“Lille” [essay]
Passeport, Monsieur, sʼil vous plait—. I hate
fortified towns, in general, that is.— Their
houses, are like barracks, their public buildings,
like prisons, their population, like so many rats
in a rat trap, they are arduous to get in, b dif‐
ficult to get out, and disagreeable to remain in.
To all this however, Lille is an exception, except in
one circumstance, its difficulty of access.— We were
detained after a long days journey, under a bur c
ning sun, hot, hungry, and stupid, while our
passport was examined. Slowly the sentinel
unfolded the paper, spelled over its contents with
tiresome coolness, and provoking minuteness
slowly returned it, and then came— Passez. 1
And pass we did, right gladly.— Lille is a

beautiful, a most beautiful town,— I have seen
none equal to it, for grandeur of effect, for the
massive magnificence, of its edifices, for the pal‐
ace like nobility of its streets, except Genoa.— The
day also on which we entered it was almost
Italian, the sky was of such a deep and unbro‐
ken blue, and a stream of rich, glowing, tawny
light shot upon the full fretwork, & elaborate
carving, of the upper parts of the houses — but
their bases, owing to the narrowness of the streets
and the enormous height of the opposing build‐
ings, were wrapt in shade, deep, gloomily deep
when contrasted with the flood of sunshine, that
glanced on the gable roofs, and almost gave to
life e the many statues of the virgin, that stood
beneath their Gothic niches, really very respec‐
tably sculptured, at every angle of the streets. 2