Rollo in Switzerland
by Jacob Abbott
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NEW YORK: SHELDON & CO., 667 BROADWAY, and 214 & 216 MERCER ST., Grand Central Hotel. 1873.

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1858, by JACOB ABBOTT,

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.





ROLLO; twelve years of age.

MR. and MRS. HOLIDAY; Rollo's father and mother, travelling in Europe.

THANNY; Rollo's younger brother.

JANE; Rollo's cousin, adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Holiday.

MR. GEORGE; a young gentleman, Rollo's uncle.

































The last day that Rollo spent in Paris, before he set out on his journey into Switzerland, he had an opportunity to acquire, by actual experience, some knowledge of the nature of the passport system.

Before commencing the narrative of the adventures which he met with, it is necessary to premise that no person can travel among the different states and kingdoms on the continent of Europe without what is called a passport. The idea which prevails among all the governments of the continent is, that the people of each country are the subjects of the sovereign reigning there, and in some sense belong to him. They cannot leave their country without the written permission of the government, nor can they enter any other one without showing this permission and having it approved and stamped by the proper officers of the country to which they wish to go. There are, for example, at Paris ministers of all the different governments of Europe, residing in different parts of the city; and whoever wishes to leave France, to go into any other kingdom, must first go with his passport to the ministers of the countries which he intends to visit and get them to put their stamp upon it. This stamp represents the permission of the government whose minister affixes it that the traveller may enter the territory under their jurisdiction. Besides this, it is necessary to get permission from the authorities of Paris to leave the city. Nobody can leave France without this. This permission, too, like the others, is given by a stamp upon the passport. To get this stamp, the traveller must carry or send his passport to the great central police office of Paris, called the prefecture of police. Now, as the legations of the different governments and the prefecture of police are situated at very considerable distances from each other about the city, and as it usually takes some time to transact the business at each office, and especially as the inexperienced traveller often makes mistakes and goes to the wrong place, or gets at the right place at the wrong hour, it usually requires a whole day, and sometimes two days, to get his passport all right so as to allow of his setting out upon his journey. These explanations are necessary to enable the reader to understand what I now proceed to relate in respect to Rollo.

One morning, while Rollo and Jennie were at breakfast with their father and mother, Rollo's uncle George came in and said that he had concluded to go and make a little tour in Switzerland. "I shall have three weeks," said he, "if I can get away to-morrow; and that will give me time to take quite a little run among the mountains. I have come now to see if you will let Rollo go with me."

"Yes, sir," said Rollo, very eagerly, and rising at once from his chair. "Yes, sir. Let me go with him. That's exactly the thing. Yes, sir."

"Have you any objection?" said Mr. Holiday, quietly, turning towards Rollo's mother.

"No," said Mrs. Holiday, speaking, however, in a very doubtful tone,—"no; I don't know that I have—any great objection."

Whatever doubt and hesitation Mrs. Holiday might have had on the subject was dispelled when she came to look at Rollo and see how eager and earnest he was in his desire to go. So she gave her definitive consent.

"How long do you think you will be gone?" said Mr. Holiday.

"Three weeks, nearly," replied Mr. George. "Say twenty days."

"And how much do you suppose it will cost you?" asked Mr. Holiday.

"I have made a calculation," said Mr. George; "and I think it will cost me, if I go alone, about twenty-five francs a day for the whole time. There would, however, be a considerable saving in some things if two go together."

"Then I will allow you, Rollo," replied Mr. Holiday, looking towards Rollo, "twenty-five francs a day for this excursion. If you spend any more than that, you must take it out of your past savings. If you do not spend it all, what is left when you come back is yours."

"Yes, sir," said Rollo. "I think that will be a great plenty."

"Twenty-five francs a day for twenty days," continued Mr. Holiday, "is five hundred francs. Bring me that bag of gold, Rollo, out of my secretary. Here is the key."

So Rollo brought out the gold, and Mr. Holiday took from it twenty-five Napoleons. These he put in Rollo's purse.

"There," said Mr. Holiday, "that's all I can do for you. For the rest you must take care of yourself."

"How long will it take you to pack your trunk?" said Mr. George.

"Five minutes," said Rollo, promptly, standing up erect as he said it and buttoning his jacket up to his chin.

"Then put on your cap and come with me," said Mr. George.

Rollo did so. He followed Mr. George down stairs to the door, and they both got into a small carriage which Mr. George had waiting there and drove away together towards Mr. George's hotel.

"Now, Rollo," said Mr. George, "I have got a great deal to do to-day, and there are our passports to be stamped. I wonder if you could not attend to that."

"Yes," said Rollo, "if you will only tell me what is to be done."

"I don't myself know what is to be done," said Mr. George. "That's the difficulty. And I have not time to find out. I have got as much as I can possibly do until four o'clock; and then the office of the prefecture of police is closed. Now, if you can take the passports and find out what is to be done, and do it, then we can go to-morrow; otherwise we must wait till next day."

"Well," said Rollo, "I'll try."

"You will find the passports, then, on my table at the hotel. I am going to get out at the next street and take another carriage to go in another direction. You can keep this carriage."

"Very well," said Rollo.

"You may make inquiries of any body you please," said Mr. George, "except your father and mother. We must not trouble your father with any business of any kind till he gets entirely well; and your mother would not know any thing about it at all. Perhaps the master of the hotel can tell you. You had better ask him, at any rate."

Here Mr. George pulled the string for the carriage to stop, as they had arrived at the corner of the street where he was to get out. The coachman drew up to the sidewalk and stopped. Mr. George opened the door and stepped out upon the curbstone, and then said, as he shut the door,—

"Well, good by, Rollo. I hope you will have good luck. But, whatever happens, keep a quiet mind, and don't allow yourself to feel perplexed or troubled. If you don't succeed in getting the passports ready to-day we can attend to them to-morrow and then go the next day, which will answer nearly as well."

Then, directing the coachman to drive to the hotel, Mr. George walked rapidly away.

When Rollo reached the hotel he got the key of his uncle George's room, at the porter's lodge, and went immediately up to see if the passports were there. He found them, as his uncle had said, lying on the table.

"Now," said Rollo, "the first thing I'll do is to find Carlos and see if he will go and help me get the passports stamped."[1]

So, taking the passports in his hand, he went along the corridor till he came to the door leading to the apartments where Carlos lodged. There was a bell hanging by the side of the door. Rollo pulled this cord, and presently the courier came to the door.[2] Rollo inquired for Carlos, and the courier said that he would go and get him. In the mean time the courier asked Rollo to step in and take a seat. So Rollo went in. The room that he entered was a small one, and was used as an antechamber to the apartment; and it was very neatly and pleasantly furnished for such a purpose. There were a sofa and several chairs, and maps and pictures on the walls, and a table with writing materials on it in the centre. Rollo sat down upon the sofa. In a few minutes Carlos came.

"Look here!" said Rollo, rising when Carlos came in. "See these passports! We're going to get them stamped. Will you go with me? I have got a carriage at the door."

Here Rollo made a sort of whirling motion with his hand, advancing it forward at the same time as it rolled, to indicate the motion of a wheel. This was to signify to Carlos that they were going in a carriage.

All that Carlos understood was, that Rollo was going somewhere, and that he wished him, Carlos, to go too. He seemed very much pleased with his invitation, and went eagerly back into the inner apartments. He returned in a very few minutes with his cap in his hand, evidently all ready to go.

"Now," said Rollo, as they went out of the antechamber together, "the first thing is to go and ask the master of the hotel what we are to do."

There was a very pleasant little room on the lower floor, on one side of the archway which formed the entrance into the court of the hotel from the street, that served the purpose of parlor, sitting room, counting room, and office. Thus it was used both by the master of the hotel himself and by his family. There was a desk at one side, where the master usually sat, with his books and papers before him. At the other side, near a window, his wife was often seated at her sewing; and there were frequently two or three little children playing about the floor with little wagons, or tops, or other toys. Rollo went to this room, occupying himself as he descended the stairs in trying to make up a French sentence that would ask his question in the shortest and simplest manner.

He went in, and, going to the desk, held out his passports to the man who was sitting there, and said, in French,—

"Passports. To Switzerland. Where to go to get them stamped?"

"Ah," said the master of the hotel, taking the passports in his hand. "Yes, yes, yes. You must get them stamped. You must go to the Swiss legation and to the prefecture of police."

Here Rollo pointed to a piece of paper that was lying on the desk and made signs of writing.

"Ah, yes, yes, yes," said the man. "I will write you the address."

So the man took a piece of paper and wrote upon the top of it the words "prefecture of police," saying, as he wrote it, that every coachman knew where that was. Then, underneath, he wrote the name of the street and number where the Swiss legation was; and, having done this, he gave the paper to Rollo.

Rollo took the memorandum, and, thanking the man for his information, led Carlos out to the carriage.

"Come, Carlos," said he; "now we are ready. I know where to go; but I don't know at all what we are to do when we get there. But then we shall find some other people there, I suppose, getting their passports stamped; and we can do as they do."

Rollo had learned to place great reliance on the rule which his uncle George had given for his guidance in travelling; namely, to do as he saw other people do. It is, in fact, a very excellent rule.

Carlos got into the carriage; while Rollo, looking upon the paper in order to be sure that he understood the words right, said, "To the prefecture of police."

The coachman said, "Yes, yes;" and Rollo got into the coach. The coachman, without leaving his seat, reached his arm down and fastened the door and then drove away.

