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Grains Of Truth
by [?]

Louis XVIII also put up at the Palace in St. Cloud several summers. He spelled it “palais,” which shows that he had very poor early English advantages, or that he was, as I have always suspected, a native of Quebec. Charles X also changed the bedding somewhat, and moved in during his reign. He also added a new iron sink and a place in the barn for washing buggies. Louis Philippe spent his summers here for a number of years, and wrote weekly letters to the Paris papers, signed “Uno,” in which he urged the taxpayers to show more veneration for their royal nibs. Napoleon III occupied the palais in summer during his lifetime, availing himself finally of the use of Mr. Bright’s justly celebrated disease and dying at the dawn of better institutions for beautiful but unhappy France.

I visited the palais (pronounced pallay), which was burned by the Prussians in 1870. The grounds occupy 960 acres, which I offered to buy and fit up, but probably I did not deal with responsible parties. This part of France reminds me very much of North Carolina. I mean, of course, the natural features. Man has done more for France, it seems to me, than for the Tar Heel State, and the cities of Asheville and Paris are widely different. The police of Paris rarely get together in front of the court-house to pitch horseshoes or dwell on the outlook for the goober crop.

And yet the same blue, ozonic sky, if I may be allowed to coin a word, the same soft, restful, dolce frumenti air of gentle, genial health, and of cark destroying, magnetic balm to the congested soul, the inflamed nerve and the festering brain, are present in Asheville that one finds in the quiet drives of San Cloo with the successful squirt of the mighty fountains of Vairsi and the dark and whispering forests of Fon-taine- bloo.

The palais at San Cloo presents a rather dejected appearance since it was burned, and the scorched walls are bare, save where here and there a warped and wilted water pipe festoons the blackened and blistered wreck of what was once so grand and so gay.

San Cloo has a normal school for the training of male teachers only. I visited it, but for some cause I did not make a hit in my address to the pupils until I began to speak in their own national tongue. Then the closest attention was paid to what I said, and the keenest delight was manifest on every radiant face. The president, who spoke some English, shook hands with me as we parted, and I asked him how the students took my remarks. He said: “They shall all the time keep the thinkness–what you shall call the recollect–of monsieur’s speech in preserves, so that they shall forget it not continualle. We shall all the time say we have not witness something like it since the time we come here, and have not so much enjoy ourselves since the grand assassination by the guillotine. Come next winter and be with us for one week. Some of us will remain in the hall each time.”

At San Cloo I hired of a quiet young fellow about thirty-five years of age, who kept a very neat livery stable there, a sort of victoria and a big Percheron horse, with fetlock whiskers that reminded me of the Sutherland sisters. As I was in no hurry I sat on an iron settee in the cool court of the livery stable, and with my arm resting on the shoulder of the proprietor I spoke of the crops and asked if generally people about there regarded the farmer movement as in any way threatening to the other two great parties. He did not seem to know, and so I watched the coachman who was to drive me, as he changed his clothes in order to give me my money’s worth in grandeur.