Saturday, July 9. Rose in a blaze of glory. Rode five mortal hours in a char-à-banc, sweltering under a burning sun. But in less than ten minutes after we mounted the mules and struck into the gorge, the ladies muffled themselves in thick shawls. We seemed to have passed, almost in a moment, from the tropics into the frigid zone. A fur cloak was suggested to me, but as it happened I was adequately calorified without. Chancing to be the last in the file, my mule suddenly stopped to eat.

"Allez, allez!" said I, twitching the bridle.

"I won't!" said he, as plainly as ears and legs could speak.

"Allez!" thundered I, jumping off and bestowing a kick upon his ribs which made me suffer if it did not him.

"I won't!" said he, stuffily.

"Won't you?" said I, pursuing the same line of inductive argument, with rhetorical flourishes of the bridle.

"Never!" he replied again, most mulishly.

"Then if words and kicks won't do," said I, "let us see what virtue there is in stones;" and suiting the action to the word, I showered him with fragments of granite, as from a catapult. At every concussion he jumped and kicked, but kept his nose in the same relative position. I redoubled the logical admonition; he jumped the more perceptibly; finally, after an unusually affecting appeal from a piece of granite, he fairly budged, and I seized the bridle to mount.

"Not at all," said he, wheeling round to his first position, like a true proslavery demagogue.

"Ah," said I; and went over the same line of argument in a more solid and convincing manner. At length the salutary impression seemed permanently fastened on his mind; he fairly gave in; and I rode on in triumph to overtake the party—having no need of a fur coat.

Horeb, Sinai, and Hor! What a wilderness! what a sudden change! Nothing but savage, awful precipices of naked granite, snowy fields, and verdureless wastes! In every other place in the Alps, we have looked upon the snow in the remote distance, to be dazzled with its sheeny effulgence—ourselves, meanwhile, in the region of verdure and warmth. Here we march through a horrid desert—not a leaf, not a blade of grass—over the deep drifts of snow; and we find our admiration turns to horror. And this is the road that Hannibal trod, and Charlemagne, and Napoleon! They were fit conquerors of Rome, who could vanquish the sterner despotism of eternal winter.

After an hour's perilous climbing, we reached, at last, the hospice, and in five minutes were sitting at the supper table, by a good blazing fire, with a lively company, chatting with a gentlemanly abbé, discussing figs and fun, cracking filberts and jokes, and regaling ourselves genially. But ever and anon drawing, with a half shiver, a little closer to the roaring fagots in the chimney, I thought to myself, "And this is our midsummer nights' dream"!

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