Page:A book of the Cevennes (-1907-).djvu/155

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CHAPTER VI


LES BOUTIÈRES


Geological formation—Characteristics of the Boutières and of the people—S. Peray and its wine—Castle of Crussol—Valley of the Erieux—A masterpiece of engineering—La Voute—Its decay—The chapel of the castle—Vernoux, the Geneva of the Huguenots—The Momiens—Party feeling—Massacre of S. Bartholomew—La Pourasse—The Cachard family—The drummer—Gorge of the Dunnière—La Tourette—Chalençon—Diana of Poitiers—Le Cheylard.

LES BOUTIÈRES have already had some sentences devoted to them. They differ geologically, and consequently in scenery, altogether from the high range of volcanic peaks of the mountains of the Vivarais below Privas. They are composed of granite and gneiss, and continue the Cevennes chain northwards. There are among them no craters, no floods of crystallised lava. Their heights are not extraordinary; they throw out long lateral spurs towards the Rhone. The scenery is tamer than in any other part of the Cevennes; that portion from Annonay to S. Etienne is given up to factories, which makes the country people prosperous but the country unattractive.

But from Annonay south to Privas there is pleasant if not fine scenery, and it is very rarely visited.

"It is," says Dr. Francus (A. Mazon), "a land that has a stamp of its own; its mountains, its agriculture, its customs, even its religion are peculiar to it. A land of steep slopes,

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