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as the fact that a straight line is not the shortest distance between
two points on land. Trains and ships must pass by way of great centers
of population.

A naval cemetery is the memorial of Villefranche's naval past in the
last brilliant decade of the Second Empire and the early years of the
Third Republic. A little American corner, which our Paris Memorial Day
Committee never forgets, bears witness to the period when the American
flag was known everywhere in the Mediterranean. We used to have the
lion's share of the carrying trade, and Villefranche was a frequent
port of call for American warships. Now we have rarely even single
warships or freighters in the Mediterranean. The only American
passenger line that serves Mediterranean ports is the old Turkish Hadji
Daoud Line of five small and dirty Levantine ships, which ply along the
coast of Asia Minor and in and out of the Greek islands, camouflaged
under our flag.

The old town of Villefranche is on the western side of the harbor
between the Petite Corniche and the water. Like all Riviera towns on a
main road it has grown rapidly and medieval streets and buildings have
almost disappeared, giving way to the banal architecture of the end of
the nineteenth century. The garish brick villas of the head of the
gulf are excrescences in their lovely garden setting. But after one
has reached the eastern side of the harbor and gone through Font Saint
Jean, the tramway road, with its noise and dust and variegated
bourgeois fantasies, can be abandoned.

[Illustration: Medieval streets and buildings have almost disappeared.]

If we except Cap Martin, no Riviera walks are lovelier than those of
Cap Ferrat. On the Villefranche side, until you have passed through
Saint Jean, the alternative to the tramway road is an inhospitable
though tantalizing lane. For large estates, shut off by walls and
hedges, are between you and the harbor. Unless you are lucky enough to
know one of the owners, you will not see the harbor of Villefranche
from the best of the lower vantage points. This side of Villefranche
is so sheltered that one resident, an American, has been able to
transform his garden into a bit of old Japan where the cherry trees
blossom in Nippon profusion and colors.

It is best to pass across the cape, not turning in at the tramway
bifurcation, until you reach the Promenade Maurice-Rouvier, which
skirts the Anse des Fourmis along the sea from Beaulieu to Saint Jean.
After you have reached Saint Jean the peninsula is before you. A maze
of superb roads tempt you, circling the fort several hundred feet above
sea level, crossing the peninsula on the slopes of the fort, and
following the sea. Returning to Saint Jean, there is still another
walk directly ahead of you to the east. The Cap du Saint Hospice is
pine-clad, with a sixteenth-century tower at its end.

The Artist and I made a mistake of twelve hours in our visit to Saint
Hospice. We should have come in the morning for the sunrise. To
remedy the error we decided to spend the night at the Hôtel du Pare
Saint Jean. But the sun got up long before we did.

"Our usual luck," said the Artist with a grin that had nothing of
regret in it.




CHAPTER IX

NICE

Unless the traveler has some special reason for starting at another
point, he first becomes acquainted with the Riviera at Nice, and
radiates from Nice in his exploration of the coast and hinterland. The
Artist confessed to me that in student days the Riviera meant Nice to
him, with the inevitable visit to lay a gold piece on the table at
Monte Carlo. And it was Nice of the Carnival and Mardi-Gras. I in
turn made a similar avowal. We knew well the Promenade des Anglais,
the Casino and the Jardin Public opposite, the Place Masséna beyond the
garden, where you take a tram or a _char à banc_ to almost anywhere,
and the Avenue de la Gare. The Artist had the advantage of me in his
intimate sketching knowledge of the old Italian city back from the Quai
du Midi, while I knew better than he the Avenue de la Gare. How many
times have I pushed a baby carriage up and down that street while my
wife shopped!

Nice was to us a resort, cosmopolitan like other famous playgrounds of
the world, and where one strictly on pleasure bent had the same kind of
a time he would have at Aix-les-Bains or Deauville, Wiesbaden or
Ostend, Brighton or Atlantic City. You strolled among crowds, you
bought things you did not want, you could not get away from music, you
danced and went to the theater or opera, and you spent much too much of
your time in hotels and restaurants. If you went on excursions, you
enjoyed them, of course. But you always hurried back to Nice in order
not to miss doing something of exactly the same kind that you could
have done any day in the place you came from.

