Page:A book of the Pyrenees.djvu/168

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CHAPTER IX

LOURDES


Line from Lourdes turns north—Argelez glacier—The Lavedan—The Seven Valleys—Lourdes of old—The castle—Held by the English—Attacked by the Duke of Anjou—Held by Saracens—Besieged by Charlemagne—The Grotto—Bernadette Soubirous—The curé Ader—The apparition expected—The vision—Repeated—Crowds attend Bernadette—The spring—Mud—Price of the water—Je suis l'lmmaculee Conception—Explanation—Compromising pamphlet suppressed—The Abbé Ader removed—La Salette—Similar visions seen by Huguenots—Doctor Dozous—The Empress and Prince Imperial—The Emperor patronizes the Grotto—Disappearance of documents—Laserre—His book a romance—The Jesuit Cros exposes it—The water of the spring—Drawn from the Gave—The Bishop's commission—Pius IX appoints a festival in honour of the apparition—Removal of Bernadette to Nevers—Her brother refused permission to see her—Forces his way in—Last scene—The procession—Where the natural ends and the supernatural begins—No guarantee that the cures are permanent.


AS the train sweeps into the station at Lourdes, on the right side, a few feet above the Gave, may be seen the twinkling lights of the Grotto of Massabielle, about which presently.

From the station of Lourdes the line turns north to Tarbes and Toulouse, along what was the ancient course of the Gave, a course that is patent to the eye, till the Argelez glacier threw up a barrier of morraine that deflected the river, and sent it careering to the west.