Page:A book of the Pyrenees.djvu/45

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29
GASCON BRAGGARTS

hend various characters never estimable. But it must not be supposed that all Gascons are such sorry creatures as those spoken of above. There are to be found among them men of rare merit, and men with plenty of courage, men as honest as are any others. But, actually, all Gascons do not come from Gascony. Every nation under the sun breeds its braggarts and false braves. 'The true Gascons,' says a writer who knew them well in their own land washed by the Garonne, ’the true Gascons possess a good deal of heart, and are desirous of making all the world aware of the fact.' But I am not satisfied that they do not make display of more heart than they actually possess."

A collection of bons-mots and blunders made by Gascons is found in Vasconia Lyons, 1730. The description of a Gascon, as given by a fellow-countryman, is more flattering than that above. He says: "To be a Gascon is to be a happy mixture of dazzling virtues and of agreeable and convenient faults. Everything in us is charming, even our imperfections. What if there be blemishes perceptible in us? There are spots in the sun itself."