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Title: A month in Switzerland
Author: Zincke, Foster Barham
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A month in Switzerland" ***

                                A MONTH




                          By the same Author,

                            Demy 8vo. 14_s._

                       EGYPT OF THE PHARAOHS AND
                             OF THE KEDIVÉ.


                 _SELECTION from NOTICES by the PRESS._

                             THE SPECTATOR.

‘We have in this volume a thoughtful, almost exhaustive, treatment of a
subject too often handled by mere _dilettante_ writers, who dismiss as
unworthy of notice the problems with which they are unable to cope....
We heartily commend Mr. Zincke’s delightful book as a fresh pleasure to
the thoughtful reader.’

                        THE LITERARY CHURCHMAN.

‘A more independent and original volume of Egyptian travel than at this
time of day we should have thought possible. Mr. Zincke has a quickness
of eye, a vigour of judgment, and a raciness of style which place him
far above the ordinary run of travellers.... Readers will lose much if
they do not make some acquaintance with this truly remarkable volume.’

                             THE GUARDIAN.

‘Each chapter takes some one topic, treats it in sharp piquant style,
and generally throws some new light upon it, or makes it reflect some
new light upon something else. If these bright and sparkling pages are
taken as containing suggestions to be worked out for oneself and
accepted or rejected in the light of more mature knowledge, they will be
found full of value.’

                          THE SATURDAY REVIEW.

‘Mr. Zincke speaks like a man of rare powers of perception, with an
intense love of nature in her various moods, and an intellectual
sympathy broad and deep as the truth itself.’

                        THE WESTMINSTER REVIEW.

‘A very pleasant and interesting book.... Mr. Zincke tells his readers
exactly such facts as they would wish to know. The style is

                             THE EXAMINER.

‘A series of brilliant and suggestive essays.’


                 SMITH, ELDER & CO., 15 Waterloo Place.


                         A MONTH IN SWITZERLAND


                            F. BARHAM ZINCKE

                           VICAR OF WHERSTEAD


                             Deo Opt. Max.

                 SMITH, ELDER, & CO., 15 WATERLOO PLACE

                         _All rights reserved_



THE LEGITIMATE USE of a Preface, like that of a Prologue, is merely to
give explanations that will be necessary, and to save from expectations
that would be delusive. I will, therefore, at once say to those who may
have read my ‘Egypt of the Pharaohs and of the Kedivé,’ that this little
book belongs to the same family. The cast of thought and the aims of the
two are kindred, and both endeavour to do their work by similar methods.
They are, alike, efforts to attain to a right reading, and a right
interpretation of nature, and of man. The differences between them are,
perhaps, such as must result from the differences in the matter itself
they had, respectively, to take account of. The field, in which the
younger sister here makes some studies, is small in extent; its physical
conditions, too, are those of our own part of the world, and its human
issues those of our own times. It ought, therefore, to be looked at from
very near points of view, and to be exhibited in pictures of much detail
and minuteness. The field, however, which the elder sister surveyed, was
wide in area, and rich with scenes of singularly varied character. Its
place, indeed, in the panorama of nature possesses an interest which is
exclusively its own; and its history includes a chapter in the
construction of thought and of society, of which—while again its own
with almost equal exclusiveness—the right appreciation is necessary for
the right understanding of some contemporary and subsequent chapters in
general history, and not least of the one that is at this day unfolding
itself, with ourselves for the actors, we being, also, at the same time,
the material dealt with, and fashioned. So it presented itself to my own
mind, and so I attempted to set it before the reader’s mind.

To those, however, who are unacquainted with the book I have just
referred to in explanation of the character and aims of its successor, I
would describe the impulse under which both of them were written in the
familiar words, ‘My heart was hot within me; and, while I was thus
musing, the fire kindled, and at the last I spake with my tongue.’ I had
been much stirred by a month spent among the Swiss mountains, not only
by what might have been their effect upon me had I been alone, but also
by what I had seen of their effect upon others—to one of whom, a child
who was with me throughout the excursion (if mention of so small a
matter, as it may appear to some, can be allowed), a little space has
been given in the following pages; and this it was that first made me
wish to fix in words the scenes I had passed through, the impressions I
had received from them, and the thoughts that had grown out of them. But
how unlike was the landscape, and those who peopled it, to what had come
before the eye, and the mind’s eye, in Egypt! Instead of the long
life-giving river and the broad life-repelling desert, both so replete
with history, the import of which is not yet dead, as well as with
natural phenomena of an unwonted character to eyes familiarised with the
aspects of our little sea-girt sanctuary, as we fondly deem it,
Switzerland offered for contemplation, in the order of nature, the ice
and snow world of its cloud-piercing mountains; and, in the order of
what is of existing human concern, unflagging industry, patient
frugality, intelligently-adapted education, a natural form of
land-tenure, and popular government; and invited the spectator of its
scenery, as well as of the social and intellectual fermentation of
portions of its people, in strong contrast to the immobility of other
portions, to meditate on some of the new elements, which modern
knowledge, and modern conditions of society, may have contributed for
the enlargement and rectification of some of our religious ideas,
inclusive, and, perhaps, above all, of our idea of God; for these ideas
have at every epoch of man’s history been, more or less, modified by
contemporary knowledge, and the contemporary conditions of society.
These were the materials for thought Switzerland supplied. Upon all of
those, however, which belong to the order of human concern, Egypt, too,
in its sense and fashion, had had something to tell us.

                  *       *       *       *       *

As to the form and colouring of the work, I could have wished that there
had been, throughout, submitted to the reader’s attention nothing but
the scenes described, and the thoughts they gave rise to, without any
suggestion, had that been possible, of the writer’s personality. In a
work of this kind a vain wish: for in all books, those only excepted
that are simply scientific, and in the highest degree in those that deal
with matter, in which human interests preponderate, the personality of
the writer must be seen in everything he writes. All that he describes
is described as he saw and observed it. Others would have observed
things differently. So, too, with what he thought about them; it must be
different from what others would have thought. A book of this kind must,
therefore, be, to a great extent, a fragment of autobiography, in which,
for the time, the inner is seen in its immediate relation to the
external life of the author. It gives what he felt and thought; his
leanings, and likings, and wishes; his readings of the past and of the
present; and his mental moorings. This—and especially is it so on a
subject with which everyone is familiar, though it may be one that can
never be worn out—is all he properly has to say. And his having
something of this kind to say, is his only justification for saying
anything at all. The expectation, too, of finding that he has treated
matters a little in this way is, in no small degree, what induces people
to give a hearing to what he says. They take up his book just because
they have reason for supposing that he has regarded things from his own
point of view, and so seen them from a side, and in a light, and in
relations to connected subjects, somewhat different from those in which
other people, themselves included, may have seen them; and that he has,
therefore, taken into his considerations and estimates some particulars
they must have omitted in theirs. Whether his ideas are to the purpose,
whether they will hold water, whether they will work, the reader will
decide for himself. But in whatever way these questions may be answered,
one particular, at all events, is certain, a book of this kind must be
worthless, if it is not in some sort autobiographical; while, if it is,
it may, possibly, be worth looking over. On no occasion, therefore, have
I hesitated to set down just what I thought and felt, being quite sure
that this is what every reasonable reader wishes every writer to do.

                  *       *       *       *       *

One more preliminary note. I was accompanied by my wife and stepson, the
little boy just now mentioned, who was between nine and ten years of
age. Switzerland was not new ground to any one of the three.
Occasionally a carriage was used. When that was not done I always
walked. My wife was on foot for about half the distance travelled over.
The little boy, when a carriage was not used, almost always rode. I give
these particulars in order that any family party, that might be disposed
to extract from the following pages a route for a single excursion,
might understand what they could do, and in what time and way it could
be done. The August and September of the excursion were those of last
year, 1872.

                                                                F. B. Z.


       _January 16, 1873_.



                               CHAPTER I.

          _To Zermatt_                                       1

                              CHAPTER II.

          _The Riffel—The Gorner                            11

                              CHAPTER III.

          _Walk back to St.                                 21
            Niklaus—Agriculture—Life—Religion in the

                              CHAPTER IV.

          I. _Peasant-proprietorship in the Valley_—II.     28
            _Landlordism_—III. _The Era of Capital_—IV.
            _Obstructions to the free Interaction of
            Capital and Land—Their Effects and probable
            Removal_—V. _Co-operative Farming not a
            Step forward_

                               CHAPTER V.

          _Walk to Saas im Grund—Fee, and its              113
            Glacier—The Mattmark See_

                              CHAPTER VI.

          _Walk over Monte Moro to Macugnaga, Ponte        122
            Grande, and Domo d’Ossola_

                              CHAPTER VII.

          _Walk over the Simplon_                          131

                             CHAPTER VIII.

          _Brieg—Upper Rhone Valley by_ Char _to the       140
            Rhone Glacier—Hôtel du Glacier du Rhône_

                              CHAPTER IX.

          _Walk over the Grimsel, by the Aar Valley,       149
            Helle Platte, and the Falls of Handeck, to

                               CHAPTER X.

          Char _to Interlaken—Walk over the Wengern Alp    155
            to Grindelwald_

                              CHAPTER XI.

          _Interlaken_—Char _up the Valley of the          163
            Kander—Walk over the Gemmi, sleeping at

                              CHAPTER XII.

          _Leukabad—Aigle_                                 172

                             CHAPTER XIII.

          _The Drama of the Mountains_                     184

                              CHAPTER XIV.

          _On Swiss Hotels_                                194

                              CHAPTER XV.

          _Berne—Swiss Fountains—Zurich—Museum of          205
            Relics from ancient Lake-villages—Baur_ en
            ville—_Récolte des Voyageurs—C’est un
            pauvre Pays_

                              CHAPTER XVI.

          _A Remark on Swiss Education_                    218

                             CHAPTER XVII.

          _Elsass—Lothringen—Metz—Gravelotte—Mother of     230
            the Curé of Ste. Marie aux Chênes—Waterloo_

                             CHAPTER XVIII.

          _How the Observation and Knowledge of Nature,    250
            and the Conditions of Society, affect
            Religion and Theology—An instructive

          _INDEX_                                          265


                         A MONTH IN SWITZERLAND

                               CHAPTER I.

                               TO ZERMATT

                  What blessings Thy free bounty gives
                      Let me not cast away;
                  For God is paid when man receives:
                      T’ enjoy is to obey.—POPE.

_August 26._—We left London at 8.45 P.M., and reached Paris the next
morning at 7 A.M. We found the Capua of the modern world looking much as
it used to look in the days that preceded the siege and the Commune. The
shops were decked, and the streets were peopled, much in the old style.
If, as we are told, frivolity, somewhat tinctured with, or, at all
events, tolerant of, vice, together with want of solidity and dignity of
character, are as conspicuous as of yore in the Parisian, we may reply
that if they were there before, they must be there still; for a people,
can no more change on a sudden the complexion of their thoughts and
feelings than they can the complexion of their faces. These matters are
in the grain, and are traditional and hereditary. The severity of
taxation France will have to submit to may, when it shall have made
itself felt, have some sobering effect, whereas the bribery and
corruption of the Imperial _régime_ only acted in the contrary
direction. But time is needed for enabling this to become a cause of
change; and much may arise, at any moment, in the volcanic soil of
France, to disturb its action. All that we can observe at present is,
that the people seem still quite unconscious of the causes of their
great catastrophe. Their talk, when it refers to late events, is of
treason and of revenge; as if they had been betrayed by anything but
their own ignorance, arrogance, and corruption; and as if revenge, to be
secured, had only to be desired. In such talk, if it indicates what is
really thought and felt, there is scant ground for hope.

_August 27._—We left Paris this evening at eight o’clock, taking the
route of Dijon and Pontarlier. The sun was up when we reached
Switzerland at Verrieres. There was no gradation in the scenery: as soon
as we were on Swiss ground it became Swiss in character—mountainous and
rocky, with irrigated meadows of matchless green in the valley. We were
sure that the good people in the _châlets_ below could not be otherwise
than satisfied with the price they were getting for their cheese; for
its quantity, and perhaps quality, we were equally sure that the
greenness of their meadows was a sufficient guarantee. By the wayside we
saw women with baskets full of wormwood, for making absinthe which will
be drunk in Paris.

We breakfasted at Lausanne, and dined and slept at Vevey. We had thus
got to Switzerland, practically, in no time at all, and without any
fatigue, for we had been on the way only at night, and both nights we
had managed to get sleep enough.

We had come, as it were, on the magical bit of carpet of Eastern
imagination; which must have been meant for a foreshadowing of that
great magician, the locomotive, suggested by a yearning for the
annihilation of long journeys, without roads, and with no conveyance
better than a camel: though a friend of mine, whose fancy ranges freely
and widely through things in heaven above, and on earth below, tells me
he believes that that bit of carpet was a dim reminiscence of a very
advanced state of things in an old by-gone world, out of some fragments
of the wreck of which the existing order of things has slowly grown.

My last hours in London had been spent in dining at the club, with a
friend, who is one of our greatest authorities on sanitary, educational,
and social questions; and our talk had been on such subjects. It is well
to pass as directly as possible, and without tarrying by the way, from
London and Paris, where man, his works, and interests are everything, to
Switzerland, where nature is so impressive. The completeness of the
contrast heightens the interest felt in each.

Those who give themselves the trouble, and do you the honour, of looking
through what you have written, become, in some degree, entitled to know
all about the matter. They are in a sort partners in the concern. I will
therefore at once communicate to all the members of the firm that I did
not go on this little expedition because I felt any of that desire for
change by which, in these days, all the world appears to be driven in
Jehu-fashion. I have never felt any necessity for this modern nostrum. I
do not find that either body or mind wears out because I remain in one
place more than twelve months together. I am a great admirer of White of
Selborne; and I hope our present Lord Chancellor’s new title will lead
many people to ask what Selborne is famous for; which perhaps may be the
means of bringing more of us to become acquainted with a book which
gives so charming a picture of a most charming mind that it may be read
with most soothing delight a score of times in one’s life (one never
tires of a good picture); and which teaches for these days the very
useful lesson of how much there is to observe, and interest, and to
educate a mind, and to give employment to it, for a whole life, within
the boundaries of one’s own parish, provided only it be a rural one.

It is true that I have been in every county of England, and in most
counties of Scotland, Ireland, and Wales; and some general acquaintance
with his own country—which is undoubtedly the most interesting country
in the world—ought to an Englishman, if only for the purpose of
subsequent comparison, to be the first acquisition of travel; and also
that I have made some long journeys beyond the four seas, having set
foot on each of the four continents; but I can hardly tell how on any
one occasion it happened that I went. It certainly never was from any
wish for change. It was only from taking things as they came. And so it
was with this little excursion. It was not in the least my idea, nor was
it at all of my planning. My wife wished to spend the winter in a more
genial climate than that of East Anglia; and it was thought desirable
that her little boy should go to a Swiss school, for, at all events, a
part of the year, until he should be old enough for an English public
school. And so, having been invited to go, I went. My part of the
business, with the single exception of a little episode we shall come to
in its place, was to be ready to start and to stop when required, and to
eat what was set before me; in short, to take the goods a present
providence purveyed. I recollect a weather-beaten blue-jacket once
telling me—on the roof of the York mail, so all that may be changed
now—that the charm of a sailor’s life was that he had only to do what he
was told, and nothing at all to think about. Of this perhaps obsolete
nautical kind of happiness, we housekeeping, business-bound landsmen
cannot have much; but a month of such travel comes very near it. And if
a man really does want change for the body, together with rest for the
mind, here he has them both in perfection. What a delightful oasis would
many find such a month in their ordinary lives of inadequately
discharged, and too inadequately appreciated, responsibility! This
little confidence will, perhaps, while we are starting, convey to the
reader a sense of the unreserved and friendly terms on which, I hope, we
shall travel together. I regret that, from the nature of the case, in
these confidences all the reciprocity must be on one side.

_August 29._—Left Vevey by an early train for Sierre. The line passes by
Montreux, Villeneuve (where it leaves the eastern extremity of the lake
of Geneva), Aigle, Bex, St. Maurice, Martigny, and Sion. At Sierre we
took the diligence for Visp. This part of the valley of the Rhone is a
long delta, which in the lapse of ages has been formed by the _débris_
brought down by the Rhone, and the lateral torrents from the mountains.
Much of it is swampy, and full of reeds. Some of this, one cannot but
suppose, might be made good serviceable land by cutting channels for the
water, and raising the surface of the land with the materials thus
gained. Indian corn grows here very luxuriantly. It is a large variety;
some of the stems had three cobs. This, the potatoes, and the tobacco—of
which, or, at all events, of the smoke of which, we saw much—in thought
connected the scene before us with the New World.

Between Sierre and Visp there are a great many large mounds in the
valley. The side of these mounds which looks up the valley is always
rounded. The face which looks down the valley, is sometimes rocky and
precipitous. This difference must be the effect of former glacier
action, at a time when the whole valley, down to Geneva, was the bed of
a glacier, which planed off and rounded only that side of the mound
against which it moved and worked. Above Visp the land is very poor,
consisting chiefly of cretaceous detrital matter. This is covered with a
pine forest, a great part of which is composed of Scotch fir, the old
ones being frequently decorated with tufts of mistletoe.

Geologists are now pretty well agreed that the lake of Geneva itself was
excavated by this old glacier. Its power, at all events, was adequate to
the task. It was 100 miles long, and near 4,000 feet in thickness at the
head of the lake, as can now be seen by the striated markings it left on
the overhanging mountains. It acted both as a rasp—its under side being
set with teeth, formed of the rocks it had picked up on its way, or
which had fallen into it through its crevasses; and also as a scoop,
pushing before it all that it could thrust out of its way. And what
could not such a tool rasp away and scoop out, at a point where its
rasping and scooping were brought into play, as it slid along, thicker
than Snowdon is high above the sea, and impelled by the pressure of the
100 miles of descending glacier behind, that then filled the whole broad
valley up to and beyond Oberwald? It was wasting away as it approached
the site of the modern city, where it must have quite come to an end;
for the lake here shoals to nothing; there could, therefore, have, then,
been no more rasping and scooping. At the head of the lake, where the
glacier-tool was tilted into the position for rasping and scooping
vigorously, the water, notwithstanding subsequent detrital depositions,
is 900 feet deep.

At Visp my wife and the little boy got on horseback. Another horse was
engaged for the baggage. I proceeded on foot. Our destination was
Zermatt. We got underway at 2 P.M., and reached St. Niklaus at 5.45;
about twelve miles of easy walking. The situation of this place is good,
for the valley is here narrow, and the mountains, particularly on the
western side, rise abruptly. The inn also is good. I note this from a
sense of justice, deepened by a sense of gratitude; because here an
effort, rare in Swiss hotels, has been made to exclude stenches from the
house; the plan adopted being that of a kind of external Amy Robsart
gallery. From Visp to St. Niklaus the road is passable only for horses.

_August 30._—My wife and the little boy took a _char_ for Zermatt, which
also carried the baggage. I was on foot. The distance is about fourteen
or fifteen miles, slightly up hill all the way. The road is good and
smooth. I must now begin to mention the conspicuous objects seen by the
way. At Randa, in the Bies Glacier, which is that of the Weisshorn, we
saw our first ice. This glacier descends so precipitously from the
mountains, on the right of the road, that you can hardly understand how
its enormous weight is supported. There are, however, on record some
instances of its having fallen; and it is also on record that on one of
these occasions the blast of wind caused by the fall of such a mass, was
so great as to launch the timbers of houses it overthrew to the distance
of a mile; but I would not back the truth of the record.

After an early dinner at Zermatt, my wife and myself walked to the foot
of the Gorner Glacier, to see the exit from it of the Visp. It issues
from a most regularly arched aperture. This is the glacier that descends
from the northern and western sides of Monte Rosa, the sides of the
Breithorn, and one side of the mighty Matterhorn.

We found the hotels at Zermatt overcrowded. This is a great rendezvous
for those who do peaks and passes. In the evening, particularly if it is
cold enough for a fire, the social cigar brings many of them together in
the smoking-room. Among these, at the time we were there, was the hero
of the season. He is a strong, wiry man, full of quiet determination. He
was then doing, so ran the talk of the hotel, a mountain a day, and each
in a shorter time than it had ever been done in before. To-morrow he is
to climb the Matterhorn in continuous ascent from this place, in which
fashion I understand no one has yet attempted it.


                              CHAPTER II.


              Not vainly did the early Persian make
              His altar the high places, and the peak
              Of earth-o’ergazing mountains; and thus take
              A fit and unwalled temple, there to seek
              The Spirit, in whose honour shrines are weak,
              Uprear’d of human hands.—BYRON.

_August 31._—After breakfast my wife and I walked up to the Riffel
Hotel. It is rather more than 3,000 feet above Zermatt. The little man
rode. We were two hours and a half in doing it. It would be a stiff bit
for beginners. The upper part of the forest, on the mountain-side,
consists of Pinus Cembra. This is far from being either a lofty or a
spreading tree. The lower branches extend but little beyond the upper
ones. There is a good deal of reddish-brown in the bark. In this
respect, as well as in the colour of its foliage, and in its form, it
contrasts well with the larch and the spruce, though of course not so
well with the Scotch fir. I heard that its timber is very lasting. The
views, from the forest, of the Gorner glacier, and, when you are beyond
the forest, of some of the neighbouring mountains, and of the valley of
Zermatt, are good.

After luncheon at the Riffel Hotel, we walked to the summit of the
Gorner Grat. Here you have what is said to be the finest Alpine view in
Europe. You are standing on a central eminence of rock in, as far as you
can see, a surrounding world of ice and snow. On the left is the Cima di
Jazi, which you are told commands a good view into Italy. Just before
you, as you look across the glacier, which lies in a deep broad ravine
at your feet, rise the jagged summits of Monte Rosa with, at this
season, much of the black rock showing through their caps and robes of
snow. Next the Lyskamm, somewhat in the background; then Castor and
Pollux, immaculate snow without protruding rock; next the Breithorn,
then the naked gneiss of the Matterhorn, a prince among peaks, too
precipitous for snow to rest on in the late summer, looking like a
Titanic Lycian tomb, such as you may see in the plates of ‘Fellowes’s
Asia Minor,’ placed on the top of a Titanic rectangular shaft of rock,
five thousand feet high. Beyond, and completing the circle of the
panorama, come the Dent Blanche, the Gabelhorn, the Rothhorn, the
Weisshorn, over the valley of Zermatt, the Ober Rothhorn, and the
Allaleinhorn, which brings your eye round again to the Cima di Jazi.
What a scene! what grandeur for the eye! what forces and masses beneath
for the thought! Here is the complement to Johnson’s Charing Cross and
the East Anglican turnip-field. Both pleasant sights in their respective
classes, but not enough of all that this world has to show.

The little boy in the morning, during our ascent of the Riffel, had not
been able, when he dismounted, to take a dozen steps without resting, as
it appeared both from having outgrown his strength, and from some
difficulty in breathing; but in the afternoon he skipped up to the top
of the Gorner Grat, an hour and a half, and ran down again, just as if
he had been bred on the mountains. It was difficult to keep him on the
path, and from the edges of the precipices. He was at the top some
minutes before any of us—we were a large party, for several parties had
drawn together in the ascent. I heard a lady exclaim, ‘There is the blue
boy again’ (that was the colour of his blouse). ‘He has beaten us all.’
Never was there such a difference before between a morning and an

As we descended the Gorner Grat a scud of snow passed by. The
antithesis, common in the mountains, of gloom to sunshine, and of cold
to warmth, was as complete as it was sudden. In a few minutes it was
bright and warm again.

While we were at the hotel two American lads came up with their guides,
and, after a rest of ten minutes, started for some pass. They had
nothing on but coarse grey woollen pants, shirts of the same without
collars, and boots very heavily nailed, or rather spiked. They were not
more than seventeen years old, if so much.

The Riffelberg abounds in beautiful flowers; Gentians, Sedums, and
Saxifrages reach almost to the top of the Gorner Grat. As might be
expected at such a height, none rise, at their best, more than an inch
or two above the ground. Gorgeous lilies and lovely roses would be as
much out of keeping, as impossible, here. Such objects belong to the
sensuous valley.

_September 1._—There was a sharp frost this morning, but the sun was
bright and warm all day. So warm was it at ten o’clock, that people were
glad to sit about on the grass, some preferring the shade of the rocks.
It was Sunday, and I was requested to conduct divine service. The
reading saloon was prepared for the purpose. I shortened the service by
omitting the first lesson, the _Te Deum_, and the Litany. Before
commencing, I announced to the congregation that I should do this,
giving as my reason that the room did not belong exclusively to us, and
therefore that it was better to act upon our knowledge of this, than to
be reminded of it afterwards by those who had withdrawn that we might
hold our service. I had been called upon to conduct the service only a
few minutes before it commenced, and as I had no memoranda for sermons
with me, I took for my text the scene around us, and spoke of the
effects such scenes, and the contemplation of nature generally, appear
to have on men’s minds. The knowledge men now have of the solar system,
and of the sidereal universe, does not prevent the heavens from
discoursing to us as eloquently as they did to the Psalmist.
Intelligible law is grander and more satisfactory for thought to rest
upon than vague impressions of glorious power. So with the great and
deep sea also, now that we know something about the place it occupies in
the economy of this terrestrial system. It is the same with the
everlasting mountains, since we have come to know something about the
way in which they were formed and elevated, and how the valleys were cut
out. Man is the child of Nature, in whose bosom he is brought up. It is
true that there are some who cannot see that it is his duty and his
happiness to acquaint himself with nature; but no one who had made any
progress in the study of nature, ever thought lightly of what he had
attained to. And this is true of the knowledge, not only of the grander
objects of nature, such as the starry firmament and the great and deep
sea, but equally of the most inconspicuous, and, as they appear to our
senses, the most insignificant objects in nature. It is not more true of
the eternal mountains than of the particles of moss that hide themselves
in the crevices of the rock, or the lichen that stains its face, &c.,

In the afternoon we walked back to Zermatt.

Though every effort was being made at Zermatt to prevent people from
going up to the Riffel without tickets assuring them of accommodation at
the Riffel Hotel, still, so many, in their impatience, set this
regulation at defiance, and went up on the chance that they would be
allowed six feet by three somewhere, that night after night, as we were
told, the authorities were obliged—perhaps it was a necessity which was
accepted not unwillingly—to convert the bureau, the _salle-à-manger_,
and the reading-room, into dormitories. At all events, we were turned
out of the reading-room before ten o’clock to make way for a pile of
mattresses we found at the door, ready to be substituted for the chairs
and tables we had been using. To be berthed in this way is far from
pleasant; but it is not worse than spending the night in the crowded
cabin of a small steamer, or in the hermetically-closed compartment of a
railway carriage, with five other promiscuous bodies.

_September 2._—Started this morning for the Schwartz See and Hornli. We
were all mounted—it was the only time I was during the excursion. In
ascending the mountain, when we were above the pine-wood, and so in a
place where there was no protection, and where the zig-zags were short
and precipitous, both the hind legs of the little boy’s horse slipped
off the path. The animal was so old, and worn-out, and dead-beaten with
its daily drudgery, that it had appeared to us not to care, hardly to
know, whether it was dead or alive. But now it made an effort to recover
itself, with the power or disposition for making which we should not,
beforehand, have credited it. Perhaps the centre of gravity in the poor
brute was never actually outside the path. I was close behind, and saw
the slip and scramble. It was an affair of a few seconds, but it made
one feel badly for more minutes.

At the Schwartz See, we sent the horses to the foot of the Zmutt
glacier, and began the ascent of the Hornli. In about a quarter of an
hour we made the discovery that the blue boy was not man enough for the
Hornli. I do not know, however, that we should have seen much more if we
had gone to the top. We were close to the mighty Matterhorn, of which
the Hornli is a buttress, and at our feet was the great Gorner glacier.
These were the two great objects, and neither of them would have been
seen so well had we been higher up. In returning we went by the way of
the Zmutt glacier, a wild scene of Alpine desolation. There is much
variety, and much that interests in this excursion; the cultivated
valley, the junction of the Findelen and the Zmutt with the Visp, the
wooded and then the naked mountain, the two great glaciers, the sedgy,
flowery turf above the wood, the little black tarn, the bare rock of the
Hornli, and, over all, the shaft of the Matterhorn. On the ridge above
the Schwartz See we found a handsome blue pansy. Somewhere else I saw a
yellow one of almost equal size.

Our guide, Victor Furrer, speaks English well. He wished to come to
England for the seven winter months, thinking that he could take the
place of under-gardener or stableman in a gentleman’s house, or that of
porter in a London hotel. Swiss education disposes the people to look
for openings for advancing themselves in life beyond the narrow limits
of their own country, and qualifies them for entering them.

The number of peak-climbers and pass-men assembled at Zermatt had
increased during our short absence. Among the latter was an Irish judge,
who did the St. Theodule. The law was in great force here, as was also
the Church. The gentleman who had attempted the Matterhorn on Saturday,
had been driven off by the weather. Though fine down here, it had been
windy, wet, and frosty up there; and to such a degree that the face of
this Alpine pier, for it is more of that than of a mountain, had become
glazed with a film of ice. To-day he again attempted it from this place;
and, the weather having been all that could be desired, he had gone, and
climbed, and conquered. He found the air so calm on the summit that he
had no occasion to protect the match with which he lighted his cigar;
and, if he had had a candle, he would have left it lighted for the
people at the Riffel to look at through their telescopes.

Notwithstanding the argument which may be founded on the graves (one a
cenotaph) of the four Englishmen in the God’s acre of the Catholic
church of Zermatt, one cannot but sympathise with the triumph, and
applaud the pluck and endurance of our mountaineering countrymen. It
must be satisfactory, very satisfactory indeed, for a man to find that
he has such undeniable evidence that he is sound in wind and limb, and,
too, with a heart and head to match; and that he can go anywhere and do
anything, for which these by no means insignificant qualifications are
indispensable. Mountaineering, in its motives, to a great extent
resembles hunting, and, where there is a difference, the difference is,
I think, to its advantage. It is more varied, more continuously
exciting, more appreciated by those who do not participate in it, and,
which is a great point, more entirely personal, for your horse does not
share the credit with you. Shooting and fishing can bear no comparison
with it. The pluck, endurance, and manliness it requires are not needed
by them. It is also a great merit that it is within the reach of those
who have not been born to hunting, fishing, and shooting, and will never
have the means of paying for them. All these pursuits have each its own
literature; and, as the general public appears to take most interest in
that of the mountaineers, there is in this, as far as it goes, reason
for supposing that the pursuit itself is of all of them the most
rational and stirring.

Alpinism is also a natural and healthy protest in some, whose minds and
bodies are young and vigorous, against the dull drawing-room routine of
modern luxury; and in others against the equally dull desk-drudgery of
semi-intellectual work, to which so many are tied down in this era of
great cities. It is for a time a thorough escape from it. It is the best
form of athleticism, which has its roots in the same causes; and it is,
besides, a great deal which athleticism is not.

To a bystander there is something amusing in the quiet earnestness with
which a peak-climber discusses the possibilities of an ascent he is
contemplating. I was with two this afternoon who were about to attempt a
mountain by a side on which it had not yet been scaled. The difficulty
was what had hitherto been regarded as pretty much of a sheer precipice
of some hundreds of feet. One of the two, however, had examined it
carefully with his glass, and had come to think that there was roughness
enough on its face for their purpose. The guides who were present were
of the opposite opinion. That it had never been ascended on that side,
but might perhaps prove not unascendable, was the attraction.


                              CHAPTER III.


             Whate’er men do, or wish, or fear; their griefs
             Distractions, joys.—JUVENAL.

_September 3._—Left Zermatt at 2 P.M. on foot. Walked briskly, but did
not get to St. Niklaus till near 6 o’clock. All the way down hill. In
coming up was only a quarter of an hour longer; this I can’t understand.
A very warm day. Those who went in chars, as did my wife and the blue
boy, appeared to suffer more from the heat than I did who was walking.

In my four hours’ walk, having been so lately over the same ground, I
paid attention to the methods and results of cultivation, and
endeavoured to make out something of the life of the inhabitants of the
valley. As to the former, it appeared that all the cultivated land had
been reclaimed by a slow and laborious process. The original condition
of mountain valley land is to be more or less covered with rocks and
stones, with some soil beneath and between. Sometimes the whole surface
is completely covered with rocky _débris_, which has been brought down,
like avalanches, on the occurrence of unusually copious torrent floods,
which were, in fact, avalanches of water and of mountain shingle
commingled. The first step in the work of reclamation is to get rid of
the stones. This is either done by removing them to a distance, or
piling them up in heaps, or burying them on the spot. One of these
methods will be best in one place, and another in another. All the soil
that can be procured—sometimes there is enough of it on the surface,
sometimes it has to be mined for in a stratum beneath the upper stratum
of fragments of rock—is then levelled. Of this land, thus laboriously
made, all that can be irrigated by lateral canals brought from the Visp,
or diverted from the mountain torrents, is laid down to pasture. Canals
of this kind may often be seen some miles in length. These irrigated
pastures are always cut twice, or, where the land is deep and good,
three times a-year. The turf is not always composed mainly of different
kinds of grass. Sometimes it contains more dandelion than grass, a great
abundance of autumn crocus, of a kind of geranium with a purple flower
as large as a florin, and of other herbaceous plants. Where there is
much dandelion the hay, while making, has a sickly smell, but when fully
made its scent is generally good. The reclaimed land, which cannot be
irrigated, is used for rye, wheat, barley, and potatoes. A well-to-do
family has two or three patches, about a third of an acre each, of this
grain land. They will have also two or three cows. The mountain forest,
and the mountain pastures are held in common for the equal use and
benefit of all the inhabitants of the village.

As to the people themselves, the most prominent facts are that they all
work hard, and that their hard work does not give them more than a bare
sufficiency for the most necessary wants. I suppose that nowhere else in
the civilised world is there so little buying and selling, and so little
interchange of commodities, as in a Swiss Alpine valley. The rule is for
every family to be self-contained, as far as this is possible, in all
things, and to produce for itself everything it can of what it will
require in the twelve months. Their cows supply them with milk and
cheese; the surplus of the latter being the medium through which they
procure from the outside world what they cannot produce for themselves:
but that does not come to much. It is interesting to see their sheaves
of corn stored away in the galleries beneath the projecting eaves of
their houses, and their haricots strung up in the sun to dry. This makes
you think how carefully these provisions will be used in the winter and
spring. And you see the flax and the hemp, of which they grow a great
deal, spread out on the grass, to prepare it for scutching; from which,
and from the wool of the small flocks of the neighbourhood, they make at
home much of the materials for their clothes. From their apples, of
which they grow great quantities, they make a kind of brandy. Their
lives are a never-failing discipline, notwithstanding the brandy, of
industry, patience, and forethought. In imagination you enter the
_châlet_, and sympathise with the cares, the troubles, the frugality,
the modest enjoyments of its inmates. The result of all does not go much
beyond daily bread. You hope that the harvest has been good, and that
the cows are doing well. The boys you have seen are sturdy little
fellows. You hope that the girls will not be goitred, and that the
sturdy little fellows will in time make them good husbands. They, you
are sure, will make industrious, frugal, uncomplaining wives.

We heard at Zermatt, and our guide told us that what we had heard was
true, that the inhabitants of the valley pass some of their time in
winter in playing at cards; the stake they play for being each other’s
prayers. Those who lose are bound by the rules of the game to go to the
village church the following morning, and there pray for the souls of
those who win. The priest also is supposed to have an advantage in this
practice, as it gives him a larger congregation.

Religion—the reader will decide for himself whether or no what has just
been mentioned promotes it—holds a large place in the life of these
Alpine valleys. The priest is the great man of the village, and has
great power. The influx of travellers has a tendency to lessen this
power, for it enriches innkeepers and guides, and so renders them
independent. Formerly the village church was the only conspicuous
building; the only one that rose above the low level of the _châlets_.
This symbolised the relation of its minister to the inhabitants of the
_châlets_. Now the church is dwarfed in comparison with the contiguous
hotel. Changes in the world outside have caused a new power to spring
up, and take its place in the scene. Be this, however, as it may, one
cannot but see that the services and _fêtes_ of the Church, supply the
hard monotonous lives of the people with some ideas and interest. Even
the authority the Church claims, while it has a tendency to overpower,
has also a tendency to stir their minds a little. The prominence of the
material fabric of the church in the village led me to reflect on what
would be the result in the minds of the people if it were otherwise. In
that case they would probably lose the idea of union with other times,
and with the great outside world, and the little elevation of thought
and feeling beyond the round of their low daily cares, which that idea
brings with it. The Church may to them be an intellectual tyranny, and
much that it teaches may be debasing and false, still it appears to have
some counterbalancing advantages. Our system may have more of truth and
of manliness, but it would, at present, be unintelligible to them, or if
intelligible, repulsive. Their system, however, is one which, under the
circumstances of the times, cannot last. It is even now on the road to
the limbo of things that have had their day. In Catholic countries, as
far as the educated classes and the inhabitants of all the large cities
are concerned, its power is gone, or still more than that, it is
actively disliked. This settles the question. The time will arrive when,
as knowledge and light spread, the village people will come round to the
way of thinking of the educated classes and of the inhabitants of the
cities. In this matter history is repeating itself. At its first
establishment Christianity spread from the cities to the pagans, that is
to the inhabitants of the villages. And so will it be again, at the
rehabilitation of religion in those countries that are now forsaking
Romanism. A revised and enlarged organisation of knowledge must be first
accepted by those who can think and judge. It is then passed on to those
who cannot.

Such valleys as this of Zermatt have hitherto offered no opportunities
to any portion of their inhabitants to emerge from a low condition of
life. Little that could elevate or embellish life was within their
reach. The only property has been land, and that, from the working of
inevitable natural causes, has been divided into very small holdings.
This has kept every family poor. Railways, which connect them with the
world, the influx of travellers, in many places a better harvest than
that of their fields, the advance of the rest of the world around them,
and the capacity there is in their streams for moving machinery, may be
now opening new careers to many. It is unreasonable to regret the advent
of such a change, for it has more than a material side; it must bring
with it, morally and intellectually, a higher and richer life. It
implies expansion of mind, and moral growth—new fields of thought, and
of duty.