He drove on through various crowded streets, which seemed to lead in towards the heart of the city, until at last the carriage came to the river. Rollo and Carlos looked out and saw the bridges, and the parapet wall which formed the river side of the street, with the book stalls, and picture stalls, and cake and fruit booths which had been established along the side of it, and the monstrous bathing houses which lay floating on the water below, all gayly painted and adorned with flags and little parterres of flowers; and the washing houses, with their long rows of windows, down close to the water, all filled with women, who were washing clothes by alternately plunging them in the water of the river and then banging them with clubs. These and a great many other similar objects attracted their attention as they rode along.

If the reader of this book has the opportunity to look at a map of Paris, he will see that the River Seine, in passing through the town, forms two channels, which separate from each other so as to leave quite a large island between them. This island is completely covered with streets and buildings, some of which are very ancient and venerable. Here is the great Cathedral Church of Notre Dame; also the vast hospital called Hotel Dieu, where twelve thousand sick persons are received and taken care of every year. Here also is the prefecture of police—an enormous establishment, with courts, quadrangles, ranges, offices, and officers without number. In this establishment the records are kept and the business is transacted relating to all the departments of the police of the city; so that it is of itself quite a little town.

The first indication which Rollo had that he had arrived at the place was the turning in of the coach under an arch, which opened in the middle of a very sombre and antique-looking edifice. The carriage, after passing through the arch, came into a court, where there were many other carriages standing. Soldiers were seen too, some coming and going and others standing guard. The carriage passed through this court, and then, going under another arch between two ponderous iron gates, it came into another court, much larger than the first. There were a great many carriages in this court, some moving in or out and others waiting. Rollo's carriage drove up to the farthest corner of the court; and there the coachman stopped and opened the door. Rollo got out. Carlos followed him.

"Where do you suppose we are to go, Carlos?" said he. "Stop; I can see by the signs over the doors. Here it is. "Passports." This must be the place. We will go in here."

Rollo accordingly went in, Carlos timidly following him. After crossing a sort of passage way, he opened another door, which ushered him at once into a very large hall, the aspect of which quite bewildered him. There were a great many desks and tables about the hall, with clerks writing at them, and people coming and going with passports and permits in their hands. Rollo stepped forward into the room, surveying the scene with great curiosity and wonder, when his attention was suddenly arrested by the voice of a soldier, who rose suddenly from his chair, and said,—

"Your cap, young gentleman."

Rollo immediately recollected that he had his cap on, while all the other people in the room were uncovered. He took his cap off at once, saying to the soldier at the same time, "Pardon, sir," which is the French mode of making an apology in such cases. The soldier then resumed his seat, and Rollo and Carlos walked on slowly up the hall.

Nobody took any notice of them. In fact, every one seemed busy with his own concerns, except that in one part of the room there were several benches where a number of men and women were sitting as if they were waiting for something.

Rollo advanced towards these seats, saying to Carlos,—

"Carlos, let us sit down here a minute or two till we can think what we had better do. We can sit here, I know. These benches must be for any body."

As soon as Rollo had taken his seat and began to cast his eyes about the room, he observed that among the other desks there was one with the words, "for foreigners," upon it, in large, gilt letters.

"Carlos," said he, pointing to it, "that must be the place for us. We are foreigners: let us go there. We will give the passports to the man in that little pew."

So Rollo rose, and, followed by Carlos, he went to the place. There was a long desk, with two or three clerks behind it, writing. At the end of this desk was a small enclosure, where a man sat who looked as though he had some authority. People would give him their passports, and he would write something on them and then pass them over to the clerks. Rollo waited a moment and then handed his passports in. The man took them, looked over them and then gave them back to Rollo, saying something in French which Rollo did not understand, and immediately passed to the next in order.

"What did he say?" said Rollo, turning to Carlos.

"What's the reason he won't take your passports?" said Carlos.

Although Rollo did not understand what the official said at the time of his speaking, still the words left a trace upon his ear, and in thinking upon them he recalled the words "American legation," and also the word "afterwards." While he was musing on the subject, quite perplexed, a pleasant-looking girl, who was standing there waiting for her turn, explained to him—speaking very slow in French, for she perceived that Rollo was a foreigner—as follows:—

"He says that you must go first and get your passports stamped at the American legation and afterwards come here."

"Where is the American legation?" said Rollo.

"I don't know," said the girl.

"Then I'll make the coachman find it for me," said Rollo. "Come, Carlos; we must go back."

So saying, he thanked the girl for her kindness, and the two boys went out. As he was going out Rollo made up a French sentence to say to the coachman that he must drive to the American legation, and that he must find out where it was himself. He succeeded in communicating these directions to the coachman, and then he and Carlos got into the carriage and drove away.

The coachman had some difficulty in learning where the American legation was, which occasioned some delay. Besides, the distance was considerable. It was nearly two miles to the place from the prefecture of police; so that it was some time before the carriage arrived there. In fact, Rollo had a very narrow escape in this stage of the affair; for he arrived at the American legation only about five minutes before the office was to be closed for the day. When he went to the porter's lodge to ask if that was the place where the office of the American legation was held, the woman who kept the lodge, and who was standing just outside the door at the time, instead of answering, went in to look at the clock.

"Ah," said she, "you are just in time. I thought you were too late. Second story, right-hand door."

"There's one thing good about the American legation, Carlos," said Rollo; "and that is, that they can talk English, I suppose."

This was, indeed, a great advantage. Rollo found, when he went into the office of the legation, that the secretary not only could talk English, but that he was a very kindhearted and agreeable man. He talked with Rollo in English and with Carlos in Spanish. Both the boys were very much pleased with the reception they met with. The necessary stamps were promptly affixed to the passports; and then the boys, giving the secretary both an English and a Spanish good by, went down stairs to the carriage again. They directed the coachman to drive as quick as possible to the Swiss legation, showing him the address which Rollo's uncle had given them. They then got into the carriage, and the coachman drove away.

"Now, Carlos," said Rollo, "we are all right; that is, if we only get to the Swiss legation before it is shut up."

"He said he had been in Madrid," rejoined Carlos. "He was there three months."

"I believe," added Rollo, "that uncle George said it did not close till three; and it is only two now."

"And he knew the street my father lived in very well," said Carlos.

Very soon the carriage stopped at the place which the coachman said was the Swiss legation. Rollo got out and went to the porter's lodge with the passports in his hand. The woman in charge knew at once what he wanted, and, without waiting to hear him finish the question which he began to ask, directed him "to the second story on the right."

Rollo went up the staircase till he came to the door, and there pulled the cord.

A clerk opened the door. Rollo held out the passports.

"Enter there," said the clerk, in French, pointing to an inner door.

Rollo went in and found there a very pleasant little room, with cases of books and papers around it, and maps and plans of Switzerland and of Swiss towns upon the wall. The clerk took the passports and asked the boys to sit down. In a few minutes the proper stamps were affixed to them both and the proper signatures added. The clerk then said that there was the sum of six francs to pay. Rollo paid the money, and then he and Carlos went down stairs.

They now returned to the prefecture of police. They went in as they had done before, and gave the passports to the man who was seated in the little enclosure in the foreigner's part of the room. He took them, examined the new stamps which had been put upon them, and then said, "Very well. Take a seat a little minute."

Rollo and Carlos sat down upon one of the benches to wait; but the little minute proved to be nearly half an hour. They were not tired of waiting, however, there was so much to amuse and interest them going on in the room.

"I am going to watch and see what the foreigners do to get their passports," said Rollo, in an undertone, to Carlos; "for we must do the same."

In thus watching, Rollo observed that from time to time a name was called by one of the clerks behind the desk, and then some of the persons waiting on the seats would rise and go to the place. After stopping there a few minutes, he would take his passport and carry it into an inner room to another desk, where something was done to it. Then he would bring it out to another place, where it was stamped once or twice by a man who seemed to have nothing else to do but to stamp every body's passport when they came out. By watching this process in the case of the others, Rollo knew exactly what to do when his name was called; so that, in about half an hour from the time that he went into the office, he had the satisfaction of coming out and getting into his carriage with the passports all in order for the journey to Switzerland.

When he got home and showed them to Mr. George, his uncle looked them over carefully; and, when he found that the stamp of the police was duly affixed to them both,—knowing, as he did, that those would not be put on till all the others were right,—he said,—

"Well, Rollo, you've done it, I declare. I did not think you were so much of a man."


[Footnote 1: Carlos was a Spanish boy, who was residing at this time at the same hotel with Mr. George. The manner in which Rollo became acquainted with him is related in Rollo in Paris. Carlos did not understand English, nor Rollo Spanish; but when they were together they usually kept talking all the time, each in his own way.]

[Footnote 2: A courier is a travelling servant and guide.]



On the morning when Mr. George and Rollo were about setting out for Switzerland, Rollo, having got every thing ready himself half an hour before the time, took out his map of Europe and asked his uncle George what route they were going to take. Mr. George was busy at that time putting the last things into his trunk and making ready to lock it up and strap it; so he could not come to Rollo to show him the route, but was obliged to describe it.

"Have you found Paris?" said he.

"Yes," said Rollo; "I have got my finger on it."

"In the first place, then," said Mr. George, "there is a railway that goes east from Paris a hundred miles across France to Strasbourg on the Rhine. See if you can find Strasbourg on the Rhine."

