« AnteriorContinuar »
IT was towards the conclusion of a protracted - residence on the continent, "and when the author of these volumes was about to bid adieu to the delightful scenes, amidst which he had spent so many a happy, and, he hopes, not unprofitable hour, that a little memoir of modest pretensions, but almost unique in its original language, was put into his hand. From this the present publication took its rise-more, perhaps, relative to its siinple history, it might be tedious, as it would be foreign from our purpose, to detail.
With respect to the story, the writer may, possibly, be permitted further briefly to remark, that, in the conduct of it, he has principally had regard to the maxim--the
maxim, allowedly, of no inaccurate observer of mankind:
“ Omne tulit punctum, qui miscuit utile dulci.” HOR. *
If, however, in unison with one part of it, he has endeavoured to invite by the interest of his narrative, still, in high accordance with the other, his unvaried and better aim has been to blend instruction with amusement—to amend the heart rather than to agitate it and to lead it, insensibly, “ through nature up to nature's God."
Having made these few preliminary observations as a necessary introduction to the subsequent pages, the author submits his unassuming tale to the public, with the prayer, that the dews of heaven may water his little labours abundantly, and cause them to bring forth a rich increase.
* He bears the palm, who grace with truth combines,
And charms, at once, and teaches in his lines.
Hæ latebræ dulces, et, si mihi credis, amene.'
HoR. Epis. LIB. I.
AT a period, when the sword, the famine, and the pestilence,' were still laying waste the fertile and once-smiling plains of Europe, Switzerland found a momentary repose. · Years had mingled with the stream of time, since the richest of her blood had flowed in an unsuccessful, though glorious effort to VOL. 1.
retain the freedom she had purchased by her valour in happier days, and which she had been permitted, through a long lapse of ages, to possess in peace. That ever-rolling tide,' which stamps instability on all sublunary things, onward had held its undeviating and uninterrupted course. Already, the tears, that bedewed the sleep of those who parted with life in the unequal contest, were beginning to be forgotten : already, the flowers, scattered over their rest by hands, which under other auspices had plighted affection, and received the vows of an ardent and unalterable attachment, were withering on their graves.
The fairest portion of the civilized world, in mourning for millions sacrificed at the shrine of ambition, and alas ! it is to be feared, summoned unprepared into the presence of their Judge, was rapidly submitting to the arms of a lawless tyrant, who now beheld himself seated, by an almost-undisputed title, on one of the most ancient thrones of Christendom. Conquest his object, he owned no allegiance, acknowledged, no superior, di