A Little Tour of France by Henry James 1900 (4)
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The Loire gives a great “style” to a landscape of which the are not, as the phrase is, prominent, and the eye to distances even more than the green horizons of Touraine. It is a very fitful stream, and is sometimes observed to run thin and expose all the crudities of its channel—a great defect in a river which is so much depended upon to give an air to the places it waters. But I speak of it as I it last; full, tranquil, powerful, bending in large slow curves and back half the light of the sky. Nothing can be finer than the view of its course which you get from the battlements and terraces of Amboise. As I looked down on it from that one lovely Sunday morning, through a mild glitter of autumn sunshine, it seemed the very model of a generous, beneficent stream. The most part of Tours is naturally the shaded quay that overlooks it, and looks across too at the faubourg of Saint Symphorien and at the terraced heights which rise above this. Indeed, throughout Touraine it is half the charm of the Loire that you can travel beside it. The great dyke which protects it, or protects the country from it, from Blois to Angers, is an admirable road; and on the other side as well the highway keeps it company. A wide river, as you follow a wide road, is excellent company; it brightens and the way.