A Tour Through the Pyrenees by Hippolyte Adolphe Taine

A Tour Through the Pyrenees

byHippolyte Adolphe Taine

Kobo ebook | March 8, 2015

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The river is so fine, that before going to Bayonne I have come down as far as Royan. Ships heavy with white sails ascend slowly on both sides of the boat. At each gust of wind they incline like idle birds, lifting their long wing and showing their black belly. They run slantwise, then come back; one would say that they felt the better for being in this great fresh-water harbor; they loiter in it and enjoy its peace after leaving the wrath and inclemency of the ocean. The banks, fringed with pale verdure, glide right and left, far away to the verge of heaven; the river is broad like a sea; at this distance you might think you saw two hedges; the trees dimly lift their delicate shapes in a robe of bluish gauze; here and there great pines raise their umbrellas on the vapory horizon, where all is confused and vanishing; there is an inexpressible sweetness in these first hues of the timid day, softened still by the fog which exhales from the deep river. As for the river itself, its waters stretch out joyous and splendid; the rising sun pours upon its breast a long streamlet of gold; the breeze covers it with scales; its eddies stretch themselves, and tremble like an awaking serpent, and, when the billow heaves them, you seem to see the striped flanks, the taw-ney cuirass of a leviathan. Indeed, at such moments it seems that the water must live and feel; it has a strange look, when it comes, transparent and sombre, to stretch itself upon a beach of pebbles; it turns about them as if uneasy and irritated; it beats them with its wavelets; it covers them, then retires, then comes back again with a sort of languid writhing and mysterious lovingness; its snaky eddies, its little crests suddenly beaten down or broken, its wave, sloping, shining, then all at once blackened, resembles the flashes of passion in an impatient mother, who hovers incessantly and anxiously about her children, and covers them, not knowing what she wants and what fears. Presently a cloud has covered the heavens, and the wind has risen. In a moment the river has assumed the aspect of a crafty and savage animal. It hollowed itself, and showed its livid belly; it came against the keel with convulsive starts, hugged it, and dashed against it, as if to try its force; as far as one could see, its waves lifted themselves and crowded together, like the muscles upon a chest; over the flank of the waves passed flashes with sinister smiles; the mast groaned, and the trees bent shivering, like a nerveless crowd before the wrath of a fearful beast.
Title:A Tour Through the PyreneesFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:March 8, 2015Language:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1465610251

ISBN - 13:9781465610256