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was thought extremely natural by the rest of the fashionable world, and Baroness U- alone deemed it an heinous offence. With a heart deeply wounded at his inconstancy, sle at first made some attempts to recal her unfaithful lover; but, as they all proved ineffectual, she had secretly vowed to take the most signal revenge. To effect her purpose with the greater security, || she displayed in her exterior so much serenity and composure, that her acquaintance, and even the Count himself, were deceived by it. A new lover was received by her with the utmost cordiality, merely for the purpose of strengthening the delusion, and at length, she even succeeded in gaining the confidence of the newly-married Countess T.

any suspicion of her. The death's head was a mask under the exterior mask. She had previously taken for granted, that terror would prevent the Count from examining it very closely; but in the worst case every one of her expressions was susceptible of a two-fold explanation. She had long been acquainted with the apartment, a tapestry-door, and a back stair-case close by it. Imperceptibly to himself, she had easily led the Count impatient for the discovery. Her woman, her only confidant, and who had taken care of her from her youth, offended by the Count for refusing to procure her son a place about the court, had been her assistant in this business. This woman, with a pick-lock, opened the church-yard gate, where she ordered the chairman to set her down; and notwithstanding the darkness of the night, and the horrors of the place, waited for her there with her first dress. She had returned to the masquerade before the Count was found. From that moment it was next to an impossibility that she should be suspected; and so little apprehension did she feel on that subject, that she stood close by one of the chairmen when he was obliged to repeat his wonderful story to the Duke. Her plan of revenge had succeeded to the utmost of her wishes, nay, almost still farther. Her woman, the onl


"Thus she continued to be intimately acquainted with all his domestic circumstances; she had always watched for an opportunity for revenge, but had never been able to find one that satisfied her. On the death of the young Countess, which certainly was unexpected, but not unwished, her hopes of regaining his heart revived for a few days. But, as his affliction would scarcely deign to bestow on her a single look, as he had entirely broken off all intercourse with her, as well as with many others, this fresh injustice, his grief, and the masquerade, gave birth to the idea of practising a little de-depository of her secret, had long been dead; but ception, in order to increase the acuteness of his pain. Having rather more embonpoint than the late Countess, she had compressed herself with a pair of tight-laced stays; and in every other particular, had imitated that original as closely as possible. His imagination, the mask itself, and the tone of their conversation, made amends for many deficiencies. As she had appeared at an early hour at the masquerade, in a totally different dress, had purposely spoken to several persons, and even taken off her mask for a few moments close by the Prince and his favourite, it was impossible that the Count, on her appearance in her second dress, should have

for her own part, she found it impossible to leave the world without first unburdening her heart by an upright confession."

Such was the account that was given of the occurrence. It is not impossible that rumour, which seldom fails to make additions to such a story, may have altered many little circumstances. It affords, however, a sufficient explanation of every thing that, at first, appeared almost inexplicable; and whoever thinks that the revenge of the Baroness U was carried too far, let him recollect this important truth, that in woman, slighted love thinks no danger too formidable, no revenge too cruel.



I HAVE explored many mountains in Europe || poet as to those of a mineralogist. My intention, and America, and am the more confirmed in however, is only to lay before my readers the the opinion, that all the descriptions given of reflections that have started in my mind during these stupendous monuments of nature are my journey, and my single authority is not exaggerated, and the last trial I have made has powerful enough to draw down the indignanot shaken but strengthened my belief. I visited tion of those whose sentiments are different from the valley of Chamouny, which the works of mine.. M. de Saussure have immortalized, but I think it would not appear so enchanting to the eyes of a

When I left Geneva the sky was cloudy, but it grew fairer as I reached Servoz; from thence

the snowy top of Mont-Blanc alone is seen, it is called the Dome. I afterwards crossed the passage des Montées, and entered the valley of Chamouny; thence, whilst I passed beneath the Glacier styled des Bossons, its lofty pyramids were descried through the dark foliage of firs and larch trees. This Glacier has been compared, on account of its white appearance, and the lengthened shape of its crystals, with a squadron of ships sailing; I will add, to render the|| comparison more exact, in the midst of a gulph, the shores of which are lined with green forests.

I spent the night in the village of Chamouny, and the next day repaired to the Montanvert; the weather was most delighful, and afforded me a clear prospect of the objects around me; when I reached its top, which is in reality no more than one of the roots of Mont-Blanc, I perceived what is improperly termed, the Sea of Ice.

