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THE FATAL DISCOVERY.
Basil, during this trying period, as may be Mannion, on this the last evening of her girlsupposed, is a pretty constant visitor at North hood. Basil calls to make arrangements for Villa, and amuses himself daily in completing their departure into the country on the next day, the education of his beautiful bride.
and is somewhat annoyed to find that she is not The linendraper's confidential clerk (one at home. Some hasty expressions are interMannion), an extraordinary character in his changed between the linendraper and his sonway, has, however, been beforehand in gaining in-law, who finally determines to follow his a wonderful ascendancy over Miss Margaret's wife to the party, and to bring her home himself. youthful mind and heart. It appears that he is He reaches the door as Mannion and Margaret the son of a man in a respectable position in are coming out, much earlier than the hour of life, who was hanged for forgery, on evidence their proposed return : they do not observe him, furnished by Basil's father. The stigma of but proceed together to an hotel of questionable felony, attaching disgrace to the son, has com- character. Basil, at first unsuspicious, follows pelled him to resort to a variety of expedients in a growing paroxysm of frenzy ; enters the to obtain subsistence; hence his present occu- house a few moments later ; by a bribe, obtains pation.
access to a bedroom adjoining the one occupied
by the guilty pair, and then ensuesTHE MYSTERIOUS MAX. If extraordinary regularity of feature were alone sufficient to make a handsome man, then this confidential
I listened, and, through the thin partition, I heard clerk of Mr. Sherwin's was assuredly one of the hand
voices-her voice, and his voice, I heard and I knew-knew somest men I ever beheld. Viewed separately from the head (which was rather large, both in front and behind), their nameless horror. He was exulting in the satanic
my degradation in all its infamy, knew my wrongs in all his face exhibited throughout an almost perfect symmetry patience and secresy which had brought success to the foul of proportion. His bald forehead was smooth and mas
plot-foully for months on months-foully matured on sive as marble; his high brow and thin eyelid had
the very day before I was to have claimed as my loved the firmness and immobility of marble, and seemed as
and honoured wife a wretch as guilty as himself ! cold; his delicately-formed lips, when he was not speak
I could neither move nor breathe. The blood surged ing, closed habitually, as changelessly still as if no breath of life ever passed them. There was not a wrinkle or line
and heaved upward to my brain ; my heart strained and
writhed in anguish ; the life within me raged and tore anywhere on his face. But for the baldness in front, and
to get free. Whole years of the direst mental and bodily the greyness of the hair at the back and sides of his head, it would have been impossible from his appear- less, motionless torment. I never lost the consciousness
agony were concentrated in that one moment of dumb, helpance to have guessed his age, even within ten years of
of suffering. I heard the waiter say, under his breath, what it really was.
My God? he's dying." I felt him loosen my cravat; I Such was his countenance in point of form ; but in that
knew that he dashed cold water over me; dragged me out which is the outward vindication of our immortality-in of the room ; and, opening a window on the landing, held expression-it was, as I now beheld it, an utter void.
me firmly where the night-air blew upon my face. ! Never had I before seen any human face which baffled all inquiry like his. No mask could have been expressionless nothing remained of it but an ague-fit in every muscle, a
knew all this ; and knew when the paroxysm passed, and enough to resemble it; and yet it looked like a mask. shivering helplessness in every nerve. It told you nothing of his thoughts, when he spoke; nothing of his disposition, when he was silent. His light
He lies in wait in the street for Mannion ; grey eyes gave you no help in trying to study him. They and, as he quits the house in search of a cab, nerer varied from the steady, straightforward look, which Basil seizes him with all the ferocity of despair, was exactly the same for Margaret as it was for me ; wreaks upon him a fearful vengeance, and for Mrs. Sherwin as for Mr. Sherwin-exactly the same whether he spoke or whether he listened ; whether he leaves him prostrate in the road, his face cut to talked of indifferent or of important matters.
