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buts from its inundations. Sheltered within this little nook, and accus. tomed to the neighbourhood of the torrent, the boatman unloads his merchandice, and the artisan pursues his toil, regardless of the falling river, and inattentive to those thundering sounds which seem calculated to suspend all human activity in solemn'and awful asto. nishment; while the imagination of the spectator is struck with the comparative littleness of fleeting man, busy with his trivial occupa. tions, contrasted with the view of nature in all her vast, eternal, un: controlable grandeur *.'
We shall not detain the reader with Miss W.'s long digres. sion concerning the Swiss M. Lavater, and the French M.la Harpe: both of whom most of our readers will probably be inclined to consider as belonging to the same class of visionaries, though to two very different species of that fertile genus: we firmly believe Lavater to be a very good man. We also pass over the funeral ceremonies of the French and Swiss, as well as the description of the government, manufactures, and curiosities of Basil ; and we shall transport the reader at once to the lake of Lucerne, or rather the lake, of the four Cantons, the scene of most of the great events that have happened in Switzerland ; and also that part of the country in which the characteristic beauties of those mountaineers and pastoral republics shine with peculiar brilliancy.
• At the distance of three miles from Lucerne the lake opens on both sides, stretching away on the left to the Canton of Zug, and on the right to that of Underwalden. On the one side Mount Pilate, rising abrupt from the waters, displayed its sublime and uncovered head : on the other the lofty but more humble Rigi poured down its numerous torrents, illuminated by the sunbeams, like silvered lines
1 * Mr. Coxe estimates the height of the cataract of the Rhine at only fifty feet; Mons. Ramond, his elegant French translator, adds the following note to this observation :--- The quantity of water, which varies according to the season, has some influence upon the height, and a considerable effect upon the aspects of this fall. Those who have seen it at the period when the snows dissolve, will admit that description to be exact which Mr. Coxe thinks exaggerated, and only true of remote times. I have been assured that the height of the cataract, in these circumstances, is not less than eighty feet. A stranger can scarcely, without ten erity, judge from his simple ob. servation, and if he does so, he will be sure to be below the truth. I have ascertained, and Mr. Coxe himself makes the same remark, that it requires the eye of a Swiss to judge of certain dimensions, which, 'exceeding all we have before seeni, tind no model of propor. tion in the mind. Those who have travelled for the first time in Switzerland, have often found, to their great surprise, that instead of exaggerating the heights and the distances, they have diminished them one-half, or two-thirds, till long habit taught them to expand their ideas, by furnishing them with fit objects of comparison."
in swift succession, at which we gazed with delight, while we were passing along tremendous rocks, whose vast shadows fell back upon the clear azure of the waters. Before us the mountains swelled ma. jestically, clothed with a luxuriancy of trees; but as we proceeded the rocks narrowed, and seemed to forbid our progress.
At this point the breadth of the lake is very inconsiderable ; but having passed these straights a turn of the rock discovers another ample sea, whence we discerned the lofty hills of Uri on our right; and to the west a considerable portion of the refluent lake that washed the rocks of Underwalden.
. On the left, beneath the inaccessible and encircling craggs of the Rigi, is situated the independent state of Gersau, where we disembarked.
• This Republic comprehending its regency, single, double, and triple councils, treasurer, grand sautier, secretaries, judges, ministers, officers, naval and military force, and the governed of all descriptions, contains from nine hundred to a thousand souls. Cavalry makes no part of the strength of this territory, since the lofty ramparts of rock, by which it is divided from the main land, are inaccessible to horses. It possesses, however, a numerous feet of boats, which rode at anchor before the port, and prevented for some time the entrance of our vessel. Having on our landing sauntered to one part of the state to take a survey of its edifices, our ears were assailed by a tumultuous noise, which proceeded from the tuneful throats of a multitude assembled in the church at the other end of the republic, celebrating the praises of Saints Zeno and Bridget.
• The chief import of this republic is raw siłk, which is manufactured for Basil and Zurich ; its exports are principally fruit and fish, in the capture of which the fleet is employed which we saw moored in the harbour.
« Gersau allied itself to the Democratic Cantons in the beginning of the fourteenth century, and adopted their form of government. The history of the wars and treaties, domestic and foreign, of this. small republic, though it make no considerable figure in the history of the world, fills many a page in the records of the Lake of the four Cantons.
- The earliest warlike atchievement of Gersau appears to have been directed against Lucerne. Discontented with a decision given by the Canton of Zug, as arbitrator, in favour of the Lucernois, the Gersovians, like Homer's heroes, began hostilities by stealing the cattle of their neighbours of Wigis,
“ When from their fury fled the trembling swains,
And theirs was all the plunder of the plains ;
Pope's ILIAD, Book xi. Reprisals were made, and the contest might perhaps have been as bloody as that of the Pylian Sage with the Epian powers, had not the allied Cantons interfered, and imposed a heavy retribution 'on the Gersovians.
. This republic, which is said to be the least in Switzerland, and perhaps in Europe, and is scarcely known beyond the ken of the craggs, and the lake that surround it, far from furnishing us with new themes of the happiness and security of such humble states, bore many marks of the vices and defects of more extensive governments. A few handsome månsions, surrounded by wretched cabins, and infested by beggars, afforded no presumptive evidence of an equal distribution of power or wealth. The republic of Gersau, however, has sometimes had the honour of holding the balance of Swiss power, and is said at the famous battle of Cappel, in which Zuinglius fell, to have turned the scale in favour of the cause for which they fought, and to have been one of the principal instruments in the preservation of the Catholic Religion in Switzerland.
After having visited whatever was worthy of notice at Gersau, we reimbarked and proceeded on our voyage. The Canton of Schweitz lay in the direction we were sailing, presenting us with a fine perspective of woody and romantic country, rising from sloping hills, on the side of which the town of Schweitz is built, into lofty forests of pines, which are crowned by two towering mountains with sharp pointed peaks. The town of Brunnen is.the port of this Canton, and The road from thence to Schweitz, about two miles distance, is an agreeable walk, which is usually taken by every traveller who sails up this lake; since few refuse to turn a little out of their way in order to tread upon the spot which gives its name to Switzerland.'
The travellers now reached with regret Fluellen, the port to which they were bound. Notwithstanding their impatience to climb St. Gothard, they stopped to contemplate the most remarkable objects at Altorf, the capital of Uri, and the cradle of Helvetic liberty. Leaving Altorf, they journeyed along a valley of three leagues watered by the Reuss. The pine-clad hills rose on each side to their farthest view; down which, torrent.streams were rushing, and crossed the traveller's way to mingle themselves with the Reuss, which continually presented new scenes of wonder. Near the village of Wassen, the industry of man has tamed some of those wild torrents, of which such numbers run idly to waste; and sawing mills, with other machinery, owe their impulse to those swiftly descending streams. Near this place, the mountain on one side was stripped of its piny clothing, and reduced to a bare gravelly waste. This was the effect of an avalanche or descending mass of snow, which often sweeps away majestic forests with irresistible fury. Of these formidable enemies to the security of the Swiss pea. sant, the ravages would be more frequent and more destrucs rive, had not the ingenuity of man contrived means in the position and structure of his rural habitation, or chalet, to elude an assault which no strength would be able to resist. These mountain cabins are generally built of the pine or the larch, but are sometimes erected with stone. To most of the chalets,
destructive the top, it is situations ready constri
the mountain itself affords one side ready constructed; as they are usually placed in such situations that, when the Avalanche rolls from the top, it is forced to fling to a safe distance its destructive mass, and to fall harmless over the sheltered dwelling: which is defended by the friendly hill that rises abruptly behind.