                              CHAPTER IV.


                         But what said Jaques?
            Did he not moralise the spectacle?—SHAKESPEARE.

This chapter is to be a disquisition, after the manner of the
philosophers, at all events, in its length, on peasant-proprietorship as
now existing in the valley of Zermatt, or rather of the Visp; and on
alternative systems. I do not invite anyone to read it, indeed, I at
once announce its contents and its length, for the very purpose of
inducing those who have no liking for disquisitions in general, or for
disquisitions on such subjects, to skip it, and to proceed to the next
chapter, where they will find the continuation of the narrative of our
little excursion. My primary object in writing it was to ascertain,
through the test of black and white, whether what I had been led to
think upon these matters possessed sufficient coherence. I now, with the
diffidence one must feel who ventures upon such ground, submit it to the
judgment of those who take some interest in questions of this kind.

Bearing in mind that the subject is not a lively one, I will endeavour
so to put what I have to say as that not much effort may be required to
understand my meaning. From all effort, however, I cannot exempt the
reader of the chapter, should it find one; for he will have, as he goes
along, to determine for himself whether the facts alleged are the facts
of the case, whether any material ones have been overlooked, and whether
the inferences are drawn from the facts legitimately. He will not be in
a position to allow what is presented to him to pass unquestioned; for
he will be, himself, the counsel on the other side, as well as the jury.

                  *       *       *       *       *

I. The figures I am about to use do not pretend to accuracy, or even to
any close approximation to accuracy. Some figures, but what figures is
of no great consequence, are necessary for the form of the argument, and
for rendering it intelligible. If they possessed the most precise
accuracy that would not at all strengthen it. Those I employ, I retain
merely because they were the symbols with which, in my two walks through
the valley, I endeavoured to work out the inquiry.

Suppose, then, that the valley of the Visp contains 4,000 acres of
irrigated meadow and of corn and garden ground; and that each family is
composed of husband and wife, and of not quite four children. The
average here in England is, I believe, four-and-a-half children to a
marriage. Marriages, probably, take place at a later period of life in
the valley than in this country, and, therefore, the average number of
children there will be smaller. Let, then, the grandfathers and
grandmothers who may be living, and the unmarried people there may be,
bring up the average of each family to six souls.

We will now suppose that the husband will require a pound and a half of
bread a day, that will be about nine bushels of wheat a-year; and that
the wife and children will require each a pound a day; that will be
about thirty bushels more, or thirty-nine bushels in all. From what I
saw of the land in the valley I suppose that it will not produce more
than twenty-six bushels an acre. Whether its produce be wheat, or rye,
or barley, will make no difference to the argument. An acre and a half
will then be necessary for the amount of bread-stuff that will be
required for each family.

A family, we will take a well-to-do one, will also require three cows.
Deducting the time the cows are on the common pasture on the mountains,
each cow will require, for the rest of the year, two tons of hay. That
may be the produce of one acre of their grassland, for some of it is cut
three times a-year, but most of it only twice, the second and third
crops being light.

They will not want for their own consumption the whole of the produce of
the three cows. A surplus, however, of this produce is necessary,
because it is from that that they will have the means for purchasing the
shoes, the tools and implements, and whatever else they absolutely need,
but cannot produce themselves. The cows will then require three acres.

But we will suppose that by the use of straw, and by other economies in
the keep of their cows, they manage to reduce the quantity of hay that
would otherwise be consumed. This will set free a little of their land
for flax, hemp, haricots, cabbages, potatoes, &c. The three last will go
some way towards lessening the quantity of bread-stuff they will
require. We may, therefore, set down the breadth of cultivated land
needed for the maintenance, according to their way of living, of our
family of six souls, at four acres.

The 4,000 acres will thus maintain 1,000 families. This will give our
valley a population of 6,000 souls.

Here, perhaps, the rigid economist would stop. It would be enough for
him to have ascertained the laws which regulate, under observed
circumstances, the production and the distribution of wealth. But as
neither the writer nor the readers of these pages are rigid economists,
we will, using these facts only as a starting point, proceed to ulterior
considerations. The question, indeed, which most interests us is not one
of pure economy, but one which, though dependent on economical
conditions, is in itself moral and intellectual; and, therefore, we go
on to ask what kind of life, what kind of men and women, does this state
of things produce?

In such a population, the elements of life are so simple, so uniform,
and so much on the surface, that there will be no difficulty in getting
at the answers to our questions. There is not a single family that has
the leisure needed for mental cultivation, or for any approximation to
the embellishments of life. They each have just the amount of land which
will enable them, with incessant labour, and much care and forethought,
to keep themselves above absolute want. Subdivision might, possibly, in
some cases be carried a little further, but things would then only
become worse. Towards this there is always a tendency. But, for reasons
we shall come to presently, there is no tendency at all in the other
direction. Intellectual life, therefore, is impossible in the valley.
The conditions requisite for it are completely absent.

With the moral life, however, it is very far from being so. Of moral
educators, one of the most efficient is the possession of property; the
kind of education it gives being, of course, dependent on the amount and
kind of property. For instance: the simplicity and gentility of a large
fortune in three per cent. consols educates its possessor. It does not
teach him forethought, industry, or self-denial. He may be improvident,
idle, self-indulgent, and still his means of living may not be thereby
diminished; nor will anything he can do improve them. Nor, furthermore,
will the management of his property bring him into such relations with
his fellow men, that, at every step and turn, he has to consider their
wants and rights, and to balance them against his own. Nor will anything
connected with his property teach him the instability of human affairs,
for his is just the only human possession that is exempt from all risks
and changes. Now the non-teaching of these moral qualities is an
education, the outcome of which is likely to be a refined selfishness.
An equal fortune derived from commerce, trade, or manufactures, teaches
other lessons, almost we may say lessons of the very opposite kind. He,
whose position depends on buying and selling, and producing, and on the
human agencies he must make use of, on new discoveries, and on a variety
of natural occurrences, will estimate life and his fellow men very
differently from his neighbour, who has nothing at all to do except
receiving, and spending his dividends. We are taking no account of
individual character, and of the thousand circumstances and accidents,
which may overrule, in any particular case, the natural teaching of
either of these two kinds of property: we are only speaking generally;
and are taking them as illustrations, with which we are all familiar, of
a character-forming power every kind of property possesses.

Looking, then, at the property possessed by these Visp-side families in
the same way, we can readily understand the moral effect it will have
upon them. It will enforce what it teaches with irresistible power,
because it will be acting on every member of the community in precisely
the same way, throughout every day of the lives of all of them,
generation after generation. Such teaching there is no possibility of
withstanding. And what it teaches in this undeniable fashion,—undeniable
because the virtues taught are to them the very conditions of
existence,—are very far from being small moralities, for they are
industry, prudence, patience, frugality, honesty.

Without industry their little plots of land could not support them; not
the industry of the Irishman, in the days before the potato-famine, who
set his potatoes in the spring, and took them up in the autumn, without
finding much to do for the rest of the year; but an industry which must
be exercised, sometimes under very adverse circumstances, throughout the
whole twelve months. Every square yard of every part of their land
represents so much hard labour, for nowhere has land been so hard to
win. This fact is always before their eyes, and is in itself always a
lesson to them. And this hard-won land, reminding them of the industry
of those who were before them, has still, always, to be protected
against the ravages of winter storms, and its irrigation kept in order.
And every hard-won square yard must be turned to the best account. And
all must labour in doing this. Their cows, too, require as much
attention as their families. For them they must toil unremittingly in
their short summer: they must follow them up into the mountains, and
they must collect and store up for them the provender they will need in
the long winter. And they must be industrious not only in the field, but
equally in the house. They cannot afford to buy, and, therefore,
everything, that can be, must be done, and made, at home. They cannot
allow any portion of their time, or any capacity their land has for
producing anything useful, to run to waste. There can be no fallows, of
any kind, here.

With their long winters and scanty means, frugality, prudence,
forethought, are all as necessary as industry. These are the
indispensable conditions for eking out the consumption of the modest
store of necessaries their life-long industry provides. If they were as
wasteful, as careless, as improvident as our wages-supported poor, the
ibex and chamois might soon return to the valley.

It is these necessity-imposed virtues which save the valley on the one
hand from depopulation, and on the other from becoming overpeopled. Our
labourers, and artisans, and operatives, who depend on wages, as soon as
they have got wages enough to support a wife, marry. The general, almost
the universal, rule with them is to marry young. The young men and
maidens on Visp-side, not being dependent on wages, but on having a
little bit of land, sufficient to support life, do not marry till they
have come into possession of this little bit of land. Early marriages,
therefore, are not the rule with them. The discipline of life, such as
it is in the valley, has taught them—and a very valuable lesson it is—to
bide their time.

Another virtue, which comes naturally to them, is honesty. The honesty
of the valley appears to an Englishman unaccountable, Arcadian,
fabulous. The ripe apples and the ripe plums hang over the road without
a fence, for land is too precious for fences, and within reach of the
hand of the passer-by; but no hand is reached out to touch them. Why is
such forbearance unimaginable here? The reason is that, where only a few
possess, the many not having the instincts of property, come to regard
the property of the few as, to some extent, fair game for them. It is
their only chance—their only hunting-ground. This is a way in which,
without sanctioning a law which will act prejudicially to themselves,
they can secure their share of the plums and apples nature provides.
But, when all have property, each sees that the condition on which his
own plums and apples will be respected is that he should himself respect
the plums and apples of other people. This idea is at work in
everybody’s mind. The children take to the idea, and to the practice of
it, as naturally as they did to their mother’s milk. Honesty becomes an
element of the general morality. It is in the air, which all must

Here then is a picture that is most charming. How cruelly hard has
Nature been! Look at the cold, heartless mountains. Look upon their ice
and storm-engendering heights. See how the little valley below lies at
their mercy. Consider how, year by year, they fight against its being
extorted from their dominion. Yet the feeble community in the valley, by
their stout hearts and virtuous lives, continue to make it smile on the
frowning mountains. How pleasing to the eye and to the thought, is the
sight! And what enhances the charm it possesses is the sense of its
thorough naturalness. There is nothing artificial about it; and so there
is nothing that can to the people themselves suggest discontent. Their
condition, in every particular, is the direct result of the unobstructed
working of natural causes, such as they exist in man himself, and in
environing circumstances. Whatever may be its drawbacks, or
insufficiencies, they can in no way be traced to human legislation. How
unwilling are we to contrast with this charming scene—but this is just
what we have to do—the destitution, the squalor, and the vice, not of
our great cities only, but even of our Visp-sides.

But, first, we will endeavour, by the light of the ideas we outside
people have on these subjects, to complete our estimate of the worth of
the state of things we are contemplating; of this oasis, the sight of
which is so refreshing to those whose lot it is to be familiar with, and
to dwell in, the hard wilderness of the world.

Its virtues are, doubtless, very pleasing to contemplate; but they are
not of quite the highest order. The industry before us is very
honourable. The mind dwells on the sight of it with satisfaction. But,
as it only issues in the barest subsistence, the observation of this
somewhat clouds our satisfaction. There are, too, higher forms of
industry of which nothing can be known here—the industry of those who
live laborious days, and scorn delights, from the desire to improve
man’s estate, to extort the secrets of nature for his benefit, to clear
away obstacles which are hindering men from seeing the truth, to add to
the intellectual wealth of the race, to smoothe the path of virtue, and
make virtue itself appear more attractive. Such industry is more
honourable, and more blessed both to him who labours and to those who
participate in the fruits of his labour. And such prudence, frugality,
and forethought as are practised in the valley are very honourable, and
the mind dwells on the sight of them, too, with satisfaction. But he who
belongs to the outside world will here again be disposed to repeat the
observation just made. It is true that that man’s understanding and
heart must be out of harmony with the conditions of this life, and
therefore repulsive to us, who does not gather up the fragments that
nothing be lost, but when this is done only for self, and those who are
to us as ourselves, though so done unavoidably through the necessity of
the case, it is somewhat chilling and hardening. And it is not
satisfactory that so much thought and care should be expended only upon
the best use of the means of life—those means, too, being sadly
restricted; for a higher application of these virtues would be to the
best use of life itself. And so, again, with respect to their honesty.
This is a virtue that is as rare as honourable; and the mind dwells on
the sight of it with proportionate satisfaction. But its application to
plums and apples is only its beginning. It has far loftier and more
arduous, and more highly rewarded forms. It may be acted on under
difficulties, and applied to matters, not dreamt of in the valley. It
may rise into the form of social and political justice, in which form it
prompts a man to consider the rights of others, especially of the most
helpless and depressed, and even of the vicious, as well as his own; and
not to use his own advantages and power in such a way as to hurt or
hinder them: but, rather, to consider that it is due to their unhappy
circumstances and weakness, that he should so use his power, and good
fortune, as to contribute to the redress of the evils of their ill

Attractive, then, as is the contemplation of the moral life of the
inhabitants of the valley, it is not in every respect satisfactory. A
higher level may be attained. After all, it is the moral life rather of
an ant-hill, or of a bee-hive, than of this rich and complex world to
which we belong. And even if it were somewhat more elevated than it is,
still there would remain some who would be unable to accept it, as
worthy of being retained without prospect of change or improvement; and
their reason would be, that man does not live by, or for, morality only.
The worthy exercise of the intellectual powers is necessary for their
idea of the complete man; and here everything of this kind is found to
be sorely deficient. On the whole, then, in respect of each of the three
ingredients of human well-being, a thoroughly equipped life,
intellectual activity, and the highest form of virtue, we feel that
something better,—with respect, indeed, to the two first something very
much better,—is attainable, than what exists in the charming oasis
before us.

                  *       *       *       *       *

II. I now invite the reader to proceed with me to the consideration of
how different economical conditions, such as our experience enables us
to imagine, would modify the state of things we have been contemplating.
For instance, suppose Visp-side were in Scotland or England, then its
4,000 acres might, and it is not unlikely that they would, be only a
part of the estate of some great landlord. Let us endeavour to make out
the effects this would have on its inhabitants.

The most obvious result would be that the population would be diminished
by more than a half. At present the produce of the valley, with no very
considerable deductions, is consumed in the valley. What is produced is
what is required for supplying its large population with the first wants
of life. But this will no longer be the case. The land will be let. We
will suppose that this change has been completely effected; and that its
irrigated meadows, with the contiguous little plots of corn-land, have
been formed into farms, and that all is now treated in the way those who
rent them find it pays best to manage them. We will suppose they have to
pay a rent of 30s. an acre. The rent of the valley will then be
6,000_l._ a-year. How will this sum be made up? Cheese, of course, will
be the main means. The young bullocks and the old cows will come next.
We will take little credit for corn or potatoes, because it is evident
that not nearly so much of them will be grown as was done under the old
system; for much of the mountain corn-land will not pay now for
cultivation with hired labour.

The economist, pure and simple, may say that this is all right. The
course of events must be submitted to. Whatever they dictate is best;
and best as it is. Interference with natural laws is always bad. The
cheese and the cattle will sell for as much as they are worth. The
sovereigns they will fetch are worth as much as the produce. There will
be no diminution of wealth. But, however, it has to be proved that the
new system is unavoidable in the sense of being either a natural step in
the unobstructed course of human affairs, or, as some would tell us, the
natural consummation of their long course, now at last happily effected.
Perhaps it may be possible to show that there has been serious
interference with their natural evolution; so serious as greatly to
affect their character. And, if so, then the question of whether or no
there has been any loss of value does not arise, for the antecedent
question may render its discussion unnecessary. Be, however, these
matters as they may, they do not cover all the ground we are desirous of
investigating. We are thinking not of exchangeable wealth only, but also
of men and women; and they, perhaps, may be regarded as wealth in its
highest form; a kind of wealth, in which, if the men and women are not
corrupt or counterfeit, but good and true, all may to some extent
participate, and be the better for.

Under the system we are now considering, it jars against a sense of
something or other in the minds of many, to see so much of the results
of the labour of the people of the valley passing away from them, never
to return in any form or degree. As far as they are concerned it is a
tribute they are paying to the man who owns the land of the valley. And
whether it be, year by year, paid to him, or whether all this cheese and
all these cattle be every year on a stated day collected and burnt at
the mouth of the valley; or the price, for which they may have been
sold, thrown into the mid-ocean, would make no difference to them. They
will get no advantage from it at all, for it is evident that a man who
has an income of at least 6,000_l._ a-year will never live in the Valley
of the Visp. He will, perhaps, have his mansion on the bank of the Lake
of Geneva; or perhaps at Paris: at all events, it will be somewhere at a
distance. The case of so many bales of calico being sent out of
Manchester, to all parts of the world, is not similar. They are sent out
for the very purpose of coming back again in the form of what will not
only support those who produce them, but will also, if trade be good,
increase the fund that supports the trade, that is to say, will increase
the number of those who in various ways are supported by the trade:
hence the growth of Manchester. Nor is it the same thing as so many
quarters of corn being sent from America to this country, for in that
case also the price of the corn returns to the hands of those who grew
it. Their corn-fields have produced for them, only in a roundabout
fashion, a golden harvest; and they have, themselves, the consumption of
this harvest, precisely in the same way as the now existing Visp-side
population have the direct consumption of the produce of their little
plots of land. Some, of course, of the price of the cheese and cattle
sent away will enable the farmers to live and to pay their labourers;
but none of the 6,000_l._ a-year will come back in any form.

But the point now actually before us is the effect this change will
produce on the amount of population. In order that the land might be let
profitably, it was necessary to clear it of its old proprietors, for
they could pay no rent at all. Their little estates were barely
sufficient, with the most unremitting labour, and the most careful
frugality, to support life. The valley has now been formed into
cheese-farms; and we will suppose that for keeping up the irrigation,
cutting the grass, tending the cows in summer on the mountains, and
during the winter doing everything for them, and for cultivating
whatever amount of land is still cropped with corn and potatoes, five
men are wanted for a hundred acres. This will give for the 4,000 acres
200 men. Let each man, as before, represent a family of six souls. Here,
for the labourers and their families, will be a population of 1,200. We
will also suppose that, under the circumstances of the valley, the
average size of the farms is not more than fifty acres. This will give
eighty farmers. If their households average eight souls, we have 640
more. These, and the labourers, will not, as was formerly done, under
the old order of things, by every family, produce themselves pretty
nearly all that is necessary for their households. It will not be so,
because the farmers, who must also attend to their farms, will require
many things that none required before; and because the labourers, having
to give all their time and strength for wages, will be obliged to buy
almost all that they will require. This will necessitate the
introduction into the valley of a considerable number of tradesmen. We
will suppose a hamlet every five miles, in which, besides farmers and
labourers, will reside eight tradesmen and petty shopkeepers. That is
five hamlets, and forty tradesmen and shopkeepers. These, with six to a
family, will add 240 to the population. These different contributories,
then, will raise the total to 2,080. As the distances will remain what
they were, and as there will be more stir and ambition among a
population of farmers and shopkeepers, than there was formerly among the
peasant proprietors, we will take the number of school-teachers as much
the same under either system. The reduction of the population to
one-third of its former amount will somewhat reduce the number of
priests; but as thought will now be more active, and, therefore, more
varied, this reduction will be counterbalanced by an increase in the
number of prophets.

The next step in our inquiry is, how will this revolution affect the
character of the population of the valley? We have seen that under the
old system their whole character was the direct result of the fact that
everyone was either the actual, or the prospective, possessor of a small
plot of land, just enough to sustain the life of a family. That was the
root out of which their lives grew; and their industry, frugality,
forethought, patience, and honesty were the fruits such lives as theirs
produced. That root is now dead. The conditions of life are different;
and with different conditions have come corresponding differences of
character. For instance, we all know that those who labour primarily for
others, that others may make the profit that will accrue from their
labour, are not so industrious as those who labour entirely for
themselves. Nor will they have the same forethought, because their
dependence is on wages, and wages require no forethought. Formerly
forethought was a condition of existence. They are also now in a school
which is a bad one for frugality and patience, and which is very far
from being a good one for honesty. These, however, are still the main
constituents of morality, for in them there can be no change, because
morality is the regulative order of the family and of society: and now,
with respect to all of these points, among the mass of the population,
there is, necessarily a deterioration. Nor is petty trade, at least so
says the experience of mankind, favourable to morality. As to those who
hire the land, we will suppose that the more varied relations, than any
which existed under the old system, into which they have been brought
with their neighbours, and with the world outside the valley, have in
some cases had an elevating and improving effect. The moral influences,
however, of occupations of this kind are far from being universally
good, because those who live by the labour of others, will in many cases
be of opinion, that their own interests are antagonistic to the
interests of those they employ in such a sense, that it is to their
advantage to pay low wages, which means to lessen the comforts, and even
the supply of necessaries, to those by whose labour they live. This may
be an unavoidable incident of the relation in which the two stand
towards each other, but it is not conducive to the result we are now
wishing to find.

The intellectual gains and losses are harder to estimate. As to the
labourers, one cannot believe that a body of men that has been lowered
morally has been raised intellectually. Among the tradesmen class
there will be some who will have more favourable opportunities for
rising into a higher intellectual life than any had among the old
peasant-proprietors. And among the small occupiers of land, for the
farms only average fifty acres, these chances will, perhaps, be still
greater. But all this will not come to much. The great question here
is about the one family, for whose benefit mainly, almost, indeed,
exclusively, the whole of the change has been brought about. This
family now stands for 4,000 of the old inhabitants of the valley. One
of the greatest of all possible revolutions has been carried out in
its favour, for it is a revolution that has swept away the greater
part of the population, and completely altered the material, moral,
and intellectual life of all that remained. We will, however, suppose
that they are everything that can be expected of a family so
favourably circumstanced. That their morality is pure and elevated.
That, intellectually, they are refined and cultivated. That they
promote art. That science is at times their debtor. That among its
members have been men who have advanced the thought of their day, and
have made additions to the common fund of intellectual wealth; and
others who have done their country good service in peace and in war.

When I say that this family stands in the place of the 4,000 who have
disappeared from the valley, I limit the observation to the valley, for
I do not mean that the population of the world has been diminished to
that extent to make space for them, because the cheese and cattle sent
out of the valley for their 6,000_l._ a-year, will contribute to the
support elsewhere of a great many people who must work, and so live, in
order that they may be able to purchase them.

But to return; those who were not satisfied with the original Arcadian
state of things, we may be sure will not be satisfied with that which we
are now imagining has taken its place. For nothing will satisfy them, if
there must be a change, except some such condition of things as will
work as favourably both for morality, and for intellect, as that did for
morality alone; and which will, at the same time, provide, generally, a
better supplied material life than that did.

We have now endeavoured, first, to analyze the land-system of the
valley, such as it presents itself to the eye of a contemplative
pedestrian; and which may be regarded as the natural working out of
proprietorship in land, when it is the sole means of supporting life. We
then proceeded to compare with this a system we wot of, carried out to
its full-blown development. This second system is what people refer to
when they talk of English landlordism. These two forms, however, of the
distribution and tenure of land are very far from exhausting all that
have existed, and that do and that might exist. Distribution and tenure
are capable of assuming many other forms; and some of these must be
considered before we can hope to arrive at anything like a right and
serviceable understanding of the matter.

                  *       *       *       *       *

III. The distinguishing feature of the economical conditions of the
present day, and of other conditions as far as they depend on those that
are economical, is the existence of capital in the forms and proportions
it has now assumed. This has modified, and is modifying, the life of all
civilised communities. It is this that has built our great cities, that
is peopling the new world, that has liberated the serfs of the Russian
Empire. It leavens all we do, or say, or think. We are what we are,
because of it. The tenure and distribution of land, next to capital
itself, the most generally used and diffused of all property, originally
the only, and till recently the chief, property, cannot escape the
influence of this all-pervading and omnipotent agent of change, which
everywhere cuts a channel for itself, and finds the means for rising,
sooner or later, to its own level. In some places it has affected land
in a fashion more or less in accordance with its natural action; in
other places in a fashion which has resulted more or less from
artificial restrictions: but in some fashion or other it affects it
everywhere; as it does all man’s belongings, and the whole tenor and
complexion of human life.

Land, then, was the sole primeval means of supporting life. Over large
areas of the earth’s surface it is so still. It was so in Homeric
Greece—at that time the most advanced part of Europe—though we can trace
in its then condition a certain indefinite nebulous capacity for the
development of capital, the higher means of supporting life; and which
capacity afterwards assumed its true form and action among the Ionians
and other Asiatic Greeks, but above all at Athens: which accounts for
the differences between it and Sparta: for it was the existence and
employment of capital which made it the nurse and the holy city of
intellect; while it was the contempt and the legislative suppression of
capital which kept the Lacedæmonians, except so far as they were
affected by the general influences of Greek thought, in the condition of
a clan of splendid savages. And what obtained all but absolutely in
Homeric Greece, obtained at that time, as far as we know, quite
absolutely over all the rest of Europe. In the early ages of Roman
history, Rome was a city of landowners; that is, of landowners living a
city life. To understand this fact is to understand its early, and much
of its subsequent history. It was so, also, with the neighbouring
cities, in the conquest and absorption of which the first centuries of
its historic existence were spent: they were cities of landowners. As we
walk about the streets of disinterred Pompeii, we see that in this
pleasure-city, even down to the late date of its catastrophe, it was
very much so, although the capital of the plundered world had, at that
time, for several generations, been flowing, through many channels, into
Italy. That specimen city, as we may call it, of imperial Italy, appears
to have been laid up in its envelope of ashes, preserved like an
anatomical preparation, for the very purpose of enabling us to
understand this luciferous fact.

I need not go on tracing out the subsequent history of land and capital,
which would lead, again, to a comparison of the splendid savagery of
feudal landowners with the revival of culture in the capital-supported
trading communities of the Dark Ages; and their interaction upon each
other: but will pass at once to ourselves. It is very possible now, at
all events it is conceivable under the present state of things, that in
a large English city—it is more or less so with almost all our
cities—there may not be a single owner of agricultural land in its whole
population: for I now, as I do throughout this chapter, distinguish land
held for agricultural purposes from that which is held merely for
residential, or commercial purposes. Here, then, is a difference so
great that it takes much time and thought to comprehend its extent, its
completeness, and its consequences. It belongs to a totally different
stage of economical, and of social development; as complete as the
difference between a caterpillar and a butterfly. The solid strength,
the slow movements, the monotonous existence of the former represent the
era of land. The nimbleness (capital is of no country), the beauty, the
variety of life, but withal the want of solidity of the latter represent
the era of capital. It is the wise combination, and harmonious
interaction, of the two, which would, and which are destined to, cancel
the disadvantages, and secure the advantages of each.

The revolution, that has been effected, is mighty and all-pervading. But
because it has not been carried out by invading hosts, ravaged
provinces, blazing cities, and bloody battle-fields, it is difficult to
bring home to the general understanding that there has been any
revolution at all. At its commencement it found those who owned the land
of the country, not merely the most powerful order in the state, but
quite supreme. It gradually introduced another order of men, those who
own capital; and has ended by making them at length the most powerful;
and so much so that now, whenever they choose to assert their power,
they are supreme. Of course there ought not to be any antagonism between
the two; but as there is unfortunately, and quite unnecessarily, an
artificially created antagonism, there must be collisions and conflicts;
in which, however, the supremacy must always eventually rest with the

The progress of this revolution ought to be seen a little in detail. Not
an acre can be added to the land of the country, but to the capital of
the country, already several times as much in value as the whole of the
land, and supporting a greater number of lives, there is added a sum of
two millions and a half of pounds sterling every Saturday night. We will
note a few of the steps in the growth of capital. The year 1550 is very
far from the date of the recognised appearance of capital in this
country: it was even observed that in the previous century there had
been an unexampled extension of commerce; but there are good reasons for
supposing that the whole of the accumulated capital of the country at
that time was less than one year’s purchase of the land. The land, at
all events, was worth a great many times as much as all the capital
amounted to.

In 1690 the purchase of an estate, of the value of 100,000_l._, was the
wonder of the day.

In the next fifty years bankers were the chief, or only, large

In the following half-century the Indians came home, and were added to
the class.

Then, in the last half of the last century, came the manufacturers.

And now the most prominent capitalists, who become large purchasers of
land, are the coal-owners, and the owners of iron-works, who, however,
are accompanied by a cloud of contractors, engineers, merchants,
brewers, Stock Exchange speculators, Australians, and even tradesmen,
among whom bankers and manufacturers still hold their ground. Of course
all of these classes who might, do not, become purchasers of
agricultural estates; but those who do, show us in what direction we are
to look for the great money-lords of the day. And if they are so
many—there probably are at this time in Newcastle alone, in consequence,
just now, of the prosperity of the iron and coal trades, five and twenty
houses making, each, its 100,000_l._ a-year, how many must be the rank
and file of the army of capital. The ratio then of capital to land has
been completely inverted. At this moment there is disposable capital
enough in the country to buy, at its present enhanced price, all the
land of the country, three times over. And this stock of capital goes on
increasing at the rate of 150,000,000_l._ a-year.

In the political order, we are indebted to capital for Sir Robert Peel
and Mr. Gladstone, and for their policy; and we may suppose that the
policy which capital may dictate will, henceforth, be the policy of
every Government that will administer the affairs of this country. The
land and the proletariat will never combine for the purpose of
attempting to make it otherwise: for it will never be their interest to
do so. Capital is both aristocratic and democratic in the best sense of
each of these words. It is the cement, and the mainspring of modern
societies, and, also, the ladder within them, without which there would
be no rising from low to high positions.

And now let us go back to Visp-side, bearing in mind the ideas we have
been working out. We will, then, suppose that by trade, and commerce,
and manufactures, which are both the children and the parents of
capital, other means for supporting life have become abundant in the
valley. It is easy to make out what will be the effect of this on the
dimensions of the, at present, diminutive properties of its one thousand
families. Land will present itself to the minds of all as what it has
really become; that is to say, as only one means among many for the
support of life: the many others being the various forms in which
capital works. The present subdivision, therefore, of the land will no
longer be regarded as an obvious and undeniable necessity. It has,
indeed, become only a secondary, and inferior means for supporting life.
Those engaged in trade and commerce, it will be manifest, are many of
them living much better lives than the petty proprietors. The old ideas
and practices, then, with respect to land will melt away, and be utterly
dissolved. The necessity for maintaining them has ceased; and they will
cease to be maintained.

At the same time those who have acquired capital by trade, and commerce,
and manufactures, will be desirous of investing some of it, perhaps a
surplus their business may not require, in land, which must always
continue to be the safest, and in some other respects the most desirable
form of property. And many of those who have come to wish to retire from
the labours and anxieties of business, will have the same desire. So,
too, will some who are disposed to prefer agriculture to other kinds of
industry; and who are, therefore, desirous of becoming possessed of
sufficient land for their purpose, that they may apply to it their
capital and intelligence, using it as the raw material of the
manufacture towards which they are most attracted. Some will merely want
a pleasant situation for a home for their families; some a little land
around such a home to give them a little pleasant occupation. There
will, we will suppose, be no artificial, as there are no natural,
obstacles to all of these people buying what they have the means for
buying, and the wish to buy; and using what they buy as they please. The
properties thus formed will, many of them, be large, in proportion to
the amount of surplus capital many will come to possess. But what will
be remarkable, in this respect, will be, while the number of landed
properties will be very considerable, the variety of their dimensions,
which will be proportionate to the endlessly varying means of the
multitudes, who in an era of capital will be desirous of investing in
land, and the variety of uses to which they will be put in accordance
with the varying wants and tastes of their owners.

And in these properties, whether great, or small, there will be
incessantly at work two directly opposite tendencies. One in the
direction of enlargement by inheritance, by marriage, and by larger
increases of surplus capital, and of capital retiring from business. The
other in the direction of subdivision, through the necessities, or the
wishes, of their holders. These necessities may have arisen from the
vicissitudes of business, the occurrences of life, and the extravagances
and vices of their holders from time to time. Or the descendant of a
purchaser may wish to capitalise his land, and take the capital back to
business; or to place it in some investment more profitable than land.
But, at all events, there will be no escaping from the natural,
ever-felt, imperious obligation proprietors of land, like all other men,
will be under, of providing for their widows and children. This will
keep every estate in the condition of liability to subdivision; and
must, at intervals, subdivide it. All these may be regarded as natural
conditions. They are self-acting, and never-failing; and that they
should lead to their natural issue, that is to the subdivision of landed
estates, is in accordance with good instincts, in no way demoralising,
and in every way healthy. Their free action exactly accommodates things
to the requirements both of individuals and of the times.

What we are now contemplating is the state of things which will be
brought about when the natural action of capital, and the natural action
of landed property, have been left to take their own unimpeded course in
the valley: for it is to the actual and the possible conditions of
Continental Visp-sides, viewed in connection with the actual and the
possible conditions of Continental cities, rather than to the broad
acres and busy cities of wealthy England, that what I am now saying
belongs, notwithstanding the appearance, which is unavoidable, of a
constant reference to ourselves. Their case is not quite identical with
ours, either in their existing conditions, or their future
possibilities, as will be seen in due time and place, when we come to
the distinct, and separate, consideration of our own case. Surplus
capital, then, and capital withdrawn from business, will always be
seeking investment: and as the land of a country is the natural
reservoir for a large proportion of all such capital; and as every acre
of land is, on our supposition, saleable, as much so as a sack of wheat,
or a horse, though at the moment the owner may not be tempted by the
price that would be offered for it; and as much of the land everywhere
is always actually in the market, and on sale; the habit of looking to
land as the safest both of temporary and of final investments, will
become pretty general amongst all classes of people engaged in business.
And amongst the holders of land, those who may wish to woo fortune by
going into business, and to increase their incomes by investing the
price of their land in some good security, will have nothing to withhold
them from disposing of it. Estates, that are now in process of
formation, will inevitably, when children have to be provided for, or
upon the occurrence of any of those other causes we have already
referred to, sooner or later enter upon the reverse process of
subdivision. The great points to be kept in mind are that every acre,
though it may not be actually in the market, is yet, at the will of its
owner, marketable; and that, whatever may be the will of its present
holder, must, sooner or later, come on the market; and that capital,
availing itself of these facilities, naturally takes the direction of
the land—in the long run, and to the majority of mankind, the most
desirable of all investments; and that this maintains at a high figure
the number of proprietors, that class which it is for the interest of
the country should be as large as possible: it is obvious that this
class will be large, in the era of capital, in every country where the
land is within the reach of every man who has capital, exactly in
proportion to the amount of capital he is desirous of investing in it.

This state of things appears to have some advantages. These may be
summed up in the general remark that it is in complete conformity with
the wants and conditions of an era of capital, such as that in which we
live. Let us, however, endeavour to resolve this general remark into its
constituent elements. As land is the most attractive of human
possessions, the one possession which gives a man a place of his own to
stand on in this world, it ought naturally to attract to itself much of
the surplus capital of the day, and of capital that is being withdrawn
from business. In the state of things, we have been just considering,
there is no hindrance to the operation of this tendency. This flow of
capital towards the land will make it far more productive than it ever
has been under any other system. For capital is nothing in the world but
bottled-up labour, reconvertible, at the will of the holder, into actual
labour, and the implements and materials and products of labour; and
this system secures the advantage that the proprietors shall generally
be men who have much capital in proportion to their land; and much of
this capital will, of course, be applied to it. More land will be
reclaimed, more rocks blasted and buried; irrigating canals and
cultivation will be carried higher up the sides of the mountains; and
more costly means of cultivation applied than are possible under either
the peasant-proprietor system, or the large estate system. And this may
be a state of things which will not dissatisfy the economist.

It is a state of things which the modern statesman, also, ought to
regard with approval; because the possession of land has always,
everywhere, been the conservative element in human societies; and the
wide diffusion of the proprietorship of land is the only effectual means
by which the statesman of the present day can hope to balance, and
neutralise, the disturbing action of the large aggregations of
population capital has called into being in the great commercial, and
manufacturing cities of this era of capital. It ought to be a pleasing,
and reassuring sight to him to behold streams of capital and of
proprietors constantly flowing off from them towards the land: for in
these streams he knows that power is being drawn off from those terrible
centres of possible disturbance, which cause him so much anxiety; and
that what is thus drawn off from them is being added to the conservative
elements of society. So that if the order of society, or any valuable,
but, at the moment, misunderstood, institution—misunderstood because
things are in an unnatural state—should have to sustain a shock, there
would be less power on the side of those who might originate it, and
more on the side of those who would have to bear the brunt of it—a state
of things which would, probably, prevent the shock from ever occurring.
Whereas to array on one side the land of a country held by a handful of
proprietors against on the other side numbers and capital, is both to
invite the shock, and at the same time to forbid the existence of the
natural means for resisting it.

Many great cities are terrible centres of possible disturbance, just
because there are artificial barriers which keep asunder the land and
its inhabitants on one side, and the cities with their capital and
population on the other side. If things were so that streams of those
who had had the energy and intelligence requisite for success, and had
succeeded, were constantly flowing off from the cities to the land; and
back-currents of those, who were desirous of seeking fortune, flowing
into the towns from the country; and this is what ought to be the state
of things in an era of capital; there would be less opposition of
interests and sentiments between the town and the country: they would
together form more of an homogeneous system. If the town populations
could be brought into some kind of connection with the land, they would
then, so far, have given hostages, a material guarantee, to social
peace, and order.

