For the benefit of pedestrians, and these will most enjoy the country I have described, I adjoin some itineraries, more detailed than I was enabled to make my own. Hardy travellers will be well satisfied, in most instances, with the wayside inns they will find, and one advantage of travelling in Franche-Comte - at least, up to the present time - is its inexpensiveness. The chief outlay is in carriage hire, and those who can endure the diligence, or, better still, can accomplish most of their journeys on foot, where the railway is not available, will not only see the country to the best advantage, but at a very trifling cost. The excursions, or rather group of excursions, here mentioned, are such as may be accomplished in a few days from the town given as a starting point.

I. Besancon to Alaise and the valley of Nans. Departure by way of the route de Beure. The river Loue is crossed at Cleron. From Amancey ascend the plateau above Coulans, where a view is obtained of theoppidum of Alaise (supposed by some authorities to be the Alesia of Julius Caesar). Descend to the mill of Chiprey, follow the right bank of the Lison to Nans. At Nans, visit the Grotte Sarrazine, the source of the Lison, and the Pont du Diable. Ascend the fortress of St. Agne for the sake of the panorama; ancient dwellings of the Gauls to be seen at Chatillon, also tombs at Foure, see also the Cascade of the Gour de Couche, the Col de la Langutine, descend by way of the Taudeur to the plain of Myon, bounding the western side of the Alesia, i.e., the Alesia of some authorities.

II. Luxeuil (Luxovium) in Haute Saone. Celebrated from the ancient times for its ferruginous springs. Here visit the Roman remains, mediaeval houses, the town for the sake of the view. Make excursions into the valleys of the Vosges.

III. Vesoul and Gray, departure from Besancon by way of the charming valley of Ognon. See the Chateau de la Roche, turned into a school of agriculture, the sculptures in Vesoul church, its old streets, and pretty gardens. Visit the Port sur Saone (Portus Abucinus). At Gray visit the Hotel de Ville, the house of Simon d'Ancier, maitre-d'hotel of the Connetable de Bourbon. Visit the Abbey of Pesmes which contains some fine Renaissance work, the ancient Abbey of Acey, the Chateau de Balancon, Marnay, ancient domain of the Joinvilles, Ruffey - Roman city destroyed by the Vandals.

IV. From Besancon to Pontanier (Abiolica) - a beautiful bit of railway. The Doubs is crossed twice, when views are obtained of Arguel and Montferrand, and the modern chateaux of Torpes and Thoraise. The Loue is crossed at Mouchard; fine view of the ruins of Vaugrenant. After leaving Mouchard, the traveller enjoys a succession of vast prospects of the vineyard region of the Jura - Aiglepierre, Marnoz, Arbois, &c. After the vines, come the pinewoods and the splendid forest of Joux. After the pinewoods generally come the peat-fields, or tourbieres, of Chaux d'Arlier, traversed by two rivers which here meet, the Doubs and the Drugeon. Lastly, Pontarlier is reached, eight hundred and seventy yards above the level of the sea, anciently a confederation of nineteen villages, called la baroichage.

V. From Besancon to Dole. Four routes are here open to the traveller; 1st. The Roman road leading formerly from Vesontio to Cabillorum; 2nd. the route de Paris; 3rd. the railway - Dijon line; 4th. the canal, from the Rhone to the Rhine. All these ways of communication follow the valley of the Doubs. The great forges of Fraisans, and the Roman station of Crusinia, are to be seen on the way. To the right of this is a huge mass of granite in the midst of the Jurassic formation. Dole is the second city in Franche-Comte, and houses are to be seen there. The public library is also worth a visit.

VI. The fortress of Joux and the Swiss routes. Two fortresses protect the Swiss frontiers, Joux and Larmont. The former merits a visit. The cells are seen in which Toussaint l'Ouverture, Mirabeau, the poet Kleist, and other illustrious prisoners were confined. In the neighbourhood of Joux are high mountain peaks from which magnificent views are to be had. Many interesting excursions to be made in this neighbourhood.

VII. The Falls of the Doubs, Morteau, and Montbenoit. Start from Morteau, visit the Falls and Lakes, also the Cols de Roches. Proceed to Montbenoit by the river Doubs. See the splendid rock at Entreroches. The church of Montbenoit is one of the historic monuments of France; here are to be seen statuettes and sculptures in wood, the work of Florentine artists in the sixteenth century, employed by the Abbe Carondelet, friend of Raphael and Erasmus.

VIII. Baume-les-Dames. By rail and road from Besancon or Montbeliard, passing the picturesque valley of the Doubs, rich in charming landscape and historic associations. Ruins of the Chateaux of Montfaucon and Vaite, to be seen on the way. At Baume-les-Daines, visit the ancient Abbey Church, now turned into a public granary, also the valley of the Cuisancin, last, the Glaciere de la Grace-Dieu, a natural phenomenon of great beauty and interest.

IX. From Andelot to Orgelet. The railway takes you to Champagnole. From thence take a carriage to the Source of the Ain, and Les Planches, visiting by the way the church of Sirod. Drive also to Nozeroy and the valley of Miege, and visit the parish church, which is full of statuettes. Thence proceed to St. Laurent by way of the fall of the Lemme, the Lake of Bonlieu, and the ruins of the Chartreuse. From Morez ascend the fortress of the Rousses, and follow the road to Dole, by the valley des Dappes; splendid views of Switzerland. From St. Claude is a public conveyance to Orgelet, Roman ruins (ville d'Antres) to be seen on the way, also the Chartreuse of Vaucleuse, and the Chateau of the Tour-de-Meix. Railway at Orgelet.

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These Itineraries can be varied almost ad infinitum, and we only give an indication of the variety of walks and drives to be found in this most "spazierlich" country. The knapsack tourists, of course, have always the advantage in every way.

As a rule, no one ever reads anything when travelling, but, for the benefit of those conscientious travellers who like to do things systematically, I will mention one or two books that may usefully supplement Murray or Joanne. Two of these, to be picked up on the way, are really school-books, but are so crammed full of information, and so entertaining, that no tourist in Franche-Comte can afford to pass them by. The first, "La Franche-Comte et le pays de Montbeliard," is a succinct and admirably digested little history of the country. Its author, M. Castan, the learned librarian of Besancon, gives, in a small compass, what is not easy to get at elsewhere, enough, indeed, of history for all ordinary purposes. A second and no less admirable compendium of information for travellers in the Jura, is the, so-called, "Lectures Jurassiennes," a little work compiled for elementary schools, but in reality "Half-hours with the best Franc-Comtois authors," who treat of the general features, products, climate, &c., of the Jura, as well as of the people; their legendary lore, habits of life, and general characteristics. A delightful little volume this, giving passages from Lamartine, who just missed being a native of the Jura himself, from Xavier Marinier, author of "Souvenirs of Franche-Comte," and from Charles Nodier, that gifted and charming writer, to whom the very name of his native province was a magic spell, awakening all kinds of joyous and glowing recollections. Those who find amusement in a popular historical novel may consult "Le Medecin des Pauvres," in which they will find delineations of the most romantic scenery of the Jura, interspersed with thrilling incidents. For botanists, there is an admirable Handbook, in two volumes, "La Flore Jurassienne," to be found in every town by the way; lastly, for special information, "Roussel's Dictionnaire Geographique, Historique, et Statistique;" these two last may be consulted in any local library by the way. Students of geology will find useful information in Joanne's little "Geographies Departementales." Excellent maps are to be had everywhere. Real lovers of literature, however, will content themselves with the delightful writings of Charles Nodier, and to this fascinating story-teller I am indebted, not only for many delightful hours in my study, but for the pleasure of travelling in Franche-Comte myself, and afterwards introducing it to my country-people. Of him, poet, novelist, as of a critic, naturalist, philologist, essayist, still more illustrious writer of our own, it might be said, "Nihil tetigit quod non ornavit."

The history of Franche-Comte, which M. Castan gives in a nutshell, may be greatly simplified by following his division into periods. Beginning therefore from the earliest period down to the present time. The following are the principal facts, simplified by this historic arrangement.

1st Period. Sequanian. 115-147 B.C. - The province successively called Sequania, Haute Bourgogne, Comte de Bourgogne and Franche-Comte - of which the larger portion actually forms the three Departments of the Jura, Haute Saone, and the Doubs - was early recognized as one of the most important strategical and natural divisions of ancient Gaul. The Sequani, by way of rewarding them for their aid against the Cimbri and Teutons, were received as friends and allies of the Roman people. When Caesar entered upon his conquests, he found two rival parties in Gaul, the Aedui and the Sequani, the latter, being oppressed by Ariovistus, besought his aid. Caesar vanquished Ariovistus, and took up his winter-quarters in the Sequanian territory, 56 B.C. The general rising of Gaul was quelled after seven years' struggle, and the surrender of the heroic Auvergnat chief, Vercingetorix, at Alesia - according to some authorities, Alaise in Franche-Comte, to others, Alise la Reine, in Auvergne. This happened in 47 B.C. (see Julius Caesar's "Gallic War.")

