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Title: Scenes in Switzerland
Author: American Tract Society
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 "Scenes in Switzerland" ***





     Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1868, by the
     AMERICAN TRACT SOCIETY, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court
     of the United States for the Southern District of New York.


Gretchen                    PAGE  5

A Night in the Cathedral         28

The Glaciers of Savoy            45

The Bride of the Aar             63

A Sabbath in Lausanne            79

The Guide of Montanvert          96

Mont Blanc                      127

From Berne to Basle             135

Scenes In Switzerland.


Time flies swiftly when we are sightseeing; and it was late in the
autumn of 18-- when I reached Lindau. Lake Constance lay before me, a
pale, green sheet of water, hemmed in on the south by bold mountain
ranges, filling the interim between the Rhine valley and the long
undulating ridges of the Canton Thurgau. These heights, cleft at
intervals by green smiling valleys and deep ravines, are only the
front of table-land stretching away like an inclined plane, and dotted
with scattered houses and cloistering villages. The deep green of
forest and pasture land was beginning to show the touch of autumn's
pencil; the bright hues striking against gray, rocky walls; the
topmost edge of each successive elevation crowned with a sharp outline
of golden light, deepening the purple gloom of the shaded slopes.

Behind and over this region towers the Sentis, its brow of snow
bristling with spear points. It was altogether too late to think of
the Baths, or even to look at the little lake of Wallenstatt; and
still, I was unwilling to return without a friendly shake of the hand
of my old friend Spruner, who had perched himself in one of the upper
cantons. "You should have been here earlier," said the landlord; "in
summer we have plenty of visitors."

"I rather look upon the mountains in their parti-colored vests, than
when dressed in simple green," I replied.

"If you can stand the weather;" and he thrust his pipe deeper into
his mouth, and twirled the button of his coat.

Hastily making my adieus, the postillion cracked his whip, and we
started. "There is no danger of bad weather for a month," said the
driver, "and when we get up farther you will see what will pay you for
the trouble of coming:" a speech that promised well for the day, I
argued; and a certain share of respect leaped up for the man in his
laced coat and steeple-crowned hat. A good specimen of his class--and
once satisfied of this, I gave myself up to the present, without the
least foreboding with regard to the future.

Over us hung masses of gray cloud, stretching across the valley like a
curtain, and falling in voluminous folds almost to the level of Lake
Constance. As we passed through this belt, and came out, with cloud
and mist below us, I listened as the postillion related the popular
legends handed down from one generation to another, for the last six
hundred years. Reaching the crest of the topmost height, he stopped

"It is just the day to see the herdsmen;" and he threw down the reins,
and prepared to dismount. I stood up and looked around.

"The battle you know between the herdsmen and the monks, with Austria
to help. It was a hard battle, and the knights were whipped; and ever
since, on certain days, the herdsmen are seen armed with bows and
pikes," he continued. By this time I had taken in his meaning, and
turning my attention to the misty curtain rolling up into clouds about
the sides of the mountain, I had no difficulty in picturing the
discomfited Austrians flying from the pursuit of the hardy

"It was a great battle, and they have never tried it since," and there
was a ring in the voice that sounded like the echo of Grütli.

"No wonder, if your herdsmen are still ready to keep up the fight."

"You do not see them," and he made a gesture in the direction where my
eye still lingered.

"As plainly as any body can," and I tried hard not to smile.

"It is quite true this;" and he gathered up the reins.

"I do not doubt it."

As we passed on, the clouds rounded into islands, touched with silver
on the upper edges.

"This is the place for fine muslin and embroideries," said the
postillion in a changed tone.

"Where are they made?" I asked.

"Every house has a loom," he said.

A small way to manufacture muslins; but when the density of the
population and the incessant labor is taken into consideration, it is
not so strange. With regard to the houses I was greatly disappointed.
Not only are they so near that neighbors can converse freely, but they
are large, and even luxurious, in comparison with the same class in
other parts of Europe. Many of these houses are four stories, with
large, square rooms at the base; the upper ones narrowed by the high
steeple roof which projects several feet, forming balconies,
beautifully carved and highly ornamented. The outer walls are covered
with shingles from two to three inches broad, overlapping each other,
and rounded at the ends; reminding one of old roofs seen in the French
quarter. The lowest story is of stone, plastered, and whitewashed.
Such a house is very warm, very durable; and painted by the successive
changes of winter and summer, the external appearance is altogether
pleasing. Our ascent was gradual; with stately houses one after
another, and fruit-trees on the sheltered side. In the balconies, pots
of bright-hued flowers, and sometimes a face to greet us.

Towards sundown we halted at the little town where my friend had
deposited himself; and as my foot touched the wooden step of the
little hotel, whom should I meet but my old college chum; no longer
thin and pale as when I knew him, but round-faced as an alderman, and
merry as though his heart was full of new wine.

"You are not to stop here," as the landlord came out to receive me:
"My house is not far off, and GRETCHEN, you remember her? will be
glad to see you."

Of course I remembered Gretchen; but to meet her as my friend's wife
was quite another thing. A few steps brought us to the door of a
handsome establishment two centuries old, or more; the front frescoed,
and the interior neat and orderly as a New England housewife's. The
floor upon which we entered from the street was paved with a species
of marble, black and white, diamond shaped, but too suggestive of cold
to be altogether pleasing. A broad, wooden staircase of a peculiar
rich brown hue led to the parlor on the second floor. The windows
looking out into the mountain ranges were draped with ruby-colored
damask; the floor was covered with a richly tufted carpet bordered
with flowers, and sofas and easy chairs were temptingly arranged. On a
table in the centre of the room, and under an elaborately chased
lamp, were implements for letter-writing, magazines, and newspapers.
Through the folding-doors we caught a glimpse of well-filled
book-shelves, and a woman's voice came floating out to the rich,
mellow accompaniment of the piano. There was the rustle of a silk
dress. I turned my head.

"This is my ambition," said my friend, while a look of pride blended
with the manly expression of his handsome face.

There stood Gretchen--the Gretchen I had known ten years before; no
longer the slight blushing girl, but mature in her beauty, a happy
wife and mother; the same sweet smile on her lips, and her eye full of
gushing gladness as she welcomed me to her home.

The fire was blazing cheerily, and we three talking of the old times,
with hardly a thought of the broken links between.

"The college is still the same," said my friend, "with the high
cupola and long galleries. Gretchen and I visited it last summer;
there were few that we knew, and many of the professors have slipped
away. Gretchen's father was one of these. We missed him in his quiet
home, and above all, in the old church. A man with dark hair and black
flashing eyes stood in his place--a learned, man, but wanting in the
inward fire, the simple eloquence of the old man we used to love.
After service, I strolled past the college buildings, and tried to
trace the names we cut on the old beeches, but they were all

"I know nothing that brings home to the heart so quickly the
consciousness of increasing years, as to find those whom we used to
look upon as children grown to maturity, taking upon themselves the
care and responsibility of life. Here is Gretchen; a deeper bloom
upon her cheek, and her eye sparkling with a higher pride."

"Just as mid-day is brighter than the morning," said my friend.

Down the hall came the pattering of little feet, and the nurse entered
with two stout boys and a lovely girl, a second Gretchen, the same
roguish blue eyes, and golden hair rippling away from her white

"These are my hopes," said the father, and a smile curled his lip,
amid, his eye filled with tenderness as he glanced at Gretchen's face.
Lingering over the tea-table where Gretchen presided with more than
youthful grace, we talked not only of the past, but of present work
and life.

"One," I continued, taking up the thread, "I met in Southern Italy,
dreaming; as I was dreaming, by the dark grotto of Pausilippo.
Meeting upon classic ground, it seemed strange to talk of old times,
but we did. And sitting down upon the promontory of Baiæ, looking off
upon the blue sea, we told each other our respective stories; just as
ships will shift their course to come within speaking distance,
compare longitude, and exchange letters, and--part. I have not heard
from Eckerman since."

My dreams were pleasant that night, and the next morning there was
another surprise for me. Gretchen's brother was the pastor of a little
church just above them; I must not go without seeing him, Gretchen
said. How could I? Euler was my classmate; together we labored for
knowledge, and our first manly sympathies run in the same channel.

On Sabbath I saw my friend in the pulpit. "How like his father," I
whispered to Gretchen; the poetry in him warming his soul into a
burst of fervid eloquence, and his face glowing with the beautiful
truths he was unfolding to his hearers. An uncouth church of rough
stone, with quaint windows and curious carvings, the ceiling arched,
with a blue ground on which blazed innumerable stars. Strange and
novel as it was, my eye never wandered from the speaker; the voice and
expression so like the kind and generous man who had presided over the
college, and who carried with him the affections of each succeeding
class. This seems to me more of a triumph now, than it did then. A
cultivated mind may challenge respect, but there is need of a noble
one to win affection.

It was a week before I could think of leaving, and then the clouds
twisted through and around the severed pyramids of the Alps, and the
rain began. In such weather the scenery is not only shrouded, but the
people are shut up in their homes. Pastor Euler had an ample study
however, and here we read and wrote, and talked; with his wife, a
pleasant-voiced woman, to enliven the pauses with music, and children
dashing into the study giving abrupt and sudden turnings to our
dreaming. Christmas was near, and I was easily persuaded to see more
of a people, shut in as they were from the noise and commotion of the
lower world, and still not so far as to be unknowing of all that was
taking place, whether in deliberative bodies, state policies, or the
lighter chit-chat of the day.

"You will have an opportunity to see more of my parish than you can
possibly see on a Sabbath occasion. I visit them as often as I can, and
twice a year I receive them at my own house. The 'Weihnachtsgeschenk'
is looked forward to with great pleasure, and the meeting of the
Landsgemeinde in April is sure to bring my people together."

Gretchen and her husband were clamorous for me to remain, and there
was no resisting the pleading tones of the children, their little
clinging fingers stronger than bands of iron.

All night the rain beat against my chamber window, and in the morning
the lower slopes of the mountain were white with new snow. Dark clouds
lay heavily on the Alpine peaks, the air was raw and chilly--still it
was Christmas. I was aroused at daybreak by the chiming of village
bells, and then a procession of choral singers went through the
streets, pausing under the window of each house, and singing Christmas
hymns. As they passed on, the children caught up the refrain, and
joining hands made the halls resound with their gleeful voices.
Before breakfast a huge bowl was passed around with a foaming drink,
not unlike egg-nog in appearance, but differing in taste materially.
"May your Christmas be a merry one," as it passed from lip to lip;
"and a profitable one," was always responded.

Church was open an hour earlier than on ordinary occasions, "so that
the people may have ample time for dinner," said the pastor. Religion
with these mountain worshippers was not a form. The birthday of the
blessed Redeemer was to them a reality. They believed that he was born
and that he died; and it was to commemorate his nativity that hymns
were sung and garlands wound. At an early hour they began to gather,
and before the time of service the house was closely packed. There
were no chains of evergreen, but small fir-trees were occasionally
placed. These were covered with garlands and crowns of bright-hued
flowers, giving a novel and striking appearance, as of some floral
temple or mosque, set in a great pavilion. The high pulpit was draped
in white, and a voluminous white curtain covered the background. The
effect was charming.

