Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

to bewilder one at first, and both lave the base of the mounlain so closely that the spectator might fancy himself suspended in the air above them, as in a balloon, and think, by one step from the brow of the precipice, to plunge into them. The peculiar greenish blue tint which sheets of water assume when seen from a height has also something exceedingly beauliful. It is said that 11 other lakes may be seen from the Righi, but they are so small and distant as to look like pools; some almost like water spilt upon the earth.”

On the N. side the eye looks down into the lake of Zug, and the streets of Arth; at the end of the lake is

seen the town of Zug, and behind it the spire of the church of Cappel, where Zwingli, the Reformer, fell in battle. This is backed by the chain of the Albis, and through gaps in its ridge may he discerned a few of the houses of the town of Zurich, and two lille bits of its lake. Over the I shoulder of the Rossberg a peep is obtained into the lake of Egeri, on whose shores the Swiss gained the victory of Morgarten. The N. horizon is bounded by the range of the Black Forest hills.

The prospect on the W. is more open and map-like, and therefore less interesting. Close under the Righi lie Tell's chapel, on the spot where he shot Gessler, and the village and bay of Küssnacht. Farther off, nearly the whole canton of Lucerne expands to view ; -- the Reuss winding through the midst of it. Above the Reuss is the lake of Sempach, the scene of another triumph of Swiss valour. Lucerne, with its coronel of lowers, is distinctly seen at the W. end of the lake, and on the l. of it rises the gloomy Pilatus, cụtting the sky with its serrated ridge. The remainder of the W. horizon is occupied by the chain of the Jura.

On the S. the mass of the Righi forms the foreground, and toaching the opposite mountains of Unterwalden, allows only here and there a small portion of the lake of Lucerne to be seen. On this side the objects visible in succession from rt. to 1. are, the lakes of Alpnach and Sarnen, buried in woods; by the side of them runs the road to the Brunig; the mountains called Stanzer and Buochserborn, and behind them the magnificent white chain of the high Alps of Berne, Unterwalden, and Uri, in one unbroken ridge of peaks and glaciers, including the Jungfrau, Eigher, Finster Aarhorn, the Tittlis (the highest peak in Unterwalden), the Engelberger Rothstock, and the Bristenstock, between which and the Seelisberg runs the road of the St. Gotthard.

On the E. The Alpine chain continues to stretch un interruptedly along the horizon, and includes the preeminent peaks of ibe Dödi, on the borders of the Grisons, of the Glärnisch, in Canton Glarus, and of the Sentis, in Appenzel. In the middle distance, above the lake of Lauertz, lies the town of Schwytz, the cradle of Swiss freedom, backed by the two singular sharp peaks called, from their shape, the Mitre's (Mythen). Above them peers the snowy peak of the Glärnisch; and to the rt. of them is the opening of the Muolta Thal, famous for the bloody conflicts between Suwarrow and Massena, where armies manœuvred and fought on spots which before the shepherd and chamois hunter scarcely dared to tread. Farther to the 1. rises the mass of the Rossberg, -the nearest mountain neighbour of the Righi. The whole scene of desolation caused by its fall (see p. 56); the chasm on the top, whence the ruin came; the course of the terrific avalanche of stones, diverging and spreading in their descent; the lake of Lowertz, partly filled up by it, and the pools and puddles caused in the valley by the stoppage of the water-courses, are at once displayed in a bird's-eye view.

The very distant snowy peak seen above the top of the Rossberg is the Sentis.

The Spectre of the Righi is an atsmospheric phenomenon not unfrequently observed on the tops of high mountains. It occurs when the cloudy vapours happen to rise perpendicularly from the valley beneath the mountain on the side opposite to the sun, without enveloping the summit of the Righi itself. Under these circumstances the shadows of the Righi Culm and of any persons standing on the top are cast upon the wall of mist, in greatly magnified proportions. The shadow is encircled by a halo, assuming the prisinatic colours, of the rainbow, and this is sometimes doubled, when the mist is thick.

Two melancholy accidents have occurred on the top of the Righi:-in 1820 a guide, who had attended an English family, was struck dead by lightning as he stood watching the clouds; in 1826, a Prussian officer, who had reached the summit, accompanied by his wife and children, fell from a very dangerous seat which he had selected on the brow of a precipice (the only spot where the summit is really a precipice), and was dashed to pieces at the bottom. According to another account, the miserable man threw himself off, having previously announced his intention of committing suicide to his wise, who summoned the guide to arrest him, but, after a severe struggle her husband got loose, and effected his purpose.

ROUTE 18.

TUE LAKE OF LUCERNE.

LUCERNE TO FLUELEN.

“That sacred lake, withdrawn among the hills,
His depth of waters flank'il as with a wall
Built by the giant-race before the flood ;
Where not a cross or chapel but inspires.
Holy delight, listing our thoughts to God
From god-like men.
That in the desert sow'd the seeds of life,
Training a band of small republics there,
Which still exist, the envy of the world!
Who would not land in each, and tread the ground-
Land where Tell leap'd ashore--and climb to drink
of the three hallow'd fountains? He that does
Comes back the belter.
Each clill' and head-land, and green promontory,
Graven with records of the past,
Excites to hero worship.”

Rogers. The length of the lake between Lucerne and Flüelen is about 7 2/3 stunden,=25 1/2 Eng. miles.

The voyage, in a boat with three rowers, will take about six hours.

A steamer was launched on the lake in 1837, to ply between Lucerne, Flüelen, and the intermediate ports on the lake. The boatmen on its shores, regarding this as an infringement of their vested rights, exact of the proprietors a large sum to be paid on every voyage, to indemnify them for the loss.

