|European Letters, by T.W. Patton to
The Asheville Citizen:
Description of the Tour of the North Carolina Teachers, During the Summer of 1889
SWITZERLAND. [pages 4553]
|*Note: Copy has been re-formatted. Original two column format has been abandoned and special fonts have been standardized.|
August 10th, 1889.
dear ciTizen: — Our last to you described a stop over at Baden-Baden, leaving which place we flew swiftly over a mountain railway, reminding us of our own fine W. N. C., with its tracks running in all directions and one above another; only here the sharp curves are not made at the head of a valley, as with us, but almost always in the very heart of the mountain itself. So that repeatedly we would dash into a tunnel with the sun on our right and emerge with it on the opposite side, showing a complete change in direction. This steep ascent continued for many miles, probably rising some of the foothills of the mighty Alps, and we then emerge upon a beautiful upland plain, so gently undulating that one forgets its altitude, dotted with little villages in which the heavy overhanging roofs and curiously constructed houses tell us that we are in Switzerland.
Some hours' travel over this kind of country brings us back to the banks of the Rhine, not so peaceful as we knew it before, but affording some beautiful cascades in which the peculiar hue of its water is made more manifest.
Really fatigued by the many beauties we have enjoyed all day, we decide to rest at Zurich, a pretty little city on a lake of its own name, and soon restored to our pristine vigor by an excellent table d'hote at the Hotel Bellevue au Lac, we sally forth once more and take our stand upon a bridge spanning a little river and admire the bright full moon as she silvers the peaceful waters, and listen to sweet music and singing which is wafted to us from a neighboring concert garden.
We hardly feel disposed for bed, but a few hours' sleep suffice, and after breakfast we again view the town and return at noon to our favorite position on the bridge, gazing down into the depth of waters and wonder of what species are the numerous strange looking fish that are darting about so happily. Indeed, what can prevent happiness, whether to fishes or men, in this place. We have always heard (and experienced) that, happiness attended godliness, and that godliness was next to cleanliness, and so we note with pleasure the bathing establishment near by, abundantly patronized, where for the small sum of twenty-five centimes (or one nickel) we can enjoy a most charming swim in the lake and have all the accessories so essential to comfort.
Another idea: Why not try a scheme like this on our French Broad, and encourage our people to wash away the dust of ages and to emerge with bodies pure and minds freed from the thralldom of conventionalism, fanaticism, Bourbonism and all other isms and intolerances which so terribly damn our dear friends and retard every effort toward their elevation and improvement.
At 1.30, leaving sweet Zurich we reach Zug, on its own lake, in two hours, and find a steamer awaiting to convey us across this lovely sheet of water to Arth. The lake is as clear and pure as one can imagine; not translucent as some of the Florida lakes, but of a silvery green most peculiar in shade, and the lofty mountains actually overhang the water.
Chief of these to our eyes is the Rhigi, which has its rugged sides in full view and its top crowned by our hotel, to which we are bound, looming up like a castle, 5,000 feet above our heads.
Reaching Arth, we take an inclined railway, as we are told, but rather we should say a perpendicular one. In a distance of four miles we ascend over 5,000 feet, and as the grade is not continuous we are sure that in some portions it must ascend one foot in three. The locomotive follows us and shoves upward with ...
... many a puff of distress, catching hold of the center cogged rail, and in an hour lands us on the summit.
The sides at places most precipitous are composed of a most curious conglomerate ; small pebbles in huge masses, bound together by a material resembling cement, and thus this whole mountain is composed. We wished we could transport it by magic to Buncombe. What a Godsend it would be. It is the very best material for macadam we ever saw and could be worked with greatest ease.
At Poyntz a large expanse of grazing lands appears, and we are told that immense quantities of butter and cheese are here produced.
The forest growth resembles ours as seen on top of Mitchell, Craggy or the Roan—dense balsam, spruce, and an undergrowth of rowan, enlivening all around it with its bright red berries.
