The air of the Engadine is so keen and bracing that the first nights passed there are apt to be sleepless ones. Count Larinski scarcely slept at all in his new quarters. Would he have slept better on the plains? He became worn out with his thoughts. Of what was he thinking? Of the cathedral at Chur, of the Vallee du Diable, of the tufts of aconite, the campanulas, and the meeting of the two post-chaises, one ascending, the other descending. After that he saw no longer anything but a red hood, and his eyes were open when the first blush of the morning penetrated his modest chamber. Eagles sleep little when they are preparing for the chase.
The Baths of Saint Moritz are, according to the verdict of a large number of people, by no means an enlivening resort, and here tarry chiefly genuine invalids, who cherish a sincere desire to recover health and strength. The invigorating atmosphere, the chalybeate waters, which are unquestionably wholesome, although they do taste like ink, have wrought more than one actual miracle; nevertheless, it is said to require no little philosophy to tolerate existence there. “I am charmed to have had the experience of visiting the Baths,” we once heard an invalid say, “for I know now that I am capable of enduring anything and everything.” But this, let us hasten to assure the reader, is an exaggeration—the mere babbling of an ingrate.
The Upper Engadine Valley, in which Saint Moritz is situated, has, as well as the Baths, its detractors and its admirers. This narrow valley, throughout whose whole length flows the Inn, shut in by glacier-capped mountains, whose slopes are covered with spruce, pine, and larch trees, lies at an altitude of some five thousand feet above the level of the sea. It often snows there in the month of August, but spring and early summer in the locality are delightful; and dotted about are numerous little romantic green lakes, glittering like emeralds in the sunshine. Those who slander these by comparing them to wash-bowls and cisterns, are simply troubled with the spleen, a malady which neither iron, iodine, nor yet sulphur, can cure.
One thing these discontented folks cannot deny, and that is that it would be difficult, not to say impossible, to find anywhere in the mountains more flowery and highly perfumed mossy banks than those of the Engadine. We do not make this assertion because of the rhododendrons that abound on the borders of the lakes: we are not fond of this showy, pretentious shrub, whose flowers look as if they were moulded in wax for the decoration of some altar; but is it not delightful to walk on a greensward, almost black with rich satyrion and vanilla? And what would you think of a wealth of gentians, large and small; great yellow arnicas; beautiful Martagon lilies; and St.-Bruno lilies; of every variety of daphne; of androsace, with its rose-coloured clusters; of the flame-coloured orchis; of saxifrage;