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multiplying beyond measure the chances of human improvement, by preparing and medicating those early impressions which always come from the mother; and which, in a great majority of instances, are quite decisive of character and genius. Nor is it only in the business of education that women would influence the destiny of men;—if women knew more, men must learn more for ignorance would then be shameful and it would become the fashion to be instructed. The instruction of women improves the stock of national talents, and employs more minds for the instruction and amusement of the world;-it increases the pleasures of society, by multiplying the topics upon which the two sexes take a common interest;—and makes marriage an intercourse of understanding as well as of affection, by giving dignity and importance to the female character. The education of women favours public morals; it provides for every season of life, as well as for the brightest and the best; and leaves a woman when she is stricken by the hand of time, not as she now is, destitute of every thing, and neglected by all; but with the full power and the splendid attractions of knowledge;-diffusing the elegant pleasures of polite literature, and receiving the just homage of learned, and accomplished men.
ANECDOTES OF WILLIAM TELL.
As the famous history of William Tell has been varionsly related by different authors, I think the readers of the Enquirer will not judge the following correct account of the events in which he was so principal a performer, unworthy of their attention.
It can hardly be necessary to premise that the encroachments of Albert of Austria, and the tyrannical conduct of his bailiffs, particularly Gesler, caused the first fermentation in the minds of the high-spirited mountaineers of Switzerland. This was in the year 1307.
Planta, in his History of the Helvetic Confederacy, says, “in the night preceding the eleventh of Novem ber, came Furst, Melchtal, and Stauffacher, with each ten associates, men of approved worth, and who had freely declared their abhorrence of the unwarranted oppressions of the bailiffs. These three and thirty undaunted patriots, deeply impressed with the sense of their hereditary freeciom, and firmly united by the dangers that threatened their country, being thus met in the field Rutli, suffered neither the vindictive wrath, nor the formidable power of the whole house of Hapsburg 'to divert them from their purpose, but with one heart and mind resolved that in this great enterprise none of them would be guided by his private opinion: that none would forsake his friends; but that they would all jointly live and die in the defence of the common cause : that each would in his own vicinity promote the object they had in view, trusting that the whole nation would one day have cause to bless this friendly union : that the Count of Hapsburg should be deprived of none of his lands, vassals, or prerogatives; and that his bailiffs, their officers and attendants, should not lose one drop of blood : but that the freedom they had inherited from their forefathers they were determined to assert, and to hand down to their posterity untainted and undiminished.” Thus fixed in their resolves, while, with tranquil countenances and honest hands, each beheld and clasped his friend; while at this solemn hour they were wrapt in the contemplation that on their success depended the fate of their whole progeny; the three principals held up their hands to heaven, and in the name of the Almighty, who had created man to an inalienable degree of freedom, swore jointly and strenuously to defend that freedom. The thirty heard the oath with awe, and with uplifted hands attested the same God and all his saints, that they were firmly bent on offering up their lives for the defence of their injured liberty. They then calmly agreed on their future proceedings; but for the present each retužned to his hanılet, Cbserved profound secresy, and tended his cattle.
Meanwhile the progress of wanton oppression put a period to the life and cruelties of the bailiff Herman Gesler. Prompted either by restless suspicion or by
some intimation of a meditated insurrection, he resolved to mark those who bore his yoke with most reluctance, and had recourse 'to an expedient, which, perhaps, had been practised by the ancestors of this people before they left their nothern seats*. He raised a hat on a pole at Uri, to which he commanded all passengers to pay obeisance. William Tell of Burglen in the valley of Uri, son-in-law to Walter Furst, a man in the full vigour of life, of an undaunted spirit, and one of the sworn friends of liberty, scorned to pay the respect Gesler had ordained to this symbol of his usurped authority.-An unguarded declaration of his contempt for this badge of servitude, induced the bailiff to seize his person; and thinking it unsafe, on account of the many friends and relations he had in his native valley to detain him there, he resolved (contrary to the privileges of the people, which forbad their being sent to foreign prisons) to convey him across the lake. They had not navigated far beyond the Rutli, when on a sudden a boisterous south wind burst forth from the inlets of St. Gothard, and raised the waves on the lake to a tremendous height. The bailiff, justly alarmed at his own danger, ordered Tell, whom he knew to be an expert boatman, to be freed from his fetters, and intrusted with the helm. They rowed in anxious suspence under the towering precipices on the right of the lake, till having approached the Axelberg, Tell steered close to a projecting cliff, sprung on shore, and leaving the boat to contend with the rocks and waves, climbed the