You have to give Nice time, and get out of your rut, before you awaken
to its unique characteristics. Then, if you detach yourself from the
amusement-seekers, the time-killers, the apathetic, the bored, the
_blasé_ and the conscientious tourists, you begin to realize that the
metropolis of the Riviera (including its suburbs and Monte Carlo) is a
world in itself - an inexhaustible reservoir for exploration and
reflection. Because it is the only place in Europe where Americans
(North and South) can honestly say that they feel at home, because it
was made for and by everybody and caters to everybody, Nice stands the
test of cosmopolitanism. Every great capital and every seaport at the
cross-roads of world trade is cosmopolitan, but in a narrower sense
than Nice. Capitals and seaports have the general character, in the
last analysis the atmosphere, of the country they administer and serve.
None has the _sans patrie_ stamp of Nice. If Edward Everett Hale had
allowed his hero to go to Nice, the man without a country would not
have felt alone in the world.

I was on the Suez Canal when the Germans heralded the Verdun offensive.
I hurried back to France, and spent a couple of days with my wife at
Nice before going on to the front. They were, perhaps, the most
critical days of the war, when one watched the _communiqué_ with the
same intensity as one tried to read hope into serious bulletins from a
loved one's bedside. After leaving Nice, I discovered that the pall of
death did hang over France. But in Nice there seemed to be no mass
instinct of national danger, no sickening anxiety. On the Avenue de la
Gare I noticed hundreds pass by the newspaper bulletins without
displaying enough interest to stop and read.

Two years later, at another critical moment when the Germans were once
more closing in on Paris and bombarding the city with the long-distance
cannon, I spoke at the Eldorado. The meeting, organized by the Préfet
and Maire, drew a large and sympathetic audience. Among residents and
visitors are to be found thousands of intense patriots. But when I
left the theater and walked back to my hotel, I realized that Nice in
1918 was like Nice in 1916. The population as a whole, inhabitants and
guests, had no French national consciousness. When I delivered the
same message in the municipal casino of Grasse the next day, I knew
that I was again in France. Frenchmen themselves attribute the lack of
war spirit in Nice to the general indifference and lesser patriotism of
the Midi! But this is because Nice means the Midi to most of them.
They are unfair to the Midi. In no way does Nice represent the Midi of
France except that it basks in the same sun.

The common explanation of the failure of France to assimilate Nice is
that only sixty years have passed since the annexation and that a large
portion of the Niçois are Italian in blood and culture and instincts.
There may be some truth in all this. But two generations is a long
time, and France has proved her ability to make six decades count in
attaching to herself and stamping in her image other border
populations. Two factors have worked against the assimilation of Nice:
the maintenance of the independence of Monaco, with privileges and no
responsibilities for its inhabitants; and the enormous number of
foreign residents, who have lost their attachment to their own
countries and who do not care to give or are incapable of giving
allegiance to the country in which they live. Add to these
demoralizing influences, at work throughout the sixty years, the flood
of tourists and temporary residents of all nations; and is it to be
wondered at that the Niçois, native and alien, have so little in common
with France?

When you stroll along the Promenade des Anglais, with its hotels and
palm-surrounded villas, the Mediterranean coast line extending
alluringly from the distant lighthouse of Antibes in the west to the
Château, set in green, in the foreground to the east, you feel that you
are in one of the fairy spots of the earth. The sea, the city climbing
up the hill to Cimiez, the white-capped mountains beyond, and on the
handsome promenade the best-gowned of Europe, all in the brilliant
sunshine of a soft spring day - what could be more charming? And then,
suddenly, your unwilling nostrils breathe in a strong whiff of sewage.
Have you been mistaken? Surely you are dreaming. The Casino dances on
the water. A bevy of girls come out of the Hôtel Ruhl to join the
Lenten noon-day throng. Nothing disagreeable like sewage - but there it
is again! Whew! Where can that sewer empty? Fault of French
engineering, an American would say.

But the sea has brought me that smell on the boardwalk in front of the
Traymore at Atlantic City. It is difficult to get ahead of nature, and
the undertow does bring back what you thought you were rid of.

