31 MARCH 1855, Page 20


The last artistic record we saw of Mont Blanc was a large and very clever amateur volume, by a gentleman named, if we recollect rightly, Browne. Another one,* small in scale, is now before us, also the work of an amateur. Mr. Macgregor's ascent was performed in September 1853, in company with Lord Killeen, Colonel de Bathe, Messrs. Shuld- ham, Fanshawe, Burrowes, Russell, of Crimean "own correspondence," and, for the second time, Albert Smith. Gradually the party diminished from predetermination or exhaustion ; and only three, including one of the guides, appear, to judge by the print, to have actually reached the sum- mit. Mr. Macgregor's sketches are curious, interesting, and lively. In the first, we see the Glacier du Tacconay ; the sky and higher peaks red, and one of the guides saved by a hairbreadth from exploring the bottom of a frightful chasm. The second presents the leaving the Grands Mulets by moonlight of intense brightness ; weird jagged ice-cones in the dis- tance. The third is the Mur de la Cate,-a ticklish precipice to turn, and a weary ascent of convex snow-mountain. In the fourth, the much-enduring three are at the top at lady-a plain, furrowed, rounded peak of unbroken snow, nothing beyond but warm sunlight and lawless clouds. The pictures are, in execution, some of the best specimens pro- duced of Mr. Baxter's process ; in which, however, a want of sharpness -a woolliness of outline-has never yet been overcome. Mr. Mac- gregor's pen is as pointed and picturesque as his pencil. He seems to have held out excellently, and enjoyed the view from the top of the mountain hugely. This was his feeling after quaffing the reserved champagne, and before rising for the grand panorama. Here you see a hundred, there two hundred miles : but we cannot look-sudden reaction had made us utterly passive, calm, weary, quiet, and smiling. Life seemed a dumb brightness, nor pain nor pleasure, but a mute dazzling thing, with dreamy half-closed eyelids. All could have slept in that awfully still sunshine, and peacefully died. It was warm gleaming rest, silent, white, and hap- py; and why not lasting ? Awake ! and behold this coloured map around us."

• The Ascent of Mont Blanc : a Series of Four Views, printed in Oil-colours by George Baxter. The original Sketches and the Description by J. Macgregor, Esq., M.A.