were not quite so near the events in point of space. I am half tempted to think that, after all, you never went, or have come back again, and I shall ponder much how to direct. If you really did go, pray treasure up and tell me all your remarks on the state of things. And don't forget to study the fourteenth chapter of the prophet Esaias, where the whole thing is described, and from which I am ever singing bits.

I am just the least bit divided between a Dutch king and a Welsh commonwealth; but I have no great faith in Welsh commonwealths. And if you give Elsass and Lothringen to the Dutch king now, haply they may some day be parts of a Dutch commonwealth, which will be better than all.

For myself, I have been rambling all about, much to my delight. That Frith of Clyde is lovely, only the churls of lairds shut up the hill-tops, because of their wretched grouse-shooting, and the whole country would be better if the shooters would utilize their gift by clearing it of 'duiks and sic-like fules.' I think I could conscientiously join in a Herzogjagd' at Dunkeld, where his Un-grace-Atholl, I believe he is called--has bagged the Cathedral-still, mind you, a Presbyterian parish churchand put it in his garden, and built himself the grandmother of pews inside. The site is lovely. That I saw yesterday, as also my old pet Dunblane, and Abernethy, William's furthest point northward. There is one of the two round towers in Scotland, and I hope to see the other, at Brechin, to-day. (Arbroath, September 7), I have seen it, and have come on hither this evening, and have just been able to get a glimpse of the abbey. Here in Scotland abbots were clearly much greater birds than bishops. The abbey here-remember, Arbroath is the same as Aberbrothock, about which you will remember the story of the bell-would eat up my three cathedrals together. I am now on my way home, and some time next week I hope to meet my wife at Malvern, whither she was to go on Tuesday with Margaret and Florence. (St. Andrews, September 8), I come here, find letters, and among others the note of their getting there. I wish you were here instead of at Boulogne.

1 'Duke-hunt.'

"When Malcolm, King of the Scots, did homage to William the Conqueror (Norman Conquest, iv. 516, 517).

It is such a place. I sat on the rocks, just under Beaton's castle, and saw the moon rise only just not out of the seathe cathedral east and west end, and my tower of St. Regulus rising above the fortified wall on the rock. Fifteen years ago in winter I said that it was a cross between Oxford and St. David's; in vacation the Oxford element is gone, and a Weston-super-mud element has come instead in the shape of idle-looking, watering-place sort of folk. To-morrow to Dunfermline Saturday I push for Lindisfarn and stay over Sunday at Durham. Then over Cleveland hills, if I can find my way, Bamburgh, Pontefract, &c., Chester, Stafford, and my work is done. I don't know exactly when I get home, but I hope within a fortnight.

To J. BRYCE, Esq.

October 23, 1870.

You may suppose that I have been wild with delight at all that has been going on 'Postquam Rex Willelmus venit in Galliam.' All that I have been waiting for for 600 years, ever since Philip the Fair stole Lyons, as the other man stole Strassburg, has come to pass on the power which has been the undying curse of Europe. 'Now that he lieth, let him rise up no more.' They have hung my dining-room with maps, and my eye is ever caught by angulus iste qui nunc deformat agellum'' running into honest Dutch places: an abomination of desolation standing where it ought not. I don'tlike the feeling which seems spreading of half taking up France, and even Buonaparte, simply because they are whopped, i.e. have received the due reward of their deeds.


Most of the following letters were written during, or immediately after, a tour made in October and November,

'That corner which now disfigures the little estate,' Hor. Sat. ii. 6. 8. The boundary of France at this time ran nearly due east 100 miles from the Moselle south of Luxemburg, before taking a sharp bend to the south. Metz, Strassburg, and Mülhausen were enclosed in this elbow. After the war, this angle was rounded off, and Metz, Strassburg, and Mülhausen were restored to Germany. The changes of frontier are well marked in the volume of maps attached to Freeman's Historical Geography, plate xxxii.

1871, in which he was accompanied (for the greater part of the time) by Mr. J. R. Green. They visited Aachen, Köln, Mainz, Würzburg, Innsbruck, Trent, Verona, Venice, Padua, Bologna, Ravenna, and Pisa together. Mr. Green then departed to Florence, and Freeman visited Modena, Parma, Piacenza, Pistoia, Pavia, and Milan by himself1.