Neither will they be dissatisfied who are desirous of seeing property so
distributed as to favour as much as possible the moral and intellectual
condition of the community. Property will everywhere be diffused; and
never being encumbered more than very temporarily, that is never beyond
the life of the encumbered holder, for on our supposition it will always
pass from hand to hand perfectly unencumbered in every way, its numerous
holders in every locality will be in a position to do, and to support,
whatever need be done, and supported. Take the instance of the support
of religion. It would be mischievous under the previously considered
system to disestablish a national Church, because as all the surplus
produce of the valley, in the form of a rent of 6,000_l._ a-year, is
sent out of the valley, there is nothing left in the hands of the
population, such as we imagined it had become, to support religion,
except in the humblest, that is in a thoroughly unworthy, form. And here
we cannot but think about ourselves; and our doing so will contribute
somewhat towards bringing us to a better understanding of this
particular point. As things now are in this country the portion of the
rent which is retained in every parish for the maintenance of religion
is in multitudes of cases the only part of the rent that is retained,
and spent, on the spot, among those whose labour produces it. No one
will deny that this is in many ways an advantage to them. To instance
one advantage, it is often the cause of the existence of needed
institutions, as was lately seen most conspicuously in the part the
clergy took in the establishment and maintenance of schools, which was
an undeniable benefit to their poor neighbours, and to the country,
though at the same time something besides and beyond what they were
bound to do for the maintenance of the knowledge and of the services of
religion. In many places, too, it is the only part of the rent which
supports in the locality a man of education and refinement; a social and
political advantage which cannot be denied, or overlooked. And this
appropriation of a small portion of the rent has largely benefited
literature, and to some extent science. It also gives us a large number
of families, who far outnumber those supported by the great bulk of the
rent of the country, and are in a very favourable position for bestowing
on their sons the best attainable education, carefully supervised. To
them we owe multitudes of those who are at all times doing the country,
at home and abroad, good service. We may, at the present moment, take as
instances the Lord Chancellor and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, both
of whom were brought up in rural parsonages. Surely it would be a local
and a national benefit if more of the rent of the land were somewhat
similarly conditioned. And perhaps the greater part of it would be under
the system we are now considering. And in addition to this much other
property in the form of capital, belonging to such owners of the land,
would be brought into each locality, some of which would be sunk in the
land, and some retained in securities paying interest and dividends,
which would be spent on the spot. Under such a state of things there
would be abundance of local means for the voluntary support of all
needed institutions, and of religion among the rest; and a national
establishment would then cease to be the necessity it is now. At all
events, should the national provision for the maintenance of religion,
which is incidentally a provision, and as things now are very usefully
so, for spending a small part of the rent of each parish, often a very
small part indeed, in the parish itself, be cancelled, the aspect of
things in many places, and the consequences, would be such as to bring
many, who are pretty well satisfied with things as they are without
thinking why, to join in the cry for free trade in land.

                  *       *       *       *       *

IV. We have been considering three conditions under which the land of
the valley may be held; first, that of a thoroughly carried-out system
of peasant-proprietorship, which is the natural consummation of things
when land is the only means of supporting life, or so nearly the only
means that other means disturb its action so little that they need not
be considered; and which is the cause of its being divided down to the
lowest point at which it is capable of supporting life: we then passed
to the opposite extreme, to which the name of landlordism has been
given; and we came at last to that which would result, and in places has
more or less resulted, from the free interaction of land and capital, in
this era of capital. We still have to consider how it has been brought
about that, in this era of capital, the free interaction of the two, in
this country hardly exists at all; what it is that here hinders its
existence; and so gives rise to the two abnormal, but closely connected,
phenomena, that land is held only in very large aggregations, and that
capital is driven away from the proprietorship of land, except in these
large aggregations, to seek imaginary investment at home in never-ending
bubble schemes, the manufacture of which is as much a trade as that of
calico, or sent abroad to be sunk in impossible Honduras railways, the
shares of non-existent Californian mines, and the bonds of hardly more
existent states.

This, as it is an unnatural state of things, can have been brought about
only by the disturbing action of law. What, then, we have to consider
now is, how law has stepped in, and hindered the existence of the state
of things which the circumstances of the times demand, and which,
therefore, would be their natural and normal condition; and, as it
seems, would be fraught with so many and such great advantages to
individuals and to the country. The general sense of uneasiness, these
questions have given rise to throughout society, indicate that in this
matter there is something constitutionally wrong.

When I was in the United States in 1867-1868, I was frequently asked how
the people of England could tolerate a system—the questioner always
supposed that such a result could only be brought about by law—that gave
the land of the country to a handful of the population? I always replied
‘that it was a natural consequence of our great wealth. A banker, an
Australian, a contractor, a merchant or manufacturer, a coal or iron
owner, made his million of money, and as he could live very well on
25,000_l._ a-year, he sunk it in land for the sake of the security the
land offered, and because, moreover, its possession gave certain social
and political advantages. That it was the competition of these
millionaires, who were willing to pay for something beyond the
productive powers of the land, that kept small purchasers out of the
market, and also induced small holders to sell.’ I gave this answer
because I wished to avoid a long explanation, involving probably a great
deal of argument; and I had not crossed the Atlantic to give, but to
receive, information.

I knew at the time that my answer was only a partial one; that it
omitted some very important elements of the question; and, therefore,
was worth very little, except for the purpose in view at the moment.

For instance; it rested on the assumption that the interest of money is
now so high in this country that under no circumstances—I admit that it
is so under existing circumstances—would people hold small amounts of
land, say a thousand acres, because they could get a better income by
selling the land, and investing the proceeds otherwise; and that none
can afford to buy land, except those who can afford to buy so much that
the moderate interest of the purchase will still in its amount be
sufficient for all their wants. It is acknowledged that at present it is
so. The whole question, then, turns on the point of what causes it to be
so? Is it unavoidable and natural? If so, then it is all right as it is;
and the subject is withdrawn from the category of useful discussions.

I, however, for one, am disposed to think that it is neither unavoidable
nor natural. There is not such a great difference between the interest
of money in France and in England, as to make the great bulk of the
people of France desire, above all things, land, and the great bulk of
the people of England quite indifferent about it, and even the few who
have it in moderate extents desirous of getting rid of it. And, again,
in the United States the interest of money is higher than it is here,
and yet the ownership of land is regarded as the support, and its
cultivation as the natural employment of, I suppose, four-fifths of the
whole white population. To us, who look across the Atlantic, the cities
appear to be America. But this is an optical illusion. The United States
are as large as the whole of Europe, and the cities, though centres of
extraordinary activity, are few and far between. Its vast occupied area
maintains an agricultural population; and its agriculture is carried on
upon so grand a scale that, when the eye is directed to it, everything
else is utterly lost to view. The towns are nothing in a scene which
takes in fifteen hundred miles of farm-houses from New York to Omaha,
which begin again in the Great Salt Lake Valley, and again on the slopes
of the Sierra-Nevada, reaching to the shore of the Pacific.

The cause, then, why what does take place in France, and in the United
States, does not take place here, must be sought for in something
peculiar to ourselves. And our English peculiarity I believe to be this,
that here the dominant and regulative fact bearing on the distribution
of land is, that it is not distributable; in plain English, that it is
not saleable. This is brought about by the law which allows estates to
be settled, that is to be taken out of the market and practically to be
rendered unsaleable. This being the general fact with respect to land,
the millions connected with its cultivation, seeing no opening for their
ever becoming possessed of an acre of it, do not save for this purpose,
and have their thoughts turned in other directions, that is to say, to
the towns, to trade, or to emigration. And the rest of the population,
being met by the same obstacle, have their thoughts with respect to
land, and the investment in it of their capital, equally shaped and
coloured by the existence of that obstacle. That which is the dominant
fact brings about what is the general feeling and practice. Where is the
rural district in which, from the general condition of things, it could
become a general practice among the population to work, and deny
themselves, in order to acquire some property in the land? Unsaleability
is the general rule, and so this motive, and everything that would be
connected with it, and grow out of it, has no existence. The same cause
acts even in a higher degree on the rest of the population, because
their thoughts are not, from the circumstances and character of their
lives, so naturally directed towards the land. It would be just the
reverse if every acre, everywhere, were always saleable: of course not
always on sale, but always saleable at the will of its owner.

Speaking generally, we are in the unique and anomalous position of a
nation which has no class of proprietors of small, and moderate-sized
estates, cultivating their own land. If circumstances were at all
favourable to the maintenance amongst us of such a class, I believe it
would be maintained, and would go on increasing. What is the case is,
that circumstances adverse to it, and even destructive of it, have been
created artificially. By the power of settling estates, large settled
estates have everywhere been called into existence. Thenceforth the
fight in each neighbourhood is between large settled estates and small
properties. The large settled estates are endowed, practically, with
perpetuity, and they have within themselves great powers of purchasing,
that is of extension; for their owners are already wealthy, and have,
also, the power of discounting, for the purpose of making purchases, the
future increase in value of their estates; and they always have a strong
motive for making such purchases. The small properties, as things now
are, have very little of the element of perpetuity; generally no
self-contained power of extension by purchase; and their proprietors
have no special motives for attempting to extend them. The absorption,
then, of the small properties is inevitable; and has been, indeed,
almost entirely effected already. Our system creates the large estates,
and endows them with the power of swallowing up the small ones; and so
year by year takes the land, more and more, out of the market: the
general result being that at last we have come to have only a handful of
very wealthy rent-receiving proprietors, and few cultivating
proprietors; and that the thoughts, the prospects, and the capital of
the richest nation in the world are all pretty completely turned away
from the land.

We said that our system was not either unavoidable or natural. We ought,
therefore, to show how it could have been avoided. We partially did this
when we pointed out its causes. Let us, however, endeavour now to find
for ourselves a distinct answer to the question, In what way could its
growth and establishment have been prevented? I need not repeat its
peculiarities: they have just been referred to. Suppose, then, a century
ago, the Legislature had come to be of opinion that it was contrary to
public policy that an existing generation should have its hands tied, in
dealing with the land of the country, by the necessities, or the
personal and family ambitions, or the ideas, of preceding generations;
and that public policy required that the land of the country should pass
from hand to hand perfectly free, each successive holder having an
absolute interest in it; receiving, and transmitting it, quite
unencumbered, precisely in the same way as a sovereign passes from hand
to hand. And that, therefore, it had been enacted, with the view of
securing these conditions, that land should not be charged in any way;
that it should not be encumbered with any uses, or settlements of any
kind; and that there should be no power of mortgaging it beyond the
life, or tenancy, of the mortgagor. Such an enactment, it is obvious,
would have rendered the existence of the present system impossible. It
would have had this effect, because no one having had the power of
encumbering land in favour of his widow and younger children, those
whose property was only land, would have been obliged to provide for
their widows and younger children by bequeathing to them certain
portions of the land itself. This would have subdivided the large
estates. It, also, would have secured to every owner the power of at any
time selling his land, if for any reason he were desirous of so dealing
with it. It is, then, presumably, the permission of the very opposite to
that which would have prevented the present state of things from
existing, that has given it existence.

We have been speaking of what might have been done. Let us look at
something that has been done. The course of recent legislation upon this
subject is very instructive; and, as far as it goes, is confirmatory of
what we have been saying as to both the cause, and the remedy, of
existing evils. We often hear remarks made upon the mischievous
consequences of land being held in mortmain. But the fact is, that in
this country there is no such thing as land held in mortmain. The
Legislature has seen the ill effects of its being so held, and, by a
series of Acts, all having the same object, has released what was so
held. The estates vested in the Ecclesiastical Commission were made
saleable in 1843; the episcopal and capitular estates in 1851; the
estates of all other ecclesiastical corporations in 1860; of
universities and colleges in 1858. The estates of schools and charities,
and of municipal bodies, are now in the same state. By this series of
enactments the Legislature has, I believe, completely abolished the
holding of land in mortmain. It could not, we may be sure, have done
otherwise. There was among all enlightened people an overwhelmingly
preponderant perception of what ought to be done; and it was
comparatively easy to deal with that portion of the land of the country
to which these enactments apply. The ground they took was not that the
corporate estates had a worse body of tenants, or were worse cultivated
than settled estates, for that was not the case, but that it was an evil
that land should not be saleable; and so some, that was not saleable
before, was made saleable.

And now let us see how these Acts have worked. There have been instances
in which incumbents of parishes have sold their glebes, and colleges
some of their estates. But who have been the purchasers of these glebes
and college estates? As far as I can hear, in every instance the
purchasers have been large landed proprietors. And they did no wrong in
buying them. Reader, had you and I been in their places we should have
done just what they did. The result, however, has been that the large
estates have become larger; that is to say, the amount of land that was,
through settlements, practically unsaleable, is now greater than it was
before; and that through legislation which had for its aim to make land
saleable. The present system was so widely established, so powerful, and
so ready and so able to avail itself of every opportunity, that there
was no possibility of its being otherwise. The fate, then, of that
portion of the previously mortmain-held land that has been sold, shows
how our existing system works; and enables us to see by an instance,
which, though not great in amount, is yet distinct and palpable, the
tendency in our large settled estates to continue growing, and by so
doing to diminish the amount of saleable land in the country. If,
instead of being misled by names, we look at facts, the true
mortmain-held land of this country is the settled estates.

The corporate lands are, probably, worth somewhere about 30,000,000_l._
An idea is afloat that there will be a proposal to sell these, and to
capitalise the price. But one can hardly suppose that many, except
‘adjacent’ proprietors, will be found to support the scheme, after
people have seen what has become of such portions of these lands as have
already been sold under the recent Acts just referred to; and when they
remember that the discharge of certain duties is attached to the
revenues of these corporate and endowment estates. And if these duties
are not always discharged satisfactorily, that is a matter which better
superintendence might set right. At all events, it is better for the
public that they should get out of these estates something, than that
they should get nothing. If the public desire that it should be so, the
Legislature, we may be sure, will be ready enough to see that all
endowments are turned to good account.

We frequently hear the remark, and it is made as if it explained the
existence and the character of our present system, that feudalism still
flourishes in this country. This is very wide indeed of the mark. There
are many, we may be sure, who would be disposed to think that it would
be of advantage if something like the division of land of the feudal
times still obtained amongst us. The records of the Exchequer give the
number of knights’ fees at 60,215. Let that, however, be as it may, our
system is as unlike that of feudalism as anything can be. It belongs in
its whole character to the era of capital, but in the form a land-system
must assume; and this is its distinguishing feature, when the flow of
capital to the land has been so interfered with as practically to
prohibit its investment in land, except by very rich people, in very
large amounts; that is to say, by people who already have a great deal
of land, or who have a great deal of capital. This is an artificial
state of things belonging to the era of capital. The natural state of
things in the era of capital would be the direct opposite: for that
would issue in there being a multitude of owners of estates, purchased
and used for all manner of purposes; and to all the land being
marketable; and, indeed, to a considerable portion of it, everywhere,
being at any time in the market. Both of these states, the artificial
and the natural one, are equally possible in the era of capital. The
first is brought about, when, as I have pointed out, the action of the
law favours perpetuity, unsaleability, and agglomeration. The latter,
when all the land is saleable; and everyone who has capital, no matter
whether much or little, is able to buy. There is no feudalism in either
of these two states of things. The former is a factitious kind of

It may sound paradoxical, after what has been said, to announce that the
change suggested in our present system would have the effect of raising
the price of land: I am, however, of opinion that it would have this
paradoxical effect; because, though it would largely increase the
supply, it would in a still greater degree increase the demand for, and
the uses of land. It would make all who have capital possible
purchasers, and would be an inducement to many, particularly among those
whose work is on the land, to save capital in order that they might
become purchasers. It would bring into play and activity a great variety
of motives for purchasing. For instance; we should then see joint-stock
companies buying land which offers no particular advantages for
residence, for the single purpose of manufacturing food out of it. They
would pour capital into it in such amounts as only proprietors, who were
also joint-stock companies, could. They would drain, mix soils, employ
steam machinery for cultivation, for preparing artificial manures, and
for cutting, crushing, and cooking food for cattle; they would build
beet-sugar factories, or whatever else would pay when done well, and on
a large scale. Other districts adapted to small properties, if such
there be, we should see falling into the hands of small proprietors.
Others again, which from their salubrity, or beauty, or local proximity
to large towns, were adapted for residential purposes, we should see
turned to this account: so that in places where now there may be one, or
perhaps not one, resident proprietor, there would be a hundred, or a
thousand. In these days of railways and capital all this is natural: and
as it is natural it is what would be best for us. I cannot see anything
bad in such a state of things; and I think it is what will be brought
about eventually. If it had existed during the last fifty years,
probably a large portion of the 1,000,000,000_l._ of capital that have
been sent out of the country, would have been kept at home. If there
were perfect freedom in dealing with the land, in this rich and populous
country, the price of agricultural land would rise to a higher price
than it has attained in Switzerland, Belgium, and parts of France, where
it has long been selling for more than it sells for here. If a
joint-stock company were to demonstrate that 25_l._ of capital per acre
applied to the cultivation of 1,000 acres was a profitable speculation,
would that have any tendency to lower the value of land?

I believe that some of us will live to see the joint-stock principle
introduced into farming, or rather applied to the ownership and
cultivation of the land. My reason for believing this is, that it has
been found to answer in everything else; and that I can see no other way
in which capital, to the amount required in these days, can be applied
to the land; and that I can see in the nature of the case no reason why
it should not be so applied to the land. I take it for granted that, at
this moment, land can be cultivated more productively, and more
economically, comparing the amount of produce with the cost of producing
it, in farms of about 1,000 acres each, cultivated highly, and by steam
machinery, than in any other fashion. If it be so, then the system must
force its way to general adoption; and to the looker-on, practically, no
question remains uncertain but that of time. If he is satisfied that it
is the natural system in the era of capital, he knows that, sooner or
later, it must come. One of its pre-requisites, which it will take time
to bring about, is, that the land should be owned by those who cultivate
it; probably, in each case, by a firm. Whether the firm consist of three
or four partners, or of three or four dozen shareholders, will make no
difference. On no other conditions will the costly plant be provided, or
the inducement in the way of profits be sufficient.

The past history of agriculture will here help us in our attempt to
understand its future. The aboriginal agricultural implement was, as we
all know, a burnt stick—a broken branch, with its point hardened in the
fire. That was in the stone era, and so the forest could not be felled.
Only here and there a small plot could be cultivated with such an
implement. The rest of the land, that is to say almost the whole of it,
was a game preserve for wild animals, deer, wild cattle, wild hogs, &c.
After nobody knows how many ages of this style of farming, and of
utilising the land, came the discovery of metals. An iron hoe was then
regarded as a more wonderful machine than a steam-plough is now. It was
beyond the means of any individual, except perhaps here and there a
great chief. Villages may have clubbed together the few articles they
had of exchangeable value, that is to say became a joint-stock company,
to secure the possession of one of these marvellous implements. Whatever
the land had yielded to the tillage of the burnt stick, and through the
game preserves, it now yielded a great deal more. The game preserves
still continued: but with respect to animal food also there had been a
little advance, for domestic animals now began to appear in the village.
One advance always draws on others. But the domestic animals were at
first kept only in small numbers, for they wandered over large expanses
of land, almost exclusively forest; the game still remaining the more
important of the two. This was the second stage. But as time goes on
iron, and the domestic animals, become more abundant; and an ox, or so
many ox-hides, can be exchanged for a hoe. It is now possible to get so
much more food out of the land, that one man can raise enough for the
support of two. This immediately leads to slavery, which always makes
its appearance in rude societies as soon as they have reached the point
at which one man can produce more food than is sufficient for himself.
This advances agriculture some steps further. Cattle become abundant;
labour is abundant; and a sufficiency of iron is procurable. The forest
is, therefore, taken in hand, and fields, that is spaces where the trees
have been felled, are formed. And now the plough appears on the scene,
and civilised society is fairly under weigh. Cultivation continues to
extend, and with cultivation pasturage. The forest gradually disappears,
and domestic animals entirely take the place of wild game, except for
purposes of amusement and luxury. And so on up to the system with which
we are all familiar. Every discovery advanced matters a step, and made
the land more productive. As, for instance, the introduction of
artificial grasses and roots, for our ancestors in the autumn used to
kill and salt the beef and mutton they would require for the winter and
spring. Then came a better supply of manures, and the two together
rendered the abandonment of fallows possible. The land has all along
been a constant quantity. It, from the beginning, has been the same. But
its produce has from the first been increasing through never-ceasing
advances in the means and methods of cultivating it and of turning it to

And now another advance is in sight, that of cultivation by steam. This
implies a great deal. In each stage there grew out of the nature of
things, as they then were, a certain definite proportion between the
means used and the amount of land cultivated as one concern. In the
burnt stick era the little cultivated plots might have shown in the
forest as the stars do in the field of heaven. In the hoe-period they
were multiplied and enlarged as the stars appear to us through a
telescope. Then we had peasant proprietors, and small tenants. The
number and size of the luminous, that is, of the cultivated, plots were
increasing, as means and appliances increased and improved. And now we
suppose that a farm ought properly to be of 400 or 500 acres in extent.
This means that the instruments of production and our organisation have
advanced very greatly. So must it be with steam cultivation: each
concern must be on a large scale. I have supposed that not less than
1,000 acres will be necessary for turning to good account the machinery
that will be required for tilling the soil, and gathering in the crops,
and preparing them for market, for preparing food for the stock, and for
making artificial manures, &c. No existing buildings will be of any use.
Everything will have to be constructed for the purposes required. Land,
therefore, that has to be cultivated in this way must be regarded as
quite unprovided with the necessary plant, as much so as a thousand
acres of the prairie of Colorado, or of the Pampas of La Plata. And as
nobody will invest all this costly fixed plant on other people’s land,
the land must be owned by those who are to cultivate it in this way. But
the purchasing, the providing with such plant, and the so cultivating a
thousand acres will require not less than 75,000_l._ This, at present at
all events, is quite beyond a farmer’s means. It can, therefore,
speaking generally, only be done by firms or companies. If it will pay,
they will do it. Lord Derby tells us the land ought to yield twice as
much as it does now. We may, I suppose, set the present gross produce of
good average land fairly farmed at 10_l._ an acre. If land highly
cultivated by steam, and with the liberal application of capital we are
supposing, would advance its produce to only half of Lord Derby’s
supposed possible increase, the gross yield would be 15_l._ an acre. And
this might give, after allowing one-third for working expenses,
deterioration, and insurance, 13⅓_l._ per cent. on the investment; but
we will put the working at half, which will leave a profit of 10 per
cent. If this could be done, then the streams of English capital that
are perennially flowing off into all countries would be profitably
diverted to the cultivation and enrichment of our own land; and no small
portion of the other millions we are year by year paying the foreigner
for food, might be paid to food-manufacturers of our own, and so saved
to the country.

France produces at home its own sugar; and, besides, sends to us 60,000
tons a-year. We do not manufacture sugar at home, because an English
tenant would not spend 8,000_l._, if he had it, in erecting a sugar
factory on another man’s land; but such firms of proprietors could, and
probably would, on their own.

Capital swept away the peasant proprietor. It has almost swept away the
50-acre tenant. And it will sweep away the 250-acre tenant. But it
offers to all better careers than those it closes against them. The
system it is bringing upon us will employ more hands, and will require
them all to be better men, and will pay them all better, both for their
work and for their capital. Under it there will be openings everywhere
for everyone to become what he is fit to become. This will be a premium
on education; and it will do more to suppress drunkenness in the rural
districts than any conceivable licensing, or permissive, or prohibitory

I do not know what, under such a state of things, will become of our old
friend, who was also the friend of our forefathers—the agricultural
pauper. On a farm of a thousand acres, carried on in the fashion we have
been supposing, there would be no place for him. Upon its area there
would not be a man who was not wanted. And all who were wanted would be
well paid and well housed. There would be engine-men, and stock tenders,
and horsemen, and labourers, more in number perhaps than the hands now
employed on the same space, but all would be better off, and would be
better men. In order, however, that this may be brought about, capital
must be allowed free access to the land, that is to say, the land must
be set free.

The argument from the picturesque will not arrest the course of events.
Never was the country so picturesque as when there was no cultivation at
all, and the noble savage pursued his wild game through the primæval
forest over hill and dale. The little hoed plots of a succeeding epoch
were a great encroachment on the picturesque. The fields that came in
with the plough carried the disfigurement still further. Our hedges and
copses, under the existing system, are rapidly disappearing. But the
human interest in the scene has always been increasing: and it will
culminate when the steam-engine shall have brought in a system under
which those who do the very lowest forms of labour then required will be
better fed, and housed, and clothed, and paid, because it will be a
system that will not admit of bad work, than was possible under previous
systems, which did not depend for their success on the intelligence of
the labourer, and the accuracy and excellence of his work.

Such a system would carry out to their logical and ultimate consummation
the free interaction of capital and agricultural land. All such land,
the implements, and whole plant employed in its cultivation, and even
the labour, skill, and intelligence of its cultivators, would be
represented by dividend-receiving, 10_l._, 5_l._, or 1_l._ share
certificates, transferable merely by the double endorsement of the
seller and of the buyer. The old certificate, thus endorsed, would be
presented to the manager, if necessary by post; and a new certificate
would be issued to the new holder. These certificates would circulate
almost as freely as money; but as it would be a kind of money that would
carry a dividend at the rate of capital employed in safe ventures, say
four-and-a-half or five per cent., with a prospect of improvement,
wherein it would differ from the low interest of Exchequer bills, the
holding of such certificates would be the most attractive kind of
savings’ bank to the poor, and to all. The great difficulty in the way
of saving in the case of the poor, and of all who are unacquainted with
business, is to find suitable, and safe, investments. That difficulty
would be removed; and they would be enabled to participate, according to
their means, as easily, and on the same footing, as the richest and the
best informed, in the wealth and property of the country. Any labourer
on any joint-stock farm, or elsewhere, any artisan, any servant girl,
any poor governess, who might save a few pounds, might invest them in a
share or two; and the increment, whether earned or unearned, in the
value of land, and of its produce, would go to them proportionally with
the wealthiest. Everyone would, in this way, have opened to him an
avenue for participating, to any amount possible to him, in the
possession of the land everywhere. A large proportion of the population
would thus become interested in the development of its resources, and so
in the prosperity of the country, and in the order and stability of
society. The land would, in a sense, become mobilised; and the
possession of it rendered capable of universal diffusion. Any one of the
present owners, who might come to wish that any portion of his land
might be held, and used, in this fashion, might receive, if he chose to
be so paid, as many shares in each concern formed out of it, as would
equal the value of land he might make over to it.

If the possibility of such a system could be demonstrated, the existing
owners of land might be the first to wish to see it carried out. The
following figures will show why. Suppose a thousand acres of
agricultural land is letting at what is about the average rent of such
land, that is at about 30_s._ an acre, the landlord will be receiving
for it 1,500_l._ a-year, subject to some not inconsiderable deductions.
But if this same land were sold to a cultivating firm at 50_l._ an acre,
the price being received in shares, and the concern were to pay to
original shareholders 10 per cent. the rent of 1,500_l._, subject to
deductions, would have become a dividend of 5,000_l._ subject to no
deductions. But we will suppose only 3,000_l._, for that will be double
the present rent, and so quite sufficient for our argument.

So far as the system might be adopted would ownership of the land of the
old kind cease, and in its place be substituted, in convenient amounts,
dividend-receiving, easily transferable, and freely circulating capital
stock certificates, within everybody’s reach, secured upon definite
portions of the agricultural land of the country, representing its
present value, and participating in its future advances in value. Such
certificates would, also, offer an improving security for trust funds of
all kinds, and for endowments.

The combination of what I have observed, during a life in the country,
of the requirements of land, and of the condition and wants of the poor,
with my experience of the duties of a trustee (which have devolved upon
me to, perhaps, an unusually great extent), suggested to me the ideas I
have just been endeavouring to present to the reader. If they are
practicable they may contribute to the solution of existing difficulties
of several kinds. I am aware that they cannot do this, because in that
case they would be quite visionary, if they are not in harmony with the
natural requirements and conditions of the era of capital. That they
would have been impracticable in other times does not prove that they
would be impracticable now.

But we have been enticed off the main line of our discussion to a
by-path, which was offering a very interesting view into the future. We
must now return to the point we had before reached, which was that of
the popular misconceptions that are held with respect to our existing
system. There are, then, again, others who suppose that its salient
peculiarities may be explained by a reference to what is frequently
spoken of as ‘The Law of Primogeniture.’ We have, however, in this
country no law of primogeniture in any sense that can be intended in
such a reference. There is no body of rights attaching by law to the
eldest son. The extent of what may be regarded as law in this matter is
the right of the eldest son of a peer to succeed to his father’s
peerage; and of the eldest sons of those who have hereditary titles to
succeed to their father’s titles. The power of entailing landed property
only acts in favour of the system of primogeniture, because the holders
of landed property themselves choose to work it in this direction; for
it might be used equally in favour of equal partition. There is then no
law of primogeniture in the sense supposed. A man who buys land, or in
any way comes to have the absolute disposal of it, as the word absolute
implies, may dispose of it as he pleases. He may, if such should be his
wish, leave it all to his youngest child, or in equal partition amongst
all his children. Only, should he die intestate, the law will deal with
his land (but we have just been told that this is to be altered) in the
way in which, looking at the conduct in this matter of English landlords
generally, it may be supposed the man himself would have dealt with it
had he made a will. Possibly he may not have made a will because he knew
that the law would so dispose of it. The law in the few exceptional
cases of this kind that arise from time to time, recognises, and acts
on, the state of opinion and sentiment which has grown out of the power,
it had itself given, of charging and encumbering land—a power which
probably had no very glaring economical evils and inconveniences in an
age when the population of the country was only a third of what it is at
present, and when capital was only in an embryonic condition, and when,
too, perhaps the political system this power upheld appeared to be

It is not, then, any law of primogeniture which has brought about our
present land-system, but certain powers, conferred by law, which have
suggested to people the desirability of acting on, and enabled them to
act on, the voluntarily adopted principle of primogeniture; that is to
say the power of charging and encumbering their estates. And, now that
the era of capital is upon us, it is not improbable that the policy of
continuing this power will be debated, for at such a time it has some
very obvious evils and inconveniences. I do not mean that it will be
reconsidered by the legislature before many years have elapsed, or in
the first instance; for in a matter of this kind the legislature can do
nothing but give form and sanction to what the circumstances of the
times have already settled. If it shall be generally felt that the ill
consequences of the exercise of this power overbalance its advantages,
we may suppose that it will be withdrawn. This is not a question that
will be much affected by any amount of speaking or writing, if that be
all. If the facts of the matter are of themselves not felt as evils and
inconveniences, no amount of speaking or of writing will bring people so
to regard them. But should they come to be so felt, the people of this
country will be desirous of dealing with them as all men, always and
everywhere, have dealt with such matters, when they were seen to admit
of removal. But however that may be, it is not a law of primogeniture,
but certain law-conferred powers, enabling people to act on the
principle of primogeniture, which are the cause of the existing state of
things in this matter.

In the discussion of this subject, which ramifies in many directions,
for it has moral and social, as well as economical, political, and
constitutional bearings, many questions will be propounded, and will
have to be considered: such, for instance, as whether, in these several
respects, a comparatively small number of large landowners is better, in
this era of capital, and of large cities, than a large number of
landowners, holding estates varying in dimensions, according to the
amounts of capital people would, from a variety of motives, be desirous
of investing in land, were all the land of the country free and
marketable; or, in other words, whether, in such times, the artificial
condition of things we have been considering is safer than, and
preferable to, the natural condition? The share-certificates, I just now
spoke about, would make it free and marketable to the greatest
imaginable degree.

It will also be asked whether it is fair to the land-owner, and, all
things considered, advantageous to the community, that he should be
obliged to provide for his widow and younger children either by saving
the means for making such provision from his income, or by leaving to
them, absolutely, what portions of his landed property he may think fit?
Those same share-certificates would supply an easy, inexpensive, and
safe method of providing for widows and younger children.

Another question will be whether in this era of capital, which means
that there will always be some large capitalists as well as many small
ones, the liberation of the land would really lead to the extinction of
large estates? Largeness is a word of comparative signification. Of
course there would be few such large estates as there are now, because
that is the result of growth through many generations under the very
peculiar circumstances we have been referring to: but if the interchange
of land and capital were perfectly free there would be everywhere many
considerable estates, though the general order of things might be
estates of moderate size, descending to holdings of small extent, which
might be the most numerous of all; or such holdings might not be very
numerous: for in matters of this kind there is always much that is
unforeseen. One point, however, may, I think, be held to be certain: we
shall never, in this country, see anything approximating to peasant
proprietorship. That is simply inconceivable in the era of capital. Both
the land and the man can be turned, now, to better account. Its
advocates are either ignorant demagogues, or members of that harmless
class who, having their eyes in the back of their heads, can only see,
and wish for, what has passed away. If we ever come to have
share-estates, such as I have endeavoured to describe, they will,
probably, average, as I said, about 1,000 acres each.

It will, perhaps, also, be suggested that there may be some mixed method
of proceeding, which, while respecting existing arrangements, would, at
the same time, largely increase the number of proprietors; as, for
instance, to deal with the rents of endowments compulsorily, and with
those of the owners of land at their option, just as the tithe was dealt
with; that is to say, to convert the rent into a permanent charge upon
the land; and then to sell the land, subject to this rent-charge, the
yearly value of which would be ascertained, as is done in the case of
the tithe commutation rent-charge, by reference to certain averages of
the price of the different kinds of grain cultivated in this country.
The immediate gain to corporations, and trustees, and to proprietors who
might be disposed to sell, would be considerable, for they would
continue to get their present rents, without deductions, and would,
besides, be able to sell the proprietary right in the land, and its
capacity for future increase in value, for whatever they would fetch in
the market. This would suit the share-system, for the land might then be
bought with or without the rent, as it might happen in each case.

Our opinions on any question are very much influenced by our observation
of the direction things are taking. Now, with respect to our existing
land-system, all changes in matters connected with, or bearing upon, it,
and which appear to be either imminent, or possible, are likely to take
only the direction of what will be unfavourable to its maintenance. For
instance, if it be decided that endowments, now consisting of land,
should be capitalised, in order that more land may be brought into the
market, the line of argument, that triumphed against them, will be
equally available against our existing land-system. And, furthermore, if
the lands belonging to charities, institutions, and corporations be
sold, it is evident that, as things now are, they will, for the most
part, be bought up by the owners of large contiguous estates; so that,
in fact, the remedy attempted will only make the evil it was intended to
remedy, more glaring: the great estates will have become greater. The
fate of the corporate estates, thus compulsorily sold, will be that of
the thousands of small properties the large estates have of late years
swallowed up. Everybody knows that many houses of the gentry of former
times are now farm-houses on every large estate. It cannot be otherwise,
for this is how a large estate is formed. All the smaller estates in the
neighbourhood, just like the meteoric bodies which come at last to be
overpowered by the attraction of our planet, must, as things are now,
gravitate towards it: their end is, sooner or later, generally the
former, to fall into it. So, if the estates of the endowments are sold,
will it be with them. It has been so with those that have been already

Again, if the Church be disestablished and disendowed, a certain
proportion of the rent of each parish in the country, pretty generally
more or less increased by private income, will cease to be spent within
the parish. What is so spent at present, as far as it goes, and to a
great extent in many cases, lessens the hard and repellent features of
the absenteeism of the owners of the land in those parishes.
Disendowment, therefore, will make the evils and inconveniences of the
present system, whatever they may be, more felt, and more conspicuous;
and a better mark, as they will then stand clear of all shelter, for
adverse comment.

So, too, if the agricultural land of this country should continue, and
there is no reason for supposing the contrary, to fall, year by year,
into fewer hands, the strength of those who will have to defend the
system will be diminishing at the very time that wealth, intelligence,
numbers, union, and every element of power, are increasing on the side
of those who cannot see that they have any interest in maintaining it.

If the recent Education Act have the intended effect of educating the
millions who have no landed property, the most coveted of all human
possessions, will they find anything in the existing system that will
commend it to their favour? Will they not rather be in favour of a
system, which would make every acre of land in the country marketable?

If people should come to think that the reason why France,
notwithstanding the abject condition of a large proportion of its
peasant-proprietors, and without our stupendous prosperity in
manufactures and commerce, has become so rich, is that it keeps its
savings at home, because the land of the country is marketable, while
we, every year, scatter tens of millions of pounds of our savings all
over the earth to be utterly lost, because they cannot be invested at
home in the land of the country, the natural reservoir, or savings’
bank, of the surplus capital of a country, as well as the best field for
its employment, will they not go on to wish that the land here, too,
could be made marketable?

If population and capital go on increasing, may we not anticipate that
this will engender a desire—for in these days of railways and telegraphs
it is much the same where a man lives—that the agricultural land of the
country should be brought into the state of divisibility and
marketableness, into which some of the land in the neighbourhood of our
great cities has been brought through the pressure of circumstances?
This pressure may extend, and be felt with respect to the land of the
whole country.

In an era, too, when popular principles so thoroughly pervade society as
to influence all our legislation, is it probable that a system which is
the reverse of popular will commend itself to general acceptance? It is
also on the cards now that manual labour may become so costly as to
necessitate, if a great deal of land is not to go out of cultivation,
the substitution of machinery to such an extent as will be done,
generally, only by those who own the land.

The whole stream of tendency, then, both in what is now occurring, and
in what is likely to occur in no remote future, seems setting strongly
in a direction which cannot be regarded as favourable to the maintenance
of our present land-system. And the observation of this will, sooner or
later, consciously or unconsciously, very much modify opinion on the
subject; for in human affairs, just as with respect to the operations of
Nature, we are disposed to acquiesce in what we have come to understand
is inevitable.

But we have for some time lost sight of the Valley of the Visp, though
not of its imaginary sole Proprietor. He has all along been before us.
What we have been considering was how, in this era of capital, he came
to be its sole proprietor, what are the action and effects of those
artificial conditions which placed him in this position, and what are
the chances of the maintenance of these artificial conditions.

Things move fast in these days: but few people expect that any change
will take place in his time. He will continue in the position of social
eminence, and of political power, he now occupies. He will go on hoping
to leave after him a line of descendants occupying the same, or even a
greater, position. This will be the dominant motive in his mind. If any
land is to be bought in his neighbourhood, there will still be a
likelihood that he will become the purchaser of it. It has always been
so, since the estate became the predominant one in those parts. And that
it should be so is now regarded almost as a law of nature; as something
quite inevitable; so that no one need enquire whether it is beneficent
in its action, or otherwise. If he have not cash in hand to pay for the
new purchase, he will mortgage his property to the amount of the price.
In this era of capital the value of land goes on increasing, and so the
mortgage will in time be paid off by the estate itself. In this way, in
these times, every large estate has within itself, even without Austrian
marriages,[1] a progress-generated power of absorption and growth.
Without lessening the area of the estate, he will provide for those who
are dependent on him by charging it with the payment of whatever he may
please to leave them: so that while no very apparent injustice will be
done to them, the position of the single representative of the family
will not be affected, for he will still appear before the world as the
owner of the whole estate. He will also hope that, from time to time,
the representatives of the family will, by making purchases in the way
in which he has, and by the introduction of great heiresses into the
family, increase the extent of the estate.

Footnote 1:

  Bella gerant alii. Tu felix Austria nube: Nam, quæ Mars aliis, dat
  tibi regna Venus.

At times, when he hears how demagogues are raving about the
nationalisation of the land, and the tyranny of capital; and when he
visits the valley, and sees the condition of many, indeed of all the
people on the estate, he may feel that he is in a somewhat invidious
position. But he will feel also that no one is to blame: his progenitors
could not well have acted otherwise than as they did; nor could he well
act otherwise than as he is acting, and will act. And those who are
discussing the matter, sometimes with the tone of men who are suffering
a wrong, would, we may be sure, not act otherwise, under the
circumstances, themselves.

Suppose, however, that for the restricted and artificial action of
capital, which has brought this state of things about, its natural
action has been substituted: what will be the effect on the hopes, and
on the family, of the proprietor of our valley? We may venture to
predict that the natural order of things will give him a securer chance
of realising his hopes in their best sense. His family will start, in
the race of life, in possession of the whole of the land of the valley.
For them this will be no bad start. The land of the valley will bear
division for several generations without reducing the members of the
family to a bad position, even if none of them should do anything at all
to improve their position. But this, judging by the ordinary principles
of human nature, we may be sure, speaking generally, will not be the
case. Two centuries hence, it will be their own fault, if, instead of
the family being really only one man, they have not become a clan in the
valley: a clan possessed of more social importance, and of more
political influence, than could attach to a family represented by a
single member. Some will have become invigorated by the inducements to
exertion that will have come home to them, and by the wholesome
consciousness in each that he is somewhat dependent on himself for
maintaining and improving his position. Whatever efforts to advance
themselves they may come to make, will not be made under unfavourable
circumstances. None of them will have occasion to feel, as perhaps some
of their ancestors at times had, that they are in an invidious position;
and none will regard them with feelings that, if not ‘somewhat leavened
with a sense of injustice,’ do yet arise from a suspicion that things
are not quite as they ought to be, through there having been some kind
of interference with their natural course. Is not this a nobler, a more
patriotic, a more human, and in every way a better prospect than that
which is now feeding the somewhat misdirected paternal ambition of the
present proprietor? Would it not be a better anticipation of the
fortunes of his family, to think of them as a numerous body of
proprietors, occupying a good position, through the natural action of
the circumstances and conditions of the times, than to look forward to
the uncertain character and uncertain position of a single member of his
family, who will be maintained, if maintained, by conditions, on the
permanency of which no dependence can be placed, because they are at
discord with the needs and circumstances of the times?

Land now no longer rules. Capital is king. Capital it is that does
everything now; that even, but under abnormal and artificial conditions,
aggregates our large estates. Under this dynasty the advantages the land
is capable of conferring on man are not withdrawn, but much increased
both in degree and in variety; and everything desirable, the land not
excepted, becomes, in a manner and degree inconceivable in all foregone
times, the reward of personal exertion and worth. This is what
distinguishes this dynasty from those that have preceded it. If it be
the true king, it will prove its legitimacy, by removing all artificial
barriers to the development and exercise of its beneficent powers. If it
cannot do this, it is a bastard dynasty, and will be dethroned.

                  *       *       *       *       *

V. But I have not yet exhausted all the possible forms in which land may
be held. Their name is legion. Every country, and every condition of
society, has had, has now, and will have, its own. I say nothing of the
serf-system: that among civilised nations has gone for ever. So has the
system of village communities. The co-operative system, however, has
believers, and, it appears possible, may have a trial. But I, for one,
because I believe in capital, and in the individual, have no belief in
this kind of co-operation, as a general system, either in manufactures
and commerce, or, and that least of all, in agriculture: and, with
respect to the latter, whether the co-operators be renters, or owners.
Ownership would make no difference at all beyond the power owners would
possess of mortgaging their land; and this, as it is a resource that
would very soon be exhausted, need not be considered here. The only
practical difference would be, that co-operative renters would require a
larger extent of land to live from than co-operative owners, whose land
was unmortgaged. If the system of co-operation were general,
competition, and the increase of population that would have to be
provided for, and which would lead either to subdivision, or to an
increase of co-operators upon each farm, would inevitably bring the
style of living down to a point at which it would be no better than it
is now in the Visp Valley. And this is so low a condition of life, both
materially and intellectually, that most people are of opinion that it
is not worth while to go in for its maintenance, or even, perhaps, to
regret its disappearance.

A population of co-operators sunk to this depth, and they could not but
sink to it, would, like the old Irish potatovors, or the French petty
proprietors, be in a state of chronic wretchedness and degradation:
this, in bad seasons, amounts to a state of starvation. If the
individual Irish potatovor could not, and the individual French petty
proprietor, in whom the parsimonious disposition of his race is
exaggerated, rarely can, save, because bad seasons oblige him to
mortgage his little plot of land, from which he can hardly extract a
living in good seasons, we may be sure that neither would, nor could,
such co-operators. I am disposed to prefer the present condition of our
agricultural labourers, the most feeble class amongst us. At all events,
they have more than one buffer between themselves and bad seasons. First
there is the reservoir of capital possessed by the farmer. This is, to
the extent of wages, generally, sufficient. In consequence of its
existence bad seasons make little or no difference to hired labourers.
But under the co-operative system there would be no farmers, but only
co-operators, just able to get along in ordinary seasons. Our labourers
have, also, a second buffer, which is often of some use to them, in
their wealthy neighbours. But under the co-operative system there would
probably be no wealthy neighbours. They possess, too, a third buffer in
the State, which comes in, in the last resort, to rescue them from the
extreme consequences of every kind of calamity. But under a system of
peasant co-operators there could hardly be anything resembling our
poor-law; for the rationale of that is, that the people who cultivate
the soil of the country, are themselves devoid of all property. These
three buffers, then, would all have disappeared; and nothing, as far as
we can see, would arise, or could be created, to take their place. Such
co-operators would be only co-operative peasant-proprietors: which is an

Another sufficient objection to this system is, that this is the era of
capital, and that such a system would most effectually prohibit the
outflow of capital to the land. Capital could no more be invested in the
ownings of a wretched population of co-operators, than it could be in
the plots of Irish potatovors, or of French petty proprietors.

                  *       *       *       *       *

The conclusion, then, to which my moralising on the spectacle of the
Valley of the Visp brought me was, that it belongs to a state of things,
which, even in such secluded retreats, will not be able to linger on
much longer: at all events, that it is not desirable that it should. We
live under the dominion of capital, that is to say, of property other
than land, or rather, perhaps, of an accumulated, and still
accumulating, interest or dividend-bearing essence of all property
(which is labour stored up in some material), reconvertible at will, for
productive purposes, into land, labour, or anything men have of
exchangeable value. This mighty essence of all property is within the
reach of us all, in proportion to our respective opportunities and
abilities, and the efforts to gain possession of it we choose to make.
But though within the reach of all, it is the mightiest of all
magicians; and it is evident that it must modify both the possession,
the distribution, and the use of land, as well as everything else with
which we have to do. In this there is nothing to be regretted. On the
contrary, we ought all of us to congratulate ourselves on the advent of
such an era: for it means that our resources for living, and for living
well, in respect of all the requirements of human happiness, have been
thereby vastly enlarged, and with a power of indefinite enlargement,
irrespective of the area of the country. It means, too, that careers
have been thereby opened to all, in ways which would have been
inconceivable when land supplied the only resource for living; for that
now every moral and intellectual endowment, every form of labour, and
every aptitude can be turned to account. Even land can be made
productive of greater benefits to us than we were wont to derive from
it, for capital is showing that it has economical, and other, capacities
for improving man’s estate, undreamt of by its old cultivators.

Popular language, which is the expression of popular ideas, on this
subject is adequate. It gives correctly the philosophy of the matter.
What is wanted is that it should be clearly and generally understood,
and used with accuracy. Money has both an intrinsic value as the
representative of so much labour expended in the acquisition of the
precious metals, and a conventional use as a metallic certificate,
entitling its holder to exchange it against anything else in the world
anyone has to part with, that costs in its production an equal amount of
labour, there being at the time no abnormal disturbance of the ratio of
supply and demand. In the latter respect it matters not whether the
certificate is on gold or paper: for the paper represents gold, or equal
value. When earned, or otherwise acquired, by a kitchen-maid, a
speculator, or a prime-minister, it may be used in any one of three
ways. First, it may be spent. Secondly, it may be hoarded. Thirdly, it
may be used as capital. By spending is meant using money for the
acquisition of what perishes in the use; when it passes into another
man’s hands who again has the option of using it in any one of the three
ways. It is evident that a man may spend money for clothing, food, and
other necessary purposes, in order to live, and to enable him to do his
work in life well, whatever it may be: it is then spent well, and in a
sense productively. Or he may spend it on vice, or ostentation, or
hurtful pleasures: it is then spent ill. By hoarding is meant putting it
away unproductively for future use. This was originally the only
alternative to spending. The money stored away in the treasuries of the
old Pharaohs was an instance of this unproductive suspension of use.
This is still the practice, everywhere, among rude and ignorant people:
it is the hibernation of money; its active uses are put in abeyance. As
capital it may be used in two ways. It may either be invested, or
employed. Investing it means placing it in securities that do not
require management, as, for instance, consols, mortgages, the rent of
land, &c.; the correlative of which is interest. Employing it means
placing it in reproductive industries, as, for instance, in agriculture,
manufactures, trade, commerce, &c., which require management, and the
correlative of which is profit. This when divided among shareholders,
who manage the concern jointly, or by a selection from their body,
becomes dividend. This is the highest form of economical organisation.
It gives to all, in their respective proportions, however small those
proportions may be, the power of employing capital; and to all who have
the ability and integrity, the chance of rising to its management. It is
the full development of the era of capital. It is the stage we have now
reached. It enables the kitchen-maid, and everybody, to participate in
the highest advantages of capital. I think we shall see it employed in
this way in the cultivation and proprietorship of the land. If so, then,
I think the poor and ignorant will have brought home to them a very
strong motive for saving, because they will have constantly before their
eyes a safe and profitable means of employing their savings. They, too,
may thus become capitalists of the best kind.

Two pregnant errors, however, there appear to be, which it will be
necessary for us to avoid, especially, in order that, as respects the
land, we may secure the natural conditions and natural advantages of our
era of capital. One is the error of making people’s wills for them
directly, in the way done in France. This breaks up the land of a
country into properties smaller than they would become under the natural
circumstances of the times: thus condemning, through legislation, a
large part of the population, deluded by the fallacious disguise of
proprietorship, to life-long misery. The other error is that of making
people’s wills for them indirectly, in the way done in some other
countries. This has the opposite effect of agglomerating the land of the
country into estates larger than they would become under the natural
circumstances of the times, and of reducing the number of proprietors of
agricultural land almost to the vanishing point. The first method both
increases the number of wretched, degraded, and almost useless
proprietors, and diminishes the size of the properties, to a highly
mischievous degree. The latter just in proportion as it increases the
size of the estates diminishes the number of proprietors. Both limit the
variety of uses to which the land may be put. Both introduce causes of
political action at variance with the natural conditions of the times.
Every system has some advantages: but whatever may be the advantages of
the latter, it is, at all events, an interference with the natural
rights of each generation, and with the natural course of things; for it
prevents the ownership, and the uses, of the land of the country
adjusting themselves to the circumstances and the requirements of the
times; and hinders the application, to its culture, of that combination
of knowledge, energy, and capital, which is manifestly within reach, and
has become requisite for developing its productiveness to the degree
acknowledged to be possible now, but which cannot be secured under our
present landlord-and-tenant system. If, however, this be a serious evil,
it is, for reasons already given, one of that class of evils which
engender their own remedy.

Many are of opinion that landlordism was all along at the bottom of the
evils of Ireland. Landlordism is probably the cause of the Liberalism of
Scotch constituencies. If so, what is there to prevent the same cause
having, eventually, somewhat similar effects in England? And, if so,
then, what next? If, however, the law, instead of interfering with the
natural course of things, by indirectly making people’s wills for them,
would take care that the land of the country should pass from generation
to generation, and from hand to hand, free from every kind of
encumbrance, and so be all, at all times, at the will of the holder,
marketable, a question, which is now causing much anxiety, because it
may, before long, give much trouble, would probably die away, and be no
more heard of; nor, probably, should we hear any more of the
antagonisms, with which we are all now so familiar, between the town and
the country. One step, at least, would have been taken towards making us
one people.

                  *       *       *       *       *

The stimulus new scenes apply to the mind, more particularly when its
owner is passing through them on foot, and alone, accounts for the
foregoing chapter. But its having been thought out under such
circumstances by A is no reason for its being read by B, who is neither
on foot, nor, probably, alone; and the only scene before whom is,
doubtless, the not unfamiliar one of his own fireside; one which,
perhaps, has never invited, and may, too, be quite unfitted for, either
the debate, or the rumination, of such discussions. Still, as it was
suggested by, and constructed in the mind during, the tramp I am
recording, and was so one of its incidents, I set it down here in its


                               CHAPTER V.


                            Nature never did betray
             The heart that loved her. ’Tis her privilege
             Through all the years of this our life to lead
             From joy to joy: for she can so inform
             The mind that is within us, so impress
             With quietness and beauty, and so feed
             With lofty thoughts.—WORDSWORTH.

_September 4._—Started at 6 A.M. My wife and myself on foot, the little
boy on horseback. We walked down the Zermatt valley to Stalden; and
then, turning to the right, ascended the Saas valley. The latter being
narrower—so narrow as to bring the opposite mountains very near to
you—makes the scenery often more striking than that of the parallel, and
wider, valley you have just left. Sometimes the mountain sides are so
precipitous, quite down to the torrent, which tumbles, and brawls, along
the rocky bottom, that no space is presented even for a cherry or
apple-tree. For a great part of the way there is no valley, but only a
fissure between the two mountain ranges; and nothing can establish
itself in the rifts, and almost on the surface of the rocks, but the

We stopped at a small roadside inn, about an hour and a half from Saas,
for luncheon. A German professor and his wife came in for the same
purpose. He was a tall, gaunt, study-worn man; she a tough, determined
little woman. He recommended Heidelberg (it was not his university) both
as a winter residence, and as a place of education. The pair appeared to
be, like their country-people generally, honest, earnest, and
simple-minded, and in the habit of making the most of their small means
without complaining. They were carrying very little besides themselves.
We reached Saas im Grund at 12.30. We had been on our legs for six
hours. The reason why walking on the level takes more out of one than
climbing for an equal number of hours, is not merely that in walking the
effort is always the same, but that it is at the same time rapid and
continuous; whereas in climbing it is not only varied, sometimes up and
sometimes down, but is also deliberate, and often interrupted for a
moment or two, while you are looking where to set your foot.

A guide, who was on his way to Saas, overtook us soon after we had left
St. Niklaus, and asked permission to accompany our party. He had lately
made his first attempt to ascend the Matterhorn. He had not got to the
top, but his having failed to do so was no fault of his. He could speak
a little French, and was a good-natured, talkative fellow.

At Saas we put up at Zurbriggen’s Hotel. We found the house clean, the
people obliging, the charges moderate, and the aspect of things quite
unlike—all the difference being on the right side—that of the large
Swiss caravansary.

The contrast between Saas and Zermatt is very great. At Zermatt the
valley ends, with great emphasis, in a grand amphitheatre of mountains
and snowy peaks. At Saas it seems suddenly brought to a close without
any objects of interest to look upon. With the mind full of Zermatt,
Saas appears but a lame and impotent conclusion. The village, however,
is very far indeed from being at the head of the valley. That is to be
found at the Monte Moro, five hours further on; and, as it includes the
Allalein glacier, the grand scenery of the Mattmark See, and of the
Monte Moro itself, it has enough to satisfy even great expectations;
such as one has, of course, coming from Zermatt.

_September 5._—Went to the Fee glacier with the guide who had joined
company with us yesterday. My wife and I walked. The blue boy rode. The
path from the village lies across the stream, and up the hill on the
west side of the valley. This brings you to a mountain-surrounded
expanse of greenest grass, in which lies the village of Fee. The
substantial character of the _châlets_, and their tidy air, imply that
the inhabitants of the place are pretty well off. At the western
extremity of the reclaimed and irrigated meadow is the great Fee
glacier. The mounds and ridges of _débris_ the glacier has brought down
are very considerable. I mean the mounds and ridges that are still
naked; for, of course, all that now forms the cultivated valley must
equally, only at remoter dates, have been brought down by the same
agency. The only difference between the two is that time, and man, have
levelled the latter, and enabled it to clothe itself in a vestment of
luxuriant grass. This grass it is that has built and peopled the
village. In this way human thought and feeling, or rather the
multiplication of the thinking and feeling organism, man, is the direct
result of the storms, and frosts, that have shattered, and riven, the
mountain peaks above; and of the glacier which has transported the
fragments to the sheltered valley, where they could be turned to human
account; and, in the act of transporting them, so ground and comminuted
their constituent particles as to render them capable of maintaining a
rich vegetation; and which same glacier is, at this moment, engaged in
supplying the irrigating streams, the stimulant of the richness of the

The upper part of the naked _débris_ overlays large masses of ice. This
is very uneven, and full of depressions and cracks, the sides of which
are, generally, covered with loose stones, but, sometimes, only with a
thin film of mud. A fall upon this combination of ice, pebbles, and
slush is the easily attained consequence of inattention to what you are
about, and where you are going, while crossing such ground. We had a
walk on the glacier; and then, having taken in a fresh supply of
materials for keeping up the steam, at a station on one of the _moraine_
ridges, which gave us a good view of the contiguous glacier, the
overhanging mountains, and the green valley, we returned to Saas in the

After dinner I started with our guide—his communicativeness during the
two days he had been with us had made us feel as if he were an old
acquaintance—for a walk over the Monte Moro, down the Val Anzasca, and
over the Simplon, to Brieg. I also took a porter with me, who was to
carry my _sac_ as far as Macugnaga, from which place the guide was to
take charge of it. He would not undertake to carry it where he was known
as a guide, for that, he affirmed, would be losing caste. My wrappers I
sent from Saas to Brieg by post. The charge was a franc and a half for a
great coat and shawl. The latter, of fine wool, four yards in length,
and two in width, is less than half the weight of an ordinary travelling
rug, and more than twice as serviceable. My portmanteau I had already
despatched from Zermatt for Brieg by the same common carriers. The
facilities of the Swiss post-office for the conveyance of baggage—we
found them very convenient—result from the department having absorbed
all the diligences. It has thus become the carrier not only of letters,
but equally of travellers, and of parcels of all kinds. In fact it seems
that in Switzerland you may post anything short of a house. Mistakes
appear to be made very seldom; and when they are made you have a
responsible office to deal with, whose interest it is to set them right.
At Saas the post-master was also the chemist, the doctor, the
alpenstock-maker, &c. &c. of the place. Where there are but few people
there must be many employments which will not occupy the whole of a
man’s time, or, singly, support him.

My wife and the little boy accompanied me half of the way to the
Mattmark See. Our plan was that they should return to Saas, and on the
third day meet me again at Brieg. Soon after they left me I met two
well-grown, clean-limbed Englishmen—it is always a pleasure to meet such
specimens of one’s countrymen—with whom I had a little conversation. I
asked them what snow there was on the pass which they had just come
over. They told me they had crossed seven snow-fields. The next morning
I found only four, and of these two small enough. They could have had no
wish to misrepresent; but so fallible is human testimony; and nowhere
more so than in Switzerland, where you never find two eye-witnesses
giving the same account of the same thing. It is possible, however, that
they may have made some _détour_ in crossing, and, illogically, answered
a question different from the one put to them.

When the path reaches the Allalein glacier the scenery becomes grand.
You are again on the visible confines of the ice-and-snow world. On the
left side of the glacier you ascend a stiffish mountain. This brings you
to the Mattmark See. The path is a little above, and the whole length
of, its eastern side. It is carried on a level line along a very rocky
descent, a few yards above the water. The humble plants in the narrow
rocky strip between the path and the lake were charmingly full of
colour, for at this time the leaves of many of them were assuming their
rich autumnal tints. At the foot of this narrow strip of shattered
rocks, interspersed with highly coloured vegetation, was the unruffled
water, looking like polished steel, dark, hard, smooth, and cold. Beyond
the water, and rising precipitously from it, towered the rugged,
slaty-coloured mountains, capped with white, and streaked in their
ravines with snow-drifts and glaciers.

At the further end of the lake stands the Mattmark Inn, exactly where it
ought to stand. Further back, you would be disturbed by the feeling that
you had not yet seen everything, and so were forming an imperfect
conception of the scene. Further on, the scene would, by comparison, be
dull. Higher up, the opposite mountain would not look so overpowering,
and you would lose the mighty masses of fallen rock, as big as houses,
which are close to the inn; and you might also lose the water, which is
the distinguishing feature of the scene. As to the inn itself, so far
away in the mountains you cannot expect anything very extensive either
in the way of structure or of _cuisine_. But you will get here, which is
worlds better, a clean house, very obliging people, and all that they
can offer for your entertainment—of course without much variety—good of
its kind. If you go to Switzerland for what is peculiar to Switzerland,
these are the places you should look out for. Large hotels, full of
loiterers, among whom there may be perhaps a French count, or even a
Russian Prince, may be found elsewhere than in Switzerland, should you
think them worth finding. But the very advantage of the Mattmark See
Inn, and of other mountain inns like it, is that you will see in them
none of this kind of people, while you will have plenty of the grandest
mountain scenery, and plenty of mountain work, if that is what you have
come for, all around you. From the great hotels you may see the outline
of the mountains; but that is a very different thing from being in the
midst of the mountains themselves; in the very society and company of
the mountains; so that you look at each other face to face, and can make
out all their features, and all the components, and the whole colouring,
of every feature.

From Saas to the Mattmark See Hotel is three hours and a half. Before
turning in I ordered coffee at 3.50 A.M., and told the guide and porter
to be ready for a start at 4 A.M.


                              CHAPTER VI.


        Creation’s heir, the world, the world is mine.—GOLDSMITH.

_September 6._—At 3.50 A.M. coffee was ready, but was told that it was
not so with the guide and porter. On looking them up, I found them both
in bed, and asleep. I was not quite unprepared for this, from something
I had been told at Saas about the way in which my friend sometimes spent
his evenings. But, having taken a kind of liking to him, I had replied
that this would make no difference to me, so long as he was all right
during the day. About that I was assured that I need entertain no doubt.
The delay, however, caused on this occasion, by his inability to wake of
himself at the appointed time, did not, as it happened, amount to much.
After a gentle ascent of, if I recollect rightly, about forty minutes,
and somewhat beyond the Distel _châlets_, we came to the first snow. It
might have been a quarter of a mile across. With nails in your boots,
and an alpenstock in your hand, this is almost as easy to walk upon as
the path that brings you to it, only, of course, that you cannot walk
upon it quite so quickly. Beyond this, the ascent is somewhat stiff up
to the summit. Sometimes it is on a ledge of gneiss, with a deep
precipice down to the glacier-ravine on your left hand. Another
snow-field also has to be crossed here, which lies at an angle of,
perhaps, 25° or 30°. The summit of the pass is like a small crater a few
yards across. Here my friend, who had been as brisk and talkative as
heretofore since we started, called a halt for breakfast. The cold meat
and bread were certainly of the driest, and that perhaps encouraged him
in the idea that not they, but the liquid with which they were washed
down, was the essential part of the repast. Young Andermatten, a name
well known in these parts, was now carrying my _sac_. He had met us
between the two snow-fields we had passed, and as my porter had some
reason for wishing to return to Saas, he had undertaken to supply his
place to Macugnaga.

As soon as you leave the summit you begin to descend a ledge of very
smooth gneiss, about six or eight feet wide. On your left is a
precipice; on your right a broken wall of rock. You go down this for
about a hundred yards, and then get off it by a few projecting steps,
which have been fixed in the face of the rock. This takes you on to some
snow lying at a sharp incline. It would not do to slip on this ledge of
gneiss; and, at first, not being used to such paths, that is to say if
it is your first pass, you think you must slip. But you take heart when
you see your guide walking down it much the same as if he were walking
on London pavement. He turns round to see what you are about, and to
offer assistance; but that you cannot accept. Still you are glad when it
is done. The descent to Macugnaga is, throughout, rough and steep.
Ascending it, and with the sun on your back—it faces the south—must be
hard work. If it had been a Swiss mountain there would, long ago, have
been a good horse-path made to the top.

This is an old and easy pass. Ordinary lungs, ankles, and head, are all
that it wants. It was known to, and used by, the Romans. It was for some
time occupied by the Saracens, who left their name upon it, as they did
names of their own on several peaks and places around it.

As you trudge over the mountain, in the fresh morning air, accompanied
by your guide and porter, and with your attention quickened to receive
the impressions of the grandeur around you, which you know will hold a
place among the most valued and abiding of your mental possessions, you
feel as if you were really one of the lords of creation. This feeling
would be a wee bit marred, if the eternal mountain had been
presumptuously appropriated by some mortal molecule, for then you might
be troubled with apprehensions of disturbing, or of being thought likely
to disturb, his ibexes and chamois.

I made the Monte Rosa Hotel at Macugnaga at 8.30; that is to say, in
four hours from the Mattmark See, excluding the twenty minutes’ halt in
the little crateriform chamber on the top of the Moro. I now had a
breakfast, which, by the grace of ‘mine host,’ bore a close resemblance
to a dinner, for it consisted of a long succession of dishes. This did
not come amiss to one who, having been up some time before the sun, had
an appetite that took a deal of killing; and ‘mine host’ had also the
grace to charge modestly for what he purveyed bountifully. I found that
the inn of the Mattmark See was an off-hand house of his, under the
management of his wife. He is besides by profession a guide. He must,
therefore, be doubly disposed to regard with favour and sympathy those
who do the Monte Moro. I found here a London member of the faculty, who
was making Macugnaga his head-quarters for a part of his holiday; and
his fuller experiences of the house, and landlord, were all on the right
side. The balcony of the hotel commands the best possible view of the
upper ten thousand feet of Monte Rosa: its subterranean foundations—the
remaining third of its height—are spread out beneath you. You are just
at a good distance for taking in the whole of the visible structure—the
height, the form, the ravines, the glacier, and the contiguous peaks,
with the head of the valley for the foreground. It is a grand, varied,
complete, impressive sight.

At 1 P.M. left the Monte Rosa Hotel for Ponte Grande. The guide, who was
now also porter, shouldered my _sac_ with a jaunty air, and we started
at a good pace. My new acquaintance of the hotel joined company for the
first mile and a half. At parting we hoped that we should meet again at
the Athenæum. At this point you leave the path on _terra firma_, and
take to a path, laid on a wooden platform, strewn with sand, which
overhangs the brawling Anza. This platform road is curious, and well
worth seeing. In some places it is supported by lofty pine poles, which
must be fifty or sixty feet high. You hardly understand how support can
be found for it in the sheer chasms it occasionally has to be carried
along. I have somewhere read that the old Roman road along the bank of
the Danube was in places constructed in this fashion, and that the holes
cut in the rock, for the bearings of the king-posts and struts, are
still visible. This of the Anza is very much out of repair. In some
places there are gaps you must step, or jump, over. In others it has
been entirely destroyed, and you must make a little _détour_ to recover
it. For a mile or two, or more, above Ceppo Morelli you quit it
altogether, and take to a rocky mule path, which might easily enough be
very considerably improved. At Ceppo Morelli is a bridge of one long,
slender, much-elevated arch, somewhat in the form a loop caterpillar
assumes in walking. Here you return to the left bank; and the carriage
road of the Val Anzasca commences. Hitherto we had been walking at a
good pace for a rough path; but now the road, having become smooth,
invited us to quicken our pace to near four miles an hour. The guide,
who had already called two halts, now called them at shorter intervals.
He was evidently breaking down. Still he was unwilling to lessen speed.
We reached Ponte Grande in a little over four hours. Here is what
appeared to be a fairly good hotel. Just before I turned in, the
waitress came to inform me that my guide had ordered a carriage, in my
name, for the next day. She suspected that all was not right. I asked
her to have the carriage counter-ordered, as he was under contract to
walk with me over the Simplon to Brieg; and to tell him that I should be
off at five o’clock in the morning.

_September 7._—Found that the guide’s feet were so swollen that he was
quite incapable of going any further. The way, I suppose, in which I had
understood that he sometimes spent his evenings had been a bad
preparation for continuous hard walking, in a valley with very little
air, commanded all day by an unclouded sun, and with a dozen, or more,
pounds on his back. I was now obliged to leave my _sac_, with
instructions that it should be sent on to Domo D’Ossola by diligence;
and then started alone. To Pié de Muléra (7½ miles) there is an
excellent carriage road. So far you are on the mountain side. From
thence to Domo D’Ossola (about 7 miles more) the road is generally on
the flat. There was a perfectly clear sky, and no air was stirring; and
so I found the latter part of my morning’s tramp very warm. Under such
conditions one might expect even a water-drinker’s feet to swell.

I was in Domo D’Ossola at 12 o’clock. Having breakfasted leisurely and
looked over the newspapers in the reading-room of the hotel, I was ready
for another ten or twelve miles; and should have done this in the
evening had I not thought it better to wait for my _sac_. As it was, I
spent the afternoon and night at Domo. As I care little for towns,
particularly third or fourth-rate ones, and have seen enough of churches
and hôtels de ville, this was an unprofitable waste of time. I amused
myself as well as I could with the arrival and departure of the
diligences, and with the Italian aspect of things. The hotel was
cheerless and lifeless. As soon as a diligence left, everyone about the
place suddenly became invisible, just as if they had all sunk into the
ground, or melted away into the air. Still, it may be the least unlively
house, as things go, in a place so dismally doleful.

To go back then to the valley of the Anza. As soon as you enter it at
Macugnaga you see that you are among a more sprightly and joyous people;
and are struck with the contrasts between them and the homely Swiss on
the other side of the mountains. They are better dressed, and with more
attention to effect; particularly the women with their white linen
smocks, showing very white beneath the dark jacket, not untouched with
colour—this is worn open and sleeveless; and with their more
gaudily-coloured kerchiefs on their heads. The dress of the fairer part
of creation in Switzerland is somewhat sombre. They make little use of
colour, and appear to be attracted most by what will wear best; and, if
it may be written, will require least washing. The women in this valley
have good eyes. They are not unaware of the advantage, and use them
accordingly. Their complexion, too, is clear. That of the Swiss is,
generally, somewhat cloudy. Their bearing and air are those of people
who are of opinion that the best use of life is to enjoy it. The Swiss
seem to regard life as if they were a little oppressed by its cares and
labours. Perhaps the conditions of existence on their side of the
mountains are so hard, that the people must take things seriously. One
respects their laborious industry. There is a kind of manliness in their
never-ending struggle against the niggardliness and severity of nature.
This, and their forethought, one applauds, only regretting that so much
toil should secure so little enjoyment; and should have such humble
issues. There is something that pleases, and attracts, in the smiles,
and in the greater sense of enjoyment, of the light-hearted Italian.

In the upper part of this valley German is still spoken. Here also it is
observable that not nearly so much has been done, as on the Swiss side,
to reclaim and irrigate the land. You wish to know whether this is at
all attributable to a difference in the distribution and tenure of
landed property. You pass several mines: some of gold. The abundance and
size of the chesnut-trees are a new feature. You contrast their
freely-spreading branches and noble foliage with the formal and gloomy
pines, of whose society you have lately had much.


                              CHAPTER VII.

                              THE SIMPLON

    Julius Cæsar also left behind him a treatise in two books on
    Analogy (_a department of grammar_); which he composed while
    crossing the Alps.—SUETONIUS.

_September 8._—Last night I had told the head-waiter that I must be off
at 5 A.M., and he had replied that it was impossible: that at that hour
no one in the hotel would be up; that coffee could not be prepared
before six. I, however, gained my point by asking him to set the coffee
for me overnight; telling him that I would take it in the morning cold.
This proposal appeared to him so uncivilised, that he was confounded by
its enormity, and offered no further resistance. I then paid the bill;
and was off this morning at the desired time.

As my _sac_ had not arrived from Ponte Grande, I left written
instructions that, when it turned up—it was due last evening—it should
be sent on to Brieg. Thus I had gained nothing by the afternoon I had
lost. At Ponte Grande, on the morning after the break-down of my own
porter-guide, it was evident that the master of the hotel had conceived
the very natural idea of persuading me to take one of his people in that
double capacity, or, that failing, to take a carriage. In resentment of
this, I had contented myself with putting into my pocket what I should
want most during the two following days; and had left the bag, and the
rest of what was in it, to chance. I now saw the absurdity of what I had
done; for why, in such a matter, should I have taken into consideration,
the landlord’s scheming, or anything in the world, except my own
convenience? My bag, as might have been expected, did not turn up at
Brieg. This made me still more conscious of my absurdity. Eventually,
however, by the aid of the telegraph and post-office, I recovered it at
Interlaken. This I felt I had not deserved.

As you begin to ascend the Simplon, perhaps you will be thinking—at all
events you have read remarks of the kind often enough to be reminded of
them now—that its road is a line of masonry, carried for forty-four
miles over mountains, and through storm and avalanche-swept ravines;
that it is one of the mighty works by which man has triumphed over a
great obstacle, which nature had placed in his path; that it was
constructed for purposes of war and rapine, and for the aggrandizement
of an individual, but is now used for the purposes of peace, and for the
friendly intercourse of nations; and that the barrier, which it has
practically removed, had its use in those times when it was shielding
nascent civilisation from northern barbarism. If so, you will not
altogether regret that you are on foot, and alone. This will give you an
opportunity for conferring, without irrelevant interruptions, with the
_genius loci_, and allow the trains of thought it brings you to unfold
themselves, as they will, in your mind: and so, probably, you will feel
no want of a _vehiculum_, either literally, or in the metaphorical
sense, in which the proverb says the _bonus amicus_ is a substitute for

This day’s walk was very diversified. It began with level ground; some
of it productive, and well cultivated; some covered with the coarse
shingle the torrent stream, which passes through it, has brought down
from the mountains. The ascent then commenced through a region of
chestnuts and trellised vines. After that came the zone of pines,
sometimes lost, and again recovered. At last the scene was compounded of
the naked mountain side, the savage ravine, and the blustering torrent,
overtopped with rugged crags; these at times capped with snow, and with
glaciers between. But even to the summit, as you follow the road, all is
not desolation; for wherever the soil, formed by the weathering of the
rock, could be retained, your eye will rest on some little expanse of
green turf; or, if the situation be too exposed, and the soil too poor
and shallow for turf, it will be clad in the sober mantle of humble
Alpine plants.

As I walked along I often noticed how the surface of the fragments of
rock lying in the torrent, and their side looking up the stream, were
being worn away; while the side looking down, and its upper angle,
remained quite unworn. This teaches how the solid rock itself, at the
bottom of the torrent, that is to say how its channel, is always being
abraded; which means being lowered. While this is going on below, the
frosts, and storms, and earthquakes are, at the same time, bringing down
the rocks from above. This accounts for the top of the valley,
vertically, being very much wider than the bottom. If there had been no
frosts, and storms, and earthquakes, the torrent would now be running in
a perfectly perpendicular-sided trough, of the same depth as the
existing valley—but, then, there would be no valley, only a trough. The
valley is wider at the top than at the bottom, because the widening
action of frost, storms, and earthquakes has been going on at the top
for tens of thousands of years; while it has been going on lower down,
with very much less force, only for some hundreds of years. You observe
the contrast between the calm majesty of the everlasting mountains and
the brawling impatience of the insignificant torrent. The torrent,
however, has already set its mark on the mountains; and you see is
surely, though slowly, having the best of it. It works, and works
incessantly day and night; winter and summer; fair weather and foul.
Everything that occurs aids it. The mountain merely stands still to be
kicked to death by grass-hoppers. But the end of the conflict will be
their mutual destruction. The torrent will so far carry away the
mountain, that the mountain will no longer be able to feed the torrent.
Probably, in the ages preceding the torrent, a glacier, availing itself
of some aboriginal facilities in the lay of the ground, commenced the
work of excavation, which its successor, the torrent, took up, and has
since continued in the line thus prepared for it.

_La belle horreur_ of the gorge of Gondo, its sheer, adamantine,
mountain-high precipices, its terrific chasms, its overhanging rocks,
its raging torrent, its rugged peaks against the sky, make it the great
sight of the ascent. Two bits interested me especially at the moment,
and have impressed themselves on my mind more distinctly than the rest.
The first was the Fall of the Frosinone. Crashing and roaring, it leaps
down from the mountain, a dozen yards or so from the road, under which
it passes, beneath a most audaciously conceived and executed bridge,
and, immediately, on your left, rushes into the torrent of the Gorge.
The road, at once, enters the long tunnel of the Gondo, upon which the
bridge abuts. Here is an unparalleled combination of extraordinary and
stirring objects. The other is a cascade, a little way off, of a
character, in every particular, the opposite of that of the Fall of the
Frosinone. It is on the other side of the Gorge. Here there is no
ruggedness in the rock. The cleavage of nature has left it, from top to
bottom, with a polished surface. Over this almost perpendicular face of
the mountain the water glides down so smoothly and so noiselessly that,
at night, you would pass it without being aware of the existence of the
cascade. The water is as smooth as the rock, and so transparent that you
everywhere see the rock through it. It is only, everywhere, equally
marked with a delicate network of lines, and bars, of white foam. The
effect is precisely that of an endless broad band of lace, rapidly and
everlastingly, drawn down the side of the mountain.

