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Cape and on the northeast by the highlands of the Cap de la Garoupe. While the higher ranges of Alps lying beyond the valley before-mentioned, take the general direction above indicated, and thus serve to shelter the whole territory lying between them and the sea from the northerly winds, the southeasterly slopes of the hills constituting the northwestern shore of this Gulf, arising as they do directly from the sea, to the height of some 1,200 or 1,500 feet, are doubly sheltered. Thus it frequently happens that when the northwesterly wind, here called the Mistral, or the northeasterly wind, called the Bise, blow so strongly as to make visible to the naked eye, away out at sea, beyond the extremities of the two capes, the white crests of the billows, within them the water, and the air on these hillsides, remain perfectly calm and undisturbed. Their whole extent from northeast to southwest may be from six to eight miles, and a more uniform and delight ful winter climate is hardly imaginable.
Indeed, the bright, genial warmth of the atmosphere, the pleasant walks up the mountain-sides through the groves of aromatic, cone-bearing pine-trees and blooming heather, the glorious views from their summits of sea and valley, and distant snow-capped Alps, constitute a wonderful charm, and could hardly fail to clear one's heart and brain from all the life stifling vapors engendered by the poisonous atmosphere of cities and modern civilization. Nor is this all. The fine rides along the shore in both directions, and through the valleys running up into the interior, over perfectly smooth roads, bordered, for the most part, by evergreen, olive, and orange orchards, and gardens of ever-blooming roses, violets, and other odorous plants and shrubs-all these together are enough to compel the most murky-livered, fear-boding dyspeptic, to give himself up to the innocent and life-renewing enjoyments of nature. The very breathing of the aromatic, fragrant morning air, here as genial as in Southern Italy, and far more clear, brisk, and invigorating, is in itself the sovereignest remedy against
all manner of hope-destroying, hateinspiring fiends.
But to save myself from a charge of exaggeration, I must explain, that besides the olive and fig and mulberry tree, all of which you often see growing upon the same field, sown, at the same time, with wheat or other grain, thousands of acres in these regions are devoted to the cultivation of such trees, plants, and shrubs, as bear fragrant flowers, for the value of the flowers themselves-such as the orange, rose, jasmine, violet, etc. These flowers are gathered and sold by the kilogramme to the manufacturers of perfumeries, essences, etc., at Nice, Grasse, and Cannes. These manufactories constitute a principal industry and source of private fortune in these cities. At Cannes, Lubin, whose perfumeries and cosmetics fill with their fragrance so many New York chambers, has his great manufactory: and in the fresh morning air cf which I have spoken, one gets here, from nature's own laboratories, the first and sweetest taste of them.
In the old town of Grasse alone there are fifty manufactories of perfumeries, and during the month of May, at the height of the flower-harvest, according to the Octroi returns, these manufacrories consume an average of 45,000 kilogrammes of roses and 15,000 kilogrammes of orange-flowers per day, besides large quantities of jasmine-flowers, violets, etc.—a kilogramme being about two pounds.
A hectare of land, equal to 21 of our acres, planted with the jasmine, for instance, and well cultivated, will yield on an average about 6,500 kilogrammes of flowers per annum, worth about 71 francs per hundred kilogrammes, making an annual income of nearly 500 francs per hectare, or about 200 francs or $40 per acre. So that the flower-culture here constitutes the riches of the country, as well as the delight of the sojourner.
But it must not be understood that the only enjoyments here arise from the delights of the external senses. One may please himself with other forms of
entertainment. Every hillside and valley of all the surrounding country have worn into them the footprints of many generations of men, and are full of the legends of human heroism and toil, of human love and struggle, error and suffering. From the earliest ages, these slopes have been the battle-fields of many races of men. Here, long before our era, the prowess of the Roman legions was brought into fierce conflict with the native valor of the old Ligurian tribes; and, subsequently, when Roman and Ligurian enmities had long been laid to sleep in a common grave, here were fought some of the most relentless battles of the earliest Protestantism, against a far worse and more degrading despotism than that of the Cæsars-a despotism that sought and still seeks by a thousand devices to bereave men of God's chiefest endowment-their personal liberty and conscience. This, too, was the land of the Troubadours. On these sunny slopes, in these laughing valleys, lived and loved, sang and wept, the Minnesingers.
This February morning is as clear and bright and genial as any June morning on the hillsides of New England. Let us ascend the mountain behind our chateau. Its utmost height from the sea is not above 2,000 feet, and its ascent but the rather rough and arduous climb of an hour. We first go up, by some steps of unhewn stone, to the upper limit of the series of orange-planted terraces, and then enter at once into the pine-forest, that, interspersed with cork-oaks, and undergrown by the bruyère or heather, covers the mountain to its top.
path was laid out, apparently, many ages ago by that patient, all-enduring friend of the poor peasant, the ass, and has many windings and zigzags. And yet the general idea of it has been adopted by the most skilful modern engineers, in the construction of their admirable carriage-roads over the Furca and other Alpine passes. As we go up, the air becomes more and more rif and invigorating, filled as it is with the pungent aroma of the pine-cone. At the bottom of the ravine, along the side of
which our path ascends, there runs a little stream from some mountain-spring, with here and there a little rocky basin or pool. Around these pools, the peasant-women, with bare legs and arms, are to be seen at their family washing, singing their mountain-songs. If you
are ever so good at Parisian French, you will hardly be able to understand their patois.
Suddenly, at some turn in the path, even far up towards the summit, you will encounter a peasant-woman at work upon a little nook of soil, endeavoring to convert it into a little parterre of jasmines, violets, or other fragrant flowers. It may be owing to the nature of the soil, or it may be owing to the dryness and clearness of the air; but whatever it is, all kinds of flowers seem to emit a sweeter and stronger fragrance on these mountain-slopes than elsewhere.
One Sunday morning, I met on this path a young woman, carrying on her head a small barrel or firkin, in shape and size similar to a butter-firkin. Her form and step, notwithstanding the load she carried, were not without a certain freedom and grace. As I approached her, she stopped, and lifting the little tonneau from her head, sat down to rest. Her great brown, sad eyes, the glow in her face, and her beautiful white teeth, as, with a gentle smile, she opened her Ips to reply to a question I asked her, took captive my sympathies. At this first encounter she had the air and aspect of a girl of twenty years. She told me that she worked all the week in one of the numerous potteries at Vallauris; that on a Sunday, she came up the mountain to visit the little garden near by, and that, usually, she brought from the village her tonneau of engrais, or liquid compost, for her flowers; that if she were rich she would have an ass to do that kind of work-for, indeed, it was very fatiguing. I gave her a slight practical proof of my sympathy with her desire to have the help of an ass, and continued my walk. An hour after, or my return, she came out from her little garden, with a bouquet of violets, to meet me. But the change which had
come over her greatly surprised me. Instead of the glow, her face had become ashen in its hue, and full of the little furrows which toil and hunger plough into the faces of the poor in these countries. She looked like a woman of thirty, at least. I asked her how old she was; she told me her age was eighteen years; that she was married at fifteen, and was already the mother of two children; that her husband had rented from the Commune of Vallauris the half-hectare of land before me, and had terraced and planted it, as I saw, with young orange. trees, jasmines, and violets; that he worked from three o'clock in the morning till eight or nine at night, but that the impôts were very heavy, and they found it indeed very hard to live.
And this is the common condition of the rural work-people, all over France. They seldom complain or beg. They toil and hunger, without hope, from year's end to year's end. And it is upon their starved labor, that Imperial splendors thrive and fill Paris and the world with their glories.
But here we are at the summit of the mountain, and here, under the shadow of these thick-leaved cork oaks, let us sit down and look about us. The eye, to the utmost extent of its vision, sweeps the whole horizon. On one side of us, to the southeast, lies the Mediterranean Sea, with the Island of Corsica in the far distance. To the southwest stand out against the clear blue sky, the magnificent group of porphyritic pinnacles, the Esterels, or mountains of the old Sueltri. These mountains are completely independent of the chain of the Alps, and separated from it by the valleys of the Reyran and the Siagne. The average height of the mass is about 2,000 feet. It is wholly desert-not a habitation in its whole extent of 180 square miles, except a few isolated guard-houses of the government officials. Formerly it was one immense forest of pines and cork-oaks. Charles V. caused it to be burned, for the purpose of driving from its shelter the people of the country, who from its fastnesses harassed his invading armies. Its sides are still covered by a dark
green foliage, of the pine and cork-oak, or of many species of bruyère. stories of its famous banditti would fill a whole library of novels à la James.
