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London, whose doors remain closed against the most distinguished PRESENT STATE OF MEDICAL KNOWLEDGE IN
and most gifted doctors in medicine belonging to other schools ; ENGLAND.
though assuredly, with some few exceptions, those on the outside In our paper in No. XXII., upon Quacks and Quack Medicines, of the temple are the most worthy of seats of honour within. we stated sufficient to account for the predilection of the English With the exception of the two infant schools of the London people in favour of drugs and nostrums. There are, however, fur- Universities, there is no real medical school in England. These are ther causes which maintain the ascendancy of quackery, and which of such recent formation that there has not yet been time for any also may be traced to the general defects of our medical system, result, though we have no doubt that the good seed which has been as well as to professional example. We shall, therefore, devote
sown in them, will, in due time, produce good fruit. the present article to a rapid examination of the whole body of
Unfortunately it is no test of sterling talent that brings a phymedical practitioners, in their several divisions of graduated sician into the lacrative practice existing among the high-born and physicians, operative surgeons, and apothecaries under the act of the wealthy. This may depend upon the mere caprice of fashion, parliament.
aided by the sharpness and personal tact necessary to seize an The fee of the graduated physician is so enormous, in England, opportunity. The patronage of an influential lady cured of an as to exceed the means not only of the lower but of the middle imaginary complaint, or whose weaknesses have been flattered, classes : his aid is therefore not demanded until the failure of the may create such an opportunity in favour of a man wholly insurgeon-apothecary, or, more correctly speaking, the physician efficient, who will retain his post by the exercise of other good apothecary—for this practitioner perpetrates but little operative qualities, and by becoming the depository of family secrets. There surgery beyond bleeding, drawing teeth, and puncturing purulent are two kinds of the fashionable physician : one possessing the tumours when not dangerously situated. The physician, therefore, utmost blandness and fascination of manner, great facility of speech, more commonly " comes in at the death ; " but when he does not, and the most exquisite polish; the other pedantic, rude, and illhis guinea visit of half-an-hour can give him no possible knowledge mannered. Both maintain their ground by the same means; and of the patient's idiosyncrasies. He is therefore obliged, in addition both are positive quacks in their practice. It is therefore very to what he can discover at a glance, to rely upon the report of his usual for such as can afford and pay the price of the best advice, general-practising predecessor, who will naturally make out a case to obtain the most questionable. to justify the nature and quantity of medicine he has inflicted. Among our graduated practitioners generally, there is considerable The physician, even though he should lie to his conscience, will deficiency in chemical as well as in pathological knowledge, to say approve of the previous treatment ; because to the general prac. nothing of real and comprehensive physiological philosophy. It titioner he stands precisely in the same light as the barrister stands follows, therefore, that besides the mistakes made in the nature of to the attorney. By such a cursory glance he can do but little diseases, complicated compounds in the human body are provoked good; he however lauds the skill of the apothecary, writes a pre- to the most dangerous exercise of the chemical affinities. We scription, receives his fee, and makes his bow. He perhaps calls a have now before us five prescriptions, written for as many patients, second time unasked, to see the effect of his prescription, and by a physician who resides at a fashionable place of summer resort. declines taking a fee, if offered. Such are the professional doings We know not to what diseases these remedies were opposed, but of the medical graduate among the most numerous classes of each contains, with a slight variation in the quantities, the same English society.
precise constituents. These are hydrocyanic acid, strychnia, But supposing the fee of the physician to come within the range sulphate of quinine, acetate of morphia, tartarized antimony, of everybody's purse, his qualifications form the next subject for calomel, iodide of iron and camphor, with gum arabic, syrup, and examination. We beg here generally to disavow all personalities : water, as vehicles. Let any chemist fancy these substances, in it is with the system only that we find fault. We undervalue no frightfully large doses, obeying their chemical instincts in the man's attainments ; and we repeat, with pride, that England can human stomach. The quackery of this learned M.D., beyond the put forth names of living physicians who may vie with the most imposing appearance of so many items, is of the speculative kind, skilful and celebrated.
