The Heptameron of Margaret, Queen of Navarre
This is a short story book. On the 1st of September, when the baths of the Pyrenees begin to have efficacy, several persons from France, Spain and other countries were assembled at those of Cauterets, some to drink the waters, some to bathe in them, and others to be treated with mud; remedies so marvelous, that patients given over by physicians go home cured from Cauterets. My intention is not to speak to you either of the situation or the virtue of the baths; but only to recount what is pertinent to the matter I am about to write. The patients remained at these baths until they found themselves sufficiently improved in health; but then, as they were preparing to return home, there fell such excessive and extraordinary rains, that it seemed as though God had forgotten his promise to Noah that he would never again destroy the world with water. The houses of Cauterets were so flooded that it was impossible to abide in them. Those who had come from Spain returned over the mountains the best way they could, such of them as knew the roads coming best off. But the French lords and ladies, thinking to return to Tarbes as easily as they had come from it, found the rivulets so swollen as to be scarcely fordable; and when they came to the Béarnese Gave, which was not two feet deep when they crossed it on their way to the baths, they found it so enlarged and so impetuous that they were forced to turn out of their direct course and look for bridges. These, however, being only of wood, had been carried away by the violence of the current. Some attempted to break its force by crossing it several together in one body; but they were swept away with such rapidity that the rest had no mind to follow them. They separated, therefore, either to look for another route, or because they were not of the same way of thinking. Some crossed the mountains, and passing through Aragon, arrived in the county of Roussillion, and thence in Narbonne.