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Praeterita

 
     


Praeterita

Extract of chapter IX : Le Col de la Faucille

Whether we slept at Saint-Laurent or Morez, the morning of the next day was an eventful one. In ordinarily fine weather, the ascent from Morez to Les Rousses, walked most of the way, was mere enchantment ; so also breakfast, and fringed-gentian gathering at Les Rousses.

Then came usually an hour of tortured watching the increase of the noon clouds ; for, however early we had risen, it was impossible to reach the Col de la Faucille before two o’clock, or later if we had bad horses, and at two o’clock, if there are clouds above Jura, there will be assuredly clouds on the Alps.

It is worth notice, Saussure himself not having noticed it, that this main pass of Jura, unlike the great passes of the Alps, reaches its traverse-point very nearly under the highest summit of that part of the chain.
The col, separating the source of the Bienne, which runs down to Morez and Saint-Claude, from that of the Valserine, which winds through the midst of Jura to the Rhône at Bellegarde, is a spur of the Dôle itself, under whose prolonged masses the road is then carried six miles farther, ascending very slightly to the Col de la Faucille, where the chain opens suddenly, and a sweep of the road, traversed in five minutes at a trot, opens the whole lake of Geneva, and the chain of the Alps along a hundred miles of horizon.

I have never seen that view perfectly but once, in this year 1835, when I drew it carefully [...].

 

John Ruskin (1819-1900) art critic, social critic, author, poet and artist.

 

 

   

 

 

Mots Clefs : John Ruskin Morez.

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