To the west and north and northeast, lie spreading out before us the grand, pinnacle-crowned masses of the Alps, extending from the Cap de Benat, in the southwest, to the Cap delle Melle, in the northeast, slope upon slope, height upon height, until the eye, crossing the rugged and precipitous gorges of the Var, reaches the snow-capped summits of the Tende. With this good glass of BACH, optiken in München, you may count more than fifty towns and villages, lying in the bright morning sun-many of them so like, in form and color, to the great quadrangular masses of rock projecting from the mountain-sides, as to be scarcely distinguishable, one from the other. Indeed, at a distance, many of these mountain-hamlets, to the naked eye, look as if by some process of natural growth they had come up out of the body of the mountain. And then they have also the same battered and worn and mouldering aspect.
Upon these mountain-sides, and in these valleys, as I have before said, have been expended the vital forces, the ardent, passionate, human life of many generations of men. The memories of it, for the most part, lie buried under the waters of the great TimeOcean, but many survive, some in authentic history and some in the legends of the country.
On the lower slope of the bare and precipitous mountain opposite to us, and eight miles away, as the birds fly, lies the old town of Grasse, overlooking the rich valley, opening out into the plain of Laval on the Gulf of Naupaule, filled with old olive orchards and modern rose-gardens. Just under its southern gate is to be seen the little hamlet of Mouans. In the middle ages it was a walled town, and in 1572, during the wars of the League with the Duke of Savoy, it had for mistress Susan de Ville neuve. The duke attacked it, and after a brave and determined defence, Susan was obliged to surrender, but not until she had
made terms with the conqueror and exacted from him the promise that the people of the town should not be molested, which promise, on taking possession, the duke failed to keep. But Susan did not lose her spirit wi h her town, but vehemently reproached the duke for his bad faith, and in the end obtained from him the stipulation to pay an indemnity of 4,000 crowns. Notwithstanding, he withdrew his army in the night and attempted to gain his own territories on the opposite side of the Var, without making payment. Determined not to be cheated as well as conquered, Susan pursued the runaway and overtook him on the French side of that river, and seizing the bridle of his horse in the presence of his whole army, refused to let it go until he made good his promise. The old chronicle says, "the duke, intimidated by the fierce woman, ordered the 4,000 crowns to be paid down to her, as she stood there with her grasp upon his horse's bit."
Of the dust of Susan no one knows the resting-place, nor the sphere in which her indomitable spirit moves and has its being. Her walled town of Mouans is now a poor hamlet of a halfdozen dilapidated houses and an old fountain in ruins.
Looking away from Grasse, towards the southwest, in the upper valley of the Siagne, is still to be seen the little village of Maavans. Three hundred years ago, and contemporary with the youth of Susan of Villeneuve, there lived here two brothers, known in his tory as Paul and Antoine de Mauvans. Just at that period, the sanguinary edicts of Henry the Second, King of France, against the reformed religion had given a new impulse to priestly hatred and ferocity. The peasants of these mountains armed and put themselves under the leadership of these two brothers in defence of the rights of their consciences. Soon after a conference of the hostile parties was arranged to be held at the Catholic stronghold of Draguinan.
Trusting to the good faith of the Catholic party, Antoine, unprotected, repaired thither. "Hardly had he made his appearance," says Cezar de Nostradamus,
"than he was massacred; his heart was taken out, his body salted and sent to Aix, where it was hung upon a villainous gibbet to serve as an example to his like."
At Draquinau they gave his heart to be eaten by the dogs. The old chronicler says, "the dogs refusing to eat this human meat, they called out upon them, Lutherans! Lutherans!! and beat them to death with clubs. This was in the year 1559, or thereabouts.
Paul de Mauvans was subsequently declared chief of the Provençal Protestant Union, and was drawn into the famous conjuration d'Amboise. It failed, but he escaped, and ten years after, one hears of him at Barjols, where, in conjunction with the Baron des Adrets, he exterminated six hundred of the inhabitants, throwing their priests head foremost into the wells.
