In the evening the Captain said we would soon see the light houses on the French Coast. As soon as it became dark we could see in the sky the double flashes of a great light at Belle Ile forty miles away. This is one of the most wonderful lights in the world. The sea was still high, but we were making good time.
Domingo, four at Guadeloupe, ten in Cayenne, nine at Ile de France, and eleven at l'Ile Reunion and in Madagascar. The mortality among the officers and men has been in proportion. An anecdote is related of Pichegru, which does honour to the memory of that unfortunate general.
The Upper Town, on the high shoulders of Cape Diamond, with its government buildings, convents, hospitals, showy new shops, and ancient gardens, its archiepiscopal palace, trim theological seminary, huge castle-like hotel, and placid ramparts dominating the Ile d'Orleans with rows of antiquated, harmless cannon around which the children play the Upper Town belongs distinctly to the citadel.
"Yes," said he, "you see I found myself drifting down. There was no help for it. The wind was slight, and the tide was strong. I was swept down into a fog bank, and lost sight of Ile Haute altogether. Well, it didn't matter very much, and I wasn't a bit anxious. I knew that the tide would turn soon, and then I'd come up, and fetch the land somewhere; so I waited patiently.
So have I; I have seene you before now, sir. En. Why then, ile tell you: the strangest beast that ever I saw was an Ostridge that eate up the Iron mynes. But now you talke of birds I saw an Elephant beat a Taylor in the fenceing schoole at his owne weapon. Tho. The Spanish needle? En. He did out eat him in bread, and that was miraculous.
We fancied that we were going on, as an English writer on "Down-Easters" used to say, as "slick as ile," when this miniature tempest suddenly burst out in a revival of the language and methods used in the redoubtable old English periodicals forty years ago.
And here we find ourselves again in the Dumas country, for it was along the part of the Loire that we have seen to-day that Fouquet fled pursued relentlessly by Colbert. If only Fouquet could have reached Nantes and his own Belle Ile, out beyond St. Nazaire, a different fate might have been his.
The similar screen surrounding the sanctuary at Paris was the work of the chief cathedral architect, Jean Renoy, with whom worked his nephew, Jehan le Bouteiller. These stone carved screens are quite usual in the Ile de France. The finest are at Chartres, where they go straight around the ambulatory, the whole choir being fenced in, as it were, about the apse, by this exquisite work.
The moment we turned the corner by the river-side, the murmur of a multitude not loud but continuous, struck our ears, even as the breeze off the water swept our cheeks. Across the river lay the thousand roofs of the Ile de la Cite, all sparkling in the sunshine. But we swept to the right, thinking little of THAT sight, and checked our speed on finding ourselves on the skirts of the crowd.
The only result was to cause the retirement of a picket at the western end of the Ile d'Orleans, and the officer in command, who thought he was about to be attacked in force, was to have been tried by court-martial, but being advised to throw himself on Wolfe's mercy, was pardoned for his error of judgment.