doves fed. . . . Wordsworth was with us in the evening, and we had an excellent dish of talk. . . . .
June 26.—We left Venice this morning with less reluctance than we otherwise should have done, if the weather had not of late been so warm that we begin to be impatient to get into the mountains, where we have the project of making, in company with Gray and Cogswell, a somewhat long and whimsical, but as we hope agreeable journey of a few weeks. . . .
The ‘whimsical journey’ was, in fact, a voyage en zigzag
through different passes of the Alps
; out of Italy
by the Brenner; in again over the Stelvio, and down the lovely Valtelline
to the Lake of Como
; out once more by the Spluegen; through the Via Mala
and over the Arlberg to Innsbruck
,—a course suggested by Mr. Wordsworth
as the best way of seeing and enjoying the Alps
. Mr. Ticknor
reviews the experiences of these three weeks as follows:—
Innsbruck, July 16.—. . . . I do not know that we could have done more in the same time to see what is grand and solemn, or graceful and gentle, in the valleys and mountain-passes of the North of Italy, the Tyrol, and the portions of Switzerland we did not visit last year . . . . I feel, indeed, now as if I were well enough acquainted with the mountain-country between Vienna and Marseilles; for with our visits to Upper Austria and Switzerland last summer, added to my former passages of the St. Bernard and the Maritime Alps on horseback, I have made seven passages of the Alps,—namely, part of the Brenner, the whole of the Stelvio, the Splu:;gen, the Arlberg, the Simplon, the St. Bernard, and the Corniche,—and seen all the principal lakes, mountains, and valleys on each side of them.
Of all this, the lakes of Upper Austria are the most winning and satisfying as lakes, except the Lake of Como, which is of the same sort; the Tyrol is the most picturesque country, and its people, their costumes and houses, the most curious and striking; the Ortler Spitz, the Jungfrau, and the Mont Blanc are the grandest of the mountains; the Valtelline and the valley of the Inn the loveliest of valleys and at the same time the grandest; the Mandatsch Glacier the most solemn of the glaciers, and next after this, the Glacier of Grindelwald and the Mer de Glace. . . . .
After a week at Munich
—where they again met Mr. Wordsworth