Let my readers fancy they behold a vale, the cavity of which is entirely filled up by a river; the mountains which surround it are composed of rocks which hang over this river, such as the needles de Dru, du Bochard, des Charmoz. At a distance the vale and the river are divided into two branches, the one extends to the foot of a high mountain, called the Giant's Neck, and the other to the rocks des Jorasses. At the other extremity there is a declivity towards the valley of Chamouny; this declivity, which is nearly vertical, contains the portion of the sea of ice, commonly called the Glacier of the Woods. Let them now suppose, that through the sudden intensity of the cold, this river has been entirely frozen, and the summits of the neighbouring crags have been crowned with ice and snow wherever the granite was shaped so as to detain the rain-water or the falling snow, and they will have a faithful picture of the Sea of Ice and the scene around it. It is not, as may be seen, a sea, but a river; the Rhine, for instance, as the Glacier des Bois is a faint imitation of its fall at Laufen.

When I walked over the Sea of Ice, its surface, which from the top of the Montanvert sceined every where equally smooth, proved, on the contrary, to be rough and filled with angular elevations of the same shape as the irregular rocks which tower all around; and the whole appeared an excellent white marble relievo of the neighbouring mountains.

Let us now speak of those great monuments of nature in general.

over the rocks; I observed above Servoz a naked and rugged peak, around which they had flung a sort of toga, so as to give it the appearance of an ancient Roman Senator. In another direction a cultivated spot was revealed, while a cloudy zone bound the middle of the mountain, the craggy tops of which, rising above the dark rolling mists, presented to my eyes the most faithful images of chimeras, sphinxes, heads of Anubis, and almost all the monsters and divi, nities of Egypt.

When the clouds are impelled by violent blasts, the summits of the rocks seem to fly rapidly and conceal themselves behind a moveable curtain; by turns they are exposed to our sight, and by turns they are snatched away from our observation. Now in the midst of bursting vapours a small verdant spot is descried, as though it were a green island suspended in the sky; and now a majestic peak, slowly piercing through the accumulated mist, like a phantom gliding through the darkness of night, unfolds itself to our eyes. The saddened traveller hears the howlings of the wind through the forests of pines, the roaring fall of the torrents that rush down from the Glaciers' bed, and sometimes the sudden thunder of the bounding avalanches, and the hissing scream of the terrified marmote, when she has perceived the hawk of the Alps sailing watchful through the sky.

There are two ways of viewing them; with clouds, or in an unclouded sky; for these are the two most marked features of the Alps.

In the first case, the scene becomes more animated; but obscurity and confusion hinder us from grasping the whole of the landscape.

Clouds throw the most fantastic vestments

When no cloud loads the atmosphere, and the whole amphitheatre of the mountains displays itself before us, one single striking feature can be observed; it is that which their summits present in the pure ether which surround them; for in this case the acuteness of their lines and exactness of their planes cannot be equalled by any object in the vales below. Rearing aloft their angular brows beneath the blue transparent vault of heaven, they appear at a distance like immense specimens of metals, coral trees, and stalactites, carefully laid by the hand of the Father of Nature, beneath a vase of the brightest chrystal. The inhabitants of these Cantons try to find some likenesses between these lofty irregular ridges, and animals and things which they are in the habit of beholding, and thence come the appellations of the Mules, the Charmoz, or Chamois, which they bestow upon them; as well as those borrowed from religion, such as les Sommets des Croix, le Rocher du Reposoir, le Glacier des Pelerins; which prove that if man be continually awake to the sense of his wants, he delights to strew every spot with the pleasing remembrances of the comforts he has received.

As to the trees which grow in these regions, I shall mention the pine, fir, and larch alone, because they form the chief, and nearly the only decorations of the Alps.

