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pensable merit of a book of travels; and whoever respects truth so far as to resist, for her sake, the allurements of fancy, the suggestions of wit, and the exaggerations of prejudice, treads with security in the narrow, but certain path
to the good opinion both of his contemporaries and posterity. Such seems to have been the design, and such, we predict, will be the success of Mr. S. D. Broughton, whose opportunities for information, without being ostentatiously displayed, are evidently proved to have been highly advantageous, and whose vigilant improvement of such means may be gathered from his plain, unvarnished tale,” which has the stamp of reality, and the interest of a moving picture, true to the colors of nature.
The medical profession of the writer, which, not stated on the title-page, or betrayed by any technicalities of diction, is rather implied than declared in the progress of the work, affords the power of estimating the comparative advancement of surgery and the practice of medicine, in the countries through which the English army passed at the close of the campaign.
The form of letters seems to have been adopted, from being most conducive to the purposes of familiar narrative, and enabling the writer to dispense with the obligation of methodical arrangement, while it gives to the reader something like the pleasure of an unpremeditated conversation. Before we present to our readers any specimens of the travels, we think it due to the author to allow him to speak for himself, by giving his short preface.
The following Letters were written originally at the request of a domestic circle of friends. The author is aware that they possess very slender claims only to literary merit, and anticipates many objections that may be raised on the score of presumption, against his offering them to the public, which would probably have greatly swayed with him in entirely suppressing them, if the lively interest recently taken in every thing relating to the countries through which he passed, joined to the wishes, and perhaps partial commendation of his friends, had not induced him to adopt an opposite resolution.
During the progress of a long march commenced at Lisbon, and terminated at Boulogne, comprehending a tract of between fifteen hundred and two thousand miles, the author made it his un. deviating practice to note down faithfully, at the close of each day, every circumstance which appeared to him worthy of remark, and it was from these sources that he has been enabled to collect materials sufficient for the following series of Letters to his friends.
Whatever may be its merits in other respects, it is at least entitled
to that of unbiassed veracity, as the author has scrupulously abstained from recording any thing that did not immediately come within the sphere of his own observation, or upon the truth of which his own experience had not taught him to rely. Throughout the Letters, the author, from very obvious reasons, has studiously avoided giving any information, or expressing any opinion upon military affairs, any further than was necessary to give a general idea of events which it was desirable to notice slightly.
In conclusion : the author feels it to be due to his own character to state, that the speculations and prospective observations, which from time to time he has been disposed to indulge in, relative to the ultimate consequences of our successes in Spain, and the occupation of Paris by the allied armies, were written, it is well known: at a period long prior to the melancholy events which have since actually occurred.
The subjects of the first six letters are arranged under the following heads, and do not disappoint the promise of entertainment and instruction which they announce. « Arrival at Lisbon-Principal places of Resort -First view of the Town and Neighbourhood-Billeting-Preparations for a CampaignGeneral Description of Lisbon-Buenos Ayres—BellemInterior Description of Lisbon-Construction of the Houses Domestic Arrangements—Diet-Carriages—Instances of Bigotry and Devotion--Procession of the Host—The ChurchesSt. Roque-Patriarchal Church-High Mass-St. JeronimoChurch Ceremonies-- Decay of Respect for the Clergy-Portuguese Sunday-The Theatres-Lord Wellington's ArrivalSir Charles Stewart's Assemblies-Evening Amusements, Society of Lisbon-Quelug Palace--Cintra— Aqueduct_Mafra.” After an interesting and clear account of the position chosen by our great commander on the banks of the Tagus, we meet with the following observations.
Such were the preparations for the great campaign of 1810, which in its immediate consequences overthrew one of the enemy's most powerful armies, and liberated the kingdom of Portugal. In its more remote consequences it held out a cheering example to the nations of Europe, and eventually animated them to successful resistance; a campaign which completely falsified the predictions of those who prophecied the most disastrous results, and in its - sequel exceeded the most sanguine expectations; a campaign, which, by the fair operation of superior tactics, and the firm and steady perseverance in one great plan, cost the enemy the flower of one of his finest armies without a single general action.
The rapid and imposing advance of Massena very much alarmed she government and people of Lisbon; and when it was known
that his cannon was almost within hearing, terror arrived at its height. The applications for departures and passages to England, America, and almost every part of the globe, became importunate and incessant. The packets, intended to accommodate thirty or forty, were bespoken for from two to three hundred, and confusion and alarm reigned throughout that populous city.
At that time Marshal Beresford was advanced to the Order of the Bath; and, though it may appear singular, the ceremony of his investment and the gaieties attendant upon it, actually allayed the storm of anxiety, and appeased the fears of the Portuguese. Lord Wellington gave a grand dinner and ball in the palace of Mafra to the officers and gentry, in honor of the ceremonial of investment. The dinner was of course confined to persons of the highest description, though the invitations for the evening were nearly general. The enemy, amounting to upwards of 80,000 men, was then before us, the out-posis were close, and our allied videttes and his could shake hands. A very small portion of officers only were left in the first line, all the rest being allowed to join in the festivities of the day. Arrangements were however made that every one should return to his post after the ball. The whole of this fearless and judicious measure inspired confidence, and produced a most happy effect. The Portuguese naturally telt, that, if the Commander of the forces could give a fète to the whole army, when a powerful enemy's ad. vanced posts, were almost within hearing of his revels, the danger could not be very pressing. It being usual on bespeaking a passage in the packet to pay half down in the event of not going, many of the captains, in consequence of the tranquillity and security dif. fused throughout the city by this well-timed entertainment, acquir. ed considerable property. One of them had absolutely received money from about 250 persons who were flying to England, but who subsequently to this ball altered their resolution; and the captain only carried thirty, the rest forfeiting their deposit rather than adhere to determinations made during the phrensy of terror and despair.
The beginning of the eleventh letter introduces the reader to the frontiers of Spain, and announces a new field of interest, ing inquiry. The author tells us that
On the day previous to our entering Salamanca, three thousand of the enemy were sui prised by our advanced posts, who charged them over the bridge, and drove them through the streets out of the town; and, following them over the downs on their way to Burgos, took three hundred prisoners, and killed between fifty and sixty men, principally by means of the artillery.
The French General commanding (Villette) was leisurely walking through the streets of Salamanca with his mistress, when the alarm was given of the approach of the British. He made his
escape with difficulty, but the lady and the carriage fell into our
In the little which our author says upon these subjects, he wholly abstains from the cant of connoisseurship, and gives his opinion with a modesty which, while it adds grace to knowledge, might almost apologise for the absence of accurate and extensive information. As a specimen of his manner we give the following passage:
The deluge, by Poussin, though a comparatively small picture, struck me (and I believe it is generally considered) as one of the first in the collection. It has probably acquired its reputation
more from the extraordinary medium diffused over the whole, than from any other of its admirable qualities. The heavens seem to descend in one continued deluge, which silently and gradually swallows up the world. There is nothing in the picture that gives the idea of a turbulent and transient storm ; the whole seems to go forward with a solemn and dreadful certainty ; inevitable and uniform destruction seems at hand. The various groupes of distressed figures, incidentally introduced throughout the scene, are happily conceived; but the most surprising thing to me in the whole pic. ture is
, the bloated and saturated appearance which the artist has contrived to throw into every object throughout the painting.
We close our extracts from this lively and interesting work with the following passage:
Besides the auberges, in large towns there are many “chambres à louer,” announced õn the outside of large houses, the various inhabitants of which are usually not of the most select description ; and, from the construction of the rooms, privacy and comfort are out of the question. I was once quartered on such a place, and on enquiring for my room, was introduced to a spacious dirty garret, furnished with several broken-down bedsteads, chairs, and tables, adorned with old and dirty moth-eaten green tapestry, altogether presenting so woeful an appearance as could scarcely have been paralleled in Grub-street. There being no less than four different doors communicating with various lesser rooms and passages, it tras late before the numerous lodgers ceased to pass and repass, and when I deemed it prudent, I followed the example of those who occupied the other beds (among which was a whole family of children in one) and prepared to stretch myself on my dirty couch. Before, however, I could effect this completely, a party, consisting of an old man and three women, (all intoxicated,) accompanied by two children, burst into the room, apparently arrived from some fair or tevel, and seated themselves with perfect sang-froid round a table, to enjoy their supper before they retired to rest. In vain I remonstrated, and insisted upon my right to the privacy of the room, in order to get to bed. « Restez tranquille, Monsieur," was the only answer I could obtain, and it was not without considerable opposition and difficulty, on my part, that I at length persuaded them to retire to their chamber, where they all went to sup and to sleep. Early the next morning, I was awakened by my busy fellowlodgers, and without much stretch of imagination, might easily have conceived myself to be lying in an open street, in the most frequented part of the town, from the multiplicity of people that continually passed and repassed by the foot of my bed, leaving me in as little hopes of avoiding rising, as I had experienced of sleeping, in public. This chamber seemed to be the focus where all the lodgers concentrated. At one end I saw, on looking through my curtain, a party at breakfast ; by the side of the fire, some children were havNO. II.
VOL. I, H