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A Little Swiss Sojourn by William Dean Howells






_Tourists at Montreux_ (frontispiece)

_Sign of the White Cross Inn_

_Entrance to Villeneuve_

_Post-office, Villeneuve_

_The Castle of Chillon_

_A Railroad Servant_

_A Bit of Villeneuve_

_The Prisoner of Chillon_

_One of the Fountains_

_"They helped to make the hay in the marshes"_

_Cattle at the Fountains_

_Washing Clothes in the Lake_

_Flirtation at the Fountains_

_The Wine-press_

_Castle of Aigle_

_The Market at Vevay_

_The Market, Vevay--A Bargain before the Notary_

_Germans at Montreux_

_Church Terrace, Montreux_

_Tour up the Lake_


First Paper

[Illustration: _Sign of the White Cross Inn_]


Out of eighty or ninety days that we passed in Switzerland there must have been at least ten that were fair, not counting the forenoons before it began to rain, and the afternoons when it cleared up. They said that it was an unusually rainy autumn, and we could well believe it; yet I suspect that it rains a good deal in that little corner of the Canton Vaud even when the autumn is only usually rainy. We arrived late in September and came away early in December, and during that time we had neither the fevers that raged in France nor the floods that raged in Italy. We Vaudois were rather proud of that, but whether we had much else to be proud of I am not so certain. Of course we had our Alpine scenery, and when the day was fair the sun came loafing up over the eastern mountains about ten o'clock in the morning, and lounged down behind the western tops about half-past three, after dinner. But then he left the eternal snows of the Dent-du-Midi all flushed with his light, and in the mean time he had glittered for five hours on the "_bleu impossible_" of the Lake of Geneva, and had shown in a hundred changing lights and shadows the storied and sentimentalized towers of the Castle of Chillon. Solemn groups and ranks of Swiss and Savoyard Alps hemmed the lake in as far as the eye could reach, and the lateen-sailed craft lent it their picturesqueness, while the steamboats constantly making its circuit and stopping at all the little towns on the shores imparted a pleasant modern interest to the whole effect, which the trains of the railroad running under the lee of the castle agreeably heightened.

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