And as the pastor began the service, the melody of his voice broke
away into tenderness as he touched upon the love of God in giving his
Son to be the propitiation for sin: holding up the picture so vividly,
and telling the simple story with a pathos and a power that little
children even could not fail to see and to appreciate. How much better
than studied and elaborate essays, diving into metaphysics and
technicalities so deeply that beauty is lost, and the mind diverted by
the difficulty of following the intricate windings.

First did he impress his hearers with the fact that God loved the
world, and through the fulness of that love the Son came down to
suffer and to die: secondly, that the natural heart is at enmity with
God, not willing that God should rule. Thus a change must be effected;
a reconciliation made. This could only be wrought by sacrifice; and
Christ was offered once for all; his blood cleanseth from all sin. A
plain, simple statement, and it sunk into the hearts of his hearers
with a power sure to tell upon their future lives.

After the blessing, each remained silently upon his knees for a few
moments. Then all was greeting and congratulation; all were friends;
the idea never entered their heads that a stranger could be among them
at that season.

At dinner I was introduced to the landamman and two other members of
the council, and from them gathered brief notes with reference to the
little democracy won, and held intact for so many years. The dessert
was hardly removed before they began to come: first the old men in
black coats and high hats, and women with white, pointed caps and wide
ruffles; then the middle-aged, fathers and mothers, bringing little
children, all with the same conscientious expression on their faces,
the same "Happy Christmas," while the pastor's "God bless you," was a
benediction that carried happiness to the hearts of those who heard

Lastly came the youths; maidens with eyes full of a childlike
innocence, the quick color coming and going as they greeted the pastor
and his friends, and received his blessing in return. Gretchen and her
husband were with us, and Gretchen number two was my especial escort,
leading me through the rooms, and introducing me in her naive manner,
"Mamma's friend, and papa's, and uncle Euler's."

Christmas festivities were kept up during the week; and before that
elapsed, I was won to add a month, and then another, it being quite
impossible to slip away from the kind friends with whom I had so much
in common; the fascination only the more potent as we listened to the
beating winds, and looked out into the slippery paths leading down
into the cantons beneath.

Spring had come when it was "fit to travel," as Gretchen said. The
green of the landscape was brilliant and uniform; the turf sown with
primrose, violet, anemone, veronica, and buttercups. It was time for
me to leave; neither could I be persuaded to stay till the meeting of
the Landsgemeinde. It was sad to leave them, and the little Gretchen
was only pacified by my assurance that, if possible, I would return at
no distant day. My friend Spruner had business at Herisau, and
spending one more evening together, our prayers mingling for the last
time, we parted.

Our way led through the valley of the Sitter, a stream fed by the
Sentis Alps, and spanned by a bridge hundreds of feet above the water.
The same smooth carpet of velvet green was spread everywhere.

"There is no greener land," said Spruner; "the grass is so rich that
the inhabitants cannot even spare enough for vegetable gardens. Our
tables are supplied from the lower vallies."

"In our country we should not dream of making hay in the month of
April," I remarked, seeing several stout men already in the field.

"With suitable care they can mow the same field every six weeks,"
responded my friend. "And it is no doubt this peculiar process that
gives such sweetness and splendor of color, seen nowhere else, not
even between the hedgerows of England."

The day proved to be neither clear nor rainy: a steel blue sky brought
out the broken peaks of Kasten, while the white shoulders of the
Sentis were veiled with a thin, gray suit.

"A month later and we should see the herdsmen," remarked Spruner. "The
leader of the herd marches in front with a large bell suspended from
his neck by a handsome leathern band; the others follow, some with
garlands of flowers and straps of embroidered leather, with milking
pails suspended between the horns."

Before nightfall, occasional streaks of sunshine shot across the
mountain. It did not last, however, and when we reached our
stopping-place, it was raining below and snowing above us.

The next morning our road dropped into a ravine, bringing something to
admire at every turn. Leaving our course, we visited the Cascade of
Horsfall, the beauty of which amply repaid us for the delay it cost.
That night we slept at Herisau, the largest town in the Canton, and
here I was to part with Spruner. There was no difficulty in reaching
the lower valley. With many shakes of the hand, and "May God's
blessing be upon you,'" we parted: one to take the railroad to Zurich,
the other back to his household charms, and the work he had chosen.

A Night In The Cathedral.

Franz Hoffner's father was kappelmeister; and the old cathedral with
its grained arches and cloistered aisles resounded with rare music, as
the organist took his seat, and run his fingers over the keys with the
careless ease of one who knows not only to control, but to infuse
something of his own spirit into the otherwise senseless machine
before him. Under his inspiration it became a living, breathing form;
lifting the hearts of worshippers, and giving them glimpses of what is
hereafter to be obtained.

Herr Hoffner was a rare musician; but, alas, musicians are no
exception to the rule: the wheel is always turning; one goes up and
another goes down. A new star had risen. Court belles and beauties
grew enthusiastic. The elector's heart was touched; his influence was
asked. "Herr Hoffner has been here long enough," it was said. There
was a twinge of the electoral conscience.

Herr Hoffner went to his house a ruined man; and the new favorite,
Carl Von Stein, played upon the keys so dear to the heart of the old

Herr Hoffner had a wife and two lovely children; and one would suppose
that he could live in the beautiful cottage the elector had given him,
independent of the favorite. But no; deprived of his old instrument
all else was lost to him. For hours would he sit before his humble
door, heedless of his wife's entreaties or the childish prattle of
Franz and Nanette; his eye riveted on the old cathedral, and his hands
playing nervously, as though cheating himself with the idea he was
still at the organ. Then roused by a sudden inspiration, he would rush
to the piano and play till his hands dropped from mere exhaustion.

Franz and Nanette loved music, and they could play skilfully, but they
were all too young to be of service; and thus they lived cut off from
all outward influences befitting their age; loving music above
everything else, and yearning for the time when they could go out and
win for their father, as he had once done for them.

Years passed. Franz Hoffner was a tall, slight boy, and his father was
blind. Sitting at his cottage door he could no longer see the tall
towers of the old cathedral, but he could hear the chime of stately
bells--and his fingers played on: while Franz and Nanette not
unfrequently climbed up the winding stairs, just to beg Herr Von
Stein to let them touch the keys their father used to love.


It happened one day the organist went out and left the key in the
lock. Franz entered with the evening worshippers. A nameless feeling
seized him. Urged on by the sudden impulse, he mounted the stairs. He
did not dream of playing, he only thought of the organ as his father's
friend; and to seat himself on the stool where his father had so often
sat was all he aimed to do. A moment, and he spied the key; would
there be any harm in raising the lid and playing himself? Herr Von
Stein had never denied him. He grew courageous. A few chords and Franz
forgot that his father would be expecting him; piece after piece was
played till his memory could serve him no longer, and then he began to

All at once heavy shadows were cast over the keys: he looked down
into the church, it was dark and still. A strange awe seized him, he
felt that it was night; and the great doors locked. Hastily as his
trembling limbs would allow, he crept down the stairs. Darkness
shrouded the aisles. He reached the doors, they were barred and
bolted. What would his father say? and Nanette, would she think where
he was, and rouse the old door-keeper?

High up through the tower-window he caught sight of a star; and the
moon poured her silver radiance full on the face of the organ.
Creeping up the stairs, he once more opened the instrument. Surely
some one would hear him if he played, and Nanette he knew would not
leave him to stay in the old cathedral alone.

Hours passed: the full moon cast her splendor on a sweet child-face
bent over the keys in the organ-loft of the old cathedral, a smile
still played about his lips, and his light brown hair lay in rings on
his broad, white forehead. Franz was asleep, and while asleep he

       *       *       *       *       *

A beautiful lady, he thought, came to the cottage; she had a sweet,
lovely face, but so sad that Franz wondered what sorrow could have
come to one so rich and beautiful. The lady caught the expression of
his eye, and slipping her arm around him, drew him still nearer.

"You think because I am rich that I must be happy. Learn then, my
child, that wealth does not bring happiness; neither does beauty win
lasting favor. To be good is to be rich, and it also makes us
beautiful. The power that we have in ourselves is far superior to the
outward circumstances that surround us."

"My father had this power," replied Franz. "You see it did not profit
him; for when he thought himself secure as kappelmeister, the elector
gave his place to another, and now he is growing old and blind."

"Is this so?" exclaimed the lady, a warm light flashing into her gray
eye. "Did the elector give his place to another?"

"Indeed, he did; and it broke my father's heart," replied Franz.
"Since then, we have neither of us known pleasure; only when we go to
the cathedral, Nanette and me; and when we return, our father never
tires of asking questions."

"This must not always be," replied the lady. "Will you come with me,
my child, and it is possible we can show you a way whereby you can do
something for a father whom you so much love."

"I will go with you," replied Franz; "but I must not be gone long,
for my father will miss me when he wakes."

Then Franz gave his hand to the beautiful lady, and she led him by a
smooth way through the most lovely wood; tall trees, filled with
singing birds, skirted the banks of clear, running streams, while
flowering shrubs and vines flung their perfume to the air. At length
she came to a gate so strong and high Franz thought it would be
impossible to open it. But as they approached, it seemed to swing back
noiselessly on its hinges. Franz saw there was a lodge there, with a
gray-haired man, and little children playing before the door, and as
the lady passed all bowed to her.

Presently they came in sight of a magnificent castle, its walls white
and glistening; while the sunlight glinting against the deep windows,
flashed and scintillated like a bed of diamonds. As they came nearer,
the lady left the broad road, and wound along a narrow path, and came
to a little postern gate, and up a broad marble terrace, with
sparkling fountains, and with flowers brighter than he had seen
before, and birds of gay plumage flashing their beauty through the
tree-tops. At the top of the terrace she gave him into the care of an
elderly man, with a white flowing beard and eyes full of tenderness. A
few words were said, and the old man took Franz by the hand and led
him into a room, the floor of which was marble, smooth as glass, while
the walls were green and gold. In the centre was a marble basin or
pool, with steps leading down; the atmosphere was dim by reason of a
sweet and subtle perfume rising from the water. Franz was hardly
conscious till he came out of the bath; then his hair was carefully
dressed, and a new suit of clothes was brought him.

He had only time to look at himself in the mirror, when the lady
returned. She was dressed in a rich white silk, covered with lace and
sprinkled with pearls and diamonds. On her head she wore a crown;
bright and sparkling as it was, it was not half so beautiful as the
sweet face that beamed below it. The deep traces of sorrow were gone,
she looked like one happy in the consciousness of a good deed done,
and a sweet smile was on her lip as she held out her hand to Franz.
Together they walked down the marble hall and up the broad staircase,
on through rows of stately ladies and martial-looking men, the crowd
opening and bowing as they passed.

At length they came to a room larger, more magnificent than the rest.
Persian carpets covered the floor, and the windows were draped with
blue and gold. On a dais at the extremity of the room was an oaken
chair of quaint device, in which sat a proud-looking man, pale and
careworn as though weary of so much state and ceremony.

"My child," said the prince, "Do you feel like playing for me? I am
too weak to go to the cathedral, and I fancy if I can hear you play I
shall feel better."

Franz was a timid boy, but he loved to please. He was always ready to
play for his father. He glanced at the lady, there was a sweet smile
resting on her face. Dropping on his knee Franz kissed the hand of the
prince. "I will do my best, since you are so good as to ask me."

Franz looked up, and saw what he had not seen before, an organ quite
like the one his father so loved.