The day was bright and warm; and the walk, being all the while against
the collar, brought one into the category of thirsty souls. I must have
drunk, I believe, twenty times at the little runnels that crossed the
road. However heated you may be, and however cold the water, no bad
consequences appear to ensue. At 12.30 P.M. I got to the village of
Simplon. Here I breakfasted, or dined, for under the circumstances the
meal was as much breakfast as dinner; or, rather, it was both in one. As
I was now just twenty-two miles from Domo D’Ossola, that is just half
way to Brieg, I had thought of sleeping here. Finding the house,
however, in possession of a company of strolling Italian players, whose
noise and childishness were insufferable, I left the hotel—uninviting
enough of itself from the slovenly, dirty look of everything about it;
and made for the Hospice, five miles further on. I found it in a
sheltered, green depression, on the very summit of the pass. It is a
large rectangular massive building, well able to set at defiance even an
Alpine winter storm. As it has no stabling, it takes in only those who
come on foot.

The Brother, who showed me to my berth, was very young and very
good-natured. He brought to me in my room all that I wanted, instead of
obliging me to go to the refectory for my supper, where, as it happened,
I should have met again the Italian players I had run away from some
hours before; for they had followed me on to the Hospice. I might have
guessed that they would not have stayed at the inn. Perhaps my
alpenstock, and very dusty feet, had some weight with the good man.

_September 9._—Was up, and out of my room at 5 A.M. Found no one
stirring in the Hospice but a lad and a girl. Both appeared to be about
fourteen years of age. For an early traveller to begin the day with,
there was plenty of coffee and milk, and of bread and butter, in my
room; the remains of the bountiful refection of yesterday evening. On my
asking the young people where I was to find some one to whom I might
make an acknowledgment for the hospitality I had received, I was told
that it was the custom for the visitors to make their offerings in the
chapel, putting them in a basin which was shown me behind the door. I
left them in the chapel, discussing the amount I had deposited. Having
complied with this ceremony, I started for Brieg. As the road was good,
and the whole of it downhill, I walked at a good pace, and had completed
the sixteen miles at 9.15. There is a short cut by which you may be
saved the long _détour_ by Berisal, and lessen the distance, as the
books say, though I do not believe the books upon this point, to the
amount of five miles. I did not look for this short cut, for fear that
my attempting to take it might issue in a loss of time. When you don’t
know the country, the short cut often proves the longest way.

Soon after commencing the descent you come to the galleries, partly
excavated in the rock, and partly formed of very massive masonry,
through which the road is carried along the flank of the Monte Leone,
and across the gorge of Schalbet. These galleries, as well as the Houses
of Refuge and the Hospice, shelter the traveller from the storms and
avalanches, which are frequent in this part of the pass. The great
Kaltenwasser glacier of Monte Leone hangs over them; and the torrent
from it slips over the roof of one of the galleries. To find yourself in
this way beneath an Alpine torrent, and to look into it, as it dashes
by, through an opening in the side of the galleries, will give to some a
new sensation. This is the head-water of the Saltine, which joins the
Rhone at Brieg. As you pass along this part of the road you have before
you the terrific forces, and savagery, of Alpine nature; but you reflect
that civilised man has been able, if not to overcome them, yet at all
events to protect himself from them. You think that it is something to
be a man; or, with less of personal feeling, that civilisation has
endowed him with much power. These scenes stir the mind. They enlarge
thought, and strengthen will. Below Berisal the torrent of the Gauter,
an affluent of the Saltine, is crossed by a massive stone bridge. This
is so lofty that it appears a light and airy structure; still it
possesses what it requires, a great deal of strength, to enable it to
resist the blasts created by the falling avalanches, which are frequent
in this neighbourhood. You are surprised at coming so soon in sight of
Brieg, and of the valley of the Rhone. You see that you have now
completely surmounted the great barrier nature interposed between her
darling Italy, where you were yesterday morning, and the hardy North, of
which you rejoice to be a child. Perhaps you will think that it was not
ill done that you crossed it on foot.


                             CHAPTER VIII.


             Happy the man whose wish and care
               A few paternal acres bound;
             Content to breathe his native air
                           On his own ground.

             Whose herds with milk, whose fields with bread,
               Whose flocks supply him with attire;
             Whose trees in summer yield him shade,
                           In winter fire.—POPE.

MY first hour at Brieg was spent in finding the single barber of the
place. He was an idle fellow; and, having it all his own way, was, as it
appeared, in the habit of devoting his mornings to society and
amusement. His evenings, also, we may suppose, were not allowed, like
his business, to run entirely to waste. At last by despatching three
little boys, in different directions, to search for him, the finder to
be rewarded with half a franc, I succeeded in bringing him back to his
razors: mine were in the _sac_ I had lost sight of through having lost
sight of self. I had breakfasted; had had a little talk with two or
three people in the hotel; had looked over the place—no great labour,
but the conclusion to which the inspection brought me was that things
appear to be better organised in it, and life to be pitched at a higher
level, than in places of equal smallness amongst ourselves; had traced
the Saltine down to its junction with the Rhone; had had some talk with
a woman who was regulating the irrigation of a meadow; and had, having
thus exhausted everything local, just retired to my room with a cigar
and a book, when the blue boy burst open the door to report himself,
like the armies of the old Romans, before he had been expected. When I
had left Saas, the calculation had been that my wife and he would not
reach Brieg till the evening of this day; and that that might also be
the time of my own arrival. We were both before our time. In such
calculations, however, it is wise to allow some margin for ‘the
unforeseen,’ and for the imperfections and uncertainties of the human
machine. As it happened, had I not lost an afternoon at Domo D’Ossola—I
shall for the future in all such deliberations, instinctively, eliminate
irrelevant matter—I should have slept in Brieg last night; though,
indeed, under the circumstances, there would have been in that no
particular gain.

During my absence my wife, and the little man, had made two excursions;
one to the Trift glacier with young Andermatten for guide—the youth who
in the first hours of the same day had carried my sac into Macugnaga,
and had then forthwith returned to Saas; and the other, without a guide,
to the Mattmark See. Knowing that their thoughts were turned in this
direction, I had sent them a note from the Mattmark See, pencilled on
the night of the 5th, begging them not to attempt it, as the road was
quite too rough and steep, in the latter part, for a child who had shown
no great capacity for mountaineering. They did not get my note till they
were on the way. My prudence, however, was no match for their
enterprise. They managed to get to the Mattmark See Hotel; and, after
dinner, to return the same evening to Saas. As the little man was not
ten years old, I accept the seven hours they were on foot as an augury
of future endurance. I had almost thought, but I ought to have known
better, that my note would have deterred them from going; and so, as I
tramped along to Ponte Grande, I had not pictured them to myself, as now
I did, toiling up the open mountain, and trudging along the lonely shore
of the dark Mattmark See, in the very centre of the Alpine world,
without another breathing thing in sight.

On the morning of this day (the 9th) my wife had walked from Saas to
Visp, fourteen miles. The little boy had ridden. From Visp to Brieg they
had come on in the diligence.

_September 10._—As it was thirty miles of, we may call it, high road,
and that not particularly interesting, from Brieg to the Rhone glacier,
for which we were bound, we took a _voiture_ for the day. It was a
three-horse affair. The driver was an ill-conditioned fellow; but not
without some redeeming qualities, for he was the only one of his kind we
met with throughout our excursion; and in the afternoon, when _bonne
main_ had become the uppermost thought in what mind he had, he showed
some capacity for the rudiments of civilisation. At Viesch he insisted
on stopping for two hours; two hours that were an age, as there was
nothing to see there, and nothing that we could do, having just
breakfasted at Brieg. It was an aggravation to see at least a dozen
one-horse vehicles pass by without one of them halting. At Munster we
stopped again, for an hour and a half: but that was for dinner.

This was the first time I had been on wheels since getting upon my own
legs at Visp, on August 29. If we had had time enough, it would have
been better to have walked this morning to the Belle Alp, giving to it
one day; then on to the Eggishorn, for the great Aletsch glacier; two
days more: and thus reaching the Rhone glacier on the fourth day. But as
we could hardly have spared the time for this, we were satisfied with
what we did. To refuse to take a carriage on a carriage road, when much
time is saved by taking it, and every object along the road can be seen
as well from a carriage as on foot, is the pedantry of pedestrianism,
which sacrifices the substance of one’s object for useless consistency.

In the upper part of the Rhone valley there are considerable expanses of
good grass land, particularly about Munster; and the villages are
numerous, and close together. Each of these villages, as seen from a
little distance, is a cluster of _châlets_, without any visible internal
spaces, and without any apparent differences in their dimensions, or
structure. They have no suburbs; there is no shading off; the bright
green meadow is not gradually lost in the dark brown village. The houses
do not gradually thin out in the fields. There are no fields; no
detached houses. There is nothing but the expanse of grass, and these
clusters of _châlets_, each like a piece of honeycomb laid upon it; and
as distinct from each other as so many communities of bees. Each village
looks as if it were something that had dropped from heaven upon the
grass; or like a compact, homogeneous excrescence upon the grass—a kind
of Brobdingnagian fungus. There is, however, one exception to the
general uniformity of the excrescence, and that is the church tower. It
stands above the rest, just as its shaft would, if the Brobdingnagian
fungus were turned upside down.

Here you have, apparently without disturbing elements, as perfect a
picture, as could now be seen, of the old rationale of religion; that it
is a power among men, equally above all, interpreting to all their moral
nature, and proclaiming the interpretation to all with an authoritative
voice; and obliging all, by its constant authoritative iteration, to
receive the proclamation; and to allow its reception to form within
themselves, even if they were such as by nature would have been without
conscience, the ideas and sentiments requisite for society. You see that
this Arcadian application of the function of religion may have been
completely, and undisturbedly realised, in times past, in such isolated
and self-contained villages; and that you are at the moment looking upon
one in which it is still being realised to some extent. But you, who
belong to the outside world, and know it, too; its large cities, its
wealth, its poverty, its estranged classes, its mental activity, its
social and controversial battle-shouts, its pæans of short-lived
triumph, its cries of agonising defeat, its individualism, are aware
that the day for such an exhibition of religion is gone by. Your
religion, if you are religious, will be in the form, and after the kind,
needed now in that outside world. It will have stronger roots, that seek
their nutriment at greater distances; a firmer knit stem, such as a tree
will have that has grown up in the open, exposed to many gales; and more
wide-spreading branches, such as those far-travelling roots, and that
firm-knit stem, can alone support. And this will enable you to
understand, and, if you do understand, will save you from despising, the
religion of the Alpine village before you: for you will find that it is
the same as your own, only in embryo.

At Oberwald, three and a half miles from the Rhone glacier, the road
leaves the grassy valley, and begins to ascend the zig-zags on the
mountain-side. We here found the inclination to leave the carriage, and
walk, irresistible. This road, which is carried over the Furca Pass to
Andermatt, is a grand achievement, for which the country, and those who
travel in it, have to thank the modern, more centralised and
democratised government. To it also their thanks are due for the new
coinage, the most simple in the world, whereas the old cantonal coinages
it superseded were the most confusing, and the worst; for the postal
arrangements, which are very good; for the telegraph; and even for the
railways. And, furthermore it must be credited with many advances, and
improvements, that have been made in the Swiss system of education.

The Rhone glacier is a broad and grand river of ice. As it descends from
the mountains on a rapid incline you see a great deal of it from below,
and are disposed to regard it as worthy to be the parent of a great
historic river. The Rhone, however, itself issues from it, at present,
in a very feeble and disappointing fashion. It slips out from beneath
the ice so quietly, and inconspicuously, that you might pass by it, as
doubtless many do, without observing it. It steals off, as if it were
ashamed of its parentage; of which, rather, it might well be proud.

A word about the Hôtel du Glacier du Rhône. It has plenty of pretension;
but I never passed a night in a house I was so glad to leave in the
morning. Nowhere did one ever meet with such a plague of flies, flies so
swarming, and so persecuting; and nowhere did one ever meet with such
revolting stenches. What produces the stenches is what produces the
flies; that is want of drainage, and the non-removal of unclean
accumulations. At first, on account of the stench which pervaded the
gallery—it was that of the first and chief floor, I refused to take the
room I was shown to; and only, after a time, consented on the assurance
that this matter could, and should be set right. This assurance was
utterly fallacious; for, though I kept my window wide open, from the
time I entered the room till I left it, I soon sickened, and was
afflicted with uninterrupted nausea throughout the whole night. Want of
proper drainage, the cause of these horrors, is very common in Swiss
hotels. Their pretentious character, which, with many thoughtless
people, atones for much, ought, on the contrary, to intensify one’s
sense of such shameful neglect. The larger the house is the larger are
the gains of the landlord, and the greater is the number of people
exposed to the mischief. I do not at all join in the cry against the
rise in the charges of the monster hotels of Southern Switzerland.
Landlords, like other people, have a right to charge what they can get,
when the commodity they deal in is much in demand. But, as their charges
are certainly remunerative, there can be no reason for forbearing to
denounce manifest and disgraceful disregard of necessary sanitary
arrangements. I heard the next morning from one, who spoke from that
day’s personal experience, that matters were no better at the
neighbouring hotel of the Grimsel Hospice. Strange is it that man should
be so careless about poisoning the very air nature has made so pure!


                              CHAPTER IX.

                              TO MEIRINGEN

             These are Thy glorious works, Parent of good;
             Almighty, Thine this universal frame,
             Thus wondrous fair; Thyself how wondrous, then!
             Unspeakable, Who sitt’st above the heavens
             To us invisible, or dimly seen
             In these Thy lowest works.—MILTON.

_September 11._—We were off at 6 A.M. for a long day over the Grimsel
Pass to Meiringen. As usual, my wife and I on foot, and the little man
on horseback. You begin the ascent of the mountain immediately from the
hotel. It is stiff walking all the way to the top, which is reached in
about an hour. The height above the sea is somewhat more than 7,000
feet. On the side of the mountain the most conspicuous plant is the
Rhododendron, the rose of the Alps. On the summit of the pass is a dark
tarn. The mephitic Hospice, about three fourths of a mile off, is 700
feet below. Soon after you begin the descent you come upon indications
of former glacier action in polished slabs of gneiss all around you. On
your right is a rugged glacier, among still more rugged pinnacles of
rock. Before you and to the left, is a world of snowy mountains, of
which you catch some glimpses. After a few yards of descent from the
Hospice the path strikes the Aar, fresh from its exit from the upper and
lower Aar glaciers. It then turns to the right along the margin of the
torrent: the torrent and the path passing side by side through a narrow
defile, overtopped, right and left, with precipitous mountains. After a
time the path leaves the margin of the torrent, having first been
carried over it by a narrow stone bridge. Everywhere you find
indications of the great height to which the glaciers reached in some
remote epoch. Among these are several instances of deep horizontal
lines, graven along the apparently perpendicular face of the mountain,
at a height of even 2,000 feet above the valley. In a place called
_Helle Platte_, or the Open Plain, the path is carried over what was
formerly the bed of the glacier; the gneiss still retaining the polish
that was given to its surface so many millenniums ago. This extends for
about a quarter of a mile, the interstices, between the mighty slabs of
gneiss being filled with fringes and patches of stunted Rhododendrons,
and of the Pinus Pumilio, a spreading dwarf pine, that does not reach
more than three or four feet from the ground; but which, notwithstanding
its diminutive size, conveys to you, far more impressively than its
lofty congeners, the idea of great age. This scene surrounded by naked
mountain masses, as rugged as adamantine, stirs the mind deeply. The
effect culminates as you pass the bridge, beneath which the torrent of
the Aar roars and dashes along its rock-impeded channel. No animal life
is seen, with the one exception of a multitude of butterflies, glancing
to and fro in the clear warm sunshine, like winged flowers. Your thought
is interested by the contrast between their feeble fragile beauty and
the force and savagery of surrounding nature.

The way in which I saw that the Aar had cut its channel through the
gneiss suggested to me the inquiry, whether what had enabled it to do
this was not the fact that the pebbles and broken rock the torrent
brought down were gneiss, so that it was gneiss which it had to dash
against the sides and bottom of its channel. Perhaps torrent-borne
fragments of gneiss may widen and deepen a gneiss channel as effectually
as fragments of lime-stone may a lime-stone channel.

At eleven miles from the Rhone glacier you reach Handeck: a small
expanse of greenest Alpine meadow, intermixed with pine-forest, and
surrounded with dark craggy mountains. Here we called a halt for
luncheon, and a cigar. It was a bright, airy day; one to be for ever
remembered. Many travellers came and went; some facing up, some down the
pass. Fortunately this charming spot has not yet been disfigured by a
staring stone hotel. The suave landlord, and expectant porter, have not
yet invaded it. But I am afraid that they cannot be far off. At all
events for the present, may it long remain so! you have the wooden
_châlet_, with its low panelled reception room, innocent of gilding and
of paint; the green rock-strewn turf coming up to the door; and the
bench along the wall outside. You can here get a mutton-chop that has
not been first passed through a bath to make _potage_ for yesterday’s
visitors, and then, for you, had its impoverishment thinly disguised by
having been dipped into a nondescript _sauce piquante_.

This charming halting-place is enriched with far the best waterfall in
Switzerland—the Fall of the Handeck. The Staubbach, Byron’s
magniloquence nevertheless, and the rest of them, are only overflows of
house-gutters. There, where they are, just at the first stage of the
watershed of Europe, they can be accepted as being very much what they
ought to be; but one cannot be impressed with them as waterfalls. Here,
however, is something of quite a different kind: not so much from the
volume of the falling water, as from its character, and the point of
view from which it is seen. Two or three hundred yards below the
_châlet_ the Aar is chafing along its clean rock-channel, strewn with
boulders as large as houses; on a sudden it takes a leap, of about two
hundred feet, into a dark, appalling, iron-bound chasm. Precisely at the
point, where it takes this leap, the Handeck, coming blustering down on
the left, at a right angle to the Aar, takes the same leap. The two
cataracts are mingled together, midway in the chasm. A wooden bridge has
been thrown over the falls. You stand upon this, and see the hurrying
torrents dashing themselves into the deep chasm below you. You are half
stunned by their angry roar. You observe that they have no power to
undermine, and wear away, the granite against which they are dashing,
and breaking themselves. The frail bridge vibrates under your feet.
Fortunately you are looking down the fall instead of up, and this, by
engendering an irrational sense of the possibility of your slipping into
it, heightens the effect. For some hours about midday—we were there at
that time—it is crowned with the prismatic bow.

Here my wife took a horse for the rest of the day, being too ill of the
Hôtel du Glacier du Rhône to walk any further. After some miles the
savage character of the scenery began to relent. This mitigation went on
increasing, till at last we found ourselves crossing the emerald meadows
of Guttanen—a village of _châlets_. Next came the little town of Imhof.
Here an hotel, and a brewery, a good road, and the slackened pace of the
Aar made it evident that we were out of the mountains; and the plain at
Meiringen was soon reached. This was a walk of about twenty-six miles.
As all the hard work came in the first hour, it was a very much easier
day than the twenty-seven miles up the southern side of the Simplon.

As we were in Meiringen by 4.20 P.M., there was time for a walk up the
hill, close to the hotel, to see the Falls of the Reichenbach. I was
glad to find the little man ready to accompany me, for he had been so
silent all day that I had been thinking he was fatigued, or not well.
When we had got some way up the hill we met a Frenchman coming down, who
told us that a toll would soon be levied upon us; his comment upon the
fact being that we should have to pay for looking at the mountains, if
it could in any way be managed. Regarding this toll as a piece of
extortion, and not at all caring to see the fall, we returned to the
hotel. If I had thought it really worth going to see, I should, acting
on the wisdom I had purchased at Ponte Grande, have eliminated from
consideration, though perhaps with a growl, the meanness and rapacity of
the demand, as irrelevant matter, and have gone on; but it was getting
late, and we thought we had seen enough of the fall from the road as we
were entering Meiringen.


                               CHAPTER X.


                I love not man the less, but nature more
                From these our interviews.—BYRON.

_September 12._—This morning we went by _char_ from Meiringen to
Interlaken, along the northern side of the Lake of Brienz. Again, if we
had had time, it would have been better to have walked along the
southern side, putting up for the night at Giesbach. While stopping at
the town of Brienz to bait the horse, we visited some of the
wood-carving shops, in one of which we found a school for indoctrinating
children in the mysteries, not of the three R’s, but of this trade,
which is the great industry of the place: everybody here being engaged
in it. The three main staples of Southern Switzerland are this
wood-carving, cheese-making, and hotel-keeping. With the latter we must
connect the dependent employments of the guides and porters, and of
those who let out horses and carriages. I know not how much of the
cheese is sent out of the country in exchange for foreign commodities,
but pretty nearly the whole of the carved wood, and of the hotel
accommodation, is exchanged for foreign cash.

This morning I witnessed the following scene. A practical man—I took him
for one, who had struck oil—was leaving the hotel. A porter, assuming an
expectant air, takes up a position at the door of the hotel. The
practical man addresses him in a firm tone, ‘Now, sir, tell me
everything, you have done for me beyond your duty to the hotel.’ A look
of blankness comes over the porter’s face, and he steps aside. The
practical man, with the look of one who has discharged a lofty duty,
steps into his carriage. I do not record this for imitation.

Interlaken, which we reached early in the day, is a town of hotels and
_pensions_. We were at The Jungfrau, which commands an excellent view of
the famous mountain from which it takes its name. The view from this
point is much improved by its comprising two intermediate distances in
two ranges of hills, which do not at all interfere with the dominant
object, but rather set off to advantage its snowy summits and flanks.
The Jungfraublick, a large new hotel, on a spur of the nearest hill, is
better situated, for it is out of the town; and, being elevated above
the lakes, commands several good views. The majority of the visitors at
our hotel were Germans: quiet, earnest, and methodical, they appeared to
be regarding travelling, sight-seeing, and life itself, scientifically.

Interlaken, being situated on low ground, between two high ranges of
mountains, at no great distance from each other, is, on a quiet sunny
day, a very oven for heat. It has, however, in its main street some very
umbrageous lofty walnut-trees. They are the survivors of what was once,
and not many years ago, a grand unbroken avenue.

_September 13._—Started early in a carriage for Lauterbrunnen, where we
left it, with orders that it should be taken round to Grindelwald, there
to be ready for us the next morning. At Lauterbrunnen we put the blue
boy on horseback, and began the ascent of the Wengern Alp. People go up
this mountain for the purpose of getting the most accessible, nearest,
and best view of the Jungfrau, Mönch, and Eiger. As you turn to the left
to ascend the mountain, you regret that you are not going up the valley,
which you see would lead you up among glaciers and snowy peaks; or that
you are not taking the path to the right, which you see would carry you
over, and above the Staubbach, and you know would give you grand views
of the snow-world. The path you are taking you take in faith, for it
does not, from what is in sight, give any indications of what is in
store for you; before, however, the day is done, you will have reason
enough for being satisfied with the choice you had made; or which,
perhaps, had been made for you.

At first the ascent is very stiff, and a good test of lungs and legs.
This lasts for about an hour. Then comes a reach of easy work among
upland meadows and forest. The work, however, again stiffens; but one is
cheered by the nearness of the Jungfrau, and, occasionally, by the
thunder of an avalanche, falling from its sides. You are now above the
forest, and on the coarse sedgy turf; and, if you please, you may sit
down, and light your cigar, giving as your reason, that you wish to
contemplate the view, and listen to the avalanches. It would, however,
be better to go on at once to the hotel, which is not far off. This was
what we were virtuous enough to do. The ascent occupied a little under
four hours. We had luncheon at the hotel. It is on the edge of the
ravine, on the opposite side of which rises, almost perpendicularly, the
mighty Jungfrau. Though it must be two miles off, it seems so near that
you fancy you might almost touch it with your hand. The dark,
slate-coloured rock, and the snow, are in excellent contrast. The vast
chasm below you, and the cold, hard, silent cliffs before you, the
silence frequently broken on bright, warm days—and the day we were there
was as bright and warm as could be—by the reverberation of the falling
avalanches—there are no small, or insignificant objects in sight to mar
the effect—are the elements of an Alpine scene you are glad to think you
will carry away impressed on your memory. You are now content that the
path on the right, up to Mürren, has been left for another day. As you
watch the avalanches gliding down the ravines, and shot over the
precipices, in streams of white dust, for the first fall or two shiver
them into minute fragments, you are puzzled to know what it is that
makes the thunder—what the noise is all about, the process being so
smooth and regular.

We allowed ourselves an hour and a half for mental photography and for
luncheon—mine was a basin of rice-water, for I had not yet recovered
from the Hôtel du Glacier du Rhône. We then again took up our staves,
and set our faces towards Grindelwald. In half an hour from our inn, we
came to a second, on the summit of the Col. The descent immediately
commences. This is not nearly so steep as the ascent we had just
accomplished. It requires three hours. The path passes through the
forest of death-struck pines Byron mentions in his journal. Not many
remain. Of these some are quite, some are almost dead. It was composed
of the Pinus Cembra. The malady which is destroying it may perhaps have
been engendered by a local change of climate; or some other circumstance
may have prevented the young plants from establishing themselves; as,
for instance, want of shelter, from too much of the forest having been
cut at the same time. I mention this because I observed in exposed
situations in the Rocky Mountains—it was so above Nevada City, on the
road to Georgetown—wherever the forest had been entirely cleared away,
the young pines came up in myriads, but all died off, either withered by
the droughts of summer, or by the bleak winds of winter: of course
neither of these causes could have afflicted the tender nurselings, had
the old forest been standing.

The descent, like that to Virgil’s Avernus, is easy, but, unlike that
into the Vale of Years, has a charming prospect; for the valley of
Grindelwald, with its meadows, corn-fields, and _châlets_, is all spread
out before you, like a map. It is a sight which awakens thought and
touches the heart. You see that a good breadth of land has been
reclaimed, where nature was so hard and adverse. How much labour has
been expended in burying the stones, and bringing the soil to the
surface, and in irrigating those many, now bright, smooth meadows! How
much thought and care is, day by day, bestowed on every little plot of
that corn and garden ground, in the hope of getting a sufficiency of the
many things that will be needed in the long winter! How much talk is
there, every evening, in every household, about the way in which things
are going on, and about what has to be done! A shoulder-basket must now
be made for little Victor, and little tasks must be found for him,
proportioned to his little strength, that he may, betimes, learn to
labour; and something must be found, too, for the old grandame to do,
that she may not come to feel that she is only burdensome. Some garden
or dairy product, a little better than common, they may have in their
humble stores, must be reserved for the _fête_, now not far off.
Wilhelm, who many a mother in the valley wishes may be her son-in-law,
and who of late has been more thoughtful than was his wont, hearing the
_fête_ mentioned, is reminded of the _edelweiss_ he had gone in search
of, and found on the Eiger, that he may have its tell-tale flower, on
that day when all hearts will be glad and open, to offer to Adeline. I
suppose the fat Vale of Aylesbury, where purple and fine linen are not
wanting, and there is sumptuous fare every day, has its poetry; but so,
also, has the hard-won valley of Grindelwald, where home-spun is not
unknown, and every man eats the bread of carefulness.

We put up at the Aigle, a new hotel, with three or four _dépendances_,
at the further end of the village. Grindelwald is not of the compact
order of Swiss villages; indeed, it is almost a town; at all events, it
is lighted with gas. It straggles along the main road for about three
quarters of a mile; to those coming from Lauterbrunnen all uphill. It
abounds in hotels. After a hard day—not the Wengern Alp, but the Hôtel
du Glacier du Rhône, had made it hard—it appeared a gratuitous, almost a
cruel, infliction to have to pass so many doors that stood open
invitingly, with more than usual persuasiveness, and to trudge on, and
up, in the hope of reaching the end of the place, which, under the
circumstances, seemed like the Irishman’s bit of string, which had had
its end cut off. But to those who will persevere, even the street of
Grindelwald will be found to have an end; and one, too, that is worth
finding, for it brings you to a pleasantly situated, and well-kept inn,
where you can get a chicken that has not been detained in the bath an
unconscionable time. What has been disagreeable in travelling we soon
forget, but my recollections of the Aigle of Grindelwald remain.

There are, as I just said, many hotels in the place; but as there are
also six thousand cows in the valley, not travellers, but cheese must be
its main reliance. It has another industry in ice, which is cut in
blocks out of the glacier, and sent as far even as Paris. The price
returned for this is one of the rills of the stream of wealth, which
railways are pouring into Switzerland, or enabling it to collect for the
outside world. Two great glaciers come down into the village from the
two sides of the Mettenberg, which here has the Eiger on its right, and
the Wetterhorn on its left.

We had been on the tramp to-day, excluding the halt for luncheon, eight
hours. With the exception of not more than five minutes on the little
man’s horse, my wife did the whole of it on foot, stepping out briskly
even to the long-sought end of Grindelwald.


                              CHAPTER XI.

                        SLEEPING AT SCHWARENBACH

        To see the wonders of the world abroad
        Than, living dully sluggardized at home,
        Wear out thy youth with shapeless idleness.—SHAKESPEARE.

_September 14._—Returned early in our _voiture_ to Interlaken. From the
tramping point of view, the right thing to have done in the afternoon
would have been to have ascended one of the ranges of mountains, which
shut in Interlaken on the right and left. But it was fair that the
little man should have his turn, and his heart was all for the railway,
the steamer, and the Lake of Thun: and so we went by rail, and boat, to
Thun and back. The railway, with its smart carriages, some of them two
stories high, is only a mile or two in length, from Interlaken to its
port on the lake, and is a mere toy. As to the sail on the lake, it
supplies enough for the eye to feed upon. The chief objects on the south
side are the Niesen and the Stockhorn; the two mountains which form the
porch of the valley of the Kander, up which lies the road to the Gemmi.
The boat was very crowded with people who were going northward; the
greater part of them to Berne, the rail for which commences at Thun.
About Thun what interests one most at this season, as things are seen
from the water, are the gardens of some of the houses on the edge of the
lake. The little man, from familiarity with threshing machines and
agricultural implements, has a strong turn for machinery; hence the
attraction for him of the railway and steamboat. On board the latter he
poked about, looking into everything, as if he were taking the
opportunity to inspect some of his own property.

This was a day, which, to its end, was given up to the young gentleman,
for in the evening he would have us go to the Cursaal to see a display
of fireworks. They were pretty good. The best thing was the illumination
of a copious jet of water, which was thrown up to the height of about a
hundred feet, and fell very much broken and dispersed; the upward rush,
and the falling drops, reflecting a powerful red light, which, screened
to the spectators, was burnt in front of the fountain. The shrubberies,
and trees, all about, were at times illuminated, successively, with red,
blue, and white lights: this was meant to be weird and spectral.

_September 15._—It was Sunday. We went twice to the English service. On
both occasions the preacher was extemporary. He was fluent and
imaginative. Fluency, and imaginative power (I say this without
intending a reference to the sermons we heard this day), if entirely
trusted to at the moment of speaking, and not kept under the control of
previously matured thought, will generally run away with a preacher, and
lead him into making inconsequential, and unguarded statements. And if
he is, besides, a man of some miscellaneous reading, it is not
improbable that much of it will be presented to his audience in an
undigested form, and not unfrequently rather incongruously. In short,
all that he says is likely to be what Shakespeare calls unproportioned

While we were at Interlaken, the moon was approaching the full. Both
evenings we watched it passing over the peaks of the Jungfrau. The snow,
however, had none of the deadly white, I had expected it would have had
when seen by moonlight. But the moon was beyond the mountain, and so
almost all the snow on our side was in the shade.

_September 16._—Were to have started at 6 A.M. for the Valley of the
Kander, on our way to the Gemmi: through the dilatoriness, however, of
the _voiturier_ we had some difficulty in getting off by 6.25. And this
was not his only lapse; for, an hour after a forty minutes’ halt for
breakfast, he insisted on halting again, for two hours more, at a
roadside inn, where he, and his horse, were baited; both probably at our
expense, for he had brought nothing with him for either. As these
stoppages are, sometimes, not so much needed for the horse, as the
result of arrangements between innkeepers and drivers, which become
profitable to them through what is extracted from you, it would,
perhaps, not be a bad plan to make it understood beforehand, that your
payments will, to some extent, depend on the time at which the driver
may bring you to your destination.

The road is, at first, along the lake. At the place, where it makes an
angle, and turns its back upon the lake, we breakfasted. The inn looks
upon the lake. The house itself is not bad; but what is best about it is
the feeling it gives rise to that you have escaped from the crowding,
the bad smells (the Jungfrau was free from these), and the pretensions,
of a monster hotel, where everything is in disagreeable contrast to
surrounding nature; the effects of life in the former at every turn
counteracting and marring the effects of the latter.

A geologist should follow the new channel by which the Kander 150 years
ago was taken into the lake. He will be interested by an inspection of
the large delta, at the mouth of its new outlet, formed by the vast
amount of _débris_ the torrent-stream has since brought down. Formerly
it ran parallel to the lake; and joined the Aar below it, in this part
of its course keeping a great deal of land in a marshy condition. All
this has now been reclaimed.

The scenery of the valley is interesting. From Frutigen—it was here that
our two hours’ halt had been called—to Kandersteg, at the foot of the
Gemmi, is eight miles. The last half of this my wife and I walked.

At Kandersteg we dined; and having placed the little man, and the
baggage, on horses, we began the ascent at 3.30. The road is in
excellent repair. For the first hour and a half it is stiff walking
through a pine forest. The views of the valley of the Kander, and of the
mountains, are good. The road is then, for some distance, taken
horizontally along the side of the mountain, again through the pine
forest. Between the clean stems of the trees you look down, on your
left, into the barren, and truly Alpine, Valley of Gasteren. At first it
is a rocky gorge; and then it opens into an expanse of level, pale grey
sand, and small shingle, through which you can make out, from above, the
glacier stream passing in several small channels. The forest is
succeeded by an open level of poor mountain pasture and rocky ground. On
the left of this are the peaks of the Altels, and of the Rinderhorn,
with snow-fields and glacier. You then begin to ascend again through a
scene that is the very grandeur of desolation. There is no vegetation;
nothing that has life. It appears as if the mighty fragments of dark
rock, with which the whole is covered, had been rained down from heaven
in its wrath, and had completely buried out of sight everything that
might once have struggled up here for life, and even whatever could have
supported life. This mountain in ruins, this wrack of rocks, brings you
to the Schwarenbach inn. It stands on the edge of a crateriform
depression, in what appears at the time, and from the spot, to be the
summit of the mountain. This depression terminates, on the right, in a
grand mountain amphitheatre.

The inn is precisely what it ought to be; small, without any pretension,
and without any artificial _entourage_. The people, too, who keep it are
most ready, and obliging. This is just the sort of place one would like
to make one’s head-quarters, for a few days, for excursions from it
among the surrounding summits, and for familiarising oneself with the
spirit of the mountains.

_September 17._—Started a little after 5 A.M., that we might see the sun
rise from the summit of the pass. Overnight I had been roused out of my
first sleep by a loud, hurried knocking against the thin partition, that
separated my room from my wife’s, accompanied by repeated calls to get
up at once. I lighted a match, and looked at my watch. It was just 11
o’clock. At 4.30 A.M. the knocking was again heard: but this time it
came from the opposite side of the partition.

The morning was very cold. The blue boy, and the luggage, were on
horseback; my wife, and I, on foot. The ascent continued for about two
miles further. For the first mile the path takes you by two or three
more crater-like depressions, similar to the one on the edge of which
the inn stands. You then come to a dark mountain lake, fed by the
glacier of the Wildstrubel, at the southern end of it. It is another
scene of awful desolation. You are surprised at observing that the
detrital matter, neither of the glacier, nor of the environing
mountains, has in the least degree diminished the size of the lake. It
seems to-day to be just the same, in size and form, that it must have
been thousands of years ago. The crest of the ridge is reached a little
beyond the lake. The sight that here bursts upon you is grand indeed.
The eye passes over the valley of the Rhone—that, however, is not yet
visible—and rests on the long series of snowy peaks, which you know are
the finials of the barrier ridges that separate Switzerland from
Italy—the Michabel, the Weisshorn, the Matterhorn, the Dent d’Heréns,
the Dent Blanche. On this morning they all stood clear of cloud. While
close, on our left, just to show us how near we were to losing the view,
a dense mist was streaming over the mountains, like a turbid, aerial
river, flowing uphill Nothing could be grander; the rocky peaks around
us, the snowy peaks before us, and the river of cloud rolling by us. We
had reached the right point at the right moment.

Having impressed the view on our minds, as ‘a possession for ever,’ we
began the descent. The little man got off his horse, for the descent can
only be made on foot; at all events it always has been, since the fatal
accident, caused by the stumbling of her horse, which here befell the
Comtesse d’Arlincourt in 1861. The luggage, too, was now readjusted, and
more tightly braced up on the baggage horse.

