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vulgar error that the bear was licked into shape by its mother. The lynx of the Alps, and the Steinbock, both from the Bernese chain, are interesting from their rarity; these animals having nearly disappeared from Europe.
Here is deservedly preserved the skin of Barry, one of the dogs of St. Bernard, who is recorded to have saved the lives of 15 human beings by his sagacity.
A chamois with three horns, one growing out of the nose; a specimen of a cross breed between the steinbock and domestic goat, which lived 7 years; a wild boar, of gigantic size and bristling mien, are also worth notice.
In the Ornithological department are the lämmergeyer (vulture of lambs), the feathered monarch of the Alps, and inferior in size to the condor alone among birds. It breeds only on the highest mountains.
In addition to the native birds of Switzerland, a perfect collection of which, with very few exceptions, is to be seen here, together with their nests and eggs, there are specimens of several foreign and tropical birds which have found their way into Switzerland by accident; viz., a flamingo killed near the lake of Morat, and a pelican from Constance. "Possibly the flamingo came from the waters of the district around Nismes and Avignon, where these birds are not uncommon." P.
The departments of geology and mineralogy are very rich. The geology of Switzerland may be well studied in the very complete series of fossils collected by M. Studer, an eminent living geologist, and others.
There are a number of beautiful specimens of all the rarest and finest minerals from St. Gotthard.
Several plans in relief of various parts of Switzerland will prove equally instructive to the student of geography and geology.
In a small collection of Antiquities the following objects seem to deserve mentioning: - Some Roman antiquities dug up in Switzerland; the Prie Dieu of Charles the Bold, and part of his tent-hangings, captured by the Bernese at Grandson; the pointed shoes worn by the Bernese nobles in the XVIth century; some dresses, etc. from the South Sea islands, and the dagger with which Captain Cook was slain (?), brought over by Weber, the artist, who accompanied the expedition, who was of Swiss origin.
The Town Library is a good collection of 40,000 volumes, and is is well stored with Swiss history. Haller, who was born at Berne, was librarian. The butter-market is held beneath this building.
The Arsenal has scarcely any curiosities to show since it was robbed by the French in 1798; the arms for the contingent of the canton are kept in it.
The Diet assembles in the Aussere Standes-Haus (formerly the Marksmans Guild); it met here last in 1855 and 36. Berne is celebrated for the number and excellence of its Charitable Institutions: they are perhaps more carefully attended to than any in Europe. There is a public granary in case of scarcity, two orphan-houses, an infirmary, and an extensive Hospital, bearing the inscription, "Christo in pauperibus." It was for a long time the finest, indeed theonly grand building in the town, a just subject of pride; but it has of late been eclipsed by the colossal dimensions of the new prison and penitentiary; a circumstance characteristic of the present period, perhaps, in other countries besides the Canton Berne. Since 1834, an University or high school has been established at Berne.
The prevailing reverence for the Bear at Berne does not confine itself to the multiplying of his effigy on the coins, sign-posts, fountains, and public buildings of the canton. For many hundred years living specimens of the favourite have been maintained at the public expense; and the ditch outside of the Aarberg Gate. called the Bürengraben, is allotted to them for a habitation. No traveller will quit Berne without paying them a visit, unless he wishes to have the omission of so important a sight thrown in his teeth every time the name Berne is mentioned; and indeed a vacant half hour may be worse employed than in watching the gambols of Bruin, and supplying him with cakes and apples. The connexion between the town and the animal is accounted for by the ancient tradition, that on the day on which Berchtold Jaid the foundations of Berne, an enormous bear was slain by him upon its destined site.
The bears were formerly handsomely provided for. At the beginning of the last century an old lady, dying without near relatives, bequeathed her fortune of 60,000 livres to them. The will was disputed by some distant connexion of the deceased; but the cause of the brutes was so ably pleaded by one of the most distinguished members of the bar of Berne that the plaintiff was nonsuited. The bears, declared the right ful heirs, were taken under the guardianship of the supreme council, who, treating them as wards in chancery, or minors, administered their property. In order to maintain the succession to the estate, a pair of young bears was always reared, in case of the demise of the elders; and to prevent too large an increase of the race, all that were born beyond this were fattened to furnish a dainty for the civic feasts of the Berne burgomasters.
The bears, however, did not long enjoy their fortune. The French Revolution broke out, and its sweeping conse quences, not confined to crowns and kingdoms, descended
even to bears. The French army having defeated the Swiss in several engagements, entered the town (1798), and immediately took possession of the treasury. Eleven mules were despatched to Paris laden with specie found in it; two of them bore away the birthright of the bears, amounting at the time to 70 millions of francs. The bears themselves were led away captives, and deposited in the Jardin des Plantes, where one of them, the celebrated Martin, soon became the favourite of the French metropolis. When, after a series of years, the ancient order of things was restored at Berne, one of the first cares of the citizens was to replace and provide for their ancient pensioners. A subscription was raised in consequence, and a small estate purchased, the rents of which, though diminished from various causes, are appropriated to their support. The cost of keeping them amounts to between 600 and 700 francs par annum; and well grounded fears are entertained that modern legislators, forgetful of the service rendered by Bruin for so many centuries, in figuring upon the shield of the canton, may soon strike him off the pension list.
The fortifications of the town, no longer of use as defences, are converted into Promenades, and make very agreeable walks. The banks of the Aar, which they overlook, are most picturesque; and the Alps, when visible, form a back-ground of the utmost sublimity.
