Page:A book of the Cevennes (-1907-).djvu/374

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284
THE CEVENNES

Montfort, and might have forced this commander of the soldiers of the Papacy to deal less cruelly with the seigneurs of Languedoc, whom he robbed of their domains with impunity.

On the Place under trees is a monument, surmounted by a bust of Peyrolles, a potter of Clermont, who composed verses in the Languedoc dialect. He became jealous of the fame acquired by Jasmin, the hairdresser of Agen, the great vernacular poet, and sent him a challenge. "I will go to Montpellier any day and hour you choose to name. Let four men of literary notoriety give us three themes on which to compose poems in twenty-four hours; and let us be shut up in one room, with no admission of any one to us or of anything but our food—and see who in the time will turn out most poetry." Jasmin replied that he declined the contest. For his part, he could not produce verses as fast as Peyrolles could pots; his powers did not reach further than the composition of two or three verses in a day.

A delightful walk or drive is to Mourèze, up the valley of the Dourbie. On the col crossed by the road leading into this valley is the quaint chapel of N. D. du Peyrou. It is pointed, with an immense porch composed of two flying buttresses sustaining a roof. A chapel at the west end is out of line with the axis of the principal building. The nave was rebuilt or altered at the Renaissance. In the choir on one side are oval frames containing representations of girls who have made their first communion, in white paper cut out with scissors, and on the other side similar frames contain nuptial crowns. A largely attended pilgrimage visits this chapel on Monday in Easter week. This