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fair. The commodities for sale were limited to the wants of the pilgrims, temporal and spiritual, and appeared to be confined to umbrellas, holy tapers to burn in the churches, rosaries, little medals with a figure of the Virgin of the Hermits, and bread and cheese.
“The ceremonies of this festival did not terminate until the evening. As it began to grow dusk the long and stately façade of the building was illuminated by rows of lamps; and a temporary altar, erected on one side of the square opposite the main entrance was entirely studded with lamps, till it became one blaze of light. While this was preparing , vast square gradually filled with people, until the assembled multitude amounted to not less than 30,000 persons, chiefly pilgrims. When all was ready the great doors of the church were thrown open, and out marched a venerable procession of ecclesiastics, their abbot at their head, preceded by banners and crucifixes, and followed by a long train of torch-bearers. Lifting up their melodious voices in a solemn chant, they conveyed the sacred elements towards the altar, as is usual, under a canopy, escorted by soldiers, and accompanied by a band of music and a moveable organ on wheels. While the mass was being performed in the open air I sallied out among the throng : the view looking towards the altar was as singular as that in the opposite direction. The blazing altar, the long line of torches and tapers flaring and glittering in the night, had a most singular effect, increased by the illuminations of the town behind; every house was lighted up, and, as they are all built in the Swiss fashion, with gables outward, they looked like so many fiery pyramids. No sooner was mass finished than the procession retired again into the church, the crowd disappeared also into it, the exterior lights were extinguished - in half an hour the whole square was dark and empty: it seemed like a dream. The interior of the church, however, was still filled with people; the whole being studded with lamps, especially the chapel of the Virgin: the throng of worshippers before it seemed undiminished, and many lingered in front of it, on bended knees and with eyes fixed on the image, till late in the night.
“ Next morning I left Einsiedeln on my way out of Switzerland : I set out about 6, and all the way passed through one continued line of dirty, ragged, and brown-visaged pilgrims, on their way home, chanting, without cessation, their paters and aves, etc., which their confessors had prescribed for them to repeat between the time of their departure from and return to their homes. I passed across the Lake of Zurich by the long bridge of Rapperschwyl; and in the evening crossed the Lake of Wallenstadt. Still I had not got out of the line of pilgrims; 2 boats' full set sail along with that which conyeyed
me; and the wind which filled our broad and unwieldy sail, and carried us quickly along, wafted with it the same responses and chants which I had heard from the pilgrims on the road." --MS. Journal of a Traveller.
There is a path over the Mythenberg , from Einsiedeln to Schwytz, shorter than the carriage-road.
The carriage-road to Schwytz, makes at first, a considerable detour : the foot-path is shorter, crossing the Katzenstrick, a considerable track of upland meadow or common, direct lo Altmatt.
2 1/4 Rothenthurm, a village of nearly 800 inhabitants, is the place of meeting of the general assembly of the canton Schwytz, convened here every two years, in the open air, on the first Sunday in May, or, if ihe weather be bad on that day, on the first fine Sunday after. The landamman is president, and every citizen above the age of 18 has a vote. These meetings afford no favourable specimen of the working of universal suffrage, as they frequently terminate in rioting and violence. For example, in May, 1838, 9000 voters collected here; the show of hands was declared to be in favour of the government; but the Liberal party being dissatisfied with the result, a battle ensued, in which the hustings were broken and many persons much injured. The democrats, enraged at their defeat, published a manifesto, calling on the “Liberals to meet in their districts, and expel the rich from their assemblies as their ancestors expelled Gessler, since the government of the rich has become a government of murderers." Rothenthurm receives its name from a Red Tower still standing and forming part of the defences of a long wall or rampart(letze), erected by the Schwytzers along their W. frontier, to ward of the inroads of their lordly and lawless neighbours. It extended hence as far as Arth.
