Jacob Abbott. Rollo in Geneva
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ROLLO IN GENEVA,
SHELDON &COMPANY, PUBLISHERS,
498 &500 BROADWAY.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1858,
by JACOB ABBOTT,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.
[Illustration: THE CASTLE OF CHILLON.]
[Illustration: ROLLO'S TOUR IN EUROPE.
PUBLISHERS, N. Y.]
ROLLO'S TOUR IN EUROPE.
ORDER OF THE VOLUMES.
ROLLO ON THE ATLANTIC.
ROLLO IN PARIS.
ROLLO IN SWITZERLAND.
ROLLO IN LONDON.
ROLLO ON THE RHINE.
ROLLO IN SCOTLAND.
ROLLO IN GENEVA.
ROLLO IN HOLLAND.
ROLLO IN NAPLES.
ROLLO IN ROME.
PRINCIPAL PERSONS OF THE STORY.
ROLLO; twelve years of age.
MR. and MRS. HOLIDAY; Rollo's father and mother, travelling in Europe.
THANNY; Rollo's younger brother.
JANE; Rollo's cousin, adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Holiday.
MR. GEORGE; a young gentleman, Rollo's uncle.
THE CASTLE OF CHILLON, (Frontispiece.)
THE GREAT NET, 30
GOING THROUGH THE VILLAGE, 46
VIEW OF GENEVA, 58
THE WATER WHEEL, 100
GOING TO TAKE A SAIL, 132
THE DUNGEONS OF CHILLON, 161
THE BASKET RIDE, 185
SHOPPING AT GENEVA, 203
ROLLO IN GENEVA.
CHAPTER I. THE FAME OF GENEVA.
Geneva is one of the most remarkable and most celebrated cities in Europe. It derives its celebrity, however, not so much from its size, or from the magnificence of its edifices, as from the peculiar beauty of its situation, and from the circumstances of its history.
Geneva is situated upon the confines of France, Switzerland, and Sardinia, at the outlet of the Lake of Geneva, which is perhaps the most beautiful, and certainly the most celebrated, lake in Switzerland. It is shaped like a crescent,-that is, like the new moon, or rather like the moon after it is about four or five days old. The lower end of the lake-that is, the end where Geneva is situated-lies in a comparatively open country, though vast ranges of lofty mountains, some of them covered with perpetual snow, are to be seen in the distance all around. All the country near, however, at this end of the lake, is gently undulating, and it is extremely fertile and beautiful. There are a great many elegant country seats along the shore of the lake, and on the banks of the River Rhone, which flows out of it. The waters of the lake at this end, and of the river which issues from it, are very clear, and of a deep and beautiful blue color. This blue color is so remarkable that it attracts the attention of every one who looks down into it from a bridge or from a boat, and there have been a great many suppositions and speculations made in respect to the cause of it; but I believe that, after all, nobody has yet been able to find out what the cause is.
The city of Geneva is situated exactly at the lower end of the lake, that is, at the western end; and the River Rhone, in coming out of the lake, flows directly through the town.
The lake is about fifty miles long, and the eastern end of it runs far in among the mountains. These mountains are very dark and sombre, and their sides rise so precipitously from the margin of the water that in many places there is scarcely room for a road along the shore. Indeed, you go generally to that end of the lake in a steamer; and as you advance, the mountains seem to shut you in completely at the end of the lake. But when you get near to the end, you see a narrow valley opening before you, with high mountains on either hand, and the River Rhone flowing very swiftly between green and beautiful banks in the middle of it. Besides the river, there is a magnificent road to be seen running along this valley. This is the great high road leading from France into Italy; and it has been known and travelled as such ever since the days of the old Romans.
The River Rhone, where it flows into the lake at the eastern end of it, is very thick and turbid, being formed from torrents coming down the mountain sides, or from muddy streams derived from the melting of the glaciers. At the western end, on the other hand, where it issues from the lake, the water is beautifully pellucid and clear. The reason of this is, that during its slow passage through the lake it has had time to settle. The impurities which the torrents bring down into it from the mountains all subside to the bottom of the lake, and are left there, and thus the water comes out at the lower end quite clear. The lake itself, however, is of course gradually filling up by means of this process.
There are several large and handsome houses on the northern shore of the lake; but Geneva, at the western end of it, entirely surpasses them all.
Geneva is, however, after all, a comparatively small town. It contains only thirty or forty thousand inhabitants. It would take ten Genevas to make a New York, and nearly a hundred to make a Paris or London.
Why, then, since Geneva is comparatively so small, is it so celebrated? Almost every person who goes to Europe visits Geneva, and talks of Geneva when he comes back; while there are multitudes of other cities and towns, many times as large in extent and population, that he never thinks of or speaks of at all.
There are several reasons for this.
1. The first reason is, that this town stands on the great high road leading from England and France into Italy. Of course it comes naturally in the way of all travellers making the grand tour. It is true that at the present day, since steam has been introduced upon the Mediterranean, a very large proportion of travellers, instead of passing through Switzerland, go down the Rhone to Marseilles, and embark there. But before the introduction of steam, for many ages, the way by Geneva was almost the only way to Italy; and the city acquired great celebrity through the accounts of tourists and travellers who visited it on their journeys.
2. The second reason is, that Geneva is a convenient and agreeable point for entering Switzerland, and for making excursions among the Alps. There are two great avenues into Switzerland from France and Germany-one by way of Geneva, and the other by way of Basle. By the way of Basle we go to the Jungfrau and the Oberland Alps which lie around that mountain, and to the beautiful lakes of Zurich and of Lucerne. All these lie in the eastern part of the Alpine region. By the way of Geneva we go to the valley of Chamouni and Mont Blanc, and visit the vast glaciers and the stupendous mountain scenery that lie around this great monarch of the Alps.
There is a great question among travellers which of these two Alpine regions is the most grand. Some prefer the mountains about Mont Blanc, which are called the Alps of Savoy. Others like better those about the Jungfrau, which are called the Oberland Alps. The scenery and the objects of interest are very different in the two localities; and it seems to me that any difference which travellers may observe in the grandeur of the emotions which they severally produce upon the mind must be due to the peculiar circumstances or moods of mind in which they are visited. It is true you can get nearer to the Jungfrau than you can to Mont Blanc, and so can obtain a more impressive view of his icy and rocky sides and glittering summit. But then, on the other hand, Mont Blanc is really the highest peak, and is looked upon as the great monarch of them all.
And here, as the name of Mont Blanc will of course often appear in this volume, I have a word or two to say in respect to the proper pronunciation of it in America; for the proper mode of pronouncing the name of any place is not fixed, as many persons think, but varies with the language which you are using in speaking of it. Thus the name of the capital of France, when we are in France, and speaking French, is pronounced
Many persons suppose that in order correctly to pronounce the name of any place we must pronounce it as the people do who live in and around the place. But this is not so. The rule, on the other hand, is, that we must pronounce it as the people do who live in and around the place