Page images
[ocr errors]

guards. This mode of warfare, and their incessant incursions,
procured them the appropriate name of mountain flies.
• The animosity of the women was of a still more ferocious
character than that of the men; and another proof is thus add-
ed, 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 womeii dread-
fully 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. Rocca makes him remark too mildly : “ L'excès de leur
juste ferent contre ceux qui venaient envahir leur pays, les avait
entièrement dénaturées.What must be the fearful respon.
sibility 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 cen-
tre 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.
Sovetimes, however, the women are represented as performing
a part less unsuited to their character: they would dress then-
selves in English stuffs, on which the pictures of Ferdinand VII.
and the Spanish generals most distiuguished in the war, were
painted; or placing themselves on the rocks to see the French
pass below them, they sung patriotic songs, in which they wish-
ed 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 emblein 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 Spa-
niards, 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 busbauds hands, and
placed themselves before them, to force them to advance and
pursue the enemy beyond a wooden bridge, which it was neces-
sary for them to pass. As might be imagined, the sight of the
French wheeling about and facing them, made them return pre-
cipitately to the top of their hills.
This fermentation, which was general throughout the coun-


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][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 Miva 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 mur. dered 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 exerçait le plus d'influence sur ces hordes indisciplinées, était un nommé Cura, natif de la Valence, où il avait été 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 au grand bonnet, parcequ'il affectait de porter un bonnet à la mode du pays, d'une grandeur démesurée, afin d'attirer sur lui l'atten, tion. Cette espèce d'existence mystérieuse lui donnait un grand empire sur les esprits. L'inconnu au grand bonnet levą 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 été confié, mais il fut pris et puni.” P. 299.

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


[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

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 beretics, pires que les Maures, car ils ne croyaient ni en Dieu, ni à la Vieroc, ni à St. Antoine, et pas même à Saint Jacques de Galice, et ne craignoient point de loger dans les églises avec leurs cheraux. 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 next.)

[ocr errors]

ART. III. An Essay on Gun Shot Wounds. By Charles Bell,

Surgeon of the Middlesex Hospital, Lecturer in Anatomy, - in the Theatre, Windmill-street, 8c. Svo. 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 10 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 alloge. ther unnatural? 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 mirister 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 ibeir relief. In this frame of mind the title of this little work caught our artention. We have perused it with much interest. And although we are aware that a great part of that interest was thie result of circumstances, yet we are happy that we have met with a book iu which we have found a great subject opened, and questions of high importance relative to inilitary surgery discussed. Its author, Mr. Charles Bell, is a man whose profound acquaintance with the anatomy of the human franie is best demonstrated by the many laborious and useful publications of which he has al


[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

ready presented to the medical world. His.“ Anatomy" written in conjunction with his brother of Edinburgh, and his Surgery, 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 foundation of his practice so deep in anatomical knowledge, and raised such a superstructure of experience upon it, we listen 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 peculiarity 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 treatment, tlie 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 luis place.--We distinguish throughout solid judgment and good sense : many useful views are given of practice, with a continual reference to principles founded in pathology and to cases illustrar 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 thema 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 arrangements of the service, is placed in a light which cannot fail, we think, to impress on military surgeons the most salutary lessons, and to be productive of improvement in the public service.

In coming to particulars we find in the first part of the dissertation, some short notices of the duties of the navy surgeons, and of the nature of the injuries received during a sea-tight as distinguished froin those of the field, by the contusions and lacerations produced by bolts and splinters.

The author next proceeds to consider the circumstances in which the army surgeon finds himself. We lament to see this


[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

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 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, however, 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 man sufficiently well instructed for the common occasions of practice at home, (where important operations rarely occur, and when they do, may be performed after due consultation, and with all mature and deliberate preparation) 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 life ,lie 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, operations of the greatest nicety. For amidst the more extensive operations of modern war, and the improvements to which the art tias attained, there is one peculiarity of the military surgery of the present day, which we call on every thinking man lo reflect on. The operations are done in the field. The immediate 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 perfornied 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.

Ti 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 ihe leg we have seen the life sacrificed. We have indeed known limbs lopt off which might have been preserved; and we certainly 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 of the

« PreviousContinue »