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and as I had ever inured myself to rain, moisture, and cold, I resolved to go alone to the summit of Montanvert. I remembered the effect that the view of the tremendous and ever-moving glacier had produced upon my mind when I first saw it. It had then filled me with a sublime ecstacy that gave wings to the soul, and allowed it to soar from the obscure world to light and joy. The sight of the awful and majestic in nature had indeed always the effect of sq. pmnizing my mind, and causing me to prget the passing cares of life. I determined to go alone, for I was well acquainted with the path, and the presence of another would destroy the solitary grandeur of the scene. The ascent is precipitous, but the
path is cut i continual and short windings, wooh enable you to sur. mount th rpendicularity of the
mountain. It is a scene terrifically desolate. In a thousand spots the traces of the winter avelanche may be perceived, where trees lie broken and strewed on the ground; some entirely destroyed, others bent, leaning upon the jutting rocks of the mountain, or transversely upon other trees. The path, as
you ascend higher, is intersected by ra
vines of snow, down which stones continually roll from above; one of them is particularly dangerous, as the slightest sound, such as even speaking in a loud voice, produces a concussion of air sufficient to draw destruction upon the head of the speaker. The pines. are not tall or luxuriant, but they are sombre, and add an air of severity to
the scene. I looked on the valley beneath; vast mists were rising from the wers which ran through it, and curling in thick wreaths around.the oppo-
site mountains, whose summits were hid in the uniform clouds, while rain poured from the dark sky, and added to the melancholy impression I received from the objects around me. Alas! why does man boast of sensibilities su. perior to those apparent in the brute; it only renders them more necessary beings. If our impulses were confined to hunger, thirst, and desire, we might be nearly free; but now we are moved
by every wind that blows, and a chant
word or scene that that word may c0: vey to us.
We rest; a dream has power to poison sleep. We rise; one wand'ring thought pollutes the day,
We feel, conceive, or reason; laugh, or weep,
It is the same: for, be it joy or sorrow,
. Man's yesterday may ne'er be like his morrow;
Nought may endure but mutability
It was nearly noon when I arrived at the top of the ascent. For some time I sat upon the rock that overlooks the sea of ice. A mist covered both that and the surrounding mountains. Presently a breeze dissipated the cloud,
and I descended upon the glacier. The
surface is very uneven, rising like the waves of a troubled sea, descending
low, and interspersed by rifts that sink deep. The field of ice is almost a
league in width, but I spent nearly two hours in crossing it. The opposite mountain is a bare perpendicular rock. From the side where I now stood Montanvert was exactly opposite, at the distance of a league; and above it rose Mont Blanc, in awful majesty. I remained in a recess of the rock, gazing on this wonderful and stupendous scene.
The sea, or rather the vast river of ice,
wound among its dependent mountains, whose aerial summits hung over its recesses. Their icy and glittering peaks shone in the sunlight over the clouds.
My heart, which was before sorrowful,
now swelled with something like joy; I exclaimed—“ Wandering spirits, if indeed ye wander, and do not rest in your narrow beds, allow me this faint happiness, or take me, as your companion, away from the joys of life.” As I said this, I suddenly beheld the figure of a man, at some distance, ad. vancing towards me with superhuman speed. He bounded over the crevices in the ice, among which I had walked with caution; his stature also, as he approached, seemed to exceed that of man. I was troubled : a mist came over my eyes, and I felt a faintness seize me; but I was quickly restored by the cold gale of the mountains. I perceived, as the shape came nearer, (sight