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Title: Rollo in Geneva
Author: Abbott, Jacob, 1803-1879
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Rollo in Geneva" ***

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 498 & 500 BROADWAY.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1858,


In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of

[Illustration: THE CASTLE OF CHILLON.]

 [Illustration: ROLLO'S TOUR IN EUROPE.





 ROLLO; twelve years of age.
 MR. and MRS. HOLIDAY; Rollo's father and mother, travelling in Europe.
 THANNY; Rollo's younger brother.
 JANE; Rollo's cousin, adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Holiday.
 MR. GEORGE; a young gentleman, Rollo's uncle.


 CHAPTER                                                       PAGE

    I.--THE FAME OF GENEVA,                                     11

   II.--PLANNING,                                               24

  III.--THE RIDE TO GENEVA,                                     35

   IV.--THE TOWN,                                               55

    V.--THE HOTEL,                                              64

   VI.--A RIDE IN THE ENVIRONS,                                 71

  VII.--THE JUNCTION OF THE ARVE,                               93

 VIII.--SEEING MONT BLANC GO OUT,                              108

   IX.--A LAW QUESTION,                                        122

    X.--AN EXCURSION ON THE LAKE,                              134

   XI.--VILLENEUVE,                                            148

  XII.--THE CASTLE OF CHILLON,                                 155

 XIII.--PLAN FORMED,                                           171

  XIV.--WALK TO AIGLE,                                         179

   XV.--THE JEWELRY,                                           197

  XVI.--A FORTUNATE ACCIDENT,                                  209



 THE CASTLE OF CHILLON,                            (Frontispiece.)

 THE GREAT NET,                                                 30

 GOING THROUGH THE VILLAGE,                                     46

 VIEW OF GENEVA,                                                58

 THE WATER WHEEL,                                              100

 FISHING,                                                      104

 GOING TO TAKE A SAIL,                                         132

 THE DUNGEONS OF CHILLON,                                      161

 THE BASKET RIDE,                                              185

 SHOPPING AT GENEVA,                                           203




Geneva is one of the most remarkable and most celebrated cities in
Europe. It derives its celebrity, however, not so much from its size, or
from the magnificence of its edifices, as from the peculiar beauty of
its situation, and from the circumstances of its history.

Geneva is situated upon the confines of France, Switzerland, and
Sardinia, at the outlet of the Lake of Geneva, which is perhaps the most
beautiful, and certainly the most celebrated, lake in Switzerland. It is
shaped like a crescent,--that is, like the new moon, or rather like the
moon after it is about four or five days old. The lower end of the
lake--that is, the end where Geneva is situated--lies in a comparatively
open country, though vast ranges of lofty mountains, some of them
covered with perpetual snow, are to be seen in the distance all around.
All the country near, however, at this end of the lake, is gently
undulating, and it is extremely fertile and beautiful. There are a great
many elegant country seats along the shore of the lake, and on the banks
of the River Rhone, which flows out of it. The waters of the lake at
this end, and of the river which issues from it, are very clear, and of
a deep and beautiful blue color. This blue color is so remarkable that
it attracts the attention of every one who looks down into it from a
bridge or from a boat, and there have been a great many suppositions and
speculations made in respect to the cause of it; but I believe that,
after all, nobody has yet been able to find out what the cause is.

The city of Geneva is situated exactly at the lower end of the lake,
that is, at the western end; and the River Rhone, in coming out of the
lake, flows directly through the town.

The lake is about fifty miles long, and the eastern end of it runs far
in among the mountains. These mountains are very dark and sombre, and
their sides rise so precipitously from the margin of the water that in
many places there is scarcely room for a road along the shore. Indeed,
you go generally to that end of the lake in a steamer; and as you
advance, the mountains seem to shut you in completely at the end of the
lake. But when you get near to the end, you see a narrow valley opening
before you, with high mountains on either hand, and the River Rhone
flowing very swiftly between green and beautiful banks in the middle of
it. Besides the river, there is a magnificent road to be seen running
along this valley. This is the great high road leading from France into
Italy; and it has been known and travelled as such ever since the days
of the old Romans.

The River Rhone, where it flows into the lake at the eastern end of it,
is very thick and turbid, being formed from torrents coming down the
mountain sides, or from muddy streams derived from the melting of the
glaciers. At the western end, on the other hand, where it issues from
the lake, the water is beautifully pellucid and clear. The reason of
this is, that during its slow passage through the lake it has had time
to settle. The impurities which the torrents bring down into it from the
mountains all subside to the bottom of the lake, and are left there, and
thus the water comes out at the lower end quite clear. The lake itself,
however, is of course gradually filling up by means of this process.

There are several large and handsome houses on the northern shore of
the lake; but Geneva, at the western end of it, entirely surpasses them

Geneva is, however, after all, a comparatively small town. It contains
only thirty or forty thousand inhabitants. It would take ten Genevas to
make a New York, and nearly a hundred to make a Paris or London.

Why, then, since Geneva is comparatively so small, is it so celebrated?
Almost every person who goes to Europe visits Geneva, and talks of
Geneva when he comes back; while there are multitudes of other cities
and towns, many times as large in extent and population, that he never
thinks of or speaks of at all.

There are several reasons for this.

1. The first reason is, that this town stands on the great high road
leading from England and France into Italy. Of course it comes naturally
in the way of all travellers making the grand tour. It is true that at
the present day, since steam has been introduced upon the Mediterranean,
a very large proportion of travellers, instead of passing through
Switzerland, go down the Rhone to Marseilles, and embark there. But
before the introduction of steam, for many ages, the way by Geneva was
almost the only way to Italy; and the city acquired great celebrity
through the accounts of tourists and travellers who visited it on their

2. The second reason is, that Geneva is a convenient and agreeable point
for entering Switzerland, and for making excursions among the Alps.
There are two great avenues into Switzerland from France and
Germany--one by way of Geneva, and the other by way of Basle. By the way
of Basle we go to the Jungfrau and the Oberland Alps which lie around
that mountain, and to the beautiful lakes of Zurich and of Lucerne. All
these lie in the eastern part of the Alpine region. By the way of Geneva
we go to the valley of Chamouni and Mont Blanc, and visit the vast
glaciers and the stupendous mountain scenery that lie around this great
monarch of the Alps.

There is a great question among travellers which of these two Alpine
regions is the most grand. Some prefer the mountains about Mont Blanc,
which are called the Alps of Savoy. Others like better those about the
Jungfrau, which are called the Oberland Alps. The scenery and the
objects of interest are very different in the two localities; and it
seems to me that any difference which travellers may observe in the
grandeur of the emotions which they severally produce upon the mind must
be due to the peculiar circumstances or moods of mind in which they are
visited. It is true you can get nearer to the Jungfrau than you can to
Mont Blanc, and so can obtain a more impressive view of his icy and
rocky sides and glittering summit. But then, on the other hand, Mont
Blanc is really the highest peak, and is looked upon as the great
monarch of them all.

And here, as the name of Mont Blanc will of course often appear in this
volume, I have a word or two to say in respect to the proper
pronunciation of it in America; for the proper mode of pronouncing the
name of any place is not fixed, as many persons think, but varies with
the language which you are using in speaking of it. Thus the name of the
capital of France, when we are in France, and speaking French, is
pronounced _Par-ree_; but when we are in England and America, and are
speaking English, we universally pronounce it _Par-is_. It is so with
almost all names of places. They change the pronunciation, and often the
mode of spelling, according to the analogy of the language used by the
person speaking of them.

Many persons suppose that in order correctly to pronounce the name of
any place we must pronounce it as the people do who live in and around
the place. But this is not so. The rule, on the other hand, is, that we
must pronounce it as the people do who live in and around the place _the
language of which we are speaking_. Thus the people of France call their
capital _Par-ree_; those of Spain call theirs something like
this,--_Madhreedth_; the Italians pronounce theirs _Roma_; but we, in
talking English, say simply, _Paris_, _Madrid_, and _Rome_; in other
words, when we are talking English, we _talk English throughout_, using
English words for names of things, and English pronunciation for names
of places, in all cases where there is an English pronunciation
established,--as there is in respect to all the rivers, towns,
mountains, and other localities on the globe that are well known and
often spoken of in the English world.

Mont Blanc is one of these. Like the word _Paris_ it has its French
pronunciation for the French, and its English pronunciation for the
English; and its English pronunciation is as if it were spelled Mount
Blank or Mont Blank. Under this name it has been known and spoken of
familiarly all over England and America for centuries; and this, it
seems to me, is the proper name to give it when we are speaking English.

Its French pronunciation is very different. It is one which none but a
practical French scholar can possibly imitate, except in a very awkward
manner. Those who have visited France and Switzerland, and have been
accustomed to the French sound, often give the word the French
pronunciation; but it is not at all necessary to do so. The word, like
_Paris_, has its own established English sound; and if it is not
pedantry to attempt to give it the French sound when speaking English,
it certainly is not a mispronunciation to give it the English one.
Indeed, to require the French pronunciation of the word from English
speakers would be in effect to banish it almost altogether from
conversation; for among the ten millions, more or less, in England or
America, who speak English well, there is probably not one in a thousand
that can possibly give the word its true French pronunciation.

In reading this book, therefore, and in speaking of the great Swiss
mountain, you are perfectly safe in giving it its plain English sound,
as if it were written Mont Blank; and remember the principle, as
applicable to all other similar cases. Wherever a foreign name has
become so familiar to the English world as to have obtained an
established English pronunciation, in speaking English we give it that
pronunciation, without any regard to the usage of the people who live on
the spot.

But now I must return to Geneva, and give some further account of the
reasons why it has been so celebrated.

3. The third reason why Geneva has acquired so much celebrity among
mankind is the great number of learned and distinguished philosophers
and scholars that have from time to time lived there. Switzerland is a
republic, and the canton of Geneva is Protestant; and thus the place has
served as a sort of resort and refuge for all the most distinguished
foes both of spiritual and political tyranny that have risen up in
Europe at intervals during the last five hundred years. Geneva was
indeed one of the chief centres of the Reformation; and almost all the
great reformers visited it and wrote about it, and thus made all the
world familiar with it, during the exciting times in which they lived.

Besides this, Geneva has been made the residence and home of a great
many moral and political writers within the last one or two centuries;
for the country, being republican, is much more open and free than most
of the other countries of Europe. Men who have incurred the displeasure
of their own governments by their writings or their acts find a safe
asylum in Geneva, where they can think and say what they please. All
this has tended very strongly to attract the attention of mankind to
Geneva, as to a sort of luminous point in respect to moral and
political science, from which light radiates to every part of the
civilized world.

4. There is one more reason, very different from the preceding, which
tends to make Geneva famous, and to draw travellers to visit it at the
present day; and that is, it is a great manufacturing place for watches
and jewelry--one of the greatest, indeed, in the world. Travellers, in
making the tour of Europe,--and American travellers in
particular,--always wish to bring home with them a great number and
variety of purchases; and the things that they buy they very naturally
desire to buy at the places where they are made. It is not merely that
they hope to get them better and cheaper there, but it is a pleasant
thought to be associated always afterwards with any object of use or
luxury that we possess, that we bought it ourselves at the place of its
original manufacture. Thus the gentlemen who travel in Europe like to
bring home a fowling-piece from Birmingham, a telescope from London, or
a painting from Italy; and the ladies, in planning their tour, wish it
to include Brussels or Valenciennes for laces, and Geneva for a watch.

Thus, for one reason or another, immense numbers of people go every year
to Geneva, in the course of the tour they make in Europe, either for
business or pleasure. It is estimated that the number of these visitors
annually is not less than thirty thousand; and the chief streets and
quays of the town are marked almost as strikingly by the conspicuousness
and splendor of the hotels as Broadway in New York.

The place of departure in France for Geneva is Lyons. If you look upon
the map you will see the situation of Lyons on the River Rhone, almost
opposite to Geneva. There is a railroad from Paris to Lyons, and so on
down the Rhone to Marseilles. But from Lyons up to Geneva--which is
likewise situated on the Rhone, at the place where it issues from the
Lake of Geneva--there was no railroad at the time of Rollo's visit,
though there was one in the process of construction. The party were
obliged to travel by _diligence_ on that part of the journey. The
diligence is the French stage coach. The diligence leaves Lyons in the
evening, and travels all night. As Mr. Holiday arrived at Lyons the
evening before, Rollo had the whole of the day to walk about the town
before setting out for his evening ride. His father gave him leave to go
out alone, and ramble where he pleased.

"The most curious places," said his father, "are on the other side of
the river, where the silk weavers live. Notice what bridge you go over,
so that you will know it again, and then if you get lost on the other
side it will be no matter. All you will have to do is to keep coming
down hill till you reach the river, and then look up and down till you
see the bridge where you went over. That will bring you home. And be
sure to be at home by five o'clock. We are going to have dinner at half
past five."

"Then won't it be in season," asked Rollo, "if I am at home by half past

"In season for what?" asked his father.

"Why, to save my dinner," said Rollo.

"Yes," said his father; "it might be in season to save your dinner, but
that is not what I am planning to save. I have no particular uneasiness
about your dinner."

"Why, father!" said Rollo, surprised.

"I have no wish to have you go hungry," replied his father; "but then if
by any chance you happened to be late at dinner, it would be of no great
consequence, for you could buy something, and eat it in the diligence by
the way. So I was not planning to save your dinner."

"Then what were you planning to save, father?" asked Rollo.

"My own and mother's quiet of mind," replied Mr. Holiday, "especially
mother's. If five minutes of the dinner hour were to come and you
should not appear, she would begin to be uneasy; and indeed so should
I. In such cases as this, children ought always to come before the time
when their parents would begin to feel any uneasiness respecting them."

Rollo saw at once the correctness of this principle, and he secretly
resolved that he would be at home a quarter before five.



"What part of the diligence are we going to ride in, father?" asked
Rollo, as they were seated at dinner.

"In the coupé,"[A] said Mr. Holiday.

[Footnote A: Pronounced _coupay_.]

"Ah, father!" said Rollo; "I wish you would go on the banquette. We can
see so much better on the banquette."

"It would be rather hard climbing for mother," said Mr. Holiday, "to get
up to the banquette--such a long ladder."

"O, mother can get up just as easily as not," said Rollo. "Couldn't you,

"I am more afraid about getting _down_ than getting up," said his

"But it is a great deal pleasanter on the banquette," said Rollo. "They
keep talking all the time--the conductor, and the drivers, and the other
passengers that are there; while in the coupé we shall be all by
ourselves. Besides, it is so much cheaper."

"It is cheaper, I know," said Mr. Holiday; "but then as to the talking,
I think we shall want to be quiet, and go to sleep if we can. You see it
will be night."

"Yes, father, that is true," said Rollo; "but I had rather hear them
talk. I can understand almost all they say. And then I like to see them
change horses, and to see the conductor climb up and down. Then,
besides, at almost all the villages they have parcels to leave at the
inns; and it is good fun to see them take the parcels out and toss them
down, and tell the bar maid at the inn what she is to do with them."

"All that must be very amusing," said Mr. Holiday; "but it would not be
so comfortable for your mother to mount up there. Besides, I have
engaged our places already in the coupé, and paid for them."

"Why, father!" said Rollo. "When did you do it?"

"I sent last evening," said Mr. Holiday. "It is necessary to engage the
places beforehand at this season. There is so much travelling into
Switzerland now that the diligences are all full. I had to send to three
offices before I could get places."

"Are there three offices?" asked Rollo.

"Yes," said his father; "there are three different lines.

"But I'll tell you what you may do, Rollo, if you please," continued his
father. "You may go to the bureau,[B] and see if you can exchange your
seat in the coupé for one in the banquette, if you think you would like
better to ride there. There may be some passenger who could not get a
place in the coupé, on account of my having taken them all, and who,
consequently, took one on the banquette, and would now be glad to
exchange, and pay the difference."

[Footnote B: Bureau is the French word meaning office; and English
people, when travelling in France, fall into the habit of using the word
in that sense.]

"How much would the difference be?" asked Rollo.

"I don't know," said Mr. Holiday; "five or six francs, probably. You
would save that sum by riding on the banquette, and you could have it to
buy something with in Geneva."

"Well, sir," said Rollo, joyfully, "I should like that plan very much."

"But do you think," said Mrs. Holiday, "that you know French enough to
explain it at the bureau, and make the change?"

"O, yes, mother," said Rollo; "I have no doubt I can."

So Rollo said he would finish his dinner as soon as he could, and go off
at once to the bureau.

"There is one other condition," said his father. "If I let you ride on
the banquette, and let you have all the money that you save for your
own, you must write a full account of your night's journey, and send it
to your cousin Lucy."

"Well, sir," said Rollo, "I will."

Rollo left the dinner table while his father and mother were taking
their coffee. The table was one of a number of separate tables arranged
along by the windows on the front side of a quaint and queer-looking
dining room--or _salle à manger_, as they call it--in one of the Lyons
inns. Indeed, the whole inn was very quaint and queer, with its old
stone staircases, and long corridors leading to the various apartments,
and its antique ceiling,--reminding one, as Mr. Holiday said, of the
inns we read of in Don Quixote and other ancient romances.

Rollo left his father and mother at this table, taking their coffee, and
sallied forth to find his way to the bureau of the diligence.

"If you meet with any difficulty," said Mr. Holiday, as Rollo went away,
"engage the first cab you see, and the cabman will take you directly
there for a franc or so."

"Yes, sir," said Rollo, "I will."

"And if you don't find any cab readily," continued his father, "engage a
commissioner to go with you and show you the way."

"Yes, sir," said Rollo.

A commissioner is a sort of porter who stands at the corners of the
streets in the French towns, ready to do any thing for any body that
calls upon him.

Rollo resolved not to employ either a cabman or a commissioner, if it
could possibly be avoided. He took the address of the bureau from his
father, and sallied forth.

He first went round the corner to a bookstore where he recollected to
have seen a map of Lyons hanging in the window. He looked at this map,
and found the street on it where he wished to go. He then studied out
the course which he was to take. Lyons stands at, or rather near, the
confluence of the two rivers Rhone and Saone. In coming to Lyons from
Paris, the party had come down the valley of the Saone; but now they
were to leave this valley, and follow up that of the Rhone to Geneva,
which is situated, as has already been said, on the Rhone, at the point
where that river issues from the Lake of Geneva.

The hotel where Rollo's father had taken lodgings was near the Saone;
and Rollo found that the bureau was on the other side of the town, where
it fronts on the Rhone.

So Rollo followed the course which he had marked out for himself on the
map. In a short time he saw before him signs of bridges and a river.

"Ah," says he to himself; "I am right; I am coming to the Rhone."

He went on, drawing nearer and nearer. At length he came out upon the
broad and beautiful quay, with large and elegant stone buildings on one
side of it, and a broad but low parapet wall on the other, separating
the quay from the water. There was a sidewalk along this wall, with many
people walking on it; and here and there men were to be seen leaning
upon the wall, and looking over at the boats on the river. The river was
broad, and it flowed very rapidly, as almost all water does which has
just come from Switzerland and the Alps. On looking up and down, Rollo
saw a great number of bridges crossing this stream, with teams and
diligences, and in one place a long troop of soldiers passing over. On
the other side, the bank was lined with massive blocks of stone
buildings. In a word, the whole scene presented a very bright and
animated spectacle to view.

Nearly opposite to the place where Rollo came out upon the river, he
saw, over the parapet wall that extended along on the outer side of the
quay, a very large, square net suspended in the air. It was hung by
means of ropes at the four corners, which met in a point above, whence
a larger rope went up to a pulley which was attached to the end of a
spar that projected from the stern of a boat. The net was slowly
descending into the water when Rollo first caught a view of it; so he
ran across, and looked over the parapet to see.

[Illustration: THE GREAT NET.]

The net descended slowly into the water. It was let down by men in the
boat paying out the line that held it.

"Ah," said Rollo to himself; "that's a curious way to rig a net. I
should like to stay and see them pull it up again, so as to see how many
fish they take; but business first and pleasure afterwards is the rule."

So he left the parapet, and walked along the quay towards the place
where the bureau was situated.

"I'll come back here," said he to himself, "when I have got my place on
the banquette, and see them fish a little while, if I find there is

In a few minutes Rollo came to the place he was seeking. It was in a
little square, called Concert Place, opening towards the river. Rollo
knew the bureau by seeing the diligence standing before the door. It had
been brought up there to be ready for the baggage, though the horses
were not yet harnessed to it.

Rollo went into the office. He found himself in a small room, with
trunks and baggage arranged along on one side of it, and a little
enclosure of railings, with a desk behind it, on the other. There was a
young man sitting at this desk, writing.

"This must be a clerk, I suppose," said Rollo to himself.

Opposite to where the clerk was sitting there was a little opening in
the railings, for people to pay their money and take their tickets; for
people take tickets for places in the diligence, in Europe, just as they
do for the railroad. Rollo advanced to this opening, and, looking
through it, he stated his case to the clerk. He said that he had a place
in the coupé that his father had taken for him, but that he would rather
ride on the banquette, if there was room there, and if any body would
take his place in the coupé.

The clerk said that there had been a great many persons after a place in
the coupé since it had been taken, and that one lady had taken a place
on the banquette, because all the other places in the coach had been

"I think," said the clerk, "that she will be very glad to exchange with
you, and pay you the difference. She lives not far from here, and if you
will wait a few minutes, I will send and see."

So the clerk called a commissioner who stood at the door, and after
giving him his directions, sent him away. In a few minutes the
commissioner returned, saying that the lady was very glad indeed to
exchange. He brought in his hand a five franc piece and three francs,
which was the difference in the price of the two places. The clerk gave
this money to Rollo, and altered the entry on his books so as to put
the lady in the coupé and Rollo on the banquette. Thus the affair was
all arranged.

Rollo found that it was now six o'clock. The diligence was not to set
out until half past seven; but by the rules of the service the
passengers were all to be on the spot, with their baggage, half an hour
before the time; so that Rollo knew that his father and mother would be
there at seven.

"That gives me just an hour," said he to himself; "so I shall have
plenty of time to go and see how they manage fishing with that big net."

He accordingly went to see the fishing, but was very careful to return
some minutes before the appointed time.

Rollo had a very pleasant ride that night to Geneva. He wrote a long and
full account of it afterwards, and sent it to his cousin Lucy. This
letter I shall give in the next chapter.

The reason why Rollo wrote so long an account of his journey was this:
that his father required him, when travelling, to spend one hour and a
half every day in study of some kind; and writing letters, or any other
intellectual occupation that was calculated to advance his education,
was considered as study. In consequence of this arrangement, Rollo was
never in a hurry to come to the end of his letters, for he liked the
work of writing them better than writing French exercises, or working on
arithmetic, or engaging in any of the other avocations which devolved
upon him when he had no letters on hand.




"I am going to give you an account of my night ride from Lyons to

"I got to the diligence office before father came, because I was going
to ride up in the bellows-top. I call it the bellows-top so that you may
understand it better. It is a place up in the second story of the
diligence, where there are seats for four persons, and a great
bellows-top over their heads. _I_ think it is the best place, though
people have to pay more for the coupé, which is right under it. I got
eight francs, which is more than a dollar and a half, for exchanging my
seat in the coupé for one on the banquette. I exchanged with a lady. I
suppose she did not like to climb up the ladder. You see in the coupé
you step right in as you would into a carriage; but you have to go up
quite a long ladder to get to the banquette. I counted the steps. There
were thirteen.

"When I got to the office, the men were using the ladder to put up the
baggage. They put the baggage on the top of the diligence, along the
whole length of it behind the bellows-top. They pack it all in very
closely, beginning immediately behind, and coming regularly forward, as
far as it will reach. There is a frame over it, and a great leather
covering. They pull the covering forward as fast as they get the trunks
packed, until at last the baggage is all covered over as far forward as
to the back of the bellows-top.

"The men were using the ladders when I came, getting up the baggage; so
I climbed up by the little steps that are made on the side of the
diligence. I liked my seat very much. Before me was a great leather
boot. The boot was fastened to an iron bar that went across in front, so
that it did not come against my knees. Above me was the bellows-top, to
keep off the rain. Up under the roof of the bellows-top there was a sash
folded together and fastened up by straps. I unfastened one of the
straps, and saw that I could let down the sash if I wished, and thus
make a glass window in front of me, so as to shut me in nicely from the
wind, if it should grow cold in the night. Behind me was a curtain. The
curtain was loose. I pushed it back, and found I could look out on the
top of the diligence where the men were at work packing the trunks and
baggage. The men wore blue frocks shaped like cartmen's frocks.[C]

[Footnote C: Such a frock is called a _blouse_--pronounced _blooze_.
Almost all working men in France wear them. Hence the class of workmen
in France are sometimes called the _blouses_.]

"Right before the boot was the postilion's seat. It was a little lower
than my seat, and was large enough for two. The conductor's seat was at
the end of my seat, under the bellows-top. There was one thing curious
about his seat, and that is, that there was a joint in the iron bar of
the boot, so that he could open his end of it, and get out and in
without disturbing the boot before the rest of the passengers. When I
wanted to get out I had to climb over the boot to the postilion's seat,
and so get down by the little iron steps.

"The reason I wanted to get down was so as to buy some oranges. There
was a woman down there with oranges to sell. She had them in a basket. I
thought perhaps that I might be thirsty in the night, and that I could
not get down very well to get a drink of water. So I climbed down and
bought four oranges. I bought one for myself, and two to give father and
mother, and one more because the woman looked so poor. Besides, they
were not very dear--only fifteen centimes apiece. It takes five centimes
to make a sou, and a sou is about as much as a cent.

"When I had bought my oranges I climbed up into my place again.

"There were several people beginning to come and stand about the door of
the bureau. I suppose they were the travellers. Some came in cabs, with
their trunks on before with the postilion. I counted up how many the
diligence would hold, and found that in all, including the two
postilion's seats, and the conductor's, that there were places for
twenty-one. But when we started we had twenty-four in all. Where the
other three sat you will see by and by.[D]

[Footnote D: The diligence is very large. It has four separate
compartments. For a more full account of the construction of the
vehicle, and for one or two engravings representing it, see Rollo's Tour
in Switzerland.]

"As fast as the passengers came to the office, the men took their
baggage and packed it with the rest, on the top of the diligence, and
the passengers themselves stood about the door, waiting for the horses
to be put in.

"Some of the passengers came on foot, with commissioners to bring their
baggage. The commissioners carried their baggage on their backs. They
had a frame something like an old-fashioned kitchen chair strapped to
their shoulders, and the baggage was piled upon this very high. One
commissioner that came had on his frame, first a big black trunk,
placed endwise, and then a portmanteau, then a carpet bag, and on the
top a bandbox. The bandbox reached far above his head. I should not
think they could possibly carry such heavy loads.

"Presently I saw father and mother coming in a cab. So I climbed down to
meet them. The men in the blouses took their trunk and carried it up the
ladder, and then I opened the coupé door for them, and let them get in.
I told mother that my place was exactly over her head, and that I was
then going to climb up to it, and that when I was there I would knock on
the floor, and she would know that I had got there safely; and I did.

"By and by they got all the baggage packed, and they pulled the great
leather covering over it, and fastened it to the back of the
bellows-top. Then I could push up the curtain behind me and look in at
the place where the baggage was stowed. It looked like a garret. It was
not quite full. There was room for several more trunks at the forward
end of it.

"Pretty soon after this they brought round the horses and harnessed them
in. Then the clerk came out of the bureau and called off the names of
the passengers from his list. First he called the names of those who
were to go in the coupé. He said, in a loud voice,--

"'Monsieur Holiday and Madame Holiday!'

"And he looked in at the coupé door, and father said, 'Here.'

"Then he called out,--

"'Madame Tournay!'

"That was the name of the lady that had changed places with me. So she
got into the coupé. That made the coupé full.

"In the same manner the clerk called off the names of those who were to
go in the interior, which is the centre compartment. The interior holds

"Then he called off the names of those that were to go in the 'rotonde,'
which is the back compartment. You get into the rotonde by a door
behind, like the door of an omnibus.

"Then the clerk called out the names of the people that were to come up
to the banquette with me. There were six of them, and there seemed to be
only room for three. So I could not imagine where they were all going to
sit. They came in a row, one behind the other, up the ladder. Very soon
I saw how they were going to sit; for the three that came first--a man
and woman and a girl--when they came into the banquette, pushed up the
curtain at the back side of it, and so climbed in behind to the garret,
and sat on the trunks. When the curtain was down, after they were in,
they were all in the dark there.

"However, pretty soon they contrived to fasten up the curtain, and then
they could see out a little over our shoulders. The girl sat directly
behind me. I asked her if she could see, and she said she could, very

"The postilion then climbed up, with the reins in his hand, and called
out to the horses to start on. He talked to his horses in French, and
they seemed to understand him very well. The great thing, though, was
cracking his whip. You can scarcely conceive how fast and loud he
cracked his whip, first on one side and then on the other, till the
whole court rang again. The horses sprang forward and trotted off at
great speed out of the place, and wheeled round the corner to the quay;
and while they were going, the conductor came climbing up the side of
the coach to his place.

"The conductor never gets into his place before the diligence starts. He
waits till the horses set out, and then jumps on to the step, and so
climbs up the side while the horses are going.

"A diligence is a monstrous great machine; and when it sets out on a
journey in a city, the rumbling of the wheels on the pavement, and the
clattering of the horses' feet, and the continual cracking of the
coachman's whip, and the echoes of all these sounds on the walls of the
buildings, make a wonderful noise and din, and every body, when the
diligence is coming, hurries to get out of the way. Indeed, I believe
the coachman likes to make all the noise he can; for he has sleigh bells
on the harness, and, besides cracking his whip, he keeps continually
shouting out to the horses and the teamsters on the road before him; and
whenever he is passing through a town or a village he does all this more
than any where else, because, as I suppose, there are more people there
to hear him.

"Presently, after driving along the quay a little way, we turned off to
one of the great stone bridges that lead across the Rhone. We went over
this bridge in splendid style. I could see far up and down the river,
and trains of wagons and multitudes of people going and coming on the
other bridges. The water in the river was running very swift. There were
some boats along the shore, but I don't see how the people could dare to
venture out in them in such a current.

"As soon as we had got over the bridge, we struck into a beautiful road
across the country, and the postilion cracked on faster and harder than
ever. We had five horses, three abreast before, and two behind. They
went upon the gallop, and the postilion kept cracking his whip about
them and over their ears all the time. I thought for a while that he was
whipping them; but when I leaned forward, so that I could look down and
see, I found that he did not touch them with his whip at all, but only
cracked the snapper about them, and shouted at them in French, to make
them go. The road was as hard and smooth as a floor, and it was almost
as white as a floor of marble.

"The country was very beautiful as long as we could see. There were no
fences, but there were beautiful fields on each side of the road,
divided into squares, like the beds of a garden, with all sorts of
things growing in them.

"Every now and then we came to a village. These villages were the
queerest looking places that you can imagine. They were formed of rows
of stone houses, close to each other and close to the street. They were
so close to the street, and the street was usually so narrow, that there
was scarcely room sometimes to pass through. I could almost shake hands
with the people looking out the second story windows. I cannot imagine
why they should leave the passage so narrow between the houses on such a
great road. If there were any people in the street of the village when
we went through, they had to back up against the wall when we passed
them, to prevent being knocked down.

"When we were going through any of these villages, the postilion drove
faster than ever. He would crack his whip, and cheer on his horses, and
make noise and uproar enough to frighten half the town.

"We went on in this way till it began to grow dark. The postilion handed
the lanterns up to the conductor, and he lighted them with some matches
that he carried in his pocket. The lanterns had reflectors in the back
of them, and were very bright. When the postilion put them back in their
places on the front of the coach, the light shone down on the road
before us, so that the way where the horses were going was as bright as


"After a time the moon rose, and that made it pretty bright every where.
Still I could not see very far, and as the people around me were
talking, I listened to what they were saying. The conductor was telling
stories about diligences that had been robbed. He said that once, when
he was travelling somewhere, the diligence was attacked by robbers, and
he was shot by one of them. He was shot in the neck; and he had to keep
in his bed six months before he got well. I listened as well as I could,
but the diligence made such a noise that I could not understand all
he said, and I did not hear where it was that this happened. I suppose
it was probably in Italy, for I have heard that there were a great many
robbers there.

"After a while I began to feel sleepy. I don't remember going to sleep,
for the first thing I knew after I began to feel sleepy was that I was
waking up. We were stopping to change horses. We stopped to change
horses very often--oftener than once an hour. When we changed horses we
always changed the postilion too. A new postilion always came with every
new team. It was only the conductor that we did not change. He went with
us all the way.

"We changed horses usually in a village; and it was very curious to see
what queer-looking hostlers and stable boys came out with the new teams.
Generally the hostlers were all ready, waiting for the diligence to
come; but sometimes they would be all asleep, and the conductor and the
postilion would make a great shouting and uproar in waking them up.

"When the new team was harnessed in, the new postilion would climb up to
his seat, with the reins in his hands, and, without waiting a moment, he
would start the horses on at full speed, leaving the poor conductor to
get on the best way he could. By the time the horses began to go on the
gallop, the conductor would come climbing up the side of the coach into
his place.

"It was curious to see how different the different teams were in regard
to the number of horses. Sometimes we had four horses, sometimes five,
and once we had seven. For a long time I could not tell what the reason
was for such a difference. But at last I found out. It was because some
of the stages were pretty nearly level, and others were almost all up
hill. Of course, where there was a great deal of up hill they required
more horses. At the time when they put on seven horses I knew that we
had come to a place where it was almost all up hill; and it was. The
road went winding around through a region of hills and valleys, but
ascending all the time. Still the road was so hard and smooth, and the
horses were so full of life, that we went on the full trot the whole
way. Four horses could not have done this, though, with such a heavy
load. It took seven.

"In almost all the villages we came to we saw long lines of wagons by
the road side. They were very curious wagons indeed. They were small.
Each one was to be drawn by one horse. There was no body to them, but
only two long poles going from the forward axletree to the back
axletree; and the load was packed on these poles, and covered with
canvas. It looked just like a big bundle tied up in a cloth. These were
wagons that had stopped for the night. Afterwards, when the morning
came, we overtook a great many trains of these wagons, on the road to
Geneva. They were loaded with merchandise going from France into
Switzerland. There was only one driver to the whole train. He went along
with the front wagon, and all the rest followed on in a line. The horses
were trained to follow in this way. Thus one man could take charge of a
train of six or eight wagons.

"There was one very curious thing in the arrangement, and that was, that
the last horse in the train had a bell on his neck, something like a cow
bell. This was to prevent the driver from having to look round
continually to see whether the rest of the horses were coming or not. As
long as he could hear the bell on the last one's neck he knew they were
all coming; for none of the middle ones could stop without stopping all
behind them.

"I suppose that sometimes some of the horses in the train would stop;
then the driver would observe that the bell ceased to ring, and he would
stop his own wagon, and go back to see what was the matter. If he found
that any of them stopped to eat grass by the way, or because they were
lazy, he would give them a whipping, and start them on, and that would
teach them to keep marching on the next time.

"I know what I would do if I were the last horse. Whenever I wanted to
stop and rest I would keep shaking my head all the time, and that would
make the driver think that I was coming along.

"One time, when we were stopping to change horses, I heard some one
below me calling to me,


"I believe I was asleep at that time, and dreaming about something,
though I don't remember what it was. I started up and reached out as far
as I could over the boot, and looked down. I found it was my mother
calling to me.

"'Rollo,' says she, 'how do you get along?'

"'Very nicely indeed, mother,' says I; 'and how do you get along?'

"'Very well,' says she.

"Just then I happened to think of my oranges; so I asked mother if she
was not thirsty, and she said she was a little thirsty, but she did not
see how she could get any drink until the morning, for the houses were
all shut up, and the people were in bed and asleep. So I told her that I
had an orange for her and for father. She said she was very glad indeed.

"I could not get down very well to give the oranges to her, so I put
them in my little knapsack, and let them down by a string. I had the
string in my pocket.

"Mother took the oranges out of the knapsack, and then I pulled it up
again. I told her that I had plenty more for myself.

"Father cut a hole in one of the oranges that I sent down to mother, and
then she squeezed the juice of it out into her mouth. She said
afterwards that I could not conceive how much it refreshed her. I don't
think _she_ could conceive how glad I was that I had bought it for her.

"A little while after sunrise we came to a village where we were going
to change horses, and the conductor said that we should stop long enough
to go into the inn if we pleased, and get some coffee. So father and
mother got out of the coupé, and went in. I climbed down from my place,
and went with them. Mother said she went in more to see what sort of a
place the inn was than for the sake of the coffee.

"It was a very funny place. The floor was of stone. There was one table,
with cups on it for coffee, and plates, and bread and butter. The loaves
of bread were shaped like a man's arm--about as big round, and a good
deal longer. The coffee was very good indeed, on account of there being
plenty of hot milk to put into it.

"After we had had our breakfast we went on, and the rest of our ride was
through a most magnificent country. There was a long, winding valley,
with beautiful hills and mountains on each side, and a deep chasm in the
middle, with the River Rhone roaring and tumbling over the stones down
at the bottom of it. The road went wheeling on down long slopes, and
around the hills and promontories, with beautiful green swells of land
above it and below it. The horses went upon the run. The postilion had a
little handle close by his seat--a sort of crank--that he could turn
round and round, and so bring a brake to bear against the wheels, and
thus help to hold the carriage back. When he began to go down a slope he
would turn this crank round and round as fast as he could, till it was
screwed up tight, cheering the horses on all the time; and then he would
take his whip and crack it about their ears, and so we go down the
hills, and wheel round the great curves, almost on the run, and could
look down on the fields and meadows and houses in the valley, a thousand
feet below us. It was the grandest ride I ever had.

"But I have been so long writing this letter that I am beginning to be
tired of it, though I have not got yet to Geneva; so I am going to stop
now. The rest I will tell you when I see you.

     "Your affectionate cousin,


"P.S. There is one thing more that I will tell you, and that is, that
we went through a castle at one place in the valley. It was a castle
built by the French to guard their frontier. Indeed, there were two
castles. The road passes directly through one of them, and the other is
high up on the rocks exactly above it. The valley is so narrow, and the
banks are so steep, that there is no other possible place for the road
except through the lower castle. The road has to twist and twine about,
too, just before it comes to the castle gates, and after it goes away
from them on the other side, so that every thing that passes along has
some guns or other pointing at them from the castle for more than a
mile. I don't see how any enemy could possibly get into France this way.

"There was also a place where the Rhone goes under ground, or, rather,
under the rocks, and so loses itself for a time, and then after a while
comes out again. It is a place where the river runs along in the bottom
of a very deep and rocky chasm, and the rocks have fallen down from
above, so as to fill up the chasm from one side to the other, and all
the water gets through underneath them. We looked down into the chasm as
the diligence went by, and saw the water tumbling over the rocks just
above the place where it goes down. I should have liked to stop, and to
climb down there and see the place, but I knew that the diligence would
not wait."



The valley described by Rollo in his letter to Lucy, contained in the
last chapter, is indeed a very remarkable pass. The Romans travelled it
nearly two thousand years ago, in going from Italy to France, or, as
they called it, Gaul. Cæsar describes the country in his Commentaries;
and from that day to this it has been one of the greatest thoroughfares
of Europe.

The valley is very tortuous, and in some places it is very narrow; and
the road runs along through it like a white thread, suspended, as it
were, half way between the lofty summits of the mountains and the
roaring torrent of the Rhone in the deep abyss below.

After emerging from this narrow pass, the road comes out into an open
country, which is as fertile and beautiful, and as richly adorned with
hamlets, villas, parks, gardens, and smiling fields of corn and grain,
as any country in the world. At length, on coming over the summit of a
gentle swell of land, that rises in the midst of this paradise, the
great chain of the Alps, with the snowy peak of Mont Blanc crowning it
with its glittering canopy of snow, comes suddenly into view.

"Look there!" said the conductor to the company on the banquette. "See
there! the Mont Blanc, all uncovered!"

The French always call Mont Blanc _the_ Mont Blanc, and for _all clear
and in plain view_ they say _all uncovered_.

It is calculated that there are only about sixty days in the year, upon
an average, when Mont Blanc appears with his head uncovered. They,
therefore, whose coming into Switzerland he honors by taking off his
cap, have reason greatly to rejoice in their good fortune.

Rollo had seen snow-covered mountains shining in the sun before; but he
was greatly delighted with this new view of them. There is indeed a
peculiar charm in the sight of these eternal snows, especially when we
see them basking, as it were, in the rays of a warm summer's sun, that
is wholly indescribable. The sublime and thrilling grandeur of the
spectacle no pen or pencil can portray.

[Illustration: VIEW OF GENEVA]

After passing over the hill, and descending into the valley again, the
company in the diligence came soon in sight of the environs of Geneva.
They passed by a great many charming country seats, with neat walls of
masonry bordering the gardens, and wide gateways opening into pretty
courts, and little green lawns surrounding the chateaux. At length the
diligence came thundering down a narrow paved street into the town.
Every thing made haste to get out of the way. The postilion cracked his
whip, and cheered on his horses, and shouted out to the cartmen and
footmen before him to clear the way, and made generally as much noise
and uproar as possible, as if the glory of a diligence consisted in the
noise it made, and the sensation it produced in coming into town.

At length the immense vehicle wheeled round a corner, and came out upon
a broad and beautiful quay. The quay had a range of very elegant and
palace-like looking houses and hotels on one side, and the water of the
lake--exceedingly clear, and bright, and blue--on the other. The place
was at the point where the water of the lake was just beginning to draw
in towards the outlet; so that there was a pretty swift current.

The engraving represents the scene. In the foreground we see the broad
quay, with the buildings on one side, and the low parapet wall
separating it from the water on the other. In the middle distance we see
the diligence just coming out upon the quay from the street by which it
came into the town. A little farther on we see the bridge by which the
diligence will pass across to the other side of the river--the diligence
offices being situated in the row of buildings that we see on the
farther side. This bridge is not straight. There is an angle in it at
the centre. From the apex of this angle there is a branch bridge which
goes out to a little island in the lake. This island is arranged as a
promenade, and is a great place of resort for the people of Geneva.
There are walks through it and all around it, and seats under the trees,
and a parapet wall or railing encircling the margin of it, to prevent
children from falling into the water.

As the diligence rolled along the quay, and turned to go over the
bridge, Rollo could look out in one direction over the broad surface of
the lake, which was seen extending for many miles, bordered by gently
sloping shores coming down to the water. On the other side the current
was seen rapidly converging and flowing swiftly under another bridge,
and thence directly through the very heart of the town.

The diligence went over the bridge. While it was going over, Rollo
looked out first one way, towards the lake, and then the other way, down
the river. On the lake side there was a steamboat coming in. She was
crowded with passengers, and the quay at the other end of the bridge,
where the steamer was going to land, was crowded with people waiting to

On the other side of the bridge, that is, looking down the stream, Rollo
saw a deep blue river running more and more swiftly as it grew narrower.
There were several other bridges in sight, and an island also, which
stood in the middle of the stream, and was covered with tall and
ancient-looking buildings. These buildings indeed more than covered the
original island; they extended out over the water--the outer walls
seeming to rest on piles, between and around which the water flowed with
the utmost impetuosity. The banks of the river on each side were walled
up, and there were streets or platform walks along the margin, between
the houses and the water. There were a great many bridges, some wide and
some narrow, leading across from one bank to the other, and from each
bank to the island between.

The diligence passed on so rapidly that Rollo had very little
opportunity to see these things; but he resolved that as soon as they
got established in the hotel he would come out and take a walk, and
explore all those bridges.

"It is just such a town as I like," said he to himself. "A swift river
running through the middle of it--water as clear as a bell--plenty of
foot bridges down very near to the water, and ever so many little
platforms and sidewalks along the margin, where you can stand and fish
over the railings."

In the mean time the diligence went thundering on over the bridge, and
then drove along the quay, on the farther side, past one office after
another, until it came to its own. Here the horses were reined in, and
the great machine came to a stand. The doors of the lower compartments
were opened, and the passengers began to get out. Two ladders were
placed against the side, one for the passengers on the banquette to get
down by, and the other to enable the blouses that stood waiting there to
uncover and get down the baggage. Rollo did not wait for his turn at the
ladder, but climbed down the side of the coach by means of any
projecting irons or steps that he could find to cling to.

"Now, Rollo," said Mr. Holiday, "the hotel is pretty near, and we are
going to walk there. I am going to leave you here to select out our
baggage, when they get it down, and to bring it along by means of a

"Yes, sir," said Rollo; "I should like to do that. But what hotel is

"The Hotel de l'Ecu," said Mr. Holiday.

So Mr. and Mrs. Holiday walked along the pier to the hotel, leaving
Rollo to engage a porter and to follow in due time.

The porter carried the baggage on his back, by means of a frame, such as
has been already described. Rollo followed him, and thus he arrived at
last safely at the hotel.



One of the greatest sources of interest and pleasure for travellers who
visit Switzerland and the Alps for the first time, especially if they
are travellers from America, is the novelty of the arrangements and
usages of the hotels.

One reason why every thing is so different in a Swiss hotel from what we
witness in America is, that all the arrangements are made to accommodate
parties travelling for pleasure. Every thing is planned, therefore, with
a view of making the hotel as attractive and agreeable to the guests as

The Hotel de l'Ecu, where our party have now arrived, is very pleasantly
situated on the quay facing the lake. It stands near the further end of
the bridge, as seen in the engraving on page 58. It is the building
where you see the flag flying.

