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guides; 3 or 4 fr. a-day will suffice for them; others are satisfied with taking a guide only to cross the mountains, from one valley into another, where, as before observed, they are really indispensable. Those who travel in chars or on horseback will find that the driver, or the man who accompanies the horse, will usually serve as guide, and render unnecessary the employment of any other person in that capacity. At Chamouny, however, the guides must be hired distinct from the mules. Let it be observed that, when the travelling party includes ladies, a guide is required to attend on each, during a mountain excursion, to lead down the horses, where the path is steep, and to lend their arms to the fair travellers, when the exigences of the way require them to dismount, and proceed on foot.
Even the aged or invalid female is by no means debarred the pleasure of taking a part in difficult mountain expeditions. Those who are too infirm either to walk or ride, may be carried over the mountains in a "chaise-à-porteurs" (Germ. Tragsessel), which is nothing more than a chair, carried in the manner of a sedan, upon poles, by two bearers; two extra bearers must be taken to relieve in turn, and every man expects 6 fr. per diem, and 3 fr. return-money for the days required to reach home.
S 10. HORSES AND MULES.
Previous to 1800, or even later. until Napoleon commenced the magnificent carriage-roads over the Alps, which will assist in immortalising his name, the only mode of conveying either passengers or goods across them was on the back of horses or mules. Even now, upon all the minor passes, almost the entire traffic is carried on by
means of them. In other instances, where the beauties of scenery attract an influx of strangers, mules are kept for their conveyance, even where they are not required for the transport of merchandise.
The customary hire of a horse or mule throughout Switzerland, generally fixed by a printed tariff, amounts to 9 fr. a-day, including the man who takes care of it; at Chamouny it is 6 fr., but there a guide must also be taken. Back-fare must be paid if the animals are dismissed at a distance from home, and at so late an hour of the day that they cannot return before night.
The ponies that are used in the Bernese Oberland, on the Righi, and in other parts of Switzerland, are clever animals, that will carry you up and down ascents perfectly impracticable to horses unused to the mountains; but they are far distanced by the mules of Chamouny and other parts of Savoy. Their sagacity, strength, and sureness of foot, are really wonderful. The paths which they ascend or descend with ease are steeper than any staircase, with ledges of rock, 2 or 3 ft. high, instead of steps. Sometimes they are covered with broken fragments, between which they must pick their way, at the risk of breaking their legs; at others, they traverse a narrow ledge of the mountain, with an abyss on one side and a wall of rock on the other; and here the mule invariably walks on the very verge of the precipice
a habit derived from the animal's being accustomed to carry large packages of merchandise, which, if allowed to strike against the rock on one side, would destroy the mule's balance, and jostle him overboard. In such dangerous passes, the caution of the animal is very remarkable he needs no rein to guide him, but will pick his own
way, and find out the best path, far better than his rider can direct him; and, in such circumstances, it is safer to let the reins hang loose, and trust entirely to his sagacity, than to perplex him by checking him with the curb, at a moment when, by confusing the animal, there will be risk of his losing his footing, and perhaps tumbling headlong.
It is interesting to observe the patient animal, on reaching dangerous ground, smelling with his nose down like a dog, and trying the surface with his foot, before he will advance a step, as the poet has accurately described him :
Shunning the loose stone on the precipice
Snorting suspicion-while with sight, smell, touch,
S 11. SWISS INNS.
Switzerland is well provided with inns; and those of the large towns, such as the Faucon, at Berne, the Bergues and Couronne, at Geneva, the Bellevue, at Thun, the Three Kings, at Basle, yield, in extent and good management, to few hotels in either France or Germany. The great annual influx of strangers into the country is of the same importance to Switzerland that some additional branch of industry or commerce would be, and renders the profession of host most lucrative. Many of the Swiss innkeepers are very wealthy, and it is not uncommon to find an individual in this capacity who is landamman or chief magistrate of the canton.
The approach to one of the first-rate hotels in the large towns, in the height of summer, exhibits rather a characteristic spectacle. The street
before it is usually filled with several rows of vehicles of all sorts, from the dirty and rickety calèche of the German voiturier, to the neat chariot of the English peer, and the less elegant, but equally imposing, equipage of the Russian prince. Before the doorway is invariably grouped a crowd of loitering servants and couriers, of all nations and languages, and two or three knots of postilions and coachmen on the look-out for employment. During the height of the season, should the traveller arrive late in the evening, the chances are against his being admitted, unless he have sent or written beforehand to secure rooms. This object may sometimes be effected by the means of the courier of another party about to set out at an earlier hour.
Couriers, voituriers, guides, and boatmen, are apt sometimes to sell their employers to the innkeepers for a gratuity, so that travellers should not always implicitly follow the recommendations of such persons regarding ins; and it is hoped that the list of inns, drawn up with much care, and given in this book, will render the traveller in future more independent of their recommendations. The innkeepers hitherto have been very much at the mercy of this class of persons, who invariably fare sumptuously, and certainly not at their own expense. It not unfrequently happens that the attendance which ought to be bestowed on the master is lavished upon his menials. Whenever a new inn is started, it is almost invariably by the lavish distribution of high gratuities to coachmen, couriers, and the like, and by. pampering them with the best fare, that the landford endeavours to fill his house, to the prejudice both of the comfort and the purse of their mas
With few exceptions, therefore (which are
specified in the following pages), the writer has generally found himself best off in the old-established houses.
It may be laid down as a general rule, that the wants, tastes, and habits of the English are more carefully and successfully studied in the Swiss inns than even in those of Germany. Thus, at most of the large inns, there is a late table-d'hôte dinner at 4 or 5 o'clock, expressly for the English; and the luxury of tea may always be had in perfection. Cleanliness is to be met with almost everywhere, until you reach the S. slopes of the Alps and the approach to Italy. In canton Bern, in particular, the inns, even in the small and remote villages, are patterns of neatness, such as even fastidious trayellers may be contented with.
The usual charges are, for dinner at the early table-d'hôte-3 Fr. fr.-20 batz. Later ditto, 4 or 5 Fr. fr.
Dinner, in private, 6 fr. per head for 1 or 2 persons, at the more expensive inns; and from 3 to 5 fr. per head for a party at smaller inns.
Beds, 1 1/2 to 2 fr. 10 to 13 1/2 batz.
To this is added, in most of the larger inns, a charge of 1 franc for a wax candle, to swell the bill.
The charges for rooms vary according to their situation on the lower floors and the views they command; but the best suite of apartments, in first-rate inns, ought not to exceed 4 fr. a-day, for a sitting-room or salon, and 3 fr. for each bed.
It must be remembered that there are generally two sets of charges, one for natives, or Ger