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Greece, and Egypt. I was, besides, desirous of | panions is irksome, especially when their tone and solving fur myself, at least one problem, namely, manners indicate a state of mind the very antipodes whether the arts of Greece were derived orig- of your own. Of course it is highly unreasonable inally from the Nilotic valley, which I could to expect sympathy from strangers, especially where better do by studying the remaining monuments they are ignorant that you require any. But we, themselves than by trusting to the representa- after all, are unreasonable both in our hopes and extions, seldom faithful, given of them by artists pectations ; and I remember experiencing extraorand travellers.
dinary disgust with my neighbors in the interior With these views, I determined, about the of the diligence for putting common-place questions middle of September, upon quitting Lausanne, to me, in the hope of drawing me into conversaand took my place in the diligence for Milan. tion, at the moment when I felt more than a TrapMy wife and children came down to the Buceau peist's fondness for silence. Presently, therefore, to see me off; and, though I hoped my journey they drew their travelling-caps close over their would prove one of pleasure, my feelings at part- ears, and dropped asleep, for which I was thanking were far from enviable. Strong doubts of the ful. I then put my head out of the window, to wisdom, or even morality, of the step I was about gaze upon the dusky panorama around. No lake, to take, came over me. Around me were the not even that of Mæris, in the Lybian waste, is proofs of my multiplied responsibilities clinging set in so rich a frame as that of Geneva—the Alps to their mother or me, and shedding such tears as encompass it like giants, who seem at night to look only children shed. My own feelings, or hers, I down lovingly on its slumbers. They were now shall not attempt to describe. I shall only say beginning to put on their wintry grandeur, being that, overtaking the group again as they were powdered all over with recent snows, which, in the ascending the steep street leading up from the increasing and waning light, imparted to them the Place St. Francois, I felt the strongest conceiva- strangest conceivable appearance. The smooth. ble desire to leap out of the diligence, and return level surface of the lake was thickly beelropped home with them; but while I was revolving this with the golden reflexes of the stars, which rose thought in my mind, the vehicle attained the and sunk with that restless impulse always obsummit of the acclivity, and rolled on, while served in the bosom of great waters, and reminded through the window I looked at them as long as me of jewels heaving and trembling on the breast they were visible. Presently a turn in the street of beauty. A few days before my departure, the hid them from my sight, and away we went, lake and its environs had exhibited a very different rattling and jingling over the stones, the driver aspect. I had gone out with my children towards cracking his whip, and the conducteur laughing the rock of the Signal, and had reached the shelter and chatting with the outside passengers as mer- of a little wood, when there came on suddenly one rily as if we had not contemplated proceeding of those storms which appeared to draw forth and beyond the next village. It was eight o'clock in illuminate, as it were, all the hidden beauties of the evening when we quitted Lausanne. The the Alps. “From crag to crag leaped the live gloom of night was congenial with the gloom thunder ;” and, as night came on prematurely, of my mind, which, for a time, seemed to be perhaps from the dense clouds, the whole surface completely stunned and bewildered. If there are of Lake Leman was momentarily converted into those who can leave home without a pang, what- a sheet of dazzling fire. Perhaps in the whole ever amount of enjoyment they may be looking system of nature there is nothing so beautiful as forward to, I cannot pretend to envy or congratu- lightning. It is in the physical world what irrelate them; for, being always enveloped with sistible passion is in the moral. It is nature uncertainty, we cannot say whether or not we emerging from her normal state, and putting forth have looked on the old familiar faces for the last her powers and energies visibly. Passion, too, time. And how pregnant with painful meaning which is the lightning of the mind, obliterates by are those words, the last time! In them lies the its brightness all the littlenesses and weaknesses chief sting of death, when, leaving the warm of the character, and enables us for a moment to precincts of the cheerful day, it is the conscious- soar far above the earth and everything earthly. ness that it is for the last time that depresses, and Lightning, though a physical process, is something all but annihilates, our souls. The clustering, analogous. Gazing on it makes the heart swell, loving faces round the bedside would lose nearly and sends up the imagination far above the visible, all their significance if we were merely going to diurnal sphere. As I looked down, from my lofiy sleep; but when that sleep is to know no waking position, upon the clouds, charged heavily with —when, come what will, we can never with our electricity, I now and then obtained glimpses into mortal eyes behold those faces and those tears something like a new world. Immense caverns again—the pang of parting rises to indescribable opened up a vista into the bowels of that vapory agony. All separations of families have an infu- creation, laying open long, sinuous valleys, fansion of this bitterness, because it is felt that what tastic mountains, chasms, and precipices, glittering is meant to be temporary may prove eternal. plains and heaving seas, all sheathed with the
brilliancy of lightning. Then followed intense
darkness, and then another fit of revelation, after When you desire to be silent, you would also which the eye descended to the lake, and beheld be glad to be solitary. The presence of com-'tracks of blue light spread over it like a pattern,
CHAPTER II.-MY COMPANIONS.