no doubt : he most probably fancies that if one article fail, another The first obstacle to an improved state of medical science has may succeed in relieving the patient. But he overlooks the exerresided in the London College of Physicians itself. No practi. cise of chemical attraction between the substances, and especially tioners have hitherto been allowed to participate in its honours the energetic action upon each other of the liberated arch-elements except those graduated at Oxford or Cambridge. Neither of these oxygen, chlorine, and iodine, each of which is to be found in these universities has a school of medicine, or affords any facilities for prescriptions. If it be difficult, as every sound philosopher will acquiring medical knowledge. The university lectures on any part admit, to ascertain the effect upon the human system of even two of this branch of science, are mere idle ceremonies. They who compound chemical bodies combined to form a medicine, the union take degrees there have no means, therefore, whilst in college, of of the several substances we have enumerated, upon a mere specuqualifying themselves for practice. They are obliged to learn lation of benefit, is an act of the absolute and reckless insanity of elsewhere healthy and morbid anatomy,—to acquire elsewhere all ignorance. but very crude and general notions of the physiology of man and An absurd piece of quackery general to the medical profession the signs of the diseases of which it is their avowed vocation to is the custom of continuing to write their prescriptions in a most cure him, and which it is their duty to prevent as well as cure. execrable kind of Latin, instead of using the vernacular tongue. To receive clinical or bed-side instruction, they are compelled to one of the reasons alleged in favour of this practice is, that could resort to other places where there are large hospitals. To study the uninformed read the prescription, they would have no conhygiène, and medical jurisprudence, they must leave the seat of fidence in the remedy. This is very probable, if they knew any. learning which professes to teach them and does not do so, but thing of medicine or chemistry,—not else ; and all who have such grants them a degree founded upon the acquisition of classical knowledge could read the Latin prescription. To the uninformed, learning or mathematical knowledge. These graduates constitute the chemical names of the drugs expressed in English would be the president and fellows of the Royal College of Physicians in quite as unintelligible as if written in Latin. Another reason urged is, that foreign apothecaries and chemists would not under covered with pink or blue paper. We are acquainted with several stand an English prescription. No !—but they all understand general practitioners, who heartily condemn this disgraceful French,-a language universal in Europe; so ought every English system, which they have too much honesty to pursue, and therefore practitioner, if he would keep up his medical reading. Besides, do not realise fortunes. we defy foreign apothecaries and druggists even to make out the
There is another abuse, which is a crying injustice to the words, much less to comprehend the intended meaning of the pre- diseases and send out medicines to patients. The apothecaries
chemists and druggists, who are not allowed to prescribe for scriptions written by many of our physicians, whose barbarous Latin words are tacked to an English idiom, as the strip of muslin with the retailing druggists. These licensed practitioners also set
are permitted to keep open shops, and retail drugs in competition for an embroidered trimming is tacked to its paper pattern. the example of secret remedies ; they have their nostrums in the
The English school of surgery is excellent, thanks to the exer- form of their “antibilious pills,” their “cough lozenges,” their tions of Cline, and Cooper, and Abernethy, and Lawrence, and “gout pills,” their “antiscorbutic drops," their “plasters," and Mayo, and Liston, and a long line of illustrious men.
their “ointments." When taxed with quackery, their reply is, have no very high opinion of the pathological, chemical, and the public will be gulled ; and that quackery is the parent of
medical success. medical knowledge , possessed by the general body of our opera- example of compounding nostrums is set by professional men,
If this be true, whose fault is it? If then the tive surgeons. We very much regret to see that so many members who practise quackery only as amateurs, have we reason for of the Royal College of Surgeons” are advertising quacks, surprise when we find professed quacks doing the same, especially or rather that so many advertising quacks are members of the as they can bribe the stamp office to affix its imprimatur * upon " Royal College of Surgeons."
each bottle, or packet, or pill-box, and thereby secure an exclusive Though many country surgeons, educated for operative chirur- privilege of sale to the inventor? gery, are obliged, in order to compete with the physician-apothe- We must now cast a glance at the medical qualifications of the caries, to become members of the Apothecaries' Company, by physician-apothecaries under the act of parliament. By this serving a fictitious apprenticeship to an apothecary, and thereby statute every candidate for a licence to practise must be twentyeluding the act of parliament, we never yet conversed with such a
one years of age, and have served an apprenticeship of not less
than five years to a licensed apothecary. He must likewise propractitioner who did not reprobate the practice of a medical man
duce testimonials of a sufficient medical education, and of good selling his own drugs, as inconsistent with the feelings of a moral conduct. He is then examined by twelve persons appointed gentleman exercising a liberal and scientific profession. Many by the society of apothecaries to ascertain his skill and ability surgeons in largo towns praotiso as physicians without a diploma ; " in the science and practice of medicine," and his fitness to and we know of no law to prevent any man, qualified or not, from practise as an apothecary. Now what is his sufficient medical calling himself a surgeon, and practising as such, and from acting, education ? During the period of his apprenticeship he is occuin this capacity, as a prescribing physician. So cheap is the title pied in a shop pounding drugs, making up medicines, and selling of doctor held by the country people in many counties,
that it is pennyworths of rhubarb and jalap, and ounces of Epsom salts. given not only to the apothecary, but to the most ignorant farrier Here he learns neither anatomy, nor physiology, nor pathology,
nor chemistry ; here he has no clinical instruction, no hygiène, and cow-leech ; whilst the same rustics invariably call the gradu- no medical jurisprudence, no useful information ; nothing, in short, ated physician, “ Mister," without his title.
