Page images
PDF
EPUB

hitherto on the road, exhibit few appearances of that comfortable kind which would be likely to excite an English labourer's particular wish to share the lot of their inhabitants. The chain of the Jura was seemingly before us; but iu reality bearing diagonally from the left to the front. This calcareous ridge, having thrown off thegarb of sterility with which it chills the landscape near Geneva, here becomes clothed with crops and woods to the very summit. The peak of Mont Tendre, (5000 feet above the sea) and the less lofty summit of the Dent-de-Vaulion are grand boundaries of the prospect on our left. The scenery in many parts reminded us of Herefordshire and Worcestershire

At seven o'clock we breakfasted at Cossonay, which has a gothic church-and an Hotel de l'Ecu d'Angleterre, with our King's Arms and the motto Honi soit, &c. displayed on its sign. Thence the prospects open with considerable interest. The road passes over an eminence from which to the right a rich plain presents itself, spotted with woody hills;* to the left a fertile valley is spread forth to the Jura mountains; and before us also the couptry. extends with an amplitude much beyopd our anticipations of a level in Switzerland. At La Sarra, situated on a hill, our voiturier claiming the too frequently exercised privilege of bis tribe to bait the horses, we passed

• The meaning of the word Vaud, (or Waldensis) is, according to ety. mologists, a country of woods and of vallies.-On my noticing to a Swiss, the circumstance of the term Vaudois being used to designate the Waldenses of Piedmont as well as the inhabitants of the Pays-de-Vaud, it was observed, that the Protestant inhabitants of the Piedinontese vallies had only a borrowed right to that appellation; that the Pays-de-Vaud having been taken possession of by the Germans who invaded Helvetia in the 5th cen. tury, those conquerors called the canton Woelischland, which signifies the country of the Gauls, who in reality then peopled that part of Switzerland.

three-quarters of an hour, which enables me to speak of it as entitled to be ranked for dirt and dilapitlation with any little town that we have traversed in France: they place their dungbills in the street at the very doors of their houses.-We walked to the Chateau, which is rather a curious specimen of the castellated mansions of the ancient Swiss gentry; and has been a place of strength and consequence in feudal times. Although in a deplorable state of decay, it is inhabited by a junior branch of the family of Jingin. The walls of the great hall are hung with portraits; whilst its floors are enriched with sacks of corn. The family, which appears highly respected, had suffered much, we were informed, from the Revolution, it being of Bernese nobility. About two miles from La Sarra, the top of the hill afforded us a first view of the lake of Neuchatel. Descending towards Orbe, the valley, which bears that name, lay on our left bounded by the Jura; a ridge of less boldness and greater fertility appeared on our rigbt; and a wide prospect opened in front, exhibiting the southern extremity of the lake, with Yverdun on its level border. Villages and towns were thickly sprinkled over the extensive landscape.

The ancient borough of Orbe is seated on a very conspicuous position, and has a highly interesting appearance: its walls, turrets, pinnacles, and buildings, forcibly remind one of the representations of fortified towns in old paintings.- The promenade of the Terrace commands a grand perspective in which, whilst vineyards, corn fields, a meandering river and a strait canal, diversify the smiling land immediately around, the chain of the Jura and the waters of Yverdun which we approached, and

the Alps of Savoy from which we were receding, form the magnificent objects of the horizon.

Passing through a village, about a league from Orbe, we observed within half a mile of us on our left, a castle of quadrangular shape, flanked by four round towers, having the usual finish of conical roofs, and being placed on an insulated mound of earth laid out in vine terraces; an attraction to the eye of the passenger, but scarcely desirable as a residence. It is called Champvin, and belongs to M. Doxat.-Two miles on this side of Yverdun, to the left hand near the road from Orbe, is the Chateau Chamblon, the property of M. Ricordon, of Paris. This large and finely-situated mansion, partakes just so much and no more of the castellated character than what is imparted to it by the square turret-formed and pyramid-topped pavillions at each extremity of its long façade: its heavy French roof and lofty chimnies find their counterpart below in a multiplicity of windows, closed with green Venetian blinds, and in two ponderous porches of entrance. People of fortune here seem so well satisfied with the residences of their predecessors, that even modern repairs and additions bave an ancient and unaltered look. And when percbance a new house appears, the old stile of building generally prevails, as if the domestic architecture of the country were regulated by the same force of custom, that bands down the costume of the female peasantry from generation to generation.

