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laurel and myrtle wreath decorated his brows.” . “As a proof of Klopstock's high reputation in Switzerland, Mr. Tobler related, among other things, that two young shepherdesses came from the canton of Glarus to Zurich, with no other view than to see Klopstock. One of them, seizing his hand, exclaimed, ‘Ah ! when I read in Clarissa, or the Messiah, I am quite transported!’ While we indulged in this kind of conversation with the worthy archdeacon, the time flew so rapidly that I did not observe that we were already eight miles from the town. Here we landed at a village, the birth-place of Mr. Tobler, and of which his father had been the mimister. The cottages in this village have a very comfortable appearance; and adjoining to almost every one of them is a small garden stocked with fruit trees, together with beds of flowers and culinary vegetables. Within these habitations prevails the utmost cleanliness. I saw a peasant and his family at dinner. After having placed themselves round the table, the mistress of the house said grace. They then seated themselves; the husband by the side of his wife, the brothers by their sisters. The meal consisted of soup, butter, and cheese. After dinner, grace was again said, when the males took off their hats, which they very seldom do. They may frequently be seen, even in the towns, at dinner with their hats on, for the Swiss consider this privilege as a token of liberty and independence. “We dined at the inn, where we had some fish from the Lake of Zurich of an admirable flavour. It is generally asserted that peole eat more in Switzerland than in any other country, which is
ascribed to the kechiness of the air; but to this I cannot accede; my appetite is certainly good, but by no means stronger than usual. After dinner we crossed the lake to the opposite shore, where we visited a relative of Mr. T-, who lives in a large mansion close to the water-side. He conducted us through his farm, and showed us his horses, cows, and extensive orchard ; he also regaled us with excellent apricots and red wine, which he had grown himself. We set out again at seven o’clock for Zurich; I was gratified with the sight of the snow-clad mountains, gilded by the rays of the setting sun, and at length enveloped in the dark shade of night; the glistening windows of the town, at a distance, resembled a brilliant illumination. About ten o’clock we
reached home. - * * “ The institution called the Girls’ School, particularly deserves the notice of all travellers. Here sixty young girls are instructed gratis in reading, writing, accounts, together with morality and housekeeping, and are educated in such a manner as to become excellent wives and mothers. The sight of so many pretty and well-dressed irls, with silent diligence profiting by the instructions of their respectable teachers, whose behaviour towards them resembles that of tender mothers, is highly pleasing. Here the daughter of a rich citizen sitsbeside the child of his poor neighbour, and learns that merit alone, and not wealth, deserves esteem. This benevolent institution was established in 1774, by professor Usteri, who died in the beginning of the present year, universally re
gretted by his fellow-citizens.
“Perhaps in no city in Europe are found such purity of manners L 2 - and and such probity as in Zurich. Here the laws of conjugal fidelity are strictly respected and obeyed; and should a woman throw herself in the way of public prostitution, she would become an object of universal indignation. Mothers consider the education of their children as the best way of employing their time; and, as even the most opulent families keep only one female servant, the mistress finds, in the management of her domestic concerns, sufficient employment, and is not corrupted by idleness, the source of so many vices. “The women seldom go into company: balls, theatres, masquerades, clubs, and magnificent festivals are totally unknown. At the same time two or three female friends occasionally meet and converse together as they sit at their work, or read Gessner, Klopstock, Thomson, or other authors, such as modesty may peruse without a blush. They rarely converse with men who are strangers to them, and are diffident of speaking before foreigners, conceiving that the Zurich dialect is not agreeable to the ear. They all dress with plainness and simplicity, and are perfect strangers to French fashions. Paint also is unknown amongst them. The men transact all their business in the morning; the merchant is then constantly found in his counting-house or shop, , the literary man in his study, and the artist at his easel. At noon they dine, and towards evening they take their walk, or smoke tobacco over a cup of tea or a glass of wine with their friends. Each speaks on his particular occupation; the merchant on commerce, the learned man on literature; and thus they pass away the time. Whether cards are sold at Zurich I know not, but I am
certain the inhabitants never play with them. This fashionable mode of killing time, which in other countries is grown into so strong a habit as to become almost indispensable, appears to be totally unknown here. “The wise legislators of the republic of Zurich, convinced that luxury is the bane of morality and virtue, have excluded it from their commonwealth. The men must neither wear velvet nor silk, nor the women diamonds nor laces. It is uncommon even to see any body wear a pelisse in the most inclement season, as furs are very dear. Riding in carriages is likewise prohibited in the town, which renders sound and healthy feet of far greater value here than any where else. Rich and expensive furniture is never met with in the houses, where every thing is good, but simple. Foreign wines are imported, but they are allowed to be used only as a medicine. But this law does not appear to be very strictly enforced. I had always been informed, that living in Switzerland was very cheap, but I can now declare from experience, that this is by no means the case, every thing being much dearer here than in Germany. Bread, meat, wood, clothes, shoes, and other necessaries of life, are at a great price. The undoubted cause is the wealth of the Swiss ; for where a country abounds with rich inhabitants, money is of less value, and consequently the necessaries of life are nominally dear. I pay at my lodgings eighty copecs for dinner, and I paid as much in Basle and Schaff. hausen. It is true, however, that at the tables of the inns in Switzerland, we find seven or eight welldressed dishes followed by a dessert of four or five plates.