Among those who keep to beaten paths the descent of the Gemmi is the
crowning glory of their excursion. This it is that awakens within them
most the sensations of awe and wonder. And there is much to justify
these feelings. As you come down the pass, you cannot but be surprised
at the boldness, ingenuity, and perseverance of those who projected, and
made it. And, perhaps, your surprise will be heightened when, on getting
to the bottom, and looking up at the sheer precipice of some thousands
of feet of hard rock, you find that you are unable to make out a trace
of the path you have just been descending. A fissure in the
perpendicular face of the mountain just made it conceivable that a
series of zig-zags might be carried up to the top. And this was what the
engineer attempted, and succeeded in doing. Originally, many of the
zig-zags were nothing more than grooves in the face of the rock, just
sufficient to give foothold to a pedestrian. During the last century,
however, they have been widened into grooves that admit, with perfect
safety, the passage of a packhorse with his burden. The external wall of
a house may be ascended by a staircase applied to it; and so may the
perpendicular face of a mountain, two or three thousand feet high. And
it will come to the same thing if the staircase is, in some places, let
into the face either of the house, or of the mountain wall. The motive
of the formation of the pass was to save a _détour_ of some days in
getting from the neighbourhood of Thun and Interlaken to the Valais. I
suppose it was worth making as a saving of time and labour. But, be that
as it may, it impresses itself on the mind as a never-to-be-forgotten
passage of one’s Alpine travel. The blue boy skipped down it, like a
chamois, far in advance of everybody; a guide, of course, being with
him. My wife insisted on going down at the head of the rest of the
party, on the plea that she was incapable of going behind. I took the
position assigned me, with a little hug of myself at the conceit, the
benefit of which, however, at the time I kept to myself, that those, who
can go as well behind as before, must be twice as clever as those who
can go before only.


                              CHAPTER XII.


             The life of man is as the life of leaves,
             Which, green to-day, to-morrow sears, and then
             Another race unfolds itself to run
             Again the course of growth and of decay:
             So waxes, and so wanes the race of man.—HOMER.

AT a little after 8 A.M. we entered Leukabad, having been out three
hours from Schwarenbach. I was content that both our _personnel_ and our
_matériel_ were safe, plus the ineffaceable impression on our minds of
the pass itself.

Having breakfasted—it is pleasant to have lived so much before
breakfast—we sallied forth to look at the town and the baths. There are
several hotels in the place, and they were all pretty well tenanted.
Still the aspect of things was not lively. There was none of the stir
you observe among the Alpine people at such places as Chamouni and
Zermatt; nor was there any of the obtrusive bigness, and of the staring
newness of the hotels almost everywhere, which give you to understand
very clearly that, at all events, a great deal of business is being
done. Here nothing was new, and everything was faded. The names over the
hotels and shops had been there many a day; and the hotels and shops
themselves made one think of a dead forest covered with lichens and
moss, the lichens and moss being at least half dead also. People moved
about so noiselessly that you looked to see if their feet were muffled;
saying nothing to each other, and having nothing to say. The place was
as dumb as it was faded. We saw an old man washing old bottles, of a
by-gone form, at an old fountain, into and out of which the water was
feebly dribbling, as if it had nearly done coming and had nowhere to go.
He was the only person we saw doing anything, and he did it as if he
thought there was no use in doing it. Those who were taking the baths
were oppressed with a consciousness that they were getting no good from
them; and that they were doing it only because something must be
attempted. Their despondency had an air of obstinacy that would not be
comforted, deep and silent; like that of people who have just found out
that the foundations on which they have long been building great
expectations, are all a delusion,—either a figment of their own, or a
tradition from times when such things were not understood—and who have
not yet come to think that the world may still have something else for
them to turn to. At 12 o’clock the _voiturier_ we had engaged to take us
to Sierre, came up to the door of the hotel, with his worm-eaten vehicle
and his worn-out horses. But he came in so mute and spectral a
fashion—anywhere else he would have announced himself with a little
final flourish and crack of his whip—that we were not for some time
aware of his arrival. It was a relief when he lighted his cigar, for
that was the first indication of life we had seen in the place.

On the road to Sierre we passed through dust enough to bury Leukabad—a
ceremony which it would be as well should not be deferred any longer.
And, if Sierre had been put on the top of it, there would still have
been some to spare.

This dusty drive enhanced the pleasantness of recalling our late
mountain walks. We had now completed the circuit of the great ice-field
of the Bernese Oberland, which is more than 100 square miles in extent,
and is supposed to be the largest in Europe. Its boundaries, all of
which we had traced, are the Valais, the Grimsel, the Valley of the Aar,
and the Gemmi. We had had a near or more distant view of all its chief
snowy peaks, but had nowhere crossed any part of the snow-field itself.
That, perhaps, may be the work of another day, when the blue boy will be
old enough, and the rest of the party not yet too old, for such work;
for those who are not up to Peaks, either of the first or second class,
may still graduate as Pass-men by crossing the ice-fields between the

Another possible arrangement for the work of the two last days would
have been to have ascended the Niesen, at the foot of which we had
passed yesterday morning. This would have obliged us to have slept at
Kandersteg instead of, as we did, at the top of the Gemmi. The ascent of
the Niesen, even for such a party as was ours, would have been easy
enough; and the views from it are said to be very good. In that case,
however, we should have had to do the Gemmi at one stretch. Our loss
would have been sleeping at Kandersteg, and not at the Schwarenbach, and
the abandonment of our chance of a good sunrise from the summit of the
Pass; though that was a chance which, as it happened, was worth nothing
to us; for, in such perfectly fine, and singularly clear weather as we
had, the sun rises and sets without those glories of colour which
require haze and clouds for their reflection.

As to weather, which is the first, the second, and the third requisite
in such an expedition, we had scarcely seen a cloud during our three
weeks’ tramp. Up to the day before I got on my legs at Visp it had been
an unusually wet and cold season. During the night I was at the Simplon
Hospice it rained a little. That was the only shower that fell, where I
was, during the whole time we were out. The quarter of an hour’s snow on
the Riffel was merely the passage of a stray bit of mountain scud. The
sun, throughout, had shone so brightly that some of its brightness had
been reflected from the world outside upon the world within. Almost
every party of travellers in Switzerland, this year, we met with had a
very different account to give of the weather they had encountered. When
good luck is pleased to come, it must fall to some one; and this year it
fell to us.

So ended the second act of our little family excursion. The scene of the
first had been the Valleys of Zermatt and Saas, with my intercalated
tramp over the Monte Moro, through the Val Anzasca, and over the
Simplon. I can, with a safe conscience, recommend the precise route we
took to any family party, constituted at all as ours was. The time
occupied, from first to last, was exactly three weeks; and three weeks
they were, which we look back upon as well spent. It had no
difficulties, and enough of interest and variety. As to the cost, I can
give no details or items, for I keep no accounts, and never have. But,
speaking in the gross, I believe it cost somewhat less than thirty
shillings a head a day. Doubtless, it may be done for less. The best
rule in such matters, of course, is, if you can afford it, to have what
you want, and what will make a pleasure pleasant. As to equipment, what
you need actually carry along with you is so little, that the statement
of it would appear to people at home ridiculous. But, then, you can send
on by the Post from place to place not only your heavy luggage, but such
articles as your hat, if you are youthful, or old-fashioned enough to
take a hat with you, and your spare pair of walking boots, and every
thing else you may wish to have occasionally.

And here I have a suggestion to throw out, which occurred to me while I
was on the tramp. What put it into my head was the incongruity of hotel
life with excursions amid such scenes. In the Rocky Mountains the great
enjoyment of the year is camping out in the fine season. In Syria and in
India people travel with their tents. Why should we not camp out, and
travel with our tents, in July and August in Switzerland; and so break
loose altogether from the hotels? One mule, or horse, would carry the
tent and all the tent furniture. If sometimes, but such a necessity
would seldom arise, you had to pitch your tent on damp grass land, no
inconvenience, I believe, would ensue. I have slept on a damp meadow
under a tent on a bare plank, and was none the worse for it. And with
the addition of a little hay, or straw, upon the plank, and upon that a
waterproof sheet, you would have a luxurious bed for one who had walked
five-and-twenty miles, and had not been under a roof during the day. The
tent-mule might carry three light planks, each six feet long; for I will
suppose that the party consists of two travellers, and a guide who also
acts as muleteer. A saucepan, kettle, gridiron, and a few stores, to be
renewed as required, would be necessary. Were the weather to prove
unaccommodating there would always be the hotels at hand to take refuge
in. A month of such campaigning would be very independent; and, I
believe, very healthful and enjoyable.

At Sierre we took the rail for Aigle. There were a great many tedious
delays on the way: one at almost every station. But to complain would be
unreasonable, for, of course, the natives like to get as much as they
can for the fares they have paid; and the lower the fare the greater the
gain, if they get much of the rail for it. It was near 6 o’clock when we
reached Aigle, where we intended to set up our head-quarters for some
days, while looking out for a winter residence for my wife and the
little man.

The night was still, and clear. In that unpolluted atmosphere, and among
the mountains, the bright, soft, gleaming of the moon—it was now a
little beyond the full—as it brings out the silvered peaks, and seems to
darken the ravines, casts, as old Homer[2] noted long ago, a pleasing
spell over you; and you become indisposed to mar the silence of nature
with a word. The spell, however, on this occasion was somewhat broken by
the disturbing effect of continuous lightning, in the direction of the
head of the valley, though the horizon was undimmed, throughout its
whole circumference, by so much as a trace of haziness.

Footnote 2:

                        As when in heaven the stars
              Are shining round about the lustrous moon,
              Exceeding bright; and all the air is still;
              And every jutting peak, and beacon point
              Stands clear, e’en to the wooded slopes below;
              And the whole field of ether, opened out
              Unfathomable, shows each particular star;
              And at the sight the shepherd to his heart
              Is fill’d with gladness.—ILIAD viii. 551.

  I have essayed a rendering of this famous simile, not because I hope
  to succeed where so many are supposed to have failed, but because, as
  may be believed of a country parsonage, I have not a single
  translation of it at hand. It may be objected to the one I am driven
  to offer that the unfathomableness of the field of ether is a modern
  idea; and that Homer meant immensity in the direction, not of the
  profundity of the celestial space, but in the direction of its
  expansion. Our idea, however, embraces the whole of Homer’s, and goes
  beyond it.

  The double mention of the stars is hardly tautological; for the first
  mention of them is an indispensable stroke in the sketch, which was
  intended to convey to our minds the idea of a fine bright night; while
  the shining of so many particular stars in the immeasurable field of
  heaven is the point of the simile. As many as are the stars visible in
  such a sky, so many were the camp fires of the Trojan bivouac on the
  broad plain.

Of this witching power of the moon all people appear to be conscious.
But how does it come to act upon us in this way? Many, doubtless, have
tried to analyze, and get to the bottom of the feeling. I would suggest
that the effect is produced by an unconscious comparison of the moon
with the sun; and, then, by an unconscious inference drawn from the
comparison. The sun is the lord of our waking hours, and, as respects
the moon, is our standard of comparison. Whatever we think of we must
think of in reference to something else, that something else being the
leading and most familiar object of the class the thing, at the moment
thought about, belongs to, except it be the leading object itself, when
the reverse reference is made. When, then, we look at the moon, there is
a reference in the mind to the ideas and feelings, the results of our
experience, we have about the sun. We may not be aware of this, but it
is so, and cannot be otherwise. The sun is what gives us our conception
of a large luminous body, apparently moving, majestically, round our
earth. Having, then, made this comparison unconsciously—if it were done
consciously there would be no spell, or witchery—we note the
differences. The light is not the same. It does not penetrate to the
recesses of objects. It does not give clear definition. It does not
enable us to make out surfaces at a distance. It is not dazzling. It
does not enable the beholder to distinguish colours. There is something
spectral about it. But, above all, it is light unaccompanied by warmth.
The substratum of our thought, as we look at the moon, is the sun: yet
everything is different. The inference, again unconsciously arrived at,
is that of the wondrous variety, combined with unspeakable magnitude,
and other deeply affecting particulars, in these the greatest works, as
they strike us at the moment, of the dimly-apprehended mystery of the
universe. These half-formed thoughts, and their corresponding emotions,
are brought home, not so much by the sun, because we are too familiar
with it, and the objects we compare it with unconsciously are of
inferior grandeur, as they are by the moon, that is, by the
contemplation of it on a bright clear night. The moon stands far above
all natural objects, indeed, it stands almost alone, in possessing the
means for producing, in the way I have supposed, on all minds the effect
we are endeavouring to understand. And the effect is deepened by the
character of the hour. It is night. All is still. There is nothing to
distract attention; nothing to dissipate the effect.

It will help us here, if we see that it is, in part, the same reason,
which impels the dog to bay the moon. With him, as with ourselves, the
standard of comparison is the sun. The light of the full moon invites
him to look out from his kennel. He sees, as he thinks, the sun in
heaven. The sun has ever been to him the source of warmth as well as of
light. He has come to connect the idea of light emanating from a great
luminary in heaven with that of warmth. But this sun, he is looking at
now, does not give him any warmth. It even appears to strike him with a
chill. The light, too, which it emits has differences, which are very
perceptible, but unwonted, and unintelligible. It does not enable him to
make out familiar objects in the way in which light ought. His nerves
are affected by these differences and disappointments. His agitation
increases. In the still night there is nothing to divert his thoughts.
It becomes insupportable. He gives unconscious expression to his
agitation. He bays the moon. It is an expression of deep distress.

These feelings of the dog may also in some respects be compared to the
feelings that used to come over all mankind, and still come over the
savage, and other untutored people, at the contemplation of an eclipse.

_September 18._—The lightning of last night was not an empty threat, for
this morning dense masses of cloud were rolling down the valley, and
there was much rain. We had been talking of going up the _Dent du Midi_;
but, as it was, we could not get out till late in the afternoon, and
then it still continued to be showery. We managed, however, to see one
of the factories for parquetry floors, of which there are several here.
Their work is beautifully executed, and very cheap. It is sent all over
the world. We saw some orders that had just been executed for Egypt, and
for the United States.

The contrast between Aigle and Leukabad is complete. Here everything is
new, and neat, and bright. Opposite to us, across the road—we were quite
new ourselves—was a house, in its trim grounds, as new, and neat, and
bright as freshly wrought stone, and fresh paint could make it. There
was not a weather-stain upon it. At the bottom of our garden were a
party of jabbering Italian masons running up what was to be a large
_pension_. But the most conspicuous of the new things in Aigle was a
grand hotel, a little way off, nearer the mountains: so new that the
grounds were not yet laid out. And so it was with almost everything in
this flourishing little place, which has secured its full share in the
rapidly-growing prosperity of the country. Its attractions are that it
has a dry soil; a warm, sunny situation; and cheerful views. The baths
of Leukabad cannot keep it alive. The sunshine of Aigle gives it life.
If the decay of Leukabad, and the prosperity of Aigle at all show that
people now endeavour to retain health by natural means, whereas the plan
formerly was to let it go, and then endeavour to recover it by very
doubtful means, we may deem the world has, in this particular, grown
somewhat wiser than it was of yore; and so far, to go back once more to
our old friend, Homer, we may boast that we are better than our fathers.


                             CHAPTER XIII.

                       THE DRAMA OF THE MOUNTAINS

                       Non canimus surdis.—VIRGIL.

I will here give two or three pages to the blue boy. He is not at all
aware that I am about to put him into print. The reader, I trust, will
think that the betrayal of confidence involved in my doing so is not
altogether unjustifiable. I mentioned that on the day we crossed the
Grimsel, from the Rhone Glacier to Meiringen, he was unusually silent.
He afterwards told me that he had then been engaged in composing a
drama, which was to be entitled ‘The Drama of the Mountains,’ in which
the most conspicuous mountains he had seen—he had in 1870 made the
acquaintance of M. Blanc—were to be the _Dramatis Personæ_. Nothing more
was said on the subject then, or afterwards. We have infantine
productions of Dr. Johnson, Pope, the late Professor Conington, and of
others. I now offer the following drama, as an addition to this kind of
literature. I can vouch for its entire authenticity and genuineness. It
shall be printed from the blue boy’s own MS. The whole composition was
arranged in his mind, some days before it was put upon paper, without a
hint or suggestion from anybody, and subsequently not a word was
corrected, nor even a point in the stopping altered. It could not have
been more entirely his own had he been the only soul in Switzerland at
the time it was composed. He was alone, too, at the time it was put upon
paper. On the first day we were at Aigle—I have just mentioned that it
was a wet day—I found him writing it _currente calamo_; and on hearing
what he was about, I immediately left the room.

I must premise that last summer I had read to him Shakespeare’s Julius
Cæsar (he was then translating Cæsar’s Commentaries), and the Midsummer
Night’s Dream. On each of which occasions he immediately afterwards
produced a drama of his own; one in the high classical style founded on
Roman history, the other in the style of Bottom’s interlude. His having
had those two plays read to him is the extent of his acquaintance with
dramatic literature.

Those who may happen to have no personal acquaintance with his _dramatis
personæ_, will allow a word or two on the appropriateness of the parts
imagined for them. Blanc, of course, is Emperor in his own, the old,
right: from his shoulders and upwards he is higher than any of his
people. So with Rosa: she has the same fitness for being Empress.
Weishorn and Jungfrau are, beyond controversy, worthy of being, as the
order of nature has made them, Prince and Princess Imperial. Cervin (the
blue boy thinks in French, and so he calls Matterhorn by his French
name), by reason of his signal and conspicuous uprightness, is the best
of Prime Ministers. Schreckhorn’s name and character fit him for the
Ministry of Police, and prepare us for his horrible treason. Simplon has
conferred on him the place of the Emperor’s Messenger, on account of his
services to the world in supporting the most serviceable of the great
passes into Italy. We are not surprised at finding Silberhorn acting as
Chancellor of the Exchequer. Mönch appropriately counsels peace.
Finsteraarhorn, it will be observed, is taunted with hardly daring to
show his face: a sarcastic allusion to the difficulty there is of
getting a view of this mountain.

That the Empire of the Mountains was transferred to the Potentate of the
Himalaya, was intended not only as an illustration of the bad policy of
calling in to our assistance one stronger than ourselves—the mistake the
horse made when he entered into a league with man to drive the stag from
the contested pasture—but, also, as an application, and this was the
main idea, of the broad simple principle of _detur digniori_.


                     _THE DRAMA OF THE MOUNTAINS._


                           Dramatis Personæ.

                  BLANC, _emperor of the Alps_.
                  ROSA, _his wife_.
                  CERVIN, _his prime-minister_.
                  JUNGFRAU, _his daughter_.
                  WEISHORN, _his son_.
                  FINSTERAARHORN, _Jungfrau’s husband_.
                  MÖNCH, _the priest_.
                  SCHRECKHORN, _the police-agent_.
                  SIMPLON, _messenger of the Alps_.
                  SILBERHORN, _treasurer_.
                  CHIMOULARI, _king of the Himalaya_.
                  DWALAGIRI, _his prime-minister_.
                  EVEREST, _his son_.



    The empire of the Alps consists of a large number of European
    mountains, who think themselves the highest in the world; but it
    is not so, for the kingdom of the Himalaya is still higher and
    wiser. In the empire of the Alps, there had been internal
    disturbances between Blanc, the emperor, and Schreckhorn, the
    police-agent, in which Schreckhorn had mostly had the advantage
    and had shut the others up in a prison. But they escaped and
    applied to Chimoulari, king of the Himalaya, to help them, which
    he accordingly did, and defeated Schreckhorn. Chimoulari then
    received the empire of the Alps, and was then emperor of all the
    mountains in the world.


                                 ACT I.

                                SCENE I.

                           BLANC’S _Palace_.



Are we all met?


Yes, we are; we must not speak too loud, for Schreckhorn is outside the


Schreckhorn outside the door! impossible!


Fear nothing.


Finster, really, this is too bad: you wish to have us all in the lockup;
yes, you who hardly dare to show your face!


Blanc, my husband, please send Finster out.


Blanc, don’t, don’t.—Rosa, what do you mean; do you wish to deliver
Finster into the hands of Schreckhorn?


Peace! peace! (_Exeunt omnes._)

                (_Enter_ SCHRECKHORN _and_ SILBERHORN.)


Silberhorn, pay me your debts.


                            Please, my lord.


Please is nothing to me; pay!


Blanc, come and help me. (_Enter_ BLANC.)


I condemn you both to lose fifty feet of your height.


Ah! (_Exeunt omnes_).

                               SCENE II.

                              _The Same._

                     (_Enter_ BLANC _and_ SIMPLON.)


Would it not be better if you called in Chimoulari?


Yes, I will immediately. (_Exeunt duo._)

                               SCENE III.

                              _The Same._



Blanc, what do you want?


To make war against Schreckhorn.


That is very easy.


I will be general. (_Exeunt._)

                               SCENE IV.

                              _The Same._

                  (_Enter_ SCHRECKHORN _and_ EVEREST.)


Down with Thee.


I will bring thee to nothing!

(EVEREST _knocks down_ SCHRECKHORN, _kills him, and goes out_.)

                                SCENE V.

                              _The Same._

              (_Enter_ BLANC, CHIMOULARI, _and_ EVEREST.)


I have killed Schreckhorn.


Now, Blanc, give me the Empire of the Alps.


Must I yield it? yes, I suppose.

                    (EVEREST _and_ BLANC _exeunt_.)


Now am I monarch of all around me! let me rejoice.

                  *       *       *       *       *

I do not give this little drama as a wonderful work for a child of
between nine and ten, but to show what I think any child of average
powers might do, spontaneously and with pleasure, if only parents and
teachers could be brought to understand that the area of their
teaching should be expanded to its natural limits, that is to the
history of man, and to a general acquaintance with our earth. The
proper starting point for the former is the history, in its widest
sense, of the towns and localities with which the child is familiar;
and for the latter the natural objects, mountains, rivers, valleys,
plains, vegetation, animal life, meteorology, &c., of the same
localities. The teacher should then pass on, in both these
departments, from what has been understood, because it has been seen,
to what will be understood, though not seen, because it differs in
certain particulars, that can be explained, from what is already
understood. So much for the area: and an equally great change must be
brought about in the manner of teaching. We must adopt the natural
method as well as the natural area; that is to say, we must teach
orally and conversationally. In this way only can what is taught to a
child be made intelligible. And if it be not made intelligible it
cannot possibly interest. One step more: all about man and nature,
that has thus been taught orally and conversationally, should always
be subsequently repeated in the child’s own words. This, among many
other great advantages, cultivates as nothing else can, because,
again, in the natural way, both the power of attention and the power
of continuous extemporary expression. Teaching by the book and by
heart—well so phrased, for the understanding has nothing to do with
it, and it takes all heart out of a child—has, among others, this
conspicuous evil, that at the cost to the child of compulsory
ignorance, and gratuitously-engendered aversion to mental effort, it
saves nothing, except the necessity, in the teacher, of knowing
anything about what he professes to teach.


                              CHAPTER XIV.

                            ON SWISS HOTELS

           In this the antique, and well-noted face
           Of plain old form is much disfigured.—SHAKESPEARE.

For the word or two I have to say about the Swiss monster hotels, I can
make the one mentioned at the close of the twelfth chapter my _point de
départ_ with safety; for I never entered it, and only know from what I
saw outside, that it is fire-new, and as monstrous as new. As you look
at one of these modern caravansaries, you are amused at thinking how
precisely everything in it is the facsimile of all that you have seen in
a score of others. The Swiss believe, and act, too, on the belief, that
they have reduced hotel-keeping to an exact science; among them,
therefore, in this matter, there cannot be any longer two opinions about
the form of, or the way of doing, any one thing whatsoever. Everywhere
the building itself appears arranged, externally and internally, on the
same plan. Of an hotel, as of a five-pound note, there can be but one
idea. In either case any deviation from the archetypal paradigm would
disqualify the thing produced from being regarded as that which it
professes to be.

As to life within the hotel, everywhere you have the same breakfast:
coffee, two kinds of bread (the more solid kind almost always sticky and
sour, the flour having been made from imperfectly ripened and
imperfectly harvested grain), butter that is somewhat insipid, and honey
that will inevitably soil your fingers, and perhaps trouble your
interior. Exact science has demonstrated, beyond controversy, that
precisely this breakfast, for every day in the three hundred and
sixty-five, hits with mathematical rigour the point at which the wants
and rights of the traveller—though, indeed, he has no business himself
to think about his having any rights or wants at all—meet the
scientifically regarded economies of the innkeeper. This unvarying
breakfast is everywhere served to you on the same unvarying china—always
white, solid, and heavy. Exact science informs us that if china of this
kind be used there is a smaller amount of breakage, and that
replacements are easy: and from exact science there is no appeal. That
you who have to use it would prefer a little variety now and then has
nothing at all to do with the matter.

And then as to your dinner: it also is always the same. As the
dinner-bell reminds you of this, you find that you are agitated by an
involuntary shudder. Always, and everywhere, the same viands cooked in
the same fashion; and served, too, again on the same white, solid, heavy
china. There is the inevitable _filet de bœuf_: more inevitable than the
conscience of an evil deed, for that does not rise up before you
throughout your whole life every day. One feels that one could almost
give a year’s income never to see or hear mention made of this _filet de
bœuf_ any more. Then come mutton and chicken, the latter always with
salad. Sometimes, however, one of the two latter is replaced with veal.
But the beef, the mutton, the veal, and the chicken, before they were
roasted or ragouted, had been passed through the already-mentioned bath,
in order to make the _potage_ with which you commenced your repast. The
mind, encouraged by the wilfulness of the palate, refuses to form a
conception of a sirloin of beef, or of a leg of mutton, that had been
boiled before it was roasted; or of a beef-steak, or of a mutton-chop,
that had passed through the digester on its way to the gridiron; or of a
veal-cutlet that has had its natural insipidity aggravated by this
exhaustive treatment. The regale concludes with, every day, the same
dried figs and the same raisins; or if it be late enough in the season,
with the same plums and the same pears, so called, eked out by the same
little cakes and the same little biscuits. Swiss hotel science
repudiates entirely the ideas of roasted joints, and almost entirely of
puddings. As to the wine, it has not, as might be expected, any
exceptional merit; and as to the varieties indicated on the _carte_,
they do not always correspond with the varieties of Nature: for science
has demonstrated that a variety of labels constitute a variety of kinds.

You are pursued by this scientific sameness to your bed-room; and are
soon haunted in your dreams with the idea that you are carrying about
with you everywhere your bed and your bed-room furniture. As to the
looking-glass, it is never on a dressing-table, but always nailed to the
wall; for the science of Swiss hotel-keeping has discovered that the
frame for a glass of this kind is cheaper than what would be required
for one placed on a table; and that, besides, there is a far less chance
of the glass itself being broken when it has become a fixture on the
wall. This, however, obliges you to encumber yourself with a glass of
your own; for a man cannot shave by a glass that has not its back to the
light. Not even in the lock of your bed-room door is there a shadow of
variation. It is always of iron, for iron is cheaper than brass; and
always of the same form and size: they must all have been made at the
same factory. And this unfailing black iron lock, always of the same
size, is always attached to the surface of the door instead of being let
into it. Your candlestick, too, is always the same—you fall back again
on the theory of a single factory—a mere pedestal of brass with a glass
cup at the top—I have, however, occasionally seen them without this
glass cup—to receive the overflowings of the compo, which is often
euphoniously described in the bill as _bougie_. But possibly where the
glass is now wanting, it may, as exact science does not recognise
disturbing causes, have originally existed. The candle again, in the
unvarying candlestick, is always everywhere the same, with a wick that
is but little more than a thread. The _rationale_ of this tenuity of the
wick is that the compo may not be consumed too rapidly for science. But
then the least gust of air, or a careless quick movement of the candle,
extinguishes it. You then have to relight it with a sulphurous lucifer,
always everywhere sulphurous.

As to the traveller himself, he soon comes to find that he is not
regarded as a thinking, feeling, and acting, or in any way independent
entity. He is not supposed to have any likes or dislikes; any wants or
ways of his own: he is merely one of the constituent molecules of an
aggregated mass of inert, insentient matter, which must be manipulated
in a certain fixed manner, which the discoveries of hotel science have
shown to be necessary in order to produce a certain determinate result
in the form of a certain amount of profit. Or he may compare himself to
one of the milch-cows belonging to the hotel, which must have that
amount of attention bestowed upon it, that amount of daily provender,
and of that kind, and at night that berth and bedding, which at the
least cost will produce the greatest amount of milk. Finding yourself
treated in this way, merely as a unit in a large herd, you become aware
that you are losing your sense of personal identity. How can you go on
believing that you are what Nature made you, or that you have any
special nature at all of your own, when, from being constantly herded
with a hundred other people, all fed during the day, and provided for
during the night, in precisely the same fashion, everything is
conspiring to impress upon you the self-obliterating conviction that you
are exactly what all the rest are: nothing more, nothing less, and
nothing different?

Of your associate molecules, your fellow milch-cows, in these monster
hotels, the majority speak your own language. Of these perhaps you will
regard with most sympathy and favour the mountain-climbers, although you
may yourself have ceased, as will probably be the case, if you are on
the shady side of fifty, to look upon athletics, pure and simple, as the
object of life. Still these vigorous specimens of youthful British
humanity have set themselves something to do, and are doing it; and it
is something that requires, at all events, enterprise and endurance. Not
many of them, however, are to be found in the most aggravated form of
the monster hotel, for that belongs to the towns rather than to the
mountains. Another class is composed of those who do not climb, but are
merely enthusiasts on the subject of mountain scenery. Of these the most
gushing are of the fairer sex. With them, too, you can go as far as they
go; though not quite to the extent of applying the epithet of ‘lovely’
to everything indiscriminately, even to rugged peaks, and rivers of ice;
nor of being consumed by their uncontrollable desire to know, for a few
moments, the name of every peak and point that happens to be in sight,
and to arrive at this evanescent knowledge by the process of questioning
the bystanders. You meet also multitudes of lawyers, clergymen,
schoolmasters, and literary men. These, speaking generally, are the
_élite_ of the corresponding classes you have at home. Another large
item is made up of men engaged in trade and business, from London and
the manufacturing districts. It is a very good thing for them that they
are able to leave their counters, and counting-houses, and factories;
and to exchange, for a time, the murky atmosphere, and the moil and toil
of the routine of their ordinary lives for the mountains. This makes you
glad to see them also.

Everybody knows that our Transatlantic cousins will be met with
everywhere in shoals, and nowhere are these shoals greater than in
Switzerland. Some of those you fall in with will be New York
shoddy-lords, some will be Pennsylvanians who have struck oil, some will
be successful speculators in real estate in the neighbourhood of rising
western cities. But if you have known the American in his own country,
and in his own home, and are not dissatisfied with a man, merely because
he cannot pronounce the Shibboleths of Eton and Oxford, you will be glad
to make the acquaintance of a large proportion of the Americans you
encounter. They are clear-headed and hard-headed; men who hold their own
ground, and are, at the same time, sociable and friendly.

The Germans come next in number to those who speak our own tongue, they
are quiet, honest, and earnest; and have evidently come to Switzerland
for the purpose—there is no doubt about that—of constructing in their
minds a correct idea of the nucleus, and central watershed, of Europe.
But, as few of us speak German, there is little intercourse between them
and English travellers.

Among the inmates of all these large hotels, because it is in them that
such wanderers find most nearly what suits them, there remains a
conspicuous _residuum_, that of those who have nothing in the world to
do, and who, as thoroughly as if they were peak-and-pass-men, do it.
They belong to all countries: Russia, France, England, and America
supply each its respective quota. They are, for the most part,
carefully, sometimes rather loudly got up: they have not much else to
attend to. And from this, perhaps also from a little assumption in their
manner, they contrive somewhat to obtrude themselves on the general
notice of the world in the hotel. They belong to the class of failures,
the _coups manqués_, of civilised humanity. They are the waifs and
strays of modern society, with money enough, and often plenty of it, to
live out of their own country. Sometimes with not enough left to live at
home as they once did. They have no sense of home, nor love of country;
but a sufficient sense of the duty men owe to themselves. You sometimes
hear them intimating, as a reason for their voluntary expatriation, that
they do not quite like their own country, and countrymen—perhaps no
great proof of the demerit of either, or of their own judgment. The
largest portion of the self-depreciators of this kind belong to the
English quota of the class.

The disciples of so exalted and serene a philosophy, having got beyond
home, and country, and all inconveniently large ideas of duty, can have
no prejudices. Pet ideas, however, like the rest of the world, they
have; and the one they most pet is expressed in our time-honoured,
home-manufactured phrase, though amongst ourselves its use is prompted
by the anxieties and fears of deep love, that ‘the sun of England has
set.’ This is quite intelligible in a certain class of Frenchmen and
Russians. The wish, with them, was father to the thought. They, as might
have been expected, have become dazzled at the excess of light which
radiates from our sun, and can now only look at it through the green
lens. This old familiar phrase, coming from such oracular lips (but the
announcement as it comes from them is history, not prophecy, for it is
the announcement of a _fait accompli_), is accepted, with thorough
satisfaction, by those of our countrymen who are disposed to regard its
promulgators with submissive admiration, and are vainly endeavouring to
form themselves on their model. They are only too thankful for any
crumbs which fall from such tables. But be this as it may, the business
of these wanderers is to go up and down, and to and fro, upon the earth.
In this respect their occupation resembles the description the reprobate
sprite gave of his. And he, too, had lost the sense, if we may so put
it, of home, and country, and duty; and must also have had in his eyes
some tint of green. But they go only where locomotion and life are easy;
and where they may expect to find the society of congenial sprites, who
will not ruffle them, will not be blind to their merits, and will take
them, occasionally, at the price they set upon themselves.

It may, then, be placed on the credit side of the account of these
scientifically managed hotels, though, at the time, one, being averse to
entering them, and not averse to leaving them, is not disposed to credit
them with much good, that they supply some materials for ‘the proper
study of mankind.’ It was not, however, for the purpose of obtaining
facilities for the prosecution of this study that you came to
Switzerland: perhaps, rather it was that you might lose sight of it for
a time.


                              CHAPTER XV.


                   Beyond compare, of all things best
                   Is water.—PINDAR.

_September 19._—We spent the day at Vevey. Vineyards were everywhere
along the sides of the railway. It is pleasing to note the care with
which the vine, that peerless gift of Nature’s bounty to man, is
cultivated; how the land is terraced and fenced, and how scrupulously
clean it is kept. This indicates the value of the land that is adapted
to its growth, and is in keeping with the character of the gift. Had a
swim in the lake. My first plunge into it was thirty-one years ago, on
returning to Geneva from a walking expedition to Chamouni.

On the following day (dates are no longer needed, for our excursion was
now ended, and I was returning home, on my own hook) I started for
Zurich by way of Berne. The country, as seen from the rails, looks as if
it were fertile, and carefully cultivated. The three points in which, to
the eye of a passer-by, their agriculture appears to differ most from
ours are, first, the greater cleanness of the land. I know no farmers—of
course there are many exceptions, and notably where there is
steam-ploughing—who cultivate so many weeds as the famous British
farmer. Secondly, their not giving to their land so much manure as we
do. One, however, may be mistaken on this point. And, thirdly, in the
absence of live stock from the fields. I understood that the price of
land is very high: the figures given to me were higher than the price of
equally good agricultural land would come to here at home.

Since I was last at Berne, it appeared to me that a great deal had been
done in the way of extension and improvement. The place has the look of
having thriven much, and of still continuing to thrive. A few years ago
a neighbouring stream was diverted, and made to flow through the heart
of the city. It supplies, in its new course, several copious public
fountains. These are sculptured and decorated, as if the people loved
the water, and wished to heighten their pleasure at seeing, and
welcoming, and using it. One of the most pleasing sights in a Swiss
town—it is the same down to the smallest village—is this abundance of
good water with which it is supplied. It is ever in sight, for every use
of man and beast. In our English cities there was no want—the omission
is still far from having been set right—that was so conspicuously
neglected. And this, though an abundant supply of good water is not only
a first necessity of life, but equally so of civilisation. The reasons
of our negligence, in a matter of so much importance, are not far to
seek. As the Swiss manage their own affairs, their first care is to
provide themselves with what all need; and, evidently, the first thing
of this kind to be attended to is the water-supply. Their system, too,
of political, and, as respects the land, to some extent, of possessive
equality, has engendered a sentiment of philanthropy; not of the
charitable, or condescending, kind, but a general desire in all to
attend to the rights, the wants, and the well-being of all. It would be
distressing to all alike to find that any one had not as much water as
he could require, supplied to him in the handiest way, in which it might
be possible for the opportunities, and combined resources of the
community to effect this.

Different influences have been at work amongst ourselves. The community
has not managed its own affairs in such a manner, and on such a footing,
as that the wants and interests of the humbler, and more helpless,
classes should be as much felt, and attended to, as the wants and
interests of the well-to-do classes, and of those who are able to take
care of themselves. This has hindered the importance, or rather the
necessity, of an abundant supply of water presenting itself, generally,
to men’s intelligence, and conscience, as really one of the primal cares
of the community. This has not been one of the points which town
councils, and rate-payers (perhaps because they were rate-payers) have
seen in a proper light. There has been something which has stood in the
way of their seeing it at all. Then there have been influential bodies
in every community, whose interests lay in an opposite direction. I mean
the water companies, and the manufacturers, and retailers of
intoxicating liquors. You could hardly expect them to have seen very
distinctly that it was the duty, and the interest, of the community to
provide everywhere, and for everybody, a visible, constant, gratuitous
supply of fresh, running, sparkling water. Nor, indeed, could the
government of the country be expected to be more sharp-sighted in this
matter than the local administrations; for it had to collect an enormous
revenue for the purpose of enabling it to pay the interest of an
enormous debt. There was, therefore, something to indispose it, also, to
supply a want, the supply of which must inevitably reduce the number of
millions it was collecting, every year, on the production and
consumption of intoxicating drinks. These are the reasons which have
issued in the fact, that water has been kept out of, or not brought
into, the sight of the inhabitants of our English towns, and villages.
It was not because water could be supplied on easier terms in
Switzerland than in this country, because we find as much attention paid
to its abundant free supply in some other continental countries, for
instance in Italy, as in Switzerland.