According to the announcement, printed in 1838, the steam-boat" La Ville de Lucerne" will run from Lucerne lo Flüelen and back eight times a week during the summer (from June 1 to September 30), and five times a week in the spring and autumn. It will touch at Altstadt, Weggis, Vitznau, Bechenried, Gersau, Brunnen, Flüelen, Stanzstadt, and Alpnach. The fare to Flüelen is 3f. 20 raps Swiss, and Jess in proportion to the intermediate stations. The voyage will take up about three hours.

Boats may be hired at all the ports on the lake. The charges fixed by tariff are as follows, in French francs :

To Flüelen, a large boat, capable of holding a carriage, 6f., and cach boatman, 3f. The total expense of transporting a carriage should not exceed 26fr. or 28fr.-five or six men will be required; but it is better for those wbo have a carriage lo go by land to Brunnen, and there einbark. A smaller boat, 41. 500.; the sınallest, 3r. 75c.

To Gersau, Brunnen, or Buochs, boal 3f., man 3f.

To Küssnacht, Weggis, or Stanzstadt, boat, 1f. 50C.--each man, 18. 50 c.

In returning, the charge is only half the above'; but the boatmen need not wait more thast three hours unless paid the full fare back.

In hiring a boat the employer should stipulate to be landed at Gersau, Grutli, and the Tellenplatte, ai bis discretion, in order that he may visit these spots by the way.

Much has been said of the dangers of the lake of Lucerne, arising from storms; that it is subject to sudden and tempestuous winds admits of no doubt; but the boatmen can always foresee the approach of a storm, and are yery careful not to subject themselves to any risk. The clumsy flat-butiomed boats, indeed, have an unsafe look, and, in windy weather, heave and roll about immoderately; yet instances of accidents are hardly known : either the boatmen will not stir out in bad weather, or put into shore on the slightest appearance of danger. Those who trust themselves on the lake should implicitly follow the advice of the boalmen, and not urge them to venture when disinclined.

The winds on the lake are singularly capricious and variable, blowing at the same time from opposite quarters of the compass in different parts of it, so that the boatmen say that there is a new wind behind every promontory. The most violent is the south wind, or Föhn, which often rushes so furiously down the bay of Uri as to prevent the progress of any row-boat, and renders it doubtful whether even a steamer will be able to face it. During fine weather, in summer, the north wind blows along the bay of Uri from ten lo three or four, after which it dies away, and is succeeded by the Föhn blowing from the S. The boatmen, in coming from Lucerne, endeavour to reach Flüelen before the wind turns.

The only resource, when a storm arises, is to run before the wind.

The Lake of Lucerne, or of the Four Forest Cantons (Vier-Waldstädter-See), so called from the cantons of Uri, Unterwalden, Schwytz, and Lucerne, which exclusively form its shores, is distinguished above every lake in Switzerland, and perhaps in Europe, by the beauty and sublime grandeur of its scenery: It is hardly less interesting from the historical recollections connected with it. Its shores are a classic region—the reputed sanctuary of liberty; on them took place those memorable events which gave freedom to Switzerland -here the first Confederacy was formed; and, above all, its borders were the scene of the heroic deeds and signal vengeance of WILLIAM Tell, on which account they are some times called Tell's Country.

The lake lies at a height of 1360 ft. above the sea level : it is of very irregular shape, assuming, near its W. extremity, the form of a cross. Its various bays, branching in different directions, are each named after the chief town or village situated on them: thus the W. branch is properly the lake of Luccrne; then come the bays of Alpnach on the S., Küssnacht on the N., Buochs, stretching E. and W.; and lastly the bay of Uri, running N. and S., entirely enclosed within the mountains of that canton.

Quitting Lucerne, and passing the long Hof Brücke, the boat will arrive, in about half an hour, a-breast of a promontory on the l., called Meggenhorn, close of whịch lies a sinall island, the only one in the lake. A Frenchinan, the Abbe Raynal, took upon himself to raise upon it a monuinent to the founder of Swiss liberty : it consisted of a wooden obelisk, painted to look like granite, with Tell's apple aod arrow on the top! This gingerbread memorial of vanity and bad taste was luckily destroyed by lightning. Thus far the shores of the lake are undulating hills, clothed with verdure, and dotted with houses and villas-a smiling scene, to which the dark ridge and Pilatus adds a solitary feature of grandeur. After doubling the cape of the Meggenhorn, the bay of Küssnacht opens out on the I., that of Alpnach on the rt., and the traveller finds himself in the centre of the cross or trausept (so to call it) of the lake. From this point Mount Pilate is scen to great advantage-clouds and darkness almost invariably rest upon his head, and his serrated ridge and gloomy sides have a sullen air in the midst of the sunny and cheerful landscape around. The superstitions connected with this mountain are mentioned at p.54. It is the weatherglass of the boatmen and shepherds, and, according to the common saying,

(Wenn Pilalus trügt sein Hut

Dann wird das Wetter gut) it is a bad sign when Pilate is free from cloud, or doffs his hat in the morning; but when the clouds rest steadily on his forehead till late in the afternoon, fair weather may be expected.

Looking up the bay of Küssnacht the ruined castle of Neil Habsbury, a fort belonging to the counts of that name, is seen on the l. perched on a clilf; and at the further extremity the village of Küssnacht. The colossal mass of the Righi occupies the other side of the bay. Its flanks are girt with sorests, below which runs a fringe of fields and gardens, dolled with collages; while, above, it is clothed to its very summit with verdant pastures, feeding a hundred socks;-an agreeable contrast to his neighbour Pilate.

« AnteriorContinuar »