except what he picks up accidentally, and by his own industry in One of the greatest evils attached to the practice of medicine, reading when the regular shop hours are past. Yet this is termed in England, because it makes quackery legal, is that precious a sufficient medical education: Towards the close of his servitude piece of legislation called “ The Apothecaries' Act.” Men whose he sometimes, during his master's absence, sees patients in uuimtrade is the mere compounding or putting together of the medio portant cases. At this time, he is also permitted to absent himcines ordered by the physician, are hereby authorised to practise self to attend the necessary lectures, a certificate of such attend. in reality as physicians, and to supply to their patients the medi
ance being necessary to enable him to go up for examination. If
he succeed in this ordeal, he is let loose to practise his skill upon cines which they themselves prescribe, or rather judge necessary, her Majesty's lieges as a physician-apothecary, which signifies that for they do not write prescriptions except for their own shopmen he is to cure, or attempt to cure, their ailments with his own or apprentices. This drug practice originated, in less enlightened drugs, on which he realises a profit of a thousand per cent. The times, in an abuse common to apothecaries and druggists,—that examination takes place at Apothecaries' Hall; and any young of giving medical advice, across the shop-counter, to those who
man of ordinary capacity and industry may prepare himself for it came to purchase drugs, but could not afford to fee a physician. in a month, provided he has made any reasonable use of his No restraint is now placed by law upon the doings of the apothe- leisure hours during his apprenticeship. The examiners are them. cary.physician ; on the contrary, he is supported in the impunity selves apothecaries, with the same feelings
, prejudices, and inteof abuse, and that which, in former times, was only tolerated, is rests, and eager to uphold their particular branch of the medical now a matter of right. Can it be expected that, under such profession. Proud of the little brief authority in which they are temptation, men will act conscientiously when in opposition to dressed, a profusion of courtesy to the trembling candidate is not their private interest ? Hence arises the pretension to obtain always among their official failings. In most points they bear no from drugs that which they can never yield; hence proceeds the slight resemblance to the old examiners at Surgeons' Hall, so temptation, which few practitioners can resist, to exhibit (we wittily described by Smollett. We have seen dunces totally unfit dearly love this word) medicines when the prescribing apothecary to practise medicine pass scathless through the running fire of knows they are not needed, and is often aware that they are
their examination; and we have seen clever youths rejected, taken. No matter ! the only thing that interests him is that they though fully as competent as their examiners, because, perbaps, should be paid for. Though at present allowed to claim a remu.
they lost their presence of mind, and failed in construing Celsus, neration for their visits, apothecaries in London, and in other
or in deciphering an illegible prescription, or in some point of great cities, prefer the profits on their drugs, which some among
equally trifling importance. them continue to send to a wealthy patient for many days, some- The word imprimatur, in good old arbitrary times, was placed at the times weeks, after he is well. Each day arrives a packet contain- beginning of every printòd book. It was the king's license to print the ing, with or without a box of pills, two or three elegantly labelled work. Its literal signification is, “Let it be printed." We need not, of and delicate pbials filled with a coloured liquid, and the corks course, inforın the intelligent reader that we have used it figuratively in
the pericranium of a chief man; and I had scarcely replaced my CURIOUS CONSTRUCTION OF MALAY HOUSES.