“ I §. every day to Lavater, with whom I dine, and afterwards in the evening we walk out. He appears to have a regard for me, is very friendly, and questions me at times concerning the circumstances of my life: he permits me also to propose written interrogatories to him. I submit to him almost every day some enquiry; he takes my paper, puts it in his pocket, and gives me in the evening a written answer; but he always keeps a copy for himself. I imagine that he intends to publish them in his ‘Monthly Journal,” which is to make its appearance in Berlin the beginning of next year under the title of, “Answers to Questions proposed by my Friends.” “He will likewise publish next year, his ‘Collection for Friends:’ this work is to contain those treatises which, for many reasons, he does not chuse to submit to the public at large. His friends only are to be supplied with this collection, which he wishes to be considered merely as a manuscript, notwithstanding its being printed. “Lavater’s works at present ex<eed fifty volumes; and should he live twenty years longer, they may probably increase to as many more. Besides his works intended for the public, and the treatises for his friends, he keeps a journal, which he preserves as a secret even from his most intimate friends, and which his son will, one day, inherit. In this he describes the most im
“I have been several times at the house of the venerable archdeacon Tobler, and spent many very agreeable hours in his company. He has told me many things respecting Bodmer; and the Swiss Theocritus. “Gessner,’ said he, “embellished the spring of my life; and amid all the pleasing recollections of the agreeable scenes of youth, his image is always present to my vicw. Often have we shortened the tedious winter evenings by reading the poets; and almost every time that I visited him, he welcomed me with some new production of his fascinating pen. His house was such an academy of the arts and sciences, as kings are unable to create.’ You know, my friends, that Gessner dedicated his Daphnis to a youthful female; but possibly you may not know, that she was the daughter of the senator Heidegger; and that the author of Daphnis soon after married her, and ever retained for her the tender affection of his first love. It grieved me exceedingly to learn, that Gessner had a great aversion to Lavater; and that he could not, with all the efforts of their mutual friends, be persuaded to a reconciliation with him. But it is the more to Lavater's honour, that on the death of Gessner, he wrote an eulogy to his memory.
“I have but once seen professor Meister, brother of the author of Natural Morality, who, on account of his writings, was banished from Zurich, and now lives in Paris. His exterior is not very attractive, but his conversation is highly agreeable: he speaks almost as well as he writes. I paid him the tribute of my gratitude for the pleasure I had received from the perusal of his “Short Travels, and Characteristics of German Poets'.
L 3 “ V this
“I this evening witnessed a magnificent spectacle. A dreadful thunder-storm continued for above two hours. You should have seen how the purple and yellow flashes of lightning entwined the summits of the mountains, and have heard the thunder's incessant roar. It appeared as if the Eternal Thunderer was about to convert these cloudcapt entinences to ashes. But unchanged they stoc, ; the tempest ceased to rage—the thunder its roaring : and the gentie Luna again peeped through the clouds.
“A citizen of Zurich is prouder of his title, than a king of his crown. For upwards of one hundred and fifty years, no foreigner has been admitted to the privileges of a citizen. The freedom of this place was, however, offered to Klopstock, on condition of his settling at Zurich.