On top we enjoy a magnificent view. Five lakes surround the Rhigi's base, the largest the Zug and Lucerne, on opposite sides, each with its own little city, while afar the lofty peaks of the Alps tower toward heaven, their tops and sides white with eternal snows, adorning them as silver locks do lovely old age. But again we are reminded of our own mountains by the descending mist shutting out all chance of sunset, and then clearing away to show the peaceful full moon glimmering on the lakes, but only to disappoint tis again about the long hoped for sunrise. This morning we are, as it were, in a pall, and can scarcely see a hundred feet around us. So we hasten down on the opposite side by another railway to seek Lucerne, whence you will hear from us anon.
Lucerne, switzerland, August 12, 1889.
Editor Citizen :—After mailing our last letter to you we left the summit of the Righi, shrouded in mist and drizzling rain, and ourselves shivering with cold, notwithstanding our heaviest wraps closely buttoned around us, and took another railroad, still more steep and wonderful than that which we attempted to describe.
In a half hour we had descended probably 1,500 feet, and emerging from the oppressive pall of clouds, were greeted once
more by a sunshine such as only land with its lakes and mountains can provide, adding a wonderful brilliancy to the beautiful world, still 3,000 feet beneath us.
In one hour more the whole descent is accomplished, and we, so lately complaining of cold, have promptly discarded our surtout and are wandering around the town of Viesnan and, wonderful to relate, amongst groves of fig trees in full bearing, and tempting us with their delicious fruit. And such flowers! Everywhere, on all sides, in greatest prolusion. What a marvelous change of climate in two hours !
None of us regretted a short delay at Viesnan, awaiting our steamer, and it was both profitably and pleasantly employed. We find the people here courteous and affable, generally speaking a broken English and very fair French, which soon relieves us of our embarrassment in Germany. Only too quickly did an hour flit away and we are summoned to the quay, where a charming steamboat receives us and gives us such a sail!
Well, our Webster's Unabridged fails to supply adjectives suited to a description of the lake and city of Lucerne. Our best effort is to say that the former meanders between the mighty mountains, Rhigi here and Pilatus there, like a brilliant riviere of precious stones, for which its own city, a Kohinoor indeed, provides the clasp, as it hangs down the lovely throat of the river Rheuss, through which the water rushes toward the Rhine.
On approaching the city we note a well built quay extending quite a distance along the water's edge, supporting a fine broad walk, shaded by dense rows of horse chestnut, a tree quite similar to, but not identical with, our buckeye, along which throngs of happ3r tourists are strolling.
Here again we observe, as at all other points in Europe, the plainness of the dressing. They seem to abjure for a while the tawdry finery one sees on all hands at Saratoga, and to come here for a better purpose than to make display of their fine clothes and wealth of shoddiness. Nor indeed is it strange, for who can find time to think of more than nature and art have here spread out to their view ?
On one side a row of elegant hotels, on ...
... the other the peaceful glimmer of the calm water, on which happy boys and girls are rowing, vicing in joy with the innumerable fishes which are sporting beneath the surface.
Not fearing the crowd because still provided with Cook's coupons, we are soon ensconced at his own hotel "Le Cigne," (The Swan"), and enjoying a good lunch preparatory to a further ramble.
The lunch is soon over, for who will stay indoors longer than the stern requirements of food and drink demand, and out we go, straggling along, open eyed, open mouthed, open eared, seeing, tasting, hearing new and delicious things at every step; aye, and we hope learning, too, certainly being taught that our esteemed contemporary the E. J. was mistaken when it thought that we had all the wisdom of the world.
After enjoying a charming row of ten miles, four people at a cost of sixty cents, we land again and wend our way to see the "Lion of Lucerne," a most wonderful piece of sculpture, a dying lion of gigantic size, in length twenty-two feet; and strangest of all. chiseled out of. the face of the native rock. A large niche has been cut into the cliff and in it reposes the mighty beast, with an air of most wonderful dignity and grandeur, his proportions so absolutely perfect that one cannot realize his size except by pacing in front from his nose to his rump.
This wonderful piece of work is a monument erected in honor of the Swiss Guard of Louis XVI, who, being left without orders, the king having escaped, faithfully stood to their arms until the last man fell under the furious onslaught of the mad mob at the palace of the Tuilleries.
This inscription is carved in the living rock under the lion: "Hive stint nomina coruin qtii ne sncrfimenti fidcm falcrcnt, fortissimi pugnantes ceciderunt." Then follows the names of the brave men.
A Sunday more Sabbath like we do not remember than was yesterday. Seeing a notice that an American church service would be held at the National hotel we attend it to hear our own dear old prayers, litany and psalter once more, and rendered in the simple plain manner which to us makes it always so attractive. The clergyman a visitor from New York, Rev. Mr. Kenyon, using his vacation for his owN health and for the benefit and enjoyment of his countrymen, gives us a good practical sermon, while the large parlor is filled with people on each of whom is impressed that independent character which marks an inheritor of the States and of which we are so justly proud.
The clergyman has the wisdom to know that a few plain words have more effect than an hour's tiresome talk, so his good sermon is ended just as his hearers wished to hear more, and after a pleasant handshake with some of our countrymen and a few minutes' chat with some of our countrywomen, who have no fear of insult when a strange gentleman speaks to them, we go out once more to take in another sermon, as preached by God's pure air and bright sun and all the loveliness He has so lavishly bestowed upon us.
A walk across the breadth of the little city by a very old bridge spanning the Rhenss, brings us to the foot of a high precipitous hill which is capped by a most attractive building called "The Gutesh." Of course we are anxious to visit it, but the ascent daunts us until a nearer approach reveals an inclined railway of most singularly simple design, in length about 800 feet, and inclined at an angle of forty-five degrees. One car comes down as the other goes up, each being connected to his colaborator by a cable which passes over a pulley at the top. An arrangement of this kind we have often seen, but heretofore always worked by a steam engine causing the pulley to revolve, but there is no engine or any other power here. Each car is provided with a tank which at the top is supplied with just enough water to outweigh the ascending car. Of course the quantity of water is gauged according to the number of passengers in each, and at the bottom just enough water is discharged to enable the trip to be made at best economy, the passengers themselves, by their avoirdupois, supplying in part the motive power. Just at this point of our description of our railroad, we were interrupted, as the time had arrived to ascend another, even more curious in construction and operation. We refer to that climbing the ...
... rugged cliffs from the shore of Lake Lucerne to the Stortnnooti summit of Mount Hilatns. This road only opened to the public in June last, presents undoubtedly the most wonderful achievement of engineering skill yet exhibited. In a distance of five thousand yards, an ascent is accomplished of 5,344 feet, an average of more than one foot in three, the maximum being 48 in 100.
It was really frightful to look over the cliff's side, to which we were actually clinging, because the locomotive clamped the rail, which was bolted to the steel crossties, they being bolted to the solid rock.
One of the most singular features, is the entire difference in geological formation between the two mountains or opposite sides of the little lake. To the east Rhigi, a mass of sea worn pebbles, while on the west Piiatus with not an evidence of antediluvian material, but a huge mass of limestone. We presume this material was not considered sufficiently durable or tenacious to trust with the railway, and therefore from bottom to top the roadbed was excavated and filled in with granite slabs transported from distant quarries of Italy. To these massive slabs, dovetailed each into the limestone, the crossties are secured by iron bolts, four to each, of two inches in diameter.
The motive power is new and most unique. The engine and cars are connected, with only two axles for both, and the powerful engine produces motion through the medium of two cogged wheels which engage the vertical cogs on each side of the central rail. It will be understood from this that the motor wheels revolve horizontally, or as nearly so as the steep grade will admit. The sight ot this wonderful work repays us fully for the expedition although our usual fortune attends and the top is shrouded in clouds and no view of the distant Alps, but the near scenes are at times wonderfully striking and the rugged storm seared rocks most impressive. The height above the sea level is seven thousand feet.
It is now time to begin our drop towards the lower regions, which we hope will not extend so far as the theologians think, but afford us an opportunity to give you and your readers a little more before mailing this at Lucerne.
How delightful in a foreign land to meet dear friends from home! This was our good fortune on our first arrival at Lucerne, and what a cordial hand shake we received from friends, whom we did not know were in Europe, towit: Mr. Ed. C. Smith, of Raleigh; Messrs. B.C. Ernpie and D. M. Williams, of Wilmington; Messrs. E. T. Martin and S. T. Bamett, of Birmingham, Ala.
