
whitewashed streets, tenanted by a stray dog, a stray
cat, a stray old woman. In the middle is a little _place_,
with two or three cafes decorated by wide awnings, -
a little _place_ of which the principal feature is a very
bad bronze statue of Saint Louis by Pradier. It is
almost as bad as the breakfast I had at the inn that
bears the name of that pious monarch.
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