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rays of the setting sun are lingering on the monarch of mountains rolled in clouds with a diadem of snow circling his brow.
In the evening we go out to take a view around from the church steps near by, and here we fully realize the poetry, and yet the truthfulness of Coleridge's hymn written at Chamouni. The air is clear and cloudless now, a light is shining midway up the mountain; the fire of a party who are making the ascent, and have encamped there for the night, and Jupiter, bright and beautiful, is shining just above the summit. It is indeed a most sublime view. We gaze and admire for a time, then return to our hotel, engage our guides and mules, and make all our arrangements for the ascent of the Jardin on the morrow.
THURSDAY, July 28th.-The morning breaks bright and clear. We rise at six and mount our mules provided with guides, provisions, thick shoes, Alpine stock, green vails, spectacles, and thick coats, for the journey to the Jardin. We cross the green meadow, the Arve, and ascend the mountain side. A party of ladies are before us winding their way up the mountain side, a picturesque view. We soon overtake and pass them. Then we have a party above, and these far below, in connexion with the valley beneath, the green mountains far above, the lofty range on the opposite side, the silver-threaded cascade
winding adown it, the mer de glace, the swift running Arveiron at its base, all form a panoramic view, the most sublime and beautiful. We cross frequent Alpine torrents and pass fountains gushing from the mountain side. At one a company of Swiss girls tempt us with water and refreshments for sale. We take a hasty draught, and mount up, until at length in three hours we reach the Montanvert, the best point for viewing the mer de glace, and the surrounding scenery. Here we take a little wine, leave our trusty mules, and commence the ascent to the Jardin on foot. We pass along the steep mountain side, clinging with our hands and pointing our pike, where a single slip would precipitate us hundreds of feet into the chasm below. Yet so great is our excitement and courage for the moment, and, moreover, so faithful are our guides that we have not the least sense of danger. Now we reach the mer de glace, a sea of frozen waves, with deep crevasses and gorges, worn by the melting snow, and waterfalls rushing down the mountain side. This seems, indeed, frightful, accompanied with the roar of the water far below, the fall of the rocks, and the avalanches from the peaks on either side. Yet we advance, leaping the chasms, and guarding against the covert pitfalls till we have crossed a portion of this frozen sea and reached an intermediate point of rocks and
stones, borne down by the winter's avalanche. We look back and are amazed at the dangers we have passed, yet, there are still more before us. The view is now grand indeed; the summits around are covered with snow; numbers shoot up far into the sky of solid rock—massive, and of purple hue, while one just before us, is clad with green grass and blooming flowers. We strengthen ourselves by a draught of cool icewater, and advance over a still more dangerous path, till we reach the base of this peak, two hundred feet high. Here the sun shines in the rarified air with scorching heat. We put on our ' green veils and spectacles, and begin the toilsome ascent. So bracing and exhilarating has been the air thus far, that we scarcely feel fatigued; but we have now passed from winter to midsummer heat, and begin to feel quite exhausted, and we sit down here among the violets and Alpine roses, and refresh ourselves with the beautiful view of summer and winter, side by side, and rocky snow-capped grandeur all around—perhaps the most impressive of all, the sea of glaring ice spread out in front. We toil up this steep ascent, cross another belt of snow and ice, and at length, reach the Jardin-a beautiful little oasis of green grass and flowers, amid a desert of rocks and snow around. A stream of cool water gushes from the rocks, and flows through for the refresh
ment of the weary traveller, and the sun shines here with warmest ray. We find a lady has reached here before us, and is beautifully basking in the sunshine-(where will not enthusiastic woman go?) We pay our compliments to the fair lady, then bestow ourselves on the grass for rest, refreshment, and enjoyment of the scene. How excellent we relish our cold food-ham and wine; but the panoramic scene spread out around must not be lost; we must pluck some flowers, as souvenirs of the place and day, and we cannot remain here but a half hour, yet we have been walking five hours in succession, over snow and ice; clambering rocks and climbing the mountain peaks, and we throw ourselves down upon the rock and enjoy a few moments of refreshing sleep. Now we begin our return-three hours again over the same dangerous path, to Montanvert. The day is clear and almost cloudless, and we enjoy the most perfect view of the sublime scenery, all the way in clear sunlight. Frequent rocks and avalanches are falling and roaring around us, to give effect to all, and we return unharmed, through the guidance and protection of our God, to the mountain where our mules are waiting to take us again to Chamouni. We refresh ourselves again with a cup of milk, and begin the descent. This seems more dangerous than all (though our mules are most trusty), for a single step would plunge
us down a steep precipice and dash us to pieces; and the path is steep, jagged, and winding zigzag down, yet we are so excited with the scene and situation, that we do not fear the danger before us. How beautiful the green valley of grass, and grain, and trees, stretches below, as the sunlight falls upon it; how the last rays of the setting sun play upon yonder summits, till at last they have gone from all save Mont Blanc-still they bathe the monarch's brow with purple and gold, and finally are gone from view. The whole view seems now more picturesque than ever. The water courses of the avalanches above, now clothed with green, the meadow, the silver cascades, the mountain peaks, the mer de glace-all in the mellow light of sunset, are surpassingly beautiful.
At length we safely reached our hotel at Cha mouni, after fourteen hours of climbing up and down on foot and on mules-feeling that we had never enjoyed such a day before, and full of gratitude to our God that he has brought us thus happily to its close.
Though the sun has been intensely hot, and the reflection from the ice and snow very great, yet our green vails have protected us almost entirely from sunburn and blister, so frequent and so distressing in such cases-let me recommend it to all.
Thus passed a most memorable day of my