These gentlemen are traveling together and have made a delightful tour of north Italy and are now reversing our tracks going down the Rhine instead of up as we did. Other members of their party, who are now separated but expect a reunion at Heidelberg, are Mr. Pembroke Jones, wife and two children, of Wilmington; Mr. H. Walters, of the Atlantic Coast Line; Mr. Fred Kidder, of Wilmington. Although they crossed by a much more expensive line of steamers, they give the same account as ours of bad fare, discomfort and rudeness of stewards during the passage, but like us have thoroughly enjoyed every moment since they landed on this side. Good-bye.
interlaken, August 14, 1889.
dear citizen :—This little Swiss town is as its name implies located midway between the lakes (here called mer-seas) of Brienz and Thun, upon a level strip of land some two miles in length and one-fourth of a mile in breadth, each side of •which is shut closely in by rugged mountains of lime rock chiefly, but in part covered with splendid forest of beech, fir, etc., again reproducing many old acquaintances, while above them at one point tower the brilliant snow covered peaks of "Jungfrau," here pronounced "young frow," and meaning "new wife."
A walk to the top of a little foothill affords us a most wonderfully lovely view on all sides. To the east and west the sweet calm lakes, connected by a silver thread, the river Arne, winding its way between the shade trees and houses of the town at our feet, the broadest portion of the valley spread out for cultivation, and thoroughly cultivated, rich in green grass, ripe grain, orchards of apples, pears, figs, all interspersed with the richest flowers of many varieties, while one has only to raise his eye from this scene, almost tropical, to catch a sight of the rough mountain of rock, overcapped by one a little more distant, perfectly white, except as the fleeting clouds intervene and transform the sun's rays into the most brilliant prismatic colors, each of which can be distinctly traced, as it blends with the next, and all combining to cover the snow with innumerable bows ot promise; promising us that there shall be no more flood, which is most refreshing, as each day since our arrival in Switzerland we have had our spirits dampened by a pouring rain, and only at moments between showers have we been vouchsafed such glories as we attempt to describe.
Interlaken is a place of much resort for tourists and chiefly composed of numerous hotels, many of the buildings modern and attractive in appearance, but also presenting one or two ruins to prove that it rightfully claims a place in the history of this old land
Let us give you an expression of one of these sweet Swiss girls, which shows their pride in their country: Standing near the foot of the ancient tower of Unspunnen we asked her its age, first in English unsuccessfully, then in our broken
French. "Ah, Monsieur," she replied, "on ne le pent pas lire dans les libres," which we interpret, "There are no books old enough to tell of its birth."
In addition to the hotels we find many curious stores, or shops, filled beautifully with wares most charmingly attractive, especially the wood carving. Never have we seen anything to compare with it in variety nor exquisite delicacy of finish, and all so wonderfully cheap. If we could only get it home without the oppressive duty we could set up a museum of wonders of handicraft. But the horrid custom house is in the way, and an addition of 40 per cent., to go into Uncle Sam's already overflowing treasury, is a decided nuisance.
Whatever we have been heretofore, or may be hereafter, at this moment we are a determined advocate of tariff reform.
Wishing, as we do, to inform ourselves, not only of the physical peculiarities of this country, but at the same time of the personal traits of its inhabitants, we consider ourselves most fortunate that after dinner our landlord provides a concert in the office of the Hotel Metropole.
Three Swiss, a man and two girls, in their native dress, give us sweet music, vocal and instrumental, the latter upon instruments quite new to us, such as the xylophone and the cythare [sic], and the singing consisting of various Tyrolean songs, which, while the words we cannot catch, delight our unprofessional ears with the simplicity of their melody.
As has been our universal custom, we venture an effort at conversation with those we meet on every possible occasion and never yet have we met with a rebuff", and many times are answered by most delightful ladies and gentlemen. Thus on yesterday an English clergyman, who recognized our nationality by our French, gave us in our native tongue a most interesting description of many surrounding points, and added a very curious statement of the religious condition of Interlaken. In one church building, a very old one, services are held at the same time for the English, for the Roman Catholics, for the Presbyterians, and for the French Protestants, and when we expressed surprise that this state of things could exist and our pleasure at the good feeling it indicated, our friend replied, ...
"Oh, yes, but how much better it would be if we could only join in the same worship; but that will be when the Master comes." And truly, we think, as the times grow older and wiser, and the Episcopal church gains more and more clergy such as this and Canon Farrar and Heber Newton and Philip Brooks and Dr. Pinckney, and the Presbyterian such as Dr. Lees, the time may be prepared for the Master's coming sooner than we are wont to think possible.
