Sx chat wih no sinin
In se\-t'ral other cantt)ns, of which Zilrich aud ' I'binla, Ili-ft.
lie banished all the inhabitants of JMilan, licli and ])oor, destroyed t Ju-ir houses, and rased tlie walls of their city. Tlie nobles, if united, miu'ht still t'le" lia\e retained nuich of their former iniluence : but class. Sucii being the character of the Swiss peo])le, the Cm-i-a- great mountain chains of the Alps, while serving as cidoiits .,f barriers against foreign States, and encouraging a spirit The greater dukes and counts domi- nated over the lesser nobles ; and scourged theii' neigh- bours with constant exactions. )y the Emperoi" to the dukes of the house of Zicfingen. — electing their oavu chief magistrate or ' Land- anunan ' and their judges, and dt-ciding all questions affecting the interests of the commune, by the imani- nioiis \()te of a general assembly of the people." '''■■''"■ It was the simplest form of democracv recorded in III ;lic '- '"'■'■~» the historv of the world. chiefs, or ])riests, the hardv monntaineers assembled, ill tlu' open air. in unmeasured terms, the .scandals of foreign pi'iisions, and the venality of those whom (u)(l had placed in authoi'ity over their fellow- citizens. ^■^^•vi- Turk-y ]-hxcei)ti')nal exani])le~ of freedoni The I'inenicians .,.,.. I'-iiti-at Sucii A\-as I lie r)oliiieal state of Switzerland after five Mate of . swirz^-r- ccniui'ies of national de\'elo])ment, and defensix'c war- in the MX- tare. The IVotestant cantons allied tiieuiselves with France ; and the ('atholic cantons with Spain and the see of liome." Ill (ieiu'va, the eliects of tluix! In tlie rural cantons, the peasantry were industriotis, frugal and intelligent ; and their homesteads models of cleanliness and comfort. of x;,,|- ^virhout some corru])tion from iucreasino- the Swiss. The old republic had l)ecome an Oligarchy, and so continued until the French lievolu- tion. it was even decreed that no ■ — ' • other faiiiihes could legally be admitted to this exclu- sive circle. 08 1 cantons, tlic Fivncli o;en('r.il, Sc]iaueiil)oiircr\al i\'e. ot" ijie French, they fought and bled, willi all the ■ ■ — - heroism of iheir forefathers, in defei Kje of their freedom. It ^vas i-estored bv the French : and was succeeded by other coiisiiiutions equalh' untable. This consummation A\'as reserved for a later ])eriod : but in the meantime, the confederation, hovrever imperfect, was unquestion- ably the source of great strength and jwlitical im- ]! Its moral autliority (■xceeded its legal ])owers ; and where coercion could not be attempted, the deliberations of trusted deputies brougiit a ))ublic oj)inion to bear u])on the several cantons, and persuaded where it could not command obedience. Through its inikimce, the Swiss, instead of Ix-ing di\ide(l and overcome, like the Italian republics, st.'cured their nalicnal indi'])en(lence. Switzerland was iiow(li\ided into two religious leagues, holding separate diets, — the one at Aarau, and the other at Lucerne; — and thesi' assenil)lies, inllanied witli religious zeal, vied with the political diets of the confederation. In no country do we find better examples of pul)lic s})irit, and of regard for the general welfare of the })eople. with inirenious industry ; and their citizens grew rich, and famous in the conunerce of luirope.- virtue? In 1749, a fonnidalile consjiiracy under Samuel Henzi was sup- pressed ; and from that time the power of the nobles A\';is not to be shaken. o So while more powerful canlous subnutted to the intrusion chai'. The ignorance of this period, however, cannot be charged mainly on the Church. .