Page images
PDF
EPUB

ANALYSIS OF THIRTY LETTERS UPON SOME OF THE

SWISS CANTONS.

ner:

(Written in French. 8vo. 88. 9d.) This work has a double merit,- General Audiences, or in the National first, that of shewing the changes, Representation of the State; this introduced at different times, in the change was the result of a second political system of Switzerland, by Declaration of the King of Prussia the Revolution of 1798,-afterwards in the month of December, 1814. by the Act of Mediation ; and lastly, The author briefly notices the prin-' by the determinations of the Con- cipal articles in the following mangress of Vienna: secondly, that of containing novel descriptions, in The General Audiences are comspite of former accounts, of several posed of ten of the oldest Counsellors very interesting situations in Swite of State ; of fourteen noblemen, not zerland.

State Counsellors, four of which, The declaration of the month of are Ministers of the Church ; ali June, 1814, by which Frederic Wil- these members are nominated by liam, King of Prussia, re-took pos. the King, as Prince of Neufchatel. session of the Principality of Neuf. The General Audiences are further chatel, one of the new Cantons of composed of twenty-four Chiefs of Switzerland, with reserve of the Jurisdiction, and of thirty memrights attached to the sovereignty bers, named by the different districts of the Prince, guaranteed, by a spe- in the Principality. These last eleccial article, the laws, immunities, tions form, properly speaking, the good and ancient liberties, customs democratical part of the National written or not written. Amongst Representation. The people have the number of these immunities, not, however, a direct voice in the one of the most precious is, that of nomination of these Deputies; there conferring public offices upon citi are three degrees of election, the last zens only, who are natives of the of which, is the only one reserved Principality, to the exclusion even to the popular Assembly, where the of those who are naturalized; the electors are named. Thus, when all office of yovernment is alone ex the members of a district, convoked cepted. The citizens, who are elected in a General Assembly, have fixed by the suffrages of the people or will upon a certain number of citizens, of the Sovereign, are immoveable proper to have a seat in the Audi. from their functions, of whatsoever ences, these, united in the manornature they may be, unless they are houses of the district, under the prepreviously convicted of incapacity, sidency of the Lord of the Manor, or or misdemeanor, by the lawful sen Mayor, proceed, secondly, to reduce tence of their peers. But the im their number to double the number

to be elected. The result of this Dahliant tight, which the ancient in habitants of Neufchatel possessed, of second scrutiny is transmitted to the remaining neuter, or participating Court of Justice in the district; and at pleasure in the wars carried on it is by the members of this Court, by Prussia, with the proviso, that that the members of the sovereign they should not bear arms against Council are elected from among the that nation, a right, in which prin- appointed candidates. To explain cipally consisted their political li this mode of election better, the berty, has not been preserved to author gives an example, which will them in the New Constitution, and be read with interest, in his letters. the author justly doubts, whether The noblemen, named by the King the advantages which result from and the Deputies of districts, retain a more intimate incorporation with their functions for life, except in the the Helvetic league can be consi case of forfeiture, for reasons already dered a sufficient compensation.

mentioned. The functions of the The most considerable change, Counsellors, or Officers of State, effected in the government of Neuf only last while they are actually chatel, is in the formation of the employed. The members in the

different orders which compose the power of Government, are confided Council, in case of absence or sick- to the Little Council, which is subness, are replaced by persons whom divided into two sections, each comthe law appoints for that effect.— posed of thirteen members. The The Deputies of districts have for first section, called the Council of proxies those citizens who had the State, is, properly speaking, the most suffrages, next to themselves. body in which public power is vested. The General Audiences assemble at _The second section, constituting least once every two years: but the a Court of Appeal, decides, finally, Session, the Convocation, and the upon pecuniary matters, and the duration of these Assemblies, depend application of the penal laws. These upon the Prussian Governor of the two sections sit and deliberate sepaPrincipality, who is also the Presi rately, except in cases of propositions dent. The laws, the business of of law, or capital punishments :generaladministration, and the taxes, then they unite, and the affair, in can only be discussed in these Assem either case, is discussed before the blies; but none of the Acts which Great Council. There have been are passed by them, can take effect, examples, and one very recently is without the sanction of the King, in related by the author, where the whose name they are published. "Great Council remitted the punishThe State, and particularly the town ment of death, pronounced by the of Neufchatel, enjoys the greatest Little Council. It must be observed, liberty in the form of its interior that this last tribunal, though ingovernment. The revenues of the vested with the highest executive King of Prussia, from Neufchatel, power, only exercises this power in never amounts to more than an hun- suits where there is more than four dred thousand crowns, according to thousand francs depending. At the our author, and consists in the tenth head of the two Councils, and of of the corn and wine, which is paid in the Republic, are two “ Avoyers," money, and at a moderate valuation. elected for life, the same as the Coun

The government of Friburgh is sellors. The supreme power is divided aristocratic; but it has undergone between them, and each of them, in important changes during the last turn, exercises it every six months. Revolution, which the author briefly The reigning Avoyer” (if this mentions, as necessary to understand expression can be allowed in a Reand appreciate the public spirit of this public,) presides over the Council Canton. The sovereign authority is of State, and becomes the head of vested in an Assembly, consisting of the Government. Another " Avoyer" 144 members, which is called, the presides over the Court of Appeal: Great Council. Admission to this public consideration is their only body was formerly only granted to attribute of office, and they are not Patrician families. The new Con- distinguished from their fellow-citistitution of 1814 has disposed of zens but by their private fortune. forty places in the Great Council, in Have the changes effected in the favour of the middle class of inha. Constitution of Friburgh had any bitants. Thus the democratical prin influence upon the prosperity of that ciple, till now excluded from Fri. Canton? From the description given burgh, usurps more than one-fourth by the author, of the character and of the Council. The members are industry of the inhabitants, and of appointed for life. Whenever a va. the nature of the Administration, the cancy occurs, the Great Council elects affirmative as well as negative may the new member from three candi. be inferred. dates, appointed by the suffrages of If the Government of Friburgh, the inhabitants of the Prefecture, can be condemned, it is for want of which the deceased member repre- vigour, activity, and industry: sented; and only those can be clected, Much of the land is badly cultiwhose property amounts to twentyvated ; the author was informed, thousand francs, about £833. sterl. that a great part was totally unculing. The Great Council discusses tivated. Industry and commerce are and regulates all subjects of general not more advanced : every thing Ian. administration; but the execution guishes, every thing is neglected of its decrees, and all the Executive in the Capital, though a Republican

Government is, in general, favour ber and mutation; and this last has able to emulation. The roads are been nearly all redeemed. badly kept up, and the country wants With such few resources, the Gooutlets, which might be easily pro- vernment could not defray the most cured.

indispensable expenses, not even The Government, with incredible those for which the taxes are levied, indifference, has tolerated and even without the aid of the revenues, arisfavoured the emigration of many ing from the public demesnes, which families, which deprives the country are entirely under the management of many of its most useful inhabit of a Committee of Finance, estaants. The Canton of Friburgh blished in the State Council; which alone furnished nearly half the num. has the care of this national prober of the Swiss, who emigrated perty, and appoints the collectors from Switzerland, and established of the public money, and defrays all themselves in Brazil, and yet the State expenses, rendering an account want of population is, in no part of to the Great Council. the Helvetic Confederation, more Independently of these resources, sensibly felt than in Friburgh. the city of Friburgh has common

According to our author, this property of its own ; and its Municiagricultural and commercial langour pal Council expends the revenue at arises from the want of a more ex their discretion, after having obtended public credit. The want of tained the consent of the Council of a Mortgage Bank deprives capital- State, and the approbation of the ists of all security in their specula- citizens, to whom, also, all the actions, and their funds either remain counts are submitted. unemployed, or increase the pros The author here observes, that in perity of other Cantons, instead of all Switzerland there is not a city, enriching their own. This establish town, or petty hamlet, that has not ment has been several times proposed some common property, which is in the Council, and rejected by a used for the general benefit. From timid majority.

