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CHAPTER XVII.

VOYAGE TO GENEVA,

ANY reader of this book who will look upon a map of Europe, can easily trace the exact route which Pacifico followed with Florence and John, in this memorable journey; and probably will find the town of Villeneuve laid down at the eastern extremity of the Lake of Geneva, where the party were now about to arrive. Villeneuve occupies a very romantic situation. The lake here is bordered on each side by lofty and precipitous mountains, although, in the direction of the length of the lake, that is, from west to east, there opens the broad and level valley which has already been described.

The town is almost exactly at the head of the lake, quite near the place where the river Rhone, which flows down through the middle of the level valley, enters it. It is not precisely at the mouth of the river, for the land there is very low and marshy, being formed of mud and sand brought down from the mountains above by tor

rents, and then gradually washed along by the water of the river through the middle of the level valley. The rapidity of the current of the river is so great, that all this material is easily borne along by it-but when the river reaches the lake, where the water is comparatively still, the substances in suspension subside, and gradually the space around the outlet gets filled upthe land being at first low and swampy, but becoming, at length, in consequence of a continual accession of the deposits, quite firm and dry.

When Florence and John were conducted to their rooms in the hotel, the first thing was to go and look out of the window. The lake was in full view before them, and they could look over the water almost all the way to Geneva. There was a large wharf or pier, for the landing of steamers, just across the road which passed in front of the hotel.

"Is it here that we are to take the steamer to Geneva ?" asked John.

"Yes," replied Florence, "this is the place." "I am glad of it," said John, "for I begin to be tired of riding in the carriage. But Pacifico is going with us, isn't he ?"

"Yes," replied Florence. "Pacifico agreed to go with us until he should see us safe in the cars at Geneva, and ready to start for Paris."

"And what will he do with his carriage and horses ?" asked John.

"He is going to leave them here," replied Florence.

It is very seldom that a vetturino leaves his carriage and horses to go on with his family as a personal attendant; but Pacifico was willing to make such an arrangement in this case. Accordingly the next morning, soon after breakfast, he came to Florence's room with a porter, to take the trunk and the other baggage, and then conducted her and John on board the steamer, which seemed all ready to sail. There were several passengers already on board, and others coming.

Pacifico found a nice seat for the children on the quarter-deck under an awning. He said he would come occasionally to see them, and inquire if they wanted anything; and if they should wish to see him during any of the intervals of his visits to them, if they would ask the steward to send for him, he would come immediately.

"You shall always find the steward in the buffet,” said he, “in descending by the stairs of the cabin, to right."

Florence and John felt quite unconcerned at being left alone now, for they were out of Italy,

and the French language was spoken all around them, which made them feel quite at home. There was a party sitting just beyond them with some red covered guide books in their hands, and the tones of their voices as they talked together arrested John's attention at once.

"They are speaking English, Florence," said

he.

"No," said Florence, "they are speaking American."

There are slight differences in the accent and intonations used by the Americans and the English in speaking the language, by which an experienced traveller can almost always perceive, at once, to which nation a family party belongs, by hearing them converse together.

The persons who were talking together in this case consisted of a middle aged lady and two young ladies, who appeared to be her daughters. Not far from them a gentleman, who seemed to belong to the party, was sitting reading a newspaper.

The mother was a portly looking lady and she sat upon a seat on the deck, surveying the passengers with a very important and consequential air. There was also a good deal of pretension in her dress, and in that of her daughters, and they all looked about haughtily on the company, in

imitation of the lofty air which some English ladies assume in such cases, and which they accordingly considered a mark of high breeding which it was well for them to copy.

The youngest of the two daughters, whose name was Blanche, was naturally a very kind hearted girl, and being not more than seventeen, she had not yet become trained to the reserved and haughty demeanor which her mother considered so essential a mark of gentility. She had an opera glass in her hand, and was occupying herself, as the steamer glided along her course at the distance of a mile or two from the land, in exploring the declivities of the mountains, which rose abruptly from the shore, and finding the shepherd's cottages that were here and there to be discovered-sometimes nestled in green dells and valleys, and sometimes built on shelving projections of the rocks-and in studying out the forms of the little fields and gardens around them, and observing the children running up and down the zigzag paths.

Seeing that Florence and John appeared to be alone, and had no one to talk to them, she gradually moved nearer to them, and finally she asked Florence if she would not like to take the opera glass and look at the mountain side with it.

"There are such charming little cottages here

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