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singularly few. Its soldiers have been known chiefly as mercenaries, and its peasantry as the poorest, perhaps, in Europe. But our poets have taught us to think of Switzerland as the mountain home of liberty. Certainly it is not, nor ever has been, the land of popular liberty. Like all the republics of antiquity, it has always been essentially aristocratical both in its institutions and its social character. The distinction of aristocratic and democratic cantons was comparative only, for a pure democracy never existed, in fact, in any of them. In all, the descendants of the first founders of Swiss independence, the burghers from descent or by admission, alone enjoyed political rights, and were sovereign. These formed scarcely one half, and, in some of the cantons, only a fourth of the male population. The aggregate population of Uri, Underwalden, Schwytz, Zug, and Glaris, five of those which were distinguished as democratic cantons, amounted, in 1796, to 83,000 souls, out of which there were scarcely 20,000 burghers or freemen. The latter governed besides, various subject districts, forming a population of 337,000 souls, making altogether twenty subjects

to one democratic king. In one of the most aristocratic cantons, that of Fribourg, seventy-one families, with their col. · lateral branches, governed a population of 73,000 inhabitants.

· Men,' remarks M. Simond,' are always more tenacious of their authority over those nearly their equals, than over those decidedly their interiors. Our republicans have accordingly shewed themselves very ready to repress any attempt at resistance, not only on the part of their own subjects, but those of other cantons. When, in 1653, the peasants of the aristocratic cantons revolted, the democratic cavtons were the first to take up arms against them. A great degree of corruption prevailed in the administration of justice.

" It is undoubted,” said Stanyan, “ that in the subject districts, especially those held jointly by several of the democratic cantons, justice is in a great degree venal, and that it forins the main source of emolument to the baillies. All those crimes which are not capital, are punished by fines, which are their perquisites! In civil causes, he who pays best, carries it.” Thus it was to the time of the Revolution ; but there are now no subject districts ; and we hope the Revolution, which made them independent, operated a reform in their administration of justice.' Vol. II. p. 443.

This, it must be confessed, is a state of things ill corres. ponding to an Englishman's notion of liberty and popular rights. But, in fact, the existence of democratic freedom presupposes a diffusion of intelligence and of wealth among the common people, which we should in vain look for among the peasantry of Helvetia. In thinly peopled agricultural districts, where the people consist but of two classes, the proprietors and

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berty is, to a gentleman, only a nuisance. Chacun selon son gré. This wayward and adventurous spirit in our modern travellers is of infinite service to the general interests of society. But we at home feel, in the mean time, a wish to know a little more about those countries of Christendom, which are now almost less familiar to us than Egypt, Palestine, or India. If the proper study of mankind be inan, the countries which called forth the philosophical reflections of Goldsmith's " Traveller," are those which have the first claim on our attention ; for, out of civilized, out of Christian society, what is man but the least interesting production of the country, the animal which it is the least desirable, and often the least safe to encounter ? There,

every prospect pleases,

And only man is vile.' Mr. Bakewell resided two winters in Geneva ; and though much has been written respecting it, the state of society there, he says he is convinced, is but imperfectly known in England, and has been much misrepresented. The greater part of the work, however, is devoted to the description of various parts of Savoy and of the Valais, rarely explored by our travellers, The Author's chief object was the prosecution of geological researches, but the volumes are by no means of a drily scientific character; they abound with miscellaneous information.

M. Simond's work, which we ought not to have left so long unnoticed, is of a higher character. The first volume only is topographical, the second being occupied with historical memoirs of the Siviss, from the earliest period to the present time. It is a very spirited and, upon the whole, impartial and competent sketch of the history of Switzerland; though, of course, only a sketch, and, with regard to those events which come more especially within the province of the ecclesiastical historian, necessarily brief and seanty. The Author writes' decidedly the best and purest English that we ever met with from the pen of a foreigner. The traces of his native idiom are exceedingly few, And it seems that, with the language, he has caught no small portion of English sentiment and feeling. The work is altogether of an order very superior to the general run of travels, and is not undeserving of being naturalized in our literature,

It is not easy to account for the romantic associations attaching to the name of Switzerland. With the solitary exception of the story of William Tell and the successful insurrection of the Waldstetten patriots in 1298, its annals contain scarcely an event of much interest. Its great men have been

singularly few. Its soldiers have been known chiefly as mercenaries, and its peasantry as the poorest, perhaps, in Europe. But our poets have taught us to think of Switzerland as the mountain home of liberty. Certainly it is not, nor ever has been, the land of popular liberty. Like all the republics of antiquity, it has always been essentially aristocratical both in its institutions and its social character. The distinction of aristocratic and democratic cantons was comparative only, for a pure democracy never existed, in fact, in any of them. In all, the descendants of the first founders of Swiss independence, the burghers from descent or by admission, alone enjoyed political rights, and were sovereign. These formed scarcely one half, and, in some of the cantons, only a fourth of the male population. The aggregate population of Uri, Underwalden, Schwytz, Zug, and Glaris, five of those which were distinguished as democratic cantons, amounted, in 1796, to 83,000 souls, out of which there were scarcely 20,000 burghers or freemen. The latter governed besides, various subject districts, forming a population of 337,000 souls, making altogether twenty subjects

to one democratic king. In one of the inost aristocratic cantons, that of Fribourg, seventy-one families, with their col. ·lateral branches, governed a population of 73,000 inhabitants.

