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maxim, allowedly, of no inaccurate observer of mankind :
“ Omne tulit punctum, qui miscuit utile dulci.” Hor. *
If, however, in unison with one part of it, he has endeavoured to invite by the interest of his narrative, still, in high accordance with the other, his .unvaried and better aiın has been to blend instruction with amusement to amend the heart rather than to agitate it--and to lead it, insensibly,
through nature up to nature's God.”
Having made these few preliminary observations as a necessary introduction to the subsequent pages, the author submits his unassuming tale to the public, with the prayer, that the dews of heaven may water his little labours abundantly, and cause them to bring forth a rich increase,
* He bears the palm, who grace with truth combines,
And charms, at once, and teaches in his lines.
CH A P. I.
- Hæ latebræ dulces, et, si mihi credis, amenæ.'
HOR. EPIS. LIB. I.
• It was a lovely spot. 'Mid waying woods
AT a period, when the sword, the famine, and the pestilence,' were still laying waste the fertile and once-smiling plains of Europe, Switzerland found a momentary repoșe.
Years had mingled with the stream of time, since the richest of her blood had flowed in an unsuccessful, though glorious effort to
retain the freedom she had purchased by her valour in happier days, and which she had been permitted, through a long lapse of ages, to possess in peace. That' ever-rolling tide,' which stamps instability on all sublunary things, onward had held its undeviating and uninterrupted course. Already, the tears, that bedewed the sleep of those who parted with life in the unequal contest, were beginning to be forgotten : already, the flowers, scattered over their rest by hạnds, which under other auspices had plighted affection, and received the vows of an ardent and unalterable attachment, were withering on their graves.
The fairest portion of the civilized world, in mourning for millions sacrificed at the shrine of ambition, and alas ! it is to be feared, summoned unprepared into the presence of their Judge, was rapidly submitting to the arms of a lawless tyrant, who now beheld himself seated, by an almost-undisputed title, on one of the most ancient thrones of Christendom. Conquest his object, he owned no allegiance, acknowledged no superior, di
vine or human. Indifferent alike to the claims of justice, and to the calls of humanity, he knew no principle but that which was most conducive to the accomplishment of his purposes ; and many · a land, which had been as the garden of Eden before him, behind him was a desolate wilderness.'
Drafted into his legions, the gallant descendants of Tell were gradually losing the recollection of the hills that gave them birth. Their national characteristics, which had so long presented an impregnable barrier to despotism, were soon to be looked upon as marks of a disgraceful rusticity; and the generous mountaineer, glad to pass by an origin which once would have been his greatest pride, and anxious to obliterate every trace of his earlier habits and prejudices, was fast degenerating amidst the contaminating circles of the soldiery of France. *
Remote from the scene of conflict, and scarcely regarded as worthy of notice by the contending potentates, Switzerland furnished
* See note a,
without resistance her contributions to the derouring elements ; and was allowed, on this humiliating condition, to enjov, unmolested, the melancholy remembrance of her drooping, though still-untarnished, laurels. Yet, it was but a seeming calm. For her, as for others, the victor felt no relentings of compassion. To use well an authority obtained by crime, was as far beyond his reach, as it was irreconcilable with his policy: and the god-like power of doing good, the best and noblest prerogative of empire, was acquired only to be perverted to the attainment of the basest ends.
But, if “ the sound of the trumpet, and the alarm of war,' had died away among her mountains, still “a voice, as the prophet would beautifully express it, was heard in? Ervalda, · lamentation and bitter weeping :' Helvetia, '"'weeping for her children, refused to be comforted, because they were not.' From day to day, from month to month, from year to year, resounded the agonizing cries of parents, bewailing the absence of a son violently snatched from their arms