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Title: Switzerland
Author: Fox, Frank, Sir, 1874-1960
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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 "Switzerland" ***

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    SWITZERLAND


    _In the same series_

    AUSTRIA-HUNGARY
    ENGLAND
    FRANCE
    ITALY


    AT LES PLANS IN APRIL.



    SWITZERLAND

    BY

    FRANK FOX


    AUTHOR OF "RAMPARTS OF EMPIRE" "PEEPS AT THE BRITISH EMPIRE,"
    "AUSTRALIA," AND "OCEANIA"

    WITH 32 FULL-PAGE ILLUSTRATIONS IN COLOUR

    LONDON

    ADAM AND CHARLES BLACK

    1914



PREFACE


In Switzerland, above all other lands of Europe, is the greatness of
Nature manifest. But not even the Alps can overshadow the story of her
gallant people. The Swiss are more interesting even than Switzerland.
In this volume therefore--a volume intended to give the reader who
cannot hope to see Switzerland some idea of its character, as well as
to guide those who hope or intend to undertake a Swiss tour--an
attempt has been made to give a brief sketch of the origins and
achievements of the Swiss people, as well as to describe the natural
beauties of the country. To a very remarkable extent the history of
Switzerland has affected the general current of European history,
partly through the courage of the mercenary soldiers that the Alpine
communities sent abroad in olden times, partly because always
Switzerland has provided a house of refuge for political exiles from
other countries. The deeds of her people cannot but be interesting in
every land where European civilisation rules. They have the interest
not only of their essential heroism but of their near relation to the
development of other countries.

No exhaustive record has been attempted. This volume cannot, for the
serious student, serve either as a history of Switzerland, as a
description of the Swiss Alps, or as a record of those interesting
literary and scientific coteries which grew up beside the Swiss lakes.
Its purpose rather is to give to the reader who cannot devote a
special interest to the country some fairly adequate idea of its
history, its character, and institutions. The illustrations have been
selected to give as comprehensive an impression as possible of the
various beauties of Swiss scenery.

FRANK FOX.



CONTENTS


       CHAPTER I THE SPIRIT OF THE MOUNTAINS
      CHAPTER II THE EARLIEST SWISS: THE LAKE-DWELLERS: CHARLEMAGNE
     CHAPTER III THE SWISS IN THE MIDDLE AGES
      CHAPTER IV MODERN SWITZERLAND
       CHAPTER V SOME LITERARY ASSOCIATIONS
      CHAPTER VI THE SWISS AND HUMAN THOUGHT
     CHAPTER VII THE SWISS PEOPLE TO-DAY
    CHAPTER VIII ALPINE CLIMBING
      CHAPTER IX NATURAL BEAUTIES OF SWITZERLAND
       CHAPTER X AVALANCHES AND GLACIERS
      CHAPTER XI THE ALPINE CLUBS
     CHAPTER XII THE FLOWERS OF THE ALPS
    CHAPTER XIII SWISS SPORTS
     CHAPTER XIV SWISS SCHOOLS
      CHAPTER XV SOME STATISTICAL FACTS
           INDEX



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


IN COLOUR


    1. At Les Plans in April
    2. The Matterhorn from the Riffelberg
    3. Looking down the Rhone Valley from Mt. Palerin at the Eastern
       end of the Lake of Geneva
    4. A distant view of the Jura Range from the south side of the
       Lake of Geneva
    5. Fluelen at the end of Uri Lake
    6. Altdorf
    7. A Village on the St. Gothard Railway
    8. The Statue of Jean-Jacques Rousseau on the Island in the
       Rhone, Geneva
    9. Château de Prangins
    10. Geneva from the Arve
    11. L'Église de la Madeleine, Geneva
    12. An Alpine Village, Grindelwald
    13. Alpine Herdsmen
    14. Hay Hauling on the Alpine Snow
    15. Sunset on Mont Blanc from Geneva
    16. The Palu Glacier
    17. Winter Sunrise in the Engadine--Cresta, Celerina, and
        Samaden
    18. The Schiahorn. "The Châlets are like fairy houses or toys"
    19. A Mountain Path, Grindelwald
    20. Castle of Chillon
    21. Davos in Winter--The Home of John Addington Symonds
    22. Märjelen See and Great Aletsch Glacier
    23. Looking up Valley towards Zermatt from near Randa
    24. The Dents du Midi from Gryon above Bex
    25. The Schwartzhorn from the Fluela Hospice
    26. An Alpine Meadow in Bloom
    27. Hepatica in the Woods at Bex
    28. Alpine Garden (La Linnea) at Bourg St. Pierre on the road to
        the Great St. Bernard, beginning of August
    29. Hunting the Chamois
    30. A Corner of Aigle Skating Rink
    31. Berne
    32. Lausanne
    _Sketch Map at end of Volume_



SWITZERLAND



CHAPTER I

THE SPIRIT OF THE MOUNTAINS


The Swiss as a people often suffer in the judgment of the tourist by
failure to live up to their reputation as a "mountain people"--to a
glorious "Alpine" character.

The dweller by the shores of the sea or by the riverine plains,
setting his feet along a mountain path towards the peaks which go up
to meet the sky, ordinarily feels a sense of joy and freedom as he
climbs to the higher air. He seems to shake off shackles from his mind
and to enter into an enjoyment of life which is less earthly and
nearer to the spiritual. His imagination is impressed with the thought
that truly he is mounting towards the stars. There is, to aid
imagination, a definite corporal effect due to a slight change in the
nature of the air. A quickening pulse seems to tell of the heart
becoming more generous in response to the spirit of the mountains.

From this feeling of exhilaration of the mind and the body, which
comes when ascending, after a long stay on the plains, to a mountain
height, arises an almost universal belief in human thought that there
is some special spiritual and ennobling influence in the mountains of
the earth. Poets have sung of it again and again: philosophers have
admitted to it with a more discreet but with a no less certain
rapture. Many scientists have explained it with as ingenious
explanations as were offered by those learned men who were set by a
waggish French king to explain to him why it was that: given two
dishes, each full to the brim of water, and two fish of equal size,
but one dead and the other alive: and allowed that the live fish is
put in the one full dish and the dead fish in the other full dish with
equal care: then, whilst the water of the dish in which the dead fish
is placed will overflow at once, the water of the dish in which the
live fish is placed will not overflow.

That king's merry jest on his men of learning who set out to find a
reason for a "fact" before finding out whether it was a fact, was
neatly countered, if my memory of the story be correct, by one
courtier-scientist who ingeniously pleaded that what His Majesty said
on any matter must, by all loyal subjects, be accepted as a fact, and
in truth did, to the loyal mind, become a fact, no unworthy suspicions
being harboured that a king of France could not make, change, or annul
a natural law just as well as any other law.

In truth, though, the idea that dwelling on a mountain-top has a
strengthening effect on the human frame and an ennobling influence on
the human character is mostly fallacious. It may be "explained" but
not proved. Those who hold it, if questioned in the Socratic manner to
give proofs in the first place of the existence of the ennobling
influence they believe in, could well plead a general human consent on
the point--a universal belief. But they would, I think, be hard put to
it, to offer any more real proof than the statements of some poet, or
of some philosopher, or the explanation of some scientist who had
explained a circumstance without first proving it.

Let there be imagined a cross-examination on the point by some modern
follower of Socrates' methods:

_S._ You say that the Swiss people are a noble race because they are a
mountain race. Will you, if you have time, explain to me why that is
so? I am very anxious to know the true reason why the fact of living
on a mountain should have this fine effect on the human character.

_T._ On that point, surely, there is no difference of opinion at all?
Every one knows that the mountain races are the most brave, the most
eager for liberty, the most virtuous of the earth.

_S._ But it happens that I am not so wise as those people. I do not
know, and I am very anxious to learn. Can you show me that it is a
fact that mountain races are as you say? And afterwards, since you
evidently have knowledge on this point and I am anxious to be your
pupil, perhaps you will tell me why it is so.

_T._ You ask a rather difficult question. It is like, almost, raising
the question as to whether the earth is round. Are you not satisfied
to know that nearly all the poets and philosophers who have written
about the mountains seem to be agreed on this point when they refer to
it at all; and that few have written about mountains without making
some reference to the noble nature of mountain peoples?

_S._ To tell you the truth, I am not quite satisfied. It is even
possible that the poets have been mistaken. Probably you have heard of
a German wise man named Schopenhauer and have read his writings.

_T._ (Interrupting.) Yes. But if he writes against mountain people I
would not accept him as an authority on this point about which we are
talking, since there are many men on the other side of so much greater
authority.

_S._ No. I do not wish you to accept him as an authority on the
character of mountain peoples. Indeed I do not know whether he has
ever written at all on that subject. But he has written on the subject
of female and male beauty. He does not think that women are more
beautiful than men, but less beautiful. And when they would argue
against him the words of the great poets, who are all quite agreed
that women are more beautiful than men, he retorts that all these
poets have been men, and that they have been blinded by their
passions for women, and have not been able therefore to come to a
sound and cool judgment. He argues that if the greatest poets had been
women the beauty of men and not of women would have been sung. Does
that not seem to you a rational argument?

_T._ Yes. Certainly it is not absurd. There may be some truth in what
he says.

_S._ So the words of the poets may not always be accepted as proof of
the truth, especially if it can be shown that they may be prejudiced
regarding the matters of which they speak.

_T._ I agree with you there. But I do not see that there is any
necessary application to the point about which we were arguing--the
noble character of mountain peoples.

_S._ I wish to come to that now. I accept what you say that very many
poets and wise men have exalted the character of mountain peoples. But
now, can you tell me were those poets and wise men themselves
generally of mountain peoples?

_T._ No, certainly not. You cannot argue that they were prejudiced in
that way. Indeed in my recollection I can recall no very great poet or
philosopher who was of a mountain people and was brought up and
educated in his own country.

_S._ Now that seems to me to be a very pertinent fact. It is the case,
then, that though mountain peoples are superior to other peoples, they
do not produce and rear poets and philosophers to any extent; that
these praises of the better qualities of mountain peoples come from
the great men whom the peoples of the plains produce? Yet surely the
peoples who produce most plentifully great men, poets and
philosophers, are the greatest peoples?

The dialogue need not be pursued further until T., like Euthyphron,
finds that he is in a hurry and it is time to be off. Its purpose is
to suggest that it is not at all necessary to endorse without question
the very generally accepted idea that there is some specially
beneficent effect on the human character in mountain life. The
exhilaration that one feels in going on a journey from the plains to
the mountains is real, and on it apparently has been built all the
fabric of mountain worship. That exhilaration is in all probability
far more the effect of a change of living conditions than of a passing
to better conditions. Human life primitively flowed fluid, here and
there, in nomadic movements. When it began to congeal in cities and
communities it departed from natural conditions, and Nature often
exacts as a penalty some atrophy of the life impulse. But a change of
environment and of air--any change--brings usually a stimulus. Nature
thinks we are off to be nomad children playing at her skirts again,
and gives back to us as a reward a hint of the old savage energy. I
have felt a keen renewal of energy going up from the plains to the
mountains: and after a year on the tableland a far keener renewal on
going back to the plains. It is in like case with most people, I
think, if they would take the trouble to examine into the matter. But
most of us live on the plains and go for our holidays to the hills (or
the sea) and associate the exhilaration arising from change of air or
surroundings to some special quality of mountain conditions. Those who
live on the mountains and might in turn proclaim the exhilaration of
going down on to the plains are few and not markedly vocal for
securing a public hearing.

There is an early poem of Tennyson, which expresses no more than the
orthodox view of the influence of mountains on our human nature:

    Of old sat Freedom on the heights,
      The thunders breaking at her feet:
    Above her shook the starry lights:
      She heard the torrents meet.

    There in her place she did rejoice,
      Self-gather'd in her prophet-mind,
    But fragments of her mighty voice
      Came rolling on the wind.

    Then stept she down thro' town and field
      To mingle with the human race,
    And part by part to men reveal'd
      The fullness of her face.

[Illustration: THE MATTERHORN FROM THE RIFFELBERG.]

Our Swiss friends are expected by the traveller to carry themselves in
all things with the pride and dignity of people who are born in the
original home of European liberty. But Tennyson's idea, whilst pretty,
is exactly false. Civilisations and traditions of human freedom have
always begun on the plains--by sea-shore and river-bank. There have
been born the ideas of Freedom and Human Right, and these ideas have
at a later stage made their way to the mountain ranges by various
paths. In one set of cases the course of race history has run that the
people of the plain have become softened by civilisation and luxury,
and hairy savages from the hills have learned to steal first their
cattle and then the riches of their cities, and finally their ideas.
Sometimes in these cases the people of the plain have been aroused to
an old vigour by the robbers of the hills, have beaten them back after
having imposed upon them some ideas of law and order, and have thus
set the foundations for civilised mountain communities. Sometimes,
again, the people of the hills have succeeded in establishing
themselves on the plain, mingling with the civilised people whom they
conquered, and in time learning their culture. In another set of cases
a nation as it perfected its civilisation on a plain has found it
necessary to shed off some of its rougher elements, and these have
taken to robber nests in the hills and carried with them some better
ideas than those of the hill-tribes. Or yet again, one nation of the
plain has been invaded and conquered by another nation of the plain,
and its remnants have sought refuge in the hills, so forming the best
historical type of mountain communities (thus the Celts did in the
Highlands of Scotland and Wales when the Saxon invasion drove them
from the plains of Britain).

But never has any notable civilisation sat first upon the heights and
marched from there down to the plains. Always, on the contrary, human
progress has progressed from the plain to the mountain; and found the
path sometimes very difficult, and very treacherously defended. Where
a mountain range has affected favourably the progress of human thought
it has been because it gave a rampart and a refuge to the remnants of
some civilisation of the plains threatened with submergence by
calamity.

To get a fair impression of Switzerland and the Swiss at the outset,
then, it seems to be advisable to clear away this common misconception
of mountain ranges as being the nurses inevitably of heroic human
natures. The Swiss have been absurdly over-praised by some, largely
because of this root fallacy that a mountain people must have all the
virtues. They have been unfairly over-blamed by others, who seem to
have started with a preconceived idea of an impossibly heroic people
and to have been soured when they found unreasonable illusions
shattered. "The Swiss are stubborn, devoid of all generous sentiment,
not generous nor humane," said Ruskin. There spoke the disappointed
sentimentalist. Obviously he approached the Swiss from the fallacious
"Alpine character" point of view, and vainly expected them to live up
to the super-heroic idea he had formed of the sort of people who ought
to inhabit the slopes of such magnificent mountains. Voltaire, de
Staël, Hugo, Dumas, all abuse the Swiss. They demanded of
them--carried away by that idea of the mountains enduing people with
virtues--an impossible standard, and kicked at them for not living up
to it, as a Chinaman kicks his joss when it does not bring rain under
impossible wind conditions.

To inhabit a mountain country is, if all the facts are taken into
account, a handicap rather than an advantage to a race. In the earlier
stages of civilisation the mountains have imposed upon them the duty
of sheltering alike fleeing patriots and fleeing criminals: and the
criminals are usually the more numerous. In later stages mountains
interfere greatly with the development of the machinery of
civilisation. Always, too, mountain air sharpens the appetite rather
than the wits, and there are some diseases attacking particularly the
brain which are almost peculiar to mountain districts.

The Swiss, then, have to be considered justly rather in the light of a
handicapped than of a favoured people. Their one favouring national
circumstance is that their central position in regard to the great
plains of Europe has put them in the track of all the chief currents
of civilisation. What they have managed to effect in spite of the
handicap of their mountains is one of the marvellous stories of the
human race; and to the mountains they owe in the main their sense of
national unity. They served as the bond of a common misfortune.



CHAPTER II

THE EARLIEST SWISS: THE LAKE-DWELLERS: CHARLEMAGNE


To her lakes rather than to her mountains Switzerland owed the
beginnings of civilisation. Nowadays, as the curtains of mist are
rolled away from the past by geologist and anthropologist, we are
coming to a clearer idea of the origins of this wonderful civilisation
of ours, which makes the common routine of a plain citizen to-day more
full of wonders than any legend told of an ancient god. Science,
fossicking in the tunnels of the excavators and scanning closely what
they bring up to the surface light, is inclined now to tell us that
the beginnings of organised community life were on the lake shores of
some ancient age.

The idea would be reasonable in theory even if it had no facts to
support it. A lake means shelter, water, fish: it suggests--in this
unlike a river--settling down. In a lake the fish teem thick and
become big and fat and slothful. (Note how the little fighting trout
of the rapid streams grow to the big, stupid, inert things of the New
Zealand lakes, fish that come and ask to be caught, fish that a family
can feed upon.) It was natural that a lake should stimulate into
activity those microbes of civilisation which had infected the
primitive nomads. In the Antipodes you may see to-day, in an
anthropological record which is contemporary with us in time but with
the Neolithic Age in development, the working of what one may call the
lake forces, towards civilisation. The Australian aborigines--poor
nomads almost without law, architecture, or clothing--when they won to
a good steady fishing-ground managed to advance a little towards a
higher civilisation. When a coast lagoon gave good supply of
crustaceans and other fish, you may note at the old aboriginal
camping-grounds timid ventures towards art, certain rock drawings,
effective if crude. Stomachs being regularly filled, the minds of
these primitives began to work. A step higher in the ascent of
man--the Papuans have their most advanced communities in villages
built on piles over the beaches of the sea or of the coral lagoons.
The surrounding water gives some protection against prowling
marauders. Draw up the bridge which makes a way to the hut, and the
water at once serves it in the office of a wall. Further, the water is
a source of food supply and an easier means of communication than the
jungle to other sources of food supply. Finally, the water gives the
little community a good drainage system without trouble: rubbish can
just be cast down and it is carried away.

The early European, feeling a call to settle down and form a village,
thus found in a lake the best of prompting to community life. It
offered some security and so appealed to his dawning sense of
property. It offered some steadiness of food supply and so appealed to
his dawning sense of stability. It appealed also to the new sense of
cleanliness which we must credit him with, a very primitive sense
truly and many thousands of years behind ideas of modern sanitation,
but still a beginning.

Recent discoveries of the remains of lake dwellings in England have
established the fact that in many parts of Europe, and perhaps indeed
all over the Continent, man in the Neolithic time formed the habit
of living in villages built on piles over the shores of lakes, and
that he kept this habit during the Bronze Age, and had not wholly
abandoned it at the dawn of the Iron Age. But it was probably in
Switzerland, the area richest in suitable lakes of all Europe, that
the primitive lake-dwellers flourished most strongly. A whole chain of
lake settlements have been discovered around Lake Zurich, and
recently, when Mr. Ritter, famous for the gigantic scheme to supply
Paris with water from the Swiss lakes, "corrected" the meanderings of
the river Thiele which conducts the waters of Lake Neuchâtel to
Bienne, his engineering feat, besides gaining huge tracts of fertile
land, lowered the level of Lake Neuchâtel and led to some further
valuable discoveries regarding the lake-dwellers. It seems clear that
every Swiss lake was a centre for a thick population in the later
Stone Age and the Bronze Age.

[Illustration: LOOKING DOWN THE RHONE VALLEY FROM MONT PELERIN, AT THE
EASTERN END OF THE LAKE OF GENEVA.]

The first important discoveries regarding these Swiss lake-dwellers
were made in 1853, when the waters of Zurich lake sank so low that a
stretch of land was laid bare along the shores. The people of Meilen,
twelve miles from Zurich, took advantage of this to carry out some
public works, and during the operations the workmen encountered
obstacles, which proved to be wooden piles. These piles, the tops of
which were but a few inches below the surface of the mud, were found
to be planted in rows and squares, in great number. There were picked
out of the mud bones, antlers, weapons and implements of various
kinds. Dr. Ferdinand Keller was sent from Zurich to examine the
workings, and he pronounced them to be the site of a lake settlement,
probably of some very ancient Celtic tribe. Many marks of a
prehistoric occupation had been found before 1853, but no traces of
dwellings. The discovery caused a sensation, and gave a great impulse
to archæological studies. Dr. Keller called these early settlers
_Pfahl-bauer_, or pile-builders. Since then over two hundred of these
villages have been discovered--on the shores of the lakes of
Constance, Leman, Zurich, Neuchâtel, Bienne, Morat, and other smaller
lakes, and on rivers and swampy spots which had once been lakes. The
strictly Alpine lakes, however, with their steep inaccessible banks,
show no trace of these settlements.

The early lake dwellings were built on piles driven into the bed of
the lake, and as many as thirty or forty thousand of these piles have
been found in a single village. The houses were made of hurdlework,
and thatched with straw or rushes. Layers of wattle and daub
alternating formed the floors, and the walls had a covering of clay,
or else of bulrushes or straw. A fence of wickerwork ran round each
hut. Light bridges, easily moved, connected the huts with each other
and with the shore. Each house contained two rooms at least, and some
of the dwellings measured as much as 27 feet by 22 feet. Hearthstones
blackened by fire in some huts remain to show where the kitchens had
been. Mats of straw and reeds were found, and proofs of an organised
worship of some gods.

The lake-dwellers hunted with weapons of bronze. They tilled the
ground and had flocks of horses, cattle, and sheep. They wove the wool
of animals, and also a fibre of flax, and made a coarse pottery. Men
and women wore ornaments of metal, of glass, of leather, of carved
stones. Probably the later generations of lake-dwellers were
contemporary with the Homeric period in Greece, though their state of
culture was inferior to that of the people of the Grecian peninsula.

Some idea, then, we may form of the people of Switzerland in
prehistoric times, those times when the fair-haired Achæans were
settling in the Hellenic peninsula the issue between themselves and an
earlier Canaanitish race, and giving prompting to the stories of the
Homeric legends. Celtic migrants, making their way along the great
watercourses of Europe, had come to these Swiss lakes resting at the
feet of the Alps, and had found there prompting to settle and to begin
to cultivate a community life. Seemingly there were three different
epochs in the age of the lake-dwellers, of which two were of the later
Stone Age and one of the Bronze Age. Switzerland had then, probably,
as thick a population as most parts of Europe, and at the earliest
stage of the lake-dwellings that population was almost as advanced in
culture as were the forefathers of the Grecian and Roman
civilisations. But later it was not so. Those nomadic peoples who
found places in the Mediterranean sun; and who there came into contact
with the civilisations which had grown up on the shores of the Levant,
in the valley of the Nile, and on the north coast of Africa; after
mingling their blood with the Mediterranean peoples and acquiring
their culture, were capable of creating great communities which
unmeasurably outstripped the little primitive states of their cousins
who had settled at the base of the Alps.

It is probable that, fairly close on the heels of the lake-dwellers,
there came other Celtic immigrants to Switzerland, dispossessing the
aboriginal peoples of the mountains, fighting with the lake-dwellers,
and coming in time to as high a standard of civilisation as they. With
the Iron Age the lake-dwellings seem to have been abandoned and the
lake-dwellers merged into the general body of the Helvetians. What we
know as Switzerland to-day was then occupied by Celts, Rhætians, and
Alamanni. Helvetia, as it was known to the Romans, took its name from
the Helvetians, a tribe of Celts who had been pushed out of their own
territories by the advancing tide of the Teutonic invasion and had
colonised lower Switzerland.

Just as the lake-dwellers had set up a higher standard of civilisation
than the mountain-dwellers in their age, so the Helvetians, occupying
the lower ground of Switzerland, showed much more culture than any of
their neighbours. They had adopted the Greek alphabet and kept written
records of their doings. Their weapons and armour were good; their
cultivation of the soil was skilful, and they had a knowledge of
architecture, their fortifications in particular being praised by
Roman writers as excellent. Local traditions said that Hercules had
once visited Helvetia and taught the Helvetians arts and laws. That
was the picturesque way of stating that their ideas of civilisation
had come from Greece. These Helvetians were the easily traceable
ancestors of the present Swiss, and many Swiss cities of to-day occupy
the sites and keep close to the names of the old Helvetian
centres--Geneva, Lausanne, Soleure, and Zurich, for examples. But the
Helvetians were not strictly an Alpine race. They left the great
mountains to wilder people and settled on the foothills and around the
lakes.

The method of government of the Helvetians was closely modelled on the
aristocratic republicanism of the Greek states. Wealthy nobles owned
the land, and the rest of the population was made up of their vassals
and slaves. But no one could aspire to be king. The chief Orcitrix, it
is told, aspiring to kingly power, was burned to death. The Swiss do
not seem to have copied the Grecian religious system, adhering to
their ancient Druidical worship. Perhaps the gloomy and savage form
which Protestantism was to take in after years among the Swiss, was in
part due to the fact that their ancient form of worship seems to have
been a particularly fierce kind of Druidism, and was very little
subjected to the moderating influence of the pagan culture.

The mountain barriers kept the Helvetii for a long time from hostile
encounters with the Roman power. But there is evidence that they got
in touch with the Etruscans for purposes of trade through the Alpine
passes from a very early age. Their chief warlike trouble came from
the north, where the German population was constantly pressing down
seeking fresh outlets. The first conflict between the Helvetii and the
Romans was when the Tigurini tribe of Switzerland joined with the
Cimbri in an attack upon Roman Gaul and defeated a Roman army under
Cassius and Piso. That was 107 B.C. The Romans did not make any
serious attempt to avenge that humiliation. The next meeting of the
Helvetii with the Romans was not until the days of Cæsar (58 B.C.).
Then the Helvetii, hemmed in on one side by Roman Gaul and on the
other by the swelling floods of the German migration, resolved on a
mass move, abandoning their own country completely and seizing some of
the rich lands of Gaul.

It was a strange design and was carried out with strange persistency.
Two years were devoted to the organisation of the great move, and on
the appointed day practically all the Helvetii, men, women, and
children, with all their beasts and their property assembled at
Geneva. Their old homes were given to the torch, burned so that there
would be no temptation for the people to turn back. Julius Cæsar (who
followed Thucydides in the ranks of great war correspondents) tells
the story: and it was Cæsar who set himself to the breaking up of this
great plan. At Geneva the Helvetii found the bridge over the Rhone
broken up by Cæsar's order. After useless attempts to cross the river,
they turned towards the Jura Mountains, and whilst they were toiling
over the steep and rugged Pas de l'Ecluse, Cæsar returned to Italy to
gather his legions. Returning to Gaul, he arrived in time to see the
Helvetians cross the Arar (Saône). The Tigurini were the last to
cross. On them Cæsar fell and almost exterminated them, thus wiping
out the old stain on the Roman arms. The Roman legions had crossed the
Saône in twenty-four hours, and this feat so excited the admiration
of the Helvetians, who had themselves taken twenty days to cross, that
they sent legates to treat with Cæsar for a free passage. They
promised him that they would do no harm to any one if he would comply
with their request, but threatened the full rage of their arms if he
should intercept them. Cæsar asked them to give hostages to confirm
their promise. "The Helvetians are not accustomed to give hostages;
they have been taught by their fathers to receive hostages, and this
the Romans must well remember," was the reply.

[Illustration: A DISTANT VIEW OF THE JURA RANGE FROM THE SOUTH SIDE OF
THE LAKE OF GENEVA.]