Indeed, all the principal hotels in Geneva are situated on the quay.
Quite a number of the large and handsome edifices which you see in the
engraving, on both sides the water, are hotels. The hotel keepers know
very well that most of the travellers that come to Switzerland come not
on business, but to see the lakes, and mountains, and other grand
scenery of their country. Accordingly, in almost every place, the
situation chosen for the hotels is the one which commands the prettiest

Then, in arranging the interior of the house, they always place the
public apartments, such as the breakfast and dining rooms, and the
reading room, in the pleasantest part of it; and they have large windows
opening down to the floor, and pretty little tables in the recesses of
them, so that while you are eating your breakfast or reading the
newspapers you have only to raise your eyes and look out upon the most
charming prospects that the town affords.

Then, besides this, they have gardens, and summer houses, and raised
terraces, overlooking roads, or rivers, or beautiful valleys, and little
observatories, and many other such contrivances to add to the charms of
the hotel, and make the traveller's residence in it more agreeable.

They hope in this way to induce the traveller to prolong his stay at
their house. And it has the intended effect. Indeed, at almost every
hotel where a party of travellers arrive, in a new town, their first
feeling almost always is, that they shall wish to remain there a week.

What a pleasant place! they say to each other; and what a beautiful
room! Look at the mountains! Look at the torrent pouring through the
valley! What a pretty garden! And this terrace, where we may sit in the
evening, and have our tea, and watch the people across the valley, going
up and down the mountain paths. I should like to stay here all summer.

Then the next place where they stop may be on a lake; and there, when
they go to the window of their rooms, or of the breakfast room, they
look out and say,--

Ah! see what a beautiful view of the lake! How blue the water is! See
the sail boats and the row boats going to and fro. And down the lake, as
far as I can see, there is a steamer coming. I see the smoke. And
beyond, what a magnificent range of mountains, the tops all covered with
glaciers and snow!

When Rollo entered the hotel at Geneva, he found himself ushered first
into a large, open apartment, which occupied the whole centre of the
building, and extended up through all the stories, and was covered with
a glass roof above. There were galleries all around this apartment, in
the different stories. Doors from these galleries, on the back sides of
them, led to the various rooms, while on the front sides were railings,
where you could stand and look down to the floor below, and see the
travellers coming and going.

At one end of this hall was a winding staircase, with broad and easy
stone steps. This staircase ascended from story to story, and
communicated by proper landings with the galleries of the several

This hall, though it was thus very public in its character, was very
prettily arranged. The galleries which opened upon it on the different
stories were adorned with balconies, and the walls of it were hung with
maps and pictures of Alpine scenery, pretty engravings of hotels
standing in picturesque spots on the margins of lakes, or on the banks
of running streams, or hidden away in some shady glen, in the midst of
stupendous mountains. Then, besides these pictures, the hall was adorned
with statues, and vases of flowers; and there was a neat little table,
with writing materials and the visitor's book upon it, and various other
fixtures and contrivances to give the place an agreeable and home-like

As Rollo came into the hall, accompanied by the porter, a clerk came out
to meet him from a little office on one side, and told him that his
father and mother were in their room; and he sent a messenger to show
Rollo and the porter the way to it.

Rollo accordingly followed the messenger and the porter up stairs, and
was ushered into a very pleasant room on the second story, looking out
upon the lake and the river. Rollo went immediately to the window. His
mother was sitting at the window when he entered the room.

"This is a pretty window, Rollo," said she; "come and look out.

"See how many bridges!" said she, when Rollo had come to her side.

"And how swift the water runs under them!" said Rollo.

"There are some boys fishing," said Mrs. Holiday.

"Yes," said Rollo; "I should think there would be plenty of trout in
such a river as this, it runs so swift and is so clear. This is just
such a place as I like. See that big water wheel, mother."

So saying, Rollo pointed to a large mill wheel which was slowly
revolving by the side of a building that projected out over the water,
on the island.

The island where Rollo saw the wheel was not the one seen in the
engraving on page 58. That is called the _islet_, and it stands _in the
lake_, entirely on the outer side of the first bridge. The _island_, on
the other hand, stands in the rapid current of the river, below the
second bridge, and is entirely covered, as has already been said, with
tall and very antique looking buildings. The current is so rapid along
the sides of this island, and along the adjacent shores, that it will
carry a mill any where wherever they set a wheel.

"After we have had breakfast," said Rollo, "I mean to go out and explore
all those bridges, and go about all over the island."

"Yes," said Mrs. Holiday; "that will be very pleasant. I should like
very much to go with you; and I will, if the sun does not come out too

By this time Mr. Holiday had paid and dismissed the porter; and he now
turned to Rollo, and asked him if he would like to go down and order
breakfast. Rollo said that he should like to go very much.

"Go down, then," said Mr. Holiday, "into the dining room, and choose a
table there, near a pleasant window, and order breakfast."

"What shall I order?" asked Rollo.

"Any thing you please," said Mr. Holiday; "you know what will make a
good breakfast."

So Rollo went out of the room, in order to go down stairs. He passed
all around the gallery of the story he was in, looking at the pictures
that were hung upon the walls as he went, and then descended the
staircase to the lower floor. Here he found doors opening into the
dining room, which extended along the whole front of the hotel towards
the lake. The room was large, and was very beautifully furnished. There
was a long table extending up and down the middle of it. On the back
side were sofas, between the doors. On the front side was a range of
windows looking out upon the river. The windows were large, and as the
walls of the hotel were very thick, a recess was formed for each, and
opposite each recess was a round table. These tables were all set for
breakfasts or dinners.

Some of these tables were occupied. Rollo chose the pleasantest of the
ones that were at liberty, and took his seat by the side of it.
Presently a very neatly-dressed and pleasant-looking young man came to
him, to ask what he would have. This was the waiter; and Rollo made
arrangements with him for a breakfast. He ordered fried trout, veal
cutlets, fried potatoes, an omelette, coffee, and bread and honey. His
father and mother, when they came to eat the breakfast, said they were
perfectly satisfied with it in every respect.



One morning, a day or two after our party arrived at Geneva, Mr. Holiday
told Rollo, as they were sitting at their round breakfast table, at one
of the windows looking out upon the lake, that he had planned a ride for
that day; and he said that Rollo, if he wished, might go too.

"Well, sir," said Rollo; "only I think I should like better to go and
take a sail."

"I believe boys generally like to sail better than to ride," said Mr.
Holiday; "but the places that we are going to are where we cannot reach
them in a boat. However, I will make you an offer. We are going to ride
in a carriage to-day, and we should like very much to have you go with
us. Now, if you will go with us on this ride, I will go and take you out
on the lake to sail some other day."

"Well, sir," said Rollo, joyfully. "But how far will you take me?"

"As far as you wish to go," said Mr. Holiday.

"O, father!" said Rollo; "I should wish to go to the very farthest end
of the lake."

"Well," said his father, "I will take you there."

It must not at all be supposed from this conversation that Mr. Holiday
considered it necessary to make a bargain with his boy, to induce him to
go any where or to do any thing that he desired. He put the case in this
way to amuse Rollo, and to interest him more in proposed expeditions.

"There are three distinguished personages," said Mr. Holiday, "whose
names and histories are intimately associated with Geneva, because they
all lived in Geneva, or in the environs of it. These three persons are
Madame de Stael, John Calvin, and Voltaire. I will tell you something
about them on the way. As soon as you have finished your breakfast you
may go and engage a carriage for us. Get a carriage with two horses, and
have it ready at half past ten."

Rollo was always much pleased with such a commission as this. He engaged
a very pretty carriage, with two elegant black horses. The carriage had
a top which could be put up or down at pleasure. Rollo had it put down;
for, though it was a pleasant day, there were clouds enough in the sky
to make it pretty shady.

There was a front seat in the carriage, where Rollo might sit if he
chose; but he preferred riding outside with the postilion.

"And then," said Rollo to his father, "if there are any directions to be
given to the postilion, or if you have any questions for me to ask, I
can speak to him more conveniently."

"Is that the true reason why you wish to ride there?" asked his father.

"Why, no, father," said Rollo. "The true reason is, that I can see

"They are both very good reasons," said Mr. Holiday. "Then, besides,
when you get tired of riding there you can come inside."

Accordingly, when the carriage came to the door, Rollo, after seeing his
father and mother safely seated inside, mounted on the top with the
postilion, and so they rode away.

They repassed the bridge by which they had entered Geneva, and then
turned to the right by a road which led along the margin of the lake, at
a little distance from the shore.

The road was very smooth and hard, and the country was beautiful.
Sometimes the road was bordered on each side by high walls, which formed
the enclosures of gardens or pleasure grounds. Sometimes it was open,
and afforded most enchanting views of the lake and of the ranges of
mountains beyond. But what chiefly amused and occupied Rollo's mind was
the novelties which he observed in the form and structure of every thing
he saw by the wayside. Such queer-looking carts and wheelbarrows, such
odd dresses, such groups of children at play, such gates, such
farmyards, such pumps and fountains by the roadside--every thing,
indeed, was new and strange.

After the party had been riding about an hour and a half, they passed
through a village which consisted, like those which Rollo had seen on
the road from Lyons, of compact rows of old and quaint-looking stone
houses, close to the roadside. The postilion stopped at this village to
give the horses a little drink.

"Now, Rollo," said Mr. Holiday, "I wish you would get down, and come
inside a little while."

Rollo obeyed; and when the carriage began to go on again, his father
addressed him as follows:

"We are going to see the residence of Madame de Stael. She was one of
the most celebrated ladies that ever lived. She was distinguished as an
authoress. You don't know any thing about her now, and I suppose you
don't care much about her."

"No, sir," said Rollo; "I do not."

"But then," continued his father, "in a few years more you will very
probably read some of her writings; and at any rate you will often hear
of them. One of the most celebrated of her works is a tale called

"Ah, yes," said Rollo; "I have heard of Corinne. The first class in
French studied it at school."

"Very likely," said Mr. Holiday. "It is a very good text book for
studying French. At any rate it is a famous book, and Madame de Stael is
a very celebrated author. She was a lady, too, while she lived, of great
personal distinction. Her rank and position in society were very
exalted. She associated with kings and princes, and was closely
connected with many of the great political transactions of the day in
which she lived. This, of course, added greatly to her renown.

"Her father was a very distinguished man, too. His name was Monsieur
Necker. He was a great statesman and financier. The King of France got
his money affairs in the greatest confusion and difficulty, and he
appointed Monsieur Necker his minister of finance, to try to put them in

"And did he succeed?" asked Rollo.

"No," said Mr. Holiday; "it was too late. The disorder was hopeless, and
it ended in the great French revolution. But Necker became a very
celebrated character in history. We are going to see the chateau where
he lived. We shall see the room where his daughter wrote Corinne. I
wish you to observe carefully all that you see, and remember it.
Hereafter, when you come to read the history of France and the writings
of Madame de Stael, you will look back with great pleasure to the visit
you made when a boy to the chateau of Necker, near Geneva."

"Yes, sir," said Rollo, "I will."

A short time after this the carriage stopped in a shady place under some
trees, near the entrance to a village. The postilion descended and
opened the carriage door, and then pointed up an avenue of trees, which
he said led to the chateau. Mr. and Mrs. Holiday got out of the carriage
and walked up the avenue. Rollo followed them.

They came at length to the chateau. There was a large portal, closed by
an iron gate. On one side of the portal was a lodge. A porter came out
of the lodge, and Mr. Holiday asked him if they could see the chateau.
He answered very politely that they could; and immediately opening the
iron gate, he ushered the whole party into the court yard.

The court yard was a very pleasant place. It was surrounded on three
sides by the buildings of the chateau, which were quite imposing in
their character, like a palace. The fourth side was formed by a handsome
wall, with a large ornamented gateway in the centre of it, leading into
a garden.

The entrance to the chateau was at a large door in the middle of one
side of the yard. The porter ascended the steps, and rang the bell. He
said to Mr. Holiday that some one would come to conduct the party over
the chateau, and then went back to his lodge.

Presently a well-dressed man came to the door. He received the party in
a very polite and friendly manner, and invited them in.

The first apartment that they entered was a hall. The hall was very
large, and was finished and furnished like a room, with chairs, sofas,
and a great fireplace. On one side was a broad stone staircase,
ornamented with a massive balustrade. The concierge led the way up this
staircase to a sort of gallery on the second story. From this gallery a
door opened, leading to the suite of apartments which Monsieur Necker
and his distinguished daughter had occupied.

The rooms were constructed and arranged in the style common in French
palaces. They were situated in the line of building which formed the
front of the chateau; and on the front side of each of them were windows
looking out upon the lake. Of course these windows formed the range of
windows in the second story of the principal front of the edifice.

On the back side of each of these rooms was a door communicating with
the gallery behind them, or with some subordinate apartments depending
upon them.

Besides these doors, there were others which connected the different
apartments of the suite with each other. These doors were all in a line,
and they were near the side of the room where the windows were which
looked out upon the lake. Thus one could pass through the whole suite of
apartments by walking along from one to another through these doors,
passing thus just in front of the range of windows.

The rooms were all beautifully furnished in the French style. There were
richly carved cabinets and book cases, and splendid mirrors, and sofas
and chairs, and paintings and statues. One room was the library. Another
was a bedroom. In one there were several portraits on the wall. Mr. and
Mrs. Holiday seemed particularly interested in examining these
portraits. One represented Madame de Stael herself; another, her father,
Monsieur Necker; a third, her mother, Madame Necker. Besides these,
there were some others of the family.

Rollo looked at all these portraits, as his father requested him to do;
but he was more interested in two other objects which stood on a table
in the same room. These objects were two little figures, one
representing a horse and the other a lamb. These figures were under a
glass. The horse was about a foot long, and the lamb about six inches.
The horse was of a very pretty form, and was covered with hair, like a
living animal. The lamb in the same manner was covered with wool.
Indeed, they were both in all respects models of the animals they
represented in miniature.

Rollo asked the concierge what they were.

"Ah," said he, "those are models of a favorite horse and a favorite lamb
that belonged to Monsieur Necker. When they died he was very sorry; and
he had these models of them made, to perpetuate the memory of them."

After this, in other rooms, the party were shown the table at which
Madame de Stael sat in writing Corinne, and the inkstand that she used;
and when they went down stairs, the concierge showed them into a large
hall, which was situated directly below the rooms they had been
visiting, where he said Madame de Stael used to have her dramas
performed from time to time before an audience of friends and visitors
from the neighborhood.

At length the concierge conducted the party to the door where they had
come in. There Mr. Holiday, after giving him a franc, thanked him for
his politeness, and bade him good bye. The party took a little walk in
the garden, and then returned to the carriage and rode away.

The bodies of Monsieur Necker and of his daughter lie buried in a little
grove of trees near the house. The party saw the grove, but visitors are
not allowed to go to the graves.

On leaving the chateau, the carriage turned off from the lake, and took
a road that led back more into the interior.

"What are we going to see next, father?" said Rollo.

"We are going to see the house where the famous philosopher, Voltaire,
lived," replied Mr. Holiday; "though on the way we are going to see a
fountain and cascade."

"Is there any thing very remarkable about the fountain?" asked Rollo.

"I don't know," said Mr. Holiday; "only it is mentioned in the guide
books as worth being visited."

So the carriage drove on through a very beautiful country, with fields,
and gardens, and country seats, and ancient chateaux bordering the way.
From time to time, Rollo, on looking back, obtained splendid views of
the lake behind him, and of the gently-sloping and highly-cultivated
shore on the opposite side, with the snowy range of the Alps beyond,
shining in the sun.

At length they arrived at a village, and stopped before an inn. The
postilion said that they were to stop there with the carriage, and go to
the fountain on foot.

"I will call some one to show you the way," said he.

So he went to one of the houses across the street, and called a woman of
the village, and she said that she would go to the school and call her

"But it is a pity," said Mr. Holiday, "to take the boy away from his

"O, no," said the woman; "that is nothing at all."

So she ran along the street of the village until she came to the school
house, and presently she returned with the boy. He had a book in his
hand. Rollo looked at the book, and found that it was a grammar. The
covers of it were worn, and the leaves tumbled, and the beginning and
end of it were filled with names scribbled on the blank pages, and rude
drawings, which made it look exactly like the school books of idle boys,
as Rollo had often seen them in America.

Rollo gave back the book to the boy, and the boy gave it to his mother,
and then he began walking along the road, to show the party the way to
the fountain.

He led them out of the village, and along the pleasant road, until at
length they came to a place where there was an open gateway, through
which they could see the beautiful grounds of a large country house,
which appeared like a hotel. There were ladies and gentlemen walking
about the grounds, along the margin of a large stream of water, or
sitting in groups under the trees.

"What place is that?" said Rollo to the boy.

"It is a place of baths," said the boy.

Rollo wished to go in there and see the grounds; but the boy walked on,
and so Rollo followed him. After a time the guide turned off into a
field, and there took a path which led down toward a wood, where they
could hear water running. When they came into the wood they saw the
water. It was a large stream, large enough for a mill stream, and it ran
foaming and tumbling down over its rocky bed in a very picturesque

The walk led along the bank of the stream, under the trees. It was a
wide and very pleasant walk, and was well gravelled. Here and there
there were little seats, too, at pretty places formed by the windings of
the glen.

After walking along a little way, and not coming to any thing more, Mrs.
Holiday began to be tired.

"I wonder," said she, "if there is any thing remarkable to see at the
end of this path."

"I'll ask the boy," said Rollo.

"Boy," he added, speaking to the little guide, "what is there to see up

"It is this," said the boy, pointing to the brook.

"Isn't there any thing else besides this stream?" asked Rollo.

"No," said the boy.

"He says there is not any thing else," said Rollo to his mother; "and so
I don't believe it is worth while to go any farther. We have seen this
brook enough, and you will get very tired."

Mrs. Holiday sat down upon a green bench that happened to be near, at a
turn of the stream, in order to take time to consider the question.

Mr. Holiday sat down beside her.

"We will wait here, Rollo, while you go on with the boy, and see what
you can find. I think there must be something or other remarkable, for
they would not make so good a path as this to lead to nothing at all.
You may go on with the boy, and see what it comes to, and then you can
come back and tell us."

Rollo liked this plan very much, and so he and the boy walked on.

In about five minutes Mr. Holiday heard Rollo calling to him.

"FA-THER! FA-THER!" said he.

"_Well_," said Mr. Holiday, "_I hear_."

"Come up here," said Rollo, calling out again. "It is a very curious
place indeed."

So Mr. and Mrs. Holiday rose, and after following the path a short
distance farther through the wood, they came to where Rollo was. They
found, to their astonishment, that there the brook which they had been
following so long came to a sudden end, or rather to a sudden beginning;
for the whole volume of water that composed it was seen here to come
boiling up out of the ground in a sort of shallow basin, which was
formed on the hill side at the head of the glen.

The place was very secluded, but it was very beautiful. It was shaded
with trees, which overhung the paths, and the basin, and the various
channels of water which flowed from it and around it. The water boiled
up very copiously from between the stones that had been set up to form
the margin of the basin, and also among the sands which formed the
bottom of it. The walk was conducted all around this singular fountain;
and it passed across the outlet, where the stream flowed away from it,
over a neat little stone dike, which formed the edge of the basin on the
lower side.

Rollo led the way to the middle of this dike, and his father and mother
followed. They stood there for some time, looking down into the basin
to see the water boil up from between the stones and among the sands.

"This is a very curious place indeed," said Mrs. Holiday.

"It certainly is," said Mr. Holiday.

"Well, father," said Rollo, after gazing for some time into the bubbling
and boiling fountain, "where does all this water come from? What makes
it come up out of the ground?"

"Why, the truth is," said Mr. Holiday, "though it seems to come _up_, it
really comes _down_.

"Do you see all this mountain up here?" he added. So saying he pointed
to the land which seemed to rise to a great height above the head of the

"Yes, sir," said Rollo.

"Well, this mountain," continued Mr. Holiday, "is full of water. All
mountains are full of water, for it rains on the summits and sides of
them almost continually, and this keeps them always full. Generally this
water drains off down into the valleys, through the beds of sand and
gravel that lie in the heart of the mountain, and so is not particularly
observed. Sometimes it breaks out in small springs, at various places on
the mountain sides; and sometimes the shape of the rocks and openings in
the mountain are such as to collect a great quantity of it in one
place, where it breaks out into the open ground altogether, as it does
here. There are a great many such fountains in Switzerland."

"Are there any larger than this?" asked Rollo.

"Yes," said Mr. Holiday, "ten times as large. Sometimes the water forms
quite a little river almost immediately after it comes out of the

"I should like to see them," said Rollo.

"Very likely you will see some of them," said his father.

"But then, father," said Rollo, "if this water all comes from the rain,
I should think that when it stops raining on the mountain above, then or
soon afterwards the water would stop boiling up here."

"No," said his father; "the mountain is so large, and the immense beds
of sand, gravel, and rock which it contains hold so much water, that
before all that has fallen in one rain has time to get drained away,
another rain comes, and so there is a perpetual supply, especially for
such fountains as come from channels that reach far into the mountain."

After rambling about this spot for some time, the party returned down
the path; but instead of going back into the road again by the way they
came, the boy led them through a gate into the grounds of the hotel
which they had seen in coming.

The grounds were very beautiful, being shaded with trees, and full of
walks; and the stream which came down the glen spread itself out in
various directions all over them, filling a great number of channels and
basins which had been opened here and there, and were seen in every
direction among the trees and foliage. The water flowed very swiftly
along from one of these basins to another, sometimes in a continuous
torrent, and sometimes by a series of cascades and waterfalls; and in
the bottoms of all the little ponds the water was seen boiling up in the
clean gray sand, just as it had done in the fountain up the glen.

There were walks every where along the banks of these streams, and
little bridges leading across them. There were seats, too, and bowers,
and a great many other pretty places. At one spot under a tree was a
large white swan, or rather a sculptured image of one, sitting on a
marble stone, and pouring out a constant stream of clear cold water from
his mouth. Underneath, on a little marble slab, was a tumbler, placed
there to enable people to take a drink. Rollo stopped to take a drink;
but instead of using the tumbler, he caught the water in a drinking cup
which he had bought in Scotland, and which he always carried in his

After rambling about these grounds for some time, the party went back
through the yard of the hotel to the village. There they dismissed the
boy. Mr. Holiday gave him half a franc for guiding them. Then they got
into their carriage again, and rode on.

In about an hour they came to a little village named Ferney, near which
was the chateau that was formerly the residence of the celebrated
philosopher Voltaire. The carriage stopped under some ancient trees, and
Mr. and Mrs. Holiday and Rollo got out and walked up an avenue. At the
head of the avenue they came to a gate which led into the grounds of the

There was a bell cord hanging by this gate, and a placard up, requesting
visitors to ring the bell, and not to enter the grounds until the
domestic should come to guide them.

