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general prosperity of Unitarianism, is the establishing the custom among its ministers of giving all their time and energies to their work. There may be a man met with, now and then, who can be a good minister and a teacher at the same time; but there are few such. The bodily and mental weariness, of which every teacher is conscious in an evening, is not the state in which sermons should be written. It has been often pointed out how this state of things may be remedied by the exertions of laymen; let ministers consider whether they also cannot do something to remedy it.
EXTRACTS FROM MY JOURNAL.-SWITZERLAND.
XIV.-CONCLUSION OF SUNDAYS AT GENEVA. ANOTHER Sunday found me still lingering and idling at Geneva; for in the three weeks that I had spent there, I had tolerably well exhausted it. So by way of novelty I determined to visit several spots on the Lake which from a distance had struck my eye and my fancy, and make at the same time a pilgrimage to what was once the residence of Madame de Stael. The steamer was just starting, and in a few moments I was on board, together with a crowd of happy, noisy beings,-some bound for this village, and some for that,-some bent on making a day of it upon the Lake, and others on landing at some favourite nook to smoke their cigar and drink their “veteris pocula Massici,” alias vile Swiss wine, till the steamer returned. But, however different their destinations, all seemed agreed in making the most of their temporary freedom and repose. A couple of hours or so brought us up to Nyon, which appeared to be a favourite resort, as all the balconies of the restaurants which lined the bank were already filled with visitors, and many were preparing to land, together with myself. Yet what had induced me to stop at Nyon, above all other places, I can scarcely tell, for there is really nothing of any extraordinary interest or beauty in the little village. I believe it was nothing more than one of those idle fancies which spring up in the brain from very scanty materials, or Heaven knows how. Perhaps my imagination had invested it with some interest from the fact of its having been the residence of some dear friends now many years ago; for I remember in my early youth to have listened to their descriptions of this place and neighbourhood, till Nyon became for me one of the most remarkable places on the Lake, which no traveller in search of the picturesque, and above all myself, should omit to see. With this crotchet, then, in my head, here I am, together with thirty-six other poor mortals, shoving off from the steamer in one of the detestable flat-bottomed boats which one ever meets with on the Lake. Sitting-room there is none; like sheep in a fold, we are all huddled close together, each with his chin over his neighbour's shoulder, or his arm half embracing his waist, to maintain his balance, not a very pleasing position, I assure you, nor yet very safe it seemed, for a signal was made to the shore for another boat to take off some of the superfluous cargo. All is right, however, and
soon we are landed and dispersing to our different destinations. Mine, let me tell you, was to the café; for my morning sail had given me an appetite, the voice of which I no longer ventured to disobey. The next step was to see whatever could be seen, which in fact was little. Yet I have always borne in mind, and perhaps with advantage, Mrs. Barbauld's admirable little tale of “ Eyes and no Eyes,” and am indebted to it, I believe, for half the enjoyment I have experienced in my travels; so, holding this tale before my mind's eye, I set out to explore.
The landing-place at Nyon is a species of outskirt of the town, consisting solely of two or three restaurants and gardens, set up evidently for the convenience of steam-boat travellers; whilst the town itself is reached by a rather long and steep ascent. There was scarcely a mouse stirring as I walked up its single street, and but for the snuffing voice of the Protestant preacher which reached my ear as I passed the church, I might have fancied that all the inhabitants had been swept off in a foray; especially as the castle at hand was half in ruins, and some cottages were in rather a dilapidated state. Here they were, however, at least one-half the population, listening it might be to a very eloquent discourse, for I was innocent of understanding Swiss German. There were several peculiarities in the circumstances of the worship which struck me here as in other parts of Switzerland, -as the separation of the sexes, a peculiarity I have found in countries distinguished by the extremes of moral feeling, -in licentious, voluptuous Italy and rigid Switzerland; many, too, wore their hats, lifting them, however, in prayer and at mention of the name of Christ; whilst at the conclusion of the service there was an evident hurry to rush out, far from decorous. It seemed by this disrespect towards the preacher as if they were anxious to draw the line of demarcation between them and their Catholic brethren both strong and deep; for whilst the latter wait on bended knees for the priestly benediction as if it came from God's vicegerent, the former were rushing out of church, like sheep out of a pen, before the benediction was half out of the preacher's mouth. The church itself interested me by its antiquity and quaint style of building, and I now regret that I did not note any of the particulars of the architecture.