The Helvetians continued their march, Cæsar watching for an
opportunity of attacking them. At Bibracte, west of Autun in Burgundy,
Cæsar seized a hill, posted his troops there, and charged the enemy
with his cavalry. The Helvetians fiercely repulsed the attack, and
poured on the Roman front, but were quite unable to stand against the
steady discipline of the legions. They lost the battle but won the
respect of Cæsar, and the remnant of this "nation on trek" were helped
by him to return to their homes and were allowed to become allies of
Rome, with the task assigned to them of guarding the Rhine frontier
against the Germans. But the Helvetii found this vassalage irksome,
rebelled, were punished, and their country subjugated by the Roman
roads as well as the Roman legions.

The Helvetia thus brought under Roman sway was not all of the
Switzerland of to-day. Some of the Swiss cantons were comprised in the
old province of Rhætia, which was not subdued by the Roman arms until
the days of the first Augustus. Then, however, the Rhætians, who were
kindred with the Italian Etruscans, came so completely under Roman
influence that to this day in the valleys of the Engadine a corrupted
Latin tongue is spoken, somewhat similar to that of the Roumanians of
the Balkan Peninsula. Under Augustus western Switzerland was
incorporated with the Roman province of Gaul, having its capital at
Lyons; eastern Switzerland was joined with Rhætia, having its capital
at Augsburg. Thus early in history the difference between Gallic
Switzerland and Teutonic Switzerland begins to show itself.

Helvetia was much favoured by the Romans and became in effect the
frontier province for the defence of the empire against the Germans.
After a time the Helvetians were but little distinguishable from the
Romans, adopting their manners and their faith. Wealthy Romans loved
to make their summer resorts along the lake of Geneva, and Aventicum,
the Helvetian capital, became a great Roman city.

At Avenches (which was the Roman Aventicum) there are to-day but 2000
people, but there can be seen remains of a Roman wall four miles long
and in some places 15 feet high. In the day of Vespasian the city was
as big as Canterbury is to-day, and with its walls, theatre, and
aqueduct could look down upon the miserable contemporary village of
Londinium. Helvetia, under the Romans, followed, in fine, very much
the same course as Britain under the Romans.

With the decay of the Roman power Helvetia, like Britain, was made to
feel at the hands of the barbarians a harsh punishment for its
acceptance of the Italian civilisation. In the third century of the
Christian era the Alamanni swept over the country, looting and
devastating and retiring. In the fourth century they came again and
took possession of all the east. The Burgundians followed, and, to a
greater degree than most of the civilised world, Switzerland had to
face the horrors that followed the disruption of the Roman Empire.
Gradually there emerged from the welter the beginnings of the
Switzerland of to-day, in part representing the old Gallic Helvetians
and Etruscan Rhætians, in part the Alamanni (Germans) and the
Burgundians. With the coming of the northern invaders Christianity,
which had supplanted Paganism in Helvetia as it had in Rome, was
almost stamped out. But as the power of the Burgundians grew over that
of the Alamanni the country began to turn again towards Christianity.

In the sixth century missionaries from Ireland did much to spread the
Christian faith in Switzerland. The most famous of these was St.
Columban, who established a monastery at Luxeuil, of which he soon
made a storm centre, involving himself in constant troubles with the
Gallic clergy and with the Italian Pope. There is extant a famous
letter of his to Pope Boniface IV. It is addressed by him to "the most
beautiful head of all the churches of entire Europe. The most sweet
Pope, the most high President, the most reverent investigator." After
that flood of "blarney" St. Columban goes on to complain of the
_infamia_ in which the Papal Seat is steeped. Out of that remonstrance
nothing seems to have come, but when St. Columban joined issue with
the masterful Queen Brunhilde of Burgundy he met a spirit as
imperious as his own. To guard her own power in the Court of Burgundy
the famous Brunhilde encouraged her grandson, the reigning king, to
keep mistresses rather than to marry a queen. St. Columban referred to
the children of these mistresses as a "brothel brood." Shortly after
he was exiled by force from Luxeuil, and is next heard of at Nantes,
ready, it seemed, to embark for Ireland, his native land. But he
changed his mind, turned back on his tracks, and established himself
on the lake of Constance, where he preached successfully to the
heathen and threw their idols into the lake. Next St. Columban went
over to Northern Italy, abusing his disciple St. Gall who was too sick
to accompany him. St. Gall remained in Switzerland and founded the
famous monastery of St. Gall, visited by Charlemagne in 883.

Charlemagne was particularly fond of Switzerland and the Swiss, and
founded many monasteries and schools in the country. Often he resided
in Switzerland, and it is from Switzerland that comes the story which
tells that his justice and mercy were so well renowned as to be known
even to the animals. There was, the story runs, near his palace at
Zurich a chapel on the river-side where he had placed a bell for
people to ring if they wished to appeal for justice. One day as he was
at dinner this bell began to ring. None could inform him what was the
matter. The bell rang a second time, and then a third. On this the
emperor rose from the table, saying, "I am sure there is some poor man
you do not wish me to see." He walked down the hill to the chapel,
where, hanging to the bell rope, he found a snake. The snake led
Charlemagne to a tuft of nettles, and examining the spot he found a
large toad sitting on the eggs in the serpent's nest. At once,
grasping the meaning of the appeal, Charlemagne passed sentence that
the toad should be killed. The next day the snake entered the
dining-hall of the emperor, climbed on the table, and, beckoning the
emperor to remove the lid of his golden goblet, dropped into it a
beautiful jewel.

With the death of Charlemagne his empire was broken up and Switzerland
was doomed to centuries of struggle in the vindication of her
independence. The story of that struggle is one of the most
fascinating of the national records of the Middle Ages.



CHAPTER III

THE SWISS IN THE MIDDLE AGES


Throughout the Middle Ages Switzerland and the Swiss were always in
the eye of Europe. Sometimes the spectacle they presented was that of
a patriot people pushing back the tyrant and the invader with an
unearthly courage, and luck more unearthly still. Sometimes it was
that of a martial clan, safe in a great mountain fastness, offering
venal swords to the highest bidder, and giving in return for their
mercenary pay as high a courage and as stubborn a fidelity as was ever
inspired by love of country. No court but knew the Swiss in some
capacity. A great London palace, part of which survives to-day as the
Royal Chapel of the Savoy, was built by Peter of Savoy, Prince of West
Switzerland, who built also the Castle of Chillon sung by Byron, and
kept great affairs going in both those far-apart countries. There is
on record a prediction of Machiavelli of Florence that the Swiss were
destined to be "masters of all Italy"--a prediction which time has not
justified, but which was reasonable enough then in the light of the
wonderful military virtue and the unscrupulousness of the Swiss.
Almost every European nation felt their prowess as enemies or allies.

A very curious and contradictory-seeming picture--this Swiss character
in the Middle Ages, so stubborn in defence of its own poor little
home-patch, so cynical in its readiness to do a patriot's service for
the pay of a mercenary. The stubborn defence of an essentially poor
country was not in itself strange. It is human nature that the man who
has little defends it more savagely than the owner of vast
possessions. There is false reasoning in that story of the four
robbers who attacked a Boeotian in order to rob him, and having
subdued him after a very fierce fight in which they were almost
vanquished, and having found that he had but ten coppers, said in
astonishment, "If he had had silver money he would have killed us
all." The Swiss followed the ordinary course of human character in
their fierce defence of a small and poor country.

[Illustration: FLUELEN, AT THE END OF URI LAKE.]

But they followed it in an heroic degree. How can one, however,
reconcile with that noble patriotism the readiness--suggesting an
inherited survival of the desperate migratory spirit of the Helvetii
of Cæsar's time--to go abroad and bear arms for any country rich
enough to offer good pay? It is easier to record than to explain the
facts. But they are of a piece with the Swiss spirit of to-day, which
mingles with a high patriotism and a sturdy pride a willingness to
take servile occupation in exile abroad for the sake of gain, and
finds in that no sacrifice of dignity.

In a previous chapter a very slight sketch of the history of
Switzerland was given to the time of Charlemagne. In the confusion
which followed his death Switzerland was divided up, the Treaty of
Verdun (843) assigning West Switzerland and East Switzerland to
different kingdoms. West Switzerland was part of the Burgundian
Kingdom, and after Charlemagne their national pride centred chiefly in
Bertha, "the spinning Queen," who fortified the country against the
Saracens and the Hungarians. By the eleventh century Switzerland was
united again, but when the dispute between Pope Gregory VII. and the
Emperor Henry IV. (it was the time when the Popes claimed, and to an
extent enforced, a temporal and spiritual overlordship over Europe)
plunged the whole continent into a series of wars, Switzerland
suffered with the rest of Europe. The twelfth century saw an important
development for the Swiss national character when Berne and other
"Free Cities" were founded by Bertold V. of the House of Zaeringer.
These "Free Cities" acted as a counterpoise to the growing power of
the Swiss feudal nobles of the country districts, and helped much to
shape the country towards its future of a Federal Republic. This was
the time of the Crusades and, needless to say, the Swiss did not miss
that opportunity for martial service.

With the thirteenth century comes the first beginning of the Swiss
Republic, the story of which is bound up with the rise of the House of
Habsburg, a house from which was to spring one of the proudest
monarchies of Europe, but which kept no foothold in Switzerland, the
land which was the first seat of its power. Habsburg Castle still
dominates the canton Aargau, but it is a monument of Swiss
independence rather than of Austrian Empire. It is not certain whether
the Habsburgs were of Swiss or of Swabian birth, but certainly their
early history is most intimately bound up with the Swiss canton. It is
the story that one of their ancestors, Radbot, hunting in the Aargau,
lost his favourite hawk, and found it sitting on the ridge of the
Wülpelsberg. Delighted with the view, Radbot built a castle there, and
called it _Hawk Castle_, Habichtsburg, which became "Habsburg."

In a book which is designed to give only so much of the history of
Switzerland as will make interesting its monuments and its people, it
would be tedious to attempt to detail all the circumstances which led
up to the birth of the Swiss Republic. But the leading facts are
these. During the reign of King Albrecht (1298-1308), son of the
famous Habsburger Rudolf, the Eastern Cantons of Switzerland, which
were under the Habsburg House but had certain liberties which they
closely cherished, were ill-governed. Albrecht had set governors over
the cantons, who were oppressive in their taxation and cruel in their
methods of enforcing payment. So much was their oppression and cruelty
resented in the Forest Cantons--Unterwalden, Schwyz, and Uri--that
there was formed by three patriots, Attinghausen, Stauffacher, and
Melchthal, a conspiracy of protest. These patriots, explaining their
plans to their friends, arranged nightly meetings on the Rütli, a
secluded Alpine meadow above the Mytenstein, on Uri lake. This became
the Runnymede of Swiss freedom. Records, more or less trustworthy,
tell that in 1307 the Swiss patriots decided on definite action. Then
at a meeting attended by thirty-three men on the Rütli rebellion was
agreed upon.

How far one may accept the story of William Tell as giving a correct
account of the final incident leading to the revolt of the Forest
Cantons I cannot say. There certainly was a Hapsburg governor,
Gessler, in charge of the canton Uri about this time (1307).
Certainly, too, he was of a cruel and tyrannical disposition. But the
story of Tell is thought by later historians to have been of much
earlier origin as regards its main details.[1] Muller, however,
accepts it. Kopp, who has subjected historical legends to a very
searching analysis, rejects it on grounds which appear clear. But,
very wisely, the Swiss keep to a story which conveys so valuable a
lesson of patriotism. In the national history of Switzerland Tell's
defiance of the tyrant is the first paragraph.

[1] It is difficult to decide whether it is superfluous to tell once
again the story of Tell. On the principle that a good story cannot be
told too often, here are the main "facts" as given in Swiss histories:

"One day the Austrian Governor of Uri, Gessler, set up a pole in the
market-place of Altdorf. Upon this pole he set his hat, and gave
orders that every Swiss who passed should bow down before it, in
homage to his Austrian masters. Tell came by and did not bow. Gessler
ordered him to be seized. Tell was a very famous archer. So the
Governor bade his soldiers seize Tell's son and set the boy against a
tree. An apple was placed on the child's head, and Tell was bidden to
shoot at that mark. Tell took two arrows, placed one on his
bow-string, and made careful aim. He shot his arrow, and it cleft the
apple in two. Gessler demanded then why he had taken two arrows. Tell
said: 'If the first arrow had injured my son, the second would soon
have pierced thy heart.' Tell was then bound and placed in the
Governor's barge, and the boat was rowed across the lake. When the
barge was far from the shore, a sudden storm came. Tell was the most
expert boatman of them all, and Gessler ordered that Tell should be
unbound, and the hero took the tiller and steered the boat through the
storm to safety. But then he killed Gessler with an arrow and took to
the forest and there gave the first call to active revolt."

To come back to the region of ascertained fact, it seems clear that
the first union for liberty of the Forest Cantons was formed in 1291.
The battle of Morgarten, which set the seal of success on their
revolt, was fought in 1315. There a great Hapsburg force under Duke
Leopold was defeated by a far inferior band of Swiss peasants. The
story of the battle illustrated once again the triumph of novelty in
military strategy and tactics. The Swiss had prepared on a hill-side a
great artificial avalanche of stones and trees. This was let loose on
the Austrians as they passed by, killed many, filled the rest with
dread and confusion, and made the finish of the battle a mere
slaughter.

Morgarten made the name of Switzerland respected all over Europe and
set the foundations of the liberty of the Swiss people. After the
battle the allied Forest Cantons went to Brunnen, to renew by oath and
enlarge the league of 1291. This for nearly five hundred years
remained the fundamental law of union between the three States. The
Forest Cantons, as three independent republics, claimed autonomy in
their local affairs. Only for national purposes was there to be a
central authority. Thus was the "Federal" idea, which had been much
favoured by the Greek States, revived in Europe. It was the first of
the modern Federations. The Swiss Federal plan was followed later, to
a greater or less extent, in the constitutions of the United States,
Germany, Canada, Australia, and South Africa. It is suggested to-day
by some optimists as the basis of a possible far-off European
combination to end the wars of the world.

Around the nucleus of the three Forest Cantons other Swiss States
gathered. After a while the three States had become eight, Lucerne
(1332) and Zurich (1352) being the first of the recruits. There was
during this time a state of almost constant war with Austria, in which
sometimes the Swiss cantons were strong enough to take the offensive.
The year 1386 saw the great battle of Sempach, of which Arnold
Winkelried was the hero. Campbell, among many others, has sung of his
fame:

    Inspiring and romantic Switzers' land,
    Though mark'd with majesty by Nature's hand,
    What charm ennobles most thy landscape's face?
    Th' heroic memory of thy native race,
    Who forced tyrannic hosts to bleed or flee,
    And made their rocks the ramparts of the free!
    Their fastnesses roll'd back th' invading tide
    Of conquest, and their mountains taught them pride.
    Hence they have patriot names,--in fancy's eye--
    Bright as their glaciers glittering in the sky:

    Patriots who make the pageantries of Kings
    Like shadows seem, and unsubstantial things.
    Their guiltless glory mocks oblivion's rust--
    Imperishable, for their cause was just.
    Heroes of old! to whom the Nine have strung
    Their lyres, and spirit-stirring anthems sung:
    Heroes of chivalry! whose banners grace
    The aisles of many a consecrated place,--
    Confess how few of you can match in fame
    The martyr Winkelried's immortal name!

Duke Leopold III. marching towards Lucerne with a great army for those
days (some say 12,000, others 24,000 men) encountered at Sempach the
Swiss force (said to have been only 1500 men). The Austrian force
formed a phalanx bristling on every side with lances. In the first
stages the fight went badly for the brave mountaineers; sixty of them
were slain before a single Austrian fell. They could not pass the
hedge of lances.

Then said Arnold of Winkelried, "I'll make a way for you, comrades;
take care of my wife and children!" He sprang upon the enemy with arms
widely outspread, and gathered into his body the points of all the
lances within his reach. Thus a gap was formed in the line, and into
this gap leapt the Swiss, and came to close quarters with their enemy,
who fell into confusion. Victory for the Swiss, a dreadful carnage of
the Austrians followed. All Europe was astounded. The name of Swiss
came to be associated with heroic courage and invincible might in
battle. That the result was no mere "fluke" was proved a little later
at Naefels, when an Austrian army suffered another disastrous defeat
at the hands of the Swiss patriots. On the first Thursday of April
each year Naefels celebrates that victory, and in 1888 all the
people of Switzerland assembled there, in person or in spirit, to
commemorate the 500th anniversary of the victory.

[Illustration: ALTDORF. The traditional scene of William Tell's
exploits.]

The battle of Naefels, establishing as it did on an unquestioned
pre-eminence the military virtues of the Swiss, inaugurated, too, that
strange system of foreign service on the part of Swiss soldiers which
would be shameful if it were not lighted up by so many deeds of high
chivalry and noble fidelity. The Swiss Republic was now safe in its
own house against aggression. The terrible prowess of its peasantry
had been announced to every possible foe. But it felt the need of a
foreign policy to secure an extension of territory, and it was this
need which brought it into the orbit of general European diplomacy and
into the temptation of mercenary service. By the next century, when
the Swiss prowess had won new laurels at the battles of Grandson,
Morat, and Nancy, the little patch of mountain and valley which is
Switzerland had become a great diplomatic centre for Europe, its
Republican leaders courted by France, the Italian States, Hungary,
Germany, and England. Internecine trouble between the Swiss themselves
was not uncommon, but throughout, despite differences of language,
and later differences of religion, a Swiss idea of nationality lived
constantly. In 1499 the Swiss League separated definitely from all
vassalage to the German Empire. In 1513 the "League of the Thirteen
Cantons," which represented the Swiss nationality until the days of
Napoleon, was constituted. A severe defeat of the Swiss forces in 1515
by France left the French with the highest opinion of Swiss courage,
and eager to take under their patronage the little Republic. An
alliance in 1516 between France and Switzerland began a close
friendship between the two countries, which continued with but little
interruption until the French Revolution, when modern Switzerland may
be said to have come into the arena of history.



CHAPTER IV

MODERN SWITZERLAND


There is carved in the face of a great rock at Lucerne a lion, wounded
to death, resting upon a broken spear. It is the monument of the Swiss
Guard massacred in the defence of the Tuileries at Paris in 1792. The
close connection between France and Switzerland in the seventeenth and
eighteenth centuries made it natural that the despotic French kings
should employ the faithful and courageous Swiss mercenaries as
guardians of their palaces. Louis XIV. in the dark hours of his fate
had no reason to regret the trust he had placed in these Swiss
mercenaries as the nearest defenders of his person. The mob coming to
the Tuileries demanded of the Swiss Guards that they should give up
their arms. Sergeant Blaser replied in the mood with which the
Helvetii had spoken to Cæsar, and with eighteen centuries of records
of great bravery to justify the vaunt: "We are Swiss, and the Swiss
never surrender their arms but with their lives." The reply cowed the
rioters for the time and the king was safe for that day. When the king
had left the Tuileries the Swiss Guards were withdrawn. As they went
away from the palace they were attacked by the mob and, disdaining to
fly, were slaughtered almost to a man. Of 800 officers and men only a
handful survived. The incident--showing French patriots furious,
cruel, and treacherous, Swiss mercenaries steadfast, brave, and
true--gives a good standpoint from which to glance at the evolution of
the Switzerland which had grown up in the Middle Ages to the modern
Switzerland with its intensely democratic and socialistic Republic.

The brewing of the storm which broke over Paris in August 1792 had
been observable in Switzerland as well as in France. Accepting its
traditional position as a hostel of refuge for political exiles,
Switzerland had sheltered many of the men who had given the first
impulse to the Revolution. And there had been a domestic movement in
Switzerland working on parallel lines to that of the French reformers.
As far back as 1762 the Helvetic Society was formed by young men
aspiring to a political regeneration of Switzerland. By 1792 there had
been several peasant risings among the Alpine communities in protest
against oligarchic oppression. The cry for Liberty, Fraternity,
Equality, found its echo in the mountains as it came in a hoarse roar
from the French cities. The exiles from aristocratic France to
slightly more liberal Switzerland were in time matched by discontented
exiles from Switzerland to Paris. The "Helvetic Club" formed at Paris
of Swiss refugees had for its purpose the application of the
principles of the French Revolution to Switzerland. In 1797 Peter Ochs
of Basel was given by Napoleon the task of drafting a constitution for
Switzerland which would follow the system of government of the French
Directory. In 1798 "the Lemanic Republic" was proclaimed at the
instance of France, and, being resisted by some of the Swiss, a French
invasion followed. The victorious French abolished the Swiss
Confederation and proclaimed "the Helvetic Republic," with a
constitution framed on the lines laid down by Peter Ochs.

The new constitution was not in itself altogether suitable to the
political circumstances of the country. And no constitution, however
perfect, could have pleased the Swiss if it came to them from the
hands of a conquering foreigner. But to make quite sure of
antagonising the Swiss the greedy and impoverished Directory of France
set to work to rob the national treasuries of the Helvetic Republic in
the cause of Republicanism. The Forest Cantons, always to the fore in
the cause of independence, entered upon a hopeless campaign of defence
in which Reding was the chief hero. Brilliant victories were won.
Tragic defeats were sustained, culminating in the capture of Stanz.
Then, prostrate, Switzerland accepted the French command to be free,
and "the one and undivided Helvetic Republic" came into more or less
peaceful existence. Later a Franco-Helvetic Alliance was signed, and
almost immediately afterwards the little land suffered for its
alliance by being invaded by Russia and Austria, then making war upon
France. For the first time in history an Austrian invader was welcomed
by a part of the Swiss nation. The story of the campaign need not be
told in detail; but it had one vivid incident of which any visitor to
Switzerland interested in military prowess should seek out the
memorials. General Suwarow, commanding a Russian army, marched from
Italy to junction with General Korsakow at Zurich. Suwarow forced the
Pass of St. Gothard in the face of a French force and passed down the
valley of the Reuss to Lake Uri. Here he found his path to Zurich
blocked, as no boats for the conveyance of his troops could be found
on the lake. Turning up towards the mountains, Suwarow led his army
along the Kinzig Pass to Muotta, and there learned that Korsakow had
been defeated and driven out of Switzerland by the French. Suwarow led
his army then along the Pragel Pass, hoping to find in the Canton of
Glarus a friendly Austrian force. The hope was vain, and the path to
Naefels was blocked by the French army. The old Russian general,
indomitable, turned back to the mountains and crossed the Alps again
by the Panixer Pass. This was in October. After terrible hardships the
Russian army reached Cranbunden and made its way to Austrian territory
and safety. It would be an interesting Alpine holiday for a stout
walker to follow in the track of Suwarow's marches.

Switzerland had an evil time under the French Directory, despite its
"free and undivided Republic." But when Napoleon felt himself safe in
the saddle and could put the curb on the fiery spirits of the
Revolution, better days dawned for Switzerland as well as for France.
The great soldier and statesman, being a man of imagination, could not
help having a real sympathy with the heroic Swiss. They were people
after his own heart. In 1803 he took thought for the vexed condition
of the Swiss people and summoned to Paris the "Helvetic Consulta" of
sixty-three Swiss representatives to draw up a new system of
government. He presided personally at the meetings of this body, and
the constitution agreed upon bears the impress of the grand political
sagacity which was associated with Napoleon's military genius.
Switzerland, under the Napoleonic constitution, became a Federal
Republic of nineteen cantons, each of which preserved its local
autonomy but yielded full control of national matters to the Federal
Diet. This new constitution conferred upon Switzerland internal peace
and a reasonable instrument of government, under which the material
and moral advancement of the nation was greater than at any previous
period of history.

[Illustration: A VILLAGE ON THE ST. GOTHARD RAILWAY.]

The fall of Napoleon in 1813 brought a fresh crop of troubles to the
Swiss. The constitution he had granted to them was put aside by the
European Powers, not because it was bad but because it was Napoleon's.
A congress at Zurich drew up a new constitution, and this was
submitted to the Vienna Congress in 1814, and with some changes
approved. It was far inferior to the Napoleonic constitution, and
plunged the country into another series of internal troubles. Yet it
survived from 1815 to 1848, when, taking advantage of new troubles in
Europe, the Swiss settled their system of government anew, and shaped
a Federal constitution which exists to this day.

Switzerland now is divided into twenty-two cantons, self-governing as
far as their local affairs are concerned, but united into a Federation
for national purposes. The system of government is purely democratic
and marked by a Republican austerity. All citizens are equal. Most
offices are elective. The emoluments of office are scanty. There is no
standing army, but every male citizen is trained to the use of arms in
his youth. Thus the whole nation can take up arms in defence of the
country. The good quality of the citizen troops has been vouched for
by many competent judges. Australia has imitated the Swiss system in
her military organisation, and it is practically the same system which
a powerful party in Great Britain urges as a measure of military
reform in this country. The Federal Government has, of course, the
control of the army; it has also the management of the railways, posts
and telegraphs, universities and schools, and the regulation of the
conditions of labour. Full religious liberty is allowed, but the
Jesuits are not allowed to come into the country. No spiritual courts
are allowed. The Judges of the Supreme Court are elected from amongst
the legislators. Neither capital punishment nor arrest for debt is
legal (a defaulting tourist's baggage may, however, be put under
arrest). Laws passed by the Federal legislature must be submitted to
the people by direct vote before they become effective. If this
Referendum does not give them approval they lapse. There is machinery
by which the people can directly initiate legislation, _i.e._ propose
measures without the intervention of the legislature.

So wide-world an interest is taken in the Swiss military system (it
has its enthusiastic admirers in America as well as in Great
Britain), and so great a part does it take in the general life of the
Swiss people, that a brief summary of its salient features is worthy
of space here. The system dates from 1874, the Franco-Prussian War on
their borders having warned the Swiss of the possibility of their land
being invaded. From his earliest days the Swiss citizen is prepared
for his country's service. In the public (Cantonal and Communal)
schools instruction in gymnastic exercise is regularly given (60 hours
yearly), and almost all the boys participate in this instruction,
which is mainly given by the schoolmasters.

Between the ages of 16 and 20, when military service begins, there is
preparatory military instruction, comprising physical training,
gymnastic exercises, marching, obstacle racing, simple drill, the use
of the rifle, and preliminary musketry. In the year before he attains
20 the youth is enrolled by the Cantonal authorities (in his commune
or place of domicile) as a recruit--the canton being subdivided into
recruiting districts--and is fitted out with uniform and equipment,
and in the year in which he attains 20 (the year, too, in which he
becomes entitled to vote at elections) the recruit becomes liable to
military service and presents himself for instruction at recruit
schools, beginning either about March 15, May 1, or July 1, as
directed. All soldiers, whatever the rank they are destined for, pass
through the recruit schools, and the periods of duration of these
schools (including musketry) are: for infantry, etc., 60-70 days;
cavalry, 80 days. The soldier on completion of recruit school is
considered as having entered the Army. As a soldier of the Army he has
to attend an annual training camp.

The demands made on a citizen's time by this system are not very
great, say 70 days as a recruit, 80 days as a member of the Active
Army, and a few days afterwards as a member of the Landwehr or
Landsturm. In all the citizen is forced to give about 160 days during
his lifetime to the service of his country, an exaction which is very
slight in the total compared with the demands of countries where
conscription rules, and is almost negligible when allowance is made
for the fact that it is so well distributed over the term of the
citizen's life.

In ordinary times of peace there is no Commander-in-chief. The Army
Corps and Divisional Commanders are the highest appointments. There
is a Committee of National Defence, composed of the Minister of War
(president), four General Officers (militia), four "Chefs de service"
(staff officers), appointed for three years. This Committee stands at
the head of the Army in time of peace, but, when war is imminent and a
General is appointed by the Federal Assembly, the Committee drops out
of existence, the General taking all its powers.

