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Reputed we say: for it subsequently appears that he was a foundling discovered in a lonely house ready to be carried away in his cradle by the waters of the river Pisuerga, which had risen • more than a hundred feet! The marquis, as this true and faithful narrative of simple matters of fact' relates, having been left for dead in an action between the Spaniards and the French republicans, was fortunate enough to be picked up, and to recover in a French hospital; but could find no earthly means of informing his friends of his safety. He would have conveyed the news himself, if in his passage from Marseilles to Barcelona a corsair had not conveyed him to Algiers. There he lingered ten years in captivity. As might have been expected, the man who in France could not find the means of communicating with Spain, was not likely to procure them at an Algerine post-office; and when, at the end of his ten years' bondage, he returned to his own house, it was quite natural that not a soul should know him, except his wicked brother, who persecuted him for an impostor. In these provoking circumstances Don Esteban's reputed father, who was an eminent lawyer, succeeded in proving.the identity of the marquis. Nothing could, therefore, be more natural, than that the Lord of Moncayo should give his niece to young Esteban. But here the invasion of Spain by Napoleon comes to disperse the happy knot of friends. Don Estebansets off a colonelling,' and, as he was to favour us with a general view of Spain, he moves with the rapidity of a courier; becomes every thing, meets every body; is tortured in the Inquisition ;* accompanies the Queen of Spain to surprize her husband in a tête-d-tête with an apothecary's daughter; conveys away the distressed princess in a dying state; and shocks us with the cruelty and wickedness of her husband, who permitted the surgeons to perform the cæsarean operation upon her, only five hours after her death. The marquis, Isabella, and all the actors re-appear at proper intervals; but none under circumstances of such interest as his supposed brother Raymundo. This forms so curious an episode, that we must relate it, though hastening to a conclusion.
Don Esteban, in the course of his military achievements, takes a ramble on the site of the ancient Numantia, where, more fortu
Nothing can exceed the absurdity of the account which Don Esteban gives of the Spanish Inquisition : we confess we are greatly puzzled to conjecture how a picture so perfectly inconsistent with facts well known to every Spaniard, and so unlike the authentic descriptions of that horrible establishment, which are now generally read, could proceed either from Don Esteban or his English associate.
+ Don Esteban adds, that the Camarera Mayor, who was then present, affirmed, that, while it (the operation) was performing, she saw her (the queen) shudder.'- vol. iii. p. 197. One feels almost inclined to excuse the severity shown by the King of Spain to a party that can invent such atrocious libels, which, if any one could believe them, would only redound upon the nation. What! the king and his physicians combined to murder a wonian with child! Is every human feeling extinguished in Spain ?
nate than the antiquaries of Spain, who have searched in vain for remnants of that renowned city,' he reposed among its mouldered and solitary ruins. There he meets with one Ramirez, a shy, melancholy, tragic personage, who favours him with the history of his misfortunes. He lived at Villacastin, happy in the company of his wife and his daughter, the beautiful Dorotea, till the French general Dunier took possession of the town, and longed, besides, to obtain that of the young lady. Every thing seems to have combined in favour of his designs; for the young beauty had a brother in the guerrillas, whom Dunier's soldiers happened to take prisoner just when he was wanted for the accomplishment of their commander's desires. All the matter-of-fact' circumstances of Don Esteban's story are very surprizing, as the reader must be aware already, and therefore he will not start to hear that Raymundo was also Dorotea's lover, and stood ready to be taken prisoner on the same occasion. Ramirez would have tried to implore Dunier's mercy on the prisoners, but being confined to his bed by sickness, Dorotea, innocent girl! took this dangerous errand on herself. Dunier, of course, like another Kirk, proposed the release of her brother on certain conditions, which were rejected with proper indignation. Upon this, he had recourse to a most dramatic expedient, and falling at her feet, asked forgiveness of the past insult, proposing to be her husband, instanter. This, however, could not well be, the lady protesting that she was engaged to Don Raymundo de Lara. Oh! says Ďunier, the insurgent who was taken in the act of being married in a country church! Parbleu! I have his bride in my own house, and you shall see her this moment.
He then goes out of the room, returns in a few minutes, and, apologizing for not bringing Madame Lara, who happens to be saying her prayers,' invites Dorotea to see her through a glass door.' Thus saying,' he drew aside a little curtain and showed her a woman who was kneeling, her hands raised to heaven, and muttering Raymundo's name with the word husband. It being impossible to resist this evidence, Dorotea, not without a previous fit of hysterics, agrees to be married on the spot, to Dunier. Luckily, a priest had been made prisoner with the two officers; and was at hand, with his robes, to perform the ceremony, in the presence of several French officers, whom the general brought in, to add splendour to the nuptials. He appears to have been very precise on points of etiquette, for the nuptial benediction being over, and night far advanced during the preliminaries, the innocent victim' was led to the fatal bed' by two canteen keepers to the regiment. In the morning, the bridegroom, rather averse to the incumbrance of a wife for the rest of the campaign, took her home to her father's, showing her by the way, her brother, her lover, and the officiating priest, hanging by the neck, in a cluster. Our readers may imagine the claspings and writhings of hands, the sobs, the tears which must be allotted to the description of such a scene; and allow us to hasten to the denouement. Dorotea and her mother die: the father sallies forth to avenge his wrongs, and has the satisfaction, soon after this narrative, but of course not without Don Esteban's assistance, of dipping his sword in the heart-blood of Dunier. To crown the wonders of this real story, Raymundo, whom we left on the gallows of Villacastin, joins our hero soon after in perfect health. His brave soldiers, it seems, suspecting his fate, had entered Villacastin, put Dunier's corps to fight, and returning victorious, cut down their captain, whom they restored to animation by a process exclusively known to the scientific Spanish guerrillas!
But who, after all, is this Don Esteban ? Can our readers be so unacquainted with real histories of this kind, as to suspect him of being a vulgar foundling? Have they not guessed that he is the unknown child of the Marquis of Moncayo? Such he is declared by his barbarous uncle, Don Facundo, on his death-bed; an appalling scene, which prepares that of the happy nuptials of Don Esteban with his cousin Isabella, a dispensation from the Pope in due form having been obtained.
We will not conclude without earnestly recommending the Spaniard, whoever he may be, who has laid the groundwork of Don Esteban, to procure better advice and assistance when he next ventures on composition. Unpleasant as our observations must be to him, they have not been written with half the severity with which literary deceptions of this kind should be visited. Disguise and fiction are certainly allowable, when convenient to an author in order to instruct or amuse his readers. But such assurances of reality as are prefixed to this book, make the deception practised not only an offence in literature, but in morals. The glaring improbability of the story may indeed operate as a warning to the least suspicious reader, not to take too literally the promise of giving him only facts. But a stranger has no means of detecting falsehoods in the description of scenery or manners; and Don Esteban has taken at least as much liberty in this, as in the narrative part of his work.
Art. IX.-1. The Progress of Opinion on the Subject of Conta
gion. By William Macmichael, M.D. 1825. 2. Report from the Select Committee on the Doctrine of Contagion
- in the Plague. 1819. 3. Second Report from the Select Committee appointed to consider
of the Means of Improving and Maintaining the foreign Trade
of the Country. Quarantine. 1824. DE E FOE thought the events of the plagire in London, in 1665,
so full of fearful interest, that he wove then into a fictitious narrative, which does not however exceed in the distressing nature of its details the representations handed down to us by eye-witnesses. Dr. Hodges, who remained on the spot when Sydenham fled, and who, by appointment of the government, visited the sick from morning to night for many months, was clearly not a man of strong intellect, but he has left us an account of what he saw and heard, which, although rhetorical and affected in style, it is impossible to read without shuddering, and which we will not extract, because we might be accused of desiring to interest the feelings of our readers in the opening of a most important inquiry, when it is and ought to be our intention only to appeal to their judgments. "This scourge of the human race has been believed, by the most judicious physicians who have witnessed its ravages, to be communicated from person to person, that is, to be conta, gious. Quarantine laws were therefore instituted. Before this, as Lord Holland has remarked, 'the plague frequently devastated every country in Europe; but since then its returns have been comparatively rare. Before the year 1665, Sydenham remarked that the plague visited this country only once in forty or fifty years; since that calamitous year this happy land has known nothing of its ravages; and so many generations have fived and died in security, that the clause in the Litany which implores preservation • from plague and pestilence,' has lost perhaps some of that intense earnestness with which it must once have pressed on the hearts of the congregation in prayer.
In this blessed, yet dangerous ignorance of the public mind, certain persons have started up, who affirm that the wisest of their forefathers, and the most experienced of their contemporaries, have been, and are, all wrong upon the subject—that the plague is not contagious—that quarantine laws ought to be abolished, and the public, and even our legislators, seem inclined to believe them. In these critical circumstances it is a duty, which some pre ought to perform, to give a true and faithful account of this momentous matter---to state the reasons which have satisfied the most competent judges that the plague is contagious-to expose the
ignorance of those who are attempting to mislead the public, and the indiscretion of those who are inclined to believe them.
Some diseases become prevalent because their causes are so diffused as to affect many persons in the same place at the same time; other diseases become prevalent because the bodies of the sick give out a noxious material, which excites them in the bodies of the healthy. The former are called epidemic, the latter .contagious diseases. The causes of epidemic diseases may be either deficient food, as in a general scarcity; or heat, or cold, or great vicissitudes from one to the other; or noxious states of the atmosphere, which are not perceptible by our senses, thermometers, or barometers. Some of these are understood, marsh exhalations; others are involved in great obscurity. The human constitution is a delicate instrument, and can perceive qualities which our philosophical instruments and chemical tests do not enable us to detect.
The noxious matters produced by the bodies of the sick, which propagate contagious diseases from person to person, may be either something visible and substantial, as that formed in the pustules of small-pox, or the vesicles of the cow-pock; or something invisible, the existence of which is known only by its effects, as in the measles, the scarlet-fever, the hooping-cough.
The only way in which we can distinguish those diseases which are prevalent from an extensive cause acting at the same time on a number of people, from those diseases which are prevalent because they are communicated from person to person, is by certain circumstances in the mode of their diffusion. Now the circumstances by which we know that a disease is propagated by contagion, are these; 1st, that those persons are most liable to the disease who approach those affected with it, and that in proportion to the nearness of the approach; 2dly, that those who avoid intercourse with persons affected with the disease, generally or always escape it, and that in proportion to the care with which they avoid them; 3dly, that the disease is communicable from one to other by inoculation. If all these circumstances can be ascertained in the diffusion of a disease, and each with clearness and distinctness, we have all the evidence, which we can have, for believing that the disease is propagated by contagion. The proof is as complete as the nature of the subject admits. But the evidence for the belief that a disease is propagated by contagion, varies very ntuch in degree in different cases; it may amount only to that which creates a strong suspicion-or it may amount to that which creates an absolute certainty. The most decisive single proof that a disease is contagious, is inoculation. Yet there are several diseases the con