Figuratively speaking, the surprise on the Promenade des Anglais meets
you every day in your study of Nice. The city charms: and it repels.
You have been drinking in its beauty and its fascination. Suddenly
something sordid, ugly, disgusting, breaks the spell. On the Promenade
des Anglais sewage greets the eye as well as the nose. Not vicious
women and poor little dolls alone, but cruel and weak faces, shifty and
vapid faces, self-centered and morose faces, leech faces, pig faces, of
well-tailored men - you watch them pass, you remember what you have seen
at the tables, in near-by Monte Carlo, and the utter depravity of your
race frightens you. Except clothes and jewels and the ability to get a
check cashed, what is the difference between these people and the
sailors from a hundred ships, making merry with their girls in the
narrow streets back from the Vieux Port of Marseilles?

The law of compensation often comforts and cheers. But as often it is
remorseless. Broken health and empty purses, desperation, mute
suffering and madness, we saw at Monte Carlo. Where the world flocks
for pleasure, agony of soul reveals itself more readily than elsewhere
because of its incongruity. Nice is full of tragedy, and none takes
the pains to conceal it as at Monte Carlo. The casual visitor creates
his own atmosphere in Nice, and he goes away with the most pleasant
memory, having found what he sought. But you cannot stroll day after
day on the Promenade without marking many that do not smile. You watch
them and you see unhappiness, unrest, despair, and resignation. It you
become acquainted with the life and gossip of the various colonies, you
will not need a Victor Marguerite to reveal to you the inner life of
the world's "playground." More frequently than not it is a case of on
with the dance. What a price people do pay to play!

Just one illustration. The Russians used to be an important factor in
the social life of Nice. They had money and they could give an
American points on spending. Attracted by the sun, many made their
homes in Nice. They lived like the lilies of the field. They could
count on a sure thing. The moujiks of great estates toiled for them,
and from the days of their great-great-grandfathers the revenues had
never ceased. During the first years of the World War, the Russians
were in high favor at Nice. They were the powerful allies of France,
brothers-in-arms, who fought for the common cause. Then came the
Revolution. Cosmopolitan Nice would have forgiven the defection of
Russia. But when the revenues from Petrograd and Moscow banks no
longer came in, that was another matter! Where the pursuit of pleasure
is king, there is no pity for the moneyless courtier, whatever the
cause of his change of fortune. The Russians sold their jewels and
their fur coats, the rugs and furniture of their villas, and then the
villas themselves. Perhaps they were "accommodated" a little bit at
first. But they were soon left to their own resources.

Before the end of the war, the center of the Russian colony was a soup
kitchen on a side street, presided over by princesses and served by
beautiful million-heiresses of the old régime. Good stuff in those
girls, too, who smiled as gayly as of old and talked to me eagerly
about becoming governesses or stenographers. And real _noblesse_ in
the old men who climbed up the narrow stairs with their pails, coming
to fetch their one meal of the day. In one of them I recognized a
former ambassador to France. The last time I had seen him he was on
horseback between Czar Nicholas and President Loubet crossing the Point
Alexandre III on the opening day of the Paris Exposition of 1900.

Enough of shadows! None ever went to Nice in search of them, and
comparatively few stay long enough to find them. They are in the
picture, and there would be no true picture without them. But they
ought to stay in the background. They do stay there. You smell the
sewage rarely. The all-pervading sunshine is a tonic. Speculating
about why others came here and what they are doing with their lives may
hold you through the rainy season. The Carnival puts you in a more
material frame of mind. Unless Lent is early, the sun begins to warm
the cockles of your heart on Mardi-Gras, and by May it will almost
blind you on the water-front. One is not in the mood to let the
misfortunes and unhappiness and evil of others cloud his joy. After
all, of the quarter million pleasure-seekers who come to Nice each
year, the greater part are in as good moral health as yourself, and
very few of them have any more reason than you to be "in the dumps."

Unless one becomes engrossed in the study of cosmopolitan human nature
to the point of being sunshine-proof, one soon tires of the foreign
residential and hotel and shopping quarters of the city. They lack
"subjects," as the Artist would put it. But at the eastern end of
Nice, the Old Town, home of Garibaldi and many another Red Shirt, takes
you far from the psychology of cosmopolitanism and the philosophy of
hedonism. This is the direction of Grande Corniche, of villa-studded
winding and mounting roads, of the best views (if we except Cimiez) of
city and sea.

[Illustration: "The Old Town takes you far from the psychology of
cosmopolitanism and the philosophy of hedonism."]

