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No 2648. – April 6, 1895.
IST MONASTERIES ON THE LO FAU
Chambers' Journal, VII. CHINESE GENTLEMEN AND VIRTUOSOS, Temple Bar,
50 58 C2
ST. JEAN PIED DU PORT,
2 WITHOUT HIM,
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To know that only memory remains
round Towards his hour with cautious, steady
strength ; Like pilgrim feet that tread on holy ground Toil on in patience, - till the shrine at
length Is reach'd, and pass'd. To see the papers
wait ; The dog sleep soundly at the open door, And then to know his touch upon the gate
Will never charın the twilight any more.
ST. JEAN PIED DU PORT.
All The Year Round.
To carry through the years the burning
Of helpful actions that were slowly done ; WITHOUT HIM.
To speak in dreams what echoes seldom (" And I thought I said in my dream : * What a caught ; very long time you have been away.""]
To have the blessing back that Death has To live the sorrow down, and try to be Familiar with the strange new sense of To dream of dead days with their old relight;
pose ; To learn once more to laugh, and even see With clearer sight correcting each misSome half-drawn plans nor quiver at
take ; the sight ;
And then to see the gates of life unclose, To envy little children in the lanes
The fine face vanish — and the morning Their fathers' hands the wealth of love break. bestow'd ;
From The Contemporary Review. tive” – these two forming, along with THE REFERENDUM IN SWITZERLAND.
the popular election of the authorities, “ DEMOCRACY is in full flow," said the main body of the essential rights Roger Collard under the Restoration, of the people as exercised in this when the electoral qualification was country, and giving to our institutions fixed at three hundred francs. What a character bitherto uvique throughout would he think of our times, when not the world. only universal suffrage is the rule almost everywhere, but when the sovereign people are aspiring to settle Swiss institutions, to be rightly ungreat legislative and constitutional derstood, must be studied, not only in questions for themselves ? Would he their present form, but in their hissay the stream has overflowed ils torical development.
There are in banks, and dykes must be built to con- Switzerland twenty-five cantons, or tine it? Or would he understand that demi-cantons, each of which has its modern governments must adapt them- own constitution and special laws, its selves to the times and the spreail of own legislative, executive, and judicial education, by taking a more and more authority. These independent organdemocratic form ?
isms, which are like so many distinct Not that it signifies in the least to us families, are uvited by a common bond what was, or what would be, the opin- - the Confederation, which in its turn ion of that antiquated Liberal. One has a constitution and laws applicable evokes his memory only to mark the to the whole of the territory, and a distance we have come since the early legislative, executive, and juilicial audays of the century. Aud it is quite thority. The federal constitution guarclear that the original impulse is not antees to the citizens and people of the exhausted yet. It will continue to act cantons a minimum of rights and liberuntil, weakened by its own excesses, it ties, and at the same time prescribes meets with a counterpoising principle the obligations which, in the general which may support and sustain it, or interest, they are bound to fulfil. a superior force before which it must Thanks to this organization, each cansuccumb.
ton becomes a practising ground for At present, those who concern them- every new idea which only does not selves with the solution of our demo- controvert the principles of the federal cratic problems are turning their eyes constitution. Experiments which have towards the countries which have prac- succeeded in one canton are frequently tical experience to show. Antiquity imitated by the others, or transplanted and the Middle Ages had indeed some into the federal domain. Thus the thing to say on the point ; but the democratic idea has been worked out conditions of ancient and medieval in Switzerland at different paces, so to popular life were too different from speak, and has given rise to institutions our own for their example to be at all which vary according to the conditions, decisive. We must learn from the federal or cantonal, to which they have experiments of our own time. And to adapt themselves. amongst the countries that compete for The first and purest type of the our attention, Switzerland must be direct democracy is the Landsgeplaced in the first rank, since none can meinde, which has been in existence claim a longer democratic past, or pos- from the origin of the Confederation
more advanced or more thor- six centuries ago, and which still oboughly tested institutions. It is for tains in the cantons of Uri and Glarus, this reason that I have been asked to the two Unterwalds, and the two Apexplain to English readers the working penzells. This system very nearly of what we in Switzerland call “the embodies the ideal of Rousseau, who referendum,” to which must be added in his “ Contrat Social ” depicts the the complementary “right of initia-I happiest people in the world — " where you may see troops of peasants set- vole without instructions received from tling the affairs of the State under an their constituents; the proposals foroak, and acting always wisely." Uu- mulated by the Diet were taken ad fortunately, the very smallest Landsge- referendum, and dealt with by each meinde nowadays could hardly meet State in its own fashion. Here it was uniler one oak, as it would number the Landsgemeinde that decided ; more than two thousand citizens, while there, a patriciate or a council of burthe largest — that of Appenzell (Aussergesses ; in St. Gall it was a princeRhoden) — is so numerous that dis- abbot. The spirit of oppression which cussion is impossible, and it bas to had sprung up little by little in the confine itself to voting. In other re- cantons which had baili wicks, the spects, Rousseau's eulogium is really rights usurped by the towns to the not exaggerated.