Under this system the Active Swiss Army on a peace footing numbers
about 150,000 men. The trained army that could be called out for
service represents practically the total of the male population.
Training for military service is looked upon not as a burden but as a
pleasure by the citizens, and many of their voluntary sports are
designed so as to assist the work of military education.

Happy Switzerland that has thought out a system of military service
which imposes little burden on the national exchequer and no burden at
all on the national content, and which is yet withal highly efficient
if the experts are to be believed! I quote from one of them
(Lieut.-Col. G. F. Ellison):

     Of the Swiss Army, as a war machine, it is impossible to write
     in terms other than those which, to anyone who has never
     witnessed its performance, must, I fear, appear somewhat too
     laudatory. That it is perfect in all its details, or that it is
     the same highly finished instrument that the French or the
     German army is, I do not pretend to assert, but I do
     unhesitatingly affirm, and in this opinion I am supported by
     more competent judges than myself, that taken as a whole it is,
     for war purposes, not unworthy, so far as it goes, to court
     comparison with the most scientifically organised and most
     highly trained armies of the Continent. In some respects it
     even surpasses all other armies in its readiness for war, for
     of no other military force in Europe can it be stated that the
     establishment in personnel is the same both for peace and war,
     and there is certainly no other country, that I am aware of, a
     fourth of whose army is annually mobilised for manoeuvres on
     exactly the same scale of equipment and transport as it would
     be for actual warfare.

     For the Englishman there is certainly no army in the world
     which can afford more food for serious reflection than that of
     Switzerland. He will learn, too, to appreciate what, for a sum
     that appears insignificant when compared with the military
     expenditure of other States, can be done towards producing for
     Home defence a really well-trained force under a militia
     system, provided that the system is based on universal
     liability to military service, and that all ranks alike bring
     goodwill and intelligence to bear on their allotted task. While
     he watches this army there need be no grave misgivings in his
     mind such as, perhaps, he may experience elsewhere, lest, in
     spite of all the pomp and splendour, the burden that such
     military display means to a nation may be crushing it beyond
     endurance.

And that was written before the revised law of April 12, 1907, which
was the subject of a general Referendum. By its acceptance the Swiss
people intimated their desire to have the army maintained at such a
degree of efficiency as would ensure their independence and
neutrality, and agreed to several improvements in the system of
training imposing further obligations on the citizen soldiers.

In the present day the Swiss have no navy, and no need of one, and
"Admiral of the Swiss Navy" is a title equal to that of the Seigneur
de Château Rien. But once upon a time the "Swiss admiral" did exist.
He was an Englishman named Colonel Williams, who in 1799 was in
service with the Zurich government and commandeered a small fleet on
Lake Zurich, having orders to oppose with it the French army. When the
French, under Masséna, completely routed the allied armies of Austria
and Russia, Colonel Williams calmly watched the battle from the lake.
Then, enraged at his own inaction, he discharged his crews, scuttled
his vessels, and took to flight.



CHAPTER V

SOME LITERARY ASSOCIATIONS


Switzerland has not produced much native literary genius. The literary
associations of the land are mostly concerned with strangers who went
to it as a land of refuge or as visitors. True, in the thirteenth
century Zurich was famous for its poets, for its share in the making
of the Nibelungen and the Minnelieder, and for the "Codex
Manesse"--the collection of the works of 150 German and Swiss poets of
the day. Again in the days of Rousseau--perhaps the most famous of
Swiss writers--there was quite a herd of sentimental novelists at
Lausanne. But, on the whole, it cannot be said that the Swiss have
shown themselves conspicuously a people of imagination. In war they
have a magnificent record: in science and in philosophy a record above
the average: in poetry and romance they have little to show. But if
colonists and visitors who associated themselves strongly with Swiss
life be taken into account, then Switzerland becomes one of the most
interesting literary centres of Europe.

[Illustration: THE STATUE OF JEAN-JACQUES ROUSSEAU ON THE ISLAND IN
THE RHONE, GENEVA.]

From Madame de Staël and her _salon_ at Coppet (to cite one example)
what invitations crowd to literary pilgrimages! Madame de Staël was
destined by birth for that literary limelight which she loved so well.
Her mother, Mademoiselle Curchod, afterwards Madame Necker, was the
charming young Swiss who inspired a discreet passion in the stately
bosom of Gibbon, the historian of _The Decline and Fall of the Roman
Empire_. Gibbon had been sent to Switzerland by his father because he
had shown leanings towards the Roman Catholic faith. The robust
Protestantism of Lausanne was prescribed as a cure for a religious
feeling which was not welcome to his family. The cure was complete, so
complete that Gibbon was left with hardly any Christian faith at all.
Whether because that left an empty place in his heart, or in the
natural order of things, Gibbon took refuge in a love affair, a very
discreet, cold-blooded affair on his part; but, judging by the
correspondence which has survived, a more serious matter to the girl
whose affections he engaged.

Gibbon tells the story of his early love himself, in a letter which is
full of unconscious humour, since he writes of it without a tremor and
with all the decorous stateliness which he gave to the narrative of a
Diocletian:

     I need not blush at recollecting the object of my choice; and
     though my love was disappointed of success, I am rather proud
     that I was once capable of feeling such a pure and exalted
     sentiment. The personal attractions of Mademoiselle Susan
     Curchod were embellished by the virtues and talents of the
     mind. Her fortune was humble, but her family was respectable.
     Her mother, a native of France, had preferred her religion to
     her country. The profession of her father did not extinguish
     the moderation and philosophy of his temper, and he lived
     content with a small salary and laborious duty in the obscure
     lot of minister of Crassy, in the mountains that separate the
     Pays de Vaud from the county of Burgundy. In the solitude of a
     sequestered village he bestowed a liberal, and even learned,
     education on his only daughter. She surpassed his hopes by her
     proficiency in the sciences and languages; and in her short
     visits to some relations at Lausanne, the wit, the beauty, and
     erudition of Mademoiselle Curchod were the theme of universal
     applause. The report of such a prodigy awakened my curiosity; I
     saw and loved. I found her learned without pedantry, lively in
     conversation, pure in sentiment, and elegant in manners; and
     the first sudden emotion was fortified by the habits and
     knowledge of a more familiar acquaintance. She permitted me to
     make two or three visits at her father's house. I passed some
     happy days there, in the mountains of Burgundy, and her parents
     honourably encouraged the connection. In a calm retirement the
     gay vanity of youth no longer fluttered in her bosom, and I
     might presume to hope that I had made some impression on a
     virtuous heart. At Crassy and Lausanne I indulged my dream of
     felicity; but on my return to England I soon discovered that my
     father would not hear of this strange alliance, and that
     without his consent I was myself destitute and helpless. After
     a painful struggle I yielded to my fate; I sighed as a lover, I
     obeyed as a son: my wound was insensibly healed by time,
     absence, and the habits of a new life. My cure was accelerated
     by a faithful report of the tranquillity and cheerfulness of
     the lady herself, and my love subsided in friendship and
     esteem.

Gibbon was a very pompous gentleman, but a gentleman. He might
otherwise, without departing from the truth, have shown that the
little Swiss beauty was far more in love with him than he with her,
and her tranquillity and cheerfulness in giving him up were of hard
earning. She contrived in time to forget the lover who probably would
have made her more famous than happy, and married a Mr. Necker, a rich
banker of her own country. (Berne at that time was one of the chief
financial centres of Europe.) To him she bore the girl who was to be
Madame de Staël, as pompous in mind as Gibbon, but somewhat warmer in
temperament.

Many years after the romance had died, when Madame Necker was a happy
matron, Gibbon, still a bachelor, decided to make Switzerland his
permanent home. Motives of economy, not of romance, dictated this
choice. In 1783 he moved to Lausanne, where he completed his history,
established a literary _salon_, and enjoyed life in spite of somewhat
serious attacks of gout. M., Mdme., and Mslle. Necker (the last to
become Madame de Staël) were frequent visitors, and he attached
himself to Madame Necker by the bonds of a close but strictly Platonic
friendship. In 1787 Gibbon completed his famous history, and seems to
have contemplated afterwards a marriage "for companionship sake." But
he never fixed on a lady, and died a bachelor six years after.

During Gibbon's life the Neckers had established their country-seat at
Coppet, near Geneva, which was afterwards the seat of Madame de
Staël's court. Though born Swiss, Madame de Staël was altogether
French in sympathy, detested Switzerland, and was impatient at any
talk of its natural beauties. "I would rather go miles to hear a
clever man talk than open the windows of my rooms at Naples to see the
beauties of the Gulf," she said once. Napoleon, as the greatest man of
the age, of course, attracted her. I suspect that she would have been
a most ardent Napoleonist if he had made love to her. "Tell me," she
said to Napoleon once, "whom do you think is the greatest woman in
France to-day?" And Napoleon answered, "The woman who bears most sons
for the army." It was not an ingratiating reply. But Napoleon, who
detested the idea of petticoat government and was never inclined to
chain himself by any bonds to an interfering and ambitious woman,
disliked Madame de Staël: and she in time learned to hate him, and
intrigued against the man whom she could not intrigue with. The upshot
was exile for her. She was turned out of Paris, much to her rage. On
several occasions she sought to return. But Napoleon was inexorable.
She replied to his enmity by industry as a conspirator. Fouché, who
speaks of her as "the intriguing daughter of Necker," credits Madame
de Staël with having been regarded by Napoleon as "an implacable
enemy," of having been the focus of the Senate conspiracy against
Napoleon in 1802, and of being "the life and soul" of the opposition
to him in 1812. It was certainly a remarkable woman who could thus
stand up against Napoleon.

Madame de Staël's _salon_ at Coppet became a centre famous over all
Europe. Her powers of intrigue supplemented her literary fame, and
that was very great and well deserved. As an essayist she has a clear
and warm style, and as a writer she could be betrayed into forgetting
her personal rancours. There is, for example, no more true criticism
of the literary style of Napoleon (who wrote newspaper "leaders" in
his day) than that it was, as de Staël wrote, so vigorous that you
could see that the writer "wished to put in blows instead of words."

An American traveller who paid a pilgrimage to the shrine of Madame de
Staël at Coppet gives this picture of the lady:

     Her features were good, but her complexion bad. She had a
     certain roundness and amplitude of form. She was never at a
     loss for the happiest expressions; but _deviated into anecdotes
     that might be an offence to American ears_!

Baron de Voght, who seemingly had not an American Puritanism of ear,
wrote more warmly about the famous lady to a mutual friend, Madame
Récamier:

     It is to you that I owe my most amiable reception at Coppet. It
     is no doubt to the favourable expectations aroused by your
     friendship that I owe my intimate acquaintance with this
     remarkable woman. I might have met her without your
     assistance--some casual acquaintance would no doubt have
     introduced me--but I should never have penetrated to the
     intimacy of this sublime and beautiful soul, and should never
     have known how much better she is than her reputation. _She is
     an angel sent from heaven to reveal the divine goodness upon
     earth._ To make her irresistible, a pure ray of celestial light
     embellishes her spirit and makes her amiable from every point
     of view.

     At once profound and light, whether she is discovering a
     mysterious secret of the soul or grasping the lightest shadow
     of a sentiment, her genius shines without dazzling, and when
     the orb of light has disappeared, it leaves a pleasant twilight
     to follow it.... No doubt a few faults, a few weaknesses,
     occasionally veil this celestial apparition; even the initiated
     must sometimes be troubled by these eclipses, which the Genevan
     astronomers in vain endeavour to predict.

Still another pen picture of the same lady, from Benjamin Constant,
who was her lover for many years and found the burden of maintaining
an affection to match hers too great:

     Yes, certainly I am more anxious than ever to break it off. She
     is the most egoistical, the most excitable, the most
     ungrateful, the most vain, and the most vindictive of women.
     Why didn't I break it off long ago? She is odious and
     intolerable to me. I must have done with her or die. She is
     more volcanic than all the volcanoes in the world put together.
     She is like an old _procureur_, with serpents in her hair,
     demanding the fulfilment of a contract in Alexandrine verse.

Byron was one of the famous men who visited the _salon_ of Madame de
Staël. He was drawn to Switzerland in the course of his "parade of the
pageant of his bleeding heart," and found much prompting in Swiss
scenery to proclaim his sorrows:

    Clear, placid Leman! thy contrasted lake,
    With the wild world I dwelt in is a thing
    Which warns me, with its stillness, to forsake
    Earth's troubled waters for a purer spring.

To Madame de Staël he presented a copy of _Glenarvon_, an English
novel in which his "devilish" character had been exposed. It was an
effective introduction; and was aided in its theatrical effect by the
fact that an English lady fainted in Madame de Staël's drawing-room
when Byron's name was announced as a visitor. But evidently Byron
failed sadly to live up to his wicked reputation. Whether it was his
famous hostess who was disappointed or some one else, he made no fame
at Coppet. The de Staëls' son-in-law, Duke Victor de Broglie,
writes with palpable sourness of the visit of this ineffectual Satan:

[Illustration: CHÂTEAU DE PRANGINS.]

     Lord Byron, an exile of his own free will, having succeeded,
     not without difficulty, in persuading the world of fashion in
     his own country that he was, if not the Devil in person, at
     least a living copy of Manfred or Lara, had settled for the
     summer in a charming house on the east bank of the Lake of
     Geneva. He was living with an Italian physician named Polidori,
     who imitated him to the best of his ability. It was there that
     he composed a good many of his little poems, and that he tried
     his hardest to inspire the good Genevans with the same horror
     and terror that his fellow-countrymen felt for him; but this
     was pure affectation on his part, and he only half succeeded
     with it. "My nephew," Louis XIV. used to say of the Duc
     d'Orleans, "is, in the matter of crime, only a boastful
     pretender"; Lord Byron was only a boastful pretender in the
     matter of vice.

     As he flattered himself that he was a good swimmer and sailor,
     he was perpetually crossing the Lake in all directions, and
     used to come fairly often to Coppet. His appearance was
     agreeable, but not at all distinguished. His face was handsome,
     but without expression or originality; his figure was round and
     short; he did not manoeuvre his lame legs with the same ease
     and nonchalance as M. de Talleyrand. His talk was heavy and
     tiresome, thanks to his paradoxes, seasoned with profane
     pleasantries out of date in the language of Voltaire, and the
     commonplaces of a vulgar Liberalism. Madame de Staël, who
     helped all her friends to make the best of themselves, did what
     she could to make him cut a dignified figure without success;
     and when the first movement of curiosity had passed, his
     society ceased to attract, and no one was glad to see him.

Omitting from this chapter Rousseau and Voltaire, as having closer
kinship to political philosophy than to literature, a next famous name
to be recalled of this epoch is the author of _Obermann_, Étienne
Pivert de Senancour. Senancour was born in France in 1770. He was
educated for the priesthood, and passed some time in the seminary of
St. Sulpice; broke away from the Seminary and from France itself, and
passed some years in Switzerland, where he married; returned to France
in middle life, and followed thenceforward the career of a man of
letters, but with hardly any fame or success. He died an old man in
1846, desiring that on his grave might be placed these words only:
_Éternité, deviens mon asile!_ The influence of Rousseau,
Chateaubriand, and Madame de Staël shows in Senancour. _Obermann_ is a
collection of letters from Switzerland treating almost entirely of
Nature and of the human soul. Senancour has been introduced to the
English-speaking public by the lofty praise of Matthew Arnold, who
apostrophises him in _Obermann_:

    How often, where the slopes are green
    On Jaman, hast thou sate
    By some high chalet-door, and seen
    The summer-day grow late;

    And darkness steal o'er the wet grass
    With the pale crocus starr'd,
    And reach that shimmering sheet of glass
    Beneath the piny sward,

    Lake Leman's waters, far below!
    And watch'd the rosy light
    Fade from the distant peaks of snow;
    And on the air of night

    Heard accents of the eternal tongue
    Through the pine branches play----

In a later time practically all the most famous writers of English had
some relation to Switzerland. Trelawney (Shelley's friend) was led
first to seek Shelley's acquaintance through his introduction to
"Queen Mab" by a Lausanne bookseller. Before he retraced his way to
Italy in the hope of meeting Shelley there, Trelawney records that he
saw an Englishman breakfasting: "Evidently a denizen of the North, his
accent harsh, his skin white, of an angular and bony build, and
self-confident and dogmatic in his opinions. With him, two ladies,
whom it would appear from the blisters and blotches on their cheeks,
lips and noses, that they were pedestrian tourists, fresh from the
snow-covered mountains. The party breakfasted well, while the man
cursed the godless wretches who have removed Nature's landmarks by
cutting roads through Alps and Apennines. 'They will be arraigned
hereafter with the unjust,' he shouted." Trelawney asked Wordsworth
(for it was he, with his wife and sister) what he thought of Shelley
as a poet--to which he replied, "Nothing." A Scotch terrier followed
the Wordsworths into their carriage; "This hairy fellow our
flea-trap," the poet shouted out, as they went off.

Byron, Shelley, Wordsworth, Ruskin, Arnold--all had close associations
with Switzerland, and there still continues to flow there a constant
stream of the world's genius. It is everybody's playground, and seems
to have the power to tempt the man of imagination to longer stay. One
effect is to give to Swiss people of the better educated classes a
curiously international knowledge. Many of them seem to know all
languages and to study all contemporary literature.



CHAPTER VI

THE SWISS AND HUMAN THOUGHT


The Swiss have had always a natural bent towards the heterodox. They
have the spirit of that exile from Erin who, landing in New York and
being asked as to the state of his political soul, demanded: "Is there
a government here? If so I am agin it." Some of the minor Swiss
heterodoxies have been of great value in urging the world to think.
Was it not a Swiss doctor (Tronchin) who first preached the gospel of
fresh air, preached it so successfully that he managed to open the
windows of the Palace of Versailles itself? And another Swiss doctor
(Tissot) who dared to tell well-to-do people that their chief cause of
ill-health was overfeeding? The open window and the sparing platter
are part of the commonplaces of hygiene to-day. When first suggested
in Switzerland they had an almost impious novelty.

As far back as the fifteenth century the Council of Basel set up an
opposition Pope, Duke Amadeus VIII. of Savoy (which cannot be
separated in history from Switzerland in those days). He was crowned
Pope at Basel in 1440. After nine years he gave up being an opposition
Pope. His was a mild note of dissent to that which was to come later,
when Switzerland provided the most startlingly new theological ideas
of the Reformation and of the Revolution. Zwingli and Calvin: Rousseau
and Voltaire--those are four names of men intimately associated with
Switzerland who were destined to have a vast effect on the thought of
the world, in regard both to moral and social ideas. Two of them were
Swiss born, two Swiss by adoption.

Ulrich Zwingli was born at Wildhaus in the Canton St. Gall, which had
before sheltered that stormy saint, Columban, and his disciple Gall.
Zwingli was educated at Basel and Vienna, and was, while at Basel, a
friend of Erasmus. In 1506, having taken holy orders, he became pastor
of Glarus and at once began to show a reforming spirit. His
indignation was aroused first at the mercenary wars in which Swiss
soldiers engaged--he had accompanied Swiss forces into Italy as
chaplain on two occasions--and so sternly did he inveigh against
participation in such wars that he had to give up his pastorate at
Glarus and take refuge at Einsiedeln Abbey. There he turned his
attention to the abuses of the Church, and his reforming sermons soon
attracted wide attention. Rome seems to have viewed his outbreaks
against her discipline more with sorrow than with anger, and he was
frequently tempted with offers to accept high office in the Church in
Italy. He refused, and in 1518 became pastor of Zurich and began
definitely his career as a Church reformer. He was not a follower of
Luther. Still less was he a follower of Calvin, who settled in Geneva
in 1538. Zwingli was a moral and social as well as a religious
reformer, and his system of thought was at once more advanced in idea
than that of Luther and less narrow in method than that of Calvin. At
Zurich he set up a theocratic Republic of austere simplicity, but not
of the savage gloom of the later Calvinist regime at Geneva.

Earnestness of religious opinion smothered national patriotism in the
mind of Zwingli. He organised a "Christian League" of the Protestants
of Switzerland and some of the German Protestant cities. The Roman
Catholics then formed a defensive alliance with Ferdinand of Austria,
an ally of the Vatican. Zurich declared war on the Catholic Forest
Cantons. The Swiss were obviously reluctant, however, to engage in
this fratricidal religious war. At Kappel, where the Roman Catholic
and Protestant armies lay facing each other, a band of the Catholics
got hold of a large bowl of milk, and, lacking bread, they placed it
on the boundary line between Zug and Zurich. At once a group of Zurich
Protestant men came up with some loaves, and both parties ate cheerily
together the _Milchsuppe_, forgetting the duty to slaughter one
another for the love of God urgently impressed upon them by their
Christian pastors. At Solothurn, again, a religious war was breaking
out, and indeed the first shot had actually been fired, when
Schultheiss Nicolas von Wengi, a Roman Catholic, threw himself before
the mouth of a cannon, and exclaimed, "If the blood of the burghers is
to be spent, let mine be the first!" Wengi's party at once desisted,
and matters were settled peacefully.

At a later period, alas, religious fervour waxed stronger, and
Swiss Protestant and Swiss Catholic killed one another with almost as
much savagery as modern Balkan Peninsula Christians, wrangling as to
whether the path to Heaven runs through an Exarchate or a Patriarchate
Church.

[Illustration: GENEVA FROM THE ARVE.]

Zwingli attempted to reconcile the differences between the Lutheran
Protestants and his own followers; and there was a famous Conference
between the two reformers at Marburg at the invitation of the
Landgrave Phillip of Hesse. The attempt was a vain one. But Zwingli
went on with a plan he had formed to unite in diplomacy, if not in the
exactness of religious belief, all the Protestant States of Europe. In
the development of this plan civil war within Switzerland was
fomented, and Zwingli was killed in 1531 fighting with the Protestant
forces of Zurich against the Roman Catholics of the Forest Cantons.
Zurich was badly defeated in the battle, and militant Protestantism
received for a while a check. Bullinger, who succeeded Zwingli, did
not concern himself with politics to any great extent, but perfected
the Zwinglian system of religious thought. Bullinger will be best
remembered to English-speaking people as the friend and correspondent
of that Lady Jane Grey who was sacrificed on the scaffold by Queen
Mary of England. Three letters from Lady Jane Grey to him are still
treasured at Zurich. Of Bullinger's treatise on "Christian Marriage"
dedicated to her, she translated a portion into Greek, and presented
it as a Christmas present to her father. Bullinger's sermons and
letters were to her, she wrote once, "as most precious flowers from a
garden." She asked his advice as to the best method of learning
Hebrew, and regarded him as "particularly favoured by the grace of
God." At the block she took off her gloves and desired that they
should be sent on to her Swiss friends.

Calvin was not Swiss-born, but reached Basel in 1535 as an exile from
France. He had been destined for the Roman Catholic priesthood,
changed his plans and became a lawyer, and at Paris was drawn into the
orbit of the French Reformation. Persecuted in France, he retired to
Switzerland, and in 1535 published his _Christianae Religionis
Institutio_, which set forth his gloomy system of religious faith
with, as its most startling belief, the idea that God predestined
certain people for eternal salvation and certain others for eternal
damnation. In 1536, at the invitation of a local Reformer named
Farel, Calvin settled in Geneva. It was at the time the head of
"French" Switzerland, as Zurich was the head of "German" Switzerland,
and was a gay pleasure-loving city. The attempt to impose upon the
Genevan citizens the gloomy austerities of Calvinism led to frequent
riots, and at last the civil government banished both the apostles of
sadness, Calvin going to Strasburg. In 1541 he was back at Geneva with
an understood commission to reframe the religious and social life of
the city. He set to work with grim fanaticism, aiming at a "Kingdom of
God on Earth" framed on the lines of the old Judaic theocracies, with
himself as the prophet and autocrat.

Very terrible was the tyranny of this gloomy presbyter, though the
state he set up won the unqualified admiration of John Knox, that
kindred soul who carried to Scotland the tenets of Calvinism and set
up there a similar theocracy. "They liked a preacher who could weep
and howl well in the pulpit," records Buckle, describing the reign of
Calvinism in Scotland. In Geneva there was, according to John Knox,
"the most perfect School of Christ that was ever in the earth since
the days of the Apostles." The whole populace was expected to weep and
howl in abasement before a terrible God. No human pleasure was too
paltry to escape the ban of these ministers of gloom. Some of the
statutes of Geneva at the time are humorous to read nowadays, mournful
as was the spirit they showed at the time. A few examples of the
prohibitions current in Calvin's time:

     That no Citizen, Burger, or Inhabitant of this City dareth be
     so hardy to go from henceforth to eat or drink in any Tavern.

     That none be so hardy to walk by night in the Town after nine
     of the clock, without candlelight and also a lawful cause.

     That no manner of person, of what estate, quality or condition
     soever they be, shall wear any chains of gold or silver, but
     those which have been accustomed to wear them shall put them
     off, and wear them no more upon pain of three score shillings
     for every time.

     That no women, of what quality or condition soever they be,
     shall wear any verdingales, gold upon her head, quoises of
     gold, billiments or such like, neither any manner of embroidery
     upon her sleeves.

     That no manner of person, whatsoever they be, making
     bride-ales, banquets, or feasts shall have above three courses
     or services to the said feasts, and to every course or service
     not above four dishes, and yet not excessive, upon pain of
     three score shillings for every time, fruit excepted.

Theatres, the dressing of the hair, music, games, skating, dancing,
were all forbidden; so were pictures and statues. A governing body
called the _Consistoire_, with Calvin at its head, had the right to
send its spies into every home to detect ungodliness. When the plague
came to the city to match with a physical ill this moral blight,
Geneva became a very hell upon earth. Torture was used to extort
confessions from the accused. Whilst the plague was at its worst the
sword, the gallows, the stake were always busy. The jailor asserted
that his prisons were filled to excess, and the executioner complained
that his arms were wearied. Within a period of three years there were
passed fifty-eight sentences of death, seventy-six of banishment, and
eight to nine thousand of imprisonment, on those whose crime was
infringement of the Church statutes. Offences against himself
personally Calvin treated as blasphemy, and blasphemy was punishable
with death.

Upon the death of Calvin the government of Geneva fell into the hands
of Beza, a man of more human feeling, and Calvinism modified a little
of its savage gloom. Later the influence of the Zwinglians exercised a
further moderating influence, and the Swiss Reformed Church began to
get a little of the spirit of the New Testament.

After the fame of the Reformers had waned Switzerland drew the
attention of all Europe to her cities again by the writings of
Rousseau and Voltaire, the chief makers, I should say, of the French
Revolution. Rousseau was the son of a watchmaker of Geneva and was
born in 1712. He was a turbulent child and ran away from home to
France at the age of sixteen. He returned to his native city a quarter
of a century later. Rousseau was a revolutionary critic of society,
and his _Origin of Inequality_, _Émile_, and _The Social Contract_
attacked all the foundations of the then existing society. The last
named formed the basis of the Constitution of 1793. In _La Nouvelle
Héloïse_, a romance the scenery of which is laid at Vevey and
Montreux, Rousseau argued for a return to more natural methods of
living. That romance gave the stimulus to the romantic works of Goethe
and Schiller.