quivering, palpitating, and expanding towards each | trees in order to plant a vineyard on the spot. other till they met, and became coëxtensive with When I once, in a tone of disapproval, mentioned the surface of the water, converting into one sea this fact to a gentleman in the neighborhood, he of flame the whole distance between Switzerland shrugged his shoulders and observed, “ Le bon vin and Savoy. During a lull in the storm, I reached vaut bien les associations.” But though good wine home with the children, after which I sat up dur- is an agreeable thing, I should, upon the whole, ing half the night with my wife, admiring, from prefer Julia's bosquel to the vineyard, no matter an open window, the most glorious of all visible, how it obtained the name, or whether the foot of created things, for neither sun, nor moon, nor Rousseau's fancy ever visited it or not. During our stars, have for me half the fascination possessed month's stay at Vevay, I used frequently to walk by lightning, when loud thunder accompanies its in the evening towards the chateau of Chillon, and birth-pangs, ushering in its short existence to the as often as we did so we had to pass the house in world.
which Edmund Ludlow, the great English repubNo contrast could be greater than that which lican, spent the latter portion of his life in exile. the lake now presented. Calm and still, with We all observed the spot as we passed, and the something like a soft breath breathing over it, I recollection of his stern and noble virtues may be gazed towards the rocks of Meillerie, whence St. said to impart a sort of sanctity to Vevay. He Preux wrote one of his sweetest letters to Julie. enjoyed breathing the air of liberty to the last, The very rocks, in the starlight, seem still lumi- under that form of government which he preferred nous with love, so completely has the genius of to all others. Rousseau amalgamated itself with nature in this We now slowly skirted the end of the lake, neighborhood.
passed Chillon and Villeneuve, near where “ the We halted about an hour at Vevay, which now blue rushing of the arrowy Rhone” plunges into appeared far more romantic than when we lived the lake. Pity that so singular a spot should be there, though it was probably our having lived a perpetual prey to malaria and ague, which exthere that imparted to it its chief interest. tend their influences as far as Vevay, and are alEverybody knows what a momentary bustle the most sure to assail strangers on their arrival. We arrival of a diligence creates in a little country now turned sharp round towards the left, passed inn, all the inmates of which invariably rush out through Aigle and Bex, after which I fell asleep in search of excitement. Everybody is full of spec- and did not wake again until we arrived at St. ulation respecting the faces that appear at the win- Maurice, the gate of the Valais. dow of the vehicle, and if there be any in the background dimly seen, the mystery enveloping them CHAPTER III.—MADAME CARLI—THE SNOW-STORM is, of course, greatly enhanced. A Swiss rustic All persons of locomotive propensities claim for inn has always something picturesque and striking themselves the privilege of describing what they about it, with its long, drooping eaves, wooden eat; and it really is a very judicious practice, begalleries, and a wilderness of projections and cause it begets in the reader the firm conviction that niches, where light and darkness sport, as it were, the traveller is no "ignis fatuus,” but a genuine, with each other, as torch or candle passes to and solid creature of flesh and blood, like himself. fro beneath. Several of the burghers of Vevay, Besides, there are always some pleasant little with pipe in month and tankard in hand, came out associations with breakfasts and dinners, especially and planted themselves on seats beside the door to those you eat on a journey. The cream seems gaze at, or gossip with, the wayfarers, while ost- more creamy; the coffee, rolls, butter, new-laid lers, grooms, and stable boys, the same queer eggs, ham, tongue, and sausages, of much finer brood all over the world, developed their organic quality than the articles which commonly pass idleness, and laughed and chatted with the girls under these names—the reason, perhaps, being of the establishment who, now in dim light, and that your journey has put you in good humor, and
a certain distance, looked quite pretty. I given you a keener appetite. I remember, with may here remark, by the way, that there is a much pleasure, my breakfast at St. Maurice. The small village near the chateau de Blonay, which is room, high up in the hotel, overlooked the at once beautiful itself, and contains the most rowy Rhone,” from which a fresh breeze seemed charming women in Switzerland. This I dis- to ascend, and creep in balmy and refreshing, at covered accidentally during my walks, after which the opening windows. We sat, a great many of it alternately divided my attentions with the castle us, round a large table, and, with the true freeof Chillon. Some of these fair creatures occasion- masonry of travellers, were acquainted with each ally take up their residence in Vevay; and it must, other at once. The fact is, you make the most doubtless, have been one of them that set the im- of your time, knowing that you have none to agination of Jean Jacques in a blaze.