"Yes," said Rollo; "here it is."

"Then," said Mr. George, "we take another railway and go south, up the Rhine, towards Switzerland."

"Down the Rhine," said Rollo, correcting his uncle; "it is down."

"No," rejoined Mr. George. "It is down on the map; that is, it is down the page; but it is really up the river. The Rhine flows to the north. It collects the waters of a hundred glaciers in Switzerland and carries them north into the North Sea."

"Well," said Rollo.

"This railway," continued Mr. George, "will take us up from Strasbourg, along the bank of the Rhine, to Basle, which is in Switzerland, just across the frontier. It is there, I suppose, that we shall have to show our passports; and then we shall know if you got them stamped right."

"I did get them stamped right, I am very sure," said Rollo.

"Boys are generally very sure that what they do is done right," rejoined Mr. George.

Soon after this Mr. George and Rollo took their seats in the carriage, which had been for some time standing ready for them in the court yard of the inn, and drove to the Strasbourg station.

Rollo was greatly interested and excited, when he arrived at the Strasbourg station, to see how extensive and magnificent it was. The carriage entered, with a train of other carriages, through a great iron gate and drew up at the front of a very spacious and grand-looking building. Porters, dressed in a sort of uniform, which gave them in some degree the appearance of soldiers, were ready to take the two trunks and carry them in. The young gentlemen followed the porters, and they soon found themselves ushered into an immense hall, very neatly and prettily arranged, with great maps of the various railways painted on the walls between the windows on the front side, and openings on the back side leading to ticket offices or waiting rooms. There were seats along the sides of this hall, with groups of neatly-dressed travellers sitting upon them. Other travellers were walking about, attending to their baggage or making inquiries of the porter or policemen. Others still were standing at the openings of the ticket offices buying their tickets. What chiefly struck Rollo's attention, however, and impressed his mind, was the air of silence, order, and decorum which prevailed and which gave to the station an aspect so different from that of an American station. It is true, the hall was very large, and there were a great many people in it going and coming; but they all walked decorously and quietly,—they spoke in an undertone,—and the presence of so many railway officials in their several uniforms, and of police officers with their badges, and here and there a soldier on guard, gave to the whole scene quite a solemn and imposing appearance.

Rollo gazed about the apartment as he came in, surveying the various objects and groups that presented themselves to his view, until his eye rested upon a little party of travellers, consisting of a lady and two boys, who were standing together near a low railing, waiting for the gentleman who was with them to come back from the ticket office with their tickets. What chiefly attracted Rollo's attention, however, was a pretty little dog, with very long ears, and black, glossy hair, which one of the children held by a cord. The cord was attached to the dog's neck by a silver collar.

Rollo looked at this group for a few minutes—his attention being particularly occupied by the dog,—and then turned again towards his uncle, or rather towards the place where his uncle had been standing; but he found, to his surprise, that he was gone.

In a moment, however, he saw his uncle coming towards him. He was clasping his wallet and putting it in his pocket.

"Uncle George," said he, "see that beautiful little dog!"

"Yes," said Mr. George.

"I wish I had such a dog as that to travel with me," said Rollo. "But, uncle George where are we to get our tickets?"

"I've got mine," said Mr. George. "When I come to a railway station I always get my ticket the first thing, and look at the pretty little dogs afterwards."

So saying, Mr. George took a newspaper out of his pocket and began to walk away, adding, as he went,—

"I'll sit down here and read my newspaper till you have got your ticket, and then we will go into the waiting room."

"But, uncle George," said Rollo, "why did not you get me a ticket when you got yours?"

"Because," said Mr. George, "among other reasons, I did not know which class carriage you wished to go in."

"Why, uncle George!" exclaimed Rollo, surprised. "I must go in the same carriage that you do of course."

"Not of course," said Mr. George. "I have got a ticket in the first class; and I should like to have your company in my car very much if you choose to pay the price for a first-class ticket. But if you choose to take a second or a third-class ticket you will save, perhaps, half your money."

So saying, Mr. George went away and left Rollo to himself.

This was the way that Mr. George always treated Rollo when he was travelling with him. He left him to act for himself and to take care of himself in almost all the emergencies that occurred. He did this, not because he wished to save himself the trouble of taking care of a boy, but because he thought it was much better for boys early to learn to take care of themselves.

The manner in which Mr. George thus threw the responsibility upon Rollo seemed sometimes to be a little blunt. One would suppose, in some of these cases, from the way in which he spoke and acted, that he did not care at all what became of Rollo, so coolly and with such an air of unconcern did he leave him to his own resources. In fact, Rollo was frequently at such times a little frightened, or at least perplexed, and often, at first, felt greatly at a loss to know what to do. But, on reflecting a little upon the subject, he usually soon succeeded in extricating himself from the difficulty; and then he was always quite proud of having done so, and was pleased with his uncle George for having given him the opportunity. So Mr. George, having learned by experience that Rollo liked, on the whole, to be treated in this way, always adopted it; and in carrying it out he sometimes spoke and acted in such a way as might, under other circumstances have appeared somewhat stern.

The idea of taking a second-class car for himself in order to save a portion of his money, while his uncle went in one of the first-class, took Rollo's imagination strongly, and he was half inclined to adopt it.

"On the whole," said he to himself, "I will not do it to-day; but I will some other day. And now I wonder which is the ticket office for Strasbourg."

So saying, Rollo looked about the room and soon found the proper place to apply for his ticket. He procured a ticket without any difficulty, asking for it in French, with a pronunciation which, if it was not perfectly correct, was at least perfectly intelligible. As soon as he had received his ticket and had taken up his change he went to the bench where his uncle George was sitting and said that he was ready.

"Well," said Mr. George, "then we'll go. I like to travel with a boy that is capable of taking care of himself and is willing to be treated like a man."

Saying these words, Mr. George rose from his seat, and, after attending properly to the baggage, he and Rollo passed through a door guarded by a man in uniform, who required them to show him their tickets before he would allow them to pass, and then entered a spacious apartment which was reserved as the waiting room for the first-class passengers. This room was beautifully finished and richly adorned, and the splendid sofas and ottomans which were ranged about the sides of it were occupied by well-dressed ladies and gentlemen, carrying shawls, greatcoats, and small travelling bags upon their arms, and exhibiting other similar indications of their being travellers. Mr. George and Rollo took seats at a vacant place upon one of the sofas. In a few minutes an officer came and informed the company, in a very respectful manner, that the train was ready; whereupon they all rose from their seats and walked out upon the platform where the train was waiting. Here there were several railway servants, all dressed in uniform, whose business it was to conduct the passengers to the several cars, or carriages, as they call them, and open the doors. These carriages were entirely different in their construction from the long and open cars used in America, which form but one compartment, that extends through the whole length of the car. The French cars were like three elegant carriages, joined together in such a manner that, though the three formed but one car, they were still entirely distinct from each other. The seats in these carriages were very spacious, and they were richly stuffed and lined, so that they formed soft and luxurious places of repose. The railway porter opened one of the doors and admitted Mr. George and Rollo, and when they had entered he closed it again.

"Ah," said Rollo, seating himself upon the soft cushion on one of the seats, "is not this superb? I am very glad I did not take a second-class car."

"And yet the second-class cars in France are very comfortable and very respectable," said Mr. George, "and they are very much cheaper."

"How much should we have saved," asked Rollo, "in going to Strasbourg, if we had taken a second-class car?"

"I don't know, precisely," said Mr. George. "We should have saved a great deal."

The train now began to move; and, soon after it left the station, Mr. George took out his newspaper again and began to read. It was a copy of a very celebrated newspaper, called the London Times. Mr. George had another London paper which was full of humorous engravings. The name of it was Punch. Mr. George gave the Punch to Rollo, thinking that the pictures and caricatures in it might perhaps amuse him; but Rollo, after turning it over a moment, concluded that he should prefer to amuse himself by looking out the window.

Rollo saw a great many beautiful views and witnessed a great many strange and striking scenes as he was whirled onward by the train across the country from Paris towards Strasbourg. We cannot, however, stop to describe what he saw, but must hasten on to the Swiss frontier. The travellers arrived at Strasbourg in the evening. They spent the night at a hotel; and the next morning they took another railway which led along the bank of the Rhine, up the river, towards Switzerland. The country was magnificent. There was the river on one side, and a range of mountains rising sublimely in the interior on the other. The mountains were at a distance of several miles from the river; and the country between was an extremely fertile and luxuriant plain, covered with villages, castles, parks, pleasure grounds, gardens, and cultivated fields, which presented every where most enchanting pictures of rural beauty. This province is called Alsatia.

The terminus of the railway was at the city of Basle, which lies just within the confines of Switzerland. A short distance before reaching the gates of Basle, the train stopped at what seemed at first to be a station. It was, however, only the custom house, where the trunks and passports were to be examined.

"What are we to do here," asked Rollo.

"I am going to do what I see other people do," replied Mr. George. "You can do whatever you please."

At this moment a guard, dressed, like all the other railway servants, in a sort of uniform, opened the door of the car in which Mr. George and Rollo were sitting, and said in a very respectful manner, in French,—

"The custom house, gentlemen."

Mr. George observed that the passengers were getting out from all the other cars; so he stepped out too, and Rollo followed him.

