A Little Tour In France, By Henry James

 -   In the interior there is a profusion of res-
toration, and it is all restoration in color.  This has
been - Page 30
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In The Interior There Is A Profusion Of Res- Toration, And It Is All Restoration In Color.

This has been, evidently, a work of great energy and cost, but it will easily strike you as overdone.

The universal freshness is a discord, a false note; it seems to light up the dusky past with an unnatural glare. Begun in the reign of Louis Philippe, this terrible process - the more terrible always the more you admit that it has been necessary - has been carried so far that there is now scarcely a square inch of the interior that has the color of the past upon it. It is true that the place had been so coated over with modern abuse that something was needed to keep it alive; it is only, per- haps, a pity that the restorers, not content with saving its life, should have undertaken to restore its youth. The love of consistency, in such a business, is a dangerous lure. All the old apartments have been rechristened, as it were; the geography of the castle has been re-established. The guardrooms, the bed- rooms, the closets, the oratories, have recovered their identity. Every spot connected with the murder of the Duke of Guise is pointed out by a small, shrill boy, who takes you from room to room, and who has learned his lesson in perfection. The place is full of Catherine de' Medici, of Henry III., of memories, of ghosts, of echoes, of possible evocations and revivals. It is covered with crimson and gold.

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