Obrazy na stronie

looking houses, surrounded with gardens, digni- | induced to turn their attention to agriculture. fied by box hedges and iron gates.

Those of Zurich were merchants and manufac

turers. “ The Jesuits have an Educational Institute here, established in 1837, with the assistance of “ This exclusive occupation with agriculture the Abbot of Einsiedeln and some of the prin- seems to have communicated a certain heaviness cipal families, which had some hundreds of and immobility to the character of the inhabscholars, but appears now to be somewhat on itants of Berne, and, even when the dominion the decline. The Schwyzers, however pious, of the nobles was at an end, they felt little inhave no great partiality to the order. Indeed, clination to enter the lists with their more active they refused for a long time to have any thing and lively neighbours. to do with them; perhaps not so much on account “ The city of Berne itself, with its vast houses, of their principles, as because the rich monks in built of massive free-stone from the foundation many of the convents hate the Jesuits, and fear, to the gables — their stone staircases, and long not without reason, a diminution of their rev: vaulted passages telling of their Burgundian orienues from the influence of these learned and yin, is a type of their weighty and immovable crafty warriors of the church of Rome. In 1758 character. These solid, gloomy mansions, gray the Landsgemeinde rejected the proposal even of with age, and untouched by modern coloring or a Reding to admit them, although he offered to decoration, look like rows of castles, rooted deep the canton a sum of 80,000 guilders and a large as they are into the rocky ground. In one quarestate, as an inducement; but the Jesuits bave ter, houses in a newer style are to be found; but found their way here at last without any one in general, if one of these grand old habitations giving a penny, though they still do not appear becomes unsafe, another is built up as nearly as very popular. I talked with one of the inen of possible in the same style. And thus it is in Schwyz on the subject, and he spoke out very many other departments. The burghers of freely. They do n't do us much harm at přes- Berne cannot forget the time when they beld ent,' said he, and do n't seem to meddle in what dominion over all the surrounding country; and does not concern them; if they did we would they cannot yet reconcile themselves to the modsoon drive them out again. They are clever

ern system of equality, and the presumption of fellows, and manage to bring many into their peasants seeking to share in their privileges. net, but they have not many real friends among “ There are in Berne eleven guilds or comthe people. They lend money, however, help panies, and to one of these every citizen must us here and there, buy many things at a good belong. They cannot at all understand how a price. They use a great many wares for their man can be settled in a town, without taking his schools, give employment to tradespeople and place in a corporation; as if, according to the mechanics, and many strangers come to visit old Germanic notion, the protection of the indithem, whom they send to the inns, the landlords vidual could not be trusted to the state and the of which are on good terms with them; and you law, but must be the especial care of some assosce, Sir,' he added, laughing, for he was himself ciation whose business it should be to protect its an innkeeper, -that's the reason why I do n't members. Every company has its hall, its bank, like myself to say much against the Fathers.”” its fund, apart from all others; there are even

associations of families, held together by private The great Protestant canton of Berne is dis- contract, which have estates and property in tinguished, above all others, for its advancement common. The families of noble descent, the in agricultural science, and it is not less remark- merchants, the butchers, the tailors — all cling able for the extreme order and neatness which together; but it is not necessary that the memeverywhere meets the eye: there are no open the same occupation. A man may have himself

bers of the same company should all carry on pits or heaps of manure, such as may be seen at proposed in any company, and if he is accepted, every door in the country of Zurich, offending buy his freedom, which in the richer companies two senses at once. The large houses, with their costs a considerable sum. The company of nobles galleries and rows of bright windows, handsome alone refuses to admit any one who is not of noble domestic offices and green lawns, look most in- birth. These rich old families generally live in vitingly, and give a pleasing testimony to the great retirement on their estates in the country, prosperity of the inhabitants. The Berne people taking no part in public business

, and passing are the best farmers in all Switzerland, and as

their time mostly in grumbling at the course

affairs are taking. It is remarkable, too, that they enjoy many natural advantages, which they proud and worldly as these patricians formerly have turned to the best account, they have found were, they have lately become immoderately little necessity for giving their attention to manu- pious. Some of the most distinguished among factures, and are willing to leave these to their them the Hallwylls, the Wattenwylls, and neighbours in Zurich and Aargau. This may others — bave fallen from the faith for which be partly explained from the history of Berne. their ancestors so valiantly contended, and ré

turned to the Catholic Church The patrician families of the capital were nobles,

“Berne is beyond comparison a less cheerful who for many centuries possessed considerable place than Zurich. There are few coffee-houses landed estates, and were, therefore, naturally l or places of public amusement; and in the beauty

of its environs it is also greatly inferior to the , and since in the short duration of offices lies, it is above-mentioned city. The terrace near the thought, the best security for popular freedom cathedral

