[En route to Chamounix—Wednesday, 28 September 1859]

Wednesday 28th Long before sunrise we were awake to see the “morning star stayed in his steep course” over Mt. Blanc. Soon the sun itself stained the snowy peak with a color all unknown to those who have not tracked Great Nature to her fastness at this hour. At ten o’clk we took one of the worthy guides of Chamounix (so justly celebrated) to ascend the Montanvert. I mounted a mule who dragged me and in his turn was dragged by the nose up the steep acclivity but poor Jamie who had undertaken to walk up found it most uncomfortable. It was very warm, the way stony and steep and he, I fancy, not a little tired by the travel of the day before. Still from time to time we all stopped to gaze our hearts full at the lovely view of Chamounix and the variegated autumnal hues upon the mountain-side and all heat and fatigue were forgotten when we reached the top and saw the Mer de Glace spread out before us and felt the cooling airs which rush over its vast surface. Descending upon it, it seemed a shore-less sea whose frothing waves were stayed by the Great Hand which can move or stay the world.

The descent was continued enjoyment of mountain beauties. We met a bridal party ascending for whom our guide told us he had played the violin that they might dance the night before, so rustic and purely Swiss they looked that our eyes followed them till the trees hid the last from our view.

Came into Chamounix before sunset but watched the light die away from our windows and then as the cool mists of evening fell dined by the side of a cheerful wood fire.


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