"Play just as you do in the old cathedral," whispered the lady, and
then she seated herself in a chair by the side of the prince. Franz
saw nothing but the keys, he heard nothing but the sweet soul harmony,
and this he must interpret to the beautiful lady and the sick prince
by means of his instrument. How long he played he never knew, but when
he ceased a slight hand lay on his shoulder, and a sweet face bent
above him.

"To do good, Franz, is the secret of happiness. This power is yours,
and so long as you use it, so long you will be happy. The dear,
heavenly Father watches over and cares for those whose lives are given
for the good of others." Saying this she led him away to the prince.
But what was Franz's surprise! beside him on his right hand were
Franz's father and mother, no longer blind, but dressed in costly
robes, their faces radiant with happiness, while Nanette looked
charmingly, in a white gauze dress and silver slippers. Franz was
bewildered, not knowing whether to advance towards the prince, or to
run and embrace his parents.

"This is the reward of obedience to your parents," said the lady,
kissing the boy's white forehead.

       *       *       *       *       *

The light of day came streaming through the tower window--the child
awoke. It was cold. A chill ran through his frame. He had been in the
cathedral all night, and his parents--what anguish they must have
endured. Hastily as his numbed limbs would allow, he went down the
stairs. A few worshippers were bowing before the altar; Franz dropped
on his knees a moment, and then ran with all his speed out of the door
and down the street.

Very glad were Franz's parents when he returned, and Nanette wept for
joy; but when at breakfast he related his dream, the face of the old
organist lit up with a great hope.

"I know, my boy, it will all come true. So long as we love and trust
Him, the good Christ will not leave us to suffer."

Christmas had come. There were no presents for Franz and Nanette. Only
one could they make, and this was a nice, warm dressing-gown for their
blind father.

One day a beautiful lady took refuge in the cottage; her carriage had
broken down, and she must stop till the postilion could return to the
castle. At the cottage she heard Franz play and Nanette sing, and
listened to the blind organist, as the cathedral bells broke on the
evening air.

"You must come with me," said the lady. "We have been planning
concerts at the castle, and you shall give them."

"My children are not old enough to go by themselves, and I am blind,"
replied the father.

"I will not deprive you of your children," said the lady; "my father
has influence. And besides, he has near him an eminent physician; it
is possible something can be done to restore your sight."

In three days the lady returned, and carried Herr Hoffner with his
wife and children to the castle. Charmed with the young musicians, the
elector repented of the thoughtless deed, in depriving the father of
his position as kappelmeister. Very tenderly did he treat him now, and
under the care of the skilful physician, it was soon announced there
was hope of his recovering his sight. This done, he was once more
offered the position; but Herr Hoffner was a just man; to do by
others as he would be done by was his motto. Herr Von Stein had filled
the post acceptably; it was no fault of his that the old organist had
lost his place. Herr Hoffner would not accept it, but only asked that
he might be allowed to give concerts with his children. Franz labored
diligently at his studies, and already was he beginning to surprise
his friends, not only with his playing, but with his composition.

Years passed: there was a great gathering in that grand old capital. A
musical festival was in progress, and all the celebrities the world
over had congregated there. Franz Hoffner was in the zenith of his
glory. At the close of the performance, and while the entire audience
joined in acclamations of praise to the youthful leader, a rich medal
was presented. On one side the profile view of the elector and his
daughter, set round with diamonds; on the other, "Music is only
valuable as it lifts the heart and purifies our fallen nature."

Franz Hoffner lived to be a great musician; but he never ceased to
think of his parents and Nanette. Honors were empty, and applause
vain, only so far as they contributed to the happiness of those he

The Glaciers Of Savoy

After a few weeks passed in Geneva, we determined to go on to
Chamouni, and for this purpose engaged a guide accustomed for years to
the mountain passes, and on whom we were told that we could rely

This being arranged, we took a last drive around the environs of the
city; the views of the lake and of the mountains in every direction,
were enchanting and sublime. From the head of the lake, a greater
variety of interesting objects met the eye than can be seen perhaps
from any other spot in Europe. At your feet you behold a venerable and
populous city; while a vast and beautiful lake spreads its clear waves
beyond, amid a landscape rich in all the products a cultivated soil
can furnish; while vast and gloomy mountains stretch their giant forms
on high. In clear weather, Mont Blanc appears the venerable monarch of
the Alps. Below this, Saléve rises to upwards of three thousand feet,
with the uninterrupted length of the Jura on the left, whose highest
point is over four thousand. Proceeding along the banks of the Arve,
we at length alighted at the entrance of a thicket, through which we
made our way with difficulty, the path being hilly and very slippery,
to a place where we saw at our feet the celebrated junction of the
Arve and the Rhone. The Arve has a thick soapy appearance; the Rhone
is of a fine dark green, and seems for a while to spurn a connection
with its muddy visitor. For two or three miles the Rhone keeps up its
reserve, and the rivers roll side by side, without mingling their
waters. At length they meet and blend: the distinction is lost, the
polluted Arve is absorbed in the haughty and majestic Rhone.

We were to leave Geneva the next morning. Before night our guide came:
he was ill, would we take his son? The proposition did not please us;
it was a dangerous journey, and many had been lost in the mountain

"Erwald knows as much of the passes as I do," said the father, "and he
is anxious to go; his sister lives at Maglan, and she is down with the

I saw how it was. Erwald was to go to Maglan to visit his sister; and
if the father could arrange for him to go with us, of course he
himself would be free to make another engagement.

"Do you feel sure that you can guide us safely?" I asked of Erwald.

"Certainly, monsieur; I have been over the way many times. If I was
not quite sure, I would not offer to go."

"Not if you could gain a good many francs by going?"

"It would not be right to say to you that I knew the way, if I did

The boy's face was attractive, his voice gentle, and his blue eyes
full of tenderness. His look and his answer delighted me.

"No, it would not be right, Erwald; and because you love the right and
feel sure that you can serve us, I will take you in your father's

"I am glad, very glad; and now I must see my mother. Vesta is sick and
she will be glad to see any one from home."

Erwald's face was glowing; I turned to the father.

"Erwald is a good child," he said. "At first we felt vexed with him
and Vesta for leaving the church, and not a few times did we punish
them. But they were so good and patient that it troubled us; and now
their mother is a Protestant, and I never go to mass."

It was explained, the serene calm of the earnest blue eyes: Erwald was
a Christian.

Early in the morning our guide made his appearance. His countenance
sweet and pleasing as it was the night previous. He was accompanied by
a little woman in a black gown and bodice, with a high cap and the
whitest of kerchiefs--a mild sweet-faced woman, whom we knew at once
as his mother.

"You'll tell Vesta mother thinks of her all the time, and prays the
Father every hour to make her well again."

On my asking if she was not afraid to have her son go on so dangerous
a journey, she answered:

"Our Father will take care of him and bring him back to us."

The simple faith of the good woman struck me as greatly to be desired.
With all her simplicity she had the true Wisdom: and her good motherly
face went with me long after I left Erwald in Chamouni.

A few miles from Geneva, we entered Savoy. Here the scenery of the
Alps began to open before us. On the right the Arve was seen winding
through a cultivated and luxuriant valley; on both sides, hills and
rooks rose to a considerable elevation, and behind, the mountains of
the Jura range closed in grandeur the delightful view. We passed
through a succession of peaceful villages, and at length reached by a
long avenue of elms the little town of Bonneville on the Arve. The
town is embosomed in the mountains, and watered by the river. It
has a fine old bridge over the river from which the country is viewed
to great, advantage. On the right the môle is elegantly formed, and
terminates in a peak, a complete contrast to Mont Brezon on the left,
wild and savage in its aspect, and little more than a bare and rugged
rock with occasional pitches of verdure.


From Bonneville the road passes over the bridge to the foot of the
môle, and traverses a lovely valley, hemmed in by lofty mountains, and
rich in scenes of pastoral beauty. The road is lined on each side with
walnut-trees, which afford a grateful shade. Passing the village of
Sigony, Erwald pointed to the remains of an old convent far up the
mountain, whose inmates were wont to welcome the traveller, when these
valleys, destitute of good roads and inns, were explored with
difficulty and with danger.

From this place the mountains closed upon us; rocks began to overhang
the road, and the Arve was rather heard than seen. At length we
crossed a romantic looking bridge and entered the little town of
Cluse, enclosed on both sides by rocky ramparts, and sheltered equally
from sunbeams and from storms. Following the various windings of the
valley, the Arve seemed to spread itself into a series of lakes, each
presenting its own peculiar loveliness and majesty. The sides of the
mountains were occasionally bare and rugged, but for the most part
they were clothed with forests of fir; while above, pointed summits
and fantastic crags everywhere met the eye, and filled the beholder
with admiration and awe.

A few miles up the valley, Erwald called our attention to the entrance
of the cavern of Balme. It is a natural gallery in the rock and well
worth a visit. The valley now becomes more spacious; while its
boundaries increase in grandeur. The meadows, adorned with groves of
beech-trees, rise in gentle swells from the verge of the Arve, and
spread their green carpet, dotted with cottages and watered by
innumerable streams, to the base of the neighboring heights. At one of
these cottages we rested for the night. I never dreamed of a fairer
scene; it was too beautiful for sleep; the murmurings of the Arve were
the only sounds that broke upon the ear, while all around tremendous
precipices rose to heaven, shutting out from us the cares and tumults
of the busy world. To pay for my enthusiasm I arose with a headache
and a feeling of weariness that sensibly diminished the enjoyment of
the morning.

Leaving this enchanted spot, we passed the waterfall D'Orli, and a
few miles beyond we paused to admire the cataract of Arpenas. Its
height is estimated at eight hundred feet. The water rushes with
considerable volume over a tremendous precipice of dark and fantastic
rocks. At first it divides into separate streams that in their fall
resemble descending rockets, till at length, caught by the rocks
beneath, they meet and mingle in one mass of foam.

At the cataract we had an instance of that deception which is produced
to the eye by the magnitude of the objects which compose the scenery
of these Alpine regions. Viewed from the road the fall did not appear
by any means so considerable as it measurement determines; while at
its foot there was a little green hillock to the summit of which it
seemed a few steps would reach. To this hillock we determined to
proceed. But what was our astonishment when we found a mountain
before us, and when we reached its top, the cataract loomed up in
inconceivable vastness, rushing into a wild abyss beneath, that
deafened us with its uproar and bedewed us with its spray.

We now approached the village of Maglan, where Vesta lived. As we drew
near, I observed Erwald's face flush and grow pale; that dear sister
he had not seen since his father drove her from the house because of
her apostasy. Now she was ill and had sent for him. How great the
change! His mother was a Christian and his father did not go to mass.
As we entered the village I was struck with the pleasing, intelligent
faces of all that we met. Leaving us at the door of the only
lodging-house in the place, Erwald went to visit his sister; but not
before I had asked that he would return for me provided that he found
her comfortable. In an hour or more, he returned, his countenance
sad, but still peaceful. Vesta was sicker than he had dreamed of; it
was feared that she would not recover.

"Do you think it will not hurt her, for me to see her?" I asked.

"Oh, no, she said that she would like to see you."

During our short walk few words were said. As we reached the cottage a
young man came out to meet us, with a flaxen-haired, blue-eyed child
in his arms, and another clinging to his hand. It was Vesta's husband,
and these were her children. Following them into the cottage, I found
myself at once in the presence of the dying woman. The sight of a
strange face did not disturb her. With a look that seemed to
comprehend the Christian bond of union between us she held out her

"I have come with Erwald," I said, "to see his sister. I am sorry to
find you so very ill."