, indeed, whence you look down on the in a republic — the Great Council is to be electriver Aar, and part of the city, and beyond it, ed every four years, instead of every six, as beto meadows, fields, and mountains — and ially when the evening sun clothes the majestic fore. According to the old constitution, the ranges of the Oberland in robes of radiance; members of the chief tribunal, chosen by the this deserves all that can be said of it: but there Great Council, received their appointments for is no other equal to this . . . . In Zurich, long fifteen years; now they are to have them only rows of wagons, heavily laden with goods, to and for eight. from many distant countries, are daily passing in and out. In Berne there are scarcely any; and of power has been thrown into the popular scale.

In another particular also an immense increase though many travellers arrive, they are mostly on their way to the Oberland, or the lake of The Great Council itself must be dissolved and Geneva, and remain a very short time.

re-elected, if the majority of the people in the “ In Zurich, as I have said, the officers of political assemblies demand it. On the requisigovernment, including the Burgomasters, are to tion of 6000 citizens, the matter must be put to be met with, associating freely with the rest of the vote. the citizens in the coffee-houses and places of public amusement. They do not seek to en “ Not less important is the regulation that all velop themselves in a cloud of mystic grandeur, new laws and ordinances whatever — before which

may be suitable enough to patricians and they are brought under discussion, must be made aristocrats, but not to the magistrates of a democ- known to the people, time enough for them to racy. In Berne, the descendants of the ancient express their opinion concerning them. In nobles have inherited all their exclusiveness. Berne the direct veto is not indeed conferred on They never mingle among the people, far less the people as it is in St. Gall — but they have make their appearance at coffee and beer-houses. the most effectual means of protesting and peti. The stiff, heavy, formal mode of life of Berne, tioning and enlisting the press against any laws in which every ore confines himself to his own to which they may object.” house, or to a limited circle of acquaintance, leaving the coffee-houses to students and young Such rights, indeed, if merely existing on radicals, was strictly followed by the men who parchment, and not animated by the spirit of a formed the government of Berne in 1846. people, avail little; and, in Berne, the old princiNeither Neuhaus, nor the most distinguished of

ples of action have still such power and force his colleagues, Fetcherin and Weber, ever showed themselves in public, but preserved the the character of the people in general is so importance of their position.”

opposed to innovation — every district, every

community, clings so much to its old customs, Neuhaus seems to have given great offence that it will be long before this new constitution by placing at his door, a bell, with a brass plate, and its objects will be really absorbed and assimion which was inscribed “ Ici on sonne et on lated, so as to become a part of the national attend.” To keep people waiting at his door life. while some one came to open it, was thought a most unwarrantable assumption. It might have

“ A reform of the poor-laws and the system of done very well for a Schultheiss in the old times,

finance was, however, what above all things but it was not now the time of day” for such

young Berne had at heart — and which this new

constitution was intended to effect; but this it airs of superiority. His whole government had, has only been able to do in part — and even however, been left far behind in the rapid pro- that not without lively opposition; and yet, on gress of the now victorious party, and their ad- this depends the whole success of an experiherents in the clubs, and when, injudiciously, in ment, by which it has been attempted to raise our author's opinion, it undertook the prosecu- Berne from the entangled historical deformities tion of the Free-corps men, after having looked

of the old German commonalty, to the freer poquietly on during their preparations, “ instead of ideas

. It is precisely this which gives so great

sition of a state constructed according to modern proving its strength, it hollowed the ground under

an interest to its present position, and to the its own feet.”

attempts of the young reform party. The new constitution of 1846 has, of course * Before all things it is necessary, in German the advantage of standing upon the shoulders of Switzerland, to sweep away the rude irregular its predecessor, by which it has been enabled to foundation on which Swiss life has hitherto restremedy many of its deficiencies. The system of ed? , and to strike a mortal blow at the manifold indirect elections has been wholly put aside

hindrances and separations by which its progress

has been obstructed." the age at which all civic rights may be exercised, reduced from 23 to 20, and the competency to One of the most important paragraphs of the all offices of the republic, from the age of 29 to new constitution (paragraph 86) is that which 25. Every ten years a census is to be taken; treats of an equalization of public burdens in the


various districts. At first it was desired that the liberal principles, and who is as thorough a radiwhole poor-funds should be made over to the cal as his successor, and as much opposed to the government, which should take the duty of pro- Jesuits and the Sonderbund, has returned to his viding for the poor wholly on itself — but this place in the counting-house, and seldom, accordcould not be carried. There are certain cities ing to Mr. Mugge, is any voice raised to give and communes in Berne that possess poor-lands utterance to aught but blame of the man whom of immense value, the city of Mure, for instance; at one time no one could praise enough. Yet others have little or nothing, and are compelled he possessed many qualifications most valuable to levy heavy rates for the purpose. All the in the chief of a party; courage, self-control, communes who would have been losers by the foresight, and an immovable strength of will. proposed new arrangement, raised a tremendous His manner is earnest and thoughtful, but emiopposition to it, and succeeded in obtaining a nently calculated to inspire confidence. Of his majority against it in the Constitutional Council integrity a tolerable proof is offered in his pres

– “but the blow struck at the independence of ent narrow circumstances. the commonalties," says our author, " was felt The clergy of Berne are, with very few exthroughout Switzerland. People in Zurich, ceptions, opposed to the government of Colonel where I was at the time, were quite frightened, Ochsenbein ; and the well-known “ Parson Vizand prophesied that it would not come to good; ius,” of Luzelflue, who writes under the name of so firm is still the attachment to old systems. " Jeremias Gotthelf," was a zealous adherent of Indeed, throughout Switzerland, Berne by no that of M. Neuhaus. means excepted, the attachment to the freedom The schoolmasters a body of far more conof communal life is far stronger than to that of sideration in Switzerland than with us the state."

more favorably disposed towards it. The state

of popular education in Switzerland is, it ap“The utmost that could be effected was, that security should be given for the poor-funds, and pears, by no means so satisfactory as has somethat they should be placed under some control

times been supposed. Out of 70,000 children by the State, with a view to their better adminis- in Berne, capable of receiving instruction, scarcetration; and

where it appeared that the funds | ly 20,000, according to the testimony of the were not sufficient for the support of the poor, above-mentioned Jeremias Gotthelf, really rethe State should supply at least one half, but not ceive it; and of their proficiency we may form more than two thirds of the deficiency. By this, some idea, when we hear that the pupils of an of course, a considerable burden is laid upon elder class, at a school examination, confounded it

, which must be supported by the citizens at the three original Swiss Confederates with the large.

** Not less important, perhaps, is the second three kings of Cologne, and asserted that Goliath clause in the same paragraph, which sweeps

lost his life at the battle of Sempach ! away titles and feudal burdens of various kinds, In this, and in many other departments, the ordering that they shall be purchased from the party at present dominant in Switzerland is proprietors for the half of the price stated in the pledged to effect great improvements. How far law of the 20th December. On the other hand, it is likely to fulfil the expectations it has beld the government undertakes not only to indemnify out to various classes of the community, and the the proprietors, but to return to those who had purchased them at that higher rate one half of hopes most difficult to realize, which were greatly the purchase-money.

instrumental in raising it to its present position, “ It was quite natural that this measure should must now soon appear. We cannot be so far have the warmest support of the small land- dazzled by the success which has crowned the owners, but the State will of course have several efforts of the victors, as not to perceive that they millions to pay; it must be recollected, however, have obtained the prize by an act of unprincithat Berne has not only no national debt, but a fund in her treasury of twenty millions of francs pled aggression, wholly unworthy of the princi

- collected in old times, and which is now des- ples they profess, and of the party to which they tined to serve the worthy purpose of clearing off claim to belong. History, however, presents us the last remnants of the feudal burdens." with many examples of an usurped authority

having been made the instrument of producing The victory which Colonel Ochsenbein and ultimate good, not to the aggressors, but to the his colleagues have achieved over their rivals, aggrieved ; and whatever sympathy we may feel has it appears been so complete, that the greater for the sufferers in the present instance, we do number of the members of the former government not overlook the fact that the state of society in have not even been elected again as members of the old cantons, now overthrown, was one of ut-" the Great Council.

ter stagnation, wholly incompatible with the best Neuhaus, so long the first man in the repub- interests and the noblest tendencies of the human lic, who struggled so manfully for the support of race. Westminster Review.


