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dispute may also be met with in the eleventh volume of the "Conservateur Suisse," a periodical publication, printed some years ago at Lausanne; which, amid much purely local and now useless information, contains many articles of national interest. Several historians, both German and Swiss, have also mentioned this singular contest between the monks and nuns of Little Bâsle. "The Abbots' War," was likewise derived from many authentic authoritiesMüller's History of the Swiss Confederation-the Conservateur Suisse Gibbon's and Sismondi's History of the Fall of the Roman Empire - Hallam's View of the Middle Ages, and several other works. "Bertha, Queen of the Transjurane," has been compiled from an immense number of detached histories and notices laboriously collated - some obtained in Switzerland, others picked up at Arles in Provence, and at Milan, where the spindle of the good queen is yet remembered, and the same proverb exists as in Helvetia, "The time is passed when Bertha spun."

With the accurate and conscientious Müller, historic fidelity requires from the author the declaration that in these sketches all the most essential facts are derived from documents of unquestioned authenticity; but the reflections and turn of expression belong to

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herself; nevertheless, in strict conformity to circumstances recorded by chroniclers and historians. Some few incidents indeed, of minor moment, have been derived from oral tradition, without which, in many instances, it would be difficult to unravel and then link together the tangled and broken chronicles of remote ages. Traditions commonly repose on a true foundation, altered in part by popular additions or suppressions; and in Switzerland they often prove safer guides than in less romantic lands, because it is in the very essence of her children to treasure up the legendary lore of their forefathers. In the absence of printed memorials the mountaineer of the Alps, and the denizen of the city, had each the same desire to transmit to their children the records of the past with the exactitude which the lettered scribe employed when he wrote for the patron who paid him, or for the future, whose posthumous applause was to be his reward for the penury of the present; and these oral recitations, proceeding from a gifted or beloved tongue, poured into the unworn ear of childhood, would doubtless leave a deeper mark on the memory than the skill of the printer could ever impress. There is a beautiful allusion to this simple method of transmitting the history of by-gone times in the

memoir of the learned Henry Bullinger, the corres-
pondent of lady Jane Grey; who in relating some past
scene says,
"there also was present my grand-mother,
Gertrude Küffer, at the age of eighty." She died when
he was in his eighteenth year, so that he could learn,
as he stated, many details from her with as much fide-
lity and precision as from a written book.* Neither
must it be imagined that the omission, or the regis-
tration of any particular fact by contemporary writers,
is any evidence of the infidelity, or incorrectness of
either. The chroniclers of Switzerland were often
the chaplains of noble families; and peculiar circum-
stances occasionally chained their pens, so that some
pass over what others carefully record. In the lovely
churchyard of Montreux, scarcely a mile from the
immortalised castle of Chillon, stands a very plain
but antique building, now appropriated to the
double purposes of a school, and public library. The
solemn interior architecture is similar to that of the
beautiful church, and its original destination might
have remained a mystery, had not the chronicle of
the neighbouring château of Chatelarde certified that

* Là se trouvait aussi ma grand-mère, Gertrude Küffer, agée de quatre-vingts ans.

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it was built over the bodies of four thousand men of
various nations, nobles, serfs, and hirelings, who
fell at Chillon when surprised by the valiant Duke
Peter, of Savoy, uncle of our own queen Ellenor
wife of Henry III.; and tradition has preserved the
remembrance of a daily mass, instituted for the re-
pose of their souls. Of the foundation of this expi-
atory chantry there was no mention in the chronicle
kept at the castle of Blonay, though only three miles
from its site, probably, because one of the lords
thereof having fallen in that disastrous battle, which
insured the dominion of the Pays-de-Vaud to the
house of Savoy, to which he was in opposition,
his humbled successors would not register the
event in their family archives, either from wounded
pride or cautious policy; as, at Genoa, the historian
of the republic was forbidden by the Doge to allude
to the dreadful quarrel of two noble families, the
Argovadi, and the Marquis de Volta, lest the atro-
cities it produced might injure the city in the estima-
tion of the world. The destination of the chapel at
Montreux has thus descended stamped with legitimacy
to posterity; but had the chronicler of Chatelarde
pursued the same course, or had the parchment folio
perished by fire or neglect, after the last baron of Chate-


larde, Peter of Gingins, was killed defending his castle walls against Berne, its origin would have come down to the 19th century as a mere unsupported tradition, to be rejected or received at the will of the hearer. Mr. Hallam in, his "View of the State of Europe during the Middle Ages," the most interesting work of the present, to the lovers of the past, expresses some astonishment at the minute details of Müller's History of the Swiss, as compared with the meagre annals of England and France. Had the accomplished historian resided, like the writer of these rough sketches, two years in various cantons of Switzerland, that surprise would not have been excited. Almost every village had its castle, and nearly every castle its accredited chronicler. Destitute of the modern luxuries of books, newspapers, and letters, excepting, indeed, such important epistles as were deemed of sufficient consequence to be expedited by a special messenger from one baron's castle to another

and usually imprisoned during many months of the year, by roads often impassable from snow and torrents, the most trivial events in the narrow circle were circumstantially and scrupulously recorded for the amusement or future information of the family, as old Froissart naïvely tells us he penned down at

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