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lonely and unfrequented miles lay in jects are undiscernible. We are sure one billowy and desolate stretch be- rounded by snow, but in the valley tween his cabin and the nearest habita- upon which we look the golden grain tion of white men-impassable miles, and rich green grass flourish beneath withal; but in that lonely cabin he the sun of early summer. With scarcely lived for four long months without see- more than a leap we are transported ing the face of a human being or hold- from icy mid-winter to strawberries and ing converse with any one. This is but one of the many deprivations of fron- The Sacramento and San Joaquin tier-life. It requires a stout heart to valleys lie in a great bowl, as it were; take that one step which carries a man for if we urge our sight off in the disbeyond the assistance and association tance, we find a distinct blue line, of his fellow-beings, and that, too, when crowned with white, against the horizon, the reward is comparatively small. and losing itself on either band. This Yet, this patient labor is, to the world is the coast-range, situated more than at large, of inestimable value, for it one hundred miles from the spot on hews the way for more important pro- which we stand, the snow still crownjects which will surely follow.
ing their tops, though they be but playHartley, during his stay on Castle things in comparison with the Sierra. Mountain, discovered, in one of the Here our range of vision extends over a valleys, several valuable gold-bearing section of country exceeding in area the quartz veins. Knowing their value, he whole State of Connecticut. Of course, claimed them, and five years later-in we cannot distinguish the fields and 1866- within sight of his isolated cabin, houses, but we can see the steamboatthere sprung up the town of Meadow smoke on the Sacramento River-some Lake; and his solitary four months in seventy miles away-and dark patches the Sierra paid him with a life-long over the surface of the plain, which competence.
mark either the wooded or the tilled Side by side with Castle Peak stands lands. its compeer, Fremont's Peak, urging its It is indeed a wonderful sight. The proud, treeless top far among the eye at a glance sweeps over one of the clouds. Through all the balmy Sierra largest and most fertile valleys of our summer they bear aloft the relic of de- whole land, and a journey from our parted winter, and while the grass is stand-point to the extreme limit of our rich and green in the deep-sheltered observation would cost us at least thirtyvalleys which surround them, the snow six hours of travel. flurries and wreaths about their tops, As we stand, facing toward the west, bidding defiance to the sunlight and a stone tossed from the hand will fall a awaiting another season of storms. distance of fifteen hundred feet, striking
Looking to the north, the rugged upon the ice-covered, snow-bound bomountains, with their pine-forests, again som of French Lake, which, in the confront us—unnamed, unknown, vast course of a month or so from this time, recesses, which have never been explored will be transformed to a placid, dark, by civilized eyes ---broad arenas, where picturesque sheet of water some twenty civilized man has never set foot; all acres in extent. The mountains seem waiting for the time when their cen- to have split apart and formed the crevturies of silence shall be disturbed by ice in which it rests, for its other side is the activity of a fast-advancing and backed up by a correspondingly precipbusy population.
itous mountain-face. At last we turn our eyes to the west ; We have now taken a fair view of the and here our sight sweeps the mighty country, as seen from Prospect Peak-a plain of the Sacramento, with its con- place which, I doubt not, will, in years tinuation to the south, the San Joaquin to come, become famous as one of the -So far off and far below us that ob- sublimest points of observation which
the world affords. From Meadow tain-sides is fearful. In such places I Lake, which lies a little to the east- have seen the measured inile accomward, the ascent is comparatively easy, plished in fifty seconds, and have myand after reaching its top the traveller self slid, repeatedly, one mile in less forgets his fatigue, and is lost in the than seventy seconds. grand scene before him.