A review of the past two weeks, our first experience of the continent of Europe, brings us to the conclusion, that it has been the most thoroughly enjoyable of our lives, although laboring under many disadvantages, such as limited time, and not an overabundance of cash, a very slight knowledge of French, and none of German, frequent interruptions of rain, and disappointments of cloud covered mountains, we have made our way without difficulty, and have seen wonders, of which no description can give an adequate conception.
Without hesitation we urge every young man and woman in North Carolina, to begin forthwith to save their pennies, and make such arrangements, as each can make, to visit Europe.
We do not recommend a large party, nor an effort to come on the very lowest possible expenditure of money. There is no economy in this. The expense and discomfort of an ocean voyage here and back, unless accompanied by the pleasures, and we hope the learning, which we have enjoyed, is both unwise and extravagant. Some of our original party, arriving at Glasgow on July 18, sailed thence on August 9, and for their expense and seasickness, had twenty days to do Europe. This we must think was anything else than a wise, or economical expenditure of time and money. Our own allowance of time is far too short. We have to hasten over scenes, where we long to linger, so as to have ten days left for beautiful Paris, which we reserve for our last recollections of Europe.
We advise those, who have any idea of coming here, to begin at once the study under the Meisterchaft system, of both French and German. We would certainly have lost much enjoyment, but for the little French we are able to pick up during our voyage, and would have had much more pleasure if we had been able to know even as much of German. The system is wonderfully simple, and enables one, who is willing to study it, an opportunity quickly to make known his wants in either language.
We hope on our return to pursue both, in the distant hope, that we may once more be able to come, and shall urge our young people, at once to form themselves into classes, for mutual assistance in study and speaking.
And now dear friends, we once more must say, but with fear and trembling lest the E.I. may take offence, good bye.
" T. W. P.
P. S.—Do not imagine that what we see here, for a moment keeps our home folks out of our minds. Our latest information is of the burning of Hart & Williamson's and W. B. Gwyn's houses. We tender each of these good friends our sincere sympathy, and hope that the citizen was, as ever, foremost in any appropriate offer of material assistance. We regret to note the small amount of insurance and the heavy loss sustained by Hart & Williamson and will feel less sorrow at leaving Europe, in the hope that on our return it may not be too late to tender our cooperation in such steps as we see suggested, to promptly enable them to resume a business so valuable to our community.
It is interesting to one whose home is in the loftiest mountains of the eastern slope of the United States to compare its features with those of this land of the Alps.
In physical beauty, we must confess that this country is far in advance of ours. The mountains, while more lofty, are approached to their very base by an almost level plain, varying in dimensions as the huge masses above jut in upon or recede from it. In this way the traveler obtains a more adequate idea of the dizzy heights, and while enjoying the fruits, flowers and balmy atmosphere of our dear South, perchance he sees apparently within reach of his arm a field of ice and snow, from which innumerable streams come rushing down, and in their leap pre- ...
sent cataracts of wonderful beauty and variety, at times dashing with inconceivable fury out of the solid rock, through which the water had worn it way during ages past, and at others becoming the most delicate rainbows, making mist before reaching the bottom.
A combination of these charms, as seen through an atmosphere absolutely transparent, and which fills the lungs with a pure tonic unequaled in our experience, produces an enjoyment far surpassing anything at home, and intensified, if such a thing is possible, by the peaceful rest of the calm waters of the lakes on all sides.
After thus trying to give our impressions of the country, and acknowledging its superiority in scenery to our own, we are happy that we are citizens of a nation which ensures to all, the lowest as well as the greatest, political advantages such as to these poor people are unknown.
In conversation with a charming Swiss gentleman, (evidently a man of culture, because he said "oh, sir, your French is excellent, but I so seldom have an opportunity to exercise my English, please help me to converse in it,") we were led to the conclusion, that although Switzerland is a republic, like our own in many respects, it is impoverished by the constant necessity for maintaining a standing army, to protect its borders in the event of a Franco-German war, which our friend seemed to consider as both possible and probable at an3' moment. One effect of this continual drain on the nation's treasury is the impoverishment of the people, and we never remember to have seen such painful evidence of squalid poverty, as is exhibited among the peasantry. God defend our good mountaineers from any approach to it. May we never, in America, see as we did yesterday, a man, a woman and a dog yoked together to a heavy cart, dragging it up one of the steep roads heavily loaded with some luxury for a party of tourists. How little we consider those around us, or the blessings which should fill our hearts with gratitude.