A mountain stream of varying volume, but always a river before the end
of Lent, separates the _ville des étrangers_ from the _vieille ville_.
The Paillon, as it is called, disappears at the Square Masséna, and
finds its way to sea through an underground channel. From the center
of the city you cross the Paillon by the Pont Garibaldi or the Pont
Vieux. Or you can enter the Old Town from the Place Masséna and the
Rue Saint-François de Paule, which leads into the Cours Saleya. Here
is the most wonderful flower market in the world, with vegetables and
fruit and fowls encroaching upon the Place de la Préfecture. Behind
the Préfecture you can lose yourself in a labyrinth of narrow streets
that indicate the Italian origin of Nice. If you bear always to the
right, however, you either make a circle or come out at the foot of the
Château.

East of the Jardin Public, the Promenade des Anglais becomes the Quai
du Midi, renamed Quai des Etats-Unis in the short-lived burst of
enthusiasm of 1918. At least, the aldermen of Nice were more cautious
than those of most French cities, and did not call it Quai du
Président-Wilson _nel dolce tempo de la prima etade_! Following the
quay and keeping the Old Town on the left, you come to the castle hill,
still called the Château, although the great fortress of the Savoyards
was destroyed by the Duke of Berwick in the siege of 1706. The hill is
now a park, surmounted by a terrace, and is well worth the climb to
look down upon the city and the Baie des Anges, especially at sunset.
At the end of the Quai du Midi (excuse my diffidence, the Quai des
Etats-Unis) stands the low Tour Bellanda, the only tower remaining of
the old fortifications. The Château is a promontory, and when you take
the road which skirts it, be sure to hold tight to your hat. The
Niçois call the windy corner Rauba Capéu (Hat Robber).

Now you are in still another Nice, the Port, protected by a long jetty,
on which is perched a lighthouse. The Niçois, traditionally seafaring
folk, are proud of their little port, with its clean-cut solid stone
quays. Steam-born transportation on land and sea, demanding facilities
undreamed of in the good old days and tending to concentration of trade
at Marseilles and Genoa, has prevented the maritime development of
Nice. But there is local coast traffic and competition with Cannes and
Monte Carlo for yachts. Fishing and pleasure sailing add to the volume
of tonnage. And the Niçois do not let you forget that their city is
the port for Corsica.

Beyond the harbor, the Boulevard de l'Impératrice de Russie leads to
Villefranche. Another name to change! In the midst of what is most
beautiful we cannot get away from tragedies, from reminders of blasted
hopes.




CHAPTER X

ANTIBES

Between Menton and Monte Carlo the coast is broken by Cap Martin,
between Monte Carlo and Nice by Cap Ferrat, between Nice and Cannes by
Cap d'Antibes. The capes are larger and longer as we go west, just as
the distances between more important towns grow longer. Although it
does not seem so to the tourist, it is much farther from Nice to Cannes
than from Nice to Menton. The eastern end of the Riviera is so crowded
with things to see, and town follows town in such rapid succession,
that you think you have gone a long way from Nice to the Italian
frontier. And except for skipping the two larger promontories, railway
and tramway alike follow right along the coast. From Nice to Cannes,
the tramway is inland from the railway. So is the automobile road.
You fly along at a rapid rate, with only rare glimpses of the sea, and
pass through few villages until you reach Antibes.

From Nice, from Saint-Paul-du-Var, and from Cagnes you cannot see the
Riviera coast beyond Antibes. The Cape, with its lighthouse and fort,
is your horizon. This corresponds with history as well as with
geography: for the Cap d'Antibes was the old Franco-Italian frontier.
It is still in a very real sense a boundary line. The word Riviera,
which has kept its Italian form, was applied historically to the coast
lands of the Gulf of Genoa. From Antibes to Genoa we had the Riviera
di Ponente, and from Genoa to Spezia the Riviera di Levante. Only
after Napoleon III exacted the district of Nice as part payment for
French intervention in the Italian war of liberation was the term
"French Riviera" gradually extended to include the coast far west of
Antibes.

