« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
different. Not only does the Protestant find here the salutary prevalence of a kindred faith, but as I have already had occasion to notice, the members of our own Ecclesiastical Establishment are enabled to join each other every Sabbath-day in the worship of God, and at stated seasons to receive the Holy Sacrament, according to the pure and Apostolic ritual of the Church of England.
The expense of a house, with a garden and piece of land, within a mile of the gates, including also the keeping of a calèche and pair of horses, for a gentleman, his lady, two children, and three servants, does not, as I was assured, exceed 3001. a-year; and with this he is enabled to receive his friends occasionally and in a respectable stile. To proceed from a family establishment to a bachelor's pension, I was told that a person at Petit Saconnex has a sleeping-room to himself, and his breakfast, dinner, tea, and supper with the family, for 500 francs (201. 168. 8d.) per annum.
The taxation of Geneva is described as very trifling. There is a sort of Income Tax to which
property contributes, on his honour as to the amount of that property. The whole tax for horses and carriages, as I understood, amounts to about 18d. for each person : the richest it seems pay no more, and the others pay no less. My friend assures me, that his fellow citizens approve of their annexation to Switzerland, and also of the union of the Valais with the Helvetic Confederation that the people of this little republic are flourishing again, contented with their goverument; and as the best proof of their returning prosperity since the peace, he adverted to the comparatively few indigent or distressed persons among them, and to the fact of there being only forty
five persons in the poor's hospital, besides those admitted under the head of casualties.
There are many charitable societies formed among the ladies of Geneva: but the task of personal attendance on the sick poor appears to fall very much into the hands of the Sours de la Charité. These are, in their way, a most exeellent community of women, zealous of good works, devoted to the relief of their suffering fellow creatures; but actuated by a principle in which the peculiar character of their religion displays itself with an exclusiveness that renders even their benevolence unamiable.A lady to whom I was indebted for the following illustrative anecdote, had remarked to one of the sisterhood, how exemplary it was of them to do the kind and useful things which they were daily in the habit of performing for the
poor and needy, without distinction of religious persuasion. To this tribute of praise, the other replied, that it was the more incumbent on them, as Catholics, to assist a Heretic in this world, since, if not received before death into the bosom of their Church, he must inevitably burn in the flames of bell to all eternity. It surely requires “no ghost to tell us” that with such an opinion of the faith and fate of Protestants, the sisterhood does not stop short of equally assiduous efforts to gain proselytes from among the professed members of the Church of Geneva: por is any thing more han common-sense needful to suggest that such attempts will be attended with more or less success until the Continental Protestants shall establish an institution of females who, superior to the Romish bigotry, shall perform the Christian duties, of the Sæurs de la Charité.
I cannot conclude this chapter, in a way better calculated to make amends for my own necessarily imperfect potices of so celebrated a place, than by subjoining some remarks on the present state of Literature, Science and Arts in Geneva. Possessing as they will be found to do the desirable qualities of correctness and precision, both in their local and personal references, I gratefully acknowledge myself indebted for the communication of them to one of the most worthy and intelligent of her citizens.
The genius of the Genevois is essentially directed towards every thing that is useful; every thing which is susceptible of a practical application. Hence their success in the mathematics, in physic, and above all in the mechanic arts. With dispositions like these on their part, it may readily be imagined that literature, wbich, properly so called, is but the product of the imagination, such as poetry, the drama, &c. is not to be looked upon as the point to which the general bent of their minds is turned. They have however some poets, some agreeable ballad-writers, wbo, without being authors by profession, give to the public every year a little collection, under the title of the Genevese Almanack (L'Almanach Génevois), which contains some pretty pieces in verse; together with various little pictures of manners, in which the peculiar customs of the people of Geneva are drawn to the life. The contributions of M. M. Chaponnière and Petit, in this department, particularly deserve to be instanced.
There is a branch of literature of a very different kind to that which has just been alluded to, but which from its very nature, so far from being destined to extend itself abroad, is as it were imprisoned within the country where it is cultivated, namely, the Eloquence of the Pulpit (L'Eloquence de la Chaire), Geneva, may justly boast of being rich in this respect : yet the discourses of her Preachers, printed separately, in small pamphlets, can claim but little of a stranger's regard. It is seldom that a Pastor publishes bis sermons. Within the last few years, however, one of their most eminent orators, Mr. Cellerier, sen. has presented to the public his Familiar Discourses of a Village Clergyman,* and also his Homilies, in which is to be found all the simplicity, united to all the elegance of stile, which characterises this species of writing. In some of these Discourses, Mr. Cellerier has delineated the true Minister of the Gospel, and in doing so, he has, by by everyone's acknowledgment, represented himself.It has been a subject of regret, that the press has not produced the Orations (Les Oraisons) of Messrs. Munier and Chenevière: those of the former are said to be equally remarkable for closeness of reasoning and for vigorous conciseness of language. The second is no less distinguished by an eloquence, to whose floridness the orator has the power of giving due relief, in a strain of utterance that warms and carries away the hearts of bis auditory. Many other preachers might be mentioned, gifted perhaps with less brilliancy of talents, but not with less utility of qualifications.
In Historical Composition they possess M. Simond de Sismondi, whose bigbest title to literary fame is bis History of the Italian Republics of the Middle Age: a great work; the result of immense research, which places bim in the first line of living historians.
In Philosopby, M. Pierre Prevost, following the steps of Dugald Stewart, and of other writers of the Scottish
• "Discours familièrs d'un Pasteur de Campagne,” in one vol. 8vo. 1818.
School, has acquired considerable reputation by his logical strength and enlightened sentiments. Conversant in almost all the European languages, his translations of 'Blair's Rhetoric, and from Dugald Stewart, have established for him a very honourable rank in this class of literature.Generally speaking, the number of published translations from the German and the English, corresponds with the knowledge of both those tongues, wbich is so generally spread in Geneva. M. Duvillard, who lectures the pupils of the School of Belles Lettres, has the credit of having dictated to them translations of the Latin Classics, particularly of Tacitus and Sallust, which well deserve to see the light, but of which the author's diffidence has bitherto prevented the publication. M. Prevost, of whom mention has already been made, has also printed a translation of Euripides, which passes for one of the most faithful and most elegant of modern versions. :: · Referring now to the state of the Academy,* the first subject of notice is the Faculty of Theology, which reckons amongst its professors M. Cellerier, son of the Author of the “ Discours Familiers," who has published a Hebrew Grammar, generally adopted by the students in that language, and of several works of Biblical Exposition, esteemed by all such men of learning as delight
* It was by the persuasion and with the assistance of Calvin that the Government established this public seminary of learning. With singular disinterestedness declining the proposal of being appointed perpetual president, he obtained that office for Theodore Beza, with whom and other colleagues, eminent for their superior attainments, he read lectures on Theology; and, conscious that religion derives support from every branch of knowledge, he liberally promoted the cultivation of science and the study of elegant literature. The reputation and success of this institu. tion quickly spreading abroad, attracted students from all quarters.-See Coxe's Sroitzerland, vol. 2.