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SKETCHES OF SCENERY IN SAVOY, SWITZERLAND, AND THE ALPS. MR EDITOR,
to be inquiring the number of the inYou ask me to send you some sketches habitants, and the price of the neces. of my late tour in France, Switzer- saries of life, at Clarens the scene of land, Italy, &c. But I'm afraid I that immortal kiss, the echoes of which shall be able to offer you little that may even now, to an ear properly atwill be of general interest ; for I must tuned, be heard mingling with the confess to you, that my plan of obser- breezes that whisper among the branchvation-if it could be called a plan- es of its chesnut groves, or come fanwas entirely a selfish one. Before set- ning the brow—the burning brow-of ting out, I had determined to remain him who gazes, for the first time, on so totally unfettered, that I would not that cradle and home and heaven of even prepare myself for the journey, love. by renewing or completing my very I repeat, my determination was not imperfect reading acquaintance with only not to prepare myself for visiting the chief parts that I was about to such scenes as these, but when I found visit. I was going, in sober certainty, myself in the midst of them, not even to view the real scenes, the ideal im- to examine or record my feelings about ages of which had been the objects of them: but to remain in what Wordsmy love until within these few years worth calls “ a wise passiveness.”—To my hopeless love ever since I had spread open, as it were, my mind and known what it was that I really wish- heart and senses to the powers and ined or wanted ; and I was determined fluences that would every where sur. to come to the contemplation of them round me; and leave them to work free from all other bias on my mind their own effects : believing, that if I than would be given to it by the de- was worthy to receive the benefit of lightful but somewhat misty and in- such influences, they would come to distinct associations, which had come me of themselves, and remain with to it, as it were of themselves, in my me; and that if I was not, no seekvery earliest youth ; and had, ever ings or solicitations could entice them. since, been congregating and engen- -I therefore wrote nothing about dering together, till at length they them at the time I mean, for myself. had formed a sort of colony therema I did not even endeavour to remember little kingdom of their own, of which any thing. I read the poetry of them Fancy was the sole and undisputed -as I read written poetry-not for sovereign, and in the midst of which the purpose of criticising it, and getI could at all times take refuge from ting particular passages by heart, in the dull and dreary realities of com- order to talk about and quote from it, mon life. I determined, too, that this but to feel and enjoy it;—not that I ideal kingdom should never be over- might seem wiser and better in conseturned but by Nature herself. In quence, but that I might be so. fact, that I would not go among these I shall not determine whether this scenes for the purpose of forming a was the best plan I could have adoptjudgment of them for myself
, but ed, with reference to my own purwould leave them to build up for me poses; but certainly it was, of all a fabric of their own, in the place of others, the least fitted to enable me to the ideal one that I know they would give information or amusement to any destroy: I felt it to be something but those very few dear friends, in worse than idle to go peeping and pry- whose estimation, when one is absent, ing about, with a pencil and a note- every little word and thought that is book in my hand, among the moun- conveyed to them, acquires a new and tains of William Tell ;-to be sketch- adventitious value, by becoming a ing trees and cottages, or scribbling hint, on which the imagination may nothings, in the ideal presence of Man- build conjectures and surmises quite fred, or the real one of Mont Blanc; as good as any real information that -to be ascertaining the exact distance might occupy their place. For, to from Verai across the lake to the rocks such friends as I am speaking of, the of Meillerie, in order to calculate absent person will always be the centre whether St Preux really could see to which all those of their thoughts from thence the dwelling of Julie ;– which can be made to have any refer
ence to him, must alone point. In -at others, leaping and dashing books they may read descriptions of through broken rocks, and lashing it foreign scenery and manners, for mere self into torrents of white foam-at amusement, or for the purpose of ex- the next turn of the road, perhaps, tending their knowledge, and enrich- thundering down a precipice in the ing their fancy and imagination ; but form of a cataract, or its course only when they read such in his letters, it to be discovered by its sound, or by is only that they may endeavour to the thin white mists that rise from its realize to themselves, and sympathize low and concealed bed-and, perhaps with, what they will know to be his five minutes after, you discover it afeelings in contemplating what he de- gain, basking along in the sunshine, scribes. They will desire to learn the as if nothing could disturb its trancharacter of the scenery through which quillity, and as if the greatest obstacle he is passing on such or such a day, it had ever met with in its course had that they may be the better able, in been a few pebbles to curl round, or a fancy, to accompany him. They will water-lily to sport with.—The road wish to be made acquainted with the is a sort of causeway, always following habits and manners of the people with the course of this river. Immediately whom he is sojourning, that they may adjoining to the road and the banks of the more distinctly, in imagination, the river, the bed of the valley exview him among them. In short, all tends for a very small space on each the direct and personal interest that side, covered with the most luxuriant may, at other times, have been felt in cultivation, and then immediately from such descriptions, will now be merged this bed the mountains ascend on each and lost, for the moment, in the rela- side, almost perpendicularly, to (litertive interest they have acquired by ally) above the clouds. You will eatheir connexion with him.
sily conceive that the effect of all this If you think your readers are likely is exquisite--for the mountains them to be amused by unconnected extracts, selves, up to nearly their summits, are such as accompany this, from private not only covered with the most beauletters, I may perhaps be able to send tiful cultivation, but studded with cotyou a few more of the same kind. I tages and villages at all heights and in all may also add a few desultory recollec- directions; and the whole surmounted tions, just in the order, or rather dis- by magnificent forests of pine-trees, in order, in which they are pretty sure many parts shooting their strait arrowy to occur to me.
trunks from out the eternal snow. The following are sketches of sce. The character of the houses, too, is so nery very little known and talked of exactly in keeping with the scenery in in this country: by far the most fre- which they occur, that the effect of quented passage into Italy being that the whole is perfectly enchanting. by the Simplon.
They are scarcely ever built in the -“ You know that Rousseau valley, but on the sides of the mounpassed nearly all the innocent and hap- tains ; out of which they appear to py part of his life with his dear' Ma- grow, as if they were a part of the man,' Madame de Warens, at Cham- mountain itself. They are always perbery, the capital of Savoy; and, sure- fectly white; and to every small villy, nowhere else is there a place so ex- lage of eight or ten cottages (for they quisitely adapted to feed and nurse are all cottages), there is a little and cherish the peculiar propensities church; and these villages and churchof his romantic nature. The road to es are met with at every mile-so that Chambery, from France lies through a there is an unceasing variety the whole country that surpasses, in mingled way. These cottages generally stand grandeur and beauty, all that I had in the midst of little patches of garden previously conceived of natural scen- or orchard ground, or meadows of the ery, though the beauty greatly predo- most exquisite green, in which flocks minates. The road is between two and cattle are feeding.--Add to all ranges of mountains, and by the side this a romantic-looking castle, with of a small river the whole way.—This towers, turrets, &c. occurring every river is the most poetical little stream now and then on the summit of a you can imagine. Sometimes rippling projecting rock— beautiful waterfalls and smiling along through flowers and gushing from out clusters of firs, or weeds, to the sound of its own music clumps of underwood—the unceasing
sound of the river mingling at times in Savoy, and is situated about the with the matin or vesper bell, or the centre of it. I should think that, in still more melodious bells of the herd respect to situation, this must be the -the scent from a thousand wild most romantic capital in the world. It flowers—the balmlike air--and the is so completely surrounded on all sides deep-blue sky over all, -and you have by an amphitheatre of mountains, that a scene that no imagination or fiction, the sun does not reach it for more even of ancient fable, can surpass, for than two hours after it has risen. I pure, delicious, tranquil beauty. never witnessed a more interesting
I never passed two whole days toge- sight than occurred the morning we ther of something so near to happiness left this town. We started about an as I did among the mountains of Sa- hour after the sun had risen. It was voy ;-and though I was too delighted just then glittering on the snow tops of to think of it at the time, I have since the neighbouring mountains, and gildbeen very much pleased to recognise ing the skirts of the white mists that in this a very striking confirmation of a were curling round them. As we profavourite creed of mine. I am now more ceeded up the mountain,--still keep than ever convinced that there are no ing the town in view,—the sun got mental ills that may not be cured by a over the surrounding summits, and timely, a sincere, and a trusting recur- came gradually slanting down their rence to those medicines which lye sides ; at first reaching the pine-trees everywhere scattered about for us a- - then the roofs of the white cottages mong the forms and influences of na- that were situated highest—then glanture: that in an inartificial state of cing on the spire of some village church society and manners, all the fancies and then reaching, one by one, the little feelings and associations that come to country-houses towards the foot of the the mind from the external world, are mountains and, at last, spreading over expressly adapted, by their very na- the town itself. All this time the sun ture, to meet and combine with others was concealed from our view ; till, at which previously existed in the mind length, a turn of the road brought it itself; and to engender, by their in sight suddenly and at once. union, powers and effects that could “ It was here that Rousseau's mind not have been produced in any other imbibed and cherished that deep and way. In tact, that the mind of man, pure love for the beauties of external and the external world, are made ex. nature, which, notwithstanding all the pressly for each other; as the sexes are pollutions that it gathered in great in man and womnan : and that powers cities, never quitted it but in death. and capabilities exist in each, which It was perhaps some unconscious assocan never be properly and naturally ciation with this very scene which made exerted but by the means and in the him at the moment that he felt his last presence of those which belong to the breath ebbing from him, desire that his other. That the mind is (alinost li- face might be turned to the sun, and terally) a musical instrument, whose the window of his chamber opened, tones can only be duly felt and brought that he might feel its warmth and see out by meeting with corresponding its glories for the last time and he died tones in objects external from itself.