About 2 miles W. of Rothenthurm, on the confines of the canton of Zug, and on the margin of the small lake of Egeri, is MORGARTEN, memorable in Swiss annals as the scene of their first struggle for independence, as the spot where the chivalry of Austria was worsted, and their leader, Duke Leopold, compelled to fly with disgrace, on the 15th of November, 1315, 8 years after the expulsion of the Austrian bailiffs. Fired with the hope of revenge and with feelings of hereditary hatred, the duke led on his mail-clad cavalry along the narrow strand between the lake and the hills. Just where the ascent into the upland country of Schwytz commences, running up a narrow defile, the Austrians were met by the confederates, a mere handful of men in comparison with their host, but of hardy frame and resolute spirit, posted on the ridge of the Saitel, near Haselmatt. The first bold charge of the Swiss,
rushing on with swords and clubs, was aided by a discharge of rocks from the heights above, which quickly threw into confusion the ranks of heavy-armed knights. They attempted to fall back, but their evolutions were prevented by the infantry pressing on in their rear. Without room to manauvre, or even to turn ( for the naturally confined margin of the lake was at that time diminished by an unusual increase of its waters), the proud knights were totally at the mercy of their light-armed foes. Many, in order to escape the sword, perished by plunging into the lake; the rush of the cavalry. overwhelmed the infantry behind, and in a short while the whole army was thrown into panic and disorder. The Austrians lost the flower of their nobility, and Leopold with difficulty escaped. This astounding victory, the Marathon of Swiss history, was gained in an hour and a half, over a force of 20,000 well-armed men, by 1300 mountaineers, who now for the first time met an army in the field.
The appropriate memorial of their success erected by the Swiss was, according to custom, a Chapel, dedicated to St.
s: and service is performed in it annually on the anniversary of the fight. It is still standing on an eminence above the lake, at the foot of the hill of Morgarten, close to the village of Schorno, by the road-side as you descend from Rothen-. thurm.
The little village of Biberegg, on the opposite (E.) side of Rothenthurm, was the cradle of the family of Reding, one of the oldest and noblest in the canton, and whose name appears oftener with credit than any other. There is scarcely a battle in which they are not mentioned, and they have 45 times filled the office of landamman, the highest in the state. In 1798 Aloys Reding, a hero worthy of such an ancestry, led on the brave inhabitants of these mountains to oppose, in defence of their liberties and constitution, a far out-numbering force of French under General Schauenberg. The Swiss met the invaders in the valley of Rothenthurm, and drove them back as far as the lake of Egeri and the field of their ancient victory of Morgarten. This proved but a temporary gleam of success. Their victory had cost them so large a number of men that they were unable to renew the contest; and an overwhelming force of French marching into the canton rendered all further resistance hopeless.
A long descent, commanding a fine view of Schwytz, of the singular and picturesque Mythen and Hacken Mountains behind it, and of the lake of Lowertz, with part of the fall of the Rossberg (P. 57-63), leads through Sattel, past the chapel of Ecce Homo, to Steinen, a small village, memorable as the birthplace of Werner Stauffacher, one of the three conspirators of the Grütli (p. 76). A small chapel, adorned
with rude fresco of scenes from his life, and the battle of Morgarten, is dedicated to his memory. It was built in 1400. The Bonehouse is as old as 1111, 3. Schwytz. (Route 17, p. 62.)
ROUTE 75. SCHWYTZ TO GLARUS, BY THE MUOTTA THAL, THE PASS
OF THE PRAGEL, AND THE KLÖNTHAL. 10 stunden = 32 3/4 Eng. miles.
A very rough char-road ascends the valley as far as Muotta. Some distance may be saved to the pedestrian by keeping to foot-paths known to the guides. The road crosses the plain to Ibach, a village of scattered houses at the mouth of the Muolta thal, which here assumes the character of a contraeced gorge; higher up it opens out, and exhibits considerable capabilities for cultivation; it abounds with exquisite scenery. The road ascends the l. bank of the stream, traversing Ober Schönenbach, down to which point the Russians, under Suwarrow, drove the French, commanded by Massena, Mortier, and Soult, in his desperate attempt to force his way through them to join the Russian army at Zurich, in 1799. “The bridge near this, which carries the road over to the rt. bank, was taken and retaken many times; the mingled blood of the 2 nations crimsoned the stream which carried down their floating bodies.”
