Mary Baldwin College - Bluestocking Yearbook (Staunton, VA)

 - Class of 1892

Page 16 of 108


Mary Baldwin College - Bluestocking Yearbook (Staunton, VA) online yearbook collection, 1892 Edition, Page 16 of 108
Page 16 of 108

Mary Baldwin College - Bluestocking Yearbook (Staunton, VA) online yearbook collection, 1892 Edition, Page 15
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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.

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 17 text:

The Augusta Scmi)iary Annual . 11 With our eyes fixed upon this magtiificent panarama ot snowclad mountains, we passed the two fine hotels at Mur- ren almost without noticing them, and, still with the same view, our path led downward. Now the path winds through fine forests, then through open fields where we heard the cow-bells chiming in pasturelands far up above us, while over the cliffs and way below, we saw Lauterbrunnen like a toy village, and the white Lutchine, a silver ribbon lying beside it. Our path, wild as it was, was not a lonely one, for we met men carrying provisions up to Murren, bending down and panting under the huge burdens of bread they had on their backs, and innumerable tourists, French, German, English, and American, with their red Baedeker ' s, some walking, some riding, a man at each horse ' s head, and one, a fat German matron, was in a chair borne by four men. The Germans alwaj ' s greeted us with a pleasant smile and a hearty good morning; the English gazed at us in the same way that they looked at the rocks and trees, or wdth even less interest, while the Americans stared as only Americans can. Farther down we passed along the railway not yet finish- ed to Murren, and felt a little afraid of the swarthy Italian workmen. As we neared the foot of the mountain, we met more travelers, and numberless three-year-old children come out from the houses offering flowers and lace for sale. At last we reached the level of Lauterbrunnen, and our walking trip was over. Elizabeth Mc:Millan.

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