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kinds of weather, and to the fraying action | upon a glacier again. But like the forces in of the storms which assail the Matterhorn; the physical world, human emotions vary but it bore, on being tested, the united with the distance from their origin, and a weights of three men. By this rope the year afterwards I was again upon the ice. summit of the precipice which had given us Towards the close of 1862 Bennen and so much trouble in 1862 was easily and myself made "the tour of Monte Rosa," rapidly attained. A higher resting-place halting for a day or two at the excellent was thus secured, and more time was hostelry of Delapierre, in the magnificent gained for the examination of the mountain. | Val du Lys. We scrambled up the GrauEvery climber knows the value of time in a haupt, a point exceedingly favourable to case of the kind. The result of the scru- the study of the conformation of the Alps. tiny was that a way was found up the Mat- We also halted at Alagna and Macugnaga. terhorn from the Italian side, that way be- But not withstanding their admitted glory, ing the ridge referred to in my conversation the Italian valleys of the Alps did not suit with Bennen three years before. either Bennen or me. We longed for the more tonic air of the northern slopes, and were glad to change the valley of Ansasca for that of Saas.
Committed thus and in other ways to the Matterhorn, the condition of my mind regarding it might be fitly compared to one of those uncheerful tenements often seen in the neighbourhood of London, where an adventurous contractor has laid the foundations, run up the walls, fixed the rafters, but stopped short through bankruptcy without completing the roof. As long as the Matterhorn remained unscaled, my Alpine life could hardly be said to be covered in, and the admonitions of my friends were premature. But now that the work is done, they will have more reason to blame me if I fail to profit by their advice.
THE first days of my vacation of 1863 were spent in the company of Mr. Philip Lutley Sclater. On the 19th of July we reached Reichenbach, and on the following day sauntered up the valley of Hasli, turning to the left at Imhof into Gadmenthal. Our destination was Stein, which we reached by a grass-grown road through fine scenery. The goatherds were milking when we arrived. At the heels of one quadruped, supported by the ordinary one-legged stool of the Senner, bent a particularly wild and dirty-looking individual, who, our guide
Another defeat of a different character was also inflicted upon me in 1862. Wishing to give my friend Mr. (now Sir John) Lubbock a taste of mountain life, I went informed us, was the proprietor of the inn. with him up the Galenstock. This pleased" He is but a rough Bauer," said Jann, him so much that Bennen and I wished to "but he has engaged a pretty maiden to make his cup of pleasure fuller by taking keep house for him." While he thus spoke him up the Jungfrau. We sent two por- a light-footed creature glided from the door ters laden with coverlets and provisions towards us, and bade us welcome. She from the Æggischhorn to the Faulberg, but led us upstairs, provided us with baths, on our arrival there found one of the por- took our orders for dinner, helped us by ters in the body of the Aletsch glacier. her suggestions, and answered all our He had recklessly sought to cross a snow-questions with the utmost propriety and bridge which spanned a broad and profound grace. She had been two years in Engchasm. The bridge broke under him, he fell in, and was deeply covered by the frozen débris which followed him. He had been there for an hour when we arrived, and it required nearly another hour to dig him out. We carried him more dead than alive to the Faulberg cave, and by great care restored him. As I lay there wet through the long hours of that dismal night I almost registered a vow never to tread
land, and spoke English with a particularly winning accent. How she came to be associated with the unkempt brute outside was a puzzle to both of us. It is Emerson, I think, who remarks on the benefit which a beautiful face, without trouble to itself, confers upon him who looks at it. And, though the splendour of actual beauty could hardly be claimed for our young hostess, she was handsome enough and graceful
enough to brighten a tired traveller's | prospective disfigurement of my face. Mr. thoughts, and to raise by her presence the modest comforts she dispensed to the level of luxuries.*
It rained all night, and at 3.30 A.M. when we were called, it still fell heavily. At 5, however, the clouds began to break, and half an hour afterwards the heavens were swept quite clear of them. At 6 we bade our pretty blossom of the Alps goodbye. She had previously brought her gentle influence to bear upon her master to moderate the extortion of some of his charges. We were soon upon the Stein glacier, and after some time reached a col from which we looked down upon the lower portion of the nobler and more instructive Trift glacier. Brown bands were drawn across the ice-stream, forming graceful loops with their convexities turned downwards. The higher portions of the glacier were not in view, still those bands rendered the inference secure that an ice-fall it a failure. The ordinary lip-salve of the existed higher up, at the base of which druggists' shops is also worse than useless, the bands originated. We shot down a but pure cold cream, for a supply of which shingly couloir to the Trift, and looking up I have had on more than one occasion to the glacier the anticipated cascade came thank a friend, is an excellent ameliorative. into view. At its bottom the ice, by pressure, underwent that notable change, analogous to slaty cleavage, which caused the glacier to weather in parallel grooves, and thus mark upon its surface the direction of its interior lamination.