"Shall I ring, father?" said Rollo.

"Yes," said Mr. Holiday; "ring away."

So Rollo pulled the bell rope, and very soon a domestic came. He
received the company very politely, and invited them to follow him.

Mr. and Mrs. Holiday and Rollo accordingly followed him into the yard.
The domestic led them round to the front of the house, which was turned
away from the road. The front faced a beautiful lawn, ornamented with
walks and trees. In one place there was a table under the trees, with
seats around it, as if the family were accustomed sometimes to take
their tea there. From this lawn there was a beautiful view of the lake
and of the mountains beyond.

The domestic led them into the house, and showed them the two rooms in
it which contained most of the memorials of Voltaire. The most
remarkable of these memorials was a marble monument which stood on one
side of the room, and which Rollo said looked like an ornamental stove,
that contained Voltaire's _heart_. His body was buried in Paris, but his
heart was deposited in this sepulchral urn.

Besides this there were a number of pictures in the room, which had been
placed there by Voltaire. Some of them had been given to him by the
emperors and kings that he had been acquainted with.

Rollo, however, did not take much interest in any of these things. The
singular appearance of the room and of the furniture interested him in
some degree by its novelty, but in other respects he was very little
amused by what he saw. He was glad when the visit to the house was over,
and he came out again upon the lawn.

From the lawn there was a very splendid view. There was a broad and very
fertile slope of land extending for several miles down to the shore of
the lake. Beyond it was seen the blue expanse of the water, and still
farther another magnificent slope of fertile and richly-cultivated land,
which extended back beyond the lake to the foot of the mountains. A
lofty range of snow-clad summits rose in the distance, the towering
summit of Mont Blanc reposing like a monarch in the midst of them.

There was a curious covered walk along on one side of this lawn. It was
a walk covered with foliage. It was walled in on the sides, too, as well
as covered above with the foliage. Two hedges had been planted, one on
each side; and as they had grown, the leaves and branches had been
trimmed off straight and smooth like a wall. Then the tops had been
trained to meet overhead, and the foliage had been trimmed square and
flat on the upper side, and in an arch on the under side. So dense was
the growth of the leaves and branches that the whole alley was closely
and completely enclosed, so that it would not have been possible to look
out of it at all, had it not been that a row of square openings like
windows had been made on the side towards the lake. Any one could look
out and view the scenery through these openings as he walked along.

Voltaire used to compose his works in this alley, it was said. He would
walk up and down, and dictate as he walked to his amanuensis, who sat
near at hand with pen and ink to write down the philosopher's words.

After this the domestic conducted the party through a wood, and showed
them a tree which Voltaire had planted. It was now a tree of great size,
and apparently far advanced in age.

Rollo took very little interest in this tree, and even his father and
mother did not appear to pay much attention to it. It seemed, however,
that other visitors had not felt the same indifference to it, for those
who had come to see it had picked off and cut off so many pieces of bark
to carry away as relics that the tree, on one side had become entirely
excoriated, and there was danger that in the end the poor sufferer from
these depredations would be killed. In order to protect it, therefore,
from any further injury, the proprietor had surrounded it with a little
circular paling, so that now nobody could come near enough to touch the

Rollo was glad when the visit to this place was ended; so he ran on
before his father and mother in going out, and was on his seat by the
side of the postilion long before they came to the carriage.

Ferney, though so near to Geneva, is within the confines of France, and
the carriage passed the line between the two countries in going home.
There was a little custom house and two or three armed policemen at the
frontier; but the party of travellers were not molested, and so in due
time they arrived safely home.



One evening, when Rollo was walking with his father and mother on one of
the bridges which led over the river, they stopped at a place where two
boys were fishing, and looked down over the railing into the water. The
water was quite deep, but they could see the stones on the bottom of it
almost as distinctly as if they had been looking only through the air.

"How very clear the water is!" said Mrs. Holiday; "and what a beautiful
tinge it has! What is the reason of it?"

"I don't know what the reason is of the blue tinge," said Mr. Holiday;
"but the cause of its being so clear is, that it flows out of this great
lake, where it has been lying so long that it has had time to settle

"There is a great difference in the streams of Switzerland," continued
Mr. Holiday. "Some are exceedingly clear, and some are exceedingly
turbid. There are two ways by which the turbid waters become purified.
One is, by being filtered through the sands under ground; and the other
is, by '_settling_', as we call it, in the lakes. The water of the
fountain that we saw on our way to Ferney was beautifully clear, and it
was made so by filtration in the sand, in coming down through the heart
of the mountain. This water, on the other hand, is made clear by its
impurities subsiding in the lake."

"And it comes in muddy at the other end," said Rollo.

"Not muddy, exactly," rejoined Mr. Holiday, "but very turbid. The
turbidness of it is not mud precisely. It comes from the grinding up of
rocks by the slow march of the glaciers over and among them. Thus all
the streams that come from glaciers are very turbid; and so long as the
waters flow on in an uninterrupted stream they continue turbid; but when
they form a lake, the particles of stone subside, and the water comes
out at the lower end of the lake perfectly clear."

"And then continues clear till it gets to the ocean, I suppose," said
Mrs. Holiday.

"Yes," replied Mr. Holiday, "unless some other turbid stream, which has
no lake to settle itself in, falls into it and pollutes it again.

"That is the case with this river. It is very clear and beautiful here,
where it comes out of the lake, but the Arve comes in a mile or two
below Geneva, and brings an immense volume of turbid water. This makes
the whole river turbid again after the waters of the two rivers have
flowed long enough together to get well mixed, and then it continues
turbid all the way to the sea. There is no other lake to settle it.

"I am told," said Mr. Holiday, "that the coming in of the turbid torrent
of the Arve into the clear blue waters of the Rhone is a very pretty
spectacle, and I should like very much to see it; but it is rather too
far to go."

"O, no, father," said Rollo; "let us go."

"How far is it?" asked Mrs. Holiday.

"About a mile, I should think, by the map," said Mr. Holiday; "but there
seems to be no carriage road to the place. If there had been a carriage
road I should have taken you there; for I should like very well to have
you see the place."

"But, father, we can walk there very easily," said Rollo. "There is a
nice path along the bank of the river. I saw it the other day, when I
was down below the bridge."

"Well," said Mrs. Holiday, "I should like to go very much, if we could
go in the morning or in the evening, when it is cool. Is the walk shady,

"Yes, mother, it is shady in the morning. There is a high hedge all
along on one side of the path, and that keeps the sun off in the
morning. In the evening the sun comes round to the other side."

"Then we will go in the morning," said Mrs. Holiday. "Let us get up
early to-morrow morning, and go before breakfast."

Mrs. Holiday was really desirous of seeing this famous junction of the
Rhone and the Arve; but her chief interest in making the excursion arose
from her sympathy with Rollo, and from observing how much he wished to
go. It is always so with a mother. When her children are kind and
attentive to her, and obedient to her wishes, she always desires most
strongly to do what will most gratify them.

The plan was arranged according to Mrs. Holiday's proposal, and the next
morning the party set out at half past six o'clock. Rollo led the way.

"What I should like best," said Rollo, turning round so as to face his
father and mother, and walking backward, "would be to take a boat, and
shoot down the river under these bridges."

"Ah," said his father, "that would not do. The current is too swift. At
any rate, if you were to go down you would never get the boat back
again. The water runs like a mill race.

"Indeed, it _is_ a mill race," continued Mr. Holiday. "Don't you see the
mill wheels projecting into the stream, here and there? They are carried
by the natural force of the current."

After passing by the buildings of the town, Rollo led the way over a
narrow wooden bridge, which passed across the old moat of the town. The
remains of a monstrous bastion were to be seen beyond it.

"This is a part of the old fortifications," said Rollo. "They are
cutting them all to pieces now with roads and bridges leading in and out
the town."

After going beyond these embankments, Rollo led the way to a path which
lay along the river side. Very soon the path began to be a very pleasant
one indeed. Mrs. Holiday was delighted with it. It was close to the
margin of the water, and only a very few inches above the level of it.
The current was very swift, and the water was so blue, and clear, and
beautiful, that it was a continual pleasure to look down into it, and to
watch the little waves and ripples that curled, and twirled, and dashed
against the shore.

There was a row of willows between the paths and the water, or rather in
the margin of the water, for the path was so near to the stream that
there was scarcely room for the willows on the land. On the other side
of the path there was a close hedge, which formed the boundary of a
region of fields, meadows, and gardens. Here and there were gates
leading through this hedge; and the party, as they walked along, could
look through the openings and see the peasant girls coming out to their
work from the houses. The whole region, though it was highly cultivated
and extremely beautiful, was very flat and level, and was only raised
two or three feet above the level of the water.

From each gateway or other opening through the hedge there were paths
leading off through the fields and gardens to the houses; and there were
steps at the gates leading down to the pathway that lay along the margin
of the stream. The people of the houses were accustomed, it seemed, to
come down there to get water.

Thus the party walked along, with the rapid current of the river close
to their feet on one side, and the high green hedge shutting them in on
the other, while the tops of the willow trees spreading over their heads
completed the coolness and shadiness of the pathway. Rollo led the way,
and his father and mother followed, one by one, for the path was not
wide enough for two to walk together.

[Illustration: THE WATER WHEEL.]

Presently they came to a place where a large water wheel of a very
curious construction was seen revolving quite near the shore. They
stopped to look at it. They liked to see it revolving; and then besides
they wished to examine the construction of it. It was mounted on a frame
of timbers that had been set up for it in the water, at a little
distance from the shore. The wheel itself was much like the wheel of a
steamboat; only, in addition to the ordinary float boards, it had a
series of buckets on the edge of it, which took up the water from the
stream, as the wheel revolved, and emptied it into a trough above, as
they went over. From this trough there was a circular pipe, made very
strong, which conveyed the water by a subterranean aqueduct into the
field opposite, where it rose into a reservoir by the pressure of the
column in the pipe, and was used to irrigate the ground.

Across the river at this place was a beautiful view of fields,
vineyards, terraces, and gardens; for on that side the bank was high,
and as the sun shone directly upon it, the whole scene presented to view
was extremely bright and beautiful.

At one of the gates which opened through the hedge, Rollo stopped to
look in. He saw gardens laid out in squares, with corn, and beans, and
various garden vegetables growing luxuriantly in them. There were rows
of fruit trees, too, bordering the paths, and at a distance were to be
seen houses scattered here and there over the plain, the dwellings of
the owners of the land. Each house had its little barns and granaries
connected with it, the whole group being half concealed by the foliage
of the trees and shrubs that had been planted around it.

"Will it do for us to go in," said Rollo to his father, "and walk a part
of the way through these gardens?"

"Yes," said his father, "I presume it will do; but perhaps we had better
go down all the way by the path, and come back by the gardens."

"Yes, sir," said Rollo; "that will be much the best plan.

"But, father," continued Rollo, "if we should go across these gardens,
and keep on in that direction for some time, I suppose that we should
come to the Arve."

"Yes," said his father; "the Arve is coming down from the mountains, and
flowing towards the Rhone not very far from here, on the other side of
this flat land. This land constitutes a sort of tongue lying between the
two rivers. I suppose it has been formed by the deposits that the Arve
brings down. I have no doubt that if we should walk across the tongue of
land, we should come to the Arve; but it is better to go on down the
path till we reach the point where the two rivers come together."

"Well," said Rollo, "we will go on."

So they went on along the path, as before.

Rollo soon had occasion to be glad that he had acceded so readily to his
father's wishes to continue in the path; for he soon came to something
that amused him very much. It was a man sitting in the top of one of the
willow trees that overhung the path, fishing. The willow leaned very
much, and this made it easy to climb the stem of it. It had been headed
down, too, so that there was a pretty good place to sit on the top of
it. It was on the very brink of the stream, and indeed the leaning of
the stem carried the top of the willow somewhat over the water, and thus
it made quite a good place to sit and fish.

The current flowed very swiftly under the willow tree, and the fishing
line was carried far down the stream.

"Ah!" said Rollo; "that is just such a place as I should like to have. I
should like to sit up in that tree and fish all the morning."

"I should think it might be a little lonesome," said Mr. Holiday.

"No," said Rollo; "or perhaps there might be some other boys in the
other trees."

So saying, Rollo looked up and down the stream, to see if there were
any other trees so formed as to furnish a seat for a fisherman in the
top of them; but there were none.

Here you see a picture of the man as Rollo saw him.

[Illustration: FISHING.]

As the party went on after this they found evidences increasing that
they were drawing near to the junction of the rivers. The hedge became
less regular, and at length ceased altogether. Its place was supplied
by dense thickets formed of alders, willows, and long grass. The ground
became more and more uneven, and at length nothing of the path was left
but a narrow ridge or dike that had been formed artificially along the
shore, with a crooked little footway on the top of it.

At last Rollo began to see through the bushes occasional glimpses of
water on the other side.

"There, father!" said he, "there! We are coming to the Arve."

"Yes," said Mrs. Holiday; "and I don't suppose that we can go much

Indeed, it would have been impossible to go much farther, if there had
not been a small embankment made to serve for a pathway. The party,
though expecting every moment to be obliged to turn back, still went on.
At length the whole expanse of the Arve opened before them as it came in
from the left--its waters boiling, whirling, and sweeping in great
circles as it came on, and the whole surface of it as gray as the sand
on the shores. On the other side was the Rhone, blue, and pellucid, and
beautiful as the sky above.

"What an extraordinary spectacle!" said Mr. Holiday.

"Come, mother," said Rollo, "we can go on a good deal farther yet."

Rollo was right; for the walk, instead of coming to an end at the
extremity of the point which separated the two rivers, was continued
along a little dike or embankment which seemed to have been made
artificially some distance down between the two streams. This dike was
very narrow, being just wide enough indeed for a narrow footpath.

In advancing along this path it was very curious to observe the totally
different aspects of the water on the two sides of it. On the one side
it was turbid and gray, and perfectly opaque. You could not have seen
the pollywogs in the shallowest places along the margin. On the other
side it was so clear and transparent that you could have seen fishes
swimming where it was ten feet deep. It was of such a rich and beautiful
blue color, too, as if it had been tinted with a dye, and the color was
of so rich and brilliant a hue, that Mrs. Holiday was continually
admiring and praising it.

This narrow path, dividing thus the waters of the two rivers, continued
several yards; but at length it came to an end. The party all went on
till they reached the extremity of it, and there, looking still farther
on, they saw the line of demarcation between the gray water and the
blue extending itself before them as far as they could see. The two
rivers remained for a long distance perfectly distinct, though
struggling and contending against each other, as it were, all the way.
The line was broken and indented all along by the strife of the
waters--the gray for a moment penetrating into the blue, and then the
next instant the blue forcing itself into the gray. The waters went on
struggling against each other in this manner as far as the eye could
follow them.

The party remained on the extremity of the point a long time, observing
this singular phenomenon. At length it began to be pretty warm there;
for the narrow tongue of land which projected so far between the two
currents was exposed to the sun, which had now risen so high that there
was a good deal of heat in his rays.

So they set out on their return home. On the way back they walked a
considerable distance through the fields and gardens. They went into
them from the path along the shore, through one of the open gates, and
they went back to the path again by another.



"Father," said Rollo to Mr. Holiday, at dinner one day, "what are you
going to do this evening?"

"We are going to see Mont Blanc go out," said his father.

Mr. Holiday answered Rollo in French, using a phrase very common in
Geneva to denote the gradual fading away of the rosy light left upon
Mont Blanc by the setting sun; for the sun, just at the time of its
setting, gilds the mountain with a peculiar rosy light, as if it were a
cloud. This light gradually fades away as the sun goes down, until the
lower part of the mountain becomes of a dead and ghostly white, while
the roseate hue still lingers on the summit, as if the top of the
mountain were tipped with flame. These last beams finally disappear, and
then the whole expanse of snow assumes a deathlike and wintry whiteness.
The inhabitants of Geneva, and those who live in the environs, often go
out to their gardens and summer houses in the summer evenings, just as
the sun is going down, to see, as they express it, Mont Blanc go out;[E]
and strangers who visit Geneva always desire, if they can, to witness
the spectacle. There are, however, not a great many evenings in the year
when it can be witnessed to advantage, the mountain is so often
enveloped in clouds.

[Footnote E: The phrase is, in French, _Pour voir le Mont Blanc

Rollo had heard the phrase before, and he knew very well what his father

"Well," said he, in a tone of satisfaction; "and may I go too?"

"Yes," said his father; "we should like to have you go very much. But
there is a question to be decided--how we shall go. The best point of
view is somewhere on the shore along the lake, on the other side of the
bridge. There are three ways of going. We can walk across the bridge,
and then follow the road along the shore till we come to a good place,
or we can take a carriage, and order the coachman to drive out any where
into the neighborhood, where there is a good view of the mountain, or we
can go in a boat."

"In a boat, father!" said Rollo, eagerly. "Let us go in a boat!"

"The objection to that," said Mr. Holiday, "is, that it is more trouble
to go and engage a boat. There are plenty of carriages here at the very
door, and I can have one at a moment's notice, by just holding up my

"And, father," said Rollo, "so there are plenty of boats right down here
by the quay, and I can get one of them in a moment, just by holding up
my finger."

"Well," said Mr. Holiday, "we will go in a boat if you will take all the
trouble of engaging one."

Rollo liked nothing better than this, and as soon as dinner was over he
went out upon the quay to engage a boat, while his father and mother
went up to their room to get ready to go.

Rollo found plenty of boats at the landing. Some of them were very
pretty. He chose one which seemed to have comfortable seats in it for
his father and mother. It was a boat, too, that had the American flag
flying at the stern. Some of the boatmen get American flags, and raise
them on their boats, out of compliment to their numerous American

Soon after Rollo had engaged the boat, his father and mother came, and
they all embarked on board. The boatman rowed them off from the shore.
The sun was just going down. There were a great many boats plying to and
fro about the lake, and the quays and the little islet were crowded with

After rowing about a quarter of a mile, the boatman brought the range of
the Alps into full view through an opening between the nearer hills. The
sun was shining full upon them, and illuminating them with a dazzling
white light, very beautiful, but without any rosy hue.

"They don't look rosy at all," said Rollo.

"No," said Mr. Holiday, "not now. They do not take the rosy hue till the
sun has gone down."

The boatman rowed on a little farther, so as to obtain a still better
view. Mr. and Mrs. Holiday watched the mountains; but Rollo was more
interested in the scene immediately around him. He watched the boats
that were plying to and fro over the surface of the lake, and the
different parties of ladies and gentlemen in them. He gazed on the
quays, too, all around, and on the islet, which was not far off, and on
the people that he saw there, some walking to and fro, and others
leaning over the parapet and looking out upon the water.

"Rollo," said Mr. Holiday, "see if there is a rudder."

"Yes, father, there is," said Rollo. So saying, he climbed over the
seats, between his father and mother, and took his place by the rudder.

"Steer us, then, over to the opposite shore, wherever you see there is a
pleasant place to land."

Rollo was glad and sorry both to receive this command. He was glad to
have the pleasure of steering, but he was sorry that his father intended
to land. He would have preferred remaining out upon the water.

He, however, obeyed his father's command, and steered towards the
farther shore, turning the head of the boat in an oblique direction, a
little way up the lake. Presently Mr. Holiday saw some friends of his in
a boat that was coming in the opposite direction. He ordered Rollo to
steer towards them. Rollo did so, and soon the boats came alongside. The
oarsmen of both boats stopped rowing, and the two parties in them came
to a parley.

There was a little girl in the other boat, named Lucia. There was no
other child in that boat, and so there was nobody for Lucia to play
with. Lucia therefore asked her father and mother to allow her to get
over into Mr. Holiday's boat, so that she could have somebody to play

"Why, Lucia," said her mother, "Rollo is a great boy. He is too big to
play with you."

"I know it," said Lucia; "but then he is better than nobody."

Rollo might perhaps have been made to feel somewhat piqued at being
considered by a young lady as only better than nobody for a companion,
had it not been for the nature of the objection, which was only that he
was too large. So he felt complimented rather than otherwise, and he
cordially seconded Lucia's wish that she might be transferred to his
father's boat, and at length her mother consented. Lucia stepped
carefully over the gunwales, and thus got into Mr. Holiday's boat. She
immediately passed along to the stern, and took her place by the side of
Rollo at the rudder. The boats then separated from each other, and each
went on its own way.

"What is this handle," said Lucia, "that you are taking hold of?"

"It is the tiller," said Rollo.

"And what is it for?" asked Lucia.

"It is the handle of the rudder," said Rollo. "The rudder is what we
steer the boat by, and the tiller is the handle of it. The rudder itself
is down below the water."

So Rollo let Lucia look over the end of the boat and see the rudder in
the water.

Rollo then proceeded to explain the operation of the rudder.

"You see," said he, "that when I move the tiller over _this_ way, then
the head of the boat turns the other way; and when I move it over _that_
way, then the head of the boat comes round this way. The head of the
boat always goes the contrary way."

"I don't see why it should go the contrary way," said Lucia. "I should
think it ought to go the same way."

"No," replied Rollo; "it goes the contrary way. And now I am going to
steer to a good place to land on the shore over there."

So saying, Rollo pointed to the shore towards which the boat was going.

The boat was now drawing near the shore. There was first a landing,
where several small vessels were drawn up, and immense piles of wood in
great wood yards.

This wood had a very singular appearance. The bark was all off, and the
ends of the logs looked rounded and worn, as if they had been washed in
the water. The reason was, that the wood had grown on the sides of the
mountains, and had been brought down to the lake by the torrents which
pour down the mountain sides with great force in time of rain.

"We won't land in the wood yards--will we?" said Rollo.

"No," said Lucia; "but _there's_ a pretty place to land, a little
farther on."

So saying, Lucia pointed to a very pretty part of the shore, a little
farther on. There seemed to be a garden, and a little green lawn, with
large trees overshadowing it; and at one place there was a projecting
point where there was a summer house with a table in it, and a seat
outside, near the beach, under a bower.

"Yes," said Rollo; "that is a very pretty place; but it looks like
private ground. I think we must not land there."

As the boat glided by this place, Rollo and Lucia saw some ladies and
gentlemen sitting in the summer house. The gentlemen took off their hats
and bowed to Mr. and Mrs. Holiday as they passed by.

Next the boat came to a place where there was a low parapet wall along
the shore, and behind it were to be seen the heads of a number of men
who seemed to be sitting at tables, and drinking coffee or beer.

"Here is a good place to land," said Lucia.

"No," said Rollo; "this seems to be some sort of public place, full of
men. We had better go a little farther."

So Rollo steered on, keeping all the time at just a safe distance from
the shore. The water was most beautifully transparent and clear, so that
all the pretty stones and pebbles on the bottom could be seen very
distinctly at a great depth.

"What pretty water!" said Lucia.

"Yes," said Rollo, "it is so clear."

"What makes it so clear?" asked Lucia.

