William H. Seward's Travels around the World

By Olive Risley Seward; William Henry Seward | Go to book overview
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CHAPTER IV.
SWITZERLAND AND FRANCE.

Geneva.--The Alps.--The Tunnel of Mont Cenis.--Passports.--American Fondness for Switzerland.--Berne.--Swiss Statesmen and Politics.--Distress of France.--The Franco-German War.--Lord Lyons.--Mr. Washburne.--Versailles.--The French Assembly.--PresidentThiers.--A Dinner with President Thiers.--Condition of France.--M. Drouyn de Lhuys.--M. Laboulaye.--Dr. Evans and the Empress Eugénie.--Aspect of Paris.--Prospects of France.

Geneva, August 21st.--We have had two delicious days on the Alps. From Susa in Piedmont, we went, by a pass six thousand feet high, around a peak eleven thousand feet above the sea, to Chambéry in Savoy; thence up the valley of the Rhone. The Alpine region, thus traversed, is colder and more sterile than any we have passed. Eternal glaciers are suspended from the peaks of mountains, down their sides, the rapid torrents of which serve as fountains for the Po on the one side and the Rhone on the other.

Among many interesting antiquities at Susa, one, thoroughly instructive, is the inscription, over its ancient gate-way, enumerating the eleven native tribes of the mountain-region, and reciting that the king surrenders his authority and assumes the title of prefect under the dominion of the divine Emperor Augustus.

So it seems to have been from the beginning of the world I States are built by overcoming and extinguishing petty, defenceless, and contentious tribes. So the United States have extended their dominion, from Plymouth to San Francisco, from the St. Lawrence to the Rio Grande.

The Alps, which, from time immemorial, have been the barrier

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