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19-Dec-2019 22:46

Conseipreices of standing armies Social char.ti'es in IJonie Growth of corruption Factions and tumults . TIk' brave Milanese drove out their new magistrate with insults, and Hew to arms ; and, aided l)y tlie licroic citizeiis of CVenia, resisted, ibr tlu'ee years, tlie superior forces of the cmpei'or. Ci\ilians, merchants, and men of letters, fought bravely, like the Athenians, as citizen-soldiers, and carried with ])ride the victorious standards of the i-iii O. A Ghibeline army took possession of Florence, rej)eale(l the democratic constitution, and threatened the city itself with destruction.^ The democracy. A new magi:(^vern- Ascend- cncv of meul of the t^tate. All the conditions of this favoured land are conducive to the vigour and manli- ness of its people ; and its history bears witness to their valour and tlieir freedom. Switzerland, in s(jme measure, --liared in the lilierties Avhieii (hr-i'U». 337 Dowcrfiil Iji.sliops and al)l)ots lioklitiii' fiefs from tlie cfiap. wliik' tliu people geiu'nilly were reduced to the — r— - enndiiioii of serfr-d Witli little; change in t Jie hiw.s or couditioi Ks of society, Switzerland now passed into the hands of the (jernian emperors.- In no country ^vvre the feudal nobles more powerful, or more oppressive, than in Switzerland. Late in the ehwenlh centnr\', Switzerland was assigned, as a lief, ! The country generally was slill in vassalage to its feudal lords: but these remote^ valleys had already acquired rights of self- govennnent Avilliout dislin'l)ance from emperor or baron. He was supri'ine in the council, and in the consistory ; and in both iie carried out, with extrava[ATIOX. And, in deahnir with political atlairs, tlu'y condenmed. UOMK — COidui U&K ]''.ffects of ibreion coi K^uetts upon the rep Political reaction of the patricians . At the diet of Poncaglia, he de- iprived their popular consuls of their judicature, which ^^■^^- he entrusted to a single y9-///, chosen by himself; and lie forl)ade them to make separate ])eace or war. No wonder tliat llu' citizens grew weary of their uo])le ])a1rou-^ I At the end of tlie t ^\•el ft li cen- tury most of tlie Lombard cities — and. Italian cities preserved the liberties foi' which they had j V.'ul'o't tlieii contended : hut the fatal fictions of fiuelph and (rhibehne iii\()l\'e(] iheni in constant war^ and tumults: A\liile the chiefs ot' thest' f;ictioiis. A war was then undertaken against the Ghibehne cities and pro\incial i)ol)les, in which the Florentines achieved brilliant success(\^. But a few years later tlu^ir arms suffered a grie\'ous rex'crse. Avhich ma]'k('(l the increased jjowc]- of the trading classes. of the country — from tlie perpetual snows of Mont -- — .-^^ l)lanc and the Jungfrau, to the vine-clad slopes of Jii,',',.^;','.''' Neufchatel and Lake Lenian : l)nt within the hal)ilal)le regions of the Alps, the climate is generally tenn)erate, healthful and invigorating. ' , under llie dominion of tiu' Frank kings of tlie Mei'o- vinuian dvnastv. And as the })ower of the territorial lords declined, the country became associated with the towns ; and the urban and rural districts together assumed the foi'ui of Cantons. u\d taxc MJ ;in, dates from an early pei-iod.' This modest league ot rnral cantons, inhabited by mountain peasants, Avith- out a single city Avithin their ])recincl-;, Avas the origin of tlie ^wiss Confederation. The bisliop, liowever, was deposed by the refonniiifr part}' ; and Calvin soon established a i:.;j-^,\.i. lie constituted liiniself at once spiritual and temporal dictator of the republic. They strove to overcome the corni])lions that had fonnd their way hito Swiss society ; and to revive^ the maidv, simple, and hidustrions character of the people. ic(\ If tlicv again tr(_)ub K'd tluj public jjcace, the (/it/ifd/on/'t'i' of justice, now iii'si ap- pninlcd. If otiier t'auiihi'.- were giiihy of the like disoi-dcrs. From early times tlie hardy mountaineers of the r.aru- i:i- Alps were renowned f )r their bravery and in(le[)en- or'thc denee. its armies, under the CVmsul Lucius Caseins, were "^'•■*- I'ouled 1)V the Helvetii. The consul himself ^\"as slain, and hostages were given up by the retreating Komans.^ Such was their Io\n' of hi)crl\-. i K-rii 1 ' ~ '■■'^•'■■- i; Jiiiig, th'eir counliy was overrun by hordes of Bur- ■^'^■' ■''•'*• ii'undians — a Vandal race from the Oder and the Vistula, 'hhese were succeeded by irruptions of Ale- manni, Ostrogoths, and I'ranks ; and the division of Switzerland into German and French-speaking races is to be ascribed to these early settlements of did'erent o O()-;i,,t; ii'ibes from Oermau A' and Gaul.'"' h'allino- at leiiulh. Happily lor the people, these great nobles, instead of combining to secau-e iheir powei', were pca-petually making war upon vaie another ; and barons and chui'chmen were di\id(,'d bv jt'alousies and rival pretensions. , \ ninniciti Hl lu'si bvlhe jormation ot Milages, exei"(as]ug I'lglits of priv Ho-e^. ha\iiig common right- and interots in their belove)resence of foreign powers. t^dl \oke(l a ci\il war, in wliicli the u'reat refoni KT lost his en ap. From the period of the licformation, a u'improxement appears to ]ia\'e arisen in tlie character of Swiss societw Forei LUi eulislments conliuued : but the wars of l)oor were aided out of the cantonal funds ; and the towns founded many charitable establishments. realm, naturally encoiu'aged the Swiss ])arty -which least f n"onrcd democracy ; and the nobles, who had been gradually enlarging their powers, ])rofited by th(3 hiiluence of their great ally, to limit still further the franchises of the burghers.^ Accordingly, during this long reign, the constitutions of some of the cantons were gradually c()n\'erted into close oligarchies. As;-'jci;itiiin of iii Leliiuei: C' ;ii;d i'rei dnj), Till' Aryai, race^ 'J'jieir nu L:r;;.tioi! l"he alienation of the iinl)le.s ;uid tjie citizens was (Liilv increasing ; and. the nobl(\s had becoiut' so turbulent and law- Kx- \'hic]i twenlv-seven (Tiielphic families were declared • noble and grand.'- and by that title were (li^([ualilied tor e\('i' from ser\"iiig in the signoria : nor weretln-y allowed to i^'uounce their titles, in order to qualify I iieiiisehes for ol! lo pull down their houses, and deli\"er ihcm up lo the pof/,'.^f/) for piniishmeiit. To these p]ivsieal caus(\s may, in gi'eat UK'asui'e, he

If any profession of political faith is ex})ected from the author, as a pledge of the spirit in ^vliich this history is ^vritten, it is this: — I hail the development of })Opular power, as an essential condition of the social ad\'ancement of nations : I am an ardent admirer of })olitical libcrt}', — of rational and enlightened liberty, sucli as most Englishmen approve; and I condcmiiany violation of its princi})k's, whether by a despotic king, or by an ill- ordered republic. Soleure was the last of the aristo- iralic cantons, and maiulaiued a close alliance with I'.eriu' and the other cai Uous gowrned upon the like principles. 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.



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