Byron – a lover of Nature in the abstract far more than nature close at hand – has enjoyed himself far more than he anticipated, telling his sister Augusta;
I have been very fortunate – fortunate in a companion (Mr H) fortunate in our prospects… – I was disposed to be pleased.
He has enjoyed Hobhouse’s company, and the opportunity to behave like a silly school-boy, laughing so much when his guide slips and falls during a steep descent that he falls down too; and finding great amusement in Hobhouse’s curses when he bangs his head against a door.
He has seen some pretty girls, one gave him flowers, four sang to him and some rowed him across a lake.
He has acquired a dog: Mutz, or Short-tail; purchased as a guard-dog but destined to end his life as a spoiled household pet in Venice and Ravenna, remarkable to his ability to steal joints of meat from under the cook’s nose.
And… He has looked at a great deal of panoramic scenery. He has tried to describe some of it in an Alpine Journal for his sister, but has rarely had more to say than
…high rocks – wooded to the top – river – new mountains – with fine Glaciers…
As he always says, if you want a description, read the guide-book.
But one mountainous panorama has impressed him, the Jungfrau:
Avalanches falling every five minutes nearly – as if God was pelting the Devil down from Heaven with snow balls… the clouds rose from the opposite valley curling up perpendicular precipices – like the foam of the Ocean of Hell during a Springtide
The Jungfrau and the Infernal imagery it conjures will stay in his mind, and provide inspiration for a tangled, Gothic nightmare in verse, but that is in the future. For now it is time to pack up, leave Switzerland behind, and set out
…on my way to Italy.