Everyone who will give the subject a little thought will come to the
conclusion, that it is this neglect which is mainly answerable for some
of the preventable maladies, and for much of the drunkenness, and so of
the misery and crime, which afflicts our working classes. The efforts
that have been made of late years to set up drinking-fountains in
London, and in many of our towns, is an indication that in this supreme
matter our eyes are beginning to be opened. When they are completely
opened, a public, free, inexhaustible supply of the purest possible
water will be the first care of every community, great and small; and
drinking-fountains will, everywhere, offer an alternative to the
gin-palace and public-house, and in winter as well as in summer.

To the reflecting mind, the overflowing sparkling fountains of the Swiss
towns are very pleasing objects. So, too, to the natural eye, and ear,
are the brawling stream in every valley, and the trickling rills on
every hill-side. There is water, water, everywhere; and every drop to
drink. This the pedestrian, at all events, will appreciate; and when the
sun is bright, he will be thankful for it a dozen times a day.

                  *       *       *       *       *

At Zurich I was much interested by the public collection of objects,
found at the bottom of the lake, and on the site of the old
lake-villages. Herodotus mentions a powerful Thracian people, who dwelt
in a similarly constructed city on Lake Prasias. The Irish and Scotch
cranoges are also instances of ancient structures of the same kind. To
this day, in New Guinea and Borneo, and in Africa, we find water-towns
still inhabited. In all these cases it was the same necessity, that of
providing against sudden attacks from more powerful neighbours, that
suggested the idea. And if we may refer to the same class, the
lagoon-protected infancy of Venice, then the Queen of the Adriatic, with
her St. Mark’s, and her palaces, owes her existence to the idea, from
which originated, in a very old past, the little wooden huts of the Lake
of Zurich.

The objects which have been recovered reveal the habits, arts,
conditions of life, and much of the internal history of those who
formed, and used them. About the events of their external history,
though much of this can be pretty well imagined, of course they are
silent. Nor have they anything to tell us in reply to the questions of
who the people were, whence they came, or what became of them? The
information they give us begins with the time when men, in central
Europe, had not attained to a knowledge of metals, and were using
implements of bone and stone for war, hunting, and domestic purposes.
Abundance of their stone tools have been found, and also of specimens of
the work done with them. For instance, some of the series of piles, upon
which the dwellings were placed, and these piles are found by the
hundred, we see were hacked to the point, which was to fit them for
driving, with stone chisels and hatchets. And then, in other series of
piles, we pass on to the era when stone had been superseded by bronze
and iron tools. It is very interesting to have thus before us the actual
tools, and the actual work done with them, together with ocular
demonstration of the way in which, by the superiority of their work, the
first metal tools superseded their perfected predecessors of stone.

Everything, one may almost say, has been preserved, and, too, in a most
wonderfully perfect state. Besides the tools and weapons in great
variety, there are their nets and clothes, their pottery in jars and
cups, and utensils for many purposes, the bones of the animals on which
they feasted, the different kinds of fruit they had gathered from the
forest, and of grain they had cultivated. In all these matters the old
lake-dwellers have bequeathed to us the means of comparing notes with
them. The bones that have been found of the ox, the sheep, and the dog
show that the varieties of the respective species then kept by the
dwellers in this neighbourhood were not precisely identical with any of
their varieties now known. They were, too, great hunters, and game was
abundant in the locality. Among the vast quantities of bones of wild
animals, that have been found, are those of the wolf, the bear, the
beaver, the wild boar, the stag, the European bison (which still exists
in the Forest of Lithuania, and is the largest quadruped next after the
rhinoceros), and of the urus, the aboriginal wild ox of Europe, which is
now extinct.

They were also agriculturists. One of the kinds of wheat they cultivated
was what we call the Egyptian, or Mummy Wheat. Some of the specimens of
this could not be more perfect had they been only just harvested. It had
several small ears ranged round a main central ear, and from this reason
sometimes goes by the name of the hen-and-chickens wheat. It is
interesting to know that so distinctly marked a variety was being
cultivated at so remote a period, on the banks of the Lake of Zurich, by
these trans-Alpine barbarians, and on the banks of the Nile, by the
subjects of the early Pharaohs, at the same time. Here is a kind of
possible connection between the builders of Karnac and the builders of
these pile-supported huts; and also a point in the history of one of our
Cereals, of the birth, parentage, and education of all of which so
little is known. Two kinds of millet, and a six-rowed variety of barley
have also been found. These rude contributories to the ancestry of the
modern European were at the same time collecting for food, from the
neighbouring forests, sloes, bullaces, wild cherries, beech-mast,
crab-apples, elder-berries, the hips of the wild rose, raspberries,
blackberries, and hazel-nuts; for well-preserved remains of all these
have been found on the sites of the lake-villages. Some of the specimens
are supposed to show slight differences from the same fruits now growing
wild in the neighbourhood. These differences, if they do really exist,
must, notwithstanding their slightness, indicate a long lapse of time.

They also cultivated flax. Nets and lines made from it, together with
the very scales of the fish the nets and lines caught, and the woven
cloth, with the very fringes that decorated the dresses into which it
had been formed, and even the weights used in working the looms, are all
here, to teach us how widely spread, in very early times, were the most
necessary of the useful arts. There has, then, been no solution in the
continuity of man’s history. His wants were from the first substantially
the same as they are at this day; and these wants were from the first
supplied by the same contrivances as at this day, with the difference
that, in every age, the contrivances were raised to the level of the
knowledge, and consequent resources, of the times. The spinning-jenny,
and the power-loom, in a few large cities, are now doing for millions
what the wives and daughters of these old lake-dwellers, seated in
summer on the wooden platform above the water, and in winter within the
hut, did for each separate family. The wants of what appear to us as the
primæval times, but which were in fact very far from that, have been
enlarged and multiplied, in proportion as man’s means for meeting them
became improved and enlarged; and this kind of growth in the old wants,
consequent upon growth in our means for supplying them, constitutes what
is generally meant by progress. And this material progress it is, which
makes possible moral and intellectual progress, the glory, and
privilege, and happiness of man.

One cannot help comparing these relics of the old lake-village with the
copiously furnished stateliness of its modern neighbour, the city of
Zurich. You set them, in thought, by the side of its handsome streets of
stone houses, its rich shops, its large factories, especially of iron,
in which labour is so skilfully organised, and so scientifically
directed, its university, its general intelligence, its conscious
efforts to cultivate, and turn to account, that intelligence, its
accumulated wealth, its patriotism, its knowledge of, and connection
with, every part of the world. But varied, complex, great, and
interesting as all this is, still it is only the step now at length
reached, by the labour of many generations, in the true and natural
development of what was existing on the lake some thousands of years
ago. Society, such as it was, in those old days, in the rude,
wood-built, water-protected huts was the embryo of society, such as it
now is in the proud, modern city. How natural, then, is the jealous care
with which it guards these old relics; for if they do not speak to the
Zurichers of their own actual ancestors they show them what were the
germs out of which has grown their present condition.

                  *       *       *       *       *

I spoke of the large Swiss hotels exactly as they impressed me. I found
in them nothing that was attractive to me. Why it was so I endeavoured
to explain. I must, however, here note that what I then said is not
applicable to Baur’s Hotel at Zurich. I said as much to the manager on
leaving, though I was sure that he must often have received similar
commendation from others. The house is as well ordered as you would wish
to see your own home. The bedrooms are of a good size, and well
furnished. The table is liberal. The _cuisine_ good. A wholesome Rhenish
wine is supplied at dinner. The attendants are clean and attentive.
Everything you are likely to want is provided; nor are there any traps
set, or any wish apparent that you should call, for extras. For meals at
irregular hours there is an excellent _restaurant_ in the house,
distinct from the dining _salon_. This hotel, though large, has none of
the cold, hard, obtrusive air of its monster brethren. In short, things
are so managed that you feel that you are in a good, comfortable hotel,
and not in a large factory, where bales of travellers, yourself a bale,
are undergoing the process, like truck-loads of brute material, of
scientific manipulation. I was at Baur _en ville_. Baur _au lac_, at a
distance of three or four minutes’ walk, is, I suppose, managed in the
same fashion, and is the same kind of thing.

But how about the _note_? I suppose wages, and the price of provisions,
must be much the same in Zurich as in other Swiss towns, but the _note_
did not lighten my purse as much as experience would have led me to have
expected. A man, then, even an innkeeper, may sometimes be found, whose
merits are obvious to the world, but who enhances them—and this is true
virtue—by himself setting a low price upon them.

                  *       *       *       *       *

Hitherto the risings and settings of the sun had been, as I mentioned,
almost achromatic. I suppose on account of the clearness of the
atmosphere. But now a great change had taken place; there had been falls
of rain, and even of snow, and the air had become full of moisture, and
there was much cloud; in consequence, there were in the evenings some
most glorious atmospheric fields of colour. I keep in mind one of these
sunsets above the rest, because of the way in which it placed the murky,
swart outline of the ridges and peaks of the Jura in contrast with the
usual oranges and reds above, but which, though seen so often, one never
tires of looking at. It is almost enough to condemn a country house,
that the sunset cannot be seen from it.

I have another reason for recollecting this sunset. I was with several
persons at the moment who were observing it together. Among these were
two Swiss gentlemen. But in the change of weather which it indicated,
they only saw a hint that this year’s _récolte des voyageurs_, as they
phrased it, was drawing to a close: a true harvest, which costs
Switzerland little, and is got in with not unthrifty husbandry, and
which one is glad should benefit so many, both among those who do the
harvesting, and among those who are harvested. A French gentleman,
however, who happened to be present, and had been spending the summer on
the banks of the Lake of Geneva—it might be inferred that his
recollections of the way in which he had himself been harvested, were
not in all respects pleasant—turned to me with the aside, _C’est un
pauvre pays_.


                              CHAPTER XVI.

                      A REMARK ON SWISS EDUCATION

                The proper study of mankind is man.—POPE.

It has long been my practice, wherever I find myself, to inquire into
the provisions made for education, and into the modes of teaching
adopted; and, also, by observation, and talking to the people
themselves, to do what I can, as far as opportunities go, to collect
materials for enabling me to form an opinion on the results and fruits
of what has been done. I did this wherever I was on this excursion; and
as it was my object in going to Zurich to see its Polytechnic
University, I will here give one of the conclusions I came to on the
subject of Swiss education.

It was constructed by the Swiss to suit their own wants. That it does
admirably well. Such a system, however, would be very far from suiting
equally well that large class amongst ourselves, who are destined for
either a public life, or for what may be called the semi-public life of
our men of property, and of a large proportion of those whose special
work is that of one of the learned professions: at all events, both law
and divinity, as practised in this country, have direct connections with
political life. The Swiss, however, are a small, and a poor people,
whose affairs are, in the main, managed locally. They have no need of
trained statesmen; they have no _haute politique_. Speaking generally,
they are a nation of peasant-proprietors, artisans, manufacturers, and
tradesmen. At present, in many parts of the country, the only tritons
among the minnows are the innkeepers. Manufactures, which mean also
commerce, are, here and there, introducing a moneyed class; and the
hundreds of thousands of pounds, spent every year in the country, by
tens of thousands of travellers, are enriching bankers, and, through
many channels, many others. Now the education such a people requires is
one that will make intelligent artisans, intelligent manufacturers, and
intelligent tradesmen; and which will give to that portion of the
population for whom work cannot be found at home, sufficient
intelligence to dispose them to go into foreign countries; and will
enable them, when there, to take their bread out of the mouths of the
inhabitants of those countries. This is what the Swiss system aims at
doing. And wherever it is well carried out,—of course this is done much
better in the Protestant than in the Catholic cantons,—it attains its
aim. In many of the Catholic cantons the people are content to be as
their fathers were: they do not see very distinctly the advantage of
cultivating the intelligence of their children; and it cannot be
supposed that the village priest will be very forward in enlightening
them on this point.

What the Swiss system, true to its object, sets itself to teach is the
languages that will be useful in business, arithmetic, mathematics, the
principles of the useful arts, and the elements of the sciences. All
this is just what will enable the Swiss to get on in the careers that
will be open to them. They are an intensely practical people; and these
thoroughly practical subjects they take care shall be taught
sufficiently for the purpose they have in view. They have no idea of not
getting their pennyworth for their penny. Their philanthropy, and their
love of home, the unfailing and fruitful source of so many virtues, make
them desirous of giving every chance to their children; and they are
interested in, and proud of, and spend their money on, their schools for
their children’s sake. All this is just as it should be. It is a very
good thing for them; and, as far as it goes, it would be a very good
thing for us, if we had the same system at work here. It is exactly what
is wanted for nine-tenths of our population; and what they must have if
we are to keep our place in the world. But when this shall have been
done, if there is ever to be a time when it will have been done, there
will still remain one-tenth of our population, a number equal to, or
greater than, that of the whole Swiss nation, which will be capable of
receiving, and will need for the life that will be before them,
something different from, and higher than, a Swiss education.

The Swiss system is large and liberal for a tradesman; it almost makes
of him a gentleman. But for an English gentleman it would be narrow and
illiberal. It would not properly qualify him for the careers that are
open to him, and for the life that is before him. It is not the kind of
culture that will produce statesmen, jurists, divines, orators, poets,
historians, literary lay teachers, or philosophers. If, by the grace of
nature, an English boy had been intended for any one of these vocations,
to bring him up in the Swiss fashion would be to rob him of his
birthright: and the more thoroughly the system had been applied to him,
the more complete would be the robbery, and the greater the injustice
and the injury.

An English gentleman has not been properly qualified for what is his
work in life, unless his education has been such as to make him
acquainted with the history of man, and with what may be called the
sciences of humanity. By the sciences of humanity I mean ethics,
economics, polity, jurisprudence, the history of opinion, the history of
literature, dialectics, oratory. An acquaintance with these is what,
from the first, should be kept in view. They should be worked up to from
the beginning of the process, for they are the crown and completion of
the mental training he will require. They are that training. And this is
just what our system, not from intelligent and deliberate design, but
from a happy accident, does in some degree attempt. It provides for it
in the study of the history of Greece and Rome, two of the most
important and instructive developments of the history of man; and,
furthermore, in the direct study of some of the above-mentioned
sciences. I say it does this not so much by intelligent design, as by a
happy accident, because that it is doing it at this day is merely the
result of our having retained the classical system our forefathers
established at a time when there was nothing else to teach; and which
they established just because there was nothing else to teach then. We
may now, knowing what we want, and what materials we have to work with,
very much enlarge and improve their system. We may advance from the
classics to general history and humanity; of course still retaining the
classics, which contain the most important chapters in the history of
the fortunes, of the culture, and of the mind of man. And this, which is
just what we ought to do, is what, perhaps, we shall do, when we come to
understand what it is that gives it its value, and makes it
indispensable for us.

Another capital defect in a system, such as that of the Swiss, is that
it does not cultivate, but rather represses and deadens, the
imagination. This is the instrument of the creative faculty in man, that
in which we make the nearest approach to, and which gives to man in the
form and degree possible for him, the plastic power that is exhibited to
us in the richness, and diversity, of nature. It is this which makes a
man myriad-minded; which enables him to look at things from all sides,
and to see them in all lights; to regard them as minds most unlike his
own regard them; to be in his single self all men to all things; it is
what gives insight; and the power of forming accurate and distinct
conceptions of things in the three forms of what they actually are, of
what they have been, and of what, with reference to other conceptions
that have a bearing upon them, they ought to be. A man cannot be a poet,
an orator, an artist, hardly an inventor, or discoverer, an historian,
or a statesman, without the exercise of this faculty. His rank in any
one of these fields of intellectual work will depend on the degree to
which it has been developed within him; and the kind of discipline it is
under. Our system, in a rough, and haphazard, kind of a way, and again
more by accident than by intelligent, deliberate design, does something
for its cultivation, by the study of the poets and orators of Greece and
Rome; and by attempts at poetical composition. This is good as far as it
goes; but insufficient for the great purpose. And this insufficiency of
the means we are employing is aggravated, when they have to be applied
under the direction of masters and tutors, who possibly, and probably,
too, have never given a thought to the nature and purposes of the
imaginative faculty; and, therefore, are, of course, equally heedless of
the right methods of using the means, that happen to be in their hands,
for awakening, cultivating, and strengthening it.

Its proper cultivation in these times should not be confined to the
poetry of the old world. That is valuable, not merely on account of its
perfectness of form, but because it is one-sided, unchristian, and
narrow. It is the poetry of a small, highly privileged class, when that
small class was everything, and the bulk of mankind nothing. It is not
the poetry of humanity broadly. The recognition of the humanity of all
men equally constitutes one essential difference between the modern and
the old world. And this limited, and somewhat abnormal, humanity of the
ancient poetry is, furthermore, somewhat unconnected with a knowledge
of, and love for, nature—the _milieu_ of man. All this makes it very
valuable as a study of a distinct development, under peculiar
circumstances, of the poetic faculty. But it is insufficient. It is no
substitute for an acquaintance with the poetry of the modern world;
which, too, it should follow, and not precede. That is the truer and
more normal development. It has additional roots, a wider range, a
larger inspiration; it takes cognizance of what is in man, irrespective
of conditions, or rather under every condition: and it also consciously
regards man and nature connectedly; man’s internal nature, and nature
external to man, are to its apprehension correlated. Here, too, it has
received a new revelation.

And the attempt to turn a child’s mind in the direction of nature, and
to give him some general acquaintance with nature, and with modern
poetry, would be invaluable for another reason: for not only is this now
necessary, as an indispensable part of mental culture for all, being a
part of the rightful mental inheritance of those whose lot is cast in
these times, but because experience has taught us that there are many
minds, which have no aptitude for the acquisition of languages, either
from some congenital defects, or, as is most probable, from some faults
and omissions of early teaching and associations—but whatever may have
been in their cases the cause is a matter of no consequence now: the
mischief exists, and cannot be removed. Still, though deficient to this
extent, they may have no disinclination for the study of nature: that,
in the young, can hardly be possible. Here, then, is something that will
enable them to live a not unworthy intellectual life. It is necessary
for all: as a part of complete culture for those who are capable of
complete culture; and, for those who are not, as a sufficient culture.

                  *       *       *       *       *

The advocates of the continuance—to the extent and for the purposes I
have indicated—of classical study will labour under a great and unfair
disadvantage, as long as the classics shall be taught with but slight
perception, on the part of those who teach them, of their bearing on the
higher work of the day. As long as the main object of our public schools
shall continue to be professedly linguistic, and that, too, in a
somewhat narrow, and shallow fashion; and their tone, sometimes a little
ostentatiously, at variance with that of the world, and of the day, for
the work of which they ought to be a preparation (it was so with them
originally) so long will the advocacy of classical studies be unfairly
weighted with a sense of the justice of the charge of unreality brought
against them, as now conducted. Whereas in the advocates of modern
knowledge as the object and instrument of education, and in its
teachers, there is none of this unreality, or want of connexion with the
thought, and with the work, of the world that is stirring around us. We,
however, hold that it is a different department of work and thought, to
which the latter training mainly and primarily applies. A public man
need not, as a public man, know anything of astronomy and geology;
though, of course, he is behind the age, and his culture is incomplete,
if he does not. Of all such subjects he ought, as an educated man, to
have a general knowledge; and he will also be the better, as a public
man, for having it; but what is primarily and indispensably required of
him is a knowledge of man, and of all kinds of social phenomena in their
whole range; what they are, how they came to be what they are, and how
they affect man. Here his knowledge should be full and precise: and a
very valuable part of this knowledge is contained in the literature of
the old world. He ought to have lived through those ages. To have done
so is a vast extension of experience of the most useful kind. But he
cannot have lived through those times, unless he is familiar with the
feelings and thoughts, and actions of the men of those times, together
with the circumstances, and conditions, under which they so thought, and
felt, and acted. And he cannot have this familiarity unless he has a
knowledge of the very words, in which they, themselves, expressed, and
described, those feelings, thoughts, and actions.

One word more. There is no knowledge so valuable as that of what is
knowledge; nor any intellectual habit so valuable as that which disposes
us in every thing to require knowledge, and to separate that which is
knowledge from that which is not. Theoretically, there is no reason why
either the study of language, or theology, should not be made a training
for this knowledge, and for this habit. But as this is a matter of
practice, as well as of theory, we must look at things as they are, and
see where what we want is actually found, and what has in those cases
produced it; and where there has been a failure in producing it, and
what has been in those cases the cause of this failure. Who, then, are
most conspicuous for knowing in what knowledge consists, and for the
habit of requiring knowledge as a ground for thought and action, and for
being ever on the alert to separate knowledge from its counterfeits? No
one, I think, would hesitate in replying, those who have had some
scientific training. And it is easy to see how scientific training gives
this knowledge, and this habit. It makes no difference what the matter
of the study be, whether the stars, or the fungi; whether the physiology
of man, or of an earth-worm. The object is soon seen to be truth; and
the motive is soon felt to be the satisfaction which truth gives to the
mind, and the desire to escape, in the practical order, from the
wastefulness, and the mischief of error. Whatever, therefore, is
necessary for the attainment of truth is submitted to, or acquired, or
eliminated, or avoided, in accordance with the exigency of each case. In
these pursuits men learn to guard against appearances that they may not
be misled by them; to sift evidence; to distinguish facts from supposed,
or alleged, facts; to observe patiently and closely; to suspend
judgment; to distinguish probability from certainty; to distinguish
different degrees of probability; to distinguish what they know from
what they wish; not to wish for anything but ascertained and
demonstrable truth; to examine everything, and to hold fast only that
which is demonstrably true; to guard against ambiguities in words; to
use words for photographing facts, and not to make them a mist which
obscures both the object of inquiry, and the paths which lead to it. As
a matter of observation, and of fact, these are the habits of mind,
which the scientific study of any subject inculcates, and makes natural
to a man. They become his second nature. Of course they ought to be the
nature of all educated people. And when a man’s mind has been thus
trained in the study, scientifically pursued, of any one subject, he
applies these habits to the consideration of all other subjects, with
which he may have to do: to those, with which he is not familiar, he
addresses himself with the same ideas, and the same ways of thinking, as
he does to that, with which he is familiar. He knows what knowledge is;
and, while he can suspend his judgment, he cannot be satisfied with
anything but knowledge. What he does not know upon these subjects he
knows that he does not know. The study of language, and theology, if
scientifically taught, are doubtless capable of supplying this training,
but looking at our educated classes generally, and at those who have had
administered to them the greatest amount of these two studies, it does
not appear that the desired effect has been produced. If, then, these
things are so, here is both something that should be an object, and
something that is a defect, as things now are, in our higher education.


                             CHAPTER XVII.


                              It is a just award
            That they who take, should perish by, the sword.

I included Mulhouse, Colmar, Strasbourg, Bitche, and Metz in my homeward
journey. As I passed along, the higher peaks of the Vosges were white
with recently fallen snow. It is not, however, the forest-clad
mountains, and their snow-capped summits which interest most the thought
of the traveller, as he traverses this district, now, but the
consequences of that recent transference of power, of which the names
just written down remind him: the cotton industry of Mulhouse and
Colmar; the astonishing agricultural wealth of the neighbourhood of
Strasbourg, where the land yields, side by side, in singular luxuriance
the five agricultural products, sugar-beet, hops, wine, tobacco, and
maize, which in Europe pay the best; the strategical importance, and
military strength, of Strasbourg, Bitche, and Metz; the variety of the
manufactures, and of the agricultural resources, of the country round
Metz; and, more than all this wealth and strength, the people themselves
of these districts, who were the manliest, the most industrious, and the
most thriving part of the population of France. One can, at present,
hardly estimate rightly the value of what has thus been taken from
France, and given, if the expression may be allowed, to her natural
enemy. Still it was France herself that laid this incalculable stake
upon the table: her portion of the left bank of the Rhine against
Prussia’s; and insisted on the game being played. And the chances were
against her. She had acquired Strasbourg by amazing treachery; and now
the ignorance, arrogance, and vice by which she was to lose it, were
equally amazing. And this war of 1870-71 was a natural sequel of the
wrongs the first Napoleon did to Germany. That it was that had obliged
the Germans to devote themselves to military organisation, and to
understand the necessity of national union; and which was hardening
their will, and nerving their arm. As to the French, one would be glad
to find that they were delivering themselves from those causes in
themselves, which led to their great catastrophe. But the existing
generation cannot expect to see the day, when the rural population of
France will have attained to more enlightenment than they have at
present, and its city population to more rational ideas of liberty,
justice, and truth, than they have exhibited hitherto; for the lives of
the former are too hard, and the latter are too fanatical, to admit of
much immediate improvement in either.

I stopped at Metz to see the battle-field of Gravelotte. I went over it
with two Englishmen, who had come to Metz for the same purpose. We were
provided with maps, and plans, and narratives of the great battle. It
was a bright fine day. We started at 8.30 A.M., and did not get back to
Metz till 5 P.M. It requires, at least, six hours to go over the field,
including the hour you stop at Ste. Marie aux Chênes for baiting your
horses, and for luncheon.

The French ground was well chosen for a defensive battle. It was along
the ridge of the rising ground, facing to the west, from St. Privat and
Roncour on their right, to the high ground opposite to, and behind St.
Hubert, on their left. St. Hubert was a farmhouse in the depression. It
had a walled garden. This ground was about five miles in length. Early
in the day the Germans occupied only a part of the ground in front of
the French position, beginning at Gravelotte, a little to the south-west
of the French left. At this time there was no enemy in front of the
French right. The ground here, rendered strong by a line of detached
farm-houses, woods, and villages, was occupied by French outposts. From
all these they were driven, in succession, by the extension of the
German left. The strongest position here, and in it much hard fighting
took place, was the village of Ste. Marie aux Chênes. The Germans first
attacked the French left at St. Hubert. From this they drove them out.
One can hardly understand how they managed to get possession of it, for
the French occupied the high ground all round it. To march upon it was
like marching into the bottom of a bowl to attack a strong place in the
bottom, commanded by the enemy’s cannon from every part of the rim.
Having, however, established themselves here, they advanced up the hill
against the French left. But, though they were repulsed, they were not
driven out of St. Hubert. In the evening, the Germans, having
established themselves along the front of the French right, and having
even somewhat outflanked it, attacked them at St. Privat and Roncour.
Here was most desperate fighting; and one, while standing on the ground,
is surprised that any troops could have faced what the Germans had to go
through. Their advance was made up a perfectly smooth, and open,
incline, three-quarters of a mile across, the whole of it completely
swept, and commanded by the French cannon, mitrailleuse, and Chassepots,
which we must recollect killed some hundreds of yards further than the
needle-gun. A Saxon corps, that had been coming up with forced marches,
in the evening reached this point, and went straight up the hill. In
fourteen minutes half its strength was _hors du combat_. There is a
monument on the spot to those who fell here. The whole field is full of
German monuments, for wherever their men fell, there they were buried;
and there a monument has since been raised to their memory. At last the
French right was driven off this ground, and out of the strong village
of St. Privat behind it. It was now dark. The French were in no
position, or condition, to renew the fight the next day; and so, during
the night, they withdrew to Metz, leaving their material behind. They
had fought a defensive battle, which suited neither the character of
their troops, nor the circumstances of their position.

At Ste. Marie aux Chênes, where we stopped an hour for luncheon, we
spent part of the time in walking about the village, and looking at the
traces of the fight. It is a large village, every house of which has
thick rubble or stone walls. All the buildings in it were occupied
strongly by the French; and all were, successively, carried. It was a
from house-to-house and hand-to-hand fight. We found all the doors,
window-shutters, and window-frames in the place, new, because the old
ones had been battered in, hacked to pieces, and destroyed by the
Germans, as they forced their way into each house separately. No
prisoners were taken.

Among other spots we visited here was a little enclosed space, where the
Germans had buried their dead. While we were looking at the grave of a
young Englishman of the name of Annesly—Von Annesly he is called on the
stone—who had fallen in the assault on the village—he had attained to
the rank of lieutenant in the German service—an elderly peasant woman
approached; and, on finding that we were not Germans, freely entered
into conversation with us. She soon told us that she was the mother of
the Curé of the village. She had been one among the few inhabitants of
the place, who, having taken refuge in cellars, had remained in it
during the assault. She was very communicative, and invited us to
accompany her to her house, where she showed us, with touching pride,
their best tea service, and the church ornaments, which are used on fête
days. The best room in the house had been appropriated to their safe
keeping, and exhibition. The china service had been a present, what we
should call a testimonial, and was placed, _en évidence_, on a table in
the middle of the room. The church ornaments were arranged on a large
sofa. They consisted of artificial flowers moulded in porcelain, with a
great deal of gilding. The good woman then took us into the study; M. le
Curé’s study, as she was careful to tell us. She never referred to M. le
Curé, and her thoughts were never far from him, without a smile of
satisfied motherly emotion playing over her face. Those were M. le
Curé’s books. There were about half-a-dozen. That was the table at which
M. le Curé sometimes wrote. That garden, the outer door of the study
opened upon it, was a beautiful garden, which M. le Curé worked in
himself. M. le Curé was now absent from home, for the purpose of making
a collection for the purchase of a figure of the Virgin, to commemorate
her goodness in having miraculously saved the Church, when so much
injury had been done to every other building in the place: but the
church in the neighbouring village we saw had been burnt during the
assault upon it. The good villagers had been very liberal in their
contributions for the purchase of the figure. The sum, however,
mentioned as their contributions, amounted only to a few francs. Still
it might have been much for them to give, for they may not have been
much in the habit of giving. M. le Curé’s study, the scene of his
peaceful and sacred studies, had been made a hospital. There, just where
he always sits, a limb had been amputated. Here, and there, on the floor
wounded men had died. The floor of M. le Curé’s study had been stained
with blood. One memento of that fearful day had been preserved. It was a
small hole in the door through which a bullet had passed: but that was a
bullet that had hurt nobody. I shall never think of the field of
Gravelotte without a pleasing recollection of the mother of the Curé of
Ste. Marie aux Chênes. She was a tall woman with what seemed a hard
face, but at every mention of M. le Curé, or of the Holy Virgin, it was
lighted up, and softened. She wore a faded cotton dress, and a
weather-stained, coalscuttle-shaped straw bonnet—her grandmother,
perhaps, had once been proud of it—but the reflection of her simple,
motherly, happy heart on her face, refined both face and dress. The
heart’s ease only was noticed.

The Germans have done, and are doing, everything that could be done, to
restore to the people what they lost during the war. They have, in these
parts, repaired every house and building that admitted of repair; and
completely rebuilt all that had been too much injured for repair. They
have thus given many new lamps for very old ones. They have not yet
rebuilt the Church of St. Privat, because the people themselves have not
yet decided, whether they wish the new one to be the facsimile of the
old one, or a larger structure, such as the increased population of the
modern village requires: the familiar opposition between those who are
afraid to acknowledge that the world has made any advances, and those
who see nothing objectionable in advances, or in accommodating
themselves to them. Of the other injuries, the people in these parts had
sustained by the war, they were asked to make an estimate themselves.
Half of their estimates was immediately paid to them; and they were told
that the remaining half would be paid, after the 1st of October, on
their having decided to become German citizens. The inhabitants of the
villages round Metz had had their corn, and cattle, and horses swept off
by the French Commissariat. These poor people the Germans fed during the
siege with provisions brought from Germany. I could not hear in Metz, or
in the neighbourhood, of a single instance of a German soldier having
been seen drunk, or that any act of violence could be charged against
them; nor could I hear even of oppression or harshness of any kind.

Metz, with its central arsenal, and its outer circle of apparently
impregnable hill fortresses, gives you the idea of a place which nature
had formed expressly for this gunpowder era, intending that its owners
should fortify it, and use it as a rallying place for defeated
armies—the armies, not of a small, but of a great nation; where they
might in safety collect their shattered fragments; and, having
re-organised and re-equipped themselves, might again take the field for
fresh efforts. In the days of bows and spears it could not have had this
value, which it may lose when our present instruments of war shall have
been superseded by discoveries not yet dreamt of; but, although the
French were not able to turn the place to such an account, still this
seems to be one of the uses that may be made of it by its possessors:
besides being an impregnable advanced post for the invasion of a

The Cathedral is far too short for its height. It contains some windows
of very good old stained glass. The only person I saw in it was an
American. Shall I say that we had both come to see it, just as we might
go to see some curious object in a museum? I, at all events, accused
myself of something of this kind, for I had a consciousness of the
discord between such a purpose, and the history and character of the
structure. For however much it may now have the appearance of a thing
unused, and unloved, and from which the soul has fled, yet was it built
to satisfy a want, in the religious order, which all men longed to
satisfy; and to give visible expression to a feeling, which then stirred
every heart. Not anything else, not money, not power, could have built
it; that is to say, could have summoned into existence the sentiments,
of which the building is an embodiment.

But on this occasion its clustered columns, its groined roof, its lofty
aisles, its jewelled light, transported my thoughts only to Mr.
Spurgeon’s Tabernacle; for I found myself endeavouring to understand and
measure the difference between the two: but the endeavour brought me to
see, under so much outward diversity, only an inward identity. They are
both equally the result of the desire to form elevated and right
conceptions of God—the focal name in which all elevated and right
conceptions meet; and so to open the heart and mind, as that these
elevated and right conceptions, which have been projected from them, may
react upon them. This is Religion, the Spiritual life, in their simplest
expression, in their inner form. In the ages of Faith, as they have been
called, the most effectual way of attaining the desired end was through
the eye; that is to say, the means, that could then be used with most
effect, was art, in architecture, sculpture, painting, music. In the
then state of the heart and of the imagination these best stirred and
attuned them. Hence the Cathedral, and all that is implied in it. In
these days, not of the knowledge, or of the conditions of life, or of
the faith, of the old kinds, the most effectual means, especially among
the lower strata of the middle class, is not art, which would have no
power over them, but such direct appeals to their understandings and
consciences, as will not be beyond their capacities. Hence Mr. Spurgeon
and his Tabernacle. But the object is in both one and the same.

No sooner, however, had I come to this, which seemed for a moment to be
a conclusion, than my thoughts entered the reverse process, and the
identity I had been contemplating was transformed into diversity. The
juxtaposition, in the mind’s eye, of the Cathedral and of the Tabernacle
suggested a difference, if not in the elements of religion itself, yet,
at all events, in the modes through which different religious systems
have attempted to act on the world. The Cathedral seemed to represent
two modes: that which may for convenience be called, using the word in a
good sense, the heathen mode; that is to say, culture, but in the form
only of art; and the priestly, or Judaical, mode, which means
organization. Its grand and beautiful structure grew out of the former,
through the aid of the latter. The Tabernacle represents a totally
different mode—the prophetical; and prophesying is the principle of
life, of growth, and of development in religion. We see this throughout
the history both of the Old and of the New Dispensation. Romanism has
killed this vital principle; and is, therefore, as good as, or worse
than, dead; for it has a bad odour. It is now all dead heathenism, and
dead organization: a gilt and gaily painted monstrous iron machine,
which can be set at work, but which has no heart. This explains
everything. This is the key that unlocks its whole modern history. Its
long ghastly list of persecutions, its Inquisition, its St.
Bartholemew’s, its Infallible Monocracy, are all alike logically
deducible from the determination to live by other means than that of
prophesying; in fact, utterly to suppress the one means of life, and to
live, if such a thing were possible, by those means only which have not
life in themselves. But Persecutions, Inquisitions, St. Bartholemew’s,
and Infallibility can be of no avail: for prophesying has always and
everywhere been, and will always and everywhere be, the life of
religion; and, therefore, destructive, sooner or later, of all cast-iron
systems. With respect to the Tabernacle, it is not so much that it has
rejected the other two modes, as that it has no comprehension of their
nature and use. It never, therefore, has either risen to the level of
ordinary culture, or organized itself as a religious system. It makes no
appeal to the former, and, Wesleyanism excepted, no use of the latter.
This explains why, though not devoid of life, it is without form, and
without attractive power for refined minds. Christianity, it is evident,
in its early days depended entirely on prophesying. As it grew, having
at that time the living power of assimilating what it needed, it
borrowed organization from Judaism, and culture and art from heathenism:
but prophesying must always be the distinctively Christian mode; so long
as Christianity addresses itself to what is in man, that is, to his
knowledge and moral consciousness.

Which, therefore, of these modes is the best is an inquiry, which would
be somewhat sterile, and misleading; for each is good in its proper
place, and degree, and for its proper purpose; and under some
circumstances one, and under other circumstances another, will
inevitably be resorted to. It would be more profitable to keep in mind
that not one is ever exempt in its use from error and perversion. These,
at every turn and step, will reappear, as the unavoidable results of the
imperfections of those, in whose hands the administration of religion,
as of all human affairs, must rest: for they are but men; and, Error and
Perversion, you both have the same name, and that name is Man. History,
and experience, teach us that, in the long run, the most efficient check
to these errors and perversions, both in those who minister, and in
those who are ministered to, is, as far as is possible in this world of
necessarily mixed motives, and defective knowledge, to be dead unto
self, and alive unto God, that is to the good work one finds set before
one. Herein is the true apostolism: not for self, but for the end for
which one was sent—for an object, beyond self, distinctly seen, and
distinctly good. This in an individual is almost, and in a body of men
perhaps quite, impossible. Still it is just what always has to be done
by ‘the Church,’ which, in whatever sense we take the word, will be a
body of men; and by Mr. Spurgeon, acting with those who believe in him;
and, therefore, whenever attempted, will only be done very imperfectly.
So it must be. But we see that, notwithstanding, the world has advanced,
and is advancing. In ‘the Church,’ and among the Spurgeons and their
respective people, and among others, who cannot be quite correctly
ranged under either of these categories, there will always be some
(generally a very small minority; but these are not questions that can
be decided by counting hands) who have caught partial glimpses of what
ought to be said and done, and who will set themselves the task,
generally a very thankless one, of making their partial glimpses known.
One thing, however, at all events is certain: it is safer to trust to
the Spirit of the Prophet than to the culture and organization of the
Priest, if they must be had separately: though, perhaps, their due
combination, might be best of all.

