Pièce 74 - Récit par James Fenimore Cooper de sa visite à Saint-Germain-en-Laye

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74

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Récit par James Fenimore Cooper de sa visite à Saint-Germain-en-Laye

Date(s)

  • 1837 (Production)

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Pièce

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1 document sur support papier

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(1789-1851)

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Romancier américain.

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« [p. 77] The next stage brought us to St. Germain-en-Laye, or to the verge of the circle of low mountains that surround the plains of Paris. Here we got within the influence of royal magnificence and the capital. The Bourbons, down to the period of the revolution, were indeed kings, and they have left physical and moral impressions of their dynasty of seven hundred years, that will require as long a period to eradicate. Nearly every foot of the entire semi-circle of hills to the west of Paris is historical, and garnished by palaces, pavilions, forests, parks, aqueducts, gardens, or chases A carriage terrace, of a mile in length, and on a most magnificent scale in other respects, overlooks the river, at an elevation of several hundred feet above its bed. The palace itself, a quaint old edifice of the time of Francis I, who seems to have had an architecture not unlike that of Elizabeth of England, has long been abandoned as a royal abode. I believe its last royal occupant was the dethroned James II. It is said to have been deserted by its owners, because it commands a distant view of that silent monitor, the sombre beautiful spire of St. Denis, whose walls shadow the vaults of the Bourbons; they who sat on a throne not choosing to be thus constantly reminded of the time when they must descend to the common fate and crumbling equality of the grave.
An aqueduct, worthy of the Romans, gave an imposing idea of the scale on which these royal works were conducted. It appeared, at the distance of a league or two, a vast succession of arches, displaying a broader range of masonry than I had [p. 78] ever before seen. So many years had passed since I was last in Europe, that I gazed in wonder at its vastness.
From St. Germain we plunged into the valley, and took our way towards Paris, by a broad paved avenue, that was bordered with trees. »

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Note de publication

James Fenimore Cooper, Recollections of Europe, Paris, Baudry’s European Library, 1837, t. I, p. 77-78. http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k102938k/f84.image

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