They, however, as well as the city of Berne itself, are best seen from a terrace walk called the Enghe, a little more than a mile outside the Aarberg Gate, the favourite resort of the citizens. On the way to it, immediately beyond the gate, the bears' ditch and den are passed on the 1., and the ShootingHouse, where rifle matches take place, on the rt. hand.
Two other more distant and elevated points, which are most advantageous for commanding the panorama of the Alps, are the hill of Altenberg, 1/2 an hour's walk on the N. of the town, reached by a foot-bridge across the Aar; and the Gurten, a height an hour's walk to the S. of the town.
There are Baths on the island in the Aar, charge, 1. fr., linen included; a flight of steps leads from the Platform down to the river.
The Cassino, a handsome building in the Ober-Graben, contains a reading-room, supplied with newspapers; a ballroom, etc. There is also a Theatre in the town.
Burgdorfer and Fischer keep a good supply of maps, views, costumes, etc. of Switzerland.
Passports.-Travellers going from Switzerland into Austria, Italy, France, or Bavaria, must bear in mind that it is necessary to have their passports countersigned by the ministers of those powers residing here. The Secretaries of Le
gation remain on the spot even when the ministers attend the Diet at Lucerne or Zurich.
The English and Austrian ministers sign passports only early in the morning from 10 to 11 or 12. In cases of urgency they would probably not refuse their signature at other hours, but this is liable to uncertainty. The traveller pressed for time, and wishing to avoid delay, may leave his passport with the master of the inn, to be forwarded to him by post. The Austrian signature, if not obtained here, can only be got at Turin or Stuttgard, the nearest capitals where Austrian ministers reside.
Hindelbank, which is sometimes visited from Berne, on account of the tomb of Madame Langhans, is described in Route 13; and Hofwyl, Mr. Fellenberg's establishment, in Route 24, p. 87.
The excursion from hence through the Bernese Oberland, Route 27, may be made in 3 days, though it deserves longer time to be devoted to it.
Diligences go from Berne daily to Basle by Olten; Basle by Delsberg, to Aarau, Freiburg, Lausanne, Geneva, Lucerne, Neuchatel, Soleure, Zurich, and twice a-day, to Thun.
History and Government of Berne.
Berne owes its foundation, in the XIIth century, to Berchtold V., Duke of Zähringen, who held, as his ancestors had done, the office of Warden, or Proprietor, of W. Switzerland, from the Emperor. At that period the Faustrecht, or law of the strong hand, was at its height; a great part of the land was still unreclaimed forest, and the only human habitations were the hovel of the defenceless serf or peasant, and the frowning and well-defended castle of the lawless baron, who lived by rapine and pillage. The efforts of the Dukes of Zähringen had long been directed towards the curbing and humbling of this provincial nobility, who, from their number and power, were no less formidable to their liege lord than to the peasant or merchant over whom they tyrannised. To raise up a counterpoise to the overbearing noblesse, and their strongholds or robber-nests, he collected the scattered peasantry into communities, the chief of which he formed in 1191, on a peninsula, protected by the Aar on all sides but one which he fortified with strong walls. Behind these the craftsman, the merchant, and all others who needed protection for their person and property, found it. Berchtold fostered the infant city by immunities and privileges; and, what was by far more important, he succeeded in having it acknowledged as a free town of the empire, independent of his own house and of all sovereigns but the emperor. Invited by these advantages,
not only persons of the poorer sort, but many of the inferior nobles, settled here to enjoy the proffered freedom. These, and the more flourishing class of citizens, in a short time engrossed in their own hands the entire administration of government, and their numbers being limited, and the right of citizenship hereditary, they soon formed an aristocracy as powerful in proportion to the extent of the state as that of Venice and Nuremberg, and as proud as any feudal noblesse in Europe. The great council of the canton, which at one time contained some democratic elements, by the admission of members from the lower trades and craftsmen, in process of time was filled solely by the higher burghers, and all elections were renewed from their own body. Thus all public offices were monopolised for ages by certain families. The Erlachs, for instance, held possession of the post-office, the eldest sons succeeded to their fathers as matter of course, and the higher commands in the Swiss regiments in foreign service furnished employment for those who could not find place at home. The most ancient families of burghers, i. e. those who had been admitted to the privilege of citizens before 1635, were called regiments-fähig (eligible to the magistracy), but of these only a small number were actually the rulers (regierende): in 1785 the number of the latter was only 69 families. Such a state of things naturally gave rise to great discontent among the lower order of citizens, not so much from any abuses of their rulers, who seem to have governed with prudence and honesty, without oppressing or heavily taxing, but from their overbearing haughtiness, exclusiveness, and the secrecy with which all their proceedings were conducted. By the French Revolution this ancient aristocracy lost much of its power; and the events which followed that of July 1830 have stripped them of the remainder. A new constitution, passed and approved by an assemblage of most of the inhabitants of the canton, now gives to every citizen equal political rights. The hereditary rule and monopoly of the supreme authority by the aristocratic families was thus destroyed, and the people admitted to a share of the governA newly-appointed supreme council entered upon its duties in Oct. 1831; and considering its want of experience, from the previous exclusion in toto of the popular party from all share in the government, their administration appears to have been respectable. The chief reproach cast upon them is their persecution of the oligarchists, many of whom have since been imprisoned. The new rulers were relieved of much embarrassment in the department of finance, by the discovery, in the exchequer, of the revenue of seven years hoarded up, according to an ancient practice, by their predecessors. Instead of allowing this to lie idle they very wisely