• Men,' remarks M. Simond, are always more tenacious of their authority over those nearly their equals, than over those decidedly their inferiors. Our republicans have accordingly shewed themselves very ready to repress any attempt at resistance, not only on the part of their own subjects, but those of other cantons. When, in 1653, the peasants of the aristocratic cantons revolted, the democratic cavtons were the first to take up arms against them. A great degree of corruption prevailed in the administration of justice. " It is un doubted,” said Stanyan, " that in the subject districts, especially those held jointly by several of the democratic cantons, justice is in a 'great degree venal, and that it forins the main source of emolument to the baillies. All those crines which are not capital, are punished by fines, which are their perquisites ! In civil causes, he who pays best, carries it.” Thus it was to the time of the Revolution ; but there are now no subject districts ; and we hope the Revolution, which made them independent, operated a reform in their administration of justice.' Vol. II. p. 443.

This, it must be confessed, is a state of things ill corres. ponding to an Englishman's notion of liberty and popular rights. But, in fact, the existence of democratic freedom presupposes a diffusion of intelligence and of wealth among the common people, which we should in vain look for among the peasantry of Helvetia. In thinly peopled agricultural districts, where the people consist but of two classes, the proprietors and

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their dependents, liberty must depend for its existence on a power independent of either, and a monarchical government is its only security. The formation of a middle class, which can take place only in an advanced state of society, and as the result of long years of peace, a successful commerce, and a thriving internal trade, is indispensable to the existence, as well as to the preservation of a legitimate democratic influence, which, again, is the only safeguard of civil justice and personal independence. Among the Swiss aristocracies, Berne affords the purest model of that species of government since the days of the Roman republic. Many of the founders of the commonwealth were nobles; but the mode of government was, for several centuries, essentially democratical. The heads of families annually elected their magistrates; and, though the choice usually fell on the nobles or principal citizens, there was nothing to preclude any individual from aspiring to any office in the state.

During the heroic period of Switzerland, the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the number of burghers was at one time 30,000; but the councils passed a law in 1619, excluding the country burghers from any share in the government; and in the years 1635, 1643, and 1669, new measures were taken to secure permanently the reigning families-regiments fähige bürgers, as they are called 'at Berne. In 1684, their names were recorded in chancery; the number of these families was then about one hundred and fifty ; but it increased after that period, and in the year 1782, it was fixed permanently at two, hundred and thirty-six. The government was then composed of several councils, or rather of one, the sovereign council or the two hundred, and of branches of that council : Ist. the senate, a selection of twenty-five counsellors, presided by the avoyer, to whom the executive and judicial departments belong ; 2nd. the secret committee, composed of a smaller selection of five or six counsellors, presided likewise by the avoyer; and 3rd. the sixteen, chosen by lots from among the bailiffs or governors who had served their time; their. functions were of less importance. Besides the secret committee above mentioned, there were the two secret counsellors, being the two youngest members of the two hundred; whose functions were to overlook the conduct of the members of government from the highest to the lowest, and inform against any trespass or abuses. Their functions have been compared to those of the Roman tribunes, while those of the secret committee were the reverse, being employed in watching the people. No great degree of activity or conscientious zeal would naturally be expected on the part of this censorship of magistrates against their brethren : yet it is a fact, that the trust reposed in them by individuals denouncing, powerful members of the government, against whom they did not choose to appear, never was betrayed, and that they always brought forward the complaints faith

fully, the council generally paying great attention to their communi. cations.

* Since the year 1787, whenever patrician families to the nnmber of five had become extinct, they were replaced by three families of the German divisions, and two from the Romand or Pays de Vaud. The sovereign council was recruited out of the whole body of burgberts apparently, but in fact gut of seventy-six families, who stood, by a sort of prescriptive right, at the head among the two hundred and thirty-six families of burghers; and even anong these, there were only twenty families decidedly paramount, and the other fifty-six formed a sort of opposition. Vacancies in the council by death or otherwise, were not filled until there were more than eighty, which happened every eight or ten years...... The magnificent and sovereign lords selected from their own caste all the public officers in the differ. ent departments ; they made laws and executed them, they sate on the bench as judges, and pleaded at the bar as advocates ; in short, united in their own persons all functions and all powers. In theory, these might well be deemed the elements of a most detestable state of things: in practice, it was a government under which a permanent peace of two centuries, and the strictest economy and fidelity, had made it unnecessary to raise any money from the people, except tithes, which, besides the very moderate salary of the clergy, supported public schools. Other sources of revenue actually exceeded the wants of government. The right of taxation was votried, and remained a dead letter. This excess of the revenue over the current expenses, placed the government in a predicament of which there is not another example--that of paying the people, instead of being patd by them; it actually laid out every year. more money thran was raised by taxes. It was a government under which the administration of justice was speedy, and certainly incorruptible, in the highest tribunal at least . .. It was a government, in short, under which, since its foundation, history records only two instances of popular insurrection from political motives; viz. in the years 1384 and 1631, between a defenceless magistraey, commanding a standing force of 300 regetlars, and a warlike people, among whom every man from the age of sixteen was provided with arms, and trained to the use of them. The meanest peasant might at all times find access to the chief magistrate, present his petition, and state his grievance.

• With this outline of things before him, it becomes a prudent observer not to admit liglıtly the accusations of tyranny bestowed in our days upon the oligarchy of Berne. There never was an arbitrary government guilty of fewer acts of oppression: none ever enjoyed to so high a degree the confidence of the people at farge. It was literally a government de confiance ; in which none of the constitutional precautions against misrule had been taken, nor any check introduced, simply because confidence never was betrayed, and no danger apprehended. The finances were adıninistered with exemplary regularity and economy, like those of a well-ordered family. A committee of fiance réeeived the yearly account of the collectors, and made out an aggregate statement, submitted to the sovereign council, where

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