"Almost home," she gasped.

"You do not feel that you are alone; there is One to walk with you?"

"Jesus, my Redeemer, my Comforter."

Erwald was kneeling by the bed, his eyes were full of tears, and his
hand trembled as he clasped the pale thin fingers.

"You will get well, Vesta, you will come to the old home once again,
mother expects you, and father." The words were gone. Sobs echoed
through the cottage.

"Tell mother, not an hour but I have thought of her. Tell her that I
am glad she loves Jesus; and father, ask him for my sake to read the
little Bible that I sent him. I would so like to see them, Erwald;
but it cannot be. For this, as well as for my husband and children, I
would live; but I go to Jesus. Live so as to meet me there."

There was no excitement, only a weary look stole over the face.
Leaving Erwald, I walked back to the inn. Though far away from home,
and surrounded by strange scenery and strange people, it was
delightful to find the same faith here as in my own home, the same
heaven inspired confidence in the Redeemer.

The next morning the sick woman was more comfortable. Erwald did not
say it, but I knew that he wanted to stay with her.

"Go with us to Le Prieuré," I said to him, "and then you shall return.
In the valley of Chamouni I feel sure we can procure a guide."

As we left Maglan, our road, or rather path, led up a deep and fertile
valley, watered by the Arve, rich in woods of fir, and bounded by
mountains of various forms and of tremendous altitudes; their rugged
peaks sometimes lost in the clouds; at others, their heads towered in
majesty above them. Bathed in the blue ether of the heavens they
looked as if themselves ethereal, oftentimes exhibiting a play of
colors, having the appearance of transparent matter, of the purest
elements and richest hues, and when seen in the light of the setting
sun they were only more glorious. At the upper end of the valley we
came upon the cataract of the Chede. It is elegant in form. The
scenery that surrounds it is sylvan and sequestered. The torrent that
feeds it rushes down a succession of precipices, hurrying dashing
along to meet the waters of the Arve.

The path now became extremely difficult, and we continued to ascend,
till we reached the lake of Chede, whose water is famed as the purest
in the Alps. From this point we saw Mont Blanc--saw the clouds roll
off, and leave its rugged head white with the snows of ages--a
beautiful contrast with the deep azure of the sky it seemed almost to
touch. Looking, our eyes were dazzled by the vast and spotless object
before us; pure and fleecy as were the light clouds that lingered
round it, they were dark compared with its glittering brightness;
while the obscurity in which the lower scenes were wrapt gave it the
appearance of a crystal mountain in a sea of clouds. With Erwald
standing at my side, it seemed but a step from earth to heaven,
through those regions of the purest white, untrodden solitudes, meet
only for the visits of celestial beings.

Thus far our way had been comparatively safe. Now, we had need of
caution at each step; scrambling along ledges of lofty rocks, with
deep ravines beneath; then crossing mountain torrents where a single
misstep would have been fatal. Before night we passed the remains of
an avalanche, an enormous mass of snow crushing as it fell everything
in its path. We were now in the valley of Chamouni. At the sight of
the first glacier I felt some little disappointment. It is not itself
a mountain of ice, but lies in a deep sloping ravine between two
mountains, filling it up, and differing in height according to the
base. There are five of these glaciers in the valley. They usually lie
in a direction north and south, and thus deeply imbedded in the clefts
of the valley the sun rarely visits them.

From Savoy our numbers were greatly increased, and as the daylight
vanished we quickened our pace. Le Prieuré was before us. This was
the place where I had promised to part with Erwald. There were plenty
of guides; but none of them with the sweet calm look of the boy face
before me.

"You will think of us sometimes," he said as I held his hand at
parting, "and when you pray to our heavenly Father, ask Him to look
upon us in mercy."

"I will ask Him, Erwald; and I shall always remember the journey from
Geneva to Chamouni as the most varied and interesting of my life."

"The Bride Of The Aar."

It was the day after Christmas; a heavy fall of snow during the night,
the tiny flakes full of graceful motion till long past noon, had made
a gloomy day for the inmates of Myrtlebank. True, there was many a gay
trill and clear silvery laugh ringing through the old rooms. Alick was
spending his college vacation at home, and Frank and Carry were merry
as school-girls are wont to be, when books are flung aside, and fun
and frolic take the place of study and recitation.

"What are you dreaming about, uncle Paul?" and Carry perched herself
on the arm of her uncle's chair, and patted his cheek with her little
dimpled hand.

"I have been thinking, child"--and there was a choking sensation in
uncle Paul's throat, and a strange mist in his clear gray eyes.
Carry's sympathies were awakened.

"Thinking about something long time ago, uncle Paul?" and the rosy
cheek was laid close to the thin, pallid one.

"Tell us, uncle Paul; you know you promised us;" and Carry slid her
arms about her uncle's neck, and felt his great heart beat against her

"It was a long time ago," began uncle Paul. "I had just finished my
studies, and not being strong, the physician advised a year's travel
on the continent. My father was a merchant, and had friends in the
different European cities, and there was little danger that I should
lack for attention; and with a supply of letters, and one in
particular to a friend of my father's, a pastor among the mountains
of Switzerland, I started. I pass over the leave-taking; finding
myself alone on the sea; the nights of calm when leaning over the
ship's side, looking down into the dark depths, murmuring snatches of
home songs, bringing up vividly before me faces of those I loved; and
as the ocean swells came rocking under us, down we went into the
valleys and up over the hills of water. I felt as safe, rocked in the
great cradle of the deep, as when at home. His eye was upon me; His
arm encircled me.

"But pleasant as the voyage and full of memories, I see that you are
impatient to pass over to the mountains of Switzerland. Words are weak
to describe the magnificence of the Juras: looking upon the rolling
heights shrouded with pine-trees, and down thousands of feet at the
very roadside, upon cottage roofs and emerald valleys, where the deer
herds were feeding quietly. All this I had seen, and then we came to a
little town called Bex; and here, from too much expenditure of
enthusiasm perhaps, I was confined for weeks with a raging fever.

"One day, when the fever left me weak and feeble as a child, who
should enter but the good pastor Ortler. He had heard of my illness,
and leaving home, he had travelled over the hills to nurse me in my
weakness; and when I grew strong enough to bear it, he treated me to
short drives along Lake Leman, whence we could see the meadows that
skirt Geneva, the rough, shaggy mountains of Savoy, and far behind
them, so far that we could not distinguish between cap and cloud, Mont
Blanc and the needles of Chamouni.

"The good pastor Ortler, with his fine voice and clear, earnest eyes,
was in possession at all times of a charm of manner that had for me
an irresistible fascination. But when he talked of God, his greatness
as seen in his works, the magnificent and matchless glory by which we
were surrounded: above all, when he spoke of His tenderness and love,
I realized as I had never done before the beauty of holiness, and the
happiness, in this life even, of a soul firmly anchored in the faith
of Christ.

"Once, I remember, he steadied my feet to a rocky point overlooking
the little town of Ferney, and the deserted château of Voltaire. And
then followed a conversation, in which the tenderness of the good
pastor's heart was manifest as he spoke of the fine mind wrecked on
the sands of unbelief. 'And to think of this man's influence,' he
said, with sorrow in his tones, and regrets over a lost life and a
lost soul.

"Upon the shores of the lake stood the old home of De Stael; and
nearly opposite, its white walls reflected upon the bosom of the water
the house where Byron lived and wrote. In the distance we could see
the gleaming roofs of Geneva, the dark cathedral, and the tall hotels.
As the weeks wore on I grew stronger. Winter was coming, and the good
pastor must go home. He would not hear of leaving me, and together we
went down into Savoy, and over the 'mer de glâce,' and trod on the
edge of frowning glaciers.

"We were sufficiently near the monastery of the great St. Bernard to
take it in our path; toiling along where the ice cracked in the narrow
footway, and the moon glittered on the waste of snow and glinted
across the dark windows. Pastor Ortler was at home with the monks, and
hardly had we thawed ourselves before the ample fireplace, when a
supper was prepared, and over their well-spread tables the monks told
stories of travellers lost among the granite heights, with clefts and
ledges filled with ice.

"Among the rest, friar Le-Bon gave a description of the 'Ice Maiden,'
or _'Bride of the Aar,'_ said to be seen often when the great glacier
of Aar sends out icy breezes, and the echoes ring from rock to rock,
as it were the audible voice of God.

"'Years ago,' he said, 'a young Englishman and his wife were
travelling for scientific purposes; measuring heights, and sounding
depths. They were always accompanied by guides; but now, charmed by
the untold splendor, and urged by deep emotion, they climbed higher
and higher, regardless of danger. Twice had the guide called out to
them that the very beauty of the day, the sun obscured but not
darkened, the softened air, were all favorable to a snowslide or

"'Full of life and vivacity, the young wife went on from one point to
another, higher and higher; her lithe figure brought out against the
sky, as occasionally she plunged her iron-pointed staff deep into the
snow, and turned to admire the vast panorama at her feet. Her husband
was making the ascent at a slower pace, looking up to admire the
boldness of the little woman, and then playfully scolding her as she
stood poised in mid-air so far above him. Aware of her danger, and
fearing to startle her, the guide had ascended, and now stood with the
husband on a little ledge quite underneath the cliff on which stood
the fearless bride.

"'A moment--there was a low, murmuring sound, as when the autumn
leaves are swept by the evening breeze. The guide heard it, and his
cheek paled. At the same time a voice was heard above.

"'"What is that, Walter, it seems as though the mountain was moving?"

"'"For heaven's sake, jump! we will catch you," shouted the guide.

"'"Quick, Gertrude!" A gleam of white shot over them, and a piercing
shriek mingled with one long resounding crash, and the glittering
crystal was plunged into the valley below, leaving nothing but bare
jagged rocks and stunted shrubs, where all was smooth and white but a
moment before. Months after, the bones of the fair English girl were
buried here,' continued friar Le-Bon.

"'And her husband?' I asked.

"'They brought him here, and it was terrible to see his agony. When he
grew stronger, we sent a novice with him to England; it would not do
to trust him by himself.'

"'You do not mean to say that his reason was gone?' I asked.

"'He was never rational after that morning,' replied the friar;
'muttering and moaning, and repeating the name of Gertrude constantly.
Carl left him with his friends, and we have never heard if he

"'And the lady?' asked pastor Ortler.

"'On calm, still days, and just before an avalanche,' said the kind
friar, 'her image is always seen standing upon the loftiest height,
beckoning with her white taper fingers to some one below.'

"Entertained with so much hospitality, we were loath to leave the
friendly hospice, only for the pastor's anxiety to reach home. Down
into the sweet valley of the Megringen, and northward by Grindenwald
and Thun, and up the steep heights over which falls the white foam of
Reichenbach; and farther on towards the crystal Rosenlani, and the
tall, still Engel Horner, we came to a little village cradled in
security beneath the towering hills; the church-spire glancing in the
sunlight, and the simple cottagers jubilant in welcoming home their
beloved pastor.

"At the door of the pastor's home we were met by a sweet-browed woman
with a lovely infant in her arms, crowing and laughing as the father
kissed it over and over again; while a boy of ten and a girl of six
summers, ran with open arms to greet him.

"'You stayed so long, papa.'

