V. WALKING EXCURSIONS.
perienced the exultation which attends the shouldering of the knap¬
sack or wielding of the carpet-bag, on quitting a steamboat or rail¬
way station ? Who in his turn has not felt the misery of that moment
when, surrounded by his 'impedimenta', the luckless tourist is
almost distracted by the rival claims of porters, touters, and com¬
missionaires? A light 'gibeciere' or game-bag, such as may be
procured in every town, amply suffices to contain all that is
necessary for a fortnight's excursion. A change of flannel skirts
and worsted stockings, a few pocket-handkerchiefs, a pair of
slippers, and the necessary 'objets de toilette' may be carried
with hardly a perceptible increase of fatigue. A piece of green
crape or coloured spectacles to protect the eyes from the glare of
the snow, and a leather drinking-cup will also be found useful.
The traveller may have a more extensive reserve of clothing,
especially if he proposes to visit towns of importance, but even
these should be contained in a valise, which he can easily wield,
and may forward from town to town by means of the post.
Rules. The enthusiastic traveller should curb his ardour at
the outset of his excursion, and begin by moderate performances,
which should rarely exceed ten hours a day. Animal spirits
are too often in excess of powers of endurance; overtaxing the
strength on a single occasion sometimes incapacitates altogether for
several days. Discrimination is often requisite to determine what
degree of fatigue can be borne with impunity, and when walk¬
ing should be abandoned for the ease of a carriage; but all these
experiences will be acquired without the aid of a guide-book.
Suffice it to say, when a mountain has to be breasted, the
prudent pedestrian will pursue the 'even tenor of his way' with
regular and steady steps (lchi va piano va sano; chi va sano
va lontano'); the novice alone indulges in 'spurts'. If the tra¬
veller will have a third golden maxim for his guidance it may
be, 'When fatigue begins, enjoyment ceases'.
Excursions amongst the higher Alps should not be undertaken
before July, nor at any period after a long continuance of rain
or snow. Glaciers should, if possible, be traversed before 10
a. m., after which hour the rays of the sun soften the crust of
ice formed during the night over the fissures and crevasses. It
is hardly necessary to state that experienced guides are ab¬
solutely indispensable for such excursions.
The anticipations of a tour in Switzerland, which is usually
painted 'couleur de rose', not unfrequently receive a rude shock
from actual experience. The first night in a Chalet dispels
many illusions. Whatever poetry there may, be theoretically in
a bed of hay, the usual concomitants of the cold night-air
piercing abundant apertures, the ringing of the cow-bells, the
sonorous grunting of the swine, and the undiscarded garments,