« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
defensive masonry, the military strength of which no one now-a-days ever thinks of associating with the idea of a siege to be sustained. .
Our circuit had now brought us to the bastion of Saint Antoine; where a couple of suspension bridges, constructed of iron wire, have within the last three years been thrown across the fossés and casemates, making a convenient passage over what are called Les-Tranches. The good people of Geneva are not a little proud of these ponts en fil de fer, which, though not quite so formidable an undertaking as that accomplished at the Menai straights, nor even on such a scale as the Brighton chain pier, they think a wonderful work; and it is without question a great improvement to this public promenade. Our view thence of the principal edifices, the expansive lake, the verdant shores, the breadth of country overspread with vineyards, orchards, woodlands, and habitations, the forestcrown'd ridge, the snow-capt mountains—was clear and delightful. We finished our perambulation at the Lakegate, from the bastion above which, at a short distance, the Niton stone (Pierre-à-Niton) offered itself to sight: it consists of two fragments of granite, close - to each other, whose points just appear above the surface of the water. Some' instruments of sacrifice, evidently Roman, discovered in one of these rocks, about a century ago, are preserved in the Museum, and support the tradition which assigns to them the repute of baving, in the days of Paganism, served as the foundation of an altar dedicated to Neptune in .... . .
The city is fortified on the water side by large ,piles, driven down a few yards from each other, sustaining a line of large chains; and about a hundred yards further out
is another row of piles and chains. These leave only one entrance in the immediate bed of the lake, or rather of the Rhone, across wbich a chain is drawn every night, at sunset, and let down again at sun-rise, by the city guard, stationed for that purpose in a wooden house, built on piles, near the spot.
In the afternoon, being on a visit to our friends Monsieur and Madame M. at Petit-Saconnex, we witnessed the magnificent effect produced by the sun, as, making “ a golden set,” he poured from “ the bright track of his fiery car," a flood of glory on the inexpressibly grand scenery which that village commands. The foreground of the picture was deliciously rural—a happy mixture of woodland and vineyard, of herbage and tillage, enlivened by an interspersion of cottages and country seats. About two miles to our right, Geneva, concentrated within a narrow circuit of mural bounds, displayed her crowded buildings tier above tier, with the venerable towers of St. Peter's forming the highest and most central of her architectural objects. The point where the Rhone issues into the city from the lake, was bid from us by the luxuriant foliage of Secheron and the grounds in its neighbourhood. BebindGeneva a rich country extends, which, bedecked with hamlets, villas, and scattered habitations, gradually rises until its plane meets the base of the Salève: the streaky sides of its grey rock form a perpendicular, like the wall of some vast entrenchment, whose top had been rent asunder. To the left, casting our eyes over a beautiful range of intervening groves and pasturages, we allowed them awhile to repose on the lovely waves of Lemanus, in their most placid state; tben raised them to look beyond the enchanting line of its southern shores, where the lofty yet verdant Mole gracefully elevates its pyramidic form. Between this mountain and the Salève appear those of the Brezon and Vergi, green almost to their tops. Further still the Reposoir shews its indented ridges; whilst, most remote, yet most conspicuous object of the never-to-be-forgotten picture, Mont Blanc, with an aspect half terrestrial, half ethereal, uplifts itself in all-surpassing majesty-astupendous monument of creative power. The beams of parting day had thrown a magic tinge of light pink, succeeding one of deep orange, over the pure mantle of bis eternal snows; 'had imparted a ruddier bue to the naked granite of tbe Midi and Geànt needles; illuminated the upper branches of the glaciers; and from amidst a group of sublimities, that fill the space between the wooded Voirons and the Mole, enabled us to distinguish the peak of the Dru, the Aiguille Verte, and the rounded top of the enormous Buet. At a sight like this, well might the Muse's favoured votary exclaim
“ All that expands the spirit, yet appals,
“ Gather around these summits, as to shew “How Earth may pierce to Heaven, yet leave vain man below."
On the opposite side of Saconnex, the view of the Jura is not without its grandeur; but this is a triste and arid line of mountains. Excepting the Dole (3924 feet above the lake) the Geneva extremity of the chain seems nearly destitute of vegetation. Channels, worn by torrents in its steep sides, intersect them with chalky veins, and are almost the only indications of a path-way over
August. 4th. Through the kind introduction of Mr. Charles Coindet, in whose agreeable society I had yester. day the advantage of passing several hours, a high gratification was this morning afforded me, in the sight of
a very interesting part of his Father's valuable collection. · Doctor Coindet,* with the feelings of a liberal and en
lightened mind, and under the uniform influence of an obliging disposition, lays open the rarities, which he has accumulated, to the inspection of such strangers, (visiting the place of which he is a distinguished citizen) as in travelling on the continent have a wish to increase their stock of useful information. This gentleman possesses a complete series of original letters and autographs of Illustrious and Remarkable Personages, for the last three centuries; among which I observed those of Saint François de Sales, Bonnivard, Pascal, Calvin, Beza, Coligty, Henri de Bourbon, Henry IV, Chatellar; Bossuet, Eugene i de Savoie, De Reaumur, Diderot, D'Alembert, Marmontel, Mirabeau, Dolomieu, Goethe, Kosciusko, Buffon, Napoleon, the Duke of Wellington, Griesbach, Kotzebue, Margraf (Chemist), Gleditsch (Botanist), Saussure, Humboldt, Lavater, Wieland, Prince Potemkin, Juine (Surgeon of Geneva), St. Ours, Lalande, Camille Jourdan, Mounier, Carnot, M. Necker and "Madame Necker; also Madame de Stael, who in a playful letter to a friend in Holland says "Mon Dieu, que, vous êtes aimable, et que votre pays est ennuyeus.” :: In this collection is the letter in which Rousseau
* Author of a treatise on Hydrocephalus, and another on the use of Iodine (sur l'emploi de l'iode) in cases of Bronchocele: works which have greatly contributed to extend his high medical reputation.
says—“Je déclare de ma part au Magnifique Conseil, que j' abdique à perpètuité mon droit de Bourgeoisie et de Cité dans la Ville et République de Genève.” This manuscript is endorsed, in the same neat handwriting as the conteuts, and as the letter in the public library by the same individual, “ Copie d'une Lettre écrite le 12 Mai, 1763, à Monsieur Favre, Premier Sindic de la République de Genève.”—There is another letter from Jean Jaques, dated London, in which he gives bis address, “ M. Davenport,* next door to Lord Egremont, Piccadilly."
Doctor C. has an extremely good, and in point of expression an animated, portrait (in crayons) of Rousseau : that strangest compound of valuable qualities and wayward propensities; of exalted talent and perverse disposition; of what claims the bighest admiration and deserves the severest reprehension. Virtuous and vicious by turns, yet peither one nor other with permanence or apparent premeditation ; elevated in thought, degraded by passion ; now soaring sublimely above error and prejudice, then marring by discordant and impracticable theories the foundation of his usefulness to mankind; in practical life, the victim of fancy-raised disquietude, the slave of chimerical fears and unfounded suspicions; the eloquent panegyrist of the principles of Cbristianity, and the insidious impugner of its evidences; vainly darting forth the brilliant corruscations of his fascinating genius to gild the devious and dangerous pathway of bis morals;
*A Gentleman of opulence, who admiring his genius and compasSionating his misfortunes, liberally assigned to Rousseau's use a house at Wootton, in Derbyshire, where he lived in retirement for some time, and Where it is said he employed himself in writing a considerable portion of huis Confessions.