Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

In the Arsenal was exhibited, until the French Revolutionists destroyed the po* litical relique, a bow and arrow, with which William Tell, the traditionary Hero of Switzerland, was said to have shot the apple from the head of his Son, at the command of the Tyrant Gessler.

Far more to be regretted, as occasioned by the same event, is the premature loss of John Gaspard Lavater. The Re. viver or the Inventor of the Science of Physiognomy received his death's wound before his own door, when the Russians were driven out of the city by the French in 1799; though he lingered near twelve months, and retained the enjoyment of his faculties sufficiently to preach a farewell sermon to his beloved Parishioners,

but

but a week before his tranquil depar. ture for the World of Spirits.

The speculative Philanthropist was of ten approached with trepidation, by Persons who dreaded to expose their frailties to his penetrating eye.-On such occasions he would frequently remark, that no Man need fear the presence of another <since every one must be conscious of defect.

Lavater inhabited a modest mansion characteristically furnished with a little gazebo, that commands a court leading to his parish church, every avenue of which resounds on holidays with decent Peasantry in hob-nailed shoes and wooden heels, stamping along with downright zeal to hear an antiquated Ecclesi

astic,

astic, starched with the Vandyke frill, ejaculate in aspirated gutturals the gentle admonitions of the Code of life and

peace.

Though the ancient custom of saluting all Strangers of any appearance still prevails at Zurich; yet şuch was the sternness of religious reformation, that the most formal Prigs, who make a parade of uncovering themselves in the street, do not scruple to sit before the Minister with their hats on, at church; and so little are the rules of common civility regarded in the house of prayer, that it happened to us more than once to be displaced, without apology, after we had taken our seats on public benches. The virtues at Zurich are probably of the more substantial cast, since Lavater used to say that he had never had occa

1

sion to pronounce a sermon against immorality.

: A day or two ago we hired a clumsy Swiss chariot, comfortably lined with blue cloth, and drove, slowly, through clouds of dust, for the weather had long been hot and dry, to see the celebrated falls of the Rhine, near Schaffhausen.

The river is here several hundred feet

wide, and pours itself with thundering impetuosity over a ledge of broken rocks, forty or fifty feet high." In time of floods the water sometimes rises twenty or thirty feet, and the current then exhibits a rumbling torrent of terrific sublimity.

We crossed the river in a boat, a little below the fall, admiring the rainbow in its

spray;

spray; and ascended to the castle of Lauffen, whose mouldering walls overhang the cataract-keep time to its tremulous undulation and reverberate its

eternal roar.

Finding we might lodge at the castle, where it is customary to entertain Visitors, we rambled about among the rocks till night; and afterwards amused our. selves in the museum, with looking over an interesting collection of Swiss views, the production of a Family of genius, which inhabits this.congenial scite. The Father sketches from nature, and his Daughters colour the designs.

The fall of Lauffen is particularly interesting by moon-light. We were told that when the Emperor Joseph was there

he

« AnteriorContinuar »