spare, and chat away, right and left, with man As the traveller to Verona is shown the tomb or woman that happens to be within reach. On of Juliet, so the stranger who visits Vevay is sure the present occasion, there was but one lady of the to have pointed out to him the site of Julia's bos- party, with whom I was afterwards, by accident, quet at Clarens—the site, I say, because the nearly eloping into Italy; but of that more heremonks of the great St. Bernard, to whom the after. For the present we only exchanged civiliplace now belongs, are said to have cut down the ties, handed each other fresh eggs and bread and
butter, and conversed about what we had seen, and / of passports and custom-house nuisances, the freehoped yet to see. For her part, she had beheld dom from pauperism and beggary, and the univernothing but Paris, and those tracts of country sal prevalence of that sturdy feeling of independence which lie directly between it and St. Maurice. bordering often, I confess, on rudeness, which disHer husband, who sat beside her, and held her in tinguishes the Swiss from all their neighbors. strict surveillance, had been long in the east, where These things she could comprehend, but they made he had acquired Turkish ideas of jealousy and sus- no impression upon her. Her husband was in the picion. Madame Carli, however, nothing daunted receipt of a salary from the state, as her father, I by his severe looks, conversed with me unceas- also found, was, and therefore she was disposed to ingly, buttered my toast, poured out my coffee, accept accomplished facts and to be repugnant to all and paid me all those small attentions which none innovation. but ladies can pay. I am always helpless, that Presently the diligence started, and our converthey may have the pleasure of assisting me. Mad- sation took a new direction. There was, in the ame Carli was a pretty Frenchwoman, with large, interior, a native of Aosta, who meant to leave us dark eyes, and a profusion of raven hair. She at Martigny, for the purpose of traversing the had been well educated in the modern system, Great St. Bernard, at the exaggerated dangers of knew a good deal, and believed very little. The which pass he laughed very heartily. Accidents, chief article in her creed was, that it was a man's he admitted, did sometimes overtake travellers in duty to make love, and a woman's to receive it, that part of the Alps, but generally, he said, the under all circumstances, and in every place. Her pass of the St. Bernard was open and safe throughhusband thought the direct contrary, which was out the year, except during the continuance of quite natural, seeing they had already been mar- snow-storms.
