Page:A book of the Cevennes (-1907-).djvu/98

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CHAPTER IV


ROUND ABOUT LE PUY


Limitations of language—Guides to Le Velay—Espaly—The castle—Death of Charles VI.—The Orgues—Baron de S. Vidal—La Roche Lambert—Polignac—The oracle of Apollo—S. Paulien—Roman remains—Julien, the sculptor—Barrier of the Loire—Vorey—La Lepreuse—Chamalières—Mézenc—Les Estables—Ascent—La Foire aux Violettes—The violet harvest—Flora of Mézenc—Gerbier de Jonc—View—Lake of Issarlès—Menaced—A man without a chance in life—Le Monastier—Stevenson's estimate of the people—The abbey—Change of names—Arlempdes—Caves of Chacornac—Mandrin—The haunted mill of Perbet.


THERE exist but a limited number of terms wherewith to describe an infinite variety of natural objects that possess one common character, but differ from one another in every other particular. Needle, spike, pinnacle, spire, obelisk have to serve for all rocks that start up from the soil and terminate in a point. Ravine, gorge, fissure, chasm, canon have to be employed indiscriminately for those clefts in the surface, rents formed by the contraction on cooling of the earth's crust, or by the erosion of water. And yet all the difference in the world exists between spires of tufa and trap and those of granite or of limestone. The gorge down which swirls the river between calcareous walls is one thing, that which is cleft into a street lined

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