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Yet was the government of Genoa otherwise purely The nobles , . The turbulence of these noble families, ill time of peace, had led to their exclusion from the magistracy : but when all the energies of the republic were strained by its wars with Pisii and Venice, it en- trusted its fleets to the command of noble admirals, who, l! It was their aim to gi\'e force to the execuli\"e, without impairing liberty ; and, at lirst, the (x})eriment a|)})ears to have been suc- cessful.- l)Ut in lo53, in order to retrieve a reverse to their arms, in their long contest with Venice, they sur- 1 ^i^msjiuii, Hid. Their crea- ti\e genius revealed itself in poetry, letters, philosophy, j)ainting, and architecture. The wealthy Mt'dici and the able Capponi, who was long ;;sociated with him, represented the prosperity and the stat(\smansliip of Florence. At the death of Cosmo, in 14G4, liis son Peter sur- eeeded him, as Ijy hereditary riglit ; and, ovt M'comin^u' the resistance of a popular party, led l)y ids rival Lucas Pitti, continued the family ruh', whieli, notwith^tandiniz" Ills ow]i weakne.-s, V\'as now assured. Abundant morals may be drawn Irom the tale of these celebrated com- numitics, unfavourable to liberty: l)ut before they are condemned willi too harsh a judgment, we should recal liic ci-imes of des})oiism, and the wroiigs it has inilicted on humanity. S COMPARED — EART, Y COXSXIXr XIOXS OF Tin; CAXTd XS — I'IUXCII'LES of COXFEDERAXIOX — THE FEDERAL COX- SXJXUTl UX.
Ave see how obsli- nalely ignorance, error, and prejudice maintain their ground ag Minst eiiligliieiiment. Toliii (if Sali-^ljurv wrot'' in the twi'll'tli conlurv : — ' Theiv is no iiiun ^vlllf makiii Lf law,- lirl Mn_'-s t(i i]i«- ^vllolt■ pcojile. A free people should make its own kiws, and jealously watch their administration. The Genoese were the boldest ami most skilful sailors of Italy : but they wanted leaders ; and these were found, not among their own industrious citizens, but in the warlike -nobles of the lii\icra — the Dorias, the Spinolas, the Grimaldis and the Fieschis. They were quick, lively, and impressionable, keen in wit and raillery, imaginative, subtle — with a rare aptitude for culture, and a natural taste for the arts. There were still a gonfalonier, and eight priors of arts : the laws were sul)mitted for popular sanction, as of old : bul tjie power and spirit of the democracy had died out ; and the rule of tlie oligarchy was undisturbed. They liad lost tlicir lil)erties : but tlicy were prosperous, merry, and contented. Tlie dis(^rders, factions, and inlrio-ues of tlie Italian The i-cpui.- r('])ul)Ucs hav(^ been ])ass(d m review, together with pared witii llu'ii- glories. t Vom tlie tenth to the sixteenth century, wlio shall say tliat these free States, Avith all tlieir grievous short- comings, were not superior in ci\ilisation, and social \'irtues, lo the coarse principalities, and military monarchies of the ^liddle Ages? Vir EAL VEATri U;.- OF SWIXZEKLANT)— ITS EARLY HTSi OEY — FEUDALISM — THE GROWni OF l OWXS — THE FOKEST CAXT0X3 — BEGIXXINGS OF Cd XKEDEll A ri OX — STIird Ci LES FOR Ell EEDOM AXD IXUEPEXDEXCE — ITALIAX AXD SWISS LI It EIt Xl T.
