Sivut kuvina
PDF

guards. This mode of warfare, and their incessant incursions, procured them the appropriate name of mountain files. The animosity of the women was of a still more ferocious character than that of the men; and another proof is thus added, if proof was wanting, that the deadliest and fiercest, as well as the softest and tenderest passions, can alike be nursed and ripened in the female breast. The Spanish women dreadfully exemplified this truth ; and not even the sacredness of their cause can prevent our disgust, when we hear of their throwing themselves with horrible shrieks upon the wounded, disputing who should kill them by the most cruel tortures, stabbing their eyes with knives and scissars, and exulting with ferocious joy at the sight of their blood. The conscience of M. Roeca makes him remark too mildly : “ L'exees de leur juste fureur contre ceux qui venaient envahir leur pays, les avait entièrement dénaturées.” What must be the fearful responsibility of that man, whose proud and guilty ambition has been the spring and source of every species of crime, round whom revolve the wicked of every nation on the continent, as the centre of demoralization and enormity; to submit to whom, was to become the associate and partaker of his guilt, while to resist him, was to degenerate into furies and ministers of blood. Sometimes, however, the women are represented as performing a part less unsuited to their character: they would dress themselves in English stuffs, on which the pictures of Ferdinand VII. and the Spanish generals most distinguished in the war, were pointed ; or placing themselves on the rocks to see the French pass below them, they sung patriotic songs, in which they wished destruction to all the French, the Grand Duke of Berg, and to Napoleon. The burden of the song was always the crowing of a cock, which they considered as the emblem of France. At a village near Campillos, the women dressed according to the custom of the country, in pale blue and red clothes, and seated themselves, as usual, on the heights, to witness a battle which was expected to take place in the plains below : on the approach of the French riflemen, they all rose at once, and sung the hymn to the Virgin Mary : at this signal, the Spaniards, from their thousand retreats, fired a shower of balls, and upon the retreat of the French, the women came down from the rocks, tore the guns from their husbands' hands, and placed themselves before them, to force them to advance and pursue the enemy beyond a wooden bridge, which it was necessary for them to pass. As might be imagined, the sight of the French wheeling about and facing them, made them return precipitately to the top of their hills. This fermentation, which was general throughout the coun. . fry,

[ocr errors]

try, and equally pervaded all sexes, ages, and professions, men, women, children, and monks, was kept alive by the bands of Serranos or Guerrillas, who scoured the provinces from the mountains to the coast, and at one time were essentially useful, by keeping up the communications between Cadiz and the interior of Spain. These hordes, always undisciplined and unaccoutred, and for the most part unarmed, or furnished with whatever weapon chance might supply, sometimes three or four hundred, sometimes three or four thousand strong, or even more numerous, were led by those of their own body, who had given the greatest proofs of zeal, or address, or animosity to the French ; and that they might present the idea of regularly organised troops, these chiefs were always invested with the title of general, brigadier general, or commander in chief of the mountain army. Such men were Francisquito, or little Francis, Ventura Ximenez, who spread terror from Badajos to Toledo, Don Julian Sanchez in Old Castile and Leon, Longa in Arragon, and the well known Mina in Navarre. They were sometimes known by: the name of their profession, as el pastor, el medico, el contacero the potter. The Empecinado is well known, and the ex. planation of his name is given in the Edinburgh Annual Register for 1810. This man, after his whole family had been murdered by the French, and the women had endured horrors. worse than death, smeared himself in the first agony of his grief with pitch, (pez) as the Jews used to throw ashes on their heads, and vowed never to cease from seeking vengeance while a single Frenchman remained alive in Spain. M. Rocca gives the following account of another chief of less notoriety.

“L’homme qui exergait le plus d’influence surces hordes indisciplinées, était un nommé Cura, natif de la Valence, où il avait (té professeur de mathématiques. Forcé de s'exiler de sa patrie, après avoir tué un homme par jalousie, il s’était réfugié chez les contrebandiers pour échapper aux poursuites de la justice. Il avait répandu sourdement qu'il était de la plus haute, naissance, et que des raisons de politique le forçaient à rester inconnu. Les montagnards l’avaient surnommé l'inconnu aw grand bonnet, parcequ’il affectait de porter un bonnet à la mode du pays, d'une grandeur démesurée, afin d’attirer sur lui l’attention. Cette espèce d'existence mystérieuse lui donnait un grand empire sur les esprits. L'inconnu au grand bonnet leva un mois, après de fortes contributions sur divers villages des montagnes, sous le prétexte d’aller acheter des armes et des munitions; il essaya d’échapper avec l'argent qui lui avait eté confié, mais il fut. pris et puni.” P. 299.

[ocr errors]

These disorderly troops were contemptuously styled robbers by the French, and sometimes a deep defile or the whole side of

of a mountain echoed with long guttural shouts the taunting challenge, Venez, si vous l'osez, voir de plus près les brigands. The Spaniards meanwhile were not behind hand in retaliating invectives on their part : the French, they said, were heretics, pires que les Maures, car ils me croyaient ni en Dieu, mid la Vieroc, ni d St. Antoine, et pas méme à Saint Jacques de Galice, et me craigmoient point de loger dans les églises avec leurs chevaux. The mischief done to the churches throughout the continent, wherever the French have passed, attests but too well the truth of the latter charge : the cloisters and vaults were first occupied, and if these did not suffice, the remainder of the horses were stalled in the aisles; and the towns of Liège and Mayence and Basle still present abundant proof that things sacred were not violated in Spain alone.

(To be concluded in our newl.)

Art. III. An Esay on Gun Shot Wounds. By Charles Bell,

, - Surgeon of the Middlesex Hospital, Lecturer in Anatomy,

- in the Theatre, Windmill-street, &c. 8vo, Longman and Co. 1815.