Sclater was sheltered by a veil, a mode of defence which the habit of going into places requiring the unimpeded eyesight has caused me to neglect. There seems to be some specific quality in the sun's rays which produces the irritation of the skin experienced in the Alps. The solar heat may be compared, in point of quantity, with that radiated from a furnace; and the heat which the mountaineer experiences on Alpine snows is certainly less intense than that encountered by workmen in many of our technical operations. But the terrestrial heat appears to lack the quality which gives the sun's rays their power. The sun is incomparably richer in what are called chemical rays than are our fires, and to these chemical rays the irritation may be due. The keen air of the heights may also have something to do with it. As a remedy for sunburn I have tried glycerine, and found
The ice-cascade being itself impracticable, we scaled the rocks to the left of it, and were soon in presence of the farstretching snow-fields from which the lower glacier derived nutriment. With a view to hidden crevasses, we roped ourselves together. The sun was strong, its direct and reflected blaze combining against us. The scorching warmth experienced at times by cheeks, lips, and neck, indicated that in my case mischief was brewing; but the eyes being well protected by dark spectacles, I was comparatively indifferent to the
After considerable labour we reached the ridge- a very glorious one as regards the view-which forms the common boundary of the Rhône and Trift glaciers.* Before us and behind us for many a mile fell the dazzling névés, down to the points where the grey ice emerging from its white coverlet declared the junction of snow-field and glacier. We had plodded on for hours soddened by the solar heat and parched with thirst. There was—
"Presently a maid
Enters with the liquor-
Frothing in a beaker;
"Water, water everywhere,
For, when placed in the mouth, the lique
faction of the ice was so slow and the loss
of heat from the surrounding tissues so total abstinence. In the midst of this solid painful, that sucking it was worse than water you might die of thirst. At some distance below the col, on the Rhône side,
Thackeray, in his "Peg of Limavady," is per- the musical trickle of the liquid made itself haps more to the point than Emerson:
audible, and to the rocks from which it fell we repaired, and refreshed ourselves. The day was far spent, the region was wild and
*Seven years previously Mr. Huxley and myself had attempted to reach this col from the other side.
lonely, when, beset by that feeling which challenged, and, aided by this warmth, close has often caused me to wander singly in scrutiny will dissolve difficulties which might the Alps, I broke away from my compan- otherwise seem insuperable. Bit by bit I ions, and went rapidly down the glacier. found myself getting lower, closely examinOur guide had previously informed me ing at every pause the rocks below. The that before reaching the cascade of the grass-tufts helped me for a time, but at Rhône the ice was to be forsaken, and the length a rock was reached, on which no Grimsel, our destination, reached by skirt- friendly grass could grow. This slab was ing the base of the peak called Nägelis succeeded by others equally forbidding. A Grätli. After descending the ice for some slip was not admissible here. I looked uptime I struck the bounding rocks, and wards, thinking of retreat, but the failing climbing the mountain obliquely found my-day urged me on. From the middle of the self among the crags which lie between the smooth surface jutted a ledge about fifteen Grimsel pass and the Rhone glacier. It inches long and about four inches deep. was an exceedingly desolate place, and I Once upon this ledge, I saw that I could soon had reason to doubt the wisdom of work obliquely to the left-hand limit of the being there alone. Still difficulty rouses face of the rock, and reach the grass-tufts powers of which we should otherwise re- once more. Grasping the top of the rock, main unconscious. The heat of the day I let myself down as far as my stretched had rendered me weary, but among these arms would permit, and then let go my rocks the weariness vanished, and I be- hold. The boot-nails had next to no powcame clear in mind and fresh in body er as a brake, the hands had still less, and through the necessity of escape before I came upon the ledge with an energy that nightfall from this wilderness. shocked me. A streak of grass beside the I reached the watershed of the region. rock was next attained; it terminated in a Here a tiny stream offered me its company small, steep couloir, the portion of which which I accepted. It received in its course within view was crossed by three transverse various lateral tributaries, and at one place ledges. There was no hold on either side expanded into a blue lake bounded by of it, but I thought that by friction the mobanks of snow. The stream quitted this tion down the groove could be so regulated lake, augmented in volume, and I kept as to enable me to come to rest at each sucalong its side until, arching over a brow cessive ledge. Once started, however, my of granite, it discharged itself down the motion was exceedingly rapid. I shot over glaciated rocks, which rise above the the first ledge, an uncomfortable jolt markGrimsel. In fact, this stream was the ing my passage. Here I tried to clamp feeder of the Grimsel lake. I halted on myself against the rock, but the second the brow for some time. The hospice was ledge was crossed like the first. The outfairly in sight, but the precipices between look now became alarming, and I made a me and it seemed desperately ugly. Noth- desperate effort to stop the motion. Braing is more trying to the climber than ces gave way, clothes were torn, wrists and those cliffs which have been polished by the hands were skinned and bruised, while hips ancient glacier. Even at moderate incli- and knees suffered variously. I however nations, as may be learned from an ex- stopped myself, and here all serious difficulperiment on the Höllenplatte, or some ty ended. I was greatly heated, but a litother of the polished rocks in Haslithal, tle lower down discovered a singular cave they are not easy. I need hardly say that in the mountain-side, with water dripping the inclination of the rocks flanking the from its roof into a clear well. The iceGrimsel is the reverse of moderate. It is cold liquid soon restored me to a normal dangerously steep. temperature. I felt quite fresh on entering the Grimsel inn, but a curious physiological effect manifested itself when I had occasion to speak. The power of the brain over the lips was so lowered that I could hardly make myself understood.
