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who committed them have reproached them, when they turned their eyes towards these beautiful mountains from the blood which flowed around them. When the Lord of Rothenine had murdered his brother for the sake of his inheritance, no wonder that he could no longer bear the sight of such enduring witnesses, but fled his country, and died far from all he had loved ;-as we read in the inscription on the rock on the road to Lauterbrunnen, near which the deed was committed. ..
I will endeavour to retrace some of these legends, the memory of which endures in my mind. I have read and listened attentively to the subject, for my heart takes delight in the romance attached to it.
Rinkelberg is a nice village, in a lovely situation on the Lake of Brienz. There are the remains of an old castle, and a church is now built close beside them. A romantic tale is told of the last lord of this place. He became enamoured of the daughter of a fisherman, remarkable for her beauty, in the village opposite, across the lake. He often begged her father to bring her to his castle and leave her with him ; but the old father said he should rather prefer her death. One day he brought her, accompanying her himself, but could not be prevailed upon to leave her : which so enraged the tyrant lord, that from his castle he shot the poor girl in the heart, as she was returning home in her father's boat.
The old man seemed to take no notice, but he nurtured the deep cold vengeance of a true Swiss heart. He buried his daughter, and left the country. Some time after, the tyrant lord wished to build another castle on a neighbouring eminence, and for that purpose he summoned all the best architects. The old father of the unfortunate maid seized the opportunity of revenging her fate; he suffered his beard to grow, and otherwise disguised himself completely. Pretending to be a master-mason, he presented himself before the Lord of Rinkelberg, took him to the hill where the castle was to be built, tried the rock, considered the situation, and, finally, asked the lord what his castle should be called. “ Schadenburg, the castle of wrong," said he. “No; Freyburg, the castle of liberty,” resumed the pretended mason; and at the same time he struck the vile lord a blow with his hammer, which despatched him within sight of the spot where his fair victim had perished through his unworthy and ungoverned passions. Tradition as. sures us of the safety of the old fisherman. The tyrant was the last of his race; and his was not a character to attract the affection of the neighbouring peasants, who most likely shielded their countryman from the rage of the lord's retainers, had any been willing to revenge his death.
At the distance of a long walk from Interlachen is the Beatenhohle, or St. Beat's Cave. You arrive there through a pretty wood of firs, in many places close to the Lake of Thun, and indulging you with many peeps of its waters through openings in the dark trees. An ancient direction-post points the way to this once celebrated place of pilgrimage. Having passed this, you still ascend to a high face of perpendicular rock, in which is a cavern shaded by trees and bushes, out of which runs a stream, which forms, lower down, the pretty cascade of Beatenbach, seen by all voyagers on the Lake of Thun. Tradition assigns this as the residence of the first preacher of Christianity in this neighbourhood. For the honour of my countrymen, I must fain de
clare him to have been an Englishman, who returning from Rome, where the Pope had taken great pains with his edification, and given him the name of Beat, was quite in despair on seeing the dreadful state of this, then heathen valley. Finding no one would take him into their home, he sought three days for a habitation, and at last rejoiced in finding a very sorry one,-none other than this cave: where, I fear, the water must at times have been a great annoyance to him. How. ever, Satan was a still greater plague, if report speaks truth. Seven days he battled with him for this miserable hole; till at last faith and prayer prevailed, and St. Beat obtained possession; but not quiet; for the Devil raised a most dreadful tempest when the good saint wished to go and administer the food of the word to a faithful flock who waited for him, broke his boat, and reduced him to despair, till he cast himself down on his red mantle; and then the Devil's spite was amply made up to him, for he was wafted on it high over the waves to the expectant congregation, who, no doubt, were much strengthened and confirmed by his miraculous appearance. Another sweet bit of revenge he obtained over Satan, who in the church, when one of Beat's converts was preaching, was very busy in a corner under the pulpit, setting down the names of all those who fell asleep on a very hot day after a long walk, during the sermon; feeling quite sure, that, if he had it down in black and white, to show at the judgement-day, these unlucky wights would all be condemned, without mercy, to everlasting chains. So many slept, that the goat's-skin the Devil had with him was quite full ; and in order to stretch it to make it hold more, he pulled it with his teeth till his head knocked against the pulpit and rang again : which made Beat, who was watching him, burst into a loud laugh, and woke all the sleepers for that day. The miraculous virtues of Beat's cloak seem to have ceased after this-for fear, I suppose, of his becoming too conceited. He is said to have died in peace, leaving Christianity prosperous on the shores of the Bended Lake (as the Lake of Thun is called in these legends), and in all the neighbouring country.
