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Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing), Federal Union, the John Fiske (search)
ds national unity, were led to frame federal unions, and one of these political achievements is, from the stand-point of universal history, of very great significance. The old League of High Germany, which earned immortal renown at Morgarten and Sempach, consisted of German-speaking cantons only. But in the fifteenth century the League won by force of arms a small bit of Italian territory about Lake Lugano, and in the sixteenth the powerful city of Bern annexed the Burgundian bishopric of Lausanne and rescued the free city of Geneva from the clutches of the Duke of Savoy. Other Burgundian possessions of Savoy were seized by the canton of Freiburg; and after awhile all these subjects and allies were admitted on equal terms into the confederation. The result is that modern Switzerland is made up of what might seem to be most discordant and unmanageable elements. Four languages— German, French, Italian, and Rhaetian— are spoken within the limits of the confederacy; and in point of r
Harper's Encyclopedia of United States History (ed. Benson Lossing), Gibbon, Edward 1737- (search)
Fox: King George, in a fright, lest Gibbon should write The story of Britain's disgrace, Thought no means more sure his pen to secure Than to give the historian a place. But his caution is vain, 'tis the curse of his reign That his projects should never succeed; Though he write not a line, yet a cause of Decline In the author's example we read. Edward Gibbon. On the downfall of the North administration, and the loss of his salary, Gibbon left England and went to live at Lausanne, Switzerland. There he completed his great work in June, 1787, and, sending the manuscript to England, it was issued on his fifty-first birthday. It is said that his booksellers realized a profit on the work of $300,000, while the author's profits were only $30,000. On setting out for England, in the spring of 1793, he was afflicted with a very serious malady, which he had long concealed, until it finally developed into a fatal disorder, which terminated his life suddenly in London, Jan. 16, 17