Зображення сторінки
[ocr errors]

king, whose character I am sensible will, on this account, be very much lessened in the opinion of an English reader ; but I take this defect to have arisen from their ignorance, by not having hitherto reduced politics into a science, as the more acute wits of Europe have done.

15. I remember very well, in a discourse one day with the king, when I happened to say “there were several thousand books among us, written upon the art of government,” it gave him, directly contrary to my intentions, a very mean opinion of our understandings. He professed both to abominate and despise all mystery, refinement, and intrigue, either in a prince or a minister. He could not tell what I meant by secrets of state, where an enemy, or some rival nation, were not in the case.

16. He confined the knowledge of governing within very narrow bounds,—to common sense and reason, to justice and lenity, to the speedy determination of civil and criminal causes; with some other obvious topics which are not worth considering; and he gave it for his opinion, “that whoever could make two ears of corn, or two blades of grass, to grow upon a spot of ground where one grew before, would deserve better of mankind, and do more essential service to his country, than the whole race of these so-called politicians put together.”

6. Gulliver's Travels"Dean Swift.



LESSON XXII. A MODEL SWISS CANTON. 1. Switzerland—that beautiful land of mountain and valley, of forest and lake, where nature assumes her loveliest and her grandest forms—is divided into twenty-two cantons, each canton having its own separate laws and institutions, and all united in one general or Federal League.

2. The Canton Schwytz claims the honour of being the founder of Switzerland : from that canton the name of the country is taken; but Zurich, though neither the oldest nor the largest, is now considered the leading canton. This may well be called the model canton, and has been thus de



scribed with its capital city of the same nameZurich?: A bright old city on a fresh green lakewhite houses nestling in the midst of trees; quaint streets, arcades, and spires ; grim minsters looking down on shop and stall; wide quays and bridges, piers and water-mills; old convents, walls, and towers; new colleges, hotels, and railway lines; the records of a thousand years, the fancies of a passing day; a church of Charles the Great,” a palace of the modern arts; one river leading from the lake; a second river rushing from the hills; each hill with vineyards at its base and village belfry on its top; and in the front, beyond the stretch of shining lake, a rugged line of Alps, all swathed and lit with snow—is Zurich city, capital of Zurich Canton, and a paradise of learning and of learned men.

3. Zurich is the centre of a Switzer's intellectual life. Among her literary and artistic circles, she can boast academies of art and music; institutes of science and of law; botanic gardens, public libraries and museums; a reading club, a natural history club; societies of commerce and of agriculture; many hospitals and asylums; a public garden on the lake, a university with more than 300 students, and a hundred colleges and schools— schools of every sort and size, excepting actual pauper

schools. For Canton Zurich has no paupers born and bred, that is, none who are known and treated as a separate class. Some poor she has, but they are few in number. Yet this city of Zurich is only about half the size of Coventry, and, including its suburbs, has a population of little over fifty thousand.



4. A prosperous country stretches round the city and reflects her life; a canton small in size compared with several others, but teeming with a brave, enduring race: a people full of labour, song, and fight. The land is lovely in itself, and made more lovely still by art. Fair lakes are brightened by the works of man, and by the cheery range of garden, chalet, 4 wood, and spire.

5. Low hills are turned to vineyards, while the higher grounds are fat with fruit. So far as art can reach, these mountain slopes are cleared and fenced for use. The climate is not good, sharp winds sweep down the gullies and across the lake the mountain peaks are noted for their winter storms; the soil is poor. Yet when the best is made of it, how much that best can do! Observe the peasant's shed, the pastor's porch, the farmer's field: how clean that shed, how bright that porch, how orderly that field! You see no heaps of mud, you smell no hidden filth.

6. Each article is in its place, and order reigns by virtue of some natural law. In small things and in great you find these proofs of active thought and ready hand. Just peep into the bit of ground, which is only a common garden, with the usual herbs and roots, the usual flowers and seeds. Each bed, each tree, each plant, is treated by itself, as though it were a child. You need not wonder at the cherries on that tree. Here in the corner climbs a vine. The summer heat is on her leaves, and what a promise of the purple grapes to come!


7. The country all round Zurich is a garden, watered by innumerable springs and lakes, which are trained to flow about the orchards and potato fields. Though mostly built of stone, the farms are painted of a cheery yellow, pink, and white. The walks are planted, and the roads well kept. Each house appears to stand in its own grounds. No Zuricher is homeless, hardly any one is poor.

8. In driving on these roads, you hear at every turn the song of life and work—the woodman felling trees, the milkmaid bringing home her pail, the cobbler stitching at his stall, the miller grinding at his wheel-all chirping at their task the live-long day. The secret of this gracious look of things in Canton Zurich is, that every man enjoys an independent place. These rustics own the cottages in which they live—the ground on which

they toil.

Adapted from The Switzers,by W. H. Dixon. 1. The city of Zurich stands in a 3. The rivers of Zurich are the magnificent position at the north end Limmat and the Sehl. The Limof the Lake of Zurich. It contains mat divides the city into two distwo minsters, or cathedral churches, tinct parts; the Sehl runs along the besides many other churches. Its

western side, and joins the Limmat University has upwards of 300 stu- just outside the town. dents.

4. The extremely pretty little 2. Charles the Great, commonly wooden cottages scattered about the called Charlemagne, a renowned Em- valleys of Switzerland are called peror of Germany, and lord of many chalets (pronounced shall-ays). lands. Born 742 A.D.; crowned Emperor 800 A.D.; died 814 A.D.

« НазадПродовжити »