A Little Tour In France, By Henry James

 -   It is true that in its pre-
sent position I thought better of this work of art, which
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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 1876.

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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