Page:1880. A Tramp Abroad.djvu/288

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274
LIFE ON THE MOUNTAINS.

and veil their foreheads in them. They were not barren and repulsive, but clothed in green, and restful and pleasant to the eye. And they were so almost straight-up-and-down, sometimes, that one could not imagine a man being able to keep his footing upon such a surface, yet there are paths, and the Swiss people go up and down them every day.

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MOUNTAIN PATHS. 

Sometimes one of these monster precipices had the slight inclination of the huge ship-houses in dock yards,—then high aloft, toward the sky, it took a little stronger inclination, like that of a mansard roof,—and perched on this dizzy mansard one's eye detected little things like martin boxes, and presently perceived that these were the dwellings of peasants,—an airy place for a home, truly. And suppose a peasant should walk in his sleep or his child should fall out of the front yard?—the friends would have a tedious long journey down out of those cloud-heights before they found the remains. And yet those far-away homes looked ever so seductive, they were so remote from the troubled world, they dozed in such an atmosphere of peace and dreams,—surely no one