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* and unifef its ancient magnificence, and now wonders tice wine ruins of its greatness, is affected with melanwalks reflections upon the perishable nature of all hued, bigrandeur. rous;9. Etna. In the eastern part of Sicily is Etna, the of gest volcanic mountain in Europe. The mountain is swom 60 to 80 miles in circumference at the base, and hts highth from ten to twelve thousand feet, so that its summit is always covered with snow, and the sale of the 'ice here formed, affords to the bishop a considerable ^ revenue. The country near the foot, on the sides of the mountain, is extremely fertile, which invites the inhabitants to build towns in situations where they are exposed to be destroyed by streams of lava. Catanea has been repeatedly overwhelmed in this manner. On the top, in a conical hill, is the crater, or vast gulf filled with fire, which at particular times, is thrown out in torrents. 350. Isles of Lifari. On the north of Sicily lie ten isles, which were anciently called Eolian, from their king Eolus ; but in modern times, are called, from the name of the largest, the isles of Lipari. The latter is 19 miles in circumference, populous and fruitful. The other principal islands of this cluster, are Stromboli, Vulcano, and Vulcanello, all of them volcanic, and Stromboli is almost the only known volcano, which throws out fire continually with short intermissions. In Felicuda, one of this groop, is the grotto of the sea ox, with an aperture of 40 feet high, opening into a hall of 200 feet long, 120 feet broad, and 65 feet high. This is formed by lava and can be entered only by boats from the sea. ->4SWISSERLAND. o 351. History. Swisserland was called by the Romans, Helvetia, and it was, at least in part, peopled by the Celts. After the fall of the Roman empire, it fell under the dominion of the German tribes, and the pres. ent language of the country is a dialect of the Teutonic. In the feudal ages, it was governed by many lords, among whom was the family of Hapsburg, the stock of the present house of Austria. In the 14th century, the people threw off the yoke of Austria, and after severe conflicts, established their independence, which they maintained till the French reduced some of the cantons, dissolved their confederacy, and gave them a new constitution in 1798. 352. Situation and Extent. Swisserland is chiefly in the 47th and 48th degrees of north latitude, and extends from the 6th to the 10th degree of east longitude. Its length from east to west is about 200 miles, and its bredth from north to south 130. It is bounded by France on the west, by Swabia on the north, by Tyrol on the east, and by Italy on the south. Its population is about two millions. 353. Face of the Country. Swisserland consists of vast chains and piles of mountains, interspersed with valleys. The mountains, called Alps, run in different, but not very regular chains—from the Gulf of Genoa, in a semicircular form, to the Tyrol. The several chains and peaks have different names. The highest peaks are always covered with snow; others are barren rocks, rising to the highth of eight or ten thousand feet, and traversed only by goats and a few wild animals. 354. Rivers. The Rhine, the Rhone and the Po have their sources upon the Alps. The Rhine proceeds from two or three streams in the country of the GriSons, runs north to the lake of Constance, then westerly to Basil, then a north westerly course to the ocean, separating France from Germany. The chief tributary streams in Swisserland are the Aar, Reuss and Linnmat. The Inn and Lech have their sources on the north east of Swisserland, and pour their waters into the Danube. The Adda waters Bormio and Valteline, and passing through the lake Como, enters the Po. 355. Lakes. The largest lake is Constance, in the north, which consists of three parts, the largest of which is 45 miles in bredth, called the Boden Zee. The other divisions are smaller. It is deeper in summer than in winter, by means of the melting of snow, and produCes large red trout. Geneva is another lake, through

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which runs the Rhone; it is 40 miles in length by 9 in bredth. The lakes of Neufchatel and Zurich, are each about 25 miles in length, and four in bredth. That of Lucerne is 15 miles in length and three in bredth. On the Italian side, the Lugano, and a part of the Maggiore, are subject to Swisserland. The smaller lakes are nuInnerClts. 356. Minerals. The mountains of Swisserland produce the precious metals in trilling quantities. Iron is found is abundance. In the canton of Bern are mines of rock salt; rock crystal is found in pieces which weigh 7 or 800 pounds, and this commodity is a chief export. Slate and beautiful marble are found, with serpentine, steatite, asbestos, amianthus, jasper, agates, and some petrifactions. The south side of the Alps, and the mountains of Piedmont, are most productive of minerals. 357. Animals. In addition to the animals which are common to Europe, the mountains of Swisserland furnish the ibex, or goat of the rocks, with horns so long, thick and strong, as to save him from harm when he falls from a precipice. So strong and nimble is this animal, that he will mount a perpendicular rock of 15 feet, at three leaps. Another singular animal is the chamois or shammy, a species of antelope. These animals are seen in herds of twenty or thirty, with a sentinel to warn them of danger by a shrill cry. Here also lives the marmot, which burrows in the earth and lies torpid in winter.— The bearded vultur is also an inhabitant of the Alps, as $ the crow with red legs. 358. Curiosities. The Alps are the greatest of natural curiosities. Their altitude which places their peaks in the regions of the clouds; their hoary summits crowned with perpetual snow; the immense precipices, ragged cliffs, and gaping fissures; and especially the glaciers, vast bodies of ice, which reflect the light in ten thousand brilliant forms, present to the beholder the most astonishing views of nature, and impress his mind with awful reverence for the Creator. The cataract of the Rhine at Lauffen, where the river falls about 40 feet, is * object worthy of notice; and the cascade of Staubach,

