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leech. When he reminded them of their promise, he was put off by pretexts, and the service he had rendered did not even procure him decent treatment. Rice and dates constituted his sole food; and he was so strictly watched, that escape, even had he known whither to fly, was evidently impossible. Meanwhile, he was compelled to prescribe for the sick, trembling, at every fresh case, lest he should kill his patient, and be himself in his turn killed. He had passed some months in this painful, and, as it seemed, hopeless captivity, when a messenger arrived from the interior to demand the assistance of the Frank hakim for a chief who had received a bullet in his thigh. The wounded man being a person of great weight, and a desperate fellow to fight, compliance was immediate. The unfortunate médecin malgré lui was hoisted on the top of a camel, and started off to a distance of forty-eight hours' march. His journey was mournful enough; for, if he had hitherto contrived to pass muster as a physician, he had not the slightest hope of acquitting himself tolerably as a surgeon, and had as much notion of building a man-ofwar as of extracting a musket-ball. But his life had become too irksome and hopeless for him to care much about it; and all he prayed for was that he might be put to death at once, and not tortured. On approaching the town or village to which he was bound, his ears were greeted by a most diabolical clamour, howlings and lamentations, and the sounds of savage instruments. The leader of his escort shook his head. 66 "We come too late," he said; "the chief is dead." And so it proved, and the hakim was taken back to the coast and his captors. But he soon found that, if his position was had before, it was worse now. His reputation was completely ruined. "If his skill had been worth anything," said the Arabs, "he would have kept the wounded man alive until he arrived to see him." To those barbarians the reason was conclusive, and all confidence in him was at an end. Nobody consulted him any more; he was worse treated, worse fed, and compelled to work. His case was so
piteous that he sometimes thought of throwing himself into the sea; but then again he took courage and patience, in hopes of some lucky turn and possible rescue. At last, when he had been six months a captive, he one day perceived an unusual stir in the village. The Arabs were gathering together their property, and evidently preparing to flit. He presently learned that this was in apprehension of the visit of an English cruiser, sent to repress the depredations of the pirates. In the general bustle, little attention was paid to him; but he observed an old man, of some consideration in the village, and whom he had cured of a slight illness, eyeing him attentively, and seemingly watching an opportunity to speak with him unobserved. This found, the old Arab told him that they should go away that night; that, before daybreak, not a soul would be left in the village; and that, if he wished to escape, he must hide amongst the rocks on the beach, and the English cruiser would doubtless take him off. The advice was too good not to be acted upon. As soon as it became dark, the disgraced doctor managed to conceal himself in the manner indicated. Shortly afterwards he perceived that his absence was noted; he heard his name repeatedly shouted, and the steps of people seeking him. His suspense and agony were terrible, but his hiding-place was well chosen; he lay still as death, and after a while the search seemed abandoned, and all was quiet in the village. Still he dared not venture forth, lest a rearguard should remain ; and even when day broke, and the sun rose high in the heavens, and although the most profound silence prevailed, he did not quit his hiding-place, but lay motionless, gazing out upon the sea, of which he had a view through a narrow opening in the rocks. Towards noon, as he lay there faint and hungry, his eyes dazzled by the glare of the water, a black bar suddenly crossed his line of vision. It was the bowsprit of a ship-the ardentlydesired cruiser. Swiftly she glided past, too far off for any signal he had it in his power to make, and with breathless anxiety he watched her
course, hoping to see it changed, and directed towards the land. But on she went, increasing instead of diminishing her distance; and his hope was soon exchanged for despair. Liberty was worthless to him if he had no means of escaping from that inhospitable coast, where he must either perish of hunger or fall again into the hands of the pirates, at which, perhaps, a worse fate awaited him. Still doubtful whether the village was completely evacuated, he resolved to stay where he was until nightfall, and then to make a reconnaissance. But, a short time before sunset, the same object that once already had filled him with hope, reappeared to revive it. The cruiser returned, and presently cast anchor. Boats were lowered from her; they approached the shore, and opened a furious fire on the village. The village did not think proper to reply; its recent occupants were far enough off by that time. So the boats dashed in, and a lot of blue-jackets jumped ashore. The German adventurer and hakim left his hiding-place, and hurried to meet them. His rig did not apparently inspire the man-ofwar's men with much confidence, and, taking him doubtless for one of the natives, they sent a few shots in his direction, in spite of his shouts, hand-waving, and energetic demonstrations of amity. An officer checked the fire: the ex-adherent of the Rajah of Bubblepore made himself known as a Christian captive escaped from the bondage of the infidel; and soon he found himself seated in the gunroom of H. B. M.'s cruiser, clad in a subscription of clothes made for him by the officers, and handling a knife and fork in such style that, to save his life, the ship's surgeon was obliged to take them away. Six months of rice and dates, my fellowtraveller pathetically assured me, have a most hollowing effect upon a European stomach, however well the diet may be endured by Arabs. He then proceeded to tell us how he finally arrived in Persia, and how the government broke its agreement with him-as might be expected of the knavish government of that nation of liars and swindlers par excellence; how he nevertheless, his agreement