"Because the lake is so long," said Rollo, "and this is the lower end of
it, and the water has time to settle. At the other end, where the water
comes in, it is not so clear. This is the end where the water runs out."

A moment afterwards they came to a very pleasant landing, at a place
where the road lay pretty near the water. Between the road and the
water, however, there was a space of green grass, with large trees
overshadowing it, and several wooden settees, painted green, under the

"Ah!" said Rollo, "here is just the place for us.

"Father," he added, "do you think it would be a good plan to land here?"

"Yes," said his father; "we could not have had a better place. I thought
you would find a pleasant landing for us if I gave you the command."

So Rollo brought the boat up to the shore, and they all got out. Mr. and
Mrs. Holiday walked up and took their seats on one of the settees, while
Rollo and Lucia began to run about and play along the parapet wall which
separated the promenade from the water.

Mr. and Mrs. Holiday watched the mountains. The sun had now just gone
down, though his beams still tipped the summits of the hills, and were
reflected from the windows of the distant houses. The snow on the
mountains, too, began to assume a very beautiful rosy hue, which
increased in brilliancy the farther the sun went down, and the more the
lower lands became darkened.

"How beautiful it is!" said Mrs. Holiday.

"It is very beautiful indeed," said her husband.

"Rollo," said Mrs. Holiday, "look at Mont Blanc. See how bright and rosy
he looks."

"Yes, mother," said Rollo; "and look out on the lake, and see the heads
of those two boys swimming in the water."

"Are those the heads of boys?" asked Mrs. Holiday.

"Yes, mother," said Rollo; "see how far they are swimming out."

When Mrs. Holiday looked back at the mountain, she found, to her great
disappointment, that the rosy color which had appeared so beautiful a
moment before had now disappeared; and the whole snowy side of the
range, up to the summits of the loftiest peaks, was of a cold, dead
white, as if the rays of the sun had been entirely withdrawn.

"Ah! look!" she said to Mr. Holiday, in a tone of disappointment; "Mont
Blanc has gone out while we have been looking another way."

Mr. Holiday gazed intently at the mountain, and very soon he saw the
rosy tint beginning to appear again on one of the summits, more
brilliant than ever.

"No," said he, "the sun has not gone. I thought it could not have gone
down so soon. There must have been a cloud in the way."

While Mr. Holiday had been speaking, the rekindling of the mountain had
gone on apace, and now the whole side of it was all in a glow.

Just at this instant Rollo heard the sound of a gun. Lucia started and
looked alarmed.

"What is that gun?" said Rollo; "and where was it? Let us look for the

So Rollo and Lucia, leaning over the parapet, began to look all about
among the boats and vessels of the lake, and along the opposite shore,
in the direction from which the sound of the report had seemed to come,
and very soon their eyes rested upon a volume of blue smoke which was
ascending from the bows of a little vessel that had just come in, and
was floating off gracefully into the air.

"It is that vessel that has just got in," said Rollo.

"Rollo," said Mrs. Holiday, "look at the mountain."

Rollo turned his eye for a moment towards the mountain. All the lower
part of it was of a cold and deathlike whiteness, while the tip of the
summit was glowing as if it had been on fire. He was, however, too much
interested in the smoke of the gun to look long at the mountain.

"Hark!" said he to Lucia; "let us see if they will not fire again."

They did not fire again; and just as Rollo began to give up expecting
that they would, his attention, as well as that of Lucia, was attracted
to a little child who was playing with a small hammer in the gravel not
far from where they were standing. The mother of the child was sitting
on a bench near by, knitting. The hammer was small, and the claw of it
was straight and flat. The child was using it for a hoe, to dig a hole
in the gravel.

"Now," said Rollo, "if I could find a shingle any where about here, I
would make that child a shovel to dig with."

Rollo looked about, but there was nothing like a shingle to be seen.

In a few minutes his father called him.

"Rollo," said he, "we are going back. Mont Blanc has gone out. See!"

Rollo looked. He saw that the last lingering rays of the sun had gone
from the summit of the mountain, though they still gilded a small
rounded cloud that floated just above it in the sky.

"Yes, sir," said Rollo. "I'll go and call the boat."

"We are not going back in the boat," said Mr. Holiday; "we have
concluded to walk round by land, and over the bridge. It will be better
for Lucia to go with us; but you may do as you please. You may walk with
us, or go in the boat with the boatman."

Rollo at first thought that he should prefer to go in the boat; but he
finally concluded to accompany his father and mother. So the whole party
returned together by a pleasant road which led through a village by the

When they came out to the quay they heard a band of music playing. The
band was stationed on the little islet which has already been described.
The party stopped on the bridge to listen; at least Mr. and Mrs. Holiday
listened, but Rollo and Lucia occupied themselves the while in looking
down in the clear depths of the water, which was running so swiftly and
so blue beneath the piers of the bridge, and watching to see if they
could see any fishes there. Lucia thought at one time that she saw one;
but Rollo, on examining the spot, said it was only a little crevice of
the rock wiggling.

"What makes it wiggle?" asked Lucia.

"The little waves and ripples of the current," said Rollo.

       *       *       *       *       *

When Rollo reached the hotel, a gentleman who met the party in the hall
said to him,--

"Well, Rollo, have you been to see Mont Blanc go out?"

"Yes, sir," said Rollo.

"And how did you like it?" said the gentleman.

"I liked it very much indeed," said Rollo. "I think it was sublime."



"Now, father," said Rollo, one evening, as he was sitting at the window
with his father and mother, looking out upon the blue waters of the
Rhone, that were shooting so swiftly under the bridges beneath the
windows of the hotel, "you promised me that you would take as long a
sail on the lake with me as I wished."

"Well," said his father, "I acknowledge the promise, and am ready to
perform it."

"When?" asked Rollo.

"At any time," said his father.

"Then, father, let us go to-morrow," said Rollo. "We can't go to-night,
for I am going so far that it will take all day. I am going to the
farther end of the lake."

"Very well," said his father; "I said I would take as long a sail as you

"And I will go this evening and engage a sail boat," said Rollo, "so as
to have it all ready."

There was always quite a little fleet of sail boats and row boats of
all kinds lying near the principal landing at the quay, ready for
excursions. Rollo's plan was to engage one of these.

"No," said his father; "we will not take a sail boat; we will take a

Besides the sail boats and row boats, there were a number of large and
handsome steamboats plying on the lake. There were two or three that
left in the morning, between seven and eight o'clock, and then there
were one or two at noon also. Those that left in the morning had time to
go to the farther end of the lake and return the same day; while those
that left at noon came back the next morning. Thus, to see the lake, you
could go in the forenoon of one day, and come back in the afternoon of
the same, or you could go in the afternoon of one day, and come back in
the morning of the next.

"Which would you do?" said Mr. Holiday to Rollo.

"But, father," said Rollo, "I think it would be pleasanter to go in a
sail boat. Besides, you said that you would take me to a sail; and going
in a steamboat is not sailing."

"What is it doing?" said Mr. Holiday.

"Steaming," said Rollo. "A steamer does not sail in any sense."

Mr. Holiday smiled and then paused. He was reflecting, apparently, upon
what Rollo had been saying.

"Then, besides," said Rollo, "don't you think, father, it would be
pleasanter to go in a sail boat?"

"The first question is," said Mr. Holiday, "whether I am bound by my
promise to go with you in a sail boat, if you prefer it. I said I would
take you to a sail. Would taking you in a steamboat be a fulfilment of
that promise? Suppose we refer the question to an umpire, and see how he
will decide it."

"Yes; but, father," said Rollo, "if you think it is best to go in the
steamer, I should not insist upon the sail boat, by any means; so it is
not necessary to leave it to any umpire. I will give it up."

"I know you would be willing to give it up," said Mr. Holiday; "but then
we may as well first ascertain how the case actually stands. Let us
first determine what the promise binds me to. If it does not bind me to
go in a sail boat, then it is all right; there will be no need of any
giving up. If, on the other hand, my promise does bind me to go in a
sail boat, then you will consider whether you will release me from it or
not, if I ask it. Besides, it will amuse us to have the question
regularly decided; and it will also be a good lesson for you, in
teaching you to think and speak with precision when you make promises,
and to draw exact lines in respect to the performance of them."

"Well, sir," said Rollo; "who shall be the umpire?"

"Mr. Hall," said his father. "He is down in the dining room now, taking

Mr. Hall was a lawyer, an acquaintance of Mr. Holiday's, whom he had
accidentally met at Geneva.

"He is a lawyer," said Mr. Holiday, "and he will be a very good umpire."

"Is it a law question?" asked Rollo.

"Not exactly a law question," said Mr. Holiday, "but all such questions
require for an umpire a man who is accustomed to think precisely. That
is their very business. It is true that there are a great many other men
besides lawyers who think precisely; and there are some lawyers who
think and reason very loosely, and come to hasty and incorrect
conclusions. Still, you are more likely to get a good opinion on such a
subject from a lawyer than from other men taken at random. So, if you
please, you may go down and state the question to Mr. Hall, and I will
abide by his decision."

"Well, sir," said Rollo, "I will."

"Only," said Mr. Holiday, "you must state the question fairly. Boys
generally, when they go to state a question of this kind in which they
are interested, state it very unfairly."

"How, for instance?" asked Rollo.

"Why, suppose," said Mr. Holiday, "that you were to go to Mr. Hall, and
say, 'Mr. Hall, father promised me that he would take me out on a sail
upon the lake, as far as I wanted to go, and don't you think he ought to
do it?'"

Rollo laughed heartily at this mode of putting the question. "Yes," said
he, "that sounds exactly like a boy. And what would be a fair way of
stating it?"

"A fair way would be," said Mr. Holiday, "to present the simple question
itself, without any reference to your own interest in it, and without
any indication whatever of your own wish or opinion in respect to the
decision of it; as, for example, thus: 'Mr. Hall, I have a question to
ask you. Suppose one person promises another that he will take him out
to sail on the lake on a certain day; then, when the day comes, the
promiser proposes to go in the steamboat. Would that be a good
fulfilment of the promise, or not?'"

"Well, sir," said Rollo, "I will state it so."

So Rollo went down stairs into the dining room. There were various
parties there, seated at the different tables. Some were taking tea,
some were looking at maps and guide books, and some discussing the plan
of their tours. One of the sofas had half a dozen knapsacks upon it,
which belonged to a party of pedestrians that had just come in.

Rollo looked about the room, and presently saw Mr. Hall, with his wife
and daughter, sitting at a table near a window. He went to him, and
stated the question.

The lawyer heard Rollo attentively to the end, and then, instead of
answering at once, O, yes, or O, no, as Rollo had expected, he seemed to
stop to consider.

"That is quite a nice question," said Mr. Hall. "Let us look at it. The
point is, whether an excursion in a steamboat is a _sail_, in the sense
intended by the promise."

"Yes, sir," said Rollo; "that is the point exactly. I think it is not;
father thinks it is."

The instant that these words were out of Rollo's mouth he was sorry that
he had spoken them; for by speaking them he had furnished an indication
to the umpire of what his own opinion and his own interests were in
respect to the decision, which it never is fair to do in such a case,
when the other party is not present to express _his_ views and advocate
his interests. The words once spoken, however, could not be recalled.

"Steamboats are certainly not propelled by sails," said the lawyer, "but
yet we often apply the word _sailing_ to them. We say, for instance,
that a certain steamer will sail on such or such a day. So we say, There
was no news from such or such a place when the steamer sailed."

"But it seems to me," said Rollo, "that the question is not what people
call it, but what it really is. The going of a steamboat is certainly
not sailing, in any sense."

It was quite ingenious arguing on Rollo's part, it must be acknowledged;
but then it was wholly out of order for him to argue the question at
all. He should have confined himself strictly to a simple statement of
the point, since, as his father was not present to defend _his_ side of
the question, it was obviously not fair that Rollo should urge and
advocate his.

"It might, at first view," said Mr. Hall, "seem to be as you say, and
that the question would be solely what the steamer actually does. But,
on reflection, you will see that it is not exactly so. Contracts and
promises are made in language; and in making them, people use language
as other people use it, and it is to be interpreted in that way. For
instance: suppose a lodging-house keeper in the country should agree to
furnish a lady a room in the summer where the sun did not come in at
all, and then should give her one on the south side of the house, which
was intolerably hot, and should claim that he had fulfilled his
agreement because the sun did not itself _come_ into the room at all,
but only shone in; that would not be a good defence. We must interpret
contracts and promises according to the ordinary use and custom of
people in the employment of language.

"Still," said Mr. Hall, "although we certainly do apply the simple term
_sailing_ to a steamer, I hardly think that a trip in a steamer on a
regular and established route would be called, according to the ordinary
and established use of language, taking a sail. Was that the
promise--that one party would go with the other to _take a sail_ on the

"Yes, sir," said Rollo; "he promised to go and take a sail with me on
the lake, as far as I wanted to go."

"Then," said Mr. Hall, "I should think, on the whole, that, in such a
place as this, where there are so many regular sail boats, and where
excursions on the lake in them are so common and so well recognized as a
distinct amusement, the phrase _taking a sail_ ought to be held to mean
going in a sail boat, and that making a voyage in a steamer would not be
fulfilling the promise."

Rollo was extremely delighted in having thus gained his case, and he
went back to report the result to his father, in a state of great

After communicating to his father the decision of the umpire, Rollo said
that, after all, he did not wish to go in a sail boat if his father
thought it best to go in a steamer.

"Well," said Mr. Holiday, "that depends upon how far we go. It is
pleasant enough to go out a short distance on the water in a sail boat,
but for a long excursion the steamer is generally considered much
pleasanter. In a sail boat you are down very low, near the surface of
the water, and so you have no commanding views. Then you have no shelter
either from the sun, if it is clear, or from the rain, if it is cloudy.
You are closely confined, too, or at least you can move about only a
very little; whereas in the steamer there is plenty of space, and there
are a great many groups of people, and little incidents are constantly
occurring to amuse you."

"Besides," said Mrs. Holiday, "if you go in the steamer, I can go with

"Why, mother, could not you go in a sail boat too?"

"No," said Mrs. Holiday; "I am afraid of sail boats."

"O mother!" said Rollo; "there is not any danger at all."

"Yes, Rollo," said his father, "there is some danger, for sail boats do
sometimes upset."

"And steamboats sometimes blow up," said Rollo.

"True," said his father; "but that only shows that there is danger in
steamboats too--not that there is no danger in sail boats."

"Well, what I mean," said Rollo, "is, that there is very little danger,
and that mother has no occasion to be afraid."

"There is very little danger, I grant," said Mr. Holiday; "but there is
just enough to keep ladies, who are less accustomed to the water than we
are, almost all the time uneasy, and thus to destroy for them the
pleasure of the excursion.

"I'll tell you what I think will be the best plan. You and I will go out
and take a little sail to-night on the lake in a sail boat, and mother
may stay and watch us from the window, as she reads and sews. Then
to-morrow we will go together to make an excursion on the lake."

Rollo liked this plan very much indeed, and his father sent him down to
the landing to engage the boat. "I will come down," said Mr. Holiday,
"by the time you get ready."

So Rollo went down and engaged a boat. It was rigged, as all the boats
on the Lake of Geneva are, with what are called lateen sails. His
father soon came down, and they immediately embarked on board the boat,
and sailed away from the landing. As the boat moved away Rollo waved his
handkerchief to his mother whom he saw sitting on the balcony of the
hotel, waving hers to him.

[Illustration: GOING TO TAKE A SAIL.]

Rollo and his father sailed about the lake for nearly an hour. Mr.
Holiday said it was one of the pleasantest sails he ever had in his
life, and that he was very glad indeed that Mr. Hall decided against

He gave Rollo's mother a full account of the excursion when he got home.

"The water was very smooth," said he, "and the air was cool and balmy.
There was a gentle breath of wind, just enough to float us smoothly and
quietly over the water. We had charming views of the town and of the
shores of the lake, and also of the stupendous ranges of snow-covered
mountains beyond."



The Lake of Geneva is shaped, as has already been said, like the new
moon. One of the horns is towards the west; the other is towards the
south. Geneva is at the tip of the western horn.

Of course, in sailing from Geneva to the other end of the lake, we go
from the west towards the east; and this renders it rather more
agreeable to make the excursion by an afternoon boat than by a morning
one; for in the afternoon, the sun, being then in the western part of
the sky, will be behind you, and so will not shine in your face; but,
instead of shining in your face and dazzling your eyes, it will be
shining upon and illuminating brilliantly the slopes of the mountains
that you are going to see. In other words, in the morning the mountains
are in shadow and the sun in your eyes; in the evening your eyes are
shaded, and the mountains glow with brilliancy and beauty.

It is often very important to take notice thus of the manner in which
the sun shines in different parts of the day, in planning excursions
among the Alps.

The middle of the day is a very exciting and animating time on the quay
at Geneva. It is then that the boats which left the other end of the
lake in the morning are expected to arrive; and a great concourse of
porters, guides, postilions, and bystanders of all sorts assemble to
receive the travellers. As the boats come in, it is very amusing to sit
on the balconies, or at the windows of the hotels which overlook the
quay, and watch the procession of tourists as they come over the plank
to land. There are family groups consisting of fathers, mothers, and
children, followed by porters bearing immense trunks, while they
themselves are loaded with shawls, cloaks, umbrellas, and carpet bags;
and parties of students, with all their travelling effects in knapsacks
on their backs; and schoolboys who have been making a tour of the Alps
with their teacher; and young brides, almost equally proud of their
husbands, of the new dignity of their own position, and of the grandeur
of an Alpine bridal tour. All these people, and the hundreds of
spectators that assemble to see them, fill the quay, and form a very
animated and exciting spectacle.

When the time approaches for a boat to sail, which is in half an hour
after she arrives, we have a counterpart of this scene, the direction of
the current only being reversed. The tourists now go to the boat, the
porters, with their baggage, preceding them. A soldier stands at the
entrance to the plank, to look at the passports. Lines of officials on
each side guard the way. On the deck of the steamer, as soon as you get
on board, you find a great variety of picturesque looking groups, all,
however, having the air of being travellers for pleasure. Some are
arranging themselves in good seats for seeing the scenery. Others take
out their maps and guide books, and prepare to read the descriptions of
the places that they are going to see. Here and there children are to be
seen--the boys with little knapsacks, and the girls wearing very
broad-brimmed Swiss hats--neither paying any attention to the scenery,
but amusing themselves with whatever they find at hand to play with--one
with a little dog, another with a doll which has been bought for her at
Geneva, and a third, perhaps, with a whip, or a little wagon.

Rollo took his seat by the side of his father and mother, in the midst
of such a scene as this, on the day of their embarkation, and occupied
himself sometimes by looking at the shores of the lake and the mountains
beyond, and sometimes by watching the movements and actions of the
various groups of tourists before him. In the mean time, the boat left
the landing, and began to glide along rapidly on her way over the
surface of the water.

The shores of the lake are very fertile and populous, and at every eight
or ten miles, especially on the northern shore, you come to a large
town. The steamboats stop at these towns to take and leave passengers.
They do not, in such cases, usually land at a pier, but the passengers
come and go in large boats, and meet the steamer at a little way from
the shore. Rollo used to take great pleasure in going forward to the
bows of the steamer, and watch these boats as they came out from the
shore. If there were two of them, they would come out so far that the
track of the steamer should lie between them, and then, when the steamer
stopped her paddles, they would come up, one on one side and the other
on the other, and the passengers would come up on board by means of a
flight of steps let down from the steamer, just abaft the paddle boxes.
When the passengers had thus come up, the baggage would be passed up
too; and then those passengers who wished to go ashore at that place
would go down the steps in the boats, and when all were embarked, the
boats would cast off from the steamer, and the steamer would go on her
way as before. The boats then would row slowly to the land, with the
passengers in them that were to stop at that place.

The way of paying for one's passage on board these boats was very
different from that adopted in America. There was no colored waiter to
go about the decks and saloons ringing a bell, and calling out, in a
loud and authoritative voice, Passengers who haven't settled their fare
will please call at the captain's office and settle. Instead of this,
the clerk of the boat came himself, after each landing, to the new
passengers that had come on board at that landing, and, touching his hat
to them, in the most polite manner, asked them to what place they wished
to go. He had a little slate in his hand, with the names of all the
towns where the steamer was to touch marked upon it. As the several
passengers to whom he applied gave him the name of the place of their
destination, he made a mark opposite to the name of the place on his
slate. When he had in this way applied to all the new comers, he went to
the office and provided himself with the proper number of tickets for
each place, and then went round again to distribute them. In going
around thus a second time, to distribute the tickets, he took a cash box
with him to make change. This cash box was slung before him by means of
a strap about the neck.

"How much more polite and agreeable a mode this is of collecting the
fares," said Mrs. Holiday to her husband, "than ours in America! There a
boy comes around, dinging a bell in every body's ears, and then the
gentlemen have to go in a crowd and elbow their way up to the window of
the captain's office. I wish we could have some of these polite and
agreeable customs introduced into our country."

"They are very agreeable," said Mr. Holiday, "and are very suitable for
pleasure travel like this, where the boats are small, and the number of
passengers few; but I presume it would be very difficult to collect the
fares in this way on a North River steamer, where there are sometimes a
thousand passengers on board. Here there are usually not more than eight
or ten passengers that come on board at a time, and they mix with only
fifty or sixty that were on board before. But in America we often have
fifty or sixty come on board at a time, and they mix with eight hundred
or a thousand. In such a case as that I think that this plan would be
well nigh impracticable."

"I did not think of that," said Mrs. Holiday.

"The difference between the circumstances of the case in Europe and in
America is very often not thought of by travellers who find themselves
wishing that the European customs in respect to travelling and the
hotels could be introduced into our country. In Europe the number of
travellers is comparatively small, and a very large proportion of those
who make journeys go for pleasure. The arrangements can all,
consequently, be made to save them trouble, and to make the journey
agreeable to them; and the price is increased accordingly. In America,
people travel on business, and they go in immense numbers. Their main
object is, to be taken safely and expeditiously to the end of their
journey, and at as little expense as possible. The arrangements of the
conveyances and of the hotels are all made accordingly. The consequence
is, a vast difference in the expense of travelling, and a corresponding
difference, of course, to some extent, in ease and comfort. The price of
passage, for instance, in the Geneva steamboats, from one end of the
lake to the other, a distance of about fifty miles, is two dollars,
without berth or meals; whereas you can go from New York to Albany,
which is more than three times as far, for half a dollar. This
difference is owing to the number of travellers that go in the American
boats, and the wholesale character, so to speak, of the arrangements
made for them.

"In other words, the passengers in a public conveyance in Europe are not
only conveyed from place to place, but they are waited upon by the way,
and they have to pay both for the conveyance and the attendance. In
America they are only conveyed, and are left to wait upon themselves;
and they are charged accordingly. Each plan is good, and each is adapted
to the wants and ideas of the countries that respectively adopt them.

