ine Valley--Sudden Alternations of Beauty and Grandeur--Travellers--Evening--Grandeur of Sunset--Supper at Lanslebourg--Cross the Summit at Midnight--Morning--Sunrise among the Alps--Descent--Italy.
It was wearing late on an evening of early October 1851 when I crossed the Rhone on my way to the Alps. It had rained heavily during the day, and sombre clouds still rested on the towers of Lyons behind me. The river was in flood, and the lamps on the bridge threw a troubled gleam upon the impetuous current as it rolled underneath. It was impossible not to recollect that this was the stream on the banks of which Irenæus, the disciple of Polycarp, himself the disciple of John, had, at almost the identical spot where I crossed it, laboured and prayed, and into the floods of which had been flung the ashes of the first martyrs of Gaul. These murky skies formed no very auspicious commencement of my journey; but I cherished the hope that to-morrow would bring fair weather, and with fair weather would come t