How to get down these smooth and precipitous tablets was now a problem of the utmost interest to me; for the day was too far gone, and I was too ignorant of the locality, to permit of time being spent in the search of an easier place of descent. Right or left of me I saw none. The continuity of the cliffs below me was occasionally broken by cracks and narrow ledges, with scanty grass-tufts sprouting from them here and there. The problem was to get down from crack to crack and from ledge to ledge. A salutary anger warms the mind when thus
My guide Bennen reached the Grimsel the following morning. Uncertain of my own movements, I had permitted him this year to make a new engagement, which he was now on his way to fulfil. There was a hint of reproach in his tone as he asked me
whether his Herr Professor had forsaken Dropping down a waterfall well-known to him. There was little fear of this. A the climbers of this region, we came again guide of proved competence, whose ways upon the ice, which was here cut by complex you know, and who knows you and trusts chasms. These we unravelled as long as you, is invaluable in the Alps, and Bennen necessary, and finally escaped from them to was all this, and more, to me. As a moun- the mountain-side. The first big drops of taineer, he had no superior, and he added the thunder-shower were already falling to his strength, courage, and skill, the qual- when we reached an overhanging crag ities of a natural gentleman. He was now which gave us shelter. We quitted it too ready to bear us company over the Oberaar- soon, beguiled by a treacherous gleam of joch to the Eggischhorn. On the morning blue, and were thoroughly drenched before of the 22d we bade the cheerless Grimsel we reached the Æggischhorn. inn good-bye, reached the Unteraar glacier, crossed its load of uncomfortable débris, and clambered up the slopes at the other side. Nestled aloft in a higher valley was the Oberaar glacier, along the unruffled surface of which our route lay.
This was my last excursion with Bennen. In the month of February of the following year he was killed by an avalanche, on the Haut de Cry, a mountain near Sion.*
Having work to execute, I remained at the Eggischhorn for nearly a month in 1863. My favourite place for rest and writing was a point on the mountain-side about an hour westwards from the hotel, where the mighty group of the Mischabel, the Matterhorn, and the Weisshorn were in
The morning threatened. Fitful gleams of sunlight wandered with the moving clouds above, over the adjacent ice. The joch was swathed in mist, which now and then gave way, and permitted a wild radiance to shoot over the col. On the windy summit full view. One day I remained in this powe took a mouthful of food and roped our-sition longer than usual, held there by the selves together. Here, as in a hundred fascination of sunset. The mountains had other places, I sought in the fog for the ves- stood out nobly clear during the entire day, icles of De Saussure, but failed to find them. but towards evening, upon the Dom, a Bennen, as long as we were on the Berne cloud settled, which was finally drawn into side of the col, permitted Jann to take the a long streamer by the wind. Nothing can lead; but now we looked into Wallis, or be finer than the effect of the red light of rather into the fog which filled it, and the sunset on those streamers of cloud. IncesWallis guide came to the front. I knew santly dissipated, but ever renewed, they the Viesch glacier well, but how Bennen glow with the intensity of flames. By and meant to unravel its difficulties without by the banner broke, as a liquid cylinder is landmarks I knew not. I asked him wheth- known to do when unduly stretched, former, if the fog continued, he could make his ing a series of cloud-balls united together way down the glacier. There was a pleas- by slender filaments. I watched the deepant timbre in Bennen's voice, a light and ening rose, and waited for the deadly paldepth in his smile due to the blending to- lor which succeeded it, before I thought of gether of conscious power and affection. returning to the hotel. With this smile he turned round and said, "Herr, Ich bin hier zu Hause. Der Viescher Gletscher ist meine Heimath."