These were the thoughts which passed through my mind, while I was in the
Cathedral of Metz; for the American, who came in just after I had
entered it, required but a very few minutes for ‘doing’ this grand old
monument of mediæval piety; and soon left it to the twilight—the day was
nearly run out—and to my twilight meditations.

The Hotel de l’Europe, the best in Metz, is not good. The head-waiter—he
was an Austrian—was so imperious that I soon found it advisable,
whenever I had occasion to ask him a question, to apologise for the
trouble I was giving him. The angular peg had been put into the round
hole. Nature had intended him for a German prince. They charge here for
a two-horse carriage to Gravelotte, including the driver, two Napoleons.
At this rate they must get back, one would think, every week the
original cost of the rickety vehicle and half-starved horses. There is,
however, but little competition in the matter of the imperious waiter,
and none at all in that of the costly carriage he provides for you.

At Metz, and I heard that it was so, generally, throughout both the
annexed provinces, a great many people were desirous of selling their
houses and land. There was not, however, by any means an equal number of
people who were desirous of purchasing. This fewness of purchasers
indicates the prevalence of an opinion that the loss of these provinces
is far too great for France ever to acquiesce in; and that, therefore,
she will, on the first opportunity that may offer, endeavour to recover
them by the sword: in which case they will become the theatre of war. It
is true that the course of events in the New World, as well as in the
Old, has taught the present generation, very impressively, the lesson
that what is expected is seldom what happens; still, one may say, of
course with a strong feeling of the uncertainty of human affairs, that
there is nothing apparent, at present, on the surface of things, to give
rise to the supposition that a second reference, on the part of the
French, to the arbitrament of the sword, would lead to a different issue
from that which the first had. Empire is maintained, and retained, by
the means by which it was obtained; and there seems no probability of
Germany ever allowing herself to be caught napping; or of her strength,
energy, and determination being sapped by national corruption. That is
not a consummation which the solid character of the people renders at
all likely. Even their rude climate, which, to some extent, forbids a
life of sensuous and vicious self-indulgence, will, we may think, help
them in the future to maintain the character, which has always
distinguished them hitherto; it seems to make earnestness, and mental
hardihood, natural to them. One’s thoughts on this subject would be very
much modified, if there were in France any symptoms, which might lead
one to hope that she was ‘coming to herself.’

On leaving Metz, by an early train, I had to form one in a scene of
crowding and confusion greater than I had ever elsewhere encountered on
that side of the Channel, except a few days before at Strasbourg, where
it was as bad. We are often told that the advantage of the foreign
system of over-administration is that everything of this kind is
rendered impossible; but here it was all in excess. Tickets for all
classes were issued by the same clerk, and for two trains at the same
time, for one was to start only a few minutes before the other. Some
people were pushing; some were in a high state of excitement. There was
no possibility of forming a _queue_. I was told that this, and many
other things of the same kind, would be set right after the 1st of
October, on which day the Germans would take all these matters into
their own hands. Hitherto they had interfered with the local
administration as little as possible. One consequence of this had been
that the existing authorities, whose reign was so soon to expire, had
not been very attentive to their duties; perhaps they had not been very
desirous of keeping things straight; and the lower orders, availing
themselves of the license that had been permitted, had become so
insubordinate, that it had been found difficult, in some cases
impossible, to carry on the operations of factories, in which many hands
were employed. But after the 1st of October there was to be an end of
all this: a German burgomaster was to be appointed, and German order was
to be maintained. On that morning I wished that, as far as the station
at Metz was concerned, the change had already been effected.

In the neighbourhood of Luxembourg, I saw several trains full of iron
ore. From Luxembourg to Namur the country is, generally, very poor. It
consists mainly of lime-stone hills, heaths, and woods in which there is
little or no good timber. Between Namur and Brussels the country
improves, agriculturally, very much.

At Brussels I had some difficulty in getting a bed; all the hotels being
full of Belgian and English volunteers, and of people who had come to
see the international shooting. There had just been a public reception
of volunteers, and everybody was in the streets. I heard a burly
tradesman, who was standing at the door of his shop, shout at the top of
his voice, but the result did not correspond with the effort, as one of
our volunteers was passing, in the uniform of a Scottish corps,
‘Shotland for ever’—the land, doubtless, of good shots. Etymologists,
consider this, and be cautious.

The much-lauded Hotel de Ville I venture to think unsatisfactory. For so
much ornamentation it is deficient in size. Its chief external feature
is the multitude of figures upon it. The effect of this is bad. One sees
no reason why they should be there. They are too small. They are
indistinguishable from each other, There is no action: merely rows of
figures. This was unavoidable in the position assigned them, but its
being unavoidable was no reason for assigning them that position, nor
does it at all contribute towards rendering them pleasing objects.

Many of the volunteers made a night of it in honour of their English
visitors. Having been woke, by their shouting and hurrahing in the
streets, at one o’clock in the morning, I was disposed to think such
demonstrations unbecoming in bearded warriors.

I went with a party of Englishmen, and some Americans, to Waterloo. We
were driven over the old, straight, stone-paved, poplar-bordered road,
by an English whip, in an English four-horse stage-coach. The road is
just what it was, when Wellington passed over it, from ‘the revelry at
night’ for the great fight. That part, however, of the Forest of
Soignies, which should be on the right of the road, has been destroyed,
to make way for the plough. What remains of the forest, on the left,
consists of tall, straight, unbranching beech, with the surface of the
ground, between the trunks, clear and smooth. While we were at Hougomont
a violent thunderstorm, accompanied with heavy rain, drifted over the
field. As the soil is a tenacious clay, which becomes very slippery when
wet, this storm was most opportune, for it showed us what kind of
footing the contending hosts had on the great day. Hougomont is still
very much in the condition in which it was left on the evening of that
day. What was burnt has not been rebuilt; and what remained, has not
been added to, or altered. The loop-holes that were made in the garden
wall are still there. So also are the hedge, and ditch, on the outside
of the orchard. The only difference is that the whole of the wood of
Hougomont has gone the way of a part of the Forest of Soignies. We have
all of us tried to understand Waterloo; but a visit to the field itself
will show that it is no more possible to understand, fully and rightly,
this than any other battle, without ocular knowledge of the ground on
which it was fought. A comparison of the field of Waterloo with that of
Gravelotte will assist a civilian in estimating the extent of the change
in tactics, which modern improvements in the weapons of war have
necessitated. He will see that the battle of June 18, 1815, belongs to
an order of things that is obsolete now. With the cannon, and rifles, of
the present day, it could not have been fought as it was; and would not,
probably, have been fought where it was.


                             CHAPTER XVIII.


    Consider the lilies of the field.—_Gospel of St. Matthew._
    The powers that be are ordained of God.—_Epistle to the Romans._

It was 8 o’clock in the evening when I left Brussels. At 6 o’clock the
next morning I stepped upon the platform of the Charing Cross Station.
So ended, after very nearly five weeks, my little excursion. In the
foregoing pages I have set down, not only what I saw, which could not
have had much novelty, but the thoughts, also, as well about man as
about nature, which what I saw suggested to me; and these, too, may not
have much value. To some, however, everything in nature is instructive
and interesting, and so is everything in man; or they seem to be so.
But, in order to secure this instruction and interest, I believe that
they must be viewed connectedly. The one is properly intelligible only
by the light that shines from the other. To regard either separately is
to misunderstand both. Nature is the field in which He, Whose form no
man hath seen at any time, reveals to us His Creative Power, for the
purpose that the intelligent contemplation of the objects, He presents
to our view, should engender in us certain sentiments and ideas, which
have from the beginning, in the degree and form possible at each epoch,
underlaid religion. Our fellow men are the field in which He reveals to
us the capacities and conditions; the strength, the weaknesses, the
workings, and the aspirations of moral and of intellectual being, as
conditioned in ourselves: another, and perhaps a higher, revelation of
Himself; and the consciousness of which being in the individual
constitutes, as far as we know, in this visible world of ours, the
distinctive privilege of man; and the exercise of which, under the sense
of responsibility, crowns the edifice of religion. The study of both has
been equally submitted to us, is equally our duty, and is necessary for
the completion of our happiness. They are the correlated parts of a
single revelation, and of a single study. The man who shuts his eyes to
the one, or to the other, cannot understand, at all events as fully as
he might, either that portion of the revelation at which he looks
exclusively, or himself, or Him, Who makes the revelation, in the sense
in which He has willed that each should be understood.

The products of our modern advanced methods of agriculture bear the same
kind of relation to the products of the burnt stick (they could both
support life, but very differently), that the religious sentiments and
ideas produced by our knowledge of nature bear to those which the
ignorant observation of a few prominent phenomena, as thunder and
lightning, the power of the wind and of the sun, the action of fire,
life and death, produced in the minds of the men of that remote day. The
mind of the inhabitants of this country, precisely like the land of this
country, was just the same at that day as at this. The powers and
capacities of each are invariable. What varies, and always in the
direction of advance, is that which is applied to the mind: as is the
case also with respect to the land. The knowledge of what produces the
thunder and lightning, of the laws that govern the motions of the
heavenly bodies, of what originates and calms the wind, of the forces of
nature, of the structure of animals and plants, are so many instruments,
by which the constant quantity, the human mind, is cultivated for
greater productiveness. No one dreams that we have approached the end of
such knowledge, any more than that our agriculture has reached its last
advance. The state of knowledge, whatever it may be at any time (from
that of our rudest forefathers to our own), produces corresponding ideas
and sentiments. Its reception into the mind unfailingly generates those
ideas and sentiments, just as the application of any method of
agriculture, with the appliances that belong to it, gives the amount and
kind of produce from the land proper to that method and to those
appliances. As an instance taken from a highly civilized people, the
close observation of the instincts of animals, and of the properties of
plants, offered to the leisure, accompanied by some other favouring
circumstances, of the ancient Egyptians, but unaccompanied by any
knowledge of the laws, the forces, and the order of nature; that is to
say, their existing knowledge, together with the existing limitations to
that knowledge, led unavoidably to the ideas and sentiments we find in
them; that is to say, to what was their religion, which combined the
worship of plants and animals, with belief in a future life.

The other self-acting factor to that organization of thought and
sentiment, which is religion, is the observation of what will perfect
human society, and the life of the individual, under the conditions of
their existence at the time. Certain things ought to be removed: it is
religion to remove them. Certain things ought to be maintained: it is
religion to maintain them. Certain things ought to be established: it is
religion to establish them. Certain knowledge ought to be propagated: it
is religion to propagate it.

Now both these contributions to religion, the knowledge of nature, which
is inexhaustible, and the conditions of human society, which are
endlessly multiform, are progressively variable quantities; religion,
therefore, the resultant of the combined action of the two, must itself
vary with them; that is to say, must advance with them.

It is a corollary to this, that from the day a religion forms itself
into a completed system, it becomes a matured fruit; the perfected
result of a train of anterior and contemporary conditions, that have
long been working towards its production. Thenceforth it is useful for a
time just as a fruit may be. It has, also, in itself, as a fruit has,
the seed of a future growth. But with that exception, though still
serviceable, it is dead, though organized, matter. A certain concurrence
of conditions, which can never be repeated, because knowledge and
society are ever advancing, produced the fruit, which, like that of the
aloe, can only be produced once out of its own concurrence of
conditions. Man’s spiritual nature feeds on that fruit, and is nourished
by it, for a greater or less number of generations. At last, for it must
come, a new concurrence of conditions arises, and a new fruit is
produced. The vital germ that was in the old fruit, passed into the
_milieu_ of the new ideas and sentiments, and a new growth commenced.
Organization then ensued, and in due time bore, as its fruit, its own
matured and perfected system. At the establishment of Christianity, in
the order of knowledge, the perception of the absurdity of thousands of
local divinities, and, in the social and political order, the
establishment of an Universal Empire, which gave rise to a sense of the
brotherhood of mankind, combined in demanding that the whole
organization of religious thought should be recast. Everyone can see the
part these two facts had in the construction, and in bringing about the
reception, of Christian ideas and Christian morality. In these days we
see that social and political conditions are changing, though we cannot
so exactly define and describe in what that change consists as we can
that just referred to; but we know that at the time of that change there
was, though it was distinctly felt, the same absence of power to define
and describe it distinctly. About the recent advance, however, in
knowledge there is no want of distinctness: that is as palpable as it
is, beyond measure, greater than the advances of all former times. It
amounts almost to a revelation of the constitution and order of nature.
The ideas and sentiments this new knowledge has given rise to are
somewhat different from, for instance they are grander and give more
satisfaction to thought than, the ideas and sentiments that accompanied
the knowledge, or rather the ignorance, on the same subjects, of two, or
of one, thousand years back. This must have some effect on the religion
of Christendom, and the effect cannot but be elevating and improving.
This knowledge cannot possibly be bad, because it is only the attainment
of the ideas, which, on the theory both of religion and of commonsense,
were in the mind of the Creator before they were embodied in nature;
which were embodied in nature, and were submitted to us, in order that
they might be attained to by us, for the sake of the effect the
knowledge would have upon our minds, that is to say, ultimately on our

This knowledge, it is notorious, is not estimated in this way by many
good men amongst us, they, on the contrary, being disposed to regard it
rather with repugnance, horror, and consternation. The reason is not far
to seek. They have, probably, in all such cases, received only a
theological and literary training. Now every theology, as is seen in the
meaning of the word, and as belongs to the nature of the construction,
contains an implicit assertion, both that no new knowledge, which can
have any good influence on men’s thoughts, sentiments, and lives, can be
attained, subsequently to the date of its own formation; and that the
workings of human society will never lead to advances beyond those,
which had at that time been reached. And literary training, in this
country, has hitherto meant a kind of _dilettante_ acquaintance with the
literature of the ancient Greeks and Romans, regarded, not as a chapter
in the moral and intellectual history of the race, but rather as
supplying models for expression. No wonder, then, need be felt at
finding those, who are conversant only with what is dead, scared at the
phenomena of life. The wonder would be if it were otherwise. But the
same conditions, we all know, act differently on differently constituted
minds: and this explains the opposite effect which modern criticism has
upon the minds of some of those who have had only literary training.
This criticism they find opposed to some of the positions of the old
theology; and the effect of this discovery upon them is that it makes
them hostile to religion itself. As well might Newton have felt horror
at the idea of gravitation because Ptolemy had believed in cycles and
epicycles. It is the preponderance of literary training in them, also,
that issues in this opposite result.

Religion is the organization of all that men know both of outward nature
and of man, for the purpose of guiding life, of perfecting the
individual and society, and of feeding the mind and the heart with the
contemplation of the beauty and order of the universe, inclusive of man
and of God, that is to say, of the conception we can form, at the time,
of the All-originating, All-ordering, and All-governing Power. This is,
ever has been, and ever will be Religion, unless we should pass into a
New Dispensation, at present inconceivable, because it would require the
recasting, at all events, of man, if not of the external conditions of
his existence, that is, of the world also. But as long as things
continue as they have been, knowledge will always advance religion; and
religion will always conform itself to knowledge. The essential
difference between one religion and another, from Fetishism up to
Christianity, is one of knowledge.

Before the construction of systematic theologies, knowledge and religion
were convertible terms. It was so under the Old Dispensation; and so
again in the early days of Christianity. After their construction the
former term was modified. It had been generic, it thenceforth became
specific. The differentiating limitation imposed upon it was that of
this particular theology, exclusive of all other theologies; and, as it
was a theology, this involved the exclusion of the ideas of correction
and enlargement.

Error and insufficiency must, from the nature of the materials dealt
with, after a time be found in every theology. In this sense every
Church has erred, and could not but have erred. The mischief, however,
is not in this error and insufficiency, for they are remediable. The
progress of knowledge which points out the error, often indeed creating
it by the introduction of additional data, supplies the means for
correcting it; and the advance in the conditions of society, which
creates the insufficiency, suggests the means for correcting it, too.
Nor, again, is the mischief in the ignorance of the majority, for that
can to the extent required be removed. It is in the determination of
some, from whom better things might have been expected, not to examine
all things with the intention of holding fast that which is true; but to
close their eyes and ears, as theologians, against all that the educated
world now knows, and all that the uneducated masses are repelled by in
what is now presented to them as the Word of God. This determination
puts them in the position of being obliged to support, and encourage,
only those who address themselves to the ignorance of the age, but not
for the purpose of removing it; and to oppose, and discourage, those who
address themselves to the knowledge of the age, for the purpose of
making it religious. We need not repeat what we have been told will
happen, when the blind lead the blind.

The recollection of what has given to our political constitution its
orderly and peaceful development might be of use here. It goes on
accommodating itself smoothly, and without convulsions, to the altering
conditions of society, because political parties amongst us are not
coincident with classes. Members of the popular party are to be found in
the highest classes as well as in the lowest, and of the stationary
party in the lowest as well as in the highest. This is what has here
exorcized the demon of revolution. If party lines had been drawn
horizontally instead of vertically, class would have been arrayed
against class; and, probably, ignorance and violence, supported by
numbers, would have made a clean sweep of our institutions, and, to no
small extent, of our civilization. What has been advantageous in the
political order would be equally so in the religious. What has saved us
from a political, might, if adopted, save us from a possible religious,
crash. It is a miserably short-sighted policy to endeavour to drive from
the camp of religion, or of the National Church, those who have accepted
the knowledge of our times, and who have sympathies with the existing
tendencies or possibilities of society: so that on one side shall be
arrayed only those, who rest on what is old, and on the other only
those, who have no disposition to reject what is new. Whereas the true
bridge from the present to the future can be constructed by neither of
these parties alone; but must be the work of those, whose wish and
effort are to combine, and to harmonise, the new with the old. This
appreciation of what is needed, is, at all events, in accordance with
the meaning of the saying, to the authority of which we must all defer,
that ‘every scribe, who is instructed unto the Kingdom of Heaven, will
bring forth out of his treasures things new as well as old.’ The course
taken by those, who lose sight of the guidance offered them in this
saying, can only bring them into a false position.

It is very instructive to observe how circumstances analogous to those,
which existed among the chosen people, at the date of the promulgation
of Christianity, are, at this moment, amongst ourselves producing
analogous effects. We have lately heard those, who are attempting to
make the knowledge, men have now been permitted to attain to, an element
of religion, which is what knowledge must always become in the end,
described as ‘maudlin sentimentalists.’ Precisely the same expression,
motivated by precisely the same feelings, and ideas, might have been
applied with the same propriety, or impropriety, and with the same
certainty of disastrous recoil on those who used it, to the teaching of
the Divine Master Himself. He appealed from the hard, narrow, rigid
forms, in which the old Law had been fossilized, to the sense men had
come to have of what was moral, and needed, and to the knowledge they
had come to have of what was true, under the then advanced conditions of
society and of knowledge. The maintainers of the fossilized Law were for
binding heart and mind fast in the fetters of dogmatic human traditions.
He was for setting mind and heart free by the reception of what was
broad and true; at once human and divine. That alone was desirable,
beneficent, and from God. It blessed, strengthened, emancipated, and
gave peace. No authority, however venerable, could be pleaded against
it. No thrones, principalities, or powers, however exalted, would be
able to withstand it. There was no fear or possibility of its being
refuted: for it was nothing but the perception, and the practical
recognition, of existing knowledge, and of existing conditions. Men,
they might be many, might reject it, but to their own detriment only.
The facts would remain. The rest, all whose eyes were open, or could be
opened, to perceive what was before their eyes, would receive it as from
God. The more it was set in the broad light of day the better. It must
be proclaimed in the highways, and the market-places, and in the Temple
itself. If those who had received it were to hold their peace, the
stones would immediately cry out. It was God’s Truth. It was God’s Word:
not because it was written, for as yet it was not written, but because,
as the Word of God ever had, and ever would, come, it came from the pure
heart, and the enlightened understanding, and approved itself to those,
who had eyes to see, and ears to hear, and hearts to understand. Let
every one examine it. If in that day had been known what is now known of
man’s history, and of nature, and of what is seen of the possibility of
raising men, throughout society, to a higher moral and intellectual
level than was heretofore attainable, we may be sure that there would
have been no attempt to discredit such knowledge, and such aspirations;
and that they would have been urged as extending our knowledge of God,
and of His will; that they would have been appealed to, and that men
would have been called upon to raise themselves to the level of what had
become conceivable, and, conceivably, attainable. At all events, the one
great point, the one paramount duty, was to proclaim what was then seen
to be true. To keep back nothing. To care nothing for the consequences,
in the way of what it might overthrow; to be ready to spend and be spent
for the consequences, in the way of the good it must produce. The
requisite boldness would come to its promulgators from feeling, that it
was God’s work, and that He was on their side. The issue could not be
doubtful. The Gates of Hell could not prevail against the Truth. It was,
notwithstanding its ‘maudlin sentimentality,’ mighty to the pulling down
of strongholds; and went forth conquering, and to conquer. So will it do
again. So will it do ever. The parallelism is complete at every point.
It is only strange that it has not been seen, and dwelt upon, till all
have become familiar with it. The facts, the situation, the ideas, the
hopes and fears, are the same. So, too, is the language needed to
describe them, each and all.

The thoughts, which this chapter outlines, were often, as might be
supposed, in my mind during the little excursion described in the
foregoing pages. They are, as far as I can see, the logical and
inevitable conclusions of the acquaintance some have, such as it may be,
with history and with physical science; and I suppose that travelling
further along the same road would only enable them to see the object to
which it leads with more distinctness. In Switzerland there is much both
in the singularly varied mental condition of the people themselves, and
in the impressive aspects of nature, to confirm them. The narrative,
though its form, in keeping with the particular purpose in which it
originated, is at times somewhat minute, may yet, as things were, for
the most part, seen and regarded through the medium of ideas I have just
referred to, contribute a little to their illustration. It was my wish,
at all events, that my mind and heart should be always open,
unreservedly, to the teaching of all that I saw, both of man and of
nature; but still, I trust, with that caution, and sense of
responsibility, that befit the formation of opinions, by which—for one
is conscious that they are the inner man, the true self—one must stand,
or fall, and in which one must live, and die.



 Aar, 150-2

 Aigle, 183

 Absenteeism, 43

 Agriculture, capital improves, 60.
   In the United States, 69.
   Burnt stick and hoe eras, 81.
   Progress in size of farms, 83-85.
   In Alsace, 230

 American lads mountaineering, 13

 Americans in Switzerland, 200

 Animal worship, rationale of, in the ancient Egyptians, 253

 Antithesis, an Alpine, 13

 Anza, 126

 Apostolism, true, 243

 Armies of the Romans, 141

 Art, place of, in religion, 241

 Auroch, 212

 Austrian marriages, 100.
   Waiter, 244

 Avalanches, 22, 158

 Blue boy, 13, 16, 141, 142, 154, 163, 164, 171, 184-193

 Bonus amicus pro vehiculo, 133

 Breakfast at a monster hotel, 195

 Bridge, from the present to the future, 260

 Brieg, 140

 Brienz, 155

 Brussels, 247.
   Hôtel de Ville, unsatisfactory, 248

 Bubble schemes why alluring, 67

 Buffers, our labourers have three, 105, 106

 Butterflies, 53, 151

 Camping out, 177

 Capital, power of, in modern societies, 50.
   Revolution effected by, 53.
   Inversion of land and, 54.
   Peel and Gladstone, due to, 55.
   A ladder, 56.
   Era of, on Visp-side, 50-66.
   Will improve agriculture, 61.
   Flow of, to the land will counterbalance cities, 62.
   Moral and intellectual effects, 63.
   Increases size of agricultural concerns, 85.
   Size of estates in era of, 94.
   Is king, 103.
   Essence of all property, 106, 107.
   Uses of, discriminated, 108, 109

 Carpet, magical bit of, 3

 Caterpillar, 53, 127

 Cathedral of Metz, 238-242

 Ceppo Morelli, 127

 Certificates of land-shares, 87, 89, 93, 94

 C’est un pauvre pays, 217

 Change, modern craving for, 4, 5

 Christianity, in what sense a recast of religious thought, 255.
 modern parallel to the ground taken by first promulgators of, 261-263

 Church, value of establishment, 65.
   Effect of disestablishment, 97

 Cities, land counterpoise to, 62;
   and land, 93

 Classics, place of, in English education, 222, 223.
   Unfairly weighted, 226

 Colmar and Mulhouse, cotton industry of, 230

 Continuity of human history, 213

 Co-operation inapplicable to land, 104-106

 Corporate estates, 74, 76, 96

 Cost of Swiss travel, 176

 Coups manqués of humanity, 202

 Cranoges, Irish and Scotch, 210

 Curé of Sainte Marie aux Chênes, 235

 Danube, Roman road on the banks of the, 126

 Dinner, last, in London, 3.
   At Macugnaga, 125.
   At a monster hotel, 196

 Disorder, temporary, permitted at Strasbourg and Metz, 246

 Distel, 122

 Dogs, why bay the moon, 181

 Domo D’Ossola, 128

 Drama of the Mountains, 184-193

 Drunkenness, how may be discouraged, 85.
   Want of drink-water a cause of, 209

 Dust, 174

 Eclipse, feelings caused by, 182

 Edelweiss, 161

 Education, property is an, 33.
   What would promote, 84.
   Spread of, unfavourable to
 existing land-system, 97.
   Range and method of teaching, 192, 193.
   Swiss aims, 218-221.
   How applicable, and how not, to us, 221-223.
   Sciences of humanity needed, 221, 222.
   Imagination should be cultivated, 223.
   Place of poetry in, 224

 Eggishorn, 143

 Elsass, agricultural wealth of, 230

 Empire, how retained, 245

 Enthusiastic ladies, 200

 Establishments, religious, useful under landlordism, 65.
   Effect of disestablishment, 97

 Etymology of field, 82.
   Of Scotland, 247

 Expected, what is, seldom happens, 245

 Eyes in back of the head, 97

 Fallows abandoned, 83

 Falls of Frosinone, 135.
   Another, 136.
   Aar and Handeck, 152.
   Staubbach, 152.
   Reichenbach, 154

 Fee, 116

 Field, etymology of, 82

 Feudalism, none in our landlordism, 77

 Findelen, 17

 Fireworks at Interlaken, 164

 Flies, 147

 Flowers, 14, 18

 France, a cause of its wealth, 98.
   Insisted on war, 231

 French petty proprietors, 105, 106, 110

 Frosinone, 135

 Fruit, religion is a, 254

 Fungus, a Brobdingnagian, 144

 Game, 82

 Gasteren, 167

 Gauter, 139

 Gemmi, 167-71

 Geneva, Lake of, excavated by glacier, 8

 Genius loci, 133

 Geology of Rhone Valley, 7.
   Of Alpine valleys, 134.
   Of Delta of the Kander, 166

 German professor, 114.
   Travellers, 156, 201.
   At Gravelotte, 232-6.
   At Metz, 237.
   Conquests will be retained, 245

 Glacier action, 7.
   Bies, 9.
   Gorner, 9.
   Fee, 116.
   Allalein, 119.
   Kaltenwasser, 138.
   Rhone, 146.
   Old Aar, 150.
   Grindelwald, 162

 Gladstone, the Right Hon. W. E., 55

 Gneiss, channel how cut in, 151

 God, the focal name, 239

 Gondo, 135

 Gorner Grat, 12

 Government, modern Swiss, 146

 Gravelotte, battle of, 232-6

 Grimsel, 149

 Grindelwald, 160

 Guide, 18, 115, 123, 127

 Guttanen, 153

 Handeck, 151, 152

 Health, better to keep than to recover, 183

 Helle Platte, 150

 History, continuity of, 213

 Homer, a simile of his, 178, 183

 Honesty, 36, 39

 Hornli, 17

 Hospice, Simplon, 135.
   Grimsel, 148, 149

 Hotels, St. Niklaus, 8.
   Riffel, 16.
   Saas, 115.
   Mattmark See, 120.
   Macugnaga, 125.
   Ponte Grande, 127.
   Domo D’Ossola, 128.
   Simplon, 135.
   Du Glacier du Rhone, 147.
   Interlaken, 156.
   Grindelwald, 161.
   Schwarenbach, 168.
   Swiss monster hotels, 194-204.
   Zurich, 215.
   Metz, 244

 Human interest of improved agriculture, 86

 Humanity, sciences of, place in education, 221

 Humility, true, 216

 Ice sent from Grindelwald to Paris, 162.
   Ice-field of Bernese Oberland, 174

 Ignorance of the day, some address themselves to, but not for the
    purpose of removing it, 259

 Imagination, place in education, 223.
   How to be cultivated, 224

 Imhof, 153

 Industry, Swiss, 34-8, 46, 129

 Intellectual life among peasant proprietors, 32.
   Under landlordism, 48.
   Under capital, 63, 107

 Interlaken, 155, 156

 Investments for all, 87, 88

 Invidious position, 101, 102

 Italians compared to Swiss, 129

 Jack of many trades, 118

 Joint-stock cultivation of the land, 78-89

 Jungfrau, 156-8

 Kander, Delta of the, 166

 Kandersteg, 167

 King, capital is, 103

 Kitchen-maids, acquisition and use of capital within reach of, 109

 Knights’ fees, number of, 77

 Knowledge, what it is, 227.
   Grammatical and theological studies obscure, 229.
   Its effects on religion, 257

 Lake-villages, 210-215

 Land, reclamation, and cultivation of, 21.
   In Greece and Rome, 51.
   In feudal times, 52.
   Inversion of land and capital, 54.
   Settlement of, prevents distribution, 70.
   Joint-stock principle applicable to, 78.
   Land mobilised, 88.
   Increased value under joint-stock cultivation, 88, 89.
   Land and cities, 93.
   Size of landed estates in era of capital, 94.
   Might be sold subject to rent-charge, 95.
   Tendency of things with respect to; corporate estates, 96.
   Disestablishment, 97.
   Increasing size of estates, 97.
   Education, 97.
   Perception of cause of wealth of France, 98.
   Increase in our population and wealth, 98.
   Popular character of modern legislation, 99.
   Rise in cost of labour, 99.
   How two kinds of wills affect land, 110.
   Culture and price of, in Switzerland, 206

 Landlordism, 41, 50.
   Political effects in Ireland and Scotland, 111

 Landowners, advantage to, of joint-stock cultivation of the land, 89.
   Diminishing numbers, 97

 Lausanne, 3

 Lauterbrunnen, 157

 Leukabad, 172-174

 Life, who scared by phenomena of, 257

 Literary and theological training, effects of, 256

 Lords of creation, 124

 Lothringen, 231

 Lowe, Right Hon. R., 65

 Luxembourg, 247

 Macugnaga, 125

 Magician, capital a, 107

 Man, conditions antecedent to, 116

 Matterhorn, 12, 17, 18

 Mattmark See, 119, 120

 Meiringen, 153

 Men and women highest form of wealth, 32

 Methods of teaching, 192, 193

 Metz, 230

 Money-lords, 55

 Monte Leone, 138

 Moon on the Jungfrau, 165.
   Witchery of the, 179.
   Why dogs bay, 181

 Moral value of peasant-proprietorship, 34-40.
   Under landlordism, 46

 Morality, man lives not only by or for, 40

 Moro, Monte, 123

 Mortmain, history of abolition of, 74.
   Its failure, 75

 Mother of Curé of Ste. Marie aux Chênes, 235

 Mountaineering, 10, 19, 20

 Mountains seen face to face, 121

 Munster, 144

 Museum of Lake-Villages, 210, 215

 Myriad-minded, 223

 Nature, 192, 225

 Nautical felicity, 6

 New world’s contributions to old, 7

 Niesen, 175

 Nonconformity, strength and weakness of, 241, 242

 Oberwald, 146

 Opinion, how stream of tendency affects, 99

 Organisation, religious, 241

 Ownership of land, proposed form of, 89

 Paganism, modern, 26

 Parallelism of the present religious situation and that at the
    promulgation of Christianity, 261-263

 Paris, 1

 Parquetry flooring, 182

 Pauper, euthanasia of agricultural, 86

 Peak-climbers and pass-men, 10, 18, 175, 199

 Peasant-proprietorship, 29-40.
   Impossible here, 94.
   French, 105, 106, 110

 Pedestrianism, pedantry of, 144

 Peel, Sir R., 55

 Personal worth, 103

 Physical science teaches what truth is, 228

 Picturesque will not stop advances, 86

 Pié de Muléra, 128

 Pinus Cembra, 11, 159. Pumilio, 150

 Platform road, 126

 Poetry of Vale of Grindelwald, 161.
   Classical and modern, 224

 Pompeii, 52

 Ponte Grande, 127

 Poor-law, rationale of, 106

 Population under peasant-proprietorship, 31.
   Under landlordism, 45

 Porter and practical man, 156

 Possibilities, 27

 Post-office, Swiss, 118

 Potatovors, Irish, 105, 106

 Practical man and porter, 156

 Prasias, Lake, 210

 Prayers played for, 24

 Primogeniture, 90

 Property, educational effects of, 33

 Prophesying, place of, in religion, 241, 242

 Prospects of great proprietors, 100

 Railways, delays on Swiss, 138

 Récolte des voyageurs, 217

 Reichenbach, falls of, 154

 Religion, 25.
   Its primitive and modern forms, 145.
   Relation to art, organisation, and prophesying, 141, 142.
   Error and perversion in, 242, 243.
   Relation of the knowledge of nature and of man to, 251.
   How affected by the conditions of society, 253.
   Progressive, 254.
   A parellelism, 261-263

 Religious establishments, when useful, 64

 Rent-charge, land might be sold subject to, 95

 Responsibility in the formation of opinions, 264

 Revolution, a great but bloodless, 53

 Rhone, Delta of Upper, 7.
   Source of, 146

 Riffel, 11, 16

 Rocky mountains, young pines in, 160.
   Camping out in, 177

 Romanism, decay of, 25, 26.
   How uses art, organisation, and prophesying, 241

 Saas, 113, 121

 Sac, lost, 131

 St. Niklaus, 8, 21

 Ste. Marie aux Chênes, fight in, 234.
   Mother of curé of, 235

 Saltine, 139

 Saracens, 124

 Savings’ bank for all, 87, 109

 Scene from Gorner Grat, 12.
   Valley of Saas, 113.
   Mattmark, 120.
   Macugnaga, 125.
   Gemmi, 169

 Schwartz See, 16, 17

 Scotland, a Belgian’s etymology of, 247

 Selborne, White of, 4.
   Lord, 4, 65

 Self, when to be considered, 132.
   When not, 243

 Sermon on the Riffel, 15.
   Effect of fluency and imagination on, 165

 Settlement of land prevents distribution, 70.
   Action of settled estates, 72.
   How preventible, 73

 Shawls, fine, better than rugs, 117

 Simplon, 131-139

 Size of estates in era of capital, 94

 Slavery, 82

 Society, conditions of, affect religion, 253

 Sprite, the reprobate, 203

 Spurgeon, Mr., 239, 243

 Stalden, 113

 Steam culture, 83

 Stenches in hotels, 8, 147, 148

 Stone age, 81, 211

 Strasbourg, 230

 Sugar factories, 84

 Sun, colourless risings, 175.
   Of England has set, 202.
   A good sunset, 216, 217

 Swiss life in a valley, 23, 29, 40.
   Compared with Italians, 129.
   Monster hotels, 194-204.
   Swiss sights suggestive, 264

 Teaching, range and method of, 192, 193

 Technical University of Zurich, 218

 Tendency of events as respects land, 96

 Tents, travelling with, in Switzerland, 177

 Testimony, fallibility of, 118

 Theology, 256

 Thun, 163

 Too soon but late at last, 168

 Travel, order of, 5

 Travellers in monster hotels, 198.
   Swiss, classified, 199, 203

 Trust-funds, investment proposed for, 89

 Twice as clever, 171

 United States, answer to a question asked in the, 68
   Agriculture of, 69

 Urus, 212

 Val Anzasca, 126, 129, 130

 Valleys, geology of Alpine, 134.
   View of Grindelwald, 160

 Venice, 210

 Verrieres, 2

 Villages of Upper Rhone Valley, 144.
   Old Lake, 210-215

 Vines and vineyards, 205

 Virgin, the Holy, at Ste. Marie aux Chênes, 236

 Virtue, highest form of, 38

 Visp, 8.
   Life and religion in Valley of the, 21-27.
   Thoughts about land suggested by the Valley of the, 28-112

 Voiturier, boorish, 143.
   Dilatory, 165.
   Payment should depend on time, 166

 Water-supply in Switzerland, 206-209.
   In England, 207, 208.
   Would lessen drunkenness, 209

 Waterloo, 248, 249

 Weather, 175

 Well-being, constituents of, 40

 Wengern Alp, 157, 158

 Wheat cultivated by Old Lake villagers, 212

 White of Selborne, 4

 Widows and younger children provided for by landowners, 93

 Wife, 5, 142, 162, 168, 171

 Wildstrubel, 169

 Will strengthened, 139

 Wills, two errors with respect to, 110

 Wine, 197

 Wood-carving, 155

 Zermatt, 9, 10, 115

 Zmutt glacier, 17

 Zurich Museum of lake village antiquities, 210-215.
   Modern city, 214.
   Technical University, 218

                           LONDON: PRINTED BY
                         AND PARLIAMENT STREET


                          BY THE SAME AUTHOR.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                _The Duty and Discipline of Extemporary

                            SECOND EDITION.

                      C. SCRIBNER & CO., NEW YORK.

                  *       *       *       *       *

                    _A Winter in the United States_:

   Being Table-Talk collected during a Tour through the late Southern
         Confederation, the Far West, the Rocky Mountains, &c.

                          JOHN MURRAY, LONDON.

                  *       *       *       *       *

               _Egypt of the Pharaohs and of the Kedivé._

                  SECOND EDITION.      [In the Press.

                      SMITH, ELDER, & CO., LONDON.


 ● Transcriber’s Notes:
    ○ Missing or obscured punctuation was silently corrected.
    ○ Typographical errors were silently corrected.
    ○ Inconsistent spelling and hyphenation were made consistent only
      when a predominant form was found in this book.
    ○ Text that:
      was in italics is enclosed by underscores (_italics_)).

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