When they reached the platform they observed that a company of porters were employed in carrying all the trunks and baggage from the cars to the custom house, and that the passengers were going into the custom house too, though by another door. Mr. George and Rollo went in with them. They found an office within, and a desk, where one or two secretaries sat and examined the passports of the travellers as they successively presented them. As fast as they were examined they were impressed with a new stamp, which denoted permission for the travellers to pass the Swiss frontier. The several travellers, as fast as their passports were examined, found right, and stamped, were allowed to pass between two soldiers through a door into another hall, where they found all the trunks and baggage arranged on a sort of counter, which extended around the centre of the room, so as to enclose a square place within. The custom-house officers who were to examine the baggage were within this enclosure, while the travellers who owned the baggage stood without. These last walked around the counter, looking at the trunks, boxes, bundles, and carpet bags that covered it, each selecting his own and opening the several parcels, in order that the officers within might examine them.

The object of examining the trunks of passengers in this way is, to ascertain that they have not any goods concealed in them. As a general thing, persons are not allowed to take goods from one country to another without paying a tax for them. Such a tax is called technically a duty, and the avails of it go to support the government of the country which the goods are carried into. Travellers are allowed to take with them all that is necessary for their own personal use, as travellers, without paying any duty; but articles that are intended for sale as merchandise, or those which, though intended for the traveller's own use, are not strictly personal, are liable to pay duty. The principle is, that whatever the traveller requires for his own personal use, in travelling, is not liable to duty. What he does not so require must pay duty, no matter whether he intends to use it himself or to sell it.

Many travellers do not understand this properly, and often get into difficulty by not understanding it, as we shall see in the sequel.

Mr. George and Rollo went into the baggage room together, showing their passports as they passed through between the soldiers. They then walked slowly along the room, looking at the baggage, as it was arranged upon the counter, in search of their own.

"I see my trunk," said Mr. George, looking along at a little distance before him. "There it is."

"And where do you suppose mine is?" asked Rollo.

"I have not the least idea," said Mr. George. "I advise you to walk all around the room and see if you can find it; and when you find it, get it examined."

Rollo, taking this advice, walked on, leaving Mr. George in the act of taking out his key in order to open his trunk for the purpose of allowing an officer to inspect it as soon as one should be ready.

Rollo soon found his trunk. It was in a part of the room remote from his uncle's. Near his trunk was a very large one, which the officers were searching very thoroughly. They had found something in it which was not personal baggage and which the lady had not declared. Rollo could not see what the article was which the officers had found. It was something contained in a pretty box. The lady had put it into the bottom of her trunk. The officers had taken it out, and were now examining it. The lady stood by, seemingly in great distress.

Rollo's attention, which had begun to be attracted by this scene, was, however, almost immediately called off from it by the voice of another officer, who pointed to his trunk and asked him if it was his.

"Is that yours?" said the officer, in French.

"Yes," replied Rollo, in the same language, "it is mine;" and so saying, he proceeded to take out his key and unlock the trunk.

"Have you any thing to declare?" asked the man.

Rollo looked perplexed. He did not know what the officer meant by asking him if he had any thing to declare. After a moment's hesitation he said,—

"I don't know; but I will go ask my uncle."

So Rollo went to the place where he had left his uncle George, and accosted him by saying,—

"They want to know if I have any thing to declare. What do they mean?"

"They mean whether you have any goods in your trunk that are liable to pay duty. Tell them no."

So Rollo went back and told the officer that he had not any thing to declare. He then opened his trunk; but the officer, instead of examining it, shut down the lid, saying, "Very well;" and by means of a piece of chalk he marked it upon the top with some sort of character. A porter then took the trunk and carried it back to the train.

Rollo perceived that the difficulty about the lady's baggage had been settled in some way or other, but he feared it was settled in a manner not very satisfactory to the lady herself; for, as the porters took up her trunk to carry it back, she looked quite displeased and out of humor.

Rollo went back to the place where he had left his uncle George, and then they went together out to the platform. Here Rollo found the lady who had had difficulty about her baggage explaining the case to some friends that she found there. She seemed to be very indignant and angry, and was telling her story with great volubility. Rollo listened for a moment; but she spoke so rapidly that he could not understand what she said, as she spoke in French.

"What does she say?" he asked, speaking to Mr. George.

"She says," replied Mr. George, "that they were going to seize something that she had in her trunk because she did not declare it."

"What does that mean?" said Rollo.

"Why, the law is," said Mr. George, "that when people have any thing in their trunks that is dutiable, if they declare it, that is, acknowledge that they have it and show it to the officers, then they have only to pay the duty, and they may carry the article in. But if they do not declare it, but hide it away somewhere in their trunks, and the officers find it there, then the thing is forfeited altogether. The officers seize it and sell it for the benefit of the government."

"O, uncle George!" exclaimed Rollo.

"Yes," said Mr. George, "that is what they do; and it is right. If people wish to bring any thing that is subject to duty into any country they ought to be willing to pay the duty, and not, by refusing to pay, make other people pay more than their share."

"If one man does not pay his duty," rejoined Rollo, "do the others have to pay more?"

"Yes," said Mr. George, "in the end they do. At least I suppose so. Whatever the amount of money may be that is required for the expenses of government, if one man does not pay his share, the rest must make it up, I suppose."

"They did not look into my trunk at all," said Rollo. "Why didn't they? I might have had ever so many things hid away there."

"I suppose they knew from the circumstances of the case," said Mr. George, "that you would not be likely to have any smuggled goods in your trunk. They saw at once that you were a foreign boy, and knew that you must be coming to Switzerland only to make a tour, and that you could have no reason for wishing to smuggle any thing into the country. They scarcely looked into my trunk at all."

While Mr. George and Rollo had been holding this conversation they had returned to their places in the car, and very soon the train was in motion to take them into the town.

Thus our travellers passed the Swiss frontier. In half an hour afterwards they were comfortably established at a large and splendid hotel called the Three Kings. The hotel has this name in three languages, English, French, and German, as people speaking those several languages come, in almost equal numbers, to Switzerland. Thus when you leave the station you may, in your directions to the coachman, say you wish to go to the Three Kings, or to the Trois Rois, or to the Drei Koenige, whichever you please. They all mean the same hotel—the best hotel in Basle.



The city of Basle stands upon the banks of the Rhine, on the northern frontier of Switzerland. The waters of the Rhine are gathered from hundreds of roaring and turbid torrents which come out, some from vast icy caverns in the glaciers, some from the melting debris of fallen avalanches, some from gushing fountains which break out suddenly through crevices in the rocks or yawning chasms, and some from dark and frightful ravines on the mountain sides, down which they foam and tumble perpetually, fed by vast fields of melting snow above. The waters of all these torrents, being gathered at last into one broad, and deep, and rapid stream, flow to a vast reservoir called the Lake of Constance, where they repose for a time, or, rather, move slowly and insensibly forward, enjoying a comparative quiescence which has all the characteristics and effects of repose. The waters enter this reservoir wild and turbid. They leave it calm and clear; and then, flowing rapidly for one hundred miles along the northern frontier of Switzerland, and receiving successively the waters of many other streams that have come from hundreds of other torrents and have been purified in the repose of other lakes extending over the whole northern slope of Switzerland, they form a broad and rapid river, which flows swiftly through Basle, and then, turning suddenly to the northward, bids Basle and Switzerland farewell together.

"And then where does it go?" said Rollo to Mr. George when his uncle had explained this thus far to him.

"Straight across the continent to the North Sea," said Mr. George.

Thus the whole northern slope of Switzerland is drained by a system of waters which, when united at Basle, form the River Rhine.

The morning after Mr. George and Rollo arrived at Basle they were looking out upon the River Rhine from the windows of the hotel.

"What a swift river!" said Rollo.

"Yes," said Mr. George.

"And how blue the water is!" continued Rollo.

"Yes," said Mr. George. "The water of the streams which come from the Swiss mountains is turbid at first and very gray from the grinding up of the rocks in the moraines and glaciers and by the avalanches."

"What is a moraine?" asked Rollo.

"I will explain it to you one of these days," said Mr. George, "when you come to see one."

"And a glacier," said Rollo; "what is that?"

"I will explain that to you, too, some other time," said Mr. George, "but not now; for the breakfast will come in in a minute or two."

"Well," said Rollo, "I can hear while I am eating my breakfast."

"That may be," replied Mr. George; "but I cannot lecture very well while I am eating my breakfast."

Rollo laughed. "I did not think of that," said he.

"What queer boats!" continued Rollo, looking out again upon the river. "And there is a long bridge leading over to the other side. May I go out and walk over on that bridge after breakfast?"

"Yes," said Mr. George, "you may go any where you please."

"But suppose I should get lost," said Rollo. "What should I do then?"

"I don't know," said Mr. George, "unless you should ask somebody to tell you the way to the Three Kings."

"But perhaps they would not understand English," said Rollo.

"Then you must say Trois Rois,[3a] which is the French name for the hotel," rejoined Mr. George.

"But perhaps they would not understand French," said Rollo.

"No," replied Mr. George; "I think it probable they would not; for people talk German generally in this part of Switzerland. In that case you must ask the way to Drei Koenige."[3b]

Here the waiter came in with the breakfast. It consisted of a pot of coffee, another of boiled milk, an omelette, some excellent cakes, and some honey. There was a long table extending up and down the room, which was a very large and handsome apartment, and there were besides several round tables in corners and in pleasant places near the windows. The breakfast for Mr. George and Rollo was put upon one of the round tables; and, in sitting down to it, Rollo took pains to place himself in such a manner that he could look out the window and see the water while he was eating.