Voltaire was a Swiss by adoption and not by birth. He did not settle
down at Ferney near Geneva until he was sixty years of age (1751): but
that left him twenty-four years of life to spend there. Fear of the
French Court sent him out of France. He seemed to have carried no
fear with him. He braved the Consistory of Geneva--then still
upholding much of the Calvinist tradition--and actually established a
theatre in the gloomy city. Apart from the crowds of distinguished
visitors whom Voltaire's reputation brought to Geneva, he was a useful
citizen. He was the sponsor of two important local industries. On his
estate at Ferney he bred silkworms, and presently he had weavers from
Geneva to weave stockings of silk. The first pair was sent to the
Duchesse de Choiseul. His correspondence with the Duchesse would turn
a modern advertiser green with envy. Voltaire also started a watch
manufactory, and again he advertised his watches in cunning letters
and circulars to such people as Catherine the Great. In a short time
the Ferney watchmaker's export trade spread everywhere, even to China
and to North Africa.

Voltaire, Rousseau--these two names kept all eyes on Switzerland for a
generation, and brought to Switzerland practically all the serious
thinkers of the day. There was one notable exception. Boswell records
a vain pilgrimage that he made to Ferney. His mission was to reconcile
Voltaire and Johnson. Voltaire described Johnson as a "superstitious
dog." Johnson, asked by Boswell if he thought Rousseau as bad a man as
Voltaire, said, "Sir, it is difficult to settle the proportion of
iniquity between them." Dr. Johnson never went to Geneva. He would
have paid as little homage to Calvinism as to Voltairism.

[Illustration: L'ÉGLISE DE LA MADELEINE, GENEVA.]



CHAPTER VII

THE SWISS PEOPLE TO-DAY


The Swiss people to-day preserve that element of the paradoxical which
in the Middle Ages produced an Arnold Winkelried, courageous to gather
the spears of a foe into his bosom for the sake of his country, and
thousands of other heroes willing to give almost as great service to
any cause for the sake of steady pay. The Switzer of the twentieth
century is intensely patriotic, and to keep his country secure makes
cheerful joys of the tasks of universal training for military service.
But he is a willing exile wherever there is money to be made. He
cherishes a deep national pride: but he has no objection to servile
occupation in a foreign land if it is profitable. Often he shows
himself greedy and rapacious. Yet he is markedly hospitable and
charitable. He is eager for liberty, but surrounds his life with a
host of petty tyrannies of regulation, being more under the shadow of
the official _verboten_ than even the German. He loves the wild
natural beauty of his mountains, but will spoil any Alp with a staring
hotel and a funicular railway for the sake of tourist gold.

A nation of heroes and hotel-keepers, of patriots and mercenaries, a
nation that produced the Swiss Guard which defended the Tuileries, and
the _suisse_ who will carry anybody's bag anywhere in Europe for a
tip--the Swiss mingle in a curious way the sublime and the paltry.

Two characteristics the Swiss has clear-cut--thrift and industry. I
have never heard of a prodigal Swiss. Their industry is almost as
invariable. Very noticeable is it in the Swiss abroad. I can recall
two typical Swiss colonists in Australia. The one arrived without
other resources than a willing back for a burden and took a porter's
post in a hotel. He soon had something better than that in view, and
went hawking ingenious coat and trouser hangers which he twisted from
fencing wire. Next I encountered him selling eggs and fruit: he had
bought up a little farm out of the profits of his coat-hangers. His
next step was a hotel of his own, and thenceforward he became steadily
rich. The other Swiss was not of so much resource. He was a printer by
trade and earned from £4:10s. to £5 a week by that calling. He had
saved and saved and had bought three acres of land some five miles out
of the city. This farm he and his wife cultivated, providing for
themselves (and for sale to neighbours) fruit, milk, wine, butter,
cheese, vegetables, poultry. He never spent a penny on a railway or
tramway fare, walking always to and from his work. Nor did he ever
enter a restaurant or a hotel. When he had paid for his land and his
house out of his earnings, the weekly budget of the household never
called for more than ten shillings for food, clothing, taxes, etc.

In the Appenzeller district, true, one may encounter apparently lazy
men. But in most cases it will be found that these men have put in a
very hard-working youth abroad to save money for the little household;
that they spend the summer laboriously as guides, and only idle around
the porcelain stoves of their cottages in the winter (whilst their
wives work at lace-making and the household tasks) because there is
nothing in particular they can do with any direct profit. Certainly,
they could help the women. But what the use, or the justice of it?
That would only leave idle time on the women's hands, and if any one
deserves a rest, they would argue, it is the man who has perhaps spent
years of his early life in absolute slavery to save up enough for a
home.

Mr. John Addington Symonds in his _Life in the Swiss Highlands_ (A. &
C. Black) has given a detailed and a very sympathetic picture of the
life of the Swiss peasantry, the class from which stream out all over
Europe big, hungry, slowwitted, sturdy hotel porters and waiters. In
some cases it is a very harsh life these peasants have. He tells:

     Some families subsisted on almost nothing but potatoes and weak
     coffee. One poor fellow, who has now developed into a hearty
     man, told me that before he left home he hardly ever tasted
     bread or cheese or meat, and that he was a mere hungry skeleton
     with skin upon it. At school he had so little flesh and blood
     that when he cut his finger to the bone it did not bleed. This
     man also told me a strange tale, which I will relate. There was
     a family in the same village, as indigent as his own, but
     reckless and wild. The long, gaunt, lanky sons grew up like
     beasts of prey, stealing eggs, climbing into stables and
     sucking the cows' udders. One of them, more frantically
     famished than his brethren, confessed to having hacked with his
     knife a large slice out of the quarters of a richer neighbour's
     live pig. Whether the young brigand cooked this Abyssinian
     beefsteak or ate the delicious morsel raw, I forgot to ask.
     Another of the same brood used to supply himself with animal
     food by drinking the blood from slaughtered beasts, whenever he
     got permission to indulge his appetite that way. I was informed
     that this comparative vampire developed into the stoutest and
     comeliest fellow of the set; and indeed blood, drunk warm from
     the veins of a sheep or bullock, ought to be highly nutritious.

That is, I suppose, the harshest side of a Swiss peasant's life--an
example of the very poor folk. But in no case is it luxurious. From
that sort of life the young Swiss, going to carry burdens in a French
hotel of the lower class, or act as waiter and _factotum_ at a
Bloomsbury boarding-house, finds hardly any degree of hardship
unendurable. It is astonishing to note on how little food, how little
sleep, how little human comfort the poor Swiss on the bottom rung of
the ladder can keep soul and body together. Afterwards, when he gets
on in the world, the Swiss sometimes takes his revenge. The rapacious
Swiss hotel-keeper of a tourist resort whose exactions infuriate the
traveller, is perhaps only paying back to the world the bitter lessons
he was taught as the slave of some poor house of accommodation. Not,
of course, that the Swiss hotel-keeper is always, or even generally a
brigand. Indeed he is very rarely so in Switzerland. It is _verboten_.
But they are always keen, and if dishonest are more keenly dishonest
than any others. In their own country regulations safeguard the
tourist fairly effectively.

Hotel-keeping is the chief apparent occupation of the Switzerland
known to the tourist. But there is apart from that in the towns a busy
industrial life. Since the use of water-power for generating
electricity has come to be understood Switzerland has progressed more
and more as a manufacturing country. So great are the demands of the
new factories that the emigration of the Swiss begins to dwindle and
there is an immigration of artisans from abroad into the country. In
the rural districts, away from the towns, among the Alpine villages,
the chief industry is the rearing of sheep, goats, and cows. Swiss
milk, in a preserved form, and Swiss cheese go all over the world.

The life of the Alpine villages rarely comes under the notice of the
tourist unless he is a pedestrian without the craze for rock or
glacier climbing, and willing to use his legs for the exploring of
rough hill paths. In these villages life is very quiet and peaceful.
It is not uncommon to find in them very old men living in the houses
in which their great-grandfathers had been born and died. They do not
know who built these snuff-coloured huts, but only that their
ancestors dwelt in them.

In an Alpine village the two principal buildings are the inn and the
white stone church. There is no street. A rough track leads past the
dozen or so brown houses. They are two or three stories in height, low
ceilinged, lined with pine and built of small pine or hemlock logs
dressed smooth and square, laid close and dovetailed at the corners.
Often the exteriors are carved. The shingle roof is kept in place with
heavy stones, and projects 4 to 8 feet beyond the walls. Some houses
have shingled roofs a dozen layers thick. The windows are many and
very small. Around the village are sloping meadows, high mountains,
steep waterfalls, perhaps a fair blue lake. The short summer is spent
in growing a few potatoes, herding the goats, cows, or sheep, pressing
the cheese, and cutting and carrying in the grass. Winter is spent in
eating up the little that summer gave, and in a struggle to keep from
freezing.

In the high villages the flocks are usually of goats. To save the
trouble of each villager herding his own goats, a single shepherd is
employed who leads the village drove into the higher Alps each day.
When the flock return at eve, each goat seeks its familiar home,
enters, and bleats to be milked and stalled.

In the better country of the valleys the herds are of cows, and it is
the custom each summer to drive them to the higher Alps to follow the
lush grasses of the spring as it climbs up the mountains with the
waxing of the sun's power. This general and gradual movement of the
cattle from the valleys to the Alp pastures is a picturesque business.
The herds are assembled in procession, each preceded by its herdsman,
and a flock of goats. The herdsmen wear white shirts, broad leather
suspenders adorned with images of cows and goats in bright metal,
scarlet waistcoats, knee breeches of bright yellow, white stockings,
and low shoes. A round black hat bound with flowers, and one long
brass ear-ring consisting of a chain carrying a tiny milk-pail,
usually complete the costume. After the herdsman come three or more
heifers, each wearing a huge bell from a brightly garlanded collar.
Then come the cattle, with herd-boys to keep them in line. Each
herd-file is closed by a waggon containing a great copper
cheese-kettle and wooden utensils for milk and butter.

[Illustration: AN ALPINE VILLAGE, GRINDELWALD.]

Mr. Symonds pictures the joy of man and beast at these annual
pilgrimages in the footsteps of the spring:

     The whole village is astir long before daybreak; and the
     animals, who know well what a good time is in store for them,
     are as impatient as their masters. The procession sets forth in
     a long train, cows lowing, bells tinkling, herdsmen shouting,
     old men and women giving the last directions about their
     favourite beasts to the herdsmen. Rude pictures of the _Zug auf
     die Alpen_, as it is called, may sometimes be seen pasted, like
     a frieze or bas-relief, along the low panelled walls of
     mountain cottages. These are the work, in many cases, of the
     peasants themselves, who write the names of the cattle over the
     head of each, attach preposterously huge bells to the proud
     leaders of the herd, and burden the hinds with vast loads of
     bread and household gear, and implements for making cheese. How
     many happy memories of summer holidays have been worked into
     those clumsy but symbolic forms by uncouth fingers in the
     silence of winter evenings, when possibly Phyllis sat by and
     wondered at her Damon's draughtsmanship! It takes two whole
     days and nights at least to get from Emsenau to the Panixer
     Alp. But when this journey is accomplished, the human part of
     the procession installs itself delightfully in little wooden
     huts, which allow the pure air from the glaciers to whistle
     through every cranny. The tired cows spread themselves over
     pastures which the snows have lately left, feeding ravenously
     on the delicious young grass, starred with gentians and
     primulas, and hosts of bright-eyed tiny flowers. And then
     begins a rare time for men and cattle.

It is a pity that our British race has lost the habit of making
festivals of the great events of the pastoral and agricultural year. I
have seen in Australia the annual moving of the sheep from the Monaro
tableland to the "snow leases" of the Australian Alps, when the hot
sun had scorched away all the herbage of the plains. It gives just as
much inspiration for joy and thankfulness. But there is no festival.
The sheep huddle along, the dogs at their heels. Brown-tanned,
eager-eyed men ride beside, with the gladness of the expectation of
the mountain fastnesses in their hearts but hardly a word of it on
their lips. In England--which was once "Merrie Englande" because of
its cheery rustic life--harvest festivals and rural feasts have almost
vanished.

In many places the Alp-horn is still used to call the cows home at
milking-time. It is a huge wooden trumpet, often six feet in
length, and a Swiss can draw deep and powerful notes from its wide
throat. Its compass consists of only a few notes, but when these ring
and echo from height to height the effect is very striking and
beautiful.

[Illustration: ALPINE HERDSMAN. The Piz Kesch in the distance.]

Most striking is it at the hour of sunset. On the loftier Alps, to
which no sounds of evening bell can climb, the Alp-horn proclaims the
vesper hour. As the sun drops behind the distant snowy summits, the
herdsman takes his huge horn and sends pealing along the mountain-side
the first few notes of the Psalm "Praise ye the Lord." From Alp to Alp
he is answered by his brother herdsmen, and the deep, strong notes
echo from crag to crag in solemn melody. It is the signal for the
evening prayer and for repose.

Around their dairying industry centres the best of the Swiss nation,
and it is fitting that the "Ranz des Vaches" which calls the cattle
home should be the national song of the Swiss. It is no single air, it
is the "cow-call" developed by herdsmen through generations, and it
varies in nearly every valley. Its common property is the shrill
falsetto intonation of the chorus--the curious twist of the throat
that results in the yodel. It is singularly sweet heard in Alpine
air. There is a story that once a regiment of Swiss soldiers hired by
France deserted, and made for their homes, when the band played the
"Ranz des Vaches." The desertion was not a shameful one. The same men
could have been driven away from their mercenary standards by no
threat of death.

The rural industries of Switzerland are fostered with great care. In
particular the forests, which protect the soil from being swept away
and are ramparts to the villages against avalanches, are jealously
preserved. No one may cut down a tree, even his own tree, in
Switzerland without the authority of a forestry official. The
Department of Forestry supervises carefully the wooded lands and marks
those trees which can be felled without harm to the wood.

The organisation of the national services, posts, roads, railways,
etc., is also shaped to secure the greatest degree of comfort possible
for the small land-holders. It is a wise policy. These rustic people,
living almost exclusively on their own resources, eating food which
they have produced, wearing clothes which they have spun, demanding so
little from the outside world, are the very backbone of the Swiss
nation, and they are the rock-foundations of the national patriotism.
The Swiss are not bound together by the ties of a common race, a
common language, a common religion. Their nation is in a sense an
artificial one. Its cementing bond is an hereditary instinct,
nourished among the peasants of these mountain pastures, to keep the
mountain slopes free.

The town life of the Swiss, affected a good deal as it must be by the
hotel life of the tourists, is not so admirable as the village life.
It is in some aspects irritatingly petty-minded; in others invitingly
well-educated. The Swiss are interested only in the Swiss, and (in a
strictly commercial way) the strangers who come to visit and enrich
Switzerland. A Swiss newspaper tells little or nothing of the doings
of the outside world. Its columns are filled with long accounts of the
doings of Swiss shooting clubs and gymnastic societies. Yet Swiss
trading and professional people are, in the general rule,
astonishingly well versed in foreign languages and foreign literature.
Offering asylum as it does to political and social rebels of all
countries, Switzerland is a kind of international clearing-house for
thought. The Gallic, the Teutonic, the Slavonic new thought of the
day--all are understood and discussed in Switzerland, and the Swiss
book-shops are the most cosmopolitan and representative in the world.

The use of national costume dwindles in Switzerland as it does in
every other part of the world. The peasant women have, however, still
a characteristic head-dress, the maidens wearing black caps, the
matrons white ones. The caps are two slips of upright lace, which,
coming from behind over the head, meet on the forehead, the whole
having the air of a butterfly with wings half outspread. Between
these, the girls' tresses are puffed and held back by a silver
pin--called a _Rosenadel_, from its head resembling a rosebud. The
matrons only vary this mode in covering their hair with an embroidered
piece of silk. For the festivals attending the movement of the cattle
to the hills, the hay-cutting, and the vintage, the peasants also don
gay national costume.

Traces of the old sumptuary laws of the Calvinist communities still
linger in the habits of the people, and show, too, in the absence of
pomp at public ceremonies or representative meetings. A Communal
Assembly looks like a class-room. The universities carry on their work
with a sober absence of pomp, and uniforms are rare. The great
amusement of the people in many quarters is still religious
disputation and invective. The most popular place in all Geneva for
the Swiss inhabitants is the Victoria Hall, where "revivalist"
preachers of the most damnatory forms of religion hold forth.

[Illustration: HAY HAULING ON THE ALPINE SNOW.]



CHAPTER VIII

ALPINE CLIMBING


Though Switzerland does not contain within its borders more than
one-third of the Alps, and the greatest height of the Alpine range
(Mount Blanc) is wholly within France, the Alps are always associated
with Switzerland in the popular mind; and with good reason, for the
country is particularly and almost wholly Alpine in its character, and
its national existence has been largely shaped by the mountain ranges
which have given people differing from one another in racial origin,
in language, and in religion a bond of unity.

The most famous mountain range of the world historically, the Alps are
far from being the greatest in height, and they are by no means the
oldest of the world's mountains, though they are older probably than
the Himalayas, older certainly than the _parvenu_ peaks of the South
Seas, some of which were born amid thunders and lightnings only
yesterday, considering Time in geological periods. The form of a
mountain range and its height give usually some surface indications of
its age. New mountains, like those of the South Seas, are very sharp
and jagged in their outlines. Old mountains have been usually smoothed
down by erosion. The oldest mountains probably of the world, the
Australian Alps, are near neighbours of the youngest, the fiery
volcanoes of the Straits of Sunda.

[Illustration: SUNSET ON MONT BLANC FROM GENEVA.]

A mountain's first birthday is marked by a movement towards old age.
As soon as it begins to live it begins to die. If it is of volcanic
origin its term of life is usually short; it comes to being suddenly
with a wild upheaval of the Earth, and at once the eating rain, and
the splitting frost, and the destroying wind set to work to cut away
its peak and pull it down to the level of the plain again. If the
mountain is of more slow creation, the result of a gradual
up-wrinkling of a crease of the Earth as she readjusts her surface to
the cooling of her bulk, the mountain may go on growing whilst also it
goes on dying. From below inward forces are pushing it higher towards
the sky. From above the rains and snows and winds are chiselling away
its rocks and bearing them to the plains. In time the process of
pushing up ceases; the process of grinding down goes on remorselessly,
never pausing for a moment.

So the mountains are eternal only in the figurative sense. Actually
their term of existence is strictly finite. Once the Australian Alps
had their tremendous peaks, and hills of unmelting ice. To-day they
have been ground down to below the line of perpetual snow, and along
the gentle grades of the chief peak it is possible to drive a carriage
to the very summit. The European Alps are being subjected to-day to
the same process of softening of outline and lowering of height.

But for many generations yet they will lift white peaks to the skies.
This though it is clear that the ice area upon them is steadily
dwindling. This is a result, however, not of erosion, but of a warming
of the climate of Europe, indeed of the whole northern hemisphere.
Some measurements in 1912 by the Swiss Alpine Club confirm the
recession of the Swiss glaciers. The largest of the glaciers,
"L'Aletsch," had retreated 10 feet, following on nearly 60 feet in
1911, and rather more than that in 1910. The Rhine Glacier had gone
back 34 feet, in addition to the 70 feet lost in the previous two
years. An exception to the general rule appeared at first to be
furnished by the two glaciers of Grindelwald, which had increased
since last year; but the advance did not compensate for the loss of
the previous year, and since 1893 the two glaciers have lost nearly a
quarter of a mile. Their temporary advance is attributable solely to
the inclement weather during 1912. Nearly all the smaller glaciers,
out of the fifty-two surveyed by the Alpine Club, show some retreat,
and the largest loss appears to be that of the Palu Glacier, near
Bernina, which is losing regularly 70 feet a year.

This dwindling is not confined to Swiss glaciers. A survey of Canadian
glaciers which was made five years ago shows that other glaciers in
the northern hemisphere are retreating. The Victoria Glacier is doing
so; and the only slight exception appeared at that time to be the Yoho
Glacier, which was retreating, but not nearly so fast as it had been
in previous years. M. Charles Rabot asserts that the glaciers in
Argentina are also retreating, and surmises, from data perhaps not so
well established, that there has been a general retreat of glaciers
during the last half of the nineteenth century throughout Spitzbergen,
Iceland, Central Asia, and Alaska. He suggests that the cause is a
present tendency towards equalisation of the earth's temperature.
Others more boldly affirm that the Swiss glaciers, as well as other
great ice masses existing on the globe, are remnants of the last Ice
Age, and are all doomed to disappear as the cycle works round for the
full heat of the next Warm Age. But the disappearance, if it is to
come, will not come quickly, and the doom of ice-climbing in
Switzerland is too remote a threat to disturb the Alpinist.

To the inexpert a glacier is a glacier all the world over, but the
expert knows that the glaciers of different mountains have the same
variations of character as the streams of different countries. Sir
Martin Conway describes Swiss Alpine glaciers as

     of the medium type, lying as they do half-way between the
     Arctic and tropical extremes. They have not the rapid flow of
     the Arctic nor the dry rigidity of the tropical sort. Their
     walls are not silent as in the Central Andes, nor thundered
     over by continual avalanches like those of the upper Baltoro.
     They are of medium size also. In a single day almost any of
     them may be ascended from snout to snow-field, and descended
     again. To explore their remotest recesses no elaborately
     equipped expedition is required. Yet they are large enough to
     be imposing, and penetrate deep enough into the heart of the
     hills to isolate their votaries completely from the world of
     human habitation. It is to this medium quality that the Alps
     owe much of their charm. This, too, it is that makes them an
     almost perfect mountain playground. Were they but a little
     smaller, how much they would lose that is most precious! Were
     they larger, how many persons that now can afford the cost and
     the strength to explore them would have to linger at their
     gates wistfully looking in. In area, too, they are large enough
     for grandeur and yet small enough for easy access. No part of
     them is beyond the range of a summer holiday, yet a commanding
     view of them is as apparently limitless as is the view from the
     greatest Asiatic peaks which, thus far, have been climbed. They
     are the only range of snow-mountains in the world thus blessed
     with moderation.

The Alps to-day attract geologists and meteorologists from all parts
of the world, but their first earnest student was a Genevan, Horace de
Saussure, whose writings about his native mountains have a charm from
their style as well as from their record of exact observations. Born
in 1740, he was appointed at the age of twenty-one Professor of
Philosophy at Geneva University. He ascended Mount Blanc in 1760 at
the age of forty-seven, and spent all his leisure before and after
that date in geological exploration of the various peaks.

     "The one aim," he writes in his journals, "of most of the
     travellers who call themselves naturalists is the collection of
     curiosities. They walk, or rather they creep about, with their
     eyes fixed upon the earth, picking up a specimen here and a
     specimen there, without any eye to a generalization. They
     remind me of an antiquary scratching the ground at Rome, in the
     midst of the Pantheon or the Coliseum, looking for fragments of
     coloured glass, without ever turning to look at the
     architecture of these magnificent edifices."

This pioneer of geology died in 1799. There had been before him some
few Alpine climbers, and there were after him some few more; but the
twentieth-century tourist to Switzerland--who is chiefly interested in
the Alps as difficult mountains to climb, presenting great problems of
ice and cliff traverses, seasoning the joy of difficult achievement
with a pronounced spice of danger--follows a sport so modern that
there are men now living who were born before the passion for Alpine
climbing came to birth. Certainly the Alps were traversed of old. But
strictly not for pleasure. The most accessible passes, not the most
difficult peaks, were sought out; and the burdens and terrors of the
passage, not the joys of it, were uppermost in the minds of
travellers. There is not extant any expression of pleasure from
Hannibal, Cæsar, Napoleon, Suwarow, or any other of those famous
conquerors of this mountain barrier. If any references at all to the
crossing of the Alps come down from past times they are of complaint.
An English monk of the Middle Ages, for example, writes to his
brethren of Canterbury:

     Pardon me for not writing. I have been on the Mount of Jove--on
     the one hand looking up at the heaven of the mountains, on the
     other shuddering at the hell of the valleys, feeling myself so
     much nearer heaven that I was more sure my prayer would be
     heard. Lord, I said, restore me to my brethren, that I may tell
     them, that they come not into this place of torment. Place of
     torment indeed, where the marble pavement of the stony ground
     is ice, and you cannot set your foot safely; where, strange to
     say, although it is so slippery that you cannot stand, the
     death (into which there is every facility to fall) is certain
     death. I put my hand in my scrip that I might scratch out a
     syllable or two to your sincerity--lo! I found my ink-bottle
     filled with a dry mass of ice; my fingers too refused to write,
     my beard was stiff with frost, and my breath congealed into a
     long icicle. I could not write the news I wished!

In the days, nearer to our own time, of the _salons_ of Coppet and
Ferney, no one of the distinguished writers and thinkers who visited
Switzerland gave a thought to mountain-climbing as a pleasure. Indeed
all seemed insensible that there was any particular charm in the
mountains' grandeur. The first of the great company of hill-climbers
for pleasure, so far as I can discover, was that very typical
Englishman, Mr. Albert Smith, who in 1851 climbed Mount Blanc, and
devoted six years of profitable life afterwards to describing how he
did it, to audiences at the Egyptian Hall, London. A nation which had
already invented Arctic exploration was quick to seize upon Alpine
climbing as an outlet for superfluous energy and love of danger. Mr.
Albert Smith was the forerunner of a great herd of climbers from this
country and--the fashion spreading, as all English fashions do, to
Europe--from many other countries: though truly I suspect that the
Continental mind approves at heart more thoroughly the spirit of that
amusing satire, _Tartarin de Tarascon sur les Alpes_, than the solemn
records of the Alpine Club.

Switzerland has not so far raised a national memorial to Mr. Albert
Smith, nor do Swiss hotel-keepers make pilgrimages to his grave in
Brompton Cemetery. But he has his monument surely in Mount Blanc, the
mountain which he "invented," according to the sober pages of the
_Dictionary of National Biography_. Sir Leslie Stephen, of whom it was
said "He walked from Alp to Alp like a pair of one-inch compasses over
a large map," systematised, though he had not invented, Alpine
climbing. He was one of the leading spirits of the Alpine Club, which
encourages, records, and organises the climbing of Alps.

[Illustration: THE PALÜ GLACIER.]

So firm a hold on the British imagination has this sport of creeping
over slippery ice-masses and fly-crawling along the face of precipices
in pursuit of peaks, that the Swiss Alps do not give sufficient scope
for their energies. Ascents of the Andes and the Himalayas are
attempted. Every year quite a number of travellers cross to Canada to
encounter the dangers of the Rockies and the Selkirks there. To
far-off New Zealand the Alpinists go; and I have encountered in Sydney
an enthusiastic English lady who had climbed peaks in all corners of
the earth and had come to Australia for the conquest of the Australian
Alps. On learning of their contemptible height, and that it was
possible to drive up to their very summit in a carriage, she took the
first boat away, convinced that a country without dangerous
mountain-climbing was utterly unworthy of any attention.

What is the chief charm of this mountain-climbing? The joy of the
scenery? The exaltation of the keen high air? These are factors no
doubt, but not essential nor even the chief factors. The chief appeal
it makes is to the joy of combat and the pride of achievement. Some of
the peaks which once were difficult have now been made easy: funicular
railways run to spots which were once inaccessible except to keen
mountaineers. These spots the mountain-climber shuns. It is not the
wish to see the dawn from this peak or the sunset from that point
which spurs him on, but the sense of danger and difficulty to be
overcome, the urging of his human pride to show that he can conquer
the obstacles which Nature has put in his path.