pieces, and the sight of one eye gone
ever. Suffice it to say that he has completely suc- his home he knows not how: a brain fever
Margaret escapes to her father. Basil reaches ceeded in winning the confidence of his employers; has devoted many spare hours to the supervenes. On his recovery, concealment is instruction of Margaret, and though he ex
no longer possible: the whole sad story is dispresses no displeasure at her marriage, which closed to the haughty father, who thus rehas taken place during his temporary absence plies— abroad, he takes very effectual measures for marring the felicity of Basil, and gratifying the door. *° :: Go out from this house, never to return to it
“Go!" he interrupted, pointing passionately to the unholy passion he has long secretly nurtured.
again ; go out, not as a stranger to me, but as an enemy! The prescribed twelve months have at length i have no faith in a single promise you have made : there fleeted by. On the morrow, Basil purposes to
is no baseness which I do not believe you will yet be guilty carry his virgin wife to a cottage he has pre- leagued, to take warning. I have wealth, power,
of; but I tell you, and the wretches with whom you are pared for her, where he hopes to enjoy, in tran- position ; and there is no use to which I will not put them quillity, the long-desired felicity of his honey- against the man or woman who threatens the fair fame of moon.
this family. Leave me, remembering that—and leave Margaret, at her father's desire, has accepted me for ever!" an invitation to a party at the house of a rich Thrown upon the world and his resources, aunt, whither she proceeds under the escort of Basil is saved from ruin by the intervention of
his brother ; a dreadful death relieves him of desire to pander to that appetite for the horrible his too-dearly loved but faithless wife; and which is the bane of the modern French school. Mannion, who has vowed to pursue him with We recommend Mr. Collins in future to avoid his vengeance through life, in consequence of the errors we have indicated, because he is evithe personal injuries inflicted upon him, and dently capable of greater things; and were not the enmity he previously entertained against this story marred by these blemishes, we should Basil's family, is cut off by an untimely fate, have assigned it an exalted position among the which no one can for a moment commiserate.
novels of the past year. Here and there we meet with passages in- The character of Clara is exquisitely delidicative of great power and pathos; but the neated: it is true to life, and cannot fail to production, as a whole, in artistic language, charm every reader. That of Ralph, the elder 6 wants nature. We cannot bring ourselves brother, is excellent too. His combination of to believe in the existence of such a character knowledge of the world and manly courage, as Mannion, nor in the fiendish nature of his his indomitable resolution to cure evils that revenge - a persecution, by the way, which have grown past endurance, and the deterany one, not an absolute fool, would very soon mination with which he faces and overcomes have terminated summarily. Indeed, notwith- successive difficulties for his brother's sake, are standing the purity and sanctity of his passion drawn by no ordinary hand. for Margaret, one cannot help feeling that The interview between Ralph and Sherwin is Basil proves himself, in all his proceedings, too spirited and masterly. We regret that we can. great a simpleton for us to sympathise much not give more than the following brief speciwith him in his distress He might so obviously have avoided all his
RALPH LOQUITUR. calamities, by the exercise of a very little
I took him down, just as he swore his second oath. "Sir," deuce, that we are half inclined to smile at some
said I, very politely, “ if you mean to make a cursing and of the most disastrous incidents he recounts.
swearing conference of this, I think it only fair to inform
you beforehand, that you are likely to get the worst of it. Then again, Mr. Collins endeavours too fre- When the whole repertory of British oaths is exhausted, quently to harrow up the feelings of his readers I can swear fluently in five foreign languages: I have by minute descriptions of the ægri somnia-the always made it a principle to pay back abuse at compound outpourings of a disordered mind and the hal- interest; and I don't exaggerate in saying, that I am
quite capable of swearing you out of your senses, lucinations of a perturbed intellect. Allusion to persist in setting me the example. And now, if you like subjects such as these, is always painful, and to go on, pray do—I'm ready to hear you.” ought not lightly to be introduced into a work Sherwin, the mean, sordid shopkeeper, is of fiction.
throughout admirably pourtrayed. The combiThus, after the discovery of his dishonour, nation of servility and tyranny, obsequiousness Basil fills no less than thirty pages with descrip- and insolence, in this man, are as cleverly detions of the fiends and phantoms that continually picted as are the shamelessness and utter appeared to him during his delirium; and absence of all moral feeling in the daughagain, we have nearly as much space similarly ter. We fear, too many such are to be met occupied with the wild ravings of Margaret on with in the grade of life occupied by the Sherher death-bed. All this savours much of a wins.