"What a dreadful river that would be to fall into!" said Rollo. "It runs so swift and looks so angry!"

"Yes," said Mr. George. "It runs swift because the descent is very great. Switzerland is very high; and the water, in running from it, flows very swiftly."

"I did not know that Switzerland was all high," said Rollo. "I knew that the mountains were high; but the valleys must be low."

"No," said Mr. George; "it is all high. The bottoms of the valleys are higher than the tops of the mountains in many other countries. In going into Switzerland, we go up hill nearly all the way; and so, even when we are at the bottom of the deepest valleys in Switzerland, we are up very high. There is Chamouni, for example, which is a deep valley near the foot of Mont Blanc. The bottom of that valley is six or seven times as high as the top of the Palisades on the North River."

"O, uncle George!" exclaimed Rollo.

"Yes," said Mr. George; "and it is so with all the Swiss valleys; and, accordingly, the water that comes down through them has a great descent to make in getting to the sea. Thus there are a great many falls, and cascades, and rapids; and, even in those places where the rivers run smoothly, the current is very swift and very strong."

While Mr. George and Rollo were eating their breakfast the attention of Rollo was occupied partly by the prospect of the river as he saw it through the open window, and partly by the various groups of travellers who were constantly coming into the room, or going out, or taking their breakfasts in little parties at the tables. Some who had finished their breakfasts were looking at maps and guide books which they had spread out before them on the tables. The room was very large, and very beautiful; and, as it was lighted on the back side by a row of wide and lofty windows which looked out upon the river, it wore a very bright and cheerful expression. At one end of it were glass doors, which led into another room very similar to this, as it likewise had windows looking out upon the river. This room was used as a sort of sitting room and reading room. There was a table in the centre, with newspapers, some French, some English, and some German, lying upon it. Rollo determined to go into this room as soon as he had finished his breakfast to see who was there and what they were doing.

"Rollo," said Mr. George, after a short pause, "do you wish to travel in Switzerland intelligently or blindly?"

"What do you mean by that?" asked Rollo.

"Why, do you wish to understand something of the general features of the country first, so as to know always, as we go travelling on, where you are, and where you are going, and what you are to expect to see, or would you rather not trouble yourself at all about this, but take things as they come along, and enjoy them as you see them, without thinking or caring what is to come next."

"Which is the best way?" asked Rollo.

"Either is a very good way," replied Mr. George. "There is a pleasure in understanding and anticipating, and there is also a pleasure in wondering what is to come next and meeting with surprises. You can take your choice."

Rollo reflected a moment, and then he said that he thought he should like best to understand.

"Very well," said Mr. George. "Then I will explain to you the general features of Switzerland. Switzerland—or at least that portion of it which is the chief scene of the rambles of tourists and travellers—consists substantially of a long and deep valley, extending from east to west through the centre, and bordered by a range of mountains on each side. The range of mountains on the northern side of this valley is, of course, towards Germany; the one on the southern side is towards Italy. On the north side of the northern range of mountains is a broad slope of land, extending a hundred miles towards the German frontier. On the southern side of the southern range of mountains is a steep and narrow slope, extending to the Italian frontier.

"Thus we may say," continued Mr. George, "that Switzerland consists substantially of a broad northern slope of land and a narrow southern slope, with a deep valley between them. Do you understand this?"

"Yes," said Rollo. "If I had some damp sand, and a little wooden shovel, I think I could make it."

"People do make models of the Swiss valleys and mountains," said Mr. George. "In fact, they have maps of Switzerland, embossed with all the mountains in relief; and I wish very much that we had one here to look at."

"There is one here," said Rollo, his face brightening up very luminously as he spoke. "I saw it hanging up in the gallery, and I did not know what it was. It must be that. I'll go and show it to you after breakfast."

"I am very glad," said Mr. George. "I wished to see one very much. We will go and see it immediately after breakfast. But now let me tell you a little more about the country. You must not imagine that the northern slope, as I called it, is one smooth and uniform surface of descending land. There are mountains, and valleys, and lakes, and precipices, and waterfalls, and every other variety of mountain scenery scattered all over it, making it a most picturesque and romantic region. It is, however, on the whole, a slope. It begins with comparatively smooth and level land on the north and it terminates in a range of lofty mountain crests on the south; and you have to go over this crest somewhere, by some of the steep and difficult passes that cross it, to get into the central valley. We are on the margin of this slope now. When we leave here and strike into the heart of Switzerland we shall be gradually ascending it. I am going first to a place called Interlachen, which is in a deep valley far up this slope, just under the ridge of mountains. Interlachen is surrounded, in fact, by mountains, and a great many pleasant excursions can be made from it. We shall stop there a few days and make excursions, and then cross over by some of the mountain passes into the valley."

"Well," said Rollo, in a tone of great satisfaction. "I shall like that; I should like to go over a mountain pass. Shall we go in a carriage, or on horseback."

"That depends upon which of the passes we take," said Mr. George. "Some of them are carriage roads, some are bridle paths; and you ride over on mules or horses. Others are too steep and dangerous to ride over in any way. You have to go on foot, climbing up zigzag paths cut out of the rock, and over great patches of snow that horses and mules would sink into."

"Let's go in one of those," said Rollo, straightening himself up.

"Sometimes the path becomes narrower and narrower," continued Mr. George, "until it is finally lost among the rocks, and you have to clamber around the point of some rocky cliff a thousand feet in the air, with scarcely any thing but the jagged roughness of the rocks to cling to."

"Yes, sir," said Rollo, eagerly. "Yes, sir. Let's go there. That's just the kind of road I want to go in."

"Well, we'll see," said Mr. George. "The first thing is to go to Interlachen. That is in the heart of the mountains, and very near the passes which lead over into the valley. When we get there we will study the guide book and the maps and determine which way to go."

"And after you get into the valley," said Rollo, "shall you go across it, and go over the mountains on the other side, into Italy?"

"I don't know," said Mr. George. "Perhaps we shall not have time. I may think it is best to spend the time in rambling about among the mountains and glaciers near the head of the valley, where I believe is to be found the most stupendous scenery in all Switzerland."

The breakfast was now nearly finished, though the process of eating it had been a good deal impeded by the conversation, so large a share of it having fallen to Mr. George. Mr. George, however, explained to Rollo that their first day's journey from Basle would be south, towards Berne, the capital of the country—a city which was situated near the centre of the northern slope which Mr. George had described.

"Do we go by a railway?" asked Rollo.

"No," said Mr. George; "by a diligence."


[Footnote 3a-3b: Mr. George, in speaking these words, did not pronounce them as you would suppose from the manner in which they are written. He pronounced them very much as if they were spelled Tru-ah Ru-ah. In the same manner, the German words, Drei Koenige, he pronounced as if they were spelled Dhrai Ker-nig-ger.]



A diligence is a sort of stage coach used in France and Switzerland, and generally on the continent of Europe. It is constructed very differently, however, from an American stage coach, being divided into four distinct compartments. Rollo had seen a diligence in Paris, and so he could understand very easily the conversation which ensued between himself and his uncle in respect to the seats which they should take in the one in which they were to travel to Berne. In order, however, to enable the reader of this book to understand it, I must here give a brief description of this kind of vehicle. The engraving on page 77 is a very faithful representation of one of them. There are three windows in the side of it. Each of these windows leads to a different compartment of the coach. In addition to these three compartments, there is, over the foremost of these, on the top of the coach, another, making four in all. This compartment on the top is called the banquette.

These coaches are so large that they have a conductor. The man who drives sometimes sits on a small seat placed in front of the banquette, and sometimes he rides on one of the horses. In either case, however, he has nothing to do but to attend to his team. The passengers and the baggage are all under the conductor's care.

The compartment immediately beneath the banquette, which is the front compartment of the body of the coach, is called the coupe. The coupe extends across the whole coach, from one side to the other; but it is quite narrow. It has only one seat,—a seat facing the horses,—with places upon it for three passengers. There are windows in front, by which the passengers can look out under the coachman's seat when there is a coachman's seat there. The doors leading to the coupe are in the sides.

The compartment immediately behind the coupe is called the interior. It is entirely separate from the coupe. There are two seats, which extend from one side of the coach to the other, and have places upon them for three passengers each, making six in all. The three passengers who sit on one of these seats must, of course, ride with their backs to the horses. The doors leading to the interior are in the sides. In fact, the interior has within exactly the appearance of a common hackney coach, with seats for six passengers.

Behind the interior is the fourth compartment, which is called the rotonde. It is like a short omnibus. The door is behind, and the seats are on the sides. This omnibus compartment is so short that there is only room for three people on each side, and the seats are not very comfortable.

Very genteel people, who wish to be secluded and to ride somewhat in style, take the coupe. The seats in the coupe are very comfortable, and there is a very good opportunity to see the country through the front and side windows. The price is much higher, however, for seats in the coupe than in any other part of the diligence.

The mass of common travellers generally take places in the interior. The seats there are comfortable, only there is not a very good opportunity to see the country; for there are only two windows, one on each side, in the top of the door.

People who do not care much about the style in which they travel, but only desire to have the best possible opportunity to view the country and to have an amusing time, generally go up to the banquette. The places here are cheaper than they are even in the interior, and very much cheaper than they are in the coupe.