The motive of the mountain-climber is one that lends itself easily to
ridicule. But _au fond_ it is the motive of human progress, the spirit
which spurs man on to explore the sea, and the depths beneath the sea;
the land, and the air above the land. And perhaps there comes to
the climber a keener, finer sense of the beauties of the scenery which
he has come to see with so much effort and danger. So Sir Martin
Conway (_The Alps_, A. & C. Black) insists, describing dawn on the
Alps as it comes to the "active mountaineer, keenly awake, with the
blood alive within him and a day of hopes ahead." He writes:

[Illustration: WINTER SUNRISE IN THE ENGADINE--CRESTA: CELERINA AND
SAMADEN.]

     The night is dying. Her rich darks and whites grow pallid. Each
     moment a layer of darkness peels off. The sky turns blue before
     one knows it: the rocks grow brown: there is blue in the
     crevasses, and green upon the swards--all low-toned yet
     distinct. Faint puffs of warm air come, we know not whence,
     touch our faces, and are gone. The lantern has been
     extinguished; we stride out more freely; the day awakens within
     us also.

     Now is displayed in all its magnificence the daily drama of the
     dawn. While the mists yet lie cold and grey in the deep
     valleys, they glow against the eastern horizon, where all the
     spectrum is slowly uprolled, more and more fiery beneath, as it
     tends to red, and cut off below by the jagged outline of
     countless peaks, looking tiny, away off there on the margin of
     the world. Low floating cloudlets turn to molten gold. The
     horizon flames along all its fretted eastern edge, a narrow
     band of lambent light, a smokeless crimson fire. The belt of
     colour grows broader; it swamps and dyes the cloudlets crimson.
     Long pink streamers of soft light strike up from where the sun
     is presently to appear. The great moment is at hand. All eyes
     rove around the view. At last some near high peak salutes the
     day; its summit glowing like a live coal drawn from a furnace.
     Another catches the light and yet another. The glory spreads
     downwards, turning from pink to gold, and from gold to pure
     daylight, and then--lo! the sun himself upon the horizon! a
     point of blinding light, soon changing to the full round orb.
     The day has come, and the long shadows gather in their skirts
     and prepare to flee away.

Before such enthusiasm who dares to urge that the Alpine dawn may be
as well seen from a point to which the railway will take you? Or that
the climber's penalty before the dawn is night in a hut which has but
elementary ventilation to counteract the fumes of lamps, stoves, and
steaming clothes? Going to the Alps, climb most certainly if you can
climb. But supposing want of ability or inclination to climb, it is
yet possible to enjoy most of their beauties.



CHAPTER IX

NATURAL BEAUTIES OF SWITZERLAND


Yes, it is not necessary to join a climbing party to enjoy the scenery
of Switzerland. No place in the world offers greater facilities to the
sedentary tourist. There are railways and diligence routes almost
everywhere; and in places, too, there are still retreats for the quiet
pedestrian who wishes neither to undertake sensational climbs nor to
be carried by railway, but loves quiet paths by hill and lake and
forest, taking Longfellow's advice:

    I heard the distant waters dash,
    I saw the current whirl and flash,
    And richly, by the blue lake's silver beach,
    The woods were bending with a silent reach.
    Then o'er the vale, with gentle swell,
    The music of the village bell
    Came sweetly to the echo-giving hills....
    If thou wouldst read a lesson, that will keep
    Thy heart from fainting and thy soul from sleep,
    Go to the woods and hills! No tears
    Dim the sweet look that Nature wears.

It has to be admitted sadly that these opportunities for quiet rambles
become rarer with each year as mountain railways are multiplied, and
roads supplant the old shepherd paths. But still they exist in some
districts of Switzerland, and the conveniences offered to the walker
by the public services of the country prove that the Swiss wisely
appreciate the value of the patronage of this class of tourist. The
roads and paths are wonderfully well sign-posted, and in places where
there is a great tangle of paths the device has been adopted of
putting vari-coloured marks to indicate different routes. Thus going
out from a centre, one walk will be marked by black marks on trees,
rocks, and fences, another by yellow, another by red, and so on. But
best of all are the few districts still left where there are mountain
paths with no trace at all of tourist traffic, along which you must
find your way by diligent inquiry, by frequent reference to the map,
and always with caution against being tangled up hopelessly in some
wild valley.

The Federal post office offers useful service to the walker. You may
send on your personal luggage by parcel post very cheaply, and thus
walk with very little impedimenta. The happy experience of one tourist
was that he walked right across Switzerland, never carried more than
seven pounds of luggage on his back, and never wanted a change of
clothes in the evening, so reliable was the parcel post system.

[Illustration: THE SCHIAHORN. "The chalets are like fairy houses or toys."]

Mendelssohn has sung the beauty of Swiss paths:

     How beautiful are these paths! This Canton de Vaud is the most
     beautiful of the countries that I know. If God should grant me
     a long old age, this is where I should wish to spend it. What
     excellent people! What bright expressions on their faces! What
     charming views! When one returns from Italy one almost melts
     into tears at the sight of this corner of the world, in which
     so many good and honest people are still to be met. There are
     no beggars here, no surly functionaries--nothing but smiling
     countenances! I thank God for having let me see so many
     beautiful sights.

He wrote of a time preceding the modern tourist rush to Switzerland.
But such delights can still be had, away from the more popular
resorts. In the Zermatt district the walking is particularly good, for
it has not yet been "developed" at the call of the crowding hordes of
tourists. The paths have not been broadened into roads and spoilt in
the process, and old-fashioned inns have not been replaced by palace
hotels. Summer, of course, is the chief walking season, but there are
many paths in some of the lower districts possible in the winter.
Certainly those who go to the winter resorts for the sports should
make a point of breaking away now and again from skating rink and
toboggan run for a quiet prowl along some solitary path, to enjoy in
solitude, or in the company of a dear friend, the calm joy of an
Alpine sunset such as Mr. Symonds describes:

     While the west grows momentarily more pale the eastern heavens
     flush with afterglow, suffuse their spaces with pink and
     violet. Daffodil and tenderest emerald intermingle: and these
     colours spread until the West again has rose and primrose and
     sapphire wonderfully blent, and from the burning skies a light
     is cast upon the valley--a phantom light, less real, more like
     the hues of molten gems that were the stationary flames of
     sunset. Venus and the moon, meanwhile, are silvery clear. Then
     the whole illumination fades like magic.... There is hardly any
     colour except the blue of sky and shadow. Everything is traced
     in vanishing tints, passing from the almost amber of the
     distant sunlight through glittering white into pale grey and
     brighter blues and deep ethereal azure. The pines stand in
     black platoons upon the hillsides, with a tinge of red or
     orange on their sable. Some carry masses of snow. Others have
     shaken their plumes free. The châlets are like fairy houses or
     toys; waist-deep in stores of winter fuel, with their mellow
     tones of madder and umber relieved against the white, with the
     fantastic icicles and folds of snow depending from their eaves,
     or curled like coverlids from roof and window-sill, they are
     far more picturesque than in the summer. Colour, wherever it is
     found, whether in these cottages or in a block of serpentine by
     the roadside, or in the golden bulrush-blades by the lake
     shore, takes more than double value. It is shed upon the pallid
     landscape like a spiritual and transparent veil. Most beautiful
     of all are the sweeping lines of pure untroubled snow, fold
     over fold of undulating softness, billowing along the skirts of
     the peaked hills. There is no conveying the charm of
     immaterial, aerial, lucid beauty, the feeling of purity and
     aloofness from sordid things, conveyed by the fine touch on all
     our senses of light, colour, form, and air, and motion, and
     rare tinkling sound. The enchantment is like a spirit mood of
     Shelley's lyric verse.

[Illustration: A MOUNTAIN PATH, GRINDELWALD.]

To the tourist who contemplates a first visit to Switzerland, and can
give but little time to the country--making the visit, let us suppose,
as part of a European tour,--perhaps the best centre of interest is
Lucerne. There he may enjoy at the outset all the characteristic
charms of Swiss scenery--the beautiful lakes, the meadows, and
orchards stretching up from the blue waters to the hills, the great
mountains of Rigi, Pilatus (said by an ancient myth to have been the
refuge of the despairing Pontius Pilate), and the Stansenhorn. There,
too, may be found the delight of the Alpine pine forests and of the
Alpine flowers. There, too, are splendid survivals of the picturesque
life of medieval Switzerland. And, as the Swiss gate of the St.
Gothard Pass, Lucerne offers at once the opportunity to explore one of
the most wonderful paths of the world, and to pass quickly through to
the Italian lakes when the time that can be given to Switzerland has
been exhausted.

The St. Gothard Pass was a Middle Ages' track across the Alps. It was
not known to the Romans, who used the passes of the Valais and the
Rhaetian Alps. From the oldest document in which the Gothard is
mentioned, it seems that in the middle of the thirteenth century the
pass was already frequented by pilgrims. Following the pilgrims came
merchants from Lucerne, Zurich, and Basel, to trade with the rich
towns of fertile Lombardy. Originally the St. Gothard Pass was a
narrow mountain-path gradually widening into a mule-track. It was not
until the early part of the nineteenth century that the pass was made
accessible to carriages, and the highway constructed which still is a
fine example of a mountain road. Under the most favourable conditions
four days was the time required to pass from Lucerne to Milan, and
inclement weather would often force the traveller to take shelter for
days. Now the pass is traversed in a few hours by the St. Gothard
railway built jointly by Italy, Germany, and Switzerland. After
tedious conferences, a treaty was signed by these three countries in
1871, providing that subsidies to the work should be granted by the
contracting parties. The share of Germany and Switzerland was fixed at
£800,000 each, and that of Italy at £1,800,000. During the process of
construction, however, a material increase was necessary, so that
Germany in the end contributed £1,200,000 to the cost, Switzerland
£1,240,000, and Italy £2,320,000.

In September 1872 work was begun, and on February 29, 1880, after
nearly eight years of dangerous work, the piercing of the tunnel was
accomplished. The courageous chief engineer, Louis Favre, eight months
before the completion of the tunnel, fell a victim to its close, heavy
air, and died of heart failure whilst in the workings. The line was
opened in June 1882 and is still a great highway of railway traffic,
though the Simplon railway and the new Loetschberg railway have come
as rival trans-Alpine routes.

The oldest pass of the Alps is that which is now called the Great St.
Bernard, the _Summus Penninus_ of the Romans. Mr. Coolidge, in _Swiss
Travel and Swiss Guide-Books_, states that the first known guide-book
was written for the crowd of pilgrims crossing this pass, by the Abbot
of Thingör in Iceland, about 1154. There was a shelter building on the
pass before the year 812. A century later the Little St. Bernard was
similarly provided. The Simplon was equipped with a shelter before
1235, the St. Gothard before 1331, and the Grimsel before 1479.

But before leaving Lucerne by the St. Gothard Pass, the traveller with
any claim to historic imagination will visit Schwyz, the cradle of
Swiss independence and the various shrines of the heroes of the Forest
Cantons. Zurich, too, is easily accessible from Lucerne; also the
battlefield of St. Jacob on the Birse, where, in the year 1444, 1500
valiant Swiss held their ground against a force of French more than
twenty times as great. When night fell, this band, defying death with
the cry, "Our souls to God, our bodies to the Armagnacs," was almost
annihilated. Along the St. Gothard Pass are the records of another
great military exploit, Suwarow's passage of the Alps. At the Devil's
Bridge, over the Reuss, a Russian cross records the desperate fight
between the French and Suwarow's army in 1799.

For the tourist who would mingle with his enjoyment of natural beauty
visits to famous literary centres, Geneva of course will be the Swiss
headquarters. From there stretch right and left the storied shores of
Lake Leman. He may visit in turn Ferney, Coppet, and Lausanne, where
the gloomy austerity of Genevan Calvinism seemed to take on something
of a comic spirit. There the use of tobacco and snuff was forbidden
under the Seventh Commandment! "Here," said a preacher, "we snuff only
the Word of God." Montreux can be visited, or can be made the
headquarters of a stay by the Lake of Leman if economy is a
consideration, for it has the reputation of being the cheapest Swiss
place to live in.

Near Montreux is the Castle of Chillon, which Byron made famous in his
"Prisoner of Chillon" with more regard for sentimentality than for
truth. His Prisoner of Chillon was in truth no stainless patriot
imprisoned by a tyrant's rage, but a rather rowdy layman prior,
François Bonivard. He conspired against the Duke of Savoy, entered
into a rather undignified kind of civil war, and was imprisoned in the
Castle of Chillon. For some time he was treated fairly well, but
afterwards thrust into a dungeon below the level of the lake where he
was kept four years. In 1536 he was released, and was appointed
Historian to the Genevan Republic. He did not get on well with Calvin
and was frequently before the Genevan Consistory on various charges of
moral wrongdoing. (That argues nothing serious against his character.)
He seems to have been an average human man. But Byron's poem thrust
him on to a pedestal which he did not deserve. The Castle of Chillon
did not end its history as a prison with Bonivard's release. It was
used as a jail in the days of the French Revolution, and its last
notable prisoners were some members of the Salvation Army, accused of
causing street disorders by their ministrations. It was a picturesque
incident this "persecution" by Calvin's Lake of Leman of a new form of
Protestantism. But the persecution was not savage. The Salvationists
(English lasses chiefly) were very well treated in Chillon.

To mingle a study of modern Swiss history with worship of the Alps,
Berne would be the best centre for the tourist. Berne dates its
foundation back to Berchtold V., who in the year 1191 erected a
stronghold on a rocky promontory on the Aare, which was to serve as a
rampart against the attacks of the Burgundian nobles. The town takes
its name from a bear which was killed whilst the building was in
course of construction. To safeguard the western part of the city,
Agrippa d'Aubigné, the Huguenot leader, commenced the erection of a
circle of ramparts, completed in 1646, parts of which still remain and
are known as the "greater" and "lesser" ramparts. In 1218, after the
Zaeringer dynasty had died out, Berne became independent, subject only
to the German Emperor, and remained faithful to the House of
Hohenstaufen. During the Interregnum, Berne was forced to place
herself under the protection of the Duke of Savoy, in order to be able
to resist her numerous enemies. In the Burgundian war of 1474-77,
Berne was victorious at Grandson, Morat, and Nancy, and obtained a
strong foothold in Vaud, which entered entirely into her possession in
1536, so that her dominion extended from the Lake of Geneva to the
Reuss, and from the source of the Aare up to its juncture with the
Rhine. The upheaval caused by the French Revolution brought about the
fall of the Bernese Republic. In 1798, after the battles of Neuenegg
and Grauholz, the French entered the town under General Schauenburg,
and Berne lost her independence.

Since the Constitution of 1848, Berne has been the capital of the new
Confederation, the seat of the Federal Council and of Parliament. It
is also the headquarters of many international organisations.
Switzerland excites no jealousy among the European Powers and is
usually chosen as the summoning nation for conferences in which
international agreements are discussed.

Berne has some fine old monuments; and its medieval fountains are
particularly interesting. The bear-pit, which has been kept up for
centuries in record of the city's ancient association with the bear,
is worth a visit. From the Bernese public gardens and from the Gurten
(2800 feet high--reached by a funicular railway) there are marvellous
views of the Alps. There "soul of man has fronting him earth's utmost
majesty."

Lucerne, Geneva, Berne--these are the three centres I would recommend
to the traveller with but a short time available for a Swiss tour
and seeking to get a general impression of the country: and of the
three Lucerne is the best centre. But with a month to spare all three
may be visited and a very good idea of Switzerland obtained. The best
time for such a sight-seeing trip is the late spring or the summer,
preferably the spring, for with the summer often come dust and flies.

[Illustration: CASTLE OF CHILLON.]



CHAPTER X

AVALANCHES AND GLACIERS


The avalanche is chiefly associated in the mind of the visitor to
Switzerland with thoughts of peril and destruction, the glacier with
the idea of a permanent field of ice set decoratively to adorn a
mountain-side. Neither impression represents all of the truth.
Avalanches are destructive, and glaciers decorative. But the avalanche
is normally, to the dweller in the Alps, the welcome harbinger of
spring; the glacier the hard-working labourer which brings down soil
from the mountain rocks for the enrichment of the plains.

The first avalanche is the sign to the Swiss that

    _Solvitur acris hiems_,

and though he will not "draw his fishing boats down by rollers to the
sea," in all other respects he will share the song of joy in which
Horace records for the Italian husbandman the welcome due to the
spring. The avalanche may be sometimes terrible in its destruction, as
in lower lands a flood may sometimes be; but on their record, year by
year, they do not cause any appalling loss of life or of property.
Some deaths, some destruction, can be set to their account, but Nature
exacts a penalty from man everywhere, on plain, on mountain, and on
sea. Inundations of plains, storms at sea, cause probably a much
greater proportionate loss of life and property than avalanches.

In Switzerland, spring is the great time for avalanches. They fall all
the year round, chiefly from high levels, but it is in the spring that
the greatest avalanches come adrift. Certain spring avalanches descend
with remarkable regularity in particular places, one every year. An
avalanche falls at a recognised spot in the neighbourhood of almost
every village, which dates from its advent the opening of the spring.
This spring avalanche is no sudden freak of Nature, but an inevitable
affair, slowly engendered. The snow that piles up during the winter
months, on what in summer are the grass slopes below the snow-line,
gradually becomes unstable as spring melting advances. The mass loses
its cohesion, ceases to bind firmly together, and tends to flow
downwards. The trend of the ground decides the way of its fall. If the
fields upon which it lies are of small area and slope conveniently,
the avalanche will slide gently down to its appointed place. But if
the disposition of the ground is such that a great mass of snow is
collected in a basin which has a narrow outlet, from this a great
avalanche will rush like a cataract down the mountain-side until it
reaches a barrier sufficiently strong to put a stop to its current.

It is this type of avalanche which is the most likely to do great
mischief; but even this pours down rather than falls down the hill
slope. Sir Martin Conway recalls his observations of avalanches in
their actual progress along the Simplon Road one spring:

     Near Berisal I crossed one which had recently come to rest,
     traversing the road. By its rugged white surface, broken into
     great protuberances, its solidity, and its general form, it
     resembled a small glacier. To climb on to it one had to cut
     steps, so steep were the sides. Higher up I crossed several
     more such fallen masses, through which gangs of workmen were
     cutting out the road. Towards the top of the pass the snow was
     tumbling in smaller masses. Over a hundred little avalanches
     crossed the road within a couple of hours. Then they stopped.
     On the Italian side similar conditions obtained, but it was not
     till I reached Isella that the greatest fall took place, or
     rather was taking place, for it had begun before I arrived, and
     it continued after I had passed. There, a narrow gorge, with
     vertical cliff-sides facing one another, debouches on the main
     valley. It leads upwards to a great cirque in the hills, a
     cirque that is a grass-covered alpine pasture in the summer.
     The avalanche was pouring out through this gorge and piling
     itself up upon the main valley-floor. How the mass of it was
     being renewed from behind I could not see. Doubtless all the
     hillsides above were shedding their snow, and it was flowing
     down and crowding into and through the gorge with a continuous
     flow. As the pressure was relieved below by the outpouring of
     the avalanche on to the valley floor, more snow came down--snow
     mixed with slush, and semi-liquid under the great pressure that
     must have been developed....

     It is not easy to suggest to the reader the grandeur of effect
     that was produced. The volume of noise was terrific--a noise
     more massive and continuous than thunder, and no less deep
     toned.... The avalanche, pouring through the massive gateway of
     the hills and polishing its sides, came forth with an aspect of
     weight and resistless force that was extraordinarily
     impressive. Yet Nature did not seem to be acting violently,
     though her might was plain to see. She appeared to act with
     deliberation: one looked for an end of the snow-stream to come,
     but it flowed on and on, pulsating but not failing. The
     pressures that must be developed were easily conceived;
     correspondingly evident became the strength of the hills that
     could sustain them as if they had been but the stroking of a
     hand.

     Later in the season the traveller often encounters, in
     deep-lying valleys, the black and shrunken remnants of these
     mighty avalanches, melted down by summer heats. Little idea can
     they give him of the splendour of their birth and the white
     curdled beauty of their surface when they first come to rest.
     In the nature of things they travel far and fall low, well into
     the tree-belt, and even down to the chestnut-level on the
     Italian side. It is a strange sight to see these vast,
     new-fallen masses lying in their accustomed beds, but
     surrounded by trees all freshly verdant with the gifts of
     spring. Yearly each one falls in the same place, falls
     harmlessly and duly expected. Its coming is welcomed. Its voice
     is the triumphant shout of the coming season of summer
     exuberance and fertility. Nature, newly awakened, cries aloud
     with a great and solemnly joyous cry, and the people dwelling
     around hear her and arise to their work upon the land.

The avalanche, then, is one of the great natural forces of the
mountains, which is not necessarily or even ordinarily destructive.
But, like other natural forces--the fresh in the river or the gale at
sea,--it can be very terrible, and, again like other natural forces,
the wisdom and precaution of man can do much to minimise the danger of
the avalanche and to avert any serious destruction by its agency. The
Swiss people, so practical, so economical, so courageous, carry on a
persistent scientific campaign against the unruly element in these
torrents of ice, setting up lines of defence everywhere. The first and
most important line of defence is the forest; and for this reason the
forest laws of Switzerland are very severe. A man is not allowed to
fell a tree in his own wood without the forester's consent. Everything
is done to preserve the natural rampart afforded by a mass of pines.
In the second place, where avalanches descend regularly every year,
stone galleries are built, or tunnels are mined out of the solid rock
to protect roads. There are many examples of these galleries and
tunnels in the Züge, near Davos.

Scientific engineers are eager to add to these plans of defence. They
believe that the root of the mischief ought to be attacked. In places
where avalanches are expected, they recommend the building of terraces
and dwarf-walls, so as to arrest the earliest snow-slip. Lower down,
in the forest zone, piles should be driven into the ground, and fenced
with wattling. These precautions, and others on similar lines, are now
being taken, and most of the well-known avalanche tracks are being
surrounded by various defensive works designed to arrest any tendency
to mischief that they show. Destruction from avalanches there will
continue to be in exceptional cases, for Nature insists, now and
again, on displaying some unwonted, abnormal display of her power
which sets at nought all precautions of man. A _Titanic_ goes to the
bottom of the sea to show that the shipbuilder can claim only a human
and therefore limited surety against disaster. An avalanche may one
day shock Europe by rushing unexpectedly down to overwhelm a whole
Swiss village. But the danger from them has been diminished largely,
and continues to be diminished. It is necessary to go back to the past
to obtain the record of any great number of avalanche disasters.

The Swiss classify avalanches into several sorts. The first of these,
in order of maturity, is the _Staub-Lawine_ or Dust-Snow Avalanche.
This is a collection of loose snow, freshly fallen, which has been
caught up in one of those sectional tornadoes which spring up on the
mountain slopes, and is driven down on the wings of the wind to the
valley below. This form of avalanche is, because of its suddenness,
the most dangerous to human life, and is also the most difficult to
provide against. Measures to prevent the accumulation of drift snow
in dangerous pockets or wind-swept slopes are in some degree
efficacious. Mr. Symonds records the experience of a Swiss who was
caught in a Dust-Avalanche:

[Illustration: DAVOS IN WINTER. The home of John Addington Symonds.]

     A human victim of the dreadful thing, who was so lucky as to be
     saved from its clutch, once described to me the sensations he
     experienced. He was caught at the edge of the avalanche just
     when it was settling down to rest, carried off his feet, and
     rendered helpless by the swathing snow, which tied his legs,
     pinned his arms to his ribs, and crawled upward to his throat.
     There it stopped. His head emerged, and he could breathe; but
     as the mass set, he felt the impossibility of expanding his
     lungs, and knew that he must die of suffocation. At the point
     of losing consciousness, he became aware of comrades running to
     his rescue. They hacked the snow away around his thorax, and
     then rushed on to dig for another man who had been buried in
     the same disaster, leaving him able to breathe, but wholly
     powerless to stir hand or foot.

The usual spring avalanche is called the _Schlag-Lawine_ or
Stroke-Avalanche. These, as already described, push down a slope of
the mountains like a swiftly flowing river. Danger from the
_Schlag-Lawine_, which is just as usual and inevitable a process of
Nature as the growing of the trees or the splitting of rocks by frost,
has been very largely reduced. This form of avalanche can be traced
to its sources and its course and flow regulated by channels and
break-ices. It has a secondary form called the _Grund-Lawine_ or
ground avalanche. This is the avalanche which aroused the poetic anger
of Mr. Symonds:

     The peculiarity of a _Grund-Lawine_ consists in the amount of
     earth and rubbish carried down by it. This kind is filthy and
     disreputable. It is coloured brown or slaty-grey by the rock
     and soil with which it is involved. Blocks of stone emerge in
     horrid bareness from the dreary waste of dirty snow and slush
     of water which compose it; and the trees which have been so
     unlucky as to stand upon its path are splintered, bruised,
     rough-handled in a hideous fashion. The _Staub-Lawine_ is
     fury-laden like a fiend in its first swirling onset, flat and
     stiff like a corpse in its ultimate repose of death, containing
     men and beasts and trees entombed beneath its stern unwrinkled
     taciturnity of marble. The _Schlag-Lawine_ is picturesque,
     rising into romantic spires and turrets, with erratic
     pine-plumed firths protruding upon sleepy meadows. It may even
     lie pure and beautiful, heaving in pallid billows at the foot
     of majestic mountain slopes where it has injured nothing. But
     the _Grund-Lawine_ is ugly, spiteful like an asp,
     tatterdemalion like a street Arab; it is the worst, the most
     wicked of the sisterhood. To be killed by it would mean a
     ghastly death by scrunching and throttling, as in some grinding
     machine, with nothing of noble or impressive in the
     winding-sheet of foul snow and débris heaved above the mangled
     corpse.

But the _Grund-Lawine_ is really the most beneficial avalanche of the
Alps, doing quickly the work, which a glacier does slowly, of carrying
down soil from the heights to the plains. It is rare in the Swiss
Alps, more common in mountains of younger age going through earlier
processes of disintegration. Perhaps, if one is to look at an
avalanche chiefly as an instrument of death, the _Grund-Lawine_ has a
greater objectionableness than the _Staub-Lawine_. But any form of
death by avalanche is best avoided: and the difference between death
by the _Grund-Lawine_ and death by the _Staub-Lawine_ is purely
æsthetic. And the _Grund_ usually kills quickly whilst the _Staub_ may
take a freakish turn and bury you alive in a cranny or cavern which
the avalanche has sealed by passing over it. Men have slowly died of
hunger in such circumstances. Yet, so long as life lasts, there is
hope; no pains are spared in ransacking the snow after an avalanche;
and cases of almost miraculous deliverance occasionally occur. One
February (records Mr. Symonds) a young man called Domiziano Roberti,
in the neighbourhood of Giornico, saw an avalanche descending on him.
He crept under a great stone, above which there fell a large tree in
such a position that it and the stone together roofed him from the
snow, which soon swept over him and shut him up. There he remained 103
hours in a kind of semi-somnolence, and was eventually dug out,
speechless and frightfully frost-bitten, but alive.

