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ness, with an aspect of life, as if, unchained and set free from the ice-bound prisons of the Alps, they were hurrying to the broad and fair fields of Germany, and France, and Italy, rejoicing to spread verdure and beauty through the world. I wonder that travellers have not said more of some of these Swiss towns. I have spoken of Lu. cerne. Thun, too, is another glorious spot. It is situated on the Aar, about a mile from its rushing forth from the Lake of Thun, or Thuner See, A beautiful valley, of five or six miles circuit, spreads to the west of the town, terminated by the magnifi. cent mountain barrier of the Stockenberg–dark, severe, with a broken and irregular outline—and relieved, to-day, against a sky of the purest autumnal serenity. Southward lies the lake; and beyond, forty miles distant probably, but seeming much nearer, rise the snowy summits of the Jungfrau, Silverhorn, and the Eigers—mountains between eleven and twelve thousand feet in height, their loftiest and sharpest pinnacles perfectly white, and looking precisely like the forms of our snowbanks after a driving storm. Their immense elevation, with this dazzling whiteness, makes them appear more like things of heaven than of earth. We went during the afternoon to view the church, the Pavillon de Jacques, and the grove
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southward, on the lake. The last rays of the setting sun upon the snow-capped Alps, the bright waters of the lake, the soft and solemn shadows of the descending evening upon the western mountains, the serene depths of a September sky above them—these are the features of the scene. But words are not paintings; and no paintings can do justice to such scenes as these. And yet, the scenes themselves, what are they in all their majesty of form and beauty of colouring, compared with what they are as emblems of our thought— temples and ministrations of religion. “So,” I said as I walked homeward, “let the last shadow steal over me, soft and solemn; the bright waters of life at my feet—for not a cynic would I die; and the serene and illimitable depths of heaven above me— for I would die a Christian.”
CHAPTER X. .
Excursion to the Oberland—Sail down the Lake of Thun—Unterseen and Interlaken—Valley of Lauterbrunnen—Wengernalp—Jungfrau–Avalanches—The Eigers—Grindelwald—The Glacier—Condition of the People—Swiss Songs—Return to
... Thun—Road to Berne—Lake of Neufchatel–Castle Grand.
, son—Battle field of Charles the Bold and the Swiss–Yverdun —Lausanne—Geneva.
ONamost beautiful Septembermorning, (the fourteenth instant,) we set out on an excursion to the high Alps, and the glaciers of Grindelwald. Welest our carriage, and took a boat at Thun, to go down to Neuhaus, at the bottom of the lake, on our way to the mountains. These boats on the Swiss lakes are almost uniformly rowed in part by women, We had two on the Zug, and one to-day.
Scarcely a finer day in the year could have been chosen to witness those effects of light, those contrasts of light and shade, which are certainly among the most striking things in mountain scenery. All the morning there was not a cloud in the sky, save
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one, that rested like a halo on the distant peak of Jungfrau. And whatever may be said about the effect of clouds and mists upon the mountain tops, and whatever it may be in fact, nothing seems to me to give such sublimity to them as a clear and cloudless sky. Then they appear to be invested with that awful serenity, which is to me their sublimest attribute; and then, too, they seem to pierce, not the clouds only, but the very heavens. There was a very striking effect of light and shade as we came down the lake, which I suppose one might be here forty days, and not see: for everything depends on the light, and the state of the atmosphere. There was a slight veil, like that of our Indian summer, upon the surrounding hills; and aided by this, the mountain of Arbendberg, though it was ten o'clock in the morning, cast so deep a shadow upon the lake, that a boat, sailing in that direction, seemed to be advancing into a region of awful and perilous obscurity, and, indeed, it was soon lost to the sight entirely. At the same time, the rays of the sun, streaming over the mountain upon the village of Derlingen, situated on the shore beneath, presented it in the boldest reliefand the most splendid colouring; and yet, one single foot (so it seemed) beyond the line of light, it was so dark, that, although only a mile distant, we mistook
rocks for houses, and were speculating, before our
may wander over the world and find few places so
beautiful as this. The inns and boardinghouses