The cheapest place of all, however, is in the rotonde, which is the omnibus-like compartment, in the end of the diligence, behind. This compartment is generally filled with laborers, soldiers, and servants; and sometimes nurses and children are put here.

The baggage is always stored upon the top of the diligence, behind the banquette, and directly over the interior and the rotonde. It is packed away very carefully there, and is protected by a strong leather covering, which is well strapped down over it. All these things you see plainly represented in the engraving.

We now return to the conversation which was held between Rollo and Mr. George at the close of their breakfast.

"I have got some letters to write after breakfast," said Mr. George, "and I should like to go directly to my room and write them. So I wish you would find out when the diligence goes next to Berne, and take places in it for you and me."

"Well," said Rollo, "I will; only how shall I do it? Where shall I go?"

"I don't know any thing about it," replied Mr. George. "The guide book says that there is a diligence from Basle to Berne; and I suppose there is an office for it somewhere about town. Do you think you can find it?"

"I'll try," said Rollo. "But how do we take seats in it? Is there a book for us to write our names in, with the place where they are to call for us?"

"I do not know any thing about it," said Mr. George. "All I know is, that I want to go to Berne with you some way or other in the diligence, and I wish to have you plan and arrange it all."

"Well," said Rollo, "I will, if I can find out. Only tell me what places I shall take."

"I don't care particularly about that," replied Mr. George; "only let it be where we can see best. It must be either in the coupe or in the banquette. We can't see at all, scarcely, in the other compartments."

"Well," said Rollo, "I should like to be where I can see. But would you rather it would be in the coupe, or in the banquette?"

"That is just as you please," replied Mr. George. "There are some advantages in being in the banquette."

"What are they?" asked Rollo.

"There are four advantages," replied Mr. George. "First, it is up very high, and is all open, so that you have a most excellent chance to see."

"Yes," said Rollo. "I shall like that."

"The second advantage," said Mr. George, "is, that it costs less. The places in the banquette are quite cheap."

"Yes," said Rollo. "I like that. So we can save some of our money."

"The third advantage," continued Mr. George, "is, that we have a great deal better opportunity to hear talking there. There are usually five persons in that part of the coach—the coachman, the conductor, and three passengers. That is, there will be one passenger besides you and me. He will probably be talking with the conductor part of the time, and the conductor will be talking with the coachman, and we shall be amused by hearing what they say."

"But there are six persons in the interior," said Rollo, "to talk."

"True," replied Mr. George; "but, then, they are usually not so sociable there as they are up on the banquette. Besides, the noise of the wheels on the hard gravel roads is so loud there that we cannot hear very well. Then, moreover, when we stop to change horses, the hostlers and postilions come out, and our coachman and conductor often have a great deal of amusing conversation with them, which we can hear from the banquette; but we could not hear it, or see the process of harnessing and unharnessing, from the interior, nor even very well from the coupe."

"Well," said Rollo. "I like that. But that makes only three advantages. You said there were four."

"Yes," said Mr. George. "But as to the fourth, I do not know whether you will consider it an advantage or not."

"What is it?" said Rollo. "I've no doubt but I shall."

"Why, in getting up and down to and from the banquette you will have a great deal of hard climbing to do."

"Yes," said Rollo. "I shall like that. They are all advantages—very great advantages indeed."

So Rollo fully determined in his own mind that he would take places on the banquette. He thought that there was one disadvantage in that part of the coach; and that was, that in case of storm the rain would drive in directly upon them; but he found in the end that an excellent provision was made against this contingency.

The young gentlemen had now finished their breakfasts; and so they rose and went out to what Rollo called the gallery, to see the embossed map of Switzerland which he said that he had seen hanging there. The plan of this hotel was very peculiar. In the centre of it was a very large, open hall, almost like a court, only it was covered above with a roof and lighted by a skylight. Around this hall there was, in each story, an open gallery, with a railing on one side, over which you could look down to the floor below; and on the other side, at short intervals, there were doors leading to the various apartments. Between these doors, and against the walls, were hanging maps, plans, pictures, and other embellishments, which gave to these galleries a very attractive appearance. Here and there, too, on the different stories, there were sofas or other seats, with persons sitting upon them. Some were sewing, and some were attending children who were playing near. At the two ends of the hotel there were broad staircases connected with these galleries and leading from one to the other. Besides the galleries there were long corridors, extending each way from the centre of the building to ranges of apartments situated in the wings. The hotel, in fact, was very spacious, and it was very admirably arranged.

Rollo conducted Mr. George to the third story; and there, hanging against the wall, he found the embossed map of Switzerland which he had described. Mr. George and Rollo took this map down from its nail, and, seating themselves upon a settee which was near, they held it before them and examined it very attentively for some time. Mr. George showed Rollo the great central valley of Switzerland, with the ranges of mountains on each side of it. He showed him, too, the great slope of land which extended over the whole northern part of Switzerland. It was bounded on the north by the River Rhine and the frontier, and on the south by the great range of mountains which separated it from the valley. He showed him, too, the numerous lakes which were scattered over the surface of it.

"You see," said he, "that the waters which come out from the glaciers and the snow fields, and down through the chasms and ravines in the mountain sides, flow on till they come to some valley or place of comparatively low land; and they spread all over this depression, and flow into it more and more until they fill it up and make a lake there. When the lake is full the surplus waters run off clear wherever they find a channel."

"Is that the way the lakes are formed?" asked Rollo.

"Yes," said Mr. George. "You will see that it is so when we get up to them."

"Up to them?" said Rollo. "You mean down to them."

"No," said Mr. George. "The lakes are up quite high. Many of them are far up the sides of the mountains. The water, in leaving them, runs very rapidly, showing that there is a great descent in the land where they are flowing. Sometimes, in fact, these streams and rivers, after they leave the lakes, form great cataracts and cascades in getting down to the level country below.

"But now," continued Mr. George, "I must go to my writing, and you may see what you can do about the diligence."

So Mr. George went away towards his room, leaving Rollo to hang up the embossed map and then to determine how he should go to work to ascertain what he was to do.

Rollo found less difficulty than he had anticipated in procuring places in the diligence. He first inquired of the clerk, at the office of the hotel. The clerk offered to send a porter with him to show him the way to the diligence office; but Rollo said that he would prefer to go himself alone, if the clerk would tell him in what part of the town it was.

So the clerk gave Rollo the necessary direction, and Rollo went forth.

He found the diligence office very easily. In fact, he recognized the place at once when he came near it, by seeing several diligences standing before it along the street. He entered under an archway. On entering, he observed several doors leading to various offices, with inscriptions over each containing the names of the various towns to which the several diligences were going. At length he found BERNE.

Rollo did not know precisely in what way the business at such an office was to be transacted; but he had learned from past experience that all that was necessary in order to make himself understood in such cases was, to speak the principal words that were involved in the meaning that he was intending to convey, without attempting to make full and complete sentences of them. In cases where he adopted this mode of speaking he was accustomed usually to begin by saying that he could not speak French very well.

Accordingly, in this instance he went to the place where the clerk was sitting and said,—

"I do not speak French very well. Diligence to Berne. Two places. Banquette."

"Yes, yes," said the clerk. "I understand very well."

The clerk then told him what the price would be of two seats on the banquette, and Rollo paid the money. The clerk then made out and signed two very formal receipts and gave them to Rollo.

Rollo walked back towards the hotel, studying his receipts by the way; but he could not understand them, as they were in the German language.



At length the time arrived for the departure of our two travellers from Basle. A porter from the hotel carried their trunks to the diligence office, while Rollo and Mr. George walked. When they got to the place they found the diligence in the archway, and several men were employed in carrying up trunks and carpet bags to the top of it and stowing them away there. In doing this they ascended and descended by means of a long step ladder. The men took Mr. George's trunk and Rollo's and packed them away with the rest. There were several persons who looked like passengers standing near, waiting, apparently, for the diligence to be ready.

Among them were two children, a girl and a boy, who seemed to be about Rollo's age. They were plainly but neatly dressed. They were sitting on a chest. The boy had a shawl over his arm, and the girl had a small morocco travelling bag in her hand.

The girl looked a moment at Rollo as he came up the archway, and then cast her eyes down again. Her eyes were blue, and they were large and beautiful and full of meaning. There was a certain gentleness in the expression of her countenance which led Rollo to think that she must be a kindhearted and amiable girl. The boy looked at Rollo too, and followed him some time with his eyes, gazing at him as he came up the archway with a look of interest and curiosity.

It was not yet quite time for the diligence to set out. In fact, the horses were not yet harnessed to it; and during the interval Rollo and Mr. George stood by, watching the process of getting the coach ready for the journey, and contrasting the appearance of the vehicle, and of the men employed about it, and the arrangements which they were making, with the corresponding particulars in the setting off of a stage coach as they had witnessed it in America. While doing this Rollo walked about the premises a little; and at length, finding himself near the two children on the chest, he concluded to venture to accost the boy.

"Are you going in this diligence?" said he, speaking in French.

"Yes," replied the boy.

"So am I," said Rollo. "Can you speak English?"

"Yes," said the boy. He spoke the yes in English.

"Are you going to Berne?" asked Rollo.

"I don't know," said the boy.

The girl, who had been looking at Rollo during this conversation, here spoke, and said that they were going to Berne.

"We are going in that diligence," said she.

