A Little Tour In France, By Henry James

 -   Then
they have been too well tended; they not only look at
present very new, but look as if they - Page 240
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Then They Have Been Too Well Tended; They Not Only Look At Present Very New, But Look As If They Had Never Been Old.

The fact that their extent is very much greater makes them more of a curiosity than those of Carcas- sonne; but this is exactly, as the same time, what is fatal to their pictorial unity.

With their thirty-seven towers and seven gates they lose themselves too much to make a picture that will compare with the ad- mirable little vignette of Carcassonne. I may mention, now that I am speaking of the general mass of Avignon, that nothing is more curious than the way in which, viewed from a distance, it is all reduced to nought by the vast bulk of the palace of the Popes. From across the Rhone, or from the train, as you leave the place, this great gray block is all Avignon; it seems to occupy the whole city, extensive, with its shrunken population, as the city is.


It was the morning after this, I think (a certain Saturday), that when I came out of the Hotel de l'Europe, which lies in a shallow concavity just within the city gate that opens on the Rhone, - came out to look at the sky from the little _place_ before the inn, and see how the weather promised for the obligatory excursion to Vaucluse, - I found the whole town in a terrible taking. I say the whole town advisedly; for every inhabitant appeared to have taken up a position on the bank of the river, or on the uppermost parts of the promenade of the Doms, where a view of its course was to be obtained.

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