FRANCE IN 1913
THE summer of 1913 my wife and I spent mainly in France, taking with us our nieces Carolyn Hubbard, aged 19 and Annabel, aged 15. We debarked at Boulogne, spent the whole afternoon in the cathedral and the next day proceeded to Amiens. In Paris we heard Cyrano de Bergerac with M. Le Bargy as the hero. On the afternoon of 27 June George Santayana came to tea with us, and was most agreeable. We had not seen him since he left America in 1911. This summer, without the slightest suspicion of its being the last time when France would seem normal, we visited Reims, and made a special pilgrimage to Château- Thierry because it was the birthplace of LaFontaine. We saw Soissons, Laon, Châlons-sur-Marne, Troyes, Langres, Dijon, where the Hôtel de la Cloche looked inside exactly as it did when I stopped there in 1890. We spent a few days at Lyons, and then took the train--I tried in vain to find a boat--for Avignon. Visited the graves of J.S. Mill and his wife; the inscription on her tomb, written by her husband, is filled with superlatives. One night in Avignon we went to a motion picture, and it turned out to be a Wild West American film, with cowboys shooting; the French peasants seemed to enjoy it immensely.
On the National holiday, 14 July, we attended a bull fight in the Roman amphitheatre at Nîmes. There were 20,000 people; it had been previously announced that it would be a mild fight, with no horses or bulls killed. We visited Marseilles and the lovely little university town of
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Publication information: Book title: Autobiography, with Letters. Contributors: William Lyon Phelps - Author. Publisher: Oxford University Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1939. Page number: 599.
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