detriment of the country, and the intolBut, from the time that the Confed- erance shown by certain governments eration took in towns like Lucerne led more than once to popular risings. (1332), Zurich (1351), Berne (1353), Hence the peasants' war, which began Fribourg and Soleure (1481), the can- with two federal Landsgemeinden, so tous no longer presented a uniform called, held at Sumiswald on the 23rd type of pure democracy. These towns, of April, 1653, and at Hutwyl on the with their more or less aristocratic 30th of the same month ; bence the organization, treated the country as a troubles at Geneva at the beginning sort of subject community. The Con- and during the course of the eighfederation itself, or groups of cantons teenth century; and hence the con(including some of the democratic can- spiracy of Henzi and the revolution tons) did the same with the common attempted by Chepaux at Fribourg in bailiwicks, which included a part of 1781. Aargau, Thurgau, and Ticino. At the By the end of the eighteenth centime of the Reformation, indeed, in tury the structure of the old Conthe cantons of Berne and Zurich, an federation, with its history of five attempt was made at consulting the hundred years, was rotteu through and people, in order to ascertain bow far through ; it crumbled under the blows they were adherents of the new reli- of the French invasion. The gion. At Berne the votes were for the constitution of the Helvetic Republic, most part taken by districts, and all the modelled on that of the Republic one men above the age of fourteen were and indivisible, perpetuated the repreallowed to vote, the ayes either remain- sentative system to the exclusion of ing where they were, while the noes the direct democracy. This was promoved off to one side, or else the whole mulgated in April, 1798. It was imassembly voting by show of hands. possible that it shoulıl last, for it bad The vote of each district counted as been imposed by force, and it lacked one, whatever the number of voters. the consent of the people. Several At Zurich, the reference to the people attempts at modification were made, did not take the form of a simple through the mediation of the First enumeration of suffrages, but the an- Consul Bonaparte, who in 1801 forswers of the communes were given at warded to the Swiss delegates assemsome length, alleging the reasons for bled at Malmaison the draft of their decision.
Constitution. This draft, adopted proDown to the close of the last cen- visionally on the twenty-ninth of May tury, the Federal Diet, composed of the of the same year by the legislative body representatives of the confederated and of the Helvetic Republic, was several allied States, was bound, of course, to times altered, and after sundry agitatake account of all these various insti- tions and two coups d'état, of which tutions. The representatives could not one was due to the federalists and the
other to the unitary party, it ended 1 Lands held in common by two or more cantons. (May 20, 1802) in the production of a
fairly unitary constitution, which was the sanction of the people. submitted to the approval of the peo- gards the exercise of governmental ple. This was the first instance of authority, however, it differed in no direct individual suffrage taken in essential particulars from the Act of Switzerland on a question relating to Mediation. the federal constitution. The result Under the federal compact was : ayes, 72,453 ; noes, 92,423 ; ab- struggles went on between the partistentions, 167,172. Now as, by a de- sans of the older system and those who cree of the legislature, the abstentions advocated the extension of popular were to be reckoned with the ayes, the rights. The constitutions of the repreconstitution forthwith came into force sentative cantons were regarded as a as having been adopted by “the great sort of charters granted by the govmajority of citizens having the right to ernors, which could not be modified vote.” But the federalists soon got except at their will and pleasure. To the upper hand ; and in the course of assert the popular claim the citizens the same year (1802) they attempted a bad but one way open to them — 10 new revision, which, however, was shoulder their muskets and upset the never finished, because Bonaparte in- government. Of this solitary expeditervened by imposing his Act of Medi- ent they did not fail to make use during atiou (February 19, 1803).
the troublous times which lasted till This act, under which Switzerland | 1848. Not only did they introduce into was governed till 1815, re-established the revised constitutions the recognithe democratic régime in the Lauds- tion of the popular right to demand a gemeinde cantons, and the represen- revision at any time, but some of the tative system in all the rest, on the cantons thought good to go farther and basis of an electoral qualification and institute the veto — that is to say, the equality of rights for the towns and the right of the people to prevent a law country. The partisans of the old from coming into force. The mode of privileged system submitted sorely exercise of this right varied in the difagainst their will to the new order of ferent cantons. Generally it consisted things, and seized the opportunity af- of a declaration made by the non-conforded by the reverses and subsequent tents, and if, after a definite period of fall of the mediator to try to upset it. delay, the number of names attained a During the years 1813 and 1815 a sharp certain figure, the law was held to be constitutional struggle was going on ; rejected. St. Gall adopted the veto in the new cantons Aargau, Thurgau, 1831 ; rural Basle in 1832, after a rupTicino, and Vaud — found their very ture with the city of Basle on account existence menaced ; the rural districts of the inequality of rights between the were threatened with the loss of the city and the country ; Valais in 1839 ; equality they had just acquired, and Lucerne in 1841. The attempts made the very principle of the federative in 1842 to introduce the new law in bond was imperilled. It needed a new Zurich broke down. On the other foreign intervention — that of the Holy band, in 1842, the canton of Valais Alliance – to restrain these disastrous passed a measure replacing the veto by tendencies. The Congress of Vienna the referendum on all laws whatever ; agreed to recognize the neutrality of but as the first use made of the referSwitzerland only on condition of the endum was to reject the proposed retention of the newly created cantons ; measure itself, the canton went back to it added those of Valais, Neuchâtel, the representative system pure and and Geneva; and on the 7th of August, simple (1848). Vaucl (in 1845) anıl 1815, the representatives of the twenty- Berne (in 1846) adopted the optional two cantons solemnized the acceptance referendum. The referendum differs of the constitutional act known under from the veto inasmuch as all the citithe name of the “ Federal Compact.” zens are called upon to pronounce, yes The compact was never submitted for or no, on the acceptance of a bill, in