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below—are some wide modern boulevards, planted with trees, which would doubtless be welcomed by such as make Paris their ideal of all things French. The Cathedral apart, Rodez is distinguished chiefly by its fine situation. Occupying an extensive flat on the top of a considerable but easily accessible hill, it gets into the trough of every wind, and is thus draughty enough to meet the exigencies of the most unrelenting of our sanitary reformers. At the base of the hill, on its northern side, flows the Aveyron, with a stream of moderate breadth ; while beyond rise the highlands of Marcillac, of Espalion on the Upper Lot, and of Conques, with those of Auvergne looming, on a bright day, in the far distance. After surveying the prospect from more than one point, the visitor to Rodez would do well to follow the author of these lines in traversing the windy boulevards; and then, descending, by a pleasant walk through field and vineyard, to the shores of the Aveyron, cross that river over an antiquated stone bridge of several arches. Abruptly he will find himself in the main street of a thriving suburban village called Le Monastère, whose buildings, all of them on the farther or northern bank, crowd down effectively to the water's edge. The name of this suburban village suggests its having grown up round about some abbatial House of former days.
The word 'Rodez' (in mediæval Latinity, Ruthenæ), no less than the appellation Rouergue, is doubtless of like origin with the Ruteni, to whom Cæsar assigns the mountainous region on either side of the Aveyron, touching, on the north, the southernmost border of the Arverni or men of Auvergne. These Ruteni would appear to be of cognate race with the Ruthenians of to-day, scattered over Galicia and Russian Poland, North Hungary and the Bukovina, who again are ethnologically allied to the Russians—themselves the progeny of Tartar wanderers out of the Orient. Thus, as usual, we find migration setting in from east to west, till some tribes of Ruthenians had found a home in the heart of Gaul, leaving their name and race imprinted on the nomenclature of the country, and even, as some opine, in the features and characteristics of its actual population. These strange migrations of nations, Professor Curtius of Leipsic tells us, are authentically recorded so late as the earlier part of the Middle Ages. We see, he says, how at certain periods, sometimes in consequence of slight causes, great masses of people were seized with the desire of wandering; and how men, women, children and cattle, together with their most indispensable possessions, passed through immense tracts of land, now and then resting on the way, in order presently to start afresh ; and at length, amid oppression, want and contest, founding a new home, often remotely distant from former kindred tribes.
The modern substitution of the Departmental name Aveyron for this highland district is thus a notable instance of the loss to history and ethnology entailed by blotting out (so far as can be done by official acts) the old landmarks involved in such speaking names as Normandy, Languedoc, Provence, and the like. For in the word 'Rouergue,' apart from the associations of centuries, we have a record of the fact, interesting both from a historical and ethnological point of view, that the men of Rouergue are a race of Ruthenian parentage; while the new-fangled official name Aveyron merely suggests a natural feature of the country—a considerable river—whose existence is sufficiently patent to need no record. It may be added, that a close comparison of maps is required to realize in how many cases the new departments of France are conterminous in all respects with the older provinces. The department of the Dordogne, for instance, is bounded by the same limits as those pertaining to Périgord. The department of the Lot is conterminous with Quercy: the Aveyron with Rouergue. So thorough, indeed, is the identity between the two latter that a slip of land on the Auvergne side of the Lot, formerly included,
somewhat eccentrically, in Rouergue, is (apparently for no other reason) still comprised in the department of Aveyron, although it might have been convenient, one would have thought, to do away with what looks like a geographical anomaly.
Not many English tourists see more of Périgord than in passing across it on their way south. Yet it is a province replete with points of interest. These are of a less salient character doubtless than those presented by Switzerland or Italy, the Alps or the Pyrenees. Its plains are not traversed by streams so majestic as the Loire in its passage through Touraine, the Lower Seine in Normandy, or the Rhône when rushing headlong past the shores of Dauphiny or splashing the crenelated parapets of Avignon. Neither does Périgord make any great mark in history or by monuments famous in the world of archæology. But it has charms of its own, sufficient annually to lead many a French artist and amateur, and more rarely a stray Englishman, to fill their albums with choice landscapes drawn from the valleys of the Dordogne,