Page:Life and Times of Frederick Douglass (1892).djvu/695

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687
THE SOUTH OF FRANCE.

only the best things that serve the worst perversions. Many pious souls to-day hate the negro while they think they love the Lord. A difference of religion in the days of this old palace did for a man what a difference of color does for him in some quarters at this day; and though light has not dawned upon the color question as upon freedom of thought, it is to be hoped that it soon will. This old palace is no longer the home of saints, but the home of soldiers. It is no longer the stronghold of the church, but the stronghold of the state. The roll of the drum has taken the place of the bell for prayer. Martial law has taken the place of ecclesiastical law, and there is no doubt which is the more merciful.

Though Avignon awakened in us a train of gloomy thoughts, we still think of it as a charming old city. We went there with much curiosity and left it with much reluctance. It would be a pleasure to visit the old city again. No American tourist should go through the south of France without tarrying awhile within the walls of Avignon, and no one should visit that city without going through the old papal palace.

One of the oldest and most fascinating old towns met with in a trip from Paris to Marseilles is that of Aries. Its streets are the narrowest, queerest and crookedest of any yet seen in our journey. It speaks of Greek as well as of Roman civilization. The bits of marble picked up in the streets show that they have been under the skillful hands either of the Greek or Roman workmen. The old Amphitheater, a miniature Coliseum, where men fought with wild beasts amid the applauding shouts of ladies and gentlemen of the period, though used no longer for its old-time purposes, is in good condition and may yet stand for a thousand years. We were shown through its various apartments