Snow-shoe racing is a favorite pas
time among the mountain-people, both Mounting our snow-shoes, a few mo- sexes participating in the sport, and tuents of very rapid sliding brings us many of the women challenging the within the limits of the town of Mead- best and most expert runners.* With ow Lake.
their snow-shoes thoroughly “doped," This town, in point of elevation, the crowd resort to some suitable place ranks thi d or fourth among the perma- for the contest, which begins with a nent habitations of man in the known grand dash, all participating. Woe to world. It rests on a sheltered plain, the inexperienced ones, for they are which caps a high ridge, and is sur- generally left sitting in the snow while rounded by rolling hills on every side; they see their shoes shooting away in its buildings are those rudely-finished the exciting race, riderless, or else, owing structures which one so often meets to their uncertain footing, they are shot, with in these mountains-crazy affairs, arrow-like, head-first into the soft snow, whose thin boards prove scarcely a from which they must extricate themsufficient protection against the severe selves and spend the rest of the day in storms which assail them.
hunting up their untrustworthy conveyIt may not be out of place here to
ance. Experts dash on regardless of mention the fact that during the long circumstances, with the swiftness of the winters which prevail in this section, wind, until they come to a halt in the the chief and only method of locomo- deep valley to which they have descendtion, for pedestrians, is by snow-shoes; ed, which may be two or three miles and as neither horses nor mules can be from their starting-point. used, owing to the depth of the snow, The rider stands erect on the shoes, all journeys in the unfrequented dis- allowing them to slide, or rather plunge, tricts must be accomplished with their in the direction intended, at the same aid.
time steadying himself with the stout The unwieldy raw - hide network, snow-pole, which he grasps in his hands. known as the “ Canadian shoe,” is sel- The only mode by which he can retard dom used, the Norwegian pattern hav- his swift progress is by falling from the ing proved more acceptable and less shoes, at the risk of a roll in the snow, cumbersome. The latter are very sim- and detaining them as he falls—a feat ple in their construction, consisting of which requires some dexterity. To lose two long, narrow, and flat strips of the shoes is a serious matter, for fatigue, wood slightly curved at the forward exhaustion, and perhaps more serious ends, and confined to the feet by strips mishaps, may overtake him ere he of leather, which are placed at their reaches his journey's end. balancing point, and pass over the in- All through the long winter-season step. The traveller is not to fatigue the snow upon the Sierra Nevada, at himself by raising them, but simply any elevation above five thousand feet, slides along over the surface of the lies at a depth averaging from ten to snow. The shoes vary in length from twenty feet, while drifts pile themselves nine to twelve feet, the longer shoes up to enormous and incredible proporbeing preferable for swift running. The tions. Snow-slides are frequent, and wearer must necessarily become skilled in their use before venturing into diffi- * I have known a party of ladies to start out in vast areas of snow sometimes move the latter part of November, and fairly down the mountain-sides, wrecking terminating about the first of July. Be every thing in their way, and often it in any season, I know of no climate proving fatal to the unfortunate living so eminently calculated to benefit sufferbeings whom it may overtake. Scarcely ers from bronchial or pulmonary diffia year passes that does not record a culties; and of all climates which I number of deaths from this cause. have had the good fortune to visit, I
the morning, on their snow-shoes, travel eight cult or dangerous places, for the speed
miles to visit and spend the night with theit attained in descending the steep moun- friends, and return on the followiug day.
I have seen the waters of Phænix know of none more beautiful than the Lake rise six feet, and then rapidly sub- Sierra Nevada spring and summer. In side, when one of these vast bodies of the former season, though the ground snow has plunged into it from the be covered with snow, the sun is warm steep sides of Old-Man Mountain. and invigorating, while the great pind
During the month of March, 1866, wilderness echoes with countless birdthere was a snow-storm in the Sierra of songs. seventeen days' duration. Day after Right through this temple of Nature, day, for a week, I shovelled the snow this region of grandeur and snow, the . from my doorway, in the vain hope that great enterprise pushes itself for a disthe storm would soon cease. When it tance of sixty miles or more; now did cease, my cabin-the extreme height plunging into a ravine, shadowed and of which was twelve feet-was entirely darkened by the rocky heaps which covered with snow, in such a way that rise thousands of feet above it, now I was obliged to cut a hole in the roof, stretching off on the open plain, and and shovel a passage through in order guarded on either side by huge, gaunt to obtain light, air, and an entrance- pines, which stand stiff and listless by way.
