« ElőzőTovább »
INDEX TO VOL. II.
Alpine Pilgrim's Progress, 1, 389.
Atlantic Telegraph, 141.
British Association in Nottingham,
Charlie Hunter's Ordeal, 469.
A Lost Love, 10.
St. Mildred's Close, 15.
Waiting for a Crossing, 88.
The Spider and the Fly, 93.
The Grasco-Roman Saloon, 99.
Minnie's Counsel, 172.
Father and Daughter, 257.
The Wolf at the Door, 267.
Villa Santa Lucia, 331.
Morning Star, 338.
The Ebony Casket, 341.
Wanted, a Situation, 407.
A Friend, 413.
The Schoolmaster, 418.
Crown of Wild Olive, 129.
Dark Days before Christmas, 422.
Exhibition of Historical Portraits, M.
Faded Lily, The,. a poem, 400.
Glories of Creation, 158.
Glance at the Museum of a Tarry-at-
Holly-berry Chain, The Story of a,
Housewifo's Miscellany, 79, 159, 239,
319, 399, 475.
Light of the World, 287.
August, 146—September, 225—
October, 303—November, 378—
139, 220, 308, 385.
The Two Kingsleys, 191.
Goorgo Eliot, 346.
L'art do Parvenir, 48.
Decline towards Fall, &1.
What is Pcscara? 103.
Beresford's Discovery, 107.
Somebody of "Nobody," 198.
BcreBford is being Cured, 204.
The Waning Star, 294.
The Waxing Star, 299.
An Arrival, 358.
Tho Importance of a Point, 438.
Threads of the Tale Wound off,
Picture of a Dead Child; a poem,
Prussian Campaign in Bohemia, 121.
England Restive and Wiclif Ag-
Wiclifs Second Summons, M.
Fresh Charges of Heresy, 207.
The English Bible, 208.
Lutterworth Rectory, 209
His Death and His Grave, 211.
Part I., 177.—Part II., 272.
THE ALPINE PILGRIM'S PROGRESS, WITH ADVICE TO FELLOW
ir , PILGRIMS... 4:1EPAST' I.--Most BLANC, AND Its Cuer POINTS OF View, ' HAVING walked and climbed many tive advantages." I have used them weary and yet many delightful miles all, and read them nearly througli, in acl over the Alps of Switzer page by page. There is likearise, & land and Savov, I may be qualified special guide for mountaineers, by to advise, direct, and encourage other Mr. Ball, to be completed in three Alpine pilgrims, who are disposed to volumes, two of which have already benefit by antecedent experience, appeared, and the third has been and also to enliven the quietude of recently announced. This is the those who are compelled for various completest, and most thoroughly reasons to remain at home. I am Alpine in its character, but ordinary just now resuming my alpenstock tourists will probably prefer a more (as the long iron-shod pole which compendious guide, such as that of mountaineers carry is styled), and Murray, or Baldeker. Of the latter when the reader peruses these lines there is an English translation, and I shall, I hope, be on one side or of the former there is an abridgeother of Mont Blanc, or in some of ment, which Mr. Murray calls “The the valleys running up towards Knapsack Guide,” for travellers in Monte Rosa, or perhaps near the Switzerland, with clue maps, &c. Italian lakes. I purpose in this London, 1864. It is small, neat, and some subsequent papers to pre very condensed, and useful for shortsent such notes as I think will timed tourists, and costs five shilprove serviceable, and such descrip- lings. I find the older work of tions as may prove interesting both Ebel, in two thick volumes, still to those who travel among the Alps, useful for ininute details of botany and those who travel only round and mineralogy, What I should their own hearthstone. But I shall recommend any determined and avoid the fashion of Guide Books, continuous Alpine tourist to do is for they are abundant, and acces- to follow my own example, in presible enough. The Englishman will paring six or eight small blank note generally have his “Murray," the books, heading each with an Alpine Frenchman his “Joanne," and the district, or principal range of mounGerman lis“ Baldeker"-all these tains, and gradually filling up these are useful, and possess their respec- several note-books with information
culled from all trustworthy sources. My own little manuscript notebooks, thus filled, are, I believe, more practically useful than any one guide-book, though partly enriched from them all.
There is now a considerable Alpine literature, the extent and excellence of which would surprise readers new to the subject. Three beautifully illustrated works are now before me; another will appear in a few weeks, and possibly others may succeed them, as there is a reading and consequently a remunerating public for them all. The publications of the Alpine Club are themselves now rather numerous.
Of maps, I will only say, that while the great Federal map, by Dufour, is the only detailed one on a large scale, something like our Ordnance Map, the common tva• veller will not carry it, though the tourist intending to locate himself in one or two spots should get the sheets containing them, as he may do at the principal towns. But the ordinary tourist should get a pocket map, and will find the new edition of Keller's map sufficient for him. That of Leuthold is fuller, but not so clear and legible. He can see them all at a bookseller's shop in Geneva, or Lausanne, or Basle, or Lucerne, and purchase one for from seven to twelve francs, mounted and adapted to the pocket. Over them all, as over the guide-books, I have pored for hours and days, and though poor as a mountaineer's map, yet I think Keller's as good, reasonable, and intelligible as any for the general traveller. If you attempt high passes, or the "grand courses," as the guides term the greatest mountaineering feats, then you must have "Dufour" for that locality. Mr. Reilley has prepared for the Alpine Club, an excellent map of Mont Blanc, the result of much disinterested labour. The zeal, activity, and toil which this gentleman expended on the preparation of this map, from actual personal examination, are really remarkable.