having been guaranteed by a foreign minister, got paid for the full time stipulated; how he then, the war with Russia breaking out, entered the Turkish service, and was on the Danube and in the Crimea; and how, since the peace, he had obtained leave to visit his own country, after nine years' exile. The object of his visit to Spain he did not tell us ; nor did I ask, conjecturing it to be a consequence of that habit of constant rambling which, once contracted, becomes so inveterate, and difficult to get rid of. He told us various things well worth remembering; but I must abstain from putting them down here, or we shall never get to Piedmont within the limits of a reasonably long letter.
If Spain has made little political progress during the quarter of a century that has nearly elapsed since she threw off the trammels of absolutism, it were unjust to deny that, as regards material improvements, she has been less stationary. For these improvements she has been in great measure indebted to foreigners, but nevertheless they exist, and the traveller feels the advantage of them. Thus, in the matter of diligences, there is no comparison between those of to-day and those of fifteen or twenty years ago. The vehicle in which we were was roomy, commodious, and well hung; and its pace was tolerable, considering the heat of the weather and the inequalities of the road. Spanish and French diligences are driven on quite different principles. In France you go slowly up hill, and rapidly down-dangerous speed being guarded against, in the latter case, by pressure or drags upon the wheels. In Spain, on the other hand, any moderate ascent is the signal for a gallop. The whip cracks; the mules are invoked by their names, and powerfully cursed: sometimes the Zagal, getting into a sort of frenzy, confides the reins to the conductor, jumps down, double-thongs a lazy leader, and even picks stones from the ground and pelts his team. As long as these irregular kinds of stimulus do not overshoot the mark, drive the cattle off the road, and upset the coach down a bank, all goes well; the summit is attained
at a swinging pace, and the beasts recover breath during a leisurely trot along the level. But, at a descent, the modus operandi is quite different, and it is then often more difficult to keep the mules or horses back than to get them forward when rising a hill. Perhaps it is from a deficiency of mechanical appliances that, on going down-hill, the wheelers always seem to have a painful and dangerous struggle to prevent the heavy-laden diligence from running over them. The driver holds them in, soothes and encourages them with his voice, and the poor animals bear back with all their strength; but it frequently seems to be nearly an even bet whether they shall be able to hold up against the immense downward pressure, or have to run for their lives in front of the monstrous dead-weight which is in a greater hurry than they are to get to the bottom-a fearful sort of race, whose issue, on a long descent, could not be doubtful, and must end in a general smash. The case is, of course, much worse if the leaders are hot-blooded and anxious to go ahead, for over them the driver, according to the Spanish mode of harnessing, has little or no command. At the last relay, before reaching Pampeluna, six eager horses were put to our diligence, two and two. It was near sunset, and, in hopes of a mouthful of fresh air, and also the better to see the country, I got on the seat beside the driver, who was a little, active, determined - looking fellow, smartly dressed, as postilions are wont to be whose daily duty it is to drive into a capital. "Cuidado!" the conductor said to him, as he gathered up the reins," have a care, and no running away, like the other day." The other nodded knowingly, and just then the horses' heads were let go, and they were instantly all over the road, plunging in every direction, until they started off at a tremendous pace. The road was pretty level, and it did not matter; but a long line of undulations was before us, some of them rather steep, although short. The little, vicious-looking zagal set his teeth, planted his feet firmly on the footboard, and seemed prepared for a life-and-death struggle. The con
ductor appeared uneasy, and kept muttering his eternal Cuidado! cuidado! of which the driver took little heed, merely shrugging his shoulders, as if he thought the injunction quite superfluous. We went up a hill at the same furious pace. From the top a descent began, and with it a really frightful struggle between the postilion and the wheelers on the one hand, the leaders and the weight of the diligence on the other. The latter beat; the little zagal got black in the face from exertion, the wheelers were almost out of the harness, and under the wheels, in their efforts to bear up; but it was no use; we went down that hill, up another, and down a third, all at the same mad gallop, fairly run away with, the diligence-whose weight must have been very great, for it was crammed with passengers and heaped with luggage-literally dancing along the road, and rocking so that I expected it each moment to go over. The peril passed, however; the horses were at last pulled up, but it was thought necessary to adopt a new plan of proceeding. The conductor took the reins, and the zagal hooked himself on in some way to the side of the diligence. When we came to a descent, he jumped down, and hung to the heads of the foremost pair of horses, suffering himself to be dragged along by them, sometimes with his feet off the ground, but succeeding in checking their ardour and speed. And thus, without accident, quittes pour la peur, we at last entered the town of Pampeluna, which looked ruddy and cheerful in the rays of the setting sun, with a military band playing on the Place d'Armes, and black-eyed Navarrese maidens taking their evening stroll and then we found, at the comfortable half-French half-Spanish inn, the table d'hôte prepared, being the first meal, worthy of the name, we had obtained in the forty-eight hours that had elapsed since we had left Madrid.
