It Is True That In Its Pre-
Sent Position I Thought Better Of This Work Of Art, Which
Is From The Hand Of M. Falquiere, Than When I Had
Seen It Through The Factitious Medium Of The Salon Of
I walked up the hill where the older part of
Macon lies, in search of the natal house of the _amant
d'Elvire_, the Petrarch whose Vaucluse was the bosom
of the public.
The Guide-Joanne quotes from "Les
Confidences" a description of the birthplace of the
poet, whose treatment of the locality is indeed poetical.
It tallies strangely little with the reality, either as re-
gards position or other features; and it may be said
to be, not an aid, but a direct obstacle, to a discovery
of the house. A very humble edifice, in a small back
street, is designated by a municipal tablet, set into its
face, as the scene of Lamartine's advent into the world.
He himself speaks of a vast and lofty structure, at the
angle of a _place_, adorned with iron clamps, with a
_porte haute et large_ and many other peculiarities. The
house with the tablet has two meagre stories above
the basement, and (at present, at least) an air of ex-
treme shabbiness; the _place_, moreover, never can have
been vast. Lamartine was accused of writing history
incorrectly, and apparently he started wrong at first:
it had never become clear to him where he was born.
Or is the tablet wrong? If the house is small, the
tablet is very big.
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