On arriving there I found the waitress, a hysterical kind of woman, in tears. She conversed eagerly with the guests regarding the absence of two ladies and a gentleman, who had quitted the hotel in the morning without a guide, and who were now benighted on the mountain. Herr Wellig, the landlord, was also much concerned. "I recommended them," he said, "to take a guide, but they would not heed me, and now they are lost." "But they must be found," I rejoined; "at all events they must be sought. What force have you at hand?" Three active young fellows came immediately forward. Two of them I sent across
Downwards we went, striking the rocks of the Rothhorn so as to avoid the riven ice. Suddenly we passed from dense fog into clear air: we had crossed "the cloudplane," and found a transparent atmosphere between it and the glacier. The dense covering above us was sometimes torn asunder by the wind, which whirled the detached cloud-tufts round the peaks. Contending air-currents were thus revealed, and thunder, which is the common associate, if not the product, of such contention, began to rattle among the crags. At first the snow upon the glacier was sufficiently heavy to bridge the crevasses, thus permitting of rapid motion; but by degrees the fissures opened, and at length drove us to the rocks. These in their turn became impracticable.
A sum of money was collected in England for Bennen's mother and sisters. Mr. Hawkins, Mr.
Tuckett, and myself had a small monument erected to his memory in Ernan church-yard. The supervi sion of the work was entrusted to a clerical friend of Bennen's, who, however well-intentioned, made a poor use of his trust.
the mountain by the usual route to the Märgelin See, and the third I took with myself along the watercourse of the Æggischhorn. After some walking we dipped into a little dell, where the glucking of cowbells announced the existence of châlets. The party had been seen passing there in the morning, but not returning. The embankment of the watercourse fell at some places vertically for twenty or thirty feet. Here I thought an awkward slip might have occurred, and, to meet the possibility of having to carry a wounded man, I took an additional lithe young fellow from the châlet. We shouted as we went along, but the echoes were our only response. Our pace was rapid, and in the dubious light false steps were frequent. We all at intervals mistook the grey water for the grey and narrow track beside it, and stepped into the stream. We proposed ascending to the châlets of Märgelin, but previous to quitting the watercourse we halted, and directing our voices down hill, shouted a last shout. And faintly up the mountain came a sound which could not be an echo. We all heard it, though it could hardly be detached from the murmur of the adjacent stream. We went rapidly down the alp, and after a little time shouted again. More audible than before, but still very faint, came the answer from below. We continued at a headlong pace, and soon assured ourselves that the sound was not only that of a human voice, but of an English voice. Thus stimulated, we swerved to the left, and, regardless of a wetting, dashed through the torrent which tumbles from the Märgelin See. Close to the Viesch glacier we found the objects of our search; the two ladies, tired out, seated upon the threshold of a forsaken châlet, and the gentleman seated on a rock beside them.
He had started with a sprained ankle, and every visitor knows how bewildering the spurs of the Eggischhorn are, even to those with sound tendons. He had lost his way, and, in his efforts to extricate himself, had experienced one or two serious tumbles. Finally, giving up the attempt, he had resigned himself to spending the night where we found him. What the consequences of exposure in such a place would have been I know not. To reach the Eggischhorn that night was out of the question; the ladies were too exhausted. I tried the chalet door and found it locked, but an ice-axe soon hewed the bolt away, and forced an entrance. There was some pinewood within, and some old hay which, under the circumstances, formed a delicious couch for the ladies. In a few minutes a fire was
ON my return from the Eggischhorn in 1863, I found Professor Huxley in need of mountain air, and therefore accompanied him to the hills of Cumberland. Swiss scenery was so recent that it was virtually present, and I had therefore an opportunity of determining whether it interfered with the enjoyment of English scenery. I did not find this to be the case. Perhaps it was the adjacent moral influence which clothed lake and mountain with a glory not their own, but I hardly ever enjoyed a walk more than that along the ridge of Fairfield, from Ambleside to Grisedale Tarn. We climbed Helvellyn, and, thanks to the hospitality of a party on the top, were enabled to survey the mountain without the intrusion of hunger. We thought it noble. Striding Edge, Swirling Edge, the Red Tarn, and Catchedecam, combined with the summit to form a group of great grandeur. The storm was strong on Striding Edge, which, on account of its associations, I chose for my descent, while the better beaten track of Swirling Edge was chosen by my more conservative companion. At Ulswater we had the pleasure of meeting an eminent church dignitary and his two charming daughters. They desired to cross the mountains to Lodore, and we, though ignorant of the way, volunteered our guidance. The offer was accepted. We made a new pass on the occasion, which we called "the Dean's Pass," the scenery and incidents of which were afterwards illustrated by Huxley. Emerson, who is full of wise saws, speaks of the broad neutral ground which may be occupied to their common profit by men of diverse habits of thought; and on the day to which I now refer there seemed no limit to the intellectual region over which the dean and his guides could roam without severance or collision. In the presence of these peaks and meres, as well as over the oatcake of our luncheon, we were sharers of a common joy.