From the Protestant I adjourned to the Catholic church, which stood hard by in friendly neighbourhood. What a difference in the demeanour of the two congregations ! The little church was crowded to excess, so that a line of worshipers extended to outside the door and half across the street, kneeling and beating their breasts with all the signs of true devotion and penitence. The Santissima was being elevated. It was a scene highly picturesque, and in its essential beauty and contrast afforded much matter for reflection. Coming upon it suddenly from the Protestant church, where covered heads and the rush at the doors shewed that comparatively little of the sentiment of devotion existed, it was like entering into a new world, where rationalism was kept in sway by the imaginative, or like being transported from the nineteenth to the sixteenth century. Had I looked upon this scene in the spirit of Exeter Hall or that of many a supercilious wouldbe philosopher, I should have seen in that little group so much fuel for hell, or should have uttered many a Pshaw! and Absurd! But, in the first place, I looked upon it as a painter would upon a lovely scene to study the grouping--the effect of different combinations the expres. sion; -and then, descending below the surface, my moral vision beheld beauty and loveliness which no artistic power either of painter or of poet can describe. The heartfelt penitence of the sinner, now brought in fancy face to face with God—the devotion of the saint—the humble though entire confidence in God of him upon whom the world has frowned—every sigh and exclamation I heard went to my very heart, and every blow that smote the breast only confirmed the impression. And are these sentiments, said I, to be despised or condemned ? Enough for me is that pure sincerity which, like a veil thrown over the holy offering, reveals its beauties whilst it conceals its defects; and if such there be, be God the Judge. Besides, said I, if, assuming to be judge and censor, I seek for errors and pronounce them crimes, in what a position do I place myself! That devout Catholic there, who on bended knees now beats his breast, may entertain views less enlightened than I do, but being both he and I only two little links in the immense chain of rational existence, there is but the difference of degree between us, and other intelligences may with much greater reason assume to be my judge and censor. Mercy, mercy! then, I cried. Superior intelligences, whether human or angelic, have mercy upon me! Lord, have mercy upon me! and where I cannot learn with another's eye to read, teach me at least to appreciate his sincerity and sympathize in those emotions which are common to us both !
But let us change the scene, and from the church let us adjourn to the chateau, now half in ruins and only half tenanted. What an historic monument of social changes ! Close by, once perhaps the demesnes of the chateau, now converted to public use, are the promenades,—too shady, I thought, for a Swiss climate, but commanding from the eminence a most exquisite view of the Lake and of the snowy mountains towards Villeneuve. Here I sauntered for a long time, enjoying the scene and musing on the social differences which these promenades betray between England and the Continent, -50 marked, indeed, that I should be inclined to class them amongst the great social types. Cross the Channel, and whatever town or village you enter, you will find some place of public resort, be it the Place or the Piazza, the Boulevards or the Villa. Here meet at midday idle gentlemen of a certain age to discuss, if not politics, the opera; pretty bonnes, with their little charges, and sometimes a new-made mother more affectionate than the rest; whilst in the evening are added to the groups candidates for these maternal cares, who throng here, together with all the world, “ spectatum et spectatu.”. There is at least an expansiveness of social feeling exhibited in this love of union which is very pleasant, and which makes life pass, I think, more amiably and agreeably. A town is thus reduced to one great family; each has a smile or a bow or a word for the other; and though the tie is not very stringent, it meets the natural desire of the human heart to stretch out its tentacula in all directions for support. Now let us re-cross the Channel, but do not stop at Dover or any other watering-place, where English character is seen in masquerade-dress; but let us visit any of the towns in the interior. There are no promenades, no places of public resort; or if there be, there is an exclusiveness about them which drives away the many; in fact, there is no social feeling. On the same principle that every Englishman's house is his castle, is his family his world; and thus it is that he has little intercourse with, or little kindness for, the world beyond it. Look into the neighbourhood of many a country town I know, about one half hour after that truly English meal of tea. There they go, so many little social systems possessing repulsive force alone, father, mother and six small children, with nurses to boot, all stretching out toward some wild down or some almost impenetrable lane, like so many Cains fleeing from their kind, and, wonderful to say, never, like erratic comets, crossing each other's orbit. Now family union and family affection are a most delightful state of things and the foundation of all social stability; still I would plead for social feeling a little more expansive. Yet, after all, what avail these pleadings? Our climate brings us round our fire-sides, “the world shuts out," and makes us anti-social; and if it did not, the very love of independence which is bred in the bone, makes us fearful of encroachment and limits us to the circle of our immediate influence. On coming to this conclusion, I was half amused and half frightened to find into how many towns my musings had led me, and how late it had become. From north to south, and east to west, quicker than comet speed I had been rattling, and condensing into a few moments the life of many years. Ah! these musings, how wonderful and how dangerous they are ! Past midday, and a long walk before me! So by the other side of the acclivity on which the town is situated let us descend to the borders of the Lake and enter on the road which leads to Coppet.
