Shelley Sunday: Shelley & Mary’s ‘6 Weeks Tour’ Journal

“[A]bout a mile and half we found our voiturier at the door of a wretched inn having taken the mule from the voiture and obstinately determined to remain for the night at this miserable village of Mort. For the We could only submit for he was deaf to all we could urge and to our remonstrances only replied, Je ne puis pas.

Our beds were too filthy to allow a thought of sleeping in them. We could only procure one room, and our hostess gave us to understand that our voiturier was to occupy the same appartment. It was of little consequence as we had already determined previously resolved not to enter the beds. The evening was fine and after the rain the air was perfumed by many delicious scents. We climbed to a rocky seat on the hill that overlooked the village where we remained untill sunset. The night was passed by the kitchen fire in a wretched manner striving to catch a few moments of sleep which was denied to us. At three in the morning we pursued our journey.

Our road led to the summit of the hills that surround environ Besançon. From the top of one of these we saw the whole expanse of the valley filled with a white undulating mist which was pierced like islands by [the] piny mountains. The sun had just risen, and a ray of red light lay upon the waves of this fluctuating vapour. To the west opposite the sun, it seemed driven by the light against the rocks in immense masses of foaming cloud, untill it became lost in the distance mixing its tints with the fleecy sky.

Our voiturier insisted on remaining two hours at the village of Noè although we were unable to procure any dinner and wished to go on to the next stage. I have already said that the hills scared his senses and he had become disobliging, sullen and stupid. While he waited we walked to the neighbouring wood. It was a pine forest, carpeted beautifully with moss and in various places overhung by rocks in whose crevices young pines had taken root and spread their branches for shade to those bef below; the noon heat was intense and we were glad to shelter ourself ourselves from it in the shas shady rebr retreats of this lovely forest.

On our return to the village we found to our extreme surprise that the voiturier had departed more than nearly an hour before leaving word that he expected to meet us on the road. S***’s sprain rendered him incapable of much exertion, but there was no remedy and we proceeded on foot to Maison Neuve an aberge four miles and a half distant. When we …”

From Shelley’s Ghost

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