"Shall we go to the end of the lake to-day?" said Mr. Holiday, "or only
part of the way? The clerk will come pretty soon to ask us."

"Are there any pretty places to stop at on the way?" asked Mrs. Holiday.

"Yes," said her husband; "all the places are pretty."

"Tell us about some of them," said Rollo.

"First there is Lausanne," said his father. "Lausanne is a large town up
among the hills, a mile or two from the water. There is a little port,
called Ouchy, on the shore, where the steamer stops. There there is a
landing and a pier, and some pretty boarding houses, with gardens and
grounds around them, and a large, old-fashioned inn, built like a castle
of the middle ages, but kept very nicely. We can stop there, and go up
in an omnibus to Lausanne, which is a large, old town, two miles up the
side of the mountain.

"Then, secondly," continued Mr. Holiday, "there is Vevay, which is
famous for a new and fashionable hotel facing the lake, with a beautiful
terrace between it and the water, where you can sit on nice benches
under the trees, and watch the steamers going by over the blue waters of
the lake, or the row boats and sail boats coming and going about the
terrace landing, or the fleecy clouds floating along the sides of the
dark mountains around the head of the lake."

"I should like to stop at both places," said Mrs. Holiday.

"Then we will stop at Ouchy to-night," said Mr. Holiday, "for that comes

So it was decided that they should take tickets for Ouchy.

The boat at Ouchy did not land passengers by boats, but went up to the
pier. Only a few passengers went ashore. The pier was at some little
distance from the hotel, the way to it being by a quiet and pleasant
walk along the shore.

There was an omnibus marked Lausanne standing at the head of the pier.

"Now, we can get into the omnibus," said Mr. Holiday, "and go directly
up to Lausanne, or we can go to the hotel here, and take lodgings, and
then go up to Lausanne to see the town after dinner."

It was at this time about four o'clock. The usual time of dinner for
travellers in Switzerland is five.

Mrs. Holiday, observing that the hotel at Ouchy was very prettily
situated, close to the water, and recollecting that her husband had said
that it resembled in its character a castle of the middle ages,
concluded that she would like as well to take rooms there.

A woman with a queer-shaped basket on her back, which she carried by
means of straps over her shoulders, here came up to Mr. Holiday, and
asked if she should take _the baggages_ to the inn. Mr. Holiday said
yes. So she put the valise and the carpet bag into her basket, and
walked away with them to the inn.

Women often act as porters in France and Switzerland, and they perform,
also, all sorts of out-door work. They use these baskets, too, very
often, for carrying burdens. Rollo afterwards saw a woman take her child
out to ride in one of them.

Mrs. Holiday was extremely pleased with the inn at Ouchy. She said that
she should like to remain there a week. It seemed precisely, with its
antique-looking rooms, and long stone paved corridors, like the castles
which she had read about when she was a girl in the old romances.

After dinner, Mr. Holiday sent for a carriage, and took Mrs. Holiday and
Rollo to ride. They went up the ascent of land behind the town, the road
winding as it went among green and beautiful glades and dells, but still
always ascending until they came to Lausanne. This was nearly two miles
from the lake, and very much above it. From Lausanne they went back
still farther, ascending all the time, and obtaining more and more
commanding views of the lake at every turn.

When the sun went down, they turned their faces homeward. They came
down, of course, very fast, the road winding continually this way and
that, to make the descent more gradual. At length, about half past
eight, they returned to the inn.

The landlady of the inn, who was very kind and obliging to them, took
them to see a room in her hotel where Lord Byron wrote his celebrated
poem entitled the PRISONER OF CHILLON. Chillon is an ancient castle
which stands on the shore, twenty or thirty miles beyond, and very near,
in fact, to the extremity of the lake. Byron has made this castle
renowned throughout the world by spending a few days, while he was
stopped at this inn at Ouchy by a storm, when travelling on the lake, in
writing a poem in which he describes the emotions and sufferings of
some imaginary prisoners whom he supposed to be confined there.

"Can we go to see the Castle of Chillon?" said Mrs. Holiday.

"Yes," said Mr. Holiday. "We shall sail directly by it in going to the
head of the lake, and if we stop there we can go to it very easily."

The head of the lake--that is, the eastern end of it--is surrounded with
mountains, the slopes of which seem to rise very abruptly from the
water, and ascend to such a height that patches of snow lie on the
summits of them all the summer. These mountains, especially if
overshadowed by clouds, give a very dark and sombre expression to the
whole region when seen from a distance, in coming in from the centre of
the lake. This sombre expression, however, entirely disappears when you
arrive at the head of the lake, and land there.

You would not suppose, when viewing these shores from a distance, that
there was any place to land, so closely do the precipitous slopes of the
mountains seem to shut the water in. But on drawing near the shore, you
see that there is a pretty broad belt of land along the shore, which,
though it ascends rapidly, is not too steep to be cultivated. This belt
of land is covered with villages, hamlets, vineyards, orchards, and
gardens, and it forms a most enchanting series of landscapes, from
whatever point it is seen, while the more precipitous slopes of the
mountains, towering above in grandeur and sublimity, complete the
enchantment of the view.

The Castle of Chillon stands on the very margin of the lake, just in the
edge of the water. Indeed, the foundations on which it stands form a
little island, which is separated by a narrow channel from the shore.
This channel is crossed by a drawbridge. It is possible, however, that
it may be in some measure artificial. The island may have originally
been a small rocky point, and it may have been made an island by the
cutting of a ditch between it and the main land.

The steamer passed along the shore, very near to this castle, in going
to the head of the lake, as you see represented in the engraving.[F]
There is no steamboat landing at the castle itself, but there is one at
the village of Montreux, a little before you come to it, and another at
Villeneuve, a little beyond. Numbers of tourists come in every steamer
to visit the castle, and stop for this purpose at one of these landings
or the other. The distance is only twenty minutes' brisk walking from
either of them.

[Footnote F: See Frontispiece.]

Villeneuve, the last landing mentioned above, is at the very extremity
of the lake. We see it in the distance in the engraving. Here travellers
who are going to continue their journey up the valley of the Rhone,
either for the purpose of penetrating into the heart of Switzerland, or
of going by the pass of the Simplon into Italy, leave the boat and take
the diligence to continue their journey by land, or else engage a
private carriage, and also a guide, if they wish for one. Mr. Holiday
did not intend at this time to go on far up the valley, but he purposed
to stop a day or two at Villeneuve, to visit Chillon, and perhaps make
some other excursions, and also to enjoy the views presented there, on
all sides, of the slopes and summits of the surrounding mountains.



At Villeneuve, a pretty long, though small and very neatly made pier
projects out from the shore, for the landing of passengers from the

Exactly opposite this pier, and facing the water, stands the inn. It is
placed very nearly on a level with the water. This can always be the
case with buildings standing on the margin of a lake, for a lake not
being subject to tides or inundations, all buildings, whether houses,
bridges, or piers, may be built very near the water, without any danger
of being overflowed.

Before the inn is an open space, extending between it and the shore; so
that from the front windows of the inn you can look down first upon this
open space, and beyond, upon the margin of the lake and upon the pier,
with the steamer lying at the landing-place at the head of it.

The sides of this square, Rollo observed, were formed of the ends of two
buildings which stood on the shore, and along this space were wooden
benches, which were filled, when the steamer arrived, with guides,
postilions, voituriers, and other people of that class, waiting to be
engaged by the travellers that should come in her.

There were also two or three omnibuses and diligences waiting to receive
such persons as were intending to travel by the public conveyances. One
of these omnibuses belonged to a large hotel and boarding house which
stands on the shore of the lake, not far from Villeneuve, between it and
the Castle of Chillon. You can see this hotel in the engraving. It is
the large building in the middle distance, standing back a little from
the lake, and to the left of the castle. This hotel is beautifully
situated in a commanding position on the shores of the lake, and is a
great place of resort for English families in the summer season.

The travellers that landed from the steamer at Villeneuve soon
separated, after arriving at the open square before the inn. Some took
their seats in the diligences that were standing there; some got into
the omnibuses to go to the hotel; some engaged voituriers from among the
number that were waiting there to be so employed, and, entering the
carriages, they drove away; while a party of students, with knapsacks on
their backs and pikestaves in their hands, set off on foot up the
valley. Mr. Holiday and his party, not intending to proceed any farther
that night, went directly to the inn.

They went first into the dining room. The dining room in the Swiss inns
is usually the only public room, and travellers on entering the inn
generally go directly there.

The dining room was very plain and simple in all its arrangements. There
was no carpet on the floor, and the woodwork was unpainted. There were
two windows in front, which looked out upon the lake. Directly beneath
the windows was the road, and the open space, already described, between
the hotel and the pier.

There was a boy with a knapsack on his back standing by the window,
looking out. Rollo went to the window, and began to look out too.

"Do you speak English?" said Rollo to the boy.

"_Nein_," said the boy, shaking his head.

_Nein_ is the German word for _no_. This Rollo knew very well, and so he
inferred that the boy was a German. He, however, thought it possible
that he might speak French, and so he asked again,--

"Do you speak French?"

"Very little," said the boy, answering now in the French language. "I am
studying it at school. I am at school at Berne, and my class is making
an excursion to Geneva."

"Do you travel on foot?" asked Rollo.

"Yes," said the boy; "unless there is a steamboat, and then we go in the

"And I suppose you are going to take the steamboat here to-morrow
morning to go to Geneva."

"No," said the boy; "we are going to see Chillon to-night, and then we
are going along the shore of the lake beyond, to Montreux, and take the
boat there to-morrow morning."

It was quite amusing to Rollo to talk thus with a strange boy in a
language which both had learned at school, and which neither of them
could speak well, but which was, nevertheless, the only language they
had in common.

"How many boys are there in your class?" asked Rollo.

"Sixteen," said the boy; "sixteen--six." The boy then held up the five
fingers of one hand, and one of the other, to show to Rollo that six was
the number he meant. The words six and sixteen are very similar in the
French language, and for a moment the boy confounded them.

"And the teacher too, I suppose," said Rollo.

"Yes," said the boy, "and the teacher."

Here there was a short pause.

"Are you going to Chillon?" said the boy to Rollo.

"Yes," said Rollo. "I am going with my father and mother."

"I wish you were going with us," said the boy.

"I wish so too," said Rollo; "I mean to ask my father to let me."

During this time Mr. Holiday had been making an arrangement with the
maid of the inn for two bedrooms, one for himself and his wife, and the
other for Rollo; and the maid was now just going to show the party the
way to their rooms. So Rollo went with his father, and after seeing that
all their effects were put in the rooms, he informed his father that he
had made acquaintance with a young German schoolboy who was going with
his class and the teacher to visit Chillon; and he asked his father's
consent that he might go with them.

"I can walk there with them," said Rollo, "and wait there till you and
mother come."

"Does the boy speak English?" asked Mr. Holiday.

"No, sir," said Rollo; "but he can speak French a little. He speaks it
just about as well as I can, and we can get along together very well."

"Is the teacher willing that you should go?" asked Mr. Holiday.

"I don't know," said Rollo; "we have not asked him yet."

"Then the first thing is to ask him," said Mr. Holiday. "Let your friend
ask the teacher if he is willing to have another boy invited to go with
his party; and if he is willing, you may go. If you get to Chillon
first, you may go about the castle with the boys, and then wait at the
castle gates till we come."

"How soon shall you come?" asked Rollo.

"Very soon," said Mr. Holiday. "I have ordered the carriage already, and
we shall perhaps get there as soon as you do."

So Rollo went down stairs again to his friend, the German boy.

"Do you think," said Rollo, "that the teacher would be willing to have
me go with you?"

"Yes," said the boy, "I am sure he will. He is always very glad to have
us meet with an opportunity to speak French. Besides, there are some
boys in the school who are learning English, and he would like to have
you talk a little with them."

"Go and ask him," said Rollo.

So the boy went off to ask the teacher. He met him on the stairs, coming
down with the rest of the boys. The teacher was very much pleased with
the plan of having an American boy invited to join the party, and so it
was settled that Rollo was to go.

The boys all went down stairs, and rendezvoused at the door of the inn.
Most of the omnibuses and diligences had gone. The boys of the school
all accosted Rollo in a very cordial manner; and the teacher shook hands
with him, and said that he was very glad to have him join their party.
The teacher spoke to him in French. There were two other boys who tried
to speak to him in English. They succeeded pretty well, but they could
not speak very fluently, and they made several mistakes. But Rollo was
very careful not to laugh at their mistakes, and they did not laugh at
those which he made in talking French; and so they all got along very
well together.

Thus they set out on the road which led along the shore of the lake
towards the Castle of Chillon.



The party of boys walked along the road very pleasantly together, each
one with his knapsack on his back and his pikestaff in his hand. Rollo
talked with them by the way--with some in English, and with others in
French; but inasmuch as it happened that whichever language was used,
one or the other of the parties to the conversation was very imperfectly
acquainted with it, the conversation was necessarily carried on by means
of very short and simple sentences, and the meaning was often helped out
by signs, and gestures, and curious pantomime of all sorts, with an
accompaniment, of course, of continual peals of laughter.

Rollo, however, learned a good deal about the boys, and about the
arrangements they made for travelling, and also learned a great many
particulars in respect to the adventures they had met with in coming
over the mountains.

Rollo learned, for example, that every boy had a fishing line in his
knapsack, and that when they got tired of walking, and wished to stop to
rest, if there was a good place, they stopped and fished a little while
in a mountain stream or a lake.

Another thing they did was to watch for butterflies, in order to catch
any new species that they might find, to add to the teacher's cabinet of
natural history. For this purpose one of the boys had a gauze net on the
end of a long but light handle; and when a butterfly came in sight that
seemed at all curious or new, one of the boys set off with the rest to
catch him. If the specimen was found valuable, it was preserved. The
specimens thus kept were secured with a pin in the bottom of a broad,
but flat and very light box, which one of the older boys carried with
his knapsack. The boy opened this box, and showed Rollo the butterflies
which they had taken. They had quite a pretty collection. There were
several that Rollo did not recollect ever to have seen before.

Talking in this way, they went on till they came to the part of the road
which was opposite to the Hotel Byron. The hotel was on an eminence
above the road, and back from the lake. Broad gravelled avenues led up
to it. There were also winding walks, and seats under the trees, and
terraces, and gardens, and parties of ladies and gentlemen walking
about, and children playing here and there, under the charge of their

The boys gave only a passing glance at these things as they went by.
They were much more interested in gazing up from time to time at the
stupendous cliffs and precipices which they saw crowning the mountain
ranges which seemed to border the road; and on the other side, in
looking out far over the water of the lake at the sail boats, or the
steamer, or the little row boats which they beheld in the offing.

The road went winding on, following the little indentations of the
shore, till at length it reached the castle. It passed close under the
castle walls, or, rather, close along the margin of the ditch which
separated the foundations of the castle from the main land. There was a
bridge across this ditch. This bridge was enclosed, and a little room
was built upon it, with windows and a door. The outer door was, of
course, towards the road, and it was open when the boys arrived at the

The teacher led the way in by this door, and the boys followed him.
There was a man there, dressed in the uniform of a soldier. He was a
sort of sentinel, to keep the door of the castle. He had a table on one
side, with various engravings spread out upon it, representing
different views of the castle, both of the interior and of the exterior.
There were also little books of description, giving an account of the
castle and of its history, and copies of Byron's poem, the Prisoner of
Chillon. All these things were for sale to the visitors who should come
to see the castle.

The engravings were kept from being blown away by the wind by means of
little stone paper weights made of rounded pebble stones, about as large
as the palm of the hand, with views of the castle and of the surrounding
scenery painted on them. The paper weights were for sale too.

The boys looked at these things a moment, but did not seem to pay much
attention to them. They walked on, following their teacher, to the end
of the bridge room, where they came to the great castle gates. These
were open, too, and they went in. They found themselves in a paved
courtyard, with towers, and battlements, and lofty walls all around
them. There was a man there, waiting to receive them in charge, and show
them into the dungeons.

He led the way through a door, and thence down a flight of stone steps
to a series of subterranean chambers, which were very dimly lighted by
little windows opening towards the lake. The back sides of the rooms
consisted of the living rock; the front sides were formed of the castle
wall that bordered the lake.

"Here is the room," said the guide, "where the prisoners who were
condemned to death in the castle in former times spent the last night
before their execution. That stone was the bed where they had to lie."

So saying, the guide pointed to a broad, smooth, and sloping surface of
rock, which was formed by the ledge on the back side of the dungeon. The
stone was part of the solid ledge, and was surrounded with ragged crags,
just as they had been left by the excavators in making the dungeon; but
whether the smooth and sloping surface of this particular portion of the
rock was natural or artificial, that is, whether it had been expressly
made so to form a bed for the poor condemned criminal, or whether the
rock had accidentally broken into that form by means of some natural
fissure, and so had been appropriated by the governor of the castle to
that use, the boys could not determine.

The guide led the boys a little farther on, to a place where there was a
dark recess, and pointing up towards the ceiling, he said,--

"There is where the criminals were hung. Up where I point there is a
beam built into the rock; and from that the rope was suspended."

The boys all crowded round the spot, and looked eagerly up, but they
could not see any beam.

"You cannot see it," said the guide, "now, because you have just come
out from the light of day. We shall come back this way pretty soon, and
then you will be able to see it; for your eyes will then get accustomed
a little to the darkness of the dungeon."

So the guide went on, and the boys followed him.

They next came into a very large apartment. The front side and the back
side of it were both curved. The back side consisted of the living rock.
The front side was formed of the outer castle wall, which was built on
the rock at the very margin of the water. In the centre was a range of
seven massive stone columns, placed there to support the arches on which
rested the floor of the principal story of the castle above. The roof of
this dungeon of course was vaulted, the arches and groins being carried
over from this range of central pillars towards the wall in front, and
towards the solid rock behind. All this you will plainly see represented
in the engraving.


This great dungeon was lighted by means of very small loopholes cut in
the wall, high up from the floor. The light from these windows,
instead of coming _down_, and shining upon the floor, seemed to go _up_,
and to lose itself in a faint attempt to illuminate the vaulted roof
above. The reason was, that at the particular hour when the boys made
their visit, the beams of the sun which shone directly from it in the
sky were excluded, and only those that were reflected upward from the
waters of the lake could come in.

The guide led the boys to one of the central pillars, and pointed to an
iron ring which was built into the stone. He told them that there was
the place where one prisoner was confined in the dungeon for six years.
He was chained to that ring by a short chain, which enabled him only to
walk to and fro a few steps each way about the pillar. These steps had
worn a place in the rock.

After the boys had looked at this pillar, and at the iron ring, and at
the place worn in the floor by the footsteps of the prisoner, as long as
they wished, they followed the guide on to the end of the dungeon, where
they were stopped by the solid rock. Here the guide brought them to a
dark and gloomy place in a corner, where, by standing a little back,
they could see all the pillars in a row; and he said that if they would
count them they would find that there were exactly seven. The boys did
so, and they found that there were seven; but they did not understand
why the number was of any importance. But the teacher explained it to
them. He said that Byron had mentioned seven as the number of the
pillars in his poem, and that most people who had read the poem were
pleased to observe the correspondence between his description and the

The teacher quoted the lines. They were these:--

     "In Chillon's dungeons, deep and old,
     There are seven columns, massy and gray,
     Dim with a dull, imprisoned ray--
     A sunbeam that hath lost its way,
     And through the crevice and the cleft
     Of the thick wall is fallen and left
     Creeping o'er the floor so damp,
     Like a marsh's meteor lamp."

In repeating these lines, the teacher spoke in a strong foreign accent.
All the boys listened attentively while he spoke, though of course only
Rollo and those of the boys who had studied English could understand

After this the boys came back through the whole range of dungeons, by
the same way that they had come in. They could now see the beam from
which the condemned criminals were hung. It passed across from rock to
rock, high above their heads, in a dark and gloomy place, and seemed
perfectly black with age.

When the party came out of the dungeons, a young woman took them in
charge, to show them the apartments above. She conducted them up a broad
flight of stone stairs to a massive doorway, which led to the principal
story of the castle. Here the boys passed through one after another of
several large halls, which were formerly used for various purposes when
the castle was inhabited, but are employed now for the storage of brass
cannons, and of ammunition belonging to the Swiss government. When the
castle was built, the country in which it stands belonged to a
neighboring state, called Savoy; and it was the Duke of Savoy, who was a
sort of king, that built it, and it was he that confined the prisoners
in it so cruelly. Many of them were confined there on account of being
accused of conspiring against his government. At length, however, the
war broke out between Switzerland and Savoy, and the Swiss were
victorious. They besieged this castle by an army on the land and by a
fleet of galleys on the lake, and in due time they took it. They let all
the prisoners which they found confined there go free, and since then
they have used the castle as a place of storage for arms and ammunition.

One of the halls which the boys went into, the guide said, used to be a
senate house, and another was the court room where the prisoners were
tried. There was a staircase which led from the court room down to the
dungeon below, where the great black beam was, from which they were to
be hung.

The boys, however, did not pay a great deal of attention to what the
guide said about the former uses of these rooms. They seemed to be much
more interested in the purposes that they were now serving, and so went
about examining very eagerly the great brass cannons and the ammunition
wagons that stood in them.

At length, however, they came to something which specially attracted
their attention. It was a small room, which the guide said was an
ancient torturing room. There was a large wooden post in the centre of
the room, extending from the floor to the vault above. The post was worn
and blackened by time and decay, and there were various hooks, and
staples, and pulleys attached to it at different heights, which the
guide said were used for securing the prisoners to the post, when they
were to be tortured. The post itself was burned in many places, as if by
hot irons.

The boys saw another place in a room beyond, which was in some respects
still more dreadful than this. It was a place where there was an
opening in the floor, near the wall of the room, that looked like a trap
door. There was the beginning of a stone stair leading down. A small
railing was built round the opening, as if to keep people from falling
in. The boys all crowded round the railing, and looked down.

They saw that the stair only went down three steps, and then it came to
a sudden end, and all below was a dark and dismal pit, which seemed
bottomless. On looking more intently, however, they could at length see
a glimmer of light, and hear the rippling of the waves of the lake, at a
great depth below. The guide said that this was one of the _oubliettes_,
that is, a place where men could be destroyed secretly, and in such a
manner that no one should ever know what became of them. They were
conducted to this door, and directed to go down. It was dark, so that
they could only see the first steps of the stair. They would suppose,
however, that the stair was continued, and that it would lead them down
to some room, where they were to go. So they would walk on carefully,
feeling for the steps of the stair; but after the third there would be
no more, and they would fall down to a great depth on ragged rocks, and
be killed. To make it certain that they would be killed by the fall,
there were sharp blades, like the ends of scythes, fixed in the rock,
far below, to cut them in pieces as they fell.