The avalanche record of a single village (Fetan) of Switzerland--a
village which is characterised as a very unlucky one--will give some
idea of the real extent of the toll of the avalanche. In the year 1682
a great avalanche swept over it. Six persons were killed, but the rest
of the villagers, expecting some such catastrophe, had abandoned their
houses. In one dwelling nothing was left standing but the living-room
and one bedroom. These, however, contained the mother of the family
and all her children, who escaped unhurt. In 1720 an avalanche
demolished fifteen houses. In one of them a party of twenty-six young
men and women were assembled. They were all buried in the snow, and
only three survived. Altogether thirty-six persons perished at that
time. In 1812 a similar catastrophe occurred, destroying houses and
stables. But on this occasion the inhabitants had been forewarned and
left the village. A curious story is told about the avalanche of
1812. One of the folk of Fetan, after abandoning his home to its fate,
remembered that he had forgotten to bring away his Bible. In the teeth
of the impending danger, through the dark night, he waded back across
the snowdrifts, and saved the book. In 1888 there was further
destruction at this village by avalanche, but with no loss of life.
That is a particularly unlucky village, evidently badly situated. But
since 1720 the snow-falls have caused no loss of life there.

The down-coming of an avalanche, if it be sudden and swift, is often
accompanied by a great blast of wind, which gives it an additional
danger. This wind may in some cases be partly caused by the
displacement of the air from the fall; in most cases, it is probable,
the wind was in chief part the original cause of the snow-fall. The
blast of the avalanche is known as the _Lawinen-Dunst_, and many
thrilling stories are told of hairbreadth escapes from its blast. A
carter driving with a sledge and two horses across the Albula Pass was
hurled--horses, sledge, and all--across a gully by the wind. A woman
was lifted into the air and carried to the top of a lofty pine-tree,
to which she clung and was saved. Of more tragic tone is the record
of the man lifted by an avalanche blast and smashed to pieces against
a stone, of a house lifted up in the air and dashed down, killing most
of its inhabitants.

The avalanche is snow in quick movement towards the valleys. The
glacier is snow--pressed into ice--in slow movement. A river of ice,
its flow to be measured by the records of months, not of moments--that
is the glacier of Alps and Polar lands. Its mission in nature is the
same as that of a river, to grind down mountain rocks and to carry the
detritus for the enrichment of the plains below. The glaciers of the
Polar lands, coming down as they do to the edge of the ocean, are
responsible for the icebergs of those seas. Compared with Polar
glaciers the Alpine ones are puny, no larger, as a rule, than a large
iceberg--which represents just a fragment broken off an Arctic or
Antarctic glacier. But the Alpine examples of glaciers, small though
they be, are grandly impressive in their natural surroundings. Such a
one as the Silvretta, for instance, stretching its length for nearly
twenty miles across the mountains, looks magnificently vast. From a
distance a glacier seems to be white, with bands of grey, or of black
from the moraines (strips of earth and stones showing on the surface).
Studied at close hand it is a pageant of varied colours due to the
variations of light and shade on its surface, and to the manner in
which the refraction of the light is affected by the partial melting
of the topmost layer of the snow. From this melting come little
trickles of water which combine to form streams and then torrents. The
beds of these torrents are blue in colour and like transparent
glass--a lovely contrast with the general surface of the glacier. For
that is made white by the innumerable fissures that penetrate its
surface, fissures which are caused by the heat of the sun, from which
the beds of the streams are protected. Yet more beautiful than the
streams are the pools occasionally found on the surface of a glacier,
when they have clean floors unsoiled by a moraine. They, too, have
blue basins with white edges. Looked down upon from a distance, they
appear like great sapphires. Sometimes a lake may be found not on but
beside a glacier, where the ice forms one bank and the mountain
another. Such are the Märjelen See by the Great Aletsch, and the lake
at the west foot of Monte Rosa. On these one may see floating masses
of ice. Now and again will be found crevasses filled with water, whose
depth gives a yet bluer tone.

Sir Martin Conway (from whose expert study of glaciers I have freely
quoted) gives the palm for glacier colouring to what is called the dry
glacier.

     "Note," he writes, "the brilliance of its surface and the
     peculiarity of its texture. It consists of an infinite
     multitude of loosely compacted rounded fragments of ice with a
     little water soaking down between them. If you watch it closely
     you will see that the moving water makes a shimmering in the
     cracks between the ice fragments. You will also observe that
     the blue of the solid ice below the skin of fragments appears
     dimly through the white, and the least tap with an ice-axe to
     scrape away the surface reveals it clearly. Each little
     fragment of ice has a separate glitter of its own, so that the
     whole surface sparkles with a frosted radiance. It is not the
     same at dawn after a cold night, for then there is no water
     between the fragments, but all is hard and solid. No sooner,
     however, does the sun shine upon them, than the bonds are
     released and the ice-crystals begin to break up with a gentle
     tinkling sound and little flashes of light reflected from tiny
     wet mirror-surfaces. One can spend hours watching these small
     phenomena as happily as gazing upon the great mountains
     themselves. Size is a relative term. The biggest mountain in
     relation to the earth is no greater than is one of these small
     ice-fragments in relation to a glacier. Reduce the scale in
     imagination and the smallest object may be endowed with
     grandeur, for all such conceptions are subjective. The open
     crevasses that are never far away on the dry glacier are full
     of beauties. It is not easy to tire of peering down into them.
     Sometimes one may be found into which a man armed with an
     ice-axe may effect a descent. He will not stay there long, for
     the depths are cold. Once I was able not only to descend into a
     crevasse but to follow it beyond its open part into the very
     substance of the glacier. It was a weird place, good to see but
     not good to remain in, and I was glad to return to sunshine
     very soon."

[Illustration: MÄRJELEN SEE AND GREAT ALETSCH GLACIER.]

Ordinarily a glacier surface is not diversified by any large features.
But sometimes peaks of rock rise as islands out of a sea of ice.
Sometimes, too, inequalities in the bed of the glacier acting with the
pressure of the ice mass cause great wrinklings on the surface (the
Col du Géant is an instance), and from the ridges thus formed hang
very beautiful ice-falls.

For the proper study of glacier beauty it is recommended to Alpine
travellers that they should arrange to camp for some days in the
glacier region. But there are good examples of glaciers within walking
distance of some of the higher hotels.



CHAPTER XI

THE ALPINE CLUBS


Though the palm for Alp-climbing is not held by the Swiss
themselves--one unkind critic has said that "in this as in all other
things the Swiss show their invincible mediocrity"--and the Swiss
Alpine Club was not the pioneer among climbing clubs, its work has
been of very great value in safeguarding the Alps against desecration
and Alpine climbers against accident. In the year 1913 it celebrated
its jubilee year, and the occasion was marked by great festivities in
Lucerne. Unlike the British Alpine Club, which is of a somewhat
aristocratic constitution, the Swiss institution is of a very
"democratic" character, not exacting high subscriptions and welcoming
all to its ranks who can pay the very moderate subscription.

The objects for which the Club was originally founded were "to
explore the Swiss Alps, to study them more accurately from every point
of view, to make them better known, and to facilitate access to them."
This programme has been interpreted in a very liberal sense, for it
has been made to include not merely the construction, furnishing, and
maintenance of huts, but also the training and insurance of guides,
the organisation of rescue parties, and the publication of
guide-books, of accurate maps, of an annual, and of two periodicals,
one in German and the other in French. The Swiss Alpine Club now
numbers 13,496 members (the German and Austrian 100,023, the Italian
7500, the French about 6500, and the British about 730). A British
section of the Swiss Alpine Club exists, and its members last year
presented the parent club with funds to erect and furnish a new hut,
the Britannia Hut, situated above Saas Fee, a district of Switzerland
to which British climbers most frequently go.

That section of the work of the Swiss Club which is worthy of the most
praise is devoted to urging upon visitors a standard of good conduct
and respect for the rights and convenience of others. Its recently
issued "Mottoes for Mountaineers" are put up on the walls of railway
stations, in mountain inns, or anywhere else where they are likely to
attract the notice of those whom it is hoped to educate. They exhort,
in particular, to the avoidance of all alcoholic drinks when in the
mountains; to suitable equipment; to quiet behaviour and refraining
from bawling and shouting; to the clearing up of all litter after a
meal, leaving no soiled paper or tins about, and, above all, not
throwing away or breaking any bottles. They likewise appeal for
merciful treatment of Alpine wild flowers.

We are all of us familiar with a "tourist resort" of some kind, so
general is the habit of travel for curiosity's sake to scenes of
beauty or of renown; and we are all of us aware, therefore, of the
need there is for popular education to contend against the vulgar
defacement of natural beauties and of historic monuments. No place is
spared by a type of visitor eager to perpetuate a worthless name, and
careless to stain a revered shrine with his untidy litter. An historic
grove has its tree-trunks marked with knives; a famous meadow or a
field of renowned beauty has its surface scarred with rubbish; a
grand cathedral or hall of renown has its stones scratched, its floors
littered. All praise to the Swiss Alpine Club for its work to protect
Alpine meadows from bottles and tins, Alpine cliffs from scratched and
painted inscriptions. And if, perhaps, it one day takes heart of grace
and decides to make a stand against the undue extension of railways
and palace hotels upon beautiful peaks, it will earn still warmer
praise, and will act, too, in the best interests of Switzerland, which
gains from tourists now £12,000,000 a year, and is in danger of
driving some of the pilgrims of the picturesque away to the
Carpathians or the Balkans by allowing the Swiss peaks to be spoiled
with too much "modern improvement."

Before the growth of the influence of the Swiss Alpine Club, the Swiss
did not indulge in mountain-climbing as a sport on their own account
to any very great extent. But the Club is working to arouse a national
"amateur" (as opposed to mercenary) interest in the national
mountains, and the quick growth of its membership seems to argue well
for its success. Will a climbing knowledge of the mountains lead to a
better appreciation of them on the part of the Swiss and a better
determination to protect them against railway and hotel vandalism? It
is a moot point. Sir Martin Conway, who has climbed mountains in three
continents, seems to think that familiarity brings increased respect
at first, but that afterwards the æsthetic interest begins to fade:

     Almost universal is the feeling aroused by a first sight of a
     great snowy range that it is unearthly. Mystery gathers over
     it. Its shining majesty in full sunlight, its rosy splendours
     at dawn and eve, its pallid glimmer under the clear moon, its
     wreathed and ever-changing drapery of cloud, its terrific
     experiences in storm, all these elements and aspects strike the
     imagination and appeal broadly to the æsthetic sense. Nor are
     they ever quite forgotten even by the most callous of
     professional mountaineers.

     But with increase of experience on the mountains themselves
     come knowledge and a whole group of new associations.... The
     mountain, judged by the scale of remembered toil, grows
     wonderfully in height. The eye thus trained begins to realise
     and even to exaggerate the vast scale on which peaks are built.
     But along with this gain in the truthful sense of scale comes
     the loss of mystery. The peak which was in heaven is brought
     down to earth. It was a mere thing of beauty to be adored and
     wondered at; it has become something to be climbed. Its details
     have grown intelligible and interesting. The mind regards it
     from a new aspect, begins to analyse its forms and features,
     and to consider them mainly in their relation to man as a
     climber. As knowledge grows this attitude of mind develops.
     Each fresh peak ascended teaches something....

     The longer a climber gratifies his instincts and pursues his
     sport, the larger becomes his store of reminiscences and the
     greater his experience. If he confines his attention to a
     single range of mountains such as the Alps, he is almost always
     in sight of mountains he has climbed and glaciers he has
     traversed. Each view shows him some route he has once pursued,
     some glacier basin he has explored, some pass he has crossed.
     The labyrinth of valleys and the crests of successive ridges do
     not puzzle him. He knows how they are grouped and whither they
     lead. Beyond those mountains is the Zermatt valley; that peak
     looks down on Zinal; that col leads to Saas. Thus there grows
     in him the sense of the general shape and arrangement of the
     country. It is no longer a tangled chaos of heights and depths,
     but an ordered anatomy, formed by the action of definite and
     continuous forces. So far as his knowledge extends this
     orderliness is realised. He has developed a geographical
     sense....

     As the seasons go by, it happens that the æsthetic interest,
     which was at first the climber's main delight, begins to fade.
     If he be a man of scientific interests it is liable to an even
     quicker evanescence than if he be not, for problems of
     geological structure, or of botanical distribution, or of
     glaciology and the like, are a keen source of intellectual
     enjoyment. At length, perhaps, the day comes when the loss is
     felt. There is a gorgeous range of snow mountains with every
     effect of cloud and sunshine that the eye can desire, displayed
     about and upon them, yet the climber finds with dismay that his
     heart is cold. The old glory has vanished from the scene and
     the old thrill is an unfelt emotion. What is the matter? Have
     his eyes grown dim? Has he lost the faculty of delight? Is he
     growing old? Whatever the cause, the effect is painful in the
     extreme. It is one that many of us have felt, especially
     towards the close of a long and successful climbing season, or
     extensive journey of exploration. There is but one remedy--to
     quit the mountains for a while and attend to the common
     business of life. When winter months have gone by and summer is
     again at hand, the old enthusiasm is liable to return. Sooner
     or later the true mountain-lover will begin to starve for sight
     of the snows.

[Illustration: LOOKING UP VALLEY TOWARDS ZERMATT FROM NEAR RANDA.]

From a tourist-attracting point of view, then, the encouragement of
climbing would not seem to be altogether a good thing. But on the
other side of the argument it has to be remembered that the population
of Switzerland is fairly large for its area, that a generation is not
eternal, and that there is no likelihood of a very large number ever
getting so much Alpine climbing as to find the mountains an _ennui_.
On the whole it would seem to be good policy on the part of the Swiss
Alpine Club to seek to extend its membership and to encourage in other
countries similar "democratic" climbing organisations, with the idea
of spreading as widely as possible the sport of mountain-climbing in
the Alps, not in its highest phase of very difficult and dangerous
ascents, but in a moderate form available to people of moderate
strength and moderate means. So far as the danger of climbing has to
be taken into consideration, all the ascents have been so carefully
mapped now that in good weather, with good guides, there is
practically no risk to careful and strong climbers. Yet the present
summer (1913) has been a very deadly one on the Alps, a fact due to
over-much familiarity bringing to climbers some measure of contempt
for the dangers of the peaks and inducing foolhardy attempts under
unsuitable weather conditions. During September of 1913 there were
eleven fatal accidents to climbers, and five other accidents causing
grave injuries. The climbing season was a late one, as the weather had
been consistently unfavourable in July and August. In September the
weather still continued uncertain, but there was a general tendency
among disappointed climbers and guides to take risks so as to get in
some ascents before the season closed. To this willingness to take
undue risks most of the accidents were due. A characteristic one was
on the Zermatt Breithorn when a guide allowed himself to be persuaded
against his better judgment to continue an ascent in the face of
obvious danger. The details regarding this accident are worth
recording as illustrating the actual most pressing peril of the Alps
to-day, that of foolhardiness. Three German climbers, one a lady, set
out with the guide Heinrich Julen to attempt to ascend the Zermatt
Breithorn--usually easy. When they reached the Gandegg or Lower
Theodule hut (10,000 feet), the weather being very threatening, they
took with them a second guide, an Italian. The party ploughed through
very deep fresh snow for about an hour and a half, after which one of
the men and the lady said they would prefer to turn back. The other,
however, Dr. Schrumm, of Kempten, Bavaria, insisted on continuing the
ascent with the guide Julen, who, it is said, was very unwilling to
proceed. Nevertheless he did so. Apparently the party did not leave
the Gandegg Hut, owing to bad weather, until 8 A.M., and it was four
in the afternoon when Dr. Schrumm and the guide Julen reached the
summit. During the descent a violent snowstorm came on, the guide lost
his bearings, and, not being provided with a compass, wandered about
for a time without making any progress. He scooped out a hole in
the snow for shelter. The doctor and guide remained there the night,
and the next morning the doctor died of cold and exhaustion.
Apparently he was not sufficiently warmly clad.

[Illustration: THE DENTS DU MIDI FROM GRYON ABOVE BEX.]

This accident caused a good deal of discussion among Alpine climbers,
and it is possible that one outcome of it will be to protect guides by
more stringent regulations against the urgency of climbers who wish to
incur dangers of which they are ignorant.

There are, however, to be enjoyed in Switzerland very many Alpine
climbs which come within an ample margin of safety, requiring guides
in some cases, but not taking any extravagant toll either on the purse
or on the muscles. Thus from Adelboden one may go to the summit of the
Gemmi Pass and back within a day: or over the Bunderchrinde to
Kandersteg; or to the Bonderspitze (8343 feet), the Elsighorn (7697
feet), the Elsigfirst (8366 feet), the Albristhorn (8366 feet), the
Gsür (8894 feet). Or from the same point of departure with a little
more expense, but no more danger, the Wildstrubel (10,715 feet) may be
climbed. There is a fine glacier (the Strubel) on this route. From
another point of departure, Champery, the various peaks of the Dents
du Midi are easily reached. In the Dents du Midi group the highest is
the most accessible. To climb the Haute Cime one usually sleeps at
Bonaveau, whence one starts off at early morning through the Pas
d'Encel, the valley and the pass of Susanfe. With a guide these can
easily be done and without difficulty in six hours. From the summit
the panorama embraces all of the central and western Alps. From Les
Plans (to mention another centre) there are no less than fifty good
climbs, most of them suitable for the modest Alpinist. For an example
of a "big" climb from this centre take the ascent of the Grand Muveran
(10,040 feet). It is a steep and difficult ascent, not dangerous, but
a guide is a necessity. The starting-point is Les Plans. From there to
the summit takes at least five hours. The expedition is less fatiguing
if the climber passes the night at the Rambert shelter. From this hut
to the top of the mountain it is a climb of two hours. From the
Muveran the view over the Valais is particularly good. The ascent of
the Diablerets (10,663 feet), the summit of the Vaudois Alps, is more
difficult, but in good weather not attended with any risk.

In bad weather almost any climb can be dangerous, and one needs to be
a particularly expert and keen Alpinist to attempt an ascent when
storms are likely. But for that expert and keen Alpinist it seems that
there is "a music in the thunder and the growling of the gale," and a
joy in breasting and overcoming an Alpine storm. A stirring
description of such a storm by a famous climber:

     The gathering squadrons of the sky grow dark, and seem to hold
     the just departed night in their bosoms. Their crests impend.
     They assume terrific shapes. They acquire an aspect of
     solidity. They do not so much seem to blot out as to destroy
     the mountains. Their motion suggests a great momentum. At first
     too they act in almost perfect silence. There is little
     movement in the oppressively warm air, and yet the clouds boil
     and surge as though violently agitated. They join together,
     neighbour to neighbour, and every moment they grow more dense
     and climb higher. To left and right, one sees them, behind also
     and before.

     The moments now are precious. We take a last view of our
     surroundings, note the direction we should follow, and try to
     fix details in our memories, for sight will soon be impossible.
     Then the clouds themselves are upon us--a puff of mist first,
     followed by the dense fog. A crepitating sound arises around
     us; it is the pattering of hard particles of snow on the
     ground. Presently the flakes grow bigger and fall more softly,
     feeling clammy on the face. And now probably the wind rises
     and the temperature is lowered. Each member of our party is
     whitened over; icicles form on hair and moustache, and the very
     aspect of men is changed to match the wild surroundings. Under
     such circumstances the high regions of snow are more impressive
     than under any other, but climbers must be well-nourished, in
     good hard condition, and not too fatigued, or they will not
     appreciate the scene. No one can really know the high Alps who
     has not been out in a storm at some great elevation. The
     experience may not be, in fact is not, physically pleasant, but
     it is morally stimulating in a high degree, and æsthetically
     grand. Now must a climber call up all his reserves of pluck and
     determination. He may have literally to fight his way down to a
     place of shelter. There can be no rest, neither can there be
     any undue haste. The right way must be found and followed. All
     that can be seen is close at hand and that small circle must
     serve for guidance. All must keep moving on with grim
     persistence, hour after hour. Stimulants are unavailing and
     food is probably inaccessible. All depends upon reserve stores
     of health and vigour, and upon moral courage. To give in is
     treason. Each determines that he for his part will not fail his
     companions. Mutual reliance must be preserved.

It seems certainly a fine experience--to recall afterwards. But I
confess that I never really enjoyed a mountain storm except in the
case of one that I saw from above the clouds, fighting out its quarrel
in the valleys below Mount Kosciusko. To see a storm from above--that
is a spectacle of grandeur; and there is no threat of danger or of
discomfort to the spectator.

[Illustration: THE SCHWARTZHORN FROM THE FLUELA HOSPICE.]

But the idea must not be gathered from the descriptions of the dangers
of mountaineering that it is a sport suitable only for the
exceptionally sturdy. Any one with fair physique who has not reached
old age can join an Alpine Club and enjoy Alpine climbing, so long as
actually dangerous and freak ascents are avoided. Mr. Symonds, who
went to the Alps apparently a hopeless invalid, was able to enjoy
Alpine climbing, and has given in prose and verse some fine
pen-pictures of its joys; this in particular of an ascent of the
Schwartzhorn:

    'Neath an uncertain moon, in light malign,
        We trod those rifted granite crags, whereunder,
        Startling the midnight air with muffled thunder,
        Flowed infant founts of Danube and of Rhine.
    Our long-drawn file in slow deliberate line
        Scaled stair on stair, subdued to silent wonder;
        Wound among mouldering rocks that rolled asunder,
        Rattling with hollow roar down death's decline.
    Still as we rose, one white transcendent star
        Steered calmly heavenward through the empurpled gloom,
        Escaping from the dim reluctant bar
    Of morning, chill and ashen-pale as doom;
        Where the day's chargers, champing at his ear,
        Waited till Sol should quit night's banquet-room.

    Pure on the frozen snows, the glacier steep,
        Slept moonlight with the tense unearthly charm
        Of spells that have no power to bless or harm;
        But, when we touched the ridge which tempests sweep,
    Death o'er the murk vale, yawning wide and deep,
        Clung to frost-slippery shelves, and sharp alarm,
        Shuddering in eager air, drove life's blood warm
        Back to stout hearts and staunch will's fortress-keep.
    Upward we clomb; till now the emergent morn,
        Belting the horror of dim jagged eastern heights,
        Broadened from green to saffron, primrose-pale,
    Felt with faint finger-tips of rose each horn,
        Crept round the Alpine circuit, o'er each dale
        Dwelt with dumb broodings drearier even than night's.

    Thus dawn had come; not yet the day: night's queen
        And morning's star their state in azure kept:
        Still on the mountain world weird silence slept;
        Earth, air, and heaven held back their song serene.
    Then from the zenith, fiery-white between
        Moonshine and dayspring, with swift impulse swept
        A splendour of the skies that throbbing leapt
        Down to the core of passionate flame terrene--
    A star that ruining from yon throne remote,
        Quenched her celestial yearnings in the pyre
        Of mortal pangs and pardons. At that sign
    The orient sun with day's broad arrow smote
        Black Linard's arrogant brow, while influent fire
        Slaked the world's thirst for light with joy divine.

[Illustration: AN ALPINE MEADOW IN BLOOM.]



CHAPTER XII

THE FLOWERS OF THE ALPS


The Swiss Alps have their chief worshippers in the summer for the
climbing, in the winter for the sports. A few insist that the rich
colouring of autumn is the best season of all. A larger and a growing
number visit the Alps in the spring for the flowers. They are wise,
for truly the sight of an Alpine meadow in bloom is the most joyous
manifestation of Nature in a sunny mood that man can know. Whether it
be that the flowers, fertilised by the detritus which the winter's
snow has brought to their roots, are really more luxuriant and
brighter in colour than the same flowers in a garden or a woodland
dell of the plains; or that the clear air and the contrast with the
white snow around make them seem more brilliant--Alpine flowers shine
out with an exquisite and star-like grace that can be noted nowhere
else; and the green of Alpine grass seems of a clear brightness that
no other herbage can rival.

The nearness to the snow has certainly an effect in enhancing the
charm of these Alpine meadows. The flowers, wearing the colours of the
sun, rush bravely to the very edge of the snow-fields as though they
were jostling the winter aside. The white has barely disappeared
before there is green and gold and red to give cheerful greeting to
the spring sky, and declare another foot of territory won from the
frost. Indeed, if you will look closely at the line of the retreating
snow--not a straight line but a billowy one, here receding into a big
bay, here stubbornly holding out a promontory of white--you will note
that the crevellated edge of the vanishing snow mass is not joined to
the earth at all, but forms a little overhanging cliff of ice. The
melting warmth is coming up from the ground rather than from the sun
in the last stage of the snow-field's flight, and underneath this tiny
cliff the vegetation can be seen already pushing up to life.

The lower Alps in April and May flaunt first the gay banners of the
crocus, which "breaks like fire" over the ground as soon as the
chains of the ice are broken. But other flowers are but little in the
rear, and the snow has scarce gone before under the pine woods there
is a carpet of the mauve-blue hepatica, in the gorges the yellow and
white of the snowflakes and the red of the sticky primrose, over the
meadows the white and purple of the soldanella and the celestial blue
of the spring gentian, while the marshes flaunt their marigolds and
the rose-red bird's-eye primrose. It is a blaze of rich colour, and
yet (to quote Mr. G. Flemwell's work on Alpine flowers):

     The steel-blue of winter is still in the air--indeed, one feels
     it in the very flowers. Even though no snowy Alp be in sight,
     and nothing but floral gaiety around, there is yet a sense of
     austerity. The vegetation, though colourfull, is neither coarse
     nor rank, nor even luxurious, as judged by English standard.
     Nature is crisp and brisk; the air is thin and clear;
     everywhere is great refinement, quite other than that of spring
     in England. It were as though the severity of the struggle for
     existence could be read in the sweet face of things, just as we
     may often read it in the smiling face of some chastened human
     being--lines of sweetness running side by side with lines of
     acute capacity; a strong face beautiful; a face in which
     optimism reigns sovereign over an active pessimism. Nature in
     the Alps is instinct with the stern necessity for perpetual
     endeavour, whereas in England, where conditions are not so
     harsh, we have a sense of a certain indolence and ease of
     circumstance of Nature which we call homeliness and repose.
     Repose, in this sense, there certainly is not in the Alpine
     spring. Every suspicion of lassitude or _laissez-faire_ is
     unknown; all is keen and buoyant, quick with an earnest _joie
     de vivre_ which is as exquisite in its way as anything more
     voluptuously sentimental that England can produce.

Following fast upon the earlier flowers come the anemones, the
rhododendrons, the ranunculi, the forget-me-nots, the Alpine roses,
the saxifrages, the violets, the pinks, the heaths, the orchids, St.
Bruno's lily, the daffodils, and a score of other blossoms. The feast
of colour is spread, day after day, in varying shades, but with
unvarying richness, until there comes the time when with another riot
of colour the herdsmen enter into the field with their cattle, or the
scythes lay all prostrate for the winter hay.

Whilst the best of the Alpine spring shows of flowers are in April and
May on the lower and richer Alpine meadows, one may follow the banners
of _primavera_ up the mountains, almost until August, encountering on
the higher levels later seasons. Writing from Zermatt as late as the
end of July, a correspondent to the _Morning Post_ chronicled:

[Illustration: HEPATICA IN THE WOODS AT BEX.]

     The dog roses, the brilliantly pink sweet briar, the willow
     herb, also of a præternatural brilliance owing to the altitude,
     still make gay the Zermatt Valley, while the last of the
     martagon lilies are being mown ruthlessly down by the peasants
     in their hayfields. Everywhere on the rocks the red house leeks
     and other plants of the stonecrop, saxifrage, and sedum
     varieties are appearing; while the mountain pinks, arnica, and
     Alpine asters grow almost down into the village itself. For
     some reason the flower-plunderer has either stayed his hand in
     this valley or has passed it by, for here several of the rarer
     and choicer sorts of Alpine blossoms, almost extinct, or at
     least very rare in most parts of Switzerland, are still
     flourishing. Martagon lilies, for instance, are common, though
     how long they will remain so I cannot say. The paths are often
     literally bordered with the true Alpine rose, deepest crimson
     in hue. Many a meadow is purple and gold with the starry
     flowers of the Alpine aster, common here as a field daisy; many
     a rock slope is overgrown with mountain pinks; while as for the
     _arnica montana_, the rhododendrons, and the creeping
     gypsophila, I have never seen anything like them elsewhere. The
     arnica covers whole slopes and carpets woods until the ground
     is oranged completely over with its blossoms; the creeping
     gypsophila clothes the bare rocks and borders the paths with
     its tufts of white and pale pink flowers; and the rhododendrons
     make the semi-shaded slopes beneath the larches almost a sheet
     of rosy-red. Somewhere, too, the true Alpine columbine must be
     growing plentifully. I have not discovered it, but I have, I am
     sorry to say, seen great handfuls of this loveliest of Alpine
     flowers being brought down from the Zermatt slopes.

     At one altitude or another, indeed, there are few Alpine
     flowers which are not to be found somewhere in the Zermatt
     range during this month of July. Certain damp-loving species,
     such as campanulas and orchis and the whole primula family, are
     certainly less well represented here than in the rainier
     Bernese Oberland, yet still there are entire slopes pale blue
     with the bearded campanula, and more than one kind of primula
     is to be found still in bloom high up or in the crevices of
     rocks, while the slopes at the head of the Zermatt valley are
     even now covered with Alpine and sub-Alpine blossoms of a
     variety and brilliance which I have never seen excelled and
     seldom equalled. The short grass above eight thousand feet or
     thereabouts is blue with Alpine forget-me-nots or mauve with
     pansies, starred with the small gentian, or patched with the
     pink of the "marmot's bread" (_silene_); higher up, to 11,000
     feet and more, _ranunculus glacialis_ and the hardiest and
     lowest-growing flowers are still blooming; while slightly lower
     down, especially where there is the moisture of streams and the
     shelter of rocks, grow fields of _arnica montana_, pinks,
     asters, geums, rock roses, sweet alyssum, sedums, _semper
     vivum_, arabis, Alpine toadflax, louseworts, wild thyme,
     edelweiss, rampions, Alpine clovers in great variety,
     gypsophila, even stray orchis and primulæ, the dominant tones
     being orange and pale yellow, thrown into relief by the many
     mauves and the bright pinks and creamy whites.

The Alpine flowers, in addition to their spectacular beauty, have a
very definite scientific botanical interest. It has been observed that
the magnificence and profusion of flower, in comparison with the
size, of the Alpine plants is a trait of beauty with a charming
scientific explanation. To the Alpine flowers more urgently than to
most races of mortal things, Nature whispers "Carpe Diem." Life for
them must be very, very short. Its length is inexorably decreed by the
snows of winter. The Alpine plant, feeling the renewing warmth of the
spring, must rush at once into flower, as brilliant, as attractive, as
irresistible flower as it may, so that fertilising bees and
butterflies will come and ensure the next generation.

On the same principle, at the opposite end of the pole, the desert
plants store up their seeds in extraordinarily thick and strong
capsules, so that they may rest safely through many seasons of fierce
drought, awaiting the coming of water to fertilise them. In Australia
the desert flowers, such as Sturt's Desert Pea, will come up after
good rains in places where to the knowledge of man they have not grown
for many years; and of some wild Australian plants the seeds need to
be roasted before they will germinate.

Accepting that the remarkable beauty and richness of flowering of
Alpine plants is the response to Nature's stern conditions of
existence, there seems to lurk in the flowers, as in the people of
Switzerland, a moral for those gentle enthusiasts who would do away
with the cruelty of the struggles between nations and between classes,
and set up conditions of universal peace and of general Communism.
Perhaps, alas, it will be found, if ever those ideals are carried far
into practice, that without struggle the human race will deteriorate,
and with too easy conditions of life will tend to decay. I would not
push the case too far, but it is worth recording as a fact, if not an
argument, that when the Alpine dweller fertilises artificially a
meadow the flowers tend to disappear. Conditions of life have been
made too easy, and sterility follows.

Alpine flowers, again conforming themselves skilfully to the
conditions of their existence, send roots down to astonishing depths.
A little tuft or rosette of leaves, the size round of a five-shilling
piece, will often have a system of roots extending a foot or more down
into the soil or into the depths of some crevice in the rock. These
roots are the plants' larders and storerooms. Buried often for some
nine months in the year beneath the snow, the plants need must have
well-stocked larders to draw upon. Sometimes, even, it may be years
before they see the sun and breathe the mountain air again. It is not
every summer that the sun has power to rid the sheltered little Alpine
valleys of the winter snow; often must a plant wait in patience for at
least two years before it can bring forth flowers, and take a new
supply of life from the sun.

[Illustration: ALPINE GARDEN (_LA LINNEA_) At Bourg St. Pierre, on the
road to the Grand St. Bernard, at the beginning of August.]

Apart from winning grateful hymns for their beauty, and interesting
the botanist by their curiosities of structure, some of the flowers
peculiar to the Alps (or to Alpine regions) have, because of their
rarity, inspired a sport of flower-hunting, the more keenly
appreciated when it is associated with danger. Since this
flower-hunting leads to the destruction of rare species and to some
loss of human life, it seems to have a strong hostile case to answer,
especially as the rare Alpines are now cultivated by the florists, and
you may have, for example, edelweiss grown by the gardeners around
Paris. Yet deaths ascribable to "gathering edelweiss" continue to be
recorded. The edelweiss is accepted as the typical Swiss Alpine
flower, but it is not at all peculiar to the Swiss Alps, and is found
in Siberia, Japan, the Himalayas, and the New Zealand Alps. It is
fond of growing in the crevices of precipitous rock faces, but can be
found in safer places, including the commercial florists' rockeries.

The Swiss Alps are very rich in medicinal plants. There is the aconite
plant, much favoured in homoeopathic doses for the cure of colds and
fevers, very efficacious to put an end to "life's fitful fever" if
used in a strong dose; the arnica plant, sovereign remedy for bruises,
its leaves used by the peasants in place of tobacco for smoking; the
gentian, which makes a famous tonic bitter, much employed by doctors
for the _malade imaginaire_, since it has a most convincingly bitter
taste, and may be trusted to do no harm if it does no good; the
meadow-rue, used as a specific against jaundice and malarial fever;
and the Carline thistle, which was said to have been used as a plague
specific by Charlemagne.

It is pleasant to note that the practical Swiss recognise the
necessity of guarding the flower life as well as the forest life of
their land. There is a Swiss "Association for the Protection of
Plants," formed in 1883, which sets itself to two tasks, that of
discouraging vandals who recklessly destroy plant life, and that of
setting up shelter gardens where Alpine flowers may be collected and
strictly preserved. Some of the Canton authorities help the work of
the Society by enforcing close seasons for certain plants. The
_jardins refuges_ set up by the Society are not the least valuable of
the means adopted for preserving one of the great natural beauties of
the country; and these gardens, where are collected as in a botanical
park as many specimens as possible of Alpine _flora_, give interesting
objectives for special expeditions. The chief of these Alpine
botanical gardens are at the Pont de Nant near Bex, at Rochers de Naye
above Montreux, and at Bourg St. Pierre on the Grand St. Bernard.
These gardens are at widely differing altitudes, and each one is at
its best at a different season of the year.

But if one has no fever of botanical curiosity the best way after all
to know the Alpine flowers is in the mass, with the crocus and the
gentian in their vivid green settings flaunting the spring in the face
of the snow-fields.



CHAPTER XIII

SWISS SPORTS


There is a great distinction between the national sports of the Swiss
and those of Switzerland. The games which attract so many thousands to
the Alps in winter are in no cases peculiar to Switzerland, and are
rarely indigenous. Tobogganing and ski-ing, like mountain-climbing (as
a pleasure), have been introduced to Switzerland by visitors. Even
skating does not seem to have been much favoured by the Swiss until
there came the great modern incursion of tourists, seeking not an
asylum from religious or political persecution, nor the pleasure of
seeing Voltaire or Madame de Staël, but ice sports under a bright sun
in mid-winter.

The Swiss National Sports make a short and a dull list. They are
rifle-shooting, gymnastic games, and rustic dancing to jödelling.
They reflect the character of a little nation which, almost alone of
the peoples of the world, finds it a matter of joy and not of labour
to undertake military training, and carries the love of that training
so far as to make rifle-shooting the chief national sport. The Swiss
become very expert marksmen, and the government wisely encourages this
fancy for so patriotic and useful a sport. The citizen is allowed to
keep his government rifle at home, and to use it as much as he likes
for his private pleasure.

The gymnastic sports are organised on national lines like the old
Greek games. They embrace almost every form of manly exercise from
wrestling to weight-lifting. Mr. Symonds, whose pictures of Swiss
village life are very intimate and revealing, makes frequent
references to the Turnfests (sports gatherings) of the Turnvereins
(gymnastic clubs) of the Cantons. He recalls once being invited to
drink wine at an inn with a band of gymnastic victors:

     The gymnasts had thrown off their greatcoats, and stood
     displayed in a costume not very far removed from nudity. They
     had gained their crowns, they told me, that evening at an
     extraordinary meeting of the associated _Turnvereins_ of the
     Canton. It was the oddest thing in the world to sit smoking in
     a dimly-lighted, panelled tap-room with seven such companions.
     They were all of them strapping bachelors between twenty and
     twenty-five years of age; colossally broad in the chest and
     shoulders, tight in the reins, set massively upon huge thighs
     and swelling calves; wrestlers, boxers, stone-lifters, and
     quoit-throwers. Their short bull-throats supported small heads,
     closely clipped, with bruised ears and great big-featured
     faces, over which the wreaths of bright green artificial
     foliage bristled. I seemed to be sitting in a dream among
     vitalised statues of the later emperors, executed in the
     decadence of art, with no grasp on individual character, but
     with a certain reminiscence of the grand style of portraiture.
     Commodus, Caracalla, Alexander Severus, the three Gordians, and
     Pertinax might have been drinking there beside me in the
     pothouse. The attitudes assumed by these big fellows, stripped
     to their sleeveless jerseys and tight-fitting flannel breeches,
     strengthened the illusion. I felt as though we were waiting
     there for slaves, who should anoint their hair with unguents,
     gild their wreaths, enwrap them in the paludament, and attend
     them to receive the shouts of "Ave Imperator" from a band of
     gladiators or the legionaries of the Gallic army.

Apart from the rifle-shooting (which is commonly practised on
Sundays), the frequent gymnastic meetings (which mark every
feast-day), and the dancing festivals of the various harvest
celebrations, the Swiss have no strictly national sport, unless it be
chamois hunting. That last has been almost wholly given up to the
visitors, who are willing to pay large prices for guides and shooting
rights. The chamois is rare in Switzerland now; though there are
rumours that enterprising hotel-keepers are beginning to "stock up"
the heights near their places with bred specimens.

A wild chamois hunt offers the perfection of excitement and hunting
risk. The animals are very nimble and very wary. As they browse they
set an old doe as sentinel--a concession to femininity which seems to
be dictated by wisdom--and it needs the greatest skill and daring to
get past her watch and approach near enough for a shot. Lest there may
be a doubt as to the scarcity of the true chamois in the mind of the
reader, let me explain that the "chamois skin" of commerce, so
plentifully used for gloves and for polishing cloths, is not, as a
rule, chamois skin at all, but the dressed hide of rough-woolled
sheep--the same hide which, after different methods of dressing,
serves for all kinds of gloves--chamois, kid, "reindeer skin,"
dog-skin, doe-skin. All may come from the sheep.

Mr. John Finnemore gives a picturesque description of a herd of
chamois in flight alarmed by the hunter:

     The merry little kids forsake their gambols, and each runs to
     its mother and presses closely against her flank. The older
     ones leap upon boulders and rocks, and gaze eagerly on every
     hand to discover the whereabouts of the intruder. A few moments
     of watchful hesitation pass, and then, perhaps, a wandering
     breeze gives them a sniff of tainted air, and they fix upon the
     direction from which the foe is advancing.

     Now follows a marvellous scene--that of a band of chamois in
     full retreat. The speed and agility of their flight is
     wonderful. They are faced by a precipice. They skim up it one
     after the other like swallows. There is no path, no ridge, no
     ledge: but here and there little knobs of rock jut out from the
     face of the cliff, and they spring from projection to
     projection with incredible sureness and skill, their four feet
     sometimes bunched together on a patch of rock not much larger
     than a man's fist. They vanish with lightning rapidity, and the
     hunter must turn away in search of another band, for these will
     not halt till they are far beyond his reach in some sanctuary
     of the hills quite inaccessible to him.

     Very often a number of hunters go together, and close upon the
     chamois from every side. Then the swift creatures are in a
     ring, and, as they rush away down-wind, they are bound to come
     within shot of those posted on the side towards which they
     flee. Sometimes the chamois are turned back by long stretches
     of cord set upon sticks, and drawn across places where they
     could escape from the ring of hunters and drivers. From the
     cord flutter bright pieces of cotton cloth--red, blue, or
     yellow--and at sight of these the chamois face about and try
     another path. But when driven to the extremity of terror,
     chamois have been known to dash upon the line of flags, some
     clearing the obstacle with a flying leap, others bodily
     charging the rope, and bursting a way through. Very often the
     latter entangle their horns in the rope, and go whirling
     through the air in a double somersault. But they are on their
     legs again in a moment, and off at tremendous speed.

[Illustration: HUNTING THE CHAMOIS.]

Apart from the national sports of the Swiss, the national sports of
Switzerland--in which, since they were acclimatised, the Swiss take
part and frequently excel--are skating, hockey, tobogganing,
bob-sleighing, curling, and ski-ing. Skating is, I suppose, common to
all lands where there is much ice. Tobogganing was introduced to
Switzerland from America, and ski-ing from Norway. Another interesting
recent sport is a modification of skating, and is known as
ice-sailing. The skater rigs up a sail which he holds with his arms
stretched out as yards--himself the ship. Skimming the ice one can
keep thus up only till the arms are tired, but a most exhilarating
speed is possible. Ice-sailing with yachts has been recently imported
to the Swiss lakes from America. For ice-yachting, an expert says,
"Dress as if you were going through the Arctic Circle on a fast
motor-car in the worst of snow-storms. Goggles, leathers, and furs
are indispensable. Use your eyes like a lynx, your rudder like a silk
rein on a blood-mare--and you will quite enjoy it." It has enough of
the element of danger as well as of speed to be attractive to the
adventurous.

Tobogganing strictly is a Red Indian sport, and the name is Red
Indian. But it is so closely related to sleighing that the germ of the
sport can be discovered in almost all ice-covered countries. It was
natural that in cold climates the wheels of waggons should be
replaced, when the earth was frozen, with runners, and thus the sleigh
came. The toboggan is a sporting variety of sleigh. Early traces of it
can be found in Switzerland. An English visitor to the Alps noticed
that the local postman used a rough sleigh to slide down the hills
which he had to descend; was intrigued by the idea of the swift
gliding; and there thus began to be cultivated the sport which has its
culminating glory in the Cresta Run at St. Moritz--said, by the way,
to have been planned by an Australian. Tobogganing has the charm of a
great bicycle "coast" many times multiplied. Artificial difficulties
have been developed to add to its risks and its excitement. The
simple toboggan slide, the dragging of a toboggan up a smooth snow
slope, and then sliding down at a pace reaching to thirty miles an
hour, is old-fashioned and tame. Nowadays, the slide must be so
arranged as to secure a much higher speed, and to give awkward
turnings which need cool courage to negotiate. A speed of sixty miles
an hour has been reached tobogganing.

Perhaps a charm of the toboggan is that it is not very useful. The
flat board, set on runners, can only slide down hill, and you must
draw it up first. The ski, on the other hand, has a very definite use.
It enables snow-covered country to be traversed with safety at great
speed, and a proof of its practical value is that the Swiss army is
trained to march on ski. Down a steep slope a pace of forty miles an
hour can be reached by the expert ski-runner, and he can leap great
heights and great distances with the aid of the momentum of that
speed. But to become an expert ski-runner calls for some trouble and
pain.

With ski the exploration of the Alps in all kinds of weather has
become possible. A recent _Journal de Genève_ gave the account of an
extraordinary adventure of two Swiss ski-runners. On Easter Sunday,
1913, these two set out with a companion from Saas Fee for the
Britannia Hut. This hut was reached at 8 A.M., and the three
ski-runners went on to the Allalin Pass, but were compelled by mist to
return to the hut, which they reached about 5 P.M. On the Sunday
evening three Genevese climbers came to the hut, and one of the party
of three ski-runners went home, leaving two. These two intended to go
to Zermatt over the Adler Pass, but the weather was so bad that it was
Saturday before they could start. They were seen to reach the Allalin
Pass, and no more was seen or heard of them for a very long time. But
it seems that the ski-ers went down to the Findelen Glacier, up to the
Stockjoch, and down _via_ the Monte Rosa Glacier to the Gorner
Glacier; thence up again to the Bétemps Hut, where they spent the
night. The following day, Sunday, in uncertain weather, they went down
on to the glacier again, meaning to go to Zermatt. One of the two,
named Dehns, was going on ahead. The wind had blown away all trace of
the track made by them the previous day, and the man who had remained
behind noticed that Dehns was going too much to the left, and called
out to him that he was not taking the right way, but too late. He had
not gone more than about sixty yards on to the glacier before he
disappeared into a crevasse, hidden beneath a quantity of fresh snow.

"I advanced," says the narrator, "cautiously to the brink of the
crevasse, and called to Dehns, who replied that he was all right, only
he had torn one ear and broken the point off one of his ski. I must
use his rope to help him out, he said. I tied the ends of my puttees
to my ski-sticks, my bootlaces, and anything else which could possibly
serve the purpose of string, and I let everything down to him so that
he could tie the rope to it. Dehns could understand what I said, but I
could hear nothing that he said owing to the wind and the snowstorm
which had begun."

Finally Dehns cut his way out of the crevasse in which he had been for
four hours. He was a little frost-bitten and much bruised; and his ski
were lost. They made their way to the Bétemps Hut, and there they
remained for twelve days. They had very little in the way of
provisions, half of what they had had with them being down the
crevasse. Eventually the uninjured man contrived to burst open the
door of the hut cellar, where he found food and wine.

Without ski it was impossible for the prisoners to leave, for eight or
ten feet of fresh snow had fallen. Moreover, the condition of Dehns,
who was badly bruised and in much pain, was sufficient to prevent him
reaching Zermatt even with ski. On the twelfth day Dehns was better,
and they made an expedition to attempt to recover the lost ski, but in
vain. Next they attempted to make a pair of ski out of planks. But
that was not successful. The next day they were rescued by a search
party. The facts illustrate the value of ski for travelling in the
snow and the helplessness of the voyager without them.

Skating, of course, is excellent in Switzerland in the winter. Most of
the hotels catering for the tourist have set up rinks which are
"artificial" to the extent that Nature is assisted a little to produce
a clear smooth surface of ice. But the skating, like the tobogganing,
is limited in its area. The visitor who would have the keys of the
Alpine snows must learn the use of the ski.

It will be of interest to chronicle the chief winter sports centres.
Good tobogganing, bob-sleighing, skating, ski-ing, ice-hockey, and
curling are to be enjoyed at Arosa, Celerina, Davos, Klosters,
Lenzerheide, Maloja, Pontresina, and at St. Moritz in the Canton
Grisons; at Andermatt, at Engelberg, at Adelboden, Beatenberg,
Grindwald, Gstaad and Wengen in the Bernese Oberland; at Les Brenets,
at Caux, Château-d'-Oex, Chesieres, Diablerets, Les Avants, St.
Cergue, Villars-Ollon in the Canton de Vaud; at Champery and
Loèche-les-Bains in the Canton de Valais; and at Chamonix and le
Planet in the Chamonix Valley.

As for summer sports, there are golf links at Aigle, Axen-Fels,
Campfér, Celerina, Geneva, Gottschalkenberg, Interlaken, Les Rasses
(near St. Croix), Lucerne, Lugano, Lugano-Paradiso, Maloja, Menaggio,
Montana, Mont-Pélerin, Montreux, Pontresina, Ragaz, Samaden, St.
Moritz-Dorf, Territet, Villeneuve, and Zurich-Dolder.

Tennis courts are almost everywhere attached to the hotels. Certainly
no large village is without them, and they exist in plenty at
Adelboden, Chamonix, Engelberg, Grindwald, Interlaken, Lucerne, Berne,
St. Moritz, Wengen, and other cities.

The spring season in the Alps begins as early as March in some
places, but more generally in April. It is the chief season around
Lake Leman. The summer season begins with June, and is the chief
season in eastern Switzerland, the Bernese Oberland, Lake Neuchâtel,
Zurich, St. Gothard, and many other parts. Indeed, there is a summer
season in all Switzerland. For the autumn, many favour the Lake of
Lucerne and the Lake of Leman. The winter season begins usually with
December, and again embraces almost all of Switzerland, but the chief
centres for this season correspond with the list of the towns (already
given) which make special provision for winter sports.

I do not know whether bath-resorts can be described fittingly as sport
centres; but it is well to chronicle somewhere the fact that
Switzerland is well off for thermal and medicinal baths. Baden is the
chief of the bath centres. Owing to its excellent climate and to its
hot springs Baden was, in Roman times, the most important
watering-place and health-resort to the north of the Alps. Numerous
excavations, inscriptions, remains of temples, statues, coins and
surgical instruments confirm this fact. In Roman times the principal
military road of Helvetia led through Baden, connecting the
watering-place with Vindonissa, the great Helvetian fortress, six
miles away. In the year 1892, beyond the Roman road in Baden, in the
direction of Vindonissa, there were discovered the foundations of a
large connected block of buildings, which, when fully excavated,
revealed fourteen apartments of various sizes, from 10 to 88 feet in
length. The architecture of this building, the medical and surgical
instruments and utensils found there, and the proximity of the
Helvetian fortress of Vindonissa, where Roman legions were stationed,
and the thermal springs show without much doubt that this was the site
of a Roman military hospital. Besides those at Baden there are
medicinal springs at Ragaz, Champery, Lavey-les-Bains, Passagg, Aigle,
St. Moritz-Bad, Grinel-les-Bains, and many other centres. They will
provide entertainment for those whose life is not happy without some
devotion to a more or less real ailment.

[Illustration: A CORNER OF AIGLE SKATING RINK.]



CHAPTER XIV

SWISS SCHOOLS


Coming to the end of the limits set for this volume, the writer finds
that many aspects of Swiss life have been perforce neglected. No space
could be found, for example, to deal with the educational system,
which both in its primary and secondary forms and in its devotion to
technical instruction has aroused the admiration of experts in many
countries. This Swiss educational system is at once generous and
practical, with compulsory attendance enforced and gratuitous
instruction, books, and materials provided. Teaching begins in the
national schools, called the Primarschule, which are attended by
children of all ranks and at which attendance is compulsory from the
age of nine until the completion of the fifteenth year, unless
children pass from these to higher schools. The classes are mixed and
contain from 40 to 44 children, who are taught by both men and women
teachers. The school course ensures the boys and girls a general
elementary education, including a knowledge of French--so essential in
a country with three national languages--which is taken during the
last two years at school. Considerable time is also devoted to
physical exercise, carpentry, needlework, and cookery. The plan of
studies in the secondary schools, which scholars may enter after four
years in the primary schools, and where they remain until the age of
fifteen, is much more extensive, and includes a more profound study of
French (five years' course) and an advanced course of the sciences,
geometry, and drawing. The instruction is gratuitous, and the passing
of a preliminary examination the only condition of entry. From the
secondary schools scholars have the option of ultimately entering the
Gymnasium or the industrial and commercial schools.

The secondary school is succeeded by the higher schools. The
_Municipal Gymnasium_ (grammar school) accepts all boys and girls
above the age of ten who pass the entrance examination. In the
_Progymnasium_, which corresponds to the secondary school in its
course of studies, instruction is gratuitous up to the age of fifteen;
after that the annual fees amount to sixty francs. There are great
Universities in the chief cities, which are much favoured by foreign
pupils.

It is a sign of the practical side of the Swiss character that very
special attention should be given to technical schools: the Swiss
technical schools are said to be the most thorough in the world, and
they will teach anything, from waiting to watch-making. Another sign
of the practical is the Swiss custom to keep the schools in mountain
villages open only during the long Alpine winter--from the beginning
of October till the following Easter. All through the summer, lads and
boys tend sheep or cows in the fields, help their fathers to make hay,
roam in the woods, and get their fill of air and sunshine. The
schoolmasters have gone to their own villages, where they mow and
gather in the crops like the other peasants to whose households they
belong. This is good from the point of view of health, and also from
that of domestic economy.

Leaving their schools strong in body because of the organised system
of gymnastic training; strong in national pride because of the
attention which has been paid by their teachers in impressing the
glorious story of the past; with well-balanced, sane, practical minds
the Swiss are ready to face the tasks of life with a fearless
confidence. Their pride does not teach them to despise labour, even in
forms which may appear contemptible. Their sense of thrift, which
almost verges on a sense of greed, does not make them inhospitable.
They show their virtues in the sphere of the commonplace, as servants,
traders, petty masters. But they are heroic in the sphere of
commonplace; and no one, looking back on their history, can dare to
doubt that if great occasion arose in the future they would respond to
it as courageously as in the past, and hold their hills against any
attempt at conquest.

In every respect they seem to preserve their historic national
character. Since the earliest of the Middle Ages, Switzerland was
accustomed to find asylum for the saint fleeing from a monarch's
anger, the reformer dreading the persecution of a church, the thinker
seeking a safe corner from which he could invite mankind to consider
some daring hypothesis. There was a complaint in the European
newspapers only this year (1913) that:

     Geneva has for a long time past been a centre for eccentric and
     ill-regulated individuals of every description, a certain
     proportion being in addition idle and generally undesirable
     characters. Her University is, of course, the main cause of a
     condition of things far from pleasing to the responsible
     authorities. It has long attracted, and still continues to
     attract, students from all parts of the world--crop-haired
     Russians, wild-looking Bulgarians, Greeks, Levantines, and
     Egyptians.

The chief cause of dissatisfaction at the moment, it seems, was that
Geneva University had become the headquarters of the so-called
Permanent Committee of the Young Egyptian Party:

     These young Egyptians (often not really Egyptians at all, but
     Levantines) loom largely in the public eye. Throughout the
     present summer, for instance, more than a fortnight or three
     weeks have never elapsed without their meeting in Geneva,
     ostensibly to pass some resolution or to appeal to England to
     keep her engagements regarding the eventual evacuation of
     Egypt, or, it might be, to draft some letter of protest to be
     sent to Sir Edward Grey. These resolutions are invariably
     transmitted without delay to the foreign Press agencies
     established in Geneva, and by them telegraphed right and left
     throughout Europe. It frequently happens, of course, that the
     more serious and better-informed newspapers treat these
     resolutions for what they are worth, but far more frequently,
     especially by German newspapers or journals, which for some
     reason or other are not friendly disposed to Great Britain, or
     are wholly ignorant of British administration in Egypt, they
     are published _in extenso_, as if they were the decisions
     arrived at by the British Association, the French Academy, or
     some other society of long-established reputation and
     recognised standing. It must be admitted that the "Young
     Egyptians" in Geneva are very clever in hoodwinking a large
     number of foreign editors, and in causing themselves to be
     taken far more seriously than they deserve.

