Journal 31 Page 1 September 02, 1869
         

Italy-Book No. 7 of Journal


September 2, 1869

At Lugano.

This date is italicized with a reason-& "with a will."


People talk about "Red Letter Days." Well, this is the "Red Letter Day" of my life as an intellectual being.

"Like the swell of some sweet tune

Morning rises into Noon

May glides onward, into June"

And ''like the swell of some sweet tune" the traveler's lessons & delights come to a climax & that climax but one word can symbolize-Italia."

-We crossed the Simplon yesterday-three of us crammed into a coup made for two. A torch-light procession in honor of some German students (who had sung sonorously the "Gaudeamus" that my brother's college life had made familiar) delayed our early slumbers & the porter's morning call at four o'clock had rudely disturbed them. In the cold light we started off from unfriendly Brieg with anathemas upon the fates in general & that one in particular which had consigned us to the rapacity of the Hotel D'Angleterre. I crawled into the dim "Interior" to give Kate & Sophie more room, & made the pleasant acquaintance of "Henrique Blythe & wife"-Americans long resident in Brazil, whose enthusiastic accounts of the flora of their adopted home; whose reminiscences of beggars, remarks on photographer, abhorrence of Southerners & history of the Paraguayan war beguiled three damp & cloudy morning hours. (And were not the only "beguiling" features, either! Note the three unblushing English ladies of ripe age & their performances- unequalled in history-or on Parisian streets! Note the peaceably disposed London physician who snowed me his book of "Cooks coupons" & said "the London people would really be glad if the Harvard boat-club should win the race" in the contest that took place on Friday last-while Messrs Hurn & Jones & we were en route to see St. Bernard-& the monk incomparable!)

Clouded but sublime Alpine views were vouchsafed us near the summit;-the Hospice founded by the great Napoleon & much more liberal in its appointments than that on St. Bernard came almost grandly into view at noon, with a huge remorseless glacier stretched out in the valley behind it. "Telegraph Bureau" was a strange inscription to find upon its front-its long, high, solemn front of grey granite, surmounted by the cross. Our shrewd faced drivers ran in for a glass of something inspiriting &. came back

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