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and in Lucerne, Freyburg, Basle, Bellinzona and several other instances, the feudal fortifications, with battlements and watch-towers, remain perfectly preserved. One characteristic and very pleasant feature are the Fountains, the neverfailing ornament of every Swiss town and village. They usually consist of a Gothie ornamented pillar, Surmonnted by the figure of a man, usually some hero of Swiss history, either Tell, the dauntless crossbowman, or Winkelried, with “ 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 des Dimanches 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 strict friendship grows up among the members of each brotherhood or sisterhood, which generally lasts through life, even after the parties are settled and dispersed about the world. The females, even when grown up, distinguish theiv
companions by such endearing terms as “ ma mignonne,” “ mon cour," “mon ange," etc. This. practice renders Swiss socieiy 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 des 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 des Vaches (Germ. Kuhreiben), literally cow-rows, is obviously derived from the order in which the cows march home at milking-timo, in obedience to the shepherd's call, communicated by the voice, or through the Alphorn, 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 vesper-bell. The cow-herd, posted on ihe 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 boih the music of the horn and the songs of the cow-herds and dairymaids;, 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.”
À 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 practices 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, andras 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, Appens zell, and Unterwalden.
S 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 Chamouny, the grandest among the Alps, ought to be reserved for the conclusion 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 | Infirm persons, notable to ride
Two Months, beginnmg ator walk over an Alpine pass, Basle and ending at Schaff- may retain their carriage as hausen, performed in 1837. far as Sallenche, proceed in a
char-à-banc to Chamouny, reThe portion of this tour join their carriage at Sallenche, within brackets would extend and then proceed by Thonon it beyond the lwo munths, and and S. Maurice to Martigny. must be omitted if the travellerbe pressed for time..
Sallenche, in a hired carriage.
Chamouny, in a char-a-banc.. Basle.
Tête Noire, 10 | St. Peter's Islandia
Martigny, | Neuchâtel,
[Great St. Bernard, and back, Soleure.
on mules. ] Weissenstein.
| Baths of Leuk. Leave carriage. Lucerne.
at Sierre or Arth and the Righi,
Brieg. Lake Lucerne to. Altdorf. Simplon. Eotlebuch.
Domo d'Ossola. Thun Leave the carriage.)
[Lago d'Orta.) Lauterbrunnen,
Borromean Islands. Grindelwald.
This part Milan, (Rest a week.), [Faulhorn.]
Jof the tour, Monza.
except the Meyringen.
road of the Grimsel.
can only be Chiavenna. St. Gotthard. performed Altdorf.
in chass, on Via Mala.
horseback, Lake of Lucerne.'
and across Stanz.
the lake in
a boat. Lake of Wallenstadt, . | Meyringen,
[Glarus, Stachelberg, and back, 1
(Baden and Schintznach.] Lausanne.
B.--TOUR OF A FORTNIGHT,