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THE JOURNEY INTO SPAIN.
A l'issue de l’yver que le joly temps de primavère commence, et qu'on voit arbres verdoyer, fleurs espanouir, et qu'on oit les oisillons chanter en toute joie et doulceur, tant que les verts bocages retentissent de leurs sons et que ceurs tristes pensifs y dolens s'en esjouissent, s'émeuvent à delaisser deuil et toute tristesse, et se parforcent à valoir mieux.
LA PLAISANTE HISTOIRE DE GUERIN DE MONGLAVE.
SOFT-BREATHING Spring ! how many pleasant thoughts, how many delightful recollections, does thy name awaken in the mind of a traveller! Whether he has followed thee by the banks of the Loire or the Guadalquiver, or traced thy footsteps slowly climbing the sumy slope of Alp or Apennine, the thought of thee shall summon up sweet visions of the past, and thy golden sunshine and soft vapory atmosphere become a portion of his day-dreams and of him. Sweet images of thee, and scenes that have oft inspired the poet's song, shall mingle in his recollections of the past. The shooting of the tender leaf, the sweetness and elasticity of the air, — the blue sky, the fleet-drifting cloud, — and the flocks of wild fowl wheeling in long-drawn phalanx through the air, and screaming from their dizzy height, — all these shall pass like a dream before his imagination,
showman's box. In a word, all was so full of mirth and merrimake, that even beggary seemed to have forgotten that it was wretched, and gloried in the ragged masquerade of one poor holiday.
To this scene of noise and gayety succeeded the silence and solitude of the Landes of Gascony. The road from Bordeaux to Bayonne winds along through immense pine-forests and sandy plains, spotted here and there with a dingy little hovel, and the silence is interrupted only by the dismal hollow roar of the wind among the melancholy and majestic pines. Occasionally, however, the way is enlivened by a market-town or a straggling village; and I still recollect the feelings of delight which I experienced, when, just after sunset, we passed through the romantic town of Roquefort, built upon the sides of the green valley of the Douze, which has scooped out a verdant hollow for it to nestle in, amid those barren tracts of sand.
On leaving Bayonne, the scene assumes a character of greater beauty and sublimity. To the vast forests of the Landes of Gascony succeeds a scene of picturesque beauty, delightful to the traveller's eye. Before him rise the snowy Pyrenees, - a long line of undulating hills,
“ And gently o'er his memory come at times A glimpse of joys that had their birth in thee, Like a brief strain of some forgotten tune.”
“ Bounded afar by peak aspiring bold,
Like giant capped with helm of burnished gold.”
It was at the opening of this delightful season of the year that I passed through the South of France, and took the road of St. Jean de Luz for the Spanish frontier. I left Bordeaux amid all the noise and gayety of the last scene of Carnival. The streets and public walks of the city were full of merry groups in masks, at every corner crowds were listening to the discordant music of the wandering ballad-singer; and grotesque figures, mounted on high stilts, and dressed in the garb of the peasants of the Landes of Gascony, were stalking up and down like so many long-legged cranes ; others were amusing themselves with the tricks and grimaces of little monkeys, disguised like little men, bowing to the ladies, and figuring away in red coats and ruffles; and here and there a band of chimney-sweeps were staring in stupid wonder at the miracles of a
To the left, as far as the eye can reach, stretch the delicious valleys of the Nive and Adour; and to the right the sea flashes along the pebbly margin of its silver beach, forming a thousand little bays and inlets, or comes tumbling in among the cliffs of a rock-bound coast, and beats against its massive barriers with a distant, hollow, continual roar.
Should these pages meet the eye of any solitary traveller who is journeying into Spain by the road I here speak of, I would advise him