He felt its presence when he saw the sun rise from Rigi; it stood by him amid the wreathing mists of Pilatus; it even checked his enthusiasm as they gazed together on the unequalled glories spread beneath the green summit of Monterone, and as their graceful boat made ripples on the moonlit waves of Orta and Lugans.
Many years ago a hotel was built on the summit of the Rigi for the benefit of the tourists who daily flocked to this remarkable peak to enjoy the benefit of its wonderful scenery. The mountain is densely wooded save where the trees have been cut away to clear the land for pastures.
I will barely add an instance of sepulchral decoration that I once met with among the mountains of Switzerland. It was at the village of Gersau, which stands on the borders of the Lake of Lucerne, at the foot of Mount Rigi. It was once the capital of a miniature republic shut up between the Alps and the lake, and accessible on the land side only by footpaths.
I go in there a good deal of the time, because there's so many Americans there. I make lots of acquaintances. You been up the Rigi yet?" "No." "Going?" "We think of it." "What hotel you going to stop at?" "I don't know." "Well, then you stop at the Schreiber it's full of Americans. What ship did you come over in?" "Oh, yes, I remember I asked you that before.
On August 1st Captain Spelterini, with two companions, taking a balloon and 180 cylinders of hydrogen to the top of the Rigi and ascending thence, pursued a north-east course, across extensive and beautiful tracts of icefield and mountain fastnesses unvisited by men. The descent, which was difficult and critical, was happily manoeuvred.
We spent most of our time sensibly in lounging about the lake on the jolly little steamers; and when we did a mountain climb, it was on the Rigi or Pilatus where an engine undertook all the muscular work for us. As usual, at the hotel, a great many miscellaneous people showed a burning desire to be specially nice to us.
Mount Rigi, so generally visited by travellers, presents another distinguished feature in this romantic country. The ascent to this mountain having been within a few days rendered extremely difficult by a fall of snow, we were advised not to attempt it, and I the more readily acquiesced, having found the ascent to Montanvert difficult, although unobstructed with snow.
It is certainly remarkable that Zurich should succeed in turning out cheap and good machinery, when we remember that every ton of coal and iron has to be imported, since Switzerland possesses not a single mine, either of the one or the other. If you really want to know how the Swiss Confederation came to be, you can not do better than take the train to the top of the Rigi.
The highest portion of the mountain was more than three thousand feet above the village, and the momentum acquired by the rocks and earth in their descent carried huge blocks of stone far up the opposite slope of the Rigi.
They recalled memories of a Rigi tour, a tour up from Lake Lucerne at Fluelen to Göschenen, from Göschenen to Andermatt, from Andermatt up over the Rhone glacier and down to the wonderful Grimsel Hospice, with its clear icy-cold lake, which lies in a rocky funnel, like the entrance to the kingdom of shades. One looks about to see if Charon's raft is not waiting. Mrs.