gazing on it! I know that metaphysicians would “ These were the scenes of all the laugh at all this but I should not like happy part of Rousseau's real life. ! it or believe it a bit the less on that have not left myself room to tell, and account.
I'm afraid I have not left you patience I am afraid I have lingered too long to hear, of the scenes in which he among these delightful scenes ; but in passed his imaginary life, in the perendeavouring to give you an idea of son of his own St Preux ; though they them, I have absolutely felt as if I was are still more deeply interesting than among them again; and have been al- the foregoing, from their connexion most as loath to quit the remembrance with the most enchanting work that as I was the reality."
ever proceeded from the pen of man
the Nouvelle Héloise." “Chambery is the only large town
( To be continued.)
ON THE CHARACTER AND MANNERS OF THE TYROLESE.
There is no country of Europe which the power whom they fearlessly atexhibits both the beauties of nature, tacked was the power before whom and the character of man, in a more they had seen all the monarchies of striking or interesting aspect than the Europe successively bow; and beneath Tyrol. The events of the preceding the weight of whose arms, even the years have given an interest of a gigantic might of Russia had been conhigher kind to its mountains and val- strained to bend. When the peasantry lies, than belongs to the theatre of of Tyrol flew to arms, they knew well any other warfare. Bold as the spirit the perilous and desperate service on of resistance was which everywhere which they were entering. Every arose to resist the progress of French man took leave of his family, and his dominion ; and valiantly as the people friends, as of those whom he would of every country have struggled to pre- probably never meet again. They serve their independence, or recover prepared themselves, after the pious the national glory which their late manner of their country, for what misfortunes had sullied ; there is yet they deemed a holy warfare, by the no country which has evinced so he- most solemn rites of their religion. roic a spirit; there is no people who The priest in every parish assembled have displayed so memorable a devo- those who were to join the army, and tion as the inhabitants of the Tyrol. animated them by his exhortations, The Spaniards had a great country and blessed those who might die in and strong fortresses, and the power- defence of their country. Every faful assistance of England, to support mily assembled together, and prayed, them: the Russians rested on the re- that the youths who were to leave it source of a mighty empire, and de- might support their good name in the veloped the military power which had hour of danger, and die rather than so long made Europe tremble, in de- dishonour their native land. In many fending themselves against the French instances even the sacrament was ada invasion : the Prussians rose against a ministered, as for the last time in life, weakened and dispirited enemy, and and accompanied with the solemnities shared in the exultation of unequalled which the Catholic Church enjoins for triumphs, when they joined the vic- the welfare of a departing soul. It torious Russians in the pursuit of their was with such holy rites, and by such enemy. It was in the Tyrol only that exercises of family-devotion, that those the people rested on their own courage brave men prepared themselves for the and patriotism alone. It was there, fearful warfare on which they were that at the first signal of war, its whole entering; and it was the spirit which population flew to arms. They stopt they thus inhaled that supported not to calculate the chances of succes them when they were left to their own in the contest in which they were to resources, and enabled them, even engage. They weighed not the weak- amidst all the depression arising from ness of their own resources, and the the desertion of their allies, and fasmall number on which they could de- mine among themselves, to present an pend, when compared with the ap- undaunted front to the hostility of palling multitudes by whom they were combined Europe. to be assailed. They heard only the It was a singular and extraordinary voice of their sovereign calling them circumstance, with what unanimity, to arms, and listened to the dic- and how simultaneously the insurrectates of their own hearts in the answer tion began over every part of the which they made to him.
