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within its dark, damp, and wave-washed dungeons, none seem to trouble themselves about the subject.
The rocky shores in the neighbourhood afford interesting walks to the naturalist ; the water is beautifully clear, and the rocks, as far as they are washed by the tide, completely covered with small pinkish madrapores, and the most splendid actiniæ of every colour, besides different varieties of star-fish, medusæ, and other molluscous animals. Two species of cuttle fish (sepiæ octopus and officinalis) are exposed in great plenty for sale in the market, and considered excellent food. In my wanderings along the shores, I occasionally found the slender green locust, (locusta viredissima,) and always remarked that, on pinning it in my hat or case, it immediately commenced depositing its eggs, as if fearful of its destructive race becoming extinct.
The English mails now go to Vigo, and those to Madrid are, owing to the present state of the country round the capital, very uncertain—they are carried on horseback by couriers, who are frequently robbed. A circumstance occurred in connection with one of these robberies, a few years ago, so characteristic of Spanish law and injustice, that I cannot help recording it, as related to me by a friend there resident at the time.
Towards the latter end of October, 1835, the insurgents of Galicia posted a notice, that all persons found conveying the mail of her majesty the Queen of Spain should be shot. The government courier proceeding from Corunna to Madrid, soon after this notice, was murdered, the bags cut open, and the letters destroyed, it was supposed by a Carlist named Lopez.
Count Pablo Morillo, then captain-general of that province, enraged at such conduct, declared, that if they shot another courier he would execute the brother of Lopez. These brothers had been previously tried for an offence in no way connected with political affairs ; were both acquitted ; but the unhappy victim to injustice was detained in prison on suspicion, while his brother joined the insurgents as their chief.
The captain-general would not listen to the advice offered him by many—and amongst these several of the consuls of the place to issue a proclamation of his intention to shoot the brother of Lopez, if they committed a similar act. In a few nights after, on a Saturday, a courier, with both his horses, was shot two leagues from Corunna.
The count, a most violent man, would hear no remonstrance, and instantly ordering this unfortunate man for execution, hurried him off, desiring the confessor to prepare him for the other world on his way to the spot where the courier was shot the night previous.
At two o'clock on a Sunday, this man was led out, accompanied by a prisoner named Ramos—the one to be shot, the other to witness the fate he next was to suffer, should another courier fall by rebel hands. When they arrived at the place of execution, and Lopez was told by the provost-marshal his excellency's order, he replied—“What do I know of all this?-I have been in prison a year, and know nothing of my brother's crimes ; why should I suffer for him ?—but I have long thought I should I am ready"--and sat down on the chair. . . .
The company of Urbanos returned, after this sad scene, with Ramos riding on an ass, sunk and unmanned. Both prisoners were in the queen's uniform as officers.
It were but to be expected that the brigand Lopez would commence a fearful retaliation. He still haunts the mountain passes in this neighbourhood—the terror of those who have wealth to lose—the Rob Roy of Galicia; but although the thirsty soil may have drunk up the stream of life that flowed from the wounds of this innocent man—the hot vapour rising from that purple tide has ascended on high, an evidence against this guilty land.
The only trade of any extent carried on in Corunna is the Fabrica Tobacos, or cigar manufactory—a government monopoly, none of the soothing weed being permitted to be used except what is made into cigars, and bad enough they are. All smoke ; “the naked beauties” of the mild cigar are not, however, preferred by the people, who cut it up into small pieces, rolling it in little square bits of maize (rice paper), and puff away with great satisfaction. There are no pipes. The manufactory is worked, solely, by females, and when in full operation, gives employment to 3500 hands, besides the officers and overseers of the establishment. The workers are of all ages from eight years upwards ; and in one of the rooms we entered, there were 800 at work ! They sit at tables, with a smooth thick board placed before them, of about a foot square. The leaf is first damped, and then a certain quantity weighed out to each individual, and for which
she is obliged to return a certain number of cigars. The operation is commenced by unfolding the leaves, and cutting them into pieces of about six inches by three, until they have a sufficient number of these folders prepared. The smaller broken pieces, and cut-off ends, are all collected in another heap to form the centre of the cigar, while the stalks and larger veins of the leaf are put aside and forwarded to Hamburgh, to be manufactured into snuff. The only instruments used by the makers are knives, shaped like a shoemaker's, and a pair of scissors. Having smoothed the leaf with the handle of the knife, they take some of the shreds and smaller pieces, and placing them in one corner of the folder, roll it obliquely over them, keeping them even with the right hand, till they come to the end, when the remainder of the leaf is cut off, and the point twisted. The cigar is then measured, the top clipped off, and a roll or two on the board being given to it with the hand, it is finished. So quickly is all this done, by expert workers, that it is almost impossible to examine the process, except by watching it in a beginner, as some can make as many as three cigars in a minute. Not a bit is lost, all the parings being put into the interior of the next. When the central parts are too small, rolled too hard, or have too much of the stalk or veins remaining, it both impairs the flavour, and prevents the kindly smoking of the cigar. Expert workers will make as many as eighteen bunches, of fifty-one each, a day, but this requires great practice; the average number is about twelve bunches, or 612. After it is manufactured, the tobacco is again weighed, and the people are all searched by the matrons on leaving off work. The good workers can earn three shillings a day, and the ordinary ones from two shillings to two and sixpence, which, considering the cheapness of provisions in this part of Spain, is a high rate of labour. They all seemed very merry, and kept up an incessant clatter. The fingers of those long engaged in this work, become exceeding slender and delicate; and such a display of elegantly decked heads and sparkling black eyes I never saw; yet these girls looked unhealthy, as might naturally be expected from the confinement and pernicious atmosphere of the factory, the rooms being low, badly lighted, and worse ventilated. The great heat and poisoned air were to us quite intoxicating, although it is astonishing how the youngest bear it without being narcotized. Consumption is very common
among them, and I remarked numerous deformities in the offspring of those engaged in the Fabrica. As we walked through the establishment, we were constantly saluted with that common ejaculation of an English seaman, “I say, I say”—indeed I know not the country, where a British ship has ever been, that the people have not picked up this favourite expression of Jack's.
The produce of the manufactory is immediately transported into the interior, on mules, immense droves of which are always waiting to be loaded at the Fabrica. I may be excused this long history of the cigar, when it is considered that this factory is one of the largest known, one of the greatest sources of revenue to the government, and that at this moment one half at least of the inhabitants on the face of the earth use tobacco in one shape or other.
Not meaning any slander on this respectable institution, I may observe, that there is a very extensive foundling hospital in Corunna, the reception-cradle of which is not permitted to rust on its hinges. Infanticide is, however, unknown.
Some of the handsomest structures in the town are the public fountains ; that in the fruit-market is particularly good, surmounted by a figure of Fame ; a fit emblem of such a place, the usual receptacle of news, and the diffuser of scandal.
There is an extensive and well-situated hospital, containing 150 beds, divided into three compartments, civil, military, and that for prisoners; the wards are low, and fortunately not crowded, especially dirty, and all the patients were smoking.
Fevers and epidemics are rare ; and injuries and accidents are of uncommon occurrence—no doubt, owing to the absence of all wheel-carriages and machinery, the frequent cause of them at home. The medical men are all graduates of Madrid; the prescriptions are obliged by law to be written in Spanish ; and the respective branches of medicine and surgery are more distinct than in other countries.
The capital punishment here is the garotte, and consists in the culprit being placed, sitting, against a post, through which a noose is run, put round the neck, and a sudden twist produces instant suffocation. The finisher of the law is constantly met lounging about the streets; that honour is here hereditary-the present unfortunate man's father, to save his own neck, having bound to this office himself and posterity, then consisting of three sons in
THE TOMB OF MOORE.
rather good circumstances, who have thus been compelled to become executioners in different parts of Spain. The convict prison is worth a visit, as exhibiting a den of filth and misery, impossible to describe, and filled with desperadoes, whose looks, if looks be an index of the mind, tell tales of
“Murder, treason, sacrilege, and crimes
October 9th. The cold of winter is beginning to be felt ; it is time to seek some more genial clime, so we shall make our last visit to the tomb of MOORE. This is situated beside the citadel, on a raised plot of ground, the Campo del Carlos, containing about an acre, and commanding an extensive view of the bay and adjoining heights.
The monument itself is of white granite, and stands in the centre, chaste, simple, and architectural; at each corner there is a small brass howitzer, bearing the emblems of the French republic, and on the panel, on either side, is the inscription :
The ground of this bastion is clothed with the dwarf-mallow, and a row of aspen poplars surrounding the enclosure, with their stunted heads bowed to the blast, seemed to mourn over the tomb of the departed hero.
All must acknowledge the taste, the feeling, and the generosity