Page:A book of the Cevennes (-1907-).djvu/388

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292
THE CEVENNES

Nevertheless, with all its faults, the clumsiness of hand of an unskilled artist, who opened these windows to let in the light of heaven;—these immense bays, enriched with little pillars having carved capitals, divided into two by a single mullion that rises unsustained to the point where the tracery begins, and receive the ribs of the vaulting, lay hold of and retain one's eyes. The vaults, distributed in five bays, are designed not without dignity. The whole edifice, in spite of gross and many architectural faults—faults of construction, faults of arrangement—breathes a certain robust grace, a barbaric charm, making it the most interesting and most grateful of sanctuaries in our land."


A pretty, late flamboyant, melting into early Renaissance, chapel is between the cathedral and the cloister.

The old episcopal palace has been converted into municipal buildings, and the gardens into a fine promenade; so that the long conflict that endured for centuries has ended in the complete victory of the people. The bishopric was suppressed at the Concordat.

Between Clermont and Lodève the line runs through a red sandstone district, curiously bare and water-torn. The red stone seems to melt like butter under the rain, and with the least rush of water it swims away in masses, and grass can scarcely grow on the denuded surface.

At the distance of an hour and a half from Lodève is the well-preserved monastery of S. Michel-de-Grammont, now converted into farm buildings. It has a Romanesque cloister and a pointed chapter-house. The tower bears an octagonal campanile, rising out of a square base, the four windows of which are flamboyant.