Gambar halaman

short time at the instance of the lady. A brother of Mangore was now enamored of her, but finding she would not return his passion, he barbarously caused her to be burnt alive, and shot her husband with an arrow. Vol. xii.

Vol. xii. p. 77. But, although hostilities continued for many years between the colonists of La Plata and the native inhabitants, yet the history of events unfolds none of those atrocious acts, which disgraced the Spanish arms in other quarters of America. Many of their conquests were achieved under the overpowering impulse of the lust after gold, which seemed to create in the mind a species of delirium, converting mild and merciful men into absolute monsters.

But Buenos Aires and Paraguay being destitute of the precious metals, no such enormities occurred there at the period of the conquest, nor were the natives afterwards cruelly sacrificed by the tyrannical oppressions of the mita and repartimientos. The Indians, who submitted peaceably, were obliged to live in villages ; prisoners taken in war passed into the gentle servitude of the commende established by the governor, Martinez de Yrala ; and the Jesuits finally introduced the system of the Missions, which, whatever other objections may lie against it, cannot be chargeable with being cruel or sanguinary, like the government of the Spaniards in Peru. Nay, many tribes of Indians found refuge in Paraguay from the pursuit of the Portuguese of Brazil, who hunted them down like wild beasts for the purpose of making them slaves. Indeed the Indians in these countries, far from suffering the like miseries with the natives elsewhere, bid fair to become at no remote day an object of very serious apprehension to the Spaniards. What is there to distinguish between the brave and hardy Indian Llaneros of the Pampas, and the mounted Scythians, whom Genghis Khan led to the conquest of Asia ?

Four volumes, from the fourteenth to the seventeenth inclusive, embrace the history of Brazil, in the events of which, all and more than all, that gives animation to other portions of our author's work, is here assembled. Riches not surpassed by those of Peru and Mexico, pursued with not less avidity by the Portuguese than by the Spanish conquistadores, Indians as fierce and independent as the Araucanians, examples of untiring industry in the cultivation of the finest region of America, if not of the earth,—add to this all the surprising vicissitudes of the Dutch invasion, and the reader will appreciate the singular interest attached to the whole course of the Brazilian history. English, French, Dutch, successively_fixed a longing eye upon this fascinating country. And if France, instead of wasting her resources upon religious wars without any useful aim or object, had lent a little aid to Villegagnon, she might have been mistress of Brazil. Or if the Dutch had not conducted themselves with such solly, cruelty, and perfidy, they would have retained possession of their rich prize, in spite of all the efforts of the Portuguese settlers to regain their liberty. And how changed would be the whole face of America, and perhaps of Europe too, at the present day, if Brazil had become a colony of either France or Holland.

Following up the coast of South America, next to that of Brazil we have the history of Guiana, New Grenada, and Venezuela. In these volumes, among other topics of interest, there is an investigation of the subject of the far-famed El Dorado, which the cruel fate of Sir Walter Raleigh has rendered but too familiar to the English reader. The circumstances collected by Compagnoni certainly tend to show that the existence of some offset of the empire of the Incas within the interior of the continent is neither impossible, nor so improbable as it is generally supposed. The tradition among the Peruvians has been constant that a body of their countrymen, led by some of the surviving Incas, fled beyond the mountains into regions not yet explored. Some of the wandering tribes of the Orinoco have related the same story. Quesada, the conqueror of Bogotá, was so firmly convinced of it, that he retained the intention of penetrating Guiana to the last, and upon his deathbed, enjoined upon his son-in-law and heir, Antonio Berreo, to undertake the expedition. The discovery from time to time of inexhaustible gold mines in Brazil, is of itself sufficient to prove that there is nothing to violate all probability in supposing other tracts, abounding in mineral wealth, may exist in the immense extent of the untrodden interior of the continent. But the central regions of America and Africa seem alike fated to exercise and to confound the curiosity of geographers.

The conquest of Bogotá, which forms the principal subject' of the nineteenth volume, is remarkably similar, in the course of its incidents, to the overthrow of the Mexican and Peruvian empires. Similar domestic factions enabled Quesada to contend with success against the power of Tizquesuca. The plunder of the golden bells of the valley of Tinsenu and of the graves of the caciques; the wanton and perfidious cruelties VOL. XXVII.NO. 60.


everywhere inflicted by the Spaniards upon the Indians; the irresolution of the court; the plunder of cities, and gratuitous murder of princes and people ; the destruction of the temple of Sagomoso ;-all, even to the fate of Quesada, whose declining years were filled with disappointments and who died a leper, recalls to mind the sufferings of the conquered in Mexico and Peru, and the unenviable lot of their sanguinary conquerors.

