Churches of France

Churches of France

Churches of France

Churches of France

Excerpt

It is axiomatic that each individual sees an object, hears a story, or remembers an incident in his own way, which varies -- sometimes to a considerable extent -- from the vision, the hearing, or the memory of every other person involved. Yet each is right. Our personalities change the outlines of an experience as our physical eyes see things, large or small, clear or cloudy, according to the individual vision.

Every country has a special message for every one of us, and there is no standardizing them, nor need of it. When I write of France, it is from a personal point of view, based on our own experiences and on our own reactions to them. At one end of the scale is the pure exquisiteness of Gothic architecture carried to unbelievable beauty, and at the other end the little, simple contacts and incidents of everyday life. The extremes, and all the intermediate points, make up the full richness and flavor of the whole. Each new episode adds its spice or aroma, each new revealing of individual or national characteristics adds the mellowness of deepened sympathy.

France is very dear to us. We have been, perhaps, unusually fortunate in the glimpses permitted us into the various strata of French life. We have lived enough months there to penetrate a little bit into the meanings of things, under the distractingly interesting surface, and we have always been in sympathy with the country and its people. To us France is like one of its famous wines, full of age and flavor; into the making of each went rain and cold winds as well as brilliant sunshine, weary toil as well as the spirit of joyous creation, coöperation, individual effort and, perhaps most of all, the richness due to years. To fully appreciate either, one needs an abundance of leisure, sympathy and the understanding of that old-world patience which counts time as naught.

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