They were allowed to go down into the courtyard. They did not know that their generals had been arrested. They appeared surprised and discontented." This incident raised the prisoners' hopes. Representative Michel Renaud of the Basses-Pyrénees, found several of his compatriots of the Basque country amongst the Chasseurs de Vincennes who occupied the courtyard.
Maurice Ravel was born in Ciboure, Basses-Pyrénées, March 7th, 1875. Shortly after his birth, his family moved to Paris. Henri Ghis was his first piano-teacher, Charles-René his first teacher of composition. He took piano-lessons of Ricardo Viñès, and in 1891 was awarded a "première médaille" in piano-playing at the Conservatoire. In 1897 Ravel entered the class of Fauré.
In the Basses-Pyrenees, for instance it is only about a hundred years since, that the Cagots of Rehouilhes rose up against the inhabitants of the neighbouring town of Lourdes, and got the better of them, by their magical powers as it is said. The people of Lourdes were conquered and slain, and their ghastly, bloody heads served the triumphant Cagots for balls to play at ninepins with!
"Yes, I always envied Henry James the conviction he seems to have had, all his life, that Europeans are a good deal more unlike other people than I ever found them. It may be obtuseness on my part, but I never could see that people who lived in the Basses-Pyrénées are any more cultivated or had any broader horizons than people who live in the Green Mountains.
The mortal has yet to be born who can master all the dialects of Italy; this one seemed to bear the same relation to the Tuscan tongue which that of the Basses-Pyrenees bears to French it was practically another language. Listening to her, I caught glimpses, now and then, of familiar Mediterranean sounds; like lamps shining through a fog, they were quickly swallowed up in the murk.
Biarritz, which is in the department of the Basses-Pyrénées, yet a long way from the mountain range, was unknown to fame until Eugénie, empress of the French, built a grand villa here, and made it her summer resort; being, however, over five hundred miles from the French capital, it never became very popular with the Parisians.
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