country. The tidings of the AusNor was it any blind confidence in trians having crossed the Inn, and of success, or any presumptuous contempt a corps approaching the Tyrol, had for the French armies, which induced no sooner reached the frontier, than the Tyrolese, in 1809, to rise unani- it was conveyed, with almost magical mously against the French dominion. celerity, to the remotest valleys. The enemies whom they were about Everywhere the inhabitants, without to encounter, were the same troops any concert among themselves, took up with whom they had maintained many arms, and marched at the same moment severe contests in the former wars. towards the chief towns of the districts in which they were placed. The Austri- others carried were the same which an authorities, charged with organiz- had been used in the bloody wars being the insurrection in their course up tween the Swiss and the Tyrolese, the valleys, met the different corps of above three hundred years ago, and peasantry descending with the fowling which had been preserved with relipieces, and other rustic arms, which gious care by the descendants of the they had in their possession. These persons who there distinguished themsmall bodies, proceeding down their selves. Many did not possess even valleys, received continual accessions such arms as these; but joined their of strength as they advanced; and, comrades with no other weapons than like the mountain streams, whose a scythe, a pruning-hook, or a rusty course they followed, rolled onwards bayonet. But, though variously equip their united force towards the plain. ped, and for the most part but half
There is reason to believe, that the armed, al were animated by the same chiefs of the conspiracy were well ac- spirit, and all felt not only the strongquainted, for some time previous, with est determination in their own mind, the war which was in contemplation but the surest reliance on the fidelity between Austria and France. But and courage of their associates. their knowledge could not be gene- The poetical description which Mr rally communicated, both from the Scott has given of the gathering of risk of entrusting so important a secret the Clan Alpin in Balquhilder, by to many persons, and from the extra- the order of Roderick Dhu, was here ordinary obstacles to the circulation of realized on a far greater scale, and in information which the nature of the the prosecution of a nobler purpose. country presented. The knowledge Prom the gray sire whose trembling hand, of each valley was in a great measure Could hardly buckle on his brand; confined to its own little society ; bare To the raw boy whose shaft and bow rocks, and snowy mountains, forming Were yet scarce terror to the crow; insuperable barriers to all intercourse Each valley, each sequestered glen, with the neighbouring people. The Mustered his little horde of men, simultaneous insurrection of the Ty. That met as torrents from the height, rolese, therefore, must be imputed to
In Highland dale their streams unite ; that burst of generous feeling which Still gathering as they pour along, animated all ranks at that eventful A voice more loud, a tíde more strong."crisis, and to that noble confidence in The peasantry who assembled round each other, which led the inhabitants Inspruck amounted to above 20,000; of every valley to take up arms, in and having formed such hasty arrangethe sure belief that all their country- ments as the exigency of the moment men had done the same.
would permit, they commenced an atWhen the peasants from the valleys tack on the town. It is difficult sufwhich connect with the Inn Thal as- ficiently to admire the courage of these sembled round Inspruck, they exhi- brave men in this their first encounter bited a motley and extraordinary ap- with the French troops. They had pearance. The young and the old, to cross a narrow bridge of great the rich and the poor, were all crowd. length, in front of a battery of caned together without order, or military non, supported on either sitle by files equipment of any kind, and dressed of infantry, securely posted behind in the picturesque and striking man- walls, or within the houses.— The ner which is peculiar to those moun- storming of the celebrated bridge of taineers. Most of the peasants had Lodi, of which so much has been a fowling-piece, or rifle ; but in every said, was not so perilous an enter. other species of equipment they were prize as this was ; and the French miserably deficient. Cannon, or stores, grenadiers who there rushed upon or horsemen, they had none, and even the Austrian battery, did not require their swords were hardly such as are the same individual determination suited to modern warfare. Many aged which was here evinced by these undiswarriors bore the halbards which their ciplined mountaineers. Their first forefathers had used in the days when essay in arms, was an achievement at armour was worn by the cavalry, and which the courage of most veteran with which the Swiss had resisted the soldiers would have failed. chivalry of Charles the Bold on the The leaders of the charge were infield of Morat. The spears which stantly destroyed by the murderous