this circumstance arises that spirit It would, however, be unjust, says of union and independence which the author, not to acknowledge, that constitutes the prosperity of the Helthe Administration has, in some re vetic Republics. The common prospects, improved the state of this perty of the city of Friburgh is very Canton, and shewn a little more great: that of Nenfchatel may be public spirit. The Opposition, which said to be immense; and these reshows itself in the Little Council

venues are always employed for the and among the citizens, may become public good. The building of the useful to the Republic, in contribut- Primary School at Friburgh, and ing to the creation of establishments, all the expenses of the establishthe very hope of which proves their ment, have been defrayed out of the importance. An example of this it common property, without any aid has recently afforded, in the founda- from the Great or Little Council, tion of a Primary School. May it except their consent. still continue to procure for its coun The city of Friburgh has no other try new resources and knowledge, as guard than one troop, of about a the author judiciously observes; and hundred men, taken from amongst may petty animosities be silenced by the inhabitants, and paid by the the voice of public gratitude !

State: about the same number of The resources of the State of Fri. soldiers are stationed on the frontiers burgh are very few, and direct taxes

of the Republic; this is the only are unknown. Every peasant enjoys military force of a State which prothe entire produce of the fields he has duces, perhaps, more soldiers than sown, and the vines he has planted. Several of the Swiss Cantons united. The resources of the Government The mountains of Gruyéres, so reconsist in a few indirect and very nowned for cheese, are not less celesmall taxes, and these consist in brated for the fine and vigorous rac duties on foreign productions, en- of men which inhabits them; nearly couraged by an unshackled trade; a third of the Swiss living in Franco in hunting-grants; in duties on tim- are natives of these mountains. Eur. Mag. Vol. 83.

2 Q

ace

The boundary, that divides the and the museum of natural bistory Cantons of Friburgh and Berne, is is rich in Swiss productions, almost nearly half way between the two ca all the Alpine quadrupeds, as well as pitals. Berne is a delightful city; minerals, are collected there; the annot so much in itself, as for its situ- thor, nevertheless, thinks that the Paation and the beautiful country which risian museum possesses a still larger surrounds it. The city consists of quantity of these Helvetic wonders. one street of extreme length and The botanical garden, laid out some proportionate width, with smaller years ago by M. Wittenbach, will streets crossing it at right angles. still less bear a comparison with the On both sides are rows of houses royal garden at Paris. Berne posbuilt on the same plan, raised upon sesses an academy, which was new large arcades, with a space between modelled on a more extensive scale, them and the public road, covered at the beginning of the present cen. hy porticoes, so that foot passengers tury; M. Schoel is the professor of are sheltered from the sun and rain: history and common law: theologithis advantage is obscured by the cal studies are cultivated with great dulness resulting from the unifor success; but the study of the belles mity of such buildings, and their lettres does not prevail much with heavy and gothic appearance. А

the government or the people of canal of fresh water flows through Berne. the middle of the streets, intercepted What most astonish and charm at regular distances by fountains, the traveller at Berne, and what are which are not, as is generally the at the same time a constant source of case, vain and superfluous ornaments, novelty and enjoyment to its citizens, but objects of utility, administering are the pleasant and magnificent to the wants of a numerous popula- public walks. The author gives a tion, and productive of general sa- delightful description of them, to lubrity: so that, perhaps, there is no which we must refer our readers, city in the world so clean as Berne. confining ourselves to that called the In general, the author judiciously. Petit Bastion, which, in the evening, remarks, the salutary luxury of inspires a peculiar interest. fountains is no where greater, nor In the large and deep ditches, ronducted with less exponse than in which surround the eminence on Switzerland : the number of springs which the Petit Bastion is built, the which run from the glaciers and Government has erected different mountains, furnish the natural means machines to exercise the strength of distributing fresh water every and agility of the young people. where. Berne possesses few monu. There the young Bernese gather 10ments adapted to flatter the pride of gether in groups, and employ the the citizens, or to excite the vain evening hours in active amusements curiosity of travellers. The Cathe- and salutary exercise. Thus, in this dral, a gothic edifice of the twelfth Republic, a useful direction is given century, offers nothing remarkable, to infantine plays; the State providbut that austere simplicity which ing amusement for the young, and pervades the city: the gates alone, pleasure for the old, with equal solioriginally built by the Duke of Ze- citude. ringhen, founder of Berne, and re