Tiie liuman mind Avas held ill leading strings by the Churcli. In Sparta the E])hors gradually encroached upon the powers of the kings and senate : in Venice the Council of Ten usur[)e(l the govcrmncnt of the State. rendered tlieir liberties to Arclibisliop Jean Vi.^eonti. It had Ix'cn the residence of some of the later Pioman emperors, and Avas the see of an aneient archl)i. It Avas the natural destiny of Florence to be the birthplac( generous bounties of the soil, the Arno opened to I hem the commerce of Tisa, and the sea; while their central ])osiiion ficilitated an active intercourse Avith all ])arls of Italy. While Venice was ruled by a close oligarchy, Florence displayed, throughout every change in her constitution and fortunes, a passion- ate love of liberty. Tlieir love of po\ver was furt Jier ii'ratilied by shoil terms of olllce. \'hen the councils of the Slate nvcih' skilfnlly (hivcied by nu'ii so chosen ! so elected, were often at a disad\-autage in contending with ri\al Stales, govci'ned l)y ambitious and [)owerfnl c]iieftainlo i M 7. The ai'niing of citizens was graduallv discouraged as dangei'ous totheii" rulers; and their ci\ic militia could ill contend against troops of hea\y e;i\'alrv armed to the teeth, and t J'ained in v. and acknowledged the peaceful jvslraints of city liie, they would have added strcaiglh and stability to the State. From all their annals, a i'cw tales may l)e collectc^l of the romantic dex'Olion of l(.)ve)'s. 325 to liiglier dignities, and a more permanent authority for fii Ap. Livino- ^vitli royal si)lendour, surroiuided ^ • — ' by artists and men of letters Avliom his ])atronage encouraged — numifieent beyond example, he towered Ijigh al)ove all his riyals.^ For more than thirty years lie ruled o\qt Florence. First Consul of tlie French Picpublic, notwitlistandinir the stipulations of the w- c(']\l treaty, interposed and offered his mediation. () i Ja'saiue re[)r(_'ssi\ e jui'isdicliou.'' There was humour ' Si-! I'Vom i'eudal subjeciiou the Swiss gradutdly escaped, Growm or , . National unity was needed, to perfeet the uses of confederation. Uy the Borroniean Leaj^nie, or Golden Alliance, as it was soniethnes called, the seven Catholic cantons recoii'iiised each other as l)i-ethren, and bound tlieniselves to sup])ort the ancient faith, au'aiiist the Protestant cantons. The finances of the cantons were carefully and thriftily administered. Th(ir exclusi\-e power was sometimes resisted : but could not be overthrown. the si^'noiia, \vas a.ulhoi'i^ed to ciiiiob K' them, and so suljjecl thcin ! Their ini^'ssant ^varfare \-as training a brave and advent in'ous people to arms ; while the vigour of a noble race, and the •-jiirilual iulluence of the C'hurcli, were promoting the ci\ilisati(n of the people, and preparing ihem for the future assertion of libi M'ty. The difliculties of union were greatly increased by tlu^ licformation, which alienated the Catholic and Pro- testant cantons, and introduced divided courisds into the confederation. At till' close of the period of the Reforination, si;veii t of the cantons adhered to tlieir ancient Catholic faith : ' ha-'iu' P)erne, Jjasle, Zuricli and k^chairiiausen had ado[)1e(l tin reformed reli Li'ion ; and Appenzel and Glarusreco_i'nised both these ibrins of worship. Eoads and bridges througliout these mountain regions were skilfully constructed and vigilantly n'])aired. In Jjcrne, wlicre the n()l)les had always been in the R^^f"''- ascendant, the entire administration liad fdlen into the hands of a few families,- Avith Avhoni it liad become licreditary. ^■^^•vi- Turk-y ]-hxcei)ti')nal exani])le~ of freedoni The I'inenicians .,.,.. I'-iiti-at Sucii A\-as I lie r)oliiieal state of Switzerland after five Mate of . swirz^-r- ccniui'ies of national de\'elo])ment, and defensix'c war- in the MX- tare. The IVotestant cantons allied tiieuiselves with France ; and the ('atholic cantons with Spain and the see of liome." Ill (ieiu'va, the eliects of tluix! In tlie rural cantons, the peasantry were industriotis, frugal and intelligent ; and their homesteads models of cleanliness and comfort. of x;,,|- ^virhout some corru])tion from iucreasino- the Swiss. The old republic had l)ecome an Oligarchy, and so continued until the French lievolu- tion. it was even decreed that no ■ — ' • other faiiiihes could legally be admitted to this exclu- sive circle. 08 1 cantons, tlic Fivncli o;en('r.il, Sc]iaueiil)oiircr\al i\'e. ot" ijie French, they fought and bled, willi all the ■ ■ — - heroism of iheir forefathers, in defei Kje of their freedom. It ^vas i-estored bv the French : and was succeeded by other coiisiiiutions equalh' untable. This consummation A\'as reserved for a later ])eriod : but in the meantime, the confederation, hovrever imperfect, was unquestion- ably the source of great strength and jwlitical im- ]! Its moral autliority (■xceeded its legal ])owers ; and where coercion could not be attempted, the deliberations of trusted deputies brougiit a ))ublic oj)inion to bear u])on the several cantons, and persuaded where it could not command obedience. Through its inikimce, the Swiss, instead of Ix-ing di\ide(l and overcome, like the Italian republics, st.'cured their nalicnal indi'])en(lence. Switzerland was iiow(li\ided into two religious leagues, holding separate diets, — the one at Aarau, and the other at Lucerne; — and thesi' assenil)lies, inllanied witli religious zeal, vied with the political diets of the confederation. In no country do we find better examples of pul)lic s})irit, and of regard for the general welfare of the })eople. with inirenious industry ; and their citizens grew rich, and famous in the conunerce of luirope.- virtue? In 1749, a fonnidalile consjiiracy under Samuel Henzi was sup- pressed ; and from that time the power of the nobles A\';is not to be shaken. o So while more powerful canlous subnutted to the intrusion chai'.