"'And we missed you so much,' after the first greeting.

"'This young friend was very ill; you would not have had me leave

"'Oh, no, papa, but'--when the little Griselda stopped suddenly, and
threw a half-defiant glance at my face, and Thorwald stood measuring
me with his great black eyes.

"Hardly recovered from my illness, I stayed with the good pastor
Ortler through Christmas week, and a month afterwards. Never did I
pass pleasanter days. The wife Rosalind was as kind as a sister, and
her children grew soon to like me as an old friend. Very simple was
their manner of life, while the air they breathed was fragrant with
the love they bore to Him who made and redeemed them, and who had in
his good providence, set them in a pleasant place.

"Christmas to them was not a week of jubilee alone. Busy hands
decorated the little church, and visits were made to the poor and
sick, and presents were given without the hope of reward. Sitting by
the parlor fire at night, the pastor told of the parishioners he had
seen, their wants and needs; while Rosalind knit stockings, and
fashioned garments.

"'It would seem that one so well fitted for society would tire of this
narrow bound,' I once said. With an eye brimming over with tenderness,
the pastor replied: 'There are souls to save here quite as precious as
anywhere else.' I felt humbled before his quiet glance. This was the
work for him to do; this was the work he loved. What matter in what
part of the vineyard? wherever there was a soul. But this mountain
grandeur pleased him. These quiet solitudes led him upward. The
glorious diadem of the hills was always urging him onward. Hard and
self-denying as his life, he had ample recompense in daily, hourly
communion with the Father through the majesty of his works."

"I should like to live where I could see all this," whispered Carry.

"The heart that loves, finds beauty and grandeur everywhere,"
responded uncle Paul; "not only the mountain passes, but the valleys
echo His praise, and there are few places so sterile but human lives

"Griselda and Thorwald, have you seen them since?" asked Carry.

"Ten years afterwards, I saw them. Griselda was a tall stately girl,
with blue laughing eyes, and curls of pale brown, and Thorwald was a
student at Geneva. Pastor Ortler was still the same, preaching to his
little flock, and giving freely of his means, his wife only slightly
older. Once more we wandered over the heights and in the valleys, the
spots where I lingered years before, plucking a flower and drinking
from the cold glacier water. Afterward, when it became necessary for
me to return, good pastor Ortler and his wife went with me, and
together we passed a winter in Milan."

"And Griselda?" asked Carry.

"Oh, uncle Paul, Griselda was"--and Carry glanced up at the portrait
of a young and beautiful woman hanging in a niche on the left-hand of
the fireplace. Uncle Paul's portrait occupied the other side. Silence
brooded over them; while to Carry it seemed the lady in the picture
looked as if with recognition in her eyes. How delicate, how aerial
she seemed! yet real, and true. Was it any wonder uncle Paul was so
good, having had the companionship of such a spirit so many years? And
as she looked, the stately frame seemed to open, and the lady to come
down from her place and seat herself on the other arm of uncle Paul's
chair, and to lay her head on his shoulder.

"To do good was her aim, Carry; may it be yours," said uncle Paul, and
the spell was broken.

A Sabbath In Lausanne.

After a long journey we arrived at the head of the lake of Geneva, by
far the most interesting portion of this sheet of water. The mountains
on the left of the valley are extremely wild and majestic, and at
their feet, close on the borders of the lake, is the little village
where I had promised to spend the Sabbath with my old friend Wagner.
The sun had gone down, but a rosy flush tinged the clouds and lingered
about the tops of the mountains.

The walk was not long to the parsonage, a low rambling cottage, with
deep windows and overhanging roof, embowered in trees and fragrant
with the breath of flowers. All this we took in at a look, and without
any break in the talk, taking us back as it did to the day when we
bade good-by to the college and its professors, and shook hands with
each other for the last time. Looking into Wagner's face it did not
seem so long ago; while I, floating round the world, had gathered
experience enough to make me feel, if not look, something older. At
the porch we were met by Maude, her slight girlish figure rounded into
the perfection of womanhood, the rich bloom of her cheek not quite as
deep perhaps; but the sweet blue eyes met mine with all the old
frankness, the charming naivete that had rendered her so much a
favorite when a child.

Sitting there in the lessening light it all came back; the old
university at Basle, and above all, the old professor, Maude's father,
whom we all loved.

"His place is well filled, and still we miss him," said Wagner.

There were tears in the young wife's eyes, and rising hastily she
disappeared into the house. A few moments later she appeared, her face
smiling and glad, a very sweet-faced babe clasped in her arms, another
tugging at her gown. "Allow me to show my treasures," she said, as she
seated herself beside me. Hours passed as hours will when friends have
been separated for years. Then came a summons to tea; and after that
Maude put up her jewels, and the pastor introduced me to his study.
Summer though it was, a bright fire of sticks was burning on the
hearth; bright, but not too bright to exclude the outside view. Slowly
the purple curtain drooped over the mountains, falling lower and
lower, until the small village, the tiled roofs, and the wooden spire
were wrapped in a cloud of dusky haze.

"You have wondered why I content myself here, when a professorship
was offered me at Basle," said Wagner at length. "It was a temptation,
I allow; and when I thought of Maude and the social position from
which I had taken her, I hesitated. She did not, however. 'These
people love you, and your preaching is blessed to them. I am afraid if
you leave, there will be no one else; and one soul saved outweighs all
their professorships.' It was sweetly said, and I knew by the look on
her face that her heart was in keeping with her words, and I answered
her accordingly."

It was late, and the next day would be the Sabbath. Maude joined us,
when a hymn was sung and a prayer offered, and we slept.

The sun was shining when I awoke, and opening my lattice I looked away
to, the mountains, their white heads mellowed with a glory that
inspired only thoughts of that God who made all things, and who holds
them by the power of his might. There was a stir in the village, just
enough to show the inhabitants were not sleeping away the precious
hours. A cheerful, calm reigned, in keeping with the hallowed day; the
very birds sang in a subdued and still triumphant tone, as if they
knew 'twas holy time; while the dumb cattle, feeding on the road,
cropped the brown grass noiselessly. Gliding down the broad stairway,
I opened the study door. The pastor was there, and I saw by the open
book, with the cushion before it still deeply indented, that he had
been kneeling. He advanced with his usual good-humored smile, while
his voice had the mellowed sweetness of one who had been on the mount
speaking face to face with the King of kings.

"I question if the Sabbath is as beautiful in the larger towns," said
the pastor, leading me to the deep window.

Below, the garden sloped away to a considerable distance, and the
flowers still sparkling with the dewdrops lifted their heads timidly.
"You see there is some compensation for our solitude; with less
temptations to draw away our thoughts, we are privileged to go up
through these temple gates from glory to glory. Did you ever see
anything more grand and inspiring?" and he stepped out on to the
balcony, and pointed me to a range of hills ascending gradually till
the top seemed to reach the clouds.

    "Here linger yet the showers of fire,
    Deep in each fold, high on each spire
    On yonder mountain proud."

Up the walk came Maude, leading by the hand the little Lotchen, the
prattle of the child showing the lesson the mother had been
attempting to teach. Beautiful such a Sabbath! and my heart felt
refreshed as I stood upon the threshold and looked out into the new

"We used to work together in Basle," said the pastor as we seated
ourselves at the breakfast-table, "suppose we make the effort to-day."

"That will depend upon the portion that falls to my share," I replied.

"Give him the pulpit, Heinrich," said Maude naively.

"I am not sure that I wish him to fill it," replied the pastor with a

"I more than half wish I could," came to my lips unbidden, and I could
hardly keep the tears as I thought of the few months it had been mine
to labor in this manner, then of that fearful illness, the loss of
voice, and the journey to regain health and strength to be spent in
His service.

"You remember the old Bible class," said Wagner; "I have one here, or
rather two, for we meet twice a day, some finding it more convenient
to come in the morning and others after service, so that my time is
pretty well filled."

"And you would give me one of the classes," I said, as Maude filled my
coffee cup the second time.

"This is what I propose to do."

"And I accept most cheerfully."

"We have but a little time; in an hour you will be ready," and the
pastor went to his study.

An hour afterwards the street was full of eager faces, all going to
the house of God, quiet and calm, but still cheerful and happy,
stopping to interchange greetings with each other, above all glad of a
welcoming look and smile from the pastor. I soon saw wherein was the
charm; sympathizing and kindly affectioned toward his people the
pastor interested himself in the little history of each, neglecting no
one, and especially attentive to the poor and feeble aged ones of his
flock. All loved him as a pastor, and by reason of this he persuaded
them the more easily.

The church was a quaint structure, half gothic, and half of a
nondescript architecture peculiar to itself. Leaving the vestibule we
entered at once the main audience-room, large, and sufficiently
commodious, but somewhat dark and gloomy. The pulpit was high, and
looked like an upright octagonal vase perched on a square pedestal.
This was unoccupied at present, the people taking their seats, and
forming as I saw at once into two distinct classes. In a few words the
pastor explained why it was thus, and then offering a prayer in which
all joined he proceeded to give me one of the classes, while he began
to question the others.

It was a novel group, the women in black skirts, with square boddices,
surmounted by white kerchiefs, with long flowing sleeves of white. But
the head had the strangest appearance. The more elderly women wore a
black cap, from the edge of which depended a trimming rising
perpendicularly from the cap from four to eight inches and gave to the
head the appearance of wings. Strange as it at first seemed, I soon
forgot all but their eager, animated attention. The theme was the love
of God in giving his only Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Very evidently, it was no stranger of whom we were speaking. Not
satisfied with a mere bearing of his name, they knew and loved him.
His divine arm had been reached down to them. Charmed with his sweet
countenance, and won by his gentle, loving words, "Come unto me,"
they came with the trust and confidence of little children,
acknowledging their sin, but taking him at his word, "I, even I am he
that blotteth out thy transgressions, for my own sake, and will not
remember thy sins." It was sweet to talk of him, this Saviour, who had
done so much for them; and before I was aware the tears were running
down my own cheeks, and my words were broken and fragmentary. In the
meantime other worshippers came in. The hour for this kind of
instruction was over. The pastor availed himself of a moment's
respite, and the next was seen ascending the pulpit stairs. Maude was
seated among the singers, and the morning services commenced.

I had never heard my friend deliver a formal discourse, but I knew it
mattered little to him whether his message was given to few or
many--love for Christ, and earnestness to save souls was the
all-absorbing passion of his heart. It was only a continuation of what
he had been saying, the sweetly touching story of Christ's love told
simply, and still with the earnest, truthful spirit of one who knew by
blessed experience the reality of what he was saying. Standing in his
place and holding up the cross, for the moment it seemed that we could
see Him, the Divine Son, hanging, bleeding, dying that sinners like us
might be redeemed, saved, reinstated. What love! What tenderness! Is
it any wonder that we wept? Not a dry eye was in the house. Those
hardy peasants, with little intellectual culture, had hearts to love,
hearts that could understand and appreciate in some feeble manner the
promise of pardon and peace through a crucified Redeemer.

It was an hour well spent. Never have I felt nearer the divine
presence, nor more of the joy, the rest that springs from intimate
communion with the blessed Saviour. How strange the revulsion of
feeling in a few moments of time. I had looked with a little of
pleasantry upon the quaint figures and novel costumes of the
worshippers; now, I saw only the earnest attitude, the anxious gaze,
the loving look. Jesus was all in all, and their love for him
beautified their faces.

As we went home many kindly words were interchanged, the pastor
seeking out the elderly feeble ones, and Maude speaking with the
mothers, and patting the heads of little children, while I found my
way to a group of youths, to deepen if possible the impression of the

After dinner there was a repetition of the Bible-class, though now
they met at the pastor's house. As it was warm and pleasant we seated
ourselves in the garden, dividing into three groups. This class was
entirely different from the one of the morning, being made up of
those, many of them mothers, who could not leave their children to go
out earlier; and with some, this service was the principal one of the
day. The attention was quite as good, and the manner the same. It was
a pleasure to teach, and the sun was throwing his last red beams on
the hillside as the last one left the garden. It had been a long day,
but we felt repaid.

"You have had a glimpse of our family and of our work," said the
pastor. "How do you like it?"

"Is this a specimen of all your Sabbaths?"

"Just the same, with the fluctuating difference of numbers; scattered
as our people are, many of them living halfway up the mountains, they
are not always able to be here."

"I agree with Maude that your service is needed here."

"I knew you would. There are souls to save here as well as in Basle,
and sometimes I think the love of these simple hearts is sweeter to

Far away the mountains were lifting their heads, bathed in the golden
glory from the setting sun. Maude caught the direction of my eyes.

"Perhaps I fear to much the effect upon my own soul; but these grand
temple-gates are always open, and from their entrance we seem to catch
glimpses of the celestial city beyond, inspiring only good and noble
thoughts, with an anxious, earnest endeavor to reach higher

"And you fear this would be less in the noise and din of the city."

"Not quite that, for the heart that loves Jesus can live and work for
him anywhere; but with a free choice I prefer this."

I felt that she was right, it was the work God had given her to do,
and she was willing to do it; while the question returned to me with
tenfold force, Are you as willing to labor in the field that He has
given to you? The man with a vineyard places his laborers as he would
have them, giving each one according to his capacity, be it more or
less. Our Father has a vineyard; it is the world, and his children are
the laborers. "Go work in my vineyard," is the command. The choice is
His who placed us there; to work is ours.

"Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you;
and lo! I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world."

The next day I left Lausanne, the good pastor and his wife joining me
for a few miles on my way, and then we parted--to meet, teacher and
taught, in the city of our God.

The Guide Of Montanvert.

We were passing the summer at the Pays de Vaud; thence making
excursions, as suited our inclination, to different portions of the
country, always finding something new and striking--something out of
which we could draw profitable lessons for the future.

On one of these occasions we made the ascent of Montanvert, and
visited the Mer de Glace. Montanvert rises abruptly from the vale of
Chamouni, and may not improperly be considered a portion of the base
of Mont Blanc. It is beautifully wooded to its summit, whence its name
of the Green Mountain.

As we were standing in the court of the inn discussing the merits of a
guide, and anxious to find a trusty and intelligent person from whom
we could learn all that was to be learned, as well as feel secure in
his choice of the best paths, a boy and girl came up the hill, and
speaking hurriedly to the landlord, advanced confidently to the place
where we stood. Lifting his cap, while a shower of light soft curls
fell over his coarse blouse, he asked if we were in search of a guide,
and if we would take him. His manner was so respectful, and his face
and appearance so youthful, we were attracted, and still did not know
how to reply to him.

"I was thinking of Franz," said the innkeeper; "you need not fear his
youth; he was born here, and his father has always been considered one
of the best guides in the country; Franz knows every path."

"Let his father come with him," I suggested. I thought I caught a
tear in the boy's eye, and his lips trembled.

"Father is old, and besides he is very ill to-day; if you will allow
me I will serve you faithfully."

There was something so frank and truthful, and his words were so well
chosen and showed such cultivation, that even had I feared that he was
unequal to the task I should have taken him.

At this moment his sister came out of the inn, the good woman
following her with a bottle of wine.

"This is for your father, Annette; I hope he will be better

"I am going," I heard Franz whisper; and taking the wine-bottle, he
left Annette to carry the smaller packages, and turned to us as if
ready to set off.

"You are not to take Annette, are you?" I asked.

"We live halfway up the mountain, and shall pass near the house. We
shall not need our poles till we reach that point."

We did not over-exert ourselves at the outset, casting our eyes over
the green valley, and then up the snowy mountains, sometimes
exchanging a word with Franz, but oftener listening, as he talked in a
low voice to Annette, of what she was to do during the day.

"And if he dies, Franz!"

"God grant that he may not."

We had now reached the little cottage, and, laying down her packages,
Annette ran to a little shed and brought each of us a long pole
furnished with a spike at the end, for which we found abundant use
before we returned; she then brought a draught of clear, cold water,
gushing out of a rock near by, and, bidding us "God speed," entered
the hut.

Franz was with us, but he had just stopped for a word with his
father, and there was a moisture in his eye that came very near
calling the tears to our own. We did not question him then, but going
on, we paused occasionally to observe the ruin which had been wrought
by many avalanches, while our ears mistook the sound of others for
thunder. Trees uprooted, withered branches and blasted trunks were
scattered in every direction, and sometimes a large space was
completely cleared by one of these tremendous agents of destruction.

"You have seen the village of Chamouni," said Franz; "it is said to
have been built by a few peasants who escaped an avalanche that
occurred on the opposite side of the Arve."

The higher we ascended the more steep and difficult it became, and
more than once did Franz have to turn and teach us how to use our
poles, resting the weight of the body upon them, but still inclining
the figure to the face of the mountain instead of the valley. Higher
up we came to shoots or rivers of frozen snow; the inclination of the
ice being extremely steep and the surface smooth, Franz crossed first,
making marks with his pole for our feet. He then directed us to look
neither above nor below us, but only to our feet, for should we fall
nothing could save us from sliding down the ice and being dashed
against the rocks or the stumps of trees beneath. Passing the first in
safety, we found the next less formidable, while the danger was
diminished in proportion to the experience we acquired.

Once over, Franz told us how his father was accustomed to descend the
ice shoot; planting his heels firmly in the snow and placing his pole
under his right arm and leaning the entire weight of his body upon it
he came down with the swiftness of an arrow, his body almost in a
sitting posture, his heels and the spiked end of his pole alone
touching the ice and deeply indenting it.

"It happened," said Franz, "that my father was showing a small company
of travellers to the summit, when a sudden fancy seized one of them to
make the descent in that way. My father expostulated, and told him
that it required practice and skill, that but few of the guides would
undertake it. He would not be deterred, feeling, as he said, sure that
he could do anything performed by another. Seeing that he was
determined, my father helped him to adjust his pole, and then shut his

"And what then?" I asked, as Franz stopped and looked in the direction
of the Mer de Glace.

"There was no help for him," said Franz; "he was buried at the foot
of the mountain."

Having reached the summit, the scene that burst upon us was sublime in
the highest degree; immediately beneath was the Mer de Glace, a broad
river of ice running nearly forty miles up into the Alps; to the north
the green valley of Chamouni, to the south the gigantic barriers that
separate Savoy from Piedmont, and around us inaccessible peaks and
mountains of eternal snow, finely contrasting with the deep blue of
the heavens; while the roar of cataracts and the thunder of avalanches
were the only sounds that broke upon the profound stillness of the
terrible solitude.

On the summit of the mountain we found an inn or hospice. We entered
and warmed ourselves, neither did we refuse the black bread and glass
of sour wine that were presently brought to us. As we sat by the fire
a small table was brought near us, and on it lay the album in which we
were expected to enter our names. Many notable autographs we found
here, and despite the gladness we felt in adding ours to the number,
there was still a sad, desolate thought: those most distinguished had
all passed away. The mountains remained, their glory undiminished; but
the human beings climbing their heights, and exulting in the grandeur
of heaven and earth, had vanished like the mist wreath. Years would
pass and other feet would cross the slippery fields, other eyes look
out upon the work of God's hands, other names be traced, and we, like
the throng before us, be gone--no longer to look upon the created, but
the Creator.

As soon as we were sufficiently rested, Franz summoned us to the Sea
of Ice, and we began to descend the steep and rugged face of the
mountain. As we approached the surface of the glacier, these
inequalities rose into considerable elevations, intermingled with
half-formed pyramids, bending walls and shapeless masses of ice; with
blocks of granite and frightful chasms at once savage and fantastic.
It puzzled me to know why it should have been called a sea, a rough
and stony one at that; but to me it looked like a river, walled in by
two enormous mountains, rising to the height of ten thousand feet, and
forming a ravine a mile and a half wide, that pursues a straight
course for several miles and divides at the upper end into two glens,
like deep gashes, that run up to the highest elevation of the Alps,
terminating at the lower extremity in an icy precipice of two thousand
feet, whose base is in a still deeper valley. It was as if there had
been innumerable torrents dashing down the precipice into the
valley--arrested by a mighty hurricane as they hurried along, and
wrought into the wildest forms by the fury of the tempest, and then
suddenly congealed, leaving a sea or river of ice, framed in with
lofty peaks and snowy summits, cataracts and avalanches, clouds and
storms, a wonderful combination of the grand, the terrible, and the

Franz understood his business of guide too well to let me loiter as I
wished. "These fissures are the chief danger," he said; and, holding
out his small hand, he grasped mine with the tenacity of one not
accustomed to let anything slip through his fingers. A girdle of
imperfectly frozen snow borders this sea; and Franz never planted his
feet till he had first ascertained the nature of the surface with his
pole. Some of these fissures are of an amazing depth, and, taking out
my watch, I tried to fathom one of them by dropping large fragments of
granite; and calculating by the time that elapsed before reaching the
bottom, we judged it to be over five hundred feet.

Franz had hurried us; now, he stopped, and bade us look above us. We
did so, and were amply repaid for all our toil. To try to describe it
would be in vain; and still the distinct outline is indelibly
impressed upon my mind, and I am confident will never be effaced. We
were standing in the midst of the rough waves and yawning abysses of
this frozen sea; while almost perpendicularly from its brink the
mountains rose, clothed with scanty herbage, and adorned with the tiny
crimson blossoms of the rhododendron that bloomed upon their sides.

As the eye looked up the valley, every trace of vegetation died away;
and the snowy mountains appeared to meet and mingle with each other.

We left the glacier, and ascending again to the hospice of Montanvert,
I sat down by the side of Franz upon a block of granite, and looked
again upon a scene the equal of which I never expect to see again.
There was a far away look in Franz's eyes. Was he thinking of the
little cottage far up the mountain, and of Annette watching by the
bedside of his sick father? Perhaps so; in any case I was glad that we
had taken him. His could not be an everyday story, there must be some
particular motive why he should want so earnestly to come. I would not
question him then; but I determined to stop at the little cottage and
learn for myself.

With all the untold glory above and beneath me, I felt oppressed with
the littleness, as well as the greatness of my nature. How
insignificant I appeared amid these gigantic forms; and still I
exulted in the consciousness that "My Father made them all, that
Father with whom I could commune, and whose Son I was privileged to

"And this God is our God," I was constrained to say aloud. Franz
turned his speaking eye upon me.

"If it was not for this, how could we endure it?" he said, while there
was a grave, calm look on his face, so little to be expected in a

"How could we endure this grandeur, or our own littleness?" I asked.

"To know that God rules, giving each his place, to the mountains
theirs, and to us ours. Insignificant we may be, and still we are each
of us of more value than all the mountains in the universe. Jesus
created mountains; but he died for us."