Although we were prepared, as well from the the description of scenery, and that alone — was former volume of this work as from the other unknown to the Greeks and Romans of the writings of this “old man eloquent,” to expect purest age; and, if we are not mistaken, such a valuable addition to the stock of European poetry is the infallible mark of a cultivated but literature, we own that the volume before us has an inferior period. Where the imagination is surpassed our expectations. We rise from the glowing and vigorous, - where the scene is filled perusal of it with feelings of unmixed delight, – with living actors, who carry forward the great our views enlarged, our fancy embellished, our moral drama of the universe, - when the energy taste schooled, our reason fortified; and we should of the human will and the tempest of human be sorry, indeed, if the benefit derived from it passion fill the soul of the poet, the delineation were confined to the intellect alone. Such vast of inanimate Nature can only be a collateral and floods of literature poured forth in such un subordinate object. So Horace, we find, alludbounded profusion, — such inexhaustible stores ing to the efforts of the writers who in his day of knowledge spread out before us, – such a sought to supply the want of genius by elaborate series of generous and magnificent views exhib- description, says, ited in such lucid order, — so much splendor of language, - so much deep research, — feelings

Fortasse cupressum

Scis simulare — quid hoc, si fractis enatat exspes so benevolent, and philosophy so exalted, can

Navibus, ære dato qui pingitur ? hardly fail to make the reader better as well as wiser, and more humane as well as more enlight But though it was not made a favorite topic ened.

by the Greeks, yet, when employed to illustrate,

to soothe, or to recreate the mind, as it were, Homo sum: humani nihil a me alienum puto,

after it had been wrought up to intense exciteseems, in its best and purest sense, to be the ment, we shall look in vain, exept in Dante motto of Alexander von Humboldt, who, elo and in Shakspeare, for passages to rival the quent as Isocrates, is, like him, at an advanced exquisite beauty and imagery of Greek descripage, the instructor of mankind, - ever ready to tion. As instances, it is enough to refer to the animate them by his exhortations, to cheer them description of the shield of Achilles, the lines, by his example, and to exhibit in its most en

Iliad, viii. 558,gaging form the dignity of those pursuits which

"Ως δ' ότ' εν ουρανό άστρα, κ. τ. λ., have won for him an imperishable name among which Pope has not translated; and the equally the teachers and benefactors of his species.

The work begins with a sketch of descriptive beautiful passage in the Odyssey, which Lucretius writing. Humboldt quotes a passage from Schil has imitated, and in the translation of which Pope ler, “ Uber naïve und sentimentalische Dich- bas succeeded extremely well, A, 560,– tung,” to the effect that there is reason to be 'Aziù o és 'Hibolov nediov kaì neipara yains, k. T. 2 surprised at the absence of that sentimental interest among the Greeks with which the scenes

Humboldt has quoted the description of the and characters of Nature seem to have inspired sunrise, Ion, 782, of Cithæron, in the Baccha, modern writers. The description of the Greek and the famous chorus in the Edipus Coloneus. writer is, indeed, accurate and circumstantial; He speaks with becoming enthusiasm of the poem but not more so when he paints a landscape than of Lucretius, which contains passages equal, if when he describes a garment or a shield. To not superior, to any in the whole range of Latin this proposition, in its full latitude, Humboldt poetry. There is a passage in Juvenal, which does not assent. After observing that proofs of has always seemed to us remarkable, as well for deep feeling for Nature may be found in the the genuine love of Nature which it exhibits, as poetry of the Hebrews and the Indians, he pro- because it is the preface to one of his fiercest ceeds to point out many passages of exquisite satires, beauty on the same topic among the writers of

Quanto præstantius esset classical antiquity. Sure it is that mere descrip Numen aquæ, viridi si margine clauderet undas tive poetry — the poetry which has for its end Herba, nec ingenuum violarent marmora tophum. * Kosmos. By Alexander Von Humboldt, Vol. 11. illustration of his theory, he does not quote

We are surprised that, as an unanswerable The Authorized Translation, under the superintendence of Colonel Sabine. London, 1847.

