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frowning avalanche is trembling above them; it falls ! they are buried in the overwhelming ruin! Not a sigh is heard, not a struggle seen. The snow lies smooth and unsullied over the hapless beings it has entombed. Scenes like these are far too common; when we hear of them in England, they reach us as the echo of a calamity that is past; we feel not the dread reality of a present and overwhelming affliction.
Who goes yonder ? It is one of the party, a traveller, who has scrambled his way through the falling avalanche, with a child in his arms. He has been lost in the intricate windings and dangerous passes of the place, and is fainting with want, fatigue, and anxiety; he sinks exhausted upon the cold snow, and presses his frost-bitten child to his bosom. What has made him again raise his dejected head? He has heard a panting near him; he has felt the warm breath of an animal close to his mouth. Is it a wolf about to devour him ? He opens his
eyes; the warm red tongue of a shaggy dog is licking his hands and his face; he makes an effort to rise, and finds a flask of spirits fastened round the dog's neck; he puts it first to his own mouth, and then to that of his child; they both revive; the dog leads the way, barking loudly; the traveller and child follow. They are soon met by two monks, summoned to the spot by the barking of the dog, who conduct them to the hospitable convent of Great St. Bernard.
How like an angel man appears when, with a face beaming with compassion, he goes forth on an errand of mercy! Monks of St. Bernard, Samaritans of the mountains, I fling you my warmest thanks; they are the free-will offering of a stranger; the ardent outpourings of a heart that honours you.
The peopled side of the panorama is far from uninteresting. That cross is almost a reality. The led mule, the old man with his stick, and the lady in the blue bonnet, seem to live and move as we gaze upon them. The guide, there, gathering a flower, is a picture of itself; but enough: those who visit this Alpine scene will leave it with a feeling of having travelled ;as though Switzerland and they were not entirely strangers.
Some, too, by the mountainous masses will be more deeply impressed with the power of the Almighty Maker of the everlasting hills,” and find more than ordinary comfort in calling to mind that merciful promise in God's holy word, " The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed ; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee."
“Yes, sooner all the hills shall flee,
LIMA, AND THE LAGO MAGGIORE.
AND this is “ Lima," of the “ land of the sun ;” the city of the kings;" the “ Peruvian capital!" The broad masses of greenish white in the fore-ground buildings, the vivid colours of the flags and other objects, and the blue mountains in the distance, mingle too much together. A little time must be allowed for these objects to disentangle themselves; the edifices must take
ap their proper stations, and the hills must withdraw to a greater distance.
Ay! now.the scene is more intelligible; the chaos is assuming an appearance of order and distinctness: I can now gaze on it with pleasure. Lima must be estimated rather for its
than its associations. It has neither the antiquity of Thebes, nor the heart-thrilling interest of Jerusalem. The associations which cling to Lima are of a melancholy
but of them we will speak by and by. The spectacle is very imposing. It has a novelty and freshness that greatly recommend it; and if the foreground buildings are monotonous, the distant prospect is varied and delightful.
It is pleasant to catch the glimpses of character, the little vignettes that every
now and then
be noticed among the visitors of a public exhibition.
The young people on my left seem somewhat puzzled about the situation of Lima. One thinks it must be in the East Indies, while the little fellow in the yellow cap and gold tassels, standing on tiptoe, looking at the friars in their white dresses, has just cried out, “ I can see the Turks very plain, mamma.”
Ten minutes ago I overheard an elderly female inquire if Mont Blanc was visible from Lima? “ Not without a good glass," jocosely replied a young man belonging to the same party, giving a significant glance at one of his companions. Now, the distance between Lima and Mont Blanc must be, at least, six thousand miles, so that a very peculiar glass would be required.
The untravelled have usually a somewhat confused notion of foreign countries, and cannot keep them sufficiently separated; the negro in Africa is too closely connected with the West Indies; and the snowy peaks of South America mingle imperceptibly with the glaciers of Switzerland.
One or two loud talkers have been drawing the company into a narrow circle, of which they and the superintendant formed the centre. Generally speaking, visitors are shy in attracting attention by asking questions.
Lima 'was founded in the valley, and by the river Rimac, three hundred years ago, by Francisco Pizarro, a Spaniard. Tales have often been spread in the coun. try parts of England, that London streets were paved with gold and silver ; but though this was not true of London, it would have been in a degree true if applied to Lima; for when one of its viceroys entered the city, the streets he passed through were covered with ingots of silver. Some estimate may be formed of the wealth of its religious establishments, from the fact, that more than a ton and a half of silver was taken from them at
The population of Lima is about 60,000; a fourth of them are creoles and Europeans: they are much given to show and splendour ; jewels, equipages, and retinues are their delight. . A little more industry and cleanliness, with a great deal less luxury and dissipation, would add to their comfort and enjoyment. The interiors of some of the better kind of houses are splendidly furnished ; and beautiful papers, costly silks, and magnificent gildings, profusely adorn them. The city is surrounded on all sides, except that next the river, with a wall from fifteen to twenty feet high, and nine thick. This wall has thirty-four bastions, and seven
principal gates. It was originally built to defend the place from the attacks of the Indians.
The mountains that rise majestically round, some pointed and covered with snow, give a beauty and sublimity to the scene, while the blue mists that, here and there, partly enshroud them, resemble scattered clouds. Lima is not now what it has been ; for two or three centuries it flourished, but repeated earthquakes destroyed more than half its houses, and public edifices, especially the fatal “ shaking of the earth in 1746.”. When the hand of the Almighty is stretched out against a city, it is shaken to its
foundations. The struggle for independence, though successful, has decreased its population and wealth ; but, in all probability, these it will rapidly regain.
I must now give a rapid glance at the wide-spread canvass around me.
Who would suppose that the church and convent of San Augustin yonder, with that gorgeous front of twisted pillars, arches, recesses, and figures—who would imagine that all the imposing edifices around it were nothing more than lath and plaster ! Yet so it is. They look like buildings of massive stone, yet wood-work and cement compose them all: indeed, the meaner buildings are little better than walls and roofs of mud. In a climate where a shower of rain would excite wonder, these frail erections stand for years uninjured.
To the right of the Monastery de las Nazarenas, in the extreme distance, I catch a glimpse of the great Pacific Ocean, whose mighty flood rolls nearly over half the world.
Churches, convents, monasteries, and sanctuaries,