He had himself, a few years preried six weeks, and that he anticipated consider- viously, in another pass, the name of which I forable trouble from the development of his help- get, been overtaken by one of these, in company mate's theory. Madame appeared to take infi- with an English family returning from Italy, and nite interest in my proposed journey, and listened been witness of the way in which the elements somewith as much pleasure at my account of what I times perform the office of sexton. They set out hoped to see as if I had already seen it and been early in the morning, and arrived a little before speaking from experience. Three things especially nightfall at a part of the pass which, owing to the delighted her--the Temple of Karnak, the tombs driving of the winds, is easily choked up. The of the Theban kings, and the boundless expanse snow had began to fall about an hour and a half of the desert ; as I expatiated on which, her eyes previously, and was now pouring down the ravine would kindle and flash, and she would exclaim, before the blast, blinding both horses and postil“Ah, how I should like to be of your party !”— ions, and bringing along with it premature night. “Madame," I replied, “I have no party ; I go They had hoped to reach the summit before darkalone."'- —“Oh, mon Dieu !” said she, “ comme ce ness set in ; but the horses furnished them were scra triste.”—“ No," I replied, " I shall people weak, and the snow, for the last hour at least, had the desert with my remembrances.” Our break- greatly retarded their progress. How he came to fast companions entered with more or less vivacity be in the Englishınan's carriage, he did not explain. into this conversation, from which we at length I fancy our countryman had invited him out of proceeded to discuss the topography of the diligence sheer politeness. The party consisted of five in and our own places in it. To my extreme satis- all—the husband and wife, the Italian, the nurse, faction, I found that Monsieur and Madame Carli and a little baby. How it comes to pass I know were to be my companions in the interior, which not, but it generally happens that the English, was fortunate, since I had already, as it were, made when overtaken by danger, display qualities which their acquaintance. My leanings were all then astonish foreigners. On the occasion in question, towards France, in which I had lived till I had all the solicitude of the husband seemed to be conacquired something of a native's love for it. This centrated in the wife, while all hers was in the principally it was, perhaps, that recommended me baby. Self seemed equally absent from the minds to my female friend. We spoke of Paris, of its of both. The nurse, for her part, displayed the pleasures and gayeties, of the fascination of its soci- utmost stoicism, except that, as the cold increased, ety, of its literature, of its soirées, and of that fierce and the snow-drifts beat more and more furiously political spirit which renders life there so piquante. against the carriage windows, she pressed the child On one point we differed. Madame was a royalist; more closely to her breast, and protected it from but this circumstance, instead of acting between us the influence of the air with a greater allowance as a repelling power, supplied an everlasting topic of shawls. Our friend from Aosta, who underfor discussion ; and I have noticed that however stood thoroughly the perils of the position, went violently a woman may be attached to the pomps on talking with the husband, who, while his eye and vanities of monarchy, she delights in convers- was fixed upon his wife and child, appeared calm ing with men of the most ultra-republican opinions. and collected, though, from certain thundering We were travelling through the territories of a noises above, it appeared probable that the avarepublic, and I pointed out to her the most ordinary lanches were in motion. At every ten yards, the advantages enjoyed under that form of government-carriage was stopped by the accumulated snow. such as the perfect power of locomotion, the absence Jane," said the husband at length to his wife,
CHAPTER IV.—THE VALAIS.
“ tie up your throat carefully ; we may have to “ It is to be hoped so," exclaimed Madame Carli; walk presently; and you, nurse, make the baby" and what became of the English lady?”—“Oh, comfortable, and give him to me." The nurse the whole party escaped without injury, and next obeyed, and the mother, looking anxiously at her year I saw them pass again into Italy, so little child, inquired, with suppressed earnestness, had they been daunted by the perils they had “ William, is there any danger ?”—“ Yes, a escaped.” little, love, just enough to impart an air of
adventure.”-“ Hark!\ exclaimed the wife,“ what's that?”—“My God," I remember to have elsewhere remarked that cried the nurse, “ the mountain has fallen on us." there exists some resemblance between the valleys Just at that instant a loud shout was heard from of the Rhone and the Nile. In both, a large and the men outside, followed by a suppressed strug. impetuous river flows through a narrow slip of gle and a groan, and then the most complete cultivated land, flanked by a chain of lofty mounsilence. All motion was at the same time arrested tains on either side. But it is the resemblance in the carriage, and on applying the lamp to the which a miniature may be supposed to have to a windows, it was perceived that they were embed- picture of colossal dimensions. Yet the Rhone, . ded in thick snow.
