letter to a tourist and
Come to the Cévennes. Enter the
country which is mine; you will like it
because it has greatness and it will like you if you have simplicity.
It is a strange discovery which you will make, with the wisdom and the
softness of living. In every bend, the history waits for you, hidden in
copses, living in the valleys, murmuring with the falls of the
cascades, solidified in the turrets of the castle.
There are no ride in Gévaudan Cévennes where come to join you Lord with
shield and hauberk, Bishops, Martyrs, happy Pope, Princess of blood,
Poets, Men of Science and Letters, brave Generals, famous Bonesetter,
King with ruff and Supreme commander. No town of province will practice
in you of so profound echoes.
Caress the skate of their stones.
The beauty of a village is thing as mysterious as the beauty of a being.
Our cities are secret, it is necessary to know how to conquer them
While strolling in their medieval streets, under halls, near fountains
and places, in the shade of bell towers, you will feel beating their
heart. Then you will not have more than a desire, than a thirst of
knowledge, to interrogate this hermitage, this cathedral, these ruins,
this castle, these doors, this bridge, this tower and to dive more
deeply into their past.
Charming and withdrawn are our villages. Stop in front of the arched
sheepfold, the shepherd returns late, because the evening... he keeps
stars and dreams.
The penetrating odour of the soil travels on
the breeze of
the evening. Inhale this natural peace. Bind with our farmers. Others
are more demonstrative, of a more exuberant nature. They, in their
comments, will put a great delicacy at their sympathy, a discrete
reserve in their hospitality, a heat measured in their feelings. Listen
to in Cévennes country the purity of the French language acquired by
the daily reading of the Bible of the Assemblies of the Desert.
Where to find elsewhere all at the same time, with this slow and solemn
progress of the Cévennes chains, this power of Lozčre and Margeride
Mounts, these Causses paved of dolmens, these peaks haloed with pure
light, these steep slopes, these Gorges of the Tarn which perforate the
azure, this freshness of the rivers and this sweetness of the small
Use all subtleties of your imagination and guess the hidden character
of the meadow and the brook which sinks lively and pressed in the
hollow of the ravine.
If there are detractors of the Cévennes, pity them ; they are
pessimists who miss the faculty to be filled with wonder - and make
The Cevenne deceives their sarcasms! Do the ravens which
escape from niches of the cathedral distort its majesty?
Come to listen to the sound of the wind which moans in the forest of