"Where did you learn this, Franz?"

"From the Bible, sir."

I saw it all; the Bible was the textbook he had studied. It was this
which had given him that rare expression of face, and the words so far
above the condition of life indicated by the little hamlet where he

There was no more time, for the sun was going down, and we must go
with it; and rising, we began to make the descent.

The moon was full orbed before we reached the cottage. I was weary
beyond the power of utterance.

"If you would prefer to stop here, we can give you a comfortable bed,"
said Franz, "and Annette will have something to eat. I told her that
there was a possibility that you would like to remain."

It was the very thing I wanted, and placing my pole by the side of
Franz's in the little shed from which Annette had brought it in the
morning, I entered the cottage.

All was still and quiet. It seemed Annette had not heard us; for as
the door was opened, she rose from the bedside, where she had been
kneeling, and springing lightly to Franz hid her little tear-wet face
in his bosom. She did not perceive me, and for a moment there was
nothing to be heard but the heavy breathing of the sick man.

"How has he been, Annette?" and Franz unclasped his sister's arm.

"He did not say much till the sun was nearly down, then he began to
ask for you, and at last I read him to sleep."

"Can you give us something to eat, Annette? you see I have brought the
stranger with me."

She turned with such an air of modesty, dropping a courtesy so very
humbly, and yet with a blending of maidenly dignity, that I felt
instinctively to bow to the womanhood before me, quaint and
picturesque as it was in its black dress, white sleeves, and
wooden-heeled shoes.

Giving one glance at the sleeper, Annette slipped out at a side-door;
while Franz rising from his straight-backed chair, and dropping on his
knees beside the bed, pressed his lips to the furrowed brow. The
action seemed to recall the sick man, his breathing was not so heavy
and his eyes partly opened.

"Father, you are not sleeping easily; let me turn you on your pillow."
The voice was low and tender, and the action gentle as a woman's.
"Franz!" and the withered hand stroked his light curls. "Franz!" there
was nothing more; but oh, what a world of love, of restored
confidence! the stiffening tongue lingered fondly on each letter.

The room was large, and there was a general air of neatness; but
there was a lack of comforts such as we are accustomed to see at home.
There was no lamp in the room; only on the hearth a pine-knot nearly
spent, sending out now a bright light, then wavering, bringing out
shadows on the wall, and permitting us to catch glimpses of the
outdoor radiance, the silvery effulgence of the rocks and hills.

The sick man slept, and now his breathing was as sweet as an infant's.
I rose to look at him, his bronzed face bleached to a deathly pallor,
his high brow seamed with furrows, and his hair like a network of
silver falling over the coarse white pillow.

"Has he been long ill?" I asked.

"It is about three months now," and Franz drew up a little stand, and
lifted the Bible that had been lying open on the bed to the table.

"Annette spoke of reading him to sleep; was this the book?" I

"Father has come to like this since he was sick; he don't care for any

"Then he has not always liked it?"

"No, sir."

"May I know, Franz, when you first learned to love this book?"

He looked up with such a shy, timid look, and still with the same
frankness that had characterized him during the day. Just then Annette
entered, whispered to Franz, and both went out. In a moment Franz

"Annette was afraid it would not do; it is the best we have, and I
know you must be hungry."

White bread, and strawberries, and goat's milk; while the bottle of
sour wine I had seen in the morning graced the table. I had not
expected such a tempting meal, and I was hungry, as Franz said. Taking
his seat Franz raised his eyes to mine. There was no mistaking its
upward, grateful glance. Bowing our heads, we asked a blessing, and
then picking up the broken thread, Franz went on to tell me of

Franz's Story.

"It is nearly four years since an English gentleman and his daughter
visited Chamouni, and my father was their guide. Mr. Wyndham was a
gentleman of refined manners; a Christian man, loving God, and
speaking of that love with the earnestness of one who wishes others to
love Him also. His daughter Alice, a frail, gentle girl, was one of
those beings that seem lent, not given; the last of a large family,
and herself not strong. Her father brought her to Lausanne, hoping
that pure air and change of scene would restore and invigorate her. I
hardly know why, but certain it is that my father was never so much
interested in travellers before; while from the first it seemed to me
that I could never do enough for the gentle girl, who never failed to
inspire me with the love of something beyond what I knew. It was not a
tangible idea, and when I tried to reach it I could not. Often in
going up the mountain we would stop and rest on some shelf of the
rock, while Alice would take her Bible from her pocket, and read the
beautiful descriptions of the majesty and glory of the mountain
heights, their grandeur and splendor, and then of the great God,
creator and ruler of the universe, and kneeling in the cleft of the
rock, she would commit herself to him with such a sweet, childlike
confidence, I used to weep without knowing what I was weeping for,
wishing and longing that I could understand for myself. Whenever she
read, and especially when she prayed, my father would listen
attentively, taking care when we went home to say nothing about it.


"I remember one day we had been to 'Le Jardin,' a little spot of green
at the foot of the grand Jarasse, framed in with eternal snows, but
itself covered with Alpine plants and flowers, and yielding herbage
sufficient to tempt the herdsmen to drive their cattle across the Mer
de Glace. Her father and mine had gone a little out of the path,
leaving me in charge and Alice to rest. Seeing some bright flowers of
a peculiar species I stopped to gather them, and when I returned Alice
was reading. It was not of Christ's power, glory and majesty, but of
his love, the tenderness he felt for us, of his life, and last of all,
of his death. I had never heard the story before, and it took entire
possession of my spirit. Going down the mountain I was continually
asking myself, 'What shall I render to him for all he has suffered on
my account? and what for the blessings he has given me?' Thinking of
his buffetings, scoffs and scourging, I could hardly keep the tears.
My father observing this, and supposing that I was weary or had hurt
myself, was kinder than usual; but when I told him of the little book
and what Alice had told me of the love of Jesus, he grew angry and
said that the next time they needed a guide I should stay at home. 'I
have listened once or twice,' he said, 'because my living depends upon
my politeness to strangers; but when it comes to turning the heads of
my children it is quite another thing.'

"A few weeks after this Mr. Wyndham left Chamouni for Lausanne.

"'We shall miss you,' said Alice; for my father let me go to bid them
good-by; 'and that you may have something to remember me by, I am
going to give you this little Bible. You will see that I have marked
the passages I want you to study; and you must try to read it every

"It was the very thing that I had wanted, but I could hardly tell her
so. Tears were running over my face, and I had barely time to slip the
little book into my pocket when my father came up. After that I was
happier. I could read for myself, and it was sweet to know that God
cared for me. Many a pleasant hour did I enjoy in the mountain passes,
and in telling Annette of the treasure I had found in the Bible.

"My father may have suspected this. I hardly know; but one day the
priest came to talk to me upbraiding me not a little with reading a
book that could do me no good, and demanding that I should give it to
him. This I refused to do. He appealed to my father; invectives and
blows followed, and at last my father told me that I should either
give up the book or never see him or Annette any more. It was a
struggle, and I came near giving it up.

"When Annette suggested that I should go to Lausanne and see Mr.
Wyndham and Alice, I had not thought that I could do this, and without
delay started. I was received very kindly by Mr. Wyndham. Alice had
grown very weak; could not walk, and seldom could ride. I can not tell
you how the days passed, neither of the exertion she made to teach me
out of my little book. Then came a day when her voice was still, and
the next the sweet face was hidden from my sight for ever.

"Soon after this Mr. Wyndham left for England, but before he left he
had a long talk with me, and of my plans and hopes for the future. The
result was that I was placed in school, of which there are several, in
Lausanne, and began to study with reference to being myself a teacher
of his blessed word. My little Bible I sent to Annette; but my father
would not let me come home. For the last year he has been failing;
three months since he took to his bed, and then Annette prevailed upon
him to let me come and wait upon him. I found him greatly changed.
From the first he let me read the Book, as he calls it, and of late I
feel that he loves Jesus, and trusts him for the future. Living upon
his labor, it troubles him that he can do nothing; and this was why I
was so anxious to go with you yesterday; he likes to think of me as a

"And I trust you will be a guide," I said, as we left the table and
entered the sick-room, "a guide to lead souls to Christ. What a
blessed privilege!"

"If I can only do it," and his eyes were full of a holy light.

Annette sat by the bedside; the face of the sick man was as pale as
marble, and but for the gentle breathing, we should have thought him
already departed. Franz put on a fresh knot, and the red flame sent a
rosy tinge over the apartment. Sitting before the fire we watched him
as he slept, knowing, feeling that it could not be long. Then a
chapter was read, and a prayer went up for strength and guidance.

Franz would not let me watch with him; and leading me into a small
room with a clean but somewhat hard bed, left me to myself. Weary as I
was, I could not sleep. The glory of the day; the sad, sweet history
just related; the sick man, with the messenger waiting at the humble
door, thrilled me with a feeling that would not rest. Opening my
window, I enjoyed the stillness, the solitude, and the grandeur of the
scene: the glittering dome of Mont Blanc, and all the surrounding and
inferior domes and spires and pyramids that cluster in this wondrous
region, which fancy might conceive the edifices of some great city, or
the towers and dome of some vast minster. Far above the mountain-tops
the moon was shining; while her retinue of stars, seen through the
cool crisp air, seemed larger and more beautiful than I had ever
before seen them.

It would be impossible to detail all the thoughts that passed, and the
emotions that were excited in my mind. Every object around, beneath,
above me seemed in silent but impressive eloquence to celebrate God's
praise; from the moon that led the starry train, from the patriarch of
his kindred hills and nearest to the heavenly sanctuary, down to the
frozen glaciers and the roaring torrents of the lower valleys, all
seemed endowed with a peculiar language--a voice to touch the heart of
man, and to enter into the ear of God.

At length sleep overpowered me, and when I awoke the sun was shining.
Stepping into the outer room I was met by Franz, looking as fresh as
though sleep had not been denied him. Leading me to the bedside, he
spoke a few words to his father, while the trembling hand met mine,
weak and worn. I saw that his course was nearly run; but there was a
light in his eye that spoke of peace. Words were of little use.

After breakfast, which Annette insisted that I should take, I walked
down to the inn, and there learned more of Franz than he had been
willing to tell me. Not only had he been the means of leading his
father to the Saviour, but it was his habit to gather the people
together and read to them out of his Bible, telling them of Jesus and
of his pure and spotless life, then of his agony and death, picturing
his love and his infinite tenderness.

I was not restricted to a set number of days, and for three days I
vibrated between the inn and the small cottage on the mountain. On the
fourth it was over; the messenger had done his bidding. Franz and
Annette were not the only mourners, not a villager but joined them;
and when they turned from the grave to the silence of their humble
room, I went with them.

Not many days after that the door of the cottage was shut; and when I
sailed for my western home, Franz Muller was prosecuting his studies
at Basle.

"He is to be a minister," said Annette, as she followed me to the
door, "and he says that wherever his work is, I may share it with

Her face was lit up with a smile almost as bright as I had seen on
Franz's face. Surely the angels know nothing of the rapture of such a

Mont Blanc.

After making the ascent of Montanvert, and learning something of the
wonders of the Mer de Glace, we again sallied forth upon a tour of
discovery in the immediate neighborhood of La Prieuré.

With Mont Blanc before me and hardly conscious that I was alone, I
pursued my walk, continuing to ascend till my path was obstructed by a
mass of fallen snow. Fascinated with the idea of a better view, I
determined to find a way around it, I climbed higher and higher, now
stopping to admire the interior domes and spires and pyramids that
cluster in this wondrous region, then fancying myself in a vast
cathedral more grand and magnificent than I had ever before seen. The
summit of Mont Blanc seemed to have greatly increased since I began to
ascend, and this, and not looking behind me, rendered me wholly
unconscious of the progress I made.

At length, from the slippery condition of the path and the frequent
use that I was obliged to make of the pole with which I had been
furnished, I became conscious that I had advanced far beyond what I
had at first purposed. Looking back, I could see nothing of the
valley; night was coming on, and the winds sweeping over the snowy
heights made me shiver; at the same time they threatened to hurl me
over the precipice. Go on I could not; to retrace my steps seemed
equally impossible; planting my pole with its long spike deep in the
ice, I attempted to keep my footing. Sending my eyes in every
direction, and hoping that the guides had missed me and followed in
the track, I perceived an immense mass of ice, one of the very turrets
that I had so greatly admired, trembling and just ready to fall.
Before I had time to think, it slipped and fell with a thundering
sound, rolling and dashing like a huge cataract of liquid silver,
glittering in the sunbeams, and spent itself on the surface below over
which it spread. Its roar, like that of thunder, reverberated from
peak to peak, and many seconds elapsed before it completely died away.

My situation was perilous. Of the extent of the glacier I could not
determine. In following after me, my companions might have been buried
underneath its fall; or the guides might think that there was no
possibility of my escape, and thus give up the attempt to rescue me.
All this and more passed through my mind. What if I should never
reach my home, should never look into the faces of those I love! One
quiet look upward, and peace filled my heart. God was above me, and
around me; this terrible solitude spoke of his majesty, his might, his
power. These mountains were in my Redeemer's hands. His eye was upon
me, and I was safe.

The sun fell behind the western mountains, but his splendors deepening
as they died away, were succeeded by the softer beams of the moon that
rose full orbed above the lofty horizon. At first their mild
effulgence was only seen on the hoary head of the monarch of the Alps:
but as I gazed, summit after summit caught the silvery lustre, till
all above and below me was enveloped in the same glorious light.

Chateaubriand says that mountain elevations are no place for
contemplation; and certainly, surrounded by great dangers, it may
seem incredible that I indulged in it. Still, I cannot but attribute
my safety to this very state of mind--looking away from myself,
holding fast to my pike-staff, and rising spontaneously to the
adoration of that Being who commanded these mighty masses to take
their form and place. Every object seemed in silent but impressive
eloquence to celebrate His praise. The moon, with her attendant stars,
the spotless dome of Mont Blanc, the glittering glaciers and the
roaring torrents all seemed endowed with a voice to touch the heart of
man, and to assure him of a hearing from God.

The moon was rising higher: forced to keep one position, I was growing
stiff and weary, the wind chilled me, and there were ringing noises in
my ears: the enthusiasm that had sustained me grew less. Would they
ever find me? Glancing downward, I tried to discover lights. In
listening I grew numb, the mountains began to reel around me, the moon
and the stars danced before me, my senses began to wander. Should I
attempt to go forward? Would it not be better to throw myself down?
Once more I looked over the precipice, and just then a horn rang out
far below; then a voice apparently nearer. I tried to answer, but no
sound came; I tried to move, but was fast. The next I remember, a
guide was rubbing my breast with his rough hands; while another forced
open my mouth and poured something from a flask. How we got down, I
never knew. But the next day as Dr. Kemper told me of the excitement
of the guides as soon as my absence became known to them, and the fall
of the glacier, of the fear that I was buried beneath it, and of my
state when found, I could only adore still more His goodness that had
preserved me, while a still firmer purpose thrilled my being to live
for Him.

A prisoner in my room, Dr. Kemper told me the manner in which Saussure
made the ascent. A party of guides going up from Chamouni, one of them
by some means was far ahead of the others, when suddenly darkness
enveloped him. Cut off from his companions, he was obliged to pass the
night at the immense elevation of twelve thousand feet above the level
of the sea. Chilled, but not overcome, he had strength sufficient in
the morning to reconnoitre, and thereby found an access to the
mountain-top comparatively easy. On reaching Chamouni, he was seized
with severe illness, and in return for the kind care of his physician,
he told the doctor of the path he had discovered, and that if he felt
a desire to be the first man to stand upon the summit of Mont Blanc,
he would lead him to it. The doctor readily accepted, and on the
seventh of August, 1786, they began the ascent. Twice the physician,
overcome by fatigue and cold, turned his back upon the goal; but the
guide, more accustomed to hardships, urged him on, and at length he
was privileged to set his foot upon the loftiest elevation in Europe,
a triumph never before enjoyed by man.

From Berne To Basle.

Before leaving Lausanne I received an invitation from a friend in the
university at Basle to visit that city. To do this, we had to pass
Berne. The approach to this place is very pleasing: the country is
beautifully undulating, and in the highest state of cultivation. The
neighborhood indicated by its noise and bustle that we were
approaching a capital, and as we entered the city we found the streets
crowded with people in their gayest attire, and filled with corn and
cattle, and almost every article of commerce, it being market day. It
is a magnificent city. The houses are all built of stone, with arcades
in the principal streets, and rows of well-furnished shops. Fountains
are numerous, and streams of water flow through the centre of the
spacious streets, in deep and broad channels cut for their reception.
The city had a very gay appearance. The costume, the expression, the
language--all were new. I was greatly interested in my excursions
round the walls. The cathedral is a magnificent pile of gothic
architecture, occupying a bold elevation above the Aar. We found here
a remarkably fine organ, of great size, stretching across nearly the
whole breadth of the church.

Climbing up to the loft, we were told the story of a former organist,
a famous musician, somewhat independent, and yet sensitive and quick
to feel. Under the papal power Louis Steinway incurred the displeasure
of one of the dignitaries of the church, and his position as organist
was taken from him. Overcome with sorrow he at once proceeded to the
house of the bishop to make an explanation. Trembling with excitement
he so poorly explained the misunderstanding, as to give the prelate
even a worse idea of it than he had at first: the consequence was that
hard words were added to the burden already laid upon him. The poor
organist went home and was immediately taken down with severe illness,
and a few days afterward eluded his attendants and flew along the
streets to the cathedral, from which the people soon heard tones of
the organ issuing majestic and ravishing but unspeakably sad. As soon
as the wife knew of her husband's absence, she went to the cathedral.
Her husband was in his old place, his hands upon the keys, as if in
the act of playing, his head bent forward and drooping. He was dead!

From Berne the road climbs a hill immediately on leaving the gates of
the city, and passes between rows of trees, with a gentle slope on
either hand, covered with a soft fresh green and smooth as the finest
lawn. The glimpses of the city through the trees, with the windings of
the Aar, were extremely interesting. But a far nobler scene was
unfolded to the south, where an immense chain of Alps appeared like
the boundaries of some new world, to which their fearful precipices,
glittering peaks, and summits of untrodden snow for ever barred the
approach of man. The purity of the atmosphere gave them peculiar
distinctness of outline, while the beams of the setting sun gilded
their lofty brightness, that seemed to have more of heaven in it than
earth. Oh! if natural scenes can appear so lovely, what must that
purity and lustre be of which they are only the shadowy emblems?

We slept, and set out again at an early hour. Our route lay through
the finest portion of Switzerland. The land is chiefly pasturage, and
the meadows are extremely rich. Traversing a rocky pass, we came to
the castle of Kluss. Issuing from the pass we entered a smiling
valley, the hills gently rising to the right, clothed with forests of
fir; while on the left, rocks towered to an amazing altitude. On the
summit of what seemed to be an inaccessible crag, perched the ruins of
Falkenstein, and a few miles on, those of Wallenberg.

Soon after stopping to lunch, we came in sight of the Rhine, with the
dark woods of the Black Forest forming a background, and also the
frontier of the Austrian territory. Weary and still delighted with the
day, I was glad to hear the guides exclaim that Basle was before us.
The Rhine divides the city into two parts. Crossing the bridge, we
proceeded at once to the University. Bonnevard was there, and in the
society of my friend I forgot for the time every other consideration.

It was two weeks before I left, and in that time I had learned many
things, attending lectures with my friend, and enjoying the society of
some of the most illustrious names in literature and science.

After the lectures, Bonnevard was to go to Fribourg; and it was with a
view to accompanying him that I remained in Basle. Passing over the
bridge and through the little city, we left the canton, and entered
Germany by the territories of the grand duke of Baden. The Rhine was
on our left, the Black Forest, covering a series of rugged hills, at
some distance on our right; and we found a rich and beautiful
landscape at every step. Climbing the brow of a hill about twelve
miles from Basle, we obtained a charming view of the windings of the
river--the broad valley through which it passes, the dark undulations
of the forest, the towers and spires of the distant city, and the long
line of Alps in the background, rising in inexpressible grandeur and
glittering in the beams of the morning sun.

This was our last of the Rhine; our road taking the direction of the
Black Forest, and skirting it all the way to Fribourg. On the way,
Bonnevard gave me many sketches of real life, one of which, from
having seen the person in Basle, interested me deeply. The Black
Forest was formerly, and is now at certain seasons, greatly infested
by wolves. It so happened that a government officer, passing to
Vienna, was pursued by a ravenous pack of these animals; the
postilion spurred his horses until they began to flag, and the wolves
were gaining upon them. The officer feeling assured that all was lost,
was about giving himself up to be devoured, when a woodcutter and his
son emerged from the forest, armed only with knives or short daggers.
The hungry pack were diverted, and in the struggle that followed, the
postilion whipped up his horses and escaped. On reaching Vienna, the
officer sent back to see what had been the fate of the woodcutter. A
desperate battle had been fought; the father killed five of the
largest wolves, and then, seeing that escape was impossible, implored
the boy to fly, saving the life of his son by the sacrifice of his
own. In admiration for this deed, the people placed the family of the
woodcutter beyond want; and the lad showing a rare aptitude to learn,
and expressing only a wish to study, was sent to Basle, where he soon
distinguished himself as a scholar, and bids fair to become a man of

Fribourg is a fine old town, famous for its minster, and its
university. The minster is of gothic architecture, magnificently
carved, and of fine proportions. It is after the model of that at
Strasbourg, and is said to be one of the finest edifices in Germany.

Early in the morning, we took occasion to visit the cathedral. The
gates were open, and early as we considered it, many were kneeling
before the different altars. The interior of the church is grand and
magnificent, and abounds with sculptures and paintings of the most
costly description. In a small chapel in one of the aisles of the
church, we found an ordinary table covered with white linen, with
images of the Saviour and the twelve apostles seated around it,
figures of marble, as large as life. The expression of each face is
admirably given, especially those of John, who leans upon Jesus'
bosom, and of Judas, seated the last in the group, and grasping the
bag in his hand. It was so real and lifelike, that I could with
difficulty understand that the genius of man had fashioned it out of
cold and senseless stone.

From the cathedral we visited the library. It is a rare and valuable
collection, and belongs to the university. Here Bonnevard met with
many of his associates, and soon after we parted from him, with
regret. How pleasant it is to meet and talk with those we love; but
the parting makes it sweet to think of that world where there will be
no need of adieus.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Scenes in Switzerland" ***

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