instruments, when another was brought to me with one of a simi. A MALAY has a great affection for a house built upon the lar kind in the side of his face. These occurring so closely water, so that we often see the shallower parts of a bay covered together, put them upon some contrivances to prevent similar with buildings, with only one here and there upon the land. The disasters, or I should have had a fair day's work in dressing wounds convenience of a natural sewer may have induced them to make and bruises. The walls and roof are generally formed of palmsuch a choice, as they seem to confine themselves to places where leaves, which agrees very well with the nature of this foundation, the tide sweeps away the recrements of the inhabitants without any being light and of easy construction. A platform of palm split care or labour on their part. Situations of this kind are some into pieces surrounds one or two sides of the building, for the times very pleasant, but not always ; for the buildings sometimes convenience of passing to the nearest dwelling, and leads down to cover a salt marsh, as on one side of Singapore, where the scenery the water by a ladder not remarkable for the facility and comfort is not enticing, nor the breezes sweet and wooing; for at low with which it may be ascended. Use, however, reconciles a man water they fan and agitate various masses of matter in a state of to many strange things. The thatch and walls of these dwellings decomposition. The houses at Borneo stand upon the water in are generally old and dishevelled, which gives them a very shabby the usual way, and though the tide runs at the rate of three or
appearance; a defect by no means obvious to the natives, as they four miles an hour, the nauseous smells that visited us while at the commended some of them as very excellent in show and accommopalace of the sultan, told tales about the state of affairs at the dation. There was not that regularity in the situation and relative bottom of the river. We know from experiment, that the water size of the apartments which we observe among the Chinese ; but in a river runs with its greatest velocity at the surface and near the in general we shall be pretty near the truth, if we say that the middle of the stream, and its power of removing obstructions, front was occupied by the master and his male dependants, while according to a fundamental principle of hydro-dynamics, depends the back and more retired parts were filled by a train of females. upon the depth ; it will not, therefore, appear strange that many The former were busily employed in carpentry, boat-building, and impurities are lodged in the sides of the river, though the flood at in the making of various utensils for the use of their master's mid-channel may run at the rate of four miles an hour : especially establishment. The latter endeavoured to cheat their prison. when we remember that this power is farther modified by the hours by setting their hands to different kinds of needle-work, or, inequality of the bottom. These observations are neither unne. gathered together in numerous clusters, were fain to steal a glance cessary nor far-fetched, but help us to account for what at first through a favouring loop-hole at the mien and costume of the sight appears paradoxical; for we say, “how can anything stranger, of whom they had heard little and seen less. I was sent unwholesome remain in a medium of purity spread out in such a for on one occasion to see a little child, affected with one of the noble expanse as the river of Borneo ?"
cutaneous disorders so common among this people, and was The houses extend on both sides of the river about a mile and a received with much attention by a middle-aged chief, whose person half, in a triple, and often in a multiple row ; so that it is not easy and manly countenance pleased me exceedingly. He was sitting to guess at their number, with a hope of coming near to the truth. in the centre of a large room, with a small Chinese tea-tray by his On the south side there are, perhaps, seven hundred and fifty side, and looking to some of his followers, who were pursuing buildings, which, by assigning ten individuals to each, will make their mechanic labours under his directions. In the next apart. the number of persons there to be seven thousand five hundred. ment were heard the movements of a swarm of females, who, in This allowance is not too great for each building, as it is often my imagination, seemed to run upon the side of the wall, like so divided into several apartments, and augmented by appendages for many mice, to look through a few crevices which the joiner had the accommodation of as many families. On the north side there left near the roof. By what means they ascended I do not pretend is a row which runs in a corresponding manner, about half a mile to guess, but the impression on my mind was exactly as I have to the eastward, to which I reckon three hundred houses and three described it. As often as the chief lifted up his eyes towards the thousand inhabitants. But here there is a large divarication of wall, those on the other side, thinking that we could see them the river, which, after a little distance, branches into several because they could see us, instantly began to run down in order to beautiful courses, or ulus, as the natives call them. Here there is escape recognition. Here we had a crowd of delinquents conlarge compitum, filled in various places with houses, wherein the demned to perpetual durance, whose only offence was that they people live in dense crowds, and certainly do not amount to less had some personal comeliness, or more attractions than the rest of than five thousand. In the western continuation of the houses on
their companions.- Voyage of the Himmaleh. the north side, we have at least five thousand more : these several sums, being added together, give twenty-two thousand five hun. dred, which is under the true number. There are a few scattered