One thing only in the city of Berne built towards the middle of the last displeased our anthor, because it century, are quite in the modern presented a disgusting disparity to taste: all the other edifices in Berne the general appearance of public are impressed with the same charac. prosperity: troops of male and feter of public utility, and noble and male malefactors, yoked to a dungsevere simplicity: the buildings, con cart with iron chains, and employed taining specimens of natural history from morning to night in clearing and the arts, are constructed with the streets from dirt. This afflicting great solidity; which, however, does spectacle of human degradation is not altogether exclude elegance; the particularly distressing amongst a interior ornaments, especially, are of free people. Is there, he adds, no exquisite taste. The public library other means of making them unis not numerous, but is well chosen; dergo the punishment due to their

crimes than in the heart of their me sent a hundred boarders, most of tropolis ?

them of the first families in Germany, T'he environs of Berne present Russia, and England. Thirty-five some objects worthy of attention to professors are attached to this school, the traveller, such as the celebrated who, in the midst of a desolate tomb of Madame Langhans, of which country, and a soil formerly quite the author gives a description. The uncultivated, enjoy all the pleasures author mentions the establishments an opulent city could afford. But of rural economy, founded by M. what is still more honourable to the Fellenberg. Hofwil, the chief of heart and learning of M. Fellenberg these establishments, is not only a is, a free agricultural school, where school for labourers, but their foun- thirty orphans, from the age of five der has united all the trades neces years, are taken from the lowest sary to agriculture. The instruments class of people and receive an eleof husbandry they make use of, mentary and practical education, most of which were inyented by the calculated to make them honest men, founder, and amongst them a drill and excellent farmers. The quadriplough of easy and simple mecha. ennial division of arable lands, and nism, which he ploughed his land other methods adopted by M. Felwith, are manufactured in their own lenberg, have met with many obstashops. The population of Hofwil cles, and may, observes the author, increases every day; and in a few be liable to soine inconveniences; but years M. Fellenberg's establishment the voice of critics must be silent will be a flourishing village. An before the benedictions of the poor. inn has been built in the neighbour. M. Fellenberg has not introduced hood; and, though very large, it will the system of mutual instruction inscarcely hold the strangers whom to either of his schools; and though the reputation of M. Fellenberg at endowed with an inventive genius, tracts. Thus the industry of one which induced him to reform the man has changed entirely the face system of rural economy, he makes of the country. Hofwil also con innovations in nothing but agricultains a school upon an extensive and ture. methodical plan; there are at pre (To be concluded in our next.)

THE EMIGRANT.

The sails åre spread, the anchor weighed,

The vessel on her way proceeds;
And keenest thoughts possess his soul,

As Albion's smiling shore recedes.
He says, “ No more that happy land,

That happy country shall I see;
Ye hills that oft have blest my sight,

With what rapidity ye flee."
And when tlie ocean intervenes,

When every trace is lost to view,
Compelled, with tearful eye, he bids

To England's shores a long adieu.

The brecze impelling bears away

The vessel, gay, the billows o'er;
Or storms and angry wivds arise,

And fright him with their fearful roar.
Further from England as he goes,

Still closer to his heart it clings;
The happy days he there has spent,

To view his painting fancy brings:

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »