Page images

generally believed the prince of Conti would rather still have kept his title to Orange, but the same respect which induced him to quit his government, might, at another time, tempt him to give up that of Neufchatel on the like conditions. The king of Prussia lays in his claim for Neufchatel, as he did for the principality of Orange, and it is probable would be more acceptable to the inhabitants than the other; but they are generally disposed to declare themselves a free commonwealth, after the death of the Duchess of Nemours, if the Swiss will support them. The Protesta ant cantons seem much inclined to assist them, which they may very well do, in case the duchess dies while the king of France has his hands so full of business on all sides of him. It certainly very much concerns them not to suffer the French king to establish his authority on this side Mount Jura, and on the very borders of their country; but it is not easy to foresee what a round sum of money, or the fear of a rupture with France, may do among a people who have tamely suffered the Franche Compté to be seized on, and à fort to be built within cannon-shot of one of their cantons.

There is a new sect sprung up in Switzerland, which spreads very much in the Protestant cantons. The professors of it call themselves Pietists, and, as enthusiasm carries men generally to the like extravagancies, they differ but little from several sectaries in other countries. They pretend in general to great refinements, as to what regards the practice of Christianity, and to observe the following rules. To retire much from the conversation of the world. To sink themselves into an entire repose and tranquillity of mind. In this state of silence to attend the secret illapse and flowings in of the Holy Spirit, that may

fill their minds with peace and consolation, joys or raptures. To-favour all his secret intimations, and give themselves up entirely to his conduct and direction, so as neither to speak, move, or act, but as they find his impulse on their souls. To retrench themselves within the cons

[ocr errors]

veniencies and necessities of life. To make a covenant with all their senses, so far as to shun the smell of a rose or violet, and to turn away their eyes from a beautiful prospect. To avoid, as much as is possible, what the world calls innocent pleasures, lest they should have their affections tainted by any sensuality, and diyerted from the love of him who is to be the only comfort, repose, hope," and deliglit, of their whole beings. This sect prevails very much among the Protestants of Germany, as well as those of Switzerland, and has occasioned several edicts against it in the duchy of Saxony. The professors of it are accused of all the ill practices which may seem to be the consequence of their principles, as that they ascribe the worst of actions, which their own vicious tempers throw them upon, to the dictates of the Holy Spirit; that both sexes, under pretence of devout conversation, visit one another at all hours, and in all places, without any regard to common decency, often making their religion a cover for their immoralities; and that the very best of them are possessed with spiritual pride, and a contempt for all such as are not of their own sect. The Roman Catholics, who reproach the Protestants for their breaking into such a multitude of religions, have certainly taken the most effectual way in the world for the keeping their flocks together; I do not mean the punishments they inflict on men's persons, which are commonly looked upon as the chief methods by which they deter them from breaking through the pale of the church, though certainly these lay a very great restraint on those of the Roman Catholic persuasion. But I take one great cause, why there are so few sects in the church of Rome, to be the multitude of convents, with which they every where abound, that serve as receptacles for all those fiery zealots who would set the church in a flame, were not they got together in these houses of devotion. All men of dark tempers, according to their degree of melancholy or enthusiasm, may, find convents fitted to their humours, and meet with companions as gloomy as themselves. So that what the Protestants would call a fanatic, is, in the Roman church, a religious of such or such an order; as I have been told of an English merchant at Lisbon, who, after some great disappointments in the world, was resolved to turn Quaker or Capuchin; for, in the change of religion, men of ordinary understandings do not so much consider the principles, as the practice of those to whom they go over.