-hnuld lia\"i' a pai't in the :j'o\-ernnit Mit,' '()aliquani part-'Ui lialjiv'itit in pi'iiicijwitu : ' Sihiiiiki Tliiuluuid. Ikit S])arta, as well from its g('Ogra])liical position, as from its narrow policy, dis- coui Mged commerce: whik^ Venice, from its marithne situation, and natural instincts, was prc-eminentlv com- mercial. And -^o this favoiu'ed city ih)urished in com- merce and manuf ictures. lis streets were adorned with churches, ])ala(H's, and towers : its Hood-swohen river Ava'^ embanked ^vilh 1 'Of all ill" t'aii l U'p. The government was popvdar, and its principles were democratic. which secured a -^hare in the _^' nc-ia.-y ' ' in Fliir- 'I'he rnliii L! Doubtless, they Avould ha\'e aerpiii'cd the chief intlueuce in the go\'ernment : but they could have wielded the force of a free people, instead of being (b'i\eu tbilh in disgi-aee. In sewral cities, her cause contributed totii( in- n''i-'i ovei'i'nrow I'f their free institutions. not unworthy of illustration bv the genius of P)oecaccio and ^^hakes|)ea]"e.-^ lut cold- blooded murders were the chief incidents of these hateful feuds. (lark, niid i■^^i^\^ him ^villi tlic liidden ciiai'. ", ofclnssicil the lunival of chissical learning, m the fourteenth learning-. 1)v ilie aid of a Farliameut, secaired tlie ])ani-]mient of his ri\;i]. His powers were those of a dictator, rene^Ncd from time to time : his ri\'als were banished from the State ; and his owii adherents were placed in all the magistracies. llu'if citizens, ;)iid tlidr struggles for liberty, in an age • r^ — - wlien it "was unknown in otlier realms, claim the admi- I'alioii of |)osterit3\ Jkit tlie state of society, and tlie ])i)litical condition of Europe, forbad the success of democratic institutions ; and if there is much to admire in tilt; history of these celebrated cities, there is yet more to condemn and to regret. irreconcilalde opposition of the French and national Swiss parties, prevented tlie ado])tion of ;inv conslitulion L'^enerally acce])table to tin; people. ' It would he ])ainfu],' he said, ' to tliink that destiny had sin^Lded out this epoch, \vliieh has called to life so inany republics, as the lioiir of destruction to one of the oldest commonweahh.s in Europe.' But the tone in whir-h la; addressed tlu^ Swiss ^vas that of a die-tator rather tliaii a mediator. Tiie liuman mind Avas held ill leading strings by the Churcli. In Sparta the E])hors gradually encroached upon the powers of the kings and senate : in Venice the Council of Ten usur[)e(l the govcrmncnt of the State. rendered tlieir liberties to Arclibisliop Jean Vi.^eonti. It had Ix'cn the residence of some of the later Pioman emperors, and Avas the see of an aneient archl)i. It Avas the natural destiny of Florence to be the birthplac( generous bounties of the soil, the Arno opened to I hem the commerce of Tisa, and the sea; while their central ])osiiion ficilitated an active intercourse Avith all ])arls of Italy. While Venice was ruled by a close oligarchy, Florence displayed, throughout every change in her constitution and fortunes, a passion- ate love of liberty. Tlieir love of po\ver was furt Jier ii'ratilied by shoil terms of olllce. \'hen the councils of the Slate nvcih' skilfnlly (hivcied by nu'ii so chosen ! so elected, were often at a disad\-autage in contending with ri\al Stales, govci'ned l)y ambitious and [)owerfnl c]iieftainlo i M 7. The ai'niing of citizens was graduallv discouraged as dangei'ous totheii" rulers; and their ci\ic militia could ill contend against troops of hea\y e;i\'alrv armed to the teeth, and t J'ained in v. and acknowledged the peaceful jvslraints of city liie, they would have added strcaiglh and stability to the State. From all their annals, a i'cw tales may l)e collectc^l of the romantic dex'Olion of l(.)ve)'s. 325 to liiglier dignities, and a more permanent authority for fii Ap. Livino- ^vitli royal si)lendour, surroiuided ^ • — ' by artists and men of letters Avliom his ])atronage encouraged — numifieent beyond example, he towered Ijigh al)ove all his riyals.^ For more than thirty years lie ruled o\qt Florence. First Consul of tlie French Picpublic, notwitlistandinir the stipulations of the w- c(']\l treaty, interposed and offered his mediation.