Will my kind reader endure any more absurdities? If so, I will tell him a history which is really believed by some of the people of the country.
The Blumelis Alp is an immense mass of snow-covered rock seen from the Lake of Thun. It derives its name from the punishment inflicted on it in consequence of the wickedness of a farmer who lived there once on a time; for it was not always buried in snow, but had green pastures and fertile meadows when in its natural state. He was so rich, that he made a staircase of cheeses to the mountain top. He lived there with his wife, his servant-maid, who seems to have been his chief ally, and his dog. His wife being a good woman, died in peace; but he, his maid, dog, and cow, are still believed to be imprisoned in the everlasting snow on the summit.
Yet a few stories of the people of Merlinghen, a village on the Lake of Thun, remarkable for the personal strength and mental weakness of its inhabitants.
They are said to have been guilty, one winter, of carrying the snow over in a boat to the other side of the lake;- and once, when they wanted to make a fire, to light a candle, they knew not how; and seeing one lighted at the other side of the lake, they went over in a boat with a
stick, in order to set it on fire and bring it burning to light their candle. -Seeing some blades of grass on the roof of their church, they imagined it necessary to take up an ox to eat it away.—When the walnuts began to get ripe, and the skins to crack, they fancied they were thirsty, and opened their mouths for drink; so they bent the tree down with cords to the lake. The tree, however, was the strongest," et emportait tous les pauvres gens en l'air.”—Wanting to get rid of some weeds in their corn, they would not suffer any person to walk among it to pull them up, lest he should tread the wheat down; but they made four men carry one in a litter, in order to accomplish it without injury!
Whether they are improved now, and become gens d'esprit, I do not know; but one of them made the following reply to a stranger who went there, and asked whether there were as many silly people as ever there. “Oh oui; et il en arrive tous les jours dans le pays."
The ascent of the Faulhorn is the most interesting and most difficult excursion in the neighbourhood of Interlachen. It is necessary to go to Grindelwald and sleep there, setting out early in the morning on horses or mules and carrying provisions. In passing through the valley, the guides point out the spot on which a single ray of the sun, on a particular day, shines after he has been sunk a long while beneath the mountains. The reason is, that there is a hole through the Eiger, behind which the ray passes, and consequently casts a momentary light on a particular place in the vale below.
The view soon becomes exquisite on a sunny day, when the sky is clear blue, and the glaciers glittering in light. You toil up a long ascent till you reach a small lake, in a little plain of fresh verdure, enamelled with all manner of fairy colours, occasioned by the beautiful flowers which the melted snow brings forth. It is surrounded with high, dark, and partly snow-covered walls of rock, which you must still ascend to reach the top-immensely steep and fatiguing to attain ; but when attained the most magnificent and striking of imaginable views amply repays you ; indeed, I think it is by far superior to any other in Switzerland. You stand on a point of ground, which behind you slopes steeply down, and before you is broken off perfectly perpendicular; so that the eye plunges down a black precipice and finds at the bottom a melancholy lake with one single habitation on its bank- the station, I believe, of a custom-house officer. Where the Lake of Brienz is visible beyond, you may see boats like little specks plying to and fro to the Giesbach-in the distance are the Rigi, the great and little Mythen overhanging the town of Schwitz, Mont Pilate, Zug, the Lakes of Neuchatel, Thun, and Lucerne, and the range of the Jura between France and Switzerland, with many a fair Swiss mountain, village, and river, inferior to these, and stretching out in a comparative plain. On turning, you behold vast masses of black rocks, covered in parts with bright verdure, irregularly shaped, and surmounted with a wreath of snow, whose border is cut into the most elegant peaks imaginable. Here the Blumelis Alp, Jung Frau, (with the brilliant Silber-horn,) Monch, Eiger, Viescherborner, Finsteraarhorn, Shreckhorn, Berglistok, and Wetterhorn raise their ancient heads in the clear blue ether, while the Schwarzhorn and Signal rock, which they tower above, most strongly contrast with their purity. It is impossible to describe one's feelings. while beholding this unique spectacle. You are so completely in the
heart of the Alpine regions, their secrets are so entirely laid open to your view, that you see at once the connection of every glacier and every mountain you have before visited separately, and only regarded in its isolated position, and are carried away by admiration of this unexpected and beautiful revelation of the whole, and the wonderful coincidence of such enormous and widely separated parts.
