The Idler in France eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 285 pages of information about The Idler in France.

When our courier asked for the bill this morning, the landlady declared she “knew not what to charge, that she never was in the habit of making out bills, and that we must give her what we thought right.”

The courier urged the necessity of having a regular bill, explaining to her that he was obliged to file all bills, and produce them every week for the arrangement of his accounts,—­but in vain:  she could not, she declared, make one out; and no one in her house was more expert than herself.

She came to us, laughing and protesting, and ended by saying, “Pay what you like; things are very cheap at Arles.  You have eaten very little; really, it is not worth charging for.”  But, when we persisted on having her at least name a sum, to our infinite surprise she asked, if a couple of louis would be too much?—­And this for a party of six, and six servants, for two days!

We had some difficulty in inducing her to accept a suitable indemnification, and parted, leaving her proclaiming what she was pleased to consider our excessive generosity, and reiterating her good wishes.

CHAPTER III.

ST.-REMY.

The town of St.-Remy is delightfully situated in a hollow that resembles the crater of an extinct volcano, and is surrounded by luxuriant groves of olive.  The streets, though generally narrow, are rendered picturesque by several old houses, the architecture of which is striking; and the place—­for even St.-Remy has its Place Publique and Hotel-de-Ville—­is not without pretensions to ornament.  In the centre of this place is a pretty fountain, of a pyramidal form.

The antiquities which attracted us to St.-Remy are at a short distance from the town, on an eminence to the south of it, and are approached by a road worthy the objects to which it conducts.  They consist of a triumphal arch, and a mausoleum, about forty-five feet asunder.

Of the triumphal arch, all above the archivault has disappeared, leaving but the portico, the proportions of which are neither lofty nor wide.  On each side of it are two fluted columns, said to have been of the Corinthian order, but without capitals, and the intercolumniations, in each of which are figures of male and female captives.

A tree divides the male from the female; their hands are tied, and chained to the tree; and a graceful drapery falls from above the heads down to the consoles on which the figures stand.

On the eastern side of the arch are also figures, representing two women, by the side of two men.  One of the women has her hand on the arm of a chained warrior, and the other has at her feet military trophies; among which bucklers, arms, and trumpets, may be seen.  The pilasters that bound the intercolumniations are of the Doric order, and their capitals support the arch.

The cornice and astragals form a frieze, in which military emblems and symbols of sacrifice are intermingled.  The archivault is ornamented on each side with sculptured wreaths of ivy, pine cones, branches of grapes and olives, interlaced with ribands.  The ceiling of the portico is divided into hexagons and squares, enriched by various designs in the shape of eggs and roses, finely executed.

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The Idler in France from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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