Another most pitiful sight, on yesterday. For the first time we set foot upon a glacier, wonderfully beautiful beyond all imagination. At one point a grotto has been excavated, winding into the solid ice probably a distance of 100 feet. Upon entering, we hear sad, weird music, and, at its dark extremity, seated in an icy cavern, pitch dark except for a dim lamp, a haggard old woman, ninety years in appearance, strumming upon her xylophone, in the hope, often vain, that the visitor may bestow alms.
Our heart was touched, indeed, and yet was the sympathy sincere ? You may judge, for, when we returned to the light of day, we found that the coin we had instinctively selected to prove our sympathy was ten centimes, or exactly two American cents.
Many strange sights! One of the strangest is to gather sweet, bright mountain flowers, very similar to those with which Craggy abounds, within a marvelously short distance of the "Mer de Glace." We cannot blame our friends if they discredit this statement, and yet we know it to be true. Although the purity of the air enables us to perform, with ease, a climb which at home would fatigue and exhaust us, still a scramble upward of 3,000 perpendicular feet makes us perspire, and, in a moment, we enter this grotto, its walls of crystal ice, its floor covered ankle deep in small fragments which surround our feet and slip into our shoes. The sudden change in temperature is most startling, and a few moments suffice, the bright sunshine and daisies are far preferable, and to them we hasten to return.
Interlaken could hold us satisfied for a full month. It abounds in all that is attractive, walks in all directions, drives to more distant points, such as Lanterfrunnen, Trimmelbark, Murrein, Grindelwald, each of which should have a day, but with us, all crowded into one, a lake on either hand inviting to a sail or row. In short may it be our good fortune in company with our loved ones, now far away, to come again to this sweet spot.
But now we must bid it a lingering farewell, which is done with real heartache, and we are on the lake of Thun, again the poetry of existence. As our pleasant little steamer gains distance from the foot hills of the shore, it affords a panorama, of which no artist can give an idea—and it is not strange that the attempt has not been made.
A range of snow clad peaks, of which the central is Jungfrau, (they all seem to make obeisance to the sweet "new wife") extends around one-fourth of the horizon, and glitter in the dazzling morning light, while the water underneath us tries to give a reflection of the charms above, and sends back the bright hues of flowers and rocks which bound its shores.
Our boat glides along too swiftly, stopping at many piers, at each of which we long to land and linger, and at the end of n short two hours, we disembark at the town of Thun, and take our seats • on an attending train, and at this moment are flying towards Berne, which, as the capital city, we cannot pass by, and of our stop will advise you anon.
A very pleasant rest of twenty-four hours gives time to visit many points of interest in this capital city of our sister republic, and it is found a very attractive place, combining both old and new. The streets well paved, and a fountain of pure water flowing profusely at many of their intersections from stands of stone carved in many grotesque designs.
A visit to the old cathedral well repays the time it takes. The interior, impressive in size but plain to austerity, indicates its intense Protestantism, while outside there remain many sculptures, probably placed there under its Catholic builders. These present most quaint and almost grotesque ideas of its architect. A group of figures over the door illustrates the parable of the sheep and goats, and the distressed countenances of the latter, especially of one terrible roue who the devil has firmly in his iron tongs, ready for a roast, are most ludicrously pathetic; while the happy sheep actually do seem
rejoiced at the contemplation of the misery of those who were so lately their friends and neighbors.
This strange idea is again strongly presented by the life size figures of the Ten Virgins. The five wise, with burning lamps v:ew with the complaisance of Pharisees the distressed countenances of their weeping sisters, as with empty oil cans and extinguished lamps they turn sadly away.
The chief characteristic of Berne is its devotion to bears. The legend is that its founder was almost killed by one of these fierce animals, and in gratitude for his escape named his city Berne, or The Bear, and so Bruin seems to be the tutelary saint of the Bernese. His burly form, in all strange positions, meet you at every turn, and in a huge pit six of these creatures are pampered at the city's cost.
