Littell's Living Age/Volume 128/Issue 1659/Miscellany

Alpine Scenery. — Not far from Monte Rosa, and separated from it by the broad sweep of a glacier, rises the Lyskamm, not much lower than the great mountain itself; next come twin heights, Castor and Pollux, and then what we must confess is our favourite of this range, the Breithorn. It has not quite the height of those we have mentioned, but it has a grandeur of rocky outline which others want, and which elevates it in the mind's eye far above actual measurement. Its vast precipices sweep in grand semicircular terraces across its summit and round its sides, and clasp between them mountains and valleys of snow which mimic the contortions and follow the curves of the strong arms which hold them in their close embrace. Next the eye rests upon a broad sweep of snow which rises gracefully to a rounded ridge and disappears, This is the Pass of St. Théodule; but soon the eye is drawn away from this high Alpine way to the Matterhorn, which rises a tower of snow-clad rock to a height five hundred feet less than Monte Rosa. But standing thus alone, and rising in one comiiaratively narrow mass with sides too steep to be smothered in snow, it seems higher and more commanding than all the rest. So Zermatt comes to be connected in the mind of the tourist with the Matterhorn rather than with Monte Rosa, which latter, indeed, does not show so well from this as from the Italian side. It is long before the eyes can turn away from this the chief range of the Monte Rosa group, but when they do another and only less grand scene presents itself. There stand the two enormous buttresses which run at right angles from the great range, and indeed shut in the valley by which we have reached Zermatt. Now we see what was but partially revealed during the two days we travelled from Visp hither. To the right of our then path rises, among others, that Weisshorn we caught a glimpse of at Randa, while to its left and separating it from the Sass Valley, which joins it at Stalden, rises that glorious cluster of mountains, the Mischabelhörn. And away between these two ranges, beyond our valley and across that greater one of the Rhone we have as yet but partially explored, rises a confused multitude of Alps too far off to be distinguislied and localized, but yet near enough to show what the other side of the Rhone valley has in store for us in the Bernese Alps. One, however, stands out so grandly among that distant range as to claim especial notice, and takes its place, as it were, with this its far-off brethren, and so the Nesthorn comes to rank among the sights of the Corner Grat.

The Month.