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shone on all. No man greeted us when we entered the courtyard, but the black gowns of two of the monks lay on the wall, as if their owners had hastily retreated on hearing approaching footsteps. In the plain chapel there was no occupant, and we noted only a carved arm and hand projecting from the pulpit, and holding out the cross. We went into the garden. It was on the steep side of the mountain, and the earth was held in place by terraces, against which pears were trained, and then there were evergreens carved in fantastic shapes, and a fountain that sang to itself all day and all night, and below, seen through the trees, were the spire of the church and the roofs of Altdorf. How old and still, and how far away from our New World it seemed. One in this place might well believe there had never been any Luther nor any trouble in the church, and that there was none now; still, as I clambered down a narrow path to the village, the Swiss guide asked me if I was from the United States, and said that he had once lived in Peoria! Yes, he had lived in Peoria, and also in St. Louis, where he would like to live still, but his health had failed him, and so he had to come back to Altdorf. His heart was not, it seemed, in these mountains, which I had come so far to see, nor did he care for the song of the Capuchins' fountain which I had stopped to hear, but he had rather be at Peoria, or perhaps St. Louis, which was larger, a good deal, than Altdorf and Peoria put together. He talked of America till we got to the church, which had a magnificent altar, and pictures, which the man from Peoria said came from Rome, and then he took us into a chapel, and there, on shelves, were the skulls, the guide said, of the Swiss guards in whose honor the great lion at Lucerne had been carved.
In this little voyage on the lake, and in the visit to Altdorf, and for some hours after, the Doctor and myself had the benefit of the society of Mr. Henry M. Knox, of St. Paul, an American, agreeable even in Europe. I inferred, from what this gentleman told me, that while in London he did not stop at the Langham, and yet he was indeed to me “a man and a brother,” full of courtesy and abounding in information. The American name would be far more popular abroad were there more well-informed and unpretending travelers like my St. Paul friend, and fewer loud, bumptious, purse-proud ignoramuses.
Two things a man should never do if he can help himself: firstly, he should never eat anything he don't like; and secondly, he should never go anywhere merely because it is the fashion to
The second of these rules I violated in ascending Rigi, and remaining there to see the sun rise the next morning. The ascent by railway was very pleasant, and the sunset view was glorious. In remaining all night, however, my conduct is explainable only by the answer to Archbishop Whateley's celebrated conundrum,“Why does a donkey prefer thistles to hay?” The hotel was the stupidest in Switzerland - one of those neversufficiently-abused places where they fire off the dish-covers, and bring in the courses to the “Dead March in Saul.”
Then it was cold — as it always is—and the humane proprietor has posted notices that guests will not be allowed to carry off bed-clothes in which to see the sun rise; in other words, no man is allowed to “wrap the drapery of his couch about him.” No, not if he freezes his bunions off. Mr. Kirk, in his otherwise excellent history of Charles the Bold, says that, on Rigi at sunrise, “Successive groups of giant Alps rise out of the night and receive on their icy brows warm kisses from the radiant dawn." As far as my experience goes, I emerged from the gossamer sheets and gauzy blankets of my Rigi bed at the first notes of the Alpine horn (gratuity fifty centimes). It was not a cloudy morning, as is generally the case, but there was no “radiant dawn”— the sun sneaked up from behind a mountain and kissed nothing. It was cold, as well as “stale, flat and unprofitable.” So much for sunrise on Rigi.
A pleasant sail in the bright morning brought us back to Lucerne, and we went thence to Alpnach and to Berne, and so on to fair Geneva.
EFORE we proceed further on our travels through Switz
erland, we will deal out a bit of general information on the subject of Swiss tourists. Two kinds of people go to Switzerland: one goes to perform an operation called “doing” the country, the other merely goes to see it. The first class insist on climbing the mountains, and go lugging about a lot of lumber in the shape of alpenstocks, and wear all kinds of hideous gaiters, and carry knapsacks, and try to look as nearly as possible like Bunyan's Pilgrim before his burden of sins was removed. They know all the ten thousand Swiss peaks by name; they have. "done” the Matterhorn, and intend to “do” the Wetterhorn and a great many other horns beside. The English lead in this sort of thing, and every summer a number of them are killed in climbing the mountains. There is an organization called the "Alpine Club,” designed to encourage the idiotic destruction of human life. It is quite successful in its ends and aims.
It is quite unnecessary to say, that during my few days in Switzerland I did not coöperate with the "Alpine Club.” As John A. Anderson would probably illustrate it, there is no ampelopsis
I do not care to climb, and have, always thought Mr. Longfellow's young man “Excelsior” was a lunatic. The joys of snow-blinded eyes, sore lungs, thumping hearts and blistered legs, to say nothing of an involuntary trapezę performance over the edge of a cliff four thousand feet high, have never impressed me. So I did not “do" Switzerland. And yet I would say for the benefit of constitutionally timid and lazy persons like myself, that a tour through Switzerland is not absolu dreary and joyless, even without an alpenstock or hob-nailed shoes, or a knapsack, or a cane with the name of all the elevations in Switzerland inscribed on it. One can appreciate the “purple peaks that tear the drifting skies of gold,” though looking up from the green valley that rests like a bird's nest amid the glorious mountains that rise, first green, then purple, then gray, then white and shining like the gates of the New Jerusalem. Not a charm of blue lake, or white and waving, rainbow-girt waterfall, or mysterious glacier, or winding road, or village set like a jewel in the brow of the mountain, need be lost, even though the traveler be the very quietest person in the world, and destitute of the least ambition for "doing" anything. Having “unpacked my heart” of these “views,” I will begin our travels in another paragraph.
From Lucerne we went by boat to Alpnach. Here we were to be transported by diligence to Brienz. I believe there were some diligences in the crowd of vehicles, yet due diligence had not been used in getting enough of them; but there was everything else that goes on wheels. If “variety” is “spice,” it was an uncommonly well-seasoned lot. And horses were there, too, of every variety of architecture –“Gothic," "Early English” (very early), “Pre-Historic,” and so on. Why any doubt should exist about William Tell or Arnold Winkelried, I do not understand; there were certainly horses there that remembered both those gentlemen.
There was a very large number of passengers to be divided