Theocritus, by far the first and the most en

chanting of all pastoral writers, who, at the of the nights in Asia Minor; “when the stars, court of the Ptolemies, painted in such highly the everlasting ornaments of Heaven, raise the finished verse the scenes and habits of rural soul of man from the visible to the invisible.” life. A werful instinct has urged the human We may here remark that, in the works of the mind in all ages to seek refuge from the scenes ascetic Fra Luis Ponce de Leon, there is a magaround it in the delineation of their contrasts, nificent ode on the same subject. In his Letters, and to escape from the monotony, gloom, and Basil says, – miseries of the real, by flinging itself into the

God has allowed me to find a place of rest shady spaces of an ideal world. It is to this we

such as has often floated before my imagination : owe ancient chivalry and modern romance. “Je a lofty hill, crowned with thick groves, is before ne haïs pas les grands coups d'épée,” said Ma- me, watered with fresh and ever-flowing streams. dame de Sévigné, in the age of Dangeau and At the foot of the mountain a vast plain

stretches Madame de Montespan.

itself beyond the horizon. The surrounding wood The hero of an English novel always worships encloses me, as in a strong citadel: the solitude genius and despises money, and (if brought up the stream, as it pours down foaming from the

is bounded by two deep ravines. On one side, at Oxford) never bows to rank. The courtiers mountains, presents a barrier diflicult to overof Louis XIV. were in raptures at the innocence

come; on the other, a wide range of mountains of shepherds, and the ethereal love of heroes, prohibits all approach. My hut is so placed whose patience was inexhaustible. Virgil has upon the summit that I can see over the broad often imitated Theocritus, but never even ap- plain, and the whole course of the Iris, which is proached his finer passages. The lines in the more beautiful and larger than the Strymon at seventh, which begin,

Amphipolis. The stream of my solitude, more

vehement than any which I know, bursts from έσσετα Αγεάνακτι καλός πλόος ές Μιτυλώναν, the jutting rock, and hurls itself foaming into

the abyss. * * What charms me above all is and end with,

the silence and tranquillity of the spot. It is

sometimes visited by hunters, for my wilderness το δ' υπό δρυσίν ή υπό πεύκαις,

gives nourishment to deer and herds of wild άδυ μελισσόμενος κατακέκλισο, θείε Κομάτα,

goats, — not to your bears and wolves. How are, for melody, and, in some parts, grandeur of could I exchange this for any other place ? versification, tenderness, and simplicity, the most Alemæon, when he had discovered the Echi

nades, would not wander farther. - Page 28. perfect that ever were written by a descriptive poet.

In the early stages of Christianity, this admiBut we return to our author. Humboldt, be- ration of Nature was unhappily accompanied by fore he abandons the topic of descriptive writing, a contempt of human art and genius. A reremarks that the Old World passes into the markable passage from Chrysostom is quoted to New by a regular gradation, and that there are this effect (p. 30). But this evil, great as it was, no abrupt chasms between them. As the relig- became intolerable, when, in the gloomy period ious ideas and moral notions and habits of life during which Christianity was propagated among among mankind changed, motives and feelings the German and Celtic tribes, all studies in any in the human mind, which had never fully been way connected with natural philosophy were called forth before, became decisive and pre- discouraged and even forbidden by the Church. dominant. It was the bias of Christianity to To the Church of that age such pursuits apdeduce from the order of the world and the peared as dangerous as the fine arts did to Terloveliness of Nature proofs of the wisdom and tullian and Clemens of Alexandria. In the goodness of its Author. Such a tendency, of twelfth and thirteenth centuries, two councils, course, produced description of external scenery, one at Tours (1163) and another at Paris The earliest proof of this is to be found in the (1209), prohibited the sinful study of writings works of Minucius Felix, cap. 2, 3. The Greek on physical science.

Albertus Magnus and fathers abound with similar passages. He begins Roger Bacon were the first who broke these with an extract — certainly a very striking one fetters, and restored the authority of Nature;

— from the Letters of St. Basil, “ for whom,” yet in the earliest poems of the middle ages, the says Humboldt, “I cherish a special partiality.” love of Nature, which is the characteristic of the Born at Cæsarea in Cappadocia, Basil had re Indo-Germanic races, is visible. nounced the learned ease of Athens to visit the We cannot follow our author through the anchorites of Cælo-Syria and of Upper Egypt, quotations from Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, by and, at last, had settled himself in a desert on which he illustrates the character of the Minnethe Armenian river Iris. The Herameron singers. Neither is it possible for us, within the abounds with traces of his love of Nature. He narrow limits at our disposal, to do justice to his describes the serene and cloudless tranquillity | sketch of the poetry of India, of Persia, and of

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