“On Saturday evening Lavater shuts himself in his closet, to consider of his sermon, and which he completes in an hour. In fact it cannot be a difficult task, if all his sermons are like that which I heard to-day. “The Saviour has taken all our sins upon himself; for which he is cntitled to our warmest gratitude.” These thoughts, which he enlarged upon and embellished, comprised the whole substance of his discourse, exclamations, and declamation : — nothing more I must confess I expected something of a superior kind. You will perhaps say, “that it is necessary to speak this to the multitude.” But Sterne likewise spoke to the multitude, and yet touched the heart— yours as well as mine. Lavater’s deliberate delivery however has my complete approbation. The minis...'s here appear in the pulpit in a sinoplar dress, together with white and very stiffly-starched cra
vats. At other times they are dressed in common black, or darkcoloured clothes; and Lavater wears besides a black velvet cap on his head. Perhaps this may be the reason why he is suspected of being a secret catholic. The men stand uncovered in the church during the singing of the Psalms; but as soon as the sermon begins they put on their hats and sit down. “I have to-day become acquainted with two countrymen of my friend B–—, count Moltke, and the poet Baggesen. The latter is author of two grand operas, which have been received by the public in Copenhagen with great applause, but afterwards caused the author the loss both of his tranquillity and his health. You wonder at it! but this was effected by causes perfectly natural.—Envy armed against him a great number of authors, who employed their utmost exertions to convince the public, that Baggesen's operas were vile productions. The young poet however defended himself with warmth, but he found himself alone amidst a host of foes. They attacked him in the newspapers, journals, plays, and every where.
For several months he stood the
contest, until his strength failed, and he was at o compelled to quit the field. e then travelled to Pyrmont for the benefit of the baths; the physicians sent him from that place to Switzerland, in hopes that the mountain air would complete his recovery. The young count Moltke, who was prosecuting his studies at Gottingen, resolved to accompany him. ii. are both acquainted with Lavater, and he likes them both on account of their vivacity, for they are equally friends to als! and olis. The count strikes his forehead and to: wit
with his feet; and Baggesen, folding his hands, fixes ; eyes on heaven, when Lavater speaks with warmth upon any subject. Today or to-morrow they go to Lucern, and B accompanies them.” - . *
“At length I have determined
on leaving Zurich to-morrow, after a stay of sixteen days. I dined to-day with Lavater for the last time; and he has, for the last time, dictated to me. “Dictated P You may depend upon it, and the complaisant Lavater even assures me, that I do not write German very ill. For the last time I have visited the banks of the Limmat; and the murmuring of the impetuous current never lulled my mind into such a melancholy mood as to-day. I seated myself upon a bench at the foot of a lofty linden tree, immediately opposite the spot where the monument of Cessner will soon be erected. I had a volume of his works in my pocket; for it affords me a pleasure which cannot be described, to read his incomparable Idylls on the spot where they were composed. I took it out of my pocket, and opened it just at the following lines:—
“‘Posterity justly reveres the urn of the poet whom the Muses themselves consecrated as the teacher of virtue and innocence. His memory ever flourishes, and lives when the warrior’s trophies have long sunk into decay; and the magnificent monument of an unprincipled ruler, overgrown in
the midst of the wilderness with
weeds, bushes, and grey moss, merely serves occasionally as a resto place to the bewildered traveller. Few, indeed, according to the laws of nature, arrive at this pre-eminence ; yet, to aspire to it deserves commendation. May each of my solitary walks, and every lonely hour, be dedicated to such emulation!’ “Imagine, my friends, with what exquisite sensibility I read this passage on the spot where Nature and Poetry will weep over the urn of the immortal Gessner! “Was he not by the Muses consecrated as the teacher of virtue and innocence? will not his ever-flourishing memory exist when the warrior's trophies have kng sunk into decay? The presentiment of immortality filled ; soul, when, with his enchanting pen, he wrote these lines. The hand of all-destroying Time may even at some future period annihilate the town in which the poet flourished; and, in the course of ages, Zurich may be forgotten; but the flowers of Gessner’s muse will never fade; they will exhale their balmy sweets centuries hence, and refresh every heart. How many paths to renown are open to the author! What numerous crowns of immor. tality await him! Posterity will praise many; but not all with equal warmth. Ye, into whom bounteous Nature hath breathed a creative genius, your works shall render you immortal ; but, would
you cbtain the love of posterity,
write as Gessner wrote! devote your pens to Virtue and Innocence.”