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Strangers seldom quit Basil without carrying away with them some memorials of Switzerland from the print shop of Mechel, the celebrated Engraver, who has made an ample collection of Swiss views—the mountain and the valley the glacier and the lake; to which he has given historic interest by scrupulously preserving those local habiliments, handed down from Father to Son, by the plodding Peasantry of the isolated Cantons.
We have sold our carriage to the Innkeeper; and tomorrow we prosecute our journey in a heavy Phæton, hired by the day—a circumstance no less unpromising of expedition than the Driver's pipe: but no matter, I am sick of the impositions of the Post, and we can amuse ourselves with walking whenever we are tired of riding upon a snail's gallop.
Journey through Switzerland-Descrip
tion of Zurich.
UITTING Basil in the cool of the
morning, we rode, or walked, all day, up hill, and down, across a corner of Germany, ostensibly consecrated to Catholic uses, by wooden crosses, and stone chapels, innumerable. Among them we perceived, for the first time, with a degree of veneration that had more in it of poetry than Protestantism,
-a Friar of orders
counting his beads, and mumbling over his prayer-book; if not with zeal according to knowledge, at least with all the abstractedness and tranquillity of a Pilgrim and a Sojourner upon earth.
We stopped for the night at a little town- Rheinfelden — Lauffenberg - or Wildenstein, in which a narrow street of ten houses on a side, is blocked up at each end by a gate-way, and hemmed in by a wall, or a precipice, at the foot of which rolls a torrent, beneath a covered bridge-images of confinement so insupportable to an American that we could not sit down to supper till we had convinced ourselves we were at large, by rambling into the adjacent fields, and surveying the distant horizon.
Next morning, quitting the territory of Basil, we passed through the town of Baden, as the Peasantry of the neighbourhood were collecting in the great church, to prostrate themselves before a tinsel Madonna, or a crocus Saint, and we arrived, before noon, at Zurich, having passed in a few hours from Protestantism to Popery, and from Popery to Protestantism again: for religion has been subjected in Switzerland to geographical boundaries, and the hereditary Burgher is Catholic or Protestant according to the decree of the Sovereign Council of his Canton, when at the period of the Reformation the religion of the State was decided, like a political question, by the majority of votes.