is to be done?” when in full ood, is a noble river, and the Alps exclaimed the Englishman, addressing himself to that frown over it are loftier, and infinitely more our friend from Aosta. “ Can your experience picturesque, than the Libyan and Arabian ranges, suggest any means of extricating ourselves from scorched almost to a cinder by the burning sun. I this position ? If we force our way out, do you make no pretensions here to describe Switzerland. think it possible we could reach some place of The reader will find in a thousand books the names shelter?”—"No," answered he, “ that is im- of the towns, the heights of the mountains, and possible. All we can do is to remain where we the length of the valleys. What I desire to revive are ; they will dig us out in the morning.”—“And are the feelings and sensations with which I passed the drivers,” observed the Englishman, a sud- on towards Italy, full of regrets and hopes, of sad den thought flashing across his mind, " what is to memories and glorious anticipations. I have never become of them ? they will die of cold.”— seen an exposition of the philosophy of Alpine
They are dead already," answered the Aostan ; travelling, chiefly, perhaps, because the impres“the first stroke of the avalanche extinguished life sions made depend more upon the mind that feels in them—what you heard was their death-groan.' them than on the objects themselves. Almost “ Impossible," cried our countryman ; " I must every person can repeat, with Jessica, “ I am force my way out, and endeavor to drag them never merry when I hear sweet music," because hither.” The confined space into which they had the hushed delight produced by a concord of sweet to breathe would have rendered it necessary to let sounds has no analogy with mirth. It is much down the windows, at the risk of admitting a quan- the same with the grand harmonies of nature. А tity of snow; but all egress was impracticable. stranger visiting the Alps, for the first time, selThey were entombed, as it were, in the avalanche, dom experiences bursts of merriment, and there which, fortunately for them, was soft and spongy, are many whom the sight of these gigantic mounpermitting air to pass through its pores ; yet the tains plunges into sadness and melancholy. For heat soon became almost insufferable, and once myself, I am generally, in such scenes, filled to during the night the lady fainted. Travelling car- overnowing with involuntary delight, inconsistent riages in the Alps are always well supplied with with any access of melancholy, fear or sorrow. It provisions and restoratives, wine, brandy, &c., and is true, the painful reflection sometimes presents as our countryman never once lost his presence of itself, that while those majestic objects are eternal, mind, everything practicable was done for wife, I who observe them am a transitory being, travand nurse, and child. What their language and ersing a narrow slip of sunshine between the crafeelings were may possibly be imagined. All our dle and the grave. Life, in fact, is but a lumifriend from Aosta could say was, that it was very nous point, resting upon the confluence of two dark terrible, which he uttered in a tone more signifi- oceans-eternity past, and eternity to come-- and cant than his words. Well, morning came at encompassed by the immensity of unfathomable last, as they knew by consulting their watches ; space. In this black darkness, in this dreary void, but it brought no light with it, and for some time life has but one thing to cling 10, the idea of God, no sound. At length a confused rumbling was without which we should drift away into immeasheard through the snow, which died away, and urable despair. But, like a cloud on the summer came again by fits, till at length it became evident heaven, this thought soon vanishes, and my mind, that it was the voices of men. After a protracted returning to its habitual condition, is filled with interval, a gleam of daylight entered the carriage, sunshine. For this reason, travelling is a sort of the snow was cleared partially away, and the wel- mechanical happiness to me, especially amid Alps come face of a rustic was beheld peering down or deserts, or along the skirts of the ocean. Philupon them. Their deliverance was now speedy, osophically we know that the greatest projections and they were conveyed half dead to a chalet, on the earth's surface are almost nothing compared together with the bodies of the driver and postilions. with its own magnitude. Yet, from the diminu“Such accidents," said our friend,
tiveness of our own bodies, they seem great, and
" are rare,
