Views a-foot eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 434 pages of information about Views a-foot.

Now I come to the last and fairest of all—­the divine Proserpine.  Not the form, for it is but a bust rising from a capital of acanthus leaves, which curve around the breast and arms and turn gracefully outward, but the face, whose modest maiden beauty can find no peer among goddesses or mortals.  So looked she on the field of Ennae—­that “fairer flower,” so soon to be gathered by “gloomy Dis.”  A slender crown of green wheatblades, showing alike her descent from Ceres and her virgin years, circles her head.  Truly, if Pygmalion stole his fire to warm such a form as this, Jove should have pardoned him.  Of Powers’ busts it is unnecessary for me to speak.  He has lately finished a very beautiful one of the Princess Demidoff, daughter of Jerome Bonaparte.

We will soon, I hope, have the “Eve” in America.  Powers has generously refused many advantageous offers for it, that he might finally send it home; and his country, therefore, will possess this statue, his first ideal work.  She may well be proud of the genius and native energy of her young artist, and she should repay them by a just and liberal encouragement.

CHAPTER XXXVIII.

AN ADVENTURE ON THE GREAT ST. BERNARD—­WALKS AROUND FLORENCE.

Nov. 9.—­A few days ago I received a letter from my cousin at Heidelberg, describing his solitary walk from Genoa over the Alps, and through the western part of Switzerland.  The news of his safe arrival dissipated the anxiety we were beginning to feel, on account of his long silence, while it proved that our fears concerning the danger of such a journey were not altogether groundless.  He met with a startling adventure on the Great St. Bernard, which will be best described by an extract from his own letter: 

* * * * *

“Such were my impressions of Rome.  But leaving the ‘Eternal City,’ I must hasten on to give you a description of an adventure I met with in crossing the Alps, omitting for the present an account of the trip from Rome to Genoa, and my lonely walk through Sardinia.  When I had crossed the mountain range north of Genoa, the plains of Piedmont stretched out before me.  I could see the snowy sides and summits of the Alps more than one hundred miles distant, looking like white, fleecy clouds on a summer day.  It was a magnificent prospect, and I wonder not that the heart of the Swiss soldier, after years of absence in foreign service, beats with joy when he again looks on his native mountains.

“As I approached nearer, the weather changed, and dark, gloomy clouds enveloped them, so that they seemed to present an impassible barrier to the lands beyond them.  At Ivrea, I entered the interesting valley of Aosta.  The whole valley, fifty miles in length, is inhabited by miserable looking people, nearly one half of them being afflicted with goitre and cretinism.  They looked more idiotic and disgusting

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