It was a sudden descent from the sublime to the ridiculous; but the feeble human mind cannot bear too much glory at once, and is saved by the claims of the prosaic body, that will get tired and hungry even atop of the everlasting hills. So the enthusiasts picked their chicken bones, sipped their wine, and felt less exhausted and hysterical. A good laugh over the carrier's little boy, who sniffed the banquet afar off, and came running to offer a handful of pale Alpine flowers, with wistful glances at the lunch, did them more good still: for the little chap caught and bolted the morsels they gave him with such dexterous rapidity, it was as good as juggling.
Refuges and the Hospice came in sight one after the other, and while waiting to change horses one had time to wonder how the people living there managed to be such a stolid, dirty, thriftless-looking set. Mountaineers should be intelligent, active, and hardy; but these men were a most ungainly crew, and Lavinia's theories got a sad blow.
A bad dinner at Simplon would have been an affliction at any other time; but with the Valley of Gondo for dessert, no one cared for other food. Fol-