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Page 15 text:
The Augusta Seminary Annual. with projecting roofs held down by stones, quaint carv ' ed wood devices, weather-stained timbers, and, hanging under the porch, bundles of dry herbs, the only dry things under the heavens. We quickened our steps toward the house as to a haven of refuge, but when the door was opened to our knock by a witch-like, withered old crone, and the mingled odours rushed out, we meekly asked permission to sit on the porch until the rain lessened a bit. A few minutes satisfied us, so we started on to Gimmelwald, and reached it before dark, but in such a plight ! — soaked so thoroughly we had to go to bed to have our clothes dried. And how the rain came down ! All that night it fell steadily and softly, and all the next day we watched it. The monotony of that weary day was only broken when we would hear a sound like that of a distant cannon, and would turn to the window to see an avalanche, like the softest spray of a waterfall, dashing itself over the precipices of the Sefinen- thal; and, looking at the avalanches and at the snow falling fifty feet above us, we remembered with difficulty that it was Jul} ' . The little hotel was built on the side of a slope so steep that at the back of the house the windows of the fifth storj ' were only four or five feet from the ground. It was built only for summer use, of thin boards, the partitions be- tween the rooms were so thin thai conversations could easily be heard two rooms off. We overheard a very interesting one between two Englishmen as to the relative merits of the pronunciation of English in Cambridge and Oxford, each man being prejudiced in favor of his own college. The house was filled with Englishmen, among them, two clergymen. Yet on Sunday these two were not enough, but late Saturday night here came another plodding through rain and mud to conduct the service, the notice for which was the first thing we had seen in the hall on entering. Early in the morning all the people in the house gathered in the parlor. After " a while the door opened, and the clergyman robed in his black vestment slowly entered, carrying in solemn dignity a large empty soap-box. We looked on in wonder, but, seeing the grave faces around us, didn ' t dare to smile. Placingthe box on end upon the ' table.
Page 14 text:
8 The Augusta Scmluary Annual. Eoropean Sl etclnes, I. " R ' Walk in Switzerland. All of us were up early on Friday morning read} ' for our long anticipated drive from Interlaken to I auterbrun- nen. The road lay through a narrow valley between high precipitous cliffs, with the full glory of the Jungfrau before us. Just below the Staubbach Falls we stopped at a queer little shop, examined the wood-carving, the peasant woman ' s lace, and bought our alpenstocks. Then we pedestrians saw the others start back to Interlaken, and ourselves set out on our walking tour. We followed our guide and por- ter, a sturd} ' little mountaineer, but so small that the com- passionate heart of one of our trio wouldn ' t let her burden him wdth her cloak. For two hours or more we walked, stopping now and then to gather the flowers which lined the path on every side, blue-bells and butter-cups, wild sweet- briar and dainty little forget-me-n3ts, while the cataracts blew their trumpets from the steeps and their echoes through the mountains thronged. Before us stood out the Jungfrau in all its purity of eternal snow, and in the valley below, women in the dress of the canton — picturesque in the dis- tance, — raked in the new-mown hay. As we neared Trach- sellauenen, the roar of the Schmadribach Fall almost deaf- ened us, and, though it was July, close at hand we saw snow, and the flowers growing thick at the very edge of it. Here we rested awhile, and had dinner, then went on our steep way toward Ginmielwald, climbing with both al- penstock and umbrella. Soon our umbrellas were put to another use, for as we stopped to gain breath, and gazed back over the valley, the clouds, which had long ago covered the mountain tops, gathered down lower and lower, until finally we were in them, and then a few drops of rain fell. " What must we do ? " " Go back ! ' ' Our guide said we had gone half way, so we turned outfaces upward and toiled on, for hours it seemed, while the rain poured in torrents, and we trudged around water-falls, and even under them, until, on another hill above us, we saw a frame house, the regular Alpine chalet
Page 16 text:
10 The Augusta Seminary Anmial. he carefully spread over it the red table-cloth of the simple parlour, and retired. Soon the door again opened, and, to the accompani- ment of a cracked melodeon, while the people chanted as best they could, the two clergyman, in their white gowns and mountain boots, marched in and on toward the cloth-covered box, which it now appeared was to serve for reading desk. Then they went on with a ritual as long and formal as if it were to sound, not in the little room with its low ceiling and board walls, but through the spacious aisles and lofty vaulting of West- minister. When they came to the Creed, all devoutly faced toward the east where the altar ought to have been, and continued. To the faithful perhaps it was solemn, but it almost convulsed us; finally all knelt, — there were no hassocks, two of the men had to kneel in the middle of the floor, — and when I looked up, and saw in front of me the large boots of the men, with soles at least half an inch thick studded with great nails, all serious thoughts fled forever. At last the service was over, and we escaped upstairs to laugh irreverently. That evening the rain stopped, the sun came out for awhile, and just before dark, we saw the Alpine glow upon the near peaks of the Jungfrau and the Sil- berhorn . The next morning the sun was bright, and we thought we could get up to Murren at least. Such a climb ! Up, up, up, slipping and sliding over the muddy paths, barely hold- ing up with our alpenstocks, sometimes wading through the water flowing down the rocks; I was nearly dead when it came in sight. The ascent once accomplished, all our weariness was forgotten as we turned and saw the glittering Breithorn, Grosshorn and Mittaghorn against a sk} blue as sky can only be when washed b} a three da5 s ' rain, and with the dense whiteness of snow peaks standing out against it. Directly across the valley rose the Schwarze Monch, like one great rock thousands of feet high, with the waterfalls, threads of spun silk, gently falling to the awful depth below; looking over its grim top was the Jungfrau, and behind it the Mdnch and the Eiger.
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