On his way home Freeman spent some days in Switzerland, and attended some of the sittings of the National Council (Nationalrath), which was engaged in debating certain proposed changes in the constitution. This was a subject in which he took the deepest interest. He was accustomed to say that Switzerland ought to be regarded, not as the playground but as the school-room of Europe, for in it some of the oldest and newest forms of political life might be seen working side by side. It may help the reader to understand the frequent references to Swiss politics in Freeman's letters, if he is reminded that in Switzerland the several Cantons enjoy self-government in all matters, except those which are expressly reserved for the central or federal government. The federal legislature consists of two Houses or Chambers, the Nationalrath, or National Council, consisting of representatives elected by the whole people in the proportion of one member for every 20,000, and the Ständerath (the Council of States or Cantons) to which each Canton, large or small, elects two representatives. The executive body, called Bundesrath, is a council of seven,

The following articles in the Saturday Review were written during this tour, or soon after his return from it. In vol. xxxii., 'Würzburg*,' p. 620; 'Trent,' p. 650; ‘Lucca*'; 'Romanesque Architecture in Venetia*,' p. 718; Ravenna*,' p. 746. Vol. xxxiii., 'Pisa*,' p. 86; 'Romanesque Architecture in Lombardy*,' p. 179. The articles marked with an asterisk have been reprinted in Historical and Architectural Sketches.

elected by the two houses voting together, for this purpose, as one body. The National Council and the Executive Body are elected for three years. The members of the Council of States are elected (according to laws which the several Cantons have made for themselves) for periods varying from one year to three years. No change can be made in the constitution until it has. been referred to the people and has been approved by a majority of those actually voting and of the Cantons.

In the autumn of 1871 various alterations in the constitution were debated in the two Chambers, and a scheme of revision was submitted to the people in May of the following year, which was rejected by a majority of the Cantons and a narrow majority of the people. Another scheme was submitted in April, 1874, which was approved by a large majority of the Cantons and an overwhelming majority of the people. The principal features in these schemes were what were called the Volks Initiative and Volks Referendum. Many forms and shades of the Referendum had long existed in the Cantons and Communes, but the principle of them all was the same, to give the electors the final voice in legislation; and the question now was, whether this principle should be adopted in the case of federal matters. The Volks Initiative would compel the two Houses to legislate on any given question on the demand of a certain number of the citizens or of the Cantons. By the Referendum certain acts of the legislature were to be submitted to the popular vote, either as a matter of course, 'the obligatory Referendum,' or on the demand of a certain number of the citizens, 'the facultative Referendum.' The issue of the vote in 1874 was the adoption of a facultative form of Referendum,

by which any law passed by the two federal Chambers must be submitted to the popular vote for acceptance or rejection, if the vote is demanded by 30,000 citizens or by eight Cantons. The Initiative by 50,000 citizens was not put into the federal constitution till 1891, and then only as to a partial revision of the constitution, whereas in 1872 it had been proposed to make it apply to all bills. Freeman's judgement was at this time adverse to the Initiative and to the Referendum in any shape, on the ground that they subjected, as he thought, the better informed to the worse informed. The federal constitution, as settled in 1848, seemed to him as thoroughly democratic as any constitution well could be. Every citizen enjoyed equal rights in the fullest sense, and the supreme power was vested in two freely chosen Houses, of which one was re-elected every third year. If men could not trust a body like the Swiss National Council, chosen for so short a time by free universal suffrage, it seemed to him. that there was an end of all trust in human affairs. Of the two institutions the Initiative was, in his opinion, more objectionable than the Referendum. The Referendum was only negative; it was simply a check and a drag; it could not force the legislature to pass bad measures, but the Initiative could; it was a weapon put into the hands of the worse informed to wield over the heads of the better informed1.

Ravenna, October 24, 1871.
What a journey I have made, crossing Alps and Apen-
nines, also Rhine, Main, Danube, Inn, Adige, Po, and to-day
I hope to do Arno. Since Würzburg, whence I wrote to you,

Sixteen years later he had modified his opinion as to the superior wisdom of the legislative body. Referring to his former objections to

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsett »