Page images

nel, and producing a considerable fall, imparts animation to the scene, in the movement of numerous mills.

On the parapet wall of the terrace, on a tablet of black marble, is an inscription in German, of which, though somewhat defaced by time, we deciphered the purport as follows:*_" To the memory of the almighty and won“ derful providence of God this stone is placed. As a “Mr. Theobald Wentzaple, on the 25th of May, 1654, “ was precipitated hence from his horse, and after that “ fall be preached thirty years.”—The event thus commemorated to God's glory at Berne, would have been recorded as a miracle to the honour of “ Our Lady of Loretto," bad it happened at Fribourg. And surely some power next to miraculous must bave interposed to save the life of the individual, for the terrace is at least 120 feet high. According to the current tradition, this Wentzaple, then a college student, having gone out on a party of pleasure, in coinpany with several other youths, got intoxicated : in this state he mounted a one-eyed borse, which his comrades set a racing. The animal ran violently against the parapet, and there stopped; but its rider, flung forward by the sudden shock, was precipitated over to the bottom; yet escaped with broken legs, and, surviving the fall ibirty years, died a Protestant Minister. Such was the account given us by persons to whom we put questions, in the place, concerning one of the most extraordinary facts ever authenticated by a public record; but the cause of such an escape still requires material explanations; and no one appears capable of affording them.

The Great Hospital is particularly deserving of a

Addison alludes to this.

visit: its architectural merit and extensive plan are equally striking; nor are its interior arrangement and economy less creditable to the directors. We went through nearly all the wards, which we found in a perfectly clean, airy, wholesome state; and the numerous patients appeared as neat, comfortable, and contented as in any place of the kind I ever saw. But the circumstance of its doors being open to all casualties without exception, and to every inhabitant of the place, without regard to sex, age, or nation, is what recommends it especially to the praise that belongs to the most humane and most liberal of charitable establishments. Over the portal is this inscription :-Christo IN PAUPERIBUS. TO Christ in the Poor. *

The Museum contains a great number of curiosities both of Nature and Art, such as Metals, Minerals, Petrifactions; a fine collection of Birds; some superb Antiques, in bronze; Roman Inscriptions, Urns, and Vases, mostly found in the neighbourhood; Weapons and other articles from Otaheite and other South Sea Islands, presented by a Monsieur Weber, an eminent draughtsman, who went round the world with Captain Cook.—The Cabinet of Medals is superb: it contains above 3000 pieces, in gold, silver, and brass, Greek as

• Madame de Staël, in her work, " De L'Allemagne," designates Berne as a city more than ever entitled to the respect and interest of travellers. Alluding to the simple sacred dedication above quoted, she observes« Il n'en est de plus admirable. La religion chrétienne ne nons a-t-elle pas dit, que c'étoit pour ceux qui souffrent que le Christ étoit descendu sur la terre ? Et qui de nous, dans quelque époque de sa vie, n'est pas un de ces pauvres, en espérances; un de ces infortunés, enfin, qu'on doit soulager au nom de Dieu."-Vol. 1, p. 189.

well as Roman,* many of them of great rarity and in the finest state of preservation.

Directing our course to the gate of Neuchatel, we passed the fossés (one of the oldest parts of the city), where the Bears are kept,t that for ages have constituted the living prototypes of armorial distinction to Berne, as the Eagles do to Geneva. People were amusing themselves with throwing down ginger-bread to these enormous animals, from over a low parapet, left in so unguarded a state, as to be quite at variance with our English notions of what is due to the safety of the young and the thoughtless.

The Hotel-de-Ville, where the sittings of the “ Magnificent, High, Potent, and Sovereign Lords” of this Republict are held, and where the affairs of State are trans

* “ Its principal merit (says the celebrated M. Haller, a native of Berne, who arranged the catalogue), is that the coins have almost all of them been found in the soil of Switzerland (tirées du Sol Helvétique). Italy excepted, there is no other country where so large a quantity of Roman Antiquities has been discovered. Especially on the side of Avanche (Aventicum), where they are continually coming to light.” + There is a revenue of 1200 livres assigned for their support.-Robert.

The Government is Aristocratic in a most absolute and uncontrouled degree of authority. The sovereign power resides in the Council of Two Hundred (consisting when complete of two hundred and ninety-nine members), which fills up its vacancies itself every ten years from the citi. zens. To be admitted into this Council it is necessary to have attained twenty-nine years. The places are for life. This Sovereign Council makes and repeals laws, decides on peace or war, forms alliances, gives competency to the different tribunals, regulates the finances, has the disposal of the public treasury, confers civil and ecclesiastical employments, and determines civil causes en dernier ressort. The members of the Senate or Petit Conseil, 27 in number, are chosen for life by the Great Council from their own body. No general assembly of the citizens is ever convened on any occasion. Two Avoyers, appointed for life, are alternately Chiefs of the Republic, from one year to the other. The one actually in office is

acted, is a large old edifice, with nothing particularly striking about it. The entrance to it is by a double flight of steps raised very high up the front of the building.

In one of the towers that give consequence to the principal street, is a large and very curious clock. It shews by different dials the bours and minutes; the month and day of the month; it also points out the signs of the zodiac, in which the Sun is to be found, and (by a representation of its phases) the age of the Moon at the time; it presents besides an extraordinary variety of moving figures, both of men and animals.

Conforınably to the active spirit of improvement that pervades the age in which we live, the Government of Berne is building a new gate and wall on the north side, but further on towards the country. When this new work is finished the old gate and walls will be pulled down; an alteration which will greatly contribute to the embellishment and advantage of that quarter of the city.

Just beyond the walls, on the same side of the town, is the shooting-ground; a spacious field, at one end of which is a long open gallery, allowing room for a dozen men to stand widely apart from each other, and fire at as many targets placed opposite at different distances. Near each target a man was stationed under cover to mark the shots. For the purposes of this rifle practice targets are set up in every town and village in Switzerland : it forms an

called Regnant, and presides at the Grand and Little Councils. Not more than between eighty and ninety families at Berne have any share in the government, or in contributing members to either council. The inhabitants of the rest of the canton (whether in towns, villages, or chateaux), are all excluded from those situations, and from every important post.


evening amusement for persons of all ranks. The guns are exceedingly heavy: many of them have locks on the percussion principle. A young man of the party (one of the Noblesse) bit the bull's-eye several times at the distance of two hundred and fifty paces.

The city has a garrison of about four hundred soldiers. Those we saw were tall personable men, clothed in a scarlet uniform very similar to that of our English infantry.

The Arsenal when the French pillaged the city, was, together with many other public edifices, stripped of its contents. It now contains about two hundred pieces of artillery, cannon, howitzers, and mortars, with their caissous and other equipments; and some thousand stand of muskets and rifles. They shewed us the armour of Duke Berthold, and a cross-bow, like that used by William Tell.

Near the Arsenal is the church of the Holy Ghost, the second in Berne, entirely rebuilt in 1714. It is an elegant and well arranged piece of modern ecclesiastical architecture. The western façade, surmounted by a fine belltower, is formed of Corinthian columns, and the whole edifice is surrounded with pilasters of the same order.The present edifice was erected on the foundations of a chapel formerly belonging to the Dominicans. Dr. Bur. net,* in his “ Travels,” mentions having been shewn there

• This eminent author, writing from Zurich under date of Sept. 1, 1685, states that he read the original process, preserved in the Latin record, signed by the Notaries of the Court of the Delegates whom the Pope sent to try an extraordinary matter, which arose out of the memorable dispute between the Dominicans and the Franciscans, on the question whether the Virgin Mary bad been conceived in original sin or not? The former main. taining the negative, and the latter the affirmative of the proposition. It was to recover the popularity which they had so grievously lost by adhering

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »