On Climbing

A tourist party had gone to considerable effort in preparing for a much anticipated climb to the summit of one of the beautiful snow-capped mountains of Switzerland. But the day was becoming dismal, as heavy clouds arose, obscuring the sun. At the same time, disappointment hovered over the group. One asked, "Is the climb worth attempting on such a gloomy day?" Another said, "Will it not be even darker by the time we reach the summit?" These thoughts were followed by the temptaion to spend the day as best they could in the murky village below, where they now reluctantly waited. But the guide, who knew the conditions better, persuaded them to make the attempt, notwithstanding the seeming dullness; "for," he explained, "you may see the sun as you reach the heights." After his hopeful words the ascent commenced.

It was well the climbers refused to be kept back, for before they had proceeded far, they had passed completely through the low-lying clouds,—an experience not uncommon on such occasions,—and then all was radiant as the sun shone on the purest of white snow. What had threatened to be a day of failure proved to be one of great happiness for all. The gloomy atmospheric conditions did not pass away; but the mountaineers proved the powerlessness of the clouds to defeat their happiness, by literally rising above them.

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