II. Roman Period, 47 B.C. 407 A.D. The Roman Emperors now attempted, in so far as possible, to denationalize the ancient kingdom of the Gauls, transforming not only laws and language, but manners and customs. Roman gods took the place of so-called Druidic rites. Roman roads spread like a net-work throughout the country, sumptuous edifices were erected at Vesontio (Besancon), and Epomanduodarum (Maudeure, Doubs). The thermal and ferruginous springs of Luxovium (Luxueil), and Salinae (Salins), attracted the Roman world of fashion. Wines of the Jura found their way to luxurious tables of Rome and Athens. The brave Sabinus made an attempt to shake off the Roman yoke, and his virtuous and heroic wife, by her devotion, shines among the heroines of her country. (See Thierry's "Histoire des Gaulois.") Besancon was made capital of Sequania, and embellished, under the reign of Marcus Aurelius with amphitheatre, forum, triumphal arch, theatre, &c. Christianity made its first appearance in the country. Two emissaries of Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, suffered martyrdom in the Theatre of Besancon, 212 A.D. Sequania, including the present Franche-Comte, was created a military province, under the title ofProvincia Maxima Sequanorum. Under Constantine, Christian churches were built in many places, and the Basilica, now the Cathedral of Besancon, begun.

III. Burgundian Period, 407-534. The Burgundians, having aided the Romans to free the Sequanian territory from the Huns under Attila, settled there, 435-471; the land being divided among them and its former owners. Monasteries were first founded about this time, notably the Abbey of Condat, now St. Claude. Gondioc, King of the Burgundians, owned the actual countries now included in Franche-Comte; besides Burgundy, La Bresse, Savoy, Dauphine, and Provence. The Franks seized the kingdom from the descendants of Gondioc after a Burgundian occupation of two hundred years.

IV. Frankish Period, 534-711. The ancient territory of Gondioc was now divided among the descendants of Clovis, who built many monasteries and abbeys, among these Baume-les-Dames, and that of Luxueil, Haute Saone. On the death of Charles Martel, a new division took place, and Burgundy, including Franche-Comte, fell to the lot of Pepin le Bref.

V. Carlovingian Period, 741-879. Under Charlemagne, the clergy rose to pre-eminent importance, and great privileges were accorded to religious foundations, &c.

VI. Feudal Period, 879-1038. Three hosts of invaders ravaged the country, the Normans, the Germans, and the Huns. The kingdom of Burgundy, including Franche-Comte, was incorporated with the German Empire in the early part of the eleventh century.

VII. Sacerdotal Period, 1038-1148. A darker and more troublous time hardly appears in French history. The petty sovereigns of the different principalities into which Franche-Comte had been divided were engaged in perpetual struggles with their spiritual chiefs. Hugh, Archbishop of Besancon, ruled with kingly authority. Ten Cistercian Abbeys were founded. Land was cleared in the most solitary places for the purpose of building monasteries, notably at Morteau and Mouthe. Beatrix, heiress of Count Raimond III, was shut up in a tower by her uncle, and liberated by Frederic Barbarossa.

VIII. German Period, 1148-1248. Frederic Barbarossa having married Beatrix, Franche-Comte became an appanage of the German Empire. The Chateau of Dole was made the imperial residence and the seat of Government. On the death of the Emperor and Beatrix, the heritage of Franche-Comte was contested by Count Otho I. and Etienne d'Auxonne. Successive wars between the rival families ravaged the country for many years.

IX. Communal Period, 1248-1330. Jean de Chalons, to whom the heritage had accrued, granted charters of disenfranchisement to many towns, Salins, Ornans, and others. The Commune of Besancon was definitely founded, and it became an independent city, under the protectorate of the German Empire. Otho IV., Emperor of Germany, made over the country to Philippe le Bel, King of France, who, after five years, subdued the refractory Franc-Comtois, and greatly benefited the country by the introduction of French customs and forms of legislation. Jeanne, daughter of Philippe le Bel, peacefully governed the province for five years, and introduced the manufacture of cloth at Gray. In 1330, Franche-Comte fell to the share of the eldest daughter of Jeanne, married to the Duke of Burgundy.

X. Anglo-French Period, 1330-1384. After the treaty of Bretigny, the Grandes Compagniez ravaged Franche-Comte, but were driven back. The nobility entered into an alliance with England, the English King wishing to marry one of his sons with the heiress presumptive of Franche-Comte, great-grand-daughter of the Countess Jeanne. On the negotiations being broken off, the Comtois nobility waged war with England on the side of the French King. It was at this time that the title of Franche-Comte came into use, in order to distinguish the province from that of Burgundy.

XI. Ducal Period, 1381-1477. The Count-Dukes, being engaged in conflict with the clergy and rival nobility, sought the favour of the bourgeoisie by according privileges and titles of nobility. The Comte de Montbeliard passed as a dowry to the house of Wuertemberg in 1397, and remained an appanage of that kingdom till the French Revolution. The power of the aristocracy was considerably diminished at this time, and feudalism broken down by the establishment of the Roman law.