fill our minds with prodigious ideas of the force round, and addressed myself to the new-comer, and sublimity of nature. What a chorus of glo- whom, from some peculiarity in his look and manrious influences bursts upon our soul amid the ner, I immediately suspected to be a Jesuit. He Alps, with their glaciers, cataracts, caverns, for- seemed pleased by my civility, and we commenced ests, abysses, everlasting snows and storms, and a conversation which lasted, with few interrupthunders and avalanches ! In beautiful weather, tions, through the whole day. Even Madame such as that in which I ascended the Valais, the Carli was forgotten, for so eloquent, so full of mountains, with the bright blue sky hanging lov- knowledge, so gentle, persuasive, and fascinating ingly over them, remind one of a fairy scene in an was my new friend, that I may say with truth I opera. The grandeur perplexes you ; you hurry have seldom seen his equal. Wishing to ascer. along, and scarcely think it real, as object after tain whether my suspicion was well or ill founded, object rushes past you, and is engulphed, as it I expressed the most profound respect for the Sowere, in the memory of the past. Onward you ciety of Jesus. I said I had studied their institugo, beholding new, mountains, new peaks, new tions and history with peculiar interest, spoke of chasms; and the all-pervading light clips them their missions and their labors, especially in South round and renders them nearly transparent. All America and China, and repeated more than once the world over the dawn of morning is beautiful, how much pleasure it would give me to become when the earth looks like a bride arrayed in orient acquainted with a member of the order. He pearls, and the sun spreads far and wide his can- bowed, and replied in a half-whisper, that he was opy of crimson clouds which his glory converts himself a Jesuit, and principal at the college at gradually into gold. But amid the Valaisan Alps Brigg, where he invited me to stay a few weeks. the loveliness of morning sets language at defiance. He would then, he said, explain to me the conImagine endless spheres of snow, crowning piny dition of the order throughout Europe, as well as mountains, and enveloped with a rosy flush by the that wonderful system of education, which, taken magic of the young light. This glowing investi- all together, is probably the most effective ever ture, like the breast of the dove, every moment invented. Unfortunately, the fear of arriving too displays new colors, glancing off in fugitive corus- Jate in Egypt to ascend the Nile that winter precations which dazzle and intoxicate the senses. A vented my accepting his invitation, which, I am luminous border hangs upon cliff and crag, and a sure, he gave with all his heart. We discussed whisper, soft as the breath of love, showers down the relative position of the two churches, the hisupon you from the pine forests as you move. A tory of Protestantism, the probable fortunes of feeling, half religion, half sense, fills your breast, Rome, and the character of public opinion throughand your eyes become humid with gratitude as you out Christendom. The habit of being all things look upwards and around you. . The reading of to all men enters so strongly into the policy of your childhood comes over you—you remember the order, that I can lay little stress on his politthe earliest page in the history of man—"and ical professions. He appeared to sympathize with God saw all that he had made, and behold it was the democratic spirit of the age, and said that very good”—and good, you murmur to yourself, through convulsions and anarchy we must inevitait is. If there be poetry in the soul, it comes out bly terminate with the adoption of the republic. at such moments; and, by the process which I One difficulty he could not overcome—the inaptifaintly and imperfectly describe, travelling some- tude of Catholicism with republican principles. times mellows the character and improves our rel- He supposed, however, that the external forms of ish of life.
religion would be modified by civilization, and I was interrupted in my conversation with Mad- that which we term the Church must, in order to ame Carli, who seemed to possess a genuine admi- be useful, be organized in conformity with the ration for mountain scenery, by the entrance of an ruling principle of society, whatever it may be. ecclesiastic, which brought out one of the most A professor of rhetoric from Anjou, who gloried unamiable features in the French character. In- in the philosophy of Louis Philippe's dynasty, havstead of contracting, as it were, to make way for ing listened for some time with patience to our him, everybody appeared to expand to double his discussions, at length broke in upon us with an usual size, in order to show him he was unwel- attack on Christianity itself, which he conducted
My sympathy was roused in a moment; after the most approved tactics of Voltaire. If and, pressing rather unceremoniously against my the Jesuit expressed any surprise, it was at our female friend, I invited the stranger to take the having been interrupted no sooner, for, aware of best seat next the door. He bowed profoundly, the odious influence of Philippism, he scarcely exand thanked me, after which, supposing his con- pected to find a spark of religion in any person versation would not be agreeable, he folded his promoted or patronized by the government. He arms, leaned back, and made up his mind to take did not choose, however, to combat the antiquated refuge in absolute silence. I observed an impu- phisms of Voltaire, and, observing that monsieur dent grin on the face of all my companions, with had a right to enjoy his own opinion, sat meekly the exception of Madame Carli, whose feminine listening to the objections urged against the very feelings preserved her from this indecency. To foundations of our faith. I was not quite so pamake up, as far as possible, for the in hospitality of tient, but carrying the war into the enemy's quar. my fellow-travellers, I immediately turned a little l ter, accused Voltaire of ignorance, levity, and pre