From St. Gaul I took horse to the lake of Constance, which lies at two leagues distance from it, and is formed by the entry of the Rhine. This is the only lake in Europe that disputes for greatness with that of Geneva; it appears more beautiful to the eye, but wants the fruitful fields and vineyards that border upon the other. It receives its name from Constance, the chief town on its banks. When the cantons of Berne and Zurich proposed, at a general diet, the incorporating Geneva in the number of the cantons, the Roman Catholic party, fearing the Protestant interest might receive by it too great a strengthening, proposed, at the same time, the incantoning of Constance, as a counterpoise; to which the Protestants not consenting, the whole project fell to the ground. We crossed the lake to Lindaw, and, in several parts of it, observed abundance of little bubbles of air, that came working upward from the very bottom of the lake. The watermen told us, that they are observed always to rise in the same places, from whence they conclude them to be so many springs that break out of the bottom of the lake. Lindaw is an imperial town on a little island that lies at about three hundred paces from the firm land, to which it is joined by a huge bridge of wood. The inhabitants were all in arms when we passed through it, being under great apprehensions of the duke of Bavaria, after his having fallen upon Ulme and Memminghen. They flatter themselves that, by cutting their bridge, they could hold out against his army: but, in all probability, a shower of bombs

would quickly reduce the bourgeois to surrender. They were formerly bombarded by Gustavus Adolphus. We were advised by our merchants, by no means to venture ourselves in the duke of Bavaria's country, so that we had the mortification to lose the sight of Mu, nich, Augsburg, and Ratisbon, and were forced to take our way to Vienna through Tirol, where we had very little to entertain us besides the natural face of the country,


After having coasted the Alps for some time, we at last entered them by a passage which leads into the long valley of the Tirol, and, following the course of the river Inn, we came to Inspruck, that receives its name from this river, and is the capital city of the Tirol.

Inspruck is a handsome town, though not a great one, and was formerly the residence of the archdukes who were counts of Tirol: the palace where they used to keep their court is rather convenient than magnificent. The great hall is, indeed, a very noble room, the walls of it are painted in fresco, and represent the labours of Hercules. Many of them look very finely, though a great part of the work has been cracked by earthquakes, which are very frequent in this country, There is a little wooden palace that borders on the other, whither the court used to retire at the first shake of an earthquake. I here saw the largest menage that I have met with any where else. At one end of it is a great partition designed for an opera. They showed us also a very pretty theatre. The last comedy that was acted on it was designed by the Jesuits, for the entertainment of the queen of the Romans, who passed this way from Hanover to Vienna. The compliment which the Fathers made her majesty,

on this occasion, was very particular, and did not a little expose them to the raillery of the court; for, the arms of Hanover being a horse, the Fathers thought it a very pretty allusion to represent the queen by Bucephalus, that would let nobody get upon him but Alexander the Great. The wooden horse, that acted this notable part, is still to be seen behind the scenes. In obie of the rooms of the palace, which is hung with the pictures of several illustrious persons, they showed us the portrait of Mary Queen of Scots, who was beheaded in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. The gardens about the house are very large, but ill kept. There is in the middle of them a beautiful statue in brass of an Archduke Leopold on horseback. There are near it twelve other figures of water-nymphs and river-gods, well cast, and as big as the life. They were designed for the ornaments of a water-work, as one might easily make a great variety of jetteaus, at a small expence, in a garden that has the river Inn running by its walls. The late duke of Lorrain had this palace, and the government of the Tirol, assigned him by the emperor, and his lady, the queen dowager of Poland, lived here several years after the death of the duke, her husband. There are covered galleries that lead from the palace to five different churches. I passed through a very long one, which reaches to the church of the Capuchin convent, where the duke of Lorrain used often to assist at their midnight devotions. They showed us in this convent the apartments of Maximilian, who was archduke and count of Tirol, about fourscore years ago. This prince, at the same time that he kept the government in his hands, lived in this convent with all the rigour and austerity of a Capuchin. His anti-chamber and room of audience are little square chambers, wainscoted. His private lodgings are three or four small rooms faced with a kind of fret-work, that inakes them look like little hollow caverns in a rock. They preserve this apartment of the convent uninhabited, and show in it

« PreviousContinue »