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By its majestic stature, the pine recalls to our minds the noble architecture of the ancients; its branches imitate, by their disposition, a pyramid, and its trunk a lofty pillar: it sometimes also assumes the shape of its native rocks; and I have often mistaken it, when growing in the hollows of the rocks, for some lone towering peak clothed in a sable garb. On the other side of the pass of Balme, when I descended from the Glacier of Trient, I descried a forest composed of the finest pines, firs, and larch, that ever spread their gloomy foliage over the ground. Every tree among this giant tribe bears the weight of several ages, and their proud monarch, without being carefully pointed out to travellers by their officious guides, would, ́by its prodigious height, || reveal its own greatness. It is a fir, the trunk of || which might, without any addition to its length,|| form the mast of the largest man of war. He alone has been spared by the bolts of heaven and the cruelty of man, while all his subjects are covered with scars; the head of the one has been torn by the lightning, while another still rears aloft a blasted brow, the arms of this one have been lacerated, while the foot of that is blackened by the fires lighted by shepherds. I remarked two young twins starting from the same root; they were both of the same height, and the same shape, but the one was full of vigour and the other withered. At this sight these pathetic lines of Virgil recurred to my memory:

"Daucia, Laride Thymberque, simillima proles,
"Indiscreta suis, gratusque parentibus error
"At nunc dura dedit vobis discrimina Pallas."

the side of the ship, I thought of the country I had left, and the deserts I was going to inhabit.

It is the same with the monuments of nature as with those of art; in order to enjoy their beauty we must be placed at a just distance from them, else their shapes, hues, and proportions are confounded together; but when in the midst of mountains, the field of our optics is too confined, we touch the objects, if I may be allowed to say so, and their dimensions lose their exactness, That this is true is proved by the frequent mistakes we commit as to elevation and distance; let those who have explored these regions declare whether Mont Blanc seemed very high from the valley of Chamouny? It often happens that an immense lake among the Alps appears reduced to a narrow pond; that while you fancy a few steps will suffice to lead you to the top of a hill, it requires three hours of incessant exertions; a whole day is sometimes not long enough to reach a spot which your deluded eyes beheld as close before you And thus the grandeur of mountains, so often celebrated by poets and travellers, is not real, but consists mostly in the fatigue it occasions you, while the landscapes are far from equalling the idea you had formed.

But notwithstanding they lose their sublimity when the spectator is too near, their gigantic masses crush the ornaments which nature strewed over them; and thus, through the effect of contrary laws, every thing shrinks among the Alps beneath the standard of expectation. Were the trees which clothe the mountains much taller than those which adorn the plain, the rivers and torrents more considerable, they might pre. sent a more striking and awful spectacle to the sight of man; but this is not the case. The frame of the picture is enlarged beyond all proportion, whilst the rivers, forests, villages, and flocks retain their own diminutive size; all relaItion is therefore torn asunder between the whole and its component parts, the stage and its scenery. The plane of the mountains being always ver

Pines indicate the solitude and barrenness of mountains; they are almost the only companions of the poor Savoyards, and their fate is nearly alike; they both grow and die unknown on the summit of inaccessible rocks, and their posterity follow the same course. The rustling of pines, when caused by a light wind, is praised by sylvan poets; when it is violent it imitates the roaring of the sea, and the astonished traveller often fancies he hears the raging ocean thundering in the midst of the Alps. The smell produced by pines is aromatic and pleasing; it is particularly so to me, because it greeted my senses as I approached the shores of Virginia at a distance of forty miles from land. It always awakens in my mind the remembrance of the new world, which was announced by mild balmy gales of its pure sky, and the shining seas, where the perfumes of the distant forests wandered on the wings of the morning breeze; and as every link of the chain of memory leads us to another, feel once more the pangs of regret and hope which assailed my heart, when leaning pensive on

But to return to my opinion of mountains in general; it appears evident to me, at least, that as there can be no sublime landscape without an horizon formed by hills, or lofty rocks, by the same reason, no spot can please the eyes and the heart, when it is confined and deprived of the splendid effects of perspective. This is the case with the interior of mountains; their ponderous masses ill suit the faculties of man, or rather the weakness of his organs.

Sublimity is generally looked upon as the chief characteristic of mountainous landscapes, and it consists in reality in the grandeur of objects; but if it can be proved that this grandeur, though ex. isting, does not fall within the grasp of our glances, how can it produce sublimity?

tical, becomes a sort of scale, ever seen, to which the eye, unconsciously, refers every object, and is astonished at finding them so small. The loftiest pines, for instance, are scarcely visible along the sides of a steep elevation, where they remain like as many flakes of soot; the traces left by the abundant rains look like parallel streaks of a yellow colour, and the widest torrents, the highest cataracts, like inconsiderable springs of water, and sometimes like blue mists.

Those who have been happy enough to perceive diamonds, topazes, and emeralds, on the surface of the glaciers, have been much more fortunate than 1, for my imagination has never descried such treasures. The snow of the glacier Des Bois, mixed with the dust of granite, assumed no other appearance than that of ashes;|| and the Sea of Ice may, in several places, be mistaken for lime quarries; its crevices alone feebly imitate the effect of the prism, and the parts which lie against the rocks resemble exactly the green glass with which bottles are made.

The white draperies of the Alps form a disagreeable contrast with the objects which surround them, and which they darken; even the blue vaults of the sky change their pleasing hue for a black gloomy tint; and it is in vain we hope to behold striking accidents of light upon the snow; the colours which it assumes are not seen by the persons on the spot. The splendour with which the setting sun crowns the summit of the Alps of Savoy is contemplated by the inhabitants of Lauzanne alone, the observer placed in the valley of Chamouni, is unable to catch a single glimpse of the glorious spectacle ; he sees, as though through a narrow funnel, a small portion of a dark blue sky, and the spot on which he stands is scarcely ever enlightened by the beans of the king of day.

In order to be better understood, I will make use of a plain comparison: the painter requires a canvass, to exercise his brushes; in nature, the sky is the canvass which contains a landscape; should it not appear in the picture, the effect vanishes away, and all is confusion. Mountains, when we are too near, snatch the greatest part of the sky from our sight; their summits are not at a sufficient distance from each other, they overshadow each other, and increase the darkness which generally lurks within their cavities: and let those who doubt the truth of my assertions examine the works of the most celebrated landscape painters, and they will find, that rocks are usually thrown in the back ground of the painting, while woods and vales are foremost.

Moon-light alone restores to mountains their wild grandeur and sublimity; for its effect consists in enlarging the size of objects, isolating heavy masses, and softening away the gradation No. XVII, Vol. II.

of colours which join the different parts of a picture together; it is then the outlines of edifices seem sharper and more determined, their structure bolder and loftier, and the white streams of light contrast more strongly with the lines of shade. This is the reason why the noble Roman architecture, like the outlines of mountains, appears so grand when silvered over by the beams of the moon.

It is the custom with travellers to be entranced with admiration at the prospect of the vales of Switzerland; but it must be acknowledged that almost all their beauty depends upon comparison. Tired with wandering over barren wastes and rocks covered with a reddish sort of lichen, our eyes rest with pleasure on a spot where vegetation is alive, and spreads her green mantle. But in what does the verdure of these valleys consist? In a few withering willows, and some acres of barley and oats, which grow with great difficulty, and ripen late, and in a few wild trees which bear a rough sort of fruit. If a lonely vine put forth its blossom, in a warm recess, sheltered from the blast of the north, and exposed to the fostering heat of the south, it is pointed out as an astonishing instance of fertility. As soon as we climb up the neighbouring rocks, their stern and marked features hinder us from paying attention to the miniature beneath; the cottages are scarcely visible, and the cultivated fields look like the compartments of a chess-board.

Much is said about the mountain flowers, the violets gathered at the foot of glaciers, the strawberries which blush in a bed of snow; but these are imperceptible wonders which produce no ef fect; the ornaments are too small for such gigantic masses.

I must be a very unfortunate being, for I could see, in the celebrated chalets, changed by the burning imagination of J. J. Rousseau, into enchanted retreats, nothing more than wretched hovels, filled with the dung of herds, perfumed with the smell of cheese and sour milk, and inhabited by unhappy mountaineers who look upon themselves as banished from the haunts of men, and long for the hour of descending into the vallies.

Small dumb birds, fluttering over the gathered ice, sometimes a few ravens and hawks, are the only living beings that enliven these wastes of snow and stone, where, were it not for the falling drops of rain, no other motion would for the most part be perceived. Happy are we, when the wood-pecker foreboding a storm, shrieks wildly from the bosom of a forest of firs! and yet this token of existence renders the appearance of death, which surrounds us, more visible and more frightful. The Chamois, wild goats and white rabbits, are almost entirely destroyed, and LI

even marmots are become very scarce, so that the poor Savoyard boy's only treasure is nearly exhausted. Wild animals have yielded the summits of the Alps to herds of cows, that, like their masters, regret the verdure of the plain.

It remains now to speak of the sentiments which arise in our breasts while we rove among mountains; and according to what I have felt, they are painful. I cannot taste any joy when every thing around me proclaims the fatiguing exertions of my fellow creatures, and their incredible toils, which an ungrateful soil refuses to repay with harvests. Mountaineers who experience the disadvantages attendant upon their situation, are more sincere than travellers, for they call the vales, the good country, and do not assert that rocks, the sterility of which is not melted by their most laborious cares, are the most sublime and excellent productions of nature. The attachment they feel for their mountains proceeds from the mysterious relations which the Almighty has created between our sufferings, the object which gives them birth, and the spots where they first stung our hearts: it is the result of the tender remembrances of their infancy, the first emotions of their breast, and the sweets, and even the sorrows they tasted beneath the paternal roof. The child of solitude, grows more serious through the constant habit of suffering; the unfortunate mountaineer dwells with more interest upon the limited incidents of his existence; and the love he fosters for his country, ought not to be attributed to the beauties of the land he inhabits, but to the concentration of his ideas, and the little extent of his wants.

But mountains, it will be said, offer pleasing retreats for those who delight in indulging in soft or melancholy reveries; as for me, I think it is difficult to tear off our attention from the fatigue we undergo, especially when every step must be cautiously taken. The man whose mind would be wandering through the mazes of imagination, while he ascends the Montanvert, might, like the Astrologue of the fable, who while he studied the stars above his head, could not see what passed at his feet, fall into some precipice.

Far from feeling any congenial love for mountains, poets have at all times longed for some sequestered and shady vale, in order to court the inspiration of the muses. Let us listen to Virgil's opinion of the subject.

"Rura mihi et rigui placeant in vallibus amnes "Flumina amem, sylvasque inglorius."

He first wishes to rove among the fields, rura mihi, he seeks the cool sequestered vallies, the banks of rivers, not torrents, flumina amem, and the forests where in inglorious ease he might spend his days, sylvasque inglorius. These forests were

to be composed of oaks, elms, and beech trees instead of gloomy firs; for in the last case he would not have said,

"Et ingenti ramorum protegat umbrâ.”

And where does he wish this valley should be placed? in a spot teeming with interesting remembrances, and equally celebrated by traditions, the muses, and history. He would have little cared for the vale of Chamouny, the glacier of Taconay, the small and great Jorasse, the needle of Dru, and the rock of the Tele-noire.

But should we implicitly believe Rousseau and those who have inherited his erroneous notions and not his eloquence, when we reach the brow of a mountain our nature would suddenly be changed. "On their towering summits," he exclaims, " our meditations assume a more sublime cast, more fitted to the objects we behold; we feel a sort of delight neither too violent nor sensual. It seems that when we rise above the dwellings of man, we cast off all low terrestrial passions ;-and I believe that the storms of the heart would soon be quelled, were we to fix our abode here."

I heartily wish this were the case! how sweet it would be, to stand out of the reach of sorrow when exalted a few acres above the level of the plains! but the soul of man is not the slave of climes or situations; and a heart oppressed with grief, sinks beneath its weight on the highest places, as well as in the humble vallies. Antiquity, which we may always quote when the truth of a sentiment is to be judged, represents mountains as the retreats of misery and desolation. If Julie's lover forget his woes amidst the rocks of the Valais, Eurydice's husband feeds his grief on the Thracian hills; and notwithstanding the talents of the author of La Nouvelle Heloise, the voice of his hero will not resound through future ages, as long as the lyre of Orpheus. Edipus also carries the load of his misfortunes to the desert top of Cytheron. But from a still nobler source we may derive convincing proofs of what I have advanced; the Holy Scriptures, in which the true nature of man is better unfolded than in the works of our modern philosophers, show us the sons of misery, the prophets, and our Saviour himself, seeking the shelter of the mountains when the hour of affliction arrived. Jephtha's daughter implores her father to grant her the permission of weeping her virginity among the hills and rocks of Judea, before her life should be sacrificed; and it was on the mount of Olives that our Redeemer drank the bitter cup, containing all the sorrows and tears of men.

It is worth remarking, that even in the pages of a writer who stood up as the champion of morality, we still find some traces of the genius of the age in which he lived. This supposed change

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