The Romance of the Forum. By Peter Burke, Esq. 2 Vols. 8vo. London: Colburn.
The only thing good about this book is its flinching constancy the brutal judge and title, and for that the public are probably furious lawyers hounding him to death, and indebted to the publisher's “reader." The winning a verdict of acquittal even from the Romance of the Forum might have been the jury that the Crown lawyers had packed to name of a valuable work. Entombed in the find him guilty! What a story would the bulky volumes of the State Trials of Eng- sufferings and the constancy of the poor Puriland, and in the Causes Celébres of France, tan Udall make! But it is idle to talk of lie dramas that, in the hands of a man of what might have been done while we have talent and research, would fix attention, and these two volumes before us. We open them, excite a lofty interest. Not to recount the and come at once upon a story that has been better-known trials of historic interest, what printed in every jest-book, from the blacka glorious scene of a brave man struggling letter edition of "Righte Merrie Jestes” downfor his life might be drawn from the trial of wards. It tells us how one Dan had an Sir Nicholas Throckmorton, foiling with un- animosity to lawyers, and determined to play
a rich one a trick; how he forged a bond in We scarcely know whether the scope of the lawyer's name, brought an action upon it, this book, or its execution, is the worse. and proved the signature; and how the law- From a volume of the Newgate Calendar yer in the nick of time produced a forged something may be learned: no one could receipt, and thus turned the tables upon the read a page of it without horror at the barplaintiff. Passing on from this venerable anec- barity of our forefathers, and wonder at the dote, we arrive at the story of the “Cru- fact, that crowds of men, women, and children sader and his Dog," which, seeing that it were constantly being led away to death for has been fully used by Sir Walter Scott, stealing a pocket-handkerchief, or cutting a might perhaps have been thought to be suffi- stick in a squire's plantation; and all went to ciently known. To this succeeds that very the gallows submissively, confessing the justice curious and quite unknown story of the “Dog of their sentence. This book, however, is a of Montargis, or the Forest of Bondy. mere pandering to a raw-head-and-bloodyThen comes the rather noted trial of Savage bones taste, and the pandering is badly done. the poet, for his part in the coffee - house We do hope that the publisher has miscalcubrawl wherein Nuttal was killed. Somewhat lated the degree of intelligence in the public sick at the discovery of the sort of stuff we of the present day, and that few will be dehave to deal with, we turn over the leaves, ceived by an alluring title into buying a and pass through a series of stories either worthless book. A little discrimination in very stale or very trumpery, until at last the book buyers would rid our current literature second volume closes with a full account (in of such trashy book-making as this. 47 pages) of the Praslin murder !
THE PRESENT CONDITION OF MEDICAL SCIENCE.*
Medicine is the opprobrium of the human all time, have only just become known to the mind. For six thousand years have all the species they destroy; and they are discovered facts that should base a science, been present in only to be pronounced incurable. The most prodigious numbers to the observation of our hideous and frightful maladies —even those that species; for six thousand years, has been offered have crowded our hospitals with hopeless to us, the highest object, except one, which can wretches since the days when hospitals first engage the human intellect-the alleviation of were—are still treated as they were in the time of bodily suffering and the prolongation of the the ancients. The “ dirus hydrops” of Horace life of man.
Yet what have we done? At has indeed, in later times, been said to be but the this very day, medicine is not worthy to be symptom of some other latent disease; but this is classed as a science. Of chemistry we know merely saying it is the effect of a cause, so long something ; but of chemistry as applicable to as the disease is still unstudied and uncured; the human frame we know least. Anatomy, and so long as surgeons are still content to so far as regards the more obvious phenomena of combat the symptoms by doses of elaterium, or this wonderful machine, has been carefully by treating the man like a beer-barrel. There can studied, and individuals have acquired a wonder- beno doubt whatever that the disease we call canful handicraft dexterity in surgical operations; cer is but a symptom of some irregular action of but the more subtle and occult processes of assi- the processes of assimilation; yetour medical men milation are still as little known, as they were go on cutting and carving the poor creatures who in the days of Hippocrates. It is now many are thus afflicted, knowing all the time that they centuries since optical science was brought to are no more curing the disease itself, than they bear upon astronomy : we are only just begin- would eradicate horse-radish by digging up a ning to apply the microscope to the minute few of the roots, or destroy an ivy-root by instruments wherewith death works. Diseases pruning its branches. Twenty other instances that have killed their annual millions through might easily be adduced, were the subject in
need of illustration. The disease which our An Essay on the Action of Medicines in the System; doctors, with their usual dog-latin pedantry, call being the Prize Essay to which was awarded the Fothergillian Gold Medal for 1852; by Frederick William Head- † We are told that a hospital has recently been estaland, B.A., &c. &c. Lond. : Churchill, 1852.
