Page:Mistral - Mirèio. A Provençal poem.djvu/155

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NOTES TO CANTO VI.




1 Maussano and Saint Martin are villages in Crau.

2 Nostradamus. Michel de Nostradame, or Nostradamus, was born at Saint Rémy, in 1508, and died at Salon, in 1565. He practised medicine very successfully under the latter Valois, applied himself to mathematics and astrology, and published in 1557, under the title of "The Centuries," the prophesies which have rendered his name popular. Charles IX. appointed him physician in ordinary, and loaded him with honor.

3 "This cordial," Agrioulas, a liquor, composed of brandy and sugar, with which is mixed a certain quantity of short-stalked cherry, well bruised.

4 "The Fairies' Cavern." The following is Jules Canonge's description of this locality:—

"From the bottom of the gorge, aptly named Enfer, I descended into the Fairies' Grotto. But, instead of the graceful phantoms with which my imagination had peopled it, I saw nothing but low vaults under which I was forced to crawl, blocks of stone heaped up, and gloomy depths. I have just observed that this gorge is aptly called Enfer. Nowhere else have I ever seen rocks so tormented. They stand erect, with cavities in their sides; and their gigantic entabisments, covered with aerial gardens, in which a dishevelled sort of vegetation obtains, defile out like the Pyrenean rock cleft by the sword of Roland."

On comparing the description of Dante's "Inferno" with this tortured Cyclopean, fantastic vista, one is persuaded that the great Florentine poet, who travelled in our parts and even sojourned in Arles, must have visited the town of Baux, sat on the