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A highly intelligent Swiss guide once gazed with me upon the dreary expanse of chimney-pots through which the south-western Railway escapes from this dingy metropolis. Fancying that I rightly interpreted his looks as symptomatic of the proverbial homesickness of mountaineers, I remarked with an appropriate sigh, That is not so fine a view as we have seen together from the top of Mont Blanc.' Ah, sir was his pathetic reply, 'it is far finer This frank avowal set me thinking. Were my most cherished prejudices folly, or was my favourite guide a fool A question not to be asked Yet very similar shocks, as has often been remarked, await the student of early Alpine literature.