In proceeding to the village of Gestinen, and to the torrent of the Meyen,(which increases the waters of the Reuss,) the country, which had hitherto presented scenes of blended grace and majesty, began to assume an aspect of savage wildness and terror. Instead of the glowing harvests which had appeared at a few miles distance ripe for the sickle, and the fruits hanging in lavish clusters on the bough, winter reigned in this region; and a winter that seemed here to have fixed its eternal abode. Here, immense piles of naked rock rise perpendicularly above the head; there, huge fragments present themselves as if they threateñed to obstruct the way; and our travellers remarked one enormous mass of beautiful granite skirting the road, which was called the devil's stone, because supposed to have been thrown by the capricious malignity of Satan, in order to destroy some of the works which he had himself formerly erect. ed. In this chaos of nature,- the valley of Schellenen,—the Devil has distinguished himself by works which very ill suited his character ; by opening ways, levelling or piercing rocks, and building bridges ; by placing huge rocks of granite over narrow paths between frightful precipices, as safeguards to passengers; and, where the mountain forbids all possibility of progress, offering an impenetrable rampart in its vertical abruptness, by forming pendant roads on its side, supported by archés, and pillars raised from some salient-points of the mass beneath.....
Winding for some time among these awful scenes, our tram vellers came within the sound of those cataracts of the Reuss, which announced their approach to the Devil's bridge. They were more struck with the august drapery of this supernatural, work, than with the work itself. Having turned an angle of the mountain at the end of the bridge, they proceeded along a way of difficult ascent, which led to a rock that seemed ab. solutely to bar their passage,
• A bridge fastened to this rock by irop work, and suspended over the torrent, was formerly the only means of passing, but numerous accidents led the government to seek another outlet. The rock being too high to climb, and two weighty to remove, the engineer took the middle way, and bored a hole in the solid mass two hundred fect, long, and about ten or twelve feet broad and high, through which he carried the road. The entrance into this subterraneous passage is almost dark, and the little light that penetrates through a crevice in Rey. Oct. 1798.
the rock, serves only to make its obscurity more visible. Filled with powerful images of the terrible and sublime, from the enormous objects which I had been contemplating for some hours past, objects, the forms of which were new to my imagination, it was not without a feeling of reluctance that I plunged into this scene of night, whose thick gloom heightened every sensation of terror.
• After passing through this cavern, the view which suddenly unfolded itself appeared rather a gay illusion of the fancy than real nature. No magical wand was ever fabled to shift more instanta. neously the scene, or call up forms of more striking contrast to those on which we had gazed. On the other side of the cavern we seemed amidst the chaos or the overthrow of nature; on this we beheld her drest in all the loveliness of infancy or renovation, with every charm of soft and tranquil beauty. The rugged and stony interstices between the mountain and tlie road were here changed into smooth and verdant paths; the abrupt precipice and shagged rock were meta. morphosed into gently sloping declivities; the barren and monotonous desert was transformed into a fertile and smiling plain. The Jong resounding cataract, struggling through the huge masses of granite, here became a calm and limpid current, gliding over fine beds of sand with gentle murmurs, as if reluctant to leave that enchanting abode.
* Near the middle of this delicious valley, called the Vale of Ur. seren, is the village of In-der-Malt, which appeared to have been lately built: behind it was a small forest of pine trees, which are preserved with so much care as a rampart against the avalanches, that the sacred wood was not held more inviolate ; and we were told, that the profanation of the axe on this palladium would be followed with the death of the sacrilegious offender.
The ascent to mount St. Gothard is far more interesting than the top of the mountain. Travellers indulge a vain expectation of beholding, from such heights, vast and picturesque views of the countries beneath. The accessible parts of St. Gothard, though the highest mountain in Europe except Mont Blanc, present only a deep valley, when compared with the lateral eminences and skirting piles of rock that bound the view to this desert. 14 »Had our travellers been able to reach any of those rocky summits which lie on either side, they would have perceived only a chaos of rocks and mountains beneath, with clouds floating at their bases, concealing the rest from their view.
: . Having descended from St. Gothard, Miss W. proceeded to survey the Glaciers which separate the valley of the Rhine from the subject countries of the Grisons, Borméo, and the Valteline. She made a number of notes of what she had herself seen or heard of the Glaciers : but, after having read the glowing description of those stupendous phænomena given by M. Ramond, in his Translation of Mr. Coxe's travels, she