A very strange old clock is another of the sights of Berne, and it is curious to see the crowds of tourists filling the narrow street and craning their necks to see its strange developments as each hour approaches.
The public buildings are handsome and well appointed, and near by a terrace affords an extended prospect of snow clad peaks, from which we can scarcely tear ourselves away, but linger long after the setting sun has withdrawn its glorious light. A tablet, presenting a very faithful view, gives the name and height of each, from which we copy the most prominent to help our remembrance of this glorious scene:
Wetterhorn .......................3,703 12,343
Schreckhorn ......................4,080 13,600
Finsteraarhorn .................4,275 14,250
Sillerhorn ..........................3,705 12,350
Breithorn ..........................3,784 12,613
Gspaltenhorn ....................3,436 11,453
Blumlisalphorn .................3,670 12,233N. B.—The first figures are metres,
which are calculated at 3% feet each. We
are not sure this is correct.
guon, switzerland, August 18.
If the expression "an earthly paradise" ever suited a spot in this world, this is the one. Imagine us this peaceful Sunday afternoon at sunset, seated on a terrace surrounded by flowers, rich and glorious, spears of gladioli, of all shades, in endless profusion, heliotrope filling the air with its delightful fragrance, a charming hotel inviting us to its "table d.'hote," but even our hunger must go unappeased, so long as daylight permits, us to turn our eyes, rapturously above, below us, around us, to rest upon this sweet garden, and the pleasant people, old and young, all full of happiness and enjoyment; above us at the towering, snow clad Alps, striving to pierce the heavens, and see whether even there .anything can be found .more pure and white than itself; below us at the calm breast of the lake o£ Leman of which Byron, wrote
"Lake Leman lies by
And from the lovely shore of which we have just been elevated probably two. thousand perpendicular feet, without effort on our part, by the help .of one of those curious inclined,, water-worked railways, such as we described, at Lucerne.
These ingenious contrivances are here called "furniculaires," and seem, very popular, as they are certainly well adapted to make the climb of these dizzy, precipitous mountains.
Our quotation .from Byron reminds us to say, that we have visited the. famous castle of Chillon, on whose .''snow white battlement" we can look at this moment, standing boldly out into the lake, and set off by the dark forests of Mount; Arvel, whose cliffs seem to overhang,,; and threaten the .cruel old prison with the destruction its horrors deserve.
The awful, scenes .here .enacted were brought vividly to mind, as we counted the seven columns of stone in the dungeon,
"And in, each pillar there is a ring : And in each .ring there is a chain, That iron Is a cankering thing , For in these limbs its teeth remain and as we trod over the graves of the two brothers, our heart was opened afresh for the lonely survivor, whom in fancy we could see.
"And it was liberty to stride Along, ray cell from aide to side. And up and down and then athwart And tread it over every part, And round the pillars one by one Returning where my walk begun."
Wonderful mankind to, select a spot so blessed of God, to perpetrate the 'atrocities that these walls have witnessed, and strange incongruity, within a few feet of this horrible dungeon, we find a chapel, in which no doubt during the very moments of the poor prisoner's anguish, his tormentors were engaged in offering worship to Him, whose mission was to bring "peace, good will towards men."
After deciding each hour for the past two weeks, that the place in which we were at that moment, was the most beautiful on earth, once more we must revoke all that we have heretofore written, and say that now we know that none can be so perfect as this spot, and no sail so thoroughly charming as that of today, on the lake of Leman from the town of Lausanne, to Chillon.
The color of the water is changed from the strange green we have before noted,and instead is a most delicate shade of blue. The shores are lined with villages filled with delighted tourists. Numerous swans are gracefully floating around, and coming almost to the steamer's side. Nor are they alone in enjoying a swim, but hundreds of boys are shouting with delight, as they plunge from the banks and rise far from the shore, looking more like frogs than anything else we can think of.
Oh! that we could only have all of our old North State friends with us, and a whole summer to stay amid these delights, but time flies indeed and tomorrow we must hasten to Geneva, for which we have only one day left, and then to Paris.
If we have persecuted you to this extent, before reaching the great exposition which wasthe chief object of our journey, what may you anticipate of evil when we do arrive there? So in very pity we now any, good night.