"So am I," said Rollo. "I have got a seat on the banquette."

"Yes," rejoined the boy. "I wished to have a seat on the banquette, so that I could see; but the seats were all engaged before my father went to the office; so we are going in the coupe; but I don't like it half so well."

"Nor I," said the girl.

"Where is your father?" asked Rollo.

"He is gone," replied the boy, "with mother to buy something at a shop a little way from here. Lottie and I were tired, and so we preferred to stay here. But they are coming back pretty soon."

"Are you all going to ride in the coupe?" said Rollo; "because, there will not be room. There is only room for three in the coupe."

"I know it," said Lottie; "but then, as two of us are children, father thought that we could get along. Father had a plan for getting Adolphus a seat in the interior; but he was not willing to go there, because, he said, he could not see."

Just at this moment the father and mother of Adolphus and Lottie came up the archway into the court yard where the diligence was standing. The horses had been brought out some minutes before and were now nearly harnessed. The gentleman seemed to be quite in a hurry as he came up; and, seeing that the horses were nearly ready, he said,—

"Now, children, get in and take your places as soon as possible."

So they all went to the coach, and the gentleman attempted to open the door leading to the coupe. It was fastened.

"Conductor," said he, speaking very eagerly to the conductor, who was standing near, "open this door!"

"There is plenty of time," said the conductor. "There is no need of haste."

However, in obedience to the request of the gentleman, the conductor opened the door; and the gentleman, helping his wife in, first, afterwards lifted the children in, and then got in himself. The conductor shut the door.

"Come, uncle George," said Rollo, "is not it time for us to get up to our places?"

"No," said Mr. George. "They will tell us when the proper time comes."

So Mr. George and Rollo remained quietly standing by the side of the diligence while the hostlers finished harnessing the horses. Rollo during this time was examining with great interest the little steps and projections on the side of the coach by which he expected that he and Mr. George were to climb up to their places.

It turned out in the end, however, that he was disappointed in his expectation of having a good climb; for, when the conductor was ready for the banquette passengers to take their places, he brought the step ladder and planted it against the side of the vehicle, and Mr. George and Rollo went up as easily as they would have gone up stairs.

When the passengers were seated the step ladder was taken away, and a moment afterwards the postilion started the horses forward, and the ponderous vehicle began to move down the archway, the clattering of the horses' hoofs and the lumbering noise of the wheels sounding very loud in consequence of the echoes and reverberations produced by the sides and vaulting of the archway. As soon as the diligence reached the street the postilion began to crack his whip to the right and left in the most loud and vehement manner, and the coach went thundering on through the narrow streets of the town, driving every thing from before it as if it were a railway train going express.

"Uncle George," exclaimed Rollo, "they have forgotten the conductor!"

Rollo was, in fact, quite concerned for a few minutes lest the conductor should have been left behind. He knew where this official's proper seat was; namely, at the left end of the banquette—that is, at the right hand, as seen in the engraving; and as he was not there, and as he knew that all the other seats were full, he presumed, of course, that he had been left behind. He was relieved of these fears, however, very soon; for, to his great astonishment, he suddenly perceived the head of the conductor coming up the side of the coach, followed gradually by the rest of his body as he climbed up to his place. Rollo wondered how he could manage to get on and climb up, especially as the coach was at this time thundering along a descending portion of the street with a speed and uproar that was terrific.

Rollo, though at first very much astonished at this performance of the conductor, afterwards ceased to wonder at it; for he found that the conductor could ascend and descend to and from his seat at any time without any difficulty, even while the horses were going at the top of their speed. If the snapper of the coachman's whip got caught in the harness so that he could not liberate it, as it often did on the road, the conductor would climb down, run forward to the horses, set the snapper free, fall back to the coach, catch hold of the side and climb up, the coachman cracking his whip as soon as it was freed, and urging on his horses to a gallop, without troubling himself at all to consider how the conductor was to get up again.

But to return to the story. When Rollo found that the conductor was safe he amused himself by looking to the right and left into the windows of the houses at the second story. His seat was so high that he could do this very easily. Many of these windows were open, and persons were sitting at them, sewing or reading. At some of them groups of children were standing. They were looking out to see the diligence go by. The street was so narrow that Rollo found himself very near these persons as he passed by.

"A little nearer," said he to his uncle George, "and I could shake hands with them."

In a very few minutes the coach passed under a great arched gateway leading through the wall of the city, and thence over a sort of drawbridge which spanned the moat. Immediately afterwards it entered a region of smooth, green fields, and pretty rural houses, and gardens, which presented on every side very charming pictures to the view.

"Now, uncle George," said Rollo, "won't we have a magnificent ride?"

Rollo was not disappointed in his anticipations. He found the ride to Berne a very magnificent one indeed. The road was smooth and hard as a floor. From side to side it was flat and level, and all the ascents which it made were so gradual that the horses trotted on at their full speed, without any cessation, sweeping around long and graceful curves, which brought continually into view new landscapes, each one, as it seemed, more varied and beautiful than the one which had preceded it. From his lofty seat on the banquette Rollo looked abroad over a very wide extent of country; and when the coach stopped at the villages or post houses to change horses, he could look down with great advantage upon the fresh teams as they were brought out and upon the groups of hostlers and post boys employed in shifting the harness. He could hear, too, all that they said, though they generally talked so fast, and mingled their words with so much laughter and fun, that Rollo found that he could understand but little.

Rollo was particularly struck, as he was whirled swiftly along the road, by the appearance of the Swiss houses. They were very large, and were covered with a very broad roof, which extended so far over the walls on every side as to appear like a great, square, broad-brimmed hat. Under this roof were platforms projecting from the house, one on each story, like piazzas. These piazzas were very broad. They were bordered by balustrades on the outer edge, and were used for sheds, store houses, and tool rooms. There were wood piles, wagons, harrows, and other farming implements, bundles of straw, and stones piled up here and there upon them. In fact, the Swiss cottager has his house, and barn, and sheds, and outhouses all under one roof; and what there is not room for within he stores without upon these platforms.

These houses were situated in the midst of the most beautiful fields and gardens, the whole forming a series of very charming landscapes. The view, too, as seen in many places along the road, was bounded at the south by a long line of snow-covered mountains, which glittered brilliantly in the sun and imparted an inexpressible fascination to the prospect.

The diligence arrived at the city of Berne near night, and Mr. George and Rollo remained in that city until the next day at noon. Rollo was extremely interested in walking about the streets in the morning. In almost all the streets of Berne the second stories of the houses are extended over the sidewalks, the superincumbent masonry being supported by massive square pillars, built up from the edge of the sidewalk below, and by arches above. Of course, in going along the sidewalk the passenger is sheltered by the roof above him, and in the worst weather he can go all over the city without being exposed to the rain excepting at the street crossings. This arrangement is a very convenient one, certainly, for rainy weather; but it gives the streets a very gloomy and forbidding appearance at other times.

Still Rollo was very much amused in walking along under these arcades; the more so because, in addition to the shops in the buildings themselves, there were usually stalls and stands, between and around the pillars, filled with curious things of all sorts, which were for sale; so that in walking along he had a display of goods on both sides of him. These goods consisted of toys, books, pictures, tools, implements, and curiosities, including a multitude of things which Rollo had never seen or heard of before.

Berne is famous for bears. The bear is, in fact, the emblem of the city, and of the canton, or province, in which Berne is situated. There is a story that in very ancient times, when Berchtold, the original founder of the city, was beginning to build the walls, a monstrous bear came out of the woods to attack him. Berchtold, with the assistance of the men who were at work with him on the walls, killed the bear. They gloried greatly in this exploit, and they preserved the skin and claws of the bear for a long time as the trophy of their victory. Afterwards they made the bear their emblem. They painted the figure of the animal on their standards. They made images and effigies of him to ornament their streets, and squares, and fountains, and public buildings. They stamped the image of him on their coins; and, to this day, you see figures of the bear every where in Berne. Carved images of Bruin in every attitude are for sale in the shops; and, not contented with these lifeless symbols, the people of Berne for a long time had a pit, or den, similar to those in the Garden of Plants at Paris, where they kept living specimens for a long time.[4] This den was just without the gates of the city. The guide book which Rollo read as he was coming into Berne, to see what it said about the city, stated that there was one bear in the garden at that time; and he wished very much to go and see it, but he did not have a very convenient opportunity.


[Footnote 4: See Rollo in Paris for an account of these dens for bears in the Garden of Plants.]



After spending several hours in Berne and wondering greatly at the many strange things which they saw there, Mr. George and Rollo took their passage in another diligence for Thun, which was a town still farther in towards the heart of Switzerland on the way to Interlachen. It took only three or four hours to go to Thun. The town, they found, was small, compact, surrounded by walls, and very delightfully situated at the end of a long lake, which extended from that point very far in among the mountains. There was one thing very remarkable about Thun, at least it seemed very remarkable to Rollo, although he found afterwards that it was a common thing in Switzerland; and that was, that the hotels were all outside the town.

There was reason in this; for the town—though it was a very curious and romantic place, with a church on a terraced hill at one end of it, surrounded with a beautifully ornamented church yard, with seats and bowers here and there at the corners of it, which overlooked the country and commanded charming views of the lake and mountains—was still, in the main, very contracted and confined, and hotels would not be pleasantly situated in it. A little beyond the town, however, on the margin of the lake, was a delightful region of gardens and pleasure grounds, with four or five very handsome hotels among them. Mr. George and Rollo stopped to dine at one of these hotels. From the windows of it there were the most brilliant and charming prospects of the lake and the surrounding mountains on one side, and on the other a view of the town and of two or three very pretty little steamboats lying at a pier.