In the rural districts of this Protestant Canton we observed considerable skill in agriculture, abundant fruits of industry, a general indication to easy circumstances, little appearance of extreme poverty, and no habits of mendicity. In these respects the people possess a decided advantage over their Roman Catholic neighbours. With regard however to neatness and cleanliness, as exemplified in the condition of babitations and premises, the same superiority is not so apparent. We were prepared for the prevalence of what is slovenly and dirty among the Savoyards and Valaisans; but did not expect to find the same failing so prominent as we observed it in some of the villages of the Pays-de-Vaud. The land is divided into very small farms; which the occupier still more minutely subdivides; crops of wheat, of clover, of potatoes, of hemp, and of oats, are contained within the cultivation of an acre. We saw no corn stacks: no cattle nor sheep depastured: all are housed or homestalled: they consider it more economical to mow the grass and carry it, as required, to the farm-yard for consumption there, than to bave it grazed off in the fields. The sheep here as in France are of small size. A large breed of oxen invariably do the work at plough, and are yoked to the little narrow waggons of the country. The manure is made into a compost, which the husbandman takes so much pains and pride in mixing up, that he lays it in heaps before his very tbreshhold, as though it were not less ornamental than valuable: bence the unseemly aspect of their village streets, and the repulsive appearance of their cottage doors.—At the time we passed along, the farmers were cutting oats, which they are accustomed to leave ten or twelve days on the ground, as my friend tells me is the practice in Germany.

Arriving early in the afternoon at Yverdun, we made, before dinner, the circuit of that pretty town, which is very agreeably situated on the lake; and the two branches of the river Thiele, which divides it from its suburbs,

make it quite

a commercial island. The ruins in its environs prove, that in former ages the place was much more extensive than at present. We were shewn some remains of the walls said to be those of the ancient Castrum Ebrodunense, And among the fine collection of antiquities deposited in the Hotel de Ville, are a Milliary Column of the reign of Septimius Severus, *

• The inscription on the column of Septimius Severus found at Treycovagne, a little village near the Chateau de Chamblon, refers to the Empress Julia Domna, his wife, on whom, unworthy as she was, the Roman Senate in their servility conferred not only the more usual title of Pia and Augusta, but also the military appellation and insignia of the Mother of Camps.—DOMNAE. AVG. MATRI. CASTROR. HELV. PVB. Three other Mile Pillars (marking the distance of a thousand paces) were found hereabouts, all of them in honour of Severus, and of his Consort, who on one of them is further distinguished by the designation of–Mother of the Imperial Offspring, of the Senate, and of the Country, (as we read it on her coins) MAT. AVGG. MAT. SEN. MAT. PAT. The Helvetians are said to have been strongly attached to the above mentioned Prince, under whose reign of seventeen years, they enjoyed profound peace. He facilitated their communications by re-establishing the Roman roads, and rebuilding bridges. To this fact, testimony is borne by the inscription on a milliary stone found between Rolle and Nion, which after the name of Septimius Severus, bears these words-PONTES. ET. VIAS. VETVST. COLLAB. RESTIT.

In enlargiug the cemetery of Yverdun five inscriptions were discovered, the work of the ancient inhabitants of this part of Switzerland, when it was under the government of the Romans. The following is a literal translation of them:

1. Togirix, son of Metia, has acquitted bimself of a vow voluntarily made to Mercury, to Apollo, and to Minerva.

2. To the August Deity Mercury, Silanius Candidus, as well in his own name as in the names of Marcus Sabinus and of Titus Silvius, his brothers, has given 4000 Sesterces; Marcus Domitius Magnus, their heir, has moreover added of his own 1400 Sesterces. The offerings will be appropriated to furnish ornaments for the altar.

3. The Burgesses of Yverdun to Julia Pestilla, daughter of Caius Julius Camillus, Priestess of the First Augustus, an excellent neighbour, in memory of the services which she has rendered them.

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »