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garb of durance and of shame, working like slaves in the open face of day, with iron collars round their necks, and chained together, " is a sorry sight.” And yet nearly all the maie convicts are subject to this punishment.*
At noon we proceeded on our way to Thun; the road to which crosses a bill, whence
“ High on her guardian steep, Majestic BERNE"
is surveyed in perhaps the most favourable point of view. From amidst a plantation of young trees that descends down to the Aar we looked upon the grey waves of that troubled stream, which chafes the rocky banks with augmented violence, as its ample flow of water acquires fresh impulse in foaming down “the Fall.” A peninsular spot of ground that juts a considerable way into the river, contains a water mill, house, alcoves, and pleasure gardens; altogether a very pretty group in this bird's-eye view. Above the buildings of the lower town, consisting of baths, granaries, and store-houses, we here see the hanging gardens of the gentry and their lofty mansions ranged along the uppermost platforms. The venerable Cathedral, with its flying buttresses and noble tower, looks proudly over the city, and, in combination with the superb terrace projecting from its southern side, forms the presiding object of the picture. The country, (to the N. W.) is finely broken into alternate rise and fall; fertile, wooded, backed by hills resembling those of Monmouthshire.
• It is called La peine des sonnettes; probably from the circumstances of a little bell having formerly been attached to the iron collar of each prisoner.
The travelling was excellent; through a district luxuriant and lovely; a succession of easy slopes divided by enclosures and covered with orchards, corn, and pasture; bearing that very striking resemblance to England which all travellers remark in the softer scenery of Switzerland. Whilst houses of every class charm the eye, the general appearance and deportment of their inhabitants satisfy the heart.- One of the villas, whose situation and ordonnance pleased us much, lets furnished at about 121. sterling per month: it bad a pretty garden in front and some land bebind it. A little further on to the left of our course, the driver pointed out to usa mansion occupied by an English family, forming a numerous establishment. Like the generality of the country seats, it was built in the French chateau stile, quadrangular, its high coved roof pierced with attic windows. It had a large garden and orchard, and near it farming offices with a proportionate quantity of land, for all which the tenant paid about 15l. per month. These campagnes are usually situated at the foot of some richly foliaged hill, by the side of a lawn or fine piece of herbage, belted in with trees, fenced with neat rails, and approached in every direction by good path-ways, sheltered with embowering shrubs. The village of Roubigen is an extremely pretty spot, where M. Steiguer, a gentleman who, we were told, holds a military post in his Britannic Majesty's service, has a residence, built on a small scale but in a stile of very genteel accommodation and in good taste. The inn at Roubigen, with its curiously carved galleries, is remarkably neat.-The road passes in picturesque windings over hill and dale. We looked on each side into smiling vallies_clumps of fruit trees, and groves
of fine timber relieve the sa eness of
pasturages, among which small fields of corn are here atid there interspersed: the oats were a great crop, but still green. On the right, the lofty chain of the Oberland Fribourgeois runs parallel with our course towards Thun: at the foot of these forest-crowned heights and through fertile meadows rolls the Aar. In this perfect summer-garden, Münsingen is situated; a place which goes far to realise the beau-ideal of a German Swiss village: so respectable are the houses of the land-owners; neatly stuccoed and painted; and so comfortable seem the dwellings of the cottagers.
One of the houses, built entirely of wood, attracted our notice, as well from its peculiar and picturesque form as from its union of rustic conveniences. The dwelling part consisted of a substantial story and a floor over that. Along the wall, near the door, culinary and dairy utensils of brass, copper, and pewter, arranged in shining rows, threw lustre on the housewife's nicety. The sight of wood for fuel, piled in short blocks against the fourdations and reaching to the cill of the lower windows, inspired a hope that the inmates are doubly careful of fire and candle. Immediately above the lower range of windows, ran an open gallery, protected by rails, round three sides of the parallelogram. This gallery, wbich serves to keep the ground floor of the building completely in shade, and to which the only ascent is by a broad-staved ladder on the outside, constitutes the regular passage of communication to the chambers. The roof covered with shingle, a neat substitute for tiles, was of an easy pitch: its broad eaves and projecting gable-end completely overhanging the gallery beneath them, were sustained by strong exterior supports of timber, placed perpendicu
larly in the ground, and serving as a rustic viranda. The place belonged to a young farmer, who complied in the readiest manner with our request to see a little into the nature of bis agricultural and domestic economy. His wife and female servants were busily employed in what appeared to be the finish of a grand wash; and delicately wbite the linen looked. Two little boys were driving some dozen of goats into the farm-yard. The master was a tall athletic man; and at the moment of our accosting bim was sitting near bis house, under the shade of some fine spreading walnut trees in company with a swain of more advanced years; whose white cap, coarse buff-coloured jacket, red waistcoat, grey smallclothes, thick shoes, coarse stockings rolled back to a black leather garter and displaying the naked knee, presented a fair sample of the male-peasantry costume of the canton.
On entering the premises, we found the kitchen to be the most spacious apartment: the eating-parlour, which also serves for a bed-room, contains a large stove for warming it in winter. Next the dwelling part, but under the same capacious roof, are the cow-houses and stables. The cattle are always kept there, when not sent into the mountains. Above this ground-tier of rooms are the barn and granary, in which not only the corn but the hay crop is invariably housed: nothing is left out of doors: the whole produce is brougbt under cover. The entry to this barn is by an inclined plane of wood-work; and along the steep ascent, the waggons are drawn up by the horses and oxen. The women assist the men in the employment of threshing : indeed they are very industrious, and do a
great deal of the field-work, besides fulfilling their more appropriate tasks within-doors.
It appears that most of the land-occupiers are owners too.* The reason assigned for their growing so much grass and so little corn, is that the flocks and berds fed upon the mountains during the summer, require that there should be a proportionate share of low-land pasture converted into bay for their winter forage. The resemblance of these parts of Switzerland to Britain would indeed be complete, if the farming system of the former country admitted of that moving feature which constitutes so peculiar a charm of my native land, in whose pleasant plains
“ We mark majestic herds of cattle
But here during the summer months, the cows are sent to the bill-pastures. It is only in the winter that they are fed at home; and then invariably in their stalls. “Every where, indeed, (as Mr. Wordsworth observes) one misses in
* The Baron de Staël Holstein, in one of his interesting “ Letters on England,” observes, “ Nothing is more common both in France and in Switzerland than to see the possessor of a small estate, farming one more extensive. I would even say that a great majority of the farmers are landowners also. The day labourer they employ is often master of a cot that serves to shelter his family, a garden that feeds his children, and a little field that he can cultivate when he is unemployed, and which enables him to maintain with less inequality the fearful struggle of laborious poverty against exacting wealth. From this general state of things arises a degree of happiness not to be disdained even if attended with no other advantage; but which becomes one of the happiest results that the social order is capable of producing, when as we see in the Protestant parts of Switzerland, it is guaranteed by free institutions, and ennobled by a general diffusion of knowledge."-P. 69.