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§ 13. Switzerland ; Objects worth notice. XXXV the Confederation, dividing it into two opposite parties, which not only were arrayed against each other in the field of battle, but also interfered with the internal peace of the individual cantons. Although by the laws the two parties in religion were allowed equal freedom of worship, the enjoyment of this privilege was embittered to either party, in the state where the other faith was predominant: it was, in fact, but a nominal tolerance. It is curious to observe, that even in these days of liberal ideas and Catholic emancipation, a citizen of Lucerne is deprived of all political privileges, if he be a Protestant.

Until the two French revolutions, the common people of Switzerland, except in one or two of the cantons, had no more share in the constitutional privileges, which all Swiss were supposed to possess as their birthright, than the subjects of the despotic monarchies of Austria or Prussia. The government was vested in the hands of aristocratic oligarchies, as exclusive, and as proud of birth, blood, and descent, as the most ancient nobility in Europe. The burgher patricians of the great towns managed, by gradual encroachments, to deprive the lower orders of the exercise of their rights, and gradually monopolized all places and offices for themselves and their children.

The Towns of Switzerland exhibit many interesting marks of antiquity; their buildings are frequently found unchanged since a very early period, and in Lucerne, Freyburg, Basle, Bellinzona and in several other instances, the feudal fortifications, with battlements and watch-towers, remain perfectly preserved. One characteristic and very pleasant feature are the Fountains, the never-failing ornament of every Swiss town and village. They usually consist of a Gothic ornamented pillar, surmounted by the figure of a man, usually some hero of Swiss history, either Tell

, the dauntless crossbowman, or Winkelried, with his “ sheaf of spears.” Sometimes the figures of animals are substituted for the human form.

A singular custom, connected with education, prevails in Switzerland, which deserves notice here from the influence which it exercises over society. In most of the large towns, children of the same age and sex are associated together by their parents in little knots and clubs-called Sociétés de Dimanche. The parents seek out for their children an eligible set of companions when they are still quite young. The parties so formed amount to 12 or 15 in number, and the variation of age between them is not more than 2 or 3 years. All the members meet in turn on Sunday evenings at the houses of their parents, while children, to play together and partake of tea, cakes, and sweetmeats, attended by their bonnes or nurses; when grown up, to pass the evening in other occupations and amusements suited to their age. At these meetings not even brothers or sisters are present, except they be members of the society. From thus being constantly thrown together on all occasions, a striet friendship grows up among the members of each brotherhood or sisterhood, which generally lasts through life, even after

xxxvi

$ 13. Switzerland; Objects worth notice.

the parties are settled and dispersed about the world. The females, even when grown up, distinguish their companions by such endearing terms as “ma mignonne," mon coeur," " mon ange,” &c. This practice renders Swiss society very exclusive, and few strangers, however well introduced, penetrate below the surface.

When a young woman marries, her husband is admitted into the society to which she belongs, and thus the wife determines the caste of the husband.

Ranz de Vaches.- It is not uncommon to find the Ranz de Vaches spoken of, by persons unacquainted with Switzerland and the Alps as a single air, whereas they are a class of melodies prevailing among and peculiar to the Alpine valleys. Almost every valley has an air of its own, but the original air is said to be that of Appenzell. Their effect in producing home sickness in the heart of the Swiss mountaineer, when heard in a distant land, and the prohibition of this music in the Swiss regiments in the service of France, on account of the number of desertions occasioned by it, are stories often repeated, and probably founded on fact.

These national melodies are particularly wild in their character, yet full of melody; the choruses consist of a few remarkably shrill notes, uttered with a peculiar falsetto intonation in the throat. They originate in the practice of the shepherds on the Alps of communicating with one another at the distance of a mile or more, by pitching the voice high. The name Ranz de Vaches (Germ, Kuh-reihen), literally cow-rows, is obviously derived from the order in which the cows march home at milking-time, in obedience to the shepherd's call, communicated by the voice, or through the Alp-horn, a simple tube of wood, wound round with bark 5 or 6 feet long, admitting of but slight modulation, yet very melodious when caught up and prolonged by the mountain echoes. In some of the remoter pastoral districts of Switzerland, from which the ancient simplicity of manners is not altogether banished, the Alp-horn supplies, on the higher pastures, where no church is near, the place of the vesperbell. The cow-herd, posted on the highest peak, as soon as the sun has set, pours forth the 4 or 5 first notes of the Psalm “Praise God the Lord;" the same notes are repeated from distant Alps, and all within hearing, uncovering their heads and bending their knees, repeat their evening orison, after which the cattle are penned in their stalls, and the shepherds betake themselves to rest.