where a rill pours its waters over a perpendicular rock of 900 feet, presents an interesting spectacle. * 359. Climate. The Alps furnish in summer, the climate of every region. The valleys are warm and fruitful, producing corn and pasture in abundance. As we rise on the mountains, the air becomes cooler, until we reach the glaciers, where we behold barley growing within a stones throw of eternal ice. The soil of Swisserland is well cultivated by a hardy, honest, industrious people; but the inhabitants depend greatly for subsistence on their cattle. 360. Divisions. Swisserland contains thirteen cantons, which formerly confederated for the defense of their independence, These were Lucerne, Uri, Schweitz, Underwalden, Zug, Fribourg, Solothurn, Glarus, Appenzel, Zurich, Bern, Basil, and Schaffhausen; to which may be added Vallais, and the Grisons, or Three Leagues, with their dependent states, Bormio, Valteline and Chiavenna. 361. Religion and Government. The reformed cantons are of the Calvinistic persuasion. These are Bern, Zurich, Basil, Schaffhausen, Glarus, and part of Appenzel. The other Cantons are of the Catholic faith, as is Vallais. The Grisons are chiefly Protestants. The Catholics have six Bishoprics, and one Metropolitan See. Before the late revolution the cantons were independent, governing themselves; some in the form of aristocracies, others in that of republics. But the late change in the affairs of Europe leaves it uncertain what is to be the destiny of Swisserland. 362. Character and Manners. The Swiss are almost the only people in Europe who have preserved their ancient habits of simplicity, industry and integrity, uncorrupted; for which they are indebted to their situation among mountains, remote from the seductions of richcs. They are frank, bold, and remarkably attached to their country. Their houses are generally of wood, with staircases on the outside. Their dress is plain: and that of the laboring people is not subject to be changed by fashion. In some parts of Swisserland excessive drinking is said to be a common vice,

$63. Ianguage. The Swiss speak a dialect of the German or Teutonic, but not without some exceptions, In a part of the canton of Bern, called the Pays de Vaud, the French is the prevalcnt language, and it is also much spoken by the polite and literary. Among the Grisons, in the eastern part of Swisserland, the language is a corruption of the Latin, called Romansh. In Vallais, a particular dialect is spoke ; and in the Valteline, and other districts, bordering on Italy, the Italian is the common tung. $64. Literature and learned Men. There is a university at Geneva, and one at Basil; and colleges at Bern, Zurich and Lucerne. Swisserland has produced many illustrious writers; as the reformer Zwingli, the two Buxtorffs, Osterwald, Conrad Gesner, John Gesner, and Solomon Gesner, Zimmerman, Rousseau, Necker, Lavater, Gebelin, but especially Euler, the great mathematician, and Haller, one of the greatest and most amiable of men, whose writings, on a variety of subjects, have immortalized his name. 365. Chief towns. Basil. The city of Basil, capital of the canton, stands in a pleasant situation upon the Rhine, which separates it into two parts. Its name is said to have been given it by the Emperor Julian, in honor of his mother Basilina. It is well fortified, and contains 220 streets, with six squares for markets. It has also a university, a museum, a gymnasium, a library, and curious physic garden; also a public granary, an arsenal, and town-house. The number of inhabitants are stated at 14,000, who are distinguished for their economical manners; the young women being prohibited from wearing silk. 366. Singular Custom. The clocks at Basil are set an hour before the true time. Some ascribe this singular custom to an attempt, by this artifice, to collect the members of the famous councils formerly held there. Others relate that it had its origin in a stratagem, by which an assault upon the city was prevented; for the enemy having determined to make the attack at one o'clock at night, and the design being discovered, the

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