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We good Americans - I say it without presumption - are too apt to think that France is Paris, just as we are accused of being too apt to think that Paris is the celestial city. This is by no means the case, fortunately for those persons who take an interest in modern Gaul, and yet are still left vaguely unsatisfied by that epitome of civilization which stretches from the Arc de Triomphe to the Gymnase theatre. It had already been intimated to the author of these light pages that there are many good things in the doux pays de France of which you get no hint in a walk between those ornaments of the capital; but the truth had been revealed only in quick-flashing glimpses, and he was conscious of a desire to look it well in the face. To this end he started, one rainy morning in mid-September, for the charming little city of Tours, from which point it seemed possible to make a variety of fruitful excursions. His excursions resolved themselves ultimately into a journey through several provinces, - a journey which had its dull moments (as one may defy any journey not to have), but which enabled him to feel that his proposition was demonstrated. France may be Paris, but Paris is not France; that was perfectly evident on the return to the capital. I must not speak, however, as if I had discovered the provinces. They were discovered, or at least revealed by Balzac, if by any one, and are now easily accessible to visitors. It is true, I met no visitors, or only one or two, whom it was pleasant to meet. Throughout my little tour I was almost the only tourist. That is perhaps one reason why it was so successful.
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