These religious wars, with short truces, were prolonged til 1570. With the Albigenses and Waldenses, in these mountains and valleys, it was indeed a terribly earnest and deadly struggle, and as unequal as it was deadly-a struggle of a great and crafty power, having at its command all the means and appliances of war, spiritual and material, against a poor, scattered, consciencedriven peasantry. After a hundred years of as bitter and atrocious warfare as the earth ever witnessed, the weak had to succumb to the crafty and strong, and Protestantism was apparently uprooted and extinguished in France. Its traces are still apparent enough in all these regions; with the exception of here and there an obscure and isolated flock, there remain here, in the three or four thousand communes of the old Provence, only the scathed and toilworn victims of ignorance, superstition, and the priest.
But let us look back a few hundred years, and we shall find these same verdant slopes the theatre of quite another sort of drama. In the beginning of the 12th century, Raymond Berenger, Count of Barcelona, by marriage became also Count of Provence. The accession of the Berengers marks the dawn of Provençal
chivalry and poetry. The court of these counts soon became the rendezvous of the Troubadours and the focus of a literature that for three centuries was the delight of all Europe-the literature of Love.
To this court, in the year 1162, came the German Emperor Frederic with the red beard. "Before him," says Jehan de Nostradamus, "Raymond II. caused his poets to repeat many of their most pleasant inventions and compositions. Their manner of rhyming so amused and pleased the Emperor, that he not only made them many beautiful and rich presents, but he also himself made an epigram, for which he borrowed the use of their soft Provençal tongue. Doubtless, for so great an Emperor, it was considered very heroic verse, and caused an immense sensation. You cannot set it to the tune of "John Brown's soul goes marching on," but as a sample of the old Provençal language, and of Frederic Barbarossa's faculty as a poet, it may be worth printing; here it is:
Plaz my cavallier Francés
E la donna Catallana
Lou kantar Provensallés
E la dansa Trivyzana.
Literally translated into prose, it means to say something like what follows:
"The things that most please me are, the French knight and the lady of Catalan, the honesty of the Genoese and this Castillian court, the Provençal songs and the Trevisanian dance."
"At this court," says the old chronicler, "affairs of the heart passed as being above all other affairs." And if one bethinks himself of how much "affairs of the heart" may include, are they not so in reality, in all ages and in all countries? But he continues, "Here ladies and knights and troubadours occupied themselves with discussing gravely and artlessly the beautiful and subtle questions of love, and when they could not resolve them they were submitted to a court of Love; a tribunal of beautiful women who had the right to summon to their bur all disloyal and felon VOL. II.-30
lovers." Their judgments were pronounced in accordance with an established code-the Code of Love.
But this far-off and apparently beautiful middle-age attempt at Free Love and Spiritual Wifeship, had its counterparts. If the legends are to be trusted, it did not consist wholly of love and poetry. Other species of affairs of the heart did sometimes intrude themselves; sometimes hatreds and other such exigencies of bedeviled human nature, spoiled the harmony of the idyl.
But let us turn our faces towards the southwest. The distant view is shut in by the most picturesque and beautiful of all these neighboring mountains, the Esterels, the shores of the Gulf of Napaule, and the plain of Laval. Nearer, a thousand feet above the level of the plain and on the very apex of a cone of rocks, is perched the little village of Mongins, Mons Egitna of the old Ligurians, and their last refuge when conquered by the Romans. Still nearer, nestling in the side of a verdant bend of the hills, is Canret, where the really great artist, poor Rachel (imperial halfbrother De Morny's mistress), went to die of that cold she took on her nightjourney from New York to Boston. And there, immediately under the southwesterly slope of our mountainous lookout, is Cannes, with its promontory and beautiful bay, and its islands of the old Celtic God Leros-in modern French, Les Lerins-St. Marguerite and St. Honorat, before mentioned.
Two hundred and fifty years before Christ, the Roman Senate sent an embassy to Cannes, consisting of Flaminius, Popilius Lenas, and Lucius Papius, to negotiate, with the chiefs of the powerful Ligurian tribe of the Oxibians, a peace between them and the neighboring colonies of her ally of Marseilles, Nice, and Antibes. Upon their attempting to land, these chiefs ordered Flaminius and his fellow ambassadors to reembark and take themselves off, greatly to the surprise of the arrogant Romans, and upon their refusing and resisting, drove them off with insults, even wounding Flaminius and killing some of his slaves.