The country about here is undulating and well wooded; the gnarled oak and the leafy chestnut are relieved by the weeping willow, the hazel, the poplar and the beech, whilst fruit trees of every description seemed to invite the weary traveller to refresh himself. Sometimes the path runs close by the Lake, and then, diverging through masses of trees, offers every now and then between the branches pretty glimpses of the blue waters. One always finds, too, a thousand circumstances to interest in a walk incidental to the scene; thus the very reflection of a sail or a summer cloud on the surface of the Lake formed a landscape on which I stood and gazed with delight; whilst the swallow, skimming rapidly along to seize on some poor gnat which had been already marked out by a wary fish for its midday repast, furnished matter for a moral. Then the distant views on the opposite side of the Lake are extremely pretty, bearing marks not so much of grandeur as of high cultivation. A low line of hills runs along the back ground, whilst here and there a village reposes on the borders of the Lake, with patches of woodland behind it. It was just the scene to please one in a lazy, dreamy humour, without awakening any violent emotion. It being now the witching hour of twelve, when every thrifty Swiss was seated at his dinner, there was but one solitary individual besides myself to be seen upon the road, and he, as if wearied of his solitude, seemed by a sort of natural attraction inclined to join company with me. Sometimes he slackened his pace (for he was in advance of me), or took a seat, or, as if struck by the excessive beauty of some particular prospect, stood still to ad. mire it. All to no purpose, my good friend, said I, laughing in my sleeve; I see through your devices, but your company I will not have ; not that I am by any means anti-social, but simply particular in the choice of a companion for a journey or a walk, knowing how much the enjoyment of it depends on a sympathy of taste and feeling. Now I was jogging along with myself in extremely good-humour, and I believe we were both of us enjoying our quiet walk as much as such a walk could be enjoyed, and there was no knowing what interruption in the chain of thought and feeling might be occasioned by the introduction of a third; so better it was to avoid the peril. Experience, too, has increased my constitutional caution; for well I remember how the few first days of my visit to Venice were disturbed by an uncongenial companion. I was full of enthusiasm, and disposed, perhaps, to view every thing too much “en couleur de rose;" he was all depreciation or indifference. What splendid palaces are those ! said I, as we glided in our gondola over the Grand Canal. Hum! they are half in ruins, was the reply. What a sparkling, fairy-like scene does St. Marco present this evening ! it is like enchantment! I ventured to observe on another occasion. It is excessively noisy, said my friend; do let us go home. Well, said I, as we were walking the next evening in the Gardens of Napoleon, it must be confessed that it is a lovely West this evening, and San. Marco stands out well upon that glowing canvas. Indeed, said my friend, I have seen a finer sky in England. This was rather too much for me; so, as courtesy forbade any verbal expression of my feeling, I contented myself with stamping and biting my lips, and resolutely determined to break this un-siamese twinship as quickly as I could ; and so I did; and then setting out again with my own dear self, began my real enjoyment of Venice. Therefore, said I, this morning, bearing this experience in mind, I will have nothing to do with the gentleman before me, and, instead of joining him, will meet ruse by ruse : thus, if he slackened his pace, so did I; if he sate down, I was suddenly overcome by fatigue ; if he was struck by some particular point of view, I was in ecstacies. Sometimes we caught a view of one another looking sideways to watch the effect of each other's movements; but all to no purpose. This man, said I, as I entered Coppet, must be another Fabius in embryo; he thinks to weary me out by his tactics; but, Heaven be praised for this deliverance! here we are arrived at what was once the chateau of Madame de Stael. As seen from the Lake, it has rather a mean appearance, being flanked on either side by a pigeon-cote kind of tower. The entrance is from the land side, and one has to mount to it by a rather steep ascent. The gates being opened by an important kind of dame, I found myself in a large square court with buildings on three sides, whilst the fourth, occupied by an immense iron gate, looks into a kind of park. I was first conducted into the library, in which was a full-length statue of Necker in marble, enveloped in a mantle, with one arm raised as if in the act of speaking. After passing through several rooms, I entered what had once been Madame de Stael's study, and where she had written much of her Corinne; her table still remains as when she left it, and the escritoir for her manuscripts. And then we visited her “sala di ricevere ;” the furniture remains the same as when she left it, the carpets and chairs and sofas of flowered damask silk. This assurance, “every thing as she left it,” not a little added to the interest with which I regarded the room, and gave a reality to the scene, which, as I sate on Madame's own peculiar sofa, was not a little increased by the information of my attendant, that “Madame a cosé bien souvent ici.” In this room is her portrait, with a turban for the head-dress; her eyes are very dark and