But it is not likely that the "Young Egyptians" will find their stay
in Geneva interfered with by the Swiss authorities. The tradition of
the "right of asylum" is too strong; and provided that the line is
drawn at actual criminality, no Power will successfully ask for their
expulsion from Switzerland. Yet the presence of these futile
conspirators must be of annoyance to the Swiss Government, which
wishes to live at peace with all the world, and finds sometimes a
threat of interference with its tourist traffic in foreign resentment
at Swiss-sheltered disloyalists. But in this matter historic sentiment
defeats the practical. The Swiss are determined to be hospitable, even
to their own loss. And Europe generally is inclined to sympathise
with, and respect, this little mountain people set in the midst of
great Powers, from whose disputes they rigorously hold aloof, seeking
to maintain their liberty by a sturdily pacific policy, but keeping in
reserve for national defence a great military organisation.

[Illustration: BERNE.]



CHAPTER XV

SOME STATISTICAL FACTS


Switzerland is not all scenery and hotels. The little nation has a
prosperous life apart from the tourists who make of its mountains a
playground. There is interesting matter to be gleaned from the facts
given in the publications of the Swiss Federal Statistical Bureau.

The residential population of Switzerland is 3,753,293, and the area
4,129,827 square kilometres, of which 3,203,089 are counted as
productive, and 926,738 as unproductive. Thus three-quarters of the
land is capable of being put to some use. There are over 120 lakes
within the Swiss area.

The population of Switzerland lately has grown steadily. The
marriage-rate (7·3) is low; the birth-rate (25·0) fairly high; the
death-rate (15·1) a little above the average. All three rates show a
tendency to dwindle, following the rule of the western European
countries. The death-rate from infectious diseases is high,
representing one-fifth of the total. Emigration to foreign lands is
not large now, Switzerland losing about 5000 people a year from this
cause, the great majority of whom go to the United States and the
Argentine.

The chief agricultural and pastoral products of Switzerland are milk,
cheese, cream, cereals, vines, fruits, and tobacco. The vintage is
worth £600,000 a year. The forests are made to pay well, and are very
carefully safeguarded. On an average about £500,000 a year is devoted
to re-planting and to protecting woods. The woods are divided into two
classes, protective and non-protective. The former are treated as
safe-guards against avalanches, and are exploited only with a due
consideration for their primary purpose as bulwarks. Altogether 21 per
cent of Switzerland is forest land, and three-quarters of this area is
treated as "protective forest." The Governments of the United States
and of Canada, which are disturbed regarding the de-forestation of
their areas and the consequent deterioration of soil and climate,
should make a careful study of the admirable Swiss system of forestry.

The Swiss lake and river fisheries are very carefully preserved and
cultivated. There are in all 188 fish nurseries maintained within the
country, and during a year over 100,000,000 fish of various sorts
(trout chiefly) are hatched out and released in the rivers and lakes.
Incidentally a steady war is carried on against crows, herons, and
other birds destructive to fish. In this, as in every other respect
when the life of the Swiss people is examined, there will be found a
steady, thrifty, scientific effort to make the most of every available
resource of the country. There is probably less waste and more
utilisation of natural opportunities in Switzerland than in any other
country of the world.

Swiss industries are in some cases Government monopolies, and help the
national revenue considerably. The salt monopoly brings in about
£1,500,000 a year, of which a great part is profit. The total trade of
Switzerland reaches £120,000,000 value a year, of which the exports
represent about £50,000,000 and the imports about £70,000,000. That is
exclusive of coin, on which there is a balance in favour of
Switzerland of about £600,000 annually. The tourist traffic is mainly
responsible for the balance of imports in favour of Switzerland, for
there is practically no foreign borrowing. The Swiss have a
flourishing export trade in various manufactures, such as watches
(export worth nearly £6,000,000 a year). In all 75 per cent of the
Swiss export trade is in manufactured goods. Of the imports into
Switzerland 40 per cent are of raw materials, 26 per cent of food
supplies, and the balance of manufactured goods. Germany claims the
largest share of the import trade into Switzerland, with France,
Italy, and Great Britain next in that order. Of the export trade also
Germany takes the largest share, but that of Great Britain is very
nearly equal. The United States comes third in the list of customers
for Swiss exports.

The public services in Switzerland are excellent, and show a high
power of organisation. The postal, telegraph, and telephone system has
been, in particular, wonderfully organised in Switzerland, as the
visitor soon finds and the inhabitant fully realises. You may use the
post office for almost anything and telephone almost anywhere in
Switzerland. Some £2,500,000 has been sunk in the telegraph and
telephone lines in Switzerland, and the annual revenue is about
£700,000. The articles carried by post in Switzerland total in a year
about 360,000,000. The number of telegrams sent per inhabitant in
Switzerland is greater than in any other European country except Great
Britain. The Swiss railways are very well developed, too well
developed for some lovers of the Alps. Each year there are constructed
new funicular railways and tramways, until soon it will be hard to
find a ten-miles' square in all Switzerland which has not a railway of
some sort. Counting in all the mountain railways, the total length of
Swiss lines runs to the astonishing total of over 5,250,000 metres,
and additions go on at the rate of over 250,000 metres a year. These
railways bring in about £9,000,000 a year, on which a good profit is
realised--about £3,000,000 a year--representing 3·32 per cent on the
capital invested. The Federal Government controls the chief lines and
manages them very well, making a good profit out of providing
reasonably cheap facilities to the public. Tourists are able to buy
circular tickets, which frank over all the Swiss lines under the
control of the Federal Government. The funicular railways up the
mountain sides are usually privately owned. Over £1,000,000 of capital
has been sunk in these enterprises, and they pay well on the average
by the strength of their appeal to the arm-chair Alpinist.

Education, as already observed, has been brought to a high pitch of
organisation in Switzerland. From the primary schools to the seven
Universities there are splendid facilities for learning. In the 4690
primary schools there are about 530,000 pupils yearly under 12,023
teachers. The cost of this primary education is a little over
£2,000,000 a year. In the 642 secondary (higher) schools there are
about 55,000 pupils yearly under 2000 teachers, and the cost of these
schools is about £300,000 a year. There are, in addition, schools of
agriculture, of dairying, of commerce, and other technical schools. In
the various agricultural colleges about 1250 pupils are trained each
year, in the schools of commerce about 4000 pupils. In addition,
continuation commercial schools give further instruction to some
10,000 pupils yearly, who attend holiday and evening classes. But
that does not exhaust the list of educational facilities. In all,
Switzerland spends £3,200,000 a year on State education, nearly £1 a
year per inhabitant. Since salaries are on an extraordinarily thrifty
scale in all branches of the Swiss public service--the President of
the Republic getting a salary which would be scorned by the manager of
a small business house in London or New York--this appropriation
allows for a very large number of teachers. In the seven universities
of Switzerland (Bâle, Zurich, Berne, Geneva, Lausanne, Fribourg, and
Neuchâtel) there is an average of 8500 students a year, of whom fully
a third are foreigners.

Correctional schools and schools for the feeble-minded are integral
parts of the Swiss social system. An average of 1500 children a year
are treated in the correctional schools, and of 1300 a year in the
schools for the feeble-minded (of which there are 28 in all). There
are 14 special schools for deaf mutes, treating an average of 700
pupils a year.

Switzerland gathers in for Federal purposes a public revenue of nearly
£6,500,000 a year, about half from the Customs, almost all the rest
from the posts, telegraphs, and railways. Outgoings are on a thrifty
scale. The whole of the "general administration" absorbs only £55,000
a year. The excellent army costs barely £1,700,000 a year. The Federal
receipts and expenses are, of course, apart from the Canton revenues.
The Cantons separately raise and spend about £5,500,000 a year. That
makes the total taxation in Switzerland some £12,000,000 a year.

The production and sale of alcohol is a Federal monopoly in
Switzerland. The Regie makes about £400,000 a year profit, the bulk of
which is returned to the Canton governments.

Some further indications of Swiss social life will be given by these
facts: there are in Switzerland 385 savings banks with 446,247
depositors and £63,000,000 in deposits. The gaol population is about
4170, of whom about one-fourth are serious criminals. Capital
punishment is not allowed in Switzerland, nor is imprisonment for
debt.

The Swiss army stands to-day at an effective strength of 142,000 for
the _elite_ and 7000 for the _Landwehr_. The efficiency of the
_Landwehr_ (reserve) is helped much by the general popularity of rifle
shooting as a sport. The Federation has 3958 rifle clubs with
232,225 members. The Government encourages these clubs with subsidies,
and spends about £25,000 a year in that way. Since there are 839,114
male voters in Switzerland, it will seem that more than a fourth of
the total male population belongs to rifle clubs.

[Illustration: LAUSANNE.]

The Swiss are keen politicians and go industriously to the polls for
the election of representatives, and for the settlement of the
numerous questions referred to their decision by direct vote. In 1912
there was a Swiss referendum on the subject of the new Insurance law
against sickness and accidents. Of the 839,114 electors 529,001
recorded their votes.

Switzerland each year attracts more and more the attention of
sociologists. Its completely popular system of government, which has
solved the problem of carrying on a democracy without extravagance and
without bureaucratic inefficiency, its close and effective
organisation of military, education, and charity matters, its methods
of referring political issues for settlement directly to the
people--all are being carefully studied in various countries of the
world with a view to imitation. It yet remains to be seen whether
methods and policies which work notably well in their native land
would bear transplanting; whether, too, they would be as suitable for
larger areas and larger populations than Switzerland has. In some
respects the Swiss example will doubtless prove useful for imitation
(with modifications) in other countries.

But it is fair to question whether the happiness to which the little
Swiss people have reached is the ideal with which civilised democracy
would be content. The Swiss are happy, but it is a strictly mediocre
happiness. They are content because they have a very modest standard
of contentment. The people of the country, with all their virtues, are
not inspiring; and the life they lead suggests a little too much the
life of an excellently-managed institution to be really attractive. At
the outset of this volume I ventured to question the justice of some
eminent travellers who have abused the Swiss. They, it would seem to
me, had formed an extraordinarily heroic idea of the Swiss character,
and were disappointed that close examination showed a people who are
very estimable, very well-educated, very firm in their patriotism, but
not always suggestive of the heroic. Between an unfair depreciation
and the idealising of the Swiss nation there is a reasonable middle
ground, and from that middle ground the social and political inquirer
should approach the study of Swiss sociological institutions.



INDEX


    Aare, River, 120

    Aargau, 35

    Achaens, 20

    Adelboden, 147

    Adler Pass, 172

    Agricultural and pastoral products, 186

    Alamanni, 21, 27, 28

    Albristhorn, Mt., 147

    Alcohol monopoly, 192

    Aletsch, Great, 99, 135

    Allalin Pass, 172

    Alliance of France and Switzerland, 42, 46

    Alp pastures, 88, 89

    "Alpine" character, the, 1, 11

    Alpine climbing, 96, 102, 105, 106, 145, 150
      clubs, 99, 104, 138, 141, 144
      flowers, 114, 153, 163
        aconite plant, 162
        alyssum, sweet, 158
        anemones, 156
        arabis, 158
        _arnica montana_, 158, 162
        asters, 158
        campanulas, 158
        crocus, 154, 163
        edelweiss, 158, 161
        forget-me-nots, 156
        gentian, 155, 158, 162, 163
        geums, 158
        gypsophila, 158
        hepatica, 155
        louseworts, 158
        "marmot's bread," 158
        orchis, 158
        primrose, 155, 158
        primula, 158
        rampions, 158
        ranunculi, 156, 158
        rhododendrons, 156
        rock roses, 158
        roses, 156
        saxifrages, 156
        sedums, 158
        _semper vivum_, 158
        soldanella, 155
        thyme, wild, 158
        toadflax, 158
      grass, 154
      lakes, 18
      meadows, 153, 163
      spring, 156
      storm, 149
      sunset, 112
      villages, 86, 87

    Alps, the, 96, 100-108, 119, 120

    Andes, 105

    Arar (Saône), 24

    Argentina, glaciers in, 99

    Army, Swiss, 53, 192

    Arnold, Matthew, 66, 68

    Association for the Protection of Plants, 162

    Asylum, Switzerland as an, 181, 183

    Attinghausen, 35

    Augsburg, 26

    Augustus, Emperor, 26

    Austerities of Calvinism, 75, 77

    Australian aborigines, 15

    Alps, 97, 98, 105

    Autun, 25

    Avalanches, 122, 123, 124, 126, 128, 134
      _Grund-Lawine_ or Ground-Avalanche, 130, 131
      _Lawinen-Dunst_, 133
      _Schlag-Lawine_ or Stroke-Avalanche, 129
      _Staub-Lawine_ or Dust-Snow-Avalanche, 128, 131

    Aventicum (Avenches), 27


    Baden, 176, 177

    Basel, 70, 74, 114
      Council of, 70

    Bath-resorts, 176

    Bertold V., 34, 119

    Berne, 34, 119, 120

    Bernese Oberland, 158
      Republic, 120

    Bertha, the "spinning Queen," 33

    Bétemps Hut, 172, 173

    Beza, 77

    Bibracte, 25

    Bienne, 17
      Lake, 18

    Blanc, Mt., 96, 102, 104, 105

    Blaser, Sergeant, 43

    Bob-sleighing, 169, 175

    Bonderchrinde, 147

    Bonderspitze, Mt., 147

    Boniface IV., Pope, 2

    Bonivard, François, 117, 118

    Boswell, 79, 80

    Bourg St. Pierre, 163

    Britannia Hut, 139, 172

    Bronze Age, 17, 20

    Brunhilde of Burgundy, Queen, 29

    Brunnen, 38

    Buckle, 75

    Bullinger, 73, 74

    Burgundian Kingdom, 25, 33

    Burgundians, 27, 28

    Byron, 31, 64, 65, 68, 117, 118


    Caesar, 23, 24, 25, 33, 43, 103

    Calvin, 70, 71, 74, 75, 76, 77, 118

    Campbell, 39

    Carline thistle, 162

    Cassius, 23

    Catherine the Great, 79

    Cattle on Alp pastures, 88, 89

    Celtic immigrants, 21

    Celts, 10, 21

    Chamois, 167
      hunting, 166
      skin, 167

    Champéry, 147

    Character, Swiss, 194
      of mountain peoples, 6

    Charlemagne, 29, 30, 33, 162

    Chateaubriand, 66

    Chillon, Castle of, 31, 117, 118
      "Chillon, Prisoner of," 117

    Christian League, 71

    _Christianae Religionis Institutio_, 74

    Cimbri, 23

    Civilisation, birthplace of, 9
      of the plains, 11

    Codex Manesse, 56

    Communism, general, 160

    Consistory of Geneva, 77, 79

    Constance, Lake, 18

    Constant, Benjamin, 63

    Constitution of 1848, 120

    Conway, Sir Martin, 100, 117, 124, 136, 142

    Coppet, 57, 60, 62, 63, 65, 104

    Correctional schools, 191

    Cranbunden, 47

    Cresta Run, 169

    Crusades, 34

    Curchod, Mlle, 57, 58, 59

    Curling, 169, 175


    Dairying industry, 91

    Danger of climbing, 145

    D'Aubigné, Agrippa, 119

    De Broglie, Duke Victor, 65

    De Choiseul, Duchesse, 79

    Defence against avalanches, 127

    Dents du Midi, 148

    Department of Forests, 92

    De Saussure, Horace, 101

    Desert Pea, Sturt's, 158

    Desert plants, 158

    De Staël, Madame, 12, 57, 60, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 164

    Devil's Bridge, 117

    De Voght, Baron, 62

    Diablerets Mts., 148

    Dr. Schrumm's death, 147

    Druidical worship, 23

    Dumas, Alexandre, 12


    Education, 178, 170

    Einsiedeln Abbey, 71

    Elsigfirst, Mt., 147

    Elsighorn, Mt., 147

    Emigration, 186

    _Émile_, 78

    Engadine, 26

    Equalisation of the earth's temperature, 100

    Erasmus, 70

    Etruscans, 23, 26

    European Alps, 98

    Euthyphron, 7

    Exhilaration from change of air, 8


    Farel, 75

    Favre, Louis, 115

    Federal Post Office, Swiss, 110
      States, Swiss, 38

    Ferdinand of Austria, 72

    Ferney, 78, 79, 104, 117

    Fetan, Avalanche record, 132, 133

    Findelen Glacier, 172

    Finnemore, John, 167

    Flemwell, Mr. G., 155

    Flower-hunting, 161

    Forest Cantons, 35, 36, 37, 38, 46
      laws, 127

    Forests, 92, 186

    Fouché, 61

    Franco-Prussian War, 51

    Free Cities, 34

    French Directory, 45, 46, 48
      Reformation, 74
      Revolution, 42, 44, 48, 78, 118, 120

    Fresh air, gospel of, 69

    Funicular railways, 106, 189, 190


    Gallic Switzerland, 26

    Géant, Col du, 137

    Gemmi Pass, 147

    Geneva, 22, 24, 60, 71, 95, 117, 120
      Lake of, 119
      University, 102

    Genevan Consistory, 118

    German Empire, 42

    Gessler, 36

    Gibbon, 57, 58, 59, 60

    Glacier colouring, 136

    Glaciers, 122, 134
      beauties of, 135, 137
      Swiss, 98, 99

    Glarus, 70, 71
      Canton of, 47

    Glenarvon, 64

    Goethe, 78

    Golf-links, 175

    Gorner Glacier, 172

    Grand Muveran, 148

    Grandson, 41, 119

    Grauholz, 120

    Great St. Bernard, 116

    Gregory VII., Pope, 33

    Grey, Lady Jane, 74

    Grimsel, 116

    Grindelwald Glaciers, 99

    Gsur, Mt., 147

    Gymnastic sports, 165, 166


    Habsburg, House of, 34, 35

    Hannibal, 103

    Happiness of Swiss, 194

    Harbinger of spring, 122

    Harvest festival, 90

    Haute Cime, 148

    Helvetia, 26, 27, 176

    Helvetians, 22, 23, 25, 26, 28, 33, 43

    Helvetic Club, 45
      Consulta, 48
      Republic, 45, 46
      Society, 45

    Henry VI., Emperor, 33

    Himalayas, 96, 105

    Hohenstaufen, House of, 119

    Homeric period, 19

    Horace, 122

    Hotel-keeping, 85

    Hugo, Victor, 12

    Hungarians, 33


    Ice Age, 100

    Ice-hockey, 175

    Ice-sailing, 169

    Increase of warmth of climate in Europe, 98

    Influence of mountains, 2, 3

    Iron Age, 17, 21

    Italian civilisation, 27
      lakes, 114


    _Jardins refuges_, 163

    Jesuits, the, 50

    Johnson, 79, 80

    Jura, Mount, 24


    Kandersteg, 147

    Keller, Dr. Ferdinand, 18

    Kinzig Pass, 47

    Knox, John, 75

    Kopp, 37

    Korsakow, General, 47

    Kosciusko, Mt., 150


    Lake-dwellers, 14, 17, 19, 20, 21

    Lake-dwellings, Early, 16, 18, 21

    Lake forces, 15

    Lake prompting to community life, 16

    Landgrave, Phillip of Hesse, 73

    Lausanne, 22, 117
      novelists at, 56, 57, 60

    League of Thirteen Cantons, 42

    Leman, Lake, 18, 117

    Lemanic Republic, 45

    Leopold, Duke, 37, 39

    Les Plans, 148

    Loetschberg Railway, 115

    Lombardy, 114

    Londinium, 27

    Longfellow, 109

    Lucerne, 38, 113, 114, 115, 116, 120, 121

    Luther, 71

    Luxeuil, 28, 29

    Lyons, 26


    Machiavelli, 32

    Märjelen Sea, 135

    Mary of England, Queen, 74

    Massena, 55

    Mediterranean civilisations, 20

    Meilen, 17

    Melchthal, 36

    Mendelssohn, 111

    Middle Ages, 30, 31, 44, 181

    Milan, 115

    _Milchsuppe_, the, 72

    Minnelieder, 56

    Missionaries from Ireland, 28

    Monte Rosa Glacier, 172

    Montreux, 78, 117

    Morat, 41, 119
      Lake, 18

    Morgarten, Battle of, 37, 38

    "Mottoes for Mountaineers," 139

    Mountain's birthday, 97

    Muller, 36

    _Municipal Gymnasium_, 179

    Muotta, 47


    Naefels, 47
      Battle of, 40, 41

    Nancy, 41, 119

    Nantes, 29

    Napoleon, 42, 45, 48, 49, 61, 62, 103

    Napoleonic Constitution, 48

    National costume, 94
      service, 92

    Natural beauties of Switzerland, 109

    Necker, Madame, 57, 59, 60, 61

    Necker, Mr., 59

    Neuchâtel, Lake, 17, 18

    Neuenegg, 120

    New Zealand lakes, 15

    Nibelungen, 56

    _Nouvelle Héloïse_, 78


    Obermann, 66

    Ochs, Peter, 45

    Orcitrix, 22

    _Origin of Inequality_, 78


    Palu Glacier, 99

    Panixer Pass, 47

    Papuans, 15

    Pas d'Éncel, 148

    Pas de l'Écluse, 24

    Pastoral and agricultural products, 186

    Peasant life, 84, 85, 89

    Peoples of the plain, 10

    Peter of Savoy, 31

    _Pfahl-bauer_ (pile-builders), 18

    Pilatus, 113

    Piso, 23

    Polar glaciers, 134

    Pont de Nant, 163

    Population of Switzerland, 185

    Pragel Pass, 47

    Prehistoric Switzerland, 20

    Primarschule, 178

    _Progymnasium_, 179

    Public revenue, 191
      services, 110, 188


    Radbot of Habsburg, 35

    "Ranz des Vaches," 91, 92

    Récamier, Madame, 63

    Reding, 46

    Referendum, 50, 193

    Reformation, 70-77

    Republic, French, 46
      Helvetic, 45, 46
      Lemanic, 45

    Reuss, 119
      Valley, 47

    "Revivalist" preachers, 95

    Rhætia, 26

    Rhætians, 21

    Rhine, 25
      Glacier, 99
      River, 120

    Rhone, River, 24

    Rifle clubs, 193

    Rifle-shooting, 164, 165, 166

    Rigi, 113

    Ritter, Mr., 17

    Rochers de Naye, 163

    Rockies, 105

    Roman Empire, Disruption of, 27
      Gaul, 23
      roads, 26
      summer resorts, 27

    Romans, 23, 26

    Rosa, Monte, 135

    Roumanians, 26

    Rousseau, 56, 66, 70, 78, 79

    Royal Chapel of the Savoy, 31

    Ruskin, 11, 68

    Rütli, 36


    Saas, 143

    Saas Fee, 139, 172

    Safe climbs, 147

    St. Columban, 28, 29, 70

    St. Gall, 29, 70

    St. Gall, Monastery of, 29

    St. Gothard, 116

    St. Gothard Pass, 47, 114

    St. Gothard Railway, 115

    St. Jacob, Battle of, 116

    St. Moritz, 169

    Salt monopoly, 187

    Salvation Army, 118

    Saracens, 33

    Savoy, Duke of, 117, 119

    Saxon invasion, 10

    Schauenberg, General, 120

    Schiller, 78

    Schopenhauer, 5

    Schwartzhorn, 150

    Schwyz, 35

    Selkirks, 105

    Sempach, 39

    Senancour, 66

    Senate conspiracy against Napoleon, 61

    Shelley, 67, 68

    Simplon, 116
      Railway, 115

    Skating, 164, 174

    Ski-ing, 164, 169, 173, 174,

    Ski-runners, 171

    Smith, Mr. Albert, 104

    _Social Contract_, 78

    Socrates' method, 4

    Soleure, 22

    Solothurn, 72

    South Seas, 97

    Sports, Swiss National, 164

    Spring season, 175

    Stansenhorn, 114

    Statutes of Geneva, 76

    Stauffacher, 35

    Stephen, Sir Leslie, 105

    Stockjoch, 172

    Stone Age, 17, 20

    Straits of Sunda, 97

    Strübel, Glacier, 147

    Summer season, 176
      sports, 175

    Sumptuary laws, 94

    Susanfe, Pass of, 148

    Suwarow, General, 77, 103, 116

    "Swiss Admiral," 55

    Swiss Alpine Club, 98
      army, 53, 192
      character, 194
      character in the Middle Ages, 32
      cheese, 86
      colonists, 82
      cosmopolitan book-shops, 94
      courage, 31, 40
      fisheries, 187
      Guard, 43, 44, 82
      a handicapped people, 12
      heterodoxies, 69
      industries, 187
      League, 42
      mercenaries, 43, 44
      mercenary service, 41, 70
      military organisation, 50, 51, 53
      milk, 86
      "navy," 55
      newspapers, 93
      prowess, 32, 41
      railways, 189
      Reformed Church, 78
      Republic, 34, 35
      system of government, 49
      thrift, 82

    Symonds, John Addington, 84, 89, 112, 129, 130, 150, 165


    _Tartarin de Tarascon_, 104

    Technical schools, 180

    Tell, William, 36

    Tennis courts, 175

    Tennyson, 9

    Teutonic invasion, 21
      Switzerland, 26

    Thiele, River, 17

    Thingor, Abbot of, 116

    Thucydides, 24

    Tigurini tribe, 23, 24

    Tissot, Dr., 69

    _Titanic_, 128

    Tobogganing, 164, 169, 170, 171, 174

    Tourist traffic, 188

    Town life of the Swiss, 93

    Trade, total, 187

    Trelawney, 67

    Troncain, Dr., 69

    Tuileries, 82
      defence of, 43, 44

    Turnfests, 165

    Turnvereins, 165


    Universities, 190

    Unterwalden, 35

    Uri, 35, 36

    Uri, Lake, 47


    Vatican, 72

    Vaud, Canton of, 111, 119

    Vaudois Alps, 148

    Verdun, Treaty of, 33

    Versailles, Palace of, 69

    Vespasian, 27

    Vevey, 78

    Vienna Congress, 49

    Vindonissa, 177

    Voltaire, 12, 66, 70, 72, 78, 80, 164

    Von Wengi, Nicolas, 72


    Warm Age, 100

    Williams, Colonel, 55

    Winkelried, Arnold, 39, 40, 81

    Winter season, 176

    Wordsworth, 68

    Wülpelsburg, 35


    Yodel, 92

    Young Egyptian Party, 182


    Zahringer dynasty, 34, 119

    Zermatt, 111, 158, 143, 172

    Zermatt Breithorn, 145

    Zinal, 143

    Zug, 72

    Zurich, 18, 22, 38, 47, 71, 114, 116
      Congress, 49
      Lake, 17, 18, 55

    Zwingli, 70, 71, 73


THE END


_Printed by_ R. & R. CLARK, LIMITED, _Edinburgh_.



Transcriber's note:


Archaic and inconsistent spelling, punctuation, and syntax retained.





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