When I first visited the Alps, I made that very prevalent mistake
against which I wish to caution my fellow-pilgrims, viz., attempting too much in one visit. Consequently, I returned jaded, tired, and unrefreshed, and when I reached my own house, was scarcely able to give my mind to any study for a month afterwards. At the outset I enter my earnest protest against this practice. Every season young men may be seen toiling under knapsack and a hot sun in a manner to which they have never been accustomed before, and really frustrating the objects of their holiday. I am almost sure that many lay the foundation of a series of diseases by their Swiss excursions. What infatuation for sedentary men just escaped from the counting-house, or college, or close law-court, to aim at walking twenty or more miles daily, upon insufficient or indigestible food, on rough roads, or perhaps up steep slopes, under a broiling July or August sun! And what heat strikes down upon the devoted pedestrian's head in the narrow Alpine valleys, especially on the Italian side of the Alps. All down the Val d'Aosta, and along the Italian lakes, the heat is frequently furnace-like in high summer. Indeed, walking at midday is then impossible, or alarmingly imprudent in the valleys, or on exposed slopes.
There is only one way of exploring the Alps comfortably and completely, and that is, dividing the county into topograpliical sections, or convenient districts, subjacent to some central scene or mountain of special interest, and then devoting one season exclusively to one district at a time. Thus, the French side of Mont Blanc, together with all the scenic points and valleys, up to the head of the Lake of Geneva, would form quite ample exercise ground for a long summer visit, and whoever would thoroughly visit the most beautiful parts of this district would have enough before his eyes and stored in his memory for a lifetime, if he never returned to the Alps. In the remainder of the present paper I will show how this district may be most profitably visited.
The tourist may leave London in June or July, or at latest, August. If he desire quiet, let him select June or July, for then the inns are thinly tenanted, and host and waiters will patiently listen to his imperfect French. In July also, they will listen, for they are not yet overwrought. But in August they will often turn a deaf ear to your murmurs, save to all but douceurs. August, at Chainouni is a French or Swiss Vanity Fair. Over-crowded inns—tourists turned away, and prowling about for beds—rumours of the last bed just taken—the little dirty, stony streets, stuffed with visitors of all sizes and conditions; rough and smooth guides, porters, servants, waiters, English, Scotch and Irish, French, German, and Americans—all one babbling Babel of chattering and clattering; parties coming in from the day's excursions— parties arranging for the morrow. Alpine Club-men, who have been up, or are going up Mont Blanc— young men in their Alpine noviciate, fired with the mountaineering mania. Oxford and Cambridge men discussing plans, and peaks, and passes; and then, in the midst of all, dashing in with a rousing rattle of wheels, comes a diligence, or private carriage, from which descend weary passengers to renew the vain search for beds and rooms. All this you may plunge into during any August at the little village of Chamouni, lying at the foot of the huge monarchial Mont Blanc.
Do not go to such a place late in August, but at the end of June, or in July, or in the first part of September. If you visit it in mid-August be sure of discomfort, and excitement, and confusion and hurry. One August I was tired, and I got no sound sleep, no good or sufficient food, and scarcely a bed decent enough for a republican. As to sleep, why the whole night was as the day for noise and traffic and interruptions. Above all, rang slowly but stunningly that new bell in the Catholic Chapel, which precludes sleep from all who have nerves, brains, and ears to hear. One night, to my astonishment and distress, it rang
not merely twelve (and every succeeding stroke was as a hammer to my brain |, but after the twelfth stroke (when I fondly hoped all was over), it began again, and in all rang twenty-four! How this was contrived, whether by one or two bells, I know not, but of the fact I am certain, and my distress I now remember perfectly well. Again, at two o'clock, FOUR was sounded. At length I got up, and saw the sunrise on Mont Blanc. Oh, the misery of those five watchful bell-beset nights at Chamouni!—nights exceeding long days of great fatigue. I wonder that this wretched bell had not toiled for my funeral. Nothing will induce mo to try a night at Chamouni in the height of the season. The only cool and quiet thing in the place was Mont Blanc itself. All the little world seemed fretting and fuming round its base, and the horrible bell sounded as if in unceasing warning to the living mass of tourists, that must all soon die, and become as cold and lifeless as the icy monarch himself. No repose at Chamouni in high summer, except in the low, hidden, forgotten grave!
I believe that Chamouni may be advantageously visited in June for an early visit, or in the beginning of October for a late one. At both these times it is quiet, but I prefer June. If no unusual quantity of snow has fallen, you can easily walk or ride on a mule through the striking pass of the Tote Noir, from Martigny to Chamouni, and then take up your abode at the Royal or the Saussure Hotel. You may pass a month at Chamouni, and then not exhaust the striking excursions, all noted in the Guide Books. There are two, however, which may be accomplished with comparative ease, and which, I think, at least equal if they do not surpass all the others.
These two are as follows:— First, the ascent of the Brevenf, from which in a clear day there is the finest ice and snow mountain view in Europe, or as fine a one as any of a continuous range of near peaks and glaciers. Any of my fair