Page images
PDF
EPUB

the same person that was clerk to the pretended high court of justice, which passed sentence on the royal martyr.

The next day we spent at Lausanne, the greatest town on the lake, after Geneva. We saw the wall of the cathedral church that was opened by an earthquake, and shut again some years after by a second.' The crack can but be just discerned at present, though there are several in the town still living who have formerly passed through it. The Duke of Schomberg, who was killed in Savoy, lies in this church, but without any monument or inscription over him. Lausanne was once a republic, but is now under the canton of Berne, and governed, like the rest of their dominions, by a bailiff, who is sent them every three years from the senate of Berne. There is one street of this town that has the privilege of acquitting or condemning any person of their own body, in matters of life and death. Every inhabitant of it has his vote, which makes a house here sell better than in any other part of the town. They tell you that, not many years ago, it happened that a cobbler had the casting vote for the life of a criminal, which he very graciously gave on the merciful side. From Lausanne to Geneva we coasted along the country of the Vaud, which

of the Vaud, which is the fruitfullest and best cultivated part of any among the Alps. It belonged formerly to the Duke of Savoy, but was won from him by the canton of Berne, and made over to it by the treaty of Julian, which is still very much regretted by the Savoyard. We called in at Morge, where there is an artificial port, and a show of more trade than in any other town on the lake. From Morge we came to Nyon. The colonia equestris, that Julius Cæsar settled in this country, is generally supposed to have been planted in this place. They have often dug up old Roman inscriptions and statues, and, as I walked in the town, I observed, in the walls of several houses, the fragments of vast Corinthian pillars, with several other pieces of architecture, which

must bave formerly belonged to some very noble pile of building. There is no author that mentions this colony, yet it is certain, by several old Roman inscriptions, that there was such a one. Lucan, indeed, speaks of a part of Cæsar's army that came to him from the Leman lake in the beginning of the civil

war.

Deseruere caro tentoria fixa Lemanno. At about five miles' distance from Nyon they show still the ruins of Cæsar's wall, that reached eighteen miles in length, from Mount Jura to the borders of the lake, as he has described it in the first book of his Commentaries. The next town upon the lake is Versoy, which we could not have an opportunity of seeing, as belonging to the king of France. It has the reputation of being extremely poor and beggarly. We sailed from hence directly for Geneva, which makes a very noble show from the lake. There are, near Geneva, several quarries of free-stone that run under thc lake. When the water is at lowest they make within the borders of it a little square inclosed with four walls. . In this square they sink a pit, and dig for free - stone; the walls hindering the waters from coming in upon them, when the lake rises and runs on all sides of them. The great convenience of carriage makes these stones much cheaper than any that can be found upon firm land. One sees several deep pits that have been made at several times, as one sails over them. As the lake approaches Geneva it grows still narrower and narrower, till at last it changes its name into the Rhone, which turns 'all the mills of the town, and is extremely rapid, notwithstanding its waters are very deep. As I have seen a' great part of the course of this river, I cannot but think it has been guided by the particular hand of Providence. It rises in the very heart of the Alps, and has a long valley that seems hewn out on purpose to give its waters a passage amidst so many rocks and mountainş

[ocr errors]

which are on all sides of it. This brings it almost in a direct line to Geneva. It would there overflow all the country, were there not one particular cleft that divides a vast circuit of mountains, and conveys it off to Lyons. From Lyons there is another great rent, which runs across the whole country in almosť another straight line, and, notwithstanding the vast height of the mountains that rise about it, gives it the shortest course it can take to fall into the sea. Had such a river as this been left to itself to have found its way out from among the Alps, whatever windings it had made it must have formed several little seas, and have laid many countries under water before it had come to the end of its course. I shall not make any remarks upon Geneva, which is a republic so well known to the English. It lies at present under some difficulties, by reason of the emperor's displeasure, who has forbidden the importation of their manufactures into any part of the empire, which will certainly raise a sedition among the people, unless the magistrates find some way to remedy it: and they say it is already done by the interposition of the states of Holland.

The occasion of the emperor's prohibition was their furnishing great sums to the king of France for the payment of his army in Italy. They obliged themselves to remit, after the rate of twelve hundred thousand pounds sterling, per annum, divided into so many monthly payments. As the interest was very great, several of the merchants of Lyons, who would not trust their king in their own names, are said to have contributed a great deal under the names of Geneva merchants. The republic fancies itself hardly treated by the emperor, since it is not any action of the state, but a compact among private persons that hath furnished out these several remittances. They pretend, however, to have put a stop to them, and, by that means, are in hopes again to open their commerce into the empire. VOL. V.

Y

FRIBOURG, BERNE, SOLEURRE, ZURICH,

ST. GAUL, LINDAW, &c. From Geneva I travelled to Lausanne, and thence to Fribourg, which is but a mean town for the capital of so large a canton: its situation is so irregular, that they are forced to climb up to several parts of it by stair-cases of a prodigious ascent. This inconvenience, however, gives them a very great commodity, in case a fire breaks out in any part of the town, for, by reason of several reservoirs on the tops of these mountains, by the opening of a sluice they convey a river into what part of the town they please. They have four churches, four convents of women, and as many for men. The little chapel, called the Salutation, is very neat, and built with a pretty fancy. The college of Jesuits is, they say, the finest in Switzerland. There is a great deal of room in it, and several beautiful views from the different parts of it. They have a collection of pictures representing most of the fathers of their order, who have been eminent for their piety or learning. Among the rest, many Englishmen whom we name rebels, and they martyrs, Henry Garnet's inscription says, that when the heretics could not prevail with him, either by force or promises, to change his religion, they hanged and quartered him. At the Capuchins I saw the escargatoire, which I took the more notice of, because I do not remernber to have met with any thing of the same in other countries. It is a square place, boarded in, and filled with a vast quantity of large snails, that are esteemed excellent food when they are well dressed. The floor is strewed about half a foot deep with several kinds of plants, among which the snails nestle all the winter season. When Lent arrives, they open their magazines, and take out of them the best meagre food in the world, for there is no dish of fish that they reckon comparable to a ragout of snails.

About two leagues from Fribourg we went to see a hermitage, that is reckoned the greatest curiosity of these parts. It lies in the prettiest solitude imaginable, among woods and rocks, which, at first sight; dispose a man to be serious. There has lived in it a hermit these five and twenty years, who with his own hands has worked in the rock a pretty chapel, a sacristy, a chamber, kitchen, cellar, and other conveniences. His chimney is carried up through the whole rock, so that you see the sky through it, notwithstanding the rooms lie very deep. He has cut the side of the rock into a flat for a garden, and, by laying on it the waste earth that he has found in several of the neighbouring parts, has made such a spot of ground of it as furnishes out a kind of luxury for a hermit. As he saw drops of water distilling from several parts of the rock, by following the veins of them, he has made himself two or three fountains, in the bowels of the mountain, that serve his table, and water his little garden.

We had very bad ways from hence to Berne, a great part of them through woods of fir-trees. The great quantity of timber they have in this country makes them mend their highways with wood instead of stone. I could not but take notice of the make of several of their barns I here saw. After having laid a frame of wood for the foundation, they place at the four corners of it four huge blocks, cut in such a shape as neither mice nor any other sort of vermin can creep up the sides of them, at the same time that they raise the corn above the moisture that might come into it from the ground. The whole weight of the barn is supported by these four blocks.

What pleased me most at Berne was, their public walks by the great church. They are raised extremely high, and that their weight might not break down the walls and pilasters which surround them, they are built upon arches and vaults. Though they are, I believe, as high as most steeples in England, from the

« PreviousContinue »