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to remain forever!". Not so with us ; a large dirty town, bearing the marks of decay, was entered without emotion, and left without regret. In a field near the northern gate is an ancient monument sixty feet in height, with triple arches at the bottom, supposed to have been erected by Marius, whose name it bears, in commemoration of his victories and triumphs. There are some other antiquities in the town, such as the ruins of theatres, aqueducts, and baths, indicating that Orange was a large and important place in the time of the Romans. . A few miles farther on, we crossed the track of Hannibal in his march from Spain into Italy. No traces of his pathway after the passage of the Rhone are to be found, and his route over the Alps is mere matter of conjecture. Instead of impressing the footsteps of his army upon solid masses of rock, by dint of vinegar and fire, his path seems to have led through wastes of snows, which the next sun or the next storm obliterated forever. The'investigations of antiquaries and tourists will probably never be able to throw any new light upon a subject, which the Roman historians have left in doubt and uncertainty. Select what point you will, the achievement does not become the less daring and incredible.
From the broad and fertile plain consecrated by the heroic enterprise of the Carthagenian, we caught the first view of Avignon, seated round the rock of Dons, on the left bank of the Rhone, lifting its massive ramparts, its castellated heights, its numerous antique towers and steeples above the surrounding vale, and the river which washes its foundations. The situation of the town is beautiful, and its structures yet exhibit the display of papal magnificence, lavished by the Popes during a residence here of seventy-two years. Our entrance was by a circuitous route, leading half way round the city, immediately under the walls, and along an immense quay, planted with trees, apparently designed rather for a public walk than as the seat of commerce. The bulwarks and gates are in as good repair, and as strongly barricaded, as they probably were in the fourteenth century, though at present there seems to be little danger of capture or pillage.
We arrived at 2 o'clock in the afternoon, and obtained excellent accommodations at the Hotel de l'Europe. It happened to be the last day of the Carnival, the great festival of the Catholics. As Avignon was long the residence of the papal see, and accustomed to all the pomp, and parade of the ecclesiastical court, its inhabitants imbibed a taste for religious ceremonies and spectacles, which continues to this day, and gives to the Carnival as much eclat as in an Italian town. Soon after our arrival, a long procession composed of the military, of persons in masks, and of a multitude of both sexes, accompanied by a full band of music, paraded through the principal streets. To close the splendid and noisy exhibition, a handsome lady and one or two children, arrayed in gorgeous attire and decked with wreaths of flowers, rode through the town in a triumphal car, strewing oranges and other presents to the crowd as they passed. The sashes were raised, and all the beauty and taste of Avignon appeared at the windows. Festivity and mirth, attended as is usual with a degree of licentiousness, reigned through the ancient head-quarters of popery ; and enough of the Carnival was seen by us, without being at Rome or Venice.
More interesting occupations engrossed the afternoon. The guide of the hotel, who seemed offended that he should be considered old at the age of three score and ten, conducted us over the town and pointed out the various objects of curiosity it contains. Our survey commenced with an ascent to the Rock of Dons, rising to the height of several hundred feet in the midst of the city, whence was obtained a charming view of the Rhone winding through the vale beneath, together with the distant mountains of Provence 'and Languedoc. Two stately bridges across the river, one of them of stone and now in ruins; the massive and dilapidated Castle of Villeneuve, on the opposite shore ; as also the venerable towers elevating themselves around the spectator, contribute much to the variety and grandeur of the picture.
On the declivity, not far from the sunimit of the eminence, stands the Palace of the Popes, a colossal edifice, three stories high, presenting a majestic front, but containing little which can interest the traveller. The exterior is in bad taste, and bears the marks of decay. One end of it is occupied as the Cathedral, in front of which stands a lofty crucifix, bearing a bleeding image of the Saviour, attended by four angels. A group of poor women were kneeling upon the steps of the pedestal, muttering their prayers, regardless of the gaiety in which others were indulging.
Opposite the papal Palace in · Avignon, stands another large pile of buildings, once used as the mint of the Romish Court. Its front is richly ornamented, and in architectural beauty far surpasses the former residence of the pontiffs. Not far hence, once stood the church of St. Clair, in which Petrarch first saw Laura at her devotions, and became a cap. tive to her charms. The chapel was demolished many years since, and a shop erected on its site, where tape and calicoes are now most unpoetically vended. '
Another memorial of the two immortal lovers has been better preserved. In a garden near the church of the Cordeliers is the tomb of Laura, where it is said her ashes really repose. The hallowed ground is marked by five little pyramids of cypress, shading in a most picturesque manner a fragment of a white marble pillar rising beneath their boughs, and resting upon a neat, but unadorned and uninscribed pedestal. Much taste is displayed in the elegant simplicity of the monument. By a singular and unpremeditated coincidence, the waters of Vaucluse, drawn from the Sorgia, and conducted through Avignon for mechanical purposes, murmur by the tomb, as if anxious to lull the sleep of beauty, and pay back the debt of gratitude for their fame. Unsettled as are the claims of Laura, in the first place to any thing beyond a poetical existence; and in the second place, to those qualities which entitle her to remembrance and respect; yet Petrarch has imparted such an interest to the real or fictitious mistress of his affections, that the mind is irresisti. bly led to pay homage, perhaps to the shadow of a shade.
It was our wish to visit the Museum at Avignon, which is said to contain many local antiquities and curiosities ; as also the Hospital and Lunatic Asylum ; but in consequence of the great festival, every body was engaged abroad, and the public institutions were all closed. A walk, therefore, across the bridge of the Rhone into Languedoc, a distance of nearly a mile, and an attendance of a few hours at the play-house in the evening, concluded the occupations and amusements of the day. The theatre is new and one of the finest we have seen in France. There was a large, well-dressed, and genteel audience, although there seemed to be nothing very attractive in the talents of the company or the merits of the play. From the numerous circle of ladies, a person might have selected several faces to which the lover of Laura would not perhaps have disdained the tri
bute of a sonnet. A little circumstance occurred in the course of the evening, illustrative of the politeness of the French. One of us left an umbrella in the box, not thinking of it until the rain without reminded us of the loss. On returning to look for it in the crowd, we found that a French gentleman, notwithstanding the impediment of a lady hanging upon his arm, had been at the trouble of delivering the article for safe keeping to the man at the bar of the coffeea room, who promptly restored it.' Much politeness and affability were also manifested towards us by a party of ladies and gentlemen at the public table of the hotel, to whom the American name seemed a recommendation, and who lavished their praises upon the land of Washington and Franklin. La Fayette has riveted the golden chain of friendship, which binds the liberal party in France to the republicans of the United States.
The eighth of February is entered in my calendar as one of the happiest days of my life ; for it was passed in visiting the Vale of Vaucluse, a retreat rendered interesting by whatever is beautiful in nature, elegant in letters, and romantic in love. Petrarch used to say, that he was almost angry to find any thing so enchanting out of Italy; since it had a tendency to weaken his attachment to his native country. I can so far unite in the sentiment as to say, that could the charms of any foreign scenery shake the constancy of my affection for my native shores, the rocks, solitudes, and waters, the bloom and verdure, the seclusion and rural quiet of this little valley, scarcely surpassed by that which the imagination of Johnson has created in the pages of Rasselas, would present the strongest temptations. Here if any where on earth might a restless spirit lay down the burden of its cares and be at peace, finding a retirement so tranquil, that there would be but a slight transition from the repose of a cottage to that of the grave. But the experiment has once been tried with so little success, as to offer few inducements to a repetition; and my enjoyment of such an elysium will probably be confined to a short and single visit.
Vaucluse is hidden among the hills, fourteen or fifteen miles in a north-eastern direction from Avignon. Having made our arrangements the evening previous, we left in a post-chaise at the dawn of day, while the stars were yet bright in a cloudless and transparent firmament.' The gradual advances of morning, from the grey twilight to skies of the softest and richest hues, were delightful. At length the sun rose in all its splendour, and poured a golden flood of light upon the landscape and the battlements of the ancient city, now seen in the distance and receding from our view. From a green eminence, crowned with orchards of olives, the eye catches a wide and enchanting prospect of the vale of the Rhone on one side, and on the other, of a fertile plain, opening between the hills towards Vaucluse.
Passing the little white village of Moliere, seated upon the brow of a hill of the same name, and those of Torc and Gardam, occupying the bosom of a rich valley beyond, we reached the banks of the Sorgia at L’lle, a pretty town standing upon both sides of a clear stream, which leads the traveller to anticipate the purity and copiousness of the foun. tain whence it emanates. Its noisy and limpid waters bathe the very thresholds of some of the villagers, who from their windows may see the trout playing upon the pebbly bottom. On either bank groves of trees have been planted, and avenues for public walks opened, embellished with a degree of taste seldom found united with rustic simplicity. .
Beyond L'Ile, the country becomes more solitary. The path winds through unfenced fields, bordering upon the right bank of the Sorgia, which for some miles is lost sight of, till it again suddenly bursts upon the eye of the visitant, in a beautiful cascade at the entrance of the vale of Vaucluse, On one side of the falls, the rocks are high, broken, and precipitous; and on the other, there is but just room enough for a path between the base of a ridge of hills and the mar. gin of the stream. · The gorge opens in such a manner, that the valley and the fountain are entirely secluded from the rest of the world, and cannot be discovered, till the traveller finds himself in the bosom of the glen, enclosed on every side by lofty, bald, and craggy mountains.
From the pass to the head of the valley is perhaps a mile and a half. Along both sides of the Sorgia are narrow alluvial belts, clothed in the liveliest green, and bordered by trees, among which was the almond already in full bloom. Its flower is delicious in complexion as well as in fragrance; and was doubly grateful from being found in this sequestered retreat, as also for affording the first indications of the return of spring. Vegetation was here several weeks in advance of the adjacent country, owing to a southern exposure, to constant irrigation, and above all to a security against the icy