The mountains were visited by a still Lounging upon the steps of the severer storm in February, 1867. One rudely-finished but comfortable house of the county-papers, in speaking of it, known as Polley's Station, at Crystal stated : “ The snow in some places lies Lake, we can hear the clear, ringing thirty feet dcep, and a two-story house sound of hammer and drill; now and on the Plaza of Meadow Lake is entirely then a thundering blast rolls away, out of sight. The average depth of the echoing up and down the great valsnow is twenty-one feet, and drifts form leys. This is the steady, onward march to a depth of twenty feet in a single of civilization, breaking the pathway night." This storm continued for thirty through forests, and mountains, and days.
solid granite, for the most magnificent The atmosphere of the mountains is enterprise which bas prompted mandry, and seldom intensely cold, but the kind for centuries past-the Pacific winters are very long, commencing in Railroad,
LOOKED at from one point of view, these Bunsen, the scene was obserred with aston. two thick volumes contain the record of a life ishment. In 1846 he writes, “I was invited that was a tragedy. Yet few biographies to Windsor Castle to spend the birthday of narrate the story of a career so uninterrupted- the Prince of Wales for the first time, as it is ly fortunate in externals. Bunsen's life be- not usual with the Queen to have foreign gan under a thatched roof, but it was passed guests on that occasion,
* *. I had in the splendid society of scholars and states- brought with me German books for the chil. men, of cardinals and kings. He lived to dren.
The Prince wanted to have within one year of the allotted term of human the pictures explained, and I sat on the floor life, and through that long period he enjoyed in the midst of the group; we all spoke the most splendid health, and unquenchable German," etc. These volumes are full of good spirits, enabling him to work to an ex- similar evidences of the affectionate familiarity tent remarkable even in Germany, that land that existed between Bunsen and persons of of intellectual bees and beavers. He married high station, and not only with such persons, at an early age the woman he loved, and his but with men distinguished in literature, in wedded life was an undisturbed course of science, in art, and in politics. Truly has happiness, surrounded as he was by a family his widow written of him : “ Wherever his lot of nine intelligent, affectionate children, and had been cast, -whether in his native fathersustained by the devotion and appreciating land, or in his beautiful Italy, or in that no sympathy of his excellent English wife. He less beloved England, the fatherland of his enjoyed, to a degree rarely experienced by a wife,—there he attracted all with whom he subject, the intimate personal friendship of came into contact by his sympathy and bethree kings of his own country, the present nevolence, by the brilliancy of his wonderful king of Prussia, William I., his brother and mind, 10 less than by the depth of his genu. predecessor, Frederic William IV., and their ine humility.” And yet, in spite of all this father, Frederic William fil.; and in the outward prosperity, Bunsen's life reads like a family of Queen Victoria his position was tragedy; for, what hope that ho lived for more like that of an elder brother, than that was fulfilled ? what dream of his youth was of Minister of Prussia. On one occasion, accomplished ? and what substantial result when lie was absent from Prussia, Frederic remains as the fruit of this life, passed in more William IV, issued these extraordinary words: than Herculean labors ? If we look at the “I hunger and thirst after Bunsen," and in vast extent of his personal influence; at the asking him to Berlin, in 1857, to be present good his example did ; at the moral effect of at the Meeting of the Members of the Evan- his pure and manly life, with its perpetual gelical Alliance, he ended his letter with these sacrifice of inclination to duty and its never. words: “You surely will not refuse to be the dampened enthusiasm for truth, with his unguest of an old friend in his own house ? " conquerable belief in the future triumph of and when the king, on entering the hall, saw the right; we must, perhaps, allow that a life Bunsen, he came straight up to him, em- of which these are the striking traits, cannot braced him once, and then again, saying rightly be called a tragedy. It is only when aloud, “I thank you from my heart, dear we ask for the outward material results of Bunsen, that you have fulfilled my request such splendid opportunities; for the proofs and conie so quickly—God reward you ! ” which future time will demand of this man's No wonder that, as Humboldt afterward told right to influence his age and to be rememhe was recalled in disgrace, it must at all events our space forbids any such indulgence, and be admitted that his recall was looked upon as we shall think ourselves fortunate if we can such by a large party in Prussia, and by the give our readers any sufficient notion of their Government of Rome. Only "the express general contents. will of the king interfered to prevent disgrace Christian Carl Josias Bunsen was born in and mortification being added in order to give Corbach, in the principality of Waldeck, on bitterness to the unavoidable fall.” A message the 25th of August, 1791. He was, as his reached him at Trieste from the Cardinal- biographer naïvely remarks," the child of Secretary of State to let him know confiden- parents advanced in life, who had married (in tially that the Pope would not receive him, 1790) for the sake of companionship and though he was not to be officially informed mutual care in old age, and probably little of this determination. The reader will find in anticipated such blessing upon their union." these volumes sufficient material to form an The mother died in 1819, the father in 1820; opinion as to the merits of the questions at both parents living to see their son established issue between Prussia and Rome, which led in life and on the high road to distinction and to this final rupture : it is not our purpose to honor. The father appears to have been a give here the details of the dispute nor to man of character, energetic, decided, and judge how far Bunsen was to blame for the conscientious, and with a strong desire to give turn affairs took; all we wish to show is, that his son all the advantages of education that these twenty-two years—the best part of life, he perceived him so well fitted to improve. from the age of twenty-five to forty-seven
bered, that our feeling, on closing these vol* A Memoir of Baron Bunsen, late Minister Plen- umes, is explained. He resided in Rome ipotentiary and Envoy Extraordinary of his Majesty during twenty-two years, and during nearly Frederic William IV., at the Court of St. James.
