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Chateau of Prince Polignac by Anthony Trollope
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by Anthony Trollope

Few Englishmen or Englishwomen are intimately acquainted with the
little town of Le Puy. It is the capital of the old province of Le
Velay, which also is now but little known, even to French ears, for
it is in these days called by the imperial name of the Department of
the Haute Loire. It is to the south-east of Auvergne, and is nearly
in the centre of the southern half of France.

But few towns, merely as towns, can be better worth visiting. In
the first place, the volcanic formation of the ground on which it
stands is not only singular in the extreme, so as to be interesting
to the geologist, but it is so picturesque as to be equally
gratifying to the general tourist. Within a narrow valley there
stand several rocks, rising up from the ground with absolute
abruptness. Round two of these the town clusters, and a third
stands but a mile distant, forming the centre of a faubourg, or
suburb. These rocks appear to be, and I believe are, the harder
particles of volcanic matter, which have not been carried away
through successive ages by the joint agency of water and air.

When the tide of lava ran down between the hills the surface left
was no doubt on a level with the heads of these rocks; but here and
there the deposit became harder than elsewhere, and these harder
points have remained, lifting up their steep heads in a line through
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