Two words before getting off Spanish ground, and entering France, along the picturesque and lovely road that leads to the frontier village of Ainhoa, concerning Spanish railways. One frequently sees in news
papers dazzling advertisements of projected lines, and hears of the Cortes having voted laws relating to perfect networks of rails, which are to furrow Spain in all directions, to augment trade, encourage building, increase the population, enrich the country, and, above all, fill the pockets of the shareholders. There is a vast deal of delusion in all this, and intending travellers, who postpone their Spanish tour until they can steam through the country, will be long before they cross the Pyrenees. I apprehend that there is not much occasion to warn English capitalists against embarking their cash in Spanish enterprises, whether guaranteed by the government, or of a private nature. The very name of Spain stinks in the nostrils of the London Exchange; and, especially as regards railways, there is good reason for its so doing. In no country in Europe are there so many difficulties in the way of establishing those communications. The natural obstacles are enormous, and would render the construction most costly; the population is scanty, for the extent of the country, and not locomotive in its habits; trade is kept down by an absurd tariff, and by constant political crises and convulsions; the capital, which in England, France, and other countries, does so much to feed the railways with both passengers and goods traffic, is here an insignificant town, neither a port nor an entrepôt, and where nothing is manufactured. Spaniards who view Madrid through the magnifying medium of their foolish fondness, dream of railways connecting it with France and Portugal, with Cadiz and Barcelona. They do not dream of doing it with their own money-they are too wise for that; but they would gladly take advantage of foreign resources, and to this all their efforts tend, as do all their high-flown and exaggerated predictions of what Spain would become if sufficiently provided with railways. It is presumable that, some day or other, railways will be made there, and on an extensive scale; but I believe that no one who knows the country, and is disinterested in the question, will maintain that, for many years to come, any but short
lines can be carried out without heavy loss to those who find the cash. To descend to minor difficulties: The introduction of railways on an extensive scale would meet with resolute hostility on the part of large classes of the people. The numerous tribe of carriers and muleteers would oppose them by every means in their power. In England, and other countries, people employed in connection with coaches, diligences, waggons, &c., found occupation on the rail, but the Spaniard is far less convertible in that way. In the first place, he values not time, and despises punctuality. You have but to study yonder muleteer, who is now much what he was in the days of Cervantes, and you will soon find that you have no materials there for a railway guard or a signal-man. See him rolling along, vituperating his mules, his attire a calanes sombrero, and a jacket adorned with particoloured flowerpots, his rate of progress what would elsewhere be called lingering by the way, stopping for rest in the heat of the day, and knowing not haste or hurry. His instincts and enjoyments are those of the gypsy or vagabond, just as the sweetest music to his ears is the jingle of the bells of his beasts. Fancy, if you can, that desultory and independent semi-savage donning a uniform, obeying by-laws, observing signals, punctual to a minute, and obedient to the scream of the steam-whistle. It would take a long time to drill him into that. He would be much more likely to turn refractory, and embark in an anti-railway crusade, lifting rails, or placing tree-trunks on the line, and upsetting trains for the sake or chance of pillage, reckless of broken limbs, fractured skulls, scalded children, and screaming females. All these matters, however, are for the consideration of Spaniards, since they will be the chief travellers on the long lines of railway they are so sanguinely projecting. Whenever one of them is opened, it will be very surprising to all who know Spanish ways, if it be not the scene of great irregularity and many accidents. If the Spaniards can get it made with their own money, or by the aid of those splendid combinations known as Crédits Mobiliers,"
why, let them do so, and good luck attend them; but Englishmen will have profited little by their costly experience of Spanish bad faith and insolvency, if they suffer themselves to be inveigled into parting with their bank-notes for the furtherance of any such schemes. Enough, however, of Spain. The green glacis and bright river of Bayonne are before us, and beyond the latter the terminus of the railway that is to bear us farther north.
Were you ever at Vichy? Probably not; for it is not extensively visited by English, or indeed by any but Frenchmen, being rather out of the way, less known than it deserves to be, and less amusing than it might easily be made. Englishmen, bound for a foreign bathing-place, turn rather to Germany than France; or, if to France, they usually make for the south. Cheerful Wiesbaden, sunny Ems, dissipated Baden-Baden, and gambling Homburg, possess attractions not presented by the quiet wells of the Bourbonnais; and although Vichy is surrounded by a pretty country, and at no great distance from the mountains of Auvergne, it cannot compete, as regards scenery, with the Pyrenean wateringplaces. It at present is little resorted to, save by persons who are really ill. To those the strength and efficacy of its waters, and the salubrity of its air, strongly recommend it. Vichy is not one of those places to which physicians send imaginary invalids, whose only real ailment is ennui, or the fatigues of a London season, and who need little besides amusement and change of scene. It is a bona fide place of cure, to which, as to a hydropathic establishment, few persons would think of going save for health's sake. Judging from my own observations during twenty days passed there on my way from Spain to Paris, I should think that at least five out of six of the visitors go really by reason of bad health, and most of the others merely to accompany sick relatives. There are eight principal springs, of very various temperature and qualities, and which are considered efficacious in a great variety of maladies. Persons suffering from gout, and its kindred diseases, and from affections
of the liver and spleen, appeared to me to constitute the larger proportion of the patients at Vichy, in the latter part of the season of 1857; but there are many other complaints for which those waters are recommended. Their principal ingredient is bi-carbonate of soda, to which the greatest portion of their virtue must doubtless be attributed. No waters in Europe contain so much of it. Those of Ems, which in Germany are sometimes compared with those of Vichy, have less than half as much. With the bicarbonate are combined iron, iodine, arsenic, and other things; and although some of these are in very small quantities, it is an ascertained medical fact that medicaments, mingled in nature's laboratory, as they are found in mineral waters, have often an infinitely greater effect than the same quantities when compounded by the pestle of the apothecary. Be this as it may, there can be no doubt that the Vichy waters are not of that mild and gentle kind, of little power for good or evil, which, combined with a pure air and healthy soil, have sufficed to give a high sanitary reputation to various watering-places both in England and on the Continent. They are not to be trifled with, and should be taken with strict regard to medical directions. The strongest spring rises close to the bank of the river Allier, at a short walk from the town, and is known as that of the Célestins, from the old convent of that order, of which a fragment still exists adjacent to the well, where is also to be seen a remnant of the old town-wall, built by Louis XI., Duke of Bourbon, a great patron of Vichy, and who made of it a fortified place. The water of the Célestins is brisk and full of gas, saline in flavour, but not unpleasant. Five or six halfpints a-day are a pretty strong dose. It is the most frequented of all the fountains, and from early morning till dinner-time one is sure to find there a large attendance of gentlemen with list shoes and chalky knuckles, attired in all the fantastical varieties of costume lawful at bathing-places, and beguiling the intervals between the tumblers by the assistance of a billiard-table and an al-fresco reading