What was added to France under Napoleon III has lost its purely Italian
character. But it has not gained the stamp of France. From Antibes to
Menton, the Riviera is more remarkably and undeniably international
than any other bit of the world I have ever seen. Some of the old
towns back from the coast are becoming French in the new generation.
But along the coast you are not in France until you reach Antibes. You
may have thought that you were in France at Menton and Beaulieu and
Nice. But the contrast of Antibes and Grasse, which are French to the
core, makes you realize that sixty years is not sufficient to destroy
the traditions and instincts of centuries.

At Antibes and along the closely built up coast and between Antibes and
Cannes, the international atmosphere is by no means lost. It requires
the contrast of Cannes with Saint-Raphaël to show the difference
between a cosmopolitan and a genuine French watering place. But the
French atmosphere begins to impress one at Antibes. A knowledge of
history is not needed to indicate that here was the old frontier.

Since the days of the Greeks Antibes has been a frontier fortress.
Ruins of fortifications of succeeding centuries show that the town has
always been on the same site, on the coast east of the Cape, looking
towards Nice. Antipolis was a frontier fortress, built by the Phoceans
of Marseilles to protect them from the aggressive Ligurians of Genoa.
Nice was an outpost, whose name commemorates a Greek victory over the
Ligurians. At the mouth of the Var, from antiquity to modern times,
races and religions, building against each other political systems for
the control of Mediterranean commerce, have met in the final throes of
conflicts the issue of which had been decided elsewhere - and often long
before the fighting died out here. Phoenicians and Greeks,
Carthaginians and Romans, Greeks and Romans, Romans and Gauls, Gauls
and Teutonic tribes, Franks and Saracens, Spanish and French and
Italians met at the foot of the Maritime Alps. There was never a time
in history when governmental systems or political unities did not have
as a goal natural boundaries, and, once having reached the goal, did
not feel that security necessitated going farther. Invasions thus
provoked counter-invasions.

On sea it has been as on land. Something is acquired. Immediately
something more must be taken to safeguard the new acquisition.

All this comes to one with peculiar force at Antibes. You look at Nice
from your promontory, and your eye follows the coast from promontory to
promontory, and you can picture how the Phoceans, once established at
Antibes, were tempted to extend the protective system of Marseilles.
You have only to turn around and follow the coast beyond the Estérel to
understand how the Ligurians, if they had captured Antibes, would still
have felt unsafe. And then your eye sweeps the range of the white
Maritime Alps. Hannibal had to cross them to carry the war into Italy.
So did Napoleon. And Caesar, to save the Republic from a recurrence of
the menace of the Cimbri and Teutoni, brought his armies into Gaul.
The Saracens were once on this coast. When they were expelled from it,
the French went to Africa as the Romans before them had gone to Africa
after expelling the Carthaginians from Europe.

Of the medieval fortress, erected against the Saracens, two square
keeps remain. The strategic importance of Antibes during the heyday of
the Bourbon Empire is attested by the Vauban fortifications. The high
loopholed walls enclosing the harbor have not been maintained intact,
but the foundation, a pier over five hundred feet long, is still, after
two centuries and a half, the breakwater. The view towards Nice from
Vauban's Fort Carré or from the larger tower, around which the church
is built, affords the best panorama of the Maritime Alps on the
Riviera. Nowhere else on the Mediterranean coast, except from Beirut
to Alexandretta or on the Silician plain or in the Gulf of Saloniki, do
you have so provoking a contrast of nearby but unattainable snow with
sizzling heat. This may not be always true. The day of the aeroplane,
as a common and matter-of-fact means of locomotion, is coming.

Looking towards the Alps from the Fort Carré, the donjon of
Villeneuve-Loubet and the hill towns of Cagnes and Saint-Paul-du-Var,
where we had passed happy days, seem as near as Nice. Farther off on
the slope of Mont Férion we could distinguish Tourette and Levens side
by side with their castles, and in the foreground Vence. To the left
was Tourrettes. Back from the Valley of the Loup was exploration and
sketching ground for another season. But just a few kilometers ahead
of us, halfway to Villeneuve-Loubet, Biot tempted us. We had driven
through this town not mentioned by Baedeker, and had promised ourselves
a second visit to the old church of the Knights Templar. But life
consists of making choices, and one does not readily turn his back on
the Cap d'Antibes. In the town you are just at the beginning of the
peninsula whose conical form and unshutinness (is that a word: perhaps


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