THE LAST DAYS OF MURAT, KING OF NAPLES *. about the surrounding country, which, when added to the fore- A WEARIED and exhausted stranger presented bimself at the going number, make it more than thirty thousand as the entire door of a lonely cottage, a few miles distant from a bay which population of this ancient colony of Malays. If they are correct opened upon the Mediterranean, a few leagues from the harbour in the account they gave us of their migration, it took place about of Toulon. He was a man apparently of middle age ; and, though four hundred years ago, and was from Johore, on the eastern side misery was stamped upon his aspect, his air was noble and his of the Malacca peninsula. Their remoter ancestors had, perhaps, form majestic. His garments were torn and drenched with rain, in like manner, removed from Sumatra to the main-land, in quest his features haggard, and a dark beard of three days' growth, of room and adventures. The houses rest upon piles formed out contrasting with the pallor of his complexion, added not a little to of the straight stem of the nibong palm, which is neat-looking and the ghastliness of his appearance. His dress was the blue cloth elastic at first, but the water soon reduces its outer portions ; and cap and long grey surtout usually worn by French soldiers on the the inner, being naturally soft and cellular, give way at once ; so march. He seemed as one worn down with watching, and fatigue, that a building soon needs repair in one or more of its supports. and hunger, and his enfeebled limbs could scarcely bear him to It is the nature of palms to be hard only in a dried woody crust, as the door of the humble mansion. Yet there was resolution in the growth takes place near the centre, and not at the circumfe his eye, and wretched as was his present plight, no one could rence. They are also destitute of a proper bark, or any gummylook on him and doubt that he had moved in scenes both of secretion, to answer the purpose of a natural varnish : hence the splendour and of high achievement, as one to whom they were work of decay commences almost immediately after they are set in familiar. He hesitated for a moment ere he sought entrance, but the water. The necessary repairs are seldom done in time; so it seemed that he had prepared himself for whatever fortune might that a houso generally resembles a quadruped standing on three befal him, for, without pausing even to listen or to look around, legs; though the reader must not understand me as meaning to be raised the latch and boldly entered. say that an edifice has only four piers, for they are numerous, not
An old woman was the occupant of the single room that cononly for present security, but as something laid up for the future. stituted the interior of the cabin, the furniture of which sufficiently A Malay, however, takes all things easy, except an insult offered attested the poverty of its inhabitant. But, though poor, she was to his honour; and the work of decay is allowed to go on till the charitable. The appearance of the stranger declared his wants, whole fabric is ready to tumble upon the head of its owner. We and she made haste to set before him such humble food as she had an example of this while staying there; for the harem, or possessed, to heap fuel on the coals that lay smouldering on the astana, was so near falling down, that, when the workmen went hearth, and to prepare for him a rude couch of straw, covered about removing some beams and rafters, the rest began to antici- with blankets, in one corner of the room, before which she hung pate their labours. The doctor was soon called for with great vehemence: a spar, its descent, had ploughed a deep furrow in
From the Gift of 1839,
the counterpane of her own bed, to serve as a partition. The the captain of the schooner to seek for safety in the open sea, wanderer framed a ready tale, to which she listened with unsus- and after remaining to the last moment compatible with the prepeeting sympathy. He was an inferior officer belonging to the servation of his vessel, he had put off soon after midnight. The garrison of Toulon--had lost his way while endeavouring to reach disappointment and alarm of the fugitive, on arriving at the bay a neighbouring village by a shorter route through the wood--and and finding no trace of the bark to which he trusted for escapo, had wandered all night in the storm of rain which had been may be imagined. He was suffering the extremes of cold, wearipouring for the last two days. A few hours of repose would ness, and exhaustion, for he had been the whole night a-foot and restore his exhausted strength, and enable his hostess to dry his without shelter, exposed to the wind and heavy rain ; but mere dripping garments, after which he would take his leave with thanks bodily suffering was forgotten or disregarded in the keener ipflioand a lively remembrance of her goodness.
tions of his mental anguish, Death was behind him, and the While he was yet sleeping, the husband of the old woman refuge to which he trusted was suddenly withdrawn ; his pursuers returned. The noise of his entrance disturbed not the profound were already perhaps upon his traces-he was perhaps surrounded, slumber of the wearied stranger, and it was late in the afternoon watched, it might be betrayed, and his only hope had failed him. when he awoke. The thoughtful kindness of the old woman had He had not even the means of knowing whether an effort had provided for him a change of apparel in the best suit of her been made in his behalf-whether he was not deceived and abanhusband, and when he emerged from his extemporaneous restingdoned by those in whom he had placed his trust. place, refreshed in mind and body, there was a striking contrast As the day advanced, he became aware of the necessity that between his rustic garb and the stately bearing which no attire, existed for concealment. Solitary as was the bay on whose however humble, could essentially diminish or conceal. The expanse of waters he gazed in vain to catch a glimpse of the owner of the cabin was seated upon a bench before the door, desirod sail on which his hopes depended, it might be visited by enjoying the freshness of the evening breeze, and, as the stranger those whose encounter would be destruction. Yet a lingering advanced to greet him, a searching glance of his dark but spark- hope forbade removal to a distance ; and, as his only means of ling eye rested for a moment upon the old man's furrowed counte- safety, he was compelled to climb into the thick clustering branches nance, while a shade of anxiety, or it might be of suspicion, of a chestnut-tree, whence he could overlook the bay, and in flitted across his own, but the result of his quick scrutiny appeared which he remained until night, shivering with cold, tormented to be satisfactory, and the transient cloud gave place, almost at with the pangs of thirst and hunger, and more wretched still in the instant of its rising, to the bold and frank expression which mind, yet not daring to leave his place of concealment until darkhis features habitually wore. With many a cheerful jest upon his ness should avert the peril of discovery. Wearied and worn out unaccustomed garb, he repeated the simple narrative with which as he was, anxiety--the horrors of despair which but a single he had already accounted to the old woman for his disastrous slender hope alleviated-kept his eyes from closing all the second plight, and laughingly declared that he would almost be willing night, which he passed in wandering to and fro upon the beach, to undergo another night of abstinence and watching, to enjoy the like a caged lion, straining his eyes to catch the gleam of the yet comforts of such a meal as his hostess had set before him, and of expected sail. But it came not, and hunger drove him on the the luxurious slumbor from which he had just awaked.
following day to seek relief and shelter, even at the hazard of his While he was speaking, the listener was intently scrutinising life. It was a happy thing for the fallen monarch that the cabin his features, and the more he gazed, the more his wonder seemed to which chance had led his steps, was inhabited by a veteran who to grow, his doubts to be dispelled. At length he started up, had served in the armies of Napoleon, and in whose bosom still and flinging himself upon his knees before the stranger, caught glowed, undimmed by time or change of fortune, that enthusiastic his hand, and in a voice quivering with emotion, exclaimed, " It devotion with which, for so many years, the soldiery of France must be, it is my General-le beau sabreur whom I have so often had pealed forth alike in victory and defeat, in wassail and in followed to the charge. Alas, alas ! that I should see your death, their cheering battle-cry of Vive l'Empereur ! majesty in this condition of distress and danger !” The man to As might be expected, the old soldier and his wife, whose whom he knelt, the wretched worn-out fugitive, now reduced so attachment to the person, and reverence for the character of low as to be dependent not only for succour, but for his very life, Napoleon were equal to his own, dedicated themselves, body and upon the charity of an aged peasant, was indeed the celebrated soul, to the service of the unhappy Murat. A large portion of Murat, the splendid king of Naples.
the night was employed in devising means for his escape, and The history of his fall is too well known to require explanation providing for his safety until those means should become practiIt is enough for our present purpose to say that, dazzled by the cable ; and, in the meantime, there was no limit to the exertions lustre of Napoleon's triumphant return to the capital of France, and contrivances of the old woman for the comfort of her honoured after his escape from Elba, Murat had abruptly broken off the guest. In the palmiest condition of his fortunes, he had never negotiations in which he was engaged with the allies, and marched been waited on with more respectful and affectionate solicitude, with an army of fifty thousand men upon Tuscany, then in posses-than now when he was an outcast and a fugitive, sion of the Austrians. But his troops were Neapolitans, and a It was agreed that the old man should set out for Toulon the succession of defeats, caused more by their cowardice and dis- next morning, furnished by the king with directions to the secret affection, than by the superior force of the enemy, soon compelled friends who had already made arrangements for bis escape, only to him to flight; and having reached his capital with a few adherents, be baffled, as we have seen, by the accident of the storm. But a his reception there was so discouraging, and even alarming, that, change of plan was soon occasioned, by the appearance of another as a last resort, he determined to join the emperor, at that time character upon the scene. preparing for his last desperate struggle on the plains of Belgium. As the old couple and their guest were seated round the table
Scarcely had he landed, however, near Toulon, when tidings at their frugal meal, on the morning of the ensuing day, they were reached him of the fatal overthrow at Waterloo, and the second startled by a knock at the cottage-door. Murat sprang to his abdication of the emperor. The situation of the unhappy king feet, for to him the approach of any visitor portended danger, but had now become extremely critical ; his army had capitulated before he could leave the room the door was opened, and a single without making a single stipulation in his favour; the emperor, individual joined the party. This person appeared to be a his last hope, was ruined and a captive, and a price was set upon man of perhaps thirty-five, whose singularly delicate features his own head by the Bourbons. He applied for permission to scarcely accorded even with his slender figure, and whose countereside in Austria, which was granted by the Emperor Francis, on nance bore a strangely mingled expression of sadness and resolucondition of laying aside his royal title ; and having gladly tion. As he entered the apartment, an eager and apparently joyful accepted the terms, he was quietly waiting his passports at look flashed from his eyes, seeming to indicate an unes pected, but Toulon, when sure intelligence was brought him that a band of most welcome discovery. soldiers had set out from Marseilles, with the resolution of taking His object in visiting the cottage was promptly declared, as an him, alive or dead, and thus gaining the fifty thousand franos apology for his intrusion ; it was simply to inquire the nearest offered by Ferdinand for his apprehension. He instantly fled to a route to the port of Toulon, whither he was charged to convey a lonely retreat in the vicinity of Toulon, leaving behind him a message to a person residing there, perhaps," he said, "one confidential agent to make arrangements for his conveyance by of the individuals he now addressed," and his eye rested for a sea to Havre, whence he intended to set out for Paris, and there moment on the countenance of Murat, "would undertake to surrender himself to the mercy of the allies, then in possession of accompany him as guide, receiving a reasonable compensation for the capital, The place at which he was to embark was the soli- the service." The old man expressed his willingness to bear him tary bay where he had now arrived, and where a schooner was to company, and the stranger, having returned thanks for the proffer, wait for him. But he arrived too late. The storm had compelled I added, that perhaps he might even be able to conduct him at once
to the person whom he sought; the name, he said, with another Corsica, who hoisted sail and bore away the moment he had glance at Murat, was Louis Debac.
