A Little Tour In France, By Henry James



























































































 -   Not that he, by any
means always struck the happy mean between the
sensible and the metaphysical; but one may - Page 9
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Not That He, By Any Means Always Struck The Happy Mean Between The Sensible And The Metaphysical; But One May Say Of Him That Half Of His Genius Looks In One Direction And Half In The Other.

The side that turns toward Francois Rabelais would be, on the whole, the side that takes the sun.

But there is no statue of Balzac at Tours; there is only, in one of the chambers of the melancholy museum, a rather clever, coarse bust. The description in "La Grenadiere," of which I just spoke, is too long to quote; neither have I space for any one of the brilliant attempts at landscape paint- ing which are woven into the shimmering texture of "Le Lys dans la Vallee." The little manor of Cloche- gourde, the residence of Madame de Mortsauf, the heroine of that extraordinary work, was within a moderate walk of Tours, and the picture in the novel is presumably a copy from an original which it would be possible to-day to discover. I did not, however, even make the attempt. There are so many chateaux in Touraine commemorated in history, that it would take one too far to look up those which have been com- memorated in fiction. The most I did was to endeavor to identify the former residence of Mademoiselle Gamard, the sinister old maid of "Le Cure de Tours." This terrible woman occupied a small house in the rear of the cathedral, where I spent a whole morning in wondering rather stupidly which house it could be. To reach the cathedral from the little _place_ where we stopped just now to look across at the Grenadiere, without, it must be confessed, very vividly seeing it, you follow the quay to the right, and pass out of sight of the charming _coteau_ which, from beyond the river, faces the town, - a soft agglomeration of gardens, vine- yards, scattered villas, gables and turrets of slate- roofed chateaux, terraces with gray balustrades, moss- grown walls draped in scarlet Virginia-creeper.

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