Spiritualized and excited by this intimate connexion with the harmony of Nature, you seem no longer to belong to the ordinary world, which is left so far behind that you expect the beasts must sink with fatigue, and yourself perish with hunger, ere you can again behold the habitations of men; so entirely are they lost to view, and a new world opened, bright, splendid, and immaterial as the visions of a poet's dream.
They live, those hoary beings--they understand your thoughts--they become the confidants of the most concealed sentiments of your soul, of every internal pang, of every unencouraged hope-imagination represents them answering, like the oracles of old, those ideas which have never yet passed your lips, and scarcely dared to present themselves in the deepest solitude to your mind. The delight and pain of such feelings can never be imagined by one who has not experienced them; and I do not think they could be borne, unless tears came to the relief of the too highly excited soul.
We descended a different way, in face of the majestic scene I have described, and dining in a valley inhabited by goats and cows, and one or two half-human beings, who chanted, while milking, the “ Ranz des Vaches" in its simplest form, being merely a repetition of the word kuh (cow) in musical cadence, reached Grindelwald again by moonlight, with the scene so engraven on our hearts, that I do not think it can ever. be dimmed or effaced.
A MOUNTAIN THOUGHT.
O'er the wide surface of the chequer'd earth, .
Hark! it comes, loaded with heart-thrilling sadness!
PREPARATIONS FOR PLEASURE; OR, A PIC-NIC. When in matters of a thousand and a thousand times recurrence the result is, invariably, the same, it may fairly be taken for granted that chance has nothing to do in directing it; it must be considered as belonging to the very nature of the matter or thing itself; and to expect a different issue would be to expect a manifest impossibility. With this truth for their guide, or rather, for their warning, how is it that speculators and projectors, who have witnessed the failure of their schemes and experiments five hundred times repeated, should still persist in renewing them in the very teeth of experience, reason, and common sense ? How is it that Colonel Martingale, who has lost three fine fortunes at play, and ought to be in possession of, at least, a plentiful stock of experience in exchange for his money, can so far delude himself with a new scheme for breaking all the tables in Europe, as, even now, to be offering for sale his only remaining property-the gold repeater worn by his late father, and his mother's portrait by Sir Joshua! for two hundred pounds, wherewith to carry bis infallible scheme into execution ? How is it that our friend Ranter, whose thirty-four tragedies have been rejected by all the theatres in London, should, at this moment, be engaged in the composition of the thirty-fifth? Or, most marvellous and astonishing of all! how could Mr. Claudius Bagshaw have conceived or imagined that his Pic-nic party, last year, to Twickenham meadows, should turn out a pleasant thing?
To give a Pic-nic party a fair chance of success, it must be almost impromptu : projected at twelve o'clock at night at the earliest, executed at twelve o'clock of the following day at the latest; and even then the odds are fearfully against it. The climate of England is not remarkable for knowing its own mind; nor is the weather “ so fixed in its resolve" but that a bright August moon, suspended in a clear sky, may be lady-usher to a morn of fog, sleet, and drizzle. Then again-but, this being tender ground, we will only hint at the possibility of such a changema lady of the intended party might quit the drawing-room at night in the sweetest humour imaginable, and make her appearance at breakfast in a less amiable mood, or, perhaps, “ prefer taking breakfast in her own room,"~from which notice husbands sometimes infer that such a change has taken place. Then, my gentlernan may receive a post-letter bringing bad accounts of his partridges ; or he may read in the newspaper of the failure of his banker; or-in short, twelve hours are a long time, and great and wondrous events may occur, all of them to the disadvantage of the party of pleasure. But such an affair, long prepared and carefully arranged !--why it is of all the modes of human enjoyment the least satisfactory; and the greater the care, and the longer the preparation, the more disagreeable is the result. The experiment has been tried by hundreds and by thousands on each of the fifteen or twenty days of an English summer, and, invariably, with the same illsuccess. The quantum of pleasure derived has always been in an inverse ratio to the pains employed to procure it. Besides, Mr. Claudius Bagsbaw knew, or he ought to have known, that (to use a phrase with which he was formerly familiar) it is unwise to draw at a long date upon a rickety firm; and Madam Pleasure being in that predicament, the shorter you make your drafts the more likely is she to