Page:Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag, Volume 2.djvu/162

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Down went the carriage-top, and standing bolt upright, three pairs of eager eyes drank in the grandeur and the beauty that makes the crossing of the Simplon an experience to live for ever in the memory. Peak after peak of the Bernese Oberland rose behind them, silver white against a wonderful blue sky. Before them Monte Rosa, touched with the morning red, and all around great glaciers glittering in the sunshine, awful gorges with torrents thundering from the heights above, relics of landslides and avalanches still visible in uj>rooted trees, boulders tumbled here and there, and ruins of shepherds' huts in solitary nooks where sheep now feed.

The road crept in and out, over frail bridges, spanning chasms that made one dizzy to look into, through tunnels of solid rock, or galleries with windows over which poured waterfalls from the treacherous glaciers above. This road is a miracle in itself, for all nature seems to protest against it, and the elements never tire of trying to destroy it. Only a Napoleon would have had the audacity to dream of such a path, and it is truly a royal road into a lovely land.

Passing the diligences the little carriage went