A Little Tour In France, By Henry James



























































































 -   Indeed, throughout Touraine, it is
half the charm of the Loire that you can travel beside
it.  The great dike - Page 5
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Indeed, Throughout Touraine, It Is Half The Charm Of The Loire That You Can Travel Beside It.

The great dike which protects it, or, protects the country from it, from Blois to Angers, is an admirable road; and on the other side, as well, the highway con- stantly keeps it company.

A wide river, as you follow a wide road, is excellent company; it heightens and shortens the way.

The inns at Tours are in another quarter, and one of them, which is midway between the town and the station, is very good. It is worth mentioning for the fact that every one belonging to it is extraordinarily polite, - so unnaturally polite as at first to excite your suspicion that the hotel has some hidden vice, so that the waiters and chambermaids are trying to pacify you in advance. There was one waiter in especial who was the most accomplished social being I have ever encountered; from morning till night he kept up an inarticulate murmur of urbanity, like the hum of a spinning-top. I may add that I discovered no dark secrets at the Hotel de l'Univers; for it is not a secret to any traveller to-day that the obligation to partake of a lukewarm dinner in an overheated room is as imperative as it is detestable. For the rest, at Tours, there is a certain Rue Royale which has pretensions to the monumental; it was constructed a hundred years ago, and the houses, all alike, have on a moderate scale a pompous eighteenth-century look.

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