It seems these tyrants, hateful and merciless as they were, did not
wish, or perhaps did not dare, to destroy the souls as well as the
bodies of their victims, and so they contrived it that the last act
which the poor wretch should perform before going down into this
dreadful pit should be an act of devotion. To this end there was made a
little niche in the wall, just over the trap door, and there was placed
there an image of the Virgin Mary, who is worshipped in Catholic
countries as divine. The prisoner was invited to kiss this image as he
passed by, just as he began to descend the stair. Thus the very last
moment of his life would be spent in performing an act of devotion, and
thus, as they supposed, his soul would be saved. What a strange
combination is this of superstition and tyranny!

After seeing all these things, the boys returned towards the entrance of
the castle. They met several parties of ladies and gentlemen coming in;
and just as they got to the door again, the carriage containing Mr. and
Mrs. Holiday drove up. So Rollo bade the teacher and all the boys good
by, after accompanying them a few minutes, as they walked along the road
towards the place where they were to go. By this time his father and
mother had descended from their carriage, and were ready to go in. So
Rollo joined them, and went through the castle again, and saw all the
places a second time.

When they came out, and were getting into the carriage, Mr. Holiday said
that it was a very interesting place.

"Yes," said Mrs. Holiday; "and we have seen all that Byron speaks of in
his poem, except the little island. Where is the little island?"

Mr. Holiday pointed out over the water of the lake, where a group of
three tall trees seemed to be growing directly out of the water, only
that there was a little wall around them below. They looked like three
flowers growing in a flower pot set in the water.

"Yes," said Mrs. Holiday, "that must certainly be it. It corresponds
exactly." So she repeated the following lines from Byron's poem, which
describes the island in the language of one of the prisoners, who saw it
from his dungeon window,

     "And then there was a little isle,
     Which in my very face did smile--
       The only one in view;
     A small green isle, it seemed no more,
     Scarce broader than my dungeon floor;
     But in it there were three tall trees,
     And o'er it blew the mountain breeze,
     And by it there were waters flowing,
     And on it there were young flowers growing,
       Of gentle breath and hue."

"That's pretty poetry," said Rollo.

"Very pretty indeed," said his father.

The horse now began to trot along the road. The little island continued
in view for a while, and then disappeared, and afterwards came into view
again, as the road went turning and winding around, following the
indentations of the shore.

At length, after a short but very pleasant ride, the party arrived
safely at the inn again at Villeneuve.



The reason why the Lake of Geneva is of a crescent form is, that that is
the shape of the space in the bottom of the valley which it fills. There
are two ranges of mountains running in a curved direction almost
parallel to each other, and the space between them, for a certain
distance, is filled with water, owing to the spreading out of the waters
of the Rhone in flowing through. Thus the lake is produced by the
valley, and takes its form from it.

The valley does not come to an end when you reach the head of the lake,
but continues for more than a hundred miles beyond, the two mountain
ranges continuing to border it all that distance, and the River Rhone to
flow through the centre of it. Thus at Villeneuve you look in one
direction, and you have a winding valley filled with water, extending
for fifty miles, to Geneva; while in the other direction, the same
valley--though now the floor of it is a green and fertile
plain--continues, with the same stupendous walls of mountain bordering
the sides of it, for a hundred miles or more, to the sources of the

There is another thing that is very curious in respect to this valley,
and that is, that the floor of it is as flat, and smooth, and level,
almost, where it is formed of land, as where it is formed of water.

Geologists suppose that the reason why the bottom of the valley, when it
consists of land, is so perfectly level, is because the land has been
formed by deposits from the river, in the course of a long succession of
ages. Of course the river could never build the land any higher, in any
part, than it rises itself in the highest inundations. Indeed, land
formed by river deposits is almost always nearly level, and the surface
of it is but little raised above the ordinary level of the stream, and
never above that of the highest inundations.

It must, however, by no means be supposed that because the surface of
the valley above the head of the lake is flat and level, that it is on
that account monotonous and uninteresting. Indeed, it is quite the
reverse. It forms one of the richest and most enchanting landscapes that
can be conceived. It is abundantly shaded with trees, some planted in
avenues along the roadside, some bearing fruit in orchards and gardens,
and some standing in picturesque groups about the houses, or in pretty
groves by the margin of the fields. The land is laid out in a very
charming manner, in gardens, orchards, meadows, and fields of corn and
grain, with no fences to separate them either from each other or from
the road; so that in walking along the public highway you seem to walk
in one of the broad alleys of an immense and most beautiful garden.

Besides all these beauties of the scene itself, the pleasure of walking
through it is greatly increased by the number and variety of groups and
figures of peasant girls and boys, and women and men, that you meet
coming along the road, or see working in the fields, all dressed in the
pretty Swiss costume, and each performing some curious operation, which
is either in itself, or in the manner of performing it, entirely
different from what is seen in any other land.

Rollo followed the main road leading up the valley a little way one
evening, while his father and mother were at Villeneuve, in order, as he
said, to see where the diligences went to. He was so much pleased with
what he saw that he went back to the hotel, and began studying the guide
book, in order to find how far it was to the next town, and what
objects of interest there were to be seen on the way. He was so well
satisfied with the result of his investigations that he resolved to
propose to his father and mother to make a pedestrian excursion up the

"Now, mother," said he, "I have a plan to propose, and that is, that we
all set out to-morrow morning, and make a pedestrian excursion up the
valley, to the next town, or the next town but one."

"How far is it?" asked Mrs. Holiday.

"Why, the best place to go to," said Rollo, "is Aigle, which is the
second town, and that is only six miles from here."

"O Rollo!" said Mrs. Holiday; "I could not possibly walk six miles."

"O, yes, mother," said Rollo. "The road is as smooth, and level, and
hard as a floor. Besides, you said that you meant to make a pedestrian
excursion somewhere while you were in Switzerland, and there could not
be a better place than this."

"I know I said so," replied Mrs. Holiday, "but I was not really in
earnest. Besides, I don't think I could possibly walk six miles. But we
will take a carriage and ride there, if your father is willing."

"But, mother, it is not so pleasant to ride You can't see so well, for
the top of the carriage, or else the driver on his high seat before,
will be more or less in the way. Then when you are walking you can stop
so easily any minute, and look around. But if you are in a carriage, it
makes a fuss and trouble to be calling continually upon the coachman to
stop; and then, besides, half of the time, before he gets the carriage
stopped you have got by the place you wanted to see."

What Rollo said is very true. We can see a country containing a series
of fine landscapes much more thoroughly by walking through it, or riding
on horseback, than by going in a carriage. I do not think, however,
that, after all, this advantage constituted the real inducement in
Rollo's mind which made him so desirous of walking to Aigle. The truth
was, that the little walk which he had taken to Chillon with the party
of pedestrian boys had quite filled his imagination with the pleasures
and the independent dignity of this mode of travelling, and he was very
ambitious of making an experiment of it himself.

"And, mother," continued Rollo, "after all, it is only about two hours
and a half or three hours, at two or three miles an hour. Now, you are
often gone as much as that, making calls; and when you are making calls
you generally go, I am sure, as much as two or three miles an hour."

"But I generally ride, making calls," said Mrs. Holiday.

"Yes, mother, but sometimes you walk; and I think when you walk you are
often gone more than three hours."

"That is true," said Mrs. Holiday, "I admit; but then, you know, when I
am making calls I am resting a great deal of the time at the houses
where I call."

"I know that," said Rollo; "and so we will rest, sitting down by the
road side."

Mrs. Holiday admitted that Rollo had rather the best of the argument;
but she was still quite unwilling to believe that she could really walk
six miles.

"And back again, too," she added. "You must consider that we shall have
to come back again."

"Ah, but I don't wish to have you walk back again," said Rollo. "We will
come back by the diligence. There are several diligences and omnibuses
that come by Aigle, on the way here, in the course of the day."

Mrs. Holiday was still undecided. She was very desirous of gratifying
Rollo, but yet she had not courage to undertake quite so great a feat
as to walk six miles. At length Mr. Holiday proposed that they should at
least set out and go a little way.

"We can try it for half an hour," said he, "and then go on or turn back,
just as we feel inclined. Or if we go on several miles, and then get
tired, we shall soon come to a village, where we shall be able to get
some sort of vehicle or other to bring us back; and at all events we
shall have an adventure."

Mrs. Holiday consented to this plan, and it was settled that the party
should breakfast at eight o'clock the next morning, and set out
immediately afterwards.

Rollo had a sort of haversack which he used to carry sometimes on his
walks, and he always kept it with him in the steamboat or carriage, when
he travelled in those conveyances. This haversack he got ready,
supplying it with all that he thought would be required for the
excursion. He put in it his drinking cup,--the one which he had bought
in Scotland,--a little spy glass, which he used for viewing the scenery,
a book that his mother was reading, a little portfolio containing some
drawing paper and a pencil, a guide book and map, and, lastly, a paper
of small cakes and sugar plums, to give to any children that he might
chance to meet on the way.

Rollo made all these preparations the evening before, so that every
thing might be ready in the morning, when the hour for setting out
should arrive.



"Now, Rollo," said Mr. Holiday, as the party sallied forth from the inn
to commence their walk up the valley, "we depend entirely on you. This
is your excursion, and we expect you will take care and see that every
thing goes right."

"Well, sir," said Rollo. "Come with me. I'll show you the way."

On the borders of the village they passed to a high stone bridge which
crossed a small stream. This stream came in a slow and meandering course
through the meadows, and here emptied into the lake. Farther back it was
a torrent leaping from rock to rock and crag to crag, for many thousand
feet down the mountain side; but here it flowed so gently, and lay so
quietly in its bed, that pond lilies grew and bloomed in its waters.

Just above the bridge there was a square enclosure in the margin of the
water, with a solid stone wall all around it. A man stood on the wall
with a net in his hand. The net was attached to a pole. The man was just
dipping the net into the water when Rollo, with his father and mother,
came upon the bridge.

"Let us stop a minute, and see what that man is going to do," said
Rollo. "I saw that square wall yesterday, and I could not imagine what
it was for."

The man put his net down to the bottom of the reservoir, and after
drawing it along on the bottom, he took it out again. There was nothing
in it. He then repeated the operation, and this time he brought up two
large fishes that looked like trout. They were both more than a foot

The man uttered a slight exclamation of satisfaction, and then lifting
the net over the wall, he let the fish fall into a basket which he had
placed outside. He then went away, carrying the basket with one hand,
and the net on his shoulder with the other.

"That's a very curious plan," said Rollo. "I suppose they catch the fish
in the lake, and then put them in that pen and keep them there till they
are ready to eat them."

So they walked on.

Presently Rollo saw some of the pond lilies growing in the stream, the
course of which was here, for a short distance, near the road.

"I wish very much, mother," said he, "that I could get one of those pond
lilies for you, but I cannot. I tried yesterday, but they are too far
from the shore, and it is so finished, and smooth, and nice about here
that there is no such thing as a pole or a stick to be found any where
to reach with."

Presently, however, Rollo came to a boy who was fishing on the bank of
the stream, and he asked him if he would be good enough to hook in one
of those lilies for him with his pole and line. The boy was very willing
to do it. He threw a loop of his line over one of the pond lilies, and
drew it in. Rollo thanked the boy for his kindness, and gave the pond
lily to his mother.

Perhaps there are no flowers that give a higher pleasure to the
possessors than those which a boy of Rollo's age gathers for his mother.

The party walked on. Mrs. Holiday's attention was soon strongly
attracted to the various groups of peasants which she saw working in the
fields, or walking along the road. First came a young girl, with a
broad-brimmed straw hat on her head, driving a donkey cart loaded with
sheaves of grain. Next an old and decrepit-looking woman, with a great
bundle of sticks on her head. It seemed impossible that she could carry
so great a load in such a manner. As our party went by, she turned her
head slowly round a little way, to look at them; and it was curious to
see the great bundle of sticks--which was two feet in diameter, and four
or five feet long--slowly turn round with her head, and then slowly turn
back again as she went on her way.

Next Mrs. Holiday paused a moment to look at some girls who were hoeing
in the field. The girls looked smilingly upon the strangers, and bade
them good morning.

"Ask them," said Mrs. Holiday to Rollo, "if their work is not very

So Rollo asked them the question. Mrs. Holiday requested him to do it
because she did not speak French very well, and so she did not like to

The girls said that the work was not hard at all. They laughed, and went
on working faster than ever.

Next they came to a poor wayfaring woman, who was sitting by the
roadside with an infant in her arms. Rollo immediately took out one of
the little cakes from the parcel in his knapsack, and handed it to the
child. The mother seemed very much pleased. She bowed to Rollo, and

"She thanks you infinitely, sir."

Thus they went on for about three quarters of an hour. During all this
time Mrs. Holiday's attention was so much taken up with what she
saw,--sometimes with the groups of peasants and the pretty little views
of gardens, cottages, and fields which attracted her notice by the road
side, ever and anon by the glimpses which she obtained of the stupendous
mountain ranges that bordered the valley on either hand, and that were
continually presenting their towering crags and dizzy precipices to view
through the opening of the trees on the plain,--that she had not time to
think of being fatigued. At length Rollo asked her how she liked the

"Very well," said she; "only I think now I have walked full as far as I
should ever have to go at home, when making calls, before coming to the
first house. So as soon as you can you may find me a place to sit down
and rest a little while."

"Well," said Rollo, "I see a grove of trees by the roadside, on ahead a
little way. When we get there we will sit down in the shade and rest."

So they went on till they came to the grove. The grove proved to be a
very pretty one, though it consisted of only four or five trees; but
unfortunately there was no place to sit down in it. Rollo looked about
for some time in vain, and seemed quite disappointed.

"Never mind," said his mother; "sometimes, when I make a call, I find
that the lady I have called to see is not at home; and then, even if I
am tired and want to rest, I have to go on to the next house. We will
suppose that at this place the lady is not at home."

Rollo laughed and walked on. It was not long before they reached a place
where there was a kind of granary, or some other farm building of that
sort, near the road, with a little yard where some logs were lying.
Rollo found excellent seats for his father and mother on these logs.
They sat on one of them, and leaned their backs against another that was
a little higher up. They were in the shade of the building, too, so that
the place was very cool.

"This is a very nice place to rest," said Mrs. Holiday; "and while we
are sitting, we can amuse ourselves in looking at the people that go

The first person that came was a pretty-looking peasant girl of about
seventeen, who had a tub upon her head. What was in the tub Rollo could
not see. With such a burden on her head, however, it is plain that the
girl could not wear her hat in the ordinary manner, and so she carried
it tied to the back of her neck, with its broad brim covering her
shoulders. This, Mr. Holiday said, seemed to him to be carrying the
modern fashion of wearing the bonnet quite to an extreme.

[Illustration: THE BASKET RIDE.]

The Swiss women have other ways of bearing burdens, besides loading them
upon their heads. They carry them upon their backs, sometimes, in
baskets fitted to their shoulders. A woman came by, while Rollo and his
father and mother were sitting upon the logs, with her child taking a
ride in such a basket on her back. As soon as this woman was past,
Rollo was so much struck with the comical appearance that the child
made, sitting upright in the basket, and looking around, that he took
out some paper and a pencil immediately from his portfolio, and asked
his mother to make a drawing of the woman, with the child in the basket
on her back. This Mrs. Holiday could easily do, even from the brief
glimpse which she had of the woman as she went by; for the outlines of
the figure and dress of the woman and of the basket and child were very
simple. Mrs. Holiday afterwards put in some of the scenery for a

When the drawing was finished, Rollo told his mother that he calculated
that they had come one third of the way, and asked her if she felt
tired; and she said she did not feel tired at all, and so they rose and
went on.

In a short time they came to a village. It consisted of a narrow street,
with stone houses on each side of it. The houses were close together and
close to the street. In one place several people were sitting out before
the door, and among them was a poor, sickly child, such as are found
very often in the low valleys of Switzerland, of the kind called
_cretins_. These children are entirely helpless, and they have no
reason, or at least very little. The one which Rollo saw was a girl,
and appeared to be about ten years old; but it did not seem to have
strength enough to sit up in its chair. It was continually lolling and
falling about on this side and that, and trying to look up. The mother
of the child sat by her, and kept her from falling out of the chair. She
was talking, the mean while, with the neighbors, who were sitting there
on a bench, knitting or sewing.

The face of the child was deformed, and had scarcely a human expression.
Both Rollo and his mother were much shocked at the spectacle.

"It is a _cretin_--is it not?" said Mrs. Holiday to her husband, in a
whisper, as soon as they had passed by.

"Yes," said Mr. Holiday.

"Mother," said Rollo, "would you give that poor little thing a cake?"

"Yes," said Mrs. Holiday; "I would."

"Do you think she will understand?" asked Rollo.

"Yes," said Mrs. Holiday; "I think she will; and at any rate her mother

Rollo had by this time taken out his cake. He went back with it to the
place where the women were sitting, and held it out, half, as it were,
to the mother, and half to the child, so that either of them might take
it, saying, at the same time, to the mother, in French,--

"For this poor little child."

The mother smiled, and looked very much pleased. The cretin, whose eyes
caught a glimpse of the cake, laughed, and began to try to reach out her
hand to take it. It seemed hard for her to guide her hand to the place,
and she fell over from side to side all the time while attempting to do
so. She would have fallen entirely if her mother had not held her up. At
length she succeeded in getting hold of the cake, which she carried
directly to her mouth, and then laughed again with a laugh that seemed
scarcely human, and was hideous to see.

"Does she understand?" asked Rollo.

"Yes," said the mother; "she understands, but she can't speak, poor
thing. But she is very much obliged to you indeed."

So Rollo bowed to the mother of the child, and to the other women, and
then went on and rejoined his father and mother.

They passed through the village, and then came into the open country
again. Sometimes the mountains that bordered the valley receded to some
distance; at other times they came very near; and there was one place
where they formed a range of lofty precipices a thousand feet high, that
seemed almost to overhang the road. Here Rollo stopped to look up. He
saw, near a rounded mass of rock, half way up the mountain, two young
eagles that had apparently just left their nest, and were trying to
learn to fly. The old eagles were soaring around them, screaming. They
seemed to be afraid that their young ones would fall down the rocks and
get killed. Rollo wished that they would fall down, or at least fly
down, to where he was, in order that he might catch one of them. But
they did not. They took only short flights from rock to rock and from
thicket to thicket, but they did not come down. So, after watching them
for a time, Rollo went on.

Next they came to a place where the valley took a turn so as to expose
the mountain side to the sun in such a manner as to make a good place
there for grapes to grow and ripen. The people had accordingly terraced
the whole declivity by building walls, one above another, to support the
earth for the vineyards; and when Rollo was going by the place he looked
up and saw a man standing on the wall of one of the terraces, with the
tool which he had been working with in his hand. He seemed suspended in
mid air, and looked down on the road and on the people walking along it
as a man would look down upon a street in London from the gallery under
the dome of St. Paul's.

"That's a pleasant place to work," said Rollo, "away up there, between
the heavens and the earth."

"Yes," said his mother; "and I should think that taking care of vines
and gathering the grapes would be very pretty work to do."

There was a little building on the corner of one of the terraces, which
Mr. Holiday said was a watch tower. There were windows on all the sides
of it.

"When the grapes begin to ripen," said he, "there is a man stationed
there to watch all the vineyards around, in order to prevent people from
stealing the grapes."

"I should think there would be danger of their stealing the grapes,"
said Rollo.

After going on a little way beyond this, they began to approach the town
of Aigle. Mrs. Holiday was surprised that she could have come so far
with so little fatigue. Rollo told her that it was because she had
walked along so slowly.

"Yes," said Mr. Holiday; "and because there have been so many things to
take up our attention by the way."

When they arrived at the village they went directly to the inn. The inns
in these country towns in Switzerland are the largest and most
conspicuous looking buildings to be seen. Rollo went first, and led the
way. He went directly to the dining room.

The dining rooms in these inns, as I have already said, are the public
rooms, where the company always go, whether they wish for any thing to
eat or not. There is usually one large table, for dinner, in the centre
of the room, and several smaller tables at the sides or at the windows,
for breakfasts and luncheons, and also for small dinner parties of two
or three. Besides these tables, there is often one with a pen and ink
upon it for writing, and another for knapsacks and carpet bags; and
there are sofas for the company to repose upon while the waiter is
setting the table for them.

Rollo accordingly led the way at once to the dining room of the inn, and
conducted his mother to a sofa.

"Now, Rollo," said Mr. Holiday, "order us a dinner."

So Rollo went to the waiter, and after talking with him a little while,
came back and said that he had ordered some fried trout, some veal
cutlets, fried potatoes, an omelette, and some coffee.

"And besides that," said Rollo, "he is going to give us some plums and
some pears. This is a famous place for plums and pears."

"And for grapes, too, in the season of them," said Mr. Holiday.

This was very true. Indeed, on looking about the walls of the room, to
see the maps and the pretty pictures of Swiss scenery that were there,
Rollo found among the other things an advertisement of what was called
the _grape cure_. It seems that eating ripe grapes was considered a cure
for sickness in that country, and that people were accustomed to come to
that very town of Aigle to procure them. There was no place in
Switzerland, the advertisement said, where the grapes were richer and
sweeter than there.

The advertisement went on to say that the season for the grape cure was
in September, October, and November; that there were a number of fine
vineyards in the vicinity of the town which produced the most delicious
grapes; and that these vineyards were placed at the disposal of the
guests of the hotel at the rate of a franc a day for each person; so
that for that sum they could have every day as many as they could eat;
and this was to be their medicine, to make them well.

Rollo read this advertisement aloud to his father and mother, with a
tone of voice which indicated a very eager interest in it.

"Father," said he, "I wish you would come here and try it. Perhaps it
would make you well."

The advertisement was in French, and Rollo translated it as he read it.
He succeeded very well in rendering into English all that was said about
the grapes, and the manner of taking them, and the terms for boarders at
the hotel; but when he came to the names of the diseases that the grapes
would cure, he was at a loss, as most of them were learned medical
words, which he had never seen before. So he read off the names in
French, and concluded by asking his father whether he did not think it
was some of those things that was the matter with him.

"Very likely," said his father.

"Then, father," said Rollo, "I wish you would come here in October, and
try the grape cure, and bring me too."

"Very likely I may," said his father. "This is on the great road to
Italy, and we may conclude to go to Italy this winter."

Just at this time the door of the dining room opened, and a new party
came in. It consisted of a gentleman and lady, who seemed to be a new
married pair. They came in a carriage. Rollo looked out the window, and
saw the carriage drive away from the door to go to the stable.

The gentleman put his haversack and the lady's satchel and shawl down
upon the table, and then took a seat with her upon another sofa which
was in the room.

The dinner which Rollo had ordered was soon ready, and they sat down to
eat it with excellent appetites. While they were at dinner, Rollo
inquired of the waiter what time the omnibus went to Villeneuve, and he
learned that it did not go for some hours. So Mr. Holiday told his wife
that she might either have a chamber, and lie down and rest herself
during that time, or they might go out and take a walk.