blished for the investigation of this fearful malady, and On Rheumatism, Rheumatic Gout, and Sciatica, their that the inquiry is now made in a philosophical spirit. Pathology, Symptoms, and Treatment, by Henry William This does not in any way answer our argument. If it Fuller, M.D. Cantab. Fellow of the Royal College of be within the possibility of human science to discover and Physicians, London, Assistant Physician at St. George's remove the cause of cancer, it would have been done cenHospital, &c. &c. Lond. : Churchill, 1852.
turies ago, bad medicine been studied as a science.
the Morbus Brightii, might have been disco- must come from without: like every other
among ignorant men, and in rude states of society, but
the other requires a higher degree of enlightenment. tell you why it is that a dose of salts acts to
These are the Empirical and the Rational systems. The open the bowels.
first is founded on simple induction. By accident or by These remarks are made in no hostile spirit experience it is found that a certain medicine is of use in to the profession of medicine. We have no
the treatment of a certain disorder; it is henceforth ad
ministered in that disorder; and on a number of such sympathy with the vulgar sneers at doctors, separate data an empirical system is constructed. It naand little pleasure in seeing the wit of Molière turally requires for its elaboration a comparatively small applied to a subject so grave. We set out degree of knowledge. with saying that the scope and object of their
Now this observation of facts is indispensable as a beinquiry is the highest that can engage the ginning, but something more is required. We must not human intellect, and the most practically im- proceed to compare together a large number of facts, and portant to which a man can devote himself. It draw inferences from this comparison. And our plan of is quite time, however, that our M.Ds. and
treatment will become rational, when on the one hand, F.R.C.Ses. should understand that the days of
from an accurate knowledge of the symptoms of diseases,
we are better enabled to meet each by its appropriate mystery and blind confidence are passed : that remedy, and on the other hand, from some acquaintance a prescription is no longer a secret between the with the general action of a medicine, we are fitted to half-educated individual who writes it and the wield it with more skill and effect, and to apply it even in druggist's boy who compounds it. Almost for the proper perfection of medicine as a rational science
cases where it has not yet been proved beneficial. Thus, everyone now a dayscan read the document; and two things are in the main needed: the first is a right every commonly-educated man knows pretty understanding of the causes and symptoms of disease ; well the general operation of the remedies
the second, a correct knowledge of the action of medicines. scribed. We, who in our own respective pro- plete, we should then be able to do all that man could by
Should our acquaintance with these two subjects be comvinces are searchers after truth, have a right to any possibility effect in the alleviation of human suffering. require that medicine should advance with other This sublime problem is already being unravelled at one sciences; that its professors should cease to be end. Diagnosis and Nosology are making rapid strides ; quacks and empirics, and should become the
and perhaps we shall soon know what we have to cure.
But at the other end our medical system is in a less satisinvestigators of secret causes. This reform factory condition ; and though some impatient men hare
essayed, as it were, to cut the Gordian knot, and have de- ought to be cured as easily and as immediately clared boldly on subjects of which they are ignorant, yet
as a fit of heartburn. it must be confessed, that in the understanding of the all probability, such will be the case; and it
A year or two hence, in diseases, we do not so much excel our ancestors. While ought to have been so, five hundred years ago. other sciences are moving, and other inquiries progressing Yet of this common disease Dr. Fuller is fast, this subject, so momentous in its applications, has, obliged to commence his treatise by admitting in spite of the earnest labours of a few talented investiga- that he and his brethren know nothing of its tors, made after all but small progress. Let but those who feel this want bestir themselves to remove it, and it origin, its course, or its nature-even of the will soon be done. Those doubts and difficulties, which seat of the disease (p. 44), and very little of its are now slowly clearing away before the efforts of a few,
treatment. will then be finally dispelled by the united energies of all; and instead of our present indecision and uncertainty on Few diseases are more deserving of attention than that many points, we shall find ourselves eminently qualified common, painful, and obstinate malady which has been to wage the conflict with disease, being skilled in that recognised under the title of Rheumatism. Whether science whose name bespeaks its peculiar importance the viewed in relation to the number of its victims, the amount science of Therapeutics.
of present suffering it inflicts, or the terrible disease of Again, what can we say of a science which the heart which it entails, it ranks among the most forgives a definition of the operation of medicines in the estimation of the physiologist, is derived not only
midable of human ailments, Its importance, however, so little clarior per se as the following ?
from its prevalence and severity, but from the mystery in Concluding, then, that it is impossible to account
which it has ever been involved. Obscure in its origin, clearly for the actions of most medicines on Mechanical or
and in its subsequent course uncertain and variable, its an Chemical principles, we are led to infer that their in
source has hitherto remained undiscovered, its phenomena fluence must for the most part be vital in its nature - unexplained, its treatment unsatisfactory; and, by comthat it must be such as could only be exerted in the
mon consent, it is ascribed to a cause which affords not living body. Even then we are unable to fix upon any
the slightest clue to its nature, nor the least explanasingle rule or formula which shall be capable of accounting tion of its varied phenomena. for the actions of all at once. So it seems that the only general explanation which we can offer of the modus tism is the result of a specific virus, but there
Medicine pompously declares that rheumaoperandi of medicines in the cure of diseases, is, to they operate by various counteractions.
We recommend to educated non-medical A peculiar and specific character is so clearly stamped men a perusal of Mr. Headland's work, that few, on due consideration, will deny its dependence on a
on this disease, that no one will attempt to question it; they may understand how much this mystery- poisonous matter in the system ; all
, therefore, ought to man sort of trade requires a fillip from without. agree as to the specific nature of that poison. But, in We would ask further, what proportion of defiance of those very laws, the due appreciation of which the general practitioners of the present day referred to a dozen different causes, and, inferentially at have read one chapter of the book, and what least, to as many different poisons. proportion even of these are acting upon its advice, and working as conscientious men
As medicine does not tell us what this virus ought to work who stand daily between man
is, the definition tells us no more than that and death?
rheumatism is caused by something or otherIn dealing with Dr. Fuller's work, we offer medicine does not know what—but she calls it as a single example illustrative of a general it a “ virus.", She might as well call it a proposition. Dr Fuller has studied a particular drumstick. Medicine is not even sure whether and very rife disease very carefully; and the materies morbi is an acid or an alkali. doubtless, if we had to confide to the care of a
When Dr. Fuller comes to speak of the treatdoctor a patient in whom we were interested, ment of the disease, the whole system of the and who was suffering from this disease, we
operation of medicine by blind guesses becomes should seek the aid of Dr. Fuller ; for he pro- and
Dr. Macleod in England, have adopted the
at once apparent. Dr. Bouilland in France, bably knows more about it than any of his brethren. Yet we cannot read ten pages of Sangrado system, and bled hundreds to death the work without feeling how very little this
at the rate of from three to six pints in the first knowledge is, and how utterly empirical and three days, “coup sur coup.""Dr. Cazenove unphilosophical is the state of medical know- of Pau, and Dr. Corrigan of Dublin, drugged ledge upon the subject.
away the disease with opium, sometimes at the Now there is, perhaps, no disease which is rate of two hundred grains in a fortnight (p.88). more common ihan this rheumatism-none
Dr. Chambers adopted the very opposite mewhich has offered more cases for study-nonethod of large doses of calomel and other purwhich has given more copious materials for gatives. induction. There is no disease which offers
Sweating* has had its advocate and prosurer indication to the eye of science that the fessors: persevering practitioners have gone on suffering is caused by the presence, in the body, salivating their unhappy patients, although they of an excess of one of those chemical elements
* With what success let the following extract shew:whereof it is composed. There is every reason
“ In modern times, though not so carefully, “accinctus to believe that a fit of gout or rheumatism ad sudorem," the unhappy sufferer has been sweated quite