The traveller among the Alps will have frequent opportunities of hearing both the music of the horn and the songs of the cow-herds and dairy-maids; the latter have been thus described by Mr. Southey :-“ Surely the wildest chorus that ever was heard by human ears: a song, not of articulate sounds, but in which the voice is used as a mere instrument of music, more flexible than any which art could produce, sweet, powerful, and thrilling beyond description."

A word may be said on Swiss Husbandry to draw the attention of such persons as take an interest in the subject to one or two prac

§ 13. Objects worth notice.—$ 14. Skeleton Tours. xxxvii tices peculiar to the country. The system of irrigating the meadows is carried to a very great extent, the mountain-torrents are turned over the fields by means of trenches and sluices, and not unfrequently, when the ground is much inclined, the stream is conducted to the spot where it is required, through troughs hollowed out of the stem of a fir-tree.

The drainings of dunghills, cow-houses, and pigsties, are not allowed to run to waste, but are carefully collected in a vat by the farmer, and at the fit moment carried out in carts to the fields, and ladled over them, very much to their benefit, and to the equal disgust of the olfactory nerves of all who pass; the air, far and near, being filled with this truly Swiss fragrance.

The Swiss mountaineers are skilful marksmen with the rifle, and, like their neighbours, the Tyrolese, meet constantly to practise and engage in trials of skill. There are clubs or societies in most of the cantons, and every year a grand federal rifle-match is held in one or other of the large towns, at which all the best shots from the whole of Switzerland meet to contend for a prize.

Annual contests in wrestling (called Zwing-Feste) are also held in different parts of Switzerland. The cantons which distinguish themselves for skill in this and other athletic exercises are Bern, Appenzell, and Unterwalden.

§ 14. SKELETON TOURS THROUGH SWITZERLAND AND PART OF Savoy.

N.B. It is advisable to enter Switzerland from the side of Germany rather than by that of France, as the scenery of Chamouni, the grandest among the Alps, ought to be reserved for the conclus sion of the tour.

There are parts of Switzerland which cannot be reached in a travelling-carriage, and those who can neither ride nor walk, and will not submit to be carried in a chair, must forego them.

The pedestrian tours in this list are laid down with the understanding that only the more interesting scenes, and such as are impracticable by other conveyances, are to be travelled on foot, and that on high roads the pedestrian will ride, otherwise he will waste much time unprofitably. A.-CARRIAGE TOUR OF ABOUT Two Bienne.

Months, beginning at Basle and St. Peter's Island. ending at Schaffhausen, performed

{Neuchâtel. in 1837.

Soleure.

Weissenstein. The portion of this tour within Lucerne. brackets would extend it beyond the Arth and the Righi. two.months, and must be omitted if | Weggis. the traveller be pressed for time. Lake Lucerne to Altori.

Entlibuch. Basle.

Thun. (Leave the carriage.); Münsterthal.

Interlachen.

xxxviii

§ 14. Skeleton Tours.

Lake of Wallenstadt. [Glarus, Stachelberg, and back.] Rapperschwyl. Zurich. [Baden and Schintznach.] Schaffhausen.

on

Lauterbrunnen. ง
Grindelwald.
[Faulhorn.]

This part of Meyringen.

the tour, ex

cept the road Grimsel.

of the St Got. Furca.

hard, can only St. Gothard.

be performed Altorf.

in chars,

horseback, Lake of Lucerne,

and across the Stanz.

lake in a boat. Brunig.

Meyringen.
Thun.
Berne.
Freyburg.
Lausanne.
Vevay and Chillon.
Geneva.

Send round the carriage to Martigny, which it may reach in 2 days from Geneva.

Infirm persons, not able to ride or walk over an Alpine pass, may retain their carriage as far as Sallenche, proceel in a char-à-banc to Chamouni, rejoin their carriage at Sallenche, and then proceed by Thonon and St. Maurice to Martigny. Sallenche, in a hired carriage. Chamouni, in a char-à-banc. Montanvert. Flegère. Tête Noire, to

Martigny,
[Great St. Bernard, and back, on

mules.] Baths of Leuk. Leave carriage at Gemmi.

Sierre or Leuk. Brieg. Simplon. Domo d' Ossola. Baveno. [Lago d'Orta.] Borromean Islands. Milan. (Rest a week.) Monza, Lecco. [Como.] Chiavenna. Splügen. Via Mala. Coire. Pfeffers' Baths.

B.-TOUR OF A FORTNIGHT. Carriage-roads - * char-roads

f bridle or foot-paths. Days.

Schaffhausen. 1

Rhine Fall.

Zurich. 2+ Righi.

Altorf-St. Gothard. 3 Andermatt. † Furca. 4+{Grimsel. 5+ Meyringen. 61 Grindelwald. 7 Lauterbrunnen and Thun. + Gemmi Pass. 8 Leuk. 9 Martigny t Tête Noire. 10 Chamouni. 12 Geneva-home through France,

or by 13 Bern, 14 Basle.

}

C.- Tour of THREE WEEKS ON

FOOT. Basle.--Münster Thal. 3

Weissenstein.

Soleure. 4 Schintznach. 5 Schaffhausen. 6 Zurich.

| Wesen; and Lake of Wallen7

.
Pfeffers.
8 Kalfeuser Thal to Glarus.
9

Muotta.
Klonthal.

Schwytz.
10 Righi.
11

Aitorf.
Andermatt.

[blocks in formation]

21

Days.

Days. 12 Furca,

30 Orbe, the Dôle, and Lac de (Grimsel.

Joux. 13 Meyringen.

31 Neuchâtel. 14 Grindelwald.

32 Bienne. 15 Wengern Alp.

33 Münster Thal. Lauterbrunnen and Interlachen. 34 Basle. 16 Gemmi--Baths of Leuk. 17 Martigny.

E.—Tour Or THIRTY-TWO Days, Tête Noire, 19

performed in the Autumn of 1837 Chamouni.

by W. and R. H., chiefly on foot. 20 Geneva. Bern.

“Our longest walks never exceeded 10 or 12 leagues; but on turnpike

roads, such as the Simplon, we always D.-TOUR OF A MONTH OR FIVE rode. For some of the passes, such WEEKS.

as the Col de Bonhomme, the Cervin,

and the Rawyl, guides are always 1

Schaffhausen and Rhinefall. necessary, but wherever there is a
Zurich.

chemin tracé' guides are a nui2 Righi.

sance, except after a snow-storm." 3 Lake of Lucerne. 4 Lucerne.

London to Geneva in fourteen days, 5 Brunig.

including two days at Paris. Meyringen. 6 Susten Pass.

Aug. 26. Geneva. 7 St. Gothard.

27. By eight o'clock steamer to 8 Furca.

Lausanne ; see the town; by another Grimsel.

steamer to Villeneuve ; by diligence 9 Briepz.

to Bex. 10 Lauterbrunnen.

27. To Martigny (short day). 11 Grindelwald.

28. Walked to Hospice of the Thun.

Great St. Bernard.

29. Back to Martigny (an improve14 Freiburg.

ment to go by the Col de Ferret, 15 Simmenthal.

Orsières, and along the Dranse).

30. Tête Noire to Chamouni (a (Kandersteg.

new way, first explored this summer, 17 Gemmi.

is to ascend from Val Orsine to the 18 Martigny.

summit of the Col de Balme, on ac19 Great St. Bernard.

count of its magnificent view ; thus

including the finest part of both Cormayeur.

passes. It is not quite two hours 21 Allée Blanche--Col de Seigne. longer than the straight road). 22 Col de Bonhomme.

31. Ascended the Flegère ; then 23 24 Chamouni.

crossed the valley to the Montan25 Martigny, by Col de Balme and vert to the Mer de Glace ChaTête Noire.

mouni. Bex.

Sept. 1. Walked across the Col de 26 (Chillon -Vevay.

Vosa to Contamines. The journey 28 {Geneva-home through France, going on to the Chalets of Nany or by

Bourant.

13 {Bern.

16 Spietz.

20 (Aosta.

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