and fled to Schwitz. The bailiff likewise escaped the storm, and landed at Kusnacht near the lower extremity of the lake; but Tell, aware of his own danger while such a foe survived, met him in a hallow road, and shot him with an arrow. Such was the end of Herman Gesler. He fell before the appointed hour for the deliverance of the country,
* Grasser, a Swiss writer, has pointed out some resemblance between various incidents in Tell's history, and those of Tocco, a Scandinavian, whose feats are recorded by Saxo. The popular tale of the apple, which Tell was ordered to shoot at on the head of his infant son, is wholly omitted by Muller and other Swiss historians, and is generally regarded as a Gction
without any co-operation on the part of the indignant people, but merely by the provoked resentment of a free, high-minded individual. The deed, it is true, cannot be justified upon legal principles; and Tell has more than once been branded with the opprobrious appellations of couspirator and assassin : but it was a deed similar to many which have been highly extolled in history: nor is it at all expedient, or necessary, towards a well-regulated government, that oppression should have no limits, and that tyrants should have nothing to fear. This deed of William Tell cheered the hopes, and animated the courage of the sworn associates; but many feared lest the anticipation might rouse the vigilance, and call forth all the efforts and precautions of the surviving bailiff. They continued, however, carefully to conceal their project, and thus ended the year 1307*.
One of the confederates, a youth of Underwalden, who paid his addresses to a maid-servant in the castle of Rossberg, was frequently admitted to nightly visits in the castle. One of these visits he paid at the first hour of the year 1308, when he ascended by a rope to one of the windows. No sooner had he been introduced, than twenty of his companions, who lay concealed in the moat, were likewise drawn up, and entered at the same window. These immediately secured the keeper, his four soldiers, and all his attendants; took possession of the gate, and observed strict silence. Soon after day-break, twenty other men of Underwalden came to Sarnen with their usual new year's gift to the hailiff, which, on this occasion, consisted of a large number of calves, goats, and lambs, and abundance of poultry and game. Landenberg, whom they met on his way to church, commended their liberality, and ordered them to convey their presents to his castle. Being arrived at the gate, one of them blew a horn, and each drew out a pointed weapon, and fixed it on his staff. Thirty more of the confederates hastened from a neighbouring wood; and these jointly took possession of the castle, and secured all those they found within its walls. The appointed signal being now given, and instantly repeated from Alp to Alp, the whole country of Underwalden rose in
* The name of Tell, except at a meeting of the community of Uri, in 1239, when an aid was voted for Berne, occurs no more in the history of this country. He appears to have returned to his house at Burglen, upon the site of which a chapel has since been erected, as well as on the spot where he leaped on shore. He is said to have been drowned in 1354, in an inundation : two sons of his are mentioned, William and Walter. His male issue became extinct in 1684, and the female not before 1720. No hononrs, or rewards whatever, were conferred on him or on bis progeny; nor indeed on any of those who, on this occasion, freed their country: All their descendants lived in obscurity, some are even said to have died in hospitals.-Such disinterestedness did their ancestors combine with so much heroism.
The men of Uri seized on Gesler's opprobious castle; and the Schwitzers, led by Stauffacher, flew to the lake Lowerz, and possessed themselves of the tower of Schwanau. So punctual and expeditious were all these movements, that the messengers who reciprocally conveyed the tidings of the successes, met near the middle of the lake. Landenberg, aware of his danger, endeavoured to escape across the fields between Sarnen and Alpenach, but was overtaken and seized. He, and all the keepers, officers, and soldiers found in the castles, were conducted to the frontiers; where, after they had taken à solemn oath never to return within the confines of the three cantons, they were dismissed without the least hurt or molestation. The consciousness of returning liberty exbilirated every mind : and yet, amidst all the tumult and confusion that ever at. tends popular commotions, and all the exultation that un. avoidably succeeds the happy issue of so hazardous an enterprise, it is well attested, that, in this instance, not one drop of blood was shed, and no proprietor whatever had to lament the loss of either a claim, a privilege, or a single inch of land-Landenberg repaired to King Albert; and the Swiss met on the next succeeding Sunday, and once more confirmed by oath their ancient, and (as they have ever fondly named it) their perpetual league." -Thus far Mr. Planta, who in this extract has given us a lively and correct narrative of a most interesting event the account of William Tell differs very materially from those in general cir.