Views a-foot eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 522 pages of information about Views a-foot.
and as it finally reaches the spot where, narrowed between rocks, it makes the grand plunge, it has acquired a great velocity.  Three rocks stand in the middle of the current, which thunders against and around their bases, but cannot shake them down.  These and the rocks in the bed of the stream, break the force of the fall, so that it descends to the bottom, about fifty feet below, not in one sheet, but shivered into a hundred leaps of snowy foam.  The precipitous shores, and the tasteful little castle which is perched upon the steep just over the boiling spray, add much to its beauty, taken as a picture.  As a specimen of the picturesque, the whole scene is perfect.  I should think Trenton Falls, in New York, must excel these in wild, startling effect; but there is such a scarcity of waterfalls in this land, that the Germans go into raptures about them, and will hardly believe that Niagara itself possesses more sublimity.



We left Schaffhausen for Zurich, in mist and rain, and walked for some time along the north bank of the Rhine.  We could have enjoyed the scenery much better, had it not been for the rain, which not only hid the mountains from sight, but kept us constantly half soaked.  We crossed the rapid Rhine at Eglisau, a curious antique village, and then continued our way through the forests of Canton Zurich, to Bulach, with its groves of lindens—­“those tall and stately trees, with velvet down upon their shining leaves, and rustic benches placed beneath their overhanging eaves.”

When we left the little village where the rain obliged us to stop for the night, it was clear and delightful.  The farmers were out, busy at work, their long, straight scythes glancing through the wet grass, while the thick pines sparkled with thousands of dewy diamonds.  The country was so beautiful and cheerful, that we half felt like being in America.  The farm-houses were scattered over the country in real American style, and the glorious valley of the Limmat, bordered on the west by a range of woody hills, reminded me of some scenes in my native Pennsylvania.  The houses were neatly and tastefully built, with little gardens around them—­and the countenances of the people spoke of intelligence and independence.  There was the same air of peace and prosperity which delighted us in the valleys of Upper Austria, with a look of freedom which those had not.  The faces of a people are the best index to their condition.  I could read on their brows a lofty self-respect, a consciousness of the liberties they enjoy, which the Germans of the laboring class never show.  It could not be imagination, for the recent occurrences in Switzerland, with the many statements I heard in Germany, had prejudiced me somewhat against the land; and these marks of prosperity and freedom were as surprising as they were delightful.

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Views a-foot from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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