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Ii the Pyrenees and the Cantabrians 504

mountains, people and mountain

II. THE PYRENEES AND THE CANTABRIANS 504. Another moun tain region with three languages.—The west ern part of the high mountains of Europe stretches for five hun dred miles across the width of Spain. From 1 the Bay of Biscay to the Mediterranean Sea the Pyrenees have no break. The north side of the mountains is I almost as steep as a wall, although the south side slopes more gently. Railroads do not cross the Pyrenees. They have to creep around the ends. These mountains form a national racial and language bound ary. The people on one side of the slope speak French and those on the other side speak Spanish. Those who live in the Cantabrian speak Basque, the language of the people who were in these mountains be fore the French and Spanish came.

We do not find here the towns, the fac tories, and the tourists of Switzerland.

Except for one or two resorts, this mountain region is a land of the mountain farmer and the shepherd. In the summer great flocks of sheep are taken from the lowlands on both sides of the mountains to eat the grass on the high pastures.

505. A tiny country.—The little valley of Andorra on the French side of the Pyrenees is an interesting example of the way mountain peoples love their liberty and often get it. This country is one of the many hundreds of little states into which Europe was once divided. This little valley, surrounded by high peaks, is but seventeen by eighteen miles. The population is only five thousand, but the valley is a re public in which the people rule themselves and are entirely inde pendent, except that the President of Frai e,and the Bishop of Orget, in Spain, take turns appointing a may.; and a judge. Besides that, the people of Andorra pay tribute of $200 a year t o France, and $90 a year to the Bishop.