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should set this right. And, dearest, if you
would leave it all to me?"

There was much kissing on this, and the
charming Polly graciously made the
concession. There was some truth in what
Katey had said, and a certain brusqueness
and irrepressible gaiety of speech had been
known on previous occasions to repel and
alarm the youth of the other sex. And
thus everything was brought back into the
old rose-colour, and the sisters went to
sleep full of new and delightful anticipations.


Switzerland is getting very hard lines
indeed under the modern system of proving
that half our old heroes are "myths," and
that of those who are left almost every
one was somebody else, and not at all the
heroic personage we took him for. We
can fancy a stout Switzer of one of the
forest cantons, who still believes in William
Tell, pouring out his indignation on the
new lights who have " proved " that there
never was any Tell at all; that the stories
about him have simply grown together
out of popular songs, like " Blind Harry's"
history of Wallace; that, as for the apple,
it is quite a matter of course in a certain
class of stories. But what would the said
Switzer say to exchanging for a very
unromantic personage the Bonnivard of
Byron's poem, who has become verily and
indeed the Bonnivard of history, for is not
M. Vulliemin, soberest of writers, quite
moved to enthusiasm when he tells the
tale of the prisoner of Chillon?

Little wrongs sometimes move us more
than great ones, and we can fancy most
Swiss young ladies being much more vexed
at having their dear Bonnivard turned
into a commonplace gentleman, who got
through life with remarkable comfort, than
even at losing the tyrant Gessler, and the
leap out of the boat, and all the accessories
of the "Tell legend" into the bargain.
Besides, Tell's tale may be true after all;
but we fear that Dr. Chaponnière (who
has devoted a great deal of his life to the
task) has shown beyond a doubt that the
real prisoner of Chillon was a very shrewd,
clear-sighted " trimmer," a good deal like
Montaigne in the tone of his writings, but
certainly not in the least romantic. No;
if Byron's Bonnivard survives the attacks
of Chaponnière, and Revilloid, and
Marc-Monnier, it will simply be because everybody
reads Byron, and comparatively few
ever hear of the Revue des Deux Mondes.

François Bonnivard was born at Seyssel
in Savoy, in 1493, at a time when Geneva,
always threatened by its bishop on the one
hand, and by the Duke of Savoy on the
other, was determining to throw in its lot
with Friburg and Berne, and to get rid of
dukes and bishops altogether. His family
was noble, which in Savoy simply means
that they were neither peasants nor
shop-keepers. They never rose to the dignity
of being styled de Bonnivard, but still they
had property. And as this property
included several "family livings," François,
like many a squire's son in England, was
brought up to the Church. When he was
seventeen his uncle made him prior of St.
Victor, a Benedictine monastery just outside
the gates of Geneva, and here Bonnivard
soon "developed " from the Savoyard
squireen into a Genevese patriot, attaching
himself warmly to Berthelier and the other
chiefs of the progress party, and being led
by them into a good deal more danger than
his cautious nature approved of.

Geneva then was a very different place
from the Geneva of Calvin. It was as
merry a city as you could find anywhere
north of the Alps; a place where fun of all
kinds was lawfully earned by good hard
work. The Genevese burghers were great
men, traders most of them, who talked
Latin with their apprentices, and had
seats in the town council, where, sword in
hand, and with their hats on, they received
the homage of the little " nobles " who
held land under the city. Geneva was full
of inns, too, where man and horse were
fed and housed for ten sous a day; so that
there were always plenty of visitors
attracted by this cheapness, and by the
excellent tennis-courts, and the open-air plays
always going on, and by the carnival, kept
up here grandly in its season, and by the
warm baths, and, above all, by the
well-known beauty of the Genevese damsels. A
more stirring place never existed than
Genevaon the qui vive against the Pope, who
was always insisting on the right of naming
the prince bishop, and against the bishop,
who was always meddling in temporal affairs,
and above all against the duke who, by some
feudal complications, had managed to get
his vidame (vidomne, vice dominus) inside,
and so had secured a footing among the
citizens, over whom he claimed certain judicial
rightshard set, in fact, to maintain its
independence against outsiders, and yet
fully determined to enjoy itself as well.