Ann Walker’s Entry
Anne Lister’s Entry
rose soon after 4 oclock off & at Clermont soon after 7 oclock – recommended at Lyons to Hotel de l’Europe here, dearest found it so poor a place & rooms so small, that we came to L’Ecu de France, got comfortable room, but found it so hot from being under the kitchen that we changed for one rather smaller, but much nicer in point of comfort. At 12 went in little carriage to faubourg St. Alyre – St. Alyre a small rivulet which flows thro’ kitchen gardens & deposits at the bottom of its bed the calcareous matter held in solution. This bed has been gradually raised by deposits till now on a level with the spring: the waters strictly speaking do not petrify, but deposits a succulent matter which forms itself into incrustations & in a short space of time covers whatever it comes into contact with: we saw placed in some huts for incrustation, fruit, baskets, birds & many other substances. the water is perpetually dropping upon them – in one instance the petrefaction [petrifaction] was allowed to proceed, & the result was a wall 240 feet in length – at one extremity merely rises above the ground, at the other it is 16 feet in elevation. & its breadth gradually increases till it becomes 12 feet
hig broad. went upon this wall, & the famous stalactite bridge improperly called, Le pont de Pierre, It was formed by the incrustating rivulet, which at bottom of the garden falls into the Tiretaine, it necessarily produced incrustations at its mouth, this bed increasing by successive deposits formed at last an arch on one side, but ever increasing, at last reached other bank, & the arch was completed – In the Garden was a cow incrustrated [incrustated] natural beast, I conclude one that had died, & a man (a figure of wax) incrustrated [incrustated] with one arm on cow, & a milk pail in the other – both very well done & very natural – Several specimens of incrustations in a small room, none very good but a hedgehog. From St. Alyre went to Puy de la Poix, a low rock that derives its name from a spring of petroleum, or petrified mineral Tar (Petr stone olium oil,). Petroleum issues from a small long cavity like a ditch, & bubbles up like hot water, in other places it issues from the rock – the appearance is exactly same as tar, & rock looks as if some one had thrown tar over it – no person can drink the water, without nausea succeeding, but it is singular that Pigeons drink it with avidity generally early in the morning before the sun has had time to melt the pitch, & always from the brink, lest they should be caught as with bird lime – our guide told us that a party who went last year saw a little sparrow caught, & that could not get away – Went to Cathedral, which was built by the English in 12th Century & tho’ unfinished is considered one of finest structures in France – nave & choir said to be very fine but perhaps they are a little indebted to the beautifully painted glass – Saw small public Library belonging to college & collection of Minerals, in Library bust of Pascal, author of Lettres Provinceales [Provinciales], born in Clermont & portrait of Masillon [Massillon], founder of college Library – person who shewed Library very stupid – & ignorant – looks into Botanical garden of convent of La Charité. Clermont has 4 places. Place du Taureau, Place Jaude, Place de la Poterne, & Place Champeix in 1st stands, handsome obelisk fountain in form of obelisk dedicated to the memory of General Dessaix [Desaix]. born in the environs, a terrace from where may be seen Mont Rognon, & plateau de Gergovia Mont Rognon, is crowned with ruins of a Gothic Castle, Plateau de Gergovia presents a vast Celtic fortress – Clermont was the birth place of Domat a renowned lawyer, Girard, author of French Synonimes [Synonyms] – academecians [academicians] Thomas, & Chamfort & brave Chevalier d’Assas.
Place [word crossed out] Champeix remarkable for magnificent fountain built 1515 by Jacques Amboise bishop of Clermont 25 feet high & is perhaps most splendid existing specimen of florid architecture of that period. Place Jaude [Place de Jaude] remarkable for its extent, serves as a market place – Clermont crooked ill built streets a few fragments of ancient splendour still remain – returned to dinner at 5 – afterwards went in evening to Royat, a village romantically situated between two enormous crags – a grotto near river, chief object of curiosity 5 springs of water issue from it – above is a mass of lava 40 feet high, cleft & cracked in a most whimsical manner – fine trees growing out of it, & on the summit stands Royat Church – below at a little distance stand some baths, which people say were built by Romans, & what Caesar used, appearance does not incline one to believe either part of this story – as soon as returned to Inn went to bed & dearest fixed to go to Puy de Dôme –
Courtesy of West Yorkshire Archive Service, Calderdale WYC:1525/7/1/5/1/28 & WYC:1525/7/1/5/1/29
[up at] 4 1/2
[to bed at] 10 5/..
no kiss could not sleep much so bit – I had killed a bug on my night things just before getting into bed last night – said not a word of this – Adney so bit, awoke before I got into bed – I saw she would not sleep, so rubbed her all over with brandy – lucky thought, and she slept very well afterwards – had better have done the same to myself but did not like the smell and feel of it, – so was worse off – very much bit all the night long – fine morning Fahrenheit 72° at 5 1/4 – Off from La poste at Pont du Chateau at 6 5/.. – Pont du Chateau a largeish town – nice drive to Clermont – very populous thereabouts and in La Limagne – white houses dotted all over among the vineyards – Clermont a handsome looking town in the distance – Mont Ferrand with its good church about 1/2 mile off – saw it 1st, and for a moment, took it for Clermont – at 7 25/.. drove up to the hotel de l’Europe at Clermont, as recommended à l’hotel de l’Europe at Lyons – dirty poor place – sad mistake for us to have been recommended there – the fair begins tomorrow so everything dear – drove off to the Ecu de France – 1/2 hour before getting all settled – large double bedded room for which to pay 11/. per day – dinner 8/. breakfast 3/. servants 8/. tout compris = 30/. per day – breakfast at 8 1/2 in an hour – asleep – undressed and put on clean linen – Fahrenheit 75° at 11 50/.. – never felt the heat so much – Adney overcome – found that we were over the kitchen – the hostess very civil – changed immediately into a smaller but cooler room – had a sort of 1 horse stool-waggon (2 seats or benches and siège de cocher) took the 2 servants and all out at 1 20/.. – Petrifying well in the garden of the old convent of Saint Alyre – little things petrified in a month or 40 days – a dog in 5 or 6 months – ‘le parc’ a droll idea, but good, a little round space containing a petrified cow, man with a pail standing against her, a goat and a dog – the man (of wax – a mannequin) took about 3/4 year the goat 9 or 10 months same as the man, and the cow (real cow) 2 1/2 years – Le pont natural like a wall of rock in one part not more than 2 feet wide at the top, and over which we walked, a 240 pieds de longueur – hollow at the bottom and the water sort par là into the little fresh water brook that carries it off – it is forming another pont higher up – qui se prolonge par 3 pouces par an, in spite of the water taken off for 20 baths, très frequentés – a cabinet of petrifactions – a small requin (shark) 100/. – several bunches of holly which looked pretty small birds etc. etc. but bought nothing of this kind – bought only 3 brochures, by Monsieur Lecoq, savant and pharmacien at Clermont, sort of guide books to the Puy du Dome Mont Dore etc. 3/4 hour there – then 10 minutes at the cathedral till 2 1/2 – unfinished – only 4 arches of nave – not more than 1/2 the nave done – but fine lofty building – beautiful proportions, and very beautiful painted glass windows all round the apsis and in the nave, and fine marigold windows one at each end of the transept – very fine church – pity the English did not complete their work – then to the Puy de la Poix, a low mountain about 2 or 3 miles off on the Pont du Chateau road a little distance from the road (left as we went) – there in 40 minutes at 3 10/.. for 20 minutes – the pitch oozes perpetually tho’ in small quantity from 3 or 4 little places in the rock – the most considerable oozing is into a little hollow like and about as big as a large English wash-hand basin – then one sees the sulphureted hydrogen gaz raise up the pitch in little bubbles, – and there, they say, the pigeons like to drink – we walked all over the rock, and, tho’ the sun was broiling, found no danger of leaving our shoes stuck fast – In returning passed the botanic garden – shut – could not get in today – the fair, and too great a crowd about – the garden small and did not excite in us great regret at not entering – it is close to the public library and cabinet d’histoire naturelle – there at 4 20/.. for 1/2 hour – the librarian not there the man who shewed us round not allowed to let us look into a book – nothing particular in the library or 1 room of minerals – good handsome building – home at 5 10/.. – dinner at 5 1/2 – took the servants again and off at 6 55/.. for Royat – drove there in 35 minutes – 3/4 hour seeing the sights – church and underchurch where is the virgin that used to do miracles – the basalt grotte with its 7 springs all conveyed to Clermont – the grenier de Cæsar, and brought away some of the old mineralized wheat – the baths also called de Cæsar warm sulphuric water tolerably strong – examined also some old remains of walling the women guides called Roman, but of about the 3rd century, and not at all Roman – very pretty situation – very pretty valley but so wooded one could see nothing – too late into the bargain – home at 8 3/4 – set to go to the top of the Puy de dome /Puy de Dôme/ and to the silver mines tomorrow very fine day – very hot. Fahrenheit 73° at 9 20/.. p.m. –
Courtesy of West Yorkshire Archive Service, Calderdale SH:7/ML/E/17/0075
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