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“Many

building at Geneva when I left. Ah! I must make a promenade in her."

“Perhaps we may have that pleasure together," added I. “But what is that hill? it appears as if it were within the town, and resembles the rock of Edinburgh castle, and is even loftier, if I mistake not. What a defence for your town ! there will be a fort on the top, I suppose?”

“Ha! ha! you have fallen into the general mistake." “How?” replied I; "that is surely a hill which I perceive.” “Most assuredly it is,” continued the other, smiling. “Then, what amuses you so ?“What has amused others for the last century.”

Explain yourself.” “Why, the mistake you have just made." Well.” “ That hill is not at Geneva." “Not at Geneva? why, it appears in the centre of the town!”

“From here it does,” drily returned my companion. have fallen into error regarding it; not the least celebrated of whom was the Duke de Rohan, who, when advancing from Fernez at the head of his troops, remarks to his staff, how easy it will be to drag some guns up there, and batter

poor Geneva to pieces. On arrival, he finds that the convenient hill is a mountain, higher than the highest in your country,* and at four or five miles distant from the walls he was to batter. It is an optical delusion; you must pardon my enjoyment of your mistake; many great men have fallen into error regarding it.”

“Ahem !” I experienced a slight choking sensation as he concluded the last sentence; so going to the well, I applied my lips to the tap, and took a long draught. I was extremely thirsty, and the water was cool and as clear as crystal.

Young Geneva was astonished, and remarked :

“ The emperor, himself, could scarcely have taken such a draught as that."

Before, he had coupled me with the Duke de Rohan, now it was with the emperor.

What next, I wonder! This youth is a bit of a wag,' thought I. Then aloud to him :-"Why do you instance Napoleon ? I have heard that he caused much blood to be spilt, but never that he cared for water.”

This is called Napoleon Buonaparte's well.” " And wherefore ?"

“ Here it was that he sat down and refreshed himself, when la grande armée was on the march for Italy. Look, you will find an inscription at the back."

* The writer is a native of Scotland.

A few lines in French, cut into the stone, commemorated the event.

“ And it was there," continued he, “ that the emperor gave orders for this road to be made. It was long regarded as the finest mountain road in the world, but we have constructed as good a one higher up, near Vevay."

“ It is indeed a grand work," replied I. “Would that all the emperor's other works had been equally so, and as useful !"

It is impossible to say the length to which this inexhaustible, and, to a European, interesting subject, might have led our conversation, had it not been interrupted by the sound of the diligence, which came rattling down the mountain like an avalanche, carrying off people and chattels in its onward course. The tinkling of the bells, however, had given us sufficient notice of its approach ; so we held ourselves in readiness to resume our seats, as it came round the corner by Napoleon's Well.

Heé, donc ! Monsieur le conducteur . : arretez

. « Pas ici," cried out that gentleman," la route est trop escarp

His last words were lost in the din and distance. But we had heard enough to make us fully acquainted with the awkwardness of our situation. The huge vehicle thundered onwards, at double the speed we had ever travelled in it; the four wheelers bore up wonderfully steady under their tremendous burden, and two drags were put on. I expected every moment to see the whole affair over the horses' heads, and then over a precipice, in which this high road abounds. So engrossed was my attention with the progress of the diligence, that I had quite forgotten how we had been left behind, when my companion awakened me to a sense of our situation by the plain, although difficult, problem.

« Que faire ?

Ay, “Que faire ?" Truly most embarrassing words. Embarrassing all over the world : embarrassing to the rich as well as to the poor-peer and peasant- mankind in general. A Gordian knot, requiring often more than an Alexander to unravel. Two simple, short words, conveying with truth and rapidity a full sense of a helpless situation to the mind ; on the answer to which have hung so many an important event and anxious result. Ours, although of no vital importance, was, we found, sufficiently distressing to solve in a satisfactory manner, which was, of course, how we might best catch up the diligence. I looked at young Geneva; it was all the answer I could give.

But it was essentially a question of time with us, and loitering would never do, for it only increased our dilemma. My com

a

panion seemed fully aware of this, for he exclaimed, after a short pause

“C'est bien ! I have it."
“Ah! they will wait for us then ?” added I.

"Most assuredly they will not. The diligence will only stop at the foot of the mountain, to unloose the drags. They do not change horses, if I remember right, until Lyon. Follow me!”