Behind the hotel the land very soon ascended rapidly, the ascent terminating at last in crags and precipices which towered at a vast height above. Among these heights Rollo saw a sort of pavilion, built on a small projecting point of a hill, four or five hundred feet, perhaps, above the hotel.

"Do you think any body can get up there?" said he to his uncle George.

They were standing, when Rollo said this, on the back piazza of the hotel—a very beautiful place, looking out upon green lawns and gardens.

"Certainly," said Mr. George. "They would not have built such a lookout as that without making a way to get to it."

"Then let's go up there," said Rollo, "and see what we can see."

"Very well," said Mr. George; "lead the way, and I will follow."

"Well, come," said Rollo, moving on. "I am not sure that I can find the way; but I'll try."

So saying, Rollo chose from among several broad and smooth gravel walks which he saw diverging from the house in various directions, among the groves and copses of shrubbery that ornamented the grounds behind it, the one which seemed to turn most nearly in the right direction; and, running along before, he was soon out of sight of the hotel. The path meandered gracefully among shrubs, and flowers, and pretty green openings a little way, and then began to ascend the hill, sometimes in a winding course and sometimes by zigzags. There were seats placed here and there at proper points for rest. At length both Rollo and Mr. George were surprised to find coming suddenly into view a small building, which stood in a very romantic and picturesque spot about half way up the hill, which proved, on examination, to be a little chapel. It was an Episcopal chapel, built here by the proprietor of the hotel for the accommodation of his English guests on Sundays. There are a great many English travellers in Switzerland, more perhaps from that nation than from any other, and the English people are very much pleased with the opportunity to worship God, when in foreign lands, according to the rites and usages of their own national church. Americans, on the other hand, when travelling, generally prefer to attend churches in which the worship is conducted according to the usages of the people in whose country they chance to be.

After looking at the little English chapel as long as they wished, our two travellers went on up the path. The ascent soon became very steep, and the way led through close woods, which allowed of no opportunity to see, except that now and then a brief glimpse was obtained of the hotel, with the gardens and grounds around it, and the gentlemen and ladies walking upon the piazza in the rear of it.

After about a quarter of an hour of hard climbing up a wild and romantic but very smooth and well made path the two young gentlemen reached the pavilion. Here a boundless and most magnificent prospect was opened before them. Rollo was bewildered with astonishment and delight; and even Mr. George, who was usually very cool and quiet on such occasions, seemed greatly pleased. I shall not, however, attempt to describe the view; for, though a fine view from an elevated point among lakes and mountains is a very exciting thing actually to witness and enjoy, it is by no means an interesting thing to describe.

"What a magnificent prospect!" said Rollo.

Rollo, as he said this, was looking down at the more near and distinctly detailed objects which were to be seen directly below him at the bottom of the hill, towards the right—such as the hotels, the gardens, the roads, the pier, the steamboats, and the town. The attention of Mr. George, however, was attracted by the more grand and sublime features of the view which were to be seen in the other direction—the lake, the forests, and the mountains. The mountains that were near were darkened by the groves of evergreens that clothed their sides, and some of them were made more sombre still by the shadows of floating clouds; while over these there towered the glittering summits of more distant ranges, white with everlasting snow.

"How cold they look!" said Mr. George; "how icy cold!"

"How little they look! how very little! See, uncle George," said Rollo, pointing; "they are really good large steamboats, and you would think they were only playthings."

"There are some men walking along the road," continued Rollo, "just like little dots."

"See the banks of snow on that mountain, Rollo!" said Mr. George. "They look like drifts of dry, light snow, as they shine in the sun on a bitter cold winter day."

"Why doesn't it melt?" asked Rollo.

"Because it is up so high," said Mr. George. "As you go up in the air from the surface of the earth the air grows colder and colder, until at last, when you get up to a certain height, it is cold enough to freeze."

"Is it so every where?" asked Rollo.

"Yes," said Mr. George. "If you were to put some water into a vial and tie it to the tail of a kite, and send it up into the air high enough, the water would freeze, and when it came down you would find the water turned into ice."

"Should I?" asked Rollo. "Would it if I were to send the kite up in America?"

"Yes," said Mr. George, "any where, all over the earth."

"I mean to try it," said Rollo.

"You can't try it very well," replied Mr. George; "for you could not easily send a kite up high enough. It would take a very long time."

"How long?" asked Rollo.

"Why, that depends upon what part of the earth it is that you make the experiment in," replied Mr. George. "At the equator, where the sun is very hot, you would have to go up very high. In temperate regions, as in Switzerland or in most parts of America, you would not have to go up so high; and farther north, near the pole, it is only necessary to go up a very little way."

"And how high must we go up in Switzerland?" asked Rollo.

"About eight or nine thousand feet, I believe," said Mr. George. "Some of the Alpine summits are sixteen thousand feet high; and so the ice and snow lie upon the upper portions of them all the time."

The young gentlemen remained some time longer in the pavilion, gazing upon the stupendous scenery around them, and looking down the lake which lay before them in the bottom of a deep and narrow valley and extended in among the mountains much farther than they could see.

"We are going along that lake," said Rollo "are we not?"

"Yes," said Mr. George; "it is the Lake of Thun."

"We are going in one of the steamboats that are lying at the pier, are we not?" said Rollo.

"Yes," said Mr. George; "unless you would prefer going along the shore."

"Is there a road along the shore?" asked Rollo.

"Yes," said Mr. George; "there are two, I believe, one on each side of the lake. These roads run along at the foot of the mountains, far enough, however, above the level of the lake to enable us to enjoy excellent views of it. But we cannot see the mountains from it as well as we can from the lake itself."

"Then," said Rollo, "if we go by the road we can see the lake best; and if we go by the steamboat we can see the mountains best."

"Yes," said Mr. George; "that is the state of the case, exactly."

"Then I think we had better go by the boat," said Rollo; "for I would rather see the mountains."

"So would I," rejoined Mr. George. "Besides, there will be plenty of occasions on which we shall be obliged to go by land; therefore we had better go by water when we can, in order to have a variety. And, if we are going in the steamer, we must go back to the hotel; for it is almost time for the steamer to sail."

So Mr. George led the way, and Rollo followed, down the path by which they had come up. As they thus walked down they continued the conversation which they had commenced in the pavilion.

"What shall we come to when we get to the end of the lake?" asked Rollo. "Does the lake reach to the end of the valley?"

"No," said Mr. George. "The valley is about fifty miles long, I suppose, and this lake is only about fifteen miles long; but there is another in the same valley a little farther on. The valley is the valley of the Aar. That is the name of the stream which flows through it. It is one of the most remarkable valleys in Switzerland. I have been studying it in the guide book and on the map. It is about fifty miles long, and it winds in a serpentine manner between two lofty ranges of mountains, so steep and high that it is not possible to make any road over them."

"None at all?" asked Rollo.

"No," replied Mr. George. "They cannot make any road—nothing but bridle paths. The mountains, too, that border the valley along the sides close across at the head of it; so that if you go up the valley at all you cannot get out of it without climbing over the mountains; unless, indeed, you are willing to come back the same way that you went."

"I would rather climb over the mountains," said Rollo.

"So would I," said Mr. George. "The beginning of this valley," continued Mr. George "is in the very heart of the most mountainous part of Switzerland, and the River Aar commences there in prodigious cascades and waterfalls, which come down over the cliffs and precipices or gush out from enormous crevices and chasms, and make quite a river at the very beginning."

"Can we go there and see them?" said Rollo.

"Yes," replied Mr. George; "I mean to go and see them. The place is called Meyringen. The cascades and waterfalls at Meyringen are wonderful. One of them, the guide book says, makes dreadful work in times of flood. It comes out from a great chasm in the rocks in the face of a precipice at a vast height from the ground; and, in times of flood, it brings down such a mass of sand, gravel, stones, rubbish, and black mud as sometimes to threaten to overwhelm the village."

"Is there a village there?" asked Rollo.

"Yes," said Mr. George; "the village of Meyringen. This waterfall comes down out of the mountain just back of the village; and they have had to build up an immense wall, a quarter of a mile long and twenty or thirty feet high, to keep the torrent of mud and sand out of the streets. Once it broke through and filled up the church four feet deep all over the floor with mud, and gravel, and stones. Some of the stones were bigger than your head."

Rollo was very much interested in hearing this account of the Fall of Alpbach,—for that was the name of this unmanageable cataract,—and expressed a very strong desire to go to Meyringen and see it.

"We will go," said Mr. George. "It lies at the head of the valley of the Aar, which we are now entering. The River Aar, after being formed by these cataracts and cascades, flows through the valley, making two long lakes in its course. This Lake of Thun is the second one. The other is the Lake of Brienz. The upper end of the Lake of Thun is a few miles only from the lower end of the Lake of Brienz; and Interlachen is between the two."

About an hour after this conversation our two travellers might have been seen sitting together upon the deck of the little steamer which was paddling its way merrily along the lake, and occupying themselves in viewing and talking about the extraordinary spectacle presented by the slopes of the mountains which bordered the lake on either side, and which seemed to shut the lake in, as it were, between two immense walls of green.

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