landed, after a brief but desperate struggle, in which he displayed " Debac!”. the fugitive king repeated ; " did you say Louis most signally the daring bravery that had always distinguished Debac? Perhaps if I knew the person by whom the message was him in battle, Murat was taken prisoner, stripped of his purse, sent, I could promote the object of your journey!"
his jewels, and his passports, and hurried like a thief to the The stranger slightly smiled as he replied that in the hope of common prison, with the few of his devoted adherents who sursuch a result, he would communicate not only the name of his vived, and whom he laboured to console as if be had no sorrows employer, but his own. "I am called,” he continued, “ Hypolite of his own. Bastide, and the message which I bear is~"
The idle formality of a trial by military commission was yet to “And you are Bastide,” interrupted Murat, hastily advancing be gone through, but his doom was pronounced at Naples, before and grasping the hand of the stranger with a warm pressure : the members of the commission were appointed, and the night of “You are Bastide, the faithful and untiring, to whom I already October 12th, to which the progress of our tale now carries us, owe so much. The end of your journey is reached, for I am Louis was the last through which he was to live, though his trial was to Debac-or rather, for there is no need of concealment here, I am take place on the morrow. His demeanour, during the four days the king of Naples."
of his imprisonment, had been worthy of his fame, and of the Many hours were passed after this avowal in consultation gallant part he had played among the great spirits of an age so between the dethroned monarch and the trusty agent of his prolific in mighty deeds; and now, having thrown himself, withfriends in Toulon, whom he had not before seen, but in whose out undressing, upon the rude couch provided for a fallen king, fidelity, sagacity, and prudence, he had been instructed to place he slept as tranquilly and well as though he had neither care nor the utmost confidence; and as soon as their conference was grief to drive slumber from his pillow. But his sleep was not ended, Bastide, accompanied by the old man, set out for Toulon, without its dream. there to make arrangements for another and more successful effort The tide of time was rolled back forty years, and he was again at escape.
a child in the humble dwelling of his father ; again sporting with They had been gone scarcely an hour, and Murat, with a cha- the playmates of his boyhood in the village where he was born, racteristic forgetfulness of the perils which surrounded him, was and displaying, even as a boy, in the pastimes and occupations amusing himself and his hostess by narrating some of the most of his age, the dawning of that fearless spirit which in after days brilliant passages in his adventurous career, and repeating anec had borne him to a throne. In every trial of courage, agility, and dotes of his imperial brother-in-law, when they were alarmed by strength, he was again outstripping all his youthful competitors; a distant sound, like that of horsemen rapidly' approaching; and foremost in the race, the conqueror in every battle, already noted the fugitive had barely time to escape through the back-door, and for his bold and skilful horsemanship, and at school the most conceal himself in a small pit that had been dug in the garden, turbulent, idle, and mischievous, of his fellows, yet winning affecwhere the old woman covered him with brushwood and vine- tion from the school-mates over whom he tyrannised, and even branches collected for fuel, when a party of some fifty or sixty from the teacher, whom he worried and defied, by the generosity, dragoons rode up to the door, and dismounting, proceeded to the frankness, and the gay good-humour, of his spicit. Scenes ransack the house, and the grounds adjoining it. A number of and incidents that had long been effaced from his waking memory them searched the garden, spreading themselves among the vines, by the dazzling succession of bold and successful achievements and passing, more than once, within stabbing distance of their which had been the history of his manhood, were now presented prey; while others endeavoured, but in vain, by alternate threats to his imagination with all the freshness of reality; the chivalrous and tempting offers, to extract from the old woman the informa. warrior, the marshal of France, the sovereign duke of Berg and tion she could so easily have given. At one time the suspicions Cleves, the husband of the beautiful Caroline, and the king of which had led them to the cottage were almost converted to Naples, all were merged and lost in the son of the village inocertainty, by the presence of the great-coat and cap which the keeper ; the splendid leader of the cavalry charges at Aboukir, king had vorn when he reached the cottage ; and Murat, who Marengo, Austerlitz, Jena, and Leipsic, was dimly shadowed could hear all that passed, was on the point of starting from his forth in the reckless boy, whose chief delight it was to scour lair to save bis hostess from the cruelties with which she was through the lanes and across the open fields of Frontoniere, upon menaced, when his generous purpose was prevented by the evident one of his father's horses, scorning alike the admonitions of pru. success of her plausible and well-sustained assurances, that it was dence and of parental fear. her husband's pardonable fancy still to wear the military garb, Anon the scene was changed, and the boy was approaching although long since discharged, in which he had so often marched manhood, still wild, passionate, reckless, and daring, as before, to victory with the eagles of the emperor. The dragoons had but displaying those faults of his nature in other and more censuralso fought beneath those eagles, although now they served the able modes. Intended for the church, he was now a student at Bourbon, and the whim of the “ vieux moustache" found an echo Toulouse, in name, but in reality a youthful libertine ; vain of in their rude bosoms; they desisted from their threats, and soon his handsome person, eager in pursuit of pleasure, in love with after mounted aud rode off, perhaps not altogether regretting the every pretty face he met, ardent and enterprising in the licentious failure of their purpose.
prosecution of his fickle attachments, and ever ready to engage in The security of the dethroned monarch was not again disturbed, the quarrels for which such a life gave frequent cause.
The and, before morning of the next day, his host returned with Bastide, ecclesiastical profession had never been his own free choice, and and announced the successful issue of their mission. A skiff was now the martial spirit, which was to shine so gloriously forth in engaged to convey the unfortunate Murat to Corsica, and the after years, was already contending for the mastery with his habits following night—the twenty-second of August-was the time of idleness and dissipation. An escapade surpassing all his past appointed for his embarkation.
exploits of folly, was now to bring his studies to a close, and But little more than a month had elapsed, and Joachim Murat decide the as yet uncertain current of his destiny. The turning was a captive at Pizzo, on the coast of Calabria in the power of incident of his youthful life was again enacted in the captive his enemies, and doomed to die, although as yet he knew it not, monarch's dream. upon the morrow. The events which led to this disastrous termi- The prettiest maiden of his native village was Mariette Majastre, nation of his career are chronicled in history, and need not there the only daughter of a peasant, who tilled a little farm of some fore be repeated here. It is enough to say that the fervour with half-dozen acres, lying about a mile from his father's house, on which ho was received at Corsica inspiring him with brilliant but the road to Perigord. About five years younger than himself
, fallacious bapes of a like success in Naples, he there embarked she had been his favourite playmate when a boy, and as he on the twenty-eighth of September, with six small vessels for his advanced in years, the only one who could control the violence fleet, some two handred and fifty adventurous followers for his of his temper, or persuade him from his headlong impulses of army, and a treasury containing eleven thousand francs, and jewels mischief, either to others or himself. When, at the age of fifteen, worth, perhaps, a hundred and fifty thousand more-madly believ- he was sent to the academy at Toulouse, Mariette, a blooming, ing that, with this small force, aided by the affection of his bright-eyed child of ten, wept sorely at parting, and Joachim did quondam subjects, he could replace himself upon the throne; that not altogether escape the infection of her sorrow; but Mariette treachery and cowardice had reduced his armament to a single was almost forgotten, or remembered only as a child, when, six vessel and thirty followers, when he reached Pizzo, where his years afterward, the Abbé Murat, as he was now called, met her reception was a shower of bullets from the muskets of the Austrian again at Toulouse, whither she had gone to pass a few weeks with garrison ; and that, abandoned by the traitor Barbaro, the com- a relative, and met her as a charming country girl, with eyes like mander of the little squadron with which he had embarked at diamonds, teeth like pearls, a graceful shape, and manners by no