Page:A book of the Cevennes (-1907-).djvu/188

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128
THE CEVENNES

One interesting lesson one learns from the overflow of this crater, and that is that the prismatic structure of basalt is due to pressure from above. Except under great superincumbent weight it has not crystallised regularly.

A beautiful fall in four dives under the bridge of the road to Genestelle, on the road to Antraigues, irresistibly obliges one with a camera to take views. But indeed the whole neighbourhood is weeping these beautiful tears—tears of joy that the fire floods are over.

The valley of the Ardèche above where it falls into the basin of Aubenas is finer still; it leads into the heart of the noblest volcanic heights.

At Pont de la Beaume one has the stately tower of the castle of Ventadour rising from the summit of a rock that commands the road up to Thueyts (pronounced Two-ets) and that to Jaujac, where the Lignon flows into the Ardèche.

The Ventadour family were Levis by origin, and claimed to be descendants of the tribe of Levi of the seed of Aaron, and therefore justified in meddling to any extent in ecclesiastical matters. It is really wonful what changes can be rung on the name of Levi. It becomes in England Lewis and Levison, Lowe and Lyons, and Lawson.

But there was absolutely no justification in the Ventadour family asserting to themselves a Hebraic origin. It is strange how eager these Levis were to assert a fabulous descent, and how desirous the modern sons of Levi are to obscure the traces of what is undoubtedly theirs.

The Levis first appear in history in the eleventh century, and derive their name not from Levi, but from