the whole of that time he was in the service Drawn chiefly from family papers, by his widow, Frances Baroness
In two volumes.
of Prussia ; yet, politically, his diplomatical Philadelphia : J. B. Lippincott & Co. London : labors were of no advantage to eithe: Prussia Longmans & Co. 1868.
or Rome; and if it ought not to be said that
He stinted himself in order to lay up money were virtually thrown away in this half-po- to meet the expenses of his son's university litical existence, for which he was so ill education, and by dint of hard work and strict suited, and for which the result proved him economy," he had laid aside a liundred thalers, 80 unfit. None of his schemes, at least none which, when added to the fifth part of the that were of national importance, came to any yearly stipend allowed by the Government of thing; of all his political labors he reaped Waldeck—for Bunsen had to share this alnothing but disappointment and the hatred of lowance of fifty thalers with five fellowthe dominant parties in both countries; and students !-enabled Bunsen to enter the Uni. the only material intellectual result of his versity of Marburg, where, however, he restudies in the Eternal City was a single book, mained only a year, finding it too small for "The Description of Rome," a work which he the opportunities he needed. Singularly had no desire to write, but in which he be- enough, the mother of Bunsen seems to have came entangled by his earnest wish to help a left but little trace upon the life of her son, needy friend, and which during eleven years At her death he speaks of her with filial —from 1818 to 1829—proved a most serious affection, but nothing indicates that, spiritually embarrassment and impediment to progress in or intellectually, lie was under any special oblihis own favorite pursuits. This was the be- gations to her. Ilis half-sister Christiana ginning, and the end was like the beginning. for Bunsen's mother was his father's second He was born with a wonderful love and apti- wife-seems to have exercised the strongest tude for study, but the greater part of his life moral influence upon him of all with whom was passed, not in study, but in the perform- he came in contact in his earlier years. She ance of political duties—ministerial, diplo- was a woman of most marked and independmatic, and advisory-for which he had neither cnt character, and the story of her life is one love nor aptitude, and which resulted in a full of romantic details. But we have no series of melancholy failures. And it may space to more than allude to it here. In 1809 even be doubted if his studies, far-reaching Bunsen left Marburg for Göttingen, where and unwearied as they were, have given to the Heyne, “full of years and of honor, received world any books or any discoveries of any and treated him with paternal kindness, per. enduring value. Truly, it seems as if Bunsen's ceiving from the first that he had to do with epitaph should be that which is so falsely writ- a student of uncommon gifts and acquireten on the tomb of Keats: “Ilere lies one ments." Bunsen was at this time eighteen whose name is writ on water."
years of age. Heyne seems to have exercised Great is the temptation to give a full ac- a strong and healthful influence over his mind, count of Bunsen's long and active life, and to and a few allusions to him in the scanty recextract from these two crowded volumes ords of this most interesting period of our many pages of their overflowing wealth of subject's life explain the secret of that influanecdote and insight into public affairs. But ence in the similarity of character and habit