XII. Austrian period, 1477-1556. On the death of Charles le Temeraire, Louis XI. occupied Franche-Comte with a military force, also Burgundy, under the pretext of defending the rights of Marie of Burgundy, daughter of Charles. On the marriage of this princess with Maximilian of Austria, the French were expelled from Franche-Comte. Louis XI., however, re-occupied it; Vesoul, Gray, and Dole were pillaged and burnt. On the death of that King, his successor, Charles VIII., was recognised as sovereign of Franche-Comte by virtue of his proposed marriage with Marguerite, daughter of Marie of Burgundy, wife of Maximilian. He married, however, Anne of Brittany, instead, and the Franc-Comtois thus considered themselves freed from their allegiance to the French crown. Besancon opened its gates to Maximilian, and, in a treaty concluded between the French King and the Emperor, Burgundy reverted to the former, whilst Franche-Comte remained in the hands of the latter. The territorial dowry of Marguerite passed to her brother Philip, afterwards King of Spain (and father to the celebrated Charles the Fifth), who died, aged twenty-eight. Marguerite then became Regent of Franche-Comte. Under her rule, Protestantism made its first appearance in the provinces. The peasants of Montbeliard, joining the German bands, made raids upon religious houses. Charles the Fifth, on assuming the reins of Government after his aunt Marguerite, continued her policy, and his Keeper of the Seals, the princely Perronet de Granvelle, inaugurated at Besancon, by his splendid patronage of arts and letters, what has justly been called the "Golden Age of Franche-Comte."

XIII. Spanish Period, 1556-1674. Philip II., son of Charles the Fifth, established the Inquisition in Franche-Comte. His reign was a long series of calamities. Henry IV., King of France, marched a large army into the country, but after levying contributions on Besancon, and the smaller towns of the Jura, he signed a treaty, according neutrality to the provinces, and retired (1595). Later, Richelieu sent three armies respectively, into the Saone, the Doubs, and the Jura. St. Claude and Pontarlier were burnt, and the inhabitants destroyed by fire and sword. A great emigration took place, no less than twelve thousand families fleeing to Rome alone. Excepting the four principal towns, Besancon, Salins, Dole, and Gray, the country was almost depopulated. Orders were given to mow down the unripe harvests, in order to subdue the people by famine. At Richelieu's death, neutrality was again accorded to the province, on condition of forty thousand crowns being paid yearly to the crown of France, and French garrisons being maintained at Joux and other places. In the words of a French writer of the period, "The country, at this time, resembled a desert." On the peace of Westphalia, Besancon lost its autonomy, being again placed under the dominion of Spain. Louis XIV. however, having married the daughter of Philip IV. of Spain, claimed Franche-Comte as the dowry of his wife. The great Conde was dispatched on a mission of conquest, the King, in person, headed a besieging army at Gray, and in fifteen days the entire province submitted. By the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, Franche-Comte again reverted to Spain, and again had to be conquered. On the declaration of war against France by Spain, the German Empire, Holland, and Lorraine, it put itself on the defensive. The armies of Louis XIV. overran the country. Besancon capitulated, and the King celebrated a Te Deum of victory in the Cathedral of that town in 1674.

It may not be generally known that the Porte St. Martin, in Paris, was erected as a triumphal arch to commemorate this victory. On its principal facade are the words: Ludovico Magno. Vesontione Sequanisque bis capti.

Here the history of Franche-Comte may be said to end, henceforth being merged in that of France. Brief as are these outlines, they will give the reader some idea of the vicissitudes this province has undergone from the earliest times until now; and further details can easily be found elsewhere. From whichever point we may regard it, historically, geographically, or artistically, Franche-Comte must be set down as one of the most interesting portions of France, and none should undertake to visit it without some preconceived notion of what they are going to see.

The Jura is interesting geologically, its series of rocks, of the same age and general lithological structure as the oolitic formations of England, being known as the Jurassic formation. The Jura range is composed of a peculiar kind of limestone abounding in caves, containing stalactital formations and the remains of extinct animals. The highest peak of the Jura rises to 8000 feet. Naturally it is divided into three regions, the plain, the mountain, and the vineyard. The climate, as in most mountainous countries, is rude, winter lasting eight months, on an average with enormous quantities of snow. More than a fourth of the territory is covered with forests, that of La Chaux being one of the finest in France. In the winter the wolves are driven by hunger to the very doors of the villages. The flora of the Jura possesses some singularities, and is especially rich in many districts.