Mrs. Holiday said that she did not feel at all fatigued, and so she
would like to go and take a walk.

There was a castle on a rising ground just in the rear of the village,
which had attracted her attention in coming into the town, and she was
desirous of going to see it.

So they all set off to go and see the castle. They found their way to it
without any difficulty. It proved to be an ancient castle, built in the
middle ages, but it was used now for a prison. The family of the jailer
lived in it too. It looked old and gone to decay.

When they entered the court yard, a woman looked up to the windows and
called out _Julie!_ Presently a young girl answered to the call, and the
woman told her that here were some people come to see the castle. So
Julie came down and took them under her charge.

The party spent half an hour in rambling over the castle. They went
through all sorts of intricate passages, and up and down flights of
stone stairs, steep, and narrow, and winding. They saw a number of
dismal dungeons. Some were dark, so that the girl had to take a candle
to light the way. The doors were old, and blackened by time, and they
moved heavily on rusty hinges. The bolts, and bars, and locks were all
rusted, too, so that it was very difficult to move them.

The visitors did not see all the dungeons and cells, for some of them
had prisoners in them then, and those doors Julie said she was not
allowed to open, for fear that the prisoners should get away.

After rambling about the old castle as much as they desired to do, and
ascending to the tower to view the scenery, the party came down again,
and returned to the inn.

They found the dining room full of boys. These boys were sitting at a
long table, eating a luncheon. They were the boys of a school. The
teacher was at the head of the table. Rollo talked with some of the
boys, for he found two or three that could talk French and English,
though their English was not very good.

In due time the omnibus came to the door, and then Rollo conducted his
father and mother to it, and assisted them to get in. The sun was now
nearly down, and the party had a delightful ride, in the cool air of the
evening, back to Villeneuve.

The next day they embarked on board the steamer, and returned to Geneva.



I have already said that Geneva is a very famous place for the
manufacture of watches and jewelry, and that almost every person who
goes there likes to buy some specimen of these manufactures as a
souvenir of their visit.

There is a great difference in ladies, in respect to the interest which
they take in dress and ornaments. Some greatly undervalue them, some
greatly overvalue them.

Some ladies, especially such as are of a very conscientious and
religious turn of mind, are apt to imagine that there is something wrong
in itself in wearing ornaments or in taking pleasure in them. But we
should remember that God himself has ornamented every thing in nature
that has not power to ornament itself. Look at the flowers, the fruits,
the birds, the fields, the butterflies, the insects; see how beautiful
they all are made by _ornaments_ with which God has embellished them.

God has not ornamented man, nor has he clothed him; but he has given him
the powers and faculties necessary to clothe and ornament himself. He
has provided him with the means, too, and with the means as much for the
one as for the other. There are cotton and flax which he can procure
from plants, and wool and fur from animals, for his clothing; and then
there are gold and silver in the earth, and rubies, emeralds, and
diamonds, for his ornaments; and if we are not to use them, what were
they made for?

They, therefore, seem to be in error who discard all ornaments, and
think that to wear them or to take pleasure in them is wrong.

But this, after all, is not the common failing. The danger is usually
altogether the other way. A great many ladies overvalue ornaments. They
seem to think of scarcely any thing else. They cannot have too many
rings, pins, bracelets, and jewels. They spend _all_ their surplus money
for these things, and even sometimes pinch themselves in comforts and
necessaries, to add to their already abundant supplies. This excessive
fondness for dress and articles for personal adornment is a mark of a
weak mind. It is seen most strongly in savages, and in people of the
lowest stages of refinement and cultivation. The opposite error, though
far less common, is equally an error; and though it is not the mark of
any weakness of the mind, it certainly denotes a degree of perversion in
some of the workings of it.

The morning after the return of our party to Geneva from their excursion
along the lake, they made their arrangements for leaving Geneva finally
on the following day.

"And now," said Mr. Holiday to his wife, "Geneva is a famous place for
ornaments and jewelry; and before we go, I think you had better go with
me to some of the shops, and buy something of that kind, as a souvenir
of your visit."

"Well," said Mrs. Holiday, "if you think it is best, we will. Only I
don't think much of ornaments and jewelry."

"I know you do not," said Mr. Holiday; "and that is the reason why I
think you had better buy some here."

Mrs. Holiday laughed. She thought it was rather a queer reason for
wishing her to buy a thing--that she did not care much about it.

Rollo was present during this conversation between his father and
mother, and listened to it; and when, finally, it was decided that his
mother should go to one or two of the shops in Geneva, to look at, and
perhaps purchase, some of the ornaments and jewelry, he wished to go

"Why?" said his mother; "do _you_ wish to buy any of those things?"

Rollo said he did. He wished to buy some for presents.

"Have you got any money?" asked his father.

"Yes, sir, plenty," said Rollo.

Rollo was a very good manager in respect to his finances, and always
kept a good supply of cash on hand, laid up from his allowance, so as to
be provided in case of any sudden emergency like this.

So the party set out together, after breakfast, to look at the shops.
They knew the shops where jewelry was kept for sale by the display of
rings, pins, bracelets, and pretty little watches, that were put up at
the windows. They went into several of them. The shops were not large,
but the interior of them presented quite a peculiar aspect. There were
no goods of any kind, except those in the windows, to be seen, nor were
there even any shelves; but the three sides of the room were filled with
little drawers, extending from the floor to the ceiling. These drawers
were filled with jewelry of the richest and most costly description; and
thus, though there was nothing to be seen at first view, the value of
the merchandise ready to be displayed at a moment's notice was very

In the centre of the room, in front of the drawers, were
counters--usually two, one on each side; and sometimes there was a table
besides. The table and the counters were elegantly made, of fine cabinet
work, and before them were placed handsome chairs and sofas, nicely
cushioned, so that the customers might sit at their ease, and examine
the ornaments which the shopkeeper showed them. The counters were of the
same height as the table, and there were drawers in them below, and also
in the table, like those along the sides of the room.

At the first shop where our party went in, two ladies, very showily
dressed, were sitting at a table, looking at a great variety of pins,
rings, and bracelets that the shopkeeper had placed before them. The
articles were contained in little rosewood and mahogany trays, lined
with velvet; and they looked very brilliant and beautiful as they lay,
each in its own little velvet nest.

The ladies looked up from the table, and gazed with a peculiar sort of
stare, well known among fashionable people of a certain sort, upon Mrs.
Holiday, as she came in. One of them put up a little eye glass to her
eye, in order to see her more distinctly. Mr. and Mrs. Holiday, followed
by Rollo, advanced and took their places on a sofa before one of the
counters. The ladies then continued their conversation, apparently
taking no notice of the new comers.

One of the ladies was holding a bracelet in her hand. She had already
two bracelets on each wrist, and ever so many rings on her fingers,
besides a large brooch in her collar, and a double gold chain to her
watch, with a great number of breloques and charms attached to it. She
seemed to be considering whether she should buy the bracelet that she
was holding in her hand or not.

"It certainly is a beauty," said she.

"Yes," said the other; "and if I were you, Almira, I would take it
without hesitating a moment. You can afford it just as well as not."

"It is so high!" said Almira, doubtingly, and holding up the bracelet,
so as to see the light reflected from the surfaces of the precious

"I don't think it is high at all," said her friend; "that is, for such
stones and such setting. A thousand francs, he says, and that is only
two hundred dollars. That is nothing at all for so rich a husband as

"I know," said Almira; "but then he always makes such wry faces if I buy
any thing that costs more than fifty or seventy-five dollars."

[Illustration: SHOPPING AT GENEVA.]

"I would not mind his wry faces at all," said her friend. "He does
not mean any thing by them. Depend upon it, he is as proud to see you
wear handsome things as any man, after he has once paid for them. Then,
besides, perhaps the man will take something off from the thousand

"I will ask him," said Almira.

So she called the shopman to her, and asked him in French whether he
could not take eight hundred francs for the bracelet.

She accosted him in French, for that is the language of Geneva; and the
two ladies had talked very freely to each other in English, supposing
that neither the shopkeeper nor the new party of customers would
understand what they were saying. But it happened that the shopkeeper
himself, as well as Mr. and Mrs. Holiday, understood English very well,
and thus he knew the meaning of all that the ladies had been saying; and
he was too well acquainted with human nature not to know that the end of
such a consultation and deliberation as that would be the purchase of
the bracelet, and was therefore not at all disposed to abate the price.

"No, madam," said he, speaking in French, and in a very polite and
obliging manner; "I cannot vary from the price I named at all. We are
obliged to adopt the system of having only one price here. Besides,
that bracelet could not possibly be afforded for less than a thousand
francs. Earlier in the season we asked twelve hundred francs for it; and
I assure you, madam, that it is a great bargain at a thousand."

After looking at the bracelet a little longer, and holding it up again
in different lights, and hearing her friend's solicitations that she
would purchase it repeated in various forms, Almira finally concluded to
take it.

It may seem, at first view, that Almira's friend evinced a great deal of
generosity in urging her thus to buy an ornament more rich and costly
than she could hope to purchase for herself; but her secret motive was
not a generous one at all. She wished to quote Almira's example to her
own husband, as a justification for her having bought a richer piece of
jewelry than he would otherwise have approved of.

"Mine only cost eight hundred francs," she was going to say; "and cousin
Almira bought one that cost a thousand."

In this way she hoped to exhibit to her husband that which he might
otherwise have regarded as foolish extravagance in the light of
self-denial and prudent economy.

In the mean time, while Almira and her friend had been making their
purchases at the table, another shopman had been displaying a great
many trays to Mrs. Holiday on one of the counters. The ornaments
contained in these trays were by no means as costly as those which had
been shown to the two ladies at the table; for Mrs. Holiday had said to
the shopman, as she came in, that she wished to see only some simple
pins and other ornaments worth from fifty to one hundred francs. They
were, however, just as pretty in Mrs. Holiday's opinion. Indeed, the
beauty of such ornaments as these seldom has any relation to the
costliness of them. This, however, constitutes no reason, in the opinion
of many ladies, why they should buy the less expensive ones; for with
these ladies it is the costliness of an ornament, rather than the beauty
of it, that constitutes its charm.

The two ladies paid for their purchases with gold coins which they took
from elegant gold-mounted porte-monnaies that they carried in their
hands, and then, with a dash and a flourish, went away.

Mrs. Holiday took up one after another of the ornaments before her, and
looked at them with a musing air and manner, that seemed to denote that
her thoughts were not upon them. She was thinking how erroneous an
estimate those ladies form of the comparative value of the different
sources of happiness within the reach of women who sacrifice the
confidence and love of their husbands to the possession of a pearl
necklace or a diamond pin.

Mrs. Holiday finally bought two ornaments, and Rollo bought two also.
Rollo's were small pins. They were very pretty indeed. One of them cost
twelve francs, and the other fifteen. His mother asked him whether he
was going to wear them himself.

"O, no, mother," said he; "I have bought them to give away."

His mother then asked him whom he was going to give them to. He laughed,
and said that that was a secret. He would tell her, however, he said,
whom one of them was for. It was for his cousin Lucy.

"And which of them is for her?" asked his mother.

"This one," said Rollo. So saying he showed his mother the one that cost
twelve francs.



The day before Rollo left Geneva, he met with an accident which his
father called a fortunate one, though Rollo himself was at first
inclined to consider it quite an unfortunate one. The reason why Mr.
Holiday considered it fortunate was, that no evil result followed from
it, except giving Rollo a good fright. "It is always a lucky thing for a
boy," said Mr. Holiday, "when he meets with any accident that frightens
him well, provided it does not hurt him much."

The accident that happened to Rollo was this: There was a boy at the
hotel, who had recently come with his father and mother from India. He
was the son of an English army officer. His name was Gerald. He was a
tall and handsome boy, and was about a year older than Rollo.

In the afternoon of the day before the party were to leave Geneva, Rollo
came in from the quay, where he had been out to take a walk, and asked
permission to go out on the lake, a little way, in a boat, with Gerald.

"Does Gerald understand how to manage a boat?" asked Mr. Holiday.

"O, yes, sir," said Rollo. "He has been all over the world, and he knows
how to manage every thing. Besides, I can manage a boat myself well
enough to go out on this lake. It is as smooth as a mill pond."

"Very well," said Mr. Holiday. "Only it must not be a sail boat. You
must take oars; and look out well that the Rhone does not catch you."

Rollo understood very well that his father meant by this that he must be
careful not to let the current, which was all the time drawing the water
of the lake off under the bridge, and thus forming the Rhone below,
carry the boat down. Rollo said that he would be very careful; and off
he went to rejoin Gerald on the quay.

Gerald was already in the boat. He had with him, also, a Swiss boy, whom
he had engaged to go too, as a sort of attendant, and to help row, if
necessary. An English boy, in such cases, never considers the party
complete unless he has some one to occupy the place of a servant, and to
be under his command.

So the three boys got into the boat, and pushed off from the shore. For
a time every thing went on well and pleasantly. Rollo and the others had
a fine time in rowing to and fro over the smooth water, from one
beautiful point of land to another, on the lake shores, and sometimes in
lying still on the calm surface, to rest from the labor, and to amuse
themselves in looking down in the beautiful blue depths beneath them,
and watching the fishes that were swimming about there. At last, in the
course of their manoeuvrings, they happened to take the boat rather
too near the bridge. The attention of the boys was at the time directed
to something that they saw in the water; and they did not perceive how
near the bridge they were until Rollo happened to observe that the
stones at the bottom seemed to be rapidly moving along in the direction
towards the lake.

"My!" said Rollo; "see how fast the stones are going!"

"The stones!" exclaimed Gerald, starting up, and seizing an oar. "It's
the boat! We are going under the bridge, as sure as fate! Put out your
oar, Rollo, and pull for your life! Pull!"

Both Rollo and the Swiss boy immediately put out their oars and pulled;
but Gerald soon found that the current was too strong for them. In spite
of all they could do, the boat was evidently slowly drifting towards the

"It is of no use," said Gerald, at last. "We shall have to go through;
but that will do no harm if we can only manage to keep her from striking
the piers. Take in your oars, boys, and let me pull her round so as to
head down stream, and you stand ready to fend off when we are going

The excitement of this scene was very great, and Rollo's first impulse
was to scream for help; but observing how cool and collected Gerald
appeared, he felt somewhat reassured, and at once obeyed Gerald's
orders. He took in his oar, and holding it in his hands, as if it had
been a boat hook or a setting pole, he prepared to fend off from the
piers when the boat went through. In the mean time Gerald had succeeded
in getting the boat round, so as to point the bows down stream, just as
she reached the bridge; and in this position she shot under it like an
arrow. Several boys who were standing on the bridge at this time, after
watching at the upper side till the boat went under, ran across to the
lower side, to see her come out.

The boat passed through the bridge safely, though the stern struck
against the pier on one side, just as it was emerging. The reason of
this was, that Gerald, in bringing it round so as to head down the
stream, had given it a rotating motion, which continued while it was
passing under the bridge, and thus brought the stern round against the
pier. No harm was done, however, except that the boat received a rather
rude concussion by the blow.

"Now, boys," said Gerald, speaking in French, "we must keep her head and
stern up and down the stream, or we shall make shipwreck."

"Yes," said Rollo, in English; "if we should strike a snag or any thing,
broadside on, the boat would roll right over."

"A snag!" repeated Gerald, contemptuously. The idea was indeed absurd of
finding a snag in the River Rhone; for a snag is formed by a floating
tree, which is washed into the river by the undermining of the banks,
and is then carried down until it gets lodged. There are millions of
such trees in the Mississippi, but none in the Rhone.

However, Rollo was right in his general idea. There might be
obstructions of some sort in the river, which it would be dangerous for
the boat to encounter broadside on; so he took hold resolutely of the
work of helping Gerald bring it into a position parallel with the
direction of the stream. In the mean time the boat was swept down the
torrent with fearful rapidity. It glided swiftly on amid boiling
whirlpools and sheets of rippling foam, that were quite frightful to
see. The buildings of the town here bordered the banks of the river on
each side, and there were little jutting piers and platforms here and
there, with boys upon them in some places, fishing, and women washing
clothes in others. The boys in the boat did not call for help, and so
nobody attempted to come and help them. Gerald's plan was to keep the
boat headed right, and so let her drift on until she had passed through
the town, in hopes of being able to bring her up somewhere on the shore

At one time the force of the current carried them quite near to the
shore, at a place where Gerald thought it would be dangerous to attempt
to land, and he called out aloud to Rollo to "fend off." Rollo attempted
to do so, and in the attempt he lost his oar. He was standing near the
bows at the time, and as he planted his oar against the bottom, the
current carried the boat on with such irresistible impetuosity that the
oar was wrested from his hand in an instant. If he had not let go of it
he would have been pulled over himself. Gerald, however, had the
presence of mind to reach out his own oar at once, and draw the lost one
back towards the boat, so that the Swiss boy seized it, and, to Rollo's
great joy, took it in again.

The boat at one time came very near drifting against one of the great
water wheels which were revolving in the stream. Gerald perceived the
danger just in time, and he contrived to turn the head of the boat out
towards the centre of the river, and then commanding Rollo and the Swiss
boy to row, and pulling, himself, with all his force, he just succeeded
in escaping the danger.

By this time the boat had passed by the town, and it now came to a part
of the river which was bordered by smooth, grassy banks on each side,
and with a row of willows growing near the margin of the water. This was
the place, in fact, where Rollo had walked along the shore with his
mother, in going down to visit the junction of the Rhone and the Arve.

"Now," said Gerald, "here is a chance for us to make a landing. I'll
head her in towards the shore."

So Gerald turned the head of the boat in towards the bank, and then, by
dint of hard rowing, the boys contrived gradually to draw nearer and
nearer to the shore, though they were all the time drifting rapidly
down. At last the boat came so near that the bow was just ready to touch
the bank, and then Gerald seized the painter, and, watching his
opportunity, leaped ashore, and, running to the nearest willow, wound
the painter round it. This at once checked the motion of the bow, and
caused the stern to swing round. Gerald immediately unwound the painter,
and ran to the willow next below, where he wound it round again, and
there succeeded at last in making it fast, and stopping the motion of
the boat altogether. Rollo and the Swiss boy then made their escape safe
to land.

"There!" said Rollo, taking at the same time a high jump, to express his
exultation; "there! Here we are safe, and who cares?"

"Ah!" said Gerald, calmly; "it is very easy to say Who cares? now that
we have got safe to land; but you'll find me looking out sharp not to
get sucked into those ripples again."

So the boys went home. Gerald found a man to go down and bring back the
boat, while Rollo proceeded to the hotel, to report the affair to his
father and mother. Mrs. Holiday was very much alarmed, but Mr. Holiday
seemed to take the matter quite coolly. He said he thought that Rollo
was now, for all the rest of his life, in much less danger of being
drowned by getting carried down rapids in a river than he was before.

"He understands the subject now somewhat practically," said Mr. Holiday.

The term of Mr. Holiday's visit had now expired, and the arrangements
were to be made for leaving town, with a view of returning again to
Paris. Rollo, however, was very desirous that before going back to Paris
they should make at least a short excursion among the mountains.

"Where shall we go?" said his father.

"To the valley of Chamouni," said Rollo. "They say that that is the
prettiest place in all Switzerland."

"How long will it take us to go?" asked Mr. Holiday.

"We can go in a day," said Rollo. "There are plenty of diligences. The
offices of them are here all along the quay.

"Or, if you don't choose to go so far in a day," continued Rollo, "you
can go in half a day to the entrance of the valley, where there is a
good place to stop, and then we can go to Chamouni the next day. I have
studied it all out in the guide book."

"Very well," said Mr. Holiday. "It seems that we can get into the valley
of Chamouni very easily; and now how is it about getting out?"

At this question Rollo's countenance fell a little, and he replied that
it was not so easy to get out.

"There is no way to get out," said he, "except to go over the
mountains, unless we come back the same way we go in."

"That would not be quite so pleasant," said Mr. Holiday.

"No, sir," said Rollo; "it would be better to go out some new way. But
there is not any way. It is a long, narrow valley, very high up among
the mountain glaciers. There is a way to get out at the upper end, but
it is only a mountain pass, and we should have to ride over on mules.
But you could ride on a mule--could not you, father?"

"Why, yes," said Mr. Holiday, "perhaps I could; but it might be too
fatiguing for your mother. She has not been accustomed to ride on
horseback much of late years.

"Besides," he continued, "I suppose that as it is a mountain pass, the
road must be pretty steep and difficult."

"Yes, sir," said Rollo; "it is steep some part of the way. You have to
go up for half an hour by zigzags--right up the side of the mountain. I
read about it in the guide book. Then, after we get up to the top of the
pass, we have a monstrous long way to go down. We have to go down for
two hours, as steep as we can go."

"I should think we should have to go _up_ as much as _down_," said Mr.
Holiday; "for it is necessary to ascend as much to get to the top of
any hill from the bottom as you _descend_ in going down to the bottom
from the top."

"Ah, but in Chamouni," said Rollo, "we are very near the top already. It
is a valley, it is true; but it is up very high among the mountains, and
is surrounded with snow and glaciers. That is what makes it so
interesting to go there. Besides, we can see the top of Mont Blanc
there, and with a spy glass we can watch the people going up, as they
walk along over the fields of snow."

"Well," said Mr. Holiday, "I should like to go there very well, if your
mother consents; and then, if she does not feel adventurous enough to go
over the mountain pass on a mule, we can, at all events, come back the
same way we go."

"Yes, sir," said Rollo; "and, besides, father," he continued, eagerly,
"there is another way that we can do. Mother can go over the mountain
pass on a carrying chair. They have carrying chairs there, expressly to
carry ladies over the passes. They are good, comfortable chairs, with
poles each side of them, fastened very strong. The lady sits in the
chair, and then two men take hold of the poles, one before and the other
behind, and so they carry her over the mountains."

"I should think that would be very easy and very comfortable," said Mr.
Holiday. "Go and find your mother, and explain it all to her, and hear
what she says. Tell her what sort of a place Chamouni is, and what there
is to be seen there, and then tell her of the different ways there will
be of getting out when once we get in. If she would like it we will go."

Mrs. Holiday did like the plan of going to Chamouni very much. She said
she thought that she could go over the mountain pass on a mule; and that
at any rate she could go on the carrying chair. So the excursion was
decided upon, and the party set off the next day.

       *       *       *       *       *

And here I must end the story of Rollo at Geneva, only adding that it
proved in the end that the fifteen franc pin which Rollo bought, and the
destination of which he made a secret of, was intended for his mother.
He kept the pin in his trunk until he returned to America, and then sent
it into his mother's room, with a little note, one morning when she was
there alone. His mother kept the pin a great many years, and wore it a
great many times; and she said she valued it more than any other
ornament she had, though she had several in her little strong box that
had cost in money fifty times as much.




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