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Pont Etroit: he had feared for our safety, but this danger over, we might hope to overcome the rest. There was one particular time, about two hours before our reaching the Convent, when my mule made every possible effort to turn to the left, instead of following forward. As was afterwards acknowledged, the animal was right, the guide was wrong; yet the faithful creature, though compelled by blows to deviate from the right way, and thus to risk my life, and its own, patiently, and steadily, carried me safely through such additional dark, and needless, perils. Throughout the whole however of this journey being in high health, so likewise was I in perfect selfpossession, and even impressed with a certain sombre enjoyment of the gloomy grandeurs around me.-How delightful it is to be raised by some accidental circumstances, it matters not whether of pleasure, or peril, to an elevation of feeling above the ordinary current of life!

Thus however through dangers, and darkness, we laboured on for three hours; the Convent at last was discerned, but the lights were extinguished, for no visitors were expected on such a night. We dismounted, and knocked for admittance :-a Reverend brother received, and welcomed, us; he desired a servant to relieve us from our dripping clothes, and to bring us all that was dry and comfortable; with much care he took us through rooms of graduat

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ed warmth, thinking that the more prudent course in our very cold, and drenched, condition; and when he had shown us our bed rooms and provided every comfort, he left us to order refreshments below. Soon after this, we joined him in the Refectory, and spent the remainder of a short night in social talk : -the other monks had supped and retired.

This hospital founded by St. Bernard, as a refuge for the lost, and wretched, traveller has existed for eight centuries; and though its rules are not so rigid as many other monasteries, yet its inmates take the three vows of Chastity, Celibacy, and Poverty. One year's probation is allowed; and I was struck with the youth of some of its professors→→→ one of them a monk at eighteen, already bound by the most solemn engagements to the severest seclusions!-an eternal separation from the world, and a most wretched habitation amid barren precipices, and everlasting snows!

Yet it was by the supposed inaccessible passes of Mont St. Bernard, that Bonaparte, meditating the conquest of Italy, in 1800, ventured the astonishing effort of leading an army of 60,000 men, with all their artillery and baggage; and by the most unheard of labours, he did conduct such a force; the cannon being dragged over precipices and gulphs by the peasantry and soldiery, compelled thus to slave.-Napoleon appeared with an overwhelming force on the plains of Lombardy which he had

The Dogs of St. Bernard.


reached by ways never before trodden by armies, and where a handful of men might have annihilated all his troops: the inhabitants were panic struck; he pursued his victorious career, and Milan, the grand key, and capital of Italy, surrendered. The monks of St. Bernard supplied half of this vast army with as many rations, and comforts of clothing, &c. as they could, and here Bonaparte himself rested for some hours. Some regal gratitude he showed by bestowing 12,000 francs for the erection of a similar institution on the Simplon, decreeing that the Abbot of St. Bernard should be the superior of the three, viz. of the two named, and that of Mont Cenis.

The Dogs, their invaluable dogs, remain to be spoken of. This is a breed of Spanish origin, and there are now six in the convent, not quite as large as a Newfoundland, but equally powerful: they are mostly of a fawn colour, some also are white.

On the bleak, and barren, rocks which encompass this hospitable refuge, too often the traveller dies, lost amidst the trackless waste of snows; and a sort of hut termed Le Petit Hôpital is erected in several places for the corpses of those who perish. In the winter, or at any other time, when the falls of snow have destroyed all trace of any path, the dogs are regularly taken out by an Ecclesiastic, and a servant who carries in his basket, provisions, wine, &c. while the animals some


The Dogs of St. Bernard.

times have these refreshments tied at their throats. They are always out for a certain number of hours; -though buried to the nose in snows, where no human being, nor animal but themselves, perhaps, could find a path, these sagacious creatures never deviate from the right one. When without them, we should sink in the deep pit, or tumble down the unseen steep, yet with them we may fearlessly follow as they lead. Thus the wayworn traveller, sought out by these faithful creatures, may find with them the food to restore his drooping spirits, and at the Hospice, where they will lead him, every other comfort. But, more than this, they have been known to dart away from the track, in order to hunt for, and to find some hapless, lost, traveller, who, but for them, would, infallibly, have perished. A few months since, two of them, rushing away, on a sudden, led their masters to heaps of snow where lay literally buried, and on the point of dying, a female with her infant child. The noble animal carried the baby unhurt in his mouth till the servant arrived, and conducted them all safe into the right path, and to the convent! There is a beautiful print representing this incident. The identical dog was pointed out to me.-I cannot describe how I felt.

The Hospital itself is 7548 Paris feet * above

A French foot is about thirteen English inches.


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the level of the sea, and is supposed to be the highest human habitation in Europe.

Much impressed with gratitude for the kindness we had individually received, as well as for the general benevolence of the institution, I inscribed our names at parting, in the Album appropriated for that purpose, accompanied with a slight testimonial of our recollections.

As these good monks demand no recompence for their benevolence, I did not omit, as is customary, to drop an adequate compliment in their Tronc des Aumones. In the Chapel is a fine monument erected by Napoleon to his friend General Desaix, who perished at the Battle of Marengo.

25 Inst. Before our departure for Milan this morning, we settled accounts. My share, as one of four, for Guides and Mules, from Chamouni to the Mer de Glace, the Jardin, St. Bernard, &c. was 150 francs. The conveyance of iny portmanteau (weighing forty-two pounds) from Geneva to Martigny, taking only our Sacs de nuit on the backs of our mules, was twelve francs; and my portion of the hire of the carriage to Milan, an open landau, will be about 120 francs, independently of living on the road.

As is customary throughout Italy we drew up a written agreement, distinguishing the number of our trunks, &c. to be carried; the number of days to be on the road-five-and the additional rate

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