THE field of Waterloo left scarce a family in the land without its share of grief and anxiety; and there is no man so dull of heart as to acknowledge no sympathy with the brave fellows who are now detained in our hospitals by honourable wounds, Shall we confess the professional course which our thoughts have taken on the occasion for is it a course of sympathy altogether unnatural f : From the glories of that day, which seems to set it seal on the steady valour and manly character of this country; and from the more pleasing prospect of that spirit of charity, which has piled up its hundreds of thousands to mimister to the aid of the sufferers and their families; we have turned to meditate on the state of the wounded, and on the provisions which are within the reach of art for their relief. In this frame of mind the title of this little work caught our attention. We have perused it with much interest. And although we are aware that a great part of that interest was the result of circumstances, yet we are happy that we have met with a book. in which we have found a great subject opened, and questions of high importance relative to military surgery discussed. Its. author, Mr. Charles Bell, is a man whose profound acquaintance with the anatomy of the human frame is best demonstrated by

, the many laborious and useful publications of which he has al

ready

[ocr errors]

ready presented to the medical world. His “ Anatomy” writ-
ten in conjunction with his brother of Edinburgh, and his Sur-
gery, are justly considered as standard books in the profession.
Having been for some years a lecturer also, in the same science,
the soundness of his practical knowledge must be considered as
fully equal to his theory. And if we are rightly informed, Mr.
Bell was for some weeks at Brussels, immediately after the
battle of Waterloo, where his services in the hospitals were
deemed of the highest importance, and his various operations,
and modes of treatment were attended with the most distin-
guished success. From a man therefore who has laid the foun-
dation of his practice so deep in anatomical knowledge, and
raised such a superstructure of experience upon it, we listea
with so small degree of attention upon a subject, which has now
no ordinary claims upon our attention. Mr. Bell informs us
that his object is not to fall into the old question of the pecu-
liarity of the wounds of fire-arms, but rather to place before
his readers the difficulties of the service. Now this is precisely
what we wished to see, and we think that he has done his task
fairly. Together with a great deal of good surgery and sound
criticism on the subject of wounds and general treatinent, the
author has given strong pictures of the various duties of the
army surgeon, so as at once to excite restless and uneasy feelings
at the thought of how many there are who must fall short, of the
necessary qualifications, and to raise very high in estimation the
character of a military surgeon truly qualified for his place.—
We distinguish throughout solid judgment and good sense:
many useful views are given of practice, with a continual re-
ference to principles founded in pathology and to cases illustra-
tive of the doctrine. In those cases the author has observed
with great clearness of conception, both the fact to be noted and
the practical inference to be drawn; and he has presented them
to his reader with that graphic distinctness which alone can raise
the interest and improve the lesson. And on the whole, the
subject both as it relates to the cure of wounds, and to the ar-
rangements of the service, is placed in a light which cannot
fail, we think, to impress on military surgeons the most salu-
tary lessons, and to be productive of improvement in the public
Se; W1Ce. - -
In coming to particulars we find in the first part of the dis-
Sertation, some short notices of the duties of the navy surgeons,
and of the nature of the injuries received during a sea-fight as
distinguished from those of the field, by the contusions and la-
cerations produced by bolts and splinters. -
The author next proceeds to consider the circumstances in

Awhich the army surgeon finds himself.-We lament to see this part of the subject treated so concisely; a subject which might fill a volume, is comprised within the compass of a few pages; more indeed in the nature of short notes to be the subject of meditation

w part

for an army surgeon, who is anxious to bring his mind to the

right frame for the performance of his duties, and to prepare
himself by the anticipation of his difficulties, than according to
that full and detailed manner of treating the subject which we
'think it deserves, and in which it might be treated in order to
produce its due effect upon the very young and ignorant men
who are often placed in this important station. Short, how-
ever, as these introductory notices of Mr. Bell's are, they form
not the least important part of his essay, and we confess that
we perused them with a very painful interest. They present to us
the idea of a young mall sufficiently well instructed for the com-
mon occasions of practice at home, (where important opera-
tions rarely occur, and when they do, may be performed after
due consultation, and with all mature and deliberate prepara-
tion) hurried into the midst of a scene of many difficulties, where
the very number of cases of immediate danger may well appal
the most experienced, where perhaps for the first time in his
Jife,he is obliged instantaneously to determine on matters of life
and death, and to perform amidst the roar of cannon and the
whistling of balls, and the threatened charge of horse, opera-
tions of the greatest nicety. For amidst the more extensive
operations of modern war, and the improvements to which the
art has attained, there is one peculiarity of the military surgery
of the present day, which we call on every thinking man to
reflect on. The operations are done in the field. The imme-
diate dangers of the battle are thus more intimately connected
with the skill of the surgeon: and the first anxious question
that is asked when we hear of a distinguished officer having
a dangerous wound, is what surgeon was on the field? who per-
formed the operation ? who saw him? It is indeed a matter of
very serious concern, how in such circumstances a surgeon is
prepared to do his office.
If a musket ball strikes the shoulder, the thigh, or the knee, it
must be determined on the instant whether amputation is to be
performed; for success depends on immediate decision. In saving
the leg we have seen the life sacrificed. We have indeed known
limbs lopt off which might have been preserved; and we cer-
tainly have seen many men walking stoutly who have resisted
the mandate of their surgeon, and with apparent foolhardiness
refused to suffer amputation. We fear that it ever must be so.
Yet it may well be asked, whether every possible means have
been used to ensure competent surgeons. What are all the
alleviations which the country can offer to the relations o: the
- Pawę

[ocr errors]
« EdellinenJatka »