In the twentieth and twenty-first volumes, our author gives the history of the Islands, including a particular account of the adventures of the buccaneers and of the Haytian revolution ; but that we may subjoin a few words on a subject nearer home, we proceed to the concluding volumes of the work, which embrace the French and English colonies in North America, wherein the prominent place is devoted to the United States. Compagnoni's relation of our own history is impartial, spirited, and substantially correct. Commencing with the feeble beginnings of our greatness, in the little colonies planted at James Town and Plymouth, he traces the fortunes of our forefathers, through the years in which our country was imperceptibly filling out into the muscular proportions of national strength, to the time, when all its energies were put in requisition to maintain the great cause of independence, and thence down to the present day, when we ourselves are in the full fruition of all the blessings attendant on unexampled political freedom. Obeying the dictates of impartial historical truth, he speaks in terms of well-founded censure of the spiritual pride and uncharitableness in matters of religion which dishonored our New England ancestors, yet he bestows merited applause upon their fortitude, their simple purity of conduct in the duties of private life, their undying love of liberty, and their industry, enterprise, and perseverance, which enabled us to be what we are as a nation. He sketches the events of the revolutionary contest with boldness and effect, taking Botta for his guide, and faithfully abridging the fuller history of his countryman. In depicting the progress of our country since the adoption of the constitution, he follows Warden for his main authority respecting facts; and his observations upon party differences and the actual condition of the country, are, we think, distinguished for good sense and for great liberality of feeling in judging of us as a people, and of the operation of our free institutions.

ART. III.-1. Medical Dissertations, read before the Massa

chusetts Medical Society. Published by the Society. Vol. IV. Part iv. Boston. 1827. 2. Proceedings of a Convention of Medical Delegates held at Northampton, in the State of Massachusetts, on the 20th day of June, 1827. Boston. 1827. It has sometimes been regarded as a reproach to the numerous medical societies in our country, that they have done no more for the promotion of science. Medicine is a liberal profession; and is, equally with any other profession, dependent upon the promotion of science; and especially upon the various departments of natural science it is much more dependent, than any other profession. Its members might therefore reasonably be expected to furnish their full quota, not only to the advancement of their own profession strictly speaking, but also to that of science generally. Then there is no lack of medical societies in the country. Almost every state in the union furnishes at least one such society incorporated by law, and with a greater or less extent of privileges and immunities. And yet, it may be asked, who ever looks to the transactions of these learned bodies for additions to the stock of knowledge, or even for evidence of its progress?

To the physicians of this country as individuals, however it may be in their collective capacity as composing medical societies, no such reproach can justly apply. There has not been wanting a fair proportion of learned men among them who have been ready to apply their diligence to the extension of all the branches of knowledge, which in any way connect themselves with their profession. But with respect to these socie. ties themselves, the reproach has arisen rather from a misconception of the main objects of their institution, than from want of zeal and industry among their members. There are two modes by which medical societies

may exert a beneficial influence upon the community. By exciting and concentrating the energies of their members, they may bring together and publish the results of their observations and inquiries, and thus add to the stock of knowledge in the scientific world; or by adopting suitable regulations for the education and examination of candidates for the profession, they may elevate its character and extend its usefulness. In the one


way, they add to the stock of knowledge in the scientific world; in the other, they provide that a sufficient portion of the knowledge already in the possession of the learned, shall be acquired by those, who would assume the responsibilities of the profession.

In regard to the first of these means of usefulness, our medical societies have not been wholly deficient, although it cannot be said that much has been accomplished by them towards the advancement of science. The Massachusetts Medical Society has published three volumes, and several small parts of a fourth, of Medical Communications and Dissertations. Some of these Communications are elaborate papers of great value.

value. For several years past however these publications have not extended beyond the discourses read at the annual meetings of the society; from the occasion on which they were delivered, therefore, they necessarily incline somewhat to a popular 'character, not very well suited to thorough scientific discussion. Some of them are notwithstanding able and valuable productions. Others, it must be confessed, are of much less value, and not of a character to elevate or even sustain the reputation of the society. Some of the other medical societies in the country have published volumes of communications, of various merit; but it is not necessary to our purpose to speak particularly of their value. For it is not upon their publications that the chief utility of these societies depends.

It is upon the other mode of promoting the public welfare, that we rest the claim of our medical societies to an exemption from the reproach, to which we have alluded, of having failed of the object of their institution. If they have not done much to increase the amount of scientific knowledge, they have not failed to diffuse the benefits of that knowledge over the whole body of the medical profession, and by that means to extend it to the whole community. Their operations have raised very essentially the standard of professional character and conduct, at the same time that irregularities of practice, and irregular practitioners have been effectually discountenanced, and in many places nearly suppressed.

To many persons it may appear, that these are advantages of which the benefit is reaped by the members of the profession exclusively, rather than by the community at large ; and there never have been wanting those who have stigmatized every attempt to raise the character and improve the condition of the

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »