They Were Discovered, Or At Least Re-
Vealed By BaIzac, If By Any One, And Are Now Easily
Accessible To Visitors.
It is true, I met no visitors, or
only one or two, whom it was pleasant to meet.
Throughout my little tour I was almost the only tourist.
That is perhaps one reason why it was so successful.
I am ashamed to begin with saying that Touraine
is the garden of France; that remark has long ago lost
its bloom. The town of Tours, however, has some
thing sweet and bright, which suggests that it is sur-
rounded by a land of fruits. It is a very agreeable
little city; few towns of its size are more ripe, more
complete, or, I should suppose, in better humor with
themselves and less disposed to envy the responsibili-
ties of bigger places. It is truly the capital of its smil-
ing province; a region of easy abundance, of good
living, of genial, comfortable, optimistic, rather indolent
opinions. Balzac says in one of his tales that the real
Tourangeau will not make an effort, or displace him-
self even, to go in search of a pleasure; and it is not
difficult to understand the sources of this amiable
cynicism. He must have a vague conviction that he
can only lose by almost any change. Fortune has
been kind to him: he lives in a temperate, reasonable,
sociable climate, on the banks, of a river which, it is
true, sometimes floods the country around it, but of
which the ravages appear to be so easily repaired that
its aggressions may perhaps be regarded (in a region
where so many good things are certain) merely as an
occasion for healthy suspense.
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