Beyond Ried there is another bridge, and a third brings the traveller to
2 3/4 Muotta, or Mutten, the principal village of the valley, on the rt. bank of the stream. The parish contains 1480 inhabitants. In the neighbourhood is the Nunnery of St. Joseph, a very ancient and primitive convent, founded 1280. The sisters are poor, and their mode of living 'homely; they make their own clothes and their own hay; the superior is called Frau Mutter. They receive visits from strangers without the intervention of a grating, and will even give a lodging to a respectable traveller. Whoever avails himself of this must remember that the convent is too poor to afford gratuitous hospitality.
On the night of the 27th and 28th of September 1799, the inhabitants of the remote and peaceful valley of Muotta were surprised by the arrival of an army of an unknown nation and tongue, whose very name many of them had never heard, which came pouring down upon their cottages and green fields from the heights of the Kinzig Culm, by pathless abysses and precipices which the very shepherds cross with difficulty and dread: These were the 24,000 Russians under Suwarrow, whose previous march out of Italy, has already been detailed in Routes
34 and 72. Here the general first heard the news of the defeat of Korsakow and the main Russian army at Zurich. He at first gave no credence to the report, and would have hung, the peasant who communicated it as a spy and traitor, but for the intercession of the lady mother of St. Joseph's nunnery. He was now beset on all sides; part of Lecourbe's division followed his rear, Molitor occupied the summit of the Muotta thal, and Mortier and Massena blocked up its mouth. The bold attempt to cut his way out, through the forces of the latter general, was defeated, as already mentioned, chiefly by the unexpected arrival of a fresh reinforcement under Lecourbe in person, though with vast loss to the French. The veteran conqueror was compelled for the first time in his career, to order a retreat, and to adopt the only alternative of ascending the valley and crossing the Pragel into Glarus. The detachments of Molitor's advanced guard were quickly driven in before him, and the greater portion made prisoners. Suwarrow's rear-guard, however, encumbered with sick and wounded, was greatly harassed by Massena; but the republicans were again repulsed with loss, and driven back nearly to Schwytz. Suwarrow expected to be able to reach Zurich from Glarus, there to join and rally the broken forces of Korsakow; but Molitor in person, warned of his approach, took possession of the position of Näfels, blocking up the outlet of the Linth thal as Massena had intercepted his passage down the Muotta thal, and the Russian once more found his plans foiled and baffled. Fearing to be hemmed in on all sides by the French, he gave his troops a few days of rest at Glarus, rendered absolutely indispensable by the fatigues they had undergone, aster which he once more took to the mountains, ascending the Sernft thal (Route 76) to the Grisons.
The path from Muotta to the pass of the Pragel (Suwarrow's line of march) is rather steep and stony, but is practicable for horses. The distance from Muotta to the lake of Klö is calculated at about 20 miles; about 3 1/4 to the foot of the ascent, 4 to the cross, nearly 3 to the summit of the pass, 1 3/4 to Klö, and 6 to Auen, on the lake.
3 1/4 The summit of the pass, 5200 ft. above the sea, is the boundary-line of cantons Schwytz and Glarus. It is rarely free from snow before the month of June.
The Klönthal, into which the traveller now descends, is exceedingly beautiful. On the rt. hand it is walled in by the Glärnisch rising in an abrupt and sheer precipice, terminated,by a sharp edge of ice, and on the ). by the Wiggis, scarceJy less abrupt. Deep in the recesses of this charming valley lies a beautiful lake about 2 miles long, embedded deeply at the foot of the Glärnisch, whose vast grey precipices des