He led me a few paces up the road again, until we arrived at a spot completely shaded with trees, and where the old mule path crosses Napoleon's grand work. The former leads in a direct and, consequently, almost perpendicular line to the plain beneath, whilst the new road winds and twists about to render the descent as easy as possible for heavy vehicles, which tack about like a ship, and have to make quite a mountain excursion ere they arrive below. I comprehended my companion's scheme at once; so we diverged to the left, and darted down the rough mule path.

Our conversation during the descent was, as may be supposed, not very interesting; what with running and jumping, we had no breath to spare. Every now and then we met the high road, which we crossed as usual, and continued our more direct path. At one of these diversions, and near the base of the mountains, we caught a glimpse of the diligence, ere it disappeared round a turning on our left, thundering onwards. The sight renewed us with fresh vigour, and we darted forward at an increased speed. We must now have been going as fast as our object of pursuit, and, as we took a shorter road, there was little fear of our missing it.

“We shall reach the bottom before it now," cried young Geneva.

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“ Odds broken shins and sprained ankles, so we have,” added I, as we both emerged into the plain.

It was true enough. There was the clumsy diligence tacking about, and there was no saying when it might arrive.

Meantime, we stepped into an auberge by the road-side, and quaffed beer!

July, 1848.-VOL. LIIINO. CCVII.

DD

840

HOPE.

ETHEREAL Hope! how can a poet's song,
Recount the praises that to thee belong!
How shall his trembling fingers dare aspire
To wake thy glories on his feeble lyre!
But that he long hath known and felt thy flame,
With glowing rapture burning through his frame.
Thou art through life our surest guiding star,
Seen in thy radiance gleaming from afar;
Bright as a meteor, sparkling as a gem,
Like the lone star that led to Bethlehem.
O may thy banner long triumphant wave,
To shield the suffering or protect the slave ;
Befriend the orphan, dry the widow's tears,
And point to brighter and to happier years.
O may all ages read thy starlit scroll,
Hope springs immortal in the human soul.
Where can the widow'd mother solace find,
But in thy ray, beneficent and kind ?
Needs she not comfort when she sheds the tear
For him who lived for her, and lov'd her dear;
When the fond partner of her heart is gone,
And she stands helpless—in the world alone !
Around her hearth her prattling children stand,
A gay, unconscious, smiling, happy band;
With what a parent's fondness, look of joy,
She turns towards her dear, her only boy:
In him she sees, dispelling all her fears,
The prop and succour of her failing years.
'Tis then the smile of Hope hath sweetest charms,
And chaseth from her bosom dread alarms;
The all consoling joy its power doth bring,
Thrills through her heart and wakes each subtle string.
But should he, lured by folly's artful smile,
Lean to dishonour, or consent to guile;
Who in the woful hour, when sorrows press,
Will fondly soothe him, weep for his distress;
Who, when life's fickle friends shall faithless prove,
Will cling unto him with undying love?

None but a Mother, she alone remains,
With love unsullied flowing through lier veins.
Ne'er since the hour when from lier breast he drew
The stream of life, has she proved once untrue;
No selfish thoughts have in her bosom grown,
Her hope concentres in his form alone.
(O well ordain'd, that man should never know
The hidden source from whence such worth doth flow!)
She ne'er uporaids, nor adds the cruel smart
Of keen reproaches to his guilty heart.
Half frantic sees him from her bosom torn,
Then weeps unseen, heartbroken, and forlorn.
Yet mid her grief sweet memory oft will tell
Of happy times, those days she loved so well;
Hope bids her dream that he perhaps may come
To cheer again her desolated home!
View the dim room, where on a couch appears
The fading remnant of a few brief years;
Whose hectic cheek, and deep drawn breathings, show
That life's enfeebled taper flickers low;
Ere yet the film of death enshrouds the eye,
Or wears the dull fix'd look of vacancy ;
Ere yet expires the half extinguished flame,
His wife attends him, fondly breathes his name,
Tells him how Hope can soothes his quickening pain,
That they shall meet in happier realms again.
Poor weeping woman, prostrate in distress
She scarcely heeds his eager last caress.
'Tis hard, he cries, by ruthless death to part !
And folds the trembling weeper to his heart.
Sad is thy work, O Death, thy cruel blow
Sends to our hearts unutterable woe;
Our schemes, our visions vanish in an hour,
As empires fall beneath a tyrant's power.
Yet Hope remains, triumphant Hope is here,
To nerve our hearts, and free our souls from fear.
To heaven her beacon points; there lies the end,
The Utopian shore to which our lives should tend:
There is the land of Hope-isle of the blest !
There long-mourned spiriis meet, cominune, and are at rest!

W. B. A.

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